Front Page Titles (by Subject) SIXTH NARRATIVE. 580—583. - The Historical Essays and Narratives of the Merovingian Era
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SIXTH NARRATIVE. 580—583. - Augustin Thierry, The Historical Essays and Narratives of the Merovingian Era 
The Historical Essays, published under the Title of “Dix Ans d’Études historiques,” and Narratives of the Merovingian Era; or, Scenes of the Sixth Century, with an Autobiographical Preface (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1845).
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HILPERIK A THEOLOGIAN.—THE JEW PRISCUS.—CONTINUATION AND END OF THE HISTORY OF LEUDASTE.
(ad 580.)—After the fortunate issue of the accusation made against him, the Bishop of Tours had resumed the course of his religious and political occupations which had been for a short time interrupted. Not only the affairs of his diocese and the care of his municipal government demanded daily vigilance on his part, but interests still more general, those of the Gallican church, and the national peace, continually broken by the Frankish kings, caused him much anxiety. Alone, or in company with other bishops, he made frequent journeys to the various residences which the court of Neustria successively occupied; and in that palace of Braine, where he had been summoned, accused of high treason, he found himself surrounded with honours and attentions.† In order suitably to receive such a guest, King Hilperik studied to assume all the externals of Roman civilization, and to give proofs of his knowledge and good taste. He even made confidential readings of his compositions to the bishop, asking his advice, and displaying before him with naïve vanity his slightest literary performances.
These rude essays, the fruits of a praiseworthy, but useless, because unsteady love of imitation, touched upon all sorts of studies, grammar, poetry, the fine-arts, jurisprudence, theology; and in his fits of love of civilization, the barbarian king passed from one subject to another with all the petulance of an inexperienced scholar. The last of the Latin poets, Fortunatus, had celebrated this royal caprice as a subject of hope for the friends of ancient intellectual cultivation, who were more and more discouraged;‡ but Bishop Gregory, less sanguine in disposition, and less dazzled by the splendour of power, did not share those illusions. Whatever might be his countenance and language on receiving the literary confidences of the grandson of Chlodowig, he felt only a bitter contempt for the writer, whom as king he was obliged to flatter. He saw only in the Christian poems composed by Hilperik, on the model of those by the priest Sedulius, trashy, unformed verses, crippled in all their feet, and in which, for want of the simplest notions of prosody, long syllables were substituted for short, and short for long. As to his less ambitious works, such as hymns or parts of the mass, Gregory considered them inadmissible; and amid the awkward stumblings of this rude mind striving on all sides to develop itself, he did not sufficiently distinguish the many serious attempts and good intentions there were.*
Guided by a spark of real good sense, Hilperik had thought of the possibility of rendering the sounds of the Germanic language in the Latin character. With this view, he imagined the addition of four letters, of his own invention, to the alphabet, among which was one added to the pronunciation, which has since been rendered by the w. The proper nouns of Germanic origin were thus to receive a fixed and exact orthography in the Latin writings. But neither this result, which was sought for later with great difficulty, nor the measures then taken to obtain it, appear to have found favour in the eyes of the too fastidious or too prejudiced bishop. He only smiled with pity to see a potentate of barbarian race with the pretension of rectifying the Roman alphabet, and ordering, by letters addressed to the counts of towns and the municipal senates, that in all public schools the books used for teaching should be erased with pumice-stone, and re-written according to the new system.*
One day King Hilperik, having taken the Bishop of Tours apart as if for an affair of the greatest importance, made one of his secretaries read to him a little treatise he had just written on important theological points. The principal thesis sustained in this singularly daring book was, that the Holy Trinity should not be designated by the distinction of persons, and that it should have but one name, that of God; that it was an unworthy thing that God should receive the appellation of person, like a man of flesh and blood; that He who is the Father is the same as the Son and the same as the Holy Ghost; and that He who is the Holy Ghost, is the same as the Father and the same as the Son; that it was thus that He appeared to the patriarchs and the prophets, and that He was announced by the law.† At the first words of this new creed Gregory was violently agitated, for he recognized with horror the heresy of Sabellius, the most dangerous of all after that of Arius, because, like the latter, it seemed to rest on some rational foundation.‡ Whether the king had imbibed from his reading the doctrine he thus reproduced, or had arrived at it himself by abuse of reasoning, he was then as convinced that he held the truth of the Christian tenets, as he was proud of having learnedly expounded it. The more and more visible signs of dislike which escaped from the bishop, surprised and irritated him to the last degree. With the vanity of the logician who believes himself perfectly right, and the despotism of the master who will not allow any one to think him wrong, he said in a sharp tone, “I insist that thou and the other doctors of the Church shall believe this.”§
At this imperious declaration, Gregory, resuming his calmness and habitual gravity, replied, “Most pious king, it is necessary for thee to abjure this error, and follow the doctrine left us by the apostles, and after them by the fathers of the Church, which Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, and Eusebius, Bishop of Verceil, have taught, and which thou thyself didst profess at thy baptism.”∥ “But,” replied Hilperik, with increasing ill-humour, “it is manifest that Hilary and Eusebius were strongly opposed to one another on this point.” This objection was embarrassing, and Gregory found that he had placed himself upon dangerous ground. To elude the difficulty of a direct answer, he spoke in these terms: “Thou must be careful not to utter words which offend God or his saints;”* then passing to an exposition of the orthodox creed, such as he might have pronounced from the pulpit, he continued, “Know that, considering them in their separate persons, the Father is one, the Son is one, the Holy Ghost is one. It is not the Father who made Himself flesh, nor is it the Holy Ghost; it is the Son who for the redemption of mankind, being the Son of God, became also the son of a Virgin. It is not the Father who suffered death, nor is it the Holy Ghost; it is the Son; that He who made Himself flesh in this world, might be offered as a sacrifice for the world. As to the persons of whom thou speakest, they are not to be understood literally, but figuratively; and thus, although in reality they are three, there is among them but one glory, one eternity, one power.”†
This sort of pastoral instruction was interrupted by the king, who, not choosing to listen to any thing further, exclaimed angrily, “I shall have it read to wiser persons than thou, and they will be of my opinion.”‡ Gregory was piqued by his speech, and excited on his side into incautiously answering, “There will not be one man of sense or learning, there will be none but a fool who will ever admit what thou propoundest.”§ It is impossible to say what passed in Hilperik’s mind at that minute; he left the bishop without saying a word, but a shudder of rage proved that the literary and theological king had lost none of his ancestral violence of temper. Some days afterwards, he made a trial of his book upon Salvius, Bishop of Alby; and this second attempt not being more successful than the first, he was immediately discouraged, and abandoned his opinions on the Divine nature with as much ease as he had at first been obstinate in maintaining them.∥
(ad 581.) There was no vestige remaining of this grave dissension, when, in the year 581, King Hilperik chose as a summer residence the domain of Nogent, on the banks of the Marne, and near its confluence with the Seine. The Bishop of Tours, perfectly reconciled, came to pay the king a visit in his new domicile, and whilst he was inhabiting it, a great event occurred, which caused a diversion to the habitual monotony of the internal life of the palace.* This was the return of an embassy sent to Constantinople to congratulate the Emperor Tiberius, the successor of Justin the Younger, on his accession to the throne. The ambassadors, loaded with presents from the new emperor to King Hilperik, had returned by sea to Gaul; but instead of landing at Marseilles, a city which King Gonthramn and the guardians of young King Hildebert were then disputing about, they had preferred a strange harbour, that of Agde, in the kingdom of the Goths, as being safer for them.† Overtaken by a storm in sight of the coast of Septimania, their vessel struck on some breakers, and whilst they were trying to save themselves by swimming, all the cargo was pillaged by the inhabitants of the country. Fortunately, the officer who governed the town of Agde in the name of the King of the Goths, thought it either his duty or his policy to interfere, and caused, if not all the baggage, at least the greatest part of the rich presents destined to their king to be restored to the Franks.‡ They arrived thus at the palace of Nogent to the great delight of Hilperik, who hastened to display to his leudes and guests all the precious stuffs, gold plate and ornaments of all kinds which had been sent him by the emperor.§ Amongst a large number of curious and magnificent things, what the Bishop of Tours examined most attentively, perhaps because he was delighted to see in them a symbol of civilized sovereignty, were large golden medals bearing on one side the head of the emperor with this inscription: Tiberius Constantinus for ever Augustus, and on the other a winged figure and these words: Glory of the Romans. Every coin weighed a pound, and they had been struck in commemoration of the beginning of the new reign.∥ In the presence of these splendid productions of the arts of the empire, and signs of imperial grandeur, the King of Neustria, as if he feared for himself some unfavourable comparison, was piqued into displaying proofs of his own magnificence. He sent for, and placed by the side of the presents which his leudes contemplated, some with naïve astonishment, others with looks of envy, an enormous golden basin decorated with precious stones, which had been made by his orders. This basin, destined to appear on the royal table on grand occasions, weighed no less than fifty pounds.* At the sight of it, all the bystanders exclaimed with admiration on the costliness of the material and the beauty of the workmanship. The king enjoyed for some time in silence the pleasure which these praises caused him, and then said with a mingled expression of pride and satisfaction: “I have done this to give splendour and renown to the nation of the Franks, and if God gives me life, I will do many other things.”†
