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Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions by Charles Mackay

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out. They had come in contact with a people more civilized than
themselves; they had seen something more of the world, and had lost
some portion, however small, of the prejudice and bigotry of
ignorance. The institution of chivalry had also exercised its
humanizing influence, and coming bright and fresh through the ordeal
of the Crusades, had softened the character and improved the hearts of
the aristocratic order. The Trouveres and Troubadours, singing of love
and war in strains pleasing to every class of society, helped to root
out the gloomy superstitions which, at the first Crusade, filled the
minds of all those who were able to think. Men became in consequence
less exclusively under the mental thraldom of the priesthood, and lost
much of the credulity which formerly distinguished them.

The Crusades appear never to have excited so much attention in
England as on the continent of Europe; not because the people were
less fanatical than their neighbours, but because they were occupied
in matters of graver interest. The English were suffering too severely
from the recent successful invasion of their soil, to have much
sympathy to bestow upon the distresses of people so far away as the
Christians of Palestine; and we find that they took no part in the
first Crusade, and very little in the second. Even then those who
engaged in it were chiefly Norman knights and their vassals, and not
the Saxon franklins and population, who no doubt thought, in their
sorrow, as many wise men have thought since, that charity should begin
at home.

Germany was productive of more zeal in the cause, and her raw,
uncivilized hordes continued to issue forth under the banners of the
Cross in numbers apparently undiminished, when the enthusiasm had long
been on the wane in other countries. They were sunk at that time in a
deeper slough of barbarism than the livelier nations around them, and
took, in consequence, a longer period to free themselves from their
prejudices. In fact, the second Crusade drew its chief supplies of men
from that quarter, where alone the expedition can be said to have
retained any portion of popularity.

Such was the state of the mind of Europe when Pope Eugenius, moved
by the reiterated entreaties of the Christians of Syria, commissioned
St. Bernard to preach a new crusade. St. Bernard was a man eminently
qualified for the mission. He was endowed with an eloquence of the
highest order, could move an auditory to tears, or laughter, or fury,
as it pleased him, and had led a life of such rigid and self-denying
virtue, that not even calumny could lift her finger and point it at
him. He had renounced high prospects in the church, and contented
himself with the simple abbacy of Clairvaux, in order that he might
have the leisure he desired, to raise his powerful voice against
abuses wherever he found them. Vice met in him an austere and
uncompromising reprover; no man was too high for his reproach, and
none too low for his sympathy. He was just as well suited for his age
as Peter the Hermit had been for the age preceding. He appealed more
to the reason, his predecessor to the passions; Peter the Hermit
collected a mob, while St. Bernard collected an army. Both were
endowed with equal zeal and perseverance, springing, in the one, from
impulse, and in the other from conviction, and a desire to increase
the influence of the church, that great body of which he was a pillar
and an ornament.

One of the first converts he made was in himself a host. Louis
VII. was both superstitious and tyrannical, and, in a fit of remorse
for the infamous slaughter he had authorised at the sacking of Vitry,
he made a vow to undertake the journey to the Holy Land. [The sacking
of Vitry reflects indelible disgrace upon Louis VII. His predecessors
had been long engaged in resistance to the outrageous powers assumed
by the Popes, and Louis continued the same policy. The ecclesiastical
chapter of Bourges, having elected an Archbishop without his consent,
he proclaimed the election to be invalid, and took severe and prompt
measures against the refractory clergy. Thibault, Count de Champagne,
took up arms in defence of the Papal authority, and intrenched himself
in the town of Vitry. Louis was immediately in the field to chastise
the rebel, and he besieged the town with so much vigour, that the
Count was forced to surrender. Upwards of thirteen hundred of the
inhabitants, fully one half of whom were women and children, took
refuge in the church; and, when the gates of the city were opened, and
all resistance had ceased, Louis inhumanly gave orders to set fire to
the church, and a thousand persons perished in the flames.] He was in
this disposition when St. Bernard began to preach, and wanted but
little persuasion to embark in the cause. His example had great
influence upon the nobility, who, impoverished as many of them were by
the sacrifices made by their fathers in the holy wars, were anxious to
repair their ruined fortunes by conquests on a foreign shore. These
took the field with such vassals as they could command, and, in a very
short time, an army was raised amounting to two hundred thousand men.
At Vezelai the monarch received the cross from the hands of St.
Bernard, on a platform elevated in sight of all the people. Several
nobles, three bishops, and his Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, were
present at this ceremony, and enrolled themselves under the banners of
the Cross, St. Bernard cutting up his red sacerdotal vestments, and
making crosses of them, to be sewn on the shoulders of the people. An
exhortation from the Pope was read to the multitude, granting
remission of their sins to all who should join the Crusade, and
directing that no man on that holy pilgrimage should encumber himself
with heavy baggage and vain superfluities, and that the nobles should
not travel with dogs or falcons, to lead them from the direct road, as
had happened to so many during the first Crusade.

The command of the army was offered to St. Bernard; but he wisely
refused to accept a station for which his habits had unqualified him.
After consecrating Louis with great solemnity, at St. Denis, as chief
of the expedition, he continued his course through the country,
stirring up the people wherever he went. So high an opinion was
entertained of his sanctity, that he was thought to be animated by the
spirit of prophecy, and to be gifted with the power of working
miracles. Many women, excited by his eloquence, and encouraged by his
predictions, forsook their husbands and children, and, clothing
themselves in male attire, hastened to the war. St. Bernard himself
wrote a letter to the Pope, detailing his success, and stating, that
in several towns there did not remain a single male inhabitant capable
of bearing arms, and that everywhere castles and towns were to be seen
filled with women weeping for their absent husbands. But in spite of
this apparent enthusiasm, the numbers who really took up arms were
inconsiderable, and not to be compared to the swarms of the first
Crusade. A levy of no more than two hundred thousand men, which was
the utmost the number amounted to, could hardly have depopulated a
country like France to the extent mentioned by St. Bernard. His
description of the state of the country appears, therefore, to have
been much more poetical than true.

Suger, the able minister of Louis, endeavoured to dissuade him
from undertaking so long a journey at a time when his own dominions so
much needed his presence. But the king was pricked in his conscience
by the cruelties of Vitry, and was anxious to make the only reparation
which the religion of that day considered sufficient. He was desirous
moreover of testifying to the world, that though he could brave the
temporal power of the church when it encroached upon his prerogatives,
he could render all due obedience to its spiritual decrees whenever it
suited his interest or tallied with his prejudices to so do. Suger,
therefore, implored in vain, and Louis received the pilgrim's staff at
St. Denis, and made all preparations for his pilgrimage.

In the mean time St. Bernard passed into Germany, where similar
success attended his preaching. The renown of his sanctity had gone
before him, and he found everywhere an admiring audience. Thousands of
people, who could not understand a word he said, flocked around him to
catch a glimpse of so holy a man; and the knights enrolled themselves
in great numbers in the service of the Cross, each receiving from his
hands the symbol of the cause. But the people were not led away as in
the days of Gottschalk. We do not find that they rose in such
tremendous masses of two and three hundred thousand men, swarming over
the country like a plague of locusts. Still the enthusiasm was very
great. The extraordinary tales that were told and believed of the
miracles worked by the preacher brought the country people from far
and near. Devils were said to vanish at his sight, and diseases of the
most malignant nature to be cured by his touch. [Philip, Archdeacon of
the cathedral of Liege, wrote a detailed account of all the miracles
performed by St. Bernard during thirty-four days of his mission. They
averaged about ten per day. The disciples of St. Bernard complained
bitterly that the people flocked around their master in such numbers,
that they could not see half the miracles he performed. But they
willingly trusted the eyes of others, as far as faith in the miracles
went, and seemed to vie with each other whose credulity should be
greatest.] The Emperor Conrad caught at last the contagion from his
subjects, and declared his intention to follow the Cross.

The preparations were carried on so vigorously under the orders of
Conrad, that in less than three months he found himself at the head of
an army containing at least one hundred and fifty thousand effective
men, besides a great number of women who followed their husbands and
lovers to the war. One troop of them rode in the attitude and armour
of men: their chief wore gilt spurs and buskins, and thence acquired
the epithet of the golden-footed lady. Conrad was ready to set out
long before the French Monarch, and in the month of June 1147, he
arrived before Constantinople, having passed through Hungary and
Bulgaria without offence to the inhabitants.

Manuel Comnenus, the Greek Emperor, successor not only to the
throne, but to the policy of Alexius, looked with alarm upon the new
levies who had come to eat up his capital and imperil its
tranquillity. Too weak to refuse them a passage through his dominions,
too distrustful of them to make them welcome when they came, and too
little assured of the advantages likely to result to himself from the
war, to feign a friendship which he did not feel, the Greek Emperor
gave offence at the very outset. His subjects, in the pride of
superior civilization, called the Germans barbarians, while the
latter, who, if semi-barbarous, were at least honest and
straight-forward, retorted upon the Greeks by calling them
double-faced knaves and traitors. Disputes continually arose between
them, and Conrad, who had preserved so much good order among his
followers during their passage, was unable to restrain their
indignation when they arrived at Constantinople. For some offence or
other which the Greeks had given them, but which is rather hinted at
than stated by the scanty historians of the day, the Germans broke
into the magnificent pleasure garden of the Emperor, where he had a
valuable collection of tame animals, for which the grounds had been
laid out in woods, caverns, groves, and streams, that each might
follow in captivity his natural habits. The enraged Germans, meriting
the name of barbarians that had been bestowed upon them, laid waste
this pleasant retreat, and killed or let loose the valuable animals it
contained. Manuel, who is said to have beheld the devastation from his
palace windows without power or courage to prevent it, was completely
disgusted with his guests, and resolved, like his predecessor Alexius,
to get rid of them on the first opportunity. He sent a message to
Conrad respectfully desiring an interview, but the German refused to
trust himself within the walls of Constantinople. The Greek Emperor,
on his part, thought it compatible neither with his dignity nor his
safety to seek the German, and several days were spent in insincere
negotiations. Manuel at length agreed to furnish the crusading army
with guides to conduct it through Asia Minor; and Conrad passed over
the Hellespont with his forces, the advanced guard being commanded by
himself, and the rear by the warlike Bishop of Freysinghen.

Historians are almost unanimous in their belief that the wily
Greek gave instructions to his guides to lead the army of the German
Emperor into dangers and difficulties. It is certain, that instead of
guiding them through such districts of Asia Minor as afforded water
and provisions, they led them into the wilds of Cappadocia, where
neither was to be procured, and where they were suddenly attacked by
the Sultaun of the Seljukian Turks, at the head of an immense force.
The guides, whose treachery is apparent from this fact alone, fled at
the first sight of the Turkish army, and the Christians were left to
wage unequal warfare with their enemy, entangled and bewildered in
desert wilds. Toiling in their heavy mail, the Germans could make but
little effective resistance to the attacks of the Turkish light horse,
who were down upon them one instant, and out of sight the next. Now in
the front and now in the rear, the agile foe showered his arrows upon
them, enticing them into swamps and hollows, from which they could
only extricate themselves after long struggles and great losses. The
Germans, confounded by this mode of warfare, lost all conception of
the direction they were pursuing, and went back instead of forward.
Suffering at the same time for want of provisions, they fell an easy
prey to their pursuers. Count Bernhard, one of the bravest leaders of
the German expedition, was surrounded, with his whole division, not
one of whom escaped the Turkish arrows. The Emperor himself had nearly
fallen a victim, and was twice severely wounded. So persevering was
the enemy, and so little able were the Germans to make even a show of
resistance, that when Conrad at last reached the city of Nice, he
found that, instead of being at the head of an imposing force of one
hundred thousand foot and seventy thousand horse, he had but fifty or
sixty thousand men, and these in the most worn and wearied condition.

Totally ignorant of the treachery of the Greek Emperor, although
he had been warned to beware of it, Louis VII. proceeded, at the head
of his army, through Worms and Ratisbon, towards Constantinople. At
Ratisbon he was met by a deputation from Manuel, bearing letters so
full of hyperbole and flattery, that Louis is reported to have blushed
when they were read to him by the Bishop of Langres. The object of the
deputation was to obtain from the French King a promise to pass
through the Grecian territories in a peaceable and friendly manner,
and to yield to the Greek Emperor any conquest he might make in Asia
Minor. The first part of the proposition was immediately acceded to,
but no notice was taken of the second and more unreasonable. Louis
marched on, and, passing through Hungary, pitched his tents in the
outskirts of Constantinople.

On his arrival, Manuel sent him a friendly invitation to enter the
city, at the head of a small train. Louis at once accepted it, and was
met by the Emperor at the porch of his palace. The fairest promises
were made; every art that flattery could suggest was resorted to, and
every argument employed, to induce him to yield his future conquests
to the Greek. Louis obstinately refused to pledge himself, and
returned to his army, convinced that the Emperor was a man not to be
trusted. Negotiations were, however, continued for several days, to
the great dissatisfaction of the French army. The news that arrived of
a treaty entered into between Manuel and the Turkish Sultan changed
their dissatisfaction into fury, and the leaders demanded to be led
against Constantinople, swearing that they would raze the treacherous
city to the ground. Louis did not feel inclined to accede to this
proposal, and, breaking up his camp, he crossed over into Asia.

