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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1

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ROGER OF WENDOVER
Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1
page 408



A .D. 1097.] DISTRESS OP TH E PILGRIMS. 403 the army, and that neither drunkenness, revelling, dice, or false swearing should be tolerated. Every species of fraud or dishonourable conduct was forbidden, and humble prayers were offered up that the divine mercy would look down upon them. Thus, by the abundant grace of God, the people were recalled to a better way of life, and the wrath of the Lord was in part appeased; for the pilgrims were above measure alarmed by the knowledge that there were spies in the camp out of every nation in, the east belonging to the unbelievers, and every man in the army was anxious to know how he could defend himself against so large an armament as might come against them. Now, it was easy enough for spies to remain undiscovered in the camp, calling themselves merchants from Greece, Syria, or Armenia, who brought provisions to sell to the army. As these spies witnessed the famine and pestilence which prevailed in the camp, the pilgrims justly feared that this intelligence would be spread among the Gentiles, who would be induced by it to come in force and destroy them all. The princes were at a loss what remedy to apply to this evil; but Boamund, who was a shrewd man, about the time of twilight in the following night, when his comrades were all engaged throughout the camp in preparing their supper, commanded several Turks whom he had in prison to be put to death, and their flesh, roasted over a large fire, to be prepared for the table. He further instructed the servants, if asked what they were about, to reply that general orders had been given that from henceforth all the Turks that should be brought in prisoners by the scouts, should be served up for food both to the princes and the people. All the army, hearing of this remarkable act of the lord Boamund, ran together at the news, and the Turkish spies who were in the camp believed that it was done in earnest and without dissimulation. Fearing, therefore, lest the same should happen to themselves, they left the camp and returned to their own country, where they told their employers that the men in our army exceeded the ferocity of the beasts of the forest, and not content to subdue cities and castles, and to carry off the spoils of their enemies, or to torture and slay their prisoners, they must needs fill their bellies with their flesh and feed on the blood of their victims. This report went out to the most remòte DD 2


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