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like the prophets of Baal. Is it not as pious for a man to deprive himself of his leg as of his tongue, and to disfigure his body with the gashes of a knife, as with the hideous white raiment of the illuminated Quakers ?
Art. II.-A History of the Life of Rhchard Cæur-de-Lion. By
G. P. R. James, Esq. Vol. III. Saunders and Otley. The first two volumes of this history were occupied chiefly with events that occurred during the reign of the second Henry. The book opened with an elaborate treatise on the feudal and chivalrous institutions of Europe in all their memorable bearings, and presenting a comprehensive view of the condition and annals of England from the times of the Conqueror to those of the father of the lion-hearted prince. To a work of the pretensions and extent of that before us, this treatise is a necessary preface to the life of Richard. Very little indeed is mentioned in the first volume, of Mr. James's hero; the purpose being to clear the way for a proper appreciation of his character, policy, and position, when he comes to figure in his rightful dimensions, and full development; the historian going carefully into every branch of his ample subject, and disdaining to be indebted to authority taken from mere compilers. The second volume entered into the biography of Caur-de-Lion, with some minuteness, but still had to deal with the earlier and less brilliant periods of his history, a very large portion of the pages preceding those now before us, being devoted to the quarrel that arose between Henry and Thomas à Becket, and to the origin and progress from the beginning, of the Crusading wars; these prominent points and extraordinary epochs affording the historian an admirable opportunity for tracing the advancement of English commerce, municipal institutions, political enlargement, and national civilization. The second volume, in fact, conducted us no farther in the history of Richard and his times than the period of the capture of Antioch; and therefore can hardly be pronounced to have accomplished more in respect of his career, than to have prepared us for brilliant exploits and the glorious eclat with which chroniclers and romance writers have encircled and emblazoned his name. Nay, even volume the third, which concludes with the fall of Jerusalem, is but in a sense introductory to the portion of Richard's life which is chiefly contemplated in our times by popular readers, as well as by the devourers of fiction; and therefore we have to look forward to another contribution to the series of tomes, ere the effulgence and renown of the great champion of the Cross can be measured or adequately contemplated, and ere the completeness and harmony of the author's performance can be properly tested and appreciated.
With regard, however, to the historian's eventual and even early successful termination of a work which must be called great, whether
plan, scope, or execution be considered, a shadow of doubt need not remain on any mind. That Mr. James is singularly qualified for a triumphant performance of the kind, every person at all acquainted with this extraordinary voluminous writer will be ready to admit, before perusing a page of the work under review. Whether it be in the realms of fiction, or the more exacting sphere of sober and philosophical history, he has already approved himself to be one of the most industrious and painstaking authors that have ever written largely. His research is as unwearied as his knowledge with regard to the where and the how to prosecute his investigations is sufficient. For the enrichment and correction of all former histories of the life and era of Richard, he brings perhaps an unexampled familiarity with the annals of France; nor can we fail to add, without great injustice to him, that the present work earns eminent distinction, by the lights which he brings to bear upon its pages from the records that have been bequeathed by eastern as well as western writers. With regard to his capacity and habits for the delineation of character, for divining motives, or estimating results upon the minds and doings of his actors, not a word of criticism need now be uttered; for the reading world has years ago pronounced its verdict of applause. As little is it necessary to characterize the tenderness of fancy, the vigour of thought, or the constancy of intellectual and moral purpose that are displayed in all that he does ; strong and sustained pinions of imagination are perhaps not less essential to the historian who casts himself upon obscure periods, and strives to delineate personages who figured in rude times, than integrity of conduct in delivering the amount of the stray but real lights that have been collected, or fearless honesty in giving utterance to the opinions and spontaneous reflections that have arisen during the prosecution of the task. Dignity and purity of sentiment can be as ill dispensed with, as practised skill in unravelling knotty questions, whether these pertain to the actual in respect of human character or of historic events.
Perhaps there is no period and no name within the scope of authentic history that could offer such attractions to the more peculiar complexion and habits of Mr. James's mind, than those of Coeur-deLion; a mind not more addicted to trace the career of heroes and to mark their dazzling exploits, than nicely to discriminate between the glare and the substance, the false and the true.