Here he heard, for the first time, of the mishaps of the German
Emperor, whom he found in a woeful plight under the walls of Nice. The
two monarchs united their forces, and marched together along the
sea-coast to Ephesus; but Conrad, jealous, it would appear, of the
superior numbers of the French, and not liking to sink into a vassal,
for the time being, of his rival, withdrew abruptly with the remnant
of his legions, and returned to Constantinople. Manuel was all smiles
and courtesy. He condoled with the German so feelingly upon his
losses, and cursed the stupidity or treachery of the guides with such
apparent heartiness, that Conrad was half inclined to believe in his

Louis, marching onward in the direction of Jerusalem, came up with
the enemy on the banks of the Meander. The Turks contested the passage
of the river, but the French bribed a peasant to point out a ford
lower down: crossing the river without difficulty, they attacked the
Turks with much vigour, and put them to flight. Whether the Turks were
really defeated, or merely pretended to be so, is doubtful; but the
latter supposition seems to be the true one. It is probable that it
was part of a concerted plan to draw the invaders onwards to more
unfavourable ground, where their destruction might be more certain. If
such were the scheme, it succeeded to the heart's wish of its
projectors. The crusaders, on the third day after their victory,
arrived at a steep mountain-pass, on the summit of which the Turkish
host lay concealed so artfully, that not the slightest vestige of
their presence could be perceived. "With labouring steps and slow,"
they toiled up the steep ascent, when suddenly a tremendous fragment
of rock came bounding down the precipices with an awful crash, bearing
dismay and death before it. At the same instant the Turkish archers
started from their hiding-places, and discharged a shower of arrows
upon the foot soldiers, who fell by hundreds at a time. The arrows
rebounded harmlessly against the iron mail of the knights, which the
Turks observing, took aim at their steeds, and horse and rider fell
down the steep into the rapid torrent which rushed below. Louis, who
commanded the rear-guard, received the first intimation of the
onslaught from the sight of his wounded and flying soldiers, and, not
knowing the numbers of the enemy, he pushed vigorously forward to
stay, by his presence, the panic which had taken possession of his
army. All his efforts were in vain. Immense stones continued to be
hurled upon them as they advanced, bearing men and horse before them;
and those who succeeded in forcing their way to the top, were met
hand-to-hand by the Turks, and cast down headlong upon their
companions. Louis himself fought with the energy of desperation, but
had great difficulty to avoid falling into the enemy's hands. He
escaped at last under cover of the night, with the remnant of his
forces, and took up his position before Attalia. Here he restored the
discipline and the courage of his disorganized and disheartened
followers, and debated with his captains the plan that was to be
pursued. After suffering severely both from disease and famine, it was
resolved that they should march to Antioch, which still remained an
independent principality under the successors of Bohemund of Tarentum.
At this time the sovereignty was vested in the person of Raymond, the
uncle of Eleanor of Aquitaine. This Prince, presuming upon his
relationship to the French Queen, endeavoured to withdraw Louis from
the grand object of the Crusade -- the defence of the kingdom of
Jerusalem, and secure his co-operation in extending the limits and the
power of his principality of Antioch. The Prince of Tripoli formed a
similar design, but Louis rejected the offers of both, and marched
after a short delay to Jerusalem. The Emperor Conrad was there before
him, having left Constantinople with promises of assistance from
Manuel Comnenus; assistance which never arrived, and was never

A great council of the Christian princes of Palestine and the
leaders of the Crusade was then summoned, to discuss the future
operations of the war. It was ultimately determined that it would
further the cause of the Cross in a greater degree if the united
armies, instead of proceeding to Edessa, laid siege to the city of
Damascus, and drove the Saracens from that strong position. This was a
bold scheme, and, had it been boldly followed out, would have insured,
in all probability, the success of the war. But the Christian leaders
never learned from experience the necessity of union, that very soul
of great enterprises. Though they all agreed upon the policy of the
plan, yet every one had his own notions as to the means of executing
it. The Princes of Antioch and Tripoli were jealous of each other, and
of the King of Jerusalem. The Emperor Conrad was jealous of the King
of France, and the King of France was disgusted with them all. But he
had come out to Palestine in accordance with a solemn vow; his
religion, though it may be called bigotry, was sincere; and he
determined to remain to the very last moment that a chance was left,
of effecting any good for the cause he had set his heart on.

The siege of Damascus was accordingly commenced, and with so much
ability and vigour that the Christians gained a considerable advantage
at the very outset. For weeks the siege was pressed, till the
shattered fortifications and diminishing resistance of the besieged
gave evidence that the city could not hold out much longer. At that
moment the insane jealousy of the leaders led to dissensions that soon
caused the utter failure, not only of the siege, but of the Crusade. A
modern cookery-book, in giving a recipe for cooking a hare, says,
"first catch your hare, and then kill it;" a maxim of indisputable
wisdom. The Christian chiefs on this occasion had not so much
sagacity, for they began a violent dispute among themselves for the
possession of a city which was still unconquered. There being already
a Prince of Antioch and a Prince of Tripoli, twenty claimants started
for the principality of Damascus, and a grand council of the leaders
was held to determine the individual on whom the honour should
devolve. Many valuable days were wasted in this discussion, the enemy
in the mean while gaining strength from their inactivity. It was at
length, after a stormy deliberation, agreed that Count Robert of
Flanders, who had twice visited the Holy Land, should be invested with
the dignity. The other claimants refused to recognise him, or to
co-operate in the siege, until a more equitable arrangement had been
made. Suspicion filled the camp; the most sinister rumours of
intrigues and treachery were set afloat; and the discontented
candidates withdrew at last to the other side of the city, and
commenced operations on their own account, without a probability of
success. They were soon joined by the rest of the army. The
consequence was that the weakest side of the city, and that on which
they had already made considerable progress in the work of demolition,
was left uncovered. The enemy was prompt to profit by the mistake, and
received an abundant supply of provisions, and refortified the walls,
before the crusaders came to their senses again. When this desirable
event happened, it was too late. Saph Eddin, the powerful Emir of
Mousoul, was in the neighbourhood, at the head of a large army,
advancing by forced marches to the relief of the city. The siege was
abruptly abandoned, and the foolish crusaders returned to Jerusalem,
having done nothing to weaken the enemy, but every thing to weaken

The freshness of enthusiasm had now completely subsided; -- even
the meanest soldiers were sick at heart. Conrad, from whose fierce
zeal at the outset so much might have been expected, was wearied with
reverses, and returned to Europe with the poor remnant of his host.
Louis lingered a short time longer, for very shame, but the pressing
solicitations of his minister Suger induced him to return to France.
Thus ended the second Crusade. Its history is but a chronicle of
defeats. It left the kingdom of Jerusalem in a worse state than when
it quitted Europe, and gained nothing but disgrace for its leaders and
discouragement for all concerned.

St. Bernard, who had prophesied a result so different, fell after
this into some disrepute, and experienced, like many other prophets,
the fate of being without honour in his own country. What made the
matter worse, he could not obtain it in any other. Still, however,
there were not wanting zealous advocates to stand forward in his
behalf, and stem the tide of incredulity, which, unopposed, would have
carried away his reputation. The Bishop of Freysinghen declared that
prophets were not always able to prophesy, and that the vices of the
crusaders drew down the wrath of Heaven upon them. But the most
ingenious excuse ever made for St. Bernard is to be found in his life
by Geoffroi de Clairvaux, where he pertinaciously insists that the
Crusade was not unfortunate. St. Bernard, he says, had prophesied a
happy result, and that result could not be considered other than happy
which had peopled heaven with so glorious an army of martyrs. Geoffroi
was a cunning pleader, and, no doubt, convinced a few of the zealous;
but plain people, who were not wanting even in those days, retained
their own opinion, or, what amounts to the same thing, "were convinced
against their will."

We now come to the consideration of the third Crusade, and of the
causes which rendered it necessary. The epidemic frenzy, which had
been cooling ever since the issue of the first expedition, was now
extinct, or very nearly so, and the nations of Europe looked with cold
indifference upon the armaments of their princes. But chivalry had
flourished in its natural element of war, and was now in all its
glory. It continued to supply armies for the Holy Land when the
popular ranks refused to deliver up their able-bodied swarms. Poetry,
which, more than religion, inspired the third Crusade, was then but
"caviare to the million," who had other matters, of sterner import, to
claim all their attention. But the knights and their retainers
listened with delight to the martial and amatory strains of the
minstrels, minnesangers, trouveres, and troubadours, and burned to win
favour in ladies' eyes by showing prowess in Holy Land. The third was
truly the romantic era of the Crusades. Men fought then, not so much
for the sepulchre of Jesus, and the maintenance of a Christian kingdom
in the East, as to gain glory for themselves in the best, and almost
only field, where glory could be obtained. They fought, not as
zealots, but as soldiers; not for religion, but for honour; not for
the crown of martyrdom, but for the favour of the lovely.

It is not necessary to enter into a detail of the events by which
Saladin attained the sovereignty of the East, or how, after a
succession of engagements, he planted the Moslem banner once more upon
the battlements of Jerusalem. The Christian knights and population,
including the grand orders of St. John, the Hospitallers, and the
Templars, were sunk in an abyss of vice, and torn by unworthy
jealousies and dissensions, were unable to resist the well-trained
armies which the wise and mighty Saladin brought forward to crush
them. But the news of their fall created a painful sensation among the
chivalry of Europe, whose noblest members were linked to the dwellers
in Palestine by many ties, both of blood and friendship. The news of
the great battle of Tiberias, in which Saladin defeated the Christian
host with terrible slaughter, arrived first in Europe, and was
followed in quick succession by that of the capture of Jerusalem,
Antioch, Tripoli, and other cities. Dismay seized upon the clergy. The
Pope (Urban III.) was so affected by the news that he pined away for
grief, and was scarcely seen to smile again, until he sank into the
sleep of death. [James of Vitry -- William de Nangis.] His successor,
Gregory VIII. felt the loss as acutely, but had better strength to
bear it, and instructed all the clergy of the Christian world to stir
up the people to arms for the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre. William,
Archbishop of Tyre, a humble follower in the path of Peter the Hermit,
left Palestine to preach to the Kings of Europe the miseries he had
witnessed, and to incite them to the rescue. The renowned Frederick
Barbarossa, the Emperor of Germany, speedily collected an army, and
passing over into Syria with less delay than had ever before awaited a
crusading force, defeated the Saracens, and took possession of the
city of Iconium. He was unfortunately cut off in the middle of his
successful career, by imprudently bathing in the Cydnus [The desire of
comparing two great men has tempted many writers to drown Frederick in
the river Cydnus, in which Alexander so imprudently bathed (Q. Curt.
lib. iii. c. 4, 5.): but, from the march of the Emperor, I rather
judge that his Saleph is the Calycadnus, a stream of less fame, but of
a longer course. -- Gibbon] while he was overheated, and the Duke of
Suabia took the command of the expedition. The latter did not prove so
able a general, and met with nothing but reverses, although he was
enabled to maintain a footing at Antioch until assistance arrived from

Henry II. of England and Philip Augustus of France, at the head of
their chivalry, supported the Crusade with all their influence, until
wars and dissensions nearer home estranged them from it for a time.
The two kings met at Gisors in Normandy in the month of January 1188,
accompanied by a brilliant train of knights and warriors. William of
Tyre was present, and expounded the cause of the Cross with
considerable eloquence, and the whole assembly bound themselves by
oath to proceed to Jerusalem. It was agreed at the same time that a
tax, called Saladin's tithe, and consisting of the tenth part of all
possessions, whether landed or personal, should be enforced over
Christendom, upon every one who was either unable or unwilling to
assume the Cross. The lord of every feof, whether lay or
ecclesiastical, was charged to raise the tithe within his own
jurisdiction; and any one who refused to pay his quota, became by that
act the bondsman and absolute property of his lord. At the same time
the greatest indulgence was shown to those who assumed the Cross; no
man was at liberty to stay them by process of any kind, whether for
debt, or robbery, or murder. The King of France, at the breaking up of
the conference, summoned a parliament at Paris, where these
resolutions were solemnly confirmed, while Henry II. did the same for
his Norman possessions at Rouen, and for England at Geddington, in
Northamptonshire. To use the words of an ancient chronicler, [Stowe.]
"he held a parliament about the voyage into the Holy Land, and
troubled the whole land with the paying of tithes towards it."

