Front Cover
 Half Title
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 The Old Kelts
 The Roman Conquest
 The Conversion of Gaul
 The Frank Kingdom
 The Long-haired Kings
 The Second Empire
 Carl of the Hammer
 Carl the Great
 The Republic
 Hugues Capet
 Robert the Pique, Henry I, Philip...
 Louis VII, the Young
 The Carlings
 Philip II, Augustus
 The Counts of Paris
 Alligenses and Louis VIII, the...
 St. Louis IX
 The Communists
 Philip III, the Hardy; and Philip...
 Louis V, Philip VI, Charles...
 Charles VI
 Burgundians and Armagnacs
 Charles VII
 Louis XI
 Charles VIII
 Louis XII
 Louis VI Le Gros
 Francis I - Youth
 Charles V
 Francis I - Middle Age
 The Siege of Paris
 Henry II
 Frances II and Charles IX
 Charles IX
 Henry III
 Henry IV
 Louis XIII
 Louis XIV - Youth
 Louis XIV - Middle Age
 Louis XIV - Old Age
 Louis XV
 Louis XVI
 The Great French Revolution
 Napoleon I
 Louis XVIII
 Charles X
 Louis Philippe
 Back Cover

Title: Aunt Charlotte's stories of French history for the little ones
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027921/00001
 Material Information
Title: Aunt Charlotte's stories of French history for the little ones
Alternate Title: Aunt Charlotte's French history
Physical Description: ix, 286, 6 p., 14 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 17 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Yonge, Charlotte Mary, 1823-1901
Marks, Henry Stacy, 1829-1898 ( Illustrator )
Marcus Ward & Co
Royal Ulster Works
Publisher: Marcus Ward & Co. ;
Marcus Ward & Co.
Royal Ulster Works
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1875
Copyright Date: 1875
Subject: Kings and rulers -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile literature -- France   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1875   ( rbgenr )
Biographies -- 1875   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1875
Genre: Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Biographies   ( rbgenr )
collective biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Northern Ireland -- Belfast
Statement of Responsibility: by Charlotte M. Yonge.
General Note: Added t.p. and frontispiece printed in colors from a water-color by H.S. Marks.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue precedes and follows text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027921
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - ALJ0716
oclc - 60551858
alephbibnum - 002240173

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover 1
        Front cover 2
        Front cover 3
        Front cover 4
    Half Title
        Page i
    Front Matter
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Title Page
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
    List of Illustrations
        Page 9
        Page 10
    The Old Kelts
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17a
    The Roman Conquest
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    The Conversion of Gaul
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    The Frank Kingdom
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    The Long-haired Kings
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45a
        Page 45
    The Second Empire
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
    Carl of the Hammer
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Carl the Great
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    The Republic
        Page 294
        Page 295a
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
    Hugues Capet
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Robert the Pique, Henry I, Philip I
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    Louis VII, the Young
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99a
        Page 99
    The Carlings
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    Philip II, Augustus
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
    The Counts of Paris
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
    Alligenses and Louis VIII, the Lion
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
    St. Louis IX
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    The Communists
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
    Philip III, the Hardy; and Philip IV, the Fair
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124a
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
    Louis V, Philip VI, Charles IV...
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
    Charles VI
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
    Burgundians and Armagnacs
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
    Charles VII
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
    Louis XI
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
    Charles VIII
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175a
        Page 175
        Page 176
    Louis XII
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
    Louis VI Le Gros
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Francis I - Youth
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
    Charles V
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
    Francis I - Middle Age
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
    The Siege of Paris
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
    Henry II
        Page 196
        Page 197a
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
    Frances II and Charles IX
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
    Charles IX
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
    Henry III
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
    Henry IV
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225a
        Page 225
        Page 226
    Louis XIII
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
    Louis XIV - Youth
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
    Louis XIV - Middle Age
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
    Louis XIV - Old Age
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251a
    Louis XV
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
    Louis XVI
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
    The Great French Revolution
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
    Napoleon I
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
    Louis XVIII
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283a
    Charles X
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
    Louis Philippe
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Advertising page 1
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    Back Cover
        Back cover 1
        Back cover 2
        Back cover 3
Full Text

0~~~~~ F. r n 1Y :
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The Baldwin Libray
RraB___LU____o^ .Z

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Uniform b itfy "S stories of trenrcb istorg "

A UNT CHARLOTTE'S Stories of English History for
the Little Ones. In Fifty easy Chapters, with a Frontispiece in Colors by H.
STACY MARKS, A.R.A.; a Half-page Picture to each Chapter, and an Illuminated
Title-page. New Edition, with Questions. Square Octavo, Cloth Extra, Bevelled
Boards, Gilt Edges. Price 6/-

AUNT CHARLOTTE'S Stories of Bible History for the
Little Ones. Three Readings and One Picture for each Sunday in the Year,
with an Illuminated Title-page and Frontispiece in Colors. Square Octavo, Cloth
Extra, Bevelled Boards, Gilt Edges. Price 6/-


a Itartlotte's
v 7$ tor es oF

I -

for tlic fitttle Ones.
SL,, LLA L L, S -L...








T HESE Stories on the History of France are meant
for children perhaps a year older than those on the
History of England. They try to put such facts as
need most to be remembered in a comprehensible form,
and to attach some real characteristic to each reign;
though, in later political history, it is difficult to translate
the leading ideas into anything that can enter an
intellect of seven or eight years old. The gentleman
who, some time ago, recommended teaching history
backwards from our own time, could never have practi-
cally tried how much harder it is to make la Charle or
the Reform Bill interesting to the childish mind, than
how King Robert fed the beggars or William Rufus
was killed by an arrow. Early history is generally
personal, and thus can be far more easily recollected
than that which concerns the multitude, who are indeed
everything to the philanthropist, but are nothing to the
child. Even the popular fairy tale has its princes and
princesses, and the wonder tale of history can only be
carried on in the infant imagination by the like dramatic
Nov. 17th, 1874.


I.-The Old Kelts. B.C. 150 .
II.-The Roman Conquest. B.C. 67-A.D. 79 17
III.-The Conversion of Gaul. 100-400 24
IV.-The Frank Kingdom. 450-533 31
V.-The Long-haired Kings. 533-681 39
VI.-Carl of the Hammer. 681 46
VII.-Carl the Great. 768 53
VIII.-The Carlings. 814-887 6o
IX.-The Counts of Paris. 887-987 67
X.-Hugues Capet. 987-997 74
XI.-Robert the Pious. 997-1031 .
Henry I. 1031-06 81
Philip I. 060-I08 .
XII.-Louis VI., Le Gros. 1108-1137 87
XIII.-Louis VII., The Young. 1037-1180 93
XIV.-Philip II., Augustus. 1I80-1223 zoo
XV.-The Albigenses. 190
Louis VIII., The Lion. 1223-1226
XVI.-St. Louis IX. 1226 114
XVII.-Philip III., The Hardy. 1271-1284 121
Philip IV., The Fair. 1284-1314 .
XVIII.-Louis X., Hutin. 1314-1316 .
Philip V., Le Long. 1316-1322 .
Charles IV., Le Bel. 1322 .
Philip VI. 1350
XIX.-John. 1350-1364 135
XX.-Charles V. 1364-1380 141
XXI.-Charles VI. 1380-1396 147
XXII.-Burgundians and Armagnacs. 1415-1422 153


viii Colen/ts.

XXIII.-Charles VII. 1422-1461 159
XXIV.-Louis XI. 1461-1483 65
XXV.-Charles VIII. 1483-1498 171
XXVI.-Louis XII. 1498-1515 77
XXVII.-Francis I.-Youth. 1515-1526 183
XXVIII.-Francis I.-Middle Age. 1526-1547 190
XXIX.-Henry II. 1547-1559 196
XXX.-Francis II. 1559-1562 .
Charles IX. 1572 .
XXXI.-Charles IX. 1572-1574 209
XXXII.-Henry III. 1574 215
XXXIII.-Henry IV. 1589-16I 221
XXXIV.-Louis XIII. 16Io-1643 227
XXXV.-Louis XIV.-Youth. 1643-1661 233
XXXVI.-Louis XIV.-Middle Age. 1661-1688 239
XXXVIi.-Louis XIV.-Old Age. 1688-1715 245
XXXVIII.-Louis XV. 1715-1774 251
XXXIX.-Louis XVI. 1774-1793 257
XL.-The Great French Revolution. 1792-1796 263
XLI.-Napoleon I. 1796-1814 270
XLII.-Louis XVIII. 1814-1824 277
XLIII.-Charles X. 1824-1830 283
XLIV.-Louis Philippe. 1830-1848 288
XLV.-The Republic. 1848-1852 294
XLVI.-The Second Empire. 1852-1870 300
XLVII.-The Siege of Paris. 1870-1871 306
XLVIII.-The Communists. 1871 312


Interview of Joan of Arc with Charles VII. (p. 161) Frontispiece.
The Messenger of the Arverni sent to the Roman Camp 16
Long-haired King, with his Major Domi 44
The little Duke of Normandy carried off by his Squire in a bundle
ofhay 71
Philip Augustus at the Elm of Gisors . 98
Pope Boniface VIII. attacked in the Church 24
The Count of Flanders hiding in the Widow's House 49
Charles VIII. hearing the Causes of the Rich and Poor 175
Nobles and Calvinist 197
Henry IV. playing with his Children 225
Louis XV. shown to the People 251
Louis XVIII. at his Death charging Charles X. 282
Barricades, 1848 294


T I /

B.C. 150.
BEGAN the "History of England" with
Julius Caesar's landing in Britain, and did not
try to tell you who the people were whom he
found there, for I thought it would puzzle you; but you
are a little older now, and can understand rather more,
You must learn that in the old times, before people
wrote down histories, Europe was overspread by a great
people, whom it is convenient to call altogether the
Kelts-fierce, bold, warrior people, who kept together
in large families or clans, all nearly related, and each
clan with a chief. The clans joined together and
formed tribes, and the cleverest chief of the clans would
lead the rest. They spoke a language nearly alike-
the language which has named a great many rivers

12 Stories of French History.

and hills. I will tell you a few. Ben or Pen means
a hill. So we see that the Ap-Pen-nine mountains
were named by the Kelts. Again, Avon is a
river. You know we have several Avons. Ren
Avon meant the running river, and Rhine and
Rhone are both the same word, differently pronounced.
Sen Avon was the slow river-the Seine and Saone;
and Garr Avonwas the swift river-the Garonne. There
were two great varieties of Kelts-the Gael and the
Kymry (you should call this word Kewmri). The Gael
were the tallest, largest, wildest, and fiercest, but they
were not so clever as the black-eyed little Kymry. The
Kymry seem to have been the people who had the
Druid priests, who lived in groves of oak, and cut down
mistletoe with golden knives; and most likely they set
up the wonderful circles of huge stones which seem to
have been meant to worship in; at least, wherever those
stones are the Kymry have been. But we know little
about them, as all their knowledge was in verse, which
the Druids and bards taught one another by word of
mouth, and which was never written down. All we do
know is from their neighbours the Greeks and Romans,
who thought them very savage, and were very much
afraid of them, when every now and then a tribe set out
on a robbing expedition into the lands to the south.

