| Stories from the Crusades|
|by Janet Harvey Kelman|
|Brings the Crusades to life through stories of its most famous participants. Relates how Peter the Hermit leads the first crusade; three kings of Europe, King Richard the Lionhearted of England, King Philip of France, and the Emperor Frederick of Germany, join efforts in the third crusade; and King Louis of France launches the last crusade. Ages 9-12 |
HOW TANCRED FOUGHT UNDER THE BANNER OF THE CROSS
 While Peter led these wild lawless men to Byzantium,
the nobles who had vowed to fight in the Holy War were
preparing to lead out the armies of the first Crusade.
There were many brave knights ready to fight for
Jerusalem. One of the bravest was Godfrey, who came
from Germany. When he was at peace with those around
him, he had all the charm of winning manners and of
gentle voice, but in battle he was brave and dreadful,
and as strong as a raging lion. Once he had fought for
the Emperor of Germany against the Pope, and ever since
that time he had been very unhappy, because the
only thing he feared was the power of
the Church. He was delighted when he heard of the
preaching of Peter. To save
 Jerusalem seemed to him a splendid thing, and then he
thought that no harm would come to him because he had
fought against the Pope, if he should be able to win
the Holy City for Rome and for the Christian faith. Two
of his brothers joined him, and many other lords and
nobles came to set out with him for Jerusalem.
But all his followers were not men who had lived in
courts. There were many workmen and peasants, and some
wild men in shaggy clothes who came from the Scottish
shores, and who found their way to his camp by making
the sign of the cross with their fingers. Every one
knew what that meant, and pointed out the way to the
Another knight gathered an army in Italy. His name was
Bohemond. He was as brave and as clever as Godfrey, but
he was not like him in any other thing, except perhaps
that both men were tall and handsome. Bohemond wished
to win land for himself. Above all, he wanted the land
and the wealth of the Greek Emperor. When he heard of
 the Crusade, he thought that it would be easy for him
to find an excuse to seize the lands of Greece if he
could quarrel with the Emperor about the Crusade. But
he did not tell his soldiers that. Though he cared very
little about Jerusalem or about the wood of the Cross,
he could speak as stirringly about them as Peter had
done, and one day when he had spoken of these things to
his brother's army he tore his great red banner into
strips, and made crosses for all the soldiers who would
With Bohemond there rode his cousin Tancred, and
amongst them all there was none so faithful to him as
Tancred. This was wonderful, because Tancred was "a
very perfect gentle knight," and many of the things
Bohemond did must have been hateful to him.
When the Greek Emperor asked for help from Rome, he
wished the Pope to send men to fight under his banner
and to win battles
for him. He could make no use of the rabble that
had come to Byzantium with Peter.
 But when the real armies of the Crusade poured into the
fields around the city he was filled with fear. These
strong gay knights with the warriors who followed them
were far worse than useless to him. He knew something
of the bareness of the land that lay round their
castles, and of the rugged life that even the noblest
of them lived in their northern homes. And he was sure
that the rich plains of his country, and his cities
with their marble palaces would make many of the
knights wish to win them from him, and that they would
never be content to fight only for the freedom of the
It was no wonder that he was afraid. As the Crusaders
gazed up at the walls of Byzantium, it seemed to them
like an enchanted city. The fields and orchards around
it were richly laden with corn and fruit. The buildings
within it rose amongst bright and beautiful gardens,
higher and higher towards the gilded roof of the
palace, above which, three domes shone in the warm
sunshine. Not far off stood the Church of St. Sophia,
 and in it too were gold and gems. Ships lay on the
sparkling waters of the Golden Horn beyond the city,
and the sun shone brightly on the narrow sea that
lay between Europe and Asia.
When Bohemond and Tancred came to Byzantium, they found
that some of the armies that had already arrived were
side of the narrow sea and some were on the other.
