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us, was perhaps intended to convey all Neustria
except Armorica.

Charles demurred, but requested Lothair to
spare their brother, Louis-le-Germanique, who
now was in distress. Whilst he was uniting the
Germans under his banner, the Sclavonians were
rising against him, and the Northmen, hovering
round the coasts, and filling the channel with
their vessels, encreased the dread and confusion.

But Charles was young, conciliating, accom-

Charles-le- .. . .

chauve pushed, gentle, and yet possessing great nrmness.
in influ- He had prospered under his adversities, he gained
over the affections of many of the nobility and


chieftains, was successful in conciliating the fickle 824987
Aquitanians, withdrawing a portion of the waver- ^_I_
ing chieftains from Pepin, and compelling the
submission of the worthless Bernard, Count of
Septimania, who had latterly revolted from his
old patron and master Louis-le-debonnaire, and
supported the adverse party. Not long after-
wards this faithless and depraved man, who had
caused so much evil to his country, being in-
volved in some further treason, was put to death
by Charles-le-Chauve.

20. Louis-le-Germanique now desired to 84i.
ally himself to his brother Charles : the latter

-,.-, ,. . i i TT n of Charles.

had gained and inspired confidence. Having well He occu-
considered his plan of campaign, he prepared to
cross the Seine, and establish his authority in
Paris, a position of which the importance was
now fully appreciated by all parties. The passage
of the river was disputed by Lothair's adherents
amongst the nobles, but the Merchants, the
Corporation, as we should say, of Paris, assisted
Charles. By their advice he marched to Rouen,
and took possession of a fleet of vessels lying
off the city in the ample Seine, and probably
intended to co-operate with the coast-guard of
the estuary below. He then occupied Paris and charies-ie-

,... iiii' i r Chauve at

the adjoining country, lodged himself in the Paris.
Palais des Thermes, and celebrated the Paschal
feast before the altars of Saint- Germain and


824987 Splendour, show and finery distinguished the
Franks, priests, warriors or kings. In after life
no monarch delighted himself more in magnifi-
to cence than Charles-le-Chauve ; but he was now
unwillingly reduced to a state of squalid sim-
plicity. So hasty had been the march of Charles
and his troop, that the young General-King had
brought nothing with him on his horse save his
armour, and the single suit of clothes all dusty and
sordid which he wore. Beggarly apparel ill be-
fitted Pdque-fleurie, the joyous vernal festival ;
but there was no wardrobe, and thus on Easter
Eve, having risen from the bath for these deli-
cate and luxurious Roman customs prevailed,
and long continued to prevail in the Gauls, he
could only prepare to put on again the soiled
and faded clothing he had put off, when at the
very moment there came up, unbidden and unex-
pectedly, a small detachment, a manipulus from
Aquitaine, bearing crown, sceptre, mantle ; and
the noble young king appeared before the Paris-
ians and the Army in the full paraphernalia of

Such an unexpected change in outward cir-
cumstances excited equal wonder and delight. A
reassumption of royal state, contrived and pre-
meditated, would not have had much moral effect;
but the unforeseen accident, accepted as a happy
omen, gave new courage to the adherents of the
young King.


This incident is minutely related by one who 824937
was present, Charlemagne's grandson, the histo- Z^dX
rian Count Nithard ; and inasmuch as he deemed
the matter of great importance, it becomes so to
us ; we must accept the wares at the market-
price of the day. That the regalia should have
been conveyed so speedily and safely to Paris
from such a " vast distance" per tot terrarum
spatia they probably had been deposited at
Toulouse excites Nithard's peculiar thankful-
ness and astonishment, and not without reason
The transit was really very difficult. They had
to traverse central France, over and amongst
the crags and lava- streams and mounds of fresh
scoria, intersecting mountainous Vivarais and
Auvergne, ejected during the tremendous erup-
tions which, in the fifth century, had encreased
the terrors of the Gothic invasions Even in the
reign of Louis-Quatorze so imperfect were the
means of communication, that during a season of
scarcity north of the Loire, it was found im-
practicable to supply Paris from the harvests of
the fertile Limagne.

