The Historie of the Holy Warre
About this text
Thomas Fuller (1608-1661) was a divine and historian is best known for his posthumous Worthies of England (1662), but published voluminously in his lifetime including the 11 books of the Church History of Britain (1655). He was educated at Cambridge, but left the university after the convening of Long Parliament. As a Royalist sympathizer, he faced difficulties during the Civil War and Commonwealth periods. He was at Exeter in the mid-1640s and was one of the first to publish from the newly set up press there. The Historie of the Holy Warre (1639) used in this repository was popular in its time as a source of information about the Crusades, described by Leslie Stephen as showing "much reading and more wit".
B.D. Prebendarie of Sarum,late of Sidney
Colledge in CAMBRIDGE
The third edition.
Printed by Roger Daniel,and are
to be fold by John Williams
at the figure of the Crown in PAULS
1. The History of the HOLY WARRE
The destruction of the city and temple of Jeru-salem by the Romanes under the conduct of Titus.
WHen the Jews had made the full measure of their sinnes runne over by putting to death the Lord of life, Gods judgements (as they deserved, and our Saviour foretold) quickly overtook them: for a mighty army of the Romanes besieged and the city of Jerusalem, wherein by fire, famine, sword, civil discord, and forreign force **Josephus,lib.7.belli
Lat.c.17eleven hundred thousand were put to death. An incredible number it seemeth: yet it cometh within the compasse of our belief, if we consider that the siege began at the time of the Passeover, when in a manner all Judea was inclosed in Jerusalem, all private synagogues doing then their duties to the mothertemple; so that the city then had more guests then inhabitants. Thus the Passeover first *Note: *Exod.12.
3. instituted by God in mercy to save the Israelites from death, was now used by him in justice to hasten their destruction, and to gather the nation into a bundle to be cast into the fire of his anger. Besides those who were slain, ninety seven thousand were taken captives; and they who had bought our Saviour for thirty pence, were themselves sold thirty for a pennie. The Generall of the Romanes in this action was Titus, sonne to Vespasian the Emperour. A Prince so good, that he was styled the **Adricom.in
fal.282.credo,ex Hege-sippo. Darling of man-kind for his sweet and loving nature, (and pity it was so good a stock had not been better grafted!) so virtuously disposed, that [Page 2] he may justly be counted the glory of all Pagans, and shame of most Christians. He laboured what lay in his power to have saved the temple, and many therein; but the Jews by their obstinacy and desperateness made themselves uncapable of any mercy. Then was the temple it self made a sacrifice, and burnt to ashes; and of that stately structure which drew the Apostles admiration, not a stone left upon a stone. The walls of the city (more shaken with the sinnes of the Jews defending them, then with the battering rammes of the Romanes assaulting them) were levelled to the ground; onely three towres left standing to witnesse the great strength of the place, and greater valour of the Romanes who conquered it. But whilest this storme fell on the unbelieving Jews, it was calm amongst the Christians;who warned by Christs predictions, and many other prodigies, fled betimes out of the city toPella (a private place beyond Jordan) which served them in stead of a littleZoar to save them from the imminent destruction [...]
2. Chap. 7.
The original and increase of the Turks; their conquering the Saracens, and taking of Jerusalem .
BUt the Christians in Palestineafterward changed their masters, though not their condition, being subdued by the Turks. It will be worth our and the Readers pains to enquire into the originall of this nation, especially because (as the river Nilus) they are famous and well known for their overflowing stream, though hidden and obscure for their fountain. Whence they first came authours onely do agree in disagreeing: but most probable it is out of Scythia, *Lib.1.cap.ult.Pomponius Mela reckoning them among the inhabitants of that countrey nigh the river Tanais. This Scythia (since called Tartaria) was a virgin countrey, never forced by forrein arms: for the Monarchs who counted themselves conquerours of the world (by a large Synecdoche taking a sixth part for the whole) never subdued it. Alexander sent some troups to assault Naura and Gabaza, two outcounties thereof, as an earnest that the rest of his army should follow: but hearing how these were welcomed, willingly lost his earnest, and disposed of his army otherwise. The Romane Eagles flew not thus farre, and though heard of, were never seen here. The reasons that made the Turks leave their native soyl, was the barrennesse thereof; and therefore the *Ovid.8.MesamPoet maketh famine (which sometimes travelleth abroad into other countreys) here to have her constant habitation. And yet no doubt so vast a countrey would maintain her people, if the wildnesse thereof were tamed with husbandry: But the people (scorning that their ground should be better civilized [Page 10] then themselves) never manure it; and had rather provide their bread with the sword then with the plough. Other partiall causes might share in these Turks removall, but the cause of causes was the justice of God, to suffer this unregarded people to grow into the terrour of the world for the punishment of Christians: and we may justly hope, that when the correction is done, the rod shall be burnt; especially finding already their force to abate, being at this day stopt with the half kingdome of Hungary, who formerly could not be stayed by the whole Empire of Greece.
The first step these Turks took out of their own countrey was intoSabell.aen.9.lib.2. Turcomania, a northern part of Armenia conquered and so called by them: where they lived like the Scythian Nomades, alwaies wandring yet alwaies in their way, none claiming a propriety in the land as his, all defending the common interest therein as theirs.
The next step was into Persia, whither they were called to assist Mahomet the Saracen Sultan against his enemies; where taking notice of their own strength, the Saracens cowardize, and the pleasure of Persia, Knolles,Tur.hift.pag.4.they under Tangrolipix their first King overcame that large dominion. Then did the Turks take upon them the Mahometan religion, and having conquered the Saracens by their valour, were themselves subdued by the Saracen superstition. An accident more memorable because not easily to be paralleled (excepting King Amaziah, who having taken Edom was took with the idolatry thereof) because conquerours commonly bring their religion into the places they subdue, and not take it thence.
Their third large stride was into Babylon, the Caliph where of they overcame. And shortly after underCutlumuses their second King, they wan Mesopotamia, the greatest part of Syria, and the city of Jerusalem. Mean time whilest these vultures (Turks and Saracens) pecked out each others eyes, the Christians (if they had husbanded this occasion) might have advantaged themselves, and might have recovered their health by these contrary poysons expelling each other. But the Grecian Emperours given over to pleasure and covetousnesse, regarded not their own good, till at last the Turks devoured them; as (God willing) shall be shewed hereafter. As for those Christians who lived inPalestine under the Turks, they had no lease of their safety, but were tenants at will for their lives & goods to these tyrants: though it rained not downright, yet the storm of persecution hung over their heads; their minds were ever in torture, being on the rack of continuall fear and suspense; andSimon himself was no better then an honourable slave, though Patriarch of Jerusalem, as appeareth by his letters of complaint.
3. Chap. 8.
The character of Peter the Hermite; his soliciting the Holy warre; the Councel at Clermont, and the successe thereof.
IT happened there came a pilgrime toJerusalem called Peter, an Hermite, born at Amiens in France; one of a contemptible person: His silly looks carried in them a despair of any worth; and yet (as commonly the richest mines lie under the basest and barrennest surface of ground) he had a quick apprehension, eloquent tongue, and what got him the greatest repute, was accounted very religious. With himSimon the Patriarch of Jerusalem often treated, concerning the present miseries of the Christians under the Turks; what hope of amendment; and how the matter might secretly be contrived, that the Princes of Europe might assist and relieve them. Peter moved with the Patriarchs perswasions, the equity and honourablenesse of the cause, and chiefly with a vision (as they say) from heaven (wherein our Saviour himself appointed him his Legate, with a commission to negotiate the Christian cause) took the whole businesse upon him, and travelled to Rome to consult withPope Urbane the second about the advancing of so pious a design.