Tancred was very eager to see all the armies on the
side away from Byzantium and towards Jerusalem, but he
found that the Emperor would not lend them ships in
which to cross the water, until all the leaders had
promised that they would make him the ruler over every
town that they won from the Moslems.
The knights were very angry. They had always kept for
themselves the cities they had fought for and won,
and they could not bear the thought of winning
Jerusalem only to give it up again. But the Emperor was
a crafty man. When he saw that he could make them
promise what he wished by
 fair means, he made up his mind that other ways might
succeed where these had failed. He took many of the
Crusaders over the narrow sea, for he was afraid of
having too many of them close to Byzantium. Then when
he had divided them from each other, he tried to win
He feasted the knights at his palace and made them
believe that he thought them great and noble people. He
really scorned them very much, because though they were
brave, they did not care about learning or art. But he
tried to hide from them the scorn that he and his
people felt for them. He spoke to Godfrey about the
grave where the body of Christ had lain, and about the
wood of the true Cross, till Godfrey really thought he
was a man who cared as much about Jerusalem as he
himself did, and said that he would think of him as his
Emperor. And that was what the crafty Greek wished, for
he cared nothing at all for the Holy City. But he did
not speak to Bohemond about Jerusalem! He led him
through the palace,
 and as they walked they passed an open door. Bohemond
looked in and started in surprise, for he saw that gems
and gold and silver were piled in disorder, while here
and there he saw the leg of a costly table or the back
of an inlaid chair.
"Ah," said Bohemond, "what victories he might win who
owns all this!"
"It is your own," a voice whispered to him.
said he could not take so great a treasure, but though
he said that, he was very glad indeed to get it, and at
night, all that had dazzled his eyes as he glanced
through the open door, lay in his own tent. He said, of
course, that he would do what the Emperor wished, but
though the Emperor was glad to have him say it, in
order that other knights might be more willing to say
so too, he knew very well that Bohemond would not keep
his promise a day longer than he wished to do so.
The Emperor wished all the knights to own his rule,
but there was one who would not. It was Tancred. He
 the silly round of pleasure in Byzantium. He scorned
both the gold and the flattering words of the Emperor.
One day a Greek nobleman spoke rudely to him, and
Tancred struck him in the public street. After that his
life was in danger. He took off his glittering armour,
put on the dress of a common soldier, and escaped
across the narrow sea to that part of the army that had
already gone over. But still the Emperor would not let
the others go without Tancred's promise. At last
Bohemond went to Tancred and said to him that he was to
blame, because he alone was keeping the army back and
standing in the way of the rescue of the Holy City by
refusing to serve the Emperor. Tancred still had faith
in his cousin, and when he pled with him he could not
say no. So he yielded; only he hoped that the Emperor
would soon break his promise to help the Crusaders so
that they might be free from their promise to him. Then
the Emperor lent his ships and hastened the Crusaders
on their way with
 gifts and promises, but he sent messengers to warn the
Saracens that they were coming to attack them. The
great army that marched into Asia knew nothing of that.
There were a hundred thousand horsemen, besides many,
many others. It is not possible to imagine the noise
they made. The heavy armour of the horses rattled and
clashed, and the clang of armour drowned the sound of
trampling. Often a peal of merry laughter rang out from
a group of village children, or from some gay lady who
had come with father or husband to share the danger and
the triumph of the Holy War. As they rode, the trumpets
sounded and the deep voices of the heralds shouted,
"Save the Holy Sepulchre!" The sunlight flashed from
bright weapons and from gay scarfs and banners.
They marched gladly on till the city of Nicæa rose
before them. Its walls were so broad and so strong that
horses could dash round on the top without doing any
harm. And three hundred towers guarded the
 city. On one side, the water of a lake washed close up
to the wall: on the other, mountains rose from it. The
black flag of the Turk waved every here and there on
the steep slope, and the tents of Moslem soldiers
clustered round each flag.
For seven weeks the Crusaders laid siege to the city.
