Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/181

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161
FURTHER AID NEEDED.

of the Count of Foix. He hastened, moreover, to acquire the good graces of Innocent, whose confirmation of his new dignity was requisite, and whose influence for further succor he earnestly implored. All tithes and first-fruits were to be rigorously paid to the churches ; any one remaining under excommunication for forty days was to be heavily fined according to his station ; Rome, in return for the treasures of salvation so lavishly expended, was to receive from a devastated land an annual tax of three deniers on every hearth, while a yearly tribute from the count himself was vaguely promised. To this, in November, Innocent replied, full of joy at the wonderful success which had wrested five hundred cities and castles from the grasp of heretics. He graciously accepted the offered tribute, and confirmed de Montfort's title to both Béziers and Albi, with an adjuration to be sleepless in the extirpation of heresy; but he could scarce have appreciated the Crusader's perilous position, for he excused himself from efficient aid on the score of complaints which reached him from Palestine that the succor sorely needed there had been diverted to subdue heretics nearer home. He therefore only called upon the Emperor Otho, the Kings of Aragon and Castile, and sundry cities and nobles from whom no real aid could be expected. The archbishops of the whole infected region were directed to persuade their clergy to contribute to him a portion of their revenues, and his troops were exhorted to be patient and to ask no pay until the following Easter; neither of which requests were likely to yield results. Somewhat more fruitful was the release of all Crusaders from any obligations which they might have assumed to pay interest on sums borrowed ; but the most practical measure was one which forcibly illustrates the friendly and confidential intercourse which had existed between the heretics and the clergy in southern France, for all abbots and prelates throughout Narbonne, Beziers, Toulouse, and Albi were directed to confiscate for de Montfort's benefit all deposits placed by obstinate heretics for safe-keeping in their hands, the amount of which was said to be considerable.[1]


  1. Concil. Avenion. ann. 1209.— D'Achery Spicileg I. 706. — Pet. Sarnens, c. 20-26, 34.— Vaissette, III. Pr. 20.— Guillem de Tudela, xxxvi.— Regest. xii. 108, 109, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 129, 132, 136, 137; xiii. 86.— Teulet, Layettes, I. 340, No. 899.
    By a very curious exegetical effort, the Dominicans succeed in convincing