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purse always seemed to have the better cause. Nor was greed his worst fault; however small the offence, any crime committed by a man that he suspected or envied brought the invariable penalty of death. His mandates were as capricious as they were harsh, for example he once issued an order that no Frank of Burgundy should approach the king's person without the mayor's express permission. This domination of Ebroin lasted until his young master, Chlothar in., of whose personal influence orcharacter we hear naught, died on thevergeof manhoodinG7o.
The autocratic Mayor of the Palace at once raised on the shield Theuderich, Chlothar's youngest brother. But the majority of the Neustrians saw their chance of getting rid of their tyrant. Rising under the leadership of Leodegar, bishop of Autun, they proclaimed Childerich of Austrasia king of the West, as well as of the East Franks, and called him in to their aid. The personal following of Ebroin was too weak to resist the Neustrian and Austrasian nobles combined. He and his puppet king were made captive, and both compelled to take monastic vows—Ebroin at Luxeuil, Theuderich at St. Denis. It might have been better in the end for the Franks if Leodegar had been less merciful to the vanquished Mayor: he was yet to give much trouble.
For three years Childerich reigned over all the Franks: he reached manhood in this time, but the power of the kingship did not pass into his own hand. The Mayor Wulfoald ruled in Austrasia, while bishop Leodegar administered Neustria with some success 'till the old enemy of mankind, whose wont it always is to foment discord, began to stir up against him the envy of the great men whom he had taken as his fellows at the helm, and to sow the tares of malice between him and the king.' Leodegar was at last thrust by his envious colleagues into the monastery of Luxeuil, where he found his old enemy Ebroin awaiting his company. In the same year king
Murder of Childerich was murdered: he had seized a free Childerich i. Frank named Bodolin, and without trial or judgment, bound him naked to a stake, and flogged him in the palace court. No sooner was the furious Neustrian freed from his bonds than he gathered a few friends, and slew the king in his bed.
There followed anarchy all over the Frankish realm, for Childerich had left only an infant son. One party in Neustria took out of the monastery of St. Denis prince Theuderich, who had been Ebroin's candidate for the Neustrian throne three years before, and proclaimed, him king. Wulfoald, the Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia, sent to Ireland to find JDagobert, the long-lost prince whom Grimoald had kidnapped and sent over-sea in 656. Sought out by Wilfred, bishop of York, and perhaps guarded by Northumbrian warriors, Dagobert was brought over to Germany, and raised to the throne. But another party, mainly composed of Austrasians, proclaimed a boy named Chlodovech, whom they said was a natural son of king Chlothar in. Ebroin broke from his monasteryprison, let his hair grow, and joined the adherents of Chlodovech. In this three-cornered duel the kings counted for little or naught, the mayors and the nobles for everything. By his superior daring and persistency Ebroin worked himself once more to the front, and on consenting to abandon the boy pretender, whose cause he had feigned to espouse, was made Mayor of Neustria once more by king Theuderich Tyranny of (678). His first care was to send for his old Ebroin. enemy Leodegar, against whom he entertained an unforgotten grudge, in spite of their common captivity at Luxeuil. The good bishop was brought before him, blinded, and afterwards beheaded. Later generations, remembering his well-meaning government and cruel end, saluted him as a saint (St. Leger).
For three years the wicked Ebroin went forth conquering and to conquer: he used the name of king Theuderich to cover his misdeeds, and ordered everything at his own pleasure. Entering Austrasia he crushed its army, and Dagobert, the king from over-sea, was slain by traitors after his defeat. Some of the East Franks, however, refused to lay down their arms, and placed at their head the heir of the house of Arnulf and Pippin, as the most popular chief that Austrasia could find. This was Pippin the Young, nephew of Mayor Grimoald, son of Ansegisel and Begga, and grandson both of St. Arnulf and Pippin the Old.
THE GREAT MAYORS OF THE PALACE.
