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The history of Normandy and of England (Volume 2) online

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surmised, and not without some appearance of
probability, that in the main, Raoul Torta sought
to be a faithful administrator. His conduct,
according to this view, was honest and conscien-
tious : Raoul earnestly desired to husband the
Ducal revenues, particularly since, as his par-
tizans might plead, he laboured under the
apprehension that the resources of the State
would be exhausted through the extravagancies
of the youthful Richard's boon associates, and
that the offence he gave resulted simply from
his adherence to principle.

However, such was not the opinion enter-
tained either by the monarch or the majority.
Raoul Torta's fall was decreed. Normandy
must cast off the incubus, yet not by violence,

Richard and proceedings were conducted in judicial

impeaches p - . , i i T i i

Raoui form. Richard convened ins Lieges, and made

Torta, who . . .

is banished careful enquiry into the extent or his rights.

from the J

Duchy. The Treasurer, it was alleged, had juggled


himself into the possession and exercise of all 942954
the property as well as the power which ap- , x

. . A 945946

pertained to the Sovereign ; not merely de-
stroying the Duke's influence, but bringing him

/ o o

to shame. Raoul was solemnly summoned to
appear before the Duke, and answer for his mis-
deeds. Whether trusting in his own rectitude or
struck by terror, Raoul endeavoured to gain
time by delay, and humbly implored the Duke's
mercy. Richard did not peremptorily reject the
supplication. Raoul was the head of a formid-
able faction ; it suited Richard's purpose to tem-
porize : and, for this reason, the defendant was
peremptorily ordered to quit Rouen, repair to a
hamlet about a league off, and there abide his
judgment. Richard declared, that, should any
show of resistance be manifested on the part of
the fallen Minister or his adherents, he would
invoke the aid of all his subjects and allies.
Raoul Torta dared not stand his trial ; he fled
from Normandy, and, taking refuge at Paris,
placed himself under the protection of his father
the Bishop, nor did he ever return to plague the
Normans again.

42. Amongst the untruths which in-
sinuate themselves into the very marrow of
tory, few are more detrimental to truth than
epithets vulgated upon Sovereigns. Show the
Tiger as the beast who alone would have sup- y
plied an appropriate emblem for Richard Cceur-


942954 de-lion. The real temperature of the love in-
/ * > spired by Louis le bien aime would have been

945946 * J

marked somewhat below the freezing point; and,
as for Louis le desire, who more glad than the
French to be rid of him. With respect to the
prostituted epithet of the Great, count on your
fingers the names of the few Rulers who
have earned this denomination honestly and
righteously before God and man. Will Prussia
ever be enabled to expel the poison she has im-
bibed from "Friedrich der Grosse?" Nay, even
"good Queen Anne' has no peculiar claim to
that adscription of benignity, which possibly
arose in the first instance, from a confused remi-
niscence of the Bohemian Queen.

Richard enjoyed the reputation of being an
ardent lover of adventure, constantly in search
of the excitement which danger afforded, a very
dare-devil, like his grandson, the Conqueror's
father. It was believed he could see in the
dark, and many a tale is related concerning
him, full of grotesque horror. How, for ex-
am pl e when watching during the dark hours
* n tne way- side oratory, grim and ghastly rose
the dead man from the bier, and how the Demon-
possessed corpse, wrestling with the Duke, was
thrown and stilled by his antagonist's nerve and
power. Hence the traditional appellation by
which we have distinguished him throughout
this history. Yet scarcely more than one single


deed is definitely or distinctively recorded con- 942954
cerning Richard, fairly justifying the epithet , ,

J J J 945946

"Sans Peur;" nor are any examples of military
prowess ascribed to Richard, exceeding the usual
average of knightly hardihood. If, therefore,
we are to suppose that any particular exploit
was so prominent as to confer upon him the
designation of " Fearless," we are driven to the
necessity of electing between the combat with
the Vampire and the undaunted resolution which
enabled him to plan and perfect the sudden and
final expulsion of an over-masterful Minister.

Certainly, this bold and determined coup
d'etat exercised the most decided influence upon
the popular mind, and it is specially commem-
orated by the family historian as having pro-
duced such effect, " videntes autem Scniores
Normannice, quod tarn prudenter exterminasset
principem malitice, timuerunt eum valde."
Henceforward, Richard's terror was always upon
the Norman nation ; no one dared to contest
his authority; and, his absolute sovereignty
being unchallenged, his power encreased, so to
speak, day by day.

