« ZurückWeiter »
that cistern—we.core. thosz) set in paring stones. on which the poor creatures s'p abos: and past and semble as if feartal they are on forbidden ground. Bat that little pool is sacred to these exies, No dogs are to be pat into the water." as the notice says-nct even her ladrship's lap-dog. though brought dova by James in crimson and gold to this Bethesda—wheezing, and gasping, and wadding for Fery fatness-better fed than thousands of our fellow-creatures, and better taught than some, albeit his education has been pure secular.
The sight is tinged with sadness—there is so painful an incongruity about it. Sheep have always been, and stiil are, the antipodes of etiquette and state.
“ Yie! is not the hawthorn bash a sweeter shade
To kings who fear their subjects' treachery?" But the “ milk-white thorn” and the crimson canopy are both associated with the scene before us. Look at this lordly park! There is nothing about it “ but doth suffer a town-change." It is at best but artificial nature, hemmed in by sophisticated courtend life. What outrage have these poor sheep been guilty of, that they should be thus doomed to transportation hither, instead of waking the echoes of our green lanes and untrodden hills with the welcome tinkle of their bells ?
Onward to St. James's Park, where all is art again. The very trees are misnomered to suit the atmosphere of rank and fashion. The poor hazel that has often bowed beneath our grasp, and dropped its brown fruitage at our feet, pattering on the mossy wood-walk like a sudden shower, in our happy country rambles, is here a town-made shrub—a “ cupuliferous Corylus!" And the twinkling birch, with its light foliage and graceful silver stem—the glory of our heaths, and moors, and woodsides, is transformed into a Betula! Poor things—strangers in a strange land, why should the lords of this modern Babylon compel them, as the prince of the eunuchs did of old time the Jewish captives, to change their names in accommodation to the customs of the place. A name is the key-note to those pure melodies awakened by association, and it can never be altered without damage to the music of the mind.
But we will be no longer cynics. The blue sky above us, and the brisk wind rippling the water at our feet, are God's glad creatures altogether. And much that is man’s, too, calls for our gratitude and praise. London, with all its faults, has happiness in plenty for the happy—for those who use as not abusing its unequalled privileges. The heart may find no rest amongst the glitter of fashion-nor, like the dove of Noah, was it made to settle there. Its ark is Home-home with all its endearments,— its hearth, its altar, its closet, and its God; and if our walk have taught us nothing else, it has made us doubly thankful for the great mercies that light around us there, mercies that are new every morning, and fresh every evening.
THE CRUSADERS BEFORE JERUSALEM.
(Continued from page 325.) THE towers being at length completed, a day was fixed for a general assault. But here we are met by a most characteristic incident, one which appositely illustrates the spirit of the whole Crusade, and the temper of these champions of the cross.
Many jealousies and bickerings had taken place among the chieftains during the progress of the work. The prelates deeming that they could not expect the divine blessing without the restoration of brotherly love and charity, consulted a hermit, who dwelt in an ancient and lofty tower, on the summit of Mount Olivet, and possessed a great reputation for sanctity. By his advice a day was appointed for reconciliation with each other, and for entreating the divine blessing on their enterprise.
On the appointed day, the entire people formed in long and slow procession. The bishops with the pall or white and seemless cloak, the mitre, the pastoral staff or crook—the clergy in their garments of white, emblematic of the purity of their sacred office, with crosses and reliques—the people barefoot, and with earth-bent heads—the proud and haughty barons, dismounted from their chargers,-in this altered guise, the long procession wended slowly, like the Israelites before Jericho, around the walls of Jerusalem; and then climbing the steep ascent of Olivet, about a mile from the city, they visited the places pointed out as the scenes of the Ascension and of the Sermon on the Mount. Sobs and groans were heard, whilst the priests chaunted sadly and solemnly the seven penitential Psalms, or raised the swelling cadence of some latin hymn. What the hymns chaunted on this particular occasion were, we are not informed, but we know that at such times a hymn beginning " Pange, lingua, gloriosi, was very commonly used. The following attempted translation can convey but a faint idea of the original.
