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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 85



this fact known at the Palace than the Caliph sent Shirkuh a written request for the head of his recent master. Quite the usual routine in such cases, apparently, and off went the head, which was ceremoniously conveyed to the Caliph. One can see the latter, a swarthy young man, not overstrong and rather effeminate in manner, showing the gory thing to the ladies of his harem, and chuckling with them over this ending of one who had forced upon him many humiliations. With a proper sense of gratitude, and due recognition of what the existing conditions demanded, the Caliph sent a vizier's robe to Shirkuh, who by this act was acknowledged as the successor to Shawer and virtual head of the government. So the general's ambition was achieved. He was now master of Egypt, with all its great resources. To be sure, his hold depended on the good will of Nur ed-din, but the latter was busy at home and would continue to be so a long time, whereas Egypt was not too accessible. Its ruler would be a vice regent, with all the practical powers and emoluments of royalty. Shirkuh lost no time in making himself solid with the populace. Uncertain just how many might be adherents of Shawer, he had it proclaimed through the streets that the palace of the late vizier was at the disposition of the citizens for looting. At once, with wild huzzahs the rabble was off to do a thorough job. Not so much as a cushion remained in the palace at the close of the day.


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