« ForrigeFortsett »
th?vi pressed forwards on the holy pilgrimage, were a f ubjed of astonishment to themselves and to the Greeks. The copious energy of her language sinks under the efforts of the princess Anne :76 the images of locusts, of leaves and flowers, of the sands of the sea, or the stars of heaven, imperfectly represent what she had seen and heard; and the daughter of Alexius exclaims, that Europe was loosened from its foundations, and hurled against Asia. The ancient hosts of Darius and Xerxes labor under the same doubt of a vague and indefinite magnitude; but I am inclined to believe, that a larger number has never been contained within the lines of a single camp, than at the siege of Nice, the first operation of the Latin princes. Their motives, their characters, and their arms, have been already displayed. Of their troops the most numerous portion were natives of France: the Low Countries, the banks of the Rhine, and Apulia, sent a powerful reinforcement: some bands of adventurers were drawn from Spain, Lombardy, and England ;" and from the distant bogs and mountains of Ireland or Scotland TM issued some naked and savage fanatics, ferocious at home but unwarlike abroad. Had not superstition condemned the sacrilegious prudence of depriving the poorest or weakest Christian of the merit of the pilgrimage, the useless crowd, with mouths but without hands, might have been stationed in the Greek empire, till their companions had opened and secured the way of the Lord. A. small remnant of the pilgrims, who passed the Bosphorus,
78 Alexias, 1. x. p. 283, 305. Her fastidious delicacy complains of their strange and inarticulate names; and indeed there is scarcely one that she has not contrived to disfigure with the proud ignorance so dear and familiar to a polished people. I shall select only one example, Sangeles, for the count of St. Giles.
"William of Malmsbury (who wrote about the year 1130) has in serted in his history (1. iv. p. 130—154) a narrative of the first, cru sade: but I wish that, instead of listening to the tenue murmur which had passed the British ocean, (p. 143,) he had confined himself to the numbers, families, and adventures of his countrymen. I find in Dugdale, that an English Norman, Stephen earl of Albemarle and Holdernesse, led the rear-guard with Duke Robert, at the battle of Antioch, (Baronage, part i. p. 61.)
78 Videres Scotorum apud se ferocium alias imbellium cuncos Xrtiibert, p. 471 ;) the crus intectum and hispida chlamys, may suit the Highlanders; but the finibus uliginosis may rather apply to the Irish bogs. William of Malmsbury expressly mentions the Welsh and Scots, Ac., (1. iv. p. 133,) who quitted, the former venatioi em salJaum, the latter familiaritatem pulicuto
Whs permitted to visit the holy sepulchre. Their norther* constitution was scorched by the rays, and infected by thi 'apors, of a Syrian sun. They consumed, with heedless prodigality, their stores of water and provision: their numbers exhausted the inland country: the sea was remote, the Greeks were unfriendly, and the Christians of every sect fled before the voracious and cruel rapine of their brethren. In the dire necessity of famine, they sometimes roasted and devoured the flesh of their fnfant or adult captives. Amon° the Turks and Saracens, the idolaters of Europe were ren dered more odious by the name and reputation of Cannibals: the spies, who introduced themselves into the kitchen of Bohemond, were shown several human bodies turning on the spit: and the artful Norman encouraged a report, which increased at the same time the abhorrence and the terror of the infidels."
I have expiated with pleasure on the first steps of the crusaders, as they paint the manners and character of Europe: but I shall abridge the tedious and uniform narrative of their blind achievements, which were performed by strength and are described by ignorance. From their first station in the neighborhood of Nicomedia, they advanced in successive divisions; passed the contracted limit of the Greek empire; opened a road through the hills, and commenced, by the siege of his capital, their pious warfare against the Turkish sultan. His kingdom of Roum extended from the Hellespont to the confines of Syria, and barred the pilgrimage of Jerusalem. his name was Kilidge-Arslan, or Soliman,80 of the race of Seljuk, and son of the first conqueror; and in the defence of
T* This cannibal hunger, sometimes real, more frequently an artifice or a lie, may be found in Anna Comnena, (Alexias, 1. x. p. 288,) Guibert, (p. 546,) Radulph. Cadom., (c. 97.) The stratagem is related by the author of the Gesta Francorum, the monk Robert Baldric, and Raymond dew Agiles, in the siege and famine of Antioch.
80 His Mussulman appellation of Soliman is used by the Latins, and his character is highly embellished by Tasso. His Turkish name of Kilidge-Arslan (A. H. 485—500, A. D. 1192—1206. See De Guignes's Tables, torn. i. p. 245) is employed by the Orientals, and with some corruption by the Greeks; but little more than his name can be band in the Mahometan writers, who are dry and su ky on the subject of the first crusade, (De Guignes, torn. iii. p. ii. p. 10—30.)*
Bee note, page 556 Soliman and Kilidge-Arslan were fattier
a lar.d which the Turks considered as their own, he deservec the praise of his enemies, by whom alone he is known to posterity. Yielding to the first impulse of the torrent, he deposited his family and treasure in Nice; retired to the mountain* with fifty thousand horse; and twice descended to assault the camps or quarters of the Christian besiegers, which formed an imperfect circle of above six miles. The lofty and solid walls of Nice were covered by a deep ditch, and flanked by three hundred and seventy towers; and on the verge of Christendom, the Moslems were trained in arms, and inflamed by religion. Before this city, the French princes occupied their stations, and prosecuted their attacks without corre spondence or subordination: emulation prompted their wdor; but their valor was sullied by cruelty, and their emulation degenerated into envy and civil discord. In the siege of Nice, the arts and engines of antiquity were employed by the Latins; the mine and the battering-ram, the tortoise, and the belfrey or movable turret, artificial tire, and the catapult and balist, the sling, and the crossbow for the casting of stones and darts."1 In the space of seven weeks much labor and blood were expended, and some progress, especially by Count Raymond, was made on the side of the besiegers. But the Turks could protract their resistance and secure their escape, as long as they were masters of the Lake M Ascanius, which stretches several miles to the westward of the city. The means of conquest were supplied by the prudence and industry of Alexius; a great number of boats was transported on sledges from the sea to the lake; they were filled with the most dexterous of his archers; the flight of the sultana was intercepted; Nice was invested by land and water; and a Greek emissary persuaded the inhabitants to accept his master's protection; and to save themselves, by a timely surrender, from the rage of the savages of Europe. In the moment of victory, or at least of hope, the crusaders, thirsting for blood and plunder, were awed by the Imperial banner that
•■ On the fortifications, engines, and sieges of the middle ages, see lltiraton, (Antiquitat. Italue, torn. ii. dissert, xxvi. p. 452—524.) The Mfredus, from whence our belfrey, was the movable tower of the ancients. (Ducange, torn. i. p. 608.)
