Obrazy na stronie

preux et hardy de son corps, mais non point de l'ame. Car il ne craignoit point à pecher, ne à mesprandre envers Dieu.” The Bishop of Auxerre, in his funeral oration on Du Guesclin, as recorded by the Monk of St. Denys, the historian of Charles VI., proves, by a reference to the duties of chivalry, that even the title of Preux was not belonging to any but such as were religious as well as brave, and even these must not aspire to it in their lifetime: therefore the heralds cried, “ honeur aux fils des Preux;" for, says Monstrelet, “nul chevalier ne peut estre jugé Preux si ce n'est apres le trépassement.”

IV. As a natural consequence, the defence of religion became the office and the pride of the ancient nobility. The duty of a knight,” says a work quoted by St. Palaye, " is to maintain the Catholic faith ;” and he presents his reader with a passage from Eustache Deschamps.

Chevalier en ce monde cy
Ne peuvent vivre sans soucy :
Ils doivent le peuple défendre

Et leur sang pour la foi espandre. Perfectly agreeable to these injunctions was the conduct of the ancient nobility. The cross of Christ was no sooner lifted up as the standard under which the defenders of the faith were to rally, than all Europe was united in a band of brothers to testify their love for the Saviour of mankind. Germany, France, and England poured forth the flower of their youth and nobility ; men who were led by no base interest or selfish expectation, but who went with single hearts renouncing the dearest blessings of their country and station to defend the cause which was dear to them, and to protect from insult and wrong the persecuted servants of their Saviour.

Godefrey of Bouillon, Robert count of Flanders, “ the sword and lance of the Christians," Robert duke of Normandy, son of William the Conqueror, who hung up as a trophy the standard and sword of the Sultan in the vault of the holy sepulchre, and who refused to be king, pronouncing Godefroy more worthy, Hugues de Saint Paul, Conon de Montaigu, Raimond I. viscount of Turenne, Gaston de Foix, Geoffroi de la Tour, who slew the enormous serpent and delivered the Lion, Raimond count of Toulous, duke of Narbonne, and marquis of Provence, whose long white hair floating over his armour, joined with the enthusiasm of youth, made him appear the father and the model of the Paladins, he who had fought under the banner of the Cid, and been conqueror over the Moors in Spain, the first to take the cross and to rouse , the youth of Languedoc and Provence, the mightiest of the French princes, and both the Achilles and the Nestor of the Crusaders, Hughes the Great, the hero of Antioch, Stephen count of Chartres and Blois, who possessed as many towns as there are days in the year, Tancrede de Hauteville, “ qui in bellis dominicis titulum sagacissimæ juventutis meruit,” and of whom another historian says,

mens pecuniæ contemtrix *,” Baldwin and Eustache, Josselin de Courtenay, Boemund prince of Sarento, Gerald founder of the hospital of St. John at Jerusalem, Raimond Dupuy the first military grand master, Hugues de Payens founder of the Templars, that renowned order

quorum virtutes et prælia et gloriosos de inimicis Christi triumphos enarrabit omnis ecclesia Sanctorum, the lion-hearted Richard of England, Saint Louis the hero of France and the honour of the world, Alphonso count of Poitiers, Robert of Artois, Peter count of Brittany, Hugh duke of Burgundy, Dampiere count of Flanders, Hugh de Lusignan count of la Marche, William Longsword earl of Salisbury, the counts of Bar, Dreux, Soissons, Retel, Vendome, Mountfort, Folques count of Anjou, Errard and Andrew de Briennne, the Joinvilles, the Chatillons, the Coucys, who were the light and glory of Europe, these with others, among the bravest and most noble of their generation, “quorum nomina solius dei notitiæ sunt credita,” hastened to proclaim to the world by their deeds and devotion that the Saviour of mankind was dear to them. What instances of sincerity and faith do these annals furnish! Witness the heroism of Renaud de Chatillon, grand Master of the Templars, who refused life upon condition of apostacy, and was beheaded by the hand of Saladin. Witness also that of the crowd of knights of the two orders, who suffered themselves to be massacred in prison by order of the same infidel rather than renounce Jesus Christ. Vertot relates, that the

* Rad. Cadom.

66 Then you

Chevalier de Temericourt, after gallantly defeating the Turkish fleet, was forced by a tempest upon the coast of Barbary, where he was taken prisoner. He was led to Tripoli

, and thence to Adrianople, where he was presented to Mahomet III. who asked him if he was the man who had fought five of his great ships.

