Page 1416

1416 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

not be, transplanted to the birthplace of that

religious system under the influence of which

the Crusaders had flung themselves upon

the East. The collapse was fatal. The spirit

which had so many times inflamed the zeal

and passion of Europe had expired, and could

be no more evoked from the shadows. Spasmodically, at intervals, for a period of more

than fifty years after the fall of Acre, the

voice of the Popes was heard, calling on

lethargic Christendom to lift again the standard of the Cross in Palestine. But the cry

fell on deaf ears. The nations would agitate

no more; and the picture, drawn with such

vivid effect in the preceding century, of the

profane and turbaned Turk performing his

orgies on the tomb of Christ, kindled no

more forever the insane fanaticism of the

Christians of the West.

It is appropriate in this connection to

add a few paragraphs on the effects which

followed the Crusades as their antecedent

and cause. It is a difficult question on which

to express such a judgment as will fairly reconcile the conflicting views of those writers

who have essayed the discussion. It is natural, in the first place, to look at the relative

position and strength of the combatants after

the conflict was ended. In general, it may be

said that neither Islam nor Christianity was

much retarded or promoted by the issue, of

the almost two centuries of war. The prospects of the Crescent in Syria and Asia Minor

were nearly the same after the fall of Acre as

they had been before the Council of Clermont.

The Crusades failed to alter the established condition of Asia; and it is to be doubted whether

the downfall of Constantinople was either

greatly delayed or promoted by the Holy Wars.

The same may be said of the religious condition of Europe. The Mohammedans fought

to maintain a status; and to that extent they

were successful. But they seem never to have

contemplated the invasion of the Christian continent as a measure of retaliation. It was sufficient that the soldiers of the Cross were expelled

from Palestine, and limited to such intestine

strifes as were native to their own dominions.

As to religious opinions, a larger change

was effected. At the beginning of the conflict, both Christians and Mohammedans

entertained for each other's beliefs and practices an indescribable abhorrence. A mutual

hatred more profound than that with which the first Crusaders and the Infidels were

inflamed can hardly be imagined. The

fanaticism and bigotry of the Christians was

more intense in proportion as they were more

ignorant than the Islamites. They believed

that Mohammed was the Devil, or, at least,

that Anti-Christ whom to exterminate was

the first duty and highest privilege of Christian warriors. By degrees, however, this insane frenzy passed away, and was replaced

with a certain respect for an enemy whom

they found more intelligent and less bloody-minded than themselves. From the time of

the Third and Fourth Crusades it was easy

to perceive a change of sentiment affecting

the conduct of the combatants. Their battles

were no longer mere massacres of the vanquished by the victors. Saladin himself,

though still in a measure under the influence

of savage Islam, set the example of a more

humane and tolerant spirit. In some degree

his conduct was emulated by the Christians,

and the later years of the war were marked

by less atrocity and fewer butcheries.

The altered sentiments of the Crusaders

and the Moslems are easily discoverable

in the tone assumed by the earlier and later

writers who followed the Christian armies.

In the older chronicles there is diffused on

every page the intense hatred of the author.

It is manifest that they write of peoples

whom they had not yet seen, of beliefs which

they did not understand, of institutions

and practices which they had not witnessed.

They detest the Mohammedans as if they

were monsters, dogs, devils. But in the later

annals of the Crusades there is a change of

tone and opinion. The Moslems are no

longer the savage and inhuman beasts which

they had been represented to be by the

earlier historians. The Christians had come

to understand, and to a certain degree to

appreciate, the ideas and social customs

of the Islamites. Friendly relations sprang

up in the intervals between the successive

Crusades, and it is doubtless true that the

Christian dwellers in the Holy Land frequently

heard with regret and grief the premonitory

mutterings by another outbreak, by which

their moiety of peace was to be swept away.

Besides this, the later Christian chroniclers

have words of praise not few or stinted for

the great Mohammedan leaders with whom

they had become acquainted. Bernard