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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 372



The Christian defenders actually sold their wives and children to the besiegers, in order to save them from starvation. Saladin gave them back again after the capitulation. He also, in 1189, two years after his capture, restored liberty to Guy de Lusigrian, on his taking a solemn oath never to go to war with him. Guy swore, and directly after he returned to Christian soil got the oath annulled, and returned to besiege Acre. This was the crime which, above all things, enraged the Saracens, and made a man like Saladin unable to understand a religion which permitted it. Here was a captive king released from his prison by the clemency of his conqueror, and without ransom, solely on the condition that he would leave it to others to make war upon him. Yet the very first thing he does is to break his oath, aud get up an army to attack him. Conrad de Montferrat, who was in Tyre, refused to admit Guy, not thinking it necessary to acknowledge a king who was unable to defend himself. But Guy, who was not without courage, found means to raise a small army, and with it sat down before Acre. He nearly took it by assault, when an alarm was spread that Saladin was coming, and his men fled in a panic. It was not Saladin who was coming from the land, but the first reinforcement of the Crusaders from the sea. The Frisians and Danes, twelve thousand in number, came first, and camped with Guy. Next came the English and the Flemings. And then Saladin, becoming aware of the new storm that was rising against him, came down from Phoenicia, and prepared to meet it. Every day the Crusaders arrived ; before Bichard and Philip were even on their way there were one hundred thousand of them, and the hearts of the Mohammedans sank when they beheld a forest of masts, always changing, always being renewed as the ships went away and others came. The Christians, on the other hand, were confident of success ; a French knight, looking on the mighty host about him, is reported to have


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