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VOLUME    1 

New  York     o:.^    .  t  r  •.  •.• 



I       THE  NEW  YORK      ] 




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i.      ?•-; 



Ton  were  given  to  understand  that  for  some  years  past  I 
have  been  doing  myself  the  paternal  pleasure  of  telling  my 
grandchildren  the  History  of  France,  and  you  ask  if  I  have 
any  intention  of  publishing  these  family  studies  of  our  country's 
grand  life.  I  had  no  such  idea  at  the  outset;  it  was  of  my 
grandchildren,  and  of  them  alone,  that  I  was  thinking.  What 
I  had  at  heart  was  to  make  them  really  comprehend  our  his- 
tory, and  to  interest  them  in  it  by  doing  justice  to  their  under- 
standing and,  at  the  same  time,  to  their  imagination,  by  set- 
ting it  before  them  clearly  and,  at  the  same  time,  to  the  life. 
Every  history,  and  especially  that  of  France,  is  one  vast,  long 
drama,  in  iv^hich  events  are  linked  together  according  to  de- 
fined laws,  and  in  which  the  actors  play  parts  not  ready  made 
and  learnt  by  heart,  parts  depending,  in  faot,  not  only  upon 
the  accidents  of  their  birth  but  also  upon  their  own  ideas  and 
their  own  will.  There  are,  in  the  history  of  peoples,  two  sets  of 
causes  essentially  different  ^d,  at  the  same  time,  closely  con- 
nected; the  natural  causes  which  are  set  over  the  general 
course  of  events,  and  the  imrestricted  causes  which  are  inci- 
dental.  Men  do  not  make  the  whole  of  history ;  it  has  laws  of 
higher  origin;  but,  in  history,  men  are  unrestricted  agents 
who  produce  for  it  results  €md  exercise  over  it  an  influence  for 
which  they  are  responsible.  The  fated  causes  and  the  unre- 
stricted causes,  the  defined  laws  of  events  and  the  spontaneous 
actions  of  man's  free  agency— herein  is  the  whole  of  history. 
And  in  the  faithful  reproduction  of  these  two  elements  consist 
the  truth  and  the  moral  of  stories  from  it. 

Never  was  I  more  struck  with  this  twofold  character  of  his* 
tory  than  in  my  tales  to  my  grandchildren.  When  I  com- 
menced these  lessons  with  them,  they,  beforehand,  evinced  a 
lively  interest,  and  they  began  to  listen  to  me  with  serious 
good  will;  but  when  they  did  not  well  apprehend  the  length- 


ening  chain  of  events,  or  when  historical  personages  did  not 
become,  in  their  eyes,  creatures  real  and  free,  worthy  of 
sympathy  or  reprobation,  when  the  drama  was  not  developed 
before  them  with  clearness  and  animation,  I  saw  their  atten- 
tion grow  fitful  an4  flagging;  they  required  light  and  life  to* 
gether;  they  wished  to  be  illumined  and  excited,  instructed 
and  amused. 

At  the  same  time  that  the  difficulty  of  satisfsring  this  two- 
fold desire  was  painfully  felt  by  me,  I  discovered  therein  more 
means  and  chances  than  I  had  at  first  foreseen  of  succeeding 
in  making  my  young  audience  comprehend  the  history  of 
France  in  its  complication  and  its  grandeur.  When  Comeille 

**• In  the  well-born  sonl 

Valor  ne'er  lingers  till  due  seaeons  roll,** 

he  spoke  as  truly  for  intelligence  as  for  valor.  When  once 
awakened  and  really  attentive,  young  minds  are  more  earnest 
and  more  capable  of  complete  comprehension  than  any  one 
would  suppose.  In  order  to  explain  fully  to  my  grandchildren 
the  connection  of  events  and  the  influence  of  historical  person- 
ages, I  was  sometimes  led  into  very  comprehensive  consider- 
ations and  into  pretty  deep  studies  of  character.  Aud  in  such 
cases  I  was  nearly  always  not  only  perfectly  understood  but 
keenly  appreciated.  I  put  it  to  the  proof  in  the  sketch  of 
Charlemagne^s  reign  and  character;  and  the  two  great  objects 
of  that  great  man,  who  succeeded  in  one  and  failed  in  the  other, 
received  from  my  youthful  audience  the  most  rivetted  attention 
and  the  most  clear  comprehension.  Youthful  minds  have 
greater  grasp  than  one  is  disposed  to  give  them  credit  for,  and, 
perhaps,  men  would  do  well  to  be  as  earnest  in  their  lives  as 
children  are  in  their  studies. 

In  order  to  attain  the  end  I  had  set  before  me,  I  always  took 
care  to  connect  my  stories  or  my  reflections  with  the  great 
events  or  the  great  personages  of  history.  When  we  wish  to 
examine  and  describe  a  district  scientifically,  we  traverse  it  in 
all  its  divisions  and  in  every  direction;  we  visit  plains  as  well 
as  mountains,  villages  as  well  as  cities,  the  most  obscure  cor- 
ners as  well  as  the  most  famous  spots;  this  is  the  way  of  pro- 
ceeding with  the  geologist,  the  botanist,  the  archaeologist,  the 
statistician,  the  scholar.  But  when  we  wish  particularly  to 
get  an  idea  of  the  chief  features  of  a  country,  its  fixed  outlines, 
ita  general  conformation,  its  special  aspects,  its  great  roads, 


we  mount  the  heights;  we  place  ourselves  at  pomts  whence 
we  can  best  take  in  the  totahty  and  the  physiognomy  of  the 
landscape.  And  so  we  must  proceed  in  history  when  we  wish 
neither  to  reduce  it  to  the  skeleton  of  an  abridgment  nor  ex- 
tend it  to  the  huge  dimensions  of  a  learned  work.  Great  events 
and  great  men  are  the  fixed  points  and  the  peaks  of  history; 
and  it  is  thence  that  we  can  observe  it  in  its  totality,  and  fol- 
low it  along  its  highways.  In  my  tales  to  my  grandchildren  I 
sometimes  lingered  over  some  i>articular  anecdote  which  gave 
me  an  opportunity  of  setting  in  a  vivid  light  the  dominant 
spirit  of  an  age  or  the  characteristic  manners  of  a  people;  but, 
with  rare  exceptions,  it  is  always  on  the  great  deeds  and  the 
great  personages  of  history  that  I  have  relied  for  making  of 
them  in  my  tales  what  they  were  in  reality,  the  centre  and  the 
focus  of  the  life  of  France. 

At  the  outset,  in  giving  these  lessons,  I  took  merely  short 
notes  of  dates  and  proper  names.  When  I  had  reason  given 
me  to  believe  that  they  might  be  of  some  service  and  interest 
to  other  children  than  my  own,  and  even,  I  was  told,  to  others 
besides  children,  I  undertook  to  put  them  together  in  the  form 
in  which  I  had  developed  them  to  my  youthful  audience.  I 
will  send  you,  gentlemen,  some  portions  of  the  work,  and  if  it 
really  appears  to  you  advisable  to  enlarge  the  circle  for  which 
it  was  originally  intended,  I  will  most  gladly  entrust  to  you 
the  care  of  its  publication. 

Accept,  gentlemen,  the  assurance  of  my  most  distinguished 

^-  ~   -        GmzoT. 

VaitBiohsb,  December,  1809L 




Oyptus  presentiiig  the  Goblet  to  Euzenes. Front. 

The  Gauls  in  Borne 16 

The  "Women  Defending  the  Care 88 

Mounted  Gauls 48 

Vercingetorix  surrendere  to  Ceesar 65 

Bpoiiina  and  Sabinus. . 72 

The  Last  of  the  Druids 81 

The  Huns 96 

*'  Thus  diddest  thou  to  the  Vase  of  Soissons.". 118 

•'  Thrust  him  away  or  thou  diest  in  his  stead." 128 

The  execution  of  Brunehaut 137 

The  Arabs  had  decamped  silently  in  the  night. 145 

Charlemagne  inflicting  Baptism  upon  the  Saxons 160 

Death  of  Roland  at  Roncesvalles 177 

Charlemagne  presiding  at  the  school  of  the  Palace 182 

'*  He  remained  there  a  long  while,  and  his  eyes  were  filled  with  tears." 200 

The  Barques  of  the  Northmen 209 

Count  Eudes  re-entering  Paris  through  the  Besiegers 216 

Ditcar  the  Monk  recognizing  the  head  of  Morvan 2M 

"Who  made  thee  King?"  241 

Gerbert 248 

**  Robert  had  a  friendly  feeling  for  the  weak  and  poor." ^56 

The  "Accolade. " 278 

William  the  Conqueror  Landing  in  England 288 

Edith  discovers  the  body  of  Harold 289 

"God  Willed  It." 804 

The  four  leaders  of  the  J'irst  Crusade ! 321 

Richard's  Farewell  to  the  Holy  Land 336 

The  Christians  of  the  Holy  City  defiling  before  Saladin 353 

Richard  Coeur  de  Lion  having  the  Saracens  beheaded 360 

Sire  de  Joinville 308 

The  Death  of  St.  Louis 376 

Louis  the  Fat,  on  an  expedition BSi 

The  Battle  of  Bouvines 401 

Death  of  De  Montfort 416 

De  La  Marchess  parting  insult 433 

"  It  i£>  rather  hard  bread." 448 

Battle  of  Courtrai 465 

Colonna  strikingthe  Pope 480 

The  hanging  of  Marigny 488 




YoTTNG  France  inhabits  a  country,  long  ago  civilized  and 
Christianized,  where,  despite  of  much  imperfection  and  much 
social  misery,  thirty-eight  millions  of  men  Hve  in  security  and 
peace,  under  laws  equal  for  all  and  efficiently  upheld.  There 
is  every  reason  to  nourish  great  hopes  of  such  a  coimtry,  and 
to  wish  for  it  more  and  more  of  freedom,  glory,  and  prosperity ; 
but  one  must  be  just  towards  one's  own  times,  and  estimate  at 
their  true  value  advantages  already  acquil:^Bd  and  progress 
already  accomplished,  li  one  were  suddenly  carried  twenty 
or  thirty  centuries  backward,  into  the  midst  of  that  which  was 
then  called  Guul,  one  would  not  recognize  France.  The  same 
mountains  reared  their  heads;  the  same  plains  stretched  far 
and  wide;  the  same  rivers  rolled  on  their  course;  there  is  no 
alteration  in  the  physical  formation  of  the  country;  but  its 
aspect  was  very  dMerent.  Instead  of  the  fields  all  trim  with 
cultivation,  and  all  covered  with  various  produce,  one  would 
see  inaccessible  morasses  and  vast  forests,  as  yet  uncleared, 
given  up  to  the  chances  of  primitive  vegetation,  peopled  with 
wolves  and  bears,  and  even  the  uru8,  or  huge  wild  ox,  and  with 
elks  too—a  kind  of  beast  that  one  finds  no  longer  now-a- 
days,  save  in  the  colder  regions  of  north-eastern  Europe,  such 
as  Lithuania  and  Courland.  Then  wandered  over  the  cham- 
I)aign  great  herds  of  swine,  as  fierce  almost  as  wolves,  tamed 
only  so  far  as  to  know  the  sound  of  their  keeper's  horn.  The 
better  sort  of  fruits  and  of  vegetables  were  quite  unknown; 
they  were  imported  into  Gkiul— the  greatest  part  from  Asia,  a 
portion  from  Africa  and  the  islands  of  the  Mediterranean;  and 
others,  at  a  later  period,  from  the  New  World.    Cold  and 

10  mSTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  i. 

rough  was  the  prevailing  temperature.  Nearly  every  winter 
the  rivers  froze  sufficiently  hard  for  the  i>assage  of  cars.  And 
three  or  four  centuries  hef ore  the  Christian  era,  on  that  vast 
territory  comprised  between  the  ocean,  the  Pyrenees,  the 
Mediterranean,  the  Alps,  and  the  Bhine,  lived  sls:  or  seven 
millions  of  men  a  bestial  life,  enclosed  in  dwellings  dark  and 
low,  the  best  of  them  built  of  wood  and  clay,  covered  with 
branches  or  straw,  made  in  a  single  round  piece,  open  to  day- 
light by  the  door  alone,  and  confusedly  heaped  together  be- 
hind a  rampart,  not  inartistically  composed,  of  timber,  earth, 
and  stone,  which  surrounded  and  protected  what  they  were 
pleased  to  call  a  town. 

Of  even  such  towns  there  were  rt»rcely  any  as  yet,  save  in 
the  most  populous  and  least  uncultivated  portion  of  (raul;  that 
is  to  say,  in  the  southern  and  eastern  regions,  at  the  foot  of 
the  mountains  of  Auvergne  and  the  O^vennes,  and  along  the 
coasts  of  the  Mediterranean.  In  the  north  and  the  west  were 
paltry  hamlets,  as  transferable  almost  as  the  people  them- 
selves ;  and  on  some  islet  amidst  the  morasses,  or  in  some  hid- 
den recess  of  the  forest,  were  huge  entrenchments  formed  of 
the  trees  that  were  felled,  where  the  population,  at  the  first 
sound  of  the  war-cry,  ran  to  shelter  themselves,  with  their 
flocks  and  all  their  movables.  And  the  war-cry  was  often 
heard:  men  living  grossly  and  idly  are  very  prone  to  quarrel 
and  fight.  Gktul,  moreover,  was  not  occupied  by  one  and  the 
same  nation,  wit^  the  same  traditions  and  the  same  chiefis. 
Tribes,  very  different  in  origin,  habits,  and  date  of  settlement^ 
were  continually  disputing  the  territory.  In  the  south  were 
Iberians  or  'Aquitanian,  Phoenicians  and  Greeks;  in  the  north 
and  north-west  Kymrians  or  Belgians;  everywhere  else,  Gauls 
or  Celts,  the  most  numerous  settlers,  who  had  the  honor  of 
giving  their  name  to  the  country.  Who  were  the  first  to 
come,  then?  and  what  was  the  date  of  the  first  settlement? 
Nobody  knows.  Of  the  Greeks  alone  does  history  mark  with 
any  precision  the  arrival  in  southern  Gaul.  The  Phoenicians 
preceded  them  by  several  centuries;  but  it  is  impossible  to  fix 
any  exact  time.  The  information  is  equally  vague  about  the 
period  when  the  Kymrians  invaded  the  north  of  Gaul.  As  for 
the  Gauls  and  the  Iberians,  there  is  not  a  word  about  their  first 
entrance  into  the  coimtry,  for  they  are  discovered  there  al- 
ready at  the  first  appearance  of  the  country  itself  in  the  domain 
of  history. 

The  Iberians,  whom  Roman  writers  caU  Aquitanians,  dwelt 

CH.I.]  GAUL.  11 

at  the  foot  of  the  Pyrenees,  in  the  territory  oomprised  between 
the  mountains,  the  Garonne,  and  the  ocean.  They  belonged 
to  the  race  which,  under  the  same  appellation,  had  peopled 
Spain;  but  by  what  route  they  came  into  Gaul  is  a  problem 
which  we  cannot  solve.  It  is  much  the  same  in  tracing  the 
origin  of  every  nation ;  for  in  those  barbarous  times  men  lived 
and  died  without  leaving  any  enduring  memorial  of  their  deeds 
and  their  destinies;  no  monuments;  no  writings;  just  a  few 
ixal  traditions,  perhaps,  which  are  speedily  lost  or  altered.  It 
is  in  proportion  as  they  become  enlightened  and  civilized,  that 
men  feel  the  desire  and  discover  the  means  of  extending  their 
memorial  far  beyond  their  own  lifetime.  That  is  the  begin- 
ing  of  history,  the  offspring  of  noble  and  useful  sentiments, 
which  cause  the  mind  to  dwell  upon  the  future,  and  to  yearn 
for  long  continuance;  sentiments  which  testify  to  the  supe- 
ri(»-ity  of  man  overall  other  creatures  living  upon  our  earth, 
which  foreshadow  the  immortality  of  the  soul,  and  which  are 
warrant  for  the  progress  of  the  human  race  by  preserving  for 
the  generations  to  come  what  has  been  done  and  learned  by 
the  generations  that  disappear. 

By  whatever  route  and  at  whatever  ex>och  the  Iberians  came 
into  the  south-west  of  Gaul,  they  abide  there  still  in  the  de- 
partment of  the  Lower  Pyrenees,  under  the  name  of  Basques; 
a  peoplet  *  distinct  from  all  its  neighbors  in  features,  costume, 
and  especially  language,  which  resembles  none  of  the  present 
languages  of  Europe,  contains  many  words  which  %re  to  be 
found  in  the  names  of  rivers,  mountains,  and  towns  of  olden 
Spain,  and  which  presents  a  considerable  analogy  to  the 
idioms,  andent  and  modem,  of  certain  peoples  of  northern 
Africa.  The  Phcenidans  did  not  leave,  as  the  Iberians  did,  in 
the  south  of  France  distinct  and  well-authenticated  descend- 
ants. They  had  begun  about  1100  B.o.  to  trftde  there.  They 
w^it  thither  in  seaoxdi  of  furs,  and  gold  and  diver,  which  were 
got  either  from  the  sand  of  certain  rivers,  as  for  instance  the 
Ari^  (in  Latin  AurigeTa)y  or  from  certain  mines  of  the  Alps, 
the  OSvennes,  and  the  Pyrenees;  they  brought  in  exchange 
stufEs  dyed  with  purple,  necklaces  and  rings  of  glass,  and, 
above  all,  arms  and  wine;  a  trade  like  that  which  is  now-a- 
days  carried  on  by  the  civilized  peoples  of  Eiurope  with  the 
.  savage  tribes  of  Africa  and  America.  For  the  purpose  of  ex- 
tending and  securing  their  commercial  expeditions,  the  Phoeni- 

*  Wt.  **  peaplade,"  from  people,  on  the  analogy  of  cireUt  from  circle.—- Tbahi. 

12  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [CH.  t 

cians  founded  colonies  in  several  parts  of  Gaul,  and  to  them  is 
attributed  the  earliest  origin  of  Nematiaua  (Nimes),  and  of 
Alesia,  near  Semur.  But,  at  the  end  of  three  or  four  centuries, 
these  colonies  fell  into  decay ;  the  trade  of  the  Phoenicians  was 
withdrawn  from  Oaul,  and  the  only  important  sign  it  pre* 
served  of  their  residence  was  a  road  which,  starting  from  the 
eastern  Pyrenees,  skirted  the  Gkdlic  portion  of  the  Mediter- 
ranean, crossed  the  Alps  by  the  pass  of  Tenda,  and  so  united 
Spain,  Gaul,  and  Italy.  After  the  withdrawal  of  the .  Phoeni- 
cians this  road  was  kept  up  and  repaired,  at  first  by  the  Greeks 
of  Marseilles,  and  subsequently  by  the  Romans. 

As  merchants  and  colonists,  the  Greeks  were,  in  Gaul,  the 
successors  of  the  Phoenicians,  and  Marseilles  was  one  of  their 
first  and  most  considerable  colonies.  At  the  time  of  the 
Phoenicians'  decay  in  G^ul,  a  Greek  peoplet,  the  Bhodians,  had 
pushed  their  commercial  enterprises  to  a  great  distance,  and, 
in  the  words  of  the  ancient  historians,  held  the  empire  of  the 
sea.  Their  ancestors  had,  in  former  times,  succeeded  the 
Phoenicians  in  the  island  of  Rhodes,  and  they  likewise  suc- 
ceeded them  in  the  south  of  Gaul,  and  founded,  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Rhone,  a  colony  called  Bhodanvsia  or  Rhoda,  with  the 
same  name  as  that  which  they  had  already  founded  on  the 
north-^ast  coast  of  Spain,  and  which  is  now*a-days  the  town  of 
Rosas,  in  Catalonia.  But  the  importance  of  the  Rhodians  on 
the  southern  coast  of  Gaul  was  short-lived.  It  had  already 
sunk  very  low  in  the  year  600  B.O.,  when  Euxenes,  a  Greek 
trader,  coming  from  Phocea,  an  Ionian  town  of  Asia  Minor,  to 
seek  his  fortune,  landed  from  |a  bay  eastward  of  the  Rhone. 
The  Segobrigians,  a  tribe  of  the  Gkdlic  race,  were  in  occupation 
of  the  neighboring  country.  Nann,  their  chief,  gave  the 
strangers  kindly  welcome,  and  took  them  home  wilJi  him  to  a 
great  feast  which  he  was  giving  for  his  daughter's  marriage, 
who  was  called  Gryptis,  according  to  some,  and  Petta,  accord- 
ing  to  other  historians.  A  custom,  which  exists  still  in 
several  cantons  of  the  Basque  country,  and  even  at  the 
centre  of  France,  in  Morvan,  a  moimtainous  district  of  the 
department  of  the  Ni^vre,  would  that  the  maiden  should 
appear  only  at  the  end  of  the  banquet  and  holding  in  her 
hand  a  filled  wine-cup,  and  that  the  guest  to  whom  she 
should  present  it  should  become  the  husband  of  her  choice.  . 
By  accident,  or  quite  another  cause,  say  the  ancient  legends, 
Gyptis  stopped  opposite  Euxenes,  and  handed  him  the  cup. 
Great  was  the  surprise,  and,  probably,  anger  amongst  the 

CH.L]  GAUL.  18 

Oauls  who  were  present;  but  Na«nn,  beliering  he  recognized  a 
commandment  from  his  gods,  accepted  the  Phocean  as  his  son- 
in-law,  and  gave  him  as  dowry  the  bay  where  he  had  landed, 
with  some  cantons  of  the  territory  aromid.  Euzenes,  in 
gratitude,  gave  his  wife  the  Greek  name  of  Aristoxena  (that 
is,  ''  the  best  of  hostesses")^  sent  away  his  ship  to  Phocea  for 
colonists,  and,  whilst  waiting  for  them,  laid  in  the  centre  of  the 
bay,  on  a  peninsula  hollowed  out  harbor-wise,  towards  the 
south,  the  foundations  of  a  town,  which  he  called  Massilia— 
thence  Marseilles. 

Scarcely  a  year  had  elapsed  when  Euxenes'  ship  arrived  from 
Phocea,  and  with  it  several  galleys,  bringing  colonists  full  of 
hope,  and  laden  with  provisions,  utensils,  arms,  seeds,  vine- 
cuttings,  and  oHve-cuttings,  and,  moreover,  a  statue  of  Diana^ 
which  the  colonists  had  gone  to  fetch  from  the  celebrated 
temple  of  that  goddess  at  Ephesus,  and  which  her  priestess, 
Aristarche,  accompanied  to  its  new  coimtry. 

The  activity  and  prosperity  of  Marseilles,  both  within  and 
without,  were  rapidly  developed.  She  carried  her  commerce 
wherever  the  Phoenicians  and  the  Rhodians  had  marked  out  a 
road;  she  repaired  their  forts;  she  took  to  herself  their 
establishments;  and  she  placed  on  her  medals,  to  signify 
dominion,  the  rose,  the  emblem  of  Bhodes,  beside  the  Uon  of 
Marseilles.  But  Nann,  the  Gallic  chieftain,  who  had  protected 
her  infancy,  died;  and  his  son,  Coman,  shared  the  jealousy 
felt  by  the  Segobrigians  and  the  neighboring  peoplets  towards 
the  new  comers.  He  promised  and  really  resolved  to  destroy 
the  new  city.  It  was  the  time  of  the  flowering  of  the  vine,  a 
season  of  great  festivity  amongst  the  Ionian  Greeks,  and 
Marseilles  thought  solely  of  the  preparations  for  the  feast. 
The  houses  and  public  places  were  being  decorated  with 
branches  and  flowers.  No  guard  was  set;  no  work  was  done. 
Coman  sent  into  the  town  a  number  of  his  men,  some  openly, 
as  if  to  take  part  in  the  festivities;  others  hidden  at  the  bot- 
tom of  the  cars  which  conveyed  into  Marseilles  the  branches 
and  foliage  from  the  outskirts.  He  himself  went  and  lay  in 
ambush  in  a  neighboring  glen,  with  seven  thousand  men,  they 
say,  but  the  number  is  probably  exaggerated,  and  waited  for 
his  emissaries  to  open  the  gates  to  bim  during  the  night.  But 
once  more  a  woman,  a  near  relation  of  the  Gallic  chieftain, 
was  the  guardian  angel  of  the  Greeks,  and  revealed  the  plot 
to  a  young  man  of  Marseilles,  with  whom  she  was  in  love. 
The  gates  were  immediately  ^ut,  and  so  many  Segobrigians 

14  mSTORT  OF  FRANCS.  [ch.  i. 

B&  happened  to  be  in  the  town  were  massacred.  Then,  when 
night  came  on,  the  inhabitants,  armed,  went  forth  to  surprise 
Coman  in  the  ambush  where  he  was  awaiting  the  moment  to 
surprise  them.    And  there  he  fell  with  all  his  men. 

Delivered  as  they  wete  from  this  danger,  the  Masflitians 
nevertheless  remained  in  a  difficult  and  disquieting  situation. 
The  peoplets  around,  in  coalition  against  them,  attacked  them 
often  and  threatened  them  incessantly.  But  whilst  they  were 
struggling  against  these  embarrassments,  a  grand  disaster, 
happening  in  the  very  same  spot  whence  they  had  emigrated 
half  a  century  before,  was  procuring  them  a  great  accession  of 
strength  and  the  surest  means  of  defence.  In  the  year  542  B.O., 
Phocea  succumbed  beneath  the  efforts  of  Cyrus,  King  of  Per- 
sia, and  her  inhabitants,  leaving  to  the  conqueror  empty 
streets  and  deserted  houses,  took  to  their  ships  in  a  body,  to 
transfer  their  homes  elsewhither.  A  portion  of  this  floating 
population  made  straight  for  Marseilles;  others  stopped  at 
Corsica,  in  the  harbor  of  Alalia,  another  Phocean  colony. 
But  at  the  end  of  five  years  they  too,  tired  of  piratical  life 
and  of  the  incessant  wars  they  had  to  sustain  against  the 
Carthaginians,  quitted  Corsica,  and  went  to  rejoin  their  com- 
patriots in  Qaul. 

Thenceforward  Marseilles  found  herself  in  a  position  to  &ce 
her  enemies.  She  extended  her  walls  all  roimd  the  bay  and 
her  enterprises  far  away.  She  f oimded  on  the  southern  coast 
of  Gaul  and  on  the  eastern  coast  of  Spain,  permanent  settle- 
ments, which  are  to  this  day  towns:  eastward  of  the  Ehone, 
Hercules'  harbor,  M<mo&cus  (Monaco),  Nicasa  (Nice),  ArUipolia 
(Antibes);  westward,  Heraclea  Cacdbaria  (SisJnt-GiUes), 
Agatha  (Agde),  Emporioe  (Ampurias  in  Catalonia),  etc.,  etc. 
In  the  valley  of  the  Bhone,  several  towns  of  the  Gauls, 
Cabdlio  (Cavaillon),  Avenio  (Avignon),  Arelate  (Aries),  for 
instance,  were  like  Gtreek  colonies,  so  great  there  was  the  num- 
ber of  travellers  or  established  merchants  who  spoke  Greek. 
With  this  commercial  activity  Marseilles  united  intellectual 
and  scientific  activity;  her  grammarians  were  among  the 
first  to  revise  and  annotate  the  poems  of  Homer;  and  bold 
travellers  from  Marseilles,  Euthymenes  and  Pytheas  by  name, 
cruised,  one  along  the  western  coast  of  Africa  beyond  the 
Straits  of  Gibraltar,  and  the  other  the  southern  and  western 
coasts  of  Europe,  from  the  mouth  of  the  Tanais  (Don),  in  the 
Black  Sea,  to  the  latitudes  and  perhaps  into  the  interior  of  the 
Baltic.    They  lived,  both  of  them,  in  the  second  half  of  the 

CH.I.]  OAXTL.  16 

fourth  century  B.C.,  and  they  .wrote  each  a  Periplus^  or  tales 
of  their  travels,  which  have  unfortunately  heen  almost 
entirely  lost. 

But  whatever  may  have  heen  her  intelligence  and  activity,  a 
single  town  situated  at  the  extremity  of  Gktul  and  peopled 
with  foreigners  could  have  but  little  influence  over  so  vast  a 
country  and  its  inhabitants.  At  first  civilization  is  very  hard 
and  very  slow ;  it  requires  many  centuries,  many  great  events, 
and  many  years  of  toil  to  overcome  the  early  habits  of  a 
people,  and  cause  them  to  exchange  the  pleasures,  gross  indeed, 
but  accompanied  with  the  idleness  and  freedom  of  barbarian 
life,  for  the  toilful  advantages  of  a  regulated  social  condition. 
By  dint  of  foresight,  perseverance,  and  courage,  the  merchants 
of  Marseilles  and  her  colonies  crossed  by  two  or  three  main 
lines  the  forests,  morasses,  and  heaths  through  the  savage 
tribes  of  G^uls,  and  there  effected  their  exchanges,  but  to  the 
right  and  left  they  i)enetrated  but  a  short  distance;  even  on 
their  main  lines  their  traces  soon  disappeared ;  and  at  the  com- 
mercial settlements  which  they  established  here  and  there 
they  were  often  far  more  occupied  in  self-defence  than  in 
spreading  their  example.  Beyond  a  strip  of  land  of  uneven 
breadth,  along  the  Mediterranean,  and  save  the  space 
peopled  towards  the  south-west  by  the  Iberians,  the  country, 
which  received  its  name  from  the  former  of  the  two,  was  occu- 
pied by  the  Gauls  and  the  Kymrians;  by  the  Gauls  in  the 
centre,  south-east,  and  east,  in  the  highlands  of  modem  France, 
between  the  Alps,  the  Vosges,  the  moimtains  of  Auvergne 
and  the  C^vennes;  by  the  Kymrians  in  the  north,  north-west, 
and  west,  in  the  lowlands,  from  the  western  boimdary  of  the 
Gauls  to  the  Ocean. 

Whether  the  Gauls  and  the  Kymrians  were  originally  of  the 
same  race,  or  at  least  of  races  closely  connected ;  whether  they 
were  both  anciently  comprised  under  the  general  name  of 
Celts;  and  whether  the  Kymrians,  if  they  were  not  of  the 
same  race  as  the  Gauls,  belonged  to  that  of  the  Gtermans,  the 
final  conquerors  of  the  Eoman  Empire,  are  questions  which 
the  learned  have  been  a  long,  long  while  discussing  without 
deciding.  The  only  facts  which  seem  to  be  dear  and  certain 
are  the  following. 

The  ancients  for  a  long  while  applied  without  distinction 
the  name  of  Celts  to  the  peoples  who  lived  in  the  west  and 
north  of  Europe,  regardless  of  precise  limits,  language,  or 
origin.    It  was  a  geographical  title  apphcable  to  a  vast  but  ill- 

16  EISTORT  OF  FBANCE.  [oh.  l 

explored  territory,  rather  than  a  real  historical  name  of  race 
or  nation.  And  so,  in  the  earliest  times,  Gauls,  Germans, 
Bretons,  and  even  Iherians,  appear  frequently  confounded 
under  the  name  of  Celts,  peoples  of  Celtica. 

Little  by  little  this  name  is  observed  to  become  more  re- 
stricted and  more  precise.  The.  Iberians  of  Spain  are  the  first 
to  be  detached;  then  the  Germans.  In  the  century  preceding 
the  Christian  era,  the  Gauls,  that  is,  the  peoples  inhabiting 
Gaul,  are  alone  called  Celts,  We  begin  even  to  recognize 
amongst  them  diversities  of  race,  and  to  distinguish  the  Iberians 
of  Gaul  alius  Aquitanians  and  the  Eymrians  or  Belgians  from 
the  Gauls,  to  whom  the  name  of  Celts  is  confined.  Sometimes 
even  it  is  to  a  confederation  of  certain  Gallic  tribes  that  the 
name  specially  appUes.  However  it  be,  the  Gauls  appear  to 
have  been  the  first  inhabitants  of  western  Europe.  In  the 
most  ancient  historical  memorials  they  are  found  there,  and 
not  only  in  Gaul,  but  in  Great  Britain,  in  Ireland,  and  in  the 
neighboring  islets.  In  Gaul,  after  a  long  predominance,  their 
race  commingled  with  other  races  to  form  the  French  nation. 
But,  in  this  commingling,  numerous  traces  of  their  language, 
monuments,  manners,  and  names  of  persons  and  places,  siur- 
vived  and  still  exist,  especially  to  the  east  and  south-east,  in 
local  customs  and  vernacular  dialects.  In  Ireland,  in  the 
highlands  of  Scotland,  in  the  Hebrides  and  the  Isle  of  Man, 
Gauls  (Gaels)  still  live  under  their  primitive  name.  There 
we  still  have  the  GaeUc  race  and  tongue,  free,  if  not  from  any 
change,  at  least  from  absorbent  fusion. 

From  the  seventh  to  the  fourth  century  B.C.,  a  new  population 
spread  over  Gaul,  not  at  once,  but  by  a  series  of  invasions,  of 
which  the  two  principal  took  place  at  the  two  extremes  of  that 
epoch.  They  called  themselves  Kymrians  or  Kimrians,  whence 
the  Bomans  made  the  Cimbrians^  which  recalls  Cimmerii  or 
Cimmerians,  the  name  of  a  people  whom  the  Greeks  placed 
on  the  western  bank  of  the  Black  Sea  and  in  the  Cimmerian  pen- 
insula, called  to  this  day  Crimea,  During  these  irregular  and 
successively  repeated  movements  of  wandering  populations,  it 
often  happened  that  tribes  of  different  races  met,  made  terms, 
united,  and  finished  by  amalgamation  under  one  name.  All 
the  peoples  that  successively  invaded  Europe,  Gauls,  Kymri- 
ans, Germans,  belonged  at  first,  in  Asia,  whence  they  came, 
to  a  common  stem;  the  diversity  of  their  languages,  tradi- 
tions, and  manners,  great  as  it  already  was  at  the  time  of 
their  appearance  in  the  West,  was  the  work  of  time  and  of  thg 







CH.  I.]  GAUL.  17 

diverse  drcumstances  in  the  midst  of  which  they  had  lived; 
hut  there  always  remained  amongst  them  traces  of  a  primitive 
affinity  which  allowed  of  sudden  and  frequent  comminglings, 
amidst  their  tumultuous  dispersion. 

The  Kymrians,  who  crossed  the  Rhine  and  flimg  tiiemselves 
into  northern  Gaul  towards  the  middle  of  the  fourth  century 
B.C.,  called  themselves  Bolg^  or  Belg^  or  BelgianSy  a  name 
which  indeed  is  given  to  them  hy  Boman  writers,  and  which 
has  remained  that  of  the  country  they  first  invaded.  They 
descended  southwards,  to  the  hanks  of  the  Seine  and  the 
Mame.  There  they  encountered  the  Kymrians  of  former 
invasions,  who  not  only  had  spread  over  the  country  com- 
prised hetween  the  Seine  and  the  Loire,  to  the  very  heart  of 
the  peninsula  hordered  hy  the  latter  river,  but  had  crossed  the 
sea,  and  occupied  a  portion  of  the  large  island  opposite  Gaul, 
crowding  back  the  Gkiuls,  who  had  preceded  them,  upon 
Ireland  and  the  highlands  of  Scotland.  It  was  from  one  of 
these  trihes  and  its  chieftain,  called  Pryd  or  Prydairij  Brit  or 
Britain^  that  Great  Britain  and  Brittany^  in  France  received 
the  name  which  they  have  kept. 

Each  of  these  races,  far  from  forming  a  mogle  people  boimd 
to  the  same  destiny  and  under  the  same  chieftcdns,  split  into 
peoplets,  more  or  lees  independent,  who  foregathered  or  sepa- 
rated according  to  the  shifts  of  circumstances,  and  who  pur- 
sued, each  on  their  own  account  and  at  their  own  pleasure, 
their  fortunes  or  their  fancies.  The  Ibero-Aquitanians  num- 
bered twenty  tribes;  the  Gauls  twenty-two  nations;  the  origi- 
nal Kymrians,  mingled  with  the  Gauls  between  the  Loire  and 
the  Garonne,  seventeen;  and  the  Kymro-Belgians  twenty- 
three.  These  sixty-two  nations  were  subdivided  into  seveial 
hundreds  of  tribes;  and  these  petty  agglomerations  were  dis- 
tributed amongst  rival  confederations  or  leagues,  which  dis- 
puted one^with  another  the  supremacy  over  such  and  such  a 
portion  of  territory.  Three  grand  leagues  existed  amongst  the 
Gauls;  that  of  the  Arvemians,  formed  of  peoplets  established 
in  the  country  which  received  from  them  the  name  of 
Auvergne;  that  of  the  ^duans,  in  Burgundy,  whose  centre 
was  Bibracte  (Autim);  and  that  of  the  Sequanians,  in 
Franche-Oomt6,  whose  centre  was  Vesontio  (Besan^on). 
Amongst  the  Kymrians  of  the  West,  the  Armoric  league 
bound  together  the  tribes  of  Brittany  and  lower  Normandy. 
From  these  alliances,  intended  to  group  together  scattered 
forces,  sprang  fresh  passions  or  interests,  which  became  '"' 

^8  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  i. 

many  fresh  causes  of  discord  and  hostility.  And,  in  these 
divers  a^omerations,  government  was  every  where  almost 
equally  irregular  and  powerless  to  maintain  order  or  found  an 
enduring  state.  Kymrians,  Q-auls,  or  Iberians  were  nearly 
equally  ignorant,  improvident,  slaves  to  the  sbiftings  of  their 
ideas  and  the  sway  of  their  passions,  fond  of  war  and  idleness 
and  rapine  and  feasting,  of  gross  and  savage  pleasures.  All 
gloried  in  hanging  from  the  breast-gear  of  their  horses,  or 
naihng  to  the  doors  of  their  houses,  the  heads  of  their  enemies. 
All  sacrificed  himian  victims  to  their  gods;  all  tied  their 
prisoners  to  trees,  and  burned  or  flogged  them  to  death;  all 
took  pleasure  in  wearing  upon  their  heads  or  round  their 
arms,  and  depicting  upon  their  naked  bodies  l^ntastic  oma- 
mente,  which  gave  them  a  wild  appearance.  An  unbridled 
passion  for  wine  and  strong  liquors  was  general  amongst 
them:  the  traders  of  Italy,  and  especially  of  Marseilles, 
brought  supplies  into  every  part  of  Gaul;  from  interval  to 
interval  there  were  magazines  established,  whither  the  Qauls 
flocked  to  seU  for  a  flask  of  wine  their  furs,  their  grain,  their 
cattle,  their  slaves.  ^^  It  was  easy,"  says  an  ancient  historian, 
**  to  get  the  Gany;nede  for  the  liquor."  Such  are  the  essential 
characteristics  of  barbaric  life,  as  they  have  been  and  as  they 
still  are  at  several  points  of  our  globe,  amongst  people  of  the 
same  grade  in  the  scale  of  civilization.  They  existed  in  nearly 
an  equal  degree  amongst  the  different  races  of  ancient  Gaul, 
whose  resemblance  was  rendered  much  stronger  thereby  than 
their  diversity  in  other  respects  by  some  of  their  customs, 
traditions,  or  ideas. 

In  their  case,  too,  there  is  no  sign  of  those  permanent  de- 
marcations, those  rooted  antipathies,  and  that  impossibility  of 
unity  which  are  obsei-vable  amongst  peoples  whose  original 
moral  condition  is  really  very  different.  In  Asia,  Africa,  and 
America,  the  EngUsh,  the  Dutch,  the  Spanish,  and  the  French 
have  been.and  are  still  in  frequent  contact  with  the  natives  of 
the  country— Hindoos,  Malays,  Negroes,  and  Indians;  and,  in 
spite  of  this  contact,  the  races  have  remained  widely  separa- 
ted one  from  another.  In  ancient  Gaul  not  only  did  Gauls, 
Kymrians,  and  Iberians  Uve  frequently  in  alliance  and 
almost  intimacy,  but  they  actually  commingled  and  cohabited 
without  scruple  on  the  same  territory.  And  so  we  find  in  the 
midst  of  the  Iberians,  towards  the  mouth  of  the  Garonne,  a 
Gallic  tribe,  the  Viviscan  Biturigians,  come  from  the  neigh- 
borhood of  Bourges,  where  the  bulk  of  the  nation  was  settled: 

CH.I.]  OAUL.  10 

they  had  been  driven  thither  by  one  of  the  first  invasions  of 
the  Kymrians,  and  peabeably  taken  root  there;  Burdigala, 
afterwards  Bordeaux,  was  the  chief  settlement  of  this  tribe, 
and  even  then  a  trading-place  between  the  Mediterranean  and 
the  ocean.  A  little  farther  on,  towards  the  south,  a  Eymrian 
tribe,  the  Bdians^  lived  isolated  from  its  race,  in  the  waste- 
lands of  the  Iberians,  extracting  the  resin  from  the  pines 
which  grew  in  that  territory.  To  the  south-west,  in  the 
country  situated  between  the  Gkuronne,  the  eastern  Pyrenees, 
the  C^vennes,  and  the  Bhone,  two  great  tribes  of  Kymro- 
Belgians,  the  Bolg^  Volg,  VoVc^  or  Volea^  Arecomican  and 
TectosagiaUy  came  to  settle  towards  the  end  of  the  fourth  cen- 
tury B.C.,  in  the  midst  of  the  'Iberian  and  Gktllic  peoplets;  and 
there  is  nothing  to  show  that  the  new  comers  lived  worse  with 
their  neighbors  than  the  latter  had  previously  lived  together. 

It  is  evident  that  amongst  all  these  peoplets,  whatever  may 
have  been  their  diversity  of  origin,  there  was  sufficient  simili- 
tude of  social  condition  and  manners  to  make  agreement  a 
matter  neither  very  difficult  nor  very  long  to  accomplish. 

On  the  other  hand,  and  as  a  natural  consequence,  it  was 
precarious  and  often  of  short  duration:  Iberian,  Gallic,  or 
Kymrian  as  they  might  be,  these  peoplets  imderwent  frequent 
displacements,  forced  or  voluntary,  to  escape  from  the  attacks 
of  a  more  powerful  neighbor;  to  find  new  pasturage;  in  conse- 
quence of  internal  dissension;  or,  perhaps,  for  the  mere 
pleasure  of  warfare  and  running  risks,  and  to  be  delivered 
from  the  tediousness  of  a  monotonous  life.  From  the  earliest 
times  to  the  first  century  before  the  Christian  era,  Qaul 
appears  a  prey  to  this  incessant  and  disorderly  movement  of 
the  i>opulation;  they  change  settlement  and  neighborhood; 
disappear  from  one  i>oint  and  reappear  at  another;  cross  one 
another;  avoid  one  another;  absorb  and  are  absorbed.  And 
the  movement  was  not  confined  within  Gaul;  the  Qa.uls  of 
every  race  went,  sometimes  in  very  numerous  hordes,  to  seek 
far  away  plimder  and  a  settlement.  Spain,  Italy,  Germany, 
Greece,  Asia  Minor,  end  Africa  have  been  in  turn  the  theatre 
of  those  Gkillic  expeditions  which  entailed  long  wars,  grand 
displacements  of  peoples,  and  sometimes  the  formation  of  new 
nations.  Let  us  make  a  slight  acquaintance  with  this  outer 
history  of  the  Gkiuls;  for  it  is  well  worth  while  to  foUow  them 
a  space  upon  their  distant  wanderings.  We  will  then  return 
to  the  soil  of  France  and  concern  ourselves  only  with  what 
has  passed  within  her  boundaries. 

20  HISTORY  OF  JBRANOR  [ch.  n. 



About  three  centuries  b.g.  numeroiis  hordes  of  Gauls  crossed 
the  Alps  and  penetrated  to  the  centre  of  Etruria,  which  is 
now-a-days  Tuscany.  The  Etruscans,  beiog  then  at  war  with 
Eome,  proposed  to  take  them,  armed  and  equipped  as  they 
had  come,  into  their  own  pay.  **If  you  want  our  hands," 
answered  the  Gauls,  *^  agaiost  your  enemies  the  Bomans,  here 
they  are  at  your  service— but  on  one  condition:  give  us  lands." 

A  century  afterwards  other  Gallic  hordes,  descending  in  like 
manner  upon  Italy,  had  commenced  building  houses  and  tilling 
fields  along  the  Adriatic,  on  the  territory  where  afterwards 
was  Aquileia.  The  Eoman  Senate  decreed  that  their  settle- 
ment should  be  opposed,  and  that  they  should  be  summoned  to 
give  up  their  implements  and  even  their  arms.  Not  being  in  a 
position  to  resist,  the  Gauls  sent  representatives  to  Rome. 
They,  being  introduced  into  the  Senate,  said, ''The  multitude 
of  people  in  Gaul,  the  want  of  lands,  and  necessity  forced  us 
to  cross  the  Alps  to  seek  a  home.  We  saw  plains  uncultivated 
and  uniohabited.  We  settled  there  without  doing  any  one 
harm.  .  .  .  We  ask  nothing  but  lands.  We  will  live  i)eace- 
fully  on  them  under  the  laws  of  the  republic." 

Again,  a  century  later,  or  thereabouts,  some  Gallic  Kymrians^ 
mingled  with  Teutons  or  Germans,  said  also  to  the  Roman 
Senate,  ''  Give  us  a  little  land  as  pay;  and  do  what  you  please 
with  our  hands  and  weapons." 

Want  of  room  and  means  of  subsistence  have,  in  fact,  been 
the  principal  causes  which  have  at  all  times  thrust  barbarous 
people,  and  especially  the  Gauls,  out  of  their  fatherland.  An 
immense  extent  of  country  is  required  for  indolent  hordes  who 
live  chiefly  upon  the  produce  of  the  chase  and  of  their  flocks; 
and  when  there  is  no  longer  enough  of  forest  or  pasturage  for 
the  families  that  become  too  numerous,  there  is  a  swarm  from 
the  hive  and  a  search  for  livelihood  elsewhere.  The  Gauls  emi- 
grated in  every  direction.  To  find,  as  they  said,  rivers  and 
lands,  they  marched  from  north  to  south,  and  from  east  to 
west.   They  crossed  at  one  time  the  Rhine,  at  another  the  Alps, 

CH.  n.]  THE  QAUL8  OUT  OF  QAUL.  21 

int  another  the  Pyrenees.  More  than  fifteen  centuries  b.o.  they 
had  ahready  thrown  themselves  into  Spain,  after  many  fights, 
no  doubt,  with  the  Iberians  established  between  the  Pyrenees 
and  the  Gkironne.  They  penetrated  north-westwards  to  the 
northern  point  of  the  Peninsula,  into  the  province  which  re- 
ceived from  them  and  still  bears  the  name  of  Galicia;  south- 
eastwards  to  the  southern  point,  between  the  river  Anas  (now- 
a-days  Guadiana)  and  the  ocean,  where  they  foimded  a  Little 
Celtica;  and  centrewards  and  southwards  from  Castile  to  An- 
dalusia, where  the  amalgamation  of  two  races  brought  about 
the  creation  of  a  new  people,  that  found  a  place  in  history  as 
Celtiberians.  And  twelve  centuries  after  those  events,  about 
220  B.C.,  we  find  the  Qallic  peoplet,  which  had  planted  itself  in 
the  south  of  Portugal,  energetically  defending  its  independence 
against  the  neighboring  Carthaginian  colonies.  Indortius, 
their  chief,  conquered  and  taken  prisoner,  was  beaten  with 
rods  and  hung  upon  the  cross,  in  the  sight  of  his  army,  after 
having  had  his  eyes  put  out  by  oonmiand  of  Hamilcar-Barca, 
the  Carthaginian  general;  but  a  Gallic  slave  took  care  to 
avenge  him  by  assassinating,  some  years  after,  at  a  himting- 
party,  Hasdrubal,  son-in-law  of  Hamilcar,  who  had  succeeded 
to  the  conmiand.  The  slave  was  put  to  the  torture;  but,  in- 
domitable in  his  hatred,  he  died  insulting  the  Africans. 

A  little  after  the  Gallic  invasion  of  Spain,  and  by  reason  per- 
haps of  that  very  movement,  in  the  first  balf  of  the  fourteenth 
century  b.c.,  another  vast  horde  of  Gauls,  who  called  them- 
BelvsAmhra,  Ambray  AmbronSj  that  is,  ^' braves,^' crossed  the 
Alps,  occupied  northern  Italy,  descended  even  to  the  brink  of 
the  Tiber,  and  conferred  the  name  of  Ambria  or  Uwbria  on 
the  country  where  they  founded  their  dominion.  If  ancient 
accounts  might  be  trusted,  this  dominion  was  glorious  and 
fiourishing,  for  Umbria  niunbered,  they  say,  358  towns;  but 
falsehood,  according  to  the  Eastern  proverb,  lurks  by  the  cra- 
dle of  nations.  At  a  much  later  epoch,  in  the  second  century 
B.C.,  fifteen  towns  of  liguria  contained  altogether,  as  we  learn 
from  livy,  but  20,000  souls.  It  is  plain,  then,  what  must 
really  have  been— even  admitting  their  existence— the  358  towns 
of  Umbria.  However,  at  the  end  of  two  or  three  centuries, 
this  Gallic  colony  succumbed  beneath  the  superior  power  of 
the  Etruscans,  another  set  of  invaders  from  eastern  Europe, 
perhaps  from  the  north  of  Greece,  who  founded  in  Italy  a 
mighty  empire.  The  Umbrians  or  Ambrons  were  driven  out 
or  subjugated.    Nevertheless  some  of  their  peoplets,  preserv- 

22  HiaTORY  OF  FBANOB.  [ch.  n. 

ing  their  name  and  manners,  remained  in  the  mountains  of 
Upper  Italy,  where  they  were  to  be  subsequently  diacovered  by 
fresh  and  more  celebrated  Gallic  invasions. 

Those  just  spoken  of  are  of  such  antiquity  and  obscurity, 
that  we  note  their  place  in  history  without  being  able  to  say 
how  they  came  to  fill  it.  It  is  only  with  the  sixth  century  be- 
fore our  era  that  we  light  upon  the  really  historical  expeditions 
of  the  Gauls  away  from  Gaul,  those,  in  fact,  of  which  we  may 
follow  the  course  and  estimate  the  effects. 

Towards  the  year  587  b.o.,  almost  at  the  very  moment  when 
the  Phoceans  had  just  founded  Marseilles,  two  great  GaUic 
hordes  got  in  motion  at  the  same  time  and  crossed,  one  the 
Rhine,  the  other  the  Alps,  making  one  for  Germany,  the  other 
for  Italy.  The  former  followed  the  course  of  the  Danube  and 
settled  in  niyria,  on  the  right  bank  of  the  river.  It  is  too 
much,  perhaps,  to  say  that  they  settled;  the  greater  part  of 
them  continued  wandering  and  fighting,  sometimes  amalga- 
mating with  the  peoplets  they  encoimtered,  sometimes  chasing 
them  and  exterminating  them,  whilst  themselves  were  inces- 
santly pushed  forward  by  fresh  bands  coming  also  from  GauL 
Thus  marching  and  spreading,  leaving  here  and  there  on  their 
route,  along  the  rivers  and  in  the  valleys  of  the  Alps,  tribcB 
that  remained  and  founded  peoples,  the  G^uls  had  arrived, 
towards  the  year  340  b.o.,  at  the  confines  of  Macedonia,  at  the 
time  when  Alexander,  the  son  of  Philip,  who  was  already 
famous,  was  advancing  to  the  same  point  to  restrain  the 
ravages  of  the  neighboring  tribes,  perhaps  of  the  Gauls  them- 
selves. From  curiosity,  or  a  desire  to  make  terms  with  Alex- 
ander, certain  Gauls  betook  themselves  to  his  camp.  He 
treated  them  well,  made  them  sit  at  his  table,  took  pleasure  in 
exhibiting  his  magnificence  before  them,  and  in  the  midst  of 
his  carouse  made  his  interpreter  ask  them  what  they  were  most 
afraid  of.  **We  fear  naught,"  they  answered,  "unless  it  be 
the  fall  of  heaven;  but  we  set  above  every  thing  the  friend- 
ship of  a  man  like  thee."  "The  Celts  are  proud,"  said  Alex- 
ander to  his  Macedonians;  and  he  promised  them  his  friend- 
ship. On  the  death  of  Alexander  the  Gauls,  as  mercenaries, 
entered,  in  Europe  and  Asia,  the  service  of  the  kings  who  had 
been  his  generals.  Ever  greedy,  fierce,  and  passionate,  they 
were  almost  equally  dangerous  as  auxiliaries  and  as  neighbors. 
Antigonus,  King  of  Macedonia,  was  to  pay  the  band  he  had 
enrolled  a  gold  piece  a-head.  They  brought  their  wives  and 
children  with  them,  and  at  the  end  of  the  campaign  they 

CH.  n]  THE  GAULS  OUT  OF  GAUL.  23 

Maimed  pay  for  their  following  as  well  asfortfaiemflelves:  ''We 
-were  promised,''  said  they,  *' a  gold  piece  a-head  for  each  Qaxl; 
and  these  are  also  Gauls. ". 

Before  Icmg  they  tired  of  fighting  the  hattles  of  another; 
their  power  accumulated;  fresh  hordes,  in  great  numhers,  ar- 
rived amongst  them  about  the  year  281  b.c.  They  had  before 
l^m  Thrace,  Macedonia,  Thessaly,  Greece,  rich,  but  distracted 
and  weakened  by  civil  strife.  They  effected  an  entrance  at 
several  points,  devastating,  plundering,  loadingt  their  cars 
with  booty,  and  dividing  their  prisoners  into  two  parts;  one 
offered  in  sacrifice  to  their  gods,  the  other  strung  up  to  trees 
land  abandoned  to  the  gais  and  matars,  or  javeliite  and  pikes 
of  the  conquerors. 

liike  all  barbarians,  they,  both  for  pleasure  and  on  principle, 
added  insolence  to  ferocity.  Their  Brenn,  or  most  famous 
chieftain,  whom  the  Latins  and  Greeks  call  Brennus,  dragged 
In  his  train  Macedonian  prisoners,  short,  mean,  and  with 
shaven  heads,  and,  exhibiting  them  beside  Gallic  warriors, 
tall,  robust,  long-haired,  adorned  with  chains  of  gold,  said, 
**This  is  what  we  are,  that  is  what  our  enemies  are." 

Ptolemy  the  Thunderbolt,  King  of  Macedonia,  received  with 
haughtiness  their  first  message  requiring  of  him  a  ransom  for 
his  dominions,  if  he  wished  to  preserve  peace.  **  Tell  those 
who  sent  you,"  he  replied  to  the  Gallic  deputation,  **[to  lay 
down  their  arms  and  give  up  to  me  their  chieftains.  I  will 
then  see  what  peace  I  can  grant  them."  On  the  return  of 
the  deputation,  the  Gauls  were  moved  to  laughter.  ''He 
shall  soon  see,"  said  they,  **  whether  it  was  in  his  interest  or 
our  own  that  we  offered  him  peace."  And,  indeed,  in  the 
first  engagement,  neither  the  famous  Macedonian  phalanx,  nor 
the  elephant  he  rode,  could  save  King  Ptolemy;  the  phalanx 
was  broken,  the  elephant  riddled  with  javelins,  the  king  him- 
self taken,  killed,  and  his  head  marched  about  the  field  of  bat- 
tle on  the  top  of  a  pike. 

Macedonia  was  in  consternation;  there  was  a  general  flight 
from  the  open  coimtry,  and  the  gates  of  the  towns  were  closed. 
"The  people,"  says  an  historian,  ** cursed  the  folly  of  King 
Ptolany,  and  invoked  the  names  of  Philip  and  Alexander,  the 
guardian  deities  of  their  land." 

Three  years  later,  another  and  a  more  formidable  invasion 
came  bursting  upon  Thessaly  and  Greece.  It  was,  according 
to  the*  unquestionably  exaggerated  account  of  the  ancient 
historians,  200,000  strong,  and  commanded  by  that  famous^ 

34  BI8T0R7  OF  FRANCS.  [ch.  n. 

ferocious,  and  insolent  Brennus  mentioned  before..  His  idea 
was  to  strike  a  blow  which  should  simultaneously  enrich  the 
Gauls  and  stun  the  Greeks.  He  meant  to  plimder  the  temple 
at  Delphi,  the  most  venerated  place  in  all  Greece,  whither 
flowed  from  century  to  century  all  kinds  of  offerings,  and 
where,  no  doubt,  enormous  treasure  was  deposited.  Such 
was,  in  tiie  opinion  of  the  day,  the  sanctity  of  the  place,  that, 
on  the  rumor  of  the  projected  profanation,  several  Greeks  es- 
sayed to  divert  the  Gallic  Brenn  himself,  by  appealing  to  his 
superstitious  fears;  but  his  answer  was,  ^*The  gods  have  no 
need  of  wealth;  it  is  th^y  who  distribute  it  to  men.'* 

All  Grec^  was  moved.  The  nations  of  the  Peloponnese 
closed  the  isthmus  of  Corinth  by  a  walL  Outside  the  isthmus, 
the  Boeotians,  IShocidians,  Locrians,  Megarians,  and  .^EStolians 
formed  a  coalition  under  the  leaders^p  of  the  Athenians ;  and, 
as  their  ancestors  had  done  scarcely  two  himdred  years  before 
against  Xerxes  and  the  Persians,  they  advanced  in  all  haste  to 
the  pass  of  Thermopylae,  to  stop  there  the  new  barbarians. 

And  for  several  days  they  did  stop  them;  and  instead  of 
three  hundred  heroes,  as  of  yore  in  the  case  of  Leonidas  and 
his  Spartans,  only  forty  Greeks,  they  say,  fell  in  the  first 
engagement.  Amongst  them  was  a  young  Athenian,  Cydias 
by  name,  whose  shidd  was  hung  in  the  temple  of  Zeus  the 
saviour,  at  Athens,  with  this  inscription: 








But  soon,  just  as  in  the  case  of  the  Persians,  traitors  guided 
Brennus  and  his  G^uls  across  the  mountain-paths;  the  posi- 
tion of  Thermopylae  was  turned;  the  Greek  army  owed  its 
safety  to  the  Athenian  galleys;  and  by  evening  of  the  same 
day  the  barbarians  appeared  in  sight  of  Delphi. 

Brennus  would  have  led  them  at  once  to  the  assault.  He 
showed  them,  to  excite  them,  the  statues,  vases,  cars,  monu- 
ments of  every  kind,  laden  with  gold,  which  adorned  the 
approaches  of  the  town  and  of  the  temple:  *''Tis  pure  gold, 
massive  gold,"  was  the  news  he  had  spread  in  every  direction. 
But  the  very  cupidity  he  provoked  was  against  his  plan;  for 

CH.  n.]  THE  GAULS  OUT  OF  GAUL.  26 

the  Gauls  fell  out  to  plunder.  He  had.  to  put  off  the  asaault 
until  to-morrow.  The  night  was  passed  in  irregularities  and 

The  Greeks,  on  the  contrary,  prepared  with  ardor  for  the 
fight.  Their  enthusiasm  was  intense.  Those  barbarians,  with 
their  half-nakedness,  their  grossness,  their  ferocity,  their  igno- 
rance and  their  impiety,  were  revolting.  They  committed 
murder  and  devastation  like  dolts.  They  left  their  dead  on 
the  field,  without  biuial.  They  engaged  in  battle  without  con- 
sulting priest  or  augur.  It  was  not  only  their  goods  but  their 
families,  their  life,  the  honor  of  their  country  and  the  sanctu- 
ary of  their  religion  that  the  Greeks  were  defending,  and  they 
might  rely  on  t^e  protection  of  the  gods.  The  oracle  of  Apollo 
had  answered,  ^*  I  and  the  white  virgins  will  provide  for  this 
matter."  The  people  surroimded  the  temple,  and  the  priests 
supported  and  encouraged  the  people.  During  the  night  small 
bodies  of  JCtolians,  Amphisseans  and  Phocidians  arrived  one 
after  another.  Four  thousand  men  had  joined  within  Delphi, 
when  the  Gallic  bands,  in  the  moiiiing,  began  to  mount  the 
narrow  and  rough  incline  which  led  up  to  the  town.  The 
Greeks  rained  down  from  above  a  deluge  of  stones  and  other 
missiles.  The  Gauls  recoiled,  but  recovered  themselves.  The 
besieged  fell  back  on  the  nearest  streets  of  the  town,  leaving 
open  the  approach  to  the  temple,  upon  which  the  barbarians 
threw  themselves.  The  pillage  of  the  shrines  had  just  com- 
menced when  the  sky  looked  threatening ;  a  storm  burst  forth, 
the  thunder  echoed,  the  rain  feU,  the  hail  rattled.  Readily 
taking  advantage  of  this  incident,  the  priests  and  the  augurs 
sallied  from  the  temple  clothed  in  their  sacred  garments,  with 
hair  dishevelled  and  sparkling  eyes,  proclaiming  the  advent 
of  the  god:  '''Tis  he!  we  saw  him  shoot  athwart  the  templets 
vault,  which  opened  under  his  feet;  and  with  him  were  two 
virgins,  who  issued  from  the  temples  of  Artemis  and  Athena. 
We  saw  them  with  our  eyes.  We  heard  the  twang  of  their 
bows,  and  the  clash  of  their  ajmor."  Hearing  these  cries  and 
the  roar  of  the  tempest,  the  Greeks  dash  on,  the  Gauls  are 
panic-stricken,  and  rush  headlong  down  the  hill.  The  Greeks 
push  on  in  pursuit.  Bmnors  of  fresh  apparitions  are  spread: 
three  heroes,  Hyperochus,  Laodocus,  and  Pyrrhus,  son  of 
Achilles,  have  issued  from  their  tombs  hard  by  the  temple, 
and  are  thrusting  at  the  Gauls  with  their  lances.  The  rout 
was  speedy  and  general;  the  barbarians  rushed  to  the  cover 
of  their  camp;  but  the  camp  was  attacked  next  morning  by 

26  mSTOBT  OF  FBANGE.  [ch.  n. 

the  Greeks  from  the  town  and  by  reinforcements  from  the 
comitry  places.  Brennns  and  the  picked  w6trriors  about  him 
made  a  gallant  resistance,  but  defeat  was  a  foregone  conclu< 
sion.  Brennus  was  wounded,  and  his  comrades  bore  him  off 
the  field.  The  barbarian  army  parsed  the  whole  day  in  flight. 
During  the  ensuing  night  a  new  access  of  terror  seized  them ; 
they  again  took  to  flight,  and  four  days  after  the  passage  of 
Thermopylae  some  scattered  bands,  forming  scarcely  a  third 
of  those  who  had  marched  on  Delphi,  rejoined  the  division 
which  had  remained  behind,  some  leagues,  from  the  town,  in 
the  plains  watered  by  the  Cephissus.  Brennus  summoned  his 
comrades;  *^Kill  all  the  woimded  and  me,'^  said  he;  ^'bum 
your  cars;  make  Cichor  king;  and  away  at  full  speed."  Then 
he  called  for  wine,  drank  himself  drunk,  and  stabbed  himself. 
Cichor  did  cut  the  throats  of  the  wounded,  and  traversed,  fly- 
ing and  fighting,  ThessaJy  and  Macedonia; 'and  on  returning 
whence  they  had  set  out,  the  Gauls  dispersed,  some  to  settle 
at  the  foot  of  a  neighboring  mountain  under  the  command  of 
a  chieftain  named  Bathanat  or  Baedhannat^  ie.  son  of  the 
wild  hoar;  others  to  march  back  towards  their-  own  country; 
the  greatest  part  to  resume  the  same  life  of  incursion  and 
adventure.  But  they  changed  the  scene  of  operations.  Greece, 
Macedonia,  and  Thrace  were  exhausted  by  pillage,  and  made  a 
league  to  resist.  About  278  b.c.  the  Gauls  crossed  the  Helles- 
pont and  passed  into  Asia  Minor.  There,  at  one  time  in  the 
pay  of  the  kings  of  Bithynia,  Pergamos,  Cappadocia,  and 
Syria,  or  of  the  free  commercial  cities  which  were  struggling 
against  the  kings,  at  another  carrying  on  wars  on  their  own 
account,  they  wandered  for  more  than  thirty  years,  divided 
into  three  great  hordes  which  parcelled  out  the  territories 
among  themselves,  overran  and  plundered  them  during  the 
fine  weather,  entrenched  themselves  during  winter  in  their 
camp  of  cars,  or  in  some  fortified  place,  sold  their  services  to 
the  highest  bidder,  changed  masters  according  to  interest  or 
inclination,  and  by  their  bravery  became  the  terror  of  these 
effeminate  populations  and  the  arbiters  of  these  petty  states. 

At  last  both  princes  and  people  grew  weary.  Antiochus, 
King  of  Syria,  attacked  one  of  the  three  bands—that  of  the 
Tectosagians,  conquered  it,  and  cantoned  it  in  a  district  of 
Upper  Phrygia.  Later  still,  about  241  B.C.,  Eumenes,  sover- 
eign of  Pergamos,  and  Attains,  his  successor,  drove  and  shut 
up  the  other  two  bands,  the  Tolistoboians  and  Trocmians, 
likewise  in  the  same  region.    The  victories  of  Attains  over  the 

CH.  n.]  THE  0AUL8  OUT  OF  QAUL,  27 

Gkiuls  excited  veritable  enthusiasm.  He  was  celebrated  as  a 
special  envoy  from  Zeus.  He  took  the  title  of  King^  which  his 
predecessors  had  not  hitherto  borne.  He  had  his  battles 
showily  x)amted ;  and  that  he  might  triumph  at  the  same  time 
both  in  Europe  and  Asia,  he  sent  one  of  the  pictures  to  Athens, 
where  it  was  still  to  be  seen  three  centuries  afterwards,  hang- 
ing upon  the  wall  of  the  citadel.  Forced  to  remain  stationary, 
the  Qullic  hordes  became  a  people— the  Galatians— and  the 
country  they  occupied  was  called  GaJatia.  They  Kved  there 
some  fifty  years,  aloof  from  the  indigenous  i>opulation  of 
Greeks  and  Phrygians,  whom  they  kept  in  an  almost  servile 
condition,  preserving  their  warlike  and  barbarous  habits, 
resuming  sometimes  their  mercenary  service,  and  becoming 
once  more  the  bulwark  or  the  terror  of  neighboring  states. 
But  at  the  beginning  of  the  second  century  before  our  era,  the 
Romans  had  entered  Asia,  in  pursuit  of  their  great  enemy, 
Hannibal.  They  had  just  beaten,  near  Magnesia,  Antiochus, 
Zing  of  Syria.  In  his  army  they  had  encountered  'men  of 
lofty  stature,  with  hair  light  or  dyed  red,  half  naked,  march- 
ing to  the  fight  with  loud  cries,  and  terrible  at  the  first  onset. 
They  recognized  the  Gauls,  and  resolved  to  destroy  or  subdue 
them.  The  consul.  On.  Manlius,  had  the  duty  and  the  honor. 
Attacked  in  their  strongholds  on  Mount  Olympus  and  Mount 
Magaba,  189  B.C.,  the  three  Gallic  bands,  after  a  short  but 
stout  resistance,  were  conquered  and  subjugated ;  and  thence- 
forth losing  all  national  importance,  they  amalgamated  littie 
by  little  with  the  Asiatic  populations  around  them.  From 
time  to  time  they  are  still  seen  to  reappear  with  their  primi- 
tive manners  and  passions.  Home  humored  them;  Mithri- 
dates  had  them  for  allies  in  his  long  struggle  with  the  Eomans. 
He  kept  by  him  a  Galatian  guard ;  and  when  he  sought  death, 
and  poison  failed  him;  it  wasthe  captain  of  the  guard,  a  Gaul 
namcid  Bituitus,  whom  he  asked  to  run  him  through.  That 
is  the  last  historical  event  with  which  the  GaUic  name  is  found 
associated  in  Asia. 

Nevertheless  the  amalgamation  of  the  Gauls  of  Galatia  with 
the  natives  always  remained  very  imperfect;  for  towards  the 
end  of  the  fourth  century  of  the  Christian  era  they  did  not 
speak  Greek,  as  the  latter  did,  but  their  national  tongue,  that 
of  the  Kymro-Belgians;  and  St.  Jerome  testifies  that  it  differed 
very  littie  from  that  which  was  spoken  in  Belgica  itself,  in  the 
region  of  Treves. 

The  Romans  had  good  ground  for  keeping  a  watchful  eye, 

28  EI8T0R7  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  n. 

from  the  time  they  met  them,  upon  the  Qauls,  and  for  dread- 
ing them  particularly.  At  the  time  when  they  determined  to 
pursue  them  into  the  mountains  of  Asia  Minor,  they  were  just 
at  the  close  of  a  desperate  struggle,  maintained  against  them 
for  400  years,  in  Italy  itself;  **a  struggle,"  says  Sallust,  **in 
which  it  was  a  question  not  of  glory,  but  of  existence,  for 
Eome."  It  was  but  just  now  remarked  that  at  the  beginning 
of  the  sixth  century  before  our  era,  whilst,  under  their  chief- 
tain Sigovesus,  the  Gallic  bands  whose  history  has  occupied 
the  last  few  pages  were  crossing  the  Ehine  and  entering  Ger- 
many, other  bands,  under  the  command  of  Bellovesus,  were 
traversing  the  Alps  and  swarming  into  Italy.  From  687  to 
621  B.O.  five  Gallic  expeditions,  formed  of  Gallic,  Kymric,  and 
Ligurian  tribes,  followed  the  same  route  and  invaded  succes- 
sively the  two  banks  of  the  Vo—the  bottomless  river,  as  they 
called  it.  The  Etruscans,  who  had  long  before,  it  will  be  re- 
membered, themselves  wrested  that  country  from  a  people  of 
Gallic  origin,  the  Umbrians  or  Ambrons,  could  not  make  head 
against  the  new  conquerors,  aided,  may  be,  by  the  remains  of 
the  old  population.  The  well-built  towns,  the  cultivation  of 
the  country,  the  ports  and  canals  that  had  been  dug,  nearly  all 
these  labors  of  Etruscan  civilization  disappeared  beneath  the 
footsteps  of  these  barbarous  hordes  that  knew  only  how  to  de- 
stroy, and  one  of  which  gave  its  chieftain  the  name  of  Hurri- 
cane (Mitorius,  Ele-Dov).  Scarcely  five  Etruscan  towns,  Mantua 
and  Ravenna  amongst  others,  escaped  disaster.  The  Gauls  also 
founded  towns,  such  as  Mediolanum  (Milan),  Brixia  (Brescia), 
Verona,  Bononia  (Bologna),  Sena-Gfallica  (Sinigaglia),  etc. 
But  for  a  long  while  they  were  no  more  than  entrenched 
camps,  fortified  places,  where  the  population  shut  themselves 
up  in  case  of  necessity.  "They,  as  a  general  rule,  straggled 
about  the  country,"  says  Polybius,  the  most  correct  and  clear- 
sighted of  the  ancient  historians,  "  sleeping  on  grass  or  straw, 
living  on  nothing  but  meat,  busying  themselves  about  nothing 
but  war  and  a  Uttle  husbandry,  and  counting  as  riches  nothing 
but  flocks  and  gold,  the  only  goods  that  can  be  carried  away  at 
pleasure  and  on  every  occasion." 

During  nearly  thirty  years  the'Gkiuls  thus  scoured  not  only 
Upper  Italy,  which  they  had  almost  to  themselves,  but  all  the 
eastern  coast,  and  up  to  the  head  of  the  peninsula,  encounter- 
ing along  the  Adriatic,  and  in  the  rich  and  effeminate  cities  of 
Magna  Graecia,  Sybaris,  Tarentiun,  Crotona,  and  Locri,  no 
enemy  capable  of  resisting  them.    But  in  the  year  391  B.O., 

OH.  n.]  TEE  QAXTL8  OUT  OF  OAUL.  29 

finding  thefmselves  cooped  up  in  their  territory,  a  strong  band 
of  G^uls  crossed  the  Apennines,  and  went  to  demand  from 
the  Etruscans  of  Clusimn  the  cession  of  a  portion  of  their 
lands.  The  only  answer  Clusium  made  was  to  close  her  gates. 
The  Gktuls  formed  up  around  the  walls.  Clusium  asked  help 
from  Eome,  with  whom,  notwithstanding  the  rivalry  between 
the  Etruscan  and  Boman  nations,  she  had  lately  been  on  good 
terms.  The  Homans  promised  first  their  good  offices  with  the 
Gauls,  afterwards  material  support;  and  thus  were  brought 
face  to  foce  those  two  peoples,  fated  to  continue  for  four  cen- 
turies a  struggle  which  was  to  be  ended  only  by  the  complete 
subjection  of  QauL 

The  details  of  that  struggle  belong  specially  to  Boman  his- 
tory;  they  have  been  transmitted  to  us  only  by  Boman  histo- 
rians; and  the  Bomans  it  was  who  were  left  ultimately  in 
possession  of  the  battle-field,  that  is,  of  Italy.  It  will  suffice 
here  to  make  known  the  general  march  of  events  and  the  most 
characteristic  incidents. 

Four  distinct  periods  may  be  recognized  in  this  history;  and 
each  marks  a  different  phase  in  the  com*se  of  events,  and,  so 
to  speak,  an  act  of  the  drama.  During  the  first  period,  which 
lasted  forty-two  years,  from  391  to  349  B.C.,  the  Gauls  carried 
on  a  war  of  aggression  and  conquest  against  Bome.  Not  that 
such  had  been  their  original  design;  on  the  contrary,  they 
replied,  when 'the  Bomans  offered  intervention  between  them 
and  Clusium,  '*We  ask  only  for  lands,  of  which  we  are  in 
need;  and  Clusium  has  more  than  she  can  cultivate.  Of  the 
Bomans  we  know  very  little ;  but  we  believe  them  to  be  a  brave 
people,  since  the  Etruscans  put  themselves  under  their  protec- 
tion. Bemain  spectators  of  our  quarrel ;  we  will  settle  it  before 
your  eyes,  that  you  may  report  at  home  how  far  above  other 
men  the  Gauls  are  in  valor." 

But  when  they  saw  their  pretensions  repudiated  and  them- 
selves treated  with  outrageous  disdain,  the  Gauls  left  the  siege 
of  Clusium  on  the  spot,  and  set  out  for  Bome,  not  stopping  for 
plunder,  and  proclaiming  every  where  on  their  march,  **  We 
are  bound  for  Bome ;  we  make  war  on  none  but  Bomans ;"  and 
when  they  encoimtered  the  Boman  army,  on  the  16th  of  July, 
390  B.O.,  at  the  confluence  of  the  Allia  and  the  Tiber,  half  a  day's 
march  from  Bome,  they  abruptly  struck  up  their  war-chaunt, 
and  threw  themselves  upon  their  enemies.  It  is  well  known 
how  they  gained  the  day ;  how  they  entered  Bome,  and  found 
none  but  a  few  grey-beards,  who,  being  unable  or  unwilling  to 

80  EISTOBT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  n. 

leave  their  abode,  had  remained  seated  in  the  vestibule  on 
their  chairs  of  ivory,  with  truncheons  of  ivory  in  their  hands, 
and  decorated  with  the  insignia  of  the  public  .offices  they  had 
filled.  All  the  people  of  Borne  had  fied,  and  were  wandering 
over  the  country  or  seeking  a  refuge  amongst  neighboring  peo- 
ples. Only  the  senate  and  a  thousand  warriors  had  shut  them- 
selves up  in  the  Capitol,  a  citadel  which  commanded  the  city. 
The  Gauls  kept  them  besieged  there  for  seven  months.  The 
circumstances  of  this  celebrated  siege  are  well  known,  though 
they  have  been  a  little  embellished  by  the  Eoman  historians. 
Not  that  they  have  spoken  too  highly  of  the  Romans  them- 
selves, who,  in  the  day  of  their  country's  disaster,  showed 
admirable  courage,  perseverance,  and  hopefulness.  Pontius 
Cominius,  who  traversed  the  Gallic  camp,  swam  the  Tiber,  and 
scaled  by  night  the  heights  of  the  Capitol,  to  go  and  carry 
news  to  the  senate;  M.  Manlius,  who  was  the  first,  and  for 
some  moments  the  only  one,  to  hold  in  check,  from  the  cita- 
del's  walls,  the  Gau]s  on  the  point  of  effecting  an  entrance; 
and  M.  Furius  Camillus,  who  had  been  banished  from  Home 
the  preceding  year,  and  had  taken  refuge  in  the  town  of  Ardea, 
and  who  instantly  took  the  field  for  his  country,  rallied  the 
Roman  fugitives,  and  incessantly  harrassod  the  Gaul£k-are 
true  heroes,  who  have  earned  their  meed  of  glory.  Let  no 
man  seek  to  lower  them  in  public  esteem.  Noble  actions  are 
so  beautiful,  and  the  actors  often  receive  so  little  recompense, 
that  we  are  at  least  bound  to  hold  sacred  the  honor  attached 
to  their  name.  The  Roman  historians  have  done  no  more  than 
justice  in  extolling  the  saviours  of  Rome.  But  their  memory 
would  have  .suffered  no  loss  had  the  whole  truth  been  made 
known;  and  the  claims  of  national  vanity  are  not  of  the  same 
weight  as  the  duty  one  owes  to  truth.  Now  it  is  certain  that 
Camillus  did  not  gain  such  decisive  advantages  over  the  Gauls 
as  the  Roman  accounts  would  lead  one  to  believe,  and  that  the 
deliverance  of  Rome  was  much  less  complete.  On  the  13th  of 
February,  389  B.C.,  the  Gauls,  it  is  true,  allowed  their  retreat 
to  be  purchased  by  the  Romans ;  and  they  experienced,  as  they 
retired,  certain  checks  whereby  they  lost  a  part  of  their  booty. 
But  twenty-three  years  afterwards  they  are  foimd  in  Latium 
scouring  in  every  direction  the  outlying  coimtry  of  Rome, 
without  the  Romans  daring  to  go  out  and  fight  them.  It  was 
only  at  the  end  of  five  years,  in  the  year  361  b.o.,  that,  the  very 
city  being  menaced  anew,  the  legions  marched  out  to  meet  the 
enemy.   *  *  Surprised  at  this  audacity, "  says  Polybius,  the  Gftula 

CH.  n.]  THE  GAULS  OUT  OF  GAUL.  81 

fell  back,  but  merely  a  few  leagues  from  Borne,  to  the  environs 
of  Tibur;  and  thence,  for  the  space  of  twelve  years,  they  at- 
tacked the  Boman  territory,  renewing  the  campaign  every 
year,  often  reaching  the  very  gates  of  the  city,  and  being  re- 
pulsed indeed,  but  never  farther  than  Tibur  and  its  slopes. 
Borne,  however,  made  great  efforts;  every  war  with  the  Gauls 
was  previously  proclaimed  a  tumtUty  which  involved  a  levy  in 
mass  of  the  citizens,  without  any  exemption,  even  for  old  men 
and  priests.  A  treasure,  specially  dedicated  to  Gallic  wars, 
was  laid  by  in  the  Capitol,  and  religious  denimciations  of  the 
most  awful  kind  hung  over  the  head  of  whoever  should  dare 
to  touch  it,  no  matter  what  the  exigency  might  be.  To  this 
epoch  belonged  those  marvels  of  daring  recorded  in  Boman 
tradition,  those  acts  of  heroism  tinged  with  fable,  which  are 
met  with  amongst  so  many  peoples,  either  in  their  earliest  age 
or  in  their  days  of  great  peril.  In  the  year  361  b.c.,  Titus 
Manlius,  son  of  him  who  had  saved  the  Capitol  from  the  night 
attack  of  the  Gkiuls,  and  twelve  years  later  M.  Valerius,  a 
young  mOitary  tribune,  were,  it  will  be  remembered,  the  two 
Boman  heroes  who  vanquished  in  single  combat  the  two  Gallic 
giants  who  insolently  defied  Bome.  The  gratitude  towards 
them  was  general  and  of  long  duration,  for  two  centuries  after- 
wards (in  the  year  167  B.C.)  the  head  of  the  Gaul  with  his 
tongue  out  still  appeared  at  Borne,  above  the  shop  of  a  money- 
changer, on  a  circular  sign-board,  called  ^*  the  Kymrian  shield" 
(scutum  Cimbricum),  After  seventeen  years*  stay  in  Latium, 
the  Gauls  at  last  withdrew,  and  returned  to  their  adopted  coun- 
try in  those  lovely  valleys  of  the  Po  which  already  bore  the  name 
of  Cisalpine  Gaul.  They  began  to  get  disgusted  with  a  wan- 
dering life.  Their  population  multiplied;  their  towns  spread; 
their  fields  were  better  cultivated;  their  manners  became  less 
barbarous.  For  fifty  years  there  was  scarcely  any  trace  of 
hostility  or  even  contact  between  them  and  the  Bomans.  But 
at  the  beginning  of  the  third  century  before  our  era,  the  coali- 
tion of  the  Sanmites  and  Etruscans  against  Bome  was  near  its 
climax;  they  eagerly  pressed  the  Gauls  to  join,  and  the  latter 
assented  easily.  Then  commenced  the  second  period  of  strug- 
gles between  the  two  peoples.  Bome  had  taken  breath,  and 
had  grown  much  more  rapidly  than  her  rivals.  Instead  of 
shutting  herself  up,  as  heretofore,  within  her  walls,  she  forth- 
with raised  three  armies,  took  the  offensive  against  the  coali- 
tionists, and  carried  the  war  into  their  territory.  The  Etrus- 
cans rushed  to  the  defence  of  their  hearths.    The  two  consuls, 

33  mSTOBT  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  n. 

Fabius  and  Decius,  immediately  attacked  the  Samnites  and 
Oauls  at  the  foot  of  the  Apennines,  close  to  Sentinum  (now 
Sentina).  ^e  battle  was  just  beginning,  when  a  hind,  pur- 
sued by  a  wolf  from  the  mountains,  passed  in  flight  between 
the  two  armies  and  threw  herself  upon  the  side  of  the  Oauls, 
who  slew  her;  the  wolf  turned  towards  the  Bomans,  who  let 
him  go.  "Comrades,"  cried  a  soldier,  "flight  and  death  are 
on  the  side  where  you  see  stretched  on  the  ground  the  hind  of 
Diana;  the  wolf  belongs  to  Mars;  he  is  un wounded,  and  re- 
minds us  of  our  father  and  founder ;  we  shall  conquer  even  as 
he."  Nevertheless  the  battle  went  badly  for  the  Eomans; 
several  legions  were  in  flight,  and  Decius  strove  vainly  to  rally 
them.  The  memory  of  his  father  came  across  his  mind.  There 
was  a  belief  amongst  the  Eomans  that  if  in  the  midst  of  an  im- 
successful  engagement  the  general  devoted  himself  to  the  in- 
fernal gods,  "panic  and  flight"  passed  forthwith  to  the  enemies' 
ranks.  "Why  dally?"  said  Decius  to  the  grand  pontiff,  whom 
he  had  ordered  to  follow  him  and  keep  at  his  side  in  the  flight; 
"  'tis  given  to  our  race  to  die  to  avert  public  disasters."  He 
halted,  placed  a  javelin  beneath  his  feet,  and,  covering  his 
head  with  a  fold  of  his  robe  and  supporting  his  chin  on  his 
right  hand,  repeated  after  the  pontiff  this  sacred  form  of 

"Janus,  Jupiter,  our  father  Mars,  Quirinus,Bellona,  Lares.  .  . 
ye  gods  in  whose  power  are  we,  we  and  our  enemies,  gods 
Manes,  ye  I  adore;  ye  I  pray,  ye  I  adjure  to  give  strength  and 
victory  to  the  Roman  people,  the  children  of  Quirinus,  and  to 
send  confusion,  panic,  and  death  amongst  the  enemies  of  the 
Roman  people,  the  children  of  Quirinus.  And,  in  these  words, 
for  the  republic  of  the  children  of  Quirinus,  for  the  army,  for 
the  legions,  and  for  the  allies  of  the  Roman  people,  I  devote  to 
the  gods  Manes  and  to  the  grave  the  legions  and  the  allies  of 
the  enemy  and  myself." 

Then  remounting,  Decius  charged  into  the  middle  of  the 
Gauls,  where  he  soon  fell  pierced  with  wounds ;  but  the  Romans 
recovered  courage  and  gained  the  day ;  for  heroism  and  piety 
have  power  over  the  hearts  of  men,  so  that  at  the  moment  of 
admiration  they  become  capable  of  imitation. 

During  this  second  period  Rome  was  more  than  once  in  dan- 
ger. In  the  year  283  b.o.  the  Gauls  destroyed  one  of  her  armies 
near  Aretium  (Arezzo),  and  advanced  to  the  Roman  frontier, 
saying,  "We  are  bound  for  Rome;  the  Gauls  know  how  to 
take  it."    Seventy-two  years  afterwards  the  Cisalpine  Gauls 



CH.  II.]  THE  OAULS  OUT  OF  QAUL,  33 

swore  they  would  not  put  off  their  haldricks  till  they  had 
mounted  the  Capitol,  and  they  arrived  within  three  days' 
inarch  of  Rome.  At  every  appearance  of  this  formidahle 
enemy  the  alarm  at  Borne  was  great.  The  senate  raised  all  its 
forces  and  summoned  its  aUies.  The  people  demanded  a  con- 
sultation of  the  Sihylhne  books,  sacred  volumes  sold,  it  was 
said,  to  Tarquinius  Prisons  by  the  sibyl  Amalthea,  and  contain- 
ing the  secret  of  the  destinies  of  the  Repubhc.  They  were 
actually  opened  in  the  year  228  B.o.,  and  it  was  with  terror 
found  that  the  Gauls  would  twice  take  possession  of  the  soil  of 
Home.  On  the  advice  of  the  priests,  there  was  dug  within  the 
city,  in  the  middle  of  the  cattle-market,  a  huge  pit,  in  which 
two  Gauls,  a  man  and  a  woman,  were  entombed  alive ;  for  thus 
they  took  possession  of  the  soil  of  Home,  the  oracle  was  fulfilled, 
and  the  mishap  averted.  Thirteen  years  afterwards,  on  occa- 
sion of  the  disaster  at  Cannae,  the  same  atrocity  was  again 
committed,  at  the  same  place  and  for  the  same  cause.  And  by 
a  strange  contrast,  there  was  at  the  committing  of  this  barbar- 
ous act,  "  which  was  against  Homan  usage,"  says  Livy,  a  secret 
feeling  of  horror,  for,  to  appease  the  manes  of  the  victims,  a 
sacrifice  was  instituted,  which  was  celebrated  every  year  at 
the  pit,  in«the  month  of  November. 

In  spite  of  sometimes  urgent  peril,  in  spite  of  popular  alarms, 
Borne,  during  the  course  of  this  period,  from  299  to  258  b.  o., 
maintained  an  increasing  ascendency  over  the  Gauls.  She 
always  cleared  them  off  her  territory,  several  times  ravaged 
theirs,  on  the  two  banks  of  the  Po,  called  respectively  Trans- 
padan  and  Cispadan  Gaul,  and  gained  the  majority  of  the  great 
battles  she  had  to  fight.  Finally  in  the  year  283  B.C.  the  pro- 
praetor Drusus,  after  having  ravaged  the  country  of  the  Se- 
nonic  Gauls,  carried  off  the  very  ingots  and  jewels,  it  was  said, 
which  had  been  given  to  their  ancestors  as  the  price  of  their 
relareat.  Solemn  proclamation  was'  made  that  the  ransom  of 
the  capitol  had  returned  within  its  walls;  and,  sixty  years 
afterwards,  the  Consul  M.  CI.  Marcellus  having  defeated  at 
dastidium  a  numerous  army  of  Gauls,  and  with  his  own  hand 
slaiij  their  general,  Virdumar,  had  the  honor  of  dedicating  to 
the  temple  of  Jupiter  the  third  **  grand  spoils"  taken  since  the 
foundation  of  Bome,  and  of  ascending  the  Capitol,  himself  con- 
veying the  armor  of  Virdumar,  for  he  had  got  hewn  an  oaken 
trunk,  round  which  he  had  arranged  the  helmet,  tunic,  and 
brea£rt-plate  of  the  barbarian  king. 

Nor  was  war  Bome's  only  weapon  against  her  enemies.    Be- 

34  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  ir. 

sides  the  ability  of  h^r  generals  and  the  discipline  of  her  legions, 
she  had  the  sagacity  of  her  Senate.  The  Gauls  were  not  want- 
ing in  intelligence  or  dexterity,  but  being  too  free  to  go  quietly 
under  a  master's  hand,  and  too  barbarous  for  self-government, 
carried  away,  as  they  were,  by  the  interest  or  passion  of  the 
moment,  they  could  not  long  act  either  in  concert  or  with 
sameness  of  purpose.  Far-sightedness  and  the  spirit  of  persist- 
ence were,  on  the  contrary,  the  familiar  virtues  of  the  Roman 
Senate.  So  soon  as  they  had  penetrated  Cisalpine  Gaul,  they 
labored  to  gain  there  a  permanent  footing,  either  by  sowing 
dissension  amongst  the  Gallic  peoplets  that  lived  there,  or  by 
founding  Roman  colonies.  In  the  year  283  b.c.  several  Roman 
families  arrived,  with  colors  flying  and  under  the  guidance  of 
three  triumvirs  or  commissioners,  on  a  territory  to  the  north- 
east, on  the  borders  of  the  Adriatic.  The  triumvirs  had  a 
round  hole  dug,  and  there  deposited  some  fruits  and  a  handful 
of  earth  brought  from  Roman  soil;  then  yoking  to  a  plough, 
having  a  copper  share,  a  white  bull  and  -a  white  heifer,  they 
marked  out  by  a  furrow  a  large  enclosure.  The  rest  followed, 
flinging  within  the  line  the  ridges  thrown  up  by  the  plough. 
When  the  line  was  finished,  the  bull  and  the  heifer  were  sacri- 
ficed with  due  pomp.  It  was  a  Roman  colony  come  to  settle  at 
Sena,  on  the  very  site  of  the  chief  town  of  those  Senonic  Gauls 
who  had  been  conquered  and  driven  out.  Fifteen  years  after- 
wards another  Roman  colony  was  foimded  at  Ariminum 
(Rimini)  on  the  frontier  of  the  Boian  Gauls.  Fifty  years  later 
still  two  others,  on  the  two  banks  of  the  Po,  Cremona  and 
Placentia  (Plaisance).  Rome  had  then,  in  the  midst  of  hep 
enemies,  garrisons,  magazines  of  arms  and  provisions,  and 
means  of  supervision  and  commimication.  Thence  proceeded 
at  one  time  troops,  at  another  intrigues,  to  carry  dismay  or 
disunion  amongst  the  Gauls. 

Towards  the  close  of  the  third  century  before  our  era,  the 
triiunph  of  Rome  in  Cisalpine  Gaul  seemed  nigh  to  accomplish- 
ment, when  news  arrived  that  the  Romans'  most  formidable 
enemy,  Hannibal,  meditating  a  passage  from  Africa  into  Italy 
by  Spain  and  Gaul,  was  already  at  work,  by  his  emissaries,  to 
ensure  for  his  enterprise  the  concurrence  of  the  Transalpine 
and  Cisalpine  Gauls.  The  Senate  ordered  the  envoys  they  had 
just  then  at  Carthage  to  traverse  Gaul  on  returning,  and  seek 
out  allies  there  against  Hannibal.  The  envoys  halted  amongst 
the  Gallo-Iberian  peoplets  who  lived  at  the  foot  of  the  eastern 

CH.  II.]  THE  QAUL8  OUT  OF  GAUL,  86 

PyreneeeL  There,  in  the  midst  of  the  warriors  assembled  in 
arms,  they  charged  them  in  the  name  of  the  great  and  power- 
ful Itoman  people,  not  to  suffer  the  Carthaginians  to  pass 
through  their  territory.  Tumultuous  laughter  arose  at  a  re- 
quest that  appeared  so  strange.  ^^  You  wish  us,"  wa§  the  an- 
swer, "to  draw  down  war  upon  ourselves  to  avert  it  from 
Italy,  and  to  give  our  own  fields  oyer  to  devastation  to  save 
yours.  We  have  no  cause  to  complain  of  the  Carthaginians  or 
to  be  pleased  with  the  Eomans,  or  to  take  up  arms  for  the 
Bomans  and  against  the  Carthaginians.  We,  on  the  contrary, 
hear  that  the  Roman  people  drive  out  from  their  lands,  in  Italy, 
men  of  our  nation,  impose  tribute  upon  them,  and  make  them 
undergo  other  indignities. ''  So  the  envoys  of  Bome  quitted 
Glaul  without  allies. 

Hannibal,  on  the  other  hand,  did  not  meet  with  all  the  favor 
and  all  the  enthusiasm  he  had  anticipated.  Between  the  Pyre- 
nees and  the  Alps  several  peoplets  united  with  him;  and 
several  showed  coldness,  or  even  hostiUty.  In  his  passage  of 
the  Alps  the  mountain  tribes  harassed  him  incessantly.  In- 
deed, in  Cisalpine  Gaul  itself  there  was  great  division  and  hesi- 
tation; for  Rome  had  succeeded  in  inspiring  her  partisans  with 
confidence  and  her  enemies  with  fear.  Hannibal  was  often 
obHged  to  resort  to  force  even  against  the  Gauls  whose  alliance 
he  courted,  and  to  ravage  their  lands  in  order  to  drive  them  to 
take  up  arms.  Nay,  at  the  conclusion  of  an  alliance,  and  in  the 
very  camp  of  the  Carthaginians,  the  Gauls  sometimes  hesitated 
still,  and  sometimes  rose  against  Hannibal,  accused  him  of 
ravaging  their  country,  and  refused  to  obey  his  orders.  How- 
ever, th^  delights  of  victory  and  of  pillage  at  last  brought  into 
full  play  the  Cisalpine  Gauls'  natural  hatred  of  Rome.  After 
Ticinus  and  Trebia,  Hannibal  had  no  more  zealous  and  devoted 
troox)6.  At  the  battle  of  Lake  Trasimene  he  lost  1500  men, 
nearly  all  Gauls ;  at  that  of  Cannae  he  had  30,000  of  them,  form- 
ing two-thirds  of  his  army;  and  at  the  moment  of  action  they 
cast  away  their  tunics  and  chequered  cloaks  (similar  to  the 
plaids  of  the  Gaels  or  Scottish  Highlanders)  and  fought  naked 
from  the  belt  upwards,  according  to  their  custom  when  they 
meant  to  conquer  or  die.  Of  .5500  men  that  the  victory  of 
Cannse  cost  Hannibal,  4000  were  Gauls.  All  Cisalpine  Gaul 
was  moved;  enthusiasm  was  at  its  height;  new  bands  hurried 
off  to  recruit  the  army  of  the  Carthaginian  who,  by  dint  of  pa- 
tience and  genius,  brought  Rome  within  an  ace  of  destruction, 

36  EI8T0RT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  n. 

with  the  assistance  almost  entirely  of  the  barbarians  he  had 
come  to  seek  at  her  gates,  and  whom  he  had  at  first  fomid  so 
cowed  and  so  vacillating. 

When  the  day  of  reverses  came,  and  Eome  had  recovered  her 
ascendenoy,  the  Gauls  were  faithful  to  Hannibal;  and  when  at 
length  he  was  forced  to  return  to  Africa,  .the  Gallic  bands, 
whether  from  despair  or  attachment,  followed  him  thither.  In 
the  year  200  B.O.,  at  the  famous  battle  of  Zama,  which  decided 
matters  between  Rome  and  Carthage,  they  again  formed  a 
third  of  the  Carthaginian  army,  and  showed  that  they  were,  in 
the  words  of  Livy,  "inflamed  by  that  innate  hatred  towards 
the  Romans  which  is  peculiar  to  their  race." 

This  was  the  third  period  of  the  struggle  between  the  GAuls 
and  the  Romans  in  Italy.  Rome,  well  advised  by  this  terrible 
war  of  the  danger  with  which  she  was  ever  menaced  by  the 
Cisalpine  Gauls,  formed  the  resolution  of  no  longer  restraining 
them,  but  of  subduing  them  and  conquering  their  territory. 
She  spent  thirty  years  (from  200  to  170  B.C.)  in  the  execution  of 
this  design,  proceeding  by  means  of  war,  of  founding  Roman 
colonies,  ^.nd  of  sowing  dissension  amongst  the  Gallic  peoplets. 
In  vain  did  the  two  principal,  the  Boians  and  the  Insubrians, 
endeavor  to  rouse  and  rally  all  the  rest:  some  hesitated;  some 
absolutely  refused,  and  remained  neutral.  The  resistance  was 
obstinate.  The  Gauls,  driven  from  their  fields  and  their  towns, 
established  themselves,  as  their  ancestors  had  done,  in  the  for- 
ests, whence  they  emerged  only  to  f aU  furiously  upon  the  Ro- 
mans. And  then,  if  the  engagement  were  indecisive,  if  any 
legions  wavered,  the  Roman  centurions  hurled  their  colors  into 
the  midst  of  the  enemy,  and  the  legionaries  dashed  on  at  all 
risks  to  recover  them.  At  Parma  and  Bologna,  in  the  towns 
taken  from  the  Gauls,  Roman  colonies  came  at  once  and  planted 
themselves.  Day  by  day  did  Rome  advance.  At  length,  in 
the  year  190  B.O.,  the  wrecks  of  the  112  tribes  which  had  formed 
the  nation  of  the  Boians,  unable  any  longer  to  resist,  and  un- 
wilUng  to  submit,  rose  as  one  man,  and  departed  from  Italy. 

The  Senate,  with  its  usual  wisdom,  multiplied  the  number  of 
Roman  colonies  in  the  conquered  territory,  treated  with  mod- 
eration the  tribes  that  submitted,  and  gave  to  Cisalpine  Gaul 
the  name  of  the  Cisalpine  or  Hither  Gallic  Province,  which  was 
afterwards  changed  for  that  of  Gallia  Togata  or  Roman  Gaul. 
Then,  declaring  that  nature  herself  had  placed  the  Alps  between 
Gaul  and  Italy  as  an  insurmountable  barrier,  the  Senate  pro- 
noimced  "  a  curse  on  whosoever  should  attempt  to  cross  it." 

CB.  in.)  THE  EOMAifa  tN  GAXTL  &i 



It  was  Rome  herself  that  soon  crossed  that  harrier  of  the 
Alps  which  she  had  pronounced  fixed  hy  nature  and  insur- 
mountahle.  Scarcely  was  she  mistress  of  Cisalpine  Gaul  when 
she  entered  upon  a  quarrel  with  the  trihes  which  occupied  the 
moimtain-passes.  With  an  unsettled  frontier,  and  hetween 
neighbors  of  whom  one  is  ambitious  and  the  other  barbarian, 
pretexts  and  even  causes  are  never  wanting.  It  is  likely  that 
the  G^allic  mountaineers  were  not  careful  to  abstain,  thfey  and 
their  flocks,  from  descending  upon  the  territory  that  had  be- 
come Roman.  The  Romans,  in  turn,  penetrated  into  the  ham- 
lets, carried  off  flocks  and  people,  and  sold  them  in  the  public 
markets  at  Cremona,  at  Placentia,  and  in  all  their  colonies. 

The  Grauls  of  the  Alps  demanded  succor  of  the  Transalpine 
Gauls,  applying  to  a  powerful  chieftain,  named  Cincibil,  whose 
influence  extended  throughout  the  mountains.  But  the  terror 
of  the  Roman  name  had  reached  acro3S.  Cincibil  sent  to  Rome 
a  deputation,  with  his  brother  at  their  head,  to  set  forth  the 
grievances  of  the  mountaineers,  and  especially  to  complain  of 
the  consul  Cassius,  who  had  carried  off  and  sold  several  thou- 
sands of  Gauls.  Without  making  any  concession,  the  Senate 
was  gracious.  Cassius  was  away;  he  must  be  waited  for. 
Meanwhile  the  Gauls  were  well  treated;  Cincibil  and  his 
brother  received  as  presents  two  golden  collars,  five  silver 
vases,  two  horses  fully  caparisoned,  and  Roman  dresses  for  all 
their  suite.    Still  nothing  was  done. 

Another,  a  greater  and  more  decisive  opportunity  offered 
itself.  Marseilles  was  an  ally  of  the  Romans.  As  the  rival  of 
Carthage,  and  with  the  Gauls  for  ever  at  her  gates,  she  had 
need  of  Rome  by  sea  and  land.  She  pretended,  also,  to  the 
most  eminent  and  intimate  friendship  with  Rome.  Her 
founder,  the  Phocean  Euxenes,  had  gone  to  Rome,  it  was  said, 
and  concluded  a  treaty  with  Tarquinius  Priscus.  She  had 
gone  into  mourning  when  Rome  was  burnt  by  the  Gauls;  she 
had  ordered  a  public  levy  to  aid  towards  the  ransom  of  the 
capitol.  Rome  did  not  dispute  these  claims  to  remembrance. 
The  friendship  of  Marseilles  was  of  great  use  to  her.    In  the 

S8  mSTORT  OP  PRANCE,  t^tt.  itt. 

whole  course  of  her  struggle  with  Carthage,  and  hut  lately,  at 
the  passage  of  Hannihal  through  Gaul,  Borne  had  met  with 
the  hest  of  treatment  there.  Sne  granted  the  Massilians  a 
place  amongst  her  senators  at  the  festivals  of  the  Republic, 
and  exemption  from  all  duty  in  her  ports.  *  Towards  the  mid- 
dle of  the  second  century  b.o.  Marseilles  was  at  war  with  cer- 
tain Gallic  tribes,  her  neighbors,  whose  territory  she  coveted. 
Two  of  her  colonies,  Nice  and  Antibes,  were  threatened.  She 
called  on  Rome  for  help.  A  Roman  deputation  went  to  decide 
the  quarrel;  but  the  Gauls  refused  to  obey  its  summons,  and 
treated  it  with  insolence.  The  deputation  returned  with  an 
army,  succeeded  in  beating  the  refractory  tribes,  and  gave 
their  land  to  the  Massilians.  The  same  thing  occurred  re- 
peatedly with  the  same  result.  Within  the  space  of  thirty 
years  nearly  all  the  tribes  between  the  Rhone  and  the  Var,  in 
the  coimtry  which  was  afterwards  Provence,  were  subdued 
and  driven  back  amongst  the  mountains,  with  notice  not  to 
approach  within  a  mile  of  the  coast  in  general,  and  a  mile  and 
a  half  of  the  places  of  disembarkation.  But  the  Romans  did 
not  stop  there.  They  did  not  mean  to  conquer  for  Marseilles 
alone.  In  the  year  123  b.o.,  at  some  leagues  to  the  north  of  the 
Greek  city,  near  a  little  river,  then  called  the  Coenus  and  now- 
a-days  the  Arc,  the  consul  C.  Sextius  Calvinus  had  noticed, 
dming  his  campaign,  an  abundance  of  thermal  springs,  agree- 
ably situated  amidst  wood-covered  hills.  There  he  constructed 
an  enclosure,  aqueducts,  baths,  houses,  a  town  in  fact,  which 
he  called  after  himself,  Aquce  Sextice,  the  modem  Aix,  the 
first  Roman  establishment  in  Transalpine  Gaul.  As  in  the 
case  of  Cisalpine  Gaul,  with  Roman  colonies  came  Roman 
intrigue  and  dissensions  got  up  and  fomented  amongst  the 
Gauls.  And  herein  Marseilles  was  a  powerful  seconder;  for 
she  kept  up  commimications  with  all  the  neighboring  tribes, 
and  fanned  the  spirit  of  faction.  After  his  victories,  the  con- 
sul C.  Sextius,  seated  at  his  tribimal,  was  selling  his  prisoners 
by  auction,  when  one  of  them  came  up  to  him  and  said,  "I 
have  always  liked  and  served  the  Romans;  and  for  that  reason 
I  have  often  incurred  outrage  and  danger  at  the  hands  of  xny 
countrymen."  The  consul  had  him  set  free— him  and  his 
family — and  even  gave  him  leave  to  point  out  amongst  the 
captives  any  for  whom  he  would  like  to  procure  the  same  kind- 
ness. At  his  request  nine  hundred  were  released.  The  man's 
name  was  Crato,  a  Greek  name,  which  points  to  a  connection 
with  Marseilles  or  one  of  her  colonies.    The  Gauls,  moreover. 

ctt.  in.]  THE  ROMANS  IN  GAUL.  39 

ran  of  themselves  into  the  Roman  trap.  Two  of  their  confed- 
erations, the.<£iduans,  of  whom  mention  has  ah*eady  been  made, 
and  the  Allobrogians,  who  were  settled  between  the  Alps,  the 
Is^re,  and  the  Rhone,  were  at  war.  A  third  confederation, 
the  most  powerful  in  Gaul  at  this  time,  the  Arvemians,  who 
were  rivals  of  the  .^kLuans,  gave  their  countenance  to  the  Al- 
lobrogians. The  ^duans,  with  whom  the  Massilians  had 
commercial  dealings,  solicited  through  these  latter  the  assist- 
ance of  Rome.  A  treaty  was  easily  concluded.  The  JBduans 
obtained  from  the  Romans  the  title  of  friends  and  allies  ;  and 
the  Romans  received  from  the  -<Eduans  that  of  brothers^  which 
amongst  the  Gauls  implied  a  sacred  tie.  The  consul  Domitius 
forthwith  commanded  the  Allobrogians  to  respect  the  terri- 
tory of  the  allies  of  Rome.  The  Allobrogians  rose  up  in  arms 
and  claimed  the  aid  of  the  Arvemians.  But  even  amongst 
them,  in  the  very  heart  of  Gaul,  Rome  was  much  dreaded ; 
she  was  not  to  be  encountered  without  hesitation.  So  Bitui- 
tus,  King  of  the  Arvemians,  was  for  trying  accommodation. 
He  was  a  powerful  and  wealthy  chieftain.  His  father  Luem 
used  to  give  amongst  the  mountains  magnificent  entertain- 
m.ents ;  he  had  a  space  of  twelve  square  furlongs  enclosed,  and 
dispensed  wine,  mead,  and  beer  from  cisterns  made  within  the 
enclosure;  and  all  the  Arvemians  crowded  to  his  feasts.  Bi- 
tuitus  displayed  before  the  Romans  his  barbaric  splendor.  A 
numerous  escort,  superbly  clad,  surrounded  his  ambassador; 
in  attendance  were  packs  of  enormous  hounds ;  and  in  front 
went  a  bard,  or  poet,  who  sang  with  rotte  or  harp  in  hand,  the 
glory  of  Bituitus  and  of  the  Arvemian  people.  Disdainfully 
the  consul  received  and  sent  back  the  embassy.  War  broke 
out ;  the  Allobrogians,  with  the  usual  confidence  and  hastiness 
of  all  barbarians,  attacked  alone,  without  waiting  for  the  Ar- 
vemians, and  were  beaten  at  the  confluence  of  the  Rhone  and 
the  Sorgue,  a  little  above  Avignon.  The  next  year,  121  B.C., 
the  Arvemians  in  their  turn  descended  from  the  moimtains, 
and  crossed  the  Rhone  with  all  their  tribes,  diversely  armed 
and  clad,  and  ranged  each  about  its  own  chieftain.  In  his 
barbaric  vanity,  Bituitus  marched  to  war  with  the  same  pomp 
that  he  had  in  vain  displayed  to  obtain  peace.  He  sat  upon  a 
car  glittering  with  silver;  he  wore  a  plaid  of  striking  colors; 
and  he  brought  in  his  train  a  pack  of  war-hounds.  At  the 
sight  oi  the  Roman  legions,  few  in  number,  iron-clad,  in  ser- 
ried ranks  that  took  up  little  space,  he  contemptuously  cried, 
"There  is  not  a  meal  for  my  hounds." 

40  EIST0B7  OF  PBANOB.  [ch.  m. 

The  Arvemians  were  beaten,  as  the  Allobrogians  had  been. 
The  hounds  of  Bituitus  were  of  little  use  to  him  against  the 
elephants  which  the  Homans  had  borrowed  from  Asiatic  usage, 
and  which  spread  consternation  amongst  the  Gauls.  The 
Boman  historians  say  that  the  Arvemian  army  was  200,000 
strong,  and  that  120,000  were  slain;  but  the  figures  are  absurd, 
like  most  of  those  found  in  ancient  chronicles.  We  know 
now-a-days,  thanks  to  modem  civilization,  which  shows  every 
thing  in  broad  day-light  and  measures  every  thing  with  proper 
caution,  that  only  the  most  populous  and  powerful  nations, 
and  that  at  great  expenditure  of  trouble  and  time,  can  succeed 
in  moving  armies  of  200,000  men,  and  that  no  battle,  however 
murderous  it  may  be,  ever  costs  120,000  lives. 

Eome  treated  the  Arvemians  with  consideration;  but  the 
Allobrogians  lost  their  existence  as  a  nation.  The  Senate  de- 
clared them  subject  to  the  Roman  i)eople;  and  all  the  country- 
comprised  between  the  Alps,  the  Rhone  from  its  entry  into  the 
Lake  of  Gteneva  to  its  mouth,  and  the  Mediterranean,  was 
made  a  Roman  consular  province,  which  means  that  every 
year  a  consul  must  march  thither  with  his  army.  In  the 
three  following  years,  indeed,  the  consuls  extended  the  boun- 
daries of  the  new  province,  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Rhone,  to 
the  frontier  of  the  Pyrenees  southward.  In  the  year  115  b.o. 
a  colony  of  Roman  citizens  was  conducted  to  Narbonne,  a 
town  even  then  of  importance,  in  spite  of  the  objections  made 
by  certain  senators  who  were  unwilling,  say  the  historians,  so 
to  expose  Roman  citizens  ^to  the  waves  of  barbarism."  This 
was  the  second  colony  which  went  and  established  itself  out  of 
Italy ;  the  first  had  been  founded  on  the  ruins  of  Carthage. 

Having  thus  completed  their  conquest,  the  Senate,  to  render 
possession  safe  and  sure,  decreed  the  occupation  of  the  passes 
of  the  Alps  which  opened  Gaul  to  Italy.  There  was  up  to  that 
time  no  communication  with  Gaul  save  along  the  Mediterranean, 
by  a  narrow  and  difficult  path  which  has  become  in  our  time 
the  beautiful  route  called  the  Comiche.  The  mountain  tribes 
defended  their  independence  with  desperation;  when  that  of 
the  Stsenians,  who  occupied  the  pass  of  the  maritime  Alps, 
saw  their  inability  to  hold  their  own,  they  cut  the  throats  of 
their  wives  and  children,  set  fire  to  their  houses,  and  threw 
themselves  into  the  fiames.  But  the  Senate  pursued  its  course 
imperturbably.  All  the  chief  defiles  of  the  Alps  fell  into  its 
hands.  The  old  Phoenician  road,  restored  by  the  consul  Do- 
mitius,  bore  thenceforth  his  name  {Via  Domitid),  and  less  than 

CH.  m.]  THE  ROMANS  IN  GAUL.  41 

sixty  years  after  Cisalpine  Gaul  had  been  reduced  to  a  Boman 
province,  Borne  possessed,  in  Transalpine  G^ul,  a  second 
province,  whither  she  sent  her  armies,  and  where  she  estab- 
lished her  citizens  without  obstruction.  But  Providence  sel- 
dom allows  men,  even  in  the  midst  of  their  successes,  to  forget 
for  long  how  precarious  they  are;  and  when  He  is  pleased  to 
remind  them,  it  ia  not  by  words,  as  the  Persians  reminded 
their  king,  but  by  fearful  events  that  He  gives  His  warnings. 
At  the  very  moment  when  Borne  believed  herself  set  free  from 
GaUic  invasions  and  on  the  point  of  avenging  herself  by  a 
course  of  conquest,  a  new  invasion,  more  extensive  and  more 
barbarous,  came  bursting  upon  Bome  and  i^pon  Gaul  at  the 
same  time,  and  plunged  them  together  in  the  same  troubles 
and  the  same  perils. 

In  the  year  113  B.o.  there  appeared  to  the  north  of  the  Adri- 
atic, on  the  right  bank  of  the  Danube,  an  immense  multitude 
of  barbarians,  ravaging  Noricum  and  threatening  Italy.  Two 
nations  predominated;  the  Kymrians  or  Cimbrians,  and  the 
Teutons,  the  national  name  of  the  Germans.  They  came  from 
afar,  northward,  from  the  Cimbrian  peninsula,  now-a-days 
Jutland,  and  from  the  coimtries  bordering  on  the  Baltic  which 
now-a-days  form  the  duchies  of  Holstein  and  Schleswig.  A 
violent  shock  of  earthquake,  a  terrible  inundation,  had  driven 
them,  they  said,  from  their  homes ;  and  those  coimtries  do  in- 
deed show  traces  of  such  events.  And  Cimbrians  and  Teutons 
had  been  for  some  time  roaming  over  Germany. 

The  consul  Papirius  Carbo,  despatched  in  all  haste  to  defend 
the  frontier,  bade  them,  in  the  name  of  the  Boman  people,  to 
withdraw.  The  barbarians  modestly  replied  that  **  they  had 
no  intention  of  setthng  in  Noricum,  and  if  the  Bomans  had 
rights  over  the  country,  they  would  carry  their  arms  else- 
whither." The  consul,  who  had  found  haughtiness  succeed, 
thought  he  might  also  employ  perfidy  against  the  barbarians. 
He-offered  guides  to  conduct  them  out  of  Norictun;  and  the 
guides  misled  them.  The  consul  attacked  them  unexpectedly 
duaing  the  night,  and  was  beaten. 

However,  the  barbarians,  still  fearful,  did  not  venture  into 
Italy.  They  roamed  for  three  years  along  the  Danube,  as  far 
as  the  mountains  of  Macedonia  and  Thrace.  Then  retracing 
their  etepB^  and  marching  eastward,  they  inundated  the  valleys 
of  the  Helvetic  Alps,  now  Switzerland,  having  their  numbers 
swelled  by  other  tribes,  Gallic  or  G^rmcm,  who  preferred  join- 
ing in  pillage  to  undergoing  it.    The  Ambrons,  among  others, 

42  HISTORY  OF  FRANCS,  [cH.  iii. 

a  Gallic  peoplet  that  had  taken  refuge  in  Helvetia  after  the  ex- 
pulsion of  the  Umbrians  by  the  ^Etruscans  from  Italy,  joined 
the  Cimbrians  and  Teutons;  and  in  the  year  110  b. a  all  to- 
gether entered  Gaul,  at  first  by  way  of  Belgica,  and  then,  con- 
tinuing their  wanderings  and  ravages  in  central  Gaul,  they 
at  last  reached  the  Rhone,  on  the  frontiers  of  the  Eomaa 

There  the  name  of  Rome  again  arrested  their  progress;  they 
applied  to  her  anew  for  lands,  with  the  offer  of  their  services. 
**Rome,"  answered  M.  Silanus,  who  commanded  in  the  prov- 
ince, **has  neither  lands  to  give  you  nor  services  to  accept 
from  you."    He  attacked  them  in  their  camp,  and  was  beaten. 

Three  consuls,  L.  Cassius,  C.  Servilius  Csepio,  and  Cn.  Man- 
Hus,  successively  experienced  the  same  fate.  With  the  bar- 
barians victory  bred  presumption.  Their  chieftains  met,  and 
deliberated  whether  they  should  not  forthwith  cross  into  Italy, 
to  exterminate  or  enslave  the  Romans,  and  make  Kymrian 
spoken  at  Rome.  Scaurus,  a  prisoner,  was  in  the  tent,  loaded 
with  fetters,  during  the  dehberation.  He  was  questioned  about 
the  resources  of  his  country.  "Cross  not  the  Alps,"  said  he; 
**go  not  into  Italy:  the  Romans  are  invincible."  In  a  trans- 
port of  fury  the  chieftain  of  the  Kymrians,  Boiorix  by  name, 
fell  upon  the  Roman,  and  ran  him  through.  Howbeit  the  ad- 
vice of  Scaurus  was  followed.  The  barbarians  did  not  as  yet 
dare  to  decide  upon  invading  Italy;  but  they  freely  scoured 
the  Roman  province,  meeting  here  with  repulse,  and  there 
with  reinforcement  from  the  peoplets  who  formed  the  inhabi- 
tants. The  Tectosagian  Voles,  Kymrian  in  origin  and  mal- 
treated by  Rome,  joined  them.  Then,  on  a  sudden,  whilst  the 
Teutons  and  Ambrons  remained  in  Gaul,  the  Kymrians  passed 
over  to  Spain,  without  apparent  motive,  and  probably  as  an 
overswollen  torrent  divides,  and  disperses  its  ysraters  in  all 
directions.  The  commotion  at  Rome  was  extreme;  never  had 
so  many  or  such  wild  barbarians  threatened  the  Republic; 
never  had  so  many  or  such  large  Roman  armies  been  beaten 
in  succession.  There  was  but  one  man,  it  was  said,  who  could 
avert  the  danger,  and  give  Rome  the  ascendency.  It  was 
Marius,  low-bom,  but  already  illustrious;  esteemed  by  the 
Senate  for  his  genius  as  a  commander  and  for  his  victories; 
swaying  at  his  will  the  people,  who  saw  in  him  one  of  them- 
selves, and  admired  without  envying  him;  beloved  and  feared 
by  the  army  for  his  bravery,  his  rigorous  discipline,  and  his 
readiness  to  share  their  toils  and  dangers;  stem  and  rugged; 

cs.  in.]  THE  ROMANS  IN  GAUL.  43 

without  education,  eloquence,  or  riches;  ill-suited  for  ahmmg 
in  public  assembhes,  but  resolute  and  dexterous  in  action; 
verily  made  to  dominate  the  vigorous  but  unrefined  multitude, 
whether  in  camp  or  city,  partly  by  participating  their  feelings, 
partly  by  giving  them  in  his  own  i)erson  a  specimen  of  the 
deserts  and  sometimes  of  the  virtues  which  they  esteem  but 
do  not  possess. 

He  was  consul  in  Africa,  where  he  was  putting  an  end  to  the 
war  with  Jugurtha.  He  was  elected  a  second  time  consul, 
without  interval  and  in  his  absence,  contrary  to  all  the  laws  of 
the  Republic.  Scarcely  had  he  returned,  when,  on  descending 
from  the  Capitol,  where  he  had  just  received  a  triumph  for 
having  conquered  and  captured  Jugurtha,  he  set  out  for  Graul. 
On  his  arrival,  instead  of  proceeding,  as  his  predecessors,  to 
attack  the  barbarians  at  once,  he  confined  himself  to  organizing 
and  inuring  his  troops,  subjecting  them  to  frequent  marches, 
all  kinds  of  military  exercises,  and  long  and  hard  labor.  To 
insure  supphes  he  made  them  dig,  towards  the  mouths  of  the 
Bhone,  a  large  canal  which  formed  a  junction  with  the  river  a 
httle  above  Aries,  and  which,  at  its  entrance  into  the  sea, 
offered  good  harborage  for  vessels.  This  canal,  which  existed 
for  a  long  while  under  the  name  of  Fossce  Mariance  (the  dykes 
of  MaritLs),  is  filled  up  now-a-days;  but  at  its  southern  extrem- 
ity the  village  of  Foz  still  preserves  a  remembrance  of  it. 
Trained  in  this  severe  school,  the  soldiers  acquired  such  a 
reputation  for  sobriety  and  laborious  assiduity,  that  they  were 
proverbially  called  Marius*  mules. 

He  was  as  carefiil  for  their  moral  state  as  for  their  physical 
fitness,  and  labored  to  exalt  their  imaginations  as  well  as  to 
harden  their  bodies.  In  that  camp,  and  amidst  those  toils  in 
which  he  kept  them  strictly  engaged,  frequent  sacrifices,  and 
scrupulous  care  in  consulting  the  oracles,  kept  superstition  at 
a  white  heat.  A  Syrian  prophetess,  named  Martha,  who  had 
been  sent  to  Marius  by  his  wife  Julia,  the  aunt  of  Julius  Caesar, 
was  ever  with  him,  and  accompanied  him  at  the  sacred  cere- 
monies and  on  the  march,  being  treated  with  the  greatest 
respect,  and  having  vast  influence  over  the  minds  of  the 

Two  years  rolled  on  in  this  fashion;  and  yet  Marius  would 
not  move.  The  increasing  devastation  of  the  country,  fire,  and 
famine,  the  despair  and  complaints  of  the  inhabitants,  did  not 
shake  his  resolution.  Nor  was  the  confidence  he  inspired  both 
in  the  camp  and  at  Home  a  whit  shaken:  he  was  twice  re- 

44  mSTORT  OF  FRANCB.  [ch.  in, 

elected  consul,  once  while  he  was  still  absent,  and  once  during 
a  visit  he  paid  to  Borne  to  give  directions  to  bis  party  in  person. 

It  was  at  Rome,  in  the  year  102  b.o.,  that  he  learned  how  the 
Kymrians,  weary  of  Spain,  had  recrossed  the  Pyrenees,  re- 
joined their  old  comrades,  and  had  at  last  resolved,  in  concert, 
to  invade  Italy;  the  Kymrians  from  the  north,  by  way  of 
Helvetia  and  Noricum,  the  Teutons  and  Ambrons  from  the 
south,  by  way  of  the  maritiine  Alps.  They  were  to  form  a 
jimction  on  the  banks  of  the  Po,  and  thence  march  together  on 
Rome.  At  this  news  Marius  returned  forthwith  to  Gkiul,  and, 
without  troubling-himself  about  the  Kymrians,  who  had  really 
put  themselves  in  motion  towards  the  north-east,  he  placed 
his  camp  so  as  to  cover  at  one  and  the  same  time  the  two 
Roman  roads  which  crossed  at  Aries,  and  by  one  of  which  the 
Ambro-Teutons  must  necessarily  pass  to  enter  Italy  on  the 

They  soon  appeared  "in  immense  numbers,"  say  the  his- 
torians, "  with  their  hideous  looks  and  their  wild  cries,"  draw- 
ing up  their  chariots  and  planting  their  tents  in  front  of  the 
Roman  camp.  They  showered  upon  Marius  and  his  soldiers 
continual  insult  and  defiance.  The  Romans,  in  their  irritation, 
would  fain  have  rushed  out  of  their  camp,  but  Marius  re- 
strained them.  **  It  is  no  question,"  said  he,  with  his  simple 
and  convincing  common  sense,  "of  gaining  triumphs  and 
trophies;  it  is  a  question  of  averting  this  storm  of  war  and  of 
saving  Italy."  A  Teutonic  chieftain  came  one  day  up  to  the 
very  gates  of  the  camp,  and  challenged  him  to  fight.  Marius 
had  him  informed  that  if  he  were  tired  of  life  he  could  go  and 
hang  himself.  As  the  barbarian  still  ^persisted,  Marius  sent 
him  a. gladiator. 

However,  he  made  his  soldiers,  in  regular  succession,  mount 
the  ramparts,  to  get  them  familiarized  with  the  cries,  looks, 
arms,  and  movements  of  the  barbarians.  The  most  distin- 
guished of  his  officers,  yoimg  Sertorius,  who  imderstood  and 
spoke  GaUic  well,  penetrated,  in  the  disguise  of  a  Gaul,  into 
the  camp  of  the  Ambrons,  and  informed  Marius  of  what  was 
going  on  there. 

At  last  the  barbarians,  in  their  impatience,  having  vainly 
attempted  to  storm  the  Roman  camp,  struck  their  own,  cmd 
put  themselves  in  motion  towards  the  Alps.  For  six  whole 
days,  it  is  said,  their  bands  were  defiling  beneath  the  ramparts 
of  the  Romans,  and  crying,  "  Have  you  any  message  for  your 
wives  ?    We  shall  soon  be  with  them. " 

CH.  m.]  THE  ROMANS  IN  OAUL.  46 

Marius,  too,  struck  his  camp,  and  followed  them.  They 
halted,  both  of  them,  near  A  it,  on  the  borders  of  the  Coenus, 
the  barbarians  in  the  valley,  Marius  on  a  hill  which  com- 
manded it.  The  ardor  of  the  Romans  was  at  its  height;  it 
was  warm  weather;  there  was  a  want  of  water  on  the  hill,  and 
the  soldiers  murmured.  **  You  are  men,"  said  Marius,  point- 
ing to  the  river  below,. "  and  there  is  water  to  be  bought  with 
blood."  "  Why  don't  you  lead  us  against  them  at  once,  then," 
said  a  soldier,  **  whilst  we  still  have  blood  in  our  veins?"  **  We 
must  first  fortify  our  camp,"  answered  Marius  quietly. 

The  soldiers  obeyed;  but  the  hour  of  battle  had  come,  and 
well  did  Marius  know  it.  It  commenced  on  the  brink  of  the 
Coenus,  between  some  Ambrons  who  were  bathing  and  some 
Boman  slaves  gone  down  to  draw  water.  When  the  whole 
horde  of  Ambrons  advanced  to  the  battle,  shouting  their  war- 
cry  of  Arnbra!  Ambral  a  body  of  Gallic  auxiliaries  in  the 
Boman  army,  and  in  the  first  rank,  heard  them  with  great 
amazement;  for  it  was  their  own  name  and  their  own  cry; 
there  were  tribes  of  Ambrons  in  the  Alps  subjected  to  Home 
as  well  as  in  the  Helvetic  Alps ;  and  AmJbral  Ambral  resoimded 
on  both  sides. 

The  battle  lasted  two  days,  the  first  against  the  Ambrons, 
the  second  against  the  Teutons.  Both  were  beaten,  in  spite  of 
their  savage  bravery,  and  the  equal  bravery  of  their  women, 
who  defended,  with  indomitable  obstinacy,  the  cars  with  which 
they  had  remained  almost  alone,  in  charge  of  the  children  and 
the  booty.  After  the  women,  it  was  necessary  to  exterminate 
the  hoimds  who  defended  their  masters'  bodies.  Here  again 
the  figures  of  the  historians  are  absurd,  although  they  differ; 
the  most  extravagant  raise  the  niraiber  of  barbarians .  slain  to 
200,000,  and  that  of  the  prisoners  to  80,000,  the  most  moderate 
stop  at  100,000.  In  any  case,  the  carnage  was  great,  for  the 
battle-field,  where  all  these  corpses  rested  without  burial,  rot 
ting  in  the  sim  and  rain,  got  the  name  of  Campi  Putridly  or 
Fields  of  Putrefaction^  a  name  traceable  even  now-a-days  in 
that  of  PourrikreSy  a  neighboring  village. 