But it was not England only that was "troubled" by the tax. The
people of France also looked upon it with no pleasant feelings, and
appear from that time forth to have changed their indifference for the
Crusade into aversion. Even the clergy, who were exceedingly willing
that other people should contribute half, or even all their goods in
furtherance of their favourite scheme, were not at all anxious to
contribute a single sous themselves. Millot ["Elemens de l'Histoire de
France."] relates that several of them cried out against the impost.
Among the rest the clergy of Rheims were called upon to pay their
quota, but sent a deputation to the King, begging him to be contented
with the aid of their prayers, as they were too poor to contribute in
any other shape. Philip Augustus knew better, and by way of giving
them a lesson, employed three nobles of the vicinity to lay waste the
church lands. The clergy, informed of the outrage, applied to the King
for redress. "I will aid you with my prayers," said the Monarch
condescendingly," and will intreat those gentlemen to let the church
alone." He did as he had promised, but in such a manner, that the
nobles, who appreciated the joke, continued their devastations as
before. Again the clergy applied to the King. "What would you have of
me?" he replied, in answer to their remonstrances: "You gave me your
prayers in my necessity, and I have given you mine in yours." The
clergy understood the argument, and thought it the wiser course to pay
their quota of Saladin's tithe without further parley.

This anecdote shows the unpopularity of the Crusade. If the clergy
disliked to contribute, it is no wonder that the people felt still
greater antipathy. But the chivalry of Europe was eager for the
affray: the tithe was rigorously collected, and armies from England,
France, Burgundy, Italy, Flanders, and Germany, were soon in the
field; The two kings who were to have led it, were, however, drawn
into broils by an aggression of Richard; Duke of Guienne, better
known as Richard Coeur de Lion, upon the territory of the Count of
Toulouse, and the proposed journey to Palestine was delayed. War
continued to rage between France and England, and with so little
probability of a speedy termination, that many of the nobles, bound to
the Crusade, left the two Monarchs to settle their differences at
their leisure, and proceeded to Palestine without them.

Death at last stepped in and removed Henry II. from the hostility
of his foes, and the treachery and ingratitude of his children. His
son Richard immediately concluded an alliance with Philip Augustus,
and the two young, valiant, and impetuous Monarchs, united all their
energies to forward the Crusade. They met with a numerous and
brilliant retinue at Nonancourt in Normandy, where, in sight of their
assembled chivalry, they embraced as brothers, and swore to live as
friends and true allies, until a period of forty days after their
return from the Holy Land. With a view of purging their camp from the
follies and vices which had proved so ruinous to preceding
expeditions, they drew up a code of laws for the government of the
army. Gambling had been carried to a great extent, and had proved the
fruitful source of quarrels and bloodshed, and one of their laws
prohibited any person in the army, beneath the degree of a knight,
from playing at any game for money. [Strutt's "Sports and Pastimes."]
Knights and clergymen might play for money, but no one was permitted
to lose or gain more than twenty shillings in a day, under a penalty
of one hundred shillings. The personal attendants of the Monarchs were
also allowed to play to the same extent. The penalty in their case for
infraction was that they should be whipped naked through the army for
the space of three days. Any crusader, who struck another and drew
blood, was ordered to have his hand cut off; and whoever slew a
brother crusader was condemned to be tied alive to the corpse of his
victim and buried with him. No young women were allowed to follow the
army, to the great sorrow of many vicious and of many virtuous dames,
who had not courage to elude the decree by dressing in male attire.
But many high-minded and affectionate maidens and matrons, bearing the
sword or the spear, followed their husbands and lovers to the war in
spite of King Richard, and in defiance of danger. The only women
allowed to accompany the army in their own habiliments, were
washerwomen, of fifty years complete, and any others of the fair sex
who had reached the same age.

These rules having been promulgated, the two monarchs marched
together to Lyons, where they separated, agreeing to meet again at
Messina. Philip proceeded across the Alps to Genoa, where he took
ship, and was conveyed in safety to the place of rendezvous. Richard
turned in the direction of Marseilles, where he also took ship for
Messina. His impetuous disposition hurried him into many squabbles by
the way, and his knights and followers, for the most part as brave and
as foolish as himself, imitated him very zealously in this particular.
At Messina the Sicilians charged the most exorbitant prices for every
necessary of life. Richard's army in vain remonstrated. From words
they came to blows, and, as a last resource, plundered the Sicilians,
since they could not trade with them. Continual battles were the
consequence, in one of which Lebrun, the favourite attendant of
Richard, lost his life. The peasantry from far and near came flocking
to the aid of the townspeople, and the battle soon became general.
Richard, irritated at the loss of his favourite, and incited by a
report that Tancred, the King of Sicily, was fighting at the head of
his own people, joined the melee with his boldest knights, and,
beating back the Sicilians, attacked the city, sword in hand, stormed
the battlements, tore down the flag of Sicily, and planted his own in
its stead. This collision gave great offence to the King of France,
who became from that time jealous of Richard, and apprehensive that
his design was not so much to re-establish the Christian Kingdom of
Jerusalem, as to make conquests for himself. He, however, exerted his
influence to restore peace between the English and Sicilians, and
shortly afterwards set sail for Acre, with distrust of his ally
germinating in his heart.

Richard remained behind for some weeks, in a state of inactivity
quite unaccountable in one of his temperament. He appears to have had
no more squabbles with the Sicilians, but to have lived an easy
luxurious life, forgetting, in the lap of pleasure, the objects for
which he had quitted his own dominions and the dangerous laxity he was
introducing into his army. The superstition of his soldiers recalled
him at length to a sense of his duty: a comet was seen for several
successive nights, which was thought to menace them with the vengeance
of Heaven for their delay. Shooting stars gave them similar warning;
and a fanatic, of the name of Joachim, with his drawn sword in his
hand, and his long hair streaming wildly over his shoulders, went
through the camp, howling all night long, and predicting plague,
famine, and every other calamity, if they did not set out immediately.
Richard did not deem it prudent to neglect the intimations; and,
after doing humble penance for his remissness, he set sail for Acre.

A violent storm dispersed his fleet, but he arrived safely at
Rhodes with the principal part of the armament. Here he learned that
three of his ships had been stranded on the rocky coasts of Cyprus,
and that the ruler of the island, Isaac Comnenus, had permitted his
people to pillage the unfortunate crews, and had refused shelter to
his betrothed bride, the Princess Berengaria, and his sister, who, in
one of the vessels, had been driven by stress of weather into the port
of Limisso. The fiery monarch swore to be revenged, and, collecting
all his vessels, sailed back to Limisso. Isaac Comnenus refused to
apologize or explain, and Richard, in no mood to be trifled with,
landed on the island, routed with great loss the forces sent to oppose
him, and laid the whole country under contribution.

On his arrival at Acre, he found the whole of the chivalry of
Europe there before him. Guy of Lusignan, the King of Jerusalem, had
long before collected the bold Knights of the Temple, the Hospital,
and St. John, and had laid siege to Acre, which was resolutely
defended by the Sultan Saladin, with an army magnificent both for its
numbers and its discipline. For nearly two years the crusaders had
pushed the siege, and made efforts almost superhuman to dislodge the
enemy. Various battles had taken place in the open fields with no
decisive advantage to either party, and Guy of Lusignan had begun to
despair of taking that strong position without aid from Europe. His
joy was extreme on the arrival of Philip with all his chivalry, and he
only awaited the coming of Coeur de Lion to make one last decisive
attack upon the town. When the fleet of England was first seen
approaching the shores of Syria, a universal shout arose from the
Christian camp; and when Richard landed with his train, one louder
still pierced to the very mountains of the south, where Saladin lay
with all his army.

It may be remarked as characteristic of this Crusade, that the
Christians and the Moslems no longer looked upon each other as
barbarians, to whom mercy was a crime. Each host entertained the
highest admiration for the bravery and magnanimity of the other, and
in their occasional truces met upon the most friendly terms. The
Moslem warriors were full of courtesy to the Christian knights, and
had no other regret than to think that such fine fellows were not
Mahomedans. The Christians, with a feeling precisely similar, extolled
to the skies the nobleness of the Saracens, and sighed to think that
such generosity and valour should be sullied by disbelief in the
Gospel of Jesus. But when the strife began, all these feelings
disappeared, and the struggle became mortal.

The jealousy excited in the mind of Philip by the events of
Messina still rankled, and the two monarchs refused to act in concert.
Instead of making a joint attack upon the town, the French monarch
assailed it alone, and was repulsed. Richard did the same, and with
the same result. Philip tried to seduce the soldiers of Richard from
their allegiance by the offer of three gold pieces per month to every
knight who would forsake the banners of England for those of France.
Richard met the bribe by another, and promised four pieces to every
French knight who should join the Lion of England. In this unworthy
rivalry their time was wasted, to the great detriment of the
discipline and efficiency of their followers. Some good was
nevertheless effected; for the mere presence of two such armies
prevented the besieged city from receiving supplies, and the
inhabitants were reduced by famine to the most woeful straits. Saladin
did not deem it prudent to risk a general engagement by coming to
their relief, but preferred to wait till dissension had weakened his
enemy, and made him an easy prey. Perhaps if he had been aware of the
real extent of the extremity in Acre, he would have changed his plan;
but, cut off from the town, he did not know their misery till it was
too late. After a short truce the city capitulated upon terms so
severe that Saladin afterwards refused to ratify them. The chief
conditions were, that the precious wood of the true cross, captured by
the Moslems in Jerusalem, should be restored; that a sum of two
hundred thousand gold pieces should be paid; and that all the
Christian prisoners in Acre should be released, together with two
hundred knights and a thousand soldiers, detained in captivity by
Saladin. The eastern monarch, as may be well conceived, did not set
much store on the wood of the cross, but was nevertheless anxious to
keep it, as he knew its possession by the Christians would do more
than a victory to restore their courage. He refused, therefore, to
deliver it up, or to accede to any of the conditions; and Richard, as
he had previously threatened, barbarously ordered all the Saracen
prisoners in his power to be put to death.

The possession of the city only caused new and unhappy dissensions
between the Christian leaders. The Archduke of Austria unjustifiably
hoisted his flag on one of the towers of Acre, which Richard no sooner
saw than he tore it down with his own hands, and trampled it under his
feet. Philip, though he did not sympathise with the Archduke, was
piqued at the assumption of Richard, and the breach between the two
monarchs became wider than ever. A foolish dispute arose at the same
time between Guy of Lusignan and Conrad of Montferrat for the crown of
Jerusalem. The inferior knights were not slow to imitate the
pernicious example, and jealousy, distrust, and ill-will reigned in
the Christian camp. In the midst of this confusion the King of France
suddenly announced his intention to return to his own country. Richard
was filled with indignation, and exclaimed, "Eternal shame light on
him, and on all France, if, for any cause, he leave this work
unfinished!" But Philip was not to be stayed. His health had suffered
by his residence in the East, and, ambitious of playing a first part,
he preferred to play none at all, than to play second to King Richard.
Leaving a small detachment of Burgundians behind, he returned to
France with the remainder of his army; and Coeur de Lion, without
feeling, in the multitude of his rivals, that he had lost the
greatest, became painfully convinced that the right arm of the
enterprize was lopped off.

After his departure, Richard re-fortified Acre, restored the
Christian worship in the churches, and, leaving a Christian garrison
to protect it, marched along the sea-coast towards Ascalon. Saladin
was on the alert, and sent his light horse to attack the rear of the
Christian army, while he himself, miscalculating their weakness since
the defection of Philip, endeavoured to force them to a general
engagement. The rival armies met near Azotus. A fierce battle ensued,
in which Saladin was defeated and put to flight, and the road to
Jerusalem left free for the crusaders.

Again discord exerted its baleful influence, and prevented Richard
from following up his victory. His opinion was constantly opposed by
the other leaders, all jealous of his bravery and influence; and the
army, instead of marching to Jerusalem, or even to Ascalon, as was
first intended, proceeded to Jaffa, and remained in idleness until
Saladin was again in a condition to wage war against them.

Many months were spent in fruitless hostilities and as fruitless
negotiations. Richard's wish was to recapture Jerusalem; but there
were difficulties in the way, which even his bold spirit could not
conquer. His own intolerable pride was not the least cause of the
evil; for it estranged many a generous spirit, who would have been
willing to co-operate with him in all cordiality. At length it was
agreed to march to the Holy City; but the progress made was so slow
and painful, that the soldiers murmured, and the leaders meditated
retreat. The weather was hot and dry, and there was little water to be
procured. Saladin had choked up the wells and cisterns on the route,
and the army had not zeal enough to push forward amid such privation.
At Bethlehem a council was held, to debate whether they should retreat
or advance. Retreat was decided upon, and immediately commenced. It is
said, that Richard was first led to a hill, whence he could obtain a
sight of the towers of Jerusalem, and that he was so affected at being
so near it, and so unable to relieve it, that he hid his face behind
his shield, and sobbed aloud.