During those days there was a great deal of fighting
with the Turks outside the wall. Tancred was always in
the thick of the battle, and ever where he was, the
army of the Holy Cross carried all before it, and the
enemy fled to their tents. But the city still held out,
and from its walls arrows and stones hurtled down with
deadly aim. There was one huge Moslem who never seemed
to miss his mark. He hurled stones and arrows and
javelins, and wherever they fell they brought death.
One day he grew so bold that he threw away his shield
and stood on the wall and scorned his foes beneath. A
hundred bows were stretched tight, a hundred arrows
whizzed through the air, but when they had
 all fallen to earth, he still stood there
unharmed. It seemed as if he bore a charmed life. But
he had insulted the armies of the Cross, and Godfrey
had heard him do it. A thrill went through the camp as
the German leader raised his bow and arrow. No other
arm was raised. Godfrey's arrow sped alone through the
air. A breathless moment passed. Then the body of the
giant fell forward from the wall, dead, shot through
the heart, into the moat below.
The knights could not understand how it was that the
people in Nicæa were not suffering from hunger. Those
who shot down the stones and the arrows looked strong
and well. Yet the armies had watched the gates night
and day for seven weeks. At last they found out that
when night fell and there was no moon, food was brought
to Nicæa across the lake and pulled up into the city.
At first it seemed as if nothing could be done to stop
this, but at last a plan was made. The lake stretched
away from Nicæa till only a strip of land lay between
it and the narrow
 sea. The Crusaders sent messengers to the Emperor and
asked him to give them ships and sledges. This he
gladly did, because he wished them to think that he
meant to help them in all their battles. Then in the
darkness when all was ready, a band of knights spurred
their horses to the narrow sea. They hoisted the ships
on to the sledges and dragged them over the sandy
ridge, and then launched the vessels in the lake. When
the daylight came and the Moslems looked out, they saw
their enemies' ships riding under the walls of their
city and knew that no help could come to them by land
The Crusaders were delighted. "Only a few more hours,"
they thought, "and Nicæa must be in our hands."
In a few more hours Nicæa had fallen, but the flag
that floated from its towers was the flag of Greece.
Every one was full of anger and surprise. The soldiers
gathered round the knights.
"What does it mean?" they asked.
But the knights could not tell them. By
 some means two Greek generals had entered Nicæa and
had made the people there believe that it would be much
better for them to yield to the Emperor than to the
armies from the North.
But though the Crusaders were very angry, they did not
stay to grieve that Nicæa was not their own. They were
glad, because they had subdued so strong a city. They
hastened on and broke into two bands that they might
more easily find food. But Turks on swift horses
watched them and rode back to tell their chief how
carelessly the Crusaders marched. The land was
beautiful and rich, and Bohemond gave the command to
halt by a river that flowed through a grassy plain
amongst clumps of trees. Everything seemed quiet and
peaceful. Tancred listened to the heralds as they
shouted three times over, "Save the Holy Sepulchre!"
and thought with joy that soon
there might be no need for the heralds' shout. But
another cry ran through the tents! "The enemy is on
us!" Ere men had time to arm,
 the clouds of dust beyond the river and the white
turbans and green vests that flashed through the dust,
proved to every man that the cry was true.
Arrows fell thick as rain. They glanced from the
chain-mail of the knights, but they entered the joints
of the horses' armour and made them frantic with pain.
The horns and drums and terrible yells of the Turks
maddened the horses still more. The Arab horses were
lighter and swifter than those of the knights. They
could dart away when the Crusaders attacked them and
rush in again to attack in return.
Tancred was nearly killed. He had seen his brother
fall. It may have made him reckless. Bohemond's sharp
eyes saw that he was in the midst of foemen and that
his lance was broken. He dashed across the river,
swooped down on the Turks with a terrific yell, and
bore Tancred safely away.
