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their arrival for one penny, was soon after sold at the price of sixtyø shillings. Upon this, great numbers of the army died of famine, as one horse-load of corn was being sold for sixtyfour marks, English money; and in consequence, the principal men present at the siege were obliged to feed on horse-flesh, eating it as a delicacy.
Now when the famine had increased to an extraordinary degree of severity, the clamour of the people reached Hubert Fitz-Walter, bishop of Rouen," and the other bishops in the expedition, on which they made a collection of money to relieve the necessities of the poor, and the Lord gave such increase to the sums so collected, that they sufficed for the sustenance of all who were in want, until such time as God, the giver of all good things, looking from on high, sent them an abundance of corn, wine, and oil ; for the third day after the collection was distributed among the poor, there came to Acre ships laden with corn, wine, and oil, and made so plentiful a market, and on such moderate terms, that a measure of wheat which before was sold for two hundred besants, was shortly after to be had for six.
In the same year, on the day of Saint James the Apostle, ten thousand youths of prowess and well armed, came forth from among the troops besieging the city of Acre, in spite of the prohibition of the king, the Patriarch, and the leader of the army, with the intention of engaging with Saladin and his army; but Saladin, on seeing them, retreated with his army, leaving behind his tents and provisions. On this, the young men entered the tents of the pagans, and ate and drank of what they found therein; after which they carried away with them whatever they could find of value, and loaded themselves therewith; but, when they were returning towards the force besieging Acre, Saladin and his army fell upon them and put them to the edge of the sword, and they were nearly all slain by the pagans; a few of them, however, leaving their loads behind, escaped by the aid of Ralph de Hautereve, archdeacon of Colchester.
In the same year, Sibylla, queen of Jerusalem, wife of Guido of Lusignan, and his two daughters, departed this life at the siege of Acre; upon whose death, Conrad, Marquis of Montferrat, lord of Tyre, seeing that there was no nearer heir to the throne of Jerusalem than Milicent, the wife of Amfrid
93 Another reading says " forty." 91 Clearly a mistake for “Salisbury."
de Tours, sister of the said Sibylla, held a conference with the Patriarch Heraclius before mentioned, and the mother of the lady before named, and all the chief men of the army of the Christians, and demanded that the sister of the deceased queen should be given him to wife, promising that for the future he would faithfully and zealously promote the interests of the army of the Christians, and would from that time forward hold no communication whatever with Saladin. On this, the mother of the lady, the Patriarch, and a considerable number of the chief men of the army, yielded assent to his requests, and, effecting a divorce between the said lady and Amfrid de Tours, her husband, gave her in marriage to Conrad; who immediately laid claim to the kingdom of Jerusalem against Guido, in right of his wife; upon which Guido offered to abide by the lawful decision of the court of the kings of France and England, who were shortly about to arrive; but Conrad, being unwilling to wait so long a time, usurped all power in the kingdom, and banished king Guido.
In the same year, while Philip, king of the Franks, and Richard, king of the English, were staying at Messina, in Sicily, in the month of December, on the fourteenth day before the calends of January, being the fourth day of the week, loud thunder was heard at Messina, and many and terrible flashes of lightning were seen; a thunderbolt also fell in one of the galleys of the king of England and sank it, striking the walls of the city of Messina, of which it levelled a great part. The knights also and men-at-arms of the king of England, who were keeping guard in the monastery of the Griffons, in which were the treasures of the king of England, asserted as a truth that they saw a ball of fire on a pinnacle of that monastery, not burning but sending forth a light, which remained there as long as the tempest raged, and after that ceased the ball of fire disappeared. On their expressing surprise at this, and making careful enquiries what it could possibly mean, the Griffons there serving God made answer with one accord, that this always happened whenever a storm arose.
The king of England in the meantime, while he was staying at Messina, caused all the ships of his fleet to be hauled ashore and repaired, as many of them had become damaged in consequence of being eaten away by worms. For in the river Del Faro there are certain thin worms, which in the language of the people are called “Beom,” whose food is every
of wood. Whenever these have once adhered to any kind of wood, they never leave go thereof, except through main force, until they have pierced right through; they make narrow straight holes when they have effected an entrance, and then from gnawing away the wood they become so increased in size and bulk, that in coming forth they make wider holes. In the mean time, Richard, king of England, caused stone engines and other engines of war to be prepared, for the purpose of taking the same to the land of Jerusalem.
In the same year, William, bishop of Ely, legate of the Apostolic See, chancellor of our lord the king and justiciary of all England, oppressed the people entrusted to his charge with heavy exactions. For in the first place he despised all his fellows whom the king had associated with him in the government of his kingdom, and disregarded their advice. Indeed, he considered no one of his associates in the kingdom his equal, not even John, earl of Mortaigne, the king's brother. Accordingly, he laid claim to the castles, estates, abbeys, churches, and all the rights of the king as his own.
