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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 289



strengthen the power of the Christians, while to conquer new lands was to increase their weakness and multiply the hatred and thirst of revenge of their enemies. And with that want of foresight which always distinguished the Crusaders, they followed up their resolution by immediate action, and started on their new enterprise with the eagerness of children, in spite of a burning July sun. The King of Jerusalem marched first, because his'men knew the roads. Next came King Louis, with his French, and lastly, the Germans, under Conrad. On the west side of Damascus lay its famous gardens, and it was determined first to attack the city from this side. The paths were narrow, and behind the bushes were men armed with spears, which they poked through at the invaders as they passed. The brick walls which hedged in the gardens were perforated, with a similar object. There was thus a considerable amount of fighting to be done in dislodging these hidden enemies before the Christians managed to make themselves masters of the position, It was done at last, all the^ leaders having performed the usual prodigies of strength and valour—Conrad himself cut a gigantic Saracen right through the body, so that his head, neck, shoulder, and left arm fell off together, a clean sweep indeed—and the Damascenes gave themselves up for lost. And then happened a very singular and inexplicable circumstance. The Christians deliberately abandoned a position which had cost them so much to win, and resolved to cross over the river to the other side, where they were persuaded that the attack would be much easier. They went across. They found themselves without water, without provisions, and in a far worse position for the siege than before. The Damascenes received reinforcements, closed up the approaches to the gardens, and quietly waited the course of events. There was nothing left but to retreat; and the Christians, breaking up their camp in the middle of the night,


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