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Anthony Adams
Anthony Adams

[PDF] Four Dominions: A Testament Novel By Eric _BEST_

Now the king of the Burgundians was Gundevech, of the family of king Athanaric the persecutor, whom we have mentioned before. He had four sons; Gundobad, Godegisel, Chilperic and Godomar. Gundobad killed his brother Chilperic with the sword, and sank his wife in water with a stone tied to her neck. His two daughters he condemned to exile; the older of these, who became a nun, was called Chrona, and the younger Clotilda. And as Clovis often sent embassies to Burgundy, the maiden Clotilda was found by his envoys. And when they saw that she was of good bearing and wise, and learned that she was of the family of the king, they reported this to King Clovis, and he sent an embassy to Gundobad without delay asking her in marriage. And Gundobad was afraid to refuse, and surrendered her to the men, and they took the girl and brought her swiftly to the king. The king was very glad when he saw her, and married her, having already by a concubine a son named Theodoric.

[PDF] Four Dominions: A Testament Novel By Eric

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[22. The four sons of Clothar make "a lawful division" of his kingdom To Charibert is assigned Paris for his capital, to Gunthram, Orleans, to Chilperic, Soissons, to Sigibert, Rheims. 23. The Huns attack Sigibert and Chilperic takes the opportunity to seize some of his cities. Sigibert recovers them.]

Chilperic was in suspense and did not know whether he should escape or perish, when messengers came to him to tell of his brother's death. Then he left Tournai with his wife and children and clothed Sigibert and buried him in the village of Lambres. Whence he was later transferred to Soissons to the church of the holy Medard which he had built, and was buried there by the side of his father Clothar. He died in the fourteenth year of his reign, the fortieth of his life. From the death of Theodobert the elder to that of Sigibert twenty-nine years are included, and there were eighteen days between his death and that of his nephew Theodobert. Upon the death of Sigibert, Childebert his son reigned in his place.

In the second year of king Childebert, when Merovech saw that his father was set in this purpose, he proposed to take with him duke Gunthram and go to Brunhilda, saying: "Far be it from me that the church of the master Martin should submit to outrage on my account, or his country be put into captivity for me." And going into the church and keeping watch he offered the things he had with him on the tomb of the blessed Martin, praying to the saint to help him and to grant him his favor so that he could take the kingdom. At that time count Leudast after setting many traps for him out of love for Fredegunda, at last craftily entrapped his slaves who had gone out into the country and slew them with the sword, and he desired to slay Merovech himself if he could find him in a suitable place. But Merovech followed Gunthram's advice and, desiring to avenge himself, he ordered Marileif the chief physician to be seized as he was returning from the king's presence, and after beating him most cruelly he took away the gold and silver and other valuables which he had with him and left him naked, and would have killed him if he had not escaped from the hands of those who were beating him and taken refuge in the church. And later we clothed him and having obtained his life sent him back to Poitiers. Now Merovech charged many crimes to his father and stepmother. But although they were partly true it was not acceptable to God I suppose that they should be made known through a son. This I learned to be so later on. For one day I was invited to dine with him and when we were sitting together he begged urgently that something be read for the instruction of his soul. So I opened the book of Solomon and took the first verse that came which contained the following: " The eye of him who looketh at his father askance, the ravens of the valleys shall pick it out." Although he did not understand it, I believed that this verse had been given by the Lord. Then Gunthram sent a slave to a certain woman known to him from the time of king Charibert, who had a familiar spirit, in order that she should relate what was to happen. He asserted besides that she had foretold to him the time, not only the year but also the day and hour, at which king Charibert was to die. And she sent back this answer by the slaves: " King Chilperic will die this year and king Merovech will exclude his brothers and take the whole kingdom. And you shall hold the office of duke over all his kingdom for five years. But in the sixth year you shall win the honor of the bishop's office, with the consent of the people, in a city which lies on the river Loire on its right bank, and you shall pass from this world old and full of days. " And when the slaves had come back and reported this to their master he was at once filled with vanity as if he were already sitting In the chair of the church of Tours, and he reported the words to me. But I laughed at his folly and said: "It is from God that this should be sought; what the devil promises is not to be believed. He went off in confusion and I had a hearty laugh at the man who thought such things credible. At length one night when the watch was being kept in the church of the holy bishop and I had lain down and fallen asleep on my bed, I saw an angel flying through the air. And when he passed the holy church he cried in a loud voice: "Alas. Alas. God has stricken Chilperic and all his sons and there shall remain no one of those who came forth from his loins to rule his kingdom forever." He had at this time four sons by different wives, not to speak of daughters. And when this was fulfilled later on, then I saw clearly that what the soothsayers promised was false. Now while these men were staying in the church of St. Martin, queen Fredegunda who already favored Gunthram Boso secretly for the death of Theodobert, sent to him saying: "If you can cast Merovech forth from the church so that he will be killed you shall receive a great gift from me." And he thought the assassins were close at hand and said to Merovech: "Why are we so spiritless and timid as to sit here and hide sluggishly around the church? Let our horses be brought and let us take hawks and hunt with dogs and enjoy the hunting and the open views." He was acting cunningly to get Merovech from away the holy church. Now Gunthram otherwise was a very good man but he was too ready for perjury, and he never took an oath to any of his friends but that he broke it forthwith. They went out, as we have said, from the church and went as far as the house of Jocundiacus near the city; but Merovech was harmed by no one. And as Gunthram was at that time wanted for the killing of Theodobert, as we have said, king Chilperic sent a letter all written out to the tomb of St. Martin which contained the request that the blessed Martin would write back to him whether it was permissible to drag Gunthram from his church or not. And the deacon Baudegisih who brought the letter, sent to the holy tomb a clean sheet of paper along with the one he had brought. And after waiting three days and getting no answer he returned to Chilperic. And he sent others to exact an oath of Gunthram not to leave the church without his knowledge. Gunthram took the oath eagerly and gave an altarcloth as pledge that he would never go thence without the king's command. Now Merovech did not believe the sorcerers but placed three books on the saint's tomb, namely, Psalms, Kings and the Gospels, and keeping watch the whole night he prayed the blessed confessor to reveal to him what was coming and whether he could be king or not, in order that he might know by evidence from the Lord. After this he continued three days in fasting, watching and prayer, and going to the blessed grave a second time he opened the book of Kings.

