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but some small encouragement to turn this feeling into active disloyalty. The year of the council of Attigny was the last year of good fortune for Lewis. It was followed by premonitory symptoms of evil all over his realm. The Moors of Spain, quiescent for more than twenty years, sent a sudden invasion into Septimania. The Danes drove out their king Harald, a protégé of Lewis and a favourer of Christianity, and began to ravage the Frisian coast. But there were worse foes than Saracen or Dane awaiting Lewis in his own household. His eldest son Lothair, under the tutelage of the unforgiving Wala, had begun to display an alarming amount of self-will and disregard for his father's wishes and the common weal of the empire. He bore himself like an independent king at his court in Pavia. In 829 the fatal civil wars of the ninth century began. Charles, the young son of Lewis and Judith, had now attained his seventh year, and his future had become the greatest concern of his father and mother. The emperor, always brooding over his own latter end, was convinced that he had not long to live : he was filled with fears as to the fate of the Joseph of his old age when he should fall into the hands of his brethren. Urged on by his wife he determined to make some provision for the boy in the event of his own early death. He set aside the duchy of Alamannia and the Swiss and Burgundian Alpine lands to the south of it, as a kingdom for his youngest SOIn. Lewis declared his purpose of erecting the kingdom of Alamannia at a great council held at Worms, to which no one of his three elder sons vouchsafed his presence. The moment that the edict was published murmuring and conspiracy began. The new kingdom was carved out of territory which would have ultimately fallen to Lothair, but his two brothers showed themselves quite as resentful at the partition as was the heir of the empire. Their wrath found vent in slanderous rumours: they did not shrink from asserting that Charles was no brother of theirs. Bernard of Septimania, they said, had betrayed their father and seduced the old man's wife. The accusation was absolutely without foundation, but it met with wide belief. The chiefs of the higher clergy joined themselves to the royal princes; Wala found an opportunity of revenging himself by aiding the conspiracy; the ministers Ebbo and Hildwin, who had found themselves superseded in favour by count Bernard, had the ingratitude to join in the plot against the man who had raised them from the dust. First civil The two chief prelates of Gaul, Agobard of Lyons War, 829. and Jesse of Amiens, were also of the conspirators. A general revolt was planned before the unsuspecting Lewis had any notion that aught was amiss. It burst out in the next spring. A new rising of the Bretons had called the emperor off into a remote corner of his realm. He summoned a small force to follow him, and was soon lost to sight on the distant western moors. But the very moment that the emperor was gone his enemies set to work to stir up rebellion. The implacable Wala harangued the west Frankish nobles, and sent letters to the chief ecclesiastics of Gaul in which he accused the emperor of ruining the unity of the Church and the empire, the one by his interference with things sacred, the other by his neglect of things secular. Lewis had become a mere tool in the hands of an adulterous wife and an unfaithful servant, and it was the duty of good Christians and patriotic Franks to rescue the empire from its shame. Pippin of Aquitaine soon gave point to the harangues of Wala by leading a Gascon army to Paris, where all the counts of Neustria joined him in arms, Lothair sent word from Italy that he was approaching at the head of a great host of Lombards. Presently Lewis came back from Brittany to find the land in arms behind him : he penetrated as far as Compiègne before he was surrounded by the forces of Pippin. Beset by an overwhelming host of enemies, the army of the emperor dispersed, and he himself fell into the hands of the rebels. His sons put him in confinement, pending the meeting of a grand council. The empress Judith they dragged from sanctuary • and forced under the terror of death to take the veil at Poictiers. But when the great council of the empire assembled at Nimuegen in the next spring a reaction had followed the first success of the rebellion. The meeting was in the heart of the old Frankish land, where the rebels had few sympathisers, and the counts of the Rhineland and northern Germany came up to it with such a following of armed men and such a truculent aspect that the Neustrians and Lombards who accompanied Pippin and Lothair were quite overawed. Without a sword being drawn or a blow struck the tables were completely turned, and the old emperor found his rebel sons at his feet. He showed himself merciful—all too merciful—in the moment of his triumph. Lothair was despoiled of his imperial title, but permitted to keep his kingdom of Italy, and sent back unharmed to Pavia. Pippin returned to Aquitaine pardoned also. The rancorous Wala, the soul of the conspiracy, was sent back to his cloister at Corbey and bidden to live according to his rule, till his disloyal murmurings provoked the emperor into banishing him into a less comfortable seclusion on the shores of the Lake of Geneva. Lewis ge. The discomfiture of the rebels released the throned and empress Judith from her nunnery; but Lewis “** thought it necessary to make her clear herself by compurgation from the cruel charges that had been brought against her, before she was released from her monastic vows.
Lewis was once more emperor, but the mercy with which
he had treated his conquered enemies was destined to breed him unending troubles. His undutiful sons had been left as powerful as before, and instead of feeling grateful for their pardon, were only vexed at the mismanagement which had ruined their well-planned conspiracy. When they had returned" to their kingdoms they merely took breath for a space, and then recommenced their intrigues. This time Lothair and Pippin took pains to enlist their younger brother, Lewis of Bavaria, in the plot. By his means they hoped to divide Germany, for the young king was very popular in his own
realm, and counted many adherents beyond its bounds. His
hosts faced each other in the plains of the Rothfeld, and a battle appeared imminent. But the pious emperor was still loth that blood should be shed in the quarrel: he held back from the fight and offered to treat with his sons. The princes knew their father's weakness, and learnt that his army was much discouraged and demoralised. They determined to try fraud rather than force, and assented to the proposal to negotiate. Pope Gregory lent himself to their plans, and presented himself before the emperor in the character of an impartial mediator. But he had not been long in the old man's camp before the imperial army began to melt away. To all appearance the Pope had sold himself to his patron king Lothair, and used his opportunities to persuade the counts and bishops who still remained loyal that they were adhering to a doomed cause. There soon were agents of all kinds passing between the two camps, and their influence was fatal. One after another the chief leaders of the emperor's host fled away by night to their homes, or with still greater baseness took their soldiery over to the hostile encampment. At last a mere handful mustered under the imperial banner. Looking round on their scanty ranks the emperor exclaimed, half in sarcasm, half in Christian resignation, “Go ye also to my sons: it would be a pity if any man lost life or limb on my account.” The counts wept, but they departed, and Lewis was left standing alone in the door of his tent, with his wife at his side and his son Charles clinging to his hand. From that day the The Lügen. plain of the Rothfeld was called by the Franks feld, 833. the Field of Lies—the Lügenfeld, the ‘Campus Mendacii ubi plurimorum side/itas extincta est.” (June 833.) At once the sons of the emperor Swooped down on their helpless prey. They promptly rode over to the empty camp of Lewis, and after saluting their father with feigned respect set a guard over his tent. Judith was reinvested with the veil, and sent over the Alps to Lothair's fortress of Tortona. The boy Charles was consigned to the monastery of Prüm : his extreme youth saved him both from blinding and ordina