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may be the consequences of the late revolution time only can discover.
Of all the European kingdoms, Great Britain, perhaps, enjoys the highest degree of prosperity and glory. She ought, therefore, to be very attentive to preserve to brilliant an exiftence. A great empire cannot be continued in a happy situation, but by wildom and moderation. The unhappy contest of this country with the American colonies, plunged her into great difficulties. Her national debt has been much augmented, and her taxes greatly increased. Peace is an una speakable blesing, and all means should be used to cherish and maintain it. War is a dreadful evil, and a nation thould Never be involved in it without the most urgent neceflity,
CH A P. LVI.
F R A N C E. Transalpine Gaul was the Name given to France by the Rooi
máns.--I he Franks gove it the Name of France.-Clovis,
and the Merovingian Race of Kings. THE kingdom of France, which was by the Romans,
called Transalpine Gaul, or Gaul beyond the Alps, to distinguish it from Cisalpine Gaul, on the Italian side of the Alps, was probably peopled from Italy, to which it lies contiguous. Like other European nations, it soon became a delirable object to the ambitious Romans ; and, after a brave resistance, was annexed to their empire by the invincible arms of Julius Cæfar, about forty-cight years before Christ. Gaul continued in the poste Nion of the Romans till the downfal of that empire in the fifth century, when it became a prey to the Goths, the Burgundians, and the Franks, who subdued, but did not extirpate the ancient natives. The Franks themselves, who
gave it the name of France, or Frankenland, were a collection of several people inhabiting Germany, and particularly the Salii, who lived on the banks of the river Sale, and who cultivated the principles of jurisprudence better than their neighbours. There Salii had a rule, which the rest of the Franks are said to have adopted, and has been by the modern Franks applied to the succession of the throne, excluding all females from the inheritance of sovereignty, and is well know'ra by the name of the Salic Law.
The Franks and Burgundians, after establishing their power, and reducing the original natives to a state of Ilavery,
Of Clovis. parcelled out the lands among their principal leaders : and fucceeding kings found it necessary to confirm their privileges, allowing them to exercise fovereign authority in their respective governments, until they at length affumed an independency, only acknowledging the king as their head. This gave rise to those numerous principalities that were formerly in France, and to the several parliaments; for every province became, in its policy and government, an epitome of the whole kingdom; and no laws were made, or taxes raised, without the concurrence of the grand council, consisting of the clergy and of the nobility.
Thus, as in other European nations, immediately after the dissolution of the Roman empire, the first government in France seems to have been a kind of mixed monarchy, and the power of their kings extremely circumscribed and limited by the feudal barons.
The first Christian monarch of the Franks according to one of the best French historians *, was Clovis, who began his reign in the year 481.
The Gauls hated the dominion of the Romans, and were strongly attached to Christianity. Clovis gained on their piety, by favouring their bishops ; and his marriage with Clotilda, niece to Gondebaud, king of Burgundy, made them hope that he would speedily embrace the faith. The attachment of his countrymen to their ancient woríhip was the fole objection: the pious exhortations of the queen had some effeet; and the king having vanquished the Allemanni at Tolbiac, near Cologne, after an obitinate engagement, politically ascribed the victory to the God of Clotilda, whom he said he had invoked during the time of battle, under promise of becoming a Chriftian, if crowned with success. He was ac
cordingly baptized by St. Remigius, bilhop of A. D. 496. Rheims, and almost the whole French nation
followed his example. Clovis was so affected with the eloquence of the bishop, in describing the paffion and death of Christ, that he started up, and seizing his violently exclaimed, “Had I been there with the valiant « Franks, I would have redressed his wrongs !"
But Clovis, instead of enjoying his good fortune with dignity, disfigured the latter part of his reign by perfidies and cruelties toward the princes of his house, whom he extirpated. He died in 511, after attempting to atone for his crimes by building and endowing churches and monasteries, and assembling a council at Orleans for the regulation of church discipline.
On the death of Clovis, his kingdom was divided among his fons, and, on that account, involved in civil wars.
A series of weak fovereigns succeeded, under whom the Maires du Palais, or Mayors of the Palace, a kind of viceroys, amid the disorders of civil war and anarchy, extended. their authority over both king and nobles, and poffeffed of the power of fovereigns, assumed at length the title.
Pepin le Bref was the first Maire du Palais, who made his way to the throne, and assumed the fovereignty in name as well as in reality, excluding for ever the descendants of Clovis, or the Merovingian race * from the crown of France, after they had poflefled it 270 years.
Carlovingian Race. Pepin.-Charlemagne.His heroic En.
terprizes and Exploits. - He encourages Learning and the Arts. - His
. beautiful domestic Character. Partition of his Empire. - Incursions of the Normans. Their Religión and Manners.--Louis V. the last of the Carlovingian Lines EPIN, the founder of the Carlovingian race of kings,
after receiving the submission of the Britons, and recovering Narbonne from the infidels, passed the Alps, in defence of Stephen the Third, then the Roman Pontiff, against Aftolphus, who spread his dominion to the very gates of Rome, and demanded an annual tribute of a piece of gold For the life of each citizen. Pepin and his two sons received the title of patricians of Rome from Stephen, who fled to them for assistance; and Astolphus, when besieged in Paris, renounced all pretensions to the sovereignty of Rome.
