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out from St. Valery with a numerous fleet, but the
exact number of ships and soldiers is not known.
He landed on the coast of Sussex Oct. 14, 1066, and
soon after was fought in that country the famous
battle of Hastings, which alone decided the fate of

Conquest of England. 273

England. The English, with King Harold at their
head, and the Normans, commanded by their duke,
engaged for twelve hours together. The cavalry,
who fought in armor, and began to be looked upon
everywhere else as the chief strength of an army,
does not appear to have been made use of in this
battle. The chiefs fought on foot ; King Harold and
his two brothers were slain, and the conqueror
marched to London, having a consecrated banner,
which he had received from the pope, carried before
him. This banner was as a standard, to which all the
bishops flocked, and declared unanimously in his
favor. They came to the gates, attended by the mag-
istrates of the city, and made him the tender of a
crown, which they were not in a condition to refuse
to a conqueror.

William knew equally as well how to govern as
to conquer, and signalized his reign by extinguish-
ing rebellions, frustrating invasions, and enacting,
and severely executing rigorous laws. The ancient
Britons, the Danes, and Anglo-Saxons, lay now,
all confounded, in the same state of slavery. His
brave Normans, who had assisted him in his con-
quest, were rewarded by him with the lands of the
conquered. Hence came that multitude of Norman
families whose descendants, or at least their names,
still exist in England. He caused an exact list to
be taken of all the goods of his subjects, of whatever
nature ; and by this artful management, writers tell
us, he raised a revenue of four hundred thousand
Vol. 2418

274 Ancient and Modern History.

pounds of the then English sterling money, which
would make five millions sterling of the present
money of that country, and about a hundred
millions of our French livres. But it is plain that
historians are greatly mistaken in this account ; for
the revenue of England, which now includes Scot-
land and Ireland, does not all amount to so much, if
we deduct what is levied for the payment of the
national debt : this, however, is certain, that William
abolished all the ancient laws of the country to make
way for those of Normandy. He, moreover, ordered
that all pleadings should be in the Norman language ;
and all the public acts continued to be issued in that
language, till the time of Edward the Third. William
was resolved that the language of the conquerors
should be that of the country, and schools for teach-
ing the Norman tongue were established in all the
towns and villages. This language was a mixture
of the French and Danish ; which formed a barbar-
ous dialect, that had not the least advantage over
that spoken in England. He is said not only to have
treated the conquered nation with severity, but even
affected a whimsical and capricious kind of tyranny ;
as an instance of which they allege his law called
the curfew or covre-feu, by which he obliged the
people at the sound of a bell to put out the fires in
their houses at eight o'clock in the evening. But this
law was so far from being an act of tyranny that it is
an ancient policy established in almost all the cities
in the North, and was for a long time observed in

Conquest of England. 275

cloisters. The houses were all built of wood, and the
fear of fire made it the principal concern of the
magistracy to prevent, by all possible means, acci-
dents of that kind.

He is also reproached with having destroyed all
the villages within the compass of thirty miles, to
make a forest, in which he might take the diversion
of hunting: but such an action is too absurd to be
probable. Writers who relate this do not consider
that it would require at least twenty years to make
a new plantation a proper place for hunting. They
tell us he planted this forest in 1080, when he was
fifty-three years old. Now, is it probable that a man
of any understanding should, at such an age, have
destroyed so many villages, to sow a tract of land of
thirty miles in length with trees in hopes of one day
hunting in it ?

The conqueror of England became the terror of
Philip I., king of France, who endeavored too late
to humble this powerful vassal; and fell upon
Maine, at that time dependent on the duchy of Nor-
mandy. William, upon the news of this, crossed the
sea, recovered Maine, and compelled Philip to sue
for peace.

