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however, would not permit him to take up tend him, and along with them his little son, twelve years of age, afterwards the renowned Charlemagne; and he himself followed to the appointed place of interview. And now we shall see how a truly Christian king in those days met the father of the Christian Church. Remember, here in the eye of the world was, on one side, a great and powerful monarch, and, on the other, an aged Bishop, who came to implore his help. But how did Pepin behave? He went forward a league from the town where he had appointed to meet him, and alighting from his horse, prostrated himself before him, with the queen and his children, and the great nobles of his court. Then rising, he accompanied the Pope on foot, holding the bridle of his horse. Pepin thought himself honored, not degraded, by thus paying homage to Christ's representative on earth. And so the whole train proceeded, as I have described, and entered the city of Pontyon, singing hymns to God.
as you will expect, zealously took up the Pope's cause, and made a solemn promise, in the name of himself and of his children, to restore to the Pope the cities and territories which the Lombards had seized. The Pope,
arms until repeated embassies had been sent to Astolphus, conjuring him by every Christian motive to make restitution. All remonstrances were fruitless; Astolphus replied only by men.
Then Pepin crossed the Alps, and besieged Pavia; but the Pope again besought him to spare Christian blood, and so a treaty was signed, by which Astolphus and all his lords bound themselves by oath to restore Ravenna and the other cities. Pepin, on the faith of this promise, went back with his army into France, and the Pope returned to Rome; but when the danger was passed, the perfidious Astolphus broke his word, refused to restore the cities, and carried fire and swond into the Roman territory, laying waste the whole coun. try, and committing fearful sacrileges and outrages, such as pagans have scarcely equalled. He then laid siege to Rome; but Pepin, at the earnest request of the Pope, and mindful of his sacred promise, hastened back into Italy, and Astolphus was soon reduced to become himself a suppliant.
And now we behold, to our surprise, the Greek Emperor come forward again scene. His ambassadors appear in the presence of the victorious Frank, while encamped before
Pavia, and presenting magnificent presents from their master, entreat him to restore the cities of the exarchate to the empire, or at least not to give them to the Pope. Then Pepin made that never-to-be-forgotten answer, sufficient in itself to render his name illustrious : it was for no earthly consideration that he had exposed his life so often in battle, but solely for the love of the blessed Peter and for the remission of his sins; and that not for all this world's riches would be take back that of which he had made an offering to the prince of the
Apostles.” And so he nobly fulfilled his prom. * ise, and executed a deed, by which he made
a perpetual donation to St. Peter-to the Roman Church, and to the Popes forever-of Ravenna and the other cities, including the whole of the exarchate, and the deed was laid on the tomb of the Apostle. Some call this a donation, some a restitution. It was both. It was a res
titution, because those cities had previously Deset
placed themselves under the protection of the
Popes, who had so often obtained their liberaO
tion from the Lombards; and it was a donation,
because by the right of war, Pepin might have be
retained for himself what had been purchased by the blood and treasure of his nation. Yet,
though an ambitious king, he never contemplated such an act; and hence you may conclude how deeply this reverence for the succes sor of St. Peter was engraven on the hearts of Christians in those days. Of the Greek Emperor I need say nothing; you will rather wonder that he was not ashamed of putting in a plea for himself, after all you have heard of his conduct.
We thus see the temporal power of the Popes -a power they had increased from the days of Gregory the Great in fact, and since Gregory II. in name also—fully recognized. We see that it was the force of circumstances, or rather the hand of God, and not their own ambition, which bore them up and placed them on the throne they occupy. They reign by a juster title than any existing dynasty can boast, the unanimous and free choice of a grateful people, guarantied also to them and sanctioned by the united voice of Catholic Christendom,