Page 1319

1319 THE CRUSADES-THE UPRISING OF EUROPE.

of England, beset by usurers who demanded

their interest and women who wanted presents in exchange for their alleged virtue

-he was precisely the sort of a personage

who, without inducement to remain at

home, might gladly embark in the respectable enterprise of hunting Infidels. Such

were the antecedents of that mutually profitable bargain by which Count Robert for

the sum of ten thousand marks sold out his

duchy of Normandy to his brother William

Rufus of England.

As to Edgar Atheling, though of a different character, and already past the fortieth

milestone of life, he too found many and

potent reasons for joining in the holy war. Proscribed from England, and robbed of

even the prospect of the crown worn by his

Anglo-Saxon fathers, he had for many years

found his chief delight in the companionship of dogs and the solace of philosophy.

Neither the one nor the other, however, had

sufficed to quiet his ambition, and when the

prevailing enthusiasm reached Rouen, especially when his friend Robert Short Hose

caught the contagion, Edgar also fired with

the crusading fever, and put the red cross on

his shoulder.

At this juncture, however, it happened

that a certain Donald Bane, an ambitious

Scot, had seized upon the throne of his

country, which of hereditary right belonged

to a son of Edgar's sister. To reseat his

nephew on the Scottish throne, the English

Prince, acting with more energy than he had

ever shown in the conduct of his own affairs,

set out with an army of Angio and Scoto-Saxons to eject Donald Bane from the throne

which he had usurped. Before departing,

however, he promised his friend, Count

Robert, to join him in the East as soon as

the Scottish pretender should have been hurled

from power.

Meanwhile, the Short Hose set up his

white banner, and at the signal multitudes

of Norman Knights flocked to join their

fortunes with those of a leader so well renowned for generosity and courage. Stephen,

Earl of Albemarle, Edward Percy, Aubrey

de Vere, Joscelyn de Courtenay, Conan

de Montacute, and Girard de Gourney

were the principal Anglo-Norman barons

who set out with Count Robert to rescue

the sepulcher of Christ from the Turks.

Very unlike the peasant-rabble were these

magnificent bands of warriors. All the

wealth and intelligence of Europe were

now committed to the enterprise, and as

far as the ignorance of the age would allow, due preparations were made to in-

sure the success of the great expedition.

All Europe went to prayers as the knightly

pageant departed. In the matter of armor the best skill of the times was employed

to perfect it. Each Crusader wore a casque

and hauberk of chain mail. The foot soldiers carried long shields, and the knights

wore circular bucklers. The weapons consisted