Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/186

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Raymond at length began to see what all clear-visioned men must long before have recognized, that his ruin was the deliberate purpose of the legates. Had the nobles of Languedoc been united at the beginning, they could probably have offered successful resistance to the spasmodic attacks of the Crusaders, but they were being devoured one by one, while Raymond, their natural leader, was kept idle with delusive hopes of reconciliation. The restoration of his castles was hopeless, and it was time for him to prepare himself as best he could for the inevitable war. With this object, to unite his subjects, he circulated a list of conditions which he said had been proposed to him at a conference in Aries, in February, 1211 — conditions which were onerous and degrading to the last degree to the people as well as to himself — which would have placed the whole territory and its population under the control of the legates and of de Montfort, would have branded every inhabitant, Catholic as well as heretic, noble as well as villein, with the mark of servitude, and would have banished Raymond to the Holy Land virtually for life. "Whether such demands were really made or not, their effect was great upon the people, who rallied around their sovereign and were ready for any self-sacrifice.[1]

That the list of conditions was supposititious is rendered probable by other negotiations in which Raymond desperately strove to avert the inevitable rupture. In December, 1210, we find him at Narbonne in conference with the legates, de Montfort, and Pedro of Aragon, where impracticable terms were offered him, and where Pedro finally consented to receive de Montfort's homage for Beziers. Shortly afterwards another meeting was held at Montpellier, equally fruitless, except for de Montfort, who made a treaty with Pedro and received from him his infant son Jayme, to be held as a hostage. Even in the spring of 1211 Raymond again visited de Montfort at the siege of Lavaur and allowed provisions to be supplied for a while to the Crusaders from Toulouse, although he had fruitlessly endeavored to prevent the marching of a con-

  1. The sole authority for this extraordinary document is Guillem dfe Tudela (lix., lx., lxi.), followed by the Historien du Comte de Toulouse (Vaissette, III. Pr. 30. Cf. Text p. 204 and notes p. 561, also Hardouin VI. ii. 1998). Though generally accepted by historians, I cannot regard it as genuine, and its only explanation seems to me that it was manufactured by Raymond to arouse the indignation of his people.