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BOOK XV.— A.D. 1255-1270. 

Christian cities of Palestine fortified by Louis IX. — Quarrels among 
the Crusaders — Divisions among the Saracens — Aibek, sultan of Egypt, 
assassinated — Chegger-Adour, the sultana, assassinated — The Moguls, o* 
Tartars, capture Bagdad — Koutouz elected sultan of Egypt — The Moguls 
capture the principal cities of Syria — The general terror inspired among 
the Mussulmans and Christians — Apprehensions of Bela IV., king oi 
Hungary — Assassination of Koutouz — The Mamelukes of Egypt — 
Bibars proclaimed sultan of Egypt — Declares war against the Christians 
of Palestine — The Mamelukes defeat and expel the Tartars from Pales- 
tine — Constantinople recaptured by the Greeks, and the Latins expelled 
— The Christians defeated by the Mamelukes, and Palestine laid waste — 
Caesarea, Arsouf, and Sefed besieged and captured — Slaughter of the 
Christians — Mohammedanism not a religion of the sword — Charlemagne's 
career — Capture of Jaffa by the sultan of Egypt — Bohemond forms a 
treaty with Bibars — Antioch captured and destroyed, and the inhabitants 
slaughtered — Quarrels of the popes with the sovereigns of Europe — 
Royal family of Swabia — Charles, count of Anjou, crowned by the pope 
as king of Sicily — Mainfroy — Conraddin disputes the crown of Sicily — 
Louis IX. determines upon a fresh crusade to the Holy Land — The illus- 
trious personages who take the cross in his support — Joinville declines to 
accompany him — Abaga, khan of the Tartars, sends ambassadors to 
Rome — Pope Clement IV. supports the new crusade — The clergy oppose 
the levying of contributions — A council held at Northampton for aiding 
Aie crusade— James king of Arragon, and Edward prince of England, 
engage in the crusade — Death of Clement IV. — The Crusaders arrive at 
Tunis — Historical notice of Tunis — The Mohammedans resist the Cru- 
saders — Sickness and mortality among the Crusaders — Death of the 
duke de Nevers — Illness and fervent devotion of Louis — His death — 
Charles of Anjou lands at Tunis, and takes the command of the Crusaders 
— Returns to France with the bodies of his father, wife, and brother — 
The — '• *ge and piety of Louis IX. — Prince Edward of England arrives 
in Palestine — Nazareih captured by the Crusaders — Prince Edward re- 


turns to England — Thibault elected pope, under the title of Gregc ry X. 
— He convokes the council of Lyons for reviving a new crasade — Curious 
document issued by Humbert de Romanis — Three pretenders to the 
throne of Jerusalem — The continued victories of Bibars — His death and 
character — Death of Gregory X. — Revolt in Sicily — The Sicilian vespers 
— Kealaoun, the sultan of Egypt, concludes a treaty with the Christians 
of Ptolema'is, and enters into treaties with European princes — Fort of 
Margat captured by the Mussulmans — Sieur Barthelemi becomes a Mo- 
hammedan renegade — Tripoli captured and destroyed, and the Christians 
slaughtered — Description of Ptolema'is — Chalil elected sultan of Egypt 
— The Mussulman sect of Chages — Ptolemai's captured and destroyed by 
Chalil — Virgins of St. Clair self- mutilated and destroyed — Death of 
William de Clermont — Devoted heroism of the Templars — Capture and 
destruction of Tyre, Berytus, Sidon, and all the Christian cities along the 
coast of Palestine pp. 1-91. 

BOOK XVI.— A.D. 1291-1396. 

Pope Nicholas IV. attempts to revive a fresh crusade against the East 
— Sends missionaries to the Tartars — Their contests with the Mussul- 
mans revive the hopes of the Christians — Argun, the Tartar chief — Con- 
quests of the Tartars — Cazan, the Mogul prince, sends ambassadors to 
the Pope — Clement IV. proclaims a crusade at the council of Vienna — 
Exploits of the Hospitallers — Conquests and wealth of the Templars — 
Accusations against them — Philip le Bel of France takes the cross — His 
death — Philip le Lony — His death — Charles le Bel — His death — Ray- 
mond Lulli preaches a fresh crusade — Philip of Valois convokes an 
assembly at Paris for reviving a fresh crusade — Renewed persecutions of 
the Christians in Palestine — Brother Andrew of Antioch — Petrarch an 
apostle of the holy war — Humbert II., dauphin of Viennois, takes the 
cross — Hugh of Lusignan, king of Cyprus — Political troubles of France 
— King John taken prisoner at Poictiers— Engages in a fresh crusade — 
Urban V. convokes a meeting at Avignon — Peter de Lusignan, and 
Charles IV., emperor of Germany, engage in the crusade — Alexandria 
captured and burnt by the Crusaders — Barbary invaded by the Christian 
forces — Tripoli captured and burnt — Towns of Syria destroyed — Origin 
and history of the Turks and the Ottoman empire — Their conquests and 
invasion of Greece — Constantinople menaced by the Turks — Its tottering 
state — The emperors of Constantinople — Amurath, the Turkish sultan — ■ 
Bajazet — Two popes at the same time— Crusade against the Turks deter- 
mined on — Bajazet defeats the Christian forces with great slaughter — 
Defeats the Hungarians — Manuel, emperor of Constantinople, visits 
France — Distracted state of Europe — History and conquests of Tamer- 
lane the Tartar — The Turks defeated, and Syria overrun by the Tartars 
— Bajazet raises the siege of Constantinople, and is defeated by Tamer- 
lane — Smyrna captured and destroyed — The Ottomans reconquer the 


provinces overrun by Tamerlane — The Greek Ci^rch submits to papal 
authority — The barbarities of the Turks towards the Christians— Pope 
Eugenius exhorts the Christian states to another crusade — Cardinal 
Julian preaches in its favour — Amurath enters into a treaty of peace 
with the Crusaders, which being violated, they are defeated with great 
slaughter — Ladislaus, king of Poland, and Cardinal Julian, slain — Battle 
of Warna — Accession of Mahomet II. to the Ottoman throne — His 
extensive empire — Besieges Constantinople — Character of Constantine 
Palseologus, the Greek emperor — His great efforts in defence of his 
capital — Mahomet takes the city by storm — Death of the emperor and 
destruction of the Greek empire pp. 92—158. 

BOOK XVII.— A.D. 1453-1481. 

Consternation among the Christian states at the fall of Constantinople. 
— Philip, duke of Burgundy, assembles his nobility at Lille — Curious 
festival held by — Enthusiasm in favour of a crusade against the Turks — 
Bishop Sylvius, John Capistran, Frederick III. of Germany, and Pope 
Calixtus III. endeavour to stir up the crusade — The Turks penetrate 
into Hungary — Valour of Hunniades — They are defeated at Belgrade— 
An alarming comet — Bishop Sylvius elected Pope — Extended conquests 
of Mahomet II. — He subdues Greece — The Pope convokes an assembly at 
Mantua to urge on the crusade — His negociations with Mahomet — Bosnia 
conquered — Pius II. engages personally in the crusade, reaches Ancona, 
and dies — Scanderberg defeats the Turks — Mahomet II. swears to anni- 
hilate Christianity — The king of Persia marches against the Turks, and 
his army is destroyed — Cardinal Caraffa commands a fleet of Crusaders— 
Satalia and Smyrna pillaged by the Christian forces — Possessions of the 
Venetians and Genoese captured by the Turks — Jacques Coeur — Cyprus 
subjected to the Mussulmans — Taken possession of by the Turks — Rhodes 
bravely defended by the knights of St. John — The Turks invade Hun- 
gary and different parts of Europe simultaneously — Defeated by Corvinus, 
king of Hungary — Otranto captured by the Turks, and afterwards aban- 
doned — Pope Sextus IV. implores the aid of Christian Europe against 
the Turks — Distracted state of Italy — Death of Mahomet II., and 
divisions in his family — Zizim disputes the Turkish empire with Bajazet, 
and visits Europe — Charles VIII. of Naples, engages in a crusade 
against the Turks — Alphonso II. of Arragon — Italy invaded, and Rome 
possessed by the French — Andrew Palseologus sells his claims to the 
empire of the East — Death of Zizim— -Bajazet declares war against 
Venice — Negotiates a treaty — Undertakes an expedition against Portugal 
* Commercial ambition of Venice — Diet at Augsburgh — Helian's speech 
against the Venetians — Council of Lateran convoked by Julius II. — Baja- 
ret II. dethroned, and succeeded by Selim — Disorders of Christendom — 
Selim conquers the king of Persia and the sultan of Egypt — Palestins 
Hid all the rival powers of the East under the domination of the Turk* 



— Exertions of Leo X. for reviving a crusade against them- Vida, the 
Italian poet — Novagero's eulogies on Leo X. — Cultivation of Greek in 
Italy — Great preparations for the new crusade — Eloquence of Sadoletus, 
and letters of Francis I. in its favour — Sale of indulgences — Quarrels of 
the Augustines and the Dominicans — Preaching of Luther against indul- 
gences — Soliman succeeds to the Ottoman empire — Belgrade and Rhodes 
captured by the Turks — The knights of St. John expelled from Rhodes, 
and transferred to Malta — Francis I. made prisoner at the battle of 
Pavia — The Hungarians defeated by the Turks, and Louis II. slain — 
Clement VII. imprisoned by Charles V. — Religious distractions of Europe 
—Vienna besieged by the Turks — Hungary enters into a treaty of peace 
— Policy of Henry VIII. of Francis I., and of Charles V. — The Barbary 
states taken under the protection of the Ottoman Porte — Preaching of 
Luther — Heroic defence of Malta — Death of Soliman, and accession of 
Selim — Capture of Cyprus — The Turks signally defeated at the naval 
battle of Lepanto — Universal rejoicings throughout Christendom — 
General spread of civilization in Europe — Brilliant age of Leo X. — 
The military power of the Turks begins to decline — Defeated by So- 
bieski before the walls of Vienna — Causes and history of their decline 
— The Moors driven from Spain — State of Christendom in Europe, and 
progress of the Reformation — Ignatius Loyola — Pilgrimages to the Holy 
Land — A. spirit of resignation assumes the place of enthusiasm for the 
crusades pp. 159-250. 

BOOK XVIIL— A.D. 1571-1685. 

Reflections on the state of Europe, on the various classes of society, 
and on the progress of navigation, industry, arts, and general knowledge 
during and after the crusades pp. 251-348. 


Pilgrimages — Itinerary from Bordeaux to Jerusalem — Foulque of Anjou 
— William of Malmesbury — Robert of Normandy — Charlemagne — 
Chronicle of Tours — Letters of Bohemond, of Archbishop Daimbert, and 
of the principal Crusaders — Council of Naplouse — Bull of Pope Euge- 
nius III. for the second crusade — Letter from Saladin, detailing his 
capture of Jerusalem and the battle of Tiberias — Sermon made at Jeru- 
salem by Mohammed Ben Zeky — Bull of Gregory VIII. a.d. 1187 — 
Council of Paris, held in 1188 — Notes on the Greek fire — Memoir on the 
forest of Saron, or the enchanted forest of Tasso — Ralph Dicet — Ralph 
of Coggershall — Trick attempted by Saladin — Imprisonment of Richard I. 
— Journey in Wales by Archbishop Baldwin — Jourdain's letter on the 
"Assassins" of Syria — History of the Ismaelians, or "Assassins" — 
Treaty entered into by the leaders of the Crusaders for the division Oi 



Constantinople and the Greek empire— On the draifb nf *\, a • i 

Montferrat— Fragment of Nicetas's rh™£i« ?u I the man l uls °* 
statues of Constantinople by Se CrusadTr To f ^f^ * ° f «" 
crusade of children in 1212 T ,1 f S T Jourdain « letter on the 
the crusade to ^Cjl^^foFtS , °kT "I' Urgi ^ °» 

Memoir rf I^M^Tlo"?. xT^M ^ '****- 
Franceand the Ottoman Porte L„! £ IV --Cap.tulations between 

terium Baphometi Revela W'~ " "^ S DOte ° a H ™ mer 'l " M ? s - 
pp. 349-500. 

General Index ' 






A.D. 1255—1270. 

Louis IX., during his sojourn in Palestine, had not only- 
employed himself in fortifying the Christian cities ; he had 
neglected no means of establishing that union and harmony 
among the Christians themselves, which he felt would create 
their only security against the attacks of the Mussulmans : 
unhappily for this people, whom he would have preserved at 
the peril of his life, his counsels were not long in being for- 
gotten, and the spirit of discord soon displaced the generous 
sentiments to which his example and discourses had given a 
momentary life. 

It may have been observed in the course of this history, 
that several maritime nations had stores, counting-houses, 
and considerable commercial establishments at Ptolemais, 
which had become the capital of Palestine. Among these 
nations, Genoa and Venice occupied the first rank : each of 
these colonies inhabited a separate quarter, and had different 
laws, besides interests, which kept them at constant variance ; 
the only thing they possessed in common,* was the Church of 

* We find copious details upon these disputes, and their origin, in 
Sanuti, which we have thought it best to abridge 



Si. Sabbas, in which the Venetians and the Genoese assem- 
bled together to celebrate the ceremonies of their religion. 

This common possession had often been a subject of 
quarrel between them; a short time after the departure 
of St. Louis, discord broke out anew, and roused all the 
passions that the spirit of rivalry and jealousy could give 
birth to between Wo nations which had so long contended 
for the empire of the sea and pre-eminence in commerce. 
Amidst this struggle, in which the very object of the con- 
test ought to have recalled sentiments of peace and charity 
to their hearts, the G-enoese and Venetians often came to 
blows in the city of Ptolemais, and more than once, the 
sanctuary, which the two parties had fortified like a place of 
war, resounded with the din of their sacrilegious battles. 

Discord very soon crossed the seas, and carried fresh 
troubles into the West. Genoa interested the Pisans in 
her cause, and sought allies and auxiliaries even among the 
Greeks, at that time impatient to repossess Constantinople. 
Venice, in order to avenge her injuries, courted the alliance 
of Manfroi, who had been excommunicated by the head of 
the Church. Troops were raised, fleets were armed, and the 
parties attacked each other both by land and sea ; and this 
war, which the sovereign pontiff was unable to quell, lasted 
more than twenty years, sometimes to the advantage of the 
Venetians, as frequently to that of the Genoese ; but always 
fatal to the Christian colonies of the East. 

This spirit of discord likewise extended its baneful influ- 
ence to the rival orders of St. John and the Temple ; and the 
blood of these courageous defenders of the Holy Land 
flowed in torrents in cities of which they had undertaken 
the defence ; the Hospitallers and Templars pursued and 
attacked each other with a fury that nothing could appease 
or turn aside, both orders invoking the aid of the knights 
that remained in the West. Thus the noblest families of 
Christendom were dragged into these sanguinary quarrels, 
and it was no longer asked in Europe whether the Franks 
had conquered the Saracens, but if victory had been favour- 
able to the knights of the Temple or to those of the Hos- 

The brave Sergines, whom Louis IX. had at his departure 
left at Ptolemais, and the wisest of the other defenders of 


the Holy Land, had neither authority enough to reestablish 
tranquillity, nor troops enough to resist the attacks of the 
Mussulmans. The only hope of safety which appeared to 
be left to the Christians of Palestine, arose from the divi- 
sions which also troubled the empire of the Saracens ; every 
day new revolutions broke out among the Mamelukes ; but, 
by a singular contrast, feuds, that weakened the power of 
the Franks, often seemed only to increase that of their ene- 
mies. If, from the feeble kingdom of Jerusalem, we pass 
into Egypt, we there behold the strange spectacle of a 
government founded by revolt, and strengthening itsell 
amidst political tempests. The Christian colonies, since the 
taking of Jerusalem by Saladin, had no longer a common 
centre or a common tie ; the kings of Jerusalem, in losing 
their capital, lost an authority which served at least as a 
war-cry, by which to rally ardent spirits around them. 
Nothing was preserved of royalty but the name, nothing 
was gained from republicanism but its license. As to the 
Mamelukes, they were less a nation than an army, in which 
they at first quarrelled for a leader, and in which they after- 
wards obeyed him blindly. From the bosom of each of their 
revolutions sprang a military despotism, armed with all the 
passions that had given birth to it, and, what must have 
redouble^ the alarm of the Christians, this despotism breathed 
nothing but war and conquest. 

"We have said, in the preceding book, that Aibek, after 
having espoused the sultana Chegger-Eddour, had mounted 
the throne of Saladin ; but it was not long before his reign 
was disturbed by the rivalries of the emirs. The death of 
Phares-Eddin Octhai, one of the leaders opposed to the new 
sultan, disconcerted the projects of the faction, but the 

1'ealousy of a woman did that which neither faction nor 
icense had been able to effect. Chegger-Eddour could not 
pardon Aibek for having asked the hand of a daughter of 
the prince of Mossoul, and the faithless husband was assas- 
sinated in the bath by slaves. The sultana, after having 
gratified her woman's vengeance, called in the ambition 01 
the emirs and the crimes of policy to her aid.* She sent 

* We have adopted the version of M. Deguignes as the most probable. 
(See Hi*iory of the Huns.) 


for the emir Saif-Eddin, to ask his advice, ai d to offer him 
her hand and empire. Upon being introduced into the 
palace, Saif-Eddin found the Sultana seated, with the bleed- 
ing body of her husband at her feet : at this spectacle, the 
emir was seized with horror, and the calmness which the 
sultana displayed, together with the sight of the bloody 
throne, upon which she proposed to him to take his seat 
with her, added to his fright ; Chegger-Eddour summoned 
two other emirs, who could not endure her presence, but 
fled away, terrified at what they saw and heard. This scene 
passed during the night. At break of day, the news of it 
was spread throughout Cairo, and the indignation of the 
people and the army was general and active : the mother of 
Aibek amply revenged the death of her son. Chegger- 
Eddour, in her turn, perished by the hands of slaves, and 
her body, which was cast into the castle ditch, might teach 
all the ambitious who were contending for the empire, that 
revolutions, likewise, sometimes have their justice. 

Amidst the tumult, a son of Aibek, fifteen years of age, 
was raised to the throne ; but the approach of a war soon 
caused a new revolution to break out, and precipitated the 
youth from his giddy eminence : great events were ripening 
in Asia, and a storm was brewing in Persia, which was soon 
to burst over both Syria and Egypt.* 

The Moguls, under the command of Oulagon, had laid 
siege to Bagdad, at a moment when the city was divided 
into several sects, all more earnest in their conflicts with 
each other than in their preparations to repulse a formidable 
enemy. The caliph, as well as his people, was sunk deep in 
voluptuous effeminacy, and the pride created by the vain 
adulation of the Mussulmans, made him neglect true and 
available means of defence. The Tartars took the city by 
storm, and gave it up to all the horrors of war. The last 
and thirty-seventh of the successors of Abbas, dragged away 

* One of the principal difficulties that an historian of this epoch expe- 
riences, is, to preserve the connection in his narrative, from having to 
speak at the same time of the West and of the East, of the Christians, 
the Mamelukes, and the Tartars. Here a new people start up upon the 
stage, there an old empire falls to decay : all the events are hurried and 
confounded together, and the march of history is embarrassed among so 
many ruins. We endeavour to be as clear as possible. 


like the vilest captive, lost his life in the n adst of such 
tumult and disorder, that history * is unable to say whether 
he died of despair, or whether he fell beneath the sword of 
hia enemies. 

This violence, committed upon the head of the Mussulman 
religion, with the march of the Moguls towards Syria, threw 
the Mamelukes into the greatest consternation. They then 
deemed it necessary to displace the son of Aibek, and elect 
a leader able to guide them amidst the perils that threatened 
them, and their choice fell upon Koutouz, the bravest and 
most able of the emirs. 

Whilst Egypt was earnestly engaged in preparations to 
resist the Moguls, the Christians appeared to expect their 
deliverance from this war against the Mussulmans ; the 
khan of Tartary had promised the king of Armenia to carry 
his conquests as far as the banks of the Nile ; and oriental 
chronicles relate that the Armenian troops were united with 
those of the Moguls. f The latter, after having crossed the 
Euphrates, took possession of Aleppo, Damascus, and the 
principal cities of Syria. On all sides, the Mussulmans 
fled before the Tartars, and the disciples of Christ were pro- 
tected by the victorious hordes ; from that time the Chris- 
tians only beheld liberators in these redoubtable conquerors. 
In the churches, and even upon the tomb of Christ, prayers 
were put up for the triumph of the Moguls, and in the 
excess of their joy, the Christians of Palestine abandoned 
their general practice of imploring aid from the powers of 

In the mean time Europe itself entertained a very 
different idea of this war ; the progress of the Moguls 
created the greatest terror in all the nations of the West ; 
they not only dreaded the Mogul arms on account of the 

* Many chronicles say that Oulagon shut the caliph up in the midst of 
all his treasures, and left him to die of hunger : this circumstance is not 
at all probable, and has not been acknowledged by M. Deguignes. 

f Most historians have taken their accounts of this war of the Moguls 
from an esteemed work, entitled Fragmentum de Statu Saraccenorum ; 
it, however, contains many errors, and ought to be rectified in several places 
by the study of the Oriental historians Some valuable information 
respecting this war of the Tartars may also be found in the Armenian 
Hayton, and in Sanuti ; but these authors must be read with precautioc 
snd suspicion. 


Christian colonies of the East; the} 7 trembled for themselves ;• 
for whilst the hordes of Oulagon were ravaging Syria, other 
armies of the same nation were desolating the banks of the 
Dniester and the Danube. Pope Alexander, addressing the 
princes, prelates, and all the faithful, exhorted tliem to unite 
against the barbarians. Councils were assembled in France, 
England, Italy, and Germany, to deliberate upon the dangers 
of Christendom ; the head of the Church ordered prayers to 
be offered up and processions to be made, blasphemies to be 
punished, and luxury to be suppressed at the table and in 
dress, — measures which might be conceived proper to miti- 
gate the anger of Heaven, but very insufficient to stop the 
invasion of the Moguls. 

The hordes, however, which ravaged Hungary and Poland 
were dispersed, and terror again took possession of the 
Christians of the East, whose hopes had been so sanguine. 
Oulagon, recalled into Persia by civil wars, left his lieutenant, 
Ketboga, in Syria, with directions to follow up his conquests. 
The Christians were still applauding the victories of the 
Moguls, when a quarrel, provoked by some German 
Ci'usaders, all at once changed the state of things, and 
made enemies of those who had been considered as auxiliaries. 
Some Mussulman villages which paid tribute to the Tartars, 
having been pillaged, Ketboga sent to demand a reparation 
of the Christians, which they refused. In the course of the 
dispute raised on this subject, the nephew of the Mogul 
commander was killed. From that time the Tartar leader 
declared open war against the Christians, ravaged the 
territory of Sidon, and menaced that of Ptolemais. At the 
aspect of their desolated plains, all the hopes of the Chris- 
tians vanished ; they had had no bounds to their hopes and 

* Bela IV., king of Hungary, wrote to the pope, that if he were m>t 
speedily succoured he should form an alliance with the Tartars. The 
pope reproved him warmly. Alexander IV. wrote to all Christian 
princes, prelates, and communities, to consult apon the means of resisting 
the barbarians, as well in the East as in the West. In Raynaldi — the 
year 1262, Nos. 29 and 30 — his letter may be seen, in which he enters 
into many details upon the levy of soldiers, and upon subsidies. This 
letter has been preserved by Matthew Paris, who speaks of the councils 
held on this subject ; some facts relative to the invasion of the Tartars 
may likewise be found in William of Nangis and Matthew of Westmin^ 
Bter, as well as in the Collection of Councils. 


their joy, they had now none to their grief or their feara. 
The alarm created in them by a barbarous people, made 
them forget that most of their misfortunes came from Egypt, 
and as they had given over all idea of succours from thfc 
West, many of them now placed all their confidence in the 
arms of the Mamelukes. 

A great portion of Palestine had already been invaded by 
the Moguls, when the sultan of Cairo set out on his march 
to meet them at the head of his army ; he remained three 
days in the neighbourhood of Ptolema'is, where he renewed 
a truce with the Christians. Soon after, a battle was fought 
in the plain of Tiberias ; Ketboga lost his life in the middle 
of the conflict, and the army of the Tartars, beaten and 
scattered, abandoned Syria. 

To whichever side victory might have inclined, the Chris- 
tians had nothing to hope from the conqueror ; the Mussul- 
mans could not pardon them for having sought the support 
of the victorious Moguls, and having taken advantage of the 
desolation of Syria, to insult the disciples of Mahomet, 
The churches were demolished at Damascus ; the Christiana 
were persecuted in all the Mussulman cities, and these 
persecutions were the presage of a war in which fanaticism 
exercised all its furies. On all sides complaints and menaces 
arose against the Pranks of Palestine ; the cry of war with 
the Christians resounded through all the provinces in the 
power of the Mamelukes ; the animosity was so great, that 
the sultan of Cairo, who had just triumphed over the Tartars, 
was the victim to his fidelity in observing the last truce con- 
cluded with the Pranks. Bibars, who had killed the last 
sultan of the family of Saladin, took advantage of this 
effervescence of the public mind to endeavour to raise a 
party against Koutouz, by affecting great hatred for the 
Christians, and by reproaching the sultan with a criminal 
moderation towards the enemies of Islamism. 

When the fermentation had been worked up to the highest 
point, Bibars, having assembled his accomplices, surprised 
the sultan whilst hunting, struck him several mortal blows, 
then, all stained as he was with the blood of his master, he 
hastened to the Mameluke army, at that time collected at 
Sallhie ; he presented himself to th ? atabek or lieutenant of 
he prince, announcing the death ( Koutouz Upon being 


asked who killed the sultan. " It was I," answered he. " In 
that ease," said the atabek, "reign in his place."* Strange 
words, which characterize at a single stroke the spirit of the 
Mamelukes, as well as of the government they had founded \ 
The army proclaimed Bibars sultan of Egypt, and the cere- 
monies prepared at Cairo for the reception of the con- 
queror of the Tartars, served to celebrate the coronation of 
his murderer. 

This revolution gave the Mussulmans the sovereign most 
to be dreaded by the Christians. Bibars was named the 
pillar of the Mussulman religion and the father of victories ; 
and he was destined to merit these titles by completing the 
ruin of the Franks. He had scarcely mounted the throne 
before he gave the signal for war. 

The Christians of Palestine being totally without means 
of resisting the Mameluke forces, sent deputies to the West 
to solicit prompt and efficient succour. The sovereign 
pontiff appeared affected by the account of the perils of the 
Holy Land, and exhorted the faithful to take the cross ; but 
the tone of his exhortations, and the motives that he named 
in his circulars, only too plainly evinced his desire to see 
Europe take up arms against other enemies than the 
Mussulmans. "The Saracens," said he, "know that it will 
be impossible for any Christian prince to make a long abode 
in the East,f and that the Holy Land will never have any 
but transient succour from distant countries." 

Alexander IV. was much more sincere and far more 
eloquent in his manifestoes against the house of Swabia ; the 
interest he took in the contest he was carrying on in the 
kingdom of Naples could not be diverted by the undertaking 
of a holy war. Clement IV., who succeeded him, made 
some few demonstrations of zeal to engage the European 
nations to take arms against the Mussulmans ; but the policy 
of his predecessors had left too many germs of discord and 
trouble, in Italy, to allow him to give much attention to the 

* This singular fact is related by the Arabian historian Aboulfeda, and 
repeated by M. Deguignes, vol. iv. p. 133. 

f This circular is reported by Raynaldi, Nos. 68 and 69. The motives 
alleged by the pope, in his letter, astonish the wise Fleuri, who observes 
upon the spirit of contradiction which we have mentioned. 


East. On one side, Germany, still without an emperoi, 
though with three pretenders to the empire, could spare no 
warriors for the Holy Land. England was a prey to a civil 
war, in which the barons wore a white cross as their badge 
of union against the king, and in which priests exhorted 
them to the fight, pointing to heaven as the reward of their 
bravery and their rebellion. This strange crusade precluded 
all thoughts of one beyond the seas. France was the only 
kingdom from which the prayers of the Christians of Pales- 
tine were not repulsed ; some French knights took the cross, 
and chose Eudes, count of Nevers, son of the duke of 
Burgundy, as their leader ; and these were all the succours 
Europe could afford to send to the East. 

At the same time that the afflicting news arrived from the 
Holy Land, an event was announced which would have 
plunged the whole West in mourning, if the conquests of 
the Crusaders had then excited anything like the interest to 
which they had given birth in former ages. We have fre- 
quently had occasion to deplore the rapid decline of the 
Latin empire of Constantinople ; for a length of time, 
Baldwin had had no means for supporting the imperial 
dignity, or paying his scanty troop of soldiers, but the alms 
of Christendom, and some loans obtained from Venice, for 
which he was obliged to givf» his own son as a hostage, or, 
more properly, a pledge. Il pressing moments of want, he 
sold the relics, he tore the lead from the roofs of the churches, 
and the timber of public edifices was used for heating the 
fires of the imperial kitchens. Towers half-demolished, 
ramparts without defences, palaces smoky and deserted, 
houses and whole streets abandoned, such was the spectacle 
presented by the queen of eastern cities. 

Baldwin had concluded a truce with Michael Palseologus. 
The facility with which this truce was made ought to have 
inspired the Latins with some suspicion ; but the deplorable 
state of the Franks did not prevent them from despising 
their enemies or dreaming of fresh conquests. In hopes of 
pillage, and forgetful of the perfidious character of the 
Greeks, a Venetian fleet bore such as remained of the de- 
fenders of Byzantium in an expedition against Daphnusia, 
situated at the embouchure of the Black Sea. The Greeks 
bf !Nice, informed by some peasants from the shores of the 


Bosphorus, did not hesitate to take advantage of the oppoi* 
tnnity fortune thus presented. These peasants pointed out 
to the general of Michael Pala?ologus, who was about to 
make war in Epirus, an opening that had been made under 
the ramparts of Constantinople, close to the Golden Gate, 
by which more troops might be introduced than would be 
necessary for the conquest of the city. Baldwin had none 
with him but children, old men, women, and traders ; among 
the latter of whom were the Genoese newly allied to the 
Greeks. When the soldiers of Michael had penetrated into 
the city, they were surprised to find no enemy to contend 
with ; whilst they preserved their ranks, and advanced with 
precaution, a troop of Comans, whom the Greek emperor 
had in his pay, traversed the city, sword and fire in hand. 
The smaM, terrified crowd of the Latins fled towards the 
port ; whilst the Greek inhabitants hastened to meet the 
conqueror, shouting, "Long life to Michael Pakeoiogus, 
emperor of the Bomans !" Baldwin, awakened by these 
cries and the tumult that drew near to his palace, hastened 
to quit a city that no longer was his. The Venetian fleet, 
returning from the expedition to Daphnusia, arrived in time 
to receive the fugitive emperor and all that remained of the 
empire of the Franks upon the Bosphorus. Thus the Latins 
were deprived of that city that it had cost them such pro- 
digies of valour to obtain ; the Greeks reentered it without 
striking a blow, seconded only by the treachery of a few 
peasants and the darkness of night. Baldwin II., after having 
reigned in Byzantium during thirty-seven years, resumed 
the mendicant course he had practised in his youth, and wan- 
dered from one court to another, imploring the assistance of 
Christians. Pope Urban received him with a mixture of 
compassion and contempt. In a letter addressed to Louis IX., 
the pontiff deplored the loss of Constantinople, and groaned 
bitterly over the obscured glory of the Latin Church. 
Urban expressed a desire that a crusade should be under- 
taken for the recovery of Byzantium ; but he found men's 
minds but very little disposed to undertake such an enter- 
prise : the clergy of both England and Prance refused sub- 
sidies for an expedition which they pronounced useless. 
The pope was obliged to content himself with the submission 
and presents of Michael Pakeoiogus, who, still in dread ia 


the bosom of his new conquest, promised, in order to appease 
the Holy See, to recognise the Church of Rome, and te 
succour the holy places. 

In the mean time the situation of the Christians of 
Palestine became every day more alarming, and more worthy 
of the compassion of the nations and princes of the West. 
The new sultan of Cairo, after having ravaged the country 
of the Franks, returned a second time, with a more for- 
midable army than the former. The Franks, alarmed at his 
progress, sent to him to sue for peace ; his only reply was to 
give up the church of Nazareth to the flames ; the Mussul- 
mans ravaged all the country situated between JNTain and 
Mount Thabor, and then encamped within sight of Ptolemais. 

The most distinguished of the Christian warriors had 
attempted an expedition towards Tiberias ; but this gallant 
troop, the last resource of the Franks, had just been de- 
feated and dispersed by the infidels ; fifty knights had arrived 
in Palestine with the duke of JNevers ; but what could such 
a feeble reinforcement do to arrest the progress of a vic- 
torious army. 

The country was laid waste, and the inhabitants of the 
cities kept themselves closely shut up behind their ramparts, 
in the constant apprehension of beholding the enemy under 
their walls. After threatening Ptolemais, Bibars threw him- 
self upon the city of Csesarea ; the Christians, after a spirited 
resistance, abandoned the place, and retired into the castle, 
which was surrounded by the waters of the sea. This for- 
tress, which appeared inaccessible, was only able to resist 
the attacks of the Mussulmans a few days.* The city of 
Arsouf was the next object of the Mussulman leader. The 
inhabitants defended themselves with almost unexampled 
bravery; several times the machines of the besiegers and 
the heaps of wood which they raised to the level of the walls, 
were consigned to the flames. After having fought at the 
foot of the ramparts, the besieged and the besiegers dug out 

* These expeditions of Bibars are related with all their details in the 
chronicles of Ibn-Ferat and in Makrizi. Although we have much 
abridged our account, we fear we shall be accused of tediousness. We 
have yielded to our inclination of filling up the deficiencies which exist iu 
all the chronicles of the West in their accounts of this period. The life 
of Bibars has likewise been of great service to us. 


the earth beneath the walls of the city, and sought each 
other, to fight in the mines and subterranean passages; 
nothing could relax the ardour of the Christians or the im- 
patient activity of Bibars. Religious fanaticism animated 
the courage of the Mamelukes ; the imauns and doctors oi 
the law flocked to the siege of Arsouf, to be present at the 
triumph of Islamism : at length the sultan planted the 
standard of the prophet upon the towers of the city, and 
the Mussulmans were called to prayers in the churches at 
once converted into mosques. The Mamelukes massacred a 
great part of the inhabitants ; the remainder were condemned 
to slavery. Bibars distributed the captives among the 
leaders of his army ; he then ordered the destruction of the 
city, and the Christian prisoners were compelled to demolish 
their own dwellings. The conquered territory was divided 
and shared among the principal emirs, according to an order 
of the sultan, which the Arabian chronicles have preserved 
as an historical monument. This liberality towards the con- 
querors of the Christians, appeared to the Mussulmans 
worthy of the greatest praise, and one of the historians of 
Bibars exclaims, in his enthusiasm, " That so noble an action 
was written in the book of G-od, before being inscribed upon 
the book of the life of the sultan." 

Such encouragements bestowed upon the emirs, announced 
that Bibars still stood in need of their valour to accomplish 
other designs. The sultan returned into Egypt, to make 
fresh preparations and recruit his army. During his sojourn 
at Cairo, he received ambassadors from several kings of the 
Pranks, from Alphonso, king of Arragon, the king of 
Armenia, and some other princes of Palestine. All these 
ambassadors demanded peace for the Christians ; but their 
pressing solicitations only strengthened the sultan in his 
project of continuing the war ; the more earnest their en- 
treaties, the greater reason he had to believe they had 
nothing else to oppose to him. He answered the envoys of 
the count of Jaffa : " The time is come in which we will 
endure no more injuries ; when a cottage shall be taken 
from us, we will take a castle ; when you shall seize one of 
our labourers, we will consign a thousand of your warriors 
to chains." 

Bibars did not delay putting his threats into execution ; 


he returned t„ Palestine, and made a pilgrimage to Jeru- 
salem, to implore the protection of Mahomet for his arms. 
His army immediately received the signal for war, and 
ravaged the territory of Tripoli. If some Oriental chronicles 
may be believed, the project of Bibars then was to attack 
Ptolema'is ; and in so great an enterprise, he did not disdain 
the assistance of treachery. The prince of Tyre, says Ibn- 
Ferat, united with the Genoese, was to attack Ptolema'is 
with a numerous fleet on the sea side, whilst the Mamelukes 
attacked it by land. Bibars in fact presented himself 
before Ptolema'is, but his new auxiliaries no doubt repented 
of the promises they had made him ; and did not second his 
designs. The sultan retired filled with fury, and threatened 
to avenge himself upon all the Christians whom war should 
place in his power. 

He first went to discharge his anger upon the fortress of 
Sefed, which was situated in lower Galilee, fifteen leagues 
from Ptolemais. This fortress had to defend itself against 
all the forces that the sultan had gathered together for his 
great enterprise. When the siege had begun, Bibars 
neglected no means of forcing the garrison to surrender ; he 
was constantly at the head of his troops, and in one con- 
flict, his whole army burst into a loud cry to warn him of a 
danger that threatened him. To inflame the ardour of the 
Mamelukes, he caused rones of honour and purses of money 
to be distributed on the field of battle ; the great cadi of 
Damascus had come to the siege to animate the combatants 
by his presence ; and the promises he addressed, in the name 
of the prophet, to all the Mussulman soldiers, added greatly 
to their warlike enthusiasm. 

The Christians, however, defended themselves valiantly. 
This resistance at first astonished their enemies, and soon 
produced discouragement; in vain the sultan endeavoured 
to reanimate his soldiers, in vain he ordered that all who 
fled should be beaten back with clubs, and placed several 
emirs in chains for deserting their posts ; neither the dread 
of chastisements, nor the hopes of reward, could revive the 
courage of the Mussulmans. Bibars would have been 
obliged to raise the siege, if discord had not come to his 
assistance. He himself took great pains to give birth to it 
among the Christians ; in the frequent messages sent to the 


garrison, perfidious promises and well-directed threats sowed 
the seeds of suspicion and mistrust. At length the divisions 
burst forth ; some were anxious that they should surrender, 
others that they should hold out to death : from that moment 
the Mussulmans met with a less obstinate resistance, and 
renewed their own attacks with greater ardour ; whilst the 
Christians accused each other of treacherous proceedings or 
intentions, the war-machines made the walls totter, and the 
Mamelukes, after several assaults, were upon the point of 
opening themselves a road into the place. At length, one 
Friday (we quote an Arabian chronicle), the cadi of Damascus 
was praying for the combatants, when the Franks were 
heard to cry from the top of their half-dismantled towers, 
"0 Mussulmans, spare us, spare us!" The besieged had 
laid down their arms, and fought no longer — the gates were 
immediately opened, and the standard of the Mussulmans 
floated over the walls of Sefed. 

A capitulation granted the Christians permission to retire 
wherever they wished, upon condition that they should take 
away with them nothing but their clothes. Bibars, when 
seeing them defile before him, sought for a pretext to detain 
them in his power. Some were, by his orders, arrested and 
accused of carrying away treasures and arms ; and the com- 
mand was instantly issued to stop all. They were reproached 
with having violated the treaty, and were threatened with 
death if they did not embrace Islamism. They were loaded 
with chains and crowded together in a mass upon a hill, 
where they expected nothing but death. A commander of 
the Temple and two Cordeliers exhorted their companions 
in misfortune to die like Christian heroes. All those war- 
riors, whom discord had divided, now reunited in one common 
evil, had only one feeling and one thought ;* they wept as 
they embraced each other, they encouraged each other to 
die becomingly ; they passed the night in confessing their 
sins towards Cod, and in deploring their errors and their 
differences. On the morrow, two only of these captives 
were set at liberty; one was a brother Hospitaller, whom 

* The Arabian chronicles describe this event in a very obscure and 
equivocal manner ; they scarcely mention the massacre of the prisoners, 
and say but little of the capitulation ; they accuse the Franks of having 
taken Mussulman prisoners away with them, which is not very probable. 


Bibars sent to Ptolema'is, to announce to the Christians the 
taking of Sefed ; the other was a Templar, who abandoned 
the faith of Christ, and attached himself to the fortunes of 
the sultan ; all the others, to the number of six hundred, 
fell beneath the sword of the Mamelukes. This barbarity, 
committed in the name of the Mussulman religion, appears 
the more revolting, from the Franks never having given an 
example for it, and that amidst the furies of war, they were 
never known to require the conversion of infidels, sword in 

It is impossible to describe the despair and consternation 
of the Christians of Palestine, when they learnt the tragical 
end of the defenders of Sefed. Their superstitious grief 
invented or blindly received the most marvellous accounts, 
which the Western chroniclers have not disdained to repeat ; 
it was said that a celestial light shone every night over the 
bodies of the Christian warriors that remained unburied.f 
It was added that the sultan, annoyed by this prodigy, which 
was every day renewed before his eyes, gave orders that the 
martyrs of the Christian faith should be buried, and that 
around their place of sepulture high walls should be built, 
in order that nobody might witness the miracles operated in 
favour of the victims he had immolated to his vengeance. 

After the taking of Sefed, Bibars returned into Egypt, 
and the Franks hoped for a few days of repose and safety : 
but the indefatigable sultan never gave his enemies much 
time to rejoice at his absence. He only remained in Egypt 
till he had recruited his army with fresh troops, and soon 
brought back additional desolation to the states of the 
Christians. Iu this campaign, Armenia wo ; t-^p point to 

* We are afraid M. Michaud carries the partialities of Biography into 
the pages of History : in the former, such are sometimes ezcusable ; in 
the latter, never. Our readers who look back to the taking of Jerusalem 
or Ptolemais, will at once see how weak is the claim of the Christians to 
a superiority over their adversaries in mercy As to the religious portion 
of the account, history teems with wholesale conversions of conquered 
armies and nations. See Charlemagne and our own Alfred, for instance. 
We thought that the idea of Mahometanism being a religion of the 
tword was exploded. Gibbon positively denies it to be so, and asserts 
that no precept or passage of the Koran inculcates it. — Trans. 

f Sanuti is almost the only Christian writer that affords information OH 
the taking of Sefed. 

*6 history or the crusades. 

which his anger and the power of his arms were directed 
he reproached the Armenian monarch with forbidding Egyp- 
tian merchants to enter his dominions, and could not pardon 
him for preventing Ins own subjects from obtaining mer- 
chandise from Egypt. These differences were quickly set- 
tled on the field of battle ; one of the sons of the king of 
Armenia lost his liberty, and the other his life : the army of 
Bibars returned loaded with booty, and followed by an innu- 
merable multitude of captives. 

As, after each of his victories, the sultan presented him- 
self before Ptolemais, the capital of the Christian states, 
he did not fail on his return from this last expedition, 
to exhibit before the walls of this city the spoils of the 
people of Armenia, together with his own machines of war ; 
but the moment was not yet arrived in which such a great 
undertaking as the capture of Ptolemais could be attempted. 
After terrifying the inhabitants by his appearance, he sud- 
denly departed, for the purpose of surprising Jaffa. This 
city, the fortifications of which had cost Louis IX. a consi- 
derable sum,* after a very slight resistance, fell into the hands 
of Bibars, who caused all the walls to be levelled with the 
ground. During this excursion, the sultan of Cairo obtained 
possession of the castle of Carac and several other forts, and 
then marched towards Tripoli. Bohemond having sent to 
demand of him what the purpose of his coming was : " I am 
come," replied he, "to gather in your harvests ; in my next 
campaign I will besiege your capital." Nevertheless, he 
concluded a truce with Tripoli, in the midst of these hos- 
tilities ; foreseeing that a treaty of peace would serve as a 
veil for the project of another war, and that he should soon 
find an opportunity of violating the truce with advantage. 

The author of the life of Bibars, who was sent to Bohe- 

* '* I cairnot tell the amount," says Joinville, " of what the king laid 
out for the fortification of Jaffa, it was so great. He closed the canal 
batween the two seas, he built twenty -four towers, and cleansed the 
ditches without and within. There were three gates, of which the legate 
built one, and likewise part of the walls. And in order to show you 
what the king must have expended, I will tell you what the legate said 
when I asked him how much that gate and the wall had cost him. I had 
reckoned that the first cost him five hundred livres, and the latter three 
hundred livres ; but he told me, as God might help him, that the gate 
and the wall had cost him thirty thousand livres." 


mond, count of Tripoli and prince of Antioch, says that the 
sultan was in the train of the ambassador, in the character 
of a herald-at-arms. His project was to examine the forti- 
fications and the means of defence of the city of Tripoli. 
In drawing up the treaty, the Mussulman deputies only 
gave Bohemond the title of count, whilst he claimed that of 
prince ; the discussion becoming warm, the envoys of Bibara 
naturally turned their eyes towards their master, who made 
them a sign to yield.* On his return to his army, the sul- 
tan laughed heartily with his emirs at this adventure, saying, 
" The time is come in which God will curse the prince and 
the count." 

By this, Bibars alluded to his project of conquering and 
ruining the principality of Antioch. The Egyptian army 
received orders to march towards the banks of the Orontes ; 
and but very few days had passed away before this same 
array was encamped under the walls of Antioch, badly 
defended by its patriarch, and abandoned by most of its in- 
habitants. Historians say very little of this siege, in which 
the Christians made but a feeble resistance, and appeared 
more frequently as suppliants than as warriors : their sub- 
mission, their tears, their prayers, however, made no impres- 
sion upon a conqueror whose sole policy was the destruction 
of the Christian cities. 

As the Mussulmans entered Antioch without a capitula- 
tion, they gave themselves up to all the excesses of license 
and victory. In a letter which Bibars addressed to the 
count of Tripoli, the barbarous conqueror takes a pleasure 
In describing the desolation of the subdued city, and all the 
evils which his fury had caused the Christians to undergo.f 
"Death," says he, "came among the besieged from all sides 

* This little incident is quite dramatic, and, in good hands, would not 
took badly on canvass. Would it not assist art, if historians, when for- 
cibly struck by the scenes they describe, would suggest to painters, who 
bo frequently prove they are at a loss for subjects by their injudicious 
choice, events, persons, and passions fit for the pencil ? — Trans. 

+ This letter of Bibars, which was written by his secretary, the author 
of the life we have of this sultan, does not only speak of the taking and the 
destruction of Antioch, but of the ravages committed by the Mamelukes 
in the territory of Tripoli. This letter is of great length, but we find in 
it more, declamatory sentences and Oriental figures than facts for the pen 
of the historian. 

Vol. III.— 2 


and by all roads : we killed all that thou hadst appointed to 
guard the city or defend its approaches. If thou hacst 
seen thy knights trampled under the feet of the horses, thy 
provinces given up to pillage, thy riches distributed by mea- 
sures-full, the wives of thy subjects put to public sale ; if 
thou hadst seen the pulpits and crosses overturned, the 
leaves of the Gospel torn and cast to the winds, and the 
sepulchres of thy patriarchs profaned ; if thou hadst seen 
thy enemies, the Mussulmans, trampling upon the taber- 
nacle, and immolating in the sanctuary, monk, priest, and 
deacon ; in short, if £ hou hadst seen thy palaces given up to 
the names, the dead devoured by the fire of this world, the 
Church of St. Paul and that of St. Peter completely and 
entirely destroyed, certes, thou wouldst have cried out: 
Would to Heaven that I were become dust /" 

Bibars distributed the booty among his soldiers, the 
Mamelukes reserving as their portion, the women, girls, and 
children. At that time, says an Arabian chronicle, " there 
was not the slave of a slave that teas not the master of a slave.'''' 
A little boy was worth twelve dirhems, a little girl, five dir- 
hems. In a single day the city of Antioch lost all. its inha- 
bitants, and a conflagration, lighted by order of Bibars, com- 
pleted the work of the barbarians. Most historians agree in 
saying that seventeen thousand Christians were slaughtered, 
and a hundred thousand dragged away into slavery. 

When we recall to our minds the first siege of this city 
by the Crusaders, and the labours and the exploits of Bohe- 
mond, Godfrey, and Tancred, who founded the principality 
of Antioch, we are afflicted at beholding the end of all that 
which the glory of conquerors had produced. When, on 
the other side, we see a numerous population, inclosed 
within ramparts, making but a feeble defence against an 
enemy, and allowing themselves to be slaughtered without 
resistance, we cannot help asking what can have become of 
the posterity of so many brave warriors as had defended 
Antioch, during almost two centuries, against all the Mus- 
sulman powers. 

Complaints were made among the Christians against 
William, the patriarch, whom they accused <<f having at 
least favoured the invasion and conquest of the Mvssulmans, 
by a weak pusillanimity. Without offering a:l opinion 


upon the accusation, we content ourselves with saying, that 
the timid prelate did not long enjoy the fruit of his base 
conduct ; for the Mamelukes, after having permitted him to 
retire to Cosseir, with all his treasures, dragged him from 
his retreat by violence ; and the faithless pastor, despoiled 
of his wealth, and plunged in ignominy, underwent at last a 
much more cruel death than lie might have expected amidst 
his nock, and upon the ramparts of a Christian city. 

After the taking of Antioch, the Christians had nothing 
left to arrest the progress of the Mussulmans, but the 
cities of Tripoli and Ptolemais. JBibars was impatient to 
attack these last bulwarks of the Franks ; but he did 
not dare to put trust in his fortune, and aim the last fatal 
blow at that power before which the Mussulman nations so 
lately trembled. The sultan of Cairo could not forget that 
the dangers of the Christians had often roused the whole 
"West, and this thought alone was sufficient to keep him in 
inaction and dread. Thus the sad remains of the Christian 
colonies of the East, were still protected by the warlike re- 
putation of the nations of Europe, and by the remembrance 
of the wonders of the early crusades. 

Fame had not failed to carry the news of so many dis- 
asters across the seas. The archbishop of Tyre, the grand 
masters of the Temple and the Hospital, passed over into 
the West, to repeat the groans of the Christian cities of 
Syria ; but on their arrival, Europe seemed but little disposed 
to give ear to their complaints. In vain a crusade was 
preached in Germany, Poland, and the more remote coun- 
tries of the North ; the inhabitants of northern Europe 
evinced nothing but indifference for events that were passing 
at such a distance from them. The king of Bohemia, the 
marquis of Brandenburg, and some other lords that had 
taken the cross, seemed in no hurry to perform their oath. 
No army set forward on its march ; everything was reduced 
to preachings and vain preparations. 

The misfortunes of the Holy Land were deeply deplored 
in the kingdom of France ; in a sirvente* composed on this 
subject, a contemporary troubadour appears to reproach 
Providence with the defeats of the Christians of Palestine, 

* Sirvente is a kind of poem oeculiar to the troubadours. 


and in his poetical delirium, abandons himself to .in impiov • 
despair: — " Sadness and grief," cried he, " hare taken pos- 
session of my soul to such a degree, that little is wanting to 
bring me to instant death; for the cross is disgraced, — that 
cross which we have taken in honour of him who died upon 
the cross. Neither cross nor faith protects us longer, or 
guides us against the cruel Turks, — whom God curse ! But 
it appears, as far as man can judge, that it is God's will to 
support them for our destruction. And never believe that 
the enemy will stop in his career after such success ; on the 
contrary, he has sworn and publicly announced that not a 
single man who believes in Jesus Christ shall be left alive in 
Syria ; that the temple even of the holy Mary will be con- 
verted into a mosque. Since the son of Mary, whom this 
affront ought to afflict, wills it to be so, since this pleases 
him, does it follow that it should please us likewise? 

" He is then mad who seeks a quarrel with the Saracens, 
when Jesus Christ opposes them in nothing, as they have 
obtained victories, and are gaining them still (which grieves 
me) over the Franks, the Armenians, and the Persians. 
Every day we are conquered'; for he sleeps, — that God that 
was accustomed to be so watchful :* Mahomet acts with all 
his power, and the fierce Bibars seconds him." 

We cannot believe that these exceedingly remarkable 
words expressed the feelings of the faithful ; but at a time 
when poets ventured to speak in this manner, we may well 
suppose that men's minds were not favourable to a crusade. 
The troubadour we have quoted does not advise the making 
of any war against the Saracens, and inveighs bitterly 
against the pope, who sold God and indulgences to arm the 
French against the house of Swabia. In fact, the dissen- 
sions raised by the disputed succession of the kingdom of 
Naples and Sicily, then occupied the entire attention of the 
Holy See, and France was not quite free from party spirit 
on the occasion. 

* This sirvente, which is attributed to a knight of the Temple, has been 
translated by the Abbe Millot, who appears to have altered the sense of it. 
It is printed in the fourth volume, p. 131, of the Choix des Poesies 
des Troubadours, by M. Raynouard, perpetual secretary to the French 
Academy. We make use of a literal translation that M. Raynouard has 
kindly communicated to us. 


Not satisfied with lauDching excommunications and eccle- 
siastical thunders against Frederick and his family, the sove- 
reign pontiffs -wished to add the force of arms to the authority 
conferred upon them by the Church, and the right of con- 
quest to that which they thought they possessed over a 
kingdom so near to their own capital. As they had no 
experience in war, and their lieutenants were equally defi- 
cient in capacity and courage, their armies were defeated. 
The court of Rome, thus conquered in the field of battle, 
was compelled to acknowledge the ascendancy of victory, 
and in this profane struggle lost some of that spiritual power 
which alone rendered it formidable. 

With the exception of Mainfroy, a natural son of Fre- 
derick, and Conradin, his grandson, the family of Swabia 
was extinct. Mainfroy, who possessed both the abilities and 
courage of his father, had recently elevated the German 
cause in Italy, and braved both the arms and the power of 
the pontiffs. The court of Rome, upon finding it could not 
retain the kingdom of Sicily for itself, offered it to any one 
who would undertake the conquest of it. The crown to 
which Mainfroy pretended was first offered to Richard of 
Cornwall, and upon his prudent refusal, to Edmund, younger 
son of the king of England ; but the English parliament 
would not grant the subsidies necessary for so great an 
undertaking. It was then offered to Louis IX. for his bro- 
ther, the count of Anjou ; and although the scruples of the 
pious monarch for a moment checked the projects of Pope 
Urban, Clement IV., on his accession, used fresh persua- 
sions, and Louis at length suffered himself to be overcome 
by the prayers of Charles ; at the same time entertaining a 
secret hope that the conquest of Sicily would some day prove 
instrumental to the defence of the Holy Land. 

Charles, after being crowned by the pope in the church of 
St. John of the Lateran, entered the kingdom of Naples at 
the head of a considerable force, preceded by the fulmina- 
tions of the court of Rome. The soldiers of Charles wore 
a cross, ana fought in the name of the Church ; priests ex- 
horted the combatants, and promised them the protection of 
Heaven. Mainfroy succumbed in this, miscalled, holy war, 
and lost both his life and his crown at the battle of Cosenza. 

The pope being delivered from the cares of this political 


crusade, turned his attention to the holy one beyond the 
seas ; his legates solicited various princes, some to take the 
cross, others to accomplish their vows. Clement did not 
neglect to press Michael Palseologus to prove the sincerity 
of his promises. Charles, who was the acknowledged vassal 
of the pope, and who owed his kingdom to him, received 
many messages, representing the dangers of the Holy Land, 
and reminding him of what he owed to Jesus Christ, who 
was outraged by the victories of the Mussulmans. The new 
king of Sicily contented himself with sending an embassy 
to the sultan of Cairo, and with commending the unfortu- 
nate inhabitants of Palestine to the mercy of Bibars. The 
sultan replied to Charles, that he did not reject his inter- 
cessions; but the Christians were destroying themselves 
with their own hands ; that no one among them had the 
power to enforce the observance of treaties, and that the 
most contemptible of them were constantly undoing that ivhich 
the greatest had done. Bibars, in his turn, sent ambassadors 
to Charles, less for the purpose of following up any nego- 
tiations, than to obtain information upon the state and views 
of Christendom.* 

Young Conradin, who was preparing to dispute the 
crown of Sicily with Charles of Anjou, in order to avail 
himself of every means of supporting his claim, sent depu 
ties to the sultan of Cairo, in the character of king of Jeru- 
salem, conjuring him to protect his rights against his rival. 
Bibars, in his reply, pretended to endeavour to console 
Conradin, but, doubtless, received with joy these proofs of 
the divisions that existed amoug the princes of Europe. 

In the state in which Europe then was, one monarch alone 
took serious interest in the fate of the Christian colonies of 
Asia. The remembrance of a land in which he had so long 
dwelt, and the hope of avenging the honour of the French 
arms in Egypt, f once more directed the thoughts of Louis IX. 

* These details, as well as the most of those that precede them, con- 
cerning the Mussulmans, are taken from the valuable chronicle of Ibn- 

f "He was of opinion," says William de Nangis, " that the kingdom 
of France had undergone great disgrace in the first pilgrimage." Le pere 
Maimbourg expresses himself thus upon the king's determination :— 


to a new crusade. He however concealed his purpose, and 
this great project, says one of his historians,* was formed, 
so to say, between God and himself. Louis consulted the 
pope, who hesitated to answer him, reflecting upon the 
dangers that his absence might bring upon France, and 
even upon Europe. The first letter of Clementf aimed at 
diverting the French monarch from so perilous an enter- 
prise ; but, upon being consulted again, the sovereign pontic 
showed none of the same scruples, and declared it to be his 
duty to encourage Louis in his design, as he was persuaded, 
he said, that this design came from God. 

The purpose, however, of this negotiation remained still 
buried in profound mystery. Louis, no doubt, was fearful 
of prematurely announcing his designs, lest reflection might 
weaken the enthusiasm of which he must stand in so much 
need, or that a powerful opposition to the undertaking of a 
crusade might be formed in both his court and his kingdom ; 
he thought that, by announcing his project unexpectedly, at 
the moment of its being ripe for execution, he should affect 
men's minds more forcibly, and induce them more easily to 
follow his example. An assembly of the barons, nobles, and 
prelates of the kingdom was solemnly convoked at Paris 
towards the middle of Lent. The faithful Joinville was not 
forgotten in this convocation ; the seneschal foresaw, he says 
in his Memoirs, that Louis was about to take the cross, and 
the cause of his having this presentiment was, that in a 
dream he had seen the king of France clothed in a chasuble 
of a bright red colour, made of Rheims serge, which signified 
the cross. His almoner, when explaining this dream to 
him, added, that the chasuble being of Hheims serge, de- 
noted that the crusade would be but a trifling or small 

On the twenty-third dav of March, the great parliament 
of the kingdom being assembled in a hall of the Louvre, the 
king entered, bearing in his hand the crown of thorns ol 
Christ. At sight of this, the whole assembly became aware 
of the monarch's intentions. Louis, in a speech delivered 

" St. Louis, great saint as he was, could not help thinking that much 
Bharae lay upon him for having succeeded so ill in Egypt." 

* Hist de St. Louis, by Filleau de la Chaise. 

t See tne letters of Clement, in Duchesne, epist. 269. 


with great animation, described the misfortunes of the Holy 
Land, and proclaimed that he was resolved to go and sue 
eour it ; he then exhorted all who heard him to take the 
cross. When '-\e ceased to speak, a sad but a profound 
silence expressed at once the surprise and grief of the barons 
and prelates, with the respect that all entertained for the 
will of the holy monarch. 

Cardinal de St. Cecilia, the pope's legate, spoke after him, 
and in a pathetic exhortation, called upon the French war- 
riors to take arms. Louis received the cross from the hands 
of the cardinal, and his example was followed by three of 
his sons. Among these princes, the assembly was affected 
at beholding John, count of Nevers, who was born at Da- 
mietta amidst the calamities of the preceding crusade. At 
the same time the legate received the oath of John, count of 
Brittany, of Alphonso de Brienne, count of Eu, of Margue- 
rite, the ancient countess of Flanders, and of a great number 
of prelates, nobles, and knights. 

The determination of St. Louis, of which a sad presenti- 
ment had been entertained, spread deep regret throughout 
his kingdom ; his people could not behold without sorrow 
the departure of a prince whose presence alone preserved 
peace, and maintained order and justice everywhere. The 
health of the king was very much weakened, and there was 
great reason to fear that he would not be able to support the 
dangers and fatigues of a crusade ; he took his sons with 
him ; which circumstance added greatly to the public grief. 
The disasters of the first crusade were still fresh in the 
memory of his subjects, and whilst they thought of the cap- 
tivity of the whoie of the royal family, they dreaded greater 
misfortunes in the future. Joinville does not fear to say, 
" that they who had advised the king to undertake this voyage 
beyond the seas, had sinned mortally." 

Notwithstanding the general regret, there were neither 
complaints nor murmurs against the king ; the spirit of re- 
signation, which was one of the virtues of the monarch, 
appeared to have passed into the minds of all his subjects, 
and, to employ the very expressions of the pope's bull, " the 
French people saw in the devotion of their king nothing but 
a noble and painful sacrifice to the cause of the Christians, 
to that cause for which Grod had not spared his only Son." 


The greater that was the affection for the king, the greater 
was the general grief; but the zeal to partake his perils 
more than kept pace with these.* Louis alone thought of 
delivering the tomb of Christ and the Christian colonies j 
the warlike nobility of the kingdom only thought of fol- 
lowing their king in an expedition which was already looked 
upon as unfortunate. 

Among those who took the cross after the assembly of the 
Louvre, history names Thibault, king of Navarre ; Henry, 
count of Champagne, and his brother, the count d'Artois, 
son of Eobert, killed at Mansourah ; the counts of Flanders, 
de la Marche, St. Pol, and Soissons ; the seigneurs de Mont- 
morency, de Nemours, de Pienne, &c. The sieur de Join- 
vihe was warmly pressed to take the cross, but he resisted 
all the persuasions that could be made to him, alleging the 
vast injuries sustained by his vassals during the last expedi- 
tion. The good seneschal also was not forgetful of the pre- 
dictions of his almoner ; he earnestly wished to accompany 
the king, whom he loved sincerely ; but he was not yet reco- 
vered from the terrors he had experienced in Egypt, and 
no earthly motive could induce him to revisit the land of the 

The determination of the king of France created a lively 
sensation throughout Europe, and revived in men's minds 
the little that remained of the old enthusiasm for the cru- 
sades. As he was the chief of the enterprise, most of the 
warriors were ambitious of fighting under kis immediate 
banners ; the confidence entertained for his wisdom and 
virtues, in some sort fortified minds that dreaded distant 
expeditions, and restored hopes to the Christian nations, that 
they appeared to have forgotten. The remembrance, even, 
of the misfortunes of the first voyage added to the security 
of the future, and created a belief in many that the triumph 
of the Christian armies would at length be the reward of 
past labours and calamities, and the fruit of a salutary 

* Joinville, when present at the mass in the chapel, heard two knights 
conferring ; one said, that if the king took the cross, it would be one of 
the most fatal days ever seen in France ; for if we take the cross, we shall 
ruin the king ; and again, if we take the cross, we shall lose God's grace, 
because we do not take the cross for the sake of him. 


Clement IY. wrote to the king of Armenia to console him 
for the evils he had suffered by the invasion of the Mame- 
lukes, and to announce to him that the Christians of tha 
East were about to receive powerful succours. Abaga, khan 
of the Tartars, who was then prosecuting a war against the 
Turks of Asia Minor, sent ambassadors to the court of 
Kome, and to several princes of the West, proposing to 
attack the Mamelukes in concert with the Franks, and drive 
them from Syria and Egypt. The pope received the Mogul 
ambassadors with great solemnity ; he told them that an 
army, led by a powerful monarch, was about to embark for 
the East, that the hour fatal to the Mussulmans was come, 
and that God would bless his nation, and all the allies of his 

Louis, constantly occupied by his expedition, fixed the 
period of his departure for 1270 ; so that three long years 
must pass away before the assistance promised by the sove- 
reign pontiff could arrive in the East. "Vessels to transport 
the Crusaders were demanded of the republics of Genoa and 
Venice : the Venetians at first refused ; but upon learning 
that applications were being made to the Genoese, they sent 
ambassadors to offer a fleet. After protracted negotiations, 
in which Venice evinced more jealousy of the Genoese than 
zeal for the crusade, she again refused to concur in the em- 
barkation of the Christian army, being in less dread of the 
anger of Louis IX. than of that of the sultan of Cairo, who 
had it in his power to ruin her mercantile establishments in 
the East. At length the Genoese engaged to furnish vessels 
for the expedition. 

But the greatest difficulty was to find the money necessary 
for the preparations of the war. Up to this period, the 
tenths levied upon the clergy had supplied the expenses of 
the crusades ; # and an opinion generally prevailed, that a 
holy war ought to be paid for by men attached to the Church 
and devoted to the altars of Jesus Christ. Urban IV., the 

* When our readers look back to the means employed in former cru- 
sades to extort money from all classes, as well as from the clergy, we 
think they will partake of our surprise at this assertion. The clergy had 
been, in most cases, the recipients of the taxes upon the laity, and 
according to our author himself, had not always proved trustworthy 
collectors. — Trans. 


predecessor of Clement, had already ordered throughout the 
West, that a levy of a hundredth should be made upon the 
revenues of the clergy ; and, what might be considered a 
traffic in holy things, the court of Eome permitted the dis- 
tributing of indulgences, which faculty was granted in pro- 
porti m with what was given beyond the tribute required. 
The French clergy had addressed several petitions to the 
pope upon this subject ; but these petitions always remained 

"When the late determination of Louis IX. became known, 
the Holy See had recourse to the customary means, and, 
without the least attention to complaints, which were not 
without foundation, the order was issued to levy again a 
tenth during three years. Upon this the clergy redoubled 
their opposition, and were much more earnest in the defence 
of their own revenues than in the defence of the Holy Land. 
They complained to the king, and they sent deputies to 
Eome, to show the depth of the misery into which the 
Church of France was plunged by the burdens imposed 
upon it ; # these deputies represented to the sovereign pontiff 
that the exactions of latter times became every day more 
intolerable, and that the property of the clergy was no 
longer sufficient to support the altars and feed the poor of 
Jesus Christ. They added, that injustice and violence had 
formerly separated the Greek Church from that of Eome; 
giving his holiness to understand, that new rigours would 
not fail to produce new schisms. They further said, that if 
most crusades, particularly the expedition of Louis IX. into 
Egypt, had been unfortunate, it no doubt arose from the 
sanctuary having been plundered, and the churches ruined 
for the sake of them ; as a last reason, they prognosticated 
much greater calamities for the future than any that had 
been experienced. 

Such an address necessarily inflamed the anger of the 
sovereign pontiff. Clement, in his reply, warmly reproached 
the deputies, and they who had sent them, with their indil- 

* All these details upon the tenths are of great importance for the his- 
tory of the crusades : for this negotiation the following authorities may be 
consulted : Raynaldi, No. 59 ; the Spicilege, vol. xiii. p. 221 ; the Sup- 
plement to Raynaldi, book lxix. No. 42 ; Fleury's Ecclesiastical History, 
and the Act& of Rymer. 


ference for the cause of all Christians, and for tl*eir avarice, 
which made them deny their superfluous wealth for the pro- 
secution of a war in which so many princes and illustrious 
warriors perilled their lives. He pointed to the excommu- 
nication ready to fall upon their heads, and, what must have 
much more terrified them, he threatened to deprive them oi 
their property and their benefices. Such was then the 
power of Borne, that nothing could be possessed without its 
pleasure : the clergy were obliged to submit, and pay the 
tenth during four years. The pope further empowered the 
king to dispose of all the sums bequeathed by will for the 
assistance of the Holy Land ; he equally abandoned to him 
the money that might be drawn from those who, having 
taken the cross, were desirous of redeeming their vows; 
which latter means must have produced a considerable sum, 
as the clergy gave the cross to everybody, and refused 
dispensation to nobody. 

Louis IX. neglected none of the resources that his posi- 
tion as king of France placed in his hands ; at this period no 
regular impost was known, and, to support the splendour of 
their thrones, kings had nothing to depend upon but the 
revenues of their domains.* In order to provide for all the 
expenses he was obliged to incur on this occasion, the king 
had recourse to the impost called the capitation-tax, which 
suzerain lords, according to feudal customs, required of each 
of their vassals in any extraordinary circumstances. Usage 
authorized him to levy this contribution on account of the 
crusade, but he had also the right, on the occasion of a cere- 
mony, at that time very important, in which his eldest son 
Philip was to be received as a knight. Thus, the impost was 
demanded in the name of chivalry and in the name of reli- 
gion ; it was paid without a murmur, because Louis confided 
the gathering of it to men of acknowledged integrity. 

When Philip received the sword of knighthood, the 
French, and particularly the Parisians, expressed their love 
for Louis IX. and his family by public rejoicings ; all the 
nobility hastened from the provinces to be present at the 
festivities and spectacles that were celebrated in the capital 

* As historians, we should hesitate to assert this, and should advisa 
our readers to adopt it with much caution, and many limitations.— 


on this occasion. Amidst the tournaments, the exercises ot 
the tilt-yard, and the sports in which the skill and courage 
cf the preux and the paladins were displayed, the crusade 
was not forgotten. The pope's legate pronounced a dis- 
course, in the isle of St. Louis, upon the misfortunes of the 
Holy Land ; all the people appeared to be deeply moved by 
the exhortations of the prelate ; a crowd of knights, and 
warriors of all classes, took the cross ; thus Louis IX. found 
in this circumstance an opportunity of raising money for 
the support of his army, and of procuring recruits for the 
hoh r war. 

Whilst all France was engaged in preparing for the expe- 
dition beyond the seas, the crusade was preached in the 
other countries of Europe. A council was held at North- 
ampton, in England, in which Ottobon, the pope's legate, 
exhorted the faithful to arm themselves to save the little 
that remained of the kingdom of Jerusalem ; and Prince 
Edward took the cross, to discharge the vow that his father 
Henry III. had made when the news reached Europe of the 
captivity of Louis IX. in Egypt. After the example of 
Edward, his brother Prince Edmund, with the earls of Pem- 
broke and Warwick, and many knights and barons, agreed 
to take arms against the infidels. The same zeal for the 
deliverance of the holy places was manifested in Scotland, 
where John Baliol and several nobles enrolled themselves 
under the banners of the cross. 

Catalonia and Castile furnished a great number of Cru- 
saders : the king of Portugal, and James, king of Arragon, 
took the cross. Dona Sancha, one of the daughters of the 
Arragonese prince, had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and 
had died in the hospital of St. John, after devoting many 
years to the service of pilgrims and the sick. James had 
several times conquered the Moors ; but neither his exploits 
against the infidels, nor the remembrance of a daughter who 
had fallen a martyr to Christian charity, could sustain his piety 
against the attacks of his earthly passions, and his shameful 
connection with Berengaria scandalized Christendom. 

Tke pope, to whom he communicated his design of going 
to the Holy Land, replied that Jesus Christ could not accept 
the services of a prince who crucified Mm every day by his 
tins. The king of Arragon, by a strange combination of 


opposito sentiments, would neither renounce Berengaria no? 
give up his project of going to fight against the infidels in 
the East. He renewed his oath in a great assembly at 
Toledo, at which the ambassadors of the khan of Tartary 
and of the king of Armenia were present. We read in a 
Spanish dissertation* upon the crusades, that Alphonso the 
Wise, who was not able to go to the East himself, furnished 
the king of Arragon with a hundred men and a hundred 
thousand marvedis in gold ; the order of St. James, and 
other orders of knighthood, who had often accompanied the 
conqueror of the Moors in his battles, supplied him also 
with men and money. The city of Barcelona offered him 
eighty thousand Barcellonese sols, and Majorca fifty thou- 
sand silver sols, with two equipped vessels. The fleet, com- 
posed of thirty large ships and a great number of smaller 
craft, in which were embarked eight hundred men-at-arms 
and two thousand foot-soldiers, set out from Barcelona on 
the 4th of September, 1268. When they arrived off Ma- 
jorca, the fleet was dispersed by a tempest ; one part of the 
vessels gained the coasts of Asia, another took shelter in the 
ports of Sardinia; the vessel the king of Arragon was on 
board of was cast upon the coast of Languedoc. 

The arrival at Ptolemais of the Arragonese Crusaders, 
commanded by a natural son of James, restored some hopes 
to the Franks of Palestine. An envoy from the king of 
Arragon, according to the Oriental chronicles, repaired to 
the khan of the Tartars, to announce to him that the Spanish 
monarch would soon arrive with his army. But whether he 
was detained by the charms of Berengaria, or whether the 
tempest that dispersed his fleet made him believe that 
Heaven was averse to his pilgrimage, James did not arrive. 
His departure, in which he appeared to despise the counsels 
of the Holy See, had been severely censured ; and his return, 
which was attributed to his disgraceful passion, met with an 

* This dissertation, which has been sent to us by the author, bears for 
title, An Historical Dissertation upon the Part the Spaniards took in 
the Wars beyond the Seas, and upon the Influence of these Expeditions, 
from the Eleventh to the Fijteenth Century, by Don Fernandez de Cre- 
varette. This work, in which a learned criticism and a sound erudition 
prevail, contains many valuable document? we shall often have occasion 
to quote it. 


equal share of blame. Murmurs likewise arose against the 
king of Portugal, who had levied the tenths, but did not 
leave his kingdom. 

All those who in Europe took an interest in the crusadf 
had, at this time, their eyes directed towards the kingdom o' 
Naples, where Charles of Aujou was making great prepa- 
rations to accompany his brother into the East ; but thia 
kingdom, recently conquered, was doomed again to be the 
theatre of a war kindled by vengeance and ambition. There 
fell out in the states of Naples and Sicily, which had so 
often changed masters, that which almost always takes 
place after a revolution : deceived hopes were changed into 
hatreds : the excesses inseparable from a conquest, the pre- 
sence of an army proud of its victories, with the too violent 
government of Charles, animated the people against their 
new king. Clement IV. thought it his duty to give a timely 
and salutary warning : "Your kingdom," he wrote to him, 
" at first exhausted by the agents of your authority, is now 
torn by your enemies ; thus the caterpillar destroys what 
has escaped the grasshopper. The kingdom of Sicily and 
Naples has not been wanting in men to desolate it ; where 
now are they that will defend it ?" This letter of the pope 
announced storms ready to break forth. Many of those who 
had called Charles to the throne, regretted the house of 
Swabia, and directed their new hopes towards Conradin, 
heir of Erederick and of Conrad. This young prince quitted 
Germany with an army, and advanced towards Italy, 
strengthening himself in his march with the party of the 
Ghibellines, and with all those whom the domination of 
Charles had irritated. All Italy was in flames, and the 
pope, Charles's protector, retired to Yiterbo, had no defence 
to afford him, except the thunders of the Church. 

Charles of Anjou, however, assembled his troops, and 
marched out to meet his rival. The two armies met in the 
plain of St. Valentine, near Aquila ; the army of Conradin 
was cut to pieces, and the young prince fell into the power 
of the conqueror. Posterity cannot pardon Charles for 
having abused his 'victory even so far as to condemn and 
decapitate his disarmed and vanquished enemy.* After this 

* Migeray thus describes the murder of Conradin : — " As Charles had 
determined to go /into Africa with the king, St. Louis, not knowing what 

82 nisxoET or the crusades. 

execution, Sicily and the country of Naples were given up 
to all the furies of a jealous, suspicious tyranny ; for violence 
produces violence, and great political crimes never come 
alone. It was thus that Charles got ready for the crusade ; 
but, on the other hand, Providence was preparing terrihlo 
catastrophes for him: "So true it is," says an historian, 
" that God as often gives kingdoms to punish those he 
elevates, as to chastise those whom he brings low." 

Whilst these bloody scenes were passing in Italy, Louis IX. 
was following up the establishment of public peace and his 
darling object, the crusade, at the same time. The holy 
monarch did not forget that the surest manner of softening 
the evils of war, as well as of his absence, was to make good 
laws ; he therefore issued several ordinances, and each of 
these ordinances was a monument of his justice. The most 
celebrated of all is the Pragmatic Sanction, which Bossuet 
called the firmest support of Grallican liberties. He also 
employed himself in elevating that monument of legislation 
which illustrated his reign, and which became a light for 
following ages. 

The count of Poictiers, who was to accompany his brother, 
was in the mean time engaged in pacifying his provinces, 
and established many regulations for maintaining public 
order. He, above everything, endeavoured to abolish slavery; 
having for a maxim, " That men are born free, and it is 
always wise to bring back things to their origin." This 
good prince drew upon himself the benedictions of his 
people ; and the love of his vassals assured the duration ot 
tY -3 laws he made. 

We have said that Prince Edward, son of Henry III., had 
taken the oath to combat the infidels. He had recently 
displayed a brilliant valour in the civil war that had so long 
desolated England ; and the deliverance of his father and 
the pacification of the kingdom had been the reward of his 
exploits. It was his esteem for the character of Louis IX., 
more than the spirit of devotion, that induced him to set out 
fcr the East. The king of France, who himself exhorted 

to do with Conradin and Frederick, whom it was dangerous to keep, and 
still more to release, in a kingdom filled with faction and revolt, he 
ordered them to be brought to trial before the syndics of the cities of the 


him to take the cross, lent him seventy thousand livrea 
tournois for the preparations for his voyage. Edward was 
to follow Louis as his vassal, and to conduct under his ban- 
ners the English Crusaders, united with those of Gruienne. 
Gaston de Beam, to whom the French monarch advanced 
the sum of twenty-five thousand livres, prepared to follow 
Prince Edward to the Holy Land. 

The period fixed upon for the departure of the expedition 
was drawing near. By order of the legate, the cures in 
every parish had taken the names of the Crusaders, in order 
to oblige them to wear the cross publicly, and all had notice 
to hold themselves in readiness to embark in the month of 
May, 1270. Louis confided the administration of his king? 
dom, during his absence, to Matthew, abbot of St. Denis, 
and to Simon, sieur de JN T esle ; he wrote to all the noble3 
who were to follow him into the Holy Land, to recommend 
them to assemble their knights and men-at-arms. As reli- 
gious enthusiasm was not sufficiently strong to make men 
forget their worldly interests, many nobles who had taken 
the cross entertained great fears of being ruined by the holy 
war, and most of them hesitated to set out. Louis undertook 
to pay all the expenses of their voyage, and to maintain 
them at his own cost during the war, — a tiling that had not 
been done in the crusades of Louis VII. or Philip Augustus, 
in which the ardour of the Crusaders did not allow them to 
give a thought to their fortunes, or to exercise so much fore- 
sight. We have still a valuable monument of this epoch in 
a charter, by which the king of Prance stipulates how much 
he is to pay to a great number of barons and knights during 
the time the war beyond the seas should last. 

Early in the month of March, Louis repaired to the church 
of St. Denis, where he received the symbols of pilgrimage, 
and placed his kingdom under the protection of the apostles 
of Prance.* Upon the day following this solemn ceremony, 
a mass for the crusade was celebrated in the church of Notre 
Dame, at Paris. The monarch appeared there, accompanied 
by his children and the principal nobles of his court ; he 
walked from the palace barefooted, carrying his scrip and 

* For the preparations for the voyage of Louis IX., William of Nangis, 
Geoffrey de Beaulieu, the Gestes of St. Louis, the continuator of Mat- 
thew Paris, and Joinville, may be consulted. 


staff. The same day he went to sleep at Vineennes, and 
beheld, for tiie last time, the spot on which he had enjoyed so 
much happiness in administering justice to his people. Ana 
it was here too that he took leave of Queen Marguerite, 
whom lie had never before quitted, — a separation rendered 
so mu^h the more painful by the sorrowful reflection it re- 
called of past events, and by melancholy presentiments for 
the future. 

Both the poople and the court were affected by the deepest 
regret, and that which added to the public anxiety was the 
circumstance that every one was ignorant of the point to 
which the expedition was to be directed : the coast of Africa 
"was only vaguely conjectured. The king of Sicily had taken the 
cross without having the least inclination to embark for Asia ; 
and when the question was discussed in council, he gave it 
as his opinion that Tunis should be the object of the first 
attack. The kingdom of Tunis covered the seas with pirates, 
who infested all the routes to Palestine ; it was, besides, the 
ally of Egypt, and might, if subdued, be made the readiest 
road to that country. These were the ostensible reasons 
put forth ; the true ones were, that it was of importance to 
the king of Sicily that the coasts of Africa should be brought 
under European subjection, and that he did not wish to go 
too far from Italy. The true reason with St. Louis, and 
that which, no doubt, determined him, was, that he believed 
it possible to convert the king of Tunis, and thus bring a 
vast kingdom under the Christian banners. The Mussulman 
prince, whose ambassadors had been several times in France, 
had himself given birth to this idea, by saying, that be asked 
nothing better than to embrace the religion oi Jesus 
Christ :* thus, that which he had said to turn aside an in- 
vasion, was precisely the cause of the war being directed 

* " It is true that before the king Louis took the cross, he had had severa. 
messages from the king of Tunis, and at divers times, and many had been 
sent to him ; these messages gave Louis to understand that the king ot 
Tunis was willing to become a Christian, and that he would the more 
willingly change his faith if an opportunity should occur in which his own 
honour and the welfare of his people would be secured. The gooc 1 
Christian king believed that if he and his renowned hosts should comt 
to Tunis suddenly, scarcely could the king of Tunis refuse or excuse such 
ft reasonable opportunity for receiving holy baptism,'' &c. — Annals oj 
t&e Reigi of St. Louis, by Williain of Nan^is. 


•gainst his territories. Louis IX. often repeated that he 
would consent to pass the whole of his life in a dungeon, 
without seeing the snn, if, by such a sacrifice, the conversion 
of the king of Tunis and his nation could be brought about ; 
an expression of ardent proselytism that has been blamed 
with much bitterness, but which only showed an extreme 
desire to see Africa delivered from barbarism, and marching 
with Europe in the progress of intelligence and civilization, 
which are the great blessings of Christianity. 

As Louis traversed his kingdom on his way to Aigues- 
Mortes, where the army of the Crusaders was to embark, 
he was everywhere hailed by the benedictions of his people, 
and gratified by hearing their ardent prayers for the success 
of his arms ; the clergy and the faithful, assembled in the 
churches, prayed for the king and his children, and all that 
should follow him. They prayed also for foreign princes 
and nobles who had taken the cross, and promised to go into 
the East ; as if they would, by that means, press them to 
hasten their departure. 

Very few, however, responded to this religious appeal. 
The king of Castile, who had taken the cross, had preten- 
sions to the imperial crown, nor could he forget the death of 
his brother Frederick, immolated by Charles of Anjou. It 
was not only that the affairs of the empire detained the 
German princes and nobles ; the death of young Conradin 
had so shocked and disgusted men's minds in Germany, that 
no one from that country would have consented to fight 
under the same banners as the king of Sicily. So black a 
crime, committed amidst the preparations for a holy war, 
appeared to presage great calamities. In the height of their 
grief or indignation, people might fear that Heaven would 
be angry with the Christians, and that its curse would fall 
upon the arms of the Crusaders. 

When Louis arrived at Aigues« Mortes, he found neither 
the Genoese fleet nor the principal nobles who were tc 
embark with him ; the ambassadors of Palaeologus were the 
only persons who did not cause themselves to be waited for ; 
for a great dread of the crusade was entertained at Constan- 
tinople, and lMs fear was more active than the enthusiasm 
of the Crusaders. Louis might have asked the Greek 
emperor why, after having promised to send soldiers, he had 


only sent ambassadors ; but Louis, who attached great im- 
portance to the conversion of the Greeks, contented himseli 
with removing the apprehensions of the envoys, and, as 
Clement IV. died at that period, he sent them to the con- 
clave of the cardinals, to terminate the reunion of the two 

At length the unwilling Crusaders, stimulated by repeated 
exhortations, and by the example of Louis, set forward on 
their march from all the proviuces, and directed their course 
towards the ports of Aigues-Mortes and Marseilles. Louis 
soon welcomed the arrival of the count of Poictiers, with a 
great number of his vassals ; the principal nobles brought 
with them the most distinguished of their knights and their 
most brave and hardy soldiers ; many cities likewise con- 
tributed their supply of warriors. Each troop had its ban- 
ner, and formed a separate corps, bearing the name of a city 
or a province; the battalions of Beaucaire, Carcassonne, 
Chalons, Perigord, &c, attracted observation in the Chris- 
tian army. These names, it is true, excited great emulation, 
but they also gave rise to quarrels, which the wisdom and 
firmness of Louis had great difficulty in appeasing. Cru- 
saders arrived from Catalonia, Castile, and several other 
provinces of Spain; five hundred warriors from Priesland 
likewise ranged themselves with full confidence under the 
standard of such a leader as Louis, saying, that their nation 
had always been proud to obey the kings of Prance. 

Before he embarked, the king wrote once more to the 
regents of the kingdom, to recommend them to watch care- 
fully over public morals, to deliver Prance from corrupt 
judges, and to render to everybody, particularly to the poor, 
prompt and perfect justice, so that He who judges the 
judgments of men might have nothing to reproach him with. 

Such were the last farewells that Louis took of Prance. 
The fleet set sail on the fourth of July, 1270, and in a few 
days arrived in the road of Cagliari. Here the council of 
the counts and barons was assembled in the king's vessel, to 
deliberate upon the plan of the crusade. Those who advo- 
cated the conquest of Tunis, said that by that means Jie 
passages of the Mediterranean would be opened, and the 
power of the Mamelukes would be weakened ; and that after 
that conquest the army would go triumphantly into either 


Egypt or Palestine. Many of the barons were not of this 
opinion ; they said, if the Holy Land stood in need of 
prompt assistance, they ought to afford it without delay , 
whilst they were engaged on the coast of Africa, in a country 
with which they were unacquainted, the Christian cities ot 
Syria might all fall into the hands of the Saracens ; the most 
redoubtable enemy of the Christians was Bibars, the terrible 
sultan of Cairo ; it was him they ought first to attack ; it 
was into his states, into the bosom of his capital, that the 
war should be carried, and not to a place two hundred 
leagues from Egypt. They added to this, remembrances of 
the defeats of the French army on the banks of the Nile, — 
defeats that 07ght to be avenged upon the very theatre of 
so many disasters. 

Contemporary history does not say to what extent Louis 
was struck with the wisdom of these last opinions ; but the 
expedition to Tunis flattered his most cherished hopes. It 
had been proposed by the king of Sicily, whose concurrence 
was necessary to the success of the crusade. It was, there- 
fore, decided that the G-enoese fleet should direct its course 
towards Africa; and two days after, on the twentieth of 
July, it arrived in sight of Tunis and Carthage. 

On the western coast of Africa, opposite Sicily, is a penin- 
sula, described by Strabo, whose circumference is three 
hundred and forty stadii, or forty-two miles. This peninsula 
advances into the sea between two gulfs, one of which, on 
the west, offers a commodious port ; the other, on the south- 
east, communicates, by means of a canal, with a lake which 
extends three leagues into the land, and which modern geo- 
graphers term the Grullet. It was upon this spot was built 
the great rival of Rome, whose site extended over the two 
shores of the sea. Neither the conquests of the Romans, 
nor the ravages of the Vandals, had been able to entirely 
destroy this once flourishing city ; but in the seventh cen- 
tury, after being invaded and laid waste by the Saracens, it 
became nothing but a mass of ruins ; a moderate-sized vil- 
lage upon the port, called Marsa, a tower on the point of 
the cape, a pretty strong castle on the hill of Byrsa. — these 
were all the remains of that city whose power so long 
dominated over the Mediterranean and the coasts of Africa 
and Asia. 


At five leagues' distance, towards the south-east, a little 
beyond the gulf and the lake of the Gullet, arose a city, 
called in ancient times Tynis or Tunissa,* of which Scipio 
made himself master before he attacked Carthage. Tunis 
had thriven by the fall of other cities, and in the thirteenth 
century she vied in wealth and population with the most 
flourishing cities of Africa. It contained ten thousand 
houses, and had three extensive suburbs; the spoils of 
nations and the produce of an immense commerce had en- 
riched it ; and all that the art of fortification could invent 
had been employed to defend the access to it. 

The coast on which Tunis stood w T as the theatre of many 
revolutions, of which ancient history has transmitted accounts 
to us ; but modern history has not, in the same manner, 
consecrated the revolutions of the Saracens. We can 
scarcely follow the march ol the barbarians who planted the 
standard of Islamism upon so many ruins. All that we 
positively know is, that Tunis, for a long time united to the 
kingdom of Morocco, was separated from it under a warlike 
prince, whose third successor was reigning in the time of 
St. Louis. 

At the sight of the Christian fleet, the inhabitants of the 
coast of Africa were seized with terror, and all who were 
upon the Carthage shore took flight towards the mountains 
or towards Tunis. Some vessels that were in the port were 
abandoned by their crews ; the king ordered Florent de 
Varennes, who performed the functions of admiral, to get 
into a boat and reconnoitre the coast. Varennes found 
nobody in the port or upon the shore ; he sent word to the 
king that there was no time to be lost, he must take imme- 
diate advantage of the consternation of the enemy. But it 
was remembered that in the preceding expedition the descent 
upon the coast of Egypt had been too precipitate ; in this it 
was determined to risk nothing. Inexperienced youth had 
presided over the former war ; now it was directed by old 
age and ripe manhood: it was resolve 1 to wait till the 

The next day, at dawn, the coast appeared covered with 
Saracens, among whom were many men on horseback. The 

* Some classical authorities name 't Tunetum ; others, Tunes.— 


Crusaders, nob the less, commenced their preparations for 
landing. At the approach of the Christians, the multitude 
of infidels disappeared; which, according to the account of 
an eye witness, was a blessing from Heaven, for the disorder 
was so great, that a hundred men would have been sufficient 
to stop the disembarkation of the whole army. 

"When the Christian army had landed, it was drawn up in 
order of battle upon the shore, and, in accordance with the 
laws of war, Pierre de Conde, almoner to the king, read, 
with a loud voice, a proclamation, by which the conquerors 
took possession of the territory. This proclamation, which 
Louis had drawn up himself, began by these words : " I pro- 
claim, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of Louis, 
king of France, his sergeant," &c* 

The baggage, provisions, and munitions of war were 
landed ; a vast space was marked out, and the Christian sol- 
diers pitched their tents. Whilst they were digging ditches 
and raising intrenchments to protect the army from a sur- 
prise, they took possession of the tower built on the point 
of the cape ; and on the following day, five hundred sailors 
planted the standard of the lilies upon the castle of Carthage. 
The village of Marsa, which was close to the castle, fell 
likewise into the hands of the Crusaders ; the women and 
the sick were placed here, whilst the army remained beneath 
their tents. 

Louis still hoped for the conversion of the king of Tunis, 
but this pious illusion was very quickly dissolved. The 
Mussulman prince sent messengers to the king, to inform 
him that he would come and meet him at the head of a 
hundred thousand men, and would require baptism of hiri 
on the field of battle ; the Moorish king added, that he had 
caused all the Christians in his dominions to be seized, and 
that every one of them should be massacred if the Christian 
army presumed to insult his capital. 

The menaces and vain bravadoes of the prince of Tunis 

* Louis makes use of the expression: "Je vous dis le ban," &c. 
which word cannot be used in this sense in English, but is very effective 
in French, and was employed in many legal proclamations connected with 
royal or seignorial rights, — as, for instance : ban is a proclamation by 
which all who held lands of the crown of France were summoned to servi 
the king in his wars. — Trans. 


effected no change in the plans of the crusade ; the Moors, 
besides, inspired no fear, and they themselves could not 
conceal the terror which the sight only of the Christiana 
created in them. Not daring to face their enemy, their 
scattered bands sometimes hovered around the Christian 
army, seeking to surprise any stragglers from the camp ; and 
at others, uniting together, they poured down towards the 
advanced posts, launched a few arrows, showed their naked 
swords, and then depended upon the swiftness of their 
horses to secure them from the pursuit of the Christians. 
They not unfrequently had recourse to treachery: three 
hundred of them came into the camp of the Crusaders, and 
said they wished to embrace the Christian faith, and a hun- 
dred more followed them, announcing the same intention.* 
After being received with open arms, they waited for what 
they deemed a favourable opportunity, and fell upon a body 
of the Christians, sword in hand ; but being overwhelmed 
by numbers, most of them were killed, and the rest were 
allowed to escape. Three of the principals fell on their 
knees, and implored the compassion of the leaders. The 
contempt the Pranks had for such enemies obtained their 
pardon, and they were driven out of the camp. 

At length the Mussulman army, emboldened by the in- 
action of the Christians, presented itself several times on 
the plain. Nothing would have been more easy than to 
attack and conquer it ; but Louis had resolved to act upon 
the defensive, and to await the arrival of the king of Sicily 
for beginning the war, — a fatal resolution, which ruined 
everything : the Sicilian monarch, who had advised this ill- 
starred expedition, was destined to complete, by his delays, 
the evil he had begun by his counsels. 

The Mussulmans nocked from all parts of Africa to defend 
the cause of Islamism against the Christians. Preparations 
were carried on in Egypt to meet the invasion of the Franks, 
and in the month of August, Bibars announced by messen- 
gers, that he was about to march to the assistance of Tunis. 
The troops which the sultan of Cairo maintained in the 
province of Barka received orders to set forward. Thus, 

* William of Nangis says on this subject : — " This was great treachery 
on the part of the Saracens, and great simplicity on the part of the 


the Moorish army was about to become formidable ; but it 
was not this host of Saracens that the Crusaders had most 
to dread. Other dangers, other misfortunes threatened 
them : the Christian army wanted water ; they had none bat 
salted provisions ; the soldiers could not endure the climate 
of Africa ; winds constantly prevailed, which, coming from 
the torrid zone, appeared to the Europeans to be the breath 
of a devouring fire. The Saracens upon the neighbouring 
mountains raised the sand with certain instruments made 
for the purpose, and the dust was carried by the wind in 
burning clouds down upon the plain upon which the Chris- 
tians were encamped. At last, dysentery, that fatal malady 
of warm climates, began to commit frightful ravages among 
the troops ; and the plague, which appears to be born of 
itself upon this burning, arid sand, spread its dire contagion 
through the Christian army. 

They were obliged to be under arms night and day ; not 
to defend themselves from an enemy that always fled away 
from them, but to guard against surprise. A vast number 
of the Crusaders sunk under fatigue, famine, and disease. 
The French had soon to regret the loss of Bouchard, count 
de Vendome, the count de la Marche, Gautbier de Nemours, 
the lords de Montmorency, de Pienne, de Bressac, Guy 
d'Aspremont, and E-aoul, brother of the count de Soissons. 
It became impossible to bury the dead ; the ditches of the 
camp were filled with carcases, thrown in in heaps, which 
added to the corruption of the air and to the spectacle of 
the general desolation. 

At length Olivier de Termes, a Languedocian gentleman, 
coming from Sicily, announced that King Charles was quite 
ready to embark with his army. This news was received 
with joy, but had no power to alleviate the evils the Crusa- 
ders were ifhen exposed to. The heats became excessive ; 
the want of water, bad food, disease, which continued its 
ravages, and the grief at being ehat up in a camp without 
the power to fight, completed the despondency that had 
taken possession of the minds of leaders and soldiers, 
Louis endeavoured to cheer them both by his words and his 
example ; but he himself fell ill with dysentery. Prince 
Philip, the duke de Nevers, the king of Navarre, and the 
legate also felt the effects of the contagion. The duke de 

Vol. III.— 3 

42 nisTOiiY or the orusades. 

Nevers, surnamed Tristan, was born at Damietta during the 
captivity of the king, and was particularly the object of his 
father's love. The young prince remained in the royal tent; 
but as he appeared to be sinking under the effects of the 
disease, it was judged best to convey him on board one of 
the vessels. The monarch incessantly demanded news of his 
son ; but all who surrounded him preserved a melancholy 
silence. At length they were obliged to inform him that 
the duke de Nevers was dead ; the feelings of the father 
prevailed over the resignation of the Christian, and he wept 
bitterly. A short time afterwards, the pope's legate died, 
deeply regretted by the clergy and the soldiers of the cross, 
who regarded him as their spiritual father. 

In spite of his sufferings, in spite of his griefs, Louis IX. 
was constantly engaged in endeavours to alleviate the situ- 
ation of his army. He gave orders as long as he had any 
strength left, dividing his time between the duties of a 
Christian and those of a monarch. The fever, however, 
increased ; no longer able to attend either to his cares for 
the army or to exercises of piety, he ordered the cross to be 
placed before him, and stretching out his hands, he in silence 
implored Him who had suffered for all men. 

The whole army was in a state of mourning ; the soldiers 
walked about in tears, demanding of Heaven the preserva- 
tion of so good a prince. Amidst the general grief, Louis 
turned his thoughts towards the accomplishment of the 
divine laws and the destinies of France. Philip, who was 
his successor to the throne, was in his tent ; he desired him 
to approach his bed, and in a faltering voce gave him coun- 
sels in what manner he should govern the kingdom of his 
fathers. The instructions he gave him comprise the most 
noble maxims of religion and loyalty ; and that which will 
render them for ever worthy of the respect of posterity is, 
that they had the authority of his example, and only recalled 
the virtues of his own life. After having recommended 
Philip to respect, and cause to be respected, religion and its 
ministers, and at all times, and above al? things, to fear to 
offend Grod:* " My dear son," added he, ' be charitable and 

* Geoffrey de Beaulieu has given an account of the-e instructions in 
Latin. They are in old French in Joinville and in the Annals of the 
Reign of St. Louis. These three authors give them with remarkable 

history: of the crjsa-ES. 43 

merciful towards the poor and all who suffer. If thou 
attainest the throne, show thyself worthy, by thy conduct, 
of receiving the holy unction with which the kings of France 
are consecrated. "\Vhen thou shalt be king, show thyself just 
in all things, and let nothing turn thee aside from the path 
of truth and rectitude. If the widow and orphan contend 
before thee with the powerful man, declare thyself of the 
party of the feeble against the strong, until the truth shall 
be known to thee. In affairs in which thou thyself shalt be 
interested, support at first the cause of the other; for if 
thou dost not act in that sort, thy counsellors will hesitate 
to speak against thee, which thou oughtest not to desire. 
My dear son, above all things I recommend thee to avoid 
war with every Christian nation ; if thou art reduced by 
necessity to make it, at least take care that the poor people, 
who are not in the wrong, be kept safe from all harm. Give 
all thy efforts to appease the divisions that may arise in thy 
kingdom, for nothing is so pleasing to God as the spectacle 
of concord and peace. Neglect nothing to provide good 
lieutenants (baillis) and provosts in thy provinces. Give 
power freely to men who know how to use it, and punish all 
who abuse it; for if it is thy duty to hate evil in another, 
much greater reason hast thou to hate it in them who hold 
their authority of thee. Be just in the levying of thy public 
taxes, and be wise and moderate in the expenditure of them; 
beware of foolish expenses, which lead to unjust imposts ; 
correct with prudence all that is defective in the laws of thy 
kingdom. Maintain with loyalty the eights and franchises 
that thy predecessors have left, for the happier that thy 
subjects shall be, the greater thou wilt be ; the more irre- 
proachable thy government shall be, the riore thy enemies 
will fear to attack it." 

Louis gave Philip several more counsels upon the love he 
owed to God, his people, and his family ; then pouring out 
his full heart, he uttered nothing but t\e language of a 

differences. Moreau, in the twentieth volume of his Discours sur V His- 
toire de France, gives another new version, which he declares to have 
been copied from one of the registers of the Chamber of Accounts, in 
which, probably, Philip le Hardi was desirous this monument should be 
preserved. It is ibis version we have principally followed in the extract 
we have here given. 


parent whe is about to be separated frotr. a son be loves ten- 
derly. " I bestow upon thee," said he, " all the benedictions 
that a father can bestow upon a dear son. Aid me by 
masses and prayers, and let me have a part in all the good 
actions thou shalt perform. I beseech our Lord Jesus 
Christ, by his great mercy, to guard thee from all evils, and 
to keep thee from doing anything contrary to his will ; and 
that after this mortal life we may see Him, love Him, and 
praise Him together in a life everlasting.'" 

When we reflect that these words were pronounced on 
the coast of Africa by a dying king of France, we experience 
a mixture of surprise and emotion, which even the coldest 
and most indifferent hearts can scarcely fail to partake of. 
Judge, then, of the effect they must have produced upon the 
feelings of a desolate son ! Philip listened to them with 
respectful sorrow, and commanded them to be faithfully 
transcribed, in order that he might have them before his 
eyes all the days of his life.* 

Louis then turned to his daughter, the queen of Navarre, 
who sat, drowned in tears, at the foot of his bed : in a pre- 
cept which he had prepared for her, he laid before her all the 
duties of a queen and a wife. Above all, he recommended 
her to take the greatest care of her husband, who was then 
sick ; and, never forgetful of even the smallest circumstances, 
he advised the king of Navarre, on his return to Champagne, 
to pay all his debts before he began to rebuild the convent 
of the Cordeliers of Provins. 

These instructions were the last words that Louis addressed 
to his children ; from that time they never saw him again. 
The ambassadors of Michael Paheologus arriving in the 
camp, the king consented to receive them. In the state in 
which Louis then was, it was impossible for him to see 
through the false promises of the Greeks, or the alarms and 
deceitful policy of their emperor ; he no longer gave atten- 

* Details upon the death of St. Louis may be found in Geoffrey de 
Beaulieu, William of Chartres, William of Nangis, and in a letter from 
the bishop of Tunis, reported by Martenne ; Joinville relates a few cir- 
cumstances of it ; but it is very much to be regretted that the good 
seneschal was not present at the last moments of St. Louis ; how touching 
would his relation have been ! and how much better would it have been 
than that which is given to us by eyewitnesses, who have written with 
inch unfeeling dryness and conciseness ! 


fcion to the things of this world. He confined himself o the 
expression of his earnest wishes that the reunion of the two 
churches might at length he effected, and promised the am- 
bassadors that his son Philip would do everything in his 
power to bring it about. These envoys were Meliteniote, 
archdeacon of the imperial chapel, and the celebrated Vechus, 
chancellor of the church of Constantinople. They were 
both so much affected by the wo; Js and the virtues of St. 
Louis, that they afterwards gave their most zealous endea- 
vours to promote the reunion, and both ended by becoming 
victims to the policy of the Greeks. 

After this interview Louis thought of nothing but his 
God, and remained alone with his confessor. His almoners 
recited before him the prayers of the Church, to which he 
responded. He then received the Viaticum and extreme 
unction. " From Sunday, at the hour of nones," says an 
ocular witness, "till Monday, at the hour of tierce, his 
mouth never ceased, either day or night, to praise our Lord, 
and to pray for the people he had brought to that place." 
He was heard to pronounce these words of the prophet-king : 
" Grant, Lord, that we may despise the prosperities of this 
world, and know how to brave its adversities." He likewise 
repeated, as loudly as his feeble state would permit, this 
verse of another psalm : " Oh, God ! deign to sanctify thy 
people, and to watch over them." Sometimes he invoked 
St. Denis, whom he was accustomed to invoke iii battle, and 
implored him to grant his heavenly support to this army he 
was about to leave without a leader. In the night between 
Sunday and Monday he was heard to pronounce the word 
Jerusalem twice, and then he added : " We will go to Jeru- 
Baien:." His mind was constantly occupied with the idea of 
the holy war. Perhaps, likewise, he saw nothing then but 
the heavenly Jerusalem, the last country of the just man. 

At nine o'clock in the morning of Monday, the twenty- 
fifth of August, he lost his speech ; but he still looked upon 
all who were round him kindly (debonnaire^ient). His 
countenance was calm, and it was evident that his mind was, 
at the same time, divided between the purest of earthly 
affections and the thoughts of eternity. Feeling that death 
was approaching fast, he made signs to his attendants to 
place bin:, cov^ed by hair-cloth, upon a bed of ashes. 


Between the hours of tierce and mid-day he appeared to 
sleep, and lay with his eyes closed for more than half an hour 
at a time. He then seemed to revive, opened his eyes, and 
looking towards heaven, exclaimed : " Lord ! I shall enter 
into thy hoMse, and shall worship thee in thy holy taber- 
nacle!" Hi died at three o'clock in the afternoon. 

"We have spoken of the profound grief which prevailed 
among the Crusaders when Louis fell sick. There was not 
a leader or a soldier that did not forget his own ills in his 
anxiety for the king. At every hour of the day and night 
these faithful warriors crowded round the monarch's tent, 
and when they beheld the sad and apprehensive air of all 
who came out of it, they turned away, with their eyes cast 
to the earth, and their souls filled with the most gloomy 
thoughts. In the camp, the soldiers scarcely durst ask each 
other a question, for they heard none but sorrowful tidings. 
At length, when the event that all had dreaded was announced 
to the army, the French warriors abandoned themselves to 
despair ; they saw in the death of Louis a signal for all sorts 
of calamities, and anxiously inquired of each other what 
leader was to conduct them back to their homes. "With the 
general groans and tears were mingled many bitter reproaches 
against those who had advised this fatal expedition, particu- 
larly the king of Sicily, whom all accused of being the cause 
of the disasters of the war. 

