Page 1176

1176 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

rested with the Emperor. The chronicler continues:

"After having received these communications, they (the counselors) deliberated

on them two or three days or more, according to the importance of the business. Palace

messengers, going and coming, took their

questions and carried back the answers.

No stranger came near the place of their

meeting until the result of their deliberations had been able to be submitted to the

scrutiny of the great prince, who, then with

the wisdom he had received from God,

adopted a resolution, which all obeyed."

The talkative archbishop thus further describes the workings of the Imperial government:

"Things went on thus for one or two

capitularies, or a greater number, until, with

God's help, all the necessities of the occasion

were regulated. Whilst these matters were thus proceeding out of the king's presence, the prince

himself, in the midst of the multitude, came

to the general assembly, was occupied in receiving the presents, saluting the men of most

note, conversing with those he saw seldom,

showing towards the elders a tender interest,

disporting himself with the youngsters, and

doing the same thing, or something like it,

with the ecclesiastics as well as the seculars.

However, if those who were deliberating about

the matter submitted to their examination

showed a desire for it, the king repaired to

them and remained with them as long as they

wished; and then they reported to him with

perfect familiarity what they thought about

all matters, and what were the friendly discussions that had arisen amongst them. I

must not forget to say that, if the weather

were fine, every thing took place in the open

air; otherwise, in several distinct buildings,

where these who had to deliberate on the

king's proposals were separated from the multitude of persons come to the assembly,

and then the men of greater note were admitted."

"The places appointed for the meeting of the

lords were divided into two parts, in such sort

that the bishops, the abbots, and the clerics

of high rank might meet without mixture

with the laity. In the same way the counts

and other chiefs of the state underwent separation, in the morning, until, whether, the king was present or absent, all were gathered together; then the lords above specified, the clerics on their side and the laics

on theirs, repaired to the hall which had

been assigned to them, and. where seats

had been with due honor prepared for

them."

"When the lords laical and ecclesiastical

were thus separated from the multitude,

it remained in their power to sit separately

or together, according to the nature of the

business they had to deal with, ecclesiastical,

secular, or mixed. In the same way, if they

wished to send for anyone, either to demand refreshment, or to put any question,

and to dismiss him after getting what they

wanted, it was at their option. Thus took

place the examination of affairs proposed to

them by the king for deliberation."

"The second business of the king was

to ask of each what there was to report to

him or enlighten him touching the part of

the kingdom each had come from. Not only

was this permitted to all, but they were

strictly enjoined to make inquiries, during

the interval between the assemblies, about

what happened within or without the kingdom; and they were bound to seek knowledge from foreigners as well as natives,

enemies as well as friends, sometimes by employing emissaries, and without troubling

themselves much about the manner in which

they acquired their information. The king

wished to know whether in any part, in any

corner, of the kingdom, the people were

restless, and what was the cause of their

restlessness; or whether there had happened any disturbances to which it was

necessary to draw the attention of the council general, and other similar matters. He

sought also to know whether any of the

subjugated nations were inclined to revolt;

whether any of those that had revolted

seemed disposed towards submission; and

whether those that were still independent were threatening the kingdom with

any attack. On all these subjects, whenever there was any manifestation of disorder or danger, he demanded chiefly what

were the motives or occasion of them."

In this description it is easy to discover the

real preponderance of Charlemagne himself in

all the affairs of the Frankish kingdom. The

assemblies were convened by his edict. He