THE STORY OF THE THIRD CRUSADE
A goodly golden chain wherewith yfere
The virtues linked are in lovely wise
And noble minds of yore allyed were
In brave pursuit of chivalrous emprise.
SPENSER: Faery Queene.
HE news of the fate of Jerusalem moved
Western Europe to such horror and dismay
as had never before been known. Everywhere
signs of mourning were seen; a general fast was ordered,
a fast which was kept to some extent, at least, by some
pious souls, until the Holy City was recovered; and
Pope Clement III. set himself to act the part of a St
Bernard by stirring the hearts of princes to take up the
Cross in a Third Crusade.
Of this Crusade it seemed at first as though the famous
Emperor Frederick Barbarossa was to be the leader,
though Philip of France and Henry II. of England were
not long behind him in accepting the Cross.
In both France and England, too, the "Saladin-tax "
became the custom—each man paying a tithe, or tenth
part of his income, for the maintenance of the expedition.
Everywhere the enthusiasm was so great, that it was only
necessary for a preacher to announce the Crusade as his
text to secure a vast and eager audience. It mattered
 nothing that his hearers did not even understand the
language in which he spoke—all alike were stirred to do
their part to win back what the First Crusaders, those
heroes of romance, had fought for and won.
But Henry of England was too fully occupied with the
treason of his sons in his old age to do more than make
promises of help, and at his death, it was one of the latter,
the famous Richard Lion-Heart, who became the leader
of the English Crusade, and finally of the whole
undertaking. The Emperor Frederick, however, would not
wait for him, nor for the French king, but hurried off
on his toilsome journey at an age when most men would
be hoping for a period of fireside case and rest before the
last long journey of all.
As usual the promises of the Greek Emperor, Isaac,
were not to be trusted, but the great army of Frederick
Barbarossa struck such terror into the hearts of Greek
and Turk alike, that he was able to.move forward into
Cilicia with little hindrance. But there, when bathing
his heated limbs in a little river among the hills, that
mighty Emperor, who had built up a famous Empire of
the West, perished and "came to a pitiful end."
The German host lost heart without their leader; many
died through famine, and of the remainder a small part
reached Antioch and placed themselves under the
command of its prince, the rest going on to Tripoli.
Meantime those two ill-assorted leaders, Richard of
England and Philip of France, had started on their way
to the East. It was clearly hopeless from the first that
they would work together, for, while Richard was proud,
passionate, and irritable to a degree, Philip was cold
and crafty, and while Richard would eagerly make
amends for an injury done, and as readily forgive one
 done to him, Philip prided himself on never overlooking
an affront. It was the quarrel of these leaders, rather
than the superiority of the armies of Islam, that made
the Third Crusade, as far as the taking of Jerusalem
was concerned, a complete failure.
They started, however, in apparent friendliness, and,
with many pledges of devotion, travelled together by a
new route by way of Marseilles. From thence Philip
hurried on to Messina, in Sicily, but Richard's Crusaders
had deviated into Portugal to give help against the
Moors, and their impatient king set off alone in a small
ship, coasting along the shores of Italy, until his fleet
had caught him up, when he proceeded in great state to
join Philip at Messina.
The Crusaders stayed in Sicily for six months, by
no means in the character of friendly guests. Tancred,
king of the island, had forced Joanna, the sister of
Richard, to become his wife; and she appealed to her
brother against him. The latter promptly took up
her cause, but, with an eye to his own profit, offered to
give her up if Tancred would grant him a chair and table
of solid gold which formed part of her dowry. On
Tancred's refusal, Richard at once attacked and took
Messina, which was only recovered by Tancred on
payment of forty thousand ounces of gold.
On the same March day that Philip at length sailed
for the Holy Land, Richard was betrothed to the
beautiful Berengaria of Navarre, and some ten days later
set off with her and his sister for the same destination.
But within two days a furious storm arose, which threw
two of his ships upon the coast of Cyprus.