On the very day of the king's death Charles of Anjou and 
his army landed near Carthage ; trumpets and other warlike 
music resounded along the shore, but a profound and melan- 
choly silence was preserved in the camp of the Crusaders, 
and not a man went forth to meet the Sicilians, whom they 
had looked for with so much impatience. Sad forebodings 
rushed into the mind of Charles ; he galloped forward, and 
flying to the tent of the king, found his royal brother dead, 
and stretched upon his bed of ashes. The features of Louis 
were scarcely altered, his death had been so calm. Charles 
prDstrated himself at his feet, watering them with his tears, 
and calling him sometimes his brother, sometimes his lord. 
He remained a long time in this attitude, without seeing 
any of those who surrounded him, continuing to address 
Louis as if he had been still living, and reproaching himself, 
in accents of despair, with not having heard, with not 


having received, the last words of the most affectionate of 
brothers and best of kings. 

The mortal remains of Louis were deposited in two 
funereal urns. The entrails of the hoi}' monarch were 
granted to Charles of Anjou, who sent them to the abbey 
of Montreal, where these precious relics, for a length of 
time, attracted the devotion and respect of the faithful. 
The bones and the heart of Louis remained in the hands of 
Philip. This young prince was desirous of sending them to 
Trance, but the leaders and soldiers would not consent to 
be separated from all that was left to them of their beloved 
monarch. The presence of this sacred deposit amongst the 
Crusaders appeared to them a safeguard against new mis- 
fortunes, and the most sure means of drawing down^the 
protection of Heaven upon the Christian army. 

Philip was still sick, and his malady created great anxiety. 
The armf| considered him the worthy successor of Louis, 
and the affection that had been felt for the father descended 
to the son : he received, amidst the public grief, the homage 
and oaths of the leaders, barons, and nobles. His first care 
was to confirm the regency, and all that his father had esta- 
blished in Prance before his departure. Geoffrey de Beau- 
lieu, William de Chartres, and John de Mons, confessors 
and almoners to the king, were directed to carry these orders 
of Philip's into the AVest. Among the letters which these 
ecclesiastics took with them into Prance, history has pre- 
served that which was addressed to the clergy and to all 
people of worth in the kingdom.* After having described 
their labours, the perils and the death of Louis IX., the 
young prince implored God to grant that he might follow 
the steps of so good a father, might accomplish his sacred 
commands, and put in practice all his counsels. Philip con- 
cluded hi'- letter, which was read aloud in all churches, by 
supplicating the ecclesiastics and the faithful "to put up to 
the King of Kings their prayers and their offerings for that 
prince, with whose zeal for religion, and tender solicituds 
for the kingdom of Prance, which he loved as ine apple of 
his eye, they were so well acquainted." 

* This letter, which has been translated into Latin, may be found in 
the collection of Martenne. We will give an extract from it in on* 


The death of Louis had greatly raised the confidence of 
the Saracens. The mourning and grief which they observed 
in the Christian army were, by them, mistaken for discou- 
ragement, and they flattered themselves they should obtain 
a triumph over their enemies ; but these hopes were speedily 
dispelled. The king of Sicily took the command of the 
Christian army during the sickness of Philip, and resumed 
the war. The troops he had brought with him were eager 
for fight, and all the French seemed anxious to seek a dis- 
traction from their grief in the field of battle. The disease 
which had desolated their army appeared to have suspended 
its ravages, and the soldiers, a long time imprisoned in their 
camp, felt their strength revive at the sight of the perils of 
war. Several conflicts took place arouud the lake of the 
G-ullet, of which the Christians wished to get possession, to 
facilitate their approach to Tunis. The Moors, who, but a 
few days before, threatened to exterminate or make slaves of 
all the Crusaders, were not able to sustain the shock of their 
enemies ; the cross-bowmen alone were frequently sufficient 
to disperse their numberless multitude. Horrible bowlings, 
with the noise of kettle-drums and other instruments, an- 
nounced their approach ; clouds of dust descending from the 
neighbouring heights announced their retreat, and screened 
their flight. In two encounters they were overtaken, and 
left a great many of their host stretched upon the plain. 
Another time their camp was carried, and given up to pil- 
lage. The sovereign of Tunis could not reckon upon his 
army for the defence of his states, and he himself set them 
no example of bravery, for he remained constantly shut up 
in his subterranean grottoes, to avoid at the same time the 
burning rays of the sun and the perils of fight. Pressed by 
his fears, he at length could see no hopes of safety but in 
peace, and he resolved to purchase it, even at the cost of all 
his treasures. His ambassadors came repeatedly to the 
Christian army with directions to make proposals, and, 
above all, to endeavour to seduce the king of Sicily by 
brilliant promises.* 

* We read in the life of Bibars and in the chronicle of Ibn-Ferat, that 
the sultan of Cairo was much dissatisfied with the conduct of the king of 
Tunis. The peace which the latter made, left the Crusaders at liberty tc 
carry their arma into Egypt. Bibars would have wished the Christian 


When the report of these negotiations was spread through 
the camp of the Crusaders, it gave birth to very different 
opinions. The soldiers, to whom the plunder of Tunis had 
boen promised, wished to continue the war ; some of the 
leaders, to whom other hopes had been given, did not evince 
the same ardour as the soldiers. By the death of Louis IX. 
and the apostolic ogate, the crusade had lost both its prin- 
cipal motive and that moral force which had animated every- 
thing. The spirit of the Crusaders, which nobody directed, 
worked upon by a thousand various passions, floated in un- 
certainty, and this uncertainty was likely, in the end, to 
keep the army in a state of inaction, and* bring- about the 
abandonment of the war. Philip was desirous of returning 
to France, whither the affairs of his kingdom peremptorily 
called him. Most of the barons and French nobles began 
to sigh for their country. At length it was agreed that the 
pacific proposals of the king of Tunis should be deliberated 

In the council, those to whom no promise had been held 
out, and who were not so impatient as the others to quit the 
coast of Africa, were of opinion that they ought to prose- 
cute the war. " It w T as for the conquest of Tunis that 
Louis IX. had embarked at Carthage, and that the Christian 
army had undergone so many evils. How could they pay 
higher honour to the memory of Louis and so many French- 
men, like him, martyrs to their zeal and their faith, than by 
carrying on and completing their work ? All Christendom 
knew that the Crusaders threatened Tunis, that the Moors 
fled at the sight of them, and that the city was ready to 
open its gates. What would Christendom say on learning 
that the Crusaders had fled before the vanquished, and 
robbed themselves of their own victory ?" 

Those who were of opinion that the peace should be con- 
cluded, answered, that the question w r as not only to enter 
Tunis, but to conquer the country, which could only be done 
by exterminating the population. " Besides, a prolonged 
siege would very much weaken the Christian army. Winter 
was approaching, in which they could procure no provisions, 

army to have been detained on the coast of Africa. He threatened to 
dethrone his ally, and told the ambassadors of the king of Tunis, tfoat 
■uch a prince as he was not worthy to reign over Mussulmans. 



and in which continual rains would, perhaps, cause more 
diseases than excessive heat had done. The taking of Tunis 
was not the principal object of the cmsade ; it was neces- 
sary to make peace upon advantageous conditions, to obtain 
means to carry the war afterwards where circumstances 
might require." The leaders who spoke thus were them- 
selves the same that had promoted the expedition against 
Tunis : the king of Sicily was at their head ; they no longer 
urged the necessity for c. taring the Mediterranean of pirates 
who infested the route of pilgrims ; they said no more about 
uoprviug the sultan of Egypt of his most powerful ally. 
The reason'* they gave for putting an end to the war were 
precisely the same as they had given for commencing it. 
Their opinion, however, prevailed ; not because others were 
convinced by what they heard, Out, as it often happens in 
the most important deliberations, the majority decide rather 
from motives they do not avow, than from those they appear 
to support.* 

On the thirty-first of October a truce of ten years was 
concluded between the king of Tunis and the leaders of the 
Christian army. All the prisoners were to be given up on 
both sides, and Christians who had been previously captives 
were to be set at liberty. The sovereign of Tunis engaged 
not to require of the Franks any of the dues imposed in his 
kingdom upon foreign commerce. The treaty granted all 
Christians liberty to reside in the states of Tunis, to build 
churches there, and even to preach their faith there. The 
Mussulman prince was bound to pay to the king of Sicily 
an annual tribute of forty thousand crowns, and two hun- 
dred and ten thousand ounces of gold to the leader of the 
Christian army for the expenses of the war. 

It was, doubtless, the last condition that decided the 
question : the two hundred and ten thousand ounces of gold 
exceeded the sum that Louis IX. had paid in Epypt for the 
ransom of his army ; but a part of it only was received at 
first. Who could assure the payment of the rest when the 
Christian army had quitted the coast of Africa ? The king 
of Sicily alone could derive any advantage from this treaty, 
so disgraceful to the French arms ; he had not only found 

* For the events that followed the death of St. Louis, see Duchesne, 
lad ie Spicileye, vol. i. 


means of making a Mussulman prince pay the tribute of 
iorty thousand gold crowns, which he owed the Pope as 
vassal of the Holy See ; but the peace which they had con- 
cluded, in some sort, placed at his disposal an army capable 
of undertaking much greater conquests than that of Tunis. 
Thus, complaints immediately arose reproaching the king of 
Sicily with having, at his pleasure, changed the aim of the 
crusade, in order to make the Christian army subservient to 
his ambition. 

A few days after the signing of the truce, Prince Edward 
arrived off the coast of Carthage, with the English and 
Scotch Crusaders. Having sailed from Aigues-Mortes, he 
directed his course towards Palestine, and came to tako 
orders from the king of Erance. The Erench and Sicilians 
were prodigal in their expressions of sincere friendship for 
the English. Edward was received with great honours, but 
when he learned they had made peace, he retired into his 
tent, and refused to be present at any of the councils of the 
Christian army. 

The Crusaders became impatient to quit an arid and mur- 
derous land, which recalled to them nothing but misfortunes, 
without the least mixture of glory. The Christian army 
embarked on the eighteenth of November for Sicily ; and, 
as if Heaven had decreed that this expedition should be 
nothing but a series of misfortunes, a frightful tempest 
assailed the fleet just as it was about to enter the port of 
Trapani. Eighteen large ships and four thousand Crusaders 
were submerged, and perished in the waves. Most of the 
leaders and soldiers lost their arms, equipments, and horses. 
If one historian is to be believed, the money received from 
the king of Tunis was lost in this shipwreck. 

After so great a misfortune, the king of Sicily neglected 
no means of succouring the Crusaders. We may believe in 
the generous sentiments which he expressed upon the occa- 
sion ; but there is little doubt that, with his feelings a hope 
was mixed of deriving something favourable to his projects 
from this deplorable circumstance. "When all the leaders 
were arrived, several councils were held to ascertain what 
remained to be done. As every one deplored his own losses, 
Charles proposed a sure means o" repairing them, which was 
the conquest of Greece. This was the plan he had arranged ; 


in the first place, all the Crusaders should pass the winter in 
Sicily ; in the spring, the count of Poictiers should set out 
for Palestine with a part of the army, the rest was to follow 
Charles to Epirus, and from thence to Byzantium. This 
project had something adventurous and chivalric in it, very 
likely to seduce the French barons and nobles ; but letter* 
to the young king arrived from France, in which the regents 
represented in strong colours the grief and alarms of Iwg 
people. Philip declared that he coidd not stay in Sicily, 
but should immediately return to his own dominions. This 
determination destroyed all Charles's hopes ; the French 
lords would not abandon their young monarch, and the 
princes and all the leaders of the Christian army laid aside 
the cross. An Italian chronicle reports that Charles, in his 
vexation, confiscated to his own profit all the vessels and all 
the effects which, after the late shipwreck, were thrown upon 
the coasts of Sicily. He had profited by the misfortunes of 
the army before Tunis, and he now enriched himself with 
the spoils of his companions in arms. This act of injustice 
and violence completed the dislike that most of the Crusa- 
ders had conceived for him ; this was particularly the case 
with the Genoese, to whom the fleet belonged in which the 
Christian army had embarked. 

It was, however, decided that they should resume the 
crusade four years later. The two kings, the princes, and 
the most influential leaders, engaged themselves by oath to 
embark for Syria with their troops in the month of July of 
the fourth year ;— a vain promise, that not one of them was 
destined to keep, and which they only made then to excuse 
in their own eyes the inconsistency of their conduct in this 
war. Edward, who had announced his resolution of passing 
the winter in Sicily, and setting out for Palestine in the 
spring, was the only one that did not break his promises. 

The French warriors abandoned all thoughts of the cru- 
sade ; but they were yet far from seeing the closing of that 
ab) ss of miseries which it had opened beneath their feet. 
The king of Navarre died shortly after landing at Trapani, 
and his wife Isabella was so deeply affected by his death, 
that she immediately followed him to the tomb. Philip set 
out on his return to France in the month of January, and 


tin young queen, who had accompanied him, became another 
victim of the crusade. In crossing- Calabria, whilst fording 
a river near Cosenza, her horse fell, and she being pregnant, 
this fall caused her death. Thus Philip pursued his journey, 
bearing with him the bodies of his father, his brother, and 
his wife. He learnt on his march that the count and 
countess of Poictiers, returning to Languedoc, had both 
died in Tuscany from the effects of the contagious malady 
of the coast of Africa. Passing by Yiterbo, Philip witnessed 
the tragical end of one of the most illustrious of his com- 
panions in arms ; Henry d'Allemagne was attacked by the 
sons of the earl of Leicester, pursued into a church, and 
massacred at the toot of the altar. Thus, great crimes were 
joined with great calamities, to add to the cruel remem- 
brances that this crusade was destined to leave behind it. 

Philip, after crossing Mount Cenis, returned to Paris 
through Burgundy and Champagne. What days of mourning 
for France ! At the departure of Louis IX. for the East, 
the whole nation had been impressed by the most melan- 
choly presentiments ; and, alas ! all these presentiments were 
but too fully realized ! 

It was not the flag of victory, but a funeral pall that pre- 
ceded the French warriors in their march. Funereal urns, 
the wreck of an army but lately so flourishing, a young sick 
prince, who had only escaped by a miracle the death that 
had swept away his family — this was all that came back from 
the crusade ! The people came from all parts to meet the 
melancholy train ; they surrounded the young king, they 
strove to approach the remains of St. Louis, and it was 
made evident, by their pious propriety and their religious 
sadness, that the sentiments which led them there were not 
such as generally precipitate the multitude upon the steps 
of the masters of the earth. 

On the arrival of Philip in his capital, the bones and the 
heart of St. Louis were conveyed to the church of Notre 
Dame, where ecclesiastics sang the hymns of the service of 
the dead during the whole night. On the following day the 
funeral of the royal martyr was celebrated in the church of 
St. Denis. In the midst of an immense assemblage of all 
classes of the people, deeply affected by what they saw, the 


young monarch advanced, bearing on his shoulders the 
mortal remains of his father. He stopped several times on 
his way, and crosses, which were placed at every station, 
recalled, up to the last century, this beautiful picture of 
filial piety. 

Louis IX. was deposited near his grandfather Philip 
Augustus, and his father Louis Till. Although he had 
forbidden his tomb to be ornamented, it was covered with 
plates of silver, which were afterwards carried away by the 
English. At a later period a more terrible revolution broke 
into his tomb and scattered his ashes ; but this revolution 
has not been able to destroy his memory. 

No, posterity will never cease to praise that passion for 
justice which filled the whole life of Louis IX., that ardour 
in search of truth, so rare even among the greatest kings ; 
that love of peace, to which he sacrificed even the glory he 
had acquired in arms ; that solicitude for the good of all ; 
that tender consideration for poverty ; that profound respect 
for the rights of misfortune and for the lives of men : — 
virtues which astonished the middle ages, and which our 
own times still perceive in the descendants of so good a 

The ascendancy which his virtue and piety gave him he only 
employed in defending his people against everything that was 
unjust. This ascendancy, which he preserved over his age, 
gave to his laws an empire, which laws, whatever they may 
be, rarely obtain but with time. A few years after his reign, 
provinces demanded to be united to the crown, under the 
sole hope and the sole condition of enjoying the wise ordi- 
nances of the king, who loved justice. Such were the con- 
quests of St. Louis. It is well known, that after his victories 
over the English he restored Guienne to them, in spite of 
the advice of his barons, who considered this act of genero- 
sity to be contrary to the interests of the kingdom. Perhaps 
it only belongs to elevated minds like his to know how much 
wisdom there is in the counsels of moderation ! An illus- 
trious writer of the last age has said, when speaking of 
Louis IX., that great moderate men ure rare, and it i3 

* We hope our readers, while they peruse the latter part of thi* 
otherwise good paragraph, will not forget that we are only translator*.— 


doubtless od that account that the world does not under- 
stand them. 

In the position in which France at that time was placed, 
a vulgar genius would have fomented divisions ; whereas 
Louis only sought to appease them ; and it was this spirit of 
conciliation which rendered him the arbitrator of kings and 
nations, and gave him more strength and power than could 
have been procured by the combinations of the wisest policy. 
Among the contemporaries of St. Louis persons were not 
wanting who blamed his moderation, and many who pride 
themselves upon being skilful politicians blame him even 
now. Strange skill, which tends to create a belief that 
morality is foreign to the happiness of nations, and which 
cannot afford to the leaders of empires the same virtues 
that God has bestowed upon man for the preservation of 
society ! 

The more we admire the reign of Louis IX. the greater is 
our astonishment at his having twice interrupted the course 
of its blessings, and quitted a people he- rendered happy by 
his presence. But, whilst beholding the passions which 
agitate the present generation, who will dare to raise his 
foice for the purpose of accusing past ages ! If at the 
moment in which I write this history all Europe is moved 
by the rumour of a general rising against the Mussulmans, 
now masters of Byzantium ; — if the most ardent disciples of 
the modern school of philosophy are putting up vows for the 
triumph of the Gospel over the Koran, for the deliverance 
of the Greeks, and the resurrection of Athens and Lace- 
dsemon, how can we believe that in the middle ages princes 
and Christian nations would not be affected by the horrible 
state of slavery of Jerusalem, and all those boly regions 
from which the light first broke upon Christendom ? Con- 
sistently with the character which Louis IX. displayed in 
all the circumstances of his life, how could he remain in 
different to the calamities of the Christian colonies, which 
were principally peopled by Frenchmen, and which were 
considered as another France, — the France of the east ? 
We must not forget, likewise, that the great aim of his 
policy was to unite the nations of the east and west by the 
ties of Christianity ; and that this aim, if he had succeeded 
in it, would have been greatly to the advantage of humanity. 


Ambition itself has been sometimes pardoned for pro- 
jects much more chimerical, and wars much more unfor- 

However it may be, we can venture to say that the cap- 
tivity and death of St. Louis in distant regions did not at all 
lessen the respect in which his name and his virtues were 
held in Europe. Perhaps even such extraordinary misfor- 
tunes, suffered in the name of religion and of all that was 
then reverenced, added something to the splendour of the 
monarchy ; for the times we have seen were then far distant 
in which the misfortunes of kings have only served to despoil 
royalty of that which makes it respected among men. The 
death of Louis IX. was a great subject of grief for the 
French ; but with the regret which his loss created, there 
was mingled, for the whole people, the thoughts of the 
happy future which Louis had prepared, and for pious minds 
the hope of having a guardian and a support in heaven. 
Very shortly the death of a king of France was celebrated 
as a fresh triumph for religion, — as a fresh glory for his 
country ; and the anniversary of the day on which he expired 
became thereafter one of the solemn festivals of the Christian 
Church and of the French monarchy. 

A beautiful spectacle was that canonical inquiry in which 
the common father of the faithful interrogated the contem- 
poraries of Louis IX. upon the virtues of his life and the 
benefits of his reign ! Frenchmen of all classes came for- 
ward to attest, upon the Gospel, that the monarch whose 
death they lamented was worthy of all the rewards of 
heaven. Among them were many of his old companions in 
arms, who had shared his chains in Egypt, and beheld him 
dying on his bed of ashes before Tunis. The whole of 
Europe confirmed their religious testimony, and repeated 
these words of the head of the Church : — " House of France, 
rejoice at having given to the world so great a prince ; rejoice, 
people of France, at having had so good a king /" t 

The death of Louis IX., as we have already said, had s*id- 

* Among the numerous panegyrics of Louis IX. there are few that 
have stood the test of time. Voltaire has drawn a fine portrait of the 
good king. M. Damp martin, in his work upon the kings of France, has 
epoken of this great prince with ability and truth. 

f "Words of \e Bull of Canonization. 


denly suspended all enterprises beyond the seas. Edward 
only, accompanied by the count of Brittany, his brother 
Edmund, and three hundred knights, had gone into Syri;\ 
at the head of a small army of five hundred Crusaders from 
Eriesland. All these Crusaders together only formed a body 
of a thousand or twelve hundred combatants ; and this was 
all that reached Asia of those numberless armies -that had 
been raised in the AVest for the deliverance of the Holy 
Land. So feeble a reinforcement was not calculated to in- 
spire confidence or restore security to the Christians of 
Palestine, not yet recovered from their consternation at 
hearing of the retreat of the Crusaders from before Tunis, 
and their return into Europe. 

Most of the princes and Christian states of Syria, in the 
fear of being invaded, had concluded treaties with the sultan 
of Cairo ; many must have hesitated at engaging in a war 
from which the slender succours from Europe could allow 
them no hopes of great advantages, and in which likewise they 
had to dread being abandoned by the Crusaders, ever eager 
to return to the AVest. Nevertheless, the Templars and the 
Hospitallers, who never missed an opportunity of fighting 
with the Saracens, united themselves with Prince Edward, 
whose fame had preceded him into the East. Bibars, who 
■was then ravaging the territories of Ptolemais, drew his 
forces off from a city which he had filled with alarm, and 
appeared for a moment to have abandoned the execution of 
his projects. 

The little army of the Christians, composed of from six to 
seven thousand men, advanced upon the Mussulman terri- 
tories, directing its course towards Phoenicia, in order to 
re-establish the communication that had been interrupted 
between the Christian cities. In this expedition the Cru- 
saders had much to suffer from excessive heat ; many died 
from indulging in fruits and honey, which the country pro- 
duced in abundance. They marched afterwards towards the 
city of Nazareth, upon the walls of which they planted the 
standard of Christ. The soldiers of the cross could not 
remember without indignation that Bibars had completely 
destroyed the church of this city, consecrated to the Virgin. 
Nazareth was given up to pillage, and all the Mussulmans 
found in the citv exDiated. bv being put to the sword, the 


burning and destruction of one of the most beautiful monu- 
ments raised by the Christians in Syria. 

After this victory, for which we cannot praise the Cru- 
saders, the Christian army had to combat the Mussulman 
troops, who were impatient to avenge the excesses com- 
mitted at Nazareth. Whether he had learnt to respect the 
superiority of his enemies, or whether he had cause to com- 
plain of the warriors of Palestine, Edward returned within 
the walls of Ptolemais, and sought for no more contests. 
The frequent excursions of the Saracens could not provoke 
him to take up arms ; but whilst he remained thus safe from 
the perils of war, he was on the point of perishing by the 
hand of a Mussulman whom he had taken into his service. 
Some of the chronicles of the time tell us that the emir of 
Jaffa armed the hand of the assassin ; others say that the 
blow was directed by the sect of the Ismaelians, who still 
subsisted, notwithstanding the war declared against them 
by both the Tartars and the Mamelukes. 

After having thus run the danger of losing his life, 
Edward, cured of his wounds, only thought of concluding a 
truce with Bibars ; and being recalled into England by the 
prayers of Henry III., whose successor he was, he quitted 
the East without having done anything important for the 
cause he had sworn to defend. Thus all the results of this 
crusade, which had so much alarmed the Mussulmans, were 
reduced, on one side, to the massacre of the unarmed popu- 
lation of Nazareth, and on the other, to the vain conquest 
of the ruins of Carthage. Another result of this war, and 
the only one it had for Europe, was to entirely discourage 
the Christian warriors, and make them forget the East. 
After Edward, no prince from the West ever crossed the 
«5eas to combat with the infidels in Asia, and the crusade in 
which he took a part so little glorious, was the last of those 
which had for object the deliverance or recovery of the Holy 

Among the circumstances that produced the failure of 
this crusade, history must not forget the protracted vacancy 
of the papal throne, during which no voice was raised to 
animate the Crusaders, in which there was no authority 
powerful enough, particularly after the death of St. Louis, 
to direct their enterprise. After a lapse of two years, how- 


ever, the conclave chose a successor of St. Peter ; and, fortu- 
nately for the eastern Christians, the suffrages fell upon 
Thibault, archdeacon of Liege, who had followed the Prisons 
into Asia, and whom the intelligence of his elevation found 
still in Palestine. The Christians of Syria had reason to 
hope that the new pontiff, for so long a time a witness of 
their perils and their miseries, would not fail to employ 
all his power to succour them. Thibault gave them an 
assurance of it before he quitted Pfcolemais, and in a dis- 
course which he addressed to the assembled people, he took 
for his text this verse of the hundred and thirty-seventh 
Psalm : " If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may I myself bo 
forgotten among men!" 

The patriarch of Jerusalem, and the grand masters of the 
Temple and the Hospital accompanied Gregory X. into the 
West. On his return, the pontiff applied himself at once 
to the re-establishment of peace in Italy and Germany. He 
engaged the princes, particularly the king of Prance, to 
unite their efforts in assisting the Holy Land. Philip con- 
tented himself with sending a few troops into the East, and 
with advancing thirty-six thousand silver marks to the Pope, 
for which sum he held as security all the possessions of the 
Templars in his kingdom. Pisa, Genoa, and Marseilles fur- 
nished several galleys, and five hundred warriors were 
embarked for Ptolemais, at the expense of the sovereign 

This assistance was fiar from answering the hopes or the 
wants of the Christian colonies. Gregory resolved to inte- 
rest all Christendom in his project, and for that purpose 
convoked a council at Lyons, in 1274. This council was 
much more numerous and more solemn than that which 
Innocent IV. had assembled thirty years before in the same 
city. At this were present the patriarchs of Jerusalem and 
Constantinople, more than a thousand bishops and arch- 
bishops, the envoys of the emperors of the East and of the 
West, those of the kings of Prance and Cyprus, and of all 
the princes of Europe and beyond the seas. In this nu- 
merous assembly, no persons attracted so much attention 
as the Tartar princes and ambassadors, sent by the powerful 
head of the Moguls, to form an alliance with the Christians 
against the Mussulmans; several of these Tartar princea 


received baptism from the hands of the Pope, and Christiana 
who were v> itnesses of this ceremony saw in it an assured 
pledge of the Divine promises. 

All admired the power of God who had chosen the instru- 
ments of his designs from remote and little known regions ; 
the crowd of the faithful looked upon the supreme head of 
the hordes of Tartary as another Cyrus, whom Providence 
had charged with the destruction of Babylon and the de- 
liverance of Jerusalem. At the last sitting, the Council of 
Lyons decreed that a new crusade should be undertaken, 
and that during ten years a tenth should be levied upon all 
ecclesiastical property. Palasologus, who at length sub- 
mitted to the Latin church, promised to send troops for the 
deliverance of the heritage of Christ ; the Pope recognized 
Rodolph of Hapsbourg as emperor of the "West, upon con- 
dition that he would go into Palestine at the head of an 

But notwithstanding the grand spectacle of such a council, 
the decisions and the exhortations of the Pope and the pre- 
lates could not arouse the enthusiasm of the faithful, which 
was no longer anything, to borrow an expression from 
Scripture, " but the smoking remains of a burnt cloth." 
Gregory X. had succeeded in re-establishing peace among 
the Italian republics, and in terminating all the discords of 
Germany relative to the succession to the empire : no war 
interfered with the crusade ; but the minds of both princes 
and nations had taken a fresh direction. We still possess a 
written document of this period, which, doubtless, obtained 
the approbation if not the encouragement of the pope, and 
which appears to us well calculated to throw a light upon 
the spirit of the age, and show us what was then the general 
opinion of expeditions to the East. In this document, which 
will be considered whimsical, at least in its form, the author, 
Humbert de Romanis, endeavours to revive the zeal of 
Christians for the holy war, and, while deploring the indif- 
ference of his contemporaries, he points out eight obstacles 
to the eifects of his preaching : 1st. A sinful habit ; 2nd. The 
dread of fatigue; 3rd. Repugnance to quit their native country, 
4th. An excessive love of family ; 5th. The evil discourses of 
men ; 6th. A weakness of mind that creates a belief that every 
thing is impossible ; 7th. Bad examples ; Sth. A faith without 


warmth. To all these motives for indifference the author 
might have added other reasons drawn from the policy and 
the new interests of Europe ; but without allowing himself to 
be stopped by so many obstacles, the intrepid defender of the 
crusades, proceeding always by enumerations and categories, 
hastens to denote seven powerful passions, which, according 
to him, ought to cause the partisans of the holy to triumph ; 
these reasons were : 1st. Zeal for the glory of God ; 2nd. Zeal 
for the Christian faith ; 3rd. Brotherly charity; 4th. Devo- 
tional respect for the Holy Land ; 5th. The war commenced 
by the Mussulmans; 6th. The example of the first Cru- 
saders; 7th. The blessings of the Church. After these enu- 
merations, Humbert de Bomanis repeats the objections that 
were made in his time against undertaking crusades. Some 
said that wars, of whatever kind they might be, only served 
to promote the shedding of blood, and that there were quite 
enough of those that could not be avoided, and of those that 
people were obliged to make in self-defence ; others said that 
it was tempting God to quit a land in which his will had 
caused us to be born, and in which his goodness heaped 
blessings upon us, to go into a country which God had 
given to other nations, and in which we were constantly 
abandoned by him to all the miseries of exile. It was fur- 
ther said, that it was not permissible to invade the territories 
of the Saracens, that there was no more reason for pursuing 
the Mussulmans than the Jews, that the wars made against 
them would never eifect their conversion, and in short, that 
this war did not appear to be agreeable to God, since he 
permitted so many misfortunes to overwhelm the Crusaders. 
Humbert de Eomanis, in his book, answers all these and 
many other objections ; but these objections themselves were 
founded upon the spirit of the age, which could not be 
changed by reasoning. He in vain repeated that the Holy 
Land originally belonged to the Christians, and that they 
had the right to endeavour to reconquer it ; that the vine of 
the Lord ought to be defended by the sword against those 
who wished to root it up ; that if they extirpate i the bram- 
bles from a barren soil, they were much more strongly bound 
to drive from a holy land a rude and barbarous nation. He 
in vain repeated what had been so often said before, that the 
*nisfortunes of the crusades did not happen because thoss 


crusades were displeasing to G-od, but because it was God's 
will to punish the Crusaders, and try their constancy and 
faith. All this display of ecclesiastical erudition and argu- 
mentation persuaded nobody ; not because people were more 
enlightened than they had been some years before, but 
because they entertained other thoughts : similar discourses 
would have succeeded admirably in the preceding century, 
when addressed to dominant passions ; but they produced 
no effect when addressed to indifference. 

This European indifference was fatal to the Christian 
colonies of the East ; it gave them up without defence to 
the mercy of an enemy who every day became more power- 
ful, and whose fanaticism was inflamed by victory. On 
the other hand, fresh symptoms of decay, and new signs of 
approaching ruin, were observable in the confederation of 
the Franks of Syria. All those petty principalities, all those 
cities scattered along the Syrian coasts were shared among 
them ; and all the passions which the spirit of rivalry gives 
birth to became the auxiliaries of the Saracens. Every one 
of these petty states, in a constant state of fear, eagerly 
purchased a few days of peace, or a few months of existence, 
by treaties with Bibars, treaties in which the common 
honour and interests of the Christians were almost always 
sacrificed. The sultan of Cairo did not disdain to conclude 
a treaty of alliance with a single city, or even with a town ; 
and nothing is more curious than to see figuring in these 
acts of policy, on the one side the sovereign of Egypt, 
Syria, Mesopotamia, and twenty other provinces ; and on 
the other a little city like Sidon* or Tortosa, with its fields, 
its orchards, and its mills : a deplorable contrast, which must 
have made the Christians feel the extent of their humilia- 
tion, and proved to them all they had to fear. In all these 
treaties it was the Mussulman policy to promote division 
among the Franks, and to hold them in a state of de- 

* The Arabian chroniclers have preserved several of these treaties : we 
find in the extracts from Oriental manuscripts, a treaty between the 
sultan of Cairo and the little city of Tortosa. When reading the titles 
and the dependencies of the masters and the inhf bitants of Tortosa, we 
may fancy ws read the lease of a bailiwick or a farm, made before a 


pendence,* never considering them as allies, out as vassals, 
farmers or tributaries. 

Such was the peace enjoyed by the Christian states in 
Syria ; and a further matter to be deplored was, that there 
were then three pretenders to the kingdom of Jerusalem : 
■ — the king of Cyprus, the king of Sicily, and Mary of 
Antioch, who was descended from the fourth daughter of 
Isabella, the wife of Amaury. Parties disputed, and even 
fought for a kingdom half destroyed ; or rather they con- 
tended for the disgrace of ruining it entirely, and giving it 
up, rent by discord, to the domination of the Saracens. 

Bibars, in the meanwhile, steadily pursued the course of 
Ins conquests ; every day fame spread abroad an account of 
some fresh triumph ; at one time he re-entered Cairo, 
dragging in his train a king of Nubia, whom he had just 
conquered ; at another, he returned from Armenia, whence 
he brought thirty thousand horses and ten thousand children 
of both sexes. These accounts spread terror among the 
Christian cities, a terror that was very little mitigated by 
their treaties with the sultan of Egypt ; no one could tell 
what might be the next conquest Bibars contemplated, and 
every city was trembling lest it should be the next object of 
his ambition or his fury, when the death of this fierce con- 
queror afforded the Christians a few moments of security 
and joy. 

The end of Bibars is related after various manners ; we 
will follow the account of the historian Ibn-Ferat, with 
whose expressions even we shall sometimes make free. 
Bibars was about to set out for Damascus, to fight the 
Tartars in the neighbourhood of the Euphrates ; but before 
his departure he demanded an extraordinary impost. The 
imaun M ohyeddin Almoury addressed remonstrances to him 
on the subject ; but the sultan replied : " Oh ! my master, I 
will abolish this tax when I shall have conquered our 
enemies." When Bibars had triumphed over the Tartars, 
he wrote in the following terms to the chief of the divan at 
Damascus : " We will not dismount from our horse until 

* In Ibn-Ferat we may read the letter which the sultan of Cairo wrote 
on the subject of the princess of Berouth, who had left her little princi- 
pality without the consent of the sultan. (See the extracts from Arabic 


thou hast levied an impost of two hundred thousand dirhenia 
upon Damascus, one of three hundred thousand upon its 
territories, one of three hundred thousand upon its towns, 
and one of ten hundred thousand dirhemg upon the south- 
ern provinces." Thus the joy created by the victory of 
Bibars was changed into sadness, and the people prayed for 
the death of the sultan. Complaints were carried to the 
cheick Mohyeddin, a pious and respected man ; * and 
scarcely was the levy of the tribute begun when Bibars was 
razed from the roll of the living — he died poisoned. 

The Arabian historians place Bibars among the great 
princes of the dynasty of the Baharite Mamelukes. He 
was originally sold as a slave, and although he only lived 
among soldiers, a penetrating sagacity of mind supplied the 
place of education. When afterwards, he had become familial 
with war, and had been cast among the factions *rf the arrny, 
he had acquired all the knowledge that was necessary to 
enable him to reign over the Mamelukes. The quality 
which was of most service to him in the career of his am- 
bition was his incredible activity ; during the seventeen 
years of his reign, he did not allow himself one day of repose ; 
he was present, almost at the same time, in Syria, in Egypt, 
and upon the banks of the Euphrates : the chronicles relate 
that he was frequently perambulating the streets of Da- 
mascus, whilst his courtiers were awaiting the moment of 
his waking at the gates of the palace of Cairo. As two sul- 
tans of Egypt had perished beneath his hands, and as he had 
arrived at empire by means of violent revolutions, that which 
he most dreaded was the influence of his own example ; all 
those whose ambition he feared, or whose fidelity he doubted, 
were immediately sacrificed. The most simple communica- 
tions between man and man were sufficient to alarm his 
fierce aad suspicious temper ; if oriental historians may be 
credited, during the reign of Bibars, friends shunned each 

* This account is much longer in Ibn-Ferat ; whilst endeavouring to 
preserve the tone and the Oriental colouring of it, we have felt it neces- 
sary to abridge it. The chronicle of Ibn-Ferat, which Ss a collection of 
many other chronicles, contains several different versions ; this appears to 
us the most probable, and, at the same time, the one best calculated to 
show what were the resources of the nations of Asia against the excesses 
of despotism. 


other in the streets, and no man durst enter into the house 
of another. "When it was important to him to conceal his 
designs, to cast a veil over- his proceedings, or himself to 
avoid the public eye, woe to him who should divine his 
thought, pronounce his name, or salute him on his way. 
Severe with his soldiers, a flatterer with his emirs, entertain- 
ing no repugnance for artifice, preferring violence, sporting 
with treaties and oaths, practising a dissimulation that 
nobody could penetrate, possessed by an avarice that made 
him pitiless in the levying of tributes ; having never re- 
treated before an enemy, before an obstacle, or before a 
crime, his genius and character seemed made for the govern- 
ment, which he had in some sort founded, a monstrous 
government, which sustained itself by vices and excesses, 
and which could not possibly have subsisted in conjunction 
with moderation and virtue. 

His enemies and his subjects trembled equally before him ; 
they trembled still around that litter which transported his 
remains from Damascus to Cairo. But so many excesses, 
so many violences, so many triumphs, which only ministered 
to his personal ambition, were not able to fix the crown in 
his family ; his two sons only ascended the throne to descend 
from it again. Kelaoun, the bravest of the emirs, soon 
usurped the sovereign power ; a uniform line of succession 
to the throne was not at all likely to be preserved in an 
army constantly exposed to sedition. Every Mameluke 
believed himself born for empire, and in this republic of 
slaves it appeared permissible for every one to dream of 
tyranny. A thing almost incredible, — that which appeared 
most calculated to ruin this band of turbulent soldiery, was 
precisely that which saved it ; weakness or incapacity could 
never support itself long upon the throne, and amidst the 
tumult of factions, it almost always happened that the most 
brave and the most able was chosen to direct the govern- 
ment, and lead in war. 

Bibars had commenced the ruin of the Christians ; Ke- 
laoun was destined to complete it. In the West, Gregory 
in vain prosecuted the preparations, or rather the preachings 
of the crusade ; he several times renewed his intreaties to 
Bodolph of Hapsburg, but Eodolph had an empire to pre- 
serve ; it was useless for < he pope to threaten to deprive 
Vol. III.— 4 


him of his crown; the new emperor saw much less dai.gcr 
for him in the anger of the sovereign pontiff than in an 
expedition which would lead him so far from his states. At 
'ength Gregory died, without having been able to fulfil the 

frromises he had made to the Christians of the East. Pa- 
estine received, from time to time, some succours from 
Europe ; but these succours, scarcely ever arriving sea- 
sonably, appeared less likely to increase than to compromise 
its safety. The king of Sicily, who had caused himself to 
be proclaimed king of Jerusalem, sent some soldiers and a 
governor to Ptolemais; he was preparing to make a for- 
midable expedition into Syria,* and his ambition, perhaps, 
might, in this circumstance, have been serviceable to the 
cause of the Christians, if a revolution had not suddenly 
put an end to his projects. 

The discontent of the people in his states, particularly in 
Sicily, continually increased. The people had been burdened 
with a heavy tax for the last crusade, and the publication of 
a new one was received with many murmurs ; the enemies 
of Charles saw nothing in the assumption of the cross but a 
signal for violence and brigandage : it is under this sacred 
banner, they said, that he is accustomed to shed innocent 
blood : they further remembered that the conquest of Naples 
had been made under the standard of the cross. At length 
the signal of revolt being given, eight thousand Frenchmen 
were immolated to the manes of Conradin, and the Sicilian 
vespers completed the destruction of all Charles's Eastern 

Kelaoun from that time had it in his power to attack the 
Christians ; but busied in establishing his authority among 
the Mamelukes, and in repulsing the Tartars, who had ad- 
vanced towards the Euphrates, he consented to conclude a 
truce with the Franks of Ptolemais. It may plainly be 
perceived by this treaty, which the Arabian authors have 

* Many historians think that Charles's preparations were intended to 
be directed against Constantinople. Without contradicting this opinion, 
we, may believe that the king of Sicily thought likewise of the king- 
dom of Jerusalem. Charles was always very secret in his political pro- 
jects ; and very frequently the dissimulation of princes causes as much 
embarrassment to historians as it could have done ill to the countries 
exposed to its attempts. 


preserved, what were the designs of the sultans of Cairo, 
and the extent of the ascendancy they assumed over their 
feeble enemies.* The Christians engaged, in the event of 
any prince of the Franks making an expedition into Asia, to 
warn the infidels of the coming of Christian armies from the 
"West. This was at the same time signing a dishonourable 
condition, and renouncing all hopes of a crusade. 

The armies of the West, besides, were fighting for other 
interests than those of the Holy Land, and there was no 
reason to believe they would be seen in Asia for a length 
of time. Most of the princes of Europe at that time never 
bestowed a thought upon the Mussulmans or their victories ; 
such princes or states as had any interests to guard in the 
East,t not only allied themselves without scruple with the 
sultan of Egypt, but promised by treaties, and swore upon 
the Gospel, to declare themselves the enemies of all the 
Christian powers that should attack the states of their 
Mussulman ally. 

Thus all these treaties, dictated sometimes by ambition 
and avarice, and sometimes by fear, raised every day a new 
barrier between the Christians of the East and those of the 
West. Besides, these treaties were no checks upon tho 
sultan of Cairo, who always found some pretext for breaking 

* The text of this treaty may be read in the life of Kelaoun. 

•f M. de Sacy has translated a treaty concluded between the sultan of 
Egypt and the kings of Sicily and Arragon. The following is one of the 
clauses of this treaty: — " If the case should happen that the pope of 
Rome, the kings of the Franks, of the Greeks, of the Tartars, or others, 
should ask the king of Arragon or his brothers, or should cause to be 
asked in the states of their dominions, auxiliary troops or any succour, 
whether of cavalry, infantry, money, vessels, clothing, or arms, the said 
princes would give no consent to it, either openly or in secret ; they would 
grant them no succour, and would consent to nothing of the kind. If 
the king of Arragon should learn that one of the above-named kings 
should have any intention of carrying war into the states of the sultan, 
or to cause him any prejudice, he will send and advise the sultan of it, 
and will inform him on what side his enemies propose to attack him, and 
that with the shortest delay possible, before they shall be put in motion, 
and he will conceal nothing concerning it from him." This treaty is 
very long, and provides against all difficulties. We may here make a 
general remark, which is, that most of the treaties made between the 
Orientals and the Christians surpass, in some sort, the sagacity of modern 
diplomacy ; so much mistrust gave foresight to the negotiators and the 
contracting powers. 


them, when <var presented more advantages than peace. It 
was thus with the fortress of Margat, situated upon tha 
river Eleuctera, in the neighbourhood of Tripoli. The 
Hospitallers who guarded this castle were accused of making 
incursions upon the lands of the Mussulmans ; and this 
accusation, which was not perhaps without foundation, was 
soon followed by the siege of the place. The towers and 
ramparts for a long time resisted the shock of the machines 
of war ; the garrison repulsed every attack ; but whilst they 
were fighting upon the walls, and at the foot of the walls, 
miners were digging away the earth from beneath them. 
At length the fortress, undermined on all sides, was ready 
to fall to pieces at the first signal. The Hospitallers made 
an honourable capitulation, and Margat opened its gates 
to the Mussulman army. 

Upon the seacoast, between Margat and Tortosa, stood 
another castle, to which a Frank nobleman had retired, 
whom some of the Arabian chroniclers call the sieur de 
Telima, and others, the sieur Barthelemi. This Frank 
lord never ceased ravaging the lands of his neighbourhood, 
and every day returned home to his fortress loaded with the 
spoils of the Saracens. Kelaoun was desirous of attacking 
the castle of the sieur Barthelemi, but thinking it impreg- 
nable, he wrote to the count of Tripoli, — " It is thou who 
hast built, or hast allowed to be built, this castle ; evil be to 
thee, evil be to thy capital, evil be to thy people, if it be 
not promptly demolished." * The count of Tripoli was the 
more alarmed at these menaces, from the Mussulman troops 
being, at the moment he received the letter, in his terri- 
tories : he offered the seigneur Barthelemi considerable 
lands in exchange for his castle ; he made him the most 
brilliant promises and offers, but all in vain. At length the 
son of Barthelemi interfered in the negotiation, and set out 
to implore the compassion of the sultan of Cairo. The 
enraged old man flew after his son, overtook him in the city 
of Ptolemais, and poniarded him before the assembled 
people. This parricide disgusted all the Christians; and 
Barthelemi was at last abandoned by his own soldiers, who 
held his crime in great horror. The castle, which was left 

* We can find no document on this subject in the chronicles of the 
West ; our guide has been Ibn-Ferat. 


unprotected, was shortly after demolished. From that t:m« 
the sieur Barthelemi became the most inveterate enemy ol 
the Christians ; and, retired among the infidels, was con- 
stantly employed in associating them with his vengeance, 
and in urging the destruction of the Christian cities. 

His pitiless hatred had but too many opportunities of 
being satisfied. The sultan of Cairo pursued the war against 
the Christians, and everything seemed to favour his enter- 
prizes. He had for a long time entertained the project of 
gaining possession of Laodicea, whose port rivalled that of 
Alexandria ; but the citadel of that city, surrounded by the 
waters of the sea, was inaccessible ; an earthquake, which 
shook the towers of the fortress, facilitated his conquest of 
it. The castle of Carac and some other forts, built on the 
coast of Phoenicia, fell into the hands of the Mussulmans. 
After having thus laid open all the avenues to Tripoli, the 
sultan turned the whole of his attention to the siege of that 
city. Neither the faith of treaties, nor the recent submis- 
sions of Bohemond, were able to retard for a moment the 
fall of a flourishing city : no Christian city, no prince of 
Palestine offered the least assistance to Tripoli. Such in- 
deed was the spirit of division that always reigned among 
the Franks, that the Templars, in conjunction with the 
seigneur de Giblet, had entertained the project of intro- 
ducing some Christian soldiers into Bohemond' s city, and 
taking it by surprise. They were not able, it is true, to 
execute their design ; but what evils must not these odious 
jealousies, these black treacheries, have brought upon the 
feeble remains of the Christian colonies ! 

A formidable army appeared before the walls of Tripoli, 
and a great number of machines were erected against the 
ramparts : after a siege of thirty-five days, the Mussulmans 
penetrated into the city, fire and sword in hand. Seven 
thousand Christians fell under the arms of the conqueror ; 
the women and children were dragged away into slavery, and 
the terrified crowd vainly sought an asylum fmm the blood- 
thirsty Mamelukes in the island of St. Nicholas. Aboulfeda 
relates, that having occasion to go to that island, a few days 
after the taking of Tripoli, he found it covered with dead 
bodies. Some of the inhabitants having succeeded in getting 
on board ships, fled away from their desolate country ; but 


the sea drove them back again upon the shore, where thejf 
were massacred by the Mussulmans. Not only the pecula- 
tion of Tripoli was almost exterminated, but the sultan gave 
orders that the city should be burnt and demolished. The 
port of Tripoli attracted a great part of the commerce of the 
Mediterranean ; the city contained more than four thousand 
silk-looms ; its palaces were admired, its towers and its 
fortifications appeared impregnable. So many sources of 
prosperity, all that could cause peace to flourish or serve for 
defence in war, all perished under the flame, the axe, and 
the hammer ! The principal aim of the Mussulman policy 
in this war, was to destroy all that the Christians had done ; 
to leave no traces of their power upon the coasts of Syria ; 
nothing which could afterwards attract thither the princes 
and warriors of the West, nothing that could yield them the 
means of maintaining themselves there if ever they should 
be tempted again to unfurl their standards in the East. 

Ptolemais, which remained neuter in this cruel war, learnt 
the fall and destruction of a Christian city from some fu- 
gitives, who, having escaped the sword of the Mussulmans, 
came to intreat an asylum within its walls. From this sad 
intelligence, it might easily predict the misfortunes that 
awaited it. Ptolemais was then the capital of the Christian 
colonies, and the most considerable city of Syria. Most of 
the Pranks, upon being driven from the other cities of Pales- 
tine, had taken refuge there, bringing with them all their 
portable wealth. In its port anchored all the warlike fleets 
that came from the AYest, with the richest trading vessels 
from most countries of the world. The city had not less 
increased in extent than population ; it was constructed of 
square-cut stones ; all the walls of the houses rose to an 
equal height, and a platform or terrace surmounted most of 
the buildings.* The interior of the principal houses was 
ornamented with paintings, and they received light by the 
means of glass windows, which was at that time an extra- 
ordinary luxury. In the public places, coverings of silk or 
transparent stuffs screened the inhabitants from the ardours 

* All these curious details upon Ptolemais, its morals, and the mode 
of living of its inhabitants, are furnished by Herman Cornarius (Ekard's 
Collection). A more extensive extract will be found in our analysis of 
the German authors. 


of the sun. Between the two ramparts which bounded th« 
city on the east, were built castles and palaces, the residences 
of the great; the artizans and traders occupied the interioi 
of the city. Among the princes and nobles who had man- 
sions in Ptolemais, were the king of Jerusalem, his brothers 
and his family, the princes of Galilee and Antioch, the lieu- 
renants of France and Sicily, the duke of Caesarea, the counts 
of Tripoli and Jaffa, the lords of Barouth, Tyre, Tiberias, 
Ibelin, Arsaph, &c. We read in an old chronicle that all 
these magnates were accustomed to walk in the public places, 
wearing crowns of gold like kings, whilst the vestments of 
their numerous trains glittered with gold and precious stones. 
Every day was passed in festivity, spectacles or tournaments ; 
whilst the port was a mart of exchange for the treasures of 
the East and the AVest, exhibiting at all times an animated 
picture of commerce and industry. 

Contemporary history deplores with severity the corrup- 
tion of morals that prevailed in Ptolemais, the crowds of 
strangers bringing with them the vices of all countries. 
Effeminacy and luxury pervaded every class, the clergy them- 
selves being unable to escape the general contagion: the 
inhabitants of Ptolemais were esteemed the most voluptuous 
and dissolute of all the nations of Syria. Ptolemais was not 
only the richest city of Syria, it was further supposed to be the 
best fortified. St. Louis, during his abode in Palestine, had 
neglected nothing to repair and increase its fortifications. 
On the land side, a double wall surrounded the city, com- 
manded at distances by lofty battlemented towers ; and a 
wide and deep ditch prevented access to the ramparts. 
Towards the sea, the city was defended by a fortress built 
at the entrance of the port, by the castle of the temple on 
the south, and by the tower called the King's Tower, on the 

Ptolemais appears then to have possessed much better 
means of defence than at the period at which it stood out 
for three years against all the forces of Europe. No power 
could have subdued it if it had been inhabited by true 
citizens, and not by foreigners, pilgrims, and traders, at all 
times ready to transport themselves and their wealth from 
one place to another. The persons who represented the 
king of Naples, the lieutenants of the king of Cyprus, the 


French, the English, the pope's legate, the yatriarch of 
Jerusalem, the prince of Antioch, the three mLitary orders, 
the Venetians, the Genoese, the Pisans, the Armenians, the 
Tartars, had all and each their separate quarter, their juris- 
diction, their tribunals, their magistrates — all independent 
of each other, and all enjoying the right of sovereignty. 
All these quarters were as so many different cities, opposed 
to each other by customs, by language, by manners, and 
above all, by rivalries and jealousies. It was impossible to 
preserve order in a city in which so many sovereigns made 
laws, which had no uniform government, and in which the 
crime pursued in one part, was protected in another. Thus 
all the passions were without a check, and often gave birth 
to sanguinary and disgraceful scenes : in addition to the 
quarrels that took their rise in the country, there was not 
a feud in Europe, particularly in Italy, that was not felt 
in Ptolemais. The discords of the G-uelphs and the Grhi- 
belines were here carried on with warmth, and the rivalries 
of Venice and Grenoa had caused torrents of blood to flow. 
Each nation had fortifications in the quarter it inhabited, 
against the others ; and the churches even were fortified. 
At the entrance to each division was a fortress, with gates 
and iron chains ; it was plainly to be perceived that all these 
means of defence had been employed less for the purpose of 
stopping the progress of an enemy, than as a barrier against 
neighbours and rivals. 

The leaders of all the quarters and the principal inha- 
bitants of the city sometimes assembled ; but they seldom 
agreed, and were at all times mistrustful of each other: 
these assemblies never laid down any settled plan of con- 
duct, never established any wholesome fixed role, and, above 
all, never showed the least foresight. 

The city at the same time demanded succours from the 
"West, and solicited a truce with the Saracens. When a 
treaty was concluded, no one had sufficient power to secure 
its observance; on the contrary, every one had it in his 
power to violate it, and thus bring upon the city all the ills 
that this violation would produce. 

After the taking of Tripoli, the sultan of Cairo menaced 
the city of Ptolemais ; nevertheless, whether he dreaded the 
despair of the inhabitants, or thought that the favourable 


moment was not vet arrived, he yielded to their solicita- 
tions, and renewed a truce with them for two years, two 
months, two weeks, two days, and two hours. According 
to a chronicle, the pope's legate disapproved of the treaty, 
and caused some Mussulman traders, who came to Ptolemais, 
to be insulted : the Templars and the other military orders 
were desirous of making reparation to the sultan of Egypt ; 
but the legate opposed them, and threatened to excom- 
municate all who should have the least intercourse with the 

An Arabian author assigns another motive for the vio- 
lences committed against the Mussulmans. He relates that 
the wife of a rich inhabitant of Ptolemais, being deeply 
enamoured of a young Mussulman, had appointed a meeting 
with him in one of the gardens that surround the city ; the 
husband, warned of this outrage against conjugal fidelity, 
gathers together some friends, goes out from Ptolemais with 
them,t surprises his wife and her seducer, and immmolates 
them both to his injured honour. Some Mussulmans are 
drawn to the spot ; the Christians come up in still greater 
numbers ; the quarrel becomes angry and general ; and every 
Mussulman is massacred. 

These violences, which fame did not fail to exaggerate 
whilst narrating them, might give the sultan of Egypt a 
pretext for renewing the war; and the Christians, who 
plainly perceived their new perils, implored the assistance 
of the sovereign pontiff. The pope engaged Venice to fur- 
nish twenty-five galleys, and this fleet transported to Ptole- 
mais a troop of sixteen hundred men, levied in haste in 
Italy. This reinforcement, which was sent to the inhabi- 
tants of Palestine for their defence, provoked their ruin ; 
the soldiers of the Holy See, levied among adventurers and 
vagabonds, gave themselves up to all sorts of excesses. 

* We find this fact in two Austrian chronicles, which have for title, 
one, Chronicon Anonymi Leobensis ; the other, Thomce Ebendorfeiri de 
Haselbach Chronicon. The first says that the legate called together the 
people of Ptolemais, that he launched against them the anathemas of the 
Church, and then embarked to return to Rome. This last circumstance 
appears to us improbable, and we have, therefore, passed it over in 

\ This circumstance is related in the life of the sultan Kelaoun. (Sc 
the extracts from Arabian manuscripts in our Appendix.) 



Having no regular pay, they plundered Christians aud Mus« 
sulmans indiscriminately ; at last, this undisciplined trocp 
marched out of the city in arms, and made an incursion 
upon the lands of the Saracens. Everything was laid waste 
on their passage ; towns and villages were pillaged, the inha- 
bitants insulted, and many of them massacred. The sultan 
of Cairo sent ambassadors to the Christians to complain of 
these outrages, committed in a time of peace. On the arrival 
of the Mussulman envoys several councils were held in 
Ptolemais. Opinions were at first divided; some were 
willing to take the part of those who had broken the truce ; 
others thought it more just and prudent to give satisfaction 
to the sultan, and solicit the continuation of the treaty. In 
the end, it was determined to send a deputation to Cairo, 
commissioned to make excuses and offer presents. Upon 
being admitted to an audience of Kelaoun, the deputation 
alleged that the offences had been committed by some sol- 
diers who had come from the West, and in no case by the 
inhabitants of Ptolemais. The deputies, in the name of 
their city, offered to punish the authors of the disorders ; 
but their submission and prayers produced no effect upon 
the sultan, who reproached them severely with making a jest 
of the faith of treaties, and with giving an asylum to dis- 
turbers of peace and foes to the laws of nations. He was the 
more inflexible, from thinking the opportunity a favourable 
one for carrying out his projects ; he was aware that no 
crusade was in preparation in Europe, and he knew that all 
the succour from the West was reduced to this band of ad- 
venturers who had just broken the truce. Kelaoun sent 
back the ambassadors, threatening the city of Ptok jnais 
with the whole weight of his anger : his orders were already 
given for preparations for war throughout all his provinces. 
Immediately after the return of the ambassadors* a grand 

* For the siege of Ptolemais we have consulted Sanuti, Herman, and 
a manuscript relation. This relation, written in the French of the time, 
appears to have been drawn from a letter from John de Vile, marshal of 
the hospital of St. John, who wrote to his brother, AVilliam de Vile, prior 
of St. Gilles, in Provence. Either John de Vile was at Ptolemais, or he 
wrote from the evidence of some Hospitallers who had est?ped the swords 
of the Mussulmans, and had retired to the isle of Cyprus. This manu- 
script chronicle, which we often use, is divided into twenty-two chapters 
It is in the Kiug's Library, No. 1290. 


council was called, at which were present tl e patriarch of 
Jerusalem, John de Gresli, who commanded for the king of 
.France, Messire Oste de Granson for the king of England, the 
grand masters of the Temple and the Hospital, the principal 
persons of the city, and a great number of citizens and 
pilgrims. When the deputies had rendered an account of 
their mission, and repeated the threats of the sultan, the 
patriarch addressed the assembly ; his virtues, his gray hairs, 
his zeal for the cause of the Christians, all inspired confi- 
dence and respect. This venerable prelate exhorted all who 
heard him to arm themselves for the defence of the city, to 
remember that they were Christians, and that it was their 
duty to die for the cause of Christ; he conjured them to 
forget their discords, to have no other enemies but the Mus- 
sulmans, and to show themselves worthy of the holy cause 
for which they were about to fight. His eloquence awakened 
the generous feelings of his audience, and all swore to obey 
the exhortations of the patriarch : happy would it have been 
for the city of Ptolemais if its inhabitants and its defenders 
had preserved the same dispositions and the same enthusiasm 
amidst the perils and mischances of war ! 

They asked for succour in all quarters ; a few pilgrims 
arrived from the West, and a few warriors from the isles of 
the Mediterranean: the king of Cyprus landed with five 
hundred men. These new auxiliaries and all who were able 
to bear arms in the city, amounted to nine hundred horse- 
men and ten thousand foot soldiers. They were divided into 
four bodies, charged with the defence of the towers and the 
ramparts. The first of these divisions was under the com- 
mand of Oste de Granson and John de Gresli, the one with 
the English and the Picards, the other with the Erench ; 
the second division was commanded by the king of Cyprus, 
in conjunction with the grand master of the Teutonic order; 
the third by the grand master of St. John, and the grand 
master of the knights of Canterbury ; the fourth by the 
grand masters of the Temple and of St. Lazarus : a council 
of eight leaders was to govern the city during the siege. 

The Mussulmans were preparing for the war in all quar- 
ters ; everything was in motion from the banks of the Nile 
to those of the Euphrates. The sultan Kelaoun having 
fallen sick on leaving Cairo / sent before him seven principal 


emirs, each "having four thousand horse and twenty thousand 
foot under his command. On their arrival upon the terri- 
tories of Ptolema'is, gardens, country-houses, the vines *<vhich 
covered the hills — everything was destroyed. The sight of 
the conflagration which arose on all sides, the distracted 
crowd of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who fled 
from their homes, with their goods, their flocks, and their 
families, warned Ptolema'is of the execution of the threats 
and the sinister projects of the Saracens: there were several 
battles fought on the plain, but nothing remarkable or de- 
cisive ; the Mussulmans waited the arrival of the sultan to 
commence the labours of the siege. 

In the meanwhile, Kelaoun was still detained in Egypt by 
sickness, and feeling his end approach, the sultan sent for 
his son and his principal emirs ; he recommended to the 
.atter, to serve his son as they had served himself; and to 
the former, to follow up the war against the Christians 
without any intermission, conjuring him not to grant his 
remains the honour of sepulture before he had conquered 
the city of Ptolemais. Chalil swore to accomplish the last 
wishes of his father ; and when Kelaoun had closed his eyes, 
the ulemas and the imauns assembled in the chapel in which 
his remains were deposited, and read during the whole night 
verses from the Koran, never ceasing to invoke their pro- 
phet against the disciples of Christ. Chalil did not delay 
setting forward on his march with his army. The Pranks 
hoped that the death of Kelaoun would give birth to some 
disorders among the Mamelukes ; but hatred for the Chris- 
tians was a sufficient bond of union for the Mussulman 
soldiers ; the siege even of Ptolemais, the hope of annihi- 
lating a Christian city, stifled all the germs of discord, and 
consolidated the power of Chalil, whom they proclaimed 
beforehand the conqueror of the Franks, and the 'pacificator 
of the Mussulman religion. 

The sultan arrived before Ptolemais ; his army covering a 
space of several leagues, from the sea to the mountains. 
More than three hundred machines of war were ready to 
batter the ramparts of the city. Aboulfeda, who was 
present at this siege, speaks of one of these machines which 
a hundred chariots were scarcely sufficient to transport. 

This formidable preparation spread consternation among 


the inhabitants of Ptolemais. The grand master of the tem- 
plars, despairing of the defence or of the salvation of the 
city, assembled the leaders to consult if there were any 
means of renewing the truce, and thus escaping inevitable 
runt-* Repairing to the tent of the sultan, he demanded 
peace of him ; and seeking to produce an effect upon his 
mind, he exaggerated the strength of Ptolemais ; the sultan, 
dreading doubtless the difficulties of the siege, and hoping 
to find another opportunity of making himself master of the 
city, consented to a truce upon condition that every inha- 
bitant should pay him a Venetian denier. The grand 
master on his return convoked an assembly of the people 
in the church of the Holy Cross, and laid before them the 
conditions the sultan placed upon the conclusion of a fresh 
truce. His advice was, that they should comply with these 
conditions, provided there were no other means of saving 
Ptolemais. Scarcely had he expressed his opinion, when the 
multitude rushed in in fury, uttering loud cries of treachery ! 
and very nearly did the grand master expiate on the spot his 
foresight and zeal for the salvation of the city. From that 
time the only thought of this generous warrior was to die 
arms in hand for an ungrateful and frivolous people, inca- 
pable of repelling war by war, and not enduring to be saved 
by peace. 

The presence of the sultan had redoubled the ardour of 
the Mussulman troops. From the day of his arrival the 
siege was prosecuted with incredible vigour. The army of 
the besiegers amounted to sixty thousand horse and a hun- 
dred and forty thousand foot, who constantly relieved each 
other, and left the besieged not a moment of repose. The 
machines hurled stones and enormous pieces of wood, the 
fall of which shook the palaces and houses of the city to 
their foundation. A shower of arrows, darts, fire-pots, and 
leaden balls was poured night and day upon the ramparts 
and towers. In the first assaults, the Christians killed a 
great number of the infidels who approached the walls with 
arrows and stones ; they made many sorties, in one of which 
they penetrated to the tents of the Saracens. Being at 
length repulsed, some of them fell into the hands of the 

* This fact is related in the chronicle we have before quoted. 


Mussulmans, and the Syrian horsemen, who had fastened 
the heads of the vanquished to the necks of their horses, 
went to display before the sultan of Cairc the barbarous 
trophies of a dearly -bought victory. 

Danger at first united all the inhabitants of Ptolemais, 
and animated them with the same sentiments. In the early 
combats nothing could equal their ardour ; they were sus- 
tained by the expectation of receiving succours from the 
"West, and they hoped, also, that some advantages gained 
over the Saracens would force the besiegers to retreat ; but 
in proportion as these hopes vanished, their zeal diminished ; 
most of them were incapable of supporting lengthened 
fatigue ; the sight of a peril which unceasingly returned 
exhausted their courage ; the defenders of the ramparts per- 
ceived that their numbers were lessened daily ; the port was 
covered with Christians departing from the city, and bearing 
their treasures with them. The example of those who thus 
fled completed the discouragement of those who remained ; 
and in a city which numbered a hundred thousand inhabi- 
tants, and which, at the commencement of the siege, had 
furnished nearly twenty thousand warriors, only twelve 
thousand could at length be mustered under arms. 

To desertion, another evil was soon added, which was dis- 
sension among the leaders ; several of them disapproved of 
the measures that were adopted for the defence of the city, 
and because their opinions did not prevail in the council, 
they remained inactive, forgetful of the perils and evils which 
threatened both the city and themselves. 

On the fourth day of May, after the siege had lasted 
nearly a month, the sultan of Cairo gave the signal for an 
assault. Erom daybreak, all the drums of the army, placed 
upon three hundred camels, spread a fearful and stunning 
noise. The most formidable of the machines of war were 
employed in battering the ramparts towards the gate and 
tower of St. Antony, on the east side of the city. This post 
was guarded by the soldiers of the king of Cyprus ; the 
Mussulmans planted their ladders at the foot of the walls ; 
the defence was not less spirited than the attack ; the con- 
flict lasted during the whole day, and night alone forced the 
Saracens to retreat. After this severe struggle, the king of 
Cyprus became more anxious for safety than glory, and 


determined to abandon a city which he had now no hopes ol 
saving. He retired with his troop in the evening, under 
the pretence of taking some necessary repose, and, confiding 
the post of peril to the Teutonic knights, promised to return 
with daylight ; but when the sun arose, the king of Cyprus 
had embarked with all his knights and three thousand soldiers. 
What were the surprise and indignation of the Christian 
warriors at the news of this dastardly desertion ! " Would 
to heaven," says the author of an account that lies before us,* 
— " would to heaven that a whirlwind had arisen, had sub- 
merged these base fugitives, and that they had sunk like 
lead to the bottom of the sea ! " 

On the morrow, the Mussulmans gave a fresh assault ; 
covered by their long bucklers, they advanced in good order 
towards their machines, carrying a vast number of ladders. 
The Christians defended the approach to the walls for some 
time; but when the besiegers perceived that the towers, occu- 
pied on the preceding day by the Cypriots, were abandoned, 
their audacity increased, and they made incredible efforts to 
fill up the ditch, by casting into it stones, earth, and the 
carcases of their dead horses. Contemporary historians 
relate a circumstance of this part of the siege to which it is 
very difficult to give credit : a troop of sectaries, who were 
called Chages, followed the army of the Mamelukes ; the 
devotion of these sectaries consisted in suffering all sorts of 
privations, and even in immolating themselves for the sake 
of Islamism : the sultan ordered them to fill up the ditch ; 
they filled it up with their living bodies, and the Mussulman 
cavalry marched over them, to gain the foot of the walls ! t 

The besiegers fought with fury ; some planted their lad- 
ders and mounted in crowds to the ramparts ; whilst others 
continued to batter the walls with the rams, and brought 
every available instrument into play to demolish them. At 
length a large breach opened a passage into the city, and 
this breach soon became the scene of a bloody and obstinate 

* A manuscript account of the siege and taking of Acre by the 

f This extraordinary fact is related in a discourse addressed to Pope 
Nicholas IV. by Brother Arsene, a Greek priest, who had been on a pil- 
grimage to Jerusalem in the time of the siege of Ptolemais. This account 
is found in Muratori; we have translated it entirely, as will be seen in 
eur Appendix. 


contest. Stones and arrows were abandoned, they now 
fought man to man, with lance, sword, and mace. The mul- 
titude of Saracens increased every instant, whilst no fresh 
succours were received by the Christians. After a long 
and brave resistance, the defenders of the rampart, worn out 
with fatigue and overwhelmed by numbers, were obliged to 
retreat into the city ; the Saracens rushed forward in pur- 
suit of them, and, what is scarcely to be believed, most of 
the inhabitants remained idle spectators, not because their 
courage was subdued by the sight of danger, but because 
the spirit of rivalry and jealousy was not stilled even by th6 
feelings of a public and general calamity. " When the news 
of the entrance of the Saracens [we borrow the expressions 
of a contemporary historian] was spread through the city, 
many of the citizens, from malice towards each other, enter- 
tained not near so much pity for the common calamity as 
they ought to have done, and took no account of what might 
happen to them, thinking in their hearts that the sultan would 
do them no harm, because they had not consented to the 
violation of the truce." In their infatuation they preferred 
owing their safety to the clemency of the conqueror, rather 
than to the bravery of the Christian warriors ; * far from 
lending assistance to their neighbours, every one rejoiced in 
secret at their losses ; the principal leaders of each quarter, 
or of each nation, were sparing of their soldiers, not in order 
to preserve their means of contending with the Saracens, 
but for the sake of having more empire in the city, and of 
husbanding their strength, so as to be on a future day the 
most powerful and formidable in the public dissensions. 

True bravery, however, did not allow itself to be misled 
by such base passions ; the troops of the Temple and the 
Hospital were found wherever danger called them. "William 
de Clermont, marshal of the Hospitallers, hastened with his 
knights to the spot where peril was most imminent and the 
carnage the greatest. He met a crowd of Christians flying 
before their enemies ; this brave warrior checked their flight 
and reanimated their courage, rushing among the Saracens, 
and cutting down all that came in his way ; the Mussulmans, 
says an old chronicle, " fled away at his approach, like sheep 

* This fact is likewise attested b^ the chronicle of Herman Cornamsj 
n-hich we have already quoted. 


before a wolf." Then most of those who had turned then 
backs on the enemy returned to the fight ; the shock was 
terrible, the slaughter frightful : towards evening the trum- 
pets of the Saracens sounded a retreat, and all who had 
escaped from the swords of the Christians retired in dis- 
order through the breach they had made. This unexpected 
advantage had a wonderful effect upon the spirits of the 
besieged. Such as had taken no part in the contest, but 
remained quietly in their dwellings, began to fear that they 
should be accused of betraying the Christian cause. They 
set forward, with banners displayed, and directed their 
course towards the gate of St. Antony. The sight of the 
field of battle, still covered with traces of carnage, must 
have awakened in them some generous feelings, and if they 
had not exhibited their bravery, their brother warriors, 
stretched upon the earth, who implored them to help them 
and dress their wounds, at least offered them an opportunity 
of exercising their humanity. The wounded were attended 
to, the dead were buried, and they then set about repairing 
the walls and placing the machines : the whole of the night 
was employed in preparing means of defence for the day 
which was to follow. 

Before sunrise the next morning, a general assembly was 
convoked in the house of the Hospitallers. Sadness was 
depicted on every countenance ; they had lost two thousand 
Christian warriors in the battle of the preceding day ; there 
now were only seven thousand combatants left in the city ; 
these were not enough to defend the towers and the ramparts ; 
they were no longer sustained by the hope of conquering 
their enemies ; the future presented nothing but one terrible 
prospect of perils and calamities. "When all were met, the 
patriarch of Jerusalem addressed the melancholy assembly. 
The venerable prelate directed no reproaches against them 
who had not assisted in the fight of the preceding day ; the 
past must be forgotten ; he did not praise them who had 
signalized their bravery, for fear of awakening jealousy ; 
in his discourse he did not venture to speak of country, for 
Ptolemais was not the country of most of those who listened 
to him. The picture of the misfortunes which threatened 
the city and every one of its inhabitants, was presented in 
the darkest colours ; there was no hope, no asylum for the 


vanquisher l ; nothing was to be expected from the clemency 
of the Saracens, who always accomplished their threats, and 
never fulfilled their promises. It was but too certain that 
Europe would send them no succour ; they had not vessels 
enough to enable them to think of flying by sea :— thus the 
patriarch took less pains to dissipate the alarms of his audi- 
tors than to animate them by despair. He terminated his 
speech by exhorting them to place all their confidence in 
God and their swords, to prepare for fight by penitence, to 
love each other, to help each other, and to endeavour to 
render their lives or their death glorious for themselves and 
serviceable to Christianity. 

The speech of the patriarch made the deepest impression 
upon the assembly ; nothing was heard but sobs and sighs ; 
every person present was in tears ; the religious sentiments 
which are generally awakened by the aspect of a great peril, 
filled all their hearts with an ardour and an enthusiasm they 
had never before experienced ; most of them embraced each 
other, and exchanged reciprocal exhortations to brave every 
danger; they mutually confessed their sins, and even ex- 
pressed a hope for the crown of martyrdom ; those who had 
meditated desertion the day before, swore that they would 
never abandon the city, but would die on the ramparts with 
their brethren and companions. 

The leaders and soldiers then went to the posts entrusted 
to their bravery. Such as were not employed in the defence 
of the ramparts and towers, made themselves ready to con- 
tend with their enemies, if they should gain access to the 
city ; barriers were erected in all the streets, and heaps of 
stones were collected on the roofs, and at the doors of 
houses, to crush the Mussulmans, or impede them on their 

Scarcely were these preparations finished, than the air 
resounded with the notes of trumpets and the beating of 
drums ; a horrible noise, proceeding from the plain, an- 
nounced the approach of the Saracens. After \aving dis- 
charged a multitude of arrows, they advanced confidently 
towards the wall they had broken through the day before. 
But they met with a resistance they did not expect ; many 
were slain at the foot of the ramparts ; but as their number 
momentarily increased, their constantly renewed attacks 


necessarily exhausted the strength of the Christians, at first 
in small numbers, and receiving no reinforcements. To- 
wards the end of the day, the Christians had scarcely the 
power to hurl a javelin or handle a lance. The wall began 
again to give way beneath the strokes of the rams ; then the 
patriarch, ever present at the point of danger, exclaimed in a 
supplicating tone, — " Oh, God ! surround us with a rampart 
that men cannot destroy, and cover us with the aegis of Thy 
power!" At hearing this, the soldiers appeared to rally 
and make a last effort ; they precipitated themselves upon 
the enemy, calling upon the blessed Jesus, with a loud voice. 
The Saracens, adds our chronicler, called upon the name of 
their Mahomet, and uttered the most fearful threats against 
the defenders of the Christian faith. 

Whilst this conflict was going on upon the ramparts, the 
city awaited in great dread the issue of the battle ; the 
agitation of men's minds gave birth to a thousand rumours, 
w 7 hich were in turn adopted and rejected. It was reported 
in the most remote quarters, that the Christians were vic- 
torious, and the Mussulmans had fled; it was likewise 
added, that a fleet with an army on board had arrived from 
the West. To these news, which created a momentary joy, 
succeeded the most disheartening intelligence; and in all 
these reports there was nothing true but that which an- 
nounced something inauspicious. 

It was soon known that the Mussulmans had entered the 
city. The Christian warriors who defended the gate of St. 
Antony, had not been able to resist the shock of the enemy, 
and fled into the streets, imploring the assistance of the 
inhabitants. These latter then remembered the exhortations 
of the patriarch ;- reinforcements hasten from all quarters ; 
the knights of the Hospital, with the valiant William at 
their head, reappear. A storm of stones falls from the t )ps 
of the houses ; iron chains are stretched across the passage 
of the Mussulman cavalry ; such as have been exhausted by 
fight recover their strength, and rush again into the melee ; 
they who have come to their assistance follow their steps, 
break through the Mussulman battalions, disperse them and 
pursue them beyond the ramparts. In every one of these 
combats was exhibited all that valour can accomplish when 
united with despair. On contemplating, on one side the 


inevitable ruin of a great city, and on the other the eflbrta 
of a small number of defenders who put off, day after day, 
scenes of destruction and death, we cannot help feeling both 
compassion and surprise. The assaults were renewed with- 
out ceasing, and always with the same fury. At the end of 
every day's conflict, the unfortunate inhabitants of Ptolemais 
congratulated themselves upon having triumphed over their 
enemies ; but on the morrow, when the sun appeared above 
the horizon, what were their thoughts when they beheld 
from the top of their ramparts the Mussulman army still 
the same, covering the plain from the sea to the foot of 
Karenba and Carmel ! 

The Saracens, on their part, became astonished at the 
resistance which all their attacks met with; so many com- 
bats, in which their innumerable multitude had not been 
able to obtain a decided advantage, began to give them 
discouragement. In the infidel army it was impossible to 
explain the invincible bravery of the Christian soldiers with- 
out assigning miraculous causes for it. A thousand extra- 
ordinary tales flew from mouth to mouth, and struck the 
imagination of the gross crowd of the Mussulmans. They 
believed they saw two men in every one of those with whom 
they fought ; * in the excess of their astonishment, they per- 
suaded themselves that every warrior who fell beneath their 
stroke was reborn of himself, and returned stronger and 
more terrible than ever to the field of battle. The sultan 
of Cairo appeared to have lost all hope of taking the city 
by assault. It is asserted that the renegadoes, whose apos- 
tacy made them desirous of the ruin of the Christian name, 
sought every means to revive his courage ; the sieur Bar- 
thelemi, who had sworn an eternal hatred to the Franks, 
ibllowed the Mussulman army;f this implacable deserter 

* A German chronicle of Thomas Ebendorft relates the miraculous 
stories that were circulated among the Saracens. According to this 
cr.Jonicle, when a Christian expired, another issued from his mouth, ex 
ore. There were two souls in every body ; in uno corpore duo fuerunt 

t The Arabian chronicles speak of the sieur de Telema or Barthelemi, 
who never ceased to provoke the fury of the Saracens. The Western 
chronicles say nothing of him ; one of them merely says that a Frank, 
banished from Ptolema'is on account of murder, took refuge with tha 
Miltan of Egypt, and pointed out to him the means of taking the city. 


negli-ctcd nothing to encourage the leaders, to reanimate 
them for battle, and awaken in their hearts the furious 
passions that constantly devoured his own. In addition to 
these, the imauns and sheiks, who were numerous in the 
Mameluke camps, pervaded the ranks of the army to inflame 
the fanaticism of the soldiers : the sultan threatened all who 
flew before the enemy with punishment, and offered im- 
mense rewards for those who should plant the standard of 
the Prophet, not upon the walls of Ptolemais, but in the 
centre of the city. 

On the 4th of May, a day fatal to the Christians, the 
signal for a fresh assault was given. At dawn the Mussul- 
man army was under arms, the sultan animating the soldiers 
by his presence. Both the attack and the defence were 
much more animated and obstinate than they had been for 
some days before. Among those who fell on the field of 
battle, there were seven Mussulmans for one Christian ; but 
the Mussulmans could repair their losses; those of the 
Christians were irreparable. The Saracens still directed all 
their efforts against the tower and the gate of St. Antony. 

They were already upon the breach, when the knights of 
the Temple formed the rash resolution of making a sortie, 
and attacking the camp of the Mussulmans. They found the 
enemy's army drawn up in order of battle ; after a bloody 
conflict, the Saracens repulsed the Christians, and pursued 
them to the foot of the ramparts. The grand master of the 
Temple was struck by an arrow and fell in the midst of his 
knights. The grand-master of the Hospital, at the same 
time received a wound which disabled him. The rout then 
became general, and all hope of saving the city was lost. 
There were scarcely a thousand Christian warriors left to 
defend the gate of St. Antony against the whole Mussul- 
man army. 

The Christians were obliged to yield to the multitude of 
their enemies ; they directed their course towards the house 
of the Templars, situated on the seacoast. It was then that 
a death-pall seemed stretched over the whole city of Ptole- 
mais : the Saracens advanced full of fury ; there was not a 
street that did not become the theatre of carnage ; a battle 
was fought for every tower, for every palace, and at the 
entrance of every public building ; and in all these combats ; 


bo many men were killed, that, according to the report of 
an historian, they walked upon the dead as upon a bridge. 

As if augry heaven gave the signal for destruction, 
a violent storm, accompanied by hail and rain, burst over 
the city ; the horizon was all at once covered with such 
impenetrable darkness, that the combatants could scarcely 
distinguish the colours they fought under, or see what 
standard floated over the towers ; all the scourges con- 
tributed to the desolation of Ptolemais ; the flames appeared 
in several quarters, without any one making an effort to 
extinguish them ; the conquerors only thought of destroying 
the city, the only object of the conquered was to escape. 
A multitude of people fled away at hazard, without knowing 
where they could hope to find an asylum. Whole families 
took refuge in the churches, where they were stifled by the 
flames, or cut to pieces at the foot of the altars ; nuns and 
timid virgins mixed with the multitude which wandered 
through the city, or disfigured with wounds their faces and 
their bosoms,* to escape the brutality of the conquerors : 
what was most deplorable in the spectacle then presented 

* Wadin, the author of a chronicle entitled Annates Minorum, torn. ii. 
p. 585, quotes a circumstance which St. Antonine relates in the third 
part of his Somrne Historique. After having said that the greater part 
of the French Cordeliers were killed by the Saracens he adds these 
words : " But not one of the virgins of St. Claire escaped." The abbess 
of this order, who possessed a masculine spirit, having learnt that the 
enemy had entered the city, called all her sisters together by the sound of 
the bell, and by the force of her words persuaded them to hold the 
promise they had made to Jesus Christ, their spouse, to preserve their 
chastity: "My dear daughters, my excellent sisters," said she, "we 
must, in this certain danger of life and modesty, show ourselves above 
our sex. The enemies are near to us ; not so much to our bodies as to 
our souls ; these barbarians, whn, after having satisfied their brutal lusts 
upot. all they meet, slay them with their swords. In this crisis we cannot 
hope to escape their fury by flight, but we can by a resolution, painful it 
is true, but sure. Most men are seduced by the beauty of women ; let 
us deprive ourselves of this attraction, let us seek a preservative for our 
modesty in that which serves as a cause for its violation. Let us destroy 
our beauty to preserve our virginity pure. I will set you the example ; 
let those who desire to meet their heavenly spc «se imitate their mistress." 
At these words she cut her nose off with a razor ; the others did the same, 
and boldly disfigured themselves, to present themselves more beautiful 
before Jesus Christ. By these means they preserved their purity, for the 
Saracens, on beholding their bleeding faces, conceived a disgust for them, 
and killed them all, without sparing one. 


in Ptolemais, was the desertion of the leaders, who aban- 
doned a people in the height of its despair. John de Gresly 
and Oste de Granson, who had scarcely shown themselves 
upon the ramparts during the siege, lied away at the very 
commencement of the battle. Many others, who had taken 
the oath to die, at the aspect of this geneial destruction, 
only thought of saving their lives, and threw away their 
arms to facilitate their flight. History however is able to 
contrast some acts of true heroism with these base deser- 
tions. Our readers cannot have forgotten the brilliant 
actions of William de Clement. Amidst the ruins of Ptole- 
mais, amidst the universal destruction, he still defied the 
enemy ; attempting to rally some Christian warriors, he rode 
to the gate of St. Antony, which the Templars had just 
abandoned ; though alone, he wished to renew the fight ; 
he pierced through the ranks of the Saracens several times, 
and returned, still fighting ; when he came back to the 
middle of the city, his war-horse (we copy a relation of the 
time) was much fatigued, as was he himself also ; the war- 
horse no longer answered to the spur, and stopped in the 
street, as unable to do any more. The Saracens shot Brother 
William to the earth with arrows ; and thus this loyal cham- 
pion of Jesus Christ rendered up his soul to his creator.* 

We cannot refuse our highest praise to the patriarch of 
Jerusalem, who, during the whole siege, shared all the 
dangers of the combatants; when he was dragged away 
towards the port by his friends, to evade the pursuit of the 
Mussulmans, the generous old man complained bitterlv at 
being separated from his flock in the hour of peril. * He 
was induced at last to embark, but as xe insisted upon 
receiving on board his vessel all that presented themselves, 
the boat was sunk, and the faithful pastor died the victim 
of his charity. 

The sea was tempestuous, the vessels could not approach 
close to land ; the shore presented a heart-rending spectacle : 
here a mother called upon her son, there a son implored the 

* Quand il fat revenu au milieu de la cite, son dextrier fut molt las. et 
lui-meme aussi ; le dextrier resista en contre !es esp^rons, et e'arresta dans 
la rue cpmme qui n'en pent pins. Les Sarrasins, a coups de flSchee, 
ruerent a terre frSre Guillaume; ainsi ce loyal champion de Jesus-Christ 
rendit lame a son Createur. 


assistance of his father ; many precipitated themselves into 
the waves, in despair; the mass of people endeavoured to 
gain the vessels by swimming ; some were drowned in the 
attempt, others were beaten otl" with oars. Several women 
of the noblest families flew in terror to the port, bringing 
with them their diamonds and their most valuable effects; 
they promised the mariners to become their wives, to give 
themselves and all their wealth up to them, if they would 
bear them away from this horrid scene ; most of them were 
conveyed to the Isle of Cyprus: no pity was shown but to 
such as had treasures to bestow in return ; thus, when tears 
had no effect upon hearts, avarice assumed the place of 
humanity, and saved some few victims. At length the 
Mussulman horsemen came down upon the port, and furi- 
ously pursued the Christians even into the waves : from that 
moment no one was able to escape the carnage. 

Still, amidst the city given over to pillage, and a prey 
to the flames and the barbarity of the conquerors, several 
fortresses remained standing, and were defended by some 
Christian soldiers; these unfortunate warriors died sword in 
hand, without any other witnesses of their glorious end but 
their implacable enemies. 

The castle of the Templars, in which all the knights who 
had escaped the steel of the Saracens had taken refuge, was 
soon the only place in the city that held out. The sultan 
having granted them a capitulation, sent three hundred 
Mussulmans to execute the treaty. Scarcely had these en- 
tered one of the principal towers, the tower of the grand- 
master, than they began to outrage the wome^ who had 
taken refuge there. " This violation of the rights of war 
irritated the Christian warriors to such a degree, that all 
the Saracens who had entered the tower were instantly 
immolated to their too just vengeance. The angry sultan 
ordered the siege to be prosecuted against the Christians in 
their last asylum, and that all should be put to the sword. 
The knights of the Temple and their companions defended 
themselves for several days : at length the tower of the grand 
master was undermined, and fell at the very moment the 
Mussulmans were mounting to an assault : they who at- 
tacked it and they who defended it were equally crushed by 


its fall ; women, children, Christian warriors, all who had 
come to seek refuge in the house of the Templars, perished, 
buried beneath the ruins. Every church of Ptolemais was 
plundered, profaned, and then given up to the flames. The 
sultan ordered all the principal edifices, with the towers and 
lamparts, to be demolished. 

The Mussulman soldiers expressed their joy by ferocious 
clamours ; which joy formed a horrible contrast with the 
desolation of the conquered. Amidst the tumultuous scenes 
of victory were mingled the screams of women, upon whom 
the barbarians were committing violence in their camp, and 
the cries of little children, borne away into slavery. A dis- 
tracted multitude of fugitives, driven from ruin to ruin, and 
finding no place of refuge, directed their course to the tent 
of the sultan, to implore his mercy ; Chalil distributed these 
Christian supplicants among his emirs, who caused them all 
to be massacred. Macrisi makes the number of these un- 
happy victims amount to ten thousand. 

After the taking and the destruction of Ptolemais, the 
sultan sent one of his emirs with a body of troops to take 
possession of the city of Tyre ; this city, seized with terror, 
opened its gates without resistance. The conquerors like- 
wise possessed themselves of Berytus, Sidon, and all the 
Christian cities along the coast. These cities, which had 
not afforded the least succour to Ptolemais, in the last great 
struggle, and which believed themselves protected by a 
truce, beheld their population massacred, dispersed, and led 
into slavery ; the fury of the Mussulmans extended even to 
the stones, they seemed to wisli to destroy the very earth 
which the Christians had trod upon; their houses, their 
temples, the monuments of their piety, their valour and 
their industry, everything was condemned to perish with 
them by the sword or by lire. 

Most of the contemporary chronicles attribute such great 
disasters to the sins of the inhabitants of Palestine, and in 
the scenes of destruction only behold the effect of that 
divine anger which fell upon Nineveh and Babylon. His- 
tory must not reject these easy explanations ; but it is, 
doubtless, permitted to penetrate deeper into human afMrs, 
and whilst recognising the intervention of Heaven in the 
Vol. III.— 5 


political destinies of nations, it is bound at least to endeavour 
to discover the means which Providence has employed to raise, 
to maintain for a time, and at length, to destroy empires. 

We have shown, in the course of our recital, to what point 
the ambition of the leaders, the want of discipline among 
the soldiers, the turbulent passions of the multitude, the 
corruption of morals, the spirit of discord and dissension, 
with egotism and selfishness, had urged on the kingdom of 
Jerusalem towards its decline and its destruction, we shall 
here offer but one general observation which belongs to our 
subject, and which ought not to be omitted in a history of 
the crusades. 

This power of the Franks had been cast upon Asia, as by 
a tempest, and could not support itself there by its own 
strength. The true support of the kingdom of Jerusalem 
remained in the West, and the principle of its preservation, 
the source of its power was foreign to itself; its safety 
depended upon a crowd of circumstances which its leaders 
could not possibly foresee, upon a crowd of events which 
passed far from it ; it depended above all upon feelings and 
opinions which prevailed among distant nations. Whilst 
the enthusiasm which had founded the Christian colonies 
was kept up in Europe, these colonies might hope to prolong 
their existence; the greatest of their calamities* was the 
indifference of the nations wliich dwelt beyond the seas ; the 
kingdom of Jerusalem began with the crusades, it was 
destined to terminate with them. 

A Mussulman chronicler, after having described the 
desolation of the coasts of Syria, and the expulsion of the 
citizens, terminates his account by this singular reflection : 
" Things, if it please God, will remain thus till the last 
judgment." The wishes of the Arabian historian, have 
nitherto been but too completely fulfilled ; the Mussulmans, 

* Among the marvellous accounts to which the destruction of the 
Christian colonies in Syria gave birth, history has preserved the follow- 
ing : — " In the year 1291, the house of the holy Virgin at Nazareth, 
in which she conceived the Son of God, was transported by angels to the 
top of a little mountain in Dalmatia, on the shore of the Adriatic Sea • 
three years afterwards it was transported to another shore of the same 
sea, in a wood which belonged to a widow named Loretto. There have 
been since built upon this spot a small ciiy and a magnificent, church, 
which still preserve the name of this widow." 


foi more than five centuries, have reigned over the countries 
occupied by the Christians, and with them has reigned the 
genius of destruction which presided over the wars we have 
described. The philosopher who contemplates the&e de- 
solated regions, these fields uncultivated and deserted, these 
towns in ruins, these cities without industry, without laws, 
and almost without inhaoitants, and who compares them 
with what they were in the times of the crusades, cannot 
avoid being deeply impressed by regret and compassion. 
"Without dwelling upon the motives which governed the 
actions of the Crusaders, without approving all that a fre- 
quently blind enthusiasm inspired, he must at least acknow- 
ledge that these distant expeditions did some good, and that 
if they sometimes carried desolation to the coasts of Syria, 
they also carried thither the germs of prosperity and civili* 




A.D. 1291—1396. 

We are now arrived at the end of the brilliant epoch oi 
the crusades, but our task is not yet completed ; for, as the 
curiosity of readers attaches a high value to the knowledge 
of the causes of events, in the same degree must it be de- 
sirous of knowing the influence that these events have had 
upon the laws, manners, and destinies of nations. After 
having witnessed the kindling of so many passions, which 
inflamed Europe and Asia during two centuries, who but 
must be curious to see in what manner these passions were 
progressively extinguished ; what were the political com- 
binations that weakened this universal enthusiasm ; and 
what were the interests, the opinions, and the institutions 
which ^ok place of the spirit of the holy wars. Here the 
philosophy of history comes at our wish to enlighten us 
with its lamp, and make clear to us the eternal course of 
human things. The end of a great revolution may be com- 
pared, in some sort, to the decline of the life of man, it is 
then that the fruits of long experience may be gathered, it 
is then that the past, with its remembrances and its lessons. 
is reflected as in a faithful mirror. 

"We will pursue, then, with confidence the work we have 
begun ; if, in the career we have still to go through, we may 
have little to say that will awaken the curiosity of common 
minds, enlightened spirits will, doubtless, find some interest, 
in following with us all these long reverberations of a revo- 
lution which deeply agitated the world, and whose conse- 
quences will be felt by remotest posterity. 


'When the newa of the taking of Ptolemais arrived in the 
West, Pope Nicholas IV. gave his whole attention to the 
preaching of a crusade. A bull addressed to all the faithful, 
deplored in pathetic terms the late disasters of the Christians; 
and the greater that these misfortunes were, the more fully 
did the pope offer the treasures of divine mercy and pon- 
tifical indulgences to new Crusaders. An indulgence of a 
hundred days was granted to those who would attend the 
sermons of the preachers of the crusade, or would come to 
the churches to listen to the groans of the city of God. 
The holy orators had permission to preach the war of the 
East in forbidden places ; and, that great sinners might be 
induced to become soldiers of the cross, the preachers re- 
ceived the faculty of granting certain absolutions that had 
till that time been reserved for the supreme authority of the 
Holy See. 

In many provinces, the clergy assembled in consequence 
of the directions of the pope, to deliberate upon the means 
of recovering Palestine. The prelates employed themselves 
in this pious mission with much zeal, and in order to secure 
the success of the enterprise, all united in conjuring the 
sovereign pontiff to labour without intermission in bring- 
ing about the reestablishment of peace among Christian 

Several monarchs had already taken the cross ; and Ni- 
cholas sent legates to press them to accomplish the vow they 
appeared to have forgotten. Edward, king of England, 
although he had levied the tenths upon the clergy for the 
expenses of the crusade, showed very little inclination to 
quit his states for the purpose of returning into Asia. The 
emperor Rodolph, who, in the conference of Lausanne, had 
promised the pope to make the voyage beyond the seas, 
died at this period, much more deeply engaged in the affairs 
of Germany, than in those of the Christians of the East. 
Nicholas IV. gave Philip to understand that the whole West 
had its eyes fixed upon him, and that his example might 
influence all Christendom ; the sovereign pontiff at the same 
time exhorted the prelates of the Church of Prance to join 
with him in persuading the king, the nobles, and the people, 
to take arms against the infidels. 

The father of the Christian world did not confine his 


endeavours to awakening the zea.. of the princes a ad nations 
of the West ; he sent apostolic messages to the Greek em 
peror, Andronicus Paheologus, the emperor of TrebizoncL 
and the kings of Armenia, Georgia, and Cyprus, in which 
he announced to them the approaching deliverance of the 
holy places. As the Christians in their distress had some- 
times turned their looks towards the Tartars, two mis- 
sionaries were sent to the coast of Argun, with directions 
to offer the Mogul emperor the benedictions of the sove- 
reign pontiff, and to solicit his powerful aid against the 

The exertions and exhortations of the pope did not suc- 
ceed in arming Europe against the Saracens ; contemporary 
chronicles say that Nicholas was not able to endure this 
indifference of the Christians, and that he died in despair. 
After his death, the conclave could not agree in the nomi- 
nation of a head of the Church, and the Holy See remained 
vacant during twenty-seven months. In this long interval, 
the pulpits which had resounded with the complaints of the 
faithful of the East, remained mute, and Europe forgot the 
last calamities of the Holy Land. 

In the East, the affairs of the Christians took a not more 
favourable turn. The discord that had arisen between the 
princes of the family of Hayton desolated Armenia, and gave 
it up to the invasion of the barbarians. The kingdom of 
Cyprus, the last asylum of the Eranks established in Asia, 
only owed a transitory security to the sanguinary divisions 
of the Mamelukes of Egypt, and appeared to be fully engaged 
by its own dangers. 

But whilst Christendom gave up all thoughts of the de- 
liverance of Jerusalem, the Tartars of Persia, to whom the 
pope had sent missionaries, all at once revived the hopes of 
the Christians, by forming a project for wresting Syria and 
Palestine from the hands of the Mussulmans ; an enterprize 
which only wanted to be a crusade, to have been proclaimed 
by the head of the Church. 

The Tartars, for a long time, threatened the Mussulman 
powers, whom the Christians regarded as their most cruel 
enemies. Argun, when he died, was busied in preparations 
for a formidable war. These preparations had spread such 
serious alarm among his enemies, that the disciples of Ma» 


hornet considered his death as one of the number of miracles 
operated in favour of Islamism. 

Among the successors of Argun, who were by turns the 
enemies and the friends of the Mussulmans, there was one 
able leader, who was warlike, and more animated by thfc 
thirst for conquests than the others. The Greek historian 
Pachymerus, and the Armenian Hayton, lavish the highest 
praises upon the bravery, the virtue, and even the piety of 
Cazan. This Mogul prince considered the Christians as 
his most faithful allies ; and in his armies, in which the 
Georgians served, the standard of the cross floated by the 
side of the imperial standard. The conquest of the banks 
of the Nile and the Jordan engaged all his thoughts. "When 
new cities were built in his states, he took a delight in 
bestowing upon them the names of Aleppo, Damascus, 
Alexandria, and of several other places in Egypt and Syria. 

Cazan quitted Persia at the head of an army ; and the 
king of Cyprus with the orders of St. John and the Temple, 
being made aware of his projects, joined his standards. A. 
great battle was fought near Emessa, which was decided 
against the sultan of Egypt, who lost the greater part of his 
army, and was pursued by the Armenian cavalry to the 
verge of the desert. Aleppo and Damascus opened their 
gates to the conquerors ; and if we may believe the historian 
Hayton, Christians once more entered Jerusalem, and the 
emperor of the Tartars visited in their company the tomb of 

It was from that place Cazan sent ambassadors to the 
pope and the sovereigns of Europe, to solicit their alliance, 
and to offer them possession of the Holy Land. Among 
the singularities of this period, our readers will no doubt be 
astonished to find a Mogul emperor endeavouring to revive 
the spirit of the crusades among the princes of Christendom ; 
and to see barbarians from the banks of the Irtis and the 
Jaxartes waiting upon Calvary and Mount Sion for the 
warriors of Prance, Germany, and Italy, in order to combat 
the enemies of Christ. The sovereign pontiff received the 
ambassadors of Cazan with distinction ; but could only 
answer their demands and propositions by promises doomed 
to remain unexecuted. The haughtiness with which Boni- 
face VIII., the successor of Nicholas, spoke to the Christian 


princes, together with his exhortations, which resembled 
commands more than entreaties, disgusted the sovereigns, 
particularly the king of France. Genoa, which then lay 
under an interdict, was the only city of Europe in which a 
crusade was seriously spoken of; and by a whimsical cir- 
cumstance, it was the ladies who gave the signal and set the 

We are still in possession of a brief of the pope's, in 
•which the holy father felicitates the ladies who had taken 
the cross, upon their following the steps of Cazan, the em- 
peror of the Tartars, ivho, although a pagan, had conceived 
the generous resolution of delivering the Holy Land. His- 
tory has preserved two other letters of the pope, one 
addressed to Porchetto, archbishop of Genoa, and the other 
to four Genoese nobles, who had undertaken to direct the 
expedition. " Oh, prodigy ! oh, miracle!" says he to Por- 
chetto ; " a weak and timid sex takes the advance of warriors 
in this great enterprise, in this war against the enemies of 
Christ, in this fight against the workers of iniquity. The 
kings and princes of the earth, regardless of all the solicita- 
tions that have been made to them, refuse to send succours 
to the Christians banished from the Holy Land, and here 
are women who come forward without being called ! Whence 
can this magnanimous resolution come, if not from God, the 
source of all strength and all virtue ! ! ! " The pope termi- 
nated his letter by directing the archbishop to call together 
the clergy and the people, and proclaim the devotion of the 
noble Genoese ladies, in order that their example may cast 
seeds of good works into the hearts of the people. 

This crusade, notwithstanding, never took place ; it was 
doubtless only preached to rouse the emulation of the 
knights, and the pope only directed his attention to it to 
give a lesson to the princes of Christendom, by w r hich they 
did not at all profit. The letters written upon this occasion 
by Boniface VIII. were preserved in the archives of the 
republic of Genoa for a long time. Even in the last cen- 
tury, the helmets and cuirasses which were to have been 
worn by the Genoese ladies in this expedition were exhi- 
bited in the arsenal of that city. 

The Tartars, in spite of their victories, were uot able to 


triumph over the constancy and discipline of the Mame- 
lukes, who, like themselves, had issued from the deserts of 
Scythia. That which had so often happened to the Franks 
in the height of the crusades, now happened to the Moguls ; 
they at first obtained great advantages, but events foreign 
to the Holy War recalled them into their own country, and 
forced them to abandon their conquests. Cazan was obliged 
to quit Syria and return into Persia ; he attempted a second 
expedition, which he again abandoned ; and he died in the 
third, amidst his triumphs, bearing with him to the tomb 
the last hopes of the Christians. 

The Armenian and Cyprian warriors left the holy city, 
the ramparts of which they had begun to re-erect, and which 
Mas doomed never again to see the standard of the cross 
unfurled within its walls. This last reverse of the Chris- 
tians of the East was scarcely known in Europe, where the 
name of Jerusalem was still pronounced in the congrega- 
tions of the faithful, but had no longer the power to awaken 
the enthusiasm of knights and warriors. At the Council of 
Vienna, Pope Clement V. proclaimed a crusade ; but in this 
assembly, in which the abolition of the Templars was deter- 
mined upon, Christians were exhorted very feebly to take 
up arms against the infidels. 

The sovereign pontiff was then much more busy in levying 
tenths than in preparations for a holy war. One thing 
worthy of remark is, that Clement found himself obliged on 
this occasion to recommend moderation to the collectors oi 
the tenths, and forbade them to seize the chalices, the boohs, 
or the ornaments of the churches. This prohibition of the 
pope's proves to us that violence had often been committed 
in collecting the tributes destined to the expenses of the 
holy wars ; this violence must have assisted in relaxing the 
zeal and ardour of nations for distant enterprises, as the 
results of which, Christian cities were ruined, and the altars 
of Christ plundered. 

Europe at that time awaited with great impatience the 
issue of an expedition undertaken by the knights of St. John 
of Jerusalem. A great number of warriors, excited by the 
relation of the adventures of chivalry, and by a passion for 
military glory, followed the Hospitallers in their enterprise; 


women even were desirous of taking a part n this expedi- 
tion, and sold their diamonds and jewels to provide for the 
expenses of the war. 

This army of new crusaders embarked at the port of 
Brendisi, and it soon became known in the AVest that the 
knights of the Hospital had taken possession of the isle of 

Renown published everywhere the exploits of the Hos- 
pitallers and their companions in arms ; and these exploits, 
and the admiration they inspired throughout Christendom, 
naturally turned the attention and remembrances of the 
faithful to the Templars, who were reproached with the 
disgraceful repose in which they forgot both the Holy Land 
and the tomb of Christ. 

The knights of the Temple, after having been received in 
the Isle of Cyprus, had returned to Sicily, where they were 
employed by the king in an expedition against Greece. 
United with the Catalans and some warriors from Italy, 
this warlike body took possession of Thessalonica, made 
themselves masters of Athens, advanced towards the Hel- 
lespont, and ravaged a part of Thrace. After this expe- 
dition the Templars disdained the possession of the cities 
which had fallen into their power, and leaving the conquered 
provinces to their companions in arms, they kept for them- 
selves the riches of the people they had subdued. It was 
then that, loaded with the spoils of Greece, they came to 
establish themselves in the West, particularly in .France, 
where their opulence, their luxury, and their idleness, scan- 
dalized the piety of the faithful, awakened envy, and pro- 
voked the hatred of both the people and the great. 

It does not enter into the plan of this work to dilate upon 
the process instituted against the Templars ; but if we have 
followed these noble knights in all their wars against the 
Mussulmans, — if we have been so long witnesses of their 
exploits, and, as it were, companions of their labours, we 
shall perhaps have acquired the right of expressing our 
opinion upon the accusations directed against them. We 
must at once declare that we have found nothing up to the 
period of the process, either in the chronicles of the East, 
or those of the West, which can give birth to or establish 
an idea, or even a suspicion, of the crimes imputed to them- 


How can it, in fact, be believed, that a warlike and neigioua 
order, which twenty years before had seen three hundred of 
its knights sacrifice themselves upon the ruins of Saphet, 
rather than embrace the Mussulman faith, that this order 
which had almost entirely buried itself under the ruins of 
Ptolemais, could possibly have contracted an alliance with 
infidels, outraged the Christian religion with horrible blas- 
phemies, and given up to the Saracens that Holy Land filled 
with its military glory. 

