Page 1438

1438 UNIVERSAL HISTORYTHE MODERN WORLD.

in preparation for the space of two years, the

diabolical plot was carried out. The massacre

began in Palermo, and spread from town to

town, wherever the French had made settlements, until at least eight thousand innocent

people had been butchered. This infamous

outrage against human life is known in history

as the Sicilian Vespers a fitting prelude to

the massacre of St. Bartholomew.

In the year 1285 Philip the Third found it

necessary to undertake a war with Pedro, king

of Aragon. That ruler had presumed to set

at naught the settlement sanctioned by the

Pope, by which the crown of Aragon was to