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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 104



Possessed neither by pride nor blood lust, the occasional rebuff meant little to him. There was but one goal and the easiest way to reach this was also the wisest, even though it might be longer and take more time. Above all, it would be a serious mistake to destroy Moslem cities, and therewith Moslem prosperity, or to shed unnecessarily Moslem blood. Both of these must be conserved as far as possible for the greater design. So the army of conquest moved about from place to place, annexing whatever could be taken easily, and only fighting when forced to, but then so fiercely and powerfully that the lesson would not be overlooked. So it was that when the combined forces of Mosul and Aleppo came seeking him near the Horns of Hamah, he suggested a compromise, even offering to surrender some of his conquests. But his opponents, having the larger force and feeling confident of victory, rejected his proposals with scorn. They did not reckon with his superior military talents. When the battle finally came it was with the opposing forces maneuvered into positions according to his wishes. This time there could be no dallying with Fate, no holding back the sword for policy or otherwise. Caught in a ravine between the soldiers of Damascus and those of Egypt, the men of Aleppo and Mosul were cut to pieces and pursued as far as Aleppo, where a truce was arranged which left Saladin master of all the territory once possessed by Nur ed-din in Syria, excepting Aleppo and its immediate dependencies.


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