The Count of Blois is scolded by his wife for deserting the Crusade

May 1, 2014

Return of the Crusader, painted Karl Friedrich Lessing.

Return of the Crusader, painted Karl Friedrich Lessing.

The return of the Crusaders, and the account of their conquests, excited great enthusiasm, and renewed the eagerness for crusades and pilgrimages among the nations of the West. They were not now affected by the passion for delivering the holy places, but by that of visiting and defending them. Europe exhibited a second time the scenes which had followed the council of Clermont; new discourses were heard, and fresh miracles related. Cities, lands, and castles were again offered for sale. He who preferred repose and his country to the glory of the holy pilgrimage passed for a very lukewarm Christian; whilst all who had quitted the standard of the crusade were objects of contempt in the eyes of the faithful, and were threatened with the thunders of the Church.

Adela of Normandy also known as Adela of Blois and Adela of England.

Adela of Normandy also known as Adela of Blois and Adela of England.

A general cry was raised against the brother of the king of France, who could not be pardoned for having abandoned the Christian army in a cowardly manner, and returned to Europe without seeing Jerusalem. Stephen, count of Chartres and Blois, was not allowed to remain in peace in his states and family; his people were astonished at his shameful desertion, and his wife Adela reproached him with having shrunk from the duties of religion and chivalry.

These unfortunate princes, and all who had deserted the standards of the holy war, were obliged to quit France, and again take the route for Asia.

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Joseph François Michaud, The History of the Crusades, trans. W. Robson (New York: A. C. Armstrong & Son,n.d.), 248-9.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 381

 

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