The bravery, wisdom, and generosity of Pepin facilitated the triumphs of his son Charlemagne, who by the death of his brother Carloman soon enjoyed the undivided empire of France. The ambition and abilities of Charles foon
birth to projects which will render his name immortal. A profperous reign of forty-fix years, abounding with military enter. prizes, political institutions, and literary foundations, offers to our view, in the midst of barbarism, a spectacle worthy of more polished ages.
* So called, from Merovæus, grandfather of Clovise Vol. I.
At the instigation of the Pope he put an end A. D. 800.
to the kingdom of the Lombards, obliged several
Italian princes to do him homage, protected the see of Rome, and was crowned emperor of the Romans. The greatest part of Europe fubmitted to the arms of Charle. magne, before the Saxons, in Germany, could be conquered. The war with that brave and independent people lafted upwards of thirty years, and formed the principal business of his reign. After a number of battles gallantly fought, and many cruelties committed on both sides, the Saxons were totally subjected, and Germany became part of the empire of Charlemagne. A desire of converting the Saxons to Christianity seems to have been one of the principal motives for prosecuting his conguest; and as they were no less tenacious of their religion than their liberty, persecution marched in the train of war, and stained with blood the fetters of Navery.
When we see Charlemagite ordering 4500 Saxons to be slain in his presence, because they would not deliver up Witikind, their leader and defender; when we fee him, from a mistaken zeal, forcing them to become Christians, and subjecting them to cruel laws, humanity revolts, and seized with horror, we forget his more amiable qualities, and abhor his memory.
Witíkind at last submitted, and embraced Christianity, continuing ever after faithful to his engagements. But he could never inspire his associates with the same docile sentiments. They were continually revolting; and submitting, that they might have it in their power to revolt again. On the final reduction of their country, the more refolute fpirits retired into Scandinavia, carrying along with them their vindictive hatred against the dominion, and the religion of France.
Some historians blame the obstinacy of those barbarians, Not considering that, it is natural for man to flee from slavery, and the fury of intolerance. Let us call things by their right names. History is an upright tribunal, before which, Aattery is silent, and the voice of truth alone is heard. Had the fame of the Charlemagne arisen from no other cause, than his victories over the Lombards, Saracens, and Saxons, he would have deserved to be ranked only among the destroyers of the human race; but he poffeffed other qualities, which procured him the love of his subjects, and are worthy the admiration of pofterity.
Almost every year of Charles's reign was signalized by fome military expedition, though very different from those of our times. War was then carried on without any settled plan of operations. The troops were neither regularly disciplined Rør paid. Every nobleman led forth his vassals, who were
only obliged to serve for a certain time; so that there was a kind of necessity of concluding the war with the campaign. The
army was dissolved on the approach of winter, and assembled next season, if necessary. Hence we are enabled to account for a circumstance, which would otherwise appear inexplicable, in the reign of this great prince. Beldes the Lombards and Saxons, whom he conquered, Charles vanquished in several engagements the Abares and Huns, plun- ' dered their capital, and penctrated as far as Ruab on the Danube. He likewise made an expedition into Spain, and carried his arms to the banks of the Ebro *.
It is not, however, in the midst of conquest that Charle. magne appears a great man; it is when we sec him employed in procuring happiness to his subjects; extending his views to government, manners, religion, learning, and the arts. He frequently convencd the national assemblies, for regue lating affairs both of church and statc. His attention cxtended even to the most distant corner of his cmpire, and to all ranks of men. Sensible how much mankind in general reverence old customs, and those conftitutions under which they have lived from their youth, he permitted the inhabitants
of all the countries that he conquered to retain their own laws, · making only such alterations as he judged absolutely necessary for the good of the community.
Charleinagne was no less amiable in private life. He was an affectionate husband, a tender father, a fincere and generous friend. His house was a model of economy, and his person of fimplicity and true grandeur. “ For shamc !" said he to some of his nobles, who were finer dressed than the occasion required; “Icarn to dress like inen, and let the world " judge of your rank hy your merit, not your habit. Leave « Tilks and finery to women; or reserve them for those days « of pomp and ceremony, when robes are worn for show, « not use." On fuch occasions he himself appeared in imperial magnificence, and freely indulged in every luxury; but in general his dress was plain, and his table frugal. He had his set hours for study, which he feldom omitted, cither in the camp, or the court; and, notwithstanding his continual wars, and unremitted attention to the affairs of a great empire, he found leisure to collect the old French poems and historical ballads, with a view to illustrate the history of the monarchy. He was fond of the company and conversation of learned men, invited them from all parts of Europe, and had an academy in his palace, of which he was a member. He cstablished schools in cathedrals and abbeys, in which scholars were in