The counsellor and agent of Hilperik in his plans of royal luxury and purchases of valuable things, was a Parisian Jew, named Priscus. This man, whom the king liked very much, and often sent for, and with whom he condescended to indulge in a certain degree of familiarity, was then at Nogent.‡ After having devoted some time to the superintendence of the works, and the verification of the agricultural produce of his great estate on the Marne, Hilperik took a fancy to go and settle at Paris, either in the ancient imperial palace, of which the ruins still exist, or in another less extensive palace built within the walls of the city at the western extremity of the island. On the day of departure, at the moment when the king was giving the order to put the horse to the baggage wagons, the file of which he was to follow on horseback with his leudes, Bishop Gregory came to take leave of him, and whilst the bishop was making his adieus, the Jew Priscus arrived to make his also.§ Hilperik, who was that day in a good-humoured mood, playfully took the Jew by the hair, and pulling him gently to make him bend his head, said to Gregory: “Come, priest of God, and bless him.”∥
As Priscus excused himself, and drew back with terror from a benediction which would, according to his belief, have rendered him guilty of sacrilege, the king said to him: “Oh! hard of heart and ever incredulous race, which will not comprehend the Son of God promised by the voice of its prophets, which does not understand the mysteries of the church as symbolized in its services.”¶ As he uttered this exclamation, Hilperik let go the Jew’s hair, and left him at liberty; the latter, immediately recovering from his fright, and returning attack for attack, answered: “God does not marry, he does not need it, he has no posterity born to him, and he suffers no companion of his power, he who has said by the mouth of Moses: ‘See, see, I am the Lord, and there is no other God but me! It is I who kill and who give life, I who smite and who make whole.’ ”*
Far from feeling indignant at such boldness of speech, King Hilperik was delighted that what had at first been only play, furnished him with an opportunity of displaying in a regular controversy his theological science, free this time from all reproach of heresy. Assuming the grave look and solemn tone of an ecclesiastical doctor instructing his catechumens, he replied: “God has spiritually engendered from all eternity a Son who is neither younger than himself, nor less powerful, and of whom he has himself said, ‘I have conceived you before the morning star.’ This Son, born before all centuries, he sent him some centuries ago into the world to save it, according to what thy prophet says: ‘He sent his Holy Spirit, and they were made whole.’ And when thou dost pretend that he does not generate, listen to what thy prophet says, speaking in the name of the Lord: ‘Shall not I, who cause others to bring forth, bring forth myself likewise?’ By that, he means the people who were to be regenerated in him through faith.”† The Jew, more and more emboldened by the discussion, resumed: “Is it possible that God should have been made man, that he should have been born of a woman, should have been beaten with rods, and have been condemned to death?”‡
This objection, which addressed itself to the simplest, and it may also be said, the commonest human understanding, touched one of the weak points of the king’s mind; he appeared astonished, and finding nothing to answer, he remained silent. This was the moment for the Bishop of Tours to interfere.§ “If the Son of God,” said he to Priscus, “if God himself made himself man, it is for us, and by no means from a necessity of his own; for he could only redeem man from the chains of sin and the dominion of the devil, by assuming human nature. I will not take my proofs from the Gospels and the apostles, in whom thou dost not believe, but from thine own books, in order to kill thee with thine own sword, as it is said David formerly killed Goliah.* Learn, then, from one of the prophets that God was to become man: ‘God is man,’ said he, ‘and who doth not know it?’ and elsewhere, ‘This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of him; he hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob his servant, and to Israel his beloved; afterward did he shew himself upon earth, and conversed with men.’ Respecting his being born of a virgin, listen likewise to thy prophet when he says, ‘Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel, that is, God with us.’ And about his being beaten with rods, pierced with nails, and submitted to other ignominious tortures, another prophet has said, ‘they pierced my hands and feet, and they parted my garments among them;’ and again: ‘they gave me gall to eat; and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.’ ”†
“But,” replied the Jew, “what obliged God to submit to these things?” The bishop saw by this question that he had been little understood, and perhaps badly listened to; however he resumed, without betraying the least impatience:‡ “I have already told thee; God created man innocent, but deceived by the cunning of the serpent, man disobeyed God’s commands, and for this fault he was expelled from Paradise, and subjected to the labours of this world. It is by the death of Christ, the only Son of God, that he has been reconciled to the Father.”§
“But,” again retorted the Jew, “could not God send prophets or apostles to bring men back into the paths of salvation, without humiliating himself by becoming flesh?”∥ The bishop, always calm and grave, replied: “The human race has never ceased to sin from the beginning: neither the inundation of the deluge, the burning of Sodom, the plagues of Egypt, nor the miracles which opened the Red Sea, and the waters of the Jordan, none of these were able to terrify it. It has always resisted the law of God, it has not believed the prophets, and not only has not believed, but has put to death those who came to preach repentance. Thus, if God himself had not come to redeem it, no other could have accomplished the work of redemption.¶ We have been regenerated by his birth, cleansed by his baptism, healed by his wounds, raised by his resurrection, glorified by his ascension; and to tell us that He was to come bringing the remedy for all our ills, one of thy prophets has said, ‘with his stripes are we healed.’ And elsewhere: ‘and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’ And again: ‘he is brought like a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth; he was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? His name is the Lord of Hosts.’ Jacob himself, from whom thou boastest thou art descended, when blessing his son Judah, said, as if he were speaking to Christ the Son of God: ‘thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art grown up; he stoopeth down to sleep like a lion; who shall rouse him up?’ ”* . . .
These discourses, desultory in their logic, but bearing in their very rudeness the marks of a certain grandeur of character, produced no effect on the mind of the Jew Priscus; he ceased to dispute, but without appearing the least shaken in his belief.† When the king saw that he remained silent like a man who will not give way, he turned to the Bishop of Tours and said, “Holy priest, let this wretched man go without thy blessing; I will say to thee what Jacob said to the angel with whom he conversed: ‘I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.’ ”‡ After these words, which were neither wanting in grace nor dignity, Hilperik asked for some water for himself and the bishop to wash their hands in; and when both had washed, Gregory, laying his right hand on the king’s head, pronounced the blessing in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.§
There stood near, on a table, some bread and wine, and probably other dishes, destined to be offered to the persons of distinction who came to pay their farewell salutations to the king. According to the rules of Frankish politeness, Hilperik invited the Bishop of Tours not to leave him without eating something at his table. The bishop took a piece of bread, made the sign of the cross upon it, then breaking it in two, he kept one piece, and presented the other to the king, who ate with him standing. Then having both poured out a little wine, they drank together, wishing each other adieu.∥ The bishop prepared to resume the road to his diocese; the king mounted on horseback in the midst of his leudes and attendants, escorting with them the covered wagon which contained the queen and her daughter Rigontha. The royal family of Neustria, once so numerous, was now reduced to these two persons. The two sons of Hilperik and Fredegonda had been carried off in the preceding year by an epidemic; the last of Audowera’s sons had perished almost at the same time by a bloody catastrophe, the sombre details of which will form the subject of our next narrative.*
This scene of religious controversy, so singularly produced by a jest, had, it appears, left a strong impression on the mind of King Hilperik. During his residence in Paris, he reflected seriously on the impossibility of convincing the Jews, and drawing them into the pale of the church by reasoning with them. These reflections continued to preoccupy him even in the midst of great political troubles, and the cares of the invasive war he was making on his southern frontier;† the result was, in the year 582, a royal proclamation, which ordered that all the Jews living at Paris should be baptized. This decree, addressed in the usual style to the count or judge of the town, ended with a formula of the king’s invention, a truly barbarous one, which he was accustomed to use, sometimes as a bugbear, and sometimes with the serious intention of conforming to the letter of it: “If any one disregard our command, let him be punished by having his eyes put out.”‡
Struck with terror, the Jews obeyed, and went to church to receive Christian instruction. The king took a childish pride in attending the ceremonies of their baptism with great pomp,§ and even in standing godfather to some of these converts by compulsion. One man, however, dared to resist, and refused to abjure; it was the same Priscus whose logical defence had been so obstinate. Hilperik was patient; he tried anew the power of persuasion on the mind of the reasoner who had contended with him;∥ but, after an useless conference, irritated at finding for the second time his eloquence of no avail, he exclaimed, “If he will not believe willingly, I will make him believe whether he will or no.”¶ The Jew Priscus, then thrown into prison, did not lose courage; adroitly profiting by the intimate knowledge he possessed of the king’s character, he took advantage of his foible, and offered him rich gifts, on condition of obtaining a short respite in return. His son, he said, was soon to marry a Jewess at Marseilles, and he only wanted the time to conclude this marriage, after which he would submit like the others and change his religion.* Hilperik cared little whether the pretext was true, and the promise sincere, and the bait of the gold suddenly calming his proselytizing mania, he ordered the Jew merchant to be set at liberty. Thus Priscus alone remained free from apostacy, and calm of conscience amongst his fellow believers, who, agitated in various ways by fear and remorse, assembled secretly to celebrate the Sabbath-day, and the next attended as Christians the services of the church.†
