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as long as he lived, a primary object was the
acquisition of Rheims. Herbert's dealings in this
matter, which we must briefly notice as a key to
his subsequent proceedings, also constitute an
interesting paragraph in the history of the Wes-
tern Church : we shall find the import of these
Rheims transactions in our own English history.
sovereigns The Sovereigns and Princes of the Gauls,

of Latin

thei?cie : Germany and Italy, Emperors and Kings, Counts
B io tiC ent" or Dukes, discrepant as they might otherwise be
tfve r agafns"t m their views, were labouring with one consent
l to extinguish the freedom of episcopal election ;
the object sought being the conversion of all
ecclesiastical dignities, from the Popedom down-
wards, into absolute donatives. In Germany,
where the bishopricks were approximating to
that station which they afterwards unhappily
assumed in the Germanic Empire Prince-Pre-
lates, whose temporal panoplies almost stifled the
spiritual authority the exertions of the State
were now most strenuous. Henry the Fowler, he


who had, upon his high appointment, rejected the 027942
consecration imparted by the Clergy Henry, the ^HHH^
unanointed and uncrowned king, enforced his
claims with stern prepotence. At Metz, entirely Metz re-

sistance of

against the people's will, he intruded the ancho- the citizens
* to the no-

rite Benno into the See. Metz, proud of her mination of


liberty, proud of her antiquity, deeply resented ^ no jj[ e
the injustice. The provoked citizens opposed the ]
Sovereign's illegal act by a villanous crime. They
conspired against the Prelate, mutilated him
shamefully, and put out his eyes.

Benno was a faithful and holy man: a better simony and

other cor-

choice perhaps than the citizens would have ^P* m -

tives actu-

made, had they been left to themselves ; but the
selection of a proper individual did not diminish
the inherent evils of the system. A competent
prelate, owing his dignity to a prerogative nomi-
nation, was only a happy accident. In the ordi-
nary course of affairs, the qualifications or disquali-
fications of the Bishop-designate w^ere slurred over,
or wholly disregarded, by the royal or princely
patron. Direct and unmistakable simony was
not unfrequent, money or money's worth : yet,
from its very grossness, this most vulgar form
was the least injurious to the Church, whose
interests received far more damage when the
preferments were dictated by the temptations
which, tripping in, velvet-shod, do not startle the
slumbering conscience, policy, convenience, or
family aggrandisement.



924942 Occasionally, the prerogative appointees were
, , men of secular or disreputable lives, - bowling
924-920 Bi s j 10 p Sj S p 0r ting Bishops, drunken Bishops, cam-
paigning Bishops; but even when they were of
an average character, decent and tolerable, the
preferments were vitiated in public opinion by the
certainty that the proportion of good was a chance,
and that the patronage was exercised solely for
patronage sake ; of which the most flagrant exam-
ples were such as that which Herbert of Ver-
inandois now so anxiously sought to afford. In
the cases belonging to this class and they had
become matters of common occurrence the ab-
surdity was even more revolting than the scandal.
An ordinary man, decorously lukewarm, smat-
teringly-learned, moderately dull, or cleverly
children worldly, might be useful in the See, but to instal
TCsnop d - a little fellow, bigger than a baby, yet hardly
grown up into a boy, was an outrageous mockery
of the Christian community. The ceremony was
equally sorrowful and ludicrous : the child, taught
to repeat the responses, or to spell them if he
could not get them by heart, usually behaved
pitiably. Sometimes the terrified urchin would
whimper, not in fear of losing the bishoprick,
a loss which he could nowise appreciate, but
lest, as a dunce, he should receive the accustomed
chastisement for not knowing his lesson. The
bystanders laughed some cried shame. Such is
the naive description given by a contemporary,


who had too often witnessed and deplored these 924942

v~ m - [m - __ *

grievous spectacles, Hatto, Bishop of Vercelli. , -_,
They were amongst the heavy abuses and tribu- 924
lations of the Church which Hatto records : not
to be mitigated until the age of reform, the age
of Hildebrand.

7. According to the most plausible hypo-
thesis concerning the obscure arrangement en-
tered into with the view of securing Hugonet's
promotion, Herbert proposed, according to the
modern mode of transacting analogous kinds of
business, to run Seulph's life against the life of
the child. Seulph's age was not such as to pro-
mise a speedy vacancy : nevertheless his health
was closely watched by those in the Verman-
dois interest, and equally so by their adversa-
ries; Frodoardus, our faithful historical guide,
from whom we derive great part of our story,
and w r ho had himself received good preferment
from Seulph, being included in the latter party.

