Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. VI.: Second Epocha of the Humiliation of our Kings of the first Race. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. VI.: Second Epocha of the Humiliation of our Kings of the first Race. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 2.
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Second Epocha of the Humiliation of our Kings of the first Race.
AFTER the execution of Brunechild, the mayors were administrators of the kingdom under the sovereigns; and though they had the conduct of the war, yet the kings were always at the head of the armies, and the mayor and the nation fought under their command. But the victory* of duke Pepin over Theodoric and his mayor, completed† the degradation of our princes; and that‡ which Charles Martel obtained over Chilperic and his mayor Rainfroy, confirmed it. Austrasia triumphed twice over Neustria and Burgundy; and the mayoralty of Austrasia being annexed as it were to the family of the Pepins, this mayoralty and family became greatly superior to all the rest, The conquerors were then afraid lest some person of credit should seize the king’s person, in order to excite disturbances. For this reason they kept∥ them in the royal palace as in a kind of prison, and once a year shewed them to the people. There they made ordinances, but§ these were such as were dictated by the mayor; they answered ambassadors, but the mayor made the answers. This is the time mentioned by* historians of the government of the mayors over the kings whom they held in subjection.
The extravagant passion of the nation for Pepin’s family went so far, that they chose one of his grandsons, who was yet† an infant, for mayor; and put him over one Dagobert, that is, one phantom over another.
[* ]See the annals of Metz, year 687, and 688.
[† ]Illis quidem nomina regum imponens, ipse totius regni habens privilegium, &c. Annals of Metz, year 695.
[‡ ]Ibid, year 719.
[∥ ]Sedemque illi regalem sub sua ditione concessit. Ibid. anno 719.
[§ ]Ex chronico Centulensi, lib. 2. Ut responsa quæ erat eductus vel potius jussus ex sua velut potestate redderet.
[* ]Annals of Metz, anno 691. Anno principatus Pippini super Theodoricum . . . . . Annals of Fuld, or of Laurisham. Pippinus dux Francorum obtinuit regum Francorum per annos 27. cum regibus sibi subjectis.
[† ]Posthæc Theudoaldus filius ejus (Grimoaldi) parvulus in loco ipsius, cum prædicto rege Dagoberto, major-domus pallatii effectus est. The anonymous continuator of Fredegarius in the year 714. chap. 104.