« AnteriorContinuar »
the king of France and the chief men of the expedition. But -when the pagans, who were in the city of Acre, heard that the pagans in the buss had been most of them drowned, and that the king of England, the mighty triumpher over them, had come to the siege, having entertained great hopes of them, they dreaded him exceedingly, and from day to day sought opportunities for surrendering the city to him, on condition that they might depart therefrom with safety to life and limb. The king of France, however, who on the Saturday in Easter week had come to the siege, had before the arrival of the king of England erected a stone tower and prepared his stone engines and covered ways, and other engines of war, and placed them in suitable positions; but he effected nothing with them, as he was awaiting the arrival of the king of England, who immediately upon his coining erected his own engines of war.
The Pisans and the Genevese at this period came to him and made offer of their services; on which he retained the Pisans and declined the offer of the Genevese, because they had sworn fealty to the king of France and the marquis Conrad; the Pisans, however, did homage and fealty to the king of England; on which the king of England, by his charter, confirmed their liberties and customs which they had previously enjoyed in the land of Jerusalem. On the third day after the arrival of the king of England, the king of France dismissed all the servants whom he previously had for the purpose of keeping guard over his engines of war, on which the king of England took into his service those whom the king of France had dismissed; the consequence of which was, that the pagans in the city, finding that the engines of the king of France were left without guards, burned them.
After this, both of the kings were attacked with a malady known by the name of " Arnaldia," in which they were nearly reduced to the point of death, and lost all their hair. However, by the mercy of God, it came to pass that they both recovered from this sickness, and became stronger and mote hearty than ever in the service of God. On king Guido making complaint to them that the marquis Conrad had violently and unjustly deprived him of the revenues and rights of his kingdom, they placed the revenues arising from articles sold in market and the revenues of the port of Acre in the hands of the Templars and the Hospitallers, for them to collect and take care of, until it had been determined which of them was of right entitled thereto.
Geoffrey of Lusignan, the brother of king Guido, also accused the marquis Conrad of breach of faith, and perjury, and treason, against the king, his brother, and against the army of the Christians, and gave his pledge that he would make good the accusation. Conrad, however, being conscience-stricken, declined to take his trial, but made his way through the crowd, and left the place, the people crying after him, and saying, "He is a traitor who refuses to take his trial." However, no person laid hands upon him, for fear lest there might chance to be a tumult among the people. On this he went to Tyre, and a dissension immediately ensued between the kings on account of them, the king of France, as far as he possibly could, taking the part of Conrad, and the king of England that of king Guido; in consequence of which, quarrels and strifes often arose between the kings. A considerable time after, the king of France sent for Conrad and made him chief in his household and his confidential adviser, and in consequence of his advice and counsel, the king of France did many things against God and the salvation of his soul; for he even received presents from Saladin, and became friendly with him.;
The next thing was, that the king of France made demand of half of the isle of Cyprus and of all the things that the king of England had gained on his way to Acre; as a counterpoise to which, the king of England demanded of the king of France one half of Flanders, one half of all the property of the earl of Flanders, and of the other vassals of his who had died at the siege of Acre, as also one half of Tyre, which Conrad had presented to him. But the demands of both were frivolous and invidious, for the agreement made between them was only that they should halve between them all that they should acquire in the land of Jerusalem. This same agreement they now renewed in the presence of the leaders and the principal men of the expedition, and confirmed the same by their charters and oaths, appointing the Templars, and the Hospitallers, and other prudent men in whom they placed confidence, to receive and halve between them all they should take ; after which they became reconciled.
In the meantime, Saladin, the leader of the armies of the pagans, frequently sent to the king of France and the king of England pears, Damascene plums, and abundance of other fruits of Ms country, besides other little presents, that this way at least he might render them disposed to make peace with him. _ For he had often made them offers of peace and concord, both in consequence of his apprehensions of the sons of Noureddin, who had laid claim against him to the whole of the territories of their father which Saladin had seized and retained in his possession, and had, with the aid of the lord Musse, their uncle, lately entered the territory of Saladin, and taken possession of it as far as the great river Euphrates; as also because he wished to rescue his people who were being besieged in the city. However, he would not entirely come to terms with the kings, for he wished to retain in his hands the city of Jerusalem and the Crag of Montreal, while the kings refused to make any agreement with him on those terms. In consequence of this, the stone engines of the kings and of the other chieftains, never ceased hurling stones against the walls of the city and its fortifications, and the miners of the kings did not cease day or night undermining the city walls.
