« ForrigeFortsett »
Bible of the pullic danger; and, in the vicissitudes of their fortune, the royal vassals were ignorant, or regardless, of the true object of their allegiance. The twenty-eight emirs who inarched with the standard or Kerboga were Lis rivals or enemies: their hasty levies were drawn from the towns and tents of Mesopotamia and Syria; and the Turkish veterans were employed or consumed in the civil wars beyond the Tigris. The caliph of Egypt embraced this opportunity of weakness and discord to recover his ancient possessions; and his sultan Aphdal besieged Jerusalem and Tyre, expelled the children of Ortok, and restored in Palestine the civil and ecclesiastical authority of the Fatimites.108 They heard with astonishment of the vast armies of Christians that had passed from Europe to Asia, and rejoiced in the sieges and battles which broke the power of the Turks, the adversaries of their sect and monarchy. But the same Christians were the enemies of the prophet; and from the overthrow of Nice and Antioch, the motive of their enterprise, which was gradually understood, would urge them forwards to the banks of the Jordan, or perhaps of the Nile. An intercourse of epistles and embassies, which rose and fell with the events of war, was maintained between the throne of Cairo and the camp of the Latins; and their adverse pride was the result of ignorance and enthusiasm. The ministers of Egypt declared in a haughty, or insinuated in a milder, tone, that their sovereign, the true and lawful commander of the faithful, had rescued Jerusalem from the Turkish yoke; and that the pilgrims, if they would divide their numbers, and lay aside their arms, should find a safe and hospitable reception at the sepulchre of Jesus. In the belief of their lost condition, the caliph Mostali despised their arms and imprisoned their deputies: the conquest and victory of Antioch prompted him to solicit those formidable champions with gifts of horses and silk robes, of vases, and purses of gold and silver; and in his estimate of their merit or power, the first place was assigned io Bohemond, and the second to Godfrey. In either fortune, the answer of the crusaders was firm and uniform: they dis
-*' The emir, or sultan, Aphdal, recovered Jerusalem and Tyre, A. H 489, (Renaudot, Hist. Patriarch. Alexandrin. p. 478. De Guig nes, torn. i. p. 249, from Abulfeda and Ben Schounah.) Jerusalem »nte adventum vestrum recuperavirnrs. Turcos ejecimus, 9ay tb« F*timite ambassadors
daiiioi to inquire into the private claims or possessions of tin followers of Mahomet; whatsoever was his name or natkm the usurper of Jerusalem was their enemy; and instead of prescribing the mode and terms of their pilgrimage, it was only by a timely surrender of the city and province, theii sacred right, that he could deserve their alliance, or deprecato 'heir impending and irresistible attack.10'
Vet this attack, when they were within th*. view and reach A their glorious prize, was suspended above ten months after :he defeat of Kerboga. The zeal and courage of the crusadera were chilled in the moment of victory; and instead of marching to improve the consternation, they hastily dispersed to enjoy the luxury, of Syria. The causes of this strange delay may be found in the want of strength and subordination. In the painful and various service of Antioch, the cavalry was annihilated; many thousands of every rank had been lost by famine, sickness, and desertion: the same abuse of plenty had been productive of a third famine; and the alternative of intemperance and distress had generated a pestilence, which swept away above fifty thousand of the pilgrims. Few were able to command, and none were willing to obey; the domestic feuds, which had been stifled by common fear, were again renewed in acts, or at least in sentiments, of hostility; the fortune of Baldwin and Bohemond excited the envy of their companions; the bravest knights were enlisted for the defence of their new principalities; and Count Raymond exhausted his troops and treasures in an idle expedition into the heart of Syria.* The winter was consumed in discord and disorder; a sense of honor and religion was rekindled in the spring; and the private soldiers, less susceptible of ambition and jealousy, awakened with angry clamors the indolence of their chiefs. In the month of May, the relics of this mighty host proceeded from Antioch to Laodicea: about forty thousand Latins, of whom no more than fifteen hundred horse,
IW See the transactions between the caliph of Egypt and the crusaders in William of Tyre (1. iv. c. 24, L vi. c. 19) and Albert Aquensis, (1. iii. c. 59,) who are more sensible of their importance than the contemporary writers.
* This is not quite correct: he took Marra on his road. His excursion* irere partly to obtain provisions for the army and fodder for the boraw WUken, v )1. i. p 220. -M.
and twenty thousand foot, were capable of immediate service. Their easy march was continued between Mount Libanus and the sea-shore: their wants were liberally supplied by the coasting traders of Genoa and Pisa; and they drew large contributions from the emirs of Tripoli, Tyre, Sidon, Acre, and Caesarea, who granted a free passage, and promised to follow the example of Jerusalem. From Caesarea they advanced into the midland country; their clerks recognized the sacred geography of Lydda, Ramla, Emmaus, and Bethlem,* and as soon as they descried the holy city, the crusaders forgot their toils and claimed their reward.104
Jerusalem has derived some reputation from the numbei and importance of her memorable sieges. It was not till after a long and obstinate contest that Babylon and Rome could prevail against the obstinacy of the people, the craggy ground that might supersede the necessity of fortifications, and the walls and towers that would have fortified the most accessible plain.10' These obstacles were diminished in the age of the crusades. The bulwarks had been completely destroyed and imperfectly restored: the Jews, their nation, and worship, were forever banished; but nature is less changeable than man, and the site of Jerusalem, though somewhat softened and somewhat removed, was still strong against the assaults of an enemy. By the experience of a recent siege, and a three years' possession, the Saracens of Egypt had been taught to discern, and in some degree to remedy, the defects of a place, which religion as well as honor tbrbade them to resign. Aladin, or Iftikhar, the caliph's lieutenant, was intrusted with the defence: his policy strove to restrain the native Christians by the dread of their own ruin and that of the holy sepulchre; to animate the Moslems by the assurance
104 The greatest part of the march of the Franks i» traced, and most accurately traced, in Maundrell's Journey from Aleppo to Jeninalem, (p. 11—67;) un des meilleurs morceaux, sans contredit qu'on ait dans ce genre, (D'Anville, Memoire sur Jerusalem, p. 27.)