Now, though many cry up this Hermite to have been so pretious a piece of holinesse, yet some suspect him to be little better then a counterfeit, and a clokefather for a plot of the Popes begetting: because the Pope alone was the gainer by this great adventure, and all other Princes of Europe, if they cast up their audite, shall find themselves losers: This with some is a presumption, that this cunning merchant first secretly employed this Hermite to be his factour, and to go toJerusalem to set on foot so beneficiall a trade for the Romish Church. As for the apparition of our Saviour, one may wonder that the world should see most visions when it was most blind and that that age most barren in learning, should be most fruitfull in revelations. And surely had Peter been truly inspired by God, and moved by his Spirit to begin this warre, he would not have apostared from his purpose: so mortified a man would not have feared death in a good cause, as he did afterwards, and basely ran away at Antioch. For when the siege grew hot, his devotion grew cold; he found a difference betwixt a voluntary fast in his cell, and a necessary and undispensable famine in a camp: so that being well hungerpincht, this cunning companion who was the [Page 12] trumpet to sound a march to others, secretly sounded a retreat to himself, ran away from the rest of the Christians, and was shamefully brought back again for a fugitive.
But to return toPope Urbane, who was zealous in the cause to further it, and called a Council at Clermont in France, where met many Princes and Prelates to whom he made a long oration; Authours differ in the mould, but they agree in the metall, that it was to this effect: First, he bemoned the miseries of the Christians in Asia, and the vastation of those holy places. Jerusalem, which was once the joy of the whole earth, was now become the grief of all good men: the Chapell of Christs conception, at Nazareth; birth, at Bethlehem; buriall, on mount Calvarie; ascension, on mount Olivet, once the fountains of piety, were now become the sinks of all profanenesse. Next, he encouraged the Princes in the Council, to take arms against those infidels, and to break their bonds in sunder, and to cast their cords farre from them, and (as it is written) to cast out the handmaid and her children. Otherwise, if they would not help to quench their neighbours houses, they must expect the speedy burning of their own, and that these barbarous nations would quickly overrun allEurope. Now to set an edge on their courage, he promised to all that went this voyage, a full remission of their sins and penance here, and the enjoying heaven hereafter. Lastly, thus concluded, Gird your swords to your thighs, O ye men of might. It is our parts to pray, yours to fight; ours with Moses to hold up unwearied hands to God, yours to stretch forth the sword against these children of Amalek. Amen.
It is above belief with what chearfulnesse this motion, meeting with an active and religious world, was generally entertained; so that the whole assembly cried out, God willeth it: A speech which was afterwards used as a fortunate watchword in their most dangerous designes. Then took many of them a crosse of red cloth on their right shoulder, as a badge of their devotion: And to gain the favourable assistance of the Virgin Mary to make this warre the more happy, her Office was instituted, containing certain prayers, which at Canonicall houres were to be made unto her. If fame which hath told many a lie of others, be not herein belyed her self, the things concluded in this Council, were the same night reported at impossible distance in the utmost parts of Christendome. What spirituall intelligencers there should be; or what echoes in the hollow arch of this world should so quickly resound news from the one side thereof to the other, belongeth not to us to dispute. Yet we find the overthrow of Perseus brought out of Macedon toRome in four dayes; & fame (mounted no doubt on some Pegasus) in Domitians time, brought a report 2500 miles in one day.
4. Chap. 17.
The siege and taking of Antiochia ; Corboran overcome in fight; of Christs spear, and of holy fraud.
FRom hence with invincible industry and patience, they bored a passage through valleys, up mountains, over rivers, taking as they went the famous cities, Iconium, Heraclea, Tarsus, and conquering all the countrey of Cilicia. This good successe much *urspergens.pag.233puffed them up; God therefore to cure them of the pleurisie of pride, did let them bloud with the long and costly siege of Antiochia. This city watered by the river Orontes, and called Reblath of the Hebrews, was built by Seleucus Nicanor, [Page 26] and enlarged by Antiochus. Compassed it was with a double wall, one of square stone, the other of brick; strengthened with 460 towers, and had a castle on the East rather to be admired then assaulted. Here the professours of our faith were first named Christians: and hereS. Peter first sate Bishop, whose fair Church was a Patriarchall seat for many hundred years after. Before this city the Pilgrimes army incamped, and strongly besieged it: but the Turks within manfully defending themselves under Auxianus their captain, frustrated their hopes of taking it by force. The siege grew long, and victuals short in the Christians camp: and now Peter the Hermite being brought to the touchstone, discovered what base metall he was of: ran away with some other of good note, and were fetcht back again, and bound with a new oath to prosecute the warre. At last, one within the city (though Authours agree neither of his name nor religion, some making him a Turk, others a Christian; Some calling him Pyrrhus, some Hemirpherrus, others Emipher) in the dead of the night betrayed the city to Boemund. The Christians issuing in, and exasperated with the length of the fiege, so remembred what they had suffered, that they forgot what they had to do, killing promiscuously Christian citizens with Turks. Thus passions like heavie bodies down steep hills, once in motion move themselves, and know no ground but the bottom.
Antiochiathus taken, was offered to Alexius the Emperour; but he refused it, suspecting some deceit in the tender; as bad men measure other mens minds by the crooked rule of their own. Hereupon it was bestowed on Boemund; though this place dearly purchased was not long quietly possessed: For Corboranthe Turkish Generall came with a vast army of Persian forces, and besieged the Christians in the City, so that they were brought into a great strait betwixt death and death, hunger within and their foes without. Many secretly stole away, whereat the rest were no whit discomfited, counting the losse of cowards to be gain to an army. At last, they generally resolved rather to lose their lives by wholesale on the point of the sword, then to retail them out by famine, which is the worst of tyrants, and murdereth men in state, whilest they die in not dying. It did not a little encourage them, that they found in the church of S. Peter that lance wherewith our Saviours body was pierced: They highly prized this military relique of Christ, as if by wounding of him it had got virtue to wound his enemies, and counted it a pawn of certain victory. Whether this spear was truly found, or whether it was but invented to cozen men with, we will not dispute: However, it wrought much with these Pilgrimes; for conceit oftentimes [Page 27] doth things above conceit, especially when the imagination apprehendeth something founded in religion. Marching forth in severall armies they manfully fell upon their enemies, and being armed with despair to escape, they sought to fell their lives at the dearest rate. Valour doth swell when it is crushed betwixt extremities; and then oftentimes goeth beyond her self in her atchievements. This day by Gods blessing on their courage they got a noble conquest. Some saw S. George in the aire with an army of white horses fighting for them; but these no doubt did look through the spectacles of fansie. And yet though we should reject this apparition, we need not play the Origens with the story of S. George, and change all the literall sense into an allegory of Christ and his Church: for it is improbable that our English nation, amongst so many Saints that were, would choose one that was not, to be their patrone; especially seeing the world in that age had rather a glut then famine of Saints.
And here let me advertise the Reader once for all, not to expect that I should set down those many miracles where with Authours who write this warre so lard their stories, that it will choke the belief of any discreet man to swallow them. As the intent of these writers was pious, to gain credit and converts to the Christian faith, so the prosecuting of their project must be condemned, in thinking to grace the Gospel in reporting such absurd falsities. But let us know that heaven hath a pillorie, whereon Fraus pia her self shall be punished: and rather let us leave religion to her native plainnesse, then hang her ears with counterfeit pearls.
The pride of the Turks being abated in this battel, and an 100000 of them being slain, the Christians grew mightily insolent, and forgot to return to God the honour of the victory. Whereupon followed a great mortality, and 50000 died in few dayes; whether this proceeded from the climate (the bodies of Europe not being friends with the aire of Asia, till use by degrees reconcileth them) or whether it was caused by their intemperance: for after long fasting they would not measure their stomachs by the standard of physick, and dieting themselves till nature by degrees could digest the meat; but by surfeiting digged their graves with their own teeth.
And now we are come to the skirts and borders of Palestine. Wherefore as Heralds use to blazon the field before they meddle with the charge, so let us describe the land before we relate the actions done therein. If in bowling they must needs throw wide which know not the green or alley whereon they play; much more must they misse the truth in story, who are unacquainted with that countrey whereon the discourse proceedeth.