21. Lothair's policy was always peculiarly

tortuous. Availing himself of the paltry passions against
and inclinations of men, he was fully bent on the
destruction of his brother Louis, so earnestly and
determinately, that he, whilome a parricide in
intent, was now in heart a fratricide. Adalbert
Count of Metz bore a deadly hatred against


824987 Louis-le-Germanique. Much favoured by Lothair,
^ZHH^ Adalbert had been recently incapacitated by ill-
ness, but he unexpectedly recovered, so as to
promise the means of assisting Lothair's fell
designs. Lothair having promoted Adalbert to
the royal Dukedom of Austrasia, secretly treated
with the troops of Louis : they abandoned their
Sovereign, and, utterly destitute of support, he
retreated to faithful Baioaria, his own land.

The frustration of any coalition, moral, poli-
tical, or military, between Charles and Louis, was
in Lothair's mind, at this juncture, the most im-
portant object he could attain, and he stationed a
large body of troops under Duke Adalbert's com-
mand in Rhsetia, for the purpose of preventing

May is, the union of the allies. But communications had


Louis de- been opened between Charles and Louis ; and
troops of Charles moving westward, Louis in concert with

Lothair. , . 1 , i / T

him advanced consentaneously irom Baioaria,
Triumph- and encountered the imperial troops. They were

ant junc-
tion of thoroughly routed and with great loss, and Adal-

chariesat b er fc was slain, to the extreme gratification of


Louis. The junction so dreaded by Lothair en-
sued at Chalons : the triumph which the two
brothers had gained over the third brother and
their fellow-countrymen excited the greatest re-

In the encampment of the combined armies
there was an universal jubilee ; but there were
others rejoicing more deeply those who had


watched every movement of the inveterate 824-937
brethren, who had entered as heartily as them- ^HIZ^
selves into the interest excited by the suicidal

Whilst Franks and Germans, Austrasians
and Neustrians are exterminating each other, the
Northmen have begun to gather the rich harvest
which, for them, Charlemagne's son and Charle-
magne's grandsons have so diligently prepared.

J 22. England was at this period pestered by The great
the Danish marauders. Ethelwolf, King Alfred's vaskm of


father, whose reign is concurrent with the con-
clusion of the reign of Louis-le-debonnaire and
the first seventeen years of the reign of Charles,
was just able to keep the Danes in check; never-
theless the Heathens became bolder and bolder ;
never daunted, never dispirited. London, Can-
terbury, Rochester, were stormed and pillaged,
and our southern coasts and ports seem to have
been constantly annoyed or occupied by them.

The unity which pervaded the achievements Unity ex.

hibited by

of the pirate-warriors sustained them in all their the general


enterprizes until their mission was fulfilled.
Whatever may have been their internal dissen- ^
sions and enmities, they conducted their enter-
prizes as one people, one nation actuated by
one spirit, having one object in which they all
concurred; and, encouraged by their success in
Britain, they now pursued their enterprises more
fiercely in the Gauls.

Slons -


824987 Henceforward, and until their conflagrations
!ZHZ^ were extinguished, the Gauls and the British
841 islands, the North Sea, the Channel and the At-
lantic coasts, nay, even the Mediterranean, may
be considered as included in one vast scheme
of predatory yet consistent invasion ; and their
systematic assaults, descents, and expeditions,
whether consecutive or simultaneous, accelerated
or delayed, almost indicate a grand design of
rendering Latin Europe their Empire.
Their plan Xhe Northern fleets and vessels, however dis-

of invasion.

persed in action, were always in communication
with each other, so that the several Hosts and
Bands might assist in their mutual exigencies,
or best profit by their mutual good fortunes.
In the British islands as well as on the Conti-
nent their operations were uniform. Fleet after
fleet, squadron after squadron, vessel after vessel,
they sought to crush the country between river
and river or between river and sea, a battue
encircling the prey.
Alterations The littoral has sustained many alterations,

in the le- 1 i i i

veis, &c. of elm and beach, length and level, height and

the coasts,

depth, have changed and interchanged. Esti-
mated according to a general average, w r e may
assert that, bordering on the North sea and the
Channel, and as far as the Scheldt, the land has
gained and the sea has lost : beyond the Scheldt,
the land has lost and the sea has gained. The
bays on the coasts of France and England were


