War with the Normans part 7

For he is not one of the common herd, but has been nurtured from childhood on wars and battles, he has travelled over the whole of the East and the West, and how many rebels he hunted down and brought back captive to the preceding emperors, you can learn yourself from many informants.

Therefore if you lose heart at all and do not march against him with firm resolve you will lose all that I personally have won by great effort, and you yourself will undoubtedly reap the fruits of your own laziness. And now I am leaving immediately to drive the King of Alamania out of our country and thus firmly establish my son Roger in the dominion I gave him.” After thus bidding his son farewell, Robert embarked on board a monoreme and reached the opposite coast of Lombardy, and from there hurried on to Salernum, which had formerly been appointed the residence for those who attained ducal rank.

Meanwhile the King of Alamania

He stayed there until he had collecte

Read more

War with the Normans part 6

But he persisted and made them written promises of gifts and honours, but even so they did not return. Whilst the Emperor was engaged in these preparations for an advance against Robert, a messenger came to tell Robert that the King of Alamania had all but arrived in Lombardy. Then Robert was in a dilemma and deliberated what would be the best thing to do.

After much reflection, as he had left Roger to be ruler over his Kingdom when he crossed to Illyria, but had not yet assigned any territory to his younger son, Bohemund, he assembled all the Counts and picked men among the soldiers, and summoning also his son, Bohemund, nicknamed Saniscus, he made a public harangue and said, ” You know, Counts, that when I settled to cross to Illyria I appointed my beloved first-begotten son Roger, ruler of my country.

King of Alamania

For I could not have started from there and undertaken a task of great magnitude if I had left my own country without a leader

Read more

War with the Normans part 5

By the advice of malicious persons of whom there were a number in the Government then, he grew still bolder towards the Emperors and egged on by his friends he even resorted to insults and untimely blasphemies. The Emperor besought him to change his opinion about the images and also to desist from the enmity towards him, he also promised to restore even finer vessels to the churches and to do all that was necessary to repair the loss. The Emperor himself was already acquitted of blame by the more liberal-minded of the senate whom the partisans of the Chalcedonian called “flatterers.” As a result of this behaviour, Leo was condemned to deposition from office.

As he did not knuckle under and did not keep quiet at all, but again disturbed the Church meeting, coming with a considerable crowd of followers, for he was absolutely irreconcilable and incorrigible, he was condemned by a unanimous vote after the lapse of some years and a sentenced exile was pronounced aga

Read more

War with the Normans part 4

Thereupon he began reciting the Canons about ” superfluous Church vessels ” and after saying a good deal about them, he concluded with the words, ” I am compelled to compel those whom I do not wish to compel.” And by putting forward various bold arguments he seemed likely to win over the majority. But Metaxas opposed him, advanced some very specious counter-arguments and even jeered at Isaac himself. But in spite of him, Isaac’s proposal was carried. This decision became the subject of a very grave scandal to the Emperors (for I do not hesitate to call Isaac ” emperor ” even though he did not wear the purple), which lasted not only for the moment but for a considerable time.

The head of the church of Chalcedon at this time was a certain Leo, not one of the especially wise or intellectual, but of very virtuous life, though his manners were rough and disagreeable. This man tore off the silver and gold ornaments on the doors of the ch

Read more

War with the Normans part 3

As he did not wish to do anything unworthy of, or inconsistent with, his own military knowledge and bravery, he focussed his attention on these two points – the first was to collect allies from all sides, who would easily be allured by the promise of heavy largess, and the second, to request his mother and brother to procure money somehow from somewhere, and send it to him.

II These two could not discover any other means of procuring money, so to begin with they collected whatever silver and gold articles they possessed and sent them to the imperial mint ; but first of all the Empress, my mother, deposited the sum that remained to her of her parents’ patrimony, hoping thereby to instigate others to do the same ; for she was extremely anxious for the Emperor, seeing the straits into which his affairs had fallen. Secondly, they took from the persons who were well-affected towards the imperial family, and had voluntarily offered to advance money, as much gold and

Read more

War with the Normans part 2

Both these men were clever at foreseeing everything, and in grasping the essentials’ and there was no strategic trick unknown to them; they were conversant with every kind of siege, ambuscade and regular battles in the open field, swift and brave in actual fighting, and of all the leaders in the world they were the adversaries most alike in intellect and courage.