Briefly therefore of the Holy land; as not intending to make a large and wide description of so short and narrow a countrey.
5. Chap. 24.
The siege and taking of Jerusalem
BY this time cold weather (the best besome to sweep the chambers of the air) had well cleared the Christians camp from [Page 39]infection; and now their devotion moved the swifter, being come near to the centre thereof, the city of Jerusalem. Forward they set, and take the city ofMarrha, and employ themselves in securing the countrey about them, that so they might clear the way as they went. Neither did the discords betwixt Reimund and Boemund much delay their proceedings, being in some measure seasonably compounded; as was also the seabattel betwixt the Pisans and Venetians. For the Venetians seeing on the Pisans the cognizance of the Crosse, the uncounterfeited pasport that they wear for the Holy Warre, suffered them safely to go on, though otherwise they were their deadly enemies, yea, and set five thousand of them at liberty, whom they had taken captive.
The Pilgrimes kept their Easter at Tripolie, Whitsuntide by Cesarea-Stratonis, taking many places in their passage; and at last came to Jerusalem. Discovering the city afarre off, it was a pretty sight to behold the harmony in the difference of expressing their joy; how they clothed the same passion with diverse gestures; some prostrate, some kneeling, some weeping; all had much ado to manage so great a gladnesse. Then began they the siege of the citie on the north, (being scarce assaultable on any other side by reason of steep and broken rocks) and continued it with great valour. On the fourth day after, they had taken it but for want of scalingladders. But a farre greater want was the defect of water, the springs being either stopped up or poysoned by the Turks; so that they fetcht water five miles off. As for the brook Cedron, it was dried up, as having no subsistence of it self, but meerly depending on the benevolence of winterwaters, which mount Olivet bestoweth upon it. Admirall Coligni was wont to say, He that will well paint the beast Warre, must first begin to shape the belly; meaning that a good Generall must first provide victuals for an army: Yea, let him remember the bladder in the beasts belly as well as the guts, and take order for moisture more especially then for meat it self; thirst in northern bodies being more unsupportable then famine: Quickly will their courage be cooled, who have no moisture to cool their hearts. As for the Christians want of ladders, that was quickly supplied: for the Genoans arriving with a fleet in Palestine, brought most curious engineers, who framed a wooden tower, and all other artificiall instruments. For we must not think, that the world was at a losse for warretools before the brood of guns was hatched: It had the battering ramme, first found out by Epeus at the taking of Troy; the balista to discharge great stones, invented by the Phenicians; the catapulta, being a sling of mighty strength, whereof the Syrians were authours: and [Page 40] perchanceKing Uzziah first made it; for we find him very dextrous and happy in devising such things. And although these Bearwhelps were but rude and unshaped at the first, yet art did lick them afterwards, and they got more teeth and sharper nails by degrees; so that every age set them forth in a new edition, corrected and amended. But these and many more voluminous engines (for the ramme alone had an hundred men to manage it) are now virtually epitomized in the cannon. And though some may say, that the finding of guns hath been the losing of many mens lives, yet it will appear that battels now are fought with more expedition, and victory standeth not so long a neuter, before she expresse her self on one side or other.
But these gunnes have shot my discourse from the siege of Jerusalem: To return thither again. By this time, in the space of a moneth, the Genoans had finished their engines which they built seven miles off: for nearer there grew no stick of bignesse. I will not say, that since our Saviour was hanged on a tree, the land about that city hath been cursed with a barrennes of wood. And now for a preparative, that their courage might work the better, they began with a fast, and a solemn procession about mount Olivet.
Next day they gave a fierce assault; yea, women played the men, and fought most valiantly in armour. But they within being fourty thousand strong, well victualled and appointed, made stout resistance till the night (accounted but a foe for her friendship) umpired betwixt them, and abruptly put an end to their fight in the midst of their courage.
When the first light brought news of a morning, they on afresh; the rather, because they had intercepted a letter tied to the legs of a dove (it being the fashion of that countrey both to write and send their letters with the wings of a fowl) wherein the Persian Emperour promised present succours to the besieged. The Turks cased the outside of their walls with bags of chaff, straw, and such like pliable matter, which conquered the engines of the Christians by yielding unto them. As for one sturdy engine whose force would not be tamed, they brought two old witches on the walls to inchant it: but the spirit thereof was too strong for their spells, so that both of them were miserably slain in the place.
The day following, Duke Godfrey fired much combustible matter, the smoke whereof (the light cause of an heavie effect) driven with the wind, blinded the Turks eyes; and under the protection thereof, the Christians entred the citie: Godfrey himself first footing the walls, and then his brother Eustace. The Turks retired to Solomons temple (so called [Page 41] because built in the same place) there to take the farewell of their lives. In a desperate conflict there, the foremost of the Christians were miserably slain, thrust upon the weapons of their enemies by their fellows that followed them. The pavement so swam, that none could go but either through a rivulet of bloud, or over a bridge of dead bodies. Valour was not wanting in the Turks, but superlatively abundant in the Christians, till night made them leave off. Next morning mercy was proclaimed to all those that would lay down their weapons: For though bloud be the best sauce for victory, yet must it not be more then the meat. Thus wasJerusalem wonne by the Christians, and *M.Paris,pag.65.twenty thousand Turks therein slain, on the fifteenth of July being Friday, about three of the clock in the afternoon. *lib.8.c.18 Tyrius findeth a great mystery in the time; because Adam was created on a Friday, and on the same day and hour our Saviour suffered. But these Synchronismes, as when they are naturall they are pretty and pleasing; so when violently wrested, nothing more poor and ridiculous.
Then many Christians, who all this while had lived in Jeru-salem in most lamentable slavery, being glad to lurk in secret (as truth oftentimes seeketh corners, as fearing her judge, though never as suspecting her cause) came forth joyfully, wellcomed and embraced these the procurers of their liberty.
Three dayes after it was concluded, as necessary piece of severity for their defence, to put all the Turks in Jerusalem to death; which was accordingly performed without favour to age or sex. The pretence was for fear of treason in them, if the Emperour of Persia should besiege the city. And some slew them with the same zeal wherewith Saul slew the Gibeonites; and thought it unfit that these goats should live in the sheeps pasture. But noble Tancred was highly displeased hereat, because done in cold bloud, it being no slip of an extemporary passion, but a studied and premeditated act; and that against pardon proclaimed, many of them having compounded and paid for their lives and liberty. Besides, the execution was mercilesse, upon sucking children, whose notspeaking spake for them; and on women, whose weaknesse is a shield to defend them against a valiant man. To conclude, Severity hot in the fourth degree, is little better then poyson, and becometh cruelty it self: and this act seemeth to be of the same nature.
6. The History of the HOLY WARRE
A mountainlike army of new adventurers after long and hard travail delivered of a mouse. Alexius his treachery.
THe fame of the good successe in Palestine summoned a new supply of other Pilgrimes out of Christendome. Germany, and other places which were sparing at the first voyage, made now amends with double liberality. The chief adventurers were, Guelpho Duke of Bavaria, (who formerly had been a great champion of the Popes against Henry the Emperour; and from him they of the Papall faction were denominated Guelphes, in distinction from the Imperiall party which were called Gibellines:)Hugh brother to the King of France, and Stephen Earl of Blois, (both which had much suffered in their reputation for deserting their fellows in the former expedition, and therefore they sought to unstain their credits by going again) Stephen Earl of Burgundy, William Duke of Aquitain, Frederick Count of Bogen, Hugh brother to the Earl of Tholose: besides many great Prelates; Diemo Archbishop of Saltzburg, the Bishops of Millain and Pavie, which led 50000 out of Lombardy; the totall summe amounting to 250000. All stood on the tiptoes of expectation to see what so great an army would atchieve; men commonly measuring victories by the [Page 56]multitudes of the souldiers. But they did nothing memorable, save onely that so many went so farre to do nothing. Their sufferings are more famous then their deeds; being so consumed with plague, famine, and the sword, that Conrade Abbot of Urspurg, who went and wrote this voyage, believeth that not a thousand of all these came into Palestine, and those so poore that their bones would scarce hold together: so that they were fitter to be sent into an hospitall then to march into the field; having nothing about them wherewith to affright their enemies, except it were the ghostlike ghastlinesse of their famished faces. The army that came out ofLombardy were so eaten up by the swords of the Turks, that no fragments of them were left, nor news to be heard what was become of them: And no wonder, being led by Prelates unexperienced in martiall affairs; which though perchance great Clerks, were now to turn over a new leaf, which they had no skill to reade.Luther was wont to say, that he would be unwilling to be a souldier in that army where Priests were Captains; because the Church, and not the Camp, was their proper place; whereas going to warre, they willingly outed themselves of Gods protection, being out of their vocation.
