From Villani, Giovanni, Selfe, Rose E., translator. Villani’s Chronicle being selections from the First Nine Books of the Croniche Fiorentine of Giovanni Villani. London: Archibald Constable & Co. LTD, 1906; pp. -198.
The people of Florence, having taken the ill resolve to
1260 A. D. raise an army, craved assistance from their friends, which came with foot soldiers and with horse, from Lucca, and Bologna, and Pistoia, and Prato, and Volterra, and Samminiato, and Sangimignano, and from Colle di Valdelsa, which were in league with the commonwealth and people of Florence; and in Florence there were 800 horsemen of the citizens and more than 500 mercenaries. And the said people being assembled in Florence, the host set forth in the end of August, and for pomp and display they led out the carroccio, and a bell, which they called Martinella, on a car with a wooden tower on wheels, and there went out nearly all the people with the banners of the guilds, and there did not remain a house or a family in Florence which went not forth on foot or on horseback, at least one for each house, and for some two or more, according to their power. And when they found themselves in the territory of Siena, at the place agreed upon, on the river Arbia, at the place called Montaperti, with the men of Perugia and of Orvieto, which there joined with the Florentines, there were gathered together more than 3,000 horse and more 178
1260 A. D. than 30,000 foot. And whilst the host of the Florentines was thus preparing, the aforesaid framers of the plot, which were in Siena, in order that it might be the more fully accomplished, sent to Florence certain other friars to hatch treason with certain Ghibelline magnates and popolani which had not been exiled from Florence, and would therefore have to join the general muster of the army. With these, then, they plotted that when they were drawn up for battle, they should from divers quarters flee from their companies, and repair to their own party, to confound the Florentine army. And this plot they made because they seemed to themselves to be but few in comparison with the Florentines; and so it was done.
Now it happened that when the said host was on the hills of Montaperti, those sage Ancients who were leading the host, and had managed the negotiations, were awaiting the opening of the promised gate by the traitors from within. A magnate from among the people, a Florentine from the gate of S. Piero, which was a Ghibelline, and was named Razzante, having heard something of the expectation of the Florentine host, was commissioned by consent of the Ghibellines in the camp which were meditating the treason, to enter Siena; whereupon he fled on horseback from the camp to make known to the Florentine refugees how the city of Siena was to be betrayed, and how the Florentines were well equipped, and with great strength of horse and foot, and to urge those within not to advise battle. And when he was come unto Siena, and these things had been disclosed to the said M. Farinata and M. Gherardo, the plotters, they said thus to him: “Thou wilt slay us, if thou spreadest this news throughout
Siena, inasmuch as fear will fall upon every man, but
1260 A. D. we desire that thou shouldest say the contrary; for if we do not fight while we have these Germans we are dead men, and shall never return to Florence, and for us death and defeat would be better than to crawl about the world any longer:” and their counsel was to try the fortune of battle. Razzante, instructed by these two aforesaid, determined and promised to speak thus; and with a garland on his head, on horseback with the said two, showing great gladness, he came to the parliament to the palace where were all the people of Siena and the Germans and other allies; and then, with a joyful countenance, he told great news from the Ghibelline party and the traitors in camp, how the host was ill-ordered and ill-led, and disunited, and that if they attacked them boldly, they would certainly be discomfited. And Razzante having made his false report, at the cry of the people they all moved to arms, calling out: “Battle, battle.” The Germans demanded a promise of double pay, and this was given them; and their troop led the attack from the gate of San Vito, which was to have been given over to the Florentines; and the other horse and foot sallied out after them. When those among the host which were expecting that the gate should be given to them saw the Germans and the other horse and foot sally forth towards them from Siena in battle array, they marvelled greatly, and were sore dismayed, seeing their sudden approach and unlooked-for attack; and they were the more dismayed that many Ghibellines who were in the host, both on horse and foot, beholding the enemy’s troops approaching, fled from divers quarters, as the treason had been ordered; and among them were the della Pressa and they of the Abati, and many 180
1260 A. D. others. But the Florentines and their allies did not on this account neglect to array their troops, and await the battle; and when the German troop violently charged the troop of Florentine horse (where was the standard of the cavalry of the commonwealth, which was borne by M. Jacopo del Nacca, a man of great valour, of the house of the Pazzi in Florence), that traitor of a M.
