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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 72



Could it not even be that the idol of Beha ed-din and many of his confrères was given to pleasures in the heyday of his life which caused the graybeards to look askance, and to refrain from comment, out of regard for his family? A vigorous young man, the scion of stock ever at the forefront of adventure, ready to take chances and play with fortune at her own odds, and having at his disposal means to satisfy all reasonable desires, was little likely to mope in the corners while the pulse of youth beat hot and strong. There is a definite intimation to the contrary in a brief sentence of his biographer, the already alluded to Cadi Beha ed-din. Referring to the crisis which followed the death of his uncle, and the consequent call upon the young man to meet his destiny, Beha ed-din asserted that from that day Saladin " put aside wine and the pleasures of the world." One may toy, therefore, with the suspicion that he must have dallied with them earlier, some time before we hear of his setting out for Egypt at the age oi twenty-seven in the company of his uncle. So the music of the fountains of Damascus was not without its subtle appeal for him as for other spirited youth Could the man charged with being too reckless at polo have been a pale and listless youth? Or the father of a score of children indifferent to beauty in the slave markets or behind the latticed windows? It seems altogether illogical to maintain that the intrepid soldier and brilliant ruler of men had a colorless youth. That he was not ambitious to shine at that time


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