43. Here, however, let us pause, and re-
examine, more particularly, the social and poli-
tical station of those three personages in whom, at
this eventful crisis, we are most interested. All Norman
alike, kings; all, wearing a king-like semblance,
yet none completely so.- -Young Richard, the


9i-2 -JT/U King without the royal title; Hugh-le -Grand,
r > the Kino; without a crown; Louis, the King 1

i)-A5 y-10

without a kingdom.

First, as to our story's present Hero. The
Duke had recovered his Duchy, and the Duchy
her political station, whilst the most satisfactory
reciprocity was restored between the Carlovin-
gian realm and the Norman " Monarchy."
Nothing had been conceded by Richard beyond
that honorary precedence which the crowned
and anointed Sovereign had a rig-lit to demand.

o o

And, indeed, the Normans could reasonably
maintain, that the abandonment made by the
French of their pretensions, was only an act
of justice. The condition of military service
imposed upon the Danes, might be construed as
the covenant of an ally. Hollo, whilst acknow-
ledging, however contemptuously and ungra-
ciously, the ceremonial distinction due to the
successor of Charlemagne, held his land in per-
fect freedom ;- -that noble Terra Normannorum
and all Armorica, from the stream-dividing 1 evot

o &

whereon he stood, even unto the furthest western
shore.- -The Neustrian territory had passed from
King Charles to Rollo-Robert as his allodial
March-Land; and then, Rollo-Robert, as a
man, came back to the King.
Construe- The Norman diplomatists would further

faon of the

j.iwious aro-ue that the homages rendered and broken by

homages /

t Guillaume Longue-epee did not prejudice the


independence of their State, even admitting the 912954
acts to have been in some degree binding upon /

t & 945946

the individual's honour. Guillaume Longue-
epee's vacillating conscience induced him to
seek the "renovation" of the dignity; but, when
the young Richard, Hollo's heir in the second
degree, was conducted before Louis, and re-
ceived the humiliating 1 re-grant of his father's


dominion, the act was instigated by those who


were liable to the condemnation of having
abused the authority, which their Sovereign's
helpless infancy gave them. Even if exonerated
from the charge of corruption, they had, at all
events, reprehensibly neglected Richard's in-
terests and their own.

But the false step had been completely re-
traced. No earthly superior could now claim
obedience from Richard: his, was the " Terra Novmand
Normannorum" a free and allodial Sove-

reignty; he, Duke Richard, governing his mon-


archy as a King. Tenet, sicut JRex, monarchiam*
NorthmanniccB regionis. This phraseology must
not be slighted as the unmeaning effusion of
an affected grandiloquence. The terms, so em-
ployed, were dictated by a consistent train of
thought. Richard's nobles, his advisers, his
people, rejoiced in proclaiming his quasi-royal
title, insisting upon his regal rights ; and, as
they deemed, always in season.

The enhancement of monarchical authority



9-42954 amongst the Romane populations in the Gauls,
, has survived through all chances, changes, ages,


and revolutions. It is a constant phenomenon.
Prediiec- Licence may have been agreeable to the Nor-

tion ot tlie J

fortheMo- rnans > but? we sna ll be disappointed, if we expect
principle! to discover amongst the ancestry of the Con-
queror's baronage, any strong affection for con-
stitutional liberty, in the modern sense of the
term. By exalting Richard, and rendering him
by their worship the centre of the political sys-
tem, they obeyed their guiding doctrines of state-
unity and territorial indivisibility. Possibly
also, the employment of the term "Monarch,'
may have been connected with the imperial
principle, so eagerly accepted throughout the
mediaeval States, that the Sovereign was, or
ought to be, sole lord of the soil.

Whilst the Terra Normannorum was thus

condensing into the Duchy of Normandy,

Richard rightly assumed the title of " Comes

Obedience N orthmannorum et Britonum" Turbulent Ar-

Rid^abvWW$ submitted to the young Duke's suze-

Al '

Barbe-tort e rainty without effort, or rather rejoiced when
Bretons, she could rest in subjection. Alain Barbe-torte,
quieted, or perhaps tired out, by long-continued
exertions, now began to lean upon his ponderous
club instead of wielding it. Subsequently to the
Danish invasion, Alain's matrimonial concerns,
his unedifying conduct towards his wrinkled
wife, the Angevine Princess, his marriage with


her successor Gerberga, Thibaut-le-Tricheur's 942954

daughter- -but, worst of all, his amours with the , J- t

Lady Judith, - are the only incidents recorded
concerning him. Generally speaking, the Bre-
tons who had so cordially joined in renewing
their homages at Saint Clair-sur-Epte, yielded
with equal gladness their implicit obedience to
Richard; the younger folk being especially am-
bitious of his favour, and reckoning his protec-
tion as an honour. We shall not in anywise
attempt to re-open that much vexed question
concerning the tenure of Britany, but, as an
historical fact, it must be recollected that the
supremacy of Normandy, though sometimes
questioned, was never cast off.

