P.S. In no part of Great Britain, I believe, is oaten bread so much used as in Scotland; from whence the term, "The Land of Cakes is derived." In some parts of France, Pain d'avoine has been in use in my time.
EPITOME OF THE CRUSADES.
(For the Mirror.)
The first Crusade1 to the Holy Land was undertaken by numerous Christian princes, who gained Jerusalem after it had been in possession of the Saracens four hundred and nine years. Godfrey, of Boulogne, was then chosen king by his companions in arms; but he had not long enjoyed his new dignity, before he had occasion to march out against a great army of Turks and Saracens, whom he overthrew, and killed one hundred thousand of their men, besides taking much spoil. Shortly after this victory, a pestilence happened, of which multitudes died; and the contagion reaching Godfrey, the first Christian King of Jerusalem, he also expired, on the 18th of July, 1100, having scarcely reigned a full year.
Godfrey's successors, the Baldwins, defeated the Turks in many engagements. In the reign of Baldwin III., however, the Christians lost Edessa, a circumstance which affected Pope Eugenius III. to such a degree, that he prevailed on Conrad III., Emperor of Germany, to relieve his brethren in Syria. In the year 1146, therefore, Conrad marched through Greece, and soon afterwards encountered the Turkish army, which he routed; he then proceeded to Iconium, the principal seat of the Turks in Lesser Asia; but, for want of provisions and health, was compelled to relinquish his design of taking that city, and to return home. Much about the same period, Lewis VIII., of France, made an expedition to the Holy Land, but was wholly unsuccessful in his attempts against the enemy. Notwithstanding these failures, King Baldwin, relying on his own strength, gained possession of Askalon, and defeated the Turks in numerous actions. Previous to his death, which was caused by poison, in 1163, he was the victorious sovereign of Jerusalem and the greatest part of Syria.
During the reign of Baldwin IV., Saladin, Sultan of Egypt, invaded Palestine, and took several towns, notwithstanding the valour of the Christians. In the succeeding reign of King Guy, however, the Christians, still unfortunate, received a decisive blow, which tended to the decline of their independence in the Holy Land; for, among other places of importance, Saladin made a capture of Jerusalem, and took its king prisoner. When the conqueror entered the holy city, he profaned every sacred place, save the Temple of the Sepulchre, (which the Christians redeemed with an immense sum of money,) and drove the Latin Christians from their abodes, who were only allowed to carry what they could hastily collect on their backs, either to Tripoly, Antioch, or Tyre, the only three places which then remained in the Christians' possession. All the monuments were demolished, except those of our Saviour, King Godfrey, and Baldwin I.2 The city was yielded to the captors on the 2nd of October, 1187, after the Christians had possessed it about eighty-nine years.
These calamitous transactions in Palestine greatly alarmed all Europe, and several princes speedily resolved to oppose the career of the oppressors, and to leave no means untried of regaining the kingdom of Jerusalem. In furtherance of this design, the Emperor Frederic marched into Palestine with a powerful army, and defeated the Turks near Melitena; he afterwards met them near Comogena, where he also routed them, but was unhappily killed in the action. Some time after this, King Philip, of France, and Richard I., of England, engaged in a crusade for the relief of the Christians. Philip arrived first, and proceeded to Ptolemais, which King Guy, having obtained his liberty, was then besieging. King Richard, in his passage, was driven with his fleet upon the coast of Cyprus, but was not permitted to land; this so highly offended him, that he landed his whole army by force, and soon over-ran the island. He was at length opposed by the king of Cyprus, whom he took prisoner, and carried in chains to Ptolemais, where he was welcomed with great rejoicings by the besiegers, who stood in much need of assistance. It would he superfluous to relate here the particulars of the siege; let it suffice to say, that after a general assault had been given, a breach was made, so that the assailants were enabled to enter the city, which Saladin surrendered to them upon articles, on the 12th of July, 1191. King Richard here obtained the title of Coeur de Lion, for having taken down Duke Leopold's standard, that was first fixed in the breach, and placed his own in its stead.
After the taking of Ptolemais, King Philip and many other princes returned home, leaving King Richard in Palestine to prosecute the war in concert with Guy, whom Richard, in a short time afterwards, persuaded to accept of the crown of Cyprus, in lieu of his pretences to Jerusalem. By these crafty means, Richard caused himself to be proclaimed King of Jerusalem; but while he was preparing to besiege that city, he received news that the French were about to invade England. He was therefore compelled to conclude a peace with Saladin, not very advantageous to Christendom, and to return to Europe. But meeting with bad weather, he was driven on the coast of Histria; and, while endeavouring to travel through the country in the habit of a templar, was taken prisoner by Duke Leopold, of Austria, who became his enemy at the siege of Ptolemais. The duke sold him for forty thousand pounds to the emperor, Henry VI., who soon afterwards had a hundred thousand pounds for his ransom.
About the same period, Sultan Saladin, the most formidable enemy the Christians ever encountered, died; an event which caused Pope Celestine to prevail on the emperor, Henry VI., of Germany, to make a new expedition against the Turks, who were in consequence defeated; but the emperor's general, the Duke of Saxony, being killed, and the emperor himself dying soon afterwards, the Germans returned home without accomplishing the object of their expedition. They had no sooner departed than the Turks, in revenge, nearly drove the Christians from the Holy Land, and took all the strong towns which the Crusaders had gained, excepting Tyre and Ptolemais. In 1199, a fleet was fitted out at the instigation of Pope Innocent III. against the infidels. On this occasion, the Christians, notwithstanding their strenuous exertions, failed of taking Jerusalem, though several other important places were delivered to them.
In the year 1228, Frederic, Emperor of Germany, set out from Brundusium to Palestine, took Jerusalem, which the enemy had left in a desolate condition, and caused himself to be proclaimed king. But, after this conquest, he was obliged to return to his own country, where his presence was required. The Turks immediately assembled a prodigious army for regaining the Holy City, which they ultimately took, putting the German garrison to the sword, in the year 1234; since which time, the Christian powers, weary of these useless expeditions, have made no considerable effort to possess it.
The Christians were entirely driven from Palestine and Syria in the year 1291, about one hundred and ninety-two years after the capture of Jerusalem by Godfrey of Boulogne.
(For the Mirror.)
The empty passions of the angry world,
The loves of heroes, the