78-111. Bocca degli Abati, which was in his troop and near to him, struck the said M. Jacopo with his sword, and cut off the hand with which he held the standard, and immediately he died. And this done, the horsemen and people, beholding the standard fallen, and that there were traitors among them, and that they were so strongly assailed by the Germans, in a short time were put to flight. But because the horsemen of Florence first perceived the treason, there were but thirty-six men of name of the cavalry slain and taken. But the great mortality and capture was of the foot soldiers of Florence, and of Lucca, and of Orvieto, because they shut themselves up in the castle of Montaperti, and were all
85-87 taken; but more than 2,500 of them were left dead upon the field, and more than 1,500 were taken captive of the best of the people of Florence, from every house, and of Lucca, and of the other allies which were in the said battle. And thus was abased the arrogance of the ungrateful and proud people of Florence. And this was on a Tuesday, the 4th day of September, in the year of Christ 1260; and there was left the carroccio and the bell called Martinella, with an untold amount of booty, of the baggage pertaining to the Florentines and their allies. And thus was routed and destroyed the ancient Popolo of Florence, which had continued in so many victories and in great lordship and state for ten years.
The news of the grievous discomfiture being come to Florence, and the miserable fugitives returning therefrom, there arose so great a lamentation both of men and of women in Florence that it reached unto the heavens, forasmuch as there was not a house in Florence, small or great, whereof there was not one slain or taken; and from Lucca, and from the territory there were a great number, and from Orvieto. For the which thing the heads of the Guelfs, both nobles and popolari, which had returned from the defeat, and those which were in Florence, were dismayed and fearful, and feared lest the exiles should come from Siena with the German troops, perceiving that the rebel Ghibellines and those under bounds which were absent from the city were beginning to return thereto. Wherefore the Guelfs, without being banished or driven out, went forth with their families, weeping, from Florence, and betook themselves to Lucca
x. 48. on Thursday, the 13th day of September, in the year of Christ 1260. These were the chief families of the Guelf refugees from Florence: of the sesto of Oltrarno, the Rossi, and the Nerli, and part of the Mannelli, the Bardi, and the Mozzi, and the Frescobaldi; the notable popolani of the said sesto were the Canigiani, Magli, and Macchiavelli, the Belfredelli and the Orciolini, Aglioni, Rinucci, Barbadori, and the Battincenni, and Soderini, and Malduri and Ammirati. Of San Piero Scheraggio, the nobles: Gherardini, Lucardesi, Cavalcanti, Bagnesi, Pulci, Guidalotti, Malispini, Foraboschi, Manieri, they of Quona, Sacchetti, Compiobbesi; the popolani, Magalotti, Mancini, Bucelli, and they of the Antella. Of the sesto of Borgo, the nobles: the Bondelmonti, Scali, 182
1260 A. D. Spini, Gianfigliazzi, Giandonati, Bostichi, Altoviti, the Ciampoli, Baldovinetti and others. Of the sesto of San Brancazio, the nobles: Tornaquinci, Vecchietti, and part of the Pigli, Minerbetti, Becchenugi, and Bordoni and others. Of the Porte del Duomo: the Tosinghi, Arrigucci, Agli, Sizii, Marignolli, and Ser Brunetto Latini and his family, and many others. Of the Porte San Piero: Adimari, Pazzi, Visdomini, and part of the Donati. Of the branch of the Scolari there were left della Bella, the Carci, the Ghiberti, the Guidalotti di Balla, the Mazzochi, the Uccellini, Boccatonde; and beside these