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tion. The old emperor was forwarded to the abbey of St. Médard at Soissons, and placed in confinement in its tower. The most strenuous efforts were made to induce him to abdicate and take the monastic vows. But though he would have been willing enough to do so if unconstrained, Lewis refused to lay down his crown when force and threats were employed, Failing to induce him to resign, Lothair and archbishop Ebbo assembled an ecclesiastical council of the bishops of Gaul and formally declared the emperor deposed for incapacity and evil government. The unthinking Lothair was indeed preparing a rod for the back of all future emperors when he allowed the clergy to usurp such power Though Lewis would not acknowledge that he was legally dethroned, to do penance he was now, as always, only too ready, and Lothair at last resolved to be contented with this. His father's humiliation could not have been greater if he had formally resigned the crown. The old emperor came before the altar of St Médard with his sword and wearing the jewelled imperial dalmatic. Then laying the weapon and robe upon the altar he cast round himself a cloak of sackcloth and read a declaration in eight articles, whereby he accused himself of being, by his sins, the sole cause of the disorders of the empire. He began with deploring the death of Bernard of Italy, the sole crime of which he can fairly be held guilty. Then he went on to accuse himself of many futile offences— such as that of summoning an army to meet during the holy season of Lent. He was even mean enough to own that he had The Penance of done evil in permitting his wife to throw off the *** monastic veil, and clear herself by compurgation from the charges brought against her: in so doing, he confessed, he might have abetted perjury. Having read this humiliating document, the old man laid the parchment on the altar, and retired again to his prisontower. But the degrading scene had not the effect that Lothair had hoped. Men felt more indignation against the son who could force his father to such humiliation, than contempt for the father who could submit to it. The crowd outside the church tried to mob Lothair. The counts of Austrasia and Saxony began to gather armed bands against him. Scared at their approach the younger king fled away into Burgundy. The German counts at once drew Lewis out of his confinement, girt him once more with the sword of empire, and proclaimed him sole ruler of the Frankish realm. A considerable army set out to pursue Lothair, and though he checked its pursuit at a skirmish near Chalons-sur-Saône, he none the Lewis again less withdrew from Gaul, and took refuge in his restored, 834. own kingdom of Lombardy. This was the first blood actually shed in battle in the civil war. The vengeance of Heaven seemed to pursue the undutiful son and his adherents. Soon after he had reached Italy a pestilence smote his army, and slew his chief councillors, the aged Wala and Jesse of Amiens together with Matfrid, count of Orleans, the chief of his men of war. Lothair himself was stricken down, and lay for many weeks at the gate of death, but he struggled through to give many more troublous years to the empire. The two great ecclesiastics who had shared with Wala the guilt of the illegal deposition of the old emperor, Ebbo of Rheims and Agobard of Lyons, fell into the hands of the partisans of Lewis. Both were deposed from their archbishoprics, and Ebbo the ungratesul foster-brother of the emperor was put into solitary confinement in the abbey of Fulda in the heart of Germany. Still untaught by his misfortunes, Lewis now took the one step most certain to alienate his newly recovered popularity. He summoned a diet at Crémieux, near Lyons, and proposed in it a new division of his realm. Lothair was to be punished by being deprived of all his dominions save Italy. The greater part of the confiscated land–Burgundy, Provence, and the old Austrasian realm about Metz and Trier—was to go to the dearly-loved Charles, now a boy of fourteen years of age. This project pleased nobody. It rendered Lothair desperate, did not please Lewis and Pippin, and disgusted the whole of the Franks, who exclaimed that the sole cause of the wars was to be found in the emperor's doting affection for his youngest son. It is probable that another war would have broken out, if a new disaster had not fallen upon the realm, The first great Viking invasion was just about to descend upon the empire. The men of the North had seen its forces turned aside into fratricidal civil war, and took the opportunity to make havoc of the undefended coastland. In 835 when Lothair was being driven back towards Italy, they landed in great force in Frisia and sacked Utrecht, its metropolitan city, and Dorstad, the great harbour and mart of the province—the predecessor in commercial history of Rotterdam. In 836 while Lewis had been planning the redivision of his empire to the prejudice of Lothair at the diet of Crémieux, the Danes harried Flanders and burnt the new city of Antwerp. Now in 837 they fell upon the island of Walcheren, wasted it, and worked up the