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them "the spectacle of society in a state of

anarchy or immobility is revolting and almost

unbearable. It occasions them an intellectual

shudder as a thing that should not be. They

feel an unconquerable desire to change

it, to restore order; to introduce something general, regular, and permanent into

the world which is placed before them. Tremendous power! often tyrannical, committing a thousand iniquities, a thousand errors;

for human weakness accompanies it. Glorious

and salutary power, nevertheless, for it

gives to humanity by the hand of man a

new and powerful impulse."

In the very beginning of his career the

new sovereign of the Franks was confronted

with the necessity of a war with the Lombards. The ascendancy attained by his

father south of the Alps was about to be

lost by the ambitions and intrigues of the

Lombard king, Degiderius. The jealousy

between the two monarchs was mutual

and based upon causes which mediaeval

kings were very prone to observe. Before

his accession Prince Karl had married Desiderata, daughter of Desiderius; but after

becoming king-being offended at the conduct of his father-in-law-he sent the queen

home to her parents, for whom he took no

pains to conceal his contempt. For his

part, Desiderius received and protected the

nephews of Charlemagne-an act which seemed

to discover a purpose of supporting the

claims of the family of Carloman. Desiderius also added to his of lenses by unfriendly conduct towards the Pope, whose

partiality for the Carlovingians was notorious.

It was not likely that Charlemagne would

permit any indignity offered to the Holy

Father to pass without adequate punishment. The personal anger of the king was

combined with his religious prejudices, and

both were excited by the loud call of Pope

Adrian, who besought the Frankish monarch

to come to the rescue of the newly established but now imperiled patrimony of Saint


At the first Charlemagne, preserving the

appearance of peace, sent envoys to Desiderius requesting that that monarch should

regard the rights of the Pope; but the Lombard refused, and Charlemagne immediately

prepared for the invasion of Italy. One

army, led by the king in person, crossed the Alps by way of Mont Cenis, and the other

descended upon Lombardy by way of Saint

Bernard. On the other side of the mountains Desiderius made a brave resistance, but:

was soon obliged to take refuge within the

walls of Pavia. Charlemagne at once advanced to the siege. The defense was con-

ducted with obstinate courage. The assaults

of the Franks were several times repelled,

and the king of the Franks was obliged

to sprinkle cool patience on his ardor. Finding that the investment was to continue

during the winter, he converted his camp

into a royal headquarters, and built a chapel

for the appropriate celebration of the Christmas festivities. He then sent for the Queen

Hildegarde, a Suabian princess whom he had

married instead of the discarded Desiderata,

and with her made the hours of the siege

less tedious. Winter wore away and the

spring came, and still the Lombards held

the city.

Meanwhile Pope Adrian was all anxiety to

secure the presence of Charlemagne in Rome.

The dream of the nuptials of the Holy See

with the great Frankish bridegroom had

risen in full splendor upon the vision of

the pontiff, and he would fain make it real

by a consummation of the ceremony. Charlemagne was induced by the Roman ambassadors to leave the siege of Pavia to his lieutenants and to hasten forward to the

city of St. Peter.

On approaching the battlements of the

ancient capital, the Frankish sovereign was

met by the magistrates and people, who

poured forth through the gates to welcome

their great champion from beyond the mountains. The children of the schools came in

processions, carrying palms and singing hymns

of praise. He was cordially welcomed by the

Pope, who, with a strange mixture of affection and dignity, heaped honors and distinctions on his guest. He gave to Charlemagne a book containing the canons of the Church

from its foundation to the current date.

For some time the king of the Franks continued in conference with the Holy Father at

Rome. The Pope took all pains during the sojourn of his distinguished guest to impress