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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 132



he sent to Egypt for it and kept it by him for a long time, even through his campaigning. In his last days, when he was enjoying a rest after the most strenuous campaign of his life, he was playing with one of his little sons when two Frankish ambassadors were announced. The sight of these two warriors frightened the child, chiefly because of their smoothshaven faces, so different from the beards to which it was accustomed, and it burst into tears. Immediately Saladin excused himself, dismissing the ambassadors. Nor did he see them again, being occupied entirely with soothing his frightened son. Ayub received always the deference and devotion due to the head of the family, and Beha ed-din relates that when he arrived in Egypt Saladin offered to yield up to him his newly acquired power, but Ayub was always the sage. "M y dear son," said he, "remember that God would not have chosen thee to occupy this position had He not judged thee capable of filling it. When good fortune is sent us, we must not alter its destination." A fitting response to a fine gesture, and the relations of father and son were not made less intimate and affectionate by this evidence of esteem and understanding on both sides. Ayub was given charge of the treasure of Egypt and held this most important office until his death. Shirkuh died of over-indulgence in the pleasures of the table, Ayub through a fall from his horse while racing at terrific speed, an amusement he would not abandon in the face of repeated warnings. Saladin, who


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