OTTO, or Otho, the subject of this memoir, was the second son of noble but somewhat obscure parents, in Swabia. Later writers have confidently affirmed that he was the son of Berthold, count of Andechs, and of Sophia, duchess of Ambrerthal, his wife, and therefore of royal connexion. There is, however, no foundation whatever for this assertion, which is in clear contradiction to the words of the contemporary who condensed the dialogue of Sifried.1

On account of their poverty, the parents of Otto were unable to do more for him than put him to school, and on their death, his brother Frederick was incapable of supporting him. Consequently Otto was left early to provide for himself, and hearing that there was a demand for school-masters in Poland, he went thither, and opened a school for boys, which was well filled, and Otto himself became renowned in the duchy for his learning; acquired a competence, and a knowledge of the Polish language.

After some years spent in Poland, Judith, the wife of Wladislas, duke of Poland, died (A.D. 1086), and in the following year (1087), Wladislas sent Otto with a deputation to the Emperor Henry IV. to solicit the hand of his sister Sophia, widow of Solomon, king of Hungary, and daughter of the Emperor Henry III. His mission was successful, and in 1088, Wladislas married Sophia, and Otto was constituted their chaplain. When, and under what circumstances, Otto returned to Germany is obscure,

1 Sifrid says, "Parentes ejus, patrem dico et matrem, ingenuæ conditionis, nobilitate clari et honorabiles, in divitiis autem et opibus mediocres." Words quite inapplicable to the illustrious house of the counts of Andechs. Again, when the emperor announced to the deputation of Bamberg, that Otto was to be their bishop, they exclaimed, "Sperabimus aliquem ex domini et principibus curiæ nostræ parentatum, ac nobis notum, dominatorum nos accepturos: nam hunc, quis sit, aut unde sit, ignoramus"

• "Fratri suo sive aliis cognatis importunus esse noluit vel odiosus.”

whether he was sent to Henry IV. by Sophia, or whether he left the Polish court on the death of the princess, is uncertain. At any rate, after a few years, he appears at the side of Henry IV. as his chaplain and confidant, probably in 1092.

Henry IV. was still under the excommunication fulminated by Gregory the Seventh, and repeated by Urban II. Urban was at this time busy in endeavours to break up the power of his great antagonist in Germany and Italy. At his persuasion, and to further his political schemes, the pliant Countess Mathilda had, at the age of forty-three, married a boy of eighteen, the son of the duke of Bavaria, and thus had secured an alliance in Germany itself, formidable to the redoubted and abhorred emperor. Urban found a more useful ally in the bosom of the king's own family. Conrad, the eldest son of the old emperor, rose in revolt against him. Henry, desiring to obtain for his son the rich inheritance of his grandmother, Adelhaid of Susa, had conducted him into Italy. There the great enemies of the emperor held out to the unnatural son a more tempting prize the immediate possession of the kingdom of Italy.

But an excuse for the revolt must be found. Conrad's tempters sought reasons so monstrous that none could credit them whose minds were not prepared to receive it by blind and deadly hatred; one at least, was utterly inconsistent with the conduct of the emperor. One is too horrible to be mentioned here, another was that Henry had threatened to declare Conrad a bastard, and thus insult the memory of his mother Bertha, that memory which Henry cherished with tender reverence to the close of his life.

When the news of his son's revolt, and the nature of the charges assigned to excuse it, reached Henry's

ears, he was confounded, horror-struck, and broken in heart.

Conrad stifled the reproaches of his conscience by marrying Iolante, daughter of Roger of Sicily, who had been promised to him, together with the crown of Italy, as the reward of his revolt. His coronation took place at Milan. But he perhaps felt that the general voice of humanity would protest against this rebellion, unless the charges against the emperor were in some sort substantiated. For this purpose-not satisfied with having excited his son to revolt, the enemies of Henry prevailed on his wife, publicly, shamelessly, to denounce him.

