Last Instructions to his Eldest Son

"Fair Son, the first thing I would teach to thee is to set thine heart to love Gad; for unless he love God none can be saved. Keep thyself from doing aught that is displeasing to God, that is to say, from mortal sin. Contrariise thou shouldst suffer every manner of torment rather than commit a mortal sin.

"If God send three adversity, recieve it in patience and give thanks to our Saviour and bethink thee that thou hast deserved it, and that He will make it turn to thine advantage. If He send thee prosperity, then thank Him humbly, so that thou becomest not worse from pride or any other cause, when thou oughtest to be better. For we should not fight against God with his own gifts.

"Confess thyself often and choose for thy confessor a right worthy man who knows how to teach thee what to do, and what not to do; and bear theyself in such sort that thy confessor and thy friends shall dare to reprove thee for thy misdoings. Listen to the services of Holy Church devoutly, and without chattering; and pray to God with thy heart and thy lips, and espiecally at Mass when the consecration takes place. Let thy heart be tender and full of pity toward those who are poor, miserable, and affected, and comfort and help them to the utmost of thy power.

"Maintain the good customs of thy realm and abolish the bad. Be not covetous against thy people and do no burden them with taxes and imposts save when thou art in great need.

"If thou hast any great burden weighing upon thy heart, tell it to thy confessor or to some right worthy man who is not full of vain words. Thou shalt be able to bear it more easily.

"See that thou hast in thy company men, whether religious or lay, who are right worthy and loyal and not full of covetousness, and confer with them oft; and fly and eschew the company of the wicked. Harken willingly to the Word of God and keep it in thine heart, and seek diligently after prayers and indulgences. Love all that is good and profitable and hate all that is evil, wheresoever it may be.

"Let none be so bold to say before thee any word that would draw or move to sin, or so bold as to speak evil behind another's back for pleasure's sake; nor do thou suffer any word in disparagement of Gos and of His saints to be spoken in thy presence. Give often thanks to God for all the good things he has bestowed on thee, so that thou be accounted worthy to recieve more.

"In order to do justice and right by thy subjects, be upright and firm, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left, but always to what is just; and do thou maintain the cause of the poor until such a time as the truth is made clear. And if anyone has an action again thee, make full inquiry until thou knowest the truth; for thus shall thy consellors judge the more boldly accouding to the truth, whether for thee or against.

"Give heed that thy servants and thy subjects live under thee in peace and uprightness. Especially maintain the good cities and commons of thy realm in the same estate and with the same franchises as they enjoy under thy predessors; and if there aught to amend, amend and set it right, and keep them in thy favor and love. For because of the power and thy barons and foreigners also will fear to undertake aught against thee.

"Love and honor all persons belonging to Holy Church, and see that no one take away or diminish the gifts and alms paid to them by thy predecessors. It is related of King Philip, my grandfather, that one of his counsellors once told him that those of Holy Church did him much harm and damage in that they deprived him of his rights and diminished his jurisdiction, adn that it was a great marvel that he suffered it; and the good king replied that he belived this might well be so, but he had regard to the benefits and courtesies taht God had bestowed on him, and so thought it better to abandon some of his rights than to have any contention with the people of Holy Church.

"To thy father and mother thou shalt give honor and reverence, and thou shlat obey their commandments. Bestow the benefices of Holy Church on persons who are righteous and of a clean life, and do it on the advice fo men of worth and uprightness.

"Finally, my very dear don, cause Masses to be sung for my soul, and prayers to be said throughout thy realm; and give to me a special share and full part in all the good thou doest. Fair, dear son, I give thee all the blessings that a good father can give to his son. Any may the blessed Trinity and all the saints keep and defend thee from all evils; and God give thee grace to do His will always, so that He be honored in thee, and that thou and I may both, after this mortal life is ended, be with Him together and praise Him everlastingly. Amen



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