Rhine mouth with fire and sword as far as Nimuegen. Relinquishing his plans against Italy, Lewis the Pious turned against the heathen of the North, and marched The Danes on rapidly towards the scene of their ravages. But the Rhine,836, the Danes did not yet dare to face the full imperial army of Frankland, and fled away to their ships . leaving nothing in front of the emperor but ravaged fields and burning villages. Lewis returned at once to his unwise schemes for endowing his well-beloved Charles. At a great council at Aachen in 837 he girt the boy, now aged fifteen, with the royal sword, crowned him with his own hands, and bestowed on him not only the Suabian and Burgundian lands that he had been promised at the diet of Crémieux, but a great tract of German land up to the borders of Saxony, which had been previously allotted to Lewis of Bavaria. The counts and prelates of the new realm were bidden to do homage to their young ruler, and become his men. Lewis of Bavaria, however, was determined not to give up
his promised inheritance in Germany, and found support among all the Teutonic peoples east of the Rhine, who had no wish to be handed over to the boy Charles. He mustered an army, sent to beg the help of his brother Lothair, and stood on the defensive. The old emperor replied by summoning a great council at Cérisy-sur-Oise, at which he declared Lewis deprived of all his lands save Bavaria, and conferred them on the young Charles. Immediately afterwards Pippin of Aquitaine died, and the emperor put the finishing touches to his unwisdom by handing over the whole of Pippin's realms to his darling. If this plan had been carried out, Lewis would have left all the Frankish empire north of the Alps, save the single duchy of Bavaria, to his youngest child. The worst point in the project was that Pippin left sons, and the eldest of them— his father's namesake—was a growing boy of about the same age as Charles. The majority of the people of Aquitaine would have nothing to say to the transfer of their allegiance, and proclaimed Pippin the younger king in his father's room. The emperor, with transparent injustice, declared the boy too young to reign, and bade the Aquitanians send him to Aachen to be trained up at his court and learn the art of government —an art which Lewis was so competent to teach | When the young Pippin did not appear, Lewis threatened his southern subjects with invasion. At once the civil war burst out in East and West and South. Lewis of Bavaria broke into Suabia; the Gascon followers of Pippin the Young marched on the Loire. At the same time the Danes who had been narrowly watching their opportunity returned to the Frisian coast, destroyed Dorstad for the second time and harried all the lands about the Rhine mouth. (Spring of 839.) At his wit’s end to know which foe he should first attack, the emperor resolved to seek aid in the only place where it might still be found. Consigning to oblivion all memories of the Lügenfeld, and the humiliations before the altar of St. Médard, he besought the help of his eldest son. Lothair on his side was anxious to recover his PERIOD I. 2 C
birthright, and to be recognised once more as heir to the empire. He hurried from Pavia to Worms, to place himself at his father's disposition. Kneeling before the old man in full meeting of the great council, he confessed his ingratitude and repeated treasons, and asked for pardon. But while ostensibly craving for forgiveness only, he had secretly stipulated for reward. Accordingly Lewis the Pious now proclaimed the last of the many partitions of the empire which had been the bane of his life. The Placitum of Worms stated that Lewis of Bavaria should retain his original Bavarian duchy alone, that the younger Pippin should be wholly disinherited, and that Lothair and Charles should divide the empire. The eldest son and heir took Italy, Saxony, Suabia, all the Frankish lands on the Meuse and Rhine, and the Burgundian and Provençal realms along the Rhone. The dearly-loved Charles was given Neustria and Aquitaine, the two kingdoms whose union roughly represents the modern land of France." The year 840 saw the commencement of the civil war, with a new arrangement of combatants. Lewis the elder, Lothair, and Charles, against Lewis the young, and Pippin. Fortune favoured the old man for once. He first marched into AquiThird civil taine, drove the rebels before him, and forced the War, 839 bishops and counts of the land beyond the Loire to do homage to Charles at Clermont in Auvergne. Contrary to his usual custom the emperor did not pardon all his enemies, but beheaded several of the chief partisans of the young Pippin. Aquitaine was no sooner overrun, than Lewis, with a vigour which he had never shown before—it was the dying flash of his life's energy—wheeled his army northward and marched against his son the king of Bavaria. So rapid was the attack that the younger Lewis was driven out of Suabia, chased along the Bavarian bank of the Danube, and forced to take refuge
in the far Ost-Mark on the Slavonic border. The emperor
* France, that is, minus the lands between Rhone and Alps, and plus Flanders and Catalonia.