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and surrounded her sons with those who were the most capable of teaching them all that was then known. She gave to the masters whom she chose an authority, over the princes, as absolute as they could have had over the children of a citizen; and as the ferula was then the only system of education known to the pedants,“
so, as the blessed king himself used to say, the aforesaid master flogged him many times to teach him things of discipline.”? But above all, Blanche endeavoured to inspire her children with the same religious sentiments by which she herself was actuated; and the education which she gave them constantly tended to the developement of that piety, and that ardent faith, which was the spring of all their actions.
1227. Blanche, at the same time that she had to contend with her great barons, for the sovereign authority, and to maintain her relations with the king of England, found herself charged with the war which her husband, according to the exhortation of the holy see, had, in the preceding year, carried on against the Albigenses. But, although the army of Louis VIII had been almost destroyed there by sickness, the regent had no reason to fear the vengeance of the inhabitants of the countship of Toulouse, to whom, under the pretence of their attachment to heresy, so much evil bad been done. They were crushed under the weight
* Vie de St. Louis par le confesseur de la reine Marguerite, ch. ii, p. 301.
of long-protracted calamities, and desired nothing so much as a short season of repose. The cardinal, Romano di Sant. Angelo, had full authority from the pope to regulate the ecclesiastical government of the conquered country. In the beginning of January, he gave judgment upon the demand made by the citizens of Avignon, to be reconciled to the church. He prohibited them from affording any succours to the count of Toulouse, or any asylum to the heretics. He condemned them to a fine of a thousand marks of silver to the church, and of six thousand to the army of the crusaders. He commanded them to demolish their walls, their ramparts, and their towers, without the liberty of rebuilding them, unless they should obtain permission from the king of France and the church. On these conditions he was willing to free them from the excommunication which they had incurred; but, at the same time, he destined the money that he had extorted from them, to fortifying the castle of Saint André, on the other side of the Rhone, which was intended to keep them in obedience.8
During lent, in the same year, Peter, archbishop of Narbonne, presided at a council in his episcopal city, the canons of which, to the number of twenty, were all intended to redouble the rigours of persecution against the Jews and the heretics, the count of Toulouse, the count of Foix, and the viscount of Beziers, and to augment the authority
8 Hist. gen. du Languedoc, xxiv, ch. xxix, p. 364.
of the ecclesiastics. It was there ordered, that a testament should not be held valid, unless it was signed in the presence of the curate; and that, in each parish, assistants to the inquisitors, under the name of synodical witnesses, should be instituted for the discovery of those whose faith might be suspected.
In spite of the discouragement of his subjects, the abandonment of his allies, and the accumulation of sacerdotal hatred, the count of Toulouse endeavoured to profit by the retreat of the crusaders, to attack Humbert de Beaujeu, whom Louis VIII had, at his departure, left as his lieutenant of the province. He could only take from him the castle of Haute-Rive, four leagues from Toulouse, which he had attacked during the winter;l but, this event was sufficient to excite the French clergy to make the court of Rome resound with their clamours. They accused the queen of continuing to raise the tenths of the ecclesiastical benefices, granted for five years to her husband, without, at the same time, continuing the war against the heretics, which alone could render this exaction legitimate. They even obtained an order from Gregory IX, who had succeeded in the pontificate to Honorius III, to suspend the payment. The cardinal of Sant. Angelo, who was
9 Hist. de Languedoc, liv. xxiv. ch. xxxii, p. 365. Concilia generalia Labbei, tom. xi, p. 304.
1 Guill. de Podio Laurentii, cap. xxxvii, p. 689. 2 Raynaldi Ann. Eccles. 1227, art. 56.
entirely devoted to Blanche, found means to revoke the order; but, at the same time, gave the queen to understand, that it was to her interest to continue the war. She sent some assistance to Humbert de Beaujeu, who, by the help of this reinforcement, was enabled to lay siege to the castle Bécéde, in Lauraguais. The archbishop of Narbonne, and Fouquet, bishop of Toulouse, when the Albigenses called the bishop of devils, proceeded to this siege. Pons de Villeneuve, and Olivier de Fermes, who commanded in the castle, not being able to prolong their defence, succeeded one night in escaping with part of the garrison; the rest were either knocked on the head, or put to the sword by the conquerors. Fouquet did, however, save the lives of some women and children; and he, in like manner, rescued from the hands of the soldiers, though it was that they might perish in the flames, Girard de la Mote, pastor of the heretics of Bécéde, and all those who formed his flock.*
Thus, the cruelty of the persecutors was not yet satiated; still it frequently displayed itself by punishments, and during all the period on which we are now entering, the repressive measures, adopted by the councils, acquired each year more severity, and gave to the inquisition an organiza
3 Guill. Nangii Chronic. in spicil. tom. iii, p. 31.
4 Guill. de Podio Laurentii, cap. xxxvii, p. 689. p. 775.
Præclara Franc. facin.
tion still more terrible. Nevertheless, that fanaticism, which had armed the first crusaders against the Albigenses, was abated ; nobody now regarded Christianity as in danger from the progress of reform, nobody was anxious to save the church from the invasion of thought, and no one longed for the moment when he might rejoice at the burning of the heretics, or bathe himself in their blood. To an outrageous phrensy had succeeded a calm indifference; yet, toleration had gained nothing by the exchange. Kings, nobles, priests, and people, were all agreed in thinking, that heretics must be destroyed by fire and sword. An injurious name, which recalled the Bulgarian origin of the sect, was given to all who had undertaken to bring back morals to their purity, faith to its spirituality, and the church to its original simplicity. A cold contempt alone was vouchsafed to those beings who had been animated by such generous sentiments, and had suffered so much affliction, as if they had in them nothing human, nothing capable of feeling, nothing with which the heart of man could sympathise. Their very punishment excited no emotion, not even that of hatred, because it no longer required an effort to crush them.
Reason, however, began afresh to attempt the examination of religious questions; but it was not to those controversies treated of by the Albigenses, that attention was directed. From them the