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concerted with Peter Mauclerc, count or duke of Brittany, and with Hugues de Lusignan, count of Marche and Angoulême, to save the count of Toulouse from utter ruin.” When he had finished the forty days to which he was bound by his feudal service, he demanded of Louis VIII leave to retire. Louis refused him on the ground that he was in the service of the church, whose laws superseded those of the realm. Thibaud was incensed; the king threatened to ravage his domains; to this threat the count of Champaign paid no regard and quitted him. The altercation between them was, however, so violent, that when Louis died, a short time after, there was a report current, that this great lord, the lover of his wife, had caused him to be poisoned.” During these proceedings, the citizens of Avignon, after having caused infinite loss to the army of the crusaders, consented, at last, on the 12th of September, to capitulate. Matthew Paris relates that they only engaged to receive, within their walls, the legate and the high lords of the army, but that these being introduced into the city with their attendants, took possession of the gates in
* Histoire de Languedoc, liv. xxiv, ch. xvii, p. 358. Lobineau, Histoire de Bretagne, liv. viii, ch. xlv., p. 218.
9 Matt. Paris, p. 281. Gesta Ludov. regis, p. 308. Chroniq. de SaintDenys, p. 421.
1 Father Lobineau says, it is sufficiently certain that Louis VIII died by poison, but it remains uncertain by whom that poison was given. Hist. de Bretagne, liv. vii, ch. xlviii, p. 219.
contempt of the capitulation. Neither the king nor the legate thought themselves, in conscience, obliged to keep any faith with excommunicated heretics, but they owed some regard to Frederic II, and it was probably on his account that they contented themselves with requiring three hundred hostages, as a guarantee for the submission of the citizens to the commands of the church and the legate; with imposing on the city a warlike contribution; with throwing down parts of its walls and towers; and with putting to the sword the Flemings and the French who were found in the garrison. It is probable that, but for the recommendation of the emperor, all the inhabitants would have been put to death.” Louis remained a short time at Avignon with his army. Fifteen days after he had taken the city, a terrible inundation of the Durance covered all the space which had been occupied by the French camp. If the soldiers had not taken their quarters within the walls, they would all have been swept away by the water, with their tents and baggage. At this epoch Louis confided the government of Beaucaire and of Nismes to a French knight, who, from that time took the title of seneschal of the two cities. The king afterwards passed through the province, and arrived within four leagues of Toulouse, magnificently entertained and feasted by the bishop Fouquet, who followed the army; respectfully admitted into their castles by the Languedocian Lords, from whom he successively received an oath of fidelity; giving a seneschal to Carcassonne, as he had done to Beaucaire; rasing the city of Limoux, the capital of Razez, which was situated upon a hill, to rebuild it on a plain; and, in fine, receiving in the month of October, in the city of Pamiers, the submission of all the bishops of the province.” But throughout this whole expedition Louis VIII had not the opportunity of signalizing the bravery of his soldiers, by a single warlike exploit. The counts of Toulouse and of Foix, who had renewed their alliance, under the guarantee of the city of Toulouse, avoided every battle, and every kind of action. They determined to suffer the crusaders to exhaust themselves by their own efforts, supposing that if Louis returned into their province in the following year, as he had threatened, he would at least not be followed by so large a body of fanatics; that they would have received a lesson from the mortality and sufferings before Avignon; and that their persecuting zeal would be much abated, by having observed none of these heretics in the province, of whom so much had been told them. By the same reasoning, but with a quite contrary interest, the king, the legate, and the bishop Fouquet, earnestly desired to find, in the country where they had made war, some of those enemies of the church, for whose extirpation the whole of France had been put in motion. Nothing was more difficult than this, after fifteen years of persecution, during which they had either been expelled or put to death. It was with the greatest exertions that they at last discovered, at Cannes, in the diocese of Narbonne, an ancient preacher of the Albigenses, named Peter Isarn, who being too old to quit the country, had concealed himself in the most secret retreats. He was condemned by the archbishop of Narbonne, and burned with great ceremony. After this execution, Louis prepared for his return: he entrusted his conquests to the government of Humbert de Beaujeu, a knight distinguishcd both for his birth and valour, and took the road towards Auvergne in his way to Northern France.” But the germs of that malady, which had caused so many ravages during the siege of Avignon, still remained in the army, and the fatigue, the heat, and the march across an unhealthy country during the feverish season, gave them additional activity. William archbishop of Rheims, the count of Namur, and Bouchard de Marli, fell the first victims to this epidemic. Louis VIII, on his arrival at Montpensier, in Auvergne, on the 29th of October, felt himself attacked in his turn. He was obliged to rest there, and soon discovered that his malady was mortal. On the third of November he called into his chamber the prelates and the principal lords by whom he had been accompanied, viz. the archbishop of Bourges and of Sens; the bishops of Beauvais, of Noyon, and of Chartres, Philip his brother, count of Boulogne, the count of Blois, Enguerrand de Coucy, Archambaud de Bourbon, Jean de Nesle, and Etienne de Sancerre. He commended to them his eldest son, then only twelve years of age, and afterwards celebrated as Saint Louis; he confided him to the care of his wife, Blanche of Castille; he demanded of his prelates and barons that they would promise to crown him, without delay, as their lord and king, and pay him their homage; and he made them confirm this promise by a solemn oath. The malady soon reached its last stage, and he expired on the 8th of November, 1226.5
1 Matt. Paris, p. 281. According to the Chronique de Tours, t. xviii, p. 317, the citizens referred themselves to the arbitration of the legate, not expecting so severe a sentence.
* Guil. de Podio Laur. cap. xxxv, p. 687. Praeclara Francor. facin. p. 774. Bern. Guid. Wit. Honor. III, p. 570. Bouche Hist. de Provence, liv. Ix, $ ii, p. 221. Raynaldi Annal. Eccles. 1226 et 40, p. 365.
5 Martene Thesaurus anecdotor. tom. i, p. 937. Guil. de Podio Laurentii, cap. xxxvi, p. 688. Guil. de Nangiaco Vita Ludovici viii, p. 310. In Duchesne Ludov. 9. Guil. de Nangis Chron. p. 517. Gesta Ludov. viii, p. 310. Chronique de Saint Denys, p. 422. Abrégé anonyme de l’Histoire de France. Hist. de France, tom. xvii, p. 432. Hist. de Languedoc, liv. xxiv, ch. xxvii, p. 353. Annales Waverleienses Monast. tom, xviii, p. 210. Chron. Turon. p. 317. Andrenses Monast. Chron. tom. xviii, p. 580. Joannis Iperii Chron. sancti Bertini, p. 609. Chronic. Alberici Trium Fontium, p. 796.