Page images
PDF
EPUB

seizing the standard from the hands of him who bore it, cast off his helmet, that all might see his face, and shouting loudly, “ Deus id vult! Deus id vult!—God wills it! God wills it!" plunged his horse into the midst of the enemies' ranks, drove back the infidels, and restored order to the defence. Still the band of Soliman pressed round upon every side, and though Boemond had by this time cleared the camp of the foe, a number of his soldiers were necessarily engaged in its defence.

The women, however, for whose protection this band was assigned, now proved of infinite service to the whole host. Exhausted with combating through a day of July in the heat of a Phrygian climate, parched with thirst, and weakened by wounds, the strength of the crusaders must have given way, had not their wives and sisters supplied them constantly with water from the little stream that ran near. They were thus enabled to maintain the battle for several hours, but were still in a state nearly hopeless, when at length a cloud of dust rising from behind the hills to the west, announced that some new combatants were hastening to the scene of contest. Then appeared spears and pennons, and the glittering arms of the Latin chivalry; and, with the red cross banner of the crusade floating over their heads, down came Godfrey of Bouillon and Hugh of Vermandois, followed by Raymond of St. Giles and the warlike Bishop of Puy. Rage, disappointment, and apprehension, spread through the host of Soliman, while relief and hope and renewed courage rose in the bosoms of the exhausted crusaders.

arms

But if the sight of Godfrey and his companions was full of joy and satisfaction to Boemond, his situation offered an awful and terrible object to the eyes of the two princes who first came spurring over the hills above. There lay the little camp of the Norman leaders, surrounded on every side by the charging squadrons of the Turks; and the fury of the combat which was there going on told them a terrible tale of what their brethren in arms must have endured. Godfrey formed his army as he came up, and with forty thousand picked horsemen bore down upon the troops of Soliman. “God wills it! God wills it !" was again shouted all over the hills, and the prospects of the day were changed; but Soliman still persisted in maintaining the combat, though with terrible loss; till at length the sight of the Bishop of Puy and Raymond of St. Giles spread a complete panic through the Mussulman ranks. The flight became general, and as the Christians pursued with angry speed, the slaughter was terrible. Godfrey and his comrades ceased not to follow the fugitives for several hours, and thus they suddenly came upon the Turkish camp, sheltered in the bosom of the heighbouring hills. Here a vast booty in gold, silver, camels and other beasts of burthen, fell to the share of the crusaders; and here also were found several Christian prisoners who had been taken in the early part of the day.

The actual loss in killed had not been near so great on the part of Boemond as might have been expected. The best computation gives about four thousand slain, but an immense number of Christian warriors were severely wounded. The slaughter of the Turks was very much greater; the army of Soliman was scattered to the winds, and the progress of the crusade was now marked by the capture of a strong city and a complete and signal victory, which received the name of the battle of Doryleum.

For several days the people of the cross remained encamped in the neighbourhood of the spot where this triumph had been obtained. Repose and refreshment certainly was necessary to them; but with a degree of improvidence which marked their whole course, they consumed, without care or thrift, the greater part of their own provisions and of the stores which they had found in the enemy's camp, and then set out to pass through the midst of Phrygia, with but scanty food and no supply of water. Soliman had been more provident, however, in his enmity towards the invaders. His scattered bands, no longer able to keep the field, had been spread over the whole country, with an order to destroy everything that could afford support to the crusading host. All was thus made desolate throughout that fiery region; and the sufferings which the Christians underwent in their onward march, were ten times more destructive than the swords of the adversary. Men and horses fell by thousands in

[merged small][ocr errors]

the way; and the women who thronged the crusading camp, dying by the agonising death of thirst, forgot decency and modesty, and even the ties of nature, rolled prostrate on the ground, offered their bosoms to the sword, and cast down their new-born children, to perish miserably on the road.

No language can do justice to the misery there endured ; and when at last water was discovered, the intemperate use of the blessed element was nearly as fatal as the drought had been before. The country now changed its aspect; Phrygia was passed, and in Pisidia towards Antiochetta, green fields and rivulets, and shady trees, offered to the weary host of the crusade a comparative paradise. Here the army paused for a considerable time, enjoying the sweets of the place, and recovering from the fatigues of the way; but Raymond Count of St. Giles was soon seized with a dangerous illness, probably brought on by the fatigues he had undergone; and Godfrey himself, while hunting in the neighbouring forests, was nearly killed in combat with a wild beast.

Some of the warriors, however, soon became tired of the repose of Antiochetta ; Tancred, with the Prince of Salernum, five hundred horse, and a proportionate force of foot, determined upon detaching himself from the rest of the leaders, in order to explore the country round, and see what advantages he could gain over the enemy. Baldwin, the brother of Godfrey, joined himself to Tancred with a

somewhat larger force, but after wandering for a time through a country which had been desolated by the Turks, the two princes again separated.

Tancred taking his way through Cilicia, made himself master of Tarsus, which was garrisoned by a small body of Turks; but Baldwin, who had not been so fortunate, soon after returned, and demanded the cession of the captured city from Tancred, alleging that as he commanded the superior force he was entitled to look upon himself as leader of the whole expedition. Tancred laughed at such a vain pretence but Baldwin ceased not to intrigue with the inhabitants, till he had obtained possession of Tarsus; and Tancred, rather than draw his sword against a brother crusader, yielded the point, and marching onward attacked and took Mamistra by storm. Baldwin then with increased forces, ravaged the whole of Cilicia, and approached Ma. mistra, with the evident intention of obtaining that also. Tancred's indignation now got the better of all other feelings, and issuing forth from the walls of the city, he gave battle to his treacherous ally in the open country; but from the inferiority of his numbers, he was soon forced to retire into Mamistra. The next day a reconciliation was effected, and Baldwin proceeded to rejoin the main army, while Tancred remained carrying on a desultory warfare against the Turks, whose garrisons were scattered Hiinly through all the neighbouring districts.

Ere Baldwin reached the host of the crusade,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »