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THEIHILDREN'S ERUSADE:AN EPISODE OF THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY.BYGEORGE ZABRISKIE GRAY.NEW YORK:PUBLISHED BY HURD AND HOUGHTON.CaMTritrfge: aibmritre pre##.1870.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, byGEORGE ZABRISKIB GRAY,in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE:STEREOTYPED AND PRINTED BYH. 0. HOUGHTON AND COMPANY.I i
aRubt. Hic vide perigrinacionem puerorum et qualiter perincantaciones sunt decepti.Illis temporibus stupendum quid crevit.Mundoque mirabilis truffa inolevit.Nam sub boni specie malum sic succrevit.Arte quidem magica ista late sevit.Rublr. Hic est carmen quod ubique cantabatur.Nycolaus famulus Christi transfretabit.Et cum innocentibus lerusalem intrabit.Mare siccis pedibus securus calcabit.Juvenes et virgines caste copulabit.Ad honorem Domini tanta perpetrabit.Quod pax jubilacio Deo laus sonabit.Paganos et perfidos omnes baptizabit.Omnis in Jerusalem carmen hoc cantabit.Pax nunc christicolis Christus proximabit.Et redemptos sanguine mire collustrabit.Nycolai pueros omnes coronabit.Rubt. Talis devocio ante hec non est audita.Aures cunctis pruriunt virgines ornantur.Annos infra sedecim evangelizantur.Concurrentes pueri certant ut sequantur.Et rumare viderant casso consolantur.Ungarus Theutunicus Francus sociantur.Boemus Lombardicus Brittoque conantur.Flandria Vestfalia omnes federantur.
ivFriso cum Norwagia cuncti conglobantur."Prurit pes et oculus ptieros venantur.Illi de Brundusio virgines stuprantur.Et in arcum pessimum passim venumdantur.Risum luctus occopat digne lamentantur.Plorant matres ut Rachel nati morti dantur.Vanitates hauriunt pueri fraudantur.Anon. Chron. Rhythmicum.
PREFACE.-4-THERE are some minor episodes of historythat have not received the attention which theyseem to merit. Historians have been too muchoccupied with events of greater importance, tostop and explore these by-ways as they passedthem. The same reason led the chroniclers ofthe times to preserve no more than scanty de-tails concerning them, and consequently theseworthies often dismiss with a few words, inci-dents that have more interest than others towhich they give many a dreary page.This has been the case with the transactionto which this Volume is devoted. Althoughpertaining to a sphere so interesting as thechild-life of other and remote days, yet it hasbeen almost forgotten. Many are not aware ofits occurrence. Some have regarded it as amyth.
VI PREFACE.It is generally referred to, with varying full-ness, in works that treat of the Crusades, butnot always with accuracy of statement. Themost copious accounts are given in Raumer's" Geschichte der Hohenstaufen," Herter's "In-nocent III.," Menzel's "Deutschland," Wilken's"Kreuzziige," Haken's "Gemirlde der Kreuz-ziige," Sporschild's "Kreuzziige," " L'Espritdes Croisades," by Mailly, "Histoire des Croi-sades," by Michaud, " Influence des Croisades,"by Choiseul d'Aillecourt, Mill's " History of theCrusades," and Hecker's "Child-pilgrimages."Many authors, in whose writings we would ex-pect some reference to the subject, are entirelysilent concerning it.But, otherwise than with the brevity neces-sary to a casual mention in the course of his-torical narratives, this theme has never beentreated. As far as I can ascertain, it has neverbeen the subject of a volume, nor have the origi-nal materials been thoroughly explored and ex-hausted. A small Sunday-school book was pub-lished several years ago, called "The Crusadeof the Children," but it was merely a brieffiction based upon the event.
PREFACE. viiIt is therefore because the field was untrod-den, and because I thought that the story toldin its completeness.would .possess interest, thatI have written this book.As regards the Chronicles that refer to theevent, a list is given of all that have yet beenfound by others and by myself. For theirtrustworthiness, it is sufficient for me thatsuch writers as Wilken, Herter, and Michaudrely fully upon their statements. In the notesI have not thought it necessary to give theparticular source of each fact in the course of:the narrative, but have only done so in thecase of those of prominence, or of those thatare peculiar.Hecker regards it and treats it as one ofthe "Epidemics of the Middle Ages" of whichhe writes. They who wish to view it in thatlight, can consult his pages. It may seem tosome that to regard it as such, and to call it bysuch a name, is to open the door for the admis-sion into the list of diseases,of many transac-tions that the world has been wont to view, notin that way, but rather as the manifestations of
Viii PREFACE.the universal "epidemics" of human ignoranceand folly.I have sought to write in sympathy with thelittle ones whose fortunes are followed in thisstrange movement. It has been difficult torestrain feelings produced by a vivid realizationof their chequered experiences. While I pored,during several months, over the story, in quaintand dusty chronicles, where even monkish Latinwarms with its theme, it seemed as if the chil-dren's songs were in the air, and their bannersin the breeze.I hope that the attractiveness which thetheme has had in my eyes, may not have causedme to overestimate too much the interest itmay have for others, and that they who read itmay find in its perusal some of the pleasurewhich accompanied its composition.G.Z.G.TRINITY RECTORY, BERGEN POINT, N. J.,May, 1870.
CONTENTS.-F-PAGeCHRONICLES CONSULTED AND QUOTED XICHAPTER I.INTRODUCTORY ICHAPTER II.THE RISING IN FRANCE. 23CHAPTER III.THE GATHERING OF THE GERMAN CHILDREN 56CHAPTER IV.THE ARMY OF NICHOLAS 71CHAPTER V.THE ARMY WITH THE UNKNOWN LEADER I08CHAPTER VI.THE RETURN OF THE GERMAN CHILDREN 122CHAPTER VII.THE JOURNEY OF THE FRENCH CHILDREN I29CHAPTER VIII.THE TIDINGS FROM BEYOND THE SEA 167
X CONTENTS.CHAPTER IX.PAGETHE FATE OF THE LEADERS AND OF THE BETRAYERS 212CHAPTER X.ECCLESIA NOVORUM INNOCENTIUM 222APPENDICES .. ..... .231
CHRONICLES ETC. CONSULTED ANDQUOTED.-4-I. Caffari, Annales Genuenses, ab anno Ino. Annals of Ge-noa, by Caffari, a statesman of the time. To be foundin Muratori's collection of chronicles, called "RerumItalicarum Scriptores."2. Sicardi, Episcopi Cremonensis Chronicon. The Chronicleof Sicardi, Bishop of Cremona. Also in Muratori's col-lection.3. Godefridi Monachi Sancti Pantaleonis apud Coloniam Agrip-pinam annales, ab anno 1162 ad annum 1237. The An-nals of Godfrey, Monk of St. Pantaleon in Cologne.Found in the collection called "Rerum GermanicarumScriptores," edited by Struve.4. Alberti Abbatis Stadensis Chronicon a condita orbe usque adannum Christi 1256. Chronicle of Albert, Abbot ofStade, from the Creation to A. D. 1256. Also in " Re-rum Germ. Scriptores."5. Chronicon Canobii Mortui Maris. Chronicle of the Monas-tery of the Dead Sea, from A. D. 1113 to A. D. 1235.Found in " Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de laFrance."6. Anon. Chron. Rhythmicum. Anonymous RhythmicalChronicle. In Rauch's "Rerum Austriacarum Scripto-res." Probably written by Jo. Benedictus Gentilotus.7. Roger Bacon, Opus Majus.8. Chron. Alberici Monachi Trium Fontium Leodinensis Dio-l
Xii CHRONICLES.cesis. Chronicle of Alberic, Monk of Liege. Found inthe " Accessiones Historice " of Leibnitius, vol. ii.9. Roger de Wendover's Chronicle, commonly identified withthat of Matthew of Paris, of which it is a sequel.Io. Fragment by an unknown author, prefixed to the Chronicle" Alberti Argentinensis," found in the collection of Chris-tian-Urstisius, called "Germanise Historici Illustres."II. Chron. anon. Laudunense. Anonymous Chronicle of Laon.Found in "Recueil des Hist. des Gaules et de la France."12. Bibliotheca Mundi, Vincentii Burgundi Presulis Bellova-censis, etc. Library of the World, by Vincent, Bishopof Beauvais. Vol. iv., which is called Speculum Histo-riale.13. Chron. Sythiense Sancti Bertini. Chronicle of St. Bertin,by Jean d'Ypres. In "Recueil des Historiens des Gauleset de la France."14. Chron. Sancti Medardi Suessuonis. Chronicle of St. Me-dard's Monastery at Soissons.15. Lamberti Parvi, Leodinensis Sancti facobi Manasterii Mon-achi Chron. Chronicle of Lambert of Liege, continuedby another monk, Rainer, by whose name it is oftencalled. Found in the collection compiled by EdmundMartin and Ursinus Durand, called "Veterum Scripto-rum Monumentorum, historicorum, dogmaticorum, mor-alium amplissima collectio."16. Gesta Trevirorum, in same collection.17. Thoma Cantipratani, Bonum universale de Aibus. Thomasof Champre.18. Ogerii Panis Chronicon. Chronicle of Ogerius. In Mu-ratori's collection.19. Petri Bizari, Senatus Populique Genuensis Historia. His-tory of Senate and People of Genoa, by Peter Bizarus.20. Magnum Chronicon Belgicum. The Great Belgian Chron-icle. Found in Pistori's Collection of German Writers.21. Fasciculus Temporum. In the same collection.
CHRONICLES. Xiii22. Gesta Deiter Francos. Deeds of God by the French.23. Chronicon Argenteum. The Silver Chronicle. In Mura-tori's collection.24. yohn Massey's Chronicle.25. Anonymous Chronicle of Strasburg.26. Uberti Foieti Chron. Chronicle of Hubertus Folietus.27. Chron. Senoniense. Chronicle of the Senones.28. Chronicon de Civitate Yanuense, ed. a Fratre .acobo de Vo-ragine. Chronicle of Genoa, by James of Vorago, orJacques de Vitry. In Muratori.29. Chron. Rotomagense. Chronicle of Rouen.30. Anon. Chron. Austriacum. Anonymous Austrian Chroni-cle.At least the first six Chronicles are contemporaneous, thatis, they contain information written by persons that lived atthe time of the Children's Crusade. The others were com-piled at later dates (nearly all within a short time after theevent), and their value is due to the fact that their materialswere drawn from other contemporaneous documents that noware either destroyed or else cannot be found.As editions of these works vary, it is unnecessary to statethe volumes or pages where reference is made to the Chil-dren's Crusade. It will be found by simply turning to the dateof the transaction, as the Chronicles narrate the events of eachyear consecutively. I found many of the authorities in theAstor Library. Some of them I consulted in the ImperialLibrary in Paris. Several had never been explored.Other authors whose names are given in the notes arewriters who have, in recent times, treated of the Crusades orkindred subjects.
