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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 294



to get in at all, for the people drove them back, and in an incredibly short time, fortified the broken wall with great beams of timber ; and then, safe for a time behind their rampart, they tied ropes to the corpses of the knights, and dangled them up and down outside the Avail, to the in dignation of the Christians. After deliberation, confession, and a grand mass, a general assault was ordered, and for a whole day hand-to-hand fighting was carried on. And then the city yielded, and obtained fair terms. Provided they evacuated the town within three days, their lives .were to be spared. And at last, in delusive imitation of the glories which were never to return again to the Christian arms, the standard of the Cross floated from the towers of Ascalon, the " Bride of Syria." The unfortunate people, with their wives and children, made what haste they could to get ready, and in two days had all left their city, carrying with them all their portable goods. The king honourably kept his word with them, and gave them guides to conduct them to Egypt across the desert. All went well so long as their guides were with them. But these left them after a time, and gave them over to a certain Turk, who had been with them in Ascalon— " valiant in war, buta perverse man, and without loyalty "— on his promise to conduct them safely to Egypt. But on the way he and his men fell on them, robbed them of all their treasures, and went away—whither, history sayeth not —leaving them to wander helplessly up and down the desert. And so the poor creatures all perished. It is a pity that we cannot ascertain what became of the admirable Turk who knew so well how to seize an opportunity. During the siege of Ascalon, the Lady Constance of Antioch, whom the king had been anxious to see married for a long time, chose, to everybody's astonishment, a simple knight, one Benaud de Chatillon, as her husband. The king, anxious above all that a man should be at the head of Antioch. consented at once, and Benaud, of whom we


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