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ence were of great importance in the part which he now resolved to act.

. ' In deposing Childeric, and assuming to himself the august title of-king, he considered that the sanction of the pope might diminish the scruples of the people, and convey the crown to him with a religious weight, which might fix k on his head with a firmness equal to that of family and hereditary descent.

'He had cultivated a close intercourse with Zachary, the reigning pope. He often consulted him about ecclesiastical affairs, and caused his answers to be read to the clergy, and to be observed by them with respect and submission. This both gratified the pope, and accustomed the clergy and people to reverence and obey him.

* Zachary, on the other hand, like his predeccssor,was involved in the controversy respecting image worship, and was threatened by the arm* of both the emperor and the king of the Lombards. The emperor was at the head of the Iconoclasts ; the Lombards were Arians; Spain was now subject to the Saracens; and a great part of Germany was still idolatrous. Zachary could place his hope of protection and aid in France alone. He had formeily solicited these without effect, and only waited a more favourable juncture for repeating and enforcing his requests. None could be more favourable than that which was now presented to him. In bestowing or confirming a crown, he might hope for his protection at least on whom he conferred ic. He saw, beside.;, that such an interposition of his authority must increase the importance and influence of the Holy See, and lay a precedent for future interferences of the like nature in the civil and political affairs of Europe.

* At the 6ame time, Pepin proceeded with the utmost delicacy and caution in proposing the matter to him. He knew the importance of a first impression, and was anxious that it should be favourable. Having gained Boniface, bishop of Mayence, the most zealous and popular of all tht clergy, and the most intimate with Zachary, he entrusted to him the communication of his design.

* He was not kept long in suspence. His proposal, he was assured, had been well received at Rome. He now therefore more openly and formally deputed the bishop of Virsburgh, and the abbot of St. Denis, to propose as a case of conscience, which required the judgment and sanction of the highest and most sacred authority, " Whether, considering the present state of Europe, it were expedient that the nominal, and real source of authority in the French empire, should be divided? Or, considering the incapacity of Childeric, the lustre of Pepin's family for a century pa3t, and his own high reputation, whether, having been so long in possession of all power, he ought now actually to assume the rank and title of king."

« The case having been duly examined by the pope, he returned the following judgment: "That having considered the whole circumstances of the subject proposed to him, he was satisfied that he who is in possession of the reins of government, may also assume the name of king."

• Matters being so far prepared, Pepin next assembled the states of the kingdom, a great part of whom also were in the secret. The


business was introduced, and conducted by his friends. They 6tated the services which his family had rendered to the empire, the peace and prosperity which it now enjoyed under his administration, the danger to which it might be exposed from the Saracens, or the tributary nations now overawed by his vigilance and authority: that to secure the tranquillity of the state, and the happiness of the people, it was highly prudent and justifiable to confer on real ability and worth, the reward due to so many inestimable services: in a word, that it was their interest and their duty to request the noble Pepin's consent, that his title of duke may be changed into that of king of France; that there was no real obstacle; Childeric should be provided for, suitably to his rank andcapacity: that the case, as far as religion and conscience wt re concerned, had been examined by the lather of the Christian church, and that he, judging it to be for the interest of both church and slate, had advised the calling of this assembly, and the communication of this measure, for their deliberation and decision.

• His friends applauded the scheme; others readily joined their approbation. They expressed their decision by a general acclamation. Measures were taken without delay for the solemn inauguration ; Pepin was crowned and proclaimed king of France, and placed, with his queen Bet trade, formally tfn the throne.

'To give the more solemnity to his inauguration, and to render his person and royalty the more sacred, Bonitace archbishop of Mavence, and the pope's legate, who attended on this occasion, anointed' and consecrated him, after the manner of the kings of Israel. This ceremony, observed now probably for the first time in France, became customary thenceforward at the coronation of the French kings.

• A suitable account of this event, the reasons of it, the pope's opinion and approbation of is, and the unanimous act of the assembly, were all industriously published and circulated over the empire, aud every one seems to have participated in the general joy.

'Childeric, dethroned and deserted, was shaved, and conducted to a monastery, where he died about three or four years after. He had one son, who was in like manner withdrawn from a public and political, to a retired and religious state.'