But as it is a tedious thing to relate in order his perjuries and other crimes, let us come to the story of how he wished by vile and wicked calumnies to oust me from my place, and how the divine vengeance fell upon him, so that the saying was fulfilled "Every supplanter shall be supplanted," and again; "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein." After the many wrongs he did to me and mine, after many plunderings of the Church property, he united to himself the priest Riculf, as perverse and wicked as himself, and went so far as to say that I had made a charge against queen Fredegunda, asserting that if my archdeacon Plato or my friend Galien should be subjected to torture they would certainly convict me of such words. It was then that the king was angry, as I have stated above, and after beating and kicking him ordered him to be loaded with chains and thrust into prison. Now he said that he had Riculf, a cleric, on whose authority he said this. But this Riculfus was a subdeacon, as unstable as Leudast, who a year before had entered into this design with Leudast, and had looked for causes of offense in order, forsooth, to go over to Leudast because I was angry, and he found them and went to him, and for four months they prepared all their tricks and laid their traps, and then he came back to me with Leudast and begged me to pardon and take him back. I did it, I confess, and publicly received a secret enemy into my household. And when Leudast went away, Riculf threw himself at my feet and said: " Unless you come quickly to my help I shall perish. Behold, at Leudast's urging I have said what I should not have. Now send me to another kingdom; if you do not I shall be seized by the king's men and suffer the punishment of death." And I said to him: "If you have said anything out of the way your words shall be on your own head; for I will not send you to another kingdom, lest I be held in suspicion by the king." After this Leudast became his accuser, saying that he had the words already mentioned from Riculf, the subdeacon. And he was bound and put under guard and Leudast was released. And Riculf said that Galien and the archdeacon Plato were present on the same day when the bishop said this. But the priest Riculf, who by this time had the promise of the bishop's office from Leudast, was so elated that he more than equaled Simon in his pride. And he who had sworn to me three times or more on the tomb of St. Martin, on the sixth day of Easter week made at me so furiously with abuse and spittings that he all but laid hands on me, confident, of course, in the trap he had prepared. On the next day, that is, the day before Easter Sunday, Leudast came to the city of Tours and pretending to have other business, seized Plato the archdeacon and Galien, and bound them and ordered them led to the queen, loaded with chains and without their robes. I heard of this while I sat in the bishop's house, and in sadness and worry I went into the oratory and took the book of David's song, that when opened a verse might give some consolation. And this is what I found: "He led them in hope and they did not fear, and the sea covered their enemies." Meantime they embarked on the river above the bridge which was supported by two boats, and the boat which carried Leudast sank, and if he had not escaped by swimming he would perhaps have perished with his comrades. And the other boat which was in tow of this one and carried the prisoners, was kept above water by God's help. So the prisoners were taken to the king and were immediately accused in such terms that their punishment would be death. But the king thought it over and freed them from chains and kept them unharmed in free custody. Now at the city of Tours duke Berulf and count Eunomius concocted a story that king Gunthram wished to take the city of Tours and " therefore, " said they, " the city ought to be guarded so that there would be no carelessness." They craftily set guards at the gates who pretended they were guarding the city but were really watching me. They also sent persons to advise me to take the valuables of the church and flee secretly to Clermont. But I did not take the advice. Then the king summoned the bishops of his kingdom and ordered the case carefully gone into. And when the clerk Riculf was talking secretly as he often did, and was telling many lies against me and my friends, Modestus, a carpenter, said to him, " Illfated man, who talk so insubordinately against your bishop. It would be better for you to be silent and to beg pardon from the bishop and obtain his favor." At this Riculf began to cry with a loud voice and say: "Behold the man who orders me to be silent that I may not make the truth public. Behold the queen's enemy who does not permit the charge against her to be looked into." This was at once reported to the queen. Modestus was seized, tortured whipped, put in chains, and kept under guard. And though he was between two guards and held by chains to a pillar, the guards fell asleep and at midnight he prayed to the Lord that his power should deign to visit a wretched man and that an innocent prisoner should be freed by the visitation of the bishops Martin and Medard Then the chains were broken, the pillar was shattered, the door opened, and he came to the church of St. Medard where I was keeping watch by night.


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