His enemies in the army, chiefly the horsemen, reached Syracuse before him, plundered his house, and horribly maltreated his wife.
In the former woman appears as the serpent whose trail is over all; in the latter, written twenty-five years after the event, she is the guardian angel abused and maltreated by men.
He sought refuge in a house in the Riddarhus Square, but the mob rushed after him, brutally maltreated him and tore his robes to pieces.
In 799, after he had been attacked and maltreated in the streets of Rome during a procession, he escaped to the king at Paderborn, and Charles sent him back to Italy escorted by some of his most trusted servants.
Between the sansculottes, who tried to force him to place himself at their head, and the national guards, who maltreated him, he was nearly done to death.