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COMPENDIOUS HISTORY OF FRANCE, BOOK I.
rious names of Sicambri, Batavi, Containing the History of the Kings
Caioavi, Bruceri, Salians, and Riknown by the Name of the Mero.
puarians, ferocious, ignorant, and
barbarous, governed by their several vingian Race.
chiefs, and in war united under one THE origin of all nations is sovereign, who led them occasionalT uncertain. In the fifth cen- ly across the Rhine, and made in. tury the Franks were settled in Ger- cursions into Gaul, to supply their many, between the Elbe and the necessities with the spoils of that Rhine, then denominated Francia. country. They were divided into different Gaul was at that time poffefred tribes, comprehended under the va- by the Romans, the Visigoths, and
the Burgundians. The first occu- reigned at Constantinople, passed pied all the country between the the Rhine in the neighbourhood of Rhine, the Ocean, and the Loire. Cologne, which a prince of his fa. The Burgundians were masters of mily had already subdued'; and dithe provinces between the Seine and recting his march to the forest of the Rhone, of several towns on both Ardennes, advanced to Soiffons, the fides of those rivers, of Lyons, Vi- residence of Syagrius, general of the enne, and Geneva. The rest of Roman armies in Gaul. The comGaul, extending from the Loire to mander had received intelligence of the Alps and Pyrenees, was the por- his approach, and taken the field tion of the Visigoths, who were with his forces : a battle ensued; likewife poffeffed of all the thores and, the Romans being intirely deof the Mediterranean.
feated, Syagrius fled for protection Odoacer, king of the Heruli, to Tholouse, and threw himself into had wrested Italy from the emperor the arms of Alaric, king of ine ViZeno, who reigned in Constantino- sigoths, who ruled in that part of ple; but Odoacer was in the sequel the country. Clovis entered Soissons driven from his conqueft by Theo. in triumph, and sent amballadors dore, king of the Ostrogoths. to Alaric to demand the Roman ge
Pharamond is generally confider- neral, or declare war against him, ed as the founder of the French in case of a refusal. The king of monarchy, and he reigned under the Visigoths, though he deeply re
the empire of Honorius. But this sented the insolence of the embafiy, - Pharamond, with his fucceffors Clo- was so much intimidated by the fuc
dion, Merovæus, and Childeric, wete cess of Clovis, that he delivered up never kings of the country now Syagrius, who, after having lancalled France. They invaded it, in- guished for some time in prifon, deed, from time to time; but al- was privately beheaded : and with ways either retired with their plun- him expired the authority of the der, or were compelled by the Ro- Romans in Gaul, which had fubfiftmans to retreat with precipitation ed five hundred and thirty seven to their native moralles on the other years, after the conquest of it had side of the Rhine. We shall there- been compleated by Julius Cæfar. fore begin our history of France All the towns, and the country, as with Clodovæus, Clovis, or Louis, far as the Loire, submitted to the an enterprising prince, who succeed- conqueror, who used his victory ed his father Childeric at the age of with moderation; though it was not fifteen, and employed the first years in his power to restrain his ruffian of his reign in inaking preparations soldiers from ravaging the open for invading those neighbours, upon country, and pillaging the churches whom his ancestors had not been that were most exposed. These able to encroach with impunity. outrages were the more excusable, Having assembled a numerous army as the Franks still adhered to the of his barbarians, he, in the fifth pagan superstition, and considered year of his government, and in the this invasion as a religious war four hundredth and eighty-sixth of againft the Romans, who were by the Christian æra, wlien Anaftafius this time converted to the Christian January 1761.
faith. faith. It must be owned, however, ted Bazin to reign as a tributary for the honour of Clovis, that he prince. At his return, he sene treated Remigius, bishop of Rheims, Aurelian, a nobleman of Gaul, with great humanity, and even re- who acted as his prime minister, to ftored fome Gilver vessels, of which demand in marriage the princess the church had been plundered. Clotilda, niece to Gondebaud, king
Several years succeeding this of Burgundy, with whom he had for event he employed in settling his some years cultivated an intimacy new empire, in establishing a regu- of friendfhip. Clovis was enas lar form of government, and intro- moured, by report, of Clotilda's ducing the laws of his own country, beauty; but, in all probability, he which had been digested into a code was also influenced by ambition to under the reign of Pharamond t. contract this alliance. Clotilda was
The Romans being expelled from the daughter of Chilperic, whom Gaul, and the other subjects recon- her uncle had dethroned and de. ciled to their new monarch, he for ftroyed. Gondebaud, therefore, fome years cultivated a good under- eonscious of his own usurpation, ftanding with all his neighbours, till and dreading the prospect of a future the fifth year of his conquest; when war with Clovis, nould he marry Bazin, king of Thuringia, taking a princess pofseffed of so good a advantage of his absence, with the claim to great part of his territobest troops of his nation, suddenly ries, endeavoured, if possible, to invaded the territories of the Franks avert the match. He excused him. on the other side of the Rhine, and self from complying with his neighravaged the country with unheardbour's request, on pretence that Cloof cruelty. He did not long enjoy tilda, being a Chriftian, would ne. the fruits of his success. Clovis re- ver consent to join her fate with a paffed the Rhine with a powerful Pagan. But the lady herself made army, and, entering the dominions no such objection; and Aurelian of Bazin, made an intire conquest telling her uncle plainly, that he of all Thuringia, though he permit. must resolve immediately either to
+ This code was a compilation of the particular laws and cuftomsvin use among the Salians and the Ripuarians. The abstract of it, which fill remains, is writ. ten in barbarous Latin, prescribing punishments for murder, theft, and many other crimes, to which those barbarous tribes were addicted: but it is chiefly remarkable for an expreffion in the sixty-second article, importing, That, in the Salique land, no portion of the inheritance descends to the female ; bat being acquired by the males, they only are capable of the fucceffion. Upon this expreffon the French have founded that exclufion, by which females are deemed incapable of succeeding to their throne ; thougb, in all probability, the Salique land, to which the arricle alludes, was no more than certain estates held by knight's service, allotted as part of the new conquest to the Salian tribe, who accompanied Clovis in the expedition; and these, in contradistinction to other eftates, termed allodial, which might be acquired by defceni, marriage, or purchase, without any exclusion of the female Sex: a dilinction that plainly appears in the article of the same collection, intitudded, de Alock,
part f 2
ly hard pressed, and in danger of his turn, and totally inthralled a being overpowered, he made a vow people whom the Romans had never to the God of his queen Clotilda, been able to subdue. In his return that he would be baptized, should from this glorious expedition he he extricate him from the danger performed his vow at Rheims, where, ous fituation in which he was in- in presence of his queen, he was volved. Whether or not there was baptized upon Christmas-day, with ány extraordinary interpofition of three thousand of the most confiProvidence in his favour, we shall derable persons in his court and arnot determine : certain it is, the fate my; and received a congratulatory of the battle was suddenly changed; letter on this great event from pope the king of the Alemanni lost his Anaitafius, who had just then aflife, and his army was intirely rout- cended the papal chair. ed. The vi&tor immediately passed the Rhine, invaded their country in
[To be continued.) Le
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