In the month of June, on the Lord's Day, being the vigil of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, and the twentyseventh day of the moon, at the ninth hour of the day, there was an eclipse of the sun, which lasted three hours; so much so7 that the sun was obscured, and darkness came over the earth, and the stars appeared in the heavens ; when the eclipse had passed, the sun was restored to its former brightness.
In the city of Acre there was a man, a worshipper of God, though in secret from fear of the pagans, who frequently sent letters to the armies of the Christians, written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and by them signified to the Christians all the circumstances and intentions of the pagans; in consequence of which, the Christians, being often forewarned, avoided the stratagems of the pagans. However, it was a cause of great vexation to the Christians that they did not know this man, nor yet his name, though in all the letters that he sent he declared that he was a Christian, and in his writings he always commenced with, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." However, it is a thing greatly to be wondered at, that, neither before the taking of the city nor yet after it was taken, he thought fit to discover himself to the Christians.
Vol. n. p
In the same month of July, the Christiana filled up a great part of the fosse, that they might plant their ladders against the walls. On the pagans seeing this, who were being besieged, they offered to surrender to the kings their city, with their arms and provisions, on condition of safety to life and limb, and leave to depart. However, the kings were not willing to take it in this way, but demanded of them the Holy Cross, and the whole of the land of Jerusalem, in the same state it was in before the capture of king Guido. Saladin, however, would not agree to these terms.
In the same month of June, Richard de Camville, whom the king of England had appointed one of his justiciaries in the island of Cyprus, was taken ill, and, without asking leave, came to the siege of Acre, where he died. After his decease, the Griffons and the Armenians, who had not yet made peace with the king, appointed a new emperor to rule over them, a monk of the family of the emperor Isaac. But Robert de Turnham, the only one of the king's justiciaries remaining in the isle of Cyprus after the death of Richard de Camville, collected a large army and engaged with the new emperor, and, defeating him and his people, took him prisoner, and hanged him on a gibbet.
In the same month of June, Ralph Fitz-Godfrey, to whom the king had given charge of the emperor of Cyprus, departed this life, and was buried at Tripolis; after whose death, the king gave the emperor into the charge of the Hospitallers, who took him to the castle of Margant, and there placed him in confinement.
In the same month of June, the miners of the king of England undermined the foundations of the walls of the city of Acre, the pagans who were inside being in ignorance thereof; and, placing logs of wood beneath, they set them on fire; on which a great part of the walls fell down.
In the meantime, the stone engines of the king of France, the Templars, and the Pisans, had made a great breach in the wall, near a tower which is called Maledetta, and the people of the king of France ran towards the breach, hoping, by force, to effect an entrance into the city. However, the pagans met them with a strong hand, and drove them back; and, as the way was steep and narrow, many of the people of the king of France were there slain. The king of England, however, and his men were keeping guard in the meantime over the outer trenches, which lay between the army of the Christians and that of Saladin; for an agreement had been made between the kings that, whenever one of them should be making an assault upon the city, the other should in the meantime keep strict guard over the outer trenches, in order that the army of Saladin might not be able to do any injury to those making the assault, by attacking them in the rear. This arrangement was also made between the kings, because in every affair in which the said kings and their people had united, they were less successful than they would have been if they had acted separately, for the king of France and his men looked contemptuously on the king of England and his people, while he and his people did the same to the others.
In the month of July, on the third day of that month, being the fourth day of the week, a great part of the walls of the city of Acre fell down, near the tower before-mentioned: upon which, Alberic Clement, the marshal of the king of France, ran with a large body of armed men towards the wall, with the standard of the king of France, the marquis Conrad running with the rest towards the wall; on reaching which, they planted their ladders for the purpose of scaling. The said Alberic then mounted the wall: but the pagans, throwing over him an iron hook, dragged him within the walls, and slew him, and crushed forty more with stones: on which, Conrad with his people retreated, as he and they were unwilling to discharge either stones or arrows against the enemy, and the pagans against him and his people; besides which, the pagans who had come for the purpose of defending the walls, remained, in the same spot waving the banner of Conrad himself, which he had given them as a sign of peace, in the sight and to the admiration of all.
On the day after this, the chief men who were in the city, namely, Mestoc and Karakois, came to the king of France and the king of England, and offered them the city, and the arms, and gold, and silver that belonged to themselves and all the others who were in the city, in return for leave to depart with safety to life and limb. However, the kings declined to accede to these terms; but required, as the price of their ransom, all the territory that Saladin and the other pagans had taken from the Christians since the time that Louis, king of the Franks, was at Jerusalem, as well as the Holy Cross,, and the Christians whom they kept in captivity.