Page 1160


in his wars, that Pepin was destined to distinguish himself as one of the chief personages

of his times. But the founding of his family

was attended with many troubles. Besides

his wife Plectruda, he had a mistress, Alpaida, upon whom he lavished the greater

part of his attentions. A bitter feud was thus

created in the mayor's palace between the lawful and the unlawful wife of the ruler. In

these rivalries Alpaida gained the ascendancy,

and Plectruda, with her children, was thrust

into the background. Finally Grimoald, her

son, and the heir expectant of Pepin's rights,

was murdered, and the party of Alpaida was

involved in the crime. The mayor was

obliged to appease public indignation and private wrath by putting in prison the son of his

mistress, afterwards known as Martel. That

bold and impetuous spirit, however, could not

long be kept in confinement. Regaining his

liberty he soon overthrew the regency which

Pepin had left to his widow during the minority of Grimoald's son, and seized the mayoralty for himself.

The career of Charles Martel, down to the

battle of Poitiers, has already been narrated in

the two preceding books. After that great

event his prudence forbade any reckless