The Old Kells. 3

When the Kelts did thus come, it was generally be-
cause they were driven from their own homes. There
were a still fiercer, stronger set of people behind them,
coming from the east to the west; and when the Kelts
found that they could not hold their own against these
people, they put their wives and children into waggons,
made of wood or wicker work, collected their oxen,
sheep, and goats, called their great shaggy hounds, and
set forth to find new homes. The men had long
streaming hair and beards, and wore loose trousers of
woollen, woven and dyed in checks by the women-
tartan plaids, in fact. The chiefs always had gold
collars round their necks, and they used round wicker
shields, long spears, and heavy swords, and they were
very terrible enemies. When the country was free to the
west, they went on thither, and generally settled down
in a wood near a river, closing in their town with a
wall of trunks of trees and banks of earth, and setting
up their hovels within of stone or wood.
But if other clans whom they could not beat were to the
west of them, they would turn to the south into Greece or
Italy, and do great damage there. One set of them,
in very old times, even managed to make a home in the
middle of Asia Minor, and it was to their descendants
that St. Paul wrote his Epistle to the Gal-atians.

14 Stories of French History.

Another great troop, under a very mighty Bran, or
chief, who, in Latin, is called Brennus, even broke into
the great city of Rome itself. All the women and
children of Rome had been sent away, and only a few
brave men remained in the strong place called the
Capitol, on the top of the steepest hill. There they
stayed for seven months, while the Bran and his Gauls
kept the city, drank up the wine in the long narrow
jars, and drove in the pale-coloured, long-horned oxen
from the meadow land round. The Bran never did get
into the Capitol, but the Romans were obliged to pay him
a great sum of money before he would go away. How-
ever, this belongs to the history of Rome, and I only
mean further to say, that the tribe who came with him
stayed seventeen years in the middle parts of Italy
before they were entirely beaten. When the Kelts
were beaten and saw there was no hope, they generally
came within the enclosure they had made with their
waggons, and slew their wives and children, set fire to
everything, and then killed themselves, that they might
not be slaves. All the north part of Italy beyond the
River Po was filled with Kelts, and there were many
more of them beyond the Alps. So it came about that
from the word Gael the Romans called the north of
Italy Gallia Cis-Alpina-Gaul on this side the Alps;

The Old Kelts. 15

and the country westward Gallia Trans-Alpina, or Gaul
beyond the Alps, and all the people there were known
as Gauls, whether they were Gael or Kymry.
Now, far up in Gaul, in the high ground that divides
the rivers Loire, Saone, and Rhine, there were rocks
full of metal, tin, copper, and sometimes a little silver.
The clever sailors and merchants called Phoenicians
found these out, and taught the Gauls to work the
mines, and send the metals in boats down the Rhone
to the Mediterranean sea. There is a beautiful bay
where Gaul touches the Mediterranean, and not only
the Phoenicians found it out, but the Greeks. They
came to live there, and built the cities of Marseilles,
Nice, Antibes, and several more. Lovely cities the
Greeks always built, with marble temples to their gods,
pillars standing on steps, and gardens with statues in
them, and theatres for seeing plays acted in the open
air. Inside these towns and close round them every-
thing was beautiful; but the Gauls who lived near
learnt some Greek ways, and were getting tamed.
They coined money, wrote in Greek letters, and bought
and sold with the Greeks; but their wilder brethren
beyond did not approve of this, and whenever they
could catch a Greek on his journey would kill him, rob
him, or make him prisoner. Sometimes, indeed, they

16 Stories of French History.

threatened to rob the cities, and the Greeks begged the
Romans to protect them. So the Romans sent an
officer and an army, who built two new towns, Aix and
Narbonne, and made war on the Gauls, who tried to
hinder him. Then a messenger was sent to the Roman
camp. He was an immensely tall man, with a collar
and bracelets of gold, and beside him came a bard
singing the praises of his clan, the Arverni. There
were many other attendants; but his chief guards were
a pack of immense hounds, which came pacing after
him in ranks like soldiers. He bade the Romans, in
the name of his chief Bituitus, to leave the country, and
cease to harm the Gauls. The Roman General turned
his back and would not listen; so the messenger went
back in anger, and the Arverni prepared for battle.
When Bituitus saw the Roman army he thought it so
small that he said, "This handful of men will hardly
furnish food for my dogs." He was not beaten in the
battle, but just after it he was made prisoner, and sent
to Italy, where he was kept a captive all the rest of his
life, while his son was brought up in Roman learning
and habits, and then sent home to rule his clan, and
teach them to be friends with Rome. This was about
150 years before the coming of our Blessed Lord.

Okl+. m


B.C. 67.-A.D. 79.
THE Romans called the country they had taken for
themselves in Gaul the Province, and Provence
has always continued to be its name. They filled it
with colonies. A colony was a city built by Romans,
generally old soldiers, who received a grant of land if
they would defend it. The first thing they did was to
set up an altar. Then they dug trenches the shape of
their intended city, marked out streets, and made little
flat bricks, everywhere after one pattern, with which
they built a temple, houses (each standing round a paved
court), a theatre, and public baths, with causeways as
straight as an arrow joining the cities together. Each
town had two magistrates elected every year, and a
governor lived at the chief town with a legion of the
army to keep the country round in order.
When the Romans once began in this way, they
always ended by gaining the whole country in time.

18 Stories of French History.

They took nearly a hundred years to gain Gaul. First
there came a terrible inroad of some wilder Kymry,
whom the Romans called Cimbri, from the west, with
some Teutons, of that fiercer German race I told you
of. They broke into Gaul, and defeated a great Roman
army; and there was ten years' fighting with them
before the stout old Roman, Caius Marius, beat them
in a great battle near Aix. All the men were killed in
battle, and the women killed their children and them-
selves rather than fall into Roman hands. That was
B.C. 103; and Julius Caesar, the same who first came to
Britain, was nephew to Marius.
He did not conquer Britain, but he did really con-
quer Gaul. It would only confuse and puzzle you now
to tell you how it was done; but by this time many of
the Gaulish tribes had come to be friendly with the
Romans and ask their help. Some wanted help
because they were quarrelling with other tribes, and
others because the Germans behind them had squeezed
a great tribe of Kymry out of the Alps, and they wanted
to come down and make a settlement in Gaul. Julius
Caesar made short work of beating these new-comers,
and he beat the Germans who were also trying to get
into Gaul. Then he expected all the Gauls to submit
to him-not only those who lived round the Province,

The Roman Conquest. 19

and had always been friendly to Rome, but all the free
ones in the north. He was one of the most wonderful
soldiers who ever lived; and he did gain first all the
east side. He subdued the Belgae, who lived between
the Alps and the sea, all the Armoricans along the
north, and then the still wilder people on the coast
towards the Atlantic ocean.
But while he was away in the north, the Gaulish
chiefs in the south agreed that they would make one
great attempt to set their country free from the enemy.
They resolved all to rise at once, and put themselves
under the command of the brave young mountain chief
of the Arverni, from whom Auvergne was named. The
Romans called his name Vercingetorix; and as it really
was even longer and harder to speak than this word, we
will call him so. He was not a wild shaggy savage like
Bituitus, but a graceful, spirited chief, who had been
trained to Roman manners, and knew their ways of
fighting. All in one night the Gauls rose. Men stood
on the hill-tops, and shouted from clan to clan to rise
up in arms. It was the depth of winter, and Caesar
was away resting in Italy; but back he came on the
first tidings, and led his men over six feet deep of snow,
taking every Gallic town by the way.
Vercingetorix saw that the wisest thing for the Gauls

20 Stories of French History.

to do would be to burn and lay waste the land them-
selves, so that the Romans might find nothing to eat.
" It was sad," he said, "to see burning houses, but
worse to have wife and children led into captivity." One
city, that now called Bourges, was left; the inhabitants
beseeched him on their knees to spare it; and it seemed
to be safe, for there was a river on one side and a bog
on all the rest, with only one narrow road across. But
in twenty-five days Caesar made his way in, and slew
all he found there; and then he followed Vercingetorix
to his own hills of Auvergne, and fought a battle, the
only defeat the great Roman captain ever met with;
indeed, he was obliged to retreat from the face of the
brave Arverni. They followed him again, and fought
another battle, in which he was in great danger, and
was forced even to leave his sword in the hands of the
Gauls, who hung it up in a temple in thanksgiving to
their gods. But the Gauls were not so steady as they
were brave; they fled, and all Vercingetorix could do
was to lead them to a great camp under the hill of
Alesia. He sent horsemen to rouse the rest of
Gaul, and shut himself up in a great enclosure with his
men. Caesar and the Romans came and made another
enclosure outside, eleven miles round, so that no help,
no food could come to them, and they had only provi-

The Roman Conquest. 21

sions for thirty days. Their friends outside did try to
break through to them, but in vain; they were beaten
off; and then brave Vercingetorix offered to give him-
self up to the Romans, provided the lives of the rest of
the Gauls were spared. Caesar gave his word that this
should be done. Accordingly, at the appointed hour
the gates of the Gallic camp opened. Out came
Vercingetorix in his richest armour, mounted on his
finest steed. He galloped about, wheeled round once,
then drawing up suddenly before Caesar's seat, sprang
to the ground, and laid his sword at the victor's feet.
Caesar was not touched. He kept a cold, stern face;
ordered the gallant chief into captivity, and kept him
for six years, while finishing other conquests, and then
took him to Rome, to walk in chains behind the car in
which the victorious general entered in triumph, with
all the standards taken from the Gauls displayed; and
then, with the other captives, this noble warrior, was
put to death in the dark vaults under the hill of the
With Vercingetorix ended the freedom of Gaul. The
Romans took possession of all the country, and made
the cities like their own. The old clans were broken
up. The fighting men were enlisted in the Roman
army, and sent to fight as far away as possible from

22 Stories of French History.

home, and the chiefs thought it an honour to be en-
rolled as Roman citizens; they wore the Roman tunic
and toga, spoke and wrote Latin, and, except among
the Kymry of the far north-west, the old Gaulish tongue
was forgotten. Very grand temples and amphitheatres
still remain in the Province of Roman building, especi-
ally at Nismes, Aries, and Autun; and a huge aqueduct,
called the Pont du Gard, still stands across a valley
near Nismes, with 6oo feet of three tier of arcades,
altogether 160 feet high. Roads made as only Romans
made them crossed hither and thither throughout the
country, and, except in the wilder and more distant
parts, to live in Gaul was very like living in Rome.
After Julius Caesar, the Romans had Emperors at
the head of their state, and some of these were very
fond of Gaul. But when the first twelve who had
some connection with Julius were all dead, a Gaul
named Julius Sabinus rose up and called himself
Emperor. The real Emperor, chosen at Rome, named
Vespasian, soon came and overthrew his cause, and
hunted him to his country house. Flames burst out of
it, and it was declared that Sabinus had burnt himself
there. But no; he was safely hidden in a cave in the
woods. No one knew of it but his wife Eponina and
one trusty slave, and there they lived together for nine

The Roman Conquest. 23

years, and had two little sons. Eponina twice left
him to go to Rome to consult her friends whether they
could obtain a pardon for her husband; but Vespasian
was a stern man, and they saw no hope, so she went
back disappointed ; and the second time she was
watched and followed, and Sabinus was found. He
was taken and chained, and carried to Rome, and she
and her two boys came with him. She knelt before
the Emperor, and besought his pardon, saying that here
were two more to plead for their father. Tears came
into Vespasian's eyes, but he would not forgive, and
the husband and wife were both sentenced to die. The
last thing Eponina said before his judgment-seat was,
that it was better to die together than to be alive as
such an Emperor. Her two boys were taken care of,
and one of them lived long after in Greece, as far away
from his home as possible.