After the death of his faithful and beloved wife Bertha, Henry had married Praxedes, or Adehaid, a Russian princess, the widow of the marquis of Brandenburg (1089). From some unexplained reason, the emperor threw her into prison. Was it because she was mad or dissolute, or was it out of wanton dislike to the woman? This is one of those insoluble mysteries history is unable to unravel.

From prison she escaped to the duke of Bavaria, Henry's bitterest foe. In his court deep, unscrupulous schemes were formed for the ruin of Henry.

And now a council was summoned at Constance by Gebhardt, the bishop, Urban's legate in Germany (1094), at which the unfortunate empress appeared, and poured forth a string of charges against her husband. But suffi cient publicity had not been secured thereby, and she was brought, or hurried of her own accord, into Italy to denounce the emperor before a crowded council at Piacenza, in 1395. Enormous multitudes, bishops and abbots from Italy, France, Bavaria, Burgundy, and most parts of Germany, were present to consult with Urban on his great design of a crusade.

It is said that there were present three thousand clergy,

This was deemed a suitable

and thirty thousand laymen. occasion for marshalling the wife in witness against her husband. The question forces itself upon the mind-was there any truth in that horrible story that flowed so glibly from the lips of the passionate empress before the council? Or was it only the malignant slander of a furious, disappointed woman, whose Russian, half-savage vices had forced Henry to restrain her in confinement?

Henry sent no reply to the charges made against him by his wife. If he were guilty he could not, if he were innocent, he disdained to do so. Perhaps he was taken by surprise.

As there was neither reply nor defence from the emperor, the pope and the assembly united in the condemnation of an emperor whom the Church had reason to regard with abhorrence.

It has been necessary to sketch the condition of the emperor's affairs, the profound discouragement, despair, humiliation, to which he was subjected, that we may understand the position of S. Otto, his chaplain who clave to him, in spite of his excommunication, and ministered to him though denounced as a heretic and an outcast from God, by the occupant of the chair of S. Peter. By so doing he was involved in the excommunication which was comprehensive enough to embrace and blight all who adhered to, and ministered in sacred things to, the excommunicated emperor.

Otto consoled the unfortunate Henry under his severe afflictions. When his wife was exposing him, or certainly herself, to public shame, and his son was in armed and insolent rebellion against him, the emperor found consolation in private prayer, and in the singing of David's psalms. The latter especially proved his comfort. Had not David fled before the face of his revolted son? Otto

drew up for the king's use a collection of "psalms and hymns, chapters and prayers for the whole course of the year, that the king might commit them to memory," and whenever he was with Henry, he had his psalter under his arm, ready to say the sacred offices with him, "Otto discreetly thinking that nothing should be omitted, whereby he might conciliate the favour of his lord."

The contemporary biographer goes on to say, "In those days the emperors were wont to give investiture of churches, and as often as a bishop died, it was customary for the church vacated by his death to send the staff and ring of the deceased prelate to the emperor, and to ask of the court a new bishop. Many nobles and great men, therefore, acquaintances, and sons of princes, came to court, in hope of promotion, performing in course the office of chaplain to the emperor. Amongst all these place-hunters, Otto conducted himself so composedly and evenly that he neither drew on himself envy through elation, nor contempt through meanness. At last one of these men, who had been chancellor, being elevated to the episcopate, Otto received the seal of the emperor, and undertook the office of chancellor, which he filled with such industry and goodness, that he was loved by all the court, and by all was deferred to."

In 1102, Rupert, bishop of Bamberg, died, and the episcopal insignia were transmitted to the chancelry, together with the petition of the church of Bamberg, for a new pastor. But the emperor deferred to appoint for six months. At the end of that time he summoned to him the delegates of the church of Bamberg, and promised them a suitable bishop, promising to give him to them at the approaching feast of Christmas.

On the Sunday before the appointed day the clergy and people of Bamberg, with cross and banners, ascended



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