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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 68



v CHAPTER X. "Onward they came, a dark continuous cloud Of congregated myriads numberless." "To dispose of bis worldly affairs so that man might not accuse him before the throne of God," was a more serious and protracted work than the Duke of Normandy had an-ticipated. The patience of Stephen was in consequence nearly exhausted, in waiting his preparations, and it was not till the council of Clermont had been several clays in session, that the nobles entered the district of Auvergne. As they approached the place of meeting, the highways were thronged by the eager crowds that flocked towards the city ; and all the plains as far as the eye could reach, were dotted with tents and booths, that afforded tempo-rary shelter for the thousands that could not find accommo-dation in the town. Ou the morning of the eighth day, at an early hour, the reverend clergy, with the pope at their head, ascended a wooden pulpit, erected in the midst of the concourse, and declared to them the decrees of the synod, concerning the various matters at that time agitating the church. But ec-clesiastical decisions and local interests were lost in the ab-sorbing theme that occupied every heart. The blessing of Heaven was invoked upon their deliberations ; and a still-ness fell upon the waiting multitudes, like the hush of winds before the mighty storm, while the Monk of Amiens in a voice of persuasive eloquence and power, told them how terrrible were the sufferings of their brethren in the East, and how burdensome was the tribute exacted by the inhu-man Mussulmans. He stated that lodging in the house of Simon, the patriarch of Jerusalem, he had become an eye-witness of these enormities, and had been commissioned to • invite all the princes of the West, to contribute towards their remedy ; that on a certain day filled with griefj he had ADELA. 75


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