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me?". Fearing to fall alive into the hands of the enemy, he cast aside the imperial purple, and, mingling in the thickest of the battle, was struck down by an unknown hand, and buried beneath the press of the slain. In another moment Constantinople was in the hands of the Turks.
AUBREY DE VERE.
XCIII. – THE BOY CRUSADERS.
SCRIP, W., a small bag.
SATEL-LITE, n., a small planet revoly. HAM'LET, n., a small village.
ing round a larger ; hence, an atCen'SER, n., a pan in which incense is tendant. burned.
TXP'ES-TRY, n., cloth woven with BRUIT (brute), v. t., to noise abroad. figures. Chiv'Al-ROUS (shiv-), a., warlike. AD'E-QUATE, a., fully sufficient. E'Dict, n., a decree.
SAR-A-CEN'IC, a., pertaining to the CRO-SADE', n., a military expedition Saracens or Arabians. to recover the Holy Land.
MAN'DATE, n., a command. Pronounce Marseilles, Mar-sälz'; Vendome, Vang-dome' (a as in far); St. Denis, Sang-den-e'.
1. That spirit of mingled superstition and enthusiasm, which gave rise to the Crusades, showed itself, in the year 1212, in a form as strange as it was unlooked for. While the nations and warriors of Christendom were busied with various crusading projects, a number of boys in France and Germany formed the wild scheme of marching to rescue the Holy City from infidel hands. Incredible as it may seem that such a plan could be carried out, its rise and subsequent history are so well attested by historians, that no doubt can be thrown upon its truth.
2. The originator of this juvenile band was a peasant-boy, named Stephen, of a village of Vendôme, in France. Like Joan of Arc in after years, he that he had seen heavenly visions, - that the Saviour himself had appeared to him in the guise of a poor pilgrim, and given him authority to preach the Cross.
In a short time he was surrounded by a large number of young followers. Soon afterwaid he removed from his native village to St. Denis, where the credulous populace honored him as a worker of miracles, and his companions daily increased.
3. When his fame got bruited abroad, several other young enthusiasts started up in various parts of France, and drew after them many followers; but all honored the shepherd-boy of Vendôme as, their superior, and were fully persuaded thatJünder his command, they should obtain a glorious victory over the Săracen'ic arms. They reverenced him as a saint, and that one was thought happy who could obtain a fragment of the garments worn by the holy youth.
4. It might naturally be supposed that immediate and adequate measures would be taken to suppress such a movement; but nothing shows more strongly the superstitious spirit of the age, than that King Philip Augustus thought it necessary to summon the professors of the University of Paris, and consult them on the propriety of interfering with the young crusaders. After serious deliberation, they pronounced it expedient to do so. The greater part of the ecclesiastics deemed the movement to be the effect of witchcraft. A royal edict was accordingly issued, commanding the boys to return to their homes and useful employments.
5. This mandate was obeyed by some; but, as no steps were taken to enforce it, the greater number held together as firmly as before. They constantly formed processions through the towns and hamlets, bearing banners, .censers and tapers, and singing hymns suitable to their enterprise; and, so far from being molested, were followed by admiring crowds — even laborers leaving their work to join the train. They were abundantly supplied with provisions and
money, and, when asked whither they were going, they would reply, “We go to seek the Holy Cross beyond the seas.
6. The same spirit spread rapidly through Germany, where the standard of the cross was followed, not only by boys of humble rank, but by some of noble families, who resisted all the efforts of their friends to restrain them. The German boys, several thousands in number, clad in long pilgrim robes marked with a cross, and bearing scrips and staves in their hands, commenced their march toward Italy, across the Alps. But their fanatical illusions were destined soon to give place to hardships and sufferings of the most pitiable description. Many perished in traversing the rugged and desert mountains; some from excessive fatigue, others from hunger and privation.