And at what period were all these odious reproaches 
addressed to the Templars ? at a time when Christendom 
seemed to have forgotten Jerusalem, and in which the name 
of Christ was not sufficient to awaken the bravery of a 
Christian warrior. No doubt the order of the Templars 
had degenerated from the austerity of early times, and that 
it was no longer animated by that spirit of humility and 
religion of which St. Bernard so much boasted ; no doubt 
some of the knights had brought with them that corruption 
which was then the reproach of all the Christians of the 
East, and of which Europe itself could offer them numerous 
examples ; no doubt, in short, some among them might 
have wounded morality by their conduct, and offended the 
religion of Christ by their irregularities ; but we do not 
hesitate to say that it was not the province of men to judge 
them, and that upon this occasion the merciful God of the 
Christians had not deputed his vengeance to human laws. 

The real error of the Templars was having quitted the 
East, and renounced the spirit of their institution, which 
was to receive and protect pilgrims, and to combat with the 
enemies of the Christian faith. This order, richer than the 
most powerful monarchs, and whose knights were as a 
regular army, always ready for fight, became, naturally, 
dreaded by the princes who granted them an asylum. The 
Templars had not been free from all reproach during their 
abode in Cyprus; accustomed to rule in Palestine, they 
must have contracted a habit of obedience with difficulty. 
The example of the Teutonic knights, who, after quitting 
the East, founded a power in the north of Europe which 
was dreaded by the neighbouring states, was not likely to 
reassure princes who mistrusted the warlike spirit, and the 
active and enterprising genius, of the knights of the Temple. 


SuiA, probably, were the motives which armed the policy 
rather than the justice of sovereigns against them ; nothing 
so clearly proves the fear they inspired as the rancour with 
which they were pursued, and the care that was taken to 
render them odious. As soon as their persecution began, 
they were only considered as enemies whom it was neces- 
sary to treat as criminals. As rigours without example 
preceded their abolition, it was necessary to justify that 
measure by fresh rigours. Vengeance and hatred finished 
that which the policy of princes had begun ; a policy which 
had, perhaps, reasons for being suspicious, but which had 
none for proving itself barbarous. It is thus we must ex- 
plain the tragical issue of this process, in which all the forms 
of justice were so violated, that even if the accusations be con- 
sidered proved, we must still regard the Templars as victims 
and their judges as executioners.* 

Philip-le-Bel had promised the council of Vienna to go 
into the East to combat the infidels, without doubt to pro- 
cure pardon for having pursued the knights of the Temple 
with so much inveteracy. Amidst the festivals that wel- 
comed the arrival of Edward in Paris, the Erench monarch 
and the princes of his family took the cross. Most of the 
nobles of his court followed his example, and the ladies pro- 
mised to accompany the knights to the holy war ; but no 
one took any measures for setting out. Promises were then 
made to cross the seas by persons who hau not any serious 
intention of leaving their homes. The vow to combat the 
Saracens appeared to be a vain ceremony, which engaged 
the swearer to nothing. It was taken wii/u perfect indiffer- 
ence, and violated in the same manner ; considered as not 
more sacred than the vows the knights made to the ladies. 

Philip-le-Bel died without ever having thought of accom- 
plishing his vow. Philip-le-Long, who succeeded him, enter- 
tained for a moment the project of going into the East. 
Edward, who had already several times sworn to fight the 
Saracens, at the same time renewed hxh promise. But the 
sovereign pontiff, whether that he douV.ed their sincerity, or 
whether that he stood in need of the concurrence of these 

* We are not able to add anything to th** 'ja-med researches of M 
Rayuouard upon the condemnati on of t he Templars. We refer out 
readers to his work, and 


two monarchs to reestablish tranquillity in Europe, and to 
resist the emperor of Germany, against whom he had armed 
him self with the thunders of the Church, or whether, in 
short, he thought the moment an unfavourable one, did not 
approve of their expedition into Syria. " Before thinking oi 
the voyage beyond the seas," wrote he to the king of England, 
" we would wish you to establish peace, first in your own 
conscience, then in your kiugdom." The father of the faith- 
ful represented to the king of France that the peace, so 
necessary to be firm before a crusade should be undertaken, 
was almost banished from Christendom. England and Scot- 
land were at war ; the states of Germany were divided 
against each other ; the king of Sicily and the king of Naple* 
were only bound by a truce of short duration ; reciproea, 
mistrust prevented the kings of Cyprus and Armenia from 
uniting their forces against the common enemy ; the kings 
of Spain were quite sufficiently employed in defending their 
states against the Moors ; the republics of Lombardy were 
all in arms against each other; all the cities of Italy were 
torn by factions, the provinces a prey to tyrants, the sea 
impracticable, the route by land thickly strewed with 
dangers. After having given this picture of the deplorable 
state of Christendom, the pope pressed Philip to inquire 
seriously how he could provide for the expenses of the war 
without ruining his people, or without attempting, he added, 
to do that which is impossible, as has been done before. 

The paternal advice of the sovereign pontiff, and some 
troubles which arose in the bosom of his kingdom, deter- 
mined Philip to postpone the execution of his project. A 
multitude of herdsmen and shepherds, of adventurers and 
vagabonds, setting up, as in the time of the captivity of 
St. Louis, the pilgrims' cross, assembled in many places, 
persecuted the Jews, and committed most culpable excesses. 
Force of arms and the full severity of the laws were obliged 
to be resorted to, in order to quell these disorders, of whicli 
the crusade was only a pretext. At the same time several 
provinces of France suffered greatly from an epidemic dis- 
ease ; the Jews were accused of having poisoned the wells, 
with the design of suspending the preparations for the holy 
war. They were accused of all sorts of plots against the 
Christians ; and the general fermentatioi was the greater 


from the suspicions being vague, and from the impossibility 
of proving or contradicting the crimes alleged. Policy could 
discover no other means of dissipating the troubles than 
that of entering into the passions of the multitude, and 
driving all the Jews out of the kingdom. Amidst these 
unhappy circumstances, Philip fell ill, and died regretting 
his not having accomplished the vow he had made of warring 
against the Saracens. 

In the state of abandonment to which the crusades had 
fallen, we are surprised at seeing the minds of the French 
still occasionally directed towards the delivery of the holy 
places. This last flickering of enthusiasm, which our an- 
cestors kept alight amidst the general indifference, was not 
confined to religious sentiments, but extended to a feeling 
of patriotism and national glory. It was Prance which had 
given the first impulsion to the holy wars, as we have several 
times observed. The name of Palestine, the names of 
St. Jean d'Acre or Ptolemais, and that of Jerusalem appealed 
no less to patriotism than to piety. Although the two ex- 
peditions of Louis IX. had been unsuccessful, the example 
of the holy monarch was a great authority for the princes of 
his family, and often carried their thoughts to the places 
where he had suffered the glory of martyrdom. The memory 
of his exploits and even of his misfortunes, the memory of 
the heroes who had died on the banks of the Nile and the 
Jordan, interested all the families of the kingdom ; and the 
city in which reposed the ashes of Godfrey and Baldwin of 
Bouillon, those distant regions in which so many glorious 
battles had been fought, could not be forgotten by French 

After the death of Philip-le-Long, ambassadors arrived in 
Earope from the king of Armenia ; this prince, abandoned 
by the Tartars, and threatened by the Mamelukes of Egypt, 
requested the assistance of the West. The pope wrote to 
Charl ^s-le-Bel, the successor of Philip-le-Long, and conjured 
him to take up arms against the infidels. Charles received 
with respect the counsels and the exhortations of the sove- 
reign pontiff, and was engaged in preparations for a crusade 
when the succession of the county of Flanders caused a war 
to break out in the Low Countries. From that time Franc© 


became attentive only to the events that were passing before 
her eyes, and in which her own independence and safety 
were deeply interested. At the approach of death, and at a 
time when the kingdom had no longer anything to fear, 
Charles-le-Bel remembered his oath, and his last thoughts 
were directed towards the deliverance of Jerusalem. " I 
bequeath," says he in his will, "to the Holy Land fifty 
thousand livres, to be paid and delivered when the general 
passage shall be made ; and it is my intention, if the passage 
be made in my lifetime, to go thither in person."* It was 
thus that at this period the spirit of the crusades still occa- 
sionally showed itself; most of the testamentsf then made 
by princes and rich men (these words designated the nobi- 
lity) contained some dispositions in favour of the Holy 
Land ; but we must add, also, that the facility of purchasing 
the merit of pilgrimage for money must necessarily have 
greatly diminished the number of pilgrims and Crusaders. 

Whilst dying people were thus prodigal of their treasure 
for the holy war, nobody took up arms. There still, how- 
ever, remained some men endowed with a vivid imagination 
and an ardent temperament, who made incredible efforts to 
rekindle an enthusiasm on the point of being extinguished. 
The greater the indifference of nations, the greater were the 
ardour and zeal displayed by these men in their preachings. 
Among these latter apostles of the crusades, history cites 
the name of Raymond Lulli, one of the luminaries of the 
schools of the middle ages. % 

Lulli was possessed during his life but by one thought, 

* This article of the will of Charles-le-Bel is related by Ducange. It 
has been remarked that it is dated the 24th of October, 1324, and that 
Charles died in 1327 : we may suppose that the date is incorrect, or that 
Charles-le-Bel did not perform his vow. 

f We have before us a will made at this period, in which a gentleman 
of the name of Castellen, already illustrious in the times of the crusades, 
gives a sum for the expenses of the holy war. We regret we are not able 
to publish the text of this document, which has been communicated to us 
by the family of the testator. 

% A memoir on the part which the Spaniards took in the crusades, read 
at the Academy of Madrid, describes the labours, the adventures, and 
wanderings of Raymond Lulli. The Histoire Ecclesiastigue of Fleury 
may likewise be consulted. 


and that was, to combat and convert the infidels* It was 
upon the proposition of this zealous missionary that the 
council of Vienna decided that chairs should be established 
in the universities of Rome, Bologna, Paris, and Salamanca, 
for instruction in the languages of the East. He presented 
to the pope several memorials upon the means of annihilating 
the worship of Mahomet and the domination of his disciples. 
Lulli, constantly occupied with his project, made a pil- 
grimage into Palestine, travelled through Syria, Armenia, 
and Egypt, and came back to Europe to describe the mis- 
fortunes, the captivity, and the disgraces of the Christians 
beyond the seas. On his return, he visited all the courts of 
the West, seeking to communicate to sovereigns the senti- 
ments by which he was animated. Einding his efforts were 
vain, his zeal carried him to the coast of Africa, where he 
endeavoured to convert by his eloquence those same Saracens 
against whom he had invoked the arms of Christian war- 
riors. He returned to Europe, passed through Italy, 
Erance, and Spain, preaching everywhere the necessity for 
another crusade. He embarked again for Jerusalem, and 
brought back, as the fruit of his pilgrimage, some useful 
notions upon the best manner of attacking the countries of 
the infidels. All his labours, all his researches, all his 
prayers, produced no effect upon the indifference of kings 
and nations. Lulli, at length despairing of seeing his pro- 
iects realised, and deploring the blindness of his contem- 
uoraries, retired to the island of Majorca, which was his native 
country. Erom the depth of his retreat he still issued me- 
morials upon an expedition to the East ; but solitude soon 
wearied his ardent and restless spirit, and he quitted 
Majorca, no more to waste his words upon the princes of 
Europe, who would not listen to him, but to return to the 
Mussulmans, whom he still hoped to lead to the Gospel by 
his eloquence. He repaired a second time to Africa, and at 
length suffered, as the reward of his preachings, the torments 
and the death of martyrs. 

Whilst Lulli was striving to direct the efforts of the 
faithful to the deliverance of the holy places, a noble Vene- 

* We have taken these particulars of Raymond Lulli from the Spanish 
dissertations upon the crusades, which we have already quoted in thf 
preceding book. 


fcian likewise consecrated his life and his talents to the revival 
of the spirit of the crusades. Sanuti thus describes the 
first audience he obtained of the sovereign pontiff: " I am 
not sent hither," said he, " by any king, any prince, or any 
republic ; it is from the impulse of my own mind that I 
come to throw myself at the feet of your holiness, and to 
propose to you an easy means of crushing the enemies of 
the true faith, of extirpating the sect of Mahomet, and 
of recovering the Holy Land.* My voyages in Cyprus, 
Armenia, and Egypt, together with a long sojourn in Ro- 
mania, have furnished me with knowledge and information 
that may be turned to the profit of Christianity." On 
finishing these words, Sanuti presented two books to the 
pope, one covered with red and the other with yellow, and 
four geographical charts, the first of the Mediterranean Sea, 
the second of the earth and of the sea, the third of the 
Holy Land, the fourth, of Egypt. The two books of the 
noble Venetian contained the history of the Christian esta- 
blishments in the East, and wise counsels respecting the 
undertaking of another crusade. His zeal, enlightened by 
experience, did not allow him to neglect the least detail 
upon the route that was to be followed, upon the point that 
it would be best to attack, upon the number of troops, and 
upon the fitting out and provisioning of the vessels. He 
advised that operations should commence by landing in 
Egypt, and weakening the power of the sultans of Cairo. 
The most certain means of effecting this latter purpose was 
to obtain directly from Bagdad the Indian merchandises 
which European commerce was accustomed to get by the 
cities of Alexandria and Damietta. Sanuti, at the same 
time, advised the sovereign pontiff to redouble the severity 
of his censures against those who carried into Egypt arms, 
metals, timber for building, or anything that could assist in 
equipping fleets or arming the Mameluke soldiery. 

The pope bestowed great praises upon Sanuti, and fur- 
nished him with introductions to several sovereigns of 
Europe. The Christian princes, particularly the king of 
Erance, received him with kindness, lauded his piety, and 
admired his talents — but took care not to follow his advice. 

* See what Sanuti himself relates in his book, from which we shall take 
jaaany extracts. 


Sanuti addressed himself likewise to the emperor of Con- 
stantinople, to engage him in an expedition against the 
infidels ; he sought everywhere, and by every means, to raise 
up enemies against the Mussulmans, and passed his life in 
preaching a crusade, without obtaining any more success 
than Raymond Lulli had done. 

The zeal of the two men of whom we have just spoken 
can only be compared to that of Peter the Hermit ; they 
were both much more enlightened than the cenobite Peter, 
but they could get no one to listen to them, and the fruit- 
lessness of their efforts proves how much the times were 
changed. Peter preached in cities and in public places, and 
the multitude, inflamed by his discourses, led away and 
awakened the feelings of the great. In the times of Lulli 
and Sanuti, sovereigns alone could be addressed, and sove- 
reigns, occupied by their own affairs, showed very little 
interest for projects which only concerned Christendom in 
general. In the early times of the crusades, the deliverance 
of the holy places was a matter of importance ; simply to 
pronounce the name of Jerusalem was sufficient to appease 
differences among princes ; later, the least interest of jea- 
lousy, ambition, or self-love had the power to arrest the 
progress of, or completely put an end to, a holy enterprise. 
Frequently, in the twelfth century, popes and simple 
preachers, arming themselves with the authority of Christ, 
commanded princes to take up the cross and set out for the 
East ; in the thirteenth, but more particularly in the four- 
teenth century, it was necessary to pray and solicit ; and, 
generally, the most humble prayers produced no effect.* 

Thus, the groans of Sion no longer melted hearts, and 
Christian eloquence was powerless against infidels. In order 
to awaken attention, it was necessary to mingle something 
of profane grandeur with the pathetic exhortations of reli- 
gion ; * thus, Europe, which scarcely listened to the mission- 

* It appears almost incomprehensible that our author should, in these 
reflections, omit that which must strike every one else as the principal 
cause of the change he affects to lament. In the days of Peter the 
Hermit, a crusade was a golden day-dream, in which ambition and cupi- 
dity indulged as strongly as piety or superstition. But experience had 
not only proved it to be "a baseless fabric," but a cruel and a bitter 
scourge to all who had embarked in one. The first Crusaders were visionarj 
—later ones must have been mad. — Trans. 


aries of the cross, appeared, all at once, to be aroused by 
the arrival of tlie king of Cyprus, soliciting, in person, the 
assistance of Christian princes. The pope, who was then 
at Avignon, eagerly announced to the faithful that an 
Eastern king was come to his court, and conjured the war- 
riors of the West to take up arms against the Saracens. 
The king of Cyprus and Jerusalem described the invasions 
of the Mamelukes, the progress of the Turks, the dangers 
which surrounded his kingdom, that of Armenia, and the 
isle of Rhodes, and omitted no instance of the numerous 
persecutions endured by the Christians who remained in 
Syria and Egypt. These sad recitals, coming from a royal 
mouth, awakened some generous sentiments in men's minds ; 
a league was formed between the sovereign pontiff, the king 
of France, and the republic of Venice ; and the pope pub- 
lished a bull by which he ordered the bishops to cause a 
crusade to be preached. 

Philip of Valois convoked an assembly at Paris, in the 
Holy Chapel, at which were present John, king of Bchemia, 
the king of Navarre, the dukes of Burgundy, Brittany, 
Lorraine, Brabant, and Bourbon, with most of the prelates 
and barons of the kingdom. Peter de la Palue, named 
patriarch of Jerusalem, and who had recently passed through 
Egypt and Palestine, harangued the auditory upon the 
necessity for attacking the infidels, and stopping the pro- 
gress of their domination in the East. Philip, who had 
already taken the cross, renewed the vow he had made, and 
as he was preparing to quit his kingdom, the barons took 
the oath of obedience to his son Prince John, by raising 
their hands towards the crown of thorns of Christ. John 
of Bohemia, the king of Navarre, and a great number of 
princes and nobles, received the cross from the hands of the 
archbishop of Rouen. The crusade was preached throughout 
the kingdom, "and gave to all noble lords," says Eroissart, 
" great delight, particularly to those who wished to pass 
their time in arms, and knew no means then of employing it 
otherwise more reasonably."* 

The king of Erance sent to the pope the archbishop of 

* Et venoist a tous seigneurs moult grande plaisance, et specialement 
t ceux qui vouloient le temps dispenser en armes, et qui adonc ne la 
eavoient mie bien raisonnablement employer ailleurs. — Froissart. 


Rouen, who afterwards ascended the chair of St. Peter 
under the name of Clement VI. The archbishop, in full 
consistory, pronounced a discourse upon the crusade, and 
declared, in the presence of divine majesty, to the holy 
father, to the church of Rome and all Christendom, that 
Philip of Valois would set out for the East in the month of 
August, in the year 1336. The pope felicitated the French 
monarch upon his resolution, and granted him the tenths 
during six years. These circumstances are related by Philip 
Villain, who was at Avignon at the time, and who, after 
having spoken in his history of the promise made in the 
name of the king of Prance, exclaims : — " And I, the 
historian, I heard the oath pronounced which I have just 

Philip gave orders that a fleet, assembled in the port ot 
Marseilles, should be made ready to receive forty thousand 
Crusaders. Edward III., to whom the crusade offered an 
easy means of imposing taxes, promised to accompany the 
king of Prance with an army in the pilgrimage beyond the 
seas. Most of the republics of Italy, with the kings of 
Arragon, Majorca, and Hungary, engaged to supply money, 
troops, and vessels for the expedition. In the midst of their 
preparations, the Crusaders lost him who directed and was 
the soul of the enterprise. Everything was interrupted by 
the death of Pope John XXL, and in this place it becomes 
necessary to point out one of the causes which rendered 
abortive, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, so many 
attempts to carry the war into the East. As the successors 
of St. Peter scarcely ever succeeded to the pontifical chair 
before they were of an advanced age, they were wanting in 
the energy and activity necessary for exciting the Christian 
world, directing distant wars, and kindling an enthusiasm, 
formerly so difficult to be restrained, now so difficult to be 
revived. Each crusade requiring long preparations, the life 
of one sovereign pontiff scarcely sufficed for the completion 
of such great enterprises. It most frequently happened, 
that he who had preached a holy war could not behold the 
departure of the Crusaders ; and that he who saw the Chris* 
tian armies set out, never lived long enough to follow them 
through their expeditions, conduct them in their triumphs, 
or succour them in their reverses. Thus we never find in 


the projects which circumstances had formed, that spirit of 
sequence and wholeness necessary to secure execution and 
success. Add to this, that since the popes had been esta- 
blished at Avignon, and their apostolic seat was no longer in 
the centre of Christendom, they did not exercise the same 
ascendancy over the distant provinces, and their authority 
every day lost something of that influence attached to the 
name only of Rome, considered, during so many centuries, 
the capital of the world. 

The news of a fresh crusade having reached the East, the 
Christians who dwelt in Syria or Egypt, with pilgrims and 
European merchants, were exposed to all sorts of persecu- 
tions. The sultan of Cairo and several Mussulman princes 
assembled armies for the purpose of resisting the Crusaders, 
or to go and attack the Christians in the West. A de- 
scendant of the Abassides, who resided in Egypt, and 
assumed the title of caliph, sent letters and messages in 
every direction to engage all true believers to take up arms ; 
promising the martyrs of the Mussulman faith that they 
should be present at delicious banquets, and that each of 
them should have seven virgins for wives. 

The aim of this crusade, preached in the name of the 
prophet of Mecca, was to penetrate into Europe by the way 
of Gibraltar ; the Mussulman warriors swore to annihilate 
Christianity, and to convert all the Christian temples into 
stables. In proportion as the Saracens were thus becoming 
inflamed for an expedition, which they also called a holy 
war, Europe beheld the zeal of the princes and warriors who 
had sworn to combat the enemies of Christ, grow fainter 
and fainter, and at length die away. When Benedict XI. 
succeeded John XXL, he found the minds of all changed ; 
hatreds, mistrusts and jealousies had taken place of a tran- 
sitory and insincere enthusiam ; it was in vain that Christian^ 
from the East described the persecutions th^y had under- 
gone and the preparations of the infidels against the nations 
of the West ; it was in vain that the pope continued his 
exhortations and his prayers ; the greater that t^ie reason 
was for undertaking a crusade, the more indifferent people 
became, and the more all ranks seemed to shun the idea of 
contending with the Saracens. It was at this period that 
Brother Andrew of Antioch came to Avignon with the 


design of imploring the aid of the pope and the princes of 
Christendom. Philip of Valois had come to the court of 
the sovereign pontiff, to inform him that he should defer 
his voyage into the East, and had mounted his horse to 
return to Paris, when Brother Andrew presented himself 
before him. and said : " Art thou Philip king of Prance, 
who promised God and his Church to deliver the Holy 
Land?" The king answered, "Yes." Then the monk re- 
sumed : " If thy intention is to perform that which thou 
hast promised, I implore Jesus Christ to direct thy steps., 
and grant thee the victory ; but if the enterprise thou hast 
commenced is only to turn to the shame and misfortunes of 
Christians, if thou art not, with the help of God, determined 
to finish it, if thou hast deceived the holy Catholic Church, 
divine justice will fall heavily on thy family and on thy 
kingdom, aud the blood which the news of thy expedition 
has caused to flow will rise up against thee." The king 
surprised at this strange appeal, answered : " Brother An- 
drew, come with us:" and Brother Andrew replied without 
being moved, and in an inspired tone : " If thou wast going 
into the East, I would go before thee, but as thou art going 
to the West, go on ; I will return to perform penance for 
my sins in the land thou hast abandoned." 

Such was even then the authority of the orators who 
spoke in the name of Jerusalem, that the last words of 
Brother Andrew left trouble and uneasiness in the mind 
of a powerful monarch ; but fresh political storms had re- 
cently broken out. Edward III. had laid claim to the 
throne of the Capets, and his ambition was the signal for a 
war which lasted more than a century, and brought the 
greatest calamities upon Prance. Philip, attacked by a 
formidable enemy, was obliged to renounce his expedition 
beyond the seas, and employ, for the defence of his own 
kingdom, the troops and fleets that he had collected for the 
deliverance of the heritage of Christ. 

The pope did not, however, abandon the project of the 
holy war. The poet Petrarch, who was then at Avignon, 
proved one of the most ardent apostles of the crusade. This 
illustrious poet, whom we are now accustomed to consider 
only as the ingenious singer of the praises of the fair Laura, 
and who was then deemed the most worthy interpreter of 


the wisdom of the ancients, and one of the great spirits of 
his age, addressed an eloquent letter to the Doge of Venice, 
to induce him to enter into a war against the Mussulmans. 
Some of the states of Italy united their forces to make an 
expedition into the East. A chronicle of the counts of 
Ason relates that a great number of Crusaders, clothed in 
white, with a red cross, marched out of Milan ; and that a 
fleet, equipped by the sovereign pontiif, passed through the 
Archipelago, and surprised the city of Smyrna, in which the 
Crusaders were themselves quickly besieged by the Turks. 
The pope's legate and several knights perished in a sortie, 
which circumstance determined the sovereign pontiff to 
employ new efforts to revive a zeal for the crusade. It was 
at this period that the dauphin of Viennois, Humbert II. , 
resolved to take the cross, and came to Avignon, to sup- 
plicate the pope to allow him to be the captain of the holy 
voyage against the Turks, and against the faithless vassals 
of the church of Koine. Humbert easily obtained all he 
asked, and returned to his states to make preparations for 
his expedition. He alienated his domains, he sold privileges 
to the nobility, and immunities to his cities ; he levied con- 
siderable sums upon the Jews, and upon the Italian mer- 
chants established in the Viennois ; he exacted a tribute 
from all his subjects who would not accompany him to the 
crusade, and having embarked, with a hundred men-at-arms, 
he went to seek in Asia either the fortune of a conqueror or 
the glory of a martyr. He found neither the one nor the 
other, and returned to Europe without renown and bur- 
dened with debts. History represents Humbert as a weak, 
inconstant and irresolute prince. He ruined himself, in the 
first place, by his dissipation, then by the expenses of the 
crusade ; weary of the world and its affairs, he finished by 
abandoning to the crown of France his principality, which 
he had pledged to Philip of Valois, and retired to a monas- 
tery of Dominican Eriars In order to console him for not 
having conquered Egypt _r any other country, the pope 
bestowed upon him the title of patriarcli of Alexandria ; and 
the king of Erance, to make him forget Dauphiny, named 
him archbishop of Hheims. 

Such were the events and the consequences of the crusade 
occasioned in Europe by the arrival of Hugh of Lusignan, 


king of Cyprus. Some years having glided away, tHs prince 
came again to solicit the aid of the sovereign pontiff; at thia 
period most of the sovereigns were in a state of war, and the 
pope not being able to do anything for the king of Cyprus, 
conceived the singular idea of naming him tribune of Home. 
Hugh of Lusignan accepted this function, and died in Italy, 
Without having been able to send any succour to the East. 

War was not then the only scourge that ravaged the 
world ; the horrors of the plague were added to the destruc- 
tion of arms ; this contagion which was called the black 
plague, and which took its rise upon the great level plain of 
Tartary, extended its devastations over all the countries of 
the East and West, and in a few years carried off more than 
thirteen millions of men. Historians have remarked that 
this scourge in its funeral march followed the footsteps of 
the merchants who brought into Europe the productions of 
India, and of the pilgrims who returned from Palestine. 

As soon as pestilence had ceased its ravages, war resumed 
all its fury. The deplorable state in which discord had 
plunged Europe at that time, and particularly France, must 
have made people regret the periods when the preaching of 
a crusade imposed silence upon all passions and suspended 
all hostilities. The pope had several times undertaken to 
reestablish peace : he at first addressed supplications to the 
English monarch ; he afterwards threatened him with the 
thunders of the Church, but the voice of the father of the 
faithful was lost in the din of arms. 

Philip of Yalois died amidst the terrible struggle he had 
to maintain against England. The loss of the battle of 
Poictiers and the captivity of King John became the signal 
for the greatest troubles that afflicted the kingdom of 
France in the middle ages. The plots of the king of 
Navarre, the intrigues of the great, the disorders of the 
people, the fury of factions, the sanguinary scenes of the 
Jacquerie, spread terror and desolation in the capital and 
through the provinces. "When France had completed the 
exhaustion of her treasures by paying the ransom of King 
John, the presence of her monarch was not able to restore 
to her the repose she required to repair her misfortunes. 
The soldiers of both nations, who were disbanded without 
pay, and who found themselves without an asylum, formed 


themselves into armed bands, and under the name of white 
companies, pervaded the kingdom, braving the orders of the 
king and the excommunications of the pope, and carrying 
wherever they went license, murder and devastation. All 
that had escaped the sword of the English, and the avidity 
of the collectors of the imposts, became the prey of these 
brigands, whose numbers increased in proportion with their 
impunity and their excesses. The fields remained uncul- 
t ivated ; all commercial pursuits were interrupted ; and ter- 
ror and misery reigned in the cities. Thus the suspension 
of hostilities had brought no relief to the evils of nations, 
and the disorders which broke out during the peace were 
more insupportable than those which had been endured 
during the war. 

It was in these unfortunate circumstances that Peter, 
the son of Hugh of Lusignan, came, after the example of his 
father, to solicit the assistance of the Christian princes 
against the infidels, and caused Urban V. to adopt the project 
of a new crusade. Perhaps he hoped that the state of con- 
fusion in which Prance was plunged offered him a means of 
raising troops, and that he might turn against his enemies of 
the East, all the furies of w r ar which desolated the kingdom. 

Peter of Lusignan proposed to attack the power of the 
sultans of Cairo, whose dominions extended to Jerusalem. 
Christendom had at that time more redoubtable enemies 
among the Mussulman nations than the Mamelukes of 
Egypt. The Turks, who had become masters of Asia 
Minor, had recently passed the Hellespont, pushed their 
conquests as far as Mount Hemus, and placed the seat of 
their empire at Adrianople. That was the enemy that 
doubtless ought to have been attacked, but the Turks did 
not as yet inspire serious alarm, except in the countries 
they had invaded or menaced. At the court of Avignon, at 
which were assembled the king of Cyprus, the king of 
France, and the king of Denmark, there was no mention 
made of the invasion of Romania, or of the dangers of Con- 
stantinople, but of the loss of the Christian colonies in Syria, 
and of the captivity in which the city of Christ was stiU held. 

Peter of Lusignan spoke with enthusiasm of the war 
against the infidels, and of the deliverance of the holy 
places ; King John did not listen to him without emotion, 

Vol. Ill— 6 


and finished by forgetting his own misfortunes, to interest 
himself about those of the Christians beyond the seas. 
Waldemar III., king of Denmark, was equally affected by 
the discourse and the accounts of the king of Cyprus. The 
pope preached the crusade before the three monarchs : it 
was holy week ; the remembrance of the sufferings of Christ 
appeared to add authority to the words of the pontiff, and 
when he deplored the misfortunes of Jerusalem, the princes 
who listened to him could not refrain from shedding tears, 
and swore to go and fight the Saracens. 

We may, doubtless, believe that the king of France was 
led to take the cross by a sentiment of piety, and by the 
eloquence of the pope ; but we must likewise suppose that 
the counsels of policy were not entirely foreign to this 
determination. The spirit of the holy war, if once really 
awakened, would necessarily go far to appease, if not ex- 
tinguish, the discords and passions kindled by revolution 
and civil war. King John might entertain the hope of 
uniting under the standard of the crusade, and seducing to 
follow him beyond the seas, the white companies, over whom 
he could exercise no authority; and the sovereign pontiff 
was no less anxious to get rid of these bands of brigands, 
who braved his spiritual power, and threatened to make him 
a prisoner in Avignon. 

Several great nobles, John of Artois, the count of Eu, the 
count Damirartin, the count de Tancarville, and Marshal 
Boucicault, followed the example of King John. The Car- 
dinal Talleyrand de Perigord was named legate of the pope 
in the crusade. The king of Denmark promised to unite 
his forces with those of the Trench. To encourage his zealj 
the sovereign pontiff gave him a fragment of the true cross, 
and several other relics, the sight of which would constantly 
remind him of the holy cause he had sworn to defend. 
Waldemar III. had come to \ he court of Avignon to place 
his kingdom under the protection of the Holy See ; he took 
all the oaths required of him ; but the oulls he obtained from 
Urban, as the price of his submission, had no efficacy in 
restoring peace to his dominions, and the troubles which 
followed his return soon made him forget his promises 
regarding the holy war. 

The king of Cyprus, with most pressing recommer dationa 


from the pope, visited all the courts of Europe ; the zeal 
and the cnivalric eloquence of the hero of the cross were 
universally admired; but he derived nothing but vague 
promises from his enterprise, and received nothing but vain 
felicitations for a devotion which found no imitators. 

The king of France was the only one of all the Christian 
princes who appeared to engage himself earnestly in the 
crusade. Urban V., however, showed but little confidence 
in the firmness of his resolution, as he felt it necessary to 
threaten with excommunication all who should seek to 
divert him from the holy enterprise. But all these pre- 
cautions of the pope, with the example of the king and the 
indulgences of the crusade, were powerless in inducing the 
nation to take arms, or in persuading the white companies 
to leave the chamber, as they called the kingdom they deso- 
lated with their brigandages. The time fixed for the expe- 
dition was very near at hand, and nothing was ready ; there 
was neither an army nor a fleet. It was at this period King 
John died in London, whither he had returned to offer 
himself as an hostage for the duke of Anjou, who had 
escaped from prison; and perhaps also to get rid of the 
cares of an enterprise which he had no means of executing 
or directing with success. 

The pope trembled in Avignon, and was compelled to use 
his utmost efforts to free himself from these formidable 
bands, whose leaders styled themselves the friends of God 
and the enemies of all the ivorld. History says that he em- 
ployed in his contests with them the small quantity of money 
which had been raised for the crusade, and that this excited 
violent murmurs. In this state of things, Charles IV., em- 
peror of Germany, in concert with the king of Hungary, 
proposed to take the companies into their pay, and send 
them against the Turks. If this project had been executed, 
we should have been able to join the name of Bertrand 
Puguesclin to the glorious names that adorn the pages of 
this history ; the Breton hero was to have been the leader 
of the troops destined to contend with the Mussulmans on 
the banks of the Danube. The sovereign pontiff himself wrote 
several letters to him to induce him to take part in this 
crusade ; but the project of Charles 1Y. was in the end aban- 
doned, and Duguesclin led the white companies into Spain. 


The king of Cyprus, however, had suceeeded in enrolling 
under his banners a great number of adventurers of all sorts 
and conditions, men who were accustomed to live amidst 
perils, and who were attracted by the hope of pillaging the 
richest countries of the east. The republic of Venice did 
not disdain to take part in an expedition from which her 
commerce was likely to derive great advantages. Peter of 
Lusignan likewise received succours from the brave knights 
of Rhodes, and, on his return to the isle of Cyprus, he em- 
barked at the head of ten thousand men to realize his pro- 
jects of conquests over the infidels. The Crusaders, to 
whom the pope sent a legate, went to attack Alexandria, 
which they found almost without defence. When the place 
had fallen into their power, the king of Cyprus wished that 
they should fortify themselves in it, and there await the 
armies of Cairo ; but his soldiers and allies could not resist 
their inclination to plunder a flourishing city, and fearing to 
be surprised by the Mamelukes, they set fire to Alexandria, 
and abandoned it on the fourth day after the conquest. 
Without subduing the Mussulmans, they irritated them. 
After the precipitate departure of the Crusaders, the 
Egyptian people, listening to nothing but hatred and ven- 
geance, indulged in all sorts of violence against the unfor- 
tunate Christians who dwelt in Egypt. By the orders of 
the sultan of Cairo, everything was seized that belonged to 
the Venetians ; and the Mamelukes, having prepared a fleet, 
threatened, in their turn, to make descents upon the isles of 
Khodes and Cyprus. Again the nations of the West were 
applied to ; the pope intreated all Christian princes to take 
arms against the infidels ; but not one of them would assume 
the cross, and the king of Cyprus was left alone, to fight out 
the war he had provoked. 

To the ardour for crusades, in the minds of European 
warriors, had succeeded a passion for distinguishing and 
enriching themselves by chivalric enterprizes and adven- 
turous expeditions, in which, however, some remembrances 
of the holy wars were always mingled. The Grenoese having 
formed the project of making war upon the coasts of Barbary, 
whose piratical inhabitants infested the Mediterranean, 
demanded a leader and troops of the king of France. On 
the report alone of such an enterprize, a crowd of warriors, 


eager to signaliz ? their bravery, issued from all the pro* 
vinces ; the count d' Auvergne, the sieur de Coucy, Guy do 
la Trimouille, and Messire Jean de Vienne, admiral of France, 
solicited the honour of combating the infidels in Africa ; 
fourteen hundred knights and nobles, under the orders of 
the duke of Bourbon, repaired to Genoa, and embarked on 
board the fleet of that republic ; the French and the Ge« 
noese, the first led by a desire for booty and the love o5 
glory, the latter by the more positive interests of their com- 
merce, went to this war beyond the sea as to a banquet. 
"Beautiful and pleasant," says Froissart, "was it to behold 
the order of their departure, and how those banners, pen- 
nons, and streamers, fairly and richly wrought with the arms 
of the noble knights, floated to the wind and glistened in the 
sun; and to hear those trumpets and clarions sound and 
resound, and other musicians performing their parts, with 
pipes, flutes, and macaires, as well as the sound and the 
voice which isssued from them, reverberate over all the sea." 
After a few days' sailing, the Christian army arrived on the 
coast of Barbary, and laid siege to the city of Africa. The 
inhabitants offered some resistance, and not being able to 
conceive why they were thus attacked by an enemy they did 
not know, and of whom they had never heard, they sent 
deputies to the camp of the Christians to demand of them 
what motive had brought them beneath their walls. The 
Genoese, doubtless, reminded the deputies of the piracies 
carried on in the Mediterranean and upon the coasts of 
Italy : but the knights could not allege any grievance, and 
must have felt considerably embarrassed how to answer the 
questions of the besieged. Froissart, who gives an account 
of this expedition, informs us that the duke of Bourbon 
called a council of the principal leaders, and after thty had 
deliberated upon the question proposed by the Saracens, he 
addressed this reply to them, which we shall report m the 
old language as near that of the times as we are rhle : 
" They who demand why war is made against them, muit 
know that their lineage and race put to death and crucified 
the son of God named Jesus Christ, and that we wish to 
avenge upon them this fact and evil deed. Further, they do 
not believe in the holy baptism, nor in the Virgin Mary, the 
mother of Jesus Christ ; and all these things being con 


sidered is why we hold the Saracens and all their sect as 
enemies." The besieged were not likely to be convinced by 
this explanation, "so," adds the good Froissart, "they onlj 
laughed at it, and said it was neither reasonable nor proved, 
for it was the Jews who put Christ to death, and not they." 

The French knights had more bravery than knowledge, 
and were much more expert in fighting than in reasoning. 
They prosecuted the siege and made several assaults, but in 
all their attacks met with a determined resistance. They 
were, however, persuaded that Heaven declared in their 
favour, and performed miracles to assure them the victory. 
It was said in the camp, that a battalion of ladies in white 
had appeared amidst the combatants, a^d created great 
terror among the Saracens. They likewise told of a mi- 
raculous dog which Grod had sent to the Christian soldiers 
as a vigilant sentinel, and which had several times prevented 
their being surprised by the Mussulmans. We repeat these 
marvellous stories, in order to exhibit the spirit of the 
knights, who saw nothing but ladies under circumstances in 
which the early Crusaders would have seen saints and angels. 
The story of the miraculous dog serves to prove that the 
French warriors kept but a bad watch around their camp, 
and that they carried on the siege with more bravery than 
prudence. Several battles were fought, in which the most 
rash lost their lives. The heat of the climate and the season 
gave birth to contagious diseases. In proportion as obstacles 
multiplied around them, the ardour of the besiegers inclined 
daily towards depression. Discord, likewise, broke out in 
the Christian army, in which the French and the Genoese 
mutually reproached each other with their miseries : winter 
was drawing near, and they despaired of reducing the place ; 
the duke of Bourbon resolved to raise the siege, and to 
return to Europe with his knights and soldiers. 

During several months no news of this expedition had 
arrived in France ; processions were made and public prayers 
were put up in all the provinces to ask of Heaven the safe 
return of the Crusaders. Old chrouicles inform is, — " that 
the lady of Coucy, the lady of Sully, the dauphiness of 
Auvergne, and all the ladies of France whose lords and hus- 
bands were engaged in this voyage, were in great dismay for 
them whilst the voyage lasted ; and when the news came to 


fchein that they had already passed the sea, they were all 
much rejoiced." 

This exoedition, which the Genoese had promoted with the 
intention pf defending ti.i 3ir commerce against the brigand- 
ages of pirates, only served to increase the evil they wished 
to remedy ; vengeance, indignation, and fear armed the in- 
fidels against the Christians in every direction. Vessels 
issued from all the coasts of Africa, covered the Mediter- 
ranean, and intercepted the communications with Europe ; 
the merchandizes which had been accustomed to flow from 
Damascus, Cairo, and Alexandria, no lunger appeared ; and 
the historians of the times deplore, as a calamity, the im- 
possibility of procuring spices in either France or Grermany. 

The war which had begun between Egypt and the king- 
dom of Cyprus w T as prosecuted with equal animosity on both 
sides. Whilst the sultan of Cairo threatened the poor 
remains of the Christian colonies of the East, the king of 
Cyprus and the knights of Rhodes spread terror along all 
the coasts of Syria ; in one incursion they took possession of 
Tripoli, and gave the city up to the flames. Tortosa, Laodi- 
cea, and Belinas met with the same fate : this manner of 
making war in a country that they professed to wish to con- 
quer for the sake of delivering it, excited everywhere the 
fury of the Mussulmans, without raising the hopes or the 
courage of the Christians who dwelt there. Pilgrimage to 
the Holy Land became impracticable, and, during several 
years, no European. Christians were able to visit Jerusalem. 

The sultan of Egypt, however, after many fruitless efforts 
to avenge the expedition against Alexandria, made peace with 
the king of Cyprus and the knights of Rhodes. It was 
agreed that the prisoners should be liberated on both sides, 
and that the king of Cyprus should receive half of the dues 
levied upon the merchandize which entered at Tyre, Berouth, 
Sidon, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Damascus. The treaty 
regulated the tribute which pilgrims should pay in those 
places of the Holy Land to which their devotion called them. 
The sultan of Egypt restored to the knights of St. John the 
house they had formerly possessed in Jerusalem, and the 
knights had permission to cause the churches of the holy 
sepulchres of Bethlehem, of Nazareth, &c. to be repaired. 

Europe at this period turned its eyes from countries which 


had so long excited its veneration and enthusiasm to direct 
them towards regions invaded or threatened by the Turks. 
"We have seen, towards the end of the eleventh century, 
hordes from this nation spread themselves as conquerors 
over the whole of Asia. It may be remembered that it was 
their invasion of Palestine, and their violent domination over 
the holy city, which roused Christendom, and provoked tie 
first crusade. Their power, which then extended as far as 
Nice, and which, even at that time, alarmed the Greeks, was 
checked by the victorious armies of the West. The Turks 
of whom we are now speaking, and of whom Christendom, 
towards the end of the fourteenth century, began to be very 
much in dread, like those who had preceded them, drew 
their origin from the Tartars. Their warlike tribes, formerly 
established in Carismia, had been driven thence by the suc- 
cessors of Gengiskhan ; and the remains of this conquering 
nation, after ravaging Syria and Mesopotamia, came, a few 
years before the first crusade of St. Louis, to seek an asylum 
in Asia Minor. 

The weakness of the Greeks and the division of the 
Mussulman princes enabled them to conquer several pro- 
vinces, and to found a new state among the ruins of several 
empires. The terror inspired by their fierce and brutal 
valour facilitated their progress, and opened for them the 
road to Greece. Countries which had been the cradle of 
civilization, of the arts, and of knowledge, soon succumbed 
beneath the laws of Ottoman despotism. 

There can be no doubt that despotism, such as it was 
known then in Asia, and as it is seen in our days, is the 
most fragile of human institutions. The violent measures 
which it took to preserve itself, showed plainly that it itse.f 
felt a consciousness of its own fragility. When we see it 
immolate all the laws of nature to its own laws, hold the 
sword constantly suspended over all that approach it, and 
itself experience more fear than it inspires, we are tempted 
to believe that it has no veritable support. Whilst reading 
the oriental history of the middle ages, we are astonished 
to see all those empires which the genius of despotism 
raised in Asia, fall almost without resistance, and disappear 
from the scene of the world. But we must admit, when 
this monstrous gDvernment supports itself upon religious 


ideas, and upon the prejudices and passions of a great 
nation, it has also its popular ascendancy ; it is also, to em« 
ploy a mode of speaking very common at present, the expres- 
sion of all its wills, and nothing can resist its action, or 
arrest the development of its power. 

Thus arose the Ottoman empire, which had for its springs 
of action a hatred o:* the Christians, and the conquest of the 
Greek empire, and which sustained itself by the double 
fanaticism of religion and victory. The Turks had but two 
ideas, or rather two ever-acting passions, which with them 
supplied the place of patriotism, — to extend their dominions 
and propagate the Mussulman faith. The ambition which 
led the sovereign to conquer Christian provinces, was found 
to be that of the whole nation, accustomed to enrich them- 
selves by all the violences of war, and who believed they 
obeyed the most sacred precept of the Koran, by exter- 
minating the race of infidels. If the prince was unceasingly 
obliged to animate the religious enthusiasm and the warlike 
ardour of his subjects, the subjects, in their turn, kept the 
prince as constantly in exercise. The absolute leader of the 
Ottomans might commit all sorts of crimes with impunity ; 
but he could not live long in a state of peace with his 
neighbours, without risking his authority and his life. The 
Turks could not endure either a pacific prince, or a prince 
unfortunate in war ; so thoroughly were they persuaded 
that they ought to be always fighting, and that they ought 
always to conquer. The Ottoman people, to whom nothing 
was good or right but conquest, would obey none but a con- 
queror; and if they consented to be slaves, and tremble 
beneath the frown of a master, it w r as upon the sole con- 
dition that this all-powerful master should carry abroad the 
terror of his arms, and should give chains to other nations. 

The Ottoman dynasty which began with the Turkish 
nation and gave its name to it, that dynasty, always the 
object of veneration, and respected by revolt itself, has pre- 
sented by its stability a new spectacle in the East. It has 
exhibited to the world a succession of great princes, who 
have in history almost all the same physiognomy, and re- 
semble each other in their pride, their ambition and their 
militarjr genius : which proves that all these barbarian heroes 
Were formed by their national manners, and that among the 



Turks, there is but one single road to greatness. "We 
may judge what advantages this harmony between subjects 
and sovereign must have given to the Ottoman nation, in 
its wars against the Christians, or even against other Mus- 
sulman people. 

Whilst the only defence of Europe consisted in feudal 
troops which were assembled at certain periods, and could 
not be held beneath their banners for any length of time 
together, the Ottomans were the only people who had a 
regular army always under arms. Their warriors, always 
animated by one same spirit, had moreover the advantage of 
discipline over the insubordinate chivalry of the Franks, 
who were constantly agitated by discord, and were put in 
action by a thousand different passions. 

As the population of the Turks w<as not always sufficient 
for their armies, they forced each family of the countries 
they conquered to give up a fifth part of its male children 
for the military service. They thus levied a tribute upon 
the population of the Christians, and the sons of the effemi- 
nate Greeks became those invincible janissaries who w r ere 
one day to besiege Byzantium, and destroy even the ruins 
of the empire of the Caesars. Such were the new people 
who were about to place themselves between the East and 
the West, and engross all the attention of Christian Europe, 
until that time occupied with the deliverance of the holy- 

When we are acquainted with the power and the charac- 
ter of the Ottomans, we are astonished at seeing what 
remained of the Greek empire subsist a long time in their 
vicinity. We must here resume from a past period, the 
history of the feeble successors of Constantine, sometimes 
forming alliances with the Turks ready to plunder them, at 
others, imploring the assistance of the Latins, whom they 
hated, and seeking to awaken the spirit of the crusades 
whose consequences they dreaded. 

At the period of the first invasions of Greece by the 
Turks, the emperor Andronicus sent an embassy to the 
Pope, to promise him to obey the Bomish Church, and to 
request of him apostolic legates, with an army capable of 
driving away the infidels and opening the route to the Holy 
Sepulchre. Cantacuzenes, who followed the exanple of 


Andronicus, said to the envoys from the sovereign pontiff: 
" I shall consider it my glory to serve Christendom ; my 
states shall aiford the Crusaders a free and safe passage ; 
my troops, my vessels, my treasures shall be devoted to the 
common defence, and my fate will be worthy of envy if 7 
obtain the crown of martyrdom." Clement VI., to whom 
Cantacuzenes addressed himself, died without having been 
able to interest the Christian warriors in the fate of Con- 
stantinople. A short time afterwards, the emperor buried 
himself in a cloister ; and the brother Josaphat Christodulus, 
confounded among the monks of Mount Athos, troubled 
himself no longer with a crusade among the Latins. 

Under the reign of John Palaeologus, the progress of the 
Turks became more alarming. The emperor himself went 
to solicit the aid of the sovereign pontiff. After having, in 
a public ceremony, kissed the hands and feet of the pope, he 
acknowledged the double procession * of the Holy Grhost, and 
the supremacy of the Church of Rome. Touched by this 
humble submission, the pope protested he would come to 
the succour of the Greeks ; bnt when he applied to the 
sovereigns of Europe, he could obtain nothing from them 
but vain promises. At the moment at which Palaeologus 
was about to embark on his return to the East, he was 
arrested by his creditors, and remained thus during several 
months, without the pope or the princes he had come to 
solicit, and who had promised to assist him in the deliver- 
ance of his empire, making the least attempt to deliver him 
himself. Palaeologus returned to Constantinople, to his 
divided family ; and his subjects, who despised him, waited in 
vain for the performance of the promises of the pope and 
the European monarchs. In his despair, he at length 
formed the resolution of imploring the clemency of the 
sultan Amurath, and of purchasing by a tribute, permission 
to continue to reign over the wreck of his empire. He 
complained of this hard necessity to the pontiff of Rome, 
who caused a new crusade to be preached ; but the Chris- 
tian monarch beheld with indifference, a prince who had 
returned to the bosom of the Catholic Church, condemned 
to declare himself the vassal of infidels. The emperor of 

* The eternal production of the Holy Ghost, which proceeds from the 
Father and th* Son. — Tr/ ns. 


Byzantium and the head of the Church, by promising, the 
one, to arm the West in the cause of Greece, and the other, 
to subject the Greeks to the Boman Church, had formed 
engagements that they every day found it more difficult to 
fulfil. Whilst they were reciprocally upbraiding each other 
with not having kept their word, Amurath, who accom- 
plished his threats better than the pope and the Christian 
princes did their promises, added new rigours to the fate of 
Palseologus, and interdicted even the repairing of the ram- 
parts of his capital. Again the supplications to the sovereign 
were renewed, and again these supplications were passed on 
to the monarchs of Christendom ; but they made no reply, 
or at most contented themselves with expressing pity for 
the emperor and people of Byzantium. 

There is no doubt that the Greek emperors stood in great 
need of succour from the Latins, but this pusillanimous 
policy, which unceasingly invoked the assistance of other 
nations, only proclaimed the weakness of the empire, and 
necessarily deprived the Greeks, in the hour of peril, of all 
confidence in their own strength. On the other side, these 
cries of alarm, which constantly resounded throughout 
Europe, met with nothing but incredulous minds and in- 
different hearts. It was in vain that the warriors of the 
"West heard it for ever repeated that Constantinople was 
the barrier of Christendom ; they could not consider a city 
which was unable to provide for its own defence, and was 
always in want of succour, as a barrier capable of arresting 
the course of a powerful enemy. When Gregory XI. soli- 
cited the emperor of Germany to assist Constantinople, that 
prince replied sharply that the Greeks had opened the gates 
of Europe to the Turks, and let the wolf into the sheep-fold. 

At this time the miserable remains of the empire of the 
Caesars was comprised within the extent of less than twenty 
leagues, and in this narrow space there was an empire of 
Byzantium, and an empire of Bodesto or Selivrea; the 
princes, whom ties of blood ought to have united, quarrelled 
with inveterate fury for the rags of the imperial purple. 
Brother was armed against brother, and father ano. son de- 
clared open war ; all the crimes that had formerly been 
inspired by the ambition of obtaining the sceptre of the 
Eomau wovld, were still committed for the advantage oi 


reigning over a few miserable cities. Such was the empire 
of the East, upon which the Ottoman dominions continued 
on all sides to encroach. 

At the period of which we are speaking, all the princes ol 
the family of Palseologus having been commanded to repair 
to the court of Bajazet, obeyed his supreme order trem- 
blingly ; and if they came out safe and sound from the 
{>alace of the sultan, which was for them the den of the 
ion, it was because pity disarmed the executioner, and 
because the contempt they inspired among the Mussulmans 
wa*r th 3ir safeguard. The Ottoman emperor contented him- 
self wi,b commanding Manuel, the son and successor of John 
Paheologus, not to deliver Constantinople up to him, but to 
remain shut up in it as in a prison, under the penalty of 
losing both his crown and his life. 

Whilst the Greeks were thus trembling in the presence 
of the Turks, the janissaries passed through the straits of 
Thermopylae without obstruction, and advanced into the 
Peloponnesus. On the other side, Bajazet, for whom the 
rapidity of his conquests procured the surname of Tberim, 
or Lightning, invaded the country of the Servians, afterwards 
that of the Bulgarians, and was preparing to carry the war 
into Hungary. 

A deplorable schism then divided Christendom. Two 
popes shared the empire of the Church, and the European 
republic had no longer a head that could warn it of its dan- 
gers, an organ that could express its wishes and its fears, or 
a tie that could bind together its forces ; religious opinions 
had no longer sufficient influence to bring about a crusade, 
and Christendom had nothing left to defend it but the spirit 
of chivalry, and the warlike character of some of the nations 
of Europe. 

The ambassadors whom Manuel sent into the "West, re- 
peating the eternal lamentations of the Greeks over the 
barbarities of the Turks, solicited in vain the piety of the 
faithful. The envoys of Sigismund, king of Hungary, were 
more fortunate in their appeal to the bravery of the knights 
and barons of France. Charles VI. had not renounced, if 
the historians of the time may be believed, the idea of un- 
dertaking some great enterprise against the enemies of the 
true faith : " in order," says Eroissart, " to free the souls oi 


his predecessors, E .ng Philip, of excellent memory, and 
King John, his grandfather." The Hungarian envoys took 
care to insinuate in their speeches, that the sultan of the 
Turks held Christian chivalry in contempt ; nothing more 
was wanting to inflame the ardour of the French warriors ; 
and when their monarch declared his intention of entering 
into the league against the infidels, every gallant knight in 
the kingdom flew to arms. This brave band was commanded 
by the duke de Nevers, son of the duke of Eurgundy, a 
young prince whose rash courage afterwards procured for 
him the surname of Jean-sans-Peur (John the Fearless). 
Among other leaders were the count de la Marche, Henry 
and Philip de Bar, relations of the king of France, Philip of 
Artois, constable of the kingdom ; John of Vienne, admiral ; 
the sieur de Coucy, Guy de la Tremouille, and the marshal 
de Boucicault, whose name is mixed with the history of 
every war of his time. > 

All ideas of glory, all sentiments of religion and chivalry 
were bound up with this expedition. The leaders ruined 
themselves to make preparations for their voyage, and to 
astonish the East by their magnificence ; the people implored 
the protection of Heaven for the success of their arms. The 
enterprise of the new Crusaders was already compared to 
that of Godfrey of Bouillon, and the poets of the times 
celebrated the near deliverance of the Holy Land. 

The French army, in which were fourteen hundred knights 
and as many squires, traversed Germany, and was increased 
on its way by a crowd of warriors from Austria and Bavaria. 
When they arrived on the banks of the Danube, they found 
the entire nobility of Hungary and Bohemia under arms. 
Whilst reviewing the numerous soldiers thus assembled to 
oppose the Turks, Sigismund exclaimed with delight : " If 
heaven were to fall, the lances of the Christian army would 
stop it in its descent." 

Never was a war begun under more happy auspices ; not 
only had the spirit of chivalry drawn together a great number 
of warriors beneath the banners of the cross, but several 
maritime nations of Italy had taken up arms for the defence 
of their eastern commerce. A Venetian fleet, commanded 
by the noble Mocenigo, joined the vessels of the Greek em- 
peror and of the knights of Ehodes near the mouth of 


the Danube, to procure the triumph of the standard of the 
Franks in the Hellespont, whilst the Christian army should 
march against Constantinople. 

As soon as the signal for war was given, nothing could 
resist the impetuous valour of the Crusaders ; they beat the 
Turks everywhere ; they took several towns of Bulgaria and 
Servia, and laid siege to Nicopolis : happy had it been ii 
these first advantages had not given them a blind confidence 
in victory ! 

The French knights, who were always found at the head 
of the Christian army, could not believe that Bajazet would 
dare to attack them ; and when it was announced to them 
that the sultan, with his army, was drawing near, they chas- 
tised the bold scout who gave them the first intelligence of 
it. The Mussulman army, however, had crossed Mount 
Hemus, and was advancing towards Nicopolis. When the 
two armies were in presence of each other, Sigismund con- 
jured his allies to moderate their warlike ardour, and to wait 
for a favourable opportunity of attacking an enemy with 
whom they were totally unacquainted. The duke de Nevers 
and the young nobles who accompanied him, listened with 
impatience to the advice of the Hungarians, and believed 
that they were desirous of disputing with them the honour 
of beginning the fight. Scarcely had the standard of the 
crescent* met their eyes, than they rushed out of the camp 
and fell upon the enemy ; the Turks retreated, and appeared 
to fly ; the French pursued them in a disorderly manner, 
and soon became separated from the Hungarian army. All 
at once, clouds of spahia and janissaries poured down from 
the neighbouring forests, in which they had been placed in 
ambush. All about the country, pikes had been planted to 
impede the march of cavalry. The French warriors being 
unable either to advance or retreat, and surrounded by an 
enumerable army, no longer fought to conquer, but to die 
with glory, and sell their lives dearly. After having, during 
several hours, carried slaughter into the enemy's ranks, all 
the French engaged in the conflict either perished by the 
swords of the Mussulmans, or were made prisoners. 

* Our readers will observe by tbis, that the crescent, which has gene- 
rally, but falsely, been taken as the standard of all Saracens, belongs to the 
Ottomans : it has never been mentioned in this history before. — TaAX", 


Bajazet, after this first victory, directed all bis forces 
against the Hungarian army, which terror had already seized, 
and which was dispersed at the first shock. Sigismund, 
who, on the morning of that day, had counted a hundred 
thousand men beneath his banners, threw himself into a 
lisbing-boat, and coasting along the shores of the Euxine, 
found refuge in Constantinople, where his mere presence 
annovnced his defeat, and spread consternation. 

Such were the fruits of the presumption and want of dis- 
cipline of the French warriors. History has lamented their 
reverses more than it has blamed their conduct ; it has 
satisfied itself with saying, that in order to conquer the 
Turks, the Hungarians should have shown the valour of the 
French, or the French should have imitated the prudence of 
the Hungarians. 

Bajazet, who was wounded in the battle, proved barbarous 
after victory. Some historians have said that the sultan had 
to avenge the death of many Mussulman captives, who had 
been massacred by the Christian army. He commanded all 
the prisoners, many of whom were wounded and plundered 
of their clothes, to be brought before him, and then gave 
order to his janissaries to slaughter them before his eyes. 
Three thousand French warriors were immolated to his ven- 
geance ; but he spared the duke de JNevers, the count de la 
Marche, the sieur de Coucy, Philip of Artois, the count de 
'Bar, Marshal Boucicault, and some other leaders, on account 
of the ransom he hoped to procure for them. 

When fame carried the news of so great a disaster into 
France, the first who spoke of it were threatened with being 
thrown into the Seine : many were imprisoned in the chatelet 
of Paris by the king's orders. At length the most sinister 
reports were confirmed by the account of messire de Hely, 
"whom Bajazet sent into France to announce the defeat of 
the Christians and the captivity of their leaders. This 
intelligence spread desolation through both the court of 
Charles VI. and the kingdom of France. Froissart adds, 
in his natural style, "that the high dames of France were 
much enraged, and had good cause, for this affected their 
hearts too closely." 

In order to mitigate the wrath of the Tuiirish emperor, 
Charles YI. sent him magnificent presents. Messengers 


passing through ITungaj T and the territory of Constanti- 
nople, bore to the sultan, white falcons from Norway, fine 
scarlet cloths, white and red linens from Eheims, draps de 
hautes-lices, or tapestries, worked at Arras, in Picardy, repre- 
senting the history of Alexander, " which thing," add contem- 
porary chronicles, " was very agreeable to all persons of worth 
and honour to look upon." At the court of France means 
could not be devised for sending into Turkey the money 
required for the liberation of the princes and nobles detained 
in the prisons of Bajazet. A banker of Paris performed 
that which no sovereign of Europe could then have done ; in 
concert with some merchants of Genoa, he negotiated for the 
ransom of the prisoners, and undertook to pay for this 
ransom the sum agreed upon, of two hundred thousand 

The noble captives, whom the sultan had dragged in his 
train as far as Brusa, at length were allowed to return to 
Europe. Of the number, all regained their native country, 
with the exception of two : Guy of Tremouille died in the 
isle of Bhodes. The lady de Coucy, who was incapable of 
consolation, sent a faithful knight among the Turks, to learn 
the fate of her husband, and the knight returned with the 
fatal intelligence that the sieur de Coucy had died in his 

When the duke de Nevers, with his companions in mis- 
fortune, quitted the camp of Bajazet, the sultan addressed 
the following words to him, as reported by Froissart : — 
'^Count de Nevers, I know right well and am informed that 
thou art in thine own country a great lord, and the son of a 
great lord. Thou art young ; thou mayest, perchance, take 
as an injury that requires vengeance that which has befallen 
thee in thy first chivalry, and wouldst willingly, to recover 
thy honour, assemble forces to come and give me battle ; i 
I suspected this, and if it were my will, I would make thee 
swear upon thy faith and upon the law that thou shouldst 
never arm thyself against me, nor any of those that are in 
thy company ; but no, I will neither require thee nor them 
to take this oath ; but I wish to tell thee that if, when thou 
shalt have returned, it may please thee to assemble a pDwer 
to come against me, thou wilt find me always ready and pre- 
pared for both thee and thy people." 


This speech, which exhibited all th Ottoman pride, must, 
without doubt, have been a lesson fop young warriors, whose 
mad presumption had brought on all the evils of the war. 
They despised Bajazet before their defeat ; and his haughty 
disdain after victory could not appear in their eyes a vain 
bravado. " So," says Froissart, " they remembered it well as 
tong as they lived." 

On their return to France, the noble knights were re- 
ceived with the interest that unfortunate bravery inspires. 
The court of Charles VI. and that of Burgundy were never 
tired of hearing them recount their exploits, their tragical 
adventures, and the miseries of their captivity ; they told 
wonders of the magnificence of Bajazet ; and when they 
repeated the speeches of the sultan, who was accustomed 
to say that he would be lord over all the world, that he would 
yet come to Rome, and make his horse eat his oats on the altar 
of St. Peter; when they spoke of the armies which the em- 
peror raised daily to accomplish his menaces, what fear 
must, doubtless, have been mixed in the minds of his auditors 
witli feelings of curiosity and surprise. 

The accounts of the duke de Nevers and his companions 
awakened, however, the emulation of the warriors, and their 
misfortunes in Asia inspired less compassion than a desire 
to avenge their defeat. A new expedition against the Turks 
was soon announced in France, and a crowd of young nobles 
and knights eagerly took up arms. The duke of Orleans, 
the brother of the king, was inconsolable at not being able 
to obtain permission to place himself at their head, and go 
with them to combat the infidels. It was the Marshal 
Boucicault, scarcely returned from captivity, w r ho led these 
new Crusaders into the East. Their arrival on the shores 
of the Bosphorus delivered Byzantium, which was then be- 
sieged by Bajazet. Their exploits raised the courage of the 
Greeks, and redeemed the honour of the soldiers of the 
"West among the Turks. When, after a year of labours and 
glorious combats, they returned to their own country, the 
Cxreek emperor Manuel believed he saw fresh evils ready to 
overwhelm him, and he resolved to follow Marshal Bouci- 
cault and solicit more assistance from Charles VI. ; thus 
placing all the hopes of his empire in the French warriors. 
He was receit .'d with great honours on his passage through 


Italy; when he had crossed the Alps, brilliant festivities 
awaited him in all the great cities. At two leagues from 
Paris he found Charles VI., who, with all his nobles, hae 
come out to meet him. He made his public entry into the 
capital, clothed in a robe of white s'lk, and mounted on a 
white horse, marks of supreme rank among the Franks. It 
was gratifying to see a successor of the Caesars imploring 
the arms of chivalry ; and the confidence which he placed in 
the bravery of the French, flattered the pride of the nation ; 
but in the condition of France at that period, it was much 
more easy to offer Manuel the spectacle of tournaments, and 
the brilliant ceremonies of courts, than to furnish him with 
the treasures and armies of which he stood in need. 
Charles VI. began to feel the approach of that fatal malady 
which left the field open to factions, and threw the kingdom 
into the greatest misfortunes. England, w r hose assistance 
the emperor of Constantinople likewise solicited, was dis- 
turbed by the usurpation of Henry of Lancaster ; and if the 
English monarch then took the cross, it was less with the 
intention of succouring the Greeks than to divert attention 
from his own injustice, and to haye a pretext for levying 
imposts upon his people. At the same time, the deposition 
of Winceslaus set the whole German empire in motion ; and 
the nascent heresy of John Huss already gave the signal for 
the disorders that were destined to trouble Bohemia during 
the fifteenth century. Amidst all these agitations in Chris- 
tendom, the only power that could have reestablished har- 
mony was itself divided, and the Catholic Church, still a 
prey to the rival pretensions of two pontiffs, could neither 
give its attention to promote peace among the Christians, 
nor war against the Turks. 

This state of France and Europe completely destroyed all 
the hopes of the Greek emperor. After passing two years 
in Paris, without obtaining anything, he determined to leave 
the West, and having embarked at Venice, he stopped in the 
Peloponnesus, where he waited patiently till Fortune should 
herself take charge of the entire ruin or the deliverance of 
his empire. 

This deliverance, which could no longer be expected from 
the Christian powers, arrived all at once by means of a 
people still more barbarous than the Turks, whose conquests 


made the entire East tremble. Tamerlane, or Tim our, 
from the bosom of civil wars, had been elevated to the 
throne of the Moguls, and revived in the north of Asia the 
formidable empire of Gengishan. History is scarcely able 
to follow this new conqueror in his gigantic expeditions. 
The imagination is terrified at the rapidity with which, to 
make use of an expression of Timour himself, he carried " the 
destroying wind of desolation" from Zagathai to the Indus, 
and from the Indus to the icy deserts of Siberia. Such was 
the scourge that Heaven sent to destroy the menacing pride 
of Bajazet. The historians of the times are not agreed as 
to the motives which armed the leader of the Moguls against 
the Ottoman emperor; some attribute Tamerlane's deter- 
mination to the complaints of the Mussulman princes of 
Asia Minor, whom the sultan of the Turks had driven from 
their states ; others, faithful to the spirit of their age, and 
seeking the causes of great events in celestial phenomena, 
explain the invasion of the Tartars by the appearance of a 
comet, which was visible during two months to affrighted 
Asia. Disdaining marvellous explanations, we will confine 
ourselves to saying that peace could not last between two 
men urged on by the same ambition, and who were not likely 
to pardon each other for having at the same time enter- 
tained the thought of conquering the world. Their character, 
as well as their policy, is plainly enough indicated in the 
violent threats they reciprocally addressed to each other 
before hostilities, and which became the signal for the most 
sanguinary catastrophes. 

Tamerlane, having set out from Samarcand, first reduced 
Seborto, and as if he wished to give Bajazet, before he 
attacked him, the spectacle of the ravages which accom- 
panied his arms everywhere, he all at once directed the 
course of his Tartar hordes towards Syria and the provinces 
governed by the Mamelukes of Egypt. The valour of his 
soldiers, the discords of his enemies, the treachery and per- 
fidy which he never disdained to call in to the assistance of 
his power, opened for him the gates of Aleppo, Damascus, 
and Tripoli. Torrents of blood and pyramids of human 
heads marked the passage of the Mogul conqueror. His 
approach spread terror everywhere, as well among the 
Christians as among the Mussulmans ; and although h» 


boasted in his discourses of avenging the cam* 3 of the 
oppressed, Jerusalem might, on this occasion, be grateful 
that he did not think of delivering her. 

At length the Tartars advanced towards Asia Minor. 
Timour traversed Anatolia with an army of eight hundred 
thousand men. Bajazet, who raised the siege of Constan- 
tinople to come to meet his redoubtable adversary, encoun- 
tered him in the plains of Ancyra. At the end of a battle 
which lasted three days, the Ottoman emperor lost at once 
his empire and his liberty. The Greeks, to whom fame 
soon brought the news of this victory, tremblingly returned 
thanks to their fierce liberator ; but the indifference with 
which he received their embassy, proved that he had had no 
intention of meriting their gratitude. Arrived on the shores 
of the Bosphorus, the conqueror of Bajazet directed his 
looks and his projects towards the West ; but the master 
of the vast kingdoms of Asia had not a single barque in 
which to transport himself to the other side of the canal. 
Thus Constantinople, after having escaped the yoke of the 
Ottomans, had the good fortune to escape also the presence 
of the Tartars, and Europe saw this violent tempest dissipate 
itself at a distance from her. 

The conqueror vented his anger upon the city of Smyrna, 
which was defended by the Knights of Rhodes. This city 
was carried by assault, delivered up to pillage, and reduced 
to ashes ; the Mogul emperor returned to Samarcand in 
triumph, dragging the sultan Bajazet in his train, and 
meditating by turns the conquest of Africa, the invasion of 
the West, and a war against China. 

After the battle of Ancyra, several princes of the family 
of Bajazet disputed the ravaged provinces of the Ottoman 
empire. If the Franks had then appeared in the Strait of 
Galliopoli and in Thrace, they mipht have profited by the 
defeat and discords of the Turks, and have driven them 
back beyond the Taurus ; but the indifference r£ the Chris- 
tian states, with the perfidy and cupidity of some of the 
maritime nations of Europe, allowed the Ottoman dynasty 
time and means to renovate its depressed power. 

The Greeks derived no more advantage from the v'ctory 
of Tamerlane than the Latins. Twenty years after the 
battle of Ancyra ; the Ottomans had retaken all their pro 


vinces ; their armies again environed Constantinopl l, and ii 
is at this point we may apply to the power of the Tmks the 
oriental comparison of that serpent of the desert which an 
elephant had crushed in its passage, which joins its dispersed 
rings together again, raises its head by degrees, reseizes the 
prev it had abandoned, and clasps it within its monstrous 

As long as the Greek emperors were in no fear for the 
safety of their capital, they kept up very little intercourse 
with the Christian princes of Europe ; but upon the appear- 
ance of danger, the court of Byzantium renewed its suppli- 
cations and its promises of obedience to the Church of 
Home. A conversation of Manuel, reported by Phrantza, 
throws a light upon the situation of the Greeks, and upon 
the policy of the timid successors of Constantine. " The 
only resource we have left against the Turks," said this 
prince to his son, " is their fear of our union with the Latins, 
and the terror with which the warlike nations of the West 
inspire them. Whenever you are pressed by the infidels, 
send to the court of Rome, and prolong the negotiations, 
without ever taking a decisive part." Manuel added, that 
the vanity of the Latins and the obstinacy of the Greeks 
would always prevent any real or durable harmony; and 
that a union of any kind with the pope, by arousing the 
passions of both parties, would only give Byzantium up to 
the mercy of the barbarians. 

Such counsels, which announce but little frankness in the 
policy of the Greeks, could not be long followed up with 
success. The dangers became more pressing, the circum- 
stances more imperative ; as Christendom only replied to 
vain negotiations by vain promises, the successor of Manuel 
found himself obliged to give pledges of his faith and sin- 
cerity. The idea of a council was at length adopted, in 
which the two churches should come to an understanding, 
and sho'ild approximate. The emperor John Palaeologus 
and the doctors of the Greek Church repaired to Ferrara, 
and afterwards to Florence. After long it bates, the union 
was sworn to on both sides, and solemnly proclaimed. In 
the West this event was celebrated as a \ictory ; at Con- 
stantinople it raised cries of blasphemy, apostasy, and 
impiety. Thus was the prediction of Manuel accomplished j 


all the efforts employed to unite opinions, on.y served to 
raise a new barrier between the Greeks and the Latins. 

At the councils of Ferrara and Florence, the deputies 0/ 
the Armenians, the Maronites, the Jacobites of Syria and 
Egypt, the Nestorians, and the Ethiopians submitted, as well 
as the Greeks, to the pontifical authority, and without doubt 
also, in the same hope of being succoured by the Latins, 
and delivered from the tyranny of the Mussulmans. This 
solemn proceeding was less a submission to the Holy See 
than a homage rendered to the bravery of the Franks, in 
whom all the Christians of Asia and Africa beheld liberators. 

Pope Eugenius, however, on receiving the submission of 
the Greeks, had promised to send succours to Constan- 
tinople and to the Christians of the East. The pontiff 
hoped that the union of the two churches and the preaching 
of a crusade would fix upon him the eyes of the Christian 
world, and restore to the pontifical authority the confidence 
and power of which the schisms of the West and the 
seditious decrees of the council of Bale had deprived it. He 
wrote to all the princes of Christendom, exhorting them to 
unite to put a stop to the invasions of the Mussulmans. 
Eugenius, in his letter, described all the evils which the 
faithful suffered in the countries under the domination of 
the barbarians. " The Turks tied troops of men and women 
together, and dragged them along in their train. All the 
Christians whom they condemned to slavery, were con- 
founded with the vilest booty, and sold like beasts of burden. 
In their barbarity, they separated the son from the father, 
the brother from the sister, and the husband from the wife. 
Those whom age or infirmities prevented from walking were 
killed upon the high roads or in the middle of cities. Even 
infancy could not excite their pity ; they put to death -nno- 
cent victims that had scarcely begun to exist, and who, 
being yet ignorant of fear, smiled upon their executioners 
whilst receiving the mortal blow. Every Christian family 
was compelled to give up its own sons to the Ottoman 
empire, in the same manner as the people of Athens had 
been formerly forced to send as a tribute the flower of thei* 
youth to the monster of Crete. "Wherever the Turks had 
penetrated, the fields were cursed with barrenness, and the 
cities were without laws or industry ; the Christian religion 


Had no longer either priests or altars ; humanity no longel 
either support or asylum." In fact, the father of the faith- 
ful forgot none of the cruelties committed by the enemies 
of Christ ; he could not restrain the sadness which so many 
painful images caused him, and conjured princes and nations 
to send assistance to the kingdom of Cyprus, the isle of 
Rhodes, and particularly to Constantinople, as these, were 
the last bulwarks of the West. 

The exhortations of the sovereign pontiff were addressed 
to none but indifferent hearts in the nations of England, 
France, and Spain. Neither the sentiment of humanity, 
nor that of patriotism, had power to revive the enthusiasm 
to which the spirit of religion and chivalry had in past times 
given birth. Distant crusades, whatever was their object, 
began to be considered as only the work of a jealous policy, 
the springs of which were set in motion, to banish the 
princes and nobles whose power and wealth were coveted. 
In the state in which Europe then was, such as loved war, 
had but too many opportunities for exercising their bravery, 
without quitting their homes. The Germans, who had set 
on foot forty thousand men to combat the heretics of 
Bohemia, remained motionless, when the Turks were repre- 
sented to them as ready to carry the standard of Islamism to 
the extremities of the West. 

The pope, however, was not satisfied with exhorting the 
faithful to take up arms, he was desirous of setting them the 
example ; the pontiff levied soldiers and equipped vessels to 
make war against the Turks. The maritime cities of Flan- 
ders, and the republics of Genoa and Venice, which had 
great interests in the East, made some preparations ; their 
fleets united under the standard of St. Peter, and directed 
their course towards the Hellespont. The fear of an ap- 
proaching invasion awakened the zeal of the nations inha- 
biting the shores of the Dneister and the Danube. The 
crusade was preached in the diets of Poland and Hungary. 
Upon the frontiers threatened by the barbarians, the people, 
the clergy, and the nobility obeyed the voice of religion and 

The sovereign pontiff named, as legate with the Cru- 
saders, Cardinal Julian, a prelate of an intrepid character 
&nd of an ardent genius, arming himself by turns with the 


iword of fight and with that of speech ; as redoubtable in the 
field of battle as in the learned contests of the schools. After 
having obtained the confidence of the council of Bale, Car- 
dinal Julian distinguished himself in the council of Florence, 
by defending the dogmas of the Latin church. His eloquence 
had roused up all Germany against the Hussites ; now he 
burr\ed to rouse up all Christendom against the Turks. The 
army collected under the banners of the cross had for 
leaders Hunniades and Ladislaus ; the first, the waywode of 
Transylvania, was celebrated among Christian warriors, and 
the epithet of the brigand, which the Turks attached to his 
name, denoted the hatred and terror he inspired among the 
iufidels. Upon the head of Ladislaus were united the two 
crowns of Poland and Hungary, and he merited, by the 
brilliant qualities of his youth, the love of both Poles and 
Hungarians. The Crusaders assembled on the Danube, and 
quickly received the signal for war. The fleets of the 
sovereign pontiff, of Venice, and Genoa cruised in the 
Hellespont. The inhabitants c$ Moldavia, Servia, and Greece 
promised to join the Christian army ; the sultan of Cara- 
mania, the implacable enemy of the Ottomans, was to attack 
them in Asia. The Greek emperor, John Palaeologus, an- 
nounced great preparations, and got ready to march at the 
head of an army to meet his liberators. 

Hunniades and Ladislaus advanced as far as Sophia, the 
capital of the Bulgarians. Two battles opened for them the 
passages of Mount Hemus and the road to Byzantium. 
The rigours of winter alone arrested the victorious march of 
the Christian warriors ; and the army of the Crusaders re- 
turned into Hungary, to await the favourable season for 
renewing the war. They returned to Buda in triumph, 
amidst the acclamations of an immense population. The 
clergy celebrated, by hymns and thanksgivings, the first 
victories of the Christians', and Ladislaus repaired, bare- 
footed, to the church of Notre Dame, in which he hung up. 
the standards taken from the infidels. 

Before the beginning of the war, the Mussulmans had 
been persuaded that the destruction of the Christians was 
written in the book of destiny. " When att the enemies of 
the prophet," said they among themselves, " shall be de- 
stroyed, each of us will have nothing to do but to guide hia 
Vol. III.— 7 


plough, and look at his war-horse in his stable.'' This 
opinion, the offspring of pride and victory, had proved suffi- 
cient to relax the zeal of the Ottoman warriors ; and most 
of them remained in their homes, whilst the Christians 
marched towards Adrianopolis. 

When fame informed them of the victories of the Franks 
upon the Danube, this blind security all at once gave place 
to fear. The sultan Amurath immediately sent ambassadors 
to sue for peace. History is silent as to the means of seduc- 
tion employed by the Ottoman envoys to win the victorious 
Crusaders ; but it is well known that they succeeded in 
obtaining a favourable heariug for their proposals. Peace 
was determined upon in the council of the leaders of the 
Christian army. The parties swore, the one upon the 
Koran, and the other upon the Gospel, to a truce of ten 
years. This unexpected resolution irritated the pride and 
zeal of Cardinal Julian, whose mission was to stimulate the 
Christians to war. When he saw the leaders of the crusade 
unite in a desire for peace, he preserved a haughty silence, 
and refused to sign a treaty he disapproved of. The in- 
flexible legate waited for an opportunity in which he might 
give vent to his discontent, and force the Crusaders to 
resume their arms. This opportunity was not long in pre- 
senting itself. 

Amurath, satisfied with having restored peace to his 
states, and fatigued with earthly grandeur, renounced the 
cares of empire, and buried himself iu a retreat at Mag- 
nesia. The sultan of Caramania informed the Christians 
that their most redoubtable enemy had lost his senses, and 
had just exchanged the imperial crown for the cap of a 
cenobite. He added that Amurath had left the supreme 
authority in the hands of a child, and in his message com- 
pared this child to a young plant which the slightest wind 
might tear up by the roots. 

■ The same sultan was so thoroughly persuaded that the 
Ottoman empire was in its decline, that he entered Ana- 
tolia at the head of an army. About the same time reports 
vrere spread that the emperor of Constantinople was ad- 
vancing towards Thrace ; that the Greeks of the Peloponne- 
sus had taken up arms, and that the confederate fleets still 
awaited a fresh signal for war in the Hellespont. Another 

UlSlvRY OP THJ5 (. RUSADES. 139 

circumstance, not less important, seemed calculated to 
awaken the warlike ard jur of the Crusaders ; the victory 
gained near Sophia had given them a powerful ally in 
Greece. In this battle, the son of John Castuct, who com- 
manded the van of the Ottoman army, suddenly abandoned 
the banners and the religion of the Turks, to defend the 
worship and the heritage of his ancestors in Albania. The 
messengers of Seanderberg announced to the leaders of the 
Christian army, that he was ready to join them at the head 
of twenty thousand Albanians, assembled under the standard 
of the cross. 

All these news, arriving at once, had an immediate effect 
in changing men's minds as well as the face of affairs. A 
fresh council was called ; Cardinal Julian arose among the 
leaders, and reproached them with having betrayed both 
their fortune and their glory ; he reproached them in severe 
terms, with having signed a disgraceful peace, which was 
sacrilegious, fatal to Europe, and fatal to the Church. 
" You had sworn," said he, " to combat the eternal enemies 
of Christendom, and now you have sworn upon the Gospel, 
to lay down your arms. To which of these two oaths will 
you be faithful ? You have just thought proper to conclude 
a treaty with the Mussulmans ; but have you not also 
treaties with your allies ? Will you abandon these generous 
allies at the moment that they are flying from all parts to 
your assistance, and are coming to share the perils of a war 
in which God has so visibly protected your first labours ? 

" But, what do I say ? You not only abandon your allies, 
you leave, without support and without hope, that crowd of 
Christians whom you have promised to deliver from an 
insupportable yoke, and who must now remain a prey to all 
the outrages of the Mussulmans whom your victories have 
irritated. The groans of so many victims will pursue you 
into your retreat, and will accuse you before God and 
before men. 

" You close for ever the gates of Asia against the Chris- 
tian phalanxes, and you restore to the Mussulmaus the 
hopes they had lost of invading the countries of Christen- 
dom. To what interests, answer me, have you sacrificed 
your own glory and the safety of the Christian world? 
Had not war already given you all that the sultan Amuratb 


promises? "Would he not have already given you stil 
more ; and do not the pledges obtained by victory inspire 
more confidence than the promises of infidels ? 

" What shall I say to the sovereign pontiff who has sent 
me to you, not to treat with Mussulmans, but to drive them 
beyond the seas ? What shall I say to all the pastors of the 
Christian Churches, and to all the faithful of the West, who 
are now offering up prayers to Heaven for the success of 
your arms ? 

" There is no doubt that the barbarians, whom we have 
twice conquered, would never have consented to a peace, if 
they had had the means of carrying on the war. Do you 
believe they will observe the truce, when fjrtune shall be- 
come more favourable to them ? No ; Christian warriors 
cannot remain bound by an impious compact which gives 
up the Church and Europe to the disciples of Mahomet. 
Learn that there is no peace between Grod and his enemies, 
between truth and falsehood, between Heaven and Hell. 
There is no necessity for me to absolve you from an oath 
evidently contrary to religion and morality, to all that 
which constitutes, among men, the sanctity and faith of 
promises. I exhort you then, in the name of Grod, in the 
name of the Grospel, to resume your arms a: d follow me in 
the road of salvation and glory." 

The safety of Christendom may, no doubt, be pleaded in 
extenuation of the violence of this discourse ; but impartial 
history, whatever may be the reasons alleged, cannot approve 
of this open violation of the faith of oaths. The leaders of 
the crusade might merit the reproaches of the apostolic 
legate, who accused them of having made a peace disgraceful 
in itself and dangerous to Christian Europe ; but they cer- 
tainly also deserve the contempt of posterity for violating 
treaties they had so recently concluded. When Cardinal 
Julian began to speak, the minds of his auditors were already 
wavering ; when he had finished his discourse, the warlike 
ardour which animated him seized upon the whole assembly, 
and manifested itself by the loud acclamations of a general 
approbation. With one unanimous voice they all swore to 
recommence the war, on the same spot where they had just 
sworn to maintain peace. 

The enthusiasm of most of the leaders was at its height 


it scarcely allowed them to observe that they had lost half 
their army. A great number of the Crusaders had quitted 
their colours, some impatient to return to their homes, but 
by far the greater part dissatisfied with a treaty, which ren- 
dered their bravery and their exploits useless. The prince 
of Servia, a near neighbour of the Turks, and in dread of 
their vengeance, did not dare to run the risk of a new war, 
and sent no troops to the army of Hunniades and Ladislaus. 
They waited in \ain for the reinforcements promised by 
Scanderberg, who was obliged to defend Albania. There 
remained not more than twenty thousand men under the 
banners of the cross. A chief of the Wallachians, on joining 
the Crusaders with his cavalry, could not refrain from ex- 
pressing his surprise to the king of Hungary, at the small- 
ness of his numbers ; and told him that the sultan they were 
going to contend with, was frequently followed to the chase 
by more slaves than the Christian warriors amounted to. 

The principal leaders were advised to defer the commence- 
ment of the war till the arrival of fresh Crusaders, or the 
return of those that had left them; but Ladislaus, Hun- 
niades, and particularly Julian, were persuaded that God 
protected the defenders of the cross, and that nothing coidd 
resist them. They set forward on their march, and crossing 
the deserts of Bulgaria, encamped at Warna, on the shores 
of the Black Sea. 

It was there the Crusaders, instead of finding the fleet 
which was to second them, learned that Amurath had left 
his retreat at Magnesia, and was hastening to meet them 
at the head of sixty thousand combatants. At this intelli- 
gence all the extravagant confidence infused by the Cardinal 
Julian faded away, and in their despair they accused the 
Greeks of having betrayed or abandoned them ; and the 
Genoese, with the nephew of the Pope, who commanded the 
Christian fleet, of having yielded the passage of Galliopoli 
to the Turks. This accusation is repeated in all the chro- 
nicles of the West; but the Turkish historians make no 
mention of it ; they, on the contrary, say that Amurath 
crossed the Hellespont at a considerable distance from the 
places occupied by the Christian fleet ; and that the grand 
vizier, who was upon the European shore, protected the 
passage of the Ottoman army by a hi ttery of cannon. u A* 


soon as the troops of Amurath," adds the Turkish historian 
Coggia Effendi, " gained the shore, they offered up prayers 
and thanks to the God of Mahomet, and the zephyr of vie* 
tory breathed upon the Mussulman banners." The siutan 
pursued his march, swearing by the prophets of Islamism, 
bo punish its enemies for the violation of treaties. If some 
autho ?a may be believed, the emperor of the Turks suppli- 
cated Jesus Christ himself to avenge the outrage committed 
upon his name by the perjured warriors. At the approach 
of the Ottomans, Hunniades and the legate advised retreat ; 
but retreat became impossible, and Ladislaus determined to 
conquer or die. The battle began : and it was then, says 
the Ottoman historian, " that an infinite number of valiant 
men were borne to the valley of shadows by torrents of blood." 
At the commencement of the battle both the right and left 
wings of the Mussulman army were broken. Some authors 
say that Amurath thought of flying, and that he was stopped 
by a janissary, who retained him by the bridle of his horse ; 
others celebrate the firm courage of the sultan, and compare 
him to a rock which resists all the blasts of the tempest. 
Coggia Effendi, whom we have already quoted, adds that 
the Ottoman emperor addressed, upon the field of battle, a 
prayer to the God of Mahomet, and conjured him with tears 
to remove from the Mussulmans the bitter cup of contempt 
and affliction. 

Eortune appeared to favour the arms of the Crusaders. 
A great part of the Ottoman army fled before twenty-four 
thousand Christian soldiers, and nothing could resist the 
impetuous courage of the king of Hungary. A crowd of 
prelates and bishops, armed with cuirasses and swords, ac- 
companied Ladislaus, and intreated him to direct his attacks 
towards the point at which Amurath still fought, defended 
by the bravest of his janissaries. He listened but too wil- 
lingly to their imprudent advice, and having rushed among 
the enemy's battalions, he was instantly pierced by a 
thousand lances, and fell with all who had been able to 
follow him. His head, fixed upon the point of a lance, and 
shown to the Hungarians, spread consternation through 
their ranks. It was in vain Hunniades and l\e bishops en- 
deavoured to revive the courage of the Crusaders, by telling 
theif they were not fighting for an earthly king, but for 


Jesus Christ; the whole Christian army disbanded, and fled in 
Urn greatest disorder. Hunniades himself was carried away 
with the rest : ten thousand soldiers of the cross k st their 
lives, and the Turks made a great number of prisoners, 
Cardinal Julian perished either in the battle or the flight. 

After his victory, Amurath traversed the fie3d of battle ; 
and as he observed he did not see among the Christian 
bodies one with a gray beard, his vizier replied that men 
arrived at the age of reason would never have attempted 
such a rash enterprize. These words were nothing more 
than a piece of flattery addressed to the sultan; but they 
might, nevertheless, serve to characterize a war in which the 
leaders of the Christian armies obeyed rather the impulses 
of the imprudent passions of youth, than the cooler dictates 
of experience and matured age. 

The expeditions of the Christians against the Turks began 
almost all, like this, by brilliant successes, and finished by 
great disasters. Most frequently a crusade was terminated 
at the first or the second battle, because the Crusaders had 
only valour, and were totally deficient in qualities which 
could improve a victory or repair reverses. "When con- 
querors, the}- quarrelled for the glory of the fight or the 
spoils of the enemy ; when conquered, they were at once 
depressed and discouraged, and returned to their homes, 
accusing each other reciprocally of their defeats. 

The battle of Warna secured to the Turks the European 
provinces they had invaded, and permitted them to make 
fresh conquests. Amurath, after having triumphed over his 
enemies, again renounced the imperial crown, and the soli- 
tude of Magnesia once more beheld the conqueror of the 
Hungarians clothed in the humble mantle of a hermit ; but 
the janissaries, whom he had so often led to victory, would 
not permit him to renounce the world or enjoy the repose 
he was so anxious for. Forced to resume the command of 
armies and the reins of empire, he directed hits views against 
Albania ; and he afterwards returned to fight with Hunni- 
ades on the shores of the Danube. He passed the remainder 
of his days in making war against the Christians, and with 
his last breath recommended his successor to direct his arms 
against Constantinople. 

Mahomet IT., to whom Amurath bequeathed the conquest 


of Byzantium, did not succeed his father till six years aftel 
the battle of Warna. It was then that began the days of 
mourning and calamity for the Greeks ; and it is at this 
period that history oifers us, as a spectacle, a last and terrible 
conflict ; on the one side, an old empire whose glory had 
filled the universe, and which had no defence or limits left 
but the ramparts of its capital ; and on the other, a new em- 
pire, the name of which was scarcely known, and which already 
threatened the whole world with invasion. 

Constantine and Mahomet, elevated almost at the same 
time, — the one to the throne of Otman, the other to that of 
the Caesars, presented no less difference in their characters 
than in their destinies. The moderation and piety of Con- 
stantine were admired, and historians have celebrated his 
calm and prudent valour in the field of battle, with his 
heroic patience in reverses. Mahomet brought to the 
throne an active and enterprising spirit, an ardent and 
passionate policy, and an indomitable pride. It is asserted 
that he loved letters and the arts ; but these peaceful pur- 
suits were not able to soften his savage ferocity. In war, 
he neither spared the lives of his enemies nor of his sol- 
diers ; and the violences of his character often ensanguined 
even peace. Whilst in Constantine a monarch could be 
recognized brought up in the school of Christianity, in 
Mahomet was as easily known a prince formed by the war- 
like and intolerant maxims of the Koran. The last of the 
Caesars had all the virtues that can honour and teach the 
endurance of a great misfortune. The son of Amurath 
exhibited the dark qualities of a conqueror, with all the 
passions which, in the day of victory, must leave nothing 
but despair to the vanquished. 

When Mahomet succeeded to the empire, his first thought 
was the conquest of Byzantium. In the negotiations which 
preceded the rupture of the peace, Constantine did not 
conceal the weakness of the Greek empire, and displayed 
all the resignation of a Christian. " My confidence is in 
G-od," said he to the Ottoman prince ; " if it should please 
him to soften your heart, I shall rejoice at that happy 
change ; if it should please him to deliver up Constantinople 
to you, I shall submit to his will without a murmur." 

The siege of Byzantium was fixed to begin in the spriag 


of the year 1453 ; and the Greeks and the Turks passed th« 
winter in preparation for the defence and the attack. Ma- 
homet entered with ardour upon an enterprise to which, for 
a length of time, all the wishes of the Turkish nation and 
all the Ottoman policy has been directed. In the middle 
of a night, having sent for his vizier : " Thou seest," saitf 
Mahomet, " the disorder of my couch. I have carried to it 
the trouble which agitates and devours me ; henceforth there 
will be neither repose nor sleep for me but in the capital of 
the Greeks." 

AVhilst Mahomet was getting together all his forces to 
commence the war, Constantine Palaeologus implored assist- 
ance from the nations of Europe. Cries of alarm had so 
often been heard from Constantinople, that some regarded 
the dangers of the Greek empire as imaginary, and others, 
its ruin as inevitable. In vain Constantine promised, as all 
his predecessors had done, to unite the Greek Church with 
the Roman Church ; the remembrance of so many promises, 
made in the hour of peril and forgotten in times of safety, 
added to the antipathy of the Latins for the people of 
Greece. The Pope exhorted feebly the warriors of the West 
to take arms, and satisfied himself with sending to the Greek 
emperor a legate and some ecclesiastics versed in the art of 
argumentation and in the study of theology. Although 
the Cardinal Isidore brought with him a considerable trea- 
sure, and had in his suite some Italian soldiers, his arrival 
at Constantinople must have spread discouragement among 
the Greeks, who expected other succours, and appeared to 
have attached a very high value to their submission to the 
Church of Rome. 

The princes of the Morea and the Archipelago, with those 
of Hungary and Bulgaria, some, in dread of being them- 
selves attacked, the others, restrained by indifference or the 
spirit of jealousy, refused to take any part in a war in which 
victory would decide their own fate. As Genoa and Venice 
had counting-houses and commercial establishments at Con- 
stantinople, two thousand Genoese soldiers and five or six 
hundred Venetians presented themselves to assist in defend- 
ing the city. A troop of Catalans also arrived, an intrepid 
soldiery, by turns the scourge and hope of Greece, whom a 
love of w r ar and peril brought to the imperial city. And 



this was all that was to represent warlike Europe at the 
siege of Byzantium. 

At this period, several Christian powers were at war with 
each otVier: the continuator of Baronius remarks on this 
subject, that the soldiers who then perished in battles fought 
in the bosom of Christendom, would have been sufficient 
to disperse the Turks, and drive them back to the outward 
verge of Asia. But if history, on this occasion, accuses the 
nations of the West of indifference, what ought it to say of 
that of the Greeks for their own defence ? The efforts of 
Constantine to unite the two Churches had weakened the 
confidence and zeal of his subjects, who prided themselves 
upon being orthodox. Among the Greeks, some, in order 
to owe nothing to the Latins, declared that God himself 
had undertaken to save his people, and upon the faith of 
some prophecies they had made, they awaited in inaction a 
miraculous deliverance. Others, more dark in their scho- 
lastic reveries, were not willing that Constantinople should 
be saved, because they had predicted that the empire must 
perish to expiate the crime of the union. Every hope of 
victory had in their eyes something impious and contrary to 
the will of Heaven. When the emperor spoke of the means 
of safety that still remained, and of the necessity for taking 
arms, these atrabilarious doctors drew back with a kind of 
horror, and the multitude they had misled ran after the 
monk Genadius, who, from the depth of his cell, cried out 
constantly to the people, that there was nothing to be done, 
and that all was lost. 

When we study the whimsicalities of the human mind, 
that which most affects the enlightened observer is, to see 
there are men whose passion is words, whom self-love 
attaches to vain subtleties, and for whom the ruin of the 
world would be a less painful spectacle than the triumph of 
an opinion they have opposed. On ;he eve of the greatest 
perils, Constantinople was tilled with people whom hatred 
for the Latins made forgetful of even the approach and 
menaces of the Turks. The grand duke Notares went so 
far as to say that he would like better to see in Byzantium the 
turban of Mahomet than the tiara of the pontiff of Rome. 

It is not use ess to remind our readers here, that in all these 
debates there was no question that affected the truths of 


Christianity, — nothing but some points of ecclesiastical dis» 
cipline: celebrating the mass in the Latin tongue, conse« 
crating unleavened bread, mixing some cold water in the 
chalice, communicating with azymites — these were things 
that were to be hated, things that were to be feared much 
more than I si am ism. Such were the motives for which the 
(Ireeks repulsed the Franks, their natural allies, loaded them 
with anathemas, and invoked the maledictions of Heaven 
upon their own city. 

Amidst these deplorable disputes the voice of patriotism 
was never listened to, and indifference, selfishness, and 
cowardice were able to conceal themselves under the respect- 
able appearance of religion and orthodoxy. A great part of 
the population of Constantinople had abandoned the city; 
among those that remained, the richest had buried their 
treasures, which they might have employed in the general 
defence, and which they soon lost, with their liberty and 
their lives. The imperial city only contained within its 
bosom four thousand nine hundred and seventy defenders, 
and the emperor was obliged to plunder the churches to 
support them. Thus, from eight to nine thousand combat- 
ants formed the entire garrison of Byzantium, and the last 
hope of the empire of the East. 

Mahomet had completed his immense preparations. As 
the conquest of Byzantium and the pillage of Constantinople 
were the richest recompense that could be offered to the 
valour of the Ottomans, all the soldiers were, in some sort, 
associated with the ambition of their leader. The warlike 
ardour and fanaticism which had distinguished the compa- 
nions of Omar and the first champions of Islamism were 
now revived. From all the regions which extend from the 
chain of Taurus to the banks of the Ebro and the Danube 
came crowds of warriors, attracted to the arr y by the hopes 
of booty or the desire of distinguishing themselves in a re- 
ligious and national war. In order at once to give a clear 
idea of the decay and weakness of the Greeks, and of the 
strength and power of the Ottomans, it will suffice to say, 
that Constantinople and all that remained of the territory of 
the empire contained a smaller number of inhabitants of 
ail kinds tnau Mahomet mustered soldiers beneath hia 


The Ottoman army set out from Adriauople at the begin- 
ning of March ; and on the sixth of April Mahomet pitched 
ais tent before the gate of St. Eomanus. The signal for battle 
was speedily given on both sides. In the "early days of the 
Biege, the Greeks and the Turks displayed all that the art of 
war had invented or perfected among the ancients and 
moderns. Among his formidable preparations, Mahomet 
had not neglected artillery, the use of which was then spread 
through the West. One of his cannons, founded under his 
own eyes at Adrianople, was of such gigantic proportions, 
that three hundred oxen dragged it along with difficulty, and 
it launched a ball of seven hundred quintals (seven hun- 
dred pounds weight) to a distance of more than six hundred 
toises (six hundred fathoms). Almost all the historians of 
the time speak of this terrible instrument of war, but say 
very little of the effect it produced in the field of battle. On 
examining with care the accounts of contemporaries, and par- 
ticularly the descriptions they have left us of these enormous 
machines of bronze, which they had so much trouble to 
move, we feel persuaded that at the siege of Byzantium the 
Ottoman artillery inspired more fright and surprise than it 
did execution. . The Turks showed very little skill or zeal in 
seconding the Frank engineers and artillerymen whom Ma- 
homet had taken into his service ; and it was a great blessing 
for Christendom that so powerful a discovery was not per- 
fected at once in the hands of barbarians, whom Europe 
could not have resisted if they had joined this new force to 
the advantages they already possessed in war. 

The Turks employed other arms and other means of 
attack with much more success ; such as mines dug under 
the ramparts, rolling towers, which were brought close up to 
the walls, rams which battered the walls, balistae, which 
launched beams and stones, arrows, javelins, and even the 
Greek fire, which still rivalled gunpowder, although the 
latter was destined soon to make it neglected and forgotten. 
All these means of destruction were employed at the same 
time, and assaults were renewed unceasingly. The besieged 
could not avail themselves of all their machines, from the 
want of hands to work them ; and when we reflect or. the 
smallness of the number of the defenders of Constanti- 
nople, we are ast ^uished that they were able to resist, for 


more than fifty days, the innumerable host of the Ottomans. 
This generous soldiery occupied a line of more than a league 
in length, repelling, night and day, the assaults of the 
enemy, repairing* the breaches in the walls, and making sor* 
ties ; they appeared to be everywhere at the same time, and 
to be equal to everything, animated by the presence of their 
leaders, and particularly by the example of Constantine. 
Several times fortune favoured the efforts of this heroic 
troop, and -tingled a few gleams of hope with the sentiment 
of sadness and terror which prevailed in Constantinople, 
The besieged preserved one advantage, the city was inac- 
cessible tc^ards the Propontis and on the side of the port. 
Mahomet had assembled a numerous fleet in the canal of 
the Black Sea; but it only served for the transmission of 
provisions and warlike stores. The Ottoman marine could 
not contend with the marine of the Greeks, particularly 
with that of the Franks ; and the Turks themselves acknow- 
ledged that they must yield the empire of the seas to the 
Christian nations. 

About the middle of the siege, five vessels from the coasts 
of Italy and Greece arrived in the canal. The whole Otto- 
man fleet was immediately in motion, and advanced to 
meet them ; from their numbers they surrounded them, and 
attacked them several times, with the view of getting posses- 
sion of them, or of turning them from their course. Ma- 
homet encouraged the combatants with voice and gesture 
from the shore. When the Ottomans appeared to be failing 
in their attempt, he could not restrain hir anger ; urging his 
horse into the sea, he seemed to threaten /he elements, and, 
like a barbarian king of antiquity, to accuse the waves of 
being obstacles to his conquests. On the other side, tho 
Greeks, collected on the ramparts of the city, awaited the 
issue of the combat in great anxiety. At length, after an 
obstinate and bloody conflict, all the Turkish ships were dis- 
persed or cast upon the shore ; and the Christian fleet, 
laden with provisions and soldiers, sailed in triumph into the 
port of Constantinople. 

The sultan burned to avenge this disgrace to his arms, 
and resolved to make a last effort to render himself master 
of the port of Constantinople. As the entrance of it was 
guarded by several large vessels, and closed by a chain o! 

*50 history of thj=; crusades. 

iron that could neither be broken nor passed, the Ottoman 
monarch employed an extraordinary method, which the be- 
sieged had not foreseen, and the success of which displayed 
the force of his will and the extent of his power. In a 
single night, between seventy and eighty vessels, which were 
at anchor in the canal of the Black Sea, were transported by 
land to the gulf of Ceras. The road was covered with 
planks, plastered with grease, along which a multitude of 
soldiers and workmen made the vessels slide. The Turkish 
fleet, commanded by pilots, with sails unfurled, as if upon a 
maritime expedition, advanced over a hilly country, and tra- 
versed a space of two miles by the light of torches and 
flambeaux, to the sound of clarions and trumpets, without 
the Genoese, who inhabited Galata, daring to offer any 
opposition to its passage. The Greeks, fully occupied in 
guarding their ramparts, had no suspicion of the designs of 
the enemy. They could not comprehend what could be the 
cause or the object of all the tumult that was heard during 
the whole night from the sea-shore, until the dawn of day 
showed them the Mussulman standards floating in their 

We naturally here inquire what resistance was made by 
the vessels which guarded the iron chain, and by those which 
had entered the port, after having dispersed the Ottoman 
fleet. We may suppose that every warrior who had fought 
in the Christian ships was then employed in defending the 
ramparts of the city ; or, it is probable, that the part of the 
gulf in which the Turkish ships descended, was not deep 
enough to be accessible to large vessels. However this may 
have been, the Mussulmans lost no time in taking advantage 
of their success. Scarcely were the Turkish boats launched, 
when a multitude of workmen were busily engaged in con- 
structing floating batteries on the same spot where the 
Venetians made their last assault in the fifth crusade. 

