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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 247



day the whole army were permitted to press their lips upon the sacred wood. The troops had then orders to retire towards Jaffa, but civil rancor and fierce dissensions prevailed to such an ex-tent among the forces, that but little discipline or order could be preserved. When they arrived before the place, they found it closely besieged by the Saracens, and on the point of surrender. The conflict which ensued was the most hotly contested of any that occurred during the Third Crusade. Eichard performed prodigies of valor. His bat-tle-axe gleamed everywhere in the van of the fight, opening for his followers bloody paths through the centre of the Turkish divisions. The gallant Fanuelle, plowing her way through the serried ranks, bore him proudly on, while the arrows and javelins of the Saracens, rattled idly upon his iron vest, till at length a fallen foe, pierced with a spear the breast of his favorite, and amid the exulting yells of the barbarians, horse and rider fell to the ground. In-stantly starting to his feet, he drew his sword, and con-tinued the combat undaunted as before. The generous Saphadin, who from a distance had watched the prowess of the valiant European, despatched a groom to his rescue with a splendid Arabian barb. Eemounting, Eichard con-tinued the contest till the going down of the sun, when darkness separated the combatants. Jaffa was rescued, and the joy of this signal victory in some measure compen-sated the English for their bitter disappointment in aban-doning Jerusalem. On reviewing his troops, Eichard saw from their diminished numbers the utter hopelessness of attempting any further conquest, and this sad conviction strengthened the 'motives which determined his return to Europe. His late success gave him the vantage-ground in soliciting an honorable peace with the Soldan, who, now that Eichard was preparing to depart, was better able to estimate candidly, and appreciate fairly the knightly qual-ities and heroic courage that had distinguished his career in the Holy Land. The Emperor Saladin and Eichard Plantagenet, each HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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