X. HISTORICAL SKETCH.
The following terms of the old System of measurements are still
sometimes used : —
Livre = '/2 kilogramme = l'/,o lb.
Pied = 1/3 mètre = 13 in.
Aune = iy5 mètre = 1 yd. 11 in.
Toise = 19/10 mètre = 2 yds. 4 in.
Lieue = 2Y2 miles.
Arpent = iy25 acre.
Sétier = li/2 hectolitre = 33 gais.
The thermometers commonly used in France are the Centigrade
and Reaumur's. The freezing point on both of thèse is marked 0°,
the boiling-point of the former 100°, of the latter 80°, while Fahren-
heit's boiling-point is 212° and his freezing-point 32°. It may easily
be remembered that 5° Centigrade = 4°Réaumur = 9° Fahrenheit,
to which last 32° must be added for températures above freezing.
For températures below freezing the number of degrees obtained by
converting those of Centigrade or Réaumur into those of Fahrenheit
must be subtracted from 32. Thus 5° C = 4° R. = 9 + 32 = 41° F.;
20° C = 16° R. = 36 + 32 = 68° F. Again, - 5° C = - 4° R.
= 32 — 9 = 23°F. ; - 20°C = - 16°R. = 32 - 36 = - 4"F.
X. Historical Sketch.
Merovingians. The history of France, properly so called, be-
gins at the end of the fifth century of the Christian era, when
Clovis I. (481-511), son of Childeric, king of the Ripuarian Franks
of Tournay, expelled the Romans from Northern Gaul (ca. 496), em-
braced Christianity, and united ail the Franks under his sway. The
Merovingian Dynasty, which he founded and which took its name
from Meroveus, the father of Childeric, rapidly degenerated. The
Frankish state was several times divided among différent princes
of the line, and this gave rise to long civil wars and finally to a
deadly rivalry between Eastern France, or Austrasia, and Western
France, or Neustria. The family of Pépin, heads of the 'Leudes'
or great vassals of Austrasia and hereditary 'Mayors of the Palace',
first of Austrasia, and afterwards also of Neustria and Burgundy,
took advantage of this state of affairs to seize for themselves the
suprême power, after Charles Martel had saved the country from
the Saracenic invasion by the great victory of Poitiers (732).
Carlovingians. The first king of this dynasty was Pépin the
Short (le Bref), who assumed the crown in 752. His son —
Charlemagne (768-814), from whom the dynasty is named
by his able administration and by his victories over the Arabs
Lombards, Saxons, Avars, etc., founded a vast empire, which, how¬
ever, lastedbut little longer than that of Clovis. After the death of
his son —