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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 360



will give you thirty thousand byzants if you promise to give up this city. You shall he allowed five miles all round the city as your own ground to cultivate and use as you please, and I will cause such an abundance of provisions to be sent in that yours shall be the cheapest market in the world. You shall have a truce from now to Pentecost ; if, after that time, you seem to see hope of success, keep your town if you can : if not, give it up, and I will see you all safe and sound on Christian soil." But the deputies went away with many boasts that they were going to die for the glory of God. In the end, nobody died who could by any means avoid it. But at first, when Saladin's camp was fixed to the west, where, nearly a hundred years before, had been that of Godfrey de Bouillon, the Christians made gallant sorties, and the Saracens could do nothing against the impetuosity of their charges. They observed, however, that after midday the sun was at their own backs and in the faces of the enemy ; and they reserved their attacks for the afternoon, throwing dust in the air and into the eyes of the besieged. After eight days of ineffectual fighting, Saladin changed his camp to the east side, pitching it at the gate of St. Stephen, where the valley of the Kedron has no great depth. In this new position, Saladin was able to erect machines for casting stones and arrows into the city. He also set his men to work undermining the walls. In two days they had undermined fifteen toises of the wall, the Christians not being able to countermine " because they were afraid of the showers of missiles from the mangonels and machines." The Saracens fired the supports of their mines, and as much of the wall as had been mined fell down. Then the besieged, finding that no hope remained of holding the town, held a hasty council as to what should be done. Por now a universal panic had seized the soldiers ; they ran to the churches instead of to the ramparts, and while the defenders of the city prayed within the walls of


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