That we often put this powder into large hollow balls of iron, and discharged them by an engine into some city we were besieging, which would rip up the pavements, tear the houses to pieces, burst and throw splinters on every side, dashing out the brains of all who came near.
There are no more uses of "besiege" in the book.
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The Turks besieged Vienna
Helicopters dropped food and medicine into the besieged city.