Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/197

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177
THE BATTLE OF MURET.

and exhausting the Crusaders with missiles, but the fiery Catalan rejected the advice as pusillanimous. Then armor was donned in hot haste, and the horsemen rushed forth in a confused mass, leaving the footmen to continue the labors of the siege. Emulous rather of the fame of a good knight than of a general, Pedro was immediately behind the vanguard, as two squadrons of the Crusaders came on in solid order, and was readily found by two renowned French knights, Alain de Eoucy and Florent de Ville, who had concerted to set upon him. He was speedily thrown from his horse and slain. The confusion into which his followers were thrown was converted into a panic as de Montfort, at the head of a third squadron, charged them in flank. They turned and fled, followed by the Frenchmen, who slew them without mercy, and then, returning from the pursuit, fell upon the camp where the infantry had remained unconscious of the evil-fortune of the field. Here the slaughter was tremendous, until the flying wretches succeeded in crossing the Garonne, in which many were drowned. The loss of the Crusaders was less than twenty, that of the allies from fifteen to twenty thousand, and no one was hardy enough to doubt that the hand of God was visible in a triumph so miraculous, especially as on the last Sunday in August a great procession had been held in Rome with solemn ceremonies, followed by a two days' fast, for the success of the Catholic arms. Yet King Jayme tells us that his father's death, and the consequent loss of the battle, arose from his prevailing vice. The Albigensian nobles, to ingratiate themselves with him, had placed their wives and daughters at his disposal, and he was so exhausted by his excesses that on the morning of the battle he could not stand at the celebration of the mass.[1]


  1. Pet. Sarnens. c. 70-3.— Guillel. de Pod. Laurent, c. 21-22.— Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1213. — Vaissette, III. Pr. 52-4.— Guillem de Tudela, cxxv.-cxL — Zurita, Anales de Aragon, Lib. 11, c. C3. — De Gestis Com. Barcenon. ann. 1213. — Bernard d'Esclot, Cronica del Rey en Pere, c. 6. — Campana, Storia di San Piero Martire p. 44. — Tamburini, 1st. dell' Inquisizione,I.351-2. — Comentarios del Reyen Jacme c. 8 (Mariana, IV. 267-8).
    Don Jayme himself, then a child in his sixth year, was still in the hands of de Montfort as a hostage, and if the Catalan chroniclers speak truth, it was with difficulty that the young king was recovered, even after Innocent III. had ordered his release. — L. Marinaei Siculi de Reb. Hispan. Lib. x. — Regest. xvi. 171.