The army separated into two divisions, the smaller falling back
upon Jaffa, and the larger, commanded by Richard and the Duke of
Burgundy, returning to Acre. Before the English monarch had made all
his preparations for his return to Europe, a messenger reached Acre
with the intelligence that Jaffa was besieged by Saladin, and that,
unless relieved immediately, the city would be taken. The French,
under the Duke of Burgundy, were so wearied with the war, that they
refused to aid their brethren in Jaffa. Richard, blushing with shame
at their pusillanimity, called his English to the rescue, and arrived
just in time to save the city. His very name put the Saracens to
flight, so great was their dread of his prowess. Saladin regarded him
with the warmest admiration, and when Richard, after his victory,
demanded peace, willingly acceded. A truce was concluded for three
years and eight months, during which Christian pilgrims were to enjoy
the liberty of visiting Jerusalem without hindrance or payment of any
tax. The crusaders were allowed to retain the cities of Tyre and
Jaffa, with the country intervening. Saladin, with a princely
generosity, invited many of the Christians to visit Jerusalem; and
several of the leaders took advantage of his offer to feast their eyes
upon a spot which all considered so sacred. Many of them were
entertained for days in the Sultan's own palace, from which they
returned with their tongues laden with the praises of the noble
infidel. Richard and Saladin never met, though the impression that
they did will remain on many minds, who have been dazzled by the
glorious fiction of Sir Walter Scott. But each admired the prowess and
nobleness of soul of his rival, and agreed to terms far less onerous
than either would have accepted, had this mutual admiration not
existed.[Richard left a high reputation in Palestine. So much terror
did his name occasion, that the women of Syria used it to frighten
their children for ages afterwards. Every disobedient brat became
still when told that King Richard was coming. Even men shared the
panic that his name created; and a hundred years afterwards, whenever
a horse shied at any object in the way, his rider would exclaim,
"What! dost thou think King Richard is in the bush?"]

The King of England no longer delayed his departure, for
messengers from his own country brought imperative news that his
presence was required to defeat the intrigues that were fomenting
against his crown. His long imprisonment in the Austrian dominions and
final ransom are too well known to be dwelt upon. And thus ended the
third Crusade, less destructive of human life than the two first, but
quite as useless.

The flame of popular enthusiasm now burned pale indeed, and all
the efforts of popes and potentates were insufficient to rekindle it.
At last, after flickering unsteadily, like a lamp expiring in the
socket, it burned up brightly for one final instant, and was
extinguished for ever.

The fourth Crusade, as connected with popular feeling, requires
little or no notice. At the death of Saladin, which happened a year
after the conclusion of his truce with Richard of England, his vast
empire fell to pieces. His brother Saif Eddin, or Saphaddin, seized
upon Syria, in the possession of which he was troubled by the sons of
Saladin. When this intelligence reached Europe, the Pope, Celestine
III. judged the moment favourable for preaching a new Crusade. But
every nation in Europe was unwilling and cold towards it. The people
had no ardour, and Kings were occupied with more weighty matters at
home. The only Monarch of Europe who encouraged it was the Emperor
Henry of Germany, under whose auspices the Dukes of Saxony and Bavaria
took the field at the head of a considerable force. They landed in
Palestine, and found anything but a welcome from the Christian
inhabitants. Under the mild sway of Saladin, they had enjoyed repose
and toleration, and both were endangered by the arrival of the
Germans. They looked upon them in consequence as over-officious
intruders, and gave them no encouragement in the warfare against
Saphaddin. The result of this Crusade was even more disastrous than
the last -- for the Germans contrived not only to embitter the
Saracens against the Christians of Judea, but to lose the strong city
of Jaffa, and cause the destruction of nine-tenths of the army with
which they had quitted Europe. And so ended the fourth Crusade.

The fifth was more important, and had a result which its
projectors never dreamed of -- no less than the sacking of
Constantinople, and the placing of a French dynasty upon the imperial
throne of the eastern Caesars. Each succeeding Pope, however much he
may have differed from his predecessors on other points, zealously
agreed in one, that of maintaining by every possible means the papal
ascendancy. No scheme was so likely to aid in this endeavour as the
Crusades. As long as they could persuade the kings and nobles of
Europe to fight and die in Syria, their own sway was secured over the
minds of men at home. Such being their object, they never inquired
whether a Crusade was or was not likely to be successful, whether the
time were well or ill chosen, or whether men and money could be
procured in sufficient abundance. Pope Innocent III. would have
been proud if he could have bent the refractory Monarchs of England
and France into so much submission. But John and Philip Augustus were
both engaged. Both had deeply offended the church, and had been laid
under her ban, and both were occupied in important reforms at home;
Philip in bestowing immunities upon his subjects, and John in having
them forced from him. The emissaries of the Pope therefore plied them
in vain; -- but as in the first and second Crusades, the eloquence of
a powerful preacher incited the nobility, and through them a certain
portion of the people, Foulque, Bishop of Neuilly, an ambitious and
enterprizing prelate, entered fully into the views of the Court of
Rome, and preached the Crusade wherever he could find an audience.
Chance favoured him to a degree he did not himself expect, for he had
in general found but few proselytes, and those few but cold in the
cause. Theobald, Count of Champagne, had instituted a grand
tournament, to which he had invited all the nobles from far and near.
Upwards of two thousand knights were present with their retainers,
besides a vast concourse of people to witness the sports. In the midst
of the festivities Foulque arrived upon the spot, and conceiving the
opportunity to be a favourable one, he addressed the multitude in
eloquent language, and passionately called upon them to enrol
themselves for the new Crusade. The Count de Champagne, young, ardent,
and easily excited, received the cross at his hands. The enthusiasm
spread rapidly. Charles Count of Blois followed the example, and of
the two thousand knights present, scarcely one hundred and fifty
refused. The popular phrensy seemed on the point of breaking out as in
the days of yore. The Count of Flanders, the Count of Bar, the Duke of
Burgundy, and the Marquis of Montferrat, brought all their vassals to
swell the train, and in a very short space of time an effective army
was on foot and ready to march to Palestine.

The dangers of an overland journey were too well understood, and
the crusaders endeavoured to make a contract with some of the Italian
states to convey them over in their vessels. Dandolo, the aged Doge of
Venice, offered them the galleys of the Republic; but the crusaders,
on their arrival in that city, found themselves too poor to pay even
half the sum demanded. Every means was tried to raise money; the
crusaders melted down their plate, and ladies gave up their trinkets.
Contributions were solicited from the faithful, but came in so slowly,
as to make it evident to all concerned, that the faithful of Europe
were outnumbered by the prudent. As a last resource, Dandolo offered
to convey them to Palestine at the expense of the Republic, if they
would previously aid in the recapture of the city of Zara, which had
been seized from the Venetians a short time previously by the King of
Hungary. The crusaders consented, much to the displeasure of the Pope,
who threatened excommunication upon all who should be turned aside
from the voyage to Jerusalem. But notwithstanding the fulminations of
the church, the expedition never reached Palestine. The siege of Zara
was speedily undertaken. After a long and brave defence, the city
surrendered at discretion, and the crusaders were free, if they had so
chosen it, to use their swords against the Saracens. But the ambition
of the chiefs had been directed, by unforeseen circumstances,

After the death of Manuel Comnenus, the Greek empire had fallen a
prey to intestine divisions. His son Alexius II. had succeeded him,
but was murdered after a very short reign by his uncle Andronicus, who
seized upon the throne. His reign also was but of short duration.
Isaac Angelus, a member of the same family, took up arms against the
usurper, and having defeated and captured him in a pitched battle, had
him put to death. He also mounted the throne only to be cast down from
it. His brother Alexius deposed him, and to incapacitate him from
reigning, put out his eyes, and shut him up in a dungeon. Neither was
Alexius III. allowed to remain in peaceable possession of the throne;
the son of the unhappy Isaac, whose name also was Alexius, fled from
Constantinople, and hearing that the crusaders had undertaken the
siege of Zara, made them the most magnificent offers if they would
afterwards aid him in deposing his uncle. His offers were, that if by
their means he was re-established in his father's dominions, he would
place the Greek church under the authority of the Pope of Rome, lend
the whole force of the Greek Empire to the conquest of Palestine, and
distribute two hundred thousand marks of silver among the crusading
army. The offer was accepted, with a proviso on the part of some of
the leaders, that they should be free to abandon the design, if it met
with the disapproval of the Pope. But this was not to be feared. The
submission of the schismatic Greeks to the See of Rome was a greater
bribe to the Pontiff, than the utter annihilation of the Saracen power
in Palestine would have been.

The crusaders were soon in movement for the imperial city. Their
operations were skilfully and courageously directed, and spread such
dismay as to paralyse the efforts of the usurper to retain possession
of his throne. After a vain resistance, he abandoned the city to its
fate, and fled no one knew whither. The aged and blind Isaac was taken
from his dungeon by his subjects, and placed upon the throne ere the
crusaders were apprized of the flight of his rival. His son Alexius
IV. was afterwards associated with him in the sovereignty.

But the conditions of the treaty gave offence to the Grecian
people, whose prelates refused to place themselves under the dominion
of the See of Rome. Alexius at first endeavoured to persuade his
subjects to submission, and prayed the crusaders to remain in
Constantinople until they had fortified him in the possession of a
throne which was yet far from secure. He soon became unpopular with
his subjects; and breaking faith with regard to the subsidies, he
offended the crusaders. War was at length declared upon him by both
parties; by his people for his tyranny, and by his former friends for
his treachery. He was seized in his palace by his own guards and
thrown into prison, while the crusaders were making ready to besiege
his capital. The Greeks immediately proceeded to the election of a new
Monarch; and looking about for a man with courage, energy, and
perseverance, they fixed upon Alexius Ducas, who, with almost every
bad quality, was possessed of the virtues they needed. He ascended the
throne under the name of Murzuphlis. One of his first acts was to rid
himself of his youngest predecessor -- a broken heart had already
removed the blind old Isaac -- no longer a stumbling block in his way
-- and the young Alexius was soon after put to death in his prison.

War to the knife was now declared between the Greeks and the
Franks, and early in the spring of the year 1204, preparations were
commenced for an assault upon Constantinople. The French and Venetians
entered into a treaty for the division of the spoils among their
soldiery, for so confident were they of success, that failure never
once entered into their calculations. This confidence led them on to
victory, while the Greeks, cowardly as treacherous people always are,
were paralysed by a foreboding of evil. It has been a matter of
astonishment to all historians, that Murzuphlis, with the reputation
for courage which he had acquired, and the immense resources at his
disposal, took no better measures to repel the onset of the crusaders.
Their numbers were as a mere handful in comparison with those which he
could have brought against them; and if they had the hopes of plunder
to lead them on, the Greeks had their homes to fight for, and their
very existence as a nation to protect. After an impetuous assault,
repulsed for one day, but renewed with double impetuosity on another,
the crusaders lashed their vessels against the walls, slew every man
who opposed them, and, with little loss to themselves, entered the
city. Murzuphlis fled, and Constantinople was given over to be
pillaged by the victors. The wealth they found was enormous. In money
alone there was sufficient to distribute twenty marks of silver to
each knight, ten to each squire or servant at arms, and five to each
archer. Jewels, velvets, silks, and every luxury of attire, with rare
wines and fruits, and valuable merchandise of every description, also
fell into their hands, and were bought by the trading Venetians, and
the proceeds distributed among the army. Two thousand persons were put
to the sword; but had there been less plunder to take up the attention
of the victors, the slaughter would in all probability have been much

In many of the bloody wars which defile the page of history, we
find that soldiers, utterly reckless of the works of God, will destroy
his masterpiece, man, with unsparing brutality, but linger with
respect around the beautiful works of art. They will slaughter women
and children, but spare a picture; will hew down the sick, the
helpless, and the hoary-headed, but refrain from injuring a fine piece
of sculpture. The Latins, on their entrance into Constantinople,
respected neither the works of God nor man, but vented their brutal
ferocity upon the one and satisfied their avarice upon the other. Many
beautiful bronze statues, above all price as works of art, were broken
into pieces to be sold as old metal. The finely-chiselled marble,
which could be put to no such vile uses, was also destroyed, with a
recklessness; if possible, still more atrocious. [The following is a
list of some of the works of art thus destroyed, from Nicetas, a
contemporary Greek author: -- 1st. A colossal Juno, from the forum of
Constantine, the head of which was so large that four horses could
scarcely draw it from the place where it stood to the palace. 2d. The
statue of Paris presenting the apple to Venus. 3d. An immense bronze
pyramid, crowned by a female figure, which turned with the wind. 4th.
The colossal statue of Bellerophon, in bronze, which was broken down
and cast into the furnace. Under the inner nail of the horse's hind
foot on the left side, was found a seal wrapped in a woollen cloth.
5th. A figure of Hercules, by Lysimachus, of such vast dimensions that
the thumb was equal in circumference to the waist of a man. 6th. The
Ass and his driver, cast by order of Augustus after the battle of
Actium, in commemoration of his having discovered the position of
Antony through the means of an ass-driver. 7th. The Wolf suckling the
twins of Rome. 8th. The Gladiator in combat with a lion. 9th. The
Hippopotamus. 10th. The Sphinxes. 11th. An eagle fighting with a
serpent. 12th. A beautiful statue of Helen. 13th. A group, with a
monster somewhat resembling a bull, engaged in deadly conflict with a
serpent; and many other works of art, too numerous to mention.]

