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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 95



was to engage his attention many times. It was a place of great strength and well defended. Saladin attacked it upon orders from Nur ed-din, and it was under stood the latter would come to his aid, so Saladin must finally have prevailed over his fears; but, when the test came, he deserted again. This time it was an accident to Ayub which was put forward as his excuse, and in fact the former was dead before Saladin could reach Cairo. It was a great loss as well as cause for real grief. Unlike Shirkuh, Ayub had a cool head and a wise one. Only a short time before he had undoubtedly saved his son from a great error. Following the retreat from Esh-Shobek, Nur ed-din had determined to come to grips with his lieutenant, and the air was full of his proposed invasion of Egypt. At a council of the family of Saladin and his tried supporters an imprudent young relative had boldly proposed defiance, and for a moment Saladin seemed to waver ; but Ayub, as alert as he was discreet, quickly squelched the young man. " I am thy father," he said, turning to Saladin, " and here is Shihab ed-din, thy mother's brother. Bethink thee, is there one in this assembly who loves thee and desires thy welfare as we do?" "No, by Allah!9 9 returned Saladin. " Know then," Ayub went on, " that if I and thine uncle were to meet Nur ed-din, nothing could stop our dismounting and kissing the ground at his feet. Even should he bid us cut off thy head with the sword, we should do it. From this judge what


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