Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/185

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165
DECEPTION OF RAYMOND.

the appearance of premeditated unfairness, the solemn mockery was arranged of assigning him a day three months distant, to appear at St. Gilles and offer his purgation as to heresy and the murder of the legate — a warning being added about his slackness in persecution. At the appointed time, in September, 1210, a number of prelates and nobles were assembled at St. Gilles, and Raymond presented himself with his compurgators in the full confidence of a final reconciliation with the Church. He was coolly informed that his purgation would not be received ; that he was manifestly a perjurer in not having executed the promises to which he had repeatedly sworn, and his oath being worthless in minor matters, it could not be accepted in charges so weighty as those of heresy and legate-murder, nor were those of his accomplices any better. A man of stronger character would have been roused to fiery indignation at this contemptuous revelation of the deception practised on him ; but Eaymond, overwhelmed with the sudden destruction of his illusions, simply burst into tears — which was duly recorded by his judges as an additional proof of his innate depravity, and he was promptly again placed under the excommunication which it had cost him such infinite pains to remove. For form's sake, however, he was told that when he should clear the land of heresy and otherwise show himself worthy of mercy, the papal commands in his favor would be fulfilled. The Provengal was evidently no match for the wily Italians; and Innocent's approbation of this cruel comedy is seen in a letter addressed by him to Raymond, in December, 1210, expressing his grief that the count had not yet performed his promises as to the extermination of heretics, and warning him that if he did not do so his lands would be delivered to the Crusaders. Another epistle by the same courier to de Montfort, complaining of the scanty returns of the three-denier hearth-tax, shows that even Innocent kept an eye on the profitable side of persecution; while exhortations addressed to the Counts of Toulouse, Comminges, and Foix, and Gaston of Beam, requiring them to help de Montfort, with threats of holding them to be fautors of heresy in case they resisted him, showed how completely all questions were prejudged and that they were doomed to be delivered up to the spoiler.[1]


  1. Pet. Sarncns. c. 39.— Regest. xiii. 188, 189 ; xvi. 39.— Guillem de Tudela, lviii,— Teulet, Layettes, I. 3G0, No. 948.