Seulph's years, months, and days, were care- Death of

. Archbishop

fully counted ; and when Seulph, according to the seuiph

J . . , Count Her-

reckonin of Frodoardus, had held his primatial bert P-

cures the


see during three years and five days, he sud-
denly died. Poison had been poured into his cup : son Hugh -
Frodoardus implies, in very intelligible terms,
that Count Herbert's familiars had enjoyed access
to the Archbishop's butlery. Count Herbert,
though exercising a most powerful influence in
and over Rheims, electors and non-electors, clergy,

G 2


924-942 citizens, soldiery, was not yet absolutely master :
^Hd! it was expedient that he should deal considerately
927 with the constituency, persuade, and manage them
gently and agreeably. He repaired to Rheims.
Able advocates, Abbo, bishop of Soissons, and
Bovo, bishop of Chalons, Queen Frederuna's bro-
ther, assisted Herbert in his canvass. Moreover,
he was energetically counselled and supported by
his brother-in-law, King Raoul.

Upon little Hugh's nomination, no opposition
was manifested, because such of the clergy as
were not of Herbert's colour dared not shew their
faces : Frodoardus who was afterwards impri-
soned by Count Herbert being one of the num-
ber. The Vermandois candidate, five years old,
was duly elected, and placed under the care of
Guido, Bishop of Auxerre, who superintended his
education, and a Chorepiscopus was appointed to
do the duty, Odalricus, the Bishop of Acques, who
had been ejected from his see by the Saracens,
custody of King Raoul, the transactions thus far com-
raiinesof pleted, granted the custody of the temporalities
Canted to to Count Herbert during his son's minority. Wife

Herbert. . J

and children, dogs and horses were immediately
housed and stabled by Herbert in the Archeveche
or Palace, close under the wing of the Cathedral.
Moreover, Herbert appropriated to himself the fine
Archiepiscopal domain of Couci, which never after-
wards reverted to the see, but became the proudest
Baronial seignory in the kingdom. These most


unseemly proceedings were the commencement 024942
of troubles which lasted during the joint lives , * _ .
of Hugh and of Artaldus, who speedily arose as
Hugh's competitor. Count Herbert rode through Disputes

and dissen-

the Church so to speak booted and spurred, sjons occa-

sioned by

The recusant clergy, our faithful witness Fro-
doardus included, sustained the deprivation of
their benefices; and a violent quarrel having
broken out among the Cathedral canons, mili-
tary force was employed as a sedative ; a deacon
and sub-deacon were killed in the cloister by
Count Herbert's soldiery.

8. Mutual assistance in those times always jealousies


implied mutual suspicion. Each man distrusted tween

. J . . bertof Ver

his neighbour, even as his neighbour distrusted mandois

and King

him. Those who drank out of the same cup had Raoul -
to pledge each other that they would not use the
dagger : your friend was always the man against
whom you were bound to guard yourself if a
connexion or relation, most of all. Herbert had
co-operated efficiently with Raoul, and Raoul had
abundantly reciprocated. By Raoul's aid, " Hugo
parvulus " (as Frodoardus calls him) had obtained
the Archbishoprick, of which Herbert was now
in possession ; and Herbert repaid Raoul by
keeping King Charles safely in Peronne dungeon.
Yet notwithstanding this apparently cordial part-
nership, the brothers-in-law' were incurably jea-
lous of each other May we not reasonably sus-
pect that their sister-wives helped to foment the


924942 dissension, Hildebranda the Countess rivalling
Emma the Queen?

Burgundy, Raoul was a rich man, a power-

iSn for ^ P rmce > his domains wide and extensive ; but,
as King m France, he had no more than King
Charles before him no revenue, no army, no
city save the ClacJiduin, the rock, palace, burgh
and tower of Laon. This only possession, Her-
bert now endeavoured to wrest from him. Her-
bert had five sons, Eudes (the hostage at Rouen),
Albert, Robert, a namesake Herbert, and
the boy Archbishop, Hugh. This youngest enjoyed
an excellent provision, but Count Herbert was very
anxious to gain a firm footing for the eldest, and
he insisted that King Raoul should grant to the
young man the County of the City. Urgently as
Raoul had felt the need of conciliating his bro-
ther-in-law, he would not yield. Upon this point
he was impracticable the concealed grudges ex-
ploded, Herbert revolted, and attempted to sur-
prise the rock. Laon's garrison repulsed him ;
and he adopted a course, which in any one but
Herbert of Vermandois, would have seemed incon-
ceivable. A greater humiliation than dethrone-
ment now befel the unhappy Charles : he, the
descendant of Charlemagne, to be bandied about
as a puppet between contending tricksters and

