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century, the Holy Land with its capital,

once the City of David and the Christ,

now wrenched from the dominion of the

Turks by a aeries of exploits of well-nigh

inconceivable audacity, was erected into

a feudal monarchy after the European fashion, and placed under the suzerainty of Godfrey, duke of Lorraine, destined for the

present to suffer more ills in defending than he

had borne in conquering his heritage, and hereafter immortalized by the muse of Tasso as

the hero of the Jerusalem Delivered.


Duke Godfrey accepted the office but refused the title of king. He declared to the electors that it would be un becoming in him to wear a crown of gold in the city where Christ had been crowned with thorns. It was, therefore, decided that the new ruler of Jerusalem should be entitled "First Baron and Defender of the

Holy Sepulcher." His sovereignty, however, was ample, and his right undisputed.

As soon as the monarchy was proclaimed,

the king-elect repaired with the pilgrim

princes to the Church of the Resurrection,

and there took an oath to reign according

to the laws of justice and honor. Hardly

was this ceremony ended, when the startling intelligence was borne to the city that

a powerful Moslem army, led by Afdhal,

one of the most valiant emirs of the East,

had reached Ascalon, and was searching

for a force of Crusaders sufficiently strong

to offer battle. The warlike emir had taken

an oath in the presence of the Caliph to

drive every European out of Syria; nor

could it be denied that a knowledge of his

coming had spread terror before him. In

the city, the Christians were in consternation. But King Godfrey had seen too

much of War to be any longer frightened

at the sound of his chariot. With unwavering courage he summoned his followers

to resume the weapons which they had so

recently laid aside, and go forth to victory. His influence and authority secured

the desired object. Even Robert Short

Hose and Raymond consented to renew the

struggle with the Infidels. The Crusaders

were marshaled forth, and led out in the direction of the foe.

The march led into the plain between

Joppa and Ascalon. When the Christians

were about encamping for the night-it was now the 11th of August-the whole

horizon seemed to be disturbed with some

dark agitation. Scouts were sent out to

ascertain the cause, and, returning, brought

back the report that immense herds of cattle

and camels were driven along in the distance.

This news fired the cupidity of the Crusaders,

and they would fain go forth to seize so rich

a booty. Godfrey, however, scented a stratagem, and prudently restrained his followers.

No man was permitted to leave the ranks

for the night. Events soon showed the

wisdom of the king.

For, before the break of day, news was

brought to the camp that the Moslem army

was but a short distance away. With due

celerity Godfrey and his captains set their

forces in order of battle. Nine divisions

were formed, and placed under command

of leaders true and tried. At dawn of day

Arnold de Robes, who had been elected

Patriarch of Jerusalem, went through the

ranks, bearing the cross and pronouncing

blessings on the soldiers. The army then

knelt down, and besought the favor of heaven

preparatory to the decisive struggle. As

the march was resumed in the direction of

the enemy, the tempting droves of cattle

were seen to pass around to the rear, as if

to distract the attention of the Crusaders

from the great game soon to be enacted in


While these movements were performed

by the Christians the Emir Afdhal had also

prepared for the conflict. He had posted

himself on the edge of the plain of Ascalon in

a position strongly defensible by nature.

For the mountains and the sea conspired to

protect the wings of the Moslem army, and