This bold enterprise, carried out with such audacity and 
success, spread trouble and consternation among the be- 
sieged. They made several attempts to burn the fleet and 
destroy the works the enemy had begun ; but they in vain 
nad recourse to the Greek fire, which had so often saved 
Constantinople from the attacks of the barbarians. Forty 
of their most intrepid warriors, betrayed by their imprudent 


valour, and perhaps also by the Genoese, fell into the handa 
of the Turks, and a death amidst tortures was the reward of 
their generoiu devotion. 

Constantine used reprisals, and exposed the heads of 
seventy of his captives upon the ramparts. This mode ot 
making war announced that the combatants no longer 
listened to anything but the inspirations of despair or the 
furies of vengeance. The Mussulmans, who daily received 
supplies of all kinds, prosecuted the siege without inter- 
mission. The certainty of victory redoubled their ardour ; 
Constantinople was assaulted on several sides at once, and 
the garrison, already weakened by the conflicts and labours 
of a long siege, were obliged to divide their forces to defend 
all the points attacked. 

The repairs of the fortifications on the side of the port had 
been neglected. Towards the west, several of the towers, 
particularly that of St. Homanus, were falling into ruins. 
In this almost desperate situation, what w r as, if possible, 
still more deplorable, the garrison of Byzantium was pos- 
sessed by the spirit of discord. Violent debates arose 
between the grand duke Notares and Justiniani, who com- 
manded the Genoese troops. The Venetians and the Ge- 
noese w'ere several times on the point of coming to blows ; 
and yet history can scarcely point out the subjects of these 
unfortunate quarrels. Such was the blindness produced by 
the spirit of jealousy, or rather by despair, that in this 
chosen band of warriors, who were every day sacrificing 
their lives in the noble cause they had embraced, it was not 
uncommon to hear mutual accusations of cowardice and 

Constantine endeavoured to appease them ; and himself, 
always calm in the midst of discord, appeared to be ac- 
tuated by no other feeling than a love of country and a 
thirst for glory. The character he exhibited w r hen sur- 
rounded by dangers, ought to have procured him the con- 
fidence and the affection of the people ; but the turbulent 
and seditious spirit of the Greeks, and the vanity of their 
disputes would not permit them to appreciate true great- 
ness. They reproached Palreologus with misfortunes which 
were not his work, and which his virtue alone could have 
repaired. They accused him of completing the ruin of au 


empire which all the world abandoned, and which he alone 
was willing to defend. They not only no longer respected 
the authority or the intentions of the prince ; but every one 
who was exalted either by rank or character, became an ob- 
ject of reprobation or mistrust. By a consequence of that 
restless spirit which, in public disorders, urges the multitude 
to seek obscure supports, certain predictions, fully credited 
by the people, announced that the city of the Caesars could 
only be saved by a miserable mendicant, in whose hand God 
would place the sword of his wrath. 

As the day of their great calamities approached, the con- 
gregations of the churches proportionately increased. The 
image of the holy Virgin, the patroness of Constantinople, 
was solemnly exhibited, and carried in procession through 
the streets. These pious ceremonies, doubtless, presented 
something edifying, but they did not inspire the bravery 
necessary for the defence of a country and a religion in 
extreme danger ; and Heaven, amidst the perils of war, did 
not listen to the prayers of an unarmed trembling people. 

During the siege, capitulation had been several times 
spoken of. Mahomet required that the capital of an empire, 
of which he already possessed all the provinces, should be 
given up to him, and he would permit the Greeks to retire 
with their treasures. Pala)ologus was willing to consent to 
pay a tribute, but he would not give up Constantinople. 
At length, in a last message, the sultan threatened to im- 
molate the Greek emperor with his family, and scatter his 
captive people throughout the earth, if he persisted in de- 
fending the city. Mahomet offered his enemy a principality 
in the Peloponnesus ; Constantine rejected this proposition, 
and preferred a glorious death. From that moment peace 
was no more mentioned, and Byzantium was left to the 
chances of an implacable war. 

The sultan announced to the army an approaching general 
assault : the wealth of Constantinople, the captives, the 
Greek women, were to be the rewards of the valour of the 
soldiers ; he for himself, only reserved the city and the edi- 
fices. To add religious enthusiasm to that of war, dervises 
pervaded the ranks of the Ottoman army, exhorting the sol- 
diers to purify their bodies by ablutions, and their souls by 
prs^er; and promising the delights of paradise to the de- 


enders of the Mussulman faith. At the end of the day, 
great fires, lighted by the orders of the sultan, spread a lurid 
splendour over all the shores of the sea, from the point ol 
Galata to the G-olden Grate. The Ottoman emperor then 
appeared in the midst of his army, promising again the 
plunder of Byzantium to his soldiers ; and, to render his 
promise more solemn, he swore to it by the soul of Amurath, 
by four thousand proph ets, by his children, and lastly by his 
eimeter. The whole army burst forth in exclamations of 
joy, and repeated several times : God is God, and Mahomet 
is the messenger of God. When this warlike ceremony was 
finished, the sultan ordered, under pain of death, that pro- 
found silence should be observed throughout the camp ; and 
from that moment nothing was to be heard around Constan- 
tinople but the confused tumult of an army in which every- 
thing was in motion, preparing for a terrible and decisive 

In the city, the garrison kept watch upon the ramparts, 
and observed with anxiety the movements of the Ottoman 
army. They had heard with affright the noisy exclamations 
of the Turks ; but the sudden silence which followed them 
redoubled their alarm. The light from the enemy's fires 
was reflected from the summits of the towers and from the 
domes of the churches, and rendered the darkness which 
covered the city more awful. Constantinople, in which the 
labours of industry and all the ordinary cares of life were 
suspended, was plunged in a profound calm, which, how- 
ever, afforded neither sleep nor repose to any one ; it was 
the dismal aspect of a city which some great scourge has 
rendered desolate. Only around the temples seme few 
plaintive sounds were heard, imploring with the voice of 
prayer the mercy of heaven. Already might the words of 
the Persian poet be applied to that unfortunate city, which 
the conqueror repeated on the morrow in the pride of his 
triumph : The spider silently spins his web beneath the roofs 
of the 'palaces, and the bird of darkness utters his mournful 
cries upon the towers of Efrasiab. 

Constantine called together the principal leaders of the 
garrison to deliberate upon the dangers which threatened the 
empire. In a pathetic discourse, he endeavoured to revive the 
courage and the hopes of his companions in arms ; speaking ta 


the Greeks of patriotism, and to the Latin auxiliaries of reli« 
gion aud humanity, he exhorted them all to have patience, 
but above all to preserve concord. The warriors who were 
present at this last council, listened to the emperor in me- 
lancholy silence ; they did not dare to interrogate each other 
upon the means of defence, which all knew to be useless. 
They embraced each other with tears, and returned to the 
ramparts, filled with the most sinister forebodings. 

The emperor entered the church of St. Sophia, where he 
received the sacrament of the communion ; the sadness 
which was observable on his countenance, the pious humility 
with which he solicited forgetfulness of injuries, pardon for 
his faults, the touching words which he addressed to the 
people, which resembled eternal adieus, redoubled the 
general consternation. The sun of the last day of the 
lioman empire arose : it was the 29th of May ; the signal 
for assault was given to the Turkish army before dawn : 
the multitude of Mussulman soldiers rushed towards the 
walls of the city. The attack was made at the same time 
on the side of the port, and near the gate of St. Bomanus. 
In the first charge, the assailants everywhere met with a 
firm resistance ; the Catalans and the Genoese did all that 
the courage of Franks could effect. Palaeologus fought- at 
the head of the Greeks, and the sight alone of the imperial 
banner filled the Ottoman soldiers with terror. Three hun- 
dred archers from the isle of Crete, sustained gloriously the 
ancient renown of the Cretans for their skill with the bow. 
Among this brave band it is but just to point out Cardinal 
Isidorus, who had caused the fortifications he was charged to 
protect to be repaired at his own expense, and who fought 
till the end of the siege, at the head of the soldiers he had 
brought from Italy. History likewise owes great praise to 
the monks of St. Basil, who had no doubt adopted the party 
of the union, and whose valour and glorious death expiated 
the blind and fatal obstinacy of the Byzantine clergy. 

The historian Phrantza compares the close ranks of the 
Mussulmans to an extended tightened cord, which might 
have been placed round the city. The towers which de- 
fended the gate St. Bomanus crumbled away beneath the 
blows of the rams and the discharges of the Ottoman artil- 
lery. The exterior walls were carried ; the dead and the 


bounded, confounded with the ruins, filled up the ditches. 
And yet upon this horrible field of battle the defenders of 
Byzantium t}ught still ; nothiug could weary their constancy 
nothing cou-d shake their courage. 

After two hours of frightful conflict, Mahomet advanced 
with his chosen troops and ten thousand janissaries. He 
appeared in the midst of them, with his mace in his hand, 
like the angel of destruction ; his threatening looks animated 
the ardour of his soldiers, and he pointed out to them by his 
gestures the points that were to be attacked. Behind the 
battalions he led, a troop of those men whom despotism 
charges with the execution of its vengeance, punished 01 
constrained all who wished to fly, and forced them forward 
to the carnage. The dust which arose from the steps of the 
combatants, with the smoke of the artillery, covered both 
the army and the city. The clang of the trumpets, the 
crash of the ruins, the explosion of the cannons, and the 
shock of arms completely drowned the voices of the leaders. 
The janissaries fought in disorder; and Constantine, who 
had remarked it, was exhorting his soldiers to make one 
last effort, when the aspect of the fight became all at once 
changed. Justinian having been struck by an arrow, the 
pain of the wound was so intense as to force him to quit 
the field of battle. The Genoese and most of the Latin 
auxiliaries followed his example. The Greeks, left alone, 
are soon overwhelmed by numbers ; the Turks pass the 
ramparts, get possession of the towers, and break open the 
gates. Constantine fought still ; but soon, covered with 
wounds, he fell among the heap of dead, and Constantinople 
was without a head and without defenders. 

"What a spectacle is that of an empire which has but one 
moment of existence left, and which is about to finish amidst 
the furies of war, and beneath the sword of barbarians ! All 
at once every tie of society is broken ; religion, patriotism, 
nature have no longer laws that can be invoked ; even wis- 
dom and experience can yield none but useless counsels. 
All the ascendancy and splendour of virtue, genius, or even 
valour, have no longer power to distinguish or protect the 
citizens. Those magnificent palaces which constituted the 
pride of princes, nobody possesses them now. Among all 
the numerous edifices of a great capital, no one can find an 


asylum or an abode. The city has no longer warriors 01 
magistrates, r.obles or plebeians, poor or rich; the whole 
population is but a troop of slaves, who await with terror 
the presence of an irritated master. Such was Constanti- 
nople at the moment the conquerors were preparing to 
enter it. 

"When some of those who had defended the ramparts re- 
treated into the city, announcing the coming of the Turks, 
they could not obtain belief; when the Turkish battalions 
came pouring in, the people, says the Greek historian Ducas, 
" were half dead with fear, and could scarcely breathe." 
The multitude rushed about the streets, without knowing 
whither to go, and uttering piercing cries. Women, 
children, and old people nocked to the churches, as if the 
altars of Christ could prove an asylum against the savage 
disciples of Mahomet ! 

It is not our task to describe the disasters which followed 
the taking of Constantinople. The massacre of the unarmed 
inhabitants, the city given up to pillage, holy places pro- 
faned, virgins and matrons overwhelmed with outrages, an 
entire population loaded with chains ; such are the horrible 
pictures that are to be found in the annals of the Turks, the 
Greeks, and the Latins. Such was the fate of that city 
which frequent revolutions had covered with ruins, and 
which became at length the ridicule and the prey of a nation 
it had long despised. If there be anything consolatory 
amidst so many distressing scenes, it is the virtue of Con- 
stantine,* who would not survive his country, and whose 
death was the last glory of the empire of the East.f 

"When we consider the weakness of the Greek empire and 

* The character of Constantine was worthy of being celebrated by the 
epic muse. One of our most distinguished statesmen has undertaken 
this glorious task. — See the poem of The Last Constantine, by M. de 
Vaublanc. [We wonder our author is not here struck by the very pal- 
pable reflection, that empires, kingdoms, and other institutions, which 
have richly merited their fall, frequently expire under the immediate rule 
of men who have not been instrumental in bringing about their ruin — 
they are but the last step of a headlong declivity, — if they are of adamant 
they must yield. The history of his own country and of ours might have 
supplied him with hints for such a reflection.— Trans.] 

f For the siege of Constantinople, the very detailed account of Gibbon, 
and the rapid but complete picture of M. Salabury, in his History of the 
Turkish Empire, may be consulted. 


the power of its enemies, we are astonished it was able to 
resist so long. The Ottomans were governed by all the 
passions which favour conquests; the Greeks had not one 
of the qualities which are useful in defence : to be convinced 
of this, we have but to see how the two nations acted. When 
Mahomet proclaimed his enterprise, the Ottomans flocked 
to his army from all parts of his empire ; whilst at the first 
report of the siege, a great part of the population of Con- 
stantinople deserted the city. We have seen that the der- 
vises encouraged the Mussulman soldiers, and held up to 
them the war against the Greeks as a holy war. The 
Greek priests, on the contrary, discouraged the defenders 
of Byzantium, and were not far from considering the resist- 
ance of Constantine as a sacrilegious action. During the 
assaults made upon the imperial city, the Turkish soldiers, 
to fill up the ditches, cast into them their tents and their 
baggage, preferring victory to all they possessed. It is 
well known that at the same time the richest Greeks were 
employed in burying their wealth, preferring treasures to 
patriotism. We could add other remarkable features, but 
these quite sufficiently show on which side the strength 
was. What most strongly foretold the ruin of Byzantium, 
was the small degree of confidence the Greeks had in the 
duration of their empire. Never did the ancient Romans 
more clearly show the power and ascendancy of their pa- 
triotism, than when they designated Rome, the eternal city. 
Constantinople saw the number of its defenders diminish, 
and their courage became weaker, in proportion with the 
facility with which the sinister predictions of its approaching 
ruin found credit among the people. 

When Byzantium, at the beginning of the thirteenth 
century, fell into the hands of the Latins, the empire still 
possessed great means of defence, and yet twenty thousand 
Crusaders achieved the conquest of it ; which places the 
valour of the Franks much above that of the Turks. This 
would perhaps be the best place to examine what was the 
influence of the crusades over the destiny of the empire of 
the East. In the first expedition of the Latins, Asia Minor 
was delivered from the Turks, who were already masters of 
Nice, and threatened Constantinople ; but the Crusaders 
sold the services they had rendered at too high a price : on 


the one part, violence, on the other, perfidy, disturbed the 
harmony that ought to have subsisted between the Greeks 
and the Latins. At length the taking of Constantinople 
by the Franks was a mortal blow to the empire of Byzan- 
tium. Amidst the war, schism became enlarged by hatred ; 
and schism, in its turn, doubled the reciprocal hatred. This 
division favoured the progress of the Turks, and opened the 
gates of Constantinople to them. 

What is most unfortunate in the conquest of the Otto- 
mans is, that they preserved nothing, not even the name of 
Byzantium. The barbarians who overthrew the empire of 
the West, adopted the religion and manners of the con- 
quered nations ; which, by degrees, caused the traces of 
invasion and conquest to disappear. The Turks, on the 
contrary, were resolved to make the Koran triumph wherever 
they carried their arms. As soon as they were masters of 
Constantinople, the altars of Christ were overturned, and 
everything changed with religion. The city of Constantine 
became more widely than ever separated from Christendom ; 
and as it was for the infidels the gate of the West, Chris- 
tian Europe, which during nearly three centuries had sent 
its fleets and its armies into Asia, had reason at last to 
tremble for itself. From that period crusades took & new 
character, and were nothing but defensive wars. 


A.D. 1453—1481. 

The West had heard of the dangers which threatened the 
Greek empire with indifference ; but on learning the last 
triumph of the arms of Mahomet, all the Christian nations 
were seized with terror ; and it was believed that the janis- 
saries were already overturning the altars of the Gospel in 
the richest provinces of Germany. People trembled at the 
idea of one day hearing the Koran preached in the churches 
of Rome, changed into mosques. Murmurs arose on all 
sides against the Pope, Nicholas V., who was reproached 
with not having preached a crusade, to prevent the misfor- 
tune which all Christendom deplored. Assistance sent 
before the siege might, in fact, have saved Constantinople ; 
but the city once in the power of the barbarians, the evil 
became irreparable. A union of all the Christian powers 
alone could wrest their conquests from the hands of the 
Turks, and against this union fresh obstacles arose daily. 

In vain, to excite the West once more, the eloquence of 
Christian orators was addressed sometimes to the grief, 
and at others to the piety, of the faithful ; in vain, by turns, 
the ascendancy of religious ideas and that of chivalry were 
employed : everybody deplored the progress of the Turks, 
but a blind resignation, or rather a cruel indifference, soon 
took place of the general consternation. 

A short time after the taking of Constantinople, Philip 
the Good, duke of Burgundy, assembled at Lille, in Flan- 
ders, all the nobility of his states ; and in a festival of which 
history has preserved a faithful account, he endeavoured to 
awaken the zeal and valour of the knights, by the spectacle 
of everything that could at that period affect their chivalric 
imagination. In the first place, a great number of pictures 


and curious scenes were exhibited to the spectatois, among 
which were the labours of Hercules, the adventures of Jason 
and Medea, and the enchantments of Melusina.* After 
these, an elephant was led into the banquetting-hall by a 
Saracen giant ; on the back of the elephant was a tower, 
from which issued a lady clothed in mourning, representing 
the Christian Church. The elephant having arrived in 
front of the table of the duke of Burgandy, the lady recited 
a long complaint, in verse, upon the evils with which she 
was afflicted ; and addressing herself to the princes, dukes, 
and knights, she complained of their tardiness and their 
indiiference in assisting her. Then appeared a herald-at- 
arms, who carried in his hand a pheasant, a bird which chi- 
valry had adopted as the symbol and the prize of bravery. 
Two noble demoiselles, and several knights of the order of 
the Golden Fleece, approached the duke, and presented to 
him the bird of the brave, praying him to hold them in re- 
onemhrance. Philip the Good, who knew, says Oliver de la 
Marche, with what intention he held this banquet, cast a 
look of compassion upon the Lady Holy Church,f and drew 
from his bosom a writing, which the herald-at-arms read 
with a loud voice. In this writing, the duke vowed in the 
first 'place by God his Creator, and by the holy Virgin, and 
next by the ladies and the pheasant, " that if it pleased the 
king of Trance to expose his body for the defence of the 
Christian faith, to resist the damnable enterprize of the 
Grand Turk, he would serve him with his person and his 
power in the said voyage, in the best manner that God 
would give him grace ; if the said king committed this expe- 
dition to any prince of his blood, or other great lord, he 
swore to obey him ; and if, on account of his great affairs, 
he was nut disposed to go or to send, and other potent 
princes would take the cross, he offered to accompany them 
as soon as he possibly could. If, during the holy voyage, 

* Olivier de la Marche, after giving a description of the festival and of 
the divers spectacles offered to the eyes of the guests, adds : ' Such were 
the dainty mundane dishes of this festival, of which I will leave others to 
speak, to give an account of a pitiable portion of it, which appears to ma 
of more consequence than the others," &c. 

f Olivier de la Marche says, that the duke of Burgundy had already 
undertaken, three years before, to make a crusade against the Turks, in 
an assembly held at Mons. 


he could by any means or manner learn or know that thfl 
Baid Grand Turk would be willing to meet him body to 
body, he, Philip, for the sake of the said Christian faith, 
would willingly fight with him, with the help of the all- 
powerful God, and of his very sweet Virgin Mother, whom 
ne always called upon to aid him." 

The Lady Holy Church thanked the duke for the zeal he 
showed for her defence. All the lords and knights who were 
present, invoked, in their turns, the names of God and the 
Virgin, without forgetting the ladies and the pheasant, and 
swore to consecrate their wealth and their lives to the service 
of Jesus Christ, and of their very redoubtable lord the duke 
of Burgundy. All expressed the most ardent enthusiasm. 
Some distinguished themselves by the whimsicality and the 
singularity of their promises. The count d'Etampes, ne- 
phew to Philip the Good, engaged himself to offer a challenge 
to any of the great princes and lords of the Grand Turk's 
company, and promised to fight them body to body, two to two, 
three to three, four to four, five to five, Sfc. The bastard of 
Burgundy swore to fight with a Turk in any manner he 
might please, and engaged to have his challenge sent to 
the hostel of the Turk. The lord of Pons swore never to 
sojourn in any city till he had met with a Saracen with 
whom he might fight body to body, by the help of our Lady, 
for the love of whom he would never sleep in a bed on a 
Saturday, before the entire accomplishment of his vow. 

Another knight undertook, from the day of his departure, 
never to eat anything on a Friday that had been killed, 
until he had exchanged blows with one or many enemies of 
the faith ; if the banner of his lord and that of the Saracens 
were unfurled as the signal for fight, he made a vow to go 
straight to the banner of the Grand Turk, and to strike it to 
the earth, or die in attempting to do so* The seigneur de 

* Some modern historians who have spoken of these vows of the 
knights, have exaggerated the fantasticalness of them. I find, among 
others, in one of these historians, this sentence : "In short, what gives the 
best idea of the devotion of these new Crusaders is, that one vowed that 
if. up to the moment of his departure, he could not obtain the favours of 
his mistress, he would many the first demoiselle he should meet with 
having twenty thousand croirns." We have found nothing like this in 
either Montstrelet or Olivier de la Marche, who are the only authors of 
the times who speak of this festival. 

Vol. III.— 8 


Toulongeon, on his arrival in the country of the infidels, 
vowed to challenge one of the men-at-arms of the Grand 
Turk, and fight him in the presence of his lord, the duke of 
Burgundy ; or if the Saracen were not willing to come, he 
proposed to go and fight him in the presence of the Grand 
Turk, provided he might have good assurance of safety. 

All these promises, which were never accomplished, serve 
at least to show us the spirit and the manners of chivalry. 
The simple confidence which the knights had in their arms, 
proves how little they were acquainted with the enemies 
against whom they declared war in this fashion.* 

When each one had pronounced his vows, a lady clothed 
in white, bearing upon her back this inscription in letters of 
gold, — Grace-Dieu, came and saluted the assembly, and pre- 
sented twelve ladies with twelve knights. These ladies per- 
sonated twelve virtues or qualities, the name of which each 
wore upon her shoulder: — Faith, Charity, Justice, Reason, 
Prudence, Temperance, Strength, Truth, Bounty (largesse), 
Diligence, Hope, Valour, — such were the chivalric virtues 
that were to preside over the crusade. 

After this ceremony, says the chronicler we have quoted, 
the ladies began to dance like mummers, and to give them- 
selves up to gaiety, in order to carry on the festival more 

The details of this chivalric feast make us perceive a great 
change in the spirit and the manners of Europe. When we 
call to our minds the Council of Clermont, the preachings 
of Peter the Hermit and of St. Bernard, with the grave en- 
thusiasm and the austere devotion which presided at the 
taking of the oaths of the early Crusaders ; aid when we 
afterwards behold the brilliant solemnities of chivalry, the 
half-profane and half-religious promises of the knights, hi 
short, all the worldly spectacles amidst which a holy wsjr 
was proclaimed, we. can fancy ourselves transported not only 
into another age, but amongst new nations. The religion 
which had precipitated the West upon Asia had no longer an 
empire, unless the ladies were its interpreters. It was less 

* We smile when reading this strange scene of safe and ignorant 
boasting ; but if a Grand Turk ever indulges in mirth, we should think 
it would have excited the laughter of Mat jmet, if "e chanced to hear of 
it.— Trans. 


piety, or the desire of obtaining heavenly crowns, "ban the 
sentiment of gallantry with which they were animated in 
tournaments, that brought knights beneath the standard o/ 
the cross. 

We likewise know that this kind of preaching produced 
only a transient effect upon the minds of the warriors ; and 
that they had not any influence whatever upon the multi- 
tude. This observation must convince us of one truth, 
which is, that the most active and powerful motive among 
men will always be the spirit of religion, and that no other 
motive, emanating from human passions, could have ex- 
cited the world like that which produced and kept up the 

Some pious men, however, made incredible efforts to 
revive the spirit of the early times of the holy wars. John 
Capistran, a monk of St. Francis, and ^Eneas Sylvius, bishop 
of Sienna, neglected no means that they thought would 
inflame the minds of the people, and reanimate religious 
enthusiasm. The first, wiio passed for a saint, travelled 
through the cities of Germany and Hungary, describing to 
the assemblies of the people, the perils of the faith, and the 
threats of the wicked. The second, one of the most en- 
lightened bishops of his age, versed in Greek and Latin 
literature, an orator and a poet, exhorted princes to take up 
arms to keep off invasion from their own states, and save 
the Christian republic from approaching destruction. 

JSneas Sylvius wrote to the sovereign pontiff, and en- 
deavoured to rouse his zeal by telling him, that the loss of 
Constantinople would weaken his credit and tarnish his 
name, if he did not use every effort to destroy the power of 
the Turks. The pious orator repaired to Rome, and preached 
the crusade in a'consistory ; and to show the necessity for a 
holy war, he quoted by turns, before the pope and cardinals, 
the authority of Greek philosophers, and that of fathers of 
the Church. He deplored the captivity of Jerusalem, the 
cradle of Christianity ; and the slavery of Greece, the mother 
of the sciences and the arts. iEneas celebrated the heroic 
courage of the Germans, the noble devotion of the French, 
the generous pride of the Spaniards, and the love of glory 
which animated the nations of Italy. The king of Hungary, 
whose kingdom was threatened by Mahomet, was present 


at this assembly. The orator of the crusade, pointing out 
this monarch to the sovereign pontiff and the prelates, con- 
jured them to have pity on his tears. 

Frederick III., emperor of Germany, at the same time 
wrote to Pope Nicholas V., to implore him to save Christen- 
dom. " The words that issue from the mouth of man can- 
not give an idea of the calamity the Catholic Church has 
just experienced, or make known the ferocity of the people 
whe are now desolating Greece, and who menace the West." 
The emperor pressed the pope to unite all the Christian 
powers against this formidable enemy ; announcing that he 
himself was about to convoke the princes and states of 
Germany. The pope applauded the intentions of the em- 
peror, and legates were sent to the diets of Ratisbon and 
Frankfort. iEueas Sylvius again preached the crusade 
against the Turks in these two assemblies. The duke of 
Burgundy, who was present at both, renewed, in the pre- 
sence of the princes and states of the German empire, the 
vow he had made to God, to the Blessed Virgin, to the ladies, 
and to the pheasant. Hungarian deputies came to announce 
that the banks of the Danube and the frontiers of Germany 
were about to be invaded by the Turks, if Christians did 
not hasten, in all parts, to take up arms to repel them. 

The diet decreed that ten thousand horse and thirty 
thousand foot should be sent against the Turks ; but as 
nothing was decided as to the manner of levying this army, 
or as to how it should be maintained, the enthusiasm for 
the crusade soon declined, and nobody put himself forward 
to oppose the progress of the Ottomans. JGneas Sylvius 
explains to us, in one of his letters, the causes of this 
indifference and inaction of Christendom. " The Christian 
republic was nothing but a body without a head ; they who 
ought to have been the leaders had nothing great about 
them but the name ; Europe was divided into a crowd of 
inimical or rival states ; discords that could not be appeased, 
diversity of interests, languages, and customs, left no hope 
of raising a common army, Or of carrying on an active and 
regular war against the Turks." 

^Eneas Sylvius thus demonstrated the impossibility of a 
crusade, and yet, carried away by his zeal, he passed his 
whole life in preaching one. Whilst he was uselessly 


haranguing the princes of Germany, the pope was endea- 
vouring to establish concord among the states of Italy. 
The ascendancy of the pontifical authority was not sufficient 
to calm angry spirits, and peace was the work of a poor 
hermit, whose words exercised a supreme autlority over the 
hearts of the faithful. Brother Simon issued all at once 
from his retreat, perambulated the cities, and addressing 
both princes and people, exhorted them to unite against the 
enemies of Jesus Christ : at the voice of the holy orator, 
Venice, Florence, and the duke of Milan, laid down their 
arms, and a league was formed, into which most of the 
republics and principalities of Italy entered. 

Advantage might have been taken of this union to declare 
war against the Turks. But the confederation had no 
leader capable of directing it. Two men were able to set 
both Germany and Italy in motion, — the Emperor Frederick 
and Pope Nicholas. They alone could have insured success 
to a crusade which they themselves had preached : but the 
one was restrained by the avarice and indolence of his 
character; the other, passionate in the pursuit of learned 
antiquity, always surrounded by scholars, employed himself 
much more earnestly in collecting the literary treasures of 
Greece and Rome, than in promoting attempts for the de- 
liverance of the city of Constantine. When the Turks took 
Byzantium, he was causing translation to be made, at great 
expense, of the most celebrated Greek authors ; and it 
would not be harsh to believe that the tenths levied for the 
crusade, were sometimes employed in the acquisition of the 
master-pieces of Plato, Herodotus, or Thucydides. 

Nicholas confined himself to a few exhortations addressed 
to the faithful, and died without having removed any of the 
difficulties which opposed themselves to the undertaking of 
a holy war. Calixtus III., who succeeded him, showed more 
zeal, and at the very commencement of his pontificate, he 
sent legates and preachers throughout Europe, to proclaim 
a crusade and levy tenths. An embassy frc:n the pontiff 
went to solicit the kings of Persia and Armenia, and the 
khan of the Tartars, to unite with the Christians of the 
West, to make war against the Turks. Sixteen galleys, 
constructed with the produce of the tenths, put to sea 
under the command of the patriarch of Aquileia, and dis- 


played the manner of St. Peter in the Archipelago, and ou 
the coasts )f Asia Minor; iEneas Sylvius harangued the 
pope in the name of the emperor of Germany, and promised 
him the concurrence of all the powers of Christendom, if his 
holiness opened the treasures of the Church, and, by his evan- 
gelical exhortations, called all the workmen to the harvest. 
Calixtus III. thanked the head of the empire for his advice, 
and pressed him to set the example. But the indolent 
Frederick contented himself with renewing his promises ; 
and whilst the emperor was thus exhorting the pope to 
maintain a crusade, and that the pope, on his side, was 
urging the emperor to take arms, the Ottomans penetrated 
into Hungary, and advanced against Belgrade. 

This city, one of the bulwarks of the "West, received no 
succour from Christendom. There remained no hope for it 
but in the valour of Hunniades, and in the apostolic zeal of 
John of Capistran. The one commanded the troops of the 
Hungarians, and excited them by his example ; the other, 
who, by his preachings had got together a great number of 
German Crusaders, animated the Christian soldiers, and in- 
spired them with an invincible ardour. 

Contemporary chronicles inform us, that at this period a 
hairy comet appeared blazing in the east. The Christian 
nations believed they saw in this phenomenon a prophetic 
signal of the greatest evils ; and as the evil then most to be 
dreaded was the invasion of the Turks, Calixtus was desirous 
of profiting by this feeling of the people, to revive the idea 
of a crusade. He exhorted the Christians to penitence ; 
and pointed out the holy war as a means by which they 
might expiate their sins and appease the anger of Heaven. 

In no country, notwithstanding, did the people arm, ex- 
cept in those that were immediately menaced by the Turks. 
It was at this time that the pope ordered that every day at 
noon, the bells should be rung in all parishes, to call upon 
the faithful to pray for the Hungarians, and for those who 
were contending with the Turks. Calixtus granted indul- 
gences to all Christians who, at this signal, would repeat 
the Dominical prayer and the angelic salutation three times. 
Such was the origin of the Angelus, which the customs of 
the Church have consecrated, and continued to modern 


Heaven was doubtless touched by these fervent Drayers, 
which arose at the same time and together, from all parts of 
Christian Europe. On the Gth of August, 1456, the Turks 
were defeated under the walls of Belgrade, which they had 
besieged forty days, and which they had threatened to treat 
in the same manner as they had treated the Greek capital. 
The presence of ITunniades and the ardent zeal of John 
Capistran had so excited the valour of the Hungarians, that 
they destroyed the Ottoman fleet, which covered the Danube 
and the Save, and the army commanded by Mahomet him- 
self. More than twenty thousand Mussulmans lost their 
lives in the battle ; the sultan was wounded amidst his 
janissaries, and escaped the pursuit of the victors with much 
difficulty. All Europe returned Heaven thanks for a victory, 
for the obtaining of which it had only concurred by its 
prayers, and which it must have considered a miracle. The 
tent and the arms of Mahomet were sent to the pope, 
as a trophy of the holy war, and as a homage rendered to 
the father of the faithful. Eeligion celebrated by its cere- 
monies, a day in which its most cruel enemies had been van- 
quished. The festival of the Transfiguration, instituted by 
a bull of the pope, and marked to take place on the 6th of 
August, reminded the universal Church, every year, :>f the 
defeat of the Turks before Belgrade. 

Hunniades and Capistran did not long survive their 
triumphs ; but both died whilst Christendom was still mixing 
their names with hymns of gratitude. The passion of jea- 
lousy empoisoned their last moments ; and the scarcely evan- 
gelical warmth with which each of them claimed the honour 
of having saved Belgrade, left a stain upon their renown. 
iEneas Sylvius, when commending their memory to the 
esteem of posterity, celebrates the virtues of Capistran, and 
expresses astonishment that an humble cenobite, who had 
trampled under-foot all the riches of this world, should not 
have had sufficient strength to resist the charms of glory. 

"Whilst the Hungarians were beating the Turks before 
Belgrade, the pope's fleet gained some advantages in the 
Archipelago. Calixtus took care not to neglect to rem nd 
the faithful of the exploits and triumphs of the patriarch of 
Aquileia ; persuaded that the news of victories gained over 
the Mussulmans would restore hope and courage to al 


those whom the reverses of the Christians had discouraged 
and terrified. A fresh crusade was preached in Trance, 
England, Germany, and even in the kingdoms of Castile, 
Arragon, and Portugal. The people everywhere listened 
with pious seriousness to the preachers of the crusade ; but 
murmurs generally arose against the levying of the tenths. 
The clergy of Rouen, with the university and parliament of 
Paris, opposed the impost openly. In Germany complaints 
were more violent than elsewhere. In proportion as the 
spirit of the holy wars cooled, the means employed by the 
popes to renew these distant expeditions were judged with 
greater severity. It must likewise be admitted, that there 
were great abuses in the collection and the employment of 
the tenths. An open traffic of the indulgences of the court 
of Rome for the crusade was carried on, and the tribunal of 
penitence, on certain occasions, seemed to be nothing but a 
means of levying taxes upon the faithful. It was only by 
money that the favours of the Church and the mercies of 
Heaven could be obtained ; the sins of Christians might be 
said, in some sort, to have a tariff ; and we find in the 
history of Arragon, that disobedience to the decrees of the 
pope even had become the source of a new tribute. It may 
be remembered that the sovereign pontiffs had frequently 
forbidden Christians to convey munitions or arms to the 
infidels. The trade of the maritime cities often braved the 
menaces of the Holy See, and avarice led the merchants to 
transgress the severest orders on this point. A sum of 
money was then required, in the name of the pope, of all 
who were accused of this offence. They were condemned 
to pay the fourth or the fifth of the profits arising from 
their illicit commerce. Commissaries were appointed to 
levy this impost, and decrees regulated the collection of :t, 
as in that of all other public revenues. 

But that which most completely exposes the spirit of this 
age, and particularly that of the court of Rome, is, that in 
the preachings of the crusades, the faithful were much less 
earnestly exhorted to take arms han to pay a tribute in 
money. The levies raised in the name of the Holy See, 
were termed succours for the Hungarians ; and as the Hun- 
garians always stood in need of being succoured, the levying 
of the tenths becaru * a permanent state of things, which the 


people and the clergy endured every day with less patience 
and resignation. 

We ought likewise to add, that the Holy See did not 
always receive the produce of the tribute it imposed upon 
the Christians. Princes, under pretence of making war 
against the Turks, sometimes took possession of it ; and the 
tenths destined for the holy war were too often employed in 
carrying out the quarrels of ambition. 

At length the complaints of the Germans against the 
commissaries and agents of the court of Home became so 
serious and so numerous, that the pope found himself 
obliged to reply to them. In his apology, drawn up by 
JEneas Sylvius, he declared that Scanderberg and the king 
of Hungary had received numerous succours ; that fleets 
had been armed against the infidels, and that vessels and 
munitions of war had been sent to Rhodes, Cyprus, and 
Mvtilene ; that, in a word, the money levied for the defence 
of the faith and of Christendom upon the faithful, had never 
been otherwise employed. The apologist of the pope, after 
having thus justified him, felicitated him with having saved 

This apology, which explains nothing, and which finishes 
with an eulogy, too strongly resembles that of the ancient 
Roman, who, upon being accused of having embezzled the 
public money, as his only reply, proposed that they should 
go to the Capitol, and give thanks to the gods for the vic- 
tories he had gained over the enemies of the republic. It 
must, however, be admitted, that that which .iEneas Sylvius 
said was not totally void of truth ; and history can but 
applaud the zeal which the sovereign pontiff displayed, in 
order to arrest the progress of Mahomet, and save a crowd 
of victims from the tyranny of the Ottomans. 

Calixtus never ceased soliciting the Christian princes to 
unite with him, and was particularly anxious to kindle the 
warlike enthusiasm of the French against the Turks. " If I 
were but seconded by the French," said he, " we would 
destroy the race of the infidels." He spared neither prayers 
nor promises to induce Charles VII. to succour Hungary, 
and defend the barriers of Europe. He sent him that 
golden rose which the popes were accustomed to bless on 
the fourth Sunday of Lent, and of which they made a pre- 



sent to Christian princes, as a particular mark of esteem and 
affection. These caresses and these civilities of the pontiff 
were a great change from the times in which the heads of 
the Church only spol i to monarchs in the name of irritated 
Heaven ; and only exhorted them to take the cross whilst 
reproaching them with their sins, and recommending them 
to expiate them by the holy war. The popes, when preach- 
ing the crusades, were no longer the interpreters of domi- 
nant opinions ; their wishes were no longer laws, and 
princes made ample use of the faculty they possessed of not 
obeying. Charles VII., who was in constant dread of the 
enterprises of the English, resisted the reiterated entreaties 
of Calixtus. It was in vain that the dauphin, who after- 
wards reigned under the title of Louis XL, and was then 
living at the court of Burgundy, openly declared himself 
favourable to the crusade, and wished to create a party for 
himself in the kingdom, by taking the cross ; France re- 
mained uninterested in the war preached against the infi- 
dels, and Charles contented himself with permitting the 
levy of the tenths in his states, upon the express condition 
that he should superintend the employment of them. 

Whilst the pope was imploring the assistance of Chris- 
tendom for the Hungarians, Hungary was a prey to trou- 
bles created by the succession of Ladislaus, who was killed 
at the battle of AVarna. The family of Hunniades was pro- 
scribed, and the ambition of the princes disputed the posses- 
sion of the provinces threatened by the Turks. Calixtus 
employed the paternal authority of the Holy See to appease 
the furies of discord, and to reconcile the pretensions of the 
emperor of Germany with the rights of justice and with the 
rights of nations ; and these generous efforts at length suc- 
ceeded in reestablishing peace. His conduct appeared less 
praiseworthy, and particularly less disinterested, when the 
succession of Alphonso, king of Naples, brought fresh wars 
upon Italy. History relates that the sovereign pontiff, on 
this occasion, forgot the perils of Christianity, and employed 
the treasures collected for the holy war in the defence of a 
cause which certainly was not that of religion. 

But the indefatigable orator of the crusades, JEneas 
Sylvius, succeeded Calixtus III. in the chair of St. Peter. 


The tiara appeared to be the reward of his zeal for the war 
against the Turks, and everything gave reason for hope that 
lie would neglect nothing to execute himself the projects he 
.had conceived ; and awaken among the nations of Christen- 
dom, that warlike enthusiasm, that religious patriotism, 
which breathed in his discourses. 

Mahomet II. continued to follow up the course of his vic- 
tories, and his power every day became more redoubtable. 
He was then employed in despoiling all the Greek princes 
who had escaped his first invasions, and whose weakness 
was concealed under the pompous titles of emperor of 
Trebizond, king of Iberia, and despot of the Morea. All 
these princes, to whom acts of submission cost nothing, 
provided they enabled them to reign a few days longer, had 
been eager, a short time after the taking of Constantinople, 
to send ambassadors to the victorious sultan, to congratulate 
him upon his triumphs ; and the fierce conqueror saw no- 
thing in them but a prey which it would be easy for him to 
devour, — enemies that he could subdue at leisure. Most of 
them dishonoured the last moments of their reign or their 
existence, by all that ambition, jealousy, and the spirit of dis- 
cord could inspire that was perfidious, cruel, or treacherous. 
When the Mussulmans penetrated into the Greek provinces, 
stained with all the crimes of civil war, it might have been 
believed that they were sent to accomplish the menaces of 
heavenly anger. 

Mahomet did not deign to put forth all his strength 
against the pusillanimous tyrants of Greece. Other enemies 
were worthy of employing his arms ; he had but to speak a 
word, to pull the throne from under the prince of Synope or 
the emperor of Trebizond ; and if all that remained of the 
family of the Comnenas were massacred by his orders, he, 
in this circumstance, was less obedient to the fears of a dark 
policy than to his natural ferocity. Seven years after the 
taking of Byzantium, he led his janissaries into the Pelopon- 
nesus : at his approach, all the princes of Achaia either took 
to flight, or became his slaves. Meeting with scarcely any 
resistance, he gathered with disdain the fruits of an easy 
conquest. He meditated projects more vast than such con- 
quests ; and when he unfurled the banner of the cross 
amids' v he ruins of Sparta and Athens, he fixed his eyes 


earnestly upon the Sea of Sicily, and wished to find a route 
that might conduct him to the shores of Italy. 

The first care of Pius II. was to proclaim the fresh dan- 
gers of Europe. He wrote to all the powers of Christen- 
dom, and convoked a general assembly at Mantua, to deli- 
berate upon the means of arresting the progress of the 
Ottomans. The bull of the pontiff reminded the faithful, 
that the Church of Christ had often been beaten by the 
tempest, but that He who commands the winds was ever 
watchful over its safety. " My predecessors," added he, 
" have declared war against the Turks, both by land and by 
sea ; it is for us now to carry it on ; we will spare neither 
labour nor expense for a war so useful, so just, and so holy." 

All the states of Christendom promised to send ambas- 
sadors to Mantua. Pius II. went thither himself; and in 
his opening discourse, he expatiated with strength against 
the indifference of princes and sovereigns. He pointed to 
the Turks then ravaging Bosnia and Greece, and ready to 
extend, like a rapid conflagration, their devastations over 
Italy, Germany, and all the countries of Europe. The pon- 
tiff declared he would not quit Mantua before the Christian 
princes and states had given him pledges of their devotion 
to the cause of Christendom ; and at length protested, that 
if he were abandoned by the Christian powers, he would 
alone maintain this glorious struggle, and would die in 
defending the independence of Europe and of the Church. 

The language of Pius II. was full of religion, and his 
religion was full of patriotism. When Demosthenes and 
the Greek orators mounted the tribune to press their fellow- 
citizens to defend the liberties of Greece against the enter- 
prises of Philip, or the invasions of the great king, they 
spoke, without doubt, with more eloquence ; but never were 
they inspired by greater interests or nobler motives. 

Cardinal Bissarion, to whom Greece had given birth, and 
whom the Church of Rome had adopted, spoke after 
Pius II., and declared that the whole college .of cardinals 
was animated by the same zeal as the father of the faithful. 
The deputies of Rhodes, Cyprus, Epirus ; those of Illyria, 
Peloponnesus, and of several of the countries the Turks had 
invaded, made, before the council, a lamentable recital of all 


the evila the Christians were suffering under the domination 
of the Mussulmans ; but the ambassadors of the great powers 
of Europe were not yet arrived ; and this delay announced 
but too plainly the indifference of the Christian monarchs 
for the crusades. The debates which afterwards arose 
relative to the prel .-asions of the families of Anjou and 
Arragon to the kingdom of Naples ; and then the disputes 
upon etiquette and precedence, which occupied the council 
during several days, completely proved that the minds of 
the assembly were not sufhciently impressed by the dangers 
of Christian Europe, and that no generous resolution would 
be there taken to prevent them. 

The pope proposed to levy for the crusade a tenth upon 
the revenues of the clergy, a twentieth upon the Jews, and 
a thirtieth upon princes and seculars. He proposed at 
the same time, to raise an army of a hundred thousand men 
in the different states of Europe, and to intrust the com- 
mand of this army to the emperor of Germany. These 
propositions, in order to be executed, required the approba- 
tion of the sovereigns, and most of the ambassadors made 
cnly vague promises. A great number of conferences were 
held ; the council lasted many months, and the pope quitted 
Mantua without having done anything decisive for the 
enterprise he meditated. He returned to Rome, whence he 
wrote again to the Christian princes, conjuring them to send 
ambassadors, to deliberate afresh upon the war against the 

Constantly pursued by the thought of delivering the 
Christian world, and losing hope daily of being able to affeafc 
the West, he conceived the strange idea of addressing 
Mahomet II, himself, and of employing all the powers of 
reasoning and eloquence to convert the Mussulman prince to 
Christianity. His letter, which we still possess, presents a 
complete treatise of the philosophy and the theology of the 
time. The pontiff opposes to the apostles of Islamism, the 
authority of the prophets and the fathers of the Church, 
and the profane authority of Lycurgus and Solon. Aiming 
particularly at interesting the ambition of the Ottoman 
emperor, he proposes to him the example of the great Con- 
stantine, who obtained the empire of the world on receiving 
baptism, and investing himself with that sign by which it 


was given to him to conquer. The sultan had only to ac- 
knowledge the God from whom all authority comes, to have 
the Abyssinians, the Arabs, the Mamelukes, the Persians, 
with all the nations of Asia, submit to his domination ; and 
if the intercessioi ?f the court of Borne were necessary for 
him to reign over the East, the head of the Church promised 
him the assistance of his prayers, and the support of the 
pontifical sovereignty. 

In this singular negotiation with Mahomet II., the pope 
was not more fortunate than with the Christian princes. 
The latter, when he urged them to defend their own states, 
answered by vain protestations. Mahomet, to whom he 
offered the conquest of the world, contented himself with 
replying, that " he was innocent of the death of Jesus 
Christ, and that he thought with horror of those who had 
fastened him to the cross." 

The Ottoman emperor had just obtained possession of 
Bosnia, and had caused the king of that unfortunate country, 
who had submitted to his arms, to perish in the midst of 
tortures. Ottoman troops ravaged the frontiers of Illyria, 
and threatened the city of Bagusa. The dangers of Italy 
became every day more pressing. The pope assembled his 
consistory, and represented to the members, that the time 
was come to stop the progress of the Turks, and to com- 
mence the holy war he had preached. " The duke of Bur- 
gundy and the Venetian republic were ready to second his 
enterprise. Whilst the Hungarians and the Poles were pre- 
paring to fight the Ottomans on the Dniester and the 
Danube, the Epirots and the Albanians were about to raise 
the standard of liberty among the Greeks : in Asia, the 
sultan of Caramania and the king of Persia would attack 
the Turks, and second the united efforts of the Christian s. 
The pontiff declared that he was resolved to march himse] f 
against the infidels.- When the Christian princes should 
behold the vicar of Jesus Christ setting out for the holy war. 
would they not be ashamed to remain inactive ? Loaded 
with years and infirmities, he had but a few moments to 
live ; it would be hastening to an almost certain death ; but 
of what consequence was the hour or the place of his de- 
cease, provided he died for the cause cf Christ, and for the 
safety of Christendom.' * 


The cardinals gave a unanimous assent to the esolutiou 
of Pius II. From that time the pope employed himself in 
preparations for his departure, and addressed an exhortation 
to the faithful to engage them to second his designs. After 
having, in this apostolic exhortation, retraced, with lively 
eloquence, the misfortunes and the perils of the Christian 
Church, the pontiff expressed himself thus : — 

" Our fathers lost Jerusalem and all Asia ; we have lost 
Greece and a great part of Europe. Christendom is now 
nothing but a corner of the world. In this extreme peril, the 
common father of the faithful is himself going to meet the 
enemy. Doubtless, war is ill suited to the weakness of old 
age. or to the character of pontiff; but when religion is 
ready to succumb, who could restrain us ? We will take 
our place during fight, either upon the poop of a vessel, or 
upon a lofty hill, pouring our benedictions upon the soldiers 
of Christ, and invoking for them the God of armies. Thus 
the patriarch Moses prayed upon the mountain, and raised 
his hands towards heaven, whilst Israel combated with the 
nations whom God had reproved. We shall be followed by 
our cardinals, and by a great number of bishops ; we will 
inarch with the standard of the cross displayed, with the 
relics of saints, with Jesus Christ himself in his eucharist. 
What Christian will refuse to follow the vicar of God, going 
with his holy senate, and all the revered train of the Church, 
to the defence of religion and humanhVy ? 

" What war was ever more just or more necessary ? The 
Turks attack all that we hold most dear, all that Christian 
society considers most holy. If you are men, can you be 
wanting in compassion for your fellow-men ? If you are 
Christians,' religion commands you to carry succour to your 
brethren. If the misfortunes of others touch you not, 
think of your own safety — have pity on yourselves. You 
imagine yourselves to be in safety, because you are as yet at 
a distance from peril : to-morrow the sword will be sus- 
pended over your heads. If you convey not assistance to 
those who are before you, those who are behind you will, 
in like manner, abandon you in the hour of danger. 

" Do you feel yourselves strong enough to support the 
opprobrium and the humiliation of a barbarous domination ? 
Kemain in your dwellings, await your enemies there ; await 


there those vile Asiatics, who are not even men, and vet have 
the insolent pretension to govern all the nations of Europe. 
But if you possess a noble heart, an elevated mind, a gene- 
rous character, a Christian soul, you will follow the banners 
of the Church ; you will send us succours ; you will aid the 
army of the Lord. 

" Such as will aid us, God will bless them ; but such as 
remain indifferent shall have no part in the treasures of 
divine mercy. May the wicked and the impious, who shall 
trouble the public peace, be accursed of God ! May Heaven 
pour upon them the scourges of its wrath ! Let them live 
in unceasing fear, and may their life be as if suspended by a 
thread ! Neither power nor riches shall defend them ; the 
arrows of remorse shall reach them everywhere ; the flames 
of the abyss shall consume their hearts." 

The pontiff addressed this exhortation to the princes, the 
nobility, and the people of all nations. He fixed upon the 
city and port of Ancona as the place of meeting for the 
Crusaders. He promised the remission of their sins to all 
who would serve, during six months, at their own expense, 
or who would maintain one or two soldiers of the cross 
during the same space of time. He had nothing to bestow 
in this world upon the faithful who should take part in the 
crusade ; but he conjured Heaven to direct all their steps, to 
multiply their days, to preserve and increase then kingdoms, 
their principalities, and their possessions. On terminating 
his apostolical discourse, he addressed the Omnipotent God : 
" Oh thou, who searchest reins and hearts, thou knowest if 
we have any other thought than that of combating for thy 
glory, and for the safety of the flock thou hast committed to 
our charge. A venge the Christian blood which flows beneath 
the sword of the Turks, and which on all sides rises up 
towards thee Turn a favourable eye upon thy people ; guide 
us in the wai undertaken for the triumph of thy faith. Do 
so, that Greece may be restored to thy worship, and that all 
Europe may bless thy name !" 

This bull of the pope was sent throughout all the West, 
and read publicly in the churches. The assembled faithful 
shed tears at the recital of the misfortunes of Christendom. 
The cross and arms were taken in countries apparently most 
secure from the invasions of the Turks, even in the remotest 


north of Eu ope. Some repaired to Ancona ; others directed 
their course towards Hungary, to join the army of Matthias 
Corvinus, ready to set out on its march against the Turks. 

The pope wrote to the doge of Venice, to entreat him to 
assist in person in the war about to be made against the 
infidels. He told him that the presence of princes in armies 
inspired confidence in the soldiers and terror in their ene- 
mies. As the doge was advanced in years, Paul reminded 
him that his own hair was blanched by time,* and that the 
duke of Burgundy, who promised to accompany the Cru- 
saders to the East, had attained the days of old age. " We 
shall be," added the holy father, " three old men at the head 
of an army of Christians. Grod takes delight in the number 
three, and the Trinity which is in heaven, will not fail to 
protect this trinity upon earth." 

These singular expressions of the pope belonged to the 
bad taste of the age. But in presenting old age as the only 
mover and the last hope of the crusade, they painted suffi- 
ciently clearly the spirit of the times with regard to holy 
wars, and might be believed to presage the little success of 
an enterprise, which, in order to succeed, stood in need of 
the ardour and activity that are only to be found in youth. 
The doge of Venice hesitated to embark ; but as the republic 
was at war with Mahomet II., and as it was of importance 
to mix its interests with those of the crusade, it threatened 
to employ force, in order to compel the doge to follow the 
pontiff ol Some. The duke of Burgundy, who had been the 
first of aJ. the Christian princes to swear to go and combat 
with the infidels, showed no inclination to join the Crusa- 
ders. The pope, in his letters, reminded him :f his solemn 
promises, ana reproached him with having deceived men, 
— with having deceived God himself. He added, that his 
breach of faith would throw the whole of Christendom into 
mourning, and might bring about the entire failure of the 
enterprise. Philip, in spite of the severe remonstrances of 
Pius II., could not make up his mind to leave his states, 
but contented himself with sending two thousand men-at- 
arms to the Christian army. He was at that time in dread 
of the crooked policy of Louis XI., whc, when he waa 

* He should have reminded him of glorious old Henry Dandolo.— 


dauphin, was eager to fight the Turks ; but having ascended 
the throne of France, had no other enemies but his neigh- 

Pius II., after having implored the protection of God, in 
the basilic of the holy Apostles, left Rome in the month of 
June, 1464. Being attacked by a slow fever, and fearing 
that the sight of his infirmities might discourage the soldiers 
of the cross, he concealed his sufferings, and desired his 
physician to be silent on the subject of his malady. All 
along his route the people put up prayers for the success of 
his enterprise. The city of Ancona received him in triumph, 
and saluted him as the liberator of the Christian world. 

A great number of Crusaders had arrived in this city ; but 
most of them were without arms or stores, and were almost 
naked. The earnest exhortations of the pope had had no 
effect upon the knights and barons of Christendom. The 
poor, and men of the lowest class of the people, appeared to 
have been more struck with the dangers of Europe than the 
rich and the great of the earth.* The crowd of Crusaders 
collected at Ancona resembled a troop of vagabonds and 
mendicants much more than an army. Every day, want and 
disease made martyrs of them. Pius II. was touched with 
their misery ; but as he could not provide for their main- 
tenance, he retained such as were in a condition to go to the 
war at their own expense, and dismissed the others with the 
indulgences of the crusade. 

The Christian army was to direct its course to the coasts 
of Greece, and join Scanderberg, who had recently beaten the 
Ottomans in the plains of Ocrida. Deputies w^re sent to 
the Hungarians, the king of Cyprus, and to all tne enemies 
of the Turks in Asia, without forgetting the king of Persia, 
to warn them to hold themselves in readiness to commence 
the war against the followers of Mahomet. 

The little city of Ancona attracted the attention of all 
Europe. In met, what spectacle could be more interesting 
than that of the father of the faithful braving the perils of 

* Nothing can be more unaccountable than such reflections ! Wnat 
did these wretched outcasts know or care about the dangers of Europe ? 
What they sought was relief from the destitution hey suffered ; and if 
the Turks had been in Europe, they would have enlisted with them. — 


war and of the seas, to go into distant couu. ries, for the 
purposes of avenging outraged humanity, breaking the 
chains of Christian captives, and visiting his children in their 
affliction ? Unfortunately, the physical strength of Pius II. 
was not equal to his zeal, and would not permit him to per- 
fect his sacrifice. The fleet was ready to set sail, when the 
fever which he had had on leaving Rome, aggravated by the 
fatigues of the voyage and his subsequent anxiety, became a 
mortal malady. Peeling his end approach, he called the 
cardinals around him, and made them swear to prosecute 
the war against the infidels. He died whilst commending 
the Christians of the East to their care ; and the last looks 
he cast upon earth were directed towards Greece, then 
labouring under the oppression of the enemies of Christ. 

Paul II., who was elected pope, promised, amidst the con- 
clave, to follow the example of his predecessor. But the 
Crusaders assembled by Pius II. were already returned to 
their homes. The Venetians, left alone, carried the war 
into the Peloponnesus, without being able to obtain any 
great advantages over the Turks. They devastated the 
country they went to deliver ; and the most remarkable of 
their trophies was the pillage of Athens. The Greeks of 
the canton of Lacedsemon and some other cities, who, in the 
hope of being succoured, had raised the standard of liberty, 
could not stand against the janissaries, and fell victims to 
their devotion to the cause of religion and patriotism. 
Scanderberg, whose capital the Turks besieged, came himself 
to solicit the assistance of the pope. Being received by 
Paul II. in presence of the cardinals, he declared before the 
sacred college, that there was no longer in the East any place 
but Epirus, and in Epirus only his little army, that still 
fought for the cause of the Christians. He added, that if he 
succumbed, nobody would be left to defend the routes to 
Italy. The pope bestowed the greatest praises upon Scan- 
derberg, and made him a present of a sword which he had 
blessed. He at the same time wrote to the princes of 
Christendom, to persuade them to assist Albania. In a 
letter addressed to the duke of Burgundy, Paul II. lamented 
the fate of the nations of Greece, driven from their country 
by the barbarians ; he deplored the exile and the misery of 
the Greek families coining to seek refuge in Italy, dying 


with hunger and in nakedness, crowded together upon the 
sea-shore, holding their hands up to Heaven, and suppli- 
cating their brothers the Christians to succour them or to 
avenge them. The head of the Church reminded them of 
all that his predecessors had done, and of all he himself had 
done, to avert such great misfortunes. He blamed the in- 
difference of both monarchs and nations ; and menaced 
Europe with the same calamities, if they did not speedily 
take up arms against the Turks. The exhortations of the 
pope remained without effect; Scanderberg, carrying no- 
thing back with him but some sums of money which he had 
obtained from the Holy See, returned to his kingdom, then 
ravaged by the Ottomans, and a short time afterwards died 
at Lissa, covered with glory, but despairing of the noble 
cause for which he had fought all his life. 

Such was the ascendancy of one great man, that under his 
banners the Greeks, for such a length of time degenerate, 
recalled the remembrance of the brightest days of the mili- 
tary glory of their country ; the little province of Albania 
resisted during twenty years the whole power of the Otto- 
man empire. The death of Scanderberg threw his com- 
panions in arms into despair. " Hasten, brave Albanians," 
cried they in the public places, " redouble your courage ; for 
the ramparts of the empire and of Macedon are now crum- 
bled into dust." These words were at once the funeral 
oration of a hero and that of his people. Two years had 
scarcely passed away before most of the cities of Epirus fell 
into the power of the Turks ; and, as Scanderberg himself 
had foretold to the pontiff of Home, not a soldier of Christ 
remained east of the Adriatic Sea. 

All enterprises against the infidels were from that time 
confined to a few maritime expeditions of the Venetians and 
the Knights of Rhodes. These expeditions were not suffi- 
cient to arrest the progress of the Ottomans. Mahomet II. 
never ceased to meditate an invasion of Germany and Italy. 
Resolved to aim one last blow at his enemies, he determined, 
after the example of the Roman pontiffs, to employ the as- 
cendancy of religion, to excite the bravery and the enthu- 
siasm of the Mussulmans. In the midst of a solemn cere- 
mony, and in the presence of the divan and the mufti, he 
swore "to renounce all pleasures, and never to turn hia 


countenance from the West to the East, until lie had over* 
thrown and trampled under the feet of his horses the gods 
of the nations, — those gods of wood, brass, silver, gold, and 
painting, that the disciples of Christ made with their hands." 
He swore "to exterminate the iniquity of the Christians 
from the face of the earth, and to proclaim, from the rising 
to the setting, the glory of the God of Sabaoth and of 
Mahomet." After this threatening declaration, the Turkish 
emperor pressed all the circumcised nations that followed 
his laws to join him, in order to obey the command of God 
and his prophet. 

The oath of Mahomet II. was read in all the mosques of 
the empire, at the hour of prayer. The Ottoman warriors 
flocked to Constantinople from all parts. An army of the 
sultan's was already ravaging Croatia and Carniola; and 
soon a formidable fleet issued from the canal, and attacked 
the island of Eubcea or Negropont, separated by the Euripus 
from the city of Athens, which the Turkish historians call 
the city or the country of the philosophers. At the first 
news of the danger, the pope ordered public prayers in the 
city of Eome. He himself walked barefooted in procession 
before the image of the Virgin ; but Heaven, says one of the 
annalists of the Church, did not deign to listen to the prayers 
of the Christians; JNegropont fell into the hands of the 
Turks, and the entire population of the island was either 
exterminated or dragged into slavery. A great number of 
those who had defended their country with courage expired 
in tortures. Fame soon carried to Europe an account of the 
excesses of Ottoman barbarity, and all Christian nations 
were filled with horror and fright. 

After the last victories of the Turks, Germany had reason 
to dread a prompt invasion, and the coasts of Italy were at 
the same time threatened. Cardinal Bessarion addressed an 
eloquent exhortation to the Italians, and conjured them to 
unite against the common enemy. The pope did everything 
in his power to appease discord, and at length succeeded in 
forming a league among the Italian states, similar to that 
which was entered into after the taking of Constantinople. 
His legates solicited the assistance of the kings of France 
and England. Upon his pressing request, Frederick con- 
roked a diet at Eatisbon, and afterwards at Nuremberg, in 


which appeared the deputies of Venice, Sienna, Naples, 
Hungary, and Carniola, who described the ravages of the 
Turks, and painted in the most striking colours the misfor- 
tunes which menaced Europe. In these two assemblies, 
several resolutions were formed for war against the Mussul- 
mans ; but not one of them was executed. Such was the 
general blindness, that neither the exhortations of the pope, 
nor the frightful progress of the Turks, were able to awaken 
the zeal of princes or people. The chronicles of the times 
speak of several miracles by which God manifested his power 
in these unfortunate days ; but there can be no doubt that 
the greatest miracle of Providence was, that Italy and Ger- 
many did not fall into the hands of the Ottomans, when not 
a human hand was raised to defend them. 

After the death of Paul II., who had not time to achieve 
his work, and did not witness the effect of his preachings, 
his successor, Sextus IV., neglected nothing for the defence 
of Christendom. When scarcely seated on the pontifical 
throne, he deputed cardinals to several states of Europe, to 
preach peace among Christians and war against the Turks. 
The legates were specially intrusted to press the levying of 
the tenths for the crusade. They were authorized to launch 
the thunders of excommunication against those who should 
oppose this impost, or who misapplied the produce of it. 
This severity, which occasioned troubles in England, and 
still more in Germany, succeeded in other countries, and 
furnished the sovereign pontiff with means for preparing for 
war. But none of the princes of the West took up arms, 
and Christendom was still exposed to the greatest perils, 
when fortune sent succour it had no reason to look for 
from the depths of Asia. 

Of all the powers that had promised to combat the Otto- 
mans, the only one that did not fail, was the king of Persia, 
to whom Calixtus III. had sent a missionary, and who de- 
clared himself the faithful ally of the Christians. In his 
reply, the king ot Persia bestowed the greatest praises on 
the pope, encouraged him in his resolution of attacking 
Mahomet, aud announced to him that he himself would 
commence hostilities. At the time his letter was received at 
Koine, his troops were already crossing Armenia, and seve* 
ral Ottoman cities had fallen into t\« hands of the Persians. 


Mahomet was obliged to abandon or to suspend his projects 
of conquest on the side of Europe, to march against these 
new enemies, with the greater part of the strength of his 

Crreat advantage might have been taken of this powerful 
diversion of the Persians. But the Venetians, the king of 
Naples, and the pope, alone put themselves forward to make 
war against the Ottomans. The sovereign pontiff had 
caused twenty-four galleys to be built with the produce of 
the tenths levied for the crusade. This fleet, commanded 
by Cardinal Caraifa, and collected in the Tiber, after having 
been blessed by Sextus IV., went to join that of Venice and 
Naples, and cruised along the coasts of Ionia and Pamphylia, 
to the great terror of all the maritime Ottoman cities. The 
Venetians did not fail to direct the operations of the Chris- 
tian fleet against the cities whose wealth and commerce 
gave them any cause for jealousy. Satalia and Smyrna were 
given up to the horrors of war : the first of these, situated on 
the coast of Pamphylia, was the entrepot for the productions 
and the merchandise of India and Arabia. The second, 
situated in the Ionian Sea, possessed rich manufactures and 
a flourishing trade. The Christian soldiers committed in 
these two cities all the kinds of excess with which the Turks 
were then reproached. After this piratical expedition, the 
fleet regained the ports of Italy, and Cardinal Caraft'a re- 
turned triumphant to Home, followed by twenty-five cap- 
tives mounted upon superb horses, and by twelve camels, 
loaded with the spoils of the enemy. The ensigns taken 
from the Mussulmans, and the chain of the port of Satalia, 
were solemnly suspended over the gate and in the vaulted 
roof of the Vatican. 

"Whilst these poor advantages over the Mussulmans were 
being celebrated at Home, Mahomet was inflicting terrible 
blows upon his enemies ; and when he returned to Constan- 
tinople, he had destroyed the armies of the king j£ Persia. 
That which gave the Turkish emperor an immense advan- 
tage over the powers which took up arms against him, waa 
that they never acted in concert, either for defence or attack. 
Discord was not long in being revived among the Christian 
princes, and particularly among the states of Italy. The 
pope himae - forgot th? sphi 4 - of peace and union he had 


preached ; he forgot the holy war ; and Venice, left alone in 
the struggle against the Ottomans, was obliged to sjie to 
Mahomet for peace. 

The Ottomans took as much advantage of peace as of war 
to increase their power. There now remained ncthing of 
the sad wreck of the Greek empire. Venice had lost all its 
possessions in the Archipelago and Greece ; Genoa at length 
lost the rich colony of Caffa, in the Crimea. Of all the con- 
quests of the Crusaders, the Christians had only preserved 
the kingdom of Cyprus and the isle of Rhodes. 

During more than a century, the kings of Cyprus had 
implored the assistance of the West, and contended with 
some successes against the Saracens, particularly the Mame- 
lukes of Egypt. The maritime cities of Italy protected a 
kingdom from which trade and navigation derived great 
advantage. Every day fresh warriors from Europe afforded 
it the support of their arms. A few years after the taking 
of Constantinople, history remarks Jacques Cceur, who had 
obtained the restitution of his wealth, establishing himself 
in the isle of Cyprus, and consecrating his fortune and his 
life to the defence of the Christians of the East. After his 
death, there was to be seen, in a church at Bourges which he 
had founded, this inscription : — " The Seigneur Jacques 
Cceur, Captain-general of the Church against the infidels.*'* 

The kingdom of Cyprus, after having resisted the Mus- 
sulmans for a long time, became at last the theatre and 
the prey of revolutions. Abandoned, in some sort, by the 
Christian powers, and obliged to defend itself against the 
Turks, it placed itself under the protection of the Mamelukes 
of Egypt. In time of trouble, the malcontents retired to 
Cairo, and procured the protection of a power which had a 

* Jacques Cceur was condemned to death, and his property was con- 
fiscated. Charles VII. contented himself with banishing Jacques Cceur; 
but his property was not restored for a long time. Sixty of the clerks of 
Jacques Cceur subscribed together, and made up a sum of 60,000 crowns, 
with which he retired to the isle of Cyprus and reestablished his trade. He 
founded an hospital for pilgrims there, and a Carmelite convent, in which 
he was buried. Jacques Cceur built many houses at Marseilles, Mont- 
pellier, and Bourges : among others, the beautiful house which is now the 
municipality. It was Louis XI who reinstated the memory of Jacques 
Coeur. The inscription which is here mentioned must have been also in 
the hospital for pilgrims at Cyprus. 


great interest in keeping up discord. The family of Lusig* 
nan being nearly extinct, a daughter, the only scion of man) 
kings, at first married a Portuguese prince, and afterwards 
Louis, count of Savoy. But the sultan of Cairo and Maho- 
met II. would not permit a Latin prince to wear the crown 
01 Cjprus, and caused a natural son of the last king to be 
elected. James, whose illegitimate birth kept him from ^he 
throne, and who had disturbed the kingdom by his am- 
bitious pretensions, was crowned king of Cyprus in the city 
of Cairo, under the auspices and in the presence of the 
Mamelukes. That which must have greatly added to the 
scandal of this coronation was, that the new king promised 
to be faithful to the sultan of Egypt, and to pay five thou- 
sand gold crowns for the support of the great mosques of 
Mecca and Jerusalem. It was upon the Grospel that he 
swore to keep this promise, and to omit nothing that the 
Mamelukes required. " If I break my word," added he, " I 
shall be an apostate and a forger ; I shall deny the existence 
of Jesus Christ, and the virginity of his mother ; I shall slay 
a camel upon the font of baptism, and I shall curse the 
priesthood." Such were the words which a desire of reign- 
ing placed in the mouth of a prince who was about to govern 
a kingdom founded by the soldiers of Jesus Christ. He 
died a short time after having taken possession of the su- 
preme authority. His people thought the days of his life 
and his reign were shortened by divine justice. 

The republic of Venice, which adopted Catherine Cor- 
naro, the widow of James, then took possession of Cyprus, 
which it defended against the Mamelukes and against 
the Turks, and held it till the middle of the following 

The eyes of the whole Christian world were fixed upon the 
isle of Rhodes. This isle, defended by the Knights of St. John, 
recalled to the faithful the remembrance of the Holy Land, 
and prevented the extinction of the hope of one day seeing 
the standard of Christ again floating over the walls of Jeru- 
salem. The martial youth of all the countries of the West 
unceasingly flocked thither, and, in some sort, revived the 
ardour, the zeal, and the exploits of the first crusades. The 
order of the Hospitallers, faithful to its first institution, al- 
ways protected pilgrims repairing to Palestine, and defended 
Vol. III.— 9 


Christian vessels against the attacks of Turks, Mamelukes, 
and pirates. At the commencement of his reign, Maho- 
met II. summoned the grand-master to pay him a tribute, 
as to his sovereign. The latter contented himself with 
answering: " We only owe the sovereignty of Rhodes to God 
and our swords. It is our duty to be the enemies, and not 
the tributaries, of the Ottomans !" This reply wounded the 
pride of the sultan ; but lie dissembled his anger, persuaded 
that victory would soon give that which was refused, and 
at the same time avenge him for the noble disdain of the 
Knights of St. John. 

The Ottoman emperor, after having triumphed over the 
Persians, returned to Constantinople with fresh projects for 
conquests in Europe, and with increased animosity against 
the Christians ; and the whole of his empire prepared to 
minister to his ambition and his anger. If the Turks had 
not till that period carried their invasions into the West, it 
was because the difference of religion and manners kept 
them from all communication with the Christian nations ; 
and because they were entirely ignorant of the state and 
dispositions of Christendom, of the forces that might be 
opposed to them, and even of the best routes for them to 
pursue. They became gradually acquainted with the fron- 
tiers of Europe, and with the sea-coasts ; and, like the lion 
of Holy Writ, which prowls constantly about in search of 
its prey, were ever on the watch for favourable opportunities. 
They secured advanced posts, and marched with precaution 
towards the country they wished to conquer, as an ariTjy 
draws round a place it is about to besiege. By frequently- 
repeated incursions, they spread terror among the nations 
they intended to attack ; and by the ravages they exercised, 
they weakened the means of resistance of their enemies. 
Mahomet at first made himself master of Scutari and Xegro- 
pont, in order to dominate, in a manner, over the coasts of 
the Adriatic and the Sea of Naples ; on the other side, 
several of his armies directed their course towards the 
Danube, to lay open the routes to Germany ; and Ottoman 
troops had penetrated, with fire and sword, as far as Friuli, 
to terrify the republic of Venice, and reconnoitre the avenues 
that lead to Italy. 

When everything was ready for the execution of his ter* 


rible designs, the leader of the Ottoman empire resolved to 
attack Christendom at several points at once. A numerous, 
army set out on its march to invade Hungary, and all the 
countries in the vicinity of the Danube. Two numerous 
■fleets, with a vast number of troops on board, were despatched, 
one against the Knights of Rhodes, whose bravery Mahomet 
dieaded; and the other against the coast of Naples, the 
conquest of which would open the way towards Rome and 
southern Italy. In such a pressing danger, the hopes of the 
Germans, and even of a portion of the Italian states, reposed 
entirely upon the Hungarians. The king of Hungary was 
then considered as the guardian of the frontiers of Europe ; 
and to be always in a condition to meet the Turks, he re- 
ceived every year succours in money from the republic of 
Venice and the emperor of Germany. The pope added to 
these succours a part of the tenths levied for the crusade, 
and his legates and missionaries were always present to 
excite the valour of the Hungarian soldiers. 

At the approacli of the Ottoman army, all Hungary, 
governed by Matthias Corvinus, son of Hunniades, flew to 
arms. The Hungarian army met the Turks in the plains of 
Transylvania, and gave them battle. Victory was obtained 
by the Christians, who, in a single battle, destroyed the 
enemy's army. Contemporary chronicles take less pains to 
describe this terrible conflict, than to exhibit the joy of the 
conquerors after their triumph. The entire victorious army 
assisted at a banquet prepared upon the field of battle, still 
covered with dead, and all smoking with carnage. The 
leaders and the soldiers mingled their songs of joy with the 
cries of the wounded and the dying, and in the intoxication 
of victory and festivity performed barbarc us dances upon the 
bloody carcasses of their enemies. 

The war between the Christians and ihe Turks became 
every day more cruel, and presented nothing but scenes of bar- 
barity and destruction. The menaces of Mahomet ; the con- 
stant violation by the Turks, in peace as well as in war, of 
the rights of nations and the faith of oaths ; many thousands 
of Christians condemned to die in tortures for having de- 
fended their country and their religion, with twenty years 
of combats and misfortunes, had altogether excited the hatred 
of the soldiers of the cross ; the thirst of vengeance rendered 


them sometimes as ferocious as their enemies ; and in tlieii 
triumphs they too frequently forgot that they were fighting 
in the cause of the Gospel. 

Whilst the Turkish army experienced a sanguinary defeat 
upon the Danube, the fleet of Mahomet, which was directed 
against the isle of Rhodes, was destined to find, in the 
Knights of St. John, enemies not less intrepid or less to be 
dreaded than the Hungarians. The pacha who commanded 
this expedition, belonged to the imperial family of Palaeologus, 
whose humble prayers had so frequently solicited the aid of 
Christian Europe. After the taking of Constantinople, he 
embraced the Mussulman religion, and from that time only 
sought to second Mahomet in his project of exterminating 
the race of the Christians in the East. 

Several historians have related at great length the events 
of the siege of Rhodes ; and this is, perhaps, a fitting oppor- 
tunity to repair a great injustice committed upon one of the 
writers who have preceded us. An expression, escaped from 
the Abbe de Vertot, and with which criticism has armed 
itself, has proved sufficient to deprive him of the noblest 
reward of the labours of an historian, — the reputation for 
veracity.* After having examined with much care the his- 
torical monuments we possess, and according to which the 
author of the History of the Knights of Malta has described 
the siege of Rhodes, we feel great pleasure in rendering 
homage to the fidelity of his account, and we do not hesitate 
to refer our readers to it. In this elegant historian will be 
found the heroic constancy of Aubusson, grand-master of 
the order of St. John, and the indefatigable intrepidity ot 
his knights, defending themselves amidst ruins, against a 

* The saying of the Abbe de Vertot was but an expression of politeness 
addressed to somebody who offered him documents, not in the interests of 
truth, but in the interest of some families, who wished that their names 
should be mentioned. In fact, if the documents they offered him con- 
cerned the truth, they had nothing to do but to publish them ; now, we 
see nothing that has been published upon the siege of Rhodes that proves 
that the Abbe de Vertot was mistaken, or forgot anything of importance. 
It has not even been attempted to attack the authenticity of the facts he 
relates by any criticism that has survived to our times. There only remaina 
the famous expression, my siege is completed, without any one having 
sought to explain in what sense and upon what subject this expression ras 


hundred thousand Mussulmans, armed with all that the art 
of sieges and the genius of war had invented. At the ap- 
proach of the Turks, the grand-master of Rhodes implored 
the arms and aid of the Christian princes ; but all the suc- 
cours that were sent them consisted of two Neapolitan ves- 
sels, which did not arrive till after the siege was raised, and 
some sums of money which were the produce of a jubilee 
ordered by the pope at the request of Louis XI. 

The third expedition of Mahomet, and the most important 
for his projects of conquest, was that which was to have been 
directed against the kingdom of Naples. The Ottoman fleet 
stopped before Otranto. After a siege of a few days, this 
city was taken by assault, given up to pillage, and its popu- 
lation massacred or dragged away into slavery. This inva- 
sion of the Turks, which was quite unexpected, spread terror 
throughout Italy. Boufinius informs us that the pope en- 
tertained for a moment the thought of quitting the city of 
the Apostles, and of going beyond the Alps, to seek an 
asylum in the kingdom of Trance. 

It is probable that if Mahomet II. had united all his 
forces in an invasion of the kingdom of Naples, he might 
have pushed his conquests as far as Home. But the loss of 
his army in Hungary, and the check experienced by his best 
troops before the city of Rhodes, must have suspended or 
stopped the execution of his projects. Sextus IY., when 
recovered from his first terrors, implored the assistance of 
Christendom. The sovereign pontiff addressed all the eccle- 
siastical and secular powers, as well as the Christians of all 
conditions ; he conjured them, by the mercy and sufferings 
of Christ ; by the last judgment, in which every one would 
be placed according to his works ; by the promises of baptism ; 
hy the obedience due to the Church, — he supplicated them 
to preserve among themselves, at least during three years, 
charity, peace, and concord. He sent legates in all direc- 
tions, charged to appease the troubles and wars which di- 
vided the Christian world. These legates were instructed 
to act with moderation and prudence ; to lead nations and 
kings, by means of persuasion, to the true spirit of the Gos- 
pel, and to resemble, in their pious courses, the dove which 
came back to the ark, bearing the pacific olive-branch. In 
order to encourage princes by his example, the pontiff 


ordered the galleys lie had destined to succour Rhodes, to 
set sail for the coast of Naples. At the same time he com. 
manded public prayers to be put up ; and, to draw down the 
blessings of Heaven upon the arms of the Christians, and 
excite the piety of the faithful, he directed that the octave 
of All Saints should be celebrated in the universal Church, 
to begin with the year 1480, which he called in his bull the 
" Octave of the age." 

Previously to the taking of Otranto, Italy had been more 
divided than ever. The heat of factions and the animosities 
which were created by jealousy had so perverted men' a 
minds, that several states and many citizens only contem- 
plated in an invasion of the Turks the ruin of a neighbouring 
state or of a rival faction. Venice was accused of having 
drawn the Ottoman troops into the kingdom of Naples. 
We must, however, in justice, say that the presence of dan- 
ger, and particularly the account of the cruelties practised 
by the fierce conquerors of Otranto, awakened generous 
sentiments in all hearts ; and when the sovereign pontiff, 
addressing the Italians, said that the moment was come to 
rise in arms, if they wished to defend their lands, their 
families, their faith, their liberty, all Italy listened to his 
exhortations, and united as one man against the common 

The discourses and the prayers of the head of the Church 
did not produce the same effect in England, Germany, or 
Prance. The legates were everywhere received with respect, 
but they could not put an end to the war between England 
and Scotland, or stifle the germs of a quarrel always ready 
to break out between Louis XL and the emperor Maximilian. 
In a Germanic diet which was convoked, as usual, pathetic 
speeches were made upon the calamities which threatened 
Christian Europe ; but no one took up arn.s. 

The Ottomans, shut up in Otranto, had not, it is true, 
strength enough to advance into Italy ; but they might every 
day expect reinforcements. After having raised three armies, 
the Turkish emperor levied a fourth in Bithynia, to be em- 
ployed, according to circumstances, against the Mamelukes 
of Egypt, or against the Christians of the West. But even 
these preparations, or the fresh invasions which they had rea« 
son to fear, were not able to remove the general indifference. 


The nations and the princes who did not believe themselves 
threatened with approximate danger, returned to their divi- 
sions and their quarrels. They had abandoned the safety of 
Christendom to the care of Providence, when they learnt the 
death of Mahomet II. : tins news appeared to be spread 
everywhere at once, and was received like the announcement 
of a great victory, particularly in the countries which were 
in dread of the Ottoman invasions. At Koine, where the 
dread had been most lively, the pope ordered prayers, festi- 
vals, a ad processions, which lasted three days ; and during 
those three days, the pacific artillery of the castle of St. 
Angelo never ceased to thunder forth the intelligence of the 
deliverance of Italy. 

This joy of the Christians paints better than the long 
recitals of history the ambition, the genius, the fortune, 
and the policy of the barbarous hero of Islamisin. During 
the course of this reign,* five pontiffs had succeeded to the 
chair of St. Peter ; all had employed the ascendancy of their 
spiritual and temporal power in endeavouring to check the 
progress of his arms, and all died with the grief of seeing 
the growth and extension of that empire, before which all 
the East trembled, and of whose invasions the West was in 
constant dread. 

A.D. 1481—1571. 

The Turks abandoned Otranto, and the divisions which 
arose in the family of Mahomet suspended for a time the 
projects of Ottoman policy. Jem-Jem, whom the Latin 
chronicles call Zizim, disputed the empire with Bajazet, and 
being conquered, came into the West to await a favourable 
opportunity for recommencing the war. The Knights of 
lihodes received him with great honours. He was after- 
wards sent into France, and, by one of the whimsical sports 
of fortune, an obscure commandery in the province of 
Auvergne became for a moment the asylum of a prince who 
pretended to the vast empire of the Crescent. His presence 
among the Christian powers gave serious uneasiness to 
Bajazet. The king of Hungary and the king of Naples had 
already promised to give the fugitive prince the support of 

* Mahomet II. took Constantinople in 1453, and died in 1481. — 


their armies. The Ottoman emperor sent ambassadors tc 
Charles VIII. ; he informed the French monarch that his 
design was to conquer Egypt, and that lie would voluntarily 
cede Jerusalem i>o him if he would place Zizim in his hands. 
At the same time, the sultan of Cairo sent one of the Latin 
fathers of the Holy Sepulchre to the pope, and requested 
also that the brother of Bajazet should be delivered up to 
him, as he wished to show him at the bead of his army in a 
war against the Turks. He offered the sovereign pontiff, in 
exchange for such a great service, a hundred thousand gold 
ducats, the possession of the holy city, and even of the city 
of Constantinople, if they succeeded in driving the Turks 
from it. Charles VIII. had not arrived at the age for 
reigning, and the queen regent, engaged in reestablishing 
peace in the kingdom, did not listen to the proposition of 
Bajazet. Neither did the pope accept the splendid offers of 
the sultan of Egypt ; but the importance that appeared tc 
be attached to the person of Zizim gave him the idea that 
he could himself derive some advantage from him. He de- 
manded and obtained that the brother of Bajazet should be 
given up to him, and then he exhorted the Christian princes 
to unite with him, and promised to go in person to the con- 
quest of Greece and Syria. The enterprise of Innocent VIII. 
reminds us of that of Pius I T , and was destined to be 
equally unfortunate. The pontiff was employed in hia 
scheme, with more zeal than success, when he died. Alex- 
ander VI., who succeeded him, had created for himself a 
name which repelled the confidence of the faithful, and left 
no hope that tbo preparations for a holy war would ever be 
able to divert him from the cares of his personal ambition, 
or tear him away from his profane affections. 

The kingdom of Naples, however, which had occasioned 
so many wars, begun and carried on under the banners of 
the cross, gave rise, under these circumstances, to the idea 
of an enterprise which resembled a crusade. The duke of 
Milan, and several other small states, constantly occupied in 
disturbing Italy, and in calling thither foreign arms, for the 
purpose of increasing or preserving their own power, per- 
suaded Charles VIII. , then seated on the throne, to endea- 
vour to establish the rights of the house of Anjou. Their 
solicitation* and their* brilliant promises awakened the am 


bition of the young king, who resolved to conquer the king- 
dom of JN T aples, and proclaimed the design of extending his 
views to the territories of the infidels. 

The passion for arms, the spirit of chivalry, and the little 
that remained in men's hearts of the ancient ardour for 
crusades and distant expeditions, seconded the enterprise of 
the French monarch. Public prayers were offered up, and 
processions were formed throughout the kingdom, for the 
success of an expedition against the Turks. The preachings, 
or rather the poetical inspirations of some writers of the 
time, announced to all Europe the deliverance of the East. 

When Charles VIII. had passed the Alps with his army, 
all the nations of Italy received him with the most lively 
demonstrations of joy ; the love of liberty, the spirit of devo- 
tion, the sentiment of gallantry, all the passions which then 
prevailed, appeared to attach some hope to the issue of this 
expedition. The nations looked to the king of France and 
his knights for their independence. Amidst the brilliant fes- 
tivities of chivalry, the French warriors were received as the 
champions of the honour of ladies. They gave Charles VIII. 
the titles of envoy of God, of liberator of the Romish Church, 
and of defender of the faith. All the acts of the king gave 
reason to believe that his expedition had for its object the 
glory and safety of Christendom. He wrote to the bishops 
of France to demand of them the tenths of a crusade. 
" Our intention," said he to them in his letters, " is not 
only to recover our kingdom of Naples, but to secure the 
welfare of Italy, and to effect the deliverance of the Holy 

Whilst the nations on both sides of the Alps gave them- 
selves up to hope and joy, terror reigned in the kingdom of 
Naples. Alphonso addressed himself to all his allies ; he, 
in particular, implored the succour of the Holy See, and, by 
a singular contrast, whilst he placed his greatest hopes in 
th.3 court of Home, he sent ambassadors to Constantinople, 
to warn Bajazet of the projects of Charles VIII. respecting 
Greece, and to conjure the Mussulman emperor to assist 
him in defending his kingdom against the invasion of the 
French. Alexander VI., who had embraced the cause of 
the princes of Arragon, beheld with the most lively in- 
quietude the triumphant march of the king of France, whc 



was advancing towards Borne without encountering any 
obstacles. In vain he called to his aid both the states of 
Italy and the Mussulman masters of Greece ; in vain he 
employed the ascendancy of his spiritual power; he soon 
found himself obliged to submit, and to open the gates of 
his capital to a prince whom he regarded as his enemy, and 
whom he had by turns threatened with the anger of Heaven 
and with that of Bajazet. 

Thus the war which the king of France had sworn to 
make against the infidels began by a victory obtained over 
the pope. According to one of the conditions imposed 
upon the sovereign pontiff, the brother of Bajazet was 
placed in the hands of Charles VIII. The unfortunate 
Jem- Jem, who knew nothing of the policy of which he was 
soon to become the victim, thanked the pope for having 
restored him to liberty. He congratulated himself upon 
being 'protected by the great king of the West, and enter- 
tained no doubt that the victorious arms of the Christians 
would replace him on the Ottoman throne. Charles VIII., 
however, appeared but very little disposed to restore to him 
the empire of Constantinople, which he had just purchased 
for himself. In the course of the last century, an act was 
found in the chancery of Rome, by which Andrew Palaeolo- 
gus, the despot of Achaia, and nephew of Constantine, sold 
to the king of France all his claims to the empire of the 
East, for the sum of four thousand three hundred gold 
ducats ! This act, by which an empire was sold in the pre- 
sence of a notary, and. which could only be ratined by vic- 
tory, appears to us a very curious historical monument ; and 
serves to enlighten us upon the spirit and policy of these 
remote times. We must admit, however, that the French 
monarch seemed even then to attach very little value to this 
kind of treaty, and fulfilled none of the conditions of it. 
His attention was principally directed towards the kingdom 
of Naples, which fortune was about to place in his hands ; 
without requiring him to fight a single battle. 

Whilst Charles prolonged his sojourn at Home, Alphonsc 
II., abandoned to his own resources, a prey to terror and 
remorse, and pursued by the complaints of the JNeapo^ 
litans, descended from his throne, and went to bury him- 
self in a monastery of Sicily. His son Ferdinand, who sun- 


needed him, although he had driven the Turks oat of the 
city of Otranto, and had been proclaimed liberator of Italy, 
could neither revive the courage of his army nor the fidelity 
of his subjects. From the moment the arrival of the French 
was announced, the yoke of the house of Arragon appeared 
to become every day more insupportable. AVhen Charles 
quitted the Roman states, instead of encountering the armies 
of an enemy, he only met on his road with deputations 
which came to offer him the crown of Naples. The capital 
soon received him in triumph, and the whole kingdom placed 
itself under his subjection. 

Fame was not long in carrying into Greece the news of 
the marvellous conquests of Charles VIII. The Turks of 
Epirus, struck with terror, dreaded every instant to see the 
French arrive. Nicolas Vignier adds, that Bajazet was pos- 
sessed by such fear, that he caused all his navy to come to 
the Straits of St. George, to enable him to escape into Asia. 

The presence of Zizim in the Christian army particularly 
excited the alarms of the Mussulmans ; but fortune had 
exhausted all her prodigies in favour of the French. Jem- 
Jem, whom the king of France hoped to exhibit to the 
enemies of the faith, died almost suddenly on arriving in 
the kingdom of Naples. Alexander VI. was accused of 
bringing about this death ; Bajazet having promised him 
three hundred thousand gold ducats, if he would aid his 
brother in escaping from the miseries of this life. Turkish 
historians relate this event after a different manner: they 
say that a barber of Constantinople, named Mustapha, was 
sent to poison Zizim ; and, what paints with a single stroke 
the spirit and the character of the Ottoman despotism, when 
the barber returned to announce that the brother of the 
sultan was dead, Bajazet raised him to the post of vizier ; 
so important did the service appear, and so worthy of reward 
was the crime. 

The conquests of Charles VIII., which gave the Turks so 
much alarm, began to create lively inquietudes in several 
Christian states. A league was formed against the French, 
into which entered the pope, the emperor Maximilian, the 
king of Spain, and the principal states of Italy. After the 
example of Charles VIII. , this league assumed as a pretext 
a war against the Turks ; but its real design did not remain 


long concealed ; for it solicited the approbation and the 
assistance of Bajazet. Policy, on this occasion, did not 
hesitate to sacrifice Christian victims, to cement an alliance 
with the disciples of the Koran. As the Greeks of Epirus 
and the Peloponnesus were eager to profit by the enterprise 
3f the king of France to shake off the yoke of the Ottomans, 
:hey sent deputies into Italy. The senate of Venice caused 
these deputies to be arrested, and gave up their papers to 
the envoys of the sultan. Fifty thousand of the inhabitants 
of Greece perished victims to this base act of treachery. 

On another side, the inconstancy of the people, who had 
at first been favourable to the arms of the king of France, 
and the discontent which is always inspired by the presence 
of a victorious army, all at once changed the state of things 
in the kingdom of Naples. The French, who had been 
received with so much enthusiasm, became odious, and the 
hopes of all were directed towards the family of Arragon, so 
recently abandoned. Charles, instead of directing his looks 
towards Greece, turned them towards France. Whilst he was 
in the act of causing himself to be crowned emperor of By- 
zantium and king of Sicily, his thoughts were fixed upon the 
abandonment of his conquests. It was a singular contrast 
which the spectacle presented, of preparations for a retreat, 
and a triumphal ceremony, going on at the same time. 
Whilst the nobility, the clergy, and all the public bodies of 
the state, came to congratulate the victorious prince, the 
people were invoking the protection of Heaven against him, 
and the French awaited in silence the order and signal for 
its departure. On the day following his coronation, and 
as if he had only come to Naples for the sake of this vain 
ceremony, Charles VIII. set out, accompanied by the most 
distinguished of his knights, and resumed sorrowful^ the 
road to his own kingdom. On his arrival in Italy, he had 
heard nothing in his march but benedictions and songs of 
triumph. On his return, he heard only the maledictions of 
the people and the threats of his enemies. In the first 
place he had crossed Italy without opposition ; in order to 
leave it, he was forced to give battle ; and considered as a 
victory the liberty which was left to him to drag back the 
wreck of his army over the Alps. 

Thus terminated this enterprise of Charles VIII., whidt 


nt fiisl was pretended to be a holy war, which was directed 
by a short-sighted policy, and the consequences of which 
became so fatal to France and Italy. Whilst the prepara- 
tions for this war were going on, there appeared, as we havd 
said above, several writings in prose and verse, in which great 
victories were predicted. The aim of these predictions was 
not only to excite the enthusiasm of the people, but tc 
strengthen a weak and irresolute prince in his undertaking. 
When we read the prophetic songs and hymns of the poets, 
we may fancy we see the French setting out for the conquest 
of the holy places. But the scene changes when we turn 
our eyes to the pages of history. Everything leads us to 
conclude, that on this occasion religious opinions and sen- 
timents of chivalry were but the auxiliaries of unfortunate 
ambition. It is particularly to this expedition that we may 
apply what J. J. Bousseau somewhere says of the crusades : 
" The intrigues of cabinets embroiled affairs, and religion 
was the pretext." 

The policy of Venice did not preserve her from the anger 
of Bajazet, who declared war against her. Alexander VI. 
published a jubilate, and demanded tenths of the clergy of 
Europe for the preparations for a crusade against the Turks. 
The emperor Maximilian, Louis XII., and the kings of Cas- 
tile, Portugal, and Hungary, appeared to listen for a moment 
to the propositions of the pope. But reciprocal mistrust 
speedily dissolved this Christian league: in vain the 
preachers of the crusade repeated in their discourses the 
menaces of Bajazet; they could not overcome the indifference 
of the people ; and the sovereign pontiff found everywhere 
equal obstacles to the levying of the tenths and the distri- 
bution of indulgences. The French clergy on this occasion 
braved ecclesiastical censures ; and what shows the decline 
of the pontifical power, at least as far as regards the cru- 
sades, a simple decision of the Faculty of Theology of Paris 
was at that ^.ime sufficient to stand against all the terrible 
array of the menaces and thunders of Borne. 

we have shown how and by what causes the spirit of the 
crusades had become enfeebled. Towards the end of the 
fifteenth century and the commencement of the sixteenth, 
two great events completed the diversion of attention from 
the East. America had recently been revealed to the ancient 


world, and the Portuguese had doubled the Cape of Good 
Hope. There is no doubt that the progress of navigation 
during the holy wars had contributed to the discoveries of 
Vasco de Grama and Christopher Columbus. But these dis- 
coveries, when they once became known in Europe, entirely 
occupied that active, enterprising, and adventurous spirit 
which had so long kept up the ardour for expeditions against 
the infidels. The direction of men's minds, views of policy, 
speculations of commerce, all were changed ; and the great 
revolution of the crusades on its decline, was seen, in some 
sort, to clash with the new revolution which was born of the 
discovery and conquest of a new world. 

The Venetians, masters of the ancient routes and com- 
merce of India, were the first to be aware of the changes 
that were in operation, the consequences of which must 
prove so injurious to them. They secretly sent deputies to 
the sultan of Cairo, as much interested as themselves in 
opposing the interests of the Portuguese. The deputation 
from Venice advised the sultan of Egypt to ally himself with 
the king of Calcutta and other Indian powers, to attack the 
fleets and troops of Portugal. The republic undertook to 
send into Egypt and to the coasts of Arabia artisans to 
found cannon, and carpenters to construct vessels of war. 
The Egyptian monarch, whose interests were the same as 
those of Venice, readily entered into the plan proposed to 
him ; and in order to arrest the progress of the Portuguese 
in India, he endeavoured to inspire a fear with regard to the 
holy places, which had so long been, and still were, objects 
of veneration for the faithful of the "West. He threatened 
to raze to the ground the church of the Holy Sepulchre, to 
cast the ashes and monuments of the martyrs to the winds, 
and to force all the Christians of his states to abjure the 
faith of Christ. A Cordelier of Jerusalem came to Rome 
to express the alarms of the Christians of Palestine, and of 
the guardians of the holy tomb. The pope was seized with 
terror, and hastened to send the Cordelier to the king of 
Portugal, whom he conjured to make the sacrifice of his 
new conquests to God and Christendom.* The Portuguese 

* The reflections this passage gives birth to might fill pages ; but 
almost the most striking is, to observe how the operations of men's minda 
and industry, in their progress, obliterate that which is gone before, and 


monarch received the envoy of the pope and the Oriental 
Christians with kindness, gave him considerable sums fo/ 
the support of the holy places, and replied to the Sovereign 
pontiff, that he did not at all fear seeing the threats of the 
eultan carried out, but, on the contrary, he hoped to burn 
both Mecca and Medina, and bring vast regions under the 
law of the Gospel, if the princes of Christendom were willing 
to cooperate with him. 

The sultan of Egypt, who received tribute from all pil- 
grims, did not destroy the churches of Jerusalem but he 
attempted an expedition against the Portuguese, in concert 
with the king of Cambay and Calcutta. They equipped at 
Suez a fleet composed of six galleys, a galleon, and four 
store-ships, in which were embarked eight hundred Mame- 
lukes. The Egyptian fleet descended along the shores of 
the lied Sea, coasted Arabia, doubled the Gulf of Persia, 
and cast anchor at the island and in the port of Diu, one of 
the most important points for the commerce of India. It 
is of this expedition the author of the Lusiad speaks in his 
ninth book : " With the help of the fleets from the port of 
Arsinoe, the Calicutians hoped to reduce those of Emanuel 
to ashes ; but the arbiter of heaven and earth always finds 
means to execute the decrees of his profound wisdom." 

The expedition of the Mamelukes, notwithstanding the 
success it at first obtained, produced not the results that the 
sultan of Cairo and the republic of Venice expected. The 
Portuguese, in their despair, endeavoured to persuade the 
king of Ethiopia to divert the course of the Nile. A project 
for shutting up the new routes of commerce and the passage 
of the Cape of Good Hope was scarcely more reasonable. 
Instead of having recourse to arms, the sultans of the 
Mamelukes would have much better served the interests of 
Venice, and those of their own power, if they had multiplied 
canals in their provinces, and opened a commodious, quick, 
and safe passage for the commerce of India : by that means 
they would have preserved for the navigat'on of the Medi- 

then again, after a season, which season has done it* work in spreading 
civilization and intelligence, return to old courses. Though science is 
bringing us back to the old route to India, what wonders the discovery o 
Vasco de Gama has effected for the progress of the Great Scheme !— « 


terranean the advantage it had enjoyed for ages over the 
navigation of the ocean ; and the. maritime cities of Egypt 
and Italy would not have seen the sources of their prosperity 
suddenly dried up. 

Whilst the republic of Venice contemplated with terror 
the causes of her future decline, she still inspired consider- 
able jealousy by the splendour of her wealth and magnifi- 
cence. Many complaints arose against the Venetians, who 
were universally accused of sacrificing everything to the 
interests of their commerce, and of betraying or serving the 
cause of the Christians, as fidelity or treachery became most 
profitable to them. In a diet which Maximilian convoked 
at Augsburg, Helian, the ambassador of Louis XII., pro- 
nounced a vehement discourse against the Venetian nation. 
He reproached them, in the first place, with having thwarted, 
by their hostility and their intrigues, a league formed by the 
pope, the emperor of Germany, the king of France, and 
the king of Arragon, against the Turks. The orator then re- 
proached the Venetians with having refused to succour Con- 
stantinople when besieged by Mahomet II. " Their fleet 
was in the Hellespont during the siege ; they could hear the 
groans of a Christian people, sinking under the sword of 
the barbarians. Nothing could excite their pity. They 
remained unaffected and motionless, and when the city was 
taken, they purchased the spoils of the vanquished, and sold 
to the Mussulmans the unfortunate inhabitants of Greece, 
who had taken refuge beneath their banners. At a later 
period, when the Ottomans were besieging Otranto, not 
only cities and princes, but the mendicant orders, sent 
assistance to the besieged. The Venetians, whose fleet was 
then at anchor before Corfu, beheld with indifference, 
perhaps with joy, the dangers and the misfortunes of a 
Christian city. ]N"o, God cannot pardon a nation, which, by 
its avarice, its jealousy, and its ambition, has betrayed the 
cause of Christendom, and appears to maintain an under- 
standing with the Turks, in order to reign with them over 
the East and over the West." Helian, on terminating his 
discourse, pressed the states and the princes to combine 
their efforts, to execute the decrees of divine justice, and 
complete the ruin of the republic of Venice. 

This discourse, in which the name of Christianity was 


ynvoked, but which breathed nothing but vengeance and 
hatred, made a lively impression upon the assembly- The 
passions which inflamed the diet of Augsburg, and which 
left no room for a thought of a war against the Turks, but 
too plainly showed the state of agitation and discord in 
which Christendom was then plunged. It is not consistent 
with our purpose to speak of the league formed, in the first 
place, against Venice, or of the league afterwards formed 
against Louis XII., or of the events which brought trouble 
Into Italy, and even into the bosom of the Church, then 
threatened with a schism. 

At the council of the Lateran, convoked by Julius II., 
the disorders of Christendom were deplored, without the 
least remedy being proposed for them. They touched upon 
the war with the Turks, without bestowing any attention 
upon the means for carrying it on. The exhortations of the 
pope, which were supposed to be animated by an ambitious 
policy, inspired no confidence. The pontiff, whom Voltaire 
represents as a bad priest but a good prince, entered in an 
active manner into the wars between Christian powers. 
Since war was carried on in his name, he could not fill the 
honourable part of a conciliator, and enjoyed no longer the 
consideration attached to the title of Father of the Faithful. 
He was not able to reestablish the peace he had himself 
broken, and found it impossible to direct an enterprise 
against the infidels. 

The preaching for a crusade, so often repeated, no longer 
made any impression on men's minds ; misfortunes which 
never arrived had been so often announced to nations, that 
they ceased to awaken any alarm. After the death of Ma- 
homet, the Turks seemed to have renounced all idea of con- 
quering Europe. Bajazet at first attacked the Mamelukes 
of Egypt without success ; he afterwards sunk into volup- 
tuousness and the pleasures of the seraglio, which gave the 
Christians a few years of repose and safety. But as an in- 
dolent and effeminate prince did not fulfL 1 the first condition 
of Ottoman despotism, which was war, he irritated the army, 
and his pacific tastes brought about his fall from the throne. 
Selim, who succeeded him, more ambitious and more cruel 
than Mahomet, accused of poisoning his father, and covered 
with the blood of his family, had scarcely attained empirfl 


before lie promised to the janissaries the conquest of the 
world, and threatened, at the same time, Italy, Germany, 
Persia, and Egypt. 

In the twelfth and last sitting of the fifth council of the 
Lateran, Leo X. took upon him to preach a crusade against 
the redoubtable emperor of the Ottomans. He ordered to 
be read before the fathers of the council a letter from the 
emperor Maximilian, who expressed great grief at seeing 
Christendom always exposed to the invasions of a barbarous 

At the same time the emperor of Germany, writing to his 
counsellor at the diet of Nuremberg, expressed the desire 
he had always felt of reestablishing the empire of Constan- 
tine, and delivering Greece from the domination of the 
Turks. "We would willingly," said he, "have employed 
our power and even our person in this enterprise, if the 
other leaders of Christendom had assisted." When reading 
these letters of Maximilian, we might be led to believe that 
this prince was touched more than others by the misfortunes 
of the Greeks and the perils of Christendom. But the in- 
constancy and levity of his character would not allow him 
to carry on with ardour an enterprise to which he appeared 
to attach so much importance. He passed his life in form- 
ing projects against the Turks, and in making war against 
Christian powers ; and in his old age consoled himself by 
thinking that the glory of saving Europe might perhaps one 
day belong to a prince of his family. 

