After that I saw A multitude, in fury burning, slay With stones a stripling youth, and shout amain “Destroy, destroy: “and him I saw, who bow’d Heavy with death unto the ground, yet made His eyes, unfolded upward, gates to heav’n, Praying forgiveness of th’ Almighty Sire, Amidst that cruel conflict, on his foes, With looks, that With compassion to their aim.
In short, I say that this book, and all that may be found treating of those French affairs, should be thrown into or deposited in some dry well, until after more consideration it is settled what is to be done with them; excepting always one 'Bernardo del Carpio' that is going about, and another called 'Roncesvalles;' for these, if they come into my hands, shall pass at once into those of the housekeeper, and from hers into the fire without any reprieve."
But these "greater causes," claimed for the Pope as early as the time of Gregory VII, included not only grave moral crimes such as murder, sacrilege, and gross immorality, but also cases of dispensation beforehand, of absolution after excommunication for certain offences.
These held a phratry council which in a body addressed itself to the other phratry, in order to prevail on the latter to assemble in council and effect a condonation of the matter.
A course that lay between undue clemency and excessive rigour: the dispensation in a heterogeneous society of arbitrary classes, incessantly rearranged in terms of greater and lesser social inequality, of unbiassed homogeneous indisputable justice, tempered with mitigants of the widest possible latitude but exactable to the uttermost farthing with confiscation of estate, real and personal, to the crown.