On the authority also of his legateship, he came to take up his lodging at bishoprics, abbeys, and priories, and other houses of the religious orders, with such a vast array of men, horses, hounds, and hawks, that a house where he took up his abode for only a single night, was hardly able within the three following years to recover its former state. From the clerks and laity he also took away their churches, farms, lands, and other possessions, which he either divided among his nephews, clerks, and servants, or else, to the loss of the owners, retained possession of them himself, or squandered them away to supply his extraordinary expenses.
Did not this wretched man consider that he should one day have to die? Did he not think that the Lord would demand of each an account of his stewardship, or honorable conduct in his government? But well is it said as to such men as this:
Nothing is more unendurable than a man of low station when he is exalted on high. On every side he strikes, while on every side he fears; against all does he rage, that they may have an idea of his power; nor is there any beast more foul than the rage of a slave let loose against the backs of the free." 94
94 “ Asperius humili nihil est cum surgit in altum,
Cuncta ferit, dum cuncta timet, desævit in omnes,
In the same year, on the third day after the feast of Saint Michael, about four thousand armed Saracens came forth from the city of Acre, and burned four of the stockades with Greek fire; but they were manfully repulsed by the soldiers of the army, and lost twenty Turks who were slain, and many wounded. After this, at the feast of Saint Martin, the Saracens again sallied forth from the city of Acre, and made an attack upon the Christians, who manfully withstood them. Baldwin de Carun, Walter de Oyri, and Baldwin de Dargus, valiantly withstood their attack, until count Henry and Geoffrey de Lusignan had come up with the Templars, and compelled the pagans to give way with such a mighty charge, that they lost in their flight forty Turks who were slain, and many wounded.
After this, between the feast of Saint Andrew and the Nativity of our Lord, the whole army of the Christians was in arms, for the purpose of making an assault upon the city of Acre, and the Germans and English drew their scaling-ladders to the trenches, that they might place them against the walls; on which the pagans went out of the city by the postern gates, and took their scaling-ladders from the Germans, and drove the English away from the trenches, and then fastened ropes to the scaling-ladder of the English, with the intention of drawing it into the city ; but Ralph de Tilly, Humphrey de Veilly, Robert de Lanlande, and Roger de Glanville, mounted the scaling-ladder of the English, and four times extinguished the Greek fire that was thrown down; and Ralph de Tilly coming nearer than the others, cut asunder the ropes with his sword, and so rescued the scaling-ladder from the hands of
Shortly after, between the feast of Saint Andrew and the Nativity of our Lord, the famine already mentioned began in the army of the Christians, and continued until the Purification of Saint Mary.
In the same year, Henry, king of the Germans, on hearing of the death of Frederic, emperor of the Romans, his father, restored to Henry, duke of Saxony, all that his father had taken from him, and, by way of addition thereto, gave him ten most excellent castles. He also did the like to all others from whom his father had taken anything away, restoring to each person what was his own. All his subjects therefore being now reconciled to him, he sent his envoys to pope Clement, and the cardinals and senators of the city, demanding
the Roman empire, and promising that he would in all things maintain the laws and dignities of the Romans unhurt. On this, pope Clement, having with due deliberation held council with the cardinals and senators and Roman people, respecting the demand of the king of the Germans, granted the king what he asked for, saving always the dignities and customs of the Romans, and appointed for him as the time for coming to Rome the following Easter; but before he arrived there, pope Clement died.
In the same year, David, brother of William, king of Scotland, took to wife Matilda, sister of Ranulph, earl of Chester. In this year also, a dispute again happened between Geoffrey, archbishop elect of York, and Bucard, the treasurer of the same church, in consequence of which the archbishop elect excommunicated the before mentioned Bucard, who went to pope Clement, and was deemed worthy by him to be absolved therefrom; while with the Supreme Pontiff he threw such difficulties in the way of the business of the archbishop elect of York, that the Supreme Pontiff would neither confirm his election nor allow him to be consecrated. In addition to this, the Supreme Pontiff conferred on Hugh, bishop of Durham, the privilege of not making any profession or submission throughout his life to Hugh, the archbishop elect of York, not even though he should be consecrated to the archbishopric; on the ground that the said bishop of Durham had once already made profession to the church of York, and to Saint William, at that time archbishop of York, and his Catholic
In the same year, Richard, king of England, the Divine grace inspiring him thereto, being sensible of the filthiness of his life, after due contrition of heart, having called together all the archbishops and bishops who were with him at Messina, in the chapel of Reginald de Moyac, fell naked at their feet, and did not hesitate to confess to God, in their presence, the filthiness of his life. For the thorns of lustfulness had departed from his head, and it was not the hand of man who rooted them out, but God, the Father of Mercies, who wisheth not for the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live, looked upon him with the eyes of mercy and gave him a heart to repent, and called him to repentance, for he received the penance imposed by the bishops before named, and from that hour forward became a man who feared God, and left