Page 1336

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

the heat.

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