If Charles had not been betrayed into captivity,
Raoul could scarcely have maintained himself


upon the throne. -Were Charles brought for- 924942
ward again, might not Raoul be in the greatest ^_ -^^
danger of losing that roval authority his delight

J Herbert's

and Emma's pride ? Anuitaine denounced the achin a-

tions; he

Burgundian as an usurper : Lotharingia's loyalty
was unsubdued : the Northmen, sturdy allies of
Charles to the last, had shewn themselves Raoul's
determined and desperate enemies. Herbert im- Herbert

Charles off
Kins Ra-


mediately calculated upon employing these hos- with Pope
tile elements as the means of intimidation, and
he forthwith commenced negociations for the
restoration of the legitimate king, treating with
that very Pope John the Tenth, to whom the
Normans owed their conversion.

The mysterious history of the Popedom
abounds in awful and painful contrasts between
the Supreme's Pontiff's sacerdotal efficacy, dis-
cretion, and wisdom, and the weaknesses or
crimes by which the man was disgraced and con-
demned. Such a Pope was John the Tenth so 914928
earnest and sound in his endeavours to implant ^"onS-
Christianity amongst the Danes. The handsome Sn x.
Clerkling (whom the Cenci claim as belonging to
their family) originally earned his promotion by
the influence of the lovely Theodora, the sister of
Marozia, and emulating that sister in profligacy
and beauty : yet, in St. Peter's chair, his conduct
w r as blameless and edifying. From this Pope
John, Herbert of Vermandois solicited spiritual
support, calling upon him to excommunicate the


924942 rebels who deposed their sovereign. The Princes
, * , and Prelates of Lotharingia and Germany were
invited to aid. Henry the Fowler himself, sym-
pathising with a fellow-monarch, promised co-
operation ; but most important was it for Herbert
to secure the assistance of the young Guillaume
Longue-epee. Eudes of Vermandois, for whose
sake Herbert his father had besieged Laon, con-
tinued in Guillaume's power, still kept under
arrest at Rouen, a pledge until the remaining
instalments of the weary Danegeld due from
France, should be fully discharged : unless Eudes
was released, how could he receive investiture of
his County ? The preliminary measures accom-
plished, life was suddenly given to Herbert's
schemes by the appearance, in bright day, of one
who had been forgotten as a dead man in the
King grave. The captive Charles was brought forth

Charles re-

leased from from Peronne, and produced to the public as

prison, and

d b King at St. Quentin. Raoul hastily retreated to
Burgundy : he must abandon Laon. There was
to but one to whom he could confide his city, heroic
ldy> Emma, whom he placed in command there.

9. The way was opening rapidly for the
Restoration. Guillaume Longue-epee unhesitat-
ingly adhered to the resuscitated monarch. The
obligation contracted by his father Rollo had
descended to him : it ran with the land. Through
Rollo, he owed his dominion to Charles, and he
prepared to afford hearty and uncoerced assist-


ance. Charles, carefully escorted by Herbert, 924942
crossed the Norman frontier, and took up his ^H^
residence at Eu. Here a conference was held with
the Duke and Patrician of Rouen. Guillaume 927
performed solemn homage to King Charles as his
lawful sovereign, placing his hands between King


Charles's hands, and becoming his liegeman, even
as Hollo had done at Clair-sur-Epte. Words and EU.
actions la louche et les mains testified that
Guillaume had entered into the service of his
father's liege lord earnestly and sincerely; and,
concurrently with this submission to the legiti-
mate King, he concluded an alliance with the
Count of Vermandois. Guillaume confided impli-
citly in his uncle Bernard de Senlis, or Senlis-Ver-
mandois ; and possibly, Bernard's intervention
brought the young nephew more readily into the

Thus countenanced, thus supported, Pier- Kin s

Kaoul re-

bert proceeded actively in the good cause. The l n s c *
country was everywhere disturbed, dangers threat-
ening from without. Rumours filled France diates *
the Magyars are coming!- -and the terrified inha-
bitants prepared to abandon the country, so as
to escape even the chance of encountering these
hideous enemies: the Northmen alone seem
never to have heeded them. The report was pre-
mature: the Magyars did not come this time, but
the Saracens were near at hand, advancing through
the Alpine passes, now so familiarly known to

Grand me-


- - - the sons of the Prsert. Raoul stationed himself
, * , in Burgundy, unquestionably for the purpose of
defence : had the Mahometan forces once de-
fended the Jura. France would have been lost.
But Herbert's hostility compelled him to quit his
position : and during the Christmas festival he
marched northwards, towards and into the Ver-
mandois. wasting and destroying as he proceeded.

