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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 421



was after all but lightly esteemed. King Eichard begged Saladin not to allow any one to visit the city without a written passport from himself, hoping, by this means to keep up the devotional longings of his followers, and so to induce them to return at the expiration of the truce. Saladin's keen penetration at once detected the impolicy of such a step, while his sense of honour revolted against its discourtesy, the request was, therefore, refused. Eichard shortly after this fell ill, and leaving the government in the hands of his nephew, Count Henry, he sailed away, and left the Holy Land for ever. Saladin, whose restless energy and religious zeal would not allow him to remain long in idleness, prepared for a pilgrimage to Mecca, and had actually written to Egypt and to Arabia to make the necessary arrangements ; but at the instance of his officers, who represented to him the urgent need which the country stood in of his presence, he relinquished his intention. After a tour through Syria, in the course of which he provided for the safety and good government of the towns through which he passed, redressing the wrongs of the people, punishing those who exercised injustice or oppression, and rewarding all whose administration had been moderate and just, he returned to Damascus, after an absence of four years, during the whole of which time he had been incessantly occupied in the prosecution of the Holy War. His arrival was hailed with the greatest demonstrations of joy ; the city was illuminated, and for days the people made holiday to celebrate the return of their beloved sovereign, the saviour of El Islam. But their joy was short-lived, for on the 21st of February, 1193, he was seized with a bilious fever, and after lingering for twelve days he expired, and was buried in the citadel of Damascus, in the apartments in which he died. A short time afterwards the Sultan's remains were removed to the tomb which they now occupy, in the vicinity of the Great Mosque, aud which had been prepared for their


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