But the main matter which made this whole voyage miscarry in her travail, was the treachery of the midwife through whose hands it was to passe. For Alexius the Grecian Emperour feared, lest betwixt the Latines in the East in Palestine, and West in Europe, as betwixt two milstones, his Empire lying in the midst should be ground to powder. Whereupon, as these Pilgrims went through his countrey, he did them all possible mischief, still under pretence of kindnesse, (What hinderer to a false helper?) calling the chief Captains of the army his sonnes; but they found it true, The more courtesie, the more craft. Yea, this deep disembler would put off his vizard in private, and professe to his friends that he delighted as much to see the Turks and these Christians in battel, as to see mastiffdogs fight together; and that which side soever lost, yet he himself would be a gainer.
But when they had passed Grecia, and had crossed the Bosporus (otherwise called The arm of S. George) entring into the dominion of the Turks, they were for thirty dayes exposed a mark to their arrows. And though this great multitude was never stabbed with any mortall defeat in a set battel, yet they consumed away by degrees, the cowardly Turks striking them when their hands were pinnioned up in the straits of unknown passages. The Generalls bestrewed the countrey about with their corpses. Great Hugh of France was buried atTarsus in Cilicia; Duke Guelpho, at Paphos in Cyprus; Diemo the [Page 57] Archbishop of Saltzburg saw his own heart cut out, and was martyred by the Turks at Chorazin: And God (saith my Authour) manifested by the event, that the warre was not pleasing unto him.
7. Chap. 17.
The Christians variety of successe; Tyre taken by the assistance of the Venetians.
IT is worth the Readers marking, how this Kings reign was checquered with variety of fortune: For first,Roger Princeof Antioch(or rather guardian in the minority of young Boe-mund) went forth with greater courage then discretionTyrius,lib.
12.cap.10.; whereunto his successe was answerable, being conquered and killed by the Turks. But Baldwine on the 14 of August following, forced the Turks to a restitution of their victory, and with a small army gave them a great overthrow, in spite of Gazi their boasting Generall.
To qualifie the Christians joy for this good successe, Joceline unadvisedly fighting with Balak, a petty King of the Turks, was conquered and taken prisoner: and King Baldwine coming to deliver him, was also taken himself; for which he might thank his own rashnesse: For it had been his best work to have done nothing for a while, till the Venetian succours which were not farre off, had come to him; and not presently to adventure all to the hazard of a battel.
Yet the Christians hands were not bound in the Kings capti-vity:
[Page 67]For Eustace Grenier, chosen Vice-roy whilest the King was in durance, stoutly defended the countrey: and Count Joceline, which had escaped out of prison, fighting again with Balak at Hircapolis, routed his army, and killed him with his own hands. But the main piece of service was the taking of Tyre, which was done under the conduct of Guarimund the Patriarch of Jerusalem; but chiefly by the help of the Venetian navie, which Michael their Duke brought, who for their pains were to have a third part of the city to themselves. Tyre had in it store of men and munition; but famine increasing (against whose arrows there is no armour of proof) it was yielded on honourable terms. And though perhaps hunger shortly would have made the Turks digest courser conditions, yet the Christians were loth to anger their enemies valour into desperatenesse.
Next year the King returned home, having been eighteen moneths a prisoner, being to pay for his ransome an hundred thousand Michaelets, and for security he left his daughter in pawn. But he payed the Turks with their own money, or (which was as good coin) with the money of the Saracens, vanquishing Borsquin their Captain at Antiochia: and not long after, he conquered Dordequin another great Commander of them at Damascus.
To correct the ranknesse of the Christians pride for this good successe,Damascus was afterward by them unfortunately besieged: Heaven discharged against them thunderordinance, arrows of lightning, small shot of hail, whereby they being miserably wasted were forced to depart. And this affliction was increased when Boemund the young Prince of Antioch, one of great hope and much lamented, was defeated and slain. Authours impute these mishaps to the Christians pride, and relying on their own strength, which never is more untrusty then when most trusted. True it was, God often gave them great victories, when they defended themselves in great straits: Hereupon they turned their thankfulnesse into presumption, grew at last from defending themselves to dare their enemies on disadvantages to their often overthrow: for God will not unmake his miracles by making them common. And may not this also be counted some cause of their ill successe, That they alwayes imputed their victories to the materiall Crosse which was carried before them? So that Christ his glory after his ascension suffered again on the Crosse by their superstition.
8. Chap. 32.
Reimund Prince of Antioch overcome and killed; Askelon taken by the Christians; The death of King Baldwine.
THese discords betwixt mother and son were harmonie in the ears ofNoradinethe Turk: Who coming with a great army wasted all about Antioch; and Prince Reimundgoing out to bid him battel, was slain himself, and his army overthrown: nor long afterJocelineCount of Edessawas intercepted by the Turks, and taken prisoner.
As for Constantiathe relict ofReimund Prince of Antioch, she lived a good while a widow, refusing the affections which many princely suiters proffered unto her, till at last she descended beneath her self to marry a plain man, Reinold of Castile. Yet why should we say so, when as a Castilian Gentleman (if that be not a needlesse tautologie) as he maketh the inventory of his own worth, prizeth himself any Princes fellow: And the proverb is, Each layman of Castile may make a King, each clergyman a Pope? Yea, we had best take heed how we speak against this match: for Almericus Patriarch of Antioch for inveighing against it, was by this Prince Reinold set in the heat of the sunne with his bare head besmeared with honey (a sweet [Page 86] bitter torment) that so bees might sting him to death. But King Baldwine mediated for him, and obtained his liberty that he might come to Jerusalem, where he lived many years in good esteem. And Gods judgements are said to have overtaken the Prince ofAntioch: for besides the famine which followed in his countrey, he himself afterwards fighting unfortunately with the Turks, was taken prisoner.
But let us step over to Jerusalem; where we shall find King Baldwine making preparation for the siege of Askelon: Which citie after it had been long locked up, had at last an assaultable breach made in the walls thereof. The Templars (to whom the King promised the spoil if they took it) entred through this breach into the citie: and conceiving they had enow to wield the work and master the place, set a guard at the breach, that no more of their fellow-Christians should come in to be sharers with them in the booty. But their covetousnesse cost them their lives: for the Turks contemning their few number put them every one to the sword. Yet at last the city was taken, though with much difficulty.
Other considerable victories Baldwine got of the Turks; especially one at the river Jordan, where he vanquished Noradine: And twice he relieved Cesarea-Philippi, which the Turks had straitly besieged. But death at last put a period to his earthly happinesse, being poisoned (as it was supposed) by a Jewish physician; for the rest of the potion killed a dog to whom it was given. This Kings youth was stained with unnaturall discords with his mother, and other vices, which in his settled age he reformed. Let the witnesse of Noradine his enemy be believed; who honourably refused to invade the Kingdome whilest the funerall solemnities of Baldwine were performing; and professed the Christians had a just cause of sorrow, having lost such a King, whose equall for justice and valour the world did not afford. He died without issue, having reigned one and twenty years. So that sure it is the Printers mistake in Tyrius, where he hath four and twenty years assigned him, more then the consent of time will allow.