The pretensions of the Church of Rome never
showed themselves in a more singular manner than
with regard to this prince. Pope Gregory VII. took
advantage of the time in which he was engaged in a
war with France to require homage of him for the
kingdom of England, founding his pretensions on the

276 Ancient and Modern History.

ancient Peter's pence, which had been paid by that
kingdom to the Church of Rome, amounting to about
three livres of our money for each house, which had
been always considered in England as a very bounti-
ful donation, and at Rome as a tribute. William
the Conqueror gave the pope to understand that he
might possibly continue this offering, but that, so far
from paying him homage, he would forbid his people
of England to acknowledge any other pope than
whom he should approve. Thus Gregory VII.'s pro-
posal became ridiculous by being too insolent. This
is the same Gregory who disturbed all Europe with
his attempts to raise the sacerdotal dignity above the
imperial one. But, before we come to speak of this
memorable dispute, and of the Crusades, which had
birth much about the same time, we must take a short
view of the other countries of Europe.



RUSSIA had embraced Christianity towards the end
of the eighth century. At this time women seemed
destined to convert kingdoms. A sister of the
emperors Basil and Constantine, who was married to
the father of that czar Jaraslau of whom I have
already made mention, prevailed upon her husband
to receive baptism. The Russians, always the slaves
of their sovereign, followed his example; but

Europe. 277

adopted only the superstitious part of the Greek

About that time also a woman induced Poland
to embrace Christianity ; Micislaus, duke of Poland,
being- converted by his wife, sister to the duke of
Bohemia. I have already observed that the Bul-
garians received the faith in the same manner.
Gisella, sister to the emperor Henry, also made her
husband, the king of Hungary, a Christian in the
first year of the eleventh century: so that it is an
undoubted truth that one-half of Europe is indebted
to women for its knowledge of Christianity.

The Swedes, who had received the Gospel as early
as the ninth century, were relapsed into idolatry.
Bohemia, and all the countries north of the Elbe,
renounced Christianity in 1013; and the inhabi-
tants of all the east coast of the Baltic Sea were
pagans. In 1407, the Hungarians returned again to
idolatry. But all these nations were still farther
from being civilized than they were from being

Sweden, which probably had for a long time been
exhausted of its inhabitants by those ancient emi-
grations with which Europe had been overrun,
appeared in the eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh
centuries to be wholly buried in barbarism ; without
having war or commerce with its neighbors, and
wholly unconcerned in any of the great events of the
times, by which it was in all likelihood so much the

278 Ancient and Modern History.

Poland, much more barbarous than Christian, pre-
served till the thirteenth century all the customs of
the ancient Sarmatii; killing their children that
were born with any imperfection, and the old men
who were unfit for labor. From this we may form a
judgment of the rest of the North.

The empire of Constantinople was neither more
nor less extended than we have seen it in the ninth
century. It defended itself in the West against the
Bulgarians, and in the East, the North, and the
South against the Turks and Arabs.

We have seen in general the state of Italy. A cer-
tain number of great lords divided between them the
whole country, from Rome to the Calabrian Sea ; and
the Normans had the greatest part of the East. Flor-
ence, Milan, and Pavia were governed by magis-
trates under the counts or dukes nominated by the
emperors. Bologna indeed enjoyed a state of greater

The house of Maurienne, from whence the dukes
of Savoy, kings of Sardinia, are descended, began
now to raise itself. It possessed, as a fief of the
empire, the hereditary county of Savoy and Mauri-
enne, ever since Humbert the White-Handed, the
stock of this family, had, in the year 888, obtained
that small detached portion of the kingdom of Bur-

The Swiss and Grisons, also detached from the
same kingdoms, were under the government of
bailiffs nominated by the emperors.

Europe. 279

Two maritime cities of Italy now began to rise,
not by those sudden invasions which have alone
constituted the rights of almost all the princes who
have passed in review before us; but by a wise
industry, which afterwards degenerated into the
spirit of conquest. These two cities were Genoa
and Venice. Genoa, which had been famous during
the time of the Romans, considered Charlemagne as
her restorer; that emperor having rebuilt the city
some time after it had been destroyed by the Goths.
It was governed by counts under Charlemagne and
his first descendants ; but, in the tenth century, was
sacked by the Mahometans, and almost all its citi-
zens carried into slavery. But, being a trading
port, it was quickly repeopled ; and commerce, which
had first made it flourish, served to re-establish its
former grandeur. It then became a republic, and took
Corsica from the Arabians, who had made them-
selves masters of it. The pope exacted a tribute
from that island, not only on account of being for-
merly in possession of some patrimonies there, but
as pretending to be lord paramount of all the king-
doms conquered from the infidels. The Genoese
paid this tribute at the beginning of the eleventh cen-
tury, but soon after they freed themselves from
it under the pontificate of Lucius II. At length,
their ambition increasing with their riches, from
merchants they aimed at being conquerors.

