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but while the priests, with dolorous accent,

were chanting his requiem, up sprang the

prostrate Hastings, drew his sword, and

slew the ecclesiastics right and left. His

men, at the signal, joined in the bloody

work. The cathedral was plundered, and

the robbers made away with their spoils

before the stupefied population could realize

what was done.

At a later date Hastings and his band

ravaged the provinces of Anjou and Brittany. He then sailed up the Seine and

appeared before Paris. Chartres was taken,

and Charles the Bald was obliged to entrench

himself at St. Denis. So great was the

terror which the Northmen had spread abroad

that the king-though against the advice of

many of his barons-entered into negotiations with Hastings, and consented to

purchase a peace. It was agreed to cede

to the triumphant robber and his followers

the county of Chartres, on condition that

he would cease from his piracies and become a Christian. It seems that the rapacity

of Hastings was at last satisfied, and he

accepted the overtures of the Frankish

king. But his fellow chieftain Bioem, not

yet satiated with plunder, could not be

reconciled. He sailed away with a cargo

of booty, was wrecked on the coast of Friesland, and soon afterwards died. There was

then a lull in the tempest of northern invasion, and the kingdom of the Franks for a

while flowed in the more quiet currents of


Three kingdoms issued from the treaty of

Verdun-Italy, Germany, and France. Political causes-the accidental circumstance of

many sons in the family of Louis the Debonair-had combined with the general facts

of geography, language, and race kinship to

divide the descendants of the subjects of

Charlemagne into Italians, Germans, and


The imbecility of the Emperor Louis had

cooperated with the tongue of Clovis in the

formation of nations; and the jealousy of the

queens, Hermengarde and Judith, had made

a league with the Alps.

Among the various immediate successors

of Charlemagne the most distinguished were

Charles the Bald and Lothaire. The former

inherited the brilliant faculties of his mother,

and added a judgment and will of his own.

He maintained about his capital and court

something of the culture which had been

planted by his great ancestor. Men of

learning were again encouraged. Philosophers were patronized. The School of the

Palace was reinstituted; but since the administration of Charles was so dearly the

fruit of the planting of Charlemagne, some

of the people, not without a flash of semi-barbaric wit, called his learned institution the Palace of the School. As to Lothaire, his energies and ambitions have

been sufficiently illustrated in the preceding narrative. If Louis the Debonair had

had no other son but him, the Empire founded

by the greatest of the Carlovingians might

have preserved its unity for a season.

It will now be desirable to note briefly

the principal events in the history of the

three kingdoms of Italy, Germany, and

France, from the middle of the ninth century to the accession of Hugh Capet. Taken

altogether, the period is one of the least

interesting and instructive in the whole

course of Modern History. During its

continuance men appear with little heroism, and events are projected on a stage

so little dramatic as scarcely to excite a

passing interest.

Charles the Bald continued his reign from

850 to 875 with scarcely a notable incident.

After the settlement of Hastings at Chartres,

the kingdom, though frequently menaced, suffered for the time not much actual injury

from the incursions of the Danes. In the

year 875 Louis II of Germany died. For

some years that sovereign had borne the Imperial title; for Lothaire had ceased to be Emperor in the year 855. On the death of Louis,

Charles the Bald seized the title; but so small

had already become the influence of this traditional dignity that the French king was

rather weakened than made strong by its assumption. Shortly afterwards a much more

important event occurred in the establishment

of the hereditary principle among the noble

families of France. Hitherto the dukes,

counts, and grandees had held and exercised

their authority by the royal prerogative. In

876 Charles was obliged to sign a decree by

which the tenure of the noble titles of the

kingdom, with the landed estates thereunto

belonging, was remanded to the law of descent. Thus as early as the last