Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/178

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faction was expressed in forming the confederation known as La Union, which for generations was of dangerous import to his successors. Impulsive and generous, Pedro's career reads like a romance of chivalry, and, with such a character, it was impossible for him to avoid participating in the Albigensian wars, in which he had a direct interest, owing to his claims upon Provence, Montpellier, Beam, Roussillon, Gascony, Comminges, and Béziers.[1]

In marked contrast with this splendid knight-errantry was the solid and earnest character of de Montfort, who had distinguished himself, as was his wont, at the siege of Carcassonne. He was the first to lead in the assault on the outer suburb ; and when an attack upon the second had been repulsed and a Crusader was left writhing in the ditch with a broken thigh, de Montfort with a single squire leaped back into it, under a shower of missiles, and bore him off in safety. The younger son of the Count of Evreux, a descendant of RoUo the Norman, he was Earl of Leicester by right of his mother the heiress, and had won a distinguished name for prowess in the field and wisdom and eloquence in the council. Religious to bigotry, he never passed a day without hearing mass; and the true-hearted affection which his wife, Ahce of Montmorency, bore him, shows that his reputation for chastity — a rare virtue in those days — was probably not undeserved. In 1201 he had joined the crusade of Baldwin of Flanders ; and when, during the long detention in Venice, the Crusaders sold their services to the Venetians for the destruction of Zara, de Montfort alone refused, saying that he had come to fight the infidel and not to make war on Christians. He left the host in consequence, made his way to Apulia, and with a few friends took ship to Palestine, where he served the cross with honor. It is curious to speculate what change there might have been in the destiny of both France and England had he remained with the crusade to the capture of Constantinople, when he, and his yet greater son, Simon of Leicester, might have founded principalities in Greece or Thessaly and have worn out their lives in obscure and forgotten conflicts. When the Albigensian

  1. Regest. VII. 229 ; xv. 212 ; xvi. 87.— Fran. Tarafae de Reg. Hisp. — Lowenfeld, Epistt. Pontif. ined. p. 63.— Lafuente, Hist, de Esp. V. 492-5.— Mariana, Hist, de Esp. XII. 2.— L. Marinsei Siculi de Reb. Hisp. Lib. x.— Diez, Leben und Werke der Troubadours, 424.— Vaissette, HI. 124.— Gest. Com. Barcenon. c. 24.