magnates and popolani of each sesto were put under bounds. And for this departure the Guelfs were much to be blamed, inasmuch as the city of Florence was very strong, and with walls, and with moats full of water, and could well have been defended and held; but the judgment of God in punishing sins must needs hold on its course without hindrance; and to whomsoever God intends ill, from him He takes away wisdom and knowledge. And the Guelfs having departed on Thursday, the Sunday after being the 16th of September, the exiles from Florence which had been at the battle of Montaperti, with Count Giordano and with his German troops, and with the other soldiers of the Ghibellines of Tuscany, enriched by the spoil of the Florentines and of the other Guelfs of Tuscany, entered into the city of Florence without hindrance, and immediately they made Guido Novello of the Counts Guidi, Podestà of Florence for King Manfred, from the first day of the coming January for two years, and his judgment hall was the old palace of the people at Santo Apollinari, the stair of which was on the outer wall. And a little while after he caused the Ghibelline gate to 183 be made, and the road out to be opened; to the intent
1260 A. D. that by that way, which corresponds with the palace, there might be entrance and exit at need, and he might bring his retainers from Casentino into Florence to guard him and the city. And because it was done in the time of the Ghibellines, the gate and the road took the name of Ghibelline. This Count Guido caused all the citizens which remained in Florence to swear fealty to King Manfred, and by reason of promises made to the Sienese he caused five castles of the territory of Florence which were on their frontier to be destroyed; and there remained in Florence as captain of the host, and vicar-general for King Manfred, the said Count Giordano, with the German troops in the pay of the Florentines, who greatly persecuted the Guelfs in many parts of Tuscany, as we shall make mention hereafter; and took all their goods, and destroyed many palaces and towers pertaining to the Guelfs, and took their goods for the benefit of the commonwealth. The said Count Giordano was a gentleman of Piedmont in Lombardy, and kinsman of the mother of Manfred, and by his prowess, and because he was very faithful to Manfred, and in life and customs as worldly-minded as he, he made him a count, and gave him lands in Apulia, and from small estate raised him to great lordship.
When the news of the aforesaid defeat came to the
1260 A. D. court of Rome, the Pope and the cardinals who loved the state of Holy Church felt much grief and compassion thereat, alike for the Florentines, and also because 184
1260 A. D.
Inf. x. 120. thereby the state and power of Manfred, the enemy of the Church, would increase; but Cardinal Ottaviano degli Ubaldini, which was a Ghibelline, rejoiced greatly thereat; wherefore Cardinal Bianco, which was a great astrologer and master of necromancy, seeing this, said: if Cardinal Ottaviano knew the future of this war of the Florentines, he would not be rejoicing thus. The college of cardinals prayed him that he would declare himself more openly. Cardinal Bianco would not speak, because to speak of
Cf. Inf. xx.
100-107. the future seemed to him to be unlawful to his office, but the cardinals so prayed the Pope that he commanded him on his obedience to speak. Having received the said command, he said in brief words: the conquered shall conquer victoriously, and shall not be conquered for ever. This was interpreted to mean that
x. 51. the Guelfs, conquered and driven out of Florence, should victoriously return to power, and should never again lose their state and lordship in Florence.