The carnage being over, and the spoil distributed, six persons
were chosen from among the Franks and six from among the Venetians,
who were to meet and elect an Emperor, previously binding themselves
by oath to select the individual best qualified among the candidates.
The choice wavered between Baldwin, Count of Flanders, and Boniface,
Marquis of Montferrat, but fell eventually upon the former. He was
straightway robed in the imperial purple, and became the founder of a
new dynasty. He did not live long to enjoy his power, or to
consolidate it for his successors, who, in their turn, were soon swept
away. In less than sixty years the rule of the Franks at
Constantinople was brought to as sudden and disastrous a termination
as the reign of Murzuphlis: and this was the grand result of the fifth

Pope Innocent III, although he had looked with no very
unfavourable eye upon these proceedings, regretted that nothing had
been done for the relief of the Holy Land; still, upon every
convenient occasion, he enforced the necessity of a new Crusade. Until
the year 1213, his exhortations had no other effect than to keep the
subject in the mind of Europe. Every spring and summer, detachments of
pilgrims continued to set out for Palestine to the aid of their
brethren, but not in sufficient numbers to be of much service. These
periodical passages were called the passagiuum Martii, or the passage
of March, and the passagium Johannis, or the passage of the festival
of St. John. These did not consist entirely of soldiers, armed against
the Saracen, but of pilgrims led by devotion, and in performance of
their vows, bearing nothing with them but their staff and their
wallet. Early in the spring of 1213 a more extraordinary body of
crusaders was raised in France and Germany. An immense number of boys
and girls, amounting, according to some accounts, to thirty thousand,
were incited by the persuasion of two monks to undertake the journey
to Palestine. They were, no doubt, composed of the idle and deserted
children who generally swarm in great cities, nurtured in vice and
daring, and ready for anything. The object of the monks seems to have
been the atrocious one of inveigling them into slave ships, on
pretence of sending them to Syria, and selling them for slaves on the
coast of Africa. [See Jacob de Voragine and Albericus.] Great numbers
of these poor victims were shipped at Marseilles; but the vessels,
with the exception of two or three, were wrecked on the shores of
Italy, and every soul perished. The remainder arrived safely in
Africa, and were bought up as slaves, and sent off into the interior
of the country. Another detachment arrived at Genoa; but the
accomplices in this horrid plot having taken no measures at that port,
expecting them all at Marseilles, they were induced to return to their
homes by the Genoese.

Fuller, in his quaint history of the "Holy Warre," says that this
Crusade was done by the instinct of the devil; and he adds a reason,
which may provoke mirth now, but which was put forth by the worthy
historian in all soberness and sincerity. He says, "the devil, being
cloyed with the murdering of men, desired a cordial of children's
blood to comfort his weak stomach;" as epicures, when tired of mutton,
resort to lamb for a change.

It appears from other authors that the preaching of the vile monks
had such an effect upon these deluded children that they ran about the
country, exclaiming, "O, Lord Jesus, restore thy cross to us!" and
that neither bolts nor bars, the fear of fathers, nor the love of
mothers, was sufficient to restrain them from journeying to Jerusalem.

The details of these strange proceedings are exceedingly meagre
and confused, and none of the contemporary writers who mention the
subject have thought it worth while to state the names of the monks
who originated the scheme, or the fate they met for their wickedness.
Two merchants of Marseilles, who were to have shared in the profits,
were, it is said, brought to justice for some other crime, and
suffered death; but we are not informed whether they divulged any
circumstances relating to this matter.

Pope Innocent III does not seem to have been aware that the causes
of this juvenile Crusade were such as have been stated, for, upon
being informed that numbers of them had taken the Cross, and were
marching to the Holy Land, he exclaimed, "These children are awake,
while we sleep!" He imagined, apparently, that the mind of Europe was
still bent on the recovery of Palestine, and that the zeal of these
children implied a sort of reproach upon his own lukewarmness. Very
soon afterwards, he bestirred himself with more activity, and sent an
encyclical letter to the clergy of Christendom, urging them to preach
a new Crusade. As usual, a number of adventurous nobles, who had
nothing else to do, enrolled themselves with their retainers. At a
council of Lateran, which was held while these bands were collecting,
Innocent announced that he himself would take the Cross, and lead the
armies of Christ to the defence of his sepulchre. In all probability
he would have done so, for he was zealous enough; but death stepped
in, and destroyed his project ere it was ripe. His successor
encouraged the Crusade, though he refused to accompany it; and the
armament continued in France, England, and Germany. No leaders of any
importance joined it from the former countries. Andrew, King of
Hungary, was the only monarch who had leisure or inclination to leave
his dominions. The Dukes of Austria and Bavaria joined him with a
considerable army of Germans, and marching to Spalatro, took ship for
Cyprus, and from thence to Acre.

The whole conduct of the King of Hungary was marked by
pusillanimity and irresolution. He found himself in the Holy Land at
the head of a very efficient army; the Saracens were taken by
surprise, and were for some weeks unprepared to offer any resistance
to his arms. He defeated the first body sent to oppose him, and
marched towards Mount Tabor, with the intention of seizing upon an
important fortress which the Saracens had recently constructed. He
arrived without impediment at the Mount, and might have easily taken
it; but a sudden fit of cowardice came over him, and he returned to
Acre without striking a blow. He very soon afterwards abandoned the
enterprise altogether, and returned to his own country.

Tardy reinforcements arrived at intervals from Europe; and the
Duke of Austria, now the chief leader of the expedition, had still
sufficient forces at his command to trouble the Saracens very
seriously. It was resolved by him, in council with the other chiefs,
that the whole energy of the Crusade should be directed upon Egypt,
the seat of the Saracen power in its relationship to Palestine, and
from whence were drawn the continual levies that were brought against
them by the Sultan. Damietta, which commanded the river Nile, and was
one of the most important cities of Egypt, was chosen as the first
point of attack. The siege was forthwith commenced, and carried on
with considerable energy, until the crusaders gained possession of a
tower, which projected into the middle of the stream, and was looked
upon as the very key of the city.

While congratulating themselves upon this success, and wasting in
revelry the time which should have been employed in pushing the
advantage, they received the news of the death of the wise Sultan
Saphaddin. His two sons, Camhel and Cohreddin, divided his empire
between them. Syria and Palestine fell to the share of Cohreddin,
while Egypt was consigned to the other brother, who had for some time
exercised the functions of Lieutenant of that country. Being unpopular
among the Egyptians, they revolted against him, giving the crusaders a
finer opportunity for making a conquest than they had ever enjoyed
before. But, quarrelsome and licentious as they had been from time
immemorial, they did not see that the favourable moment had come; or,
seeing, could not profit by it. While they were revelling or fighting
among themselves, under the walls of Damietta, the revolt was put
down, and Camhel firmly established on the throne of Egypt. In
conjunction with his brother, Cohreddin, his next care was to drive
the Christians from Damietta, and, for upwards of three months, they
bent all their efforts to throw in supplies to the besieged, or draw
on the besiegers to a general engagement. In neither were they
successful; and the famine in Damietta became so dreadful, that vermin
of every description were thought luxuries, and sold for exorbitant
prices. A dead dog became more valuable than a live ox in time of
prosperity. Unwholesome food brought on disease, and the city could
hold out no longer, for absolute want of men to defend the walls.

Cohreddin and Camhel were alike interested in the preservation of
so important a position, and, convinced of the certain fate of the
city, they opened a conference with the crusading chiefs, offering to
yield the whole of Palestine to the Christians, upon the sole
condition of the evacuation of Egypt. With a blindness and
wrong-headedness almost incredible, these advantageous terms were
refused, chiefly through the persuasion of Cardinal Pelagius, an
ignorant and obstinate fanatic, who urged upon the Duke of Austria and
the French and English leaders, that infidels never kept their word;
that their offers were deceptive, and merely intended to betray. The
conferences were brought to an abrupt termination by the crusaders,
and a last attack made upon the walls of Damietta. The besieged made
but slight resistance, for they had no hope, and the Christians
entered the city, and found, out of seventy thousand people, but three
thousand remaining: so fearful had been the ravages of the twin
fiends, plague and famine.

Several months were spent in Damietta. The climate either weakened
the frames or obscured the understandings of the Christians; for,
after their conquest, they lost all energy, and abandoned themselves
more unscrupulously than ever to riot and debauchery. John of Brienne,
who, by right of his wife, was the nominal sovereign of Jerusalem, was
so disgusted with the pusillanimity, arrogance, and dissensions of the
chiefs, that he withdrew entirely from them, and retired to Acre.
Large bodies also returned to Europe, and Cardinal Pelagius was left
at liberty to blast the whole enterprise whenever it pleased him. He
managed to conciliate John of Brienne, and marched forward with these
combined forces to attack Cairo. It was only when he had approached
within a few hours' march of that city, that he discovered the
inadequacy of his army. He turned back immediately, but the Nile had
risen since his departure; the sluices were opened, and there was no
means of reaching Damietta. In this strait, he sued for the peace he
had formerly spurned, and, happily for himself, found the generous
brothers, Camhel and Cohreddin, still willing to grant it. Damietta
was soon afterwards given up, and the Cardinal returned to Europe.
John of Brienne retired to Acre, to mourn the loss of his kingdom,
embittered against the folly of his pretended friends, who had ruined
where they should have aided him. And thus ended the sixth Crusade.

The seventh was more successful. Frederic II, Emperor of Germany,
had often vowed to lead his armies to the defence of Palestine, but
was as often deterred from the journey by matters of more pressing
importance. Cohreddin was a mild and enlightened monarch, and the
Christians of Syria enjoyed repose and toleration under his rule: but
John of Brienne was not willing to lose his kingdom without an effort;
and the Popes in Europe were ever willing to embroil the nations for
the sake of extending their own power. No monarch of that age was
capable of rendering more effective assistance than Frederic of
Germany. To inspire him with more zeal, it was proposed that he should
wed the young Princess, Violante, daughter of John of Brienne, and
heiress of the kingdom of Jerusalem. Frederic consented with joy and
eagerness. The Princess was brought from Acre to Rome without delay,
and her marriage celebrated on a scale of great magnificence. Her
father, John of Brienne, abdicated all his rights in favour of his
son-in-law, and Jerusalem had once more a king, who had not only the
will, but the power, to enforce his claims. Preparations for the new
crusade were immediately commenced, and in the course of six months
the Emperor was at the head of a well-disciplined army of sixty
thousand men. Matthew Paris informs us, that an army of the same
amount was gathered in England; and most of the writers upon the
Crusades adopt his statement. When John of Brienne was in England,
before his daughter's marriage with the Emperor was thought of,
praying for the aid of Henry III. and his nobles to recover his lost
kingdom, he did not meet with much encouragement. Grafton, in his
Chronicle, says, "he departed again without any great comfort." But
when a man of more influence in European politics appeared upon the
scene, the English nobles were as ready to sacrifice themselves in the
cause as they had been in the time of Coeur de Lion.

The army of Frederic encamped at Brundusium; but a pestilential
disease having made its appearance among them, their departure was
delayed for several months. In the mean time the Empress Violante died
in child-bed. John of Brienne, who had already repented of his
abdication, and was besides incensed against Frederic for many acts of
neglect and insult, no sooner saw the only tie which bound them,
severed by the death of his daughter, than he began to bestir himself,
and make interest with the Pope to undo what he had done, and regain
the honorary crown he had renounced. Pope Gregory the Ninth, a man of
a proud, unconciliating, and revengeful character, owed the Emperor a
grudge for many an act of disobedience to his authority, and
encouraged the overtures of John of Brienne more than he should have
done. Frederic, however, despised them both, and, as soon as his army
was convalescent, set sail for Acre. He had not been many days at sea,
when he was himself attacked with the malady, and obliged to return to
Otranto, the nearest port. Gregory, who had by this time decided in
the interest of John of Brienne, excommunicated the Emperor for
returning from so holy an expedition on any pretext whatever. Frederic
at first treated the excommunication with supreme contempt; but when
he got well, he gave his Holiness to understand that he was not to be
outraged with impunity, and sent some of his troops to ravage the
Papal territories. This, however, only made the matter worse, and
Gregory despatched messengers to Palestine, forbidding the faithful,
under severe pains and penalties, to hold any intercourse with the
excommunicated Emperor. Thus between them both, the scheme which they
had so much at heart bade fair to be as effectually ruined as even the
Saracens could have wished. Frederic still continued his zeal in the
Crusade, for he was now King of Jerusalem, and fought for himself, and
not for Christendom, or its representative, Pope Gregory. Hearing that
John of Brienne was preparing to leave Europe, he lost no time in
taking his own departure, and arrived safely at Acre. It was here that
he first experienced the evil effects of excommunication. The
Christians of Palestine refused to aid him in any way, and looked with
distrust, if not with abhorrence, upon him. The Templars,
Hospitallers, and other knights, shared at first the general feeling;
but they were not men to yield a blind obedience to a distant
potentate, especially when it compromised their own interests. When,
therefore, Frederic prepared to march upon Jerusalem without them,
they joined his banners to a man.