But while the Crusaders were fighting, another band of
Turks fell on the camp and took it. The knights could
not retake the
 camp and keep the foe at bay at the same time. They had
no thought of yielding, but they saw that many of their
followers were losing courage. Suddenly they heard a
shout of joy. Godfrey and his warriors were in sight.
The voices of the priests led the battle cry, "It is
the will of God! It is the will of God!"
The Turks were tired with the long fight. They could
not resist this new force. They were overcome, chased,
and slain. Their camp fell into the Crusaders' hands.
The knights found strange new weapons there, and many
camels and horses. They handled the curious Eastern
arms in wonder, and led the camels about in delight.
But a great danger was before them. A band of Turks had
escaped. They had not been able to conquer their foes,
but they could injure them still. They rode swiftly
forward and burned the towns and trampled the corn in
the fields along the roads by which the Crusaders would
have to go. They rode forward for five hundred miles,
 and behind them they left empty houses and barren
It was the hottest part of the year, and as the armies
marched through this wasted land, men and horses
dropped out of the ranks to die of thirst. So many
horses died, that the stores had to be carried by dogs
and by goats.
One day during this terrible time, some one noticed wet
sand on the paws of a dog. Then another was found with
wet sand on his coat. The excitement was terrible.
Every one searched for the footprints of the dogs that
they might find the water the dogs had found. At last
the tracks were seen, and thousands of weak and
thirst-stricken soldiers tottered up to the mountain
stream in which the dogs had bathed. But they drank so
wildly that three hundred of them died by the bank of
As the Crusaders rode south towards Jerusalem, they
overtook bands of Turks. Some of these Moslem warriors
went into the towns for shelter, and the knights often
followed them there and took away their weapons.
 One day Tancred led his followers into the town of
Tarsus and raised his flag to show that it belonged to
him, but just after he had done this, Baldwin, one of
Godfrey's brothers, rode up to Tancred and said that he
and his men must have half of the spoil of the city.
But the people of Tarsus were Christians, and Tancred
would not let his own knights take any of their wealth
from them, so he could not allow Baldwin to rob
them either. But Baldwin would not listen to him. He
forced his way into the town, tore down Tancred's
banner and flung it into a ditch.
Tancred was very angry, and so were his men. They loved
him and boasted of his brave deeds, and they were
enraged that any one should treat him so. They wished
to fight Baldwin at once and chase him from Tarsus. But
Tancred pled with them not to attack another Crusader.
He spoke of the Holy War and of Jerusalem, and led them
out from the town they had won and on to Malmistra. But
Baldwin did not find
 as much as he wished in Tarsus, and before long,
Tancred's soldiers saw the banners of the man they
hated beneath the walls of Malmistra. This time Tancred
yielded to his soldiers, and marched out against
Baldwin, but he had no heart to fight against one with
whom he had set out to save the Holy City, and next
morning the two knights met in friendship before their
men and vowed to forget the past.
Tancred had no more trouble from the greed and meanness
of Baldwin, for Godfrey's brother stole away in the
dead of night with a band of picked fighting men, left
the crusading army, and marched off to win an empire
At last, after months of weary marching, the Crusaders
stood on a spur of the rocky hills over which the last
part of their track had lain, and looked down on the
rich valley of the Orontes River. They saw vineyards
and cornfields on either side of the river, and shut in
between it and the mountains, they saw the town of
Antioch. It was a
 beautiful town and a very strong one, with a
great citadel that rose high above its walls.
It was called "The Queen of the East." Soon the
Crusaders had made their camp in the fair green valley.
The sun shone on white tents and flashing weapons, on
bucklers of gold and green and crimson, and on the gay
banners of the knights.
The men were weary with the long march and with the
hunger and thirst they had so often suffered. Instead
of closing round the city, they spread over the valley
and feasted. They dreamed of all that they meant to do
instead of doing anything.
It was autumn, and the weather was warm and sunny. The
vines were heavy with clusters of grapes. Cattle fed in
the pasture lands and corn grew in the fields.
