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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 89



tion were just what were required to develop Saladin's character and put him upon his mettle. In those first lonely moments, when the insulting behavior of his companions in arms might have hardened another man into bitterness, and caused him to consider means of revenge, Saladin saw his problem clearly, and, crowding down his resentment, determined to meet it in wise forbearance. Whatever were the motives which had caused him to hold back, he was ready now to meet the offerings of Fate. As has happened with many a great man before and since, inherent firmness and a readiness to abandon the little for the big were aroused by the crisis. A roseate vision of the future, extending far beyond the present promotion, splendid as that was, wiped the slate clean of all weaknesses and taste for self indulgence. Away with the little pleasures of the world, with wine and the follies born in the brain of youth when the flowing bowl has fired the blood and lulled the dictates of prudence. In his solitude he mapped out his course of conduct and braced himself to meet the emergency. A single error now might terminate the great career he saw opening before him. And his first step proved his ability to cope with his countrymen. To have appealed to them directly would have been a sign of weakness which could only have fatal consequences. To attempt to force their allegiance would bring rebellion and endanger the supremacy of the Syrian power in Egypt. It was necessary to find an intermediary who would act as if upon his own initiative,


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