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the scarcity of gold and silver was supplied by the alienation of land; and the princely donations of Pepin and Charlemagne are expressly given for the remedy of their soul. It is a maxim of the civil law, That whosoever cannot pay with his purse must pay with his body; and the practice of flagellation was adopted by the monks, a cheap, though painful, equivalent. By a fantastic arithmetic, a year of penance was taxed at three thousand lashes ; 2 and such was the skill and patience of a famous hermit, St. Dominic of the Iron Cuirass, 27 that in six days he could discharge an entire century, by a whipping of three hundred thousand stripes. His example was followed by many penitents of both sexes; and, as a vicarious sacrifice was accepted, a sturdy disciplinarian might expiate on his own back the sins of his benefactors.2 These compensations of the purse and the person introduced, in the eleventh century, a more honourable mode of satisfaction. The merit of military service against the Saracens of Africa and Spain had been allowed by the predecessors of Urban the Second. In the council of Clermont, that Pope proclaimed a plenary indulgence to those who should enlist under the banner of the cross: the absolution of all their sins, and a full receipt for all that might be due of canonical penance.?
29 The cold philosophy of modern times is incapable of feeling the impression that was made on a sinful and fanatic world. At the voice of their pastor, the robber, the incendiary, the homicide, arose by thousands to redeem their souls, by repeating on the infidels the same deeds which they had exercised against their Christian brethren; and the terms of atonement were eagerly embraced by offenders of every rank and denomination. None
26 Each century of lashes was sanctified with the recital of a psalm; and the whole psalter, with the accompaniment of 15,000 stripes, was equivalent to five years.
27 The Life and Achievements of St. Dominio Loricatus was composed by his friend and admirer, Peter Damianus (Acta Sanctorum, 14th October, 6; p. 621 899.). See Fleury, Hist. Ecclés. tom. xiii. p. 96-104; Baronius, A.D. 1056, No. 7, who observes from Damianus, how fashionable, even among ladies of quality (sublimis generis), this expiation (purgatorii genus) was grown.
28 At a quarter, or even half, a rial a lash, Sancho Panza was a cheaper and possibly not a more dishonest workman. I remember, in Père Labat (Voyages en Italie, tom. vii. p. 16-29), a very lively picture of the dexterity of one of these artists.
Quicunque pro sol& devotione, non pro honoris vel pecuniæ adeptione, ad liberandam ecclesiam Dei Jerusalem profectus fuerit, iter illud pro omni pænitentia reputetur. Canon. Concil. Claromont. ii. p. 829. Guibert styles it, novum salutis gepus (p. 471), and is almost philosophical on the subject.
were pure; none were exempt from the guilt and penalty of sin; and those who were the least amenable to the justice of God and the church were the best entitled to the temporal and eternal recompense of their pious courage.
of their pious courage. If they fell, the spirit of the Latin clergy did not hesitate to adorn their tomb with the crown of martyrdom ; 30 and, should they survive, they could expect without impatience the delay and increase of their heavenly reward. They offered their blood to the Son of God, who had laid down his life for their salvation: they took up the cross, and entered with confidence into the way of the Lord. His providence would watch over their safety; perhaps his visible and miraculous power would smooth the difficulties of their holy enterprise. The cloud and pillar of Jehovah had marched before the Israelites into the promised land. Might not the Christians more reasonably hope that the rivers would open for their passage; that the walls of the strongest cities would fall at the sound of their trumpets; and that the sun would be arrested in his mid-career, to allow them time for the destruction of the infidels?
Of the chiefs and soldiers who marched to the holy sepul- Temporal chre, I will dare to affirm that all were prompted by the spirit motives of enthusiasm, the belief of merit, the hope of reward, and the assurance of divine aid. But I am equally persuaded that in many it was not the sole, that in some it was not the leading, principle of action. The use and abuse of religion are feeble to stem, they are strong and irresistible to impel, the stream of national manners. Against the private wars of the barbarians, their bloody tournaments, licentious loves, and judicial duels, the popes and synods might ineffectually thunder. It is a more easy task to provoke the metaphysical disputes of the Greeks, to drive into the cloister the victims of anarchy or despotism, to sanctify the patience of slaves and cowards, or to assume the merit of the humanity and benevolence of modern Christians. War and exercise were the reigning passions of the Franks or Latins; they were enjoined, as a penance, to gratify those passions, to visit distant lands, and to draw their swords against the nations of the East. Their victory, or even their attempt, ,
*. Such at least was the belief of the crusaders, and such is the uniform style of the historians (Esprit des Croisades, tom. iii. p. 477); but the prayers for the repose of their souls is inconsistent in orthodox theology with the merits of martyrdom.