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THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE.CHAPTER I.INTRODUCTORY.I.THE Holy Land! What manifold associa-tions cluster around that little spot of earth onwhich break the blue waves of the Mediterra-nean when they reach its easternmost limit!Memories the most sacred, the most tender,and the most thrilling, cause the very name tocall up before us a vista of the past such as noother land possesses. As we muse on thesound of the words, we hear the Singer's harpand the Prophet's lyre, and we catch echoes ofthe Apostle's eloquence; there rise up memo-ries of men and women whose stories are theworld's best treasure; the forms of Abraham,of Samuel, of David, and of Isaiah sweep byin majesty, and, after tlem, lovelier and loftierthan all, we see the figure of that One for whomiT
2 INTRODUCTORY.they looked. 0, what a land is that which hasfelt the footsteps of Incarnate Deity!What a history that land has seen of peace andof turmoil, of freedom and of bondage, of gloryand of shame Across it has the tide of con-quest rolled in every age ; its plains have beenenriched by the blood of many a different race.It lies before us, as we think of it, now in thesunshine of the days when Ruth gleaned in itsfields, now in the splendor of Solomon's rule,and then we see its condition portrayed in thatmedal which the Roman victors struck, where,at the foot of a lonely palm, a weeping maidensits, and beneath which we read the mournfulwords: /udea Capta.How many hearts have loved that land! Pa-triotism in its most ardent forms has neverequalled the devotion that Israel's childrenhave felt for Israel's soil. When within its bor-ders, they have loved it with an intensity thatmade each hill a shrine, and the thought of leav-ing it like the thought of death. When absentfrom it, in their repeated exiles, their heartshave gone out to its mountains and its valleys,its skies and its streams, with yearnings thatcould not be expressed. Wherever they havesojourned, it has still been to them their onlyhome, and to-day, in every clime, a scattered
INTRODUCTORY. 3nation loves it of all lands alone. They dreamof the promised time when it shall be their ownabode again, and, when their lives are closing,they journey thither with tottering limbs, to die,because they think the sleep of the grave issweeter there.How many feet have sought that land! Thepathways to it from every part of earth havebeen worn by the staves and the footsteps ofpilgrims. In the front we see the venerableform of him who, "when he was called to goout into a place which he should after receivefor an inheritance, obeyed, and he went out,iot knowing whither he went." Thence, downto these busier times, stretches the long pro-cession of those that have travelled far, to"kneel and to dwell on soil that, to the piousheart, is like no other soil. And as it has beenin the past, it will be in the future. Oldestshrines may be deserted, superstition may passaway, but the sense of reverence and the powerof association will never so far perish that theywho have the Bible will no longer care to visitthe Holy Land.Poets may tell us of romance, but there isno romance like that of this consecrated Pales-tine,- consecrated by thd lives that have illu-mined it, by the love that has been lavished on
4 INTRODUCTORY.it, by the blood that has been shed for it, bythe Voice that has been heard in it! Whatland is like that ancient Canaan, which, so fairand so cherished, has given us all a name forHeaven!But of all the associations linked with thatmagic name, none are more strange than thoseof the wars for its liberation from the Moslem.The Crusades alone would endue any landwith a deathless interest.When the followers of the false Prophet hadovercome its feeble defenders, pilgrims stillsought Palestine, undeterred by the perils theymight meet. But as years passed by, they weremore and more oppressed and maltreated, sothat they who returned brought back to Europesad tales of suffering of the believers there, andof increasing desecration of the spots con-nected with the life and the passion of Imman-uel. At length, in the eleventh century, thesereports became so numerous and so exciting,that there ran throughout Christendom a thrillof indignation. Then Peter the Herinit raisedhis voice to plead for the deliverance of thosesacred scenes, and the response came fromevery nation of Europe. Thus began thosewonderful wars, in which, with a devotion andpersistency that are unique in history, host
INTRODUCTORY. 5after host assembled, fought, and died. Evenas the billows of the sea roll, one after another,against a rocky coast, so did the noblest andbest of Europe's life, for more than two hun-dred years, rush against the exhaustless ranksof Asiatic power, and as vainly. At timessuccess seemed near at hand, but the heathenfront rolled back the tide, and stood defiantand unmoved at last.It is with an episode in this war of ages thatwe are now to be concerned. We are to tellhow, in this mighty movement, there was awave of child-life, to describe the part in thatundying love for the Holy Land and in theweary seeking of its shores, that has beentaken by children's hearts and by children'sfeet.But before entering upon the theme, itwould be well to prepare the way by glancingat certain points that suggest themselves, and,first of all, let us review the history of the Cru-sades, in order that we may perceive the causeswhich led to the arousing of the young tointerest themselves in the struggle -"To chase these pagans in those holy fields,Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet,Which eighteen hundred years ago were nail'dFor our advantage to the bitter cross."
6 INTRODUCTORY.II.State of the Cause of the Crusades.During eighty-eight years Palestine had beenin the hands of the Crusaders, and Christiankings had ruled in Jerusalem. But this episodeof romance and of glory was ended when, in1187, Saladin routed the Christian armies atTiberias, after which all the land was subdued,save a few strongholds over which there still rosethe banner of the Crusaders. This catastropheawakened grief and consternatidn throughoutEurope, and at once the third Crusade was un-dertaken by the Germans under Barbarossaand the English under Cceur de Lion. Theexploits of the two allied armies revived for awhile the drooping hopes of the Christians, butsoon there arose perfidy at home and treason inthe camp.. These did as much to render fruit-less the achievements of Richard as did thepower and skill of Saladin. Consequently, atthe end of the campaign the Crescent wavedas defiantly as ever, over the land of Israel.The fourth Crusade, from 1195 to I198, ledby Henry VI. of Germany, was equally a failure.There were gained some brilliant victories, butdissensions divided the armies, and at last atruce was made with the Mohammedans. It is
STATE OF THE CAUSE OF THE CRUSADES. 7true that these victories made the Crusadersmasters of the sea-coast, but, when the armiesdeparted, the Christian king found himself inpossession of cities which he was unable to gar-rison, and which he felt could be held only bythe sufferance of the enemy.The fifth Crusade, preached in 1198, was per-verted by the avarice of Venice and the ambi-tion of its leaders, to the conquest of Constan-tinople. The knights, plunged in the luxuryof that city, heeded not the appeals from Pales-tine, but allowed the besieged and suffering, forwhose rescue they had enlisted, to linger anddie without an effort in their behalf. Fortressafter fortress was wrested from the Christians,until at length there remained to the king,John of Brienne, but the city of Ptolemais;while to the north, only Tripoli and Antiochowned the sway of their counts. The Sultanwas preparing a vast army with which thesefeeble forces would soon be overcome. Then,moved to desperation by the emergency, theChristians sent to Europe a heart-rending cryfor help.But Europe responded sluggishly to the ap-peal. It was not until several years after theordering of the sixth Crusade by Innocent, thatan army departed for the scene of conflict.
8 INTRODUCTORY.It was during this interval that the movementof the young occurred, they having been arousedby the measures taken by the Pope to excitethe people.For these measures were varied as the energyof the man would lead us to expect, and resultedin a feverish excitement throughout Europe.He wrote to the Sultans of Cairo and Damas-cus, urging them to yield the contested land.But his other efforts were of a more practicalnature. Priests and bishops were sent every-where, to awaken enthusiasm by appeals, argu-ments, and threats, repeating often :" I came notto bring peace, but a sword." Processions wereheld in the cities and towns, to entreat God forthe imperilled cause and to enkindle the zeal ofthe beholders. Sermons had no other theme.The Saviour was spoken of as a king banishedfrom his heritage, and Jerusalem as a captivequeen, appealing to the loyal heart to enlist inher behalf. Salvation was almost made to de-pend upon the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre,and, in dwelling on the scenes of the Saviour'ssufferings, the true value of those sufferings wasforgotten. Innocent himself, in his uncompro-mising zeal, revoked permission to engage in allother Crusades, except that against the Albi-genses, and endeavored to stop all wars, so-/Al
STATE OF THE CAUSE OF THE CRUSADES. 9that nations might concentrate their energiesupon this great enterprise. He crowned hislabors and appeals with his famous exclamation,"Sword, sword, start from the scabbard andsharpen thyself to kill !"As so many disastrous and fruitless expedi-tions had dampened the interest of Christen-dom and shaken its faith in the Crusades, littleresponse was given to the frantic efforts of thePope; but the arts and appeals which had soslight effect upon the people, kindled the ardorof the young, and made them zealous for thecause to which their elders seemed indifferent.They had not known the calamitous issues of somany similar undertakings ; it was new to them,and not an old, sad story. The flaming descrip-tions of the Holy Land, vivid references to itsassociations, the favor of God which attendedits defenders, and the glory of fighting in itsbehalf, aroused them to become victims of a fatemore sad than that of others who sought to freeit, as it was more touching.But their adventures have been passed overwith little notice. Amidst the din of the con-tending armies of Crusaders and the clash ofsteel, few have heard the footsteps and thesongs of three armies of youthful and unarmedcombatants, who made their little effort for the
10 INTRODUCTORY.holy cause. Although they did not win greatvictories or enduring renown, yet it may bethat their story will interest us as much as thatof the more hardy soldiers.We are now to collect and narrate such de-tails of that story as have been saved from ob-livion, and, as we begin, it is with regret thatthey are so few. Withdrawing our attentionfrom the conflicts of princes and of Sultans,let us listen for a while to the part which wastaken by the children in that weary strugglewhich has been aptly called the "World's De-bate."III.Contemporaneous Events.THE thirteenth century opened in Europeamidst bloodshed and confusion, and over manylands there hung the lurid clouds of war. Allthe troubles of that troubled era were due toone moving spirit, who called himself the Vice-gerent of the Prince of Peace, but who, underthe impulses of ambition and revenge, actedrather as if the Vicar of the Prince of War.Innocent III., surnamed "the Great," the mostarrogant of popes, assumed the tiara in 1198,and soon had embroiled all Europe in conflicts,of different kinds.
CONTEMPORANEOUS EVENTS. iiPassing in review the various lands, therecomes first before us Germany, whose Em-peror, Otho IV., possessed a character that ren-dered it improbable that he could treat themany vexed questions of jurisdiction over thepetty states of Italy, without clashing with sounyielding a rival as Innocent. New jealousiesgrew rapidly between them, besides those in-herited with their respective positions, until, in1210, the Emperor was solemnly excommuni-cated, and to the thunders of the Church wasadded the more serious declaration of a warwithout mercy. The Pope selected as hischampion, young Frederick, called "of Sicily,"son of the Emperor Henry IV., and promisedhim that, if he could wrest the crown fromOtho, he should wear it as his own, and occupythe throne by whose steps he had been reared.Otho replied by the ban of the empire againstthe pretender, a weapon only second to excom-munication, and, in 1211, there began a cruelwar, waged with skill on either side, that endedin 1216, when the former combatant died andFrederick succeeded to the empire, to com-mence his splendid reign, the most brilliant oneof the Middle Ages.In England, we find John on the throne.He had been king since 1199, and was a mon-
I12 INTRODUCTORY.arch little inclined to bear with the pretensionsof the Pope, but as little fitted to oppose them.In 1206, the storm broke, when an issue wasmade on the appointment, by Innocent, of Ste-phen Langton to be Archbishop of Canterbury.This the King resisted, claiming that the Pri-mate should be chosen in England. He de-clared in a rage that no other should ever enterthe country. In 1208, Innocent excommuni-cated him, and John was added to the motleylist of those who have fallen under the displeas-ure of the Bishops of Rome, and who have beensubjects of a document so eminently Christianand merciful as their ban. The King held outwell for a while, as the national feeling was onhis side, but at length the suspension of all re-ligious rites produced their effect in the discon-tent of the people. When to this was addedthe preparation by Philip of France to conquerthe land, which the Pope had given him, Johnwas obliged to submit, and to consent to holdhis realm as a vassal of Rome.As to France, it was to a great extent ascene of combat. Philip, seeing his opportunityin the weakness of the King of England, re-solved to endeavor to expel all foreign rulefrom the land, and to put an end to the anom-aly of large parts of his realm being really the
CONTEMPORAANEOUS EVENTS. 13domains of John. He prosecuted the task withvigor and success, and, in the opening decadeof the century, had regained many a prov-ince that had long been a jewel in the Eng-lish crown.But there were other troubles and wars thanthese. It was an era'of Crusades, for no lessthan three were commanded by Innocent atthe opening of this century. They were di-rected, not against dwellers in Asia or Africa,but against inhabitants of Europe, for now thename was applied to all wars in which the Popewas interested. Two of them were againstheathen. In Eastern Europe there was onepreached against the Prussians, excited chieflyby the monks, who found that their unbeliev-ing neighbors would not be converted by theirprecept or example. As there were plunderand the Church's blessing to be won, as wellas the glory of doing missionary work amongidolaters, many flocked to the standard of theCross, and soon rested, either in the homes theyconquered, or (as we are to suppose) in the-glory which the Pope promised to those whoshould fall in the conflict.In the West, we find a Crusade against theSaracens in Spain, who had assumed so threat-ening an attitude as to alarm the Christians.
