Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/179

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159
SIMON DE MONTFORT.

crusade was preached, one of the Cistercian abbots who devoted himself most earnestly to the work was Gui of Yaux-Cernay, who had been a Crusader with de Montfort at Venice. It was owing to his persuasion that the Duke of Burgundy took the cross on the present occasion, and he was the bearer of letters from the duke to de Montfort making him splendid offers if he would likewise take up arms. At de Montfort's castle of Rochefort, Gui found the pious count in his oratory, and set forth the object of his mission. De Montfort hesitated, and then, taking up a psalter, opened it at random and placed his finger on a verse which he asked the abbot to translate for him. It read:

"For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee in their hands, that thou hurt not thy foot against a stone" (Ps. xci. 11, 12).

The divine encouragement was manifest. De Montfort took the cross, which was to be his life's work, and the brilliant valor of the Catalan knight proved no match for the deep earnestness of the Norman, who felt himself an instrument in the hand of God.[1]

With the capture of Carcassonne the Crusaders seem to have felt that their mission was accomplished ; at least, the brief service of forty days which sufficed to earn the pardon was rendered, and they were eager to return home. The legate naturally held that the conquered territory was to be so occupied and organized that heresy should have no further foothold there, and it was offered first to the Duke of Burgundy and then successively to the Counts of Severs and St. Pol, but all were too wary to be tempted, and alleged in refusal that the Viscount of Beziers had already been sufficiently punished. Then two bishops and four knights, with Arnaud at their head, were appointed to select the one on whom the confiscated land should be bestowed ; and these seven, under the manifest influence of the Holy Ghost, unanimously selected de Montfort. We may well believe, from his reputation for sagacity, that -his unwillingness to accept the offer was unfeigned, and that after prayers had proved unavailing, he yielded only to the absolute commands of the legate, speaking with all the authority of


  1. Pet, Sarnens. c. 16-18. — Joann. Iperii. Chron. ann. 1201. — GeolT. de Villehardouin, c. 55. — Alberic. Trium Font. ann. 1202.— Guillem de Tudehi, xxxv.