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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 303



an audience, with Hugh and Alice, king and queen of that island and thence with favorable winds passed over the Levant, and landed in safety at Acre. This city was at that time the metropolis of the Holy Land, and in the palace formerly occupied by the queens Berengaria and Joanna, the stern western warriors knelt and did homage to Violante, the young Princess of Pales-tine. Saphadin had retired from the constant toil3 of roy-alty, and blessed with the respect of his people, and the sweet affection of Elsiebede, resided in security at Damas-cus. Cohr-Eddin, the reigning monarch, unprepared for the sudden invasion of his territories, was unable to call to-gether his scattered tribes in sufficient force to hazard a general battle with the croises. The King of Hungary therefore led his army unmolested across " that ancient river, the river Kishon," over the plain of Jezreel, to the valley of the Jordan. They bathed in the sacred river ; made the pilgrimage of the lake Gennesareth ; visited the scenes made sacred by the miracles of the Saviour, and returned to Acre. On the mount of Transfiguration the Saracens had built and fortified a tower of exceeding strength, and the sol-diers, anxious to achieve something worthy the expedition, clamored to be led to the siege of this fortress ; but hordes of armed Mussulmans were every day crowding to the vi-cinity, and the restless Andrew, afraid to undertake any-thing further, resolved on a return to Europe. Neither the entreaties nor threats of the Latin Christians, who had received him with hospitality, and exhausted their supplies in his entertainment, could persuade him to ven-ture a blow for Palestine. Taking with him most of his soldiers, he returned through the Greek Empire, collecting relics from every holy place on his route, having so impov-erished his kingdom by the expenses of the expedition, that it did not for years recover its pristine state. .Thus ended the first division of the Sixth Crusade. Still the Latins of Palestine were not left destitute. The VIOLANTE. 317


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