It is said, that previous to quitting Europe, the German Emperor
had commenced a negotiation with the Sultan Camhel for the restoration
of the Holy Land, and that Camhel, who was jealous of the ambition of
his brother Cohreddin, was willing to stipulate to that effect, on
condition of being secured by Frederic in the possession of the more
important territory of Egypt. But before the crusaders reached
Palestine, Camhel was relieved from all fears by the death of his
brother. He nevertheless did not think it worth while to contest with
the crusaders the barren corner of the earth which had already been
dyed with so much Christian and Saracen blood, and proposed a truce of
three years, only stipulating, in addition, that the Moslems should be
allowed to worship freely in the Temple of Jerusalem. This happy
termination did not satisfy the bigoted Christians of Palestine. The
tolerance they fought for themselves, they were not willing to extend
to others, and they complained bitterly of the privilege of free
worship allowed to their opponents. Unmerited good fortune had made
them insolent, and they contested the right of the Emperor to become a
party to any treaty, as long as he remained under the ecclesiastical
ban. Frederic was disgusted with his new subjects; but, as the
Templars and Hospitallers remained true to him, he marched to
Jerusalem to be crowned. All the churches were shut against him, and
he could not even find a priest to officiate at his coronation. He had
despised the Papal authority too long to quail at it now, when it was
so unjustifiably exerted, and, as there was nobody to crown him, he
very wisely crowned himself. He took the royal diadem from the altar
with his own hands, and boldly and proudly placed it on his brow. No
shouts of an applauding populace made the welkin ring, no hymns of
praise and triumph resounded from the ministers of religion; but a
thousand swords started from their scabbards, to testify that their
owners would defend the new monarch to the death.

It was hardly to be expected that he would renounce for any long
period the dominion of his native land for the uneasy crown and barren
soil of Palestine. He had seen quite enough of his new subjects before
he was six months among them, and more important interests called him
home. John of Brienne, openly leagued with Pope Gregory against him,
was actually employed in ravaging his territories at the head of a
papal army. This intelligence decided his return. As a preliminary
step, he made those who had contemned his authority feel, to their
sorrow, that he was their master. He then set sail, loaded with the
curses of Palestine. And thus ended the seventh Crusade, which, in
spite of every obstacle and disadvantage, had been productive of more
real service to the Holy Land than any that had gone before; a result
solely attributable to the bravery of Frederic and the generosity of
the Sultan Camhel.

Soon after the Emperor's departure a new claimant started for the
throne of Jerusalem, in the person of Alice, Queen of Cyprus, and
half-sister of the Mary who, by her marriage, had transferred her
right to John of Brienne. The grand military orders, however, clung to
Frederic, and Alice was obliged to withdraw.

So peaceful a termination to the Crusade did not give unmixed
pleasure in Europe. The chivalry of France and England were unable to
rest, and long before the conclusion of the truce, were collecting
their armies for an eighth expedition. In Palestine, also, the
contentment was far from universal. Many petty Mahomedan states in the
immediate vicinity were not parties to the truce, and harassed the
frontier towns incessantly. The Templars, ever turbulent, waged bitter
war with the Sultan of Aleppo, and in the end were almost
exterminated. So great was the slaughter among them that Europe
resounded with the sad story of their fate, and many a noble knight
took arms to prevent the total destruction of an order associated with
so many high and inspiring remembrances. Camhel, seeing the
preparations that were making, thought that his generosity had been
sufficiently shown, and the very day the truce was at an end assumed
the offensive, and marching forward to Jerusalem took possession of
it, after routing the scanty forces of the Christians. Before this
intelligence reached Europe a large body of crusaders was on the
march, headed by the King of Navarre, the Duke of Burgundy, the Count
de Bretagne, and other leaders. On their arrival, they learned that
Jerusalem had been taken, but that the Sultan was dead, and his
kingdom torn by rival claimants to the supreme power. The dissensions
of their foes ought to have made them united, but, as in all previous
Crusades, each feudal chief was master of his own host, and acted upon
his own responsibility, and without reference to any general plan. The
consequence was that nothing could be done. A temporary advantage was
gained by one leader, who had no means of improving it, while another
was defeated, without means of retrieving himself. Thus the war
lingered till the battle of Gaza, when the King of Navarre was
defeated with great loss, and compelled to save himself from total
destruction by entering into a hard and oppressive treaty with the
Emir of Karac.

At this crisis aid arrived from England, commanded by Richard Earl
of Cornwall, the namesake of Coeur de Lion, and inheritor of his
valour. His army was strong, and full of hope. They had confidence in
themselves and in their leader, and looked like men accustomed to
victory. Their coming changed the aspect of affairs. The new Sultan of
Egypt was at war with the Sultan of Damascus, and had not forces to
oppose two enemies so powerful. He therefore sent messengers to meet
the English Earl, offering an exchange of prisoners and the complete
cession of the Holy Land. Richard, who had not come to fight for the
mere sake of fighting, agreed at once to terms so advantageous, and
became the deliverer of Palestine without striking a blow. The Sultan
of Egypt then turned his whole force against his Moslem enemies, and
the Earl of Cornwall returned to Europe. Thus ended the eighth
Crusade, the most beneficial of all. Christendom had no further
pretence for sending her fierce levies to the East. To all appearance,
the holy wars were at an end: the Christians had entire possession of
Jerusalem, Tripoli, Antioch, Edessa, Acre, Jaffa, and, in fact, of
nearly all Judea; and, could they have been at peace among themselves,
they might have overcome, without great difficulty, the jealousy and
hostility of their neighhours. A circumstance, as unforeseen as it was
disastrous, blasted this fair prospect, and reillumed, for the last
time, the fervour and fury of the Crusades.

Gengis Khan and his successors had swept over Asia like a tropical
storm, overturning in their progress the landmarks of ages. Kingdom
after kingdom was cast down as they issued, innumerable, from the far
recesses of the North and East, and, among others, the empire of
Korasmin was overrun by these all-conquering hordes. The Korasmins, a
fierce, uncivilized race, thus driven from their homes, spread
themselves, in their turn, over the south of Asia with fire and sword,
in search of a resting place. In their impetuous course they directed
themselves towards Egypt, whose Sultan, unable to withstand the swarm
that had cast their longing eyes on the fertile valleys of the Nile,
endeavoured to turn them from their course. For this purpose, he sent
emissaries to Barbaquan, their leader, inviting them to settle in
Palestine; and the offer being accepted by the wild horde, they
entered the country before the Christians received the slightest
intimation of their coming. It was as sudden as it was overwhelming.
Onwards, like the simoom, they came, burning and slaying, and were at
the walls of Jerusalem before the inhabitants had time to look round
them. They spared neither life nor property; they slew women and
children, and priests at the altar, and profaned even the graves of
those who had slept for ages. They tore down every vestige of the
Christian faith, and committed horrors unparalleled in the history of
warfare. About seven thousand of the inhabitants of Jerusalem sought
safety in retreat; but before they were out of sight, the banner of
the Cross was hoisted upon the walls by the savage foe to decoy them
back. The artifice was but too successful. The poor fugitives imagined
that help had arrived from another direction, and turned back to
regain their homes. Nearly the whole of them were massacred, and the
streets of Jerusalem ran with blood.

The Templars, Hospitallers, and Teutonic knights forgot their long
and bitter animosities, and joined hand in hand to rout out this
desolating foe. They intrenched themselves in Jaffa with all the
chivalry of Palestine that yet remained, and endeavoured to engage the
Sultans of Emissa and Damascus to assist them against the common
enemy. The aid obtained from the Moslems amounted at first to only
four thousand men, but with these reinforcements Walter of Brienne,
the Lord of Jaffa, resolved to give battle to the Korasrains. The
conflict was as deadly as despair on the one side, and unmitigated
ferocity on the other, could make it. It lasted with varying fortune
for two days, when the Sultan of Emissa fled to his fortifications,
and Walter of Brienne fell into the enemy's hands. The brave knight
was suspended by the arms to a cross in sight of the walls of Jaffa,
and the Korasminian leader declared that he should remain in that
position until the city surrendered. Walter raised his feeble voice,
not to advise surrender, but to command his soldiers to hold out to
the last. But his gallantry was unavailing. So great had been the
slaughter, that out of the grand array of knights, there now remained
but sixteen Hospitallers, thirty-three Templars, and three Teutonic
cavaliers. These with the sad remnant of the army fled to Acre, and
the Korasmins were masters of Palestine.

The Sultans of Syria preferred the Christians to this fierce horde
for their neighbours. Even the Sultan of Egypt began to regret the aid
he had given to such barbarous foes, and united with those of Emissa
and Damascus to root them from the land. The Korasmins amounted to but
twenty thousand men, and were unable to resist the determined
hostility which encompassed them on every side. The Sultans defeated
them in several engagements, and the peasantry rose up in masses to
take vengeance upon them. Gradually their numbers were diminished. No
mercy was shown them in defeat. Barbaquan, their leader, was slain,
and after five years of desperate struggles they were finally
extirpated, and Palestine became once more the territory of the

A short time previous to this devastating irruption, Louis IX.
fell sick in Paris, and dreamed in the delirium of his fever that he
saw the Christian and Moslem hosts fighting before Jerusalem, and the
Christians defeated with great slaughter. The dream made a great
impression on his superstitious mind, and he made a solemn vow that if
ever he recovered his health, he would take a pilgrimage to the Holy
Land. When the news of the misfortunes of Palestine, and the awful
massacres at Jerusalem and Jaffa, arrived in Europe, St. Louis
remembered him of his dream. More persuaded than ever, that it was an
intimation direct from Heaven, he prepared to take the Cross at the
head of his armies, and march to the deliverance of the Holy
Sepulchre. From that moment he doffed the royal mantle of purple and
ermine, and dressed in the sober serge becoming a pilgrim. All his
thoughts were directed to the fulfilment of his design, and although
his kingdom could but ill spare him, he made every preparation to
leave it. Pope Innocent IV. applauded his zeal and afforded him every
assistance. He wrote to Henry III. of England to forward the cause in
his dominions, and called upon the clergy and laity all over Europe to
contribute towards it. William Longsword, the celebrated Earl of
Salisbury, took the Cross at the head of a great number of valiant
knights and soldiers. But the fanaticism of the people was not to be
awakened either in France or England. Great armies were raised, but
the masses no longer sympathized. Taxation had been the great cooler
of zeal. It was no longer a disgrace even to a knight if he refused to
take the Cross. Rutebeuf, a French minstrel, who flourished about this
time (1250), composed a dialogue between a crusader and a
non-crusader, which the reader will find translated in "Way's
Fabliaux." The crusader uses every argument to persuade the
non-crusader to take up arms, and forsake every thing, in the holy
cause; but it is evident from the greater force of the arguments used
by the noncrusader, that he was the favourite of the minstrel. To a
most urgent solicitation of his friend, the crusader, he replies,

"I read thee right, thou boldest good
To this same land I straight should hie,
And win it back with mickle blood,
Nor gaine one foot of soil thereby.
While here dejected and forlorn,
My wife and babes are left to mourn;
My goodly mansion rudely marred,
All trusted to my dogs to guard.
But I, fair comrade, well I wot
An ancient saw, of pregnant wit,
Doth bid us keep what we have got,
And troth I mean to follow it."

