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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.2

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ROGER OF WENDOVER
Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.2
page 123



122 ROGER OF AVEN DOVER. [A.D. 1192. Jfûw king Richard determined to return home. After this unequalled victory the king remained seven weeks at «Toppa, during which time a deadly disease, caused by the unwholesome atmosphere, made destructive attacks on him and his followers, and all who were seized with this disease perished, with the exception of the king, who was preserved in health by divine favour. Moreover the king at this time discovered that his money was by degrees falling short, owing to the bountiful distributions he had unadvisedly made amongst his soldiers, and finding that the French army, and others, whom, on the duke of Burgundy's death, he bad at great expense kept together and retained with him, were anxious to leave him, and that his own army was diminished in number by the deadly disease and by conflicts with the enemy, whilst their numbers daily increased, he took counsel with the templars, hospitallers, and the chiefs who were with him, and made arrangements to return home immediately, binding himself by oath to return to the siege of the holy city as soon as he had reinforced his army, and supplied himself with money. Besides the foregoing reasons for his departure, what had much the most weight with him was, that he had been told that bis brother John, wdiom he had left in England, was conspiring to bring England to subjection to him, and the result proved that he wished to doso. As it was evident that the departure of such a great army, and such a prince as Richard, could not but expose those who rc expose himself to such dangers ; but any king who limi a thousand such warriors under him. might soon vanquish the whole world." At the same time also Saladin, for vengeance'sake, commanded a captive, who had once leen prince of Antioch, and had now been worn down by long confinement, to be brought before hint, " What would you do,'' said he looking grimly on him, "to me, if you had me prisoner as I have you!" The captive remained silent, and Saladin adjured him to speak the truth. ''Then," said the prisoner, " you should be capitally punished, and no gold should ransom you, because you are au enemy to our Lord : though you are a king as I am, I would cut of!" your head, because, you persist in your own houndish laws." To which Saladin replied, '* 1 think you will never have such power over me. Out of your own mouth will 1 judge you, for I will cut off your head." He then ordered a sword to be brought, and the captive offering his neck, exclaimed, ** This is what 1 always pniyod for, and I am glad to receive death at your hands." His bands were then bound and Saladin cut off his hend. Wh o will deny that this was glorious martyrdom ?—See t'astio licginaldi in Vetri lilcsensis Opera, vol. id.


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