14 INTRODUCTORY.These latter were divided among several pettystates, which enterprising men, who had con-quered slices of land from the Moors, had calledkingdoms. The various rulers, appealing toChristendom for aid, prepared to strike a con-certed blow. Innocent did all that he could forthem. He sent letters to France, urging thebishops to raise soldiers for the cause, and heldprocessions in Rome. A large, number ofknights crossed the Pyrenees and joined thearmy that was assembling under the King ofCastile. After a brief campaign, on the six-teenth of July, 1212, on the plains of Tolosa, thepower of the Saracens was broken in a desper-ate battle.In a certain sense these two wars were reallyCrusades, as against the heathen, but that towhich we now turn was a war against theCross, and in no sense a Crusade. It will everbe accounted one of the greatest crimes uponthe page of history and in the career of theChurch that prosecuted it.It is unnecessary to detail the horrors of thepersecution of the Albigenses. A brief state-ment will suffice.In 1208, a Crusade was ordered against Ray-mond, Count of Toulouse, for venturing to pro-tect his subjects who rejected the yoke of
CONTEMPORANEOUS EVENTS. 15Rome. The energy of the Pope's measuresand the prospect of plundering for Christ'ssake that which was then the fairest and therichest district of Europe, soon gathered anarmy of great size. Under the skilful leader-ship of Simon de Montfort, called "the Generalof the Holy Ghost," a coarse and brutal wretch,the Crusaders won victory after victory. Allcaptives were put to death, in accordance withInnocent's command, who, when asked how totell heretic from catholic, replied: "Slay all;the Lord will know his own !" It is a joy tothink how true this was, as we read of the suf-ferings of these humble martyrs. Finally, thebattle of Muret, in 1213, put an end to all or-ganized resistance on the part of the Albigenses,and the " banner of the Cross" waved in victoryover a devastated land. Their swords reekingwith the blood of women and children, andtheir tents full of stolen riches, these exemplaryfollowers of this " General of the Holy Ghost,"from their orgies and their revels sent to thePope the pleasant news that false religion andimmorality had been extirpated. How nearlyconnected, sometimes, are tragedy and comedy!Such were the wars and transactions of theera in which occurred the incident that we areto describe. But what was the condition of the
16 INTRODUCTORY.people? Let us briefly answer this question,that one may know the state of the landswhence the children issued, and the influenceswhich surrounded them in their homes.IV.The Condition of the People.THIS was such as might be expected from thecharacter of the times when war and turmoilseemed everywhere supreme. Vast districtswere desolated and their inhabitants sighedand starved, while in others, that armies hadnot ravaged, the people lived in daily dread ofpillage. Society was disorganized, and law amockery, for the peasant had from it no protec-tion, and the baron held it in defiance; so thatthe former, unless some lord was interested inpreserving him for his own plundering, was atthe mercy of any of the fierce outlaws, whocalled themselves nobles. The only shelter forthe lowly was the Church; the only fields thatwere not pillaged were those her officialsowned. Nearly all Europe was in this con-dition; the exempted regions were few, andmost of these were only safe because too poorto devastate. Tormented and wearied, mil-lions prayed in agony and want, for peace ordeath.
THE CONDITION OF THE PEOPLE. I7Such a state of affairs naturally resulted inignorance, as great as the prevailing poverty.In the midst of such distractions there was littlechance for study, and any one who could read orwrite, unless an ecclesiastic, was regarded as awizard; while many of the clergy themselveswould not have been able, by either test, toprove their position. There was not, perhaps, adarker era during the ages of gloom, as regardsmisery and ignorance, than this beginning ofthe thirteenth century, Life must have been aburden, and men little better informed than thebrutes, with which they tilled their fields forprecarious crops.As may easily be imagined, religion was ata low ebb, and, while armies were fighting forthe Cross, few knew the teachings of thatemblem. The instruction which the peoplegenerally received from those appointed tominister in holy things, was a system of absurdsuperstitions, wherein they learnt of deeds ofquestionable saints and supposititious martyrs,and the honor due to God was rendered to awoman, enthroned in his place.To illustrate the state of affairs, and showthe example set by the clergy in France, wherethe Children's Crusade originated, with whichwe are to be concerned, let us describe twocustoms, or ceremonies, of regular occurrence,2
18 INTRODUCTORY.and they will help to realize the extent of theprevailing ignorance concerning pure and un-defiled religion. The first of these was calledthe "Feast of the Fools."1 It was observed,not only in Paris, but in many other parts of theland, in the cathedral cities. In the formerplace it occurred on the Feast of the Circum-cision, in others on Epiphany, and, in a few, onInnocents' Day; whence it was also called the"Feast of the Innocents." On the appointedday the priests and clerks met and chose anarchbishop and a bishop from among theirnumber. They then proceeded to the cathe-dral, led by the mock prelates, arrayed ingreat pomp, and, after entering the edifice, be-gan orgies of the most sacrilegious character.Masked, and dressed in skins of animals, dis-guised as buffoons, and even in the garments ofwomen, they danced and jumped about, shout-ing blasphemous exclamations and obscenestsongs. They used the altar as a table, and,during the performance of mass by the mockbishops, the others ate and drank around it,and played with dice. Exerting all their inge-nuity to devise desecrations of the place, theyburned the leather of their old sandals as in-cense, and crowned all by defiling the church,in postures and acts of unmentionable inde-1 Du Cange.
THE CONDITION OF THE PEOPLE. 19cency. It seems as if this were giving vent tothat which they felt during the whole year, thatreligion was a fable, and their duties the actsof a play. Eudes de Sully endeavored to sup-press this sacrilege, but in vain. We find itstill practised a century later.The other custom which shows the degrada-tion of the Church, was that called the " Feastof the Asses." 1 Although as general as theformer, it was most popular in the south ofFrance. The proceedings in Beauvais were asfollows: The people and the clergy chose theprettiest girl of the town, and, placing a beau-tiful babe in her arms, mounted her on a richlycaparisoned ass to represent Mary and the Sav-iour. In great state she was led from the ca-thedral, where the selection had been made, tothe parish church of St. Stephen, which theprocession entered. The maiden and child, stillon the ass, were placed on the gospel (or north)side of the altar, and the mass was commenced.Whenever the choir ended the Introit, the Ky-rie, the Creed, or any other part which waschanted, they added a chorus, consisting of thesounds, " Hin-ham, Hin-ham," which were ut-tered so as to represent, as nearly as possible,the braying of the animal. A priest preacheda sermon in mingled French and Latin, de-1 Celebrated January i4th.
20 INTRODUCTORY.voted to the exposition of the good qualities ofthe ass, and at the end repeated a hymn1 corn-1 It being a curious relic, the entire hymn sung on this oc-casion is added here. It is found in Du Cange's GlossariumNovum, etc., where the ceremony is described.Orientis partibusAdventavit asinusPulcher et fortissimus,Sarcinis aptissimus.Chorus: Hez, sire asnes, car chantez?Belle bouche r6chignez?Vous aurez du foin assez,Et de Favoine & plantez.Lentus erat pedibus,Nisi foret baculus,Et eum in dunibusPungeret aculeus.Chorus.Hic in collibus Sichem,Jam nutritus sub Ruben:Transiit per Jordanem,Saliit in Bethlehem.Chorus.Ecce magnis auribus,Subjugalis filius,Asinus egregius,Asinorum dominus.Chorus.Saltu vincit hinnulos,Damas et capreolos;Super dromedariosVelox Medianeos.Chorus.Aurum de Arabia,Thus et myrrhum de Saba,Tulit in ecclesiaVirtus asinaria.Chorus.
THE CONDITIpN OF THE PEOPLE. 21posed of a barbarous mixture of the two lan-guages, whose every stanza was followed by arefrain which may be thus translated: -"0 Sir Ass, why do you bray?Why with that beautiful voice do you scold?You shall soon have plenty of hay,And of oats, much more than can be told."When the whole profane farce was over, theofficiating priest, in dismissing the congrega-tion, said, instead of "Ite, missa est," "Hin-ham! Hin-ham! Hin-ham !" The people, asthey dispersed, replied with the same sounds,repeated three times, instead of " Deo gratias."These things occurred in the most ChristianDum trahit vehiculaMulta cum sarcinula,Illius mandibula,Dura terit pabula.Chorus.Cum aristis hordeumComedit et carduum:Triticum e pale$,Segregat in areS.Chorus.Amen dicas, asine,(Hic genuflecebatur,)Jam satur de gramine:Amen, Amen, itera,Aspernare vetera.Clorus: Hez va! hez va hez va hez IBiax sire asnes car allez ?Belle bouche car chantez ?
22 INTRODUCTORY.land of Europe, in the days of a pope who gloriedin his zeal for Christianity, without encounter-ing any rebuke from king or pontiff! Whatmust have been the religious teachings of aclergy, so degraded, and so defiant of all thingssacred! What ideas must the people have hadof the Gospel, when their guides knew so little.These few facts and hints are all that can begiven, in view of our limits, to show what werethe times, what the state of the people, and whatthe events transpiring when, in 1212,1 that ep-isode occurred, which is now to be described.In Spain, the armies of Christians and Moslemsare gathering for the great battle. Frederickis marshalling his adherents to conquer acrown. The Albigenses are falling in martyr-dom, and John is defying the Pope. Gladly dowe leave the transactions in the sphere of therulers of earth, to follow the fortunes of a move-ment among the lowly and the young.1 As regards the date of the Children's Crusade, there issome discrepancy among the chroniclers, but there is no doubtthat it occurred in 1212, as all contemporaries assert,as well as the Chron. Argent., Chron. of Laon, and OgeriusPanis. The variations are the following: Chron. S. Me-dardi gives as the date, 12o9 ; Thomas de Champre, 1213 ;John Massey, 1210. An error in the existing MSS. of Jacquesde Vitry reads 1222 for 1212. But the authority of contempo-raries should be conclusive, as the historians Michaud, Heck-er, Wilken, and Raumer are agreed.