The city of Venice, not by far so ancient as
Genoa, affected the empty honor of a more ancient

280 Ancient and Modern History.

liberty, at the time they enjoyed the solid glory of a
much superior power. This was at first the retreat
of a few fishermen and fugitives who, in the begin-
ning of the fifth century, had fled from the Goths
when they ravaged all Italy. There was then no
city, only a few cabins on the borders of the Rialto,
the name of Venice being then unknown. This
Rialto was so far from being free that for upwards
of thirty years it was a sorry village belonging to the
city of Padua, which governed it by consuls. The
vicissitudes of human affairs afterwards brought
Padua under the dominion of Venice.

We have no proof that Venice enjoyed any
acknowledged liberty under the kings of Lombardy.
It is more probable that the inhabitants lay for-
gotten in their marshes.

The Rialto and its small neighboring islands did
not begin to be governed by magistrates of their own
until the year 709. They then became independent
of Padua, and considered themselves as a republic.

It was in the year 709 that they had their first
doge, who was only a tribune of the people, elected
by the citizens. There are many families still exist-
ing who gave their voices to the first doge. They
are the most ancient nobles in Europe, without
excepting any; which proves that nobility may be
acquired without possessing a castle, or paying for
patents to a sovereign.

Heraclea was the first seat of this republic till
the death of its first doge ; and it was not till the end

Europe. 281

of the ninth century that these islanders, retiring
further into their warrens, gave to this assemblage
of small islands, which formed a town, the name
of Venice, from the name of that coast, which was
called Terra Venetorum. The inhabitants of these
marshes soon found it would be impossible to sub-
sist without commerce: thus necessity proved the
basis of their grandeur. It is not yet certainly
decided whether this little republic was at that time
entirely independent. We find Berenger for some
time acknowledged emperor in Italy, granting, in
the year 950, licence to the doge to coin money. And
these doges were obliged to send annually to the
emperors, by way of service, a mantle of cloth of
gold ; but Otho III., in the year 998, excused them
from paying this petty kind of tribute. But these
slight marks of vassalage did not in the least dimin-
ish the real power of Venice ; for, while its people
paid a mantle of cloth of gold to the emperors, they
acquired, by their riches and their arms, the whole
province of Istria, and almost all the coast of Dal-
matia, Spalatro, Ragusa, and Narenza. Their doge,
about the middle of the ninth century, took the title
of duke of Dalmatia. But the republic was far
less enriched by these conquests than by its trade,
in which it even surpassed the Genoese : for, while
the barons of Germany and France were building
prisons and enslaving the subject, Venice got their
money by furnishing them with all the commodities
of the East. The Mediterranean was already cov-

282 Ancient and Modern History.

ered with its ships, and it grew rich and flourishing
by the ignorance and barbarism of the northern
nations of Europe.



SPAIN was still divided between the Mahometans
and the Christians ; but the latter did not possess a
fourth part, and even that the most barren corner
of the whole country. The dominions of the Chris-
tians were Asturias, the princes of which took
the title of kings of Leon; a part of Old Castile
governed by counts; Barcelona, and one half of
Catalonia, also subject to counts; Navarre, which
had a king, and a part of Aragon which had for some
time been united to Navarre. The Moors possessed
Portugal, Murcia, Andalusia, Valentia, Granada,
Tortosa, and a tract of country stretching into the
midst of the kingdom beyond the mountains of
Castile and Saragossa. The Moorish kings always
kept their residence at Cordova, where they had
built that large mosque whose roof is supported by
three hundred and sixty-five columns of curious
marble, and which the Christians still continue to
call la Mosquito, i. e., the mosque, though now used
as a cathedral.

