18.3.09

St Louis IX, King, on Dispensing Justice

Jean, Sieur de Joinville relates...

...In dealing with each day's business, the King's usual plan was to send for Jean de Nesles, the good Comte de Soissons, and the rest of us, as soon as we had heard mass, and tell us to go to and hear the pleadings at the gate of the city which is now called the Gate of Requests...

...After he had returned from church the king would send for us, and sitting at the foot of his bed would make us all sit round him, and ask us if, there were any cases that could not be settled except by his personal intervention. After we had told him what they were, he would send for the interested parties and ask them: 'Why did you not accept what our people offer?''Your majesty,' they would reply, 'because they offer us too little.' then he would say: 'You would do well to accept whatever they are willing to give you.' Our saintly king would then do his utmost to bring them round to a right and reasonable way of thinking....

and...

...I have sometimes seen him, in summer, go to administer justice to his people in the public gardens in Paris, dressed in a plain woolen tunic, a sleeveless surcoat of linsey-woolsey, and a black taffeta cape round his shoulders, with his hair neatly combed, but with no cap to cover it, and only a hat of white peacock feathers on his head. He would have a carpet laid down so that we might sit round him, while all those who had any case to bring before him stood round about. then he would pass judgement on each case, as I have told you he often used to do in the wood of Vincennes...

Jhesu+Marie,
Brantigny

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