9. Chap. 40.
Saladine fitteth himself with forrein forces. The originall and great power of the Mammalukes, with their first service.
IN the minority of King Baldwine, who was but thirteen years old, Milo de Planci a Nobleman was Protectour of the Realm: Whose pride and insolence could not be brooked, and therefore he was stabbed at Ptolemais, and Reimund Count of Tripoli chosen to succeed him.
Now Saladine seriously intendeth to set on the Kingdome of Jerusalem, and seeketh to furnish himself with souldiers for that service. But he perceived that the ancient nation of the Egyptians had lasted so long, that now it ran dregs; their spirits being as low as the countrey they lived in, and they fitter to make merchants and mechanicks then military men: For they were bred in such soft imployments, that they were presently foundred with any hard labour. Wherefore he sent to the Circassians by the lake of Meotis, near Taurica Chersonesus, and thence bought many slaves of able and active bodies. For it was a people born in a hard countrey (no fewel for pleasure grew there nor was brought thither) and bred harder; so that war was almost their nature, with custome of continuall skirmishing with the neighbouring Tartars.
These slaves he trained up in military discipline, most of them being Christians, once baptized; but afterwards untaught Christ, they learned Mahomet, and so became the worse foes to religion for once being her friends. These proved excellent souldiers and speciall horsemen, and are called Mammalukes. And [Page 98] surely the greatnesse of Saladine and his successours stood not so much on the legs of their native Egyptians, as it leaned on the staffe of these strangers. Saladine, and especially the Turkish Kings after him, gave great power, and placed much trust in these Mammalukes: who lived a long time in ignorance of their own strength; till at last they took notice of it, and scorning any longer to be factours for another, they would set up for themselves, and got the sovereignty from the Turkish Kings. Thus Princes who make their subjects overgreat, whet a knife for their own throats. And posterity may chance to see the insolent Janizaries give the grand Seignor such a trip on the heel as may tumble him on his back. But more largely of these Mammalukes usurping the Kingdome of Egypt (God willing) in its proper place.
Thus Saladine having furnished himself with new souldiers, went to handsel their valour upon the Christians; invaded the Holy land, burning all the countrey before him, and raging in the bloud of poor Christians, till he came and encamped about Askelon.
Mean time whilest ReimundCount of Tripoli, Protectour of the Kingdome, with Philip Earl of Flanders, & the chief strength of the Kingdome were absent in Celosyria, wasting the countrey about Emissa and Cesarea, young King Baldwine lay close inAskelon, not daring to adventure on so strong an enemy. With whose fear Saladine encouraged, dispersed his army, some one way, some another, to forrage the countrey.King Baldwine courted with this opportunity, marched out privately, not having past four hundred horse, with some few footmen, and assaulted his secure enemies, being six and twenty thousand. But victory standeth as little in the number of souldiers, as verity in the plurality of voices. The Christians got the conquest, and in great triumph returned to Jerusalem.
This overthrow rather madded then daunted Saladine: Who therefore to recover his credit, some moneths after with his Mammalukes fell like a mighty tempest upon the Christians, as they were parting the spoil of a band of Turks, whom they had vanquished; put many to the sword, the rest to flight. Otto grand Master of the Templars, andHugh sonne in law to the Count of Tripoli, were taken prisoners; and the King himself had much ado to escape. And thus both sides being well wearied with warre, they were glad to refresh themselves with a short slumber of a truce solemnly concluded; and their troubled estates breathed almost for the space of two years. Which truce Saladine the more willingly embraced, because of a famine in the Kingdome of Damascus, where it had scarce rained for five years together.
10. Chap. 42.
Saladine is conquered byKing Baldwine, and conquereth Mesopotamia; Discords about the Protectourship of Jerusalem; The death and praise of Baldwine the fourth.
THe Kingdome ofDamascusbeing recovered of the famine, Saladine having gotten his ends by the truce, would now have the truce to end; and breaking it (as not standing with his haughty designes) marched with a great army out of Egypt through Palestine to Damascus, much spoiling the countrey. And now having joyned the Egyptian with the Damascene forces, reentred the Holy land. But young King Baldwine meeting him, enturist.
Baldvino 4. though but with seven hundred to twenty thousand, at the village Frobolt, overthrew him in a great battel; and Saladine himself was glad with speedy flight to escape the danger, and by long marches to get him again to Damascus. Afterward he besieged Berytus both by sea and land; but the vigilancie and valour of King Baldwine defeated his taking of it.
Saladine finding such tough resistance in the Holy land, thought to make a better purchase by laying out his time in Mesopotamia. Wherefore passing Euphrates, he wonne Charran and divers other cities: and then returning, in Syria besiegedAleppo, the strongest place the Christians had in that countrey; [Page 101] so fortified by nature, that he had little hope to force it. But treason will runne up the steepest ascent, where valour it self can scarce creep: and Saladine with the battery of bribes made such a breach in the loyalty of the governour, that he betrayed it unto him.
Thus he cometh again into the Holy land more formidable then ever before, carrying an army of terrour in the mentioning of his name, which drove the poore Christians all into their fensed cities. As for King Baldwine, the leprosie had arrested him prisoner, and kept him at home. Long had this Kings spirit endured this infirmity, swallowing many a bitter pang with a smiling face, and going upright with patient shoulders under the weight of his disease. It made him put all his might to it, because when he yielded to his sicknesse, he must leave off the managing of the State; and he was loth to put off his royall robes before he went to bed, a Crown being too good a companion for one to part with willingly. But at last he was made to stoop, and retired himself to a private life, appointing Baldwine his nephew (a child of five years old) his successour; and Guy Earl of Joppa and Askelon, this childs father in law, to be Protectour of the Realm in his minority.
But soon after he revoked this latter act, and designed Reimund Earl ofTripoli for the Protectour. He displaced Guy, because he found him of no overweight worth, scarce passable without favourable allowance, little feared of his foes, and as little loved of his friends. The more martiall Christians sleighted him as a slug, and neglected so lazy a leader that could not keep pace with those that were to follow him: Yea, they refused (whilest he was Protectour) at his command to fight with Saladine; and out of distast to their Generall, suffered their enemy freely to forrage; which was never done before: For the Christians never met any Turks wandring in the Holy land, but on even terms they would examine their passeport how sufficient it was, and bid them battel.
Guy stormed at his displacing, and though little valiant, yet very sullen, left the Court in discontent, went home, and fortified his cities of Joppa and Askelon. What should King Baldwine do in this case? Whom should he make Protectour? Guy had too little, Reimund too much spirit for the place. He feared Guy's cowardlinesse, lest he should lose the kingdome to the Turks; and Reimunds treachery, lest he should get it for himself. Thus anguish of mind and weaknesse of body (a dough-tie conquest for their united strengths, which single might suffice) ended this Kings dayes, dying young at five and twenty years of age. But if by the morning we may guesse at the day, he would have been no whit inferiour to any of his predecesssours; [Page 102] sours; especially if his body had been able: but (alas!) it spoiled the musick of his soul, that the instrument was quite out of tune. He reigned twelve years, and was buried in the Temple of the Sepulchre: a King happy in this, that he died before the death of his Kingdome.
11. The History of the HOLY WARRE
The continuation of the famous siege of Ptolemais; The Dutch Knights honoured with a Grand Master.
WE have now at our leisure overtaken the snaillike siege ofPtolemais, still slowly creeping on. Before it the Christians had not onely a Nationall but an Oecumenicall army; the abridgement of the Christian world: Scarce a state or populous city in Europebut had here some competent number to represent it.
How many bloudy blows were here lent on both sides, and repayed with interest? what sallies? what assaults? what encounters? whilest the Christians lay betwixt Saladine with his great army behind them and the city before them. One memorable battel we must not omit. It was agreed betwixt Saladineand the Christians to try their fortunes in a pitched field: and now the Christians were in fair hope of a conquest, when an imaginary causelesse fear put them to a reall flight; so ticklish are the scales of victory, a very mote will turn them. Thus confusedly they ran away, and boot would have been given to change a strong arm for a swift leg.