As  to  the  booty,  the  Boman  army  with  one  voice  made  a 
free  gift  of  it  to  Marius;  but  he,  remembering  perhaps  what 
had  been  lately  done  by  the  barbarians  after  the  defeat  of  the 
consuls  Manlius  and  Csepio,  determined  to  have  it  all  burned 
in  honor  of  the  gods.  He  had  a  great  sacrifice  prepared.  The 
soldiers,  crowned  with  laurel,  were  ranged  about  the  pyre; 
their  general,  holding  en  hi^h  a  blazing  torch,  was  about  tQ 

46  mSTOBT  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  in. 

apply  the  light  with  his  own  hand,  when  suddenly,  on  the  very 
spot,  whether  hy  design  or  accident,  came  from  Borne  the 
news  that  Marius  had  just  heen  for  the  fifth  time  elected 
consul.  In  the  midst  of  acclamations  from  his  army,  and  with 
a  fresh  chaplet  hound  upon  his  brow,  he  applied  the  torch  in 
person,  and  completed  the  sacrifice. 

Were  we  travelling  in  Provence,  in  the  neighborhood  of  Aix, 
we  should  encoimter,  x>eradventure,  some  peasant  who,  whilst 
pointing  out  to  us  the  smnmit  of  a  hill  whereon,  in  all  prob- 
ability, Marius  offered,  1940  years  ago,  that  glorious  sacrifice, 
would  say  to  us  in  his  native  dialect,  ''  Aqui  ^s  lou  d^oubr^  d6 
la  Vittoria:"  "  There  is  the  temple  of  victory."  There,  indeed, 
was  built,  not  far  from  a  pyramid  erected  in  honor  of  Marius, 
a  Httle  temple  dedicated  to  Victory.  Thither,  every  year,  in 
the  month  of  May,  the  population  used  to  come  and  celebrate 
a  festival  and  light  a  bonfire,  answered  by  other  bonfires  on 
the  neighboring  heights.  When  Gaul  became  Christian, 
neither  monument  nor  festival  perished ;  a  saint  took  the  place 
of  the  goddess,  and  the  temple  of  Victory  became  the  church  of 
St.  Victoire.  There  are  still  ruins  of  it  to  this  day;  the  rehg- 
ious  procession  which  succeeded  the  p£igan  festival  ceased  only 
at  the  first  outburst  of  the  Revolution;  and  the  vague  memory 
of  a  great  national  event  still  mingles  in  popular  tradition  with 
the  legends  of  the  saint. 

The  Ambrons  and  Teutons  beaten,  there  remained  the  Kym- 
rians,  who,  according  to  agreement,  had  repassed  the  Helvetic 
Alps  and  entered  Italy  on  the  north-east,  by  way  of  the  Adige. 
Marius  marched  against  them  in  July  of  the  following  year, 
101  B.  o.  Ignorant  of  what  had  occurred  in  Qaul,  and  possessed, 
as  ever,  with  the  desire  of  a  settlement,  they  again  sent  to  him 
a  deputation,  saying,  ^*Give  us  lands  and  towns  for  us  and 
our  brethren. "  *  *  What  brethren  ?"  asked  Marius.  *  *  The  Teu- 
tons." The  Bomans  who  were  about  Marius  began  to  laugh. 
**Let  your  brethren  be,"  said  Marius;  **they  have  land,  and 
will  always  have  it ;  they  received  it  from  us. "  The  Eymrians, 
perceiving  the  irony  of  his  tone,  burst  out  into  threats,  telling 
Marius  that  he  should  suffer  for  it  at  their  hands  first,  and  after- 
wards at  those  of  the  Teutons  when  they  arrived.  **They  are 
here, "  rejoined  Marius ;  ^ '  you  must  not  depart  without  saluting 
your  brethren;"  and  he  had  Teutobod,  King  of  the  Teutons, 
brought  out  with  other  captive  chieftains.  The  envoys  re- 
ported the  sad  news  in  their  own  camp,  and  three  days  after- 
wards, July  30th,  a  great  battle  took  place  between  the  Eym- 


rians  and  the  Bomans  in  the  Baudine  Plains,  a  large  tract  near 

It  were  unnecessary  to  dwell  on  the  details  of  the  hattle, 
which  resemhled  that  of  Aiz;  hesides,  fought  as  it  was  in  Italy 
and  hy  none  hut  Bomans,  it  has  hut  Httle  to  do  with  the  history 
of  Gaul.  It  has  heen  mentioned  only  to  make  known  the  issue 
of  that  famous  invasion,  of  which  Gaul  was  the  principal 
theatre.  For  a  moment  it  threatened  the  very  existence  of 
the  Boman  Eepuhlic.  The  victories  of  Marius  arrested  the  tor- 
rent, but  did  not  dry  up  its  source.  The  great  movement 
which  drove  from  Asia  to  Europe,  and  from  eastern  to  western 
Europe,  masses  of  roving  populations,  followed  its  course, 
bringing  incessantly  upon  the  Boman  frontiers  new  comers 
and  new  penis.  A  greater  man  than  Marius,  Julius  Caesar  in 
fact,  saw  that  to  effectually  resist  these  clouds  of  barbaric  assail- 
ants, the  coimtry  into  which  they  poured  must  be  conquered 
and  made  Boman.  The  conquest  of  Gaul  was  the  accomplish- 
ment of  that  idea,  and  the  decisive  step  tow^ards  the  transf orma- 
tion  of  the  Boman  republic  into  a  Boman  empire. 



Historians,  ancient  and  modem,  have  attributed  to  the 
Boman  Senate,  from  the  time  of  the  establishment  of  the 
Boman  province  in  Gaul,  a  long-premeditated  design  of  con- 
quering Gaul  altogether.  Others  have  said  that  when  Julius 
Caesar,  in  the  year  of  Borne  696,  got  himself  appointed  procon- 
sul i^  Gaul,  his  single  aim  was  to  form  for  himself  there  an 
an  army  devoted  to  his  person,  of  which  he  might  avail  him- 
self to  satisfy  his  ambition  and  make  himself  master  of  Bome. 
We  should  not  be  too  ready  to  believe  in  these  far-reaching  and 
precise  plans,  conceived  and  settled  so  long  beforehand, 
whether  by  a  senate  or  a  single  man.  Prevision  and  exact 
calculation  do  not  count  for  so  much  in  the  hves  of  govern- 
ments and  of  peoples.  It  is  imexpected  events,  inevitable  sit- 
uations, the  imperious  necessities  of  successive  epochs,  which 
most  often  decide  the  conduct  of  the  greatest  powers  and  the 

48  HI8T0RT  OF  FJ^ANCK  [ch.  iv. 

most  able  politicians.  It  is  after  the  fair,  when  the  course  of 
facts  and  their  consequences  has  received  full  development, 
that,  amidst  their  tranquil  meditations,  annalists  and  histori- 
ans in  their  learned  way,  attribute  everything  to  systematic 
plans  and  personal  calculations  on  the  part  of  the  chief  actors. 
There  is  much  less  of  combination  than  of  momentary  inspira- 
tion, derived  from  circumstances,  in  the  resolutions  and  con- 
duct of  political  chiefs,  kings,  senators,  or  great  men.  From 
the  time  that  discord  and  corruption  had  turned  the  Eoman 
Republic  into  a  bloody  and  tyrannical  anarchy,  the  Eoman 
Senate  no  longer  meditated  grand  designs,  and  its  members 
were  preoccupied  only  with  the  question  of  escaping  or  aveng- 
ing proscriptions.  When  Caesar  procured  for  himself  the  gov- 
ernment for  five  years  of  the  Gauls,  the  fact  was,  that,  not  de- 
siring to  be  a  sanguinary  dictator  like  Scylla,  or  a  gala  chief- 
tain Uke  Pompey,  he  went  and  sought  abroad,  for  his  own 
glory  and  fortune's  sake,  in  a  war  of  general  Eoman  interest, 
the  means  and  chances  of  success  which  were  not  furnished  to 
him  in  Rome  itself  by  the  dogged  and  nionotonous  struggle  of 
the  factions. 

In  spite  of  the  victories  of  Marius,  and  the  destruction  or 
dispersion  of  the  Teutons  and  Cimbrians,  the  whole  of  Gaul  re- 
mained seriously  disturbed  and  threatened.  At  the  north-east, 
in  Belgica,  some  bands  of  other  Teutons,  who  had  begun  to  be 
called  Germans  (men  of  war),  had  passed  over  the  left  bank  of 
the  Rhine,  and  were  settling  or  wandering  there  without  defi- 
nite purpose.  In  eastern  and  central  Gaul,  in  the  valleys  of 
the  Jura  and  Auvergne,  on  the  banks  of  the  Saone,  the  AUier, 
and  the  Doubs,  the  two  great  Gallic  confederations,  that  of  the 
-^duans  and  that  of  the  Arvemians,  were  disputing  the  pre- 
ponderance, and  making  war  one  upon  another,  seeking  the 
aid,  respectively,  of  the  Romans  and  of  the  Germans.  At  the 
foot  of  the  Alps,  the  Httle  nation  of  Allobrogians,  having 
fallen  a  prey  to  civil  dissension,  had  given  up  its  independence 
to  Rome.  Even  in  southern  and  western  Gaul  the  populations 
of  Aquitania  were  rising,  vexing  the  Roman  province,  and 
rendering  necessary,  on  both  sides  of  the  Pyrenees,  the  inter- 
vention of  Roman  legions.  Everywhere  fioods  of  barbaric 
populations  were  pressing  upon  Gaul,  were  carrying  dis- 
quietude even  where  they  had  not  themselves  yet  penetrated, 
and  causing  presentiments  of  a  general  commotion.  The 
danger  burst  before  long  upon  particular  places  and  in  con- 
nection with  particular  names  which  have  remained  historical. 





In  the  war  with  the  confederation  of  the  ^duans,  that  of  the 
Arvemians  called  to  their  aid  the  Gterman  Ariovistus,  chieftain 
of  a  confederation  of  tribes  which,  under  the  name  of  Suevians, 
were  roving  over  the  right  bank  of  the  Ehine,  ready  at  any 
time  to  cross  the  river.  Ariovistus,  with  15,000  warriors  at  his 
back,  was  not  slow  in  responding  to  the  appeal.  The  ^duans 
were  beaten;  and  Ariovistus  settled  amongst  the  Gauls  who 
had  been  thoughtless  enough  to  appeal  to  him.  Numerous 
bands  of  Suevians  came  and  rejoined  him ;  and  in  two  or  three 
years  after  his  victory  he  had  about  him,  it  was  said,  120,000 
warriors.  He  had  appropriated  to  them  a  third  of  the  terri- 
tory of  his  GaUic  allies,  and  he  imperiously  demanded  another 
third  to  satisfy  other  26,000  of  his  old  Gterman  comrades,  who 
asked  to  share  his  booty  and  his  new  country.  One  of  the 
foremost  ^Eduans,  Divitiacus  by  name,  went  and  invoked  the 
succor  of  the  Eoman  people,  the  patrons  of  his  confederation. 
He  was  admitted  to  the  presence  of  the  Senate,  and  invited  to 
be  seated;  but  he  .modestly  declined,  and  standing,  leaning 
upon  his  shield,  he  set  forth  the  sufferings  and  the  claims  of 
his  country.  He  received  kindly  promises,  which  at  first  re- 
mained without  fruit.  He,  however,  remained  at  Eome,  per- 
sistent in  his  solicitations,  and  carrying  on  intercourse  with 
several  Eomans  of  consideration,  notably  with  Cicero,  who 
says  of  him,  **I  knew  Divitiacus,  the  ^duan,  who  claimed 
proficiency  in  that  natural  science  which  the  Greeks  call  phys- 
iology, and  he  predicted  the  future,  either  by  augury  or  his 
own  conjecture."  The  Eoman  Senate,  with  the  indecision  and 
indolence  of  all  declining  powers,  hesitated  to  engage,  for  the 
^duans'  sake,  in  a  war  against  the  invaders  of  a  comer  of 
Gallic  territory.  At  the  same  time  that  they  gave  a  cordial 
welcome  to  Divitiacus,  they  entered  into  negotiations  with 
Ariovistus  himself;  they  gave  him  beautiful  presents,  the  title 
of  King^  and  even  oi  friend;  the  only  demand  they  made  was 
that  he  should  live  peaceably  in  his  new  settlement,  and  not 
lend  his  support  to  tbe  fresh  invasions  of  which  there  were 
symptoms  in  Gaul,  and  which  were  becoming  too  serious  for 
resolutions  not  to  be  taken  to  repel  them. 

A  people  of  Gallic  race,  the  Helvetians,  who  inhabited  pres- 
ent Switzerland,  where  the  old  name  still  abides  beside  the 
modem,  found  themselves,  incessantly  threatened,  ravaged, 
and  invaded  by  the  German  tribes  which  pressed  upon  their 
frontiers.  After  some  years  of  perplexity  and  internal  dis- 
cord, the  whole  Helvetic  nation  decided  upon  abandoning  its 

50  UlSTOBT  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  iv. 

territory,  and  going  to  seek  in  Gaul,  westward,  it  is  said,  on 
the  borders  of  the  ocean,  a  more  tranquil  settlement.  Being 
informed  of  this  design,  the  Roman  Senate  and  Caesar,  at  that 
time  consul,  resolved  to  protect  the  Boman  province  and  their 
Gallic  alHes,  the  JSduans,  against  this  inimdation  of  roving 
neighbors.  The  Helvetians  none  the  less  persisted  in  their 
plan;  and  in  the  spring  of  the  year  of  Rome  696  (58  B.o.)  they 
committed  to  the  flames,  in  the  country  they  were  about  to 
leave,  twelve  towns,  four  himdred  villages,  and  all  their 
houses;  loaded  their  cars  with  provisions  for  three  months, 
and  agreed  to  meet  at  the  southern  point  of  the  Lake  of 
Geneva.  They  found  on  their  reimion,  says  Caesar,  a  total  of 
368,000  emigrants,  including  92,000  men-at-arms.  The  Switzer- 
land which  they  abandoned  numbers  now  2, 500, 000  inhabitants. 
But  when  the  Helvetians  would  have  entered  Gaul,  they  f oimd 
there  Caesar,  who,  after  having  got  himself  appointed  pro- 
consul for  five  years,  had  arrived  suddenly  at  Geneva,  pre- 
pared to  forbid  their  passage.  They  sent  to  him  a  deputation, 
to  ask  leave,  they  said,  merely  to  traverse  the  Roman  prov- 
ince without  causing  the  least  damage.  Caesar  knew  as  well 
how  to  gain  time  as  not  to  lose  any ;  he  was  not  ready,  so  he 
put  off  the  Helvetians  to  a  second  conference.  In  the  interval 
he  employed  his  legionaries,  who  could  work  as  well  as  fight, 
in  erecting  upon  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhone  a  wall  sixteen  feet 
high  and  ten  miles  long,  which  rendered  the  passage  of  the 
river  very  difl3.cult,  and,  on  the  return  of  the  Helvetian  en- 
voys, he  formally  forbade  them  to  pass  by  the  road  they  had 
proposed  to  f oUow.  They  attempted  to  take  another,  and  to 
cross  not  the  Rhone  but  the  Saone,  and  march  thence  towards 
western  Gaul.  But  whilst  they  were  arranging  for  the  execu- 
tien  of  this  movement,  Caesar,  who  had  up  to  that  time  only 
four  legions  at  his  disposal,  returned  to  Italy,  brought  away 
five  fresh  legions,  and  arrived  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Saone  at 
the  moment  when  the  rear-guard  of  the  Helvetians  was  em- 
barking to  rejoin  the  main  body  which  had  already  pitched  its 
camp  on  the  right  bank.  Caesar  cut  to  pieces  this  rear-guard, 
crossed  the  river,  in  his  turn,  with  his  legions,  pursued  the 
emigrants  without  relaxation,  came  in  contact  with  them  on 
several  occasions,  at  one  time  attacking  them  or  repelling  their 
attacks,  at  another  receiving  and  giving  audience  to  their  en- 
voys without  ever  consenting  to  treat  with  them,  and  before 
the  end  of  the  year  he  had  so  completely  beaten,  decimated, 
dispersed  and  driven  them  back,  that  of  368,000  Helvetians 


who  had  entered  Graul,  but  110,000  escaped  from  the  Romans, 
and  were  enabled,  by  flight,  to  regain  their  country. 

.£duans,  Sequanians,  or  Arvemians,  €tll  the  Gauls  interested 
in  the  struggle  thus  terminated,  were  eager  to  congratulate 
Caesar  upon  his  victory;  but  if  they  were  dehvered  from  the 
invasion  of  the  Helvetians,  another  scourge  f  eU  heavily  upon 
them ;  Ariovistus  and  the  Germans,  who  were  settled  upon  their 
territory,  oppressed  them  cruelly,  and  day  by  day  fresh  bands 
were  continually  coming  to  aggravate  the  evil  and  the  danger. 
They  adjured  Caesar  to  protect  them  from  these  swarms  of 
barbarians.  *'In  a  few  years,'*  said  they,  ''all  the  Germans 
will  have  crossed  the  Bhine,  and  €tll  the  Gauls  will  be  driven 
from  Gaul,  for  the  soil  of  Germany  cannot  compare  with  that 
of  Gaul,  any  more  than  the  mode  of  life.  If  Caesar  and  the 
Eoman  people  refuse  to  aid  us,  there  is  nothing  left  for  us  but 
to  abandon  our  lands,  as  the  Helvetians  would  have  done  in 
their  case,  and  go  seek,  afor,  from  the  Germans,  another 
dwelling-place."  Caesar,  touched  by  so  prompt  an  appeal  to 
the  power  of  his  name  and  fame,  gave  ear  to  the  prayer  of  the 
Gkiuls.  But  he  was  for  trying  negotiation  before  war.  He 
proposed  to  Ariovistus  an  interview  ''at  which  they  might 
treat  in  common  of  affairs  of  importance  for  both."  Ario- 
vistus rephed  that  "  if  he  wanted  anything  of  Caesar,  he  would 
go  in  search  of  him;  if  Caesar  had  business  with  him,  it  was 
for  Caesar  to  come."  Caesar  thereupon  conveyed  to  him  by 
messenger  his  express  injunctions,  "  not  to  summon  any  more 
from  the  borders  of  the  Rhine  fresh  multitudes  of  men,  and  to 
cease  from  vexing  the  JBiduans  and  making  war  on  them,  them 
and  their  allies.  Otherwise,  Caesar  would  not  fail  to  avenge 
their  wrongs."  Ariovistus  replied  that  "he  had  conquered 
the  JSduans.  The  Boman  i>eople  were  in  the  habit  of  treating 
the  vanquished  after  their  owii  pleasure,  and  not  the  advice  of 
another;  he  too,  himself,  had  the  same  right.  Caesar  said  he 
would  avenge  the  wrongs  of  the  .Jkluans ;  but  no  one  had  ever 
attacked  him  with  impunity.  If  Caesar  would  Uke  to  try  it, 
let  him  come;  he  would  learn  what  could  be  done  by  the 
bravery  of  the  Germans,  who  were  as  yet  unbeaten,  who  were 
trained  to  arms,  who  for  fourteen  years  had  not  slept  beneath 
a  roof."  At  the  moment  he  received  this  answer  Caesar  had 
just  heard  that  fresh  bands  of  Suevians  were  encamped  on  the 
right  bank  of  the  Bhine,  ready  to  cross,  and  that  Ariovistus 
with  all  his  forces  was  making  towards  Vesontio  (Besangon), 
fhe  chief  towp  pf  t)ie  Pequanians.    Caesar  forthwith  put  Wm- 

B2  'HISTORT  OF  FRANCS.  [ch.  nr. 

self  in  motion,  occupied  Vesontdo,  established  there  a  strong 
garrison,  and  made  his  arrangements  for  issuing  from  it  with 
his  legions  to  go  and  anticipate  the  attack  of  Ariovistus.  Then 
came  to  him  word  that  no  little  disquietude  was  showing  itself 
among  the  Boman  troops ;  that  many  soldiers  and  even  officers 
appeared  anxious  about  the  struggle  with  the  Germans,  their 
ferocity,  the  vast  forests  that  must  be  traversed  to  reach  them, 
the  difficult  roads,  and  the  transport  of  provisions;  there  was 
an  apprehension  of  broken  courage,  and  perchance  .of  numer- 
ous desertions.  Csesar  summoned  a  great  council  of  war,  to 
which  he  called  the  chief  officers  of  his  legions;  he  complained 
bitterly  of  their  alarm,  recalled  to  their  memory  their  recent 
success  against  the  Helvetians,  and  scoffed  at  the  rumors 
spread  about  the  Germans,  and  at  the  doubts  with  which  there 
was  an  attempt  to  inspire  him  about  the  fidelity  and  obedience 
of  his  troops.  **  An  army,"  said  he,  "  disobeys  only  the  com- 
mander who  leads  them  badly  and  has  no  good  fortune,  or  is 
foimd  guilty  of  cupidity  and  malversation.  My  whole  life  shows 
my  Integrity,  and  the  war  against  the  Helvetians  my  good 
fortune.  I  shall  order  forthwith  the  departure  I  had  intended 
to  put  off.  I  shall  strike  the  camp  the  very  next  night,  at  the 
fourth  watch;  I  wish  to  see  as  soon  as  possible  whether  honor 
and  duty  or  fea;r  prevail  in  your  ranks.  If  there  be  any  re- 
fusal to  f  oUow  me,  I  shall  march  with  only  the  tenth  legion,  of 
which  I  have  no  doubt;  that  shall  be  my  praetorian  cohort." 

The  cheers  of  the  troops,  officers  and  men,  were  the  answer 
given  to  the  reproaches  and  hopes  of  their  general;  all  hesita- 
tion passed  away;  and  Caesar  set  out  with  his  army.  He 
fetched  a  considerable  compass,  to  spare  them  the  passage  of 
thick  forests,  and,  after  a  seven  days'  march,  arrived  at  a 
short  distance  from  the  camp  of  Ariovistus.  On  learning  that 
Cesesar  was  already  so  near,  the  German  sent  to  him  a  mes- 
senger with  proposals  for  the  interview  which  was  but  lately 
demanded,  and  to  which  there  was  no  longer  any  obstacle, 
since  Caesar  had  himself  arrived  upon  the  spot.  And  the  in- 
terview really  took  place,  with  mutual  precautions  for  safety 
and  warlike  dignity.  Caesar  repeated  all  the  demands  he  had 
made  upon  Ariovistus,  who,  in  his  turn,  maintained  his  re- 
fusal, asking,  ''What  was  wanted?  Why  had  foot  been  set 
upon  his  lands?  That  part  of  Gaul  was  Mb  province,  just  as 
the  other  was  the  Roman  province.  If  Caesar  did  not  retire, 
tmd  withdraw  his  troops,  he  should  consider  him  no  more  a 
friend  but  an  enemy.    He  knew  that  if  he  were  to  slay  Caesar, 

Ctt.  iv.l     GAUL  COSqxTBBBD  BY  JULIUS  CjSSAR  fig 

he  would  recommend  himself  to  many  noblee  and  chiefs 
amongst  the  Roman  people;  he  had  learned  as  much  from 
their  own  envoys.  But  if  Caesar  retired  and  left  >iiTn,  Ariovis- 
tusy  in  free  possession  of  Graul,  he  would  pay  liberally  in  re- 
turn, and  would  wage  on  Caesar's  behalf  without  trouble  or 
danger  to  him,  any  wars  he  might  desire."  During  this  inter- 
view it  is  probable  that  Caesar  siniled  more  than  once  at  the 
boldness  and  shrewdness  of  the  barbarian.  Ultimately  some 
horsemen  in  the  escort  of  Ariovistus  began  to  caracole  towards 
the  Bomans,  and  to  hurl  at  them  stones  and  darts.  Caesar  or- 
dered his  men  to  make  no  reprisals,  and  broke  off  the  confer- 
ence. The  next  day  but  one  Ariovistus  proposed  a  renewal; 
but  Caesar  refused,  having  decided  to  bring  the  quarrel  to  an 
issue.  Several  days  in  succession  he  led  out  his  legions  from 
their  camp,  and  offered  battle ;  but  Ariovistus  remained  within 
his  lines.  Caesar  then  took  the  resolution  of  assailing  the 
Grerman  camp.  At  his  approach,  the  Germans  at  length 
moved  out  from  their  entrenchments,  arrayed  by  peoplets, 
and  defiling  in  front  of  cars  filled  with  their  women,  who  im- 
plored them  with  tears  not  to  deliver  them  in  slavery  to  the 
Bomans.  The  struggle  was  obstinate,  and  not  without  mo- 
ments of  anxiety  and  partial  check  for  the  Bomans;  but  the 
genius  of  Caesar  and  strict  discipline  of  the  legions  carried  the 
day.  The  rout  of  the  Germans  was  complete ;  they  fied  towards 
the  Bhine,  which  was  only  a  few  leagues  from  the  field  of  bat- 
tle. Ariovistus  himself  was  amongst  the  fugitives;  he  found 
a  boat  by  the  river-side,  and  re-crossed  into  Germany,  where 
he  died  shortly  afterwards,  '^to  the  great  grief  of  the  Ger- 
mans,'' says  Caesar.  The  Suevian  bands,  who  were  awaiting 
on  the  right  baiik  the  result  of  the  struggle,  plunged  back 
.  again  within  their  own  territory.  And  so  the  invasion  of  the 
Germans  was  stopped  as  the  emigration  of  the  Helvetians  had 
been ;  and  Caesar  had  only  to  conquer  Gaul. 

It  is  uncertain  whether  he  had  from  the  very  first  deter- 
mined the  whole  plan ;  but  so  soon  as  he  set  seriously  to  work, 
he  felt  all  the  difficulties.  The  expulsion  of  the  Helvetian 
emigrants  and  of  the  German  invaders  left  the  Bomans  and 
Gauls  alone  face  to  face;  and  from  that  moment  the  Bomans 
were,  in  the  eyes  of  the  Gauls,  foreigners,  conquerors,  op- 
pressors. Their  deeds  aggravated  day  by  day  the  feelings 
excited  by  the  situation;  they  did  not  ravage  the  country  as 
the  Germans  had  done;  they  did  not  appropriate  such  and 
such  a  piece  of  land;  but  every  where  they  assumed  the 

54  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [CH.  nr. 

mastery:  they  laid  heavy  burdens  upon  the  population;  they 
removed  the  rightful  chieftains  who  were  opposed  to  them, 
and  forcibly  placed  or  maintained  in  power  those  only  who 
were  subservient  to  them.  Independently  of  the  Eoman  em- 
pire, CsBsar  established  every  where  his  own  personal  infiu* 
ence;  by  turns  gentle  or  severe,  caressing  or  threatening,  he 
sought  and  created  for  himself  partisans  amongst  the  Gauls, 
as  he  had  amongst  his  army,  showing  favor  to  those  only 
whose  devotion  was  assured  to  him.  To  national  antipathy 
towards  foreigners  must  be  added  the  intrigues  and  personal 
rivalry  of  the  conquered  in  their  relations  with  the  conqueror. 
Conspiracies  were  hatched,  insurrections  soon  broke  out  in 
nearly  every  part  of  Gaul,  in  the  heart  even  of  the  peoplets 
most  subject  to  Roman  dominion.  Every  movement  of  the 
kind  was  for  Caasar  a  provocation,  a  temptation,  almost  an 
obligation  to  conquest.  He  accepted  them  and  profited  by 
them,  with  that  promptitude  in  resolution,  boldness  and  ad- 
dress in  execution,  and  cool  indifference  as  to  the  means  em- 
ployed, which  were  characteristic  of  his  genius.  During  nine 
years,  from  a.u.o.  696  to  705,  and  in  eight  successive  campaigns, 
he  carried  his  troops,  bis  lieutenants,  himself,  and,  ere  long, 
war  or  negotiation,  corruption,  discord,  or  destruction  in  his 
path,  amongst  the  different  nations  and  confederations  of  Gaul, 
Celtic,  Kymric,  Grermanic,  Iberian  or  Hybrid,  northward  and 
eastward,  in  Belgica,  between  the  Seine  and  the  Bhine ;  west- 
ward, in  Armorica,  on  the  borders  of  the  Ocean;  south-west- 
ward, in  Aquitania;  centre-ward,  amongst  the  peoplets  estab- 
Hshed  between  the  Seine,  the  Loire,  and  the  Sa6ne.  He  was 
nearly  always  victorious,  and  then  at  one  time  he  pushed  his 
victory  to  the  bitter  end,  at  another  stopped  at  the  right  mo- 
ment, that  it  might  not  be  compromised.  When  he  experienced 
reverses,  he  bore  them  without  repining,  and  repaired  them 
with  inexhaustible  ability  and  courage.  More  than  once,  to 
revive  the  sinking  spirits  of  his  men,  he  was  rashly  lavish  of 
his  person ;  and  on  one  of  those  occasions,  at  the  raising  of  the 
siege  of  Gtergovia,  he  was  all  but  taken  by  some-  Arvemian 
horsemen,  and  left  his  sword  in  their  hands.  It  was  found,  a 
while  afterwards,  when  the  war  was  over,  in  a  temple  in  which 
the  Gauls  had  hung  it.  Caesar's  soldiers  would  have  torn  it 
down,  and  returned  it  to  him;  but  **let  it  be,"  said  he,  "'tis 
sanctified."  In  good  or  evil  fortune,  the  hero  of  a  triumph  at 
Eome  or  a  prisoner  in  the  hands  of  Mediterranean  pirates,  he 
wias  unrivalled  in  striking  the  imaginations  of  men  and  grow- 


ing  great  in  their  eyes.  He  did  not  confine  himself  to  con- 
quering and  suhjecting  the  Gauls  in  Gaul;  his  ideas  were  ever 
outstripping  his  deeds,  and  he  knew  how  to  make  his  power 
felt  even  where  he  had  made  no  attempt  to  establish  it.  Twice 
he  crossed  the  Rhine  to  hurl  back  the  Germans  beyond  their 
river,  and  to  strike  to  the  very  hearts  of  their  forests  the  terror 
of  the  Boman  name  (a.u.c.  699,  700).  He  equipped  two  fleets, 
made  two  descents  on  Great  Britain  (a.u.o.  699,  700),  several 
times  defeated  the  Britons  and  their  principal  chieftain  Cas- 
wallon  (Cassivellaunus),  and  set  up,  across  the  channel,  the 
first  land-marks  of  Boman  conquest.  He  thus  became  more 
and  more  famous  and  terrible,  both  in  Gaul,  whence  he  some- 
times departed  for  a  moment,  to  go  and  look  after  his  political 
prospects  in  Italy,  and  in  more  distant  lands,  where  he  was 
but  an  apparition. 

But  the  greatest  minds  are  far  from  foreseeing  all  the  conse- 
quences of  their  deeds,  and  all  the  perils  proceeding  from  their 
successes.  Caesar  was  by  nature  neither  violent  nor  cruel ;  but 
he  did  not  trouble  himself  about  justice  or  humanity,  and  the 
success  of  his  enterprises,  no  matter  by  what  means  or  at  what 
price,  was  his  sole  law  of  conduct.  He  could  show,  on  occa- 
sion, moderation  and  mercy ;  but  when  he  had  to  put  down  an 
obstinate  resistance,  or  when  a  long  and  arduous  effort  had 
irritated  him,  he  had  no  hesitation  in  employing  atrocious 
severity  and  perfidious  promises.  During  his  first  campaign 
in  Belgica  (a.u.o.  697  and  57  B.b.),  two  peoplets,  the  Nervians 
and  the  Aduaticans,  had  gallantly  struggled,  with  brief  mo- 
ments of  success,  against  the  Roman  legions.  The  Nervians 
were  conquered  and  almost  annihilated.  Their  last  remnants, 
huddled  for  refuge  in  the  midst  of  their  morasses,  sent  a  depu- 
tation to  Csesar,  to  make  dubmission,  saying,  **  Of  six  hundred 
senators  three  only  are  left,  and  of  sixty  thousand  men  that 
bore  arms  scarce  five  hundred  have  escaped."  Caesar  received 
them  kindly,  returiied  to  them  their  lands,  and  warned  their 
neighbors  to  do  them  no  harm.  The  Aduaticans,  on  the  con- 
trary, defended  themselves  to  the  last  extremity.  Caesar, 
having  slain  four  thousand,  had  all  that  remained  sold  by 
auction;  and  fifty-six  thousand  human  beings,  according  to 
his  own  statement,  passed  as  slaves  into  the  hands  of  their 
purchasers.  Some  years  later,  another  Belgian  peoplet,  the 
Eburons,  settled  between  the  Meuse  and  the  Rhine,  rose  and 
inflicted  great  losses  upon  the  Roman  legions.  Caesar  put 
them  beyond  the  pale  of  military  and  human  law^  and  had  all 

66  BISTORT  OF  FRANCS,  [cB.  iv. 

the  neighboring  peoplets  and  all  the  roving  bands  invited  to 
come  and  pillage  and  destroy  ''that  accursed  race,"  promising 
to  whoever  would  join  in  the  work  the  friendship  of  the  Eoman 
people.  A  little  later  still,  some  insurgents  in  the  centre  of 
Gaul  had  concentrated  in  a  place  to  the  south-west,  called 
UxeUodunum  (now-a-days,  it  is  said,  Puy  d'Issola,  in  the  de- 
partment of  the  Lot,  between  Yayrac  and  Martel).  After  a 
long  resistance  they  were  obliged  to  surrender,  and  CsBsar  had 
all  the  combatants'  hands  cut  off,  and  sent  them,  thus  muti- 
lated, to  live  and  rove  throughout  Gaul,  as  a  spectacle  to  all 
the  country  that  was  or  was  to  be  brought  to  submission.  Nor 
were  the  rigors  of  administration  less  than  those  of  warfare. 
CsBsar  wanted  a  great  deal  of  money,  not  only  to  maintarn 
satisfactonly  his  troops  in  Gaul,  but  to  defray  the  enormous 
expenses  he  was  at  in  Italy,  for  the  purpose  of  enriching  his 
partisans,  or  secunng  the  favor  of  the  Roman  people.  It  was 
with  the  produce  of  imposts  and  plunder  in  Gaul  that  he  un- 
dertook the  reconstruction  at  Rome  of  the  basilica  of  the  Forum, 
the  site  whereof,  extending  to  the  temple  of  Liberty,  was  valued, 
it  is  said,  at  more  than  twenty  million  five  hundred  thousand 
francs  (820,000Z.).  Cicero,  who  took  the  direction  of  the  works, 
wrote  to  his  friend  Atticus,  **  We  shall  make  it  the  most  glor- 
ious thing  in  the  world."  Cato  was  less  satisfied;  three  years 
previously  despatches  from  Caesar  had  announced  to  the  Senate 
his  victories  over  the  Belgian  and  Gterman  insurgents.  The 
Senators  had  voted  a  general  thanksgiving,  but  ''Thanks-' 
giving  I"  cried  Cato,  "rather  expiation!  Pray  the  gods  not  to 
visit  upon  our  armies  the  sin  of  a  guilty  general.  Give  up 
CsBsar  to  the  Germans,  and  let  the  foreigner  know  that  Rome 
does  not  enjoin  perjury,  and  rejects  with  horror  the  fruit 

Csesar  had  all  the  gifts,  all  the  means  of  success  and  empire, 
that  can  be  possessed  by  man.  He  was  great  in  politics  and  in 
war;  as  active  and  as  full  of  resource  amidst  the  intrigues  of 
the  Forum  as  amidst  the  combinations  and  surprises  of  the 
battle-field;  equally  able  to  please  and  to  terrify.  He  had  a 
double  pride,  which  gave  him  double  confidence  in  himself, 
the  pride  of  a  great  noble  and  the  pride  of  a  great  man.  He 
was  fond  of  saying,  "My  aunt  Julia  is,  maternally,  the  daugh- 
ter of  kings;  paternally,  she  is  descended  from  the  immortal 
gods;  my  family  unites,  to  the!  sacred  character  of  kings  who 
are  the  most  powerful  amongst  men^  the  awful  majesty  of  the 
gods  who  have  even  kings  in  their  keeping."    Thus,  by  birth 

CH.  IV.]      GAm  CONQtTERED  BY  JULWS  Cj^SAR  St 

as  well  as  nature,  Caesar  felt  called  to  dominion;  and,  at  the 
same  time,  he  was  perfectly  aware  of  the  decadence  of  the 
Eoman  patriciate,  and  of  the  necessity  for  being  popular  in 
order  to  become  master.  With  this  double  instinct  he  under- 
took the  conquest  of  the  Gauls  as  the  surest  means  of  achieving 
conquest  at  Bome.  But  owing  either  to  his  own  vices  or  to 
the  difficulties  of  the  situation,  he  displayed  in  his  conduct 
and  his  work  in  Gaul  so  much  violence  and  oppression,  so 
much  iniquity  and  cruel  indifference,  that,  even  at  that  time, 
in  the  midst  of  Eoman  harshness,  pagan  corruption,  and  Gallic 
or  Grerman  barbarism,  so  great  an  infliction  of  moraJ  and  ma- 
terial harm  could  not  but  be  followed  by  a  formidable  reaction. 
Where  there  is  strength  and  ability,  the  want  of  foresight,  the 
fears,  the  weaknesses,  the  dissensions  of  men,  whether  indi- 
viduals or  peoples,  may  be  for  a  long  while  calculated  upon ; 
but  it  may  be  carried  too  far.  After  six  years'  struggling 
Caesar  was  victor;  he  had  successively  dealt  with  all  the 
different  populations  of  Gaul ;  he  had  passed  through  and  sub- 
jected them  all,  either  by  his  own  strong  arm,  or  thanks  to 
their  rivalries.  In  the  year  of  Eome  702  he  was  suddenly  in- 
formed in  Italy,  whither  he  had  gone  on  his  Boman  business, 
that  most  of  the  Gallic  nations,  united  imder  a  chieftain 
hitherto  unknown,  were  rising  with  one  common  impulse,  and 
reconmiencing  war. 

The  same  perils  and  the  same  reverses,  the  same  sufferings 
and  the  same  resentments,  had  stirred  up  amongst  the  Gauls, 
without  distinction  of  race  and  name,  a  sentiment  to  which 
they  had  hitherto  been  almost  strangers,  the  sentiment  of 
Grallic  nationality  and  the  passion  for  independence,  not  local 
any  longer,  but  national.  This  sentiment  was  first  manifested 
amongst  the  populace  and  under  obscure  chieftains;  a  band  of 
Camutian  peasants  (people  of  Chartrain)  rushed  upon  the  town 
of  G^nabum  (Gien),  roused  the  inhabitants,  and  massacred  the 
Italian  traders  and  a  Boman  knight,  C.  Fusius  Cita,  whom 
Caesar  had  commissioned  to  buy  com  there.  In  less  than 
twenty-four  hours  the  signal  of  insurrection  against  Bome  was 
bome  across  the  country  as  far  as  the  Arvemians,  amongst 
whom  conspiracy  had  long  ago  been  waiting  and  paving  the 
way  for  insurrection.  Amongst  them  lived  a  yoimg  Gaul 
whose  real  name  has  remained  unknown,  and  whom  history 
has  called  Verdngetorix,  that  is,  chief  over  a  hundred  heads, 
chief -in-general.  He  cams  of  an  ancient  and  powerful  family 
of  Arvemians,  and  his  father  had  been  put  to  death  in  his  own 

58  mSTOET  OF  FRANCE,  [oh.  vr. 

city  for  attempting  to  make  himself  king.  Caesar  knew  him, 
and  had  taken  some  pains  to  attach  him  to  himself.  It  does 
not  appear  that  the  Arvemian  aristocrat  had  absolutely  de- 
clined the  overtures ;  but  when  l^he  hope  of  national  independ- 
ence was  aroused,  Vercingetorix  was  its  representative  and 
chief.  He  descended  with  his  followers  from  the  moimtain, 
and  seized  Gergovia,  the  capital  of  his  nation.  Thence  his 
messengers  spread  over  the  centre,  north-west,  and  west  of 
Gaul;  the  greater  part  of  the  peoplets  and  cities  of  those 
regions  pronoimced  from  the  first  moment  for  insurrection; 
the  same  sentiment  was  working  amongst  others  more  com- 
promised with  Home,  who  waited  only  for  a  breath  of  success 
to  break  out.  Vercingetorix  was  immediately  invested  with 
the  chief  command,  and  he  made  use  of  it  with  -all  the  passion 
engendered  by  patriotism  and  the  possession  of  power;  he 
regulated  the  movement,  demanded  hostages,  fixed  the  con- 
tingents of  troops,  imposed.taxes,  infiicted  summary  punish- 
ment on  the  traitors,  the  dastards,  and  the  indifferent,  and 
subjected  those  who  turned  a  deaf  ear  to  the  appeal  of  their 
common  covmtry  to  the  same  pains  and  the  same  mutilations 
that  Caesar  inflicted  on  those  who  obstinately  resisted  the 
Roman  yoke. 

At  the  news  of  this  great  movement  Caesar  immediately  left 
Italy,  and  returned  to  Gaul.  He  had  one  quality,  rare  even 
amongst  the  greatest  men,  he  remained  cool  amidst  the  very 
hottest  alarm;  necessity  never  hurried  him  into  precipi- 
tation, and  he  prepared  for  the  struggle  as  if  he  were  always 
sure  of  arriving  on  the  spot  in  time  to  sustain  it.  He  was 
always  quick,  but  never  hasty ;  and  his  activity  and  patience 
were  equally  admirable  and  efficacious.  Starting  from  Italy 
at  the  beginningof  702  A.U.C.,  he  passed  two  months  in  trav- 
ersing within  Gaul  the  Roman  province  and  its  neighborhood, 
in  visiting  the  points  threatened  by  the  insurrection,  and  the 
openings  by  which  he  might  get  at  it,  in  assembling  his  troops, 
in  confirming  his  wavering  allies ;  and  it  was  not  before  the 
early  part  of  March  that  he  moved  with  his  whole  army  to 
Agendicum  (Sens),  the  very  centre  of  revolt,  and  started  thence 
to  push  on  the  war  with  vigor.  In  less  than  three  months  he 
had  spread  devastation  throughout  the  insurgent  country; 
he  had  attacked  and  taken  its  principal  cities,  VeUaimodunmn 
(Trigu^res),  G^nabum  (Gien),  Noviodunum  (Sancerre),  and 
Avaricmn  (Bourges),  delivering  up  every  where  covmtry  and 
city,  lands  and  inhabitants,  to  the  rage  of  the  Roman  soldiery. 


maddened  at  having  again  to  conquer  enemies  so  often  con- 
quered. To  strike  a  decisive  blow,  he  penetrated  at  last  to  the 
heart  of  the  country  of  the  Arvemians,  and  laid  siege  to 
Gergovia,  their  capital  and  the  birthplace  of  Vercingetorix. 

The  firmness  and  the  ability  of  the  Qallic  chieftain  were  not 
inferior  to  such  a  struggle.  He  understood  from  the  outset 
that  he  could  not  cope  in  the  open  field  with  Caesar  and  the 
Roman  legions;  he  therefore  exerted  himself  in  getting  to- 
gether a  body  of  cavalry  numerous  enough  to  harass  the 
Romans  during  their  movements,  to  attack  their  scattered 
detachments,  to  bear  his  orders  swiftly  to  all  quarters,  and  to 
keep  up  the  excitement  amongst  the  different  peoplets  with 
some  hope  of  success.  His  plan  of  campaign,  his  repeated  in- 
structions, his  passionate  entreaties  to  the  confederates  were 
to  avoid  any  general  action,  to  anticipate  by  their  own  ravages 
those  of  the  Romans,  to  destroy  every  where,  at  the  approach 
of  the  enemy,  stores,  springs,  bridges,  trees,  and  habitations: 
he  wanted  Caesar  to  find  in  his  front  nothing  but  ruins  and 
clouds  of  warriors  relentless  in  pursuing  him  without  getting 
within  reach.  Frequently  he  succeeded  in  obtaining  from  the 
people  those  painful  sacrifices  in  the  interest  of  the  common 
safety ;  as  when  the  Biturigians  (inhabitants  of  the  district  of 
Bourges)  burned  jn  one  day  twenty  of  their  towns  or  villages. 
Vercingetorix  adjured  them  also  to  bum  Avaricum  (Bourges), 
their  capital;  but  they  refused,  and  the  capture  of  Avaricum, 
though  gallantly  defended,  justified  the  urgency  of  Ver- 
cingetorix, seeing  that  it  was  an  important  success  for  Caesar 
and  a  serious  blow  for  the  Gb.uls.  Out  of  40,000  combatants 
within  the  walls,  it  is  said,  scarcely  800  escaped  the  slaughter 
and  succeeded  in  joining  Vercingetorix,  who  had  hovered  con- 
tinually in  the  neighborhood  without  being  able  to  offer  the 
besieged  any  effectual  assistance.  Nor  was  it  only  against  the 
Romans  that  he  had  to  struggle;  he  had  to  fight  amongst  his 
own  people,  against  rivalry,  mistrust,  impatience,  and  dis- 
couragement; he  was  accused  of  desiring,  beyond  every 
thing,  the  mastery;  he  was  even  suspected  of  keeping  up,  with 
the  view  of  cissuring  his  own  future,  secret  relations  with 
Caesar;  he  was  called  ui>on  to  attack  the  enemy  in  front,  and 
so  bring  the  war  to  a  decisive  issue.  It  is  all  very  fine  to  be 
summoned  by  the  popular  voice  to  accomplish  a  great  and 
arduous  work;  but  you  cannot  be,  with  impunity,  the  most 
far-sifted,  the  most  able,  and  the  most  in  danger,  because  the 
most  devoted.    Vercingetorix  was  bearing  the  burden  of  his 

60  msTOBY  OP  fRANCBl,  [ca.  rr. 

superiority  and  influence,  untU  he  should  suffei"  the  penalty 
and  pay  with  his  hf e  for  his  patriotism  and  his  glory.  He  was 
approaching  the  happiest  moment  of  his  enterprise  and  his 
destiny.  In  spite  of  reverses,  in  spite  of  Caesar's  presence  and 
activity,  the  insurrection  was  gaining  ground  and  strength;  in 
the  north,  west,  and  south-west,  on  the  banks  of  the  Ehine, 
the  Seine,  and  the  Loire,  the  idea  of  Gallic  nationality  and  the 
hope  of  independence  was  spreading  amongst  people  far 
removed  from  the  centre  of  the  movement,  and  were  bringing 
to  Vercingetorix  declarations  of  sympathy  or  material  rein- 
forcements. An  event  of  more  importance  took  place  in  the 
centre  itself.  The  ^duans,  the  most  ancient  allies  and  clients 
the  Eomans  had  in  Gaul,  being  divided  amongst  themselves, 
and  feehng,  besides,  the  national  instinct,  ended,  after  much 
hesitation,  by  taking  part  in  the  uprising*  Csesar,  for  all  his 
care,  could  neither  prevent  nor  stifle  this  defection,  which 
threatened  to  become  contagious,  and  detach  from  Eome  the 
neighboring  peoplets  that  were  still  faithful.  Caesar,  engaged 
upon  the  siege  of  Gergovia,  encoimtered  an  obstinate  resist- 
ance ;  whilst  Vercingetorix,  encamped  on  the  heights  which  sur- 
roimded  his  birthplace,  every  where  embarrassed,  sometimes 
attacked,  and  incessantly  threatened  the  Eomans.  The  eighth 
legion,  drawn  on  one  day  to  make  an  imprudent  assault,  was 
repulsed,  and  lost  forty-six  of  its  bravest  centurions.  Caesar 
determined  to  raise  the  siege,  and  to  transfer  the  struggle  to 
places  where  the  population  could  be  more  safely  depended 
ui)on.  It  was  the  first  decisive  check  he  had  experienced  in 
Gaul,  the  first  Gallic  town  that  he  had  been  unable  to  take, 
the  first  retrograde  movement  he  had  executed  in  the  face  of 
the  Gallic  insurgents  and  their  chieftain.  Vercingetorix  could 
not  and  would  not  restrain  his  joy;  it  seemed  to  him  that 
the  day  had  dawned  and  an  excellent  chance  arrived  for  at- 
tempting a  decisive  blow.  He  had  under  his  orders,  it  is  said, 
80,000  men,  mostly  his  own  Arvemians,  and  a  numerous  cav- 
alry furnished  by  the  different  peoplets  his  allies.  He  followed 
all  Caesar's  movements  in  retreat  towards  the  Saone,  and, 
on  arriving  at  Longeau  not  far  from  Langres,  near  a 
little  river  called  the  Vingeanne,  he  halted,  pitched  his  camp 
about  nine  miles  from  the  Eomans,  and  assembling  the  chie&t 
of  his  cavalry,  said,  "Now  is  the  hour  of  victory;  the  Eomans 
are  flying  to  their  province  and  leaving  Gaul;  that  is  enough 
for  our  hberty  to-day,  but  too  little  for  the  peace  and  repose 
of  the  future;  for  they  will  return  with  greater  armies,  and 


the  war  will  be  without  end.  Attack  we  them  amid  the  diffi- 
culties of  their  march;  if  their  foot  support  the  cavalry,  they 
will  not  be  able  to  pursue  their  route;  if,  as  I  fully  trust,  they 
leave  their  baggage,  to  provide  for  their  safety,  they  will  lose 
both  their  honor  and  the  supplies  whereof  they  have  need. 
None  of  the  enemy's  horse  will  dare  to  come  forth  from  their 
lines.  To  give  ye  courage  and  aid,  I  will  order  forth  from  the 
camp  and  place  in  battle-€UTay  all  our  troops,  and  they  will 
strike  the  enemy  with  terror."  The  Gallic  horsemen  cried  out 
that  they  must  all  bind  themselves  by  the  most  sacred  of 
oaths,  and  swear  that  none  of  them  would  come  again  under 
roof,  or  see  again  wife,  or  children,  or  parent,  unless  he  had 
twice  pierced  through  the  ranks  of  the  enemy.  And  all  did 
take  this  oath,  and  so  prepared  for  the  attack.  Vercingetorix 
knew  not  that  Caesar,  with  his  usual  foresight,  had  summoned 
and  joined  to  his  legions,  a  great  number  of  horsemen  from 
the  German  tribes  roving  over  the  banks  of  the  Bhine,  with 
which  he  had  taken  care  to  keep  up  friendly  relations.  Not 
only  had  he  promised  them  pay,  plimder,  and  lands,  but,  find- 
ing their  horses  ill-trained,  he  had  taken  those  of  his  officers, 
even  those  of  the  Eom£ui  knights  and  veterans,  and  distributed 
them  amongst  his  barbaric  auxiliaries.  The  action  began  be- 
tween the  cavalry  on  both  sides;  a  portion  of  the  GkdUc  had 
taken  up  x>06ition  on  the  road  followed  by  the  Roman  army, 
to  bar  its  passage;  but  whilst  the  fighting  at  this  i>oint  was 
getting  more  and  more  obstinate,  the  German  horse  in  Caesar's 
service  gained  a  neighboring  height,  drove  off  the  Gkdlic  horse 
that  were  in  occupation,  and  pursued  them  as  far  as  the  river, 
near  which  was  Vercingetorix  with  his  infantry.  Disorder 
took  place  amongst  this  infantry  so  unexpectedly  attacked. 
Caesar  launched  his  legions  at  them,  and  there  was  a  general 
panic  and  rout  among  the  Gauls.  Vercingetorix  had  great 
trouble  in  rallying  them,  and  he  rallied  them  only  to  order  a 
general  retreat,  for  which  they  clamored.  Hurriedly  striking 
his  camp,  he  miade  for  Alesia  (Semur  in  Auxois),  a  neighboring 
town  and  the  capital  of  the  Mandubians,  a  peoplet  in  clientslilp 
to  the  ^duans.  Caesar  immediately  went  in  pursuit  of  the 
Gauls;  killed,  he  says,  SOOO;  made  imx>ortant>  prisoners;  and 
encamped  with  his  legions  before  Alesia  the  day  but  one  after 
Vercingetorix,  with  his  fugitive  army,  had  occupied  the  place 
as  well  as  the  neighboring  hills  and  was  hard  at  work  in- 
trenching himself,  probably  without  any  clear  idea  as  yet  of 
what  he  should  do  to  continue  the  stru^le, 

62  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  nr. 

CsBsar  at  onoe  took  a  resolution  as  imezpected  as  it  was  dis- 
creetly bold.  Here  was  the  whole  Oallic  insurrection, 
chieftain  and  soldiery,  united  together  within  or  beneath  the 
walls  of  a  town  of  moderate  extent.  He  undertook  to  keep  it 
there  and  destroy  it  on  the  spot,  instead  of  having  to  pursue  it 
every  whither  without  ever  being  sure  of  getting  at  it.  He^ 
had  at  his  disx>osal  eleven  legions,  about  50,000  strong,  and 
5000  or  6000  cavalry,  of  which  2000  were  Germans.  He  placed 
them  round  about  Alesia  and  the  G^aUic  camp,  caused  to  be 
dug  a  circuit  of  deep  ditches,  some  filled  with  water,  others 
bristling  with  palisades  and  snares,  and  added,  from  interval 
to  interval,  twenty-three  little  forts,  occupied  or  guarded  night 
and  day  by  detachments.  The  result  was  a  line  of  investment 
about  ten  miles  in  extent.  To  the  rear  of  the  Roman  camp, 
and  for  defence  against  attacks  from  without,  Caesar  caused  to 
be  dug  similar  intrenchments,  which  formed  a  line  of  circum- 
vallation  of  about  thirteen  miles.  The  troops  had  provisions 
and  forage  for  thirty  days.  Vercingetorix  made  frequent 
sallies  to  stop  or  destroy  these  works;  but  they  were  repulsed, 
and  only  resulted  in  getting  his  army  more  closely  cooped  up 
within  the  place.  Eighty  thousand  Gallic  insurgents  were,  as 
it  were,  in  prison,  guarded  by  fifty  thousand  Roman  soldiers. 
Vercingetorix  was  one  of  those  who  persevere  and  act  in  the 
days  of  distress  just  as  in  the  spring-tide  of  their  hopes. 
Before  the  works  of  the  Romans  were  finished,  he  assembled 
his  horsemen,  and  ordered  them  to  saUy  briskly  from  Alesia, 
return  each  to  his  own  land,  and  summon  the  whole  population 
to  arms.  He  was  obeyed;  the  Gallic  horsemen  made  their 
way,  during  the  night,  through  the  intervals  left  by  the 
Romans'  still  imperfect  lines  of  investment,  and  dispersed 
themselves  amonst  their  various  peoplets.  Nearly  every 
where  irritation  and  zeal  were  at  their  height ;  an  assemblage 
of  delegates  met  at  Bibracte  (Autim),  and  fixed  the  amount  of 
the  contingent  to  be  fmnished  by  each  nation,  and  a  point 
was  assigned  at  which  all  those  contingents  should  unite  for 
the  purpose  of  marching  together  towards  Alesia,  and  attack- 
ing the  besiegers,  the  total  of  the  contingents  thus  levied  on 
forty-three  Gallic  peoplets  amoimted,  according  to  CsBsar,  to 
283,000  men;  and  240,000  men,  it  is  said,  did  actually  hurry  up 
to  the  apx>ointed  place.  Mistrust*of  such  enormous  numbers 
has  already  been  expressed  by  one  who  has  lived  through  the 
greatest  European  wars,  and  has  heard  the  ablest  generals 
r^duc?  to  their  real  strength  the  largest  armies.    We  find  in 


M.  Thiers'  History  of  the  Canaublafe  and  Empire,  that  at 
Austerlitz,  on  the  2nd  of  December,  1805,  Napoleon  had  but 
from  65,000  to  70,000  men,  and  the  combined  Austrians  and 
Russians,  but  90,000.  At  Leipzig,  the  biggest  of  modem  bat- 
tles, when  all  the  French  forces  on  the  one  side,  and  the 
Austrian,  Prussian,  Russian  and  Swedish  on  the  other,  were 
face  to  face  on  the  18th  of  October,  1813,  they  made  altogether 
about  500,000  men.  How  can  we  believe,  then,  that  nineteen 
centuries  ago,  Gaul,  so  v^eakly  popidated  and  so  slightly  or- 
ganized, suddenly  sent  240,000  men  to  the  assistance  of  80,000 

.Gauls  besieged  in  the  little  town  of  Alesia  by  50,000  or  60,000 
Romans?  But  whatever  may  be  the  case  with  the  figures,  it  is 
certain  that  at  the  very  first  moment  the  national  impulse  an- 
swered the  appeal  of  Vercingetorix,  and  that  the  besiegers  of 
AlesiA,  C888ar  and  his  legions,  found  that  they  were  them- 
selves all  at  once  besieged  in  their  intrenchments  by  a  cloud  of 
Gauls  hurrying  up  to  the  defence  of  their  compatriots.  The 
struggle  was  fierciB,  but  short.  Every  time  that  the  fresh 
Gallic  army  attacked  the  besiegers,  Vercingetorix  and  the 
Gauls  of  Alesia  sallied  forth,  and  joined  in  the  attack.  Caesar 
and  his  legions,  on  their  side,  at  one  time  repulsed  these  double 
attacks,  at  another  themselves  took  the  initiative,  and  as- 
sailed at  one  and  the  same  time  the  besieged  and  the  auxilia- 
ries Gaul  had  sent  them.    The  feeling  was  passionate  on  both 

»  sides:  Roman  pride  was  pitted  against  GaUic  patriotism.  But 
in  four  or  five  days  the  strong  organization,  the  disciplined 
valor  of  the  Roman  legions,  and  the  genius  of  Caesar  carried 
the  day.  The  Gallic  reinforcements,  beaten  and  slaughtered 
without  mercy,  dispersed;  and  Vercingetorix  and  the  be- 
sieged were  crowded  back  within  their  walls  without  hope  of 
escape.  We  have  two  accounts  of  the  last  moments  of  this 
great  Gkdlic  insurrection  and  its  chief;  one,  written  by  CdBsar 
himself,  plain,  cold,  and  harsh  as  its  author;  the  other,  by  two 
later  historians,  who  were  neither  statesmen  nor  warrriors, 
Plutarch  and  Dion  Cassius,  has  more  detail  and  more  orna- 
ment, following  either  popular  tradition  or  the  imagination  of 
the  writers.  It  maybe  well  to  give  both.  "The  day  after  the 
defeat,"  says  Caesar,  **  Vercingetorix  convokes  the  assembly; 
and  shows  that  he  did  not  undertake  the  war  for  his  own  per- 
sonal advantage  but  for  the  general  freedom.  Since  submis- 
sion must  be  made  to  fortune,  he  offers  to  satisfy  the  Romans 
either  by  instant  death  or  by  being  delivered  to  them  alive.  A 
deputation  there  anentis  sent  to  Caesar,  who  orders  %h^  cu*m$ 

64  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  iv. 

to  be  given  up  and  the  chiefs  brought  to  him.  He  seats  him- 
self on  his  tribunal,  in  front  of  his  camp.  The  chiefs  .are 
brought;  Vercingetorix  is  delivered  over;  the  arms  are  cast  at 
Csesar^s  feet.  Except  the  j^duans  and  Arvemians,  whom 
Caesar  kept  for  the  purpose  of  trying  to  regain  their  people, 
he  had  the  prisonera  distributed,  head  by  head,  to  his  army  as 
booty  of  war." 

The  accoimt  of  Dion  Cassius  is  more  varied  and  dramatic. 
*'  After  the  defeat,"  says  he,  **  Vercingetorix,  who  was  neither 
captured  nor  woimded,  might  have  fled;  but,  hoping  that  the 
friendship  that  had  once  boimd  him  to  Caesar  might  gain  him» 
grace,  he  repaired  to  the  Boman  without  previous  demand  of 
peace  by  the  voice  of  a  herald,  and  appeared  suddenly  in  his 
presence,  just  as  Caesar  was  seating  himself  upon  his  tribunal. 
The  apparition  of  the  Gallic  chieftam  inspired  no  little  terror, 
for  he  was  of  lofty  stature,  an4  had  an  imposing  appearance  in 
arms.  There  was  a  deep  silence.  Vercingetorix  fell  at  Caesar's 
feet,  and  made  supplication  by  touch  of  hand  without  speaking 
a  word.  The  scene  moved  those  present  with  pity,  remember- 
ing the  ancient  f  ortimes  of  Vercingetorix  and  comparing  them 
with  his  present  disaster.  Caesar,  on  the  contrary,  found 
proof  of  criminality  in  the  very  memories  relied  upon  for  salva- 
tion, contrasted  the  late  struggle  with  the  friendship  appealed 
to  by  Vercingetorix,  and  so  put  in  a  more  hideous  light  the 
odiousness  of  his  conduct.  And  thus,  far  from  being  moved  by  • 
his  misfortunes  at  the  moment,  he  threw  him  in  chains  forth- 
with, and  subsequently  had  him  put  to  death,  after  keeping 
him  to  adorn  his  triumph." 

Another  historian,  contemporary  with  Plutarch,  Florus, 
attributes  to  Vercingetorix,  as  he  fell  down  and  cast  his  arms 
at  Caesar's  feet,  these  words:  "  Bravest  of  men,  thou  hast  con- 
quered a  brave  man."  It  is  not  necessary  to  have  faith  in 
the  rhetorical  compliment :  or  to  likewise  reject  the  mixture 
of  pride  and  weakness  attributed  to  Vercingetorix  in  the 
ax^count  of  Dion  Cassiiis.  It  would  not  be  the  only  example 
of  a  hero  seeking  yet  some  chance  of  safety  in  the  extremity 
of  defeat,  and  abasing  himself  for  the  sake  of  preserving  at 
any  price  a  life  on  which  fortune  might  still  smile.  However  ' 
it  be,  Vercingetorix  vanquished,  dragged  out,  after  ten  years' 
imprisonment,  to  grace  Caesar's  triumph,  and  put  to  death 
immediately  afterwards,  lives  as  a  glorious  patriot  in  the 
pages  of  that  history  in  which  Caesar  appears,  on  this  occasion, 
as  a  peevish  conqueror  who  took  pleasure  in  crushing,  with 

THE  ^tW  ffV.K     : 

ASTOR,    LtVL  X  j 



cruel  disdaiH,  the  enemy  he  had  heen  at  so  much  pains  to 

Alesia  taken,  and  Vercingetorix  a  prisoner,  Gaul  was  sub- 
dued. Caesar,  however,  had  in  the  following  year  (a.u.0.  703) 
a  campaign  to  make  to  subjugate  some  peoplets  who  tried  to 
maintain  their  local  independence.  A  year  afterwards,  again, 
attempts  at  insurrection  took  place  in  Belgica,  and  towards 
the  mouth  of  the  Loire ;  but  they  were  easily  repressed ;  they 
had  no  national  or  formidable  characteristics ;  Caesar  and  his 
lieutenants  willingly  contented  themselves  with  an  apparent 
submission,  and  in  the  year  705  a.u.o.  the  Eoman  legions, 
after  nine  years'  occupation  in  the  conquest  of  Gaul,  were  able 
to  depart  therefrom  to  Italy  and  the  East  for  a  plunge  into 
dvil  war. 



From  the  conquest  of  Gaul  by  Caesar,  to  the  establishment 
there  of  the  Franks  imder  Clovis,  she  remained  for  more  than 
five  centuries  under  Roman  dominion;  first  imder  the  Pagan, 
afterwards  under  the  Christian  empire.  In  her  primitive 
state  of  index)endence  she  had  struggled  for  ten  years  against 
the  best  armies  and  the  greatest  man  of  Rome;  after  five  cen- 
turies of-  Roman  dominion  she  opposed  no  resistance  to  the 
invasion  of  the  barbarians,  Germans,  Groths,  Alans,  Burgun- 
dians,  and  Franks,  who  destroyed  bit  by  bit  the  Roman 
empire.  In  this  humiliation  and,  one  might-  say,  annihQation 
of  a  t)opulation  so  independent,  so  active,  and  so  valiant  at  its 
first  appearance  in  history,  is  to  be  seen  the  characteristic  of 
this  long  epoch.  It  is  worth  while  to  learn  and  to  understand 
how  it  was. 

Gfwil  lived,  during  those  five  centuries,  under  very  different 
rules  and  rulers.  They  may  be  summed  up  under  five  names 
which  correspond  with  governments  very  unequal  in  merit 
and  defect,  in  good  and  evil  wrought  for  their  epoch:  1st,  the 
Caesars  from  Julius  to  Nero  (from  49  b.o  to  a.d.  68) ;  2nd,  the 
Flavians,  from  Vespasian  to  Domitian  (from  a.d.  69  to  95) ; 
3rd,  the  Antonines,  from  Nerva  to  Marcus  Aurelius  (from  a.d. 
96  to  180) ;  4th,  the  imperial  anarchy,  or  the  thirty-nine  em- 

66  EI8T0BT  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  v. 

perors  and  the  thirty-one  tyrants,  from  Commodus  to  Cariniis 
and  Numerian  (from  a.d  180  to  284) ;  5th,  Diocletian  (from  a.d. 
284  to  305).  Through  all  these  governments,  and  in  spite  of 
their  different  results  for  their  contemporary  subjects,  the 
fact  already  pointed  out  as  the  general  and  definitive  charac- 
teristic of  that  long  epoch,  to  wit,  the  moral  and  social  deca- 
dence of  Qaul  as  well  as  of  the  Roman  empire,  never  ceased  to 
continue  and  spread. 

On  quitting  conquered  Gaul  to  become  master  at  Rome, 
Caesar  neglected  nothing  to  assure  his  conquest  and  make  it 
conducive  to  the  establishment  of  his  empire.  He  formed,  of 
all  the  GaUic  districts  that  he  had  subjugated,  a  special 
province  which  received  the  name  of  Gallia  Comata  ((raul  of 
the  long-hair),  whflst  the  old  province  was  Gallia  Togata 
(Qaul  of  the  toga).  Csesar  causecT  to  be  enrolled  amongst  his 
troops  a  multitude  of  Gauls,  Belgians,  Arvemians,  and  Aqui- 
tanians,  of  whose  bravery  he  had  made  proof.  He  even 
formed,  almost  entirely  of  Gauls,  a  special  legion,  called 
Alauda  (lark),  because  it  bore  on  the  helmets  a  lark  with  out- 
spread wings,  the  symbol  of  wakefulness.  At  the  same  time 
he  gave  in  Gallia  Comata,  to  the  towns  and  families  that 
declared -for  him,  all  kinds  of  favors,  the  rights  of  Roman 
citizenship,  the  title  of  allies,  cKents,  and  friends,  even  to  the 
extent  of  the  Julian  name,  a  sign  of  the  most  powerful  Roman 
patronage.  He  had,  however,  in  the  old  Roman  province, 
formidable  enemies,  especially  the  town  of  Marseilles,  which 
declared  against  him  and  for  Pompey.  Caesar  had  the  place 
besieged  by  one  of  his  lieutenants,  got  possession  of  it,  caused 
to  be  delivered  over  to  him  its  vessels  and  treasure,  and  left 
in  it  a  garrison  of  two  legions.  He  estabhshed  at  Narbonne, 
Aries,  BiterrcR  (Beziers)  three  colonies  of  veteran  legionaries 
devoted  to  his  cause,  and  near  Antipolis  (Antibes)  a  maritime 
colony  called  Forum  Julii,  now-a-days  Fr6jus,  of  which  he  pro- 
posed to  make  a  rival  to  Marseilles.  Much  money  was  neces- 
sary to  meet  the  expenses  of  such  patronage  and  to  satisfy  the 
troops,  old  and  new,  of  the  conqueror  of  Gaul  and  Rome.  Now 
there  was  at  Rome  an  ancient  treasure,  f oimded  more  than  four 
centuries  previously  by  the  Dictator  CanuUus,  when  he  had 
delivered  Rome  from  the  Gauls,  a  treasure  reserved  for  the 
expenses  of  GaUic  wars,  and  guarded  with  religious  respect  as 
sacred  money.  In  the  midst  of  all  discords  and  disorders  at 
Rome,  none  had  touched  it.  After  his  return  from  Gaul, 
Caesar  one  day  ascended  the  Capitol  with  his  soldiers,  and 


finding,  in  the  temple  of  Saturn,  the  door  closed  of  the  place 
where  the  treasure  was  deposited,  ordered  it  to  be  forced. 
L.  Metellus,  tribune  of  the  people,  made  strong  opposition, 
conjuring  Csesar  not  to  bring  on  the  Republic  the  penalty  of 
such  sacrilege:  but  **  the  Republic  has  nothing  to  fear,"  said 
Caesar;  **I  have  released  it  from  its  oaths  by  subjugating 
Gaul.  There  are  no  more  Gauls."  He  caused  the  door  to  bo 
forced,  and  the  treasure  was  abstracted  and  distributed  to  the 
troops,  Gallic  and  Roman.  Whatever  Caesar  may  have  said, 
there  were  still  Grauls,  for  at  the  same  time  that  he  was  dis- 
tributing to  such  of  them  as  he  had  turned  into  his  own 
soldiers  the  money  reserved  for  the  expense  of  fighting  them, 
he  was  imposing  upon  Gullia  Comata,  imder  the  name  of 
stipendium  (soldier's  pay),  a  levy  of  forty  milHons  of  sesterces 
(328,000Z.),  a  considerable  amount  for  a  devastated  country 
which,  according  to  Plutarch,  did  not  contain  at  that  time 
more  than  three  millions  of  inhabitants,  and  almost  equal  to 
that  of  the  levies  paid  by  the  rest  of  the  Roman  provinces. 

After  Caesar,  Augustus,  left  sole  master  of  the  Roman 
world,  assumed  in  Gaul,  as  elsewhere,  the  part  of  pacificator, 
repairer,  conservator,  and  organizer,  whilst  taking  care,  with 
all  his  moderation,  to  remain  always  the  master.  He  divided 
the  provinces  into  imperial  and  senatorial,  reserving  to  him- 
self  the  entire  government  of  the  former,  and  leaving  the 
latter  under  the  authority  of  the  senate.  Gaul  **of  the  long 
hair,"  all  that  Caesar  had  conquered,  was  imperial  province. 
Augustus  divided  it  into  three  provinces,  Lugdunensian 
(Lyonese),  Belgian,  and  Aquitanian.  He  recognized  therein 
sixty  nations  or  distinct  cityships  which  continued  to  have 
themselves  the  government  of  their  own  affairs,  according  to 
their  traditions  and  manners,  whilst  conforming  to  the  gen- 
eral laws  of  the  empire  and  abiding  under  the  supervision  of 
imperial  governors,  charged  with  maintaining  every  where,  in 
the  words  of  Pliny  the  Younger,  **the  majesty  of  Roman 
peace."  Ijugudnum  (Lyons),  which  had  been  up  to  that  time 
of  small  importance  and  obscure,  became  the  great  town,  the 
favorite  cityship  and  ordinary  abiding-place  of  the  emperors 
when  they  visited  Gaul.  After  having  held  at  Narbonne 
(27  B.C.)  a  meeting  of  representatives  from  the  different  Gallic 
nations,  Augustus  went  several  times  to  Lyons,  and  even  lived 
there,  as  it  appears,  a  pretty  long  while,  to  superintend!  no 
doubt,  from  thence  and  to  get  into  working  order  the  new 
government  of  Gaul.    After  the  departure  of  Augustus,  his 

68  EISTOBT  OF  FRANCE.  [CH.  v. 

adopted  son  Drusus,  who  had  just  fulfilled,  in  Belgica  and  on 
the  Ehine,  a  mission  at  the  same  time  militaiy  and  adminis- 
trative, called  together  at  Lyons  delegates  from  the  sixty 
Gallic  cityshipSy  to  take  part  (b.o.  12  or  10)  in  the  inaugura- 
tion of  a  magnificent  monument  raised,  at  the  confluence  of 
the  Ehone  and  Saone,  in  honor  of  Rome  and  Augustus  as  the 
tutelary  deities  of  Gaul.  In  the  middle  of  a  vast  enclosure 
was  placed  a  huge  altar  of  white  marhle,  on  which  were  en- 
graved the  names  of  the  sixty  cityships  "of  the  long  hair." 
A  colossal  statue  of  the  Gauls  and  sixty  statues  of  the  Gallic 
cityships  occupied  the  enclosure.  Two  columns  of  granite, 
twenty- five  feet  high,  stood  close  by  the  altar,  and  were  sur- 
mounted by  two  colossal  Victories,  in  white  marble,  ten  feet 
high.  Solemn  festivals,  gymnastic  games,  and  oratorical  and 
Uterary  exercitation  accompanied  the  inauguration;  and  dur- 
ing the  ceremony  it  was  announced,  amidst  popular  acclama- 
tion, that  a  son  had  just  been  bom  to  Drusus  at  Lyons  itself, 
in  the  palace  of  the  emperor,  where  the  child's  mother,  An- 
tonia,  daughter  of  Mark  Antony  and  Octavia  (sister  of 
Augustus),  had  been  staying  for  some  months.  This  child 
was  one  day  to  be  the  emperor  Claudius. 

The  administrative  energy  of  Augustus  was  not  confined  to 
the  erection  of  monuments  and  to  festivals;  he  applied  him- 
self to  the  development  in  Gaul  of  the  material  elements  of 
civilization  and  social  order.  His  most  intimate  and  able  ad- 
viser, Agrippa,  being  settled  at  Lyons  as  governor  of  the  Gauls, 
caused  to  be  opened  four  great  roads,  starting  from  a  mile- 
stone placed  in  the  middle  of  the  Lyonese  forum,  and  going 
one  centrewards  to  Saintes  and  the  ocean,  another  south 
wards  and  to  Narbonne  and  the  Pyrenees,  the  third  north- 
westwards and  towards  the  Channel  by  Amiens  and  Boulogne, 
and  the  fourth  north-westwards  and  towards  the  Bhine. 
Agrippa  founded  several  considerable  colonies,  amongst  others 
Cologne,  which  bore  his  name;  and  he  admitted  to  GkLllic 
territory  bands  of  Grerm^ins  who  asked  for  an  estabhshment 
there.  Thanks  to  public  security,  Bomans  became  proprie- 
tors in  the  Gallic  provinces  and  introduced  to  them  Italian 
cultivation.  The  Gallic  chieftains,  on  their  side,  began  to 
cultivate  lands  which  had  become  their  personal  property. 
Towns  were  built  or  grew  apace  and  became  encircled  by 
ran^parts,  under  protection  of  which  the  populations  came  and 
placed  themselves.  The  most  learned  and  attentive  observer 
of  nature  and  Roman  society,  Pliny  the  Elder,  attests  that 

CH.  v.]  OAXTL  tJNDER  ttOMAN  DOMTNtON.  69 

under  Augustus  Gallic  agriculture  and  industry  made  vast 

But  side  by  side  with  this  work  in  the  cause  of  civilization 
and  organization,  Augustus  and  his  Roman  agents  were  pur- 
suing a  work  of  quite  a  contrary  tendency.  They  labored  to 
extirpate  from  Gaul  the  spirit  of  nationality,  independence 
and  freedom ;  they  took  every  pains  to  efface  every  where 
Gallic  memories  and  sentiments.  Gallic  towns  were  losing 
their  old  and  receiving  Roman  names:  Augustanemetum^ 
A-ugusta,  and  Av^gustodunum  took  the  place  of  Gergovia^ 
Noviodununiy  and  Bibracte,  The  national  Gallic  religion, 
which  was  Druidism,  was  attacked  as  well  as  the  Gallic  father- 
land, with  the  same  design  and  by  the  same  means;  at  one 
time  Augustus  prohibited  this  worship  amongst  the  Gauls 
converted  into  Roman  citizens,  as  being  contrary  to  Roman 
belief;  at  another  Roman  Paganism  and  Gallic  Druidism  were 
fused  together  in  the  same  temples  and  at  the  same  altars,  as 
if  to  fuse  them  in  the  same  common  indifference ;  Roman  and 
Gallic  names  became  applied  to  the  same  religious  personifica- 
tion of  such  and  such  a  fact  or  such  and  such  an  idea;  Mars 
and  Camul  were  equally  the  god  of  war ;  Belen  and  Apollo  the 
god  of  light  and  healing;  Diana  and  Arduinna  the  goddess  of 
the  chase.  Every  where,  whether  it  was  a  question  of  the 
terrestrial  fatherland  or  of  religious  faith,  the  old  moral 
machinery  of  the  Gauls  was  broken  up  or  condemned  to  rust, 
and  no  new  moral  machinery  was  allowed  to  replace  it ;  it  was 
every  where  Roman  and  imperial  authority  that  was  substi- 
tuted for  the  free,  national  action  of  the  Gauls. 

It  is  incredible  that  this  hostility  on  the  paiii  of  the  powers 
that  be  towards  moral  sentiments,  and  this  absence  of  freedom 
should  not  have  gravely  compromised  the  material  interest  of 
the  Gallic  population.  Public  administration,  however  ex- 
tensive its  organization  and  energy,  if  it  be  not  under  the 
superintendence  and  restraint  of  public  freedom  and  morality, 
soon  falls  into  monstrous  abuses,  which  itself  is  either  igno- 
rant of  or  wittingly  suffers.  Examples  of  this  evil,  inherent 
in  despotism,  abound  even  under  the  intelligent  and  watchful 
sway  of  Augustus.  Here  is  a  case  in  point.  He  had  ap- 
pointed as  procurator,  that  is,  financial  commissioner,  in 
** long-haired"  Gaul,  a  native  who,  having  been  originally  a 
slave  and  afterwards  set  free  by  Jidius  Caesar,  had  taken  the 
Roman  name  of  Ldcinius.  This  man  gave  himself  up,*  during 
his  administration,  to  a  course  of  the  most  shameless  extor- 

70  msTonr  of  francs.  [ch.  v. 

tion.  The  taxes  were  collected  monthly;  and  so,  taking  ad- 
vantage of  the  change  of  name  which  flattery  had  caused  in 
the  two  months  of  July  and  August,  sacred  to  Julius  Ceesar 
and  Augustus  respectively,  he  made  his  year  consist  of  four- 
teen months,  so  that  he  might  squeeze  out  fourteen  contribu- 
tions instead  of  twelve.  *' December,"  said  he,  **  is  surely,  as 
its  name  indicates,  the  tenth  month  of  the  year,"  and  he  added 
thereto,  in  honor  of  the  emperor,  two  others  which  he  called 
the  eleventh  and  twelth.  During  one  of  the  trips  which 
Augustus  made  into  Gaul,  strong  complaints  were  made 
against  Licinius,  and  his  robberies  were  denounced  to  the 
emperor.  Augustus  dared  not  support  him,  and  seemed  upon 
the  point  of  deciding  to  bring  him  to  justice,  when  Licinius 
conducted  him  to  the  place  where  was  deposited  all  the  treas- 
ure he  had  extorted,  and,  "See,  my  lord,"  said  he,  **what  I 
have  laid  up  for  thee  and  for  the  Roman  people,  for  fear  lest 
the  Gauls  possessing  so  much  gold  should  employ  it  against 
you  both;  for  thee  I  have  kept  it,  and  to  thee  I  deliver  it." 
(Thierry,  Histoire  des  Gaulois,  t.  iii.,  p.  295;  Clerjon,  Histoire 
de  Lyon,  t.  i.,  p.  178-180.)  Augustus  accepted  the  treasure, 
and  Licinius  remained  unpunished.  Li  the  case  of  financial 
abuses  or  other  acts,  absolute  power  seldom  resists  such 

We  may  hear  it  said,  and  we  may  read  in  the  writings  of 
certain  modern  philosophers  and  scholars,  that  the  victorious 
despotism  of  the  Roman  empire  was  a  necessaf  y  and  salutary 
step  in  advance,  and  that  it  brought  about  the  unity  and 
enfranchisement  of  the  human  race.  Beheve  it  not.  There  is 
mingled  good  and  evil  in  all  the  events  and  governments  of 
this  world,  and  good  often  arises  side  by  side  with  or  in  the 
wake  of  evil,  but  it  is  never  from  the  evil  that  the  good 
comes;  injustice  and  tyranny  have  never  produced  good 
fruits.  Be  assured  that  whenever  they  have  the  dominion, 
whenever  the  moral  rights  and  personal  liberties  of  men  are 
trodden  under  foot  by  material  force,  be  it  barbaric  or  be  it 
scientific,  there  can  result  only  prolonged  evils  and  deplorable 
obstacles  to  the  return  of  moral  right  and  moral  force,  which, 
God  be  thanked,  can  never  be  obhterated  from  the  nature  and 
the  history  of  man.  The  despotic  imperial  administration 
upheld  for  a  long  while  the  Roman  empire,  and  not  without 
renown;  but  it  corrupted,  enervated,  and  impoverished  the 
Roman  populations,  and  left  them,  after  five  centuries,  as 
incapable  of  defending  themselves  as  they  were  of  governing. 


Tiberius  pursued  in  Gaul,  but  with  less  energy  and  less  care 
for  the  provincial  administration,  the  pacific  and  moderate 
policy  of  Augustus.  He  had  to  extinguish  in  Belgica,  and 
even  in  the  Lyonnese  province,  two  insurrections  kindled  by 
the  sparks  that  remained  of  national  and  Druidic  spirit.  He 
repressed  them  effectually,  and  without  any  violent  display  of 
vengeance.  He  made  a  trip  to  Gaul,  took  measures,  quite 
insufficient  however,  for  defending  the  Rhine  frontier  from 
the  incessantly  repeated  incursions  of  the  Germans,  and 
hastened  back  to  Italy  to  resume  the  course  of  suspicion, 
perfidy,  and  cruelty  which  he  pursued  against  the  Republican 
pride  and  moral  dignity  remaining  amongst  a  few  remnants 
of  the  Roman  senate.  He  was  succeeded  by  Germanicus'  un- 
worthy son,  Caligula.  After  a  few  days  of  hypocrisy  on  the 
part  of  the  Emperor,  and  credulous  hope  on  that  of  the  people, 
they  foimd  a  madman  let  loose  to  take  the  place  of  an  un- 
fathomable and  gloomy  tyrant.  Caligula  was  much  taken  up 
with  Gaul,  plundering  it  and  giving  free  rein  in  it  to  his 
frenzies,  by  turns  disgusting  or  ridiculous.  In  a  short  and 
fruitless  campaign  on  the  banks  of  the  Rhine,  he  had  made  too 
few  prisoners  for  the  pomp  of  a  triumph;  he  therefore  took 
some  Gauls,  the  tallest  he  could  find,  of  triumphal  size,  as  he 
said;  put  them  in  Gterman  clothes,  made  them  learn  some 
Teutonic  words,  and  sent  them  away  to  Rome  to  await  in 
prison  his  return  and  his  ovation.  Lyons,  where  he  stayed 
some  time,  was  the  scene  of  his  extortions  and  strangest 
freaks.  He  was  playing  at  dice  one  day  with  some  of  his 
courtiers,  and  lost ;  he  rose,  sent  for  the  tax-list  of  the  prov- 
ince, marked  down  for  death  and  confiscation  some  of  those 
who  were  most  highly  rated,  and  said  to  the  company,  "You 
people,  you  play  for  a  few  drachmas ;  but  as  for  me  I  have  just 
won  by  a  single  throw  150  millions."  At  the  rumor  of  a  plot- 
hatched  against  him  in  Italy,  by  some  Roman  nobles,  he  sent 
for  and  sold,  publicly,  their  furniture,  jewels,  and  slaves.  As 
the  sale  was  a  success,  he  extended  it  to  the  old  furniture  of 
his  own  palaces  in  Italy:  **I  wish  to  fit  out  the  Gauls,"  said 
he ;  "  it  is  a  mark  of  friendship  I  owe  to  the  brave  allies  of  the 
Roman  people."  He  himself,  at  these  sales  performed  the  part 
of  salesman  and  auctioneer,  telling  the  history  of  each  article 
to  enhance  the  price.  **  This  belonged  to  my  father,  Germani- 
cus;  that  comes  to  me  from  Agrippa;  this  vase  is  Egyptian, 
it  was  Antony's,  Augustus  took  it  at  the  battle  of  Actiiun." 
The  imperial  sales  were  succeeded  by  hterary  games,  at  which 

72  mSTORT  OF  FRANCE,  [ck.  v. 

the  losers  had  to  pay  the  expenses  of  the  prizes  and  oelehrate, 
in  verse  or  prose,  the  praises  of  the  winners;  and  if  their 
compositions  were  pronounced  had,  they  were  bound  to  wipe 
them  out  with  a  sponge  or  even  with  their  tongues,  unless 
they  preferred  to  be  beaten  with  a  rod  or  soused  in  the  Ehone. 
One  day,  when  Cahgula,  in  the  character  of  Jupiter,  was 
seated  at  his  tribunal  and  dehvering  oracles  in  the  middle  of 
the  pubhc  thoroughfare,  a  man  of  the  people  remained  motion- 
less in  front  of  him,  with  eyes  of  astonishment  fixed  upon 
him.  *' What  seem  I  to  thee?"  asked  the  Emperor,  flattered, 
no  doubt,  by  this  attention  of  the  mob:  **A  great  mon- 
strosity," answered  the  Gaul.  And  that,  at  the  end  of  about 
four  years,  was  the  universal  cry:  and  against  a  mad  emperor 
the  only  resource  of  the  Boman  world  was  at  that  time  assassi- 
nation. The  captain  .of  Caligula's  guards  rid  Rome  and  the 
provinces  of  him. 

He  did  just  one  sensible  and  useful  thing  during  the  whole 
of  his  stay  in  Gaul:  he  had  a  light-house  constructed  to  il- 
lumine the  passage  between  Gaul  and  Great  Britain.  Some 
traces  of  it,  they  say,  have  been  discovered. 

His  successor,  Claudius,  brother  of  the  great  Gfermanicus, 
and  married  to  his  own  niece,  the  second  Agrippina,  was,  as 
has  been  already  stated,  bom  at  Lyons,  at  the  very  moment 
when  his  father,  Drusus,  was  celebrating  there  the  erection  of 
an  altar  to  Augustus.  During  his  whole  reign  he  showed  to 
the  city  of  his  birth  the  most  lively  good-wiU,  and  the  con- 
stant aim  as  well  as  principal  result  of  this  good-wiU  was  to 
render,  the  city  of  Lyons  more  and  more  Boman  by  effacing 
all  Gallic  characteristics  and  memories.  She  was  endowed  with 
Roman  rights,  monmnents,  and  names,  the  most  important  or 
the  most  ostentatious;  she  became  the  colony  super-emi- 
nently,  the  great  municipal  town  of  the  Gauls,  the  Claudian 
town;  but  she  lost  what  had  remained  of  her  old  municipal 
government,  that  is  of  her  administrative  and  commercial 
independence.  Nor  was  she  the  pnly  one  in  Gaul  to  experi- 
ence the  good-wiU  of  Claudius.  This  emperor,  the  mark  of 
scorn  from  his  infancy,  whom  his  mother,  Antonia,  called  "a 
shadow  of  a  man,  an  unfinished  sketch  of  nature's  drawing," 
and  of  whom  his  grand-uncle,  Augustus,  used  to  say  "we 
shall  be  for  ever  in  doubt,  without  any  certainty  of  knowing 
whether  he  be  or  be  not  equal  to  public  duties."  Claudius, 
the  most  feeble  indeed  of  the  Csesars,  in.  body,  mind,  and 
character,  was  nevertheless  he  who  had  intermittent  glimpses 


ASTOR,   V^^^'^^ 

■{  lUL- 

LN    i-C'utJ^  • 



of  the  most  elevated  ideas  and  the  most  righteous  sentiments, 
and  who  strove  the  most  sincerely  to  make  them  take  the 
form  of  deeds.  He  undertook  to  assure  to  all  free  men  of 
"long-haired"  Gaul  the  same  Roman  privileges  that  were 
enjoyed  hy  the  inhabitants  of  Lyons;  and  amongst  others, 
that  of  entering  the  senate  of  Rome  and  holding  the  great 
public  offices.  He  made  a  formal  proposal  to  that  effect  to 
the  Senate,  and  succeeded,  not  without  difficulty,  in  getting 
it  adopted.  The  speech  that  he  delivered  on  this  occasion  has 
been  to  a  great  extent  preserved  to  us,  not  only  in  the  simi- 
mary  given  by  Tacitus,  but  also  in  an  inscription  on  a  bronze 
tablet,  which  split  into  many  fragments  at  the  time  of  the 
destruction  of  the  building  in  which  it  was  placed.  The  two 
principal  fragments  were  discovered  at  Lyons,  in  1528,  and 
they  are  now  deposited  in  the  Museum  of  that  city.  They 
fully  confirm  the  most  equitable  and,  it  may  be  readily 
allowed,  the  most  liberal  act  of  policy  that  emanated  from  the 
earlier  Roman  emperors.  '*  Claudius  had  taken  it  into  his 
head,"  says  Seneca,  *' to  see  all  Greeks,  Gauls,  Spaniards,  and 
Britons  clad  in  the  toga."  But  at  the  same  time  he  took  great 
care  to  spread  every  where  the  Latin  tongue,  and  to  make  it 
take  the  place  of  the  different  national  idioiiis.  A  Roman 
citizen,  originally  of  Asia  Minor,  and  sent  on  a  deputation  to 
Rome  by  his  compatriots,  could  not  answer  in  Latin  the 
emperor's  questions.  Claudius  took  away  his  privileges,  say- 
ing, "  He  is  no  Roman  citizen  who  is  ignorant  of  the  language 
of  Rome." 

Claudius,  however,  was  neither  Uberal  nor  himiane  towards 
a  notable  portion  of  the  Galhc  populations,  to  wit,  the  Druids. 
During  his  stay  in  Gaul  he  proscribed  them  and  persecuted 
them  without  intermission;  forbidding,  under  pain  of  death, 
their  form  of  worship  and  every  exterior  sign  of  their  cere- 
monies. He  drove  them  away  and  pursued  them  even  into 
Great  Britain,  whither  he  conducted,  a.d.  43,  a  military  ex- 
I)edition,  almost  the  only  one  of  his  reign,  save  the  continued 
struggle  of  his  lieutenants  on  the  Rhine  against  the  Germans. 
It  was  evidently  amongst  the  corporation  of  Druids  and  under 
the  influence  of  rehgious  creeds  and  traditions,  that  there  was 
still  pursued  and  harbored  some  of  the  old  GalUc  spirit,  some 
passion  for  -national  independence  and  some  hatred  of  the 
Roman  yoke.  Li  proportion  as  Claudius  had  been  popular  in 
Gaul  did  his  adopted  son  and  successor,  Nero,  quickly  become 
hated.    There  is  nothing  to  show  that  he  even  went  thither, 

74  HISTORY  OF  FBANGE,  [ch.  v. 

either  on  the  business  of  government  or  to  obtain  the  momen- 
tary access  of  favor  always  excited  in  the  mob  by  the  presence 
and  prestige  of  power.  It  was  towards  Greece  and  the  East 
that  a  tendency  was  shown  in  the  tastes  and  trips  of  Nero, 
imperial  poet,  musician,  and  actor.  L.  Verus,  one  of  the 
military  commandants  in  Belgica,  had  conceived  a  project  of 
a  canal  to  unite  the  Moselle  to  the  Saone,  and  so  the  Mediter- 
ranean to  the  ocean;  but  intrigues  in  the  province  and  the 
palace  prevented  its  execution,  and  in  the  place  of  public 
works  useful  to  Gaul,  Nero  caused  a  new  census  to  be  made 
of  the  population  whom  Ijie  required  to  squeeze  to  pay  for  his 
extravagance.  It  was  in  his  reign,  as  is  well  known,  that  a 
fierce  fire  consumed  a  great  part  of  Rome  and  her  monu- 
ments. The  majority  of  historians  accuse  Nero  of  having 
himself  been  the  cause  of  it ;  but  at  any  rate  he  looked  on  with 
cynical  indifference,  as  if  amused  at  so  grand  a  spectacle,  and 
taking  pleasure  in  comparing  it  to  the  burning  of  Troy.  He 
did  more:  he  profited  by  it  so  far  as  to  have  built  for  himself, 
free  of  expense,  that  magnificent  palace  called  **The  palace  of 
gold,"  of  which  he  said,  when  he  saw  it  completed,  **  At  last  I 
am  going  to  be  housed  as  a  man  should  be."  Five  years 
before  the  bumaing  of  Rome,  Lyons  had  been  a  prey  to  a 
similar  scourge,  and  Seneca  wrote  to  his  friend  Lucilius: 
'^  Lugdununij  which  was  one  of  the  show-places  of  Gaul,  is 
sought  for  in  vain  to-day :  a  single  night  sufficed  for  the  dis- 
appearance of  a  vast  city ;  it  perished  in  less  time  than  I  take 
to  tell  the  tale."  Nero  gave  upwards  of  30,000Z.  towards  the 
reconstruction  of  Lyons,  a  gift  that  gained  hJTn  the  city's 
gratitude  which  was  manifested,  it  is  said,  when  his  fall 
became  imminent.  It  was,  however,  J.  Vindex,  a  Gaul  of 
Vienne,  governor  of  the  Lyonnese  province,  who  was  the 
instigator  of  the  insurrection  which  was  fatal  to  Nero,  and 
which  put  Galba  in  his  place. 

When  Nero  was  dead  there  was  no  other  Caesar,  no  natu- 
rally indicated  successor  to  the  empire.  The  influence  of  the 
name  of  Ccesar  had  spent  itself  in  the  crimes,  madnesses,  and 
incapacity  of  his  descendants.  Then  began  a  general  search 
for  emperors ;  and  the  ambition  to  be  created  spread  abroad 
amongst  the  men  of  note  in  the  Roman  world.  During  the 
eighteen  months  that  followed  the  death  of  Nero,  three  pre- 
tenders—Galba,  Otho,  and  Vitellius— ran  this  formidable  risk. 
Galba  was  a  worthy  old  Roman  senator,  who  frankly  said,  *'  If 
the  vast  body  of  the  empire  could  be  kept  standing  in  equi- 

CH.  v.]  QAUL   VNDm  ROMAN  DOMINION,  76 

librium  without  a  head,  I  were  worthy  of  the  chief  place  in 
the  state."  Otho  and  Vitellius  were  two  epicures,  both  indo- 
lent and  debauched,  the  former  after  an  elegant,  and  the 
latter  after  a  beastly  fashion.  Gralba  was  raised  to  the  purple 
by  the  Lyonnese  and  Narbonnese  provinces,  Vitellius  by  the 
legions  cantoned  in  the  Belgic  province :  to  such  an  extent  did 
Gaul  already  influence  the  destinies  of  Rome.  All  three  met 
disgrace  and  death  within  the  space  of  eighteen  months;  and 
the  search  for  an  emperor  took  a  turn  towards  the  East, 
where  the  command  was  held  by  Vesi)asian  (Titus  Flavins 
Yespasianus,  of  Rieti  in  the  duchy  of  Spoleto),  a  general 
sprung  from  a  humble  Italian  family,  who  had  won  great 
military  distinction,  and  who,  having  been  proclaimed  first  at 
Alexandria,  in  Judea,  and  at  Antioch,  did  not  arrive  until 
many  months  afterwards  at  Rome,  where  he  conunence'd  the 
twenty-six  years'  reign  of  the  Flavian  family. 

Neither  Vespasian  nor  his  sons,  Titus  and  Domitian,  visited 
Gaul  as  their  predecessors  had.  Domitian  alone  put  in  a 
short  appearance.  The  eastern  provinces  of  the  empire  and 
the  wars  on  the  frontier  of  the  Danube,  towards  which  the 
invasions  of  the  Germans  were  at  that  time  beginning  to  be 
directed,  absorbed  the  attention  of  the  new  emperors.  Gaul 
was  far,  however,  from  remaining  docile  and  peaceful  at  this 
epoch.  At  the  vacancy  that  occurred  after  Nero  and  amid  the 
claims  of  various  pretenders,  the  authority  of  the  Roman  name 
and  the  pressure  of  the  imperial  power  diminished  rapidly ;  and 
the  memory  and  desire  of  independence  were  reawakened.  In 
Belgica  the  German  peoplets,  who  had  been  allowed  to  settle 
on  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine,  were  very  imperfectly  subdued, 
and  kept  up  close  communication  with  the  independent  peoplets 
of  the  right  bank.  The  eight  Roman  legions  cantoned  in  that 
province  were  themselves  much  changed;  many  barbarians 
had  been  enlisted  amongst  them  and  did  gallant  service,  but 
they  were  indifferent,  and  always  ready  for  a  new  master  and 
a  new  country.  There  were  not  wanting  symptoms,  soon  fol- 
lowed by  opportunities  for  action,  of  this  change  in  sentiment 
and  fact.  In  the  very  centre  of  Gaul,  between  the  Loire  and 
the  AJlier,  a  peasant,  who  has  kept  in  history  his  Gallic  name 
of  Marie  or  Maricus,  formed  a  band,  and  scoured  the  coimtry, 
proclaiming  national  independence.  He  was  arrested  by  the 
local  authorities  and  handed  over  to  ViteUius,  who  had  him 
thrown  to  the  beasts.  But  in  the  northern  part  of  Belgica, 
towards  the  mouths  of  the  Rhine,  where  a  Batavian  peoplet 

^Q  msTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  v. 

lived,  a  man  of  note  amongst  his  compatriots  and  in  the  service 
of  the  Romans,  amongst  whom  he  had  received  the  name  of 
Claudius  Civilis,  embraced  first  secretly,  and  afterwards 
openly,  the  cause  of  insurrection.  He  had  vengeance  to  take 
for  Nero's  treatment,  who  had  caused  his  brother,  Julius 
Paulus,  to  be  beheaded,  and  himself  to  be  put  in  prison,  whence 
he  had  been  liberated  by  Galba.  He  made  a  vow  to  let  his  hair 
grow  until  he  was  revenged.  He  had  but  one  eye  and  gloried 
in  the  fact,  saying  that  it  had  been  so  with  Hannibal  and  with 
Sertorius,  and  that  his  highest  aspiration  was  to  be  like  them. 
He  pronounced  first  for  Vitellius  against  Otho,  then  for  Ves- 
pasian against  VitelUus,  and  then  for  the  complete  independ- 
ence of  his  nation  against  Vespasian.  He  soon  had,  amongst 
the  Grermans  on  the  two  banks  of  the  Rhine  and  amongst  the 
Gauls  themselves,  secret  or  declared  allies.  He  was  joined  by 
a  young  Gaul  from  the  district  of  Langres,  Julius  Sabinus,  who 
boasted  that,  during  the  great  war  with  the  Gauls,  his  great 
grandmother  had  taken  the  fancy  of  Julius  Caesar,  and  that  he 
owed  his  name  to  him.  News  had  just  reached  Gaul  of  the 
burning  down,  for  the  second  time,  of  the  Capitol  during  the 
disturbances  at  Rome  on  the  death  of  Nero.  The  Druids  came 
forth  from  the  retreats  where  they  had  hidden  since  Claudius' 
proscription,  and  re-appeared  in  the  towns  and  country-places, 
proclaiming  that  ^^  the  Roman  empire  was  at  an  end,  that  the 
Gkillic  empire  was  beginning,  and  that  the  day  had  come  when 
the  possession  of  all  the  world  should  pass  into  the  hands  of  the 
transalpine  nations."  The  insurgents  rose  in  the  name  of  the 
Gfallic  empire^  and  Julius  Sabinus  assumed  the  title  of  Coesar. 
War  commenced.  Confusion,  hesitation,  and  actual  desertion 
reached  the  colonies  and  extended  positively  to  the  Roman 
legions.  Several  towns,  even  Treves  and  Cologne,  submitted 
or  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  insurgents.  Several  legions,  yield- 
ing to  bribery,  persuasion,  or  intimidation,  went  over  to  them, 
some  with  a  bad  grace,  others  with  the  blood  of  their  officers 
on  their  hands.  The  gravity  of  the  situation  was  not  misun- 
derstood at  Rome.  Petilius  Cerealis,  a  commander  of  renown 
for  his  campaigns  on  the  Rhine,  was  sent  off  to  Belgica  with 
seven  fresh  legions.  He  was  as  skilful  in  negotiation  and  per- 
suasion as  he  was  in  battle.  The  struggle  that  ensued  was 
fierce,  but  brief;  and  nearly  all  the  towns  and  legions  that  had 
been  guilty  of  defection  returned  to  their  Roman  allegiance. 
Civilis,  though  not  more  than  half  vanquished,  himself  asked 
leave  to  surrender.    The  Batavian  might,  as  was  said  at  the 


time,  have  inundated  the  country,  and  drowned  the  Roman 
armies.  Vespasian,  therefore,  not  being  mcUned  to  drive  men 
or  matters  to  extremity,  gave  Civilis  leave  to  go  into  retirement 
and  Mve  in  peace  amongst  the  marshes  of  his  own  land.  The 
GraUic  chieftains  alone,  the  projectors  of  a  Gallic  empire,  were 
rigorously  pursued  and  chastised.  There  was  especisdly  one, 
Julius  Sabinus,  the  pretended  descendant  of  Julius  CsBsar, 
whose  capture  was  heartily  desired.  After  the  ruin  of  his 
hopes  he  took  refuge  in  some  vaults  connected  with  one  of  his 
country  houses.  The  way  in  was  known  only  to  two  devoted 
freedmen  of  his,  who  set  fire  to  the  buildings,  and  spread  a  re- 
port that  Sabinus  had  poisoned  himself,  and  that  his  dead  body 
had  been  devoured  by  the  flamesv  He  had  a  wife,  a  young 
Gaul  named  Eponina,  who  was  in  frantic  despair  at  the  rumor ; 
but  he  had  her  informed,  by  the  mouth  of  one  of  his  freedmen, 
of  his  place  of  concealment,  begging  her  at  the  same  time  to  keep 
up  a  show  of  widowhood  and  mourning,  in  order  to  confirm  the 
report  already  in  circulation.  "  Well  did  she  play  her  part," 
to  use  Plutarch's  expression,  *'in  her  tragedy  of  woe."  She 
went  at  night  to  visit  her  husband  in  his  retreat,  and  departed 
at  break  of  day;  and  at  last  would  not  depart  at  all.  At  the 
end  of  seven  months,  hearing  great  talk  of  Vespasian's  clem- 
ency, she  set  out  for  Eome,  taking  with  her  her  husband,  dis- 
guised as  a  slave,  with  shaven  head  and  a  dress  that  made  him 
unrecognizable.  But  the  friends  who  were  in  their  confidence, 
advised  them  not  to  risk  as  yet  the  chance  of  imperial  clemency, 
and  to  return  to  their  secret  asylmn.  There  they  hved  for  nine 
years,  during  which  **  as  a  honess  in  her  den,  neither  more  nor 
less,"  says  Plutarch,  **  Eponina  gave  birth  to  two  young 
whelps,  and  suckled  them  herself  at  her  teat."  At  last  they 
were  discovered  and  brought  before  Vespasian  at  Eome: 
**  Caesar,"  said  Eponina,  showing  him  her  children,  **I  con- 
ceived them  and  suckled  them  in  a  tomb  that  there  might  be 
more  of  us  to  ask  thy  mercy."  But  Vespasian  was  merciful 
only  from  prudence,  and  not  by  nature  or  from  magnanimity; 
and  he  sent  Sabinus  to  execution.  Eponina  asked  that  she 
might  die  with  her  husband,  saying,  *  *  Caesar,  do  me  this  grace ; 
for  I  have  lived  more  happily  beneath  the  earth  and  in  the 
darkness  than  thou  in  the  splendor  of  thy  empire."  Vespasian 
fulfilled  her  desire  by  sending  her  also  to  execution;  and  Plu- 
tarch, their  contemporary,  undoubtedly  expressed  the  general 
feeling,  when  he  ended  his  tale  with  the  words,  "  in  all  the 
long  reign  of  this  emperor  there  was  no  deed  so  cruel  or  so 

78  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  v. 

piteous  to  see;  and  he  was  afterwards  punished  for  it,  for  in  a 
short  time  all  his  posterity  was  extinct." 

In  fact  the  Caesars  and  the  Flavians  met  the  same  fate;  the 
two  lines  began  and  ended  ahke;  the  former  with  Augustus 
and  Nero,  the  latter  with  Vespasian  and  Domitian;  first  a 
despot,  able,  cold,  and  as  capable  of  cruelty  as  of  moderation, 
then  a  tyrant,  atrocious  and  detested.  And  both  were  extin- 
guished without  a  descendant.  Then  a  rare  piece  of  good  fort- 
une befell  the  Roman  world.  Domitian,  two  years  before  he 
was  assassinated  by  some  of  his  servants  whom  he  was  about 
to  put  to  death,  grew  suspicious  of  an  aged  and  honorable 
senator,  Cocceius  Nerva,  who  had  been  twice  consul,  and  whom 
he  had  sent  into  exile,  first  to  Tarentum,  and  then  in  Gaul,  pre- 
paratory, probably,  to  a  worse  fate.  To  this  victim  of  pro- 
scription application  was  made  by  the  conspirators  who  had 
just  got  rid  of  Domitian  and  had  to  get  another  emperor. 
Nerva  accepted,  but  not  without  hesitation,  for  he  was  sixty- 
four  years  old;  he  had  witnessed  the  violent  death  of  six  om- 
perors,  and  his  grandfather,  a  celebrated  jurist,  and  for  a  long 
while  a  friend  of  Tiberius,  had  killed  himself,  it  is  said,  for 
grief  at  the  iniquitous  and  cruel  government  of  his  friend.  The 
short  reign  of  Nerva  was  a  wise,  a  just,  and  a  humane,  but  a 
sad  one,  not  for  the  people,  but  for  himself.  He  maintained 
peace  and  order,  recalled  exiles,  suppressed  informers,  re-estab- 
lished respect  for  laws  and  morals,  turned  a  deaf  ear  to  self-in- 
terested suggestions  of  vengeance,  spoliation  and  injustice,  pro- 
ceeding at  one  time  from  those  who  had  made  him  emperor,  at 
another  from  the  Prsetorian  soldiers  and  the  Roman  mob,  who 
regretted  Domitian  just  as  they  had  Nero.  But  Nerva  did  not 
succeed  in  putting  a  stop  to  mob-violence  or  murders  prompted 
by  cupidity  or  hatred.  Finding  his  authority  insulted  and  his 
life  threatened,  he  formed  a  resolution  which  has  been  de- 
scribed and  explained  by  a  learned  and  temperate  historian  of 
the  last  century,  Lenain  de  TiUemont  {Histoire  des  EmpereurSy 
etc.  J  t.  ii.,  p.  59),  with  so  much  justice  and  precision  that  it  is  a 
pleasure  to  quote  his  own  words.  "Seeing,"  says  he,  "that 
his  age  was  despised,  and  that  the  empire  required  some  one 
who  combined  strength  of  mind  and  body,  Nerva,  being  free 
from  that  blindness  which  prevents  one  from  discussing  and 
measuring  one's  own  powers,  and  from  that  thirst  for  dominion 
which  often  prevails  over  even  those  who  are  nearest  to  the 
grave,  resolved  to  take  a  partner  in  the  sovereign  power,  and 
showed  his  wisdom  by  making  choice  of  Trajan."    By  this 


choice,  indeed,  Nerva  commenced  and  inaugurated  the  finest 
period  of  the  Roman  empire,  the  period  that  contemporaries 
entitled  the  golden  age,  and  that  history  has  named  the  age  of 
the  Antonines.  It  is  desirahle  to  hecome  acquainted  with  the 
real  character  of  this  period,  for  to  it  belong  the  two  greatest 
historical  events,  the  dissolution  of  ancient  pagan,  and  the 
birth  of  modem  Christian  society. 

Five  notable  sovereigns,  Nerva,  Trajan,  Hadrian,  Antoninus 
Pius,  and  Marcus  Aurelius  swayed  the  Boman  empire  during 
this  period  (a.d.  96-180).  What  Nerva  was  has  just  been  de- 
scribed; and  he  made  no  mistake  in  adopting  Trajan  as  his 
successor.  Trajan,  imconnected  by  origin,  as  Nerva  also  had 
been,  with  old  Rome,  was  bom  in  Spain,  near  Seville,  and  by 
mihtary  service  in  the  East  had  made  his  first  steps  towards 
fortune  and  renown.  He  was  essentially  a  soldier,  a  moral  and 
a  modest  soldier ;  a  friend  to  justice  and  the  pubUc  weal ;  grand 
in  what  he  undertook  for  the  empire  he  governed;  simple  and 
modest  on  his  own  score ;  respectful  towards  the  civil  authority 
and  the  laws;  untiring  and  equitable  in  the  work  of  provincial 
administration;  without  any  philosophical  system  or  preten- 
sions; fuU  of  energy  and  boldness,  honesty  and  good  sense. 
He  stoutly  defended  the  empire  against  the  Germans  on  the 
banks  of  the  Danube,  won  for  it  the  province  of  Dacia,  and, 
being  more  taken  up  with  the  East  than  the  West,  made  many 
Asiatic  conquests,  of  which  his  successor,  Hadrian,  lost  no  time 
in  abandoning,  wisely  no  doubt,  a  portion.  Hadrian,  adopted 
by  Trajan,  and  a  Spaniard  too,  was  intellectually  superior  and 
morally  very  inferior  to  him.  He  was  full  of  ambition,  vanity, 
invention  and  restlessness;  he  was  sceptical  in  thought  and 
cynical  in  manners;  and  he  was  overflowing  with  political, 
philosophical  and  literary  views  and  pretensions.  He  passed 
the  twenty-one  years  of  his  reign  chiefly  in  travelling  about  the 
empire,  in  Asia,  Africa,  Greece,  Spain,  Gaul,  and  Great  Britain, 
opening  roads,  raising  ramparts  and  monuments,  founding 
schools  of  learning  and  museums,  and  encouraging  among  the 
provinces,  as  well  as  at  Rome,  the  march  of  administration, 
legislation,  and  intellect,  more  for  his  own  pleasure  and  his  own 
glorification  than  in  the  interest  of  his  cpuntry  and  of  society. 
At  the  close  of  this  active  career,  when  he  was  ill  and  felt  that 
he  was  dying,  he  did  the  best  deed  of  his  life.  He  had  proved 
in  the  discharge  of  high  offices,  the  calm  and  clear-sighted  wis- 
dom of  Titus  Antoninus,  a  Gaul,  whose  family  came  originally 
from  Ntmies;  he  had  seen  him  one  day  coming  to  the  senate 

80  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  v. 

and  respectfully  supporting  the  tottering  steps  of  his  aged 
father  (or  father-in-law,  according  to  Aurelius  Victor) ;  and 
he  adopted  him  as  his  successor.  Antoninus  Pius,  as  a  civilian, 
was  just  what  Trajan  had  been  as  a  warrior ;  moral  and  modest ; 
just  and  frugal;  attentive  to  the  pubhc  weal;  gentle  towards 
individuals;  full  of  respect  for  laws  and  rights;  scrupulous  in 
justifying  his  deeds  before  the  senate  and  making  them  known 
to  the  populations  by  carefully  posted  edicts ;  and  more  anxious 
to  do  no  wrong  or  harm  to  any  body  than  to  gain  lustre  from 
briUiant  or  popular  deeds.  ^*  He  surpasses  all  men  in  good- 
ness," said  his  contemporaries,  and  he  conferred  on  the  empire 
the  best  of  gifts,  for  he  gave  it  Marcus  Aurehus  for  its  ruler. 

It  has  been  said  that  Marcus  Aurelius  was  philosophy  en- 
throned. Without  any  desire  to  contest  or  detract  from  that 
compliment,  let  it  be  added  that  he  was  conscientiousneiss  en- 
throned. It  is  his  grand  and. original  characteristic  that  he 
governed  the  Boman  empire  and  himself  with  a  constant  moral 
sohcitude,  ever  anxious  to  realize  that  ideal  of  personal  virtue 
and  general  justice  which  he  had  conceived,  and  to  which  he 
aspired.  His  conception,  indeed,  of  virtue  and  justice  was  in- 
complete and  even  false  in  certain  cases;  and  in  more  than  one 
instance,  such  as  the  persecution  of  the  Christians,  he  com- 
mitted acts  quite  contrary  to  the  moral  law  which  he  intended 
to  put  in  practice  towards  all  men;  but  his  respect  for  the 
moral  law  was  prof  oimd,  and  his  intention  to  shape  his  acts 
according  to  it,  serious  and  sincere.  Let  us  cull  a  few  phrases 
from  that  collection  of  his  private  thoughts,  which  he  entitled 
For  self,  and  which  is  really  the  most  faithful  picture  man  ever 
left  of  himself  and  the  pains  he  took  with  himself.  '  *  *  There  is, " 
says  he,  "  relationship  between  all  beings  endowed  with  reason. 
The  world  is  like  a  superior  city  within  which  the  other  cities 
are  but  families.  ...  I  have  conceived  the  idea  of  a  govern- 
ment founded  on  laws  of  general  and  equal  application.  Be- 
ware lest  thou  Coesarize  thyself,  for  it  is  what  happens  only 
too  often.  Keep  thyself  simple,  good,  unaltered,  worthy, 
grave,  a  friend  to  justice,  pious,  kindly  disposed,  courageous 
enough  for  any  duty.  .  .  Reverence  the  gods,  preserve  man- 
kind, life  is  short ;  the  only  possible  good  fruit  of  our  earthly 
existence  is  holiness  of  intention  and  deeds  that  tend  to  the 
common  weal.  .  .  My  soul,  be  thou  covered  with  shame !  Thy 
life  is  well-nigh  gone,  and  thou  hast  not  yet  learned  how  to 
live."  Amongst  men,  who  have  ruled  great  states,  it  is  not  easy 
to  mention  more  than  two,  Marcus  AureUus  and  Saint  Louis, 

i;iE  NEW  ¥Cr;lf 

ASTOR,    Lh'i 

•  ^N 



who  have  been  thus  passionately  concerned  about  the  moral 
condition  of  their  souls  and  the  moral  conduct  of  their  lives. 
The  mind  of  Marcus  Aurehus  was  superior  to  that  of  Saint 
Louis ;  but  Saint  Louis  was  a  Christian,  and  his  moral  ideal  was 
more  pure,  more  complete,  more  satisfying,  and  more  strength- 
ening for  the  soul  than  the  philosophical  ideal  of  Marcus  Au- 
rehus. And  so  Saint  Louis  was  serene  and  confident  as  to  his 
fate  and  that  of  the  human  race,  whilst  Marcus  Aurehus  was 
disquieted  and  sad— sad  for  himself  and  also  for  hiunanity,  for 
his  coimtry  and  for  his  times:  **0  my  soul,"  was  his  cry, 
**  wherefore  art  thou  troubled,  and  why  am  I  so  vexed? " 

We  are  here  brought  closer  to  the  fact  which  has  already 
been  foreshadowed,  and  which  characterizes  the  moral  and 
social  condition  of  the  Eoman  world  at  this  period.  It  would 
be  a  great  error  to  take  the  five  emperors  just  spoken  of — 
Nerva,  Trajan,  Hadrian,  Antoninus  Pius,  and  Marcus  Aurehus 
—as  representatives  of  the  society  amidst  which  they  hved, 
and  as  giving,  in  a  certain  degree,  the  measure  of  its  enlighten- 
ment, its  morality,  its  prosperity,  its  disposition  and  condition 
in  general.  Tbose  five  princes  were  not  only  picked  men, 
superior  in  mind  and  character  to  the  majority  of  their  con- 
temporaries, but  they  were  men  almost  isolated  in  their  gener- 
ation: in  them  there  was  a  resumption  of  all  that  had  been 
acquired  by  Greek  and  Boman  antiquity  of  enhghtenment  and 
virtue,  practical  wisdom  and  philosophical  morality:  they 
were  the  heirs  and  the  survivors  of  the  great  minds  and  thfe 
great  politicians  of  Athens  and  Rome,  of  the  Areopagus  and  the 
Senate.  They  were  not  in  intellectual  and  moral  harmony 
with  the  society  they  governed,  and  their  action  upon  it  served 
hardly  to  preserve  it  partially  and  temporarily  from  the  evils 
to  which  it  was  committed  by  its  own  vices  and  to  break  its 
fall.  When  they  were  thoughtful  and  modest  as  Marcus  Aure- 
hus was,  they  were  gloomy  and  disposed  to  discouragement, 
for  they  had  a  secret  foreboding  of  the  uselessness  of  their 

Nor  was  their  gloom  groundless:  in  spite  of  their  honest 
plans  and  of  brilhant  appearances,  the  degradation,  material 
as  weU  as  moral,  of  Roman  society  went  on  increasing.  The 
wars,  the  luxury,  the  dilapidations,  and  the  disturbances  of 
the  empire  always  raised  its  expenses  much  above  its  receipts. 
The  rough  miserliness  of  Vespasian  and  the  wise  economy  of 
Antoninus  Pius  were  far  from  sufficient  to  restore  the  balance; 
the  aggravation  of  imposts  was  incessant;  and  the  population. 

82  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  v. 

especially  the  agricultual  population,  dwindled  away  more  and 
more,  in  Italy  itself,  the  centre  of  the  State.  This  evil  di»- 
quieted  the  emperors  when  they  were  neither  idiots  nor  mad- 
men; Claudius,  Vespasian,  Nerva,  and  Trajan  labored  to  sup- 
ply a  remedy,  and  Augustus  himself  had  set  them  the  example. 
They  established  in  Italy  colonies  of  veterans  to  whom  they 
assigned  lands;  they  made  gifts  thereof  to  indigent  Roman 
citizens;  they  attracted  by  the  title  of  senator  rich  citizens 
from  the  provinces,  and  when  they  had  once  installed  them  as 
landholders  in  Italy,  they  did  not  permit  them  to  depart  with- 
out authorization.  Trajan  decreed  that  every  candidade  for 
the  Roman  magistracies  should  be  bound  to  have  a  third  of  his 
fortime  invested  in  Italian  land,  "in  order,"  says  Pliny  the 
Younger,  **that  those  who  sought  the  public  dignities  should 
regard  Rome  and  Italy  not  as  an  inn  to  put  up  at  in  travelling, 
but  as  their  home."  And  Pliny  the  Elder,  going  as  a  philoso- 
phical observer  to  the  very  root  of  the  evil,  says  in  his  pom- 
pous manner:  "  In  former  times  our  generals  tilled  their  fields 
with  their  own  hands;  the  earth,  we  may  suppose,  opened 
graciously  beneath  a  plough  crowned  with  laurels  and  held  by 
triumphal  hands,  maybe  because  those  great  men  gave  to  till- 
age the  same  care  that  they  gave  to  war,  and  that  they  sow^ 
seed  with  the  same  attention  with  which  they  pitched  a  camp, 
or  maybe,  also,  because  every  thing  fructifies  best  in  honorable 
hands,  because  every  thing  is  done  with  the  most  scrupulous 

exactitude Now-a-days  these  same  fields  are  given  over 

to  slaves  in  chains,  to  malefactors  who  are  condemned  to  penal 
servitude,  and  on  whose  brow  there  is  a  brand.  Earth  is  not 
deaf  to  our  prayers;  we  give  her  the  name  of  mother;  culture 
is  what  we  call  the  pains  we  bestow  on  her  ....  but  can  we 
be  surprised  if  she  render  not  to  slaves  the  recompense  she 
paid  to  generals  ? " 

What  must  have  been  the  decay  of  population  and  of  agri- 
culture in  the  provinces,  when  even  in  Italy  there  was  need  of 
such  strong  protective  efforts,  which  were,  nevertheless,  so 
slightly  successful? 

Pliny  had  seen  what  was  the  fatal  canker  of  the  Roman  em- 
pire in  the  country  as  well  as  in  the  towns:  slavery  or  semi- 

Landed  property  was  overwhelmed  with  taxes,  was  subject 
to  conditions  which  branded  it  with  a  sort  of  servitude,  and 
was  cultivated  by  a  servile  population,  in  whose  hands  it  be- 
came almost  barren.    The  large  holders  were  thus  disgusted, 


and  the  small  ruined  or  reduced  to  a  condition  more  and  more 
degraded.  Add  to  this  state  of  things  in  the  civil  department 
a  complete  absence  of  freedom  and  vitality  in  the  political;  no 
elections,  no  discussion,  no  public  responsibihty,  characters 
weakened  by  indolence  and  silence,  or  destroyed  by  despotic 
power,  or  corrupted  by  the  intrigues  of  court  or  army.  Take 
a  step  farther;  cast  a  glance  over  the  moral  department;  no 
religious  creeds  and  nothing  left  of  even  Paganism  but  its  festi- 
vals and  frivolous  or  shameful  superstitions.  The  philosophy 
of  Greece  and  the  old  Roman  manner  of  life  had  raised  up,  it 
is  true,  in  the  higher  ranks  of  society  Stoics  and  jurists,  the 
former  the  last  champions  of  morality  and  the  dignity  of  hu- 
man nature,  the  latter  the  last  enlightened  servants  of  the 
civil  community.  But  neither  the  doctrines  of  the  Stoics  nor 
the  science  and  able  reasoning  of  the  jurists  were  lights  and 
guides  within  the  reach  and  for  the  use  of  the  populace,  who 
remained  a  prey  to  the  vices  and  miseries  of  servitude  or  pub- 
lic disorders,  oscillating  between  the  wearisomeness  of  barren 
ignorance  and  the  corruptiveness  of  a  life  of  adventure.  All 
the  causes  of  decay  were  at  this  time  spreading  throiighout  Ro- 
man society ;  not  a  single  preservative  or  regenerative  princi- 
ple of  national  life  was  in  any  force  or  any  esteem. 

After  the  death  of  Marcus  Aurelius  the  decay  manifested 
and  developed  itself,  almost  without  interruption  for  the  space 
of  a  century,  the  outward  and  visible  sign  of  it  being  the  dis- 
organization and  repeated  falls  of  the  government  itself.  The 
series  of  emperors  given  to  the  Roman  world  by  heirship  or 
adoption,  from  Augustus  to  Marcus  Aurelius,  was  succeeded  by 
what  maybe  termed  an  imperial  anarchy;  in  the  course  of 
one  himdred  and  thirty-two  years  the  sceptre  passed  into  the 
hands  of  thirty-nine  sovereigns  with  the  title  of  emperor 
(Augustus)  and  was  clutched  at  by  thirty-one  pretenders,  whom 
history  has  dubbed  tyrants,  without  other  claim  than  their 
fiery  ambition  and  their  trials  of  strength,  supported  at  one 
time  in  such  and  such  a  province  of  the  empire  by  certain 
legions  or  some  local  uprising,  at  another,  and  most  frequently 
in  Italy  itself,  by  the  Praetorian  guards,  who  had  at  their  dis- 
posal the  name  of  Rome  and  the  shadow  of  a  senate.  There 
were  Italians,  Africans,  Spaniards,  Gauls,  Britons,  Illyrians, 
and  Asiatics ;  and  amongst  the  number  were  to  be  met  with 
some  cases  of  eminence  in  war  and  politics  and  some  even  of 
rare  virtue  and  patriotism,  such  as  Pertinax,  Septimius  Severus, 
Alexander  Severus,  Decius,  Claudius  Gothicus,  Aurelian,  Taci- 

S4  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  v. 

tus,  and  Probus.  They  made  great  efforts,  some  to  protect 
the  empu«  against  the  barbarians,  growing  day  by  day  more 
aggressive,  others  to  re-establish  within  it  some  sort  of  order, 
and  to  restore  to  the  laws  some  sort  of  force.  All  failed,  and 
nearly  all  died  a  violent  death,  after  a  short-lived  guardian- 
ship of  a  fabric  that  was  crumbling  to  pieces  in  every  part,  but 
still  under  the  grand  name  of  Boman  empire.  Gaul  had  her 
share  in  this  series  of  ephemeral  emperors  and  tyrants;  one  of 
the  most  wicked  and  most  insane,  though  issue  of  one  of  the 
most  valorous  and  able,  CaracaUa,  son  of  Septimius  Severus, 
was  bom  at  Lyons,  four  years  after  the  death  of  Marcus  Aure- 
lius.  A  hundred  years  later  Narbonne  gave,  in  two  years,  to 
the  Eoman  world  three  emperors.  Cams  and  his  two  sons, 
Carinus  and  Numerian.  Amongst  the  thirty-one  tyrants  who 
did  not  attain  to  the  title  of  Augustus,  six  were  Gauls;  and 
the  last  two,  Amandus  and  iElianus,  were,  a.d.  285,  the  chiefs 
of  that  great  insurrection  of  peasants,  slaves  or  half-slaves, 
who,  imder  the  name  of  Bagaudians  (signifying,  according  to 
Ducange,  a  wandering  troop  of  insurgents  from  field  and  for- 
est), spread  themselves  over  the  north  of  Gaul,  between  the 
Rhine  and  the  Loire,  pillaging  and  ravaging  in  all  directions, 
after  having  themselves  endured  the  pillaging  and  ravages  of 
the  fiscal  agents  and  soldiers  of  the  Empire.  A  contemporary 
witness,  Lactantius,  describes  the  causes  of  this  jyopular  out- 
break in  the  following  words :—"  So  enormous  had  the  imposts 
become,  that  the  tillers'  strength  was  exhausted;  fields  became 
deserts  and  farms  were  changed  into  forests.  The  fiscal  agents 
measured  the  land  by  the  clod;  trees,  vine-stalks,  were  all 
counted.  The  cattle  were  marked ;  the  people  registered.  Old 
age  or  sickness  was  no  excuse ;  the  sick  and  the  infirm  were 
brought  up;  every  one's  age  was  put  down;  a  few  years  were 
added  on  to  the  children's,  and  taken  off  from  the  old  men's. 
Meanwhile  the  cattle  decreased,  the  people  died,  and  there  was 
no  deduction  made  for  the  dead." 

It  is  said  that  to  excite  the  confidence  and  zeal  of  their 
bands,  the  two  chiefs  of  the  Bagaudians  had  medals  struck, 
and  that  one  exhibited  the  head  of  Amandus,  "Emperor, 
Caesar,  Augustus,  pious  and  prosperous"  with  the  word 
"  Hope"  on  the  other  side. 