Were we required to suggest an obvious and readily arcived-at test, in order to enable a total stranger to our author's previous productions to give judgment relative to his merits as a historical painter, we could not do better than at once to invite attention to the style of composition, and the manner of expressing himself, exhibited in the volume before
We think it is not more manifest that he displays in these pages the judgment and taste of a master-artist, in suiting his language to the occasion, with a self-shaping ease,- be the requirement that of
clear and rapid narration, close yet considerate authoritativeness,chaste description, beautiful embellishments, and gorgeous colouring, or magnanimous appeals to the heart,-than it is that the traits which he developes are near to the truth, that the greatness he blazons is built upon sterling worth, that the lessons which he sets in array with the effectiveness of nature are for all times and all men's study. Hence it is that this history must take rank with those best esteemed for attractiveness and permanent value; that, in short, it will probably become the most distinguished piece in the workmanship of the pedestal of Mr. James's future fame, that has yet emanated from his head and hand, his imaginings and heart-feelings.
The few passages which we cite will not satisfy; but, we think, they will do something not less desirable on our part, viz., send a number of our readers not only to the volume itself from which these are taken, but to the perusal of the entire work. Take first Mr. James's vivid description, ---but based most carefully on the information which he has collected with such exemplary scrupulousness,-of the emotions of the crusaders when the Holy City first burst upon their sight.
During their march from Archas, all the associations of the land had been crowding upon the imaginations of the pilgrims of the cross. The names of Ramula, Sidon, Emaus, had all awakened the memories of what had passed in those places in earlier days; and at the latter town, when they encamped for the evening, the host was joined by envoys from the Christians of Bethlehem, beseeching the leaders to send forward a body of men to protect that town from the threatened vengeance of the Saracens. Tancred was accordingly dispatched with a hundred lances, to give the assistance required, but during the whole of that night the host of the crusade knew no repose. The name of Bethlehem, Bethlehem! passed from mouth to mouth, recollections were awakened that banished sleep, all the enthusiasms of their nature were aroused, zeal and tenderness, and love and hope, and indig. nation, for that sweet religion which they all professed, scared away
slumber from every eye; and some hours before darkness disappeared, the excitement became so great, that the army arrayed itself spontaneously, and began to move towards Jerusalem. It was a beautiful summer morning, we are told, in the month of June, and ere the great body of the crusade had proceeded many miles, the day broke in all the majesty of eastern light. They had just reached the summit of a gentle hill, when starting up with the rapidity which characterises the dawn of Syria, the sun rushed forth, and they beheld in the distance a rocky steep, crowned with towers, and walls, and domes, and minarets. “Jerusalem! Jerusalem !” became the cry throughout the army, as the object of all their toil, and labour, and strife, and suffering appeared before their eyes. All that they had endured up to that moment, weariness, thirst, famine, pestilence, and the sword, were forgotten in exceeding great joy, or only remembered to render that joy more ecstatic and overpowering. The effect could scarcely be borrie : some laughed, some wept, some shouted “ llierosolyma !” some cast themselves on the ground, some fainted, and some died upon the spot.
We next quote a longer passage, carrying the reader to the walls of Jerusalem, in company with the conquering Saladin ; and even into its sacred streets, to mingle and to sympathize with the besieged.
At the time when the defeat of Tiberiad became known in the Holy City, it contained few, if any, military defenders, and no leader of renown. But Balian of Ibelin, whose wife had taken refuge there, hastened from Tyre to convey her to a place of security, having obtained a safe conduct from Saladin for that purpose. He had given his promise, it would seem, not to remain in Jerusalem above one night, but the people of the city, rejoicing in the presence of so famous a commander, would not permit him to execute his engagement. The patriarch absolved him from his vow, and the citizens watched him so closely that it was impossible for him to quit the place. His high and chivalrous qualities had excited the admiration and even the friendship of Saladin, and when the Christian knight sent messengers to the Sultan, then under the walls of Ascalon, to explain his situation, and to entreat that his wife and children might be permitted to pass in safety to Tripoli, while he remained to defend Jerusalem, the Syrian monarch received his excuses as valid, and sent an Emir with a party of cavalry to escort the lady and her family to a place of safety.
