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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 314



avenues of approach ; the orchards and gardens round the walls, which had been the delight and pride of the Alexandrians, were ruthlessly destroyed : fresh recruits poured in from all parts of Palestine, and the besieged began to suffer from all kinds of privation. Saladin sent messengers to his uncle, urging him to bring assistance. Shirkoh, too weak to send any, thought it best to make favourable terms while he could. Sending for his prisoner Hugh of Cassarea, he made proposals of peace. " Fortune," he said, " has not been favourable to me since I came into this country. Would to God I could see my way out of it ! You are noble, a friend of the king, and weighty in counsel ; be a mediator of peace between us. Say to the king, ' We are losing our time here ; it passes without bringing any profit to us, while there is plenty for us to do at home.' And why should the king lavish his strength upon these cowardly Egyptians, to whom he is trying to secure the riches of the country ? Let him have back all the prisoners whom I hold in irons ; let him raise the siege, and give me back my men who are in his hands, and I will go out of the country." Hugh took the message, and gave the advice that the Saracen wished. A council was held, and the terms were agreed to. The gates were thrown open, provisions taken in, and besiegers and besieged mingled on those friendly terms which were now common in the East. Saladin went to the camp of Amaury, who received him as a friend, and the Yizier Shawer entered into the city, and began the administration of justice ; that is to say, he hanged all those who were unlucky enough to be in power when Shirkoh.entered the city, and who had surrendered a place they had no means whatever of holding. Examples such as these, common enough in the Middle Ages, might have been expected to bring civic distinctions into disrepute. Ambition, however, was probably stronger than terror.


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