But [Page 117] behold, Geoffrey Lusignan King Guy's brother (left for the guarding of the camp) marching out with his men, confuted the Christians in this their groundlesse mistake and reinforced them to fight; whereby they wonne the day, though with the losse of two thousand men and Gerard Master of the Templars.
It was vainly hoped, that after this victory the city would be surrendred: but the Turks still bravely defended it, though most of their houses were burnt and beaten down, and the city reduced to a bare sceleton of walls and towers. They fought as well with their wits as weapons, and both sides devised strange defensive and offensive engines: so that Mars himself, had he been here present, might have learned to fight, and have taken notes from their practice. Mean time famine raged amongst the Christians; and though some provision was now and then brought in from Italy, (for so far they fetched it) yet these small showers after good droughts parched the more, and rather raised then abated their hunger.
Once more we will take our farewell of this siege for a twelvemoneth: But we must not forget that at this time, before the walls of Ptolemais, the Teutonick order or Dutch Knights (which since the dayes of Baldwine the second lived like private pilgrimes) had now their order honoured with Henry of Walpot their first grand Master, and they were enriched by the bounty of many Germane benefactours: These though slow, were sure, they did hoc agere, ply their work; more cordiall to the Christian cause then the Templars, who sometimes to save their own stakes would play booty with the Turks. Much good service did the Dutch Knights in the Holy warre; till at last (no wise Doctour will lavish physick on him in whom he seeth faciem cadaverosam, so that death hath taken possession in the sick mans countenance) finding this warre to be desperate and dedecus fotitudinis, they even fairly left the Holy land, and came into Europe, meaning to lay out their valour on some thing that would quit cost. But hereof hereafter.
12. Chap. 8.
The taking of the city Ptolemais.
WHilest King Richard stayed in Cyprus, the siege of Ptolemais went on: and though the French King thought with a running pull to bear the city away, yet he found it staked down too fast for all his strength to stirre.
Mean time, the plague and famine raged in the Christians camp; which the last year swept away fifty Princes and Prelates of note: Who, no doubt, went hence to a happy place; though it was before Pope Clement the sixth commanded the angels (who durst not but obey him) presently to convey all their souls into Paradise which should die in their pilgrimage.
This mortality notwithstanding, the siege still continued. And now the Christians and Turks, like two fencers long playing together, were so well acquainted with the blows and guards each of other, that what advantage was taken betwixt them was meerly casuall, never for want of skill, care, or valour on either side. It helped the Christians not a little, that a concealed Christian within the citie, with letters unsubscribed with any name, gave them constant and faithfull intelligence of the remarkable passages amongst the Turks.
No Prince in this siege deserved more thenLeopoldus Duke of Austria; who fought so long in assaulting this city, till his armour was all over gore bloud, save the place covered with his belt. Whereupon he and his successours the Dukes of Austria, renouncing the six Golden larks, their ancient arms, had assigned them by the Emperour a fesse Argent in a field Gules, as the paternall coat of their family.
By this time King Richard was arrived, (taking as he came a dromond, or Saracen ship, wherein were fifteen hundred souldiers, and two hundred and fifty scorpions, which were to be imployed in the poysoning of Christians) and now the siege of Ptolemais more fiercely prosecuted. But all their engines made not so wide a breach in that cities walls, as envie made betwixt the French and English Kings. Yet at last the Turks despairing of succour, their victuals wholly spent, yielded up the city by Saladines consent, on condition to be themselves safely guarded out of it: all Christian prisoners Saladine had were to be set free, and the Crosse to be again restored.
The houses which were left, with the spoil and prisoners, were equally divided betwixt Philip and Richard. Whereat many Noblemen, partners in the pains, no sharers in the gains, [Page 123] departed in discontent. Some Turks for fear embraced the Christian faith, but quickly returned to their vomit: as religion died in fear, never long keepeth colour, but this dayes conver s will be to morrows apostates. Hereupon it was commanded that none hereafter should be baptized against their wills.
Here the English cast down the ensignes of Leopoldus Duke of Austria, which he had advanced in a principall tower inPtolemais; and as some say, threw them into the jakes. The Duke, though angry at heart, forgot this injury till he could remember it with advantage; and afterwards made King Richard pay soundly for this affront. It is not good to exasperate any, though farre inferiour: for, as the fable telleth us, the beetle may annoy the eagle, and the mouse befriend the lion.
When the city was taken, it grieved the Christians not a little that their faithfull correspondent, who advised them by his letters, could no where be found: Pity it was that Rahabs red lace was not tied at his window. But indeed it was probable that he was dead before the surrendring of the city. Greater was the grief that the Crosse did no where appear, either carelessely lost, or enviously concealed by the Turks. Whilest the Christians stormed hereat,Saladine required a longer respite for the performance of the conditions. But King Richard would not enlarge him from the strictnesse of what was concluded; conceiving that was in effect to forfeit the victory back again. Besides, he knew he did it onely to gain time to fetch new breath: and if he yielded to him, his bounty had not been thanked, but his fear upbraided, as if he durst not deny him. Yea, in anger King Richard commanded all the Turkish captives which were in his hands, seven thousand in number, to be put to death (except some choice persons) on that day whereon the articles should have been but were not performed. For which fact he suffered much in his repute, branded with rashnesse and cruelty, as the murderer of many Christians: For Saladine in revenge put as many of our captives to death. On the other side the moderation of the French King was much commended, who reserving his prisoners alive, exchanged them to ransome so many Christians.
13. Chap. 13.
King Richard taken prisoner in Austria; sold and sent to the Emperour; dearly ransomed, returneth home.
KIng Richard setting sail from Syria, the sea and wind favoured him till he came into the Adriatick; and on the coasts of Istria he suffered shipwrack: Wherefore he intended to pierce through Germany by land, the next way home. But the nearnesse of the way is to be measured not by the shortnesse but the safenesse of it.
He disguised himself to be one Hugo a merchant, whose onely commodity was himself, whereof he made but a bad bargain. For he was discovered in an Inne in Austria, because he disguised his person not his expenses; so that the very policy of an hostesse, finding his purse so farre above his clothes, did detect him: Yea, saith mine Authour, Facies orbiterrarum nota, ignorari non potuit.The rude people flocking together, used him with insolencies unworthy him, worthy themselves: and they who would shake at the tail of this loose Lion, durst laugh at his face now they saw him in a grate. Yet all the weight of their cruelty did not bow him beneath a Princely carriage.
Leopoldus Duke of Austria hearing hereof, as being Lord of the soil, seised on this Royall stray; meaning now to get his pennyworths out of him, for the affront done unto him in Palestine.
Not long after the Duke sold him to Henry the Emperour, for his harsh nature surnamed Asper, and it might have been Saevus, being but one degree from a tyrant. He kept King Richard in bands, charging him with a thousand faults committed by him in Sicilie, Cyprus, and Palestine. The proofs were as slender as the crimes grosse; and Richard having an eloquent tongue, innocent heart, and bold spirit, acquitted himself in the judgement of all the hearers. At last he was ransomed for an hundred and fourty thousand marks, Colein weight. A summe so vast in that age, before the Indies had overflowed all Europe with their gold and silver, that to raise it in England they were forced to sell their Churchplate to their very chalices. Whereupon out of most deep Divinity it was concluded, That they should not celebrate the Sacrament in glasse, for the brittlenesse of it; nor in wood, for the sponginesse of it, which would suck up the bloud; nor in alchymie, because it was subject to rusting; nor in copper, because that would provoke vomiting; [Page 131] but in chalices of latine, which belike was a metall without exception. And such were used in England for some hundred years after: untill at last John Stafford Archbishop of Canterbury, when the land was more replenished with silver, inknotteth that Priest in the greater excommunication that should consecrate Poculum stanneum.After this money Peter of Blois (who had drunk as deep of Helicon as any of that age) sendeth this good prayer, making an apostrophe to the Emperour, or to the Duke of Austria, or to both together:
The ransome partly payed, the rest secured by hostages, King Richard much befriended by the Dutch Prelacy, after eighteen moneths imprisonment returned into England. The Archbishop of Colein in the presence of King Richard, as he passed by, brought in these words in saying masse, Now I know that God hath sent his angel, and hath delivered thee out of the hand of Herod, and from the expectation of the people, &c. But his soul was more healthfull for this bitter physick, and he amended his manners; better loving his Queen Beringaria, whom he slighted before: As souldiers too often love women better then wives.
