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the Palatial castle of Rollo. They did not re-
alize the words of homage when they spake the
words of homage they thought that the words
were idle words, but idle words are fearful rea-

There was, in fact, no valid excuse which they
could frame for themselves. Supposing, that by
the utmost stretch of charity, they might be in-
duced to doubt whether Louis had premeditated
Guillaume's assassination, they could not avoid
confessing that Louis had become an accessory
after the fact. Common fame convicted the
French nobles of being connivers in the misdeed,
and the French would scarcely have condescended
to evade the accusation. Against the Normans,
the French indulged themselves to the fullest ex-
tent of contemptuous hostility. The concession
of the Terra Normannorum to the son of the


942-954 British concubine had been effected coldly and
, <v__^ sternly. Not merely were all the usual conven-
tional courtesies excluded, but there was an
emphatic manifestation of ungraciousness. A
gratuitous insult was incorporated in the grant
when the royal Chancellor inscribed upon the
record that Richard was a half-caste bastard.
injudicious Moreover, the Normans only asked that

made by Richard should have his own ; and for this they
gency had made the extravagant concession which vir-


tually took away his own from Richard. They
had voluntarily become the royal homagers, dis-
carding Duke Richard's authority. Surely, the
Regency party must have confessed to themselves,
that the indignation of their political opponents
who had disdained such crouching obedience to
the son of Charles-le-Simple had not been roused
unreasonably. If it was true that the royal
homagers had been seduced by the royal bounty,
the greater their degradation ! The more they
dwelt upon the retrospect, the more must their
The ho- self-reproach have become heavier. Richard

mage ren-

was ' * n no w i se > properly reinstated as the repre-

- sentative of his Grandsire. Richard had not


$ts Sintc " obtained any security for his own rights, nor the
Normans either. Not so his wary ancestor.
Rollo had endeavoured to get whatever hold he
could upon the slippery conscience of his adver-
saries, and to render the relation between the
King and the Patrician, and between the French


and the Normans a national compact, in which 912951
there was no superiority conceded to the French Z3XH^
Monarch beyond the points which were safe and
honourable: a Duke acknowledging the Hierarch-
ical precedence due to a crowned and anointed

When Rollo, obeying the directions given by
the Frankish Counsellors, placed his hands be-
tween the hands of King Charles, and became
the King's Man, his homage was counterparted
by the French, aye, and more than counter-
parted. Charles King of France, and Robert
Duke of France, and the Counts and the Pro-
ceres, and the Bishops and the Abbots, had pro-
mised to be faithful to Rollo-Robert in life and (Vol ,_ p>
in limb, and the honour of the realm : and 6
moreover it was solemnly declared that the ter-
ritory, as he held and possessed the same, should
pass to his heirs and descendants from generation
to generation for ever. It is true that no such
covenant was exacted by Guillaume Longue-epee,
because, in his case, no promises were required ;
Guillaume began to rule as Duke whilst Louis was
an exile. When King Louis was out of possession,
Duke Guillaume was in ; but the present trans-
action did not offer any such safeguards. The
compact was one-sided. Richard had struck no
root in France, there was no reciprocity, no mu-
tual bond.

It is perhaps the greatest of trials to which


912954 our temper can be subjected, when, upon the
retrospect of our conduct, the potent chemistry

942943 o f seif.deceit fails to extract any comfort from

Louis re-

ceived by p as t errors. The Regents, and all who con-

is ormans x

iltedcOT-' curre d in the proceedings which had delivered
Richard over into the power of the Carlovingian
Sovereign, could certainly find none. However,
there was no immediate help matters were very
untoward, all the Normans could do would be
to bide their time. Le bon temps mendra.
Bernard the Dane was quite the man to adopt
the spirit of the motto which, still gracing the
achievement of his decendants, has perhaps, more
than once, cheered the desponding heart. For
the purpose of saving their credit, the Normans
put the best face they could upon the matter;
they professed a cordial acceptance of the ex-
planations given by Louis, welcoming him as the
avenger of the murdered Guillaume. Louis, on
his part, displayed the deepest grief for the death
of the noble Duke, Guillaume Longue-epee the
Martyr. Arnoul, he vowed, should receive a
condign punishment. The Normans knowing
how complicated were the plans and plots of the
French Court might believe that Louis, for rea-
sons of his own, was not altogether insincere in
his manifestations of hostility against Flanders.
Moreover he was accompanied by Herlouin, who
professed he never would abandon his determi-
nation of avenging his benefactor.


