THE LIFE OF THE EMPEROR CHARLES

[24] In cibo et potu temperans, sed in potu temperantior, quippe qui ebrietatem in qualicumque homine, nedum in se ac suis, plurimum abhominabatur. Cibo enim non adeo abstinere puterat, ut saepe quereretur noxia corpori suo esse ieiunia. Convivabatur rarissime, et hoc praecipuis tantum festivitatibus, tunc tamen cum magno hominum numero. Caena cotidiana quaternis tantum ferculis praebebatur, praeter assam, quam venatores veribus inferre solebant, qua ille libentius quam ullo alio cibo vescebatur. Inter caenandum aut aliquod acroama aut lectorem audiebat. Legebantur ei historiae et antiquorum res gestae. Delectabatur et libris sancti Augustini, praecipueque his qui de civitate Dei praetitulati sunt. Vini et omnis potus adeo parcus in bibendo erat, ut super caenam raro plus quam ter biberet. Aestate post cibum meridianum pomorum aliquid sumens ac semel bibens, depositis vestibus et calciamentis, velut noctu solitus erat, duabus aut tribus horis quiescebat.

Noctibus sic dormiebat, ut somnum quater aut quinquies non solum expergescendo, sed etiam desurgendo interrumperet. Cum calciaretur et amiciretur, non tantum amicos admittebat, verum etiam, si comes palatii litem aliquam esse diceret, quae sine eius iussu definiri non posset, statim litigantes introducere iussit et, velut pro tribunali sederet, lite cognita sententiam dixit; nec hoc tantum eo tempore, sed etiam quicquid ea die cuiuslibet officii agendum aut cuiquam ministrorum iniungendum erat expediebat.


Habits

[24] Charles was temperate in eating, and particularly so in drinking, for he abominated drunkenness in anybody, much more in himself and those of his household; but he could not easily abstain from food, and often complained that fasts injured his health. He very rarely gave entertainments, only on great feast-days, and then to large numbers of people. His meals ordinarily consisted of four courses, not counting the roast, which his huntsmen used to bring in on the spit; he was more fond of this than of any other dish. While at table, he listened to reading or music. The subjects of the readings were the stories and deeds of olden time: he was fond, too, of St. Augustine's books, and especially of the one entitled "The City of God."

He was so moderate in the use of wine and all sorts of drink that he rarely allowed himself more than three cups in the course of a meal. In summer after the midday meal, he would eat some fruit, drain a single cup, put off his clothes and shoes, just as he did for the night, and rest for two or three hours. He was in the habit of awaking and rising from bed four or five times during the night. While he was dressing and putting on his shoes, he not only gave audience to his friends, but if the Count of the Palace told him of any suit in which his judgment was necessary, he had the parties brought before him forthwith, took cognizance of the case, and gave his decision, just as if he were sitting on the Judgment-seat. This was not the only business that he transacted at this time, but he performed any duty of the day whatever, whether he had to attend to the matter himself, or to give commands concerning it to his officers.

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