Whilst the Christian princes were thus reciprocally ex- 
horting each other to take arms, without any one of them 
renouncing the interests of his own ambition, or offering an 
example of a generous devotion, Selim, after having con- 
quered the king of Persia, attacked the army of the Mame- 
lukes, dethroned the sultan of Cairo, and united to his vast 
dominions all the countries that the Pranks had inhabited or 
possessed in Asia. Jerusalem then beheld the standard of 
the crescent floating over its walls, and the son of Bajazet, 
after the example of Omar, profaned by his presence the 
church of the Holy Sepulchre.* Palestine only feh. under a 

* To what extent this sort of profanation is carried, even by so-ce 'J*,d 
nvklized nations, may be seen by the story (we hope not a true one) of Sir 


fresh domination, and no change took place in the fate of the 
Christians. But as Europe dreaded the Turks more than 
the Mamelukes, against whom war had ceased to be carried 
011, the news of the conquests of Selim spread consternation 
and grief everywhere. It appeared to Christendom as if tho 
noly city passed for the first time under the yoke of the in- 
fidels; and the sentiments of grief and mourning that the 
Christians then experienced, necessarily revived the idea of 
delivering the tomb of Christ. 

"We must add that the late victories of Selim completed 
the overthrow of all the powers in the East that had rivalled 
the Turks, and that whilst increasing in a fearful manner the 
strength of the Ottoman empire, they left it no other enemies 
to contend with but the nations of the West. 

Leo X. contemplated seriously the dangers which threat- 
ened Christendom, and resolved to arm the principal powers 
of Europe against the Turks. The sovereign pontiff an- 
nounced his project to the college of cardinals. The prelates 
most distinguished for their learning and their skill in nego- 
tiations, were sent into England, Spain, and Germany, with 
the mission of appeasing all quarrels that divided princes, 
and forming a powerful league against the enemies of the 
Christian republic. Leo X., who declared himself before- 
hand the head of this holy league, proclaimed a truce of five 
years among all the states of Europe, and threatened those 
who disturbed the peace with excommunication. 

"Whilst the pope was thus giving all his attention to pre- 
parations for a crusade, the poets and orators, whose labours 
he encouraged, represented him as already the liberator of 
the Christian world. The celebrated Yida, in a Sapphic ode 
addressed to Leo X., sang the future labours and conquests 
of the pontiff. Carried away by his poetical enthusiasm, he 
swore to go, clad in shining steel, to the extremities of the 
world, and to drink from a brazen helmet the waters of the 
Xanthus and the Indus. He boasts of cutting down with 
his sword the barbarous heroes of Asia, and fancies that he 
already sees posterity placing his name among those of war- 
riors who had never known fear. Yida, in his ode, speaka 

Sidney Smith and a party of English sailors, after the siege of Acre, 
singing "God save the king," in full chorus, in the great mosque Oi 
Omar, at Jerusalem. — Trans, 


of neither Christ nor the cross, but of Bellona and Apollo 
His verses appear to be much less an inspiration of the Gos- 
pel than an imitation of Horace ; and the praises he addresses 
to the head of the Christian Church resemble, both in tone 
and form, those which the bard of the Tiber addressed to 
Augustus. AYhilst Villa, in profane verses, thus felicitated 
Leo X. upon the laurels he was about to gather amidst the 
labours and perils of a holy war, another writer not less 
celebrated, in a prose epistle printed at the head of the 
Orations of Cicero, addressed the sovereign pontiff with the 
same congratulations and the same eulogies. JNovagero took 
delight in celebrating beforehand those days of glory in which 
the pope would return in triumph to the eternal city, aftei 
having extended the limits of the Christian world, — those 
happy days in which all Italy, in which all nations, should 
revere him as a divinity descended from heaven for their 

Italy was then filled with fugitive Greeks, amongst whom 
were some illustrious scholars, who exercised a great influence 
over men's minds, and never ceased to represent the Turks 
as a barbarous and ferocious people. The Greek tongue 
was taught with success in the most celebrated schools, and 
the new direction of studies, with the admiration which the 
masterpieces of Greece inspired, added greatly to the hatred 
of the" people for the fierce dominators of Byzantium, Athens, 
and Jerusalem. Thus all the disciples of Homer and Plato 
associated themselves, in some sort, by their wishes and their 
discourses, with the enterprise of the sovereign pontiff. It 
may have been remarked, that the manner of preaching the 
crusades, and the motives alleged to excite the ardour of the 
Christians, differed according to circumstances, and were 
almost always analogous to the prevailing ideas of each 
period. In the times of which we now speak, everything 
naturally bears the character and stamp of the great age of 
Leo X. ; and if the crusade had been able to contribute to 
the restoration of letters, it was just that letters in their turn 
should do something in a war undertaken against the enemies 
of civilization and intelligence. 

The envoys of the court of Rome were received with dis- 
tinction in all the states of Europe, and neglected neither 
evangelical exhortations, nor seductions, nor promises, nor 


any of the resources of profane pclicy, to induce Christian 
princes to join the crusade proclaimed by the pope. The 
sacred college rejoiced at the success of their mission, antf 
the pope. i;o prove his gratitude to Heaven, and to draw 
down divine blessings upon his enterprise, ordered that pro- 
cessions should be made and prayers put up, during three 
days, in the capital of the Christian world. lie him sell 
celebrated the divine office, distributed alms, and walked 
barefooted and with his head uncovered to the church of the 
Holy Apostles. 

Sadoletus, secretary to the Holy See, one of the most dis- 
tinguished favourites of the Muses, and who, in the judg- 
ment of Erasmus, possessed in his writings the copiousness 
and the manner of Cicero, pronounced, in the presence of 
the clergy and the Roman people, a discourse, in which he 
celebrated the zeal and the activity of the sovereign pontiff, 
the eagerness of the Christian princes to make peace with 
each other, and the desire they evinced to unite their powers 
against the Turks : the orator reminded his auditory of the 
emperor of Germany and the king of France, glorious pillars 
of Christendom ; of the army of Charles, king of Castile, 
whose youth exhibited all the virtues of ripened age ; of the 
king of England, the invincible defender of the faith ; of 
Emanuel, king of Portugal, always ready to sacrifice his own 
interests to those of the Church ; of Louis II., king of Hun- 
gary ; and Sigismund, king of Poland ; the firbt, a young 
prince, the hope of Christians ; the second, worthy to be 
their leader ; of the king of Denmark, with whose devotion 
to religion Europe was well acquainted ; and of James, king 
of Scotland, the examples of whose family must keep him in 
the road of virtue and glory. Among the Christian states, 
upon which humanity and religion must build their hop, s, 
Sadoletus did not forget the Helvetians, a powerful and 
warlike nation, which burned with such zeal for the war 
against the T arks, that its numerous bands of soldiers were 
already prepared to march, and only waited for the signal of 
the head of the Church. The holy orator finished by a vehe- 
ment apostrophe against the race of the Ottomans, whom 
he threatened with the united forces of Europe, and by an 
invocation to God, whom he conjured to bless the arms of so 
many princes, of so many Christian nations, in order that 


tlic empire of the world might be wrested from Mahomet, 
and that the praises of Jesus Christ might at length re- 
sound from the south to the north, and from the west to the 

Leo X. was constantly engaged with the crusade he had 
preached. He consulted with able captains, and acquired 
information concerning the strength of the Turks, and upon 
the means of attacking them with advantage : the most cer- 
tain means was to raise numerous armies. In his letters to 
the princes and the faithful, he exhorted Christians not to 
neglect prayers and the austerities of penitence ; but he 
recommended them above ail things to prepare their arms, 
and to oppose their redoubtable enemies with strength and 
valour. In concert with the principal states of Christen- 
dom, he laid down the plan of the holy war. The emperor 
of Germany was to furnish an army to which the Hungarian 
and Polish cavalry should be united. The king of Trance, 
with all his forces, all those of the Venetians, and several 
states of Italy, and sixteen thousand Swiss, was to embark 
at Brindisi, and make a descent upon the coast of Greece ; 
whilst the fleets of Spain, Portugal, and England, should 
set sail from Carthagena and the neighbouring ports, to 
transport Spanish troops to the shores of the Hellespont. 
The pope proposed to embark himself at the port of An- 
cona, to repair to Constantinople, under the walls of which 
city all the forces of the Christian powers were to meet. 

This plan was gigantic, and never would the Ottoman 
empire have been in greater danger, if such vast designs 
could have been carried into execution. But the Christian 
monarchs were only able to observe the truce proclaimed 
by the pope, and which they had accepted for a very few 
months ; each of them had engaged to furnish for the crusade 
troops which every day became more necessary to them in 
their own states, and which they wished to aggrandize or 
defend. The old age of Maximilian, and the approaching 
vacancy of the imperial throne, at that time held all the 
ambitious in a state of expectation : very shortly the rivalry 
of Charles V. and Francis I. rekindled war in Europe, and 
Christendom, disturbed by the quarrels of princes, no longe? 
thought it probable they should be invaded by the Turks. 

But these political dissensions were not the only obstacles 


to the execution of the projects of Leo X. Another diiTi- 
culty arose from the levy of the tenths. The clergy every- 
where appeared to have the same indifference for the wars 
which ruined them. The people dreaded to see their alms 
employed in enterprises which had not for object the tri- 
umph of religion. The legate of the pope in Spain addressed 
himself first to the Arragonese, who replied by a formal 
refusal, expressed in a national synod. Cardinal Ximenes 
declared, in the name of the king of Castile, that the Spa- 
niards did not believe in the threats of the Turks, and that 
they would not give their money until the pope had posi- 
tively announced how he would employ it. If the disposi- 
tions and the will of the court of Rome found less resistance 
and occasioned no troubles in England or France, it was 
because Cardinal Wolsey, minister of Henry VIII., was 
associated in the mission of the apostolic legate, and that 
Leo X. abandoned the tenths of his kingdom to Francis 1. 

We have before us several historical documents which 
have never been printed, and which throw a great light upon 
the circumstances of which we are speaking. The first is a 
letter from Francis I., dated from Amboise, the 16th of 
December, 1516, by which Master Josse de Lagarde, doctor 
in theology, vicar-general of the cathedral church ofTJwulouse, 
is named commissary, touching the fact of the crusade in the 
diocese. The king of France exposes in another letter the 
aim of the jubilate that is about to be opened : it was to 
implore means to make war against the infidels, and conquer 
the Holy Land and the empire of Greece, detained and 
usurped by the said infidels. To these letters patent are 
joined instructions given by the king, in concert with the 
legate of the pope, for the execution of the bull which 
orders the preaching of the crusade in the kingdom of 
France during the two years 1517 and 1518. These instruc- 
tions, in the first place, recommend the choice of good 
preachers, charged to make good and devout sermons to the 
people, and to explain the faculties and dispensations ichich 
are contained in the lull, as well as why the just and holy 
causes for ichich it is ordered, that during two years all other 
indulgences, all other general and particular pardons, are 
suspended and revoked. 

After having spuien of the choice of preachers, and of the 


manner in which they ought to preach, the letters patent of 
the king give some instructions upon the choice of con- 
fessors. The commissary-general of the crusade could ap- 
point as many as seemed necessary to him for every church 
in which were troncs et questes (poor-boxes and gatherings) 
for the jubilee. He was commanded to name six for the 
cathedral of the diocese, gens de bonne conscience, hors de 
suspicion (worthy people, above suspicion). The ecclesi- 
astics thus chosen by the commissary had the mission to 
confess all such as were desirous of indulgences ; and to avoid 
the disorders that might arise from the spirit of rivalry, they 
had, to the exclusion of all others, the power to make com- 
positions and restitutions, and give absolution, &c. &c. 

In short, the royal ordinance omitted none of the circum- 
stances which accompanied the preaching of a crusade, or of 
the forms which ought to be adopted in the distribution of 
indulgences. It goes so far as to regulate the shape of the 
troncs placed in the churches to receive the offerings of the 
faithful, and the religious ceremonies that were to be ob- 
served during the jubilee.* Among other orders, one com- 
manded that a great number of confessionals, or bills of 
absolution and indulgence, should be made ; that these bills, 
signed by a notary, should be sent to the commissary- 
general, who would seal them with the seal sent by the 
king, and that there should be left upon them a blank space 
for the name of him or her who wished to procure them. 
The rov&l instruction added, that the commissary should 
cause his ironc to be properly and handsomely set up, and 
that thare should be in the centre of it a large handsome 
cioss, upon which should be written, in great, fair letters, 
if iroo ai&NO vinces. In order that nothing might be 
wanting to excite the people to devotion, it was besides 

* This is the passage of the ordinance that relates to the banners that 
were to be carried in procession : — " There shall be made, at the same 
time, a handsome banner, upon which shall be painted our holy father the 
pope, in his full pontificals, accompanied by several cardinals and other 
prelates, being in pontificals, and mitred with white mitres ; the pope 
shall be on the dexter, the king on the sinister, armed completely in white 
except his armour of state, which shall be borne by his squire, accom- 
panied by several princes and other lords, all armed ; on the other side of 
the said banner, histories and other pictures, full of Turks and othei 


ordered, that solemn processions should be made, and that in 
them a handsome banner should be carried, upon which should 
be, on one side, the portraits of the pope and the king of 
France, and on the other, paintings full of Turks and other 

In this ordinance, of which it gives us great pleasure 
fco recall the spirit and the expressions, that which history 
particularly observes, is the numerous precautions against 
infidelity and fraud. The distributors of the indulgences 
were obliged to consult an assessment for their government; 
in all expenses and reinstatements. The troncs, in which 
the money of the faithful was deposited, had three locks and 
three ke} r s, and were only to be opened in the presence of 
witnesses ; among the documents we have quoted, is one 
which is the legal order for the opening of the troncs* with 
m account rendered of the receipts and expenditure, in 
which the most minute details are not neglected, and which 
shows to what a degree exactitude and watchfulness were 
carried. These rigorous precautions were the more neces- 
sary, from the people being led to be suspicious by the 
examples of past times ; it was pretty well known that many 
of the collectors of the money for the crusades were not 
'people of worth, and above suspicion. The more sacred the 
motive for levying this tribute was said to be, the more 
promptly was suspicion awakened ; and the more anxious did 
charity itself appear as to the manner in which its offerings 
might be expended. Upon this point, as upon others, 
authority had so much the more necessity for keeping a 
severe watch, from there always being among the orators of 
the crusades some who showed more zeal than wisdom, and 
whose preachings were really a subject of scandal. As most 
of them received a salary proportionate with the amount of 
money dropped into the troncs of the churches, many did 
not hesitate to exaggerate the promises of the sovereign 
pontiff and the privileges attached to gifts of charity. His- 
tory gives us the example of a preacher who put forth from 
the evangelical pulpit the following culpable maxim : When 
apiece of money shall be placed in the tronc of the crusade 

* All these documents are unpublished, and very voluminous ; we wiJl 
give some extracts from them in our Appendix. 

Vol. III.— 10 


for the deliverance of a soul from purgatory, imrudiatety that 
soul will be delivered, and will fly away towards heaven. The 
Faculty of Theology of Paris censured this proposition as 
contrary to the dogmas of the Church. The prudence of 
the heads of the Gallican Church, and the wise measures 
adopted by the king of France, thus prevented great dis- 
orders. It was not so in Germany, where the greatest 
excitement and dissatisfaction prevailed, and where seeds of 
heresy and trouble began to spring up even in the bosom of 
the clergy. 

It may have been observed, how much more easy the 
court of Eome had hitherto daily made the opening of the 
treasury of pontifical indulgences. In the early expeditions 
to the East, these indulgences were only granted to the 
pilgrims of the Holy Land. They were afterwards granted 
to all who contributed to the support of the Crusaders. 
StiJl later, they were granted to the faithful who listened to 
the sermons of the preachers of the crusades ; sometimes 
even to those who were present at the mass of the pope's 
legates. As the distribution or sale of indulgences was an 
inexhaustible source of wealth, Leo X. took upon him to 
grant them not only to those who, by their alms, were 
willing to aid in defraying the expenses of the war against 
the Turks, but to all the faithful whose pious liberality 
should contribute to the amount necessary for the com- 
pletion of the building of the church of St. Peter, which 
had been begun by his predecessor Julius II. Although 
this destination might have something noble and truly use- 
ful in it ; although it might be worthy, in some sort, of an 
age in which the arts burst forth with great splendour, many 
Christians, particularly in Germany, saw nothing in it but 
an actual profanation, and a new means by which the court 
of Home sought to enrich itself at the expense of the 

Albert, archbishop of Mayence, charged with appointing 
the preachers of the jubilee and the distributors of papal 
indulgences, named for Saxony, Do-iinicans, to the exclusion 
of Cordeliers or Augustines, who had sometimes filled these 
kinds of missions. The latter showed themselves jealous 
of this preference ; and as no precaution had been taker: 
either to avert the effects of this species of rivalry, or put a 


stop to the abuses which might be committed, it happened 
that the Augustines censured severely the conduct, man* 
ners, and opinions of the Dominicans, and that the hitter 
but too well justified the complaints of their adversaries. 

Luther, an Augustine monk, put himself forward in these 
violent quarrels, and distinguished himself by his fervid 
eloquence;* he spoke strongly against the preachers that 
had been selected to receive the contributions of the faith- 
ful ; and among the propositions he put forth from the 
pulpit, history has preserved the following, which was cen- 
sured by Leo X. : " It is a sin to resist the Turks, seeing that 
Providence makes use of this faithless nation, to visit the 
iniquities of his people." This strange maxim obtained faith 
amongst the partisans of Luther ; and when the pope's legate 
demanded, at the diet of Ratisbon, the levy of the tenths 
destined for the crusade, he met with a warm opposition. 
Murmurs and complaints arose in all parts of Germany. 
The court of Home was reproached with putting holy things 
up to sale : it was compared to the unfaithful shepherd, who 
shears the sheep confided to his care ; it was accused of 
despoiling credulous people ; of ruining nations and kings ; 
and of accumulating upon Christians more miseries than 
the domination of the Turks could cause them. 

For more than a century, these kinds of accusations 
resounded throughout Germany, every time that money was 
raised for crusades ; or that any tribute whatever was im- 
posed upon the Christians by the sovereign pontiff. The 
reformers took advantage of this disposition of men's minds 
to circulate new ideas, and to attempt a revolution in the 
Church. Among a nation led by its genius and character 
to speculative ideas, philosophic and religious novelties were 
sure to find more warm partisans and ardent apostles than 
elsewhere. It must likewise be added, that Germany was 
one of the countries of Christendom that Rome had, in its 
omnipotence, spared the least ; and that the spirit of oppo- 

* Some writers have pretended, against the opinion of Bossuet and 
David Hume, that Luther was not drawn into his opposition by a motive 
of jealousy, and by a sentiment of self-love. In spite of their objections- 
the fact is demonstrated. The learned Mosheim, in his history, hai 
not thought proper to justify Luther on this head ; which is besides of 
very little importance. 


sitiou bad there taken rise, amidst long quarrels between the 
priesthood and the empire. When once the tie that united 
the minds of people was broken, and the yoke of an autho- 
rity consecrated by time was shaken off, opposition knew no 
bounds ; there was no longer a limit to opinions : the Church 
was attacked on all sides at once, and by a thousand dif- 
ferent sects, all opposed to the court of liome, and most 
of them opposed to each other. From that period burst 
forth that revolution which was destined to separate for 
ever many nations of Christendom from the Romish com- 

It is not our task to describe the events which accom- 
panied the schism of Luther ; but it is curious to observe, 
that the origin of the Reformation should be connected, not 
directly with the crusades, but with the abuse of the in- 
dulgences promulgated for the crusades. 

Like all who begin revolutions, Luther was not at all 
aware of the extent to which his opposition to the court of 
Rome might be carried : he at first began by attacking some 
abuses of the pontifical authority, and soon finished by at- 
tacking the authority itself. The opinions he had kindled 
by his eloquence, the passions he had given birth to among 
his disciples, led him himself much further than he could 
possibly have foreseen : those who had the greatest reason 
to combat the doctrines of the reformers saw, no more than 
he did, what those doctrines were to bring with them. Grer- 
many, divided into a thousand different states, and given up 
to all kinds of disorders, had no authority sufficiently strong 
and sufficiently prescient to anticipate the effects of a schism. 
At the court of Rome nobody could have believed that a sim- 
ple monk could ever shake the pillars of the Church. Amidst 
the pomp and the splendour of the arts which he patronized, 
and diverted by the cares of am ambitious policy, Leo X. 
perhaps was too neglectful of the progress of Luther. Above 
all, he was wrong in entirely abandoning the expedition 
against the Turks, which he had announced to the Christian 
world, and which might, at least at the first, have offered a 
useful distraction to minds agitated by ideas of reformation. 
The undertaking of a holy war which he had followed up 
with so much warmth at the beginning of his pontificate 


and for which the poets promised him eternal glory, — this 
enterprise, at his death, no longer engaged his thoughts, or 
those of his contemporaries. 

In the mean time Soliman, the successor of Selim. had 
recently taken possession of Belgrade, and threatened the 
isle of Rhodes. This isle was then the last colony of the 
Christians in Asia. As long as the Knights of St. John 
remained masters of it, the sultan of the Turks had reason 
to fear that some great expedition might be formed in the 
"West for the recovery of Palestine and Syria, or even for 
the conquest of Egypt, which had lately been united to the 
Ottoman empire. 

The grand-master of the Hospitallers sent to solicit the 
assistance of Christian Europe. Charles V. had just united, 
in his own person, the imperial crown with that of the 
Spains. Entirely occupied - with opposing the power of 
Prance, and anxious to draw Pope Adrian VI. into a war 
against the most Christian king, the emperor was very little 
affected by the danger which threatened the Knights of 
Rhodes The sovereign pontiff did not dare to succour 
them, or solicit for them the support of Christendom. 
Francis I. exhibited more generous sentiments ; but in the 
situation in which his kingdom was then placed, he was 
unable to send them the assistance he had promised. 

The Knights of Rhodes were left to their own resources. 
History has celebrated the labours and the prodigies of 
heroism by which the order of the Hospitallers illustrated 
its defence. After many months of combats, Rhodes fell 
into the hands of Soliman. It was a sad spectacle to behold 
the grand-master L' Isle- Adam, the father of his knights 
and of his subjects, dragging with him the sad remains cf the 
order, and all the people of Rhodes, who had determined to 
follow him. He landed at first upon the coast of .Naples, 
not far from the spot where Virgil makes the pious JEneas 
land, with the glorious wreck of Troy. If the spirit of the 
crusades could have revived, what heart could have remained 
unmoved, at seeing this venerable old man, followed by his 
faithful companions in misfortune, seeking an asylum, im- 
ploring compassion, and soliciting, as a reward of their past 
services, a little corner 3f earth upon which he and his wai> 


riors might still unfurl the standard of religion, and combat 
the infidels. 

"When the grand-master set forward on his march 
Borne, Adrian VI. had declared war against the king of 
France ; a league was formed by the sovereign pontiff, the 
emperor, the king of England, and the duke of Milan. In 
this state of aflairs, the Christian* }f the East could not 
hope for any succour. After the death of Adrian, Pope 
Clement VII. showed himself more favourable to the order 
of the Hospitallers. He received the grand-master with all 
the demonstrations of a paternal tenderness. When the 
chancellor of the order related, in the consistory, the exploits 
and the reverses of the knights, the sovereign pontiff and 
the Romish prelates shed tears, and promised to interest all 
the powers of the Christian world for such noble sufferers. 
Unfortunately for the order of St. John, the powers of 
Europe were more than ever divided among themselves. 
Erancis I. was made prisoner at the battle of Pavia. The 
pope, who had wished to resume the old papal title of the 
conciliator, only drew down upon himself the hatred and 
the anger of Charles V. Amidst these divisions, the Knights 
of Ehodes were forgotten ; and it was not till ten years after 
the conquest of Soliman, that these noble warriors were able 
to obtain from the emperor, the rock of. Malta, where they 
became again the terror of the Mussulmans. 

"Whilst Europe was thus troubled, the conqueror of Rhodes 
and Belgrade reappeared in a threatening attitude upon the 
banks of the Danube. Louis II. endeavoured to reanimate 
the patriotism of the Hungarians, and caused the old custom 
of exposing in public a bloody sabre to be revived, as a signal 
of war and of danger for the country. But neither the ex- 
hortations of the monarch, nor those of the clergy, nor even 
the approach, of the enemy, were able to appease the discords, 
born of feudal anarchy and the lengthened misfortunes of 
Hungary, The Hungarian monarch was only able to get 
together an army of twenty-two thousand men, to oppose to 
that of Soliman. Louis, a young prince without experience, 
who allowed himself to be led, even in war, by ecclesiastics, 
named, as general of his army, Paul Temory, lately issued 
from a convent of Cordeliers, to become archbishop of Co- 
lotza. We are unable to ascertain whether, in this circum* 


stance, the king of Hungary was obliged to put himself in 
the hands of the clergy, because he was abandoned by the 
nobility ; or, if the nobility abandoned him, because he had 
pui; himself in the hands of the clergy. As the pope con- 
stantly excited the Hungarians to defend their own country, 
the ecclesiastics of Hungary, who were his interpreters tt 
the faithful, and even to the king, must naturally have exer- 
cised a great influence in all that concerned the crusade. 

In this war twenty-two thousand Christians had to con- 
tend with an army of a hundred thousand Ottomans ; and 
this was the Hungarian army which, according to the advice 
of the bishops, offered battle to the infidels. What is very 
remarkable in holy wars is, that the clergy may almost always 
be recognised by the rashness of the enterprises. The per- 
suasion of the ecclesiastics, that they were fighting for the 
cause of God, with their ignorance of the art of war, pre- 
vented them from seeing perils, did not allow them to doubt 
of victory, and made them often neglect the means of human 
prudence. It was then, in the confidence of a miraculous 
success, that the archbishop of Colotzn did not hesitate to 
venture upon a decisive battle. The clergy who accompanied 
him animated the combatants by their discourses, and set an 
example of bravery ; but religious and warlike enthusiasm 
cannot triumph over numbers, and most o" the prelates re- 
ceived the palm of martyrdom in the meUr. Eighteen thou- 
sand Christians were left upon the field of battle ; and what 
added greatly to the misfortune, Louis II. disappeared, and 
perished in the general rout, leaving his kingdom torn by 
factions and ravaged by the Turks. 

The defeat of the Hungarians brought despair to the mind 
of Clement VII. The pontiff wrote to ail the sovereigns of 
Europe ; he even formed the project of visiting them in per- 
son, and to engage them by his prayers and his tears to de- 
fend Christendom. Neither the touching exhortations of 
the pope, nor his suppliant attitude, were able to move the 
princes ; and it is here that we can plainly perceive the rapid 
decline of the pontifical power, which we have so lately seen 
armed irith all the terrors of the Church, and whose deci- 
sions were considered as the decrees of Heaven. War "uas 
about to be rekindled in Italy, and the pope was not long in 
becoming himself the victim of the disorders he wonld wil- 


lingly have prevented. The imperial troops entered Rome 
as into an enemy's city. The emperor, who assumed the 
title of temporal head of the Church, did not fear to offer to 
Europe the scandal of the captivity of a pontiff. 

Although the authority of the head of the Church no 
longer inspired the same veneration, or exercised the same 
ascendancy over men's minds, nevertheless the violences of 
Charles V. excited general indignation. England and France 
flew to arms. All Europe was troubled: some wished to 
avenge the pope, others to take advantage of the disorder ; 
but none thought of defending Christendom against the 
invasion of the Turks. 

Clement VII., however, from the depths of the prison 
in which the emperor detained him, still watched over 
the defence of Christian Europe : his legates went to 
exhort the Hungarians to fight for their God and their 
country. As the pontiff had been ruined by the calami- 
ties of war, he implored the charity of the faithful ; he 
ordered that the plate should be sold in all the churches 
of Italy ; he solicited the assistance of several Italian states ; 
and he ordered that indulgences might be distributed and 
the tenths collected to support the expenses of the holy 

The active solicitude of the pope went so far as to seek 
enemies against the Turks even in the East and among 
the infidels. Acomath, who had in Egypt shaken off the 
yoke of the Porto, received encouragement from the court 
of Rome. A legate of the pope went to promise him the 
support of the Christians of the West. The sovereign pon- 
tiff kept up continual relations on all the frontiers and in all 
the provinces of the Turkish empire, in order to be made 
aware of the designs and preparations of the sultans of Con- 
stantinople. It is not out of place to say here, that most of 
the predecessors of Clement had taken, as he did, the greatest 
care in watching the projects of the infidels. Thus the heads 
of the Church did not confine themselves to exciting the 
Christians to defend themselves upon their own territories ; 
but, like vigilant sentinels, they constantly kept their eyes 
fixed upon the enemies of Christendom, to warn Europe of 
the perils which threatened it. 

When the emperor broke the chains of Clement VII., the 


holy pontiff forgot the outrages he had received, to give al? 
his eare3 to the danger of the German empire, which was 
about to be attacked by the Turks. The capital of Austria 
was soon besieged, and only owed its safety to the bravery 
of its garrison. In the diets of Augsburg and Spire, the 
pope's legate endeavoured, in the name of religion, to rouse 
the ardour of the people of Germany for their own defence. 
A physician, named lliccius, spoke in the name of the em- 
peror, and added his exhortations to those of the apostolic 
legate ; he made an appeal to the ancient virtue of the Ger- 
mans, and reminded his auditors of the example of their an- 
cestors, who had never endured a foreign domination. He 
pressed princes, magistrates, and people, to fight for their 
own independence and safety. Ferdinand, king of Bohemia 
and Hungary, urged the princes and states of the empire to 
adopt prompt and effective measures against the Turks. 
These exhortations and counsels met with but little success, 
but had to encounter a strong opposition from the still too 
active spirit of the new doctrines. All the cities, all the 
provinces, were occupied by questions agitated by the Re- 
formation. We may at this time compare the nations of 
Germany, menaced by the Turks, to the Greeks of the 
lower empire, whom history represents as given up to vain 
disputes, when the barbarians were at their gates. As 
among the Greeks, there was a crowd of men among the 
Germans, who entertained less dread of seeing in their cities 
the turban of Mahomet than the tiara of the pontiff of Rome ; 
some, governed by a spirit of fatalism scarcely to be equalled 
in the Koran, asserted that God had judged Hungary, and 
that the safety of that kingdom was not in the power of men ; 
others (the Millenarians) announced with a fanatical joy the 
approach of the last judgment; and whilst che preachers of 
the crusades were exhorting the Germans to defend their 
country, the jealous pride of an impious sect called for the 
days of universal desolation. 

The paternal proceedings and counsels &f the pope were 
neither able to calm men's minds, nor to rekindle an enthu- 
siasm for the holy war, in Germany, or even among the 
Hungarians. Ferdinand, brother of Charles V., whom the 
imperial power had caused to be declared king of Hungary ; 
tnd the vaiwode of Transylvania, who, with permission of 



the Turks, reigned over the ruins of his country were con* 
tending for this unfortunate kingdom, oppressed at; the same 
time by its enemies and its allies. When Soliman returned, 
for the third time, to the banks of the Danube, called thither 
by a party of the Huugarian nobility, he found no army to 
oppose his march. The Ottomans advanced towards the 
capital of Austria, and prepared to invade the richest pro- 
vinces of Germany. So pressing a danger determined the 
head and the princes of the empire to unite their forces 
against the common enemy. But when the Turks retired 
in disorder, no one thought of either fighting with them, or 
pursuing them in their precipitate retreat. The king of 
Hungary, abandoned all at once by the Germans, and fear- 
ing fresh attacks, had no resource but to sue to his enemies 
for peace. It is a circumstance worthy of remark, that the 
pope was comprised in the treaty : Soliman gave the title of 
father to the Roman pontiff, and that of brother to the king 
of Hungary. Clement VII., after so many useless attempts 
to interest the princes of Christendom, appeared to entertain 
no hope but in Providence ; and exclaimed with bitterness, 
when approving the issue of the pacific negotiations, " We 
have nothing left but to supplicate Heaven to watch itself 
over the Christian world." 

It might be believed that the holy wars were drawing 
towards an end, when the head of the Church had laid down 
his arms, and made peace with the infidels. But this treaty 
of peace, like others that had preceded it, could only be 
considered as a truce, and war would most likely break out 
again when either the Christians or the Mussulmans saw 
any hopes of carrying it on with advantage. Such was the 
policy of the time3 ; particularly that which governed the 
Christian and Mussulman powers in their mutual relations. 
Soliman had abandoned his projects upon Germany and 
Hungary, less out of respect for treaties, than because he 
was employing bis forces against the Persians, or that \e 
required his army to quell some revolts which had broken 
out in Asia against his authority. On the other side, Chris- 
tendom left the Ottomans in peace, because it was a prey to 
discord ; and because most Christian princes, occupied by 
their own interests, listened to nothing but the counsels of 
their ambition. 


Europe had at that time three great monarchs, whose 
United strength would have been quite sufficient to crush 
the power of the Turks ; but these three princes were as 
much opposed to each other by their policy as by their cha* 
racter and their genius. Henry VIII. of England, who had 
refuted Luther, and leagued himself with the king of 
France, to deliver the captive pope, had just separated him- 
self from the Romish Chinch. Sometimes allied with 
France, sometimes allied with the emperor, occupied in 
bringing about the triumph of the schism of which he was 
the apostle and the head, he had no time to bestow upon 
war with the infidels. Francis I. had, in the first place, 
made pretensions to the imperial crown, and afterwards to 
the duchy of Milan and the kingdom of Naples. These 
pretensions, which were a source of misfortunes to -himself 
and France, disturbed the whole of his reign, and never 
allowed him an opportunity for seriously undertaking a 
crusade against the Turks, a crusade which he himself had 
preached in his states. The feeling of vengeance and jea- 
lousy which animated him against a fortunate and powerful 
rival, inspired him twice with the idea of seeking an alliance 
with Soliman. To the great scandal of Christendom, an 
Ottoman fleet was received in the port of Marseilles, and 
the standard of the lilies was mingled with the crescent 
under the walls of Nice. Charles V., master of all the 
Spains, head of the German empire, sovereign of the Low 
Countries, and possessor of several empires in the new 
world, was much more anxious to humble the French mo- 
narchy, and establish his domination in Europe, than to 
defend Christendom against the invasion of the Turks. 
During the greater part of his reign, this monarch con- 
ciliated the Protestants of Germany, on account cf the 
Ottomans ; and avoided collision with the Ottomans, on 
account of his enemies in the Christian republic. He satis- 
fied himself with protecting, by his arms, the capital of 
Austria, when threatened by the Turks ; but when the 
pope conjured him to employ his forces for the deliverance 
of Hungary, he preferred attempting an expedition to the 
coast of Africa. A war against the Moors of Africa was 
more popular in Spain than an expedition upon the Danube ; 
and Charles was more desirous of acquiring popularity 


among the Spaniards, than of meriting the gratitude of 
Christendom. The Barbary powers were recently formed, 
under the protection of the Ottoman Porte, and began to 
render themselves formidable in the Mediterranean. Charles 
carried his arms twice to the coast of Africa : in the first 
expedition, he got possession of Tunis, planted his standards 
upon the ruins of Carthage, and delivered twenty thousand 
captives, who went to publish his victories in every part of 
the Christian world; in the second expedition, he would 
have annihilated the Barbary powers, so destructive to the 
navigation of the Franks ; but a hurricane, which destroyed 
his fleet and his army, dispersed the hopes of commerce and 

At the time Charles experienced so great a disaster whilst 
combating the Mussulmans of Africa, the Ottomans, invited 
by Francis I., were ravaging the coasts of Italy, and had 
recently entered Hungary, from whence they threatened 

Then fresh cries of alarm resounded all over Europe, and 
among those who exhorted the nations to oppose the Turks, 
the voice of Martin Luther was heard. In a book entitled 
Prayer against the Turk, the reformer condemned the indif- 
ference of people and kings, and advised the Christians to 
resist the Mussulmans, if they did not wish to be led into 
captivity, as the children of Israel had formerly been. In a 
formula of prayer which he had composed, he expressed 
himself thus : " Arise, Lord, great Grod, and sanctify thy 
name, which thy enemies outrage ; strengthen thy reign, 
which they wish to destroy, and suffer us not to be trampled 
under-foot by those who are not willing that thou shouidst 
be our God." 

Murmurs had several times arisen against Luther, who 
was accused of having, by his doctrines, weakened the 
courage of the Germans. Some time before the period of 
which we are speaking, he published an apology, in which, 
without disavowing the famous proposition censured by the 
pope, he gave to his words a different sense from that which 
the court of Eome gave them, and which he himself, no 
doubt, had given them in the first instance. All his expla- 
nations, which it is not very easy to analyze, were reduced to 
this idea : — " That it was allowable to tight with the Turks. 


but that it was not allowable to fight with them under the 
banners of Christianity." Although the leader of the Be- 
forniation required all the qualities of a perfect Christian in 
the warriors called upon to fight the Mussulmans, and 
although he drew all the principles of his preaching from 
the religion of Christ ; the standard of the cross in a Chris- 
tian army, caused him, he said, more horror than the sight of 
the demon. The true motive for his repugnance for a cru- 
sade may be easily guessed ; a crusade appeared necessarily 
to require the concurrence of the pope ; and the concurrence 
of the pope, in a war which interested Christendom, was the 
thing in the world most dreaded by Luther. He had so strong 
an aversion to the court of Borne, that in his writings he asks 
himself if war ought not to be made against the Pope as 
well as the Turk ; and in the excess of his hatred, does not 
hesitate to answer, against the one as against the other. 

We will not repeat here the declamations and the sophisms 
of Luther. Through the puerile subtleties and the con- 
trary reasonings which he employs for his justification, Ave 
must, however, remark the distinction he has made between 
civil authority and ecclesiastical authority : it is to the first, 
says the reformer, that it belongs to combat the Turks ; 
the duty of the second is to wait, to submit, to pray, and 
to groan. He adds, that war was not the business of 
bishops, but of magistrates ; that the emperor, in this cir- 
cumstance, ought to be considered as the head of the Ger- 
man confederation, and not as the protector of the Church, 
nor as the support of the Christian faith ; a title which can 
only properly be given to Jesus Christ. All these arguments, 
doubtless, had something reasonable in them; and the opinion 
of Luther upon the civil authority, although he might have 
adopted it only out of opposition to the papal power, would 
have obtained the approbation of enlightened minds, if he 
had not employed, in supporting it, all the passion of irri- 
tated pride ; and if his apology, in particular, had not been 
stained by abuse which decency will not allow historv to 

2*ot content with this apology, which had for title, Of the 
War against the Turks, Luther, two years after the siege of 
Yienna, published another work, entitled, A Military Dis<- 
course, in which he also urges the Germans to take arms. 


This second discourse begins, as L he first had done, bt 
theological distinctions and subtleties ; by declamations 
against the- pope and the bishops; by predictions upon the 
approaching end of the world ; and upon the. power of the 
Turks ; which the author finds clearly announced in Darnel. 
Although he endeavours to prove, as in his first writing, that 
the war against the Mussulmans is not at all a religious war, 
but an enterprise entirely political ; he promises, not the less, 
the palms 01 martyrdom to those who shall die with arms 
in their hands He represents this war as agreeable to the 
Divinity, and as the duty of a true disciple of the Gospel. 
" Thy arm and thy lance," says he to every Christian soldier 
who shall take arms against the infidels, " shall be the arm 
and the lance of God. In immolating Turks, thou wilt not 
shed innocent blood, and the world will consider thee as the 
executioner of the decrees* of divine justice ; for thou wilt 
but kill those whom G-od has himself condemned. The 
Turk," adds he, " ravishes terrestrial life from Christians, and 
procures them eternal life : lie at the same time kills him- 
self, and precipitates himself into hen." Luther appears to 
be so penetrated with this idea, that he is on the point of 
deploring the fate of the Mussulmans ; and to chastise indif- 
ferent Christians, and pusillanimous Germans, he has no 
punishment to wish them, unless it be that they should 
become Turks, and thus be tbe property of the devil. 

A short extract is not sufficient to show what whimsical 
and singular ideas are contained in Luther's discourse; it 
may, however, be easily perceived how much this kind of 
preaching differs from that of the orators who preached the 
crusade in preceding ages. In the second part of his 
discourse, the leader of the Reformation addressed himself 
to the various classes of society ; to the nobility, who are 
immersed in luxury and pleasures, but for whom the hour of 
fight is at length come ; to the citizens and merchants, for 
too long a time addicted to usury and cupidity; to the 
labourers and peasants, whom he accuses of deceiving and 
robbing their neighbours. The tone of the preacher is full 
of an excessive severity; he speaks like a man who foels>nc 
sorrow at the misfortunes which are about to nappen, be- 
cause he has foretold them, and his warnings and prophecies 
have been despised. He says, with a sort of satisfaction, 


that after days of joy and debauchery, after seasons offes* 
tivity and pleasures, comes the time of tears, miseries, and 
alarms. He finishes by n vehement apostrophe, addressed 
to all who shall remain deaf to his voice, and whom the 
enemy shall find without defence : " Listen now, then, to the 
devil in the Turk, you who are not willing to listen to God 
in Jesus Christ ; the Turk will burn your dwellings ; he will 
bear away your cattle and your harvests ; he will outrage 
and slaughter your wives and your daughters before your 
eyes ; he will impale your little children upon the very 
stakes of the hedge which serves as an inclosure to your 
heritage ; he will immolate you yourselves, or will carry you 
away into Turkey, to expose you in the market, like unclean 
animals ; it is he who will teach you what you will have 
lost, and what you ought to have done. It is to the Turk 
belongs the task to humble the haughty nobility, to ren- 
der citizens docile, and to chastise and tame the gross 

Luther then gives his advice upon the manner of making 
war against the Turks r he is desirous that all should defend 
themselves even to death, and that ali the countries through 
which the enemy was about to pass should be laid waste ; 
he terminates his discourse by addressing consolations to 
them who shall fall into the hands of the Turks, and traces 
out for them a plan of conduct for the time of their captivity 
among the infidels. 

This language, of which we are far from exaggerating the 
singularity, was not at all calculated to warm and rally 
men's minds for a struggle against the enemies of Germany 
and Christendom. At this period, the princes and the 
states of the empire frequently met to deliberate on their 
own dangers. It was more easy to convoke diets than to 
get together armies. The Protestants were not willing to 
take arms against the Turks, for fear of strengthening their 
adversaries ; and the Catholics were restrained by their fear 
of the Protestants : amidst the violent debates that agitated 
Germany, the Church, and even the civil authority which 
Luther had proelaimed, lost all that unity of action, without 
which it is impossible to combat a formidable enemy with 
advantage. Among the Germans, the spirit of sect weak- 
ened by degrees the spirit of patriotism ; among Christians, 


the hatred they conceived for one another caused them to 
lose that pious ardour which had animated them against the 
Mussulmans. In proportion as the Reformation proceeded, 
Germany became divided into two parties, which were like 
two enemies face to face. Both parties soon had recourse 
to arms, and, in the fury of civil wars, the invasions of the 
Turks were forgotten. It was thus that the Reformation, 
which took its birth at the end of the crusades, completely 
extinguished the enthusiasm for holy wars, and no longer 
permitted the nations of Christendom to unite against the 

The name of the Turks was still pronounced in the diets 
of Germany, and even in the council of Trent ; but no mea- 
sures were adopted for making war against them. From 
that time there passed nothing in either Hungary or the East 
which was able to fix the attention of the Christian world. 
The only event upon which Europe seemed interested was 
the defence of Malta against all the forces of Soliman. This 
defence iu creased the reputation of the military order of 
St. John. The port of Malta became the only place of shelter 
for Christian vessels on the route to Egypt, Syria, or Greece. 
The corsairs of Tunis and Algiers, and all the pirates who 
infested the Mediterranean, trembled at the sight of the rock, 
and of the galleys over which floated the standard of the cross. 
This military colony, always armed against the infidels, and 
constantly recruited from the warlike nobility of Europe, 
offered, up to the end of the eighteenth century, a living 
image of ancient chivalry, and of the heroic epoch of the 
crusades. We have described the origin of this illustrious 
order, — we have followed it in its days of triumph, and in its 
reverses, still more glorious than its victories. We will not 
say by what revolution it is fallen, nor how it has lost that 
T sh which was given to it as the reward of its bravery, and 
which it defended, during more than two hundred years, 
against the Ottoman forces and the barbarians of Africa. 

Whilst the Turks miscarried in their expedition against 
Malta, Soliman was pursuing the war in Hungary, and still 
threatening Germany. He died on the banks of the Danube, 
in the midst of victories obtained over the Christians. 
Christendom must have rejoiced at his death, as it had 
rejoiced at the death of Mahomet II. Under the reign oi 


Soliman, who was the greatest prince of the Ottoman 
dynasty, the Turks not only invaded a part of the Grerman 
empire, but their marine, seconded by the genius of Barbe- 
rossa and Dragut, made a progress that must have alarmed 
all the maritime powers of Europe. Selim II., who suc- 
ceeded him, had neither his qualities nor the genius of most 
of his predecessors ; but he followed not the less their pro- 
jects of aggrandizement, or the views of their ambitious 
policy. The Ottomans, masters of the coasts of Greece, 
Syria, and Africa, were desirous of adding to their conquesta 
the kingdom of Cyprus, which was then possessed by thi* 

After a siege of several months, the Ottoman army 
obtained possession of the cities of Famagousta and Nicosia. 
The Turks stained their victory by cruelties without ex- 
ample. The bravest of the defenders of Cyprus expiated in 
tortures the glory of an obstinate resistance ; and it may be 
said, it was the executioners that finished the war. The 
barbarity of the Turks disgusted the Christian nations 
afresh ; and the maritime countries of the V» r est beheld with 
terror an invasion which threatened to exclude Europeans 
from every road to the East. 

At the approach of bhe danger, Pope Pius V. exhorted 
the Christian powers to take up arms against the Ottomans. 
A confederation was formed, consisting of the republic of 
Venice, Philip II., king of Spain, and the pope himself, 
always ready to add the authority of his example to his 
preaching. A numerous fleet, equipped for the defence of 
the isle of Cyprus, arrived too late in the eastern seas, and 
was only able to repair the disgrace of the Christian arms. 
This fleet, commanded by Don John of Austria, met that of 
the Ottomans in the Gulf of Lepanto. It was in this sea 
Antony and Augustus disputed the mastership of the Roman 
world. The battle which took place between the Christians 
and the Turks reminds us in some degree of the spirit an I 
enthusiasm of the crusades. Before ;ne commencement of 
the conflict, Don John hoisted onboard his ship the standard 
of St. Peter, which he had received from the pope, and the 
army saluted with cries of joy this religious signal of vic- 
tory. The leaders of the Christians passed along the line of 
barques, exhorting the soldiers to fight for the cause of Christ. 


All the warriors, falling upon their knees, implored divine 
protection, and arose full of confidence in their own bravery 
and the miracles of heaven. 

!No naval battle of antiquity can be compared to this of 
Lepanto, in which the Turks fought for the empire of the 
world, and the Christians for the defence of Europe. The 
courage and skill of Don John and the other leaders, the 
intrepidity and ardour of the soldiers, and the superiority of 
the Franks in manoeuvring their vessels, and in their artillery, 
procured for the Christian fleet a decisive victory. Two 
hundred of the enemy's ships were taken, burnt, or sunk. 
The wreck of the Turkish fleet, whilst announcing the vic- 
tory of the Christians, carried consternation to the coasts of 
Greece and to the capital of the Ottoman empire. 

Terrified by the results of this battle. Selim caused the 
famous castle of the Dardanelles to be built, which to the 
present day defends the entrance to the canal of Constanti- 
nople. At the time of the battb, the roof of the temple of 
Mecca fell in, and the Turks believed they saw in this acci- 
dent a sign of the anger of Heaven. The roof was of wood ; 
and that it might become, says Cantemir, a more solid 
emblem of the empire, the son of Soliman ordered it to be 
reconstructed of brick. 

Whilst the Turks deplored the first reverse their arms had 
met with, the whole of Christe'Ldom learnt the news of the 
victory of Lepanto with the greatest joy. The Venetians, 
who had awaited in terror the issue of the battle, celebrated 
the triumph of the Christian fleet by extraordinary festivities. 
In order that no feeling of sadness should be mingled with 
the universal joy, the senate set all prisoners at liberty, and 
forbade the subjects of the republic to wear mourning for 
their relations or friends who had been killed fighting against 
the Turks. The battle of Lepanto was inscribed upon coins, 
and as the infidels were defeated on the day of St. Justin, 
the seigneury ordered that this happy day should be every 
year a festival for the whole population of Venice. 

At Toledo, and in all the churches of Spain, the people 
and the clergy offered up hymns of gratitude to Heaven for 
the victory it had granted to the valour of the Christian 
soldiers. No nation, no prince of Europe, was indifferent 
to the defeat of the Turks ; and, if one historian may be 


believed, the king of England, James I., celebrated in a poeiv 
the glorious day of Lepanto. 

As the pope had effectively contributed to the success of 
the Christian arms, it was at Some that the strongest 
symptoms of delight were exhibited. Mark Antony Co- 
lonna, who had commanded the vessels of the sovereign 
pontiff, was received in triumph, and conducted to the Capi- 
tol, preceded by a great number of prisoners of war. The 
ensigns taken from the enemy were suspended in the church 
of Ara-Cceli. After a solemn mass, Mark Antony Mureti 
pronounced the panegyric of the triumphant general. Thus 
the ceremonies of ancient Home were mingled with those of 
the modern, to celebrate the valour and exploits of the de- 
fenders of Christendom. I 1 he Church itself was desirous of 
consecrating a victory gained over its enemies among its 
festivals ; Pius V. instituted one in honour of the Virgin, by 
whose intercession it was believed the Mussulmans had been 
conquered. This festival was celebrated on the 7th October, 
the day of the battle of Lepanto, under the denomination of 
" Our Lady of Victories." 

Thus a unanimous concert of prayers and thanksgivings 
arose towards heaven, and all Christians at the same time 
showed their gratitude to the God of armies for having de- 
livered Europe from the invasion of the Mussulmans. But 
it was not long before this happy harmony was disturbed : 
ambition, reciprocal mistrusts, diversity of interests, all that 
had till that time favoured the progress of the Turks, pre- 
vented the Christians from deriving the proper advantages 
from their victory. The Venetians were anxious to pursue 
the war, in order to recover the isle of Cyprus ; but Philip II., 
dreading any increase in the power of Venice, withdrew 
from the confederation. The Venetian republic, abandoned 
by its allies, hastened to make peace. It obtained it by 
sacrificing all the possessions it had lost during the war,— a 
strange result of victory ; by which the vanquished dictated 
laws to the conqueror, and which plainly shows us to what 
extent the pretensions of the Turks would have been carried 
if fortune had favoured their arms. 

The war which was terminated by the battle of Lepanto, 
was the last in which the standard of the cross animated of 
rallied Christian warriors. 


Tbe spirit of the holy wars at first arose from popula* 
opinions. When these opinions became weakened and great 
powers were formed, all that relates to war or peace became 
concentrated in the councils of monarchs. No more projects 
for distant expeditions were formed in public councils ; no 
more warlike enterprises were recommended from the pulpito 
of the churches, or before assemblies of the faithful. States 
and princes, placed at the head of human affairs, even when 
they made war against the Mussulmans, obeyed much less 
the influence of religious ideas than interests purely political. 
From that period the enthusiasm of the multitude, and all 
the passions that had given birth to the crusades, were 
reckoned as nothing. 

The alliance of Francis I. with Soliman was at first a great 
scandal for all Christendom. The king of France justified 
himself by accusing the- ambition and the perfidy of 
Charles V. His example Mas quickly followed by Charles 
himself, and by other Christian states. Policy, disengaging 
itself more and more from that which was religious in it, 
came at last to consider the Ottoman Porte, no longer an 
enemy against whom it was a duty always to be fighting, 
but as a great power, whom it was sometimes necessary to 
conciliate, and whose support might be sought without out- 
raging the Deity, or affecting the interests of the Church. 

As the voice of the sovereign pontiff was always the in- 
strument to summon Christians to take arms against the 
infidels, the spirit of the crusades necessarily grew weaker 
as the authority of the popes declined. It may be added, 
that the political system of Europe was making its develop- 
ment, and the ties and springs which were to found the 
equilibrium of the Christian republic had an increasing ten- 
dency to their establishment. Each state had its plan of 
defence and aggrandisement, which it followed with a con- 
stant activity ; all were employed in endeavouring to attain 
the degree of power, force, and influence to whim their 
position and the fortune of their arms entitled them. Hence 
those restless ambitions, those mutual mistrusts, that ever 
active spirit of rivalry, winch scarcely ever permitted sove- 
reigns to turn their attention towards distant wars. 

Whilst ambition and the desire of increasing and defending 
their power detained pi'inces in their own states, the people 


oecame attached to their homes by the blessings and the 
enjoyments of a rapidly-rising civilization. In the eleventh 
century, the Franks, the Normans, and other barbarians 
from the north, had not quite lost the character and habits 
of nomadic races, which iavoured the rise and the progress 
of that warlike enthusiasm which had precipitated the Cru- 
saders upon the East. In the sixteenth century, institu- 
tions consecrated by time, the precepts of Christianity better 
understood, respect for ancestry, love of settled property, 
the constantly increasing wealth of cities, with the progress 
of industry and of agriculture, had changed the character of 
the Pranks, destroyed their partiality for a wandering life, 
and had become so many tie3 to attach them to their 

In the preceding century the genius of navigation had 
discovered America and the passage of the Cape of Good 
Hope. The results of this discovery effected a great revolu- 
tion in commerce, attracted the attention of all nations, and 
gave a new direction to the human mind. All the specula- 
tions of industry, for so long a time founded upon the cru- 
sades, were directed towards America or the East Indies. 
Great empires, rich climates, offered themselves all at once 
to the ambition or the cupidity of all who sought for glory, 
fortune, or adventures — the wonders of a new world made 
men forgetful of those of the East. 

At this so memorable epoch, a general emulation arose in 
Europe for the Cultivation of arcs and of letters. The age 
of Leo X. produced masterpieces of all kinds.* Prance, 
Spain, and still more Italy, turned the newly- discovered art 
of printing greatly to the advantage of knowledge. The 
splendid geniuses of Greece and Rome were everywhere 
revived. In proportion as men's minds became enlightened, 
the new career opened before them expanded. Another en- 
thusiasm succeeded to that of religious enterprises ; and the 
exploits of the heroic times of our history excited much more 

* The fruit became ripe in the age of Leo, and therefore he generally 
has the merit of the cultivation. Nicholas V. promoted the growth of 
intelligence and the arts quite as earnestly as Leo, and with more pru- 
dence and less pretension. But this is a common error : no age was ever 
more forgetful that all knowledge is progressive, than the present ; w« 
enjoy much, and claim all the merit of it ; but very unjustly. — Tkaxs. 


admiration in our romances and poets, than they created de» 
sire in people of the world to imitate them. Then the Epk 
Muse, whose voice only celebrates distant events, sang the 
heroes of the holy wars ; and the crusades, for the same 
reason that Tasso became at liberty to adorn the recital of 
them with all the wealth of his imagination, — the crusades, 
we say, were no longer anything for Europe but a poetical 

One fortunate circumstance for Christendom is, that at 
the period when the crusades, which had for their object the 
defence of Europe, drew near to their end, the Turks began 
to lose some part of that military power which they had dis- 
played in their contests with the Christian nations. The 
Ottomans had at first been, as we have already said, the 
only nation that kept on foot a regular standing army, which 
gave it a vast superiority over powers that it was desirous 
of subduing. In the sixteenth century, most of the great 
states of Europe had likewise armies which they could at 
any time bring against their enemies. Discipline and mili- 
tary tactics had made great progress in Christendom ; artil- 
lery and marine became more perfect in the West every day, 
whilst the Turks, in all that concerns the art of war, or that 
of navigation, gathered no advantage from cither the lessons 
of experience, or from the knowledge to which time and cir- 
cumstances had given birth among their neighbours. We 
ought to add, that the spirit of superstition and intolerance 
which the Turks associated with their wars, was very injurious 
to the preservation and extent of their conquests. When 
they took possession of a province, they insisted upon making 
their laws, their customs, p„nd their worship paramount. 
They must change everything, they must destroy everything, 
in the country in which they wished to establish themselves ; 
they must either exterminate the population, or reduce it to 
the impossibility of disturbing a foreign domination. Thus 
it may be remarked, that, although several times masters of 
Hungary, they retired from it after every campaign, and 
were never able, amidst all their victories, to found a colony 
or make any durable establishment there. The Ottoman 
population which had sufficed for occupying and enslaving 
the Greek empire, could not people and preserve more dis- 
tant countries. It was this, above everything, which saved 


G-ermany and Italy from the invasion of the Turks. The 
Ottomans might, perhaps, have conquered the world if they 
aad been able to impose their manners upon it, or furnish it 
with inhabitants. 

After the battle of Lepanto, although they had preserved 
the isle of Cyprus, and dictated laws to the republic of 
Venice, the Turks not the less lost the idea of their being 
invincible, or that all the world must submit to their arms. 
It was observed that from that time most of the leaders of 
Turkish armies or fleets became more timid, and felt less 
assured ot victory, when in the presence of an enemy. As- 
trologers, who had till then beheld in the phenomena of the 
heavens the increase and the glory of the Ottoman empire, 
saw nothing during the reign of Soliman and following 
reigns but sinister auguries in the aspects of the celestial 
bodies. We mention astrologers, because their predictions 
have considerable influence upon the policy of the Turks, 
it is not improbable that these pretended conjurers did not 
confine their observations to the celestial bodies, but that 
they watched the manners and the opinions of the people, 
and the march of events and affairs. It is for this reason 
that their prophecies were found true, and that they belong, 
in some sort, to history. 

The spirit of conquest, however, which had so long ani- 
mated the nation, still subsisted, and sometimes fortune 
favoured the Ottoman banner with victory. 

Towards the end of the sixteenth century, the Turks 
carried war to both the banks of the Danube and to the 
frontiers of Persia. Among the Christian warriors who 
flew to the aid of Germany, the duke of Mercosur, brother 
of the duke of Mayenne, must not be forgotten ; he was fol- 
lowed by a crowd of French soldiers, who had fought against 
Henry IV., and who went to expiate the crimes of civil war 
by lighting the infidels. The duke of Mercceur, to whom 
the emperor Eodolph II. gave the command of the im- 
perial army, gained several advantages over the Ottomans. 

Whilst the war was being carried on in Hungary, the 
king of Persia sent an embassy to the emperor of Germany 
and the princes of the AVest, to persuade them to form an 
alliance with him against the Turks. The Persian ambas- 
sadors repaired to the court of the sovereign pontiff, and tc 


those of several Christian powers, conjuring them to declare 
war against the Ottomans. This embassy of the kin/j ot 
Persia, and the exploits of the French on the Danube, created 
great uneasiness in the Divan, and an ambassador was sent 
to the king of France, as the most to be feared of the 
Christian princes. The letters of credit of the Turkish 
envoy bore this title : " To the most glorious, magnanimous, 
and greatest lord of the faith of Jesus, pacificator of the 
differences which arise among Christian princes, lord of 
greatness, majesty, and riches, and glorious guide of the 
greatest, Henry IV., emperor of France." The sultan of 
the Turks conjured the French monarch, in his letter, to 
bring about a truce between the Porte and the emperor of 
Germany, and to recall from Hungary the duke of Mercceur, 
whose valour and skill brought victory to the banners of the 
Germans. Henry IV. interrogated the Ottoman ambas- 
sador, and asked him why the Turks dreaded the duke of 
Mercceur so much. The ambassador replied, that a pro- 
phecy, credited by the Turks, declared that the sword of the 
French would drive them from Europe, and overthrow their 
empire. Henry IV. did not recall the duke of Mercceur : 
this able captain continued to beat the Ottomans, and 
having covered himself with glory in the war against t_e 
infidels, he was seized, whilst on his return to France, by a 
purple fever, "which," says Mezerai, " sent him to triumph 
in heaven." 

In their wars against the Christians, the Turks often 
found themselves on the defensive, which was for them a 
sign of decline. History remarks that at no period did their 
reverses cause them more alarm, or their victories more sur- 
prise and joy. Their defeats were almost always a signal 
for sedition and revolt, which the decline of power rendered 

And yet the Ottoman empire still carried on war, and 
advanced like a storm ready to burst. In the middle of the 
seventeenth century, the isle of Chio, which had belonged 
to the Genoese, was added to its maritime possessions, and 
the Turks directed their victorious arms towards Candia, an 
important colony of the Venetians. At the same time an 
Ottoman army entered Transylvania, and greatly alarmed 


Pope Alexander VII., pressed by the emperor Leopold L 
and by the Venetian senate, endeavoured to form a league 
among the princes and states of Christendom, and addressed 
the king of Poland, the king of Spain, and more particu* 
larly the king of Prance, to implore their succour against 
the' Turks. 

Louis XIV. yielded to the prayers of the sovereign pon- 
tiff, and sent to Home an ambassador charged to announce 
to his holiness, that he entered into the confederation of 
the Christian princes. On the other side, the states of the 
Germanic empire, which were the allies of France, assembled 
at Frankfort, and engaged to raise money and troops, pro- 
mising to unite their efforts with those of the French 
monarch, for the defence of Christendom. 

This generous forwardness on the part of the king of 
France and his allies merited, no doubt, the gratitude of 
Leopold ; but, what is difficult to be believed, the zeal they 
showed for the c nnmon cause, and which exceeded what was 
first hoped for, only awakened the jealous uneasiness of the 
emperor. We have even reason to think that this uneasi- 
ness extended to the sovereign pontiff; for his holiness 
welcomed the propositions of Louis XIV. very coldly; and 
when the resolutions of the Germanic body reached Rome, 
Alexander received with indifference news for which any 
other pope, say the memoirs of the time, would not have 
failed to go and return solemn thanks in the church of 
St. Peter or of 8t. John of the Lateran. The king of 
France could not dissemble his surprise ; and in a letter, 
which he caused to be written to his ambassador, are these 
remarkable words : " For the rest, it is more an affair of his 
holiness than ours ; it will suffice for his majesty, for his 
own satisfaction and his duty towards God, to have made 
all the advances with respect to this league, that a king, the 
eldest son of the Church, and the principal defender of 
religion, could do in a danger imminent for Christendom." 

It was soon known that the Turks were making progress, 
and had penetrated into Moravia. The emperor Leopold, 
at their approach, quitted his capital. The pope then con- 
sented to resume the suspended negotiations. But they 
were resumed with a sentiment of jealousy and reciprocal 
mistrust, that left no hope of a happy result. Louis XIV, 

Vol. TIT— 11 


nevertheless, omitted nothing to prove the frankness of his 
intentions, or to forward the formation of a league. It ,vas 
then believed that an enterprise against the Turks Mas the 
business of all Christendom, and that, in this case, one Chris* 
tian power alone, ought not to decide for peace or war. 

We enter into some details here, because these details 
have not been hitherto generally known, and that present 
circumstances may give them additional interest. We know, 
likewise, in the days in which we live, we must search for 
examples in old remembrances, and often for our true titles 
to glory likewise. 

The emperor could not be reassured by the demonstra- 
tions of the French monarch ; and the rancour which he 
retained on account of the treaty of Westphalia, made him 
forgetful of his own dangers and of those of the Germanic 
body. Louis XIV. engaged to set on foot an army of 
twenty thousand men, and the confederates of Germany 
offered as many. Leopold feared this army on his own 
account. In the end, Louis satisfied himself with furnishing 
six thousand soldiers, under the command of the count de 
Coligny and i:he marquis de la Feuillade. The pope, not 
to remain neuter in a war against the Mussulmans, granted 
the emperor a subsidy of 70,000 florins, and the faculty ot 
levying tenths upon all the ecclesiastical property in the 
Austrian states. All the united succours of Germany, the 
king of France, and the other confederate states, formed an 
army of thirty thousand men. This army marched to Hun- 
gary. When united to the troops of the emperor, they 
gained many advantages over the Turks, and defeated them 
completely at the battle of St. Gothard. The Ottomans 
solicited a suspension of arms, and the jealous passions 
which had at first prevented the war being carried on with 
vigour, allowed the Divan to conclude an advantageous 

The Ottomans, thus delivered from a formidable war, were 
able to direct all their strength against Candia, which 
Venice, now left alone, was not strong enough to defend. 
A great number of French warriors then flew to the succour 
of a Christian city besieged by the infidels : among the 
knights whom the love of glory led to this perilous and 
distant war, history takca pleasure in naming the marquis 


de Fenelon, whose care had brought up the archbishop c& 
Cambrai, and whom his age considered as the model of gal- 
lant gentlemen. His young son, whom he took with him, 
was wounded in an affair against the Turks, and died of his 
wounds. France, in the same expedition, had to lament 
another hero, the young duke of Beaufort; Mascaron, who 
pronounced the funeral oration of this new Maccabeus, thus 
describes his death : " After the flight of all the others, 
yielding rather to number than to strength, he fell upon his 
own trophies, and died the most glorious death that a Chris- 
tian hero could wish, sword in hand against the enemies of 
his God and his king, in the sight of Europe, Asia, and 
Africa ; and more than all that, in the sight of God and his 
angels." Louis XIV., always considering it consistent with 
his glory to protect the Christian states, sent fresh succours 
to Candia: four French vessels appeared before the isle; but 
they arrived too late ; the city of Candia, after a siege of two 
years and four months, had just capitulated. 

This conquest revived the courage of the Turks, and their 
power, sustained by the genius of Kiouprouli, whom the 
Mussulmans called the great destroyer of the bells of im- 
piety, might have still rendered themselves formidable to 
the Christian nations, if their policy had not been governed 
by a foolish pride. Intoxicated with some trifling successes, 
the Turks resumed their project of invading Germany. To- 
wards the end of the seventeenth century, they made a last 
attempt, and the capital of Austria beheld beneath its walls 
an army of two hundred thousand infidels. 

Germany was exhausted by the thirty years' war. The 
king of Poland, urged by the pope to come to the succour 
of the Germanic empire, hastened with his Polish cavalry to 
the seene of action, and revived the courage of the Germans 
and the garrison of Vienna. The Turks, upon being attacked 
with impetuosity, abandoned their camp, their artillery, and 
their baggage. The wreck of the Ottoman army did not 
rally till they reached the banks of the Raab, where they 
encamped around the tent of the grand vizier, the only one 
that had not Allien into the hands of the conquerors. John 
Sobieski entered in triumph into the city he had saved by 
his courage. This happy event was celebrated throughout 
Germany by public rejoicings ; and, as had been done after 


the victory gained by Don John of Austria, amidst the cere- 
monies of the Church, these words from Scripture were 
repeated : " There was a man sent from God, named John." 

The defeat of Vienna was for the Turks a signal for the 
greatest reverses. The vengeance of the people and the 
army pursued the grand vizier, who had conducted the war ; 
and the sultan, Mahomet IV., fell from the throne at the 
report of these sanguinary disasters, the effects of which 
were felt to the very heart of the empire. The famous treaty 
of Carlowitz testifies the losses that the Ottoman nation had 
undergone, and the incontestable superiority of its enemies. 
The decline of Turkey, as a maritime power, had commenced 
at the battle of Lepanto; its decline as a military or conquering 
power, dates from the defeat of Vienna. History has two 
things to remark in the negotiations of Carlowitz. Hungary, 
which had for so long a time resisted the Turks, weakened 
at length by civil discords and foreign wars, and given up at 
the same time to the emperors of Germany and the sultane 
of Constantinople, then lost its national independence, and 
became united to the possessions of the house of Austria. 
Among the states and princes who signed the treaty, the 
czars of Muscovy, who were destined, at a later period, to 
inflict such terrible blows upon the Ottoman empire, ap- 
peared for the first time as a power interested in the 
Christian struggle against the infidels. 

We have described the origin and progress of the Turks; it 
only remains for us now to speak of the causes of their decline. 

The Turks were only constituted to contend with a bar- 
barous people, like themselves, or with a degenerate people, 
like the Greeks. When they met with nations that were 
not corrupted, and were not deficient in bravery or patriot- 
ism, their career was checked. It is a circumstance worthy 
of remark, that they were never able to make an impression 
upon any of the nations of the Latin Church: the only 
nation that was separated from Christendom by the con- 
quests of the Turks was one that had separated itself from 
it. When the Ottomans were no longer able to prosecute 
their scheme of general invasion, all the passions which had 
stimulated them to conquest only served to disturb their 
own empire ; which is the ordinary destiny oi mere conquer- 
ing nati< ns. 


The wars they prosecuted at the same time against Chris- 
tian Europe and Persia, were the principal causes of the 
decay of the military power of the Turks. The efforts they 
made against the Persians, diverted their forces from their 
expeditions against the Christians ; and their expeditions 
against the Christians crippled their means for the wars in 
Asia. In these two kinds of war they had a very different 
manner of lighting. After having for any length of time 
contended with the warriors of the Oxus or Caucasus, they 
were incapacitated for making war in Europe. They were 
never able to triumph completely over either Persia or the 
Christian nations ; and remained at last pressed between two 
enemies, equally interested in their ruin, and equally ani- 
mated by religious passions. 

The Turks, like all the hordes from the north of Asia, 
brought with them the feudal government. The first thing 
to be done by all nomadic nations, who established themselves 
in conquered countries, was the division of the lands, with 
certain conditions of protection and obedience. From this 
division naturally emanated feudalism. The difference, 
however, which existed between the Turks and the other 
barbarians who conquered the West, was, that the jealous 
despotism of the sultans never allowed fiefs to become here- 
ditary, or that an aristocracy should grow up round it, as in 
the monarchies of Christendom. Thus in the Turkish em- 
pire nothing was to be seen on one side, but the authority 
of an absolute master ; and on the other, nothing but a mili- 
tary democracy. The Ottoman monarchy was thus built 
upon that which is weakest in political societies — the will of 
a single man, or that of the multitude. 

The Turks have been compared to the Romans. Both 
nations began in the same manner ; for both were nothing 
bit bands of brigands. What distinguishes them in history 
is, that the Turks have remained the same as they were in 
their origin ; whilst the Eomans, in their conquests, never 
rejected the knowledge, the customs, or even the gods of 
the people they conquered. The Turks, on the contrary, 
took nothing from other nations, and made it their pride to 
continue barbarians. 

AVe have said above, that hereditary aristocracy has never 
been established by the side of despotism ; and this is, per« 


haps, the reason why the Ottoman nation has remained in a 
state of barbarism. They who have studied the march of 
human societies know that it is by the aristocracy that the 
manners and morals of a people are formed, and that it is in 
the middle classes that knowledge has its birth, and civiliza- 
tion begins.* The absence of an aristocracy in oriental 
governments, not only explains to us the fragility of those 
governments, but it assists us also in explaining why pro- 
gress has not been made in a country where nothing dis- 
tinguished the men from each other, where no one had suffi- 
cient influence to guide the crowd, or was sufficiently elevated 
to serve as an example or model. 

In consequence of the indifference of the Turks for the 
arts and sciences, the labours of industry, agriculture, and 
navigation, were confided to their slaves, who were their 
enemies. As they held in horror everything new, or that 
they had not brought from Asia with them, they were 
obliged to have recourse to foreigners for everything that 
was invented or perfected in Europe. Thus the sources of 
prosperity and. power, the strength of their armies and their 
fleets, were not at all in their own hands. Every one knows 
what the Turks have lost by neglecting to learn or to fol- 
low the progress of the military tactics of the Europeans. 
At the battle of Lepanto, disorder was introduced into their 
fleet entirely from their having promised liberty to their 
sailors, who were all Christians. 

Some modern writers, seeking everywhere for similitudes, 
have compared the janissaries to the pretorian cohorts. This 
comparison has nothing exact in it : among the Romans, the 
empire was elective, and the pretorians got possession of it 
for the purpose of putting it up to sale. Among the Turks, 
the idea of choosing their prince never suggested itself to 
the minds of either the people or the soldiery. The janis- 

* This question, we think, will admit of another decision. M. Michaud 
confounds the aristocracy with the middle class. When a class becomes 
raised, by any means, to an hereditary superiority, not purchased by indi- 
vidual merit of any other kind, manners are too frequently set at defiance, 
and morals become corrupt. What he says of the middle class is quite 
correct. The whole history of the world cannot furnish such an instance 
of stability and prosperity, as is now offered in England by the influence 
of an intelligent, prudent, moral middle class. — Trans. 


sanes contented themselves with dirturbing the government, 
and keeping it in such a state of disorder, that they could 
never be dismissed, and might always remain masters. All 
their opposition consisted in preventing any amelioration 
whatever in discipline or military usages. The abuses and 
prejudices the most difficult to be destroyed in a nation, are 
those which adhere to a body or a class in which power hap- 
pens to be placed. All-powerful despotism was never able 
to overcome the opposition of the janissaries and spa-his ; 
and these redoubtable corps, which had so effectively con- 
tributed to ancient conquests, became the greatest obstacle 
to the making of new ones. 

The Turks established in Greece had more respect for old 
usages and old prejudices, than they had of love for the 
country they inhabited. Masters of Stamboul, they had 
their eyes constantly fixed upon the places of their origin, 
tmd appeared to be but travellers, or passing conquerors of 
Europe. They preserved the manners of Asia, the laws of 
Asia, the remembrances of Asia ; and the West was, in their 
estimation, less a country than a theatre for their exploits. 

Amidst their decline, nothing was more fatal to the Turks 
than the memory of their past glory ; nothing was more 
injurious to them than that national pride which was no 
longer in harmony with their fortune, or in proportion with 
their strength. The illusions of a power that no longer 
existed prevented them from foreseeing the obstacles they 
were likely to meet with in their enterprises, or the dangers 
with which they were threatened. When the Ottomans 
made an unsuccessful war, or an unfavourable treaty, they 
never failed to lay the blame on their leaders, whom popu- 
lar vengeance devoted to death or exile ; and whilst they 
thus immolated victims to their vanity, the r reverses became 
the more irreparable, from their persisting in mistaking the 
true causes of them. 

Tacitus somewhere expresses the joy he felt in seeing bar- 
barians making war upon one another ; and we experience 
something of this joy when we see despotism threatened by 
its own institutions, and tormented by the very instruments 
of its power. Another spectacle, no less consoling to all 
who love humanity and justice, is to behold this family ot 
fierce despots, before whom the entire East trembled, devour- 


ing itself. It is well known what victims each sultan, on 
ascending the throne, was compelled to offer to the suspicious 
genius of despotism. But Heaven does not permit the most 
sacred laws of nature to be constantly violated with impunity ; 
and ;he Ottoman dynasty, in expiation of so many crimes 
agal .19 1 family ties, sunk at last into a species of degradation. 
The Ottoman princes, brought up in subjection and fear, lost 
the energy and the faculties necessary for conducting the 
government of a great empire. Soliman II. only increased 
the evil by decreeing a constitutional law, that no son of the 
sultan's should command armies or govern provinces. Prom 
that time none but effeminate princes, timid and senseless 
men, occupied the Ottoman throne. 

If the will of the prince became corrupt, it was quite suffi- 
cient to render the corruption general. In proportion as 
the character of the sultans degenerated, everything de- 
generated around them. A universal apathy displaced the 
noisy activity of war and victory. To the passion for con- 
quests succeeded cupidity, ambition, selfishness, and all the 
vices that signalize and complete the decline of empires. 
When states rise and march on towards prosperity, there is 
an emulation to increase their powers ; when they decline, 
there is also an emulation to urge on their destruction, and 
take advantage of their ruin. 

The empire had always a numerous army ; but that army, 
in which discipline every day degenerated, was only for- 
midable in time of peace. A crowd of Thimariots, or pos- 
sessors of fiefs for life, having nothing to leave to their 
families, passed over the lands that were given to them like 
locusts, which, in the plains where the winds have wafted 
them, de.-i vow even to the germs of the harvests. The pachas 
governed the provinces as conquerors. The wealth of the 
people was for them like the booty which conquerors dis- 
tributed among themselves on the day of victory. Such as 
could amass treasures were able to purchase impunity. 
Such as had arnnes proclaimed their independence. Subal- 
terns everywhere followed the example of ihe leaders. In 
the government, as well as in the army, everything was put 
up to sale, everything was subject to pillage. Thus this 
empire, which had displayed such energy, fell like a prey 
into the hands of all those whom fortune or the favour of 


die prince called to authority ; and if we may be permitted 
to employ a not very elevated comparison to express the 
degree of abasement of a nation, the Ottoman power no 
longer presented any aspect but t aat of those lifeless bodies 
in which we can perceive no motion but in the insects that 
are devouring them. 

The sultans of Constantinople, while slumbering in their 
seraglios, were often awakened by the thunder of popular 
revolts. Violences of the army or the people were the only 
justice able to reach despotism. But this justice itself was 
one calamity the more, and only assisted in. precipitating the 
general decline. 

Although the successors of Othman, after the reign of 
Selim, were the pontiffs of the national faith, this important 
dignit}r added nothing to their power. The Mussulman 
faith, which commanded with severity the observance of 
many minute practices, did not at all repress the passions of 
the multitude. A religious belief which permitted a prince 
to commit fratricide could be no safeguard for either the 
authority or the life of the prince. A religion always ready 
to consecrate the triumph of force, could find no motives in 
its moral code for the condemnation of revolt, particularly 
when the revolt happened to be crowned with success.* 

But what is remarkably singular, the Turks, when they 
rose against a prince of the Ottoman dynasty, preserved a 
profound veneration for that dynasty. They immolated the 
tyrant to their vengeance, and were ready to immolate them- 
selves for the tyranny. Thus license, in its greatest excesses, 
always respected despotism ; and what carried disorder to 
its highest pitch was, that despotism in its turn respected 

The Turks lived in this state of decline as in their natural 
condition. Nothing is more remarkable in history than the 
carelessness of a nation in the midst of a revolution that is 
dragging it down to its ruin ; and this revolution with the 

• Will not much of this apply to all religions, all times, and all coun- 
tries ? Success hallows everything — it makes rebellion, revolution ; assas- 
sination, patriotism; crimes, virtues. The Jesuits are said to be tha 
warmest religionists in the world. Could Mussulman priests have ex- 
pressed more delight in the advent and success of the strongest despotism 
that Europe ever witnessed, than they have done recently ? — Trans. 



Turks was not brought about by new ideas, but by c'.-d idea? 
not by love of liberty, but by habits of slavery. They 
respected the causes of their ruin, because these causes were 
connected with the history of barbarous times ; and religion, 
by constantly repeating to them that " he who is in the fire 
ought to be resigned," prevented them from seeking a remedy 
for the ills they suffered. 

Among nations which incline towards destruction, in the 
very bosom of corruption a certain politeness, a certain 
polish or elegance of manners, may be observed. The Turks, 
on the contrary, had a brutal and savage corruption, and 
their empire grew old without the nation's losing anything 
of that fierceness of character, of that proud roughness, which 
belong to the infancy of society. 

We shall be asked why Christendom did not take advan- 
tage of this decline of the Turks to drive them back again 
into Asia. We have seen in this history, that the nations 
of Christian Europe were never able to combine and agree 
for the defence of Constantinople, when it was attacked by 
the Turks ; and they showed no more inclination to com- 
bine to deliver it after it was taken. We may add that 
the less redoubtable the Turks became, the fewer were 
the efforts made to conquer them. They inspired, besides, 
no jealousy in the commercial nations of Christendom. It 
was in vain that fortune placed them between the East and 
the West ; that she rendered them masters of the Archi- 
pelago, of the coasts of Africa, of the ports of the Black Sea 
and the E-ed Sea : their finest provinces were deserts, their 
cities were abandoned. Everything perished in the hands 
of an indolent and unpolished people. The Turks were 
spared, because they made no use of their advantages • and 
because they were, to employ an expression of Montes- 
quieu's, the men tfhe most fit to hold great empires care- 

Before we terminate this rapid sketch of the Turkish em- 
pire in the seventeenth century, we beg to be allowed to add 
some reflections which circumstances may cause to be appre- 
ciated. Nothing was more monstrous than the presence, 
upon the same territory, of two nations and two religions 
that hated and cursed each other reciprocally. Spain had 
presented a similar spectacle ; but the energy and the mag- 


nanimous constancy of the Spaniards triumphed over aA 
adverse people and an adverse religion ; and at the very time 
at which the Turks established themselves in Greece, tha 
Moors, carrying with them their foreign worship, abandoned 
their conquests and returned to Africa, from whence they 
came. The Greeks, after the invasion of the Ottomans, 
neither showed the same energy nor the same courage ; 
although their patriotism ought to have been constantly 
animated by the soil they trod on, and by their very name, 
of which the conqueror had not been able to deprive them. 

^Nevertheless, amidst their abasement and their misery, 
they were still able to place their hope in the ascendancy of 
religious ideas, and in the wish for civilization, which acted 
as a tie between all Christian societies. Whilst the man- 
ners and the worship of Islamism rendered the Turks 
foreign and even odious to Christendom, the religion of 
Christ and the remembrances of history placed the Greeks 
in relation with the other nations of Europe. 

In proportion as the knowledge derived from antiquity 
made progress among the Franks, Greece became for them 
a sacred country. The language of Plato and Demosthenes, 
in which the charms of liberty had been celebrated with so 
much eloquence, became more dear to them than their own 
maternal tongue. The poetical sites of Greece, which the 
love of letters rendered so familiar to the studious class, 
were for us like places in which we had passed our infancy. 
Europe had not a scholar in whom the city of Aristotle, 
that of Lycurgus, or that of Epaminondas, did not inspire 
something resembling the sentiments we feel for our own 
country. If the Greeks were degenerated ; if they viewed, 
with indifference the ruins of their country, tncient Greece 
still lived for every enlightened man, and was ever present, 
wherever a taste for the arts or a love of learning existed. 

The warmer that the interest for the Greeks became, the 
more barbarous the Turks appeared. The Ottoman nation 
came and established itself in the richest countries of 
Europe, and remained in sight of all European people, with- 
out becoming acquainted with their languages, their laws, 
or their policy; like those troops of wild animals which 
lometimes stop in the neighbourhood of the dwellings of 
man, ignorant of that which is going on in these places, and 


having no means to seize their prey or defeud themselves, 
but their activity, their natural strength, and the means 
which a gross instinct gives them. This state of things was 
opposed both to the laws of society and the laws of nature, 
which do not permit men or nations to live together and in 
the same place, except when they possess similar qualities, 
and are able to employ their faculties in common. The 
Turks may have been protected, at first by the fortune oi 
their own arms, and afterwards by the policy of certain 
cabinets ; but what real support could they have in the IV est, 
when they were repulsed by the manners, feelings, and 
opinions of the European nations, to whom they became 
every day more foreign ? 

On one side, the antipathy entertained for a barbarous 
people ; on the other, the relations which united nations 
civilized by Christianity, were likely, sooner or later, to 
revive that spirit of fraternity which produced the crusades ; 
and Grod has willed that this spirit, from which the holy 
wars were born, should manifest itself in the same century 
which had for a long time refused to acknowledge the effects 
or to admire the prodigies of them. 

At the moment in which we are finishing this history, the 
Greeks have thrown forth a cry of alarm, and this cry has 
resounded throughout the Christian world. Is the moment 
of their deliverance arrived r When we examine the pre- 
sent state of Europe, we find a much greater force than 
would be necessary to conquer Byzantium ; but on the other 
side, the diversity of interests and opinions will not permit 
the Christian republic to unite for this great enterprise. 
"We have seen that the Turks really possess nothing but the 
soil of their vast empire ; the riches that are there produced 
belong to the nations of Christendom, and these nations are 
for the Turkish provinces, which they cultivate to their 
profit, that which an active and industrious farmer is for the 
fields he ploughs and reaps. Add to this, that most of the 
Christian powers appear to fear that the displacing of a 
great empire may break the ties of the European confedera- 
tion ; they do not, as formerly, dread the strength of the 
Ottomans, but the difficulties and divisions that the conquest 
would produce. That which may add to their fears is that 
impatience for change, that ardent passion for novelty, which 


js spread all at once among the nations like a contagious 
fever ; whilst the Greeks are imploring Europe for their 
liberty, restless and dissatisfied spirits look to the East for I 
do not know what signal for a revolution in Europe. Thus 
Christendom, divided by its various interests, tormented by 
a thousand different passions, and fearing for its own repose, 
awaits with anxiety the events that are preparing, and 
appears to recoil from victories which the superiority of hot 
intelligence and her armies hold out to her. 

What will be the issue of all the warlike demonstrations 
and all the pacific negotiations of which fame informs us 
every day ? There is no doubt the cross will again arise in 
the East, and the fate of Christians residing there will 
receive some amelioration ; but are we arrived at the mo- 
ment which is to render Europe entirely Christian ? Will 
the Ottoman empire, whose weakness now appears so great, 
yield to the power of its enemies, or will it hasten its own 
ruin ? Will Greece, so long enslaved, resume that rank 
among nations from which she formerly descended so inglo- 
riously, or will she fall into the hands of her liberators ? A 
thousand other questions present themselves to the mind ; 
but we will not forestall events ; above all, we will avoid 
multiplying conjectures and hypotheses, or producing here 
the brilliant reveries of philosophers and poets, which the 
severity of history rejects. When we set a high value upon 
truth, and have sought it for a length of time in all that the 
remembrances of the past contain that is most positive, we 
learn to speak of the future with much circumspection and 

It may be thought that we have dwelt too long upon the 
Ottoman empire ; but the origin of that empire, its progress 
and its decline, are connected with all the events we have 
had to describe. The sketch we have traced of it may have 
been sometimes serviceable in making our readers acquainted 
with the spirit and the character of the wars against the infi- 
dels; and in this view our labour has not been useless. 

At the period we have now gained, tlxe passions which had 
given birth to the prodigies of the crusades had become spe- 
culative opinions, which occupied the attention of writers 
rather than that of kings or nations. Thus the holy wars, 
with their causes and effects, became the objects of the dis- 


cussions of doctors and philosophers. "We may remember 
the opinion of Luther ; and although he had partly dis- 
avowed or retracted his first opinion upon the war against 
the Turks, most of his partisans continued to evince a great 
aversion for the crusades. 

The minister Jurieu goes much further than Luther. 
That ardent apostle of the .Reformation, far from thinking 
that war ought to be made against the Mussulmans, did not 
hesitate to consider the Turks as auxiliaries of the Pro- 
testants, and said that the fierce sectaries of Mahomet were 
sent to " labour with the Reformers in the great work of 
God," which was the ruin of the papal empire. After the 
raising of the last siege of Vienna, in 1683, and the revoca- 
tion of the edict of Nantes, the same Jurieu was afflicted at 
the disgrace of the Reformers and the defeat of the Turks ; 
adding, at the same time, " that Grod had only abased them, 
in order to raise them together again, and make them the 
instruments of his vengeance against the popes." Such is 
the excess of blindness to which the spirit of party or sect 
has power to carry us, when misled by hatred, and irritated 
by persecution. 

Other writers, however, celebrated for their genius, and 
who also were connected with the Reformation, maintained 
that wars against the infidels ought to be carried on : they 
deplored the indifference of Christendom, and the wars that 
were breaking out daily among Christian nations, whilst 
they left in peace a people, a foe to all other peoples. 
Chancellor Bacon, in his dialogue de hello sacro, employs all 
his logic to prove that the Turks are excluded from the law 
of nations. He invokes, by turns, natural right, the rights 
of nations, and divine right, against the barbarians, to whom 
he refuses the name of a people, and maintains that war 
should be carried on against them as against pirates, anthro- 
pophagi, or wild animals. The illustrious chancellor quotes, 
in support of his opinion, maxims from Aristotle, maxims 
from the Bible, Avith examples from history, and even from 
fable. His manner of reasoning savours a little of the policy 
and philosophy of the sixteenth century, and we do not feel 
ourselves called upon to repeat arguments, of which many 
would not be of a nature to convince minds of the present 


We prefer developing some of the ideas of Leibnitz, who* 
in order to revive the spirit of distant expeditions, addressed 
himself to the ambition of princes, and whose political view? 
have received a memorable application in modern times. 
At the moment in which Louis XIV. was preparing to carry 
his arms into the Low Countries, the German philosopher 
sent him a long memorial, to persuade him to renew the 
expedition of St. Louis into Egypt. The conquest of that 
rich country, which Leibnitz calls the Holland of the East, 
would favour the triumph and the propagation of the faith ; 
it would procure for the Most Christian king the renown of 
Alexander, and for the Erench monarchy vast means of 
power and prosperity. After the occupation of Alexandria 
and Cairo, fortune would offer the conquerors some happy 
opportunity for restoring the empire of the East ; the 
Ottoman power, attacked by the Poles and the Germans, 
and troubled by internal divisions, was ready to sink into 
ruin ; Muscovy and Persia were already preparing to take 
advantage of i'ts fall ; if France put forth her strength, 
nothing would be more easy than to gather together again 
the immense heritage of Constantine, to dominate over the 
Mediterranean, to extend her empire over the Eed Sea, over 
the Sea of Ethiopia, over the Persian Gulf, and obtain pos- 
session of the commerce of India; everything the most 
brilliant in the glory and grandeur of empires then pre- 
sented itself to the imagination of Leibnitz ; and this exalted 
genius, dazzled by his own idea, and allying his policy with 
the prejudices of his age, could see nothing greater than the 
conquest of Egypt, but the discovery of the philosopher's 
stone : he beheld already, in a shortly distant futurity, the 
Christian religion flourishing again in Asia, the empire and 
the commerce of the East and the West divided between 
the king of Prance and the house of Austria and Spain, the 
world rendered peaceful, and governed by these two con- 
quering powers ! 

After having developed the advantages of the vast enter- 
prise lie proposed, Leibnitz neglected none of the means 
that would be likely to secure the success or facilitate the 
execution of it. It was in this part of his memorial that 
he showed all the superiority of his genius ; and when we 
read the account of the last war of the French in Egypt, 


we cannot but feel persuaded that Buonaparte was well 
acquainted with the plan of campaign addressed by Leib- 
nitz to Louis XIV. But certainly this gigantic enter- 
prise, whose result was likely to be more brilliant than either 
solid or durable, was less suited to a monarch guided in his 
policy by the sentiments of real greatness, than to the 
modern hero, always enamoured of an adventurous and 
romantic glory. Nevertheless, the ideas of Leibnitz, al- 
though not favourably received by the cabinet of Versailles, 
did not fail to produce a lively impression upon the states- 
men of the seventeenth century. It is known likewise, that 
the king of France had already thought seriously of a war 
against the Turks ; and we have reason to believe that Boileau 
alluded to all these projects of distant conquests, when he 
said in his epistle to the king : 

Je t'attends dans six mois aux bords de l'Hellespont.* 

The eloquence, or even the flattery of authors, could not 
induce princes to take up arms against the infidels ; and the 
Crusaders finished, as they began, with pilgrimages. Among 
the celebrated pilgrims who repaired to the East after the 
holy wars, one of the most remarkable was Ignatius Loyola. 
lie visited the holy places twice, and, like St. Jerome, would 
have ended his days in Palestine, if the Latin priests had 
not advised him to return into Europe, where he established 
the order of the Jesuits. As was the case before the cru- 
sades, princes mixed with the crowd of Christians who went 
to the Holy Land. Frederick III., before he ascended the 
imperial throne, went on a pilgrimage to the holy city. We 
still possess an account of the voyages which were made 
successively into Palestine by a prince of Radziwil, a duke 
of Bavaria, a duke of Austria, and three electors of Saxony, 
among whom was he who was the protector of Luther. 

Pilgrims from the "West were no longer received at Jeru- 
salem, as in the early times, by the Knights of St John, but 
bv the Latin fathers of the order of St. Francis of Assisi, 
who devoted themselves to the guardianship of the holy 
sepulchre. Preserving the hospitable manners of ancient 
times, the guardian father himself washed the feet of tra- 

* I look for you six months % ^nce on the shores of the Hellespont. 


vellers, and furnished them with the necessary assistance 
for their pilgrimage. Pilgrims embarked at Venice, where 
vessels were always ready to transport them to the coast of 
Syria. People could obtain all the benefits attached to the 
pilgrimage of the Holy Land, without quitting their homes; 
either by commissioning pious men who were sent beyond 
the seas, or cenobites who resided on the spot. 

The greater part of the sovereigns of Christendom, after 
the example of Charlemagne, thought it consistent with 
their glory, not only to deliver, but to protect the city of 
Jesus Christ from the outrages of the Mussulmans. The 
capitulations of Francis I., renewed by most of his succes- 
sors, contain* several conditions which contribute to secure 
peace to the Christians, with the free exercise of their reli- 
gion in the East. In the reign of Henry IV., Deshayes, 
the ambassador from Prance to Constantinople, weut to visit 
the faithful at Jerusalem, and conveyed to them the conso- 
lations of a charity worthy of royalty. The count of 
Nointel, who represented Louis XIV. at the court of the 
sultan of Turkey, also went into the Holy Land; and Jeru- 
salem received in triumph the envoy of the powerful mo- 
narch, whose credit and renown were employed to protect 
the Christians beyond the seas. 

Most of the princes of Christendom every year sent their 
tributes to the holy city ; and in solemn ceremonies, the 
church of the Resurrection displayed the treasures offered 
by the kings of the West. The guardians of the holy places, 
who entertained and took charge of pilgrims, possessed 
nothing on earth ; but the gifts of the faithful were for them 
like the manna of the desert, sent every day from heaven. 
By a species of miracle constantly renewed, the holy monu- 
ments of the Christian religion, for a long time defended by 
the armies of the West, having no longer any defence but 
religious remembrances, preserved themselves amidst the 
barbarous sectaries of Islamism: the security enjoyed by 
the city of Jerusalem made its deliverance less thought 
of. That which produced the spirit of the crusades in the 
eleventh century was, above all other causes, the persecu- 
tion directed against pilgrims, and the state of misery in 

* The last capitulations are of the reign of Louis XV. 


which the Christians of the East existed. When they ceased 
to be persecuted, and had fewer miseries to endure, lament- 
able accounts no longer awakened the pity and indignation 
of the western nations ; and Christendom satisfied itself with 
addressing prayers to God for the preservation of peace in 
the places he had sanctified by his miracles. There was 
then a spirit of resignation* "which took place of the enthu- 
siasm of the crusades ; the city of David and of Godfrey 
became confounded in the minds of Christians with the 
heavenly Jerusalem, and as sacred orators said, " it was 
necessary to pass through Heaven to arrive at the Holy 
Land, 1 ' it was of no use appealing to the bravery of warriors, 
but to the devotion and charity of the faithful. 

* This resignation is expressed in a very singular manner in an extract 
from the manuscript of the library of Berne, — " Upon the cause why the 
Saracens possess the Holy Land." 

Brother Vincent, in a sermon which he made, and which had for its 
text, " Ecce ascendimus Hierosoleman," gives three reasons for it : — 
" The first," said he, "is to excuse the Christians ; the second is for the 
contusion of the Saracens ; and the third is for the conversion of the Jews. 
As to the first reason, we ought all to know that there is no Christian, 
however holy, who does not sin, and has not sinned, except Jesus and his 
mother, the glorious Virgin Mary ; and God is not willing that Christians 
should sin in the land in which Jesus Christ, his son, suffered the passion 
for the sins of men ; and would account it a great offence. But He is not 
thus offended by the Saracens ; for they are dogs. It would displease the 
king if his children or his knights should make water in his chamber ; but 
when a dog makes water there, Lj takes no account of it." 

See Catalogue Codicum MSS. Bibliotheca Bernemky &c. torn. L 
p. 79. 



A.D. 1571—1685. 

We have made known the origin, the spirit, and the cha- 
racter of the crusades ; it is now our task to show their 
influence on the state of society. Before giving our opinion 
upon the results of the holy wars, it has appeared . to us 
desirable to lay befor.e our readers, in a few words, the judg- 
ments that others have passed upon them. In the seven- 
teenth century, so abounding in men of genius, the heroic 
bravery of the Crusaders was admired, their reverses were 
deplored, and, without a question as to the good or evil 
which these distant expeditions had brought about, the 
pious motives which had made the warriors of the West take 
arms were respected. The eighteenth century, which had 
adopted all the opinions of the Reformation, and exaggerated 
them, — the eighteenth century did not spare the crusades, 
and did not fail to accuse the ignorance, barbarity, and 
fanaticism of our ancestors as the causes of them. *Vol- 
taire published a history of the crusades, in 1753 ; the sub- 
ject he had chosen was at that time so low in public opinion, 
and he himself c^st so much ridicule upon the events he 
described, that his book created no curiosity, and found no 
readers. Nothing can equal the violence with which the 
authors of the Encyclopedic, a short time afterwards, sur- 

* This account of the crusades at first appeared in the Mercury, and 
was afterwards printed in a little volume. It is now merged in Voltaire' 
Histoire Generate. 


passed even the acerbity of Voltaire. This manner of judg- 
ing the crusades became so general, that the panegyrists o-l 
St. Louis allowed themselves to be drawn into it, and seve- 
ral among them, in their discourses, were scarcely inclined 
to pardon the pious monarch for his exploits and his misfor- 
tunes in Egypt and before Tunis. 

A philosophy, however, enlightened by the spirit of re- 
search and analysis, traced events to their causes, studied 
their effects, and, from holding truth as the only object 
worthy of inquiry, neglected declamation and despised 
satire. The judicious Robertson, in his introduction to the 
History of Charles V., gave iz as his opinion, that the 
crusades had favoured the progress of liberty and the deve- 
lopment of the human mind. "Whether this perception 
nattered some of the opinions of the time, or whether it 
exercised over the public the natural ascendancy of truth, it 
met with a sufficient number of partisans ; and from that 
time the expeditions of the Crusaders into the East have 
been judged with less severity. 

A few years ago the Institute of France proposed a ques- 
tion, by which they invited the learned to point out all the 
advantages society had derived from the crusades ; and if we 
may judge by the memorials which obtained the prize in this 
learned contest,* the holy wars brought more benefits for 
posterity in their train, than they produced calamities for 
the generations contemporary with them. Thus, opinions 
upois. the crusades had changed several times in less than 
two centuries ; a great lesson for those who pronounce with 
so much assurance upon the revolutions which we have 
seen begin, but which we shall not see end ; when there is 
so much difficulty in judging of revolutions long ago accom- 
plished, and whose results are all before our eyes ! 

Perhaps we are arrived at the favourable moment for 
appreciating with some truth the influence of the crusades, 
and the opinions of those who have reflected upon them be- 
fore us : we may say, that the revolutions of the present age 
are for us a torch which enlightens the history of past times ; 

* Two memorials obtained prizes ; one was by M. Hercen, toe other 
by M. Choisseul d'Aullecourt. Both are remarkable for erudition and 
spirit of criticism ; they marked out the way we have followed. %nd wa 
take pleasure in acknowledging all we owe them. 


none of the lessons which are afforded by great political 
concussions have been wanting for the present generation, 
and on that account, no doubt, our age will some day merit 
the title of the age of enlightenment. 

We may safely say, that that which the crusades were de- 
ficient in, in order to have found more indulgent judges, was 
success ; let us suppose for a moment that the crusades had 
succeeded, as they who undertook them hoped they would, 
and let us see, in that case, what would have been their 
results. Egypt, Syria, and Greece would have become Chris- 
tian colonies; the nations of the East and the West would 
have pursued together the great march of civilization ; the lan- 
guages of the Franks would have penetrated to the extremes 
of Asia; the Barbary coast, now inhabited by pirates, would 
have received the morals and the laws of Europe ; and the 
interior of Africa would not have been for a long time a 
land impenetrable to the relations of commerce and the 
researches of learned men and travellers. In order to judge 
what nations under the same laws and the same religion 
would have gained by this union, we have but to remember 
the state of the Roman world under the successors of Au- 
gustus, forming, as it were, one people, living under the 
same law, speaking the same language. All the seas were 
free, and the most distant provinces communicated with 
each other by easy and commodious routes ; cities exchanged 
the objects of their arts and their industry, climates their 
various productions, nations their knowledge. If the cru- 
sades had subdued the East to Christianity, it is fair to 
believe that this grand spectacle, which the human race 
had only once beheld, would have been repeated in modern 
times, and opinions would not now be divided as to the 
advantages of the holy wars. Unfortunately, the Crusaders 
were unable to extend or preserve their conquests. The 
results of the crusades are thus more difficult to seize, and 
the good attributed to them does not strike all minds with 
equal force. 

Among the results of the crusades, impartial history can- 
not pass over the evils they caused humanity to undergo ; 
but these evils were felt in the time itself of the holy wars ; 
and the faithful picture of that period has been quite suf- 
ficient to make us acquainted with them. As to the good the 

254 HISTORY or THE crusades. 

crusades produced, it has been like the germ, which remains 
a long time concealed in the earth, and develops itself slowly, 
After the account of each crusade, our readers will remem- 
ber that, in a short summary, we have pointed out the im- 
mediate results of it. Now we will embrace all the epochs 
of the Eastern expeditions in a general review. When the 
ages to which the events of which we have spoken belonged 
become better knowD, the spirit of these events and their 
consequences will be better understood and better judged 
of: we are about to exhibit societies such as ttey were in 
the middle ages, and the progress they have made towards 
civilization ; leaving to enlightened readers the care of appre- 
ciating that which belongs to the crusades. 

We will in the first place examine the state of the dif- 
ferent powers of Europe, and will begin with France. 

When we remember the state of weakness and decay in 
which the commencement of the twelfth century found the 
Erench monarchy, we are astonished at the degree of pros- 
perity and splendour it attained in subsequent ages. Skil- 
ful negotiations, successful wars, useful alliances, the decay 
of the feudal system, and the progressive enfranchisement 
of the commons, favoured the dynasty of the Capets, in the 
aggrandizement of their states, and in the increase of their 
authority. Several centuries were employed in consum- 
mating this great work of fortune and policy ; and the more 
slowly that this revolution was operated, the more durable 
proved its effects. One plan of conduct, followed up by all 
the princes of one same family, and the success it obtained 
in the prosperity and aggrandizement of the kingdom, and 
the glory and independence of the nation, at the present 
day, merit all the attention of history. Frenchmen cannot 
help feeling both gratitude and admiration when they reflect 
that the union of so many rich provinces — that this French 
monarchy, which has grown from age to age, and which 
finished by extending from the Rhine to the Pyrenees ; that 
this beautiful France, in a word, such as we see it, is the 
work of the august family which governs it at the preseni day.* 

* When a person moderately read in French history remembers the 
selfish, sensual, wicked characters here so unduly eulogized, he may for- 
give himself for the smile with which he must read the " impotent con- 
clusion." — Trans. 


The policy of our kings was no doubt seconded by the 
great events of the crusades ; it was natural that the nation 
which took the greatest share in these events should profit 
more than others by it, in the increase of its power and the 
amelioration of its social condition. The glory which the 
French arms acquired beyond the seas gave a new lustre to 
the monarchy ; royal authority profited equally by the ex- 
ploits and the reverses of the numerous warriors whom the 
holy wars attracted into Asia ; the absence, the death, or 
the ruin of the great vassals permitted royalty to rise from 
the bosom of feudal anarchy, and establish order in the 

More than a century before the first crusade, the barons 
and prelates had ceased to meet in general assembly to 
vegulate the forms of justice, and lend to the acts of royal 
authority the support of their political influence. At the 
second crusade, there were several assemblies of the great 
men of the kingdom, in which preparations for the expe- 
dition, and measures for the maintenance of public order 
and the execution of the laws during the absence of Louis 
VII., were deliberated upon. In these meetings, which were 
very numerous, the French might trace at least a faint image 
Df those assemblies, so celebrated under the first races, in 
which the kings and their subjects deliberated together upon 
the means of securing the independence of the nation and 
the safety of the throne. 

Thus the crusades aided the kings of France in resuming 
their legislative power, and the most enlightened part of the 
nation, in recovering those ancient prerogatives which they 
had exercised under the children of Clovis and Charlemagne. 

It may be remembered, that after the accession of Hugh 
Capet, the great vassals not only did no longer assemble 
around their prince, but had entirely separated their cause 
from that of the crown ; several even scarcely acknowledged 
a king of France, and covering their opposition with a pious 
pretext, they, ia their public acts, designated the year of the 
reign of Jesus Christ, instead of that of the king. This 
opposition, which lasted more than a century, at last gave 
way to other feelings, when they saw the French monarchs 
at the head of those expeditions which attracted the atten- 
tion- of a- Christendom, and in wl ieh the cause of Jesus 


Christ himself, as well as of all Christian nations, seemed 
interested. In order to perceive clearly what the kings of 
France owed to the holy wars, and what in particular they 
gamed by taking part in them, it would suffice to compare 
Philip I., shut up in his palace, in a melancholy manner, 
during the Council of Clermont, excommunicated by Urban, 
condemned by the bishops, and abandoned by his nobles, 
with Philip Augustus, in the first place conqueror of Saladin 
in Syria, and afterwards triumphant at Beauvines, over the 
enemies of his kingdom ; or with Louis IX., surrounded in 
his reverses by a faithful nobility, ever respected by the 
clergy and the people, revered as the firmest supnort of 
the Church, and proclaimed by his own age the arbiter of 

"We will speak hereafter of the changes which were then 
effected in the different classes of society ; we will confine 
ourselves here to saying that the crusades were the signal 
for a new order of things in France, and that this new order 
of things cast solid foundations during the holy wars. 