Ebroin, however, was strong enough to overbear the resistance of Pippin: at Lafaux, near Laon, he defeated the last Austrasian army in the open field, and compelled all the Franks, from Meuse to Rhine, to acknowledge his protege Theuderich as king. He himself became mayor both of Neustria, Burgundy, and Austrasia, and might well have aspired to assume the royal title. But a private enemy, whose death he had been plotting, secretly murdered him in 681, and with his death the ascendency of Neustria came to an Rise of end. The Austrasians once more took up arms
Pippm iI. under Pippin the Young, and after seven more weary years of civil war, a decisive battle at Testry near St. Quentin settled the fate of the Frankish realms (687). Pippin with the men of the East was completely victorious, and Theuderich and the Neustrians were compelled to take what term
he chose to give them. He claimed to be what Ebroin had been, mayor both in East and West, but he chose to dwell himself at Metz, the home of his grandfather, and from thence administered Austrasia almost as an independent ruler; while regents named by him guided the steps of king Theuderich in Neustria. By the fight of Testry the question of precedence between Austrasia and Neustria was finally settled in favour of the former. From this moment onward, the EastFrankish house of the descendants of Arnulf and Pippin is of far more importance in Frankish history than the effete royal family. Warned by the fate of Grimoald, they did not again demand the crown for a space of eighty years, and were con- _ tent with a practical domination without any regal name. Henceforth we shall find the Franks more Teutonic and less Gallo-Roman than they had hitherto been: the central point of the realm is for the future to be found about Austrasian Metz, Aachen and Kolh, not around Neustrian Soissons, Paris, or Laon.
Pippin, the son of Ansegisel, was Mayor of the Palace for twenty-six years (688-714), a period in which he did much to rescue the Frankish realm from the dilapidation and evil governance which it had experienced for the last fifty years. His first task was to endeavour to restore the ancient boundaries of the kingdom; for during the reigns of the sons and grandsons of Dagobert I., the old limits of the realm had fallen back on every side. On the eastern border the homage which the Bavarian dukes owed to the Merovings Dilapidation had been completely forgotten; for all practical of the realmpurposes they were now independent. Farther north, the Thuringians were in much the same condition; they had been saved from the Slavonic hordes of Samo by their own chiefs, not by their Frankish suzerain, and since they had repulsed the Slavs had gone on their own way, caring nought who ruled at Metz or Koln. The Frisians of the Rhinemouth, a race whom the Merovings had never subdued, were pushing their raids into the valleys of the Scheldt and Meuse. These were all comparatively outlying tribes, whose freedom is easily explained by their distance from the centre of government. But it is more surprising to find that even the Suabians or Alamanni, on the very threshold of Austrasia, along the Rhine and Neckar and in the Black Forest, had of late refused the homage which for two hundred years they had been accustomed to render to the Merovings, and paid no obedience to any one save their own local dukes. In the south also the Gallo-Romans of Aquitaine had achieved practical independence under a duke named Eudo, who was said to be descended from Charibert, king of Aquitaine, the brother of Dagobert I.
For fifty years Pippin and his son Charles were to work at the restoration of the ancient frontier of the Frankish realm, beating down by constant hard fighting the various vassal tribes who had slipped away from beneath the Frankish yoke. Pippin's chief wars were with the Frisians and the Suabians, against both of whom he obtained great successes. After a long struggle he compelled Radbod, the duke of the Frisians, to do homage to king Theuderich, and cede to the Franks Frisia West-Frisia, the group of marshy islands between
subdued. the Scheldt-mouth and the Zuider Zee, which is now called Zealand and South Holland. To protect this new conquest Pippin set up or restored castles at Utrecht and Dorstadt, new towns destined to become, the one the ecclesiastical, and the other the commercial, centre of the lands by the Rhine-mouth. Duke Radbod was also compelled to give his daughter in marriage to Pippin's eldest son, Grimoald.
Another series of campaigns were directed against the Suabians. Pippin followed them into the depths of their forests, and compelled their duke Godfrid to acknowledge himself, as his fathers had done, the vassal of the Franks.
It is very noticeable that under Pippin's rule and by his aid the conversion of Germany to Christianity was begun. The descendants of St. Arnulf were, as befitted the issue of such a holy man, zealous friends of the Church and patrons of mis