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ELECTION OF A KING.
expence of so much blood. Prayers, fasts, and alms were enjoined that Heaven might deign to preside over the election which was about to take place. Those who were appointed to choose the king of Jerusalem swore, in the presence of the Christian army, unbiassed by private interest, favour, or affection, to award the crown to wisdom and virtue. These electors, whose names history has not handed down to us, took the greatest pains to study the opinion of the army respecting each of its chiefs. William of Tyre relates that they went so far as to question the attendants and servants of all those who had pretensions to the crown of Jerusalem, and that they made them take an oath to reveal all that they knew concerning the manners, character, and most secret propensities of their masters. The servants of
Godfrey of Bouillon bore the most striking testimony to his domestic virtues; and, in their ingenuous sincerity, they found but one fault with him, that of contemplating with an idle curiosity the images and the pictures in the churches, and stopping before them so long, even after divine service was over, that very often he outstayed his meal-times, and the dishes prepared for his table got cold and lost their flavour.'
"At length the electors, after making all the necessary inquiries and maturely deliberating, proclaimed the name of Godfrey. This choice produced the greatest joy in the Christian army, which thanked Heaven for giving it as sovereign and chief him who had so often led it on to victory."
After the interesting particulars with which the impartial account that you have just read concludes, it is
KINGS OF JERUSALEM.
superfluous for me to tell you that the new king displayed on the throne the qualities of an accomplished and truly Christian sovereign. Unfortunately, he survived his elevation but one year and three days. On the 18th of July, 1100, the Christians had to lament the loss of this excellent prince, who died regretted by all.
Baldwin, his brother and successor, was crowned on Christmas-day in the following year, and reigned eighteen years with glory. Death overtook him amidst his conquests, on the frontiers of Egypt. The royal dignity devolved to his nephew, Baldwin II., who governed three
In consequence of his marriage with Melisandra, eldest daughter of Baldwin II., Foulques, count of Anjou, became fourth king of Jerusalem. He died ten years afterwards, from the effects of a fall from his horse. His son Baldwin III. inherited the crown, wore it twenty years, and died of poison. During his reign, St. Bernard preached in the West a second crusade, at the head of which appear Louis VII. and the emperor Conrad.
Amauri I., brother of Baldwin III.- Baldwin IV., son of Amauri, Baldwin V., nephew of Baldwin IV., successively filled the throne. The first two marked their reign by no action of importance; that of the third was but momentary: he was a child whom disease carried off at the age of eight years. His mother Sybilla, by endeavouring to obtain the crown for her second husband, Guy de Lusignan, gave rise to divisions among the Christians which had the most disastrous results. Factions, eager after authority, were formed: the grandees violently disputed among themselves the right to
JERUSALEM TAKEN BY SALADIN.
govern the state, harassed, persecuted one another, and accelerated the downfal of the holy city.
About this time, Adad, caliph of the Fatimites in Egypt, having chanced to die-Saladin, his visir and general of his armies, caused himself to be proclaimed soldan. Having already won numerous and rapid triumphs, he was marching towards Jerusalem, not suspecting that treachery would facilitate his conquest of the city. On arriving before Tiberias, he gave battle to the Christians, put them to the rout, took prisoner their king Lusignan, who was basely betrayed by Raimond, count of Tripoli; found himself, after a series of successes, before the capital; laid siege to it, and forced it to capitulate on the 20th of October, 1197. His soldiers, in the intoxication of victory, flew to the temple, pulled down the gold cross which adorned its summit, dragged it ignominiously through the streets, and broke it in pieces upon Mount Sion. The churches were forced open and plundered, with the single exception of that of the Holy Sepulchre, which the generosity of the conqueror granted in consideration of a sum of money to the Christians of the East, with permission to pilgrims of other nations to visit it, on condition that they should go thither without arms, and pay certain duties, the amount of which he reserved the right of fixing. All the Christians were declared slaves, without any other mitigation of their lot than the right to ransom themselves at the rate of ten gold besants each. Unable to pay so high a ransom, fourteen thousand of them were carried into slavery.
Six years afterwards, Saladin fell ill at Damascus,
DEATH OF SALADIN.
and, like Alexander, he knew that he should die. Aware of the nullity of human greatness, he caused the coffin in which he was to be buried to be carried through the city, and the herald who bore this standard of death was ordered to cry: "Here is all that Saladin, the conqueror of the East, carries with him of his conquests!"-words which, without any alteration but that of the names, might serve as a general epitaph for all conquerors of the earth, for all the mighty of a day, who make it tremble but for a moment, and who devour in haste its inhabitants and their treasures, only to be swallowed up by it themselves the next moment, with nothing about them but a paltry winding-sheet.
Allow me to make one reflexion by the way, my dear friend. Have not your eyes and mine beheld those giants of power, to whom a truly pagan adulation has dared to ascribe more than to Heaven itself the empire and government of the world, and all whose majesty has already been devoured by worms at the bottom of a sepulchre ? And might not these new omnipotents, in whose presence princes and people lately bowed the knee, say of themselves even with greater reason than Saladin :"State after state I've added to my realm;
I've thrown down twenty kings: and to the tomb
Of all these conquests nought I take with me
In 1228, Frederic II., emperor of Germany, who, at the time of his coronation had solemnly sworn to go and... fight the infidels, being urged by the pope to fulfil his promise, set out with a numerous army and arrived at Tyre in the month of September. The sultan Meleddin, being alarmed, averted the storm by a treaty, agreeably
LATER HISTORY OF JERUSALEM.
to which he restored to the Christians all their prisoners, and put them in possession of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Sidon. Frederic entered the city triumphantly, went to the church of the Holy Sepulchre, placed upon his head Godfrey's crown, which he took from the altar, and which no one thought of offering to him, and shortly afterwards returned to Europe.
Meanwhile the empty title of king of Jerusalem continued to pass from one prince to another, and at every change the pretensions of the rival factions became a source of calamities and disorders not less disastrous than before.
In 1242, the treaty concluded by Meleddin with Frederic, and which was limited to ten years, having expired, the sovereigns of Egypt, taking advantage of the internal troubles, had again made themselves masters of the Holy Land.
About this period, the emir of Damascus, being at war with the sultan, took Jerusalem from him, and was not afraid to incense him by restoring it to the Christians. Vengeance speedily followed. An army of Karismians hastened to the capital, retook it, plundered it, slaughtered the inhabitants, and delivered it in this deplorable state to the successor of the vanquished prince, who had died in the interval.
In 1248, St. Louis, with the intention of fulfilling a vow which he had made to go to the assistance of the Christians of the Holy Land, embarked at AiguesMortes, accompanied by almost all the chivalry of France. But Heaven decreed that he should appear in the East only to show the infidels that a Christian king