THE LIFE OF THE EMPEROR CHARLES

[19] Liberos suos ita censuit instituendos, ut tam filii quam filiae primo liberalibus studiis, quibus et ipse operam dabat, erudirentur. Tum filios, cum primum aetas patiebatur, more Francorum equitare, armis ac venatibus exerceri fecit, filias vero lanificio adsuescere coloque ac fuso, ne per otium torperent, operam impendere atque ad omnem honestatem erudiri iussit. Ex his omnibus duos tantum filios et unam filiam, priusquam moreretur, amisit, Karolum, qui natu maior erat, et Pippinum, quem regem Italiae praefecerat, et Hruodtrudem, quae filiarum eius primogenita et a Constantino Grecorum imperatore desponsata erat. Quorum Pippinus unum filium suum Bernhardum, filias autem quinque, Adalhaidem, Atulam, Gundradam, Berhthaidem ac Theoderadam, superstites reliquit. In quibus rex pietatis suae praecipuum documentum ostendit, cum filio defuncto nepotem patri succedere et neptes inter filias suas educari fecisset. Mortes filiorum ac filiae pro magnanimitate, qua excellebat, minus patienter tulit, pietate videlicet, qua non minus insignis erat, conpulsus ad lacrimas. Nuntiato etiam sibi Hadriani Romani pontificis obitu, quem in amicis praecipuum habebat, sic flevit, acsi fratrem aut carissimum filium amisisset. Erat enim in amicitiis optime temperatus, ut eas et facile admitteret et constantissime retineret, colebatque sanctissime quoscumque hac adfinitate sibi coniunxerat.

Filiorum ac filiarum tantam in educando curam habuit, ut numquam domi positus sine ipsis caenaret, numquam iter sine illis faceret. Adequitabant ei filii, filiae vero poene sequebantur, quarum agmen extremum ex satellitum numero ad hoc ordinati tuebantur. Quae cum pulcherrimae essent et ab eo plurimum diligerentur, mirum dictu, quod nullam earum cuiquam aut suorum aut exterorum nuptum dare voluit, sed omnes secum usque ad obitum suum in domo sua retinuit, dicens se earum contubernio carere non posse. Ac propter hoc, licet alias felix, adversae fortunae malignitatem expertus est. Quod tamen ita dissimulavit, acsi de eis nulla umquam alicuius probri suspicio exorta vel fama dispersa fuisset.


Charles and the Education of His Children

[19] The plan that he adopted for his children's education was, first of all, to have both boys and girls instructed in the liberal arts, to which he also turned his own attention. As soon as their years admitted, in accordance with the custom of the Franks, the boys had to learn horsemanship, and to practise war and the chase, and the girls to familiarize themselves with cloth-making, and to handle distaff and spindle, that they might not grow indolent through idleness, and he fostered in them every virtuous sentiment. He only lost three of all his children before his death, two sons and one daughter, Charles, who was the eldest, Pepin, whom he had made King of Italy, and Hruodrud, his oldest daughter. whom he had betrothed to Constantine [VI, 780-802], Emperor of the Greeks. Pepin left one son, named Bernard, and five daughters, Adelaide, Atula, Guntrada, Berthaid and Theoderada. The King gave a striking proof of his fatherly affection at the time of Pepin's death [810]: he appointed the grandson to succeed Pepin, and had the granddaughters brought up with his own daughters. When his sons and his daughter died, he was not so calm as might have been expected from his remarkably strong mind, for his affections were no less strong, and moved him to tears. Again, when he was told of the death of Hadrian [796], the Roman Pontiff, whom he had loved most of all his friends, he wept as much as if he had lost a brother, or a very dear son. He was by nature most ready to contract friendships, and not only made friends easily, but clung to them persistently, and cherished most fondly those with whom he had formed such ties. He was so careful of the training of his sons and daughters that he never took his meals without them when he was at home, and never made a journey without them; his sons would ride at his side, and his daughters follow him, while a number of his body-guard, detailed for their protection, brought up the rear. Strange to say, although they were very handsome women, and he loved them very dearly, he was never willing to marry any of them to a man of their own nation or to a foreigner, but kept them all at home until his death, saying that he could not dispense with their society. Hence, though other-wise happy, he experienced the malignity of fortune as far as they were concerned; yet he concealed his knowledge of the rumors current in regard to them, and of the suspicions entertained of their honor.

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