Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/205

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185
SECOND SIEGE OF TOULOUSE.

sum of thirty thousand marks ; but he destroyed what was left of the fortifications, filled up the ditches, rendered the place as defenceless as possible, and disarmed the inhabitants. Despite his excommunication, he still had the earnest support of the Church. Innocent died July 20, 1216, but his successor, Honorius III., inherited his policy, and a new legate. Cardinal Bertrand of St. John and St. Paul, was, if possible, more bitter than his predecessors in the determination to suppress the revolt against Rome. The preaching of the crusade had been resumed, and in the beginning of 1217, with fresh reinforcements of Crusaders and a small contingent furnished by Philip Augustus, de Montfort crossed the Rhone, and made rapid progress in subduing the territories left to young Raymond.

He was suddenly recalled by the news that Toulouse was in rebellion; that Raymond VI. had been received there with rejoicings, bringing with him auxiliaries from Spain; that Foix and Comminges, and all the nobles of the land, had flocked thither to welcome their lord, and that the Countess of Montfort was in peril in the Chateau Narbonnais, the citadel outside of the town, which he had left to bridle the citizens. Abandoning his conquests, he hastened back. In September, 1217, commenced the second siege of the heroic city, in which the burghers displayed unflinching resolve to preserve themselves from the yoke of the stranger — or perhaps, rather, the courage of desperation, if the account is to be believed that the cardinal-legate ordered the Crusaders to slay all the inhabitants, without distinction of age or sex. In spite of the defenceless condition of the town, which men and women unitedly worked night and day to repair ; in spite of the threatening and beseeching letters which Honorius wrote to the Kings of Aragon and France, to the younger Raymond, the Count of Foix, the citizens of Toulouse, Avignon, Marseilles, and all whom he thought to deter or excite ; in spite of heavy reinforcements brought by a vigorous renewal of preaching the crusade, for nine weary months the siege dragged on, in furious assaults and yet more furious sallies, with intervals of suspended operations as the crusading army swelled or decreased. De Montfort's brother Gui and his eldest son Amauri were seriously wounded. The baffled chieftain's troubles were rendered sorer by the legate, who taunted him with his ill-success, and accused him of ignorance or slackness in his