The Emperor Alexius had, however, a slight advantage over Robert in that while younger he was no whit inferior to the other who was already in his prime, and used to boast that he could almost make the earth quake and throw a whole army into a panic by one single shout!

But these details can be left for a different kind of writing, and are sure to be mentioned by encomiasts. The Emperor Alexius allowed himself a short rest in Achrida, and after regaining his physical strength, went to Diabolis. Here he sought as far as possible to reinvigorate the survivors from their sufferings in the battle, and

Read more

War with the Normans part 1

War with the Normans (1082-83) (i-vii) : Alexius’ First Battle with Heretics – John Italus (viii-ix)

I And meanwhile Robert, entirely freed from anxiety, collected all the booty and the Imperial tent, and, with these trophies and with much exultation, settled down again in the plain which he had occupied before when besieging Dyrrachium. After a short rest he began to consider whether he ought to make another attempt on that city’s walls, or postpone the siege to the following spring and for the present invest Glabinitza and Joanina, and winter there, while lodging all his troops in the sequestered vales that lie above the plain of Dyrrachium.

But the inhabitants of Dyrrachium (the majority of whom were colonists from Amalfi and Venice, as already stated), on hearing of the Emperor’s misfortune, and the terrible carnage, and the death of so many valiant men and the departure of the fleet and Robert’s intention of renewing the siege

Read more

The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 7

It was then the close of the night, and Abou Hassan, awaking, and hearing the sounds of the lutes, and tambourines, and flutes, and the singing of the slave girls, cried out, O my mother! Whereupon the slave girls answered, At thy service, O Prince of the Faithful! And when he heard this, he exclaimed, There is no strength nor power but in God, the High, the Great! Come to my help this night; for this night is more unlucky than the former!

He reflected upon all that had happened to him with his mother, and how he had beaten her, and how he had been taken into the madhouse, and he saw the marks of the beating that he had suffered there. Then looking at the scene that surrounded him, he said, These are all of them of the Genii, in the shapes of human beings! I commit my affairs unto Allah!

And looking toward a mamlouk by his side, he said to him, Bite my ear, that I may know if I be asleep or awake. The mamlouk said, How shall I bite thine ear, when thou art the

Read more

The Story of Saidjah part 12

An old woman led him to her cottage. She would take care of the piteous fool. His laugh gradually became less horrible, but he still spoke no word. During the night the inmates of the hut were frightened by the sound of his voice. He sang out monotonously: “I don’t know where I shall die!”

Some of the natives collected a little money in order to offer a sacrifice to the crocodile of the Tji-Udjiung, in order to cure Saidjah, whom they thought insane. But he was not insane, for on a certain night when the moon was extraordinarily clear, he rose from his couch and quietly left the hut, and sought out the place where Adinda’s house had stood. It was not easy to find it, for many houses had fallen down. But he recognized the spot by looking at the rays of moonlight that filtered down through the trees, as sailors measure their positions by lighthouses and mountain-tops.

That was the spot. There had Adinda lived!

Stumbling over half-decayed bamboos a

Read more

The Story of Saidjah part 11

He would wait. …

But what if she were ill—dead?

Like a wounded stag he flew along the pathway toward the village. He saw nothing and heard nothing. Normally he would have heard, fiir there were men standing in the road at the entrance to the village, Who cried out, “Saidjah, Saidjah!”

Was it his eagerness, or what, that prevented his finding Adinda’s house? He had already run to the end of the village, and as if mad, he turned back, beating his head in despair to think that he had passed her house. But he soon found himself back at the entrance of the village, and—was it a dream! Again he had missed the house. Once more he flew back and suddenly stood still, and took his head in both hands to press out the madness that stunned him.

“Drunk, drunk!” he exclaimed. “I am drunk!”