Amongst those of the new converts whom King Hilperik had honoured by the favour of his spiritual paternity, was a certain Phatir, a native of the kingdom of the Burgondes, and recently established at Paris. This man, of a gloomy disposition, had no sooner forsaken the faith of his ancestors, than he felt deep remorse for so doing; the consciousness of the opprobrium into which he had fallen soon became insupportable to him. The bitterness of his feelings turned into a violent jealousy of Priscus, who, more fortunate than himself, could walk with his head erect, exempt from the shame and torments which gnaw the heart of an apostate.‡ This secretly-cherished hatred increased to frenzy, and Phatir resolved to assassinate the man whose happiness he envied. Every Sabbath day Priscus went secretly to fulfil the rites of Jewish worship, at a lone house south of the town, on one of the two Roman roads which met at a short distance from the little bridge.—Phatir conceived the plan of awaiting his passage, and taking with him his slaves armed with swords and daggers, posted himself in ambush in the portico of the basilica of Saint Julian. The unfortunate Priscus, suspecting nothing, followed his usual road: according to the custom of the Jews when they went to the temple, he had no sort of weapon, but wore, tied round his body like a sash, the veil with which he was to cover his head during the prayer and the chaunting of the psalms.§ Some of his friends accompanied him, but they were, like himself, without means of defence. As soon as Phatir saw them within his reach, he fell upon them, sword in hand, followed by his slaves, who, animated by their master’s fury, struck without distinction of persons, and massacred both Priscus and his friends. The murderers, instantly making for the safest and nearest sanctuary, took refuge in the basilica of Saint Julian.*
Either because Priscus was highly esteemed by the inhabitants of Paris, or because the sight of dead bodies lying on the ground was sufficient to rouse public indignation, the people flocked to the place where the murder had been committed, and a considerable crowd, crying out, “death to the murderers,” surrounded the basilica on all sides. The alarm was so great among the clerks, guardians of the church, that they sent in great haste to the king’s palace to ask for protection, and orders as to what they were to do. Hilperik replied, that it was his will that the life of his godson Phatir should be saved, but that the slaves were all to be turned out of the sanctuary, and punished with death. These, faithful to the last to the master whom they had served in evil as well as in good, saw him escape alone by the help of the clerks, without murmuring, and prepared to die.† To escape from the sufferings with which the anger of the people threatened them, and the torture which, according to the law, was to precede their execution, they resolved unanimously that one of them should kill the others, and then kill himself; and they named by acclamation the one who was to undertake the office of executioner. The slave who was to execute the general desire struck his companions one after the other; but when he saw himself alone remaining, he hesitated at turning the steel against his own breast.‡ A vague hope of escape, or the thought of at least selling his life dearly, impelled him to rush from the basilica into the midst of the assembled people. Brandishing his sword dripping with blood, he attempted to force a passage through the crowd; but, after a struggle of a few moments, he was crushed by the multitude, and perished, cruelly mutilated.§ Phatir solicited from the king, for his own security, permission to return to the country whence he came; he departed from Gonthramn’s kingdom, but the relations of Priscus followed in his traces, overtook him, and by his death avenged that of their relation.∥
Whilst these things were passing in Paris, an unexpected event, about the end of the year 582, set the city of Tours in an uproar, after the tolerably peaceful state it had enjoyed under the government of Eunomius, its new count. Leudaste, the ex-count, reappeared there, no longer in a mysterious manner, but publicly, with his habitual confidence and presumption. He was the bearer of a royal edict which gave him permission to recall his wife from exile, to resume his estates, and inhabit his former residence.* He owed this favour, which he looked upon as the first step to new prosperity, to the solicitations of the numerous friends he possessed at court among the chiefs of the Frankish race, whose turbulent dispositions sympathized with his own. During nearly two years, they had never ceased to importune with their entreaties, sometimes King Hilperik, sometimes the bishops of the council of Braine, sometimes Fredegonda herself, who had become more accessible to them since the death of her two sons on whom her fortunes depended. Yielding to a desire of popularity, and her hatred and love of revenge giving way before the interest of the moment, she consented on her side, that the man who had accused her of adultery should be released from the sentence of excommunication pronounced against him. At this promise of pardon and oblivion, the friends of Leudaste set out to solicit more earnestly the indulgence of the bishops. They went from one to the other, praying them to place their names at the bottom of a written paper, in the form of a pastoral letter, which contained a declaration that the condemned of Braine should be in future received into the bosom of the church and the Christian communion. They succeeded in this way, in collecting the adhesion and signature of a considerable number of bishops; but, either from delicacy, or the fear of not succeeding, no application was made to the one whom Leudaste had endeavoured to ruin by his false accusations.
Gregory was therefore extremely surprised to learn that his greatest enemy, who had been excommunicated by a council and outlawed by the king, was returning with a letter of pardon to inhabit the territory of Tours. He was still more so, when an emissary from Leudaste came and presented to him the letter signed by the bishops, requesting him to consent with them to a repeal of the excommunication.† Suspecting some new plot designed to compromise him, he said to the messenger: “Canst thou also show me letters from the queen, on whose account in particular he was separated from the Christian communion?” The answer was in the negative, and Gregory resumed: “When I have seen orders from the queen, I will receive him without delay into my communion.”‡ The prudent bishop did not confine himself to these words; he sent off an express, with orders to obtain information for him of the authenticity of the document which had been presented to him, and of the intentions of Queen Fredegonda. She replied to his questions by a letter couched in these terms: “Pressed by a number of persons, I was unable to do otherwise than permit him to return to Tours; I now beg thee not to grant him thy peace, nor to give him the eulogies with thy hand, until we have fully determined what ought to be done.”*
Bishop Gregory knew Fredegonda’s style; he saw clearly that she was meditating, not pardon, but revenge and murder.† Forgetting his own wrongs, he took compassion on the man who had formerly plotted his ruin, and who was now rushing to his own destruction for want of judgment and prudence. He sent for Leudaste’s father-in-law, and showing him this note of sinister brevity, conjured him to see that his son-in-law acted with caution, and again keep himself concealed until he was quite certain of having pacified the queen.‡ But this counsel, inspired by evangelical charity, was misunderstood, and ill received; Leudaste, judging others by himself, imagined that a man whose enemy he was could only think of laying snares for him, or doing him some bad turn. Far from becoming more cautious, he acted as if he had taken the advice in a contrary sense, and passing from security to the most audacious rashness, he resolved to go of his own accord and present himself before King Hilperik. He left Tours in the middle of the year 583, and took the direction of the town of Melun which the king was then attacking, and which he besieged in person.§
This siege was to be the prelude only of an entire invasion of the states of Gonthramn, an invasion planned by Hilperik, from the moment that he had seen his first ambitious hopes realized by the conquest of almost all the towns of Aquitania. Having become in less than six years, owing to the military talent of the Gallo-Roman Desiderius,∥ sole master of the vast territory contained within the southern limits of the Berri, the Loire, the Ocean, the Pyrenees, the Aude and the Cevennes, he conceived, perhaps at the instigation of that adventurous warrior, a still more daring project, that of uniting to the Neustrian provinces the entire kingdom of the Burgondes. To insure the execution of this difficult enterprise, he intrigued with the principal nobles of Austrasia, gained over several by money, and received from them an embassy empowered to conclude with him, in the name of young King Hildebert, an offensive alliance against Gonthramn.* The compact was made and confirmed by reciprocal oaths, in the early months of the year 583; King Hilperik instantly assembled his troops, and commenced the war on his own account, without waiting for the actual co-operation of the Austrasian forces.†
His plan of campaign, in which it was easy to trace the ideas of an intellect superior to his own, and another fruit of the counsels of the talented Gallo-Roman chief, consisted in seizing at once, by a simultaneous attack, the two most important places of the eastern frontier of the kingdom of the Burgondes, the town of Bourges and the castle of Melun. The king chose to command the army that was to march against the latter place himself, and gave Desiderius, whom he had made Duke of Toulouse, the care of conducting the operations against Bourges, with the assistance of a great body of men levied south of the Loire. The order sent from the Neustrain chancery to the dukes of Toulouse, Poitiers, and Bordeaux, for the general arming of the militia of their provinces was of singularly energetic conciseness: “Enter the territory of Bourges, and having arrived as far as the city, administer the oath of fidelity in our name.”‡
Berulf, Duke of Poitiers, proclaimed war in Poitou, Touraine, Anjou, and the country of Nantes. Bladaste, Duke of Bordeaux, called to arms the inhabitants of the two banks of the Garonne, and Desiderius, Duke of Toulouse, assembled under his banners the freedmen of the countries of Toulouse, Alby, Cahors, and Limoges. The two last-mentioned chiefs, uniting their forces, entered the Berri by the southern, and Duke Berulf by the western road.§ The two invading armies were almost entirely composed of men of the Gallo-Roman race; the southern one, commanded in chief by Desiderius, the best of the Neustrian generals, was more expeditious than the other, and notwithstanding the enormous distance it had to travel over, arrived first in the territory of Bourges. Informed of his approach, the inhabitants of Bourges and its district were unintimidated by the peril which threatened them. Their city, formerly one of the most powerful and warlike in Gaul, preserved ancient traditions of glory and courage; and to this national pride was added the splendour with which it had shone under the Roman administration, by its title of metropolis of a province, its public edifices, and the nobility of its senatorial families.
