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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 248



with a brilliant train of attendants, met near Mount Tabor, to confer upon the momentous interests that clustered round the Holy City, and to arrange a protracted truce. The preliminaries occupied some days. The Saracens in-sisted upon the destruction of the fort of Ascalon, the Christians negotiated for the restoration of Jerusalem. It was at last settled, that Joppa and Tyre, and the country between them should be ceded to Henry, Count of Cham-pagne, that Ascalon should be dismantled, and that the Christians should have free access to the Holy Sepulchre without molestation or tribute. The presence of Mestoc and Saphadin contributed not a little to the harmonious adjustment of these intricate affairs. The treaty was to remain in force three years, three months, three weeks, three days, and three hours, a number of mysterious sanc-tity with the people of the East, and a space which Eichard thought sufficient for him to compose the factions in England, and return to complete the conquest of Pales-tine. Since her expedition to Jaffa, Elsiebede had remained in care of her uncle ; and Eichard was now informed that Sa-phadin, disappointed in his suit with the lady Joanna, had transferred his affections to the bewitching Gyptianos. The crosses which Cœur de Lion had borne in the crusade had somewhat moderated the imperiousness of his temper, and taught him the policy of a seeming acquiescence in inevi-table necessity ; and thus though vividly impressed with an anticipation of Berengaria's frowns, he gracefully ac-ceded to the request of Mestoc, and bestowed the Moorish girl and her swarthy attendant upon his noble friend. The Soldan had arranged the pavilion of the christian monarch with the utmost magnificence, at the southern ex-tremity of the encampment, while his own sable tent had been pitched opposite on the north. Near the close of » bright Syrian day, as Eichard sat listening to the strains with which Blondel beguiled the tedium of the listless hours, his chamberlain entered to announce the emperor. The illustrious Soldan came without the usual attendants BERENGARIA OF NAVARRE. 269


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