The women of Badoer came out of their houses and saw with sorrow poor Saidjah standing there, for they knew that he had been looking for

Read more

The Story of Saidjah part 10

Saidjah had never learned to pray, and it would have been a pity to teach him: a more devout prayer and a more fervent expression of gratitude than his would have been impossible. He would not to go Badoer: actually to see her again was not so wonderful as to await her coming. He sat down at the foot of the Ketapan, and his eyes wandered over the landscape. Nature smiled at him, and seemed to welcome him like a mother.

Saidjah was overjoyed at seeing again so many spots that reminded him of his earlier life. Though his eyes and thoughts wandered, his longing always reverted to the path which leads from Badoer to the Ketapan tree. His senses were wholly alive to Adinda.

He saw the abyss to the left, where the earth was yellow, the spot where once a young buffalo had sunk down to the depths: they had all descended there with strong rattan cords, and Adinda’s father had been the bravest of the rescue party.

More fragile than Adinda

How Ad

Read more

The Story of Saidjah part 9

Who would now be living in her father’s house? Then he thought of his childhood, and his mother, and how the buffalo had saved him from the tiger, of what would have become of Adinda if the buffalo had not been so faithful. He watched the sinking of the stars, and as each disappeared, he calculated how much nearer he was to Adinda. For she would certainly come at the first beam—at daybreak she would be there. Why had she not come the day before?

He was hurt that she had not anticipated the supreme moment that had lighted his soul for three years with indescribable brightness; unjust as he was in his selfishness, it seemed to him that Adinda ought to have been waiting for him. He complained unjustly, for the sun had not yet risen. But the stars were growing pale, and strange colors floated over the mountain tops, which appeared darker as they contrasted sharply with places elsewhere illuminated.

Here and there something glowed in the east—arrows of gold and

Read more

The Story of Saidjah part 8

No, he had sublime visions in his mind’s eye. He looked for the Ketapan tree in the clouds when he was still far from Badoer. He caught at the air as if to embrace the form that was to meet him under the tree.

He pictured to himself the face of Adinda, her head, her shoulders, saw the heavy chignon, black and glossy, confined in a net, hanging down her back; her large eyes glistening in dark reflection, the nostrils raised so proudly as a child (was it possible?), when he had vexed her; and the corner of her lips, when she smiled; and finally, her breasts, now doubtless swelling under her shawl.

He could imagine her saying to him, “Welcome, Saidjah! I have thought of you as I was spinning and weaving and ‘ stamping the rice on the floor which shows three times twelve lines cut by my hand. And I am under the Ketapan the first day of the new moon. Welcome, Saidjah! I will be your wife.”

That was the music that resounded in his ears and preve

Read more

The Story of Saidjah part 7

He arrived at Batavia, and asked a certain gentleman to take him into his service, which the gentleman did, because Saidjah spoke no Malay—an advantage there, for servants who do not understand that language are not so corrupt as the others, who have been longer in touch with the Europeans. But Saidjah soon learned Malay, though he behaved well, for he always remembered the two buffaloes he was going to buy. He grew tall and strong, because he ate every day—not always the case at Badoer.

In the stable he was liked, and would certainly not have been rejected if he had asked the hand of the coachman’s daughter. His master liked him so much that he soon promoted him to be a house servant, increased his wages, and continually made him presents, to show how pleased he was.

Saidjah’s mistress had read Sue’s novel, so popular for a short while, and always thought of Prince Djalma when she saw Saidjah, and the young girls, too, understood better than before w

Read more

The Story of Saidjah part 6

Neither on the first nor the second day had he realized how lonely he was, because he was captivated by the grand idea of earning money enough to buy two buffaloes, whereas his lather had never had more than one, and was too excited over the prospect of seeing Adinda again to grieve over his departure. He had left her in anxious hope. The prospect of seeing her again so occupied his heart that on leaving Badoer and passing the tree, he felt something akin to joy, as if the thirty-six moons were already past.

It had seemed that he had only to turn round to see Adinda waiting for him. But the further he went, the more did he realize the length of the period before him. There was something in his soul, that made him walk more slowly—he felt an affliction in his knees, and though it was not dejection that overcame him it was a mournful sadness. He thought of returning, but what would Adinda think of his want of courage?

Recapture that calmness

Therefo

Read more