Fifty thousand children in France and Germany braving pater paternal authority, gathered together and pervaded both cities and countries, singing these words, ‘ Lord Jesus, restore to us your holy cross.’ When they were asked whither they were going, or what they intended to do, they replied, ‘we are going to Jerusalem to deliver the sepulchre of our Lord.’ A great portion of this juvenile militia crossed the Alps to em bark at the Italian ports, whilst those who came from the provinces of France directed their course to Marseilles. On the faith of a miraculous revelation they had been made to believe that this year (1213) the drought would be so great that the sun would dissipate all the waters of the sea, and thus an easy road for pilgrims would be opened across the bed of the Mediterranean. On the coasts of Syria many of these young crusaders lost themselves in forests, and wandering ing about at hazard perished with heat, hunger, thirst, and fatigue. Others returned to their homes ashamed of their imprudence, saying they did not really know why they had gone. Amongst those who had embarked, some were shipwrecked, or given up to the Saracens, against whom they had set out to fight.
Michaud’s History of the Crusades,Vol. II., p. 202