CHAPTER II.THE RISING IN FRANCE.I.Cloyes and its Hero.THROUGH that part of the old province ofOrleannais which is now called the Departmentof Eure-et-Loir, and which is a vast, chalkyplain, almost denuded of verdure, there runsthe little river Loir, in a southerly direction, untilit joins the beautiful Loire, which on its courseto the sea flows past gray old cities and famouschateaux. About twenty miles west of Orleansthe valley of the former river widens, and inthis basin, between the hills, surrounded bysmiling meadows, is the town of Cloyes, thathas one association in a history of centuriesto endue it with interest. Although more an-cient than many other places in the vicinity, ithas yet slumbered through the ages in obscu-rity, its cares and traditions and characteristicshaving been handed down undisturbed throughgenerations which witnessed many changes
24 THE RISING IN FRANCE.elsewhere. Recently a railway has been con-structed, which runs near the town, and its loudwhistle sounds through the little streets, astrains pass the station on the plateau above.It is an ordinary French village, with itssquare market-place, where are sold woodenshoes, fruit, crockery, and the other miscellane-ous articles peculiar to such a scene; its Mairie,with the imperial escutcheon at present hang-ing where so many other similar pictures haveswung; its dirty shops and staring houses, andits dilapidated church, whose pictures andimages might be thought to render idolatry im-possible, because they come up to none of therequisites of the second commandment in re-gard to resembling anything "in the heavensabove, in the earth beneath, or in the watersunder the earth." But still the scene before oneis attractive, as he stands on the old stone bridgeby which the main street crosses the Loir.The little river comes from behind the trees ofthe park of an old chateau, which is seen a miledistant. After lazily turning here and there amill-wheel, when it reaches the precincts of thevillage, it passes beneath our standing-place, torun through the green meadows and beneathshady willows, until it enters the little valley, bywhich it issues from this basin, where, in some
CLOYES AND ITS HERO. 25earlier days, it formed a lake. On the easternside of us lies the village, extending about athousand feet to the declivity, which forms thelimit of the valley in that direction. On theother side of the river, green fields extendabout half a mile to the base of vine-cladslopes.This bridge is a pleasant place for musingon a summer afternoon, and the scene recallspast days, for the country is full of historicalinterest. Many a knight and soldier slept herefor the last time on the eve of the battle ofFretteval, where, close at hand, Philip Augustuswas defeated by Richard Cceur de Lion, in1I94. And the people of this quiet hamletwere awakened by enthusiasm, as was all thatnation, when Jeanne d'Arc passed through theirstreets on the way to seek Orleans and to winfor herself immortal renown.It is in this village that our story begins.'For, here, in the last years of the twelfth cen-tury or the first of the thirteenth, was born aboy who was named Stephen, probably after1 There are various authorities for the fact that Cloyes wasthe birthplace and home of Stephen. Among others, see theChron. Anon. of Laon, which says he was "ex villa Cloies,juxta castrum Vidocinum." Joh. Yperius says he was fromthe diocese of ChArtres.4L
26 THE RISING IN FRANCE.the saint of his birthday, the twenty-sixth ofDecember. Had it not been for him, this placemight never have been mentioned in history;but his fame is forever linked with it, as theonly name by which he is known is " Stephenof Cloyes."His father was a shepherd, or a poor peas-ant, and Cloyes was then a miserable hamlet.The Loir ran by it then as now, but the bankswhich it washed, instead of being highly culti-vated and densely peopled, were tilled to an ex-tent only sufficient to feed the few inhabitants,who, in squalor and ignorance, knew little ofluxury or of comfort. No hard and smoothhighway led to the neighboring cities. Thescanty traffic and the little travel, had for theiruse a wretched and often impassable path.Among such circumstances Stephen passedhis infancy and began his childhood. When oldenough to hold a staff and chase a refractorylamb, he was sent to be a shepherd boy, andhe spent the summers upon the plains aroundhis home, no better and no worse than'otherswho led the same life, although, as his acts sub-sequently proved, mature beyond his years.Obscurely and quietly his life glided away,until, in 1212, he became, as we are to see, theone upon whom was centred the attention ofFrance.
CLOYES AND ITS HERO. 27We have already noticed the many meansresorted to by the hierarchy to awaken the slum-bering interest of the people in the shatteredcause of the Crusades. Among these were fre-quent processions, when every expression ofgrief and of entreaty was called into use, toimpress upon the beholders a feeling that Godcommanded them to enlist under the again up-lifted banner, and to arouse either their ardor ortheir fear.There had long existed an ancient customof the Church, observed on St. Mark's day,April 25th, called the " Litania Major," orGreater Litany.1 It was a processional litany,instituted centuries before by Gregory theGreat, during the ravages of the plague, butgenerally still maintained in Latin Christendom.On this day the altars were shrouded in black,and priests and people went through the streetsof towns and cities, chanting prayers and carry-ing crosses likewise draped. From this lastfeature, the day was popularly called the " BlackCrosses." At the time of which we are speak-ing, this ceremony was adapted to commemo-rate the sufferings of those who had died in thedefense of the Holy Land, and to implore mercyin behalf of the Christians now beleaguered1 See among others Joinville's Memoirs of Louis IX. for de-scription.
28 THE RISING IN FRANCE.there, as well as of the many others that werepining in slavery. We can well imagine thatsuch an observance, accompanied by stirringsermons and vivid threats and promises, wouldhave excited the people, especially the young,who had neither the experience nor the judg-ment requisite to discern the hopelessness ofthe Crusades, and the delusiveness of such ap-peals.Stephen had of course heard of the desper-ate state to which the combatants of the Crosswere reduced, and stray pilgrims and priestshad told to the villagers of Cloyes stories ofadventure and of glory which could not fail toexcite his credulous mind. But all his ardor wasredoubled when, in the neighboring city ofChartres, he beheld the procession referred toabove. The black crosses, the loud and affect-ing litanies, the appeals which plead for an in-sulted Christ and his enslaved soldiers, the sol-emn ceremonials, the tears and emotions of thecrowds, worked upon him most powerfully, andmade him burn with desire to play a part in theexpulsion of the hated Mohammedans from theland sanctified by the life of Jesus and hallowedby the possession of his tomb.All alive with such emotions, he retraced, at1 Johannes Yperius.
CLOYES AND ITS HERO. 29evening, his homeward steps. And as hemused thereafter, in his loneliness on the hill-side with his flocks, his imagination revelled indeeds of daring, and in pictures of sacred scenes,until he was ready for any enterprise, preparedto believe, with unquestioning credulity, anystory, however wild and improbable.While in this excited state, there appeared tohim, one day, a stranger, who at first said thathe was a returned pilgrim from Palestine on hisway to a distant home, and asked for some food.Stephen could refuse nothing to one who hadbeen where he longed to be, and had seen placesfor whose rescue he was readyto die. He onlyasked, in return, to be told of the wonders of theOrient, and of the exploits of the brave heroeswho had fallen there in battle, or who still lin-gered in the few remaining cities. Readily didthe stranger comply with his request and tellhim that which delighted his ears. Havingthus gained an influence over the boy, he an-nounced himself to be Jesus Christ, and pro-ceeded to commission Stephen to preach a Cru-sade to the children, promising that, with himas their leader and prophet, they should winthat victory which soldiers and nobles had failedto gain. He also gave the astonished youth aletter to the king of France, commanding that
30 THE RISING IN FRANCE.monarch to furnish aid to the new enterprise.Thereupon the pilgrim, undoubtedly a disguisedpriest, who had heard of Stephen's enthusiasm,and thought him a suitable instrument for thepurpose of arousing the people, disappeared asmysteriously as he had come.1 But he hadplayed well his part, and rarely has a deceptionbeen so successful.After this, to be a shepherd boy was no morepossible to Stephen. Higher duties called him,he said, when rushing homeward, he told of hisinterview with the Lord to his bewildered par-ents and neighbors, and showed his celestialletter to the King. There was no reasoning1 The Chron. Anon. of Laon relates this interview of Stephenwith Christ, and says that he showed, without any expressionof doubt, the letter which the Saviour gave him. I haveadopted the explanation suggested by Sporschild and others,and which commends itself to reason, that Stephen was dupedby some priest who found him ready to believe even such athing, and ardent enough to assume such a charge. Theremust have been an incident of some kind to put it into theboy's head to undertake such a mission. Again, he certainlyshowed some letter as proof of his call, which he could neverhave written, nor any one else in Cloyes; it was clearly thework of an ecclesiastic, whicd confirms the above theory.And if, in the nineteenth century, the people of France believethat the Virgin appeared at La Salette with a babe in herarms, they would much more readily have believed in thethirteenth century that Christ appeared in person, when it wasto effect an end considered so intimately allied with his religion.
CLOYES AND ITS HERO. 31with him. Carried away by high hopes and bythe dignity of his supposed call, he entered atonce upon his work. To all he narrated hisstory, and to the welcoming ears of his compan-ions he told that now, when the defenders of theHoly Sepulchre were few, and their ranks thinfrom the ravages of disease and war, whenman's plans had failed, God had revealed hisplan, which was to give the possession of Pal-estine to the children who should enlist. "Forthe last time have we heard of defeat," cried he;" hereafter shall children show mailed warriorsand proud barons, how invincible are youthswhen God leads them "But the field was too narrow in Cloyes. Froma point so obscure, he could not arouse France.Some more central place must be sought, andat once he fixed upon the great shrine of theland, the object of countless pilgrimages, whereto ever changing crowds, he could preach hisCrusade and spread to homes of every districtthe intelligence of his enterprise. He resolvedto go to. St. Denys.11 Anon. Chronicle of Laon.
32 THE RISING IN FRANCE.II.St. Denys.Five miles north of Paris is the city of St.Denys, the place of burial of the martyr Dio-nysius. He was one of the seven holy men whoestablished churches in Gaul, and from whoselabors resulted the conversion of the land. Di-onysius founded the Church of Paris and wasits first Bishop. In 272, under the reign ofValerian, he suffered martyrdom. In the fifthcentury a church was erected over his grave,around which a town sprang up, to which wasgiven his name. From the time of Dagobert,all the kings, and many other members of theroyal family were buried there, so that it be-came the central point of France and identifiedwith its interests. Here, too, was kept the sa-cred Oriflamme, or the holy standard of therealm, which originally was the flag of theChurch, but was, committed to the king, as itsguardian, when he went to fight enemies of thenation, and as such, was venerated by St.Louis and inspirited the Maid of Orleans. Theroyal standard had previously been the cloakof St. Martin, but theOriflamme superseded it,and became the symbol of the honor and exist-ence of the kingdom.
ST. DENYS. 33The monks and priests who were interestedin rendering the place attractive, soon made ita centre of pilgrimage and succeeded in im-pressing it upon the people that great were thebenefits of a visit to the tomb of the Saint.Legends without number were fabricated. Hehimself was said to be Dionysius the Areopa-gite, for which there was not a shadow of evi-dence, and a marvelous series of events werestrung together and called his life. Of all thesefictions, the wildest, which is still taught andbelieved, was that concerning his death. Itwas said that, after very cruel treatment, he wasbeheaded and his body thrown into the Seine,but that, issuing from that river, he carried hishead in his hands for the distance of two miles,to the place where he desired to be interred.1Of course the grave of so eminent a saintwas soon a great resort for those who thoughtthat he who could do so much for himselfmight do something for them. Pilgrims con-tinued to increase in numbers, until it became,like the tomb of St. James at Compostello inSpain, a national shrine, whither came thou-sands for physical relief and mental consola-tion; perhaps, sometimes, for spiritual aid.1 It was concerning this that Ninon de 1'Enclos, whenasked if she believed that the Saint carried his head all theway, said: "La distance ne vaut rien. Ce n'est que le pre-mier pas qui coflte."3
34 THE RISING FRANCE.In the commencement of the thirteenth cen-tury the influence of the shrine was at itsheight, for wars and Crusades could not deterthe people from seeking its presence.To St. Denys, then, do we behold Stephen ofCloyes journeying in the month of May, 1212.Dressed in his shepherd's attire, his crook inhand, and a little wallet by his side, he departedfrom the obscurity of his home and of his in-fancy. With bounding heart and exuberanthopes, he walked in eagerness which ignoredfatigue. As he went, he preached his missionin the towns and cities by the way. But evenChartres and Paris could not delay him long, forhe was in haste to reach the place which was tobe the scene of his glorious labors. At last hearrived there, and everywhere, by the door ofthe church which contained the tomb, in themarket-place, and at all hours, to astonishedaudiences, he proclaimed the new Crusade.Gifted with extraordinary powers of speech,he succeeded in enchaining the attention andgaining the admiring reverence of his hearers.To an enthusiast this was an easy task, witha subject so suggestive, and in such a place.He told the old story of the sufferings of theChristians in the Holy Land, and of their lan-guishing in slavery, and the audience seemed to
ST. DENYS. 35hear the clank of their chains as the speakerdwelt on their cries for help. And not onlywere their breasts stirred by that appeal; theyalso were told of the state of their brethrenwho were besieged in the few cities which theystill held, and their hardships were a fruitfultheme.But Stephen had a still more powerful argu-ment and a more potent appeal. He pointedto the sepulchre of St. Denys, thronged by itsworshippers, and then contrasted its conditionwith that of the sepulchre of the Saviour. Theone was guarded by believers, and the scene ofunrestrained devotion, the other, insulted by thepresence of infidels and receiving not a prayerfrom those who would love to worship there.He then asked them if they would tolerate this,if they would not strive to make the Saviour'stomb as honored and as free from defilement, asthe Saint's.He showed the letter to the king, to confirmthe doubting, and asked if Christ's commandswere to be disregarded. He repeated the nar-rative of his interview with the Lord, and, toadd credibility to his authorization to be theprophet of the new Crusade, told many inci-dents of a supernatural kind. He said thatwhen he returned from his visit to see the
36 THE RISING IN FRANCE.procession held to implore God's mercy for thecause of the Crusades, before he had been com-missioned by the Lord, he went to the pasturegrounds of his flocks and found them absent..After searching, he discovered them in a fieldof grain. Enraged, he began to drive themthence with blows, when they all fell on theirknees and begged his forgiveness. This, withother signs, said he, led him to believe thatgreat things were in store for him, even beforehe had been visited by Christ.He soon became the Saint of the day, and theshrine was abandoned to listen to his stirringwords. Especially was this the case, becausehe worked iniracles. It is said that he healedthe sick, and made other supernatural signsbear witness to his authority.' They who werecredulous enough to come to St. Denys and tobelieve thd legends which made the place whatit was, would not be apt to discredit the claimsand the miracles of Stephen.But especially was enthusiasm aroused in theyoung who visited the place, or who werebrought thither by their elders. The call ofStephen appealed to natural feelings, and theygladly believed him, when he said that for themwas reserved all the glory of the rescue of theHoly Sepulchre.1 Vincent de Beauvais.