Sometimes bands of Moslems from the city fell on the
Crusaders as they feasted. Then the knights mounted and
fought, and won great glory for themselves, but the
town was as safe as ever.
But when winter came and the camp
 was a marsh, they saw how foolish it was to kill all
the cattle and feast on corn and wine, and waste it,
when, if they had been careful, they might have had
more than enough for the wet days of winter, and might
even have been within Antioch.
Tancred and his men rode far and near to find food for
the army, and then he stood by in wrath when he saw
that the stores he had fought so hard to win were
wasted, as the fruit of the valley had been. Many men
grew hopeless, and tried to steal away from the army by
night. Tancred was always ready either to fight or to
help. One night as he watched by the camp, he saw two
figures clambering up the hillside. He thought he knew
one of them. He spurred his horse up the steep road
and caught them. One was a knight and the other was
Peter the Hermit! He had thought it would be so
simple to win the Holy City, and now the long waiting
and the carelessness of those around him had sapped all
his courage, and Peter had fled. But when Tancred
 brought him back, he vowed on the Gospels that he would
never leave the army again till Jerusalem was won.
At last the Crusaders did enter Antioch, but it was not
by the strength of their arms. Tancred's cousin,
Bohemond, made a plot with one of the tower-keepers of
the city. But when he told the knights of it, he said
that he would not lead them into Antioch unless they
would give it to him to be his own. At first they would
not agree to this. They did not like his stealthy
plans, and they did not wish him to be Lord of Antioch.
But soon they heard that a Moslem army was coming to
fight with them and to help Antioch, so they yielded.
The night on which they chose to enter was wild and
stormy. The knights and soldiers heard the wind rush
down the valleys. They saw tents and walls and towers
gleam out in the sudden lightning flashes and then sink
into utter darkness again. The tower-keeper lowered a
ladder, but every one shrank back from it. The
 Crusaders were warriors, not robbers, and the storm
made it seem as if uncanny powers of air were fighting
against their unsoldierly deed. Bohemond, however, was
not afraid to be mean. When he saw that no one else
would go, he led the way himself. Sixty knights
followed him. They opened the city gates, and soon the
crusading army rushed through the streets of Antioch.
But the citadel was so strong and so well defended that
the armies of the knights could not take it.
Bohemond led the way himself.
The foolish soldiers feasted on the food they found in
the city. They did not know that the Moslem armies were
at their gates till they saw the horses dashing through
the camp that they had left. In a few days the food
was done. The enemy was in the citadel and in the
valley. Many Crusaders tried to flee. The others called
them rope-dancers because they slipped from the city
wall on ropes. They were less afraid of the Turkish
army than of famine!
The soldiers lost all hope. They hid in churches and
houses. Bohemond burned
 down the buildings to force them out. But though the
fire drove them to their posts it could not give them
The knights were in despair. Tancred had promised never
to leave the army while he had sixty men to follow him,
but few were so brave as he was. The leaders gathered
to speak of what could be done to save Antioch and the
army from the Moslems. As they sat and talked, a monk
named Peter Bartholemy stood before them. He had come
so noiselessly that he startled them. He asked if he
might speak. Then he told them that he had three times
seen a vision of the apostle Andrew, and that he had
said to him:
"At Antioch, in the Church of my brother St. Peter, the
head of the lance that pierced the side of the Redeemer
is hid near the high altar. In three days it will be
shown to those who follow Him. Search, and ye shall
find. Bear it high in battle, and the sacred weapon
shall pierce the souls of the enemy."
 For two days every one fasted. It was not difficult to
fast in Antioch then. It was harder almost to eat the
tasteless fragments that were all that could be found.
On the third day men began to dig beside the altar in
St. Peter's Church.
Peter held a lance-head high in the air.
The diggers were weary, and those who watched them grew
faithless or scornful, for though the hole grew
deeper—six feet, nine feet, twelve feet—still no one
had heard the clink of the lance-head against the
spades. As evening fell, the monk Peter leapt barefoot
into the hole. His spade sounded with a dull thud
against the earth, but what was that? The digging
ceased. Every one started and leant forward awe-struck.
