Page 1246

1246 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

from 1033 to 1060. His reign, on the whole,

was weak, if not contemptible. Three times

was he married. The first two unions were

with queens who brought him no children;

but in the third marriage he took to the

palace the Russian princess Anne, daughter

of the czar, and by her he had three

sons.

This third marriage of the king with the

daughter of a royal House then scarcely

known in Western Europe was an event the

motives of which it would be difficult to discover. But such was the wifely and the

queenly character of the foreign princess thus

oddly introduced into the palace of the Capets

that all cavil against the king's caprice was

quieted. The three sons born to King Henry

were Philip, who succeeded him; Robert, who

died in Childhood; and Hugh, who became

count of Vermandois.

Now it was that the disk of Feudalism grew

large and bright. At the same time the

sun of royalty waned, as if to its setting.

The splendor of the king's court was actually eclipsed by the superior brightness

of the courts of many of his vassals. The

great counts of Toulouse, Flanders, and

Anjou outshone their king in magnificence,

and were fully his equals in the field. The

Count of Champagne and Blois, half-brother

to King Henry, maintained a court in rivalry

to that of Paris. He even set up a pretension of royalty, and in 1037 fought a bloody

battle with the Emperor Conrad of Germany. He claimed from that monarch

the territories which had belonged to Conrad the Pacific; but the count was slain

in battle, and his claims were thus blown

away. The elder of his two sons was permitted to inherit the earldom of Champagne, and the younger became Count of Blois.

It will be remembered that the celibate

party had, in the great struggle of the ninth

century, won the day over the supporters of a

married clergy. For a generation or two the

celibate monks rejoiced in their victory; but

by and by they began themselves to be restless under the system which they had succeeded in enforcing. Many of them broke their vows and left the monasteries. The

Church was greatly scandalized. Other abuses

added to the disgraces of the organization.

Benefices were frequently sold to the highest

bidder. Even the Papal crown itself had

been so disposed of. The folly of the earthly

kingdoms in permitting children and boys to

occupy thrones was witnessed also at Rome,

where Benedict IX, a stripling but ten years

of age, was raised to the seat of St. Peter.

The more serious and sincere ecclesiastics felt

keenly the shame consequent upon these corruptions. The cry of reform was raised. The

conscience of Germany was deeply stirred at

the existing condition of affairs. In the year

1049 the celebrated Bruno was chosen Pope,

under the auspices of Henry III. The new

dignitary was a man of sanctity and learning. Under the name of Leo IX he undertook a renovation of the Church. He passed

over into France, and convened a great

council at Rheims. Here the prelates of the

kingdom were summoned, and a more rigorous enforcement of the canonical and moral

law was made against those who had been

guilty of crime.

As a further measure of reform in the

Church, St. Bruno instituted the order

of Carthusian monks, the same being a

branch of the Benedictines, already established. A wild and solitary spot near

the city of Grenoble, in the department of

La Chartreuse, was chosen as the site of the

first monastery. The observances of the

new order were austere and penitential in

the last degree. Nor 'was it long until the

Carthusians gained a reputation for benevolence and sanctity above that of any

contemporary establishment. Their monasteries soon appeared in various parts of

France, Germany, and England. One branch

of the brotherhood was established in the

Thermae of Diocletian at Rome. Great was

the industry displayed by the shorn brothers

of Chartreuse in the works peculiar to the

monastic life.