THE LIFE OF THE EMPEROR CHARLES

[20] Erat ei filius nomine Pippinus ex concubina editus, cuius inter ceteros mentionem facere distuli, facie quidem pulcher, sed gibbo deformis. Is, cum pater bello contra Hunos suscepto in Baioaria hiemaret, aegritudine simulata, cum quibusdam e primoribus Francorum, qui eum vana regni promissione inlexerant, adversus patrem coniuravit. Quem post fraudem detectam et damnationem coniuratorum detonsum in coenobio Prumia religiosae vitae iamque volentem vacare permisit. Facta est et alia prius contra eum in Germania valida coniuratio. Cuius auctores partim luminibus orbati, partim membris incolomes, omnes tamen exilio deportati sunt; neque ullus ex eis est interfectus nisi tres tantum; qui cum se, ne conprehenderentur, strictis gladiis defenderent, aliquos etiam occidissent, quia aliter coerceri non poterant, interempti sunt. Harum tamen coniurationum Fastradae reginae crudelitas causa et origo extitisse creditur. Et idcirco in ambabus contra regem conspiratum est, quia uxoris crudelitati consentiens a suae naturae benignitate ac solita mansuetudine inmaniter exorbitasse videbatur. Ceterum per omne vitae suae tempus ita cum summo omnium amore atque favore et domi et foris conversatus est, ut numqunm ei vel minima iniustae crudelitatis nota a quoquam fuisset obiecta.


Conspiracies Against Charlemagne

[20] By one of his concubines he had a son, handsome in face, but hunchbacked, named Pepin, whom I omitted to mention in the list of his children. When Charles was at war with the Huns, and was wintering in Bavaria [792], this Pepin shammed sickness, and plotted against his father in company with some of the leading Franks, who seduced him with vain promises of the royal authority. When his deceit was discovered, and the conspirators were punished, his head was shaved, and he was suffered, in accordance with his wishes, to devote himself to a religious life in the monastery of Prüm. A formidable conspiracy against Charles had previously been set on foot in Germany, but all the traitors were banished, some of them without mutilation, others after their eyes had been put out. Three of them only lost their lives; they drew their swords and resisted arrest, and, after killing several men, were cut down, because they could not be otherwise overpowered. It is supposed that the cruelty of Queen Fastrada was the primary cause of these plots, and they were both due to Charles' apparent acquiescence in his wife's cruel conduct, and deviation from the usual kindness and gentleness of his disposition. All the rest of his life he was regarded by everyone with the utmost love and affection, so much so that not the least accusation of unjust rigor was ever made against him.

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