After the same fashion that the Guelfs of Florence departed, so did those of Prato and of Pistoia, and of Volterra, and of Samminiato, and of San Gimignano, and of many other cities and villages of Tuscany, which all returned to the party of the Ghibellines save the city of Lucca, the which held to the party of the Guelfs for a time, and was a refuge for the Guelfs of Florence, and for the other exiles of Tuscany, the which Guelfs of Florence took their stand in Lucca in the quarter around San Friano; and the loggia in front of San Friano was made by the Florentines. And when the Florentines
found themselves in this place, Messer Tegghiaio Aldo
1260 A. D.brandi, seeing Spedito who had insulted him in the council and bade him look to his breeches, drew himself up and took from his pouch five hundred florins of gold that he had, and showed them to Spedito (who had fled from Florence in great poverty), and said to him reproachfully, “Just look at the state of my breeches! Thus is what you have brought yourself and me and the rest to, by your rash and overbearing lordship.” And Spedito answered, “Then why did you trust us?” We have made mention of these paltry and base altercations
xxx.148. as a warning, that no citizen, especially if he be a popolano and of small account, when he chances to be in office, should be too bold or presumptuous. At this time the Pisans, the Sienese, and they of Arezzo, with the said Count Giordano, and with the other Ghibelline leaders, caused a council to be held at Empoli, to establish the Ghibelline party in Tuscany, and to form a league; and so it was done. And forasmuch as Count Giordano must needs return into Apulia, to King Manfred, by command of the said Manfred there was proclaimed as his vicar-general and captain of the host in Tuscany, Count Guido Novello of the Counts Guidi of Casentino and of Modigliana, who factiously forsook Count Simone his brother, and Count Guido Guerra his fellow, and all those of his branch of the family which held to the Guelf party; and he was desirous to drive out of Tuscany every Guelf. And at the said council all the neighbouring cities, and the Counts Guidi, and the
111. Counts Alberti, and they of Santafiore, and the Ubaldini, and all the barons around took counsel, and were all of one mind how for the good of the Ghibelline party the city of Florence should be utterly destroyed and reduced 186
1260 A. D. to open villages, to the intent there might remain neither renown, nor fame, nor power of its might. To withstand which proposal uprose the valiant and wise knight, Messer Farinata degli Uberti, and in his saying he introduced two ancient proverbs of the street which say: “As the ass has wit, so he munches his rape” [i.e., every one does his business according to his capacity, such as it is], and “Lame goats can go if they meet no wolf” [I.e., any one can get on if there are no difficulties]; and these two proverbs he wove togeher, saying: “As the ass has wit, lame goats can go; so he munches his rape if they meet no wold,” adroitly turning the vulgar proverbs to examples and comparisons to show the folly of thus speaking, and the great peril and hurt that might follow thereupon; and saying that if there were none other
91-93. than he, whilst he had life in his body he would defend the city with sword in hand. Count Giordano perceiving this, and what manner of man and of what authority was Messer Farinata, and his great following, and how the Ghibelline party might be broken up and come to discord, abandoned the idea, and took other counsel, so that by one good man and citizen our city of Florence was saved from so great fury, destruction, and ruin. But afterwards the said people of Florence were ungrateful and forgetful towards the said Messer Farinata, and his
83, 84. progeny and descendants, as hereafter we shall make mention. But in despite of the forgetfulness of the ungrateful people, nevertheless we ought to commend and keep in notable memory the good and virtuous citizen, who acted after the fashion of the good Roman Camillus of old, as we are told by Valerius and Titus Livius.
In those times the Guelf refugees from Florence and from the other cities of Tuscany, perceiving themselves to be thus persecuted by the forces of Manfred and of the Ghibellines of Tuscany, and seeing that no lord was rising against the forces of Manfred, and also that the Church had but little power against him, thought within themselves to send their ambassadors into Germany to stir up the little Conradino, offering him much aid and favour, against Manfred, his uncle, who was falsely holding the kingdom of Sicily and of Apulia; and this was done, for from among the chief of the Florentine exiles there went as ambassadors, with those of the commonwealth of Lucca. And the Guelf exiles from Florence were represented by M. Bonaccorso Bellincioni of the Adimari, and M. Simone Donati. And they found Conradino so young a boy that his mother would in no wise consent to let him go from her, albeit with will and with mind she was greatly against Manfred and held him as an enemy and rebel against Conradino. And the said ambassadors, when they returned from Germany, as a token and earnest of the coming of Conradino, caused him to give them his mantle lined with miniver, which being brought to Lucca caused great rejoicing among the Guelfs, and it was shown in S. Friano of Lucca, as if it had been a relic. But the Guelfs of Tuscany did not know the future destiny, how the said Conradino should become their enemy.
