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RICHARD COEUR DE LION ASSAILED BY A TROOP OF TURKISH HORSEMEN.
WE find in the Chronica Maiora of Matthew Paris, a monk of St. Alban's Abbey in the thirteenth
century, the story of a Jew who had been doomed, for some insult offered to Christ, to live till the Second
Corning. He had heard the story from an Armenian bishop on a visit to England, who said that he had seen the
man and talked with him. One of his characteristics was that he was accustomed to tell stories of old times to
those who came to see him.
I have ventured to use the legend for the purpose of this book. Not intending to write a continuous narrative
of the Crusades, a task quite beyond my powers, I thought that I might please and even instruct my readers by
describing some of the more important events, that these descriptions might be linked together by being
attributed to one person, and that the "Wandering Jew" would be a convenient character for this purpose. I
have done my best not to put into his mouth anything wholly incongruous.
The Crusades which have been selected for detailed narrative are the First, the Third, and the Eighth. For the
First the authority is the History of William, Archbishop of Tyre, translated by Caxton. This
translation has been published in the Extra Series of the Early English Text Society. For the Third Crusade
there are abundant contemporary authorities, conveniently collected together in Mr. J. Archer's Crusade of
Richard I. published in Mr. Nutt's English History from Contemporary Writers. For the Eighth there
is De Joinville's History of St. Louis. De Joinville was a French noble, on terms of intimate
friendship with King Louis IX.
I am under special obligation to Mr. Archer's admirable volume.
IGHTHAM, August 25, 1904.