ST. DENYS. 37Accordingly, as the pilgrims departed fromSt. Denys, they bore to their different homesthe story of the new apostle, the successor ofPeter the Hermit, and of Bernard. The chil-dren rejoiced in being the exclusive recipients ofGod's lofty commission, and told their compan-ions of the eloquence and the power of Stephen.Alive with emulation to play a prominent partin the enterprise, they commenced to seek ad-herents. The matter spread like a contagion.As there were in the audiences of Stephen pil-grims from all parts of France, soon in everyregion of the land was his mission known, andchildren were excited to dreams of terrestrialfame and celestial glory. The movement be-gan, regardless of feuds of rulers, of differenceof government, or of wars. It spread in Brit-tany, where the English ruled, as well as inNormandy, recently added to the domains ofPhilip; in Aquitaine and Auvergne, likewisejust freed from the sway of the foreigners, as wellas in Provence, where the king of Aragon wassovereign; in Toulouse, red with the blood ofmartyrs, as well as in peaceful Gascony. Thechildren knew not, or cared not, what rule theirelders acknowledged, and were not interestedin the wars for power. The undercurrent oftheir life was untouched by the storms which
38 THE RISING IN FRANCE.disturbed the surface. Consequently, while theadults were prevented from unity of actionand from yielding to any interest in the Cru-sades which they may have felt, by the commo-tions and the political divisions of the land, theyoung were one, and, regardless of tongue or ofstate, responded to the appeal, from the Chan-nel or the Pyrenees, from the Rh6ne or theLoire. The voice of Stephen found everywherea ready echo, and when there went among themthose who sought to enlist adherents, they hadan easy task. All the children. united in say-ing exultingly, " Long enough have you, knightsand warriors, so boastful and so honored, beenmaking your fruitless attempts to rescue thetomb of Christ! God can wait no longer!He is tired of your vain, puny efforts! Standback and let us, whom you despise, carry outhis commission He who calls can insure thevictory, and we will show you what childrencan do!"
THE MINOR PROPHETS. 39III.The Minor Prophets.An old chronicler, while describing theevents of these times, dwells at length upon theexcitement caused in some parts of France bythe frantic appeals and by the arts of the clergy,in their endeavors to awaken among the lowerclasses that interest in Palestine which slum-bered among the upper ranks of society. Healso gives many signs which the Lord sent toadd to the power of the emissaries of the Pope,and tells us many a curious and wild story inthis connection. Among these he says that"it is affirmed for a certainty, that, every tenyears, fishes, frogs, butterflies, and birds pro-ceeded likewise according to their kinds andseasons; and at that time so great a multitudeof fishes was caught that all men greatly won-dered. And certain old and decayed men af-firm, as a certain thing, that, from differentparts of France, an innumerable multitude ofdogs were gathered together, at the town ofChampagne which is called Manshymer. Butthose dogs, having divided into two parties, andfighting bravely against each other, nearly allslew one another in the mutual slaughter andvery few returned home."' Such, says he, were1 Chron. St. Midard.
40 THE RISING IN FRANCE.among the wonderful incidents whicn accom-panied the commencement of the Children'sCrusade, and, added to the prevalent excitement,made the children ready to believe that theircall to rescue Palestine was the great eventwhich those signs were intended to herald.As has been said, the more enterprisingamong the youths who had listened to Stephen,returned home, resolved to play a part in thecoming episode of glory, only subordinate to"The Prophet," as he was called. Everywherethere arose children of ten years, and someeven as young as eight, who claimed to beprophets also, sent by Stephen in the nameof God. They went throughout their respect-ive districts, eagerly appealing to their com-panions to assume the Cross. They took astheir text, and their authorization, the passageof Scripture which they interpreted to refer pe-culiarly to this undertaking: "Out of themouths of babes and sucklings hast thou or-dained strength, because of thine enemies, thatthou mightest still the enemy and the avenger."It would have been difficult for the adult Cru-saders to find a text as appropriate.These "minor prophets " (as the chroniclescall them) also claimed to work miracles, andthus added to their authority and the effect of
THE MINOR PROPHETS. 41their preaching. Among the many who thustook it upon themselves to extend Stephen'scall, the names of none have been preserved,except one. He was an adult, and, had he notrisen to prominence on another occasion, hisname would also have been forgotten. It wasJacob of Hungary, whose strange life, one ofthe strangest on record, will be traced at an-other time. In this movement he was active,and was instrumental in arousing the north-eastern part of France. The names and thecareers of the many who made the mountainsand valleys of the land echo with their dis-courses and their delusive promises, are lost inoblivion.When they had gathered sufficient numbers,they formed them into regular and solemn pro-cessions and marched through the towns andvillages with circumstances of display, in orderto gain more recruits. Of course, in differentdistricts, there was variety in their arrangements,and the details differed.1 But, as a generalthing, there was, at the head of each proces-sion, a chosen youth, who bore the Oriflamme, acopy of that at St. Denys, and which was, likethe colors of a regiment, an object of devotion,the symbol of honor. Many carried wax can-1 Chron. Rotom. and Chron. Mortui Maris.,A
42 THE RISING IN FRANCE.dies, some waved perfumed censers, while hereand there were to be seen crosses borne aloft.And as they marched they sang hymns,many of which were the creation of their feveredminds. Some were, however, ancient, havingbeen used in the previous Crusades, and havingawakened the enthusiasm of thousands whoslept on alien soil. But, in all the songs, theconstant theme was that expressed in the fre-quently repeated refrains : " Lord restore Chris-tendom !" "Lord, restore to us the true andholy Cross!" 1 They adopted the watchwordwhich for two centuries had rung throughEurope, and had been sounded on a hundredbattle-fields in Asia, which had spurred to ac-tion many a victorious, as well as many a van-quished army, and which now brings before us,as we hear it, the whole drama of the Crusades.Crying "Dieu le volt !" these children threwaside all other obedience,2 and considered thatthey acted under a higher than human law.The excitement was not confined to the chil-dren of any particular class or rank. As wouldbe expected, the greater number were of thepeasant order, or, as one chronicler says inin general terms, "they were all shepherds." 81 Roger de Wendover.2 Godfrey; Chron. St. Medard; Chron. Raineri.8 Godfrey the monk.
THE MINOR PROPHETS. 43The ignorance of the world which resulted fromtheir seclusion, rendered these peculiarly liable,to deception. They who had never passedthe precincts of their parishes or cantons, knewnothing of the hardships of war, the extent ofthis world and the distance to Palestine, nor ofthe stern realities which were concealed by theglory and the glitter of the Crusades.But we are also told that many noble youths,sons of counts and barons, joined the proces-sions which tHey saw marching past their cas-tellated homes. There were peculiar reasonswhy they were susceptible to the appeals of theprophets, and were seized with desire to takepart in the enterprise. They had, from theirbirth, associated with the knights and warriorswho had won fame and honor in the Crusades.They had heard for years, as familiar themes ofconversation, of the brilliant deeds of bravemen, who themselves often narrated to themtheir feats at Ascalon or at Tiberias. Theyhad also heard recalled most tenderly, as ob-jects of envy, those who had fallen in thesacred cause. Accounts of the beauty of theEast and of the richness of its scenes, descrip-tions of Jerusalem and of the Sepulchre, hadthey again and again listened to, from thosewho had been in those wonderful places. It
44 THE RISING IN FRANCE.was unavoidable that influences such as theseshould have a mighty effect upon the young. Itwas natural that they would think and dreamof the time when they might go in .gorgeousarmor, on prancing chargers, so to act, thatthey too might be spoken of as were the manywhose names were the household words ofchivalry.Again, there were those who had lost theirfathers in the wars for the Cross, and they sawon the wall the sword and shield which re-minded them that they were heirs of a noblefame. It would have been strange if suchchildren were not fond of reveries and antici-pations of glorious deeds in the same cause.Many had resolved that one day they wouldtake those honored weapons, and, seeking theland hallowed by deathless memories, wouldcomplete the work of their sires, or else sleepby their side in the same consecrated earth.Consequently, when such youths heard ofthe armies of children assembling at the sum-mons of Christ to rescue Palestine, they feltthat the time had come for the realization oftheir cherished dream.' And when from thehills whereon stood their homes, they saw theprocessions pass with uplifted crosses and withbanners waved by the breeze which bore to1 Lambert of Liege.
THE MINOR PROPHETS. 45their ears inspiriting songs of triumph, theycould not stay, but hurried to join the throng,and either to assume positions as leaders, or aswillingly to obey the orders of some once de-spised peasant. And so it happened that inthe bands hurrying to Stephen, was representedmany a name that had been honored in thehosts of Godfrey and of Guiscard, of Louis VII.and of Thibaut.Of course, the motives which led the youngto join in these processions were not always thepurest or the most religious. Many gladly em-braced the opportunity to escape from the re-straints of home, and to secure freedom for theirevil tempers and desires. To them this wasnot the golden chance to deliver the sepulchreof Christ; they cared not for its honor or forthe sufferings of its champions, it was only thegolden chance to gain a dreamed-of liberty fromparental rule.But we may not deny that the mass werestirred by feelings of a pious nature. To those inthe tender years of childhood it was a touchingtale, that of the grave of Jesus in the hands ofheathen, and the recital of the sufferings en-.dured in its behalf could not fail to impressthem most strongly. All, therefore, who hadany piety were as ready for this summons as
46 THE RISING IN FRANCE.tow for the spark, when urged to join in thisnew Crusade, which was to be triumphant andbloodless, Christ himself having appeared andpromised victory.But we are told that many girls also joinedthe companies which traversed the land. Somestatements seem to indicate that quite a largeproportion were of this sex.1 The same reasonswhich prompted many of the boys, would in-fluence them, and both inability to repel themand willingness to have their numbers as greatas possible, would induce the leaders to tolerateand encourage their accession.And thus from their thousand homes theycame, when in the market-places, at the cross-roads, by the way-side, the youthful prophetspreached their mission, and pictured the gloryof the cause as well as the certainty of its suc-cess. From the battlemented castle on themountain, from the cheerless houses of the townbeneath, and from the miserable mud hovelsof the hamlet in the fields, rushed the deludedchildren to swell the ranks of an army, fromwhose weary march few would return again totheir homes.But the excitement was not confined to thechildren. Men and women joined the assem-1 Rainer's Chronicle.