If royalty in France was weak at the period of the first 
crusade, in England it was strong and powerful ; royalty and 
feudalism oppressed England with all the weight of the con- 
quests of William ; but an authority founded upou victory, 
and sustained by violence, created afc an early period in men'a 
mmds a feeling of opposition, which time and circumstances 
were destined to develop. Military despotism had been 
able to impose silence upon opinions ; but it had not entirely 
changed the manners of the English, or destroyed their 
attachment to old customs. Passions suppressed by the 
sword broke out with greater violence in the end. 

An all-powerful monarchy exhibited a tendency to decline, 
and in England was seen the contrary of that which had 
been seen in France. Liberty made advances at the expense 
of royal authority. It does not enter into our plan to ex- 
plain in detail the causes of this revolution. Several English 
monarchs allowed themselves to be led away by an imprudent 
and passionate policy, which threw them into fatal extrava- 
gances ; their excesses, their violences, and particularly the 
crimes of John Lack-land, alienated the minds of their sub- 
jects, and united the whole nation in one feeling of resistance 
to absolute power. Another cause if decline not less, re- 


markable, and to which history has not sufficiently drawn 
attention, was the ambition of the English princes, which 
inspired them with the senseless project of conquering the 
kingdom of France. The ruinous wars which they main- 
tained against an enemy they could not subdue, placed them 
at the discretion of the barons and the English people, who 
furnished them with subsidies and fought under their 

The crusades had, perhaps, less influence upon the civil- 
ization of England than upon that of several other states of 
Europe. They might, however, concur with many circum- 
stances of that period in effecting the changes which the 
English monarchy underwent. 

Richard Coeur de Lion was more anxious to acquire the 
renown of a great captain than the reputation of a great 
king; the glory of arms made him forget the cares of his 
kingdom. It may be remembered that before his departure 
he sold the charges, the prerogatives, and the domains of the 
crown ; he would have sold, as he himself said, the city of 
London, if he could have found a purchaser ; his reverses 
and his captivity ruined his people, and his long absence 
kept up the spirit of faction among his nobles, and more 
especially in his own family. 

The English barons were several times desirous of going 
into the East, against the will of the king ; and the idea of 
opposing a monarch they did not love, often added to their 
impatience to embark for Palestine. Kings likewise took 
advantage of the opinions of their times, and engaged them- 
selves to set out for the crusades, with the sole view of ob- 
taining subsidies, which they employed in other enterprises. 
These means, too often employed, drew contempt upon the 
policy of princes, and only served to increase the public 

But that which completed the overthrow of the founda- 
tions of an absolute monarchy in England, was the violent 
enterprises of the popes against the English kings; enter- 
prises which the spirit of religious wars favoured. In the 
league of the barons against Henry III., the rebels wore a 
cross, as in the wars beyond the seas ; and the priests pro- 
mised the palms of martyrdom to those who should die in 
the cause of liberty. One very curious circumstance is, that 

Vol. III. —12 


the head of the league formed for the independence of the 
English nation, was a French gentleman, the son of that 
count de Montfort so renowned* in the crusade against 
the Albigeois. 

But the long efforts of England to obtain liberty deserve 
bo much the more to fix the attention of history, from their 
having, in the end, attained a positive and durable result. 
So many other nations, after having contended for a long 
time, sometimes against license, sometimes against tyranny, 
have only met with misery, shame, and slavery. If the 
English revolution produced in the end salutary effects, it 
was because all classes of society concurred together in it ; 
because it was made in the interests of all, according to the 
character and the manners of the nation, and according to 
the spirit of Christianity, which then presided over all which 
ought to last among men. Unanimity of opinions and sen- 
timents, the accordance of manners and laws, of policy and 
religion, founded from that time that public spirit of which 
England still offers us the model; and this public spirit 
became in the end the most firm support and the most sure 
safeguard of liberty. 

Whilst England was wresting liberty from its kings, and 
France was requiring hers back again of royalty, Germany 

Presented another spectacle ; the German empire, which 
ad thrown out great splendour up to the eleventh century, 
declined rapidly during the crusades. 

The emperors, in order to resist the great vassals, granted 
several advantages to the clergy, and bestowed privileges 
upon the cities. The clergy employed these advantages in 
favour of the popes, who attacked the imperial power ; the 
cities profited by the concessions which were made to found 
their independence. All the efforts of the emperors had 
proved unable to prevent the crown continuing elective, 
whilst the great fiefs became hereditary. Thus the heads of 
the empire depended for their election upon the princes and 
nobles whom they themselves had freed from all dependence. 
In the competition of the pretenders to the throne, in a 
competition which was almost always decided by fortune, 
intrigue, or victory, it may easily be supposed that ambition 

* Say, rather— rendered so infamous by his cruelties. — Trans. 


wa3 often more successful than moderation Mid virtue 
Anung the princes who ascended the imperial throne, many 
were men of great character ; but their active and restless 
genius led them into adventurous and gigantic enterprises, 
which exhausted their strength and hastened the decline of 
the empire. 

The memories of ancient Rome and of the power of the 
Caesars were always present to their imagination. One of 
the greatest errors of their policy was turning their views 
towards Italy; they encountered on their way thither the 
popes, who declared a war of extermination against them ; 
two families of emperors succumbed beneath the thunders 
of Rome ; they were never able to reign over Italy, and 
whilst they exhausted themselves in vain efforts to establish 
their domination there, they completed the loss of their in- 
fluence in Germany. 

It is a cousoling remark for humanity, that most of the 
conquerors of the middle ages weakened themselves by their 
undertakings, victory itself only serving to bring about the 
ruin of their power. The kings of France of this period 
evinced, perhaps, less talent and genius than the emperors 
of Germany ; but their policy was wiser and more fortunate ; 
they confined themselves to conquering their own kingdom ; 
their conquests only tended to unite the scattered members 
of a kirge family ; and their authority became more popular 
in proportion with their being considered as a natural tie 
between the French of all the provinces. 

The glory which the emperors of Germany acquired by 
their conquests was but a personal glory, and did not at all 
interest the German people. This manifestation of their 
power had nothing in common with the nations of which 
they were the head. As soon as this power was no longer a 
bond or a support for the people, they separated themselves 
from it, and every one sought his safety or his aggrandize- 
ment in his own strength. 

A state of things arose from this which was, perhaps, 
more fatal to Germany than the absolute authority of the 
emperors ; upon the ruins of the imperial grandeur arose a 
crowd of states, opposed to each other by diversity of laws 
and the spirit of rivalry. All those ecclesiastical and secular 
principalities in which the spirit of monarchy prevailed ; those 


cities in which the spirit of liberty fermented ; that nobility 
animated by the pretensions of aristocracy, could not possibly 
have the same interests or the same policy to direct their 
efforts towards one common and salutary aim. 

The popes, after having weakened the power of the em- 
perors, wished to dispose of the broken sceptre of Charle- 
magne, and offered it to all who appeared likely to promote 
their scheme of vengeance. A crowd of princes then started 
up as pretenders to the empire thus held out by the popes, 
and the greater the number of these, the more rapidly the 
empire declined. Amidst civil discords, Germany completed 
the loss of its political unity, and at last its religious unity. 

In order to judge to what a degree it was difficult to put 
in motion that enormous mass called the German confedera- 
tion, it is only necessary to contemplate, in the history of 
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, those numerous diets 
which assembled to deliberate upon the war against the 
Turks, in which the presence of imminent peril even was 
never able to produce one energetic decision for the safety 
of Germany. 

The popes sometimes made use of the pretext of the cru- 
sades to drive the emperors to a distance, and to precipitate 
them into disastrous expeditions ; thus the enthusiasm for 
the holy wars, which had a tendency to establish union 
among Christian nations, had no power to bring together 
the members of the German nation, and only served to keep 
up trouble and disorder in the bosom of the empire. We 
must, however, repeat here what has been read in this his- 
tory ; it was under the auspices and by the influence of the 
court of Rome, when occupied seriously by a crusade, that the 
family of Eodolph of Hapsburg arose, a family whose power 
restored the empire to something of its ancient splendour, 
and saved Europe from the invasion of the Turks. 

We have likewise to add that, at the period of the cru- 
sades, Germany augmented its territories and its population, 
The expeditions against the infidels of the East gave birth tc 
the idea of attacking the pagans and idolaters, whose hordes 
inhabited the banks of the Vistula and the coasts of the 
Baltic. These races, when subdued by the Crusaders, en- 
tered into the Christian republic, and formed part of th6 
German confederation. At the aspect of the cross, suet 


cities as Dantzic, Thorn, Elbing, Kcenigsberg, &c, sprang 
up from the bosom of forests and deserts. Finland, Lithu- 
ania, Pomerania, and Silesia became nourishing provinces ; 
new nations arose, new states were formed, and, to complete 
these prodigies, the arms of the Crusaders marked the spot 
in which a monarchy was to appear that did not exist in the 
middle ages, but which the present age has seen all at once 
take its place in \he rank of the great powers of Europe. 
At the end of the thirteenth century, the provinces from 
which the Prussian monarchy derives both its name and its 
origin, were separated from Christendom by idolatry and 
savage manners ; the conquest and the civilization of these 
provinces were the work of the holy wars. 

If from Germany we pass into Italy, we there meet with 
other forms of government, and other revolutions. 

When the last columns of the Roman empire crumbled 
away, Italy was covered with ruins. The Huns, the Pranks, 
the Yandals, the Goths, the Germans, and the Lombards, 
held over this beautiful country, in turns, the scourge of 
their domination, and all left behind them traces of their 
manners, their legislation, and their character. 

In the tenth century, the emperors of Constantinople 
being unable any longer to retain Italy, other powers arose, 
some from conquests, others by good fortune, and others 
from circumstances which history has much difficulty 
in indicating. The influence of the popes sometimes de- 
fended the independence of Italy against the invasions and 
the yoke of the German emperors ; but the struggle was so 
long, and the war between the two powers exhibited so 
many vicissitudes, that it only served to perpetuate trouble 
and discord ; during several centuries, the Guelphs and the 
Ghibellines desolated Italy without defending it. 

In every nation of Europe there was then a power, or 
rather a preponderating authority, which was as a rallying- 
point, or centre, around which societv formed and united its 
forces to defend its political existence. 

Italy had not, like Prance and other countries, this pre- 
cious means of conservation. Nothing proves better the 
dissolution in which this rich country was plunged, than the 
manner by which it endeavoured to establish its indepen- 
dence in the middle ages. That division into many states 


that parcelling out of territory, that numerous population 
split into a '.^ousand fractions, all announced the absence oi 
any tie, 01 any common centre. Italy comprised many 
nations ; twenty republics had each their own laws, their 
own interests, and their own history. Those perpetual wars 
between the citizens of the same cities ; those animosities 
between republic and republic ; that necessity of the inha- 
bitants for calling in strangers in their internal quarrels ; those 
mistrusts which bore harder upon the citizens than upon the 
stipendiary adventurers, tended to efface the true sentiment 
of patriotism, and at length caused even the name of the 
Italian nation to be forgotten. 

The feudal system was abolished earlier in Italy than 
elsewhere ; but with feudalism departed the ancient honour 
of brave knights, and the virtues of chivalry. In republics 
defended by mercenaries, bravery, and all the generous sen- 
timents that accompany it, ceased to be esteemed. "Violent 
passions had no longer any check, either in the laws or in 
the opinions of men ; it was at this unhappy period that 
those hatreds and vengeances displayed themselves which 
appear so improbable to us in our tragedies ; no spectacle 
can be more afflicting than that of Italy in the fourteenth 
century ; and we may safely say that Dante had but to look 
around him to find the model for his Hell. 

Societ}^, always ready to split to pieces, appeared to have 
no other motive but the fury of parties, no other principle 
of life but discord and civil war ; there was no other guarantee 
against license but tyranny ; or against tyranny, but the 
despair of factions, and the poniard of conspirators. As the 
strength of most of the little states which covered Italy was 
seldom equal to their ambition ; and as princes and citizens, 
by the same reason that they were weak, wanted both mo- 
deration and courage ; they sought their elevation or their 
safety in all the means that treachery and perfidy could sug- 
gest. Plots, political stratagems, odious crimes, everything 
appeared right to them ; everything seemed properly avail- 
able that could sustain their quarrels, and satisfy their am- 
bition or their jealousy. At length, all morality disappeared ; 
and it was then that school of policy was formed, which is to 
be fou id in the lessons, or rather in the satire, of Machiavel's 


It is said that the Italians were the first to form the idea 
.of what publicists call the balance of power. We do not think 
that Italy merits such a g x ry ; that which is understood by 
the balance of power is not an invention : it is nothing but 
the natural resource of the weakness which seeks a support. 
If we follow the progress of events, we shall find that this 
system, so long boasted, became fatal to Italy, by calling 
thither conquerors, who made it, even up to our own days, 
the theatre of most sanguinary wars. 

At the period of the crusades, the cities of Lombardy, and 
the republics of Grenoa, Pisa, and Venice, had attained great 
prosperity ; and that which gave them this prosperity was 
the commerce of the East, which Italy carried on before the 
crusades, and persevered in, with all the advantages accruing 
from the expeditions beyond the seas. 

But these republics, which contended for the empire of 
the sea, and only occupied a little corner of land upon the 
Mediterranean, — which had their eyes constantly fixed upon 
Syria, Egypt, and Greece, — which left, to strangers the care 
of defending their territories, and only armed their citizens 
for the defence of their commerce, — these mercantile repub- 
lics were much better calculated to enrich Italy than to keep 
up the sentiment of a true independence among the Italian 

"We cannot, however, refrain from admiring that republic 
of Venice, whose power everywhere preceded the arms of the 
Crusaders, and which the nations of the middle ages looked 
upon as the queen of the East. The decline of this great 
republic did not begin before the period at which the pro- 
gress of navigation, that it had so much contributed to, at 
length opened the route to India, and led to the discovery 
of a new world. Most of the other republics of Italy nei- 
ther displayed the same splendour nor enjoyed the same 
duration ; many among them — particularly those in which 
democracy prevailed — had disappeared at the end of the 
crusades, in the chaos and tumult of discords and civil wars. 
In their place arose dukes and princes, who substituted the 
intrigues of policy for popular passions, and sometimes made 
it their ambition to favour the revival of arts and letters, the 
true glory of Italy. 

The kingdom of Naples and Sicily, situated at the ex« 


tremity of Italy, was for the Crusaders the road to Greece and 
the East. The riches of this country, which appeared never 
to have any guardians, — a territory which its inhabitants 
were never able to defend, must have often tempted the 
cupidity and the ambition of the princes and even of the 
knights who went to seek their fortunes in Asia. The history 
of this fine country is mixed up during two centuries with 
that of the holy wars, the crusades often furnishing a pretext 
or an opportunity for the conquest of it. The wars under- 
taken for the kingdom of Naples, — those wars which produced 
more monstrous crimes than glorious exploits, more revolts 
than battles, completed the corruption of the Neapolitan 
character, in which has always been remarked, on the one 
part, an inclination to shake off the yoke of present domi- 
nation, and, on the other, an extreme resignation in sub- 
mitting to the yoke of victory. 

W hilst glancing thus at the principal states of Europe, we 
are particularly struck with the great diversity that exists 
in the mauners, the institutions, and the destinies of nations. 
How is it possible to follow the march of civilization amidst 
so many republics and monarchies, some bursting with 
splendour from the bosom of barbarism, others sinking into 
ruins ? And how is it possible to point out the influence 
of the crusades through so many revolutions, which have 
often the same causes, but whose effects are so different, and 
sometimes so opposite ? Spain, to which we are now about 
to turn our attention, will present us with other pictures, 
and must furnish fresh subjects for meditation. 

During the course of the crusades, we see Spain occupied 
in its own boundaries with defending itself against those 
same Saracens whom the other nations of Europe went to 
contend with in the East ; in the north of the Peninsula, 
some Christian sovereignties had maintained themselves, 
which began to be formidable under Sancho the Great, king 
of Castile and Arragon. The valour of the Castiliana, sus- 
tained by the example of the Cid, and by the influence of 
chivalric manners, and seconded by warriors from all the 
provinces of Erarce, took Toledo, before the end of the 
eleventh century. Lut the conquests of the Spaniards did 
not afterwards correspond with the splendour of their early 
triumphs; as feat ae they retook provinces from the Moors 


they made separate kingdoms of them ; and the Spanish 
power, thus divided, became, in some sort, weakened by its 
own victories. 

The invasion of the Moors in Spain bore some resemblance 
to that of the Franks in Asia. It was the religion of Ma- 
homet that animated the Saracen warriors to the fight, a» 
the Christian religion inflamed the zeal and ardour of the 
soldiers of the cross. Africa and Asia often answered to the 
appeal of the Mussulman colonies in Spain, as Europe did 
to the cries of alarm of the Christian colonies in Syria. En- 
thusiasm gave birth on both sides to prodigies of heroism, 
and held fortune for a long time suspended between the two 
inimical nations and the two inimical religions. 

A spirit of independence naturally grew up among the 
Spaniards, during a war in which the state had need of all 
its citizens, and in which every citizen, by that means, ac- 
quired a great degree of importance. It has been remarked, 
with reason, that a people that has done great things, that 
an entire people called to the defence of its country, expe- 
riences an exaggerated sentiment of its rights, shows itself 
more exacting, sometimes more unjust towards those who 
govern, and often feels tempted to employ against its sove- 
reigns the strength it had employed against its enemies. 
Thus we may see in the Spanish annals, that the nobility 
and the people were more turbulent than in other countries, 
and that monarchy was there at first more limited than 
among the other nations of Europe. 

The institution of the Cortes, the enfranchisement of the 
commons, and a crowd of privileges granted to cities, sig- 
nalized very early, among the Spaniards, the decay of the 
feudal system and of the absolute authority of the monarchs. 
If we may judge by public acts of legislation, we might 
believe that the Spanish people enjoyed liberty before all 
the other nations of Europe. But, in times of trouble, we 
must be guarded in judging of the liberty of a nation by 
that which is said in political rostrums, or in charters and 
institutions, by turns obtained by violence and destroyed 
by power, always placed between two rocks, — anarchy and 
despotism. The history of Spain, at tins period, is full of 
crimes and monstrous deeds, that stain the cause of princes 
as well as that of the people : which proves at least that 



morals did not keep pace with laws, and that institutions, 
created among public discords, did not soften the national 

Amidst the revolutions which agitated Spain, political 
passions sometimes caused even the domination of the 
Moors to be forgotten. "When at the end of the thirteentl? 
century, the Mussulmans, conquered by James of Arragon, 
abandoned the Balearic isles and the kingdom of Valencia 
and Murcia, the Spaniards all at once suspended the pro- 
gress of their arms. Whilst in the East, the victorious 
Mamelukes redoubled their efforts to completely drive the 
Franks from the coast of Syria ; in the West, the Moors 
remained, during two centuries, in possession of a part of 
Spain, without the Spaniards ever seriously attempting to 
complete the conquest of their own country. The standard 
of Mahomet floated over the cities of Granada, up to the 
reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. It was only at this period 
that the Spanish monarchy issued all-powerful from the chaos 
of revolutions, and revived in the people the warlike and 
religious enthusiasm which completed the expulsion of the 
Moors. Then terminated ^be struggle which had lasted 
during eight centuries, and in which, according to Spanish 
authors, three thousand seven hundred battles were fought. 
So many combats, which were nothing but one long crusade, 
must have been a school of bravery and heroism ; thus the 
Spaniards, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, were 
considered the most brave and warlike nation of Europe. 
Philosophers have sought to explain by the influence of 
climate that spirit of haughtiness and pride, that grave and 
austere character which to this day distinguish the Spanish 
nation. It appears to us that a much more natural expla- 
nation of this national character is to be found in a war at 
once patriotic and religious, in which twenty successive 
generations were engaged, the perils of which must have 
inspired serious thoughts as well as noble sentiments. 

The aversion for the yoke and the religion of the Moors, 
redoubled the attachment of the people for tl ;ir religion 
and their ancient customs. The remembrance of that glo- 
rious struggle has not failed to animate the ardour and 
courage of the Spaniards at a recent period ; — fortunate had 


it been for Spain if, at the moment at which I am speaking, 
she had not forgotten her own examples ! 

Towards the end of the war against the Moors, Spain 
adopted the InqmV.tion with more warmth than the other 
Christian nations. I will not attempt to repel the reproaches 
which modern philosophers have addressed to her; but it 
appears to me that sufficient account has not been taken of 
the motives which would render more excusable in Spain 
than elsewhere, those suspicions and those dark jealousies 
for all which was not the national religion. How could they 
forget that the standard of a foreign worship had so long 
floated over the Peninsula, and that during many ages, 
Christian warriors had fought, not only for the faith of their 
fathers, but for the very soil of their country against the 
infidels ? According to my opinion, may it not be believed, 
that among the Spaniards, religious intolerance, or rather 
a hatred for all foreign religion, had something in itself 
which was less a jealous devotion than an ardent, restless 
patriotism ? 

Spain took no part in the crusades, till the spirit of these 
wars began to die away in the rest of Europe. We must, 
however, remark, that this kingdom derived some advantages 
from the Eastern expeditions. In almost all the enterprises 
of Christendom against the Mussulmans of Asia, a great 
number of the Crusaders stopped on the coast of Spain to 
combat the Moors Many crusades were published in the 
West against the infidels who were masters of the Peninsula. 
The celebrated victory of Tolosa over the Moors was the 
fruit of a crusade preached in Europe, and particularly in 
Prance, by order of the sovereign pontiff. Expeditions be- 
yond the sea were likewise favourable to the Spaniards, by 
retaining in their own country the Saracens of Egypt and 
Syria, who might have joined those on the coast of Africa. 
It has been shown in this history that the kingdom of Por- 
tugal was conquered and founded by Crusaders. The cru- 
sades gave the idea of those orders of chivalry, which, in 
imitation of those of Palestine, were formed in Spain, and 
without the succour of which the Spanish nation would no . 
perhaps have triumphed over the Moors. 

We 'nay add, that Spain is the country in which tlu 

268 HISTORY OF THE crusades. 

memory of the crusades was preserved the longest. In the 
last century, the bull called Crusada was there published 
every year in all the provinces. This solemn publication 
reminded the Spaniards of the triumphs they had forn eriy 
obtained over the Mussulmans. 

We have shown the state of the principal powers of 
Europe during the crusades ; it now remains for us to speak 
of a power which dominated over all the others, and which 
was as a tie or centre to all the powers ; — we mean the au- 
thority of the heads of the Church. 

The popes, as a temporal power and as a spiritual power, 
presented a singular contrast in the middle ages. As sove- 
reigns of Borne, they had almost no authority, and were often 
banished from their own states : as heads of Christendom, 
they exercised an absolute empire to the extremities of the 
world, and their name was revered wherever the Grospel was 

It has been said that the popes made the crusades ; they 
who maintain this opinion are far from being acquainted 
with the general movement which then affected the Chris- 
tian world ; no power on earth could have been able to pro- 
duce such a great revolution ; it only belonged to Him whose 
will gives birth to and disperses tempests, to throw all at 
once into human hearts that enthusiasm which silenced all 
other passions, and drew on the multitude as if by an in- 
visible power. In the first book of this volume we have 
shown how the enthusiasm for the holy wars developed 
itself by degrees, and how it broke forth towards the end of 
the eleventh century, without any other influence but that 
of the dominant ideas : it led away the whole of society, and 
the popes were led "away as nations of people were ; one 
proof that the sovereign pontiffs did not produce this extra- 
ordinary revolution is, that they were never able to revive 
the spirit of the crusades, when that spirit became extinct 
among Christian nations. 

It has likewise been said that the crusades very much 
increased the authority of the popes ; we shall soon see what 
truth there is in that assertion. Among the causes which 
contributed to the growth of the pontifical authority, we 
may name the invasion of the barbarians of the North, whe 
overthrew the empire of the West, and the progress of th« 


Saracens, who would -not allow the emperors of the East 
leisure to turn their attention towards Italy, or even to 
preserve any domination over that country. The popes thus 
found themselves freed from two powers upon which they 
depended; and remained in possession of the city of Rome, 
which appeared to have no other master. Other circum- 
stances added from that time to the authority of the suc- 
cessors of St. Peter. However it may be, everybody knows 
that this authority had already made immense progress be- 
fore the crusades ; the head of the most powerful monarchs 
had already bowed before the thunders of the Vatican ; and 
Christendom seemed to have already adopted the maxim of 
Gregory VII., that " the pope, in quality of Vicar of Jesus 
Christ, ought to be superior to everv human power." 

It cannot be doubted that a religious war was calculated 
to favour the development of the pontifical authority. But 
this war itself produced events, and gave rise to circum- 
stances which were less a means of aggrandizement for the 
power of the popes, than a rock against which that power 
was dashed and injured. But it is positive, that the end of 
the crusades left the sovereign pontiffs less powerful than 
they had been at the commencement of the holy wars. 

Let us, in the first place, say a few words of the advan- 
tages which the heads of the Church derived from the expe- 
ditions against the infidels. Recourse was always had to 
the sovereign pontiffs when the question of a crusade was 
agitated ; the holy war was preached in their name, and car- 
ried on under their auspices. Warriors enrolled under the 
banners of the cross, received from the pope privileges which 
freed them from all other dependence but that of the 
Church; the popes were the protectors of the Crusaders, 
the support of their families, the guardians of their proper- 
ties ; it was to the popes the Crusaders submitted all their 
differences, and confided all their interests. 

The sovereign pontiffs were not at first aware of the 
advantages they might derive from the crusades. In the first 
crusade, Urban, who had enemies to contend with, did not 
think of asking the assistance of the warriors he had per- 
suaded to take the cross ; it was not till the second crusade 
that the popes perceived the ascendancy the holy wars must 
give them. At this period a king of France and an emperoi 


of Gem any were, in a manner, lieutenants of the Holy See ; 
in the third crusade, the pope compelled Henry II. to take 
the cross, to expiate the murder of Thomas a Becket. After 
the death of Henry, his son Richard set out for the East, at 
the signal of the sovereign pontiff. In consequence of this 
crusade, great disorders, as we have related, disturbed the 
kingdom of England ; the popes took advantage of them to 
give laws to the English people, and a few years after the 
death of Richard, his brother and successor acknowledged 
himself the vassal of the court of Rome. 

The crusades were for the popes a pretext to usurp, in all 
the states of Europe, the principal attributes of sovereignty ; 
they became possessed, in the name of the holy war, of the 
right of levying everywhere both armies and imposts ; the 
legates they employed in all the countries of Christendom 
exercised supreme authority in their name ; the presence of 
these legates inspired respect and fear ; their wills were 
laws. Armed with the cross, they commanded all the clergy 
as masters ; and as the clergy, among all Christian nations, 
had the greatest ascendancy, the empire of the popes had no 
longer any opposition or limits. 

It may be perceived that we have forgotten none of the 
advantages the heads of the Church found in trie crusades : 
here are the obstacles and the rocks they met with in the 
exercise of their power. 

It must be allowed that the empire of the popes received 
but very little increase in Asia during the holy wars ; the 
quarrels and disputes which constantly disturbed the Chris- 
tian colonies in the East, and in which they were obliged to 
interfere, multiplied their embarrassments, without adding 
to their power. 

Their voice was not always listened to by the multitude of 
the Crusaders ; sometimes even the soldiers of the cross 
resisted the will and despised the counsels of the pontiffs. 
The legates of the Holy See were frequently in opposition to 
the leaders of the army, and their character was not always 
respected in camps. As the popes were supposed to direct 
the crusades, they were, in some sort, responsible for the 
misfortunes and disorders they had no power to prevent : 
this moral responsibility exposed them sometimes to ba 


judged with rigour, and was injurious to their reputatioc 
for wisdom and ability. 

By an abuse of the spirit of the crusades, the popes were 
dragged into wars in which their ambition was often more 
interested than religion ; they then thought of their temporal 
power, and that was their weakest point ; they were never 
strong but when they depended upon a higher support ; the 
crusades became for them as a lever, which they employed 
to elevate themselves ; but it must be allowed that they 
depended upon it too much, and when this lever failed them, 
their authority trembled. Seeking to regain what they had 
lost, the popes made, in the fourteenth and fifteenth cen- 
turies, incredible efforts to revive the spirit of the crusades ; 
the question then being no longer to go and fight the Saracens 
in Asia, but to defend Europe against the invasion of the 
Turks. Amidst the perils of Christendom, the conduct of 
the popes merited the greatest praise, and the zeal they dis- 
played has not been sufficiently appreciated by historians. 
But the time of the fervour for crusades was past. The suc- 
cess obtained by the sovereign pontiffs was never propor- 
tionate with their efforts, and the uselessness of their attempts 
necessarily weakened the idea entertained of their ascendancy 
and their power. 

The crusade against the Albigeois procured them very 
little advantage ; the intolerance which gave birth to that 
war proceeded from the crusades ; the Inquisition, which 
arose from it, s-wakened more passions than it suppressed. 
By the Inquisition, the Church assumed in this world a juris- 
diction which partook too strongly of humanity ; her decrees 
were much more respected when they were referred to heaven 
or to a future life. 

Nothing can equal the enormity of the tributes that were 
imposed upon the clergy for carrying on the holy wars. 
The tenths were not only levied for the crusades, but for 
3very attempt at a crusade ; not only for expeditions to the 
East, but for every enterprise against the enemies of the 
court of Borne. They were at length levied under the 
most vain pretexts ; all Europe addressed warm remon- 
strances to the popes ; at first the rigour with which tha 
agents collected the tributes was complained of; and after- 


wards their infidelity in the application of the treasures 
extorted from the faithful became equally a subject of 
scandal. Nothing could be more injurious to the pontifical 
authority than these complaints, which arose from all quar- 
ters, and which, in the end, furnished weapons for the for- 
midable heresy of Luther. 

The history of the popes in the middle ages completes the 
proof of that which we have said. Their domination went 
on constantly increasing during a century up to Inno- 
cent III. ; it after that period declined during another cen- 
tury, down to Boniface VIIL, at which time crusades beyond 
the seas ended. 

In latter days, publicists have said a great deal about the 
power of the heads of the Church; but they have judged 
rather according to systems than according to facts, — more 
after the spirit of our own age than that of the middle ages. 
The genius of the sovereign pontiffs has been much lauded, 
particularly for the purpose of placing their ambition in a 
stronger light. But if the popes really had the genius and 
the ambition attributed to them, we must believe they would 
have been principally employed in aggrandizing their states, 
and increasing their authority as sovereigns. Nevertheless, 
they did not succeed in this, or else they never attempted it. 
In fact, what could men do, who were mostly arrived at the age 
of decrepitude? — what could princes do, who merely passed 
over the throne, to strengthen their authority, and master 
the passions belonging to the infancy and the youth of 
societies ? Among the crowd of popes who succeeded each 
other, many were endowed with a superior genius, whilst 
others only possessed a moderate capacity ; men of all cha- 
racters and all turns of mind occupied, in succession, the 
chair of St. Peter ; nevertheless, these men, so different by 
their tastes, their passions, and their talents, all aimed at 
and all did the same thing ; they had, therefore, an impul- 
sion which was not in themselves, the motive of which must 
be sought elsewhere than in the vulgar policy of princes. 

That would be a curious history which would trace, in the 
same picture, the spiritual empire and the temporal empire 
of the popes. Who would not be surprised at seeing in it, 
on one side, a force which nothing could resist, which moves 
tlLeyery world, — a will always the same, which is transmitted 


from pontiff to pontiff, like a deposit, or like a sacred heri 
tape ; on the other, a policy weak and changeable, like man, 
— a power which can scarcely defend itself against the low- 
est of its enemies, and which at every moment the breath of 
revolutions has power to shake ? In this parallel, the imagi- 
nation would be dazzled when such an empire should be 
presented to it as has never been seen upon earth, and which 
would lead to the belief that the popes did not belong to this 
fragile and transitory world, — a power which hell cannot 
pull down, — which the world cannot corrupt, — which, with- 
out the help of any army, and by the simple ascendancy of 
a few words, subdues things sooner, and proves itself more 
formidable, than ancieat Rome, with all her victories. 
What more magnificent spectacle can the history of empires 
present to us ? But, in the other part of the picture, who 
would not be moved to pity at beholding a government 
without vigour, an administration without foresight, — that 
people, descended from the king people, led by an indolent, 
timid old man, the eternal city falling into ruins, and as 
hidden beneath the grass ? When we see — so near to a 
power almost supernatural — weakness, uncertainty, the fra- 
gility common to things below, and humanity with all its 
miseries, why may we not be permitted to compare the double 
power of the popes to Jesus Christ himself, of whom they 
were the vicars and images upon earth, — to Jesus Christ, 
whose double nature presents us, on one side, a God beam- 
ing with splendour, and on the other a simple mortal, loaded 
with the cross, and crowned with thorns ? 

If the principal features of this picture are not wanting in 
truthfulness, how can we believe in the policy of the popes as 
it is represented to us ? — is it not more natural to think that 
the sovereign pontiffs, in all they did that was great, followed 
the spirit of Christianity ? In the middle ages, which was 
the period of their power, they were much more directed by 
this spirit than they directed it themselves ; later, and when 
popes entertained projects like those that are attributed to 
their genius and ambition, their power declined. We have 
but to compare Gregory VII., giving himself up to the 
spirit of his age, and supporting himself by the ascendancy ol 
khe Church, with Julius II., whom Voltaire calls a great prince, 
and who only employed the known combinations of policy. 


The pontifical authority was the only one that had ita 
bases and roots in opinions and beliefs. This power gave 
the world, or, rather, the world asked of it, laws, knowledge, 
and a support. The popes were right in the famous com- 
parison of the two great luminaries. The authority of the 
heads of the Church was much more in advance towards 
civilization than the authority of princes. In order that the 
world miglf 4 be civilized, it was important for the popes to 
have great p^wer ; and the need that was felt for their power 
favoured the progress of it. 

As long as the world was governed by opinions and beliefs, 
rather than by civil laws and political authorities, the popes 
exercised the greatest influence ; when the interests and 
rights of princes and nations became better regulated ; when 
the world passed from the empire of opinions to that of 
laws ; when, in a word, temporal power was well established 
in Europe, and prevailed over the spiritual of society, the 
pontiffs necessarily lost their ascendancy. Such is the 
history of the origin, of the progress, and of the decay of the 
pontifical power in the ages which have preceded us. 

That which we have said of the popes clearly shows what 
influence the Church exercised over the society of Europe in 
the middle ages ; but gross minds were not yet prepared to 
receive all the benefits of Christianity. The alliance of bar- 
barism with superstition retarded the progress of true know- 
ledge. The passions and customs of barbarians were still 
mingled with some salutary institutions. 

The Pranks, the Germans, and Goths, when obtaining 
possession of the richest countries of Europe, had employed 
all the rights of conquest, and these rights bad become the 
laws of European society. We may form an idea of the 
government of the middle ages by representing to ourselves 
a victorious army, which disperses itself throughout the con- 
quered country, shares the territory and those who inhabit 
it, and is always ready to march at the signal of its officers 
and its supreme general, to combat the common enemy, and 
defend its possessions. 

As long as discipline and subordination subsisted in this 
military colony, public order was not entirely disturbed ; 
and this kind of government might supply the place of wiser 
institutions. But as soon as the relations of assistance and 


fidelity, obedience and protection, became weakened, society 
— or rather the feudal government — no longer presented 
anything but the aspect of an army given up to license, — of 
an army whose officers and soldiers no longer acknowledged 
a head, were no longer subject to direction, and fought at 
hazard under a thousand different standards. 

The vassals depended, in the first place, on the prince, 
because they held their lands and their offices of him. 
These lands and these offices becoming hereditary, their 
holders soon desired to render themselves independent, and 
to arrogate to themselves privileges which only belonged 
to the sovereign ; such as coining money, holding a juris- 
diction, and making war in their own name. From that 
time there remained scarcely any trace of subordination. 

This decline of society, or, rather, this corruption of the 
feudal system, is referrible to the end of the second race. 
Charlemagne, in his endeavours to reestablish the empire of 
the Caesars, committed violence upon the social compact, 
and nis extraordinary efforts exhausted the powers of roy- 
al±}\ The bow which he had too strongly bent, broke in 
the hands of his successors, and his empire crumbled away, 
when no longer sustained by the ascendancy of a great cha- 
racter. Charlemagne wished to emancipate himself from 
the laws of feudalism ; under his feeble successors, feudalism, 
in its turn, was desirous of emancipating itself from the 
crown. The greatest evil of the feudal system was that it 
destroyed all protective power, all tutelary legislation, which 
could watch over the order and safety of society. 

The monarch, despoiled of all authority, could neither be 
the support of innocence nor the avenger of crime ; nor the 
mediator in war, nor the arbitrator in disputes that dis- 
turbed peace. Sovereignty, exercised by every mark who 
wore a sword, was spread everywhere, without any one 
acknowledging its power anywhere ; such was the disorder 
and confusion among those who disputed, sword in hand, for 
the wreck of sovereign power. 

Nothing is more afflicting than this picture ; the excesses 
which accompanied feudal anarchy no one is ignorant of It 
does not form part of our plan to speak of it to any extent ; 
the task we have to perform is a less painful one : if we turn 
our looks towards old times, it is only in order to discover 


the origin of our institutions ; and among the revolutions oi 
a barbarous age, we have only to make known what they 
produced that is salutary and durable. Before we proceed 
further, and in order to mix a few consolatory ideas with 
sad and painful images, we will show, by the side of the 
abuses of feudalism, the advantages contemporary society 
received from the feudal system, and the happy germs of 
civilization which grew from it for the benefit of following 

If the feudal government contained sources of disorder, it 
prevented disorder being carried to its height, and the evil 
from remaining without remedy. If it favoured anarchy 
and civil wars, it preserved Europe from the fury of con- 
querors, and from that of despotism. Vassals did not will- 
ingly consent to leave their lands ; they were only bound 
to follow their sovereign to war for a stipulated time. This 
condition of the feudal compact, which was general in Eu- 
rope, was found favourable for the defence of territory, and 
placed obstacles in the way of every project of invasion. 
Eorces, spread about in all parts, served to protect every 
country against a foreign enemy, and could not be collected 
anywhere to assist the designs of an ambitious leader. 

At a time in which passions did everything and laws were 
nothing, in which no political interest bound people together, 
what could have prevented a prince from assembling armies 
and ravaging Europe ? What could have prevented a con- 
queror from subduing several kingdoms, and subjecting the 
people to all the excesses of tyranny, supported by the force 
of arms alone ? It was then to the spirit of resistance of the 
feudal nobility that European society owed, in the midst of 
barbarism, the advantage of not becoming a prey to Eastern 
despotism, and security from wars of invasion. 

Feudalism had rights and privileges to defend ; the defence 
of these rights and privileges naturally led to ideas of inde- 
pe nice, and these ideas of independence spread in the end 
through all classes of society. It must not be forgotten that 
the English barons established liberty in their country, whilst 
defending the privileges and rights of the feudal compact. 

The reciprocity of obedience and protection, of services 
and duties, kept alive some generous sentiments. Erom 
feudal relations was born that spirit of devotion and respect 


for the sovereign which is neither rhe blind submission of 
the slave, nor the reasonable submission of the republican, 
This sentiment, which was considered, up to modern times, 
as the conservative principle of society in monarchies, be- 
came particularly the distinctive character of the French 

The history of the crusades presents us with several 
examples of this devotion of the barons and knights to their 
monarch. When the kings of France who took the cross, 
were in any dangers in the East, what proofs of respect and 
love did they not receive from the gallant knights who 
accompanied them ? What spectacle can be more touching 
than that of the imprisoned army in Egypt, forgetting its 
own captivity to deplore that of Louis IX.! Who is not 
affected at seeing, upon the coast of Africa, the French 
warriors overwhelmed with evils, but finding no tears in 
their miseries but to weep for the death of a king of France ? 

These ties of fidelity, which arose from feudal relations, 
were so powerful over men's minds, that the preachers of 
the crusades sometimes invoked them in their exhortations. 
They preached the duties of feudalism concurrently with 
the precepts of the Gospel, and in order to excite Christian 
warriors to take the cross, they called them " the vassals of 
Jesus Christ." 

It is to the times of the feudal government we must go 
back, to find in all its purity, that susceptibility upon the 
point of honour, that inviolable fidelity to the w r ord, which 
then supplied the absence of laws, and which in polished 
societies often render men better than laws themselves. 
All our ideas of military glory, that boundless esteem which 
we accord to bravery, that profound contempt which, 
amongst us, is attached to falsehood or felony, are to be 
traced to this remote period. Feudalism was so completely 
mixed up with the spirit and character of nations, that 
modern societies have no institutions that have not some 
relation w r ith it ; and we have everywhere traces of it in our 
habits, our manners, and even in our speech. 

Let me be allowed to add here one single observation. 
It is in vain we protest against our origin by our wort 7 -3 ; 
we are incessantly reminded of it by our tastes, by our sen- 
timents, and sometimes by our pleasures. In fact, if, on 


one side, our reason, formed in the school of new ideas, finda 
nothing that is not revolting in the middle ages, why, on 
the other, does our imagination, moved by the spectacle of 
generous passions, delight in representing to itself olden 
times, and mingling with gallant knights and paladins ? 
Whilst a severe philosophy heaps measureless blame upon 
the barbarous customs of feudalism, and the gothic manners 
af our ancestors, how is it that the remembrances which 
these manners and these customs have left us inspire still 
our poets with pictures which appear to us so full of charms ? 
Why are these remembrances revived every day with the 
same success, in our poems, in our romances, and upon our 
stage ? Would it be true to say that there is more patriotism 
in our imagination than in our reason, since the one would 
make us forget the history of our country, and the other 
unceasingly reminds us of it ? 

The crusades assisted in destroying the abuses of the 
feudal system ; they served to preserve all that the system 
inspired of generous sentiments, and concurred at the same 
time in developing that which it contained that was favour- 
able to civilization. We will finish our sketch of the man- 
ners of feudalism and the salutary effects of the crusades, 
by describing the revolution which operated at this time 
upon the different classes of society. The nobility will fix 
our attention in the first place. 

Nobles are found in every nation where the memory of 
ancestors is reckoned for anything. There can be no doubt 
that nobility was common among the Franks and other bar- 
barous people who invaded Europe. But in what point of 
view was this nobility looked upon before the eleventh and 
twelfth centuries ? How was it at first constituted ? Kow 
was the illustration of races transmitted ? We are in pos- 
session of very few monuments to assist in deciding these 
questions ; and when we have thoroughly studied the history 
of the middle ages, we have nothing better to do than to 
imitate the genealogists, who, wh k u embarrassed in explain- 
ing the origin of the most ancient families, content them- 
selves with assigning it to the night-time of the past. 

When we reflect upon the rapidity with which generations 
pass away, and how difficult it is, even in civilized times, for 
most families to make out their own history during a single 


century, can we be astonished that, in times of ignorance 
and barbarism, there have been so few means cf preserving 
the memory of the most illustrious families ? In addition to 
the almost entire absence of written documents, the idea of 
true grandeur, the idea of that which constitutes heroic 
illustration, did no f yet strike men's minds sufficiently for- 
cibly to make them preserve a long remembrance of it.* In 
these barbarous times, men, and even princes, were most 
frequently only distinguished by their physical qualities or 
their bodily defects. To be convinced of this truth we have 
but to glance at the list of kings of the middle ages, in 
which we find the names of Pepin-le-Bref (Pepin the Short), 
Charles-le-Chauve (Charles the Bald), "William-le-Roux 
(William Bufus, or the Bed), Louis-le-Grcs (Louis the 
Pat), Frederick-Barbereusse (Frederick Barbarossa, or Bed 
Beard), and many others, whom their age only designated 
by that which struck their eyes and was obvious to the 
grossest perception. There are few things more curious for 
an observer, than to see how old chronicles make us ac- 
quainted with the personages whose actions they give an 
account of. They never omit in their pictures, either the 
colour of the hair, or the stature, or the countenance of the 
princes and heroes ; and their historical portraits (may I be 
allowed the comparison ?) bear much less resemblance to a 
passage of history, than to those descriptions which are now- 
a-d?ys written upon the passports of travellers. 

If, as a writer has said, entire man was not yet under- 
stood, it cannot be said that virtue was not known, as at 
any other period; but the idea of virtue was then "lost in 
that of duty, and with the single sentiment of duty, which 
was but the voice of conscience or the modest instinct of 
habit, they dreamt not of living in the memory of men.f 
The desire for illustrating a name belongs to a nascent 

* The chronicle of Tours tells us, with the greatest simplicity, that 
Charlemagne was called the Great on account of his great good luck; thus 
historians confounded, as the vulgar do, glory with fortune. 

+ These must be exceedingly remote times, indeed ; such as we have no 
Account of. The oldest poems, the oldest histories, describe no such 
state; the savage tribes of the forest and the desert have something of a 
pride of ancestry, and are known as the sons of their fathers, as well as 
A lilies waa known as Pelides, or Gaul as the son of Morni. — Trans. 


civilization. "When civilization threw forth its first rays, 
moral ideas of greatness were attached to the name of 
ancient families ; and it may be safely said that nobility was 
not truly instituted before the value of glory began to be 
felt. But what is very certain is, that in the crusades 
nobility acquired an eminence that it had never before en- 
joyed. The exploits of nobles in the cause of Christianity, 
were very different affairs from those wars of castle against 
castle, with which they employed themselves in Europe. 
JN'obility from that time found its archives in history, aud 
the opinion the world entertained of its valour became its 
loftiest title. 

If we consult the most authentic facts and the most pro- 
bable opinions, we have reason to believe that the distinc- 
tions of' nobility were at first founded upon great offices, 
but principally upon property. It was for the land or estate 
that, in the feudal system, the oath of fealty or homage was 
taken, and the protection of the sovereign claimed. For the 
man who was not a proprietor there was no contract, no 
privilege ; he had nothing to give, nothing to receive ; in the 
times of JoinviHe, nobles were called rich men. Tn France. 
a great proprietor was, by right, noble ; if he was ruined or 
despoiled, his descendants sank into the crowd again : thus 
had the customs of a barbarous age established it. A. 
strange thing it is, that there are times in which extreme 
civilization can make a nation revert to the same estate as 
extreme barbarism. When political illusions shall be dis- 
persed, and there shall remain nothing but the mere sub- 
stance of society, it is still property, it is the estate which 
will establish pre-eminence and denote ranks. Lands will 
no longer furnish soldiers, but they will pay taxes for the 
support of them ; they will no longer be held by the tenure 
of complying with the duty of feudal aid ; but they will still 
owe the sovereign the support of their influence, in exchange 
for the protection they shall receive from the sovereign 

If, in the middle ages, aristocracy was founded upon land, 
society derived a great advantage from the circumstance; 
for territorial property, which does not change, whicL is 
always the same, preserves the institutions and manners of 
a people better than industrial property, which most fre- 


quently belongs no more to one country than another, and 
which, on that account, bears within itself the germs of cor- 
ruption. If it was for this reason that formerly nobility 
was degraded by giving itself up to the speculations of com* 
merce and industry, it must be agreed that the usage thus 
established, had at least a respectable aim, and arose from 
& salutary principle. * 

Territorial property had then such an influence over the 
iiocial state, that it is quite enough to be acquainted with 
the changes it experienced, to judge of the changes to which 
society was subjected. " As soon as the state of the pro- 
perty of a certain period is discovered," says Robertson, 
" we may determine with precision what was at the same 
time the degree of power then enjoyed by the king or the 
nobility." During the crusades, ecclesiastical and civil laws 
permitted nobles to alienate their domains. A great num- 
ber of them availed themselves of this fatal privilege, and 
did not hesitate to sell their lands ; which displaced pro- 
perty, and consequently power. The nobility thus lost its 
power, and the crown gained that which the aristocracy lost. 

The crusades, however, were not unproductive of good 
fruit for the nobility ; gentlemen acquired principalities in 
the East ; most of the cities of Greece and Syria became 
so many lordships, which recognised as masters counts and 
barons enrolled under the banners of the holy wars ; some, 
still more fortunate, ascended the throne of David, or that 
of Constantine, and took place among the greatest monarchs 
of Christendom. 

The military orders likewise presented the nobility with 
amends for the losses they experienced in ruinous wars. 
These orders had immense possessions in both the West and 
the East ; they were for the European nobility, an asylum in 
peace, and a school of heroism in war. 

It was at this period that the use of surnames was intro- 

* It does not become us, as translators, to enter into controversy with 
our original, otherwise, much might be said in reply to this truly conser- 
vative paragraph. But, as readers of history, we think we may be per- 
mitted to observe, that the advantages pointed out in the first lines of it 
do not appear in the history of Venice. She was never so great or so 
prosperous as when purely mercantile. When territory was acqui"ed, and 
nobility arose, corruption and decay soon followed. — Trans. 

Vol. III.— 13 


duced, and coats of arms were assumed. Every gentleman 
added to his own name the name of his estate, or the title 
of the lordship he possessed ; he placed in his coat of arms 
a sign which distinguished his family and marked his no- 
bility ; genealogy became a science, and consecrated, by its 
researches, the illustration of races. "Whatever value may 
be now-a-days attached to this science, it must be admitted 
that it often threw a great light upon the history of illus- 
trious families, and sometimes upon the general history of a 
country to which these families belonged. 

Everything leads us to believe that the origin of sur- 
names,* but more particularly of coats of arms, is due to the 
Crusaders. The lord stood in no need of a mark of dis- 
tinction when he did not go off his own manor; but he 
became aware of the necessity for distinguishing himself 
from others when he found himself at a distance from home, 
and confounded in the crowd of the Crusaders : a great 
number of families ruined themselves, or became extinct, in 
the holy wars. Such as were ruined attached themselves 
more strongly to the remembrance of their nobility, the 
only wealth that was left them ; after the extinction of 
families, the necessity for replacing them was felt ; it was 
under Philip-le-Hardi that the practice of creating nobles 
was introduced. t As soon as there were new nobles, it 
became of more consequence to be considered ancient 
ones. Property did not appear sufficient to preserve and 
transmit a name which itself became a property, conse- 
crated by history and acknowledged by society. It was 
then that nobility attached more value to marks of distinc- 

* And yet we cannot think that the custom of the Scotch lairds, who 
assume the name of their estates, can be traced to this source, although 
they do it in the same way. It seems probable that the French de, gene- 
rally admitted as a proof of gentility, at least, was adopted upon such an 
occasion ; but even this de is subject to doubt, as implying the lord of the 
estate, country, or city, or the man who raised himself into note from the 
country or city. — Trans. 

f How was it, then, that William of Normandy, on his conquest of 
England, two centuries before, created so many of his knights, earls and 
barons, giving them titles of the places and estates he at the same time 
bestowed? Phiiip-le-Hardi, no doubt, gave the newly-created nobles 
means to support their honours and nobility was connected with uroperty, 
as it had been. — Trans. 


At the end of the feudal government, the nobility, it ia 
true, still constituted, in a great degree, the strength of the 
army ; but it served the state in a new character ; it con- 
formed more with the spirit of chivalry than with that of 
feudalism. A gentleman no longer pail homage to hia 
sovereign for his estate, but he swore upon his sword to be 
faithful to him. 

As soon as feudal services ceased to be required, tne 
nobility increased in zeal for personal service: Kings eagerly 
welcomed them when they were no longer formidable ; thus 
they recovered in the favour of courts a great portion of the 
advantages they had lost. As they still held the first rank 
in society, and preserved a great ascendancy over the other 
classes, they continued, by their example, to polish the spirit 
and the manners of the nation ; and it is by their means par- 
ticularly, that those elegant manners were formed which 
have so long distinguished the French among all the nations 
of Europe. 

It is di^cult, however, to say with precision what the 
nobility gained and what they lost by the changes that were 
effected. Their existence, doubtless, had something more 
brilliant in it, but also something less solid. The honorary- 
prerogatives which they retained, without giving them any 
real strength, armed more jealous passions against them 
than territorial power had done ; for it may be remarked, 
that man's self-love endures riches and power in others, with 
a better grace than it endures distinctions. 

We must add, likewise, that as society progressed, new 
i teans of illustration, new kinds of notability arose ; the 
moral power of opinion, which had been attached exclusively 
to nobility, communicated itself by degrees to those who 
contributed to the prosperity of society by their talents, 
their knowledge, or their industry. 

"We have seen the brilliant side of feudalism ; we have 
now to speak of the state in which the inhabitants of the 
cities and the country groaned. Most of the villages and 
cities depended upon some baron, whose protection they 
purchased, and who exercised an arbitrary jurisdiction over 
them. Man, reduced to servitude, or rather slavery, had no 
law which guarded him against oppression ; the produce of 
his labour, the wages of his sweat, did not belong to him j 


he was hhtself a property which could be claimed anywhere, 
if he fled away from his home. Chained to the glebe, he 
must often have envied the animal who helped him to trace 
the furrow, or the palfrey, the noble companion of his 
master. The serf had no other hope but that which reli- 
gion afforded him, and left nothing to his children but the 
example of his patience in suffering. He could neither 
make a contract during his lifetime, nor a testament av the 
hour of death. His last will was not recognised by law ; it 
died with him. To excuse the barbarity of this gross age, 
we must remember the still more frightful fate of slaves 
among the Greeks and Romans. We have no need to point 
out the obstacles this state of things must have opposed to 
the development of the industry and the social faculties of 
man. Thus the country was covered with forests, and most 
of the cities presented nothing but an aspect of poverty 
and misery. 

The cities of Lombardy, and a great part of Italy, were 
the first places that shook off the yoke of feudalism. The 
emperors of Germany, as we have seen, were almost always 
at variance with the popes. The cities took advantage of 
these quarrels, to arrogate rights which no one disputed. 
Others purchased them of the emperors, who believed they 
made a good bargain when they sold that which they had not 
the power to refuse. Towards the middle of the eleventh 
century, the clergy and nobility had already no more influ- 
ence in the cities of Italy. According to the evidence of 
Otho of Freisengen, a contemporary author, Italy was full 
of free cities, all of which had obliged their bishops to re- 
side within their walls ; there was scarcely a noble who was 
not subject to the laws and government of a city. In Ger- 
many the cities obtained their freedom at a later period. 
These Germans, who, according to Tacitus, considered 
dwelling in cities as a mark of servitude, not only in the 
end built cities, but sought liberty in them. The cities of 
the Rhine appear to have been made free by the emperors 
in the eleventh century. But most of these cities were 
poor, they contained but few inhabitants, and were not able 
to defend themselves against the German oligarchy. At the 
commencement of the fourteenth century, several free cities. 
enriched by the commerce of the East, and by the commu« 


nieations opened by the crusades, formed a confederation, 
and by that means made their independence respected. 

In England, the spirit of liberty did not take its spring 
before the holy wars ; the cities, with the exception of that 
of London, which had obtained several privileges, scarcely 
dreamt of independence ; the Britons, as in the times of 
Virgil, appeared still separated from the rest of the world, 
It may be said that liberty in the English nation was not 
an affair of locality, but a general affair, which was to be 
decided at a later period. 

In Spain, the war against the Moors, as we have already 
said, favoured the independence of the commons. We are 
in possession of historical documents of the eleventh cen- 
tury, which prove that several Spanish cities enjoyed certain 
immunities at this period. But the first of these cities which 
were summoned to the Cortes, urged by a spirit of jealousy, 
refused to admit the others, which was very injurious to the 
development and progress of liberty in Spain. 

In the south of France, the archives of the communes 
present us with some traces of liberty, a long time before 
the period of the crusades. The influence of a fine climate, 
the vivacity which animated the inhabitants, with some tra- 
ditions of the Roman law, preserved, in the provinces which 
border on Spain and Italy, habits of independence which 
might serve as models or examples. When the kings of 
France thought of enfranchising some communes, it was 
from the south of the kingdom they must have taken the 

These enfranchisements of the southern cities, however, 
were rather consecrated by custom than by positive laws. 
According to the best opinions, the formal and legal enfran- 
chisement of communes in France dates from Louis-le-Gros, 
who granted privileges to some cities situated within the 
domains of the crown. The example of Louis-le-Gros was 
followed by Louis VII. and Philip Augustus. A great 
number of 'cities saw all sorts of slavery excluded from their 
walls, chose their own magistrates, levied their own taxes, 
kept up a military force, and had a jurisdiction entirely their 
own. Such was the first blow given in France to the feudal 

Before this period it was customary to implore the aid c4 


the barons against violence and robbery. This support wai 
abandoned as soon as another tutelary power arose. The 
serfs, and even the freemen, who had at first sought safety 
in castles, soon sought it in cities, against their former 
protectors, the castellans ; the first engagements of the 
inhabitants of cities were mutual defence and reciprocal 

The liberty of cities began by the corporations ; men could 
only be strong when united. This necessity for union in 
moments of crisis or peril is so natural, that when society 
is disturbed, factions and parties are formed which are like 
corporations. The spirit of a public body, or the spirit of 
party, in whatever way it may be considered, holds essen- 
tially with the social character. Liberty was much more 
considered in relation with the community than in relation 
with individual man ; it was considered a benefit that could 
only be enjoyed in common. Thus society did not find 
itself subordinate to the individual, but the individual to 
society. Isolated man could do nothing ; strength lay with 
the association, which effectually protected the rights of all, 
and watched over the conservation of individual liberty and 
public liberty. 

When cities situated within the royal domains had ob- 
tained their franchises, the spirit of independence soon pos- 
sessed the other cities of the kingdom. The communes 
which succeeded in gaining their enfranchisement, did not 
all obtain the same advantages ; they were, more or less, 
favoured by circumstances. Here, liberty was purchased of 
the lord ; there, the yoke was shaken off by force ; in other 
places, treaties were effected, in which the spirit of Liberty 
and feudal power made mutual concessions. 

During the crusades, the long absence of the barons must 
have multiplied, for the communes, opportunities of enfran- 
chising themselves. Most of the lords who ruined them- 
selves for the holy wars, exchanged, for the money of which 
they stood in need, all their rights over the cities which 
depended upon them — rights which they yielded the more 
willingly from hoping to win principalities in Asia. 

This enfranchisement of communes produced a very dif- 
ferent effect for the great vassals and the crown. It weak- 
ened the authority of the lords, because the spirit of liberty 


was against them ; it increased the royal authority, because 
the cities which were free, or had a desire to be so, looked 
to the king. Cities, when their independence was threatened, 
implored the king's protection. We find in old chronicles, 
that Philip Augustus granted letters of protection to cities 
dependent upon barons. Thus kings became the hope of 
all the communes of the kingdom, and liberty supported 
itself by royalty. This is why the cities of France, to de- 
fend their franchises, formed no league, as they did in other 
countries ; for they found a natural defence in royal power. 

The revolution which was destined to destroy feudalism, 
appeared to act as of itself. There is, in the possession of a 
newly-acquited good, a restlessness, an anxiety, a fear of 
losing it, which kept the communes always on the alert ; 
there is, on the contrary, in the possession of an anciently- 
acquired good, an indolent security, which did not permit 
the barons to see the true state of things. The lords only 
opposed new ideas by a short-sighted disdain, and believed 
they had lost nothing as long as they retained their swords 
by their sides. 

If, however, we may judge by the complaints of Gruibert, 
abbot of Nogent, a contemporary historian, the enfranchise- 
ment of the communes met with some opposition. There 
was no want of sour spirits, who considered it a dangerous 
and destructive innovation. But we may believe that these 
complaints were only inspired by that natural repugnance 
which the greater part of men entertain for seeing anything 
change which is consecrated by time, and by that vague mis- 
trust which novelty produces, under whatever form it may 
appear. The truth is, that nobody knew, or could possibly 
judge, of the extent of the changes that were then in opera- 
tion. Re volutions, whatever may be their object or their 
character, are never thoroughly understood before they have 
finished their course, and never reveal their secret at their 

A century after Louis-le-Gros, Louis VIII. pretended to 
have the right of immediate sovereignty over all the com- 
munes. This was a signal for all the cities to complete their 
emancipation from the barons ; this was the mortal blow to 
the feudal aristocracy. This great revolution of the social 
state went on so rapidly, that history can with difficulty 

288 history or THE crusades. 

follow its progress, and cannot assign the part which the 
crusades bore in it. 

Happy had it been for society if that spirit of liberty 
which then set it in motion, and which advanced without 
ceasing, sowing blessings and evils on its route, had pro- 
duced none but wise institutions ; if, always confined within 
just bounds, it had not frequently kindled bloody discords, 
and had not at last mingled itself with the blind passions of 
the multitude ! What a picture were that which should 
exhibit the consequences of this revolution up to modern 
times, which should represent monarchy rising from the 
ruins of feudalism and then itself succumbing in a new 
revolution ! What a subject for serious thoughts in the his- 
torian, when, embracing with a rapid gianoe ancient and 
modern times, he sees the two most active forces of society, 
at the revival of civilization, — royalty and liberty, marching 
constantly one towards the other, demanding of each other 
reciprocal support, overthrowing all the barriers that sepa- 
rated them, destroying all they found in their passage ; at 
last, after several ages of endeavours, meeting face to face 
upon the ruins accumulated round them, taking each other 
at first sight for enemies, declaring war against each other, 
and falling together on the same field of battle ! # 

God forbid that I should here be thought to present dis- 
couraging images ! I have only wished to show the fragility 
of human affairs, and the want of foresight in those who 
direct societies. The revolution we have beheld is, perhaps, 
l^ss the work of liberty than of the equality which is seen 
to figure, for the first time, in the political world. 

This equality, such as the moderns have constituted it, 
was scarcely known in the ancient republics, of which the 
language had no word to express it. The first book that 

* In this suggestive passage we are sorry to find the prejudices of our 
original inducing him to give a false colouring to his picture. Monarch3 
granted no immunities to the people out of love for either liberty or the 
people, but to gain their assistance against their enemies, the great vassals 
or barons — thence the consequences ; the principle was carried so far, 
that the monarch was elevated into the despot ; and then another change 
ensued ; when his power was so complete that his old enemies looked upon 
him as the source of all honours and riches, they united with him ; both 
joined in their endeavours to oppress and plunder the peopie ; and thev 
came the last phase. — Trans. 


spoke of equality was the Gospel. Christianity constantly 
represents all men as equal before God. The object of the 
Gospel was to lower the pride of the great ; which was salu- 
tary. I know not what false philosophy made use of equality 
to raise the pride of the low ; — -and then society was shaken 
to its very foundations. 

The great revolution which has been effected in the man- 
ners and laws of Europe, and which began at the times oi 
the crusades, may be divided into two principal epochs. At 
first it was desirable to wrest from the feudal lords a power 
which they abused: that was the first epoch, — that w r as the 
revolution of liberty. When the feudal lords had nothing 
left but distinctions, these distinctions irritated pride and 
jealousy, which, in the end, persuaded themselves that every 
political superiority was a tyranny, which must be brought 
low. This was the second epoch, — the revolution of 
equality ; much more terrible than the first, because it had 
for motive, passions much more difficult to satisfy than the 
love of liberty. 

But the peasants and serfs of the country, whilst the 
cities were in the enjoyment of liberty, still groaned in 
slavery. Up to the fourteenth century, this numerous class 
found no abatement in the rigours of their servitude. The 
greatest advantage the crusades could have bestowed upon 
the peasants, was the momentary cessation of brigandage, 
and the peace which reigned in the country, all the time the 
wars against the Saracens were being carried on. 

It is probable that serfs in Europe were not better treated, 
according to the legislation and customs of the West, than 
they were in the Holy Land, according to the Assizes of 
Jerusalem. There is no doubt that peasants taken from the 
glebe for the crusade became free men ; but most of them 
perished by misery or by the swords of the Mussulmans. 
What became of the few who revisited their homes cannot 
be ascertained. 

A population dispersed and scattered about a countr} r did 
not present, as in cities, a formidable mass, capable of re- 
sistance. Peasants rarely communicated with each other, 
and could not support any demand, or establish any common 
right. Man requires some intelligence to make him sensible 
of the advantages of liberty, and the peasant class was then 



brutified by ignorance. We must likewise add, th;,fc the love 
of independence came with riches ; and this is why it arose 
earlier in cities than in the country, and earlier in nourishing 
cities than in poorer ones. The serfs of the country were 
poor; they would not have known what use to make of 
liberty. Liberty is of little value to him who is in want of 
the first necessaries of life. Among warlike and barbarous 
hordes, who entertained a repugnance for labour, it was 
natural that they should be despised who gave themselves 
up to the painful toil of cultivating the earth. This repug- 
nance was necessarily more strong among nomad nations, 
like those that conquered Europe. The contempt felt in the 
middle ages for the peasantry was injurious to their liberty ; 
and this .contempt even survived their servitude. People 
felt, in some sort, forced to treat as slaves men who per- 
formed a task which was considered necessary, but which 
every free man disdained. 

The inhabitant of the country, abandoned to his own re- 
sources, did not aspire to independence ; the only good he 
could pretend to was the choice of slavery. As the Church 
inspired more confidence than the nobles, a crowd of unfor- 
tunate beings took refuge, in a manner, at the foot of the 
altars, and devoted their liberty and that of their children 
to this church or that monastery, to which they looked for 
protection. Nothing is more curious than the formulaB by 
which the clergy received this sacrifice of individual liberty. 
They congratulated the new serfs with having preferred 
"the domination of Jesus Christ to the liberty of the age ;" 
they added, that "to serve Grod was to reign," and tuai 'a 
holy servitude was true independence." These words must 
have been in harmony with the manners and ideas of tie 
times, since a multitude of men and women wei e seen every 
day flocking to the monasteries, and conjuring the Church 
to admit them among "the serfs of Jesus Christ." That 
they should believe themselves, on that account, much more 
free than other men, we may at the present day be asto- 
nished ; but was there not a sort of liberty in wearing chains 
they had chosen, and with which they had fettered them- 
selves ? 

Some free cities of Germany contributed to the enfran- 
chisement of the peasants of their territory. The same 


thing happened in Italy and in Spain, where the territory 
of cities was considerable ; in England, the peasantry waited 
a long time for any amelioration of their fate. But nothing 
is more difficult than to ascertain with certainty the destiny 
which, during many ages, this multitude of men who covered 
the plains of Europe underwent ; in the darkness of the 
middle ages, n imberless generations of serfs passed over the 
earth, withoul "leaving any traces in history. We can with 
difficulty catch, in old chronicles and acts of administration, 
here and there a few scattered gleams to throw a light upon 
our researches. 

In France, it is not till the commencement of the four- 
teenth century that any ordinances of the kings upon the 
enfranchisement of the serfs are to be found. In an ordi- 
nance ol 1315, Louis X. made use of these remarkable 
words : " Many persons among our common people are 
enchained in the bonds of servitude, which displeases ua 

greatly Our kingdom," he added, "is called and 

named the kingdom of the Franks ; we are desirous that the 
thing should in truth be in accordance with its name," &c. 
In this ordinance, made only for the royal domains, the king 
of France pressed the nobles to follow his example. We 
are in possession of a letter-patent of the same king, by 
which commissaries were commanded to transport them- 
selves to the bailiwick of Senlis, and " to give freedom to all 
who required it," on condition, nevertheless, of paying a 
sum for the rights of servitude, which reverted to the crown. 

All the historical documents of this period prove, more 
and more, that the kings had placed themselves at the head 
of the general movement of society. In all they then did, 
their motive, doubtless, was to reestablish order in the king- 
dom, and to found their authority upon the protection 
granted to those who suffered from the violences and ex- 
cesses of feudal anarchy. If, however, we may judge by the 
ordinance just quoted, and by many other similar ones, their 
policy was not always disinterested, and, like most of the 
barons, they sometimes sold rather than granted the freedom 
of the serfs and the communes. 

Many peasants showed themselves but little disposed tc 
receive a liberty which was tc be sold to them. Some from 
poverty, others from mistrust, a great number from unwil 


lingness to change their condition, refused the benefit that 
was offered to them. Such is the spirit of man, that they 
resolved to remain serfs, because they were condemned to be 
such no longer. In several provinces, even disorders were 
created by their resistance. This was slaves fighting, with 
their chains, against Liberty herself. At a later period, the 
jaquerie proved that it was more easy to kindle the passions 
of a gross people, than to make them free ; and that it was 
far, as regarded the serfs, from impatience under the yoke 
and hatred for their masters, to the true love of liberty. 

When we are desirous of breaking the chains of the mul- 
titude, it is never to the multitude that we must address 
ourselves ; in order that the fate of the lower classes should 
be ameliorated, the amelioration must come from the superior 
classes, by whom knowledge is spread and institutions are 
established. This is what happened at the period of which 
we are speaking. The servitude of the country was much 
softened by the maxims of the clergy, but more particularly 
by the influence of that French magistracy which had arisen 
contemporaneously with civilization. 

In the middle of the fifteenth century, some serfs of 
Catalonia, who had taken refuge in France, being claimed by 
their lords, the parliament of Thoulouse declared that every 
man who entered fnto the kingdom crying France ! became 
free. Mezerai,* who relates this fact, adds : " Such is the 
kingdom of France, that its air communicates liberty to 
those who breathe it, and our kings are so august that they 
only reign over free men." 

At the beginning of the sixteenth century, scarcely a trace 
of servitude could be found in the cities or the country. 
History could but applaud this revolution, if the fall even of 
feudalism, whilst destroying ancient abuses, had not placed 
governments in antagonism with difficulties which had not 
been foreseen, and whose consequences were destined to be 
deplorable. When the feudal government, which cost the 
people nothing,t was quite overthrown, it became necessary 

* And yet he lived under Richelieu, in the nominal reign of Louis XIII., 
and in the reign of Louis XIV. ! — Trans. 

f Most political economists cail man's labour property; M. Michaud 
has shown that the bulk of the people, under the feudal system, paid 
society labour, life, and liberty ; and yet lie calls these nothing .' — Trans- 


fco provide for the expenses of a new administration ; when 
the state had lost the defenders which the feudal laws pro- 
vided for it, others were to be sought, and their services t<* 
be remunerated. Thence came the necessity for stipendiary 
armies and regular and permanent taxes. To provide tho 
money wanted, the coinage was debased, the Jews were per- 
secuted, violence was had recourse to, and justice was sold, — 
all of which tended to corrupt both the government and the 
nation. The embarrassment of the finances, and the dis- 
orders it produced, have only increased up to the present 
day. To remedy this, the moral strength and life of society 
have often been neglected, and means of raising money have 
constituted the whole policy of states. To have credit, or 
not to have it, that is, now-a-days, life or death for govern- 
ments. Credit, deficit, bankruptcy, are three words, of which 
the ancients and the middle ages were quite ignorant ; but 
which are now constantly present to the restless, uneasy 
minds of kings and ministers. These three words will per- 
haps one day be sufficient to explain the decline and fall of 

Whatever was the weight of the public impositions, it 
must be allowed that the taxes gave rise to more frequent 
relations between governments and the people, which proved 
advantageous to liberty. People gave more attention to the 
administration which they paid for with the fruit of their 
industry and labour. Sovereigns had more consideration for 
the different classes of citizens of whom they demanded tri- 
bute ; and were constrained to consult them in certain cir- 
cumstances, in order that the people, says Pasquier, might 
not have occasion to be dissatisfied or murmur. The origin 
of representative government, as it exists in many European 
nations in our days, has been sought for in remote times ; 
but everj'thing leads us to believe that it owed its birth to 
the relations which the wants of states and the necessity for 
taxes naturally established between peoples and govern- 

That which most increased the embarrassments of tho 
majority of European monarchies, after the fall of feudal- 
ism, was the excessive enlargement of their military esta- 
blishments. At the moment I am writing, there is na 
necessity to point out this fearful re :k of modern societies 


It is not a century since Montesquieu predicted that Europe 
would perish by its armies.* God grant that this prophecy 
be not about to be accomplished! The military force of 
Europe has given us reason to dread all the evils it was 
intended to prevent. It was to defend every kingdom from 
foreign invasions ; and yet there is not a kingdom in Europe 
that has not been invaded, or threatened with invasion. It 
was deemed necessary to restrain the multitude by means 
of armies ; and armies have been raised to such numbers of 
men, that they have become the multitude itself under arms. 
Can it be true, as has been said, that there is no remedy for 
this evil ? Deplorable state of things, without which society 
cannot last, with which it cannot exist ! 

The crusades have been reproached with having given 
birth to the idea of imposts ; this idea is too simple not to 
have arisen without the help of the crusades.f It is pro- 
bable that the manner in which the tenths were collected 
for the holy war, might serve as a model for those who after- 
wards established regular contributions. As to regular 
armies, the expeditions to the East might furnish the first 
idea of them. It is certain that these distant expeditions 
changed the conditions of the feudal service, and accustomed 
people to see permanent armies maintained and commanded 
by princes. 

Among the institutions which contended with the bar- 
barism of the middle ages, w r e will, in the first place, consider 
chivalry, the exploits of which are much better known than 
its origin. At a time when everything was decided by force, 
and everything was determined by the sword ; — in which, as 
Montesquieu says, to judge was to fight — women, children, 
and orphans were not able to defend their rights, and were 
abandoned a prey to iniquity. Generous warriors came 
forward to defend them ; their devotion was applauded, — 
their example was followed. Shortly the order of Paladins 
was formed, who perambulated the world, seeking for wrongs 
to redress, and felons to combat with. Such was, doubtless, 
the origin of chivalry, which is so uselessly sought for in the 

* I do not recollect this prediction ; but I perfectly remember Montes- 
quieu foretells that France will perish by the sword. — Trans. 

t What can this mean ? Taxation is as old as governments of an? 
kind. — Trans. 


forests of Germany. This institution sprang from the ex- 
treme disorder of society, and arose like a bulwark, which 
human generosity opposed to the irruptions of license, and 
the passions of a barbarous age. 

Chivalry was known in the West before the crusades. 
These wars, which appeared to have the same aim as chivalry, 
— that of defending the oppressed, serving the cause of God, 
and combating with infidels, — gave this institution more 
splendour and consistency, — a direction more extended and 

Religion, which mingled itself with all the institutions anc? 
all the passions of the middle ages, purified the sentiments 
of the knights, and elevated them to the enthusiasm of 
virtue. Christianity lent chivalry its ceremonies and its 
emblems, and tempered, by the mildness of its maxims, the 
asperities of warlike man: ers. 

Piety, bravery, and modesty were the distinctive qualities 
of chivalry : " Serve God, and he will help you ; be mild and 
courteous to every gentleman, by divesting yourself of all 
pride ; be neither a flatterer nor a slanderer, for such people 
seloom come to great excellence. Be loyal in words and 
deeds ; keep your word ; be helpful to the poor and to 
orphans, and God will reward you."* Thus said the mother 
of Bayard to her son ; and these instructions of a virtuous 
mother comprised the whole code of chivalry. 

The most admirable part of this institution was the entire 
abnegation of self, — that loyalty which made it the duty of 
every knight to forget his own glory, and only publish the 
lofty deeds of his companions in arms. The deeds of valour 
of a knight were his fortune, his means of living ; and he 
who was silent upon them was a robber of the property of 
others. ^ Nothing appeared more reprehensible than for a 
knight to praise himself. " If the squire," says le Code 
des Preux, " be vain-glorious of what he has done, he is not 
worthy to become a knight." An historian of the crusades 
offers us a singular example of this virtue, which is not 

* Servez Dieu, et il vous aidera : soyez doux et courtois a tout gentil 
homme en otant de vous tout orgueil ; ne soyez flatteur ne rapporteur \ 
car telles manieres de gens ne viennent pas a gran le perfection. Sovcjk 
loyal en faits et en dits ; tenez votre parole ; soyez secourables a pauviet 
et orphelins, et Dieu vous le guerdonnera. 


entirely humility, and might be called the false modesty of 
glory, when he describes Tancred checking his career in 
the field of battle, to make his squire swear to be for ever 
silent upon his exploits. 

The most cruel insult that could be offered to a knight, 
was to accuse him of falsehood. Want of truth, and perjury, 
were considered the most shameful of all crimes. If op- 
pressed innocence implored the succour of a knight, woe to 
him who did not respond to the appeal ! Sham* followed 
every offence towards the weak, and every aggression towards 
an unarmed man. 

The spirit of chivalry kept up and strengthened among 
warriors the generous sentiments which the military spirit 
of feudalism had given birth to : devotion to his sovereign 
was the first virtue, or rather the first duty, of a knight. 
Thus in overy state of Europe grew up a young military 
power, always ready for fight, and always ready to sacrifice 
itself for prince or for country, as for the cause of justice 
and innocence. 

One of the most remarkable characteristics of chivalry, 
and that which at the present day most strongly excites our 
surprise and curiosity, was the alliance of religious senti- 
ments with gallantry. Devotion and love, — such was the 
principle of action of a knight : God and the ladies, — such 
was his device. 

To form an idea oS the manners of chivalry, we have but 
to glance at the tournaments, which owed their origin to it, 
and which were as schools of courtesy and festivals of bravery. 
At this period, the nobility were dispersed, and lived isolated 
in their castles. Tournaments furnished them with oppor- 
tunities for assembling ; and it was at these brilliant meet- 
ings that the memory of ancient gallant knights was revived, 
— that youth took them for models, and imbibed chivairio 
virtues by receiving rewards from the hands of beauty. 

As the ladies were the judges of the actions and the bra- 
very of the knights, they exercised an absolute empire over 
the* minds of the warriors ; and I have no occasion to say 
that this ascendancy of the softer sex threw a charm over 
the heroism of the preux and the paladins. Europe began 
to escape fr )m barbarism from the moment the most weak 
commanded the most strong, — from the moment when th© 


lore of glory, when the noblest feelings of the heart, th6 
fcenderest affections of the soul, everything that constitutes 
the moral force of society, was able to triumph over every 
other force. 

Louis IX., a prisoner in Egypt, replies to the Saracens, 
that he will do nothing without Queen Marguerite, " who is 
his lady." The orientals could not comprehend such defer- 
ence ; and it is because they did not comprehend this defer- 
ence, that they have remained so far in the rear of the nations 
of Europe, in nobleness of sentiment, purity of morals, ana 
elegance of manners. 

Heroes of antiquity wandered over the world to deliver it 
from scourges and monsters ; but these heroes were not 
actuated by religion, which elevates the soul, nor by that 
courtesy which softens the manners. They were acquainted 
with friendship, as in the cases of Theseus and Pirithous, 
and Hercules and Lycas ; but they knew nothing of the 
delicacy of love. The ancient poets take delight in repre- 
senting the misfortunes of certain heroines abandoned by 
their lovers ; but, in their touching pictures, there never 
escapes from their plaintive muse the least expression of 
blame against the hero, who thus caused the tears of beauty 
to now. In the middle ages, or according to the manners of 
chivalry, a warrior who should have imitated the conduct of 
Theseus to Ariadne, or that of the son of Anchises towards 
Dido, would not have failed to incur the reproach of 

Another difference between the spirit of antiquity and 
the sentiments of the moderns is, that among the ancients 
love was supposed to enervate the courage of heroes ; and 
that in the days of chivalry, the women, who were the 
judges of valour, constantly kept alive the love of glory and 
an enthusiasm for virtue, in the hearts of trie warriors. We 
find in Alain Chartier, a conversation of several ladies, who 
express their opinions upon the conduct of their knights, 
who had been present at the battle of Agincourt. One ol 
these knight had sought safety in flight, and the lady of his 
thoughts exclaims : " According to the law of love, I should 
have loved him better dead than alive." In the first cru- 
sade, Adela, countess of Blois, wrote to her husband, who 
waj» gone to the East with Godfrey of Bouillon : " Beware 

298 HISTOET or THE cbusades. 

of meriting the reproaches of the brave." As the count oi 
~b\ois returned to Europe before the taking of Jerusalem, 
his wife made him blush at his desertion, and forced him to 
return to Palestine, where he fought bravely, and found a 
glorious death. Thus the spirit and the sentiments of 
chivalry gave birth to prodigies equally with the most ardent 
patriotism of ancient Lacedaemon ; and these prodigies ap- 
peared so simple, so natural, that the chroniclers only repeat 
them in passing, and without testifying the least surprise at 

This institution, so ingeniously called " Fountain of 
courtesy, which comes from God," is still much more ad- 
mirable when considered under the all-powerful influence of 
religious ideas. Christian charity claimed all the affections 
of the knight, and demanded of him a perpetual devotion 
for the defence of pilgrims and the care of the sick. It was 
thus that were established the orders of St. John, of the 
Temple, of the Teutonic Knights, and several others, all 
instituted to combat the Saracens and solace human miseries. 
The infidels admired their virtues, as much as they dreaded 
their bravery. Nothing is more touching than the spectacle 
of these noble warriors, who were seen by turns in the field 
of battle and in the asylum of pain ; sometimes the terror 
of the enemy, and as frequently the consolers of all who 
suffered. That which the paladins of the West did for 
beauty, the knights of Palestine did for poverty and mis- 
fortune. The former devoted their lives to the ladies of 
their thoughts ; the latter devoted theirs to the poor and the 
infirm. The grand-master of the military order of St. John 
took the title of " Guardian of the poor of Jesus Christ," 
and the knights called the sick and the poor " Our lords." 
It appears almost an incredible thing, but the grand-master 
of the order of St. Lazarus, instituted for the cure and the 
relief of leprosy, was obliged to be chosen from among the 
lepers.* Thus the charity of the knights, in order to be 

* Le Pere Helyct, in his Histoire des Ordres Monastiques, vol. i. 
p. 263, expresses himself thus, when speaking of the order of St. Laza- 
rus : — " What is very remarkable is, that they could only elect as grand- 
master, a leprous knight of the hospital of Jerusalem, which lasted up tc 
the time of Innocent IV., that is to say, about the year 1253, when, 
having, been obliged to abandon Syria, they addressed the pontiff, and 


fche better acquainted with human miseries, in a manner 
ennobled that which is most disgusting in the diseases of 
man. Did not this grand-master of St. Lazarus, who wai 
obliged himself to be afflicted with the infirmities he was 
called upon to alleviate in others, imitate, as much as is 
possible on earth, the example of the Son of God, who 
assumed a human form in order to deliver humanity ? 

It may be thought that there was ostentation in so great 
a charity ; but Christianity, as we have said, had subdued 
the pride of the warriors, and that was, without doubt, one 
of the noblest miracles of the religion of the middle ages. 
All who then visited the Holy Land could but admire in 
the knights of St. John, the Temple, and St. Lazarus, their 
resignation in suffering all the pains of life, their submis- 
sion to all the rigours of discipline, and their docility to the 
least wish of their leader. During the sojourn of St. Louis 
in Palestine, the Hospitallers having had a quarrel with 
some Crusaders who were hunting on Mount Carmel, the 
latter brought their complaint before the grand-master. 
The head of the Hospital ordered before him the brothers 
who had outraged the Crusaders, and to punish them, con- 
represented to him, that always having had, from their foundation, a 
leprous knight for grand-master, they found themselves in the impossi- 
bility of electing one, because the infidels had killed all the leprous 
knights of their hospital at Jerusalem. For this reason, they prayed the 
pontiff to allow them to elect, for the future, as grand-master, a knight 
who had not been attacked by leprosy, and who might be in good health ; 
and the pope referred them to the bishop of Trascate, that he might accord 
them this permission, after having examined if that could be done accord- 
ing to the will of God. This is reported by Pope Pius IV., in his bull of 
•he year 15G5, so extended and so favourable to the order of St. Lazarus, 
by which he renews all the privileges and all the gifts that his predecessors 
had granted to it, and gives it fresh ones. Here is what he says of the 
election these knights ought to make of a leprous grand-master : — Et 
Innocentius IV., per eum accepto, quod licet de antiqua approbata, et 
•iaeterius pacifice observata consuetudine obtentum esset, ut miles lepro- 
jus domus Sancti-Lazari Hierosolymitani in ejus magistrum assumeretur ; 
■•erum quia fere omnes milites leprosi dictse domus ab inimicis fidei 
wiserabiliter interfecti fuerant, et hujusmodi consuetudo nequiebat com- 
mode observari : ideirco tunc episcopo Tusculano per quasdam commi- 
srrat, ut, si sibi secundum Deum visum foret expeiiire fratribus ipsia 
lic?ntiam, aliquem militem sanum et fratribus prsedictae domus Sancti- 
Lazari in ejus magistrum (non obstante consuetudine hujusmodi de 
csevu-o eligendi) auctoritate apostolica concederet. 


denmed then? to eat their food on the ground upon theif 
mantles. " It happened," says the sieur de Joinville, " that 
I was present with the knights who had complained, and 
we requested the master to allow the brothers to arise from 
their mantles, which he refused." Thus the rigour of the 
cloisters and the austere humility of cenobites had nothing 
repulsive for these warriors. Such were the heroes that 
religion and the spirit of the crusades had formed. I know 
that this submission and humility in men accustomed to 
arms may be turned into ridicule ; but an enlightened phi- 
losophy takes pleasure in recognising the happy influence 
of religious ideas upon the manners of a society given up to 
barbarous passions. In an age when all power was derived 
from the sword, in which passion and anger might have car- 
ried warriors to all kinds of excesses, what more agreeable 
spectacle for humanity could there be than that of valour 
humbling itself, and strength forgetting itself? 

We are aware that the spirit of chivalry was sometimes 
abused, and that its noble maxims did not govern the 
conduct of all knights. We have described in the history 
of the crusades, the lengthened discords which jealousy 
created between the two orders of St. John and the Temple. 
We have spoken of the vices with which the Templars were 
reproached towards the end of the holy wars. We could 
speak still more of the absurdities of knight-errantry ; but 
our task is here to write the history of institutions, and not 
that of human passions. Whatever may be thought of the 
corruption of men, it will always be true that chivalry, 
allied with the spirit of courtesy and the spirit of Chris- 
tianity, awakened in human hearts virtues and sentiments 
of which the ancients were ignorant. 

That which proves that everything was not barbarous in 
the middle ages is, that the institution of chivalry obtained, 
from its birth, the esteem and admiration of all Christen- 
dom. There was no gentleman who was not desirous of 
being a knight. Princes and kings took honour to them- 
selves for belonging to chivalry. In it warriors came to 
take lessons of politeness, bravery, and humanity. Admira- 
ble school, in which victory laid aside its pride, and grandeur 
it? haughty disdain; to which those who had riches aad 


power came to learn only to make use of them with modera- 
tion and generosity. 

As the education of the people was formed upon the 
example of the higher classes of society, the generous sen- 
timents of chivalry spread themselves by degrees through 
all ranks, and mingled with the character of the European 
nations ; gradually, there arose against those who were want- 
ing in their duties of knighthood, a general opinion, more 
severe than the laws themselves, which was as the code of 
honour, as the cry of the public conscience. What might 
not be hoped from a state of society, in which all the dis- 
courses held in camps, in tournaments, in meetings of war- 
riors, was reduced to these words : " Evil be to him who 
forgets the promises he has made to religion, to patriotism, 
to virtuous love ; evil be to him who betrays his God, his 
king, or his lady?" 

When the institution of chivalry fell by the abuse that 
was made of it, or rather in consequence of the changes in 
the military system of Europe; there remained still in 
European society some of the sentiments it had inspired, 
in the same manner as there remains with those who have 
forgotten the religion in which they were born, something 
of its precepts, and particularly of the profound impressions 
which they received from it in their infancy. In the times 
of chivalry, the reward of good actions was glory and 
honour. This coin, which is so useful to nations, and which 
costs them nothing, did not fail to have some currency in 
following ages. Such is the effect of a glorious remem- 
brance, that the marks and distinctions of chivalry serve 
still in our days to recompense merit and bravery. 

Since it can with truth be said that the crusades added 
some lustre and gave some ascendancy to chivalry, it must 
be agreed that they rendered essential service to humanity. 

If the institution of chivalry was a barrier against license 
and barbarism, the institution of the clergy, founded upon 
more fixed and durable principles, ought to have rendered 
still greater services to civilization. 

The ascendancy and wealth of the clergy placed them on 
an equality with the nobility, in the feudal system ; but it 
must be allowed that the rank assigned them in this ordei 


of tilings was repugnant to their character and to the statb 
of society. AVe do not hesitate to say that the feudal system 
had a tendency to corrupt the institution of the clergy, as 
the clergy corrupted the feudal system. The clergy, in- 
structed in principles of peace, were not fit to carry out the 
conditions of the military regime ; on the other side, the 
military regime was sure to change the pacific manners of 
the clergy. It was not at all uncommon to see prelates 
clad in cuirass and helmet. Sometimes country priests led 
to battle the flock which a religion of peace had confided to 
them. This military spirit in ecclesiastics was much in- 
creased by the crusades, in which their arms were sanctified 
by the object of the war. The clergy, however, never be- 
came sufficiently warlike to fulfil all the feudal engage- 
ments ; and we may add likewise, that they were not always 
sufficiently pacific to fulfil all their religious duties. 

It may be concluded, from what we have just said, that 
the ecclesiastical order and the feudal government would, in 
the long run, repel each other. If we consult the history 
of the middle ages, we shall see that the barons and nobles 
often showed themselves jealous of the power of the clergy, 
and that the clergy, in the end, contributed to the ruin of 
the foundations of feudalism. 

The existence of the clergy underwent many modifications, 
according to times, places, and circumstances. In Italy, 
they enjoyed but very little credit, and took part in most 
popular tactions. In Germany, the high clergy shared with 
the nobility the wrecks of imperial power. In Spain, they 
contributed greatly to the expulsion of the Moors, and the 
spoils of the vanquished added to their wealth. In England, 
the clergy associated themselves with the barons, and con- 
tended with the crown. In France, they attached them- 
selves to royalty, and favoured the constantly increasing 
power of the monarchs. 

If we may judge by the councils which were held during 
the crusades, most of which were occupied with reforming 
ecclesiastical discipline, we have reason to believe that the 
morals of the clergy had then a strong tendency to corrup- 
tion. Old chronicles are particularly severe against the 
Crusaders and the clergy of the East, whom they un- 
ceasingly accuse of outraging morality and religion by their 


excesses. Some of the chroniclers even, like James of Vitry, 
draw such hideous pictures, that they are suspected of in- 
justice, or at least of exaggeration. It is not useless, for 
the sake of historical truth, to remark here, that most of the 
historians of whom we now speak, belonged to the class of 
preachers charged with the task of censuring their age, and 
who were often obliged to darken their colours in order to 
move the multitude. In all times, sacred orators have been 
seen exaggerating the vices it was their object tc combat ; 
and if we were not aware of the charity which animates 
them, we might sometimes mistake their discourses for 
violent satires. This is an observation of which we ought 
not to lose sight whilst reading the chronicles of the middle 
ages, which are almost all drawn up by ecclesiastics, accus- 
tomed by their profession to judge their contemporaries 
with severity. Another observation proved by history is, 
that corruption is spoken of with more bitterness in times 
in which it is scarcely known, than in times in which it has 
become general. In ages in which some ideas of virtue still 
prevail, people accuse themselves ; and in ages quite cor- 
rupted, they praise themselves. 

A chronicle of the time of the first crusades tells us, that 
the iniquities of men had then reached their height ; and, 
what at once characterizes the spirit of the chronicler and 
that of his age, he adds that these iniquities would have 
shortened the duration of the world, " if it had not been 
that some new monastic congregations were formed." In 
fact, during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, more mo- 
nasteries were founded than in all the other centuries of the 
middle ages. The enthusiasm for the holy wars, by exalting 
the imaginations of nations, had produced a mental revolt 
tion ; prodigies were everywhere seen that had never been 
observed till that time ; devotion itself believed that it could 
no longer attain salvation by ordinary ways : whilst a crowd 
of warriors precipitated themselves upon the East, many 
pious souls, to perform penance, sought for private morti- 
fications, and devoted themselves to the rigours of a volun- 
tary exile, or buried themselves in deserts. 

At the head of the monastic congregations which were 
formed at this period, we must place that of the Brothers of 
Mercy, which had its birth in the third crusade, and was in- 


stituted for the purpose of delivering captives. These vene- 
rable cenobites, after the example of the heroes of chivalry, 
sought for victims to console, and for the miserable to suc- 
cour. Like knights, they exposed themselves to a thousand 
dangers, and braved death in the exercise of beneficence and 
charity. It was during the sixth crusade that the two orders 
of St. Dominic and St. Francis arose, orders which, according 
to the expression of the abbot of Usberg, renewed the youth 
of the Church. From the thirteenth century these two 
orders sent missions into the East, and into the north of 
Asia. Whilst the Tartar hordes were overturning empires, 
ravaging Europe, and threatening all Christendom, poor 
priests traversed the solitudes of Tartary, penetrated even 
into China ; and, peaceful conquerors, armed with the Gos- 
pel, extended the empire of Christianity, and planted the 
standard of the cross at the extremities of the known world. 
The religious colonies w r hich they then founded in Asia 
lasted much longer than the colonies founded by the Cru- 

"We will not attempt to enumerate all the services which 
religious communities rendered society. They had regula- 
tions which might serve for models in the infancy of political 
legislation. They were in all respects like the corporations 
of cities. Whilst anarchy disturbed cities, the woods had 
their legislation ; and the germs of civilization developed 
themselves in silence and in solitude. 

It was in monasteries that were found the only schools in 
which letters were taught, and that the Latin language, and 
the wonders it produced, were preserved. It was in them 
that studious men kept a faithful register of events, and 
employed themselves in transmitting to us those historical 
documents without which the glory and the manners of our 
ancestors would be unknown to us. 

Besides that the clergy contributed greatly to the fer- 
tilizing of uncultivated lands, they protected the labourers 
with the whole power of the Church. The Truce of God, 
which was the work of the clergy, placed under the safe- 
guard of Heaven, the inhabitants of the fields, the cxen, the 
companions of their labours, and even the instruments of 
their tillage. The Church went still further ; it multiplied 
the festivals of the calendar, for the sake af the people. By 


augmenting the number of religious solemnities, the Church 
had two motives : the first, to bring more frequently to the 
foot of the altar an ignorant and gross multitude, who thero 
found the instruction necessary for the amelioration of their 
morals and the consolation of their evils ; the second, to pro- 
cure some days of repose for that crowd of serfs, condemned 
by the avarice of their masters to labours which had no end, 
and of which they did not gather the fruit.* 

Amidst wars which revived without ceasing, the peasantry 
often found an asylum near a monastery inhabited by peace- 
ful men, and protected by the. opinions of the times. No- 
thing can prove better the ascendancy of the Church, than 
seeing, on one side, the nobility shut up in their strong 
castles, and on the other, cenobites dwelling in cloisters 
scarcely closed, and defended only by faith and confidence. 
As might be expected, the peace which reigned in the neigh- 
bourhood of monasteries attracted a numerous population 
around them. Many towns, and even cities, owed their 
origin to the vicinity of a monastery, whose name they still 

The maxims of the clergy, more perhaps than their exam- 
ple, contributed to the enfranchisement of serfs. Gregory 
the Great, when giving liberty to some slaves, said that the 
Redeemer came upon earth to release men from slavery, and 
to substitute the rights of the people for the code of servi- 
tude. In the middle ages, many charters of liberty were 

* For serfs this might be a blessing, but for free labour it was com- 
plained of as an evil. La Fontaine's Cobbler, when describing his state 
to the Financier, says : — 

•' Chaque jour amene son pain, 

Tantot plus, tantot moins : le mal est que toujours 

(Et sans cela nos gains seraient assez honnetes), 

Le mal est que dans Tan s'entremelent des jours 

Qu'il faut chomer ; on nous ruine en fetes ; 

L'une fait tort a l'autre ; et monsieur le cure 

De quelque nouveau saint charge toujours son prone." 

[Every day brings its bread ; sometimes more, sometimes sss : the 
worst is that always (and without that our gains would be very tolerable), 
the evil is, that in the year so many days creep in in which we must be 
idle — we are ruined in festivals ; one treads upon the heels of another; 
and master curate is always introducing some new saint into his sermon.] 

Vol. III.— 14 


granted for " the love of God, — for the salvation of the so il, — 
for the remission of sins." It was at the hour of death, and 
by testamentary dispositions, that most enfranchisements 
were granted ; from which we may conclude that it was the 
work of the priests who assisted the dying. The clergy re- 
presented the enfranchisement of slaves as a t~ing agreeable 
to God ; the ceremony of manumission was performed in the 
church as a solemn religious act. It was at the foot of the 
altars that the holy words were pronounced which broke the 
bonds of slavery. Thus everything announced that the 
spirit of the Gospel was everywhere mingled with the pro- 
gress of civilization, and that the liberty of modern nations 
was to be one of the blessings of Christianity. 

There was another mode of gaining liberty, which was by 
entering into holy orders, or to take vows in a monastery. 
So great a number of slaves escaped by that means from the 
yoke of their masters, that this custom was obliged to be 
restrained, and at last entirely abolished, in almost all the 
states of Europe. The crusades often bestowed upon the 
serfs the same privileges that the clergy did. Beneath the 
banners of the cross, serfs found the enfranchisement they 
had before found in monasteries. This facility which peasants 
possessed, of breaking their chains by going to the Holy 
Land, would have depopulated the plains, if new regulations 
had not placed restrictions and limits to it. 

It has been said that the clergy became enriched by the 
crusades. This assertion, which has been so often repeated 
by the writers of the last century, requires to be examined 
by the impartiality of history. The clergy were rich at the 
period of the first crusade. Their enemies accused them for 
a long time of having usurped immense properties. In 
France, under the two first races, their wealth bad given 
umbrage to the barons, who had several times despoiled 
them, under the pretext that they did not defend the state, 
and that the property they held belonged to them whose 
bravery watched over the safety of the kingdom. 

If the crusades enriched the clergy, it might be supposed 
that the clergy would be most rich in countries which took 
the greatest part in the crusades. Now, the clergy of Ger- 
many, and several other states of Europe, surpassed in wealth 
the clergy of the kingdom of Erance, where the crusadea 


excited so much enthusiasm, and caused so many warriors 
to take arms. The clergy, it is true, found new possessions 
in the East ; but, after the crusades, nothing of them was 
}.eft but vain titles. 

The first crusade must have been, as we have said, very 
profitable to the clergy ; they were not obliged to pay the 
expenses of it; the zeal of the faithful furnished them. 
Nevertheless they did take part in this crusade ; and the 
priests who set out, with the other Crusaders, certainly 
did not enrich themselves in their pilgrimage. Many, no 
doubt, shared the fate of Robert, abbot of St. Remi, the his- 
torian of the first crusade, who, on his return from Jeru- 
salem, was expelled by his monks for having ruined his 

At the second crusade, contributions were levied upon the 
churches, without any regard to the warm remonstrances of 
the ecclesiastics. Erom that time an opinion, which became 
very injurious to the clergy, was established throughout the 
Christian world, which was, that wars undertaken for the 
glory of Jesus Christ and the deliverance of the holy places, 
ought to be paid for by the Church. Tributes were at once 
levied upon the clergy, without consulting any other autho- 
rity, or following any other regulations than those of neces- 
sity and circumstances. To reckon from the third crusade, 
after the publication of the Saladin tenth, more regular im- 
posts were established, which were fixed by the popes or 
councils, and which were collected with such rigour, that 
churches were despoiled of their ornaments, and some- 
times the sacred vases were put up to sale. It is true that 
the clergy sometimes received offerings and bequests from 
those who went to the Holy Land, or had made a veto' to 
go ; but what did such tributes of piety amount to when 
compared to the tributes they themselves were compelled to 
pay ? We do not hesitate to affirm that, in the space of two 
hundred years, the clergy paid towards the holy wars more 
money than would have been required to purchase all their 
property : and thus the zeal of ecclesiastics for the deliver- 
ance of the holy places was observed perceptibly to cool ; 
and it may be said that the indifference which followed 
among Christian nations the ardour for the crusades, began 
by the clergy. In Germany, and many other countries, 


their discontent was carried so far, that at last the popes 
did not dare to trust the preaching of crusades to the 
bishops, and only gave this mission to the mendicant orders, 
who possessed nothing, and had nothing to pay for the ex- 
peditions against the infidels.* 

It has been said that the clergy took advantage of the 
crusades to buy at low prices the property of the nobility, 
as, in our days, we have seen many people take advantage of 
a revolution, to purchase at a moderate price the property 
of the clergy themselves. We find, in fact, examples of such 
acquisitions in the first crusades ; but these examples must 
have been more rare in the holy wars, of which the clergy 
were obliged to pay the expenses. f The great advantage 
that the clergy had over the nobility was, that the nobles 
were able to pawn or alienate their possessions, and that 
ecclesiastics were never allowed to pledge or alienate their 
property. Another advantage the clergy possessed was, that 
they formed a body always animated by the same spirit, and 
always governed by the same laws. Whilst everything 
changed around them, they never changed. It was thus 
they resisted the revolution which was effected in property. 

We have seen, that in the twelfth and thirteenth cen- 
turies a great number of monasteries were established. 
By that means wild, uncultivated places became fertile 
lands ; and these conquests made over the desert added to 
the domains of the clergy. We must likewise add, that the 
jurisdiction of the clergy, which every day made fresh pro- 
gress, was for them a source of wealth. It was in the 
nature of things, as we have already remarked, that the most 

* We are constantly withheld, by the respect due from translators to 
originals, from making remarks in opposition to our author, when he lays 
down the historian's pen to get into the philosopher's chair. In the course 
of this chapter, our readers must have observed much reflection that is 
net deep, and some passages that are contradictory of others ; but all has 
one great merit — it is extremely suggestive. — Trans. 

f How could the clergy be said to pay for these wars ? What became 
of the vast sums raised by the sale of indulgences of all kinds ? The 
clergy had the collecting of the offerings of the faithful, which we have 
seen was sometimes profitable. Besides, the barons and knights paid for 
their own and their vassals' equipments as long as they had a coin left j 
then the king or leader, as Louis IX. did, sometimes helped them.-— 


enlightened class should become the richest. The clergy 
had therefore no need of profiting by the ruin of the Cru- 
saders in order to become rich ; their knowledge, their spirit 
of order and economy, with the ascendancy they possessed over 
the people, offered them ample means for increasing or pre- 
serving their possessions. 

Everybody, besides, had reason to rejoice at seeing the 
clergy acquire wealth ; for this wealth belonged to everybody. 
In fact, every man could enter into the clergy, and the clergy 
belonged to all families. This order, so powerful in the 
middle ages, was as a natura. liuk, as an intermediate point, 
which drew together and united all the classes of society. 
In the quarrels which jealousy sometimes raised between the 
clergy and the nobility, the great vassals reproached the 
ecclesiastics with being the children of serfs. It was not 
uncommon to see men who had issued from the lowest class 
of the people, in the highest functions of the Church ; a cer- 
tain proof that the clergy offered every one a way by which 
he might elevate himself, and that they thus assisted in 
reestablishing the harmony destroyed by feudal inequality. 

The clergy — such as our fathers saw it — only now exists in 
the memory of men.* In proportion as this institution, 
with all the advantages we have spoken of, shall be further 
removed from us, we shall perhaps become the more aware 
of its value. There are things of which we judge more 
favourably when memory recalls them to us, than when they 
are present. 