Although very much fallen since the reign of the barbarians, such a town could still give proofs of energy, and it was not easy to compel it to do what it did not choose. Therefore, either on account of the bad reputation of Hilperik’s government, or that they might not see themselves bandied about from one domination to another, the citizens of Bourges clung firmly to that of which they had formed a part ever since the union of the ancient kingdom of Orleans and the kingdom of the Burgondes into one state. Resolved not only to sustain a siege, but also to go out themselves and face the enemy, they sent out of the city 15,000 men completely equipped for war.*
This army encountered a few leagues to the south of Bourges that of Desiderius and Bladaste, far more numerous, and moreover superior from the talent of its commander-in-chief. Notwithstanding such disadvantages, the men of the Berri did not hesitate to accept the combat; they held out so well, and the struggle was so obstinate, that according to public report, more than seven thousand men perished on either side.† For one moment thrown back, the southrons were victorious at last by the superiority of their numbers. Chasing before them the remains of the vanquished army, they continued their march towards Bourges, and all along the road imitated the barbarian hordes in the recklessness of their ravages; they burned houses, pillaged churches, tore up vines, and cut off trees at the roots. It was thus they arrived under the walls of Bourges, where the army of Duke Berulf joined them.‡ The city had closed its gates, and the defeat of its citizens in the open plain rendered it neither less haughty nor more disposed to surrender at the summons of the Neustrian chiefs. Desiderius and his two colleagues of Frankish race, surrounded it on all sides, and according to the almost extinct traditions of the art of the Romans, they began to trace their intrenchments and construct besieging machines.§
The place of meeting assigned to the troops who were to act against Melun, was the city of Paris; during several months they flowed in from all sides, and made the inhabitants suffer all sorts of vexations and losses.∥ In this army, recruited in the north and centre of Neustria, the men of Frankish origin formed the greater number, and the indigenous Gallic race was found only in a minority. When King Hilperik thought he had assembled a sufficient number, he gave the order for departure, and set out at the head of his troops by the south-eastern Roman road. The troops followed the left bank of the Seine, which, in the immediate neighbourhood of Paris, belonged to the kingdom of Gonthramn. They marched without order or discipline, went out of their way right and left to pillage and burn, carrying off the furniture of the houses, the cattle, horses, and men, who, tied two and two as prisoners of war, followed the long file of baggage wagons.*
The devastation spread over the country to the south of Paris, from Etampes to Melun, and continued round the latter city when the Neustrian bands halted to besiege it. Under the command of so inexperienced a warrior as King Hilperik, it was impossible for the siege not to be of long duration. The castle of Melun, situated like Paris in an island of the Seine, was then reputed very strong from its position; it had almost nothing to fear from the violent but irregular attacks of a body of men unskilful in military warfare, and capable only of bravely skirmishing in boats at the foot of its walls. Days and months passed in fruitless renewed attempts at assault, in which the Frankish warriors no doubt displayed much valour, but which exhausted their patience. Weary of so prolonged an encampment, they became more and more unruly, neglected the service which was commanded them, and only busied themselves with ardour in scouring the country to amass booty.†
Such were the dispositions of the army encamped before Melun, when Leudaste arrived at King Hilperik’s quarters full of hope and assurance. He was welcomed by the leudes, who found in him an old companion in arms, brave in combat, jovial at table, and enterprising at play; but when he endeavoured to gain admission to the king’s presence, his requests for an audience, and the solicitations of the highest in rank and credit among his friends, were repulsed. Tolerably forgetful of injuries when his anger was calmed, and he did not feel his interests especially wronged, Hilperik would have complied with the entreaties of those who surrounded him, and admitted the accuser of Fredegonda to his presence, if the fear of displeasing the queen, and incurring her reproaches, had not withheld him. The ex-count of Tours, after having employed the mediation of nobles and chiefs of tribes, to no purpose, thought of a new expedient, that of making himself popular in the inferior ranks of the army, and exciting in his favour the interests of the multitude.‡
He succeeded completely, owing to the very faults of his character, his capricious disposition and imperturbable assurance, and this crowd of men, whom idleness rendered inquisitive and easy to excite, soon became animated with a passionate sympathy for him. When he thought the time for trying his popularity had arrived, he begged the whole army to entreat the king to receive him into his presence; and one day, when Hilperik was passing through the camp, this request, uttered by thousands of voices, suddenly resounded in his ears.* The entreaties of armed troops, undisciplined and discontented, were equivalent to commands; the king submitted, for fear of his refusal causing a disturbance, and he announced that the outlaw of Braine might present himself before him. Leudaste instantly appeared, and prostrated himself at the king’s feet, begging forgiveness.—Hilperik raised him up, said that he sincerely forgave him, and added in an almost paternal tone of kindness: “Behave thyself prudently until I have seen the queen, and it is settled that thou art to be restored to her good graces; for thou knowest that she has a right to consider thee very guilty.”†
Meanwhile the report of the double aggression attempted against Melun and Bourges, roused King Gonthramn from his inertia and unwarlike habits. Ever since the first conquests of the Neustrians in Aquitania, he had only lent assistance to the cities of his division by sending his generals, and he had never placed himself in person at the head of an army. Threatened with seeing his western frontier attacked at two different points, and the Neustrian invaders penetrate this time into the heart of his kingdom, he did not hesitate to march himself against the King of Neustria, and to provoke a decisive battle, which, according to his belief, a compound of Germanic traditions and Christian ideas, was to declare the judgment of God. He prepared himself for this great event by prayer, fasting, and alms-giving, and assembling his best troops, he took with them the road to Melun.‡
When arrived at a short distance from that town, and Hilperik’s encampment, he stopped, and whatever confidence in the Divine protection he might feel, he chose, following the instinct of his cautious nature, leisurely to observe the position and arrangement of the enemy. He was not long before he received information of the want of order which prevailed in the camp, and the carelessness with which guard was kept both night and day. At this news, he took his measures to approach as near as he could to the besieging army, without inspiring sufficient fear to induce greater vigilance; and one night, seizing the occasion when a large body of the troops had dispersed abroad to forage and plunder, he directed a sudden and well-conducted attack against the diminished forces. The Neustrian soldiers, surprised in their camp at the moment when they least expected to fight, were unable to sustain the shock of the assailants, and the gangs of foragers, returning one by one, were cut to pieces. At the end of a few hours, King Gonthramn remained master of the field of battle, and thus won his first and last victory as a general.*
It is not known what King Hilperik’s behaviour was in this bloody fray; perhaps he fought bravely during the action; but after the defeat, when it was necessary to rally the remains of his army and prepare a retaliation, his courage failed him. As he was quite wanting in foresight, the least reverse disconcerted him, and suddenly deprived him of all bravery and presence of mind. Disgusted with the enterprise for which he had made such warlike preparations, he thought only of peace, and on the morning which followed this night of disasters, he sent proposals of reconciliation to King Gonthramn. Gonthramn, always pacific, and nowise elated by the pride of triumph, had himself but one wish, that of promptly ending the quarrel, and returning to his usual state of repose. He on his side deputed envoys, who, meeting those of Hilperik, concluded with them a compact of reconciliation between the two kings.†
According to this compact, worded after the ancient Germanic custom, the kings treated together, not as independent sovereigns, but as members of one tribe, submitting, notwithstanding their rank, to a superior authority, that of the national law. They agreed to refer to the decision of the elders of the people, and the bishops, and promised each other, that whoever of the two was convicted of having exceeded the limits of the law, should compound with the other. and indemnify him according to the decision of the judges.‡ To suit his actions to his words, the King of Neustria sent off on the spot orders to three dukes who were besieging Bourges, to raise the siege and evacuate the country. He himself took the road to Paris, his army diminished in numbers, and followed by a crowd of wounded; less haughty in appearance, but with the same want of discipline, and avidity of devastation.§
Peace thus restored, the army returned through a friendly country; but of this the Neustrian soldiery took no account, and began to plunder, ravage, and take prisoners on the road. Either from some scruple of conscience which was unusual with him, or from some latent feeling of the necessity of order, Hilperik saw with sorrow these acts of robbery, and resolved to suppress them. The injunction which he gave the chiefs, to watch their people and keep them strictly within bounds, was too unusual not to meet with resistance; the Frankish nobles murmured at it, and one of them, the Count of Rouen, declared that he should not prevent any body from doing what had always been allowed. As soon as these words had their effect, Hilperik, suddenly finding his energy, had the count seized and put to death, to serve as an example to others. He ordered, moreover, that all the booty should be restored and all the captives released, measures which, if taken in time, would no doubt have prevented the ill success of his campaign.* Thus he entered Paris more master of his troops, and more capable of leading them successfully, than he had been at his departure; unfortunately, these qualities, so essential to the leader of an army, were developed in him at a time when his thoughts were entirely turned to peace. The rude lesson of the battle of Melun had put an end to his projects of conquest, and for the future he thought only of keeping by stratagem what he had hitherto gained by force.
