Capitulum vicesimum sextum.
PIPINUS the kynge of Fraunce dedde, men of Fraunce divided that realm betwene his ij. sonnes Charls and Karolomannus. Page 249, vol.6 But Karolomannus dedde after the secunde yere of his reigne, Charls toke alle the realme, whiche governede hit nobly xlviti yere. And then the wife of Karolomannus, and here childer, fledde to Desiderius kynge of Longobardes, not constreynede soe to do by eny body, besekynge hym of helpe. But this noble prince Charls expugnynge afore Hunaldus duke of Aqui|tanny, subduede hym to hys governayle, and at the desire of Adrianus the pope segede Desiderius kynge of Ytaly at the cite Papy, rebellynge ageyne the churche of Rome after the maner of Astulphus his broþer. Whiche takynge hym in that cite, putte hym to exile, and subrogate Pipinus his sonne in the realme of Ytaly. In whiche batelle Amicus and Amelion, ij. noble knyȝtes of Criste, and tru luffers togedre, were sleyne, of whom mervellous dedes be redde. After that kyng Charls made tame men of Sclavia and the Saxons, in so moche that mony of theym taken and brouȝhte to Fraunce, they refusenge ydolatry reioicede as men off Fraunce. After that tyme kynge Page 251, vol.6 Charls goynge to Speyne suffrede grete hurte of his hoste doen by treason, after that he hade passede þe mowntes Pirene, in so moche that the extreme parte of his hoste was hurte soore where ij. noble princes, Rolland and Olyvere, were sleyne. De libro Turpini. Aigalandus, the myȝhty prince of Speyne, come [folio 287b] to kyng Charls, truse taken afore, to be baptisede; whiche seenge the men longynge to kynge Charls induede with precious clothes, and servede with delicious meyte, and xiij. pover men sittenge on the grownde with grosse meytes and with owte a table, inquirede of kynge Charls what men thei scholde be. To whom kynge Charls seide that thei were the messyngers of Criste, and preyde for us to allemyȝhty God, representynge þe nowmbre of Criste and of his disciples. Then Aigolandus the prince of Speyne seide: "Youre lawe is not goode, that suffrethe the messyngers of his lorde to be entretede in that wyse, for Page 253, vol.6 he servethe ylle þat receyvethe his ministres in that wise;" and so he returnede to his cuntre unbaptisede: but kynge Charls, correcte by that seyenge, ȝafe moore honoure to poore men after that tyme. Giraldus, distinctione prima, capitulo decimoseptimo. At that tyme kynge Charls subduede to hym Fraunce Narbonense, men callede Capuans and Beneventans, and men of Swevia, that thei hade lever be subiecte to hym then to rebelle after|warde. The kynges of Britons, of Ynglische men, of Scottes, of men of Persida, and of Grece, honourede hym with ȝiftes. And, as Turpynus archebischop rehersethe, he was a feire man*. [Of the vertues of kynge Charls.] of body, ferefulle of countenaunce, havynge viij. foote in hiȝhte; his face conteynede a palme or a spanne and a halfe, havynge a berde unto his feete of grete broodenesse. Whiche wolde cleve an knyȝhte in goode armoure at oon stroke with his swerde, Page 255, vol.6 and wolde take iiij. horse schone and bowe theym to gedre in his hondes, and wolde lyfte up an armede man stondynge on his honde lyȝhtely with oon honde. Also he was wonte to eyte an holle hare at oon refeccion, other ij. hennes or a goose, usenge to drynke wyne mixte with water, whiche was so lytelle a drynker that he wolde not drynke over iij. times after soper. This kynge Charls was meke to pover men, makenge mony churches and a brygge at Magoncia over the water of Rhenus of v.c passes; techynge his sonnes to ryde, hunte, to use armes, and to*. [Sic in MS.] liberalle studies as soone as age wolde suffre, after the consuetude of men of Fraunce. Also he causede his doȝhters to be tauȝhte to make clothe and to spynne, that thei scholde not be ydelle. Whiche not contente with the langage of Fraunce was instructe in the langage of Grece, in whiche langage he [folio 288a] hade better use to understonde hit then to pronownce hit. Whiche hade Petrus Pisanus to teche hym gramer, and Alcui|nus Page 257, vol.6 or Albuinus, the noble doctor of Ynglonde, to informe hym in other science; havynge grete affeccion to writynge, wherefore he hade contynually with hym a peire of tables that he myȝhte wryte, but that labore begunne late profite but lytelle; usenge churches in the morowe, at eve, and other tymes assignynge almes to pover churches and ferre from hym, as in Egipte, in Affrike, and in other cuntrees. At