This being the general feeling, it is not to be wondered at that Louis
IX. was occupied fully three years in organizing his forces, and in
making the necessary preparations for his departure. When all was
ready he set sail for Cyprus, accompanied by his Queen, his two
brothers, the Counts d'Anjou and d'Artois, and a long train of the
noblest chivalry of France. His third brother, the Count de Poitiers,
remained behind to collect another corps of crusaders, and followed
him in a few months afterwards. The army united at Cyprus, and
amounted to fifty thousand men, exclusive of the English crusaders
under William Longsword. Again, a pestilential disease made its
appearance, to which many hundreds fell victims. It was in consequence
found necessary to remain in Cyprus until the spring. Louis then
embarked for Egypt with his whole host; but a violent tempest
separated his fleet, and he arrived before Damietta with only a few
thousand men. They were, however, impetuous and full of hope; and
although the Sultan Melick Shah was drawn up on the shore with a force
infinitely superior, it was resolved to attempt a landing without
waiting the arrival of the rest of the army. Louis himself in wild
impatience sprang from his boat, and waded on shore; while his army,
inspired by his enthusiastic bravery, followed, shouting the old
war-cry of the first crusaders, Dieu le veut! Dieu le veut! A panic
seized the Turks. A body of their cavalry attempted to bear down upon
the crusaders, but the knights fixed their large shields deep in the
sands of the shore. and rested their lances upon them, so that they
projected above, and formed a barrier so imposing, that the Turks,
afraid to breast it, turned round and fairly took to flight. At the
moment of this panic, a false report was spread in the Saracen host,
that the Sultan had been slain. The confusion immediately became
general -- the deroute was complete: Damietta itself was abandoned,
and the same night the victorious crusaders fixed their headquarters
in that city. The soldiers who had been separated from their chief by
the tempest, arrived shortly afterwards; and Louis was in a position
to justify the hope, not only of the conquest of Palestine, but of
Egypt itself.

But too much confidence proved the bane of his army. They thought,
as they had accomplished so much, that nothing more remained to be
done, and gave themselves up to ease and luxury. When, by the command
of Louis, they marched towards Cairo, they were no longer the same
men; success, instead of inspiring, had unnerved them; debauchery had
brought on disease, and disease was aggravated by the heat of a
climate to which none of them were accustomed. Their progress towards
Massoura, on the road to Cairo, was checked by the Thanisian canal, on
the banks of which the Saracens were drawn up to dispute the passage.
Louis gave orders that a bridge should be thrown across; and the
operations commenced under cover of two cat-castles, or high moveable
towers. The Saracens soon destroyed them by throwing quantities of
Greek fire, the artillery of that day, upon them, and Louis was forced
to think of some other means of effecting his design. A peasant
agreed, for a considerable bribe, to point out a ford where the army
might wade across, and the Count d'Artois was despatched with fourteen
hundred men to attempt it, while Louis remained to face the Saracens
with the main body of the army. The Count d'Artois got safely over,
and defeated the detachment that had been sent to oppose his landing.
Flushed with the victory, the brave Count forgot the inferiority of
his numbers, and pursued the panic-stricken enemy into Massoura. He
was now completely cut off from the aid of his brother-crusaders,
which the Moslems perceiving, took courage and returned upon him, with
a force swollen by the garrison of Massoura, and by reinforcements
from the surrounding districts. The battle now became hand to hand.
The Christians fought with the energy of desperate men, but the
continually increasing numbers of the foe surrounded them completely,
and cut off all hope, either of victory or escape. The Count d'Artois
was among the foremost of the slain, and when Louis arrived to the
rescue, the brave advance-guard was nearly cut to pieces. Of the
fourteen hundred but three hundred remained. The fury of the battle
was now increased threefold. The French King and his troops performed
prodigies of valour, and the Saracens, under the command of the Emir
Ceccidun, fought as if they were determined to exterminate, in one
last decisive effort, the new European swarm that had settled upon
their coast. At the fall of the evening dews the Christians were
masters of the field of Massoura, and flattered themselves that they
were the victors. Self-love would not suffer them to confess that the
Saracens had withdrawn, and not retreated; but their leaders were too
wofully convinced that that fatal field had completed the
disorganization of the Christian army, and that all hopes of future
conquest were at an end.

Impressed with this truth, the crusaders sued for peace. The
Sultan insisted upon the immediate evacuation of Damietta, and that
Louis himself should be delivered as hostage for the fulfilment of the
condition. His army at once refused, and the negotiations were broken
off. It was now resolved to attempt a retreat; but the agile Saracens,
now in the front and now in the rear, rendered it a matter of extreme
difficulty, and cut off the stragglers in great numbers. Hundreds of
them were drowned in the Nile; and sickness and famine worked sad
ravage upon those who escaped all other casualties. Louis himself was
so weakened by disease, fatigue, and discouragement that he was
hardly able to sit upon his horse. In the confusion of the flight he
was separated from his attendants, and left a total stranger upon the
sands of Egypt, sick, weary, and almost friendless. One knight, Geffry
de Sergines, alone attended him, and led him to a miserable hut in a
small village, where for several days he lay in the hourly expectation
of death. He was at last discovered and taken prisoner by the
Saracens, who treated him with all the honour due to his rank and all
the pity due to his misfortunes. Under their care his health rapidly
improved, and the next consideration was that of his ransom.

The Saracens demanded, besides money, the cession of Acre,
Tripoli, and other cities of Palestine. Louis unhesitatingly refused,
and conducted himself with so much pride and courage that the Sultan
declared he was the proudest infidel he had ever beheld. After a good
deal of haggling, the Sultan agreed to waive these conditions, and a
treaty was finally concluded. The city of Damietta was restored; a
truce of ten years agreed upon, and ten thousand golden bezants paid
for the release of Louis and the liberation of all the captives. Louis
then withdrew to Jaffa, and spent two years in putting that city, and
Cesarea, with the other possessions of the Christians in Palestine,
into a proper state of defence. He then returned to his own country,
with great reputation as a saint, but very little as a soldier.

Matthew Paris informs us that, in the year 1250, while Louis was
in Egypt, "thousands of the English were resolved to go to the holy
war, had not the King strictly guarded his ports and kept his people
from running out of doors." When the news arrived of the reverses and
captivity of the French King, their ardour cooled; and the Crusade was
sung of only, but not spoken of.

In France, a very different feeling was the result. The news of
the King's capture spread consternation through the country. A fanatic
monk of Citeaux suddenly appeared in the villages, preaching to the
people, and announcing that the Holy Virgin, accompanied by a whole
army of saints and martyrs, had appeared to him, and commanded him to
stir up the shepherds and farm labourers to the defence of the Cross.
To them only was his discourse addressed, and his eloquence was such
that thousands flocked around him, ready to follow wherever he should
lead. The pastures and the corn-fields were deserted, and the
shepherds, or pastoureaux, as they were termed, became at last so
numerous as to amount to upwards of fifty thousand, -- Millot says one
hundred thousand men. [Elemens de l'Histoire de France.] The Queen
Blanche, who governed as Regent during the absence of the King,
encouraged at first the armies of the pastoureaux; but they soon gave
way to such vile excesses that the peaceably disposed were driven to
resistance. Robbery, murder, and violation marked their path; and all
good men, assisted by the government, united in putting them down.
They were finally dispersed, but not before three thousand of them had
been massacred. Many authors say that the slaughter was still greater.

The ten years' truce concluded in 1264, and St. Louis was urged by
two powerful motives to undertake a second expedition for the relief
of Palestine. These were fanaticism on the one hand, and a desire of
retrieving his military fame on the other, which had suffered more
than his parasites liked to remind him of. The Pope, of course,
encouraged his design, and once more the chivalry of Europe began to
bestir themselves. In 1268, Edward, the heir of the English monarchy,
announced his determination to join the Crusade; and the Pope (Clement
IV.) wrote to the prelates and clergy to aid the cause by their
persuasions and their revenues. In England, they agreed to contribute
a tenth of their possessions; and by a parliamentary order, a
twentieth was taken from the corn and moveables of all the laity at

In spite of the remonstrances of the few clearheaded statesmen who
surrounded him, urging the ruin that might in consequence fall upon
his then prosperous kingdom, Louis made every preparation for his
departure. The warlike nobility were nothing loth, and in the spring
of 1270, the King set sail with an army of sixty thousand men. He was
driven by stress of weather into Sardinia, and while there, a change
in his plans took place. Instead of proceeding to Acre, as he
originally intended, he shaped his course for Tunis, on the African
coast. The King of Tunis had some time previously expressed himself
favourably disposed towards the Christians and their religion, and
Louis, it appears, had hopes of converting him, and securing his aid
against the Sultan of Egypt. "What honour would be mine," he used to
say, "if I could become godfather to this Mussulman King." Filled with
this idea he landed in Africa, near the site of the city of Carthage,
but found that he had reckoned without his host. The King of Tunis had
no thoughts of renouncing his religion, nor intention of aiding the
Crusaders in any way. On the contrary, he opposed their landing with
all the forces that could be collected on so sudden an emergency. The
French, however, made good their first position, and defeated the
Moslems with considerable loss. They also gained some advantage over
the reinforcements that were sent to oppose them; but an infectious
flux appeared in the army, and put a stop to all future victories. The
soldiers died at the rate of a hundred in a day. The enemy, at the
same time, made as great havoc as the plague. St. Louis himself was
one of the first attacked by the disease. His constitution had been
weakened by fatigues, and even before he left France he was unable to
bear the full weight of his armour. It was soon evident to his
sorrowing soldiers that their beloved monarch could not long survive.
He lingered for some days, and died in Carthage, in the fifty-sixth
year of his age, deeply regretted by his army and his subjects, and
leaving behind him one of the most singular reputations in history. He
is the model-king of ecclesiastical writers, in whose eyes his very
defects became virtues, because they were manifested in furtherance of
their cause. More unprejudiced historians, while they condemn his
fanaticism, admit that he was endowed with many high and rare
qualities; that he was in no one point behind his age, and, in many,
in advance of it.

His brother, Charles of Anjou, in consequence of a revolution in
Sicily, had become King of that country. Before he heard of the death
of Louis, he had sailed from Messina with large reinforcements. On his
landing near Carthage, he advanced at the head of his army, amid the
martial music of drums and trumpets. He was soon informed how
inopportune was his rejoicing, and shed tears before his whole army,
such as no warrior would have been ashamed to shed. A peace was
speedily agreed upon with the King of Tunis, and the armies of France
and Sicily returned to their homes.

So little favour had the Crusade found in England, that even the
exertions of the heir to the throne had only collected a small force
of fifteen hundred men. With these few Prince Edward sailed from Dover
to Bourdeaux, in the expectation that he would find the French King in
that city. St. Louis, however, had left a few weeks previously; upon
which Edward followed him to Sardinia, and afterwards to Tunis. Before
his arrival in Africa, St. Louis was no more, and peace had been
concluded between France and Tunis. He determined, however, not to
relinquish the Crusade. Returning to Sicily, he passed the winter in
that country, and endeavoured to augment his little army. In the
spring he set sail for Palestine, and arrived in safety at Acre. The
Christians were torn, as usual, by mutual jealousies and animosities.
The two great military orders were as virulent and as intractable as
ever; opposed to each other, and to all the world. The arrival of
Edward had the effect of causing them to lay aside their unworthy
contention, and of uniting heart to heart, in one last effort for the
deliverance of their adopted country. A force of six thousand
effective warriors was soon formed to join those of the English
prince, and preparations were made for the renewal of hostilities. The
Sultan, Bibars or Bendocdar, [Mills, in his history, gives the name of
this chief as Al Malek al Dhaker Rokneddin Abulfeth Bibars al Ali al
Bundokdari al Salehi."] a fierce Mamluke, who had been placed on the
throne by a bloody revolution, was at war with all his neighbours, and
unable, for that reason, to concentrate his whole strength against
them. Edward took advantage of this; and marching boldly forward to
Nazareth, defeated the Turks and gained possession of that city. This
was the whole amount of his successes. The hot weather engendered
disease among his troops, and he himself, the life and soul of the
expedition, fell sick among the first. He had been ill for some time,
and was slowly recovering, when a messenger desired to speak with him
on important matters, and to deliver some despatches into his own
hand. While the Prince was occupied in examining them, the traitorous
messenger drew a dagger from his belt, and stabbed him in the breast.
The wound fortunately was not deep, and Edward had gained a portion of
his strength. He struggled with the assassin, and put him to death
with his own dagger, at the same time calling loudly for assistance.
[The reader will recognise the incident which Sir Walter Scott has
introduced into his beautiful romance, "The Talisman," and which, with
the licence claimed by poets and romancers, he represents as having
befallen King Richard I.] His attendants came at his call, and found
him bleeding profusely, and ascertained on inspection that the dagger
was poisoned. Means were instantly taken to purify the wound; and an
antidote was sent by the Grand Master of the Templars which removed
all danger from the effects of the poison. Camden, in his history, has
adopted the more popular, and certainly more beautiful, version of
this story, which says that the Princess Eleonora, in her love for her
gallant husband, sucked the poison from his wound at the risk of her
own life: to use the words of old Fuller, "It is a pity so pretty a
story should not be true; and that so sovereign a remedy as a woman's
tongue, anointed with the virtue of loving affection," should not have
performed the good deed.