Leudaste, who returned safe and sound, had followed the king to Paris, where Fredegonda then resided. Instead of avoiding this town, a dangerous one for him, or only passing through it with the army, he stayed there, reckoning that the good graces of the husband would in case of necessity be his protection against the ill-will of the wife.† After some days spent without much precaution, finding himself neither pursued nor threatened, he thought he was forgiven by the queen, and judged that the time was come when he might present himself before her. One Sunday, when the king and queen attended mass together in the cathedral of Paris, Leudaste went to the church, traversed with an air of bold assurance the crowd which surrounded the royal seat, and prostrating himself at the feet of Fredegonda, entreated her to forgive him.‡
At this sudden apparition of a man she so mortally hated, and who seemed to have come there less to implore pardon than to brave her anger, the queen was seized with a most violent fit of rage. The colour mounted to her brow, tears streamed down her cheeks, and casting a bitterly disdainful look at her husband, who stood immovable by her side, she exclaimed: “Since I have no son left on whom I can repose the care of avenging my injuries, it is to thee, Lord Jesus, that I must leave that care.”* Then, as if to make a last appeal to the conscience of him whose duty it was to protect her, she threw herself at the feet of the king, saying with an expression of violent grief and wounded dignity: “Wo is me! who see my enemy and can do nothing against him.”† This strange scene touched all who witnessed it, and King Hilperik more than any one, for on him fell both the reproach and the remorse of having too easily forgiven an insult to his wife. To atone for his premature indulgence, he ordered that Leudaste should be turned out of the church, promising himself to abandon him for the future, without mercy or redress, to the vengeance of Fredegonda. When the guards had executed the order of expulsion which they had received, and the tumult had ceased, the celebration of mass, for a moment suspended, was resumed and continued without any new incident.‡
Simply conducted out of the church, and left free to escape wherever he liked, Leudaste never thought of profiting by this good fortune, which he owed only to the precipitation with which Hilperik had given his orders. Far from having his eyes opened to the peril of his position by such an admonition, he imagined that if he had been unsuccessful with the queen, it was from having been wanting in address, and presenting himself suddenly before her, instead of preceding his request by some handsome present. This absurd idea prevailing over every other, he decided to remain in the town, and immediately to visit the shops of the most renowned jewelers and merchants of stuffs.§
There was near the cathedral, and on the road from the church to the king’s palace, a vast space, limited on the west by the palace and its appurtenances, and on the east, by the road where the bridge which joined the two banks of the southern branch of the Seine ended. This space, destined to commerce, was lined with counters and shops in which merchandize of all kinds was displayed.∥ The excount of Tours walked through it, going from one shop to another,¶ looking carefully at every thing, playing the rich man, talking of his affairs, and saying to those who stood there: “I have suffered great losses, but I still possess treasures of gold and silver.” Then, like an experienced purchaser, he began deliberating with himself and choosing with discretion; he handled the stuffs, tried the jewels on his own person, weighed the valuable plate, and when his choice was made, he added in a loud and haughty tone: “This is good; put this aside; I intend taking all that.”*
Whilst he was thus buying things of great value, without troubling himself as to where he should find money to pay for them, mass ended, and the faithful left the cathedral in large numbers. The king and queen, walking together, took the most direct road to the palace, and crossed the square of Commerce.† The crowd which followed them, and the people who made way before them, admonished Leudaste of their passage; but he took no notice of it, and continued to converse with the merchants under the wooden portico which surrounded the square, and served as a sort of anteroom to the different shops.‡ Although Fredegonda had no reason to expect to meet him there, with the piercing eye-sight of a bird of prey, she discovered her enemy at the first glance among the crowd of loungers and buyers. She passed on, not to frighten the man whom she wanted to seize by a well-aimed blow, and as soon as she had set her foot within the threshold of the palace, she sent several of her bravest and most dextrous men to surprise Leudaste, seize him alive, and bring him chained before her.§
In order to approach him without inspiring any mistrust, the queen’s servants laid their swords and bucklers behind one of the pillars of the portico; then, distributing their parts, they advanced in such a manner as to render flight and resistance impossible.∥ But their plan was badly executed, and one of them, too impatient for action, laid hands on Leudaste before the others were near enough to surround and disarm him. The ex-count of Tours, guessing the peril with which he was threatened, drew his sword, and struck the man who attacked him. His companions drew back, and seizing their arms, returned sword in hand and bucklers on their arms, furious against Leudaste and determined no longer to spare his life.¶ Assailed before and behind at the same time, Leudaste received in this unequal combat a blow with a sword on his head, which carried off the hair and skin of a great part of the skull. He succeeded, in spite of his wound, in scattering the enemy in his front, and ran, covered with blood, towards the little bridge, in order to leave the city by the southern gate.*
This bridge was of wood, and its state of decay bespoke either the decay of municipal authority, or the rapine and exactions of the agents of the royal fisc. There were places in which the planks rotten with age, left empty spaces between two rafters of the wood-work, and obliged the passengers to walk with caution. Close pressed in his flight, and compelled to cross the bridge at full speed, Leudaste had no time to avoid false steps; one of his feet, slipping between two ill-joined beams, became so entangled, that he was thrown down, and in falling broke his leg.† His pursuers having captured him, owing to this accident, tied his hands behind his back, and as they could not present him to the queen in such a state, they put him on a horse, and conveyed him to the town prison until further orders.‡
Orders came, given by the king, who, impatient to regain Fredegonda’s good graces, tortured his wits to devise something perfectly agreeable to her. Far from having the least pity for the unfortunate man, whose presumptuous delusions and imprudence had been encouraged by his own acts of forgetfulness and pardon, he began to think what sort of death could be inflicted on Leudaste, calculating in his own mind the advantages and disadvantages of various kinds of torture, to discover what would best succeed in contenting the queen’s revenge. After mature reflections, made with atrocious coolness, Hilperik found that the prisoner, so seriously wounded as he was, and weakened by great loss of blood, would sink under the slightest torture, and he resolved to have him cured, to render him capable of supporting to the end the agonies of a prolonged punishment.§
Entrusted to the care of the most skilful physicians, Leudaste was taken from his unhealthy prison, and carried out of the town to one of the royal domains, that the fresh air and delightfulness of the spot might hasten his recovery.
Perhaps, by a refinement of barbarous precautions, he was allowed to think that this kind treatment was a sign of mercy, and that he would be set free when he recovered his health; but all was useless, his wounds mortified, and his condition became desperate.∥ This news reached the queen, who was unable to let her enemy die in peace; and whilst a little life still remained in him, she ordered he should be finished by a singular punishment, which she had apparently the pleasure of inventing. The dying man was dragged from his bed and stretched on the pavement, with the nape of his neck resting on an immense iron bar, whilst a man armed with another bar struck him on the throat, and repeated the blows until he had breathed his last sigh.*
Thus ended the adventurous existence of this parvenu of the sixth century, the son of a Gallo-Roman serf, raised by an act of royal favour to the rank of the chiefs of the conquerors of Gaul. If the name of Leudaste, hardly mentioned in the most voluminous histories of France, was not deserving of being rescued from oblivion, his life, intimately connected with that of many celebrated persons, affords one of the most characteristic episodes of the general life of the century. Problems on which the opinions of the learned have been divided, are, it may be said, solved by the facts of this curious history. What fortune the Gaul and the man of servile condition could make under the Frankish domination? How the episcopal towns were then governed, placed under the double authority of their count and bishop? What the mutual relations of these two powers, naturally enemies, or at least rivals, of one another, were! These are questions which the simple narrative of the adventures of the son of Leucadius clearly answer.
Other points of historical controversy will have been, I hope, set beyond any serious debate by the preceding narratives. Although full of details, and marked by essentially individual touches, these narratives have all a general meaning, easy to trace in each of them. The history of the Bishop Prætextatus is the picture of a Gallo-Frankish council; that of young Merowig describes the life of an outlaw, and the interior of religious sanctuaries; that of Galeswintha paints conjugal life and the domestic customs of the Merovingian palaces; finally, that of Sighebert presents in its origin the national hostility of Austrasia against Neustria. Perhaps these different views of men and things in the sixth century, rising from a purely narrative groundwork, may on that account alone become to the reader more clear and precise. It has been said that the object of the historian is to narrate, and not to prove. I know not how that may be, but I am persuaded that the best sort of proof in history,—that which is most capable of striking and convincing all minds, that which admits of the least mistrust, and which leaves the fewest doubts, is a complete narrative, exhausting texts, assembling scattered details, collecting even to the slightest indications of facts and of characters, and from all these forming one body, into which science and art unite to breathe the breath of life.