“ Moi-meme," replied the knight. “ Of what nation are you?" demanded the Sultan. "François," said Temericourt. are a deserter," continued Mahomet, “ for there is a solemn league between me and the king of France." " Je suis François," said Temericourt, “mais, outre cette qualité, j'ai celle d'être chevalier de Malte, profession qui m'oblige à exposer ma vie contre tous les ennemis du nom Chrétien.” He was conducted to prison, where he was at first well treated ; every expedient was tried to prevail upon a youth of twenty-two years, to renounce his religion: he was offered a princess of the blood in marriage, and the office of grand admiral. But all in vain; the Grand Seigneur became irritated; the prisoner was thrown into a dungeon, where he was beaten with rods, and tortured ; but this generous confessor of Jesus Christ did only invoke his name and pray for his grace. Finally, he was beheaded by command of the Grand Seigneur. The emperor Commenus was taken at the surrender of Trebi. zonde, whence he was conducted by Mahomet to Constantinople. Here new terms were forced upon him, either to renounce the faith or to die. The Greek

emperor, who had consented to surrender his empire to the conqueror, now recalling the ancient sentiments of religion, which ambition had suppressed, preferred death to apostacy; and he had the consolation to witness seven of his sons possessed of the same fidelity.

Among those knights who gladly chose death rather than deny their faith, the Monk Guibert speaks of one ~ Whom,” he says, “I have known from a boy and seen grow up to manhood, being both from the same town, and our parents being also familiar with each other. He was noble born, and distinguished for virtue ; being taken by the infidels, and required to renounce the faith of Christ, he prevailed on them to wait till the approaching GoodFriday. When the day arrived, he astonished them by saying, with noble firmness, that he was ready to be put


ne me

to death, “I will render up my life to Him who as on this day lay down his own life for the salvation of all men.' His head was cut off with one blow of a scymeter*.

When the day of the battle of Antioch arrived, Hugues the Great was entreated by his friends and vassals to remain on his bed, to which he had been confined by a burning fever.

“ No, no,” cried he, “ I will not wait in cowardly repose for a shameful death; it is amongst you, brave companions

in that I wish to die this day with glory for Jesus Christ t." The conduct of the brave mareschal, Gaspard de Vallier, governor of Tripoli, is well known: that of the chevalier, Abel de Bricliers de la Gardampe, during the memorable siege of Malta, is also most noble. Having received a mortal wound, he would not permit his comrades to remove him from the spot, saying, comptez plus au nombre des vivans; vos soins seront mieux employés à défendre nos autres freres.". He crawled into the chapel of the castle, and expired at the foot of the altar, in recommending

his soul to God. On the eve of the 23d of June, the Turks being resolved to make the assault the following morning, the knights who defended the fort, having lost all hope of succour, received the sacrament in the dead of the night. They then embraced one another, and retired to their respective posts to fulfil their last duty, by delivering up their souls to God.

The wounded were carried to the breach in chairs, where they sat with their swords grasped with both hands. They were killed to a man; and Mustapha ordered their dead bodies, after being cut into crosses and fastened to boards, to be cast into the sea.

These men may have been sometimes obnoxious to just censure, but they were never wanting in affection and sincerity: they might have erred in many instances of their conduct, led astray by hasty passion, unavoidable ignorance, or the influence of peculiar circumstances which occurred in that period of the world; hominum gesta legimus non deorum, and certainly I am far from intending to imply that these men were not obnoxious like ourselves to the judgment of infinite justice and wisdom, but if they loved much, they had, (what we must seek for ourselves by other measures than a life of worldly-minded policy and sceptical indifference,) the promise of the Saviour, who has formally declared in allusion to their state, that “ much would be forgiven."

* Gesta Dei per Francos. 508.

+ Maimbourg. 152.

To proceed with instances which will illustrate the spirit of the Crusaders.—The reply of the generals of the Crusade to the Babylonian messengers, is very striking, “ nulla virtus est humana quæ nobis ullo modo terrorem incutiat: quia cum morimur nascimur, cum vitam amittimus temporalem recuperamus sempiternam How affecting the account of the first view which the Christian army gain of the Holy Sepulchre! All present burst into tears of joy, and falling down, they worshipped and cried out in these words, “O tempus domini desideratum ! O tempus acceptabile ! O factum factis omnibus admirabile! gloria tibi Fili, gloria tibi Spiritus Sancte, amborum Paraclite Trinitas Sancta, Rex Sabaoth, faciens mirabilia in coelo et in terra : concilium tuum antiquum est: a solis ortu et occasu, ab Aquilone et Austro laudabile nomen tuum. Excelsus super omnes gentes Dominus, sit nomen ejus benedictum in secula t." Heartless and unbelieving men have ridiculed what they termed the fanatical devotion of the middle ages: but do these annals display the inconsistency of human conduct? I confess it appears to me far otherwise. The Egyptians, after discoursing on the immortality of the soul, "put themselves to death for joy." Was it then wonderful that the hope of a happy resurrection should inspire a reverence for the very spot where that hope was confirmed to mankind?

“ If the ground whereon Moses and Joshua stood, when angels appeared to them, is said in Scripture to be holy and worthy of veneration, by how much more the ground on which our blessed Saviour lived and died for us?" We have our honourable East India Company, and the Dutch had their honourable companies to monopolize the riches and luxury of the East, and is it for the lovers of chivalry, for the hoary Palmer and the Red-cross knight who departed from the land that they loved at the call of piety and honour, is it for them to blush and to be troubled at the scorn of a world which is destitute of both! Who can

* Rob. Gesta Dei per Francos, p. 52.

† Gesta Dei, p. 576.

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