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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 10



have been inspired to believe that by taking the vows of knighthood this ardent and high-born Saracen might possibly be brought to a much-hoped-for conversion. And how about this Moslem, Salah ed-din, whose very name was a proclamation of his religious allegiance, meaning Prosperity of the World and The Faith? Had he forgotten the teachings of the holy men and his inheritance of the wisdom of the Prophet? Was his ambition to be the sword of the True Faith, and the scourge of its enemies, forgotten in this impulsive admiration for an idealized Chivalry and its no less idealized supporters ? Most unlikely. Never for a moment throughout his career was there a single indication of faltering. But, for him the fundamentals of Knighthood, as he had just heard them expressed, lay not in the devotion to Church or to Christianity, but in the three principal duties of the knight—to uphold the right and never take part in injustice; never to deceive matron or maid, but ever to be their champion in time of need ; to repress within himself the call of the flesh by fasting and self-denial. The fourth, attendance at mass, was for those who had not the enlightenment of the Prophet to guide them; in his case it would mean scrupulous observance of the hours of prayer, as ordained by holy Koran and the Traditions of the Prophet. Is all this true and supported by historical evidence? Not a word of it appears in the writings of the Mlohammedan chroniclers. Possibly, after reflection ^


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