would immortalise the names of the intrepid heroes of the cross; and the purest piety could not be insensible to the most splendid prospect of military glory. In the petty quarrels of Europe, they shed the blood of their friends and countrymen, for the acquisition perhaps of a castle or a village. They could march with alacrity against the distant and hostile nations who were devoted to their arms: their fancy already grasped the golden sceptres of Asia; and the conquest of Apulia and Sicily by the Normans might exalt to royalty the hopes of the most private adventurer. Christendom, in her rudest state, must have yielded to the climate and cultivation of the Mahometan countries; and their natural and artificial wealth had been magnified by the tales of pilgrims and the gifts of an imperfect commerce. The vulgar, both the great and small, were taught to believe every wonder, of lands flowing with milk and honey, of mines and treasures, of gold and diamonds, of palaces of marble and jasper, and of odoriferous groves of cinnamon and frankincense. In this earthly paradise each warrior depended on his sword to carve a plenteous and honourable establishment, which he measured only by the extent of his wishes. Their vassals and soldiers trusted their fortunes to God and their master: the spoils of a Turkish emir might enrich the meanest follower of the camp; and the flavour of the wines, the beauty of the Grecian women, 32 were temptations more adapted to the nature, than to the profession, of the champions of the cross. The love of freedom was a powerful incitement to the multitudes who were oppressed by feudal or ecclesiastical tyranny. Under this holy sign, the peasants and burghers, who were attached to the servitude of the glebe, might escape from an haughty lord, and transplant themselves and their families to a land of liberty. The monk might release himself from the discipline of his convent; the debtor might suspend the accumulation of
31 The same hopes were displayed in the letters of the adventurers, ad ani. mandos qui in Franciâ resederant. Hugh de Reiteste could boast that his share amounted to one abbey and ten castles, of the yearly value of 1500 marks, and that he should acquire an hundred castles by the conquest of Aleppo (Guibert, p. 551, 555).
32 In his genuine or fictitious letter to the Count of Flanders, Alexius mingles, with the danger of the church, and the relies of saints, the auri et argenti amor and pulcherrimarum fæminarum voluptas (p. 476); as if, says the indignant Guibert, the Greek women were handsomer than those of France. (For the letter see above, p. 261, note 64.]
usury and the pursuit of his creditors ; and outlaws and malefactors of every cast might continue to brave the laws and elude the punishment of their crimes.33
These motives were potent and numerous : when we have Influence singly computed their weight on the mind of each individual, we must add the infinite series, the multiplying powers of example and fashion. The first proselytes became the warmest and most effectual missionaries of the cross: among their friends and countrymen they preached the duty, the merit, and the recompense of their holy vow; and the most reluctant hearers were insensibly drawn within the whirlpool of persuasion and authority. The martial youths were fired by the reproach or suspicion of cowardice; the opportunity of visiting with an army the sepulchre of Christ was embraced by the old and infirm, by women and children, who consulted rather their zeal than their strength; and those who in the evening had derided the folly of their companions were the most eager, the ensuing day, to tread in their footsteps. The ignorance, which magnified the hopes, diminished the perils, of the enterprise. Since the Turkish conquest, the paths of pilgrimage were obliterated; the chiefs themselves had an imperfect notion of the length of the way and the state of their enemies; and such was the stupidity of the people that, at the sight of the first city or castle beyond the limits of their knowledge, they were ready to ask, whether that was not the Jerusalem, the term and object of their labours. Yet the more prudent of the crusaders, who were not sure that they should be fed from heaven with a shower of quails or manna, provided themselves with those precious metals which, in every country, are the representatives of every commodity. To defray, according to their rank, the expenses of the road, princes alienated their provinces, nobles their lands and castles, peasants their cattle and the instruments of husbandry. The value of property was depreciated by the eager competition of multitudes; while the price of arms and horses was raised to an exorbitant height, by the wants and impatience of the buyers. Those who re
33 See the privileges of the Crucesignati, freedom from debt, usury, injury, secular justico, &c. The pope was their perpetual guardian (Dacange, tom. ii. p. 651, 652).
** Guibert (p. 481) paints in lively colours this general emotion. He was one of the few contemporaries who had genius enough to feel the astonishing scenes that were passing before their eyes. Erat itaque videre miraculum caro omnes emere, atque vili vendere, &c.
of the first
mained at home, with sense and money, were enriched by the epidemical disease: the sovereigns acquired at a cheap rate the domains of their vassals ; and the ecclesiastical purchasers completed the payment by the assurance of their prayers. The cross, which was commonly sewed on the garment, in cloth or silk, was inscribed by some zealots on their skin ; an hot iron, or indelible liquor, was applied to perpetuate the mark; and a crafty monk, who showed the miraculous impression on his breast, was repaid with the popular veneration and the richest
benefices of Palestine.35 Departure
The fifteenth of August had been fixed in the council of crusaders. Clermont for the departure of the pilgrims; but the day was
anticipated by the thoughtless and needy crowd of plebeians ; and I shall briefly dispatch the calamities which they inflicted and suffered, before I enter on the more serious and successful enterprise of the chiefs. Early in the spring, from the confines of France and Lorraine, about sixty thousand of the populace of both sexes flocked round the first missionary of the crusade, and pressed him with clamorous importunity to lead them to the holy sepulchre. The hermit, assuming the character, without the talents or authority, of a general, impelled or obeyed the forward impulse of his votaries along the banks of the Rhine and Danube. Their wants and numbers soon compelled them to separate, and his lieutenant, Walter the Pennyless, * a valiant though needy soldier, conducted a vanguard of pilgrims, whose condition may be determined from the proportion of eight horsemen to fifteen thousand foot. The example and footsteps of Peter were closely pursued by another fanatic, the monk Godescal, whose sermons had swept away fifteen or twenty thousand peasants from the villages of Germany. Their rear was again pressed by an herd of two hundred thousand, the most stupid and savage refuse of the people, who mingled with their devotion a brutal licence of rapine, prostitution, and drunkenness. Some counts and gentlemen, at the head of three thousand horse, attended the motions of the multitude to partake in the spoil; but their genuine leaders (may we credit such folly ?) were a goose and a goat, who were carried in the
36 Some instances of these stigmata are given in the Esprit des Croisades (tom. iii. p. 169, &c.), from authors whom I have not seen.
36 [Along with his uncle Walter de Poissy.]