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affectations. Antiquity was worshipped and imitated. The names of the ancient philosophers were adopted by the scholars of the court. Alcuin was called Flaccus; Angilbert, Homer; Theodulph, Pindar. Charlemagne himself selected his model out of

Israel, and chose to be known as David.

But these small vanities and imitations may

well be forgiven to men who made life a

serious business and with whom public office

was never a sinecure.

In his habits, manners, and preferences

Charlemagne remained essentially German.

The old Frankish stock was ever honored

by his own and the example of his court.

He spoke German, and looked with little

favor upon that incipient French which,

by the blending of the corrupt Latin of

the Gauls with the Frankish dialects, was

beginning to prevail as the folk speech of

France. It was at this time that the two

great divisions of French, the Langue d'oc

of the South, soon to be modified into Provengal, and the Langue d'ott of the North,

which was the real foundation of modem

French, took their rise as permanent varieties of human speech. As for Charlemagne and his court, they held stoutly

to the rougher tongue of their Frankish


As the Emperor grew old his activities were

somewhat abated. More and more he entrusted to others the management of the

affairs of state, and more and more he gave

himself to enjoyment, recreation, and religious

devotions. He found delight in the warm

baths of Aix la Chapelle. To these resorts he

invited his family, his friends, and many of

the nobility of the kingdom. His old fondness for riding and the chase never forsook

him. Of milder joys he preferred the exhilaration of music, and to the end that he

might be thus inspired and soothed, he brought

to his capital the most distinguished musicians

of Italy. In the midst of such exercises and

amusements he forgot not the near approach

of the inevitable hour. Several times he made

and unmade or modified his will. He provided with the greatest care not only for the

settlement of the affairs of the kingdom,

but also for the distribution of his own estate. His property he divided into three

major portions. The first two-thirds, were

given to the twenty-one principal churches of the empire. The remaining third was reserved for himself during life, and was then to be distributed to his family, or bestowed in alms on the poor.

Having attended to his personal affairs, the

aged Emperor, in the year 813, set about the

settlement of the succession. Three years before this time he had lost by death his second

son Pepin, king of Italy, and in 811 his eldest

son Charles, whom he had intended as his

successor in France, had died. Prince Louis

was now summoned by his father to Aix la Chapelle, to be publicly recognizedas his successor. The principal bishops, abbots, counts,

and laic noblemen of the kingdom were ordered to convene and ratify the Emperor's

choice. Of what follows, the biographer

Eginhard says: "He the Emperor invited

them to make his son Louis king-emperor;

whereto all assented, saying that it was very

expedient, and pleasing, also, to the people.

On Sunday in the next month, August, 813,

Charlemagne repaired, crown on head, with

his son Louis, to the cathedral of Aix la Chapelle, laid upon the altar another crown, and,

after praying, addressed to his son a solemn

exhortation respecting all his duties as king

towards God and the Church, towards his

family and his people, asked him if he were

fully resolved to fulfill them, and, at the answer that he was, bade him take the crown

that lay upon the altar and place it with his

own hands upon his head, which Louis did

amidst the acclamation of all present, who

cried, 'Long live the Emperor Louis!' Charlemagne then declared his son Emperor

jointly with him, and ended the solemnity

with these words: 'Blessed be Thou, O Lord

God, who hast granted me grace to see with

mine own eyes my son seated on my throne!' "

The ceremony being completed, the prince

returned into his own province, there to

await the event which all foresaw as near at


In the beginning of the year 814 the Emperor was taken ill of a fever. The resolute

old monarch adopted the usual methods which

he had previously used in sickness, but in

this instance to no avail. On the seventh day

after his attack, having received the communion at the hands of the bishop, he quietly

expired, being then in the seventy-first year

of his age and the forty-seventh of his remarkable reign.