Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/291

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richer citizens prudently locked their doors. All might have passed peaceably there as elsewhere but for a hot-headed student of the flourishing university of the city, who interrupted the preaching of the Hungarian to denounce him as a liar, and was promptly brained by a zealous follower. A tumult followed, in which the Pastoureaux made short work of the Orleans clergy, breaking into their houses, burning their books, and slaying many, or tossing them into the Loire ; and, what is most significant, the people are described as looking on approvingly. The bishop, and all who could hide themselves from the fury of the mob, escaped during the night, and valiantly laid the city under interdict for the guilty complicity of the citizens.

On hearing this the Regent Blanche said, " God knows I thought they would recover the Holy Land in simplicity and holiness. But since they are deceivers, let them be excommunicated and destroyed." Accordingly they were excommunicated, but before the anathema could be published they had reached Bourges, where, in a tumult, the Hungarian was slain, and they broke up into bands. The authorities, recovering from their stupor, pursued the luckless wretches everywhere, who were slain like mad dogs. Some emissaries who penetrated to England, and succeeded in raising a revolt of some five hundred peasants, met the same fate; and it was reported that the second in command under the Hungarian was captured in a vessel on the Garonne, while endeavoring to escape, and on his person were found magic powders and strange letters in Arabic and Chaldee characters from the Soldan of Babylon promising his co-operation.

The quasi-religious nature of the uprising is shown in the functions exercised by the leaders, who acted the part of bishops, blessing the people, sprinkling holy water, and even celebrating marriages. The favor which the people everywhere showed them was attributed principally to their spoiling, beating, and slaying the clergy, thus indicating the deep-seated popular antagonism to the Church, and justifying the declaration made by prelates high in station that so great a danger had never threatened Christendom since the time of Mahomet.[1]

  1. Matt. Paris ann. 1251 (pp. 550-2).— Guillcl. Nangiac. ann. 1251. — Amalrici Augerii Vit. Pontif. ann. 1251.— Bern. Guidon. Flor. Chronic. (Bouquet, XXI. 697).