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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 434



A.D. 1099.] ATTACK ON THE HOLT CITT. sound of trumpet to make a general assault upon the walls. When they had put on their armour, they all, from the highest to the lowest, flocked together to the attack, which they made with such valour and perseverance that they effected a breach in the outworks, drove the garrison in despair within the inner walls, and, if they had had engines and scaling ladders to second their zeal, they would certainly have taken the city on that day. But, when they had been seven hours engaged, seeing that they toiled in vain without machines, they deferred the attack for a time, and with immense labour procured timber and artificers to construct engines, and, when their materials were ready, they brought them with great toil up to the walls, and constructed with them towers, petraria?, trubucles, and rams, together with sows to undermine the walls ; for they esteemed as nothing all that had been done before, if they should fail in this whieh was the main object of their toilsome pilgrimage. Our army therefore laboured with assiduity to make engines, hurdles, and scaling ladders, by which the siege was protracted ; and whereas the country near the walls is dry and without water, they were obliged to make use of streams, fountains, or wells, lying at the distance of five or six miles from the city, whereby the people endured excessive thirst: the Turks, also, when they heard that the Christians were coming, filled up as many of the wells as they could with sand and other things, to annoy the besiegers ; and they broke all the cisterns and other reservoirs, so that they would hold no water, or else concealed them so that the thirsty soldiers could derive no benefit from them. Thus they were obliged to disperse in different directions to procure water, and if a small party of them went, they hardly found a stream, before another and larger party came up on the same errand, and a fight sometimes took place between them. Their horses, also, mules and asses, flocks and herds, died of thirst, for their inwards were dissolved by the heat, causing an intolerable stench and corruption of the air. In the meantime a messenger arrived reporting that a Genoese fleet had arrived at Joppa, and asking of the princes an escort to conduct them to the camp. For this duty the count of Toulouse selected one Galdemar, a brave knight, and assigned him thirty cavalry and five hundred infantry, to whom were added, for greater


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