Says Richard of Devizes, "Almost all the men of both
ships got away alive to land, many of whom the hostile
 Cypriote slew, some they took captive, some, taking
refuge in a certain church, were besieged. The prince
also of that island coming up, received for his share
the gold and the arms; and he caused the shore to be
guarded by all the armed force he could summon
together, that he might not permit the fleet that followed
to approach, lest the King should take again what had
been thus stolen from him. . . . But God so willed that
the cursed people should receive the reward of their evil
deeds by the hand of one who would not spare. The
third English ship, in which were the women, rode out at
sea and watched all things, to report the misfortune to
the king. A full report reached the King, who
obtaining no satisfaction from the lord of the island, came in
arms to the port. The King leaped first from his galley
and gave the first blow in the war, but before he could
strike a second, he had three thousand of his followers
with him striking away by his side. . . . The Cypriotes
are vanquished, the city is taken, and the lord of the
island is himself taken and brought to the King. He
supplicates and obtains pardon; he offers homage to
the King, and it is received; and he swears, though
unasked, that henceforth he will hold the island of him
as his liege lord, and will open all the castles of the
land to him."
That same night, while Isaac of Cyprus was plotting
how to get rid of his new-made bonds, Guy of Lusignan,
the King of Jerusalem, who had been released by Saladin
on condition that he went into exile, landed on the
island to bring greeting to Richard. On the next day
the faithless Isaac fled. "The kings pursue him, the
one by land, the other by water, and he is besieged in
the castle. Its walls are cast down by engines hurling
 huge stones; he, being overcome, promises to surrender
if only he might not be put into iron fetters.
"The King consented to the prayers of the supplicant,
and caused silver shackles to be made for him. The
prince of the pirates being thus taken, the King traversed
the whole island; and the whole land was subjected to
hire, just like England."
Before he left his new domain, Richard was married
to Berengaria, his betrothed, and set off with her to the
Holy Land, accompanied by Guy of Lusignan. Their
destination was Acre, which, ever since Guy had been
convinced by the clergy that his oath to Saladin was of
no binding nature, had been besieged by him. When
Richard arrived, this siege had already lasted nearly
two years, and to a more cautious eye the cause of Guy
of Lusignan would have appeared by no means hopeful.
But there were other motives at work. Conrad of Tyre
had flatly refused to admit Guy to his own city, now the
only Christian stronghold in Palestine, on the plea that
God had appointed him its ruler and that he meant to
remain so. This laid the foundation of a fine feud
between the two princes; and the fact that Philip of
France had taken up the cause of Conrad was sufficient
reason for Richard to ally himself with his rival.
"So," says Richard of Devizes, "King Richard came
to the siege of Acre, and was welcomed by the besiegers
with as great joy as if it had been Christ that had come
again on earth to restore the kingdom of Israel. The
king of the French had arrived at Acre first, and was very
highly esteemed by the natives; but on Richard's
arrival he became obscured and without consideration,
just as the moon is wont to relinguish her lustre at the
rising of the sun."
 In further explanation of this, he tells us how a certain
Henry, Count of Champagne, who had now used up the
whole of his store of provision and money, came to his
king, Philip of France, for relief. The latter, trying to
take a mean advantage, offered him a large sum if he
would give up his rights over Champagne; to which the
Count replied, "I have done what I could and what I
ought; now I shall do what I am compelled by necessity.
I desired to fight for my king, but he would not accept
of me unless I gave up what is mine own; I will go to
him who will accept me, and who is more ready to give
than to receive."
Richard received him with the utmost kindness and
liberality, and his men, "at the report of so great a
largess, took King Richard to be their general and lord;
the Franks only who had followed their lord remained
with their poor king of the French."
This did not endear Richard any the more to Philip,
but for a while these private grudges were forgotten in
the assault upon the walls of Tyre.