Spain and the Moors. 283

Here the arts flourished, and the court of the
Moorish king was the centre of gallantry, magnifi-
cence, and the choicest pleasures. Tournaments and
tiltings probably owed their invention to these
Moors. They had also shows and theatres, which,
rude as they were, served at least to show that they
were more civilized than the other nations round
about them. Cordova was the only place in the West
where geometry, astronomy, chemistry, and physic,
were cultivated. Sancho the Fat, king of Leon, was
obliged to make a journey to Cordova in 956 to put
himself under the care of a famous Arabian physi-
cian, who, invited by the king, resolved that the king
should come to him.

Cordova is a most delightful country, watered by
the Guadalquivir, and where groves of citrons,
oranges, and pomegranates perfume the air, and
everything invites to the softer pleasures. Luxury
and effeminacy at last corrupted the Moorish kings.
Their dominions were in the tenth century like those
of almost all the Christian princes, divided into petty
states. Toledo, Murcia, Valentia, and even Huesca,
had their kings. This was the only time for crush-
ing this divided power ; but the Christians of Spain
were still more disunited. They were perpetually
at war among themselves, joined together only to
betray each other, and frequently even made alliances
with the Moors. Alphonso V., king of Leon, in the
year 1000, gave his sister Theresa in marriage to
Sultan Abdala, king of Toledo.

284 Ancient and Modern History.

Jealousies produce greater crimes among petty
princes than among great sovereigns. War alone
is capable of deciding the fate of great empires, but
surprisals, treachery, assassinations, and poisonings,
are the more common weapons of rival neighbors,
who, having much ambition and few means of grati-
fying it, have recourse to every art that can supply
the place of strength. Thus, at the end of the tenth
century, Sancho Garcia, count of Castile, poisoned
his own mother, and his son, Don Garcia, was
stabbed by three noblemen of that country as he was
going to be married.

In fine, in the year 1035, Ferdinand, son of San-
cho, king of Navarre and Aragon, re-united to his
dominions Old Castile, which had devolved to his
family by the murder of this Don Garcia, together
with the kingdom of Leon, which he took from his
brother-in-law, whom he slew in battle.

Castile became a kingdom in 1036, and Leon one
of its provinces. This same Ferdinand, not satisfied
with having robbed his brother-in-law of his crown
and his life, took Navarre likewise from his own
brother, whom he caused to be assassinated in a bat-
tle which he fought against him. This is the Fer-
dinand on whom the Spaniards have bestowed the
name of Great, surely only to render infamous a title
too often lavished on usurpers and murderers.

His father, Don Sancho, also surnamed the Great,
for having succeeded to the counts of Castile, and
having married one of his sons to the princess of

Spain and the Moors. 285

Asturias, caused himself to be proclaimed emperor ;
upon which Ferdinand resolved also to assume that
title. It is certain that there neither is, nor evei;
can be, any title peculiar to sovereigns but such as
they please to take themselves, or that custom gives
them. The title of emperor everywhere signified the
heir to the Caesars, and master of the Roman Empire,
or at least one who pretended to be so : it can hardly
therefore be thought that this could be the distin-
guishing mark of a prince whose power was but ill
established, and who governed only a fourth part of

The emperor Henry III. humbled the pride of
this Castilian, by requiring him to do him homage for
his small dominions as a fief of the empire. It is
difficult to say which of the two pretensions was the
most idle, that of the German emperor, or that of
the Spaniard. These empty notions, however, had
no effect, for Ferdinand's dominions still remained
a little free kingdom.

In the reign of this Ferdinand lived Rodriguez, or
Roderick, called the Cid, who actually married Chi-
mene, whose father he had murdered. Those who
know nothing of this history, but from the tragedy
so famous in the last age, suppose that King Fer-
dinand was in possession of Andalusia.

The Cid began his famous exploits by assisting
Don Sancho, Ferdinand's eldest son, to strip his
brothers and sisters of the inheritance left them by
their father ; but Sancho being murdered in one of

286 Ancient and Modern History.

these unjust expeditions, his brothers entered again
into the possession of their estates in 1073.