When  public  evils  have  reached  such  a  pitch,  and  neverthe- 
less the  day  has  not  yet  arrived  for  the  entire  disappearance  of 
the  system  that  causes  them,  there  arises  nearly  always  a  new 
power  "^hich,  in  the  name  of  necessity,  applies  some  remedy 


to  an  intolerable  condition.  A  legion  cantoned  amongst  the 
Tungriana  (Tongres),  in  Belgica,  had  on  its  muster-roll  a  Dal- 
matian named  Diocletian,  not  yet  very  high  in  rank,  but  al- 
ready much  looked  up  to  by  his  comrades  on  accoimt  of  his 
intelligence  and  his  bravery.  He  lodged  at  a  woman's,  who 
was,  they  said,  a  Druidess,  and  had  the  prophetic  faculty. 
One  day  when  he  was  settling  his  account  with  her,  she  com- 
plained of  his  extreme  parsimony:  **Thou*rt  too  stingy,  Dio- 
cletian," said  she;  and  he  answered  laughing,  *^ I'll  be  prodigal 
when  I'm  emperor."  **  Laugh  not,"  rejoined  she:  **  thou'lt  be 
emperor  when  thou  hast  slain  a  wild  boar"  (aper).  The  con- 
versation got  about  amongst  Diocletian's  comrades.  He  made 
his  way  in  the  army,  showing  continual  ability  and  valor,  and 
several  times  during  his  changes  of  quarters  and  frequent 
hunting  expeditions  he  f oimd  occasion  to  kill  wild  boars ;  but 
he  did  not  immediately  become  emperor,  and  several  of  his 
contemporaries,  Aurelian,  Tacitus,  Probus,  Cams,  and  Nume- 
rian  reached  the  goal  before  him.  **I  kill  the  wild  boars," 
said  he  to  one  of  his  friends,  '*  and  another  eats  them."  The 
last  mentioned  of  these  ephemeral  emperors,  Numerian,  had 
for  his  father-in-law  and  inseparable  comrade  a  Praetorian 
prefect  named  Arrius  Aper.  During  a  campaign  in  Mesopo- 
tamia Numerian  was  assassinated,  and  the  voice  of  the  army 
pronounced  Aper  guilty.  The  legions  assembled  to  dehberate 
about  Numerian's  death  and  to  choose  his  successor.  Aper 
was  brought  before  the  assembly  imder  a  guard  of  soldiers. 
Through  the  exertions  of  zealous  f  rifends  the  candidature  of 
Diocletian  found  great  favor.  At  the  first  words  pronounced 
by  biTn  from  a  raised  platform  in  the  presence  of  the  troops, 
cries  of  **  Diocletian  Augustus"  were  raised  in  every  quarter. 
Other  voices  called  on  him  to  express  his  feelings  about  Nume- 
rian's murderers.  Drawing  his  sword,  Diocletian  declared  on 
oath  that  he  was  innocent  of  the  emperor's  death,  butP  that  he 
knew  who  was  guilty  and  would  find  means  to  punish  him. 
Descending  suddenly  from  the  platform,  he  made  straight  for 
the  Prsetorian  prefect,  and  saying,  **  Aper,  be  comforted;  thou 
shalt  not  die  by  vulgar  hands;  by  the  right  hand  of  great 
JSneas  thoufaUest,^^  he  gave  him  his  death-wound.  "I  have 
killed  the  prophetic  wild  boar, "  said  he  in  the  evening  to  his 
confidants;  and  soon  afterwards,  in  spite  of  the  efforts  of  cer- 
tain rivals,  he  was  emperor. 

"Nothing  is  more  difficult  than  to  govern,"  was  a  remark 
his  conurades  had  often  heard  made  by  him  amidst  so  many 

86  EI8T0BY  OF  FRANCE.  [CH.  v. 

imperial  catastrophes.  Emperor  in  his  turn,  Diocletian  treas- 
ured up  this  profound  idea  of  the  difficulty  of  government, 
and  he  set  to  work,  ably,  if  not  successfully,  to  master  it. 
Convinced  that  the  Empire  was  too  vast,  and  that  a  single 
man  did  not  suffice  to  make  head  against  the  two  evils  that 
were  destroying  it— war  against  barbarians  on  the  frontiers, 
and  anarchy  within— he  divided  the  Eoman  world  into  two 
portions,  gave  the  West  to  Maximian,  one  of  his  comrades,  a 
coarse  but  valiant  soldier,  and  kept  the  East  himself.  To 
the  anarchy  that  reigned  within  he  opposed  a  general  despotic 
administrative  organization,  a  vast  hierarchy  of  civil  and  mil- 
itary agents,  every  where  present,  every  where  masters,  and 
dependent  upon  the  emperor  alone.  By  his  incontestable  and 
admitted  superiority,  Diocletian  remained  the  soul  of  these 
two  bodies.  At  the  end  of  eight  years  he  saw  that  the  two 
Empires  were  still  too  vast;  and  to  each  Augustus  he  added  a 
CsBsar— Galerius  and  Constantius  Chlorus— who,  save  a  nomi- 
nal, rather  than  real,  subordination  to  the  two  emperors,  had, 
each  in  his  own  State,  the  imperial  power  with  the  same  ad- 
ministrative system.  In  this  partition  of  the  Roman  world, 
Gaul  had  the  best  of  it:  she  had  for  master,  Constantius 
Chlorus,  a  tried  warrior,  but  just,  gentle,  and  disposed  to  tem- 
per the  exercise  of  absolute  power  with  moderation  and  equity. 
He  had  a  son,  Constantino,  at  this  time  eighteen  years  of  age, 
whom  he  was  educating  carefully  for  government  as  well  as 
for  war.  This  system  of  the  Roman  Empire,  thus  divided  be- 
tween four  masters,  lasted  thirteen  years ;  still  fruitful  in  wars 
and  in  troubles  at  home,  but  without  victories,  and  with  some- 
what less  of  anarchy.  In  spite  of  this  appearance  of  success 
and  durability,  absolute  power  failed  to  perform  its  task;  and, 
weary  of  his  burden  and  disgusted  with  the  imperfection  of 
his  work.  Diocletian  abdicated,  a.d.  305.  No  event,  no  solici- 
tations 01  his  old  comrades  in  arms  and  empire,  could  draw 
him  from  his  retreat  on  his  native  soil  of  Salona,  in  Dalmatia. 
**  If  you  could  see  the  vegetables  planted  by  these  hands,"  said 
he  to  Maximian  and  Galerius,  '*you  would  not  make  the  at- 
tempt." He  had  persuaded  or  rather  dragged  his  first  col- 
league, Maximian,  into  abdication  after  him;  and  so  Galerius 
in  the  East,  and  Constantius  Chlorus  in  the  West,  remained 
sole  emperors.  After  the  retirement  of  Diocletian,  ambitions, 
rivalries,  and  intrigues  were  not  slow  to  make  head ;  Maxim- 
ian reappeared  on  the  scene  of  empire,  but  only  to  speedily 
disappear  (a.d.  310),  leaving  in  his  place  his  son  Mazentius. 

cfl.  VI.]  CHRISTIANITY  IN  OAVL.  87 

Constantius  Chlorus  had  died  a.d.  306,  and  his  son,  Constan- 
tine,  had  immediately  been  proclaimed  by  his  army  Csesar 
and  Augustus.  Galerius  died  a.d.  311,  and  Constantine  re- 
mained to  dispute  the  mastery  with  Maxentius  in  the  West, 
and  in  the  Bast  with  Maziminus  and  Licinius,  the  last  col- 
leagues taken  by  Diocletian  and  Galerius.  On  the  29th  of 
October,  a.d.  312,  after  having  gained  several  battles  against 
Maxentius  in  Italy,  at  Milan,  Brescia,  and  Verona,  Constan- 
tine pursued  and  defeated  him  before  Home,  on  the  borders  of 
the  Tiber,  at  the  foot  of  the  Milvian  bridge;  and  the  son  of 
Maximian,  drowned  in  the  liber,  left  to  the  son  of  Constantius 
Chlorus  the  Empire  of  the  West,  to  which  that  of  the  East 
was  destined  to  be  in  a  few  years  added,  by  the  defeat  and 
death  of  Licinius.  Constantine,  more  clear-sighted  and  more 
fortunate  than  any  of  his  predecessors,  had  understood  his 
era,  and  opened  his  eyes  to  the  new  hght  which  was  rising 
upon  the  world.  Far  from  persecuting  the  Christians,  as 
Diocletian  and  Galerius  had  done,  he  had  given  them  protec- 
tion, coimtenance,  and  audience;  and  towards  him  turned  all 
their  hopes.  He  had  even,  it  is  said,  in  his  last  battle  against 
Maxentius,  displayed  the  Christian  banner,  the  cross,  with 
this  inscription ;  Hoc  signo  vincea  (**  with  this  device  thou  shalt 
conquer").  There  is  no  knowing  what  was  at  that  time  the 
state  of  his  soul,  and  to  what  extent  it  was  penetrated  by  the 
first  rays  of  Christian  faith;  but  it  is  certain  that  he  was  the 
first  amongst  the  masters  of  tlie  Eoman  world  to  perceive  and 
accept  its  influence.  With  him  Paganism  fell,  and  Christian- 
ity mounted  the  throne.  With  him  the  decay  of  Roman 
society  stops,  and  the  era  of  modem  society  conamences. 



When  Christianity  began  to  penetrate  into  G«.ul,  it  encoun- 
tered there  two  religions  very  different  one  from  the  other, 
and  infinitely  more  different  from  the  Christian  religion;  these 
were  Druidism  and  Paganism— hostile  one  to  the  other,  but 
with  a  hostility  political  only,  and  unconnected  with  those  really 
religious  questions  that  Christianity  was  coming  to  raise. 

Druidism^  considered  as  a  religion,  was  a  mass  of  confusion. 

88  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  vl 

wherein  the  instinctive  notions  of  the  human  race  concerning 
the  origin  and  destiny  of  the  world  and  of  mankind  were 
mingled  with  the  oriental  dreams  of  metempsychosis— that 
pretended  transmigration,  at  successive  periods,  of  immortal 
souls  into  divers  creatures.  This  confusion  was  worse  con- 
founded by  traditions  borrowed  from  the  mythologies  of  the 
East  and  the  North,  by  shadowy  remnants  of  a  symbolical 
worship  paid  to  the  material  forces  of  nature  and  by  barbaric 
practices,  such  as  human  sacrifices,  in  honor  of  the  gods  or  of 
the  dead.  People  who  are  without  the  scientific  development 
of  language  and  the  art  of  writing,  do  not  attain  to  systematic 
and  productive  religious  creeds.  There  is  nothing  to  show 
that,  from  the  first  appearance  of  the  Gauls  in  history  to  their 
struggle  with  victorious  Rome,  the  rehgious  influence  of 
Druidismhad  caused  any  notable  progress  to  be  made  in  Gallic 
manners  and  civilization.  A  general  and  strong,  but  vague 
and  incoherent,  belief  in  the  immortality  pf  the  soul  was  its 
noblest  characteristic.  But  with  the  rehgious  elements,  at  the 
same  time  coarse  and  mystical,  were  united  two  facts  of 
importance:  the  Druids  formed  a  veritable  ecclesiastical  cor^ 
poration,  which  had,  throughout  GaUic  society,  fixed  attributes, 
special  manners  and  customs,  an  existence  at  the  same  time 
distinct  and  national;  and  in  the  wars  with  Rome  this  corpo- 
ration became  the  most  faithful  representatives  and  the  most 
persistent  defenders  of  GaUic  independence  and  nationality. 
The  Druids  were  far  more  a  clergy  than  Druidism  was  a 
reUgion;  but  it  was  an  organized  and  a  patriotic  clergy.  It 
was  especially  on  this  account  that  they  exercised  in  Gaul  an 
influence  which  was  still  existent,  particularly  in  north-western 
Gaul,  at  the  time  when  Christianity  reached  the  Gfdlic 
provinces  of  the  south  and  centre. 

The  Graeco-Roman  Paganism  was,  at  this  time,  far  more 
powerful  than  Druidism  in  Gaul,  and  yet  more  lukewarm  and 
destitute  of  all  rehgious  vitality.  It  was  the  religion  of  the 
conquerors  and  of  the  State,  and  was  invested,  in  that  quality, 
with  real  power ;  but,  beyond  that,  it  had  but  the  power  derived 
from  popular  customs  and  superstitions.  As  a  rehgious  creed, 
the  Latin  Paganism  was  at  bottom  empty,  indifferent,  and 
inclined  to  tolerate  all  religions  in  the  State,  provided  only 
that  they,  in  their  turn,  were  indifferent  at  any  rate  towards 
itself,  and  that  they  did  not  come  troubling  the  State,  either 
by  disobeying  her  rulers  or  by  attacking  her  old  deities,  dead 
and  buried  beneath  their  own  still  standing  altars. 

CH.  vl]  OHBiaTIAmTT  IN  GAUL.  89 

Such  were  the  two  religioiiB  with  which  in  Gaul  nascent 
Christianity  had  to  contend.  Compared  with  them  it  was,  to 
an  appearance,  very  small  and  very  weak;  but  it  was  pro- 
vided with  the  most  efficient  weapons  for  fighting  and  beating 
them,  for  it  had  exactly  the  moral  forces  which  they  lacked. 
Christianity,  instead  of  being,  like  Druidism,  a  religion  exclu- 
sively national  and  hostile  to  all  that  was  foreign,  proclaimed 
a  universal  religion,  free  from  all  local  and  national  partiality, 
addressing  itself  to  all  men  in  the  name  of  the  same  Gk)d,  and 
offering  to  all  the  same  salvation.  It  is  one  of  the  strangest 
and  most  significant  facts  in  history,  that  the  rehgion  most 
universally  human,  most  dissociated  from  every  consideration 
but  that  of  the  rights  and  well-being  of  the  human  race  in  its 
entirety — ^that  such  a  religion,  be  it  repeated,  should  have  come' 
forth  from  the  womb  of  the  most  exclusive,  most  rigorously 
and  obstinately  national  religion  that  ever  appeared  in  the 
world,  that  is,  Judaism.  Such,  nevertheless,  was  the  birth  of 
Christianity;  and  this  wonderful  contrast  between  the  essence 
and  the  earthly  origin  of  Christianity  was  without. doubt  one 
of  its  most  powerful  attractions  and  most  efficacious  means  of 

Against  Paganism  Christianity  was  armed  with  moral  forces 
not  a  whit  less  great.  Confronting  mythological  traditions  and 
poetical  or  philosophical  allegories,  appeared  a  religion  truly 
rehgious,  concerned  solely  with  the  relations  of  mankind  to 
God  and  with  their  eternal  future.  To  the  pagan  indifference 
of  the  Boman  world  the  Christians  opposed  the  profound  con- 
viction of  their  faith,  and  not  only  their  firmness  in  defending 
it  against  all  powers  and  all  dangers,  but  also  their  ardent 
passion  for  propagating  it  without  any  motive  but  the  yearning 
to  make  their  fellows  share  inlts  benefits  and  its  hopes.  They 
confronted,  nay,  they  welcomed  martyrdom,  at  one  time  to 
maintain  their  own  Christianity,  at  another  to  make  others 
Christians  arom^jd  them ;  propagandism  was  for  them  a  duty 
almost  as  imperative  as  fideUty.  And  it  was  not  in  memory 
of  old  and  obsolete  mythologies  but  in  the  name  of  recent  deeds 
and  persons,  in  obedience  to  laws  proceeding  from  God,  One 
and  Universal,  in  fulfilment  and  continuation  of  a  contempo- 
rary and  superhuman  history— that  of  Jesus  Christ,  the  Son 
of  G<m1  and  Son  of  Man— that  the  Christians  of  the  first  two 
centuries  labored  to  convert  to  their  faith  the  whole  Boman 
world.  Marcus  Aurelius  was  contemptuously  astonished  at 
what  he  called  the  obstinacy  of  the  Christians;  he  knew  not 

90  EI8T0RY  OF  FRANCE.  [cH.  vi. 

firom  what  source  these  nameless  heroes  drew  a  strength 
superior  to  his  own,  though  he  was  at  the  same  time  emperor 
and  sage.  It  is  impossihle  to  assign  with  exactness  the  date  of 
the  first  foot-prints  and  first  labors  of  Christianity  in  Gaul.  It 
was  not,  however,  from  Italy,  nor  in  the  Latin  tongue  and 
through  Latin  writers,  but  from  the  East  and  through  the 
Greeks,  that  it  first  came  and  began  to  spread.  Marseilles  and 
the  different  Greek  colonies,  originally  from  Asia  Minor  and 
settled  upon  the  shores  of  the  Mediterranean  or  along  the 
Rhone,  mark  the  route  and  were  the  places  whither  the  first 
Christian  missionaries  carried  their  teaching:  on  this  point 
the  letters  of  the  Apostles  and  the  writings  of  the  first  two 
generations  of  their  disciples  are  clear  and  abiding  proof.  In 
the  west  of  the  Empire,  especially  in  Italy,  the  Christians  at 
their  first  appearance  were  confounded  with  the  Jews,  and 
comprehended  imder  the  same  name :  *  *  The  emperor  Claudius, " 
says  Suetonius,  **  drove  from  Rome  (a.d.  52)  the  Jews  who,  at 
the  instigation  of  Christus,  were  in  continual  commotion." 
After  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem  by  Titus  (a.d.  71),  the  Jews, 
Christian  or  not,  dispersed  throughout  the  Empire;  but  the 
Christians  were  not  slow  to  signalize  themselves  by  their 
religious  fervor,  and  to  come  forward  every  where  imder  their 
own  true  name.  Lyons  became  the  chief  centre  of  Christian 
preaching  and  association  in  Gaul.  As  early  as  the  first  half 
of  the  second  century  there  existed  there  a  Christian  con- 
gregation, regularly  organized  as  a  Church,  and  already  suffi- 
ciently important  to  be  in  intimate  and  frequent  commimica- 
tion  with  the  Christian  Churches  of  the  East  and  West. 
There  is  a  tradition,  generally  admitted,  that  St.  Pothinus,  the 
first  Bishop  of  Lyons,  was  sent  thither  from  the  East  by 
the  Bishop  of  Smyrna,  St.  Polycarp,  himself  a  disciple  of  St. 
John.  One  thing  is  certain,  that  the  Christian  Church  of 
Lyons  produced  Gaul's  first  martyrs,  amongst  whom  was  the 
Bishop,  St.  Pothinus.  « 

It  was  imder  Marcus  Aurelius,  the  most  philosophical  and 
most  conscientious  of  the  emperors,  that  there  was  enacted  for 
the  first  time  in  Gaul,  against  nascent  Christianity,  that  scene 
oftyranny  and  barbarity  which  was  to  be  renewed  so  often  and 
during  so  many  centuries  in  the  midst  of  Christendom  itself. 
In  the  eastern  provinces  of  the  Empire  and  in  Italy  the  Chris- 
tians had  already  been  several  times  persecuted,  now  with 
cold-blooded  cruelty,  now  with  some  sUght  hesitation  and 
irresolution.     Nero  had  caused  them  to  be  burned  in  the 


streets  of  Rome,  accusing  them  of  the  conflagration  himself 
had  kindled,  and,  a  few  months  before  his  fall,  St.  Peter  and 
St.  Paul  had  undegone  martyrdom  at  Home.  Domitian  had 
persecuted  and  put  to  death  Christians  even  in  his  own  family, 
and  though  invested  with  the  honors  of  the  consulate.  Right- 
eous Trajan,  when  consulted  by  Pliny  the  Younger  on  the  con- 
duct he  should  adopt  in  Bithynia  towards  the  Christians,  had 
answered:  "It  is  impossible,  in  this  sort  of  matter,  to  estab- 
lish any  certain  general  rule;  there  must  be  no  quest  set  on 
foot  against  them,  and  no  unsigned  indictment  must  be 
accepted;  but  if  they  be  accused  and  convicted,  they  must  be 
punished."  To  be  punished,  it  sufficed  that  they  were  con- 
victed of  being  Christians;  and  it  was  Trajan  himself  who 
condemned  St.  Ignatius,  Bishop  of  Antioch,  to  be  brought  to 
Rome  and  thrown  to  the  beasts,  for  the  simple  reason  that  he 
was  highly  Christian.  Marcus  Aurelius,  not  only  by  virtue  of 
his  philosophical  conscientiousness,  but  by  reason  of  an  inci- 
dent in  his  history,  seemed  bound  to  be  further  than  any  other 
from  persecuting  the  Christians.  During  one  of  his  campaigns 
on  the  Danube,  a.d.  174,  his  army  was  suffering  cruelly 
from  fatigue  and  thirst;  and  at  the  very  moment  when  they 
were  on  the  i)oint  of  engaging  in  a  great  battle  against  the  bar- 
barians, the  rain  fell  in  abundance,  refreshed  the  Roman 
soldiers,  and  conduced  to  their  victory.  There  was  in  the  Ro- 
man army  a  legion,  the*  twelfth,  called  the  Melitine  or  the 
Thundering,  which  bore  on  its  roll  many  Christian  soldiers. 
They  gave  thanks  for  the  rain  and  the  victory  to  the  one 
omnipotent  God  who  had  heard  their  prayers,  whilst  the  pagans 
rendered  like  honor  to  Jupiter,  the  rain-giver  and  the  thun- 
derer.  The  report  about  these  Christians  got  spread  abroad 
and  gained  credit  in  the  Empire,  so  much  so  that  there  was 
attributed  to  Marcus  Aurehus  a  letter,  in  which  by  reason,  no 
doubt,  of  this  incident,  he  forbade  persecution  of  the  Chris- 
tians. Tertullian,  a  contemiwrary  witness,  speaks  of  this  let- 
ter in  perfect  confidence;  and  the  Christian  writers  of  the  fol- 
lowing century  did  not  hesitate  to  regard  it  as  authentic. 
Now-a-days,  a  strict  examination  of  its  existing  text  does  not 
allow  such  a  character  to  be  attributed  to  it.  At  any  rate  the 
persecutions  of  the  Christians  were  not  forbidden,  for  in  the 
year  177,  that  is  only  three  years  after  the  victory  of  Marcus 
Aurelius  over  the  Qermans,  there  took  place,  undoubtedly  by 
his  orders,  the  persecution  which  caused  at  Lyons  the  first 
Gallic  martyrdom.     This  was  the  fourth,  or,  according  to 

92  EI8T0ET  OF  FRANCE.  [cH.  VL 

others,  the  fifth  great  imperial  persecution  of  the .  Chris- 

Most  tales  of  the  martyrs  were  written  long  after  the  event, 
and  came  to  be  nothing  more  than  legends  laden  with  details 
often  utterly  puerile  or  devoid  of  proof.  The  martyrs  of  Lyons 
in  the  second  century  wrote,  so  to  speak,  their  own  history; 
for  it  was  their  comrades,  eye-witnesses  of  their  sufferings  and 
their  virtue,  who  gave  an  account  of  them  in  a  long  letter  ad- 
dressed to  their  friends  in  Asia  Minor,  and  written  with  passion- 
ate sympathy  and  pious  prolixity,  but  bearing  all  the  character- 
istics of  truth.  It  seems  desirable  to  submit  for  perusal  that 
document,  which  has  been  preserved  almost  entire  in  the 
EccUsiaatical  History  of  Eusebius,  Bishop  of  Csesarea  in  the 
third  century,  and  which  will  exhibit,  better  than  any  modem 
representations,  the  state  of  facts  and  of  souls  in  the  midst  of 
the  imperial  persecutions,  and  the  mighty  faith,  devotion,  and 
courage,  with  which  the  early  Christians  faced  the  most  cruel 

"The  servants  of  Christ,  dwelling  atVienne  and  Lyons  in 
Gaul,  to  the  brethren  settled  in  Asia  and  Phrygia,  who  have 
the  same  faith  and  hope  of  redemption  that  we  have,  i)eace, 
grace,  and  glory  from  God  the  Father  and  Jesus  Christ  our 

**  None  can  tell  to  you  in  speech,or  fully  set  forth  to  you  in 
writing  the  weight  of  our  misery,  the  madness  and  rage  of  the 
Gentiles  against  the  saints,  and  all  that  hath  been  suffered  by 
the  blessed  martyrs.  Our  enemy  doth  rush  upon  us  with  all 
the  fury  of  his  powers,  and  already  giyeth  us  a  foretaste  and  the 
firstfruits  of  all  the  hcense  with  which  he  doth  intend  to  set 
upon  us.  He  hath  omitted  nothing  for  the  training  of  his 
agents  against  us,  and  he  doth  exercise  them  in  a  sort  of  pre- 
paratory work  against  the  servants  of  the  Lord.  Not  only  are 
we  driven  from  the  public  buildings,  from  the  baths,  and  from 
the  forum,  but  it  is  forbidden  to  all  our  people  to  appear  pub- 
licly in  any  place  whatsoever. 

"  The  grace  of  God  hath  striven  for  us  against  the  devil:  at 
the  same  time  that  it  hath  sustained  the  weak,  it  hath  opposed 
to  the  Evil  One,  as  it  were,  pillars  of  strength— men  strong  and 
valiant,  ready  to  draw  on  themselves  all  his  attacks.  They  have 
had  to  bear  all  manner  of  insult ;  they  have  deemed  but  a  small 
matter  that  which  others  find  hard  and  terrible ;  and  they  have 
thought  only  of  going  to  Christ,  proving  by  their' example  that 
tbe  sufferings  of  this  world  are  not  worthy  to  be  put  in  the 

CH.  VL]     •  CHBiaTIANITT  IN  GAUL,  98 

balance  with  the  glory  which  is  to  be  manifested  in  us.  They 
have  endured,  in  the  first  place,  all  the  outrages  that  could  be 
heaped  upon  them  by  the  multitude,  outcries,  blows,  thefts, 
spoliation,  stoning,  imprisonment,  all  that  the  fury  of  the  peo- 
ple could  devise  against  hated  enemies.  Then,  dragged  to  the 
forum  by  the  military  tribune  and  the  magistrates  of  the  city, 
they  have  been  questioned  before  the  people  and  cast  into  prison 
until  the  coming  of  the  governor.  He,  from  the  moment  our 
people  appeared  before  him,  committed  all  manner  of  violence 
against  them.  Then  stood  forth  one  of  our  brethren,  Vettius 
Epagathus,  full  of  love  towards  Gk)d  and  his  neighbor,  living  a 
life  so  pure  and  strict  that,  young  as  he  was,  men  held  him  to 
be  the  equal  of  the  aged  Zacharias.  .  .  He  could  not  bear  that 
judgment  so  imjust  should  go  forth* against  us,  and,  moved 
with  indignation,  he  asked  leave  to  defend  his  brethren,  and  to 
prove  that  there  was  in  them  no  kind  of  irreligion  or  impiety. 
Those  present  at  the  tribunal,  amongst  whom  he  was  known 
and  celebrated,  cried  out  against  him,  and  the  governor  him- 
self, enraged  at  so  just  a  demand,  asked  him  no  more  than  this 
question,  **Art  thou  a  Christian?"  Straightway  with  a  loud 
voice,  he  declared  himself  a  Christian,  and  was  placed  amongst 
the  number  of  the  martyrs.  .  .  . 

"Afterwards,  the  rest  began  to  be  examined  and  classed. 
The  first,  firm  and  well  prepared,  made  hearty  and  solemn 
confession  of  their  faith.  Others,  ill  prepared  and  with  little 
firmness,  showed  that  they  lacked  strength  for  such  a  fight. 
About  ten  of  them  fell  away,  which  caused  us  incredible  pain 
and  moxuTiing*  Their  example  broke  down  the  the  courage  of 
'  others,  who,  not  being  yet  in  bonds,  though  they  had  already 
had  much  to  suffer,  kept  close  to  the  martyrs,  and  withdrew 
not  out  of  their  sight.  Then  were  we  all  stricken  with  dread 
for  the  issue  of  the  trial:  not  that  we  had  great  fear  of  the 
torments  inflicted,  but  because,  prophesying  the  result  accord- 
ing to  the  degree  of  courage  of  the  accused,  we  feared  much 
falling  away.  They  took,  day  by  day,  those  of  our  brethren 
who  were  worthy  to  replace  the  weak ;  so  that  all  the  best  of 
the  two  Churches,  those  whose  care  and  zeal  had  founded 
them,  were  taken  and  confined.  They  took,  likewise,  some  of 
our  slaves,  for  the  governor  had  ordered  that  they  should  be  all 
summoned  to  attend  in  public;  and  they,  fearing  the  torments 
they  saw  the  scdnts  undergo,  and  inAigated  by  the  soldiers, 
accused  us  falsely  of  odious  deeds,  such  as  the  banquet  ol 
Thyestes,  the  ipcest  of  CBdipus,  and  other  crimen  which  must 

94  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  vi. 

not  be  named  or  even  thought  of,  and  which  we  cannot  bring 
ourselves  to  beheve  that  men  were  ever  guilty  of.  These  re- 
ports having  once  spread  amongst  the  people,  even  those  per- 
sons who  had  hitherto,  by  reason,  perhaps,  of  relationship, 
shown  moderation  towards  us,  burst  forth  into  bitter  indigna- 
tion against  our  people.  Thus  was  fulfilled  that  which  had 
been  prophesied  by  the  Lord :  *  The  time  cometh  when  whoso- 
ever shall  kill  you  shall  think  that  he  doeth  God  service.' 
Since  that  day  the  holy  martyrs  have  suffered  toi-tures  that  no 
words  can  express. 

"  The  fury  of  the  multitude,  of  the  governor  and  of  the  sol- 
diers, fell  chiefly  upon  Sanctus,  a  deacon  of  Vienne;  upon 
Maturus,  a  neophyte  still,  but  already  a  valiant  champion  of 
Christ;  upon  Attains  also,  bom  at  Pergamus,  but  who  hath 
ever  been  one  of  the  pillars  of  our  Church;  upon  Blandina, 
lastly,  in  whom  Christ  hath  made  it  appear  that  persons  who 
seem  vile  and  despised  of  men  are  just  those  whom  God  holds 
in  the  highest  honor  by  reason  of  the  excellent  love  they  bear 
Him,  which  is  manifested  in  their  firm  virtue  and  not  in  vain 
show.  All  of  us,  and  even  Blandina's  mistress  here  below, 
who  fought  valiantly  with  the  other  martyrs,  feared  that  this 
poor  slave,  so  weak  of  body,  would  not  be  in  a  condition  to 
freely  confess  her  faith ;  but  she  was  sustained  by  such  vigor 
of  soul  that  the  executioners,  who  from  mom  till  eve  put  h^ 
to  all  manner  of  tortiire,  failed  in  their  efforts,  and  declared 
themselves  beaten,  not  knowing  what  further  punishment  to 
inflict,  and  marvelling  that  she  still  lived,  with  her  body 
pierced  through  and  through,  and  torn  piecem^l  by  so  many 
tortures,  of  which  a  single  one  should  have  sufficed  to  kill 
her.  But  that  blessed  saint,  Hke  a  valiant  athlete,  took  fresh 
courage  and  strength  from  the  confession  of  her  faith;  all  feel- 
ing of  pain  vanished,  and  ease  returned  to  her  at  the  mere 
utterance  of  the  words,  *  I  am  a  Christian,  and  no  evil  is 
wrought  amongst  us. 

"  As  for  Sanctus,  the  executioners  hoped  that  in  the  midst  of 
the  tortures  inflicted  upon  him— the  most  atrocious  which  man 
could  devise— they  would  hear  him  say  something  imseemly 
or  unlawful;  but  so  firmly  did  he  resist  them,  that,  without 
even  saying  his  name,  or  that  of  his  nation  or  city,  or  whether 
he  was  bond  or  free,  he  only  replied  in  the  Roman  tongue,  to 
all  questions,  "I  am  a  Christian."  Therein  was,  for  him,  his 
name,  his  country,  his  condition,  his  whole  being;  and  never 
cpuld  the  Gtentiles  wrest  from  him  another  word.    The  fury  of 


the  governor  and  the  executioners  was  redoubled  against  him ; 
and,  not  knowing  how  to  torment  him  further,  they  applied  to 
his  most  tender  members  bars  of  red-hot  iron.  His  members 
burned;  but  he,  upright  and  immovable,  persisted  in  his  pro- 
fession of  faith,  as  if  living  waters  from  the  bosom  of  Christ 
flowed  over  him  and  refreshed  him.  .  .  .  Some  days  after, 
these  infidels  began  again  to  torture  him,  believing  that  if  they 
inflicted  upon  his  blistering  woimds  the  same  agonies,  they 
would  triumph  over  him,  who  seemed  unable  to  bear  the  mere 
touch  of  their  hands ;  and  they  hoped,  also,  that  the  sight  of  this 
torturing  alive  would  terrify  his  comrades.  But,  contrary  to 
general  expectation,  the  body  of  Sanctus,  rising  suddenly  up, 
stood  erect  and  firm  amidst  these  repeated  torments,  and  re- 
covered its  old  appearance  and  the  use  of  its  members,  as  if, 
by  Divine  grace,  this  second  laceration  of  his  flesh  had  caused 
healing  rather  than  suffering.  ... 

'^  When  the  tyrants  had  thus  expended  and  exhausted  their 
tortures  against  the  firmness  of  the  martyrs  sustained  by 
Christ,  the  devil  devised  other  contrivances.  They  were  cast 
into  the  darkest  and  most  unendurable  place  in  their  prison ; 
their  feet  were  dragged  out  and  compressed  to  the  utmost  ten- 
sion of  the  muscles;  the  gaolers,  as  if  instigated  by  a  demon, 
tried  every  sort  of  torture,  insomuch  that  several  of  them,  for 
whom  God  willed  such  an  end,  died  of  suffocation  in  prison. 
Others,  who  had  been  tortured  in  such  a  manner  that  it  was 
thought  impossible  they  should  long  survive,  deprived  as  they 
were  of  every  remedy  and  aid  from  men,  but  supported  never- 
theless by  the  grace  of  Gkxl,  remained  sound  and  strong  in  body 
as  in  soul,  and  comforted  and  re-animated  their  brethren.  .  .  . 

**  The  blessed  Pothinus,  who  held  at  that  time  the  bishopric 
of  Lyons,  being  upwards  of  ninety,  and  so  weak  in  body  that  he 
could  hardly  breathe,  was  himself  brought  before  the  tribimal, 
so  worn  with  old  age  and  sickness  that  he  seemed  nigh  to  ex- 
tinction; but  he  still  possessed  his  soul,  wherewith  to  subserve 
the  triumph  of  Christ.  Being  brought  by  the  soldiers  before 
the  tribimal,  whither  he  was  accompanied  by  all  the  magis- 
trates of  the  city  and  the  whole  populace,  that  pursued  him 
with  hootings,  he  offered,  as  if  he  had  been  the  very  Christ, 
the  most  glorious  testimony.  At  a  question  from  the  governor, 
who  asked  what  the  Gk)d  of  the  Christians  was,  he  answered, 
**  K  thou  be  worthy,  thou  shalt  know."  He  was  iromediately 
raised  up,  without  any  respect  or  humanity,  and  blows  were 
showered  upon  him;  those  who  happened  to  be  nearest  to  him 

96  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  vi. 

assaiQted  him  grievously  with  foot  and  fist,  without  the 
slightest  regard  for  his  age;  those  who  were  farther  off  cast  at 
him  whatever  was  to  their  hand;  they  would  all  have  thought 
themselves  guilty  of  the  greatest  default  if  they  had  not  done 
their  best,  each  on  his  own  score,  to  insult  him  brutally.  They 
believed  they  were  avenging  the  wrongs  of  their  gods.  Pothi- 
nus,  still  breathing,  was  cast  again  into  prison,  and  two  days 
after  yielded  up  his  spirit. 

"  Then  were  manifested  a  singular  dispensation  of  Gk)d  and 
the  immeasurable  compassion  of  Jesus  Christ:  an  example  rare 
amongst  brethren,  but  in  accord  with  the  intentions  and  the 
justice  of  the  Lord.  All  those  who,  at  their  first  arrest,  had 
denied  their  faith,  were  themselves  cast  into  prison  and  given 
over  to  the  same  sufferings  as  the  other  martyrs,  for  their  denial 
did  not  serve  them  at  all.  Those  who  had  made  profession  of 
being  what  they  really  were—that  is,  Christians— were  im- 
prisoned without  being  accused  of  other  crimes.  The  former, 
on  the  contrary,  were  confined  as  homicides  and  wretches, 
thus  suffering  double  punishment.  The  one  sort  found  repose 
in  the  honorable  joys  of  martyrdom,  in  the  hope  of  promised 
blessedness,  in  the  love  of  Christ,  and  in  the  spirit  of  Gkxi  the 
Father;  the  other  were  a  prey  to  the  reproaches  of  conscience; 
It  was  easy  to  distinguish  the  one  from  the  other  by  their  looks. 
The  one  walked  joyously,  bearing  on  their  faces  a  majesty 
mingled  with  sweetness,  and  their  very  bonds  seemed  unto 
them  an  ornament,  even  as  the  broidery  that  decks  a  bride; 
.  .  .  the  other,  with  downcast  eyes  and  humble  and  dejected 
air,  were  an  object  of  contempt  to  the  Gentiles  themselves, 
who  regarded  them  as  cowards  who  had  forfeited  the  glorious 
and  saving  name  of  Christians.  And  so  they  who  were  present 
at  this  double  spectacle  were  thereby  signally  strengthened, 
and  whoever  amongst  them  chanced  to  be  arrested  confessed 
the  faith  without  doubt  or  hesitation.  .  . 

"Things  having  come  to  this  pass,  different  kinds  of  death 
were  inflicted  on  the  martyrs,  and  they  offered  to  God  a  crown 
of  divers  flowers.  It  was  but  right  that  the  most  valiant 
champions,  tho^  who  had  sustained  a  double  assatdt  and 
gained  a  signal  victory,  should  receive  a  splendid  crown  of  im- 
mortality. The  neophyte  Maturus  and  the  deacon  Sanctus, 
Blandina  and  Attains,  then,  were  led  into  the  amphitheatre, 
and  thrown  to  the  beasts,  as  a  sight  to  please  the  inhim[iamty 
of  the  Gentiles.  .  .  Maturus  and  Sanctus  there  underwent  all 
kinds  of  tortures,  as  if  they  had  hitherto  suffered  notiung;  01*, 




rather,  like  athletes  who  had  already  been  several  times  vic- 
torious, and  were  contending  for  the  crown  of  crowns,  they 
brayed  the  stripes  with  which  they  were  beaten,  the  bites  of 
the  beasts  that  dragged  them  to  and  fro,  and  all  that  was  de- 
manded by  the  outcries  of  an  insensate  mob,  so  much  the  more 
furious,  because  it  could  by  no  means  overcome  the  firmness 
of  the  martyrs  or  extort  from  Sanctus  any  other  speech  than 
that  which,  on  the  first  day,  he  had  uttered:  *  I. am  a  Chris- 
tian.' After  this  fearful  contest,  as  life  was  not  extinct,  their 
throats  were  at  last  cut,  when  they  alone  had  thus  been  offered 
as  a  spectacle  to  the  public  instead  of  the  variety  displayed  in 
the  combat  of  gladiators.  Blandina,  in  her  turn,  tied  to  a 
stake,  was  given  to  the  beasts;  she  was  seen  hanging,  as  it 
were,  on  a  sort  of  cross,  calling  upon  God  with  trustful  fervor, 
and  the  brethren  present  were  reminded,  in  the  person  of  a 
sister,  of  Him  who  had  been  crucified  for  their  salvation.  .  . 
As  none  of  the  beasts  would  touch  the  body  of  Blandina,  she 
was  released  from  the  stake,  taken  back  to  prison,  and  re- 
served for  another  occasion.  .  .  Attains,  whose  execution, 
seeing  that  he  was  a  man  of  mark,  was  furiously  demanded  by 
the  i)eople,  came  forward  ready  to  brave  every  thing,  as  a  man 
deriving  confidence  from  the  memory  of  his  life,  for  he  had 
coiu-ageously  trained  himself  to  discipline,  and  had  always 
amongst  us  borne  witness  for  the  truth.  He  was  led  all  round 
the  amphitheatre,  preceded  by  a  board  bearing  this  inscrip- 
tion in  Latin:  *This  is  Attains  the  Christian.'  The  people 
pursued  him  with  the  most  furious  hootings ;  but  the  governor, 
having  learnt  that  he  was  a  Roman  citizen,  had  him  taken 
back  to  prison  with,  the  rest.  Having  subsequently  written  to 
Caesar,  he  waited  for  his  decision  as  to  those  who  were  thus 

"  This  delay  was  neither  useless  nor  unprofitable,  for  then 
shone  forth  the  boundless  compassion  of  Christ.  Those  of  the 
brethren  who  had  been  but  dead  members  of  the  Church,  were 
recalled  to  life  by  the  pains  and  help  of  the  living ;  the  martyrs 
obtained  grace  for  those  who  had  fallen  away;  and  great  was 
the  joy  in  the  Church,  at  the  same  time  virgin  and  mother, 
for  she  once  more  found  living  those  whom  she  had  given  up 
for  dead.  Thus  revived  and  strengthened  by  the  goodness  of 
God,  who  willeth  not  the  death  of  the  sinner,  but  rather  in- 
viteth  him  to  repentance,  they  presented  themselves  before  the 
tribunal,  to  be  questioned  afresh  by  the  governor.  Caesar  had 
replied  that  they  who  confessed  themselves  to  be  Christiana 

98  HiaTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [cH.  vi. 

should  be  put  to  the  sword,  and  they  who  denied  sent  away 
safe  and  sound.  When  the  time  for  the  g!reat  market  had  fully 
come,  there  assembled  a  numerous  multitude  from  every 
nation  and  every  province.  The  governor  had  the  blessed 
martyrs  brought  up  before  his,  judgment-seat,  showing  them 
before  the  people  with  all  the  pomp  of  a  theatre.  He  ques- 
tioned them  afresh;  and  those  who  were  discovered  to  be  Ro- 
man citizens  were  beheaded,  the  rest  were  thrown  to  the 

**  Great  glory  was  gained  for  Christ  by  means  of  those  who 
had  at  first  denied  their  faith,  and  who  now  confessed  it  con- 
trary to  the  expectation  of  the  Gentiles.  Those  who,  having 
been  privately  questioned,  declared  themselves  Christians  were 
added  to  the  number  of  the  martyrs.  Those  in  whom  appeared 
no  vestige  of  faith,  and  no  fear  of  God,  remained  without  the 

Se  of  the  Church.  When  they  were  dealing  with  those  who 
i  been  reunited  to  it,  one  Alexander,  a  Phrygian  by  nation, 
a  physician  by  profession,  who  had  for  many  years  been 
dwelling  in  Gaul^  a  man  well  known  to  all  for  his  love  of  God 
and  open  preaching  of  the  faith,  took  his  place  in  the  hall  of 
judgment,  exhorting  by  signs  all  who  filled  it  to  confess  their 
faith,  even  as  if  he  had  been  called  in  to  deliver  them  of  it. 
The  multitude,  enraged  to  see  that  those  who  had  at  first  de- 
nied turned  round  and  proclaimed  their  faith,  cried  out  against 
Alexander,  whom  they  accused  of  the  conversion.  The  gov- 
ernor forthwith  asked  him  what  he  was,  and  at  the  answer, 
*I  am  a  Christian,'  condemned  him  to  the  beasts.  On  the 
morrow  Alexander  was  again  brought  up,  together  with 
Attains,  whom  the  governor,  to  please  the  people,  had  once 
more  condemned  to  the  beasts.  After  they  had  both  suffered 
in  the  amphitheatre  all  the  torments  that  could  be  devised, 
they  were  put  to  the  sword.  Alexander  uttered  not  a  com- 
plaint, not  a  word ;  he  had  the  air  of  one  who  was  talking  in- 
wardly with  God.  Attains,  seated  on  an  iron  seat,  and  wait- 
ing for  the  fire  to  consume  his  body,  said,  in  Latin,  to  the 
people,  '  See  what  ye  are  doing;  it  is  in  truth  devouring  men; 
as  for  us,  we  devour  not  men,  and  we  do  no  evil  at  all."  He 
was  asked  what  was  the  name  of  God:  *Gk)d,'  saidhe,  *is  not 
like  us  mortals;  He  hath  no  name.' 

"  After  all  these  martyrs,  on  the  last  day  of  the  shows,  Blan- 
dina  was  again  brought  up,  together  with  a  young  lad,  named 
Ponticus,  about  fifteen  years  old.  They  had  been  brought  up 
every  day  before  that  they  might  see  the  tortures  of  their 

Cfl.  VI.]  CnmSTIANITT  IN  OAtlL.  99 

brethren.  When  they  were  called  upon  to  swear  by  the  altars 
of  the  Gtentiles,  they  remained  firm  in  their  faith,  making  no 
accoimt  of  those  pretended  gods,  and  so  great  was  the  fury  of 
the  multitude  against  them,  that  no  pity  was  shown  for  the  age 
of  the  child  or  the  sex  of  the  woman.  Tortiu*es  were  heaped 
upon  them;  they  were  made  to  pass  through  every  kind  of 
torment,  but  the  desired  end  was  not  gained.  Supported  by 
the  exhortations  of  his  sister,  who  was  seen  and  heard  by  the 
Gentiles,  Ponticus,  after  having  endured  all  magnanimously, 
gave  up  the  ghost.  Blandina,  last  of  aU— Hke  a  noble  mother 
that  hath  roused  the  courage  of  her  sons  for  the  fight,  and  sent 
them  forth  to  conquer  for  their  king— passed  once  moi^e 
through  aU  the  tortures  they  had  suffered,  anxious  to  go  and 
rejoin  them,  and  rejoicing  at  each  step  towards  death.  At 
length,  after  she  had  undergone  fire,  the  talons  of  beasts,  and 
agonizing  aspersion,  she  was  wrapx)e(l  in  a  network  and  thrown 
to  a  bull  that  tossed  her  in  the  air;  she  was  already  uncon- 
scious of  all  that  befell  her,  and  seemed  altogether  taken  up 
with  watching  for  the  blessings  that  Christ  had  in  store  for 
her.  Even  the  Gentiles  allowed  that  never  a  woman  had 
suffered  so  much  or  so  long. 

"  StQl  their  fury  and  their  cruelty  towards  the  saints  was 
not  appeased.  They  devised  another  way  of  raging  against 
them ;  they  cast  to  the  dogs  the  bodies  of  those  who  had  died 
of  suffocation  in  prison,  and  watched  night  and  day  that  none 
of  our  brethren  might  come  and  bury  them.  As  for  what  re- 
mained of  the  martyrs'  half  mangled  or  devoured  corpses,  they 
left  them  exposed  under  a  guard  of  soldiers,  coming  to  look  on 
them  with  insulting  eyes,  and  saying,  *  Where  is  now  their 
Gk)d?  Of  what  use  to  them  was  this  religion  for  which  they 
laid  down  their  lives? '  We  were  overcome  with  grief  that  we 
were  not  able  to  bury  these  poor  corpses;  nor  the  darkness  of 
night,  nor  gold,  nor  prayers  could  help  us  to  succeed  therein. 
After  being  thus  exposed  for  six  days  in  the  open  air,  given 
over  to  all  manner  of  outrage,  the  corpses  of  the  martyrs  were 
at  last  burned,  reduced  to  ashes,  and  cast  hither  and  thither  by 
the  infidels  upon  the  waters  of  the  Rhone,  that  there  might  be 
left  no  trace  of  them  on  earth.  They  acted  as  if  they  had  been 
more  mighty  than  God,  and  could  rob  our  brethren  of  their 
resurrection:  *'Tisin  that  hope,' said  they,  *that  these  folk 
bring  amongst  us  a  new  and  strange  religion,  that  they  set  at 
naught  the  most  painful  torments,  and  that  they  go  joyfully 
to  face  death:  let  us  see  if  they  will  rise  again,  if  their  Gk)d 


100  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE,  [ck.  Vt 

will  come  to  their  aid  and  will  be  able  to  tear  them  from  our 

It  is  not  without  a  painful  effort  that,  e-^en  after  so  many 
centuries,  we  can  resign  ourselves  to  be  witnesses,  in  imagi- 
nation only^  of  such  a  spectacle.  We  can  scarce  believe  that 
amongst  men  of  the  same  period  and  the  same  city  so  much 
ferocity  could  be  displayed  in  opposition  to  so  much  courage, 
the  passion  for  barbarity  against  the  passion  for  virtue. 
Neverthless,  such  is  history;  and  it  should  be  represented  as  it 
really  was:  first  of  all,  for  truth's  sake;  then  for  the  due  ap- 
preciation of  virtue  and  all  it  costs  of  effort  and  sacrifice; 
and,  lastly,  for  the  purpose  of  showing  what  obstacles  have  to 
be  surmounted,  what  struggles  endured,  and  what  sufferings 
borne,  when  the  question  is  the  accomplishment  of  great  moral 
and  social  reforms.  Marcus  Aurelius  was,  without  any  doubt, 
a  virtuous  ruler,  and  one  who  had  it  in  his  heart  to  be  just  and 
humane;  but  he  was  an  absolute  ruler,  that  is  to  say,  one  fed 
entirely  on  his  own  ideas,  very  ill-informed  about  the  facts  on 
which  he  had  to  decide,  and  without  a  free  public  to  warn  him 
of  the  errors  of  his  ideas  or  the  practical  results  of  his  decrees. 
He  ordered  the  persecution  of  the  Christians  without  knowing 
what  the  Christians  were,  or  what  the  persecution  would  be, 
and  this  conscientious  philosopher  let  loose  at  Lyons,  against 
the  most  conscientious  of  subjects,  the  zealous  servility  of  his 
agents,  and  the  atrocious  passions  of  the  mob. 

The  persecution  of  the  Christians  did  not  stop  at  Lyons,  or 
with  Marcus  Aurelius;  it  became,  during  the  third  century, 
the  common  practice  of  the  emperors  in  all  parts  of  the  Em- 
pire:  from  a.d.  202  to  312,  imder  the  reigns  of  Septimius 
Severus,  Maximinus  the  First,  Decius,  Valerian,  Aurelian, 
Diocletian,  Maximian,  and  Galerius,  there  are  reckoned  six 
great  general  persecutions,  without  counting  others  more  cir- 
cumscribed or  less  severe.  THie  emperors  Alexander  Severus, 
Philip  the  Arabian,  and  Constantius  Chlorus  were  almost  the 
only  exceptions  to  this  cruel  system;  and  nearly  always, 
wherever  it  was  in  force,  the  Pagan  mob,  in  its  brutality  or 
fanatical  superstition,  added  to  imperial  rigor  its  own  atrocious 
and  cynical  excesses. 

But  Christian  zeal  was  superior  in  perseverance  6iid  efficacy 
to  Pagan  persecution.  St.  Pothinus  the  Martyr  was  succeeded 
as  bishop  at  Lyons  by  St.  Irenaeus,  the  most  learned,  most 
judicious,  and  most  illustrious  of  the  early  heads  of  the  Church 
in  Gaul.    Originally  from  Asia  Minor,  probably  from  Smyrna, 


he  had  migrated  to  Graul,  at  what  particular  date  is  not  known, 
and  had  settled  as  a  simple  priest  in  the  diocese  of  Lyons,  where 
it  was  not  long  hef ore  he  exercised  vast  influence,  as  well  on 
the  spot  as  also  during  certain  missions  entrusted  to  him,  and 
amongst  them  one,  they  say,  to  the  Pope  St.  Eleutherius  at 
Bome.  Whilst  Bishop  of  Lyons,  from  a.d.  177  to  202,  he  em- 
ployed the  five  and  twenty  years  in  propagating  the  Christian 
faith  in  Gaul,  and  in  defending,  by  his  writings,  the  Christian 
doctrines  against  the  discord  to  which  they  bad  already  been 
subjected  in  the  East,  and  which  was  beginning  to  penetrate 
to  the  West.  In  202,  during  the  persecution  instituted  by^Sep- 
timius  Severus,  St.  Irenseus  crowned  by  martyrdom  his  active 
and  influential  hfe.  It  was  in  his  episcopate  that  there  began 
what  may  be  called  the  swarm  of  Christian  missionaries  who, 
towards  the  end  of  the  second  and  during  the  third  centuries, 
spread  over  the  whole  of  Gaul  preaching  the  faith  and  forming 
churches.  Some  went  from  Lyons  at  the  instigation  of  St. 
IrensBus;  others  from  Bome,  especially  under  the  pontificate 
of  Pope  St.  Fabian,  himself  martyred  in  249;  St.  Felix  and  St. 
Fortunatus  to  Valence,  St.  Ferr^ol  to  Besangon,  St.  Marcellus 
to  Chalons-sur-Saone,  St.  Benignus  to  Dijon,  St.  Trophimus  to 
Aries,  St.  Paul  to  Narbonne,  St.  Satuminus  to  Toulouse,  St. 
Maridal  to  Limoges,  St.  Andeol  and  St.  Privatus  to  the  Ce- 
vennes,  St.  Austremoine  to  Clermont-Ferrand,  St.  Gatian  to 
Tours,  St.  Denis  to  Paris,  and  so  many  others  that  their  names 
are  scarcely  known  beyond  the  pages  of  erudite  historians  or 
the  very  sjwts  where  they  preached,  struggled,  and  conquered, 
often  at  the  price  of  their  Uves.  Such  were  the  founders  of 
the  faith  and  of  the  Christian  Church  in  France.  At  the  com- 
mencement of  the  f  ouriih  century  their  work  was,  if  not  ac- 
complished, at  any  rate  triiunphant;  and  when,  a.d.  312,  Con- 
stantine  declared  himself  a  Christian,  he  confirmed  the  fact  of 
the  conquest  of  the  Eoman  world,  and  of  Gaul  in  particular,  by 
Christianity.  No  doubt  the  majority  of  the  inhabitants  were 
not  as  yet  Christians ;  but  it  was  clear  that  the  Christians  were 
in  the  ascendant  and  had  command  of  the  f utiure.  Of  the  two 
grand  elements  which  were  to  meet  together,  on  the  ruins  of 
Roman  society,  for  the  formation  of  modem  society,  the  moral 
element,  the  Christian  rehgion,  had  already  taken  possession 
of  souls;  the  devastatea  territory  awaited  the  coming  of  new 
peoples  known  to  history  imder  the  general  name  of  Germans, 
whom  th^  Bomans  called  the  barbarians. 

102  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  vn. 



About  a.d.  241  or  242  the  sixth  Roman  legion,  commanded 
by  Aurelian,  at  that  time  military  tribime,  and  thirty  years 
later,  emperor,  had  just  finished  a  campaign  on  the  Rhine, 
imdertaken  for  the  purpose  of  driving  the  Germans  from 
Graul,  and  was  preparing  for  Eastern  service,  to  make  war  on 
the  Persians.    The  soldiers  sang,— 

We  have  slain  a  thousand  Franks  and  a  thousand 
Sarmatians;  we  want  a  thousand,  thousand, 
Thousand  Persians. 

That  was,  apparently,  a  popular  burthen  at  the  time,  for  on 
the  days  of  military  festivals,  at  Rome  and  in  Gktul,  the 
children  sang,  as  they  danced, — 

We  have  cut  off  the  heads  of  a  thousand,  thousand,  thousand. 


One  man  hath  cut  off  the  heads  of  a  thousand,  thousand,  thousand. 

Thousand,  thousand; 

May  he  live  a  thousand,  thousand  years,  he  who 

Hath  slain  a  thousand,  thousand  I 

Nobody  hath  so  much  of  wine  as  he 

Hath  of  blood  poured  out. 

Aurelian,  the  hero  of  these  ditties,  was  indeed  much  given  to 
the  pouring  out  of  blood,  for  at  the  approach  of  a  fresh  war  he 
wrote  to  the  senate,— 

"  I  marvel.  Conscript  Fathers,  that  ye  have  so  much  misgiv- 
ing about  oi)ening  the  Sibylline  books,  as  if  ye  were  delibera- 
ting in  an  assembly  of  Christians,  and  not  in  the  temple  of  all 
the  gods.  .  ,  Let  inquiry  be  made  of  the  sacred  books,  and  let 
celebration  take  place  of  the  ceremonies  that  ought  to  be  ful- 
filled. Far  from  refusing,  I  offer,  with  zeaJ,  to  satisfy  all  ex- 
penditure required,  with  captives  of  every  nationality^  victims 
of  royal  rank.  It  is  no  shame  to  conquer  with  the  aid  of  the 
gods;  it  is  thus  that  our  ancestors  began  and  ended  many  a 

Human  sacrifices,  then,  were  not  yet  foreign  to  Pagan  fes- 
tivals, and  probably  the  blood  of  more  than  one  Frankish  cap- 
tive on  that  occasion  flowed  in  the  temple  of  all  the  gods.   * 

CH.  vn.]  THE  FRANKS  AND  CLOVIS.  103 

It  is  the  first  time  the  name  of  Franks  appears  in  history; 
and  it  indicated  no  particular,  single  people,  but  a  confederation 
of  Germanic  peoplets,  settled  or  roving  on  the  right  bank  of 
the  Khine,  from  the  Mayn  to  the  ocean.  The  number  and  the 
names  of  the  tribes  united  in  this  confederation  are  uncertain. 
A  chart  of  the  Roman  empire,  prepared  apparently  at  the  end 
of  the  fourth  century,  in  the  reign  of  the  Emperor  Honorius 
(which  chart,  called  tabula  Peutingeri,  was  found  amongst  the 
ancient  MSS.  collected  by  Conrad  Peutinger,  a  learned  German 
philosopher,  in  the  fifteenth  century),  bears,  over  a  large  ter- 
titory  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Ehine,  the  word  Francia^  and 
the  following  enumeration: — **The  Chaucians,  the  Ampsuar- 
ians,  the  Cheruscans,  and  the  Chamavians,  who  are  also  called 
Franks;"  and  to  these  tribes  divers  chroniclers  added  several 
others,  **the  Attuarians,  the  Bructerians,  the  Cattians,  and 
the  Sicambrians."  Whatever  may  have  been  the  specific 
names  of  these  peoplets,  they  were  all  of  German  race,  called 
themselves  Franks,  that  is  "freemen,"  and  made,  sometimes 
separately,  sometimes  collectively,  continued  incursions  into 
Gaul— especially  Belgica  and  the  northern  portions  of  Lyon- 
ness — ^at  one  time  plundering  and  ravaging,  at  another  occupy- 
ing forcibly,  or  demanding  of  the  Roman  emperors  lands 
whereon  to  settle.  From  the  middle  of  the  third  to  the  begin- 
ning of  the  fifth  century  the  history  of  the  Western  empire 
presents  an  almost  uninterrupted  series  of  these  invasions  on 
the  part  of  the  Franks,  together  with  the  different  relation- 
ships estabUshed  between  them  and  the  Imperial  government. 
At  one  time  whole  tribes  settled  on  Roman  soil,  submitted  to 
the  emperors,  entered  their  service,  and  fought  for  them  even 
against  their  own  Gterman  compatriots.  At  another,  isolated 
individuals,  such  and  such  warriors  of  German  race,  put 
themselves  at  the  command  of  the  emperors,  and  became  of 
^importance.  At  the  middle  of  the  third  century,  'the  Emperor 
Valerian,  on  committing  a  command  to  Aurehan,  wrote, 
**Thou  wilt  have  with  thee  Hartmund,  Haldegast,  Hildmund, 
and  Carioviscus."  Some  Frankish  tribes  allied  themselves 
more  or  less  fleetingly  with  the  Imperial  government,  at  the 
same  time  that  they  preserved  their  independence;  others 
pursued,  throughout  the  Empire,  their  life  of  incursion  and 
adventure.  From  a.d.  260  to  268,  under  the  reign  of  Gal- 
henus,  a  band  of  Franks  threw  itself  upon  Gaul,  scoured  it 
from  north-east  to  south-east,  plundering  and  devastating 
on  its  way;  then  it  passed  from  Aquitania  into  Spain,  took 

104  HISTORY  OF  FBANCE.  [ch.  vii. 

•  and  burned  Tarragona,  gained]  possession  of  certain  vessels, 
sailed  away,  and  disappeared  in  Africa,  after  having  wandered 
about  for  twelve  years  at  its  own  will  and  pleasure.  There 
was  no  lack  of  valiant  emperors,  precarious  and  ephemeral  as 
their  power  may  have  been,  to  defend  the  Empire,  and 
especially  Qaul,  against  those  enemies,  themselves  ephemeral, 
but  for  ever  recurring;  Decius,  Valerian,  Gallienus,  Claudius 
Qothicus,  Aurelian,  and  Probus  gallantly  withstood  those 
repeated  attacks  of  Grerman  hordes.  Sometimes  they  flattered 
themselves  they  had  gained  a  definitive  victory,  and  then  the 
old  Roman  pride  exhibited  itself  in  their  patriotic  confidence. 
About  A.D.  278,  the  Emperor  Probus,  after  gaining  several  vic- 
tories in  Gaul  over  the  Franks,  wrote  to  the  senate, — 

"I  render  thanks  to  the  immortal  gods,  Conscript  Fathers, 
for  that  they  have  confirmed  your  judgment  as  regards  me. 
Germany  is  subdued  throughout  its  whole  extent ;  nine  kings 
of  different  nations  have  come  and  cast  themselves  at  my  feet, 
or  rather  at  yours,  as  suppUants  with  their  foreheads  in  the 
dust.  Already  all  those  barbarians  are  tilling  for  you,  sowing 
for  you,  and  fighting  for  you  against  the  most  distant  nations. 
Order  ye,  therefore,  according  to  your  custom,  prayers  of 
thanksgiving,  for  we  have  slain  four  thousand  of  the  enemy ; 
we  have  had  offered  to  us  sixteen  thousand  men  ready 
armed;  and  we  have  wrested  from  the  enemy  the  seventy 
most  important  towns.  The  Gauls,  in  fact,  are  completely 
delivered.  The  crowns  offered  to  me  by  aU  the  cities  of  Gaul  I 
have  submitted,  Conscript  Fathers,  to  your  grace;  dedicate  ye 
them  with  your  own  hands  to  Jupiter,  all-bountiful,  all-i)Ower- 
ful,  and  to  the  other  immortal  gods  and  goddesses.  All  the 
booty  is  retaken,  and,  further,  we  have  made  fresh  captures,* 
more  considerable  than  our  first  losses;  the  fields  of  Gaul  are 
tilled  by  the  oxen  of  the  barbarians,  and  Grerman  teams  bend 
their  necks  in  slavery  to  our  husbandmen;  divers  nations 
raise  cattle  for  our  consumption,  and  horses  to  remoimt  our 
cavalry ;  our  stores  are  full  of  the  corn  of  the  barbarians — in 
one  word,  we  have  left  to  the  vanquished  naught  but  the  soil, 
all  their  other  possessions  are  ours.  W^  had  at  first  thought 
it  necessary.  Conscript  Fathers,  to  appoint  a  new  Governor  of 
Germany ;  but  we  have  put  off  this  measure  to  the  time  when 
our  ambition  shall  be  more  completely  satisfied,  which  will  be, 
as  it  seems  to  us,  when  it  shall  have  pleased  Divine  Provi- 
dence to  increase  and  multiply  the  forces  of  our  armies." 
Probus  had  good  reason  to  wish  that  "Divine  Providence 

CH.  vn.]  THE  FRANKS  AND  CL0VI8.  105 

might  be  pleased  to  increase  the  forces  of  the  Iloman  armies," 
for  even  after  his  victories,  exaggerated  as  they  probably 
were,  they  did  not  suJBfice  for  their  task,  and  it  was  not  long 
before  the  vanquished  recommenced  war.  He  had  dispersed 
over  the  territory  of  the  Empire  the  majority  of  the  prisoners 
he  had  taken.  A  band  of  Franks,  who  had  been  transported 
and  estabhshed  as  a  military  colony  on  the  European  shore 
of  the  Black  Sea,  could  not  make  up  their  minds  to  remain 
there.  They  obtained  possession  of  some  vessels,  traversed 
the  Propontis,  the  Hellespont,  and  the  Archipelago,  ravaged 
the  coasts  of  Greece,  Asia  Minor,  and  Africa,  plundered  Syra- 
cuse, scoured  the  whole  of  the  Mediterranean,  entered  the 
ocean  by  the  Straits  of  Gibraltar,  and,  making  their  Way  up 
again  along  the  coasts  of  Gaul,  arrived  at  last  at  the  mouths  of 
the  Rhine,  where  they  once  more  found  themselves  at  home 
amongst  the  vines  which  Probus,  in  his  victorious  progress, 
had  been  the  first  to  have  planted,  and  with  probably  their 
old  taste  for  adventure  and  plunder. 

After  the  commencement  of  the  fifth  century,  from  a.d.  406 
to  409,  it  was  no  longer  by  incursions  limited  to  certain  points, 
and  sometimes  repelled  with  success,  that  the  Germans  har- 
assed the  Roman  provinces:  a  veritable  deluge  of  divers 
nations,  forced  one  upon  another,  from  Asia  into  Europe,  by 
wars  and  migration  in  mass,  inimdated  the  Empire  and  gave 
the  decisive  signal  for  its  fall.  St.  Jerome  did  not  exaggerate 
when  he  wrote  to  Ageruchia,  **  Nations,  countless  in  niunber 
and  exceeding  fierce,  have  occupied  all  the  Gauls;  Quadians, 
Vandals,  Sarmatians,  Alans,  G^pidians,  Heruhans,  Saxons,  Bur- 
gundians,  Allemannians,  Pannonians,  and  even  Assyrians 
have  laid  waste  all  that  there  is  between  the  Alps  and  the 
Pyrenees,  the  ocean  and  the  Rhine.  Sad  destiny  of  the  com- 
monwealth !  Mayence,  once  a  noble  city,  hath  been  taken  and 
destroyed ;  thousands  of  men  were  slaughtered  in  the  church. 
Worms  hath  fallen  after  a  long  siege.  The  inhabitants  of 
Rheims,  a  powerful  city,*  and  those  of  Amiens,  Arras, 
Terouanne,  at  the  extremity  of  Gaul,  Tournay,  Spires,  and 
Strasburg  have  been  carried  away  to  Grermany.  All  hath  been 
ravaged  in  Aquitania  (Novempopulania),  Lyonness,  and  Nar- 
bonness;  the  towns,  save  a  few,  are  dispeopled;  the  sword 
pursueth  them  abroad  and  famine  at  home.  I  cannot  speak 
without  tears  of  Toulouse;  if  she  be  not  reduced  to  equal  ruin, 
it  is  to  the  merits  of  her  holy  Bishop  Exuperus,  that  she  oweth 

106  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  vii. 

Then  took  place  throughout  the  Roman  empire,  m  the  East 
as  well  as  in  the  West,  in  Asia  and  Africa  as  well  as  in 
Europe,  the  last  grand  struggle  between  the  Roman  armies  and 
barbaric  nations.  Armie8\a  the  proper  term;  for,  to  tell  the 
truth,  there  was  no  longer  a  Roman  nation,  and  very  seldom  a 
Roman  emperor  with  some  little  capacity  for  government  or 
war.  The  long  continuence  of  despotism  and  slavery  had 
enervated  equally  the  ruling  power  and  the  people;  every 
thing  depended  on  the  soldiers  and  their  generals.  It  was  in 
Gaul  that  the  struggle  was  most  obstinate  and  most  promptly 
brought  to  a  decisive  issue,  and  the  confusion  there  was  as 
great  as  the  obstinacy.  Barbaric  peoplets  served  in  the  ranks 
and  barbaric  leaders  held  the  command  of  the  Roman  armies : 
Stilicho  was  a  Goth ;  Arbogastes  and  Mellobaudes  were  Franks ; 
Ricimer  was  a  Suevian.  The  Roman  generals,  Bonifacius, 
Aetius,  -^gidius,  Syagrius,  at  one  time  fought  the  barbarians, 
at  another  negotiated  with  such  and  such  of  them,  either  to 
entice  them  to  take  service  against  other  barbarians,  or 
mote  the  objects  of  personal  ambition,  for  the  Roman  generals 
also,  under  the  titles  of  patrician,  consul,  or  proconsul,  aspired 
to  and  attained  a  sort  of  political  independence,  and  contributed 
to  the  dismemberment  of  the  empire  in  the  very  act  of  defend- 
ing it.  No  later  than  a.d,  413,  two  German  nations,  the  Visi- 
goths and  the  Burgundians,  took  their  stand  definitively  in 
Gaul,  and  founded  there  two  new  kingdoms:  the  Visigoths, 
under  their  kings  Ataujph  and  Wallia,  in  Aquitania  and 
Narbonness ;  the  Burgundians,  under  their  kings  Gundichaire 
and  Gundioch,  in  Lyonness,  from  the  southern  point  of  Alsatia 
right  into  Provence,  along  the  two  banks  of  the  Saone  and  the 
left  bank  of  the  Rhone,  and  also  in  Switzerland.  In  451  the 
arrival  in  Gaul  of  the  Huns  and  their  king  Attila — already 
famous,  both  king  and  nation,  for  their  wild  habits,  their 
fierce  valor,  and  their  successes  against  the  Eastern  empire — 
gravely  complicated  the  situation..  The  common  interest  of 
resistance  against  the  most  barbarous  of  barbarians,  and  the 
renown  and  energy  of  Aetius,  united,  for  the  moment,  the  old 
and  new  masters  of  Gaul;  Romans,  Gauls,  Visigoths,  Bur- 
gundians, Franks,  Alans,  Saxons,  and  Britons,  formed  the 
army  led  by  Aetius  against  that  of  Attila,  who .  also  had  in  his 
ranks  Goths,  Burgundians,  G^pidians,  Alans,  and  beyond- 
Rhine  Franks,  gathered  together  and  enlisted  on  his  road.  It 
was  a  chaos  and  a  conflict  of  barbarians,  of  every  name  and 
race,  disputing  one  with  another,  pell-mell,  the  remnants  of  the 

cavn.]  THE  FRANKS  AND  CL0VI8.  107 

Boman  empire  torn  asunder  and  in  dissolution.  Attila  had 
already  arrived  before  Orleans,  and  was  laying  siege  to  it. 
The  bishop,  St.  Anianus,  sustained  awhile  the  courage  of  the 
besieged  by  promising  them  aid  from  Aetius  and  his  allies. 
The  aid  was  slow  to  come;  and  the  bishop  sent  to  Aetius  a 
message:  "  If  thou  be  not  here  this  very  day,  my  son,  it  will 
be  too  late."  Still  Aetius  came  not.  The  people  of  Orleans 
determined  to  surrender;  the  gates  flew  open;  the  Huns 
entered;  the  plundering  began  without  much  disorder;  **  wag- 
gons were  stationed  to  receive  the  booty  as  it  was  taken  from 
the  houses,  and  the  captives,  arranged  in  groui)s,  were  divided 
by  lot  between  the  victorious  chieftains."  Suddenly  a  shout 
re-echoed  through  the  streets:  it  was  Aetius,  Theodoric,  and 
Thorismund,  his  son,  who  were  coming  with  the  eagles  of  the 
Roman  legions  and  with  the  banners  of  the  Visigoths.  A 
fight  took  place  between  them  and  the  Huns,  at  first  on  the 
banks  of  the  Loire,  and  then  in  the  streets  of  the  city.  The 
people  of  Orleans  joined  their  liberators ;  the  danger  w;as  great 
for  the  Hims,  and  Attila  ordered  a  retreat.  It  was  the  14th  of 
Jime,  451,  and  that  day  was  for  a  long  while  celebrated  in  the 
church  of  Orleans  as  the  date  of  a  signal  deliverance.  The 
Hims  retired  towards  Champagne,  which  they  had  already 
crossed  at  their  coming  into  Gaul;  and  when  they  were  before 
Troyes,  the  bishop,  St.  Lupus,  repaired  to  Attila's  camp,  and 
besought  him  to  Spare  a  defenceless  city,  which  had  neither 
walls  nor  garrison.  "So  be  itl "  answered  Attila;  "  but  thou 
Shalt  come  with  me  and  see  the  Rhine ;  I  promise  then  to  send 
thee  back  again."  With  mingled  prudence  and  superstition, 
the  barbarian  meant  to  keep  the  holy  man  as  a  hostage.  The 
Huns  arrived  at  the  plains  hard  by  Ch§lons-siu'-Mame ;  Aetius 
and  all  his  allies  had  followed  them ;  and  Attila,  perceiving  that 
a  battle  was  inevitable,  halted  in  a  position  for  delivering  it. 
The  Gothic  historian  Jornand^s  says  that  he  consulted  his 
priests,  who  answered  that  the  Huns  would  be  beaten,  but  that 
the  general  of  the  enemy  would  fall  in  the  fight.  In  this 
prophecy  Attila  saw  predicted  the  death  of  Aetius,  his  most  for- 
midable enemy ;  and  the  struggle  commenced.  There  is  no  pre* 
cise  information  about  the  date ;  but  "  it  was,"  says  Jomand^, 
**  a  battle  which  for  atrocity,  multitude,  horror,  and  stubborn- 
ness has  not  the  like  in  the  records  of  antiquity."  Historians 
vary  in  their  exaggerations  of  the  numbers  engaged  and 
killed:  according  to  some,  three  hundred  thousand,  according 
to  others,  one  hundred  and  sixty-two  thousand  were  left  on 

108  HISTORY  OF  FBANiJBL  [ch.  vn. 

the  field  of  battle.  Hieodoric,  King  of  the  Visigoths,  was 
killed.  Some  chroniclers  name  Meroveus  as  King  of  the 
Franks,  settled  in  Belgica,  near  Tongres,  who  formed  part  of 
the  army  of  Aetius.  They  even  attribute  to  him  a  brilliant 
attack  made  on  the  eve  of  the  battle  upon  the  Gepidians,  aJhes 
of  the  Hims,  when  ninety  thousand  men  fell,  according  to 
some,  and  only  fifteen  thousand  according  to  others.  The 
numbers  are  purely  imaginary,  and  even  the  fsu^  is  doubtful. 
However,  the  battle  of  Chalons  drove  the  Huns  out  of  Gaul, 
and  was  the  last  victory  in  Gaul,  gained  still  in  the  name  of 
the  Eoman  empire,  but  in  reality  for  the  advantage  of  the 
German  nations  which  had  already  conquered  it.  Twenty- 
four  years  afterwards  the  very  name  of  Eoman  empire  disap- 
X)eared  with  Augustulus,  the  last  of  the  emperors  of  the  West. 
Thirty  years  after  the  battle  of  Chstlons,  the  Franks  settled 
in  Gaul  were  not  yet  united  as  one  nation ;  several  tribes  with 
this  name,  independent  one  of  another,  were  planted  between 
the  Rhine  and  the  Somme ;  there  were  some  in  the  environs  of 
Cologne,  Calais,  Cambrai,  even  beyond  the  Seine  and  as  far  as 
Le  Mans,  on  the  confines  of  the  Britons.  This  is  one  of  the 
reasons  of  the  confusion  that  prevails  in  the  ancient  chronicles 
about  the  chieftains  or  kings  of  these  tribes,  their  names  and 
dates,  and  the  extent  and  site  of  their  possessions.  Pharamond, 
Clodion,  Meroveus,  and  Childeric  cannot  be  considered  as 
Kings  of  France,  and  placed  at  the  beginning  of  her  history. 
K  they  are  met  with  in  connection  with  historical  facts,  fabu- 
lous legends  or  fanciful  traditions  are  mingled  with  them: 
Priam  appears  as  a  predecessor  of  Pharamond ;  Clodion,  who 
passes  for  having  been  the  first  to  bear  and  transmit  to  the 
Frankish  kings  the  title  of  *4ong-haired,"  is  represented  as  the 
son,  at  one  time  of  Pharamond,  at  another,  of  another  chieftain 
named  Theodemer;  romantic  adventures,  spoilt  by  geograph- 
ical mistakes,  adorn  the  life  of  Childeric.  All  that  can  be  dis- 
tinctly affirmed  is,  that,  from  a.  d.  450  to  480,  the  two  princi- 
pal Frankish  tribes  were  those  of  the  Salian  Franks  and  the 
Bipuarian  Franks,  settled,  the  latter  in  the  east  of  Belgica,  on 
the  banks  of  the  Moselle  and  the  Ehine ;  the  former,  towards 
the  west,  between  the  Mouse,  the  ocean,  and  the  Somme.  Mer- 
oveus, whose  name  was  perpetuated  in  his  Une,  was  one  of  the 
principal  chieftains  of  the  Salian  Franks ;  and  his  son  Childeric, 
who  resiijed  at  Toumay,  where  his  tomb  was  discovered  in 
1655,  was  the  father  of  Clovis,  who  succeeded  him  in  481,  and 
with  whom  really  commenced  the  kingdom  and  history  of 
France,]  THE  FRANKS  AND  CL0VI8.  109 

dovis  was  fifteen  or  sixteen  years  old  when  he  became  King 
of  the  Salian  Franks  of  Toumay.  Five  years  afterwards  his 
ruling  passion,  ambition,  exhibited  itself,  together  with  that 
mixture  of  boldness  and  craft  which  was  to  characterize  his 
whole  life.  He  had  two  neighbors:  one,  hostile  to  the  Franks, 
the  Eoman  patrician  Syagrius,  who  was  left  master  at  Sois- 
ons  after  the  death  of  his  father  ^gidius,  and  whom  Gregory 
of  Tours  calls  "Zing  of  the  Romans;"  the  other,  a  Salian- 
Frankish  chieftain,  just  as  Clovis  was,  and  related  to  him, 
Bagnacaire,  who  was  settled  at  Cambrai.  Clovis  induced 
Ragnacaire  to  join  him  in  a  campaign  against  Syagrius.  They 
fought,  and  Syagrius  was  driven  to  take  refuge  in  Southern 
Gaul,  with  Alaric,  king  of  the  Visigoths.  Clovis,  not  content 
with  taking  possession  of  Soissons,  and  anxious  to  prevent  any 
toublesome  return,  demanded  of  Alaric  to  send  Syagrius  back 
to  him,  threatening  war  if  the  request  were  refused.  The 
Goth,  less  bellicose  than  the  Frank,  delivered  up  Syagrius  to 
the  envoys  of  Clovis,  who  immediately  had  him  secretly  put  to 
death,  settled  himself  at  Soissons,  and  from  thence  set  on  foot, 
in  the  country  between  the  Aisne  and  the  Loire,  plundering 
and  subjugating  expeditions  which  speedily  increased  his  do- 
mains and  his  wealth,  and  extended  far  and  wide  his  fame  as 
well  as  his  ambition.  The  Franks  who  accompanied  him  were 
not  long  before  they  also  felt  the  growth  of  his  power;  like 
bim  they  were  pagans,  and  the  treasures  of  the  Christian 
churches  counted  for  a  great  deal  in  the  booty  they  had  to 
divide.  On  one  of  their  expeditions  they  had  tctken  in  the 
church  of 'Rheims,  amongst  other  things,  a  vase  "  of  marvellous 
size  and  beauty."  The  Bishop  of  Rheims,  St.  Remi,  was  not 
quite  a  stranger  to  Clovis.  Some  years  before,  when  he  had 
heard  that  the  son  of  Child^ric  had  become  king  of  the  Franks 
of  Toumai,  he  had  written  to  congratulate  him:  **  We  are  in- 
formed," said  he,  **that  thou  hast  imdertaken  the  conduct  of 
aflfeirs;  it  is  no  marvel  that  thou  beginnest  to  be  what  thy 
fathers  ever  were;"  and,  whilst  taking  care  to  put  himself  on 
good  terms  with  the  young  pagan  chieftain,  the  bishop  added 
to  his  felicitations  some  pious  Christian  counsel,  without  let- 
ting any  attempt  at  conversion  be  mixed  up  with  his  moral 
exhortations.  The  bishop,  informed  of  the  removal  of  the 
vase,  sent  to  Clovis  a  messenger  begging  the  return,  if  not  of 
all  his  church's  ornaments,  at  any  rate  of  that.  "Follow  us 
as  far  as  Soissons,"  said  Clovis  to  the  messenger;  "it  is  there 
the  partition  is  to  take  place  of  what  we  have  captured;  when 

110  titSTOtit  OF  fBANCS!,  [CH.  vn. 

the  lots  shall  have  given  me  the  vase,  I  will  do  what  the  bishop 
dexoands."  When  Soissons  was  reached,  and  aU  the  booty  had 
been  placed  in  the  midst  of  the  host,  the  king  saLd,  ^'Valiant 
warriors,  I  pray  you  not  to  refuse  me,  over  and  above  my 
share,  this  vase  here."  At  these  words  of  the  king,  those  who 
were  of  sound  mind  amongst  the  assembly  answered:  **  Glori- 
ous king,  every  thing  we  see  here  is  thine,  and  we  ourselves 
are  submissive  to  thy  conmiands.  Do  thou  as  seemeth  good  to 
thee,  for  there  is  none  that  can  resist  thy  power."  When  they 
had  thus  spoken  a  certain  Frank,  light-minded,  jealous,  and 
vain,  cried  out  aloud  as  he  struck  the  vase  with  his  battle-axe, 
**Thou  shalt  have  naught  of  all  this  save  what  the  lots  shall 
truly  give  thee."  At  these  words  all  were  astounded;  but  the 
king  bore  the  insult  with  sweet  patience,  and,  accepting  the 
vase,  he  gave  it  to  the  messenger,  hiding  his  wound  in  the  re- 
cesses of  his  heart.  At  the  end  of  a  year  he  ordered  all  his 
host  to  assemble  fully  equipped  at  the  March  parade,  to  have 
their  arms  inspected.  After  having  passed  in  review  all  the 
other  warriors,  he  came  to  him  who  had  struck  the  vase. 
"None,"  said  he,  **hath  brought  hither  arms  so  ill  kept  as 
thine ;  nor  lance,  nor  sword,  nor  battle-axe  are  in  condition  for 
service."  And  wresting  from  him  his  axe  he  flung  it  on  the 
ground.  The  man  stooped  down  a  little  to  pick  it  up,  and 
forthwith  the  king,  raising  with  both  hands  his  own  battle-axe, 
drove  it  into  his  skull,  saying,  **  Thus  diddest  thou  to  the  vase 
of  Soissons  I"  On  the  death  of  this  fellow  he  bade  the  rest  be- 
gone ;  and  by  this  act  made  himself  greatly  feared. 

A  bold  and  unexpected  deed  has  always  a  great  effect  on 
men;  with  his  Frankish  warriors,  as  well  as  with  his  Eoman 
and  Gothic  foes,  Clovis  had  at  command  the  instincts  of  pa- 
tience and  brutality  in  turn ;  he  could  bear  a  mortification  and 
take  vengeance  in  due  season.  Whilst  prosecuting  his  course 
of  plunder  and  war  in  Eastern  Belgica,  on  the  banks  of  the 
Meuse,  Clovis  was  inspired  with  a  wish  to  get  married.  He 
had  heard  tell  of  a  young  girl,  like  himself  of  the  Germanic 
royal  line,  dotilde,  niece  of  Gondebaud,  at  that  time  king  of 
the  Burgundians.  She  was  dubbed  beautiful,  wise,  and  well- 
informed;  but  her  situation  was  melancholy  and  perilous. 
Ambition  and  fraternal  hatred  had  devastated  her  family. 
Her  father,  Chilperic,  and  her  two  brothers,  had  been  put  to 
death  by  her  imcle  Gondebaud,  who  had  caused  her  mother 
Agrippina  to  be  thrown  into  the  Ehone,  with  a  stone  round  her 
neck,  and  drowned.     Two  sisters  alone  had   survived  this 


slaughter;  the  elder,  Chrona,  had  taken  rehgious  vows,  the 
other,  Clotilde,  was  living  almost  in  exile  at  Geneva,  absorbed 
in  works  of  piety  and  charity.  The  principal  historian  of  this 
epoch,  Gregory  of  Tours,  an  almost  contemporary  authority, 
for  he  was  elected  bishop  sixty-two  years  after  the  death  of 
Clovis,  says  simply:  **Clovis  at  once  sent  a  deputation  to 
Gondebaud  to  ask  Clotilde  in  marriage.  Gondebaud,  not  dar- 
ing  to  refuse,  put  her  into  the  hands  of  the  envoys,  who  took 
her  promptly  to  the  king.  Clovis  at  sight  of  her  was  trans-' 
ported  with  joy,  and  married  her."  But  to  this  short  account 
other  chroniclers,  amongst  them  Fr6d6gaire,  who  wrote  a  com- 
mentary upon  and  a  continuation  of  Gregory  of  Tours'  work, 
added  details  which  deserve  reproduction,  first  as  a  picture  of 
manners,  next  for  the  better  understanding  of  history.  "As 
he  was  not  allowed  to  see  Clotilde,"  says  FrM^gaire,  "Clovis 
charged  a  certain  Roman,  named  Aurelian,  to  use  all  his  wit  to 
come  nigh  her.  Aurelian  repaired  alone  to  the  spot,  clothed  in 
rags  and  with  his  wallet  upon  his  back,  like  a  mendicant.  To 
ensure  confidence  in  himself  he  took  with  him  the  ring  of 
Clovis.  On  his  arrival  at  Geneva,  Clotilde  received  him  as  a 
pilgrim  charitably,  and  whilst  she  was  washing  his  feet,  Aure- 
lian, bending  towards  her,  said  imder  his  breath,  *Lady,  I* 
have  great  matters  to  announce  to  thee  if  thou  deign  to  permit 
me  secret  revelation.'  She,  consenting,  replied,  *Say  on.' 
*  Clovis,  king  of  the  Franks,'  said  he,  *hath  sent  me  to  thee: 
if  it  be  the  will  of  God,  he  would  fain  raise  thee  to  his  high 
rank  by  marriage;  and  that  thou  mayest  be  certified  thereof, 
he  sendeth  thee  this  ring.'  She  accepted  the  ring  with  great 
joy,  and,  said  to  Aurelian,  *Take  for  recompense  of  thy 
pains  these  hundred  sous  in  gold  and  this  ring  of  mine.  Re- 
turn promptly  to  thy  lord;  if  he  would  fain  unite  me  to  him 
by  marriage,  let  him  send  without  delay  messengers  to  de- 
mand me  of  my  imcle  Gondebaud,  and  let  the  messengers  who 
shall  come  take  me  away  in  haste,  so  soon  as  they  shall  have 
obtained  permission;  if  they  haste  not,  I  fear  lest  a  certain 
sage,  one  Aridius,  may  return  from  Constantinople,  and  if  he 
arrive  beforehand,  all  this  matter  will  by  his  counsel  come  to 
naught.'  Aurelian  returned  in  the  same  disguise  under  which 
he  had  come.  On  approaching  the  territory  of  Orleans,  and  at 
no  great  distance  from  his  house,  he  had  taken  as  travelling  com- 
panion a  certain  poor  mendicant,  by  whom  he,  having  foUen 
asleep  from  sheer  fatigue,  and  thinking  himself  safe,  was  rob- 
•bed  of  his  wallet  and  the  hundred  sous  in  gold  that  it  con- 

112  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  vn. 

tained.  On  awakening,  Aurelian  was  sorely  vexed,  ran  swiftly 
home  and  sent  his  servants  in  all  directions  in  search  of  the 
mendicant  who  had  stolen  his  wallet.  He  was  fomid  and 
brought  to  Aurehan,  who,  after  drubbing  him  soundly  for  three 
days,  let  him  go  his  way.  He  afterwards  told  Clovis  all  that 
had  passed  and  what  Clotilde  suggested.  Clovis,  pleased  with 
his  success  and  with  Clotilde's  notion,  at  once  sent  a  deputa- 
tion to  Gondebaud  to  demand  his  niece  in  marriage.  Qonde- 
baud,  not  daring  to  refuse,  and  flattered  at  the  idea  of  making 
a  friend  of  Clovis,  promised  to  give  her  to  him.  Then  the 
deputation,  having  offered  the  denier  and  the  sou,  according 
to  the  custom  of  the  Franks,  espoused  Clotilde  in  the  name  of 
Clovis,  and  demanded  that  she  be  given  up  to  them  to  be  mar- 
ried. Without  any  delay  the  council  was  assembled  at  ChS,- 
lons,  and  preparations  made  for  the  nuptials.  The  Franks, 
having  arrived  with  all  si)eed,  received  her  from  the  hands  of 
Gondebaud,  put  her  into  a  covered  carriage,  and  escorted  her 
to  Clovis,  together  with  much  treasure.  She,  however,  having 
already  learned  that  Aridius  was  on  his  way  back,  said  to  the 
Frankish  lords,  *  If  ye  would  take  me  into  the  presence  of  your 
lord,  let  me  descend  from  this  carriage,  mount  me  on  horse- 
'  back,  and  get  you  hence  as  fast  as  ye  may;  for  never  in  this 
carriage  shall  I  reach  the  presence  of  your  lord.' 

"Aridius,  in  fact,  returned  very  speedily  from  Marseilles, 
and  Gondebaud,  on  seeing  him,  said  to  him,  *Thou  knowest 
that  we  have  made  friends  with  the  Franks,  and  that  I  have 
given  my  niece  to  Clovis  to  wife.'  *This,'  answered  Arid: 
*  is  no  bond  of  friendship,  but  the  beginning  of  perpetual  stru. 
thou  shouldst  have  remembered,  my  lord,  that  thou  didst  sla/ 
^lotilde's  father,  thy  brother  Chilp^ric,  that  thou  didst  drowi 
her  mother,  and  that  thou  didst  cut  off  her  brothers'  heads 
and  cast  their  bodies  into  a  well.  If  Clotilde  become  powerful 
she  will  avenge  the  wrongs  of  her  relatives.  Send  thou  forth- 
with a  troop  in  chase,  and  have  her  brought  back  to  thee.  It 
will  be  easier  for  thee  to  bear  the  wrath  of  one  person,  than  to 
be  perpetually  at  strife,  thyself  and  thine,  with  all  the  Franks.' 
And  Gondebaud  did  send  forthwith  a  troop  in  chase  to  fetch 
back  Clotilde  with  the  carriage  and  all  the  treasure ;  but  she, 
on  approaching  Villers,  where  Clovis  was  waiting  for  her,  in 
the  territory  of  Troyes,  and  before  passing  the  Burgundian 
frontier,  urged  them  who  escorted  her  to  disperse  right  and 
left  over  a  space  of  twelve  leagues  in  the  country  whence  she 
was  departing,  to  plunder  and  burn;  and  that  having  been 



en.  vn.]  THE  FRANKS  AND  CLOVIS.  113 

done  with  the  permiseion  of  Clovis,  she  cried  aloud,  *  I  thank 
thee,  Gk)d  omnipotent,  for  that  I  see  the  commencement  of 
vengeance  for  my  parents  and  my  hrethren !" 

The  majority  of  the  learned  have  regarded  this  account  of 
Fr^d^gaire  as  a  romantic  fable,  and  have  declined  to  give  it  a 
place  in  history.  M.  Fauriel,  one  of  the  most  learned  asso- 
ciates of  the  Academy  of  Inscriptions,  has  given  much  the 
same  opinion,  but  he  nevertheless  adds,  "Whatever  may  be 
their  authorship,  the  fables  in  question  are  historic  in  the 
sense  that  they  relate  to  real  facts  of  which  they  are  a  poetical 
expression,  a  romantic  development,  conceived  with  the  idea 
o^  popularizing  the  Frankish  kings  amongst  the  Gallo-Homan 
subjects."  It  cannot,  however,  be  admitted  that  a  desire  to 
popularize  the  Frankish  kings  is  a  sufficient  and  truth-like 
explanation  of  these  tales  of  the  Gallo-Roman  chroniclers,  or 
that  they  are  no  more  than  **  a  poetical  expression,  a  roman- 
tic development"  of  the  real  facts  briefly  noted  by  Gregory 
of  Tours;  the  tales  have  a  graver  origin  and  contain  more 
truth  than  would  be  presmned  from  some  of  the  anecdotes 
and  sayings  mixed  up  with  them.  In  the  condition  of  minds 
and  parties  in  Gaul  at  the  end  of  the  fifth  century  the  mar- 
riage of  Clovis  and  dotilde  was,  for  the  public  of  the  period, 
for  the  barbarians  and  for  the  Gallo-Eomans,  a  great  mat- 
ter. Clovis  and  the  Franks  were  still  pagans;  Gondebaud 
and  the  Burgundians  were  Christians,  but  Arians;  Clotilde 
was  a  Catholic  Christian.  To  which  of  the  two,  CathoUcs  or 
Arians,  would  Clovis  ally  himself  ?  To  whom,  Arian,  pagan,  or 
Catholic,  would  Clotilde  be  married?  Assuredly  the  bishops, 
priests  and  all  the  Gallo-Roman  clergy,  for  the  most  part 
Catholics,  desired  to  see  Clovis,  that  young  and  audacious 
Frankish  chieftain,  take  to  wife  a  Catholic  rather  than  an 
Arian  or  a  pagan,  and  hoi)ed  to  convert  the  pagan  Clovis  to 
Christianity  much  more  than  an  Arian  to  orthodoxy.  The 
question  between  Catholic  orthodoxy  and  Arianism  was,  at 
that  time,  a  vital  question  for  Christianity  in  its  entirety,  and 
St.  Athanasius  was  not  wrong  in  attributing  to  it  supreme  im- 
portance. It  may  be  presumed  that  the  Catholic  clergy,  the 
bishop  of  Rheims,  or  the  bishop  of  Langres,  were  no  strangers 
to  the  repeated  praises  which  turned  the  thoughts  of  the 
Frankish  king  towards  the  Burgundian  princess,  and  the  idea 
of  their  marriage  once  set  afloat,  the  Catholics,  priesthood  or 
laity,  labored  undoubtedly  to  push  it  forward,  whilst  the  Bur- 
gundian Arians  exerted  themselves  to  prevent  it.    Thus  there 

114  BISTORT  OF  FRANGE,  [oH.  Vli. 

took  place,  between  opposing  influences,  religious  and  national, 
a  most  animated  struggle.  No  astonishment  can  be  felt,  then, 
at  the  obstacles  the  marriage  encountered,  at  the  complica- 
tions mingled  with  it,  and  at  the  indirect  means  employed  on 
both  sides  to  cause  its  success  or  failure.  The  account  of 
Fr6d4gaire  is  but  a  pictiu^  of  this  struggle  and  its  incidents,  a 
little  amplified  or  altered  by  imagination  or  the  credulity  of 
the  period ;  but  the  essential  features  of  the  picture,  the  dis- 
guise of  Aurelian,  the  hurry  of  Clotilde,  the  prudent  recollec- 
tion of  Aridius,  Gondebaud's  alternations  of  fear  and  violence, 
and  Clotilde's  vindictive  passion  when  she  is  once  out  of  dan- 
ger, there  is  nothing  in  all  this  out  of  keeping  with  the  man- 
ners of  the  time  or  the  position  of  the  actors.  Let  it  be  added 
that  Aurelian  and  Aridius  are  real  personages  who  are  met 
with  elsewhere  in  history,  and  whose  parts  as  played  on  the 
occasion  of  Clotilde's  marriage  are  in  harmony  with  the  other 
traces  that  remain  of  their  lives. 

The  consequences  of  the  marriage  justified  before  long  the 
importance  which  had  on  all  sides  been  attached  to  it.  Clo- 
tilde had  a  son;  she  was  anxious  to  have  him  baptized,  and 
urged  her  husband  to  consent.  **  The  gods  you  worship,"  said  . 
she,  " are  naught,  and  can  do  naught  for  themselves  or  others; 
they  are  of  wood  or  stone  or  metal."  Clovis  resisted,  saying, 
**  It  is  by  the  command  of  our  gods  that  all  things  are  created 
and  brought  forth.  It  is  plain  that  your  God  hath  no  power; 
there  is  no  proof  even  that  He  is  of  the  race  of  the  gods."  But 
Clotilde  prevailed;  and  she  had  her  son  baptized  solemnly, 
hoping  that  the  striking  nature  of  the  ceremony  might  win  to 
the  faith  the  father  whom  her  words  and  prayers  had  been 
powerless  to  touch.  The  child  soon  died,  and  Clovis  bitterly 
reproached  the  queen,  saying,  **  Had  the  child  been  dedicated 
to  my  gods  he  would  be  aUve ;  he  was  baptized  in  the  name  of 
your  God,  and  he  could  not  live."  Clotilde  defended  her  God 
and  prayed.  She  had  a  second  son  who  was  also  baptized, 
and  fell  sick.  **It  cannot  be  otherwise  with  him  than  with 
his  brother,"  said  Clovis;  ** baptized  in  the  name  of  your 
Christ,  he  is  going  to  die."  But  the  child  was  cured,  and  lived; 
and  Clovis  was  pacified  and  less  incredulous  of  Christ.  An 
event  then  came  to  pass  which  affected  him  still  more  than 
the  sickness  or  cure  of  his  children.  In  496  the  Allemannians, 
a  Grermanic  confederation  like  the  Franks,  who  also  had  been, 
for  some  time  past,  assailing  the  Roman  empire  on  the  banks 
of  the  Rhine  or  the  frontiers  of  Switzerland,  crossed  the  river. 

CH.  vn.]  THE  FBAl^KS  AND  CLOVTS,  HB 

and  invaded  the  settlements  of  the  Franks  on  the  left  bank. 
Clovis  went  to  the  aid  of  his  confederation  and  attacked  the 
Allemannians  at  Tolbiac,  near  Cologne.  He  had  with  him 
Aurelian,  who  had  been  his  messenger  to  Ciotilde,  whom  he 
had  made  Duke  of  Melim,  and  who  commanded  the  forces  of 
Sens.  The  battle  was  going  ill;  the  Franks  were  wavering 
and  Clovis  was  anxious.  Before  setting  out  ho  had,  according 
to  Fredegaire,  promised  his  wife  that  if  he  were  victorious  he 
would  turn  Christian.  Other  chroniclers  say  that  Aurelian, 
seeing  the  battle  in  danger  of  being  lost,  said  to  Clovis,  **  My 
lord  king,  believe  only  on  the  Lord  of  heaven  whom  the  queen, 
my  mistress,  preacheth."  Clovis  cried  out  with  emotion, 
*'  Christ  Jesus,  Thou  whom  my  queen  Ciotilde  calleth  the  Son 
of  the  living  God,  I  have  invoked  my  own  gods,  and  they  have 
withdrawn  from  me;  I  believe  that  they  have  no  power  since 
they  aid  not  those  who  call  upon  them.  Thee,  very  God  and 
Lord,  I  invoke;  if  Thou  give  me  victory  over  these  foes,  if  I 
find  in  Thee  the  power  that  the  people  proclaim  of  Thee,  I 
will  believe  on  Thee,  and  will  be  baptized  in  Thy  name."  The 
tide  of  battle  turned :  the  Franks  recovered  confidence  and 
courage ;  and  the  Allemannians,  beaten  and  seeing  their  king 
slain,  surrendered  themselves  to  Clovis,  saying,  **  Cease,  of 
thy  grace,'  to  cause  any  more  of  our  people  to  perish;  for  we 
are  thine." 

On  the  return  of  Clovis,  Ciotilde,  fearing  he  should  forget 
his  victory  and  his  promise,  *'  secretly  sent,"  says  Gregory  of 
Tours,  **to  St.  Eemi,  bishop  of  Rheims,  and  prayed  him  to 
penetrate  the  king's  heart  with  the  words  of  salvation."  St. 
Eemi  was  a  fervent  Christian  and  able  bishop;  and  **I  will 
listen  to  thee,  most  holy  father,"  said  Clovis,  *' willingly;  but 
there  is  a  difficulty.  The  people  that  follow  me  will  not  give 
up  their  gods.  But  I  am  about  to  assemble  them,  and  will 
sp^ak  to  them  according  to  thy  word."  The  king  found  the 
people  more  docile  or  better  prepared  than  he  had  represented 
to  the  bishop.  Even  before  he  opened  his  mouth  the  greater 
part  of  those  present  cried  out,  **  We  abjure  the  mortal  gods; 
we  are  ready  to  follow  the  immortal  God  whom  Eemi  preach- 
eth." About  three  thousand  Frankish  warriors,  however, 
persisted  in  their  intention  of  remaining  pagans,  and  deserting 
Clovis  betook  themselves  to  Eagnacaire,  the  Frankish  king  of 
Cambrai,  who  was  destined  ere  long  to  pay  dearly  for  this 
acquisition.  So  soon  as  St.  Eemi  was  informed  of  this  good 
disposition  on  the  part  of  king  and  people,  he  fixed  Christmas 

116  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  vn. 

Day  of  this  year,  496,  for  the  ceremony  of  the  baptism  of  these 
grand  neophytes.  The  description  of  it  is  borrowed  from  the 
historian  of  the  Church  of  Eheims,  Frod^rd  by  name,  bom 
at  the  close  of  the  ninth  century.  He  gathered  together  the 
essential  points  of  it  from  the  Life  of  Saint  Remi,  written, 
shortly  before  that  period,  by  the  saint's  celebrated  successor 
at  Rheims,  Archbishop  Hincmar.  **The  bishop,"  says  he, 
**  went  in  search  of  the  king  at  early  mom  in  his  bed-chamber, 
in  order  that,  taking  him  at  the  moment  of  freedom  from 
secular  cares,  he  might  more  freely  communicate  to  him  the 
mysteries  of  the  holy  word.  The  king's  chamber-people  re- 
ceive him  with  great  respect,  and  the  king  himself  runs  for- 
ward to  meet  him.  Thereupon  they  pass  together  into  an 
oratory  dedicated  to  St.  Peter,  chief  of  the  apostles,  and  ad- 
joining the  king's  apartment.  When  the  bishop,  the  king, 
and  the  queen  had  taken  their  places  on  the  seats  prepaid  for 
them,  and  admission  had  been  given  to  some  clerics  and  also 
some  friends  and  household  servants  of  the  king,  the  vener- 
able bishop  began  his  instructions  on  the  subject  of  salvation. 
....  Meanwhile  preparations  are  being  made  along  the  road 
from  the  palace  to  the  baptistery;  curtains  and  valuable  stuffs 
are  hung  up ;  the  houses  on  either  side  of  the  street  are  dressed 
out ;  the  baptistery  is  sprinkled  with  balm  and  all  manner  of 
I)erfume.  The  procession  moves  from  the  palace ;  the  clergy 
lead  the  way  with  the  holy  gospels,  the  cross,  and  standards, 
singing  hymns  and  spiritual  songs;  then  comes  the  bishop, 
leading  the  king  by  the  hand ;  after  him  the  queen,  lastly  the 
people.  On  the  road,  it  is  said  that  the  king  asked  the  bishop 
if  that  were  the  kingdom  promised  him;  *  No,'  answered  the 
prelate,  'but  it  is  the  entrance  to  the  road  that  leads  to  it.' 
....  At  the  moment  when  the  king  bent  his  head  over  the 
fountain  of  life,  *  Lower  thy  head  with  humility,  Sicambrian,' 
cried  the  eloquent  bishop;  'adore  what  thou  hast  burned: 
bum  what  thou  hast  adored.'  The  king's  two  sisters,  Albo- 
fl^de  and  Lant^hilde,  likewise  received  baptism;  and  so  at 
the  same  time  did  three  thousand  of  the  Frankish  army,  be- 
sides a  large  number  of  women  and  children." 

When  it  was  known  that  Clovis  had  been  baptized  by  St. 
Remi,  and  with  what  striking  circumstance,  great  was  the 
satisfaction  amongst  the  Catholics.  The  chief  Biirgundian 
prelate,  Avitus,  bishop  of  Vienne,  wrote  to  the  Frankish  king: 
— **  Yoiir  faith  is  our  victory;  in  choosing  for  you  and  yours, 
you  have  pronounced  for  all;  divine  providence  hath  given 

CH.  viL]  THE  FRANKS  AND  CL0VI8.  117 

you  as  arbiter  to  our  age.  Greece  can  boast  of  having  a  sov- 
ereign of  our  persuasion;  but  she  is  no  longer  alone  in  posses- 
sion of  this  precious  gift;  the  rest  of  the  world  doth  share  her 
light."  Pope  Anastasius  hasted  to  express  his  joy  to  Clovis: 
"  The  Church,  our  common  mother,"  he  wrote,  **  rejoiceth  to 
have  bom  imto  Gtod  so  great  a  king.  Continue,  glorious  and 
illustrious  son,  to  cheer  the  heart  of  this  tender  mother;  be  a 
column  of  iron  to  support  her,  and  she  in  her  turn  will  give 
thee  victory  over  all  thine  enemies." 

Clovis  was  not  a  man  to  omit  turning  his  Catholic  popularity 
to  the  account  of  his  ambition.  At  the  very  time  when  he  was 
receiving  these  testimonies  of  good  will  from  the  heads  of  the 
Church,  he  learned  that  Gondebaud,  disquieted,  no  doubt,  at 
the  conversion  of  his  powerful  neighbor,  had  just  made  a  vain 
attempt,  at  a  conference  held  at  Lyons,  to  reconcile  in  his 
kingdom  the  Catholics  and  the  Arians.  Clovis  considered  the 
moment  favorable  to  his  projects  of  aggrandizement  at  the 
expense  of  the  Burgundian  king ;  he  fomented  the  dissensions 
which  already  prevailed  between  Gondebaud  and  his  brother 
Grodegisile,  assured  to  himself  the  latter's  comphcity,  and  sud- 
denly entered  Burgundy  with  his  army.  Gondebaud,  betrayed 
and  beaten  at  the  first  encounter  at  Dijon,  fled  to  the  south  of 
his  kingdom,  and  went  and  shut  himself  up  in  Avignon.  Clo- 
vis pursued,  and  besieged  him  there.  Gondebaud  in  great 
alarm  asked  counsel  of  his  Roman  confidant  Aridius,  who  had 
but  lately  foretold  to  him  what  the  marriage  of  his  niece 
Clotilde  would  bring  upon  him.  **  On  every  side,"  said  the 
king,  "  I  am  enconfpassed  by  perils,  and  I  know  not  what  to 
do ;  lo !  here  be  these  barbarians  conie  upon  us  to  slay  us  and 
destroy  the  land."  **  To  escape  death,"  answered  Aridius, 
**  thou  must  appease  the  ferocity  of  this  man.  Now,  if  it 
please  thee,  I  will  feign  to  fly  from  thee  and  gp  over  to  him. 
So  soon  as  I  shall  be  with  him,  I  wiU  so  do  that  he  ruin  neither 
thee  nor  the  land.  Only  have  thou  care  to  perform  whatso- 
ever I  shall  ask  of  thee,  until  the  Lord  in  His  goodness  deign 
to  make  thy  cause  triumph."  **  All  that  thou  shalt  bid  wiU  I 
do,"  said  Gondebaud.  So  Aridius  left  Gondebaud  and  went 
his  way  to  Clovis,  and  said,  **  Most  pious  king,  I  am  thy  hum- 
ble servant;  I  give  up  this  wretched  Gondebaud  and  come 
unto  thy  mightiness.  If  thy  goodness  deign  to  cast  a  glance 
upon  me,  thou  and  thy  descendants  will  flnd  in  me  a  servant 
of  integrity  and  fidelity."  Clovis  received  him  very  kindly 
and  kept  him  by  him,  for  Aridius  was  agreeable  in  conversa- 

118  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  vn. 

tion,  wise  in  counsel,  just  in  judgment  and  faithful  in  what- 
ever was  committed  to  his  care.  As  the  siege  continued, 
Aridius  said  to  Clovis,  **  O  king,  if  the  glory  of  thy  greatness 
would  suffer  thee  to  listen  to  the  words  of  my  feebleness, 
though  thou  needest  not  counsel,  I  would  submit  them  to  thee 
in  all  fidehty,  and  they  might  be  of  use  to  tiiee,  whether  for 
thyself  or  for  the  towns  by  the  which  thou  dost  propose  to 
pass.  Wherefore  keepest  thou  here  thine  army  whilst  thine 
enemy  doth  hide  himself  in'  a  well-fortified  place?  Thou  rav- 
agest  the  fields,  thou  pillagest  the  com,  thou  cuttest  down  the 
vines,  thou  fellest  the  oHve-trees,  thou  destroyest  all  the  pro- 
duce of  the  land,  and  yet  thou  succeedest  not  in  destroying 
thine  adversary.  Rather  send  thou  unto  him  deputies,  and 
lay  on  him  a  tribute  to  be  paid  to  thee  every  year.  Thus  the 
land  will  be  preserved,  and  thou  wilt  be  lord  for  ever  over 
him  who  owes  thee  tribute.  If  he  refuse,  thou  shalt  then  do 
what  pleaseth  thee."  Clovis  found  the  coimsel  good,  ordered 
his  army  to  return  home,  sent  deputies  to  Gk^ndebaud,  and 
called  upon  him  to  undertake  the  payment  every  year  of  a 
fixed  tribute.  Gondebaud  paid  for  the  time,  and  promised  to 
pay  punctually  for  the  future.  And  peace  appeared  made  be- 
tween the  two  barbarians. 

Pleased  with  his  campaign  against  thQ  Burgundians,  Clovis 
kept  on  good  terms  with  Grondebaud,  who  was  to  be  hence- 
forth a  simple  tributary,  and  transferred  to  the  Visigoths  of 
Aquitania,  and  their  king,  Alaric  II.,  his  views  of  conquest. 
He  had  there  the  same  pretexts  for  attack  and  the  same  means 
of  success.  Alaric  and  his  Visigoths  were  Arians,  and  be- 
tween them  and  the  bishops  of  Southern  Gaul,  nearly  all 
orthodox  Catholics,  there  were  permanent  ill-will  and  distrust. 
Alaric  attempted  to  conciliate  their  good- will:  in  506  a  Council 
met  at  Agde;  the  thirty-four  bishops  of  Aquitania  attended 
in  person  or  by  delegate ;  the  king  protested  that  he  had  no 
design  of  persecuting  the  Catholics;  the  bishops,  at  the  open- 
ing of  the  Council,  offered  prayers  for  the  king;  but  Alaric 
did  not  forget  that  immediately,  after  the  conversion  of  Clovis, 
Volusian,  bishop  of  Tours,  had  conspired  in  favor  of  the 
Frankish  king,  and  the  bishops  of  Aquitania  regarded  Volusian, 
as  a  martyr,  for  he  had  been  deposed,  without  trial,  from  his 
see,  and  taken  as  a  prisoner  first  to  Toulouse,  and  afterwards 
into  Spain,  where  in  a  short  time  he.  had  been  put  to  death. 
In  vain  did  the  glorious  chief  of  the  race  of  Goths,  Theodoric 
the  Great,  king  of  Italy,  father-in-law  of  Alaric,  and  brother- 

CH.  vii.]  TUE  FRANKS  AND  CL0VI8,  119 

in-law  of  Clovis,  exert  himself  to  prevent  any  outbreak  be- 
tween the  two  kings.  In  498,  Alaric,  no  doubt  at  his  father- 
in-law's  soUcitation,  wrote  to  Clovis,  *'If  my  brother  consent 
thereto,  I  would,  following  my  desires  and  by  the  grace  of 
Qodj  have  an  interview  with  him."  The  interview  took  place 
at  a  small  island  in  the  Loire,  called  the  Island  d'Or  or  de 
St.  Jean,  near  Amboise.  **The  two  kings,"  says  Gregory  of 
Tours,  **  conversed,  ate  and  drank  together,  and  separated 
with  mutual  promises  of  friendship."  The  positions  and 
passions  of  each  soon  made  the  promises  of  no  effect.  In  505 
Clovis  was  seriously  ill;  the  bishops  of  Aquitania  testified 
warm  interest  in  him;  and  one  of  them,  Quintian,  bishop  of 
Bodez,  being  on  this  account  persecuted  by  the  Visigoths,  had 
to  seek  refuge  at  Clermont,  in  Auvergne.  Clovis  no  longer 
concealed  his  designs.  In  507  he  assembled  his  principal  chief- 
tains; and  "It  displeaseth  me  greatly,"  said  he,  **that  these 
Arians  should  possess  a  portion  of  the  Gauls;  march  we  forth 
with  the  help  of  Grod,  drive  we  them  from  that  land,  for  it  is 
very  goodly,  and  bring  we  it  under  our  own  power."  The 
Franks  applauded  their  king;  and  the  army  set  out  on  the 
march  in  the  direction  of  Poitiers,  where  Alaric  happened  at 
that  time  to  be.  **  As  a  portion  of  the  troops  was  crossing  the 
territory  of  Tours,"  says  Gregory,  who  was  shortly  after- 
wards its  bishop,  **  Clovis  forbade,  out  of  resi)ect  for  St. 
Martin,  any  thing  to  be  taken,  save  grass  and  water.  One  of 
the  army,  however,  having  found  some  hay  belonging  to  a 
poor  man,  said,  *Tbis  is  grass;  we  do  not  break  the  king's 
commands  by  taking  it;'  and,  in  spite  of  the  poor  man's  resist- 
ance, he  robbed  him  of  his  hay.  Clovis,  informed  of  the  fact, 
slew  the  soldier  on  the  spot  with  one  sweep  of  his  sword,  say- 
ing, '  What  will  become  of  our  hopes  of  victory,  if  we  offend 
St.  Martin?'"  Alaric  had  prepared  for  the  struggle;  and  the 
two  armies  met  in  the  plain  of  Vouille,  on  the  banks  of  the 
little  river  Clain,  a  few  leagues  from  Poitiers.'  The  battle  was 
very  severe.  **The  Goths,''  says  Gregory  of  Tours,  **  fought 
with  missiles;  the  Franks  sword  in  hand.  Clovis  met  and 
with  his  own  hand  slew  Alaric  in  the  fray ;  at  the  moment  of 
striking  his  blow,  two  Goths  fell  suddenly  upon  Clovis,  and 
attacked  him  with  their  pikes  on  either  side,  but  he  escaped 
death,  thanks  to  his  cuirass  and  the  agility  of  his  horse." 

Beaten  and  kingless,  the  Goths  retreated  in  great  disorder; 
and  Clovis,  pursuing  his  march,  arrived  without  opposition  at 
Bordeaux,  where  he  settled  down  with  his  Franks  for  the 

120  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  \ck.  vn. 

winter.  When  the  war-season  returned,  he  marched  on 
Toulouse,  the  capital  of  the  Visigoths,  which  he  likewise 
occupied  without  resistance,  and  where  he  seized  a  portion  of 
the  treasure  of  the  Visigothic  kings.  He  quitted  it  to  lay 
siege  to  Carcassonne,  which  had  heen  made  by  the  Bomans 
into  the  stronghold  of  Septimania. 

There  his  course  of  conquest  was  destined  to  end.  After  the 
battle  of  VouiUe  he  had  sent  his  eldest  son  Theodoric  in  com- 
mand of  a  division,  with  orders  to  cross  Central  Gaul  from 
west  to  east,  to  go  and  join  the  Burgundians  of  Grondebaud, 
who  had  promised  his  assistance,  and  in  conjunction  with  them 
to  attack  the  Visigoths  on  the  banks  of  the  Rhone  and  in  Nar- 
bonness.  The  young  Frank  boldly  executed  his  father's 
orders,  but  the  intervention  of  Theodoric  the  Great,  king  of 
Italy,  prevented  the  success  of  the  operation.  He  sent  an 
army  into  Gaul  to  the  aid  of  his  son-in-law  Alaric;  and  the 
united  Franks  and  Burgundians  failed  in  their  attacks  upon 
the  Visigoths  of  the  Eastern  Provinces.  Clovis  had  no  idea  of 
compromising  by  his  obstinacy  the  conquests  already  accom- 
plished ;  he  therefore  raised  the  seige  of  Carcassonne,  returned 
first  to  Toulouse,  and  then  to  Bordeaux,  took  Angoul^me,  the 
only  town  of  importance  he  did  not  possess  in  Aquitania ;  and 
feeling  reasonably  sure  that  the  Visigoths,  who,  even  with  the 
aid  that  had  come  from  Italy,  had  great  difficulty  in  defend- 
ing what  remained  to  them  of  Southern  Gaul,  would  not  come 
and  dispute  with  him  what  he  had  alreaxiy  conquered,  he 
halted  at  Tours,  and  stayed  there  some  time,  to  enjoy  on  the 
very  spot  the  fruits  of  his  victory  and  to  establish  his  power 
in  his  new  possessions. 

It  appears  that  even  the  Britons  of  Armorica  tendered  to 
him  at  that  time,  through  the  interposition  of  Melanius,  bishop 
of  Rennes,  if  not  their  actual  submission,  at  any  rate  their  sub- 
ordination and  homage. 

Clovis  at  the  same  time  had  his  self-respect  flattered  in  a 
manner  to  which  barbaric  conquerors  always  attach  great 
importance.  Anastasius,  Emperor  of  the  East,  with  whom  he 
had  already  had  some  communication,  sent  to  him  at  Tours  a 
solemn  embassy,  bringing  him  the  titles  and  insignia  of 
Patrician  and  Consul.  '*  Clovis,''  says  Gregory  of  Tours, 
"  put  on  the  tunic  of  purple  and  the  chlamys  and  the  diadem; 
then  mounting  his  horse,  he  scattered  with  his  own  hand  and 
with  much  bounty  gold  and  silver  amongst  the  people,  on  the 
road  which  lies  between  the  gate  of  the  court  belonging  to  the 

CH.  vn.]  TEE  FRANKS  AND  CLOVIS.  121 

basilica  of  St.  Martin  and  the  church  of  the  city.  From  that 
day  he  was  called  Consul  and  Augustus.  On  leaving  the  city 
of  Tours  be  repaired  to  Paris,  where  he  fixed  the  seat  of  his 

Paris  was  certainly  the  political  centre  of  his  dominions,  the 
intermediate  point  between  the  early  settlements  of  his  race 
and  himself  in  Gaul  and  his  new  GaUic  conquests;  but  he 
lacked  some  of  the  possessions  nearest  to  him  and  most 
naturally,  in  his  own  opinion,  his.  To  the  east,  north,  and 
southwest  of  Paris  were  settled  some  independent  Frankish 
tribes,  governed  by  chieftains  with  the  name  of  kings.  So 
soon  as  he  had  settled  at  Paris,  it  was  the  one  fixed  idea  of 
Clovis  to  reduce  them  all  to  subjection.  He  had  conquered 
the  Burgundians  and  the  Visigoths;  it  remained  for  him  to 
conquer  and  unite  together  all  the  Franks.  The  barbarian 
showed  himself  in  his  true  colors,  during  this  new  enterprise, 
with  his  violence,  his  craft,  his  cruelty,  and  his  perfidy.  He 
began  with  the  most  powerful  of  the  tribes,  the  Ripuarian 
Franks.  He  sent  secretly  to  Cloderic,  son  of  Sigebert,  their 
king,  saying,  "Thy  father  hath  become  old,  and  his  wound 
maketh  him  to  hmp  o'  one  foot ;  if  he  should  die,  his  kingdom 
wiU  come  to  thee  of  right,  together  with  our  friendship." 
Cloderic  had  his  father  assassinated  whilst  asleep  in  his  tent, 
and  sent  messengers  to  Clovis,  saying,  *'  My  father  is  dead, 
and  I  have  in  my  power  his  kingdom  and  his  treasm*es.  Send 
thou  unto  me  certain  of  thy  people,  and  I  will  gladly  give  into 
their  hands  whatsoever  amongst  these  treasures  shall  seem 
like  to  please  thee."  The  envoys  of  Clovis  came,  and,  as  they 
were  examining  in  detail  the  treasures  of  Sigebert,  Cloderic 
said  to  them,  "  This  is  the  coffer  wherein  my  father  was  wont, 
to  pile  up  his  gold  pieces."  **  Plunge,"  said  they,  **thy  hand 
right  to  the  bottom  that  none  escape  thee."  Cloderic  bent  for- 
ward, and  one  of  the  envoys  lifted  his  battle-axe  and  cleft  his 
skuU.  Clovis  went  to  Cologne  and  convoked  the  Franks  of 
the  canton.  "Learn,"  said  he,  "that  which  hath  happened. 
As  I  was  sailing  on  the  river  Scheldt,  Cloderic,  son  ot  my 
relative,  did  vex  his  father,  saying  I  was  minded  to  slay  him; 
and  as  Sigebert  was  flying  across  the  forest  of  Buchaw,  his 
son  himself  sent  bandits,  who  fell  upon  him  and  slew  him. 
Cloderic  also  is  dead,  smitten  I  know  not  by  whom  as  he  was 
opening  his  father's  treasures.  I  am  altogether  imconcemed 
in  it  all,  and  I  could  not  shed  the  blood  of  my  relatives,  for  it 
is  a  crime.    But  since  it  hath  so  happened,  I  give  imto  you 

122  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  vii. 

counsel,  which  ye  shall  follow  if  it  seem  to  you  good;  turn  ye 
towards  me,  and  live  under  my  protection."  And  they  who 
were  present  hoisted  him  on  a  huge  buckler,  and  hailed  hiTn 

After  Sigebert  and  the  Eipuarian  Franks,  came  the  Franks 
of  Wrouanne,  and  Chararic  their  king.  He  had  refused,  twenty 
years  before,  to  march  with  Clovis  against  the  Roman, 
Syagrius.  Clovis,  who  had  not  forgotten  it,  attacked  him, 
took  him  and  his  son  prisoners,  and  had  them  both  shorn, 
ordering  that  Chararic  should  be  ordained  priest  and  his  son 
deacon.  Chararic  was  much  grieved.  Then  said  his  son  to 
him,  "Here  be  branches  which  were  cut  from  a  green  tree, 
and  are  not  yet  wholly  dried  up:  soon  they  will  sprout  forth 
again.  May  it  please  Gkxl  that  he  who  hath  wrought  aU  this 
shall  die  as  quickly  1"  Clovis  considered  these  words  as  a 
menace,  had  both  father  and  son  beheaded,  and  took  posses- 
sion of  their  dominions.  Bagnacaire,  king  of  the  Franks  of 
Cambrai,  was  the  third  to  be  attacked.  He  had  served  Clovis 
against  Syagrius,  but  Clovis  took  no  account  of  that.  Bagna- 
caire,  being  beaten,  was  preparing  for  flight,  when  he  was 
seized  by  his  own  soldiers,  who  tied  his  hands  behind  his 
back,  and  took  him  to  Clovis  along  with  his  brother  Riquier. 
**  Wherefore  hast  thou  dishonored  our  race,"  said  Clovis,  "  by 
letting  thyself  wear  bonds?  'Twere  better  to  have  died;"  and 
cleft  his  skull  with  one  stroke  of  his  battle-axe.  Then  turning 
to  Riquier,  *'Hadst  thou  succoured  thy  brother,"  said  he, 
"he  had  assuredly  not  been  bound;"  and  felled  himUkewise 
at  his  feet.  Rignomer,  king  of  the  Franks  of  Le  Mans,  met  the 
same  fate,  but  not  at  the  hands,  only  by  the  order,  of  Clovis. 
So  Clovis  remained  sole  king  of  the  Franks,  for  all  the  inde- 
pendent chieftains  had  disappeared. 

It  is  said  that  one  day,  after  all  these  murders,  Clovis,  sur- 
rounded by  his  trusted  servants,  cried,  **  Woe  is  me!  who  am 
left  as  a  traveller  amongst  strangers,  and  who  have  no  longer 
relatives  to  lend  me  support  in  the  day  of  adversity  1"  Thus 
do  the  most  shameless  take  pleasure  in  exhibiting  sham  sorrow 
after  crimes  they  cannot  disavow. 

It  cannot  be  known  whether  Clovis  ever  felt  in  his  soul  any 
scruple  or  regret  for  his  many  acts  of  ferocity  and  perfidy,  or 
if  he  looked  as  sufficient  expiation,  upon  the  favor  he  had  be- 
stowed on  the  churches  and  their  bishops,  upon  the  gifts  he 
lavished  on  them,  and  upon  the  absolutions  he  demanded  of 
them.  In  times  of  mingled  barbarism  and  faith  there  are 
strange  cases  of  credulity  in  the  way  of  bargains  made  with 

CH.  vn.]  THE  FRANKS  AND  CLOVIS.  123 

divine  justice.  We  read  in  the  life  of  St.  Eleutherus,  bishop 
of  Tonmai,  the  native  land  of  Clovis,  that  at  one  of  those 
periods  when  the  conscience  of  the.  Fratikish  king  must  have 
been  most  heavily  laden,  he  presented  himself  one  day  at  the 
church.  *'My  lord  king,"  said  the  bishop,  **I  know  where- 
fore thou  art  come  to  me."  "I  have  nothing  special  to  say 
unto  thee,"  rejoined  Clovis.  "Say  not  so,  O  king,"  replied  the 
bishop,  "thou  hast  sinned,  and  darest  not  avow  it."  The 
king  was  moved,  and  ended  by  confessing  that  he  had  deeply 
sinned  and  had  need  of  large  pardon.  St.  Eleutherus  betook 
himself  to  prayer;  the  king  came  back  the  next  day,  and  the 
bishop  gave  him  a  paper  on  which  was  written  by  a  divine 
hand,  he  said,  "the  pardon  granted  to  royal  offences  which 
might  not  be  revealed."  Clovis  accepted  this  absolution,  and 
loaded  the  church  of  Toumai  with  his  gifts.  In  511,  the  very 
year  of  his  death,  his  last  act  in  life  was  the  convocation  at 
Orleans  of  a  Council,  which  was  attended  by  thirty  bishops 
from  the  different  parts  of  his  kingdom,  and  at  which  were 
adopted  thirty-one  canons  that,  whilst  granting  to  the  Church 
great  privileges  and  means  of  influence,  in  many  cases  favor- 
able to  humanity  and  respect  for  the  rights  of  individuals, 
bound  the  Church  closely  to  the  State,  and  gave  to  royalty, 
even  in  ecclesiastical  matters,  great  power.  The  bishops,  on 
breaking  up,  sent  these  canons  to  Clovis,  praying  him  to  give 
them  the  sanction  of  his  adhesion,  which  he  did.  A.  few 
months  afterwards,  on  the  27th  of  November,  511,  Clovis  died 
at  Paris,  and  was  buried  in  the  church  of  St.  Peter  and  St. 
Paul,  now-a-days  St.  G^n^vifeve,  built  by  his  wife  Queen 
dotilde,  who  survived  him. 

It  was  but  right  to  make  the  reader  intimately  acquainted 
with  that  great  barbarian  who,  with  all  his  vices  and  all  his 
crimes,  brought  about  or  rather  began,  two  great  matters 
which  have  already  endured  through  fourteen  centuries  and 
still  endure ;  for  he  founded  the  French  monarchy  and  Chris- 
tian France.  Such  men  and  such  facts  have  a  right  to  be 
closely  studied  and  set  in  a  clear  light  by  history;  Nothing 
similar  will  be  seen  for  two  centuries,  under  the  descendants 
of  Clovis,  the  Merovingians;  amongst  them  will  be  en- 
countered none  but  those  personages  whom  death  reduces  to 
insignificance,  whatever  may  have  been  their  rank  in  the 
world,  and  of  whom  Virgil  thus  speaks  to  Dante: 

"  Non  ragionam  di  lor,  ma  guarda  e  passa." 
**  Waste  we  no  words  on  them:  one  glance  and  pass  thou  on." 