Kins; Charles must be considered as a nullitv.

and Huh-le-Grand offered himself as a mediator.
far more inclined to favour Herbert's pretensions
than those of Raoul. The terms imposed upon
Raoul pinched him very hard he must surrender

Laon unconditional^. But Queen Emma stoutlv

refused to comply with the extortion : she would
not give up the royal fortress ; and Raoul. having
vainly endeavoured to induce his wife to open

the eates. returned to Bur^rundv. However, after

>_ ~_ i

an interval, the heroine was content to vield. and

Herbert possessed himself of the much-coveted


In the meanwhile, the friendship be-
-rr 5 tween the Xorman Patrician and Herbert of Ver-
mandois cooled : the cause of the disunion is un-
certain: perhaps Guillaume Longue-epee. beinsf at
this juncture earnest for the restoration of Kins:
Charles, or supposing himself to be so. distrust-
ed Herbert, and therefore withdrew from him.
Hueh-le-Grand intervened, again quelled the
dissension, and the dissidents pledged themselves

Her- 9


to peace ; but, in order to ensure Herbert's sup- 921912
port for King Charles, Count Guillaume stipulated , -_^
that Herbert, as well as the other counts and ,


bishops of his party, should commend themselves
to the King and perform homage. Until Herbert
complied with this condition. Guillaume continued
to detain the son of Herbert, Eudes, the expectant
Count of Laon, at Rouen.

Strange that any validity should be ascribed
to forms and pledges and promises so utterly
futile which those who demanded them knew to
be valueless : for there was no prophylactic against
the Luegenfeld contagion. The inveterate prac-
tice of contracting illusory obligations had ren-
dered men thoroughly insensible to the existence


of truth. How forcibly contrasting with the
French character, as displayed when we behold
the golden flcur-de-lijs shining in the azure shield,
the period when the principles of Honour were
evolved, the most exalted of worldly sentiments,
so nearly analogous to Christian duties as often
to prove their most fatal bane.

Yet, after all, nothing has been gained. There
is no exHrpation of any human failing. Diseases
may wear out : the leprosy of the body has dis-
appeared from the catalogue of human afflictions,
but there is no eradicating any leprosy of the
soul. Our age juggles with moral responsibility
by swamping individual conscience in the delin-
quencies of the aggregate community. My Lord


924942 Coke was legally correct when he pronounced

fc ^

, , the famous dictum that corporations cannot be
excommunicated, because they have no souls :
but he forgot that souls compose the corpora-
tion. Faithlessness continues to be the esoteric
doctrine of all nations; and the well-known
member of Parliament who put on the Journals
his notice of an address to the Crown, that, in
future, no treaties be concluded with foreign
powers, inasmuch as they are never observed ;
conveyed a true lesson, though a useless one,
by his somewhat ponderous drollery.

Henry the Fowler made the best of his oppor-
tunities : he crossed the Rhine, encamped upon
the Meuse, and proceeded to establish himself in
Lotharingia. Lands were liberally distributed,
oaths and promises given and taken, and a set-
tlement of affairs concluded between the King
of Germany and the leading Lotharingians. No
further use could be made by Herbert of the un-
happy Charles. Whatever influence he expected
to obtain through Papal authority soon vanished.
928 Old battered Marozia, and her husband, Guido

ationbe- Marquis of Tuscany and then also Lord and


Raoui and master of Rome, determined to rid themselves of


Charles Pope John. Their soldiers surprized the unhappy


again. Pontiff in the Lateran : cast him into prison, and
smothered him under a pillow. Hugh-le-Grand
and Herbert held a conference with King Henry,
settled for the time their course of action, and


repaired to Raoul. The King and the great 024942
Vermandois were reconciled. Herbert had ac- X^^
complished his ends : Laon, castle, rock, city,
and tower, were won. lie commended himself
again to Raoul, and King Charles descended again
into his dungeon.

f 11. Herbert marched with King Raoul to
Burgundy. Vienne was granted to the Count
of Vermandois the bargain did not hold. But
a most astounding event next ensued, unaccom- Unac -


panicd by any note of preparation. We rneet
King Raoul at Rheims. Without any warning, cmies at
the prison-doors are opened, and we behold King 1:
Charles honoured as a kin % bv Raoul, and rein-

o /

stated in the royal domain of Pontyon and the \

palace of Attigny. Another sudden change, and, \

as by the wand of a magician, Charles is replaced

in the hard custody of Herbert of Vermandois.