106 See the masterly description of Tacitus, (Hist. v. 11, 12, 13,) who supposes that the Jewish lawgivers had provided for a perpetual «tate of hostility against the rest of mankind, f
* Scarcely of Bethlehem, to the south of Jerusalem.—If.
1 This is fin exaggerated inference from the words of Tacitas. who •peaks of the founders of the city, not the lawgivers. Praeviderant condi tores, ex diversitate morum, crebra bella: inde cuncta quainv's adTeriu/ onguin obsidium.— M.
of temporal and eternal rewards. His garrison is said to have consisted of forty thousand Turks an J Arabians; and if he could muster twenty thousand of the inhabitants, it must be confessed that the besieged were more numerous than the besieging army.106 Had the diminished strength and numbe.s :>f the Latins allowed them to grasp the whole circumference of four thousand yards, (about two English miles and a half,107) to what useful purpose should they have descended nto the valley of Ben Hinnom and torrent of Cedron,1*8 of approach the precipices of the south and east, from whence they had nothing either to hope or fear? Their siege wa* more reasonably directed against the northern and western sides of the city. Godfrey of Bouillon erected his standard on the first swell of Mount Calvary: to the left, as far as St. Stephen's gate, the line of attack was continued by Tancred and the two Roberts; and Count Raymond established his quarters from the citadel to the foot of Mount Sion, which was no longer included within the precincts of the city. On the fifth day, the crusaders made a general assault, in the fanatic hope of battering down the walls without engines, and of scaling them without ladders. By the dint of brutal force, they burst the first barrier; but they were driven back with shame and slaughter to the camp: the influence of vision and prophecy was deadened by the too frequent abuse of those
. I0* The lively scepticism of Voltaire is balanced with sense and erudition by the French author of the Esprit des Croisades, (torn. iv. p. 386—388,) who observes, that, according to the Arabians, the inhabitants of Jerusalem must have exceeded 200,000; that in the siege of Titus, Josephus collects 1,300,000 Jews; that they are stated by Tacitus himself at 600,000; and that the largest defalcation, that his aecepimus can justify, will still leave them more numerous than the Roman army.
107 Maundrell, who diligently perambulated the walls, found a circuit of 4630 paces, or 4167 English yards, (p. 109, 110:) from an Authentic plan, D'Anville concludes a measure nearly similar, of 1960 French torses, (p. 23—29,) in his scarce and valuable tract. For the topography of Jerusalem, see Reland, (Palestina, torn. ii. p. 832— 860.)
108 Jerusalem was possessed . nly of the torrent of Kedron, dry in summer, and of the little spring or brook of Siloe, (Reland, torn, i, p. 294, 100.) Both strangers and natives complain of the want of water, which, in time of war, was studiously aggravated. Within th€ i'ity, Tacitus mentions a perennial fountain, an aqueduct and cisternt for rain water. The aqueduct was conveyed from the rivulet Teko« rfr Etham, which is likewise mentioned by Bohadin, (in Vit. Soludin
pious stratagems; and time and labor were round U. be th« only means of victory. The time of the siege was indeed fulfilled in forty days, but they were forty days of calamity and anguish. A repetition of the old complaint of famine may be imputed in some degree to the voracious or disorderly appetite of the Franks; but the stony soil of Jerusalem is almost destitute of water; the scanty springs and hasty torrents were dry in the summer season; nor was the thirst of the besiegers relieved, as in the city, by the artificial supply >f cisterns and aqueducts. The circumjacent country is equally destitute of trees for the uses of shade or building, but some large beams were discovered in a cave by the cru saders: a wood near Sichem, the enchanted grove of Tasso,101' was cut down: the necessary timber was transported to the camp by the vigor and dexterity of Tancred; and the engines were tramed by some Genoese artists, who had fortunately landed in the harbor of Jaffa. Two movable turrets were constructed at the expense, and in the stations, of the duke of Lorraine and the count of Tholouse, and rolled forwards with devout labor, not to the most accessible, but to the most neg lected, parts of the fortification. Raymond's Tower was reduced to ashes by the fire of the besieged, but his colleague was more vigilant and successful ;* the enemies were driven by his archers from the rampart; the draw-bridge was let down; and on a Friday, at three in the afternoon, the day and hour of the passion, Godfrey of Bouillon stood victorious on the walls of Jerusalem. His example was followed on every side by the emulation of valor; and about four hundred and sixty years after the conquest of Omar, the holy city was rescued from the Mahometan yoke. In the pillage of public and private wealth, the adventurers had agreed to respect the exclusive property of the first occupant; and the spoils of the great mosque, seventy lamps and massy vases of gold and silver, rewarded the diligence, and displayed the generosity, of Tan3red. A bloody sacrifice was offered by his mistaken votanes to the God of the Christians: resistance might provoke
," Gierusalomme Liberata, canto xiii. It is pleasant enough to objerve how Tasso has copied and embellished the rrinutest details of thi siege.
■ This does not appear by Wilken's account, (y. 294.) They fovyht is Tur the whole of the Thursday.—M.