Jnfemot  Canto  UI, 

124  EISTOBT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  vin. 



In  its  beginning  and  in  its  end  the  line  of  the  Merovingians 
is  mediocre  and  obscure.  Its' earliest  ancestors,  Meroveus, 
from  whom  it  got  its  name,  and  Clodion,  the  first,  it  is  said,  of 
the  long-haired  kings,  a  characteristic  title  of  the  Frankish 
kings,  are  scarcely  historical  personages ;  and  it  is  under  the 
qualification  of  sluggard  kings  that  the  last  Merovingians  have 
a  place  in  history.  Clovis  alone,  amidst  his  vices  and  his 
crimes,  was  sufficiently  great  and  did  sufficiently  great  deeds 
to  live  for  ever  in  the  course  of  ages;  the  greatest  i)art  of  his 
successors  belong  only  to  genealogy  or  chronology.  In  a  mo- 
ment of  self-abandonment  and  weariness,  the  great  Napoleon 
once  said,  **  What  trouble  to  take  for  half  a  page  in  universal 
history !"  Histories  far  more  limited  and  modest  than  a  uni- 
versal history,  not  only  have  a  right,  but  are  bound  to  shed 
their  light  only  upon  those  men  who  have  deserved  it  by  the 
eminence  of  their  talents  or  the  important  results  of  their  pass^ 
age  through  life;  rarity  only  can  claim  to  escape  oblivion. 
And  save  two  or  three,  a  little  less  insignificant  or  less  hateful 
than  the  rest,  the  Merovingian  kings  deserve  only  to  be  for- 
gotten. From  A.D.  511  to  a.d.  752,  that  is,  from  the  death  of 
Clovis  to  the  accession  of  the  Carlovingians,  is  two  hundred 
and  forty-one  years,  which  was  the  duration  of  the  dynasty  of 
the  Merovingians.  During  this  time  there  reigned  twenty- 
eight  Merovingian  kings,  which  reduces  to  eight  years  and 
seven  months  the  average  reign  of  each,  a  short  duration  com- 
pared with  that  of  most  of  the  royal  dynasties.  Five  of  these 
kings,  Clotaire  I.,  Clotaire  II.,  Dagobert  L,  Thierry  IV.,  and 
Childeric  III.  alone,  at  different  intervals,  united  under  their 
power  all  the  dominions  possessed  by  Clovis  or  his  successors. 
The  other  kings  of  this  line  reigned  only  over  special  kingdonas, 
formed  by  virtue  of  divers  partitions  at  the  death  of  their  general 
possessor.  From  a.d.  511  to  638  five  such  partitions  took  place. 
In  511,  after  the  death  of  Clovis,  his  dominions  were  divided 
amongst  his  four  sons;  Theodoric,  or  Thierry  I.,  was  king  of 
Metz;  Clodomir,  of  Orl^ns;  Childebert,  of  Paris;  Clotaire  I., 
of  Soissons.    To  each  of  these  capitals  fixed  boundaries  were 

CH.  vm.]  THE  MEROVINGIANS.  125 

attached.  In  558,  in  consequence  of  divers  incidents  brought 
about  naturally  or  by  violence,  Clotaire  I.  ended  by  possessing 
alone,  during  three  years,  all  the  dominions  of  his  fathers.  At 
his  death,  in  561,  they  were  partitioned  afresh  amongst  his 
four  sons;  Charibert  was  king  of  Paris;  Gontran,  of  Orl^ns 
and  Burgundy;  Sigebert  I.,  of  Metz;  andChilp^ric  of  Soissons. 
In  567,  Charibert,  king  of  Paris,  died  without  children,  and 
a  new  partition  left  only  three  kingdoms,  Austrasia,  Neustria, 
and  Burgundy.  Austrasia,  in  the  East,  extended  over  the  two 
banks  of  the  Rhine,  and  comprised,  side  by  side  with  Eoman 
towns  and  districts,  populations  that  had  remained  Germanic. 
Neustria,  in  the  West,  was  essentially  Gallo-Roman,  though  it 
comprised  in  the  north  the  old  territory  of  the  Salian  Franks, 
on  the  borders  of  the  Scheldt.  Burgundy  was  the  old  kingdom 
of  the  Burgundians,  enlarged  in  the  north  by  some  few  coun- 
ties. Paris,  the  residence  of  Clovis,  was  reserved  and  un- 
divided amongst  the  three  kings,  kept  as  a  sort  of  neutral  city 
into  which  they  could  not  enter  without  the  common  consent 
of  all.  In  613,  new  incidents  connected  with  family-matters 
placed  Clotaire  11.,  son  of  Chilp^ric,  and  heretofore  king  of 
Soissons,  in  possession  of  the  three  kingdoms.  He  kept  them 
united  up  to  628,  and  left  them  so  to  his  son  Dagobert  I.,  who 
remained  in  possession  of  them  up  to  638.  At  his  death  a  new 
division  of  the  Frankish  dominions  took  place,  no  longer  into 
three  but  two  kingdoms,  Austrasia  being  one,  and  Neustria 
and  Burgundy  the  other.  This  was  the  definitive  dismember- 
ment of  the  great  Frankish  dominion  to  the  time  of  its  last  two 
Merovingian  kings,  Thierry  IV.,  and  Child^ric  III.,  who  were 
kings  in  name  only,  dragged  from  the  cloister  as  ghosts  from 
the  tomb  to  play  a  motionless  part  in  the  drama.  For  a  long 
time  past  the  real  power  had  been  in  the  hands  of  that  valiant 
Austrasian  family  which  was  to  furnish  the  dominions  of  Clovis 
with  a  new  dynasty  and  a  greater  king  than  Clovis. 

Southern  Gaul,  that  is  to  say,  Aquitania,  Vasconia,  Nar- 
bonness,  called  Septimania,  and  the  two  banks  of  the  Rhone 
near  its  mouths,  were  not  comprised  in  these  partitions  of  the 
Frankish  dominions.  Each  of  the  co-partitioners  assigned  to 
themselves,  to  the  south  of  the  Garonne  and  on  the  coasts  of 
the  Mediterranean,  in  that  beautiful  region  of  old  Roman  Gaul, 
such  and  such  a  district  or  such  and  such  a  town,  just  as  heirs- 
at-law  keep  to  themselves  severally  such  and  such  a  piece  of 
furniture  or  such  and  such  a  valuable  jewel  out  of  a  rich  prop- 
erty to  which  they  succeed,  and  which  they  divide  amongst 

126  ni8T0RT  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  vra. 

them.  The  peculiar  situation  of  those  provinces  at  their  dis- 
tance from  the  Franks'  own  settlements  contributed  much  tow- 
ards the  independence  which  Southern  Gaul,  and  especially 
Aquitania,  was  constantly  striving  and  partly  managed  to  re- 
cover, amidst  the  extension  and  tempestuous  fortunes  of  the 
Frankish  monarchy.  It  is  easy  to  comprehend  how  these  re- 
peated partitions  of  a  mighty  inheritance  with  so  many  suc- 
cessors, these  domiiiions  continually  changing  both  their  limits 
and  their  masters,  must  have  tended  to  increase  the  already 
profound  anarchy  of  the  Roman  and  the  barbaric  worlds  thrown 
pell>mell  one  upon  the  other,  and  fallen  a  prey,  the  Roman  to 
the  disorganization  of  a  lingering  death,  the  barbaric  to  the 
fermentation  of  a  new  existence  striving  for  development 
under  social  conditions  quite  different  from  those  of  its  primi- 
tive Hfe.  Some  historians  have  said  that,  in  spite  of  these  per- 
petual dismemberments  of  the  great  Frankish  dominion,  a 
real  unity  had  always  existed  in  the  Frankish  monarchy,  and 
regulated  the  destinies  of  its  constituent  peoples.  They  who 
say  so  show  themselves  singularly  easy  to  please  in  the  matter 
of  political  unity  and  international  harmony.  Amongst  those 
various  States,  springing  from  a  common  base  and  subdivided 
between  the  different  members  of  one  and  the  same  family, 
rivalries,  enmities,  hostile  machinations,  deeds  of  violence  and 
atrocity,  struggles,  and  wars  soon  became  as  frequent,  as 
bloody,  and  as  obstinate  as  they  have  ever  been  amongst  states 
and  sovereigns  as  unconnected  as  possible  one  with  another. 
It  will  suffice  to  quote  one  case  which  was  not  long  in  coming. 
In  524,  scarcely  thirteen  years  after  the  death  of  Clovis  and  the 
partition  of  his  dominions  amongst  his  four  sons,  the  second  of 
them,  Clodomir,  king  of  Orl^ns,  was  killed  in  a  war  against 
the  Burgundians,  leaving  three  sons,  direct  heirs  of  his  king- 
dom, subject  to  equal  partition  between  them.  Their  grand- 
mother, Olotilde,  kept  them  with  her  at  Paris;  and  "their 
uncle  Childebert  (king  of  Paris),  seeing  that  his  mother  be- 
stowed all  her  affection  upon  the  sons  of  Clodomir,  grew  jeal- 
ous-; so,  fearing  that  by  her  favor  they  would  get  a  share  in 
the  kingdom,  he  sent  secretly  to  his  brother  Clotaire  (king  of 
Soissons),  saying,  *  Our  mother  keepeth  by  her  the  sons  of  our 
brother,  and  willeth  to  give  them  the  kingdom  of  their  father. 
Thou  must  needs,  therefore,  come  speedily  to  Paris,  and  we 
must  take  counsel  together  as  to  what  shall  be  done  with  them ; 
whether  they  shall  be  shorn  and  reduced  to  the  condition  of 
commoners,  or  slain  and  leave  their  kingdom  to  be  shared 

OH.  vra.]  THE  MEROVINGIANS.  127 

equally  between  us.'  Clotaire,  overcome  with  joy  at  these 
words,  came  to  Paris.  Childebert  had  already  spread  abroad 
amongst  the  people  that  the  two  kings  were  to  join  in  raising 
the  young  children  to  the  throne.  The  two  kings  then  sent  a 
message  to  the  queen  who  at  that  time  dwelt  in  the  same  city, 
saying,  *  Send  thou  the  children  to  us,  that  we  may  place  them 
on  the  throne.'  Clotilde,  full  of  joy  and  unwitting  of  their 
craft,  set  meat  and  drink  before  the  children,  and  then  sent 
them  away,  saying,  *  I  shall  seem  not  to  have  lost  my  son  if  I 
see  ye  succeed  him  in  his  kingdom.'  The  young  princes  were 
immediately  seized,  and  parted  from  their  servants  and  gov- 
ernors; and  the  servants  and  the  children  were  kept  in  sepa- 
rate places.  Th^  Childeibert  and  Clotaire  sent  to  the  queen 
their  confidant  Arcadius  (one  of  the  Arvemian  senators),  with 
a  pair  of  shears  and  a  naked  sword.  When  he  came  to  Clo- 
tilde, he  showed  her  what  he  bare  with  him,  and  said  to  her, 
*  Most  glorious  queen,  thy  sons,  our  masters,  desire  to  know 
thy  wiU  touching  these  children:  wilt  thou  that  they  hve  with 
shorn  hair  or  that  they  be  put  to  death? '  Clotilde,  astounded 
at  this  address,  and  overcome  with  indignation,  answered  at 
hazard  amidst  the  grief  that  overwhelmed  her,  and  not  know- 
ing what  she  would  say,  *  If  they  be  not  set  upon  the  throne 
I  would  rather  know  that  they  were  dead  than  shorn.'  But 
Arcadius,  caring  little  for  her  despair  or  for  what  she  might 
decide  after  more  reflection,  returned  in  haste  to  the  two  kings, 
and  said,  *  Finish  ye  your  work,  for  the  queen  favoring  your 
plans,  willeth  that  ye  accomplish  them.'  Forthwith  Clotaire 
taketh  the  eldest  by  the  arm,  dasheth  him  upon  the  ground, 
and  slayeth  him  without  mercy  with  the  thrust  of  a  hunting- 
knife  beneath  the  arm-pit.  At  the  cries  raised  by  the  child,  his 
brother  casteth  himself  at  the  feet  of  Childebert,  and  clinging 
to  his  knees,  saith  amidst  his  sobs,  '  Aid  me,  good  father,  that 
I  die  not  like  my  brother.'  Childebert,  his  visage  bathed  in 
tears,  saith  to  Clotaire,  *  Dear  brother,  I  crave  thy  mercy  for 
his  life;  I  will  give  thee  whatsoever  thou  wilt  as  the  price  of 
his*  soul;  I  pray  thee,  slay  him  not.'  Then  Clotaire,  with 
menacing  and  furious  mien,  crieth  out  aloud,  *  Thrust  him 
away,  or  thou  diest  in  his  stead:  thou,  the  instigator  of  all  this 
work,  art  thou,  then,  so  quick  to  be  faithless? '  At  these  words 
Childebert  thrust  away  the  child  towards  Clotaire,  who  seized 
him,  pliuiged  a  himting-knife  in  his  side,  as  he  had  in  his 
brother's  and  slew  him.  They  then  put  to  death  the  slaves  and 
governors  of  the   children.    After  these   murders   Clotaire 

128  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  .  [cH.  vm. 

mounted  his  horse  and  departed,  taking  little  heed  of  his 
nephew's  death ;  and  Childebert  withdrew  into  the  outskirts  of 
the  city.  Queen  Clotilde  had  the  corpses  of  the  two  children 
placed  in  a  coffin,  and  followed  them,  with  a  great  parade  of 
chanting,  and  immense  mourning,  to  the  hasilica  of  St.  Pierre 
(now  St.  Gen^vi^ve),  where  they  were  buried  together.  One 
was  ten  years  old  and  the  other  seven. '  The  third,  named 
Clodoald  (who  died  about  the  year  560,  after  having  f oimded, 
near  Paris,  a  monastery  called  after  him  St,  Clovd)^  could 
not  be  caught,  and  was  saved  by  some  gallant  men.  He,  dis- 
daining a  terrestrial  kingdom,  dedicated  himself  to  the  Lord, 
was  shorn  by  his  own  hand,  and  became  a  churchman;  he  de- 
voted himself  wholly  to  good  works,  and  died  a  priest.  And 
the  two  kings  divided  equally  between  them  the  kingdom  of 
Clodomir"  (Gregory  of  Tours,  Histories  des  Francs,  in.  xviii). 
The  history  of  the  most  barbarous  peoples  and  times  assur- 
edly offers  no  example,  in  one  and  the  same  family,  of  an 
usurpation  more  perfidiously  and  atrociously  consummated. 
King  Clodomir,  the  father  of  the  two  young  princes  thus  de- 
throned and  murdered  by  their  imcles,  had,  during  his  reign, 
shown  almost  equal  indifference  and  cruelty.  In  523,  during  a 
war  which,  in  concert  with  his  brothers  Childebert  and  Clo- 
taire,  he  had  waged  against  Sigismund,  king  of  Burgundy,  he 
had  made  prisoners  of  that  king,  his  wife,  and  their  sons,  and 
kept  them  shut  up  at  Orleans.  The  year  after,  the  war  was 
renewed  with  the  Burgundians.  "Clodomir  resolved,"  says 
Gregory  of  Tours,  **to  put  Sigismimd  to  death.  The  l3lessed 
Avitus,  abbot  of  St.  Mesmin  de  Micy  (an  abbey  about  two 
leagues  from  Orl^ns),  a  famous  priest  in  those  days,  said  to 
him  on  this  occasion,  *  If,  turning  thy  thoughts  towards  God, 
thou  change  thy  plan,  and  suffer  not  these  folk  to  be  slain,  God 
will  be  with  thee,  and  thou  wilt  gain  the  victory;  but  if  thou 
slay  them,  thou  thyself  wilt  be  delivered  into  the  hands  of 
thine  enemies,  and  thou  wilt  undergo  their  fate;  to  thee  and 
thy  wife  and  thy  sons  will  happen  that  which  thou  wilt  have 
done  to  Sigismund  and  his  wife  and  his  sons.'  But  Clodomir, 
taking  no  heed  of  this  counsel,  said,  *  It  were  great  folly  to  • 
leave  one  enemy  at  home  when  T  march  out  against  another; 
one  attacking  me  behind  and  another  in  front,  I  should  find 
myself  between  two  armies:  victory  will  be  surer  and  easier  if 
I  separate  one  from  the  other;  when  the  first  is  once  dead,  it 
will  be  less  difficult  to  get  rid  of  the  other  aJso.*  Accordingly 
he  put  Sigismimd  to  death,  together  with  his  wife  and  his  sons, 




CH.  vm.]  .THE  MEROVINGIANS.  129 

ordered  them  to  be  thrown  into  a  well  in  the  village  of  Coul- 
mier,  belonging  to  the  territory  of  Orl^ns,  and  set  out  for  Bur- 
gundy. After  his  first  success  Clodomir  fell  into  an  ambush 
and  into  the  hands  of  his  enemies,  who  cut  off  his  head,  stuck 
it  on  the  end  of  a  pike  and  held  it  up  aloft.  Victory,  neverthe- 
less, remained  with  the  Franks ;  but  scarcely  had  a  year  elapsed 
when  Queen  Guntheuque,  Clodomir's  widow,  became  the  wife 
of  his  brother  Olotaire,  and  his  two  elder  sons,  Theobald  and 
Gronthaire,  fell  beneath  their  xmcle's  hunting  knife." 

Even  in  the  coarsest  and  harshest  ages  the  soul  of  man  does 
not  completely  lose  its  instincts  of  justice  and  hmnanity.  The 
bishops  and  priests  were  not  alone  in  crying  out  against  such 
atrocities ;  the  barbarians  themselves  did  not  always  remain 
indifferent  spectators  of  them,  Ijut  sometimes  took  advantage 
of  them  to  rouse  the  wrath  and  warlike  ardor  of  their  com- 
rades. "About  the  year  528,  Theodoric,  King  of  Metz,  the 
eldest  son  of'Clovis,  purposed  to  undertake  a  grand  campaign 
on  the  right  bank  of  the  Rhine  against  his  neighbors  the  Thur- 
ingians,  and  summoned  the  Franks  to  a  meeting.  'Bethink 
you,'  said  he,  *  that  of  old  time  the  Thuringians  fell  violently 
upon  our  ancestors,  and  did  them  much  harm.  Our  fathers, 
ye  know,  gave  them  hostages  to  obtain  peace;  but  the  Thurin- 
gians put  to  death  those  hostages  in  divers  ways,  and  once 
more  f aUing  upon  our  relatives,  took  from  them  all  they  pos- 
sessed. After  haying  hung  children  up,  by  the  sinews  of  their 
thighs,  on  the  branches  of  trees,  they  put  to  a  most  cruel  death 
more  than  two  hundred  young  girls,  tying  them  by  the  legs  to 
the  necks  of  horses,  which,  driven  by  pointed  goads  in  different 
directions,  tore  the  poor  souls  in  pieces ;  they  laid  others  along 
the  ruts  of*  the  roads,  fixed  them  in  the  earth  with  stakes, 
drove  over  them  Jaden  cars,  and  so  left  them,  with  their  bones 
all  broken,  as  a  meal  for  the  birds  and  dogs.  To  this  very  day 
doth  Hermannfroi  fail  in  his  promise,  and  absolutely  refuse  to 
fulfil  his  engagements:  light  is  on  our  side;  march  we  against 
them  with  the  help  of  God.'  Then  the  Franks,  indignant  at 
such  atrocities,  demanded  with  one  voice  to  be  led  into  Thur- 
ingia.  .  .  .  Victory  made  them  masters  of  it,  and  they  reduced 
the  coimtry  under  their  dominion.  .  .  .  Whilst  the  Frankish 
kings  were  stiU  there,  Theodoric  would  have  slain  his  brother 
Clotaire.  Having  put  armed  men  in  waiting,  he  had  him 
fetched  to  treat  secretly  of  a  certain  matter.  Then,  having 
arranged,  in  a  portion  of  his  house,  a  curtain  from  wall  to  wall, 
he  posted  his  armed  men  behind  it ;  but,  as  the  curtain  was  too 

130  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [ctt.  vm. 

short,  it  left  their  feet  exposed.  Clotaire,  having  heen  warned 
of  the  snare,  entered  the  house  armed  and  with  a  goodly  com- 
pany. Theodoric  then  perceived  that  he  was  discovered,  in- 
vented some  story,  and  talked  of  this,  that,  and  the  other.  At 
last,  not  knowing  how  to  get  his  treachery  forgotten,  he  made 
Clotaire  a  present  of  a  large  silvern  dish.  Clotaire  wished  him 
good-bye,  thanked  him,  and  returned  home.  But  Theodoric 
immediately  complained  to  his  own  folks  that  he  had  sacrificed 
his  silvern  dish  to  no  purpose,  and  said  to  his  son  Theodebert, 
*  Go,  find  thy  uncle,  and  pray  him  to  give  thee  the  present  I 
made  him.'  Theodebert  went,  and  got  what  he  asked.  In  such 
tricks  did  Theodoric  excel "  (Gregory  of  Tours,  III.  vii.). 

These  Merovingian  kings  were  as  greedy  and  licentious  as 
they  were  cruel.  Not  only  was  pillage,  in  their  estimation,  the 
end  and  object  of  war,  but  they  pillaged  even  in  the  midst  of 
peace  and  in  their  own  dominions;  sometimes  af^er  the  Boman 
practice,  by  aggravation  of  taxes  and  fiscal  manoeuvres,  at 
others  after  the  barbaric  fashion,  by  sudden  attacks  on  places 
and  persons  they  knew  to  be  rich.  It  often  happened  that  they 
pillaged  a  church,  of  which  the  bishop  had  vexed  them  by  his 
protests,  either  to  swell  their  own  personal  treasury,  or  to 
make,  soon  afterwards,  offerings  to  another  church  of  which 
they  sought  the  favor.  When  some  great  family  event  was  at 
hand,  they  deUghted  in  a  coarse  magnificence,  for  which  they 
provided  at  the  expense  of  the  populations  of  their  domains,  or 
of  the  great  officers  of  their  courts,  who  did  not  fail  to  idem- 
nify  themselves,  thanks  to  public  disorder,  for  the  sacrifices 
imposed  upon  them.  At  the  end  of  the  sixth  century,  Chilp^- 
ric,  king  of  Neustria,  had  promised  his  daughter  Rigonthe  in 
marriage  to  Prince  Recared,  son  of  LeuvigUd,  king  of  the  Visi- 
goths of  Spain.  **  A  grand  deputation  of  Goths  came  to  Paris 
to  fetch  the  Frankish  princess.  King  Chilp^ric  ordered  several 
families  in  the  fiscal  domains  to  be  seized  and  placed  in  cars*. 
As  a  great  number  of  them  wept  and  were  not  willing  to  go, 
he  had  them  kept  in  prison  that  he  might  more  easily  force 
them  to  go  away  with  his  daughter.  It  is  said  that  several,  in 
their  despair,  hung  themselves,  fearing  to  be  taken  from  their 
parents.  Sons  were  separated  from  fathers,  daughters  from 
mothers ;  and  all  departed  with  deep  groans  and  maledictions, 
and  in  Paris  there  reigned  a  desolation  like  that  of  Egypt.  Not 
a  few,  of  superior  birth,  being  forced  to  go  away,  even  made 
wills  whereby  they  left  their  possessions  to  the  churches,  and 
demanded  that,  so  soon  as  the  yoxmg  girl  should  have  entered 

CH.  vm.]  TBE  MEROVlNGtAm,  ISl 

Spain,  their  wills  should  be  opened  just  as  if  they  were  already 
in  their  graves.  .  .  .  When  King  Chilperic  gave  up  his  daugh- 
ter to  the  ambassadors  of  the  Groths,  he  presented  them  with 
vast  treasures.  Her  mother  (Queen  FrM^gonde)  added  thereto 
so  great  a  quantity  of  gold  and  silver  and  valuable  vestments, 
that,  at  the  sight  thereof,  the  king  thought  he  must  have 
naught  remaining.  The  queen,  perceiving  his  emotion,  turned 
to  the  Franks,  and  said  to  them,  *  Think  not,  warriors,  that 
there  is  here  aught  of  the  treasures  of  former  kings.  All  that 
ye  see  is  taken  from  mine  own  possessions,  for  my  most 
glorious  king  hath  made  me  many  gifts.  Thereto  have  I 
added  of  the  fruits  of  mine  own  toil,  and  a  great  part  pro- 
ceedeth  from  the  revenues  I  have  drawn,  either  in  kind  or  in 
money,  from  the  houses  that  have  been  ceded  imto  me.  Ye 
y6iu'selves  have  given  me  riches,  and  ye  see  here  a  portion 
thereof;  but  there  is  here  naught  of  the  pubUc  treasure.'  And 
the  king  was  deceived  into  believing  her  words.  Such  was 
the  multitude  of  golden  and  silvern  articles  and  other  precious 
things  that  it  took  fifty  wagons  to  hold  them.  The  Franks,  on 
their  part,  made  many  offerings ;  some  gave  gold,  others  silver, 
sundry  gave  horses,  but  most  of  them  vestments.  At  last  the 
young  girl,  with  many  tears  and  kisses,  said  farewell.  As  she 
was  passing  through  the  gate  an  axle  of  her  carriage  broke, 
and  all  cried  out  aUxck!  which  was  interpreted  by  some  as  a 
presage.  She  departed  from  Paris,  and  at  eight  miles'  distance 
from  the  city  she  had  her  tents  pitched.  During  the  night 
fifty,  men  arose,  and,  having  taken  a  hundred  of  the  best  horses 
and  as  many  golden  bits  and  bridles,  and  two  large  silvern 
dishes,  fied  away,  and  took  refuge  with  King  Childebert. 
During  the  whole  journey  whoever  could  escape  fied  away 
with  all  that  he  could  lay  hands  on.  It  was  required  also 
of  all  the  towns  that  were  traversed  on  the  way,  that  they 
shotild  make  great  preparations  to  defray  expenses,  for  the 
king  forbade  any  contribution  .  from  the  treasury:  all  "the 
charges  were  met  by  extraordinary  taxes  levied  on  the  poor" 
(Gregory  of  Tours,  VI.  xlv.). 

Close  upon  this  tyrannical  magnificence  came  unexpected 
sorrows,  and  close  upon  these  outrages  remorse.  The  youngest 
son  of  King  Chilperic,  Dagobert  by  name,  feU  iU.  **  He  was  a 
li^e  better,  when  his  elder  brother  Chlodebert  was  attacked 
with  the  same  symptoms.  His  mother  FrM^gonde,  seeing  him 
in  danger  of  death,  and  touched  by  tardy  repentance,  said  to 
the  king,  'Long  hath  divine  mercy  borne  with  o\xj:  misdeeds; 

132  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE,  [cf.  vm. 

ft  hath  warned  us  by  fevers  and  other  maladies,  and  we  have 
not'  mended  our  ways,  and  now  we  are  losing  our  sons ;  now 
the  tears  of  the  poor,  the  lamentations  of  widows,  and  the 
sighs  of  orphans  are  causing  them  to  perish,  and  leaving  us  no 
hope  of  laying  by  for  any  one.  We  heap  up  riches  and  know 
not  for  whom.  Our  treasures,  all  laden  with  plunder  and 
curses,  are  hke  to  remain  without  possessors.  Our  cellars 
are  they  not  bursting  with  wine,  and  our  granaries  with 
com?  Our  coffers  were  they  not  full  to  the  brim  with  gold 
and  silver  and  precious  stones  and  necklaces  and  other  im- 
perial ornaments?  And  yet  that  which  was  our  most  beautiful 
possession  we  are  losing  I  Come  then,  if  thou  wilt,  and  let  us 
bvim  all  these  wicked  lists ;  let  our  treasury  be  content  with 
what  was  suflBcient  for  thy  father  Clotaire.'  Having  thus 
spoken,  and  beating  her  breast,  the  queen  had  brought  to  her 
the  rolls,  which  Mark  had  consigned  to  her  of  each  of  the 
cities  that  belonged  to  her,  and  cast  them  into  the  fire.  Then, 
turning  again  to  the  king,  *  What  I'  she  cried,  *  dost  thou  hesi- 
tate? Do  thou  even  as  I;  if  we  lose  our  dear  children,  at  least 
escape  we  everlasting  punishment.'  Then  the  king,  moved 
with  compunction,  threw  into  the  fire  all  the  lists,  and,  when 
they  were  burned,  sent  people  to  stay  the  levy  of  those  im- 
posts. And  afterward  their  youngest  child  died,  worn  out 
with  lingering  illness.  Overwhelmed  with  grief,  they  bare 
him  from  their  house  at  Braine  to  Paris,  and  had  him  buried 
in  the  basilica  of  St.  Denis.  As  for  Chlodebert,  they  placed 
him  on  a  litter,  carried  him  to  the  basHica  of  St.  M6dard 
at  Soissons,  and,  laying  him  before  the  tomb  of  the  saint, 
offered  vows  for  his  recovery;  but  in  the  middle  of  the  night, 
enfeebled  and  exhausted,  he  gave  up  the  ghost.  They  buried 
him  in  the  basilica  of  the  holy  martyrs  Crispin  and  Crispinian. 
Then  King  Chilp^ric  showed  great  largess  to  the  churches 
and  the  monasteries  and  the  poor"  (Gregory  of  Tours,  V. 


It  is  doubtful  whether  the  maternal  grief  of  Fred^gonde  were 
quite  so  pious  and  so  strictly  in  accordance  with  morality  as  it 
has  been  represented  by  Gregory  of  Tours;  but  she  was,  with- 
out doubt,  passionately  sincere.  Bash  actions  and  violent 
passions  are  the  characteristics  of  barbaric  natures;  the  in- 
terest or  impression  of  the  moment  holds  sway  over  them,  and 
causes  f orgetfulness  of  every  moral  law  as  well  as  of  every 
wise  calculation.  These  two  characteristics  show  themselves 
in  the  extreme  license  displayed  in  the  private  life  of  the  Mere- 

CH.  vni.]  THE  MER0VINQIAN8.  133 

vingian  kings:  on  becoming  Christians,  not  only  did  they  not 
impose  upon  themselves  any  of  the  Christian  rules  in  respect 
of  conjugal  relations,  but  the  greater  number  of  them  did  not 
renounce  polygamy,  and  more  than  one  holy  bishop,  at  the 
very  time  that  he  reprobated  it,  was  obliged  to  tolerate  it. 
**King  Clotaire  I.  had  to  wife  Ingonde,  and  her  only  did  he 
love,  when  she  made  to  him  the  following  request:  *My  lord,' 
said  she,  *hath  made  of  his  handmaid  what  seemed  to  him 
good;  and  now,  to  crown  his  favors,  let  my  lord  deign  to  hear 
what  his  handmaid  demandeth.  I  pray  you  be  graciously 
pleased  to  find  for  my  sister  Ar^gonde,  your  slave,  a  man  both 
callable  and  rich,  so  that  I  be  rather  exalted  than  abased 
thereby,  and  be  enabled  to  serve  you  still  more  faithfully. 
At  these  words  Clotaire,  who  was  but  too  voluptuously  dis- 
posed by  nature,  conceived  a  fancy  for  Ar^gonde,  betook  him- 
self to  the  country-house  where  she  dwelt,  and  united  her  to 
him  in  marriage.  When  the  union  had  taken  place  he  re- 
turned to  Ingonde,  and  said  to  her,  *  I  have  labored  to  prociu^e 
for  thee  the  favor  thou  didst  so  sweetly  demand,  and,  on  look- 
ing for  a  man  of  wealth  and  capability  worthy  to  be  united  to 
thy  sister,  I  could  find  none  better  than  myself;  know,  there- 
fore, that  I  have  taken  her  to  wife,  and  I  trow  that  it  will  not 
displease  thee.'  *  What  seemeth  good  in  my  master's  eyes,  that 
let  him  do,'  replied  Ingonde:  'only  let  thy  servant  abide'  still 
in  the  king's  grace.' " 

Clotaire  I.  had,  as  has  been  already  remarked,  four  sons: 
the  eldest,  Charibert,  king  of  Paris,  had  to  wife  Ingoberge, 
'*  who  had  in  her  service  two  young  persons,  daughters  of  a 
poor  workman;  one  of  them,  named  Marcovi^ve,  had  donned 
the  religious  dress,  the  other  was  called  MeroflMe,  and  the 
king  loved  both  of  them  exceedingly.  They  were  daughters, 
as  has  been  said,  of  a  worker  in  wool.  Ingoberge,  jealous  of 
the  affection  borne  to  them  by  the  king,  had  their  father  put 
to  work  inside  the  palace,  hoping  that  the  king,  on  seeing  him 
in  such  condition,  would  conceive  a  distaste  for  his  daughters; 
and,  whilst  the  man  was  at  his  work,  she  sent  for  the  king. 

**  Charibert,  thinking  he  was  going  to  see  some  novelty,  saw 
only  the  workman  afar  off  at  work  on  his  wool.  He  forsook 
Ingoberge,  and  took  to  wife  M^roflMe.  He  had  also  (to  wife) 
another  young  girl  named  Theudechilde,  whose  father  was  a 
shepherd,  a  mere  tender  of  sheep,  and  had  by  her,  it  is  said,  a 
son  who,  on  issuing  from  his  mother's  womb,  was  carried 
straightway  to  the  grave."    Charibert  afterwards  espoused 

134  mSTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [en.  viii. 

Marco vi^ve,  sister  of  M^roflMe ;  and  for  that  cause  both  were 
excommunicated  by  St.  Grermain,  bishop  of  Paris. 

Chilperic,  fourth  son  of  Clotaire  I.  and  king  of  Soissons, 
**  though  he  had  already  several  wives,  asked  the  hand  of  Gal- 
suinthe,  eldest  daughter  of  Athanagild,  king  of  Spain.  She 
arrived  at  Soissons  and  was  united  to  him  in  marriage ;  and  she 
received  strong  evidences  of  love,  for  she  had  brought  with  her 
vast  treasures.  But  his  love  for  Fred^onde,  one  of  the  princi- 
pal women  about  Chilperic,  occasioned  fierce  disputes  between 
them.  As  Gralsuinthe  had  to  complain  to  the  king  of  continual 
insult  and  of  not  sharing  with  him  the  dignity  of  his  rank,  she 
asked  him  in  return  for  the  treasures  which  she  had  brought, 
and  which  she  was  ready  to  give  up  to  him,  to  send  her  back 
free  to  her  own  country.  Chilperic,  artfully  dissimulating, 
appeased  her  with  soothing  words;  and  then  had  her  strangled 
by  a  slave,  and  she  was  found  dead  in  her  bed.  When  he  had 
mourned  for  her  death,  he  espoused  FrM^gonde  after  an  inter- 
val of  a  few  days"  (Gregory  of  Tours,  IV.  xxvi.,  xxviii.). 

Amidst  such  passions  and  such  morals,  treason,  murder  and 
'  poisoning  were  the  familiar  processes  of  ambition,  covetousness, 
hatred,  vengeance,  and  fear.  Eight  kings  or  royal  heirs  of  the 
Merovingian  line  died  of  brutal  murder  or  secret  assassination, 
to  say  nothing  of  innumerable  crimes  of  the  same  kind  com- 
mitted in  their  circle,  and  left  unpunished,  save  by  similar 
crimes.  Nevertheless,  justice  is  due  to  the  very  worst  times 
and  the  very  worst  governments ;  and  it  must  be  recorded  that, 
whilst  sharing  in  many  of  the  vices  of  their  age  and  race, 
especially  their  extreme  licence  of  morals,  three  of  Clevis's 
successors,  Theodebert,  king  .of  Austrasia  (from  534  to  548), 
Gtontran,  king  of  Burgundy  (from  561  to  593),  and  Dagobert  I., 
who  xmited  under  his  own  sway  the  whole  Frankish  monarchy 
(from  622  to  638),  were  less  violent,  less  cruel,  less  iniquitous, 
and  less  grossly  ignorant  or  blind  than  the  majority  of  the 

"Theodebert,"  says  Gregory  of  Tours,  '*when  confirmed  in 
his  kingdom,  showed  himself  full  of  greatness  and  goodness; 
he  ruled  with  justice,  honoring  the  bishops,  doing  good  to  the 
churches,  helping  the  poor,  and  distributing  in  many  directions 
numerous  benefits  with  a  very  charitable  and  very  Uberal  hand. 
He  generously  remitted  to  the  churches  of  Auvergne  all  the 
tribute  they  were  wont  to  pay  into  his  treasury"  (III.  xxv.). 

Gontran,  king  of  Burgundy,  in  spite  of  many  shocking  and 
unprincipled  deeds,  at  one  time  of  violence,  at  another  of  weak- 

CH.  vra.]  THE  MEROVINOIANS,  135 

ness,  displayed,  during  his  reign  of  thirty-three  years,  an  in- 
clination towards  moderation  and  peace,  in  striking  contrast 
with  the  measureless  pretensions  and  outrageous  conduct  of  the 
other  Frankdsh  kings  his  contemporaries,  especially  King  Chil- 
p^ric,  his  hrother.  The  treaty  concluded  hy  Grontran,  on  the 
28th  of  November,  587,  at  Andelot,  near  Langres,  with  his 
young  nephew  Childebert,  king  of  Metz,  and  Queen  Brunehaut, 
his  mother,  contains  dispositions,  or,  more  correctly  speaking, 
words,  which- breathe  a  sincere  but  timid  desire  to  render  jus- 
tice to  all,  to  put  an  end  to  the  vindictive  or  retrospective 
quarrels  and  spoliations  which  were  incessantly  harassing  the 
Gallo-Frankish  community,  and  to  build  up  peace  between  the 
two  kings  on  the  foundation  of  mutual  respect  for  the  rights  of 
their  lieges.  "  It  is  established,"  says  this  treaty,  "  that  what- 
soever the  kings  have  given  to  the  churches  or  to  their  lieges, 
or  with  Grod's  help  shall  hereafter  will  to  give  to  them  lawfully, 
shall  be  irrevocably  acquired ;  as  also  that  none  of  the  Ueges,  in 
one  kingdom  or  the  other,  shall  have  to  suffer  damage  in  re- 
spect of  whatsoever  belongeth  to  him,  either  by  law  or  by  vir- 
tue of  a  decree,  but  shall  be  permitted  to  recover  and  possess 

things  due  to  him And  as  the  aforesaid  kings  have 

allied  themselves,  in  the  name  of  God,  by  a  pure  and  sincere 
affection,  it  hath  been  agreed  that  at  no  time  shall  passage 
through  one  kingdom  be  refused  to  the  Leudes  (Keges— great 
vassals)  of  the  other  kingdom  who  shall  desire  to  traverse  them 
on  pubUc  or  private  affairs.  It  is  likewise  agreed  that  neither 
of  the  two  kings  shall  solicit  the  Leudes  of  the  other  or  receive 
them  if  they  offer  themselves;  and  if,  peradventure,  any  of 
these  Leudes  shall  think  it  necessary,  in  consequence  of  some 
fault,  to  take  refuge  with  the  other  king,  he  shall  be  absolved 
according  to  the  nature  of  his  fault  and  given  back.  It  hath 
seemed  good  also  to  add  to  the  present  treaty  that  whichever, 
if  either,  of  the  parties  happen  to  violate  it,  under  any  pretext 
and  at  any  time  whatsoever,  it  shall  lose  all  advantages,  present 
or  prospective,  therefrom;  and  they  shall  be  for  the  profit  of 
that  party  which  shall  have  faithfully  observed  the  aforesaid 
conventions,  and  which  shall  be  relieved  in  all  points  from  the 
obligations  of  its  oath"  (Gregory  of  Tours,  IX.  xx.). 

It  may  be  doubted  whether  between  Gontran  and  Childebert 
the  promises  in  the  treaty  were  always  scrupulously  fulfilled ; 
but  they  have  a  stamp  of  serious  and  sincere  intention  foreign 
to  the  habitual  relations  between  the  other  Merovingian  kings. 

Mention  was  but  just  now  made  of  two  women— two  queens— 

136  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  viii. 

IWdegonde  and  Brunehaut,  who,  at  the  Merovingian  epoch, 
played  important  parts  in  the  history  of  the  country.  They 
were  of  very  different  origin  and  condition;  and,  after  fortunes 
which  were  for  a  long  while  analogous,  they  ended  very  differ- 
ently. Fredegonde  was  the  daughter  of  poor  peasants  in  the 
neighborhood  of  Montdidier  in  Picardy,  and  at  aii  early  age 
joined  the  train  of  Queen  Audovere,  the  first  wife  of  King  Chil- 
p4ric.  She  was  beautiful,  dexterous,  ambitious,  and  bold;  and 
she  attracted  the  attention,  and  before  long  awakened  the  pas- 
sion of  the  king.  She  pursued  with  ardor  and  without  scruple 
her  unexpected  fortune.  Queen  Audovere  was  her  first  obsta- 
cle and  her  first  victim ;  and  on  the  pretext  of  a  spirtual  rela- 
tionship which  rendered  her  marriage  with  Chilp6ric  illegal, 
was  repudiated  and  banished  to  a  convent.  But  Fredegonde's 
hour  had  not  yet  come;  for  CMlp^ric  espoused  Galsuinthe, 
daughter  of  the  Visigothic  king,  Athanagild,  whose  youngest 
daughter,  Brunehaut,  had  just  married  Chilperic's  brother, 
Sigebert,  king  of  Austrasia.  It  has  already  been  said  that  be- 
fore long  Galsuinthe  was  found  strangled  in  her  bed,  and  that 
Chilperic  espoused  Fredegonde.  An  undying  hatred  from  that 
time  arose  between  her  and  Brunehaut,  who  had  to  avenge  her 
sister.  A  war,  incessantly  renewed,  between  the  Kings  of 
Austrasia  and  Neustria  followed.  Sigebert  succeeded  in  beat- 
ing Chilperic,  but,  in  575,  in  the  midst  of  his  victory,  he  was 
suddenly  assassinated  in  his  tent  by  two  emissaries  of  Fr6d6- 
gonde.  His  army  disbanded;  and  his  widow,  Brunehaut,  fell 
into  the  hands  of  Chilperic.  The  right  of  asylum  belonging  to 
the  cathedral  of  Paris  saved  her  life,  but  she  was  sent  away  to 
Bouen.  There,  at  this  very  time,  on  a  mission  from  his  father, 
happened  to  be  Merov^,  son  of  Chilperic,  and  the  repudiated 
Queen  Audovere;  he  saw  Brunehaut  in  her  beauty,  her  attrac- 
tiveness, and  her  trouble ;  he  was  smitten  with  her  and  married 
her  privately,  and  Praetextatus,  bishop  of  Rouen,  had  the  im- 
prudent courage  to  seal  their  union.  FrM^onde  seized  with 
avidity  upon  this  occasion  for  persecuting  her  rival  and  de- 
stroying her  stepson,  heir  to  the  throne  of  Chilperic.  The 
Austrasians,  who  had  preserved  the  child  Childebert,  son  of 
their  mm'dered  king,  demanded  back  with  threats  their  queen 
Brunehaut.  She  was  surrendered  to  them;  but  Fr^d^gonde 
did  not  let  go  her  other  prey,  Merov^.  First  imprisoned,  then 
shorn  and  shut  up  in  a  monastery,  afterwards  a  fugitive  and 
secretly  urged  on  to  attempt  a  rising  against  his  father,  he  was 
so  affrighted  at  his  perils,  that  he  got  a  faithful  servant  to 



CH.vni.]  THE  MER0VINQIAN8,  137 

strike  him  dead,  that  he  might  not  fall  into  the  hands  of  his 
hostile  stepmother.  Chilp^ric  had  remaining  another  son, 
dovis,  issue,  as  M^rovee  was,  of  Queen  Audov^re.  He  was 
accused  of  having  caused  hy  his  sorceries  the  death  of  the  three 
children  lost  about  this  time  by  Fr^degonde ;  and  was,  in  his 
turn,  imprisoned  and  before  long  poignarded.  His  mother 
Audov^re  was  strangled  in  her  convent.  Fredegonde  sought 
in  these  deaths,  advantageous  for  her  own  children,  some  sort 
of  horrible  consolation  for  her  sorrows  as  a  mother.  But  the 
sum  of  crimes  was  not  yet  complete.  In  584  King  Chilp^ric, 
on  returning  from  the  chase  and  in  the  act  of  dismounting,  was 
struck  two  mortal  blows  by  a  man  who  took  to  rapid  flight, 
and  a  cry  was  raised  all  around  of,  "  Treason!  'tis  the  hand  of 
the  Austrasian  Childebert  against  our  lord  the  king !"  The  care 
taken  to  have  the  cry  raised  was  proof  of  its  falsity ;  it  was  the 
hand  of  Fredegonde  herself,  anxious  lest  Chilp^ric  should  dis- 
cover the  guilty  connexion  existing  between  her  and  an  oflScer 
of  her  household,  Landry,  who  became  subsequently  mayor  of 
the  palace  of  Neustria.  Chilp^ric  left  a  son,  a  few  months  old, 
named  Clotaire,  of  whom  his  mother  Fredegonde  became  the 
sovereign  guardian.  She  employed,  at  one  time  in  defending 
him  against  his  enemies,  at  another  in  endangering  him  by  her 
plots,  her  hatreds  and  her  assaults,  the  last  thirteen  years  of 
her  life.  She  was  a  true  type  of  the  strong-willed,  artful,  and 
perverse  woman  in  barbarous  times ;  she  started  low  down  in 
the  scale  and  rose  very  high  without  a  corresponding  elevation 
of  soul ;  she  was  audacious  and  perfidious,  as  perfect  in  decep- 
tion as  in  effrontery,  proceeding  to  atrocities  either  from  cool 
calculation  or  a  spirit  of  revenge,  abandoned  to  all  kinds  of 
passion,  and,  for  gratification  of  them,  shrinking  from  no  sort 
of  crime.  However,  she  died  quietly  at  Paris,  in  597  or  598, 
powerful  and  dreaded,  and  leaving  on  the  throne  of  Neustria 
her  son  Clotaire  II.,  who,  fifteen  years  later,  was  to  become  sole 
king  of  all  the  Frankish  dominions. 

Brunehaut  had  no  occasion  for  crimes  to  become  a  queen; 
and,  in  spite  of  those  she  committed,  and  in  spite  of  her  out- 
bursts and  the  moral  irregularities  of  her  long  life,  she  bore, 
amidst  her  passion  and  her  power,  a  stamp  of  courageous 
frankness  and  intellectual  greatness  which  places  her  far  above 
the  savage  who  was  her  rival.  Fr6d6gonde  was  an  upstart,  of 
barbaric  race  and  habits,  a  stranger  to  every  idea  and  every 
design  not  connected  with  her  own  personal  interest  and  suc- 
cesses ;  and  she  was  as  brutally  selfish  in  the  case  of  her  natural 

138  mSTOBT  OF  FRANCE.  [CH.  vin. 

passions  as  in  the  exercise  of  a  power  acquired  and  maintained 
by  a  mixture  of  artifice  and  violence.  Brunehaut  was  a  prin- 
cess of  that  race  of  Gothic  kings  who,  in  Southern  Gaul  and  in 
Spain,  had  understood  and  admired  the  Eoman  civilizatipn  and 
had  striven  to  transfer  the  remains  of  it  to  the  newly-formed 
fabric  of  their  own  dominions.  She,  transplanted  to  a  home 
amongst  the  Franks  of  Austrasia,  the  least  Eoman  of  all  the 
barbarians,  preserved  there  the  ideas  and  tastes  of  the  Visigoths* 
of  Spain,  who  had  become  almost  Gallo-Eomans ;  she  clung 
stoutly  to  the  efficacious  exercise  of  the  royal  authority;  she 
took  a  practical  interest  in  the  public  works,  highways, 
bridges,  monuments,  and  the  progress  of  material  civilization; 
the  Roman  roads  in  a  short  time  received  and  for  a  long  while 
kept  in  Austrasia  the  name  of  Brunehaufs  catiseuxiys ;  there 
used  to  be  shown,  in  a  forest  near  Bourges,  Brunehaut's  castle, 
Brunehaut^s  tower  at  Etampes,  Brunehaut's  stone  near  Tour- 
nay,  and  Brunehaut's  fort  near  Cahors.  In  the  royal  domains 
and  wheresoever  she  went  she  showed  abundant  charity  to  the 
poor,  and  many  ages  after  her  death  the  people  of  those  dis- 
tricts stiU  spoke  of  Brunehaufs  alms.  She  liked  and  protected 
men  of  letters,  rare  and  mediocre  indeed  at  that  time,  but  the 
only  beings,  such  as  they  were,  with  a  notion  of  seeking  and 
giving  any  kind  of  intellectual  enjoyment ;  and  they  in  turn 
took  pleasure  in  celebrating  her  name  and  her  deserts.  The 
most  renowned  of  all  during  that  age,  Fortunatus,  bishop  of 
Poitiers,  dedicated  nearly  all  his  little  poems  to  two  queens; 
one,  Brunehaut,  plunging  amidst  aU  the  struggles  and  pleasures 
of  the  world,  the  other  St.  Radegonde,  sometime  wife  of  Clo- 
taire  I.,  who  had  fled  in  all  haste  from  a  throne,  to  bury  her- 
self at  Poitiers,  in  the  convent  she  had  founded  there.  To 
compensate,  Brunehaut  was  detested  by  the  majority  of  the 
Austrasian  chiefs,  those  Leudes,  landowners  and  warriors, 
whose  sturdy  and  turbulent  independence  she  was  continually 
fighting  against.  She  supported  against  them,  with  indomita- 
ble courage,  the  royal  officers,  the  servants  of  the  palace,  her 
a^nts,  and  frequently  her  favorites.  One  of  these,  Lupus,  a 
Roman  by  origin,  and  Duke  of  Champagne,  "  was  being  con- 
stantly insulted  and  plundered  by  his  enemies,  especially  by 
Ursion  Bertfried.  At  last,  they  having  agreed  to  slay  him, 
marched  against  him  with  an  army.  At  the  sight,  Brunehaut, 
compassionating  the  evil  case  of  one  of  her  lieges  unjustly  per- 
secuted, assumed  quite  a  manly  courage,  and  threw  herself 
amongst  the  hostile  battalions,  crying,  *Stay,  warriors;  ro^ 

CH.  vra.]  THE  MEROVINGIANS.  139 

frarn  &om  this  wicked  deed;  x>ersecute  not  the  innocent;  en- 
gage not,  for  a  smgle  man's  sake,  in  a  battle  which  will  deso- 
late the  country ! '  *  Back,  woman,'  said  Ursion  to  her,  *  let  it 
sufice  thee  to  have  ruled  under  thy  husband's  sway ;  now  'tis 
thy  son  who  reigns,  and  his  kingdom  is  imder  our  protection, 
not  thine.  Back !  if  thou  wouldst  not  that  the  hoofs  of  our 
horses  trample  thee  under  as  the  dust  of  the  ground ! '  After 
the  dispute  had  lasted  some  time  in  this  strain,  the  queen,  by 
her  address,  at  last  prevented  the  battle  from  taking  place" 
(Gregory  of  Tours,  VI.  iv.).  It  was  but  a  momentary  success 
for  Brunehaut ;  and  the  last  words  of  Ursion  contained  a  sad 
presage  of  the  death  awaiting  her.  Intoxicated  with  power, 
pride,  hate,  and  revenge,  she  entered  more  violently  every  day 
into  strife  not  only  with  the  Austrasian  laic  chieftains,  but  with 
some  of  the  principal  bishops  of  Austrasia  and  Burgundy, 
among  the  rest  with  St.  Didier,  bishop  of  Vienne,  who,  at  her 
instigation,  was  brutally  murdered,  and  with  the  great  Irish 
missionary  St.  Columba,  who  would  not  sanction  by  his  bless- 
ing the  fruits  of  the  royal  irregularities.  In  614,  after  thirty- 
nine  years  of  wars,  plots,  murders,  and  political  and  personal 
vicissitudes,  from  the  death  of  her  husband  Sigebert  I.,  and 
under  the  reigns  of  her  son  Th^odebert,  and  her  grandsons  Th^- 
debert  II.  and  Thierry  II,,  Queen  Brunehaut,  at  the  age  of 
eighty  years,  fell  into  the  hands  of  her  mortal  enemy,  CHotaire 
n.,  son  of  FrM^gonde,  now  sole  l|ing  of  the  Franks.  After 
having  grossly  insulted  her,  he  had  her  paraded,  seated  on  a 
Camel,  in  front  of  his  whole  army,  and  then  ordered  her  to  be 
tied  by  the  hair,  one  foot,  and  one  arm  to  the  tail  of  an  un- 
broken horse,  that  carried  her  away,  and  dashed  her  in  pieces 
as  he  galloped  and  kicked,  beneath  the  eyes  of  the  ferocious 

After  the  execution  of  Brunehaut  and  the  death  of  Qotaire 
n.,  the  history  of  the  Franks  becomes  a  little  less  dark  and 
less  bloody.  Not  that  murders  and  great  irregularities,  in  the 
court  and  amonjgst  the  people,  disappear  altogether.  Dagobert 
I.,  for  instance,  the  successor  of  Clotaire  II.,  and  grandson  of 
Chilp^ric  and  Fr^d^gonde,  had  no  scruple,  under  the  pressure 
of  self-interest,  in  committing  an  iniquitous  and  barbarous 
act.  After  having  consented  to  leave  to  his  younger  brother 
Charibert  the  kingdom  of  Aquitania,  he  retook  it  by  force  in 
631,  at  the  death  of  Charibert,  seizing  at  the  same  time  his 
treasures,  and  causing  or  permitting  to  be  murdered  his  young 
nephew  Chilp^ric,  rightful  heir  of  bis  father,    A^gut  tb^  same 

140  UlSTORT  OF  FRANCE,  [en.  vin. 

time  Dagobert  had  assigned  amongst  the  Bavarians,  subjects 
of  his  beyond  the  Ehine,  an  asylum  to  nine  thousand  Bulga- 
rians who  had  been  driven  with  their  wives  and  children 
from  Pannonia.  Not  knowing,  afterwards,  where  to  put  or 
how  to  feed  these  refugees,  he  ordered  them  all  to  be  massa- 
cred in  one  night;  and  scarcfely  seven  hundred  of  them  suc- 
ceeded in  escaping  by  flight.  The  private  morals  of  Dagobert 
were  not  more  scrupulous  than  his  public  acts.  *^  A  slave  to 
incontinence  as  King  Solomon  was,"  says  his  biographer 
Fr^d^aire,  **he  had  three  queens  and  a  host  of  concubines." 
Qiven  up  to  extravagance  and  po^ip,  it  pleased  him  to  imitate 
the  magnificence  of  the  imperial  court  at  Constantinople,  and 
at  one  time  he  laid  hands,  for  that  purpose,  upon  the  posses- 
sions of  certain  of  his  **leudes"  or  of  certain  churches,  at 
another  he  gave  to  his  favorite  church,  the  Abbey  of  St. 
Denis,  **so  many  precious  stones,  articles  of  value,  and 
domains  in  various  places,  that  all  the  world,"  says  Fr6d4- 
gaire,  **was  stricken  with  admiration."  But,  despite  of  these 
excesses  and  scandals,  Dagobert  was  the  most  wisely  ener- 
getic, the  least  cruel  in  feeling,  the  most  prudent  in  enterprise, 
and  the  most  capable  of  governing  with  some  little  regularity 
and  effectiveness,  of  all  the  kings  furnished,  since  Clovis,  by 
the  Merovingian  race.  He  had,  on  ascending  the  throne,  this 
immense  advantage  that  the  three  Frankish  dominions, 
Austrasia,  Neustria  and  B^gundy  were  re-united  under  his 
sway;  and  at  the  death  of  his  brother  Charibert,  he  added 
thereto  Aquitania.  The  unity  of  the  vast  Frankish  monarchy 
was  thus  re-established,  and  Dagobert  retained  it  by  his 
moderation  at  home  and  abroad.  He  was  brave,  and  he  made 
war  on  occasion;  but  he  did  not  permit  himself  to  be  dragged 
into  it  either  by  his  own  passions  or  by  the  unlimited  taste  of 
his  lieges  for  adventure  and  plimder.  He  found,  on  this 
point,  salutary  warnings  in  the  history  of  his  predecessors. 
It  was  very  often  the  Franks  themselves,  the  royal  "  leudes," 
who  plunged  their  kings  into  civil  or  foreign  wars.  "  In  630, 
two  sons  of  Clovis,  Childebert  and  Clotaire,  arranged  to 
attack  Bm-gundy  and  its  king  Godomar.  They  asked  aid  of 
their  brother  Th6odoric,  who  refused  to  join  them.  How- 
ever, the  Franks  who  formed  his  party  said,  "If  thou  refuse 
to  march  into  Burgundy  with  thy  brethren,  we  give  thee  up, 
and  prefer  to  follow  them."  But  Th^odoric,  considering  that 
the  Arvemians  had  been  faithless  to  him,  said  to  the  Franks, 
**  Follow  me,  apd  I  will  lead  you  into  a  country  where  ye 

CH.  vm.]  THtt  MtmoVINGIAm.  141 

shall  seize  of  gold  and  silver  as  much  as  ye  can  desire,  and 
whence  ye  shall  take  away  flockis  and  slaves  and  vestments  in 
abundance !"  The  Franks,  overcome  by  the^  words,  promised 
to  do  whatsoever  he  should  desire.  So  Th^odoric  entered 
Auvergne  with  his  army,  and  wrought  devastation  and  ruin 
in  the  province. 

In  555,  Clotaire  I.  had  made  an  expedition  against  the 
Saxons,  who  demanded  peace;  but  the  Frankish  warriors 
would  not  hear  of  it.  **  *  Cease,  I  pray  you,'  said  Clotaire  to 
them,  ^to  be  evil-minded  against  these  men;  they  speak  us 
fair;  let  us  not  go  and  attack  them,  for  fear  we  bring  down 
upon  us  the  anger  of  God.'  But  the  Franks  would  not  listen 
to  him.  The  Saxons  again  came  with  offenngs  of  vestments, 
flocks,  even  all  their  possessions,  saying,  ^Take  all  this, 
together  with  half  our  country;  leave  us  but  our  wives  and 
little  children;  only  let  there  J3e  no  war  between  us.'  But  the 
Franks  again  refused  all  terms.  *  Hold,  I  adjure  you,'  said 
Clotaire  again  to  them,  *  we  have  not  right  on  our  side ;  if  ye  be 
thoroughly  minded  to  enter  upon  a  war  in  which  ye  may  find 
your  loss,  as  for  me,  I  will  not  follow  ye.'  Then  the  Franks, 
enraged  against  Clotaire,  threw  themselves  upon  him,  tore  his 
tent  to  pieces  as  they  heaped  reproaches  upon  him,  and  bore 
him  away  by  force,  determined  to  kill  him  if  he  hesitated  to 
march  with  them.  So  Clotaire;  in  spite  of  himself,  departed 
with  them.  But,  when  they  joined  battle  they  were  cut  to 
pieces  by  their  adversaries,  and  on  both  sides  so  many  fell 
that  it  was  impossible  to  estimate  or  count  the  number  of  the 
dead.  Then  Clotaire  with  shame  demanded  peace  of  the 
Saxons,  saying  that  it  was  not  of  his  own  will  that  he  had 
attacked  them;  and,  having  obtained  it,  returned  to  his  own 
dominions"  (Gregory  of  Tours,  III.  xi.,  xii. ;  IV.  xiv.). 

King  Dagobert  was  not  thus  under  the  yoke  of  his  *4eudes." 
Either  by  his  own  energy,  or  by  surrounding  himself  with 
wise  and  influential  counsellors,  such  as  Pepin  of  Landen, 
mayor  of  the  palace  of  Austrasia,  St.  Amoul,  bishop  of  Metz, 
St.  Migius,  bishop  of  Noyon,  and  St.  Audoenus,  bishop  of 
Rouen,  he  applied  himself  to  and  succeeeed  in  assuring  to  him- 
self, in  the  exercise  of  his  power,  a  pretty  large  measure  of 
independence  and  popularity.  At  the  beginning  of  his  reign 
he  held,  in  Austrasia  and  Burgundy,  a  sort  of  administrative 
and  judicial  inspection,  halting  at  the  principal  towns,  listen- 
ing to  complaints,  and  checking,  sometimes  with  a  rigor 
arbitrary  indeed,  but  approved  of  by  the  people,  the  violence 

142  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  vin. 

and  irregularities  of  the  grandees.  At  Langres,  Dijon,  St. 
Jean-de-Losne,  ChSIons-sur-Sa6ne,  Auxerre,  Autnn,  and  Sens, 
**he  rendered  justice,"  says  FrM^gaire,  "to  rich  and  poor 
alike,  without  any  charges,  and  without  any  respect  of  per- 
sons, taking  little  sleep  and  little  food,  caring  only  so  to  act 
that  all  should  withdraw  from  his  presence  full  of  joy  and 
admiration."  Nor  did  he  confine  himself  to  this  unceremo- 
nious exercise  of  the  royal  authority.  Some  of  his  prede- 
cessors, and  amongst  them  Childebert  I.,  Clotaire  I.,  and 
Clotaire  EC.,  had  caused  to  he  drawn  up,  in  Latin  and  by 
scholars,  digests  more  or  less  complete  of  the  laws  and 
customs  handed  down  by  tradition,  amongst  certain  of  the 
Gtermanic  peoples  established  on  Roman  soil,  notably  the  laws 
of  the  Salian  Franks  and  Ripuarian  Franks;  and  Dagobert 
ordered  a  continuation  of  these  first  legislative  labors  amongst 
the  new-bom  nations.  It  was,  apparently,  in  his  reign  that  a 
digest  was  made  of  the  laws  of  the  Allemannians  and  Bava- 
rians. He  had  also  some  taste  for  the  arts,  and  the  pious 
talents  displayed  by  Saints  Moi  and  Ouen  in  goldsmith's  work 
and  sculpture,  appUed  to  the  service  of  religion  or  the  decora- 
tion of  churches,  received  from  him  the  support  of  the  royal 
favor  and  munificence.  Dagobert  was  neither  a  great  warrior 
nor  a  great  legislator,  and  there  is  nothing  to  make  him  recog- 
nized as  a  great  mind  or  a  great  character.  His  private  life, 
too,  was  scandalous;  and  extortions  were  a  sad  feature  of  its 
close.  Nevertheless,  his  authority  was  maintained  in  his 
dominions,  his  reputation  spread  far  and  wide,  and  the  name 
of  great  King  Dagobert  was  his  abiding  title  in  the  memory  of 
the  people.  Taken  all  in  all,  he  was,  next  to  Clovis,  the  most 
distinguished  of  Frankish  kings,  and  the  last  really  king  in 
the  line  of  the  Merovingians.  After  him,  from  638  to  752, 
twelve  princes  of  this  line,  one  named  Sigebert,  two  Clovis, 
two  Child^ric,  one  Clotairci,  two  Dagobert,  one  Childebert,  one 
Chilp^ric,  and  two  Th^odoric  or  Thierry,  bore  in  Neustria, 
Austrasia,  and  Burgundy,  or  in  the  three  kingdoms  united, 
the  title  of  king,  without  deserving  in  history  more  than  room 
for  their  names.  There  was  already  heard  the  rumbling  of 
great  events  to  come  around  the  Frankish  dominion;  and  in 
the  very  womb  of  this  dominion  was  being  formed  a  new  race 
of  kings  more  able  to  bear,  in  accordance  with  the  spirit  and 
wants  of  their  times,  the  burden  of  power. 

Cfl.  CL]     TEE  PEPINS  and  TEE  NEW  DTNASTr.  143 



There  is  a  certain  amount  of  sound  sense,  of  intelligent 
activity  and  practical  efficiency,  which  even  the  least  civilized 
and  least  exacting  communities  absolutely  must  look  for  in 
their  governing  body.  .  When  this  necessary  share  of  ability 
and  influence  of  a  political  kind  are  decidedly  wanting  in  the 
men  who  have  the  titles  and  the  official  posts  of,  power, 
communities  seek  elsewhere  the  qualities  (and  their  conse- 
quences) which  they  cannot  do  without.  The  sluggard  Mero- 
vingians drove  the  Franks,  Neustrians,  and  Austrasians  to 
this  imperative  necessity.  The  last  of  the  kings  sprung  from 
Clovis  acquitted  themselves  too  ill  or  not  at  all  of  their  task ; 
and  the  mayors  of  the  palace  were  naturally  summoned  to 
supply  their  deficiencies,  and  to  give  the  populations  assur- 
ance of  more  intelligence  and  energy  in  the  exercise  of 
power.  The  origin  and  primitive  character  of  these  supple- 
ments of  royalty  were  different  according  to  circumstances; 
at  one  time,  conformably  with  their  title,  the  mayors  of  the 
palace  really  came  into  existence  in  the  palace  of  the  Frankish 
kings,  amongst  the  **  leudes''  charged,  under  the  style  of 
antrustions  (lieges  in  the  confidence  of  the  king:  in  truste 
regia),  with  the  internal  management  of  the  royal  affairs  and 
household,  or  amongst  the  superior  chiefs  of  the  army;  at 
another,  on  the  contrary,  it  was  to  resist  the  violence  and 
usurpation  of  the  kings  that  the  "leudes,"  landholders  or 
warriors,  themselves  chose  a  chief  able  to  defend  their  inter- 
ests and  their  rights  against  the  royal  tyranny  or  incapacity. 
Thus  we  meet,  at  this  tune,  with  mayors  of  the  palace  of  very 
different  political  origin  and  intention,  some  appointed  by  the 
kings  to  support  royalty  against  the  "leudes,"  others  chosen 
by  the  "  leudes"  against  the  kings.  It  was  especially  between 
the  Neustrian  and  Austrasian  mayors  of  the  palace  that  this 
difference  became  striking.  G^aUo-Roman  feeling  was  more 
prevalent  in  Neustria,  Grermanic  in  Austrasia.  The  majority 
of  the  Neustrian  mayors  supported  the  interests  of  royalty, 
the  Austriasian  those  of  the  aristocracy  of  landholders  and 

144  mSTORT  OF  FBANPBI.  [ch.  IX. 

warriors.  The  last  years  of  the  Merovingian  line  were  full  of 
their  struggles ;  but  a  cause  far  more  general  and  more  power- 
ful than  these  differences  and  conflicts  in  the  very  heart  of 
the  Frankish  dominions  determined  the  definitive  fall  of  that 
line  and  the  accession  of  another  dynasty.  When  in  687  the 
battle  fought  at  Testry,  on  the  banks  of  the  Somme,  left 
Pepin  of  H^ristal,  duke  and  mayor  of  the  palace  of  Austrasia, 
victorious  over  Bertaire,  mayor  of  the  palace  of  Neustria,  it 
was  a  question  of  something  very  different  from  merely 
rivalry  between  the  two  Frankish  dominions  and  their  cheifs. 

At  their  entrance  and  settlement  upon  the  left  bank  of  the 
Rhine  and  in  Gaul,  the  Franks  had  not  abandoned  the  right 
bank  and  Germany;  there  also  they  remained  settled  and 
incessently  at  strife  with  their  neighbors  of  Germanic  race, 
Thuringians,  Bavarians,  the*  confederation  of  Allemannians, 
Frisons,  and  Saxons,  people  frequently  vanquished  and  sub- 
dued to  all  appearance,  but  always  ready  to  rise  either  for  the 
recovery  of  their  independence,  or,  again,  under  the  pressure 
of  that  grand  movement  which,  in  toe  third  century,  had 
determined  the  general  invasion  by  the  barbarians  of  the 
Roman  empire.  After  the  defeat  of  the  Huns,  at  Chalons,  and 
the  founding  of  the  Visigothic,  Burgundian,  and  Frankish 
kingdoms  in  Gaul,  that  movement  had  been,  if  not  arrested, 
at  any  rate  modified,  and  for  the  moment  suspended.  In  the 
sixth  century  it  received  a  fresh  impulse;  new  nations,  Avars, 
Tartars,  Bulgarians,  Slavons,  and  Lombards  thrust  one 
another  with  mutual  pressure  from  Asia  into  Europe,  from 
Eastern  Europe  into  Western ;  from  the  North  to  the  South, 
into  Italy  and  into  Gaul.  Driven  by  the  Ouigour  Tartars 
from  Pannonia  and  Noricum  (now-a-days  Austria),  the  Lom- 
bards threw  themselves  first  upon  Italy,  crossed  before  long 
the  Alps,  and  penetrated  into  Burgundy  and  Provence,  to  the 
very  gates  of  Avignon.  On  the  Rhine  and  along  the  Jura  the 
Franks  had  to  struggle  on  their  own  account  against  the  new 
comers;  and  they  were,  further,  summoned  into  Italy  by  the 
Emperors  of  the  East  who  wanted  their  aid  against  the  Lom- 
bards. Every  where  resistance  to  the  invasion  of  barbarians 
became  the  national  attitude  of  the  Franks,  and  they  proudly 
proclaimed  themselves  the  defenders  of  that  West  of  which 
they  had  but  lately  been  the  conquerors. 

When  the  Merovingians  were  indisputably  nothing  but  slug- 
gard kings,  and  when  Ebroin,  the  last  great  mayor  of  the  pal- 
ace of  Neustria,  bad  been  assassinated  (in  681),  and  the  army 

,     ^'KE  NEW  ¥tRr 


CH.  K.]      THE  PEPINa  AND  THE  NEW  DYNASTY,  146 

of  the  Neustrians  destroyed  at  the  battle  of  Testry  (in  687), 
the  ascendancy  in  the  heart  of  the  whole  of  Frankish  Gaul 
passed  to  the  Franks  of  Anstrasia,  already  bound  by  their 
geographical  position  to  the  defence  of  their  nation  in  its  new 
settlement.  There  had  risen  up  amongst  them  a  family, 
powerful  from  its  vast  domains,  from  its  military  and  political 
services,  and  already  also  from  the  prestige  belonging  to  the 
hereditary  transmission  of  name  and  power.  Its  first  chief 
known  in  history  had  been  Pepin  of  Landen,  called  The  Ancient^ 
one  of  the  foes  of  Queen  Bnmehaut,  who  was  so  hateful  to  the 
Austrasians,  and  afterwards  one  of  the  piivy  councillors  and 
mayor  of  the  palace  of  Austrasia  under  Dagobert  I.  and  his 
son  Sigebert  11.  He  died  in  639,  leaving  to  his  family  an  influ- 
ence already  extensive.  His  son  Grimoald  succeeded  him  as 
mayor  of  the  palace  ingloriously ;  but  his  grandson,  by  »his 
daughter  Bega,  Pepin  of  Heristal,  was  for  twenty-seven  years 
not  only  virtually,  as  mayor  of  the  palace,  but  ostensibly  €uid 
with  the  title  of  duke,  the  real  sovereign  of  Austrasia  and  all 
the  Frankish  dominion.  He  did  not,  however,  take  the  name 
of  king;  and  four  descendants  of  Clovis,  Thierry  III.,  Clovis 
III.,Childebert  III.  and  Dagobert  III.,  continued  to  bear  that 
title  in  Neustria  and  Burgundy,  under  the  preponderating  in- 
fluence of  Pepin  of  Heristal.  He  did,  during  his  long  sway, 
three  things  of  importance.  He  struggled  without  cessation  to 
keep  or  bring  back  under  the  rule  of  the  Franks  the  Germanic 
nations  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Rhine,  Frisons,  Saxons, 
Thuringians,  Bavarians,  and  Allemannians ;  and  thus  to  make 
the  Frankish  dominion  a  bulwark  against  the  new  flood  of  bar- 
barians who  were  pressing  one  ahother  westwards. 

He  rekindled  in  Austrasia  the  national  spirit  and  some  poUti- 
cal  life  by  beginning  again  the  old  March  parades  of  the  Franks, 
which  had  fallen  into  desuetude  under  the  last  Merovingians. 
Lastly,  and  this  was,  perhaps,  his  most  original  merit,  he 
imderstood  of  what  importance,  for  the  Frankish  kingdom, 
was  the  conversion  to  Christianity  of  the  Germanic  peoples 
over  the  Rhine,  and  he  abetted  with  all  his  might  the  zeal  of 
the  poi)es  and  missionaries,  Irish,  Anglo-Saxon,  and  Gallo- 
Roman,  devoted  to  this  great  work.  The  two  apostles  of  Fries- 
land,  St.  Willfried  and  St  Willibrod,  especially  the  latter,  had 
intimate  relations  with  Pepin  of  Heristal,  and  received  from 
him  effectual  support.  More  than  twenty  bishoprics,  amongst 
others  those  of  Utrecht,  Mayence,  Ratisbonne,  Worms,  and 
Spire  were  founded  at  this  epoch ;  and  one  of  those  ardent 

146  JIISTOJiT  OF  FBANCW.  [cH.  tt. 

pioneers  of  Christian  civillzatioxi,  the  Irish  hishop,  St.  Lievin, 
martyred  in  656  near  Ghent,  of  which  he  has  remained  the 
patron  saint,  wrote  in  verse  to  his  friend  Florbert,  a  little  be- 
fore his  martyrdom,  ^*I  have  seen  a  sun  without  rays,  days 
without  light,  and  nights  without  repose.  Around  me  rageth 
a  people  impious  and  clamorous  for  my  blood.  O  people,  what 
harm  have  I  done  thee?  '  Tis  piece  that  I  bring  thee;  where- 
fore declare  war  against  me?  But  thy  barbarism  will  bring 
my  trimnph  and  give  me  the  palm  of  martyrdom.  I  know  in 
whom  I  trust,  and  my  hope  shall  not  be  confounded.  Whilst  I 
am  pouring  forth  these  verses,  there  cometh  unto  me  the  tired 
driver  of  the  ass  that  beareth  me  the  usual  provisions;  he 
bringeth  that  which  maketh  the  delights  of  the  country,  even 
milk  and  butter  and  eggs;  the  cheeses  stretch  the  wicker-work 
of  the  far  too  narrow  panniers.  Why  tarriest  thou,  good  car- 
rier? Quicken  thy  step;  collect  thy  riches,  thou  that  this 
morning  art  so  poor.  As  for  me  I  am  no  longer  what  I  was, 
and  have  lost  the  gift  of  joyous  verse.  How  could  it  be  other- 
wise when  I  am  witness  of  such  cruelties?" 

If  were  difficult  to  describe  with  more  pious,  graceful,  and 
melancholy  feeling  a  holier  and  a  simpler  life. 

After  so  many  firm  and  glorious  acts  of  authority  abroad 
Pepin  of  H^ristaJ,  at  his  death,  December  16,  714,  did  a  deed  of 
weakness  at  home.  He  had  two  wives,  Plectrude  and  Alpai'de ; 
he  had  repudiated  the  former  to  espouse  the  latter,  and  the 
Church,  considering  the  second  marriage  unlawful,  had  con- 
stantly urged  him  to  take  back  Plectrude.  He  had  by  her  a 
son,  Grimoald,  who  was  assassinated  on  his  way  to  join  his 
father  lying  ill  at  Li^ge.  ThiS  son  left  a  child,  Th^odoald,  only 
six  years  old.  This  child  it  was  whom  Pepin,  either  from  a 
grandfather's  blind  fondness,  or  through  the  influence  of  his  wife 
Plectrude,  appointed  to  succeed  him  to  the  detriment  of  his  two 
sons  by  Alpaide,  Charles  and  Childebrand.  Charles,  at  that  time 
twenty-five  years  of  age,  had  already  a  name  for  capacity  and 
valor.  On  the  death  of  Pepin,  his  widow  Plectrude  lost  no 
time  in  arresting  and  imprisoning  at  Cologne  this  son  of  her  ri- 
val Alpaide;  but  some  months  afterwards,  in  715,  the  Austra- 
sians,  having  risen  against  Plectrude,  took  Charles  out  of  prison 
and  set  him  at  their  head,  proclaiming  him  Duke  of  Austrasia. 
He  was  destined  to  become  Charles  Martel. 

He  first  of  all  took  care  to  extend  and  secure  his  own 
authority  over  all  the  Franks.  At  the  death  of  PejSin  of  H^ns- 
tal,  the   Neustrians,  vexed  at   the  long   domination  of  the 

CH.  IX.]      THE  PEPtm  AlifD  TUtd  NEW  DTNABTT.         147 

Austraaians,  had  taken  one  of  themselves,  Ragenf  ried,  as  mayor 
of  the  palace,  and  had  placed  at  his  side  a  Merovingian  slug- 
gard king,  Chilp^ric  II.,  whom  they  had  dragged  from  a 
monastery.  Charles,  at  the  head  of  the  Austrasians,  twice 
succeeded  in  heating,  first  near  Camhrai  and  then  near  Soissons, 
the  Neustrian  king  and  mayor  of  the  palace,  pursued  them  to 
Paris,  returned  to  Cologne,  got  himself  accepted  hy  his  old 
enemy,  Queen  Plectrude,  and  remaining  temperate  amidst  the 
triumph  of  his  amhition,  he,  too,  took  from  amongst  the  sur- 
viving Merovingians,  a  sluggard  king,  whom  he  installed  under 
the  name  of  Clotaire  IV.,  himself  becoming,  with  the  simple 
title  of  Duke  of  Austrasia,  master  of  the  Frankish  dominion. 

Being  in  tranquility  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine,  Charles 
directed  towards  the  right  bank,  towards  the  Frisons  and  the 
Saxons,  his  attention  and  his  efforts.  After  having  experienced, 
in  a  first  encounter,  a  somewhat  severe  check,  he  took,  from 
715  to  718,  ample  revenge  upon  them,  repressed  their  attempts  at 
invasion  of  Frankish  territory,  and  pursued  them  on  their  own, 
imposed  tribute  upon  them,  and  commenced  with  vigor,  against 
the  Saxons  in  particular,  that  struggle,  at  first  defensive  and 
afterwards  aggressive,  which  was  to  hold  so  prominent  a  place 
in  the  life  and  glorious  but  blood-stained  annals  of  his  grand- 
son Charlemagne. 

In  the  war  against  the  Neustrians,  at  the  battle  of  Soissons 
in  719,  Charles  had  encountered  in  their  ranks  Eudes  or  Eudon, 
Duke  of  Aquitania  and  Nasconia,  that  beautiful  portion  of 
Southern  Gaul  situated  between  the  Pyrenees,  the  Ocean,  the 
Garonne  and  the  Rhone,  who  had  been  for  a  long  time  trying 
to  shake  off  the  dominion  of  the  barbarians,  Visigoths  or 
Franks.  At  the  death  of  Pepin  of  Heristal,  the  Neustrians  had 
drawn  into  alHance  with  them,  for  their  war  against  the 
Austrasians,  this  Duke  Eudes,  to  whom  they  gave,  as  it  ap- 
pears, the  title  of  king.  After  their  common  defeat  at  Soissons, 
the  Aquitanian  prince  withdrew  precipitately  into  his  own 
country,  taking  with  him  the  sluggard  king  of  the  Neustrians, 
Chilperic  II.  Charles  pursued  him  to  the  Loire,  and  sent  word 
to  him,  a  few  months  afterwards,  that  he  would  enter  into 
friendship  with  him  if  he  would  deliver  up  Chilp6ric  and  his 
treasures;  otherwise  he  would  invade  and  ravage  Aquitania. 
Eudes  delivered  up  Chilperic  and  his  treasures ;  and  Charles, 
satisfied  with  having  in  his  power  this  Merovingian  phantom, 
treated  hiih  generously,  kept  up  his  royal  rank,  and  at  his 
death,  which  happened  soon  afterwards,  replaced  him  by  an- 

148  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  ix. 

other  phantom  of  the  same  line,  Th^odoric  or  Thierry  IV. ; 
whom  he  dragged  from  the  ahhey  of  Chelles,  founded  hy 
Queen  St.  Bathilde,  wife  of  Clovis  II.,  and  who  for  seventeen 
years  hore  the  title  of  king,  whilst  Charles  Martel  was 
ruling  gloriously,  and  was,  perhaps,  the  savior  of  the  Frank- 
ish  dominions.  When  he  contracted  his  alliance  with  the 
Duke  of  Aquitania,  Charles  Martel  did  not  know  against  what 
enemies  and  perils  he  would  soon  have  ta  struggle. 

In  the  earlier  years  of  the  eighth  century,  less  than  a  hun- 
dred years  from  the  death  of  Mahomet,  the  Mussulman  Arahs, 
after  having  conquered  Syria,  Mesopotamia,  Egypt,  and 
Northern  Africa,  had  passed  into  Europe,  invaded  Spain, 
overthrown  the  kingdom  of  the  Visigoths,  driven  hack  the 
remnants  of  the  nation  and  their  chief,  Pelagius,  to  the  north 
of  the  Peninsula,  into  the  Asturias  and  Galicia,  and  pushed 
even  beyond  the  Pyrenees,  into  old  Narhonness,  then  called 
Septimania,  their  limitless  incursions.  These  fiery  conquerors 
did  not  amount  at  that  time,  according  to  the  most  probable 
estimates,  to  more  than  fifty  thousand ;  but  they  were  under 
the  influence  of  religious  and  warlike  enthusiasm  at  one  and 
the  same  time;  they  were  fanatics  in  the  cause  of  Deism  and 
of  glory.  "The  Arab  warrior  during  campaigns  was  not 
excused  from  any  one  of  the  essential  duties  of  Islamism;  he 
was  bound  to  pray  at  least  once  a  day,  on  rising  in  the  morn- 
ing, at  the  blush  of  dawn.  The  general  of  the  army  was  its 
priest;  he  it  was  who,  at  the  head  of  the  ranks,  gave  the  signal 
for  prayer,  uttered  the  words,  reminded  the  troops  of  the  pre- 
cepts of  the  Koran,  and  enjoined  upon  them  f orgetfulness  of 
personal  quarrels."  One  day,  on  the  point  of  engaging  in  a 
decisive  battle,  Moussa-ben-No^sair,  first  governor  of  Mussul- 
man Africa,  was  praying,  according  to  usaoje,  at  the  head  of 
the  troops ;  and  he  omitted  the  invocation  of  the  name  of  the 
Khalif ,  a  respectful  formality  indispensable  on  the  occasion. 
One  of  his  oflBlcers,  persuaded  that  it  was  a  mere  slip  on 
Moussa's  part,  made  a  point  of  admonishing  him.  **Know 
thou, "  said  Moussa,  * '  that  we  are  in  such  a  position  and  at  such 
hour  that  no  other  name  must  be  invoked  save  that  of  the  most 
high  God."  Moussa  was,  apparently,  the  first  Arab  chief  to 
cross  the  Pyrenees  and  march  plundering  as  he  went  into 
Narhonness.  The  Arabs  had  but  very  confused  ideas  of  Gkiul; 
they  called  it  FraiidjaSy  and  gave  to  all  its  inhabitants  without 
distinction  the  name  of  Frandj,  The  Khalif  Abdelmelek,  hav- 
ing recalled  Moussa,  questioned  him  about  the  different  peoples 


with  which  he  had  been  concerned.  **  And  of  these  Franc^,^^ 
said  he,  "what  hast  thou  to  tell  me?"  "They  are  a  people,"an- 
swered  Moussa,  "very  many  in  number  and  abundantly  pro- 
vided with  every  thing,  brave  and  impetuous  in  attack,  but 
spiritless  and  timid  under  reverses."  "And  how  went  the 
war  betwixt  them  and  thee?"  added  Abdelmelek:  "was  it 
favorable  to  thee  or  the  contrary?"  "  The  contrary  I  Nay,  by 
Allah  and  the  Prophet ;  never  was  my  army  vanquished ;  never 
was  a  battalion  beaten;  and  never  did  the  Mussulmans  hesitate 
to  follow  me  when  I  led  them  forty  against  fourscore  "  (Fauriel, 
Htstoire  de  la  Gaule,  cfcc,  t.  XXL,  p.  48,  67.) 

In  719,  under  El-Ham*-ben-Abdel-Rhaman,  a  valiant  and  able 
leader,  say  the  Arab  writers,  but  greedy,  harsh,  and  cruel,  the 
Arabs  pursued  their  incursions  into  Southern  Gaul,  took  Nar- 
bonne,  dispersed  the  inhabitants,  spread  themselves  abroad  in 
search  of  plunder  as  far  as  the  holders  of  the  Garonne,  and 
went  and  laid  siege  to  Toulouse.  Eudes,  Duke  of  Aquitania, 
happened  to  be  at  Bordeaux,  and  he  hastily  simamoned  all  the 
forces  of  his  towns  and  all  the  populations  from  the  Pyrenees 
to  the  Iioire,  and  hurried  to  the  reHef  of  his  capital.  The 
Arabs,  commanded  by  a  new  chieftain,  El-Samah,  more  popu- 
lar amongst  them  than  El-Haur,  awaited  him  beneath  the 
walls  of  the  city  determined  to  give  him  battle.  "  Have  ye  no 
fear  of  this  multitude,"  said  El-Samah  to  his  warriors;  "if 
God  be  with  us,  who  shall  be  against  us?"  Eudes  had  taken 
equally  great  pains  to  kindle  the  pious  courage  of  the  Aquita- 
nians;  he  spread  amongst  his  troops  a  rumor  that  he  had  but 
lately  received  as  a  present  from  Pope  Gregory  IX.  three 
sponges  that  had  served  to  wipe  down  the  table  at  which  the 
sovereign  pontiffs  were  accustomed  to  celebrate  the  commu- 
nion; he  had  them  cut  into  little  strips  which  he  had  dis- 
tributed to  all  those  of  the  combatants  who  wished  for  them, 
and  thereupon  gave  the  word  to  soimd  the  charge.  The  vic- 
tory of  the  Aquitanians  was  complete ;  the  Arab  army  was  cut 
in  pieces;  El-Samah  was  slain,  and  with  him,  according  to  the 
victors'  accounts,  full  375,000  of  his  troops.  The  most  truth- 
like testimonies  and  calculations  do  not  put  down  at  more 
than  from  50,000  to  70,000  men,  in  fighting  trim,  the  number 
of  Arabs  that  entered  Spain  eight  or  ten  years  previously,  even 
with  the  additions  it  must  have  received  by  means  of  the  emi- 
grations from  Africa;  and  undoubtedly  El-Samah  could  not 
have  led  into  Aquitania  more  than  from  40,000  to  45,000.  How- 
ever that  may  be,  the  defeat  of  the  Arabs  before  Toulouse  was 

160  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [en.  ix. 

so  serious  that,  four  or  five  centuries  afterwards,  Ibn-Hayan, 
the  best  of  their  historians,  still  spoke  of  it  as  the  object  of 
solemn  commemoration,  and  affirmed  that  the  Arab  army 
had  entirely  perished  there,  without  the  escape  of  a  single 
man.  The  spot  in  the  Boman  road,  between  Carcassonne  and 
Toulouse,  where  the  battle  was  fought,  was  one  heap  of  dead 
bodies,  and  continued  to  be  mentioned  in  the  Arab  Chronicles 
under  the  name  of  Martyrs'  Causeway, 

But  the  Arabs  of  Spain  were  then  in  that  unstable  social 
condition  and  in  that  hey-day  of  impulsive  youthfulness  as  a 
people,  when  men  are  more  apt  to  be  excited  and  attracted  by 
the  prospect  of  bold  adventures  and  discouraged  by  reverses. 
El-Samah,  on  crossing  the  Pyrenees  to  go  plundering  and 
conquering  in  the  country  of  the  Fraud j,  had  left  as  his 
lieutenant  in  the  Iberian  peninsula  Anbessa-ben-Sohim,  one  of 
the  most  able,  most  piouss,  most  just,  and  most  hiunane  chief- 
tains, say  the  Arab  chronicles,  that  Islamism  ever  produced 
in  Europe.  He,  being  informed  of  El-Samah's  death  before 
Toulouse,  resolved  to  resume  his  enterprise  and  avenge  his 
defeat.  In  725,  he  entered  Ga\il  with  a  strong  army;  took 
Carcassonne ;  reduced,  either  by  force  or  by  treaty,  the  princi- 
pal towns  of  Septimania  to  submission;  and  even  carried  the 
Arab  arms,  for  the  first  time,  beyond  the  Rhone  into  Provence. 
At  the  news  of  this  fresh  invasion  Duke  Eudes  hurried  from 
Aquitania,  collecting  on  his  march  the  forces  of  the  country, 
and  after  having  waited  some  tinje  for  a  favorable  opportimity, 
gave  the  Arabs  battle  in  Provence.  It  was  indecisive  at  first, 
but  ultimately  won  by  the  Christians  without  other  result 
than  the  retreat  of  Anbessa,  mortally  wounded,  upon  the 
right  bank  of  the  Rhone,  where  he  died  without  having  been 
able  himself  to  recross  the  Pyrenees,  but  leaving  the  Arabs 
masters  of  Septimania,  where  they  established  themselves  in 
force,  taking  Narbonne  for  capital  and  a  starting-point  for 
their  future  enterprises. 

The  struggle  had  now  begun  in  earnest,  from  the  Rhone  to 
the  Garonne  and  the  Ocean,  between  the  Christians  of  Southern 
Gaul  and  the  Mussulmans  of  Spain.  Duke  Eudes  saw  with 
profound  anxiety  his  enemies  settled  in  Septimania,  and  ever 
on  the  point  of  invading  and  devastating  Aquitania.  He  had 
been  informed  that  the  Khalif  Hashem  had  just  appointed  to 
the  governor-generalship  of  Spain  Abdel-Rhaman  (theAbde 
rame  of  the  Christian  chronicles),  regarded  as  the  most  valiant 
of  the  Spanish  Arabs,  and  that  this  chief  lain  was  making  great 

CH.  IX.]      THE  PEPIN8  AND  THE  NEW  DTNA8TT,  151 

preparations  for  resuming  their  course  of  invasion.  Another 
I)eril  at  the  same  time  pressed  heavily  on  Duke  Eudes:  his 
northern  neighbor,  Charles,  sovereign  duke  of  the  Franks,  the 
conqueror,  beyond  the  Rhine,  of  the  Frisons  and  Saxons,  was 
directing  glances  full  of  regret  towards  those  beautiful  countries 
of  Southern  Gaul,  which  in  former  days  Clovis  had  won  from  the 
Visigoths,  and  which  had  been  separated,  little  by  little,  from 
the  Frankish  empire.*  Either  justly  or  by  way  of  ruse  Charles  ac- 
cused Duke  Eudes  of  not  faithfully  observing  the  treaty  of  peace 
they  had  concluded  in  720;  and  on  this  pretext  he  crossed  the 
Loire,  and  twice  in  the  same  year,  731,  carried  fear  and  rapine 
into  tihe  possessions  of  the  Duke  of  Aquitania  on  the  left  bank 
of  that  river.  Eudes  went,  not  imsuccessfully,  to  the  rescue 
of  his  domains;  but  he  was  soon  recalled  to  the  Pyrenees  by 
the  news  he  received  of  the  movements  of  Abdel-Ehaman  and 
by  the  hope  he  had  conceived  of  finding,  in  Spain  itself  and 
under  the  sway  of  the  Arabs,  an  ally  against  their  invasion,  of 
his  dominions.  The  military  command  of  the  Spanish  frontier  of 
the  Pyrenees  and  of  the  Mussulman  forces  there  encamped  had 
been  entrusted  to  Othman-ben-Abi-NessS,,  a  chieftain  of  re- 
nown, but  no  Arab  either  in  origin  or  at  heart,  although  a 
Mussulman.  He  belonged  to  the  race  of  Berbers,  whom  the 
Bomans  called  Moors,  a  people  of  the  north-west  of  Africa, 
conquered  and  subjugated  by  the  Arabs,  but  impatient  under 
the  yoke.  The  greater  part  of  Abi-Ness£l's  troops  were  likewise 
Berbers  and  devoted  to  their  chiefs.  Abi-Nessa,  ambitious  and 
audacious,  conceived  the  project  of  seizing  the  government  of 
the  Peninsula,  or  at  the  least  of  making  himself  independent 
master  of  the  districts  he  governed ;  and  he  entered  into  nego- 
tiations with  the  Duke  of  Aqutania  to  secure  his  support.  In 
spite  of  religious  differences  their  interests  were  too  similar  not 
to  make  an  imderstanding  easy ;  and  the  secret  alliance  was 
soon  concluded  and  confirmed  by  a  precious  pledge.  Duke 
Ehides  had  a  daughter  of  rare  beauty,  named  Lampagie,  and 
he  gave  her  in  marriage  to  Abi-Nessi,  who,  say  the  chronicles, 
became  desperately  enamored  of  her. 

But  whilst  Eudes,  trusting  to  this  aUiance,  was  putting  him- 
self in  motion  towards  the  Loire  to  protect  his  possessions 
against  a  fresh  attack  from  the  Duke  of  the  Franks,  the 
governor-general  of  Spain,  Abdel-Rhaman,  informed  of  Abi- 
Ness&'s  plot,  was  arriving  with  large  forces  at  the  foot  of  the 
Pyrenees,  to  stamp  out  the  rebellion.  Its  repression  was  easy. 
**At  the  approach  of  Abdel-Rhaman,"  say  the  chroniclers, 

152  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  ix. 

**  Abi-Nessa  hastened  to  shut  himself  up  in  livia  [the  ancient 
,  capital  of  Cerdagne,  on  the  ruins  of  which  Puycerda  was  builtj, 
flattering  himself  that  he  could  sustain  a  siege  and  there  await 
succor  from  his  father-in-law,  Eudes;  but  the  advance-guard 
of  Abdel-Rhaman  followed  him  so  closely  and  with  such  ardor 
that  it  left  him  no  leisure  to  make  the  least  preparation  for  de- 
fence. Abi-NessS,  had  scarcely  time  to  fly  from  the  town  and 
gain  the  neighboring  mountains  with  a  few  servants  and  his 
well-beloved  Lampagie.  Already  he  had  penetrated  into  an 
out-of-the-way  and  lonely  pass,  where  it  seemed  to  him  he  ran 
no  more  risk  of  being  discovered.  He  halted,  therefore,  to 
rest  himself  and  quench  the  thirst  which  was  torpienting  his 
lovely  companion  and  himself,  beside  a  waterfall  which  gushed 
from  a  mass  of  lofty  rocks  upon  a  piece  of  fresh,  green  turf. 
They  were  surrendering  themselves  to  the  delightful  feeling  of 
being  saved,  when,  all  at  once,  they  hear  a  loud  sound  of  stex)s 
and  voices;  they  listen,  they  glance  in  the  direction  of  tho 
sound,  and  perceive  a  detachii^ent  of  armed  men,  one  of  those 
that  were  out  in  search  of  them.  The  servants  take  to  flight ; 
but  Lami)agie,  too  weary,  cannot  follow  them,  nor  can  Abi- 
NessS,  abandon  Lampagie.  In  the  twinkling  of  an  eye  they 
are  surrounded  by  foes.  The  chronicler  Isidore  of  B6ja  says 
that  Abi  -  NessS.,  in  order  not  to  fall  alive  into  their  hands, 
flimg  himself  from  top  to  bottom  of  the  rocks ;  and  an  Arab 
historian  relates  that  he  took  sword  in  hand,  and  fell  pierced 
with  twenty  lance-thrusts  whilst  fighting  in  defence  of  her  he 
loved.  They  cut  off  his  head,  which  was  forthwith  carried  to 
Abdel-Rhaman,  to  whom  they  led  away  prisoner  the  hapless 
daughter  of  Eudes.  She  was  so  lovely  in  the  eyes  of  Abdel- 
Rhaman,  that  he  thought  it  his  duty  to  send  her  to  Damascus, 
to  the  commander  of  the  faithful,  esteeming  no  other  mortal 
worthy  of  her"  (Fauriel,  Histoire  de  la  GaulSj  &c,^  t.  Itl.,  p.  115). 
Abdel-Rhaman,  at  ease  touching  the  interior  of  Spain,  re- 
assembled the  forces  he  had  prepared  for  his  expedition, 
marched  towards  the  Pyrenees  by  Pampeluna,  crossed  the 
summit  become  so  famous  under  the  name  of  Port  de  Bonce- 
vaux,  and  debouched  by  a  single  defile  and  in  a  single  column, 
say  ttie  chroniclers,  upon  Gallic  Vasconia,  greater  in  extent 
than  French  Biscay  now  is.  M.  Fauriel,  after  scrupulous  ex- 
amination, according  to  his  custom,  estimates  the  army  of 
Abdel-Rhaman,  whether  Mussulman  adventurers  flocking  from 
all  parts,  or  Arabs  of  Spain,  at  from  65,000  to  70,000  fighting 
men.    Duke  Eudes  made  a  gallant  effort  to  stop  his  march 

CH.  IX  ]      THE  PEPINS  AND  THE  NEW  DYNASTY,  153 

and  hurl  him  back  towards  the  mountams;  but  exhausted, 
even  by  certain  small  successes,  and  always  forced  to  retire, 
fight  after  fight,  up  to  the  approaches  to  Bordeaux,  he  crossed 
the  Garonne,  and  halted  on  the  right  bank  of  the  river,  to 
cover  the  city.  Abdel-Rhaman  who  had  followed  him  closely, 
forced  the  passage  of  the  river,  and  a  battle  was  fought,  in 
which  the  Aquitanians  were  defeated  with  immense  loss. 
'*Grod  alone,"  says  Isidore  of  Beja,  "knows  the  number  of 
those  who  fell."  The  battle  gained,  Abdel-Ehaman  took  Bor- 
deaux by  assault  and  delivered  it  over  to  his  army.  The 
plunder,  to  believe  the  historians  of  the  conquerors,  surpassed 
all  that  had  been  preconceived  of  the  wealth  of  the  vanquished. 
"The  most  insignificant  soldier,"  say  they,  "had  for  his 
share  plenty  of  topazes,  jacinths,  and  emeralds,  to  say  nothing 
of  gold,  a  somewhat  vulgar  article  under  the  circumstances."" 
What  appears  certain  is  that,  at  their  departure  from  Bordeaux, 
the  Arabs  were  so  laden  with  booty  that  their  march  became 
less  rapid  and  unimpeded  than  before. 

-In  the  face  of  this  disaster,  the  Franks  and  their  duke  were 
evidently  the  only  support  to  which  Eudes  could  have  recourse ; 
and  he  repaired  in  aU  haste  to  Charles  and  invoked  his  aid 
against  the  common  enemy,  who,  after  having  crushed  the 
Aquitanians,  would  soon  attack  the  Franks,  and  subject  them 
in  turn  to  ravages  and  outrages.  Charles  did  not  require 
solicitation.  He  took  an  oath  of  the  Duke  of  Aquitania  to 
acknowledge  his  sovereignty  and  thenceforth  remain  faithful 
to  him;  and  then,  simimoning  all  his  warriors,  Franks,  Bur- 
gundians,  Gallo  -  Romans,  and  Germans  from  beyond  the 
Rhine,  he  set  himself  in  motion  towards  the  Loire.  It  was 
time.  The  Arabs  had  spread  over  the  whole  country  between 
the  Garonne  and  the  Loire ;  they  had  even  crossed  the  latter 
river  and  penetrated  into  Burgundy  as  far  as  Autun  and  Sens, 
ravaging  the  country,  the  towns,  and  the  monasteries,  and 
massacreing  or  dispersing  the  populations.  Abdel-Rhaman 
had  heard  tell  of  the  city  of  Tours  and  its  rich  abbey,  the 
treasures  whereof,  it  was  said,  surpassed  those  of  any  other 
city  and  any  other  abbey  in  Gaul.  Burning  to  possess  it,  he 
recalled  towards  this  point  his  scattered  forces.  On  arriving 
at  Poitiers  he  found  the  gates  closed  and  the  inhabitants  re- 
solved to  defend  themselves;  and,  after  a  fruitless  attempt  at 
assault,  he  continued  his  march  towards  Tours.  He  was  al- 
ready beneath  the  walls  of  the  place  when  he  leamt  that  the 
Franks  were  rapidly  advancing  in  vast  numbers.  He  fell  back 

154  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  ix. 

towards  Poitiers,  collecting  the  troops  that  were  retuming  to 
TiiTn  from  all  quarters,  embarassed  with  the  immense  booty 
they  were  dragging  in  their  wake.  He  had  for  a  moment,  say 
the  historians,  an  idea  of  ordering  his  soldiers  to  leave  or  bum 
their'  booty,  to  keep  nothing  but  their  arms,  and  think  of 
nothing  but  battle:  however  he  did  nothing  of  the  kind,  and, 
to  await  the  Franks,  he  fixed  his  camp  between  the  Vienne 
and  the  Clain,  near  Poitiers,  not  far  from  the  spot  where,  two 
hundred  and  twenty-five  years  before,  Clovis  had  beaten  the 
Visigoths;  or  according  to  others,  nearer  Tours,  at  Mir6,  in  a 
plain  still  called  the  Landes  de  Charlemagne, 

The  Franks  arrived.  It  was  in  the  month  of  September  or 
October  732 :  and  the  two  armies  passed  a  week  face  to  face,  at 
one  time  remaining  in  their  camps,  at  another  deploying 
without  attacking.  It  is  quite  certain  that  neither  Franks  nor 
Arabs,  neither  Charles  nor  Abdel-Bhaman  themselves,  took 
any  such  account,  as  we  do  in  our  day,  of  the  importance  of 
the  struggle  in  which  they  were  on  the  point  of  engaging;  it 
was  a  struggle  between  East  and  West,  South  and  North, 
Asia  and  Europe,  the  Gk)spel  and  the  Koran;  and  we  now  say, 
on  a  general  consideration  of  events,  peoples,  and  ages,  that 
the  civilization  of  the  world  depended  upon  it.  The  genera- 
tions that  are  passing  upon  earth  see  not  so  far  nor  from  such 
a  height,  the  chances  and  consequences  of  their  acts;  the 
Franks  and  Arabs,  leaders  and  followers,  did  not  regard  them- 
selves, now  nearly  twelve  centuries  ago,  as  called  upon  to 
decide,  near  Poitiers,  such  future  questions;  but  vaguely, 
instinctively  they  felt  the  grandeur  of  the  part  they  were 
playing,  and  they  mutually  scanned  one  another  with  that 
grave  curiosity  which  precedes  a  formidable  encounter 
between  valiant  warriors.  At  length,  at  the  breaking  of  the 
seventh  or  eighth  day,  Abdel-Ehaman,  at  the  head  of  his 
cavalry,  ordered  a  general  attack;  and  the  Franks  received  it 
with  serried  ranks,  astounding  their  enemies  by  their  tall 
stature,  stout  armor,  and  their  stem  unmobihty.  "They 
stood  there,"  says  Isidore  of  B6ja,  "hke  solid  walls  or  ice- 
bergs." During  the  fight  a  body  of  Franks  penetrated  into 
the  enemy's  camp,  either  for  pillage  or  to  take  the  Arabs  in  the 
rear.  The  horsemen  of  Abdel-Rhaman  at  once  left  the  general 
attack,  and  turned  back  to  defend  their  camp  or  the  booty 
deposited  there.  Disorder  set  in  amongst  them,  and,  before 
long,  throughout  their  whole  army;  and  the  battle  became  a 
confused  melley,  wherein  the  lofty  stature  and  stout  armor  of 

CH.  IX.]      THE  PEPIN8  AND  THE  NEW  DYNASTY,  165 

the  EYanks  had  the  advantage.  A  great  number  of  Arabs  and 
Abdel-Rhaman  himself  were  slain.  At  the  approach  of  night 
both  armies  retired  to  their  camps.  The  next  day,  at  dawn, 
the  Franks  moved  out  of  theirs,  to  renew  the  engagement.  In 
front  of  them  was  no  stir,  no  noise,  no  Arabs  out  of  their  tents 
and  re-assembling  in  their  ranks.  Some  Franks  were  sent  to 
reconnoitre,  entered  the  enemy's  camy,  and  penetrated  into 
their  tents.  But  they  were  deserted.  **The  Arabs  had  de- 
camped silently  in  the  night,  leaving  the  bulk  of  their  booty, 
and  by  this  precipitate  retreat  acknowledging  a  more  severe 
defeat  than  they  had  really  sustained  in  the  fight." 

Foreseeing  the  effect  which  would  be  produced  by  their  re- 
verse in  the  country  they  had  but  lately  traversed  as  con- 
querors, they  halted  nowhere,  but  hastened  to  re-enter 
Septimania  and  their  stronghold  Narbonne,  where  they  might 
await  reinforcements  from  Spain.  Duke  Eudes,  on  his  side, 
after  having,  as  vassal,  taken  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  Charles, 
who  will  be  henceforth  called  Charles  Martel  (Hammer)^  that 
glorious  name  wliich  he  won  by  the  great  blow  he  dealt  the 
Arabs,  re-entered  his  dominions  of  Aquitania  and  Vasconia, 
and  applied  himself  to  the  re-establishment  there  of  security 
and  of  his  own  power.  As  for  Charles  Martel,  indefatigable 
alike  after  and  before  victory,  he  did  not  consider  his  work  in 
Southern  Gaul  as  accomplished.  He  wished  to  recover  and 
reconstitute  in  its  entirety  the  Frankish  dominion;  and  he  at 
once  proceeded  to  re-imite  to  it  Provence  and  the  portions  of 
the  old  kingdom  of  Burgundy  situated  between  the  Alps  and 
the  Rhone,  starting  from  Lyons.  His  first  campaign  with  this 
object,  in  733,  was  successful;  he  retook  Lyons,  Vienne,  and 
Valence,  without  any  stoppage  up  to  the  Durance,  and  charged 
chosen  *4edues"  to  govern  these  provinces  with  a  view  es- 
pecially to  the  repression  of  attempts  at  independence  at  home 
and  incursions  on  the  part  of  the  Arabs  abroad.  And  it  was 
not  long  before  these  two  perils  showed  head.  The  govern- 
ment of  Charles  MarteFs  **  leudes  "  was  hard  to  bear  for  popu- 
lations accustomed  for  some  time  past  to  have  their  own  way, 
and  for  their  local  chieftains  thus  stripped  of  their  influence. 
Maurontius,  patrician  of  Aries,  was  the  most  powerful  and 
daring  of  these  chieftains ;  and  he  had  at  heart  the  independ- 
ence of  his  country  and  His  own  power  far  more  than  Frankish 
grandeur.  Caring  little,  no  doubt,  for  the  interests  of  religion, 
he  entered  into  negotiations  with  Youssouf-ben-Abdel- 
Ehaman,  governor  of  Narbonne,  and  summoned  the  Mussul- 

160  HISTORY  OF  FllANCB.  [CH.  ix. 

maos  into  Provence.  Youssouf  lost  no  time  in  responding  to 
the  summons;  and,  from  734  to  736,  the  Arabs  conquered  and 
were  in  military  occupation  of  the  left  bank  of  the  Ehone  from 
Aries  to  Lyons.  But  in  737  Charles  Martel  returned,  re- 
entered Lyons  and  Avignon,  and,  crossing  the  Ehone,  marched 
rapidly  on  Narbonne,  to  drive  the  Arabs  from  Septimania. 
He  succeeded  in  beating  them  within  sight  of  their  capital; 
but,  after  a  few  attempts  at  assault,  not  being  able  to  become 
master  of  it,  he  returned  to  Provence,  laying  waste  on  his 
march  several  towns  of  Septimania,  Agde,  Maguelonne,  and 
Nimes,  where  he  tried,  but  in  vain,  to  destroy  the  famous 
Roman  arenas  by  fire,  as  one  blows  up  an  enemy's  fortress.  A 
rising  of  the  Saxons  recalled  him  to  Northern  Gaul;  and 
scarcely  had  he  set  out  from  Provence,  when  national  insur- 
rection and  Arab  invasion  recommenced.  Charles  Martel 
waited  patiently  as  long  as  the  Saxons  resisted ;  but  as  soon  as 
he  was  at  liberty  on  their  score,  in  739,  he  collected  a  strong 
army,  made  a  third  campaign  along  .the  Ehone,  retook 
Avignon,  crossed  the  Durance,  pushed  on  as  far  as  the  sea, 
took  Marseilles,  and  then  Aries,  and  drove  the  Arabs  defin- 
itely from  Provence.  Some  Mussulman  bands  attempted  to 
establish  themselves  about  St.  Tropez,  on  the  rugged  heights 
and  among  the  forests  of  the  Alps;  but  Charles  Martel  carried 
his  pursuit  even  into  those  wild  retreats,  and  all  Southern 
Gaul  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Ehone,  was  incorporated  in  the 
Frankish  dominion,  which  will  be  henceforth  called  France. 

The  ordinary  revenues  of  Charles  Martel  clearly  could  not 
suflBlce  for  so  many  expeditions  and  wars.  He  was  obliged  to 
attract  or  retain  by  rich  presents,  particularly  by  gifts  of  lands, 
the  warriors,  old  and  new  **leudes,"  who  formed  his  strength. 
He  therefore  laid  hands  on  a  great  number  of  the  domains  of 
the  Church,  and  gave  them,  with  the  title  of  benefices,  in 
temporary  holding,  often  converted  into  proprietorship,  and 
under  the  style  of  precarious  tenure,  to  the  chiefis  in  his 
service.  There  was  nothing  new  in  this:  the  Merovingian 
kings  and  the  mayors  of  the  palace  had  more  than  once  thus 
made  free  with  ecclesiastical  proi)erty;  but  Charles  Martel 
carried  this  practice  much  farther  than  his  predecessors  had. 
He  did  more:  he  someljpnes  gave  his  warriors  ecclesiastical 
offices  and  dignities.  His  Hege  Milo  received  from  him  the 
archbishoprics  of  Eheims  and  Treves;  and  his  nephew  Hugh 
those  of  Paris,  Eouen,  and  Bayeux,  with  the  abbeys  of  Fonte- 
nelle  and  Jmni^es.    The  Church  protested  with  all  her  might 

Ctt.  IX. ]     THE  PBPTN3  AND  THE  NEW  DYNASTY.         157 

against  such  violations  of  her  mission  and  her  interest,  her 
duties  and  her  rights.  She  was  so  specially  set  against  Charles 
Martel  that,  more  than  a  century  after  his  death,  in  858,  the 
hishops  of  France,  addressing  themselves  to  Louis  the  Ger- 
manic on  this  subject,  wrote  to  him,  **St.  Eucherius,  bishop 
of  Orleans,  who  now;  reposeth  in  the  monastery  of  St.  Trudon, 
being  at  prayer,  was  transported  into  the  realms  of  eternity; 
and  there,  amongst  other  things  which  the  Lord  did  show 
unto  him,  he  saw  Prince  Charles  delivered  over  to  the  tor- 
ments of  the  damned  in  the  lowest  regions  of  hell.  And  St. 
Eucherius  demanding  of  the  angel,  his  guide,  what  was  the 
reason  thereof,  the  angel  answered  that  it  was  by  sentence  of 
the  saints  whom  he  had  robbed  of  their  possessions,  and  who, 
at  the  day  of  the  last  judgment,  will  sit  with  God  to  judge  the 

Whilst  thus  making  use,  at  the  expense  of  the  Church  .and 
for  political  interests,  of  material  force,  Charles  Martel  was 
far  from  misunderstanding  her  moral  influence  and  the  need 
he  had  of  her  support  at  the  very  time  when  he  was  incurring 
her  anathemas.  Not  content  with  defending  Christianity 
against  Islamism,  he  aided  it  against  Paganism  by  leading  the 
Christian  missionaries  in  Germany  and  the  north-west  of 
Europe,  amongst  others  St.  Willibrod  and  St.  Boniface,  the 
most  effectual  assistance.  In  724,  he  addressed  to  all  religious 
and  political  authorities  that  could  be  reached  by  his  influence, 
not  only  to  the  bishops,  **but  to  the  dukes,  counts,  their 
vicars,  our  palentines,  all  our  agents,  our  envoys,  and  our 
friends  this  circular  letter:  *Know  that  a  successor  of  the 
Apostles,  our  father  in  Christ,  Boniface,  bishop,  hath  come 
unto  us  saying  that  we  ought  to  take  him  under,  our  safeguard 
and  protection.  We  do  you  to  wit  that  we  do  so  very  will- 
ingly. Wherefore  we  have  thought  proper  to  give  him  con- 
firmation thereof  under  oiu*  own  hand,  in  order  that,  whither- 
soever he  may  go,  he  may  there  be  in  peace  and  safety  in  the 
name  of  oiu*  affection  and  under  our  safeguard ;  in  such  sort 
that  he  may  be  able  every  where  to  render,  do,  and  receive 
justice.  And  if  he  come  to  find  himself  in  any  pass  or  neces- 
sity which  cannot  be  determined  by  law,  that  he  may  remain 
in  peace  and  safety  imtil  he  be  come  into  our  presence,  he  and 
all  who  shall  have  hope  in  him  or  dependence  on  him.  That 
none  may  dare  to  be  contrary-minded  towards  him  or  do  hiTn 
damage ;  and  that  he  may  rest  at  all  times  in  tranquility  and 
safety  imder  our  safeguard  and  protection.    And  in  order  that 

158  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  nc. 

this  may  be  regarded  as  certified,  we  have  subscribed  these 
letters  with  our  own  hand  and  sealed  them  with  our  ring.' " 

Here  were  clearly  no  vague  and  meaningless  words,  written 
to  satisfy  solicitation,  and  without  a  thought  of  their  conse- 
quences: they  were  urgent  recommendations  and  precise  in- 
junctions, the  most  proper  for  securing  success  to  the  protected 
in  the  name  of  the  protector.  Accordingly  St.  Boniface  wrote, 
soon  after,  from  the  heart  of  Grermany:  **  Without  the 
patronage  of  the  prince  of  the  Franks,  without  his  order  and 
the  fear  of  his  power,  I  could  not  guide  the  people,  or  defend 
the  priests,  deacons,  monks,  or  handmaids  of  God,  or  forbid  in 
this  country  the  rites  of  the  Pagans  and  their  sacriligious 
worship  of  idols." 

At  the  same  time  that  he  protected  the  Christian  mission- 
aries launched  into  the  midst  of  Pagan  Germany,  Charles 
Martd  showed  himself  equally  ready  to  protect,  but  with  as 
much  prudence  as  good- will,  the  head  of  the  Christian  Church. 
In  741,  Pope  Gregory  III.  sent  to  him  two  nuncios,  the  first 
that  ever  entered  France  in  such  a  character,  to  demand  of  him 
succor  against  the  Lombards,  the  Pope's  neighbors,  who  were 
threatening  to  besiege  Rome.  These  envoys  took  Charles 
Martel  "  so  many  presents  that  none  had  ever  seen  or  heard 
tell  of  the  like,'-  and  amongst  them  the  keys  of  St.  Peter's  tomb, 
with  a  letter  in  which  the  Pope  conjured  Charles  Martel  not 
to  attach  any  credit  to  the  representations  or  words  of 
Luitprandt,  king  of  the  Lombards,  and  to  lend  the  Boman 
Church  that  effectual  support  which,  for  some  tims  past,  she 
had  been  vainly  expecting  from  the  Franks  and  their  chief. 
"Let  them  come,  we  are  told,"  wrote  the  Pope  piteously, 
**this  Charles  with  whom  ye  have  sought  refuge,  and  the 
armies'  of  the  Franks;  let  them  sustain  ye,  if  they  can,  and 
wrest  ye  from  our  hands."  Charles  Martel  was  in  fact  on  good 
terms  with  Luitprandt,  who  had  come  to  his  aid  in  his  expedi- 
tions against  the  Arabs  in  Provence.  He,  however,  received 
the  Pope's  nuncios  with  Hvely  satisfaction  and  the  most  strik- 
ing proofs  of  respect ;  and  he  promised  them,  not  to  make  war 
on  the  Lombards,  but  to  employ  his  influence  with  Ein^ 
Luitprandt  to  make  him  cease  from  threatening  Rome.  He 
sent,  in  his  turn,  to  the  Pope  two  envoys  of  distinction, 
Sigebert,  abbot  of  St.  Denis,  and  Grimon,  abbot  of  Corbie, 
with  instructions  to  offer  him  rich  presents  and  to  really 
exert  themselves  with  the  Eong  of  the  Lombards  to  remove 
the  dangers  dreaded  by  the  Holy  See.    He  wished  to  do  some- 

ctt.  IX.]      TEE  PEPIN8  AND  THE  NEW  DYNASTY,  159 

thing  in  favor  of  the  Papacy  to  show  sincere  good-will,  with- 
out maJdng  his  relations  with  useful  allies  subordinate  to  the 
desires  of  the  Pope. 

Charles  Martel  had  not  time  to  carry  out  effectually  with 
respect  to  the  Papacy  this  policy  of  protection  and  at  the  same 
time  of  independence ;  he  died  at  the  close  of  this  same  year, 
October  22^  741,  at  Kiersey-sur-Oise,  aged  fifty-two  years,  and 
his  last  act  was  the  least  wise  of  his  life.  He  had  spent  it  en- 
tirely in  two  great  works;  the  re-establishment  throughout 
the  whole  of  Gaul  of  the  Franco-Gallo  Roman  empii^,  and  the 
driving  back,  from  the  frontiers  of  this  empire,  of  the  Gfermans 
in  the  north  and  the  Arabs  in  the  south.  The  consequence,  as 
also  the  condition,  of  this  double  success  was  the  victory  of 
Christianity  over  Paganism  and  Islamism.  Charles  Martel 
endangered  these  results  by  falling  back  into  the  groove  of 
those  Merovingian  kings  whose  shadow  he  had  allowed  to 
remain  on  the  throne.  He  divided  between  his  two  legitimate 
sons,  Pepin,  called  the  Short,  from  his  small  stature,  and  Car- 
loman,  this  sole  dominion  which  he  had  with  so  much  toil  re- 
constituted and  defended.  Pepin  had  Neustria,  Burgimdy, 
Provence,  and  the  suzerainty  of  Aquitaine;  Carloman 
Austrasia,  Thuringia,  and  Allemannia.  They  both,  at  their 
father's  death,  took  only  the  title  of  mayor  of  the  palace,  and 
perhaps,  of  duke.  The  last  but  one  of  the  Merovingians, 
Thierry  IV.,  had  died  in  737.  For  four  years  there  had  been 
no  king  at  all. 

But  when  the  works  of  men  are  wise  and  true,  that  is,  in 
conformity  with  the  lasting  wants  of  peoples  and  the  natural 
tendency  of  social  facts,  they  get  over  even  the  mistakes  of 
their  authors.  Immediately  after  the  death  of  Charles  Martel, 
the  consequences  of  dividing  his  empire  became  manifest.  In 
the  north,  the  Saxons,  the  Bavarians,  and  the  Allemannians 
renewed  their  insurrections.  In  the  south,  the  Arabs  of  Sep- 
timania  recovered  their  hopes  of  effecting  an  invasion;  and 
Hunald,  Duke  of  Aquitaine,  who  had  succeeded  his  father 
Eudos,  after  his  death  in  735,  made  a  fresh  attempt  to  break 
away  from  Frankish  sovereignty  and  win  his  independence. 
Charles  Martel  had  left  a  young  son,  Grippo,  whose  legitimacy 
had  been  disputed,  biit  who  was  not  slow  to  set  up  pretensions 
and  to  commence  intriguing  against  his  brothers.  Every- 
where there  burst  out  that  reactionary  movement  which 
arises  against  grand  and  difficiQt  works  when  the  strong  hand 
that  undertook^  them  is  no  longer  by  to  maintain  them;  but 

160  BTSTOnr  OF  mANCE.  [CH.  1%. 

this  movement  wafi  of  short  duration  and  to  little  purpose. 
Brought  up  in  the  school  and  in  the  fear  of  their  father,  his 
two  sons,  Pepin  and  Carloman,  were  inoculated  with  his  ideas 
and  example ;  they  remained  united  in  spite  of  the  division  of 
dominions  and  lahored  together,  successfully,  to  keep  down,  in 
the  north  the  Saxons  and  Bavarians,  in  the  south  the  Arabs 
and  Aquitanians,  supplying  want  of  unity  by  union,  and  pur- 
suing with  one  accord  the  constant  aim  of  Charles  Martel — 
abroad  the  security  and  grandeur  of  the  Frankdsh  dominion, 
at  home  the  cohesion  of  all  its  parts  and  the  efficacy  of  its 
government.  Events  came  to  the  aid  of  this  wise  conduct. 
Five  years  after  the  death  of  Charles  Martel,  in  746  in  fact, 
Carloman  already  weary  of  the  burden  of  power,  and  seized 
with  a  fit  of  religious  zeal,  abdicated  his  share  of  sovereignty, 
left  his  dominions  to  his  brother  Pepin,  had  himself  shorn  by 
the  hands  of  Pope  Zachary  and  withdrew  into  Italy  to  the 
monastery  of  Monte  Cassino.  The  preceding  year,  in  745, 
Hunald,  Duke  of  Aquitaine,  with  more  patriotic  and  equally 
pious  views,  also  abdicated  in  favor  of  his  son  Waifre,  whom 
he  thought  more  capable  than  himself  of  winning  the  indepen- 
dence of  Aquitaine,  and  went  and  shut  himself  np  in  a  monas- 
tery in  the  island  of  Ehe,  where  was  the  tomb  of  his  father 
Eudes.  In  the  course  of  divers  attempts  at  conspiracy  and  in- 
surrection, the  Prankish  princes'  young  brother,  Grippo,  was 
killed  in  combat  whilst  crossing  the  Alps.  The  furious 
internal  dissensions  amongst  the  Arabs  of  Spain  and  their  inces- 
sant wars  with  the  Berbers  did  not  allow  them  to  pursue  any 
great  enterprise  in  Gaul.  Thanks  to  all  these  circumstances, 
Pepin  found  himself,  in  747,  sole  master  of  the  heritage  of 
Clovis  and  with  the  sole  charge  of  pursuing,  in  State  and 
Church,  his  fathers's  work,  which  was  the  luiity  and  grandeur 
of  Christian  France. 

Pepin,  less  enterprising  than  his  father,  but  judicious,  perse- 
vering, and  capable  of  discerning  what  was  at  the  same  time 
necessary  and  possible,  was  well  fitted  to  continue  and  con- 
solidate what  he  would,  probably,  never  have  begun  and 
created.  Like  his  father,  he,  on  arriving  at  power,  showed 
pretensions  to  moderation  or,  it  might  be  said,  modesty.  He 
did  not  take  the  title  of  king;  and,  in  concert  with  his  brother 
Carloman,  he  went  to  seek,  heaven  knows  in  what  obscure 
asylum,  a  forgotten  Mervingian,  son  of  Chilp^ric  II.,  the  last 
but  one  of  the  sluggard  kings,  and  made  him  king,  the  last  of 
his  line,  with  the  title  of  Child6ric  III.,  himself,  as  well  as  his 


ca.  IX.]      THE  PEPTNS  AND  THE  NEW  DYNASTY.  161 

brother,  taking  only  the  style  of  mayor  of  the  palace.  But  at 
the  end  of  ten  years,  and  when  he  saw  himself  alone  at  the 
head  of  the  Frankish  dominion,  Pepin  considered  the  moment 
arrived  for  putting  an  end  to  this  fiction,  In  751,  he  sent  to 
Pope  Zachary  at  Rome,  iBurchard,  bishop  of  Wurtzburg,  and 
Fulrad,  abbot  of  St.  Deuis,  **to  consult  the  Pontiff,"  says 
Eginhard,  "on  the  subject  of  the  kings  then  existing  amongst 
the  Franks,  and  who  bore  only  the  name  of  king  without 
enjoying  a  tittle  of  royal  authority."  The  Pope,  whom  St. 
Boniface,  the  great  missionary  of  Germany  had  prepared  for 
the  question,  answered  that  **  it  was  better  to  give  the  title  of 
king  to  him  who  exercised  the  sovereign  power;"  and  next 
year,  in  March,  752,  in  the  presence  and  with  the  assent  of  the 
general  assembly  of  "  leudes"  and  bishops  gathered  together  at 
Soissons,  Pepin  was  proclaimed  king  of  the  Franks,  and 
received  from  the  hand  of  St.  Boniface  the  sacred  anointment. 
They  cut  off  the  hair  of  the  last  Merovingian  phantom, 
Clulderic  III.,  and  put  him  away  in  the  monastery  of  St. 
Sithiu,  at  St.  Omer.  Two  years  later,  July  28,  754,  Pope 
Stephen  II.,  having  come  to  France  to  claim  Pepin's  support 
against  the  Lombards,  after  receiving  from  him  assurance  of 
it,  **  anointed  him  afresh  with  the  holy  oil  in  the  church  of 
St.  Denis  to  do  honor  in  his  person  to  the  dignity  of  royalty," 
and  conferred  the  same  honor  on  the  king's  two  sons,  Charles 
and  Carloman.  The  new  GaUo-Frankish  kingship  and  the 
Papacy,  in  the  name  of  their  common  faith  and  common 
interests,  thus  contracted  an  intimate  alliance.  The  young 
Charles  was  hereafter  to  become  Charlemagne. 

The  same  year,  Boniface,  whom  six  years  before  Tojpe  Zach- 
ary  had  made  Archbishop  of  Mayence,  gave  up  one  day  the 
episcopal  dignity  to  his*  disciple  Lullus,  charging  him  to  carry 
on  the  different  works  himself  had  commenced  amongst  the 
churches  of  Germany,  and  to  uphold  the  faith  of  the  people. 
**  As  for  me,"  he  added,  **  I  will  put  myself  on  my  road,  for  the 
time  of  my  passing  away  approacheth.  I  have  longed  for  this 
departure,  and  none  can  turn  me  from  it ;  wherefore,  my  son, 
get  all  things  ready,  and  place  in  the  chest  with  my  books  the 
winding-sheet  to  wrap  up  my  old  body."  And  so  he  departed 
with  some  of  his  priests  and  servants  to  go  and  evangelize  the 
Frisons,  the  majority  of  whom  were  stiU  pagans  and  barba- 
rians. He  pitched  his  tent  on  their  territory  and  was  arranging 
to  celebrate  their  Lord's  Supper,  when  a  band  of  natives  came 
down  and  rushed  upon  the  archbishop's  retinue.    The  servitors 

163  msTORY  OF  FRANCB.  [ch.  ix. 

surrounded  him,  to  defend  him  and  themselves;  and  a  battle 
began.  "Hold,  hold,  my  children,"  cried  the  archbishop, 
**  Scripture  biddeth  us  return  good  for  evil.  This  is  the  day  I 
have  long  desired,  and  the  hour  .of  our  deliverence  is  at 
hand.  Be  strong  in  the  Lord :  hope  in  Him,  and  He  will  save 
your  souls.*'  The  barbarians  slew  the  holy  man  and  the  ma* 
jority  of  his  company*  A  little  while  after,  the  Christians  of 
the  neighborhood  came  in  arms  and  recovered  the  body  of  St. 
Boniface.  Near  him  was  a  book,  which  was  stained  with  blood, 
and  seemed  to  have  dropped  from  his  hands;  it  contained 
several  works  of  the  Fathers,  and  amongst  others  a  writing  of 
St.  Ambrose  "on  the  Blessing  of  Death."  The  death  of  the 
J)iou8  missionary  was  as  powerful  as  his  preaching  in  convert- 
ing Friesland.  It  was  a  mode  of  conquest  worthy  of  the 
Christian  faith,  and  one  of  which  the  history  of  Christianity 
had  already  proved  the  effectiveness. 