THE MINOR PROPHETS. 47bling bands in no small numbers, promptedby a desire to rescue the Holy Land. Theythought this appeal stronger than any otherwhich had been made, and, while they wereindifferent to the summons of priests, they list-ened eagerly to the call of the young prophets,thinking that they thus embarked upon a Cru-sade which had greater hopes and was to sharea different fate from those whose disasters haddesolated Europe. Even old age did not standentirely aloof. Men of gray hairs and of totter-ing steps were seized with the contagion, and,in their second childhood, imitated the ardorand credulity of that which had long sincepassed away.1But many other men and women joined thearmies from motives of a baser nature. Allthat were depraved in every sense found thisa rare chance for profit. Abandoned womenflocked in numbers in the expectation of fulfill-ing their infamous plans and of robbing as wellas of ruining the youths. Thieves and sharp-ers never had such easy prey, and they did notneglect it. Every one whose disposition wouldlead them to consider this an occasion for gainor plunder, hurried to the rendezvous. Conse-quently there were introduced into the assem-1 Chron. Dead Sea; Rainer.
48. THE RISING IN FRANCE.bling troops of pilgrims, elements which wouldnecessarily work their demoralization, and weare not surprised when we find that that re-sult ensued.One may now see how motley was the com-position of the numbers which the subordinatesof Stephen gathered and led to him. Thus canwe imagine the appearance of the bands whichjourneyed through the various districts, contain-ing boys and girls, nobles and peasants, old andyoung, men and women, pious dupes and craftythieves, praying pilgrims and vilest wretches.IV.Opposition and its Results.It was not to be expected that such a move-ment could continue long without attractingthe notice of the government. The king atthis time was Philip Augustus, an unprincipledman and treacherous toward foreign nations,but generally an able and a wise ruler of hisown. His crimes against his allies, although hejustified them on the plea of regaining his rights,resulted in the elevation of France, which at hisdeath was united and strong.When he first heard of the rising of the chil-dren, he seemed inclined to favor it, probably
OPPOSITION AND ITS RESULTS. 49hoping that it might result in the arousing ofthe people to enlist in the Crusade and soenable him to obey the Pope, whom he wasdesirous to please that he might humiliate Johnof England, while, at the same time, it wouldsave him the trouble of collecting an army forthe purpose.But the matter soon grew serious, and hiscounsellors urged upon him that it was no tem-porary delusion of limited extent, but that theinterests of the realm demanded its suppres-sion, for not only would it carry away the youthto destruction, but it would also produce con-fusion, disorder, and pillage. As Philip wasendeavoring to reorganize and consolidate hiskingdom, these representations succeeded inmaking him direct his attention to the move-ment. Yet it was a delicate thing to under-take to suppress a Crusade, although an affair.of children. "It might be really ordered by God,he reasoned, and the Pope might also take itunder his protection and forbid all restraintsupon it. It was a perplexing question, andtherefore he referred it to the newly establishedUniversity of Paris, that their wisdom mightguide him.After a consultation, in which they had tomeet the fact that they might be accused of4
50 THE RISING IN FRANCE.heresy, and where, in such an age of supersti-tion, the natural advice would have been thatgiven by Gamaliel to the Sanhedrim, the doc-tors gave the sensible reply that the movementshould be stopped, and, if needful, vigorousmeasures should be used. Accordingly theKing issued an edict, commanding the childrento return to their homes and abandon the madenterprise. Whether he had received the letterwhich Stephen showed, we are not told. If hehad, he doubtless gave little heed to its allegedauthorship, as from the Saviour.But his decree had little effect. The matterhad gone too far to be arrested by a command.Few could be found who wished, or who daredto enforce it, and it was unnoticed, except bythose who were influenced to obey it, or byothers who were glad to have an excuse forleaving the assembling bands, being alreadyhomesick and weary.1The King does not seem to have concernedhimself any further about the affair, but in hismany cares suffered his edict to remain un-enforced. It may be that he was unable tocarry it out, from want of instruments or fromfear of the people. At any rate, the childrencontinued to assemble unimpeded.I Concerning the King's conduct, see, among others, Chren.of Laon.
OPPOSITION AND ITS RESULTS. 51There were naturally other influences broughtto bear upon the young to restrain them. Par-ents who had not been carried away by thefrenzy, did not like to see their sons anddaughters running to unknown dangers andhardships. Their reason as well as their affec-tion moved them to interfere. Yet persuasions,threats, and punishments were all as vain ashad been the King's command. Bolts andbars could not hold the children. If shut up,they broke through doors and windows, andrushed, deaf to appeals of mothers and fathers,to take their places in the processions, whichthey saw passing by, whose crosses and ban-ners, whose censers, songs, and shouts, andparaphernalia seemed, like the winds of torridclimates, to bear resistless infection. If the chil-dren were forcibly held and confined so that es-cape was impossible, they wept and mourned,and at last pined, as if the receding soundscarried away their hearts and their strength. Itwas necessary to release them, and saddenedparents saw them exultingly depart, forgetting tosay farewell. Regardless of the severance oftender ties, they ran to enlist in those deludedthrongs that knew not whither they went.1Opposition was also made by the faithful1 Roger de Wendover and Rainer.
52 THE RISING IN FRANCE.among the clergy. Knowing the certain issueof the scheme, and having hearts unwillingto see the young overcome by inevitable dis-asters, they endeavored to check the excitement.But their efforts were also vain, for opposed tothem were others, the crafty and unprincipledpriests, and the emissaries of the Pope, who re-joiced in the affair, because it was a meansto excite the adults. Accordingly the cry ofheresy was raised if any pious pastor used en-treaty or earnest warning, and he was accusedof frustrating a holy cause. The people whobelieved in the delusion caught up the cry, andchildren adopted it, until opposition was si-lenced. In this way, between the designs ofthose who were to gain by the movement, thesuperstition of the masses, and the enthusiasmof the children, there was enough to overcomeall efforts arrest the daily increasing excite-ment.The serious and right-minded among thepeople were at a loss to understand so unpre-cedented a phenomenon, and endeavored toaccount for it in various ways. The generallyreceived belief was that it was the result ofmagic, the devil's agency, the cause assignedfor all remarkable and iiexplicable events inthese ages. To this did the University of
OPPOSITION AND ITS RESULTS. 53Paris attribute it, and more than one chroniclerquietly says, as a matter beyond question, thatSatan was the author and guide of the affair.But among the many stories invented to ac-count for the event, is one that, although beyondall probability, yet is so strange that it deservesa passing notice, illustrating, as it does, thesentiment of the times.It is said by one chronicler, who believedit, that many held that the "old man of themountain" had liberated two enslaved clerks,and sent them to France to bring back an armyof children, as the price of their liberty, andthat these had originated the present under-taking.This mysterious personage was the chief ofthe Assassins, who dwelt in an impregnablecastle on a mountain in Syria. This sect of Mo-hammedans flourished for a short time, and theywere the terror of the world, on account of theirwonderful devotion to their master, who hiredthem out to those desiring their services, and,in the execution of whose orders, treachery waspraiseworthy, danger was despised, and slaugh-ter their habitual practice. The stealthinessand. secrecy of their proceedings, and theirremorseless thirst for blood, has caused theirname to be adopted as the appellation of delib-
54 THE RISING IN FRANCE.erate murderers. In order to secure such ser-vants, who were called Arsacidce, the chieftrained them from infancy, by an educationwherein every emotion of a tender nature wasstifled, and fear of disgrace and of death obliter-ated. For such purposes, was it said, did hewish some children of France, and the hostswhich were assembling were to be his prey.The horror in which the people stood of thisman, led them to believe the story. It is curi-ous, and awakens memories of our own days ofchildish credulity, to find that the reigning " oldman of the mountain" at this time, was thefamous Aladdin, the story of whose wonderfullamp is told in the "Arabian Nights." 'Still the movement went on, reproved by afew, applauded by many; variously regardedas the work of God or of Satan. Through thecities and hamlets, by the Seine and the Ga-ronne, were seen the bands, marching with theirbanners, singing their songs, and telling howthey were " going to God and to get the Crossin Holy Palestine."As they passed by, the laborers left the fieldsand the artisans the shops; all business wassuspended, and they who did not join their1 Vincent de Beauvais explains the movement in this way,and Jourdain thinks it not improbable.
OPPOSITION AND ITS RESULTS. 55numbers crowded to see them, in curiosity orin admiration. They were housed and fed fornought. Many gave this aid from kindness,others from sympathy in the enterprise, whilefew dared deny to such numbers any requestwhich they might make. And so, before long,the various prophets could send word to Ste-phen that they would bring a vast army for himto command and to lead.But, as the nature of the narrative requiresthat we follow the order of time, we now leaveFrance in the ferment of the gathering, andturn to describe events which transpired inGermany. These we will trace to their end,and then return to Stephen and his followers.
CHAPTER III.THE GATHERING OF THE GERMAN CHILDREN.THE tidings of the preaching of Stephen andof his celestial mission were quickly carried east-ward, and pilgrims returning from St. Denystold of him in Burgundy and Champagne,whence the story spread to the lands along theRhine. The people here had been subject tothe same attempts to arouse them to interestin the Crusades which the French had experi-enced, and were as ready for the new delu-sion when it came, thanks to the activity ofthe papal emissaries with their litanies andtheir addresses.In a village near Cologne, whose name hasnot been recorded, there lived a boy who wasto be the apostle of this Crusade in Germany,and play the part which Stephen acted inFrance. He was born in about the year 1200,1and had been familiar with the prevailing ex-citement from his infancy, so that now he was1 Sicardi says he was "a boy less than ten years old."
GATHERING OF GERMAN CHILDREN. 57full of interest in the Crusades, and at once wasseized with a desire' to emulate the youngprophet of Cloyes, when the fame of this latterreached his ears.Nicholas, for we know no other name, issaid to have been induced to assume the partof a prophet to preach the new Crusade by theinfluence of his father. It was not now a craftypriest, but a parent, who, knowing the precocityand the zeal of his son, saw that he would be aproper one to imitate the example of Stephen,and worked upon his young mind until theboy believed himself called by God to the task.The motive which influenced the father mayhave been a desire to see his child famous andgreat, that he might enjoy the reflected honor;or it may have been desire to profit by theevent, and to rob the deluded victims of hiswork. This latter prompting is the one thatwas ascribed to him by the people, for the oldmonk who saw all the progress of the affair,tells us that he was " a very wicked man;" andthe people of the region have left on recordtheir opinion of his character in the summaryvengeance that they meted out to him whenthe results of his work were apparent, as we willsee at the close of the story.Probably directed by his father, Nicholas
58 GATHERING OF GERMAN CHILDREN.went to Cologne, and there preached his mis-sion. There were the same reasons to rec-ommend it as a suitable place for the purpose,which made St. Denys such for Stephen ; it wasa great national shrine.Old Colonia had long been a great and in-fluential city, but it rose into new prominencewhen, in 162, it became the religious centreof Germany. At that time its archbishop, Ray-nuldus, brought back as his share of the plunderfrom his clerical foray with Barbarossa to sackMilan, among other articles not mentioned, thebones of the " Three Kings of the East." Thelegend of these who came "with a great multi-tude of camels to worshippe Christ, then a littlechilde of thirteen dayes olde," is one of the mostnoted of the mediaeval myths. The history ofthese particular bones, whether those of theMagi or not, begins with their removal to Con-stantinople by Helena, who discovered so manyvaluable relics of a sacred nature. The emperorEustorgius took them from their shrine in SantaSophia, and gave them to the archbishop of Mi-lan, from whence Raynuldus carried them to hiscity in patriotic zeal. For a while they reposedin a splendid shrine in the cathedral whichCharlemagne had built, until the present grandedifice was constructed, where they still re-
GATHERING OF GERMIAN CHILDREN. 59main. From the very first there was great de-votion paid to them, and the revered skele-tons 1 listened as patiently to the supplicationsaddressed by the Germans, as they had to thosewhich they had heard in Italy or Byzantium,yielding as ready attention, in a forgiving spirit,to those who had gained possession of them bywar and robbery, as they had to those to whomthey had been presented as gifts. Rightly orwrongly won, relics always hear the prayers oftheir de facto owners. This is a curious factconnected with them.In their common interest in this sacredplace, the adherents of Otho and of Frederickforgot their feuds and quarrels, so that it wasnever more frequented than now, when Nicho-las went thither to proclaim his call to the greatwork of rescuing Palestine by children.What we know of his labors there is told usby Godfrey, an eye-witness, the -compiler of achronicle of that city. He was a monk, one ofthose who passed their lives in quiet cloisters,noting down events which transpired aroundthem, illuminating missals, and praying venera-ble prayers.According to his aggravatingly short record,1 It has been discovered that one skull is that of a child,having milk teeth.