The difficult task of holding out the city against the arms of Saladin was now confided to Balian of Ibelin, and the presence of a considerable party of Templars and Hospitallers encouraged the people, and gave them hope of successful resistance. As a constant friend and supporter of the count of Tripoli, however, Balian was not likely to be very popular with the Knights of the Temple or with the patriarch ; and unsupported against a powerful faction, having no experienced nobles within the walls on whom he could rely, no knights on whose co-operation and valour he could depend, the Lord of Ibelin had recourse to an act of a very singular and extraordinary character. Choosing out fifty young men, the most promising and distinguished that he could find amongst the class of burghers, he knighted them for the defence of the Holy City. His next step was an endeavour to provide for the multitụde of women and children which had taken refuge in the place; but so great were the numbers, that even after all had been done that was possible to lodge them in the houses, many were still obliged to sleep in the streets. The Queen Sybilla, indeed, with her train, received notice from Saladin that she might retire in safety to Naplouse, to which place he had sent her husband, Guy of Lusignan; and she accordingly quitted Jerusalem under a safe conduct from the Sultan; but none of the rest of the unfortunate fugitives dared to show their faces beyond the walls, round which the parties of Arabian horsemen were hovering night and day.
It is a lamentable, though perhaps not an extraordinary fact, that moments of great difficulty and danger generally bring dissension rather than concord; and such would appear to have been the case in Jerusalem at this time, the only resolution in which all the inhabitants seemned to unite being the determination of resisting to the last. From beneath the walls of Ascalon, Saladin summoned the Holy City to surrender, pointing out to the citizens that every post in the realm had fallen with the exception of Tyre and Carac,
considered by many the two strongest places in the land. The people of Jerusalem replied that by God's will they would defend it to the last; and Saladin then swore that if they drove him to take the city by storm, he would put the whole of the male inhabitants to the sword, and reduce the women to captivity. The Christians, however, remained undaunted; and as soon as he had obtained possession of Ascalon, the Sultan began his mareh towards Jerusalem. The mighty army by which he was accompanied, and the complete state of subjection to which he had reduced the neighbouring country, left little probability that a town crowded with inhabitants, and scantily supplied with provisions, torn with factions, and unsupported by any external allies, would be able to resist his arms. Nevertheless, by some Arabian accounts we find that Saladin hesitated, and that there were persons who attempted to dissuade him from the enterprise; while from every statement we learn that the Christians were full of resolution, if not of confidence. When his determination was once formed, however, the Sultan showed himself immovable therein ; and on being told by an astrologer that he would take the city if he attempted it, but that it would cost him an eye, he replied, “Were it to cost me both I would take it."
Marching on then from Ascalon with the whole force of his mighty army, preceded by clouds of light horsemen, and displaying all the pomp of eastern war, the Sultan commenced his advance on Jerusalem, on Monday, the 21st of September, 1187, having employed less than three months in subjugating the whole country after the battle of Tiberiad. The first day he arrived at Beersheba, the second he paused at Bethlehem, and on the third his vast host looked forward upon Jerusalem from the hills by which it was surrounded. Joy and satisfaction took possession of the Mussulmans, and shouts of gratulation rent the sky as they beheld the city not less holy in their eyes than in the eyes of the Christians. At the same time, from the walls of Jerusalem might be seen the innumerable standards of the Mussulman host, yellow, white, and brown ; their floating garments, their glittering arms, and their light Arabian chargers, amidst clouds of dust, which, to use the expression of the historian, " turned the light of the morning into the twilight of night." But the resolution of the Christian did not give way before the sight. The cry in the city, according to the account of Al Siuti, was, “Beneath the Se. pulchre of our Lord we will die, and on account of the dread of its separation from us will we be strong. From it will we procrastinate the evil day, and towards the relics in the city and the sepulchre will we hasten. Wherefore shall we not fight? Wherefore not do battle in this quarrel ?"
Here follows the description and an estimate of the character of Coeur-de-Lion.
Richard I., on his accession to the throne, was in the thirty-second year of his age, and endowed by nature with many high qualities of body and of mind. In person he was tall, strong, and active, long in the arms, straight and flexible in all his limbs, graceful of form, and peculiarly powerful in frame. His complexion was fair, his hair approaching red, but not exactly of the colour which is generally called so, and probably of the hue which we name auburn. No man, we are told, possessed more perfect symmetry, or more dignity of air and demeanour. He was famous for