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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 344



the regent, was with Philip in the north, Saladin, who had. returned, to Egypt, led: one of his periodical incursions into Palestine, and fell to ravaging and pillaging the south country. Baldwin, leper as he was, did not want courage. If he could not fight, he could at least go out with his men. He had with him Baymond, who had hastened to join him ; Count Jocelyn, his uncle, son of Jocelyn the younger, and three hundred and seventy-five knights in all. It was judged prudent at first to retire to Ascalon, hut the people growing so infuriated at the sight of the destruction of their property, the little Christian army went out to attack the mighty force of Saladin. It was the last of those wonderful battles where the Christians, frightfully overmatched, bore down their enemies by sheer bodily strength, and carried the day in spite of numbers. The historian put3 down Saladin's army at twentyrsix thousand, besides many thousands of light armed men. Of course, the number is exaggerated, but there can be no doubt of the paucity of the Christian army and the victory won by Baldwin. Saladin escaped with a hundred horsemen in all, mounted on a camel : his men were dispersed in all directions : heavy storms of rain and an intensity of cold, to which they were unaccustomed, fell upon them in the desert, and the Bedawin, learning their misfortunes, plundered and murdered them. But the Christians were too weak to follow up the victory by invading Egypt, and contented themselves with building a fort at the ford over the Jordan. They also toqk the opportunity of a little leisure to repair the walls of Jerusalem, which were falling down with age. And at this time died stout old Humphry, Constable of the kingdom, after a life spent in incessant conflicts. His death was ' a great loss to the kingdom, which could not now spare a single mau. And after a grievous defeat near Banias, where Odo, the Grand Master of the Templars, was taken prisoner, the king concluded a treaty of peace with Saladin.


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