Louis therefore was greeted at Rouen with 912954
loud and loyal acclaim. It could hardly be XlXZI^
deemed any indication of suspicion, that, before
he had entered the City, Richard was removed
from his father's palace and placed under the
special care of Osmond. The arrangements made
by Louis were equivalent to a declaration that
the King of France had fully prepared to dwell
peacefully amongst the Normans. Some of his
children had accompanied or joined him. The
Bishops and Counts of France resorted to his
Court as he held the same in his royal residence,
and, when settled, he requested that the young
Richard should be brought to him. An affecting
scene ensued : Louis, the tears flowing from his
eyes, kissed and caressed the orphan, bewailed his
destitution, admired his beauty. Richard he
promised should be treated as his child, live
with the young French Princes, eat at the King's
table, sleep in the King's chamber.

Osmond departed, though not at ease; and
thus closed the first day, the day during which
Richard had passed into the actual custody of his

On the following morning, the morning of
the second day, the anxious Governor again ap-
peared before Louis, soliciting that he might be
permitted to resume his charge, and return with
Richard to his own dwelling. Osmond assigned
a reason which could be propounded without


942954 disrespect and urged without intrusion. One
, - , antient usage of Roman civility was long retained
in the Gauls : many a hypocaust still subsisted,
and it was needful, as Osmond explained, that
Richard should take the warm bath ; but Louis
would not part with the boy.

Louis de- O n the third day's morning, Osmond presented
- himself to the King, and, undeterred by his two

hi s a custody. previous repulses, insisted determinately that

Richard should be restored ; but Louis haughtily
and doggedly gave a peremptory denial. The
intelligence of this detention, founded upon fraud,
spread rapidly throughout the city. A general in-
surrection ensued ; Rouen was in a state of siege ;
the house-doors closed, the streets blocked up by
the infuriated populace, the storm -bells boom-
ing. The inhabitants of the suburbs swarmed
in, joining the citizens, and the nobles donned
their armour, girt their swords, and mixed
amongst the insurgents. These men of might
probably belonged either to the pure Danishry,
or to the Danish party; for the popular anger
was fiercely directed against Bernard and the
Regency stigmatised by the general outcry as
perjured traitors, who had surrendered their So-
vereign into the hands of the enemy : and the
crowd having vented their indignation, rolled on
to attack the King.

Appalled by the raging multitude, Louis des-
paired of safety, otherwise than through Bernard's


intervention. Bernard had reason to fear for his 912954

own life, so great was the odium he had incurred ; . I

yet this feeling was transient. Clever Bernard
never failed to fall on his legs: and, after the first
burst was over, he fully regained the confidence
of all the contending parties. The acute grey-
bearded Statesman instantly sought to avail him-
self of the consternation excited in Louis by the
peril which the latter had brought upon himself.
In reply to the King's message he forthwith
suggested that Louis must come forth, restore the
young Duke to Osmond, and crave the forgiveness
of the Normans ; no other mode of escape was
practicable. If the opportunity was neglected,
Bernard could not save him.

This declaration inflicted a severe mortifica-
tion upon the Carlovingian King, for the acts en-
joined must have been exceedingly repugnant to
his feelings ; but the sooner the penance was over
the better. Louis did come forth with the young Louis ap-

T-i i IT- i pears be-

Prince, and presented him to the multitude, reite- fore the


rating his caresses and expressions of affection. as a sup -

pliant, and

How Louis loathed the touch of the warm soft surrenders

Richard to

creature ! He detested the family resemblance
which endeared the comely son of Guillaume to
Norman loyalty. In the sight of Louis, the Bas-
tard was hatefully legitimated by his likeness to
his Pirate fathers the blood which mantled in
those youthful cheeks was foul the bright eyes
of the tiger-cub bespoke his innate ferocity. De-


942954 spite of his disgust, Louis gulped the humiliation.

_A__, He was supported in his re-doubled duplicities by
the political principles which his conscience never
contested. Every fraud was fair when dealing
with a Dane Submissively did Louis explain his
conduct to the listening Normans. Guillaume's
faithful subjects were labouring under an erro-
neous impression : the young Prince was not
detained as a captive : nothing like it. Louis
simply claimed the privilege of instructing his
Ward in the art of government, and conveying
to the youth all the knowledge which might
qualify him to perform the duties of a Ruler
and a Lawgiver.

