Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/218

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f ul Christian who, at the Council of Bourges, had offered all possible satisfaction. Amauri and his uncle Gui executed a renunciation of all their claims in favor of the crown ; the cross was diligently preached throughout the kingdom, with the customary offer of indulgences, and the legate guaranteed that the ecclesiastical tithe granted for five years should amount to at least one hundred thousand livres per annum. The only cloud to mar the prospect was the discovery that Honorius had sent letters and legates to the barons of Poitou and Aquitaine, ordering them within a month to return to their allegiance to England in spite of any oaths taken to the contrary. This curious piece of treachery can only be explained by persuasive bribes from Raymond or from Henry III., and Louis promptly met it with liberal payments to the pope, by which he procured the suspension of the letters. This being got out of the way, another council was held March 29, where Louis commanded his lieges to assemble on May 17, at Bourges, fully equipped and prepared to remain with him as long as he should stay in the South. The forty day's service which had so repeatedly snatched from de Montfort the fruits of his victories was no longer to arrest the tide of a permanent conquest.[1]

On the appointed day the chivalry of the kingdom gathered around their monarch at Bourges, but before setting forth there was much to be done. Innumerable abbots and delegates from chapters besieged the king, imploring him not to reduce the national Church to servitude by exacting the tithe bestowed on him, and promising to make ample provision for his needs ; but he was unrelenting, and they departed, secretly cursing both crusade and king. The legate was busy dismissing the boys, women, old men, paupers, and cripples who had assumed the cross. These he forced to swear as to the amount of money which they possessed ; of this he took the major part and let them go after granting them absolution from the vow — an indirect way of selling indulgences which became habitual and produced large sums. Louis drove a thriving trade of the same kind from a higher class of Crusaders by accepting heavy payments from those who owed him service and were not ambitious of the glory or the perils of the expedition.

  1. Vaissette, III. Pr. 300, 308-14.— Teulet, Layettes, II. 68-9, No. 1742-3.— Matt. Paris aim. 1226, p. 229.— Chron, Turonens. ann. 1225, 1226.