St«  Boniface  did  not  condne  himself  to  the  evangelization  of 
the  pagans;  he  labored  ardently  in  the  Christian  Gallo-Frank- 
ish  Church,  to  reform  the  manners  and  ecclesiastical  disci- 
phhe,  and  to  assure,  whilst  justifying,  the  moral  influence  of 
the  clergy  by  example  as  well  as  precept.  The  Councils, 
which  had  almost  fallen  into  desuetude  in  Gaul,  became  once 
more  frequent  and  active  there :  from  74?  to  753  there  may  be 
coimted  seven,  presided  over  by  St.  Boniface,  which  exercised 
within  the  Church  a  salutary  action.  King  Pepin,  recognizing 
the  services  which  the  Archbishop  of  Mayence  had  rendered 
him,  seconded  his  reformatory  efforts  at  one  time  by  giving  the 
support  of  his  royal  authority  to  the  canons  of  the  coimcils, 
held  often  simulantaneously  with  an  almost  confounded  with 
the  laic  assemblies  of  the  Franks,  at  another  by  doing  justice 
to  the  protests  of  the  churches  against  the  violence  and  spo- 
liation to  which  they  were  subjected.  *  *  There  was  an  im]X)rtant 
point,"  says  M.  Fauriel,  "in  respect  of  which  the  position  of 
Charles  Martel's  sons  turned  out  to  be  pretty  nearly  the  same  as 
that  of  their  father:  it  was  touching  the  necessity  of  assigning 
warriors  a  portion  of  the  ecclesiastical  revenues.  But  they, 
being  more  religious,  perhaps,  than  Charles  Martel,  or  more 
impressed  with  the  importance  of  humoring  the  priestly 
power,  were  more  vexed  and  more  anxious  about  the  necessity 
under  which  they  found  themselves  of  continuing  to  despoil 
the  churches  and  of  persisting  in  a  system  which  was  putting 
the  finishing  stroke  to  the  ruin  of  all  ecclesiastical  discipline. 
They  were  more  eager  to  mitigate  the*  evil  and  to  offer  the 

CH.  IX.]      THE!  PEPtNS  AND  THE  NEW  DYNASTY.         163 

Church  compensation  for  their  share  in  this  evil  to  which  it 
wus  not  in  their  power  to  put  a  stop.  Accordingly,  at  the  March 
parade  held  at  Leptines  in  743,  it  was  decided,  in  reference  to 
ecclesiastical  lauds  applied  to  the  military  service:  Ist,  that 
the  churches  having  the  ownership  of  those  lands  should 
share  the  revenue  with  the  lay  holder;  2nd,  that  on  the  death 
of  a  warrior  in  enjoyment  of  an  ecclesiassical  benefice,  the 
benefice  should  revert  to  the  Church;  3rd,  that  every  benefice 
by  deprivation  wliereof  any  church  would  be  reduced  to 
poverty  should  be  at  once  restored  to  her.  That  this  capitular 
was  carried  out,  or  even  capable  of  being  carried  out,  is 
very  doubtful ;  but  the  less  Carloman  and  Pepin  succeeded  in 
repairing  the  material  losses  incurred  by  the  Church  since  the 
accession  of  the  Carlovingians,  the  more  zealous  they  were  in 
promoting  the  growth  of  her  moral  power  and  the  restoration 
of  her  discipline.  .  .  .  That  was  the  time  at  which  there 
began  to  be  seen  the  spectacle  of  the  national  assembhes  of 
the  Franks,  the  gatherings  at  the  March  parades  transformed 
into  ecclesiastical  synods  under  the  presidency  of  the  titular 
legate  of  the  Roman  Pontiff,  and  dictating,  by  the  mouth  of 
the  i)ohtical  authority,  regulations  and  laws  with  the  direct 
and  formal  aim  of  restoring  divine  worship  and  eccesiastical 
discipline,  and  of  assuring  the  spiritual  welfare  of  the  people'' 
(Fauriel,  Histoirede  la  Gaide,  &c.,  t.  III.,  p.  224). 

Pepin,  after  he  had  been  proclaimed  king  and  had  settled 
matters  with  the  Church  as  well  as  the  warlike  questions  re- 
maining for  him  to  solve  permitted,  directed  all  his  efforts 
towards  the  two  countries  which,  after  his  father's  example,  he 
longed  to  reimite  to  the  Gallo-Frankish  monarchy,  that  is, 
Septimania,  still  occupied  by  the  Arabs,  and  Aquitaine,  the 
independence  of  which  was  stoutly  and  ably  defended  by 
Duke  Eudes'  grandson,  Duke  Waifre.  The  conquest  of  Septi- 
mania  was  rather  tedious  than  difficult.  The  Franks,  after 
having  victoriously  scoured  the  open  country  of  the  district, 
kept  invested  during  three  years  its  capital,  Narbonne,  where 
the  Arabs  of  Spain,  much  weakened  by  their  dissensions, 
vainly  tried  to  throw  in  reinforcements.  Besides  the  Mussul- 
man Arabs  the  population  of  the  town  numbered  many  Chris- 
tian Groths  who  were  tired  of  suffering  for  the  defence  of  their 
oppressors  and  who  entered  into  secret  negotiations  with  the 
chiefs  of  Pepin's  army,  the  end  of  which  was  that  they  opened 
the  gates  of  the  town.  In  759,  then,  after  forty  years'  of 
Arab  rule,  Narbonne-  passed  definitively  imder  that  of  the 

164  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [ctt.  ix. 

Franks,  who  guaranteed  to  the  inhabitants  free  enjoyment  of 
their  Gk)thic  or  Roman  law  and  of  their  local  institutions.  It 
even  appears  that,  in  the  province  of  Spain  bordering  on 
Septimania,  an  Arab  chief,  called  Soliman,  who  was  in  com- 
mand at  Gerona  and  Barcelona,  between  the  Ebro  and  the 
Pyrenees,  submitted  to  Pepin,  himself  and  the  country  imder 
him.  This  was  an  important  event  indeed  in  the  reign  of 
Pepin,  for  here  was  the  point  at  which  Islamism,  but  lately 
aggressive  and  victorious  in  Southern  Europe,  began  to  feel 
definitively  beaten  and  to  recoil  before  Christianity. 

The  conquest  of  Aquitaine  and  Vasconia  was  much  more 
keenly  disputed  and  for  a  much  longer  time  imcertain.  Duke 
Waifre  was  as  able  in  negotiation  as  in  war:  at  one  time  he 
seemed  to  accept  the  pacific  overtures  of  Pepin,  or,  perhaps, 
himself  made  similar,  without  bringing  about  any  result;  at 
another,  he  went  to  seek  and  found  even  in  Grermany  aUies 
who  caused  Pepin  much  embarrassment  and  peril.  The  popu- 
lation of  Aquitaine  hated  the  Franks;  and  the  war,  which  for 
their  duke  was  a  question  of  independent  sovereignty,  was  for 
themselves  a  question  of  passionate  national  feeling.  Pepin, 
who  was  natm^y  more  humane  and  even  more  generous,  it 
may  be  said,  in  war  than  his  predecessors  had  usually  been, 
was  nevertheless  induced,  in  his  struggle  against  the  Duke  of 
Aquitaine,  to  ravage  without  mercy  the  countries  he  scoured, 
and  to  treat  the  vanquished  with  great  harshness.  It  was 
only  after  nine  years'  war  and  seven  campaigns  full  of  vicis- 
situdes that  he  succeeded,  not  in  conquering  his  enemy  in  a 
decisive  battle,  but  in  gaining  over  some  servants  who  betrayed 
their  master.  In  the  month  of  July  759,  *'Duke  Waifre  was 
slain  by  his  own  fojk,  by  the  king's  advice,"  says  Fr^^gaire; 
and  the  conquest  of  aJl  Southern  Gaul  carried  the  extent  and 
power  of  the  Gallo-Frankish  monarchy  farther  and  higher 
than  it  had  ever  yet  been,  even  under  Clovis. 

In  753,  Pepin  had  made  an  expedition  against  the  Britons  of 
Armorica,  had  taken  Vannes  and  j**  subjugated,"  add  certain 
chroniclers,  **the  whole  of  Brittany."  In  point  of  fact  Brit- 
tany was  no  more  subjugated  by  Pepin  than  by  his  predeces- 
sors; all  that  can  be  said  is  that  the  Franks  resumed,  under 
him,  an  aggressive  attitude  towards  the  Britons,  as  if  to  vindi- 
cate a  right  of  sovereignty. 

Exactly  at  this  ei)och  Pepin  was  engaging  in  a  matter  which 
did  not  allow  him  to  scatter  his  forces  hither  and  thither.  It 
has  been  stated  already,  that  in  741  Pope  Gregory  III.  had 

CH.  IX.]      THE  PEPIN8  AND  THE  NEW  DYNASTY.         166 

asked  aid  of  the  Franks  against  the  Lombards  who  were 
threatening   Rome,  and  that,  whilst   fully  entertaining  the 
Poi)e's  wishes,  Charlas  Martel  had  been  in  no  hurry  to  interfere 
by  deed  in  the  quarrel.    Twelve  years  later,  in  753,  Pope 
Stephen,  in  his  turn  threatened  by  Astolphus,  king  of  the  Lom- 
bards, after  vain  attempts  to  obtain  guarantees  of  peace,  re- 
paired to  Paris,  and  renewed  to  Pepin  the  entreaties  used  by 
Zachary.    It  was  difficult  for  Pepin  to  turn  a  deaf  ear;  it  was 
2iachary  who  had  declared  that  he  ought  to  be  made  king: 
Stephen  showed  readiness  to  anoint  him  a  second  time,  himself 
and  his  sons;  and  it  was  the  eldest  of  these  sons,  Charles, 
scarcely  twelve  years  old,  whom  Pepin,  on  learning  the  near 
arrival  of  the  Pope,  had  sent  to  meet  him  and  give  brilliancy 
to  his  reception.    Stephen  passed  the  winter  at  St.  Denis,  and 
gained  the  favor  of  the  people  as  well  as  that  of  the  king. 
Astolphus  peremptorily  refused  to  listen  to  the  remonstrances 
of  Pepin  who  called  u]X)n  him  to  evacuate  the  towns  in  the 
exarchate  of  Ravenna,  and  to  leave  the  Pope  unmolested  in  the 
environs  of  Rome  as  well  as  in  Rome  itself.    At  the  March 
parade  held  at  Braine,  in  the  spring  of  754,  the  Franks  ap- 
proved of  the  wai'  against  the  Lombards;  and  at  the  end  of  the 
summer  Pepin  and  his  array  descended  into  Italy  by  Mount 
Cenis,  the  Lombards  trying  in  vain  to  stop  them  as  they  de- 
bouched into  the  valley  of  Suza.    Astolphus  beaten,  and,  be- 
fore long,  shut  up  in  Pavia,  promised  all  that  was  demanded 
of  him ;  and  Pepin  and  his  warriors,  laden  with  booty,  returned 
to  France,  leaving  at  Rome  the  Pope,  who  conjured  them  to 
remain  a  while  in  Italy,  for  to  a  certainty,  he  said.  King  Astol- 
phus would  not  keep  his  promises.    The  Pope  was  right.    So 
soon  as  the  Franks  had  gone,  the  King  of  the  Lombards  con- 
tinued occupying  the  places  in  the  exarchate  and  molesting  the 
neighborhood  of  Rome.    The  Pope,  in  despair  and  doubtful  of 
his  auxiliaries'  return,  conceived  the  idea  of  sending  **tothe 
king,  the  chiefs,  and  the  people  of  the  Franks,  a  letter  written, 
he  said,  by  Peter,  Apostle  of  Jesus  Christ,  Son  of  the  living 
God,  to  announce  to  them  that,  if  they  came  in  haste,  he  would 
aid  them  as  if  he  were  aUve  according  to  the  flesh  amongst 
them,  that  they  would  conquer  all  their  enemies  and  make 
themselves  sure  of  eternal  life  1"    The  plan  was  perfectly  suc- 
cessful: the  Franks  once  more  crossed  the  Alps  with  enthusi- 
asm, once  more  succeeded  in  beating  the  Lombards,  and  once 
more  shut  up  in  Pavia  King  Astolphus,  who  was  eager  to  pm*- 
chase  peac^  at  any  price.    He  obtaiAcd  it  on  two  principal 

166  HISTOllT  OF  FBANCE,  [CH.  x 

conditions:  1st,  that  he  would  not  again  make  a  hostile  at- 
tack on  Roman  territory  or  wage  war  against  the  Pope  or 
people  of  Rome ;  2d,  that  he  would  henceforth  recognize  the 
sovereignty  of  the  Franks,  pay  them  tribute,  and  cede  forth- 
with to  Pepin  the  towns  and  all  the  lands,  belonging  to  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  Roman  empire,  which  were  at  that  time  oc- 
occupied  by  the  'Lombards.  By  virtue  of  these  conditions 
Ravenna,  Rimini,  Pesaro,  that  is  to  say,  the  Romagna,  the 
Duchy  of  Urbino  and  a  ]X)rtion  of  the  Marches  of  Ancona, 
were  at  once  given  up  to  Pepin,  who,  regarding  them  as  his 
own  direct  conquest,  the  fruit  of  victory,  disposed  of  them 
forthwith,  in  favor  of  the  Popes,  by  that  famous  deed  of  gift 
which  comprehended  pretty  nearly  what  has  since  formed  the 
Roman  States,  and  which  founded  the  temporal  independence 
of  the  Papacy,  the  guarantee  of  its  independence  in  the  exer- 
cise of  the  spiritual  power. 

At  the  head  of  the  Franks  as  mayor  of  the  palace  from  741, 
and  as  king  from  752,  Pepin  had  conpleted  in  France  and  ex- 
tended in  Italy  the  work  which  his  father,  Charles  Martel,  had 
begun  and  carried  on,  from  714  to  741,  in  State  and  Church. 
He  left  France  re-united  in  one  and  placed  at  the  head  of 
Christian  Europe.  He  died  at  the  monastery  of  St.  Denis, 
September  18,  768,  leaving  his  kingdom  and  his  dynasty  thus 
ready  to  the  hands  of  his  son,  whom  history  has  dubbed 



The  most  judicious  minds  are  sometimes  led  blindly  by  tra- 
dition and  habit,  rather  than  enlightened  by  reflection  and  ex- 
perience. Pepin  the  Short  commited  at  his  death  the  same 
mistake  that  his  father,  Charles  Martel,  had  committed:  he 
divided  his  dominions  between  his  two  sons,  Charles  and  Carlo- 
man,  thus  destroying  again  that  unity  of  the  Gallo  Frankish 
monarchy  which  his  father  and  he  had  been  at  so  much  pains 
to  establish.  But,  just  as  had  already  happened  in  746  through 
the  abdication  of  Pepin's  brother,  events  discharged  the  duty 
of  repairing  the  mistake  of  men.    After  the  death  of  Pepin, 


and  notwithstanding  that  of  Duke  Waifre,  insurrection  broke 
out  once  more  in  Aquitaine:  and  the  old  duke,  Hunald,  issued 
from  his  monastery  in  the  island  of  Rhe  to  try  and  recover 
power  and  independence.  Charles  and  Carloman  marched 
against  him;  but,  on  the  march,  Carloman,  who  was  jealous 
and  thoughtless,  fell  out  with  his  brother,  and  suddenly  quitted 
the  expedition,  taking  away  his  troops,  Charles  was  obliged 
to  continue  it  alone,  which  he  did  with  complete  success.  At 
the  end  of  this  first  campaign,  Pepin's  widow,  the  Queen-mother 
Bertha,  reconciled  her  two  sons;  but  an  unexpected  incident, 
the  death  of  Carloman  two  years  afterwards  in  771,  re-estab- 
lished imity  more  surely  than  the  reconciliation  had  re-estab- 
lished harmony.  For,  although  Carloman  left  sons,  the 
grandees  of  his  dominions,  whether  laic  or  ecclesiastical,  as- 
sembled at  Corbeny,  between  Laon  and  Eheims,  and  pro- 
claimed in  his  stead  his  brother  Charles,  who  thus  became  sole 
king  of  the  Gallo-Franco-Germanic  monarchy.  And  as  ambi- 
tion and  manners  had  become  less  tinged  with  ferocity  than 
they  had  been  imder  the  Merovingians,  the  sons  of  Carloman 
were  not  killed  or  shorn  or  even  shut  up  in  a  monastery :  they 
retired  with  their  mother,  Grerberge,  to  the  court  of  Didier, 
king  of  the  Lombards.  **  King  Charles,"  says  Eginhard,  **  took 
;fcheir  departure  patiently,  regarding  it  as  of  no  importance." 
Thus  commenced  the  reign  of  Charlemagne. 

The  original  and  dominant  characteristic  of  the  hero  of  this 
reign,  that  which  won  for  him,  and  keeps  for  him  after  more 
than  ten  centuries,  the  name  of  great,  is  the  striking  variety  of 
his  ambition,  his  faculties,  and  his  deeds.  Carlems^ift  aspired 
to  and  attained  to  every  sort  of  greatness— mihtary  gi*eatness, 
political  greatness,  and  intellectual  greatness;  he  was  an  able 
warrior,  an  energetic  legislator,  a  hero  of  poetry.  And  he 
united,  he  displayed  all  these  merits  in  a  time  of  general  and 
monotonous  barbarism  when,  save  in  the  Church,  the  minds  of 
men  were  dull  aud  barren.  Those  men,  few  in  number,  who 
made  themselves  a  name  at  that  epoch,  raUied  round  Charle- 
magne and  were  developed  imder  his  patronage.  To  know 
him  wen  and  appreciate  him  justly,  he  must  be  examined 
under  those  various  grand  r^pects,  abroad  and  at  home,  in  his 
wars  and  in  his  government. 

In  Guizot's  History  of  Civilization  in  France  is  to  be  found 
a  complete  table  of  the  wars  of  Charlemagne,  of  his  many 
different  expeditions  in  Germany,  Italy,  Spain,  all  the  coim- 
tries,  in  fact,  that  became  his  dominion.    A  smnmary  will  here 

168  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  x. 

suffice.  From  769  to  813,  in  Grermany  and  Western  and  North- 
ern Europe,  Charlemagne  conducted  thirty-one  campaigns 
against  the  Saxons,  Frisons,  Bavarians,  Avars,  Slavons,  and 
Danes;  in  Italy,  five  against  the  Lombards;  in  Spain,  Corsica, 
and  Sardinia,  twelve  against  the  Arabs;  two  against  the 
Greeks ;  and  three  in  Gaul  itself,  against  the  Aquitanians  and 
the  Britons;  in  all,  fifty-three  expeditions;  amongst  which 
those  he  undertook  against  the  Saxons,  the  Lombards,  and 
the  Arabs,  were  long  and  difficult  wars.  It  was  undesirable 
to  recount  them  in  detail,  for  the  relation  would  be  monoto- 
nous and  useless;  but  it  is  obhgatory  to  make  fully  known 
their  causes,  their  characteristic  incidents,  and  their  results. 

It  has  already  been  seen  that,  under  the  last  Merovingian 
kings,  the  Saxons  were,  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Rhine,  in 
frequent  collision  with  the  Franks,  esi)ecially  with  the  Austra- 
sian  Franks,  whose  territory  they  were  continually  threaten- 
ing and  often  invading.  Pepin  the  Short  had  more  than  once 
hurled  them  back  far  from  the  very  uncertain  frontiers  of 
Germanic  Austrasia;  and,  on  becoming  king,  he  dealt  his 
blows  still  farther,  and  entered,  in  his  turn,  Saxony  itself. 
**In  spite  of  the  Saxons's  stout  resistance,"  says  Eglnhard 
{Annalea,  t.  i.,  p.  135),  **he  pierced  through  the  points  they 
had  fortified  to  bar  enterance  into  their  country,  and,  after, 
having  fought  here  and  there  battles  wherein  fell  many 
Saxons,  he  forced  them  to  promise  that  they  would  submit  to 
his  rule;  and  that,  every  year,  to  do  him  honor,  they  would 
send  to  the  general  assembly  of  Franks  a  present  of  three 
hundred*  horses.  When  these  conventions  were  once  settled, 
he  insisted,  to  insure  their  performance,  upon  placing  them 
under  the  guarantee  of  rites  peculiar  to  the  Saxons;  then  he 
returned  with  his  army  to  Gaul."  ♦ 

Charlemagne  did  not  confine  himself  to  resuming  his  father's 
work ;  he  before  long  changed  its  character  and  its  scope.  In 
772,  being  left  sole  master  of  France  after  the  death  of  his 
brother  Carloman,  he  convoked  at  Worms  the  general  assembly 
of  the  Franks,  '^  and  took,"  says  Eginhard,  **  the  resolution  of 
going  and  carrying  war  into  Saxony.  He  invaded  it  without 
delay,  laid  it  waste  with  fire  and  sword,  made  himself  master 
of  the  fort  of  Ehresburg,  and  threw  down  the  idol  that  the 
Saxons  called  IrminsuV^  And  in  what  place  was  this  first 
victory  of  Charlemagne  won?  Near  the  sources  of  the  Lipx)e, 
just  where,  more  than  seven  centuries  before,  the  German 
Arminius  (Herrman)  had  destroyed  the  legions  of  Varus,  and 


whither  Germanicus  had  come  to  avenge  the  disaster  of  Varus. 
This  ground  belonged  to  Saxon  territory ;  and  this  idol,  called 
Irminsvl^  which  was  thrown  down  by  CSharlemagne,  was 
probably  a  monument  taised  in  honor  of  Arminius  {Herrrnann- 
SdtHe^  or  Herrmann'a  pillar)  whose  name  it  called  to  mind. 
The  patriotic  and  hereditary  pride  of  the  Saxons  was  passion- 
ately roused  by  this  blow;  and,  the  following  year,  '^ thinking 
to  find  in  the  absence  of  the  king  the  most  favorable  oppor- 
tunity," says  Eginhard,  they  entered  the  lands  of  the  Franks, 
laid  them  waste  in  their  turn,  and.  paying  back  outrage  for 
outrage,  set  fire  to  the  church  not  long  since  built  at  Fritzlar, 
by  Boniface,  martyr.  From  that  time  the  question  changed 
its  asx)ect;  it  was  no  longer  the  repression  of  Saxon  invasions 
of  France,  but  the  conquest  of  Saxony  by  the  Franks  that  was 
to  be  dealt  with ;  it  was  between  the  Christianity  of  the  Franks 
and  the  national  Paganism  of  the  Saxons  that  the  struggle  was 
to  take  place. 

For  thirty  years  such  was  its  character.  Charlemagne  re- 
garded the  conquest  of  Saxony  as  indispensibfe  for  putting  a 
stop  to  the  incursions  of  the  Saxons,  and  the  conversion  of  the 
Saxons  to  Christianity  as  indispensible  for  assuring  the  con- 
quest of  Saxony. .  The  Saxons  were  defending  at  one  and  the 
.  same  time  the  independence  of  their  coimtry  and  the  gods  of 
their  fathers.  Here  was  wherewithal  to  stir  up  and  foment, 
on  both  sides,  the  profoundest  passions;  and  they  burst  forth, 
on  both  sides,  with  equal  fury.  Withersoever  Charlemagne 
penetrated  he  built  strong  castles  and  churches;  and,  at  his 
departure,  left  garrisons  and  missionaries.  When  he  was 
gone  the  Saxons  returned,  attacked  the  forts  and  massacred  the 
garrisons  and  the  missionaries.  At  the  conmiencement  of  the 
struggle,  a  priest  of  Anglo-Saxon  origin,  whom  St.  WiUibrod, 
bishop  of  Utrecht,  had  but  lately  consecrated — St.  Liebwin, 
in  fact — ^undertook  to  go  and  preach  the  Christian  rehgion  in 
the  very  heart  of  Saxony,  on  the  banks  of  the  Weser,  amidst 
the  general  assembly  of  the  Saxons.  **  What  do  ye?"  said  he, 
cross  in  hand;  "  the  idols  ye  ^worship  hve  not,  neither  do  they 
perceive:  they  are  the  work  of  men's  hands;  they  can  do 
naught  either  for  themselves  or  for  others.  Wherefore  the 
one  God,  good  and  just,  having  compassion  on  your  errors, 
hath  sent  me  unto  you.  If  ye  put  not  away  your  iniquity,  I 
foretell  imto  you  a  trouble  that  ye  do  not  exi)ect,  and  that  the 
King  of  Heaven  hath  ordained  aforetime:  there  shall  come  a 
prince,  strong  and  wise  and  indefatigable,  not  from  afar,  but 

170  .      UISTORT  OF  FRANCE,  [CH.  x. 

from  nigh  at  hand,  to  fall  upon  you  like  a  torrent,  in  order  to 
soften  your  hard  hearts  and  bow  down  your  proud  heads.  At 
one  rush  he  shall  invade  the  country;  he  shall  lay  it  waste 
with  fire  and  sword,  and  carry  away  your  wives  and  children 
into  captivity."  A  thrill  of  ra^  ran  through  the  assembly; 
and  already  many  of  those  present  had  begun  to  cut,  in  the 
neighboring  woods,  stakes  sharpened  to  a  point  to  pierce  the 
priest,  when  one  of  the  chieftains  named  But  ocried  aloud, 
**  listen,  ye  who  are  the  most  wise.  There  have  often  come 
unto  us  ambassadors  from  neighboring  peoples,  Northmen, 
Slavons  or  Frisons ;  we  have  received  them  in  peace,  and  when 
their  messages  have  been  heard,  they  have  been  sent  away 
with  a  present.  Here  is  an  ambassador  from  a  great  God,  and 
ye  would  slay  him !"  Whether  it  were  from  sentiment  or  from 
prudence  the  multitude  was  calmed,  or  at  any  rate  restrained; 
and  for  this  time  the  priest  retired  safe  and  sound. 

Just  as  the  pious  zeal  of  the  missionaries  was  of  service  to 
Charlemagne,  so  did  the  power  of  Charlemagne  support  and 
sometimes  preserve  the  missionaries.  The  mob,  even  in  the 
midst  of  its  passions,  is  not  throughout  or  at  all  times  in- 
accessible to  fear.  The  Saxons  were  not  one  and  the  same 
nation,  constantly  united-  in  one  and  the  same  assembly  and 
governed  by  a  single  chieftain.  Three  populations  of  the  same 
race,  distinguished  by  names  borrowed  from  their  geographical 
situation,  just  as  had  happened  amongst  the  Franks  in  the  case 
of  the  Austrasians  and  Neustrians,  to  wit,  Eastphalian  or  east- 
em  Saxons,  Westphalian  or  western,  and  Angrians,  formed 
the  Saxon  confederation.  And  to  them  was  often  added  a 
fourth  peoplet  of  the  same  origin,  closer  to  the  Danes  and 
called  Nortb-Albingians,  inhabitants  of  the  northern  district  of 
the  Elbe.  These  four  principal  Saxon  populations  were  sub- 
divided into  a  large  number  of  tribes  who  had  their  own  par- 
ticular chieftains,  and  who  often  decided,  each  for  itself,  their 
conduct  and  their  fate.  Charlemagne,  knowing  how  to  profit 
by  this  want  of  cohesion  and  unity  amongst  his  foes,  attacked 
now  one  and  now  another  of  the  large  Saxon  peoplets  or  the 
small  Saxon  tribes,  and  dealt  separately  with  each  of  them, 
according  as  he  f  oimd  them  inclined  to  submission  or  resist- 
ance. After  having,  in  four  or  five  successive  expeditions, 
gained  victories  and  sustained  checks,  he  thought  himself 
sufiS^ciently  advanced  in  his  conquest  to  put  his  relations  with 
the  Saxons  to  a  grand  trial.  In  777,  he  resolved,  says  Hgin- 
hard,  ^'to  go  and  hold,  at  the  place  called  Paderbom  (clo60  to 


Saxony)  the  general  assembly  of  this  people.  On  his  arrival 
he  found  there  assembled  the  senate  and  people  of  this  per- 
fidious nation,  who,  comformably  to  his  orders,  had  repaired 
thither,  seeking  to  deceive  him  by  a  false  show  of  submission 
and  devotion.  .  .  .  They  earned  their  pardon,  but  on  this  con- 
dition however,  that,  if  hereafter  they  broke  their  engage- 
ments, they  would  be  deprived  of  country  and  liberty,  A 
great  number  amongst  them  had  themselves  baptized  on  this 
occasion;  but  it  was  with  far  from  sincere  intentions  that  they 
had  testified  a  desire  to  become  Christians.'' 

There  had  been  absent  from  this  great  meeting  a  Saxon 
chieftain  called  Wittikind,  son  of  Wernekind,  king  of  the 
Saxons  at  the  north  of  the  Elbe.  He  had  espoused  the  sister 
of  Siegfried,  king  of  the  Danes ;  and  he  was  the  friend  of  Bat- 
bod,  king  of  the  Frisons.  A  true  chieftain  at  heart  as  well  as 
by  descent,  he  was  made  to  be  the  hero  of  the  Saxons  just  as, 
seven  centuries  before,  the  Cheruscan  Herrmann  (Arminius) 
had  been  the  hero  of  the  Germans.  Instead  of  repairing  to 
Paderbom,  Wittikind  had  left  Saxony,  and  taken  refuge  with 
his  brother-in-law,  the  King  of  the  Danes.  Thence  he  encour- 
aged his  Saxon  compatriots,  some  to  persevere  in  their  resist- 
ance, others  to  repent  them  of  their  show  of  submission.  War 
began  again ;  and  Wittikind  hastened  back  to  take  part  in  it. 
In  778  the  Saxons  advanced  as  far  as  the  Bhine;  but,  *'not 
having  been  able  to  cross  this  river,"  says  Eginhard,  "they 
set  themselves  to  lay  waste  with  fire  and  sword,  all  the  towns 
and  all  the  villages  from  the  city  of  Duitz  (opposite  Cologne) 
as  far  as  the  confluence  of  the  Moselle.  The  churches  as  well 
as  the  houses  were  laid  in  ruins  from  top  to  bottom.  The 
enemy,  in  his  frenzy,  spared  neither  age  nor  sex,  wishing  to 
show  thereby  that  he  had  invaded  the  territory  of  the  Franks, 
not  for  plunder  but  for  revenge  I"  For  three  years  the  struggle 
continued,  more  confined  in  area,  but  more  and  more  obsti- 
nate. Many  of  the  Saxon  tribes  submitted;  many  Saxons 
were  baptized;  and  Siegfried,  king  of  the  Danes,  sent  to  Char- 
lemagne a  deputation,  as  if  to  treat  for  peace.  Wittikind 
had  left  Denmark;  but  he  had  gone  across  to  her  neighbors, 
the  Northmen;  and,  thence  re-entering  Saxony,  he  kindled 
there  an  insurrection  as  fierce  as  it  was  imexpected.  In  783 
two  of  Charlemagne's  lieutenants  were  beaten  on  the  banks  of 
the  Weser,  and  killed  in  the  battle,  * '  together  with  four  counts 
and  twenty  leaders,  the  noblest  in  the  army ;  indeed  the  Franks 
were  nearly  all  exterminated.    At  news  of  this  disaster,"  says 

173  BISTORT  OF  FRANCS.  [ch.  x. 

Eginhard,  '^  Charlemagne,  without  losing  a  moment,  re-assem- 
bled an  army  and  set  out  for  Saxony.  He  summoned  into  his 
presence  all  the  chieftains  of  the  Saxons  and  demanded  of 
them  who  had  been  the  promoters  of  the  revolt.  All  agreed  in 
denouncing  Wittikind  as  the  author  of  this  treason.  But  aa 
they  could  not  deliver  him  up,  because  immediately  after  his 
sudden  attack  he  had  taken  refuge  with  the  Northmen,  those 
who,  at  his  instigation,  had  been  accomplices  in  the  crime, 
were  placed,  to  the  number  of  four  thousand  five  hundred,  in 
the  hands  of  the  king;  and,  by  his  order,  all  had  their  heads 
cut  off  the  same  day,  at  a  place  called  Werden,  on  the  river 
Aller.  After  this  deed  of  vengeance  the  king  retired  to  Thion- 
ville  to  pass  the  winter  there." 

But  the  vengeance  did  not  put  an  end  to  the  war.  **  Blood 
calls  for  blood,"  were  words  spoken  in  the  English  parliament, 
in  1643,  by  Sir  Benjamin  Rudyard,  one  of  the  best  citizens  of 
his  country  in  her  hour  of  revolution.  For  thtee  years  Charle- 
magne had  to  redouble  his  efforts  to  accomplish  in  Saxony,  at 
the  cost  of  Frankish  as  well  as  Saxon  blood,  his  work  of  con- 
quest and  conversion ;  * '  Saxony, "  he  often  repeated,  *  *  must  be 
christianized  or  wiped  out."  At  last,  in  785,  after  several 
victories  which  seemed  decisive,  he  went  and  settled  down  in 
his  strong  castle  of  Ehresburg,  "whither  he  made  his  wife 
and  children  come,  being  resolved  to  remain  there  all  the  bad 
season,"  says  Eginhard,  and  applying  himself  without  cessar 
tion  to  scouring  the  country  of  the  Saxons  and  wearing  them 
out  by  his  strong  and  indomitable  determination.  But  deter- 
mination did  not  blind  him  to  prudence  and  policy.  "  Having 
learned  that  Wittikind  and  Abbio  (another  great  Saxon  chief- 
tain) were  abiding  in  the  part  of  Saxony  situated  on  the  other 
side  of  the  Elbe,  he  sent  to  them  Saxon  envoys  to  prevail  upon 
them  to  renounce  their  perfidy,  and  come,  without  hesitation, 
and  trust  themselves  to  him.  They,  conscious  of  what  they 
had  attempted,  dared  not  at  first  trust  to  the  king's  word;  but 
having  obteined  from  him  the  promise  they  desired  of  im- 
punity and,  besides,  the  hostages  they  demanded  as  guarantee 
of  their  safety  and  who  were  brought  to  them,  on  the  king's 
behalf,  by  Amalwin,  one  of  the  oflBcers  of  his  court,  they  came 
with  the  said  lord  and  presented  themselves  before  the  king  in 
his  palace  of  Attigny  [Attigny-sur-Aisne,  whither  Charlemagne 
had  now  returned]  and  there  received  baptism." 

Charlemagne  did  more  than  amnesty  Wittikind;  he  named 
him  Duke  of  Saxony,  but  without  attaching  to  the  title  any 


right  of  sovereignty.  Wittikind,  on  his  side,  did  more  than 
come  to  Attigny  and  get  baptized  there ;  he  gave  up  the  struggle 
remained  faithful  to  his  new  engagements,  and  led,  they  say, 
so  Christian  a  life,  that  some  chroniclers  have  placed  him  *on 
the  list  of  saints.  He  was  killed  in  807,  in  a  battle  against 
G^rold,  duke  of  Suabia,  and  his  tomb  is  still  to  be  seen  at 
Ratisbonne.  Several  families  of  Gtermany  hold  him  for  their 
ancestor;  and  some  French  genealogists  have,  without  solid 
ground,  discovered  in  him  the  grand&ither  of  Eobert  the 
Strong,  great-grandfather  of  Hugh  Capet.  However  that  may 
be,  after  making  peace  with  Wittikind,  Charlemagne  had  still, 
for  several  years,  many  insurrections  to  repress  and  much 
rigor  to  exercise  in  Saxony,  including  the  removal  of  certain 
Saxon  peoplets  out  of  their  country  and  the  establishment  of 
foreign  colonists  in  the  territories  thus  become  vacant;  but  the 
great  war  was  at  an  end,  and  Charlemagne  might  consider 
Saxony  incorporated  in  his  dominions. 

He  had  stiQ,  in  Germany  and  all  around,  many  enemies  to 
fight  and  many  campaigns  to  re-open.  Even  amongst  the 
Grermanic  populations,  which  were  regarded  as  reduced  under 
the  sway  of  the  King  of  the  Franks,  some,  the  Frisons  and 
Saxons  as  well  as  others,  were  continually  agitating  for  the  re- 
covery of  their  independence.  Farther  off  towards  the  north, 
east,  and  south,  people  differing  in  origin  and  language — 
Avars,  Huns,  Slavons,  Bulgarians,  Danes,  and  Northmen- 
were  still  pressing  or  beginning  to  press  upon  the  frontiers  of 
the  Frankish  dominion,  for  the  purpose  of  either  penetrating 
within  or  settling  at  the  threshold  as  powerful  and  formidable 
neighbors.  Charlemagne  had  plenty  to  do,  with  the  view  at 
one  time  of  checking  their  incursions  and  at  another  of  destroy- 
ing or  hurling  back  to  a  distance  their  settlements;  and  he 
brought  his  usual  vigor  and  perseverance  to  bear  on  this  second 
struggle.  But  by  the  conquest  of  Saxony  he  had  attained  his 
direct  national  object:  the  great  flood  of  population  from  East 
to  West  came,  and  broke  against  the  Gallo-Franco-Germanic 
dominion  as  against  an  insurmountable  rampart. 

This  was  not,  however,  Charlemagne's  only  great  enterprise 
at  this  epoch,  nor  the  only  great  struggle  he  had  to  maintain. 
Whilst  he  was  incessantly  fighting  in  Germany,  the  work  of 
policy  commenced  by  his  father  Pepin  in  Italy  called  for  his 
care  and  his  exertions.  The  new  king  of  the  Lombards,  Didier, 
and  the  new  Pope,  Adrian  I.,  had  entered  upon  a  new  war; 
and  Didier  was  besieging  Home,  which  was  energetically  de« 

174  HISTORY  OF  FnANClS,  [cH.  X. 

fended  by  the  Pope  and  its  inhabitants.  In  778,  Adrian  in- 
voked the  aid  of  the  King  of  the  Franks  whom  his  envoys 
succeeded,  not  without  diflSculty,  in  finding  at  Thionville. 
C^rlemagne  could  not  abandon  the  grand  position  left  him  by 
his  father  as  protector  of-  the  Papacy  and  as  patrician  of  Home. 
The  i)ossessions,  moreover,  wrested  by  Didier-  from  the  Pope 
were  exactly  those  which  Pepin  had  won  by  conquest  from 
King  Astolphus,  and  had  presented  to  the  Papacy.  Charle- 
magne was  besides,  on  his  own  accoimt,  on  bad  terms  with  the 
King  of  the  Lombards,  whose  daughter,  D^sir^,  he  had  mar- 
ried, and  afterwards  repudiated  and  sent  home  to  her  father, 
in  order  to  marry  HUdegarde,  a  Suabian  by  nation.  Didier, 
in  dudgeon,  had  given  an  asylum  to  Carloman's  widow  and 
sons,  on  whose  intrigues  Charlemagne  kept  a  watchful  eye. 
Being  prudent  and  careful  of  appearances,  even  when  he  was 
preparing  to  strike  a  heavy  blow,  Charlemagne  tried,  by 
means  of  special  envoys,  to  obtain  from  the  King  df  the  Lom- 
bards what  the  Pope  demanded.  On  Didier's  refusal  he  at 
once  set  to  work,  convoked  the  general  paeetingof  the  Franks, 
at  Geneva,  in  the  autumn  of  773,  gained  them  over,  not  with- 
out encountering  some  objections,  to  the  projected  Italian  ex- 
pedition, and  forthwith  commenced  the  campaign  with  two 
armies.  One  was  to  cross  the  Valais  and  descend  upon  Lom- 
bardy  by  Mount  St.  Bernard ;  Charlemagne  in  person  led  the 
other,  by  Mount  Cenis.  The  Lombards,  at  the  outlet  of  the 
passes  of  the  Alps,  offered  a  vigorous  resistance;  but  when  the 
second  army  had  penetrated  into  Italy  by  Moimt  St.  Bernard, 
Didier,  threatened  in  his  rear,  retired  precipitately ,  and,  driven 
from  position  to  position,  was.  obliged  to  go  and  shut  himself 
up  in  Pavia,  the  strongest  place  in  his  kingdom,  whither 
Charlemagne,  having  received  on  the  march  the  submission  of 
the  principal  counts  and  nearly  all  the  towns  of  Lombardy, 
came  promptly  to  besiege  him. 

To  place  textually  before  the  reader  a  fragment  of  an  old 
chronicle  will  serve  better  than  any  modem  description  to 
show  the  impression  of  admiration  and  fear  produced  upon  his 
contemporaries  by  Charlemagne,  his  person  and  his  ]X)wer. 
At  the  close  of  this  ninth  century  a  monk  of  the  abbey  of  St. 
Gall,  in  Switzerland,  had  collected,  direct  from  the  mouth  of 
one  of  Charlemagne's  warriors,  Adalbert,  nmnerous  stories  of 
his  campaigns  and  his  life.  These  stories  are  full  of  fabulous 
legends,  puerile  anecdotes,  distorted  reminiscences  and  chrono- 
logical errors,  and  they  are  written  sometimes  with  a  credulity 

CH.  X.]  CHARLEMAGNE  AND  1118  WAR8.  175 

and  exaggeration  of  language  which  raise  a  smile ;  but  they  re- 
veal the  state  of  men^s  i^ds  and  fancies  within  the  circle  of 
Charlemagne^s  influence  and  at  the  sight  of  him.  This  monk 
gives  a  naive  account  of  Charlemagne's  arrival  before  Pavia 
and  of  the  King  of  the  Lombard's  disquietude  at  his  approach. 
Didier  had  with  him  at  that  time  one  of  Charlemagne's  most 
famous  comrades,  Ogier  the  Dane,  who  fills  a  prominent  place 
in  the  romances  and  epopoeas,  relating  to  chivalry,  of  that  age. 
Ogier  had  quarrelled  with  his  great  chief  and  taken  refuge  with 
the  King  of  the  Lombards.  It  is  probable  that  his  Danish 
origin  and  his  relations  with  the  King  of  the  Danes,  Grottfried, 
for  a  long  time  an  enemy  of  the  Franks,  had  something  to  do 
with  his  misunderstanding  with  Charlemagne.  However  that 
may  have  been,  "when  Didier  and  Ogger  (for  so  the  monk 
calls  him)  heard  that  the  dread  monarch  was  coming,  they 
ascended  a  tower  of  vast  height  whence  they  could  watch  his 
arrival  from  afar  off  and  from  every  quarter.  They  saw,  first 
of  all,  engines  of  war  such  as  must  have  been  necessary  for  the 
armies  of  Darius  or  Julius  Caesar.  *Is  not  Charles,' asked 
Didier  of  Ogger,  *  with  this  great  army? '  But  the  other 
answered  *No.'  The  Lombard,  seeing  afterwards  an  im- 
mense body  of  soldiery  gathered  from  all  quarters  of  the  vast 
empire,  said  to  Ogger,  *  Certes,  Charles  advanceth  in  triumph 
in  the  midst  of  this  throng. '  *  No,  not  yet ;  he  will  not  appear 
so  soon,'  was  the  answer.  *  What  should  we  do,  then,'  re- 
joined Didier,  who  began  to  be  perturbed,  *  should  he  come 
accompanied  by  a  larger  band  of  warriors?'  *You  will  see 
what  he  is  when  he  comes,' replied  Ogger,  *but  as  to  what 
wiQ  become  of  us  I  know  nothing.'  As  they  were  thus  par- 
leying appeared  the  body  of  guards  that  knew  no  repose;  and 
at  this  sight  the  Lombard,  overcome  with  dread,  cried,  *  This 
time 'tis  surely  Charles.'  *No,'  answered  Ogger,  *not  yet.' 
In  their  wake  came  the  bishops,  the  abbots,  the  ordinaries  of 
the  chapels  royal,  and  the  coimts;  and  then  Didier,  no  longer 
able  to  bear  the  light  of  day  or  to  face  death,  cried  out  with 
groans,  *  Let  us  descend  and  hide  ourselves  in  the  bowels  of 
the  earth,  far  from  the  face  and  the  fury  of  so  terrible  a  foe.' 
Trembling  the  while,  Ogger,  who  knew  by  experience  what 
were  the  power  and  might  of  Charles  and  who  had  learned  the 
lesson  by  long  consuetude  in  better  days,  then  said,  *  When  ye 
shall  behold  the  crops  shaking  for  fear  in  the  fields,  and  the 
gloomy  Po  and  the  Ticino  overflowing  the  walls  of  the  city 
with  their  waves  blackened  with  steel  (iron),  then  may  ye 

176  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  X. 

think  that  Charles  is  conung.'  He  had  not  ended  these  words 
when  there  began  to  be  seen  in  the  west,  as  it  were  a  black 
cloud,  raised  by  the  north-west  wind  or  by  Boreas,  which 
turned'  the  brightest  day  into  awful  shadows.  But  as  the 
emperor  drew  nearer  and  nearer,  the  gleam  of  arms  caused  to 
shine  on  the  people  shut  up  within  the  city  a  day  more  gloomy 
than  any  kind  of  night.  And  then  appeared  Charles  himself, 
that  man  of  steel,  with  his  head  encased  in  a  helmet  of  steel, 
his  hands  garnished  with  gauntlets  of  steel,  his  heart  of  steel 
and  his  shoulders  of  marble  protected  by  a  cuirass  of  steel,  and 
his  left  hand  armed  with  a  lance  of  steel  which  he  held  aloft  in 
the  air,  for  as  to  his  right  hand  he  kept  that  continually  on  the 
hilt  of  his  invincible  sword.  The  outside  of  his  thighs,  which 
the  rest,  for  their  greater  ease  in  paoimting  a-horseback,  were 
wont  to  leave  unshackled  even  by  straps,  he  wore  encircled  by 
plates  of  steel.  What  shall  I  say  concerning  his  boots?  All 
the  army  were  wont  to  have  them  invariably  of  steel;  on  his 
buckler  there  was  naught  to  be  seen  but  steel ;  his  horse  was  of 
the  color  and  the  strength  of  steel.  All  those  who  went  before 
the  monarch,  all  those  who  marched  at  his  side,  all  those  who 
followed  after,  even  the  whole  mass  of  the  army  had  armor  of 
the  like  sort,  so  far  as  the  means  of  each  permitted.  The  fields 
and  the  highways  were  covered  with  steel :  the  points  of  steel 
reflected  the  rays  of  the  sim ;  and  this  steel,  so  hard,  wajs  borne 
by  a  people  with  hearts  still  harder.  The  flash  of  steel  spread 
terror  throughout  the  streets  of  the  city.  ^  What  steel !  alack, 
what  steel  I'  Such  were  the  bewildered  cries  the  citizens 
raised.  The  firmness  of  manhood  and  of  youth  gave  way  at 
sight  of  the  steel ;  and  the  steel  paralyzed  the  wisdom  of  grey- 
beards. That  which  I,  poor  tale-teller,  mumbling  and  tooth- 
less, have  attempted  to  depict  in  a  long  description,  Ogger  per- 
ceived at  one  rapid  glance,  and  said  to  Didier,  *  Here  is  what 
ye  have  so  anxiously  sought:'  and  whilst  uttering  these  words 
he  fell  down  almost  lifeless." 

The  monk  of  St.  Gall  does  King  Didier  and  his  people  wrong. 
ThQy  showed  more  firmness  and  vaJor  than  he  ascribes  to 
them;  they  resisted  Charlemagne  obstinately,  and  repulsed 
his  first  assaults  so  well  that  he  changed  the  siege  into  an  in- 
vestment and  settled  down  before  Pavia,  as  if  making  up  his 
mind  for  a  long  operation.  His  camp  became  a  town;  he  sent 
for  Queen  Hildegarde  and  her  court ;  and  he  had  a  chapel  built 
where  he  celebrated  the  festival  of  Christmas.  But  on  the 
arrival  of  spring,  close  upon  the  festival  of  Easter,  774,  wearied 


with  the  duration  of  the  investment,  he  left  to  his  Keutenants 
the  duty  of  keeping  it  up,  and,  attended  hy  a  numerous  and 
hrilliant  following,  set  off  for  Rome,  whither  the  Pope  was 
urgently  pressing  him  to  come. 

On  Holy  Saturday,  April  1,  774,  Charlemagne  found,  at  three 
miles  from  Rome,  the  magistrates  and  the  banner  of  the  city, 
sent  forward  by  the  Pope  to  meet  him ;  at  one  mile  all  the 
municipal  bodies  and  the  pupils  of  the  schools  carrying  palm- 
branches  and  singing  hymns;  and  at  the  gate  of  the  city,  the 
cross,  which  was  never  taken  out  save  for  exarchs  and  patri- 
cians. At  sight  of  the  cross  Charlemagne  dismounted,  entered 
Ronie  on  foot,  ascended  the  steps  of  the  ancient  basilica  of  St. 
Peter,  repeating  at  each  step  a  sign  of  respectful  piety,  and 
was  received  at  the  top  by  the  Pope  himself.  All  around  him 
and  in  the  streets  a  chant  was  sung,  '^  Blessed  be  he  that 
Cometh  in  the  name  of  the  Lord  I"  At  his  entry  and  during 
his  sojourn  at  Rome  Charlemagne  gave  the  most  striking 
proofs  of  Christian  faith  and  respect  for  the  Head  of  the 
Church.  According  to  the  custom  of  pilgrims  he  visited  all 
the  basilicas,  and  in  that  of  St.  Maria  Maggiore  he  performed 
his  solemn  devotions.  Then,  passing  to  temporal  matters,  he 
caused  to  be  brought  and  read  over,  in  his  private  conferences 
with  the  Pope,  the  deed  of  territorial  gift  made  by  his  father 
Pepin  to  Stephen  II.,  and  with  his  own  lips  dictated  the  con- 
firmation of  it,  adding  thereto  a  new  gift  of  certain  territories 
which  he  was  in  course  of  wresting  by  conquest  from  the 
Lombards.  Pope  Adrian,  on  his  side,  rendered  to  him,  with  a 
mixture  of  affection  and  dignity,  all  the  honors  and  all  the 
services  which  could  at  one  and  the  same  time  satisfy  and 
exalt  the  king  and  the  priest,  the  protector  and  the  protected. 
He  presented  to  Charlemagne  a  book  containing  a  collection  of 
the  canons  written  by  the  pontiffs  from  the  origin  of  the 
Church,  and  he  put  at  the  beginning  of  the  book,  which  was 
dedicated  to  Charlemagne,  an  address  in  forty-five  irregulai' 
verses,  written  with  his  own  hand,  which  formed  an  anagram : 
"  Pope  Adrian  to  his  most  excellent  son  Charlemagne,  king" 
(Domino  eoccellentissimo  filio  Carolo  Magno  regi^  Hadrianus 
papa).  At  the  same  time  he  encouraged  him  to  push  his  vic- 
tory to  the  utmost  and  make  himself  King  of  the  Lombards, 
advising  him,  however,  not  to  incorporate  his  conquest  with 
the  Frankish  dominions,  as  it  would  wound  the  pride  of  the 
conquered  people  to  be  thus  absorbed  by  the  conquerors,  and 
to  take  merely  the  title  of  **King  of  the  Franks  and  Loni- 

178  HISTOnr  OP  PRANCS!.  tcH.  X. 

bards."  Charlemagne  appreciated  and  accepted  this  wise 
advice;  for  he  could  preserve  proper  Umits  in  his  ambition  and 
in  the  hour  of  victory.  Three  years  afterwards  he  even  did 
more  than  Pope  Adrian  had  advised.  In  777  Queen  Hildegarde 
bore  him  a  son,  Pepin,  whom  in  781  Charlemagne  had  baptized 
and  anointed  King  of  Italy  at  Rome  by  the  Pope,  thus  sepa- 
rating not  only  the  two  titles  but  also  the  two  kingdoms,  and 
restoring  to  the  Lombards  a  national  existence,  feeling  quite 
sure  that,  so  long  as  he  lived,  the  unity  of  his  different  do- 
minions would  not  be  imperilled.  Having  thus  regulated  at 
Home  his  own  affairs  and  those  of  the  Church,  he  returned  to 
his  camp,  took  Pavia,  received  the  submission  of  all  the  Lom- 
bard dukes  and  counts,  save  one  only,  Aregisius,  duke  of 
Beneventum,  and  entered  France  again,  taking  with  him  as 
prisoner  KingDidier,  whom  he  banished  to  a  monastery,  first 
at  Li^ge  and  then  at  Corbie,  were  the  dethroned  Lombard,  say 
the  chroniclers,  ended  his  days  in  saintly  fashion. 

The  prompt  success  of  this  war  in  Italy,  imdertaken  at  the 
appeal  of  the  Head  of  the  Chiuxjh,  this  first  sojourn  of  Charle- 
magne at  Rome,  the  spectacles  he  had  witnessed  and  the 
homage  he  had  received,  exercised  over  him,  his  plans  and  his 
deeds,  a  powerful  influence.  This  rough  Frankish  warrior, 
chief  of  a  people  who  were  beginning  to  make  a  brilliant  ajn 
pearance  upon  the  stage  of  the  world,  and  issue  himself  of  a 
new  line,  had  a  taste  for  what  was  grand,  splendid,  ancient, 
and  consecrated  by  time  and  public  respect;  he  imderstood  and 
estimated  at  its  fuU  worth  the  moral  force  and  importance  of 
such  allies.  He  departed  from  Rome  in  774,  more  determined 
than  ever  to  subdue  Saxony,  to  the  advantage  of  the  Church 
as  well  as  of  his  own  power,  and  to  promote,  in  the  South  as  in 
the  North,  the  triumph  of  the  Frankish  Christian  dominion. 

Three  years  afterwards,  in  777,  he  had  convoked  at  Pader- 
bom,  in  Westphalia,  that  general  assembly  of  his  different 
peoples  at  which  Wittikind  did  not  attend,  and  which  was 
destined  to  bring  upon  the  Saxons  a  more  and  more  obstinate 
war.  "The  Saracen  Ibn-al-Arabi,"  says  Eginhard,  "came  to 
this  town,  to  present  himself  before  the  king.  He  had  arrived 
from  Spain,  together  with  other  Saracens  in  his  train,  to  sur- 
render to  the  King  of  the  Franks  himself  and  all  the  towns 
which  the  King  of  the  Saracens  had  confided  to  his  keeping." 
For  a  long  time  past  the  Christians  of  the  West  had  given  the 
Mussulmans,  Arab  or  other,  the  name  of  Saracens,  Ibn-al- 
Arabi  was  governor  of  Saragossa,  and  one  of  the  Spanish-Arab 


chieftains  in  league  against  Abdel-Rhaman,  the  last  offshoot  of 
the  Ommiad  khalifs,  who,  with  the  assistance  of  the  Berbers, 
had  seized  the  government  of  Spain.  Amidst  the  troubles  of 
his  coimtry  and  his  nation,  Ibn-al-Arabi  sunnnoned  to  his  aid, 
against  Abdel-Rhaman,  the  Franks  and  the  Christians,  just  as, 
but  lately,  Maurontius,  duke  of  Aries,  had  summoned  to  Pro- 
vence, against  Charles  Martel,  the  Arabs  and  the  Mussulmans. 

Charlemagne  accepted  the  summons  with  alacrity.  With 
the  coming  of  spring  in  the  following  year,  778,  and  with  the 
full  assent  of  his  chief  warriors,  he  began  his  march  towards 
the  Pyrenees,  crossed  the  Loire,  and  halted  at  Casseneuil,  at 
the  confluence  of  the  Lot  and  the  Garonne,  to  celebrate  there 
the  festival  of  Easter,  and  to  make  preparations  for  his  expedi- 
tion thence.  As  he  had  but  lately  done  for  his  campaign  in 
Italy  against  the  Lombards,  he  divided  his  forces  into  two 
armies:  one  composed  of  Austrasians,  Neustrians,*  Burgun- 
dians,  and  divers  Grerman  contingents,  and  commanded  by 
Charlemagne  in  person,  was  to  enter  Spain  by  the  valley  of 
Roncesvalles,  in  the  western  Pyrenees,  and  make  for  Pampe- 
luna;  the  other,  consisting  of  Provengals,  Septimanians,  Lom- 
bards, and  other  populations  of  the  South,  under  the  command 
of  Duke  Bernard,  who  had  already  distinguished  himself  in 
Italy,  had  orders  to  penetrate  into  Spain  by  the  eastern  Pyre- 
nees, to  receive  on  the  march  the  submission  of  Gerona  and 
Barcelona,  and  not  to  halt  till  they  were  before  Saragossa, 
where  the  two  armies  were  to  form  a  junction,  and  which  Ibn- 
al-Arabi  had  promised  to  give  up  to  the  King  of  the  Franks. 
According  to  this  plan,  Charlemagne  had  to  traverse  the  ter- 
ritories pf  Aquitaine  and  Vasconia,  domains  of  Duke  Lupus  II., 
son  of  Duke  Waif  re,  so  long  the  foe  of  Pepin  the  Short,  a  Mero- 
vingian by  descent,  and,  in  all  these  qualities,  little  disposed  to 
favor  Charlemagne.  However,  the  march  was  accomplished 
without  diflSculty.  The  King  of  the  Franks  treated  his  power- 
ful vassal  well;  and  Duke  Lupus  swore  to  him  afresh,  **or  for 
the  first  time,"  says  M.  Fauriel,  *'  submission  and  fidelity;  but 
the  event  soon  proved  that  it  was  not  without  umbrage  or 
without  all  the  feelings  of  a  true  son  of  Waif  re  that  he  saw  the 
Franks  and  the  son  of  Pepin  so  close  to  hina." 

The  aggressive  camx)algn  was  an  easy  and  a  brilliant  one. 
Charles  with  his  army  entered  Spain  by  the  valley  of  Ronces- 
valles  without  encountering  any  obstacle.  On  his  arrival 
before  Pampelima  the  Arab  governor  surrendered  the  place  to 
him,  and  Charlemagne  pushed  forward  vigorously  to  Sara- 

180  BISTORT  OF  GRANGE.  [ch.  X. 

gossa.  But  there  fortune  changed.  The  presence  of  foreign- 
ers and  Christians  on  the  soil  of  Spain  caused  a  suspension  of 
interior  quarrels  amongst  the  Arabs^  who  rose  in  mass,  at  all 
points,  to  succor  Saragossa.  The  besieged  defended  themselves 
with  obstinacy;  there  was  more  scarcity  of  provisions  amongst 
the  besiegers  than  inside  the  place ;  sickness  broke  out  amongst 
them;  they  were  incessantly  harassed  from  without;  and  ru- 
mors of  a  fresh  rising  amongst  the  Saxons  reached  Charle- 
magne. The  Arabs  demanded  negotiation.  To  decide  the 
King  of  the  Franks  upon  an  abandonment  of  the  siege,  they 
offered  him  **an  immense  quantity  of  gold,"  say  the  chroni- 
clers, hostages,  and  promises  of  homage  and  fidelity.  Appear- 
ances had  been  saved ;  Charlemagne  could  say,  and  even  per- 
haps believe,  that  he  had  pushed  his  conquests  as  far  as  the 
Ebro ;  he  decided  on  retreat,  and  all  the  army  was  set  in  motion 
to  recross  the  Pyrenees.  On  arriving  before  Pampeluna 
Charlemagne  had  its  walls  completely  razed  to  the  ground, 
**in  order  that,"  as  he  said,  **that  city  might  not  be  able  to 
revolt. "  The  troops  entered  those  same  passes  of  Roncesvalles 
which  they  had  traversed  without  obstacle  a  few  weeks  before; 
and  the  advance-guard  and  the  main  body  of  the  army  were 
already  clear  of  them.  The  account  of  what  happened  shall 
be  given  in  the  words  of  Eginhard,  the  only  contemporary 
historian  whose  accoimt,  free  from  all  exaggeration,  can  be 
considered  authentic.  *  *  The  king, "  he  says,  *  *  brought  back  his 
army  without  experiencing  any  loss,  save  that  at  the  summit 
of  the  Pyrenees  he  suffered  somewhat  from  the  perfidy  of  the 
Vascons  (Basques).  Whilst  the  army  of  the  Franks,  embar- 
rassed in  a  narrow  defile,  was  forced  by  the  nature  of  the 
ground  to  advance  in  one  long  close  line,  the  Basques,  who 
were  in  ambush  on  the  crest  of  the  mountain  (for  the  thickness 
of  the  forest  with  which  these  parts  are  covered  is  favorable  to 
ambuscade),  descend  and  fall  suddenly  on  the  baggage-train 
and  on  the  troops  of  the  rear-guard,  whose  duty  it  was  to 
cover  all  in  their  front,  and  precipitate  them  to  the  bottom  of 
the  valley.  There  took  place  a  fight  in  which  the  Franks  were 
killed  to  a  man.  The  Basques,  after  having  plundered  the 
baggage-train,  profited  by  the  night  which  had  come  on,  to 
disperse  rapidly.  They  owed  all  their  success  in  this  engage- 
ment to  the  lightness  of  their  equipment  and  to  the  nature  of 
the  spot  where  the  action  took  place;  the  Franks,  on  the  con- 
trary, being  heavily  armed  and  in  an  unfavorable  position, 
struggled  against  too  many  disadvantages.    Eginhard,  masteor 


of  the  household  of  the  king;  Anselm,  count  of  the  palace; 
and  Roland,  prefect  of  the  marches  of  Brittany,  fell  in  this  en- 
gagement. There  were  no  means,  at  the  time,  of  taking  re- 
venge for  this  check ;  for,  after  their  sudden  attack,  the  enemy 
dispersed  to  such  good  purpose  that  there  was  no  gaining  any 
trace  of  the  direction  in  which  they  should  be  sought  for." 

History  says  no  more;  hut  in  the  poetry  of  the  people  there 
is  a  longer  and  a  more  faithful  memory  than  in  the  court  of 
kings.  The  disaster  of  Roncesvalles  and  the  heroism  of  the 
warriors  who  perished  there  became,  in  France,  the  object  of 
popular  sympathy  and  the  favorite  topic  for  the  exercise  of  the 
popular  fancy.  The  Song  of  Roland,  a  real  Homeric  poem  in 
its  great  beauty,  and  yet  rude  and  simple  as  became  its  nation- 
al character,  bears  witness  to  the  prolonged  importance  at- 
tained in  Europe  by  this  incident  in  the  history  of  Charle- 
magne. Four  centuries  later  the  comrades  of  WiUiam  the 
Conqueror,  marching  to  battle  at  Hastings  for  the  possession 
of  England,  struck  up  The  Song  of  Roland  **to  prepare  them- 
selves for  victory  or  death,"  says  M.  Vitel,  in  his  vivid  esti- 
mate and  able  translation  of  this  poetical  monument  of  the 
manners  and  first  impulses  towards  chivalry  of  the  middle 
ages.  There  is  no  determining  how  far  history  must  be  made 
to  participate  in  these  reminiscences  of  national  feehng;  but, 
assiu'edly,  the  figures  of  Eoland  and  Oliver,  and  Archbishop 
Turpin,  and  the  pious,  unsophisticated,  and  tender  character 
of  their  heroism  are  not  pure  fables  invented  by  the  fancy  of  a 
poet,  or  the  credulity  of  a  monk,  li  the  accuracy  of  historical 
narrative  must  not  be  looked  for  in  them,  their  moral  truth 
must  be  recognized  in  their  portrayal  of  a  people  and  an  age. 

The  pontic  genius  of  Charlemagne  comprehended  more  fully 
than  would  be  imagined  from  his  panegyrist's  brief  and  dry 
account  aU  the  gravity  of  the  affair  of  Roncesvalles.  Not  only 
did  he  take  immediate  vengeance  by  hanging  Duke  Lupus  of 
Aquitaine,  whose  treason  had  brought  down  this  mishap,  and 
by  reducing  his  two  sons,  Adalric  and  Sancho,  to  a  more  feeble 
and  precarious  condition;  but  he  resolved  to  treat  Aquitaine 
as  he  had  but  lately  treated  Italy,  that  is  to  say,  to  make  of  it, 
according  to  the  correct  definition  of  M.  Fauriel,  "a  special 
kingdom,  an  integral  portion,  indeed,  of  the  Frankish  empire, 
but  with  an  especial  destination,  which  was  that  of  resisting 
the  invasions  of  the  Andalusian  Arabs,  and  confining  them  as 
much  as  possible  to  the  soil  of  the  Peninsula.  This  was,  in 
some  sort,  giving  back  to  the  country  its  primary  task  as  an 

182  EISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [CH.  x. 

independent  duchy ;  and  it  was  the  most  natural  and  most  cer- 
tain way  of  making  the  Aquitanians  useful  subjects,  by  giving 
play  to  their  national  vanity,  to  their  pretensions  of  forming  a 
separate  people,  and  to  their  hopes  of  once  more  becoming, 
sooner  or  later,  an  independent  nation.  Queen  Hildegard, 
during  her  husband's  sojourn  at  Casseneuil,  in  778,  had  borne 
him  a  son  whom  he  called  Louis,  and  who  was,  aiterwards,  Louis 
the  Debonnair.  Charlemagne,  summoned  a  second  time  to 
Rome,  in  781,  by  the  quarrels  of  Pope  Adrian  I.  with  the  imperial 
court  of  Constantinople,  brought  with  him  his  two  sons,  Pepin 
aged  only  four  years,  and  Louis  only  three  years,  and  had 
them  anointed  by  the  Pope,  the  former  King  of  Italy,  and  the 
latter  King  of  Aquitaine.  **  On  returning  from  Rome  to  Aus- 
trasia,  Charlemagne  sent  Louis  at  once  to  take  possession  of 
his  kingdom.  From  the  banks  of  the  Mouse  to  Orleans  the 
little  prince  was  carried  in  his  cradle ;  but  once  on  the  Loire, 
this  manner  of  travelling  beseemed  him  no  longer;  his  con- 
ductors would  that  his  entry  into  his  dominions  should  have 
a  manly  and  warrior-like  appearance;  they  clad  him  in  arms 
proportioned  to  his  height  and  age ;  they  put  him  and  held  him 
on  horseback;  and  it  was  in  such  guise  that  he  entered  Aqui- 
taine. He  came  thither  accompanied  by  .the  officers  who  were 
to  form  his  council  of  guardians,  men  chosen  by  Charlemagne, 
with  care,  amongst  the  Frankish  **Leudes,"  distinguished  not 
only  for  bravery  and  fimmess,  but  also  for  adroitness,  and 
such  as  they  should  be  to  be  neither  deceived  nor  scared  by 
the  cunning,  fickle,  and  turbulent  populations  with  whom  they 
would  have  to  deal."  From  this  period  to  the  death  of  Charle- 
magne, and  by  his  sovereign  influence,  though  all  the  while 
under  his  son's  name,  the  government  of  Aquitaine  was  a 
series  of  continued  efforts  to  hurl  back  the  Arabs  of  Spain  be- 
yond the  Ebro,  to  extend  to  that  river  the  dominion  of  the 
Franks,  to  divert  to  that  end  the  forces  as  well  as  the  feelings 
of  the  populations  of  Southern  Gaul,  and  thus  to  pursue,  in  the 
South  as  in  the  North,  against  the  Arabs  as  well  as  against  the 
Saxons  and  Huns,  the  grand  design  of  Charlemagne,  which 
was  the  repression  of  foreign  invasions  and  the  triumph  of 
Christian  France  over  Asiatic  Paganism  and  Islamism. 

Although  continually  obliged  to  watch,  and  often  still  to 
fight,  Charlemagne  might  weU  believe  that  he  had  nearly 
gained  his  end.  He  had  everywhere  greatly  extended  the 
frontiers  of  the  Frankish  dominions  and  subjugated  the  popu- 
lations comprised  in  his  conquests.    He  had  proved  that  his 


new  frontiers  would  be  vigorously  defended  against  new  in- 
vasions or  dangerous  neighbors.  He  had  pursued  the  Huns 
and  the  Slavons  to  the  confines  of  the  empire  of  the  East,  and 
the  Saracens  to  the  islands  of  Corsica  and  Sardinia.  The  cen- 
tre of  the  dominion  was  no  longer  in  ancient  Gaul;  he  had 
transferred  it  to  a  point  not  far  from  the  Ehine,  in  the  midst 
and  within  reach  of  the  Gtermanic  populations,  at  the  town  of 
Aix-la-Chapelle,  which  he  had  founded,  and  which  was  his 
favorite  residence;  but  the  principal  parts  of  the  Gallo-Frank- 
ish  kingdom,  Austrasia,  Neustria,  and  Burgundy,  were  effect- 
ually welded  in  one  single  mass.  What  be  had  done  with 
Southern  Gaul  has  but  just  been  pointed  out;  how  he  had  both 
separated  it  from  his  own  kingdom  and  still  retained  it  under 
his  control.  Two  expeditions  into  Armorica,  without  taking 
entirely  from  the  Britons  their  independence,  had  taught  them 
real  deference,  and  the  great  warrior  Boland,  installed  as  count 
upon  their  frontier,  warned  them  of  the  peril  any  rising  would 
encoimter.  The  moral  influence  of  Charlemagne  was  on  a  par 
with  his  material  power ;  he  had  everywhere  protected  the  mis- 
sionaries of  Christianity ;  he  had  twice  entered  Rome,  also  in 
the  character  of  protector,  and  he  could  count  on  the  faithful 
support  of  the  Pope  at  least  as  much  as  the  Pope  could  count  on 
him.  He  had  received  embassies  and  presents  from  the  sover- 
eigns of  the  East,  Christian  and  Mussulman,  from  the  emperors 
of  Constantinople  and  the  khalif s  at  Bagdad.  Every  where,  in 
Europe,  in  Africa,  and  in  Asia,  he  was  feared  and  respected  by 
kings  and  people.  Such,  at  the  close  of  the  eighth  century,  were, 
so  far  as  he  was  concerned,  the  results  of  his  wars,  of  the  supe- 
rior capacity  he  had  displayed,  and  of  the  successes  he  had  won 
and  kept. 

In  799  he  received,  at  Aix-la-Chapelle,  news  of  serious  dis- 
turbances which  had  broken  out  at  Rome;  that  Pope  Leo  HI. 
had  been  attacked  by  conspirators,  who,  after  pulhng  out,  it 
was  said,  his  eyes  ai;id  his  tongue,  had  shut  him  up  in  the  mon- 
astery of  St.  Erasmus,  whence  he  had  with  great  diflSculty 
escaped,  and  that  he  had  taken  refuge  with  Winigisius,  duke 
of  Spoleto,  announcing  his  intention  of  repairing  thence  to  the 
Frankish  king.  Leo  was  already  known  to  Charlemagne;  at 
his  accession  to  the  pontificate,  in  795,  he  had  sent  to  him,  as 
to  the  patrician  and  defender  of  Rome,  the  keys  of  the  prison 
of  St.  Peter  and  the  banner  of  the  city.  Charlemagne  showed 
a  disposition  to  receive  him  with  equal  kindness  and  respect. 
The  poi)e  arrived,  in  fact,  at  Paderbom,  passed  some  days 

184  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [CH.  x. 

there,  according  to  Eginhard,  and  returned  to  Borne  on  the 
30th  of  November,  799,  at  ease  regarding  his  future,  but  with- 
out knowledge  on  the  part  of  any  one  of  what  had  been  settled 
between  the  King  of  the  Franks  and  him.  Charlemagne  re- 
mained all  the  winter  at  Aix-la-Chapelle,  spent  the  first  months 
of  the  year  800  on  affairs  connected  with  Western  France,  at 
Rouen,  Tours,  Orleans,  and  Paris,  and,  returning  to  Mayence 
in  the  month  of  August,  then  for  the  first  time  annoimced  to 
the  general  assembly  of  Franks  his  design  of  making  a  journey 
to  Italy.  He  repaired  thither,  in  fact,  and  arrived  on  the  23rd 
of  November,  800,  at  the  gates  of  Rome.  The  pope  **  received 
him  there  as  he  was  dismounting;  then,  the  next  day,  stand- 
ing on  the  steps  of  the  basilica  of  St.  Peter  and  amidst  general 
hallelujahs,  he  introduced  the  king  into  the  sanctuary  of  the 
blessed  apostle,  glorifying  and  thanking  the  Lord  for  this  happy 
event."  Some  days  were  spent  in  examining  into  the  griev- . 
ances  which  had  been  set  down  to  the  pope's  account,  and  in 
receiving  two  monks  arrived  from  Jerusalem  to  present  to  the 
king,  with  the  patriarch's  blessing,  the  keys  of  the  Holy  Sepul- 
chre and  Calvary,  as  well  as  the  sacred  standard.  Lastly,  on 
the  25th  of  December,  800,  "the  day  of  the  Nativity  of  our 
Lord,"  says  Eginhard,  **  the  king  came  into  the  basilica  of  the 
blessed  St.  Peter,  apostle,  to  attend  the  celebration  of  mass. 
At  the  moment  when,  in  his  place  before  the  altar,  he  was 
bowing  down  to  pray,  Pope  Leo  placed  on  his  head  a  crown, 
and  all  the  Roman  people  shouted,  *  Long  life  and  victory  to 
Charles  Augustus,  crowned  by  Grod,  the  great  and  pacific  Em- 
peror of  the  Romans  I'  After  this  proclamation  the  pontiff 
prostrated  himself  before  him  and  paid  him  adoration,  accord- 
ing to  the  custom  established  in  the  days  of  the  old  emperors ; 
and  thenceforward  Charles,  giving  up  the  title  of  patrician, 
bore  that  of  emperor  and  Augustus." 

Eginhard  adds,  in  his  Life  of  Charlemagne,  "The  king  at 
first  testified  great  aversion  for  this  dignity,  for  he  declared 
that,  notwithstanding  the  importance  of  the  festival,  he  would 
not  on  that  day  have  entered  the  church,  if  he  could  have  fore- 
seen the  intentions  of  the  sovereign  pontiff.  However,  this 
event  excited  the  jealousy  of  the  Roman  emperors  (of  Con- 
stantinople), who  showed  great  vexation  at  it;  but  Charles 
met  their  bad  graces  with  nothing  but  great  patience,  and 
thanks  to  this  magnanimity  which  raised  him  so  far  above 
them,  he  managed,  by  sending  to  them  frequent  embassies  and 
giving  them  in  his  letters  the  name  of  brother,  to  triumph  over 
their  conceit." 


No  one,  probably,  believed,  in  the  ninth  century,  and  no  one, 
assuredly,  will  now-a-days  believe  that. Charlemagne  was  in- 
nocent beforehand  of  what  took  place  on  the  25th  of  December, 
800,  in  the  basilica  of  St.  Peter.  It  is  doubtful,  also,  if  he  were 
seriously  concerned  about  the  ill-temper  of  the  emperors  of  the 
East.  He  had  wit  enough  to  imderstand  the  value  which  al- 
ways remains  attached  to  old  traditions,  and  he  might  have 
taken  some  pains  to  secure  their  countenance  to  his  title  of  em- 
peror; but  all  his  contemporaries  behoved,  and  he  also  un- 
doubtedly behoved  that  he  had  on  that  day  really  won  and  set 
up  again  the  Roman  empire. 



•  What,  then,  was  the  government  of  this  empire  of  which 
Charlemagne  was  proud  to  assume  the  old  title?  How  did  this 
Gterman  warrior  govern  that  vast  dominion  which,  thanks  to 
his  conquests,  extended  from  the  Elbe  to  the  Ebro,  from  the 
North  Sea  to  the  Mediterranean ;  which  comprised  nearly  all 
Germany,  Belgimn,  France,  Switzerland,  and  the  north  of 
Italy  and  of  Spain,  and  which,  sooth  to  say,  was  still,  when 
Charlemagne  caused  himself  to  be  made  emperor,  scarce  more 
than  the  hunting-ground  and  the  battle-field  of  all  the  swarms 
of  barbarians  who  tried  to  settle  on  the  ruins  of  the  Roman 
world  they  had  invaded  and  broken  to  pieces?  The  govern- 
ment of  Charlemagne  in  the  midst  of  this  chaos  is  the  striking, 
complicated,  and  transitory  fact  which  is  now  to  be  passed  in 

A  word  of  warning  must  be  first  of  all  given  touching  this 
word  government  with  which  it  is  impossible  to  dispense.  For 
a  long  time  past  the  word  has  entailed  ideas  of  national  xmity, 
general  organization,  and  regular  and  efficient  power.  There 
has  been  no  lack  of  revolutions  which  have  changed  dynasties 
and  the  principles  and  forms  of  the  supreme  power  in  the 
State;  but  they  have  always  left  existing,  under  different 
names,  the  practical  machinery  whereby  the  supreme  power 
makes  itself  felt  and  exercises  its  various  functions  over  the 
whole  country.    Open  the  Almanack,  whether  it  be  called  the 

186  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  xi. 

Imperial,  the  BoyaJ,  or  the  National,  and  you  will  find  there 
always  the  working  system  of  the  government  of  France ;  all 
the  powers  and  their  kgents,  from  the  lowest  to  the  highest, 
are  there  indicated  and  classed  according  to  their  prei^>gatiTes 
and  relations.  Nor  have  we  there  a  mere  empty  nomenclature, 
a  phantom  of  theory ;  things  go  on  actually  as  they  are  de- 
scrihed— the  book  is  the  reflex  of  the  reality.  It  were  easy  to 
construct,  for  the  empire  of  Charlemagne,  a  similar  list  of 
officers;  there  might  be  set  down  in  it  dukes,  counts,  vicars, 
centeniers,  and  sheriflfe  (scdbini)y  and  they  might  be  distrib- 
uted, in  regular  gradation,  over  the  whole  territory;  but  it 
would  be  one  huge  lie ;  for  most  frequently,  in  the  majority  of 
places,  these  magistracies  were  utterly  powerless  and  them- 
selves in  complete  disorder.  The  efforts  of  Charlemagne, 
either  to  establish  them  on  a  firm  footing  or  to  make  them  act 
with  regularity,  were  continual  but  unavailing.  In  spite  of 
the  fixity  of  his  purpose  and  the  energy  of  his  action  the  dis- 
order around  him  was  measureless  and  insurmountable.  He 
might  check  it  for  a  moment  at  one  point;  but  the  evil  existed 
wherever  his  terrible  will  did  not  reach,  and  wherever  it  did 
the  evil  broke  out  again  so  soon  as  it  had  been  withdrawn. 
How  could  it  be  otherwise?  Charlemagne  had  not  to  grapple 
with  one  single  nation  or  with  one  single  system  of  institu- 
tions ;  he  had  to  deal  with  different  nations,  without  cohesion, 
and  foreign  one  to  another.  The  authority  belonged,  at  one 
and  the  same  time,  to  assemblies  of  free  men,  to  landholders 
over  the  dwellers  on  their  domains,  and  to  the  king  over  the 
**leudes"and  their  following.  These  three  powers  appeared 
and  acted  side  by  side  in  every  locality  as  well  as  in  the  totality 
of  the  State.  Their  relations  and  their  prerogatives  were  not 
governed  by  any  generally-recognized  principle,  and  none  of 
the  three  was  invested  with  sufficient  might  to  habitually  pre- 
vail against  the  independence  or  resistance  of  its  rivals.  Force 
alone,  varying  according  to  circumstances  and  always  imcer- 
tain,  decided  matters  between  them.  Such  was  France  at  the 
accession  of  the  second  line.  The  coexistence  of  and  the  strug- 
gle between  the  three  systems  of  institutions  and  the  three 
powers  just  alluded  to  had  as  yet  had  no  other  result.  Out  of 
this  chaos  Charlemagne  caused  to  issue  a  monarchy,  strong 
through  him  alone  and  so  long  as  he  was  by,  but  powerless 
and  gone  Hke  a  shadow,  when  the  man  was  lost  to  the  in- 
Whoever  is  astonished  either  at  this  triumph  of  absolute 

CH.  XI.]     CHARLEMAGNE  AND  E18  GOVERNMENT.         187 

monarchy  through  the  personal  movement  of  Charlemagne, 
or  at  the  si>ee(ly  fall  of  the  f ahric  on  the  disappearance  of  the 
moving  spirit,  understands  neither  what  can  be  done  by  a 
great  man,  when,  without  him,  society  sees  itself  given  over  to 
deadly  peril,  nor  how  unsubstantial  and  frail  is  absolute  power 
when  the  great  man  is  no  longer  by,  or  when  society  has  no 
longer  need  of  him. 

It  has  just  been  shown  how  Charlemagne  by  his  wars,  which 
had  for  their  object  and  result  permanent  and  well-secured 
conquests,  had  stopped  the  fresh  incursions  of  barbarians,  that 
is,  had  stopped  disorder  coming  from  without.  An  attempt 
will  now  be  made  to  show  by  what  means  he* set  about  sup- 
pressing disorder  from  within  and  putting  his  own  rule  in  the 
place  of  the  anarchy  that  prevailed  in  the  Boman  world  which 
lay  in  ruins,  and  in  the  barbaric  world  which  waa  a  prey  to 
blind  and  ill-regulated  force. 

A  distinction  must  be  drawn  between  the  local  and  central 

Far  from  the  centre  of  the  State,  in  what  have  since  been 
called  the  provinces,  the  power  of  the  emi)eror  was  exercised 
by  the  medium  of  two  classes  of  agents,  one  local  and  perma- 
nent, the  other  despatched  from  the  centre  and  transitory. 

In  the  first  class  we  find: 

1st.  The  dukes,  counts,  vicars  of  coimts,  centeniers,  sheriffs 
{8caJbini)y  officers  or  magistrates  residing  on  the  spot,  nomi- 
nated by  the  emperor  himself  or  by  his  delegates,  and  charged 
with  the  duty  of  acting  in  his  name  for  the  levying  of  troops, 
rendering  of  justice,  maintenance  of  order,  and  receipt  of  im- 

2nd.  The  beneficiaries  or  vassals  of  the  emperor,  who  held 
of  him,  sometimes  as  hereditaments,  more  often  for  life,  and 
more  often  still  without  fixed  rule  or  stipulation,  lands ;  do- 
mains, throughout  the  extent  of  which  they  exercised,  a  little 
bit  in  their  own  name  and  a  Httle  bit  in  the  name  of  the  em- 
peror, a  certain  jurisdiction  and  nearly  all  the  rights  of  sover- 
eignty. There  was  nothing  very  fixed  or  clear  in  the  position 
of  the  beneficiaries  and  in  the  nature  of  their  power;  they 
were  at  one  and  the  same  time  delegates  and  independent, 
'  Owners  and  enjoyers  of  usufruct,  and  the  former  or  the  latter 
character  prevailed  amongst  them  according  to  circumstances. 
But,  altogether,  they  were  closely  boimd  to  Charlemagne,  who, 
in  a  great  number  of  cases,  charged  them  with  the  execution  of 
his  orders  in  the  lands  they  occupied. 

188  niSTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xi. 

Above  these  agents,  local  and  resident,  ma^trates  or  bene- 
ficiaries, were  the  mia&i  dominici,  temporary  commissioners, 
charged  to  inspect,  in  the  emperor's  name,  the  condition  of  the 
provinces;  authorized  to  penetrate  into  the  interior  of  the  free 
lands  as  well  as  of  the  domains  granted  with  the  title  of  ben- 
efices; having  the  right  to  reform  certain  abuses,  and  bound 
to  render  an  account  of  all  to  their  master.  The  misai  do- 
minici  were  the  principal  instruments  Charlemagne  had, 
throughout  the  vast  territory  of  his  empire,  of  order  and 

As  to  the  central  government,  setting  aside  for  a  moment 
the  personal  action  of  Charlemagne  and  of  his  counsellors,  the 
general  assemblies,  to  judge  by  appearances  and  to  believe 
nearly  all  the  modem  historians,  occupied  a  prominent  place 
in  it.  They  were,  in  fact,  during  his  reign,  numerous  and  ac- 
tive; from  the  year  770  to  the  year  813  we  may  count  thirty- 
five  of  these  national  assemblies,  March -parades  and  May- 
parades,  held  at  Worms,.  Valenciennes,  Geneva,  Paderbom, 
Aix-la-Chapelle,  Thionville,  and  several  other  towns,  the  ma- 
jority situated  round  about  the  two  banks  of  the  Rhine.  The 
niunber  and  periodical  nature  of  these  great  political  reunions 
are  undoubtedly  a  noticeable  fact.  What,  then,  went  on  in 
their  midst?  What  character  and  weight  must  be  attached  to 
their  intervention  in  the  government  of  the  State?  It  is  im- 
portant to  sift  this  matter  thoroughly. 

There  is  extant,  touching  this  subject,  a  very  curious  docu- 
ment. A  contemporary  and  coimsellor  of  Charlemagne,  his 
cousin-german  Adalbert,  abbot  of  Corbie,  had  written  a  treatise 
entitled  Of  the  Ordering  of  the  Palace  (De  Ordine  Palatii),  > 
and  designed  to  give  an  insight  into  the  government  of 
Charlemagne,  with  especial  reference  to  the  national  assem- 
blies. This  treatise  was  lost;  but  towards  the  close  of  the  ninth 
century,  Hincmar,  the  celebrated  archbishop  of  Rheims,  re- 
produced it  almost  in  its  entirety,  in  the  form  of  a  letter  or  of 
instructions,  written  at  the  request  of  certain  grandees  of  the 
kingdom  who  had  asked  counsel  of  him  with  resi)ect  to  the 
government  of  Carloman,  one  of  the  sons  of  Charles  the  Stut- 
terer.   We  read  therein : 

"  It  was  the  custom  at  this  time  to  hold  two  assemblies  every  ' 
year.  ...  In  both,  that  they  might  not  seem  to  have  been 
convoked  without  motive,  there  were  submitted  to  the  exami- 
nation and  deliberation  of  the  grandees  ....  and  by  virtue  of 
orders  from  the  king,  the  fragments  of  law  called  capitula^ 

Ctt.  XI.]    CHARLEMAGNE  AND  HIS  GOVERNMENT.         189 

wliich  the  king  himself  had  drawn  up  under  the  mspiration  of 
God  or  the  necessity  for  which  had  been  made  manifest  to  him 
in  the  intervals  between  the  meetings." 

Two  striking  facts  are  to  be  gathe^d  from  these  words:  the 
first,  that  the  majority  of  the  members  composing  these  assem- 
bUes  probably  regarded  as  a  burden  the  necessity  for  being 
present  at  them,  since  Charlemagne  took  care  to  explain  their 
convocation  by  declaring  to  them  the  motive  for  it  and  by 
always  giving  them  something  to  do;  the  second,  that  the 
proposal  of  the  capitularies,  or,  in  modem  phrase,  the  initia- 
tive, proceeded  from  the  emperor.  The  initiative  is  naturally 
exercised  by  him  who  wishes  to  regulate  or  reform,  and,  in 
his  time,  it  was  especially  Charlemagne  who  conceived  this 
design.  There  is  no  doubt,  however,  but  that  the  members  of 
the  assembly  might  make  on  their  side  such  proposals  as 
api>eared  to  them  suitable;  the  constitutional  distrusts  and 
artifices  of  our  time  were  assuredly  unknown  to  Charle- 
magne, who  saw  in  these  assembUes  a  means  of  government 
rather  than  a  barrier  to  his  authority.  To  resume  the  text  of 

**  After  having  received  these  communications,  they  delib- 
erated on  them  two  or  three  days  or  more,  according  to  the 
importance  of  the  business.  Palace-messengers,  going  and 
coming,  took  their  questions  and  carried  back  the  answers. 
No  stranger  came  near  the  place  of  their  meeting  until  the 
result  of  their  deUberations  had  been  able  to  be  submitted  to 
the  scrutiny  of  the  great  prince,  who  then,  with  the  wisdom 
he  had  received  from  Grod,  adopted  a  resolution  which  all 

The  definite  resolution,  therefore,  depended  upon  Charle- 
magne alone;  the  assembly  contributed  only  information  and 

Hincmar  continues,  and  supplies  details  worthy  of  repro 
duction,  for  they  give  an  insight  into  the  imperial  govern- 
ment and  the  action  of  Charlemagne  himself  amidst  those 
most  ancient  of  the  national  assemblies. 

**  Things  went  on  thus  for  one  or  two  capitularies,  or  a 
greater  nmnber,  until,  with  God's  help,  all  the  necessities  of 
the  occasion  were  regulated, 

"Whilst  these  matters  were  thus  proceeding  out  of  the 
king's  presence,  the  prince  himself,  in  the  midst  of  the  multi- 
tude, came  to  the  general  assembly,  was  occupied  in  receiving 
the  presents,  saluting  themen  of  most  note,  conversing  with 

190  HISTORY  OF  mANCJE!.  [ch.  xi. 

thoBe  he  saw  Beldom,  showing  towards  the  elders  a  tender 
interest,  disporting  himself  with  the  youngsters,  and  doing 
the  same  thing,  or  something  like  it,  with  the  ecclesiastics  as 
well  as  the  seculars.  However,  if  those  who  were  deliberating 
about  the  matter  submitted  to  their  examination  showed  a 
desire  for  it,  the  king  repaired  to  them  and  remained  with 
them  as  long  as  they  wished;  and  then  they  rex>orted  to  him 
with  perfect  familiarity  what  they  thought  about  all  matters, 
and  what  were  the  friendly  discussions  that  had  arisen 
amongst  them.  I  must  not  forget  to  say  that,  if  the  weather 
were  fine,  every  thing  took  place  in  the  oi)en  air;  otherwise, 
in  several  distinct  buildings,  where  those  who  had  to  de- 
hberate  on  the  king^s  proposals  were  separated  from  the  mul- 
titude of  persons  come  to  the  assembly,  and  then  the  men  of 
greater  note  were  admitted.  The  places  appointed  for  the 
meeting  of  the  lords  were  divided  into  two  parts,  in  such  sort 
that  the  bishops,  the  abbots,  and  the  clerics  of  high  rank 
might  meet  without  mixture  with  the  laity.  In  the  same 
way  the  counts  and  other  chiefs  of  the  State  underwent  sepa- 
ration, in  the  morning,  until,  whether  the  king  was  present  or 
absent,  all  were  gathered  together;  then  the  lords  above 
specified,  the  clerics  on  their  side,  and  the  laics  on  theiilB,  re- 
paired to  the  hall  which  had  been  assigned  to  them,  and 
where  seats  had  been  with  due  honor  prepared  for  them. 
When  the  lords  laical  and  ecclesiastical  were  thus  separated 
from  the  multitude,  it  remained  in  their  power  to  sit  sepa- 
rately or  together,  according  to  the  nature  of  the  business 
they  had  to  deal  with,  ecclesiastical,  secular,  or  mixed.  In 
the  same  way,  if  they  wished  to  send  for  any  one,  either  to 
demand  refreshment,  or  to  put  any  question  and  to  dismiss 
him  after  getting  what  they  wanted,  it  was  at  their  option. 
Thus  took  place  the  examination  of  affairs  proposed  to  them 
by  the  king  for  deliberation. 

"The  second  business  of  the  king  was  to  ask  of  each  what 
there  was  to  report  to  him,  or  enlighten  him  touching  the 
part  of  the  kingdom  each  had  come  from.  Not  only  was  this 
permitted  to  all,  but  they  were  strictly  enjoined  to  make  in- 
quiries during  the  interval  between  the  assemblies,  about  what 
happened  within  or  without  the  kingdom;  and  they  were 
boimd  to  seek  kilowledge  from  foreigners  as  well  as  natives, 
enemies  as  well  as  friends,  sometimes  by  employing  emis- 
saries, and  without  troubling  themselves  much  about  the 
manner  in  which  they  acquired  their  information.    The  king 

CH.  XL]     CHABLEMAGIfE  AND  HI8  GOVERNMENT.         191 

wished  to  know  whether  in  any  part,  in  any  comer  of  the 
kingdom,  the  people  were  restless,  and  what  was  the  cause  of 
their  restlessness;  or  whether  there  had  hapi)ened  any  dis- 
turbance to  which  it  was  necessary  to  draw  the  attention  of 
the  council-general,  and  other  similar  matters.  He  sought 
also  to  know  whether  any  of  the  subjugated  nations  were 
inclined  to  revolt;  whether  any  of  those  that  had  revolted 
seemed  disposed  towards  submis^on ;  and  whether  those  that 
were  still  independent  were  threatening  the  kingdom  with 
any  attack.  On  all  these  subjects,  whenever  there  was  any 
manifestation  of  disorder  or  danger,  he  demanded  chiefly 
what  were  the  motives  or  occasion  of  them." 

There  is  need  of  no  great  reflection  to  recognize  the  true 
character  of  these  assemblies:  it  is  clearly  imprinted  upon  the 
sketch  drawn  by  Hincmar.  The  figure  of  Charlemagne  alone 
fills  the  picture:  he  is  the  centre-piece  of  it  and  the  soul  of 
every  thing.  'Tis  he  who  wills  that  the  national  as^embhes 
should  meet  and  deliberate ;  'tis  he  who  inquires  into  the  state 
of  the  coimtry ;  'tis  he  who  proposes  and  approves  of,  or  re- 
jects the  laws ;  with  him  rests  will  and  motive,  initiative  and 
decision.  He  has  a  mind  sufficiently  judicious,  unshackled, 
and  elevated  to  understand  that  the  nation  ought  not  to  be 
left  in  darkness  about  its  affairs,  and  that  he  himself  has  need 
of  communicating  with  it,  of  gathering  information  from  it, 
arid  of  learning  its  opinions.  But  we  have  here  no  exhibition 
of  great  poUtical  liberties,  no  people  discussing  its  interests 
and  its  business,  interfering  effectually  in  the  adoption  of  reso- 
lutions, and,  in  fact,  taking  in  its  government  so  active  and 
decisive  a  part  as  to  have  a  right  to  say  that  it  is  self-govern- 
ing, or,  in  other  words,  a  free  people.  It  is  Charlemagne,  and 
he  alone  who  governs;  it  is  absolute  government  marked  by 
prudence,  ability,  and  grandem'. 

When  the  mind  dwells  upon  the  state  of  Gallo-Frankish 
society  in  the  eighth  century,  there  is  nothing  astonishing  in 
such  a  fact.  Whether  it  be  civilized  or  barbarian,  that  which 
every  society  needs,  that  which  it  seeks  and  demands  first  of 
all  in  its  government,  is  a  certain  degree  of  good  sense  and 
strong  will,  of  intelligence  and  innate  influence,  so  far  as  the 
public  interests  are  concerned;  qualities,  in  fact,  which  suffice 
to  keep  social  order  maintained  or  make  it  reaHzed,  and  to 
promote  respect  for  individual  rights  and  the  progress  of  the 
general  well-being.  This  is  the  essential  aim  of  every  com- 
munity of  men;  and  the  institutions  and  guarantees  of  &ee 

192  HISTORY  OF  FRANCS!.  [c^.  xi. 

government  are  the  means  of  attaining  it.  It  is  dear  that,  in 
the  eighth  century,  on  the  ruins  of  ttie  Eoman  and  beneath 
the  blows  of  the  barbaric  world,  the  Gallo-Frankish  nation, 
vast  and  without  cohesion,  brutish  and  ignorant,  was  inca- 
pable of  bringing  forth,  so  to  speak,  from  its  own  womb,  with 
the  aid  of  its  own  wisdom  and  virtue,  a  government  of  the 
kind.  A  host  of  different  forces,  without  enlightenment  and 
without  restraint,  were  every  where  and  incessantly  strug- 
gling for  dominion,  or,  in  other  words,  were  ever  troubling 
and  endangering  the  social  condition.  Let  there  but  arise  in 
the  midst  of  this  chaos  of  unruly  forces  and  selfish  passions,  a 
great  man,  one  of  those  elevated  minds  and  strong  characters 
that  can  understand  the  essential  aim  of  society  and  then  urge 
it  forward,  and  at  the  same  time  keep  it  well  in  hand  on  the 
roads  that  lead  thereto,  and  such  a  man  will  soon  seize  and 
exercise  the  personal  power  almost  of  a  despot,  and  people 
will  not  only  make  him  welcome,  but  even  celebrate  his 
praises,  for  they  do  not  quit  the  substance  for  the  shadow,  or 
sacrifice  the  end  to  the  means.  Such  was  the  empire  of 
Charlemagne.  Amongst  annalists  and  historians,  some,  treat- 
ing him  as  a  mere  conqueror  and  despot,  have  ignored  his 
merits  and  his  glory;  others,  that  they  might  admire  him 
without  scruple,  have  made  of  him  a  founder  of  free  institu- 
tions, a  constitutional  monarch.  Both  are  equally  mistaken, 
Charlemagne  was,  indeed,  a  conqueror  and  a  despot;  but  by 
his  conquests  and  his  personal  power  he,  so  long  as  he  was 
by,  that  is,  for  six  and  forty  years,  saved  Gallo-Frankish 
society  from  barbaric  invasion  without  and  anarchy  within. 
That  is  the  characteristic  of  his  government  and  his  title  to 

What  he  was  in  his  wars  and  his  general  relations  with  his 
nation  has  just  been  seen;  he  shall  now  be  exhibited  in  all  his 
administrative  activity  and  his  intellectual  life,  as  a  legislator 
and  as  a  friend  to  the  hiunan  mind.  The  same  man  will  be 
recognized  in  every  case ;  he  will  grow  in  greatness,  without 
changing,  as  he  appears  under  his  various  aspects. 

There  are  often  joined  together,  under  the  title  of  Capitvla' 
ries  {capitula,  small  chapters,  articles)  a  mass  of  Acts,  very 
different  in  point  of  dates  and  objects,  which  are  attributed 
indiscriminately  to  Charlemagne.  This  is  a  mistake.  The 
Capitularies  are  the  laws  or  legislative  measures  of  the  Frank- 
ish  kings,  Merovingian  as  well  as  Carlovingian.  Those  of  the 
Merovingians  are  few  in  number  and  of  slight  imx)ortance, 


THE  l^E'JV  ¥f ^F 


€uid  aanongst  those  of  the  Carlovingians,  which  amount  to 
152,  66  only  are  due  to  Charlemagne.  When  an  attempt  is 
made  to  classify  these  last  according  to  their  ohject,  it  is  im- 
possible not  to  be  struck  with  their  incoherent  variety;  and 
several  of  them  are  such  as  we  should  now-a-days  be  sur- 
prised to  meet  with  in  a  code  or  in  a  special  law.  Amongst 
Charlemagne^s  65  Capitularies,  which  contain  1151  articles, 
may  be  counted  89'  of  moral,  293  of  political,  130  of  penal,  110 
of  civil,  85  of  religious,  305  of  canonical,  73  of  domestic,  and 
12  of  incidental  legislation.  And  it  must  not  be  supposed  that 
all  these  articles  are  really  acts  of  legislation,  laws  proi)erly 
so  called ;  we  find  amongst  them  the  texts  of  ancient  national 
laws  revised  and  promulgated  afresh;  extracts  from  and  addi- 
tions to  these  same  ancient  laws,  Salic,  Lombard,  and  Bava- 
rian; extracts  from  acts  of  coimcils;  instructions  given  by 
Charlemagne  to  his  envoys  in  the  provinces;  questions  that  he 
proposed  to  put  to  the  bishops  or  counts  when  they  came  to 
the  national  assembly;  answers  given  by  Charlemagne  to 
questions  addressed  to  him  by  the  bishops,  coimts,  or  commis- 
sioners {missi  dominici)  ;  judgments,  decrees,  royal  pardons, 
and  simple  notes  that  Charlemagne  seems  to  have  had  written 
down  for  himself  alone,  to  remind  him  of  what  he  proi)osed  to 
do;  in  a  word,  nearly  all  the  various  acts  which  could  possibly 
have  to  be  framed  by  an  earnest,  far-sighted,  and  active  gov- 
ernment. Often,  indeed,  these  Capitularies  have  no  impera- 
tive or  prohibitive  character;  they  are  simple  counsels,  purely 
moral  precepts.    We  read  therein,  for  example, — 

**  Covetousness  doth  consist  in  desiring  that  which  others 
possess,  and  in  giving  away  naught  of  that  which  oneself 
possesseth;  according  to  the  Apostle,  it  is  the  root  of  all  evil." 

And, — 

*'  Hospitality  must  be  practised." 

The  Capitularies  which  have  been  classed  tmder  the  heads 
of  political,  penaJ,  and  canonical  legislation  are  the  most 
numerous,  and  are  those  which  bear  most  decidedly  an  im- 
perative or  prohibitive  stamp;  amongst  them  a  prominent 
place  is  held  by  measures  of  political  economy,  administra- 
tion, and  police;  you  will  find  therein  an  attempt  to  put  a 
fixed  price  on  provisions,  a  real  trial  of  a  maximum  for 
cereals,  and  a  prohibition  of  mendicity,  with  the  following 
clause: — 

**  If  such  mendicants  be  met  with,  and  they  labor  not  with 
their  hands,  let  none  take  thought  about  giving  imto  them." 

194  SlafOttT  OF  FRANCE.  [crt.  ±L 

The  interior  police  of  the  palace  was  regulated  thereby,  as 
well  as  that  of  the  empire:— 

*'  We  do  will  and  decree  that  none  of  those  who  serve  in  our 
palace  shall  take  leave  to  receive  therein  any  man  who  seeketh 
refuge  there  and  cometh  to  hide  there,  by  reason  of  theft, 
homicide,  adultery,  or  any  other  crime.  That  if  any  free  man 
do  break  through  our  interdicts  and  hide  such  malefactor  in 
om:  palace,  he  shall  be  boimd  to  carry  him  on  his  shoulders  to 
the  public  quarter,  and  be  there  tied  to  the  same  stake  as  the 

Cert£tin  Capitularies  have  been  termed  religiotts  legislation 
in  contradistinction  to  canonical  legislation,  because  they  are 
really  admonitions,  religious  exhortations,  addressed  not  to 
ecclesiastics  alone,  but  to  the  faithful,  the  Christian  people  in 
general,  and  notably  characterized  by  good  sense  and,  one 
inight  almost  say,  freedom  of  thought. 

For  example, — 
^  *' Beware  of  venerating  the  names  of  martyrs  falsely  so 
called,  and  the  memory  of  dubious  saints.^' 

*^  Let  none  suppose  that  prayer  cannot  be  made  to  God  save 
in  three  tongues  [probably  Latin,  Greek,  and  Germanic,  or 
perhaps  the  vulgar  tongue;  for  the  last  was  really  beginning 
to  take  form],  for  God  is  adored  in  all  tongues,  and  man  is 
heard  if  he  do  but  ask  for  the  things  that  be  right." 

These  details  are  put  forward  that  a  proper  idea  may  be 
obtained  of  Charlemagne  as  a  legislator,  and  of  what  are 
called  his  laws.  We  have  here,  it  wiU  be  seen,  no  ordinary 
legislator  and  no  ordinary  laws:  we  see  the  work,  with  in- 
finite variations  and  in  disconnected  form,  of  a  prodigiously 
energetic  and  watchful  master,  who  had  to  think  and  pro- 
vide for  every  thing,  who  had  to  be  everywhere  the  moving 
and  the  regulating  spirit.  This  universal  and  untiring  en- 
ergy is  the  grand  characteristic  of  Charlemagne's  govern- 
ment, and  was,  perhaps,  what  made  his  superiority  most 
incontestable  and  his  power  most  efficient. 

It  is  noticeable  that  the  majority  of  Charlemagne's  Capitu- 
laries belong  to  that  epoch  of  his  reign  when  he  was  Emperor 
of  the  West,  when  he  was  invested  with  all  the  splendor  of 
sovereign  power.  Of  the  65  Capitularies  classed  under  differ- 
ent heads,  13  only  are  previous  to  the  25th  of  December,  800, 
the  date  of  his  coronation  as  emperor  at  Rome;  52  are  com- 
prised between  the  years  801  and  804. 

The  energy  of  Charlemagne  as  a  warrior  and  a  politician 

CH.  XI.]     CHABLEMAONt:  AND  Eta  GOVEttNMElfT.         195 

having  thus  been  exhibited,  it  remains  to  say  a  few  words 
about  his  intellectual  energy.  For  that  is  by  no  means  the 
least  original  or  least  grand  feature  of  his  character  and  his 

Modem  times  and  civilized  society  have  more  than  once 
seen  despotic  sovereigns  filled  with  distrust  towards  scholars 
of  exalted  intellect,  especially  such  as  cultivated  the  moral 
and  political  sciences,  and  little  inclined  to  admit  them  to  theiir 
favor  or  to  public  office.  There  is  no  knowing  whether,  in 
our  days,  with  our  freedom  of  thought  and  of  the  press, 
Charlemagne  would  have  been  a  stranger  to  this  feeling  of 
antipathy;  but  what  is  certain  is,  that  in  his  day,  in  the  midst 
of  a  barbaric  society,  there  was  no  inducement  to  it,  and  that, 
by  nature,  he  was  not  disposed  to  it.  His  power  was  not  in 
any  respect  questioned;  distinguished  intellects  were  very 
rare;  Charlemagne  had  too  much  need  of  their  services  to 
fear  their  criticisms,  and  they,  on  their  part,  were  more 
anxious  to  second  his  efforts  than  to  show,  towards  him,  any 
thing  like  exaction  or  indei)endence.  He  gave  rein,  therefore, 
without  any  embarrassment  or  misgiving  to  his  spontaneous 
inclination  towards  them,  their  studies,  their  labors,  and  their 
influence.  He  drew  them  into  the  management  of  affairs.  In 
Guizot's  History  of  Civilization  in  France,  there  is  a  list  of  the 
names  and  works  of  twenty-three  men  of  the  eighth  and  ninth 
century  who  have  escaped  oblivion,  and  they  are  all  found 
grouped  about  Charlemagne  as  his  own  habitual  advisers,  or 
assigned  by  him  as  advisers  to  his  sons  Pepin  and  Louis  in 
Italy  and  Aquitania,  or  sent  by  him  to  all  points  of  his  empire 
as  bis  commissioners  (missi  dominid),  or  charged  in  his  name 
with  important  negotiations.  And  those  whom  he  not  did 
employ  at  a  distance  formed,  in  his  inamediate  neighborhood,  a 
learned  and  industrious  society,  a  school  of  the  palace,  accord- 
ing to  some  modem  commentators,  but  an  academy  and  not  a 
school,  according  to  others,  devoted  rather  to  conversation 
than  to  teaching.  It  probably  fulfilled  both  missions;  it 
attended  Charlemagne  at  his  various  residences,  at  one  time 
working  for  him  at  questions  he  invited  them  to  deal  with,  at 
another  giving  to  the  regular  components  of  his  court,  to  his 
children  and  to  himself  lessons  in  the  different  sciences  called 
liberal,  grammar,  rhetoric,  logic,  astronomy,  geometry,  and 
even  theology  and  the  great  religious  problems  it  was  begin- 
ning to  discuss.  Two  men,  Alcuin  and  Eginhard,  have  re- 
mained justly  celebrated  in  the  literary  history  of  the  age. 

196  mSTORT  OF  FRANCS.  [cR.  xt. 

Alcuin  was  the  principal  director  of  the  school  of  the  palace, 
and  the  favorite,  the  confidant,  the  learned  adviser  of  Charle- 
magne. "  If  your  zeal  were  imitated,"  said  he  one  day  to  the 
emperor,  **  perchance  one  might  see  arise  in  France  a  new 
Athens,  far  more  glorious  than  the  ancient— the  Athens  of 
Christ.''  Eginhard,  who  was  younger,  received  his  scientific 
education  in  the  school  of  the  palace,  and  was  head  of  the 
public  works  to  Charlemagne,  before  becoming  his  biographer, 
and,  at  a  later  period,  the  intimate  adviser  of  his  son  Louis 
the  Debonnair.  Other  scholars  of  the  school  of  the  palace, 
Angilbert,  Leidrade,  Adalhard,  Agobard,  Theodulph,  were 
abbots  of  St.  Riquier  or  Corbie,  archbishops  of  Lyons,  and 
bishops  of  Orleans.  They  had  all  assmned,  in  the  school  itself, 
names  illustrious  in  pagan  antiquity;  Alcuin  called  himself 
Flaccus;  Angilbert,  Homer;  Theodulph,  Pindar.  Charle- 
magne himself  had  been  pleased  to  take,  in  their  society,  a 
great  name  of  old,  but  he  had  borrowed  from  the  history  of 
the  Hebrews— he  called  himself  David;  and  Eginhard,  ani- 
mated, no  doubt,  by  the  same  sentiments,  was  Bezaleel,  that 
nephew  of  Moses  to  whom  Gk)d  had  granted  the  gift  of  know- 
ing how  to  work  skilfully  in  wood  and  all  the  materials  which 
served  for  the  construction  of  the  ark  and  the  tabernacle. 
Either  in  the  lifetime  of  their  royal  patron  or  after  his  death 
all  these  scholars  became  great  dietaries  of  the  Church,  or 
ended  their  Uves  in  monasteries  of  note;  but,  so  long  as  they 
lived,  they  served  Charlemagne  or  his  sons  not  only  with  the 
devotion  of  faithful  advisers,  but  also  as  f ollowe;^  proud  of  the 
master  who  had  known  how  to  do  them  honor  by  making  use 
of  them. 

It  was  without  effort  and  by  natural  sympathy  that  Charle- 
magne had  inspired  them  with  such  sentiments;  for  he  too 
really  loved  sciences,  literature,  and  such  studies  as  were  then 
possible,  and  he  cultivated  them  on  his  own  account  and  for 
his  own  pleasure,  as  a  sort  of  conquest.  It  has  been  doubted 
whether  he  could  write,  and  an  expression  of  Eginhard's  might 
authorize  such  a  doubt;  but,  according  to  other  evidence  and 
even  according  to  the  passage  in  Eginhard,  one  is  inclined  to 
believe  merely  that  Charlemagne  strove  painfully,  and  with- 
out much  success,  to  write  a  good  hand.  He  had  learnt 
Latin,  and  he  understood  Greek.  He  caused  to  be  commenced, 
and,  perhaps,  himself  commenced  the  drawing  up  of  the  first 
Grermanic  grammar.  He  ordered  that  the  old  barbaric  poems, 
in  which  the  deeds  and  wars  of  the  ancient  kings  were  cele* 


brated,  should  be  collected  for  poBterity.  He  gave  Germanic 
names  to  the  twelve  months  of  the  year.  He  distinguished 
the  winds  hy  twelve  si)ecial  terms,  whereas  before,  his  time 
they  had  but  four  designations.  He  paid  great  attention  to 
astronomy.  Being  troubled  one  day  at  no  longer  seeing  in  the 
firmament  one  of  the  known  plajxets,  he  wrote  to  Alcuin, 
*' What  thinkest  thou  of  this  Mars^  which,  last  year,  being 
concealed  in  the  sign  of  Cancer,  was  intercepted  from  the  sight 
of  men  by  the  Hght  of  the  sun?  Is  it  the  regular  course  of  his 
revolution?  Is  it  the  influence  of  the  sun?  Is  it  a  miracle? 
Could  he  have  been  two  years  about  performing  the  course  of 
a  single  one?"  In  theological  studies  and  discussions  he 
exhibited  a  particular  and  grave  interest.  **It  is  to  him," 
say  MM.  Ampere  and  Haureau,  **that  we  must  refer  the 
honor  of  the  decision  taken  in  794  by  the  Council  of  Frankfort 
in  the  great  dispute  about  images ;  a  temperate  decision  which, 
is  as  far  removed  from  the  infatuation  of  the  image-worship- 
pers as  from  the  frenzy  of  the  image-breakers."  And  at  the 
same  time  that  he  thus  took  part  in  the  great  ecclesiastical 
questions,  Charlemagne  paid  zealous  attention  to  the  instruc- 
tion of  the  clergy  whose  ignorance  he  deplored.  **  Ah,"  said 
he  one  day,  "if  only  I  had  ahout  me  a  dozen  clerics  learned  in 
all  the  sciences,  as  Jerome  and  Augustin  were  1"  With  all  his 
puissance  it  was  not  in  his  power  to  make  Jeromes  and 
Aiigustins;  but  he  laid  the  foundation,  in  the  cathedral 
churches  and  the  great  monasteries,  of  episcopal  and  cloistral 
schools  for  the  education  of  ecclesiastics,  and,  carryiog  his 
solicitude  still  farther,  he  reconunended  to  the  bishops  and 
abbots  that,  in  those  schools,  **they  should  take  care  to  make 
no  difference  between  the  sons  of  serfs  and  of  free  men,  so 
that  they  might  come  and  sit  on  the  same  henches  to  study 
granomar,  music,  and  arithmetic "  [Capitularies  of  789,  art. 
70],  Thus,  in  the  eighth  century,  he  foreshadowed  the  exten- 
sion which,  in  the  nineteenth,  was  to  be  accorded  to  primary 
instruction,  to  the  advantage  and  honor  not  only  of  the  clergy, 
but  also  of  the  whole  people. 

After  so  much  of  war  and  toil  at  a  distance,  Charlemagne 
was  now  at  Aix-la-ChapeUe,  finding  rest  in  this  work  of  peace- 
ful civilization.  He  was  emheUishing  the  capital  which  he 
had  founded,  and  which  was  called  the  king^s  court.  He  had 
built  there  a  grand  basilica,  magnificently  adorned.  He  was 
completing  his  own  palace  there.  He  fetched  from  Italy 
clerics  sW^d  in  churcjh  music,  a  piou3  joyance  to  which  Jig 

198  mSTOBT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xi. 

was  much  devoted,  and  which  he  recommended  to  the  bishops 
of  his  empire.  In  the  outskirts  of  Aix-la-Chapelle  *'he  gave 
full  scope,"  says  Eginhard,  "to  his  delight  in  riding  and  hunt- 
ing. Baths  of  naturally-tepid  water  gave  him  great  pleasure. 
Being  passionately  fond  of  swimming,  he  became  so  dexterous 
tliat  none  could  be  compared  with  him.  He  invited  not  only 
his  sons,  but  also  his  friends,  the  grandees  of  his  court,  and 
sometimes  even  the  soldiers  of  his  guard,  to  bathe  with  \\\tx\^ 
insomuch  that  there  were  often  a  hundred  and  more  persons 
bathing  at  a  time."  When  age  arrived,  he  made  no  alteration 
in  his  bodily  habits ;  but,  at  the  same  time,  instead  of  putting 
away  from  him  the  thought  of  death,  he  was  much  takeii  up 
with  it,  and  prepared  himself  for  it  with  stem  severity.  He 
drew  up,  modified,  and  completed  his  will  several  times  over. 
Three  years  before  his  death  he  made  out  the  distribution  of 
his  treasures,  his  money,  his  wardrobe,  and  all  his  furniture, 
in  the  presence  of  his  friends  and  his  officers,  in  order  that 
their  voice  might  insure,  after  his  death,  the  execution  of  this 
partition,  and  he  set  down  his  intentions  in  this  respect  in  a 
written  summary,  in  which  he  massed  all  his  riches  in  three 
grand  lots.  The  first  two  were  divided  into  twenty -one  i)or- 
tions,  which  were  to  be  distributed  amongst  the  twenty-one 
metropolitan  churches  of  his  empire.  After  having  put  these 
first  two  lots  under  seal,  he  willed  to  preserve  to  himself  his 
usual  enjoyment  of  the  third  so  long  as  he  hved.  But  after 
his  death  or  volimtary  renimciation  of  the  things  of  this  world, 
this  same  lot  was  to  be  subdivided  into  four  portions.  His  in- 
tention was  that  the  first  should  be  added  to  the  twenty-one 
portions  which  were  to  go  to  the  metropolitan  churches;  the 
second  set  aside  for  his  sons  and  daughters,  and  for  the  sons 
and  daughters  of  his  sons,  and  redivided  amongst  them  in  a 
just  and  proportionate  manner;  the  third  dedicated,  according 
to  the  usage  of  Christians,  to  the  necessities  of  the  poor;  and, 
lastly,  the  fourth  distribute^  in  the  same  way,  imder  the  name 
of  alms,  amongst  the  servants,  of  both  sexes,  of  the  palace  for 
their  lifetime.  ....  As  for  the  books  of  which  he  had  amassed 
a  large  number  in  his  hbrary,  he  decided  that  those  who 
wished  to  have  them  might  buy  them  at  their  proper  value, 
and  that  the  money  which  they  produced  should  be  distributed 
amongst  the  poor." 

Having  thus  carefully  regulated  his  own  private  affairs  and 
bounty,  he,  two  years  later,  in  813,  took  the  measures  neces- 
sary for  the  regulation,  after  his  death,  of  public  affairs.    He 


had  lost,  in  811,  his  oldest~son  Charles,  who  had  been  his  con- 
stant companion  in  his  wars,  and,  in  810,  his  second  son  Pepin, 
whom  he  had  made  king  of  Italy;  and  he  summoned  to  his 
side  his  third  son  Louis,  king  of  Aquitaine,  who  was  destined 
to  succeed  him.  He  ordered  the  convocation  of  five  local 
coimcils  which  were  to  assemble  at  Mayence,  Hheims,  Cha- 
lons, Tours,  and  Aries,  for  the  purpose  of  bringing  about,  sub- 
ject to  the  king's  ratification,  the  reforms  necessary  in  the 
Church.  Passing  from  the  affairs  of  the  Church  to  those  of 
the  State,  he  convoked  at  Aix4a-Chapelle  a  general  assembly 
of  bishops,  abbots,  counts,  laic  grandees,  and  of  .the  entire 
people,  and,  holding  council  in  his  palace  with  the  chief 
amongst  them,  *'  he  invited  them  to  make  his  son  Louis  king- 
emperor;  whereto  all  assented,  saying  that  it  was  very  expe- 
dient, and  pleasing,  also,  to  the  people.  On  Sunday  in  the 
next  month,  August  813,  Charlemagne  repaired,  crown  on 
head,  with  his  son  Louis  to  the  cathedral  of  Aix-la-Chapelle, 
laid  upon  the  altar  another  crown,  and,  after  praying,  ad- 
dressed to  his  son  a  solemn  exhortation  respecting  all  his 
duties  as  king  towards  God  and  the  Church,  towards  his 
family  and  his  people,  asked  him  if  he  were  fully  resolved  to 
fulfil  them,  and,  at  the  answer  that  he  was,  bade  him  take  the 
crown  that  lay  upon  the  altar,  and  place  it  with  his  own  hands 
upon  his  head,  which  Louis  did  amidst  the  acclamations  of  all 
present,  who  cried,  *  Long  live  the  emperor  Louis ! '  Charle- 
magne then  declared  his  son  emperor  jointly  with  him,  and 
ended  the  solemnity  with  these  words:  *  Blessed  be  Thou,  O 
Lord  God,  who  hast  granted  me  grace  to  see  with  mine  own 
eyes  my  son  seated  on  my  throne  I ' "  And  Louis  set  out  again 
immediately  for  Aquitaine. 

He  was  never  to  see  his  father  again.  Charlemagne,  after 
his  son's  departure,  went  out  hunting,  according  to  his  custom, 
in  the  forest  of  Ardenne,  and  continued  during  the  whole 
autunm  his  usual  mode  of  life.  **  But  in  January,  814,  he  was 
taken  ill,"  says  Eginhard,  *'  of  a  violent  fever,  which  kept  him 
to  his  bed.  Recurring  forthwith  to  the  remedy  he  ordinarily 
employed  against  fever,  he  abstained  from  all  notu'ishment, 
persuaded  that  this  diet  would  suflSce  to  drive  away  or  at  the 
least  assuage  the  malady ;  but  added  to  the  fever  came  that 
pain  in  the  side  which  the  Greeks  caU  pleurisy;  nevertheless 
the  emperor  persisted  in  his  abstinence,  supporting  his  body 
only  by  drinks  taken  at  long  intervals;  and  on  the  seventh 
day  after  that  he  had  taken  to  his  bed,  having  received  th© 

200  HI8T0BT  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  xi. 

holy  communion,"  he  expired  ahout  nine  a.m.,  on  Saturday, 
the  28th  of  January,  814,  in  his  seventy-first  year. 

'^  After  performance  of  ablutions  and  funeral  duties,  the 
corpse  was  carried  away  and  buried,  amidst  the  profound 
mourning  of  all  the  people,  in  the  church  he  had  himself  had 
built;  and  above  his  tomb  there  was  put  up  a  gilded  arcade 
with  his  image  and  this  superscription :  *  In  this  tomb  reposeth 
the  body  of  Charles,  great  and  orthodox  emi)eror,  who  did 
gloriously  extend  the  kingdom  of  the  Franks,  and  did  govern 
it  happily  for  forty-seven  years.  He  died  at  the  age  of  seventy 
years,  in  the  year  of  the  Lord  814,  in  .the  seventh  year  of  the 
Indiction,  on  the  5th  of  the  Kalends  of  February.' " 

If  we  smn  up  his  designs  and  his  achievements,  we  find  an 
admirably  sound  idea  and  a  vain  dream,  a  great  success  and  a 
great  faQure. 

Charlemagne  took  in  hand  the  work  of  placing  upon  a  solid 
foundation  the  Frankish  Christian  dominion  by  stopping,  in 
the  north  and  south,  the  flood  of  barbarians  and  Arabs,  Pagan- 
ism and  Islamism.  In  that  he  succeeded:  the  inundations  of 
Asiatic  populations  spent  their  force  in  vain  against  the  Gallic 
frontier.  Western  and  Christian  Europe  was  placed,  territo- 
rially, beyond  reach  of  attacks  from  the  foreigner  and  infidel. 
No  sovereign,  no  human  being,  perhaps,  ever  rendered  greater 
service  to  the  civilization  of  the  world. 

Charlemagne  formed  another  conception  and  made  another 
attempt.  Like  more  than  one  great  barbaric  warrior,  he  ad- 
mired the  Roman  empire  that  had  fallen,  its  vastness  all  in 
one,  and  its  powerful  organization  under  the  hand  of  a  single 
master.  He  thought  he  could  resuscitate  it,  durably,  through 
the  victory  of  a  new  people  and  a  new  faith,  by  tl\e  hand  of 
Franks  and  Christians.  With  this  view  he  labored  to  con- 
quer, convert,  and  govern.  He  tried  to  be  at  one  and  the 
same  time,  Caesar,  Augustus,  and  Constantine.  And  for  a 
moment  he  appeared  to  have  succeeded;  but  the  appearance 
passed  away  with  himself.  The  imity  of  the  empire  and  the 
absolute  power  of  the  emperor  were  buried  in  his  grave.  The 
Christian  rehgion  and  human  hberty  set  to  work  to  prepare  for 
Em'ope  other  governments  and  other  destinies. 

Great  men  do  great  things  which  would  not  get  done  with- 
out them;  they  set  "their  mark  plainly  upon  history,  which 
realizes  a  portion  of  their  ideas  and  wishes;  but  they  are  far 
from  doing  all  they  meditate,  and  they  know  not  all  they  do. 
They  are  at  one  and  the  same  time  instruments  and  free 



agents  in  a  general  design  which  is  infinitely  above  their  ken, 
and  which,  even  if  a  glimpse  of  it  be  caught,  remains  inscru- 
table to  them— the  design  of  God  towards  mankind.  When 
great  men  understand  that  such  is  their  position  and  accept  it, " 
they  show  sense  and  they  work  to  some  purpose.  When  they 
do  not  recognize  the  limits  of  their  free  agency  and  the  veil 
which  hides  from  their  eyes  the  future  they  are  laboring  for, 
they  become  the  dupes  and  frequently  the  victims  of  a  blind  . 
pride  which  events  in  the  long  run  always  end  by  exposing 
and  punishing. 

Amongst  men  of  his  rank  Charlemagne  has  had  this  singu- 
lar good  fortune  that  his  error,  his  misguided  attempt  at  im- 
perialism, perished  with  him,  whilst  his  salutary  achievement, 
the  territorial  seciuity  of  Christian  Europe,  has  been  durable, 
to  the  great  honor  as  well  as  great  profit  of  European  civiliza- 



From  the  de^th  of  Charlemagne  to  the  accession  of  Hugh 
Capet,  that  is,  from  814  to  987,  thirteen  kings  sat  upon  the 
throne  of  France.  What  then,  became,  under  their  reign  aind 
in  the  course  of  those  hundred  and  seventy-three  years,  of  the 
two  great  facts  which  swayed  the  mind  and  occupied  the  life 
of  Charlemagne?  What  became,  that  is,  of  the  solid  territorial 
f oimdation  of  the  kingdom  of  Christian  France  through  effi- 
cient repression  of  foreign  invasion,  and  of  the  unity  of  that 
vast  empire  wherein  Charlemagne  had  attempted  and  hoped 
to  resuscitate  the  Boman  empire  ? 

The  fate  of  those  two  facts  is  the  very  history  of  France 
under  the  Carlovingian  djmasty ;  it  is  the  only  portion  of  the 
events  of  that  epoch  which  still  deserves  attention  now-a-days, 
for  it  is  the  only  one  which  has  exercised  any  great  and  last- 
ing influence  on  the  general  history  of  France. 

Attempts  at  foreign  invasion  of  France  were  renewed  very 
often  and  in  many  parts  of  Gallo-Frankish  territory  dimng 
the  whole  duration  of  the  Carlovingian  dynasty,  and,  even 
though  they  failed,  they  caused  the  population  of  the  kingdom 
to  suffer  from  cruel  ravages.     Charlemagne,  even  0fter  Ws 

202  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.     \  [ch.  xii. 

successes  against  the  different  barbaiic  invaders,  had  foreseen 
the  evils  which  would  be  inflicted  .on  France  by  the  most  for- 
midable and  most  determined  of  them,  the  Northmen,  coming 
by  sea  and  landing  on  the  coast.  The  most  closely  contempo- 
raneous and  most  given  to  detail  of  his  chroniclers,  the  monk 
of  St.  Gall,  tells  in  prolix  and  pompous  but  evidently  heart-felt 
and  sincere  terms  the  tale  of  the  great  emperor's  far-sighted- 
ness. "Charles,  who  was  ever  astir,"  says  he,  "arrived  by 
mere  hap  and  unexpectedly  in  a  certain  town  of  Narbonnese 
Gaul.  Whilst  he  was  at  dinner  and  was  as  yet  Unrecognized 
of  any,  some  corsairs  of  the  Northmen  came  to  ply  their  pira- 
cies in  the  very  port.  When  their  vessels  were  descried,  they 
were  supposed  to  be  Jewish  traders  according  to  some,  African 
according  to  others,  and  British  in  the  opinion  of  others;  but 
the  gifted  monarch,  perceiving,  by  the  build  and  lightness  of 
the  craft,  that  they  bare  not  merchandise  but  foes,  said  to  his 
own  folk,  *  These  vessels  be  not  laden  with  merchandise,  but 
manned  with  cruel  foes.'  At  these  words  all  the  Franks,  in 
rivalry  one  with  another,  run  to  their  ships,  but  uselessly:  for 
the  Northmen,  indeed,  hearing  that  yonder  was  he  whom  it 
was  still  their  wont  to  call  Charles  the  Hammer,  feared  lest  all 
their  fleet  should  be  taken  or  destroyed  in  the  port,  and  they 
avoided,  by  a  flight  of  inconceivable  rapidity,  not  only  the 
glaives,  but  even  the  eyes  of  those  who  were  pursuing  them. 