The supplications of Louis were miserably ab-
ject; let them do what they thought fit; pro-
vided his life be spared. He was failing with fear,
yet retaining all his presence of mind bitterly an-
gered, yet thoroughly self-possessed; and, though
in the utmost dread of death, actively planning
for the future, trusting that he might regain
by sagacity what he had lost by compulsion.
The boy was restored to the Regents, the crowd
dispersed, and the tumult was silenced. Louis,
however, could not be reassured ; for though he
was permitted to return to the Palace, which he
still retained as a home, yet the Normans would
not liberate him, and he continued a prisoner
in Rouen. All the profit which he had gained
by his wiles, his crimes, his policy and his valour >



seemed to be lost. Victorious in the field, but 942954
defeated by the rabble, threatened equally by ^ZZClX
danger and by shame, most doubtful as to his
course, yet determined to temporize, he sent for
the three chief members of the Regency, Oslac,
Raoul Torta, and Bernard the Dane. Certain of
the Prud'hommes of Rouen were associated to the
Regents: and, whether for the purpose of pre-
serving secrecy, or of ensuring safety, he received
them in an upper chamber.

During the conference which ensued, Louis conference
treated Bernard as the spokesman of the Norman Louis and
Community. To him, still the man most univer- man Re -

V /M1*CJ

sally respected and obeyed by all parties, he
addressed himself in particular, demanding coun-
cil and aid. Bernard's reply was courteous, but
peremptory. Saving the King's supremacy, a
submission by which Richard was honoured,
King and Duke, Duke and King, must meet upon
equal terms. Richard must hold the Terra
Normannorum even as his Sire and his Grand-
sire had done before him. The King of France
must defend the Normans against all men, and,
in like manner, would the Normans defend the
King, rejoicing in the protection which he af-
forded. Louis conceded all that was asked
words, words, words; whether his promises were
broader or narrower, to him it was no matter.

Louis kept his Court brilliantly at Rouen,
and when the new treaty for the permanent


942954 settlement of the constitutional relations between
. N__^ Normandy and France was ratified, a large num-

942943 .

her of the French Bishops, Counts, and Barons
assembled in the Palace of Rouen, the Norman
chieftains being also convened.

Richard Louis then and there granted to Richard the

Sfrasho-" Terra Normannorum, to be held by hereditary
Louis' right from generation to generation. Richard

swears the . .

land to him again performed homage, and Louis then made

upon the

principle of the covenant which he had previously avoided.

mutuality. A

The golden shrines, the Gospel-book, and the Holy
Rood, were brought forth : and, placing his hands
upon the sacred symbols, Louis solemnly pro-
nounced the oath, that he would defend the Duke
against all mortal men ; he could not have the
slightest difficulty in making a promise which he
held to be entirely null. The French Prelates
and Nobles followed the King's example, but
rather reluctantly. An expression is employed,
intimating that they were somewhat restrained by
conscience ; their scruples, however, gave way, and
they swore also. The youth and innocence of
Richard imparted a marked character to the cere-
mony ; and when Louis and the French after-
wards violated their pledge, more than usual
indignation was excited by their perjury.

' However, the pacification was accepted,
and, m appearance, so cordially, that Louis con-
i- tinued to reside in Rouen as pleasantly as if it
education, were his own City to all intents. We collect from


this somewhat preternatural tranquillity that, the 912951
parties being nicely balanced, the Christian Danes XlXH^
were compelled to deal with Louis as their ally
against the Pagan interest. By gentle manage-
ment, the acute Monarch assuaged the anger he
had excited : and, gaining more and more power,
he continued to negociate with Nobles and People,
expatiating on the advantages which would result
to the young Duke if they would permit him to
treat the young Richard as his own son, as one
of the royal family. Soundly shall he be trained
to think and to act, to distinguish and to judge,
to be courteous and wise. A thousand times
more will young Richard learn in my Palace in
France, than ever he can acquire in Normandy.

Mais une chose vous requier,
Que Richart m'en laisseiz mener
Por estre od mei tant et ester,
Qu'il ait coneu et apris
Ce qu'est honeur al siecle et pris.

