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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 451



of pilgrimage to Palestine ; but it does not appear that manypilgrims went ; and boxes were placed in all the churches to collect money ; but it is not certain that much money was put into them. Then Fulke de Neuilly, the most eloquent priest of the time, was sent to preach a crusade, and succeeded in fanning the embers of the crusading enthusiasm once more into an evanescent and short-lived flame. How little of religious zeal there was in the movement may be judged by the sequel, and we cannot here delay to detail the progress of the Crusade which ended in the conquest of Constantinople. No history can be found more picturesque, more full of incident, and more illustrative of the manners and thoughts of the time; but it does not concern Jerusalem. An old empire fell, and a new one was founded, but Christendom was outraged by the spectacle of an expedition which started full of zeal for the conquest of the Holy Land, and was diverted from its original purposes to serve the ambition of its leaders, and the avarice of a commercial city. Egypt and Syria, meantime, were kept quiet from war by troubles not caused by man. The Nile ceased for a time to overflow, and a fearful famine, a famine of which the records speak as dreadful beyond all comparison, set in ; during this men kept themselves alive by eating the flesh of those who died, while the cities were filled with corpses, and the river bore down on its tide dead bodies as numerous as the lilies which bloom on its surface in spring. And before the famine, which extended over Syria as well, had ceased, an earthquake shook the country from end to end. Damascus, Tyre, Nablous, were heaps of ruins ; the walls of Acre and Tripoli fell down; Jerusalem alone seemed spared, and there the Christian and the Mohammedan met together, still trembling with fear, to thank God for their safety. The sums of money which Fulke de Neuilly had raised in his preaching were spent in repairing the walls which had fallen, and the knights sent messengers in all directions to implore the assistance of the West.


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