Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/165

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145
MURDER OF THE LEGATE PIERRE.

alarming growth of heresy and the failure of all endeavors to bring the heretics to reason, to frighten them with threats, or to allure them with blandishments. Nothing was left but an appeal to arms ; and to all who would embark in this good work the same indulgences were offered as for a crusade to Palestine. The lands of all engaged in it were taken under the special protection of holy Church, and those of the heretics were abandoned to the spoiler. All creditors of Crusaders were obliged to postpone their claims without interest, and clerks taking part were empowered to pledge their revenues in advance for two years.[1]

Earnest and impassioned as was this appeal, it fell, like the previous one, upon deaf ears. Innocent had for years been invoking the religious martial ardor of Europe in aid of the Latin kingdoms of the East, and that ardor seemed for a time exhausted. Philip Augustus coolly responded that his relations with England did not allow him to let the forces of his kingdom be divided, but that, if he could be assured of a two years' truce, then, if the barons and knights of France wanted to undertake a crusade, he would permit them, and aid it with fifty livres a day for a year. Apparently the present effort was destined to prove as inefficient as the former one had been, when a startling incident suddenly changed the whole aspect of affairs. The murder of the legate Pierre de Castelnau sent a thrill of horror throughout Christendom like that caused by the assassination of Becket thirty-eight years before. Of its details, however, the accounts are so contradictory that it is impossible to speak of it with precision. This much we know, that Pierre had greatly angered Raymond by the bitterness of his personal reproaches ; that the count, aroused by the sense of impending danger in the fresh call for a crusade, had invited the legates to an interview at St. Gilles, promising to show himself in all things an obedient son of the Church ; that difficulties arose in the conference, the demands of the legates being greater than Raymond was willing to concede. The Romance version of the catastrophe is simply that, during the conference, Pierre became entangled in an angry religious dispute with one of the gentlemen of the court, who drew his dagger and slew him ; that the count was greatly concerned at an event so deplorable,


  1. Pet. Sarnens. c. 3, G, 7.— Regest. x. 149, 176; xi. 11.