Page 1250

1250 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

metal of the Christian sword was to be

tested against that of the Mohammedan. It

thus happened that the sentiment of hatred

and contempt of Infidels prevailed over

nobler motives in the chivalry of Spain. Of

all the countries of Europe, insular and practical England was least favorable to the

reception of knighthood. The knightly branch

of the military service was less important

to the English kings than were those sturdy

-yeoman archers, whose long bows of yew

were so terrible to the enemy. In the succeeding Book, the influence of the chivalrous

orders will again demand our attention as

one of the leading impulses of the Crusades.

It was in those marvelous movements of

Europe to the East that the knightly spirit of

the West found its broadest and most congenial field of activity.

After his death in the year 1060, King

Henry was succeeded on the throne of France

by his son Philip. This prince was a mere

child, being but seven years of age at the

time of his accession. The late king had

taken the precaution to appoint as regent Earl

Baldwin of Flanders during the minority of

Philip. In 1067 the protector died, and the

young king was left to his own resources and

responsibilities.

The domestic relations of the new prince

were no more fortunate than those of his

father. Two years after the death of the

regent, Philip took in marriage the Princess Bertha, daughter of the Count of Holland. Six years afterwards she brought to

her lord a son, who was destined to succeed

him with the title of Louis the Fat. After

twenty years of married life, the king made

the convenient discovery that he and the

queen were within the prohibited degrees

of kinship. He therefore put her away

by divorce, and she went into banishment

at Montreuil sur Mer. Nor was it long

until the nature of the king's conscientious

scruples were amply revealed. He had

conceived a violent passion for the beautiful Bertrade, fourth wife of his vassal, the

Count of Anjou.

But no sooner was Queen Bertha disposed

of than the king set out for Tours, made

known his so-called love for Bertrade, who

presently left her consort and joined her

alleged lover at Orleans. The bishops and

priests were properly shocked at these proceedings on the part of their sovereign.

Scarcely could the king discover one of the

clergy sufficiently bold and unscrupulous to

perform the marriage ceremony. The whole

Church of France was up in arms against

it. The Pope promptly joined his authority

with that of the Gallican bishops who refused to recognize the validity of the union.

Then followed a desperate struggle between

papal and kingly prerogative. One excommunication after another was launched at

the heads of the king and his few adherents,

but all to no avail. He kept his queen and

mocked at the Holy Father's authority.

Philip's spirit rose with the persecution

against him. The priests refused to perform

religious services in any town where he was

sojourning, and when he departed from a

town the bells rang a peal of joy for his

departure. Thereupon he was accustomed

to say with a laugh to her who was the cause

of the insult, "Dost hear, my love, how they

are ringing us out?"

This social disturbance in the king's house

soon distracted the affairs of the whole realm.

The kingdom was put under an interdict by

the Pope. For twelve years France lay

smitten with the awful displeasure of the

Holy See. Not until the First Crusade had

drawn the attention of both Church and king

to 'the more serious question of expelling

the Infidels from Palestine did Philip finally

yield to the dictation of the Church. In the

year 1104, in a great convocation of the bishops

at Paris, the king went humbly before the

body, confessed his sin, renounced his wife,

and promised to expiate his crime with

meek and penitential works. In like manner, Bertrade yielded to the inevitable and

took the oath of renunciation and future

obedience. Nevertheless, it is more than

probable that both king and queen, in abjuring their past lives, swore falsely even on the

Gospel. A short time afterwards the audacious lovers were living as before, and publicly

journeying together from place to place in

the kingdom.

It appears, however, that King Philip was

not wholly digressed with his vices. In the

early part of his reign he drew his sword in a

war with Robert, duke of Friesland, who had

seized upon the duchy of Holland. But the

event soon showed that the king of the French

was by no means a match for Count Robert