These marvellous mutations imply a maze of in-

trigues, now wholly inexplicable ; but they were

effected smoothly and silently. Amongst these

kings and princes all pacts and promises were

lies; and nothing so easy as lying.

Never was Charles seen asrain alive bevond

o /

his prison-walls. He was lingering in his dungeon,
bound in fetters. About a year afterwards, his
corpse was carried out he was buried at Pe-
ronne, "Peronna Scottorum" in the church dedi-
cated to famous Saint Fursseus, the anchorite of
Burgh Castle. Many believed that Herbert had


924942 caused the sinews of his legs to be divided : a
. * , horrible device occasionally adopted by those,
who, unable to tread out the last glimmering spark
of conscientious compunction, sought, without in-
flicting death, to render the sufferer impotent and
helpless. This report however, was probably an
exaggeration : the cruelty would have been need-
less, otherwise than as a vindictive retribution for
the death of the blinded Bernard. Herbert had
no need to employ violence : he might safely trust
to grief, close confinement, heavy irons, stinted
Oct. 7, 929. diet, and foul air. -Herbert's Physicians, well read
King in Constantinus Africanus, discreetly pronounced

C^llfiT*lp*I fli"

Peronne. that the complaint of which the prisoner died was
a " macronosia" that is to say, a decline pro-
duced by malignant humours and natural causes.
Charles was very patient during all his sufferings :
after his decease he was secretly honoured as a
martyr; and the imperial line of Charlemagne
was now reduced to one individual, the child
Louis bevond the sea.


930 5 12. Guillaume Longue-e'pee avoided, for

The Danes . . *

beyond the the present, any direct intervention in French

Loire_de- 1 l J

feated by affairs. But the Danish Northmen, acting inde-

Raoul at

Limoges, pendentlv, and possibly reinforced from Northum-
bria, were raging south of the Loire, punishing
the country as in the darkest times of their inva-
sions. Raoul issued a general summons. The
King was obeyed by the French with extraordi-
nary alacrity. It was indeed for their own in-


terest that they should exert themselves heartily 921942
in repelling the marauders from their own con- , *_,
fines. Twelve legions were assembled : it is diffi-
cult to conjecture the number of troops implied
by this expression, yet we may construe the
awkwardly employed classical phraseology into
the fact, that Raoul commanded a strong and
well-marshalled army. He advanced to Limoges.
A single battle ensued, which ended this Danish
war : the Danes were defeated, and the greater
part slain. Rarely indeed had the prowess of
the Franks been rewarded by such a decisive
victory. The splendid triumph gained at Limoges
by Raoul over the Pagans, accomplished another
conquest, but pacific. Raoul won the fealty of
many amongst the Aquitanians : he had relieved
them from their enemies, and their obedience tes-
tified their gratitude ; it was well to have such
a helpful king. But Burgundy was troubled, and
required his presence : the Saracens blocked the
Alpine passes; and Queen Emma, whom Raoul
had stationed as his lieutenant, acting over-much
as a virago, had provoked a family rebellion.

Gilbert, married to Hermengarda, Richard-le- Queen
Justicier's daughter, and therefore Raoul's brother- Disturb-

in-law, was Count, or, perhaps, Governor of great Burgundy.
part of Burgundy, including the Dijonnais, under
Raoul's supremacy. It seems as if it were im-
possible that any relatives in those times could
live without a quarrel: quarrelling was meat


924-942 and drink to them. For some unknown, but per-
. haps justifiable cause, Queen Emma mustered her
troops, and boldly expelled the husband of her
husband's sister from his favourite stronghold
dark mountainous Avalon. Gilbert retaliated :
Raoul came to the help of his wife, checked Gil-
bert's progress, and the brothers-in-law thence-
forth really became and continued friends, a
social phenomenon. Emma's unrecorded achieve-
ments and exertions were probably far more
numerous than those whereof the history is
preserved. Very meagre and obscure are the
memorials of Burgundy.
Feud be- $13. Raoul now hastened to France

tween J

France in utter confusion. A bitter feud was

Grand and

vernTa r n- f ra g m g between the original confederates, Hugh-

Online LibraryFrancis PalgraveThe history of Normandy and of England (Volume 2) → online text (page 9 of 60)