44. Turn we next to the proud crownless
king, the prouder because he repudiated the dia-
dem. From Paris, Hugh-le-Grand's Capital, Hugh-ie-

his authority overshadowed the Realm. From extent of

J his do-

Paris northward to the Somme, and beyond minions.

the Somme ; from Paris, southward to the Loire,
and beyond the Loire, to that narrow Vigenne
whilome choked with Danish corpses ; from
Paris eastward, climbing up the Jura ranges;
and from Paris westward, till you reached the
Norman and Breton boundaries and March-
lands, the greater part of the antient Francia
Romano, sought Hugh -le- Grand as patron,
dreaded his power, deprecated his anger, courted
his favour, owned him as master.

L L 2


942954 We cannot distinctly delineate the continuous
-' , frontiers of all Hugh - le - Grand's dominions.
Occasionally, they were enclavures or fragmen-
tary. But, if we seek to describe them in more
strict geographical terms, (these terms them-
selves being, nevertheless, for want of informa-
tion, somewhat vague and indefinite,) we should
say, following the most competent investigators,
Enumera- that they may be grouped as follows. The

tion of the J J

Countries, Duchy of France, including the Counties or

Ac. sub- J

jectedto Duchies of Paris and of Orleans, the Yermandois,


t j ie p a y g Chartrain, and Blois and Chartres.
Anjou, Touraine, and Maine, and the Gatinois.
The Beauvoisis, and much of the Amiennois.
The Pays de Sologne the threshold of the
Midi, and the whole of Burgundy, Langres,
Avalon, and Dijon, Burgundian Dukedoms
three, and the County of Macon. Peculiarly
distinguished, however, amongst all these wide
possessions, was the acquisition which Hugh-le-
Grand had so recently made, the Laonais and
the tall Tower of Laon, the latter, a fulcrum of
power by its material strength, yet far more
formidable as an organ of moral influence, that
huge trophy, rearing her crest so high in the
sky, signalling how the son of Robert-le-Fort
had triumphed over his masters.

Proprietor, Protector, Inheritor, or Usurper,
Lord, Land-holder, Abbot, Abbacomes, Count
Abbot, Seigneur, or Suzerain, the strictly legal


extent of Hugh-le-Grand's royalties might vary ; 942954

but the recent concessions extorted from Louis, , * s

the charters by which Hugh-le-Grand was cre-
ated Duke of all the Gauls, supported practically
by the energy of the Ruler, in addition to any
other sources or bases of title, levelled all con-
flicting rights or pretensions, and few were the
attributes of sovereignty which Hugh-le-Grand
had to desire.

45. Last of all in the group stands Louis.
-Humiliated, insulted, despoiled,- -you might
fancy the squalor of the prison yet steaming
from his garments. The drear story of his
degradation and misery eaten into his flesh.
His limbs indented by the blue bruises of the
fetters. Not a single fortress whose w r alls could
defend him ; not a mansion where he could be
sheltered, except melancholy, dilapidated, empty,
silent, lifeless Compiegne. The treasure vault
open, no yelp in the kennel, no lure in the
mews, no litter in the stable. His reputation
damaged by the disclosure of his faithlessness
and cruelty, but far more by his failures. Yet,
with the affectionate, active, indomitable Ger-

Louis his

berga by his side, not one whit of his aspirations resolute

* spirit.

had Louis abated ; his hope as ardent as when
he bounded on Boulogne's shore.

^ 46. The restoration of Normandy, this Hugh-ie-

J ' Grand his

vigorous Commonwealth flourishing in the midst p. olitic . al


of the decaying realm, affected no one more muchat '


942954 intimately than Hugh-le-Grand. Normandy,-

^ Britany being always taken as appurtenant, -

fectldb commanded all Hugh's Duchy of France. It

the res- ^ was gyjjgnt that King Robert, Hugh's father,

mandy ' originally contemplated obtaining support from
Rollo, but Guillaume Longue-epee, Rollo's son,
proved to be a dangerous rival. Had Hugh
made good his footing in Normandy by virtue of
his alliance with Louis, he would unquestionably
have speedily subdued the whole Terra Norman-
norum on this side the river Seine ; probably
also the greater part of Normandy Oultre-
Seine, and the Duchy of France would have
been rendered round and sound. But that
opportunity was entirely lost, Normandy had
manifested her strength, Hugh-le-Grand found
he could not pursue the contest against her, and
his most prudent policy would be to avail him-
self of such support as he could gain by con-
necting the Norman fortunes with his own.

