A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 97 of 493
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78 A HISTORY OF VERONA
the suburbs. Eventually they decided not to do so, whereupon
the inhabitants received them with open arms. Early on the
following morning the Legate ordered a general assault to be
made on the city, hoping to storm it without much difficulty.
Ansedisio, however, was prepared for the attack, and under his
guidance the garrison fought with dogged fury. The battle
raged all day, and at one time it seemed as though the invaders
would be beaten off. But towards evening some of the
clergy, who had taken an exceedingly active part in the fighting,
suggested the construction of a " tortoise," and by this device
the walls were scaled close to the Porta di Ponte Altinate,
on the east side of the city. No sooner had the enemy entered
than Ansedisio fled out of the western gate, knowing well that
the populace lusted for his blood, and with his flight all attempt
at resistance ended.
The citizens hailed the Legate with joy as a deliverer.
Their first act was to rush to the dungeons, break them open,
and drag the prisoners out. It was a pitiable sight. Men and
women alike were worn to skin and bone, covered with vermin
and other filth, unable, after the long darkness, to endure the
light of heaven. They were tended with the utmost care, but
the majority died in a few days. Meanwhile the soldiers
roamed through the city. There was little or no bloodshed,
for the crusaders had come as friends, but the Legate made no
effort to stop plundering, and for eight days the troops pillaged
as they pleased. At the end of that time, the city, which had
been one of the most prosperous in the Mark, was ruined.
Ezzelino, on hearing of the continued advance of the enemy,
had at last resolved to leave Mantuan territory, and had reached
the Mincio on his way to relieve Padua, when news arrived of
the loss of the city. His wrath was indescribable. Determined
to conceal the ill-tidings as long as possible, he hung the messenger
who had brought the news, and hurried his troops on
to Verona, doing two days' march in one. At Verona the
disaster could no longer be kept secret. The consternation
and dismay were universal. Those who had relatives in Padua
lamented their misfortunes, all unaware of the terrible fate
about to overwhelm themselves For Ezzelino, unable to
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Allen, A. M. A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps., book, 1910; New York. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1025/m1/97/: accessed March 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .