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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 307

devotees of the church, the Templars, legates, and bishops were deaf to the counsels of moderation, and it was decided to pursue the siege with vigor. Damietta was taken ; but with such determined valor had the Moslems defended their city, that of the popula-tion, which, at the commencement of the siege, consisted of seventy thousand souls, scarce three thousand upon the day of-final attack appeared upon the ramparts. Agate was forced, and the warriors of the cross rushed forward to commence the work of plunder. They met neither a re-sistant nor a suppliant enemy. The awful silence struck a chill upon their souls. They passed along the deserted streets. The waysides were strewn with dead bodies in every state of putrescence. They entered the dwellings. In every room ghastly corpses, with visages shrunken by famine or bloated by pestilence, glared upon them. Turk' and Mameluke, Copt and Arab, master and servant, rich and poor, were heaped in undistinguished masses, the dying with the dead. Infants appealing in vain to the pulseless breasts of famished mothers, lifted their feeble cries for sustenance ; dogs ran about the streets, and pesti-lential effluvia rose like an exhalation from the vast charnel-house, whose appalling stillness the Christians had invaded with songs of triumph and rejoicing. They had overcome the Moslems, but they found the conqueror Death seated on the throne of dominion. Awe-struck and abashed they fled from before the presence of the King of Terrors, gladly granting life and liberty to the surviving Moslems, on con-dition of their performing the horrid and melancholy task of cleansing the city from the remains of their relatives and friends. The way into Palestine was now open, and King Jean proposed to the victorious Christians to march immediately thither ; but the legate of the pope insisted that the'com-plete conquest of Egypt should first be effected. His arro-gance overruled wiser counsels, and it was resolved to pursue Melech Camel to Cairo. The croises accordingly advanced on the eastern bank of the Nile, till their progress' 21 VIOLANTE.

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