« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Christians thus strongly encamped, the fifth day af ter gave unto the city a fierce assault, with such cheerfulness, as that it was verily supposed, it might have been even then won, had they been sufficiently furnished with scaling ladders; for want whereof, they were glad to give over the assault and retire. But within a few days after, having supplied that defect, and provided all things necessary, they came on again afresh, and with all their power gave unto the city a most terrible assault, wherein was on both sides seen great valour, policy, and cunning, with much slaughter; until that at length the Christians, weary of the long fight, and in that hot country, and most fervent time of the year, fainting for lack of water, were glad again to forsake the assault, and to retire into their trenches: only the well of Siloe yielded them water, and that not sufficient for the whole camp; the rest of the wells, which were but few, being before by the enemy either filled up, or else poisoned.
Whilst the Christians thus lay at the siege of Jerusalem, a fleet of the Genoese arrived at Joppa: at which time also a great fleet of the Egyptian sultan's lay at Ascalon, to have brought relief to the besieged Turks in Jerusalem; whereof the Genoese understanding, and knowing themselves too weak to encounter them at sea, took all such things out of their ships as they thought good, and so sinking
them, marched by land unto the camp. There was amongst these Genoese divers engineers, men (after the manner of that time) cunning in making of all manner of engines fit for the besieging of cities; by whose device, a great moving tower was framed of timber and thick planks, covered over with raw hides, to save the same from fire; out of which the Christians might in safety greatly annoy the defendants. This tower being by night brought close to the wall, served the Christians instead of a most sure fortress in the assault the next day; where whilst they strive with warlike valour, and doubtful victo ry on both sides, from morning until mid-day, by chance the wind favouring the Christians, carried the flame of the fire into the face of the Turks, wherewith they had thought to have burnt the tower, with such violence, that the Christians taking the benefit thereof, and holpen by the tower, gained the top of the wall; which was first footed by the duke Godfrey, and his brother Eustace, with their followers, and the ensigns of the duke there first set up, to the great encouraging of the Christians, who now pressing in on every side, like a violent river that had broken over the banks, bare down all before them. All were slain that came to hand, men, women, and children, without respect of age, sex, or Condition: the slaughter was great, and the sight lamentable; all the streets were filled with blood, and
the bodies of the dead; death triumphing in every place.
Yet in this confusion, a wonderful number of the better sort of the Turks retiring to Solomon's Temple, there to do their last devoir, made there a great and terrible fight, armed with despair, to endure any thing; and the victorious Christians no less disdaining, after the winning of the city, to find there so great resistance. In this desperate conflict, fought with wonderful obstinacy of mind, many fell on both sides: but the Christians came on so fiercely, with desire of blood, that breaking into the temple, the foremost of them were by the press of them that followed after, violently thrust upon the weapons of their enemies, and so miserably slain. Neither did the Turks thus oppressed, give it over, but as men resolved to die, desperately fought it out with invincible courage, not at the gates of the temple only, but even in the midst thereof also, where was to be seen great heaps, both of the vietors and the vanquished, slain indifferently together. All the pavement of the temple swam with blood, in such sort, that a man could not set his foot, but either upon some dead man, or over the shoes in blood: yet for all that, the obstinate enemy still held the vaults, and top of the temple, when as the darkness of the night came so fast on, that the Christians were glad to make an end of the slaughter, and to
sound a retreat. The next day (for proclamation was made, for mercy to be shown unto all such as should lay down their weapons) the Turks that yet held the upper part of the temple, came down and yielded themselves. Thus was the famous city of Jerusalem, with great bloodshed, but far greater honour, recovered by these worthy Christians, in the year 1099, after it had been in the hands of the infidels above four hundred years.
The next day, after having buried the dead and cleansed the city, they gave thanks to God with public prayers and great rejoicing. The poor Christians before oppressed, now overcome with unexpected joy, welcomed their victorious brethren with great joy and praise and the soldiers embracing one another, sparing to speak of themselves, freely commended. each other's valour. Eight days after, the princes of the army meeting together, began to consult about the choice of their king: among whom was no such difference, as might well show which was to be preferred before the others. And although every one of them, for prowess and desert, seemed worthy of so great an honour, yet by the general consent of all, it was given to Robert, duke of Normandy; who about the same time hearing of the death of the Conqueror, his father, and more in love with his father's new gotten kingdom in England, in hope thereof, refused the kingdom of Jerusalem, then offered unto
him; which at his return he found possessed by William Rufus, his younger brother; and so in hope of a better refusing the worse, upon the matter lost both.
After whose departure, Godfrey of Boulogne, duke of Lorraine (whose ensign was first displayed upon the walls) was by the general consent, both of the princes and the army, saluted king; he was a great soldier, and indued with many heroical virtues, brought up in the court of the emperor Henry IV, and by him much employed. At the time of his inauguration, he refused to be crowned with a crown of gold, saying, "That it became not a Christian man there to wear a crown of gold, where Christ, the son of God, had for the salvation of mankind sometime worn a crown of thorns."
Knolles likewise wrote the two following works, which were published after his death. 1. The Lives and Conquests of the Ottoman Kings and Emperors to the year 1610; printed in 1621, and continued to that year by another hand. 2. A Brief Discourse of the Greatness of the Turkish Empire, and wherein the greatest Strength thereof consisteth, &c.