1263 A. D. After the miserable Guelfs which had been driven from Florence and from all the cities of Tuscany (whereof none held with the Guelf party) were come into the city of Bologna, they abode there long time in great want and poverty, some receiving pay to serve on foot, and some on horse, and some without pay. It came to pass in those times that the inhabitants of the city of Modena, Guelfs and Ghibellines, came to dissension and civic strife among themselves, as it is the custom of the cities of Lombardy to assemble and fight on the piazza of the commonwealth; and many days they were opposed the one to the other without either side being able to win the victory. It came to pass that the Guelfs sent for succour to Bologna, and especially to the Guelf refugees from Florence, which straightway, as needy folk, and making war for their own behoof, went thither on horse and on foot, as each best could. And when they came to Modena a gate was opened to them by the Guelfs, and they were admitted; and straightway when they were come upon the piazza of Modena, as brave men and used to arms and to war, they attacked the Ghibellines, which could not long endure, but were defeated and slain and driven out of 189 the city, and their houses and their goods spoiled, by
1263 A. D. reason of which booty the said Guelf refugees from Florence and from the rest of Tuscany were much enriched, and furnished themselves with horses and with arms, whereof they were in great need, and this was in the year of Christ 1263. And whilst they were in Modena, a little while after, in the same manner as in Modena, fighting began in the city of Reggio in Lombardy, between the Guelfs and the Ghibellines; and when the Guelfs of Reggio sent for aid to the Guelf refugees from Florence, which were in Modena, straightway they went thither, and they chose as their captain Messer Forese degli Adimari. And when they were come to Reggio they joined in the battle on the piazza, which endured long time, forasmuch as the Ghibellines of Reggio were very powerful, and among them was one called Caca of Reggio, on whose name wit is spilled in gibes even yet. This man was well-nigh as tall as a giant, and of marvellous strength, and he had an iron club in his hand, and none dared to approach him whom he did not fell to the earth, either slain or maimed, and by him the battle was well-nigh wholly sustained. When the gentlemen in banishment from Florence perceived this, they chose among them twelve of the most valiant, and called them the twelve paladins, which, with daggers in hand, all set upon that valiant man, which, after very brave defence, and beating down many of his enemies, was struck down to the earth and slain upon the piazza; and so soon as the Ghibellines saw their champion on the ground, they took to flight and were discomfited and driven out of Reggio; and if the Guelf refugees from Florence and from the other cities of Tuscany were enriched by the spoil of the Ghibellines of Modena, 190
1263 A. D. much more were they enriched by that of the Ghibellines of Reggio; and they all provided themselves with horses, so that in a short time, while they abode in Reggio and in Modena, they numbered more than 400 horsemen, good men-at-arms well mounted, and they came at great need to the succour of Charles, count of Anjou and of Provence, when he came into Apulia against Manfred, as we shall hereafter relate. We will now leave the doings of Florence, and of the Guelf refugees, and turn to the things which came to pass in those times between the Church of Rome and Manfred.
By reason of the discomfiture of the Florentines, and
1261 A. D. of the other Guelfs of Tuscany at Montaperti, as we have afore said, King Manfred rose to great lordship and state, and all the imperial party in Tuscany and in Lombardy greatly increased in power, and the Church and all its devout and faithful followers were much abased in all places. It came to pass that a very little while after, in the said year 1260, Pope Alexander passed from this life in the city of Viterbo, and the Church was vacant without a pastor for five months through the disputings among the cardinals; afterwards they elected Pope Urban IV., of the city of Troyes, of Champagne in France, the which was of low origin, being son of a cobbler, but was a man of worth, and wise. But his election was in this fashion: he was a poor clerk which came to the court of Rome to plead a cause about his Church, which had been taken from him, which brought 191 in twenty poungd tournois a year. The cardinals, by reason
1261 A. D. of their disputes, locked the doors when they were shut up, and made among themselves a secret decree that the first clerk which knocked at the door should be Pope. As it pleased God this Urban was the first, and where he came to plead for the poor church of twenty pounds tournois revenue, he received the Universal Church, after the ordinances of God, as fixed in the election of the blessed Nicholas. Because the election was miraculous, therefore have we made mention and record thereof. And he was consecrated the year of Christ 1261. Finding the Church much beaten down by the power of Manfred, which was occupying the greater part of Italy, and had stationed the host of his Saracens of Nocera in the lands of the patrimony of S. Peter, the said Urban preached a crusade against them; wherefore many faithful people took the cross and marched in the army against them. For the which cause, the Saracens fled into Apulia, but Manfred did not therefore cease to molest the Pope and the Church in their followers and troops, and he abode now in Sicily and now in Apulia, in great luxury and in great delights, following a worldly and epicurean life, and for his pleasure keeping many concubines, living lasciviously, and it seemed that he cared neither for God nor for the saints. But God, the just Lord, which, through grace, delays His judgments upon
18. sinners to the intent they may bethink them, but in the end does not pardon those who do not turn to Him, presently sent forth His curse and ruin upon Manfred, when he believed himself to be in the height of his state and lordship, as hereafter we shall make mention.