Edward suspected, and doubtless not without reason, that the
assassin was employed by the Sultan of Egypt. But it amounted to
suspicion only; and by the sudden death of the assassin, the principal
clue to the discovery of the truth was lost for ever. Edward, on his
recovery, prepared to resume the offensive; but the Sultan,
embarrassed by the defence of interests which, for the time being, he
considered of more importance, made offers of peace to the crusaders.
This proof of weakness on the part of the enemy was calculated to
render a man of Edward's temperament more anxious to prosecute the
war; but he had also other interests to defend. News arrived in
Palestine of the death of his father, King Henry III; and his presence
being necessary in England, he agreed to the terms of the Sultan.
These were, that the Christians should be allowed to retain their
possessions in the Holy Land, and that a truce of ten years should be
proclaimed. Edward then set sail for England; and thus ended the last

The after-fate of the Holy Land may be told in a few words. The
Christians, unmindful of their past sufferings and of the jealous
neighbours they had to deal with, first broke the truce by plundering
some Egyptian traders near Margat. The Sultan immediately revenged the
outrage by taking possession of Margat, and war once more raged
between the nations. Margat made a gallant defence, but no
reinforcements arrived from Europe to prevent its fall. Tripoli was
the next, and other cities in succession, until at last Acre was the
only city of Palestine that remained in possession of the Christians.

The Grand Master of the Templars collected together his small and
devoted band; and with the trifling aid afforded by the King of
Cyprus, prepared to defend to the death the last possession of his
order. Europe was deaf to his cry for aid, the numbers of the foe were
overwhelming, and devoted bravery was of no avail. In that disastrous
siege the Christians were all but exterminated. The King of Cyprus
fled when he saw that resistance was vain, and the Grand Master fell
at the head of his knights, pierced with a hundred wounds. Seven
Templars, and as many Hospitallets, alone escaped from the dreadful
carnage. The victorious Moslems then set fire to the city, and the
rule of the Christians in Palestine was brought to a close for ever.

This intelligence spread alarm and sorrow among the clergy of
Europe, who endeavoured to rouse once more the energy and enthusiasm
of the nations, in the cause of the Holy Land: but the popular mania
had run its career; the spark of zeal had burned its appointed time,
and was never again to be re-illumined. Here and there a solitary
knight announced his determination to take up arms, and now and then a
king gave cold encouragement to the scheme; but it dropped almost as
soon as spoken of, to be renewed again, still more feebly, at some
longer interval.

Now what was the grand result of all these struggles? Europe
expended millions of her treasures, and the blood of two millions of
her children; and a handful of quarrelsome knights retained possession
of Palestine for about one hundred years! Even had Christendom
retained it to this day, the advantage, if confined to that, would
have been too dearly purchased. But notwithstanding the fanaticism
that originated, and the folly that conducted them, the Crusades were
not productive of unmitigated evil. The feudal chiefs became better
members of society, by coming in contact, in Asia, with a civilization
superior to their own; the people secured some small instalments of
their rights; kings, no longer at war with their nobility, had time to
pass some good laws; the human mind learned some little wisdom from
hard experience, and, casting off the slough of superstition in which
the Roman clergy had so long enveloped it, became prepared to receive
the seeds of the approaching Reformation. Thus did the all-wise
Disposer of events bring good out of evil, and advance the
civilization and ultimate happiness of the nations of the West, by
means of the very fanaticism that had led them against the East. But
the whole subject is one of absorbing interest; and if carried fully
out in all its bearings, would consume more space than the plan of
this work will allow. The philosophic student will draw his own
conclusions; and he can have no better field for the exercise of his
powers than this European madness; its advantages and disadvantages;
its causes and results.


What wrath of gods, or wicked influence
Of tears, conspiring wretched men t' afflict,
Hath pour'd on earth this noyous pestilence,
That mortal minds doth inwardly infect
With love of blindness and of ignorance ?

Spencer's Tears of the Muses.

Countrymen: "Hang her! -- beat her! -- kill her!"
Justice: "How now? Forbear this violence!"
Mother Sawyer: "A crew of villains -- a knot of bloody hangmen! set to
torment me! -- I know not why."
Justice: "Alas! neighbour Banks, are you a ringleader in mischief? Fie
I to abuse an aged woman!"
Banks: "Woman! -- a she hell-cat, a witch! To prove her one, we no
sooner set fire on the thatch of her house, but in she came
running, as if the Devil had sent her in a barrel of

Ford's Witch of Edmonton.

The belief that disembodied spirits may be permitted to revisit
this world, has its foundation upon that sublime hope of immortality,
which is at once the chief solace and greatest triumph of our reason.
Even if revelation did not teach us, we feel that we have that within
us which shall never die; and all our experience of this life but
makes us cling the more fondly to that one repaying hope. But
in the early days of "little knowledge," this grand belief became the
source of a whole train of superstitions, which, in their turn, became
the fount from whence flowed a deluge of blood and horror. Europe, for
a period of two centuries and a half, brooded upon the idea, not only
that parted spirits walked the earth to meddle in the affairs of men,
but that men had power to summon evil spirits to their aid to work woe
upon their fellows. An epidemic terror seized upon the nations; no man
thought himself secure, either in his person or possessions, from the
machinations of the devil and his agents. Every calamity that befell
him, he attributed to a witch. If a storm arose and blew down his
barn, it was witchcraft; if his cattle died of a murrain-if disease
fastened upon his limbs, or death entered suddenly, and snatched a
beloved face from his hearth -- they were not visitations of
Providence, but the works of some neighbouring hag, whose wretchedness
or insanity caused the ignorant to raise their finger, and point at
her as a witch. The word was upon everybody's tongue -- France, ItaLy,
Germany, England, Scotland, and the far North, successively ran mad
upon this subject, and for a long series of years, furnished their
tribunals with so many trials for witchcraft that other crimes were
seldom or never spoken of. Thousands upon thousands of unhappy persons
fell victims to this cruel and absurd delusion. In many cities of
Germany, as will be shown more fully in its due place hereafter, the
average number of executions for this pretended crime, was six hundred
annually, or two every day, if we leave out the Sundays, when, it is
to be supposed, that even this madness refrained from its work.

A misunderstanding of the famous text of the Mosaic law, "Thou
shalt not suffer a witch to live," no doubt led many conscientious men
astray, whose superstition, warm enough before, wanted but a little
corroboration to blaze out with desolating fury. In all ages of the
world men have tried to hold converse with superior beings; and to
pierce, by their means, the secrets of futurity. In the time of Moses,
it is evident that there were impostors, who trafficked upon the
credulity of mankind, and insulted the supreme majesty of the true God
by pretending to the power of divination. Hence the law which Moses,
by Divine command, promulgated against these criminals; but it did not
follow, as the superstitious monomaniacs of the middle ages imagined,
that the Bible established the existence of the power of divination by
its edicts against those who pretended to it. From the best
authorities, it appears that the Hebrew word, which has been rendered,
venefica, and witch, means a poisoner and divineress -- a dabbler in
spells, or fortune-teller. The modern witch was a very different
character, and joined to her pretended power of foretelling future
events that of working evil upon the life, limbs, and possessions of
mankind. This power was only to be acquired by an express compact,
signed in blood, with the devil himself, by which the wizard or witch
renounced baptism, and sold his or her immortal soul to the evil one,
without any saving clause of redemption.

There are so many wondrous appearances in nature, for which
science and philosophy cannot, even now, account, that it is not
surprising that, when natural laws were still less understood, men
should have attributed to supernatural agency every appearance which
they could not otherwise explain. The merest tyro now understands
various phenomena which the wisest of old could not fathom. The
schoolboy knows why, upon high mountains, there should, on certain
occasions, appear three or four suns in the firmament at once; and why
the figure of a traveller upon one eminence should be reproduced,
inverted, and of a gigantic stature, upon another. We all know the
strange pranks which imagination can play in certain diseases -- that
the hypochondriac can see visions and spectres, and that there have
been cases in which men were perfectly persuaded that they were
teapots. Science has lifted up the veil, and rolled away all the
fantastic horrors in which our forefathers shrouded these and similar
cases. The man who now imagines himself a wolf, is sent to the
hospital, instead of to the stake, as in the days of the witch mania;
and earth, air, and sea are unpeopled of the grotesque spirits that
were once believed to haunt them.

Before entering further into the history of Witchcraft, it may be
as well if we consider the absurd impersonation of the evil principle
formed by the monks in their legends. We must make acquaintance with
the primum mobile, and understand what sort of a personage it was, who
gave the witches, in exchange for their souls, the power to torment
their fellow-creatures. The popular notion of the devil was, that he
was a large, ill-formed, hairy sprite, with horns, a long tail, cloven
feet, and dragon's wings. In this shape he was constantly brought on
the stage by the monks in their early "miracles" and "mysteries." In
these representations he was an important personage, and answered the
purpose of the clown in the modern pantomime. The great fun for the
people was to see him well belaboured by the saints with clubs or
cudgels, and to hear him howl with pain as he limped off, maimed by
the blow of some vigorous anchorite. St. Dunstan generally served him
the glorious trick for which he is renowned -- catching hold of his
nose with a pair of red-hot pincers, till

"Rocks and distant dells resounded with his cries."

Some of the saints spat in his face, to his very great annoyance; and
others chopped pieces off his tail, which, however, always grew on
again. This was paying him in his own coin, and amused the populace
mightily; for they all remembered the scurvy tricks he had played them
and their forefathers. It was believed that he endeavoured to trip
people up, by laying his long invisible tail in their way, and giving
it a sudden whisk when their legs were over it; -- that he used to get
drunk, and swear like a trooper, and be so mischievous in his cups as
to raise tempests and earthquakes, to destroy the fruits of the earth
and the barns and homesteads of true believers; -- that he used to run
invisible spits into people by way of amusing himself in the long
winter evenings, and to proceed to taverns and regale himself with the
best, offering in payment pieces of gold which, on the dawn of the
following morning, invariably turned into slates. Sometimes, disguised
as a large drake, he used to lurk among the bulrushes, and frighten
the weary traveller out of his wits by his awful quack. The reader
will remember the lines of Burns in his address to the "De'il," which
so well express the popular notion on this point --

"Ae dreary, windy, winter night,
The stars shot down wi' sklentin light,
Wi' you, mysel, I got a fright
Ayont the lough;
Ye, like a rash-bush, stood in sight
Wi' waving sough.

"The cudgel in my nieve did shake,
Each bristled hair stood like a stake,
When wi' an eldritch stour, 'quaick! quaick!'
Among the springs
Awa ye squatter'd, like a drake,
On whistling wings."

In all the stories circulated and believed about him, he was
represented as an ugly, petty, mischievous spirit, who rejoiced in
playing off all manner of fantastic tricks upon poor humanity. Milton
seems to have been the first who succeeded in giving any but a
ludicrous description of him. The sublime pride which is the
quintessence of evil, was unconceived before his time. All other
limners made him merely grotesque, but Milton made him awful. In this
the monks showed themselves but miserable romancers; for their object
undoubtedly was to represent the fiend as terrible as possible: but
there was nothing grand about their Satan; on the contrary, he was a
low mean devil, whom it was easy to circumvent and fine fun to play
tricks with. But, as is well and eloquently remarked by a modern
writer, [See article on Demonology, in the sixth volume of the
"Foreign Quarterly Review."] the subject has also its serious side.
An Indian deity, with its wild distorted shape and grotesque attitude,
appears merely ridiculous when separated from its accessories and
viewed by daylight in a museum; but restore it to the darkness of its
own hideous temple, bring back to our recollection the victims that
have bled upon its altar, or been crushed beneath its ear, and our
sense of the ridiculous subsides into aversion and horror. So, while
the superstitious dreams of former times are regarded as mere
speculative insanities, we may be for a moment amused with the wild
incoherences of the patients; but, when we reflect, that out of these
hideous misconceptions of the principle of evil arose the belief in
witchcraft -- that this was no dead faith, but one operating on the
whole being of society, urging on the wisest and the mildest to deeds
of murder, or cruelties scarcely less than murder -- that the learned
and the beautiful, young and old, male and female, were devoted by its
influence to the stake and the scaffold -- every feeling disappears,
except that of astonishment that such things could be, and humiliation
at the thought that the delusion was as lasting as it was universal.

Besides this chief personage, there was an infinite number of
inferior demons, who played conspicuous parts in the creed of
witchcraft. The pages of Bekker, Leloyer, Bodin, Delrio, and De Lancre
abound with descriptions of the qualities of these imps and the
functions which were assigned them. From these authors, three of whom
were commissioners for the trial of witches, and who wrote from the
confessions made by the supposed criminals and the evidence delivered
against them, and from the more recent work of M. Jules Garinet, the
following summary of the creed has been, with great pains, extracted.
The student who is desirous of knowing more, is referred to the works
in question; he will find enough in every leaf to make his blood
curdle with shame and horror: but the purity of these pages shall not
be soiled by anything so ineffably humiliating and disgusting as a
complete exposition of them; what is here culled will be a sufficient
sample of the popular belief, and the reader would but lose time who
should seek in the writings of the Demonologists for more ample
details. He will gain nothing by lifting the veil which covers their
unutterable obscenities, unless, like Sterne, he wishes to gather
fresh evidence of "what a beast man is." In that case, he will find
plenty there to convince him that the beast would be libelled by the

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