dynerse and sopers usenge to have a reder, delytenge specially in the bookes of seynte Austyn de Civitate Dei. In the somer, after meyte takenge a lytelle of an apple, drynkynge þerto, and doynge of his clothes as in the nyȝhte, wolde slepe ij. howres; whiche slepede soe in the nyȝhtes that he wolde aryse thryes or iiij. tymes. Whiche goynge to Rome wolde lyȝhte on foote or he come to the cite by oon Page 259, vol.6 myle, and so goynge thro the cite kyssede the postes of churches, and delyverede the Holy Londe, and so commynge to Constanti|nopole, refusede thynges ȝiffen to hym by themperoure, relikes excepte. Neverthelesse he toke to Fraunce with him parte of the holy crosse, and parte of the crowne of thorne of oure Lorde, whiche flourede in his presence þat same tyme, oon of the nayles of Criste, the smocke of oure Lady, and the arme of seynte Symeon; whiche relikes he brouȝte to the churche of oure Lady at Aquisgrani, whom he edifiede, where he is beryede. Also he made monasterys so mony in nowmbre as be letters, in everyche of whom after the tyme of theire fundacion he putte a letter weyenge a c. pownde of Turonense, and causede hit to Page 261, vol.6 be made faste in the churche. But oon thynge was to be hade in mervayle in hym, that unnethe he wolde take eny of his doȝhters to mariages in alle his life, the eldeste doȝhter excepte, whom he maryede to Constantyne kynge of the londe of Grece, seyenge that he myȝhte not wonte the felowschippe of theyme; wherefore mony men suppose that synne to have causede kynge Charls that he wolde not knowledge by mowthe his synnes to seynte Gyle, and unnethe by writynge. This kynge Charls dividede his goodes afore his dethe into thre partes, oon parte of whom he ȝafe to pover men, an other to [folio 288b] churches; the thrydde parte he dividede into iiij. partes, kep|ynge oon parte to his obite, an other parte to his daily use, the thrydde parte to his childer and frendes, the iiijthe parte to his Page 263, vol.6 servauntes. This prince, sittenge at the table, inquirede of his informer Alcuinus, sittynge anendes hym, "What dyfference ys betwene a Scotte and a Scotte*. [Sic in MS.]?" To whom Alcuinus seide, The brodenes of oon table." ℞. That wryters of storyes may be reducede to concorde, whiche seme to discorde abowte the reigne of kynge Charls, hit is to be advertisede that this Charls, yonge in age, was anoyntede into kynge by Steven the pope, yn the yere of oure Lorde God vijc. liiij., his fader beynge in lyfe, under whom and with whom he reignede xv. yere unto the dethe of his ffader. And after the dethe of his*. [Sic in MS.] in the yere of oure Lorde God vijc. lxviij., this Charls reignede ij. yere with Karolomannus his broþer, and after his dethe kynge Charls occupiede that realme xiiij. yere, unto the yere of oure Lorde vijc. lxxxiiij. In whiche yere he wente firste to Rome, that he myȝhte consecrate*. [Sic in MS.] to the emperoure by Adrian the Page 265, vol.6 pope, and crownyde also; and after that xvj. yere, unto the yere of grace viijc., when the pope Leo þe iiijthe confermede ageyne Charls into themperoure. And after that he reignede xiiij. yere, and diede in the lxxij. yere of his age, whiche was the viijc. yere of Grace and xiiij. And that mony men saye kynge Charls reignede xlvj. yere, that is to be understonde after the dethe of his fader unto his obite. And if eny man desire to see moore of the story of kynge Charls, y cownsayle that he take recourse to the wrytenges of Alcuinus his maister, or elles to the writynges of Turpinus, whiche laborynge in preier the day of the obite of kynge Charls at Vienna in Fraunce, see a grete multitude of fowle spirittes goynge to Aquisgrani to take the sawle of kynge Charls. The laste of whom he adiured that he scholde comme to hym ageyne after that he hade bene þer, and to telle to hym the trawthe how that thei hade spedde. The spiritte returnede, Turpinus tharchebischop seide to hym: "What have ye doen þere?" The spiritte seide: "We have weiȝede his dedes, but the hedles Iames of Speyne, to whom Page 267, vol.6 he hase made so mony churches, hathe causede his goode dedys to be more hevy then his ylle dedes, and so we have brouȝhte noo thynge þens." Stephanus the pope succedide Constantyne, expulsede and eiecte, iiij. yere; whiche gedrenge a cownselle revokede alle thynges doen by hys predecessor, [folio 289a] baptyme and creame excepte, and thynges whiche were ordeynede to the sawle healethe of peple dyenge.