Qu'il sache un oeuvre bel traiter,
Bel definer e dreit juger,
Chose oscure, forte et couverte,
Gent declairier et faire aperte.
De tote la riens qui est faite
Parlee, dite ne retraite,
Aura engin et connoissance
Mil tanz en mes palaiz en France,
Qu'il n'en aureit en Normandie.

The pupil of glorious Athelstane, might, as an
inducement for their compliance with his request,
have appealed to his own life and fortunes. If



942-954 Louis did not expatiate upon his own cultiva-
, N_ tion and proficiency acquired at York, yet it was
universally known how well his Anglo-Saxon edu-
cation had prospered; and, upon thinking men,
his silence concerning himself might render his
example the more forcible.

Louis now exerted himself to restore peace
and good order. He commenced a circuit, osten-
sibly for the purpose of settling the government
after the disturbances ; and proceeded, in the first
instance, to Evreux. There he made a short
stay, compelling the inhabitants to return to
their obedience, and render fealty to the young
Richard :

Feaute fait prendre de toz
Al Due Bichart, le bel, le proz,
Ses dreiz li quiert ausi s'en paine,
Cum si ceo est ses fiz demeine.

But this parental assertion of Richard's rights was
a selfish artifice. The strength of Hugh-le-Grand's
party was in Evreux, therefore all that Louis
effected in appearance for his adopted son was
virtually executed for his own benefit. His tole-
ration also of the Regency was, in like manner, a
consistent portion of his scheme. If Louis might
be slightly restrained by their position, it was
prudent that he should render outward respect to
an authority generally advantageous to him, and
which he was able to divert for his own advantage.
So warily and delicately had Louis conducted
himself, that the young Richard was never ex-


empted from the wakeful observation which Louis 042954

^^ ^ ^ m ^.^^.S

characterized as paternal care. Osmond's pupil _^___,

g2 _ 943

was really a prisoner at large. King Louis had Politic
promised that Richard should go wherever he
went, even as though Richard were his son ; and
this undertaking he fully performed.

The resolute though tranquillizing policy
pursued by Louis, was calculated to gratify both
sections of the Romanized Northmen. By su-
perseding the power of Hugh-le-Grand in the
Evrecin, he satisfied his own voluntary homagers
through whom the political schism had origi-
nated, whilst he never manifested any displeasure
against the individuals, who, in the first instance,
had disdained to become his vassals. The favour Double
he shewed to Yvo de Creil testified his desire of Louis with

. . the Nor-

keeping on good terms with the JNormans gene- mans.
rally. Yvo held the extensive lordship of Belesme
in the Hiesmois ; the Castle erected there, became
the head of his Barony, and, in the next gene-
ration, furnished the family surname ; but his
domain of Creil was an appendage of Couci,
Bernard of Senlis being Yvo's immediate seigneur.
Now this great nobleman, very influential in the
Terra Normannorum, and connected with the
Duchy of France, in which Creil was situated,
passed into the French service, was appointed
Master of the royal Arbalisters, and will appear
hereafter as a Royal officer, high in command.
Louis d'Outremer's log-book does not lie



912954 open before us, nor is his chart unrolled, yet we
, dZ have sufficient information concerning his track
subtle * ascer t am that he steered his course ably ;
T m!i' n ?v;th makinff the best of his misadventures ; readv to

XjOula AV lill O /

mam! 01 drop down any favourable current into which he
might be driven by an adverse gale.

Louis was pre-eminently endowed with the
qualification so generally rewarded by success,
that it has been considered as the peculiar attri-
bute of great men a ready adaptability to cir-
cumstances. Yet he holds but an obscure station
in the annals of his Kingdom : the brightness of
his gifts being clouded by his misfortunes.

His talents for governing were signally dis-
played under the series of exigencies which he
was experiencing. Kept in durance by the justly
excited indignation of the Normans, subjected to
grievous mortifications ; deeply irritated by the
contradictions he had sustained, he nevertheless
avoided harsh measures, and sought the means of

When the restraint, imposed by the revolters,
was removed, Louis frankly prolonged his resi-
dence amongst the pacified insurgents until he
became habituated to them, and found the means
of identifying himself with their feelings. He
obtained their confidence by the apparent trust
which he reposed in them.

