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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Heroines of the Crusades
page 5

viii PREFACE. church, resulted necessarily in the practice of pilgrimage. Anxious, restless guilt, fled from the scene of its enormities to the sweet valleys where the Saviour whispered peace to his disciples ; poetry sought in-spiring visions on the Mount of Transfiguration ; penitence lingered in the garden of Passion, and remorse expiated its crimes in weary vigils at the Holy Sepulchre. At the dawn of the eleventh century, one sublime idea pervaded Christendom. The thousand years of the Apocalypse were supposed to be accomplished, and a general belief prevailed that on the Mount of Olives, whence the Son of God ascended in his chariot of cloud to heaven, he would reappear in all the pomp of his Second Advent. From every quarter of the Latin world the affrighted Christians, de-serting their homes and kindred, crowded to the Holy Land—terror quickened devotion, curiosity stimulated enthusiasm. But insult and outrage awaited the pilgrims in Palestine, and in Jerusalem itself they encountered the scoffing taunts of idolatry and infidelity. To free those holy courts from the polluting tread of the sandalled Paynim, to prepare a pure resting-place for the Son of Man, Super-stition roused the martial spirit of the age and enlisted chivalry under the banners of the cross. Thus began the CRUSADES, those romantic expeditions which, com-bining religious fervor with military ardor, united the various nations of Europe from the shores of the Baltic to the Straits of Gibraltar, and from the banks of the Danube to the Bay of Biscay, in one com-mon cause, and poured the mingled tide of fanatics, warriors and ad-venturers, upon the plains of Asia. For nearly two centuries the mightiest efforts and best blood of Christendom were wasted in the useless struggle, and it is computed that not less than six millions of people devoted their lives and fortunes to this desperate undertaking. But though the Crusades are so important to the historian as in-volving the politics of all nations ; to the philosopher as fraught with consequences affecting the happiness of succeeding generations ; and to the scholar as commencing the era when Genius, brooding over the ruins of the Past, rose Phœnix-like from the ashes of Arabian splendor,

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