The said Pope Urban and the Church being thus
1263 A. D.
xx. 67-69. brought down by the power of Manfred, and the two Emperors-elect (to wit, the Spaniard and the Englishman) not being in concord nor having power to come into Italy, and Conradino, son of King Conrad, to whom pertained by inheritance the kingdom of Sicily and of Apulia, being so young a boy that he could not as yet come against Manfred, the said Pope, by reason of the importunity of many faithful followers of the Church, the which by Manfred’s violence had been driven from their lands, and especially by reason of the Guelf exiles from Florence and from Tuscany who were continually pursuing the court, complaining of their woes at the feet of
1263 A. D. the Pope, the said Pope Urban called a great council of his cardinals and of many prelates, and made this proposal: seeing the Church was subjugated by Manfred, and since those of his house and lineage had always been enemies and persecutors of Holy Church, not being grateful for many benefits received, if it seemed well to them, he had thought to release Holy Church from bondage and restore her to her state and liberty, and this might be done by summoning Charles, count of Anjou and of Provence, son of the king of France, and brother of the good King Louis, the which was the most capable prince in prowess of arms and in every virtue that there was in his time, and of so powerful a house as that of France, and who might be the champion of Holy Church and king of Sicily and of Apulia, regaining it by force from King Manfred, which was holding it unjustly by force, and was excommunicated and condemned, and was against the will of Holy Church, and as it were a rebel 193 against her; and he trusted so much in the prowess of
1263 A. D. the said Charles, and of the barons of France, which would follow him, that he did not doubt but that he would oppose Manfred and take from him the lands and all the Kingdom in short time, and would put the Church in great state. To the which counsel all the cardinals and prelates agreed, and they elected the said Charles to be king of Sicily and of Apulia, him and his descendants down to the fourth generation after him, and the election being confirmed, they sent forth the decree; and this was the year of Christ 1263.
