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CHARLEMAGNE, Charles was large and strong, and of lofty stature, though not disproportionately tall (his height is well known to have been seven times the length of his foot); the upper part of his head was round, his eyes very large and animated, nose a little long, hair fair, and face laughing and merry,
Thus his appearance was always stately and dignified, whether he was standing or sitting ; although his neck was thick and somewhat short, and his belly rather prominent; but the symmetry of the rest of his body concealed these defects. His gait was firm, his whole carriage manly, and his voice clear, but not so strong as his size led one to expect.
He used to wear the national, that is to say, the Frank dress ; next his skin a linen shirt and linen breeches ; and above these a tunic fringed with silk ; while hose fastened by bands covered his lower limbs, and shoes his feet, and he pro. tected his shoulders and chest in winter by a close. fitting coat of otter or marten skins. Over all he flung a blue cloak, and he always had a sword girt about him, usually one with a gold or silver hilt and belt; he sometimes carried a jewelled sword, but only on great feast-days or at the reception of ambassadors from foreign nations. He despised foreign cos. tumes, however handsome, and never allowed himself to be robed in them, except twice in Rome, when he donned the Roman tunic, chlamys, and shoes; the first time at the request of Pope Hadrian II., to gratify Leo, Hadrian's successor. On great feast-days he made use of embroidered clothes, and shoes bedecked with precious stones ; his cloak was fastened by a golden buckle, and he appeared crowned with a diadem of gold and gems : on other days his dress varied little from the common dress of the people.
Charles had the gift of ready and fluent speech, and could express what he had to say with the utmost clearness. He was not satisfied with the command of his native language merely, but gave attention to the study of foreign ones, and in particular was such a master of Latin that he could speak it as well as
his native tongue ; but he could understand Greek better than he could speak it. He was so eloquent, indeed, that he might have passed for a teacher of eloquence. He most zealously cultivated the liberal arts, held those who taught them in great esteem, and conferred great honors upon them. He took lessons in grammar of the deacon Peter of Pisa, at that time an aged man. Another deacon, Albin of Britain, surnamed Alcuin, a man of Saxon extraction, who was the greatest scholar of the day, was his teacher in other branches of learning. The King spent much time and labor with him studying rhetoric, dialectics, and especially astronomy. He learned to reckon, and used to investigate the motions of the heavenly bodies most curiously, with an intelligent scrutiny. He also tried to write, and used to keep tablets in blanks in bed under his pillow, that at leisure hours he might accustom his hand to form the letters; however, as he did not begin his efforts in due season, but late in life, they met with ill success.
He cherished with the greatest fervor and devotion the principles of the Christian religion, which had been instilled into him from infancy. Hence it was that he built the beautiful basilica at Aix-la-Chapelle, which he adorned with gold and silver and lamps, and with rails and doors of solid brass. He had the columns and marbles for this structure brought from Rome and Ravenna, for he could not find such as were suitable elsewhere. He was a constant worshipper at this church as long as his health permitted, going morning and evening, even after nightfall, besides attending mass; and he took care that all the services there conducted should be administered with the utmost possible propriety, very often warning the sextons not to let any improper or unclean thing be brought into the building, or remain in it. He provided it with a great number of sacred vessels of gold and silver, and with such a quantity of clerical robes that not even the door-keepers were obliged to wear their every day clothes when in the exercise of their duties.--Life of Charlemagne ; translation of TURNER.
EICHENDORFF, JOSEPH VON, German poet and novelist, born at Lubowitz (his father's baronetcy), near Ratibor, in Silesia, March 10, 1788; died at Neisse, November 26, 1857. He studied law at Halle and Heidelberg from 1805 to 1808. He resided for some time at Vienna and Paris, and in 1813 he entered the Prussian army as a volunteer and served two years in the War of Liberation. After the war he was appointed successively Government Counsellor at Breslau, Dantzic, Königsberg, and Berlin. In 1844 he retired from the public service and resided at Dantzic, Vienna, Dresden, and Berlin. He wrote Ahnung und Gegenwart (Presage and Presence) (1815); Krieg den Philistern (War on the Philistines, a dramatized fairy tale) (1824); Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts (From the Life of a Good-for-Nothing) (1826). In 1837 he published a collection of poems, and in 1842 his complete poetical works were published in four volumes at Berlin under the title Sammtliche Poetisch Werke, and five volumes of Vermischte Schriften (Miscellaneous Writings) in 1866.
Eichendorff was one of those later German Romanticists who drew their inspiration from Goethe, who, though they could not hope to equal Wilhelm Meister, enriched the German language with the wealth of their imagination and the bulk of their work after classic models. His