Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/187

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167
FIRST SIEGE OF TOULOUSE.

tingent which the Toulousains furnished to the besiegers. Almost as soon as Lavaur was taken, May 3, 1211, de Montfort fell upon his territories and captured some of his castles, apparently without defiance or declaration of war, when he made a last miserable effort of submission by offering his whole possessions except the city of Toulouse, to be held by the legate and de Montfort as security for the performance of what might be demanded of him, reserving only his life and his son's right of inheritance. Even these terms were contemptuously rejected. He had so abased himself that he seems to have been regarded as no longer an element of weight in the situation. Besides, the Count of Bar was speedily expected with a large force of Crusaders, whose forty-days' term was to be utilized to the utmost, and the siege of Toulouse was resolved on.[1]

As soon as the citizens heard of this design they sent an embassy to the Crusaders to deprecate it. They had been reconciled to the Church, and had assisted at the siege of Lavaur, but they were sternly told that they would not be spared unless they would eject Raymond from the city and renounce their allegiance to him. This they refused unanimously. All the old civic quarrels were forgotten, and as one man they prepared for resistance. It is a noteworthy illustration of the strength of the republican institution of the civic commune, that the siege of Toulouse was the first considerable check received by the Crusaders. The town was well fortified and garrisoned ; the Counts of Foix and Comminges had come at the summons of their suzerain, and the citizens were earnest in defence. They not only kept their gates open, but made breaches in the walls to facilitate the furious sallies which cost the besiegers heavily. The latter retired, June 29th, under cover of the night, so hastily that they abandoned their sick and wounded, having accomplished nothing except the complete devastation of the land — dwelhngs, vineyards, orchards, women and children were alike indiscriminately destroyed in their wrath — and de Montfort turned from the scene of his defeat to carry the same ravage into Foix. This final effort of self-defence was naturally construed as fautorship of heresy and drew from Innocent a fresh excommuni-


  1. Guill. de Pod. Laurent, c. 16, 17.— Pet. Sarnens. c. 43, 47, 49, 53, 54, 55. Vaissette, III. Pr. 234.