generally much deeper than they are at present, 821937
and the rivers more abundant in water, whether
flowing in the stream, spreading in the sheeted Alt
broad, or stagnating in the marsh. It is v ery^ s e eof
important to notice these facts : such physical nvers> &c>
mutations, rarely recollected by historians, have
been almost universally neglected in historical
geography, a branch of science yet imperfectly
pursued. We have (for example) never seen a
single map of Roman Britain whose delineator
has not joined the isle of Thanet to the Kentish
land. On the Gaulish coasts, the tides, parti-
cularly in the Seine, rose much higher up than
at present ; and many of the existing penin-
sulas which cause the river's sinuous course, en-
creasing the landscape's beauty, were then not
presqu isles, but completely eyots and islands.
The French academicians, who have investigated
these questions with the most conscientious
diligence, leave us in doubt whether the isle
d'Oisselle, a very important and celebrated mili-
tary post during the northern invasions, has not
been obliterated by alluvion.

The facilities thus afforded for penetrating
into the country encouraged the Northmen's des-
perate pertinacity the seas, the blue billows, the
bolgen-Uaa of the Danish ballads, were their home.
Beaten off from the Belgic or Neustrian coast,
they would ply the oar and hoist the black sail
for Essex or Kent, East Anglia or Northumbria.



824987 Discomfited on the northern shores, they darted

, , southwards in search of refuge or of spoil. If

they lost their booty in England, Italy offered

more : if the field were covered with the dead,

Jutland, Denmark, Norway, would send off their

berserkers to replace the slain ; and the slain

were quaffing mead in Valhalla.

84i. Hitherto, however much the Northmen had

The Danish troubled the Prankish Empire, their depredations

were confined to the coasts. The precautions
enters the ' adopted by Louis-le-debomiaire, ill-served and
neglected as he had been by the Franks, were
not fully adequate to repel the Pirates; but he
had sufficiently protected the inland territory.
Never yet had the Pirate vessels floated on the
fresh waters : never had their crews seen the
land on either side.

But immediately after Charles had withdrawn
the Prankish squadron from Rouen, the acute
and active Northmen, who had been watching
their opportunity, occupied the estuary of the

Osker, hitherto undistinguishable amongst the
Danish captains of the Channel fleet, conducted
the expedition : an unusually high tide facilitated
the invasion. On the eve preceding the very day
when Louis cut up and dispersed the Prankish
army under the Duke of Austrasia's command,
did Osker's fleet enter the brimful river. The
Seine flood -tides were then accompanied by a


sudden head or rise of waters, the sea conflicting 824937
with the river, similar to the Eager or eau-guerre, ,
so remarkable in the mouth of the Severn : the
roar could be heard five leagues off. As their
vessels rowed upwards, and the crews contem-
plated the unfolding of the winding shores, how
the prospect must have delighted the Northmen
during this their first navigation of the Seine :
the fruitful fields, thick orchards, the bright,
cheerful, and healthy cliifs, and the succession of
villas, burghs and monasteries, basking securely
in the enjoyment of undisturbed opulence. Gene-
rations had elapsed since the country had been
visited by any calamity, the Northmen had been
kept off, and commerce and agriculture equally
contributed to the people's prosperity. But the
Danish fleet never slackened oar or sail, the
crews never touched the land : they had a great
object in view, they would not halt to plunder
now, lose the tide, not they !

Osker was seeking to secure the booty of
Rouen by a coup-de-main. Gallo-roman Rotho-
magus, and the various suburbs and villages in-
cluded in its modern municipal octroi, constituted
a congeries of islands, another Venice upon
Seine. The ground-plot of the present flourishing Position of
city was either partly occupied or much inter-
sected by the ramifying channels of the river,
as well as by various rivulets, the Renelle, the
Aubette and the Robec, the Roth-bach, or red-



824987 beck, the red stream a name of which the ety-
r- * , mology perplexes the ethnographist, uncertain


whether the Teutonic roots should be claimed
for the Gaulish indwellers, or the Scandinavian
invader. The bed of the Seine came very nigh
the Cathedral ; the Church of Saint Martin de
la Roquette was so called in consequence of its
being built upon a small rock in the middle
of the waters, and the parishes of Saint-Cle-
ment, Saint-Eloi, and Saint-Etienne were insular
likewise. The city was fired and plundered.
Defence was wholly impracticable, and great
slaughter ensued : it was reported that the arch-
bishop was killed. This, however, was not the
case: Gundobald, the Prelate, escaped like the
monks of Saint Ouen, who fled, bearing with
them the relics of the Saint ; but the Monastery,
then standing beyond the city precinct, was
sacked, and the buildings exceedingly damaged.
It is thought, however, by some architectural
antiquaries that the Tour des Clercs, the Ro-
manesque fragment now incorporated with the
exquisitely delicate Flamboyant structure, is a
portion of the apse belonging to the original
14-.16 Basilica. Of the Cathedral, hardly one stone

May. J

Rouen remained upon another ; nor were the injuries

plundered, which the sacred structures of Rouen received

during this invasion effectually repaired, until

the piety of Rollo and the Normans restored

the fabrics their forefathers had destroyed.