.. __, ,,' -__-_ _-_ _._ ._ _, . ,,

A.D. 100-400.
SAUL could not be free in her own way, but the
truth that maketh free was come to her. The
Druids, though their worship was cruel, had better
notions of the true God than the Romans with their
multitude of idols, and when they heard more of the
truth, many of them gladly embraced it. The Province
was so near Rome that very soon after the Apostles
had reached the great city, they sent on to Gaul. The
people in Provence believe that Lazarus and his two
sisters came thither, but this is not likely. However,
the first Bishop of Aries was Trophimus, and we may
quite believe him to have been the Ephesian who was
with St. Paul in his third journey, and was at Jerusalem
with him when he was made prisoner. Trophimus
brought a service-book with him very like the one that
St. John the Evangelist had drawn up for the Churches
of Asia.

The Conversion of Gaul. 25

It was to Vienne, one of these Roman cities, that
Pontius Pilate had been banished for his cruelty. In
this town and in the larger one at Lyons there were
many Christians, and their bishop was Pothinus, who
had been instructed by St. John. It was many years
before the Gallic Christians suffered any danger for
their faith, not till the year 177, when Pothinus was
full ninety years old.
Then, under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, a
governor was sent to the Province who was resolved
to put an end to Christianity. The difficulty was that
there were no crimes of which to accuse the Christians.
So he caused several slaves to be seized and put to
torture, while they were asked questions. There were
two young girls among them, Blandina and Biblis.
Blandina was a weak, delicate maiden, but whatever
pain they gave her, she still said, I am a Christian,
and no evil is done among us." Biblis, however, in
her fright and agony, said Yes" to all her tormentors
asked, and accused the Christians of killing babies, eat-
ing human flesh, and all sorts of horrible things. After-
wards she was shocked at herself, declared there was not
a word of truth in what she had said, and bore fresh and
worse torture bravely. The Christians were seized. The
old bishop was dragged through the streets, and so

26 Stories of French History.

pelted and ill-treated that after a few days he died in
prison. The others were for fifteen days brought out
before all the people in the amphitheatre, while every
torture that could be thought of was tried upon them.
All were brave, but Blandina was the bravest of all.
She did not seem to feel when she was put to sit on a red
hot iron chair, but encouraged her young brother through
all. At last she was put into a net and tossed by a
bull, and then, being found to be still alive, her throat
was pierced, everyone declaring that never had woman
endured so much. The persecution did not last much
longer after this, and the bones of the martyrs were
collected and buried, and a church built over them, the
same, though of course much altered, which is now the
Cathedral of Lyons.
Instead of the martyred Pothinus, the new bishop
was Irenseus, a holy man who left so many writings
that he is counted as one of the Fathers of the Church.
Almost all the townsmen of Lyons became Christians
under his wise persuasion and good example, but the
rough people in the country were much less easily
reached. Indeed, the word pagan, which now means
a heathen, was only the old Latin word for a peasant
or villager. In the year 202, the Emperor Severus,
who had himself been born at Lyons, put out an edict

The Conversion of Gaul. 27

against the Christians. The fierce Gauls in the ad-
joining country hearing of it, broke furiously into the
city, and slaughtered every Christian they laid hands
upon, St. Irenzeus among them. There is an old
mosaic pavement in a church at Lyons where the in-
scription declares that nineteen thousand died in this
massacre, but it can hardly be believed that the
numbers were so large.
The northerly parts of Gaul were not yet converted,
and a bishop named Dionysius was sent to teach a
tribe called the Parisii, whose chief city was Lutetia,
on the banks of the Seine. He was taken in the year
272, and was beheaded just outside the walls on a hill
which is still known as Mont Martre, the martyr's
mount, and his name, cut short into St. Denys, became
one of the most famous in all France.
The three Keltic provinces, Gaul, Spain, and Britain,
used to be put together under one governor, and the
brave, kindly Constantius ruled over them, and
hindered persecution as much as he could. His son
Constantine was also much loved, and it was while
marching to Italy with an army, in which were many
Gauls, to obtain the empire, that Constantine saw the
vision of a bright cross in the sky, surrounded by the
words, In this sign thou shalt conquer." He did

28 Stories of French History.

conquer, and did confess himself a Christian two years
later, and under him the Church of Gaul flourished.
Gallic bishops were at the great council of Nicea, in
Asia Minor, when the Nicene creed was drawn up,
and many beautiful hymns for Christian worship were
written in Gaul.
After Constantine's death, his son Constantius
fostered the false doctrine that the Nicene creed con-
tradicted. He lived at Constantinople, and dressed
and lived like an Eastern prince, and the Gauls were
growing discontented; more especially as the Franks
-a terrible tribe of their Teuton enemies to the east-
were trying to break into their lands. A young cousin
of Constantius, named Julian, was sent to fight with
them. He fixed his chief abode in a little island in the
middle of the River Seine, at Lutetia, among his dear
Parisii, as he called the tribe around, and thence he
came out to drive back the Franks whenever they tried
to attack the Gauls. He was a very brave, able man,
but he had seen so much selfishness and .weakness
among the Christians in Rome and Constantinople,
that he fancied their faults arose from their faith;
and tried to be an old heathen again as soon as Con-
stantius was dead, and he became emperor. He only
reigned three years, and then, in the year 363, was

The Conversion of Gaul. 29

killed in a war with the Persians. Very sad times
followed his death. He was the last of his family,
and several emperors rose and fell at Rome. The
governor of Gaul, Maximus, called himself emperor,
and, raising an army in Britain, defeated the young
man who had reigned at Rome in the year 381, and
ruled the Keltic provinces for seven years. He was
a brave soldier, and not wholly a bad man, for he much
loved and valued the great Bishop Martin, of Tours.
Martin had been brought up as a soldier, but he was
so kind that once when he saw a shivering beggar he
cut his cloak into two with his sword, and gave the
poor man half. He was then not baptized, but at
eighteen he became altogether a Christian, and was
the pupil of the great Bishop Hilary of Poitiers. It was
in these days that men were first beginning to band
together to live in toil, poverty, and devotion in monas-
teries or abbeys, and Martin was the first person in
Gaul to form one, near Poitiers; but he was called from
it to be Bishop of Tours, and near that city he began
another abbey, which still bears his name, Marmoutiers,
or Martin's Monastery. He and the monks used to go
out from thence to teach the Pagans, who still
remained in the far west, and whom Roman punish-
ment had never cured of the old Druid ways. These

30 Stories of French History.

people could not learn the Latin that all the rest of the
country spoke, but lived on their granite moors as their
forefathers had lived four hundred years before. How-
ever, Martin did what no one else had ever done : he
taught them to become staunch Christians, though they
still remained a people apart, speaking their own tongue
and following their own customs.
This was the good St. Martin's work while his
friend, the false Emperor Maximus, was being over-
thrown by the true Emperor Theodosius; and much
more struggling and fighting was going on among the
Romans and Gauls, while in the meantime the dreadful
Franks were every now and then bursting into the
country from across the Rhine to plunder and burn
and kill and make slaves.
St. Martin had finished the conversion of Gaul,
just before he died in his monastery at Marmoutiers,
in the year 400. He died in time to escape the terrible
times that were coming upon all the Gauls, or rather
Romans. For all the southern and eastern Gauls
called themselves Romans, spoke nothing but Latin,
and had entirely forgotten all thoughts, ways, and
manners but those they had learnt from the Greeks
and Romans.

A.D. 450-533.
THAT race of people which had been driving the
Kelts westward for six or seven hundred years
was making a way into Gaul at last; indeed, they had
been only held back by Roman skill. These were the
race which, as a general name, is called Teutonic, but
which divided into many different nations. All were
large-limbed, blue-eyed, and light-haired. They all
spoke a language like rough German, and all had the
same religion, believing in the great warlike gods,
Odin, Thor, and Frey, worshipping them at stone
altars, and expecting to live with them in the hall of
heroes after death. That is, all so called who were
brave and who were chosen by the valkyr, or slaughter-
choosing goddesses, to die nobly in battle. Cowards
were sent to dwell with Hela, the pale, gloomy goddess
of death.
Of course the different tribes were not exactly alike,

32 Stories of French History.

but they all had these features in common. They had
lived for at least 500 years in the centre of Europe,
now and then attacking their neighbours, when, being
harassed by another fierce race who came behind them,
they made more great efforts. The chief tribes whose
names must be remembered were the Goths, who con-
quered Rome and settled in Spain; the Longbeards,
or Lombards, who spread over the north of Italy; the
Burgundians (burg or town livers), who held all the
country round the Alps; the Swabians and Germans,
who stayed in the middle of Europe; the Saxons, who
dwelt about the south of the Baltic, and finally con-
quered South Britain; the Northmen, who found a
home in Scandinavia; and the Franks, who had been
long settled on the rivers Sale, Meuse, and Rhine.
Their name meant Freemen, and they were noted for
using an axe called after them. There were two
tribes-the Salian, from the River Sale, and the
Ripuarian. They were great horsemen, and dreadful
pillagers, and the Salians had a family of kings, which,
like the kings of all the other tribes, was supposed to
descend from Odin. The king was always of this
family, called Meerwings, after Meerwig, the son of
Wehrmund, one of the first chiefs.
After the death of the great Theodosius, who had con-

The Frank Kingdom. 33

quered the false Emperor Maximius, there was no power
to keep these Franks back, and they were continually
dashing into Gaul, and carrying off slaves and plunder.
Even worse was the great rush that, in the year 450, was
made all across Europe by the Huns, a terrible nation
of another race, whose chief was called Etzel, or Attila,
and who named himself the Scourge of God. In 451,
he invaded Gaul with his army, horrible-looking men,
whose faces had been gashed by their savage parents
in their infancy, that they might look more dreadful.
It was worse to fall into their hands than into those of
the Franks, and everywhere there was terror. At
Lutetia there was a great desire to flee away, but
they were persuaded to remain by the holy woman,
Genoveva, She was a young shepherdess of Nanterre,
near Paris, who had devoted herself to the service of
God, and whose holy life made the people listen to her
as a kind of prophet. And she was right. The Huns
did not come further than Orleans, where the good
Bishop Lupus made the people shut their gates, and
defend their town, until an army, composed of Franks,
Goths, Burgundians, Gauls, all under the Roman
General Aetius, attacked the Huns at Chal6ns-sur-
Marne, beat them, and drove them back in 451.
Chal6ns was the last victory won under the old Roman

34 Stories of French History.

eagles. There was too much trouble in Italy for Rome
to help any one. In came the Franks whenever they
pleased, and Hilperik, the son of Meerwig, came to
Lutetia, or Paris, as it was now called from the tribe
round it, and there he rioted in Julian's old palace. He
had a great respect for Genoveva, heathen though he
was; and when he came home from plundering, with
crowds of prisoners driven before him, Genoveva would
go and stand before him, and entreat for their pardon,
and he never could withstand her, but set them all free.
She died at eighty-nine years old, and St. Genevieve,
as she was afterwards called, was honoured at Paris as
much as St. Denys.
Hilperik's son was named Hlodwig, which means
loud or renowned war, but as the name is harsh,
histories generally name him Clovis. He wanted to
marry a Burgundian maiden named Clothilda, and as
she was a Christian, he promised that she should be
allowed to pray to her God in the churches which still
stood throughout Gaul. When her first child was
born, she persuaded Clovis to let her have it baptised.
It died very soon, and Clovis fancied it was because
her God could not save it. However, she caused the
next child to be baptised, and when it fell sick she
prayed for it, and it recovered. He began to listen

The Frank Kingdom. 35

more to what she said of her God, and when, soon after,
the Germans came with a great army across the Rhine,
and he drew out his Franks to fight with them at
Tolbiac, near Cologne, he was in great danger in the
battle, and he cried aloud, "Christ, whom Clothilda
calls the true God, I have called on my own gods, and
they help me not! Send help, and I will own Thy
name." The Germans fled, and Clovis had the victory.
He kept his word, and was baptised at Rheims by
St. Remigius, with his two sisters, 3000 men, and
many women and children; and as he was the first great
Teutonic prince who was a Catholic Christian, the
King of France, ever since his time, has been called the
Most Christian King and eldest son of the Church.
Clovis was the first Frank chief who really made a
home of Gaul, or who wore a purple robe and a crown
like a Roman emperor. He made his chief home at
Paris, where he built a church in the little island on the
Seine, in honour of the Blessed Virgin, measuring the
length by how far he could throw an axe; but, though
he honoured the Gaulish clergy, he was still a fierce
and violent savage, who did many cruel things. He
generally repented of them afterwards, and gave gifts
to churches to show his sorrow, and holy men were
about him when, in 511, he died at Paris.

36 Stories of French History.

His sons had all been baptised, but they were worse
men than he had been. The Frank kingdom was only
the north part of the country above the Loire. In the
south, where the Romans had had possession so much
longer, and built so many more walled towns, the
Franks never really lived. They used to rush down
and plunder the country round about; but then the
townsmen shut themselves in, closed their gates, and
strengthened their walls, and the Franks had no
machines to batter the walls, no patience for a block-
ade, and went home again with only the spoil of the
country round; while in the Province people called
themselves Roman citizens still, and each place governed
itself by the old Roman law.
" Plenty of Gauls were in the northern part too,
speaking Latin still. They had to bear much rough
treatment from the Franks, but all the time their know-
ledge and skill made them respected. The clergy, too,
were almost all Gauls; and now that the Franks we'
Christians, in name at least, they were afraid of them,
and seldom damaged a church or broke into a monas-
tery. Indeed, if there was any good in a Frank, he
was apt to go into a monastery out of the horrid
barbarous ways of his comrades, and perhaps this left
those outside to be still worse, as they had hardly any

The Frank Kingdom. 37

better men among them. The four sons of Clovis
divided the kingdom. That is, they were all kings,
and each had towns of his own, but all a good deal
mixed up together; and in the four chief towns-Paris,
Orleans, Soissons, and Metz-they all had equal shares.
Not that they really governed, only each had a strong
box filled with gold and jewels, and they always were
leaders when the Franks went out to plunder in the
southern lands of Provincia and Aquitaine. There
was another part the Franks never conquered, namely,
that far north-western corner called Armorica, which
Julius Caesar had conquered, and St. Martin had
converted last of all. The granite moors did not tempt
the Franks, and the Kymri there were bold and free.
Moreover, so many of their kindred Kymri from
Britain came over.thither for fear of the Saxons, that
the country came to be called from them Bretagne,
or Brittany, and the Kymric tongue is spoken there to
this day.
When Hlodmir, one of the sons of Clovis, died, his
three little sons were sent to Paris to be under the care
of their grandmother, Clothilda. She was so fond of
them that their uncles, Hloter and Hildebert, were
afraid she would require that their father's inheritance
should be given to them. So they asked her to send

38 Stories of French History.

the boys to them on a visit, and as soon as they arrived,
a messenger was sent to the Queen with a sword and
a pair of scissors, desiring her to choose. This meant
that she would choose whether the poor boys should be
killed, or have their heads shaven and become monks.
Clothilda answered that she had rather see them dead
than monks. So Hloter killed the eldest, who was
only ten, with his sword; the second clung to Hildebert,
and begged hard for life, but Hloter forced his brother
to give him up, and killed him too; the third, whose
name was Hlodoald, was helped by some of the
bystanders to hide himself, and when he grew older,
he cut off his long hair, went into a monastery, and
was so good a man that he is now called St Cloud.
This horrible murder happened about the year 533.

A.D. 533-681.
THE Meerwings, or long-haired kings, were alto-
gether the most wicked dynasty (or race of kings)
who ever called themselves Christian. They do not
seem to have put off any of their heathen customs,
except the actual worship of Frey and Odin. They
murdered, plundered, and married numerous wives, just
as if they had been heathens still. Most likely they
thought that as Christ was the God of Gaul, He must
be honoured there; but they had no notion of obeying
Him, and if a Gallic bishop rebuked them, they only
plundered his church. By the Frank law, a murder
might be redeemed by a payment, and it was full twice
as costly to kill a Frank as to kill a Roman, that is
to say, a Gaul; for, except in the cities in the Province
and Aquitaine, this term of Roman, once so proud,
was only a little better than that of slave.
Out of all the Meerwing names, one or two have

40 Stories of French History.

to be remembered above the rest for their crimes.
Hlother, the murderous son of Clovis, left four sons,
among whom the kingdom was, as usual, divided. Two
of these sons, Hilperik and Siegbert, wished for queenly
wives, though Hilperik, at least, had a houseful of wives
before, and among them a slave girl named Fredegond.
The two brothers married the two daughters of the
King of the Goths in Spain, Galswinth and Brynhild.
Siegbert seems to have really loved Brynhild, but
Hilperik cared for the beautiful and clever Fredegond
more than anyone else, and very soon poor Galswinth
w'as found in her bed strangled. Fredegond reigned
as queen, and Brynhild hated her bitterly, and con-
stantly stirred up her husband to avenge her sister's
death. Siegbert raised an army and defeated Hilperik,
but Fredegond contrived to have him stabbed. She
also contrived to have all her husband's other children
killed by different means, and at last, fearing he would
find out crimes greater than even he could bear with, she
contrived that he too should be stabbed when returning
from hunting, in the year 584. She had lost several
infants, and now had only one child left, Hloter II., a
few months old, but in his name she ruled what the
Franks called the Ne-oster-rik, the not eastern, or
western kingdom, namely, France, from the Saone

The Long-haired Kings. 41

westward ; while Brynhild and her son Hildebert ruled
in the Auster-rik, or eastern kingdom, from the Saone
to the Sale and Rhine. There was a most bitter hatred
between the two sisters-in-law. It seems as if Fredegond
was of a wicked nature, and would have been a bad
woman anywhere. One's mind shrinks from the
horrible stories of murder, treachery, and every sort of
vice that are told of her; but no outward punishment
came upon her in this world, and she died in 597 at
Paris, leaving her son, Hlother II., on the throne.
Brynhild often did bad things, but she erred more
from the bad times in which she lived than from her
own disposition. She tried, so far as she knew how, to
do good; she made friends with the clergy, she helped
the few learned men, she tried to stop cruelty, she tried
to repair the old Roman roads and bridges, and many
places are called after her-Queen Brynhild's tower, or
stone, or the like-and she was very kind to the poor,
and gave them large alms. But she grew worse as
she grew older; she had furious quarrels with the
Frank chiefs, and when the Bishops found fault with
her she attacked them, and even caused the saintly
Bishop of Vienne to be assassinated. In her time there
came from Ireland a number of very holy men, Keltic
Christians, who had set forth from the monasteries to

42 Stories of French History.

convert such Gauls and Franks as remained heathen, and
to try to bring the rest to a better sense of what a Chris-
tian life was. St. Columbanus came into the Auster-
rik when Brynhild's two grandsons, Theudebert and
Theuderick, were reigning there. Theuderick listened
willingly to the holy man, and was proceeding to put
away his many wives and mend his ways; but the old
Queen's pride was offended, and she could not forgive
him for not allowing her to come into his monastery,
because no woman was permitted there. She stirred
up Theuderick to drive him away, whereupon he went
to the Alps and converted the people there, who were
still worshippers of Odin. Soon after there was a fierce
quarrel between her two grandsons. Theuderick was
taken prisoner by his brother, and forced to cut his hair
and become a monk, but this did not save his life. He
was put to death shortly after, and his brother soon
after died; so that Brynhild, after having ruled in the
name of her son and grandsons, now governed for her
great-grandson, Siegbert, thirty-nine years after her
husband's death. But she was old and weak, and her
foe, Fredegond's son, Hlother, attacked her, defeated
her forces, and made her and her great-grandchildren
prisoners. The boys were slain, and the poor old
Gothic Queen, after being placed on a camel and led

The Long-haired Kings. 43

through the camp to be mocked by all the savage
Franks, was tied to the tail of a wild horse, to be
dragged to death by it! This was in 614.
Hlother thus became King of all the Franks, and so
was his son, Dagobert I., who was not much better as
a man, but was not such a savage, and took interest in
the beautiful goldsmith's work done by the good Bishop
Eligius; and, somehow, his name has been more re-
membered at Paris than he seems properly to deserve.
In fact, the Franks were getting gradually civilized by
the Romanized Gauls-the conquerors by the con-
quered; and the daughters, when taken from their
homes, sometimes showed themselves excellent women.
It was Bertha, the daughter of King Haribert, the
murderer of his nephews, who persuaded her husband,
Ethelbert of Kent, to receive St. Augustine; and
Ingund, the daughter of Brynhild and Siegbert, was
married to a Gothic Prince in Spain, whom she brought
to die a martyr for the true faith.
Twelve more Meerwings reigned after Dagobert. If
they had become less savage they were less spirited,
and they hardly attended at all to the affairs of their
kingdoms, but only amused themselves in their rude
palaces at Soissons or Paris, thus obtaining the name
of Rois Faingants, or do-nothing kings. The affairs of

44 Stories of French History.

the kingdom fell into the hands of the Major Domi, as
he was called, or Mayor of tke Palace. The Franks, as
they tried to have courts and keep up state, followed
Roman patterns so far as they knew them, and gave
Roman names from the Emperor's Court to the men in
attendance on them. So the steward, or Major Domi,
master of the household, rose to be the chief person in
the kingdom next to the king himself. The next
greatest people were called Comites, companions of the
King, Counts; and the chief of these was the Master
of the Horse, Comes Stabuli, the Count of the Stable,
or, as he came to be called in the end, the Constable.
The leader of the army was called Dux, a Latin word
meaning to lead; and this word is our word Duke.
But the Mayor of the Palace under these foolish do-
nothing Meerwings soon came to be a much greater
man than the King himself, and the Mayor of the Palace
of the Oster-rik or Austrasia fought with the Palace
Mayor of the Ne-oster-rik or Neustria, as if they were
two-sovereigns. The Austrasian Franks stretched far
away eastward, and were much more bold and spirited
than the Neustrians, who had mixed a great deal with
the Gauls. And, finally, Ebroin, the last Neustrian
Mayor, was murdered in 681, the Neustrian army was
defeated, and the Austrasians became the most power-



The Long-haired Kings. 45

ful. Their mayors were all of one family, the first of
whom was named Pepin of Landen. He was one of
Queen Brynhild's great enemies, but he was a friend
of Dagobert I., and he and his family were brave
defenders of the Franks from the other German
nations, who, like them, loved war better than any-
thing else.

