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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.
Page 133. line 167. A 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. Whilst 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. Grose.
Page 134. line 178. He bore an arbalist himself,
A weapon for its sure destructiveness
Abominated once. 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 et catholicos exercere de cætero sub anathemate prohibe.
This weapon was again introduced into our armies by Richard I., who being slain with a quarrel shot from them, at the siege of the castle of Chaluz in Normandy, it was considered as a judgement from heaven inflicted upon him for his impiety. Guillaume le Breton relating the death of this king, puts the following into the mouth of Atropos :
Hâc volo, non aliâ Richardum morte perire,
Page 134. line 198. Who kneeling by the trebuchet,
Charged its long sling with death. From the trebuchet they discharged many stones at once by a sling. It acted by means of a great weight fastened to the short arm of a lever, which being let fall, raised the end of the long arm with a great velocity. A man is represented kneeling to load one of these in an ivory carving, supposed to be of the age of Edward II. Grose,
Page 135. line 202, He in the groove the feather'd quarrel
placed. Quarrels, or carreaux, were so called from their heads, which were square pyramids of iron.
Page 136. line 244.
some the watery fence –
Drain painful. The tortoises, &c. and moveable towers having reached the walls, the besiegers under them either began to mine, or batter them with the ram. They also established batteries of balistas and mangonels on the counterscarp. These were opposed by those of the enemy.
Page 136. line 249.
Or charging with huge stones the mur
Page 136. line 250. or in the espringal
Fix the brass-winged arrows. The espringal threw large darts called muchette, sometimes winged with brass instead of feathers. Procopius says that because feathers could not be put to the large darts discharged from the balista, the ancients used pieces of wood six inches thick, which had the same effect.
Page 136. line 259. · A ponderous stone from some huge
martinet. Le lendemain vindrent deux maistres engingneurs au duc de Normandie, qui dirent que, si on leur vouloit livrer boys et ouvriers, ilz feroient quatre eschauffaulx et haulx que on meneroit aux murs du chastel, et seroient si haulz q'lz surmonteroient les
Le duc commanda q’lz le feissent, et fist prendre tous les charpentiers du pays, et payer largement. Si furent faitz ces quatre eschauffaulx en quatre grosses nefz, mais on y mist longuement et cousterent grans deniers. Si y fist on les gens entrer q'a ceulx du chastel devoient combattre. Quant ilz eurent passe la moitie de la riviere, ceulx du chastel desclinquerent quatre martinetz q'lz avoient faitz nouvellement pour remedier contre lesditz eschauffault. Ces quatre martinetz gettoient si grosses pierres et si souvent sur ses eschauffaulx q'lz furent bien tost froissez tant que les gensdarmes et ceulx que les conduisoient ne se peurent dedans garantir.
Si se retirerent arriere le plus tost quilz peurent. Et ainçois q'lz fussent oultre la riviere lung des eschauffaulx fut enfondre au fons de leaue. — Froissart. I. ff. 82.
Page 137. line 274.--A moving tower the men of Orleans wheel.
The following extract from the History of Edward III. by Joshua Barnes contains a full account of these moving towers. “ Now the earl of Darby had layn before Reule more than nine weeks, in which time he had made two vast belfroys or bastilles of massy timber, with three stages or floors; each of the belfroys running on four huge wheels, bound about with thick hoops of iron ; and the sides and other parts that any ways respected the town were covered with raw hides, thick laid, to defend the engines from fire and shot. In every one of these stages were placed an hundred archers, and between the two bastilles, there were two hundred men with pick-axes and mattocks. From these six stages six hundred archers shot so fiercely all together, that no man could appear at his defence without a sufficient punishment : so that the belfroys being brought upon wheels by the strength of men over a part of the
ditch, which was purposely made plain and level by the faggots and earth and stones cast upon them, the two hundred pioneers plyed their work so well under the protection of these engines, that they made a considerable breach through the walls of the town.”
Page 137. line 278. Archers, through the opening, shot their
shafts. The archers and cross-bowmen from the upper stories in the moveable towers essayed to drive away the garrison from the parapets, and on a proper opportunity to let fall a bridge, by that means to enter the town. In the bottom story was often a large ram. Grose.
Page 137. line 294. And from the arbalist the fire-tipt dart
Shot burning through the sky. Against the moveable tower there were many modes of defence. The chief was to break up the ground over which it was to pass, or by undermining it to overthrow it. Attempts were likewise made to set it on fire, to prevent which it was covered with raw hides, or coated over with alum. - Grose.
Page 138. line 313. On the ramparts lowered from above
The bridge reclines. These bridges are described by Rollin in the account of the moving towers which he gives from Vegetius : “ The moving towers are made of an assemblage of beams and strong planks, not unlike a house. To secure them against the fires thrown by the besieged, they are covered with raw hides, or with pieces of cloth made of hair. Their height is in proportion to their base. They are sometimes thirty feet square, and sometimes forty or fifty. They are higher than the walls or even towers of the city. They are supported upon several wheels according to mechanic principles, by the means of which the machine is easily made to move, how great soever it may be. The town is in great danger if this tower can approach the
walls; for it has stairs from one story to another, and includes different methods of attack. At bottom it has a ram to batter the wall, and on the middle story a draw-bridge, made of two beams with rails of basket-work, which lets down easily upon the wall of a city, when within the reach of it. The besiegers pass upon this bridge, to make themselves masters of the wall. Upon the higher stories are soldiers armed with partisans and missive weapons, who keep a perpetual discharge upon the works. When affairs are in this posture, a place seldom held out long. For what can they hope who have nothing to confide in but the height of their ramparts, when they see others suddenly appear which command them ? ”
The towers or belfreys of modern times rarely exceeded three or four stages or stories.
Page 140. line 74. - The brass-wing', darts
Whirl as they pierce the victim. These darts were called viretons, from their whirling about in the air.
Page 141. line 396. Corineus. 6 And here, with leave bespoken to recite a grand fable, though dignified by our best poets, while Brutus on a certain festival day, solemnly kept on that shore where he first landed, was with the people in great jollity and mirth, a crew of these savages breaking in among them, began on the sudden another sort of game than at such a meeting was expected. length by many hands overcome, Goemagog the hugest, in height twelve cubits, is reserved alive, that with him Corineus who desired nothing more, might try his strength; whom in a wrestle the giant catching aloft, with a terrible hugg broke three of his ribs : nevertheless Corineus enraged heaving him up by main force, and on his shoulders bearing him to the next high rock, threw him headlong all shattered into the sea, and left his name on the cliff, called ever since Langoemagog, which is to say, the giant's leap.” — Milton's Hist. of England.