Osker's three days' occupation of Rouen was 824937
remuneratingly successful. Their vessels loaded X^CZ^
with spoil and captives, gentle and simple, clerks,
merchants, citizens, soldiers, peasants, nuns, dames,
damsels, the Danes dropped down the Seine, to
complete their devastation on the shores. They
had struck the first blow at the Provincial capi-
tal, and were now comparatively at leisure.

Dagobert and Clothaire's foundation, Jum- 24, 25 May.

. N . / ... ill The Danes

leges, preeminent lor sanctity, was surrounded by atjum-
a large and populous bourgade, which had grown ronte-


up under the fostering protection of the Abbey.
The monks dispersed themselves, after burying
a portion of their treasure. So complete was
the scatteraway, that one of the brethren never
stopped till he reached Saint-Gall. This incident
furnishes an anecdote for the history of melody.
The fugitive bore with him an antiphonarium,
containing various sequences, a rhythmical and
cadenced Church-song, then much in use in the
Northern Gauls. Now, at Saint-Gall, there was a
young monk named Notker, possessing a singular
talent for music : this science he studied deeply ;
and the Neustrian sequences, a style of compo-
sition hitherto unknown there, suggested to him
the composition of others, which produced a
great effect upon the liturgical chant prevailing
during the middle ages.

Below Jumieges the Danish fleet came op-
posite to another monastery dedicated to the


824987 founder, Saint Wandregisilius, whose harsh and
^ZHIZ^ uncouth name has been supplanted by the plea-
santer sounding denomination derived from the
adjoining fountain. Fontenelle was then as flour-
ishing as Jumieges : there were seven churches
clustering together, the monastery was environed
by vineyards and gardens ; and the monks, who
had cleared away the woods, were diligent in every
branch of their calling : their library was amongst
the richest in Neustria. Warned by the example
of Jumieges, the community offered money to
the Danes, and the accepted gift purchased for
them a perilous respite. We become acquainted
with the devastations inflicted upon the monas-
teries, because they possessed historians to com-
memorate them ; but every locality on the shores
of the Seine as well as the adjoining country,
suffered equally from the Danish fury. Most pro-
bably it was during this invasion that Juliabona,
the modern Lillebonne, proud in her temples and
amphitheatre, her marble and gilded statues, was
destroyed, and ruins covered the remains of mag-
nificence, now brought to light again by anti-
quarian zeal. The Danes then quitted the Seine,
having formed their plans for renewing the en-
couraging enterprize, another time they would
do more.- -Normandy dates from Osker's three
days' occupation of Rouen.

23. This terrible and terrifying visitation,
though we trace its influence upon the conduct


of the contending brothers, could not check their 824937
hostilities. Whether the Pagus Rothomagensis ^^CIX
and the other dioceses and provinces ravaged by
Osker, belonged at this juncture to Charles or to
Lothair, neither could give any help or spare any
force for the defence of the country against the
invaders. Charles, however, felt the calamity
keenly. Rouen he claimed, as included in his
own Neustrian realm : compared also with Lo-
thair, he was conscientiously desirous of effecting
a restoration of peace, and entertained a more
lively appreciation of the transgression which
these unnatural dissensions involved. His youth,
instead of being a disadvantage, encreased his
influence ; and however subsequently depressed
by vicissitudes, lapses and misfortunes, he often
retraced some of the noble characteristics which
had adorned his grandsire.

Louis allowed his brother to take the lead Proposal

made them

in the transactions which ensued. Charles and to avert


Lothair were contending less for territory than
for sovereignty, and negociations were com-
menced, prosecuted in good faith by Charles, but
astutely by Lothair : the younger brothers seeking
to obtain a speedy and satisfactory pacification,
the elder, by procrastination, to encrease his
forces and profit by the pressure Charles was sus-
taining. Louis and Charles humbled themselves
before Lothair, but he interpreted their offers into
symptoms of artifice or terror. Each succeeding


824987 proposal they made was rejected or evaded.

