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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 75



This was not unknown either at home or abroad. In truth, the gold in the treasury of the Caliphs had bought off more than one would-be conqueror. At this very time an annual tribute was going to the King of Jerusalem to keep off the Crusaders. But Nur eddin's increasing power created a new situation. Shawer's appeal to the Sultan of Syria indicated the view of it taken by the crafty Egyptian politicians. Nur eddin would never let the Christians take Egypt if he could prevent it. Neither would they look on supinely if Nur ed-din undertook its conquest. The game of the Egyptians, therefore, was to play the one against the other. That Shawer had this in mind at the very moment when he was appealing for Nur ed-din's assistance was abundantly proven by later events. Nur ed-din must have suspected as much, for the payment offered by Shawer was big enough to tempt even a Sultan. The entire costs of the invasion and one third of the revenues of Egypt was his offering. The decision was finally forced by Amalric, the new King of Jerusalem. Dargham, the ruling vizier, who had deposed Shawer, thought he might save the usual tribute to Jerusalem, evidently relying upon the fact that Amalric was occupied with the encroachments of Nur ed-din. Thereupon Amalric led an army into Egypt. Faced with the possibility that he might hold the country, thus threatening him from two sides, Nur ed-din acted with promptness. Amalric had already defeated Dargham, who saved himself only by opening the dams and flooding the


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