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schal 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
3 Guil, de Podio Laur. cap. xxxvi, p. 688.
Præclara Francor. facinor.
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, bad 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 distinguished both for his birth and valour, and took the road towards Auvergne in his way to Northern France.4
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
4 Hist. de Languedoc, liv. xxiv, ch. xxiii-xxvi, p. 359—362.
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
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 Monust. tom, xviii, p. 210. Chron. Turon. p. 317. Andrenses Monast. Chron. tom. xviii, p. 580. Jounnis Iperii Chron. sancti Bertini, p. 609. Chronic. Alberici Trium Fontium, p: 796.
Affairs of the Albigenses from the Death of Louis VIII,
1226, to the Peace of Paris, 1229; and its final ratification, 1242.
At the death of Louis VIII, the monarchy which had been raised to a high degree of power, by the skill and good fortune of Philip Augustus, appeared in danger of falling into that state of turbulent anarchy from which he had with difficulty rescued it. He had obtained great advantages over bis vassals, which his son, during his short reign, had not had time to lose; but those vassals had still the consciousness of their strength, and the love of that independence of which they had been so recently deprived. To keep them in their obedience a high degree of energy was required in the depositaries of the royal authority, and that authority was confided in a woman and a child.
Louis VIII had married on the 23rd of May, 1200, Blanche, daughter of Alphonso IX of Castille; he had eleven children by her, five of whom survived him. Blanche was born, according to Bollandus, in 1188, and most probably three or
6 Bollandus, 30 Mai, p. 291.
four years sooner, so that she was, at the death of her husband, at least thirty-eight years of age. Louis, the eldest of her sons, born the 25th of April, 1215, was, at that time, eleven years and a half; Robert, the eldest of his other three sons, was ten years; Alphonso, the second, seven; the youngest, Charles, was only six, and the daughter, Elizabeth, was only two years old.
Blanche was a Spaniard, and possessed of the qualities common to her nation, the qualities peculiar to great minds. She was handsome; her heart was ardent and tender; religion partly occupied it, but love was not excluded; and her deportment, especially towards the king of Narvarre, and the pope's legate, gave some colour of probability to the reports which her enemies circulated against her. Jealous of her authority, jealous of the affections of those whom she loved, even when she married her sons, she was still watchful to prevent their wives obtaining an ascendancy over them which might interfere with her own; she had, besides, inspired them with a high idea of her prudence and capacity. She possessed their love, but that love was mingled with fear, and even when she placed them on the throne, she did not accustom them to relax in their obedience. Although she was herself, probably, destitute of a literary education, which was in those times rarely given even to men, she comprehended the advantage of useful studies,