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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 134

browned by the Eastern sun, and terminated by a flowing and curled black beard, which seemed trimmed with peculiar care. The nose was straight and regular, the eyes keen, deep-set, black and glowing, and his teeth equalled in beauty the ivory of his deserts. The person and proportions of the Saracen, in short, might have been compared to his sheeny and crescentformed saber, with its narrow and light, but bright and keen Damascus blade. The Emir was in the very flower of his age, and might perhaps have been termed eminently beautiful but for the narrowness of his forehead and something of too much thinness and sharpness of feature, or at least what might have seemed such in a European estimate of beauty." This is the portrait, the only portrait extant of Saladin. But, alas, it is only the figment of a mighty imagination. Very likely it approximated the real man. When Sir Walter Scott transferred the great Sultan to the pages of his romance of the Crusades, the ever charming " Talisman," he derived his vizualization of the mighty antagonist of Richard from a study of all the authorities available at the time, picking up an exact detail here and there, and filling in the vacant places by that sense of divination which is the cherished possession of poets. Certainly he created an outstanding individual who corresponded in general with such intimations and stray details as may be found in the accounts of the contemporaries of the Sultan, and he made Saladin vivid for thousands who could not oi themselves create a definite portrait.

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