60 GATHERING OF GERMAN CHILDREN.Nicholas came to Cologne and at once beganto preach. He had, as had his French brother,a story to tell of a supernaturally receivedcharge, which was readily believed, as a confir-mation of his claims on their attention. Hesaid that, as he was tending his flocks in thefield, he saw a cross of blazing light in the sky,and heard a voice which told him that it wasthe pledge of his success in the holy war. Hisfather had probably heard of the history ofConstantine, or it was related to him by somepriest who had found him a credulous tool.Through the throngs that filled the city hemoved, telling what he was to do, or preach-ing from elevated stations to the gaping pil-grims, who, having swallowed the story of thebones, were ready for his lesser fable. Thepeople and the children had been familiar withthe incendiary labors of the envoys of Inno-cent, and the latter were as excited as thoseof France by the scenes which appealed totheir ignorant and unreasoning minds. Hetherefore found the way paved for his success.The scene was still more suggestive and appro-priate for the theme than even St. Denys hadbeen. He could point to the shrine of the WiseMen, glittering with gold and jewels, and sur-rounded by precious votive offerings of undis-
GATHERING OF GERMAN CHILDREN. 61turbed pilgrims, and comparing this with thestate of the sepulchre of that One, to their con-nection with whose history these men owed alltheir fame, ask if the children he saw, as well asthe adults, were not as ready as those of Franceto endeavor to rescue the holier tomb from itsignominy, under the guidance of him whomthe Lord had chosen to lead his servantsthither.We can imagine the scene presented duringthese days of the spring of 1212, when Nich-olas was gathering his followers and pleadinghis claims. We can see him by the door ofthe old Byzantine cathedral, which disappearedsoon after that date, standing on a platform oron a pile of stones, addressing the crowds inmotley attire who came to worship, and whosemany quaint dialects and curious dresses repre-sented the different regions whence they hadjourneyed. They listened eagerly as he spoke,and discussed among themselves the new won-der. What stories were related of similar prod-igies which had been the theme of local pridein many a remote village! What debates asto the probabilities of the success of this newprophet! What expressions of hope that thismight solve the mystery which hung over thefate of many friends who had been hurried away
62 GA THERING OF GERMAN CHILDREN.to the wars at the command of the baron whowas their lord What eager thanks to God forhis interference to end the cruel and hopelessstruggle for the holy places Thus can we fancythe manifestation of the interest of the throngsthat our little boy, so precocious and enthu-siastic, addressed. Among them we see oldGodfrey moving, in his brown robe and sandals.He has come out to see how this restless, tur-bulent world is getting on, whose turmoil doesnot reach the seclusion and stagnation of thecloisters of St. Pantaleon, and is noting downin his mind the strange things he sees, thathe may return to muse in his cell, or beneathsome tree in the slumberous garden of the con-vent, upon the follies of men. At evening he willrecord, in his precious manuscript, along withthe events of greater interest pertaining to thehistory of his peaceful asylum, what he deemsworthy of mention among mundane affairs.The oblivion which covers all these busyscenes is well represented by the change thathas come over the shrine of the Wise Men,which -is edifying to the traveller who visitsCologne to-day. A century or more ago, theshrine-a golden box of great value whichcontains the bones was removed from thechief place in the cathedral to the eastern end,
GATHERING OF GERMAN CHILDREN. 63where, though more confined, there was roomenough for the devotees who came in vastly di-minished numbers to worship where hosts hadonce knelt. But as the "ages of faith" becamemore and more remote, the numbers lessened.The days of pilgrimage were ended, save fora few stragglers that still lingered in the rear ofthe vanished crowds. Fewer and fewer theybecame, until one day the last faithful, credu-lous soul, whom we would love if we knew him,knelt alone, solitarily told his beads in lowestmurmur, asked some petition which came froma heavy heart, then rose and went away, utter-ing an "Amen" that closed the prolongedprayer of centuries.The officials of the cathedral, wisely judgingthat the space might be better appropriated, andthe remains be so arranged that the pilgrimagesof curiosity, which took the place of those ofpiety, might be made profitable, moved thebones to a corner, where they are kept in aroom, to which admittance is gained, not by aprayer, but by a thaler. The writer not longago examined the gorgeous casket in companywith a number of nineteenth-century priests,who calmly and curiously talked of its carvingsand adornments, and, without a genuflection,looked at the smooth skulls which the attend-ant exposed by opening a sliding panel.
64 GATHERING OF GERMAN CHILDREN.But let us come back to Nicholas and otherdays. From Cologne the excitement spread,as from St. Denys, by means of those whosought their different homes. The extent ofcountry, however, in which the children rose,was limited, owing to the prevailing dissensionsof a civil nature, and because the Emperorfound it a part of his policy to suppress thematter where he could, and thus thwart thePope, as well as retain his people for his armies.Yet, within the limits of the vicinity of theRhine and the neighboring land of Burgundy,the commotion was greater than in France, asis shown by the proportionately greater num-ber that flocked to the Crusade.Nicholas was aided by other youths, whoacted as lieutenants, and labored to gather ad-herents in their various districts, hoping tohold positions of rank. Of their names wehave none preserved; so many other and highersounding ones occupied the pens of the chroni-clers that these were overlooked.Very noticeable is one feature of the appealswhich Nicholas and his assistants used. Thetriumph promised and expected was one ofpeace. The Holy Land was not to be won bybattle nor restored to the Christian king by theslaughter of the Mohammedans, but the latter
GATHERING OF GERMAN CHILDREN. 65to be converted, and to accept, as believing sub-jects, the rule of the faith they had hated. Instrange and touching contrast does this spiritstand out among the cruel and bloody memo-ries of the time. It awakens a peculiar interestto read that when they marched from place toplace, gathering adherents, their watch-wordwas one so different from the barbarous andruthless mottoes which expressed the temper ofCrusaders, for they sang, "We go to get thecross beyond the sea, and to baptize the Mosleminfidels !"1The excitement spread rapidly from town totown and from village to village, so that thebands which the "minor prophets" collectedwere rapidly recruited, and successively led tothe rendezvous at Cologne. The mania in-creased daily and overcame opposition. Foropposition was made to those who would followthe young preachers, but with the same resultsas in France. Parents, friends, and pastorssought to restrain them by force or appeal, butthey whose hearts were set upon the enter-prise mourned and pined so, that we are toldtheir lives were frequently endangered as bydisease, and it was necessary to allow them todepart. Many hoped that at last, at Cologne,I Gest. Trevirorum; Godfrey and others.5
66 GATHERING OF GERMAN CHILDREN.the delusion would end, and various causes dis-perse the assemblage.The composition of the gathering bandswas as motley as that of the companies thatwere collected for Stephen,- probably more so.There were numbers of unprincipled creaturesthat joined the ranks, led by various base mo-tives, to gratify their propensity to thieving orto lust, and all the refuse of the region seems tohave been drained, as we would naturally ex-pect. It was an opportunity for such personsthat was too good and too rare to be lost, andit was not lost. The number of depravedwomen that mingled with the armies was, it istold us, especially great, and to them is attrib-uted the greater part of the evils which ensued.The chroniclers refer frequently to them, andpresent a dark picture of the morals of thetime.' We can well imagine how the peopledreaded the approach of these bands. Theynot only feared lest their young would be car-ried away by the infection, which no authorityor ties could overcome, but because with themcame such a lawless, demoralizing rabble, thatwould steal and rob with impunity.Nevertheless, the vast majority were prompt-SJac. de Voragine says: " Multi autem inter eos erant filiinobilium, quos ipsi etiam cum meretricibus destinarant."
GATHERING OF GERMAN CHILDREN. 67ed by good, though mistaken motives. Therewere many reasons which would lead multi-tudes to a sincere desire to liberate the sepul-chre of the Saviour, and purify his tomb frompagan control, and such as these were ready toundertake and to endure anything in order topromote that end. This swayed, undoubtedly,the mass of those children who persisted in theenterprise, while of course some were ruled byambition or by desire for independence of therestraints of home.With regard to the station of those who weregathered in the movement, there was greatvariety, all ranks being represented, led bypromptings which appealed to each. Therewas a larger proportion of children of noblebirth than was the case in France. Germanywas always more alive to chivalrous excitement,and her nobility were more numerous. Thecountry, particularly along the romantic Rhine,was studded with baronial halls, which werenurseries of daring and of knightly feeling. Allthe influences which would act on children ofthe lords to embark in this Crusade were thusespecially potent, and there were more boyshere than in France ready to go and combatthe cruel Saracens, because a father or a brotherhad fallen at their hands. Thus the excitement
68 GATHERING OF GERMAN CHILDREN.ran through the upper class, and Cologne, thehome of many noble families, because a largeand imperial city, is said to have lost so manychildren of rank, and to have furnished so manyscions on whom fair hopes were placed, thatthe effects of the movement were felt for a longtime after it had died away.As to age, there were very many adults inthe assembling crowds, as we gather from va-rious statements of the chroniclers, and not onlyof those who joined them from lower motives,but many such were seized with the crusadingspirit. They had become weary of the vainattempts to succeed in this terrible war, whichhad been made in the usual way; and this newplan at once was regarded by them as that de-vised by God, and destined to triumph, where,very evidently, ordinary warfare was not toachieve the result.We are told, as an interesting feature, whichshows that some attempt was made at disci-pline, that a uniform was generally adopted.1It was an adaptation of the usual costume of pil-grims. They assumed a long coat, when pos-sible, of a gray color, and upon the breast wassewn a cross, as customary with the Crusaders;for they claimed this character as well as thatSJac. de Voragine.
GATHERING OF GERMAN CHILDREN. 69of pilgrims. This latter aspect was further en-hanced by the carrying of a palmer's staff, andon their heads they wore broad-brimmed hats.There were many who but partially, if at all,adopted this costume, because they would notor could not procure it. Such a simple andquaint attire must have made a pleasing effectwhen a group marched by.In this way was the region around Colognekept in a state of ferment, as the bands con-tinued to arrive at this central point, whereNicholas awaited them, until the time came fortheir departure for the Holy Land. Little overa month could have elapsed before the assem-bling was completed, and the various leadershad their recruits ready for the start, whetherin the always crowded city, now doubly full, orin the towns and villages around. The great-ness of the numbers collected in this briefperiod shows the enthusiasm of the movement.That it must have been so brief, is seen fromthe facts that Stephen began his work in theSpring, then the tidings spread to the Rhine;after this the gathering took place here, andthese children marched to the Mediterranean,yet they reached that sea- before the middle ofAugust.We now proceed to the next step in the
70 GATHERING OF GERMAN CHILDREN.prosecution of the Crusade, or pilgrimage. Buthere our narrative divides, for there was a divis-ion of the host assembled at Cologne, into twoarmies. The fate of that which started underthe leadership of Nicholas will be first traced,and afterwards we will return to the fortunesof the other.