N the beginning of the year 1852, the whole of the
"X French nation was called upon to decide by vote
whether they would form an empire again, or continue
to be a republic. Every man, rich or poor, who was
not a convict, had a vote; and the larger number decided
for the empire, and for Louis Napoleon Bonaparte as
the emperor. He considered himself as the successor
of his uncle, and therefore called himself Napoleon
III., counting the little child in whose favour the great
Bonaparte had abdicated at Fontainebleau as the
second Napoleon.
He married a Spanish lady of high rank, but not
royal, whose mother was Scottish. Her name was
Eug6nie de Montijo, and she was one of the most
lovely women of her time. She was pious and kind-
hearted, and always ready to do anything good; but it
was thought that the court would be more popular, and

The Second Empire. 301

trade prosper more, if an example was set of great
splendour and magnificence. So the ladies were en-
couraged to dress in a style of extravagance and
brilliancy, with perpetual changes of fashion; and this,
as the Parisian dresses are always the models of those
of other countries, has led to much folly in all grades
of society everywhere. One son was born of this
marriage, who was called the Prince Imperial.
The emperor ruled with a strong hand, but he got
everything into order again, and he made Paris more
beautiful than ever, throwing down old narrow streets,
and building grand new ones, which, for the most part,
had asphalt pavement, so that there might be no paving-
stones to take up and make into barricades. He took
away a good many of the places to which old historical
remembrances were attached; and it has never seemed
plain whether he did so for the sake of sweeping away
the old remembrances, or only because they stood in
the way of his plans.
The name the emperor wished to be called by was
the Napoleon of Peace, as his uncle had been the
Napoleon of War; but it was not always possible to
keep the peace. In the year 1853, just after he had
been crowned, the Russian emperor began to threaten
to conquer Turkey, and thereupon the French joined

302 Stories of French History.

with the English to protect the Sultan. The French
and English armies, both together, landed in Turkey,
and then made an expedition to the Crimea, where the
Russians had built a very strong fortified city named
Sebastopol, whence to attack the Turks. Marshal
Bugeaud was the French general, and, with Lord
Raglan, commanded in the great battle fought on the
banks of the Alma, and then laid siege to Sebastopol,
where again they fought a dreadful battle, when the
Russians sallied out, in the night of the 5th of
November, 1854, and attacked the camp at Inkerman.
All the winter and spring the siege lasted, the two
armies having much bitter cold to fear as they watched
in the trenches; but in the summer it was possible to
assault the city, and while the English attacked the
Redan, the French attacked the Malakoff Tower, and
after much hard fighting this was taken. Then peace
was made, on condition that all the fortifications of
Sebastopol should be destroyed, and no fleet or army
kept there for the future.
Having thus been allies in war, England and France
became much greater friends, and Queen Victoria and
the emperor made visits to one another; and the trade
of the two nations was so mixed up together as to
make it much less easy to go to war, for the emperor

The Second Empire. 303

had a love and affection for England, which had been a
home to him in his days of exile.
The Italians were more uneasy and miserable than
ever under the rule of the Austrians, and begged Victor
Emmanuel, King of Sardinia, to help them, and become
an Italian king over them. Louis Napoleon gave
them his help, and went in person to Lombardy, where
the French and Italians defeated the Austrians at
Magenta and Solferino; after which there was again a
peace, and Victor Emmanuel was owned as King of
Italy, on condition that, in return for the help he had
received, he should give to France the little province
of Nice, which had always been part of the dukedom
of Savoy, the old inheritance of his forefathers long
before they were kings, but which seemed as if it ought
to be a part of France. The Romans hoped that they,
too, should have shaken off the Papal government;
but the guard of French soldiers was still maintained
at Rome.
Another undertaking of the emperor was to bring
Mexico into order. This country had been settled by
Spaniards, and belonged to Spain until it revolted; and
for many years there had been constant revolutions,
and very little law, so that it was full of outlaws and
robbers. Some of the better disposed thought that

304 Stories of French History.

they might do better if they set up a monarchy, and
the French promised to help them. The Archduke
Maximilian, brother of the Emperor of Austria, was
chosen, and went out, with his young wife Charlotte,
daughter of the King of Holland, and guarded by a
French army. But the Mexicans were much more
fierce and treacherous than had been expected; and
the French troops found that staying there only made
them more bitter, and it was costly to keep them there.
So they were brought home; and no sooner had they
left Mexico, than the Mexicans rose up, made their
emperor prisoner, and shot him, while his poor wife lost
her senses from grief. They were a good and noble
pair-true-hearted, and anxious to do right; and theirs
is one of the saddest stories of our time.
The Emperor of the French had ruled prosperously
for a long time; but the burning hatred of the Red
Republicans was not quenched. His best advisers, too,
were growing old and dying, and his own health and
spirit were failing; but he was trying to teach the
people to rule themselves in some degree, instead of
expecting him to keep order with his power from
above. He was anxious to be sure of his son reigning
after him, and he put it to the vote all over France
whether the empire should be hereditary.

The Second Emnpire. 305

The vote was in his favour, and he seemed quite
secure. But at this time the Prussians had been
gaining great successes both against Denmark and
Austria, and the French were very jealous of them,
and expected a fight for some of the provinces that lie
along the Rhine. Just then, too, the Spaniards had
risen, and driven away Queen Isabella, who had not
ruled well; and they elected a cousin of the King of
Prussia to be their king. He never accepted the
Spanish crown, but the bare notion made the French
furious, and there was a great cry from the whole
nation that the pride of the Prussians must be put
down. The emperor saw his popularity was failing
him, and that his only chance was to please the people
by going to war. Nobody knew that the army had
been badly managed, and that it was quite changed
from what it was when it fought in Algiers and the
Crimea. Indeed, the French never think that anything
but victory can happen to them, so the army went off
in high spirits to meet the Prussians on the Rhine-
singing, shouting, drinking; and the emperor took his
young son with him, and tried to seem as hopeful as
they did; but all who saw him near saw that he was
both ill and sad. This was in the summer of the year

A.D. 681.
"T HE grandson of Pepin of Landen is commonly
called Pepin L'Heristal. He was Mayor of the
Palace through the reigns of four do-nothing Meer-
wings, and was a brave leader of the Franks, fighting
hard with their heathen neighbours on the other side of
the Rhine, the Saxons and Thuringians, along the
banks of the Meuse and Elbe; and not only fighting
with them, but helping the missionaries who came from
England and from Ireland to endeavour to convert
He died in 714, and after him came his brave son
Carl of the Hari3ner, after whom all the family are
known in history as Carlings. He was Duke of
Austrasia and Mayor of the Palace, over (one cannot
say under) Hlother IV. and Theuderick IV., and fought
the battles of the Franks against the Saxons and

Carl of the Hammer. 47

Frisians, besides making himself known and respected
in the Province and Aquitaine, where the soft Roman
speech softened his name into Carolus and translated
his nickname into Martellus, so that he has come down
to our day as Charles Martel.
"Whether it was meant that he was a hammer him-
self, or that he carried a hammer, is not clear, but
"it is quite certain that he was the greatest man in
Europe at that time, and he who did her the greatest
It was a hundred years since Mahommed had risen
up in Arabia, teaching the wild Arabs a strict law, and
declaring that God is but one, and that he was His
prophet, by which he meant that he was a greater and
a truer prophet than the Lord Jesus Christ. He had
carried away many of the Eastern nations after him
and had conquered others. He taught that it was
right to fight for the spread of the religion he taught,
and his Arabs did fight so mightily that they overcame
the Holy Land and held the city of Jerusalem. Besides
this, they had conquered Egypt and spread all along
the north of Africa, on the coast of the Mediterranean
Sea; and thence they had crossed over into Spain, and
subdued the Christian Goths, all but the few who had
got. together in the Pyrenean Mountains and their

48 Stories of French History.

continuation in the Asturias, along the coast of the
Bay of Biscay.
And now these Arabs-also called Saracens and
Moors-were trying to pass the Pyrennees and make
attacks upon Gaul, and it seemed as if all Europe
was going to be given up to them and to become
Mahommedan. Abdul Rhaman, the great Arab
Governor of Spain, crossed the Pyrennees at the
Pass of Roncevalles, burst into Aquitaine, gained a
great battle near Bourdeaux, and pillaged the city,
which was so rich a place that every soldier was
loaded with topazes and emeralds, and gold was quite
Then they marched on towards Tours, where the
Abbey of Marmoutiers was said to be the richest in all
Gaul. But by this time Carl of the Hammer had got
together his army; not only Franks, but Burgundians,
Gauls of the Province, Germans from beyond the
Rhine-all who willingly owned the sovereignty of
Austrasia, provided they could be saved from the
The battle of Tours, between Charles Martel and
Abdul Rhaman, was fought in the autumn of 752, and
was one of the great battles that decide the fate of the
world. For it was this which fixed whether Europe

Carl of the Hammer. 49

should be Christian or Mahommedan. It was a hotly-
fought combat, but the tall powerful Franks and
Germans stood like rocks against every charge of the
Arab horsemen, till darkness came on. The Franks
slept where they stood, and drew up the next morning
to begin the battle again, but all save the dead and
wounded Arabs were gone. They had drawn off in
the night, and the battle of Tours had saved Europe.
However, the Hammer had still to strike many blows
before they were driven back into Spain, and this
tended to bring the south of Gaul much more under
his power. Carl was looked upon as the great defender
of Christendom, and, as at this time the king of the
Lombards in Northern Italy seemed disposed to make
himself master of Rome, the Pope sent two nuncios, as
Pope's messengers are called, to carry him presents,
among them the keys of the tomb of St. Peter, and to
beg for his protection. Still, great as he was in reality,
he never called himself more than Mayor of the Palace
and Duke of Austrasia, and when he died in 741, his
sons, Pepin and Carloman, divided the government,
still as Mayors, for the Meerwing Hilderick III. In
746, however, Carloman, weary of the world, caused his
head to be shaven by Pope Zacharias, and retired into
the great monastery of Monte Cassino, where, about a

50 Stories of French History.

hundred years before, St. Benedict had begun a rule
that became the pattern of most of the convents of the
west. Pepin, commonly called le bref or the Short,
ruled alone, and in 75 1 he sent to ask Pope Zacharias
whether it would not be wiser that the family who had
all the power should bear the name of kings. The
Pope replied that so it should be. Hilderick was put
into a convent, and the great English Missionary-
bishop, St. Boniface, whom Pepin and his father had
aided in his work among the Germans, anointed Pepin
as King of the Franks at Soissons, and two years later,
the next Pope, Stephen II., came into Gaul again to
ask aid against the Lombards, and at the Abbey of St.
Denys' anointed Pepin again, together with his two
young sons, Carl and Carloman. And so the Meer-
wings passed away, and the Carlings began.
Pepin was a great friend and supporter of St.
Boniface, who had been made Archbishop of Mayintz.
He did much by his advice to bring the Church of Gaul
into good order, and he was much grieved when the
holy man was martyred while preaching to the savage
men of Friesland. Pepin was constantly fighting with
the heathen Saxons and Germans to the east of him,
and he so far subdued them that they promised to send
300 horses as a present to the General Assembly or