Peter clambered up and held a lance-head high in the
air. They wrapt it in cloth of gold and purple, and all
was stir in the army. The news of what had happened
passed like flame from place to place. Men who had
wished to die were eager and full of hope. The
Crusaders were so sure that they would win, that they
sent Peter the Hermit to the leader of the
 Moslems to offer to make peace with him. But he drove
Peter the Hermit from him, and said that they had only
to choose between slavery and death. He did not know
how the thought of the sacred lance had roused the
knights and their followers. When the trumpets sounded
the call to arms he would scarcely leave the game of
chess he was playing. It was no wonder that he scorned
the army that came out to meet him. Most of the horses
had died in Antioch. Knights rode from the city gates
on camels and on asses. The foot soldiers were in rags,
and some of them were lame. The Moslems had set fire to
great heaps of hay round the city walls, and the
famished army had to make its way through these. Hour
passed after hour. It seemed as if even the courage of
faith could not withstand the numbers of the Turks. But
just then three wondrous knights in white and shining
armour appeared. "The saints are coming to your aid."
"St. George!" "St. George!" The shouts rang through
the camp. The
Cru-  saders rushed wildly on. The Saracens broke and fled.
They were followed by Tancred and other brave knights
The armies feasted again and lingered at Antioch, while
the bolder knights longed and fretted to march for
After many delays the Crusaders at length saw the Holy
City rise in the distance. The sight of it brought out
all that was best in them. Quarrels were forgotten. The
Crusaders were not warriors now, they were pilgrims.
Horsemen and foot-soldiers threw down their weapons and
knelt on the rocky track. Many strong men wept as they
rose and went towards the city in joy and awe.
They knelt on the rocky track.
A band of Christians from Bethlehem came to meet them
and to plead with them not to forget the need of the
village where Christ was born in their eagerness to
rescue the town where He died. Tancred went with them,
and a band of brave men followed him. He surprised the
village at night, and the
 banner of the Cross waved over it in the morning
sunshine. Then he rode back to join the army that
marched towards Jerusalem. Before night fell again the
Crusaders were encamped before the Holy City. The
soldiers were as eager to attack the city as the
boldest of the knights. Although they had no engines
that were strong enough and high enough to throw stones
into the city, they tried to take it at once. They were
driven back. But they were not hopeless, as they had
often been before. They planned how they could best
attack it again. To the south and east of Jerusalem
the walls of the city rise from deep gorges. The
Crusaders could not hope to build engines that would
have power to shoot weapons and stones across these
chasms. So they pitched their tents only to the north
and to the west of the city, and laid siege to the
walls from St. Stephen's gate at the north-east corner
to the Tower of David at the south-west.
Then the knights looked for wood to
 make engines and platforms. They broke through the
bands of Saracens who guarded the roads, and brought
tools and food from ships that had come to Joppa, but
still they looked in vain for trees large enough to
make into battering rams and engines. One day Tancred
and his men saw some trees in the distance. They looked
large and strong, but he had so often hoped in vain to
find what he wished, that he would scarcely let himself
believe what his eyes saw. This time his hope was not
in vain. When he reached the trees, he found that they
were truly great forest trees, and though they were
thirty miles from Jerusalem, he and his men soon cut
down as many as were needed and dragged them to the
All this time the sun had blazed down on the crusading
army. In the heat and drought they dared not drink
because the Moslems had poisoned the wells. But nothing
could daunt their courage now, for the walls of the
Holy City rose before them. The whole army fasted for
three days. Then
 they marched round Jerusalem. Tancred and some other
knights lingered on Mount Olivet, and thought of what
had happened there hundreds of years ago. On the
mountain there they were standing at about the same
height as the walls of the city on the other side of
the valley, and as they stood, they saw the Moslems
mock them, by fixing crosses on the ramparts, and
flinging mud at them to show how much they scorned the
Christians and their worship.