After a revolution which has ruined so many families, in 
which so many hopes have been deceived, — at a time in 
which a numerous youth is crowded in the confined circle of 
public employments, — in which the divers professions, among 
the enlightened class, by no means suffice for the vast number 
of the candidates, — let me ask whether the Church, with its 
riches and its consolatory morality, would not be as a port in 
the storm, — as a refuge always open for those to whom the 
world has nothing to give ? At a time in which everything 
is uncertain, moving, and transitory, — in which no man is 

* This is one of innumerable instances in the course of the work, in 
which the reader must regret that M. Michaud was not aware he was 
writing lor the world ; his views, and, I am sorry to say, his biasses, an 
exclusively French. — Trans. 


sure of his destiny, who but must envy those men whose 
fate never changed, — who lived always in the same manner 
— who saw the present without complaining, — to whom the 
future gave no uneasiness, and who might justly be compared 
to the young ones of the birds, of which Scripture speaks r 
If I durst utter all my thought — and I speak less in the 
name of religion than m the names of philosophy and 
humanity — I should even regret those austere retreats, open 
to piety, and consecrated by peace and prayer. There, at 
least, a shelter was found from the passions which disturb 
society, as they trouble the heart of man. Why, in fact, 
should there not be hospitals for the rnseries of the soul, as 
there are for other human infirmities ? Why are not they 
who have suffered from the storms of life, and whose heart is 
torn by deep wounds, to find a refuge against their ills, as 
well as those whom indigence overtakes, or as well as the 
war-mutilated soldier? Who does not know that great 
revolutions, like great griefs, inspire a desire for concealing 
existence, and seeking repose in solitude ? " When the 
storm growls," says Pythagoras, " worship echo." Let us 
look back to the times which preceded the middle ages, — to 
those times in which the world was ready to fall to pieces 
with the Roman empire : it was at this deplorable epoch that 
the deserts of the Thebais were peopled with pious cenobites, 
who were no longer able to support the spectacle of human 
passions. It was not only simple and vulgar men who flocked 
to the solitudes of Cetteus and Memphis, but learned men, 
warriors, — men who had been seen in the courts of emperors. 
Whilst society was shaken to its foundations, — whilst dis- 
order and corruption spread their baneful influence every- 
where, elevated minds, whom this state of things drove to 
despair, went to bury themselves in retirement, embracing 
the altars of that Christian religion which was the only sup- 
port left to unfortunate virtue, and was the last hope of 

The swords of knights and the maxims of the clergy, as 
we have seen, contended with advantage against the excesses 
of barbarism ; but no institution had yet attained sufficient 
consistence to guarantee the security of European societies. 
In spite of all efforts for the reestablishment of order, 
anarchy still subsisted. In order to know what, either in an 


age or a people, is the spirit of civilization, it is sufficient to 
be acquainted with the progress that has been made in that 
same age, or among that same people, in the administration 
of justice. Of all the monuments the human mind can 
raise, a civil and criminal code is that which requires the 
most extensive knowledge, and the profoundest acquaintance 
with the passions of man. 

In the middle ages, society, immersed in darkness, had 
lost the lessons and examples of antiquity in all which con- 
cerned judicial order ; and found itself, in a manner, reduced 
to the experience of the barbarians. 

When the barons usurped from the crown the right of 
administering justice, there were as many jurisdictions in 
France as there were lordships. Judicial administration 
then lost that spirit of wholeness, that uniformity, which 
gives weight and rectitude to its decisions. Judgment was 
no longer given but according to local customs, or uncertain 
traditions.* When, in the seventeenth century, the judicial 
customs and traditions which had been found in preceding 
ages were collected, there were found two hundred and 
eighty-five of them ; a certain proof that in the times of 
which we speak, there could be no fixed rule, and that 
anarchy had invaded the sanctuary of justice. 

lioyalty could not watch over seignorial jurisdictions, and 
the ordinances of the kings were powerless out of the 
domains of the crown. The great vassals had no mutual 
understanding that might modify or regulate legislation. 
It is a remarkable thing that France, after the decline of the 
empire of Charlemagne, remained more than two centuries 
without recognising any authority to which it could carry its 
griefs and its complaints, — without having, either in the 
person of the monarch or the assemblies of the great, a power 
which could establish regulations, repair injustices, correct 
abuses, and consecrate the maxims of experience. If the 
kingdom was able to subsist for so long a time in this state, 
have we not reason to believe that there is in every society 
an unknown force, which defends that society against its own 
excesses, and saves the people in spite of their passions, — in 
spite of all which seems calculated to bring on their ruin ? 

* Surely he should have added to these, the human passions and mun. 
4ont interests of these ignorant, independent tyrants. — Tkans. 


To decide in civil and criminal causes, there was .10 othef 
guide, no other intelligence, but the instincts and the con- 
science of the judges. These feeble means were not com- 
petent, in complicated cases, to assign to actions their true 
intention, or to appreciate the language of innocence or the 
denegations of crime. All matters were then treated accord- 
ing to verbal conventions, and judged according to unwritten 
testimonies. Words, often ill-interpreted, sometimes par- 
tially effaced from the memory, frequently contradicted or 
falsified, could not enlighten justice. Grood faith was im- 
plored ; the consciences of witnesses and parties were 
appealed to ; but it was too frequently perjury that an- 
swered, and which commanded the decisions of the judges. 
At length, it was believed that an infallible means was dis- 
covered for detecting falsehood and fraud ; an appeal was 
made from the consciences of men to the justice of Heaven. 
He who was accused, he whose evidence was contradicted, 
submitted to the ordeals of fire, boiling water, or red-hot 
iron. It was believed that Heaven would not permit in- 
justice, and that it would rather suspend the laws of nature 
than the laws of society. 

These proofs, however, were abandoned to the vulgar; 
judicial combat was the ordeal of nobles or of freemen. 
This species of justice, in which every warrior had only his 
own valour as the arbiter of his destiny, conformed exceed- 
ingly well with the military spirit of the age. 

So barbarous a custom was generally adopted : not satis- 
fied with having recourse to judicial combat in criminal 
cases, civil questions were subject to its decisions. A gen- 
tleman had not only a right to defy his adversary, he might 
also challenge the witnesses themselves, and force sometimes 
even the judges to descend with him into the arena. Jus- 
tice was then only seen in victory, or rather victory became 
the sole justice. Thus the Franks, in the crusades, often 
expressed their astonishment that God should sometimes 
allow the Mussulmans to conquer the Christians. 

The sword decided everything; the places where justice 
pronounced her decrees resounded with the cries of fury and 
hatred. They were stained, by turns, with the blood of the 
innocent or with the blood of the guilty, as skill, strength, 
or fortune favoured the arms of the combatants. In the 


face of such combats, how was ifc possible to preserve the 
idea of justice or injustice? Must not ferocity of manners 
have increased, and education become unnatural ? 

We ought, however, to remember the circumstances which 
brought about this custom, and which may render it excusa- 
ble in the eyes of enlightened philosophy. In the impos- 
sibility in which the judges often found themselves of ascer 
taining the truth or pronouncing with certainty, fraud, per 
jury, and falsehood triumphed over the laws, and threatened 
to invade the whole of society. No better means could be 
discovered to prevent this misfortune than to territy impos- 
ture and perfidy, by the preparations, " pomp, and circum- 
stance," of a judicial combat. Justice, being unable to 
reveal herself amidst the darkness of barbarism, surrounded 
herself with terrible images, and would only allow her sanc- 
tuary to be approached with mistrust and fear. The terror 
which the idea even of a judicial combat inspired, the uncer- 
tainty of such a judgment, must have prevented many con- 
tests, and that was a great advantage. No other more cer- 
tain means, besides, were to be found to appease quarrels, 
which could not be prolonged without perilling the whole of 
society. In an age in which the passions were mixed with 
everything, it was doubtless important for society that jus- 
tice should terminate debates in an equitable manner ; but it 
was likewise important that these debates should terminate 

At the first aspect, we only see in this custom a privilege 
and a monstrous employment of physical force. But without 
this employment of physical force, the world was perhaps 
likely to become the prey of perjured, faitliless men. We 
ought then to sigh less over this revolting abuse than over 
the state of society in which it appeared necessary, in order 
to prevent abuses still more revolting. It required much 
trouble afterwards to reform the judicial combat. The pre- 
judices most difficult to be destroyed are those in which 
bravery and the point of honour believe themselves interested. 
Neither the power of kings, nor religion, nor philosophy, 
have been able to abolish duels among modern nations ; and 
duels, in some respects, are nothing but the justice which 
was rendered by the sword in the middle ages. 

We have not yet made known all the obstacles which the 


triumpn of justice met with in the manners and customs oi 
these remote times. The absence of laws caused great dis- 
orders ; but the yoke of the laws was more insupportable to 
the barons than anarchy itself. The confidence which the 
barons felt in their arms, rendered them at least indifferent 
to all kinds of legislation. In any society whatever, the 
men who have power or force in their hands are seldom the 
first to appeal to laws ; because nobody can be unjust towards 
them with impunity, and they have always the means of 
doiiw themselves justice.* 

Juaiciai order, as we understand it now-a-days, could be 
nothing, in the twelfth century, but an abstraction which 
did not enter into men's minds. The warlike nobility of 
Europe would have had nothing to do with any kind of jus- 
tice which did not present an image of war. The barons 
could not form an idea that legislation might be a safeguard 
for themselves as well as society. They only felt an injus- 
tice as they felt a wound in the field of battle ; and personal 
resentment was the only motive which animated them to the 
pursuit of the guilty. Equity then scarcely passed for a 
virtue, but revenge was a duty. There were no laws against 
those who were unjust, but there were laws against those 
who did not avenge themselves. 

With these manners and this character, the barons were 
not able to renounce the practice of private wars, which the 
Franks and other barbarians had brought with them into 
Europe. Every noble who fancied himself attacked in either 
his honour or his property, took arms to defend his rights or 
avenge his quarrel. All the relations and vassals of the bel- 
ligerent parties were obliged to take part in the quarrel. 
Fields were ravaged, towns and villages were burnt, and it 
was thus they demanded or rendered justice. During many 
centuries Europe was desolated by these intestine wars. 
Sanguinary discords, which were transmitted from genera- 
tion to generation, became an habitual state, for which cus- 
toms and regulations were invoked ; and whilst society was 
without laws, civil war had its jurisprudence. 

It was not easy to remedy such vast disorders. How 

* Is not there always some such dominant principle in society ? Is 
not money now as powerful as brute force or skill in arms were in tb« 
middle ages ? — Trans. 


could force be disarmed, and despoiled of a prerogative it 
seemed to prefer to all other privileges ? Society, such as it 
then was, had but one single power capable of counter- 
balancing that of the warlike passions which desolated 
Europe ; this was the force of religious ideas and the as- 
cendancy of Christianity. The authority of councils was 
invoked against private wars ; the saints were made to 
speak ; superstition itself was called in ; visions, revelations, 
and prodigies were had recourse to. The Church put forth 
all its threats and launched all its thunders. These means 
sometimes suspended the progress of the evil, but the prin- 
ciple of discord always subsisted. It was not possible to 
put an end to private wars, but they were at length sup- 
pressed during certain days of the week; and all the good 
that such a powerful religion could do was to bring about 
the adoption of the Truce of God. It was here the crusades 
wonderfully seconded the zeal of the clergy. "Whenever 
war was declared against the Saracens, discords were all at 
once appealed, as if by miracle, and Europe remained in 
profound silence before the standard of the cross. 

The efforts of the clergy, however, in conjunction with 
some other favourable circumstances, were destined in the 
end to bring about the triumph of justice and humanity. 
Before civil justice was, established, the Church possessed a 
holy jurisdiction which judged the faithful. This justice 
stood in no need of pursuing the guilty ; the guilty came to 
give themselves up to its judgments : it was not blind, like 
human justice ; the most secret folds of the conscience de- 
veloped themselves before it : it met with no resistance, it 
excited no murmurs ; those whom it condemned, condemned 
themselves. To cause its laws to be executed, and to sanc- 
tion its decisions, it had the power of remorse, the fear of an 
avenging Gk)d, the promises of heaven, the menaces of hell. 
Such was the tribunal of penitence, which, in the absence of 
civil laws, held the place sometimes of other tribunals, and 
watched over public order, as a triumph of religion. A 
tribunal so formidable necessarily increased the influence of 
the clergy, and contributed, no doubt, to extend their juris- 
diction even to affairs in which evangelical morality was 
not at all interested. People, persuaded that all justice 
comes from Grod, were likely to be led to believe that Gk><J 


pronounced his least judgments by the organs of his minis- 
ters upon earth. When the popes were reproached with 
interfering in the policy of princes, they answered that the 
acts of that policy might be sins, and thence these acts came 
under the pontifical jurisdiction. The clergy usurped judi- 
cial authority in civil affahs, as the sovereign pontiffs had 
usurped temporal authority.* In the middle ages the clergy 
declared themselves arbiters of the just and the unjust ; and 
as their jurisdiction was much more favourable to humanity, 
more conformable to reason than that of the barons, it made 
rapid progress. Among the privileges which the popes 
granted to the Crusaders, that of being judged by the eccle- 
siastical laws was placed in the first rank. The clergy took 
advantage of the absence, the death, or the ruin of the 
nobles who were gone to the crusades, to extend their juris- 
diction, as the commons availed themselves of this circum- 
stance to obtain their liberty, and kings to increase their 
power. At last this jurisdiction became so powerful that it 
awakened the jealousy of the feudal nobility. Towards the 
middle of the thirteenth century, the nobles formed a league 
against the clergy, and in a manifesto, which we still pos- 
sess, they demanded that " they should render to Caesar that 
which belonged to Caesar." They forbade their vassals to 
appeal to the ecclesiastical tribunals, except in cases of 

* Nothing has been better said upon the influence of the clergy and 
religion, in the middle ages, than that which we read in a work entitled 
Des Interets et des Opinions, by M. Fievee : — " At a time in which the 
Church imposed public penitences, whilst the tribunals only ordered 
judgments by arms, we cannot see how the high police could not have 
fallen into the hands of the ecclesiastics ; and it was because they alone 
exercised it, that, in the civil wars, fortunate princes confided to the 
monks the guarding cf princes, from whom the fate of battle or treachery 
took the rights they possessed to share the kingdom. It was necessary 
that the void left by the laws should be filled up, or the state would 
perish ; and the priests alone enjoyed a moral authority sufficiently great 
to supply the weakness of legislation ; — exalted passions, more powerful 
virtues, great crimes, great remorse ; a proud independence, salutary 
fears; ar. excess of force, ana no regulations ; cocvage in everything and 
everywhere : such was, at this period, the state of society ; — it is easy to 
perceive that religion alone contended with barbarism." "We regret not 
to be able to quote more than a fragment of a work filled with ingenious 
perceptions and profound views, upon the march of civilization in the 
middle ages. 



heresy, marriage, and usury, and threatened delinquents 
with the loss of their property and the mutilation of a mem- 
ber. " The clerks," added they, " enriched at our expense, 
shall be brought back to the state of the primitive church 
and to a contemplative life, leaving to us the action which 
becomes us, and presenting to us the miracles which we have 
not seen for a long time." 

As the influence of the clergy arose from Christianity, the 
nobles, in their manifesto, wished to claim the advantage of 
having alone converted the Gauls by their arms. All that 
they said in support of this assertion gave reason to predict 
that they would not triumph in a contest in which Victory 
would range herself on the side of knowledge and intel- 

This was not an ordinary war, but a veritable war of 
opinions ; and as the lords had, to sustain it, nothing but 
their swords, they were at last obliged to renounce their 

The society of Europe, however, arrived at that period so 
fatal to nations, at that crisis, almost always a sanguinary 
one, in which new opinions and old opinions declare an 
obstinate war against each other ; in which all that is new 
ferments, and is agitated violently ; in which all that is an- 
cient resists, and falls to pieces with a crash. For a lengtj 
of time old laws were powerless ; and the laws which were 
endeavoured to be established, had, in their execution, 
neither the force that is acquired by habit, nor that which is 
conferred by experience. A universal crisis was experienced 
throughout Europe ; and the West, troubled by revolutions 
and civil wars, was, for a moment, upon the point of falling 
back into the darkness and chaos of the tenth century. 

It was at this period that was established in Germany the 
imperial chamber, instituted for the purpose of appeasing 
discoras and repressing brigandage. In Arragon the tutelary 
authority of the justiza was created, who was armed against 
license with all the power of a dictator. In all countries 
brotherhoods and associations were formed against the ex- 
cesses of anarchy. It was -in France, above all, that the 
necessity was felt to call in justice to the support of shaken 
social order, and to place it under the safeguard of royalty. 
Boyal power was born, in some sort, amongst the perils and 


fears of society. There is an instinct which, in moments of 
crisis, guides people towards the authority which is to pro- 
tect them ; and this authority becomes all-powerful, from the 
reason that its assistance is implored, and that it is the 
object of all hopes. 

Ecclesiastical jurisdiction had already dealt a mortal blow 
to feudal justice. The study of the Horn an law caused 
something of the experience of the ancients to re^ ive among 
nations scarcely escaped from barbarism. A new judicial 
order sprang up in Europe, particularly in Erance.* This 
judicial order was at first very complicated, in consequence 
of that natural disposition of men of the pen and of the 
robe to multiply forms in all affairs. To follow the clue 
through the labyrinth of the new laws, the barons were 
deficient in knowledge, and more particularly in patience. 
If it be true that lawyers complicated legislation in order 
to remain the sole interpreters of it, their hopes were not 
deceived ; for they in the end took the places of the feudal 
nobles in judicial functions. 

It is true that seignorial justices were not abolished ; but 
an appeal was permitted from their decisions to the judg- 
ment of the crown. There were, besides, cases in which 
the justice of the barons was found incompetent, and as this 
incompetence was almost always judged of by the jurisdic- 
tion of the king, the latter finished by attracting to itself 
most of the causes of any weight or importance. As it is 
otherwise important that justice should be protected by a 
force that can make it respected, as the power of the barons 
declined, and as that of the king increased daily, the royal 
jurisdiction prevailed, and custom sanctioned the maxim that 
all justice emanates from the king. When once this maxim 
was recognised and proclaimed in all the provinces, Beau- 
manier was right in saying, " that the king was sovereign 

* The author of A Memoir to serve as a Neio History of Louis XII. 
carries the first appearance of judicial reform in France to the reign of 
that nr.onarch. tie has prosecuted on this subject learned researches, and 
his work has given us much information upon the spirit and the march of 
our legislation in the middle ages. Although we do not always agree as 
to the consequences of the principles he develops, particularly as to their 
application to that which is passing at present, we take pleasure in ren- 
dering justice to the rare sagacity with which he has cleared up questions 
whirb have been scarcely perceived by our best historians. 


over everything, and that he had by right the general 
guardianship of the kingdom." 

It was at this period arose that French magistracy which 
afterwards became so eminent. The parliaments exhibited 
the frankness and loyalty of old times, united with the in- 
telligence of modern times. They sometimes defended the 
rights of the people against the crown, and were often a 
buckler for the crown against factions. Perhaps their roots 
did not strike deeply enough into the society whose rights 
they defended. The fundamental laws of the kingdom had 
neither regulated their rights, nor fixed .with precision the 
limits of their power. Their authority was due less to 
written constitutions than to that want of justice which is 
felt among civilized people, than to that supreme ascendancy 
which they almost always obtain whose function it is to be 
exponents of the law. We have seen parliaments perish 
amidst public disorders, for which they themselves gave the 
imprudent signal. They saw the faults of administration, 
but they were deficient in positive knowledge to point out 
the proper remedy : they appealed to the people, and factions 
answered ; they invoked liberty, and the revolution burst 
forth. Now, when this magistracy no longer exists among 
us, and that it can have no place in the order of things 
which events have given birth to, it appears to us the moment 
is come for everybody to be just towards it, and to praise 
that noble disinterestedness, that enlightened firmness, that 
inflexible probity, which formed its principal character. "It 
is for the observer of the present period," says an English 
writer, " and not for the historian of past times, to decide if 
those virtues which distinguished the ancient French magis- 
tracy are sufficiently common now-a-days, not to be remem- 
bered with great praise, and exhibited to our contemporaries 
as useful examples." 

In the revolution which was effected, we are astonished 
that the barons showed so little foresight ; they opposed the 
• privileges of an order of tilings which no longer existed, 
when, without their intervention and without their concur- 
rence, a new order of things was established ; the greater 
that was their need of union to defend themselves, the more 
obstinacy they showed for maintaining the too fatal privilege 
of making war upon each other. The habit of warlike and 


feudal manners made them prefer to all other functions the 
occupation of arms, which they considered, with reason, aa 
the most glorious career ; but which ruined them, kept them 
in their ignorance, and drove them from affairs, whilst others 
enriched themselves in peaceful employments, exercised their 
faculties usefully, and employed themselves exclusively with 
power. In the end, the nobility, after the most generous 
sacrifices, became nothing but an aristocracy without action 
in the government, whilst those who lent a hand to the 
administration became really the masters. 

The revolutions we have just described have made us for 
a moment forget the crusades ; the holy wars, however, may 
be reckoned among the causes which ameliorated legislation. 
The departure of the Crusaders gave occasion for a number 
of actions ; precautions against fraud were multiplied ; public 
notaries were called in ; the use of charters, — called chartres 
chirographaires, or chartres parties, — was adopted, or rather 
revived. We have already said that many regulations were 
made to limit the numbers of the Crusaders, and these regu- 
lations were so many laws added to those which existed. 
The Crusaders, whilst passing through distant countries, 
might remark many wise customs, which they brought back 
into their own country. Yillehardouin informs us with 
what astonishment the French nobles, on their arrival at 
Venice, beheld the senate, the doge, and the people deli- 
berating in their presence. This spectacle could not fail to 
enlighten them. When the Latins were masters of Con- 
stantinople, they there became acquainted with the legisla- 
tion of Greece ; in Palestine, the Assizes of Jerusalem gave 
them an idea of a legislation less imperfect than their 
own ; the code which for a long time governed the Christian 
colonies led Louis IX. to think of making a collection of 
laws, which he did not, it is true, put in practice, but whicn 
no doubt spread much useful information. The example of 
St. Louis, and the encouragement that jurisconsults received 
on his return from Egypt, contributed to create among the 
people the love of justice ; and this love of justice, which 
began to be felt among all classes, was the best guarantee 
of a nascent civilization. 

Skilful writers have gone over before us this epoch, so 
abundant in great events and in lessons of policy. They have 


shown how royalty rose from the bosom of disorder ; how 
legislation progressively prevailed over anarchy ; and how 
several states of Europe — particularly France — attained that 
degree of strength and splendour in which we have seen them 
during the eighteenth century. There would remain but 
very little for us to say, after the great publicists who have 
preceded us, if recent revolutions had not broken forth t , 
enlighten us. The experience of the present times ha^ 
thrown a new light over past ages ; and we are better ac- 
quainted with the nature and origin of old institutions, since 
we have seen them sink into ruins. The tree of our ancient 
monarchy has not been able to resist the concussions which 
have shaken society ; its branches have strewed the earth, 
and its roots have been laid bare. It then became easy for 
us to see by what secret conduits strength and life had been 
circulated ; how had grown, and how had fallen, — 

" That tree whose head approached to heaven, 

And whose feet touched the empire of the dead."* 

After having gone through the different classes of society, 
and shown the origins of our institutions during the crusades, 
we are about to see what was, at the same period, the progress 
of navigation, commerce, industry, the sciences, letters, the 
arts, and general knowledge. 

Before the twelfth century, the seas of Europe and Asia, 
with the exception of the Mediterranean, were scarcely 
frequented even by the nations who dwelt upon their shores. 
At the period of the first crusades, that which formed the 
kingdom of Prance had but two or three ports upon the 
coast of Normandy, and had not a single one upon the 
ocean, or the Mediterranean, when, in the seventh crusads, 
Louis IX. caused that of Aigues-Mortes to be dug.f 
England was scarcely more advanced ; that kingdom aban- 
doned the navigation of the seas which surrounded it to 
pirates. It appeared that the world was not yet large 
enough for the ambition and genius of the English nation, 
which at the present day dominates over all the known seas. 
Some cities on the shores of the Baltic, of Holland, Flanders, 

* La Fontaine. 

f And yet Marseilles had been a flourishing port for ages. In th« 
early crusades it did not belong to the French monarehj , — Trans. 


and Spain, made maritime expeditions, but which scarcely 
deserve to be described in the history of the crusades. 
When the crusades began, the spirit of devotion, united 
with that of commerce, gave a new and more extended 
direction to the voyages and labours of navigators. The 
inhabitants of Denmark appeared in the seas of Syria ; and 
Norwegians, who came by sea, assisted at the taking of 
Sidon. Citizens of Lubeck and Bremen were present at the 
siege of Ptolema'is. From all the coasts of the West, vessels 
and fleets transported pilgrims, provisions, and arms into the 
kingdom of Jerusalem and the other Christian principalities 
established in Asia by the victories of the Crusaders. 

Thus navigators from all countries met in the seas of the 
East. It was, in some sort, under the auspices of the cross, 
that advantageous relations began to be established among 
the maritime nations of Europe. At the commencement of 
the twelfth century, a fleet of Pisans, joined with some other 
Italians, came to assist the Arragonese in conquering the 
Balearic Isles. The navigators of Italy were so little ac- 
quainted with the seas of Spain, that they took the coasts of 
Arragon for the country of the Moors. This first alliance 
between distant nations was the work of a crusade preached 
by Pope Pascal III., and seconded by a great number of 
knights of Provence and Languedoc. 

The navigators of Lubeck, Bremen, and Denmark, after 
having tried their strength in long voyages, took advantage 
of the experience they had gained, to visit the unknown seas 
of the Baltic. These new enterprises presented to their 
pious zeal and their ambition a nearer sea, and savage peoples 
which they might bring under their faith, and make sub 
servient to their commercial views. Maritime expeditions 
were mixed with the crusades preached against nations still 
living in a state of paganism. , At the aspect of the cross 
and the flag of navigators, rich cities sprang up, and bar- 
barous regions began to be acquainted wuth the bkssings oi 

It was at this period that navigation opened for itself a 
new career, and saw the theatre of its useful labours expand. 
Nothing could have favoured its progress like the communi- 
cation that was then established between the Baltic, the 


Mediterranean, the Spanish Ocean, and the seas of the 
north. By uniting nations in pursuit of the same advan- 
tages, it multiplied their relations, their ties, and their in- 
terests, and redoubled their emulation. In this career thus 
opened to all the nations of Europe, practical knowledge 
became rectified, was much increased, and spread every- 
where ; the configuration of coasts, the position of capes,; 
ports, bays, isles, &c. &c, were all ascertained ; the depth 
of the ocean was fathomed ; the direction of winds, currents, 
and tides was observed ; much information was gained upon 
all the points of hydrography, and very soon that ignorance of 
the eleventh and twelfth centuries was dispersed, which had 
occasioned so many shipwrecks, that the chroniclers of the 
times of the first crusades, as they tremblingly recount 
them, can only ascribe them to the anger of Heaven. 

We would here speak of the mariner's compass, if the 
period of its invention could be ascertained clearly. A 
passage of James of Vitry, which we have elsewhere given, 
does not permit us to doubt that the properties of the load- 
stone were known in the time of the crusades, and that 
navigators derived great assistance from it in their long 
voyages ; but, on the other hand, there is nothing to prove 
that the use of the mariner's compass was then general. 
We may believe that so valuable a discovery was still a 
secret for the vulgar, and that those who were in possession 
of this secret, only sought to profit by it for their own 
interest, without thinking of the advantages that might be 
drawn from it for the progress of navigation. We will add 
that that which has happened to the mariner's compass, has 
happened also to most of the inventions of industry, of 
which history can rarely assign the epochs, because their 
authors, from a spirit of cupidity or jealousy, have not only 
not promulgated them, but have concealed them carefully 
from the knowledge of their contemporaries. 

Naval architecture was much improved during the cru- 
sades. The vessels were greatly enlarged, to enable them to 
contain the multitudes of pilgrims to be transported. The 
dangers incidental to long voyages, caused the ships destined 
for the East to be constructed in a more solid manner. The 
art of setting up several masts in the same vessel, the art of 


multiplying the sails, and of disposing them so as to enable 
the ship to sail against the wind, were the happy fruit of 
the emulation which then animated navigators. 

Thus the activity and the genius of man triumphed over 
all obstacles, commanded the elements, and took possession 
of the empire of the sea. But this empire, like that of the 
land, was, in the middle ages, a prey to brigandage and 
violence; tempests, contrary winds, shipwrecks, w r ere not 
the only evils to be apprehended in long voyages. On every 
sea no right was known but the right of the strongest, and 
the absence of a maritime code added greatly to the perils 
of distant navigation. 

The necessity for a legislation that might assure the in- 
terests and the freedom of navigators was strongly felt. It 
was Spain that furnished the first model of one. At the 
commencement of the twelfth century a code of maritime 
rights was drawn up by the ancient prudhommes* of the 
Sea of Barcelona. The Venetians adopted it in an assembly 
held at St. Sophia, in 1255. This code was afterwards 
adopted by the Pisans and Genoese, and, under the name 
of the Consulat of the Sea, became the common law or right 
of the eastern seas. Another code, published at first by 
Eleanor of Guienne, and afterwards by Richard Coeur-de- 
Lion, under the title of " Rolls of Oleron," obtained the 
assent of several maritime nations, and was at last accepted 
in all the seas of the West. 

Protected by this code, navigators were enabled to gather 
the fruit of their long labours, and soon disputed advan- 
tageously the empire of the Mediterranean with the infidels. 
If Italy and several other countries of the West escaped the 
yoke of the Saracens, they owed their safety more to the 
superiority of their fleets than to that of their armies. 

I have spoken in the preceding book of the discovery o 
America, and of the passage to India by the Cape of Good 
Hope. It is probable that, without the crusades, the genius 
of navigators would, although later, have surmounted the 
immense space and numberless dangers that separated the 
Baltic and the Mediterranean from the Indian Ocean, anj 

* " A skilful man, appointed to view and make a report of a thing," 
in this case ; but it has several other meanings ; as a man of worth, 
probity, or even valour. — Trans. 


the Old World from the New. We may at least say that 
the distant expeditions and the perilous enterprises under 
taken beneath the banners of the cross, prepared the way 
for the last prodigies of navigation, by opening everywhere 
new routes for industry, and, above all, by favouring the 
progress of commerce, the natural and necessary link be- 
tween the divers nations and the different countries of the 

Each climate has its productions ; and this diversity of 
riches creates for men an obligation for exchanges. This 
obligation for exchanges produces communication among all 
nations, so that in time the most widely-separated regions 
cannot remain unknown to each other. It may truly be 
said, that Providence has thus placed various productions in 
different climates, that it has denied to some countries what 
it has granted to others, to create for men dispersed over 
the face of the earth, the necessity for reciprocally seeking 
each other, for trading to supply their mutual wants, for 
communicating their knowledge, and for marching together 
towards civilization. 

In the middle ages, the indolent and effeminate Greeks 
neglected to bring into the West the merchandises of Asia. 
The Saracens only anchored on the coasts of Europe, to 
bring thither the scourges of war. The commerce of the 
West went to seek that which was not brought to it ; and 
frequent voyages to the East were all for the profit of the 

A long time before the crusades, the merchandises of 
India and Asia had arrived in Europe, sometimes by land? 
crossing the Greek empire, Hungary, and the country of 
the Bulgarians ; but more frequently by the Mediterranean, 
in which were all the ports of Italy. These routes were 
both made more familiar by the holy wars, and from that 
time nothing could stop the rapid progress of commerce, 
protected in its march by the standard of the cross. 

Most of the maritime cities of the West not only got 
rich by furnishing Europe with the productions of the East, 
but they found further a considerable advantage in the 
transport of pilgrims and Christian armies. Fleets followed 
along the coasts of the countries in which the Crusaders 
were fighting, and sold them the munitions of war and the 


provisions of which they always stood in need. Thus commerce 
brought back into Europe a part of the treasures which the 
princes and barons, who ruined themselves to go and fight 
the infidels, carried into Asia. 

All the wealth of the maritime cities of Syria, and even of 
Greece, belonged to merchants of the West. They were 
the masters of a great part of the Christian cities of Asia ; 
we know what was the share of the Venetians after the 
taking of Constantinople. They possessed all the isles of 
the Archipelago, and half of Byzantium. The Greek empire 
was as another Venice, with its laws, its fleets, and its armies. 

The Latins soon lost Constantinople, Jerusalem, and most 
of the countries which submitted to their arms. Commerce, 
more fortunate, preserved its conquests after the crusades. 
The city of Tana, built at the mouth of the Tanais, became 
for Venice a colony, which opened for her useful relations 
with Persia and Tartary, and which dominated in the mar- 
kets of Tauiis, Trebizond, Bagdad, and Bassora. Some 
Genoese, assembled in a little city of the Crimea, — Caffa, 
at the time even when the Turks were threatening Europe, 
employed themselves in working the mines of the Caucasus, 
and receiving the treasures of India by way of Astracan. 
European commerce established stores even among nations 
that made cruel war against the Christians. The terror 
which the Mamelukes inspired did not prevent colonies 
of merchants establishing themselves in Egypt. Africa, 
particularly the coast of the Mediterranean, was all sub- 
servient to their mercantile ambition, and the places which 
St. Louis had not been able to conquer, became tributaries 
to their industry. 

"Whilst the commerce of all parts of the world was thus 
placed in the hands of a few maritime cities, many of the 
great kingdoms of Europe were still strangers to it. Eng- 
land, which had no other wealth but its wools, gladly re- 
ceived in its capital the merchandises of Asia, brought 
thither by Italian and Spanish merchants. The cities of 
France took but little part in the commerce of the East 
The crusades were the work of the Erench ; others gathered 
the fruits of them. Marseilles was, in the middle ages, the 
only Erench city which kept up any relation with distant 
nations. This city founded by the Phocians, for the sake 


of the commerce with the Gauls, had never ceased to turn 
it? eves towards the places of its origin, and have com- 
mercial relations with Syria and Greece. Spain, whose 
industry developed itself early, took more advantage from 
the crusades, and, towards the end of the holy wars, the 
Spaniards had warehouses upon all the coasts of Asia. 

No country, however, derived more advantage from the 
trade of the East than Italy. This country, which dominated 
over the Mediterranean, aud which lay open to all parts ol 
the known world, was placed in the most favourable posi- 
tion. This position, which had formerly facilitated the con- 
quests of the Romans, assisted the nations of Italy in their 
new enterprises, and subdued the world to their speculations, 
as it had subdued it to their arms. "Whilst their fleets set 
out for the East, they sent into Europe, not legions and pro- 
consuls, as Home had done, but caravans of merchants, who 
subdued the provinces they passed through to the calcula- 
tions and the wants of commerce. These merchants dis- 
posed of, by their industrious traffic, all the money which 
then circulated in the "West. In all countries they had 
numerous colonies and considerable establishments. Europe 
has no great cities in which the name of the Lombards, 
given to a street, to a quarter, does not, even at the present 
day, attest the long sojourn of the ItaFan merchants. 

We cannot help admiring this power of commerce ; but it 
had likewise its principle of destruction. What rivalries, 
what jealous passions, did it not give birth to daily ! Pacific 
conquests were contended for without ceasing, swords in 
hand. In this struggle many cities succumbed ; Pisa was 
destroyed by Genoa ; Genoa, in her turn, could not maintain 
its rivalry against Venice. Another rock for these commer- 
cial powers, was the mobility of the commerce which had 
elevated them, and which carried unceasingly its favours 
and its gifts from one place to another. If commerce 
changed its route or its direction, that was quite enough to 
make a city prosper, or to precipitate its fall. In the middle 
ages, a crowd of cities disappeared, without discord or war 
having at all contributed to their ruin. It appeared as if 
fortune took a pleasure in destroying her own work, and as 
if she disdained on that account to associate herself' with 
human passions. 


It is not possible to separate the progress of industry and 
even of agriculture from that of commerce. To ascertain 
what industry and agriculture could gain by relations with 
the East, it would perhaps be sufficient to ascertain in w r hat 
state these two sources of prosperity then were among the 
Orientals. Among so many travellers, there were, doubt- 
less, some who had an interest in observing the usages and 
practices of the distant countries they visited. We know 
that in the expeditions of the Crusaders, such as were mas- 
ters of a trade, or were skilful in a mechanical art, were en- 
rolled in preference to others. These industrious pilgrims 
did not always make a voyage barren of advantages for their 
country ; and in those holy wars, in which the knights of the 
cross only sought victory and renown, industry, if I may 
venture to say so, had also its crusade, whose peaceful 
trophies consisted in precious discoveries, stolen from the 
Greeks or the Saracens, and in the happy imitation of that 
which they had admired in the arts of the East. 

The Saracens had manufactures of stuffs before the cru- 
sades. At Damascus, and in the cities of Egypt, metals 
were w r orked with greater perfection than in the West. 
Old chronicles inform us that the Christians of Palestine 
went sometimes to Damascus to purchase arms. Joinville 
relates that, being on a pilgrimage to our lady of Tortosa, he 
bought at Tripoli some camlets, fabricated in that city. He 
sent some pieces of them to Queen Marguerite, who, he tells 
us, at first took them for relics, and fell on her knees to 
receive them ; but upon discovering her mistake arose, saying, 
" Mischief upon the seneschal ! who has made me kneel to his 
camlets." * Joinville was directed by Louis IX. to purchase 
a quantity of this stuff, which proves that the manufactory 
in which it was fabricated had some reputation. 

There were at this period, in the same city of Tripoli, and 
in several cities of Greece, a great number of silk-looms, the 
produce of which must have excited great attention in the 

* Hotspur says to his lady— 

" Swear me, Kate, like a lady, as thou art, 
A good mouth-filling oath !" 

The queen's anathema upon Joinville, is, in the original, something <* 
thU character. — Trans. 


merchants and pilgrims who visited the East. About the 
middle of the twelfth century, Roger II., king of Sicily, 
caused several of these looms to be transported to Palermo ; 
this was the fruit of an expedition to the coasts of Greece. 
The mulberry-tree nourished and multiplied under the beau- 
tiful sky of Italy, as well as under that of the Morea, and 
this useful conquest gave the Sicilians the means of soon 
surpassing the industry of the Greeks. The principal work- 
shop was placed in the palace of the kings, as if to display 
the richness and magnificence of this new art. 

Many useful inventions came to us at this period from the 
countries of the East. Some writers affirm that windmills 
were known in Europe before the crusades ; but we should 
remember that they might have been due to the early pil- 
grimages into Asia, which it is so difficult to separate, upon 
such matters, from the holy wars.* 

Tyre was at this time famous for its glass. The sand 
found in its vicinity gave to the fabrication" of glass a per- 
fection unknown in other countries. The use of glass was 
much more common in Palestine than in the West. The 
Venetians obtained from Tyre the idea of their beautiful 
works in glass, so celebrated in the middle ages. 

The Crusaders, as has been seen in this history, always 
evinced great surprise at witnessing the explosion of the 
Greek fire. But what appears very strange, they never 
seemed to envy the Saracens this great advantage. The 
Frank warriors, in the field of battle, preferred the sword and 
lance to a means of fighting which, in their minds, took away 
something from personal bravery. It is not at all impro- 
bable, however, that the Greek fire, in the end, furnished 
the idea of gunpowder ; an invention fatal to humanity, but 
which placed a formidable weapon in the hands of European 
society, when threatened by the Turks and Tartars. 

We have already spoken of the maize, or Turkish wheat, 
sent into Italy by Boniface of Montferrat, in the fourth 
crusade. The Damascus plum was brought at the same 
time into Europe by a duke of Anjou, who visited Jeru- 
salem. Our gardens owe to the holy wars the ranunculus, 

* M. de Choiseul d'Aillecourt gives in his Memoire a very extended 
nomenclature of the inventions brought from the East into Europe bj 
the Crusaders. 

Vol. III.— lo 


so prized by Orientals, and shalots, which take the r name 
from Ascalon ; the knowledge, or rather the use of saffron, 
alum, and indigo, in Europe, may be traced to the limes of 
the crusades. 

We may remember with what delight the Crusaders 
saw for the first time the sugar-canes of the territory of 
Tripoli. The plant was transported to Sicily, about the 
middle of the twelfth century. It is not correct, however, 
to say that it passed from thence into the new world. If 
the Spaniards afterwards transported the sugar-cane to the 
island of Madeira, we may believe they found it in the king- 
dom of Granada, whither the Moors had brought it from 
Africa. But it is also probable that notice was only taken 
of this plant because the taste for sugar was widely spread, 
and that the substance, which was brought from Egypt, 
became an important branch of commerce. It is thus we 
may render honour to the crusades. 

Natural history, which is connected with the progress of 
industry and agriculture, was enriched likewise by some 
useful notions. Distant climates not only exchanged their 
vegetable productions, but the crusades procured for Europe 
an acquaintance with several animals of Africa and Asia. 
We have mentioned that the Mamelukes of Egypt sent 
Louis IX. an elephant, of which the French monarch made 
a present to the king of England. A short time after the 
first expedition of Louis IX., Bibars sent to Mainfrey, son 
of Frederick II., several Mogul prisoners, with their horses, 
which were of Tartar breed. Among the Oriental produc- 
tions which the Egyptian ambassadors were directed to pre- 
sent to the king of Sicily, was a giraffe, an animal that had 
never till that time been seen in the West. 

The curious circumstances which we could further pro- 
duce, would add nothing to the opinion that must be already 
entertained of the happy influence of the crusades upon the 
progress of agriculture and industry. The riches of Asia, 
when brought into Europe, soon gave birth to a desire for 
the cultivation of the arts which embellish life, and of the 
eciences which double the faculties of man. 

In the tenth century, architecture consisted in the con- 
struction of towers, ramparts, and fortresses. In the habi- 
tations of the great, everything was sacrificed to the neces* 


§ity of providing defences against an enemy ; nothing could 
be afforded to comfort or magnificence. The dwellings of 
the people, even in cities, scarcely protected them from the 
injuries of weather or the intemperance of seasons. The 
only architectural monuments were those which devotion 
ra : sed to ancestors. Before magnificent palaces for princes, 
or convenient houses for the rich were thought of, edifices 
consecrated to religion were constructed. It is scarcely 
possible to enumerate the churches and monasteries built in 
the eleventh and twelfth centuries. According to the opinion 
of the time, the most certain mode of expiating sins, was to 
build a church or a monastery. Thus architectural monu- 
ments arose at the voice of repentance, and religious inspira- 
tions revived, in some sort, the prodigies which fabulous 
antiquity attributed to the lyre of Amphion. 

In every city, in every town, the inhabitants made it their 
pride to ornament their cathedral, and the altars at which 
they invoked the saint whom the parish had chosen for its 
patron. It may be said that there was something like 
patriotism in this pious zeal; for the basilic, or paternal 
church, was then the most noble and the most sensible 
image of the country. 

At the commencement of the crusades, there existed a 
religious confraternity composed of men practised in the 
labours of building ; they travelled about the world, offering 
their services to the faithful to build or repair churches. 
Another confraternity was formed with the useful design of 
constructing bridges for pilgrims and travellers. A chapel 
or an oratory reminded passengers that the bridge they were 
crossing was the work of charity. 

The clergy, who were rich, and covild only display their 
opulence in buildings, made it their glory to erect churches. 
To complete their work, they called in the aid of painting 
and sculpture, which, like architecture, owed their first en- 
couragement to piety, and whose earliest master-pieces were 
consecrated to the ornamenting of the altars ol the Chris- 
tian religion. 

Nothing was more common than to see noble Crusaders, 
on their departure for Palestine, or on their return to the 
West, found a monastery or a church. Several pilgrims 
are named, who, on coming back from Jerusalem, employed 


their treasures in constructing churches, the form of whicl 
Hiight offer them an image of the holy sepulchre they had 
visited. The treasures conquered from the infidels were 
often appropriated to such buildings. Before the first cru- 
sade, some cities of Italy undertook an expedition into 
Africa, and the spoils were reserved for the ornamenting of 
churches. "We read in an Italian chronicle, that the Pisana 
ceded to the Greek emperor Calo- John several cities which 
belonged to them in Asia Minor, upon the condition that 
this emperor would defray the expenses necessary for the 
building of the archbishop's palace at Pisa, and ornamenting 
the cathedral of Palermo. 

During the crusades, the sight of the monuments of archi* 
tecture which were admired in the East, must have awakened 
the emulation of the western pilgrims. Nothing could ex- 
ceed the surprise of the Crusaders at beholding the city of 
Constantine. Toucher de Chartres exclaimed in his enthu 
siasm : " Oh, what a vast and beautiful city is Constan- 
tinople ! " The German historian Gunther likewise ex- 
presses his admiration, and says that such magnificence 
could not be believed if it were not seen. The marshal of 
Champagne relates that the French knights, on seeing the 
beautiful towers and the superb palaces of Byzantium, could 
not persuade themselves that there could be such a rich city 
in all the world ! 

Italy, which derived such advantages from its relations 
with the East, profited greatly by the masterpieces of Greece. 
The inhabitants of Bome, and of several other cities funded 
and embellished by the Bomans, had before them remains of 
antiquity that might serve them as models. The riches 
which their commerce brought them furnished them with 
the means of encouraging industry and the arts, which assist 
in the embellishment of cities. The cities of Italy, — Venice 
in particular, — had palaces and sumptuous edifices before the 
crusades. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the 
taste for beautiful architecture changed the face of Italy, 
and spread by degrees throughout the rest of Europe. 

AVe must add, however, that the fine arts, with the excep- 
tion of architecture, owed very little to the frequent commu- 
nications with the East. Painting was despised among the 
Mussulmans, to whom the Koran forbade the reproduction 


ot the images of man or of animated beings. The Latin* 
likewise, as our readers may remember, after the taking oi 
Constantinople, destroyed most of the monuments raised by 
the genius of sculpture, and converted the masterpieces of 
Phidias and Praxiteles into pieces of coin. 

The indolent and silent character of the orientals was not 
calculated to carry music to perfection, as this art bespeaks 
a lively and warm imagination in a people ; and the Greeks 
had for a long time lost the secret of those melodious songs 
which, in the times of Linus and Orpheus, charmed the 
heights of Rhodope and the woods of Maenalus. The his- 
tory of music, then, has very little to do with that of the 
holy wars. When Italy saw the fine arts revive, they sprang 
up as a natural production of the soil, as plants indigenous 
to the climate ; they owed their splendour to the prosperous 
state of society, and followed, as a consequence of the opu- 
lence and luxury which commerce and industry had pro- 

The revival of the fine arts announced that of letters. 
But if it be true that letters owed a part of their progress to 
the influence of the crusades, it must be confessed that the 
Crusaders did not always show themselves disposed to profit 
by them for themselves : nothing can exceed the ignorance 
of the Crusaders who then set out for the East. History 
informs us that after the taking of Jerusalem, they burnt at 
Tripoli a library which contained the most precious monu- 
ments of oriental literature : at the taking of Constantinople, 
a conflagration devoured the literary treasures of ancient 
Greece. The Crusaders beheld this misfortune with so 
much indifference, that not one of their chronicles makes 
mention of it, and posterity would have been ignorant of it 
but for the eloquent complaints of Nicetas. 

The science w r hich gained most by these distant expedi- 
tions was doubtless geography. Before the crusades, this 
science was quite unknown. Countries, the least distant 
from each other, had no intercommunication. Burgundy 
was scarcely known at Paris ; in Burgundy Paris was con- 

* And'has not this been the case with all rich and prosperous nations ? 
What invariably follows this higl state of opulence, of the line arts, and 
their attendant sensuality, is a question for every great nation that is s« 
circumstanced to ask itself. — Trans. 


sidered as a very remote place. The Crusaders who followed 
Peter the Hermit were not acquainted with ihe names of 
the cities of Germany and Hungary which they passed 
through. They experienced a defeat at Mersbourg, and the 
contemporary chronicles that speak of it content themselves 
with calling the Hungarian city Malleville, or the city of 

If the Franks scarcely knew their own country, what must 
have been their ignorance of the countries of the East? 
"We may judge by the necessity they felt for taking their 
guides from among the Greeks, whom they mistrusted, and 
by their extreme embarrassment whenever these guides 
abandoned them. Several armies perished from want of 
knowing the places to which victory conducted them. Most 
of the chroniclers knew no more about the matter than the 
Crusaders ; and this it is that renders it so difficult to follow 
them in Asia Minor and Syria. 

One most remarkable circumstance is, that out of more 
than two hundred chronicles that speak of Egypt, we have 
not been able to find more than one that makes mention of 
the Pyramids. James of Vitry, who sojourned for a long 
time in Syria, and who appears to have possessed as much 
knowledge as was then common to the learned, repeats, in 
his descriptions of the East, the fables of Herodotus ; such as 
the history of the Amazons and that of the phoenix. We can 
scarcely forbear laughing at the simple credulity of Joinville, 
who tells us gravely, in his memoirs, that the trees of the 
terrestrial paradise produce cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, 
and that these spices are fished out of the waters of the 
Nile, whither they have been carried by the winds. 

The Crusaders, constantly engaged in fig\ting, 'never en- 
tertained the idea of making themselves acquainted with the 
countries subdued by their arms. Nevertheless, in conse- 
quence of them, religion and commerce, — the one led by the 
desire of spreading the Grospel, the other by the hopes of 
gaining wealth, opened some new routes, and gained useful 
notions concerning the East during the crusades. The mis- 
sionaries sent by the court of Home and by St. Louis tra- 
velled over the vast regions of Asia, and commerce either 
followed or went before them in these distant journeys, 
The accounts of Eubruquis, Asselin, John Plan Carpin, and 


Marco Paolo, contain observations of which the truth and 
correctness are recognised at the present day. 

We may add that the Crusaders, who went from all the 
countries of Europe, became acquainted with each other 
beneath the standard of the cross. Nations were no longer 
foreign to each other ; which dissipated the ignorance in 
which they had been regarding the names of the cities and 
provinces of the West. 

The geographical charts of this period neither give the 
configuration of the globe, nor the extent of countries, nor 
the position or limits of emperors ; they merely trace, by 
vague designations, that which struck travellers most forci- 
bly, — such as the curiosities of each country, the animals, 
the buildings, and the various dresses of men. We have 
seen a map of the world, which is attached to the chronicle 
of St. Denis, and which appears to have been made in the 
thirteenth century : we do not find, as in modern maps, the 
names of the four cardinal points set down, but on the four 
sides are written the names of the principal winds, to the 
number of twelve. Jerusalem, according to the opinion of 
the time, is placed in the centre of the three parts of the 
known world; a large edifice surmounted by a cross repre- 
sents the holy city. Around this queen of cities, the author 
of the map has figured, by other edifices, the cities of Palestine, 
Syria, Egypt, &c. : the distances are marked without any 
attention to exactness : all appears thrown at random on the 
paper : this confused mass of edifices or houses, seems to be 
less a representation of the universe than the shapeless pic- 
ture of a great city, built without plan or regularity. 

We may judge by this how completely geography was 
then in its infancy ; but, at the same time, it renders it 
evident that it was not quite neglected, as till that time it 
had been. Thus, we have a right to believe they would not 
stand still there, and that geographical knowledge would 
soon advance. In the fourteenth century, the countries ot 
the East were already much better known, if we may judge 
by the chart which Sanuti presented to the pope, and which 
may be seen in the collection of the historians of the crusades 
by Bengars. 

The sciences most useful to man, such as medicine, might 
have made some progress durirg the crusades, if the Crusa- 

336 HISTORY or THE crusades. 

ders had profited by the knowledge of the Orientals. Ir 

medicine particularly, the Arabians had more positive know- 
ledge than the Latins. At the siege of Ptoleinais, we have 
seen that Saladin sent his physicians to Biclnrd; but we do 
?aot learn that the king of England sent his to Saladin, when 
he fell ill. In the first crusade of St. Louis, the physicians 
who accompanied the army of the Crusaders understood 
nothing of the scurvy and other epidemic diseases, which 
exercised such ravages in the camp of the Christians. Their 
ignorance was not less fatal than the contagion : when 
Louis IX. and his warriors became the prisoners of the 
Mussulmans, the diseases which desolated them ceased all 
at once, because they were no longer attended by their own 
physicians, but were placed under the care of the Arabians. 

The East then furnished Europe with several processes 
and remedies from which modern medicine, for a length of 
time, derived great advantage. Cassia and senna came from 
Asia, and became known in the West at the period of the 
crusades. Theriaca, which played so great a part in the 
medicine of the middle ages, was brought from Antioch to 
Venice. Robert of Normandy, on his return from the Holy 
Land, after the taking of Jerusalem, obtained from the 
school of Salerno a collection of Hygeian precepts, which 
became proverbs among all the nations of Europe. 

And yet these discoveries, and this knowledge of the 
Orientals, did not much enlighten the West in the art of 
curing. Properly to receive lessons of experience of this 
kind, preliminary studies were necessary, and the physicians 
of Europe were then too ignorant to profit by the learning 
of the Arabians. At this period, religious charity raised a 
great number of open asylums for suffering humanity. But 
this charity, however admirable, when its object was to 
attend the sick, and comfort them in their sufferings, knew 
but very little of the symptoms or the character of the num- 
berless diseases which attack the life of man. It may be 
safely said, that during the crusades, we received from the 
East many more serious diseases than true instruction in 
medicine. We know that there were numerous lazar-houses 
established in Europe in the time of the crusades ; but we 
know nothing of the remedies employed for the cure of 
leprosy. Isolation appears to have been the only curatire 


av preservative means known for this malady, which many 
learned physicians now look upon as mere prejudice The 
spirit of devotion richly endowed lepers, without doing 
anything for their cure. Leprosy, in the end, disappeared 
without the assistance of medicine, and the property be- 
stowed upon lazar-houses was transferred to the hospitals j 
which was advantageous to humanity, and may be set down 
as one of the benefits of the crusades.* 

We will say nothing of the other sciences, which ow&*> 
still less than geography and medicine to the holy wars. 

The Saracens of Syria were very little enlightened m the 
middle ages. In the East, the state of knowledge, like 
everything else, depended upon the reign of a great prince ; 
whilst this prince reigned, knowledge nourished by his in- 
fluence ; at his death, everything returned to darkness, as 
the natural state of countries governed by Islamism.t 

The Franks gained more by their commerce with the 
Greeks than by that with the Saracens. The Crusaders 
established continual relations between the cities of Italy 
and the empire of Byzantium. Some sparks of the genius of 
the Greeks were glimmering in Italy before the taking of 
Constantinople by the Turks. 

A college for young Greeks was established at Paris in 
the reign of Philip Augustus. In the thirteenth century 
universities flourished at Bologna, Paris, and Salamanca, in 
which the Greek language was taught ; and later, the Oriental 
languages were added, by a decree of the council of Vienna. 

We find in a chronicle of St. Denis these remarkable 
words : — " This year, 1257, William, a physician, brought 
some Greek books from Constantinople." Thus, the arrival 
of some volumes from Greece was an event worthy of being 
recorded, and the importance attached to it, already an- 
nounced the disposition of men's minds. 

* We are not positive whether the small-pox was known in Europe 
previously to the Crusaders. Its introduction amongst us is frequently- 
attributed to them; and we observe, in reading the history of Mahomet 
and his successors, many persons were marked with the scars left by thia 
disease. We wonder Michaud does not mention it. — Trans. 

f The Moors of Spain may be adduced as an example against this 
opinion. It is true that the Moors of Granada cultivated the arts and 
sciences for a long time, and with much success; but what became of 
them when they returned to the coast of Africa ? 



When the Turks became masters of Constantinople, the 
learned, exiled from their country, came to establish them- 
selves in Italy, where the Greek muses formed an alliance 
with the Latin muses. The venerable interpreters of anti- 
quity were hailed everywhere with eagerness, and the com- 
munication of their knowledge was repaid by generous hos- 
pitality. Among the distinguished men to whom the muses 
of ancient Greece owed an honourable protection, we must 
not forget Nicholas V., who, as the head of the Christians of 
the West, excommunicated the Greek Church, and, as a 
scholar, seemed to have vowed a worship to the genius of 
Homer and Plato.* Printing, which had then recently 
been invented, was employed to preserve the literary trea- 
sures brought from the East, and made them for ever safe 
from the scythe of Time, the furies of war, or the hands of 
barbarians. The Iliad and the Odyssey found readers in 
places which had inspired the iEneid ; the orations of Pe- 
mosthenes were again read amid the wrecks of the forum, 
where the learned might believe they still listened to the 
voice of Cicero. The genius of the Italians, kindled by the 
master-pieces of ancient Rome and of old Athens, produced 
fresh master-pieces ; and Italy presented a phenomenon 
which the world will, perhaps, never see again, — that of a 
nation which, in the space of a few centuries, obtained twice 
the palm of literature in two different languages. 

It was from Constantinople we received the philosophy of 
Aristotle. We can scarcely say to what extent t e true 
friends of intelligence ought to congratulate themselves on 
this head. Aristotle had disciples, partisans, and martyrs..; 
the philosopher of Stagyra was very nrar being preferred to 
the Bible ; the contemners of Aristot e were called Bihlici. 
At that period a mania for subtleties was introduced into 
the schools, which dishonoured the teaching of philosophy. 
Reason was no longer studied in the mind of man, but in a 
book ; nature was no longer studied in the universe, but in 
Aristotle. The schools became like fencing-matches. In 
an age in which everything was decided by violence, the 
human mind wished to have its species of warfais ; so that 

* Lord Bolingbroke said: "After all, it is Nicholas V. to whoa 
Europe is obliged for its present state of learning" ^Spence). — Trans. 


victory in most affairs was considered justice ; and became, 
m the schools, the only reason. We may believe that this 
philosophy did not much assist the march of true wisdom ; 
but we must admit, that if it did, for a moment, lead the 
human mind astray, it did not quite arrest its progress. It 
exercised the faculties of man, and by that means assisted in 
their development. At the commencement of societies, it 
is less the errors of the mind than its inaction that retains 
nations in the darkness of barbarism. 

Universities had never been so attended as at this period. 
The number of students in the schools of Paris, Bologna, 
and Oxford were said to amount to ten thousand. The 
great privileges granted to universities, prove the esteem in 
which learning was then held. The doctors disputed for 
precedency with knighthood itself. If Bartholo is to he 
believed, ten years' teaching of the Roman law conferred the 
title of knight. This dignity was called the knighthood of 
learning, and they who attained it were called knights-clerks. 

Among all the productions of mind, those which ought to 
be ranked first, were such as had for object the preservation 
of the memory of events. At all periods of the middle ages, 
chronicles appeared, to which were consigned the important 
facts of history. In many monasteries were kept registers 
or journals, in which was inserted everything remarkable 
that happened in the various parts of the world. Monks, 
in the general assemblies, sometimes communicated these 
registers to each other, and this communication assisted them 
in rendering their chronicles more complete. In ages less 
remote from us, other cenobites have collected, with labo- 
rious care, these same chronicles, concealed in the solitude 
of cloisters, and have transmitted them to posterity as the 
*nost precious monuments of old times. 

The ancient chroniclers were simple and pious men ; they 
considered the least falsehood as a mortal sin ; they were 
scrupulous in telling the truth, when they were acquainted 
with it. Most of them would have thought themselves de- 
ficient in the duties of an historian, if they had not gone 
back to the creation of the world, or at least to the deluge. 
Among the events which they relate, they never forgot 
such as would strike the vulgar, and which struck them- 
selves ; as the ^evolutions of nature, famines, prodigies, &i 


According to the spirit of their age, the foundation of a 
monastery holds a more conspicuous place in their recitals 
than that of a kingdom or of a republic. Politics are quite 
unknown to them ; and everything which astonishes them, 
everything they do not easily comprehend, they rarely fail 
to account for by a miracle. 

Such is the character of our old chroniclers ; and even 
when they do not inform us of that which we desire to 
know, their simplicity touches us, and their ingenuousness 
interests us. When they tell us of wonderful things which 
were believed in their times, and of which they appear 
fully persuaded, they do nothing but paint themselves and 
their age. 

But we must beware of fancying the Oriental chronicles 
of the same period more perfect than our own. We find in 
them the same spirit of superstition and credulity, united to 
that spirit of fatalism which characterizes the Mussulman 

It is quite in vain for us to seek in Arabian historians 
any of those thoughts that instruct us in the knowledge of 
human passions or political revolutions. They almost always 
neglect the most important circumstances of events, in order 
to describe whimsical particularities, or to enter into insig- 
nificant details ; thus, obeying the spirit of oriental despot- 
ism, which wills that man should be always occupied with 
little things. When they relate the fall of an empire, if 
asked why it has fallen, they reply : " God knows, God has 
willed it so." In all their chronicles whicli we have con- 
sulted, whenever the Mussulmans triumph over the Chris- 
tians, we never find any other reflection but this : " God is 
God, and Mahomet is his prophet." When the Christians 
gain a victory, the Mussulman chronicles preserve a perfect 
silence, contenting themselves with saying : " May God 
curse them!" 

Oriental historical productions are very far from redeem- 
ing this absence of remark by another merit, such as order, 
clearness, or elegance ; most of their accounts are nothing 
but a nomenclature of facts confusedly arranged. Quota- 
tions from the Koran, verses made upon the occurrence of 
an event, some comparisons whicli belong rather to poetry 
than history, — such are the only ornaments of Oaeir narrations. 


We see by this that our chronicles of the middle agea 
have nothing to envy in those of the East. Most of them, 
it is true, are of an extreme dryness, and have neither pre- 
cision nor method. But still some few of them do not ap- 
pear unworthy of attracting the attention of scholars and 
men of taste. As their authors wrote in Latin, we hav« 
reason to believe that the great works of antiquity were not 
unknown to them, and in many of their recitals, we may 
easily perceive they have had models. 

History must have made some progress during the cru- 
sades. These long wars between the Christians and the 
Mussulmans were like a great spectacle at which Europe 
and Asia were present. The importance of the events, and 
the lively interest which Christendom took in them, inspired 
several writers with the desire of retracing the history of 
them. A crowd of chroniclers arose in the West, among 
whom some were not unworthy of the name of historians. 
Everybody is acquainted with William of Tyre, who may be 
called the Livy of the crusades, Albert d'Aix, Baudry, arch- 
bishop of Dol, Odo of Deuil, and particularly James of 
Vitry, in whom we meet with vivid and animated descrip- 
tions, a rapid and flowing style, and a narration almost 
always elegant : — and, though last, not least, Villehardouin 
and Joinville, who wrote in the French language, and whose 
memoirs are the earliest monuments of French literature. 

But all these events which presented to historians such 
rich pictures, the wonders of nascent institutions, the pro- 
digies of the social world issuing from the chaos of bar- 
barism, must not only have awakened the curiosity, they 
must have struck vividly the minds of new generations. 
This grand spectacle, without doubt, contributed to the 
development of the faculties connected with the imagina- 
tion. After having seen the simple and faithful relations of 
events, the genius of poets was called upon to add some- 
thing to the truthful pictures of the chroniclers. The 
troubadours who flourished during the crusades were not 
likely to neglect the exploits of so many gallant knights. 
We hear their voices constantly mingling with those of the 
preachers of the holy wars, and find their poetical fictions 
everywhere confounded with the narrations of history. 

Among th i warriors wb ) went into the East to combat 


the infidels, a great number of troubadours ai .1 trouverea 
distinguished themselves. We have seen the romance ot 
Raoul de Couci, and the verses of Thibault. count of Cham- 
pagne. We may add to these names known in the fasti ot 
the French muses, those of the count of Poictiers, the count 
of Anjou, the duke of Brittany, Frederick II., and Richard 
Co3ur-de-Lion. Often would these princely and lordly 
Crusaders charm the tediousness of a long pilgrimage by 
poetical relaxations and remembrances. The count of 
Soissons, when a prisoner with St. Louis, sang the praises of 
the dames of France, in the presence and beneath the very 
swords of the Saracens. One chronicle relates that at the 
end of the third crusade, the duke of Burgundy made a 
satire against Rictj.rd, and that Richard replied by a poem. 
The example of these princes was enough to arouse the 
emulation of the poets ; and as they composed their verses 
in the French language, this language, which was then 
spoken at Jerusalem, Constantinople, and many other places 
in the East, must have prevailed over all contemporary 

The muse of the troubadours celebrated chivalry, love, 
and beauty ; that of the trouveres, who dwelt on the banks 
of the Loire, and in the provinces situated beyond that 
river, delighted in songs of a more serious kind. The 
trouveres had rivals in England and Germany. These 
poets had created for themselves an heroic and new world, 
which inspired them with noble actions. They celebrated 
the lofty deeds of Arthur and Binaldo, the knights of the 
Round Table, Charlemagne, Roland, and the twelve peers 
of France. They added to these names those of Godfrey, 
Tancred, Richard, and Saladin, the remembrance of whom 
vividly interested all the Christian nations of the middle 

The marvellous, among a people, belongs to their habits, 
to the effects of climate, and to the great revolutions of 
society. In consequence of the mixture and confusion of 
divers nations in the middle ages, the wonderful traditions 
of the North became confounded with those of tV*e South, 
and produced a semi-barbarous mythology, which differed 
widely from the laughing mythology of the Greeks. But 
the labours, the perils, the exploits of a religious war, of a 


distant war, like those of the crusades, must have given a 
more noble direction to the imagination of poets, and pre- 
served it from that which was common and whimsical in the 
romantic conceptions of a gross age. That which was then 
passing upon the real theatre of events, was more extraordi- 
nary than the inventions of poetry ; and the marvellous of 
that period was tin more easy to be seized, from being all to 
be found in actual history. 

A new literature then was born, conforming with the 
genius of a new state of society. If this literature, which, 
to employ the expression of the learned Heren, bore a cha- 
racter of national and contemporary originality, had pro- 
duced great works like the Iliad and the Odyssey, the muses 
would have opened for themselves a career unknown to the 
ancients ; language would have been, from that time en- 
riched, perfected, fixed by the masterpieces themselves ; and 
history would have spoken of the age of the crusades, as it 
speaks to us of the age of Augustus or Pericles. 

Unfortunately, our literature of the middle ages only pro- 
duced indifferent poems, which were not able to make us 
forget the great works of antiquity. There were none but 
romantic productions, in which the interest of the subject 
was not at all raised by talent, and poems whose authors, 
though witty and ingenious, had none of that authority of 
genius which carries away the opinions of an age, and even 
of posterity. 

We have more than one reason for regretting that the 
human mind did not open for itself a new career at the 
period of the crusades. There is no doubt that the ancients 
offer us the more perfect models of taste ; but in proportion 
as people, in the end, became impassioned for the Greeks 
and the Latins, modern nations disdained their own antiqui- 
ties for those of Athens and Rome. With the stucty of 
masterpieces which had nothing to do with our own glory, 
the remembrance of our own ancestors was not at all mixed ; 
and the knowledge they have given us has added nothing to 
our patriotism. What an interest and what a value would 
the remembrances of our country have had for us, if they 
had been traced by a literature, formed according to the 
manners of the i.ation, and which would, in some sort, have 
commenced u \th the nation itself ! 


Most of the romancers, and even the poets of these times, 
who had no models and wanted taste, found no other means 
of interesting their readers, than by exaggerating the senti- 
ments of chivalry. Imitation, pushed to the extreme, was 
taken for reality, and there were found knights who wished 
to do that which they saw in romances and poems. Thence 
came knight-errantry. Thus, in all times, the state of society 
has acted upon literature, and literature, in its turn, has re- 
acted upon the state of society. 

The romances which were consecrated to chivalry and the 
crusades, underwent the modifications that maimers and 
customs received ; and this species of composition has come 
down to our days, expressing, by turns, the tastes, senti- 
ments, and opinions of each age. This was quite unknown 
to antiquity. It was born with the Romance language, whose 
name if; took; and they who now derive pleasure from it 
ought to be thankful for it to the age of the crusades. 

These kinds of productions, which attracted the curiosity 
and attention of the vulgar, contributed to form the national 
language, which then appeared to be scorned by the learned. 
The Latin language still remained the language of the 
sciences and of learning. But it lost its correctness and its 
purity. The Latin of the fifteenth century was more cor- 
rupt than that of the twelfth. The Eomance language and 
the Latin language had a tendency to corrupt each other, by 
their mixture and their reciprocal borrowings. 

Knowledge, however, continued to increase and spread, 
and assisted greatly in polishing the manners of the nations 
of Europe. One proof that the crusades were not uncon- 
nected with these first steps of civilization is, that knowledge 
and letters first flourished among the peoples enriched by 
the commerce which the holy wars favoured, as in Italy ; 
and with the peoples who had most communication with the 
Orientals, as the Spaniards. Two inventions were destined 
to complete this happy revolution, aud mark the commence- 
ment and the end of the period of the crusades. The first 
was the invention of paper, which became known in Europe 
just before the first expedition into the East ; the second, 
the invention of printing, which took place towards the end 
r»f the holy wars. 

There remains but little for us to say upon t: e results of 


the crusades. Several distinguished writers have spoken oi 
them before us, and the information they have given upon 
this important subject, whilst it facilitates our labour, only 
leaves us the advantage of expressing an opinion which their 
authority has consecrated, and which has no longer any need 
of being defended. 

The better to explain and make clear all the good that 
the holy wars brought with them, we have elsewhere ex- 
amined what would have happened if they had had all the 
success they might have had. Let us now attempt another 
hypothesis, and let our minds dwell for a moment upon the 
state in which Europe would have been, without the expedi- 
tions which the AVest so many times repeated against the 
nations of Asia and Africa. In the eleventh century, seve- 
ral European countries were invaded, and others were threat- 
ened by the Saracens. AVhat means of defence had the 
Christian republic then, when most of the states were given 
up to license, troubled by discords, and plunged in bar- 
barism ? If Christendom, as M. De Bonald remarks, had 
not then gone out by all its gates, and at repeated times, to 
attack a formidable enemy, have we not a right to believe 
that this enemy would have profited by the inaction of the 
Christian nations, and that he would have surprised them 
amidst their divisions, and subdued them one after another ? * 
Which of us does not tremble with horror at thinking that 
France, Germany, England, and Italy might have experienced 
the fate of Greece and Palestine "i 

We have said, when commencing our history, that the 
crusades offered the spectacle of a sanguinary and terrible 
struggle between two religions which contended for the em- 
pire of the world ; the victory to belong to that one of these 
two religions which would inspire its disciples and defenders 
with the most generous sentiments, and which, favouring 
among them the progress of civilization, would give them 
the greater force and power to defend their territories and 
assure their conquests. 

* The best answer to this is, that the too widely extended Mussulman 
power was as much split into sections by discord and ambition as Europe 
was. At the time of the first crusade there was no dread of invasion 
from the East ; and the invasion of the Christians produced unanimity 
in defence of Mahomedanism. — Trans. 


In this formidable struggle, the true means of defence 
consisted in superiority of knowledge and of social qualities. 
As long as the ignorance of barbarism reigned over the 
nations of the West as well as over those of Asia, victory 
continued uncertain ; perhaps even the greater strength was 
then on the side of the more barbarous people, for they were 
already possessed of all the conditions of their political exist- 
ence. But when the dawn of civilization rose over Europe, 
she became aware of her own security, and her enemies be- 
gan to be sensible of fear. 

The Mussulman religion, by its doctrine of fatalism, ap- 
peared to interdict all foresight to its disciples, and in days 
of mischance contained nothing to revive the courage of its 
warriors. The Christians, on the contrary, lost none of 
their faculties in reverses : reverses often even redoubled their 
energy and activity. What is most astonishing in the his- 
tory of the crusades, is to observe that the defeats of the 
Christians in Asia, excited, among the warlike populations of 
Europe, much more enthusiasm than their victories. The 
preachers of the holy wars, to persuade Christian warriors 
to take up arms against the infidels, said nothing of the 
glory and the power of Jerusalem ; but endeavoured, in 
their pathetic lamentations, to exaggerate the perils, the 
misfortunes, and the decline of the Christian colonies. 

"We see by this what advantage Christianity had over the 
worship of Mahomet, in the war between the East and the 

Another vice of the Koran is, that it has a tendency to 
isolate men ; which is injurious to the development of their 
social qualities. Under the empire of Islamism, there is 
nothing strong but despotism ; but the strength of despotism 
*s, almost always, nothing but the weakness of the nation 
it rules over. The Christian religion has another aim, when 
it says to its disciples, Love one another as brothers. One of 
its most admirable characteristics is the spirit of sociability 
with which it inspires men. By all its maxims, it orders 
them to unite, to help one another, to enlighten one another. 
It thus doubles their strength, by placing them constantly 
in community of labours and dangers, fears and hopes, opi- 
nions and feelings. It was this spirit of sociability which 
gave birth to the crusades, and sustained them during two 


centuries. If this spirit was unable to assure success, it at 
.east prepared the Christian republic, at a later period, to 
defend itself with advantage. It made the nations of 
Europe like fasces that cannot be broken. It created, in 
the midst of d.sorders even, a moral force which nothing 
could conquer ; and Christianity, defended by this moral 
fo^ce, was at length able to say to the barbarians, roasters of 
Constantinople, that which God said to the waves of the 
sea : You shall go no further. 

Thus Christianity, and the heroic virtues with which it 
inspired its disciples, were, in the middle ages, an invincible 
buckler for Christian Europe. When the enthusiasm for 
crusades beyond the seas began to die away, the heads of 
the Church still invoked the spirit of the Gospel, to animate 
the nations against the Mussulmans, on the point of invad- 
ing Germany and Italy ; and, still holding up to Christian 
warriors the cross of Christ, sometimes succeeded in awaken- 
ing i u hearts sentiments of a religious and patriotic heroism. 
It cannot then be denied that the crusades contributed to 
save European societies from the invasion of the barbarians ; 
and this was, without doubt, the first and greatest of the 
advantages which humanity derived from them. 

Here I am, then, arrived at the termination of my labour. 
To resume my opinions and render a last homage to truth, 
I must say, that, among the results of the crusades, there 
are some which appear incontestable, others which cannot 
be determined with precision. I ought to add, that many 
circumstances concurred with the civil wars in assisting the 
progress of knowledge and civilization. Nothing can be 
more complicated than the springs which set modern so- 
cieties in motion ; and he who would desire to explain the 
march of things by one single cause, must fall into great 
error. The same events do not produce always or every- 
where similar effects ; as may be seen by the picture we 
have traced of Europe in the middle ages. The holy wars 
assisted, in Erance, in abasing the great vassals, whilst 
feudal power received scarcely any injury from it in Ger- 
many and other countries. During this period so. le states 
were enlarged, others marched rapidly towards their fall. 
Among some nations, liberty took deep root, and presided 
over y 3ung institutions ; among others, the power of princes 


was elevated, at times freeing itself from all restraints, at 
others, being limited by wise laws. Here nourished com- 
merce, the arts and sciences ; elsewhere industry made no 
progress, and the human mind remained immersei in dark- 
Bess. The germs of civilization, in the times of the crusades, 
were like those seeds which the storm carries with it, and 
scatters, some in barren places, where they remain unknown 
and unproductive ; others, upon propitious land, where, the 
action of the sun, a happy temperature, and the fecundity 
of the soil, favour their development, and cause them to 
bear good fruits. 

Every age has its dominant opinions ; and when these 
opinions are connected with great events, they leave their 
impress upon the institutions of societies. Other events, 
other opinions come, in their turn, to give a new direction 
to human affairs, and to modify, ameliorate, or corrupt the 
morals and the laws of nations. Thus, the political world 
is unceasingly renewed; by turns, disturbed by violent 
shocks, and ruled by generally-spread truths or errors. If, 
in the future, societies assume still another new face, there 
is no doubt their institutions will, one day, be explained by 
the influence of the revolutions we have seen, as we now 
explain the institutions of times past, by the influence of 
the crusades. May posterity gather and preserve the fruit 
of our misfortunes, better than we ourselves have gathered 
and preserved the fruit of the experience and of the misfor- 
tunes of our fathers !* 

* It is somewhat remarkable, that in this very interesting summary, 
Michaud makes no mention of the exact sciences. We are genera Jy sup- 
posed to be indebted to the Arabians for great Improvement, if not for 
entire knowledge of mathematics ; and although that knowledge may have 
come to us through Spain, we cannot think mention of the circumstance 
irould have been out of its place here. — Trans. 

See Supplementary Chapter, at page 549. 


No. 1.— Page 2, Vol I. 

In the third and fourth century of the Christian era, pj« 
grimages to the Holy Land became so frequent, that they led 
to many abuses. St. Augustine, Serm. 3, de Martyr. Verb., 
expresses himself thus : " Dominus non dixit, Vade in Orientem 
et quaere justitiam : naviga usque ad Occidentem, ut accipias 
indulgentiam." The same saint says elsewhere, Serm. 1, de 
Verb. Apost. Petri ad Christum : " Noli longa itinera meditari ; 
ubi credis, ubi venis ; ad eum enim, qui ubique est, amando 
venitur, non navigando." St. Gregory of Nyssus, in a letter 
which bears for title, " De Euntibus Hierosolymam," speaks 
with still greater vehemence against pilgrimages : he thinks 
that women, in particular, would meet on their route with fre- 
quent opportunities for sinning ; that Jesus Christ and the Holy 
Ghost were not in one place more than another ; he censures 
bitterly the morals of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who com- 
mitted the greatest crimes, although they had constantly before 
their eyes Calvary and all the places visited by pilgrims. St. 
Jerome endeavoured to divert St. Paulinus from the pilgrimage 
to Jerusalem, by a letter which is still preserved : " De Hiero- 
solymis," said he, " et de Britannia equaliter patet aula coelestis." 
He added, that an innumerable crowd of saints and doctors 
enjoyed eternal life without ever having seen Jerusalem ; that 
from the reign of Hadrian to that of Constantine, an image of 
Jupiter received the adorations of the pagans upon the rock of 
Calvary, and that fervent worship was paid to Venus and Adonis 
within the walls of Bethlehem. 

"We add an extract from the pilgrimage of St. Eusebius of 
Cremona, and his friend St. Jerome, taken from a notice, written 
by Francis Ferrarius, vol. i. of the Bollandists, of the month of 
April, p. 276. 


" (A.D. 390—423.) According to St. Jerome, St. Eusebiua 
was born at Cremona, of distinguished parents, who spared 
neither pains nor expense for his education. They were rewarded 
by the rapid progress of their son in knowledge, but particularly 
by the rare virtues which he showed from his earliest childhood. 
Solely occupied with religious ideas, Eusebius, when still youngs 
abandoned his parents, his country, and all the advantages 
which his birth and wealth promised him, to go to Rome, and 
visit the sacred monuments contained in that city. Very soon 
becoming united in a strict friendship with St. Jerome, who 
dwelt in Rome, Eusebius determined to accompany him in a 
voyage which the latter intended to make to Jerusalem. 

" Having embarked, they visited the isle of Cyprus in their pas- 
sage, passed through Antioch, where they were received by St. 
Paulinus, who was bishop of that city,* and arrived safely at Jeru- 
salem. After having performed their devotions in the spots sanc- 
tified with the presence of Christ, they visited Bethlehem, Calvary, 
Mount of Olives, and Mount Tabor, the valley of Jehoshaphat, the 
castle of Emmaiis, and extended their pilgrimage as far as Egypt, 
to witness the fasts and austerities to which the pious solitaries 
of the Thebais abandoned themselves. Returning into Judsea, the 
city of Bethlehem particularly fixed their attention, and they 
resolved to found a monastery there, which was soon filled with 
religious men disposed to follow the rules established by St. 
Jerome himself. But the crowd of pilgrims becoming daily more 
considerable, and not knowing how to feed and lodge them, the 
two friends were obliged to return to Italy, to sell the property 
they had there, which they destined for these pious purposes. 
St. Jerome, compelled by his affairs to go to Rome, there met 
with St. Paulina, descended from the ancient family of the 
Gracchi. This lady, learning the project that had brought him 
into Italy, determined to follow his example : she abandoned her 
fortune, her country, and her children, and accompanied him to 
Bethlehem, where she founded a monastery for maidens, which 
she governed herself to the time of her death. St. Jerome, 
after having employed the large sums he brought back in the 
construction of" an hospital for pilgrims, terminated his pious 
career at Bethlehem, at an advanced age. Eusebius, who was 
named abbot after the death of his friend, only survived him 
two years. Deeply regretted by his monks, of whom he had 
constantly been the benefactor and the father, he was interred, 
according to his desire, with St. Jerome, close to the stable in 

* Although we cannot pretend to be perfectly acquainted with all the 
saints of these ages, we think this may be the same Paulinus who had been 
bishop of Nola, and who, if not the first inventor of bells, was the first 
who applied them to sacred purposes. — Trans. 


which the Saviour was born. Thus were united in the tomb, as 
they had been in life, and as they are, without doubt, in heaven ; 
where their virtues have placed them, two men who renounced 
all they held most dear to strengthen the faith of the faithful, 
aud to become in a distant country the consolers of the unfor- 

No. 2.— Page 3, Vol.1. 
The Itinerary from Bordeaux to Jerusalem,. 

Although we do not think it necessary, at this time of day, to 
give, as Mr. Michaud has done, in his " Pieces Justificatives," 
the whole of this celebrated Itinerary,* with remarks upon the 
places passed through or by ; we think we shall gratify the 
praiseworthy curiosity of many of our readers by so far present- 
ing the details, as to show the route by which early pilgrims tra- 
velled to the Holy Land. 

This Itinerary is deemed by learned men the most exact and 
correct that has come down to modern times ; it was printed for 
the first time, in 1588, by the care of the celebrated Pierre 
Pithon, from a manuscript upon vellum in his own library \ and 
which, when M. Michaud wrote this history, was in the Imperial 
Library at Paris. This Itinerary was composed about the year 
333 of the Christian era. In fact, the author of it informs us 
that he went from Constantinople to Chalcedon, and that he re- 
turned to Constantinople under the consulship of Dalmatius and 
Xenophilus, who, we learn from Cassiodorus and other autho- 
rities, were consuls together in the year 333. The author was 
a Christian of Bordeaux, whose aim, in this work, was to facili- 
tate for his compatriots the voyage to the Holy Land, which he 
himself had performed. 

The example of the empress Helena, and the magnificence 
with which she had ornamented the humble spot which gave our 
Saviour birth, singularly excited, at this period, the zeal and 
curiosity of Christians for such voyages. A passage from the 
Psalms, badly interpreted in the Greek, was considered as a pro- 
phecy, and a, commandment to all the faithful to visit the holy 
places. In the Psalms was read: "Let us adore the Lord, in 

* M. Michaud says, we must consider this Itinerary as the first account 
of the voyage to the Holy Land that we are in possession of. 

Bordeaux, at the time of the pilgrims' departure, was one of the prin- 
cipal cities of the Gauls. It is situated at the mouth of the Garonne, in 
the Bay of Biscay, and is strongly associated with Em lish history, aa 
having been for a long time the residence of the Black Prince, and the 
birth-place of the unfortunate Richard II. — TRANS. 

352 ' appe:nt>ix. 

the spot where his feet were placed," and the bishops of that 
time unceasingly repeated : " The psalmist has prophesied, an J 
has said ; Let us adore the Lord on the spot where his feet were 
placed." This is in the 132nd Psalm, and Jerome, Eusebius, 
and others did not understand it otherwise ; the Vulgate trans- 
lates it: Adorabimus in loco ubi steterunt pedes ejus ; but the 
Hebrew only says, We will prostrate ourselves before thy fooU 
ttool, that is to say, before the holy ark ; and this is the version 
ir. the English. 

On leaving this famous city, our pilgrim directed his course 
towards Thoulouse, passing by Aucli — from Thoulouse to Nar- 
bonne, passing by Carcassonne — and from Narbonne to Aries, 
passing by Beziers and Nimes. Aries was then a city of great 
note, being called the Little Rome of the Gauls. He continues 
his route towards Italy, and after having passed through the 
cities of Avignon, Orange, Valence, Die, Gap, and Embrun, he 
arrives at the foot of the Cottian Alps (Alpes Cottise) ; at 
Briancon he begins to climb Mount Genevre, and soon finds 
himself at Susa in Italy. He afterwards enters Turin, follows 
the Po, traverses the beautiful plains of Piedmont, which are 
north of that river, till he gains Pavia ; he re-ascends towards 
the north, and arrives at Milan, then the city of Italy second 
only to Rome. Continuing his route towards the East, the pil- 
grim passes through Bergamo, Brescia, Verona, Vicenza, and 
arrives at Aquileia, then a great city, but afterwards destroyed 
by Attila. He then ascends the Julian Alps, which separate 
Friuli from Carniola. He arrives at JEmona (Laybaek), and at 
twenty-three miles beyond that place, marks the limits of Italy 
and Norica ; which limits were at that time the boundaries of 
the Western and the Eastern empires. 

Our pilgrim, after quitting the vicariat of Italy, or the ancient 
Cisalpine Gaul, enters the diocese of Illyria, goes on to Cilley, 
and reaches the city of Petau, in modern Styria. Crossing the 
river Drave, he enters Lower, or Second Pannonia ; but continues 
to follow the northern banks of the Drave, or the southern fron- 
tiers of modern Hungary, and traversing Pannonia Superior, he 
directs his course to the south, and gains the banks of the Save 
at Cibalis, which was placed where now the modern village of 
Svilai stands, to the east of Brod. Proceeding towards the 
East, he enters Sirmium, then one of the most considerable 
cities of the Eastern empire, but of which there are now scarcely 
any vestiges. At a short distance from Sirmium our pilgrim 
comes to the confluence of the Save and the Danube, at Singi- 
dunum, where Belgrade is at present, which city, he informs us, 
terminates Pannonia Superior. Crossing the Save, he finds him- 
self in Mcesia, now Servia, and follows the course of the Danube. 


At Viminacium, now in ruins, near Vi-Palanka and Earn, our 
pilgrim does not neglect to remark that it was at this place 
Diocletian killed Carinus, which agrees with the account cf 
Eutropius of this event. After leaving the banks of the Danube 
at Viminacium, he directs his course towards the south-east, 
following the Koman way, which deviates little from the banks' 
of the Morava, and at about fifty miles before he comes to Nissa, 
he points co a station called Mansio Oromago, as the limits cf 
Mccsia and Dacia ; but which we must observe is the Daeia of 
Aurelian, and not that of Trajau, of which he speaks. After 
having traversed Nissa into Servia, he arrives at the city of 
Sardica, whose ruins are now to be seen near Sophia, or Tri- 
aditza. Continuing to follow the same route, which is that of 
the present day, from Belgrade to Constantinople, he sets down 
the limits between Dacia and Thrace, just beyoud the Mutatio 
Senclo. FromPhilippopolis, or Felibra, our pilgrim journeys to 
Heraclia, now Erekil, on the coast of the Sea of Marmora, and, 
at length to Constantinople. From Constantinople, says our 
traveller, you cross the Bosphorus, you arrive at Chalcedon, and 
go through Bithynia. At Libyssa, near Gebyzeh, on the coast 
of the Propontis, our pilgrim remarks, is the tomb of Hannibal ; 
which is confirmed by Pliny, Plutarch, Eusebius, &c. Tourne- 
fort and Belo, among the moderns, say they have seen the tomb 
in this place. After arriving in Nicomedia (Isuikmid), our pil- 
grim continues his route, and passing through Nice (Isnik) 
marks near Ceratse the limits of Bithynia and Galatia. Then 
On to Anryra, near Angora — then to Andrapa, where he places 
the limits of Galatia and Cappadocia. Proceeding still towards 
the south-east, into the Karismania of the moderns, he gains 
Tvana, which he tells us is the country of the magician Apol- 
lonius. Next is a place called Pilas, and soon after Tarsus, 
which he does not fail to tell us is the country of the apostle 
Paul. He then enters Cilicia Secunda, which formed one of the 
divisions of the empire of the East. At nine miles beyond 
Alexandria (or Scanderoun) he marks the limits of Cilicia and 
Syria, and arrives at length at the city of Antioch (Antakia). 
Our traveller then continues his route along the Roman way 
which ran along the const of Syria, and at Balnea (Belnia), 
indicates the limits of Syria and Phoenicia. On passing by a 
small place called Antaradus (Centre- Aradus), which is the 
Tortosa of the time of the crusades, he takes care to observe 
that the city of Aradus itself is only * wo miles from the coast. 
This powerful city was built in the little island called Euad by 
the moderns Our traveller crosses Tripolis (Taraboles), then 
Berytus (Berouth), and arrives at Sidona (Saide). Next to 
Tyre (now the little village of Sour) ; thence to Ptolemais (St. 
Vol. III. — 1G 


Jean d'Acre), and at Sycamenes he finds himself at the fcot 
of Mount Carmel. At eight miles from that place he indicates 
the confines of Syria and Palestine, and arrives at Caesarea 
(Qaiaarieh). On leaving- Caesarea, our pilgrim quits the direct 
road that leads to Jerusalem, In order the better to fulfil the 
object of his voyage, and visit Palestine, he directs his course to 
the East, towards the revered waters of the Jordan. After in- 
terrupting his Itinerary to make several Biblical remarks, he 
proceeds to the banks of the Jordan, at a place called Scythopolis 
or Bethsan, named by the moderns Bisan ; then going after- 
wards to the south of the side of Jerusalem, he passes Aser, 
" in which was the house of Job," and at fifteen miles thence 
enters Neapolis or Sichem, the Naboles of the moderns. Here 
he ceases to follow any direct route, but visits every place that 
the Old or New Testament has rendered memorable ; and gives 
an account of them in his journey from Neapolis to Jerusalem. 
After seeing everything that could attract the attention of a 
pious and well-informed Christian, he returns to Jerusalem, and 
resumes his Itinerary with as much exactness as at first. As his 
homeward journey begins by the same route he arrived, we will 
join company with him at Erekil, on the coast of Marmora, where 
he begins to deviate. He proceeds to the south of Mount 
Rhodope, the Despeto-dag of the moderns ; he passes through 
the city of Apris, which, after Theodosius, took the name of 
Theodosiopolis. At a short distance from Apris, our pilgrim in- 
dicates the limits of the province of Europa, and that of Hho- 
dope. To understand this, we must remember that at the period 
at which the Aquitain pilgrim wrote, the diocese of Thrace was 
divided into six provinces, amongst which were those of Europa 
and E-hodope ; the cities of Constantinople, Heraclea, and Apris 
were in the province of Europa. Our pilgrim reaches Trajano- 
polis, which the Turks call Orichovo, and keeping to the west, 
through Macedonia, or the Romania of the moderns, and 
along the northern shores of the Sea of Marmora, and of the 
Archipelago, he points out, near a place called Pardis, the bound- 
ary of the provinces of Ehodope and Macedon — he crosses Nea- 
polis, now Cavale, and Philippi, which is in ruins. Shortly 
afterwards he visits the celebrated Amphipolis on the Strymon, 
the ruins of which are now near a little village called Jeni-Keni. 
Twenty miles farther our pilgrim contemplates the tomb of the 
poet Euripides, at a station named Arethusa, situated in a valley 
of the same name. He passes by Thessalonica (Saloniki), which 
is still one of the most considerable cities of these countries. 
He arrives at Pella, the celebrated capital of Macedon, which 
presents nothing at the present day but ruins, known by the 
name of Palatise, or the Palaces. Our pilgrim does not omit to 

APi^NDlT. 355 

show his erudition by remarking that Alexander the Great was 
of this city — civitas Pelli, wide fait Alexander Magnus Macedo 
Here the pilgrim, directing his course towards the north-west, 
follows the famous Egnatian way, constructed by the Romans 
through Macedon. This way passes to Edessa, to Heraclea in 
Macedon, and there, discontinuing its northward direction, it 
goes straight to the west to Dyrrachium ; but one branch of 
this way, before arriving at Dyrrachium, now Durazzo, re-de- 
scends towards Apollonia, now in ruins under the name of Polina ; 
and it was this last that the pilgrim took. At thirty-three miles 
from Heraclea, near a station called Brucida, he points out the 
limits of Macedon and Epirus, two provinces which were then 
only subdivisions of the great diocese of Macedon. At twenty- 
four miles from Apollonia, the Aquitain traveller gains the coast 
at Aulona (Valena), at a place where Epirus, or the coast of 
Albania of the moderns, comes nearest to Italy. He then crosses 
the strait between Aulona and Hydruntum, near Otranto. 
Upon his arrival in Italy, our pilgrim goes to Brindisi, and 
afterwards takes the Appian way, of all the ways the best and 
the most frequented. It led him first to Capua. From Capua 
he continues, by the same way, to Borne, crossing the Pontine 
marshes. He quits Home, and follows the Flaminian way, which 
crosses the Apennines, and which leads out at Ariminum (Rimini), 
by Spoleto, Fano, and Pesaro. 

From Rimini our pilgrim takes the Emilian way, which traced 
and still does trace a straight line ; and traversing Bologna, 
Modena, Parma, and Placentia, he arrives at last at Mediolanum 
(Milan) ; from whence he returns to Bordeaux by the same 
route he took at starting. 

No. 3.— Page 25, Vol. I. 

There is so much sameness, accompanied by such incredible 
marvels, in the numerous pilgrimages described by M. Michaud, 
that we are certain our readers will willingly dispense with them. 
The incident which he promises to give of Foulque, count of 
Anjou, is this : — " Then the count approached to kiss the Holy 
Sepulchre, and then the divine clemency showed that the gooa 
zeal of the count was acceptable, for the stone, which is hard and 
solid, at the kiss of the count became soft and flexible as was 
warmed at the fire. The count bit it, and took away a large piece 
in his mouth, without the infidels perceiving it ; and he then, 
quite at his ease, visited the other holy places." 

There is, indeed, another incident to which we fear M. Micnaud 
alludes ; but as the amusement or instruction it could afford would 
not compensate for its indecency, we do not give it 


No. *.—Page 53, Vol. I. 

Among the chroniclers who give an account Oi' this very 
memorable event, one of the most esteemed is William of 
Malmesbury, a monk of the order of St. Bennet. From his 
learning he was called the Librarian, and his particular study- 
was history. He lived in the early part of the twelfth century. 
Our author having transferred the spirit of all the chronicles to 
his text, we deem it quite unnecessary to offer the whole that he 
has quoted from them in his Pieces Jicstijicatives ; but there is a 
curious passage of William of Malmesbury, which shows the 
character of the writer and his times, that we shall not hesitate 
to give. 

Having said that, after the council, every one retired to his 
home, he continues thus : — "Immediately the fame of this great 
event being spread through the universe, penetrated the minds 
of Christians with its mild breath, and wherever it blew, there 
was no nation, however distant or obscure it might be, that did 
not send some of its people. This zeal not only animated the pro- 
vinces bordering on the Mediterranean, but all who had ever 
even heard of the name of a Christian in the most remote isles, 
and among barbarous nations. Then the Welshman abandoned 
his forests and neglected his hunting ; the Scotchman deserted 
the fleas with which he is so familiar ; the Dane ceased to swallow 
his intoxicating draughts ; and the Norican turned his back upon 
his raw fish.* The fields were left by the cultivators, and the 
houses by their inhabitants ; all the cities were deserted. People 
were restrained neither by the ties of blood nor the love of 
country ; they saw nothing but God. All that was in the 
granaries or destined for food, was left under the guardianship of 
the greedy agriculturist. The voyage to Jerusalem was the only 
thing hoped for or thought of. Joy animated the hearts of aU 
who set out ; grief dwelt in the hearts of all who remained. 
Why do I say, of those who remained ? You might have seen 
the husband setting forth with his wife, with all his family ; you 

* Our readers will judge, by two or three humorous traits in this de- 
scription, that our monk of Malmesbury had no objection to a joke. The 
national characteristics here mentioned are curious, as proving how long 
our northern Mends have been jeered at for their scratching propensities, 
and that the love of drinking was peculiar to the Dane before it waa 
reprobated by Hamlet : — 

" This heavy-headed revel, east and west, 
Makes us traduced, and taxed of other nations : 
They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase 
Soil our addition" 


would have laughed to see all the penates put in motion an« 
.oaded upon cars. The road was too narrow for the passengers, 
more room was wanted for the travellers, so great and numeroul 
was the crowd." 

No. h.—T-ige 8% Vol. I. 
Robert of Normandy. 

Robert had, before the crusades, long and serious quarrels 
with his father, William II. of Normandy and I. of England. 
In 1080, he quitted his country and sought the protection of his 
uncles, Robert, count of Flanders, Udo, archbishop of Treves, 
and several other princes of the houses of Lorraine, Germany, 
Aquitain, and Gascony. He made his complaints to them, 
mingling falsehood with truth, and received great assistance 
from them But he squandered their gifts among actors, para- 
sites, and courtezans. He was so prodigal that he soon became 
straitened again, and was obliged to have recourse to usurers. 
" Every one," says the chronicler Orderic Vital, " knew Duke 
Robert for an indolent, weak prince. So the ill-intentioned, 
despising him, took advantage of his character to excite trouble 
and factions. The duke was bold, valiant, worthy of praise in 
many respects, and naturally eloquent ; but he was inconsi- 
derate, prodigal in his bounty, free of promises, light and im- 
prudent in his falsehoods, allowing himself to be easily prevailed 
upon by prayers ; mild in character and slow to punish crime ; 
changeable in his decisions, too familiar in his conversation, and by 
that means drawing upon himself the contempt of the ill-disposed. 
He was stout, and short of stature, whence his father named him 
Courte-Heuse. He was anxious to please everybody, and gave, 
or promised, or granted, all that was asked of him. Prodigal of 
his patrimony, he diminished it daily by giving imprudently to 
every one what be desired. Thus he became poor, and furnished 
others with means to act against him." When the first crusade 
took place, Normandy, ill-governed by such a prince, was in the 
most deplorable condition. Duke Robert, in fear of the greatest 
evils, saw no better means of avoiding them, than by pledging 
his duchy with his brother William Rufus, for five years, for the 
sum of ten thousand marks, and setting out for Jerusalem. 
With his exploits in the Holy Land our readers are acquainted. 
In the year 1100, Robert, on his return from Palestine, landed 
in Apulia, where he fell in love with Sibylla, daughter of Geoffrey 
of Conversana, nephew of Duke Guiscard. He married her, and 
took her into Normandy, obtaining from his father-in-law the 
means of redeening his duchy. He lived there eight years* 


much in the same fashion as before his pilgrimage. At the end 
of that period, and in consequence of events foreign to our object, 
he was made prisoner at Tinchebray in Normandy, by his brother 
Henry, who carried him to London, where he remained confined 
twenty seven ye**-^ but always living amidst the enjoymenta 
of life. 

No. 6. 

Or J "/;le , rxigne. 

Whilst searching the Chronicles for passages illustrative of 
our work, we met with a portrait of Charlemagne so exceedingly 
interesting, that although he had nothing to do with the crusades, 
we cannot refrain from presenting it to our readers, begging 
them to remember that Charlemagne was considered, even in 
Asia, as the most powerful prince of Europe. 

" Charlemagne, who attained the highest degree of celebrity 
and glory, of a scrupulous and profound piety, was well informed 
in letters and philosophy, was the avenger and ardent propagator 
of the Christian religion, and the defender and supporter of 
justice and truth. Charlemagne's face was very white (at the 
time he was crowned by the pope, Leo), his countenance was 
cheerful, and whether standing or sitting, his carriage was equally 
majestic. Although his neck was thick and rather short, and his 
belly too protuberant, all his limbs were well proportioned. On 
days of festivity he wore a mantle of gold tissue, and a chaussure 
ornamented with precious stones. His sagum, or cloak, was 
fastened with a golden clasp, and his diadem was enriched with 
gold and jewels. Towards the end of his career, he was seized, 
on his return from Spain, with a fever, which lasted four years, 
and rendered him lame. He followed rather his own inclinations 
than the advice of his physicians, for whom he had a kind of 
aversion, because they wished him to abstain from roast meat, of 
which he was very fond, and to accustom himself to live on boiled 
meats. Charles was called great on account of his great good 
fortune, in which he was not inferior to his father, but was, on 
the contrary, more frequently a conqueror and more illustrious. 
In his youth his hair was brown, and his complexion ruddy ; he 
was handsome, and had much dignity in his carriage ; he was 
very generous, very equitable in his judgments, eloquent, and 
very well informed. He enjoyed every day the sports of the 
chase and the exercise of riding on horseback ; he was exceedingly 
fond of tepid baths, to which he invited not only his children but 
the lords of his court his friends, and his guards, so that there 
were often more than a hundred persons in the bath witli him 


He was moderate in his eating, and still more so in his drinking ,* 
nevertheless he often complained that fasts were injurious to him. 
He rarely gave great banquets, except upon solemn occasions. 
There were, ordinarily, not more than four dishes on his table, 
besides the roast meat which he so greatly preferred. Whilst 
he ate, a person read to him histories and accounts of the actions 
cf the ancients, or else the book of the City of God, by Saint 
Augustine, for which he had a great predilection. During the 
repast he never drank more than three times. In summer, ho 
took fruit after dinner, and slept two or three hours, undressed 
as if at night. His dress was that of the Franks, and he con- 
stantly wore a sword ; the sword-belt and baldric being of gold 
or silver. Sometimes he wore two swords. He spoke several 
languages. He had around him doctors of the seven liberal arts, 
who instructed him daily ; that is to say, a deacon of Pisa, in 
grammar ; a Saxon, in rhetoric, dialectics, and astronomy ; and 
Albin, surnamed Alouin, in the other arts. He himself made 
some reforms in the art of reading and in that of singing, 
although he never read in public aloud, and never sang but with 
the choir. He caused all the laws of his kingdom to be written, 
that were not so before. He himself wrote the actions and the 
wars of the ancients, and began a grammar of the language ot 
his country. He had every night a hundred and twenty guards 
around his bed. Ten were placed at his head, ten at his feet, 
and ten on each side of him, and each of these forty held a naked 
«word in one hand and a lighted torch in the other." 

No. 7.— Page 227, Vol. I. 
The Chronicle of Tours. 

We think it our duty to give here the passage from Albert 
d'Aix in its entirety, which contains the motives for the sentence 
of death pronounced by the leaders of the Christian army against 
the Mussulmans found in Jerusalem. At the end is the descrip- 
tion of the massacres which followed the taking of the city. For 
all who wish to appreciate the spirit of the times, this document 
is important. 

" Jerusalem civitas Dei excelsi, ut universi nostis, magna dif- 
ficultate, et non sine damno nostrorum, recuperata, propriis 
filiis hodie restituta est, et liberata de manu regis Babylonia 
jugoque Turcorum. Sed modo cavendum est, ne avaritia, aut 
pigritia vel misericordia erga inimicos habita, hanc amittamus, 
eaptivis et adhuc residuis in urbe gentilibus, parcentes. Nam si 
ibrte a rege Babylonia? in multitudine gravi occupati fuimus. 


iubito ab intus et extra impugn abimur, sicque in perpetutoM 
exilium transportabimur. Unde priratim et fi lele nobis videtul 
consilium, quatenus universi Saraceni et Q-entJiles, qui eaptivi 
tenentur, pecunia redimendi, aut redempti, sine dilatione in 
gladio corruant, ne fraude aut ingenio illorum nobis aliqua 
occurrant adversa. Consilio hoc accepto, tertlo die post victo- 
riam egressa est sententia a majoribus ; et ecce universi arma 
rapiunt, et miserabili ca?di in omne vulgus gentilium, quod 
adhuc erat residuum, exagunt, alios producentes a vinculis, 
et decollantes ; alios per vicos et plateas civitatis inventos 
truciclantes, quibus antea pecuniae causa, aut humana pietate 
pepercerant. Puellis tenellis detruncabant, aut lapidibus obrue- 
bant, in nulli« aliquam considerantes setatem. E contra pu- 
ellse, mulieres, matronae, metu momentaneae mortis angustatae 
^t horrere gravissimse necis concussae, Cliristianos, in jugulum 
utriusque sexus debaccbantes ac saevientes, medios pro liberanda 
vita amplexabantur, qua3dam pedibus eorum advolvebantur, de 
vita et salute sua illos mirum miserando fletu et ejulatu sollici- 
tantes. Pueri vero quinquennes aut triennes matrum patrum- 
que crudelem casum intuentes, una miserum clamorem et fletum 
multiplicabant ; sed frustra haec pietatis et misericordiae signa 
fiebant. Nam Christiani sic neci totum laxaverunt animum, ut 
non sugens masculus aut fcemina, nedum infans unius anni 
vivens manum percussoris evaderet. Unde plateas totius civitatis 
Jerusalem, corporibus extinctis virorum, mulierum, lacerisque 
membris infantium adeo stratee et opertae fuisse referuntur, ut 
non solum in vicis, soliis, et palatiis, sed etiam in locis desertse 
solitudinis, copia occisorum reperiebatur innumerabilis." — Alb. 
Aq. lib. 6, cap. 30, ap. Bong. pp. 282, 283. 

No. 8. 

Letter from Bohemond, Godfrey, Raymond, and Hugh the Great, upon th$ 
Peace concluded with the Emperor, and the Victory gained over the 
Infidels (anno 1097, ex Manuscript. St. Albani). 

Bohemond, son of Guiscard ; Raymond, count of St. Gilles ; 
Duke Godfrey, and Hugh the Great ; to all of the sect of the 
Catholic faith : may they attain the eternal felicity which we 
wish them. 