Carl of the Hammer. 5

Franks. To the north he had the old Gauls in Brit-
tany, who had to be well watched lest they should
plunder their neighbours; and to the south were the
Arabs, continually trying to maraud in the Province
and Aquitaine; while the Dukes of Aquitaine, though
they were quite unable to keep back the Moors without
the help of the Franks, could not endure their allies,
and hated to acknowledge the upstart Pepin as their
master. These Dukes, though Teuton themselves,
had lived so long in the Roman civilization of the
southern cities, that they despised the Franks as rude
barbarians; and the Franks, on their side, thought them
very slippery, untrustworthy people.
Pepin was a great improvement in good sense,
understanding, and civilization on the do-nothing Meer-
wings, but even he looked on writing as only the
accomplishment of clergy, and did not cause his sons
to learn to write. Yet Pope Stephen was for a whole
winter his guest, and when the Franks entered Italy
and defeated Astolfo, King of the Lombards, Pepin
was rewarded by being made Senator of Rome."
Afterwards the Lombards attacked the Pope again.
Pepin again came to his help, and after gaining several
victories, forced King Astolfo to give up part of his
lands near Rome. Of these Pepin made a gift to

52 Stories of French History.

the Pope, and this was the beginning of the Pope's
becoming a temporal sovereign, that is, holding lands
like a king or prince, instead of only holding a spiritual
power over men's consciences as chief Bishop of the
Western Church.
Pepin died at the Abbey of St. Denys' in the year
768. Do not call him King of France, but King of
the Franks, which does not mean the same thing.

SARL and Carloman, the two sons of Pepin, at first
divided the Frank domains; but Carloman soon
died, and Carl reigned alone. He is one of the mightiest
of the princes who ever bore the name of Great. Carl
der Gr6sse, the Franks called him; Carolus Magnus in
Latin, and this has become in French, Charlemagne; and
as this is the name by which everybody knows him,
it will be the most convenient way to call him so here,
though no one ever knew him thus in his own time.
He was a most warlike king. When the Saxons
failed to send him 300 horses, he entered their country,
ravaged it, and overthrew an image or pillar near the
source of the Lippe, which they used as an idol, and
called Irminsul. Thereupon the Saxons burnt the
church at Fritzlar, which St. Boniface had built, and
the war went on for years. Charlemagne was resolved
to force the Saxons to be Christians, and Witikind, the

54 Stories of French History.

great Saxon leader, was fiercely resolved against yield-
ing, viewing the honour of Odin as the honour of his
country. They fought on and on, till, in 785, Charle-
magne wintered in Saxony, and at last persuaded
Witikind to come and meet him at Attigny. There
the Saxon chief owned that Christ had conquered, and
consented to be baptised. Charlemagne made him Duke
of Saxony, and he lived in good faith to the new vows
he had taken. The Frisians and Bavarians, and all
who lived in Germany, were forced to submit to the
great King of the Franks.
There was a new king of the Lombards, Desiderio,
and a new Pope, Adrian I.; and, as usual, they were at
war, and Adrian entreated for the aid of Charlemagne.
He came with a great army, drove Desiderio into
Pavia, and besieged him there. It was a long siege,
and Charlemagne had a chapel set up in his camp to
keep Christmas in; but for Easter he went to Rome,
and was met a mile off by all the chief citizens and
scholars carrying palm branches in their hands, and as
he mounted the steps to St. Peter's Church, the Pope
met him, saying, Blessed is he that cometh in the name
of the Lord." He prayed at all the chief churches in
Rome, and then returned to Pavia, which was taken soon
after. He carried off Desiderio as a prisoner, and took

Carl the Great. 55

the title of King of the Franks and the Lombards. This
was in 775, while the Saxon war was still going on.
He had likewise a war with the Arabs in Spain,
and in 778 he crossed the Pyrenees, and overran
the country as far as the Ebro, where the Arabs
offered him large gifts of gold and jewels if he would
return without touching their splendid cities in the
South. He consented, but as he was returning, the
wild Basque people-a strange people who lived un-
conquered in the mountains-fell upon the rear guard
of his army in the Pass of Roncevalles, and plundered
the baggage, slaying some of the bravest' leaders,
among them one Roland, Warden of the Marches
of Brittany. Round this Roland wonderful stories
have hung. It is said, and it may be true, that he
blew a blast on his bugle-horn with his last strength,
which first told Charlemagne, on far before, of this
direful mischance; and further legends have made him
the foremost and most perfect knight in the army, nay,
raised him to gigantic strength, for there is a great cleft
in the Pyrenean Hills called La Breche de Roland, and
said to have been made with one stroke of his sword.
Pfabzgraf, or Count of the Palace, was the title of some
of the great Frank lords, and thus in these romances
Roland and his friends are called the Paladins.

56 Stories of French History.

But to return to Charlemagne. He had three sons-
Carl, Pepin, and Lodwig. When the two younger
were four and three years old, he took them both with
him to Rome, and there Pope Adrian anointed the
elder to be King of Lombardy; the younger, King of
Aquitania. As soon as they had returned, Charlemagne
had the little Lodwig taken to his kingdom. As far
as the Loire he was carried in his cradle, but when he
entered Aquitania he was dressed in a little suit of
armour, and placed on horseback, that he might be
shewn to his subjects in manly fashion. Wise, strong
men formed his council, whose whole work was keeping
the Arabs back beyond the Ebro; but he was taken
back after a time to be educated in his father's palace
at Aachen. Charlemagne had gathered there the most
learned men he could find-Alcuin, an Englishman,
being one-and had a kind of academy, where his
young nobles and clergy might acquire the learning of
the old Roman times. Discussions on philosophy were
held, everyone taking some old name, Charlemagne
himself being called David. He strove hard to remedy
the want of a good education; and such was his ability,
that he could calculate the courses of the planets in his
head, though he never wrote easily, in spite of carry-
ing about tablets in his bosom, and practising at odd

Carl the Great. 57

times. Latin was, of course, familiar to him; St.
Augustine's City of God" was his favourite book;
and he composed several hymns, among them the Veni
Creator Spiritus-that invocation of the Holy Spirit
which is sung at Ordinations. He also knew Greek,
and he had begun to arrange a Frankish Grammar,
and collect the old songs of his people.
No one was so much honoured and respected in
Europe, and after two more journeys to Rome on
behalf of the Pope, Leo III., the greatest honour
possible was conferred upon him. In the old Roman
times, the Roman people had always been supposed to
elect their Emperor. They now elected him. On the
Christmas Day of the year 800, as Carl the Frank
knelt down before the altar of St. Peter's, the Pope
placed a crown on his head, and the Roman people
cried aloud, To Carolus Augustus, crowned by God,
the great and peaceful Emperor of the Romans, life
and victory!"
So the Empire of the West, which had died away
for a time, or been merged in the Empire of the East
at Constantinople, was brought to life again in the
person of Carl the Great; while his two sons were
rulers of kingdoms, and all around him were numerous
dukes and counts of different subject nations, all owning

58 Stories of French History.

his empire. The old cities, likewise, in Provence-
Aquitania, Lombardy, and Gaul-though they had
councils that governed themselves, owned him as their
Emperor. Moreover, he made the new territories
which he had conquered along the German rivers
great bishoprics, especially at Triers, Mentz, and Koln,
thinking that bishops would more safely and loyally
guard the frontier, and tame the heathen borderers,
than fierce warrior counts and dukes.
Aachen was the capital of this Empire. There Carl
had built a noble cathedral, and a palace for himself;
and he collected from Italy the most learned clerks
and the best singers of church music. His chosen name
of David did not ill befit him, for he was a great
founder and benefactor of the church, and gathered
together synods of his bishops several times during his
reign to consult for her good and defence. Indeed, his
benefits to her, and his loyal service, were such that he
has been placed in the calendar as a saint; although he
had several serious faults, the worst of which was that
he did not rightly esteem the holiness and closeness of
the tie of wedlock, and married and put away wives
in a lax way that makes a great blot in his character.
He was of a tall figure, with a long neck, and
exceedingly active and dextrous in all exercises-a

Carl the Great. 59

powerful warrior, and very fond of hunting, but pre-
ferring swimming to anything else. Nobody could
swim or dive like him; and he used to take large parties
to bathe with him, so that a hundred men were some-
times in the river at once. His dress was stately on
occasion, but he did not approve of mere finery; and
when he saw some young noble over-dressed, would
rather enjoy taking him on a long muddy ride in the
He had intended his eldest son Carl to be Emperor,
and Pepin and Lodwig to rule Lombardy and Aqui-
taine under him as kings; but Pepin died in 8o1, and
Carl in 8i i, and only Lodwig was left. This last son
he caused to be accepted as Emperor by all his chief
nobles in the church at Aachen, and then made him a
discourse on the duties of a sovereign to his people;
after which he bade the young man take a crown that
lay on the altar and put it on his own head. Blessed
be the Lord, who hath granted me to see my son
sitting on my throne," he said.
Charlemagne died the next year, in 814, in his
seventy-first year, and was buried at Aachen, sitting
upright, robed and crowned, in his chair, with his sword
by his side.

A FTER Louis Philippe and his family had fled
"from France, there was a time of confusion. An
assembly of deputies met from all parts of France to
arrange a fresh government; and a very clever poet
and author, named Lamartine, at first tried to bring
about something like order, but he was not strong
enough, and there was a great deal of tumult and
In truth, the Red Republicans, who did not want to
see anyone richer than themselves, were very much
disappointed that, though noblemen and gentlemen had
no more rights than other people, yet still rich men
kept their money and estates; and though all sorts
of occupations were devised at Paris, for which they
were highly paid, in hopes of keeping them quiet
and contented, they only became more fierce and
violent. They had devised a way of fortifying the

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The Republic. 295

streets, by seizing on all the carts, carriages, and
cabs they could lay hands on, and fastening them
together with ropes, so as to form a line across the
street. Then they pulled up the paving-stones, and
built them up, banking them up with earth, and thus
making what they called a barricade. And when the
top and back of this was thronged with men and boys
armed with muskets, it was almost impossible to dis-
lodge them.
In the end of June, 1848, there were three dreadful
days of barricades. It was really a fight of the Red
Republicans against the Tricoloured. Liberty, Fra-
ternity, and Equality were the watchwords of them
both; but the Red Republicans meant much more than
the Tricoloured by these words, for they thought
liberty was no order at all, and equality was that no
person should be better off than the rest. The good
Archbishop of Paris, Monseigneur Affre, going out on
one of these miserable days to try to make peace, was
shot through the back from behind a barricade, and
died in a few hours.
However, General Cavaignac, one of the brave men
who had been trained to war by the fighting in Algeria,
so managed the soldiers and the National Guard that
they put down the Red Republicans, and restored

