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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 154



, Walter started, first. Marching down the banks of the Rhine, he experienced no difficulties with the Germans. These, slow to follow the example of the fiery French, and, moreover, not yet stimulated by the preaching of a Peter, still sympathised with the object of the army, which they doubtless thought was but a larger and a fiercer band of pilgrims, like many that had gone before, and assisted those who were too poor to buy provisions, to the best of their power. Passing, therefore, safely through Germany, the disorderly host, among whom all sorts of iniquities were already rife, entered Hungary. The Hungarians, by this time christianised, had yet no kind of enthusiasm for the objects of the Crusaders or desire to aid them ; but their King, Coloman, gave them guides through his vast marshes and across his rivers, and permitted them to purchase what they wanted at the public market-places ; and by great fortune no accident happened to them, save the beating of. a few laggards after the crossing of the river Maros. Judging it idle to avenge an insult which it cost little to endure, Walter pushed on till he reached Belgrade, the frontier town of the Bulgarians. These were even a ruder people than the Hungarian Christians ; they refused to recognise the Crusaders as their brethren : subjects of the Greek crown, they refused any submission but that which was extorted by arms, and living in the midst of inaccessible forests, they preserved a wild and savage independence which made them the terror of the pilgrims, whom they maltreated, and the Greeks, who tried to reduce them to submission. Here the first troubles began. The Governor of Belgrade refusing them permission to buy provisions, the army found themselves reduced to the greatest straits for want of food ; and seeing no other way for help, they left the camp and dispersed about the country, driving in the cattle, and laying hands on everything they could find. The Bulgarians armed in haste, and slaughtered vast numbers of


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