7. The expedition of Stephen of Vendôme and his young crusaders was destined to meet with a termination still more deplorable than that of their German imitators. About thirty thousand in number, they marched toward Marseilles, to embark for Palestine, headed by Stephen, who rode in a chariot adorned with tap’estry, attended by armed sat'ellites. Their dreams of glory faded very quickly.
8. A more atrocious plot is not recorded in history than that laid for these simple-minded children, on their arrival in Marseilles, by two slave-merchants of that city. These traders offered them the use of their ships to convey them to Syria, without remuneration, pretending to rejoice in such an opportunity of aiding a pious enterprise. The unsuspicious boys accepted the offer with joy.
9. Convinced that Providence had favored them, and would soon crown all their hopes, they embarked in seven vessels. After two days' sail, a violent storm swept the Mediterranean; two of the vessels were
wrecked on the west coast of Sardinia, and all on board perished. In after years, a church was built upon the coast, in memory of the New Innocents, as they were termed, and the bones of those washed on shore were shown as sacred relics.
10. The other five ships escaped the storm; but, instead of landing in Syria, the ruthless merchants, who accompanied their prey, sailed for Egypt, and sold every one of their helpless victims in the slave-market of Alexandria. The merchants took care that not one should remain to return to Europe with the tale of their base treachery. After eighteen years had passed away, one poor captive escaped to his native land. He related the sad story, and told that several hundred boys had been purchased by the Governor of Alexandria, and were passing their days in servitude; eighteen had been tortured to death at Bagdad for refusing to embrace the Mahometan faith; while four hundred had been bought by the Calif, and humanely treated.
11. While pitying the superstition which for a moment tolerated so wild and calamitous an enterprise as the crusade of the children, we might reflect with profit on the energies put forth in that chivalrous age in pursuit of the imaginary and unattainable, so much greater than the efforts made in the cause of truth and righteousness by those who now walk in the full noontide of gospel light. If we consider the romantic spirit of those times, we may perceive that the recital of the wrong's endured by pilgrims to the Holy Land, joined to the appeals of Christian preachers, the processions and ceremonies in furtherance of the object, may all have so worked on youthful imaginations as to incite them to deem it practicable to execute a work which had fallen unaccomplished from the hands of kings.
XCIV. - THE READING OF THE WILL.
CHAISE (shaze),n., a light two-wheeled , IN VA-LID (so pronounced by Webster; carriage.
in-va-leed' by Walker), n., one weak LACK ́EY, n., a waiter or footman. or infirm. NEPH'EW (pronounced něf'yu by Web- REPRO-BATE, n., a worthless fellow.
ster ; něu'yu by Walker), n., the IM-PRI'MIS (Latin), ad., in the first son of a brother or sister.
place. CON-VENED', pp., assembled.
PREM'IS-ES, n. pl., things premised. Avoid giving the s in de-ceased', re-leased', &c., the sound of 2. In be-queath', the has its vocal sound, as in breathe.
CHARACTERS. — -SWIPES, a brewer ; CURRIE, a saddler ; FRANK MILLINGTON, a young man about town ; 'SQUIRE DRAWL, a lawyer.
Swipes. A sober occasion this, brother Currie ! Who would have thought the old lady was so near her end?
Currie. Ah! we must all die, brother Swipes. Those who live the longest outlive the most.
Swipes. True, true; but, since we must die and leave our earthly possessions, it is well that the law takes such good care of us. Had the old lady her senses when she departed ?
Cur. Perfectly, perfectly. 'Squire Drawl told me she read every word of her last will and testament aloud, and never signed her name better.
Swipes. Had you any hint from the 'Squire what disposition she made of her property ?
Cur. Not a whisper! The 'Squire is as close as a miser's purse. But one of the witnesses hinted to me that she has cut off her graceless nephew with a shilling
Swipes. Has she? Good soul! Has she? You know I come in, then, in right of my wife.
Cur. And I in my own right; and this is, no doubt, the reason why we have been called to hear the reading of the will. 'Squire Drawl knows how things should be done, though he is as air-tight as one of your own