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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 16



lenses of more enlightened times and apply the critical standards of a period when the conditions of life gave less excuse for lapses from high morality. It was a time when most men lived like dogs in their kennels and addressed their hopes of better things to the future life. A time when faith in God was for the great majority the only thing that made life on this earth bearable. Even the ruffian, who cut a purse or a throat indifferently at the crossroads, could weep at the recital of the sufferings of the saints, and bend his knee devoutly as he passed, still clutching his ill-gotten gains, the effigy of the Savior. Men must eat — and drink, too — and human flesh was admittedly weak and sinful, but in the end sin would be washed away in the tears of repentance. At the foot of the gallows the footpad confessed, was shriven and hoped for ultimate salvation. If the vicious and degraded held to faith in God and His works, how much more the average, who were only subject to minor failings! And if now the stirrings of selfish ambition were aroused by the trumpet's call to the army of the Lord, it was after all the inspiration of a higher duty which smothered the whisperings of prudence and rendered them indifferent to the known dangers of the undertaking. Of the hundreds of thousands who started upon this seemingly quixotic challenge of fate there may well have been many to whom the hope of plunder was a strong and possibly a predominating motive, but even for these the quest of fortune was elevated above the


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