"  Pious  Charles,  however,  a  prey  to  well-grounded  fear,  rose 
up  from  table,  stationed  himself  at  a  window  looking  east- 
ward, and  there  remained  a  long  while  and  his  eyes  were 
filled  with  tears.  As  none  durst  question  him,  this  warlike 
prince  explained  to  the  grandees  who  were  about  his  person 
the  cause  of  his  movement  and  of  his  tears:  ^Know  ye,  my 
heges,  wherefore  I  weep  so  bitterly?  Of  a  surety  I  fear  not 
lest  these  fellows  should  succeed  in  injuring  me  by  their 
miserable  piracies;  but  it  grieveth  me  deeply  that,  whilst  I 
hve,  they  should  have  been  nigh  to  touching  at  this  shore, 
and  I  am  a  prey  to  violent  sorrow  when  I  foresee  what  evils 
they  will  heap  upon  my  descendants  and  their  people.'  " 

The  forecast  and  the  dejection  of  Charles  were  not  imreason- 
able.  It  will  be  found  that  there  is  special  mention  made,  in 
the  chronicles  of  the  ninth  and  tenth  centuries,  of  forty-seven 
incursions  into  France  of  Norwegian,  Danish,  Swedish,  and 
Irish  pirates,  all  comprised  imder  the  name  of  Northmen; 
and,  doubtless,  many  other  incursions  of  less  gravity  have  left 
iiQ  trace  ii^  history.    "The  Northnxen,"  says  M.  Fauriel^ 


''  descended  from  the  north  to  the  south  by  a  sort  of  natural 
gradation  or  ladder.  The  Scheldt  was  the  first  river  by  the 
mouth  of  which  they  penetrated  inland;  the  Seine  was  the 
second;  the  Loire  the  third.  The  advance  was  threatening 
for  the  countries  tmversed  by  the  Garonne;  and  it  was  in  844 
that  vessels  freighted  with  Northmen  for  the  first  time  as- 
cended this  last  river  to  a  considerable  distance  inland,  and 
there  took  immense  booty.  .  .  .  The  following  year  they  pil- 
laged and  burnt  Saintes.  In  846  they  got  as  far  as  Limoges. 
The  inhabitants,  finding  themselves  unable  to  make  head 
against  the  dauntless  pirates,  abandoned  their  hearths,  to- 
gether with  all  they  had  not  time  to  carry  away.  Encouraged 
by  these  successes  the  Northmen  reappeared  next  year  upon 
the  coasts  and  in  the  rivers  of  Aquitaine,  and  they  attempted 
to  take  Bordeaux,  whence  they  were  valorously  repulsed  by 
the  inhabitants;  but  in  848,  having  once  more  laid  siege  to 
that  city,  they  were  admitted  into  it  at  night  by  the  Jews,  who 
were  there  in  great  force ;  the  city  was  given  up  to  plunder 
and  conflagration;  a  portion  of  the  people  was  scattered 
abroad  and  the  rest  put  to  the  sword."  Tours,  Eouen,  Angers, 
Orleans,  Meaux,  Toulouse,  Saint-Lo,  Bayeux,  Evreux,  Nantes, 
and  Beauvais,  some  of  them  more  than  once,  met  the  fate 
of  Saintes,  Limoges,  and  Bordeaux.  The  monasteries  and 
churches,  wherein  they  hoped  to  find  treasures,  were  the 
favorite  object  of  the  Northmen's  enterprises;  in  particular, 
they  plundered,  at  the  gates  of  Paris,  the  abbey  of  St.  Ger- 
main des  Pr6s  and  that  of  St.  Denis,  whence  they  carried  off 
the  abbot,  who  could  not  purchase  his  freedom  save  by  a 
heavy  ransom.  They  penetrated  more  than  once  into  Paris 
itself,  and  subjected  many  of  its  quarters  to  contributions  or 
pillage.  The  populations  grew  into  the  habit  of  suffering  and 
fleeing;  and  the  local  lords,  and  even  the  kings,  made  arrange- 
ment sometimes  with  the  pirates  either  for  saving  the  royal 
domains  from  the  ravages,  or  for  having  their  own  share 
therein.  In  850,  Pepin,  king  of  Aquitaine,  and  brother  of 
Charles  the  Bald,  came  to  an  understanding  with  the  North- 
men who  had  ascended  the  Garonne  and  were  threatening 
Toulouse.  "They  arrived  under  his  guidance,"  says  M. 
Fauriel,  "they  laid  siege  to  it,  took  it  and  plundered  it,  not 
halfwise,  not  hastily,  as  folks  who  feared  to  be  surprised,  but 
leisurely,  with  all  security,  by  virtue  of  a  treaty  of  alH^ce 
with  one  of  the  kings  of  the  coimtry.  Throughout  Aquitaine 
there  wc|J3  but  one  cry  of  indignation  against  Pepin,  apd  th^ 

204  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE.       "  [oh.  xn. 

popularity  of  Oharles  was  increased  in  proportion  to  all  the 
horror  inspired  by  the  ineffable  misdeed  of  his  adversary. 
Charles  the  Bald  himself,  if  he  did  not  ally  himself,  as  Pepin 
did,  with  the  invaders,  took  scarce  any  interest  in  the  fate  of 
the  populations  and  scarcely  more  trouble  to  protect  them, 
for  Hincmar,  archbishop  of  Bheims,  wrote  to  him  in  859: 
'^Many  folks  say  that  you  are  incessantly  rex)eating  that  it  is 
not  for  you  to  mix  yomrself  up  with  these  depredations  and 
robberies,  and  that  every  one  has  but  to  defend  himself  as 
best  he  may." 

It  were  tedious  to  relate  or  even  to  enumerate  all  these 
incursions  of  the  Northmen,  with  their  monotonous  incidents. 
When  their  frequency  and  their  general  character  has  been 
notified,  all  has  been  done  that  is  due  to  them  from  history. 
iaCowever  there  are  three  on  which  it  may  be  worth  while  to 
dwell  particularly,  by  reason  of  their  grave  historical  conse- 
quences, as  well  as  of  the  dramatic  details  which  have  been 
transmitted  to  us  about  them. 

In  the  middle  and  during  the  last  half  of  the  ninth  century, 
a  chief  of  the  Northmen,  named  Hastenc  or  Hastings,  ap- 
peared several  times  over  on  the  coasts  and  in  the  rivers  of 
France,  with  numerous  vessels  and  a  following.  He  had  also 
with  him,  say  the  chronicles,  a  yoimg  Norwegian  or  Danish 
prince,  Bicem,  called  Ironsides,  whom  he  had  educated,  and 
who  had  preferred  sharing  the  fortunes  of  his  governor  to 
living  quietly  with  the  king  his  father.  After  several  expedi- 
tions into  Western  France,  Hastings  became  the  theme  of 
terrible  and  very  probably  fabulous  stories.  He  extended 
his  cruises,  they  say,  to  the  Mediterranean,  and,  having 
arrived  at  the  coasts  of  Tuscany,  within  sight  of  a  city  which 
in  his  ignorance  he  took  for  Rome,  he  resolved  to  pillage  it; 
but,  not  feeling  strong  enough  to  attack  it  by  assault,  he  sent 
to  the  bishop  to  say  he  was  very  ill,  felt  a  wish  to  become  a 
Christian,  and  begged  to  be  baptized.  Some  days  afterwards 
his  comrades  spread  a  report  that  he  was  dead,  and  claimed 
for  him  the  honors  of  a  solemn  biuial.  The  bishop  consented ; 
the  cofiObi  of  Hastings  was  csuried  into  the  church,  attended 
by  a  large  number  of  his  followers,  without  visible  weapons; 
but,  in  the  middle  of  the  ceremony,  Hastings  suddenly  leaped 
up,  sword  in  hand,  from  his  cofOin;  his  followers  displayed 
the  weapons  they  had  concealed,  closed  the  doors,  slew  the 
priests,  pillaged  the  ecclesiastical  treasures,  and  re-embarked 
before  the  very  eyes  of  the  stupefied  population,  to  go  BfoA 


resume,  on  the  coasts  of  France,  their  incursions  and  their 

Whether  they  were  true  or  false,  these  rumors  of  bold  arti- 
fices and  distant  expeditions  on  the  part  of  Hastings  aggra- 
vated the  dismay  inspired  by  his  apx)earance.  He  penetrated 
into  the  interior  of  the  country  in  Poitou,  Anjou,  Brittany, 
and  along  the  Seine;  pillaged  the  monasteries  of  Jumi^ges, 
St.  Vaudrille,  and  St.  Evroul;  took  possession  of  Chartres  and 
appeared  before  Paris,  where  Charles  the  Bald,  entrenched  at 
St.  Denis,  was  dehberating  with  his  prelates  and  barons  as  to 
how  he  might  resist  the  Northmen  or  treat  with  them.  The 
chronicle  says  that  the  barons  advised  resistance,  but  that  the 
king  preferred  negotiation,  and  sent  the  Abbot  of  St.  Denis, 
"the  which  was  an  exceeding  wise  man,"  to  Hastings,  who, 
**  after  long  parley  and  by  reason  of  large  gifts  and  promises," 
consented  to  stop  his  cruisings,  to  become  a  Christian  and  to 
settle  in  the  coimtship  of  Chartres,  "  which  the  king  gave  him 
as  an  hereditary  possession,  with  all  its  appurtenances." 
According  to  other  accounts,  it  was  only  some  years  later, 
under  the  young  king  Louis  III.,  grandson  of  Charles  the 
Bald,  that  Hastings  was  induced,  either  by  reverses  or  by 
payment  of  money,  to  cease  from  his  piracies  and  accept  in 
recompense  the  countship  of  Chartres.  Whatever  may  have 
been  the  date,  he  was,  it  is  believed,  the  first  chieftain  of  the 
Northmen  who  renounced  a  life  of  adventure  and  plimder,  to 
become,  in  France,  a  great  lande^  proprietor  and  a  count  of 
the  king's.  Prince  Bioem  then  separated  from  his  governor 
and  put  again  to  sea,  **  laden  with  so  rich  a  booty  that  he 
could  never  feel  any  want  of  wealth ;  but  a  tempest  swallowed 
up  a  great  part  of  his  fleet,  and  cast  him  upon  the  coasts  of 
Friesland,  where  he  died  soon  after,  for  which  Hastings  was 
exceeding  sorry." 

*A  greater  chieftain  of  the  Northmen  than  Hastings  was 
soon  to  follow  his  example  and  foimd  Normandy  in  France; 
but  before  Rolf,  that  is,  BoUo,  came  and  gave  the  name  of  his 
race  to  a  French  province,  the  piratical  Northmen  were  again 
to  attempt  a  greater  blow  against  France  and  to  suffer  a  great 

In  November,  885,  under  the  reign  of  Charles  the  Fat,  after 
having,  for  more  than  forty  years,  irregularly  ravaged  France, 
they  resolved  to  \mite  their  forces  in  order  at  length  to  obtain 
possession  of  Paris,  whose  outskirts  they  had  so  often  pillaged 
without  having  been  able  to  enter  the  heart  of  the  place,  in 

206  BISTORT  OP  PBANCB.  [en.  xn. 

the  lie  de  la  Cit^,  which  had  originally  been  and  still  was  the 
real  Paris.  Two  bodies  of  troops  were  set  in  motion;  one, 
under  the  command  of  RoUo,  who  was  already  famous 
amongst  his  comrades,  marched  on  Bouen;  the  other  went 
right  up  the  course  of  the  Seine,  under  the  orders  of  Siegfried, 
whom  the  Northmen  called  their  king.  Eollo  took  Bouen, 
and  pushed  on  at  once  for  Paris.  Duke  Benaud,  general  of 
the  Gtello-Frankish  troops,  went  to  encounter  him  on  the 
banks  of  the  Eure,  and  sent  to  him,  to  sound  his  intentions, 
Hastings,  the  newly-made  count  of  Chartres.  "Valiant 
warriors,"  said  Hastings  to  Bollo,  **  whence  come  ye?  What 
seek  ye  here?  What  is  the  name  of  your  loi-d  and  master? 
Tell  us  this;  for  we  be  sent  unto  you  by  the  king  of  the 
Franks."  **We  be  Danes,"  answered  Bollo,  **and  all  be 
equally  masters  amongst  us.  We  be  come  to  drive  out  the 
inhabitants  of  this  land,  and  to  subject  it  as  our  own  country. 
But  who  art  thou,  thou  who  speakest  sogUbly?"  *' Ye  have 
sometime  heard  tell  of  one  Hastings,  who,  issuing  forth  from 
amongst  you,  came  hither  with  much  shipping  and  made 
desert  a  great  part  of  the  kingdom  of  the  Franks?"  "Yes," 
said  Bollo,  "we  have  heard  tell  of  him;  Hastings  began  well 
and  ended  ill."  "  Will  ye  yield  you  to  King  Charles?"  asked 
Hastings.  '*We  yield,"  was  the  answer,  "to  noue;  all  that 
we  shall  take  by  our  arms  we  will  keep  as  our  right.  Go  and 
tell  this,  if  thou  wilt,  to  the  king,  whose  envoy  thou  boastest 
to  be."  Hastings  returned  to  the  Gallo-Frankish  army,  and 
Bollo  prepared  to  march  on  Paris.  Hastings  had  gone  back 
somewhat  troubled  in  mind.  Now  there  was  amongst  the 
Franks  one  Count  Tetbold  (Thibault),  who  greatly  coveted 
the  countship  of  Chartres,  and  he  said  to  Hastings,  "Why 
slumberest  thou  softly?  Knowest  thou  not  that  King  Charles 
doth  purpose  thy  death  by  cause  of  all  the  Christian  blood 
that  thou  didst  aforetime  unjustly  shed?  Bethink  thee  of  all 
the  evil  thou  hast  done  him,  by  reason  whereof  he  purposeth 
to  drive  thee  from  his  land,  Take  heed  to  thyself  that  thou 
be  not  smitten  unawares."  Hastings,  dismayed,  at  once  sold 
to  Tetbold  the  town  of  Chartres,  and,  removing  all  that  be- 
longed to  him,  departed  to  go  and  resume,  for  all  that  appears, 
his  old  course  of  life. 

On  the  25th  of  November,  885,  all  the  forces  of  the  North- 
men formed  a  junction  before  Paris;  seven  hundred  huge 
barques  covered  two  leagues  of  the  Seine,  bringing,  it  is  said, 
more  than  30,000  men.    The  chieftains  were  astonished  at 


sight  of  the  new  fortifications  of  the  city,  a  double  waJl  of 
circumvallation,  the  bridges  crowned  with  towers,  and  in  the 
environs  the  ramparts  of  the  abbeys  of  St.  Denis  and  St. 
Germain  solidly  rebuilt.  Siegfried  hesitated  to  attack  a  town 
so  well  defended.  He  demanded  to  enter  alone  and  have  an 
interview  with  the  bishop,  Gozlin.  "  Take  pity  on  thyself  and 
thy  flock,"  said  he  to  him ;  **  let  us  but  pass  through  this  city ; 
we  will  in  nowise  touch  the  town;  we  will  do  our  best  to 
preserve,  for  thee  and  Count  Eudes,  all  your  possessions." 
"  This  city,"  replied  the  bishop,  *'hath  been  confided  xmto  us 
by  the  Emperor  Charles,  king  and  ruler,  under  God,  of  the 
powers  of  the  earth.  He  hath  confided  it  unto  us  not  that  it 
should  cause  the  ruin  but  the  salyation  of  the  kingdom.  If 
peradventure  these  walls  had  been  confided  to  thy  keeping  as 
they  have  been  to  mine,  wouldst  thou  do  as  thou  biddest  me?" 
'*K  ever  I  do  so,"  answered  Siegfried,  "may  my  head  be 
condemned  to  fall  by  the  sword  and  serve  as  food  to  the  dogs  I 
But  if  thou  yield  not  to  our  prayers,  so  soon  as  the  sun  shall 
commence  his  course,  our  armies  will  launch  upon  thee  their 
poisoned  arrows ;  and  when  the  sun  shall  end  his  course,  they 
will  give  thee  over  to  all  the  horrors  of  famine;  and  this  will 
they  do  from  year  to  year."  The  bishop,  however,  persisted, 
without  further  discussion;  being  as  certain  of  Count  Eudes 
as  he  was  of  himself.  Eudes,  who  was  young  and  but  re- 
cently made  coimt  of  Paris,  was  the  eldest  son  of  Eobert  the 
Strong,  coimt  of  Anjou,  of  the  same  line  as  Charlemagne,  and 
but  lately  slain  in  battle  against  the  Northmen.  Paris  had 
for  defenders  two  heroes,  one  of  the  Church  and  the  other  of 
the  Empire:  the  faith  of  the  Christian  and  the  fealty  of  the 
vassal;  the  conscientiousness  of  the  priest  and  the  honor  of 
the  warrior. 

The  siege  lasted  thirteen  months,  whiles  pushed  vigorously 
forward  with  eight  several  assaults,  whiles  maintained  by  close 
investment,  and  with  all  the  alternations  of  success  and  re- 
verse, all  the  intermixture  of  brilliant  daring  and  obscure  suf- 
ferings that  can  occur  when  the  assailants  are  determined  and 
the  defenders  devoted.  Not  only  a  contemporary  but  an  eye- 
witness, Abbo,  a  monk  of  St.  Germain  des  Pres,  has  recoimted 
the  details  in  a  long  poem,  wherein  the  writer,  devoid  of  talent, 
adds  nothing  to  the  simple  representation  of  events;  it  is  his- 
tory itself  which  gives  to  Abbo's  poem  a  high  degree  of  interest. 
We  do  not  possess,  in  reference  to  these  continual  struggles  of 
the  Northmen  with  the  Gallo-Frankish  populations,  any  other 

208  BISTORT  OF  FRANCS.  £ch.  xn. 

document  which  is  equally  precise  and  complete,  or  which 
could  make  us  so  well  acquainted  with  all  the  incidents,  all  the 
phases  of  this  irregular  warfare  hetween  two  peoples,  one  with 
out  a  government,  the  other  without  a  country.  The  bishop, 
Gozlin,  died  during  the  siege.  Coimt  Eudes  quitted  Paris  for  a 
time  to  go  and  beg  aid  of  the  emperor;  but  the  Parisians  soon 
saw  him  reappear  on  the  heights  of  Montmartre  with  three  bat- 
talions of  troops,  and  he  re-entered  the  town,  spurring  on  his 
horse  and  striking  right  and  left  with  his  battle-axe  through 
the  ranks  of  the  dumbfoimded  besiegers.  The  struggle  was 
prolonged  throughout  the  summer;  and  when,  in  November, 
886,  Charles  the  Fat  at  last  appeared  before  Paris,  *'with  a 
large  army  of  all  nations,"  it  was  to  purchase  the  retreat  of  the 
Northmen  at  the  cost  of  a  heavy  ransom,  and  by  allowing  them 
to  go  and  winter  in  Burgundy,  **  whereof  the  inhabit!  ^ts 
obeyed  not  the  emperor." 

Some  months  afterwards,  in  887,  Charles  the  Fat  was  deposed, 
at  a  diet  held  on  the  banks  of  the  Rhine,  by  the  grandees  of 
Germanic  France;  and  Amulf,  a  natural  son  of  Carloman,  the 
brother  of  Louis  III.,  was  proclaimed  emperor  in  his  stead.  At 
the  same  time  Count  Eudes,  the  gallant  defender  of  Paris,  was 
elected  king  at  Compi^gne  and  crowned  by  the  Archbishop  of 
Sens.  Gruy,  duke  of  Spoleto,  descended  from  Charlemagne  in 
the  female  line,  hastened  to  France  and  was  declared  king  at 
Langres  by  the  bishop  of  that  town,  but  returned  with  precipi- 
tation to  Italy,  seeing  no  chance  of  maintaining  himself  in  his 
French  kingship.  Elsewhere,  Boso,  duke  of  Aries,  became 
king  of  Provence,  and  the  Burgundian  Count  Rodolph  had 
himself  crowned  at  St.  Maurice,  iq  the  Valais,  king  of  tranF- 
juran  Burgundy.  There  was  still  in  France  a  legitimate  Car- 
lovingian,  a  son  of  Louis  the  Stutterer,  who  was  hereafter  to 
become  Charles  the  Simple;  but  being  only  a  child,  he  had 
been  rejected  or  completely  forgotten,  and,  in  the  interval  that 
was  to  elapse  ere  his  time  should  arrive,  kings  were  being  made 
in  all  directions. 

In  the  midst  of  this  confusion,  the  Northmen,  though  they 
kept  at  a  distance  from  Paris,  pursued  in  Western  France  their 
cruising  and  plundering.  In  Rollo  they  had  a  chieftain  far  su- 
perior to  his  vagabond  predecessors.  Though  he  still  led  the 
same  life  that  they  had,  he  displayed  therein  other  faculties, 
other  inclinations,  other  views.  In  his  youth  he  had  made  an 
expedition  to  England  and  had  there  contracted  a  real  friend- 
ship with  the  wise  king  Alfred  the  Great.    During  a  campaign 


[WY:    :-'.W    VfT'K 





in  Friesland  he  had  taken  prisoner  Rainier,  count  of  Hainault; 
and  Alberade,  countess  of  Brabant,  made  a  request  to  Hollo  for 
her  husband's  release,  offering  in  return  to  set  free  twelve  cap- 
tains of  the  Northmen,  her  prisoners,  and  to  give  up  all  the 
gold  she  possessed.  RoUo  took  only  half  the  gold,  and  restored 
to  the  countess  her  husband.  When,  in  886,  he  became  master 
of  Rouen,  instead  of  devastating  the  city  after  the  fashion  of 
his  kind,  he  respected  the  buildings,  had  the  walls  repaired,  and 
humored  the  inhabitants.  In  spite  of  his  violent  and  extor- 
tionate practices  where  he  met  with  obstinate  resistance,  there 
were  to  be  discerned  in  him  symptoms  of  more  noble  sentiments 
and  of  an  instinctive  leaning  towards  order,  civilization,  and 
government.  After  the  deposition  of  Charles  the  Fat  and  dur- 
ing the  reign  of  Eudes,  a  lively  struggle  was  maintained  between 
the  Frankish  king  and  the  chieftain  of  the  Northmen,  who  had 
neither  of  them  forgotten  their  early  encounters.  They  strove, 
one  against  the  other,  with  varied  fortunes;  Eudes  succeeded 
in  beating  the  Northmen  at  Montfaucon,  but  was  beaten  in 
Vermandois  by  another  band,  commanded,  it  is  said,  by  the 
veteran  Hastings,  sometime  Count  of  Chartres.  Rollo,  too,  had 
his  share  at  one  time  of  success,  at  another  of  reverse ;  but  he 
made  himself  master  of  several  important  towns,  showed  a  dis- 
position to  treat  the  quiet  populations  gently,  and  made  a  fresh 
trip  to  Epgland,  during  which  he  renewed  friendly  relations 
with  her  king,  Athelstan  the  successor  of  Alfred  the  Great. 
He  thus  became,  from  day  to  day,  more  reputable  as  weU  as 
more  formidable  in  France,  in  so  much  that  Eudes  himself  was 
obliged  to  have  recourse,  in  dealing  with  him,  to  negotiations 
and  presents.  When,  in  898,  Eudes  was  dead  and  Charles  the 
Simple,  at  hardly  nineteen  years  of  age,  had  been  recognized 
sole  king  of  France,  the  ascendency  of  Rollo  became  such  that 
the  necessity  of  treating  with  him  was  clear.  In  911  Charles, 
by  the  advice  of  his  councillors  and,  amongst  them,  of  Robert, 
brother  of  the  late  king  Eudes,  who  had  himself  become  Count 
•  of  Paris  and  Duke  of  France,  sent  to  the  chieftain  of  the  North- 
men Franco,  archbishop  of  Rouen,  with  orders  to  offer  him  the 
cession  of  a  considerable  portion  of  Neustria  and  the  hand  of 
his  young  daughter  Gis^le,  on  condition  that  he  became  a 
Christian  and  acknowledged  himself  the  king's  vassal.  Rollo, 
by  the  advice  of  his  comrades,  received  these  overtures  with  a 
good  grace  and  agreed  to  a  truce  for  three  months,  during 
which  they  might  treat  about  peace.  On  the  day  fixed,  Charles, 
accompanied  by  Duke  Robert,  and  Rollo,  surrounded  by  his 

210  ntsTosr  of  phanoa  [ca.  m. 

warriors,  repaired  to  St.  Clair-sur-Epte,  on  the  opposite  banks 
of  the  river,  and  exchanged  numerous  messages.  Charles  of- 
fered Rollo  Flanders,  which  the  Northman  refused,  considering 
it  too  swampy;  as  to  the  maritime  portion  of  Neustria,  he 
would  not  be  contented  with  it;  it  was,  he  said,  covered  with 
forests,  and  had  become  quite  a  stranger  to  the  ploughshare, 
by  reason  of  the  Northmen's  incessant  incursions ;  he  demanded 
the  addition  of  territories  taken  from  Brittany,  and  that  the 
princes  of  that  province,  B^renger  and  Alan,  lords,  respectively, 
of  Bedon  and  Dol,  should  take  the  oath  of  fidehty  to  him. 
When  matters  had  been  arranged  on  this  basis,  "the  bishops 
told  Bollo  that  he  who  received  such  a  gift  as  the  duchy  of 
Normandy  was  bound  to  kiss  the  king's  foot.  *  Never,'  quoth 
Hollo,  *  will  I  bend  the  knee  before  the  knees  of  any,  and  I  will 
kiss  the  foot  of  none.'  At  the  solicitation  of  the  Franks  he 
then  ordered  one  of  his  warriors  to  kiss  the  king's  foot.  The 
Northman,  remaining  bolt  upright,  took  hold  of  the  king's  foot, 
raised  it  to  his  mouth,  and  so  made  the  king  fall  backward, 
which  caused  great  bursts  of  laughter  and  much  disturbance 
amongst  the  throng.  Then  the  king  and  all  the  grandees  who 
were  about  him,  prelates,  abbots,  dukes,  and  counts,  swore,  in 
the  ^name  of  the  Cathohc  faith,  that  they  would  protect  the 
patrician  Rollo  in  his  life,  his  members,  and  his  folk,  and  would 
guarantee  to  him  the  possession  of  the  aforesaid  land,  to  him 
and  his  descendants  for  ever,  After  which  the  king,  well-sat- 
isfied, returned  to  his  domains;  and  Bollo  departed  with  Duke 
Robert  for  the  town  of  Bouen." 

The  dignity  of  Charles  the  Simple  had  no  reason  to  be  well- 
satisfied;  but  the  great  pohtical  question  which,  a  century  be- 
fore, caused  Charlemagne  such  lively  anxiety  was  solved ;  the 
most  dangerous,  the  most  incessantly  renewed  of  all  foreign  in- 
vasions, those  of  the  Northmen,  ceased  to  threaten  France. 
The  vagabond  pirates  had  a  coimtry  to  cultivate  and  defend; 
the  Northmen  were  becoming  French. 

No  such  transformation  was  near  taking  place  in  the  case  of 
the  invasions  of  the  Saracens  in  Southern  Gaul,  they  continued 
to  infest  Aquitania,  Septimania,  and  Provence;  their  robbeiv 
hordes  appeared  frequently  on  the  coasts  of  the  Mediterranean 
and  the  banks  of  the  Rhone,  at  Aigues-Mortes,  at  Marseilles,  at 
Aries,  and  in  Camargue ;  they  sometimes  penetrated  into  Dau- 
phin^, Bouergue,  Limousin,  and  Saintonge.  The  author  of  this 
history  saw,  at  the  commencement  of  the  present  century,  in 
the  moimlains  of  the  Cevennes,  the  ruins  of  the  towers  bmlt,  a 


thousand  years  ago,  by  the  inhabitants  of  those  nigged  coun- 
tries, to  put  their  famiMes  and  their  flocks  under  shelter  from 
the  incursions  of  the  Saracens-  But  these  incursions  were  of 
short  duration,  and  most  frequently  undertaken  by  plunderers 
few  in  number,  who  retreated  precipitately  with  their  booty. 
Africa  was  not,  as  Asia  was,  an  inexhaustible  source  of  nations 
burning  to  push  onward,  one  upon  anotheu^  to  go  wandering 
and  settling  elsewhere.  The  people  of  the  north  move  willingly 
towards  the  south,  where  living  is  easier  and  pleasanter;  but 
the  people  of  the  south  are  not  much  disposed  to  migrate  to  the 
north,  with  its  soil  so  hard  to  cultivate  and  its  leaden  skies,  and 
into  the  midst  of  its  fogs  and  frosts.  After  a  course  of  plunder- 
ing in  Aquitania  or  in  Provence,  the  Arabs  of  Spain  and  of 
Africa  were  eager  to  recross  the  Pyrenees  or  the  Mediterranean, 
and  regain  their  own  lovely  climate  and  their  life  of  easeful- 
ness  that  never  palled.  Furthermore,  between  Christians  and 
Mussulmans  the  religious  antipathy  was  profound.  The  Chris- 
tian missionaries  were  not  much  given  to  carrying  their  pious 
zeal  into  the  home  of  the  Mussulman;  and  the  Mussulmans 
were  far  less  disposed  than  the  pagans  to  become  Christians. 
To  preserve  their  conquests,  the  Arabs  of  Spain  had  to  struggle 
against  the  refugee  Groths  in  the  Asturias;  and  Charlemagne, 
by  extending  those  of  the  Franks  to  the  Ebro,  had  given  the 
C^iuistian  Goths  a  powerful  alliance  against  the  Spanish  Mus- 
sulmans. For  all  these  reasons  the  invasions  of  the  Saracens 
in  the  south  of  France  did  not  threaten,  as  those  of  the  North- 
men did  in  the  north,  the  security  of  the  Gallo-Frankish  mon- 
archy, and  the  GaJlo-Boman  populations  of  the  south  were  able 
to  defend  their  national  independence  at  the  same  time  against 
the  Saracens  and  the  Franks.  They  did  so  successfully  in  the 
ninth  and  tenth  centuries ;  and  the  French  monarchy,  which 
was  being  founded  between  the  Loire  and  the  Rhine,  had  thus 
for  some  time  a  breach  in  it  without  ever  suffering  serious  dis- 

A  new  people,  the  Himgarians,  which  was  the  only  name 
then  given  to  the  Magyars,  appeared  at  this  epoch,  for  the  first 
time,  amongst  the  devastators  of  Western  Europe.  From  910 
to  954,  as  a  consequence  of  movements  and  wars  on  the  Danube, 
Hungarian  hordes,  after  scouring  central  Germany,  penetrated 
into  Alsace,  Lorraine,  Champagne,  Burgundy,  Berry,  Dauphin^, 
Provence,  and  even  Aquitaine ;  but  this  inundation  was  transi- 
tory, and  if  the  populations  of  those  countries  had  much  to  suf- 
fer from,  it,  the  GaUo-Frankish  dominion,  in  spite  of  inward 

212  msTOJRY  OF  FRANOB,  [ch.  xft. 

disorder  and  the  feebleness  of  the  latter  Oarlovingians,  was  not 
seriously  endangered  thereby.  • 

And  80  the  first  of  Charlemagne's  grand  designs,  the  terri- 
torial security  of  the  Gallo-Frankish  and  Christian  dominion, 
was  accomplished.  In  the  east  and  the  north,  the  Germanic 
and  Asiatic  populations,  which  had  so  long  upset  it,  were  partly 
arrested  at  its  frontiers,  partly  incorporated  regularly  in  its 
midst.  In  the  south,  the  Mussulman  populations  which,  in  the 
eighth  century,  had  appeared  so  near  overwhelming  it,  were 
powerless  to  deal  it  any  heavy  blow.  Substantially  France 
was  founded.  But  what  had  become  of  Charlemagne's  second 
grand  design,  the  resuscitation  of  the  Roman  empire  at  the 
hands  of  the  barbarians  that  had  conquered  it  and  become 

Let  us  leave  Louis  the  Debonnair  his  traditional  name, 
although  it  is  not  an  exact  rendering  of  that  which  was  given 
him  by  his  contemporaries.  They  called  him  Louis  the  Pious. 
And  so  indeed  he  was,  sincerely  and  even  scrupulously  pious; 
but  he  was  still  more  weak  than  pious,  as  weak  in  heart  and 
character  as. in  mind ;  as  destitute  of  ruling  ideas  as  of  strength 
of  will ;  fluctuating  at  the  mercy  of  transitory  impressions,  or 
surrounding  influences,  or  positional  embarrassments.  The 
name  of  Debonnair  is  suited  to  him;  it  expresses  his  moral 
worth  and  his  political  incapacity,  both  at  once. 

As  King  of  Aquitania,  in  the  time  of  Charlemagne,  Louis 
made  himself  esteemed  and  loved ;  his  justice,  his  suavity,  his 
probity,  and  his  piety  were  pleasing  to  the  people,  and  his 
weaknesses  disappeared  under  the  strong  hand  of  his  father. 
When  he  became  emperor,  he  began  his  reign  by  a  reaction 
against  the  excesses,  real  or  supposed,  of  the  preceding  reign. 
Charlemagne's  morals  were  far  from  regular,  and  he  troubled 
himself  but  little  about  the  license  prevailing  in  his  family  or 
his  palace.  *  At  a  distance,  he  ruled  with  a  tight  and  heavy 
hand.  Louis  established  at  his  court,  for  his  sisters  as  well  as 
his  servants,  austere  regulations.  He  restored  to  the  subju- 
gated Saxons  certain  of  the  rights  of  which  Charlemagne  had 
deprived  them.  He  sent  out  every  where  his  commissioners 
(missi  dominict)  with  orders  to  listen  to  complaints  and  redress 
grievances,  and  to  mitigate  his  father's  rule,  which  was  rigor- 
ous in  its  application  and  yet  insuflScient  to  repress  disturb- 
ance, notwithstanding  its  preventive  purpose  and  its  watchful 

Almost  simultaneously  with  his  accession,  Louis  committed 


an  act  more  serious  and  CQinpromising.  He  had,  by  his  wife 
Hermengarde,  three  sons,  Lothaire,  Pepin,  and  Louis,  aged 
respectively  nineteen,  eleven,  and  eight.  In  817,  Louis  sum- 
moned at  Aix-la-Chapelle  the  general  assembly  of  his  domin- 
ions; and  there,  whilst  declaring  that  **  neither  to  those  who 
were  wisely-minded,  nor  to  himself,  did  it  appear  expedient  to 
break  up,  for  the  love  he  bare  his  sons  and  by  the  will  of  man, 
the  unity  of  the  empire,  preserved  by  God  himself,"  he  had  re- 
solved to  share  with  his  eldest  son,  Lothaire,  the  imperial 
throne.  Lotliairewas  in  fact  crowned  emperor;  and  his  two 
brothers,  Pepin  and  Louis,  were  crowned  king,  ^*  in  order  that 
they  might  reign,  after  their  father's  death  and  under  their 
brother  and  lord,  Lothaire,  to  wit :  Pepin,  over  Aquitaine  and  a 
great  part  of  Southern  Gaul  and  of  Burgundy;  Louis,  beyond 
the  Ehine,  over  Bavaria  and  the  divers  peoples  in  the  east  of 
Germany."  The  rest  of  Gaul  and  of  Germany,  as  well  as  the 
kingdom  of  Italy,  was  to  belong  to  Lothaire,  emperor  and  head 
of  the  Frankish  monarchy,  to  whom  his  brothers  would  have 
to  repair  year  by  year  to  come  to  an  understanding  with  him 
and  receive  his  instructions.  The  last-named  kingdom,  the 
most  considerable  of  the  three,  remained  under  the  direct  gov- 
ernment of  Louis  the  Debonnair,  and  at  the  same  time  of  his 
son  Lothaire,  sharing  the  title  of  emperor.  The  two  other 
sons,  Pepin  and  Louis,  entered,  notwithstanding  their  child- 
hood, upon  immediate  possession,  the  one  of  Aquitaine  and  the 
other  of  Bavaria,  under  the  superior  authority  of  their  father 
and  their  brother,  the  joint  emperors. 

Charlemagne  had  vigorously  maintained  the  unity  of  the 
empire,  for  all  that  he  had  delegated  to  two  of  his  sons,  Pepin 
and  Louis,  the  government  of  Italy  and  Aquitaine  with  the 
title  of  king.  Louis  the  Debonnair,  whilst  regulating  before- 
hand the  division  of  his  dominion,  likewise  desired,  as  he  said, 
to  maintain  the  unity  of  the  empire.  But  he  forgot  that  he  was 
no  Charlemagne. 

It  was  not  long  before  nmnerous  mournful  experiences 
showed  to  what  extent  the  unity  of  the  empire  required  per- 
sonal superiority  in  the  emperor,  and  how  rapid  would  be  the 
decay  of  the  fabric  when  there  remained  nothing  but  the  title 
of  the  founder. . 

In  816  Poi)e  Stephen  IV.  came  to  France  to  consecrate  Louis 
the  Debonnair  emperor.  Many  a  time  already  the  popes  had 
rendered  the  Frankish  kings  this  service  and  honor.  The 
Franks  had  been  proud  to  se3  their  king,  Charlemagne,  pro- 

214  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xn. 

tecting  Adrian  I.  against  the  Lombards;  then  crowned  em- 
peror at  Rome  by  Leo  III.,  and  then  having  his  two  sons, 
Pepin  and  Louis,  crowned  at  Home,  by  the  same  pope,  kings 
respectively  of  Italy  and  of  Aquitaine.  On  these  different  oc- 
casions Charlemagne,  whilst  testifying  the  most  profoimd  re- 
spect for  the  Pope,  had,  in  his  relations  with  him,  always  taken 
care  to  preserve,  together  with  his  political  greatness,  all  his 
personal  dignity.  But  when,  in  816,  the  Franks  saw  Louis  the 
Pious  not  only  go  out  of  Eheims  to  meet  Stephen  IV.,  but  pros- 
trate himself,  from  head  to  foot,  and  rise  only  v|hen  the  Poi)e 
held  out  a  hand  to  him,  the  spectators  felt  saddened  and 
hmnOiated  at  the  sight  of  their  emperor  in  the  posture  of  a 
penitent  monk. 

Several  insurrections  burst  out  in  the  empire;  the  first 
amongst  the  Basques  of  Aquitaine;  the  next  in  Italy,  where 
Bernard,  son  of  Pepin,  having,  after  his  father's  death,  become 
king  in  812,  with  the  consent  of  his  grandfather  Charlemagne, 
could  not  quietly  see  his  kingdom  pass  into  the  hands  of  his 
cousin  Lothaire  at  the  orders  of  his  imcle  Louis.  These  two 
attempts  were  easily  repressed,  but  the  third  was  more  serious. 
It  took  place  in  Brittany  amongst  those  populations  of  Armo- 
rica  who  were  still  buried  in  their  woods,  and  were  excessively 
jealous  of  their  independence.  In  818  they  took  for  king  one 
of  their  principal  chieftains,  named  Morvan;  and,  not  confining 
'  themselves  to  a  refusal  of  all  tribute  to  the  king  of  the  !EYanks, 
they  renewed  their  ravages  upon  the  Frankish  territories  bor- 
dering on  their  frontier.  Louis  was  at  that  time  holding  a 
general  assembly  of  his  dominions  at  Aix-la-Chapelle ;  and 
Coimt  Lantbert,  commandant  of  the  marches  of  Brittany, 
came  and  reported  to  him  what  was  going  on.  A,  Frankish 
monk,  named  Ditcar,  happened  to  be  at  the  assembly:  he  was 
a  man  of  piety  and  sense,  a  friend  of  peaoe,  and,  moreover, 
with  some  knowledge  of  the  Breton  king  Morvan,  as  his  mon- 
astery had  property  in  the  neighborhood.  Him  the  emperor 
commissioned  to  convey  to  the  king  his  grievances  and  his  de- 
mands. After  some  days'  journey  the  monk  passed  the  fronr 
tier  and  arrived  at  a  vast  space  enclosed  on  one  side  by  a  noble 
river,  and  on  all  the  others  by  forests  and  swamps,  hedges  and 
ditches.  In  the  middle  of  this  space  was  a  large  dwelling, 
which  was  Morvan's.  Ditcar  found  it  full  of  warriors,  the  king 
having,  no  doubt,  some  expedition  on  hand.  The  monk  an- 
noimced  himself  as  a  messenger  from  the  Emperor  of  the 
Franks.    The  style  of  announcement  caused  some  confusion, 


at  first,  to  the  Briton,  who,  however,  hasted  to  conceal  his 
emotion  under  an  air  of  goodwill  and  joyousness,  to  impose 
ui>on  his  comrades.  The  latter  were  got  rid  of;  and  the  king 
remained  alone  with  the  monk,  who  explained  the  ohject  of  his 
mission.  He  descanted  upon  the  power  of  the  Emperor  Louis, 
recounted  his  complaints,  and  warned  the  Briton,  kindly  and 
in  a  private  capacity,  of  the  danger  of  his  situation,  a  danger 
so  much  the  greater  in  that  he  and  his  people  would  meet  with 
the  less  consideration,  seeing  that  they  kept  up  the  rehgion  of 
their  Pagan  forefathers.  Morvan  gave  attentive  ear  to  this 
sermon,  with  his  eyes  fixed  on  the  groimd,  and  his  foot  tapping 
it  from  time  to  time.  Ditcar  thought  he  had  succeeded;  but 
an  incident  supervened.  It  was  the  hour  when  Morvan's  wife 
was  accustomed  to  come  and  look  for  him  ere  they  retired  to 
the  nuptial  couch.  She  appeared,  eager  to  know  who  the 
stranger  was,  what  he  had  come  for,  what  he  had  said,  what 
answer  he  had  received.  She  preluded  her  questions  with 
Qglings  and  caresses;  she  kissed  the  knees,  the  hands,  the 
beard,  and  the  face  of  the  king,  testifying  her  desire  to  be 
alone  with  him.  **0  king  and  glory  of  the  mighty  Britons, 
dear  spouse  of  mine,  what  tidings  bringeth  this  stranger?  Is  it 
peace,  or  is  it  war?"  *'  This  stranger,"  answered  Morvan  with 
a  smile,  **is  an  envoy  of  the  Franks;  but  bring  he  peace  or 
bring  he  war,  is  the  affair  of  men  alone ;  as  for  thee,  content 
thee  witii  thy  woman's  duties."  Thereupon  Ditcar,  perceiving 
that  he  was  countered,  said  to  Morvan,  "Sir  king,  'tis  time 
that  I  return;  tell  me  what  answer  I  am  to  take  back  to  my 
sovereign."  **  Leave  me  this  night  to  take  thought  thereon," 
replied  the  Breton  chief,  with  a  wavering  air.  When  the  morn- 
ing came,  Ditcar  presented  himself  once  more  to  Morvan,  whom 
he  found  up,  but  still  half -drunk  and  full  of  very  different  sen- 
timents from  those  6f  the  night  before.  It  required  some  effort, 
stupefied  and  tottering  as  he  was  with  the  effects  of  wine  and 
the  pleasures  of  the  night,  to  say  to  Ditcar,  *'  Go  back  to  thy 
king,  and  tell  him  from  me  that  my  land  was  never  his,  and 
that  I  owe  him  naught  of  tribute  or  submission.  Let  him  reign 
over  the  Franks;  as  for  me,  I  reign  over  the  Britons.  If  he 
will  bring  war  on  me,  he  will  find  me  ready  to  pay  him  back." 
The  monk  returned  to  Louis  the  Debonnair,  and  rendered 
accoimt  of  his  mission.  War  was  resolved  upon;  and  the  em- 
peror collected  his  troops,  Allemannians,  Saxons,  Thuringians, 
Burgundians,  and  Aquitanians,  without  counting  Franks  or 
Gallo-Bpmans.    They  began  their  march,  moving  upon  Vannes ; 

216  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  xii. 

Louis  was  at  their  head,  and  the  empress  accompanied  liirn,  but 
he  left  her,  already  ill  and  fatigued,  at  Angers.  The  Franks 
entered  the  country  of  the  Britons,  searched  the  woods  and 
morasses,  found  no  armed  men  in  the  open  country,  but  en- 
countered them  in  scattered  and  scanty  companies,  at  the  en- 
trance of  all  the  defiles,  on  the  heights  commanding  pathways, 
and  wherever  men  could  hide  themselves  and  await  the  moment 
for  appearing  unexpectedly.  The  Franks  heard  them,  from 
amidst  the  heather  and  the  brushwood,  uttering  shrill  cries,  to 
give  warning  one  to  another  or  to  alarm  the  enemy.  The 
Franks  advanced  cautiously,  and  at  last  arrived  at  the  entrance 
of  the  thick  wood  which  surrounded  Morvan's  abode.  He  had 
not  yet  set  out  with  the  pick  of  the  warrioi;|3  he  had  about  him ; 
but,  at  the  approach  of  the  Franks,  he  summoned  his  wife  and 
his  domestics,  and  said  to  them,  ^^  Defend  ye  well  this  house 
and  these  woods;  as  for  me,  I  am  going  to  march  forward  to 
collect  my  people ;  after  which  to  return,  but  not  without  booty 
and  spoils."  He  put  on  his  armor,  took  a  javelin  in  each  hand, 
and  mounted  his  horse.  '^Thou  seest,"  said  he  to  his  wife, 
**  these  javehns  I  brandish:  I  will  bring  them  back  to  thee  this 
very  day  dyed  with  the  blood  of  Franks.  Farewell."  Setting 
out  he  pierced,  followed  by  his  men,  through  the  thickness  of 
the  forest,  and  advanced  to  meet  the  Franks. 

The  battle  began.  The  large  numbers  of  the  Franks  who 
covered  the  ground  for  some  distance  dismayed  the  Britons, 
and  many  of  them  fled,  seeking  where  they  might  hide  them- 
selves. Morvan,  beside  himself  with  rage  and  at  the  head  of 
his  most  devoted  followers,  rushed  down  upon  the  Franks  as  if 
to  demolish  them  at  a  single  stroke;  and  many  fell  beneath  his 
blows.  He  singled  out  a  warrior  of  inferior  grade,  towards 
whom  he  made  at  a  gallop,  and,  insulting  him  by  word  of 
mouth,  after  the  ancient  fashion  of  the  Celtic  warriors,  cried, 
"  Frank,  I  am  going  to  give  tbee  my  first  present,  a  present 
which  I  have  been  keeping  for  thee  a  long  while,  and  which  I 
hope  thou  wilt  bear  in  mind ;"  and  launched  at  him  a  javelin 
which  the  other  received  on  his  shield.  **  Proud  Briton,"  re- 
plied the  Frank,  *'  I  have  received  thy  present,  and  I  am  going 
to  give  thee  mine."  He  dug  both  spurs  into  his  horse's  sides 
and  galloped  down  upon  Morvan,  who,  clad  though  he  was  in 
a  coat  of  mail,  fell  pierced  by  the  thrust  of  a  lance.  The  Frank 
had  but  time  to  dismount  and  cut  off  his  head  when  he  fell  him- 
self, mortally  wounded  by  one  of  Morvan's  young  warriors,  but 
not  without  having,  in  his  turn,  dealt  the  other  his  deathblow. 


•■.YX  NEW  ftRK 




It  spreads  on  all  sides  that  Morvan  is  dead ;  and  the  Franks 
come  thronging  to  the  scene  of  the  encounter.  There  is  picked 
up  and  passed  from  hand  to  hand  a  head  all  hloody  and  fear- 
fully disfigured.  Ditcar  the  monk  is  called  to  see  it,  and  to  say 
whether  it  is  that  of  Morvan ;  but  he  has  to  wash  the  mass  of 
disfigurement,  and  to  partially  adjust  the  hair,  before  he  can 
pronounce  that  it  is  really  Morvan's.  There  is  then  no  more 
doubt ;  resistance  is  now  impossible ;  the  widow,  the  family  and 
the  servants  of  Morvan  arrive,  are  brought  before  Louis  the 
Debonnair,  accept  all  the  conditions  imposed  upon  them,  and 
the  Franks  withdraw  with  the  boast  that  Brittany  is  henceforth 
their  tributary.  {Fait8  et  Geates  de  Louis  le  Pteiwc,  a  poem  by 
Ermold  le  Noir,  in  M.  Guizot's  Collection  des  M4moires  relatifs 
d  VHistoire  de  France,  t.  iv.,  p.  1-113.— Fauriel,  Histoire  de  la 
Ganle,  etc.  t.  iv.,  p.  77-88.) 

On  arriving  at  Angerg,  Louis  found  the  Empress  Hermen- 
garde  dying;  and  two  days  afterwards  she  was  dead.  He  had 
a  tender  heart  which  was  not  proof  against  sorrow;  and  he 
testified  a  desire  to  abdicate  and  turn  monk.  But  he  was  dis- 
suaded from  his  purpose;  for  it  was  easy  to  influence  his  reso- 
lutions. A  little  later,  he  was  advised  to  marry  again,  and  he 
yielded.  Several  princesses  were  introduced;  and  he  chose 
Judith  of  Bavaria,  daughter  of  Cotmt  Welf  (Guelf),  a  family 
already  powerful  and  in  later  times  celebrated.  Judith  was 
young,  beautiful,  witty,  ayxbitious,  and  skilled  in  the  art  of 
making  the  gift  of  pleasing  subserve  the  passion  for  ruling. 
Louis,  during  his  expedition  into  Brittany,  had  just  witnessed 
the  fatal  result  of  a  woman's  empire  over  her  husband ;  he  was 
destined  himself  to  offer  a  more  striking  and  more  long-lived 
example  of  it.  In  823,  he  had,  by  his  new  empress  Judith,  a 
son,  whom  he  called  Charles,  and  who  was  hereafter  to  be 
known  as  Charles  the  Bald.  This  son  became  his  mother's  rul- 
ing, if  not  exclusive,  passion,  and  the  source  of  his  father's 
woes.  His  birth  could  not  fail  to  cause  ill-temper  and  mistrust 
in  Louis'  three  sons  by  Hermengarde,  who  were  already  kings. 
They  had  but  a  short  time  previously  received  the  first  proof 
of  their  father's  weakness.  In  822,  Louis,  repenting  of  his 
severity  towards  his  nephew  Bernard  of  Italy,  whose  eyes  he 
had  caused  to  be  put  out  as  a  punishment  for  rebellion,  and 
who  had  died  in  consequence,  considered  himself  bound  to  per- 
form at  Attigny,  in  the  church  and  before  the  people,  a  solemn 
act  of  penance;  which  was  creditable  to  his  honesty  and  piety, 
but  the  details  left  upon  the  minds  of  the  beholders  an  impres- 

218  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xit. 

sion  unfavorable  to  the  emperor's  dignity  and  authority.    In 
829,  during  an  assembly  held  at  Worms,  he,  yielding  to  his 
wife's  entreaties  and  doubtless   also  to  his   own  yearnings 
towards  his   youngest   son,  set  at  naught  the   solemn   act 
whereby,  in  817,  he  had  shared  his  dominions  amongst  his 
three  elder  sons;  and  took  away  from  two  of  them,  in  Bur- 
gundy and  Allemannia,  some  of  the  territories  he  had  assigned 
to  them,  and  gave  them  to  the  boy  Charles  for  his  share. 
Lothaire,  Pepin,  and  Louis  thereupon  revolted.    Court  rival- 
ries were  added  to  family  differences.    The  emperor  had  sum- 
moned to  his  side  a  young  Southron,  Bernard  by  name,  duke 
of  Septimania  and  son  of  Count  William  of  Toulouse,  who  had 
gallantly  fought  the  Saracens.    He  made  him  his  chief  cham- 
berlain and  his  favorite  counsellor.    Bernard  was  bold,  am- 
bitious, vain,  imperious,  and  restless.    He  removed  his  rivals 
from  court,  and  put  in  their  places  his  own  creatures.    He  was 
accused  not  only  of  abusing  the  emperor's  favor,  but  even  of 
carrying  on  a  guilty  intrigue  with  the  Empress  Judith.    There 
grew  up  against  him,  and,  by  consequence,  against  the  em- 
peror, the  empress,  and  their  yoimgest  son,  a  powerful  opposi- 
tion, in  which  certain  ecclesiastics,  and,  amongst  them,  Wala, 
abbot  of  Corbie,  cousin-german  and  but  lately  one  of  the  privy 
counsellors   of  Charlemagne,  joined  eagerly.    Some  had  at 
heart  the  unity  of  the  empire,  which  Louis  was  breaking  up 
more  and  more;  others  were  concerned  for  the  spiritual  inter- 
ests of  the  Church  which  Louis,  in  spite  of  his  piety  and  by 
reason  of  his  weakness,  often  permitted  to  be  attacked.    Thus 
strengthened,  the  conspirators  considered  themselves  certain 
of  success.    They  had  the  empress  Judith  carried  off  and  shut 
up  in  the  convent  of  St.  Eadegonde  at  Poitiers ;  and  Louis  in 
person  came  to  deliver  himself  up  to  them  at  Compi^gne, 
where  they  were  assembled.    There  they  passed  a  decree  to 
the  effect  that  the  power  and  title  of  emperor  were  transferred 
from  Louis  to  Lothaire,  his  eldest  son;  that  the  act  whereby  a 
share  of  the  empire  had  but  lately  been  assigned  to  Charles 
was  annulled;  and  that  the  act  of  817,  which  had  regulated  the 
partition  of  Louis'  dominions  after  his  death,  was  once  more  in 
force.    But  soon  there  was  a  burst  of  reaction  in  favor  of  the 
emperor;  Lothaire's  two  brothers,  jealous  of  his  late  elevation, 
made  overtures  to  their  father;  the  ecclesiastics  were  a  little 
ashamed  at  being  mixed  up  in  a  revolt;  the  people  felt  pity  for 
the  poor,  honest  emperor ;  and  a  general  assembly,  meeting  at 
Nimeguen,  abolished  the  acts  of  Compiegne,  and  restored  to 


Ix>ui8  his  title  and  his  power.  But  it  was  not  long  hef  ore  there 
was  revolt  again,  originating  this  time  with  Pepin,  king  of 
Aquitaine.  Louis  fought  him,  and  gave  Aquitaine  to  Charles 
the  Bald.  The  alliance  het  ween  the  three  sons  of  Hermengardo 
was  at  once  renewed;  they  raised  an  army;  the  emx)eror 
inarched  against  them  with  his;  and  the  two  hosts  met  be- 
tween Colmar  and  BMe,  in  a  place  called  le  Champ  rouge  {the 
field  of  red).  Negotiations  were  set  on  foot;  and  Louis  was 
called  ux)on  to  leave  his  wife  Judith  and  his  son  Charles,  and 
put  himself  under  the  guardianship  of  his  elder  sons.  He  re- 
fused ;  but,  just  when  the  conflict  was  about  to  commence,  de- 
sertion took  place  in  Louis'  army;  most  of  the  prelates,  laics, 
and  men-at-arms  who  had  accompanied  him  passed  over  to  the 
camp  of  Lothaire ;  and  the  field  of  red  became  the  field  of  false- 
flood  (le  Champ  du  mensonge),  Louis,  left  almost  alone, 
ordered  his  attendants  to  withdraw,  "being  unwilling,"  he 
said,  '*  that  any  one  of  them  should  lose  life  or  limb  on  his  ac- 
count," and  surrendered  to  his  sons.  They  received  him  with 
great  demonstrations  of  respect,  but  without  relinquishing  the 
prosecution  of  their  enterprise.  Lothaire  hastily  collected  an 
assembly,  which  proclaimed  him  emperor,  with  the  addition 
of  divers  territories  to  the  kingdoms  of  Aquitaine  and  Bavaria: 
and,  three  months  afterwards,  another  assembly,  meeting  at 
Compi^ne,  declared  the  Emperor  Louis  to  have  forfeited  the 
crown,  '*for  having,  by  his  faults  and  incapacity,  suffered  to 
sink  so  sadly  low  the  empire  which  had  been  raised  to  grandeur 
and  brought  into  unity  by  Charlemagne  and  his  predecessors." 
Louis  submitted  to  this  decision ;  himself  read  out  aloud,  in  the 
church  of  St.  MMard  at  Soissons,  but  not  quite  unresistingly, 
a  confession,  in  eight  articles,  of  his  faults,  and,  laying  his 
baldric  upon  the  altar,  stripped  off  his  royal  robe,  and  received 
from  the  hands  of  Ebbo,  archbishop  of  Eheims,  the  gray  vest- 
ment of  a  penitent. 

Lothaire  considered  his  father  dethroned  for  good,  and  him- 
self henceforth  sole  emperor;  but  he  was  mistaken.  For  six 
years  longer  the  scenes  which  have  just  been  described  kept 
repeating  themselves  again  and  again;  rivalries  and  secret 
plots  began  once  more  between  the  three  victorious  brothers 
and  their  partisans;  popular  feeling  retvived  in  favor  of  Louis; 
a  large  portion  of  the  clergy  shared  it;  several  counts  of  Neu- 
stria  and  Burgundy  appeared  in  arms,  in  the  name  of  the  de- 
posed emperor;  and  the  seductive  and  able  Judith  came  afr^h 
upon  the  scene,  and  gained  over  to  the  cause  of  her  husbandl 

220  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  xn. 

and  her  son  a  multitude  of  friends.  In  834,  two  assemblies, 
one  meeting  at  St.  Denis  and  the  other  at  ThionviUe,  annulled 
all  the  acts  of  the  assembly  of  Compi^gne,  and  for  the  third 
time  put  Louis  in  possession  of  the  imperial  title  and  power. 
He  displayed  no  violence  in  his  use  of  it;  but  he  was  growing 
more  and  more  irresolute  and  weak,  when,  in  838,  the  second 
of  his  rebellious  sons,  Pepin,  king  of  Aquitaine,  died  suddenly. 
Louis,  ever  under  the  sway  of  Judith,  speedily  convoked  at 
Worms,  in  839,  once  more  and  for  the  last  time,  a  general  a^ 
sembly,  whereat,  leaving  his  son  Louis  of  Bavaria  reduced  to 
his  kingdom  in  eastern  Europe,  he  divided  the  rest  of  his  do- 
minions into  two  nearly  equal  parts,  separated  by  the  course 
of  the  Meuse  and  the  Ehone.  Between  these  two  parts  he  left 
the  choice  to  Lothaire,  who  took  the  eastern  portion,  promising 
at  the  same  time  to  guarantee  the  western  portion  to  his 
younger  brother  Charles.  Louis  the  Germanic  protested 
against  this  partition,  and  took  up  arms  to  resist  it.  His 
father,  the  emperor,  set  himself  in  motion  towards  the  Rhine, 
to  reduce  him  to  submission;  but,  on  arriving  close  to  May- 
ence,  he  caught  a  violent  fever,  and  died  on  the  20th  of  June, 
840,  at  the  castle  of  Ingelheim,  on  a  little  island  in  the  river. 
His  last  acts  were  a  fresh  proof  of  his  goodness  towards  even 
his  rebelhous  sons,  and  of  his  sohcitude  for  his  last-bom.  He 
sent  to  Louis  the  Gerinauic  his  pardon,  and  to  Lothaire  the 
golden  crown  and  sword,  at  the  same  time  bidding  him  fulfil 
his  father's  wishes  on  behalf  of  Charles  and  Judith. 

There  is  no  telling  whether,  in  the  credulousness  of  his  good 
nature,  Louis  had,  at  his  dying  hour,  any  great  confidence  in 
the  appeal  he  made  to  his  son  Lothaire,  and  in  the  impression 
which  would  be  produced  on  his  other  son,  Louis  of  Bavaria, 
by  the  pardon  bestowed.  The  prayers  of  the  dying  are  of  httle 
avaU  against  violent  passions  and  barbaric  manners.  Scarcely 
was  Louis  the  Debonnair  dead,  when  Lothaire  was  already 
conspiring  against  yoimg  Charles,  and  was  in  secret  alliance, 
for  his  despoilment,  with  Pepin  II.,  the  late  King  of  Aquitaine's 
son,  who  had  taken  up  arms  for  the  purpose  of  seizing  his 
f ather^s  kingdom,  in  the  possession  of  which  his  grandfather 
Louis  had  not  been  pleased  to  confirm  him.  Charles  suddenly 
learnt  that  his  mother  Judith  was  on  the  point  of  being  be- 
sieged in  Poitiers  by  the  Aquitanians ;  and,  in  spite  of  the 
friendly  protestations  sent  to  him  by  Lothaire,  it  was  not  long 
before  he  discovered  the  plot  formed  against  him.  He  was  not 
wanting  in  shrewdness  or  energy;  and,  having  first  provided 

CH.  xiT.]  DSCATANH  pall  op  the  CABLonNGTANS.  221 

for  his  mother^s  safety,  he  set  about  forming  an  alliance,  iii 
the  cause  of  their  common  interests,  with  his  other  brother, 
Louis  the  Germanic,  who  was  equally  in  danger  from  the  am- 
bition of  Lothaire.  The  historians  of  the  period  do  not  say 
what  negotiator  was  employed  by  Charles  on  this  distant  and 
delicate  mission;  but  several  circumstances  indicate  that  the 
Empress  Judith  herself  undertook  it;  that  she  went  in  quest  of 
the  King  of  Bavaria ;  and  that  it  was  she  who,  with  her  accus- 
tomed grace  and  address,  determined  him  to  make  common 
cause  with  his  youngest  against  their  eldest  brother.  Divers 
incidents  retarded  for  a  whole  year  the  outburst  of  this  family 
plot,  and  of  the  war  of  which  it  was  the  precursor.  The  posi- 
tion of  the  young  King  Charles  appeared  for  some  time  a  very 
bad  one;  but  '* certain  chieftains,"  says  the  historian  Nithard, 
"  faithful  to  his  mother  and  to  him,  and  having  nothing  more 
to  lose  than  Hfe  or  limb,  chose  rather  to  die  gloriously  than  to 
betray  their  king."  The  arrival  of  Louis  the  Germanic  with 
his  troops  helped  to  swell  the  forces  and  increase  the  confidence 
of  Charles;  and  it  was  on  the  21st  of  June,  841,  exactly  a  year 
after  the  death  of  Louis  the  Debonnair,  that  the  two  armies, 
that  of  Lothaire  and  Pepin  on  the  one  side,  and  that  of  Charles 
the  Bald  and  Louis  the  Germanic  on  the  other,  stood  face  to 
face  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  village  of  Fontenailles,  six 
leagues  from  Auxerre,  on  the  rivulet  of  Audries.  Never,  ac- 
cording to  such  evidence  as  is  forthcoming,  since  the  battle  on 
the  plains  of  Chalons  against  the  Huns,  and  that  of  Poitiers 
against  the  Saracens,  had  so  great  masses  of  men  been  engaged* 
**  There  would  be  nothing  untruthlike,"  says  that  scrupulous 
authority,  M.  Fauriel,  "in  putting  the  whole  number  of  com- 
batants at  300,000;  and  there  is  nothing  to  show  that  either  of 
the  two  armies  was  much  less  numerous  than  the  other." 
However  that  may  be,  the  leaders  hesitated  for  four  days  to 
come  to  blows ;  and  whilst  they  were  hesitating,  the  old  favorite 
not  only  of  Louis  the  Debonnair,  but  also,  accordiug  to  several 
chroniclers,  of  the  Empress  Judith,  held  himself  aloof  with  his 
troojws  in  the  vicinity,  having  made  equal  promise  of  assistance 
to  both  sides,  and  waiting,  to  govern  his  decision,  for  the  pros- 
j)ect  afforded  by  the  first  conflict.  The  battle  began  on  the  26th 
of  June,  at  daybreak,  and  was  at  first  in  favor  of  Lothaire; 
but  the  troops  of  Charles  the  Bald  recovered  the  advantage 
which  had  been  lost  by  those  of  Louis  the  Germanic,  and  the 
action  was  soon  nothing  but  a  terribly  simple  scene  of  carnage 
between  enormous  masses  of  men,  charging  hand  to  hand, 

222  BISTORT  OF  FBANCS.  [ch.  xn. 

again  and  again,  with  a  front  extending  over  a  couple  of 
leagues.  Before  mid-day  the  slaughter,  the  plunder,  the  spolia- 
tion of  the  dead— ^  was  over;  the  victory  of  CSiarles  and 
Louis  was  complete ;  the  victors  had  retired  to  their  camp,  and 
there  remained  nothing  on  the  field  of  battle  but  corpses  in 
thick  heaps  or  a  long  line,  according  as  they  had  fallen  in  the 
disorder  of  flight  or  steadily  fighting  in  their  ranks.  .  .  .  "Ac- 
cursed be  this  day !"  cries  Angilbert,  one  of  Lothaire's  officers, 
in  rough  Latin  verse;  **be  it  unnumbered  in  the  return  of  the 
year,  but  wiped  out  of  all  remembrance!  Be  it  unht  by  the 
light  of  the  sun !  Be  it  without  either  dawn  or  twilight !  Ac- 
cursed, also,  be  this  night,  this  awful  night  in  which  fell  the 
brave,  the  most  expert  in  battle!  Eye  ne'er  hath  seen  more 
fearful  slaughter:  in  streams  of  blood  fell  Christian  men;  the 
linen  vestments  of  the  dead  did  whiten  the  champaign  even  as 
it  is  whitened  by  the  birds  of  autumn  I" 

In  spite  of  this  battle,  which  appeared  a  decisive  one,  Lothaire 
made  zealous  efforts  to  continue  the  struggle ;  he  scoured  the 
coimtries  wherein  he  hoped  to  find  partisans ;  to  the  Saxons  he 
promised  the  unrestricted  re-establishment  of  their  pagan  wor- 
ship, and  several  of  the  Saxon  tribes  responded  to  his  appeal. 
Louis  the  Germanic  and  Charles  the  Bald,  having  information 
of  these  preliminaries,  resolved  to  solemnly  renew  their  al- 
liance; and,  seven  months  after  their  victory  at  Fontenailles, 
in  February,  842,  they  repaired  both  of  them,  each  with  hia 
army,  to  Argentaria,  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Ehine,  between 
B&le  and  Strasbourg,  and  there,  at  an  open-air  meeting,  Louis 
first,  addressing  the  chieftains  about  him  in  the  German 
tongue,  said,  "  Ye  all  know  how  often,  since  our  father's  death, 
Lothaire  hath  attacked  us,  in  order  to  destroy  us,  this  my 
brother  and  me.  Having  never  been  able,  as  brothers  and 
Christians,  or  in  any  just  way,  to  obtain  peace  from  him,  we 
were  constrained  to  appeal  to  the  judgment  of  God.  Lothaire 
was  beaten  and  retired,  whither  he  could,  with  his  following ; 
for  we,  restrained  by  paternal  affection  and  moved  with  com- 
passion for  Christian  people,  were  unwilling  to  pursue  them  to 
extermination.  Neither  then  nor  aforetime  did  we  demand 
aught  else  save  that  each  of  us  should  be  maintained  in  his 
rights.  But  he,  rebelling  against  the  judgment  of  God,  ceaseth 
not  to  attack  us  as  enemies,  this  my  brother  and  me;  and  he 
destroyeth  our  peoples  with  fire  and  pillage  and  the  sword. 
That  is  the  cause  which  hath  imited  us  afresh;  and,  as  we  trow 
that  ye  doubt  the  soundness  of  our  alliance  and  our  fraternal 


union,  we  have  resolved  to  bind  ourselves  afresh  by  this  oath 
in  your  presence,  being  led  thereto  by  no  prompting  of  wicked 
covetousness,  but  only  that  we  may  secm^e  our  common  ad 
vantage  in  case  that,  by  your  aid,  Gknl  should  cause  us  to  ob- 
tain peace.  If,  then,  I  violate— which  God  forbid— this  oath 
that  I  am  about  to  take  to  my  brother,  I  hold  you  all  quit  of 
submission  to  me  and  of  the  faith  ye  have  sworn  to  me." 

Charles  repeated  this  speech,  word  for  word,  to  his  own 
troops,  in  the  Ebmance  language,  in  that  idiom  derived  from  a 
mixture  of  Latin  and  of  the  tongues  of  ancient  Gaul,  and 
spoken,  thenceforth,  with  varieties  of  dialect  and  pronunciation, 
in  nearly  all  parts  of  Frankish  Gaul.  After  this  address,  Louis 
pronounced  and  Charles  repeated  after  him,  each  in  bis  own 
tongue,  the  oath  couched  in  these  terms :  *  *  For  the  love  of  God, 
for  the  Christian  people  and  for  our  common  weal,  from  this 
day  forth  and  so  long  as  God  shall  grant  me  power  and  knowl- 
edge, I  will  defend  this  my  brother  and  will  be  an  aid  to  him 
in  every  thing,  as  one  ought  to  defend  his  brother,  provided 
that  he  do  likewise  unto  me;  and  I  will  never  make  with 
Lothaire  any  covenant  which  may  be,  to  my  knowledge,  to  the 
damage  of  this  my  brother." 

When  the  two  brothers  had  thus  sworn,  the  two  armies,  offi- 
cers and  men,  took,  in  their  turn,  a  similar  oath,  going  bail,  in 
a  mass,  for  the  engagements  of  their  kings.  Then  they  took 
up  their  quarters,  all  of  them,  for  some  time,  between  Worms 
and  Mayence,  and  followed  up  their  poHtical  proceeding  with 
military  fdtes,  precursors  of  the  knightly  tournaments  of  the 
middle  ages.  **  A  place  of  meeting  was  fixed,"  says  the  con- 
temporary historian  Nithard, ' '  at  a  spot  suitable  for  this  kind  of 
exercises.  Here  were  drawn  up,  on  one  side,  a  certain  number 
of  combatants,  Saxons,  Yasconians,  Austrasians  or  Britons; 
there  were  ranged,  on  the  opposite  side,  an  equal  niunber  of 
warriors,  and  the  two  divisions  advanced,  each  against  the 
other,  as  if  to  attack.  One  of  them,  with  their  bucklers  at 
their  backs,  took  to  flight  as  if  to  seek,  in  the  main  body,  shel- 
ter against  those  who  were  pursuing  them;  then  suddenly, 
facing  about,  they  dashed  out  in  pursuit  of  those  before  whom 
they  had  just  been  flying.  This  sport  lasted  until  the  two 
kings,  appeariiig  with  all  the  youth  of  their  suites,  rode  up 
at  a  gallop,  brandishing  their  spears  and  chasing  first  one  lot 
and  then  the  other.  It  was  a  fine  sight  to  see'so  much  temper 
amongst  so  many  valiant  folks,  for,  great  as  was  the  nmnber 
and  the  mixture  of  different  nationalities,  no  one  was  insulted 

224  BT8T0RY  OP  t'RANCK  [en.  xit. 

or  maltreated,  though  the  contrary  is  often  the  case  amongst 
men  in  small  numbers  and  known  one  to  another. " 

After  four  or  five  months  of  tentative  measures  or  of  inci- 
dents which  taught  both  parties  that  they  could  not,  either  of 
them,  hope  to  completely  destroy  their  opponents,  the  two 
allied  brothers  received  at  Verdun,  whither  they  had  repaired 
to  concert  their  next  movement,  a  messenger  from  Lothaire, 
with  peaceful  proposals  which  they  were  imwilling  to  reject. 
The  principal  was  that,  with  the  exception  of  Italy,  Aquitaine, 
and  Bavaria,  to  be  secured  without  dispute  to  their  then 
possessors,  the  Frankish  empire  should  be  divided  into  three 
portions,  that  the  arbiters  elected  to  preside  over  the  partition 
should  swear  to  make  it  as  equal  as  possible,  and  that  Lothaire 
should  have  his  choice,  with  the  title  of  Emperor.  About  mid 
June,  842,  the  three  brothers  met  on  an  island  of  the  Saone, 
near  Chalons,  where  they  began  to  discuss  the  questions  which 
divided  them;  but  it  was  not  till  more  than  a  year  after,  in 
August,  843,  that  assembling,  all  three  of  them,  with  their 
umpires,  at  Verdun,  they  at  last  came  to  an  •agreement  about 
the  partition  of  the  Frankish  empire,  save  the  three  coimtries 
which  it  had  been  beforehand  agreed  to  except.  Louis  kept 
aU  the  provinces  of  Germany  of  which  he  was  already  in  pos- 
session, and  received  besides,  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine, 
the  towns  of  Mayence,  Worms,  and  Spire,  with  the  territory 
appertaining  to  them.  Lothaire,  for  his  part,  had  the  eastern 
belt  of  Gaul,  bounded  on  one  side  by  the  Rhine  and  the  Alps, 
on  the  other  by  the  courses  of  the  Meuse,  the  Saone,  and  the 
Rhone,  starting  from  the  confluence  of  the  two  latter  rivers, 
and,  further,  the  country  comprised  between  the  Meuse  and 
the  Scheldt,  together  with  certain  countships  lying  to  the  west 
of  that  river.  To  Charles  fell  all  the  rest  of  Gaul:  Vasconia 
or  Biscaye,  Septimania,  the  marshes  of  Spain,  beyond  the 
Pyrenees,  and  the  other  countries  of  Southern  Gaul  which  had 
enjoyed  hitherto,  under  the  title  of  the  Kingdom  of  Aquitaine, 
a  special  government  subordinated  to  the  general  govern- 
ment of  the  empire  but  distinct  from  it,  lost  this  last  remnant 
of  their  Gallo-Roman  nationaUty,  and  became  integral  por- 
tions of  Frankish  Gaul,  which  fell  by  partition  to  Charles  the 
Bald,  and  formed  one  and  the  same  kingdom  under  one  and 
the  same  king. 

Thus  fell  through  and  disappeared,  in  843,  by  virtue  of  the 
treaty  of  Verdim,  the  second  of  Charlemagne^s  grand  designs, 
the  resuscitation   of  the  Roman   empire  by  means   of   the 


.^^ sue  LIBRARY 



Frankish  and  Christian  masters  of  Gaul.  The  name  of 
emperor  still  retained  a  certain  value  in  the  minds  of  the  peo- 
ple and  still  remained  an  object  of  ambition  to  princes;  but 
the  empire  was  completely  abolished,  and,  in  its  stead,  sprang 
up  three  kingdoms,  independent  one  of  another,  without  any- 
necessary  connection  or  relation.  One  of  the  three  was  thence- 
forth France. 

In  this  great  event  are  comprehended  two  facts;  the  dis- 
appearance of  the  empire  and  the  formation  of  the  three  king- 
doms which  took  its  place.  The  first  is  easily  explained.  The 
resuscitation  of  the  Roman  empire  had  been  a  dream  of 
ambition  and  ignorance  on  the  part  of  a  great  man,  but  a  bar- 
barian. Political  unity  and  central,  absolute  power  had  been 
the  essential  characteristics  of  that  empire.  They  became  in- 
troduced and  established,  through  a  long  succession  of  ages,  on 
the  ruins  of  the  splendid  Roman  republic  destroyed  by  its 
own  dissensions,  imder  favor  of  the  still  greeit  influence  of  the 
old  Roman  senate,  though  fallen  from  its  high  estate^  and 
beneath  the  guardianship  of  the  Roman  legions  and  imperial 
praetorians.  Not  one  of  these  conditions,  not  one  of  these 
forces  was  to  be  met  with  in  the  Roman  world  reigned  over 
by  Charlemagne.  The  nation  of  the  Franks  and  Charlemagne 
himself  were  but  of  yesterday;  the  new  emperor  had  neither 
ancient  senate  to  hedge  at  the  same  time  that  it  obeyed  him, 
nor  old  bodies  of  troops  to  support  him.  PoUtical  unity  and 
absolute  power  were  repugnant  alike  to  the  intellectual  and 
the  social  condition,  to  the  national  manners  and  personal 
sentiments  of  the  victorious  barbarians.  The  necessity  of 
placing  their  conquests  beyond  the  reach  of  a  new  swarm  of 
barbarians  and  the  personal  ascendency  of  Charlemagne  were 
the  only  things  which  gave  his  government  a  momentary 
gleam  of  success  in  the  way  of  unity  and  of  factitious 
despotism  imder  the  name  of  empire.  In  814,  Charlemagne 
had  made  territorial  security  an  accomplished  fact;  but  the 
personal  power  he  had  exercised  disappeared  with  him.  The 
new  Gallo-Frankish  community  recovered,  under  the  mighty 
but  gradual  influence  of  Christianity,  its  proper  and  natural 
course,  producing  disruption  into  different  local  communities 
and  bold  struggles  for  individual  liberties,  either  one  with 
another,  or  against  whosoever  tried  to  become  their  master. 

As  for  the  second  fact,  the  formation  of  the  three  kingdoms 
which  were  the  issue  of  the  treaty  of  Verdim,  various  explana- 
tions have  been  given  of  it.     This  distribution  of  certain 

226       '  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  xn. 

peoples  of  Western  Europe  into  three  distinct  and  independ- 
ent groups,  Italians,  Germans,  and  French,  has  been  attri- 
buted at  one  time  to  a  diversity  of  histories  and  manners;  at 
another  to  geographical  causes  and  to  what  is  called  the  rule 
of  natural  frontiers;  and  oftener  still  to  a  spirit  of  nationaKty 
and  to  differences  of  language.  Let  none  of  these  causes  be 
gainsaid;  they  all  exercised  some  sort  of  influence,  but  they 
are  all  incomplete  in  themselves  and  far  too  redolent  of 
theoretical  system.  It  is  true  that  Grermany,  France,  and 
Italy  began,  at  that  time,  to  emerge  from  the  chaos  into  which 
they  had  been  plunged  by  barbaric  invasion  and  the  conquests 
of  Charlemagne,  and  to  form  themselves  into  quite  distinct 
nations;  but  there  were,  in  each  of  the  kingdoms  of  Lothaire, 
of  Louis  the  Germanic,  and  of  Charles  the  Bald,  populations 
widely  differing  in  race,  language,  manners,  and  geographical 
aflSnity,  and  it  required  many  great  events  and  the  lapse  of 
many  centuries  *to  bring  about  the  degree  of  national  unity 
they  now  possess.  To  say  nothing  touching  the  agency  of 
individual  and  independent  forces,  which  is  always  consider- 
able, although  so  many  men  of  intellect  ignore  it  in  the  present 
day,  what  would  have  happened,  had  any  one  of  the  three 
new  kings,  Lothaire,  or  Louis  the  Grermanic,  or  Charles  the 
Bald,  been  a  second  Charlemagne,  as  Charlemagne  had  fceen 
a  second  Charles  Martel?  Who  can  say  that,  in  such  a  case, 
the  three  kingdoms  would  have  taken  the  form  they  took  in 

Happily  or  unhappily,  it  was  not  so;  none  of  Charlemagne's 
successors  was  capable  of  exercising  on  the  events  of  his  time, 
by  virtue  of  his  brain  and  his  own  will,  any  notable  influence. 
Not  that  they  were  all  unintelligent,  or  timid,  or  indolent.  It 
has  been  seen  that  Louis  the  Debonnair  did  not  lack  virtues 
and  good  intentions ;  and  Charles  the  Bald  was  clearsighted, 
dexterous,  and  energetic;  he  had  a  taste  for  information  and 
intellectual  distinction;  he  liked  and  sheltered  men  of  learning 
and  letters,  and  to  such  purpose  that  instead  of  speaking,  as 
imder  Charlemagne,  of  the  school  of  the  palace^  people  called 
tthe  palace  of  Charles  the  Bald  the  palace  of  the  school. 
Amongst  the  eleven  kings  who  after  him  ascended  the  Carlo- 
vingian  throne,  several, 'such  as  Louis  III.  and  Carloman,  and, 
especially,  Louis  the  Ultramarine  (d'Outremer)  and  Lothaire, 
displayed,  on  several  occasions,  energy  and  courage ;  and  the 
kings  elected,  at  this  epoch,  without  the  pale  of  the  Carlo- 
vingian  dynasty,  Eudes  in  887  and  Raoul  in  923,  gave  proofjs  of 

CH.  xin.]    FEUDAL  FRANCE  AND  HVQH  CAPET.  227 

a  valor  both  discreet  and  effectual.  The  CarloTingians  did  not, 
as  the  Merovingians  did,  end  in  monkish  retirement  or  shame- 
ful inactivity :  even  the  last  of  them,  and  the  only  one  termed 
sltiggard,  Louis  V.,  was  getting  ready,  when  he  died,  for  an 
expedition  in  Spain  against  the  Saracens.  The  truth  is  that, 
mediocre  or  undecided  or  addle-pated  as  they  may  have  been, 
they  all  succumbed,  internally  and  externally,  without  initi- 
ating and  without  resisting,  to  the  course  of  events,  and  that, 
in  987,  the  fall  of  the  Carlovingian  line  was  the  natural  and 
easily  accomplished  consequence  of  the  new  social  condition 
which  had  been  preparing  in  France  under  the  empire. 



The  reader  has  just  seen  that,  twenty-nine  years  after  the 
death  of  Charlemagne,  that  is,  in  843,  when,  by  the  treaty  of 
Verdun,  the  sons  of  Louis  the  Debonnair  had  divided  amongst 
them  his  dominions,  the  great  empire  split  up  into  three 
distinct  and  independent  kingdoms,  the  kingdoms  of  Italy, 
Germany  and  France.  The  split  did  not  stop  there.  Forty- 
five  years  later,  at  the  end  of  the  ninth  century,  shortly  after 
the  death  of  Charles  the  Fat,  the  last  of  the  Carlovingians, 
who  appears  to  have  reunited  for  a  while  all  the  empire  of 
Charlemagne,  this  empire  had  begotten  seven  instead  of  three 
kingdoms,  those  of  France,  of  Navarre,  of  Provence  or  Cis- 
juran  Burgundy,  of  Trans-juran  Burgundy,  of  Lorraine,  of 
Allemannia  and  of  Italy.  This  is  what  had  become  of  the 
factitious  and  ephemeral  unity  of  that  empire  of  the  West 
which  Charlemagne  had  wished  to  put  in  the  place  of  the 
Eoman  empire. 

We  will  leave  where  they  are  the  three  distinct  and  inde- 
pendent kingdoms;  and  turn  our  introspective  gaze  upon  the, 
kingdom  of  France.  There  we  recognize  the  same  fact ;  there 
the  same  work  of  dismemberment  is  going  on.  About  the  end 
of  the  ninth  century  there  were  already  twenty-nine  pro-  * 
vinces  or  fragments  of  provinces  which  had  become  petty 
states,  the  former  governors  of  which,  imder  the  names  of 
dukes,  counts,  marquises  and  viscounts,  were  pretty  nearly 

228  HiaTOBT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xm. 

real  sovereigns.  Twenty-nine  great  fiefe,  which  have  played 
a  special  part  in  French  history,  date  back  to  this  ex>och. 
These  petty  states  were  not  all  of  equal  importance  or  in  pos- 
session of  a  perfectly  similar  independence;  there  were  certain 
ties  imiting  them  to  other  states,  resulting  in  certain  reciprocal 
obligations  which  became  the  basis,  or,  one  might  say,  the 
constitution  of  the  feudal  community;  but  their  prevailing 
feature  was,  nevertheless,  isolation,  personal  existence.  They 
were  really  petty  states  begotten  from  the  dismemberment  of 
a  great  territory;  those  local  governments  were  formed  at  the 
expense  of  a  central  power. 

From  the  end  of  the  ninth  pass  we  to  the  end  of  the  tenth 
century,  to  the  epoch  when  the  Capetians  take  the  place  of  the 
Carlovingians.  Instead  of  seven  kingdoms  to  replace  the  em- 
pire of  Charlemagne,  there  were  then  no  more  than  four.  The 
kingdoms  of  Provence  and  Trans-juran  Burgundy  had  formed, 
by  reunion,  the  kingdom  of  Aries.  The  kingdom  of  Lorraine 
was  no  more  than  a  duchy  in  dispute  between  Allemannia  and 
France.  The  Emperor  Otho  the  Great  had  united  the  kingdom 
of  Italy  to  the  empire  of  Allemannia.  Overtures  had  pro- 
duced their  effects  amongst  the  great  states.  But  in  the 
interior  of  the  kingdom  of  France  dismemberment  had  held  on 
its  course;  and  instead  of  the  twenty-nine  petty  states  or 
great  fiefs  observable  at  the  end  of  the  ninth  century,  we  find 
at  the  end  of  the  tenth,  fifty-five  actually  established.  {Vide 
Guizot's  Histoire  de  la  Civilization^  t.  ii.,  pp.  238-246.) 

Now  how  was  this  ever-increasing  dismemberment  accom- 
plished? What  causes  determined  it,  and  little  by  little  made 
it  the  substitute  for  the  unity  of  the  empire?  Two  causes,  per- 
fectly natural  and  independent  of  all  human  calculation,  one 
moral  and  the  other  political.  They  were  the  absence  from 
the  minds  of  men  of  any  general  and  dominant  idea;  and  the 
reflux,  in  social  relations  and  manners,  of  the  individual 
liberties  but  lately  repressed  or  regulated  by  the  strong  hand 
of  Charlemagne.  In  times  of  formation  or  transition,  states 
and  governments  conform  to  the  measure,  ©ne  had  almost  said 
to  the  height,  of  the  men  of  the  period,  their  ideas,  their  senti- 
ments, and  their  personal  force  of  character;  when  ideas  are 
few  and  narrow,  when  sentiments  spread  only  over  a  confined 
circle,  when  means  of  action  and  expansion  are  wanting  to 
men,  communities  become  petty  and  local,  just  as  the  thoughts 
and  existence  of  their  members  are.  Such  was  the  state  of 
things  in  the  ninth  and  tenth  centuries:  there  was  no  general 

CH.  xin.]    FEUDAL  FRANCE  AND  HUGH  CAPET.  229 

and  fructifyingidea,  save  the  Christian  creed ;  no  great  intellec- 
tual vent;  no  great  national  feeling;  no  easy  and  rapid  means 
of  communication;  mind  and  life  were  both  confined  in  a 
narrow  space  and  encountered,  at  every  step,  stoppages  and 
obstacles  well-nigh  insurmoimtable.  At  the  same  time,  by  the 
fall  of  the  empires  of  Rome  and  of  Charlemagne^  men  regained 
possession  of  the  rough  and  ready  individual  liberties  which 
were  the  essential  characteristic  of  Germanic  manners; 
Franks,  Visi^ths,  Burgundians,  Saxons,  Lombards,  none  of 
these  new  peoples  had  lived  as  the  Greeks  and  Romans  had, 
imder  the  sway  of  an  essentially  political  idea,  the  idea  of  city, 
state,  and  fatherland;  they  were  free  men  and  not  citizens, 
comrades  not  members  of  one  and  the  same  public  body.  They 
gave  up  their  vagabond  life;  they  settled  upon  a  soil  conquered 
by  themselves  and  partitioned  amongst  themselves;  and  there 
they  lived  each  by  himself,  master  of  himself  and  all  that  was 
his,  family,  servitors,  husbandmen,  and  slaves:  the  territorial 
domain  became  the  fatherland,  and  the  owner  remained  a  free 
man,  a  local  and  independent  chieftain,  at  his  own  risk  and 
peril.  And  thus,  quite  naturally,  grew  up  feudal  France, 
when  the  new  comers,  settled  in  their  new  abodes,  were  no 
more  swayed  or  hampered  by  the  vain  attempt  to  re-establish 
the  Roman  empire.  ^ 

The  consequences  of  such  a  state  of  things  and  of  such  a  dis- 
position of  persons  were  rapidly  developed.  Territorial  owner- 
ship became  the  fundamental  characteristic  of  and  warranty 
for  independence  and  social  importance.  Local  sovereignty, 
if  not  complete  and  absolute,  at  least  in  respect  of  its  principal 
rights,  right  of  making  war,  right  of  judicature,  right  of  taxa- 
tion, and  right  of  regulating  the  police,  became  one  with  the 
territorial  ownership,  which  before  long  grew  to  be  hereditary, 
whether,  under  the  title  of  alleu  (cdlodium),  it  had  been  origi- 
nally perfectly  independent  and  exempt  from  any  feudal  tie, 
or,  under  the  title  of  beneficCy  had  arisen  from  grants  of  land 
made  by  the  chieftain  to  his  followers,  on  condition  of  certain 
obligations.  The  offices,  that  is,  the  divers  functions,  military 
or  civil,  conferred  by  the  king  on  his  lieges,  also  ended  by  be- 
coming hereditary.  Having  become  established  in  fact,  this 
heirship  in  lands  and  local  powers  was  soon  recognized  by  the 
law.  A  capitulary  of  Charles  the  Bald,  promulgated  in  877, 
contains  the  two  following  provisions: 

**  If,  after  our  death,  any  one  of  our  lieges,  moved  by  love 
for  CK)d  and  our  person,  desire  to  renounce  the  world,  and  if 

230  HiaTORT  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  mi. 

he  have  a  son  or  other  relative  capahle  of  serving  the  puhlic 
weal,  let  him  he  free  to  transmit  to  him  his  henefices  and  his 
honors,  according  to  his  pleasure." 

^^  If  a  coimt  of  this  kingdom  happen  to  die,  and  his  son  he 
ahout  our  person,  we  will  that  our  son,  together  with  those  of 
our  lieges  who  may  chanc^  to  he  the  nearest  relatives  of  the 
deceased  coimt,  as  well  as  with  the  other  ofllcers  of  the  said 
coimtship  and  the  bishop  of  the  diocese  wherein  it  is  situated, 
shall  provide  for  its  administration  until  the  death  of  the  here- 
tofore count  shall  have  been  annotmced  to  us  and  we  have  been 
enabled  to  confer  on  the  son,  present  at  our  court,  the  honors 
wherewith  his  father  was  invested." 

Thus  the  king  still  retained  the  nominal  right  of  conferring 
on  the  son  the  offices  or  local  functions  of  the  father,  but  he 
recognized  in  the  son  the  right  to  obtain  them.  A  host  of 
documents  testify  that  at  this  epoch,  when,  on  the  death  of  a 
governor  of  a  province,  the  king  attempted  to  give  his  count- 
ship  to  some  one  else  than  his  descendants,  not  only  did  x>er- 
sonal  interest  resist,  but  such  a  measure  was  considered  a 
violation  of  right.  Under  the  reign  of  Louis  the  Stutterer, 
son  of  Charles  the  Bald,  two  of  his  lieges,  Wilhelm  and 
Engelschalk,  held  two  countships  on  the  confines  of  Bavaria; 
and,  at  their  death,  their  offices  were  given  to  Count  Arbo,  to 
the  prejudice  of  their  sons.  *  *  The  children  and  their  relatives, " 
says  the  chronicler,  "  taking  that  as  a  gross  injustice,  said  that 
matters  ought  to  go  differently,  and  that  they  would  die  by  the 
sword  or  Arbo  should  give  up  the  countship  of  their  family." 
Heirship  in  territorial  ownerships  and  their  local  rights,  what- 
ever may  have  originally  been  their  character;  heirship  in 
local  offices  or  powers,  militeuy  or  civil,  primarily  conferred 
by  the  king;  and,  by  consequence,  hereditary  imion  of  terri- 
torial ownership  and  local  government,  under  the  condition,  a 
little  confused  and  precarious,  of  subordinated  relations  and 
duties  between  suzerain  and  vassal— such  was,  in  law  and  in 
fact,  the  feudal  order  of  things.  From  the  ninth  to  the  tenth 
century  it  had  acquired  full  force. 

This  order  of  things  being  thus  well  defined,  we  find  our- 
selves face  to  face  with  an  indisputable  historic  fact :  no  period, 
no  system  has  ever,  in  France,  remained  so  odious  to  the  pub- 
Uc  instincts.  And  this  antipathy  is  not  peculiar  to  our  age, 
nor  merely  the  fruit  of  that  great  revolution  which  not  long 
since  separated,  as  by  a  gulf,  the  French  present  from  its  past. 
Gk)  back  to  any  portion  of  French  history,  and  stop  where  you 


will;  and  you  will  everywhere  find  the  feudal  system  consid- 
ered, by  the  mass  of  the  population,  a  foe  to  be  fought  and 
fought  down  at  any  price.  At  aU  times,  whoever  dealt  it  a 
blow  has  been  popular  in  France. 

The  reasons  for  this  fact  are  not  all,  or  even  the  chief  of 
them,  to  be  traced  to  the  evils  which,  in  France,  the  people 
had  to  endure  under  the  feudal  system.  It  is  not  evil  plight 
which  is  most  detested  and  feared  by  peoples;  they  have  more 
than  once  borne,  faced,  and  almost  wooed  it,  and  there  are 
wof  ul  epochs,  the  memory  of  which  has  remained  dear.  It  is 
in  the  political  character  of  feudalism,  in  the  nature  and  shape 
of  its  power  that  we  find  lurking  that  element  of  popular 
aversion  which,  in  France  at  least,  it  has  never  ceased  to 

It  was  a  confederation  of  petty  sovereigns,  of  petty  despots, 
unequal  amongst  themselves,  and  having,  one  towards  another, 
certain  duties  and  rights,  but  invested  in  their  own  domains, 
over  their  personal  and  direct  subjects,  with  arbitrary  and 
absolute  power.  That  is  the  essential  element  of  the  feudal 
system ;  therein  it  differs  from  every  other  aristocracy,  every 
other  form  of  government. 

There  has  been  no  scarcity  in  this  world  of  aristocracies  and 
despotisms.  There  have  been  peoples  arbitrarily  governed, 
nay  absolutely  possessed  by  a  single  man,  by  a  college  of 
priests,  by  a  body  of  patricians.  But  none  of  these  despotic 
governments  was  like  the  feudal  system. 

In  the  case  where  the  sovereign  power  has  been  placed  in  the 
hands  of  a  single  man,  the  condition  of  the  people  has  been 
servile  and  woful.  At  bottom  the  feudal  system  was  some- 
what better;  and  it  will  presently  be  explained  why.  Mean- 
while, it  must  be  acknowledged  that  that  condition  often 
appeared  less  burdensome  and  obtained  more  easy  acceptance 
than  the  feudal  system.  It  was  because,  under  the  great  ab- 
solute monarchies,  men  did,  nevertheless,  obtain  some  sort  of 
equality  and  tranquillity.  A  shameful  equality  and  a  fatal 
tranquillity,  no  doubt ;  but  such  as  peoples  are  sometimes  con- 
tented with  under  the  dominance  of  certain  circumstances, 
or  in  the  last  gasp  of  their  existence.  Liberty,  equality,  and 
tranquillity  were  all  alike  wanting,  from  the  tenth  to  the 
thirteenth  century,  to  the  inhabitants  of  each  lord's  domains; 
their  sovereign  was  at  their  very  doors,  and  none  of  them  was 
hidden  from  him  or  beyond  reach  of  his  mighty  arm.  Of  all 
tyrannies  the  worst  is  that  which  can  thus  keep  account  of  its 

232  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  xm. 

subjects,  and  which  sees,  from  its  seat,  the  limits  of  its  empire. 
The  caprices  of  the  human  will  then  show  themselves  in  all 
their  intolerable  extravagance  and,  moreover,  with  irresistible 
promptness.  It  is  then,  too,  that  inequality  of  conditions  makes 
itself  more  rudely  felt;  riches,  might,  independence,  every 
advantage  and  every  right  present  themselves  every  instant 
to  the  gaze  of  misery,  weakness,  and  servitude.  The  inhabi- 
tants of  fiefs  could  not  find  consolation  in  the  bosom  of  tran- 
quillity ;  incessantly  mixed  up  in  the  quarrels  of  their  lord,  a 
prey  to  his  neighbors'  devastations,  they  led  a  Ufe  still  more 
precarious  and  still  more  restless  than  that  of  the  lords  them- 
selves, and  they  had  to  put  up  at  one  and  the  same  time  with 
the  presence  of  war,  privilege,  and  absolute  power. 

Nor  did  the  rule  of  feudalism  differ  less  from  that  of  a  college 
of  priests  or  a  senate  of  patricians  than  from  the  desi)otism 
of  an  individual.  In  the  two  former  systems  we  have  an 
aristocratic  body  governing  the  mass  of  the  people;  in  the 
feudal  system  we  have  an  aristocracy  resolved  into  individuals, 
each  of  whom  governs  on  his  own  private  account  a  certain 
number  of  persons  dependent  upon  him  alone.  Be  the  aristo- 
cratic body  a  clergy,  its  power  has  its  root  in  creeds  which 
are  common  to  itself  and  its  subjects.  Now  in  every  creed 
common  to  those  who  command  and  those  who  obey  there  is 
a  moral  tie,  an  element  of  sympathetic  equality,  and  oh  the 
part  of  those  who  obey  a  tacit  adhesion  to  the  rule.  Be  it  a 
senate  of  patricians  that  reigns,  it  cannot  govern  so  capriciously, 
so  arbitrarily,  as  an  individual.  There  are  differences  and  dis- 
cussions in  the  very  bosom  of  the  government;  there  may  be, 
nay  there  always  are,  formed  factions,  parties  which,  in  order 
to  arrive  at  their  own  ends,  strive  to  conciliate  the  favor  of  the 
people,  sometimes  take  in  hand  its  interests,  and,  however  bad 
may  be  its  condition,  the  people,  by  sharing  in  its  masters' 
rivalries,  exercises  some  sort  of  influence  over  its  own  destiny. 
Feudalism  was  not,  properly  speaking,  an  aristocratic  govern- 
ment, a  senate  of  kings— to  use  the  language  used  by  Oineas  to 
Pyrrhus;  it  was  a  collection  of  individual  despotisms,  exer- 
cised by  isolated  aristocrats,  each  of  whom,  being  sovereign  in 
his  own  domains,  had  to  give  no  account  to  another,  and  asked 
nobody's  opinion  about  his  conduct  towards  his  subjects. 

Is  it  astonishing  that  such  a  system  incurred,  on  the  part  of 
the  peoples,  more  hatred  than  even  those  which  had  reduced 
them  to  a  more  monoffconous  and  more  lasting  servitude?  There 
was  despotism  just  as  in  pure  monarchies,  and  there  was  privi- 

CH.  xin.]    FEUDAL  FRANCE  AND  HUGH  CAPET.  233 

lege  just  as  in  the  very  closest  aristocracies.  And  both  ob- 
truded themselves  in  the  most  offensive  and,  so  to  speak, 
crude  form.  Despotism  was  not  tapered  off  by  means  of  the 
distance  and  elevation  of  a  throne;  and  privilege  did  not  veil 
itself  behind  the  majesty  of  a  large  body.  Both  were  the  ap- 
purtenances of  an  individual  ever  present  and  ever  alone,  ever 
at  his  subjects'  doors,  and  never  called  upon,  in  dealing  with 
their  lot,  to  gather  his  peers  around  him. 

And  now  we  will  leave  the  subjects  in  the  case  of  feudalism, 
and  consider  the  masters,  the  owners  of  fiefs,  and  their  relations 
one  with  another.  We  here  behold  quite  a  different  spectacle; 
we  see  liberties,  rights,  and  guarantees,  which  not  only  give 
protection  and  honor  to  those  who  enjoy  them,  but  of  which 
the  tendency  and  effect  are  to  open  to  the  subject  population 
an  outlet  towards  a  better  future. 

It  could  not,  in  fact,  be  otherwise:  for,  on  the  one  hand, 
feudal  society  was  not  wanting  in  dignity  and  glory ;  and,  on 
the  other,  the  feudal  system  did  not,  as  the  theocracy  of  Egypt 
or  the  despotism  of  Asia  did,  condemn  its  subjects  irretrievably 
to  slavery.  It  oppressed  them;  but  they  ended  by  having  the 
power  as  well  as  the  will  to  go  free. 

It  is  the  fault  of  pure  monarchy  to  set  up  power  so  high  and 
encomx)ass  it  with  such  splendor  that  the  possessor's  head  is 
turned,  and  that  those  who  are  beneath  it  dare  scarcely  look 
upon  it.  The  sovereign  thinks  himself  a  god;  and  the  people 
fall  down  and  worship  him.  But  it  was  not  so  in  society  under 
owners  of  fiefs:  the  grandeur  was  neither  dazzling  nor  unap- 
proachable; it  was  but  a  short  step  from  vassal  to  suzerain; 
they  lived  familiarly  one  with  another,  without  any  possibility 
that  superiority  should  think  itself  illimitable,  or  subordina- 
tion think  itself  servile.  Thence  came  that  extension  of  the 
domestic  circle,  that  ennoblement  of  personal  service,  from 
which  sprang  one  of  the  most  generous  sentiments  of  the 
middle  ages,  fealty,  which  reconciled  the  dignity  of  the  man 
with  the  devotion  of  the  vassal.    . 

Further,  it  was  not  from  a  numerous  aristocratic  senate,  but 
from  himself,  and  almost  from  himself  alone,  that  every  pos- 
sessor of  fiefs  derived  his  strength  and  his  lustre.  Isolated  as 
he  was  in  his  domains,  it  was  for  him  to  maintain  himself 
therein,  to  extend  them,  to  keep  his  subjects  submissive  and 
his  vassals  faithful,  and  to  correct  those  who  were  wanting  in 
obedience  to  him  or  who  ignored  their  duties  as  members  of 
the  feudal  hierarchy,    It  was,  as  it  were,  a  people  consisting 

234  HISTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xiil 

of  scattered  citizens,  of  whom  each,  ever  armed,  accompanied 
by  his  following  or  intrenched  in  his  castle,  kept  watch  himself 
over  his  own  safety  and  his  own  rights,  relying  far  more  on 
his  own  courage  and  his  own  renown  than  on  the  protection  of 
the  public  authorities.  Such  a  condition  bears  less  resemblance 
to  an  organized  and  settled  society  than  to  a  constant  prospect 
of  peril  and  war;  but  the  energy  and  the  dignity  of  the  indi- 
vidual were  kept  up  in  it,  and  a  more  extended  and  better 
regulated  society  might  issue  therefrom. 

And  it  did  issue.  This  society  of  the  future  was  not  slow  to 
sprout  and  grow  in  the  midst  of  that  feudal  system  so  turbulent, 
so  oppressive,  so  detested.  For  five  centuries,  from  the  invasion 
of  the  barbarians  to  the  fall  of  the  Carlovingians,  France  pre- 
sents the  appearance  of  being  stationary  in  the  middle  of  chaos. 
Over  this  long,  dark  space  of  anarchy,  feudalism  is  slowly 
taking  shape,  at  the  expense,  at  one  time,  of  liberty,  at  another, 
of  order;  not  as  a  real  rectification  of  the  social  condition,  but 
as  the  only  order  of  things  which  could  possibly  acquire  fixity, 
as,  in  fact,  a  sort  of  unpleasant  but  necessary  alternative.  No 
sooner  is  the  feudal  system  in  force  than,  with  its  victory 
scarcely  secured,  it  is  attacked  in  the  lower  grades  by  the 
mass  of  the  people  attempting  to  regain  certain  fiberties,  owner- 
ships, and  rights,  and  in  the  highest  by  royalty  laboring  to 
recover  its  pubUc  character,  to  become  once  more  the  head  of 
a  nation.  It  is  no  longer  the  case  of  free  men  in  a  vague  and 
dubious  position,  unsuccessfully  defending,  against  the  domi- 
nation of  the  chieftains  whose  lands  they  inhabit,  the  wreck 
of  their  independence,  whether  Gallic  or  Roman  or  barbaric; 
it  is  the  case  of  burgesses,  agriculturists,  and  serfs  who  know 
well  what  their  grievances  and  who  their  oppressors  are,  and 
who  are  working  to  get  free.  It  is  no  longer  the  case  of  a  king 
doubtful  about  his  title  and  the  nature  of  his  power,  at  one 
time  a  chieftain  of  warriors,  at  another  the  anointed  of  the 
Most  High;  here  a  mayor  of  the  palace  of  some  sluggard  bar- 
barian, there  the  heir  of  the  emperors  of  Rome;  a  sovereign 
tossing  about  confusedly  amidst  followers  or  servitors  eager  at 
one  time  to  invade  his  authority,  at  another  to  render  them- 
selves completely  isolated:  it  is  the  case  of  one  of  the  premier 
feudal  lords  exerting  himself  to  become  the  master  of  all,  to 
change  his  suzerainty  into  sovereignty.  Thus  in  spite  of  the 
servitude  into  which  the  people  had  sunk  at  the  end  of  the 
tenth  century,  from  this  moment  the  enfranchisement  of  the 
people  makes  way.    In  spite  of  the  w^akn^e,  07  lather  nullity 

CH.  xni.]    FEUDAL  FRANCS  AND  HUGE  CAPET.  236 

of  the  regal  power  at  the  same  epoch,  from  this  moment  l^e 
regal  power  begins  to  gain  gromid.  That  monarchical  system 
which  the  genius  of  Charlemagne  could  not  f  oimd,  kings  tax 
inferior  to  Charlemagne  will  little  by  little  make  triiunphant. 
Those  liberties  and  those  guarantees  which  the  German 
warriors  were  incapable  of  transmitting  to  a  well-regulated 
society,  the  commonalty  will  regain  one  after  another.  Nothing 
but  feudalism  could  have  sprung  from  the  womb  of  barbarism ; 
but  scarcely  is  feudalism  established  when  we  see  monarchy 
and  liberty  nascent  and  growing  in  its  womb. 

From  the  end  of  the  ninth  to  the  end  of  the  tenth  century, 
two  families  were,  in  French  history,  the  representatives  and 
instruments  of  the  two  systems  thus  confronted  and  conflict- 
ing at  that  epoch,  the  imperial  which  was  falling  and  the 
feudal  which  was  rising.  After  the  death  of  Charlemagne, 
his  descendants,  to  the  number  of  ten,  from  Louis  the  Debon- 
nair  to  Louis  the  Slu^ard,  strove  obstinately  but  in  vain  to 
maintain  the  unity  of  the  empire  and  the  imity  of  the  central 
power.  In  four  generations,  on  the  other  hand,  the  descen- 
dants of  Eobert  the  Strong  climbed  to  the  head  of  feudal 
France.  The  former,  though  German  in  race,  were  imbued 
with  the  maxims,  the  traditions  and  the  pretensions  of  that 
Boman  world  which  had  been  for  a  while  refsuscitated  by  their 
glorious  ancestor;  and  they  claimed  it  as  their  heritage.  The 
latter  preserved,  at  their  settlement  upon  Gallo-Boman  terri- 
tory, Germanic  sentiments,  manners,  and  instincts,  and  were 
occupied  only  with  the  idea  of  getting  more  and  more  settled 
and  greater  and  greater  in  the  new  society  which  was  little  by 
little  being  formed  upon  the  soil  won  by  the  barbarians,  their 
forefathers.  Louis  the  Ultramarine  and  Lothaire  were  not,  we 
may  suppose,  less  personally  brave  than  Robert  the  Strong 
and  his  son  Eudes;  but  when  the  Northmen  put  the  Frankish 
dominions  in  peril,  it  was  not  to  the  descendants  of  Charle- 
magne, not  to  the  emperor  Charles  the  Fat,  but  to  the  local 
and  feudal  chieftain,  to  Eudes,  count  of  Paris,  that  the  popula- 
tion turned  for  salvation:  and  Eudes  it  was  who  saved  them. 

In  this  painful  parturition  of  French  monarchy,  one  fact 
deserves  to  be  remarked,  and  that  is  the  lasting  respect  at- 
tached, in  the  minds  of  the  people,  to  the  name  and  the 
reminiscences  of  the  Carlovingian  rule,  notwithstanding  its 
decay.  It  was  not  alone  the  lustre  of  that  name  and  of  the 
memory  of  Charleniagne  which  inspired  and  prolonged  this 
respect;  a  certain  instinctive  feeling  about  th©  vortb  pf  b^rddi-' 

236  mSTOJRY  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  xin. 

tary  monarchy,  as  an  element  of  stability  and  order,  already 
existed  amongst  the  populations,  and  glimpses  thereof  were 
visible  amongst  the  rivals  of  the  royal  family  in  the  hour  of 
its  dissolution.  It  had  been  consecrated  by  religion;  the  title 
of  anointed  of  the  Most  High  was  united,  in  its  case,  to  that 
of  lawful  heir.  Why  did  Hugh  the  Great,  Duke  of  France,  in 
spite  of  favorable  opportunities  and  very  palpable  temptations, 
abstain  perseveringly  from  taldng  the  crown  and  leave  it  tot- 
tering upon  the  heads  of  Louis  the  Ultramarine  and  Lothaire? 
Why  did  his  son,  Hugh  Capet  himself,  wait,  for  his  election  as 
king,  imtil  Louis  the  Sluggard  was  dead  and  the  Carlovingian 
line  had  only  a  collateral  and  discredited  representative?  In 
these  hesitations  and  lingerings  of  the  great  feudal  chieftains 
there  is  a  forecast  of  the  authority  already  vested  in  the  prin- 
ciple of  hereditary  monarchy,  at  the  very  moment  when  it 
was  about  to  be  violated,  and  of  the  great  part  which  would 
be  played  by  that  principle  in  the  history  of  France. 

At  last  the  day  of  decision  arrived  for  Hugh  Capet.  There 
is  nothing  to  show  that  he  had  conspired  to  hasten  it,  but  he 
had  foreseen  the  probabihty  of  it,  and,  if  he  had  done  nothing 
to  pave  the  way  for  it,  he  had  held  himself,  so  far  as  he  was 
concerned,  in  readiness  for  it.  During  a  trip  which  he  made 
to  Bome  in  981,  he  had  entered  into  kindly  personal  relations 
with  the  Emperor  Otho  II.,  king  of  Germany,  the  most  im- 
portant of  France's  neighbors,  and  the  most  disposed  to  med- 
dle in  her  affairs.  In  France,  Hugh  Capet  had  formed  a  close 
friendship  with  Adalb6ron,  archbishop  of  Rheims,  the  most 
notable  and  most  able  of  the  French  prelates.  The  event 
showed  the  value  of  such  a  friend.  On  the  21st  of  May,  987, 
King  Louis  V.  died  without  issue;  and,  after  his  obsequies, 
the  grandees  of  the  kingdom  met  together  at  Senlis.  We  will 
here  borrow  the  text  of  a  contemporary  witness,  Richer,  the 
only  one  of  the  chroniclers  of  that  age  who  deserves  the  name 
of  historian,  whether  for  the  authenticity  of  his  testimony  or 
the  extent  and  clearness  of  his  narrative.  **The  bishop,"  he 
says,  "  took  his  place,  together  with  the  duke,  in  the  midst  of 
the  assembly,  and  said  to  them,  *  I  come  and  sit  down  amongst 
you  to  treat  of  the  affairs  of  the  state.  Far  from  me  be  any 
design  of  saying  anything  but  what  has  for  aim  the  advantage 
of  the  common  weal.  As  I  do  not  see  here  all  the  princes  whose 
wisdom  and  energy  might  be  useful  in  the  government  of  the 
kingdom,  it  seems  to  me  that  the  choice*  of  a  king  should  be 
put  off  for  some  time,  in  order  that,  at  a  period  fixed  upon,  all 

OH.  xni.]    FEUDAL  FRANOE  AND  HUGH  CAPET.  237 

may  be  able  to  meet  in  assembly,  and  that  every  opinion,  hav- 
ing been  dificussed  and  set  forth  in  the  face  of  day,  may  thus 
produce  its  full  effect.  May  it  please  you,  then,  all  of  ye  who 
are  here  assembled  to  deliberate,  to  bind  yourselves  in  con- 
junction with  me  by  oath  to  this  illustrious  duke,  and  to  prom- 
ise between  his  hands  not  to  engage  yourselves  in  any  way  in 
the  election  of  a  Head,  and  not  to  do  anything  to  this  end  until 
we  be  re-asseml)led  here  to  deliberate  upon  that  choice.'  This 
opinion  was  well  received  and  approved  of  by  all:  oath  was 
taken  between  the  hands  of  the  duke,  and  the  time  was  fixed 
at  which  the  meeting  should  assemble  again." 

Before  the  day  fixed  for  re-assembling,  the  last  of  the  de- 
scendants of  Charlemagne,  Charles,  duke  of  Lower  Lorraine, 
brother  of  the  late  King  Lothaire,  and  paternal  imcle  of  the 
late  King  Louis,  ^'  went  to  Hheims  in  quest  of  the  archbishop, 
and  thus  spake  to  him  about  his  rights  to  the  throne:  *  All  the 
world  knoweth,  venerable  father,  that,  by  hereditary  right,  I 
ought  to  succeed  my  brother  and  my  nephew.  I  am  wanting 
in  naught  that  should  be  required,  before  all  from  those  who  ' 
ought  to  reign,  to  wit,  birth  and  the  courage  to  dare.  Where- 
fore am  I  thrust  out  from  the  territory  which  all  the  world 
knows  to  have  been  possessed  by  my  ancestors?  To  whom 
could  I  better  address  myself  than  to  you,  when  all  the  sup- 
X)ort8  of  my  race  have  disappeared?  To  whom,  bereft  as  I  am 
of  honorable  protection,  should  I  have  recourse  but  to  you? 
By  whom,  if  not  by  you,  should  I  be  restored  to  the  honors  of 
my  fathers?  Please  God  things  turn  out  favorably  for  me  and 
for  my  fortunes!  Rejected,  what  can  become  of  me  save  to 
be  exhibited  as  a  spectacle  to  all  who  look  on  me?  Suffer 
yourself  to  be  moved  by  some  feeling  of  humanity:  be  com- 
passionate towards  a  man  who  has  been  tried  by  so  many 

Such  language  was  more  calculated  to  inspire  contempt  than 
compassion.  ^*The  metropolitan,  firm  in  his  resolution,  gave 
for  answer  these  few  words:  '  Thou  hast  ever  been  associated 
with  the  perjured,  the  sacrilegious,  and  the  wicked  of  every 
sort,  and  now  thou  art  dtill  unwilling  to  separate  from  them: 
how  canst  thou,  in  company  with  such  men,  and  by  means  of 
such  men,  seek  to  attain  to  the  sovereign  power? '  And  when 
Charles  replied  that  he  must  not  abandon  his  friends,  but 
ratfier  gain  over  others,  the  bishop  said  to  himself,  *  Now  that 
he  possesses  no  position  of  dignity,  he  hath  allied  himself  with 
the  wicked*  whose  companionship  he  will  not,  in  any  way,  give 

238  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [gh.  xra. 

up:  what  misfortune  would  it  be  for  the  good  if  he  were  elected 
to  the  throne  I '  To  Charles,  however,  he  made  answer  that 
he  would  do  naught  without  the  consent  of  the  princes ;  and  so 
left  him." 

At  the  time  fixed,  probably  the  29th  or  30th  of  June,  987,  the 
grandees  of  Frankish  Gaul  who  had  boimd  themselves  by  oath 
re-assembled  at  Senlis.  Hugh  Capet  was  present  with  his 
brother  Henry  of  Burgundy,  and  his  brother-in-law  Kichard 
the  Fearless,  duke  of  Normandy.  The  majority  of  the  direct 
vassals  of  the  crown  were  also  there,  Foulques  Nerra  (the 
Black),  count  of  Anjou;  Eudes,  count  of  Blois,  Chartres,  and 
Tours;  Bouchard,  count  of  Vendome  and  Corbeil;  Gautier, 
count  of  Vexin;  and  Hugh,  count  of  Maine.  Few  counts 
came  from  beyond  the  Loire;  and  some  of  the  lords  in  the 
North,  amongst  others  Amulf  II.,  count  of  Flanders,  and  the 
lords  of  Vermandois  were  likewise  missing.  "When  those 
present  were  in  regular  assembly.  Archbishop  Adalb^ron,  with 
the  assent  of  Duke  Hugh,  thus  spake  unto  them:  'Louis,  of 
blessed  memory,  having  been  taken  from  us  without  leaving 
issue,  it  hath  become  necessary  to  engage  seriously  in  seeking 
who  may  take  his  place  upon  the  throne,  to  the  end  that  the 
common  weal  remain  not  in  peril,  neglected  and  without  a 
head.  That  is  why  on  the  last  occasion  we  deemed  it  useful  to 
put  ofE  this  matter,  in  order  that  each  of  ye  might  come  hither 
and  submit  to  the  assembly  the  opinion  with  which  God  should 
have  inspired  him,  and  that  from  all  those  sentiments  might 
be  drawn  what  is  the  general  will.  Here  be  we  assembled :  let 
us,  then,  be  guided  by  our  wisdom  and  our  good  faith  to  act  in 
such  sort  that  hatred  stifle  not  reason,  and  affection  distort  not 
truth.  We  be  not  ignorant  that  Charles  hath  his  partisans, 
who  maintain  that  he  ought  to  come  to  the  throne  transmitted 
to  him  by  his  relatives.  But  if  we  examine  this  question,  the 
throne  is  not  acquired  by  hereditary  right,  and  we  be  bound  to 
place  at  the  head  of  the  kingdom  none  but  him  who  not  only 
hath  the  distinction  of  corporeal  nobility,  but  hath  also  honor 
to  recommend  him  and  magnanimity  to  rest  upon.  We  read 
in  the  annals  that  to  emperors  of  illustrious  race,  whom  their 
own  lS,ches  caused  to  fall  from  power,  succeeded  others,  at  one 
time  similar,  at  another  different ;  but  what  dignity  could  we 
confer  on  Charles,  who  hath  not  honor  for  his  guide,  who  is 
enfeebled  by  lethargy,  and  who,  finally,  hath  lost  head  io  far 
that  he  hath  no  shame  in  serving  a  foreign  king,  and  in  mis* 
uniting  himself  to  a  woman  taken  from  the  rank  of  the  knights 

CH.  xni.]    FEUDAL  FRANCE  AND  HUGH  CAPET.  239 

his  vassals?  How  could  the  puissant  duke  hrook  that  a  woman 
issuing  from  a  family  of  his  vassals  should  become  queen,  and 
have  dominion  over  him?  How  could  he  walk  behind  her 
whose  equals  and  even  superiors  bend  the  knee  before  him  and 
place  their  hands  beneath  his  feet?  Examine  carefully  into  the 
matter,  and  consider  that  Charles  hath  been  rejected  more 
through  his  own  fault  than  that  of  others.  Decide  ye  rather 
for  the  good  than  the  ill  of  the  common  weal.  If  ye  wish  it 
ill,  make  Charles  sovereign;  if  ye  hold  to  its  prosperity,  crown 
Hugh,  the  illustrious  duke.  Let  attachment  to  Charles  seduce 
nobody,  and  let  hatred  towards  the  duke  distract  nobody,  from 
the  common  interest.  .  .  .  Give  us  then,  for  our  head,  the  duke, 
who  has  deeds,  nobility,  and  troops  to  recommend  him;  the 
duke,  in  whom  ye  will  find  a  defender  not  only  of  the  conmion 
weal  but  also  of  your  private  interests.  Thanks  to  his  bene- 
volence, ye  will  have  in  him  a  father.  Who  hath  had  recourse 
to  him  and  hath  not  found  protection?  Who,  that  hath  been 
torn  from  the  care  of  home,  hath  not  been  restored  thereto 
by  him?' 

"This  opinion  having  been  proclaimed  and  well  received, 
Duke  Hugh  was  imanimously  raised  to  the  throne,  crowned 
on  the  1st  of  July  by  the  metropolitan  and  the  other  bishops, 
and  recognized  as  king  by  the  Gauls,  the  Britons,  the  Nor- 
mans, the  Aquitanians,  the  Goths,  the  Spaniards,  and  the  Gas- 
cons. Surroimded  by  the  grandees  of  the  kingdom,  he  passed 
decrees  and  promulgated  laws  according  to  royal  custom,  reg- 
ulating successfully  and  disposing  of  all  matters.  That  he 
might  deserve  so  much  good  fortune,  and  under  the  inspira- 
tion of  so  many  prosperous  circumstances,  he  gave  himself  up 
to  deep  piety.  Wishing  to  have  a  certainty  of  leaving,  after 
his  death,  an  heir  to  the  throne,  he  conferred  with  his  grandees, 
and  after  holding  coimcil  with  them  he  first  sent  a  deputation 
to  the  Metropolitan  of  Eheims,  who  was  then  at  Orleans,  and 
subsequently  went  himself  to  see  him  touching  the  association 
of  his  son  Eobert  with  himself  upon  the  throne.  The  arch- 
bishop having  told  him  that  two  kings  could  not  be,  regularly, 
created  in  one  and  the  same  year,  he  immediately  showed  a 
letter  sent  by  Borel,  duke  of  inner  Spain,  proving  that  that 
duke  requested  help  against  the  barbarians.  .  .  .  The  metro- 
politan, seeing  advantage  was  likely  to  result,  ultimately 
yielded  to  the  king's  reasons;  and  when  the  grandees  were 
assembled,  at  the  festival  of  our  Lord's  nativity,  to  celebmte 
the  coronation,  Hugh  assumed  the  purple,  and  he  crowned 

240  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [cfl.  xm. 

Bolenmly,  in  the  basilica  of  Sainte- Croix,  his  son  Eobert, 
amidst  the  acclamations  of  the  French. 

Thus  was  founded  the  dynasty  of  the  Capetians,  under  the 
double  influence  of  German  manners  and  feudal  connections. 
Amongst  the  ancient  Germans  royal  heirship  was  generally 
confined  to  one  and  the  same  family ;  but  election  was  often 
joined  with  heirship,  and  had  more  than  once  thrust  the  latter 
aside.  Hugh  Capet  was  head  of  the  family  which  was.  the 
most  Ulustrioud  in  his  time  and  closest  to  the  throne,  on  which 
the  personal  merits  of  Counts  Eudes  and  Robert  had  already 
twice  seated  it.  He  was  also  one  of  the  greatest  chieftains  of 
feudal  society,  duke  of  the  country  which  was  already  called 
France,  and  Count  of  Paris,  of  that  city  which  Clovis,  after 
his  victories,  had  chosen  as  the  centre  of  his  dominions.  In 
view  of  the  Roman  rather  than  Germanic  pretensions  of  the 
Carlovingian  heirs  and  of  their  admitted  decay,  the  rise  of 
Hugh  Capet  was  the  natural  consequence  of  the  principal  facts 
as  well  as  of  the  manners  of  the  period,  and  the  crowning  mani- 
festation of  the  new  social  condition  in  France,  that  is,  feudal- 
ism. Accordingly  the  event  reached  completion  and  confirma- 
tion without  any  great  obstacle.  The  Carlovingian,  Charles  of 
Lorraine,  vainly  attempted  to  assert  his  rights;  but,  after  some 
gleams  of  success,  he  died  in  992,  and  his  descendants  fell,  if 
not  into  obscurity,  at  least  into  poUtical  insignificance.  In 
vain,  again,  did  certain  feudal  lords,  especially  in  Southern 
France,  refuse  for  some  time  their  adhesion  to  Hugh  Capet. 
One  of  them,  Adalbert,  count  of  P^rigord,  has  remained  almost 
famous  for  having  made  to  Hugh  Capet's  question  **  Who  made 
thee  coimt?"  the  proud  answer,  **  Who  made  thee  king?"  The 
pride,  however,  of  Count  Adalbert  had  more  bark  than  bite. 
Hugh  possessed  that  intelligent  and  patient  moderation,  which, 
when  a  position  is  once  acquired,  is  the  best  pledge  of  continu- 
ance. Several  facts  indicate  that  he  did  not  underestimate  the 
worth  and  range  of  his  title  of  king.  At  the  same  time  that  by 
getting  his  son  Robert  crowned  with  him  he  secured  for  his  line 
the  next  succession,  he  also  performed  several  acts  which  went 
beyond  the  limits  of  his  feudal  domains  and  proclaimed  to  all 
the  kingdom  the  presence  of  the  king.  But  those  acts  were 
temperate  and  wise;  and  they  paved  the  way  for  the  future 
without  anticipating  it.  Hugh  Capet  confined  himself  care- 
fully to  the  sphere  of  his  recognized  rights  as  well  as  of  his 
effective  strength,  and  his  government  remained  faithful  to  the 
character  of  the  revolution  which  had  raised  him  to  the  throne. 


CH.  xm.]    FEUDAL  FRANCE  AND  HUGH  CAPET,  241 

at  the  same  time  that  it  gave  warning  of  the  future  progress 
of  royalty  independently  of  and  over  the  head  of  feudalism. 
When  he  died,  on  the  24th  of  Octoher,  996,  the  crown,  which 
he  hesitated,  they  say,  to  wear  on  his  own  head,  passed  with- 
out ohstacle  to  his  son  Robert,  and  the  course  which  was  to  be 
followed  for  eight  centuries,  under  the  government  of  his  de- 
scendants, by  civilization  in  France,  began  to  develop  itself. 

It  has  already  been  pointed  out,  in  the  case  of  Adalb^ron, 
archbishop  of  Rheims,  what  part  was  taken  by  the  clergy  in 
this  second  change  of  dynasty ;  but  the  part  played  by  it  was 
so  important  and  novel  that  we  must  make  a  somewhat  more 
detailed  acquaintance  with  the  real  character  of  it  and  the 
principal  actor  in  it.  When,  in  751,  Pepin  the  Short  became 
king  in  the  place  of  the  last  Merovingian,  it  was,  as  we  have 
seen,  Pope  Zachary  who  decided  that  *4t  was  better  to  give 
the  title  of  king  to  him  who  really  exercised  the  sovereign 
power  than  to  him  who  bore  only  its  name."  Three  years 
later,  in  754,  it  was  Pope  Stephen  II.  who  came  over  to  France 
to  anoint  King  Pepin,  and,  forty-six  years  afterwards,  in  800, 
it  was  Pope  Leo  in.  who  proclaimed  Charlemagne  emperor  of 
the  West.  From  the  Papacy,  then,  on  the  accession  of  the 
Carlovingians,  came  the  principal  decisions  and  steps.  The 
reciprocal  services  rendered  one  to  the  other  by  the  two 
powers,  and  still  more,  perhaps,  the  similarity  of  their  maxims 
as  to  the  unity  of  the  empire,  established  between  the  Papacy 
and  the  Carlovingians  strong  ties  of  gratitude  and  policy ;  and, 
accordingly,  when  the  Carlovingian  dynasty  was  in  danger, 
the  court  of  Rome  was  grieved  and  troubled;  it  was  hard  for 
her  to  see  the  fall  of  a  dynasty  for  which  she  had  done  so 
much  and  which  had  done  so  much  for  her.  Far,  then,  from 
aiding  the  accession  of  the  new  dynasty,  she  showed  herself 
favorable  to  the  old,  and  tried  to  save  it  without  herself  be- 
coming too  deeply  compromised.  Such  was,  from  985  to  996, 
the  attitude  of  Pope  John  XVI.,  at  the  crisis  which  placed 
Hugh  Cai)et  ujwn  the  throne.  In  spite  of  this  poUcy  on  the 
part  of  the  Papacy,  the  French  Church  took  the  initiative  in 
the  event,  and  supported  the  new  king;  the  Archbishop  of 
Rheims  affirmed  the  right  of  the  people  to  accomplish  4  change 
of  dynasty,  and  anointed  Hugh  Capet  and  his  son  Robert. 
The  accession  of  the  Capetians  was  a  work  independent  of 
all  foreign  influence  and  strictly  national,  in  Church  as  well  b& 

The  authority  of  Adalb^ron  was  of  great  weight  in  the  mat- 

242  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xnt 

ter.  As  archbishop  he  was  full  of  zeal,  and  at  the  same  time 
of  wisdom  in  ecclesiastical  administration.  Engaging  in  poli- 
tics, he  showed  boldness  in  attempting  a  great  change  in  the 
state,  and  ability  in  carrying  it  out  without  precipitation  as 
well  as  without  hesitation.  He  had  for  his  secretary  and 
teacher  a  simple  priest  of  Auvergne,  who  exercised  over  this 
enterprise  an  influence  more  continuous  and  still  more  effectual 
than  that  of  his  archbishop.  Gterbert,  bom  at  Aurillac,  and 
brought  up  in  the  monastery  of  St.  Gteraud,  had,  when  he  was 
summoned  to  the  directorate  of  the  school  of  Eheims,  already 
made  a  trip  to  Spain,  visited  Rome,  and  won  the  esteem  of 
Pope  John  XIII.  and  of  the  Emperor  Otho  II.,  and  had  thus 
had  a  close  view  of  the  great  personages  and  great  questions, 
ecclesiastical  and  secular,  of  his  time.  On  his  establishment  at 
Rheims,  he  pursued  a  double  course  with  a  double  eud:  he  was 
fond  of  study,  science,  and  the  investigation  of  truth,  but  he 
had  also  a  taste  for  the  sphere  of  politics  and  of  the  world;  he 
excelled  in  the  art  of  instructing,  but  also  in  the  art  of  pleas- 
ing; and  the  address  of  the  courtier  was  in  him  united  with  the 
learning  of  the  doctor.  His  was  a  mind  lofty,  broad,  search- 
ing, proUfic,  open  to  conviction,  and  yet  inclined  to  give  way, 
either  from  calculation  or  attraction,  to  contrary  ideas,  but 
certain  to  recur,  under  favorable  circumstances,  to  its  original 
purpose.  There  was  in  him  almost  as  much  changeableness  as 
zeal  for  the  cause  he  embraced.  He  espoused  and  energetically 
supported  the  elevation  of  a  new  dynasty  and  the  independence 
of  the  Roman  Church.  He  was  very  active  in  the  cause  of 
Hugh  Capet;  but  he  was  more  than  once  on  the  point  of  going 
over  to  King  Lothaire  or  to  the  pretender,  Charles  of  Lorraine. 
He  was  in  his  time,  even  more  resolutely  than  Bossuet  in  the 
seventeenth  century,  the  defender  and  practiser  of  what  have 
since  been  called  the  hberties  of  the  Gallican  Church,  and,  in 
992,  he  became,  on  this  ground.  Archbishop  of  Rheims;  but, 
after  having  been  interdicted,  in  995,  by  Pope  John  XVI.,  from 
the  exercise  of  his  episcopal  functions  in  France,  he  obtained, 
in  998,  from  Pope  Gregory  V.,  the  archbishopric  of  Ravenna 
in  Italy,  and  the  favor  of  Otho  HI.  was  not  unconnected,  in 
999,  with  his  elevation  to  the  Holy  See,  which  he  occupied  for 
four  years,  with  the  title  of  Sylvester  II.,  whilst  putting  in 
practice,  but  with  moderation  and  dignity,  maxims  very  dif- 
ferent from  those  which  he  had  supported,  fifteen  years  before, 
as  a  French  bishop.  He  became,  at  this  later  period  of  his  life, 
so  much  the  more  estranged  from  France  in  that  he  was  em- 


broiled  with  Hugh  Capet^s  son  and  successor.  King  Robert, 
whose  quondam  preceptor  he  had  been  and  of  whose  marriage 
with  Queen  Bertha,  widow  of  Eudes,  count  of  Blois,  he  had 
honestly  disapproved. 

In  995,  just  when  he  had  been  interdicted  by  Pope  John 
XVI.  from  his  fimctions  as  Archbishop  of  Rheims,  Gerbert 
wrote  to  the  abbot  and  brethren  of  the  monastery  of  St.  Ge- 
raud,  where  he  had  been  brought  up:  **  And  now  farewell  to 
your  holy  community ;  farewell  to  those  whom  I  knew  in  old 
times,  or  who  were  connected  with  me  by  blood,  if  there  still 
survive  any  whose  namies,  if  not  their  features,  have  remained 
upon  my  memory.  Not  that  I  have  forgotten  them  through 
pride ;  but  I  am  broken  down,  and— if  it  must  be  said — changed 
by  the  ferocity  of  barbarians;  what  I  learnt  in  my  boyhood  I 
forgot  in  my  youth;  what  I  desired  in  my  youth  I  despised  in 
my  old  age.  Such  are  the  fruits  thou  hast  borne  for  me,  O 
pleasure!  Such  are  the  joys  afforded  by  the  honors  of  the 
world  I  BeUeve  my  experience  of  it :  the  higher  the  great  are 
outwaiyily  raised  by  glory,  the  more  cruel  is  their  inward  an- 
guish I" 

Length  of  life  brings,  in  the  soul  of  the  ambitious,  days  of 
hearty  imdeception;  but  it  does  not  discourage  them  from  their 
coiirse  of  ambition.  Gerbert  was,  amongst  the  ambitious,  at 
the  same  time  one  of  the  most  exalted  in  point  of  intellect  and 
one  of  the  most  persistent  as  well  as  restless  in  attachment  to 
the  affairs  of  the  world. 



From  996  to  1108,  the  first  three  successors  of  Hugh  Capet, 
his  son  Robert,  his  grandson  Henry  I.,  and  his  great-grand^n 
Philip  I.,  sat  upon  the  throne  of  France;  and  during  this  long 
space  of  112  years  the  kingdom  of  France  had  not,  sooth  to 
say,  any  history.  Parcelled  out,  by  virtue  of  the  feudal  sys- 
tem, between  a  multitude  of  princes,  independent,  isolated, 
and  scarcely  sovereigns  in  their  own  dominions,  keeping  up 
any  thing  like  frequent  intercourse  only  with  their  neighbors, 
and  loosely  united,  by  certain  rules  or  customs  of  vassalage. 

244  mSTOET  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xnr. 

to  hiTn  amongst  them  who  hore  the  title  of  king,  the  France  of 
the  eleventh  century  existed  in  little  more  than  name:  Nor- 
mandy, Brittany,  Burgundy,  Aquitaine,  Poitou,  Anjou,  Flan- 
ders, and  Nivemais  were  the  real  states  and  peoples,  each  witli 
its  own  distinct  life  and  history.    One  single  event,  the  Cru- 
sade, united,  towards  the  end  of  the  century,  those  scattered 
sovereigns  and  peoples  in  one  common  idea  and  one  combined 
action.    Up  to  that  x>oint,  then,  let  us  conform  to  the  real 
state  of  the  case  and  faithfully  trace  out  the  features  of  the 
epoch  without  attempting  to  introduce  a  connection  and  a 
combination  which  did  not  exist;  and  let  us  pass  briefly  in  re- 
view the  isolated  events  and  personages  which  are  still  worthy 
of  remembrance  and  which  have  remained  historic  without 
having  belonged   exactly  to  a  national  history.     Amongst 
events  of  this  kind  one,  the  conquest  of  England,  in  1066,  by 
William  the  Bastard,  diike  of  Normandy,  was  so  striking,  and 
exercised  so  much  ii^uence  over  the  destinies  of  France,  that, 
in  the  incoherent  and  disconnected  picture  of  this  eleventh 
century,  particular  attention  must  first  be  drawn  to  the  conse- 
quences, as  regarded  France,  of  that  great  Norman  enterprise. 
After  the  sagacious  Hugh  Capet,  the  first  three  Capetians, 
Kobert,  Henry  I.,  and  Philip  I.,  were  very  mediocre  individ- 
uals, in  character  as  well  as  intellect;  and  their  personal  in- 
significance was  one  of  the  causes  that  produced  the  emptiness 
of  French  history  under  their  sway.    Robert  lacked  neither 
physical  advantages    nor  moral  virtues:    **He  had  a  lofty 
figure,"  says  his  biographer  Helgaud,  archbishop  of  Bourges, 
"  hair  smooth  and  well  arranged,  a  modest  eye,  a  pleasant  and 
gentle  mouth,  a  tolerably  furnished  beard  and  high  shoiQders. 
He  was  versed  in  all  the  sciences,  philosopher  enough  and  an 
excellent  musician,  and  so  devoted  to  sacred  Uterature  that  he 
never  passed  a  day  without  reading  the  Psalter  and  praying 
to  the  Most  High  God  together  with  St.  David."    He  composed 
several  hymns  which  were  adopted  by  the  Church,  and,  dur- 
ing a  pilgrimage  he  made  to  Rome,  he  deposited  upon  the  altar 
of  St.  Peter  his  own  Latin  poems  set  to  music.     **  He  often 
went  to  the  church  of  St.  Denis,  clad  in  his  royal  robes  and 
with  his  crown  on  his  head;  and  he  there  conducted  the  sing- 
ing at  matins,  mass,  and  vespers,  chanting  with  the  monks 
and  himself  calling  upon  them  to  sing.    When  he  sat  in  the 
consistory,  he  voluntarily  styled  himself  the  bishops^  client." 
Two  centuries  later,  St.  Louis  proved  that  the  virtues  of  the 
saint  are  not  incompatible  with  the  qualities  of  the  king;  but 


the  former  cannot  form  a  substitute  for  the  latter,  and  the 
qualities  of  king  were  to  seek  in  Robert.  He  was  neither  war- 
rior nor  politician;  there  is  no  sign  that  he  ever  gathered 
about  him,  to  discuss  afEairs  of  state,  the  laic  barons  together 
vnth  the  bishops,  and  when  he  interfered  in  the  wars  of  the 
great  feudal  lords,  notably  in  Biu'gundy  and  Flanders,  it  was 
with  but  little  energy  and  to  but  little  purpose.  He  was 
hardly  more  potent  in  his  family  than  in  his  kingdom.  It 
has  already  been  mentioned  that,  in  spite  of  his  preceptor 
Gerbert's  advice,  he  had  espoused  Bertha,  widow  of  Eudes, 
count  of  Blois,  and  he  loved  her  dearly;  but  the  marriage  was 
assailed  by  the  Church,  on  the  ground  of  kinship.  Bobert 
offered  resistance,  but  afterwards  gave  way  before  the  ex- 
commimication  pronounced  by  Pope  Gregory  V.,  and  then 
espoused  Constance,  daughter  of  William  Taillefer,  count  of 
Toulouse;  and  forthwith,  sq,ys  the  chronicler  Baoul  Glaber, 
**  were  seen  pouring  into  France  and  Burgundy,  by  cause  of 
this  queen,  the  most  vain  and  most  frivolous  of  all  men,  com- 
ing from  Aquitaine  and  Auvergne.  They  were  outlandish  and 
outrageous  equally  in  their  manners  and  their  drqss,  in  their 
arms  and*  the  appointments  of  their  horses ;  their  hair  came 
only  half  way  down  their  head;  they  shaved  their  beards  like 
actors ;  they  wore  boots  and  shoes  that  were  not  decent ;  and, 
lastly,  neither  fidelity  nor  security  was  to  be  looked  for  in  any 
of  their  ties.  Alack!  that  nation  of  Franks,  which  was  wont 
to  be  the  most  virtuous,  and  even  the  people  of  Burgundy,  too, 
were  eager  to  follow  these  criminal  examples,  and  before  long 
they  reflected  only  too  faithfully  the  depravity  and  infamy  of 
their  models."  The  evil  amounted  to  something  graver  than 
a  disturbance  of  court-fashions.  Eobert  had  by  Constance 
three  sons,  Hugh,  Henry,  and  Robert.  First  the  eldest,  and, 
afterwards,  his  two  brothers,  maddened  by  the  bad  character 
and  tyrannical  exactions  of  their  mother,  left  the  palace,  and 
withdrew  to  Dreux  and  Burgundy,  abandoning  themselves,  in 
the  royal  domains  and  the  neighborhood,  to  all  kinds  of  depre- 
dations and  excesses.  Reconciliation  was  not  without  great 
diflOiculty  effected;  and,  indeed,  peace  was  never  really  re- 
stored in  the  royal  family.  Peace  was  every  where  the  wish 
and  study  of  King  Robert;  but  he  succeeded  better  in  main- 
taining it  with  his  neighbors  than  with  his  children.  In  1006, 
he  was  on  the  point  of  having  a  quarrel  with  Hmry  II.,  em- 
peror of  Germany,  who  was  more  active  and  enterprising,  but 
fortuxiately  not  less  pious  than  himselE.    The  two  sovereigns 

246  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xiv. 

resolved  to  have  an  interview  at  the  Meuse,  the  houndary  of 
their  dominions.  '^  The  question  amongst  their  respective  fol- 
lowings  was  which  of  the  two  should  cross  the  river  to  seek 
audience  on  the  other  bank,  that  is,  in  the  other^s  dominions; 
this  would  be  a  humiliation,  it  was  said.  The  two  learned 
princes  remembered  this  saying  of  Ecclesiaaticua :  *  The  greater 
thou  art,  the  humbler  be  thou  in  all  things.'  The  Emperor, 
therefore,  rose  up  early  in  the  morning,  and  crossed,  with 
some  of  his  people,  into  .the  French  king's  territory.  They 
embraced  with  cordiahty;  the  bishops,  as  was  proper,  cele- 
brated the  sacrament  of  the  mass,  and  they  afterwards  sat 
down  to  dinner.  When  the  meal  was  over.  King  Robert 
offered  H^nry  immense  presents  of  gold  and  silver  and  pre- 
cious stones,  and  a  hxmdred  horses  richly  caparisoned,  each 
carrying  a  cuirass  and  a  helmet ;  and  he  added  that  all  that 
the  Emperor  did  not  accept  of  these  gifts  would  be  so  much 
deducted  from  their  friendship.  Henry,  seeing  the  generosity 
of  his  friend,  took  of  the  whole  only  a  book  containing  the 
Holy  Gospel,  set  with  gold  and  precious  stones,  and  a  golden 
amulet,  wherein  was  a  tooth  of  St.  Vincent,  priest  and  martyr. 
The  Empress,  likewise,  accepted  only  two  golden  cups'.  Next 
day,  Bling  Robert  crossed  with  his  bishops  into  the  territories 
of  the  Emperor,  who  received  him  magnificently,  and,  after 
dinner,  offered  him  a  hundred  pounds  of  pure  gold.  The  king, 
in  his  turn,  accepted  only  two  golden  cups;  and,  after  having 
ratified  their  pact  of  friendship,  they  returned  each  to  his  own 

Let  us  add  to  this  summary  of  Robert's  reign  some  facts 
which  are  cjiaracteristic  of  the  epoch.  In  a.d.  1000,  in  conse- 
quence of  the  sense  attached  to  certain  words  in  thd  Sacred 
Books,  many  Christians  expected  the  end  of  the  world.  The 
time  of  expectation  was  full  of  anxieties;  plagues,  famines, 
and  divers  accidents  which  then  took  place  in  divers  quarters, 
were  an  additional  aggravation;  the  churches  were  crowded; 
penances,  offerings,  absolutions,  all  the  forms  of  invocation 
and  repentance  multiplied  rapidly:  a  multitude  of  souls,  in 
submission  or  terror,  prepared  to  appear  before  their  judge. 
And  after  what  catastrophes  ?  In  the  midst  of  what  gloom  or 
of  what  light  ?  These  were  fearful  questions  of  which  men's 
imaginations  were  exhausted  in  forestalling  the  solution. 
When  the  last  day  of  the  tenth  and  the  first  of  the  eleventh 
centuries  were  past,  it  was  like  a  general  regeneration;  it 
might  have  been  said  that  time  was  beginning  over  again; 


and  the  work  was  commenced  of  rendering  the  Christian 
-world  worthy  of  the  future.  **  Especially  in  Italy  and  in 
Gkiul,"  says  the  chronicler  Baoul  Glaher,  **men  took  in  hand 
the  reconstruction  of  the  hasilicas,  although  the  greater  part 
had  no  need  thereof.  Christian  peoples  seemed  to  vie  one 
with  another  which  should  erect  the  most  heautiful.  It  was 
as  if  the  world,  shaking  itself  together  and  casting  off  its  old 
garments,  would  have  decked  itself  with  the  white  rohes  of 
Christ."  Christian  art,  in  its  earliest  form  of  the  Gothic  style, 
dates  from  this  epoch;  the  power  and  riches  of  the  Christian 
Church,  in  its  different  institutions,  received,  at  this  crisis  of 
the  himian  imagination,  a  fresh  impulse. 

Other  facts,  some  lamentable  and  some  salutary,  began, 
about  this  epoch,  to  assume  in  French  history  a  place  which 
was  destined  before  long  to  become  an  important  one.  Piles 
of  faggots  were  set  up,  first  at  Orleans  and  then  at  Toulouse, 
for  the  punishment  of  heretics.  The  heretics  of  the  day  were 
Manicheans.  King  Robert  and  Queen  Constance  sanctioned 
by  their  presence  this  return  to  human  sacrifices  offered  to 
Gk)d  as  a  penalty  inflicted  on  mental  offenders  against  His 
word.  At  the  same  time  a  double  portion  of  ire  blazed  forth 
against  the  Jews.  **  What  have  we  to  do,"  it  was  said,  "  with 
going  abroad  to  make  war  on  Mussulmans  ?  Have  we  not  in 
the  very  midst  of  us  the  greatest  enemies  of  Jesus  Christ  ?" 
Amongst  Christians  acts  of  oppression  and  violence  on  the 
part  of  the  great  against  the  small  became  so  excessive  and  so 
frequent  that  they  excited  in  country  parts,  particularly  in 
Normandy,  insurrections  which  the  insurgents  tried  to  organ- 
ize into  permanent  resistance.  **In  several  counties  of  Nor- 
mandy," says  William  of  Jumi^ges,  "  all  the  peasants,  meeting 
in  conventicles,  resolved  to  live  according  to  their  own  wills 
and  their  own  laws,  not  only  in  the  heart  of  the  forests  but  also 
on  the  borders  of  the  rivers,  and  without  care  for  any  estab- 
lished rights.  To  accomplish  this  design,  these  mobs  of  mad- 
men elected  each  two  deputies,  who  were  to  form,  at  the 'cen- 
tral point,  an  assembly  charged  with  the  execution  of  their  de- 
crees. So  soon  as  the  duke  (Richard  II.)  was  informed  thereof, 
he  sent  a  large  body  of  armed  men  to  suppress  this  audacity 
in  the  country  parts  and  to  disperse  this  rustic  assembly.  In 
execution  of  his  orders,  the  deputies  of  the  peasantry  and 
many  other  rebels  were  forthwith  arrested;  their  feet  and 
hands  were  cut  off  and  they  were  sent  home  thus  mutilated 
to  deter  ther  fellows  from  such  enterprises  and  to  render 

248  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  xrr. 

them  more  prudent,  for  fear  of  worse.  After  this  experience, 
the  x>6Si'Sants  gave  up  their  meetings  and  returned  to  their 

This  is  a  literal  translation  of  the  monkish  chronicler,  who 
was  far  from  favorable  to  the  insurgent  peasants,  and  was 
more  for  applauding  the  suppression  than  justifying  the  in- 
surrection. The  suppression,  though  undoubtedly  effectual 
for  the  moment  and  in  the  particular  spots  it  reached,  pro- 
duced no  general  or  lasting  effect.  About  a  century  after  the 
cold  recital  of  William  of  Jumi^ges,  a  poet-chronicler,  Robert 
Wace,  in  his  Romance  of  Rou,  a  history  in  verse  of  EoUo  and 
the  first  Dukes  of  Normandy,  related  the  same  facts  with  far 
more  sympathetic  feeling  and  poetical  coloring.  "The lords 
do  us  naught  but  ill,"  he  makes  the  Norman  peasants  say; 
"with them  we  have  nor  gain  nor  profit  from  our  labors; 
every  day  is,  for  us,  a  day  of  suffering,  toil,  and  weariness; 
every  day  we  have  our  cattle  taken  from  us  for  road-work  and 
forced  service.  We  have  plaints  and  grievances,  old  and  new 
exactions,  pleas  and  processes  without  end,  money*pleas,  mar- 
ket-pleas, road-pleas,  forest-pleas,  mill-pleas,  blackmail-pleas, 
watch-and- ward-pleas.  There  are  so  many  provosts,  bailiffs, 
and  sergeants,  that  we  have  not  one  hour's  peace;  day  by  day 
they  run  us  down,  seize  our  movables,  and  drive  us  from  our 
lands.  There  is  nb  security  for  us  against  the  lords;  and  no 
pact  is  binding  with  them.  Why  suffer  all  this  evil  to  be  done 
to  us  and  not  get  out  of  our  plight?  Are  we  not  men  even  as. 
they  are?  Have  we  not  the  same  stature,  the  same  limbs,  the 
same  strength— for  suffering?  All  we  need  is  courage.  Let 
us,  then,  bind  ourselves  together  by  an  oath :  let  us  swear  to 
support  one  another;  and  if  they  will  make  wai*  on  us,  have 
we  not,  for  one  knight,  thirty  or  forty  young  peasants,  nimble 
and  ready  to  fight  with  club,  with  boar-spear,  with  arrow,  with 
axe,  and  even  with  stones  if  they  have  not  weapons?  Let  us 
learn  to  resist  the  knights,  and  we  shall  be  free  to  cut  down 
trees,*  to  hunt  and  fish  after  our  fashion,  and  we  shall  work 
our  will  in  flood  and  field  and  wood." 

Here  we  have  no  longer  the  short  account  and  severe  esti- 
mate of  an  indifferent  spectator;  it  is  the  cry  of  popular  rage 
and  vengeailce  reproduced  by  the  lively  imagination  of  an 
angered  poet.  Undoubtedly  the  Norman  peasants  of  the 
twelfth  century  did  not  speak  of  their  miseries  with  such  de- 
scriptive ability  and  philosophical  feeling  as  were  lent  to  them 
by  Robert  Wace;  they  did  not  meditate  the  democratic  revolu- 



tion  of  which  he  attributes  to  them  the  idea  and  almost  the 
plan;  but  the  deeds  of  violence  and  oppression  against  which 
they  rose  were  very  real,  and  they  exerted  themselves  to  es- 
cape by  reciprocal  violence  from  intolerable  suffering.  Thence 
date  those  alternations  of  demagogic  revolt  and  tyrannical 
suppression  which  have  so  often  ensanguined  the  land  and 
putin  i)eril  the  very  foundations  of  social  order.  Insurrections 
became  of  so  atrocious  a  kind  that  the  atrocious  chastise- 
ments with  which  they  were  visited  seemed  equally  natural 
and  necessary.  It  needed  long  ages,  a  rei)etition  of  civil  wars 
and  terrible  poHtical  shocks  to  put  an  end  to  this  brutal  chaos 
which  gave  birth  to  so  many  evils  and  reciprocal  crimes,  and 
to  bring  about,  amongst  the  different  classes  of  the  French 
population,  equitable  and  truly  human  relations.  So  quick- 
spreading  and  contagious  is  evil  amongst  men,  and  so  difficult 
to  extirpate  in  the  name  of  justice  and  truth  I 

However,  even  in  the  midst  of  this  cruel  egotism  and  this 
gross  unreason  of  the  tenth  and  eleventh  centuries,  the  neces- 
sity, from  a  moral  and  social  point  of  view,  of  struggling 
against  such  disgusting  irregularities  made  itself  felt  and 
found  zealous  advocates.  From  this  epoch  are  to  be  dated  the 
first  efforts  to  establish,  in  different  parts  of  France,  what  was 
called  CMf's  peace,  OocTs  truce.  The  words  were  well  chosen 
for  prohibiting  at  the  same  time  oppression  and  revolt,  for  it 
needed  nothing  less  than  law  and  the  voice  of  God  to  put  some 
restraint  upon  the  barbarous  manners  and  passions  of  men, 
great  or  small,  lord  or  peasant.  It  is  the  peculiar  and  glorious 
characteristic  of  Christianity  to  have  so  well  understood  the 
primitive  and  permanent  evil  in  human  nature  that  it  fought 
against  all  the  great  iniquities  of  mankind  and  exposed  them  in 
principle,  even  when,  in  point  of  general  practice,  it  neither 
hoped  nor  attempted  to  sweep  them  away.  Bishops,  priests, 
and  monks  were,  in  their  personal  hves  and  in  the  coimcils  of 
the  Church,  the  first  propagators  of  GhxTs  peace  or  truce,  and 
in  more  than  one  locality  they  induced  the  laic  lords  to  follow 
their  lead.  In  1164,  Hugh  11.,  coimt  of  Rodez,  in  concert  with 
his  brother  Hugh,  bishop  of  Bodez,  and  the  notables  of  tlie  dis- 
trict, established  the  peace  in  the  diocese  of  Rodez;  "and  this 
it  is,"  said  the  learned  Benedictines  of  the  eighteenth  century, 
in  the  Art  of  Verifying  Dates,  "  which  gave  rise  to  the  toll  of 
commune  paix  or  pesade,  which  is  still  collected  in  Rouergue." 
King  Robert  always  showed  himself  favorable  to  this  pacific 
work;  and  he  is  the  first  amongst  the  five  kings  of  France,  in 

250  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xiv. 

other  respects  very  different,— himself ,  St.  Louis,  Louis  XII., 
Henry  IV.,  and  Louis  XVI.,— who  were  particularly  distin- 
guished for  sympathetic  kindness  and  anidety  for  the  popular 
welfare.  Bohert  had  a  kindly  feeling  for  the  weak  and  poor; 
not  only  did  he  protect  them,  on  occasion,  against  the  powerful, 
hut  he  took  pains  to  conceal  their  defaults,  and,  in  his  church 
and  at  his  tahle,  he  suffered  Imnself  to  he  rohhed  without  com- 
plaint, that  he  might  not  have  to  denounce  and  punish  the 
rohhers.  **  Wherefore  at  his  death,"  says  his  biographer  Hel- 
gaud,  "there  was  great  mourning  and  intolerable  grief;  a 
countless  niunber  of  widows  and  orphans  sorrowed  for  the 
many  benefits  received  from  him;  they  did  beat  their  breasts 
and  went  to  and  from  his  tomb,  crying,  *  Whilst  Robert  was 
king  and  ordered  all,  we  lived  in  peace,  we  had  naught  to  fear. 
May  the  soul  of  that  pious  father,  that  father  of  the  senate, 
that  father  of  all  good,  be  blest  and  saved  I  May  it  mount  up 
and  dwell  for  ever  with  Jesus  Christ,  the  King  of  kings  1 ' " 

Though  not  so  pious  or  so  good  as  Robert,  his  son,  Henry  I., 
and  his  grandson,  Philip  I.,  were  neither  more  energetic  nor 
more  glorious  kings.  During  their  long  reigns  (the  former 
from  1031  to  1060,  and  the  latter  from  1060  to  1108)  no  impor- 
tant and  well-prosecuted  design  distinguished  their  govern- 
ment. Their  pubHc  life  was  passed  at  one  time  in  petty  war- 
fare, without  decisive  results,  against  such  and  such  vassals, 
at  another  in  acts  of  capricious  intervention  in  the  quarrels  of 
their  vassals  amongst  themselves.  Their  home-hfe  was  neither 
less  irregular  nor  conducted  with  more  wisdom  and  regard  for 
the  public  interest.  King  Robert  had  not  succeeded  in  keep- 
ing his  first  wife,  Bertha  of  Burgundy;  and  his  second,  Con- 
stance of  Aquitaine,  with  her  imperious,  malevolent,  avari- 
cious, meddlesome  disposition,  reduced  him  to  so  abject  a  state 
that  he  never  gave  a  gratuity  to  any  of  his  servants  without 
saying,  "Take  care  that  Constance  know  naught  of  it." 
After  Robert's  death,  Constance,  having  become  regent  for  her 
eldest  son  Henry  I.,  forthwith  conspired  to  dethrone  him,  and 
to  put  in  his  place  her  second  son  Robert,  who  was  her  favor- 
ite. Henry,  on  being  delivered  by  his  mother's  death  from 
her  tyranny  and  intrigues,  was  thrice  married ;  but  his  first 
two  marriages  with  two  German  princesses,  one  the  daughter 
of  the  Emperor  Conrad  the  Salic,  the  other  of  the  Emperor 
Henry  III.,  were  so  far  from  happy  that  in  1051  he  sent  into 
Russia,  to  Kieff,  in  search  of  his  third  wife,  Anne,  daughter  of 
the  Czar  Yaroslaff  the  Halt.    She  was  a  modest  creature  who 


lived  quietly  up  to  the  death  of  her  husband  in  1060,  and,  two 
years  afterwards,  in  the  reign  of  her  son  Philip  I.,  rather  than 
return  to  her  own  country,  married  Kaoul,  count  of  Valois, 
who  put  away,  to  marry  her,  his  second  wife  Haqueney,  called 
Menore.  The  divorce  was  opi)osed  at  Rome  before  Pope 
Alexander  II.,  to  whom  the  Archbishop  of  Eheims  wrote  upon 
the  subject:  **Our  kingdom  is  the  scene  of  great  troubles. 
The  queen-mother  has  espoused  Coimt  Raoul,  which  has 
mightily  displeased  the  Idng.  As  for  the  lady  whom  Raoul 
has  put  away,  we  have  recognized  the  justice  of  the  com- 
plaints she  has  preferred  before  you,  and  the  falsity  of  the  pre- 
texts on  which  he  put  her  away."  The  pope  ordered  the 
count  to  take  back  his  wife;  Haoul  would  not  obey,  and  was 
excommunicated;  but  he  made  light  of  it,  and  the  Princess 
Anne  of  Russia,  actually  reconciled,  apparently,  to  Philip  I., 
lived  tranquilly  in  fe^ance,  where,  in  1075,  shortly  after  the 
death  of  her  second  husband.  Count  Raoul,  her  signature  was 
still  attached  to  a  charter  side  by  side  with  that  of  the  king 
her  son. 

The  marriages  of  Philip  I.  brought  even  more  trouble  and 
scandal  than  those  of  his  father  and  grandfather.  At  nineteen 
years  of  age,  in  1072,  he  had  espoused  Bertha,  daughter  of 
Florent  I.,  count  of  Holland,  and  in  1078  he  had  by  her  the  son 
who  was  destined  to  succeed  him  with  the  title  of  Louis  the 
Fat,  But  twenty  years  later,  1092,  Philip  took  a  dislike  to  his 
wife,  put  her  away  and  banished  her  to  Montreuil-sur-Mer,  on 
the  ground  of  prohibited  consanguinity.  He  had  conceived, 
there  is  no  knowing  when,  a  violent  passion  for  a  woman 
celebrated  for  her  beauty,  Bertrade,  the  fourth  wife,  for  three 
years  past,  of  Foulques  le  R^hin  (the  brawler),  count  of 
Anjou.  Philip,  having  thus  packed  oft  Bertha,  set  out  for 
Tours,  where  Bertrade  happened  to  be  with  her  husband. 
There,  in  the  church  of  St.  John,  during  the  benediction  of  the 
baptismal  fonts,  they  entered  into  mutual  engagements. 
Philip  went  away  again ;  and,  a  few  days  afterwards,  Bertrade 
was  carried  off  by  some  people  he  had  left  in  the  neighborhood 
of  Tours  and  joined  him  at  Orleans.  Nearly  all  the  bishops  of 
France,  and  amongst  others  the  most  learned  and  respected  of 
them,  Yves,  bishop  of  Chartres,  refused  their  benediction  to 
this  shocking  marriage ;  and  the  king  had  great  difficulty  in 
finding  a  priest  to  render  him  that  service.  Then  commenced 
between  Philip  and  the  heads  of  the  Catholic  Church,  pope  and 
bishops,  a  struggle  which,  with  negotiation  upon  negotiation 

252  HISTORY  OF  FRANCS,  [ch.  xnr. 

and  excommunication  upon  excommunication,  lasted  twelve 
years,  without  the  king's  being  able  to  get  his  marriage  canon- 
ically  recognized;  and,  though  he  promised  to  send  away  Ber- 
trade,  he  was  not  content  with  merely  keeping  her  with  him, 
but  he  openly  jeered  at  excommimication  and  interdicts.  "  It 
was  the  custom,"  says  William  of  Malmesbmy,  "at  the  places 
where  the  king  sojourned,  for  divine  service  to  be  stopx)ed ; 
and,  as  soon  as  he  was  moving  away,  all  the  bells  began  to 
I)eal.  And  then  Philip  would  cry,  as  he  laughed  like  one  be- 
side himself,  *  Dost  hear,  my  love,  how  they  are  ringing  us 
out?'"  Atlast,  in  1104,  the  Bishop  of  Chartres  himself,  wearied 
by  the  persistency  of  the  king  and  by  sight  of  the  trouble  in 
which  the  prolongation  of  the  interdict  was  plunging  the  king- 
dom, wrote  to  the  Pope,  Pascal  11. :  "  I  do  not  presume  to  offer 
you  advice;  I  only  desire  to  warn  you  that  it  were  well  to 
show  for  awhile  some  condescension  towards  the  weaknesses 
of  the  man,  so  far  as  consideration  for  his  salvation  may  per- 
mit, and  to  rescue  the  country  from  the  critical  state  to  which 
it  is  reduced  by  the  excommunication  of  this  prince."  The 
Pope,  consequently,  sent  instructions  to  the  bishops  of  the 
realm;  and  they,  at  the  king's  summons,  met  at  Paris  on  the 
1st  of  December,  1104.  One  of  them,  Lambert,  bishop  of 
Arras,  wrote  to  the  Pope :  * '  We  sent  as  a  deputation  to  the  king 
the  bishops  John  of  Orleans  and  Galon  of  Paris,  charged  to 
demand  of  him  whether  he  would  conform  to  the  clauses  and 
conditions  set  forth  in  your  letters,  and  whether  he  were  de- 
termined to  give  up  the  unlawful  intercourse  which  had  made 
him  guilty  before  God.  The  king  having  answered,  without 
being  disconcerted,  that  he  was  ready  to  make  atonement  to 
God  and  the  holy  Roman  Church,  was  introduced  to  the  as- 
sembly. He  came  bare-footed,  in  a  posture  of  devotion  and 
humility,  confessing  his  sin  and  promising  to  purge  him  of  his 
excommunication  by  expiatory  deeds.  And  thus,  by  your 
authority,  he  earned  absolution.  Then  laying  his  hand  on  the 
book  of  the  holy  Gospels,  he  took  an  oath,  in  the  following 
terms,  to  renounce  his  guilty  and  unlawful  marriage :  *  Hearken, 
thou  Lambert,  bishop  of  Arras,  who  art  here  in  place  of  the 
Apostolic  Pontiff ;  and  let  the  archbishops  and  bishops  here 
present  hearken  unto  me.  I,  Philip,  king  of  the  French,  do 
promise  not  to  go  back  to  my  sin  and  to  break  off  wholly  the 
criminal  intercourse  I  have  heretofore  kept  up  with  Bertrade. 
I  do  promise  that  henceforth  I  will  have  with  her  no  inter- 
course or  companionship,  save  in  the  presence  of  persons  be- 


yond  suspicion.  I  will  observe,  faithfully  and  without  turn- 
ing aside,  these  promises,  in  the  sense  set  forth  in  the  letters  of 
the  Pope  and  as  ye  understand.  So  help  me  Gk)d  and  these 
holy  Gospels! '  Bertrade,  at  the  moment. of  her  release  from 
excommunication,  took  in  person  the  same  oath  on  the  holy 

According  to  the  statement  of  the  learned  Benedictines  who 
studiously  examined  into  this  incident  it  is  doubtful  whether 
Philip  I.  broke  off  all  intercourse  with  Bertrade.  "  Two  years 
after  his  absolution,  on  the  10th  of  October,  1106,  he  arrived  at 
Angers,  on  a  Wednesday,"  says  a  contemporary  chronicler, 
"accompanied  by  the  queen  named  Bertrade,  and  was  there 
received  by  Count  Foulques  and  by  all  the. Aiige vines,  cleric 
and  laic,  with  great  honors.  The  day  after  his  arrival, 
on  Thureday,  the  monks  of  St.  Nicholas,  introduced  by  the 
queen,  presented  themselves  before  the  king,  and  hmnbly 
prayed  him,  in  concert  with  the  queen,  to  countenance,  for  the 
salvation  of  his  soul  and  of  the  queen  and  his  relatives  and 
friends,  all  acquisitions  made  by  them  in  his  dominions,  or 
that  they  might  hereafter  make,  by  gift  or  purchase,  and  to  be  . 
pleased  to  place  his  seal  on  their  titles  to  property.  And  the 
king  granted  their  request." 

The  most  complete  amongst  the  chroniclers  of  the  time, 
Orderic  Vital,  says,  touching  this  meeting  at  Angers  of  Ber- 
trade'stwo  husbands,  "This  clever  woman  had,  by  her  skil- 
ful management,  so  i)erfectly  reconciled  these  two  rivals,  that 
she  made  them  a  splendid  feast,  got  them  both  to  sit  at  the 
same  table,  had  their  beds  prepared,  the  ensuing  night,  in  the 
same  chamber,  and  ministered  to  them  according  to  their 
pleasure."  The  most  judicious  of  the  historians  and  statesmen 
of  the  twelfth  century,  the  Abbe  Suger,  that  faithful  minister 
of  Louis  the  Fat,  who  cannot  be  suspected  of  favoring  Bertrade, 
expresses  himself  about  her  in  these  terms:  " This  sprightly 
and  rarely  accomplished  woman,  well  versed  in  the  art,  famil- 
iar to  her  sex,  of  holding  captive  the  husbands  they  have  out- 
raged, had  acquired  such  an  empire  over  her  first  husband, 
the  Coimt  of  Anjou,  in  spite  of  the  affront  she  had  put  upon 
him  by  deserting  him,  that  he  treated  her  with  homage  as  his 
sovereign,  often  sat  upon  a  stool  at  her  feet,  and  obeyed  her 
wishes  by  a  sort  of  enchantment." 

These  details  are  textually  given  as  the  best  representation 
of  the  place  occupied,  in  the  history  of  tliat  time,  by  the  morals 
and  private  life  of  the  kings.    It  would  not  be  right,  however, 

264  HISTORY  OF  PRANGS!.  [ch.  xm 

to  draw  therefrom  conclusions  as  to  the  abddement  of  Capetiail 
royalty  in  the  eleventh  century,  with  too  great  severity. 
There  are  irregularities  and  scandals  which  the  great  qualities 
and  the  personal  glory  of  princes  may  cause  to  he  not  only 
excused  but  even  forgotten,  though  certainly  the  three  Cape- 
tians  who  immediately  succeeded  the  founder  of  the  dynasty 
offered  their  people  no  such  compensation;  but  it  must  not  be 
supposed  that  they  had  fallen  into  the  plight  of  the  sluggard 
Merovingians  or  the  last  Carlovingians,  wandering  almost 
without  a  refuge.  A  profound  change  had  come  over  society  and 
royalty  in  France.  In  spite  of  their  poHtical  mediocrity  and 
their  indolent  licentiousness,  Robert,  Henry  I.,  and  Philip  I. 
were  not,  in  the  eleventh  century,  insignificant  personages, 
without  authority  or  practical  influence,  whom  their  contem- 
poraries could  leave  out  of  the  account;  they  were  great  lords, 
proprietors  of  vast  domains  wherein  they  exercised  over  the 
population  an  almost  absolute  power;  they  had,  it  is  true, 
about  them  rivals,  large  proprietors,  and  almost  absolute 
sovereigns,  like  themselves,  sometimes  stronger  even,  materi- 
ally, than  themselves  and  more  energetic  or  more  intellectu- 
ally able,  whose  superiors,  however,  they  remained  on  two 
grounds,  as  suzerains  and  as  kings :  their  court  was  always  the 
most  honored  and  their  alliance  always  very  much  sought 
after.  They  occupied  the  first  rank  in  feudal  society  and  a  rank 
unique  in  the  body  politic  such  as  it  was  slowly  becoming  in 
the  midst  of  reminiscences  and  traditions  of  the  Jewish  mon- 
archy, of  barbaric  kingship  and  of  the  Roman  empire  for  a 
while  resuscitated  by  Charlemagne.  French  kingship  in  the 
eleventh  century  was  sole  power  invested  with  a  triple  charac- 
ter, Gfermanic,  Roman,  and  religious;  its  possessors  were  at 
the  same  time  the  chieftains  of  the  conquerors  of  the  soil,  the 
successors  of  the  Roman  emperors  and  of  Charlemagne,  and  the 
laic  delegates  and  representatives  of  the  God  of  the  Christians. 
"Whatever  were  their  weaknesses  and  their  personal  short- 
comings, they  were  not  the  mere  titularies  of  a  power  in 
decay,  and  the  kingly  post  was  strong  and  full  of  blossom,  as 
events  were  not  slow  to  demonstrate. 

And  as  with  the  kingship,  so  with  the  commimity  of  France 
in  the  eleventh  century.  In  spite  of  its  dislocation  into  petty 
incoherent  and  turbulent  associations,  it  was  by  no  means  in 
decay.  Irregularities  of  ambition,  hatreds  and  quarrels  amongst 
neighbors  and  relatives,  outrages  on  the  part  of  princes  and 
peoples  were  incessantly  renewed;  but  energy  of  character, 


activity  of  mind,  indomitable  will  smd  zeal  for  the  liberty  of 
the  individual  were  not  wanting,  and  they  exhibited  them- 
selves passionately  and  at  any  risk,  at  one  time  by  brutal  or 
cynical  outbursts  which  were  followed  occasionally  by  fervent 
repentsmce  and  expiation,  at  another  by  acts  of  courageous 
wisdom  and  disinterested  piety.  At  the  commencement  of  the 
eleventh  century,  William  III.,  coimt  of  Poitiers,  and  duke  of. 
Aquitaine,  was  one  of  the  most  honored  and  most  potent 
princes  of  his  time ;  all  the  sovereigns  of  Europe  sent  embassies 
to  him  as  to  their  peer;  he  every  year  made,  by  way  of  de- 
votion, a  trip  to  Home  and  was  received  there  with  the  same 
honors  as  the  Emperor.  He  was  fond  of  literatm-e,  and  gave 
up  to  reading  the  early  hours  of  the  night;  and  scholars  called 
him  another  Maecenas.  Unaffected  by  these  worldly  successes 
intermingled  with  so  much  toil  and  so  many  miscalculations, 
he  refused  the  crown  of  Italy,  when  it  was  offered  him  at  the 
death  of  the  Emperor  Henry  H.,  and  he  finished,  like  Charles 
V.  some  centuries  later,  by  going  and  seeking  in  a  monastery 
isolation  from  the  world  and  repose.  But,  in  the  same  domains 
and  at  the  end  of  the  same  century,  his  grandson  WiUiam  VII. 
was  the  most  vagabondish,  dissolute,  and  violent  of  princes; 
and  his  morals  were  so  scandalous  that  the  Bishop  of  Poitiers, 
after  having  warned  him  to  no  purpose,  considered  himself 
forced  to  excommimicate  him.  The  duke  suddenly  burst  into 
the  church,  made  his  way  through  the  congregation,  sword  in 
hand,  and  seized  the  prelate  by  the  hair,  saying:  ^'  Thou  shalt 
give  me  absolution  or  die."  The  bishop  demanded  a  moment 
for  reflection,  profited  by  it  to  pronounce  the  form  of  excom- 
munication, and  forthwith  bowing  his  head  before  the  duke, 
said,  "  And  now  strike !"  **  I  love  thee  not  well  enough  to  send 
thee  to  paradise,"  answered  the  duke;  and  he  confined  himself 
to  depriving  him  of  his  see.  For  fury  the  Duke  of  Aquitaine 
sometimes  substituted  insolent  mockery.  Another  bishop,  of 
Angouleme,  who  was  quite  bald,  likewise  exhorted  him  to 
mend  his  ways.  **I  will  mend,"  quoth  the  duke,  **  when  thou 
shalt  comb  back  thy  hair  to  thy  pate."  Another  great  lord  of 
the  same- century,  Foulques  the  Black,  count  of  Anjou,  at  the 
close  of  an  able  and  glorious  lifetime,  had  resigned  to  his  son 
Geoffrey  Martel  the  administration  of  his  countship.  The  son, 
as  haughty  and  harsh  towards  his  father  as  towards  his  sub- 
jects, took  up  arms  against  him,  and  bade  him  lay  aside  the 
outward  signs,  which  he  still  maintained,  of  power.  The  old 
man  in  his  wrath  recovered  the  vigor  and  ability  of  his  youth, 

256  BlSTORt  OB'  ^BANOS!.  [en,  xiv. 

and  Btrove  so  energetically  and  successfully  against  his  son 
that  he  reduced  him  to  such  suhjection  as  to  make  him  do 
several  miles  "crawling  on  the  ground,"  says  the  chronicle, 
with  a  saddle  on  his  hack,  and  to  come  and  prostrate  himself 
at  his  feet.  When  Foulques  had  his  son  thus  humhled  hef ore 
him,  he  spumed  him  with  his  foot,  repeating  over  and  over 
again  nothing  but  **Thou'rt  beaten,  thou'rt  beaten!"  "Ay, 
beaten,"  said  GteoflErey,  "  but  by  thee  only,  because  thou  art 
my  father;  to  any  other  I  am  invincible."  The  anger  of  the 
old  man  vanished  at  once :  he  now  thought  only  how  he  might 
console  his  son  for  the  affront  put  upon  him,  and  he  gave  >^iTri 
back  his  power,  exhorting  him  only  to  conduct  himself  with 
more  moderation  and  gentleness  towards  his  subjects.  All  was 
inconsistency  and  contrast  with  these  robust,  rough,  hasty 
souls ;  they  cared  little  for  belying  themselves  when  they  had 
satisfied  the  passion  of  the  moment. 

The  relations  existing  between  the  two  great  i)Owers  of  the 
period,  the  laic  lords  and  the  monks,  were  not  less  bitter  or 
less  unstable  than  amongst  the  laics  themselves;  and  when 
artifice,  as  often  happened,  was  employed,  it  was  by  no  means 
to  the  exclusion  of  violence.  About  the  middle  of  the  twelfth 
century,  the  abbey  of  Toumus  in  Burgundy  had,  at  Louhans, 
a  little  port  where  it  collected  salt-tax,  whereof  it  every  year 
distributed  the  receipts  to  the  poor  during  the  first  week  in 
Lent.  Girard,  count  of  M^on,  established  a  like  toll  a  little 
distance  off.  The  monks  of  Toumus  complained;  but  he  took 
no  notice.  A  long  while  afterwards  he  came  to  Toumus  with 
a  splendid  following,  and  entered  the  church  of  St.  Philibert 
He  had  stopped  all  alone  before  the  altar  to  say  his  prayers, 
when  a  monk,  cross  in  hand,  issued  suddenly  from  behind  the 
altar,  and,  placing  himself  before  the  count,  "  How  hast  thou 
the  audacity,"  said  he,  "to  enter  my  monastery  and  mine 
house,  thou  that  dost  not  hesitate  to  rob  me  of  my  dues?"  and, 
taking  Girard  by  the  hair,  he  threw  him  on  the  ground  and 
belabored  him  heavily.  The  coimt,  stupefied  and  contrite, 
acknowledged  his  injustice,  took  off  the  toll  that  he  had  wrong- 
fully put  on,  and,  not  content  with  this  reparation,  sent  to  the 
church  of  Toumus  a  rich  carpet  of  golden  and  silken  tissue. 
In  the  middle  of  the  eleventh  century,  Adhemar  H.,  viscount 
of  Limoges,  had  in  his  city  a  quarrel  of  quite  a  different  sort 
with  the  monks  of  the  abbey  of  St.  Martial.  The  abbey  had 
fallen  iato  great  looseness  of  discipline  and  morals;  and  the 
viscount  had  at  heart  its  reformation.    To  this  end  he  entered 


■■-VIOi(,    LENNOX 
■  *.a>  [-.  N  >  U  U  M  DA'ilOW 


into  concert,  at  a  distance,  with  Hugh,  abbot  of  Cliini,  at  that 
time  the  most  celebrated  and  most  rpspected  of  the  monas- 
teries. The  Abbot  of  St.  Martial  died.  Adhemar  sent  for 
some  monks  from  Cluni  to  come  to  Limoges,  lodged  them 
secretly  near  his  x)alace,  repaired  to  the  abbey  of  St.  Martial 
after  having  had  the  chapter  convoked,  and  called  upon  the 
monks  to  proceed  at  once  to  the  election  of  a  new  abbot.  A 
lively  discussion,  upon  this  point,  arose  between  the  viscount  and 
the  monks.  **  We  are  not  ignorant,"  said  one  of  them  to  him, 
"  that  you  have  sent  for  brethren  from  Climi,  in  order  to  drive 
us  out  and  put  them  in  our  places;  but  you  will  not  succeed." 
The  viscount  was  furious,  seized  by  the  sleeve  the  monk  who 
was  inveighing,  and  dragged  him  by  force  out  of  the  monas- 
tery. His  fellows  were  frightened,  and  took  to  flight;  and 
Adhemar  immediately  had  the  monks  from  Cluni  sent  for, 
and  put  them  in  possession  of  the  abbey.  It  was  a  ruffianly 
proceeding;  but  the  reform  was  popular  in  limoges  and  was 

These  trifling  matters  are  faithful  samples  of  the  dominant 
and  fimdamental  characteristic  of  French  society  during  the 
tenth,  eleventh,  and  twelfth  centuries,  the  true  epoch  of  the 
middle  ages.  It  was  chaos  and  fermentation  within  the  chaos, 
the  slow  and  rough  but  jwwerful  and  productive  fermentation 
of  unruly  Hfe.  In  ideas,  events,  and  persons  there  was  a 
blending  of  the  strongest  contrasts:  manners  were  rude  and 
even  savage,  yet  souls  were  filled  with  lofty  and  tender  aspira- 
tions; the  authority  of  religious  creeds  at  one  time  was  on  the 
point  of  extinction,  yet  at  another  shone  forth  gloriously  in 
opposition  to  the  arrogance  and  brutality  of  mundane  passions ; 
ignorance  was  profound,  and  yet  here  and  there,  in  the  very- 
heart  of  the  mental  darkness,  gleamed  bright  centres  of  move- 
ment and  intellectual  labor.  It  was  the  period  when  Abelard, 
anticipating  freedom  of  thought  and  of  instruction,  drew 
together  upon  Mount  St.  Genevieve  thousands  of  hearers 
anxious  to  follow  him  in  the  study  of  the  great  problems  of 
Nature  and  of  the  destiny  of  man  and  the  world.  And,  far  away 
from  this  throng,  in  the  solitude  of  the  abbey  of  Bee,  St.  Anselm 
was  offering  to  his  monks  a  Christian  and  philosophical  demon* 
stration  of  the  existence  of  Gk>d— **  faith  seeking  imderstand- 
ing"  {fidea  qucerens  intellectum),  as  he  himself  used  to  say.  It 
was  tiae  period,  too,  when,  distressed  at  the  Hcentiousnesd 
which  was  spreading  throughout  the  Church  as  well  as  lay 
Bocietyi  two  illustrious  monks,  St.  Bernard  and  St.  Norbert^ 

258  E18T0RT  OF  FRANCE.         ;\  [cH.  xir. 

not  only  went  preaching  everywhere  reformation  of  niorsds, 
but  labored  at  and  succeeded  in  establishing  for  monastic  life  a 
system  of  strict  discipline  and  severe  austerity.  Lastly,  it  was 
the  period  when,  in  the  kuc  world,  was  created  and  developed 
the  most  splendid  fact  of  the  middle  ages,  knighthood,  that 
noble  soaring  of  imaginations  and  souls  towards  the  ideal  of 
Christian  virtue  and  soldierly  honor.  It  is  impossible  to  trace 
in  detail  the  origin  and  history  of  that  grand  fact  which  was 
so  prominent  in  the  days  to  which  it  belonged  and  which  is  so 
prominent  still  in  the  memories  of  men;  but  a  clear  notion 
ought  to  be  obtained  of  its  moral  character  and  its  practical 
worth.  To  this  end  a  few  pages  shaH  be  borrowed  from  Guizot's 
History  of  Civilization  in  France.  Let  us  first  look  on  at  the 
admission  of  a  knight,  such  as  took  place  in  the  twelfth  cen- 
tury. We  will  afterwards  see  what  rules  of  conduct  were  im- 
posed upon  him,  not  only  according  to  the  oaths  which  he  had 
to  take  on  becoming  knight,  but  according  to  the  idea  formed 
of  knighthood  by  the  poets  of  the  day,  those  interpt^ters  not 
only  of  actual  life  but  of  men's  sentiments  also.  We  shall  then 
imderstand,  without  difficulty,  what  influence  must  have  been 
exercised,  in  the  souls  and  lives  of  men,  by  such  sentiments  and 
such  rules,  however  great  may  have  been  the  discrepancy  be- 
tween the  knightly  ideal  and  the  general  actions  and  passions 
of  contemporaries. 

"The  young  man,  the  esquire  who  aspired  to  the  title  of 
knight,  was  first  stripped  of  his  clothes  and  placed  in  a  bath, 
which  was  symboUcal  of  purification.  On  leaving  the  bath  he 
was  clothed  in  a  white  tunic,  which  was  symbolical  of  purity, 
and  a  red  robe,  which  was  symbolical  of  the  blood  he  was 
bound  to  shed  in  the  service  of  the  faith,  and  a  black  sagum  or 
close-fitting  coat,  which  was  symbolical  of  the  death  which 
awaited  him  as  well  as  all  men. 

"  Thus  purified  and  clothed,  the  candidate  observed  for  four 
and  twenty  hours  a  strict  fast.  When  evening  came,  he. 
entered  church,  and  there  passed  the  night  in  prayer,  some- 
times alone,  sometimes  with  a  priest  and  sponsors,  who  prayed 
with  him.  Next  day,  his  first  act  was  confession;  after  con- 
fession the  priest  gave  him  the  communion;  after  the  com- 
munion he  attended  a  mass  of  the  Holy  Spirit;  and, 'generally, 
a  sermon  touching  the  duties  of  knights  and  of  the  new  life  he 
was  about  to  enter  on.  The  sermon  over,  the  candidate  ad- 
vanced to  the  altar  with  the  knight's  sword  hanging  from  his 
Ifieck.    This  the  priest  took  off,  blessed,  and  replaced  upon  his 

cm.  Jtrv.]  CAPETIANB  TO  TBE  TIME  OF  THE  0EUSADE8.  259 

neck  The  candidate  then  went  and  knelt  before  the  lord  who 
was  to  arm  him  knight.  'To  what  purpose/  the  lord  asked 
him,  'do  you  desire  to  enter  the  order?  If  to  be  rich,  to  take 
your  ease  and  be  held  in  honor  without  doing  honor  to  knight- 
hood, you  are  unworthy  of  it  and  would  be  to  the  order  of 
knighthood  you  received,  what  the  simoniacal  clerk  is  to  the 
prelacy.'  On  the  young  man's  reply,  promising  to  acquit  him- 
self  well  of  the  duties  of  knight,  the  lord  granted  his  request. 

'^  Then  drew  near  knights  and  sometimes  ladies  to  reclothe 
the  candidate  in  all  his  new  array;  and  they  put  on  him,  1,  the 
spurs;  2,  the  hauberk  or  coat  of  mail;  3,  the  cuirass;  4,  the 
armlets  and  gaimtlets;  5,  the  sword. 

''He  was  then  what  was  called  advbbed  (that  is,  adopted, 
according  to  Du  Cange).  The  lord  rose  up,  went  to  him  and 
gave  him  the  accolade  or  a^ccoUe,  three  blows  with  the  flat  of 
the  sword  on  the  shoulder  or  nape  of  the  neck,  and  some- 
times a  slap  with  the  palm  of  the  hand  on  the  cheek,  saying, 
'  In  the  name  of  Qod,  St.  Michael  and  St.  George,  I  make  thee 
knight.'  And  he  sometimes  added,  'Be  valiant,  bold,  and 

"  The  young  man  having  been  thus  armed  knight,  had  his 
helmet  brought  to  him;  a  horse  was  led  up  for  him;  he  leapt 
on  its  back,  generally  without  the  help  of  the  stirrups,  and 
caracoled  about,  brandishing  his  lance  and  making  his  sword 
flash.  Finally  he  went  out  of  church  and  caracoled  about 
on  the  open,  at  the  foot  of  the  castle,  in  presence  of  the  people 
eager  to  have  their  share  in  the  spectacle." 

Such  was  what  may  be  called  the  outward  and  material  part 
in  the  admission  of  knights.  It  shows  a  persistent  anxiety  to 
associate  religion  with  all  the  phases  of  so  personal  an  affair; 
the  sacraments,  the  most  august  feature  of  Christianity,  are 
mixed  up  with  it;  and  many  of  the  ceremonies  are,  as  far  as 
possible,  assimilated  to  the  administration  of  the  sacraments.' 
Let  us  continue  our  examination;  let  us  penetrate  to  the  very 
heart  of  knighthood,  its  moral  character,  its  ideas,  the  senti- 
ments which  it  was  the  object  to  impress  upon  the  koight. 
Here  again  the  influence  of  religion  will  be  quite  evident. 

"The  knight  had  to  swear  to  twenty-six  articles.  These 
articles,  however,  did  not  make  one  single  formula,  drawn  up 
at  one  and  the  same  time  and  all  together;  they  are  a  col- 
lection of  oaths  required  of  knights  at  different  epochs  and  in 
more  or  less  complete  fashion  from  the  eleventh  to  the  four- 
teenth century.    The  candidates  swore,  1,  to  fear,  reverence, 

260  STSTORT  OF  FAANCS.  [(m,  xir. 

and  serve  God  religiously,  to  fight  for  the  faith  with  all  their 
might,  and  to  die  a  thousand  deaths  rather  than  ever  renounce 
Christianity;  2,  to  serve  their  sovereign-prince  faithfully,  and 
to  fight  for  him  and  fatherland  right  valiantly;  3,  to  uphold 
the  rights  of  the  weaker,  such  as  widows,  orphans,  and 
damsels,  in  fair  quarrrel,  exposing  themselves  on  that  accoimt 
according  as  need  might  he,  provided  it  were  not  against  their 
own  honor  or  against  their  king  or  lawful  prince;  4,  that  they 
would  not  injure  any  one  maliciously,  or  take  what  was 
another's,  hut  would  rather  do  hattle  with  those  who  did  so; 
5,  that  gi^eed,  pay,  gain,  or  profit  should  never  constrain  them 
to  do  any  deed,  but  only  glory  and  virtue;  6,  that  they  wotild 
fight  for  the  good  and  advantage  of  the  conunon  weal;  7,  that 
they  would  be  bound  by  and  obey  the  orders  of  their  generals 
and  captains  who  had  a  right  to  command  them;  8,  that  they 
would  guard  the  honor,  rank,  and  order  of  their  comrades, 
and  that  they  would  neither  by  arrogance  nor  by  force  conmiit 
any  trespfiB  against  any  one  of  them;  9,  that  they  would  never 
fight  in  companies  against  one,  and  that  they  would  eschew 
all  tricks  and  artifices;  10,  that  they  would  wear  but  one 
sword,  unless  they  had  to  fight  against  two  or  more;  11,  that 
in  toiumey  or  other  sportive  contest  they  would  never  use  the 
point  of  their  swords;  12,  that  beiiig  taken  prisoner  in  a 
toiumey,  they  would  be  bound,  on  their  faith  and  honor,  to 
perform  in  every  point  the  conditions  of  capture,  besides  being 
bound  to  give  up  to  the  victors  their  arms  and  horses,  if  it 
seemed  good  to  take  them,  and  being  disabled  from  fighting  in 
war  or  elsewhere  without  their  leave;  13,  that  they  would 
keep  faith  inviolably  with  all  the  world,  and  especially  with 
their  comirades,  upholding  their  honor  and  advantage,  wholly, 
in  their  absence;  14,  that  they  would  love  and  honor  one 
another,  and  aid  and  succor  one  another  whenever  occasion 
offered;  15,  that,  having  made  vow,  or  promise  to  go  on  any 
quest  or  novel  adventure,  they  would  never  put  off  their  arms, 
save  for  the  night's  rest;  16,  that  in  pursuit  of  their  quest  or 
adventure  they  would  not  ^un  bad  and  perilous  passes,  nor 
turn  aside  from  the  straight  road  for  fear  of  encountering 
powerful  knights  or  monsters  or  wild  beasts  or  other  hindrance 
such  as  the  body  and  courage  of  a  single  man  might  tackle; 
17,  that  they  would  never  take  wage  or  pay  from  any  foreign 
prince;  18,  that  in  command  of  troops  of  men-at-arms,  they 
would  live  in  the  utmost  possible  order  and  discipline,  and 
especially  in  their  own  country,  where  they  would  never  suffer 


any  harm  or  violence  to  be  done;  19,  that  if  they  were  bound 
to  escort  dame  or  damsel,  they  would  serve  her,  protect  her, 
and  save  her  from  all  danger  and  insult,  or  die  in  the  attempt; 
20,  that  they  would  never  offer  violence  to  dame  or  damsel, 
though  they  had  won  her  by  deeds  of  arms,  against  her  will 
and  consent;  21,  that,  being  challenged  to  equal  combat,  they 
would  not  refuse,  without  wound,  sickness,  or  other  reasonable 
hindrance;  22,  that,  having  imdertaken  to  carry  out  any 
enterprise,  they  would  devote  to  it  night  and  day,  tmless  they 
were  called  away  for  the  service  of  their  king  and  country; 
23,  that  if  they  made  a  vow  to  acquire  any  honor,  they  would 
not  draw  back  without  having  attained  either  it  or  its  equiva- 
lent; 24,  that  they  would  be  faithful  keepers  of  their  word  and 
pledged  faith,  and  that,  having  become  prisoners  in  fair  war- 
fare, they  would  pay  to  the  uttermost  the  promised  ransom, 
or  return  to  prison,  at  the  day  and  hour  agreed  upon,  on 
pain  of  being  proclaimed  infamous  and  perjured;  25,  that  on 
returning  to  the  court  of  their  sovereign,  they  would  render 
a  true  account  of  their  adventures,  ev^en  though  they  had 
sometimes  been  worsted,  to  the  king  and  the  registrar  of  the 
order,  on  pain  of  being  deprived  of  the  order  of  knighthood ; 
26,  that  above  all  things  they  would  be  faithful,  courteous  and 
humble,  and  would  never  be  wanting  to  their  word  for  any 
harm  or  loss  that  might  accrue  to  them." 

It  is  needless  to  point  out  that  in  this  series  of  oaths,  these 
obligations  imposed  upon  the  knights,  there  is  a  moral  develop- 
ment very  superior  to  that  of  the  kdc  society  of  the  period. 
Moral  notions  so  lofty,  so  delicate,  so  scrupulous,  and  so 
humane,  emanated  clearly  from  the  Christian  clergy.  Only 
the  clergy  thought  thus  about  the  duties  and  the  relations  of 
mankind;  and  their  influence  was  employed  in  directing 
towards  the  accomplishment  of  such  duties,  towards  the  integ- 
rity of  such  relations,  the  ideas  and  customs  engendered  by 
knighthood.  It  had  not  been  instituted  with  so  pious  and 
deep  a  design,  for  the  protection  of  the  weak,  and  maintenance 
of  justice,  and  the  reformation  of  morals;  it  had  been,  at  its 
origin  and  in  its  earliest  features,  a  natural  consequence  of 
feudal  relations  and  warlike  life,  a  confirmation  of  the  bonds 
established  and  the  sentiments  aroused  between  different  mas- 
ters in  the  same  country  and  comrades  with  the  same  destinies. 
The  clergy  promptly  saw  what  might  be  deduced  from  such  a 
fact ;  and  they  made  of  it  a  means  of  establishing  more  peace- 
fulness  in  society,  and  in  the  conduct  of  individuals  a  more 

HI8T0BT  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  xiv. 

rigid  morality.  This  was  the  general  work  they  pursued ;  and, 
if  it  were  convenient  to  study  the  matter  more  closely,  we 
might  see,  in  the  canons  of  councils  from  the  eleventh  to  the 
fourteenth  centuries,  the  Church  exerting  herself  to  develope 
more  and  more  in  this  order  of  knighthood;  this  institution  of 
an  essentially  warlike  origin,  the  moral  and  civilizing  char- 
acter of  which  a  glimpse  has  just  been  caught  in  the  docu- 
ments of  knighthood  itself. 

In  proportion  as  knighthood  appeared  more  and  more  in  this 
simultaneously  warlike,  religious,  and  moral  character,  it 
more  and  more  gained  power  over  the  imagination  of  men, 
and  just  as  it  had  became  closely  interwoven  with  their  creeds, 
it  soon  become  the  ideal  of  their  thoughts,  the  source  of  their 
noblest  pleasures.  Poetry,  like  religion,  took  hold  of  it. 
From  the  eleventh  century  onwards,  knighthood,  its  cere- 
monies, its  duties,  and  its  adventures,  were  the  mine  from 
which  the  poets  drew  in  order  to  charm  the  people,  in  order  to 
satisfy  and  excite  at  the  same  time  that  yearning  of  the  soul, 
that  need  of  events  more  varied  and  more  captivating,  and  of 
emotions  more  exalted  and  more  pure  than  real  life  could 
furnish.  In  the  springtide  of  communities  poetry  is  not 
merely  a  pleasure  and  a  pastime  for  a  nation ;  it  is  a  source  of 
progress;  it  elevates  and  developes  the  moral  nature  of  men  at 
the  same  time  that  it  amuses  them  and  stirs  them  deeply. 
We  have  just  seen  what  oaths  were  taken  by  the  knights  and 
administered  by  the  priests;  and  now,  here  is  an  ancient 
ballad  by  Eustache  Deschamps,  a  poet  of  the  fourteenth  cen- 
tury, from  which  it  will  be  seen  that  poets  impressed  upon 
knights  the  same  duties  and  the  same  virtues,  and  that  the 
influence  of  poetry  had  the  same  aim  as  that  of  religion: 


Amend  your  lives,  ye  who  would  fain 
The  order  of  the  knights  attain; 
Devoutly  watch,  devoutly  pray; 
From  pride  and  sin,  oh,  turn  away! 
Shun  all  that's  base;  the  Church  defend; 
Be  the  widow's  and  the  orphan's  friend; 
Be  good  and  leal;  take  naught  by  might; 
Be  bold  and  guard  the  people's  right;— 
This  is  the  rule  for  the  gallant  knight. 


Be  meek  of  heart;  work  day  by  day; 
Tread,  ever  tread,  the  knightly  way; 
Make  lawful  war;  long  travel  dare; 
Tourney  and  joust  for  lady  fair; 


To  everlasting  honor  ding. 

That  none  the  barbs  of  blame  may  fling; 

Be  never  slack  in  work  or  fight; 

Be  ever  least  in  self's  own  sight  \— 

This  is  the  rule  for  the  gallant  knight 


Love  the  liege  lord;  with  might  and  malq 

His  rights  above  all  else  miiintain, 

Be  open-handed,  just  and  true; 

The  paths  of  upright  men  pursue; 

No  deaf  ear  to  their  precepts  turn ; 

The  prowess  of  the  valiant  learn ; 

That  ye  may  do  things  great  and  bright, 

As  did  gi'eat  Alexander  hight;— 

This  is  the  rule  for  the  gallant  knight. 

A  great  deal  has  been  said  to  the  effect  that  all  this  is  sheer 
poetry,  a  beautiful  chimera  without  any  resemblance  to  real- 
ity. Indeed,  it  has  just  been  i:emarked  here,  that  the  three 
centuries  under  consideration,  the  middle  ages,  were,  in  point 
of  fact,  one  of  the  most  brutal,  most  ruffianly  epochs  in  history, 
one  of  those  wherein  we  encounter  most  crimes  and  violence ; 
wherein  the  public  peace  was  most  incessantly  troubled ;  and 
wherein  the  greatest  hcentiousness  in  morals  prevailed.  Never- 
theless it  cannot  be  denied  that  side  by  side  with  these  gross 
and  barbarous  morals,  this  social  disorder,  there  existed 
knightly  morality  and  knightly  poetry.  We  have  moral 
records  confronting  ruffiantly  deeds;  and  the  contrast  is 
shocking  but  real.  It  is  exactly  this  contrast  which  makes 
the  great  and  fundamental  characteristic  of  the  middle 
ages.  Let  us  turn  our  eyes  towards  other  communities, 
towards  the  earliest  stages,  for  instance,  of  Greek  society, 
towards  that  heroic  age  of  which  Homer's  poems  are  the 
faithful  reflection.  There  is  nothing  there  like  the  con- 
trasts by  which  we  are  struck  in  the  middle  ages.  We  dp 
not  see  that,  at  the  period  and  amongst  the  people  of  the 
Homeric  poems,  there  was  abroad  in  the  air  or  had  penetrated 
into  the  imaginations  of  men  any  idea  more  lofty  or  more 
pure  than  their  e very-day  actions;  the  heroes  of  Homer  seem 
to  have  no  misgiving  about  their  brutishness,  their  ferocity, 
their  greed,  their  egotism,  there  is  nothing  in  their  souls 
superior  to  the  deeids  of  their  lives.  In  the  France  of  the 
middle  ages,  on  the  contrary,  though  practically  crimes  and 
disorders,  moral  and  social  evils  abound,  yet  men  have  in 
their  souls  and  their  imaghiations  loftier  and  purer  instincts 
and  desires;  their  notions  of  virtue  and  their  ideas  of  justice 

264  EI8T0B7  OF  FBANOB.  [ch.  xv. 

are  very  superior  to  the  practice  pursued  around  them  and 
amongst  themselves;  a  certain  moral  ideal  hovers  above  this 
low  and  tumultuous  community  and  attracts  the  notice  and 
obtains  the  regard  of  men  in  whose  life  it  is  but  very  faintly 
reflected.  The  Christian  religion,  undoubtedly,  is,  if  not  the 
only,  at  any  rate  the  principal  cause  of  this  great  fact ;  for  its 
particular  characteristic  i^  to  arouse  amongst  men  a  lofty 
moral  ambition  by  keeping  constantly  before  their  eyes  a  type 
infinitely  beyond  the  reach  of  human  nature  and  yet  pro- 
foundly sympathetic  with  it.  To  Christianity  it  was  that  the 
middle  ages  owed  knighthood,  that  institution  which,  in  the 
midst  of  anarchy  and  barbarism,  gave  a  poetical  and  moral 
beauty  to  the  period.  It  was  feudal  knighthood  and  Chris- 
tianity together  which  produced  the  two  great  and  glorious 
events  of  those  times,  the  Norman  conquest  of  England  and 
the  Crusades. 



At  the  beginning  of  the  eleventh  century,  Robert,  called 
''the  Magnificent,"  the  fifth  in  succession  from  the  great  chief- 
tain Rollo  who  had  established  the  Northmen  in  France,  was 
duke  of  Normandy.  To  the  nickname  he  earned  by  his  noble- 
ness and  liberality  some  chronicles  have  added  another  and 
call  him  "  Robert  the  Devil,"  by  reason  of  his  reckless  and  vio- 
lent deeds  of  audacity,  whether  in  private  life  or  in  warlike 
expeditions.  Hence  a  lively  controversy  amongst  the  learned 
upon  the  question  of  deciding  to  which  Robert  to  apply  the 
latter  epithet.  Some  persist  in  assigning  it  to  the  Duke  of 
Normandy;  others  seek  for  some  other  Robert  upon  whom  to 
foist  it.  However  that  may  be,  in  1034  or  1035,  after  having 
led  a  fair  Uf e  enough  from  the  poUtical  point  of  view,  but  one 
full  of  turbulence  and  moral  irregularity,  Duke  Robert  resolved 
to  undertake,  bare-footed  and  staff  in  hand,  a  pilgrimage  to 
Jerusalem,  ''to  expiate  his  sins  if  God  would  deign  to  con- 
sent thereto."  The  Norman  prelates  cmd  bai^ons,  having  been 
summoned  around  him,  conjured  him  to  renounce  his  plan; 
for  to  what  troubles  and  perils  would  not  his  dominions  be  ex- 
posed without  lord  or  assured  successor?    "  By  my  faith,"  said 


Bobert,  ''I  will  not  leave  ye  lordless.  I  have  a  young  bastard 
who  will  grow  up,  please  Gk>d,  and  of  whose  good  qualities  I 
have  great  hope.  Take  him,  I  pray  you,  for  lord.  That  he 
was  not  born  in  wedlock  matters  Uttle  to  you ;  he  will  be  none 
the  less  able  in  battle,  or  at  court,  or  in  the  palace,  or  to  ren- 
der you  justice.  I  make  him  my  heir  and  I  hold  him  seised, 
from  this  present,  of  the  whole  duchy  of  Normandy."  And 
they  who  were  present  assented,  but  not  without  objection  and 

There  were  certainly  ample  reason  for  objection  and  dis- 
quietude. Not  only  was  it  a  child  of  eight  years  of  age  to 
whom  Duke  Robert,  at  setting  out  on  his  pious  pilgrimage,  was 
leaving  Normandy;  but  this  child  had  been  pronounced  bas- 
tard by  the  duke  his  father  at  the  moment  of  taking  him  for 
his  heir.  Nine  or  ten  years  before,  at  Falaise,  his  favorite 
residence,  Robert  had  met,  according  to  some  at  a  people^s 
dance,  according  to  others  on  the  banks  of  a  stream  where  she 
was  washing  linen  with  her  companions,  a  young  girl  named 
Harlette  or  Harl^ve,  a  daughter  of  a  tanner  in  the  town,  where 
they  show  to  this  day,  it  is  said,  the  window  from  which  the 
duke  saw  her  for  the  first  time.  She  pleased  his  fancy  and 
was  not  more  straight-laced  than  the  duke  was  scrupidous; 
and  Fulbert,  the  tanner,  kept  but  Uttle  watch  over  his  daugh- 
ter. Robert  gave  the  son  bom  to  him  in  1027  the  name  of  his 
glorious  ancestor  William  Longsword,  the  son  and  successor 
of  RoUo.  The  child  was  reared,  according  to  some,  in  his  fa- 
ther's palace,  ^^  right  honorably  as  if  he  had  been  bom  in  wed- 
lock," but,  according  to  others,  in  the  house  of  his  grandfather 
the  tanner;  and  one  of  the  neighboring  burgesses,  as  he  saw 
passing  one  of  the  principal  Norman  lords,  William  de  Bel- 
lesme,  sumamed  **Tiie  Fierce  Talvas,"  stoppiad  him,  ironically 
saying,  **Come  in,  my  lord,  and  admire  your  suzerain's  son." 
The  origin  of  young  William  was  in  every  mouth  and  gave 
occasion  for  familiar  allusions  more  often  insulting  than  flat- 
tering. The  epithet  bastardy  was,  so  to  speak,  incorporated 
with  his  name;  and  we  cannot  be  astonished  that  it  lived  in 
history,  for,  in  the  height  of  his  power,  he  sometimes  accepted 
it  proudly,  calling  himself,  in  several  of  his  charters,  William 
the  Bastard  {Qvlielmua  Noihus),  He  showed  himself  to  be 
none  the  less  susceptible  on  this  point  when  in  1048,  during  the 
seige  of  Alengon,  the  domain  of  the  Lord  de  Bellesme,  the  inr 
habitants  himg  from  their  walls  hides  all  raw  and  covered  with 
dirt,  which  they  shook  when  they  caught  sight  of  William, 

mSTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xv. 

with  cries  of  "  Plenty  of  work  for  the  tanner !"  **  By  the  glory 
of  Gkxi,"  cried  William,  **they  shall  i»y  me  dear  for  this  in- 
solent bravery  I'^  After  an  assault  several  of  the  beseiged  w^ere 
taken  prisoners;  and  he  had  their  eyes  pulled  out  and  their 
feet  and  hands  cut  off,  and  shot  from  his  siege-machines  these 
mutilated  members  over  the  walls  of  the  city. 

Nothwithstanding  his  recklessness  and  his  b^ing  engrossed 
in  his  pilgrimage,  Duke  Robert  had  taken  some  care  for  the 
situation  in  which  he  was  leaving  his  son,  and  some  measures 
to  lessen  its  x>erils.  He  had  appointed  regent  of  Normandy, 
during  William's  minority,  his  cousin  Alain  V.,  duke  of  Brit- 
tany, whose  sagacity  and  friendship  he  had  proved;  and  he 
had  confided  the  personal  guardianship  of  the  child  not  to  his 
mother  Harlette,  who  was  left  very  much  out  in  the  cold,  but 
to  one  of  his  most  trusty  officers,  Gilbert  Crespon,  count  of 
Brionne;  and  the  strong  castle  of  Vaudreuil,  the  first  founda- 
tion of  which  dated  back,  it  was  said,  to  Queen  Fred^gonde, 
was  assigned  for  the  usual  residence  of  the  young  duke, 
Lastly,  to  confirm  with  brilliancy  his  son's  right  as  his  suc- 
cessor to  the  duchy  of  Normandy  and  to  assure  him  a  power- 
ful ally,  Robert  took  him,  himself,  to  the  court  of  his  suzerain, 
Henry  I.,  king  of  France,  who  recognized  the  title  of  William 
the  Bastard,  and  allowed  him  to  take  the  oath  of  allegiance 
and  homage.  Having  thus  prepared,  as  best  he  could,  for  his 
son's  future,  Robert  set  out  on  his  pilgrimage.  He  visited 
Rome  and  Constantinople,  every  where  displaying  his  mag- 
nificence together  with  his  humfiity.  He  fell  ill  from  sheer  fa- 
tigue whilst  crossing  Asia  Minor  and  was  obliged  to  be  carried 
in  a  litter  by  ioxxr  negroes.  "  Go  and  tell  them  at  home,"  said 
he  to  a  Norman  pilgrim  he  met  returning  from  the  Holy  Land, 
"that  you  saw  me  being  carried  to  Paradise  by  four  devils." 
On  arriving  at  Jerusalem,  where  he  was  received  with  great 
attention  by  the  Mussulman  emir  in  command  there,  he  dis- 
charged himself  of  his  pious  vow,  and  took  the  road  back  to 
Europe.  But  he  was  XK>isoned,  by  whom  or  for  what  motive  is 
not  clearly  known,  at  Nicsea  in  Bithynia,  where  he  was  buried 
in  the  basilica  of  St.  Mary,  an  honor,  says  the  chronicle,  which 
had  never  been  accorded  to  any  body. 

From  1035  to  1042,  during  William's  minority,  Normandy 
was  a  prey  to  the  robber-like  ambition,  the  local  quarrels,  and 
the  turbulent  and  brutal  passions  of  a  host  of  i>etty  castle- 
holders  nearly  always  at  war,  either  amongst  themselves  or 
with  the  yomjg  chieftain  whose  pow^r  they  did  not  fear  an4 


whose  rights  they  disputed.  In  vain  did  Duke  AJain  of  Brit- 
tany, in  his  capacity  as  regent  appointed  by  Duke  Bobert,  at. 
tempt  to  re-establish  order;  and  just  when  he  seemed  on  the 
road  to  success  he  was  poisoned  by  those  who  could  not  suc- 
ceed in  beating  him.  Henry  I.,  king  of  France,  being  ill-dis- 
posed at  bottom  towards  his  Norman  neighbors  and  their 
yoimg  duke,  for  all  that  he  had  acknowledged  him,  profited  by 
this  anarchy  to  filch  from  him  certain  portions  of  territory. 
Attacks  without  warning,  f esuihil  murders,  implacable  ven- 
geance, and  sanguinary  disturbances  in  the  towns  were  evils 
which  became  common  and  spread.  The  clergy  strove  with 
courageous  perseverance  against  fthe  vices  and  crimes  of  the 
X)eriod.  The  bishops  convoked  councils  in  their  diocesee;  the 
laic  lords  and  even  the  people  were  summoned  to  them;  the 
peoQe  of  Chd  was  proclaimed;  and  the  priests,  having  in  their 
hands  lighted  tapers,  turned  them  towards  the  ground  and  ex- 
tinguished them,  whilst  the  populace  rei)eated  in  chorus,  '*8o 
may  God  extinguish  the  joys  of  those  who  refuse  to  observe 
I)eace  and  justice."  The  majority,  however,  of  the  Norman 
lords  refused  to  enter  into  the  engagement.  In  default  of 
peace  it  was  necessary  to  be  content  with  the  the  truce  of  Chd. 
It  commenced  on  Wednesday  evening  at  sunset  and  concluded 
on  Monday  at  sunrise.  During  the  four  days  and  five  nights 
comprised  in  this  interval,  all  aggression  was  forbidden;  no 
slaying,  wounding,  pillaging  or  burning  could  take  place;  but 
from  sunrise  on  Monday  to  sunset  on  Wednesday,  for  three 
days  and  two  nights,  any  violence  became  allowable,  any 
crime  might  recommence. 

Meanwhile  William  was  growing  up,  and  the  omens  that  had 
been  drawn  from  his  early  youth  raised  the  popular  hopes. 
It  was  rei)orted  that  at  his  very  birth,  when  the  midwife  had 
put  him  unswaddled  on  a  little  heap  of  straw,  he  had  wriggled 
about  and  drawn  together  the  straw  with  his  hands,  insomuch 
that  the  midwife  said,  ''By  my  faith,  this  child  beginneth  full 
young  to  take  and  heap  up:  I  know  not  what  he  will  not  do 
when  he  is  grown."  At  a  little  later  period,  when  a  burgess 
of  FaJaise  drew  the  attention  of  the  Lord  William  de  Bellesme 
to  the  gay  and  sturdy  lad  as  he  played  amongst  his  mates,  the 
fierce  vassal  muttered  between  his  teeth,  "Accursed  be  thou 
of  Gk)d!  for  I  be  certain  that  by  thee  mine  honors  will  be  low- 
ered." The  child  on  becoming  man  was  handsomer  and  hand- 
somer, ''and  so  lively  and  spirited  that  it  seemed  to  all  a  mar- 
vel."   Amongst  his  mates,  command  became  soon  a  habit  with 

368  HISTORY  OF  FRANOB.  [ch.  xv. 

him;  he  made  them  form  line  of  battle,  he  gave  them  the  word 
of  command,  and  he  constituted  himself  their  judge  in  all 
quarrels.  At  a  still  later  period,  having  often  heard  talk  el 
revolts  excited  against  him  and  of  disorders  which  troubled 
the  country,  he  was  moved  in  consequence  to  fits  of  violent 
irritation,  which,  however,  he  learned  instinctively  to  hide, 
'^and  in  his  child's  heart,"  says  the  chronicle,  ^'he  had  welling 
up  an  the  vigor  of  a  man  to  teach  the  Normans  to  forbear  from 
all  acts  of  irregularity."  At  fifteen  years  of  age,  in  1042,  he 
demanded  to  be  armed  knight  and  to  fulfil  all  forms  necessary 
*'f(Kr  having  the  right  to  serve  and  command  in  all  ranks.'' 
These  forms  were  in  Nom^dy,  by  a  relic,  it  is  said,  of  the 
Danish  and  pagan  customs,  more  connected  with  war  and  less 
with  religion  than  elsewhere;  the  young  candidates  were  not 
bound  to  confess,  to  spend  a  vigil  in  the  church,  and  to  receive 
from  the  priest's  hands  the  sword  he  had  consecrated  on.  the 
altar;  it  was  even  the  custom  to  say  that  ''he  whose  sword 
had  been  girded  upon  him  by  a  long-robed  cleric  was  no  true 
knight,  but  a  dt  without  spirit."  The  day  on  which  William 
for  the  first  time  donned  tiis  armor  was  for  his  servants  and  all 
the  spectators  a  gala  day.  He  was  so  taU,  so  manly  in  face, 
and  so  proud  of  bearing,  that  ''it  was  a  sight  both  pleasant  and 
terrible  to  see  him  guidkig  his  horse's  career,  flashing  with  his 
sword,  gleaming  with  his  shield,  and  threatening  with  his 
casque  and  javelins."  His  first  act  of  government  was  a  rig- 
orous decree  against  such  as  should  be  guilty  of  murder,  arson, 
and  pillage;  but  he  at  the  same  time  granted  an  amnesty  for 
past  revolts,  on  condition  of  fealty  and  obedience  for  the 

For  the  establishment,  however,  of  a  young  and  disputed 
authority  there  is  need  of  something  more  than  brilliant  cere- 
monies and  words  partly  minatory  and  partly  coaxing.  Will- 
iam had  to  show  what  he  was  made  of.  A  conspiracy  was 
formed  against  him  in  the  heart  of  his  feudal  court  and  almost  of 
his  family.  He  had  given  kindly  welcome  to  his  cousin  Guy  of 
Burgundy,  and  had  even  bestowed  on  him  as  a  fief  the  count- 
ships  of  Vernon  and  Brionne.  In  1044  the  young  duke  was  at 
Valognes;  when  suddenly,  at  midnight,  one  of  his  trustiest 
servants,  Golet,  his  fool,  such  as  the  great  lords  of  the  time 
kept,  knocked  at  the  door  of  his  chamber,  crying,  "Open, 
open,  my  lord  duke :  fiy ,  fiy ,  or  you  are  lost.  They  are  armed, 
they  are  getting  ready;  to  tarry  is  death."  William  did  not 
hesitate;  he^t  up,;ran  to;;the  stables^  saddled  bis  horse  with 

CH.  XV.]  €0K(IUE8T  OF  ENGL  AM)  BY  THE  NORMANB.  360 

his  own  hands,  started  off,  f oUowed  a  road  called  to  this  day 
ths  dyke's  way^  and  reached  Falaise  as  a  place  of  safety.  There 
news  came  to  him  that  the  conspiracy  was  taJking  the  form  of 
insurrection,  and  that  the  rebels  were  seizing  his  domains. 
William  showed  no  more  hesitation  at  Falaise  than  at  Va- 
lognes ;  he  started  off  at  once,  repaired  to  Poissy,  where  Henry 
I.,  king  of  France  was  then  residing,  and  claimed,  as  vassal, 
the  help  of  his  suzerain  against  traitors.  Henry,  who  himself 
was  brave,  was  touched  by  this  bold  confidence,  and  promised 
his  young  vassal  effectual  support.  William  returned  to  Nor- 
mandy, summoned  his  lieg^,  and  took  the  field  promptly. 
King  Henry  joined  him  at  Argence,  with  a  body  of  three 
thousand  men-at-arms,  and  a  battle  took  place  on  the  10th  of 
August,  1047,  at  Val  des  Dimes,  three  leagues  from  Caen.  It 
was  very  hotly  contested.  King  Henry,  unhorsed  by  a  lance 
thrust,  ran  a  risk  of  his  life;  but  he  remounted  and  valiantly 
returned  to  the  melley.  William  dashed  in  wherever  the  fight 
was  thickest,  showing  himself  every  where  as  able  in  command 
as  ready  to  expose  himself.  A  Norman  lord,  Baoul  de  Tesson, 
held  aloof  with  a  troop  of  one  hundred  and  forty  knights. 
"Who  is  he  that  bides  yonder  motionless?"  asked  the  French 
kiQg  of  the  young  duke.  '^  It  is  the  banner  of  Baoul  de  Tes- 
son, "  answered  WiUiam ;  "  I  wot  not  that  he  hath  aught  against 
me."  But,  though  he  had  no  personal  grievance,  Haoul  de 
Tesson  had  joined  the  insurgents,  and  sworn  that  he  would  be 
the  first  to  strike  the  duke  in  the  conflict.  Thinking  better  of 
it,  and  perceiving  William  from  afar,  he  pricked  towards  him, 
and  taking  off  his  glove  struck  him  gently  on  the  shoulder, 
saying,  "I  swore  to  strike  you,  and  so  I  am  quit:  but  fear 
nothing  more  from  me."  "Thanks,  Raoul,"  said  William; 
"be  well  disposed,  I  pray  you."  Baoul  waited  until  the  two 
armies  were  at  grijw,  and  when  he  saw  which  way  victory  was 
inclined  he  hasted  to  contribute  thereto.  It  was  decisive :  and 
William  the  Bastard  returned  to  Val  des  Dunes  really  Duke  of 

He  made  vigorous  but  not  cruel  use  of  his  victory.  He  de- 
molished his  enemies'  strong  castles,  magazines  as  they  were 
for  pillage  no  less  than  bulwarks  of  feudal  independence;  but 
there  is  nothing  to  show  that  he  indulged  in  violence  towards 
persons.  He  was  even  generous  to  the  chief  concoctor  of  the 
plot,  Guy  of  Burgundy.  He  took  from  him  the  countsliips  of 
Yemon  and  Brionne,  but  permitted  him  still  to  live  at  his 
court,  a  place  which  the  Burgundian  found  himself  too  ill  at 

270  SI8T0RT  OF  FRANCS,  [ch.  xr. 

ease  to  remain  in,  so  he  returned  to  Burgundy,  to  conspire 
against  bis  own  eldest  brother.    William  was  stem  without 
hatred  and  merciful  without  kindliness,  only  thinking  which  ' 
of  the  two  might  promote  or  retard  his  success,  gentleness  or 

There  soon  came  an  opportunity  for  him  to  return  to  the 
King  of  France  the  kindness  he  had  received.  Geoffrey  Mar- 
tel,  duke  of  Anjou,  being  ambitious  cmd  turbulent  beyond  the 
measure  of  his  power,. got  embroiled  with  the  king  his  suze- 
rain; and  war  broke  out  between  them.  The  Duke  of  Nor- 
mandy went  to  the  aid  of  King  Henry  and  made  his  success 
certain,  which  cost  the  duke  the  fierce  hostility  of.  the  Count 
of  Anjou  and  a  four  years'  war  with  that  inconvenient  neigh- 
bor; a  war  full  of  dangerous  incidents,  wherein  WilliamL 
enhanced  his  character,  already  great,  for  personal  valor.  In 
an  ambuscade  laid  for  him  by  GreoflErey  Martel  he  lost  some  of 
his  best  knights,  "  whereat  he  was  so  wrath,"  says  a  chronicle, 
"  that  he  galloped  down  with  such  force  upon  Greoffrey,  and 
struck  him  in  such  wise  with  his  sword  that  he  dinted  his 
helm,  cut  through  his  hood,  lopped  off  his  ear,  and  with  the 
same  blow  felled  him  to  earth.  But  the  count  was  lifted  up 
and  remounted,  and  so  fled  away." 

William  made  rapid  advances  both  as  prince  and  as  man. 
Without  being  austere  in  his  private  life,  he  was  regular  in 
his  habits,  and  patronized  order  and  respectability  in  his 
household  as  well  as  in  his  dominions.  He  resolved  to 
marry  to  his  own  honor,  and  to  the  promotion  of  his  great- 
ness. Baldwin  the  Debonnair,  coimt  of  Flanders,  one  of  the 
most  pow;erful  lords  of  the  day,  had  a  daughter,  Matilda, 
**  beautiful,  well-informed,  firm  in  the  faith,  a  model  of  virtue 
and  modesty."  William  asked  her  hand  in  marriage.  Ma- 
tilda refused,  saying,  **I  would  liefer  be  veiled  mm  than 
given  in  marriage  to  a  bastard."  Hurt  as  he  was,  William 
did  not  give  up.  He  was  even  more  persevering  than  suscep- 
tible ;  but  he  knew  that  be  must  get  still  greater,  and  make  an 
impression  upon  a  young  girl's  imagination  by  the  splendor  of 
his  fame  and  power.  Some  years  later,  being  firmly  estab- 
lished in  Normandy,  dreaded  by  all  his  neighbors,  and  already 
showing  some  f  oresbadowings  of  his  design  upon  England,  he 
renewed  his  matrimonial  quest  in  Flanders,  but  after  so 
strange  a  fashion  that,  in  spite  of  contemporary  testimony, 
several  of  the  modem  historians,  in  their  zeal,  even  at  so 
distant  a  period,  for  observance  of  the  proprieties,  reject  as 


fabulous  tbe  story  which  is  here  related  on  the  authority  of 
the  most  detailed  account  amongst  all  the  chronicles  which 
contain  it.  '^  A  little  after  that  Duke  William  had  heard  how 
the  damsel  had  made  answer,  he  took  of  his  folk,  and  went 
privily  to  liUe,  where  the  Duke  of  Flanders  and  his  wife  and 
his  daughter  then  were.  He  entered  into  the  hall,  and,  pass- 
ing on  as  if  to  do  some  business,  went  into  the  countess's 
chamber,  and  there  fotmd  the  damsel  daughter  of  Count 
Baldwin.  He  took  her  by  the  tresses,  dragged  her  round  the 
chamber,  trampled  her  under  foot,  and  did  beat  her  soundly. 
Then  he  strode  forth  from  the  chamber,  leapt  upon  his  horse, 
which  was  being  held  for  him  before  the  hall,  struck  in  his 
spurs,  and  went  his  way.  At  this  deed  was  Count  Baldwin 
much  enraged;  and  when  matters  had  thus  remained  a  while, 
Duke  William  sent  once  more  to  Count  Baldwin  to  parley 
again  of  the  marriage.  The  count  soimded  his  daughter  on 
the  subject,  and  she  answered  that  it  pleased  her  well.  So  the 
nuptials  took  place  with  very  great  joy.  And  after  the  afore- 
said matters.  Count  Baldwin,  laughing  withal,  asked  his 
daughter,  wherefore  she  had  so  lightly  accepted  the  marriage 
she  had  aforetime  so  cruelly  refused.  And  she  answered  that 
she  did  not  then  know  the  duke  so  well  as  she  did  now;  for, 
said  she,  if  he  had  not  great  heart  and  high  emprise,  he  had 
not  been  so  bold  as  to  dare  come  and  beat  me  in  my  father's 

Amongst  the  historians  who  treat  this  story  as  a  romantic 
and  untruthlike  fable,  some  believe  themselves  to  have  dis- 
covered, in  divers  documents  of  the  eleventh  and  twelfth 
centuries,  circumstances  almost  equally  singular  as  regards 
the  cause  of  the  obstacles  met  with  at  first  by  Duke  William 
in  his  pretensions  to  the  hand  of  Princess  Matilda,  and  as 
regards  the  motive  for  the  first  refusal  on  the  part  of  Matilda 
herself.  According  to  some,  the  Flemish  princess  had  con- 
ceived a  strong  passion  for  a  noble  Saxon,  Brihtric  Meaw,  who 
had  been  sent  by  King  Edward  the  Confessor  to  the  court  of 
Flanders,  and  who  was  remarkable  for  his  beauty.  She 
wished  to  marry  him,  but  the  handsome  Saxon  was  not  will- 
ing; and  Matilda  at  first  gave  way  to  violent  grief  on  that 
accotmt,  and  afterwards,  when  she  became  queen  of  England, 
to  vindictive  hatred,  the  weight  of  which  she  made  him  feel 
severely.  Other  writers  go  still  farther,  and  say  that,  before 
beiug  sought  in  marriage  by  William,  Matilda  had  not  fallen 
in  love  with  a  handsome  Saxon,  but  had  actually  married  a 

273    '  maTORT  OV  VRAHtm.  [CH.  XV. 

FlemiBh  burgess,  named  Gerbod,  patron  of  the  church  of  St. 
Bertin,  at  St.  Omer,  and  that  she  had  by  him  two  and  perhaps 
three  children,  traces  of  whom  recur,  it  is  said,  under  the 
reign  of  William,  king  of  England.    There  is  no  occasion  to 
enter  upon  the  learned  controversies  of  which  these  different 
allegations  have  been  the  cause;  it  is  sufficient  to  say  that 
they  have  led  to   nothing  but  obscurity,  contradiction,  and 
doubt,  and  that  there  is  more  moral  verisimilitude  in  the 
account  just  given,  especially  in   Matilda's   first  prejudice 
against  marriage  with  a  bastard  and  in  her  conversation  with 
her  father.  Count  Baldwin,  when  she  had  changed  her  opinion 
upon  the  subject.    Independently  of  the  testimony  of  several 
chroniclers,  French  and  English,  this  tradition  is  mentioned 
with  all  the  simplicity  of  belief,  in  one  of  the  principal  Flem- 
ish chronicles;  and  as  to  the  ruffianly  gallantry  employed  by 
William  to  win  his  bride,  there  is  nothing  in  it  very  singular, 
considering  the  habits  of  the  time,  and  we  meet  with  more 
than  one  example  of  adventures  if  not  exactly  similar,  at  any 
rate  very  analogous. 

However  that  may  be,  this  marriage  brought  William  an 
unexpected  opportimity  of  entering  into  personal  relations 
with  one  of  the  most  distinguished  men  of  his  age,  and  a  man 
destined  to  become  one  of  his  own  most  intimate  advisers. 
In  1049,  at  the  council  of  Rheims,  Pope  Leo  IX.,  on  political 
grounds  rather  than  because  of  a  prohibited  degree  of  relation- 
ship, had  opposed  the  marriage  of  the  Duke  of  Normandy 
with  the  daughter  of  the  Duke  of  Flanders,  and  had  ih*o- 
nounced  his  veto  upon  it.  William  took  no  heed ;  and,  in  1062 
or  1053,  his  marriage  was  celebrated  at  Bouen  vith  great 
pomp;  but  this  ecclesiastical  veto  weighed  upon  his  mind,  and 
he  sought  some  means  of  getting  it  taken  off.  A  learned 
Italian,  Lanfranc,  a  jurisconsult  of  some  fame  already, 
whilst  travelling  in  France  and  repairing  from  Avranches  to 
Rouen,  was  stopped  near  Brionne  by  brigands,  who,  having 
plundered  him,  left  him,  with  his  eyes  bandaged,  in  a  forest. 
His  cries  attracted  the  attention  of  passers-by,  who  took  him 
to  a  neighboring  monastery,  but  lately  founded  by  a  pious 
Norman  knight  retired  from  the  world.  Lanfranc  was  re- 
ceived in  it,  became  a  monk  of  it,  was  elected  its  prior, 
attracted  to  it  by  his  learned  teaching  a  host  of  pupils,  and 
won  therein  his  own  great  renown  whilst  laying  the  founda- 
tion for  that  of  the  abbey  of  Bee,  which  was  destined  to  be 
carried  still  higher  by  one  of  his  disciples,  St.  Anselm.    Lan* 



franc  was  eloquent,  great  in  dialectics,  of  a  sprightly  wit  and 
lively  in  repartee.  Belying  Mpon  the  pope's  decision,  he  spoke 
ill  of  William's  marriage  with  Matilda.  William  was  in- 
formed of  this,  and  in  a  fit  of  despotic  anger,  ordered  Lan- 
franoe  to  be  driven  from  the  monastery  and  banished  from 
Normandy,  and  even,  it  is  said,  the  dependency,  which  he 
inhabited  as  prior  of  the  abbey,  to  be  burnt,  i  The  order  was 
executed;  and  Lanfranc  set  out,  moimted  on.  a  sorry  little 
horse  given  him,  no  doubt,  by  the  abbey.  By  what  chance  is 
not  known,  but  probably  on  a  himting-party ,  his  favorite  diver- 
sion, William,  with  his  retinue,  happened  to  cross  the  road 
which  Lanfranc  was  slowly  pursuing.  **My  lord,"  said  the 
monk,  addressing  him,  *^  I  am  obeying  your  orders;  I  am  go- 
ing away,  but  my  horse  is  a  sorry  beast ;  if  you  wiU  give  me  a 
better  one,  I  will  go  faster."  William  halted,  entered  into  con- 
versation with  Lanfranc,  let  him  stay,  and  sent  him  back  with 
a  present  to  his  abbey.  A  little  while  afterwards  Lanfranc 
was  at  Home,  and  defended  before  Pope- Victor  II.  William's 
marriage  with  Matilda:  he  was  successful,  and  the  pope  took 
off  the  veto  on  the  sole  condition  that  the  couple,  in  sign  of 
penitence,  should  each  foimd  a  religious  house.  Matilda,  ac- 
cordingly, founded  at  Caen,  for  women,  the  abbey  of  the  Holy 
Trinity;  and  William,  for  men,  that  of  St.  Stephen.  Lanfranc 
was  the  first  abbot  of  the  latter;  and,  when  William  became 
king  of  England,  Lanfranc  was  made  Archbishop  of  Canter- 
bury and  primate  of  the  Church  of  England,  as  well  as  privy 
ootmsellor  of  his  king.  William  excelled  in  the  art,  so  essen- 
tial to  government,  of  promptly  recognizing  the  worth  of  men, 
and  of  appropriating  their  influence  to  himself  whilst  exerting 
his  own  over  them. 

.  About  the  same  time  he  gave  his  contemporaries,  princes 
and  peoples,  new  proofs  of  his  ability  and  power.  Henry  I., 
king  of  France,  growing  more  and  more  disquieted  at  and  jeal- 
ous of  the  Duke  of  Normandy's  ascendancy,  secretly  excited 
against  him  opposition  and  even  revolt  in  his  dominions.  These 
dealings  led  to  open  war  between  the  suzerain  and  the  vassal, 
and  the  war  concluded  with  two  battles  won  by  William,  one 
at  Mortemer  near  Neuch^tel  in  Bray,  the  other  at  Varayille 
near  Troam.  **  After  which,"  said  William  himself,  "King 
Henry  never  passed  a  night  tranquilly  on  my  ground."  In 
1059  peace  was  concluded  between  the  two  princes.  Henry  I. 
died  almost  immediately  afterwards,  and,  on  the  25th  of 
August,  1060,  his  son  Philip  I.  succeeded  him,  under  the  re- 

274  HISTORY  OF  FRAKCSI.  [ch.  XIT. 

gency  of  Baldwin,  count  of  Flanders,  father  of  the  Duchess 
Matilda.  Duke  William  was  present  in  state  at  the  coronation 
of  the  new  king  of  France,  lent  him  effectual  assistance  against 
the  revolts  which  took  place  in  Gkwcony,  re-entered  Normandy 
for  the  purpose  of  holding  at  Caen,  in  1061,  the  Estates  of  his 
duchy,  and  at  that  time  puhhshed  the  famous  decree  ohserved 
long  after  him,  under  the  name  of  the  law  of  curfew^  which 
ordered  'Hhat  every  evening  the  hell  should  he  rung  in  all 
parishes  to  warn  every  one  to  prayer,  and  house-closing,  and 
no  more  running  ahout  the  streets." 

The  passion  for  orderliness  in  his  dominion  did  not  cool  his 
ardor  for  conquest.  In  1063,  after  the  death  of  his  young 
neighhor  Herhert  II.,  count  of  Maine,  William  took  possession 
of  this  heautiful  countship;  not  without ,  some  opposition  on 
the  part  of  the  inhabitants,  nor  without  suspicion  of  having 
poisoned  his  rival,  Walter,  count  of  Yezin.  It  is  said  that  af- 
ter this  conquest  William  meditated  that  of  Brittany;  but 
there  is  every  indication  that  he  had  formed  a  far  vaster  design, 
and  that  the  day  of  its  execution  was  approaching. 

From  the  time  of  Hollo's  settlement  in  Normandy,  the  com- 
munications of  the  Normans  with  England  had  become  more 
and  more  frequent,  and  important  for  the  two  countries.  The 
success  of  the  invasions  of  the  Danes  in  England  in  the  tenth 
century,  and  the  reigns  of  three  kings  of  the  Danish  line  had 
obliged  the  princes  of  Saxon  race  to  take  refuge  in  Normandy, 
the  duke  of  which,  Eichard  I.,  had  given  his  daughter  Emma 
in  marriage  .to  their  grandfather,  Ethelred  11.  When,  at  the 
death  of  the  last  Danish  king,  Hardicanute,  the  Saxon  prince 
Edward  ascended  the  throne  of  his  fathers,  he  had  passed 
twenty-seven  years  of  exile  in  Normandy,  and  he  returned  to 
England  ^^ almost  a  stranger,"  in  the  words  of  the  chronicles, 
to  the  country  of  his  ancestors;  far  more  Norman  than  Saxon 
in  his  manners,  tastes  and  language,  and  surrounded  by  Nor- 
mans, whose  numbers  and  prestige  under  his  reign  increased 
from  day  to  day.  A  hot  rivalry,  nationally  as  well  as  courtly, 
grew  up  between  them  and  the  Saxons.  At  the  head  of  these 
latter  was  Godwin,  count  of  Kent,  and  his  five  sons,  the  eldest 
of  whom,  Harold,  weis  destined  before  long  to  bear  the  whole 
brunt  of  the  struggle.  Between  these  powerful  rivals,  Edward 
the  Confessor,  a  pacific,  pious,  gentle,  and  undecided  king, 
wavered  incessantly;  at  one  time  trying  to  resist,  and  at  an- 
other compelled  to  yield  to  the  pretensions  and  seditions  by 
which  he  was  beset.    In  1051  the  Saxon  party  and  its  head, 


Godwin,  had  risea  in  revolt.  Duke  William,  no  invitation, 
perhaps,  from  King  Edward,  paid  a  brilliant  visit  to  England, 
where  he  found  Normans  every  where  established  and  power- 
ful, in  Church  as  well  as  in  State;  in  command  of  the  fleets, 
ports,  and  principal  English  places.  King  Edward  received 
him  '^ as  his  own  son;  gave  him  arms,  horses,  hounds  and 
hawking  birds,"  and  sent  him  home  full  of  presents  and  hopes. 
The  chronicler,  Ingulf,  who  accompanied  William  on  his  re- 
turn to  Normandy,  and  remained  attached  to  him  as  private 
s^retary,  affirms  that,  during  this  visit,  not  only  was  there  no 
question,  between  King  Edward  and  the  Duke  of  Normandy,  of 
the  latter's  possible  succession  to  the  throne  of  England,  but 
that  never  as  yet  had  this  probability  occupied  the  attention  of 

It  is  very  doubtful  whether  William  had  said  nothing  upon 
the  subject  to  King  Edward  at  that  time;  and  it  is  certain, 
from  William's  own  testimony,  that  he  had  for  a  long  while 
been  thinking  about  it.  Four  years  after  this  visit  of  the  duke 
to  England,  King  Edward  was  reconciled  to  and  lived  on  good 
terms  with  the  family  of  the  Godwins.  Their  father  was  dead, 
and  the  eldest  son,  Harold,  asked  the  king's  permission  to  go  to 
Normandy  and  claim  the  release  of  his  brother  and  nephew, 
who  had  been  left  as  hostages  in  the  keeping  of  Duke  William. 
The  king  did  not  approve  of  the  project.  **I  have  no  wish  to 
constrain  thee,"  said  he  to  Harold:  '*  but  if  thou  go,  it  will  be 
without  my  consent:  and,  assuredly,  thy  trip  will  bring  some 
misfortune  upon  thee  and  oiur  countiy.  I  know  Duke  William 
and  his  crafty  spirit;  he  hates  thee,  and  will  grant  thee  naught 
imless  he  see  his  advantage  therefrom.  The  only  way  to  make 
him  give  up  the  hostages  will  be  to  send  some  other  than  thy- 
self. "  Harold,  however,  persisted  and  went.  William  received 
him  with  apparent  cordiality,  promised  him  the  release  of  the 
two  hostages,  escorted  him  and  his  comrades  from  castle  to 
castle,  and  from  entertainment  to  entertainment,  made  them 
knights  of  the  grand  Norman  order,  and  even  invited  them, 
**by  way  of  trying  their  new  spurs,"  to  accompany  him  on  a 
little  warlike  expedition  he  was  about  to  undertake  in  Brittany. 
Harold  and  his  comrades  behaved  gallantly:  and  he  and  Will- 
iam shared  the  same  tent  and  the  same  table.  On  returning, 
as  they  trotted  side  by  side,  William  turned  the  conversation 
upon  his  youthful  connection  with  the  king  of  England.  '^When 
Edward  and  I,"  said  he  to  the  Saxon,  '*  were  living  like  brothers 
under  the  same  roof,  he  promised,  if  ever  he  became  King  of 

276  msTORT  OR  MtAHrOB.  [ca.  xr. 

England,  to  make  me  heir  to  his  kingdom;  I  should  very  much 
like  th^,  Harold,  to  help  me  to  realize  this  promise;  and  he 
assured  that,  if  hy  thy  aid  I  obtain  the  kingdom,  whatsoever 
thou  askest  of  me  I  will  grant  it  forthwith."  Harold,  in  sur- 
prise and  confusion,  answered  by  an  assent  which  he  tried  to 
make  as  vague  as  possible.  William  took  it  as  positive.  *' Since 
thou  dost  consent  to  serve  me,"  said  he,  ''thou  must  engage  to 
fortify  the  caatle  of  Dover,  dig  a  well  of  fresh  Water  there,  and 
put  it  into  the  hands  of  my  men-at-arms;  thou  must  also  give 
me  thy  sister  to  be  married  to  one  of  my  barons,  and  thou  must 
thyself  espouse  my  daughter  Ad^e."  Harold,  ''not  witting," 
says  the  chronicler,  ' '  how  to  escape  from  this  pressing  danger, " 
promised  all  the  duke  asked  of  him,  reckoning,  doubtless,  on 
disregarding  his  engagement;  and  for  the  moment  William 
asked  y^^rn  nothing  more. 

But  a  few  days  afterwards  he  summoned,  at  Avranches  ac- 
cording to  some,  and  at  Bayeux  according  to  others,  and,  more 
probably  still,  at  Bonneville-sur-Touques,  his  Norman  barons; 
and,  in  the  midst  of  this  assembly,  at  which  Harold  was  present, 
William,  seated  with  his  naked  sword  in  his  hand,  caused  to  be 
brought  and  placed  upon  a  table  covered  with  cloth  of  gold  two 
reliquaries.  "  Harold,"  said  he,  "  I  call  upon  thee,  in  presence 
of  this  noble  assemblage,  to  confirm  by  oath  the  promises  thou 
didst  make  me,  to  wit,  to  aid  me  to  obtain  the  kingdom  of 
England  after  the  death  of  King  Edward,  to  espouse  my 
daughter  Ad^e,  and  to  send  me  thy  sister  to  be  married  to  one 
of  my  i)eople  "  Harold,  who  had  not  expected  this  public  sum- 
mons, nevertheless  did  not  hesitate  any  more  than  he  had  hesi- 
tated in  his  private  conversation  with  William;  he  drew  near, 
laid  his  hand  on  the  two  reliquaries  and  swore  to  observe,  to 
the  best  of  his  pdwer,  his  agreement  with  the  duke,  should  he 
live  and  God  help.  "Gk)d  helpl"  repeated  those  who  were 
present.  William  made  a  sign;  the  cloth  of  gold  was  removed 
and  there  was  discovered  a  tub  filled  to  the  edge  with  bones 
and  relics  of  all  the  saints  that  could  be  got  together.  The 
chronicler-poet,  Eobert  Wace,  who,  alone  and  long  afterwards, 
recounts  this  last  particular,  adds  that  Harold  was  visibly 
troubled  at  sight  of  this  saintly  heap ;  but  he  had  sworn.  It  is 
honorable  to  human  nature  not  to  be  indifferent  to  oaths  even 
when  those  who  exact  them  have  but  small  reliance  upon  them, 
and  when  he  who  takes  them  has  but  small  intention  of  keeping 
them.  And  so  Harold  departed  laden  with  presents,  leaving 
William  satisfied  but  not  over-confident. 


When,  on  returning  to  England,  Harold  told  King  Edward 
what  h€ul  passed  between  William  and  himself:  ''Did  I  not 
warn  thee,"  said  the  king,  *'  that  I  knew  William,  and  that  thy 
journey  would  bring  great  misfortunes  upon  thyself  and  upon 
our  nation?  Grant  Heaven  that  those  misfortimes  come  not 
during  my  life !"  The  king's  wish  was  not  granted.  He  fell  ill ; 
and  on  the  5th  of  January,  1066,  he  lay  on  his  couch  almost  at 
the  point  of  death.  Harold  and  his  kindred  entered  the  cham- 
ber, and  prayed  the  king  to  name  a  successor  by  whom  the 
kingdom  might  be  governed  securely.  "Ye  know,"  said  Ed- 
ward, ''that  I  have  left  my  kingdom  to  the  Duke  of  Normandy; 
and  are  there  not  here,  among  ye,  those  who  have  sworn  to  as- 
sure his  succession?"  Harold  advanced,  and  once  more  asked 
the  king  on  whom  the  crown  should  (Revolve.  ' '  Take  it,  if  it  is 
thy  wish,  Harold,"  said  Edward;  "but  the  gift  will  be  thy 
ruin;  against  the  duke  and  his  barons  thy  power  will  not  suf- 
fice. V  Harold  declared  that  he  feared  neither  the  Norman  nor 
any  other  foe.  The  kihg,  vexed  at  this  importunity,  turned 
TOimd  in  his  bed,  saying,  "  Let  the  English  make  king  of  whom 
they  win,  Harold  or  another;  /consent;"  and  shortly  after  ex- 
pired. The  very  day  after  the  celebration  of  his  obsequies, 
Harold  was  proclaimed  king  by  his  partisans,  amidst  no  small 
public  disqmetude,  and  Aldred,  archbishop  of  York,  lost  no 
time  in  anointing  him. 

William  was  in  his  park  of  Rouvray,  near  Rouen,  trying  a 
bow  and  arrows  for  the  chase,  when  a  faithful  servant  arrived 
from  England,  to  tell  him  that  Edward  was  dead  and  Harold 
proclaimed  king.  William  gave  his  bow  to  one  of  his  people, 
and  went  back  to  his  palace  at  Rouen,  where  he  paced  about  in 
silence,  sitting  down,  rising  up,  leaning  upon  a  bench,  without 
opening  his  lips  and  without  any  one  of  his  x)eople's  daring  to 
address  a  word  to  him.'  There  entered  his  seneschal  William 
de  Breteuil,  of  whom  "What  ails  the  duke?"  asked  they  who 
were  present.  "Ye  will  soon  know,"  answered  he.  Then 
going  up  to  the  duke,  he  said,  "Wherefore  conceal  your  tid- 
ings, my  lord?  All  the  city  knows  that  King  Edward  is  dead; 
and  that  Harold  has  broken  his  oath  to  you,  and  had  himself 
crowned  king."  "  Ay,"  said  William,  "  it  is  that  which  doth 
weigh  me  down."  "My  lord,"  said  William  Fitz-Osbem,  a 
gallant  knight  and  confidential  friend  of  the  duke,  "none 
should  be  wroth  over  what  can  be  mended:  it  depends  but  on 
you  to  stop  the  mischief  Harold  is  doing  you ;  you  shall  destroy 
him,  if  it  please  you.    You  have  right;  you  have  good  men 

278  BISTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xv. 

and  true  to  serve  you;  you  need  but  have  courage:  set  on 
boldly. ''  William  gathered  together  his  most  important  and 
most  trusted  counsellors;  and  they  were  unanimous  in  urging 
him  to  resent  the  perjury  and  injury.  He  sent  to  Harold  a 
messenger  charged  to  say,  '^  William,  duke  of  the  Normans, 
doth  recall  to  thee  the  oath  thou  swarest  to  him  with  thy  mouth 
and  with  thy  hand,  pn  real  and  saintly  relics."  "  It  is  true," 
answered  Harold,  ''that  I  sware,  but  on  compulsion;  I  prom- 
ised what  did  not  belong  to  me;  my  kingship  is  not  mine  own; 
I  cannot  put  it  off  from  me  without  the  consent  of  the  coimtry. 
I  cannot  any  the  more,  without  the  consent  of  the  coimtry,  es- 
pouse a  foreigner.  As  for  my  sister,  whom  the  duke  claims 
for  one  of  his  chieftains,  she  died  within  the  year;  if  he  will,  I 
will  send  him  the  corpse.?  William  replied  without  any  vio- 
lence, claiming  the  conditions  sworn,  and  especially  Harold's 
marriage  with  his  daughter  Adele.  For  all  answer  to  this  sum- 
mons Harold  married  a  Saxon,  sister  of  two  powerful  Saxon 
chieftains,  Edwin  and  Morkar.  There  was  an  open  rupture; 
and  William  swore  that  "within  the  year  he  would  go  and 
claim,  at  the  sword's  point,  payment  of  what  was  due  to  him, 
on  the  very  spot  where  Harold  thought  himself  to  be  most  firm 
on  his  feet." 

And  he  set  himself  to  the  work.  But,  being  as  far-sighted  as 
he  was  ambitious,  he  resolved  to  secure  for  his  enterprise  the 
sanction  of  religious  authority  and  the  formal  assent  of  the  Es- 
tates of  Normandy.  Not  that  he  had  any  inclination  to  subor- 
dinate his  power  to  that  of  the  Pope.  Five  jesjrs  previously, 
Bobert  de  Grandmesnil,  abbot  of  St.  Evroul,  with  whom  Will- 
iam had  got  embroiled,  had  claimed  to  re-enter  his  monastery 
as  master  by  virtue  solely  of  an  order  from  Pope  Nicholas  H. 
"  I  will  listen  to  the  legates  of  the  Pope,  the  common  father  of 
the  faithful,"  said  William,  "if  they  come  to  me  to  speak  of 
the  Christian  faith  and  religion;  but  if  a  monk  of  my  Estates 
permit  himself  a  single  word  beyond  his  place,  I  will  have  him 
hanged  by  his  cowl  from  the  highest  oak  of  the  nearest  forest." 
When,  in  1066,  he  denounced  to  Pope  Alexander  H.  the  perjury 
of  Harold,  asking  him  at  the  same  time  to  do  him  justice,  he 
made  no  scruple  about  promising  that,  if  the  Pope  s^thorized 
him  to  right  himself  by  war,  he  would  bring  back  the  kingdom 
of  England  to  obedience  to  the  Holy  See.  He  had  Lanfranc  for 
his  negotiator  with  the  court  of  Eome,  and  Pope  Alexander  H. 
had  for  chief  counsellor  the  celebrated  monk  Hildebrand,  who 
was  destined  to  succeed  him  imder  the  name  of  Gregory  VH. 


The  opportunity  of  extending  the  empire  of  the  Church  was 
too  tempting  to  be  spumed,  and  her  future  head  too  bold  not  to 
seize  it  whatever  might  be  the  uncertainty  and  danger  of  the 
issue;  and  in  spite  of  hesitation  on  the  part  of  some  of  the 
Pope's  advisers,  the  question  was  promptly  decided  in  accord' 
ance  with  WiUiam's  demand.  Harold  and  his  adherents  were 
excommunicated,  and,  on  conunitting  his  bull  to  the  hands  of 
William's  messenger,  the  Pope  added  a  banner  of  the  Boman 
Chmx5h  and  a  ring  containing,  it  is  said,  a  hair  of  St.  Peter  set 
in  a  diamond. 

The  Estates  of  Normandy  were  less  easy  to  manage.  Will- 
iam called  them  together  at  Lillebonne;  and  several  of  his 
vassals  showed  a  zealous  readiness  to  furnish  him  with  vessels 
and  victual  and  to  follow  him  beyond  the  sea,  but  others  de- 
clared that  they  were  not  bound  to  any  such  service,  and  that 
they  would  not  lend  themselves  to  it;  they  had  calls  enough 
already  and  had  nothing  more  to  spare.  William  Fitz-Osbem 
scouted  these  objections.  "  He  is  your  lord,  and  hath  need  of 
you,"  said  he  to  the  recalcitrants;  **you  ought  to  offer  your- 
selves to  him,  and  not  wait  to  be  asked.  If  he  succeed  in  his 
purpose,  you  will  be  more  powerful  as  well  as  he;  if  you  fail 
him,  and  he  succeed  without  you,  he  will  remember  it :  show 
that  you  love  him,  and  what  ye  do,  do  with  a  good  grace." 
The  discussion  was  keen.  Many  persisted  in  saying,  **  True,  he 
is  our  Lord;  but  if  we  pay  him  his  rents,  that  should  suffice : 
we  are  not  boimd  to  go  and  serve  beyond  the  seas;  we  are 
already  much  burdened  for  his  wars."  It  was  at  last  agreed 
that  Fitz-Osbem  should  give  the  duke  the  assembly's  reply:  for 
he  "knew  weU,  they  said,  the  ability  of  each.  **  If  ye  mind  not 
to  do  what  I  shall  say,"  said  Fitz-Osbem,  ** charge  me  not 
therewith."  **  We  will  be  bound  by  it,  and  will  do  it,"  was  the 
cry  amidst  general  confusion.  They  repaired  to  the  duke's 
presence.  "  My  lord,"  said  Fitz-Osbem,  "  I  trow  that  there  be 
not  in  the  whole  world  such  folk  as  these.  You  know  the 
trouble  and  labor  they  have  already  imdergone  in  supporting 
your  rights;  and  they  are  minded  to  do  still  more,  and  serve 
you  at  all  points,  this  side  the  sea  and  t'other.  Go  you  before, 
and  they  will  follow  you;  and  spare  them  in  nothing.  As  for 
me,  I*will  furnish  you  with  sixty  vessels,  manned  with  good 
fighters."  **Nay,  nay,"  cried  several  of  those  present,  prelates 
and  barons,  '*we  chained  you  not  with  such  reply;  when  he 
hath  business  in  his  own  coimtry,  we  will  do  him  the  service 
we  owe  him;  we  be  not  bound  to  serve  him  in  conquering 

280  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [oh.  xv. 

another's  territory,  or  to  go  beyond  sea  for  him."  And  they 
gathered  themselves  together  in  knots  with  much  uproar. 

"William  was  very  wroth,"  says  the  chronicler,  "retired  to 
a  chamber  apart,  summoned  those  in  whom  he  had  most  confi- 
dence, and  by  their  advice  called  before  him  his  barons,  each 
separately,  and  asked  them  if  they  were  willing  to  help  him. 
He  had  no  intention,  he  told  them,  of  doing  them  wrong,  nor 
would  he  and  his,  now  or  hereafter,  ever  cease  to  treat  witih 
them  in  perfect  courtesy ;  and  he  would  give  them,  in  writing, 
such  assurances  as  they  were  minded  to  devise.  The  majority 
of  his  people  agreed  to  give  him,  more  or  less,  according  to  cir- 
cumstances; and  he  had  every  thing  reduced  to  writing."  At 
the  same  time  he  made  an  appeal  to  all  his  neighbors,  Bretons, 
Manceaux,  and  Angevines,  hunting  up  soldiers  wherever  he 
could  find  them,  and  promising  all  who  desired  them  lands  in 
England  if  he  effected  its  conquest.  Lastly  he  repaired  in  per- 
son, first  to  Philip  I.,  king  of  France,  his  suzerain,  then  to 
Baldwin  V.,  count  of  Flanders,  his  father-in-law,  asking  their 
assistance  for  his  enterprise.  Philip  gave  a  formal  refusal 
"  What  the  duke  demands  of  you,"  said  his  advisers,  "  is  to  his 
own  profit  and  to  your  hurt ;  if  you  aid  him,  your  coimtry  will 
be  much  burdened;  and  if  the  duke  fail,  you  will  have  the 
English  your  foes  for  ever. "  The  Count  of  Flanders  made  show 
of  a  similar  refusal ;  but  privately  he  authorized  William  to 
raise  soldiers  in  Flanders,  and  pressed  his  vassals  to  follow  him. 
William,  having  thus  hunted  up  and  collected  all  the  forces  he 
could  hope  for,  thought  only  of  putting  them  in  motion  and  of 
hurrying  on  the  preparations  for  his  departure. 

Whilst,  in  obedience  to  his  orders,  the  whole  expedition, 
troops  and  ships,  were  collecting  at  Dives,  he  received  from 
Conan  II.,  duke  of  Brittany,  this  message:  "I  leam  that 
thou  art  now  minded  to  go  beyond  sea  and  conquer  for  thyself 
the  kingdom  of  England.  At  the  moment  of  starting  for 
Jerusalem,  Robert,  duke  of  Normandy,  whom  thou  feignest 
to  regard  as  thy  father,  left  all  his  heritage  to  Alain,  my 
father  and  his  cousin:  but  thou  and  thy  accomplices  slew  my 
father  with  poison  at  Vimeux  in  Normandy.  Afterwards 
thou  didst  invade  his  territory  because  I  was  too  young  to 
defend  it;  and,  contrary  to  all  right,  seeing  that  thou  art  a 
bastard,  thou  hast  kept  it  imtil  this  day.  Now,  therefore, 
either  give  me  back  this  Normandy  which  thou  owest  me,  or 
I  will  make  war  upon  thee  with  all  my  forces."  "At  this 
message,"  say  the  chronicles,  "  WilHam  was  at  first  somewhat 


dismayed;  but  a  Breton  lord,  who  had  sworn  fidelity  to  the 
two  counts  and  bore  messages  from  one  to  the  other,  rubbed 
poison  upon  the  inside  of  Conan's  hunting-horn,  of  his  horse^s 
reins,  and  of  his  gloves.  Conan,  having  unwittingly  put  on 
his  gloves  and  handled  the  reins  of  his  horse,  lifted  his  hands 
to  his  face,  and  the  touch  having  filled  him  with  poisonous  in- 
fection he  died  soon  after  to  the  great  sorrow  of  his  people, 
for  he  was  an  able  and  brave  man,  and  inclined  to  justice. 
And  he  who  had  betrayed  him  quitted  before  long  the  army 
of  Conan,  and  informed  Duke  William  of  his  death." 

Conan  is  not  the  only  one  of  William's  foes  whom  he  was 
suspected  of  making  away  with  by  poison:  there  are  no 
proofs;  but  contemporary  assertions  are  positive  and  the 
public  of  the  time  believed  them,  without  surprise.  Being  as 
unscrupulous  about  means  as  ambitious  and  bold  in  aim, 
William  was  not  of  those  whose  character  repels  such  an 
accusation.  What,  however,  diminishes  the  suspicion  is  that, 
after  and  in  spite  of  Conan's  death,  several  Breton  knights, 
and,  amongst  others,  two  sons  of  Count  Eludes,  his  uncle,  at- 
tended at  the  trysting-place  of  the  Norman  troops  and  took 
part  in  the  expedition. 

Dives  was  the  place  of  assemblage  appointed  for  fleet  and 
army.  William  repaired  thither  about  the  end  of  August, 
1066.  But  for  several  weeks  contrary  winds  prevented  him 
from  putting  to  sea;  some  vessels  which  made  the  attempt 
perished  in  the  tempest;  and  some  of  the  -volunteer  advent- 
urers got  disgusted,  and  deserted.  William  maintained  strict 
discipline  amongst  this  multitude,  forbidding  plunder  so 
strictly  that  "the  cattle  fed  in  the  fields  in  full  security." 
The  soldiers  grew  tired  of  waiting  in  idleness  and  often  in 
sickness.  "  Yon  is  a  madman,"  said  they,  "  who  is  minded  to 
possess  himself  of  another's  land;  Gk)d  is  against  the  design 
and  so  refuses  us  a  wind."  About  the  20th  of  September  the 
weather  changed.  The  fleet  got  ready,  but  could  only  go  and 
anchor  at  St.  Valery  at  the  mouth  of  the  Somme.  There  it 
was  necessary  to  wait  several  more  days;  impatience  and  dis- 
quietude were  redoubled;  "  and  there  appeared  in  the  heavens 
a  star  with  a  tail,  a  certain  sign  of  great  things  to  come." 
William  had  the  shrine  of  St.  Valery  brought  out  and  paraded 
about,  being  more  impatient  in  his  soul  than  any  body,  but 
ever  confident  in  his  will  and  his  good  fortune.  There  was 
brought  to  him  a  spy  whom  Harold  had  sent  to  watch  the 
forces  and  plans  of  the  enemy;  and  William  dismissed  him, 

282  HISTOBT  OF  FRANCE.  [oh.  xt. 

saying,  '*  Harold  hath  no  need  to  take  any  care  or  he  at 
any  charges  to  know  how  we  he  and  what  we  he  doing;  he 
shall  see  for  himself,  and  shall  feel  hefore  the  end  of  the  year." 
At  last,  on  the  27th  of  Septehmer,  1066,  the  sun  rose  on  a  calm 
sea  and  with  a  favorahle^wind;  and  towards  evening  the  fleet 
set  out.  The  Mora,  the  vessel  on  which  William  was,  and 
which  had  heen  given  to  him  hy  his  wife  Matilda,  led  the  way; 
and  a  figure  in  gilded  bronze,  some  say  in  gold,  representing 
their  youngest  son  William,  had  been  placed  on  the  prow, 
with  the  face  towards  England.  Being  a  better  sailer  than  the 
others,  this  ship  was  soon  a  long  way  ahead;  and  William 
had  a  mariner  sent  to  the  top  of  the  mainmast  to  see  if  the 
fleet  were  following.  ^'I  see  naught  but  sea  and  sky,"  said 
the  mariner.  William  had  the  ship  brought  to;  and,  the 
second  time,  the  mariner  said,  ''I  see  four  ships."  Before 
long  he  cried,  '^  I  see  a  forest  of  masts  and  sails."  OntheSdth 
of  September,  St.  Michael's  day,  the  expedition  arrived  off  the 
coast  of  England,  at  Pevensey,  near  Hastings,  and  ''when  the 
tide  had  ebbed  and  the  ships  remained  aground  on  the  strand," 
says  the  chronicle,  the  landing  was  effected  without  obstacle ; 
not  a  Saxon  soldier  appeared  on  the  coast.  William  was  the 
last  to  leave  his  ship;  and  on  setting  foot  on  the  sand  he.  made 
a  false  step  and  fell.  '' Bad  signl "  was  muttered  around  him; 
*'  Gk)d  have  us  in  His  keeping!"  "What  say  you,  lords?"  cried 
William:  ''by  the  glory  of  Qod,  I  have  grasped  this  land 
with  my  hands;  all  that  there  is  of  it,  is  ours." 