Sing, my tongue, the mystery
Jesu's death, and passion glorious,
How he rose from death victorious ;
Of a virgin pure and holy,
Doing good to sinners solely.
“Eat it, to your consolation,
“Drink it-pledge of your salvation.”
All our best devotions needeth,
To this glorious new one cedeth,
Honour, blessing, praise, be given
Praise on earth, and praise in heaven.
To the Undivided Three ! These were doubtless strange sights and sounds to the wondering crowd of Moslems who crowded the walls, whence they mocked the Christians, and heaped all the insult their ingenuity could devise on the cross, which they regarded with such superstitious veneration.
Arrived at the Mount of Olives, the procession came to a stand, and having visited the places we have named, flocked, mute and uncovered, round a man who stood a little raised above the rest. He was a small-made short man, of weak and contemptible appearance, a contrast to the gigantic, broad, and bony barons, who surrounded him. But his eye was keen and piercing, and its glance riveted the attention of him on whom he fixed it. He begins to speak-every ear is attent, and tones of vehement and thrilling eloquence entrance the hearers. This is Peter, the Hermit, the soul of the whole Crusade; the man who by preaching through the plains of France and Italy, had assembled the vast hosts, the remnant of which was now before him. In a last sermon he urged them to consummate this their undertaking. Our readers may, perchance, feel some curiosity to know the outline of his discourse. With outstretched finger, he pointed to the city in which their redemption had been perfected. He dilated on its glorious beauty, and with choking voice, told how the holy places were trodden underfoot by the unbelievers, and narrated the savage cruelties to which their brethren within the walls were subjected. He then drew a comparison between the city before them and the heavenly Jerusalem, and between the Saracens and the ghostly foes of man, and shewed that the victory over the former was easier to be achieved than that over the latter. In a strain of empassioned eloquence, he concluded, by urging them on to vengeance on the insulters of the cross.
After this strange scene the procession was reformed, and retraced its footsteps to
A day or two after this, the general assault was to be made. Godfrey perceiving the formidable defences which had been erected opposite to his tower, in the course of a single night by most incredible exertions, took his tower to pieces, transported all the ponderous materials half a mile to the East, not far from St. Stephen's church, to a place which had hitherto remained unassailed, where consequently no defences had been erected, and where the wall was lower than in other places, and before sunrise the tower was re-erected as compactly as before. Great was the consternation of the Moslems, when they awoke and discovered the change that had been effected.
Now dawned the day appointed for the assault. All girt on their armour, all as this historian tells us, burning with eagerness either to lay down their lives for Christ, or to win the sacred city. In that vast host, we learn, there was not one so feeble, through age or infirmity, or so young in years, as not to take some share in the attack. The very women, forgetful of their sex and of the delicacy of their frames, put on armour, and rushed with enthusiasm to the assault.
The object of the assailants was to wheel the towers nearer to the walls—to fill up the trench,—to throw a light moveable wooden bridge from the top of the towers to the walls, and so effect an entrance. Others battered the walls with the rams, while an uninterrupted shower of stones and darts was kept up from the machines. The Christians advanced to the assault protected by their shields and by large crates of wicker-work which they carried over their heads, and plied their bows and cross-bows with good effect. Godfrey's tower was higher than the walls by the length of an ashen spear, and on its top was erected a conspicuous crucifix. Godfrey himself was stationed on the top of his tower: he had laid aside the lance, the mace, and sword, and his sinewy arm plied the long bow with deadly effect. His arrows flew with such force, that they literally transfixed the luckless Saracens. Strange stories are told of his prodigious feats of personal strength, and it was said, that at one stroke he could cleave a Saracen in two from the turban to the saddle.
The Saracens in the meanwhile, hurled on the advancing army a storm of darts and stones from their machines. Burning beams covered with pitch, sulphur, wax, Greek fire, and other combustibles, they cast against the towers to inflame them, but the raw hides with which the structures were cove
overed, resisted their utmost efforts. To lessen the effect of the battering rams, they let down in front of the walls sacks filled with straw and chaff, large ship cables, and huge beams, which in some measure deadened their force.
Raimund's tower was a good deal shattered by the stones from the machines, and had to be withdrawn awhile from the wall,