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pursued, and confined, the Britons on the shores of the ocean; and that ferocious tribe, whose origin and language are so different from the French, was chastised by the imposition of tribute, hostages, and peace. After a long and evasive contest, the rebellion of the dukes of Aquitain was punished by the forfeiture of their province, their liberty, and their lives. Harsh and rigorous would have been such treatment of ambitious governors, who had too faithfully copied the mayors of the palace. But a recent discovery" has proved that these unhappy princes were the last and lawful heirs of the blood and sceptre of Clovis, a younger branch, from the brother of Dagobert, of the Merovingian house. Their ancient kingdom was reduced to the duchy of Gascogne, to the counties of Fesenzac and Armagnac, at the foot of the Pyrenees: their race was propagated till the beginning of the sixteenth century; and, after surviving their Carlovingian tyrants, they were reserved to feel the injustice, or the favours, of a third dynasty. By the re-union of Aquitain, France was enlarged to its present boundaries, with the additions of the Netherlands and Spain, as far as the Rhine. II. The Saracens had been expelled from France by the grandfather and father of Charlemagne; but they still possessed the greatest part of SPAIN, from the rock of Gibraltar to the Pyrenees. Amidst their civil divisions, an Arabian emir of Saragossa implored his protection in the diet of Paderborn. Charlemagne undertook the expedition, restored the emir, and without distinction of faith, impartially crushed the resistance of the Christians, and rewarded the obedience and service
° Of a charter granted to the monastery of Alaon (A. D. 845) by Charles the Bald, which deduces this royal pedigree. I doubt whether some subsequent links of the ixth and xth centuries are equally firm; yet the whole is approved and defended by M. Gaillard (tom. ii. p. 60–81. 203–206), who affirms that the family of Montesquiou (not of the president de Montesquieu) is descended, in the female line, from Clotaire and Clovis—an innocent pretension'
of the Mahometans. In his absence he instituted the CHAP. Spanish march," which extended from the Pyrenees “* to the river Ebro: Barcelona was the residence of the French governor: he possessed the counties of Rousillon and Catalonia; and the infant kingdoms of Navarre and Arragon were subject to his jurisdiction. III. As king of the Lombards, and patrician of Italy, Rome, he reigned over the greatest part of ITALY," a tract of a thousand miles from the Alps to the borders of Calabria. The duchy of Beneventum, a Lombard fief, had spread, at the expense of the Greeks, over the modern kingdom of Naples. But Arrechis, the reigning duke, refused to be included in the slavery of his country; assumed the independent title of prince; and opposed his sword to the Carlovingian monarchy. His defence was firm, his submission was not inglorious, and the emperor was content with an easy tribute, the demolition of his fortresses, and the acknowledgment, on his coins, of a supreme lord. The artful flattery of his son Grimoald added the appellation of father, but he asserted his dignity with prudence, and Beneventum insensibly escaped from the French yoke." IV. Charlemagne was the first Germany, who united GERMANY under the same sceptre. The name of Oriental France is preserved in the circle of Franconia; and the people of Hesse and Thuringia were recently incorporated with the victors, by the conformity of religion and government. The Alemanni, so formidable to the Romans, were the faithful vassals and confederates of the Franks; and
* The governors or counts of the Spanish march revolted from Charles the Simple about the year 900; and a poor pittance, the Rousillon, has been recovered in 1642 by the kings of France (Longuerue, Description de la France, tom. i. p. 220–222). Yet Rousillon contains 188,900 subjects, and annually pays 2,600,000 livres (Necker, Administration des Finances, tom. i. p. 278, 279); more people, perhaps, and doubtless more money, than the march of Charlemagne.
* Schmidt, Hist. des Allemands, tom. ii. p. 200, &c.
‘See Giannone, tom. i. p. 374, 375, and the Annals of Myratori.