Hugh's views and schemes, his heart and his
soul, were all bent upon securing for his boy the
Crown which he himself dreaded to wear.

pre^nt 8 That burly boy still continued Hugh's only
Hugh' son, and the son and the sire remained, as

Capet and .

Emma, yet, the only male representatives or Kobert-le-
Fort, the lineage so often declining, but never
dying. A daughter, however, had also been
born unto Hugh. Whether older or younger
than her brother we know not. We could not


keep Emma's fete if we would, for when the 942954
little damsel came into the world, the event

appeared so uninteresting, that no French
Chronicler thought it worth his while to


breathe a word concerning her. But Emma
had now become a personage of importance.
Such are the praises bestowed upon her beauty,
that, allowing the utmost latitude for adula-
tion, we must needs suppose she was more of a
girl than a cradle-baby. And Hugh's steadi- importance

Oj v\ 01*-

ness of purpose having dictated to him the ex- maml >" to


pediency of abandoning, once and for ever, all Gmml -
plans tending to the direct appropriation of
Normandy, his acute political perceptions also
revealed to him, that, for ensuring the fortunes
of the young Capet, far more advantageous
would it be to command the Norman Duke's
friendship, than rule over a whole nation of
recalcitrant subjects, who could neither be
coerced nor persuaded against their will.

No danger could be so threatening to Hugh
as any contingency which, after his death, might
place his voting family within the French King's

7 o / o T, , ...

. . iiii Perplexities

power. Many distressing anxieties clouded the of Hugh-

J e . le-Grand

prospect, but the general outline of the chances as to the


presented by the future was clear. The enor-
mous dismemberment of France, created through
Hugh's own domination, would ultimately ne-
cessitate a great political catastrophe. King
Robert's reign must return. Either the Duchy

o /


942954 France must be re-united to the Crown of
( _ A _ France, or the Crown of France must be re-

945946 , j .-, T\ l r Tt

united to the Duchy or r ranee, upon no
other condition could the Monarchy stand.

Other interests were, however, also to be
considered. So far as consanguinity exercised
any influence, Otho and Otho's children would,
supposing the sentiments of family affection con-
tinued unaltered, be attracted equally to Louis
and his children, and to Hugh and his
children. But, it was impossible, that such a
Mahomet's-coffin state of suspension could be
permanent ; and the conflict between the anta-
gonistic forces the sacred ancestorial right of
the antient line, assailed by the vigour of
the new, constitutes the last act in the sor-
rowful, yet majestic, drama of the Carlovingian

Under these circumstances, Normandy ac-
quired great importance : Normandy might
decide the contest between the rising and the
declining dynasties. Normandy, with the appen-
dant Britany, were as buttresses supporting the
Duchy of France. In the Langue d'oc, beyond
the Loire, Richard's partizanship would possibly
also avail, for though his brother-in-law, the
Count of Poitou, Guillaume Tete d'etoupe, had
mandy's ^ een compelled to acknowledge Hugh-le-Grand's

GupTGci'^in*-'" * * * 1 1 * * * 1*1

political c superiority, still it was a recognition which
grated against the grain. Robert-le-Fort, and


the family of Robert-le-Fort, and the descend- 942954
ants of Robert-le-Fort, were odious through- , * N

n i - 94Q

out the southern Gauls ; and Normandy could
menace or persuade these flourishing regions.

If Huffh-le- Grand was perplexed for the Dangers


future. neither could Richard nor Richard's less ;to


friends avoid entertaining gloomy apprehen- Kichard

was ex-

sions. In the first place, Flanders menaced him SSSSJdiSi
incessantly. Bernard the Dane arid Bernard Thlbaut '
de Senlis were equally conscious, that such pro-
tection as they, living, afforded to their young
Prince, could not endure long. Arnoul, haunted
by the bloody vision of Picquigny,- -the bleeding
corpse stretched on the swampy sward, - was in-
cessantly bent upon preventing vengeance by
vengeance. The Marquis of Flanders would
assuredly persecute Richard to the end of his
life ; and he was so singularly vigorous, that it
seemed as though he defied the ordinary chances
of mortality.

