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“The wild-fire * balls shower'd thro' the midnight sky, "And often their huge engines cast among us "The dead and loathsome cattle of their camp, " As tho' our enemies, to most deadly league
Forcing the common air, would make us breathe “ Poisonous f pollution. Thro' the streets were seen “The frequent fire, and heaps of dead, in haste “ Piled up and steaming to infected Heaven.
* Drayton enumerates these among the English preparations for war :
“ The engineer provided the petard
“ To burn to ground their palaces and halls. And at the siege of Harfleur he says,
“Their brazen slings send in the wild-fire balls. Thus at the siege of Thin sur l'escault. « Ceulx de lost leur gectoient par leur engins chevaulx mors & autres bestes mortes et pnantes, pour les empuantir, dont ilz estoient la dedans en moult grant destresse. Car lair estoit fort et chault ainsi comme en plein este, et de ce furent plus contrains que de nulle autre chose. Si considerent finablement
“For ever the incessant storm of death
“ Pours down, and shrouded in unwholesome * yaults “ The wretched females hide, not idle there,
Wasting the hours in tears, but all employ'd, * Or to provide the hungry soldier's meal,
Or tear their garments to bind up his wounds : “ A sad equality of wretchedness!
entre eulx que celle messaise ilz ne pourroient longuement endurer ne souffrir, tant leur estoit la punaisie abhominable.”
Froissart 1 f. 38.
This was an evil which sometimes annoyed the besieging army. At Dan "
pour la puantise des bestes que lon tuoit en lost, et des chevaulx qui estoient mors, lair estoit tout corrumpu, dont moult de chevaliers et escuyers en estoient malades et merencolieux, et sey alloient les plusieurs, refreschir a Bruges et ailleurs pour eviter ce mauvais air."
Froissart 1. 175.
At Thin sur l' Escault, “ La fist le Duc charier grant foison dengins de Cambray et de Douay, et en y eut six moult grans, le Duc les fist lever devant la forteresse. Lesqlz engins gectoient nuyt et jour grosses pierres et mangonneaulx qui abatoient les combles et le hault des tours des chambres et des salles. Et en contraignoient les gens du Chastel par cest as
“Now came the worst of ills, for Famine came ! “ The provident hand deals out its scanty dole, "Yielding so little a supply to life “ As but protracted death. The loathliest food. “Hunted with eager eye, and dainty deemd ; “ The dog is slain, that at his master's feet " Howling with hunger lay; with jealous fear,
Hating a rival's look, the husband hides
And-horrible to tell !-where, thrown aside
sault tresdurement. Et si nosient les compaignons qui le gardoient demourer en chambres nen sales quilz eussent, mais en caves & en celiers."
Froissart 1. 38.
Scudery has a most ingenious idea of the effects of famine; during the blockade of Rome by the Goths; he makes the
" peaceful scenes of childhood ! pleasant fields “Haunts of mine infancy, where I have stray'd
Tracing the brook along its winding way, “Or pluck'd the primrose, or with giddy speed “ Chaced the gay butterfly from flower to flower! “O days in vain remember'd! how my soul “ Sick with calamity, and the sore ills “Of hunger, dwelt upon you! quiet home! “ Thinking of you amid the waste of war, " I could in bitterness have curs'd the Great " Who made me what I was ! a helpless one, Orphan'd, and wanting bread!
“ And be they curst," Conrade exclaim'd, his dark eye flashing rage;
inhabitants eat one another, and then eat themselves.
La rage se meslant à leurs douleurs extrêmes,
Alaric. Fuller expresses the want of food pithily. “ The siege grew long, and victuals short.”
" And be they curst! O groves and woodland shades, “ How blest indeed were you, if the iron rod “Should one day from Oppression's band be wrenched " By everlasting Justice ! come that hour “When in the Sun * the Angel of the Lord “Shall stand and cry to all the fowls of Heaven, “Gather ye to the supper of your God, That
ye may cat the flesh of mighty men, “Of Captains, and of Kings !” Then shall be peace.
“And now, lest all should perish,” she pursued,
Go forth, and seek their fate.
* And I saw an Angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, “ Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God : That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them.
Revelations, xix. 17, 18. The same idea occurs in Ezekiel, though not with equal