As the knights came back to their camp the sun set and
the Moslem call for prayer rang out from the minarets
of the city. It was answered by the chant of the
Crusaders, "So shall they fear the name of the Lord
from the west, and His glory from the rising of the
During the night the great engines were drawn close to
the city wall. In the dim light of the morning, huge
stones were shot into the city and showers of arrows
fell within the walls.
 The Saracens used dreadful weapons. They poured boiling
oil on the Crusaders and set fire to their engines. The
knights poured vinegar on the blazing towers of their
engines to put out the flames, but soon they had
emptied out every drop they had. Then they had to watch
the platforms they had built with so much care fall in
blazing ruins and crush the men on whom they fell. The
battle raged all day. It opened again next morning, and
again the fire of the Saracens burned the towers of the
besiegers. It seemed as if the Crusaders must fail once
more. But Godfrey saw the glistening armour of a knight
on the mount of Olives. He shouted,
"It is St. George who has come again to help us."
The soldiers dashed once more to their engines. The
wind changed and blew the flames into the city. That
afternoon, Godfrey stood on the wall of Jerusalem. He
and the knights who were with him
 hastened to St. Stephen's Gate and flung it open.
"It is the will of God! It is the will of God,"
rang through the streets as the Moslems fled hither and
thither for shelter.
Tancred rushed into the city. He saw before him the
Mosque of Omar, and marked it for his own. When he
entered it he found three hundred Moslems who had taken
shelter there amongst the marble pillars. He promised
to spare their lives and gave them a banner to prove
that he meant to keep his word. But other Crusaders
thought it very wrong of Tancred not to kill every
Moslem, and, in spite of the banner, they slew all the
men whom he had promised to save. The joy of the taking
of Jerusalem was spoiled for Tancred. His honour had
been set at nought. Still he did not cease to serve the
cause he loved. He shared the treasure of the Mosque
with Godfrey and with many of the soldiers who had
fought with him. Then he gave what was
 over to build the Christian churches that lay in ruins.
The cross which had been thrown down and hidden was
found. The knights set it up again in the Church of the
Holy Sepulchre, and other thoughts than war and
bloodshed filled the minds of the Crusaders. Godfrey
flung aside his bloody sword and armour, clad himself
in a robe of pure white linen, and with bare head and
feet entered the ruined Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
He knelt on the pavement and kissed the stone of the
grave. One after another the knights followed him. Then
the crowd turned to Peter the Hermit. They forgot that
he had fled from Antioch. He was the hero of the day
again as he had been in the market-places of the north.
The knights wished to choose a king. The choice lay
between Tancred and Godfrey. But Tancred was a warrior;
he did not wish to rule. Godfrey stood alone. The only
thing that his servants could say against him was that
he lingered too
 long in church, and cared not though they waited for
him nor though his dinner grew cold.
Godfrey was chosen king, but when the crown was brought
he refused to wear it. He said that he would never be
crowned with gold where the Saviour of the world had
worn the crown of thorns. Nor would he take the title
of king. "Baron and Defender of the Holy Sepulchre," he
called himself. But others called him Godfrey I., King
After this the Crusaders left him. Many of them went
home to Europe; others scattered over the Holy Land.
Tancred, with three hundred knights and two thousand
foot soldiers, stayed to defend the new kingdom.
Godfrey reigned for less than a year. His death was a
great sorrow to those who loved Jerusalem. Tancred
lived for twelve years to fight the battles of the Holy
City. He ruled Antioch while Bohemond was in prison,
for he still was faithful to his cousin, though
 aims were low, his hopes selfish, and his heart cruel.
Tancred died in the strength of his manhood from a
battle wound. In that rough time he was one
"Than whom . . . is no nobler knight,
More mild in manner, fair in manly bloom,
Nor more sublimely daring in the fight."
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