Norman and Saxon

“My son,” said the Norman Baron, “I am dying, and you will
   be heir
To all the broad acres in England that William gave me for
When he conquered the Saxon at Hastings, and a nice little
   handful it is.
But before you go over to rule it I want you to understand this:—
”The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice
When he stands like an ox in the furrow—with his sullen set eyes
    on your own,
And grumbles, 'This isn’t fair dealing,' my son, leave the Saxon
“You can horsewhip your Gascony archers, or torture your
     Picardy spears;
But don’t try that game on the Saxon; you’ll have the whole
    brood round your ears.
From the richest old Thane in the county to the poorest chained
             serf in the field,
They’ll be at you and on you like hornets, and, if you are wise,
                 you  will  yield.
”But first you must master their language, their dialect, proverbs
             and songs.
Don’t trust any clerk to interpret when they come with the tale
             of their own wrongs.
Let them know that you know what they are saying; let them feel
              that you know what to say.
Yes, even when you want to go hunting, hear 'em out if it takes
               you all day.
They’ll drink every hour of the daylight and poach every hour
    of the dark.
It’s the sport not the rabbits they’re after (we’ve plenty of game
    in the park).
Don’t hang them or cut off their fingers. That’s wasteful as well
    as unkind,
For a hard-bitten, South—country poacher makes the best man—
    at-arms you can find.
"Appear with your wife and the children at their weddings and
    funerals and feasts.                                        
Be polite but not friendly to Bishops; be good to all poor parish
Say ‘we,’ 'us’ and 'ours’ when you’re talking, instead of 'you
   fellows’  and  ‘I.’
Don’t ride over seeds; keep your temper; and never you tell 'em
    a lie!”
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