There were at that time near twenty kings in
Spain, some Christians, some Mahometans; and
besides these twenty kings, there was a considerable
number of independent lords, who came on horse-
back completely armed, and followed by several
squires, to offer their service -to the princes and
princesses who were engaged in wars. This cus-
tom, which at that time obtained throughout all
Europe, was nowhere held in greater credit than in
Spain. The princes with whom these knights
engaged girded them with a belt, and presented them
with a sword, with which they gave them a slight
blow on the shoulder. The Christian knights added
other ceremonies to their dubbing, in particular that
of watching their arms all night before the altar of
the Virgin. The Mussulmans were content with
girding on a scimitar. This was the origin of
knights-errant, and of such numbers of single com-
bats ; the most celebrated of which was that fought
after the death of King Sancho, who was assas-
sinated while he was besieging his sister Ouraca in
the city .Zamora. Three knights maintained the
honor of the infanta against Don Diego de Lara,
by whom she was accused. They fought by turns in
a place railed in, and in presence of judges on either
side. Don Diego overthrew and killed two of the
infanta's knights, and the horse of the third having
the reins of his bridle cut, and running away with

Spain and the Moors. 287

his master out of the lists, the combat was adjudged
to be undecided.

Of all this number of knights the Cid distin-
guished himself the most against the Moors. Several
knights ranged themselves under his banner, and
all together, with their squires and the horsemen,
composed an army covered with iron, and mounted
on the most beautiful steeds in the country. The
Cid overcame several petty Moorish kings, and, hav-
ing at last fortified himself in the city of Alcazar,
he there erected a little sovereignty.

Afterwards he persuaded his master, Alphonso
VI., king of Old Castile, to undertake the siege of
the city of Toledo, offering him the assistance of all
his knights for that expedition. The noise of this
siege, and the Cid's reputation, brought many
knights and princes from France and Italy, particu-
larly Raymond, count of Toulouse, and two princes
of the blood of France, of the branch of Burgundy.
The Moorish king, named Hiaja, was the son of
Al-Mamun, one of the most generous princes re-
corded in history. This Al-Mamun had given an
asylum in Toledo to this very king Alphonso, when
persecuted by his brother Sancho. They had lived
together for a long time in strict friendship, and Al-
Mamun was so far from detaining him when, after
the death of Sancho, he became king, and conse-
quently more to be feared, that he gave him part of
his treasures; and it is said that they both shed
tears at their separation. Several of the Moorish

288 Ancient and Modern History.

princes went out of the city to reproach Alphonso
with his ingratitude toward his benefactor, and more
than one remarkable combat was fought under the
walls of Toledo.

This siege lasted a whole year 1085 at the
end of which Toledo capitulated, but on condition
that the Moors should be treated in the same man-
ner as the Christians had formerly been, and left to
the free exercise of their religion and laws. A prom-
ise which was at first kept, but which time after-
wards caused to be broken. All New Castile at last
yielded to the Cid, who took possession of it in the
name of Alphonso ; and Madrid, a small place, that
was one day to be the capital of Spain, came then
for the first time into the hands of the Christians.

Several families came from France to settle in
Toledo, and had several privileges granted them,
which are still called in Spain the franchises. King
Alphonso, immediately upon the reduction of Toledo,
called an assembly of bishops, which, without the
concurrence of the people, formerly thought neces-
sary, promoted a priest named Bernard to the bishop-
ric of Toledo; and Pope Gregory VII., at the king's
request, made him prince of Spain. The Church
reaped almost the whole advantage of this conquest ;
but the primate was imprudent enough to abuse this
by violating the conditions which his master had
granted to the Moors. By the articles of capitula-
tion the great mosque was to remain in possession
of the Mahometans, but the archbishop, in the king's

Spain and the Moors. 289

absence, converted it into a church ; by which impru-
dent act he stirred up a rebellion against him.
Alphonso returns to Toledo, justly irritated against
the prelate for his indiscretion, appeases the tumult,
and restores the mosque to the Moors, threatening at
the same time to punish the archbishop; but pri-
vately prevailed upon the Mahometans to petition
for his pardon, which was granted him at their
request : and thus the insurrection was quelled, and
everything restored to order.

Alphonso, either through policy or inclination,
added to the dominions he had acquired by the valor
of the Cid, in marrying Zaid, daughter of Benadat,
the new Moorish king of Andalusia, with whom
he received several towns in dowry.

He is reproached with having, in conjunction with

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