Imágenes de páginas

Bent forceful, and their death-fraught enginery
Discharged; nor did the Gallic archers cease
With well-directed shafts their loftier foes
To assail : behind the guardian * pavais fenced,
They at the battlements their arrows aim'd,
Showering an iron storm, whilst o'er the bayle,
The bayle now levell'd by victorious France,
Pass'd the bold troops with all their + mangonels;

down, and to make use of some of the ladders by which he had mounted ; and that descent exposed the soldier to very great danger."


* The pavaiz, or pavache, was a large shield, or rather a portable mantlet, capable of covering a man from head to foot, and probably of sufficient thickness to resist the missive weapons then in use. These were in sieges carried by servants, whose business it was to cover their masters with them, whilst they, with their bows and arrows, shot at the enemy on the ramparts. As this must have been a service of danger, it was that perhaps which made the office of Scutifer honourable. The pavais was rectangular at the bottom, but rounded offabove: it was sometimes supported by props.


† Mangonels is a term comprehending all the smaller engines.

Or I tortoises, beneath whose roofing safe,

The tortoise was a machine composed of very strong and solid timber work. The height of it to its highest beam, which sustained the roof, was twelve feet. The base was square, and each of its fronts twenty five feet. It was covered with a kind of quilted mattress made of raw hides, and prepared with different drugs to prevent its being set on fire by combustibles. This heavy machine was supported upon four wheels, or perhaps upon eight. It was called tortoise from its serving as a very strong covering and defence against the enormous weights thrown down on it; those under it being safe in the same manner as a tortoise under his shell. It was used both to fill up the fosse, and for sapping. It may not be improper to add, that it is believed, so enormous a weight could not be moved from place to place on wheels, and that it was pushed forward on rollers. Under these wheels or rollers, the way was laid with strong planks to facilitate its motion, and prevent its sinking into the ground, from whence it would have been very difficult to have removed it. The ancients have observed that the roof had a thicker covering, of hides, hurdles, sea-weed, &c. than the sides, as it was exposed to much greater shocks from the weights thrown upon it by the besieged. It had a door in front, which was drawn up by a chain as far as was necessary, and covered the soldiers at work in filling up the fosse with fascines.

Rollin. This is the tortoise of the ancients, but that of the middle ages differed from it in nothing material.

They, filling the deep moat, might for the towers
Make fit foundation, or their petraries,
War-wolfs, and beugles, and that murderous sling
The matafunda, whence the ponderous stone
Fled fierce, and made one wound of whom it struck,
Shattering the frame so that no pious hand
Gathering his mangled limbs might him convey
To where his fathers slept : * a dreadful train
Prepared by Salisbury over the sieged town
To hurl his ruin; but that dreadful train

* “ The besiegers having carried the bayle, brought up their machines and established themselves in the counterscarp, began under cover of their cats, sows, or tortoises, to drain the ditch, if a wet one, and also to fill it up with hurdles and fascines, and level it for the passage of their moveable towers.

Wirilst this was doing, the archers, attended by young men carrying shields, (pavoises) attempted with their arrows to drive the besieged from the towers and ramparts, being themselves covered by these portable mantlets. The garrison on their part essayed by the discharge of machines, cross and long bows, to keep the enemy at a distance.


Must hurl their ruin on the invaders heads,
Such retribution righteous Heaven decreed.

Nor lie the English trembling, for the fort
Was ably garrison'd. Glacidas, the Chief,
A gallant man, sped on from place to place
Cheering the brave; or if the archer's hand,
Palsied with fear, shot wide the.ill aim'd shaft,
Threatening the coward who betrayed himself,
He drove him from the ramparts. In his hand
The Chief a t cross-bow held; an engine dread

+ The cross-bow was for some time laid aside in obedience to a decree of the second Lateran Council held in 1139. “ Artem illam mortiferam et Deo odibilem ballistariorum adversus Christianos & Catholicos exercere de cætero sub anathemate prohibemus.” This weapon was again introduced into our armies by Richard I. who being slain with a Quarrel shot from one of them, at the siege of the Castle af Chaluz in Normandy, it was considered as a judgment from Heaven inflicted upon him for his impiety. Guilliaume le Breton relating the death of this King, puts the following into the mouth of Atropos :

Of such wide-wasting fury, that of yore
The assembled fathers of the Christian church
Pronounced that man accurs'd whose impious hand
Should point the murderous weapon. Such decrees
Befits the men of God to promulgate,
And with a warning voice, tho' haply vain,

cry aloud and spare not, woe to them Whose hands are full of blood !

An English King, The lion-hearted Richard, their decree First broke, and heavenly retribution doom'd His fall by the keen quarrel; since that day Frequent in fields of battle, and from far To many a good Knight, bearing his death wound From hands unknown. With such an instrument, Arm'd on the ramparts, Glacidas his eye

Hâc volo, non aliâ Richardum morte perire
Ut qui Francigenis ballistæ primitus usum
Tradidit, ipse, sui rem primitus experiatur,
Guemque alios docuit in se vim sentiat artis.


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