296 Stories of French History.

order, though not without shedding much blood, and
sending many into exile.
Indeed, the two years 1847 and 1848 were unquiet
all over Europe. Much that had been settled at the
Congress of Vienna, in 1814, after Napoleon had been
overthrown, had been done more as if estates were
being carved out than as if what was good for the
people was considered; and there had been distress and
discontent ever since, especially in Italy, where all the
north was under the Emperor of Austria, and his
German officers were very rough and disagreeable in
the towns where they were quartered.
The Italians rose, and tried to shake them off by the
help of the King of Sardinia; and at the same time
here was a great rising against the Pope, Pius IX., at
Rome. The Popes had held Rome for more than a
thousand years, and there ruled the Western Church;
but they had never been very good princes to their
Roman subjects, and things had fallen into a sad state
of confusion, which, when first he was chosen, Pius IX.
had tried to improve; but his people went on too fast
for him, and at last rose up and so alarmed him that he
fled in the disguise of a servant behind an Austrian
Now, the Roman Catholics think the Pope cannot

The Republic. 297

rule over the Church freely unless he has Rome quite
of his own, and lives there as a prince, instead of only
as a Bishop in a country belonging to someone else.
And though there were so many in France who had
not much faith in anything, yet there were a good many
honest, religious people, who were very anxious to have
him back, and said that it mattered more that he should
govern the Church than that the Romans should be
well off.
So a French army was sent to restore him; and the
Italians were grievously disappointed, for the Austrians
were putting them down in the north, and they thought
Republicans bound to help them. But Rome was taken,
and the Pope had his throne again; and a strong guard
of French soldiers were placed in Rome, for without
such help he could no longer have reigned.
The French at home were in more parties than ever.
The Red Republicans still wanted to overthrow every-
thing; the Moderate ones cared chiefly to keep peace
and order; the Bonapartists longed to have another
empire like Napoleon's; the Orleanists wished to bring
back the Count of Paris, grandson of Louis Philippe;
and the Legitimists still held fast by Henry V., the
son of the murdered Duke of Berri, and the natural
king by birth. Never was there such a house divided

298 Stories of French History.

against itself; but, in truth, the real fear was of the
Red Republicans. All the rest were ready to be quiet,
and submit to anything so long as these could be kept
After much deliberating in the Assembly, it was
settled to have a republic, with a president, as the
Americans have. Then Louis Napoleon Bonaparte,
the son of Napoleon's brother Louis, offered himself as
president, and was elected, all the quiet people and all
the Bonapartists joining in the choice. Most of the
army were Bonapartists, for the sake of the old victories
of Napoleon ; and when Algeria was quieted, and they
came home, Louis Napoleon had a great power in his
hands. Soon he persuaded the people to change his
title from president to that of first consul, as his uncle
had once been called; and then everyone began to see
what would follow, but most were glad to have a strong
hand over them, to give a little peace and rest after all
the changes.
And the next time there was any chance of a
disturbance at Paris, Louis Napoleon was beforehand
with the mob. He surrounded them with soldiers, had
cannon planted so as to command every street, and
fired upon the mob before it had time to do any harm,
then captured the ringleaders, and either had them

The Reiublic. 299

executed or sent into banishment. Some violence and
cruelty there certainly was, but the Parisians were
taught whom they must obey, and quiet people were
grateful. This master stroke is always called the coup
d'etat, or stroke of policy, for it settled affairs for the
time; and after it Louis Napoleon did as he chose, for
no one durst resist him.


r ET one of the older maps of France, where it is
S in provinces, and not departments, and I will try
to shew you what it was to be King of France when
Hugues Capet was crowned at Rheims. Remember,
there had once been a great Empire of the West;
indeed, there was an empire still, only the head of it
was a Saxon instead of a Frank, and it had been
divided into different nations or tribes, as it were, each
ruled over by an officer or count or duke of the
Emperor's. Now, the nations had fallen apart in
groups, and their chiefs held together according to what
suited them, or who was the strongest, and some with
more, some with less, feeling that the Emperor had a
right over them all. But as to meddling in the
management of a duke or count's province, no emperor
nor king had any power to do that.
The new king was Duke of France, and Count of

Hugues Capet. 75

Paris, and Guardian of the Abbey of St. Denys'. So
in the place called the Isle of France he was really
master, and his brother Henri was Duke of Burgundy.
On the Loire was the great county of Anjou, with a
very spirited race of counts ; and to the eastward were
Vermandois and Champagne, also counties. In all
these places the nobles, like the king himself, were
descended from the old Franks; but the people in the
towns and villages were Gauls, and they all talked the
form of broken Latin which was then called the Langue
d'oil, because oil or oui was the word for yes. This
has now turned into French. In Normandy the people
were Northmen, but were fast learning to talk nothing
but French; and in Brittany both duke and people were
still old Kymry, and talked Kymric. They had never
been much under the Romans or Franks. They hated
the French and Normans, and never paid them any
homage if they could help it; but the Norman dukes
always considered that Brittany had been put under
them, and this led to plenty of wars.
The southern half of the country had only been
overrun from time to time, never subdued or peopled
even in the greatest Carling times. There the people
were less Gaul than Roman, and talked a less altered
Latin, which was called Langue d'oc, because they said

76 Stories of French History.

oc instead of oui; and it was also called Romance or
Provencal. Old Latin learning and manners, with
their graces and elegances, were still kept up in these
parts, and the few Frank chieftains who had come in
had conformed to them. These were the Dukes of
Aquitaine or Guyenne, the Counts of Toulouse, and
the Counts of Narbonne. But in the south-west of
Aquitaine, near the Pyrenees and the sea, were an
old race called Basques, who seem to be older still than
the Gauls, and do not speak their language, but a
strange and very difficult one of their own. The
Basques, where more mixed with the other inhabitants
in the plains, were called Gascons in France, Vascons
in Spain, and were thought great boasters.
These Romance-speaking counts were considered
by the King of France to belong to him; but whether
they considered themselves to belong to the King of
France was quite a different thing. The County of
Provence, Old Provincia, certainly did not, but held
straight from the Holy Roman Empire. So did the
other countries to the eastward, where a German tongue
was spoken, but which had much to do with the history
of France-namely, Lorraine, where the old Carlings
still ruled, and Flanders.
So you see a king of France was not a very mighty

Hugues Capet. 77

person, and had little to call his own. But just as the
empire was cut up into little divisions, so each duke-
dom or county was cut into lesser ones. If the duke
or count did homage to emperor or king, he had under
him barons (sometimes counts) who did homage in
their turn for the lands they held. And as the king
could not make war without a council of his counts and
dukes, no more could the duke or count without a par-
liament or council of his barons. When money was
wanted, the clergy and the burghers from the towns had
to be called too, and to settle what they would give.
The lands held in this way were called fiefs, and the
great men who held straight from the king himself
were crown vassals; those under them were their
vassals. In time of war the king called his crown
vassals, they called their barons, the barons called the
vavasours or freemen under them, and got their men
in from working on the farms, and out they went.
Money was not common then, so the lands were held
on condition of serving the lord in war or by council,
of giving a share of help on great occasions in his
family or their own, and so many days' work on his
own farm when it was wanted.
This was called the feudal system, and sometimes it
worked well; but if the baron was a hard man, the

78 Stories of French History.

poor peasants often suffered sadly, for he would call
them to work for him when their own crops were
spoiling, or take the best of all they had. And the
Franks had got into such a way of despising and ill-
treating the poor Gauls, that they hardly looked on
them as the same creatures as themselves. When two
barons went to war-and this they were always doing
--the first thing they did was to burn and destroy the
cottages, corn, or cattle on each other's property, and
often the peasants too. The barons themselves lived
in strong castles, with walls so thick that, as there was
no gunpowder, it was not possible to break into them.
They filled them with youths whom they were training
to arms-the younger ones called pages, the elder
esquires or shield-bearers; and as they practised their
exercises in the castle court, the bearing of a gentleman
was called courtesy. When a squire had attended his
knight battle, grown perfect in all his feats of arms,
could move about easily in his heavy shirt of little
chains of linked steel, and ride a tilt with his lance
against another man armed like himself, and had learned
enough to be a leader, he was made a knight or
chevalier, as the French called it, by a blow on the
shoulders with the flat of the sword before an elder
knight. A belt and gilded spurs marked the knight;

Hugues Cafet. 79

and he was required to vow that he would fight for
God and his Church, be faithful and true, and defend
the poor and weak. Gradually chivalry, as this spirit
of knighthood came to be called, did much to bring in
a sense of honour and generosity; but at this time, in
the reign of Hugues Capet, there was very little good
to be seen in the world. All over France there was
turbulence, cruelty, and savage ways; except, perhaps,
in Normandy, where Duke Richard the Fearless and
his son Duke Richard the Good kept order and peace,
and were brave, upright, religious men, making their
subjects learn the better, rather than the worse ways of
Just at this time, too, the Church and the clergy
were going on badly. The Pope had-ever since, at
least, the time of Carl the Great-been looked on as the
head of the whole Western Church, and the people at
Rome had the power of choosing the Pope. Two
wicked women, named Marozia and Theodora, gained
such power by their riches and flatteries, that they
managed to have anyone chosen Pope whom they
liked; and of course they chose bad men, who would
do as they pleased. This had gone on till the year
962, when the Emperor Otho came over the Alps,
conquered Italy, and turned out the last of these

80 Stories of French History.

shameful Popes. Then he and his successors chose
the Pope; but this was not the right way of doing
things, and the whole Church felt it, for there was no
proper restraint upon the wickedness of the nobles.
The bishops were too apt to care only for riches and
power, and often fought like the lay nobles; and in the
monasteries, where prayer and good works and learning
ought to have been kept up, there was sloth and
greediness, if not worse; and as to the people, they
were hardly like Christians at all, but more like brute
beasts in their ignorance and bad habits.
Indeed, there hardly was a worse time in all the
history of Europe than the reign of Hugues Capet,
which lasted from 987 to 997.

SROBERT THE PIOUS,... 997-1031.
CHAP. XI. HENRY I.,......................... 31-o60.
SPHILIP I., ................... o60-11io8.