"I cannot forbear remarking the resemblance between the sieg« wrl lake of Nice, with the operations of Hernan Cortez before Mexico M Dr Robertson, Hwtory of America, 1. v.
streamed from the citadel ;* and Alexius guarded with jealous vigilance this important conquest. The murmurs of the chiefs were stifled by honor or interest; and after a halt of nine da3Ts, they directed their march towards Phrygia under the guidance of a Greek general, whom they suspected of a secret connivance with the sultan. The consort and the principal servants of Soliman had been honorably restored without ransom; and the emperor's generosity to the miscreants" was interpreted as treason to the Christian cause.
Soliman was rather provoked than dismayed by the loss of his capital: he admonished his subjects and allies of this strange invasion of the Western Barbarians; the Turkish emirs obeyed the call of loyalty or religion; the Turkman hordes encamped round his standard; and his whole force is loosely stated by the Christians at two hundred, or even three hundred and sixty thousand horse. Yet he patiently waited till they had left behind them the sea and the Greek frontier; and hovering on the flanks, observed their careless and confident progress in two columns beyond the view of each .other. Some miles before they could reach Dorylseum in Phrygia, the left, and least numerous, division was surprised, and attacked, and almost oppressed, by the Turkish cavalry.84 The heat of the weather, the clouds of arrows, and the barbarous onset, overwhelmed the crusaders; they lost their order and confidence, and the fainting fight was sustained by the personal valor, rather than by the military conduct, of Bohemond, Tancred, and Robert of Normandy. They were revived by the welcome banners of Duke Godfrey, who flew to their succor, with the count of Vermandois, and sixty thousand horse; and was followed by Raymond of Tholouse, the bishop
M Mecreant, a word invented by the French crusaders, and confined in that language to its primitive sense. It should seem, that the zeal of our ancestors boiled higher, and that they branded every unbelievei as a rascal. A similar prejudice still lurks in the minds of many wh< think themselves Christians.
84 Baronius has produced a very doubtful letter to his brother Roger, (A. D. 1098, No. 15.) The enemies consisted of Medes, Persians, Chaldeans: be it so. The first attack was cum nostro incoramodo; true and tender. But why Godfrey of Bouillon and Hugh brothers! Tancred is styled films; of whom? Certainly not of Roger, nor of Bohemond.
of Puy, and tVie remainder of the sacred array. Without » moment's pause, they formed in new ord ,-r, am' advanced to a second battle. They were received with equal reso.ution, and, in their common disdain for the unvvarlike people of Greece and Asia, it was confessed on both sides, that the Turks and the Franks were the only nations entitled to tlw appellation of soldiers." Their encounter was varied. aiW balanced by the contrast of arms and discipline; of the direct charge, and wheeling evolutions; of the couched lance, and the brandished javelin; of a weighty broadsword, and a crooked sabre; of cumbrous armor, and thin flowing robes; and of the long Tartar bow, and the arbalist or crossbow, a deadly weapon, yet unknown to the Orientals.88 As long as the horses were fresh, and the quivers full, Soliinan maintained the advantage of the day; and four thousand Christians were pierced by the Turkish arrows. In the evening, swiftness yielded to strength: on either side, the numbers were equal, or at least as great as any ground could hold, or any generals could manage; but in turning the hills, the last division ot Raymond and his provincials was led, perhaps without design on the rear of an exhausted enemy; and the long contest wasdetermined. Besides a nameless and unaccounted multitude, three thousand Pagan knights were slain in the battle and pursuit; the camp of Soli man was pillaged; and in the variety of precious spoil, the curiosity jf the Latins was amused with foreign arms and apparel, and the new aspect of dromedaries and camels. The importance of the victory was proved by the hasty retreat of the sultan: reserving ten thousand guards of the relics of his army, Soliman evacuated the kingdom of Roum, and hastened to implore the aid, and kindle the resentment, of his Eastern brethren. In a march \i( five hundred miles, the crusaders traversed the Lessej A.sia, through a wasted land and deserted towns, without finding either a friend or an enemy. The geographer87 may
"Verumtamen dicunt se esse de Francorum generatione; et quin nullus homo naturaliter debet esse miles nisi Franci et Turci, (Gests Francorum, p. 7.) The same community of blood and valor is atteste-! by Archbishop Baldric, (p. 99.)
86 Batista, Balestra, Arbalest re. See Muratori, Antiq. torn. ii. p. 511} —524. Ducange, Gloss. Latin, torn. i. p 531, 582. In the time of Anna Comnena, this weapon, which she describes under the name ot itatigra, was unknown in the East, (I. x. p. 291.) By a humane incon Mitency, the pope strove to prohibit it in Christian wars.
,T Tlie curious reader may compare the classic learning tf Oelhuno