THE END.In dumis habitant, lustrisque cubilia condunt,Et gaudent rapto vivere more feræ.Rex Murmanus adest cognomine dictus eorum,Dici si liceat rex, quia nulla regit.Sæpius ad nostros venerunt tramite fines,Sed tamen inlæsi non redière suos(Ermoldi Nigelli carmen, lib. iii. p. 39.) “Salve, Witchar ait, Murman, tibi dico salutemCæsaris armigeri, pacificique, pii.”Suscipiens prorsùs reddit cui talia Murman,Oscula more dedit: “Tu quoque, Witchar, ave,Pacifico Rugusto opto salus sit vitaque perpes,Et regat imperium sæcla per ampla suum.”(Ibid. p. 40.) Witchar ut audivit verois contraria verba,Protinùs ore tulit hæc quoque verba suo:“Murman, ait, regi quæ vis mandata remitte;Jam nunc tempus adest jussa referre mihi.”Ille quidem tristes volvens sub pectore curas,“l’empora siut placiti hæc mihi noctis, ait.”(Ibid. p. 41.) Olli respondit furiato pectore Murman;Se solio ad tolens Britto superba canit:“Missilibus millena manent mihi plaustra paratis,Cum quibus occurram concitus acer eisScuta mihi fucata, tamen sunt candida vobis,Multa manent; belli non timor ullus adest.”(Ermoldi Nigelli carmen, lib. iii. p. 42.) Per dumosa procul, silicum per densa reposti,Apparent rari, prœlia voce gerunt:Bella per angustos agitabant improba calles;Ædibus inclusi prœlia nulla dabant.(Ibid. p. 45.) Scandit equum velox, stimulis præfigit acutis,Frena tenens; gyros dat quadrupes variosEt salit antè fores potus prægrandia vasa,Ferre jubet solito; suscipit atque bibit.(Ibid.) Si fortuna foret, possim quo cernere regem,Namque sibi ferrum missile forte darem,Proque tributali hæc ferrea dona dedissem.(Ibid. p. 46.) Protinus hunc Murman verbis compellat acerbis.“France, tibi primo hæc mea dona daboHæc servata tibi jamdudùm munera constant,Quæ tamen accipiens, post memor esto mei.”. . . . . . .“Britto superbe tuæ suscepi munera dextræ,Nunc decet accipias qualia Francus habet.”(Ermoldi Nigelli carmen, lib. iii. p. 46.) Mox caput affertur collo tenùs ense revulsum,Sanguine fœdatum absque decore suo.Witchar adesse jubent, prorsus orantque referri,Vera aut falsa canant, eligat ipse rogant.Is caput extemplò latice perfundit et ornatPectine: cognovit mox quoque jussa sibi.(Ermoldi Nigelli carmen, lib. iii. p. 47.) Si veniant aliquæ variato murmure causæ,Pondera mox legum regis ab ore tluunt.Quamvis confusas referant certamina voces,Nodosæ litis solvere fila potes.Qualis es in propria docto sermone loquela,Qui nos Romanos vincia in eloquioVenantii Fortunati Carmin., lib. iv. p. 560. Te mihi constituit rex Sigibertus opem,Tutior ut graderer tecum comitando viator,Atque pararetur hinc equus, inde cibus(Venantii Fortunati carmen ad Sigoaldum, apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 528.) Vix modo tam nitido pomposa poemata cultuAudit Trajano Roma verenda foro.(Venantii Fortunati Carmina, apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 487.) O virgo miranda mihi, placitura jugali,Clarior ætherea, Brunechildis, lampade fulgens,Lumina gemmarum superasti lumine vultus ...Sapphirus, alba adamas, crystalla, smaragadus, iaspis,Cenant cuncta; novam genuit Hispania gemmam!(Venantii Fortunati Carmin., lib. iv. p. 658.) Hoc ubi virgo metu audituque exterrita sensit,Currit ad amplexus, Goisuintha, tuos.Brachi constringens nectit sine fune catenam,Et matrem amplexu per sua membra ligat.(Venantii Fortunati Carmin., lib. vi. p. 561.) Instant legati germanica regna requiri,Narrantes longæ tempora tarda viæ.Sed matris moti gemitu sua viscera solvunt . . .Prætereunt duplices, tertia, quarta dies.(Venantii Fortunatii Carmin., lib. vi. p. 561.) Quid rapitis? differte dies, cùm disco dolores,Solamenque mali sit mora sola mei.Quando iterum videam, quando hæc mihi lumina ludant?Quando iterum natæ per pia colla cadam? . . .Cur nova rura petas, illic ubi non ero mater?(Venantii Fortunati Carmin., lib. vi. p. 562.) Dat causas spatu genitrix, ut longius iret;Sed fuit optanti tempus nerque breve.Pervenit quo mater, ait, sese inde reverti,Sed quod velle prius, postea nolle fuit.(Venantii Fortunati Carmin., lib. vi. p. 562.) Quod superest gemebundus amor hoc mandat euntiSis, precor, o felix, sed cave valde Vale(Venatii Fortunati Carmin., lib. vi. p. 562.) Econtra genitrix post natam lumina tendens,Uno stante loco, pergit et ipse simulTota tremens, agiles raperet ne mula quadrigas...Illuc mente sequens, qua via flectit iter,Donec longe oculis spatioque evanuit amplo(Venantii Fortunati Carmin., lib. vi. p. 562.) Jungitur ergo thoro regali culmine virgo,Et magno meruit plebis amore coliUtque fidelis ei sit gens armata, per armaJurat, jure suo se quoque lege ligat.(Venantii Fortunati Carmin., lib. vi. p. 562.) Hos quoque muneribus permulcens, vocibus illos,Et, licet ignotos, sic facit esse suos.(Venantii Fortunati Carmin., lib. vi. p. 562.) Sed tamen in vestro quædam sermone notavi,Carmine de veteri furta novella loqui.Ex quibus in paucis superaddita syllaba fregit,Et, pade læsa suo, musica clauda jacet.(Ibid.) Mabillon, Annales Benedictini, t. i. p. 155.Martinum cupiens, voto Radegundis adhæsi,Quam genuit cœlo terra Toringa sacro.(Fortunati, lib. viii. carm. i.) Accessit votis sors jucundissima nostris,Dum meruere meæ sumere dona preces:Profecit mihimet potius cibus ille sororum:Has satias epulis, me pietate foves(Fortunati, lib. xi. carm. 8, ad Abbatissam.) Fortunatus agens Agnes quoque versibus orant.Et lassata nimis vina benigna bibas(Ibid., carm. 4. ad domnam Radegundem.) Hæc quoque prima fuit hodiernæ copiæ cœnæ:Quod mihi perfuso melle dedisiis holus ....Præterea venit missus cum collibus altis,Undique carnali monte superbus apexDeliciis cunctis quas terra vel unda ministrant,Compositis epulis hortulus intus erat.(Fortunati, lib. xi. carm. 9.)Carnea dona tumens, gavata argentea perfert,Quo nimium pingui jure natabat olus.Marmoreus defert discus quod gignitur hortis.Quo mihi mellitus fluxit in ore sapor.Intumint pullis vitreo scutella rotatuSubductis pennis, quam grave pondus habent!(Ibid., carm. 10.) Molliter arridet rutilantum copia florum,Vix tot campus habet quot modo mensa rosas.Insultant epulæ stillanti gerinine fuliæ,Quod mantile soiet; cur rosa pulchra tegit?Enituit paries viridi pendente chorymbo.Quæ loca calces habet, huc rosa pressa rubet.(Ibid., carm. 11.) Mater honore mihi, soror autem dulcis amore,Quam pietate, fide, pectore, corde, colo.Cœlesti affectu, non crimine corporis ullo.Non caro, sed hoc quod spiritus opiat, amoTestis adest Christus ......(Ibid., lib. xi. carm. 6.) Quamvis doctiloquax te seria cura fatiget,Huc veniens festos misce poeta jocos . . .Pelle palatinas post multa negotia rixas,Vivere jucunde mensa benigna monet.(Ibid., lib. vii. carm. 26-28.) Post patriæ cineres, et culmina lapsa parentum,Quæ hostili acie terra Thoringa tulit,Si loquar infausto certamine bella peracta,Quas prius ad lacrymas femina rapta trabar.(Fortunati libellus ad Artarchin ex persona Radegundis, inter ejus Opera, t. i. p. 482.) Nuda maritalem calcavit planta cruorem,Blandaque transrbat, fratre jacente, soror.(Fortunati Opera, t. i. p. 475.) Sæpe sub humecto conlidens lumina vultu,Murmura clausa latent, nec mea cura tacet.Specto libens aliquam si nunciet aura salutem,Nullaque de cunctis umbra parontis adest.(Ibid.) Quæ loca to teneant, si sibilat aura, requiro,Nubila si volitant pendula, posco locum ......Quod si signa mihi nec terra nec æquora mittunt,Prospera vel veniens nuntia ferret avis.(Ibid., p. 467.) Imbribus infestis si solveret unda carinam,Te peterem tabula remige vecta mari.Sorte sub infausta si prendere ligna vetarer,Ad te venissem lassa natante manu.(Ibid.) Blanda magistra suum verbis recreavit et escis,Et satiat vario deliciante joco(Fortunati, lib. xi. carm. 25.) Quis mihi det reliquas epulas, ubi voce fideli,Delicias animæ te loquor esse meæ?A vobis absens colui jejunia prandens,Nec sine te poterat me saturare cibus(Ibid., carm. 16.) Quo sine me mea lux oculis errantibus abdit,Nec patitur visu se reserare meo?(Fortunati, lib. xi. carm. 2.)Abstuleras tecum, revocas mea gaudia tecum,Paschalemque facis bis celebrare diem.(Ibid., lib. viii. carm. 14.) Quid de justitiæ referam moderamine, princeps,Quo male nemo redii, si bene justa petit .....Te arma ferunt generi similem sed littera præfert,Sic veterum regum par simul atque prior ...Omnibus excellens meritis, Fredegundis opimaAtque serena suo fulget ab ore dies.(Fortunati, lib. ix. carm. 1.) Maxima progenies titulis ornata vetustis,Cujus et a proavis gloria celsa tonat;Nam quicumque potens Aquitanica rura subegit,Extitit ille tuo sanguine, luce, parens.(Fortunati Opera, lib. iii. carm. 8.) Flos generis, tutor patriæ, correctio plebis ...Cujus in ingenium huc nova Roma venit.(Ibid.) Restituis terris quod publica jura petebant.Temporibus nostris gaudia prisca ferens ......(Fortunati Opera, lib. iii. carm. 5.) Quæ prius in præceps, veluti sine fruge, rigabant,Ad victum plebis nunc famulantur aquæ;Altera de fluvio metitur seges orta virorum,Cum per te populo parturit unda cibum.(Fortunati Opera, lib. iii. carm. 5.)
[† ] Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc., lib. v. et seq. passim.
[‡ ] Fortunati, lib. ix. carm. I, ad Chilpericum regem.
[* ] Scripsit alios libros idem rex versibus, quasi Sedulium secutus; sed versiculi illi nulli penitus metricæ conveniunt rationi. (Ibid., p. 260.) Confecitque duos libros, quasi Sedulium meditatus, quorum versiculi debiles nullis pedibus subsistere possunt, in quibus dum non intelligebat, pro longis syllabas breves posuit, et pro brevibus longas statuebat; et alia opuscula, vel hymnos, sive missas, quæ nulla ratione suscipi possunt. (Ibid., lib. vi. p. 291.)
[* ] Addidit autem et litteras litteris nostris, id est Ω sicut Græci habent, Æ, The, Vui, quorum characteres subscripsimus: hi sunt Ω, ψ, Z, Δ. Et misit epistolas in universas civitates regni sui, ut sic pueri docerentur, ac libri antiquitus scripti, planati pumice, rescriberentur. (Ibid., lib. v. t. ii. p. 260.) Nullamque se asserebat esse prudentiorem. (Ibid., lib. vi. p. 291.)
[† ] Per idem tempus Chilpericus rex scripsit indiculum, ut sancta Trinitas non in personarum distinctione, sed tantum Deus nominaretur: adserens indignum esse, ut Deus persona, sicut homo carneus, nominaretur .... Cùmque hæc mihi recitari jussisset, alt ...... (Ibid., lib. v. t. ii. p. 259.)
[‡ ] V. Fleury, Hist. Ecclésiast., t. ii. p. 338.
[§ ] Sic, inquit, volo ut tu et reliqui doctores ecclesiarum credatis. (Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc., lib. v. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 259.)
[∥ ] Cui ego respondi: Hac credulitate relicta, pie rex, hoc te oportet sequi, quod nobis, post apostolos, alii doctores ecclesiæ reliquerunt ...... (Ibid.)
[* ] Observare te convenit, neque Deum, neque sanctos ejus habere offensos. (Ibid.)
[† ] Nam scias, quia in persona aliter Pater, aliter Filius, aliter Spiritus Sanctus. Non Pater adsumsit carnem, neque Spiritus Sanctus, sed Filius .... De personis vero quod ais, non corporaliter, sed spiritaliter sentiendum est .. (Ibid.)
[‡ ] At ille commotus ait: Sapientioribus te hæc pandam qui mihi consentiant. (Ibid.)
[§ ] Et ego Nunquam erit sapiens, sed stultus, qui hæc quæ proponis sequi voluerit. (Ibid.)
[∥ ] Ad hæc ille frendens siluit. Non post multos vero dies adveniente Salvio, Albigensi episcopo, hæc ei præcepit recenseri ..... Quod ille audiens ita respuit, ut si chartam in qua hæc scripta tenebantur, potuisset adtingere, in frusta discerperet. Et sic rex ab hac intentione quievit. (Ibid.)
[* ] Tunc ego Novigentum villam ad occursum regis abieram. (Ibid., lib. vi. p. 266.) Adriani Valesii Rer. Francic., lib. xi. p. 125.
[† ] Legati Chilperici regis, qui ante triennium ad Tiberium imperatorem abierant, regressi sunt non sine gravi damno aique labore. Nam cum Massiliensem portum, propter regum discordias, adire ausi non essent ..... (Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc., lib. vi. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 266.)
[‡ ] Res autem quas undæ littori invexerant, incolæ rapuerunt: ex quibus quod melius fuit recipientes, ad Chilpericum regem retulerunt. Multa tamen ex his Agathenses secum retinuerunt. (Ibid.)
[§ ] Multa autem et alia ornamenta quæ a legatis sunt exhibita, ostendit. (Ibid.)
[∥ ] Aureos etiam singularum librarum pondere, quos imperator misit, ostendit, habentes ab una parte iconem imperatoris pictam, et scriptum in circulo: Tiberii Constantini Perpetui Augusti; ab alia vero parte habenies quadrigam et ascensorem, continentesque scriptum: Gloria Romanorum. (Ibid.)
[* ] Ibique nobis rex missorium magnum, quod ex auro gemmisque fabricaverat in quinquaginta librarum pondere ostendit. (Ibid.)
[† ] Ego hæc ad exornandam atque nobilitandam Francorum gentem feci. Sed et plurima adhuc, si vita comes fuerit, faciam. (Ibid.)
[‡ ] Judæus quidam, Priscus nomine, qui el ad species coemendas familiaris erat ..... (Ibid., p. 267.)
[§ ] Igitur Chilpericus rex impedimenta moveri præcipiens Parisius venire disponit. Ad quem cùm jam vale dicturus accederem, Judæus advenit. (Ibid.)
[∥ ] Cujus cæsarie rex blande adprehensa manu, ait ad me, dicens: Veni, sacerdos Dei, et impone manum super eum. (Ibid.)
[¶ ] Illo autem renitente, ait rex: O mens dura, et generatio semper incredula, quæ non intelligit Dei Filium sibi prophetarum vocibus repromissum! (Ibid.)
[* ] Judæus ait: Deus non eget conjugio, neque prole ditatur, neque ullum consortem regni habere patitur ......... (Ibid.)
[† ] Ad hæc rex ait: Deus ab spiritali utero Filium genuit sempiternum, non ætate juniorem, non potestate minorem, de quo ipse ait ..... Quod autem ais, quia ipse non generet, audi prophetam tuum dicentem ex voce dominica ... (Ibid.) Ps. cix. 3. cvi. 21. Isaiah lxvi. 9.
[‡ ] Ad hæc Judæus respondit: Numquid Deus homo fieri potuit, aut de muliere nasci, verberibus subdi, morte damnari? (Greg. Turon., loc. supr. cit.)
[§ ] Ad hæc rege tacente, in medium me ingerens dixi ...... (Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc., lib. vi. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 267.)
[* ] Ut Deus, Dei filius, homo fieret, non suæ sed nostræ necessitatis exstitit causa ...... Ego vero, non de enangeliis et apostolo, quæ non credis, sed e tuis libris testimonia præbens, proprio te mucrone confodiam, sicut quondam David Goliam legitur trucidasse. (Ibid.)
[† ] Igitur quod homo futurus esset, audi prophetam tuum ... Quod autem de Virgine nascitur, audi similiter prophetam tuum dicentem .....—(Ibid.) Baruch iii. 36—38. Isa. vii. 14. Ps. xxi. 17; lxix. 22.
[‡ ] Judæus respondit: Quæ Deo fuit necessitas, ut ista pateretur? Cul ego ...... (Greg. Turon., lib. vi. p. 268.)
[§ ] Jam dixi tibi, Deus hominem creavit innoxium, sed astu serpentis circumventus ...... (Ibid.)
[∥ ] Non poterat Deus mittere prophetas aut apostolos, qui eum ad viam revocarent salutis, nisi ipse humiliatus fuisset in carne? (Ibid.)
[¶ ] Ad hæc ego: A principio genus semper deliquit humanum, quem nunquam terruit nec submersio diluvii, nec incendium Sodomæ, nec plaga Egypti. (Ibid.)
[* ] Quod autem morbis nostris mederi venturus erat, propheta tuus ait ...... De hoc et Jacob ille, de cujus te jactas venisse generatione, in illa filii sui Judæ benedictione, quasi ad ipsum Christum Filium Dei loquens, ait ...... (Ibid.) Isa. liii. 5, 12; vii. 8. liv. 5. Gen. lix. 8, 9, 12.
[† ] Hæc et alia nobis dicentibus, nunquam compunctus est miser ad credendum. (Ibid.)
[‡ ] Tunc rex, silente illo, cùm videret eum his sermonibus non compungi, ad me conversus, postulat ut, accepta benedictione, discederet; ait enim: Dicam, inquit, tibi, o sacerdos, quod Jacob dixit ad angelum ...... (Ibid., t. ii. p. 268.) Gen. xxxii. 26.
[§ ] Et hæc dicens, aquam manibus porrigi jubet, quibus ablutis, facta oratione ...... (Greg. Turon., loc. supr. cit.)
[∥ ] Accepto pane, gratias Deo agentes, et ipsi accepimus, et regi porreximus, haustoque mero, vale dicentes discessimus. (Ibid.)
[* ] Rex vero, ascenso equite, Parisius est regressus cum conjuge et filia et omni familia sua. (Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc., lib. vi. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 268.)
[† ] See the Third and Fifth Narratives.
[‡ ] Rex vero Chilpericus multos Judæorum eo anno baptizari præcepit. (Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc., lib. vi. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 275.) Et in præceptionibus, quas ad judices pro suis utilitatibus dirigebat, hæc addebat: Si quis præcepta nostra contemserit, oculorum avulsione mulctetur. (Ibid., p. 291.)
[§ ] Ex quibus plure excepit e sancto lavacro. (Ibid., p. 275.)
[∥ ] Priscus vero ad cognoscendam veritatem nulla penitus potuit ratione deflecti. (Ibid., p. 276.)
[¶ ] Tunc iratus rex jussit eum custodiæ mancipari, scilicet ut quem credere voluntarie non poterai, saltem credere faceret vel invitum. (Ibid.)
[* ] Sèd ille, datis quibusdam muneribus, spatium postulat, donec filius ejus Massiliensem Hebræam accipiat. pollicetur dolose se deinceps quæ rex jusserat impleturum. (Ibid.)
[† ] Nonnulli tamen eorum corpore tantum, non corde abluti, ad ipsam quam prius perfidiam habuerant, Deo mentiti regressi sunt, ita ut et sabbatum observare, et diem dominicam honorare viderentur. (Ibid., p. 275, 276.)
[‡ ] Interea oritur intentio inter illum et Phatirem ex Judæo conversum, qui jam regis filius erat ex lavacro (Ibid.)
[§ ] Cùmque die sabbati Priscus præcinctus orario, nullum in manus ferens ferramentum, Mosaicas leges quasi impleturus, secretiora competeret. (Ibid., p. 276.)
