Page:A book of the Cevennes (-1907-).djvu/386

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290
THE CEVENNES

Meanwhile the oppressions of the people by the count had become intolerable. They were crushed with taxation and denied municipal rights. The tower served as an excuse for a quarrel. Gentle as he was, Fulcran was determined to come to conclusions with the count. At his word the citizens rose, were aided by the country folk, Montbrun was stormed, and the bishop held Count Eldin prisoner till he had given guarantees not to continue his misrule. When Fulcran died in 1006 he had marked out the course his successors were to follow. They continued to snatch from the seigneur one right after another, and when the county passed into the hands of the Duke of Rodez, the Castle of Montbrun went by way of purchase to the bishops, and they became both spiritual and temporal lords of the county.

But what all this while of the people? At the outset it had assisted Fulcran in his strife with the count; it had contributed to effect the revolution that finally transferred the temporal power from lay into ecclesiastical hands. The ambition of Fulcran's successors knew no limits. After having conquered the seigneur they attacked the municipal liberties.

The people of Lodève soon saw that they had changed masters for the worse. A struggle broke out between them and their masters that caused much blood to flow. One bishop was driven from his palace.Later, in 1202, the inhabitants sent delegates to the prelate, Pierre de Frotier, to complain of his unendurable exactions. He refused to admit them to his presence. Then the mob broke in on him and made him swear to grant concessions. He appealed to Innocent III., who at once relieved him of his oath. The people,