CHAPTER IV.THE ARMY OF NICHOLAS.I.To the Alps.ONE fair morning of June or July, in the yearof grace 1212, our friend Godfrey, monk of St.Pantaleon, probably saw a strange scene, towhich we have now come in the course of thisnarrative. Let us follow him out of the city,and witness with him what he beheld as thesun was gilding the towers of the churches,and still casting the long, westward-stretchingshadows of early morning. Or, better, let ustake our place on the walls, where we maystand, surrounded by eager crowds, and over-look the spectacle.Upon the plain before us is a dense, wavingconcourse of people, who issue from streets andlanes by the open gates, or who come fromneighboring villages by paths and roads bor-dered by hedges still glistening with the dew."All ages and both sexes are represented, and
72 THE ARMY OF NICHOLAS.all are intent upon some important matter, astheir motions and their murmurs tell. In themingled sounds which come to us, we perceiveat times the refrain of a song, or the noise ofaltercation, while we hear also the lamentationsof others, whose gestures express great sorrow.As we watch the scene, a discrimination is inprogress, and many join the forming ranks ofan army, whose insignia and banners becomevisible in regular array. At length all is ready.Nicholas takes his place as leader, and at agiven signal the compact mass moves away, stillfollowed by friends who would not cease to seekto arrest their beloved ones, and by the amazedeyes of the throngs upon the walls. Vain hadbeen the efforts to stop the enterprise by par-ents, priests, and rulers. Too confident to bedissuaded, too reliant on their numbers to beintimidated, too elated to be discouraged, thisband of twenty thousand children 1 commencedits march toward Palestine. We watch themfrom our station, as they recede, until, behindsome hill, the procession disappears, and thesound of their songs and their shouts sinks intosilence in the distance.Their route lay along the Rhine. This regionwas not then, as now, densely peopled and ren-I Fasciculus Temporum.
TO THE ALPS. 73dered romantic by frequent, picturesque ruins.It was almost a wilderness then, with an occa-sional castle rising from lofty crags that bear atpresent but a shattered tower or crumblingwalls. Upon the lordly Drachenfels, whichstands as a sentinel at the portal of the valley ofthe Rhine, was the home of a wild Baron, whoserelics are now the peaceful loitering place ofthe tourist; and, as he saw the children windacross the fields, beyond the river, there arosein his mind pleasant thoughts of plunder. Itwas a subject of congratulation to the latter,that the Rhine rolled between them and thosegrim walls. At Rolandseck was Roland'sTower, which then, as now, looked down uponNonnenwerth's beautiful green isle, cradled inthe river. Gutenfels and Stahleck were thehomes of rough men and fair women, to whomthe lapse of centuries has given, associationswhich are very poetical, but who found theirdaily life as real and as prosaic as we find ourown. Rheinstein, from its vine-clad height,frowned down upon the winding river which soondisappeared in a gorge, where the superstitiousboatman saw in every nook and crevice an abodeof dragons or of sprites. Here dwelt then oldSiegfried, whose name is linked with many aweird legend. And thus were some of the storied
74 THE ARMY OF NICHOLAS.spots of this wonderful stream then marked bycastles above or towers below; but, generally,the hill-sides, at present so cultivated, andwhence come to the tourist the songs of "peas-ant girls with dark blue eyes," were coveredwith dense forests, where wandered the stagsand boars, the wolves and bears, whose pursuitformed, beside war, the only amusement of theserude men of old.As our children wander southward, let us seekto describe the manner of their march, and theirexperiences.Of all the strange armies which those daysof strange sights had witnessed, this was themost notable. There were no mailed soldiers,who marched beneath feudal banners that hadwaved over battle-fields in Europe and in Asia;there were no chargers that carried strong war-riors who held well-used swords; nor yet werethere pilgrims of mature years, who had setout, unarmed, to pray in consecrated spots. Itwas an army of children, who were actuallydeparting to recover possession of a land inwhose behalf many a host had died in vain.In the van we see Nicholas, probably accom-panied by an escort and attendants. Thenthe line stretches with varying regularity forseveral miles, and, over the uniformed ranks
TO THE ALPS. 75of little ones, rise the crosses and bannersthat are proudly carried. We see, among thenumbers, the many adults who desired to sharethe glory of the enterprise or to plunder andcorrupt. There were women who came toprofit in their baseness or suffer in their weak-ness, and girls who were destined to a bitterlot of shame, instead of a rest in Palestine.And priests and monks were there, some torob, and some to pray. But the mass were.boys of about twelve years of age.' They gavecharacter to the army, and it is with them thatwe are concerned. They came from mansionand from hovel, from luxury and from want;the pedigree of princes was possessed by thosewho walked by the side of humble serfs.As they marched along, they beguiled thetime with narrative and song. As to the for-mer, there was among them a store which wasnot soon exhausted.The children from the castle told of knightlydeeds by men of famous names, and to themore credulous peasants, repeated what theyhad so often heard from their proud kindred,who had won such fame in conflict. They whohad never before spoken with the despisedboor, forgot their station, and wearied not to1 Sicardi.
76 THE ARMY OF NICHOLAS.answer questions concerning the life of the no-ble born, which had been almost as sacred andrevered in the cabins of the lowly as the associ-ations of the Holy Land. The serf-child couldonly tell of obscurer feats of arms and of lessexalted deeds, which his kindred had known;but yet each was ready to hear the wonderfulstories of the other. In this way, throughoutthe host, the spirit of the cause was kept alive,and their minds were inflamed into resolution tosurpass the achievement of squire, and knight,and baron. The fame of the heroes who hadfallen, to be immortal in song, or who had sur-vived to receive the love of woman and theenvy of man, was yet to pale before the lustreof the deeds of God's own army.And songs, too, whiled away the tedioushours of wandering, as well as aided in sustain-ing their spirits. Chroniclers expressly saythat singing formed a marked feature in theirjourney. They sang many lyrics which re-turned pilgrims and warriors had taught them,but which, it is sad to say, have been lost.They also composed many of their own, whichhave shared the same fate. It is natural towish most earnestly that some of these hadsurvived, that thence we might learn somethingof the children's feelings, and that we might
TO THE ALPS. 77enter into a fuller sympathy with them, in read-ing the words which conveyed their emotions.But, although we have not the language of thesesongs, we can well imagine their themes. Theconstant subjects were the restoration of theHoly Sepulchre, and the glory of that triumph.We need not labor much to realize the ardorwhich nerved them to endure fatigue, when,their little hearts bounding with excitement,they shouted in spirited tunes the expressionsof the hopes and dreams of years.From the oblivion of ages there has survived,however, only one of the hymns which weresung by them. It was brought by the recruitsfrom Westphalia, and had been sung by manya pilgrim before, on the way to Palestine. Itswords and air, so well adapted to this presentassemblage, made it popular, and it delights theChristian of to-day by the evidence which itaffords that there lingered yet some apprecia-tion of the truth of the Gospel, some love to theSaviour. It seems as a gleam of light in thedarkness of the age. Listen, then, children ofthe nineteenth century, to words which otherchildren sang, as they marched along the Rhine,nearly eight hundred years ago.Let us quote it first in the original, in whichthese little crusaders were wont to sing it, havingmodernized its antique German:-
78 THE ARMY OF NICHOLAS."Sch6nster Herr Jesus,Herrscher aller Erden,Gottes und Maria Sohn;Dich will ich lieben,Dich will ich ehren,Du, meiner Seele Freud' und Kron I"Schon sind die Felder,Noch sch6ner sind die Wilder,In der sch6nen Friihlingszeit;Jesus ist schoner,Jesus ist reiner,Der unser traurig Herz erfreut."Sch6n leuchtet die Sonne,Noch sch6ner leuchtet der Monde,Und die Sternlein allzumal;Jesus leuchtet schoner,Jesus leuchtet reiner,Als all' die Engel im Himmelsaal."TRANSLATION."Fairest Lord Jesus,Ruler of all nature,Thou of Mary and of God the Son IThee will I cherish,Thee will I honor,Thee my soul's glory, joy, and crown!"Fair are the meadows,Fairer still the woodlands,Robed in the blooming garb of spring :Jesus is fairer,Jesus is purer,Who makes our saddened heart to sing.
TO THE ALPS. 79"Fair is the sunshine,Fairer still the moonlight,And the sparkling, starry host;Jesus shines brighter,Jesus shines purerThan all the angels heaven can boast."How welcome is such a hymn from the pastages, and how does it add to our interest in theseyouths who used it!1Thus singing their songs, they passed onsouthwards, seeking Palestine. But it is nat-ural to inquire if they did not know that theMediterranean intervened; and if so, how didthey expect to cross it ? Did their leaders nothave an answer ready for this question ? Wefind, as a feature of curious interest, that theywho had excited and promoted the Crusade, hadpromised that the Lord would provide a path-way through that great sea to the land beyondits waters. Availing themselves of a homeargument, they pointed to the fearful droughtwhich is recorded to have prevailed that Sum-mer, as evidence from Heaven that the army1 For an account of the discovery of this hymn, see Evan-gelical Christendom for May, 1850. This was a magazine for-merly issued in London, and to its'editors I am indebted fora copy. The hymn has since been published in variqus col-lections of sacred music in the above version, which is thatmade by the author of the article in the magazine referred to.Hecker asserts that it was used by the children.
80 THE ARMY OF NICHOLAS.was to pass, like Israel's hosts, through thesea, for they said that the Mediterranean wasdrying up for this end. This was asserted inreply to the natural objections that there wouldnot be enough vessels to carry such a vast num-ber, or that, if they were obtained, the youngpilgrims would lack money to pay for theirtransportation and their food. The story wasbelieved, and the children were buoyed up andencouraged on the march by the anticipationof so signal an interference in their behalf.Surely, said they, if we are thus to triumph overthe deep waters, as did the people of God in oldtimes, we must win an equal success, and restin the same land, by virtue of the same divineaid.They journeyed onward through the domainsof the lords and nobles who owed allegianceto France, or to the Empire. Their fame mayhave preceded them, or it may not, yet theirarrival was always the signal of commotion inevery village, where they won new recuits fromthe astonished and enraptured children. Eachmember of the host told, in his own words, thesame tale of a celestial call and of a certain suc-cess, and repeated, with embellishments of hisown invention, the appeal in behalf of the de-filed Tomb of Christ. If night overtook themV.'
TO THE ALPS. 81by any town or hamlet, they sought shelterwhere they could find it. One chronicler tellsus that no city on the way could contain thearmy. Some slept in houses, where the kind-hearted or the sympathizing invited them torest; others reposed in the streets and market-places; while they who could find no spacewithin, lay down without the walls. But if, aswas generally the case, the darkness found themin the open country, they passed the night inthe barns and hovels, under the trees of theforest, or on the green bank of some stream,and the angel of sleep closed their heavy eye-lids under the starlight. The day's march waswearisome to little ones who had never beforebeen out of sight of home, and therefore theysoon fell asleep,wherever it was. When morn-ing came, they ate whatever they had in theirwallets or what they begged or bought as theywent. The line of march was again formed, thebanners unfurled, the crosses uplifted, and, withthe morning song they began another day offatigue. At noon they rested by some brook toeat their scanty meal and quench their thirst,and again started to wander on through thequiet hours of afternoon, until the welcome sun-set reminded them that they had passed an-other stage of their journey to distant 0, sodistant !- Palestine.6
82 THE ARMY OF NICHOLAS.But their great trials soon began. Afterwhat we have learned of the mingled elementsin the army, it does not surprise us to learn thatthe evil-disposed spread every kind of misery,and that there ensued all sorts of demoraliza-tion. Those children who had any money wererobbed or cheated of it, and they who had onlyfood in their wallets soon had that stolen bythe hangers-on and thieves. The depravedmen and women gave way to their passions,so that vice grew daily, and parts of the campbecame scenes of sin and lust. The disorderswere increased by the rivalries of subordinateleaders, until at last they moved on, but littlemore than a loose, lawless concourse, withoutchiefs and without discipline. Consequently,they were at the mercy of those who for vari-ous reasons saw fit to molest them, and withimpunity the wild barons could swoop downupon them from their fastnesses, and seize asmany as they would, to hold them in harsh orbasest servitude.They reached at length the territory nowcalled Switzerland, but which was then a con-glomeration of petty lordships, most of them be-ing subject to the Duke of Burgundy, but manybelonging to the Emperor. Threading its beau-tiful valleys, and passing along its foaming rivers,