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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 270



judge of the combat, immediately gave place to the holy man, and the unbonneted chieftains drew around and with respectful regard listened while the subtle priest, from the temporary throne, descanted upon the sufferings of lost Palestina. Encouraged by the example of his ancestors, animated by the distinction acquired by his elder brother as King of Jerusalem, fired with indignation against the Infidel that claimed that brother's crown, and stimulated by a holy am-bition to inscribe his own name upon the rolls of honored pilgrimage, the noble Thibaut came forward, and drawing his sword, laid it at the feet of the priest, who blessed and consecrated both it and him to the cause of God. His cousin Louis Count of Blois and Chartres, immediately ad-vanced to his side and made a similar dedication. Then followed his brother-in-law, Baldwin Count of Flanders, Matthew de^Montmorenci, Simon de Montfort, Geoffrey Villehardouin, and a host of others, till the whole assem-bly becoming infected with the spirit of enthusiasm, sprang to their feet, and drawing their swords, held them up in the sight of heaven, and with unau'imous voice vowed to engage in the Holy War. This vow was subsequently repeated in the churches, ratified in tournaments, and debated in pub-lic assemblies till, among the two thousand and two hun-dred knights that owed homage to the peerage of Cham-pagne, scarce a man could be found willing to forfeit his share in the glorious enterprise by remaining at home. As Sancho the Strong had died without children, Na-varre acknowledged Thibaut, the husband of Blanche, as king ; and bands of hardy Gascons from both sides of the Pyrenees flocked to his banners. The feudatories of the other pilgrim warriors, animated by this glorious example, joined the standards of their respective leaders, and crowds of prelates and barons waited but the final arrangements for departure. The perils of the land route to Jerusalem had been often tried. They were such as to intimidate the bravest, and check the impetuosity of the most ardent. At the extremity of the Adriatic sea, the Venetians had 282 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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