Leave we him now in England, where his presence fixed the loyalty of many of his unsetled subjects; whilest in Austria the Duke with his money built the walls of Vienna: So that the best stones and morter of that bulwark of Christendome are beholden to the English coin. We must not forget how Gods judgements overtook this Duke, punishing his dominions with fire and water, which two elements cannot be Kings but they must be tyrants; by famine, the ears of wheat turned into worms; by a gangrene, seising on the Dukes body, who cut off his leg with his own hand, and died thereof: Who by his testament (if not by his will) caused some thousand crowns to be restored again to King Richard.
14. Chap. 25.
Damiata besieged and taken; The Christians un-advisedly refuse honourable conditions.
DAmiata is a chief haven of Egypt, anciently Pelusium; seated on the Easternmost stream of Nilus. Here the East and West world met together to exchange their wares; she grudging for trade to give the upper hand to Alexandria it self. At their landing **Matth.Parif.in Joan.pag.401.the moon was almost totally eclipsed: whence the Christians conceited (guesse the frailnesse of the building by the unconstancy of the foundation) that the overthrow of the Mahometanes (whose ensigne was the **MunsterHalfmoon) was portended. But the calculations of afterchances seldome hit right. In the siege of this citie they were to encounter with a fourefold difficulty, besidesDamiata it self:
First, with a great chain crossing the harbour: which with indefatigable pains, and art mingled with labour, they brake asunder; industry in action being as importunity in speech, by continuall inculcation forcing a yielding beyond the strength of reason.
Secondly, the river Nilus did much annoy them. This river (the height of whose flowing is the Egyptian Almanack, whereby they prognosticate future plenty or penury) now out of [Page 155] time and beyond measure drowned the countrey. Bold fishes swamme into the Christians tents, who took them with their hands, though willingly they could have wanted such dainties; for the sauce was more then the meat. Against this mischief they fensed themselves with prayer, and a publick fast enjoyned by the Legate; whereby the water soon abated. And lest Gods mercy herein, when gotten, should be forgotten, a publick thanksgiving was proclaimed, that this favour obtained by prayer might be kept by praises.
Thirdly, they were to grapple with the fort of Pharia, a seemingimpregnable place, betwixt them andDamiata. To check this fort, the Christians built a towre on ships: which suddenly falling, brained many, bruised more of their own men; andall who felt not the blow, were stricken with the fright. King Johncomforted his souldiers discouraged hereat, desiring them to apprehend actions by their true causes; and as not to vaunt of blind victories, so not to be dismaied at casuall mishaps, so purely accidentall, that there was no guard against them in the schools of defence, either of wisdome or valour. By his advice a more substantiall towre was built, the rarest piece in that kind the world ever saw; by the manning whereof, after many bloudy assaults, they mastered the fort of Pharia.
Fourthly, they had to do with Meladine King of Egypt, who lay besides them, constantly furnishing the citie with men and victuals, and exercising the Christians with continual skirmishes. In one, with his wildfire he did them much harm, and King John was dangerously scorched. But seeing that the Christians hewed their way through the rocks of all difficulties, he propounded peace unto them by the mediation of Noradine his brother, King of Damascus; profering them, if they would depart, to restore them the true Crosse, the citie of Jerusalem, and all the land of Palestine.
**P.Aemyt.pag.201.The English, French, and Italians would have embraced the conditions, pleading. That honourable peace was the centre of war, where it should rest; That they could not satisfie their conscience to rob these Egyptians of their lands without a speciall command from God; That it was good wisdome to take so desperate a debt whensoever the payment was tendred; otherwise, if they would not be content with their arms full, they might perchance return with their hands empty.
But the Legate would no wayes consent, alledging this voyage was undertaken not onely for the recovery of Palestine, but for the exstirpation of the Mahometane superstition. And herein no doubt he followed the instructions of his master, whose end in this warre was, That this warre should have no end, but be alwayes in doing though never done. He knew it was dangerous [Page 156] to stop an issue which had been long open; and would in no case close up this vent of people by concluding a finall peace. Besides an old prophesie, That a Spaniard should win Jerusalem, and work wonders in those parts, made Pelagius that countreyman more zealous herein. Coradine angry his profer was refused, beat down the walls of Jerusalem and all the beautiful buildings therein, save the tower of David and the temple of the Sepulchre. Not long after, Damiata having been besieged one year and seven moneths, was taken without resistance; a plague and famine had made such a vastation therein. The Christians entred with an intent to kill all; but their anger soon melted into pity, beholding the city all bestrawed with corpses. The sight was bad, and the sent was worse; for the dead killed the living. Yea, Gods sword had left their sword no work: Of threescore and ten thousand but three thousand remained; who had their lives pardoned on condition to cleanse the city: which imployed them a quarter of a year. Hence the Christians marched and took the city of Tanis; and soon after the Pope substituted John de Columna, a Cardinall, Legate in the place of Pelagius.
15. The History of the HOLY WARRE
Theobald King of Navarre maketh an unsuc-cessefull voyage into Palestine
THe ten years truce by this time was expired which Frederick made with the Turks; and Reinold Viceroy of Palestine by instructions from him concluded another truce of the ** Magdeburg.Cent.13.cap.16.Decennales inducias nuper denud confirm arar.same term with them. He saw that this young Christian Kingdome of Jerusalem, like an infant, would thrive best with sleeping, with peace and quietnesse: Nor was it any policie for him to move at all, where there was more danger to hurt then hope to help their present estate.
But though this peace was honourable and profitable, having no fault but that Frederick made it; yet the Templars who did not relish the father, must needs distast the child: They complained that this peace was not used as a slumber to refresh the souldiers spirit, but as a lethargie to benumme their valour; and chiefly snarled at this indignity, That the Turks had accesse to the temple of the Sepulchre, and that Goats had freecom monage in the Sheeps pasture. WhereforePope Gregory, to 8* Iidem,ibi-dem.despite the Emperour Frederick, caused the Dominicans and Franciscans his trumpeters, to incite people to the Holy warre. These were two twin orders, but the Dominican the eldest; which now were no sooner hatched in the world, but presently chirped in the pulpits. In that age Sermons were news, and meat for Princes not common men: Yea, the Albingenses with [Page 179] their preaching had drowned the voices of secular Priests, if these two Orders had not helped to outnoise those supposed hereticks. These amplified with their rhetorick the calamity of the Christians, tyrannie of the Turks, merit of the cause, probability of successe; performing their parts with such gravity, shew of devotion, accents of passion, not glued on for the present purpose but so naturall as from true affection, that many were wooed to undertake the voyage: Principally, Theobald King of Navarre, Almerick Earl of Montfort, Henry of Champaigne, Peter Earl of Bretaigne, with many others of inferiour rank.
Ships they had none; wherefore they were fain to shape their passage by land through Grecia: where they were entertained with treachery, famine, and all the miseries which wait on distressed armies. These came last that way, and (I may say) shut the door: For no Christian army ever after went that tedious journey by land.
Having passed the Bosporus, they marched into Bithynia: thence through Galatia they came unto the mountain Taurus; where they were much damnified by the Turks, who fell on and off upon them, as they were advised by their own advantages. The Christians desired no other gift but that a set battel might be given them; which the Turks would not grant, but played at distance and would never close. But with much ado the Christians recovered to Antioch, having scarce a third part of them left, their horses all dead, and themselves scarce mounted on their legs, miserably weak; as what the mercy of sword, plague, and famine had pleased to spare.