, ^ ^ Would Lothair accept all they had in their camp ?
money, gold, jewels, tents, equipments, stores, all
except their horses and arms ? or, as we should
say, allow them to retreat with the honours of
war ? Would he be satisfied with a large encrease
of territory, to be ceded by Louis and Charles,
extending from the Ardennes to the Rhine? If
this was unsatisfactory, let the \vhole of "France"
be divided, and he should choose his share.
Any reasonable concession to obtain quiet for
Church and State, and prevent the shedding of
Christian blood.
Hostile R 24. Lothair had been concentrating his

movements J

b n both ed f rces - The Burgundians from Jura to Rhone
parties. supported him cordially. He relied much upon
the Aquitanians, and the boy Pepin was rapidly
advancing at their head to aid his Emperor-
uncle : Charles had been equally active. To-
84i. wards the end of June the armies both took


June. their positions in the vicinity of Auxerre : Charles
the armies and Louis at Tauriac, Lothair about Fontenay,
cinityof and anxiously, for though Pepin and his con-


tingent were momentarily expected, they had not
come up. Lothair pitched his imperial tent
upon a rising ground, "la montagne des alouettes"
Marshes, copses, and the valley of a small river,
then called the rivulet of the Burgundians, sepa-
rated the armies. Hostilities were suspended by
the negotiations, which continued during three



days. On the third, the mystic eve of Saint John 824937
the Baptist, Charles and Louis renewed their r
offers. Lothair required a delay till the morrow : 23 June
for no other reason, as he asserted, than that he The parley,
might be able to form such a determination as
should be for the common profit and blessing of
them all. This asseveration was solemnly con-
firmed by oath oaths cost him nothing, all
Lothair wanted was to gain a day. Pepin, he
knew, was advancing rapidly, and in the course
of a few hours the tramp of the Aquitanian
cavalry was heard, and the forces joined.

On the Feast of Saint John the Baptist Pepin 24 June.
appeared in the camp at Tauriac, but he had no ^ng e chal
answer to give on the part of Lothair ; and the
brothers then, seeing that there was no hope of
determining the great controversy otherwise than
by force of arms, solemnly summoned Lothair to
abide by the judgment of God. They and their
Host would meet him and his Host in the valley
on the following day, at two hours after mid-
night, when the dark twilight contends with the
dawn : they defied him.

Lothair received the message with insolent
contempt, but gladly accepted the challenge ; and
on the morrow of Saint John the Baptist, the long 25 June.
bright merry summer-day, ensued the direful
battle-strife, kings, nobles, kinsmen, each smiting
against kings, nobles, and kinsmen, with infu- ror
riated antipathy. Louis-le-Germanique directed


824987 the onslaught against Lothair : a second division
was commanded by Charles-le-Chauve, the third
by Count Adelhard. Count Nithardus, the his-
torian who relates the tale we tell, fought in
this division, and he speaks with soldier-like pride
of the service which his sword then rendered,
whilst Angelbert, Count Nithard's brother, was
ranged under the standard of Lothair.

Never since that tremendous battle in the
Catalaunian fields, when Hun and Ostrogoth con-
tended for the mastery, had the Gauls witnessed
equal slaughter. What the Roncesvalles "dolo-
rous rout" appears in romance, Fontenay becomes
in authentic history.

National traditions deplored the loss of an

tions of the

slaughter hundred thousand combatants. Moreover, the

of Fonte-

na ?- custom of Champagne was ever afterwards ap-
pealed to, like the gavel-kind custom of Kent,
as the living record of a boon obtained, though
from a very different cause, the concession made
to affliction, not the reward of steadfastness and
bravery. Champagne possessed a peculiar pri-
vilege derogating from the otherwise universal
maxim of the French law, the doctrine which for-
bade the derivation of nobility from the distaff,
whereas in Champagne, nobility was transmitted
by maternal descent, irrespective of the father's
blood; and this privilege was supposed to have
been bestowed for the purpose of preventing the
otherwise imminent extinction of the aristocracy.




The loss was proportionally severe in both 824937
armies: in both the ranks were equally mown

. J

down by the mutual energy of destruction. Lo-
thair's army was, however, thoroughly routed : the

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