When the said invitation was carried to France by the Cardinal Simon of Tours to the said Charles, he took counsel thereupon with King Louis of France and with the count of Artois, and with the count of Alençon, his brother, and with the other great barons of France, and by all he was counselled that in the name of God he should undertake the said emprise in the service of Holy Church, and to bear the dignity of crown and Kingdom. And the King Louis of France, his elder brother, proffered him aid in men and in money, and likewise offers were made to him by all the barons of France. And his lady, which was youngest daughter to the good Count
128. Raymond Berenger, of Provence, through whom he had the heritage of the county of Provence, when she heard of the election of the Count Charles, her husband, to the intent that she might become queen, pledged all her jewels and invited all the bachelors-at-arms of France and of Provence to rally round her standard and to make 194
1263 A. D. her queen. And this was largely by reason of the contempt and disdain which a little while before had been shown to her by her three elder sisters, which were all queens, making her sit a degree lower than they, for which cause, with great grief, she had made complaint thereof to Charles, her husband, which answered her: “Be at peace, for I will shortly make thee a greater queen than them;” for which cause she sought after and obtained the best barons of France for her service, and those who did most in the emprise. And thus Charles wrought in his preparations with all solicitude and power, and made answer to the Pope and to the cardinals, by the said cardinal legate, how he had accepted their election, and how, without loss of time, he would come into Italy with a strong arm and great force to defend Holy Church, and against Manfred, to drive him from the lands of Sicily and Apulia; by the which news the Church and all her followers, and whosoever was on the side of the Guelfs, were much comforted and took great courage. When Manfred heard the news, he furnished himself for defence with men and money, and with the force of the Ghibelline party in Lombardy and in Tuscany, which were of his league and alliance, he enlisted and equipped many more folk than he had before, and caused them to come from Germany for his defence, to the intent the said Charles and his French following might not be able to enter into Italy or to proceed to Rome; and with money and with promises he gathered a great part of the lords and of the cities of Italy under his lordship, and in Lombardy he made vicar the Marquis Pallavicino of Piedmont, his kinsman, which much resembled him in person and in habits. And likewise he caused great defences to be prepared at sea, of 195 armed galleys of his Sicilians and Apulians, and of the
1263 A. D. Pisans which were in league with him, and they feared but little the coming of the said Charles, whom they called, in contempt, Little Charles. And forasmuch as Manfred thought himself, and was, lord over sea and land, and is Ghibelline party was uppermost and ruled over Tuscany and Lombardy, he held his coming for nought.
Since in the chapter above we have told of the worthy lady, wife of King Charles and daughter of the good Count Raymond Berenger, of Provence, it is fitting that something should briefly be said of the said count, to whom King Charles was heir. Count Raymond was a lord of gentle lineage, and kin to them of the house of Aragon, and to the family of the count of Toulouse, By inheritance Provence, this side of the Rhone, was his; a wise and courteous lord was he, and of noble state and virtuous, and in his time did honourable deeds, and to his court came all gentle persons of Provence and of France and of Catalonia, by reason of his courtesy and noble estate, and he made many Provencal coblas and canzoni of great worth. There came to his court a certain Romeo [pilgrim], who was returning from S. James’,
34-52. hearing the goodness of Count Raymond, abode in his court, and was so wise and valorous, and came so much into favour with the count, that he made him master and steward of all that he had; who always continued in virtuous and religious living, and in a short time, by his industry and prudence, increased his master’s revenue threefold, maintaining always a great and 196 honourable court. And being at war with the count of Toulouse on the borders of their lands (and the count of Toulouse was the greatest count in the world, and under him he had fourteen counts), by the courtesy of Count Raymond, and by the wisdom of the good Romeo, and by the treasure which he had gathered, he had so many barons and knights that he was victorious in the war, and that with honour. Four daughters had the count, and no male child. By prudence and care the good Romeo first married the eldest for him to the good King Louis of France by giving money with her, saying to the count, “Leave it to me, and do not grudge the cost, for if thou marryest the first well, thou will marry all the others the better for the sake of her kinship, and at less cost.” And so it came to pass; for straightway the king of England, to be of kin to the king of France, took the second with little money; afterwards his carnal brother, being the king elect of the Romans, after the same manner took the third; the fourth being still to marry, the good Romeo said, “For this one I desire that thou should’st have a brave man for thy son, who may be thine heir,” — and so he did. Finding Charles, count of Anjou, brother of King Louis of France, he said, “Give her to him, for he is like to be the best man in the world,” prophesying of him; and this was done. And it came to pass afterwards, through envy, which destroys all good, that the barons of Provence accused the good Romeo that he had managed the count’s treasure ill, and they called upon him to give an account; the worthy Romeo said, “Count, I have served thee long while, and raised thy estate from small to great, and for this, through the false counsel of thy people, thou art little grateful: I came to thy court a poor 197 pilgrim, and I have lived virtuously here; give me back my mule, my staff, and my scrip, as I came here, and I renounce thy service.” The count would not that he should depart; but for nought that he could do would he remain; and as he came, so he departed, and no one knew whence he came or whither he went. But many held that he was a sainted soul.