1336 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.
with hammers and pikes. Through this
they poured into the space between the outer
and the inner rampart and proceeded to
storm the latter; but the emir of Jerusalem
had taken measures for a successful defense.
The wall proved to be too strong to be broken.
The garrison poured down every species of
missile-arrows, stones, blocks of wood, flaming torches, boiling pitch, balls of Greek
fire-upon the heads of the Crusaders, who,
unable to break the second rampart, or to
stand the storm of destruction, were obliged
to retreat to their camp. The hermit of
Mount Olive had proved a bad counselor
and worse prophet.
The siege was now undertaken in a regular
way. But there was need that the Christians
should be expeditious in the work. The Saracens, before retiring into the city, had swept
all the region round about of its provisions.
Every village was stripped of its supplies to
fill the store-houses of Jerusalem. The wells
were filled up and the fountains poisoned. The
brook Kedron had run dry and the remitting
spring of Siloah was altogether inadequate to
supply a sufficient quantity of water for an
army of fifty thousand men. It became necessary to carry water in the skins of animals
and to seek it at a great distance from Jerusalem. To add to the embarrassment the summer came on with its burning sun of Syria,
and the Western pilgrims were unable to bear
As had many times already happened since
the Crusade was undertaken, good news came
in time to save the enterprise. Messengers
arrived from Joppa, the seaport of Jerusalem, forty miles distant, and brought
the intelligence that a Genoese fleet had arrived at that place with provisions and stores
and engineers for the siege. With great
joy the Crusaders at once dispatched a
troop of cavalry to conduct the supplies
and reinforcements from the coast to Jerusalem. But on arriving at Joppa the forces
sent out for protection discovered to their
chagrin that the Saracens had been there
before them and had destroyed the fleet. The
disaster, however, was not complete, for the
engineers had made their escape and had
saved a part of the stores so much needed by
the Crusaders. All that escaped the Infidels
were taken to Jerusalem.
The besiegers were thus considerably encouraged. One of the chief difficulties was
to procure timber for the construction of
engines. After much search a forest was
found on a mountain thirty miles distant,
and the echo of axes was soon heard felling
trees. The logs were drawn to the city by
oxen shod with iron, and the engineers rapidly constructed such machines as were
necessary for the demolition of the walls.
Before the astonished Saracens could well
understand what was done towers were
brought against the ramparts, and the Crusaders were thus enabled to fight hand to
hand with their enemies.
While this encouraging work was going on
the hermit of Mount Olive again appeared
as a leader. He persuaded the Christians
to go in a procession about the walls of the
city even as the Israelites of old encompassed the walls of Jericho. A procession
was formed, headed by the priests, who
clad themselves in white, carried the sacred
images, and sang psalms as they marched.
Trumpets were blown and banners waved
until the warriors reached Olive, where
they .halted, and from the height viewed
the city which they had come to rescue.
They were harangued by Arnold de Robes
and other priests, who pointed out the sacred
places trodden under the profane feet of the
Turks, and exhorted them to pause not in the
holy work until the Infidels had expiated with
their blood the sin and shame of their presence and deeds in the sacred precincts of
Jerusalem. The zeal of the Crusaders was thus
rekindled, and they demanded to be led forward to the assault.
By the 14th of July, 1099, every thing
was in readiness for a second general attack
on the city. The vigor with which the Crusaders had of late prosecuted the siege had
alarmed the Saracens and given the advantage to the assailants. The huge towers
which the engineers had built were rolled
down against the walls and the Christians
were thus enabled to face the Moslems on
the top of the rampart. The defenders
of the city, however, grew desperate, and
fought with greater valor than at any previous time. They resorted to every means
to beat back their foes. They poured down
Greek fire and boiling oil upon the heads
of those who attempted to scale the walls.
They buried stones and beams and blocks