In order that the peace concluded between us and the em- 
peror, as well as the events that have happened to us since we 
have been in the lands of the Saracens, be known to all the 
world, we despatch to you, very dear brethren, an envov, who 
will inform you of all it can interest you to know. We have to 


tell you, that in the month of May, the emperor promised ul 
that from that time, pilgrims who came from the West to visit 
the Holy Sepulchre, should be protected from all insults on the 
iands of his dominions ; pronouncing pain of death against who- 
ever should transgress against his orders, and giving us at the 
same time, as hostages, his son-in-law and his nephew, as gua- 
rantees of his word. But let us return to events more capable 
of interesting you. At the end of the same month of May, we 
gave battle to the Turks, and, by the grace of God, we con- 
quered them. Thirty thousand were left upon the field of battle. 
Our loss amounted to three thousand men, who, by that glorious 
death, have acquired felicity without end. It is impossible to 
value correctly the immense quantity of gold and silver, as well 
as precious vestments and arms, that fell into our hands ; Nice, 
a city of importance, with the forts and castles which surround 
it, immediately surrendered. We likewise fought a bloody battle 
in Antioch ; sixty-nine thousand infidels were killed in the place, 
whilst only ten thousand of us had the good fortune to obtain 
eternal life upon this occasion. Never was a joy equal to that 
which animates us, beheld ; for, whether we live, or whether we 
die, we belong to the Lord. On this subject learn that the king 
of Persia has sent us a message, by which he warns us of his 
intention of giving us battle towards the festival of All-Saints. 
If he should prove the conqueror, his design is, he says, with 
the help of the king of Babylon and many other infidel princes, 
to make incessant war upon the Christians ; but if he should be 
conquered, he will be baptized with all those he can persuade to 
follow his example. We beg you, then, very dear brethren, tc 
redouble your fasts and your alms, particularly the third daj 
before the festival, which will be on a Friday, the day of triumph 
of Jesus Christ, in which we shall fight with much more hope of 
success, by preparing ourselves by prayers and other acts of 

P.S. — I, bishop of Grenoble,* send these letters, which 
kave been brought to me, to you archbishops and canons of the 
church of Tours, in order that they may be known by all those 
who will repair to the festival, and by those of the different 
parts of the earth into which they shall return ; and that some 
may favour this holy enterprise by alms and prayers, whilst 
others, taking up arms, will hasten to take a part in it. 

* This was St. Hugh, consecrated in the year 1081, by Pope Gre- 
gory VII., the same who, a short time after, received St. Bruno and his 
companions, and gave them the solitude of the Chartreuse, to found a nw 
order there. The church of Tcurs was then governed by Rodolph II. 



No. 9. 

Letter from Daimhert, Archbishop of Pisa, Godfrey oj Bouillon and 
Raymond, Count of St. Gil''*. They announce the Victories gained by 
the Christian Armies in th. Jloly Land (anno 1100, ex Manuscript. 
Signiensis Monasterii). 

I, archbishop of Pisa, and the other bishops ; Godfrey, by the 
grace of God now defender of the Holy Sepulchre, and all the 
army of the Lord, at present in the land of Israel, to our holy 
father the pope, to the Romish Church, to all bishops, and to all 
Christians, health and benediction in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

God has manifested his mercy by accomplishing by means of 
us, that which he promised in ancient times. After the taking 
of Nice, our army, three hundred thousand men strong, covered 
the whole of Eomania. The Saracen princes and kings having 
risen up against us, with the help of God were easily conquered 
and annihilated ; but as some of us became vain-glorious upon 
these advantages, the Lord, to prove us, opposed Antioch to us, 
a city against which human efforts could do nothing, which 
stopped us nine months, and the resistance of which so humbled 
our pride, that it compelled us to have recourse to penitence. 
God. touched by our repentance, allowed a ray of his divine 
mercy to shine upon us, introduced us into the city, and gave 
the Turks with all their possessions up to us. 

In our ingratitude, having a second time imputed this success 
to our own courage, and not to the Omnipotent who had caused 
us to obtain it, he permitted, for our chastisement, that an innu- 
merable multitude of Saracens should come and besiege us, so 
that nobody durst go out of the city ; we were soon given up to 
so cruel a famine, that some of us, in their despair, did not 
appear averse to nourishing themselves upon h iman flesh. It 
would be too long to make the recital of all we suffered in this 
respect. At length the anger of the Lord became appeased, and 
he so inflamed the courage of our warriors, that even they who 
were weakened by disease and famine took up arms and fought 
valiantly. The enemy was conquered ; and as our army was 
fruitlessly consuming itself within the walls of Antioch, we 
entered Syria, and took from the Saracens the cities of Barra 
and Marra, as well as several castles and strong places. A hor- 
rible famine wh\, ih assailed our army here, placed us under the 
cruel necessity o' feeding upon the dead bodies of the Saracens, 
already in a state of putrefaction. Happily, the hand of the 
Lord aided us again, and opened to us the gates of the cities and 
fortresses of the countries we passed through. At our approach, 


tfcey hastened to send us messengers loaded with rrovisions and 
presents ; they offered to surrender and accept the laws we might 
please to dictate ; but as Ave were few in number, and as the 
general desire of the army was to march to Jerusalem, we con- 
tinued our route, after having required hostages of the cities, 
the smallest of which contained more inhabitants than we had 

The news of these advantages induced a great number of our 
people who had remained at Antioch and Laodicea, to join us at 
Tyre, so that, under the all-powerful aegis of the Lord, we arrived 
at Jerusalem. Our troops suffered much in the siege of this 
place from the want of water. The council of war being assem- 
bled, the bishops and principal leaders ordered that the army 
should make a procession barefooted around the city, in order 
that He who formerly humiliated himself for us, touched by our 
humility, might open the gates to us, and give up his enemies to 
our anger. The Lord, appeased by our action, gave up Jeru- 
salem to us eight days atYerwards, precisely at the period at 
which the Apostles composing the primitive Church separated to 
spread themselves over the different parts of the earth, an epoch 
which is celebrated as a festival by a great number of the faithful. 
If you desire to know what we did to the enemies we found in 
the city, learn that in the portico of Solomon, and in the temple, 
our horses walked up to their knees in the impure blood of the 
Saracens. We already marked out those who were to guard the 
place, and we had already granted to those whom a love of 
country or a desire to see their families again recalled into 
Europe, permission to return thither, when we were informed 
that the king of Babylon was at Ascalon, with an innumerable 
army, announcing haughtily his project of leading away into 
captivity the Franks who guarded Jerusalem, and then rendering 
himself master of Antioch. It was thus he spoke ; but the God 
of heaven had ordained otherwise. This news being confirmed 
to us, we marched to meet the Babylonians, after leaving in the 
mty our wounded and our baggage, with a sufficient garrison. 
The two armies being in presence of each other, we bent our 
knees, and invoked in our favour the God of armies, that it 
might please Him, in His justice, to annihilate by our hands the 
power of the Saracens and that of the demon, and by that means 
extend his Church and the knowledge of the Gospel from one sea 
to the other. God granted our prayers, and gave us such courage 
that those who could have seen us rush upon the enemy, would 
have taken us for a herd of deer going to quench the thirst that 
devours them in a clear fountain which they perceive. Our army 
consisted o£ little more than five thousand horsemen and fifteen 
thousand foot ; the enemy, on the contrary, had more than a 


hundred thousand horse and forty thousand foot sexliers. Bui 
God manifested his power in favour of his servants. Ox.x first 
charge alone put to night, even without fighting, this immense 
multitude. It might be said they feared to offer the least 
resistance, and that they had not arras upon which they could 
depend to defend themselves with. All the treasures of the king 
of Babylon fell into our hands. More than a hundred thousand 
Saracens fell beneath our swords ; a great number were drowned 
in the sea, and fear was so strong upon them, that two thousand 
were stifled in the gates of Ascalon, by pressing to get in. 

If our soldiers had not been occupied in pillaging the camp of 
the enemies, scarcely, of such a number, enough would have 
escaped to announce their defeat. We cannot pass by in silence 
a very extraordinary event. On the day before that of the 
battle, we took possession of several thousands of camels, oxen, 
and sheep. The leaders commanded the soldiers to leave them, 
in order to march towards the enemy. A wonderful thing to 
relate, these animals accompanied us still, stopping when we 
stopped, advancing when we advanced ; the clouds even sheltered 
us from the ardour of the sun, and the zephyrs blew to refresh 
us. We offered up thanks to the Lord for the victory he had 
enabled us to gain, and we returned to Jerusalem. The count 
of St. Gilles, Robert duke of Normandy, and Robert count of 
Flanders, left Duke Godfrey there, and came back to Laodicea. 
A perfect concord having been reestablished between Bohemond 
and our leaders by the archbishop of Pisa, the Count Raymond 
prepared to return to Jerusalem for the service of God and his 
brethren. In consequence we wish for you, heads of the Catholic 
Church of Jesus Christ, and first of the Latin people ; and you 
all, bishops, clerks, monks, and laymen, that in favour of the 
courage and admirable piety of your brethren, it may please the 
Lord to pour his blessings upon you, to grant you the entire 
remission of your sins, and to make you sit at the right hand of 
God, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the 
Holy Ghost, from all eternity. So be it. 

We pray you and supplicate you by our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who was always with us, and who has preserved us through all 
our tribulations, to show gratitude towards our brethren who 
return to you, to do them kindness, and pay them that which 
you owe them, in order by that means to render yourselves 
agreeable to the Lord, and to obtain a put in the favours thej 
have merited from divine goodness. 


No. 10, 

fatter of the principal Crvjsaders <? rope Urba-x. 'See Fou*cher <* 
Chartres, pages 394, 395, of i\i Collection of Bongars.) 

We are all desirous that you sliould know how great the mercy 
of God has been towards us, and by what all-powerful help we 
have taken Antioch ; how the Turks, who had loaded with out- 
rages our Lord Jesus Christ, have been conquered and put to 
death, and how we have avenged the injuries done to our God ; 
how we have at last been besieged by the Turks from Corasan, 
Jerusalem, Damascus, and many other countries ; and how at 
length, by the protection of Heaven, we have been delivered 
from a great danger. 

When we had taken Nice, we routed, as you have learnt, a 
great multitude of Turks who came out against us. We beat 
the great Soliman (Kilidge-Arslan), we made a considerable 
booty, and being masters of all Homania, we laid siege to An- 
tioch. We suffered much in this siege, both on the part of the 
Turks shut up in the city, and on the part of those who came to 
succour the besieged. At length, the Turks being conquered in 
all the battles, the cause of the Christian religion triumphed in 
the following manner. I, Bohemond {ego Bohemundus), after 
having made an agreement with a certain Saracen, who agreed 
to give up the city to me, I applied ladders to the walls towards 
the end of the night, and we thus made ourselves masters of the 
place which had so long resisted Jesus Christ. We killed Accien, 
the governor of Antioch, with a great number of his people, and 
we had in our power their wives, their children, their families, 
and all that they possessed. We could not, however, get pos- 
session of the citadel ; and when we were about to attack it, we 
saw an infinite number of Turks arrive, whose approach had been 
announced to us for some time ; we saw them spread over the 
country, covering all the plains. They besieged us on the third 
day ; more than a hundred of them penetrated to the citadel, and 
threatened to invade the city from within. 

As we were placed upon a hill opposite to that on which the 
fort stood, we guarded the road which led into the city, and 
forced the infidels, after several combats, to reenter the citadel. 
As they saw they could not execute their project, they sur- 
rounded the place in such a manner that all communication was cut 
off; at which we were greatly afflicted and desolated. Pressed 
by hunger and all sorts of miseries, many among us killed their 
horses and their asses which they brought with them, and ate 
them ; but at last the mercy of God came to our assistance ; the 


apostle Andrew revealed to a servant of God the place m which 
the lance was with which Longinus pierced the side of the Saviour. 
We found this holy lance in the church of the apostle Peter. 
This discovery, and several other divine revelations, restored our 
strength and courage to such a degree, that those who were full 
of despair and fright became full of ardour and audacity, and 
exhorted each other to the fight. After having been besieged 
during three weeks and four days, on the day of the festival of 
St. Peter and St. Paul, full of confidence in God, having con- 
fessed all our sins, we marched out of the city in order of battle. 
We were in such small numbers, in comparison with the army of 
the Saracens, that the latter might well believe we meant to fly, 
instead of to provoke them to fight. Having made our dispo- 
sitions, we attacked the enemy wherever they appeared in force. 
Aided by the divine lance, we put them at once to flight. The 
Saracens, according to their custom, began to disperse on all 
sides, occupying the hills and roads, with the design of surround- 
ing us and destroying the whole Christian army ; but we had 
learnt their tactics. By the grace and mercy of God, we suc- 
ceeded in making them unite at one point, and when they were 
united, the right hand of God fought with us ; we forced them 
to fly and abandon their camp, with all that -was in it. After 
having conquered them and pursued them the whole day, we 
returned full of joy into Antioch. The citadel surrendered ; the 
commander and most of his people being converted to the Chris- 
tian faith. Thus our Lord Jesus Christ beheld all the city of 
Antioch restored to his law and his religion ; but as something 
sorrowful is always mixed with the joys of this world, the bishop 
of Puy, whom you gave us for your apostolic vicar, died after the 
conquest of the city, and after a war in which he had gained much 
glory. Now your children, deprived of the father you gave them, 
address themselves to you who are their spiritual father. We 
pray you, you who have opened to us the way we are following, 
you, who by your discourses have made us quit our homes and 
all we held dearest in our own countries, who have made us take 
the cross to follow Jesus Christ and glorify his name, we conjure 
you to complete your work by coming into the midst of us, and 
by bringing with you all you can bring. It was in the city of 
Antioch that the name of Christian took its origin ; for when 
St. Peter was installed in that church which we see every day, 
those who had called themselves Galileans named themselves 
Christians. What can be more just or more suitable than to see 
him who is the head of the Church come to this city, which may 
be regarded as the capital of Christendom ? Come, then, and 
help us to finish a war which is yours. We have conquered the 
Turks and the Pagans ; we cannot in the same way combat heretics, 


Greeks, Armenians, Syrians, and Jacobites ; we conjure you to 
do so ; we conjure you, holy Father, with earnestness. You, 
who are the father of the faithful, come amongst your children ; 
you, who are the vicar of St. Peter, come and take your seat in 
his church ; come and mould our hearts to submission and 
obedience ; come and destroy by your supreme and sole authority 
all kinds of heresies ; come and lead us in the road you have 
marked out for us, and open to us the gates of the one and the 
other Jerusalem ; come, and with us deliver the tomb of Jesus 
Christ, and make the name of Christian prevail over all other 
names. If you yield to our wishes, if you come amongst us, 
every one will obey you. May He who reigns in all ages bring 
you amongst us, and make you sensible to our prayers. Amen. 

No. 11. 

Council of Naplouse, held by the Authority of Garamond, Patriarch q) 
Jerusalem, to reform the Morals of the Christians of Palestine, in the 
Presence of Baldwin,, King of Jerusalem, in the year of our Lord 1120, 
in the Pontificate of Calixtus II. 

This is the manner in which William of Tyre, book xii. of the 
Holy War, chap. xiii. relates summarily the cause and the acts 
of the council. 

The same year, that is to say the year 1120 of the incarna- 
tion of the Word, the kingdom of Jerusalem being tormented, 
on account of its sins, with many troubles, and in addition to 
the calamities inflicted by their enemies, a multitude of locusts 
and gnawing rats destroying the harvests to such a degree that 
it was feared bread would be wanting ; the seigneur Garamond, 
patriarch of Jerusalem, a man religious and fearing God ; the 
king Baldwin, the prelates of the churches, and the great men 
of the kingdom, repaired to Naplouse, a small city of Samaria, 
and held a public assembly and a general court. In a sermon 
addressed to the people, it was said, that as it appeared plain that 
it was the sins of the people which had provoked the Lord, it was 
necessary to da\iberate in common upon the means of correcting 
and repressing excesses, in order that, returning to a better life. 
and worthily satisfying for their remitted sins, the people might 
render themselves acceptable to Him who desireth not the death 
J)f a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his wickedness 
and live. Terrified, then, by the menacing signs of Heaven, by 
frequent earthquakes, by successive defeats, by the pangs of 
famine, by perfidious and daily attacks of their enemies ; seeking 
to win back the Lord by works of piety, they have, to rcstort 


and preserve discipline in morals, decreed twenty-five acts, which 
shall have the force of laws. If any one be desirous of reading 
them, they will be easily found in the archives of many churches. 

Present at this council, Garamond, patriach of Jerusalem ; 
the logician Baldwin, second king of the Latins ; Ekmar, arch- 
bishop of Caesarea ; Bernard, bishop of Nazareth ; the bishop of 
Liddes ; Gildon, abbot elect of St. Mary of the Valley of Je- 
hoshaphat ; Peter, abbot of Mount Tabor ; Achard, prior of 
Mount Sion ; Payen, chancellor of the king; Eustace Granier; 
William de Buret ; Batisan, constable of Jaffa ; and many 
others of the two orders, of whom we forget the number and the 

" The synod," says Baronius, " towards the end of 1120 suc- 
ceeded in effecting such a reformation in morals, that by the 
mercy of Heaven, in the following year, 1121, the leader of the 
Turks, coming against Antioch with considerable strength, was 
struck with apoplexy and died." 

Chap. 1. — As it is necessary that things which commence by 
God should finish in him and by him, with the intention of 
beginning this holy council and terminating it by the Lord, I, 
Baldwin, second king of the Latins at Jerusalem, opening this 
holy assembly by God, I render and I grant, as I have ordered, 
to the holy Church of Jerusalem, and to the patriarch here pre- 
sent, Garamond, as well as to his successors, the tenths of all 
my revenues, as far as concerns the extent of this diocese ; that 
is to say, the tenths of my revenues of Jerusalem, Naplouse, and 
Ptolemais, which is further called Accon. They are the benefits 
of my royal munificence, in order that the patriarch, charged 
with the duty of praying the Lord for the welfare of the state, 
may have wherewithal to subsist on. And if, one day, in con- 
sequence of the progress of the Christian religion, he, or one of 
his successors, should ordain a bishop in one of these cities, he 
may dispose of the tenths as well for the king as for the Church. 

Chap. 2. — I, Bohemond, in the presence of the members of 
this council, with the consent of the personages of the assembly 
and of my barons, who will do the same by their tenths, according 
to the extent of their ecclesiastical powers, I make restitution of 
the tenths, as I have said ; and agreeing with them as to the 
injustice with which they and I have retained them, I ask pardon. 

Chap. 3. — I, Patriarch Garamond, on the part of the ill- 
powerful God, by my power and that of all the bishops and 
brethren here present, I absolve you upon the said restitution of 
the tenths, and I accept charitably with them the tenths you 
acknowledge to owe to God, to me, and to your other bishops, 
according to the extent of the benefices of the brethren presen* 
or absent. 


Chap. 4 — If any one fears being ill-treated by his wife, let 
him go and find him whom he suspects, and let him forbid him, 
before legal witnesses, entrance to his house and all colloquy 
with his wife. If, after this prohibition, he or any one of his 
friends should find them in colloquy in his house or elsewhere, 
let the man, without any cutting off of his members, be sub- 
mitted t.v the justice of the Church ; and if he purges himself by 
ardent fire, let him be dismissed unpunished. But when he 
shall have undergone some disgrace for being surprised in col- 
loquy, let him be dismissed unpunished and without vengeance 
for having violated the prohibition. 

M. Michaud inserts the whole of these laws ; but we omit the 
next twelve, as more likely to create disgust than to afford 
instruction or amusement. 

Chap. 16. — The male or female Saracen who shall assume the 
dress of the Franks shall belong to the state. 

Chap. 17. — If any man, already married, has married another 
woman, he has, to the first Sunday of Lent of our year, to con- 
fess himself to the priest and perform penance ; afterwards he 
has but to live according to the precepts of the Church. But if 
he conceals his crime longer, his goods will be confiscated ; he 
will be cut off from society and banished from this land. 

Chap. 18. — If any man, without knowing it, marries the wife 
of another, or if a woman marries, without knowing it, a man 
already married, then let the one that is innocent turn out the 
guilty one, and be in possession of the right of marrying again. 

Chap. 19. — If any man, wishing to get rid of his wife, says he 
has another, or that he has taken her during the lifetime of the 
first, let him submit to the ordeal of red-hot iron, or let him 
bring before the magistrates of the Church, legal witnesses, who 
will affirm by oath that it is so. What is here said of men is 
applicable to women. 

Chap. 20. — If a clerk take up arms in his own defence, there 
is no harm in it ; but if, from a love of war, or to sacrifice to 
worldly interests, he renounces his condition, let him return to 
the Church within the time granted, let him confess and conform 
afterwards with the instructions of the patriarch. 

Chap. 21. — If a monk or regular canon apostatize, let him re- 
turn to his order or go back to his country. 

Chap. 22. — Whoever shall accuse another without being able 
to prove the fact, shall undergo the punishment due to the crime 
he has accused him of. 

Chap. 23. — If any one be convicted of robbery above the 
value of six sous, let him be threatened with the loss of his hand, 
his foot, or his eyes. If the theft be below six sous, let him be 
marked with a hot iron on the forehead, and be whipped through 


the city. If the thing stolen be found, let it be restored tc him 
to whom it belongs. If the thief has nothing, let his body be 
given up to him he has ir.^red. If he repeats the offence, let 
him be deprived of all his members, and of his life. 

Chap. 24. — If any one under age commits a theft, let him be 
kept until the King's court shall decide what shall be done with 

Chap. 25. — If any baron surprises a man of his own class in 
the act of theft, the latter is not to be subject to the loss of his 
members, but let him be sent to be judged in the King's court. 

No. 12. 
Bull of Pope Eugenius III. for the Second Crusade. 

We here give a translation of the bull of Eugenius III., 
published in 1145, for the second crusade. It is taken from 
" Bullarum Eomanum Novissimum," the first volume. 

" The servant of the servants of God, to his dear son Louis, 
illustrious and glorious king of the Trench, to his dear sons the 
princes, and to all the faithful of the kingdom of France, health 
and apostolic benediction. 

" We know by the history of times past, and by the traditions 
of our fathers, how many efforts our predecessors made for the 
deliverance of the Church of the East. Our predecessor, Urban, 
of happy memory, sounded the evangelic trumpet, and employed 
himself with unexampled zeal, in summoning the Christian 
nations from all parts of the world to the defence of the Holy 
Land. At his voice, the brave and intrepid warriors of the 
kingdom of the Franks, and the Italians, inflamed with a holy 
ardour, took arms, and delivered, at the cost of their blood, the 
city in which our Saviour deigned to suffer for us, and which 
contains the tomb, the monument of His passion. By the grace 
of God, and by the zeal of our fathers, who defended Jerusalem, 
and endeavoured to spread the Christian name in those distant 
countries, the conquered cities of Asia have been preserved up to 
our days, and many cities of the infidels have been attacked and 
their inhabitants have become Christians. Now, for our sins, 
and those of the Christian people (which we cannot repeat with- 
out grief and lamentation), the city of Edessa, — which in our own 
language is called Hohas, and which, if w T e can believe the his- 
tory of it, when the East was subjected to the Pagan nations, 
alone remained faithful to Christianity, — the city of Edessa is 
fallen into the hands of the enemies of the cross. 

" Several other Christian cities have shared the same fate : the 


archbishop of that city with his clergy, and many other Christians 
have been killed ; relies of saints have been given up to tli6 
insults of the infidels, and dispersed. The greatest danger 
threatens the Church of God and all Christendom. We are 
persuaded that your prudence and your zeal will be conspicuous 
on this occasion ; you will show the nobleness of your sentiments 
and the purity of your faith. If the conquests made by the 
valour of the fathers are preserved by the valour of the sons, I 
hope you will not allow it to be believed that the heroism 
of th? French has degenerated. We warn you, we pray you, 
we command you, to take up the cross and arms. I warn you 
foi the remission of your sins, — you who are men of God, — 
to clothe yourselves with power and courage, and stop the 
invasions of the infidels, who are rejoicing at the victory gained 
over you ; to defend the Church of the East, delivered by our 
ancestors ; to wrest from the hands of the Mussulmans many 
thousands of Christian prisoners who are now in chains. By 
that means the holiness of the Christian name will increase in 
the present generation, and your valour, the reputation of which 
i3 spread throughout the universe, will not only preserve itself 
without stain, but will acquire a new splendour. Take as your 
example that virtuous Mattathias, who, to preserve the laws of 
his ancestors, did not hesitate to expose himself to death with 
his sons and his family ; did not hesitate to abandon all he held 
dear in the world, and who, with the help of Heaven, after a 
thousand labours, triumphed over his enemies. We, who watch 
over the Church and over you, with a parental solicitude, we 
grant to those who will devote themselves to this glorious enter- 
prise the privileges which our predecessor Urban granted to the 
soldiers of the cross. We have likewise ordered that their wives 
and their children, their worldly goods, and their possessions, 
should be placed under the safeguard of the Church, of the 
archbishops, the bishops, and the other prelates. We order, by 
our apostolic authority, that those who shall have taken the 
cross shall be exempt from all kinds of pursuit on account of 
their property, until their return, or until certain news be 
received of their death. We order, besides, that the soldiers of 
Jesus Christ should abstain from wearing rich habits, from hav- 
ing great care in adorning their persons, and from taking with 
them dogs for the chase, falcons, or anything that may corrupt 
the manners of the warriors. We warn them, in the name of 
the Most High, that they should only concern themselves with 
their war-horses, their arms, and everything that may assist 
them in contending with the infidels. The holy war calls ior all 
their efforts, and for all the faculties they have in them ; they 
who undertake the holy voyage with a right and pure heart and 


who shall have contracted debts, shall pay no interest. If they 
themselves, or others for them, are under obligations to pay 
usurious interest, we release them from them by our apostolic 
authority. If the lords of whom they hold, will not, or cannot 
iend them the money necessary, they shall be allowed to engage 
their lands or possessions to ecclesiastics, or any other persons. 
As our predecessor has done, by the authority of the all-power- 
ful God, and by that of the blessed St. Peter, prince of the 
apostles, we grant absolution and remission of sins, we promise 
life eternal to all those who shall undertake and terminate the said 
pilgrimage, or who shall die in the service of Jesus Christ, after 
having confessed their sins with a contrite and humble heart." 
Given at Viterbo, in the month of December, 1145. 

Ni. 13. 

A Letter from, Saladin, drawn up by the Cdi Alfadhel, to the Imaum Nassir 
Del-din-illah About Abbas Ahmed, containing the account of the Conquest 
of Jerusalem, and of the Battle of Tiberias. 

After devout wishes for the caliph, he enters thus on his 
subject : — 

"The servant (that is Saladin) has written this letter, which 
contains the account of the auspicious events of which he is the 
author. The inscription of this letter is the description of divine 
goodness, which is a sea for pens, a sea in which they may swim 
for ages. It is a blessing for which the gratitude should be 
measureless. Let thanks then be rendered to God for this bless- 
ing of to-day ; it is a blessing which will last for ever ; let no 
one say : The like has been seen. The affairs of Islamism are in 
the happiest condition ; the faith of those who believe in it is 
strengthened. The Mussulmans have destroyed the error which 
infidels had spread over these places. God has faithfully ful- 
filled, with regard to his religion, the compact he entered into. 
Religion was exiled and a stranger ; she now inhabits her natural 
dwelling : the reward is received, that reward purchased at the 
price of life. The commandment of the truth of God, which 
was powerless, is now in vigour ; his house is re-peopled, though 
it was abandoned after it had been destroyed. The order of 
God is arrived, and the noses of the polytheists are abased, 
Swords advanced by night, and the sick were asleep. (That is 
to say, I believe, that Saladin surprised the Crusaders, and that 
the Christians did not expect what happened to them on his part.) 
God has performed the promise he made to raise his religion 
above all religions. Its light is more brilliant than that of the 
morning ; the Mussulmans are restored to their heritage, which 


had been wrested from them. They have been awakened, the} 
have conquered that which they could not have hoped to con- 
quer, even in their dreams ; their feet are firmly fixed upon the 
hill ; their standards have floated over the mosque ; they have 
prayed upon the black stone. In acting thus, the servant pro- 
posed to himself nothing; short of these great results ; he only 
confronted this evil (the evils of this war) in the hope of this 
great blessing ; he only made war on those who opposed him, 
that the word of God might be spread ; for the word of God is 
exalted ; he has only fought that he might by that means merit 
eternal life, and not the wealth of this world. Perhaps, tongues 
may have accused him of having a contemptible object, and men's 
thoughts have calumniated him; but he has extinguished these 
thoughts by means of time and patience. He who sought a pre- 
cious thing placed himself' in danger. He who exerted himself 
to render his life illustrious, exposed himself. Otherwise, the 
servant has only acted after having consulted with the wisest of 
his doctors. The servant has written this letter, and already 
God has caused him to triumph over his enemies. The towers 
of the infidel are cast down ; he drew his sword, and it became 
a wand ; his attacks became wtak ; he turned his bridle ; and, 
as a chastisement from God, he has not found hands to act with. 
His swords have slept in their scabbards, his lances have lost 
their noses (points), and for a long time they were raised to in- 
flict death. The land of Jerusalem is become pure ; it was as a 
woman who has her rules. God is become one God, and he was 
trinary (or three). The houses of the infidel are destroyed, the 
dwellings of polytheism are cast down. The Mussulmans have 
taken possession of the fortified castles. Our enemies will not 
return to them again, for they are branded with the seal of weak- 
ness and degradation. God has placed beauty where deformity 
was . *##*##'* 

The first time the servant attacked them,* God came to hia 
succour, and assisted him with his angels ; he broke them with 
a rupture past remedy ; he precipitated them with a fall which 
would not allow the infidels to rise up again. He made a great 
number of prisoners, and killed many of their people. The field 
of battle was covered with dead, arms, and horses. How many 
swords became like saws, with striking ! How many horsemen 
rushed towards the destiny which destroyed them ! The king 
himself (of Jerusalem) advanced and cleared all before him. 
That day was a day of testimony (of the favour of God and the 
valour of the Mussulmans). The angels were witnesses. Error 
was at bay ; Islamism took birth. The ribs of the infidels were 

* Saladiu here speaks of the battle of T berias. 


materials for the fire of hell. The king was taken, and he held 
in his hand the most firm of his ties, the most strong of the 
bonds of his religion and of his belief. That was the cross, the 
leader, the guide of the partisans of pride and tyranny. They 
(the Christians) never advanced towards a peril without having 
this in the midst of them ; they flew round it as moths fly round 
a light. Their hearts gathered together under its shade ; they 
fought under this light with the greatest courage. They con- 
sidered it as the strongest tie that could bind them together ; 
they believed it to be a wall which would defend them on this 
day. On that day the greater part of the infidels were taken. 
Not one of them turned his back, except the Count.* May 
God curse him ! He was eager for carnage in the day of victory, 
and full of base tricks in the day of degradation ; he saved him- 
self! but how? he stole away for fear of being struck by the 
lance or the sword ; God afterwards took him in his own hands, 
caused him to die according to his promise, and sent him from 
the kingdom of death to hell. After the defeat, the servant 
passed through the province (Palestine), and gathered together 
the Abassides subjects that were scattered about it ; — those sub- 
jects who carried terror to the hearts of their enemies ; and he 
conquered by their aid such and such places. * 

This province (Palestine) is full of wells, lakes, islands, mosques, 
minarets, population, armies. The servant will change the tares 
of error for the good seed of the true faith ; he will cast down 
the crosses of the churches, and will cause the izan (the sum- 
mons of the Mussulmans to prayers) to be heard. He will 
change into pulpits the places on which the infidels immolated 
(altars), and of churches he will make mosques. 

" There remained nothing but Jerusalem ; every banished man, 
every fugitive had here taken refuge ; those from afar as well as 
those near had here shut themselves up ; they considered them- 
selves as there protected by the favour of God ; they believed 
that their Church would intercede for them. Then the servant 
arrived before the city ; he beheld a city well peopled ; he beheld 
troops who had agreed to die ; for whom death would be sweet 
if their city was doomed to fall. He came to one side of the 
city, but he found that the valleys (or the gardens) were deep ; 
that bad passages were numerous ; that the walls, like a neck- 
lace, surrounded it, and that towers, like large beads, f were 
placed along the middle of the walls. Then he directed his 
course to another side, where there was such an ascent as he 
desired, a place and an asylum for the cavalry ; he surrounded 

* The count of Tripoli. 

+ To understand this phrase, we must remember that, the author of the 
tetter compares the fortifications of Jerusalem to a necklace. 


this side and made his approaches to it ; he caused his tent to b% - 
pitched in a spot exposed to the attempts of the enemy ; lie 
attacked the walls vigorously, and at length got possession of 
them. The besieged sent to him, offering to pay him a tribute 
for a certain time ; they wished to obtain a cessation of their 
distress, and wait for reinforcements. The servant deferred his 
answer, and drew his machines nearer ; the machines that are 
the sticks and cords that punish castles for their resistance. 
Their strokes prepared the victory. Possession was taken of 
the towers ; the walls were void of combatants ; stone crumbled 
away into dust again, as it had been at first. The gates fell 
into the hands of the army of the servant. Then the infidels 
despaired ; the leader of the impiety came out then : this was 
Ben or Bezbar-ran ; he requested that the city should be taken 
by capitulation and not by storm ; the abjection of ruin and 
distress was imprinted upon his countenance, which before 
bhone with the glory of royalty ; he prostrated himself in the 
dust, he before whom nobody had dared to raise their eyes, and 
said : ' There (pointing to the city) are thousands of captive 
Mussulmans ; — this is the determination of the Franks : if you 
take the city by force, if you place the burden of war heavily on 
their backs, they will immediately kill their captives ; they will 
afterwards kill their wives and children ; then they will have 
nothing to wish for but death; but not one of them will die 
without having sacrificed many of your people.' The officers 
were of opinion that the city should be taken by capitulation ; 
for, said they, if it is taken by storm, there is no doubt but that 
the besieged will rush headlong into danger, and will sacrifice 
their lives for a thing they have so well defended. In the 
sorties they had precedingly made, they had displayed incredible 
courage, and their attacks had been terrible. * * * 

But God has driven them out of this territory, and has cast 
them down ; he has favoured the partisans of the truth, and has 
shown his anger against the infidels. These had protected this 
city by the sword ; they had raised buildings at the point of the 
sword and with columns of soldiers. These (the infidels) have 
placed churches there, and houses of the Diweieh, Peuiourjeh, 
&c, and of the Hospitallers. In these houses are precious things 
in marble. 

" The servant has restored the mosque Alasca to its ancient 
destination. He has placed imauns in it, who will there cele- 
brate the true worship. The kliothbeh (or sermon) was made 
there on Friday, the 14th of Chaaban. Little was wanting to 
make the heavens open with joy, and the stars dance. The word 
of God has been exalted ; the tombs of the prophets which tli« 
infidels had stained, have beer purified, &c. &c." 


Towards the end of his letter, Saladin says that his troops are 
spread all over the province ; he boasts of the fertility and rich- 
ness of it, and says he is going to complete the conquest of it. 
He adds that the fleet has put to sea ; and that he is about to 
r "store the walls of Jerusalem. 

No. 14. 

Khothbeh, or Sermon made at Jerusalem,, the first Fiiday after Saladin had 
taken Possession of that City, ly Zzohammed Ben Zehy. 

Mohammed Ben Zeky ascended the mimber, or pulpit, 
and commenced the khothbeh, or sermon, by reciting the 
surate Falchah (the first of the Koran) from the beginning to 
the end. Then he said: " May the crew of the unjust perish! 
Praises be to God, the master of worlds ! " Then he read, 1st, 
the commencement of the surate Alinam: " Praise to God who 
has created the Heavens ;" 2nd, a verse of the surate Soubhana: 
" Praise to God who has no son ; " 3rd, three verses of the surate 
Alkehef: " Praises to God who has sent the book to his servant." 
Then he read, 1st, the verse : " Praise to God, and salvation to 
his servants ;" 2nd, a verse of the surate Seba: " Praises to God 
to whom belongs all that is in heaven or earth ; " 3rd, several 
verses of the surate Falhr: " Praises to God the creator of the 
Heavens." His intention was to bring together all the Temeh- 
houdah (praises which are contained in the Koran). After this, 
he commenced the khothbeh in these terms : — 

" Praise to God, who has raised Islamism into glory by his 
aid ; who has abased polytheism by his power ; who rules worldly 
things by his will ; who prolongs his blessings according to the 
measure of our gratitude ; who defeats infidels by his stratagems ; 
who gives power to dynasties, according to his justice ; who has 
reserved future life for those who fear him, by an effort of his 
goodness ; who extends his shadow over his servants ; who has 
caused his religion to triumph over all others ; who gains the 
victory over his servants without any one being able to oppose 
him ; who triumphs in his caliph, without any one being able to 
resist him ; who orders what he wills, without any being able to 
make objections to it ; who judges according to his will, without 
any one being able to avert the execution of his decrees. I 
praise this God for having by his assistance rendered his elect 
victorious ; for the glory he has given them ; for the aid he has 
granted to his defenders ; I praise him for having purified the 
house filled with pollution, from the impieties of polytheism. 
I praise him invardly and outwardly. I give testimony tltai 


there is no other God but this God ; that he is the only one, and 
has no associate ; the only one, the eternal one, who begets not, 
neither is he begotten, and has no equal. I give testimony that 
Mahomet is his servant and his messenger, this prophet who 
has removed doubts, confounded polytheism, extinguished 
falsehood ; who travelled by night from Medina to Jerusalem ; 
who ascended into the heavens, and reached even the cedar 
Almontehy. May the eternal felicity of God be with him, with 
his successor Abou Bekr Alsadic, &c. 

" O men ! publish the extraordinary blessing by which God has 
made easy to you the recapture and deliverance of this city 
which we had lost, and has made it again the centre of Islamism, 
after having been during nearly a hundred years in the hands of 
the infidels. #=*##### 
This house was built and its foundations laid for the glory of 
God and in the fear of Heaven. For this house is the dwelling 
of Abraham ; the ladder of your prophet (peace be with him !) ; 
the kiblah towards which you prayed at the commencement of 
Islamism, the abode of prophets, the aim of saints, the place of 
revelation, the habitation of order and defence ; it is situated in 
the land of the gathering, the arena of the meeting ; it is of this 
blessed land of which God speaks in his sacred book. It was in 
this mosque that Mahomet prayed with the angels who approach 
God. It was this city to which God sent his servant, his mes- 
senger, the word which he sent to Mary. The prophet he 
honoured with a mission did not stray from the rank of hi3 ser- 
vant. For God said, the Messiah will not deny that he is the 
servant of God ; God has no son, and has no other God with him. 
Certes, they have been in impiety, they who have said that the 
Messiah, the son of Mary, was God. 

" This house is the first of the two kiblah, the second of the 
mosques, the third of the heramein ; it is not towards it that the 
people come in crowds after the two mesdjed ; it is towards it 
that the fingers are pointed after the two places. [I suppose 
Mecca and Medina.] If you were not of the number of the ser- 
vants whom God has chosen, certes he would not have favoured 
you particularly by this advantage which has been granted to no 
other brave men, the honour of which no one can dispute with 
you ; how fortunate you are in being the soldiers of an army 
which has made manifest the miracles of the prophet, which has 
made the expeditions of Abou Bekr, the conquests of Omar, 
&c. God has rewarded you by the best of rewards in that 
which you have done for his prophet. He has been grateful for 
the courage you have shown in punishing rebels ; the blood 
which you have shed for him has been acceptable to him ; it has 
introduced you into the Paradise which is the abode of the blessed j 

Vol. III.— 17 


acknowledge, then, the value of this blessing, offer np to him 
necessary thanksgivings ; for God has shown for you a marked 
beneficence in granting you this blessing, in selecting you for 
this expedition. For the gates of Heaven have been opened for 
this conquest ; its splendour has cast a light which has penetrated 
even to the deepest darkness ; the angels who approach the 
Divine Majesty have rejoiced at it ; the eye of the prophets and 
the messengers has beheld it with joy. Since, by the favour of 
God, you are the army which will conquer Jerusalem at the end 
of time, the troop which will raise the standards of the faith after 
the destruction of the prophecy, # # # # 

This house, is it not that of which God spoke in his book ? for he 
says, ' Be he praised who made his servant travel by night,' &c. ; 
is this not the house which the nations have revered ; towards 
which the prophets came, in which the four books sent from God 
have been read ? Is this not the house for which God stopped 
the sun, under Joshua, and retarded the march of day, in order 
that his conquest should be easy, and should be accelerated ? Is 
this not the house which God committed to Moses, and which he 
commanded his people to save ; but, with the exception of two 
men, these people would not ; God was an^ry against these 
people, and cast them into the desert, to punish them for their 

M I praise the God who has conducted you to the place from 
which he banished the children of Israel ; and yet these were 
distinguished above other nations. God has seconded you in an 
enterprise in which he had abandoned other nations that had 
preceded you ; which has caused there to be but one opinion 
amongst you, whilst formerly opinions differed ; rejoice that God 
has named you among those who are near him, and has made of 
you his own army, after you became his soldiers by your own 
free wiil. The angels (who were sent towards this house) have 
thanked you for having brought hither the doctrine of the unity. 
***** Now the powers of the hea- 
vens pray for you, and pour benedictions upon you. Preserve 
this gift in you, by the fear of God. Whoever possesses it is 
saved. Beware of the passions, of disobedience, of falling back, 
of flying from an enemy. Are you eager to take advantage of 
the opportunity to destroy what anguish remains ? Fight for 
God as you ought ; sacrifice yourselves to please him, you his 
servants, since you are of the number of the elect. Beware 
that the devil do not come down among you again, and that 
irreligion introduce not itself into your hearts. Did you figure 
to yourselves that your swords of steel, your chosen horses, your 
untiring perseverance, have gained you this victory P No. it was 
trod ; it was fr ~>m him alone that your success came. Beware, 


servants of God after having obtained this victory, of becoming 
disobedient and rebellious ; for then you will be like her who 
cut to pieces that which she had spun, or like him to whom we 
have sent our verses, and who has rejected them ; the devil has 
laid hold of him, and he has wandered from the faith. The holy 
Avar ! the holy war ! that is the best of your worships, the most 
noble of your customs ; help God, and he will help you ; hold t J 
God, and he will hold to you ; remember him, and he will re* 
member you ; do good towards him, and he will do good towards 
you ; endeavour to cut off every diseased member, to destroy 
even to the last enemy ; purify the rest of the earth of those 
nations with whom God and his messenger are angry. Lop ofl 
the branches of impiety, and fear, for already the days have 
grown. Vengeance of Mussulman attacks, of the Mahometan 
nation. God is great : he gives conquests, he degrades impiety ; 
learn that this is a great opportunity — seize it ; it is a prey, cast 
yourselves upon it ; it is a booty, get possession of it. It is an 
important business, apply your whole means to it, give your- 
selves up to it entirely ; put the battalions of your tribes on the 
march for it. For this business draws towards its end, and the 
treasuries are filled with wealth. God has already given you 
the victory over these vile enemies. These enemies were equal 
to you, or perhaps more numerous than you ; but however that 
might be, he has manifested that one of you is worth twenty 
other men. God will aid you as you cause his orders to be 
obeyed, and abstain from that which he has prohibited. He will 
strengthen all us Mussulmans by a victory ; if God helps you, 
you have no other conqueror to fear ; but if he withdraw his 
help from you, who will be he that shall help you after him ?" 

Then the preacher prayed for the Imaun Alnassir, the caliph, 
and said : " O God ! eternalize the sultan, thy servant, who 
humbles himself before thy majesty, who is grateful for thy 
blessings, who cherishes the remembrance of thy favcur. Pre- 
serve thy keen sword, thy brilliant star, who protects and de- 
fends thy religion, who defends the harem ! the seid, the tri- 
umphant prince, the reunitcr of the word, of the faith (that is 
to say, who has so acted that the Mussulman princes, with one 
accord, with one unanimous feeling, marched against the infi- 
dels) ; the exterminator of the cross, the good of the state and 
of religion (salah eddounia wa eddyn). The sultan of the Mus- 
sulmans, the purifier of the sacred house, Aboul Modhafi'er Yous- 
ben-Ayoub, the verifier of the power of the emir of the believers ; 
O God ! grant that thy angels may surround his throne ; make 
good the reward due to that which he has done for the religion 
of Abraham ; reward his actions for the sake of the Mussulman 
religion. O God ! prolong for Islamism," &c. 


No. 15. 
Bull of Gregory VIII., A.D. 1187. 

Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God ; to all thoge 
of the worshippers of Our Lord Jesus Christ to whom these 
letters shall come, health and the apostolic benediction. 

Having learnt the terrible severity of the judgments which the 
divine hand has exercised over Jerusalem and the Holy Land, 
we have been, we and our brethren, penetrated with such horror, 
afflicted with such lively grief, that, in the painful uncertainty 
of what it would be best for U3 to do on this occasion, we have 
only been able to partake the sorrows of the psalmist, and to ex- 
claim with him, " Lord, the nations have invaded thy heritage, 
they have profaned thy holy temple ; Jerusalem is no more than 
a desert, and the bodies of the saints have served as pasture to 
the beasts of the earth, and to the birds of the heavens." For in 
consequence of the intestine dissensions which the wickedness of 
men, by the suggestion of the demon, had given birth to in the 
Holy Land, behold Saladin, without any warniug, at the head of 
a formidable army, comes pouring down upon the city. The 
king and the bishops, the Templars and the Hospitallers, the 
barons and the people, hasten to the rescue, bearing with them 
the cross of the Lord, that cross which, in memory of the pas- 
sion of Christ, who was nailed to it, and which thus purchased 
the redemption of the human race, was regarded as the most 
secure rampart to be opposed to the attacks of the infidels. The 
conflict begins ; our brethren are conquered, the holy cross falls 
into the hands of the enemies ; the king is made prisoner, the 
bishops are massacred, and such of the Christians as escape 
death, cannot avoid slavery. Flight saves a few, and very few ; 
and these tell us that they saw the whole of the Templars and 
Hospitallers perish before their eyes. "We think it useless, 
beloved brethren, to inform you how, after the destruction of tho 
army, the enemies spread themselves over the whole kingdom, 
and rendered themselves masters of most of the cities, with the 
exception of a small number, which still resist. It is here we are 
compelled to say with the prophet, " Who will change my eyes 
into a fountain of tears, that I may weep night and day the 
massacre of my people !" Nevertheless, far from allowing our- 
selves to be cast down, or to be divided, we ought to be per- 
suaded that these reverses are only to be attributed to the anger 
of God, against the multitude of our sins ; that the most effica- 
cious manner of obtaining the remission of them is by tears and 
groans, and thai at last, appeased by our repentance, the mercy o/ 


the Lord will raise us up again, more glorious for the abasement 
into which he has plunged us. Who could, I say, withhold bis 
tears in s; great a disaster, not only according to the priuciplea 
of our divine religion, which teaches us to weep with the afflicted, 
Sut further, from simple motives of humanity, when considering 
the greatness of the peril, the ferocity of the barbarians, thirst- 
ing for the blood of Christians, their endeavours to profane holy 
things, and to annihilate the name of the true God, in a land in 
which he was born ; pictures which the imagination of the reader 
will represent to him better than we can paint them. No ; the 
tongue cannot express, the senses cannot comprehend what our 
affliction has been, what that of the Christian people must be, at 
learning that this land is now suffering as it suffered under its 
ancient inhabitants ; this land illustrated by so many prophets, 
from which issued the lights of the world ; and, what is still 
greater and more ineffable, where was incarnate God the creator 
of all things ; where, by an infinite wisdom, and an incomprehen- 
sible mercy, he consented to subject himself to the infirmities of 
the flesh, to suffer hunger, thirst, the punishment of the cross, 
and by his death and glorious resurrection, effected our salva- 
tion. "We ought not then to attribute our disasters to the injus- 
tice of the judge who chastises, but rather to the iniquity of the 
people who have sinned ; since we see in Scripture that, when 
the Jews returned to the Lord, he put their enemies to flight, 
and that one of his angels was sufficient to annihilate the formid- 
able army of Sennacherib. But this land has devoured its inha- 
bitants ; it has not been able to enjoy a long tranquillity, and 
the transgressors of our divine law have not preserved it long ; 
all thus giving this example and this instruction to such as sigh 
after the heavenly Jerusalem, that it is only by the practice of 
good works, and amidst numerous temptations, that they can 
attain it. The people of these countries had beforehand reason 
to fear that which has now happened to them, when the infidels 
got possession of a part of the frontier cities. "Would to God 
that they had then had recourse to penitence, and that they had 
appeased, by a sincere repentence, the God they had offended ! 
for the vengeance of that God is always only delayed. He does 
not surprise the sinner ; he gives him time for repentance, until 
at length his exhausted mercy gives place to his justice. But we 
who, amidst the dissolution spread over this country, ought to 
give our attention, not only to the iniquities of it3 inhabitants, 
out to our own, and to those of all Christvin people, and who 
ought, still further, to dread the loss of those of the faithful that 
still remain in Judaea, and the ravages with which the neigh- 
bouring countries are threatened, amidst dissensions which pre- 
vail between Christian kings and princes, and between villagea 


and cities ; we who see nothing on all sides but scandals and 
disorders, we ought to weep with the prophet, and repeat with 
him, " Truth and the knowledge of God are not upon earth ; I 
see nothing reign in their place but falsehood, homicide, adultery, 
and thirst for blood." It is everywhere urgent to act, to efface 
our sins by voluntary penance, and, by the help of true piety, 
to return to the Lord our God, in order that, corrected of our 
vices, and seeing the malice and ferocity of the enemy, we may 
do for the support of the cause of the Lord, as much as the 
infidel does not fear to attempt to do every day against him. 
Think, my beloved brethren, for what purpose you came into 
this world, and how you ought to leave it ; reflect that you will 
thus pass through all that concerns you. Employ, then, the time 
you have to dispose of in good actions, and in performing 
penance ; give that which belongs to you, because you did not 
make yourself, because you have nothing which is yours alone, 
and because the faculty of creating a hand-worm is above all the 
powers of the earth. We will not say, reject us, Lord, but per- 
mit us to enter into the celestial granary that you possess ; place 
us amidst those divine fruits, which dread neither the injuries of 
time nor the attempts of thieves. We will labour to reconquer 
that land upon which the truth descended from heaven, and 
where it did not refuse to endure the opprobrium of the cross for 
our salvation. We will not hold in view either a love of riches 
or a perishable glory, but your holy will, O my God ! you who 
have taught us to love our brothers as ourselves, and to con- 
secrate to you those riches, the disposal of which, with us, is so 
often independent of thy will. It is not more astonishing to see 
this land struck by the hand of God, than it is to see it after- 
wards delivered by his mercy. The will of the Lord alone can save 
it ; but it is not permitted to ask him why he has acted thus. Per- 
haps it has been his will to prove us, and to teach us that he 
who, when the time of repentance is come, embraces it with joy, 
and sacrifices himself for his brothers, although he may die 
young, his life comprises a great number of years. Behold with 
what zeal the Maccabees were inflamed for their holy law, and 
the deliverance of their brethren, when they precipitated them- 
selves, without hesitation, amidst the greatest perils, sacrificing 
their wealth and their lives, and exhorting each other, mutually, 
by such speecnes as these: "Let us prepare ourselves, let us 
show ourselves courageous, because it is better to perish in fight 
than to behold the evils of our nation, and the profanation of 
holy things." And they only lived under the law of Moses, 
whilst you have been enlightened by the incarnation of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and by the example of so many martyrs, S^how 
couj-age, then ; do no* fear to sacrifice these terrestrial posses 


sions which can last but so short a time, and in exchange for 
which we are promised eternal ones, above the conception of the 
senses, and which, in the opinion of the apostle, are worthy of 
all the sacrifices we can make to obtain them. 

We promise, then, to all those who, with a contrite heart and 
an humble mind, will not fear to undertake this painful voyage* 
and who will be determined so to do by motives of a sincere 
faith, and with the view of obtaining the remission of their sins, 
a plenary indulgence for their faults, and the life everlasting 
which will follow. 

Whether they perish there, or whether they return, let them 
know that, by the mercy of the all-powerful God, and by the 
authority of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own, 
they are liberated from all other penance that may have been 
imposed upon them, provided always that they may have made 
an entire confession of their sins. 

The property of the Crusaders and their families will remain 
under the special protection of the archbishops, bishops, and 
other prelates of the Church of God. 

No examination shall be made as to the validity of the righta 
of possession of a Crusader, with regard to any property what- 
ever, until his return or his decease be certain ; and till that 
time his property shall be protected and respected. 

He cannot be compelled to pay interest, if he owe any to 

The Crusaders are not to march clothed in sumptuous habits, 
with dogs, birds, or other such objects, which only display luxury 
and ostentation ; but they are to have what is necessary, are to 
be clothed simply, and are rather to resemble men who are 
performing a penance, than such as are in search of a vain glory. 

Given at Ferrara, the 4tth of the calends of November. 

[Then follows the ordinance for a general fast, to appease the 
anger of God, in order that he may enable them to recover 

The anger of the Supreme Judge being never so effectively 
appeased as when we seek to subdue our carnal desires, — 

Consequently, as we make no doubt that the misfortunes 
which have recently fallen upon Jerusalem and the Holy Land 
from the invasion of the Saracens, have been produced by the 
crimes of the inhabitants and those of the Christian people ; wc, 
with the unanimous advice of our brethren, and the approbation 
of a great number of bishops, order that, from this day, for five 
years, the fast of Lent shall be observed every Friday, during 
the whole day. 

We further order, that in all places where divine service ift 


celebrated, it shall be at nine o'clock, and that from the Advent 
of the Lord to his Nativity. 

Every one, without distinction, abstaining from eating flesh 
on the Friday and Saturday of each week, we and our brethren 
further interdict the use of it on Tuesdays among ourselves, 
unless personal infirmities, a festival, or some other good cause 
excuse us ; hoping by this means that the Lord will be appeased, 
and will lea^eus his benediction. 

Such are our regulations on this subject, and whoever shall 
infringe them shall be considered as a transgressor of the fast of 

Given at Ferrara, the 4th of the calends of November. 

No. 16. 

The Council of Paris, held in 1188, under the Pontificate of Pope Cle- 
ment III. The Tenths, called Saladin Tenths, were then decreed, to provide 
for the Expenses of the War against Saladin, King of the Turks. 

In the month of March of the year of grace 1188, towards 
Mid-Lent, a general council, to which were summoned the arch- 
bishops, bishops, abbots, and barons of the kingdom, was con- 
voked at Paris by King Philip. An infinite number of soldiers 
and people there took the cross. It was resolved, with the con- 
sent of the clergy and the people, that, considering the urgent 
wants then experienced (the king having nothing more at heart 
than the undertaking of the voyage to Jerusalem), a general 
tenth, from which no one should be exempt, which was named 
the Saladin tenth* should be pre-levied for that year only. 

Establishment of the Tenth. — In the name of the holy and 
indivisible Trinity, greeting. It is ordered by us, Philip, king 
of France, with the advice of tne archbishops, bishops, and 
barons of our dominions, thai; the bishops, prelates, and clerks 
of the churches convoked, and the soldiers who have taken the 
<rosp, sha J. not. .« ^i?\nibled for the repayment of the debts they 
may have before contracted, with Jews or Christians, until two 
jfears have revolved, reckoning from the first festival of All Saints 
which shall follow the decree of our said lord the king : so that 
at the following All Saints the creditors shall receive a third of 
that which is due to them, and thus, from year to year, at the 

* This is a most extraordinary circumstance and proclaims to us not 
only the fame of Saladin, the monarch of such a distant country, but like- 
wise the fear in which he was held in Europe. Notwithstanding his greater 
proximity, we did not call car Laooiae-tax the Buonaparte tax, as wfl 
ought have done. — Trans. 


§ame period, until the entire acquittal of the debt. The interests 
for anterior debts shall run no longer, dating from the day on 
which the debtor shall have taken the cross. The Crusader who 
is a legitimate heir, son or son-in-law of a soldier not a Crusader, 
or of a widow, shall procure for his father or his mother the 
advantage granted hy the present decree, provided he be not in 
the enjoyment of other revenues than that arising from the 
labour of his father and mother ; but if their son or son-in-law 
was not at their charge, or even if he did not bear arms and the 
cross, they shall not enjoy the said advantage ; but the debtors 
who shall have lands and revenues, within the fortnight which 
follows the approaching festival of John the Baptist, shall point 
out to his creditors the lands and revenues upon which they shall 
be able to recover their debts, on the terms above expressed, and 
according to the form prescribed, by means of the lords in the 
jurisdiction of whom these lands shall be. The lords shall have 
no power to oppose this consignment, short of satisfying the 
creditor themselves. Those who shall not have lands or re- 
venues enough to form such a consignment, shall furnish their 
creditors guarantees and securities for the acquittal of their 
debts at the term fixed ; if within the fortnight after the festival 
of St. John the Baptist, they have not satisfied their creditors 
by a consignment of lands, or by guarantees and securities, if 
they have no property, as it has been ordered, they shall not 
enjoy the privilege granted to others. If a clerk or a crusade 
soldier be the debtor of a clerk or of a crusade soldier, he shall 
not be troubled before the next All Saints, provided he can 
furnish him with a good guarantee for payment at that time. 

If one of the Crusaders, eight days before the Purification of 
the Virgin, or later, consign, in favour of his creditor, some 
money, some work, or some bill, the creditor cannot be forced 
on that account to consider him liberated. The bargain by which 
a man has bought of another Crusader the annual produce of an 
estate is good and valid. If a soldier or a clerk has engaged or 
consigned his lands or his revenue for some years to another 
Crusader, or to a clerk or a soldier not crossed, the debtor, for 
that year, shall collect the produce of the lands or the revenues ; 
but the creditor, after the expiration of the years during which 
he has enjoyed the consignment or the guarantee, shall continue 
to enjoy it a year longer, to compensate for the loss of the first 
vear ; so that, however, the creditor shall have for that first year 
half of the revenue for the cultivation, if he has cultivated the 
vines and the lands which were consigned to him as security. 
All bargains which shall have been lade eight days before the 
Purification of the Virgin, or which shall be made after, shall 
be authentic. It will be necessary for all the debts coming 



within the favour of the present decree, that the del tcr shall 
give a guarantee as good, or even better than that which he had 
given before. If the parties are not agreed upon the goodness 
of the guarantee, it shall be referred to the lord of the creditor ; 
if he do not answer to this demand, the afi'air shall be taken 
before the suzerain. If the lords or princes under whose direc- 
tion the creditors or the debtors may be, refuse to give their 
hand to the execution of that which is ordered by the present 
decree, on account of the privileges given to the debtor, or of 
the consignments to be made, and if, warned by the metropolitan 
or the bishop, they have not done it within forty days, they will 
be liable to excommunication ; but if the lord or the suzerain 
make it his duty to show, in presence of the metropolitan or 
the bishop, that he has not failed in this formality towards the 
creditor, or even the debtor, and that he is ready to execute what 
is ordered, the metropolitan or the bishop cannot excommunicate 
him. No Crusader, whether clerk, soldier, or other, shall be 
held responsible but for debts already demanded legally at the 
time at which they shall have taken the cross ; he shall not be 
passible to others before his return from the Holy Land. They 
who are not Crusaders shall pay, at least this year, the tenth of 
all their property and revenues, except the monks of the order 
of Citeaux, of the Chartreux, of Fontevraud, and the lazar- 
houses, with regard to the property which belongs to them. 
Nobody shall meddle with the property of the communes, unless 
it be the lord of whom they hold. For the rest, every one shall 
retain the rights he had before in the commune. The grand 
justiciary of an estate shall always levy the tenths of it. Let it 
be observed, that they who are subject to pay the tenth, shall 
pay it upon all their goods and revenues, without beforehand 
subtracting their debts. It is not till after they have paid the 
tenth that they may pay their creditors from the remainder of 
their property ; all laymen, as well soldiers as those that are 
subject to the taille (poll-tax, or something like land-tax), upon 
taking the oath, under pain of anathema, and clerks under pain 
of excommunication, shall pay the tenth. The soldier who is 
not crossed shall pay to his lord who is crossed, and of whom he 
holds, the tenth of his own property and of the fief which he 
holds of him. If he holds no fief of him, he will pay him the 
tenth of his own property, and will pay the tenth to those of 
whom he holds directly. If he holds of no lord, he will pay the 
tenth of his own property to him upon whose fief he lives. If a 
man possessing an estate in proper, finds upon his estate tenths 
belonging to another than to him to whom he owes them, and if 
the proprietor can prove that they legitimately belong to him, 
the former cannot retain these tenths. The crossed soldier, a 

appendix. 38* 

legitimate heir or son-in-law of a non- crossed soldier, or of a 
widow, will receive the tenth of his father or mother. Nobody 
shall lay hands on the property of archbishops, bishops, chap- 
ters, or churches that depend upon them, but the archbishops, 
bishops, chapters, or churches themselves. If the bishops collect 
the tenths, they shall remit them to those who are appointed to 
receive them. The Crusader subject to the taille, or to the 
tenth, and who shall refuse to pay them, shall be arrested, and 
placed at the disposal of him to whom he is indebted. He who 
nas arrested him cannot be excommunicated for doing so. He 
who shall pay his tenth with readiness, according to the law and 
without constraint, shall be recompensed by God. 

No. 17. 

Note upon the Greek Fire, taken from Ike Manuscript Life of Saladin, 
by Renaudot. 

It is certain that the artificial fire called Greeh fire, sea fire, 
or liquid fire, the composition of which is found in the Greek 
and Latin historians, was very different from that which the 
Orientals began at this time to make use of, and the effect of 
which was the more surprising, from the cause of it being en- 
tirely unknown ; for whereas the first was prepared of wax, 
pitch, sulphur, and other combustible materials, there was nothing 
in this but naphtha or petrol, of which there were springs near 
Bagdad, like those of which the ancients speak, near Ecbatana 
and on the frontiers of Media. All naturalists agree that this 
bituminous matter takes fire very easily, and that it is impossible 
to extinguish it wi+h anything but sand, vinegar, and urine. An 
experiment was made with it before Alexander, by lighting a 
great quantity of it by trains, which burnt for a long time 
without being able to be extinguished ; a buffoon, even, having 
been rubbed with it, the fire injured him s» seriously that there 
was great difficulty in saving his life. And yet, notwithstanding 
the ancients were acquainted with it, it is not known that they 
frequently employed it in w ar, nor that it entered into the com- 
position of the true Greek fire, invented, according to common 
opinion, by Callinichus, under Constantine Pogonatus, but which 
is, notwithstanding, more ancient by many centuries. Thus it 
is very probable that the Orientals, not having made any use of 
it before this siege, Ebn-el-Meja<= employed it successfully as a 
new invention ; and that the Christians, on account of the re- 
semblance, cahed it the Greek fire, from the idea they conceived 
that it might be the same as that with which the whole Levant 


was acquainted. This fire having been in use for the defence Oi 
besieged places, was called oleum incendiarium, oleum medicum; 
and it was employed in the time of Valentinian, under whom 
Vegetius, a military author, who gives the composition of it, 
wrote his work. iEneas, an ancient author quoted by Polybius, 
also speaks of it in his Treatise upon the Defence of Cities, and 
Callinichus added nothing new to it, except the machines, or 
copper pipes, by means of which they employed it for the first 
time at sea, and burnt the Arabian fleet near Cyzicus. The 
Greeks continued afterwards to use these machines, with which 
they armed their fire-ships, and never communicated the know- 
ledge of it to any other nation ; any more than did the Maho- 
metans their naphtha fire, when they had once learned the 
practice. Thus the names became confounded by the ignorance 
of the two nations ; the Greeks calling, with much reason, the 
artificial fire of the .Mussulmans, Media fire, and the Latins 
comprising both under the name of Greek fire ; as the Orientals 
afterwards called gunpowder naphtha, from the relation they 
found between it and that fire which it made them abandon. 

No. 18. 
Memoir upon the Forest of Saron, ort he Enchanted Forest of Tasso. 

Most of the places in Palestine, in which battles were fought 
between the Franks and the Saracens, were, towards the end of 
the eighteenth century, the theatre of many conflicts between 
the French and the Mussulmans. The French, in 1799, put the 
Syrians to flight in the neighbourhood of Arsur, on the same 
spot where Richard gained a great victory over Saladin. We 
feel pleasure in presenting to our readers the very interesting 
Memoir of M. Paultre, who made the campaign in Syria, and 
who identified the forest of Saron, or the enchanted forest of 

" The 24 Ventose, an 7 (14th of March, 1799), our army, 
leaving Jaffa to march upon St. Jean dAcre, after an hour and 
a half's progress, arrived on the edge of a torrent, which flowed 
from Lidda, and fell into the sea at a short distance on our left ; 
the crossing of this torrent presented many difficulties to our 

" Before us was a plain of about a league in width, but which, 
on our left, extended to the sea, where it was inclosed by dunes, 
or small sand-hills, covered with verdure ; whilst on our right, it 
extend a d for two or three leagues, and was lost in the declivities 


of the mountains of Gofna and Naplouse, calied by the Hebrews* 
Mount Garizim. The torrent we had just passed was the ancient 
boundary between the tribes of Dan and Benjamin with that ol 
Ephraim, on the territory of which we were about to march. 

" The plain appeared to be closed before us by a wooded 
ascent, extending from the principal chain which ran along the 
plains of Palestine, on our left, quite to the seashore ; our route 
was through these woods, and it would have been dangerous to 
approach them without having reconnoitred them ; the more so 
from our knowing the Syrian army to be at a small distance 
from us, and it might be expected they had thrown some parties 
into them, to oppose our passage, and take the advantage which 
difficult and covered places might offer them. This forest, 
placed upon a very elevated hill, presented to us a picturesque 
aspect, which pleasingly recalled the sites of our beautiful wooded 
countries of France. 

" The French general availed himself of the moment which 
the passage of the torrent retarded the march of the army, to 
have the different issues of this forest reconnoitred by our van- 
guard, and to assure himself that the roads were practicable. 
At nine o'clock in the morning, the general who commanded the 
cavalry informed him that the route was free, that there was 
no party of the enemy in the woods, and that the army might 
advance with safety. According to this advice, the march was 
resumed, and after proceeding for an hour over a level plain, we 
began to enter the wood, and ascend a hill, where the road 
became very difficult for our pieces and our carriages. The 
route we followed appeared to be very little frequented, although 
our guides assured us it was the high road to Jaffa, St. Jean 
d'Acre, and Damascus. Sands, rocks, bushes, ravines, and steep 
hills, rendered our march very painful ; it might have been said 
that routes had never been traced in these cantons ; and I cannot 
better compare that which we followed than to the cross-roads 
of our least-frequented forests in France. Branches of trees, 
whole trunks, fallen from age or accident, with enormous rocks, 
at every step barred the way, and our sappers had infinite trouble 
to clear a passage for our carriages and loaded camels. If the 
enemy had known how to take advantage of the circumstance, 
and had augmented our difficulties by some redoubts or barricades 
of trees, it would have been impossible for us to have forced the 
passage ; some parties of infantry, or only some armed peasants, 
would have been able to do us much injury, and entirely have 
stopped the march of our army, in places already nearly impas- 
sable by their nature. But happily, we had to do with enemies 
who had no suspicion of even the first elements of military 
tactics ; for, whilst ->ur columns traversed with so much difficulty 


these woody and rocky mountains, where it would have been sc 
easy to stop us, and fight us with advantage, they awaited us 
peaceably, four leagues further on, in a clear plain, where our 
artillery and our manoeuvres gave us every advantage over them ; 
as they had good reason to know on the morrow. After a pain- 
ful march of two leagues, across the forest, the army halted on 
ssuing from the wood, and took up a position on the northern 
side of the hill, near the village of Meski, where our head- 
quarters were established. A torrent flowed at a small distance 
in front of our position ; and our light troops, who had already 
passed it, informed us that they could perceive, in a vast plain 
which extended from the side of St. Jean d'Acre, parties of 
Syrian and Mameluke cavalry, which indicated the neighbour- 
hood of the enemy's army. Dispositions were then taken to keep 
us in readiness, in case they should march to attack us ; but the 
evening and the night passed without a blow being struck ; and, 
on the morrow, after having crossed the torrent without oppo- 
fc.tion, we presented ourselves before them in battle-array in the 
plain of Quoquoun, at the foot of the mountains of Naplouse, 
and, after a slight affair, we drove them back to the plain 
of Esdrelon, whence they effected their retreat upon St. Jean 

" Description of the Forest of Saron. — The woods we had 

i'ust crossed are known in the country under the name of the 
^orest of Saron ; they extend over a vast hill, which is one of 
the western counterforts of the chain which separates the valley 
of the Jordan from the plains of Palestine, and which is itself a 
prolongation of Mount Libanus. This hill, designated by the 
Hebrews, Mount Saron, is detached from the principal chain 
below the city of Naplouse, and extends to the sea, where it ter- 
minates by low rocks and hills, between Jaffa and Arsouf, the 
ancient Apollonius ; it may be of eight or nine leagues in 
length, from Mount G-arizim, where it quits the principal chain, 
to the seashore ; its mean width is between two and three 
leagues, and its height is progressive, from Naplouse to the 
shore of the Mediterranean, where it terminates in rocks and 
hills of a moderate height. It is bordered on the north by the 
torrent of Arsouf (Naher-el-Hadder), which has its source below 
JSTaplouse, in Mount G-arizim ; passes near the ruins of ancient 
Antipatris, and falls into the sea near Arsouf, after a course of 
seven or eight leagues. To the south, it is parallel with the 
torrent of Lidda, the ancient Disopolis, which rises in Mount 
Acrabatene, off Jericho, near Gofna and Gazer, passes Lidda, 
and falls into the sea at about a league north of Jaffa, after a 
course of from eight to ten leagues. These two torrents flow 
parallel with each other, and make almost the same turns, being 


directed by the declivity of the same hill. The mean distance 
between their beds is from five to six leagues, which was the 
width of the land of the ancient tribe of Ephraim, upon the 
centre of which extended Mount Saron, whose base, two or 
three leagues wide, terminates at these torrents, by two little 
lateral plains, of a league in width, or thereabouts. 

" The forest covers the side of the hill, from the principal 
chain to within three-quarters of a league of the seashore} 
which gives it a length of from seven to ten leagues, and from 
two to three in width. The chain of Mounts Acrabatene and 
Garizim appeared to me barren, or covered only with brush- 
wood. The declivities of Mount Saron are more steep and 
broken on the north than on the south side ; its base is a lime- 
stone rock, which, in many places of the forest, rises above the 
surface in great blocks, heaped one upon another. In general, 
I cannot better compare the sites of this part of Palestine, than 
o those of the environs of Fontainebleau. The forest of Saron 
is composed solely of oaks, of the species designated by the 
ancients, Quercus cerrus ; its leaves are more smooth and less 
indented than those of our common oaks. The capsule of the 
acorns is of very large dimensions ; I. have seen many of from 
ten to twelve lines in diameter, at their opening, and which had 
contained acorns of that size ; the scales or shells which cover 
this capsule were not rouuded and placed one upon another, as 
with that of the oaks of Burgundy, but were terminated in 
points, and bent outwards in a volute form, or like little hooked 
points, which has obtained for this oak the name of Quercus 
cunita ; the leaves were covered with those tubercles, known in 
commerce as gall-nuts. These oaks did not appear to me to be 
susceptible of gaining any considerable size ; most of them, 
although announcing great age, might be embraced by a singio 
man, and had, at most, a square of from seven to eight inches. 
The trunk was knotty and not very straight, and in few cases 
was more than from twenty-five to thirty feet high ; their top 
was rather orbicular than pyramidal, like that of our apple and 
chestnut-trees of Europe. Their bark was, however, more 
smooth and less furrowed than that of our oaks of the samt 
age. In general, the growth of these trees was nearly like that 
in the gravelly woods of the dry and elevated coasts of Lower 
Burgundy, and I believe that the same cause, want of depth of 
vegetable earth and moisture, may produce this resemblance, 
although under different climates. And yet I suspect the wood 
to be very hard, and of good quality ; but being knotty, twisted, 
and of small size, it can be of very little use for building purposes : 
thus, Solomon, to build his temple, was obliged to get his timbei 
from Libanus, whilst the forest of Saron was at the very gates 


of Jerusalem. Our first Crusaders, at the time of the siege of 
the holy city, being obliged to bring thither the wood for the 
construction of their machines and towers of attack, complained 
that this forest could only furnish them with pieces of small 
dimension, which rendered their building labours long and dif- 
ficult. Pei haps, since that period, there has been no occasion 
for having recourse to this forest, which now is only used by the 
inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who cut, on its outskirts, the 
wood they stand in need of. The government takes no notice of 
a property which can be turned to no public profit ; considering 
the difficulty of transporting squared timber, in a country where 
carriages are not used, and where everything is carried upon the 
backs of camels ; besides, so little wood is used for firing in 
hot climates, that this forest cannot have much value for that 
purpose even. 

" I have now to prove that this forest of Saron was that in 
which our first Crusaders, at the siege of Jerusalem in 1099, 
went to cut their timber for the construction of the machines 
and towers they employed in the attack of the city. 

" According to William of Tyre, it was a Syrian who pointed 
it out to the duke of Normandy and the count of Flanders. 
This historian places it at a distance of seven or eight miles from 
Jerusalem, and remarks that the trees of this forest being of 
small growth, and not capable of furnishing the strong timber of 
which they stood in need, the difficulty of procuring any other 
in a country in which woods were very rare, obliged them to 
form these machines of pieces fa*t I together, which required 
much time and labour. 

" Casu affuit quidam fidelis indigena natione Syrus, qui in 
valles quasdam secretiores, sex aut septem ab urbe distantes mil- 
liaribus quosdam de principibus direxit, ubi arbores, etsi non ad 
conceptum opus aptas penitus, tamen ad aliquem modum bonas 
invenerunt plures." 

William of Tyre is mistaken in the distances, when stating 
this forest to be six or seven miles from Jerusalem, whilst it is 
really ten or eleven leagues from it. He places it likewise in a 
deep valley, which could only be correct if considered with 
reference to the mountains of Gosna and Naplouse, from which 
the Crusaders might have descended to cut the wood of which 
they stood in need. 

"Raoul of Caen, equally a contemporary historian, is more 
exact in the placing of this forest, and proves to us in an irre- 
futable manner, that it was that of Saron in which the Crusaders 
went to cut the timbers for the siege ; for he places it at the foot 
of the mountains of JNaplouse, exactly where it now exists. 

APrENDix. 393 

" Lucus erat in montibus, et montes ad Hyeruwilem remoti ei, 
qua modo Neapolis, olim Sebasta, ante Sychar dictus est, pr r 
piores, adhuc ignota nostiatibus via, nunc Celebris et ferine pere- 
grinatium unica." — Had. Cad. cap. 121. 

" In fact, to come from St. Jean d'Acre to Jerusalem, it ia 
necessary to pass through, this forest ; and I do not know how 
the Crusaders could pass it without observing it, in their march 
from Antioch to the holy city. Apparently having followed 
the shores of the sea from. Csesarea to Jaffa, and the high hills 
that were on their left, prevented their seeing it. 

" Le Pere Maimbourg does better ; knowing that Palestine is 
a country in which woods have at all times been rare, in his 
1 History of the Crusades,' he doubts the existence of this forest, 
which is, to the best of my belief, the only one in these cantons. 

" Tasso, whose poetical and rich imagination delighted in 
creating so many wonderful things, was not stopped by such 
trifling considerations, and in his Jerusalem Delivered, the forest 
of Saron has supplied him with one of the finest episodes of his 

" I must here hazard some ideas upon the origin of the 
name of the forest, of the city, and of the country of Saron. 
M. D'Anville, in his map of Palestine, gives to the part of the 
territory of the tribe of Ephraim, comprised between the torrent 
of Lidda and that of Apollonias, the name of Saronas, which 
he writes as the name of the country ; and it is precisely on 
this spot that the forest of Saron exists, of which, perhaps, 
M. D'Anville had no kind of knowledge. He likewise places 
between these two torrents above Lidda, a city called Thamnath 
Sara, in a country which he denominates Tamnitica, which now 
forms part of the forest where Mount Saron again unites with 
the principal chain. 

"In the map of the Holy Land, by M. Robert, after the 
manuscripts of the Sieurs Sanson, there is a city of Sarona, 
situated between Lidda and Antipatris, towards the centre of the 
present forest. He makes this city a royal city of the Hebrews. 
He places, as M. D'Anville does, the city of Thamnath Sara ; 
and at a short distance to the north, a city of Ozensara. 

" The resemblance of thesv. different names leads me to think 
they may be all formed from the primitive Sar, which, in many 
languages, signifies oaks, woods, forests as Diodorus points out, 
in book v., when saying that tne Gauls gave the name of 
Saronides to certain philosophers of their country, because they 
dwelt in forests of oaks, and taught under the shade of those 
trees. We have preserved this sar in the word sarman, the 
wood of the vine ; in strpe (or sarpe, low Breton), an instrument 

394 vpi endix. 

to cut wood ; surbacane, a perforated stick, to throw smaii 
arrows or other projectiles ; sarse, a wooden cask ; esserter, 01 
essarter, to pull up bushes in a place about to be cultivated. 

" I leave it to pens more versed than mine in the science of 
etymology, to follow this subject in a more learned and certain 

No. 19. 
Ralph Dicet. 

Ralph Dicet was of London, and lived, as it is said, in 
the reign of John ; he was a man remarkable for his piety and 

He says: "In 1185, the king of England (Henry II.) con- 
voked the conventual abbots, the counts and barons, near the 
Fountain of the Clerks,* at London. 

" After having heard the patriarch, and the master of the Hos- 
pitallers, the king entreated all who were present to send to 
Jerusalem all the assistance in their power. They then delibe- 
rated whether it was proper for the king to go in person to Pales- 
tine, or whether he ought to remain in England, to govern it, as 
he had engaged to do, before the assembled church. The king 
promised to furnish succours, in men and money, to repress all 
violences and iniquities of every kind, and that equity and mercy 
should preside over all judgments. It appeared most prudent 
for the king to govern his kingdom with suitable moderation, 
and to defend it from the irruptions of the barbarians. 

" In the same year, the kings of France and England had an 
interview at Gisors, where they received the cross from the 
hands of the archbishop of Tyre It was agreed that all the 
French Crusaders should wear a red cross, those of England a 
white cross, and those of the counts of Flanders a green one."f 

Ralph says that when the cross was taken in England, a 
general tenth upon all property was levied, for the assistance of 
Jerusalem. This levy was made with so much violence as to 
terrify both the clergy and the people. Under the title of alms, 
it was enforced with a spirit o^ exaction and rapacity. 

After this observation, the historian places the letters patent 
of Philip, king of France, and Richard, king of England, 
which order that the Crusaders should set out from both 
countries in the octave of Easter, under pain of excommunica- 

* Here is a little bit for the antiquaries of Clerkenwell, which is, x*4 
doubt, meant by this. — Trans. 

f This is a valuable hint V poets, painters, and novelists. — TRANS. 


fcion and interdiction ; md forbid any one to do injury to the 
Crusaders during their absence. These letters are dated 30tb 

Ralph Dicet's work terminates in the year 1199. It is excel- 
lent for dates, and for many passages of it. 

No. 20. 
Ralph of Coggershall. 

Ralph of Coggershall, an Englishman by birth, nourished about 
the year 1220, in the reign of Henry III., son of John. He 
was of the order of Citeaux. His merit and his learning raised 
him to the dignity of abbot of the monastery of Coggershall, in 
the county of Essex. He is the author of many works. 

D. Martenne, when publishing Ralph's " Chronicon Anglica- 
num," is astonished, and apparently with reason, that the 
English, who are so jealous of the glory of their country, have 
shown such neglect for the works of this author, whom their 
scholars value so highly. 

Ralph, like the other chroniclers, is dry and brief, and it is not 
before the invasion of Palestine by Saladin that he abandons the 
style of the chronicler to assume that of the historian. 

After having spoken of the arrival of the kings of France and 
England in Sicily, of that which Richard did in the isle of 
Cyprus, of the victory which this prince gained over the Saracen 
vessels before landing at Acre, of the siege and reduction of that 
place, of the divisions which broke out between Philip Augustus 
and Richard, of the taking of several maritime cities by Richard, 
and of the death of the marquis of Montferrat, Ralph of Cog- 
gershall relates that the duke of Burgundy, left in Palestine by 
Philip Augustus, who had returned home, came to join Richard, 
in order to fight together against the enemies of Christ ; and that 
it was resolved to go and besiege Jerusalem. He describes the 
victory which Richard gained over a rich caravan which was on 
its way to that city. He says, that while this prince was in his 
camp, before the castle of Ernald, and the duke of Burgundy, 
with his troops, was in the fortress of Betenoble, a spy came to 
warn the king that in the night he had heard some men and 
camels come down from the mountains, and that he had followed 
them. He added, that he had discovered they were sent by 
Saladin to the duke of Burgundy, and that the camels, to the 
number of five, were loaded with gold, silver, and silken vest* 
ments. The spy had orders from the king to take with him soma 

396 APPEK.UX. 

of the king's guards, and lie in ambush for the messengers of 
Saladin on their return. All which he did ; he surprised them, 
took them, and brought them to the king. Richard drew from 
one of them by torture the secret intrusted to them. He acknow- 
ledged that the sultan had sent them to the duke. On the fol- 
lowing day Richard sent for the duke, the patriarch, and the 
prior of Bethlehem. He had a private conference with them, 
and swore, before them, on the Gospel, that he was ready to go 
with his army and besiege Jerusalem, or Babylonia, or Berytus, 
without the possession of which places the king could not be 
crowned. Richard, after having taken this oath, desired the 
duke to take his. The duke refused, because the Templars and 
the French had assured him he should incur the anger of Philip, 
if Richard, by their means, triumphed in Jerusalem. Richard 
flew into a great rage, treated the duke as a traitor, and re- 
proached him with receiving presents from Saladin. The duke 
denied all he was accused of. Then Richard sent for the mes- 
sengers of Saiadin. When they had been introduced, and had 
revealed their secret, the king ordered his guards to shoot them 
to death with arrows in presence of the whole army ; which was 
done, without the troops of Richard or of the duke knowing the 
cause of this severity, or whence these messengers came, or what 
they had done. The duke of Burgundy, much ashamed, imme- 
diately retired with his troops, and took the road to Acre. 
Richard, upon hearing of this retreat, instantly sent messengers 
to the guards of the city, forbidding them to allow any French- 
man to enter. The duke encamped without the walls. The king 
struck his camp on the following day ; and, following the duke, 
he also pitched his tents on the outside of the city. 

Ralph then gives long details of the battle of Jaffa, which took 
place soon after. As this battle is one of those in which the 
valour and skill of Richard were displayed with the greatest ad- 
vantage, and as the historians we have followed in our account of 
the third crusade, have only presented us with inexact details 
of this event, we think it but justice to the lion-hearted king to 
give an extract from that which Ralph says of it. 

Richard had been reposing with his army three days before 
Ptolemais, when he was informed that Saladin was besieging 
»5 affa with all his troops ; and that the city would soon be taken, 
and the garrison slaughtered, if he did not afford the besieged 
prompt assistance. Richard, afflicted with this news, endea- 
voured to bring back the duke of Burgundy to sentiments of 
concord ; but this prince rejected all his advances, and set out 
with his troops that same night for Tyre. Shortly after arriving 
there, he finished his life miserably in the deliri im of a fever ; 
which Ralph considers as a just chatisement from heaven 

AiPENi)IX. S&# 

Richard embarks with & part of his army, and trusts himself to 
the seas ; but the vessels were driven towards the isle of 
Cyprus, by contrary winds and the fury of the waves, so that 
they who remained on land believed that the king had retreated 
secretly. This likewise accounts for some authors having said 
that Richard went to the isle of Cyprus. The king, and those 
who accompanied him, after having struggled against the winds 
and waves for three days, at length succeeded, by rowing 
obliquely, in anchoring with three vessels in the port of Jaffa. 

Saladin, by repeated assaults, had already rendered himself 
master of the city, and had put to death all the infirm and the 
wounded. The garrison had retired into the castle, and were 
already thinking of surrendering by capitulation, when the 
patriarch, who went freely from one army to the other, told 
them that Saladin's soldiers had resolved to kill them all, to 
avenge their relations and friends, whom Richard had put to 
death without pity on several occasions ; and that they would 
not escape death, if even Saladin should grant them permission 
to retire. In spite of this information, the garrison hesitated, 
and saw no hope of avoiding the fate which awaited them, when 
the vessels of the king appeared in the port. This sight restored 
their courage. On his part, Richard, perceiving that the fortress 
of the city was not taken, jumped on shore fully armed, followed 
by his troops, and like a furious lion, rushes amidst the hosts of 
enemies that cover the shore. He advances audaciously, through 
the arrows which pour upon him from all sides, cutting down all 
in his way. The Turks, unable to stand against such an attack, 
and believing that Richard had brought a more numerous army 
with him, precipitately abandoned the siege, and not without 
experiencing a great loss. They were so terrified, that nothing 
could stop them before they had got safely within the walls of 
Roemula. The king, after this encounter, went boldly and 
pitched his tents under the walls of the city, in a plain near to 
Saint Abacue, for the Crusaders could not remain in the city on 
account of the odour arising from the dead killed on both sides, 
which had been placed, by mistake, by the side of a number of 
carcasses of pigs. 

When it was announced to Saladin, on the following day, that 
Richard had arrived with only eighty soldiers, and the four hun- 
dred cross-bowmen who formed his guard, he broke into a great 
rage with his army, for having fled before so small a number. He 
immediately ordered his cavalry to return to Jaffa, and to bring 
him, the next day, the king alive and a captive. 

That night Richard reposed tranquilly in his camp, suspecting 
nothing ; when, at daybreak, the infidels surrounded his camp 
bo completely, that there was no passage by which he could take 


refuge in the city. Three thousand Saracens entered Jaffa ; and 
he Christians, awakened by noise and cries, were struck with 
rerror at finding themselves enveloped on all sides. 

At the sight of such a sudden danger, Richard quickly assumes 
his armour, mounts on horseback, and banishing all fear, appears, 
on the cc ntrary, more bold in proportion with the number of his 
enemies. He animates his men to the fight ; he tells them they 
ought not to fear death when they have to defend their religion, 
and avenge the insults offered to Christ ; that it would be more 
glorious for them to fall for the law of Christ, and in falling, 
courageously to strike down his enemies, than to give themselves 
basely up to them, or to seek safety in a flight which was 
become impossible. Whilst addressing them thus, Richard 
ranged his companions in a close battalion, so that, during the 
combat, the enemy might be able to find no open space through 
which to break them. He then caused to be planted, at the 
foot of every one, tent-poles, which served them for a rampart. 
Whilst they were thus employed, as well as the time permitted, 
and that, on their side, the infidels, armed and waited, talking 
among themselves, one of the chamberlains of the king rushed 
from the city, and arrived at the camp, crying out with a 
lamentable voice, as it has been reported to us by Hugh de 
Nevil, who was in this battle, " Alas ! my lord, we shall all 
perish ; we have no. resource left. A numberless multitude of 
pagans have got possession of the city, and we have before us 
troops as uncountable, who threaten us with death." The 
king, in great anger, commanded him to be silent ; and swore lie 
would strike off his head if he dared to speak such words before 
any one of the soldiers. Richard immediately harangued his 
troop afresh ; he exhorted them not to be terrified by the num- 
bers of the pagans ; he told them he would go into the city to 
ascertain what was passing ; and, taking with him six determined 
warriors and the royal standard, he intrepidly enters Jaffa, 
opens himself a road with sword and lance, precipitates himself 
upon the enemies, who are assembled in the public places, 
attacks them, cuts them down, kills them. The warriors who 
accompany him overturn all they meet, and slaughter them 
without mercy. The irruption of the king was so sudden and 
so violent, that most who fell were ignorant what power it 
was that destroyed them. The enemies fled before the king, 
who pursued them as flocks fly before a lion inflamed by hunger. 

Richard having, by his incomparable valour, cut down or put 
to flight the infidels who were in the city, made some of the 
soldiers of the garrison, who had retired into the castle, come 
and take charge of the gates and walls of the place. 

After this incredible victory, tb« king returned with his six 


warriors to the army. Nevertheless, he was m ch afflicted at 
having ••- few horses ; for there were but six and a mule in al 
the camp. To animate his soldiers still further, Hichard related 
to them what the Lord had done in the city, by means of his 
arm, and how so small a number had triumphed over such a host 
of enemies : " For this reason," exclaimed he, " let us invoke the 
aid of the all-powerful God, in order that he may to-day crush 
our enemies. Be sure to resist the first shock, and sustain 
courageously the violence of the first blows. Beware of break- 
ing ; for if separated, you will be torn to pieces like sheep, with- 
out strength and without defence. If, on the contrary, you can 
sustain the first charge without breaking, you will have nothing 
to fear from the courage of your enemies. You will triumph, 
with the help of God, over the enemies of Christ. But if I see 
any one of you show the least fear, or leave a passage for the 
enemy, or turn aside, I swear, by the all-powerful God, I will 
myself strike off his head." 

When the king had thus exhorted and animated his men to 
the fight, all raised their lances, and, by their prayers, invoked 
the assistance of God ; but whilst many among them, no doubt, 
were reflecting that they had nothing but a cruel death before 
them, the sound of trumpets and the noise of clarions announced 
the approach of the infidels, who came down upon the Christians 
like a torrent, with their lances directed towards them, and 
uttering loud and frightful cries. The Turks expected that the 
Christians would give way at the first charge ; that they would 
disperse over the plain ; that their ranks wouid be broken ; and 
that they would allow themselves to be cut to pieces almost 
without resistance. But the Christian battalion remained firm 
and motionless, without yielding a foot to either the terror or 
the violence of the assault. The Turks wondered at this unheard 
of audacity in so small a number, and reining up their horses, 
retired backwards some distance, yet not so far but that they 
might touch each other with their lances on both sides. Not an 
arrow was discharged, not a javelin was thrown ; they only 
threatened each other with gesture, voice, and countenance. 
The Turks remained thus for half an hour, and then returned to 
their first position, murmuring and talking to themselves. They 
drew back from the Christians nearly half a stadium. Upon 
seeing this, the king broke into loud laughter, crying, " Bravo 
soldiers of Christ ! did not I tell you so ? Did not I tell you 
they would not dare to measure themselves with you, unless we 
attacked them first ? They have shown us all their courage, 
and everything that they thought could inspire us with fear and 
terror. They thought to frighten us by their numbers, and that 
we should not dare to resist their first charge. They expected 


us to submit, like women, to their blows, and fly here and there 
over the plain. Cursed be he now who would seek to avoid their 
charge, or who would fear to measure himself with them. Sus- 
tain their assaults with courage, as you have just done, until, 
with the help of God, we triumph over them." 

Richard had scarcely ceased to speak, when the infidels 
advanced afresh, uttering their cries, and sounding their trum- 
pets ; they, however, halted at a short distance from the Chris- 
tians. The latter remaining motionless as before, and showing, 
if possible, greater intrepidity, the infidels returned a second 
time to their position, without venturing to strike a blow. They 
repeated this five or six times, from the first hour of the day 
to the ninth. Richard, who began to be tired of such long in- 
activity, and whose courage increased proportionately with the 
intrepidity of those around him, ordered his troop, when tne 
infidels came down again, to launch some arrows and darts at 
them, and let them feel the points of their lances, so as to pro- 
voke them to fight. He commanded his cross -bowmen to march 
before the soldiers, and discharge their arrows, bolts, and javelins 
at the enemy, which was done ; and when the Turks, according 
to their custom, advanced uttering hideous cries, and appeared 
ready to overwhelm the Christians, the latter attacked them with 
their lances, their swords, and all sorts of weapons, overthrow- 
ing them and killing them. The carnage soon produced cries 
of agony and disorder in the ranks of the enemy. Some were 
run through with lances, others were cast headlong from their 
horses ; these were wounded in the head, those were pierced by 
arrows ; and a vast number were slain by darts and javelins. 
The intrepid Richard, whose resplendent arms glittered like 
fire, and who had till that moment neither given nor received a 
wound, now all at once dashed amidst the infidel ranks, with his 
sword in one hand, and his lance in the other,* striking sparks 
from the helmets and armour of all he encountered, right and 
left. He rushed among the thickest of the enemy's battalions, 
without seeking to avoid their blows, and without ceasing to 
deal mortal ones. At one time he was surrounded by a hundred 
Saracens, who attacked him alone. He falls upon them ; he 
strikes off the head of one at a blow ; he divides the shoulders 
from the body of another ; he cuts off the hand of this one, and 
the arm of that one ; others he overthrows, and renders in- 
capable of defence. The rest disperse, and seek to avoid his 

* This may appear improbable ; but there is no doubt Richard was a perfect 
horseman ; and we very well remember Mr. Goldham, of the London and 
Westminster volunteer light-horse, performing the broad sword exercis* 
with a sword in each hand, and his horse at sr>eed, before Georgo III, in 
Hyde Park.— Tbans. 


blows. Richard inspires such terror that no one dares to wait 
for him, do one dares encounter him. The soldiers of Richard 
follow their king as they would have followed their standard ; 
they penetrate the enemy, slaughtering without compunction, 
all who either resist or fall in their way. The infidels fall with 
lamentable cries ; striking the earth with head and feet, and 
their lives gush out with their blood. Although they attacked 
the Christians with vigour, and hurled a shower of darts, it 
pleased God, however, that not one of their blow s should be 
mortal, and that in this fight not a single Christian should 
perish, with the exception of one soldier, who, separating him- 
self from his comrades, met with the death he wished to avoid 
by flight. The soldiers to whom Richard had confided the 
guarding of Jaffa, admiring the invincible courage of the king 
and his companions, issued in a body from the city, and fell with 
vigour upon the Turks. The latter, pursued without any inter- 
mission by Richard and his little army, took to flight, after 
losing a great number of their men, and concealed themselves in 
holes and caves.* 

Ralph, of Coggershall, after describing this astonishing 
victory, says that Richard being attacked by the plague, deter- 
mined to return into Europe. He gives an account, in a few 
words, of the treaty made with Saladin. He says that that 
which confirmed the king of England in the resolution of leaving 
Asia, was the news he received of his brother John's attempts to 
usurp his authority in his kingdom. The battle of Jaffa was 
fought in the dog-days, and it was in the autumn that Richard 
set sail for Europe. The account which the author gives of the 
mann3r in which the king was made prisoner in Germany, is 
sufficiently curious to be repeated here. Ralph is the only one 
of the chroniclers we have analysed who f irnishes minute details 
on this subject. 

King Richard, says he, with some of his people, was annoyed 
during six weeks, by a tempestuous sea. When he arrived 
within three leagues of Marseilles, and learnt that the Count de 
St. Gilles, and some other nobles, through whose states he must 
pass, had agreed to place ambushes for him, he resolved to 
return to England through Germany. He went back, and 
landed at the isle of Corfu. He found there two pirate vessels, 
■which had had the audacity to attack his, and which his pilot 
recognised. Richard, on account of the courage and hardihood 
they had shown, made a bargain with the pirates, and agreed to 

* Although our chronicler does not tell us so, we may presume that when 
one of Richard's troop cut down a Turkish horseman, he did not leave hia 
saddle long empty, and that such accessions enabled *:he Christians to 
make an effective pursuit. — Trans. 

Vol. III.— 18 


go on board their vessels. He only took sv ih. him { small num« 
ber of his people. These were Baldwin de Betune ; Master 
Pliilip, the kind's clerk ; Anselm, kis chaplain, who himself 
related to us all he saw and heard ; and some knights of the 
Temple. They landed on the coast of Sclavonia, at a city named 
Gazara. They immediately sent a messenger to the neighbour- 
ing castle, to request of the lord, who was master of the pro- 
vince, and nephew to the marquis of Montferrat, liberty to pass 
through his states. The king, on his return, had purchased 
three rubies of a Pisan, for which he gave nine hundred byzants. 
He had Lad one of these rubies set in a gold ring ; and he 
charged the messenger to offer this ring to the lord of the 
castle. The latter inquired the names of those who demanded 
the passage. The messenger replied that they were pilgrims 
returning from Jerusalem, and he named Baldwin de Betune, 
adding that it was a merchant called Hugh, who sent him the 
ring. The lord of the castle, after having for a long time 
examined the present, replied to the messenger, " His name is not 
Hugh, but Richard, king of England. I have sworn," added he, 
" that I will make prisoners of all pilgrims who come into this 
country, and that I will not receive any present from them ; but 
on account of the value of this, and of the dignity of him who 
sends it, and who has honoured me thus without knowing me, I 
return you the ring, and I grant free liberty of passage." The 
messenger went and reported this answer to the king. The 
pilgrims, very little satisfied with the message, left the city 
secretly in the night, mounted upon horses they had purchased, 
and made the best of their way across the country. But the 
lord sent a spy after them, to follow their steps and arrest the 
king. When Bichard entered a city in which dwelt the brother 
of the lord, the latter called to him a trustworthy person, named 
Roger d'Argenten, a Norman by birth, who had been with him 
twenty years, and to whom he had given his niece in marriage ; 
and ordered him to go to all the houses in which pilgrims lodged, 
and endeavour to discover, by language, or by some other sign, 
if the king were not among them. He promised him half the 
city if he could arrest the prince. Roger, after a long search, 
discovered the king, who for a considerable time dissembled, 
and was only induced to reveal himself by the prayers and tears 
of Roger. The latter immediately advised Richard to steal 
away, and gave him the best horse he could procure. He then 
went to his master, and told him that the news of the arrival of 
Richard was false, and that it was only Baldwin de Betune and 
his companions, who were returning from pilgrimage. But the 
master flew into a great rage, and ordered them all to be arrested. 
The king had left the city secretly with William de l'Etang, and 


a servant who understood the German language. He Travelled 
three days and three nights without taking any food. At las* 
pressed by hunger, he turned from his road, to enter a city 
called Ginana, in Austria, on the Danube. To complete his ill 
fortune, the duke of Austria was then at Ginana. The king's 
servant, on going to the market, displayed several byzants, and 
created suspicions by his discourse ; he Mas arrested and interro- 
gated. He answered that he served a rich merchant, whom he 
expected in three days. He was then released ; aiid he we:it 
instantly to the king, relating to him what had happened, and 
advising him to depart without delay. But the king, who was 
fatigued, determined to rest for a few days. The servant, after 
going to the market to buy provisions, had one day the impru- 
dence to carry with him the king's gloves, stuck in his girdle. 
These gloves were very remarkable, and the servant was again 
arrested. Being taken before a magistrate of the city, he was 
put to the torture, and threatened with having his tongue cut 
out if he did not at once reveal the truth. The servant yielding 
to the agony of the question, made the confession demanded of 
him. Information was instantly sent to the duke ; the house in 
which the king lodged was surrounded, and he was summoned 
to surrender. The king declared he would only surrender to the 
duke himself. The latter arrived, and the king, making a few 
steps to meet him, gave up his sword to him * The duke, highly 
elated, led away the king, whom he treated honourably. He 
afterwards placed guards about him, who never left him, night 
or day, but kept watch, with drawn swords in their hands. 

After this recital, Balph makes many sad reflections upon the 
captivity of Richard, which he can only explain as a secret 
judgment of God, so astonishing and deplorable does it appear 
to him, that a king who had escaped so many dangers in Syria, 
should become the prisoner of a Chris f Ian prince, without having 
an opportunity to defend himself or give battle. He follows the 
king through his captivity, and describes his deliverance and 
return to his dominions. He gives an account of what happened 
to this prince when he had regained his kingdom, and pursues 
nis history to the time of his death, which was in 1229. Balph. 
has drawn such a portrait of Bichard as cannot fail to interest 
our readers, on account of the prominent part which that king 
has played in the history of the crusades. 

" We had reason to hope," says he, " that Bichard, consider- 
ing the liberality of his excellent mind and his great skill in the 

* If any limner had the skill to paint Richard's countenance at parting 
with such a friend as his "good sword," this would make a fine picture. 
The feelings, which must have nearly suffocated bis lion heart, would 
furnUh matter for a poem. — Traxs. 


art of war, would be the model of Norman kings. In the earij 
days of his reign he was affable to everybody ; being well dis- 
posed in religious affairs, and inclined to listen to just demands ; 
he immediately filled up the vacant bishoprics and abbeys. He 
promised to render justice to all. He restored to many, for 
sums of money, their charters, privileges, and liberties, or else 
renewed them. The money he thus obtained served as means 
for his voyage to Jerusalem. He quitted his kingdom almost 
immediately afterwards, and commenced his expedition with 
much devotion, great preparation, and infinite expense. God 
protected him throughout, and caused him to escape all the 
dangers of this war ; and, by his help, the king wrested from the 
hands of the infidels a great portion of the Holy Land. God 
still evidently watched over him during his return and his cap- 
tivity, and preserved him from the hands of new and numerous 
enemies. But when Richard was restored to his subjects, he 
forgot the victorious hand that had preserved him : in the ma- 
turity of age he took no pains to correct the vices which had 
disfigured his youth. He displayed so much harshness and 
obstinacy, that he tarnished by excessive severity all the virtues 
that had graced the commencement of his reign. He always 
turned a threatening eye upon those who talked to him of state 
affairs ; he made reproaches or censures with a terrible air, and 
showed a furious countenance to those who did not satisfy his 
demands for money, or perform the promises they had made to 
pay him some. In private he was affable and winning, and even 
condescended to play or to joke. He was so greedy of money 
that he wished to empty every purse. He pressed the English 
to such a degree, in order to discharge the amount of his 
ransom, that he spared no order and no condition. Neverthe- 
less, Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury and justiciary of the 
kingdom, mitigated, as much as he could, the effects of the cruel 
edicts of the king." 

Ralph, in another part of his works, after having praised the 
new king of England for having restored to the ecclesiastical 
benefices their revenues and their titularies, adds, that Richard 
took great delight in the divine service, and particularly in the 
solemnities of religion. He says that his chapel was richly 
ornamented ; that he accompanied, with his sonorous voice, and 
encouraged by presents, the singers of the church ; but that 
from the secrete of the mass to the post-communion, he prayed 
in silence, and with an earnestness which nothing could disturb. 
He afterwards names two abbeys which he founded or repaired, 
both of the order of Citeaux ; one was that of Bon-Port, in Nor- 
mandy, in the diocese of Rouen ; the other, that of the Pine, in 
the diocese of Poictiers. 


No. 21. 

The continuator of the history of William of Tyre relate* 
i -thing which is not found in the text, except a little trick 
which Saladin attempted to play off upon Richard, at the time 
of the battle of Jaffa, and which we think worthy of being pre- 
sented to our readers. We quote the chronicle : — 

" Saladin asked where the king of England was. They an- 
swered him, ' Sire, see him yonder on the ground, on foot, with 
his men.' ' How,' said Saladin, ' is the king on foot among his 
men ; is he not ashamed ? ' Then Saladin sent him a horse, and 
charged the messenger to say, that such a one as he should not 
be on foot among his men in such danger. The sergeant per- 
formed the commands of his lord. He came to the king and 
E resented to him the horse sent by Saladin. The king thanked 
im for it, and ordered one of his own sergeants to mount it and 
show its paces before him. After the sergeant had spurred the 
horse into a gallop, and wished to return towards his master, he 
found he could not ; for the horse, in spite of all he could do, 
carried him away to the Saracen host. Saladin was much 
ashamed of this." 

This chronicle, when speaking of the deliverance of Richard 
from his captivity, does not hesitate to say that it was by the 
advice of Philip Augustus, that such an enormous ransom was 
required, and that the king of France had a good share of it. 

Another chronicler, Gauthier Vinisauf, says that Hichard gave 
eight noble Turkish prisoners in exchange for William de Pro- 
telles (others name him Porcelot), who had saved his master, 
when taken by surprise, by throwing himself in the way of the 
Saracens, exclaiming, " I am King Richard." 

No. 22. 

Extract from an anonymous Chronicle contained in the MSS. of ikt 
Sorbonne, No. 454, of the Thirteenth Century * 

Then the king Hichard turned back, and directed his course 
as straight and as well as he was able towards Germany, where 
he landed, and, with a small train, wandered about till he came 

* We give a translation of this extract because it is very curious ; but we 
have no faith in it with respect to the date ; it appears to us to be much 
more modem, and some parts of the language inconsistent with others. — 


to Austria (Osterriclie), where he was watched by spies, am* 
known. When he fancied he was discovered, he took the dress 
of a servant, and set to work in the k