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CHARLES G. ADDISON, ESQ. The history of the Knights Templars, Temple Church, and the Temple

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CHARLES G. ADDISON, ESQ.
The history of the Knights Templars, Temple Church, and the Temple
page 65



52 THE KTilOIITS TEMPLARS. Ρ BmTiiAiiD D« and prospects of the Holy Land ; the increasing power ani ''"o?1™!?" boldness of the infidels ; and the ruin and desolation caused by a dreadful earthquake, which had overthrown numerous castles, prostrated the walls and defences of several towns, and swallowed tip the dwellings of the inhabitants. " The persecutors of the church," says he, " hasten to avail themselves of our misfortunes ; they gather themselves together from the ends of the earth, and come forth as one man against the sanctuary of God."* It was during his mastership, that Geoffrey, the Knight Templar, and Hugh of Cœsarea, were sent on an embassy into Egypt, and had an interview with the Caliph. They were introduced into the palace of the Fatimites through a series of gloomy passages and glittering porticos, amid the warbling of birds and the murmur of fountains ; the scene was enriched by a display of costly furniture and rare animals ; and the long order of unfolding doors was guarded by black soldiers and domestic eunuchs. The sanctuary of the presence chamber was veiled with a curtain, end the vizier who conducted the ambassadors laid aside his scimetar, and prostrated himself three times on the ground ; the veil was then removed, and they saw the Commander of the Faithful.f Brother Bertrand de Blanquefort, in his letters to the king of France, gives an account of the military operations undertaken by the Order of Temple in Egypt, and of the capture of the populous and important city of Belbcis, the ancient Pelusium.J During the absence of the Master with the greater part of the fraternity on that expedition, the sultan Noureddin invaded Palestine; he defeated with terrible slaughter the serving brethren " Gesta Dei, inter rcgum et principum epistola*, torn* Î. p. 1173, 6, 7. /fist. Franc. Script, torn. iv. p. 692, 693. f Hist, de S&ladin, par M. Marin, tnm. i. p. 120,1. Gibbon, cap, 59. % netta licit épiât, xjv. p. 1178, fl. ^s


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