With  what  forces  William  undertook  the  conquest  of  Eng- 
land, how  many  ships  composed  his  fleet,  and  how  many  men 
were  aboard  the  ships,  are  questions  impossible  to  be  decided 
with  any  precision,  as  we  have  frequently  before  had  occasion 
to  renmrk,  amidst  the  exaggerations  and  disagreements  of 
chroniclers.  Robert  Wace  reports,  in  his  Romance  of  jBou, 
that  he  had  heard  from  his  father,  one  of  William^s  servants  on 
this  expedition  that  the  fleet  numbered  696  vessels,  but  he  had 
found  in  divers  writings  that  there  were  more  than  3000.  M. 
Augustin  Thierry,  after  his  learned  researches,  says,  in  his 
history  of  the  Conqiisst  of  England  by  the  Narmana,  that 
"  400  vessels  of  four  sails  and  more  than  a  1000  transport-ships 
moved  out  into  the  open  sea,  to  the  sound  of  trumpets  and  of 
a  great  cry  of  joy  raised  by  60,000  throats."  It  is  probable 
that  the  estimate  of  the  fleet  is  pretty  accurate  and  that  of  the 
army  exaggerated.  We  saw  in  1830  what  efforts  and  pains  it 
required,  amidst  the  i>ower  and  intelligent  ability  of  modem 


civilization,  to  transport  from  France  to  Algeria  37,000  men 
aboard  three  squadrons  comprising  676  ships  of  all  sorts. 
Granted  that  in  the  eleventh  century  there  was  more  hap- 
hazard than  in  the  nineteenth,  and  that  there  was  less  care  for 
human  life  on  the  eve  of  a  war;  still,  without  a  doubt,  the 
armament  of  Normandy  in  1066  was  not  to  be  compared  with 
that  of  France  in  1830,  and  yet  William^s  intention  was  to 
conquer  England,  whereas  Charles  X.  thought  only  of  chastis- 
ing the  Dey  of  Algiers. 

Whilst  William  was  makiag  for  the  southern  coast  of  Eng- 
land, Harold  was  repairing  by  forced  marches  to  the  north  in 
order  to  defend,  against  the  rebellion  of  his  brother  Tostig  and 
the  invasion  of  a  Norwegian  army,  his  short-lived  kingship 
thus  menaced,  at  two  ends  of  the  country,  by  two  formidable 
enemies.  On  the  25th  of  September,  1066,  he  gained  at  York 
a  brilliant  victory  over  his  northern  foe;  and,  woimded  as  he 
was,  he  no  sooner  learnt  that  Duke  WiUiam  had  on  the  29th 
pitched  his  camp  and  planted  his  flag  at  Pevensey,  than  he  set 
out  in  haste  for  the  south.  As  he  approached,  William  re- 
ceived, from  what  source  is  not  known,  this  message:  ''King 
Harold  hath  given  battle  to  his  brother  Tostig  and  the  king  of 
Norway.  He  hath  slain  them  both,  and  hath  destroyed  their 
army.  He  is  returning  at  the  head  of  numerous  and  valiant 
warriors  against  whom  thine  own,  I  trow,  will  be  worth  no 
more  than  wretched  curs.  Thou  passest  for  a  man  of  wisdom 
and  prudence;  be  not  rash,  plunge  not  thyself  into  danger;  I 
adjure  thee  to  abide  in  thy  entrenchments,  and  not  to  pome 
really  to  blows."  "I  thank  thy  master,"  answered  William, 
''  for  his  prudent  counsel,  albeit  he  might  have  given  it  to  me 
without  insult.  Carry  him  back  this  reply :  I  will  not  hide  me 
behind  ramparts;  I  wiU  come  to  blows  with  Harold  as  soon  as 
I  may;  and  with  the  aid  of  Heaven^s  good  will  I  would  trust 
in  the  valor  of  my  men  against  his,  even  though  I  had  but 
10,000  to  lead  against  his  60,000."  But  the  proud  confidence 
of  William  did  not  affect  his  prudence.  He  received  from 
Harold  himself  a  message  wherein  the  Saxon,  affirming  his 
right  to  the  kingship  bv  virtue  of  the  Saxon  laws  and  the  last 
words  of  King  Edward,  summoned  him  to  evacuate  England 
with  all  his  people;  on  which  condition  alone  he  engaged  to 
preserve  friendship  with  him  and  all  agreements  between  them 
as  to  Normandy.  After  having  come  to  an  imderstanding 
with  his  barons,  William  maintained  his  right  to  the  crown  of 
England  \)j  virtue  of  th^  first  decision  of  Ein^  Edward  and 

384  HiaTORT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xv. 

the  oaths  of  Harold  himself.    *'I  am  ready,"  said  he,  **to 
uphold  my  cause  against  him  by  the  forms  of  justice,  either 
according  to  the  law  of  the  Normans  or  according  to  that  of 
the  Saxons,  as  he  pleases.    If,  by  virtue  oi  equity,  Normans 
or  Eng^h  decide  that  Harold  has  a  right  to  possess  the  king- 
dom, let  him  possess  it  in  peace;  if  they  acknowledge  that  it 
is  to  me  that  the  kingdom  ought  to  belong,  let  him  give  it  up 
to  me.    If  he  refuse  these  conditions,  I  do  not  think  it  just 
that  my  people  or  his,  who  are  not  a  whit  to  blame  for  our 
quarrel,  should  slay  one  another  in  battle;   I  am  ready  to 
maintain,  at  the  price  of  my  head  against  his,  that  it  is  to  me 
and  not  to  him  that  the  kingdom  of  England  belongs."    At 
this  proposition  Harold  was  troubled,  and  remained  a  while 
without  replying;  then,  as  the  monk  was  urgent,  '*  Let  the 
Lord  Gkxl,"  said  he,  ''  judge  this  day  betwixt  me  and  William 
as  to  what  is  just."    The  negotiation  continued,  and  William 
summed  it  aU  up  in  these  terms,  which  the  monk  re})orted  to 
Harold  in  presence  of  the  English  chieftains:  '^  My  lord,  the 
Duke  of  Normandy  biddeth  you  do  one  of  these  things ;  give  up 
to  him  the  kingdom  of  England  and  take  his  daughter  in  mar- 
riage, as  you  sware  to  him  on  the  holy  relics;  or,  respecting 
the  question  between  him  and  you,  submit  yourself  to  the 
pope's  decision;  or  fight  with  him  body  to  bodv,  and  let  him 
who  is  victorious  and  forces  his  enemy  to  yield  nave  the  king- 
dom."   Harold  replied,  "without  opinion  or  advice  taken," 
says  the  chronicle,  **  I  will  not  cede  him  the  kingdom ;  I  will 
not  abide  by  the  pope's  award;  and  I  will  not  fight  with  hinL" 
William,  still  in  concert  with  his  barons,  made  a  farther  ad- 
vance.   '*If  Harold  will  come  to  an  agreement  with  me,"  he 
said,  **I  will  leave  him  all  the  territory  beyond  the  Humber, 
towards  Scotland."    **  My  lord,"  said  the  barons  to  the  duke, 
''make  an  end  of  these  parleys;  if  we  must  fight,  let  it  be 
soon;  for  every  day  come  folk  to  Harold."    "By  my  faith," 
said  the  duke,  "if  we  agree  not  on  terms  to-day,  to-morrow 
we  will  join  battle."    The  third  proposal  for  an  agreement  was 
as  little  successful  as  the  former  two ;  on  both  sides  there  was 
no  belief  in  peace,  and  they  were  eager  to  decide  the  quarrel 
once  for  all. 

Some  of  the  Saxon  chieftains  advised  Harold  to  fall  back 
on  London,  and  ravage  all  the  country  so  as  to  starve  out  the 
invaders.  "By  my  faith,"  said  Harold,  "I  will  not  destroy 
the  country  I  have  in  keeping;  I,  with  my  people,  wiQ  fight." 
*' Abide  in  London,"  said  his  younger  brother  Gurth:  ^'thou 


canst  not  deny  that,  perforce  or  by  free  will  thou  didst  swear 
to  Duke  William;  but,  as  for  us,  we  have  sworn  naught;  we 
will  fight  for  our  country;  if  we  alone  fight,  thy  cause  will  be 
good  in  any  case;  if  we  fly,  thou  shalt  rally  us;  if  we  fall, 
thou  shalt  avenge  us."  Harold  rejected  this  advice,  "consid- 
ering it  shame  to  his  past  life  to  turn  his  back,  whatever  were 
the  peril."  Certain  of  his  people,  whom  he  had  sent  to  recon- 
noitre the  Norman  army,  returned  saying  that  there  were 
more  priests  in  William^s  camp  than  warriors  in  his  own;  for 
the  Normans,  at  this  period,  wore  shaven  chins  and  g^ort 
liair.  whilst  tne  English  let  hair  and  beard  grow.  "Ye  do 
err,^'  said  Harold,  "these  be  not  priests,  but  good  men-at- 
arms  who  will  show  us  what  they  can  do." 

On  the  eve  of  the  battle,  the  Saxons  passed  the  night  in 
amusement,  eating,  drinking,  and  singing,  with  great  uproar; 
the  Normans,  on  the  contrary,  were  preparing  their  arms, 
saying  their  prayers,  and  "  confessing  to  their  priests— all 
who  would."  On  the  14th  of  October,  1066,  when  Duke  Wil- 
liam put  on  his  armor,  his  coat  of  mail  was  given  to  him  the 
wroi^  way.  "Bad  omen  I"  cried  some  of  his  people:  "if 
such  a  thing  had  happened  to  us,  we  would  not  fight  to-day." 
"Be  ye  not  disquieted," said  the  duke:  "I  have  never  be- 
lieved in  sorcerers  and  diviners,  and  I  never  hked  them;  I 
believe  in  God,  and  in  Him  I  put  my  trust."  He  assembled 
his  men-at-arms,  and  "setting  himself  upon  a  high  place, so 
that  all  might  hear  him,"  he  said  to  them,  "  My  true  and  loyal 
friends,  ye  have  crossed  the  seas  for  love  of  me,  and  for  that 
I  cannot  thank  ye  as  I  ought;  but  I  will  make  what  return  I 
may,  and  what  I  have  ye  shall  have.  I  am  not  come  only  to 
take  what  I  demanded  or  to  get  my  rights,  but  to  punish  felo- 
nies, treasons,  and  breaches  of  faith  committed  against  our 
people  by  the  men  of  this  coimtry.  Think,  moreover,  what 
great  honor  ye  will  have  to-day  if  the  day  be  ours.  And 
bethink  ye  that,  if  ye  be  discomfited,  ye  be  dead  men  with- 
out help;  for  ye  have  not  whither  ye  may  retreat,  seeing  that 
our  ships  be  broken  up  and  our  mariners  be  here  with  us. 
He  who  flies  will  be  a  dead  man;  he  who  fights  will  be  saved. 
For  Gkxl^s  sake,  let  each  man  do  his  duty;  trust  we  in  Qod, 
and  the  day  will  be  ours." 

The  address  was  too  long  for  the  duke^s  faithful  comrade, 
William  Fitz-Osbem.  "  My  lord,"  said  he,  "  we  dally:  let  us 
all  to  arms  and  forward,  forward  I"  The  army  got  in  motion, 
starting  from  the  hill  of  Telham  or  Heathland,  according  to 

286  HI8T0BT  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xv. 

Mr.  Freeman,  marching  to  attack  the  English  on  the  opposite 
hill  of  Senlac.  A  Norman,  called  Taillefer^^'who  sang  very 
well,  and  rode  a  horse  which  was  very  fast,  came  up  to  the 
duke.  'My  lord,'  said  he,  ^ I  have  served  you  long,  and  you 
owe  me  for  all  my  service:  pay  me  to-day,  and  it  please  you; 
grant  imto  me,  for  recompense  in  full,  to  strike  the  first  hlow 
in  the  battle.'  *I  grant  it,'  quoth  the  duke.  So  Taillefer 
darted  before  him,  singing  the  deeds  of  Charlemagne,  of 
Boland,  of  Oliver,  and  of  the  vassals  who  fell  at  Eoncesvalles." 
As  he  sang,  he  played  with  his  sword,  throwing  it  up  into  the 
air  and  catching  it  in  his  right  hand;  and  the  Normans  fol- 
lowed, repeating  his  songs,  and  crying  "God  help!  God 
help  I"  The  English,  intrenched  upon  a  plateau  towards  which 
the  Normans  were  ascending,  awaited  the  assault,  shouting, 
and  defying  the  foe. 

The  battle,  thus  begun,  lasted  nine  hours,  with  equal  obsti- 
nacy on  both  sides,  and  varied  success  from  hour  to  hour. 
Harold,  though  woimded  at  the  conmiencement  of  the  fray, 
did  not  cease  for  a  moment  to  fight,  on  foot,  with  his  two 
brothers  beside  him,  and  around  him  the  troops  of  London, 
who  had  the  privilege  of  forming  the  king's  guard  when  he 
delivered  a  battle.  Budely  repulsed  at  the  fir^t  charge,  some 
bodies  of  Norman  troops  fell  back  in  disorder,  and  a  rumor 
spread  amongst  them  that  the  duke  was  slain;  but  William 
threw  himself  before  the  fugitives,  and,  taking  off  his  helmet, 
cried,  "  Look  at  me,  here  I  am;  I  hve,  and  by  Grod'^  help  wiU 
conquer."  So  they  returned  to  the  combat.  But  the  English 
were  firm;  the  Normans  could  not  force  their  intrenchments; 
and  William  ordered  his  inen  to  feign  a  retreat,  and  all  but  a 
flight.  At  this  sight  the  English  bore  down  in  pursmt;  ''  and 
stin  Norman  fied  and  Saxon  pursued,  until  a  trumpeter,  who 
had  been  ordered  by  the  duke  thus  to  turn  back  the  Normans, 
began  to  sound  the  recall.  Then  were  seen  the  Normans  turn- 
back to  face  the  English,  and  attacking  them  with  their  swords, 
and  amongst  the  English,  some  flying,  some  dying,  some  ask- 
ing mercy  in  their  own  tongue."  The  struggle  once  more  be- 
came general  and  fierce.  William  had  three  horses  killed 
under  him;  "  but  he  jumped  immediately  upon  a  fresh  steed, 
and  left  not  long  unavenged  the  death  of  that  which  had  but 
lately  carried  him."  At  last  the  intrenchments  of  the  Engliah 
were  stormed;  Harold  fell  mortally  wounded  by  an  arrow 
which  pierced  his  skull ;  bis  two  brothers  and  his  bravest  com- 
rades fell  at  his  side ;  the  fight  was  prolonged  between  the  Eng^ 


lish  dispersed  and  the  Normans  remorselessly  pursuing;  the 
standard  sent  from  Bome  to  the  Duke  of  Normandy  had  re- 
placed the  Saxon  flag  on  the  very  spot  where  Harold  had 
fallen;  and,  all  around,  the  ground  continued  to  get  covered 
with  dead  and  dying,  fruitless  victims  of  the  passions  of  the 
combatants.  Next  day  William  went  over  the  field  of  battle; 
and  he  was  heard  to  say  in  a  tone  of  mingled  triiunph  and 
sorrow,  **  Here  is  verily  a  lake  of  blood  1" 

There  was,  long  after  the  battle  of  Senlac  or  Hastings,  as  it 
is  commonly  called,  a  patriotic  superstition  in  the  country  to 
the  effect  that,  when  the  rain  had  moistened  the  soil,  there 
were  to  be  seen  traces  of  blood  on  the  ground  where  it  had 
taken  place. 

Having  thus  secured  the  victory,  WOliam  had  his  tent 
pitched  at  the  very  point  where  the  standard  which  had  come 
from  Bome  had  replaced  the  Saxon  banner,  and  he  passed  the 
night  supping  and  chatting  with  his  chieftains,  not  far  from 
the  corpses  scattered  over  the  battle-field.  Next  day  it  was 
necessary  to  attend  to  the  bimal  of  all  these  dead,  conquerors 
or  conquered.  William  was  full  of  care  and  affection  towards 
his  comrades;  and  on  the  eve  of  the  battle,  during  a  long  and 
arduous  reconnaissance  which  he  had  imdertaken  with  some 
of  them,  he  had  insisted  upon  carrying,  for  some  time,  in  ad- 
dition to  his  own  cuirass,  that  of  his  faithful  William  Fitaf- 
Osbem,  who  he  saw  was  fatigued  in  spite  of  his  usual  strength ; 
but  towards  his  enemies  William  was  harsh  and  resentful. 
GFitha,  Harold's  mother,  sent  to  him  to  ask  for  her  son's 
corpse,  offering  for  it  its  weight  in  gold.  *  *  Nay, "  said  William, 
^'Harold  was  a  perjurer;  let  him  have  for  burial-place  the 
sand  of  the  shore,  where  he  was  so  madly  fain  to  rule."  Two 
Saxon  monks  from  Waltham  Abbey,  which  had  been  founded 
by  Harold,  came,  by  their  abbot's  order,  and  claimed  for  their 
church  the  remains  of  their  benefactor ;  and  William,  indifferent 
as  he  had  been  to  a  mother's  grief,  would  not  displease  an 
abbey.  But  when  the  monks  set  about  finding  the  body  of 
Harold,  there  was  none  to  recognize  it,  and  they  had  recourse 
to  a  young  girl,  Edith  Swan^a-nech^  whom  Harold  had  loved. 
She  discovered  amongst  the  corpses  her  lover's  mutilated  body; 
and  the  monks  bore  it  away  to  the  chinch  at  Walth^un,  where 
it  was  buried.  Some  time  later  a  rumor  was  spread  abroad  that 
Harold*was  wounded,  and  carried  to  a  neighboring  castle,  per- 
haps Dover,  whence  he  went  to  the  Abbey  of  St.  John,  at  Ches- 
ter, where  ne  lived  a  long  while  in  a  sohtary  cell,  and  where 

288  mSTORT  OF  FRANOtt.  [ch.  xv. 

Williain  the  Conqueror's  Beoond  son,  Henry  I.,  the  third  Nor- 
man King  of  England,  one  day  went  to  see  him,  and  had  an 
interview  with  him.  But  this  legend,  in  which  there  is  nothing 
chronologically  imi)oeBible,  rests  on  no  soimd  basis  of  evidence, 
and  is  discountenanced  by  all  contemporary  accounts. 

Before  following  up  his  victory,  William  resolved  to  per- 
petuate the  remembrance  of  it  by  a  religious  monument,  and 
he  decreed  the  foundation  of  an  abbey  on  the  very  field  of  the 
battle  of  Hastings,  from  which  it  took  its  name.  Battle  Ahbev. 
He  endowed  this  abbey  with  all  the  neighboring  territory  witn- 
in  the  radius  of  a  league,  ''the  very  spot,"  says  his  charter, 
"which  gave  me  my  crown."  He  made  it  free  of  the  juriis- 
diction  of  any  prelate,  dedicated  it  to  St.  Martin  of  Totms, 
patron-saint  of  the  soldiers  of  Gaul,  and  ordered  that  there 
should  be  deposited  in  its  archives  a  register  containing  l&e 
names  of  all  the  lords,  knights,  and  men  of  mark  who  had 
accompanied  him  on  his  expedition.  When  the  building  of  the 
abbey  began,  the  builders  observed  a  want  of  water;  and  they 
notified  William  of  the  fact.  "Workaway,"  said  he:  "ifOod 
grant  me  life,  I  will  make  such  good  provision  for  the  place 
that  more  wine  shall  be  found  there  than  there  is  water  in 
other  monasteries." 

It  was  not  every  thing,  however,  to  be  victorious,  it  was  still 
necessary  to  be  recognized  as  king.  When  the  news  of  the  de- 
feat at  Hastings  and  the  death  of  Harold  was  spread  abroad  in 
the  coimtry,  the  emotion  was  lively  and  seemed  to  be  pro- 
found; the  great  Saxon  national  council,  the  Wittenagemote^ . 
assembled  at  London;  the  remnants  of  the  Saxon  army 
rallied  there;  and  search  was  made  for  other  kings  than  the 
Norman  duke.  Harold  left  two  sons,  very  yoimg  and  ndt  in  a 
condition  to  reign;  but  his  two  brothers-in-law,  Edwin  and 
Morkar,  held  dominion  in  the  north  of  England,  whilst  the 
southern  provinces,  and  amongst  them  the  city  of  London,  had 
a  popular  aspirant,  a  nephew  of  Edward  the  Confessor,  in 
Edgar  surnamed  Athding  (the  noble,  the  iUvstrums),  as  the 
descendant  of  several  kings.  What  with  these  different  pre- 
tensions, there  was  discussion,  hesitation,  and  delay;  but  at 
last  the  young  Edgar  prevailed,  and  was  proclaimed  king. 
Meanwhile  William  was  advancing  with  his  army,  slowly, 
prudently,  as  a  man  resolved  to  risk  nothing  and  calculating 
upon  the  natural  results  of  his  victory.  At  some  points  he  en- 
countered attempts  at  resistance,  but  he  easily  overcame  them, 
occupied  successively  Bomney,  Dover,  Oanterbmy,  and  Boch-  ' 



THE  NEW  y*j:x. 




ester,  appeared  before  London  without  trying  to  enter  it, 
and  moved  on  Winchester  which  was  the  residence  of  Edward 
the  Confessor's  widow,  Queen  Editha,  who  had  received  that 
important  city  as  dowry.  Through  respect  for  her,  William, 
who  presented  himself  in  the  character  of  relative  and  heir  of 
King  Edward,  did  not  enter  the  place,  and  merely  called  upon 
the  inhabitants  to  take  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  him  and  do 
him  homage,  which  they  did  with  the  queen's  consent.  William 
returned  towards  London  and  commenced  the  siege  or  rather 
investment  of  it,  by  establishing  his  camp  at  Berkhampstead, 
in  the  county  of  Hertford.  He  entered  before  long  into  secret 
communication  with  an  influential  burgess,  named  Ansgard, 
an  old  man  who  had  seen  service,  and  who,  riddled  with 
wounds,  had  himself  carried  about  the  streets  in  a  litter.  Ans- 
gard had  but  little  difficulty  in  inducing  the  authorities  of 
London  to  make  pacific  overtures  to  the  duke,  and  William 
had  still  less  difficulty  in  convincing  the  messenger  of  the 
moderation  of  his  designs.  *'  The  king  salutes  ye,  and  offers 
ye  peace,"  said  Ansgard  to  the  mimidpal  authorities  of  London 
on  his  return  from  the  camp:  '*  'tis  a  king  who  hath  no  peer; 
he  is  handsomer  than  the  sun,  wiser  than  Solomon,  more 
active  and  greater  than  Charlemagne,"  and  the  enthusiastic 
poet  adds  that  the  people  as  well  as  the  senate  eagerly  welcomed 
these  words,  and  renounce,  both  of  them,  the  young  king  they 
had  but  lately  proclaimed.  Facts  were  quick  in  respond- 
ing to  this  quickly  produced  impression;  a  formal  deputation 
was  sent  to  William's  camp;  the  Archbishops  of  Canterbury 
and  York,  many  other  prelates  and  laic  chieftains,  the  princi- 
pal citizens  of  London,  the  two  brothers-in-law  of  Harold, 
Edwin  and  Morkar,  and  the  young  king  of  yesterday,  Edgar 
Atheling  himself,  formed  part  of  it;  and  they  brought  to 
Wmiam,  Edgar  Atheling  his  abdication,  and  all  the  others 
their  submission,  with  an  express  invitation  to  William  to 
have  himself  made,  king,  **  for  we  be  wont,"  said  they,  **  to 
.  serve  a  king,  and  we  wish  to  have  a  king  for  lord."  William 
received  them  in  presence  of  the  chieftains  of  his  army,  and 
with  great  show  of  moderation  in  his  desires.  **  Affairs,"  said 
he,  ** be  troubled  stUl;  there  be  still  certain  rebels;  I  desire 
rather  the  peace  of  the  kingdom  than  the  crown;  I  would  that 
my  wife  should  be  crowned  with  me."  The  Norman  chieftains 
murmured  whilst  they  smiled ;  and  one  of  them,  an  Aquitanian, 
Aimery  de  Thouars,  cried  out,  ''It  is  passing  modest  to  ask 
soldiers  if  they  wii^  their  chief  to  be  king:  soldiers  are  neveri 

290  BISTORT  OP  FRANCE.  [cfl.  xv. 

or  very  seldbni)  caQed  to  such  deliberationB:  let  what  we  de- 
sire be  done  as  soon  as  possible/'  William  yielded  to  the  en- 
treaties of  the  Saxon  deputies  and  to  the  counsels  of  the  Nor^ 
man  chieftains;  but,  prudent  still,  before  going  in  person  to 
tiOndon,  he  Sent  thither  some  of  his  officers  with  orders  to  have 
built  there  immediately,  on  the  banks  of  the  Thames,  at  a 
point  which  he  indicated,  a  fort  where  he  might  establish  him- 
self in  safety*  That  f ort^  in  the  course  of  time,  became  the 
Tower  of  London* 

When  William  set  out,  some  days  afterwards,  to  make  his 
entry  into  the  city,  he  f oimd,  on  his  way  to  St.  Alban's,  the 
road  blocked  with  huge  trunks  of  trees  recently  felled. 
**  What  means  this  barricade  in  thy  domains?"  he  demanded 
of  the  Abbot  of  St.  Alban's,  a  Saxon  noble.  "  1  did  what  was 
tfly  duty  to  my  birth  and  mission,"  replied  the  monk:  "if 
crthers,  of  my  rank  and  condition,  had  done  as  much,  as  they 
ought  to  and  cchild  have  done,  thou  hadst  not  penetrated  so  far 
into  our  country." 

On  entering  London  after  all  these  delays  and  all  these  pre- 
cautions, William  fixed,  for  his  coronation,  upon  Ohristmas- 
day,  December  25th,  1066.  Esther  by  desire  of  the  prelate  him- 
self or  by  William's  own  order,  it  was  not  the  Archbishop  of 
Canterbury,  Stigand,  who  presided,  according  to  custom,  at  the 
ceremony;  the  duty  devolved  upon  the  Archbishop  of  York, 
Aldred,  who  had  but  lately  anointed  Edgar  Atheling.  At  the 
appointed  hour,  William  arrived  at  Westminster  Abbey,  the 
latest  work  and  the  burial-place  of  Edward  the  Confessor. 
The  Conqueror  marched  between  two  hedges  of  Norman 
soldiers,  behind  whom  stood  a  crowd  of  people,  cold  and  sad, 
though  full  of  curiosity.  A  nmnerous  cavalry  guarded  the  ap- 
proaches to  the  church  and  the  quarters  adjoining.  Two 
hundred  and  sixty  counts,  barons,  and  knights  of  Normandy 
went  in  with  the  duke.  Geoffrey,  bishop,  of  Coutancee,  de- 
manded, in  French,  of  the  Normans,  if  they  would  that  l^eir 
duke  should  take  the  title  of  King  of  the  English.  The  Arch- 
bishop of  York  demanded  of  the  English,  in  the  Saxon  tongue, 
if  they  would  have  for  king  the  Duke  of  Normandy.  Noisy 
acclamations  arose  in  the  church  and  resounded  outside.  The 
soldiery,  posted  in  the  neighborhood,  took  the  confused  roar 
for  a  symptom  of  something  wrong  and  in  their  suspicious 
rage  set  fire  to  the  neighboring  houses.  The  flames  spread 
rapidly.  The  people  who  were  rejoicing  in  the  chiuxsh  caught 
the  alarm,  and  a  multitude  of  men  and  women  of  every  vxek. 


flung  themselves  out  of  the  edifice.  Alone  and  trembling,  the 
bishops  with  some  clerics  and  monks  remained  before  the  altar 
and  accomplished  the  work  of  anointment  upon  the  king's 
head,  ''  himself  trembling,"  says  the  chronicle.  Nearly  all  the 
rest  who  were  present  ran  to  the  fire,  some  to  extinguish  it, 
others  to  steal  and  pillage  in  the  midst  of  the  consternation. 
William  terminated  the  ceremony  by  taking  the  usual  oath  of 
Saxon  kings  at  their  coronation,  adding  thereto,  as  of  his 
own  motion,  a  promise  to  treat  the  English  people  according 
to  their  own  laws  and  as  well  as  they  had  ever  been  treated  by 
the  best  of  their  own  kings.  Then  he  went  forth  from  the 
church  King  of  England. 

We  will  pursue  no  farther  the  life  of  William  the  Conqueror : 
for  henceforth  it  belongs  to  the  history  of  England,  not  of 
IFrance.  We  have  entered,  so  far  as  he  was  concerned,  into 
pretty  long  details,  because  we  were  bound  to  get  a  fair  under- 
standing of  the  event  and  of  the»man ;  not  only  because  of  their 
lustre  at  the  time,  but  especially  because  of  the  serious  and 
loDg-felt  consequences  entailed  upon  France,  England,  and,  we 
may  say,,  Europe.  We  do  not  care  just  now  to  trace  out  those 
consequences  in  all  their  bearings;  but  we  would  like  to  mark 
out  with  precision  their  chief  features,  inasmuch  as  they  exer- 
cised, for  centuries,  a  determining  infiuence  upon  the  destinies 
of  two  great  nations  and  upon  the  course  of  modem  civiliza- 

As  to  France,  the  consequences  of  the  conquest  of  England 
by  the  Normans  were  clearly  pernicious,  and  they  have  not 
yet  entirely  disappeared.  It  was  a  great  evil,  as  early  as  the 
eleventh  century,  that  the  Duke  of  Normandy,  one  of  the  great 
French  lords,  one  of  the  great  vassals  of  the  King  of  France, 
should  at  the  same  time  become  King  of  England,  and  thus  re- 
ceive an  accession  of  rank  and  power  which  could  not  fail  to 
render  more  complicated  and  more  stormy  his  relations  with 
his  French  suzerain.  From  the  eleventh  to  the  fourteenth 
century,  from  Philip  I.  to  Philip  de  Valois,  this  position  gave 
rise,  between  the  two  crowns  and  the  two  States,  to  questions, 
to  quarrels,  to  political  struggles,  and  to  wars  which  were  a 
frequent  source  of  trouble  in  France  to  the  government  and  the 
people.  The  evil  and  the  peril  became  far  greater  still  when, 
in  the  fourteenth  century,  there  arose  between  France  and 
England,  between  Philip  de  Valois  and  Edward  III.,  a  question 
touching  the  succession  to  the  throne  of  France  and  the  appli- 
cation or  negation  of  the  Salic  law.    Then  there  commenced, 

292  ^  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xv. 

between  the  two  crowns  and  the  two  peoples,  that  war  which 
was  to  last  more  than  a  hundred  years,  was  to  bring  upon 
France  the  saddest  days  of  her  history,  and  was  to  be  ended 
only  by  the  inspired  heroism  of  a  young  girl  who,  alone,  in  the 
name  of  her  God  and  His  saints,  restored  confidence  and  vic- 
tory to  her  king  and  her  country.  Joan  of  Arc,  at  the  cost  of 
her  life,  brought  to  the  most  glorious  conclusion  the  longest 
and  bloodiest  struggle  that  has  devastated  France  and  some- 
times compromised  her  glory. 

Such  events,  even  when  they  are  over,  do  not  cease  to  weigh 
heavily  for  a  long  while  upon  a  people.  The  struggles  between 
the  kings  of  England,  dukes  of  Normandy,  and  the  kings  of 
France,  and  the  long  war  of  the  fourteenth  and  fifteenth  cen- 
turies for  the  succession  to  the  throne  of  France,  engendered 
what  historians  have  called  ^^the  rivalry  between  France  and 
England;  '^  and  this  rivalry,  having  been  admitted  as  a  natural 
and  inevitable  fact,  became  the  permanent  incubus  and,  at 
divers  epochs,  the  scourge  of  French  national  existence.  Un- 
doubtedly there  are,  between  great  and  energetic  neighbors, 
different  interests  and  tendencies,  which  easily  become  the 
seeds  of  jealousy  and  strife;  but  there  are  also,  between  such 
nations,  common  interests  and  common  sentiments,  which 
tend  to  harmony  and  peace.  The  wisdom  and  ability  of  gov- 
ernments and  of  nations  themselves  is  shown  in  devoting  them- 
selves to  making  the  grounds  of  harmony  and  peace  stronger 
than  those  of  discord  and  war.  Any  how  common  sense  and 
moral  sense  forbid  differences  of  interests  and  tendencies  to  be 
set  up  as  a  principle  upon  which  to  establish  general  and  per- 
manent rivalry,  and,  by  consequence,  a  systematic  hostility 
and  national  enmity.  And  the  farther  civilization  and  the 
connections  between  different  people  proceed  with  this  develop- 
ment, the  more  necessary  and,- at  the  same  time,  possible  it 
becomes  to  raise  the  interests  and  sentiments  which  would 
hold  them  together  above  those  which  would  keep  them 
asunder,  and  to  thus  found  a  poUcy  of  reciprocal  equity  and  of 
peace  in  place  of  a  policy  of  hostile  precautions  and  continual 
strife.  "I  have  witnessed,"  says  M.  Guizot,  " in  the  course  of 
my  life,  both  these  policies.  I  have  seen  the  poHcy  of  system- 
atic hostility,  the  pohcy  practised  by  the  Emperor  Napoleon  I. 
with  as  much  ability  and  brilliancy  as  it  was  capable  of,  and  I 
have  seen  it  result  in  the  greatest  disaster  France  ever  experi- 
enced. And  even  after  the  evidence  of  its  errors  and  calami- 
ties this  pohcy  has  still  left  amongst  us  deep  traces  and  raised 


serious  obfitaclefi  to  the  policy  of  reciprocal  equity,  liberty,  and 
peace  which  we  labored  to  support  and  of  which  the  nation  felt, 
though  almost  against  the  grain,  the  justice  and  the  necessity." 
In  that  feeling  we  recognize  the  lamentable  results  of  the  old 
historic  causes  which  have  just  been  pointed  out  and  the  last- 
ing perils  arising  from  those  blind  passions  which  hiury  people 
away,  and  keep  them  back  from  their  most  pressing  interests 
and  their  most  honorable  sentiments. 

In  spite  of  appearances  to  the  contrary  and  in  view  of  her 
future  interests,  England  was,  in  the  eleventh  century,  by  the 
very  fact  of  the  conquest  she  underwent,  in  a  better  position 
than  France.  She  was  conquered,  it  is  true,  and  conquered 
by  a  foreign  chieftain  and  a  foreign  army,  but  France  also  had 
"been,  for  several  centuries  previously,  a  prey  to  conquest,  and 
under  circumstances  much  more  unfavorable  than  those  under 
which  the  Norman  conquest  had  f  oxmd  and  placed  England. 
When  the  Goths,  the  Burgundians,  the  Franks,  the  Saxons, 
and  the  Normans  themselves  invaded  and  disputed  over  Gaul, 
what  was  the  character  of  the  event?  Barbarians,  up  to  that 
time  vagabonds  or  nearly  so,  were  flooding  in  upon  popula- 
tions disorganized  and  enervated.  On  the  side  of  the  German 
victors,  po  flxity  in  social  life;  no  general  or  any  thing  like 
regular  government;  no  nation  really  cemented  and  consti- 
tuted; but  individuals  in  a  state  of  dispersion  and  of  almost 
absolute  independence;  on  the  side  of  the  vanquished  Gallo- 
Romans,  the  old  political  ties  dissolved;  no  strong  power,  no 
vital  liberty;  the  lower  classes  in  slavery,  the  middle  classes 
ruined,  the  upper  classes  depreciated.  Amongst  the  Bar- 
barians society  was  scarcely  commencing;  with  the  subjects 
of  the  Boman  empire  it  no  longer  existed;  Charlemagne's  at- 
tempt to  reconstruct  it  by  rallying  beneath  a  new  empire  both 
victors  and  vanquished  was  a  failure;  feudal  anarchy  was  the 
first  and  the  necessary  step  out  of  barbaric  anarchy  and 
towards  a  renewal  of  social  order. 

It  was  not  so  in  En^and,  when,  in  the  eleventh  century, 
William  transported  thither  his  government  and  his  army. 
A  people  but  lately  come  out  of  barbarism,  conquered,  on  that 
occasion,  a  people  still  half  barbarous.  Their  primitive  origin 
was  the  same;  their  institutions  were,  if  not  similar,  at  any 
rate  analagous;  there  was  no  fundamental  antagonism  in 
their  habits;  the  English  chieftains  lived  in  their  domains  an 
idle,  hunting  life,  surrounded  by  their  liegemen,  just  as  the 
Norman  barons  lived.    Society,  amongst  both  the  former  and 

294  EISTOBT  OF  FRANCE,  [cH.  xr. 

the  latter,  was  founded,  however  unrefined  and  irregular  it 
still  was;  and  neither  the  former  nor  the  latter  had  lost  the 
flavor  and  the  usages  of  their  ancient  liherties.  A  certain 
superiority,  in  point  of  organization  and  social  discipline,  be- 
longed to  the  Norman  conquerors;  but  the  conquered  Anglo- 
Saxons  were  neither  in  a  temper  to  allow  themselves  to  be 
enslaved  nor  out  of  condition  for  defending  themselves.  The 
conquest  was  destined  to  entail  cruel  evils,  a  long  oppression, 
but  it  could  not  bring  about  either  the  dissolution  of  the  two 
peoples  into  petty,  lawless  groups,  or  the  permanent  humilia- 
tion of  one  in  the  presence  of  the  other.  There  were,  at  one 
and  the  same  time,  elements  of  governments  and  resistance, 
causes  of  fusion  and  unity  in  the  very  midst  of  the  struggle. 

We  are  now  about  to  anticipate  ages,  and  get  a  glimpse,  in 
their  development,  of  the  consequences  which  attended  this 
difference,  so  profoimd,  in  the  position  of  France  and  of  Eng- 
land, at  the  time  of  the  formation  of  the  two  States. 

In  England,  immediately  after  the  Norman  conquest,  two 
general  forces  are  confronted,  those,  to  wit,  of  the  two  peoples. 
The  anglo-Saxon  people  is  attached  to  its  ancient  institutions, 
a  mixture  of  feudalism  and  liberty,  which  become  its  secvirity. 
The  Norman  army  assumes  organization  on  EngUsh  soil  ac- 
cording to  the  feudal  system  which  had  been  its  own  in 
Normandy.  A  principle  of  authority  and  a  principle  of  re- 
sistance thus  exist,  from  the  very  first,  in  the  community  and 
in  the  government.  Before  long  the  principle  of  resistance 
gets  displaced;  the  strife  between  the  i)eoples  continues;  but 
a  new  struggle  arises  between  the  Norman  king  and  his  barons. 
The  Norman  kingship,  strong  in  its  growth,  would  fain  be- 
come tyrannical;  but  its  tyranny  encounters  a  resistance,  also 
strong,  since  the  necessity  tor  defending  themselves  against 
the  Anglo-Saxons  has  caused  the  Norman  barons  to  take  up 
the  practice  of  acting  in  concert,  and  has  not  permitted  them 
to  set  themselves  up  as  petty,  isolated  sovereigns.  The  spirit 
of  association  receives  development  in  England:  the  ancient 
institutions  have  maintained  it  amongst  the  English  land- 
holders, and  the  inadequacy  of  individual  resistance  has  made 
it  prevalent  amongst  the  Norman  barons.  The  imity  which 
springs  from  community  of  interests  and  from  junctions  of 
forces  amongst  equals  becomes  a  counterpoise  to  the  unity  of 
the  sovereign  power.  To  sustain  the  struggle  with  success, 
the  aristocratic  coalition  formed  against  the  tyrannical  king- 
ship has  ueeded  the  assistance  of  the  landed  proprietors,  great 


and  small,  EDgliBh  and  Norman,  and  it  has  not  been  able  to 
dispense  with  getting  their  rights  recognized  as  well  as  its 
own.  Meanwhile  the  struggle  is  becoming  complicated;  there 
is  a  division  of  parties ;  a  portion  of  the  barons  rally  round  the 
threatened  kingship;  sometimes  it  is  the  feudal,  aristocracy, 
and  sometimes  it  is  the  king  that  smumons  and  sees  flocking 
to  the  rescue  the  common  people,  first  of  the  country,  then  of 
the  towns.  The  democratic  element  thus  penetrates  into  and 
keeps  growing  in  both  society  and  government,  at  one  time 
quietly  and  through  the  stoHd  influence  of  necessity,  at 
another  noisily  and  by  means  of  revolutions,  powerful  indeed, 
but  nevertheless  restrained  within  certain  limits.  The  fusion 
of  the  two  peoples  and  the  different  social  classes  is  little  by 
little  attaroing  accomplishment;  it  is  little  byhttle  bringing 
about  the  perfect  formation  of  representative  government  with 
its  various  component  parts,  royalty,  aristocracy  and  democ- 
racy, each  invested  with  the  rights  and  the  strength  necessary 
for  their  functions.  The  end  of  the  struggle  has  been  arrrived 
at;  constitutional  monarchy  is  founded;  by  the  triumph  of 
their  language  and  of  their  primitive  liberties  the  English  have 
conquered  their  conquerors.  It  is  written  in  her  history,  and 
especially  in  her  history  at  the  date  of  the  eleventh  century, 
how  England  f oimd  her  point  of  departure  and  her  first  ele- 
ments of  success  in  the.  long  labor  she  performed,  in  order  to 
arrive,  in  1688,  at  a  free,  and,  in  our  days,  at  a  Hberal  govern- 

France  pursued  her  end  by  other  means  and  in  the  teeth  of 
other  fortunes.  She  always  desired  and  always  sought  for 
free  government  under  the  form  of  constitutional  monarchy; 
and  in  following  her  history,  step  by  step,  there  will  be  seen 
often  disappearing  and  ever  re*appearing  the  efforts  made  by 
the  country  for  the  accomplishment  of  her  hope.  Why  then 
did  not  France  sooner  and  more  completely  attain  what  she 
had  so  oftea  attempted?  Amongst  the  different  causes  of  this 
long  miscalcijlation,  we  will  dwell  for  the  present  only  on  the 
historical  reason  just  now  indicated:  France  did  not  find,  as 
England  did,  in  the  primitive  elements  of  French  society  the 
conditions  and  means  of  the  political  system  to  which  she 
never  ceased  to  aspire.  In  order  to  obtain  the  moderate 
measure  of  internal  order,  without  which  society  could  not 
exist;  in  order  to  ensure  the  progress  of  her  civil  laws  and  her 
material  civilization;  in  order  even  to  enjoy  those  pleasures  of 
the  mind  for  which  she  thirsts  so  much,  France  was  consta^tly 

296  EISTORT  OF  FRANCE,  [cH.  xvL 

obliged  to  have  recourse  to  the  kingly  authority  and  to  that 
almoBt  absolute  monarchy  which  was  far  from  satisfying  her 
even  when  she  could  not  do  without  it,  and  when  she  wor- 
shipped it  with  an  enthusiasm  rather  hterary  than  pohtical,  as 
was  the  case  under  Louis  XIY.  It  was  through  the  refined 
rather  than  profound  development  of  her  civilization,  and 
through  the  zeal  of  her  intellectual  movement  that  France  was 
at  length  impelled  not  only  towards  the  pohtical  system  to 
which  she  had  so  long  aspired,  but  into  the  boundless  ambition 
of  the  imlimited  revolution  which  she  brought  about  and  with 
which  she  inoculated  all  Europe.  It  is  in  the  first  steps 
towards  the  formation  of  the  two  societies,  French  and  Eng* 
lish,  and  in  the  elements,  so  very  different,  of  their  earliest 
existence  that  we  find  the  principal  cause  for  their  long- 
continued  diversity  in  institutions  and  destinies. 

"  In  1823,  forty-seven  years  ago,  after  having  studied,"  says 
M.  Guizot,  **in  my  Essays  upon  a  Comparative  History  of 
France  and  England^  the  great  fact  which  we  have  just  now 
attempted  to  make  clearly  understood,  I  concluded  my  labor 
by  saying,  *  before  our  revolution,  this  difference  between  the 
political  fates  of  France  and  England  might  have  saddened  a 
Frenchman:  but,  now,  in  spite  of  the  evils  we  have  suffered 
and  in  spite  of  those  we  shall  yet,  perhaps,  suffer,  there  is  no 
room,  so  far  as  we  are  concerned,  for  such  sadness.  The 
advances  of  social  equality  and  the  enlightenments  of  civiliza- 
tion in  France  preceded  pohtical  liberty;  and  it  will  thus  be 
the  more  general  and  the  purer.  France  may  reflect,  without 
regret,  upon  any  history:  her  own  has  always  been  glorious, 
and  the  future  promised  to  her  wiQ  assuredly  recompense  her 
for  all  she  has  hitherto  lacked.'  In  1870,  after  the  experiences 
and  notwithstanding  the  sorrows  of  my  long  Hfe,  I  have  still 
confidence  in  our  country's  future.  Never  be  it  forgotten  that 
Gk)d  helps  only  those  who  help  themselves  and  who  deserve 
His  aid." 



Amongst  the  great  events  of  European  history  none  was  for 
a  longer  time  in  preparation  or  more  naturally  brought  about 
than  the  Crusades.    Christianity,  from  her  eaarliest  days,  had 


seen  in  Jerusalem  her  sacred  cradle ;  it  had  heen,  in  past  times, 
the  home  of  her  ancestors,  the  Jews,  and  the  centre  of  their 
history;  and,  afterwards,  the  scene  of  the  life,  death,  and 
resurrection  of  her  Divine  Founder.  Jerusalem  became,  more 
and  more,  the  Holy  City.  To  go  t«  Jerusalem,  to  visit  the 
Mount  of  Olives,  Calvary,  and  the  tomb  of  Jesus,  was,  in  their 
most  evil  days  and  in  the  midst  of  their  obscurity  and  their 
martyrdoms,  a  pious  passion  with  the  early  Christians. 
When,  under  Constantine,  Christianity  had  ascended  from 
the  cross  to  the  throne,  Jerusalem  had  fresh  attractions  for 
Christian  faith  and  Christian  curiosity.  Temples  covered  and 
surrounded  the  Holy  Sepulchre;  and  at  Bethlehem,  Nazareth, 
Mount  Tabor,  and  nearly  all  the  places  which  Jesus  had  con- 
secrated by  His  presence  and  His  miracles  were  seen  to  rise  up 
chmrches,  chapels,  and  monuments  dedicated  to  the  memory  of 
them.  The  Emperor  Cpnstantine's  mother,  St.  Helena,  was,  at 
seveaty-eight  years  of  age,  the  first  royal  pilgrim  to  the  holy 
places.  After  the  Pagan  revival,  vainly  attempted  by  the 
Emperor  Juhan,  the  number  and  zeal  of  the  Christian  visitors 
to  Jerusalem  were  redoubled.  At  the  beginning  of  the  fifth 
century,  St.  Jerome  wrote,  from  his  retreat  at  Bethlehem,  that 
Judea  overfiowed  with  pilgrims,  and  that,  round  about  the 
Holy  Sepulchre,  were  heard  sung,  in  divers  tongues,  the 
praises  of  the  Lord.  He,  however,  gave  but  scant  encourage- 
ment to  his  friends  to  make  the  trip.  '*  The  court  of  heaven," 
he  wrote  to  St.  Paulinus,  **  is  as  open  in  Britain  as  at  Jerusa- 
lem;" and  the  disorders  which  sometimes  accompanied  the 
numerous  assemblages  of  pilgrims  became  such  that  several  of 
the  most  illustrious  fathers  of  the  Church,  and  amongst  others 
St.  Augustine  and  St.  Gregory  of  Nyssa,  exerted  themselves  to 
dissuade  the  faithful.  ''Take  no  thought,"  said  Augustine, 
"for  long  voyages;  go  where  your  faith  is;  it  is  not  by  ship 
but  by  love  that  we  go  to  Him  who  is  every  where." 

Eivents  soon  rendered  the  pilgrimage  to  Jerusalem  difficult, 
and  for  some  time  impossible.  At  the  commencement  of  the 
seventh  century  the  Greek  empire  was  at  war  with  the  sov- 
ereigns of  Persia,  successors  of  Cyrus  and  chiefs  of  the  rehgion 
of  Zoroaster.  One  of  them,  Ehosroes  H.,  invaded  Judea,  took 
Jerusalem,  led  away  captive  the  inhabitants  together  with  their 
patriarch  Zacharias,  and  even  carried  off  to  Persia  the  precious 
relic  which  was  regarded  as  the  wood  of  the  true  cross,  and 
which  had  been  discovered,  nearly  three  centuries  before,  by 
the  Empress  Helena,  whilst  excavations  were  making  on  Cal- 

908  mSTOBT  OF  FBANOBL  .  [ch.  xn. 

vary  for  the  erection  of  the  church  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre. 
But  fourteen  years  later,  cifter  several  victories  over  the  Per- 
8iaD8,  the  Greek  Emperor  Heraclius  retook  Jerusalem  and  re- 
entered  Constantinople  in  triumph  with  the  coffer'  containing 
the  sacred  reUc.  He  next  year  (in  629)  carried  it  back  to  Jeru- 
salem, and  bore  it  upon  his  own  shoulders  to  the  top  of  Cal- 
vary;  and  on  this  occasion  was  instituted  the  Feast  of  the  Ex- 
altation of  the  Holy  Cross.  Great  was  the  joy  in  Christendom ; 
and  the  pilgrimages  to  Jerusalem  resumed  their  course. 

But  precisely  at  this  epoch  there  appeared  an  enemy  far 
more  formidable  for  the  Christians  than  the  sectaries  of  Zo- 
roaster. In  622  Mahomet  founded  Islamism;  and  some  years 
€ifter  his  death,  in  688,  the  second  of  the  khalifs  his  successors, 
Omar,  sent  two  of  his  generals,  Kaled  and  Abou-Obediah,  to 
take  Jerusalem.  For  to  the  Mussulmans,  also,  Jerusalem  waa 
a  holy  city.  Mahomet,  it  was  said,  had  been  thither;  it  waa 
thence,  indeed,  that  he  had  started  on  his  nocturnal  ascent  to 
heaven.  On  approaching  the  walls,  the  Arabs  repeated  these 
words  from  the  Koran,  '^  Enter  we  the  holy  land  which  Qod 
hath  promised  us."  The  siege  lasted  four  months.  The  Chris- 
tians at  last  surrendered,  but  only  to  Omar  in  person,  who 
came  from  Medina  to  receive  their  submission.  A  capitulatioH 
concluded  with  their  patriarch  Sophronius  guaranteed  them 
their  Uvea,  their  property,  and  their  churches.  '^When  the 
draft  of  the  treaty  was  completed,  Omar  said  to  the  patriarch, 
'  Conduct  me  to  the  temgle  of  David/  Omar  entered  Jerusa^ 
lem  preceded  by  the  patriarch  and  followed  by  four  thousand 
warriors,  followers  of  the  Prophet,  wearing  no  other  arms  but 
their  swords.  Sophronius  took  him,  first  of  aU,  to  the  Church 
of  the  Resurrection.  '  Behold,'  said  he,  *  the  temple  of  David.' 
'  Thou  say  est  not  true,'  said  Omar,  after  a  few  moments'  re- 
flection; '  the  Prophet  gave  ;ine  a  description  of  the  tempto  of 
David  and  it  tallieth  not  with  the  building  I  now  see.'  The 
patriarch  then  conducted  him  to  the  Church  of  Sion.  '  Here,' 
said  he,  'is  the  temple  of  David.'  *  It  is  a  lie,'  rejoined  Omar, 
and  went  his  way,  directing  his  steps  towards  the  gate  xxamed 
Bab-Mohammed.  The  spot  on  which  now  stands  the  Mosque 
of  Omar  was  so  encumbered  with  filth  that  the  steps  leading  to 
the  street  were  covered  with  it  and  that  the  rubbish  reiiched 
almost  to  the  top  of  the  vault.  *  You  can  only  get  in  here  by 
crawling, '  said  the  patriarch.  '  Be  it  so, '  answered  Omar.  The 
patriarch  went  first ;  Omar,  with  his  people,  followed ;  and  they 
arrived  at  the  space  which  at  this  day  forms  the  fore-court  (^ 

CT.  XYL]  ORIGIN  AND  8U00S88  OF  THE  CBUSADES.     20» 

the  mosque.  There  every  one  could  stand  upright.  After 
having  turned  his  eyes  to  right  and  left  and  attentively  ex* 
aznined  the  place,  ^  AUah  akhbarP  cried  Omar;  ^here  is  the 
temple  of  David,  described  to  me  by  the  Prophet.'  He  foimd 
the  SaJchra  (the  rock  which  forms  the  summit  of  Mount 
Moriah,  and  which,  left  alone  after  the  different  destructions 
of  the  different  temples,  became  the  theme  of  a  multitude  of 
traditions  and  legends,  Jewish  and  Mussulman)  covered  with 
filth,  heaped  np  there  by  the  Ohristians  through  hatred  of  the 
Jews.  Omar  spread  his  cloak  over  the  rock  opd  began  to 
sweep  it;  and  all  the  Mussulmans  in  his  train  followed  his  ex- 
ample" (Xe  Temple  de  Jiruaalem^  a  monograph,  pp.  73-75,  by 
Count  Melchior  de  Vogii^  ch.  vi.).  The  Mosque  of  Omar  rose 
up  on  the  site  of  Solomon's  temple.  The  Christians  retained 
the  practice  of  their  religion  in  their  churches,  but  they  were 
obliged  to  conceal  their  crosses  and  their  sacred  books.  The 
bell  no  longer  summoned  the  faithful  to  prayer;  and  the  pomp 
of  ceremonies  was  forbidden  them.  It  was  far  worse  when 
Omar,  the  most  moderate  of  Mussulman  fanatics,  had  left  Je- 
rusalem. The  faithful  were  driven  from  their  houses,  and  in- 
sulted in  their  churches;  additions  were  made  to  the  tribute 
they  had  to  pay  to  the  new  masters  of  Palestine;  they  were 
pr(^bited  from  carrying  arms  and  riding  on  horseback;  a 
girdle  of  leather,  which  they  might  not  lay  aside,  was  their 
badge  of  servitude;  their  conquerors  breoked  not  even  that 
the  Christians  should  speak  the  Arab  tongue,  reserved  for  dis- 
ciples of  the  Koran;  and  the  Christian  people  of  Jerusalem  had 
not  the  right  of  nominating  their  own  patriarch  without  the 
intervention  of  the  Saracens. 

From  the  seventh  to  the  eleventh  century  the  situation  re- 
mamed  very  much  the  same.  The  Mussulmans,  khalifs  of 
Bgypt  or  Persia^  continued  in  possession  of  Jerusalem;  and 
the  Christians,  native  inhabitants  or  foreign  visitors,  continued 
to  be  oppressed,  harassed,  and  humiliated  there.  At  two 
I)eriods  their  condition  was  temporarily  better.  At  the  com- 
mencement of  the  ninth  century,  Charlemagne  reached  even 
there  with  the  greatness  of  his  mind  and  of  his  power.  '^  It 
was  not  only  in  hi&  own  land  and  his  own  kingdom,"  says 
Eginhard,  '*that  he  scattered  those  gratuitous  largesses,  which 
the  Greeks  call  alms;  but  beyond  the  seas,  in  Syria,  in  Elgypt, 
in  Africa,  at  JerttdoZem,  at  Alexandria,  at  Carthage,  wherever 
he  knew  that  there  were  Christiana  living  in  poverty,  he  had 
compassion  on  their  misery,  and  he  delighted  to  send  them 

800  HTSTOBT  OF  FRANOK  \ck.  xvi. 

money."  In  one  of  his  capitularies  of  the  year  810  we  find 
this  paragraph:  *'  Alms  to  be  sent  to  Jerusalem  to  repair  the 
churches  of  Gk)d."  ''If  Charlemagne  was  so  careful  to  seek 
the  friendship  of  the  kings  beyond  the  seas,  it  was  above  all  in 
order  to  obtain  for  the  Christians  living  under  their  rule  help 

and  relief He  kept  up  so  close  a«friendship  with  Haroun- 

al-Baschid,  king  of  Persia,  that  this  prince  preferred  his  good 
graces  to  the  alliance  of  the  sovereigns  of  the  earth.  Accord- 
ingly, when  the  ambassadors  whom  Charles  had  sent,  with 
presents,  to  .visit  the  sacred  tomb  of  our  divine  Saviour  and 
the  site  of  the  resurrection,  presented  themselves  before  him, 
and  expounded  to  him  their  master's  wish,  Haroun  did  not 
content  himself  with  entertaining  Charles'  request,  he  wished, 
besides,  to  give  up  to  him  the  complete  proprietorship  of  those 
places  hallowed  by  the  certification  of  our  redemption,"  and  he 
sent  him,  with  the  most  magnificent  presents,  the  keys  of  the 
Holy  Sepulchre.  At  the  end  of  the  same  century,  another 
Christian  sovereign,  far  less  powerful  and  less  famous,  John 
Zimisces,  emperor  of  Constantinople,  in  a  war  against  the 
Mussulmans  of  Asia,  penetrated  into  Galilee,  made  himself 
master  of  Tiberias,  Nazareth,  and  Mount  Tabor,  received  a 
deputation  which  brought  him  the  keys  of  Jerusalem,  ''and 
we  have  placed," he  says  himself,  "garrisons  in  all  the  dis- 
trict lately  subjected  to  our  rule."  These  were  but  strokes  of 
foreign  intervention  giving  the  Christians  of  Jerusalem  gleams 
of  hope  rather  than  lasting  diminution  of  their  miseries. 
However,  it  is  certain  that,  during  this  epoch,  pilgrimages 
multiplied  and  were  often  accomplished  without  obstacle.  It 
was  from  France,  England,  and  Italy  that  most  of  the  pilgrims 
went,  and  some  of  them  wrote,  or  caused  to  be  written,  an  ac- 
count of  their  trip,  amongst  others  the  Italian  Saint  Valentine, 
the  English  Saint  WHlibald,  and  the  French  Bishop  Saint 
Arculf ,  who  had  as  companion  a  Burgundian  hermit  named 
Peter,  a  singular  resemblance  in  quality  and  name  to  the  zeal- 
ous apostle  of  the  Crusade  three  centuries  later.  The  most 
curious  of  these  narratives  is  that  of  a  French  monk,  Bernard, 
a  pilgrim  of  about  the  year  870.  ' '  There  is  at  Jerusalem, "  says 
he,  "a  hospice  where  admittance  is  given  to  all  who  come  to 
visit  the  place  for  devotion's  sake  and  who  speak  the  Roman 
tongue ;  a  church,  dedicated  to  St.  Mcwy,  is  hard  by  the  hospice 
and  possesseth  a  noble  library  which  it  oweth  to  the  zeal  of  the 
Emperor  Charles  the  Qreat"    This  pious  establishment  had 


attached  to  it  fields,  vineyards,  and  a  garden  situated  in  the 
valley  of  Jehosaphat. 

But  whilst  there  were  a  few  isolated  cases  of  Ohristians  thus 
going  to  satisfy  in  the  East  their  pious  aud  inquisitive  zeal,  the 
Mussulmans,  equally  ardent  as  helievers  and  as  warriors 
carried  Westward  their  creed  and  their  arms,  established 
themselves  in  Spain,  penetrated  to  the  very  heart  of  France, 
and  brought  on,  between  Islamism  and  Christianity,  that  grand 
struggle  in  which  Charles  Martel  gained,  at  Poitiers,  the  vic- 
tory for  the  Cross.  It  was  really  a  definitive  victory  aud  yet 
it  did  not  end  the  struggle;  the  Mussulmans  remained  masters 
in  Spain,  and  continued  to  infest  southern  France,  Italy,  and 
Sicily,  preserving  even,  at  certain  points,  posts  which  they 
used  as  starting-points  for  distant  ravages.  Far  then  from 
calming  down  and  resulting  in  pacific  relations,  the  hostility 
between  the  two  races  became  more  and  more  active  aud  de- 
termined; every  where  they  opposed,  fought,  and  oppressed 
one  another,  inflamed  one  against  the  other  by  the  double  feel- 
ings of  faith  and  ambition,  hatred  aud  fear.  To  this  general 
state  of  afEairs  came  to  be  added,  about  the  end  of  the  tenth 
and  beginning  of  the  eleventh  century,  incidents  best  calculated 
to  aggravate  the  evU.  Hakem,  khalif  of  Egypt  from  996  to 
1021,  persecuted  the  Ohristians,  especially  at  Jerusalem,  with 
all  the  violence  of  a  fanatic  and  all  the  capridousness  of  a 
despot.  He  ordered  them  to  wear  upon  their  necks  a  wooden 
cross  five  pounds  in  weight;  he  forbade  them  to  ride  on  any 
animal  but  mules  or  €U3ses ;  and,  without  assigning  any  motive 
for  his  acts,  he  confiscated  their  goods  and  carried  off  their 
children.  It  was  told  to  him  one  day  that,  when  the  Christians 
assembled  in  the  temple  at  Jerusalem  to  celebrate  Easter,  the 
priests  of  the  church  rubbed  balsam-oil  upon  the  iron  chain 
which  held  up  the  lamp  over  the  tomb  of  Christ,  and  after- 
wards set  fire,  from  the  roof,  to  the  end  of  the  chain;  the  fire 
stole  down  to  the  wick  of  the  lamp  and  lighted  it;  then  they 
shouted  with  admiration,  as  if  fire  from  heaven  had  come 
down  upon  the  tomb,  and  they  glorified  their  faith.  Hakem 
ordered  the  instant  demolition  of  the  church  of  the  Holy 
Sepulchre,  and  it  was  accordingly  demolished.  Another  time 
a  dead  dog  had  been  laid  at  the  door  of  a  mosque;  and  the 
multitude  accused  the  Christians  of  this  insult.  Hakem 
ordered  them  all  to  be  put  to  death.  The  soldiers  were  prepar- 
ing to  execute  the  order  when  a  young  Christian  said  to  his 

802  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xvi. 

friends,  '*  It  were  too  grievous  that  the  whole  Church  should 
perish ;  it  were  better  that  one  should  die  for  all ;  only  promise 
to  bless  my  memory  year  by  year/'  He  proclaimed  himself 
alone  to  blame  for  the  insult,  and  was  accordingly  alone  put  to 
death.  It  is  from  this  story  of  the  historian  William  of  Tyre, 
that  Tasso,  in  his  Jerumlem  Ddivered^  has  drawn  the  admira- 
ble episode  of  Olindo  and  Sophronia;  a  fine  example,  and  not 
the  only  one,  of  an  act  of  tyranny  and  an  act  of  virtue  inspir- 
ing a  great  poet  with  the  idea  of  a  master-piece.  '^  All  the 
deeds  of  Hakem  were  without  motive,"  says  the  Arab  historian 
Makrisi,  ''  and  tl^e  dreams  suggested  to  him  by  his  frenzy  are 
incapable  of  reasonable  interpretation. " 

These  and  many  other  similar  stories  reached  the  West, 
spread  amongst  the  Christian  x)eople  and  roused  them  to  pity 
for  their  brethren  in  the  East  and  to  wrath  against  the  op- 
pressors. And  it  was  at  a  critical  period,  in  the  midst  of  the 
pious  alarms  and  desires  of  atonement  excited  by  the  expecta- 
tion of  the  end  of  the  world  a  thousand  years  after  the  coming 
of  the  Lord,  that  the  Christian  population  saw  this  way  opened 
for  purchasing  remission  of  their  sins  by  delivering  other 
Christians  from  suffering,  and  by  avenging  the  wrongs  of  their 
creed.  On  all  sides  arose  challenges  and  appeals  to  the  war- 
like ardor  of  the  faithful.  The  greatest  mind  of  the  age, 
Gterbert,  who  had  become  Pope  Sylvester  11.,  constituted  him- 
self interpreter  of  the  popular  feeling.  He  wrote,  in  the  name 
of  the  Church  of  Jerusalem,a  letter  addressed  to  the  universal 
Church:  "  To  work,  then,  soldier  of  Christ!  Be  our  standard- 
bearer  and  our  champion !  And  if  with  arms  thou  canst  do  so, 
aid  us  with  thy  words,  thy  wealth.  What  is  it,  pray,  that 
thou  givest,  and  to  whom,  pray,  dost  thou  give?  Of  thine 
abundance  thou  givest  a  small  matter,  and  thou  givest  to  Him 
who  hath  freely  given  thee  all  thou  possessest;  but  He  will  not 
accept  freely  that  which  thou  slialt  give;  for  He  will  multiply 
thine  offering  and  will  pay  it  back  to  thee  hereafter."  Some 
years  after  Gerbert,  another  great  mind,  the  greatest  among 
the  popes  of  the  middle  ages,  Gregory  VII.  proclaimed  an  ex- 
pedition, at  the  head  of  which  he  would  place  himself,  to  go 
and  deliver  Jerusalem  and  the  Christians  pf  the  East  from  the 
insults  and  t3rranny  of  the  infidels. 

Such  being  the  condition  of  facts  and  minds,  pilgrimages  to 
Jerusalem  became  from  the  ninth  to  the  eleventh  century, 
more  and  more  numerous  and  considerable.  *'  It  would  never 
have  been  believed,"  says  the  contemporary  chronicler  Baoul 


Glaber,  ''  that  the  Holy  Sepulchre  could  attract  so  prodigious 
an  influx.  First  the  lower  classes,  then  the  middle,  after- 
wards the  most  potent  kings,  the  counts,  the  marquises,  the 
prelates,  and  lastly,  what  had  never  heretofore  heen  seen, 
many  women,  nohle  or  humhle,  undertook  this  pilgrimage." 
In  1026,  William  TaUlefer,  count  of  Angql^me;  in  1028,  1086, 
and  1039,  Foulques  the  Black,  count  of  Anjou;  in  1035,  Eohert 
the  Magnificent,  duke  of  Normandy,  father  of  William  the 
Conqueror;  in  1086,  Eohert  the  Frison,  coimt  of  Flanders;  and 
many  other  great  feudal  lords  quitted  their  estates,  or,  rather, 
their  States,  to  go  and— not  deliver,  not  conquer,  hut— simply 
visit  the  Holy  Land.  It  was  not  long  before  great  numbers 
were  joined  to  great  names.  In  1054,  liebert,  bishop  of  Cam- 
brai,  started  for  Jerusalem  with  a  following  of  3000  Picard  or 
Flemish  pilgrims;  and  in  1064,  the  Archbishop  of  Mayence  and 
the  Bishops  of  Spire,  Cologne,  Bamberg,  and  Utrecht  set  out 
on  their  way  from  the  borders  of  the  Rhine  with  more  than 
10,000  Christians  behind  them.  After  having  passed  through 
Germany,  Himgary,  Bulgaria,  Thrace,  Constantinople,  Asia 
Minor,  and  Syria,  they  were  attacked  in  Palestine  by  hordes  of 
Arabs,  were  forced  to  take  refuge  in  the  ruins  of  an  old  castle, 
and  were  reduced  to  capitulation ;  and  when  at  last,  "preceded 
by  the  rumors  of  their  battles  and  their  perils,  they  arrived  at 
Jerusalem,  they  were  received  in  trimnph  by  the  patriarch, 
and  were  conducted,  to  the  sound  of  timbrels  and  with  the 
flare  of  torches,  to  the  church  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre.  The 
misery  they  had  fallen  into  excited  the  pity  of  the  Christians 
of  Asia;  and,  after  having  lost  more  than  3000  of  their  com- 
rades, liiey  returned  to  Europe  to  relate  their  tragic  adven- 
tures and  the  dangers  of  a  pilgrimage  to  the  Holy  Land" 
{Histoire  dea  Croiaades,  by  M.  Michaud,  t.  i.  p.  62). 

Amidst  this  agitation  of  Western  Christendom,  in  1076,  two 
years  after  Pope  Gregory  VII.  had  proclaimed  his  approaching 
expedition  to  the  Holy  Land,  news  arrived  in  Europe  to  the 
effect  that  the  most  barbarous  of  Asiatics  and  of  Mussulmans, 
the  Turks,  after  having  first  served  and  then  ruled  the  khalifs 
of  Persia,  and  afterwards  conquered  the  greater  part  of  the 
Persian  empire,  had  hurled  themselves  upon  the  Greek  empire, 
invaded  Asia  Minor,  Syria,  and  Palestine,  and  lately  taken 
Jerusalem,  where  they  practised  against  he  Christians,  old  in- 
habitants or  foreign  visitors,  priests  and  worshippers,  dread- 
ful cruelties  and  intolerable  exactions,  worse  than  those  of  the 
Persian  or  E^gyptian  khalifs. 

904  mSTORT  OF  FBAirOB.  [ch.  xvi. 

It  often  happens  that  popular  emotions,  however  profound 
and  general,  remain  barren^  just  as  in  the  vegetable  world 
many  sprouts  appear  at  the  surface  of  the  soil  and  die  without 
having  grown  and  fructified.  It  is  not  sufS^cient  for  the  bring- 
ing about  of  great  events  and  practical  results  that  popular 
aspirations  should  be  merely  manifested;  it  is  necessary, 
further,  that  some  great  soul,  some  powerful  will  should  make 
itself  the  organ  and  agent  of  the  pubHc  sentiment,  and  bring 
it  to  fecundity  by  becoming  its  personification.  The  Christian 
passioi;!,  in  the  eleventh  century,  for  the  dehverance  of  Jerusa- 
lem and  the  triumph  of  the  Cross  was  fortunate  in  this  respect. 
An  obscure  pilgrim,  at  first  a  soldier,  then  a  married  man  and 
father  of  several  children,  then  a  monk  and  a  vowed  recluse, 
Peter  the  Hermit,  who  was  bom  in  the  neighborhood  of 
Amiens,  about  1050,  had  gone,  as  so  many  others  had,  to  Jeru- 
salem ^^  to  say  his  prayers  there."  Struck  disconsolate  at  the 
sight  of  the  sufferings  and  insults  undergone  by  the  Christians, 
he  had  an  interview  with  Simeon,  patriarch  of  Jerusalem,  who 
^^recognizing  in  him  a  man  of  discretion  and  full  of  experience 
in  affairs  of  the  world,  set  before  him  in  detail  all  the  evils 
with  which  the  people  of  God,  in  the  holy  city,  were  afOicted. 
*Holy  father,'  said  Peter  to  him,  *if  the  Roman  Church  and 
the  princes  of  the  West  were  informed,  by  a  man  of  energy 
and  worthy  of  behef ,  of  all  yom*  calamities,  of  a  surety  they 
would  essay  to  apply  some  remedy  thereto  by  word  and  deed. 
Write,  then,  to  our  lord  the  pope  and  to  the  Roman  Church, 
and  to  the  kings  and  princes  of  the  West,  and  strengthen  your 
written  testimony  by  the  authority  of  your  seal.  As  for  me,  I 
shrink  not  from  taking  upon  me  a  task  for  the  salvation  of  my 
soul;  and  with  the  help  of  the  Lord  I  am  ready  to  go  and  seek 
out  all  of  them,  soHcit  them,  show  unto  them  the  immensity  of 
your  troubles,  and  pray  them  all  to  hasten  on  the  day  of  your 
relief.'"  The  patriarch  eagerly  accepted  the  pilgrim's  offer; 
and  Peter  set  out,  going  first  of  all  to  Rome,  where  he  handed 
to  Pope  Urban  II.  the  patriarch's  letters,  and  commenced  in 
that  quarter  his  mission  of  zeal.  The  pope  promised  him  not 
only  support,  but  active  co-operation  when  the  propitious  mo- 
ment for  it  should  arrive.  Peter  set  to  work,  being  still  the 
pilgrim  every  where,  in  Europe,  as  weU  as  at  Jerusalem.  *'  He 
was  a  man  of  very  small  stature,  and  his  outside  made  but  a 
very  poor  appearance;  yet  superior  powers  swayed  this  miser- 
able body;  he  had  a  qtdck  intellect  and  a  penetrating  eye,  and 
he  spoke  with  ease  and  fluency.  .  .  .  We  saw  him  at  that 



time,"  says  his  contemporary  Guibert  de  Nogent,  "scouring 
city  and  town,  and  preaching  everywhere;  the  people  crowded 
round  him,  heaped  presents  upon  him,  and  celebrated  his  sanc- 
tity by  such  great  praises  that  I  remember  not  that  like  honor 
was  ever  rendered  to  any  other  person.  He  displayed  great 
generosity  in  the  disposal  of  all  things  that  were  given  him. 
He  restored  wives  to  their  husbands,  not  without  the  addition 
of  gifts  from  himself,  and  he  re-established,  with  marvellous 
authority,  pe£tce  and  good  understanding  between  those  who 
had  been  at  variance.  In  all  that  he  did  or  said  he  seemed  to 
have  in  him  something  divine,  insomuch  that  people  went  so 
far  as  to  pluck  hairs  from  his  mule  to  keep  as  relics.  In  the 
open  air  he  wore  a  woollen  tunic,  and  over  it  a  serge  cloak 
which  came  down  to  his  heels;  he  had  his  arms  and  feet  bare; 
he  ate  Httle  or  no  .bread,  and  lived  chiefly  on  wine  and  fish." 

In  1095,  after  the  preaching  errantry  of  Peter  the  Hermit, 
Pope  Urban  H.  was  at  Clermont,  in  Auvergne,  presiding  at  the 
grand  council,  at  which  thirteen  archbishops  and  two  hundred 
and  five  bishops  or  abbots  were  met  "together,  with  so  many 
princes  and  lay-lords,  that  "about  the  middle  of  the  month  of 
November  the  towns  and  the  villages  of  the  neighborhood  were 
full  of  people,  and  divers  were  constrained  to  have  their  tents 
and  pavilions  set  up  amidst  the  fields  and  meadows,  notwith- 
standing that  the  season  and  the  coimtry  were  cold  to  an 
extreme."  The  first  nine  sessions  of  the  council  were  devoted 
to  the  affairs  of  the  Church  in  the  West;  but  at  the  tenth 
Jerusalem  and  the  Christians  of  the  East  became  the  subject 
of  deliberation.  The  Pope  went  out  of  the  church  wherein  the 
Council  was  assembled  and  moimted  a  platform  erected  upon 
a  vast  open  sx>ace  in  the  midst  of  the  throng.  Peter  the  Her- 
mit, standing  at  his  side,  spoke  first,  and  told  the  story  of  his 
sojourn  at  Jerusalem,  all  he  had  seen  of  the  miseries  and 
humiliations  of  the  Christians,  and  aU  he  himself  had  suffered 
there,  for  he  had  been  made  to  pay  tribute  for  admission  into 
the  Holy  City,  and  for  gazing  upon  the  spectacle  of  the  ex- 
actions, insults,  and  tortures  he  was  recounting.  After  him 
Pope  Urban  II.  siK)ke,  in  the  French  tongue,  no  doubt,  as  Peter 
had  spoken,  for  he  was  himseM  a  Frenchman,  as  the  majority 
of  those  present  were,  grandees  and  populace.  He  made  a 
long  speech,  entering  upon  the  most  painful  details  connected 
with  the  sufferings  of  the  Christians  of  Jerusalem,"  that  royal 
city  which  the  Eedeemer  of  the  human  race  had  made  illus- 
trious by  His  coming,  had  honored  by  His  residence,  had 

806  matORt  OP  FkAKOS,  [ca.  Tft 

hallowed  by  His  passion,  had  purchased  by  His  death,  had 
distinguished  by  His  burial.  She  now  demands  of  you  her 
deliveranoe  ....  men  of  France,  men  from  beyond  the 
mountains,  nations  chosen  and  beloved  of  Gkxi,  right  valiant 
knights,  recall  the  virtues  of  your  ancestors,  tho  virtue  and 
greatness  of  King  Charlemagne  and  your  other  kings;  it  is 
from  you  above  all  that  Jerusalem  awaits  the  help  she  invokes, 
for  to  you,  above  all  nations,  €k)d  has  vouchsafed  signal  glory 
in  arms.  Take  ye,  then,  the  road  to  Jerusalom  for  the  remis- 
sion of  your  sins,  and  depart  assured  of  the  imperishable  glory 
which  awaits  you  in  the  kingdom  of  heavea." 

From  the  midst  of  the  throng  arose  one  prolonged  and  gene- 
ral shout,  '^God  willeth  iti  God  willeth  itl''  The  pope  paused 
for  a  moment;  and  then,  making  a  sign  with  his  hand  as  if  to 
ask  for  silence,  he  continued,  '*If  the  Lord  God  were  not  in 
your  souls,  ye  would  not  all  have  uttered  the  same  words.  In 
the  bajktle,  then,  be  those  your  war-cry,  those  words  that  came 
from  GK)d;  in  the  army  of  the  Lord  let  naught  be  heard  but 
that  one  shout,  ^  God  willeth  itI  God  willeth  it!'  Weordain 
not,  and  we  advise  not  that  the  jotuney  be  undertaken  by  the 
old  or  the  weak,  or  such  as  be  not  suited  for  arms,  and  let  not 
women  set  out  without  their  husbands  or  their  brothers:  let 
the  rich  help  the  poor;  nor  priests  nor  clerks  may  go  without 
the  leave  of  their  bishops;  and  no  layman  shall  commence  the 
march  save  with  the  blessing  of  his  pastor.  Whosoever  hath 
a  wish  to  enter  upon  this  pilgrimage  let  him  wear  upon  his 
brow  or  his  breast  the  cross  of  the  Lord,  and  let  him,  who,  in 
accomplishment  of  his  desire,  shall  be  willing  to  mardi  away, 
place  tne  cross  behind  him,  between  his  shoulders;  for  thus  he 
will  fulfil  the  precept  of  the  Lord,  who  said,  '  He  that  doth  not 
take  up  his^cross  and  follow  Me,  is  not  worthy  of  Me.' " 

The  enthusiasm  was  general  and  contagious,  as  the  first 
shout  of  the  crowd  had  been;  and  a  pious  prelate,  Adh^ar, 
bishop  of  Puy,  was.  the  first  to  receive  the  cross  from  the 
pope's  hands.  It  was  of  red  cloth  or  silk,  sewn  upon  the  right 
shoulder  of  the  coat  or  cloak,  or  fastened  on  the  front  of  the 
helmet.    The  crowd  dispersed  to  assume  it  and  spread  it. 

Beligious  enthusiasm  was  not  the  only,  but  the  first  and  the 
determining  motive  of  the  crusade.  It  is  to  the  honor  of 
humanity,  and  especially  to  the  honor  of  the  French  nation, 
that  it  is  accessible  to  the  sudden  sway  of  a  moral  and  dism- 
terested  sentiment,  and  resolves,  without  prevision  as  well  as 
without  premeditation,  upon  acts  which  decide,  for  many  a 

CH.  XVI.]  om&m  ANJ)  sVGoms  of  tbe  cnmADss.   307 

long  year,  the  course  and  the  fate  of  a  generation,  and,  it  may 
be,  of  a  whole  people.  We  have  seen  in  our  own  day,  in  the 
conduct  of  popidace,  national  assemblies,  and  armies,  under  the 
impulse  not  any  longer  of  i-eligious  feeling  but  of  political  and 
social  agitation,  France  thus  giving  herself  up  to  the  rush  of 
sentiments,  generous  indeed  and  pure,  but  without  the  least 
forecast  touching  the  consequences  of  the  ideas  which  inspired 
them  or  the  acts  which  they  entailed.  It  is  with  nations  as 
with  armies;  the  side  of  glory  is  that  of  danger;  and  great 
works  are  wrought  at  a  heavy  cost,  not  only  of  happiness  but 
also  of  virtue.  It  would  be  wrong,  nevertheless,  'to  lack 
respect  for  and  to  speak  evil  of  enthusiasm:  it  not  only  bears 
witness  to  the  grandeur  of  himian  na^ture,  it  justly  holds  its 
place  and  exercises  its  noble  influence  in  the  com*se  of  the  great 
events  which  move  across  the  scene  of  human  eiyors  and  vices, 
according  to  the  vast  and  inscrutable  design  of  God.  It  is 
quite  certain  that  the  crusaders  of  the  eleventh  century,  in 
their  haste  to  deliver  Jerusalem  from  the  Mussulmans,  were 
far  from  foreseeing  that,  a  few  centuries  after  their  triumph, 
Jerusalem  and  the  Christian  East  would  fall  again  beneath  the 
yoke  of  the  Mussulmans  and  their  barbaric  stagnation;  and 
this  future,  had  they  caught  but  a  glimpse  of  it,  would  doubt- 
less have  chilled  their  zeal.  But  it  is  not  a  whit  the  less  cer- 
tain that,  in  view  of  the  end,  their  labor  was  not  in  vain;  for 
in  the  panorama  of  the  world's  history,  the  crusades  marked 
the  date  of  the  arrest  of  Islamism,  a^d  powerfully  contributed 
to  the  decisive  preponderance  of  Chidstian  civilization. 

To  religious  enthusiasm  there  was  joined  another  motive  less 
disinterested,  but  natural  and  legitimate,  which  was  the  still 
very  vivid  recollection  of  the  evils  caused  to  the  Christians  of  the 
West  by  the  Mussulman  invasions  in  Spain,  France,.and  Italy, 
and  th^  fear  of  seeing  them  begin  again.  Instinctively  war  was 
carried  to  the  East  to  keep  it  from  the  West,  just  as  Charle- 
magne had  invaded  and  conquered  the  country  of  the  Saxons 
to  put  an  end  to  their  inroads  upon  the  Franks.  And  this  pru- 
dent plan  availed  not  only  to  give  the  Christians  of  the  West 
a  hope  of  security,  it  afforded  them  the  pleasure  of  vengeance. 
They  were  about  to  pay  back  alarm  for  alarm,  and  evil  for 
evil  to  the  enemy  from  whom  they  had  suffered  in  the  same 
way;  hatred  and  pride,  as  well  as  piety,  obtained  satisfaction. 

There  is  moreover  great  motive  power  in  a  spirit  of  enter- 
prise and  a  taste  for  adventure.  Care-f or-nothingness  is  one 
of  mankind's  chief  diseases,  and  if  it  plays  so  conspicuous  a 

308  mSTOST  OF  FRANCE,  [ch.  xvi. 

part  in  comparatiYely  enlightened  and  favored  communities, 
amidst  the  labors  and  the  enjoyments  of  an  advanced  civiliza- 
tion, its  influence  was  certainly  not  less  in  times  of  intellectual 
sloth  and  harshly  monotonous  existence.  To  escape  therefrom, 
to  satisfy  in  some  sort  the  energy  and  curiosity  inherent  in 
man,  the  people  of  the  eleventh  century  had  scarcely  any  re- 
source but  war,  with  its  excitement  and  distant  excursions 
into  unknown  regions.  Thither  rushed  the  masses  of  the  peo- 
ple, whilst  the  minds  which  were  eager,  above  every  thing, 
for  knowledge,  thronged  on  the  mountain  of  St.  Qenevi^ve  to 
the  lectures  of  Abelard.  Need  of  variety  and  novelty,  and  an 
instinctive  desire  to  extend  their  views  and  enliven  their  exist- 
ence probably  made  as  many  crusaders  as  the  feeling  against 
the  Mussulmans  and  the  promptings  of  .piety. 

The  Council  pf  Clermont,  at  its  closing  on  the  28th  of  Novem- 
ber, 1095,  had  fixed  the  month  of  August  in  the  following  year, 
and  the  feast  of  the  Assumption,  for  the  departure  of  the 
crusaders  for  the  Holy  Land,  but  the  people's  impatience  did 
not  brook  this  waiting,  short  as  it  was  in  view  of  the  greatness 
and  difficulties  of  the  enterprise.  As  early  as  the  8th  of 
March,  1096,  and  in  the  course  of  the  spring  three  mobs  rather 
than  armies  set  out  on  the  crusade,  with  a  strength,  it  is  said, 
of  80,000  or  100,000  persons  in  one  case,  and  of  15,000  or  20,000 
in  the  other  two.  Persons  not  men^  for  there  were  amongst 
them  many  women  and  children,  whole  families,  in  fact,  who 
had  left  their  villages,  wit];Lout  organization  and  without  pro- 
visions, calculating  that  they  would  be  competent  to  find  their 
own  way,  and  that  He  who  feeds  the  yoimg  ravens  would  not 
suffer  to  die  of  want  pilgrims  wearing  His  cross.  Whenever, 
on  their  road,  a  town  came  in  sight,  the  children  asked  if  that 
were  Jerusalem.  The  first  of  these  mobs  had  for  its  head 
Peter  the  Hermit  himself,  and  a  Burgundian  knight  called 
Walter  Havencmght;  the  second  had  a  German  priest  named 
Gottschalk;  and  the  third  a  Count  Emico  of  Leiningen,  potent 
in  the  neighborhood  of  Mayence.  It  is  wrong  to  call  thera 
heads,  for  they  were  really  nothing  of  the  kind;  their  au- 
thority was  rejected,  at  one  time  as  tyrannical,  at  another  as 
useless.  '^The  grass-hoppers,"  was  the  saying  amongst  them 
in  the  words  of  Solomon's  proverbs,  **have  no  king,  and  yet 
they  go  in  companies."  In  crossing  Germany,  Hungary,  Bul- 
garia, and  the  provinces  of  the  Greek  empire,  these  companies, 
urged  on  by  their  brutal  passions  or  by  their  necessities  and 
material  wants,  abandoned  themselves  to  such  irregularities 


that,  as  they  went,  princes  and  peoples,  instead  of  welcoming 
them  as  Christians,  came  to  treat  them  as  enemies,  of  whom  it 
was  necessary  to  get  rid  at  any  price.  Peter  the  Hermit  and 
Gottschalk  made  honorahle  and  sincere  efforts  to  check  the 
excesses  of  their  following,  which  were  a  source  of  so  much 
danger;  hut  Coxmt  Emico,  on  the  contrary,  says  William  of 
Tyre,  **  himself  took  part  in  the  plunder,  and  incited  his 
comrades  to  crime."  •  Thus,  at  one  time  taking  the  offensive, 
at  another  compelled  to  defend  themselves  against  the  attacks 
of  the  justly  irritated  inhabitants,  these  three  immense  com- 
panies of  pilgrims,  these  disorderly  volunteers,  with  great 
difficulty  arrived,  after  enormous  losses,  at  the  gates  of  Con- 
stantinople. Either  through  fear  or  through  pity  the  Greek 
emperor,  Alexis  (or  Alexius)  Comnenus,  permitted  them  to 
pitch  their  camp  there;  **but  before  long,  plenty,  idleness, 
and  the  sight  of  the  riches  of  Constantinople  brought  once 
more  into  the  camp,  Hcence,  indiscipline,  and  a  thirst  after 
brigandage.  Whilst  awaiting  the  war  against  the  Mussul- 
mans, the  pilgrims  pillaged  the  houses,  the  palaces,  and  even 
the  churches  in  the  outskirts  of  Byzantium.  To  deliver  his 
capital  from  these  destructive  guests,  Alexis  furnished  them 
with  vessels  and  got  them  shipped  off  across  the  Bosphorus." 

Whilst  the  crusade  was  commencing  under  these  sad  aus- 
pices, chieftains  of  more  sense  and  better  obeyed  were  prepar- 
ing to  give  it  another  character  and  superior  fortunes.  Two 
great  and  real  armies  were  forming  in  the  north,  the  centre, 
and  the  south  of  France,  and  a  third  in  Italy,  amongst  the 
Norman  knights  who  had  founded  there  the  kingdom  of 
Naples  and  Sicily,  just  before  their  countryman,  William  the 
Bastard,  conquered  England.  The  first  of  these  armies  had 
for  its  chief,  Godfrey  de  Bouillon,  duke  of  Lorraine,  whom  all 
his  contemporaries  have  described  as  the  model  of  a  gallant 
and  pious  knight.  He  was  the  son  of  Eustace  II.,  count  of 
Boulogne,  and  **the  lustre  of  nobility,"  says  Eaoul  of  Caen, 
chronicler  of  his  times,  "was  enhanced  in  his  case,  by  the 
splendor  of  the  most  exalted  virtues,  as  well  in  affairs  of  the 
world  as  of  heaven.  As  to  the  latter  he  distinguished  himself 
by  his  generosity  towards  the  poor  and  his  pity  for  those  who 
had  committed  faults.  Furthermore,  his  humility,  his  ex- 
treme gentleness,  his  moderation,  his  justice,  and  his  chastity 
were  great;  he  shone  as  a  light  amongst  the  monks  even  more 
than  as  a  duke  amongst  the  knights.  And,  nevertheless,  he 
could  also  do  the  things  which  are  of  this  world,  fight,  mar- 

310  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [ch.  xvl 

shal  the  ranks,  and  extend  by  arms  the  domains  of  the 
Church.  In  his  boyhood  he  learnt  to  be  first  or  one  of  the 
first  to  strike  the  foe;  in  youth  he  made  it  his  habitual  prac- 
tice ;  and  in  advancing  age  he  forgot  it  never.  He  was  so  per- 
fectly the  son  of  the  warlike  Count  Ehistaoe  and  of  his  mother 
Ida  de  Bouillon,  a  woman  full  of  piety  and  versed  in  literature, 
that  at  sight  of  him  even  a  rival  would  have  been  forced  to 
say  of  him,  *  for  zeal  in  war,  behold  his  father;  for  serving 
Gk)d,  behold  his  mother,' "  The  second  army,  consisting  chiefly 
of  crusaders  from  southern  France,  marched  under  the  orders 
of  Raymond  IV.,  count  of  Toulouse,  the  oldest  chieftain  of 
the  crusade,  who  still,  however,  united  the  ardor  of  youth 
with  the  experience  of  ripe  age  and  the  stubbornness  of  the 
greybeard.  At  the  side  of  the  Cid  he  had  fought  and  more 
than  once  beaten  the  Moors  in  Spain.  He  took  with  him  to 
the  East,  his  third  wife,  Elvira,  daughter  of  Alphonso  VI., 
king  of  Castile,  as  weU  as  a  very  young  child  he  had  by  her, 
and  he  had  made  a  vow,  which  he  fulfilled,  that  he  would  re- 
turn no  more  to  his  country,  and  would  fight  the  infidels  to 
the  end  of  his  days,  in  expiation  of  his  sins.  He  was  discreet 
though  haughty,  and  not  only  the  richest  but  the  most  econ- 
omical of  the  crusader-chiefs:  **  Accordingly,'*  says  Raoiil  of 
Caen,  "  when  all  the  rest  had  spent  their  money,  the  riches  of 
Count  Eaymond  made  him  still  more  distinguished.  The  peo- 
ple of  Provence,  who  formed  his  following,  did  not  lavish  their 
resources,  but  studied  economy  even  more  than  glory,"  and 
**his  army,"  adds  Guibertof  Nogent,  **  showed  no  inferiority 
to  any  other,  save  so  far  as  it  is  possible  to  reproach  the  inhab- 
itants of  Provence  touching  their  excessive  loquacity." 

Bohemond,  prince  of  Tarento,  commanded  the  third  army, 
composed  principally  of  Italians  and  warriors  of  various  origins 
come  to  Italy  to  share  in  the  exploits  and  fortunes  of  his  father, 
the  celebrated  Kobert  Guiscard,  founder  of  the  Norman  king- 
dom of  Naples,  who  was  at  one  time  the  foe  and  at  another 
the  defender  o^  Pope  Gregory  VQ.,  and  who  died  in  the  island 
of  Cephalonia  just  as  he  was  preparing  to  attempt  the  conquest 
of  Constantinople.  Bohemond  had  neither  less  ambition,  nor 
less  courage  and  ability  than  his  father.  *^  His  appearance," 
says  Anna  Conmena,  '^  impressed  the  eye  as  much  as  his  r^u- 
tation  astounded  the  mind ;  his  height  surpassed  that  of  all  his 
comrades;  his  blue  eyes  gleamed  readily  with  pride  and  anger; 
when  he  spoke,  you  would  have  said  he  had  made  eloquence 
his  study;  and  when  he  showed  himself  in  armor,  you  might 


have  believed  that  he  had  never  done  aught  but  handle  lance 
and  Bword.  Brought  up  in  the  school  c^  Norman  heroes,  he 
concealed  calculations  of  policy  beneath  the  exterior  of  force, 
and,  although  he  was  of  a  haughty  disposition,  he  knew  how 
to  be  blind  to  a  wrong  when  there  was  iiothing  to  be  gained 
by  avenging  it.  He  had  learnt  from  his  father  to  regard  as 
foes  all  whose  dominions  and  riches  he  ooveted;  and  he  was 
not  restrained  by  fear  of  God  or  by  man's  opinions,  or  by  his 
own  oaths.  It  was  not  the  deliverance  of  the  tomb  of  Christ 
wMch  fired  his  zeal  or  decided  him  upon  taking  up  the  cross; 
but,  as  he  had  avowed  eternal  enmity  to  the  Greek  emperors, 
he  smiled  at  the  idea  of  traversing  their  empire  at  the  head  of 
an  army,  and,  full  of  confidence  in  his  f ortimes,  he  hoped  to 
make  for  himself  a  kingdom  before  arriving  at  Jerusalem." 

Bohemond  had  as  friend  and  faithful  comrade,  his  cousin 
Tancred  de  Hauteville,  great-grandson,  through  his  mother 
Emma,  of  Robert  Guiscard,  and,  according  to  all  his  contem- 
poraries, the  type  of  a  perfect  Christian  knight,  neither  more 
nor  lees.  ''From  his  boyhood,"  says  Eaoul  of  Caen,  his  servi- 
tor before  becoming  his  biographer,  ''  he  surpassed  the  young 
by  his  skill  in  the  management  of  arms  and  the  old  by  the 
strictness  of  his  morals.  He  disdained  to  speak  ill  of  whoever 
it  might  be,  even  when  ill  had  beed  spoken  of  himself.  About 
himself  he  would  say  naught,  but  he  had  an  insatiable  desire 
to  give  cause  for  talking  thereof.  Glory  was  the  only  passion 
that  moved  that  young  soul;  yet  was  it  disquieted  within  him, 
and  he  suffered  great  anxiety  from  thinking  that  his  knightly 
combats  seemed  contrary  to  the  precepts  of  the  Lord.  The 
"Lord  bids  us  give  our  coat  and  our  cloak  to  him  who  would 
take  them  from  us;  whereeis  the  knight's  part  is  to  strip  all 
that  remains  from  him  from  whom  he  hath  already  taken  his 
coat  and  his  cloak.  These  contradictory  principles  benumbed 
sometimes  the  courage  of  this  man  so  full  of  propriety ;  but 
when  the  declaration  of  Pope  Urban  had  assured  remission  of 
all  their  sins  to  all  Christians  who  should  go  and  fight  the 
Gtontiles,  then  Tancred  awoke  in  some  sort,  from  his  dream, 
and  this  new  opportunity  fired  him  with  a  zeal  which  cannot 
be  expressed.  He  therefore  made  preparations  for  his  depar- 
ture; but,  accustomed  from  his  infancy  to  give  to  others  be- 
fore thinking  of  himself,  he  entered  upon  no  great  outlay, 
but  contented  himself  with  collecting  in  sufiicient  quantity 
knightly  arms,  horses,  mules,  and  provisions  necessary  for 
bis  company." 

312  HISTORY  OF  FRANCS,  [ch.  xvi. 

When  these  four  chieftains,  who  have  remained  illustrious 
in  history,  that  grave  wherein  small  reputations  are  extin- 
guished, were  associated,  for  the  deliverance  of  the  Holy  Land, 
a  throng  of  feudal  lords,  some  powerful  as  well  as  valiant, 
others  valiant  but  sitnple  knights ;  Hugh,  count  of  Vermandois, 
brother  of  Philip  I.,  king  of  France;  Robert  of  Normandy, 
called  Shortkose,  son  of  William  the  Conqueror ;  Bobert,  count 
of  Flanders;  Stephen,  count  of  Blois;  Raimbault,  coimt  of 
Orange;  Baldwin,  count  of  Hainault;  Haoul  of  Beaugency, 
Qerard  of  Boussillon,  and  many  others  whose  names  contem- 
porary chroniclers  and  learned  modems  have  gathered  to- 
gether. Not  one  of  the  reigning  sovereigns  of  Europe,  kings 
or  emperors,  of  France,  England,  Spain,  or  Germany,  took 
part  in  the  first  crusade.  It  was  the  feudal  nation,  great  and 
small,  castle-owners  and  populace,  who  rose  in  mass  for  the 
deliverance  of  Jerusalem  and  the  honor  of  Christendom. 

These  three  great  armies  of  crusaders  got  on  the  march  from 
August  to  October,  1096,  wending  their  way,  Gknifrey  de  Bouil- 
lon by  Germany,  Hungary,  and  Bulgaria;  Bohemond  by  the 
south  of  Italy  and  the  Mediterranean;  and  Coimt  Baymond  of 
Toulouse  by  Northern  Italy,'  FriuH,  and  Dalmatia.  They  ar- 
rived one  after  the  other  in  the  empire  of  the  East  and  at  the 
gates  of  Constantinople.  Godfrey  de  BouQlon  was  the  first  to 
appear  there,  and  the  Emperor  Alexis  Comnenus  learnt-  with 
dismay  that  other  armies  of  crusaders  would  soon  follow  that 
which  was  already  so  large.  It  was  not  long  before  Bohemond 
and  Eaymond  appeared.  Alexlfe  behaved  towards  these  for- 
midable allies  with  a  mixture  of  pusillanimity  and  haughti- 
ness, promises  and  lies,  caresses  and  hostility,  which  irritated 
without  intimidating  them,  and  rendered  it  impossible  for 
them  to  feel  any  confidence  or  conceive  any  esteem.  At  one 
time  he  was  thanking  them  profusely  for  the  support  they 
were  bringing  him  against  the  infidels;  at  another  he  was 
sending  troops  to  harass  them  on  their  road,  and,  when  they 
reached  Constantinople,  he  demanded  that  they  shoiild  swear 
fealty  and  obedience  to  him,  as  if  they  were  his  own  subjects. 
One  day  he  was  refusing  them  provisions  and  attempting  to 
subdue  them  by  famine;  and  the  next  he  was  lavishing  feasts 
and  presents  upon  them.  The  crusaders,  on  their  side,  when 
provisions  fell  short,  spread  themselves  over  the  countiry  and 
plundered  it  without  scruple;  and,  when  they  encountered 
hostile  troops  of  Greeks,  charged  them  without  warning. 
When  the  emperor  demanded  of  them  fealty  and  homage,  the 


Count  of  Toulouse-answered  that  he  had  not  come  to  the  East 
in  search  of  a  master.  G-odfrey  de  Bouillon,  after  resisting 
every  haughty  pretension,  heing  as  just  as  he  was  dignified,  ac- 
knowledged that  the  crusaders  ought  to  restore  to  the  emperor 
the  towns  which  had  helonged  to  the  empire,  and  ap  arrange- 
ment to  that  effect  was  concluded  hetween  them.  Bohemond 
had  a  prox)osal  suhmitted  to  Godfrey  to  join  him  in  attacking 
the  Greek  empire  and  taking  possession  at  once  of  Byzantium; 
but  Godfrey  rejected  the  proposal,  with  the  reminder  that  he 
hdd  come  only  to  fight  the  infidels.  The  emperor,  fully  in- 
formed of  the  greediness  as  well  as  ambition  of  Bohemond,  in- 
troduced him  one  day  into  a  room  fuU  of  treasures.  "  Here,'* 
said  Bohemond,  *  *  is  wherewith  to  conquer  kingdoms. "  Alexis 
had  the  treasures  removed  to  Bohemond's,  who  at  first  re- 
fused, and  ended,  by  accepting  them.  It  is  even  said  that  he 
asked  the  emperor  for  the  title  of  Grand  Domestic  or  of  gen- 
eral of  the  empire  of  the  East.  Alexis,  who  had  held  that  dig- 
nity and  who  knew  that  it  was  the  way  to  the  throne,  gave 
the  Norman  chieftain  a  present  refusal,  with  a  promise  of  it 
on  account  of  future  services  to  be  rendered  by  him  to  the  em- 
pire and  the  emperor. 

The  chiefs  of  the  crusade  were  not  alone  in  treating  with 
disdain  this  haughty,  wily,  and  feeble  sovereign.  During  a 
ceremony  at  which  some  French  princes  were  doing  homage 
to  the  emperor,  a  Coimt  Bobert  of  Paris  went  and  sat  down 
free-and-easily  beside  him;  when  Baldwin,  count  of  HaJnault, 
took  the  intruder  by  the  arm,  saying,  **When  you  are  in  a 
country  you  must  respect  its  masters  and  its  customs." 
"Verily,"  answered  Ttobert,  **I  hold  it  shocking  that  this 
jackanapes  should  be  seated,  whilst  so  many  noble  captains 
are  standing  yonder."  When  the  ceremony  was  over,  the 
emperor  who  had,  no  doubt,  heard  the  words,  wished  to  have 
an  explanation;  so  he  detained  Eobert,  and  asked  him  who 
and  whence  he  was.  **I  am  a  Frenchman,"  quoth  Eobert; 
"and  of  noble  birth.  In  my  country  there  is,  hard  by  a 
church,  a  spot  repaired  to  by  such  as  bum  to  prove  their  valor. 
I  have  been  there  often  without  any  one's  daring  to  present 
himself  before  me."  The  emperor  did  not  care  to  take  up  this 
sort  of  challenge  and  contented  himself  with  replying  to  the 
warrior,  **If  you  there  waited  for  foes  without  finding  any, 
you  are  now  about  to  have  what  will  satisfy  you;  I  have,  how- 
ever, a  piece  of  advice  to  give  you;  don't  put  youself  at  the 
head  or  the  tail  of  the  army;  keep  in  the  middle.    I  have 

814  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  pm.  xvl 

learned  bow  to  fight  with  Turks;  and  that  is  the  best  place  you 
can  choose."  The  crusaders  and  the  Greeks  were  mutually 
contemptuous,  the  former  with  a  ruffianly  pride,  the  latter 
with  an  ironical  and  timid  refinement. 

This  posture,  on  either  side,  of  inactiyity,  ill-will  and  irrita- 
tion, could  not  last  long.  On  the  approach  of  the  spring  of 
1097,  the  crusader  chiefs  and  their  troops,  first  Godfrey  de 
Bouillon,  then  Bohemond  and  Tancred,  and  afterwards  Count 
Raymond  of  Toulouse,  passed  the  Bosphorus,  being  conveyed 
across  either  in  their  own  vessels  or  those  of  the  Emperor 
Alexis,  who  encouraged  them  against  the  infidels  and  at  the 
same  time  had  the  infidels  supphed  with  information  most 
damaging  to  the  crusaders.  Having  effected  a  junction  in 
Bithynia,  the  Christian  chiefs  resolved  to  go  and  lay  siege  to 
Nicsea,  the  first  place,  of  iDQLi)ortance,  in  possession  of  the 
Turks.  Whilst  marching  towards  the  place  they  saw  coming 
to  meet  them,  with  every  appearance  of  the  most  woful  desti- 
tution, Peter  the  Hermit,  followed  by  a  small  band  of  pilgrims 
escai)ed  from  the  disasters  of  their  expeditien,  who  had  passed 
the  winter,  as  he  had,  in  Bithynia,  waiting  for  more  fortunate 
crusaders.  Peter,  affectionately  welcomed  by  the  chiefs  of  the 
army,  recounted  to  them  **in  detail,"  says  William  of  Tyre, 
*'  how  the  people,  who  had  preceded  them  under  bis  guidance, 
had  shown  themselves  destitute  of  intelligence,  improvident, 
and  unmanageable  at  the  same ;  and  so  it  was  far  more  by  their 
own  fault  than  by  the  deed  of  any  other  that  they  had  suc- 
cumbed to  the  weight  of  their  calamities."  Peter,  having  thus 
relieved  his  heart  and  recovered  his  hopes,  joined  the  i)owerful 
army  of  crusaders  who  had  come  at  last;  and  on.  the  15th  of 
May,  1097,  the  siege  of  Nicsea  began. 

The  town  was  in  the  hands  of  a  Turkish  sultan,  Elilidge- 
Arslan,  whose  father,  Soliman,  twenty  years  before^  had  in- 
vaded Bithynia  and  fixed  his  abode  at  Nicsea.  He,  being  in- 
formed of  the  approach  of  the  crusaders,  had  issued  forth,  to 
go  and  assemble  all  his  forces ;  but  he  had  left  behind  his  wife, 
his  children,  and  his  treasures,  and  he  had  sent  messengers  to 
the  inhabitants,  saying,  ^^  Be  of  good  coiurage,  and  fear  not  the 
barbarous  people  who  make  show  of  besieging  our  city;  to- 
morrow, before  the  seventh  hour  of  the -day,  ye  shall  be  de- 
livered from  your  enemies."  And  he  did  arrive  on  the  16th  of 
May,  says  the  Armenian  historian,  Matthias  of  Edessa,  at  the 
head  of  600,000  horsemen.  The  historians  of  the  crusaders  are 
infinitely  more  moderate  as  to  the  number  of  their  foes;  they 

QH.  XVI.]  OBIQIN  4ND  8UC0E88  OF  THE  CRUSADES,     316 

assign  to  KUidge-Arslan  only  SO^OOO  or  60,000  men,  and  their 
testimony  is  far  more  trustworthy,  being  that  of  Uie  victors. 
In  any  case,  the  Christians  and  the  Turks  fought  valiantly  for 
two  days  under  the  walls  of  Nicsea,  and  Godfrey  de  Bouillon 
did  justice  to  his  fame  for  valor  and  skill  by  laying  low  a 
Turk  "remarkable  amongst  all,"  says  William  of  Tyre,  "for 
his  size  and  strength,  whose  arrows  caused  much  havoc  in  the 
ranks  of  our  men."  Kilidge-Arslan,  being  beaten,  withdrew  to 
collect  fresh  troops,  and,  after  six  weeks'  siege,  the  crusaders 
believed  themselves  on  the  point  of  entering  Nicaea  as  masters, 
when,  on  the  26th  of  June,  they  saw  floating  on  the  ramparts 
the  standard  of  the  Emperor  Alexis.  Their  suprise  was  the 
greater  in  that  they  had  just  written  to  the  emperor  to  say 
that  the  city  was  on  the  point  of  surrending,  and  they  added, 
<<  We  earnestly  invite  you  to  lose  no  timb  in  sending  some  of 
your  princes  with  sufficient  retinue,  that  they  may  receive 
and  keep  in  honor  of  your  name  the  city  which  will  deliver 
itself  up  to  us.  As  for  usi,  after  having  put  it  in  the  hands  of 
your  highness,  we  will  not  show  any  delay  in  pursuing,  with 
Gk)d's  help,  the  execution  of  our  projects."  Alexis  ^had  antici- 
pated this  loyal  message.  Being  in  constant  secret  communi- 
cation with  the  former  subjects  of  the  Qreek  empire,  and  often 
even  with  tibeir  new  masters  the  Turks,  his  agents  in  Nicaea 
had  induced  the  inhabitants  to  surrender  to  him,  and  not  to 
the  Latins,  who  would  treat  them  as  vanquished.  The  irrita- 
tion amongst  tibe  crusaders  was  extreme.  They  had  promised 
themselves,  if  not  the  plimder  of  Nicsaa,  at  any  rate  great  ad- 
vantages &om  their  victory ;  and  it  was  said  in  the  camp  that 
the  convention  concluded  with  the  emperor  contained  an 
article  purporting  that  "  if,  with  Gk>d's  help,  there  were  taken 
any  one  of  the  towns  which  had  belonged  aforetime  to  the 
Greek  empire  all  along  the  line  of  march  up  to  Syria,  the  town 
should  be  restored  to  the  emperor,  together  with  all  the  adja- 
cent territory,  and  that  the  booty,  the  spoils,  and  all  objects, 
whatsoever  found  therein  should  be  given  up  without  discus- 
sion to  the  crusaders,  in  recompense  for  their  trouble  and  in- 
demnification for  their  expenses."  The  wrath  waxed  still 
fiercer  when  it  was  known  that  the  crusaders  would  not  be 
permitted  to  enter  more  than  ten  at  a  time  the  town  they  had 
just  taken,  and  that  the  Emperor  Alexis  had  set  at  liberty  the 
wife  of  Eilidge-Arslan,  together  with  her  two  sons  and  all  the 
Turks  led  prisoners  of  war  to  Constantinople.  The  chiefs  ci 
the  crusaders  were  themselves  indignant  and  distrustful;  but 

816  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [cjh.  xtl 

''they  resolved  with  one  accord,"  says  William  of  Tyre,  "to 
hide  their  resentment,  and  they  applied  all  their  efforts  to 
calming  their  people,  whilst  encouraging  them  to  push  on  with- 
out delay  to  the  end  of  their  glorious  enterprise." 

All  the  army  of  the  crusaders  put  themselves  in  motion  to 
cross  Asia  Minor  from  the  north-west  to  the  south-east,  and  to 
reach  Syria.    At  their  arrival  before  Nicsea  they  nmnbered,  it 
is  said,  500,000  foot  and  100,000  horse,  figures  evidently  too 
great,  for  every  thing  indicates  that  at  the  opening  of  the 
crusade  the  three  great  armies,  starting  from  France  and  Italy 
under  Gk)dfrey  de  Bouillon,  Bohemond,  and  Raymond  of  Tou- 
louse, did  not  reach  this   number,  and  they  had  certainly  lost 
many  during  their  long  march  through  their  sufferings  and  in 
their  battles.    However  that  may  be,  after  they  had  marched 
all  in  one  mass  for  two  days  and  had  then  extended  themselves 
over  a  large  area,  for  the  purpose,  no  doubt,  of  more  easily 
finding  provisions,  the  crusaders  broke  into  two  main  bodies, 
led,  one  by  Gknifrey  de  Bouillon  and  Raymond  of  Toulouse,  the 
other  by  Bohemond  and  Tancred.    On  the  1st  of  July,  at  day- 
break, this  latter  body,  encamped  at  a  short  distance  fronx 
Doryleum  inPhrygia,  saw  descending  from  the  neigboring 
heights  a  cloud  of  enemies  who  burst  upon  the  Christians,  first 
rained  a  perfect  hail  of  missiles  upon  them,  and  then  pene- 
trated into  their  camp,  even  to  the  tents  assigned  to  the  women, 
children,  cuid  old  men,  the  nimierous  following  of  the  crusaders. 
It  was  Kilidge-Arslan,  who,  after  the  fall  of  Nicaea,  had  raised 
this  new  army  of  Sarax^ns,  and  was  pursuing  the  conquerors 
on  their  march.    The  battle  began  in  great  disorder ;  the  chiefe 
inj>erson  sustained  the  first  shock ;  and  the  Duke  of  Normandy, 
Robert  Shorthose,  took  in  his  hand  his  white  banner,  em- 
broidered with  gold,  and  waving  it  over  his  head,  threw  him- 
self upon  the  Turks,  shouting,  "Gk)d  willethit!  God  wiUeth 
it  I"    Bohemond  obstinately  sought  out  Kilidge-Arslan  in  the 
•  fray;  but  at  the  same  time  he  sent  messengers  in  all  haste  to 
Gkxifrey  de  Bouillon,  as  yet  but  a  little  way  off,  to  smnmon  him 
to  their  aid.    Godfrey  galloi)ed  up,  and,  with  some  fifty  of  his 
knights,  proceeding  the  rest  of  his  army,  was  the  first  to  throw 
himself  into  the  midst  of  the  Turks.    Towards  mid-day  the 
whole  of  the  first  body  arrived,  with  standards  fiying,  with 
the  sound  of  trumpets  and  with  the  shouting  of  warriors. 
Kilidge-Arslan  and  his  troops  fell  back  upon  the  heights  whence 
they  had  descended.    The  crusaders,  without  taking  breath, 
luscended  in  pursuit.    The  Turks  saw  themselves  shut  in  by  a 

Cfi.  XVI.]  ORIGIN  AND  SUCCESS  OP  THE  CEU8AJ)B8.     317 

forest  of  lances,  and  fled  over  wood  and  rock;  and  ''two  days 
afterwards  they  were  still  flying,"  says  Albert  of  Aix,  ''though 
none  pursued  them,  unless  it  were  Qod  himself."  The  victory 
of  Doryleum  opened  the  whole  country  to  the  crusaders,  and 
they  resumed  their  march  towards  Syria,  paying  their  sole  at- 
tention to  not  separating  again. 

It  was  not  long  before  they  had  to  grapple  with  other  dangers 
against  which  bravery  could  do  nothing.  They  were  crossing, 
under  a  broiling  sun,  deserted  tracts  which  their  enemies  had 
taken  good  cape  to  ravage.  Water  and  forage  were  not  to  be 
bad ;  the  men  suffered  intolerably  from  thirst;  horses  died  by 
hundreds;  at  the  head  of  their  troops  marched  knights 
mounted  on  asses  or  oxen;  their  favorite  amusement,  the 
chase,  became  imi)0S8ible  for  them;  for  their  hawking-birds 
too,  the  falcons  and  gerfalcons  they  had  brought  with  them, 
languished  and  died  beneath  the  excessive  heat.  One  incident 
obtained  for  the  Crusaders  a  momentary  reUef.  The  dogs 
which  followed  the  army,  prowling  in  all  directions,  one  day 
returned  with  their  paws  and  coats  wet;  they  had,  therefore, 
found  water;  and  the  soldiers  set  themselves  to  look  for  it,  and 
in  fact,  discovered  a  small  river  in  a  remote  valley.  They  got 
water-drunk,  and  more  than  three  hundred  men,  it  is  said, 
were  affected  by  it  and  died. 

On  arriving  in  Pisidia,  a  country  intersected  by  water- 
courses, meadows,  and  woods,  the  army  rested  several  days; 
but  at  that  very  point  two  of  its  most  competent  and  most 
respected  chiefs  were  very  nearly  taken  from  it.  Count  Ray- 
mond of  Toulouse,  who  was  also  called  Raymond  of  Saint- 
Gilles,  fell  so  ill  that  the  Bishop  of  Orange  was  reading  over 
him  the  prayers  for  the  dying,  when  one  of  those  present  cried 
out  that  the  count  would  assuredly  live,  for  that  the  prayers 
of  his  patron  Saint-Gilles,  had  obtained  for  him  a  truce  tvith 
death.  And  Raymond  recovered.  Godfrey  de  Bouillon, 
again,  whilst  riding  in  a  forest,  came  ui)on  a  pilgrim  attacked 
by  a  bear,  and  aU  but  fallen  a  victim  to  the  ferocious  beast. 
The  duke  drew  his  sword  and  urged  his  horse  against  the  bear 
which,  leaving  the  pilgrim,  rushed  upon  the  assailant.  The 
frigntened  horse  reared;  Godfrey  was  thrown  and,  kccording 
to  one  account,  immediately  remounted;  but,  according  to 
another,  he  fell,  on  the  contrary,  together  with  his  horse;  how- 
ever he  sustained  a  fearful  struggle  sigainst  the  bear  and  ulti- 
mately killed  it  by  plunging  his  sword  up  to  the  hilt  into  its 
belly,  says  WiUiam  of  Tyre,  but  with  so  great  an  effort,  and 

318  BISTORT  OF  FRANCS.  [ch.  xvl 

after  reoeiving  so  serious  a  wound,  that  his  soldiers,  hurrying 
up  at  the  pilgrim's  report,  found  him  stretched  on  the  ground, 
covered  with  blood,  and  unable  to  rise,  and  carried  him  back 
to  the  camp,  where  he  was,  for  several  weeks,  obliged  to  be 
carried  about  in  a  litter  in  the  rear  of  the  army. 

Through  all  these  perils  they  continued  to  advance,  and  they 
were  approaching  the  heights  of  Taurus,  the  bulwark  and  gate 
of  Syria,  when  a  quarrel  which  arose  between  two  of  the 
principal  crusader-chiefis  was  like  to  seriously  endanger  the 
concord  and  strength  of  the  army.  Tancred,  with  his  men, 
had  entered  Tarsus,  the  birth-place  of  St.  Paul,  and  had  planted 
his  flag  there.  Although  later  in  his  arrival,  Baldwin,  brother 
of  Gk)dfrey  de  Bouillon,  claimed  a  right  to  the  possession  of  the 
city,  and  had  his  flag  set  up  instead  of  Tancred's,  which  was 
thrown  into  a  ditch.  During  several  days  the  strife  was  fierce 
and  even  bloody;  the  soldiers  of  Baldwin  were  the  more 
numerous,  and  those  of  Tancred  considered  their  chief  too 
gentle,  and  his  bravery,  so  often  proved,  scarcely  sufficed  to 
form  an  excuse  for  his  forbearance.  Chiefs  and  soldiers,  how- 
ever, at  last,  saw  the  necessity  for  reconciliation,  and  made 
mutual  promises  to  sink  all  animosity.  On  returning  to  the 
general  camp,  Tancred  was  received  with  marked  favor;  for 
the  majority  of  the  crusaders,  being  unconcerned  in  the  quar- 
rel at  Tarsus,  liked  him  for  his  bravery  and  for  his  gentleness 
equally.  Baldwin,  on  the  contrary,  was  much  blamed,  even 
by  his  brother  Godfrey:  but  he  was  far  more  ambitious  on  his 
own  account  than  devoted  to  the  common  cause.  He  had 
often  heard  tell  of  Armenia  and  Mesoi)otamia,  their  riches  and 
the  large  number  of  Christians  living  there,  almost  equally 
independent  of  Greeks  cmd  Turks;  and,  in  the  hope  of  finding 
there  a  chance  of  greatly  improving  his  personal  fortunes,  he 
left  the  army  of  crusaders  at  Maresa,  on  the  very  eve  of  the 
day  on  which  the  chiefs  came  to  the  decision  that  no  one  should 
for  the  future  move  away  from  the  fiag,  and  taking  with  him 
a  weak  detachment  of  200  horse  and  1000  or  1200  foot,  marched 
towards  Armenia.  His  name  and  his  presence  soon  made  a 
stir  there;  and  he  got  hold  of  two  littie  towns  which  received 
him  eagerly.  Edessa,  the  capital  of  Armenia  and.  metropolis 
of  Mesopotamia,  was  peopled  by  Christians;  and  a  Greek  gov- 
ernor, sent  from  Constantinople  by  the  emperor,  lived  {here, 
on  payment  of  a  tribute  to  the  Turks.  Internal  dissensions 
and  the  fear  ever  inspired  by  the  vicinity  of  the  Turks  kept  the 
dty  in  a  state  of  lively  agitation;  and  bishop,  people,  and 

tit.  XVI.]  OmGW  AND  StrcaSSS  of  tee  crusades,     319 

Q-reek  governor,  all  appealed  to  Baldwin.  He  presented  him* 
self  before  Edesea  with  merely  a  himdred  horsemen,  having 
left  the  remainder  of  his  forces  in  garrison  at  the  town  he  had 
already  oocupied.  All  the  population  came  to  meet  him,  bear- 
ing branches  of  olive  and  singing  chants  in  honor  of  their  de- 
liverer. But  it  was  not  long  before  outbreaks  and  alarms 
began  again;  and  Baldwin  looked  on  at  them,  waiting  for 
I)ower  to  be  offered  him.  Still  there  was  no  advance;  the 
Greek  governor  continued  where  he  was;  and  Baldwin  mut- 
tered threats  of  his  departure.  The  popular  disquietude  was 
extreme ;  and  the  Greek  governor,  old  and  detested  as  he  was, 
thought  to  smooth  all  by  adopting  the  Latin  chief  and  making 
him  his  heir.  This,  however,  caused  but  a  short  respite;  Bald- 
win left  the  governor  to  be  massacred  in  a  fresh  outbreak ;  the 
I)eople  came  and  offered  him  the  government,  and  he  became 
Prince  of  Edessa,  and,  ere  long  of  all  the  neighboring  country, 
without  thinking  any  more  of  Jerusalem,  of  which,  neverthe- 
less, he  was  destined  at  no  distant  day.  to  be  king. 

Whilst  Baldwin  was  thus  acquiring,  for  himself  and  himself 
alone,  the  first  Latin  principality  belonging  to  the  crusaders  in 
the  East,  his  brother  Gkxifrey  and  the  main  Christian  army 
were  crossing  the  chain  of  Taurus  and  arriving  before  Antioch, 
the  capitol  of  Syria.  Great  was  the  fame,  with  Pagans  and 
Christians,  of  this  city;  its  site,  the  beauty  of  its  climate,  the 
fertility  of  the  land,  its  fish-abounding  lake,  its  river  of  Orontes, 
its  fountain  of  Daphne,  its  festivals,  and  its  morals,  had  made 
it,  under  the  Roman  empire,  a  brilliant  and  favorite  abode. 
At  the  same  time,  it  was  there  that  the  disciples  of  Jesus  had 
assmned  the  name  of  Christians,  and  that  St.  Paul  hjui  begun 
his  heroic  life  as  preacher  and  as  missionary.  It  was  absolute- 
ly necessary  that  the  crusaders  should  take  Antioch;  but  the 
difficulty  of  the  conquest  was  equal  to  the  importance.  The 
city  was  well  fortified  and  provided  with  a  strong  citadel;  the 
Turks  had  been  in  possession  of  it  for  fourteen  years;  and  its 
governor  Accien  or  Baghisian  (Ydgui-Sian^  or  brother  of  bkick, 
according  to  Oriental  historians),  appointed  by  the  Sultan  of 
Persia,  Malekschah,  was  shut  up  in  it  with  7000  horse  and  20,- 
000  foot.  The  first  attacks  of  the  Christians  failed;  and  they 
had  the  prospect  of  a  long  siege.  At  the  outset  their  situation 
had  been  easy  and  pleasant;  they  encountered  no  hostility 
from  the  country-people,  who  were  intimidated  or  indifferent; 
they  came  and  paid  visits  to  the  camp,  and  admitted  the  crusa- 
ders to  their  markets ;  the  harvests,  which  were  hardly  finished, 

320  mSTORT  OF  FRANCS.  [ch.  rv£. 

had  been  abundant:  ''the  grapes,''  says  Guibert  of  Nogent, 
''  were  still  hanging  on  the  branches  of  the  vines;  on  all  sides 
discoveries  were  made  of  grain  shut  up,  not  in  bams,  but  in 
subterranean  vaults;  and  the  trees  were  laden  with  fruit." 
These  f adlitiee  of  existence,  the  softness  of  the  climate,  the 
pleasantness  of  the  places,  the  frequency  of  leisure,  partly  pleer 
sure  and  partly  care-for^nothing-ness,  caused  amongst  the 
crusaders  irregularity,  licence,  indiscipline,  carelessness  and 
often  perils  and  reverses.  The  Turks  profited  thereby  to  make 
sallies,  which  threw  the  camp  into  confusion  and  cost  the  lives 
of  crusaders  surprised  or  scattered  about.  Winter  came; 
provisions  grew  scarce,  and  had  to  be  sought  at  a  greater  dis- 
tance and  at  greater  peril;  and  living  ceased  to  be  agreeable  or 
easy.  Disquietude,  doubts  concerning  the  success  of  the  enter- 
prise, fatigue  and  discouragement  made  way  amongst  the 
army ;  and  men  who  were  believed  to  be  proved,  Bobert  Short- 
hose,  duke  of  Normandy,  William,  viscount  of  Melun,  called 
the  Carpenter,  on  accoimt  of  his  mighty  battle-axe,  and  Peter 
the  Hermit  himself,  ''who  had  never  learned,"  says  Bobert 
the  monk,  "to  endure  such  plaguy  hunger," left  the  camp, 
and  deserted  the  banner  of  the  cross,  ''that  there  might  be 
seen,  in  the  words  of  the  Apocalypse,  even  the  stars  Calling 
from  heaven,"  says  Guibert  of  Nogent.  Great  were  the  scan- 
dal and  indignation.  Tancred  hurried  after  the  fugitives  and 
brought  them  back ;  and  they  swore.on  the  Qospel  never  again 
to  abandon  the  cause  which  they  had  preached  and  served  so 
well.  It  was  clearly  indispensable  to  take  measures  for  re- 
storing amongst  the  army  discipline,  confidence,  and  the 
morals  and  hopes  of  Christians.  The  different  chie&  applied 
themselves  thereto  by  very  different  process  according  to  their 
vocation,  character,  or  habits.  Adh^ar,  bishop  of  Puy,  the 
renowned  spiritual  chief  of  the  crusade,  Giodfrey  de  Bouillon, 
Baymond  of  Toulouse,  and  the  military  chieftains  renowned 
for  piety  and  virtue  made  head  against  all  kinds  of  disorder 
either  by  fervent  address  or  severe  prohibitions.  Men  caught 
drunk  had  their  hair  cut  off;  blasphemous  and  reckless  game- 
sters were  branded  with  a  red-hot  iron;  and  the  women  were 
shut  up  in  separate  tents.  To  tne  irregularities  within  were 
added  the  perils  of  incessant  espionage  on  the  part  of  the  Turks 
in  the  very  camp  of  the  crusaders:  and  no  one  knew  how  to 
repress  this  evil.  "Brethren  and  lords,"  said  Bohemond  to 
the  assembled  princes,  "  let  me  undertake  this  business  by  my- 
self;  I  hope,  with  Gkxl's  help,  to  find  a  remedy  for  this  com- 

^pushf'"'  *'  ■ 




plaint."  Caring  but  little  for  moral  reform,  he  strove  to  strike 
terror  into  the  Turks,  and,  by  coimteraction,  restore  confidence 
to  the  crusaders.  **One  evening,"  says  William  of  Tyre, 
**  whilst  everybody  was  as  usual,  occupied  in  getting  supper 
ready,  Bohemond  ordered  some  Turks  who  had  been  caught 
in  the  camp  to  be  brought  out  of  prison  and  put  to  death  forth- 
with; and  then,  having  had  a  huge  fire  Hghted,  he  gave  in- 
Btructions  that  they  should  be  roasted  and  carefully  prepared 
as  if  for  being  eaten.  If  it  should  be  asked  what