[* ] Subito Phatir adveniens, ipsum gladio cum soctis qui aderant jugulavit. Quibus interfectis, ad basilicam sancti Juliani cum pueris suis, qui ad propinquam platæam erant, confugit. (Ibid.)
[† ] Cùmque ibidem residerent, audiunt quod rex dominum vita excessum, famulos tamquam malefactores a basilica tractos, juberet interfici. (Ibid.)
[‡ ] Tunc unus ex his evaginato gladio, domino suo jam fugato, socios suos interficit. (Ibid.)
[§ ] Ipse postmodum cum gladio de basilica egressus ... sed inruente super se populo, crudeliter interfectus est. (Ibid.)
[∥ ] Phatir autem, accepta licentia, ad regnum Guntchramni, unde venerat, est regressus: sad non post multos dies a parentibus Prisci interfectus est. (Ibid.)
[* ] Leudastes in Turonicum cum præcepto regis advenit, ut uxorem reciperet, ibique commoraretur (Ibid., p. 282.)
[† ] Sed et nobis epistolam sacerdotum manu subscriptam detulit, ut in communionem acciperetur. (Ibid.)
[‡ ] Sed quoniam litteras reginæ non vidimus, cujus causa maxime a communione remotus fuerat, ipsum recipere distuli dicens. Cùm reginæ mandatum suscepero, tunc eum recipere non morabor. (Ibid.)
[* ] Interea ad eam dirigo: quæ mihi scripta remisit dicens: Compressa a multis, aliud facere non potui, nisi ut eum abire permitterem; nunc autem rogo, ut pacem tuam non mereatur, neque eulogias de manu tua suscipiat, donec a nobis quid agi debeat plenitus pertractetur. (Ibid.) For the distribution of the eulogies to non-excommunicated persons, see the Third Narrative.
[† ] At ego hæc scripta relegens timui ne interficeretur. (Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc., lib. vi. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 282.)
[‡ ] Accersitoque socero ejus hæc ei innotui, obsecrans ut se cautum redderet, donec reginæ animus leniretur. (Ibid.)
[§ ] Sed ille consilium meum, quod pro Dei intuitu simpliciter insinuavi, dolose suspiciens, cùm adhuc nobis esset inimicus, noluit agere quæ mandavi ...... Spreto ergo hoc consilio, ad regem dirigit, qui tunc cum exercitu in pago Miglidunensi degebat. (Ibid.)
[∥ ] See Third Narrative.
[* ] Chilpericus rex legatos nepotis sui Childeberti suscepit, inter quos primus erat Egidius Remensis episcopus (Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc., lib. vi. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 281.)
[† ] Quod cum juramento firinassent, obsidesque inter se dedissent, discesserunt. Igitur fidens in promissis eorum Chilpericus, commoto regni sui exercitu ...... (Ibid.)
[‡ ] Tunc misit nuntios ad supradictos duces, dicens: Ingredimini Bituricum, et accedentes usque ad civitatem, sacramenta fidelitatis exigite de nomine nostro. (Ibid.)
[§ ] Berulfus vero dux cum Turonicis Pictavis Andegavisque, atque Namneticis, ad terminum Bituricum venit; Desiderius vero et Bladastes, cum omni exercitu provinciæ sibi commissee, ab alia parte Bituricum vallant. (Ibid.)
[* ] Biturici vero cum quindecim millibus ad Mediolanense castrum (Château Meillan) confluunt. (Ibid.)
[† ] Ibique contra Desiderium ducem configunt: factaque est ibi strages magna, ita ut de utroque exercitu amplius quam septem millia cecidissent. (Ibid.)
[‡ ] Duces quoque cum reliqua parte populi, ad civitatem pervenerunt, cuncta diripientes vel devastantes: talisque depopulatio inibi acta est, qualis nec antiquitus est audita fuisse, ut nec domus remaneret, nec vinea nec arbores; sed cuncta succiderent, incenderent, debellarent. Nam et ab ecclesiis auferentes sacra ministeria ...... (Ibid., p. 281, 282.)
[§ ] Adriani Valesii Rer. Francic., lib. xi. p. 157.
[∥ ] Chilpericus ...... Parisius venit; ubi cúm resedisset, magnum dispendium rerum incolis intulit. (Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc., lib. vi. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 281, 212.)
[* ] Chilpericus vero jussit exercitum qui ad eum accessit, per Parisius transire. Quo transeunte et ipse transiit, atque ad Miglidunense castrum abiit, cuncta incendio tradens atque devastans. (Ibid., p. 281.)
[† ] Adriani Valesii Rer. Francic., lib. xi. p. 157.
[‡ ] Ibid., p. 160.
[* ] Deprecatusque est populum, ut regi preces funderet ut ejus præsentiam mereretur. Deprecante igitur omni populo ...... (Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc., lib. vi. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 282.)
[† ] Rex se videndum ei præbuit, prostratusque pedibus ejus veniam flagitavit: cui rex. Cautum, inquit, te redde paulisper, donec visa regina conveniat qualiter ad ejus gratiam revertaris, cui multum inveniris esse culpabilis. (Ibid., p. 282, 283.)
[‡ ] Guntchramnus vero rex cum exercitu contra fratrem suum advenit totam spem in Dei judicio collocans (Ibid.) Ipse autem rex, ut sæpe diximus, in eleemosynis magnus, in vigilis atque jejuniis promptus erat. (Ibid., lib. ix. p. 347.)
[* ] Qui die una jam vespere, misso exercitu, maximam partem de germani sui exercitu interfecit. (Ibid. lib. vi. t. ii. p. 282.) Cuneumque hostium, præ cupiditate ab aliis segregatum, crepusculo noctis egressus ultima labefactavit pernicie. (Aimoini, Monachi Floriac. de Gest Franc. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. iii. p. 90.)
[† ] Mane autem concurrentibus legatis, pacem fecerunt. (Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc., lib. vi. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 282.) Adriani Valesii Rer. Francic., lib. xi. p. 158.
[‡ ] Pollicentes alter alterutro, ut quicquid sacerdotes vel seniores populi judicarent, pars parti componeret quæ terminum legis excesserat. (Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc., lib. vi. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 282.)
[§ ] Et sic pacifici discesserunt ...... At isti qui Biturigas obsidebant, accepto mandato ut reverterentur ad propria... (Ibid.)
[* ] Chilpericus vero rex cùm exercitum suum a prædis arcere non posset, Rothomagensem comitem gladio trucidavit, et sic Parisius rednt omnem relinquens prædam, captivosque relaxans. (Ibid.)
[† ] At ille, ut erat incautus ac levis, in hoc fidens quod regis præsentiam meruisset. (Ibid., p. 283.)
[‡ ] Die dominica in ecclesia sancta reginæ pedibus provolvitur veniam deprecans. (Ibid.)
[* ] At illa frendens et exsecrans, adspectum ejus a se repulit, fusisque lacrymis, ait. Et quia non exstat de filiis, qui criminis mei causas inquirat, tibi eas, Jesu Domine, inquirendas committo. (Ibid.)
[† ] Prostrataque pedibus regis adjecit; Væ mihi, quæ video inimicum meum, et nihil ei prævaleo. (Ibid.)
[‡ ] Tunc repulso eo a loco sancto, missarum solemnia celebrata sunt. (Ibid.)
[§ ] Adriani Valesii Rer. Francic., lib. xi. p. 161.
[∥ ] See Dulaure’s History of Paris, vol. i.
[¶ ] Leudastes usque ad plateam est prosecutus, inopinans quid ei accideret: domosque negotiantum circumiens ... (Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc., lib. vi. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 283.)
[* ] Species rimatur, argentum pensat, atque diversa ornamenta prospicit, dicens: Hæc et hæc comparabo, quia multum mihi aurum argentumque resedit. (Ibid.)
[† ] Igitur egresso rege cum regina de ecclesia sancta ... (Ibid.)
[‡ ] Ista illo dicente ...... (Ibid.) The absence of any vestige of Roman masonry leads us to conjecture that the buildings of that public place were of wood, a very common occurrence at that period in the northern cities of Gaul. The wood architecture often employed in the construction of churches, and other large edifices, was not without taste. (V. Fortunati carmen de Domo lignea, apud Biblioth. Patrum, t. x. p. 583.)
[§ ] Adriani Valesii Rer. Francic., lib. xi. p. 161.
[∥ ] Subito advenientes reginæ pueri, voluerunt eum vincire catenis. (Greg. Turon Hist. Franc., lib. vi. apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. ii. p. 283.)
[¶ ] Ille vero evaginato gladio unum verberat: reliqui exinde succensi felle adprehensis parmis et gladiis, super eum inruerunt. (Ibid.)
[* ] Ex quibus unus librans ictum maximam partem capitis ejus a capillis et cute detexit. (Ibid.)
[† ] Cùmque per pontem urbis fugeret, elapso inter duos axes qui pontem faciunt pede, effracta oppressus est tibia. (Ibid.)
[‡ ] Ligatisque post tergum manibus custodiæ mancipatur. (Ibid.)
[§ ] Fulsitque rex ut substentaretur a medicis quoadusque ab his ictibus sanatus diuturno supplicio cruciaretur. (Ibid.)
[∥ ] Sed cùm ad villam fiscalem ductus fuisset, et com putrescentious plagis extremam ageret vitam. ...... (Ibid.)
[* ] Jussu reginæ in terram projicitur resupinus, positoque ad cervicem ejus vecte immenso ab alio ei gulam verberant; sicque semper perfidam agens vitam, justa morte finivit. (Ibid.)