Again convening the Nobles, he renewed his
pledges that the foul murder of Guillaume Longue-


epee should be fully avenged. Hitherto, the pro- 942-951
raises made by Louis that he would punish Ar- ^HHZ^
noul's misdeeds had been expressed in general
terms. He now entered into details, explaining
the plans of his contemplated campaign, during
which he proposed that their exertions should
combine with his own.

Returning to Laon, as he informed them, he Louis con-


venes the

would summon the arriere ban, and raising all Norman

chiefs and

the forces of France and of Burgundy he would ^Sfis' t^
make war against Arnoul, and reduce the barrier- P}j
fortresses of Flanders. Arras, Saint Omer, and n<
Furneus, were particularized, together with a
fourth, of which the name has not been preserved.
It is rather remarkable that a blank is left for
such name in the only extant manuscript of the
Chronicler who has preserved the fullest state-
ment of the King's address : as though the Pen-
mari expected he might recover it. If this blank
can be supposed to have been left by the Author,
the circumstance assumes importance when we
shall be called upon to value the testimony of
the rich narrative due to the Anglo-Norman
Benoit, who, somewhat conventionally, we deno-
minate "Benoit de Saint More." The blank in
question occurs between the names of Furneus
and Saint Omer.

Thus, as Louis explained to the Assembly,
would he wholly humble the power of their
detested enemy. Furthermore, he exhorted the


942-954 Bretons and the Normans, (whilst he should
X^H^ be engaged in raising his forces,) to do their duty,
942-943 p re p arm g to co-operate in avenging their lost
Sovereign. No peace or truce should be granted ;
no mercy or forbearance would he extend to
Arnoul the Traitor. Three hundred thousand
marks of silver should not buy off Arnoul's de-
served punishment. Before the feast of Saint
Gervais the perfidious Count should be undone,
16 and Richard shall go forward with me."

Louis sud- Pour treis cenz mille mars d'argent

denly re- .

news his N en aureit-il treve m pais

forthfie- De ci <l u ' a feste de Saint Gervais >

in oval of Del grant domage e de la perte

Richard to T . ,

Laon to Li ert rendue sa deserte

which the j teu com i! i a deservie,

Normans t e p /

assent. Vil desleiez e fei-mentie.

Richart viendra od mei avant.


'Richart viendra od mei avant T Against this
astounding proposal, not a voice was raised.
Bernard the Dane, Regents, Nobles, all bowed
assent : and the people of Rouen exhibited the
same wonderful complacency. But a short while
since, when the young Prince, though in his own
Palace, in the Capital of Normandy and under the
safeguard of the whole Community, had been, as
they apprehended, fraudulently coerced by his
royal Guardian, they were inflamed to the highest
pitch of desperation ; and now, they allowed the
seducer to glide away in possession of this precious


pledge for the express purpose of removing him 942954
into the heart of France, and immuring him ^ZXHI^
within the massive walls of Laon's impregnable
tower. It is pleaded on their behalf that they
yielded to his bland allurements and specious
promises :

Od si faites sedicions,
Ed od teus allocutions,
Les a deceits, c'est la fin,
Od sei enmeine le Meschin.
Las ! tante larme en est ploree,
Ainz qu'il veie maiz sa contree

But, was their facility to be thus excused ? Had
not Louis been sufficiently tested and tried as a
deceiver ?

Are we to conjecture, that when Louis so un-
expectedly propounded his request, the Normans
were stunned by the sharpness of the blow ? Yet
it is difficult to believe that Bernard the Dane, the
toughest relic of the old times, could have been
taken by surprize ; and impossible to suppose
that the most trusty friend of Hollo would betray
the child of Guillaume Longue-epee. It is there-
fore needful to assume the existence of some
powerful motive which induced this strange mu-
tation of opinion ; and a solution may, perhaps,
be found in the hypothesis, that the Romanized
Northmen suspected they could not depend
upon Richard's perseverance in Christianity.
Such a misgiving would not have been des-
titute of probability. Guillaume Longue-epeVs


942-954 instruction had opened the ears of the facile
^HXH^ boy to the persuasions of Thormod. Richard
escaped perversion, yet the effects of the teach-
ing suggested by his father were permanently
discernible. The pliant youth became so tho-

Online LibraryFrancis PalgraveThe history of Normandy and of England (Volume 2) → online text (page 26 of 60)