"The King of the English, unused to delay," says
Richard of Devizes, "on the third day of his arrival at
the siege, caused his wooden fortress, which he had called
'Mate Grifon,' where it was made in Sicily, to be built
and set up; and before the dawn of the fourth day the
machine stood erect by the walls of Acre, and from its
height looked down upon the city lying beneath it, and
there were thereon by sunrise archers casting missiles
without intermission upon the Turks."
While the Kings of England and France were thus
engaged, Conrad and Guy were once again at variance.
With Philip's promise of support at his back, Conrad
now returned to Tyre and took no further part in the
 siege. The sultry heat of the plain then struck down
both Philip and Richard for awhile, but the recovery
of the former led to an assault which showed the
Saracens they had little hope of holding out, and
Richard, determined not to be outdone, struggled back
to the walls from his sick-bed, and struck them another
heavy blow. Four days later a long procession of the
citizens filed out from the gates, bearing a flag of truce
and offering to surrender the city. Richard was for
"letting the vanquished pay their heads for the ransom
of their bodies," but Philip, more politic as well as more
thrifty, held out for a ransom of two hundred pieces of
gold, the restoration of the True Cross which Saladin
had seized at the Battle of Tiberias, and the release of all
So the two years' siege came to an end, but not without
a deed which blackens the name of Richard and Philip
for all time.
Saladin had delayed to furnish the ransom or to give
up the relies of the Cross; whereupon the King, who
was in name the follower of Him who taught His people
to love their enemies, had two thousand seven hundred
prisoners led to the top of a hill from which all that went
on could be seen in Saladin's camp; and there, at a
given signal, all these innocent followers of Mohammed
were cut down in cold blood. Almost at the same time,
by the orders of Philip, nearly as many victims suffered
on the walls of the city itself.
The taking of Acre was the signal for a violent quarrel
between Richard, Philip, and Leopold, Duke of Austria.
RICHARD AND PHILIP AT THE SIEGE OF ACRE
Richard Devizes tells the story thus. " The Duke
of Austria, who was also one of the ancient besiegers
of Acre, followed the King of the English as though he
 would share in the possession of his portion; and because
his standard was borne before him, he was thought to
take to himself a part of the triumph. If not by the
command, at least with the consent of the offended King,
the duke's standard was cast down in the dirt, and to his
reproach and ridicule, trampled under foot. The duke,
though grievously enraged against the King, concealed
his wrath for a time, and betook himself that night to his
tent, which was set up again, and afterwards as soon as
he could, returned, full of anger, to his own country."
Heedless of the fact that "this quarrel might drink
blood another day," Richard next came into serious
collision with Philip of France.
"A certain Conrad, Marquis of Montferrat, a smooth-
faced man, had held Tyre, which he had seized on many
years ago, to whom the King of the French sold all his
captives alive, and promised the crown of the kingdom
of Jerusalem, which was not yet conquered. But the
King of the English withstood him, Philip, to the face."
"It is not proper," said he, "for a man of your
reputation to bestow or promise what is not yet obtained;
and further, if the course of your journey be Christ, when
you have at length taken Jerusalem from the hand of the
enemy, you will, without delay or condition, restore the
kingdom to Guy, the lawful King of Jerusalem. For
the rest, if you recollect, you did not obtain Acre alone,
so that neither should that which is the property of two
be dealt out by one hand."
"Oh, oh!" comments quaint Richard of Devizes,
"how pure for a godly throat! The marquis, bereft
of his blissful hope, returns to Tyre, and the King of the
French, who had greatly desired to strengthen himself
against his envied ally by means of the marquis, now
 fell off daily, and this added to the continual irritation of
his mind-that even the scullion of the King of the
English fared more sumptuously than the cupbearer of
the French. After some time, letters were forged in
the tent of the King of the French, by which, as if they
had been sent by his nobles out of France, the King was
recalled to his own country."
And so Philip of France, amid oaths and protestations
of faith to Richard, sailed for Europe. "How faithfully
he kept his oath the whole world knows. For directly
he reached home, he stirred up the whole land and threw
Normandy into confusion. What need for further
words! Amid the curses of all, he departed, leaving his
army at Acre."