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signed his crown, instigated Simon de Montford, at'the head of a great army, to extirpate the Albigenfes who were stigmatised as heretics. He likewise excited Andrew King of Hungary, and John de Brienne, to make a crusade to Egypt, where their camp was inundated by the crafty Sultan; and they were happy to capitulate for a secure, but disgraceful return to Europe, on condition of not invading 'Egypt for eight years.
The Steth and Seventh Crusades, A.D. 1249 ■ and 12?0'.:
The two last crusades were undertaken by Louis, the ninth King of France, commonly called St. Louis, as he was canonized after his death; he was a prince eminent for his love of justice, and his itricl: impartiality in adjusting the claims of the neighbouring states, who, from his well known honour, frequently appealed to his decisions. His virtues however were clouded by. the fanatical spirit of the times, and the ardour with which he twice encountered the insidels was by no means inferior to any of his predecessors. With a fleet of 1800 (hips, and a well appointed army of 50,000 men, he made an expedition to the coast of Egypt. At the si■tt assault he took Damietta, but this was the only trophy of his conquest, for advancing along the bants of the Nile, his troops were harassed by the Egyptian gallies'and the Arabs of-the defert. They intercepted- ah provisions, and his army, re"t dueed duced by sickness and famine, were obliged to surrender: all who could not redeem their lives by service or ransom were inhumanly massacred, and the walls of Cairo were covered with Christian heads. The King was loaded with chains; but the conqueror, a descendant of Saladin, fent him a robe of honour, and ransomed him and his nobles, on condition that Damietta should be restored, and a vast sum of gold should be paid. The King of France, with the relics of his army, was permitted to embark for Palestine, where he passed four years without being able to efface the impression of his military disgrace.
After a repose of sixteen years he undertook the last of the crusades. He steered for the coast of Africa, accompanied by his three sons, his nephew, and the great lords of his court, either to punish the King of Tunis for interrupting the free passage of the Mediterranean, or to convert him to the Christian faith. On the barren sands of Africa, his army, sinking under the heat of a burning fun, was quickly reduced to small numbers, and the King expired in his tent. His brother the King of Sicily arrived soon after, and saved the relics of the gallant crusaders from destruction. His son Philip, named the Hardy, defeated the King of Tunis, and aster making a truce, in which it was stipulated that the Moors should pay a double tribute for sifteen years, and the Christian missionaries should be allowed to preach in his dominions,
Vol. i. i i which. which were conditions imposed to save the honour of these crusaders, he returned to Europe.
That thefe wars were upon the whole disastrous and unfortunate, can be no subject of surprise, when we consider the manners and the dispositions of those who engaged in them, and the great and numerous difficulties with which they were obliged to contend. Their plans were always uniform; and, in their projects for the future, they rarely prosited by the failure of the past.
The remoteness of Palestine from Europe, and the nature of the climate, ought likewise not to be disregarded. . The crusaders, whether they marched by way of Constantinople, or embarked from the ports of Italy, if we consider their inexperience in remote expeditions, must have been greatly diminished in numbers, and weakened by satigue, before they reached the sield of action. The burning heat of Syria, the want of provisions, the scarcity of water, and the consequent diseases must have deprived them of much of that energy and vjgour, so essentially necessary to their success. They were opposed by intrepid and active foes, as enthusiastic in the cause of their Prophet, as the Christians were in behalf of their Redeemer: acting in concert, superior in the various arts of war, sighting in their own country, and able to avail themselves of all its resources,
These wars display in the strongest light the influence of the Papal power. The Popes instigated the princes of Europe to conquer new kingdoms, in order to enlarge the dominions of the holy fee, regulated even beyond the boundaries of the ocean the conduct of emperors and kings, and thus exercised a supreme and universal sovereignty.
If we endeavour to trace the various causes, which led to the crusades, we shall sind that the passions and prejudices of the Europeans of the middle ages conspired to impel them to Palestine, without any consideration of the injustice, rashness, or impolicy of their conduct.
Vain would it have been for any enlightened Christian at that time to have urged, in order to prevent the effusion of blood, that the crusaders had no right to wrest Judea from the hands of its possessors; and that their zeal for the recovery of Bethlehem, the place where the Son of God was born, or Mount Calvary, where he was crucisied, could not justify their violation of the moral precepts of his Gospel. As vain would it have proved to represent the little advantage, or rather the certain loss, which would accrue to the monarchs, who embarked in these expeditions, both by leaving their dominions exposed to the invasion of their insidious enemies, and by draining their dominions of the blood and treasure of their subjects, which might have been prositably employed in the improvement of their native country. To such ar
i i 2 guments guments as these the crusaders would not have listened; the cause was too deeply implicated with their darling passions and prejudices, to be decided by an appeal to sober reason, or the genuine dictates of Christianity.
Their religious enthusiasm was greatly augmented by their love of war. Commerce, manufactures, and arts, were at that time in a state of infancy, and the mass of the people were destitute of regular employments. They eagerly caught at any occasion, which relieved them from a state of inactivity, and afforded room for the indulgence of their favourite inclinations. In the time of the crusades, chivalry began to flourish; and those knights, who were impelled with a romantic desire to travel in quest of adventures, turned their eyes with eagerness to Asia, which promised to open such new scenes of enterprize and glory, as could not be found in Europe. Persons of every rank flattered themselves with the most sanguine expectations of conquest, were consident that victory would attend their steps, and that they should return home loaded with the gold and silver, the diamonds, silks, and other spoils of the East.
The great privileges granted to the crusaders may serve to account for the long continuance of this spirit of adventure. The Popes proclaimed a complete indulgence and pardon for crimes to •every one who would take up arms in the cause. •Of this offer the profligate took advantage, and ; eagerly