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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 316



Crusaders. They, too, longed for the shady gardens, the fountains, the sweet scent of roses—and the houris of the world with whom the happy Turks anticipated the joys of heaven. Many of them, in their castles far away in the country, imitated, so far as they were able, the customs of their enemies ; notably young Jocelyn of Edessa. Some of them became renegades, and going over to the Saracens, got riches, and therefore luxury, at the point of the sword. All of them—except perhaps the Templars and Hospitallers, who might do so in secret—openly maintained friendly relations with the Mohammedans, and partook freely of their hospitality. And now Amaury was guilty of an act of perfidy which brought about, or rather accelerated, the final fall of the Christian kingdom. Tormented by his own ambitious designs, and the thought of that rich Empire of Egypt, which seemed to wait for the first hand strong enough to seize it—without waiting for the Greek Emperor, perhaps, however, acting in secret concert with him—he declared that • Shawer had been sending secret messages to Nûr-ed-din, and had thereby infringed the treaty of alliance. For this reason, as he alleged, he proclaimed war against Egypt, and led his army against Pelusium. One voice only was raised against the enterprise. Cruel, ambitious, avaricious, and haughty as the Templars were, they were never capable of deliberately breaking their word. The Grand Master of the Order, Bertrand de Blanquefort, spoke loudly against the expedition. He, for one, would not allow his knights to join an army which set out to carry war into a kingdom friendly to their own, bound by acts of solemn treaty, which had committed no offence, which had continued loyal and true to its engagements. The Templars remained behind at Jerusalem. The Hospitallers went with Amaury and his host, one of the finest armies that the kingdom had ever produced. They began by taking Pelusium, after a ten days' march through


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