N a very curious way a better spirit was stirred up in
the world. In the Book of Revelation it is said that
Satan is to be bound for a thousand years. Now, as
the year 1000 of our Lord was close at hand, it was
thought that this meant that the Day of Judgment was
coming then, and there was great fear and dread at the
thought. At first, however, the effect only seemed to
be that the wicked grew worse, for they feasted and
drank and revelled, like the men before the flood; and
when the year Iooo began, so many thought it not
worth while to sow their corn, that there was a most
dreadful famine and great distress everywhere, so that
there were even wretches who set traps in the woods
to catch little children for their food.
But all this time there were good men who taught
repentance, and one blessed thing they brought about


82 Stories of French History.

while people's hearts were soft with dread, was what
was called the Truce of God, namely, an agreement
that nobody should fight on Sundays, Saturdays, or
Friday, so that three days in the week were peaceable.
The monasteries began to improve, the clergy to be
more diligent, and the king himself, whose name was
Robert, was one of the best and most religious men in
his kingdom. He used to come to the Abbey at St.
Denys' every morning to sing with the monks; he used
the Psalms every day in prayer and praise, and wrote
and set to music several Latin hymns, which he carried
to Rome and laid on the altar at St. Peter's; and he
loved nothing so well as waiting on beggars, and dressing
the wounds of the sick. But he could not manage his
kingdom well, and everyone took advantage of him.
He had married his cousin, Bertha of Burgundy, who
was heiress of Arles in Provence. Now Provence
belonged to the Empire, and the Emperor did not
choose that the Kings of France should have it; so he
made the Pope, whom he had appointed, declare that
Robert and Bertha were such near relations that they
could not be husband and wife, and, with great grief,
Robert submitted, Bertha went into a nunnery, and he
married Constance of Aquitaine. She brought all the
gay fashions of Southern France with her, and her

Henry I. 83

followers wore their clothes and cut their hair, sung songs
and made jokes, in a way that offended the Northern
French very much. She was vain and light-minded
herself, could not endure the king and his beggars,
and grew weary of his hymns and prayers. The sons
were more like her than like their father, and Robert
had a troubled life, finding little peace except in church,
until he died in the year 1031.
His eldest son, Henry I., reigned after him, and the
second, Robert, became Duke of Burgundy, and began
a family of dukes which lasted on four hundred years.
The spirit of improvement that had begun to stir was
going on. Everybody was becoming more religious.
The monks in their convents began either to set them-
selves to rights, or else they founded fresh monasteries
in new places, with stricter rules, so as to make a new
beginning. And a very great man, whose name was
Hildebrand, was stirring up the Church not to go on
leaving the choice of the Pope to the Emperor, but to
have him properly appointed by the clergy of the
Diocese of Rome, who were called Cardinals-that is,
chiefs. Though there was much fierceness and wildness,
and much wickedness and cruelty, among the great
nobles, they still cared more for religion; they built
churches, they tried to repent as they grew old, and

84 Stories of French History.

some went on pilgrimage to pray for the forgiveness
of their sins at the Holy Sepulchre, where our Blessed
Lord once lay.
One of these pilgrims was Robert the Magnificent,
Duke of Normandy. He walked on foot very humbly
in the country, but at Constantinople, he rode through
the gates of the city with his mule shod with silver
shoes, loosely fastened on, so that the people might
pick them up. He died on his way, and his young son,
William, had to fight very hard with enemies on all
sides before he could keep his dukedom.
Henry I. had been dead six years, and his son
Philip I. had reigned six, from io6o, when this great
Duke of Normandy became still greater, by winning
for himself the kingdom of England. Philip did not
much wish this. He was afraid of William, and did
not at all wish to see him grow so much more powerful
than himself. He spoke contemptuously of the new
King of England whenever he could, and at last it was
one of his foolish speeches that made William so angry
as to begin the war in which the great conqueror met
with the accident that caused his death.
Philip was by no means a good man. After he had
lost his first wife, he fell in love with the beautiful
Countess of Anjou, Bertrade de Montfort, and per-

Philyp I. 85

suaded her to come and pretend to be his wife. His
son Louis, who was so active and spirited that he was
called l'dveill', which means the Wide-awake, showed
his displeasure, and Philip and Bertrade so persecuted
him, that he was obliged to come for refuge to England.
However, in spite of the king's wickedness, there was
much more spirit of religion in the people. There
were many excellent Bishops and Abbots, and some
good nobles; Godfrey de Bouillon, Duke of Lorraine,
the descendant of the old Carlings, was one of the very
best of the princes at that, or indeed any other time.
It was in this reign that a pilgrim, named Peter the
Hermit, came home with a piteous history of the cruelty
of the Mahometans, who had possession of the Holy
Land. He obtained leave from the Pope, Urban II.,
to call all the warriors of Christendom to save the Holy
Sepulchre, where our Blessed Lord had lain, from the
hands of the unbelievers. The first great preaching
was at Clermont, in Auvergne; and there the whole
people were so much moved that they cried as if with
one voice, "God wills it," and came crowding round to
have their left shoulders marked with a cross made of
two strips of cloth. An army came together from many
of the lands of the west, and the princes agreed to lay
aside all their quarrels while the Crusade lasted. The

86 Stories of French History.

good Duke Godfrey led them, all through Germany
and Hungary, and across the narrow straits of the
Bosphorus, meeting with many troubles and perils as
they went; but at last they did get safe to Jerusalem,
laid siege to it, and conquered it. Then they chose
Godfrey to be King of Jerusalem, but he would never
be crowned; he said it was not fitting for him to wear
a crown of gold where his Lord had worn a crown of
thorns. Many nobles and knights stayed with him to
help him to guard the holy places, while the others
went home. Two convents of monks resolved that,
besides being monks, they would be soldiers of the
Holy War. These were called the Knights of St.
John of Jerusalem, or Hospitalier Knights, and the
Knights of the Temple. The Hospitaliers had their
name because they had a house at Jerusalem for
receiving the poor pilgrims, and nursing them if they
were sick or wounded. People from England, Spain,
Germany, and Italy were of the Crusade, and might
belong to the two orders of knighthood, but there were
always more French there than of any other nation.
Louis the Wide-awake was fetched home by the
French barons, and ruled for his father for the last six
years of Philip's reign, though the old king did not die
till the year I io8.

1037- 1180.
HE "Young" is an odd historical name for a king
who reigned a good many years; but he was
called so at first because he was only eighteen years old
when he came to the throne, and the name clung to
him because there was always something young and
simple about his character.
The first great event of his reign was that St.
Bernard stirred Europe once more to a crusade to help
the Christians in Palestine, who were hard pressed by
the Mahometans. At Vezelay there was a great
assembly of bishops and clergy, knights and nobles;
and St. Bernard preached to them so eagerly, that
soon all were fastening crosses to their arms, and
tearing up mantles and robes because enough crosses
had not been made beforehand for the numbers who
took them. The young king and his beautiful queen,
Eleanor of Aquitaine, vowed to make the crusade
too, and set out with a great army of fighting men,

94 Stories of French History.

and, besides them, of pilgrims, monks, women, and
children. The queen was very beautiful and very
vain; and though she called herself a pilgrim, she had
no notion of denying herself, so she carried all her fine
robes and rich hangings, her ladies, waiting-maids,
minstrels, and jesters. The French had no ships to
take them direct to the Holy Land, but had to go by
land all the way, along the shore of Asia Minor.
Numbers of the poor pilgrims sank down and perished
by the way; and just as they had passed the city of
Laodicea, the Mahometan army came down on the rear
guard in a narrow valley, and began to make a great
slaughter. The king himself had sometimes to get
behind a tree, sometimes behind a rock; and the whole
army would have been cut off, if a poor knight named
Gilbert, whom no one had thought much of, came
forward, took the lead, and helped the remains of the
rear guard to struggle out of the valley. Through all
the rest of the march, Gilbert really led the army; and
yet after this he never is heard of again, and never
seems to have looked for any reward.
When Palestine was reached at last, there were not
io,ooo left out of the 400,000 who had set out from
home; and the gay queen's zeal was quite spent; and
while the king was praying at the Holy Sepulchre,

Louis VII., The Young. 95

and trying to fight for it, she was amusing herself with
all the lively youths she could get round her. She
despised her good, pious husband, and said he was
more like a monk than a king; and as soon as they
returned from this unhappy crusade, they tried to find
some excuse for breaking their marriage.
The Pope allowed the king to rid himself of this
wicked lady, and let them both marry again. He
married Constance of Castille, and Eleanor took for
her husband the young English king, Henry II., and
brought him all her great possessions.
The very thing had come to pass that the King of
France feared-namely, that the Dukes of Normandy
should get more powerful than he was. For Henry
II. was at once King of England and Duke of Nor-
mandy and Count of Anjou, and his wife was Duchess
of Aquitaine and Guienne; and, as time went on,
Henry betrothed his little son Geoffrey to Constance,
the orphan girl who was heiress to Brittany, and under-
took to rule her lands for her; so that the lands over
which Louis had any real power were a sort of little
island within the great sea of the possessions of the
English king. Besides, Henry was a much cleverer man
than Louis, and always got the better of him in their
treaties. The Kings of France and Dukes of Nor-

96 Stories of French History.

mandy always met at Gisors, on their border, under
an enormous elm-tree, so large that three hundred
horsemen could find shelter under the branches; and
these meetings never went on well for Louis. He was
obliged to promise that his two daughters, Margaret
and Alice, should marry Henry's two sons, Henry and
Richard, and to give them to Henry to be brought up.
When Henry had his great dispute with Archbishop
Becket, about the question whether clergymen were
subject to the law of the land, Becket fled to France.
Louis loved and respected him very much, gave him
shelter in an abbey, and tried hard to make peace
between him and Henry, but never could succeed, till,
after six years, Henry pretended to be reconciled, and
Becket went home in the year I 170. He was murdered
very soon after, as you have heard in the history of
Louis must have been very much surprised when his
own former wife, Queen Eleanor, came disguised as a
man with her three eldest sons to his court, making
great complaints of Henry for keeping the government
of their provinces in his own hands. He must have
thought it only what they and he both deserved, and
he gave them what help he could; but Henry was a
great deal more strong and crafty than any of them,

Louis VII., The Young. 97

and soon put them down. Eleanor was thrown into
prison, and kept there as long as she lived. She richly
deserved it; but her sons and the people of Aquitaine
did not think so. Those people of Aquitaine were a
curious race-they were very courtly, though not very
good; and they thought more of music, poetry, and
love-making than of anything else, though they were
brave men too. Every knight was expected to be able
to write verses and sing them, and to be able to hold
an argument in the courts of love. The best poets
among them were called troubadours; and Eleanor
herself, and her two sons, Richard and Geoffrey, could
compose songs and sing them. All were as much
beloved in Aquitaine as Henry was hated; and the
troubadours did nothing but stir up the youths to fight
with their father and set their mother free; but though
they broke out many times, they could never prevail
against him.
Louis VII. was married three times-to Eleanor of
Aquitaine, to Constance of Castille, and to Alice of
Champagne. These three queens had among them six
daughters, but no son; and this was a great grief, since no
woman had ever reigned in France, and it was believed
that the old Salian Franks had a law against women
reigning. At any rate, this grew to be the rule in


98 Stories of French History.

France, and it is called the Salic law. However, the
question had not to be settled this time, for at last a
son was born to Louis; and in his joy he caused the
babe to be christened Philip Dieu-donn', or God-given.
The boy was the cleverest son who had sprung from
the House of Paris for ages past; and while still quite
young, cared for all that concerned his father and his
kingdom, at an age when other boys care only for
sports and games. When his father met the English
king at the elm of Gisors, young Philip looked on and
saw how Henry over-reached and took advantage of
Louis; and he was bitterly grieved and angered, and
made up his mind that some day he would get back
all that his father was losing.
However, in the midst of his plans, young Philip
was one day out hunting in a forest with his father,
when he missed his companions, lost his way, and
wandered about all night. When he was found, he was
so spent with hunger and cold that he had a bad illness,
and was in great danger for some days. When he
grew better, King Louis, in great joy, thought this
precious life had been granted for the prayers of his
old friend Thomas a Becket, and asked leave of Henry
to come and give thanks at the archbishop's tomb at
Canterbury. He came, and was welcomed as a friend

I.!i3 ',
;c 'ii f i i~I1

| i,

j "I :L,
',' \} Ir'I :~~i

r' _.* '*', "'/

Louis VII., The Young. 99

and guest. He gave great gifts to the cathedral, and
especially a beautiful ring, which became one of the
great treasures of the place.
He had had his beloved son, though only fifteen,
crowned, that France might have a king over her while
he was away; and Philip was very soon the only king,
for good, honest, simple-minded Louis the Young died
very soon after his return from Canterbury, in the year
S180, nine years before the death of his great enemy,
Henry II.

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