Hence the Templars conducted them to Gaza; where they fell on forraging the countrey of the Sultan, assaulting no places which were of strength, or honour to subdue, but onely spoiled poore villages, which counted themselves walled with the truce as yet in force. Abundance of wealth they got, and were now late returning home, when after their plentifull supper a dear and harp reckoning was called for: Behold, the Turks in great numbers fell upon them near unto Gaza; and the Christians down with their bundles of spoil, and out with their swords, bravely defending themselves till such time as the night parted the fray. Here they committed a great errour, and (as one may say) a neglect in overdiligence: for in stead of reposing themselves to rest, and appointing a set watch, they all lay in a manner Perdues, no one slumbering all night, but attending their enemies; contrary to the rules of an armie, which with Argus should never have all its eyes wake or sleep together. Next morning when the Turks, whose numbers were much in creased, set upon them, alas! they being but few to many, faint to fresh, were not able to make any forcible resistance: Yet, [Page 180] what they could not pay in present, they pawned their lives for; that their arms being too weak for their hearts, they were rather killed then conquered. Earl Henry was slain,Almerick taken prisoner, the King of Navarre escaped by the swiftnesse of his Spanish gennet; which race, for their winged speed, the Poets feigned to be begot of the wind.
Mean time the other Christians looked on, and saw their brethren slaughtered before their eyes; and yet though they were able to help them, were not able to help them, their hands being tied with the truce, andReinoldus charging them no way to infringe the peace concluded with the Sultan. Hereupon many cursed him as the Christians cutthroat; he as fast condemned the King of Navarre and his army for breaking the truce. And though the Papall faction pleaded that the former peace concluded not these late adventurers, and that it was onely made with Frederick the Emperour; yet he representing the whole body of Christianity, all the bundle of their shifts could not piece out a satisfactory answer, but that they were guilty of faithbreaking.
Home hastened the King of Navarre with a small retinue, clouding himself in privatenesse; as that actour who cometh off with the dislike of the spectatours, stealeth as invisibly as he may into the tiringhouse. Expectation, that friendly foe, did him much wrong; and his performance fell the lower, because men heightened their looking for great maters from him.
16. Chap. 24.
The Genoan navie beaten by the Venetian; Sea and landservice compared, both in danger and honour.
ACcordingly it was performed; out they go and fall to their work. Their gallies, like Ostriches, used their legges more then their wings, more running with oars then flying with sails. At that time, before Ordinance was found out, ships were both gunnes and bullets themselves, and furiously ranne one against another.
They began with this arietation: Herein strength was much but not all; nimblenesse was also very advantageous to break and slent the downright rushings of a stronger vessel. Then fell they to grappling: Here the steady ship had the better of it; and those souldiers who best kept their legges could best use their arms, the surest stander being alwayes the foundest striker. Much valour was shewed on both sides, and at last the victory fell to the Venetian. The Genoans losing five and twenty of their ships, fled, and saved the rest in the haven of Tyre, after a most cruel and desperate battel.
And surely, generally seafights are more bloudy then those on the land, especially since gunnes came up, whose shot betwixt [Page 211] wind and water (like those wounds so often mentioned in the Scripture under the fifth rib) is commonly observed mortall. Yea, full harder it is for a ship, when arrested and ingaged in a battel, to clear it self, then for souldiers by land to save themselves by flight. Here neither his own two nor his horses four legges can bestead any; but like accidents they must perish with their subjects, and sink with their ship.
And then why is the sea victory lesse honour, being more danger, then one atchieved by land? Is it because seaservice is not so generall, nor so full of varieties, and the mysteries thereof sooner learned? or because in seafights fortune may seem to be a deeper sharer, and valour not so much interested? Whatsoever it is, the laurel purchased on land hath a more lively verdure then that which is got at sea.
We return to the Venetians: who using or rather abusing this conquest, enter Ptolemais, cast out all Genoans thence, throw down their buildings both publick and private, demolish the fort which they had builded at S. Saba, rifle and spoil their shops, warehouses and storehouses: onely the Pope prevailed so farre with them, that they set at liberty the prisoners they had taken.
Ten years did this warre last betwixt these two States in Syria, composed at last (saith my Authour) by the authority of Pope Clement the fourth, and by famine (the bad cause of a good effect) which in Palestine starved them into agreement. Longer these warres lasted betwixt them in Italy: their successe, like the sea they fought on, ebbing and flowing. In this costly warre Pisa was first beggered; and for all her politick partaking, Genoa at last trode so heavy upon her, that ever since she hath drooped and hung the wing, and at this day is maid to Florence, who formerly was mistresse of a good part of Italy. But I have no calling and lesse comfort to prosecute these bloudy dissensions: For warres of Christians against Infidels are like the heat of exercise, which serveth to keep the body of Christianity in health; but these civil warres amongst themselves, like the heat of a feaver, dangerous, and destructive of religion.
17. Chap. 25.
Charles made King of Sicily and Jerusalem by the Pope; Hugh King of Cyprus pretendeth also to go to Jerusalem.
WE have now gotten Pantaleon, a Frenchman, who succeeded Robert in the titular *Platina,in Urban.iv.Patriarchship of Jerusalem, to be Pope, by the name of Urbane the fourth. To advance the Holy cause, after fourteen years interregnum in Syria, he appointed Charles Duke of Anjou, yonger brother to King Lewis of France, King ofSicily and Jerusalem, and it was ratified by Clement the fourth his successour.
This honour was first offered to Lewis himself; but piety had dried up in him all ambitious humours: then to our Henry of England; but his warrewasted purse could not stretch to the Popes price: At last, this Charles accepted it. But it is not for any speciall favour to the bush, if a man run under it in a storm: it was no love to Charles, but to himself, to be sheltred from Maufred, that the Pope conferred this honour upon him. And the wife of Charles; that she might go in equipage with her three sisters, being Queens, sold all her **Besoldua,De reg,Sicil, pag.645 &649jewels to furnish her husband with money to purchase these Kingdomes: that sex loving bravery well, but greatnesse better.
Now the Pope (whose well grounded and bounded bountie will never undo him; for where he giveth away the meat he selleth the sauce) conditioned with Charles on these termes: First, that he should conquerMaufred then King of Sicily, who molested the Pope; and that he should finally subdue all the remaining race of Frederick the second, Emperour, who claimed that Kingdome. Secondly, in acknowledgement that he held these Kingdomes from the Pope, he should pay him an annuall pension of four (some say fourty) thousand pounds. Provided, if this Charles should chance to be chosen Emperour of Germany, that then he should either resigne Sicilyback again into the hands of his Holinesse, or not accept the Empire. For he knew that all Emperours would be possessed with an antipapall spirit; and that they would hold Sicily, not in homage from the Church, but as a member of the Empire: Besides, the Pope would not dispense that Princes should hold pluralitie of temporall Dominions in Italy; especially, he was so ticklish he could not endure the same Prince should embrace him on both sides.
Ever since, the twinne-titles of Sicilyand Jerusalem have [Page 213] gone together; and fit it is that the shadow should follow the substance. Charles subdued Maufred and Conradine his nephew (the last of the Suevian race, and grandchild to Emperour Frederick) and was possessed of Sicilie, and lived there; but as for the gaining of Jerusalem, he little regarded it, nor came thither at all: A watchfull King, who never slept in his Kingdome.
His absence gave occasion to **Calvifius,in anno 1269,ex Marino Sanuto. Hugh King of Cyprus to furbish up new his old title to the Kingdome, as lineally descended from Almerick the second. And coming to Ptolemais, he there was crowned King of Jerusalem: But the extremity of the famine (all things being excessive dear) much abated the solemnity and state of his Coronation. [...]