tithes, to provide them with books and other necessaries, that they might not lack the means of training themselves and others for the work of preaching, which was the main object of the community. By this time Duran de Huesca's attempt had proved a failure, and Dominic, who must have been familiar with it, doubtless saw the causes of its ill-success and the means to avoid them. Yet it is noteworthy that in the inception of the plan there was no thought of employing force. The heretics of Languedoc lay defenceless at the feet of de Montf ort, an easy prey to the spoiler, but Dominic's project only looked to their peaceful conversion and to performing the duties of instruction and exhortation of which the Church had been so wholly neglectful.
All eyes were now bent on the Lateran Council which was to decide the fate of the land. Foulques of Toulouse on his voyage thither took with him Dominic to obtain from the pope his approval of the new community. Tradition relates that Innocent hesitated; his experience with Duran de Huesca had not taught him to expect much from the irregular action of enthusiasts ; the council had forbidden the formation of new orders of monkhood, and had commanded that zeal for the future should satisfy itself with those already established. Yet Innocent's doubts were removed by a dream in which he saw the Lateran Basilica tottering and ready to fall, and a man in whom he recognized the humble Dominic supporting it on his shoulders. Thus divinely warned that the crumbling church edifice was to be restored by the man whose zeal he had despised, he approved the project on condition that Dominic and his brethren should adopt the Bule of some established order.
Dominic returned and assembled his brethren at Prouille. They were by this time sixteen in number, and it is a curious illustration of the denationalizing influence of the Church to observe in this little gathering of earnest men in that remote spot that Castile, Xavarre, Normandy, France, Languedoc, England, and Germany were represented. This self -devoted band adopted the rule of the Canons Regular of St. Augustin, which was Dominic's own,
- Nic. de Trivetti Chron. ann. 1215. — Bernard! Guidonis Tract, de Magist. Ord. Praedic. (Martene Ampl. Coll. VI. 400).— Hist. Ordin. Prsedic. c. 1 (lb. 332).
- Nic. de Trivetti loc. cit. — Chron. Magist. Ord. Prsedic. c. 1. — Bernard. Guidonis loc. cit.— Concil. Lateran. IV. c. xiii. — Harduin. Concil. VII. 83.