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Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions — Volume 2
They heard, and up they sprung upon the wing Innumerable. As when the potent rod Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day, Waved round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung Like night, and darken'd all the realm of Nile, So numberless were they.*** ******** All in a moment through the gloom were seen Ten thousand banners rise into the air, With orient colours waving. With them rose A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms Appear'd, and serried shields, in thick array, Of depth immeasurable. Paradise Lost. Every age has its peculiar follysome scheme, project, or phantasy into which it plunges, spurred on either by the love of gain, the necessity of excitement, or the mere force of imitation. Failing in these, it has some madness, to which it is goaded by political or religious causes, or both combined. Every one of these causes influenced the Crusades, and conspired to render them the most extraordinary instance upon record of the extent to which popular enthusiasm can be carried. History in her solemn page informs us, that the crusaders were but ignorant and savage men, that their motives were those of bigotry unmitigated, and that their pathway was one of blood and tears. Romance, on the other hand, dilates upon their piety and heroism and pourtrays in her most glowing and impassioned hues their virtue and magnanimity, the imperishable honour they acquired for themselves, and the great services they rendered to Christianity. In the following pages we shall ransack the stores of both, to discover the true spirit that animated the motley multitude who took up arms in the service of the Cross, leaving history to vouch for facts, but not disdaining the aid of contemporary poetry and romance to throw light upon feelings, motives, and opinions. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 713
Author: Mackay, Charles
Release Date: Nov 1, 1996
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