Moreover, the old family feud was rankling.
Thibaut-le-Tricheur was tormented by envy at
Richard's good fortune. Liutgarda's spite
against her step - son continued encreasing.
Even if he had not been in her husband's way,
she would have hated him for the very sake of

France and Germany were frownins:. Louis, and from

> trance and

and more than Louis, Gerberga, boldly and German y-
yet warily, watching the opportunity, should


942954 any arise, of damaging or ruining the son of
r^ - , the Breton Concubine, the Pirate's bastard.

Lastly in the hostile array, Otho, jealous as

Rtehudon ever ^ ^ le Normans, fearing and detesting them,
accountof albeit Christians, no less than he would have

Ins Danish

ancestry. j one w lien they were yet Black Danes. Richard
never could be purified from the stain of his
Danish blood. Though in the third generation,
Richard had inherited Rollo's obloquy. The
French reckoned backwards to his hideous
grandsire, and sneered at his courtesy and his
bravery. The Pirate was not admitted ad eun-
dem in the Romane Commonwealth ; for though

7 o

as fluent a "latiner 9 as any Frank could be,
yet, was not the Dansk to him as a mother
tongue ? Richard had obtained a grand posi-
tion ; but if the Norman Duke owed no sub-
jection, neither could he command any aid.
Whether socially or politically, Richard wanted
a Wife and a Suzerain.

Amongst all the convulsions and disorders of
the times, there existed throughout France an
anxious yearning for the preservation of or-
ganic unity. Borrowing from our neighbours an
incongruous expression, which, like many con-
tradictions in terms, performs a duty refused by
the rigid orthodoxy of linguistic accuracy, the
Civil Hierarchy was deficient in systematic regu-
larity. Titles of dignity were vaguely applied
or assumed, nor was there any settled scheme


of graduated subjection : yet, it was held as a 942951
normal principle, that no individual ought to , _ _
live at large amongst the People, but that he
should be connected upwards with the Head of
the State, whether immediately or through some
link or links of dependance.

Under the influence of this prevailing
opinion, allodial lands, that is to say, lands
destitute of an Over-lord, were considered as
blemishes in the Commonwealth. There was Customof
no absolute law compelling an allodial pro- jj.^ 1 " 011 "
prietor to "commend 5 himself to a Senior.
No direct blame could be imputed to him,

, . , w T-T tenure.

yet he was tilting against public opinion. (Haiiam'

Though not positively stigmatized as a dis-A-es/i.

turber of the body politic, he nevertheless of-

fended against its proprieties. For the effect
which this usage had in perfecting the Feudal
scheme, I must refer to that venerated Teacher
who first pointed out distinctly the importance
of the custom as a most influential element in
medieval policy. It is sufficient to observe that
"commendation," did not, at this period, neces-
sarily imply the formal surrender of the soil
from the Allodialist to the Superior, but the
demand was satisfied by the simple acceptance
of a Lord as a Protector, under whom the Pro-
prietor could range himself in the social com-

Dignified as was the station which Richard


942954 en jy e ^> a Prince freed from obedience to any

earthly being, he was unsettled for want of the

94o946 ^ability resulting from subjection ; and how was

Richards J J

isolation the security to be found ? He had released

need of J

hhTseif iug himself from this relation towards Louis, nor
Cariovin- could he again place himself anywise in the
grasp of so untrustworthy a Ruler, one who
had so constantly sought his life openly and
covertly, and who, towards the Normans, was
thoroughly engrained with treachery. If Richard
now thought himself bound to seek a Superior,
his Senior must be his real Patron, his real
"avoue," supporter, and friend.

Yet further measures were needed for the
purpose of engrafting Normandy upon the Car-
lovingian Commonwealth. Richard was the sole
representative of Rollo : in him, the recently
founded dynasty might become extinct; ought
he not to desire a fitting consort, but whom,
and where ? It was morally, or if we may
venture to sport the expression, immorally im-
possible that such a Prince as the lusty young
Richard should continue insensible to the
charms of the Norman damsels; the examples
set to him by his Progenitors were more seduc-
tive than edifying.

The peculiar civil privileges attached to
purity of blood had not yet acquired the stern
acerbity which rendered that transcendent pre-
eminence so hateful, when the Pageant Mon-


arclis, the Kings at Arms, ruling in their fully 942954

developed gorgeousness, had elevated blazonry , ,

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