The author now proceeds to give a view of the transactions in which Pepin was engaged; these he states with clearness and impartiality, and concludes with the following short character of that prince:

• No man in so elevated and active a station, and especially in cir« cumstances so critical as attended the revolution in his favour, ever maintained a character, either considered personally or politically, . more irreproachable, or more highly respectable than Pepin. His prud nee was remarkable even to a proverb. In the field, in the council, in the assembly of the people, his opinion was usually solicited, and readily followed. His plans, his decisions, his enterprises, all his measures, were wise and successful.

'Few princes gave so great a share in the administration to the nobles; but the more he condescended, the greater authority and


real dignity he acquired. No faction disturbed his government, or* ever appeared to disquiet his mind. He ascended the throne without bloodshed, and rcigntd without exciting the groan of oppression.

'He appears to have possessed that well-balanced mind which was not indifferent to any circumstance, but deliberately judged of every step which he pursued. He had quick feelings, and an acute discernment; but his sensibility was regulated by his prudence. Though his habitual thoughtlulness gave an expression of gravity to his temper and manner, he entered cheerfully, and with good humour, into the occasional mirth of his company, and all the ordinary amusement* of the times.

* His body was short, but stout and vigorous. At a public show, while a strong lion held a furious bull by the throat almost strangled, he proposed that Fome of the company should step forward ar.d reccue him. No one daring to attempt it, he rose from his seat, leaped on the stage, cut the throat of the lion, and with one stroke of his sabre cut off the head of the bull; then turning to tl:c company, said, "David was a little man, who slew Goliah; Alexander also was but of little stature, yet had he more strength and courage than many of his officers, who were taller and handsomer than himself."

With the death of Charlemagne, the first chapter cf the present volume is closed. As the events of his reign have been frequently discussed, we shall only introduce the author's character of this illustrious prince,'under whom the kingdom of France attained its greatest extent and power; referring our readers to the IXth vol. of Mr. Gibbon's history (p. 174.) for the different lights in which he has represented the same personage.

* Charlemagne was of a robust and firm constitution, rather above the common stature. His person was altogether manly and majestic; hi;) countenance open and agreeable; his eyes large, lively, and engaging; his note aquiline, and his voice clear, though, considering his size, rather feeble.

* His mental talents were more solid tha:i brilliant. A comprehensive and clear understanding, improved by experience, rendered his judgment decisive, and his resolution firm. His mind atid habits .. were formed for extensive business. He accounted it no trouble to rise during the night from his bed, to exercise authority in civil matters; and he often administered justice, or gave orders to tike various officers of state, when he was dressing himself. His just discernment of human characer made him generally happy in the choice of his public officers, and of course almost uniformly successful in his military enterprises, as well as in his ordinary civil administration. He formed his plans with sagacity and prudence, began them with caution, and in their execution was determined and vigorous.

'As a monarch, there is no doubt that he shed much blood. Some apology, however, may be made for him. In every case where he engaged in war, he seems to have done it from a sense of duty. Ambition certainly mingled its influence; for men, even in their purest and best state, arc seldom influenced by single motives, and it aannot


be denied that he was ambitious. In the Italian wars, to which he was called by the bishop of Rome, he appeared to be discharging the duty which he owed to the church -and religion, in protecting her against her enemieF. In the Spanish war, to which also he was incited by the princes of that country, he appeared as the protector of the oppressed, and as strengthening the barrier of the church on that side against the infidels, so formidable in preceding reigns. The turbulence of the people, or of their prince?, in Aquitaine, Bavaria, Saxony, and other parts of Germany, seems always to have been the occasion of the wars and severities with which he visited them. Though these reasons may not altogether justify him, they ought to have alleviated a little the acrimony with which some writers have treated bis character.

4 As a man, he was humane and generous. He exercised mercy and conipassiou, as far as was consistent with justice and wise policy. This temper indeed being sometimes abused, was the cause of subsequent severities. Both hi3 friends and enemies carried their trust in his forbearance and for«iveness to an extreme, and thereby provoked his just resentment. His donations were frequent, liberal, and cheerfully bestowed; yet he has been reckoned 3 strict economist It was probably his attention to economy, among other circumstances, which enabled him to be so extensively and so heartily liberal. He seldom enriched those who served him, but he generally pleased them. His manner was so affable and obliging that it gave a double value to every thing he said or did.

