But Turpin, seconded by the good Dukes Namo and Salomon, prayed so hard for him that Charlemagne consented to remit a violent death, but sentenced him to close imprisonment, under the charge of the Archbishop, strictly limiting his food to one quarter of a loaf of bread per day, with one piece of meat, and a quarter of a cup of wine.
Moreover, Rodin hoped thanks to what he had just heard to bring Rose-Pompon to confess to him the name of the person from whom she had learned that "Charlemagne" masked "Rodin." Hardly had the young girl pronounced the name of the Bacchanal queen, than Rodin clasped his hands, and appeared as much surprised as interested.
In this we find mention of it when Charlemagne, after he is said to have taken Cordova, retires to a garden with Roland and Oliver and his barons, the elder ones amusing themselves with chess and tric-trac, and the younger ones with fencing, the king meanwhile looking on, seated under a pine-tree.
A vigorous warfare was imperative, for, unless subdued, a disadvantageous war would be carried on near the frontiers, until some warrior would arise among them, unite the various chieftains, and lead his followers to successful invasion. Charlemagne knew that the difficult and unpleasant work of subjugation must be done by somebody, and he was unwilling to leave the work to enervated successors.
By unwearied activities this inheritance, greater than that of any of the Merovingian kings, was not only kept together and preserved, but was increased by successive conquests, until no so great an empire has ever been ruled by any one man in Europe, since the fall of the Roman Empire, from his day to ours. Yet greater than the conquests of Charlemagne was the greatness of his character.
Charlemagne was reckoned the immediate successor of Constantine VI, whom Irene had deposed. Yet, in spite of this fancied continuity, it is hardly necessary to say that the position of the new emperor had little in common with that of Marcus Aurelius or Constantine.
He thus added to his realms the district that lay between his new Saxon conquest and the Lombard kingdom. So far we have spoken only of the relations of Charlemagne with the Germans, for even the Lombard kingdom was established by the Germans. Against these it was necessary to protect his realms, and the second part of Charlemagne's reign was devoted to what may be called his foreign policy.
When these conventions were once settled, he insisted, to insure their performance, upon placing them under the guarantee of rites peculiar to the Saxons; then he returned with his army to Gaul." Charlemagne did not confine himself to resuming his father's work; he before long changed its character and its scope.
When, after the death of Charlemagne, men began to combine the idea of the comitatus with the idea of the beneficium, and to grant the usufruct of parcels of their land on condition that the grantee should be true, loyal, and helpful to them, that is, become their vassal, we may consider that the feudal system of landowning was coming into existence.
She was far from being the rich little globe in Cæsar's days that she is at present. The earth in our days is incalculably richer, as a whole, than in the time of Charlemagne: at that time she was richer, by many a million of acres, than in the era of Augustus.