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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 160



He inveighed against their disorders and their crimes, and he declared that these were the causes of their defeat. He might have added that his own weakness, the vanity which led him to accept the rôle, offered him by an ignorant crowd, of general as well as preacher, was no less a cause of disaster than the disorder which it was his business to check and combat day by day. His disappointment was such as would be enough to kill a really proud and strong man ; but Peter was not a strong man ; in the hour of danger he bent like the reed to the storm ; the violence of the tempest once past, however, like the reed, he lifted up his head again. He could preach endurance, but he could not himself endure ; his faith required constant stimulants, his courage the fresh fire of continual success. Peter lifted up his head again when he saw the splendid array of Godfrey and Eaymond ; but his old authority with the chiefs was gone. Like a worn-out tool, ho had served his purpose and was cast aside. He had no more voice in their councils—no more power over their enthusiasm. He lapsed into utter insignificance, save once, when we find him actually trying to desert the army at Antioch and endeavouring to run away ; and once, later on, when he received the brief ovation from the native Christians in the hour of final triumph at Jerusalem. He returned, it may be added, in safety to France when the war was over, and spent sixteen years more in honourable obscurity, the head of a monastery. Never in the world's history, with the exception of Mohammed alone, has one man produced an effect so great and so immediate ; and seldom has one man wielded an instrument so potent as Peter, when he set forth at the head of an army which wanted only disòipline to make it invincible. But now vexilla regis prodeunt ; armies of a different character are assembling in the west. Foremost among them is that headed by Godfrey de Bouillon, Duke of


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