'He was so illiterate in the earlier part of his life, that he could not write even his own name. Princes were not allowed ordinary education, lest it should enervate them, and disqualify them for the business of war. Yet he was fond of learning and learned men. He gave the utmost encouragement to the literature of the times. He mvited Alcuin, a famous teacher, from England, and by his directions instituted schools and philosophical academies. Schools, with proper masters from Italy, and other places where they could be found, were ordained to be opened in all the cathedral churches and rich abacies; so that before his death the ecclesiastics began to understand the holy scriptures, arrd the monks their psalter.

'According to the sense in which religion was understood in those times, he appears through the whole of iris life to have been j)ious arrd devout. He was attentive to ritual worship, and to religious men ; and like his predecessors, erected many sacred edifices. .His moral conduct corresponded to his religious principles, aud to the rude laws by which society was then regulated *.

* * Eginhart, c. To. delicately alludes to a suspicion of scandal,

or disorders in his family. Speaking of his daughters, he says,

"Quae cum piilcherrimsc essent, et ab eo plurimum djligeicntur,

mirurn dictu quod nullam earum cuiquam aut suorum, aut exterorum

nuptum dare voluit; sed omnes secum usque ad obitum suum in domo

sua retinuit, dicens sc earum contubcrniocarere non posse, ac propter

hoc, licet alias felix, adverse fortinix malignitatem expertus est, ouqd

tamen ita dissimulavit, ac si de \\i nunquam alicujus probri suspicio

01 ta, vel fama dispersa fuisiet."


'He was buried at Aix la Chapelle. His bndy was embalmed, and placed in a vault on a throne of gold, having on the Imperial robes, above a hair cloth vest which he was accustomed to wear. A richly ornamented sword lay by his aide, with a pilgrim's sciip, which he used in going to Rome. He held the gospels in his hand, written in letters ot gold. His head was adorned with a chain of gold in the form of a diadem, enclosing a piece of wood of the true cross. Hi« face was covered with a handkerchief. A golden sceptre and buckler hung before him. The sepulchre being tilled with riches and perfumes, was securely shut and sealed, and over it was erected a gilded arch with the following inscription:

"Sub hoc Conditorio situm est Corpus Karoli Magni, atque orthodoxi Imperatoris, Qui Regnum Francorum nobiliter ampliavitr et per annos 47 feliciter rcxit. Decessit Septuagenariua Anno ab Incarnatione Domini DCCCX1V. Indictione VII. V. KAL. FEBRUARIAS *.*'

In the chapter allotted to the consideration of the religion of this period, we meet with many curious particulars. The account of the Arian heresy, and of the Nestorian and Eutychian controversies, is related with fairness and impartiality, and is replete with interest. The following enumeration of the rule3 by which a female monastery, in the sixth century, was governed, will probably amuse our readers: •

• St. Caesar, bishop of Aries, about A. D. 507, founded a female monastery or nunnery at Ailes. As it is one of the first in France of whose regulations we have a distinct account, a summary of them will serve to shew the general nature of the institution.

« Widows, and children above six years of age, were admitted after a year's probation. They were strictly shut up in the mona•tery, and secluded from all worldly intercourse. They were neither allowed to go out, nor was any person permitted to come in to them, not even into the church whither they went to worship, excepting the clergy of approved reputation, who were necessary for conducting the religious service.

• The abbess, or head of the monastery, attended by two or three of the sisterhood, might occasionally receive a visit, but was prohibited from offering either meat or drink to any one, even to the bishop.

• No one was allowed to have any property; all things were common. The abbess herself was not allowed a servant; they all served themselves, and helped one another. They had each a bed, but slept together, old and young, in the same chamber. They were allowed no means of concealment, r.o repository, not even a chest, press, or drawer, in which to lock up any thing peculiar or valuable. Their beds were simple, without any ornament. They made their own clothes, which were white and plain woollen. Their head-dress, or cap, was restricted to the height of an inch and two lines.

• They were tasked daily, but forbidden to work embroidery, or to bleach their garments, assume any ornament, or accommodate

'* Eginhait in lit. Car. Magui.'


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