their country was inscribed within the modern limits of Alsace, Swabia, and Switzerland. The Bavanians, with a similar indulgence of their laws and manners, were less patient of a master: the repeated treasons of Tasillo justified the abolition of their hereditary dukes; and their power was shared among the counts, who judged and guarded that important frontier. But the north of Germany, from the Rhine
and beyond the Elbe, was still hostile and Pagan;
nor was it till after a war of thirty-three years that the Saxons bowed under the yoke of Christ and of Charlemagne. The idols and their votaries were extirpated: the foundation of eight bishoprics, of Munster, Osnaburgh, Paderborn, and Minden, of Bremen, Verden, Hildesheim, and Halberstadt, define, on either side of the Weser, the bounds of ancient Saxony; these episcopal seats were the first schools and cities of that savage land; and the religion and humanity of the children atoned, in some degree, for the massacre of the parents. Beyond the Elbe, the Slavi, or Sclavonians, of similar manners and various denominations, overspread the modern dominions of Prussia, Poland, and Bohemia, and some transient marks of obedience have tempted the French historian to extend the empire to the Baltic and the Vistula. The conquest or conversion of those countries is of a more recent age; but the first union of Bohemia with the Germanic body may be justly ascribed to the arms of Charlemagne. V. He retaliated on the Avars, or Huns of Pannonia, the same calamities which they had inflicted on the nations. Their rings, the wooden fortifications which encircled their districts and villages, were broken down by the triple effort of a French army, that was poured into their country by land and water, through the Carpathian mountains and along the plain of the Danube. After a bloody conflict of eight years, the loss of some French generals was avenged by the slaughter of the most noble Huns: the relics of the nation submitted: the royal residence of the chagan was left desolate and unknown; and the treasures, the rapine of two hundred and fifty years, enriched the victorious troops, or decorated the churches of Italy and Gaul." After the reduction of Pannonia, the empire of Charlemagne was bounded only by the conflux of the Danube with the Teyss and the Save: the provinces of Istria, Liburnia, and Dalmatia, were an easy, though unprofitable, accession; and it was an effect of his moderation, that he left the maritime cities under the real or nominal sovereignty of the Greeks. But these distant possessions added more to the reputation than to the power of the Latin emperor; nor did he risk any ecclesiastical foundations to reclaim the barbarians from their vagrant life and idolatrous worship. Some canals of communication between the rivers, the Sôane and the Meuse, the Rhine and the Danube, were faintly attempted." Their execution would have vivified the empire; and more cost and labour were often wasted in the structure of a cathedral. If we retrace the outlines of this geographical picture, it will be seen that the empire of the Franks extended, between east and west, from the Ebro to the Elbe or Vistula; between the north and south, from the duchy of Beneventum to the river Eyder, the perpetual boundary of Germany and Denmark. The g Quot praelia in eo gesta! quantum sanguinis effusum sit! Testatur vacua omni habitatione Pannonia, et locus in quo regia Cagani fuit ita desertus, ut ne vestigium quidem humanae habitationis appareat. Tota in hoc bello Hunnorum nobilitas periit, tota gloria decidit, omnis pecunia et congesti ex longo tempore thesauri direpti sunt. * The junction of the Rhine and Danube was undertaken only for the service of the Pannonian war (Gaillard, Vie de Charlemagne, tom. ii. p. 312–315). The canal, which would have been only two leagues in length, and of which some traces are still extant in Swabia, was interrupted by excessive rains, military CHAP. personal and political importance of Charlemagne
avocations, and superstitious fears (Schaepflin, Hist. de l'Academie des Inscrip-
was magnified by the distress and division of the rest of Europe. The islands of Great Britain and Ireland were disputed by a crowd of princes of Saxon or Scottish origin; and, after the loss of Spain, the Christian and Gothic kingdom of Alphonso the Chaste was confined to the narrow range of the Asturian mountains. These petty sovereigns revered the power or virtue of the Carlovingian monarch, implored the honour and support of his alliance, and styled him their common parent, the sole and supreme emperor of the West." He maintained a more equal intercourse with the caliph Harun al Rashid,' whose dominion stretched from Africa to India, and accepted from his ambassadors a tent, a water-clock, an elephant, and the keys of the holy sepulchre. It is not easy to conceive the private friendship of a Frank and an Arab, who were strangers to each other's person, and language, and religion: but their public correspondence was founded on vanity, and their remote situation left no room for a competition of interest. Two-thirds of the western empire of Rome were subject to Charlemagne, and the deficiency was amply supplied by his command of the inaccessible or invincible nations of Germany. But in the choice of his enemies, we may be reasonably surprised that he so often preferred the poverty of the north to the riches of the south. The three-and-thirty campaigns laboriously consumed in the woods and morasses of Germany, would have sufficed to assert the amplitude of his title by the expulsion of the Greeks from Italy and the Saracens from Spain. The weakness of the Greeks would have ensured an easy
*See Eginhard, c. 16, and Gaillard, tom. ii. p. 361—385, who mentions, with a loose reference, the intercourse of Charlemagne and Egbert, the emperor's gift of his own sword, and the modest answer of his Saxon disciple. The anecdote, if genuine, would have adorned our English histories.
1 The correspondence is mentioned only in the French annals, and the Orientals are ignorant of the caliph's friendship for the Christian dog—a polite appellation, which Harun bestows on the emperor of the Greeks.