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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 205



tan's quick realization of his opportunity and his forcing the issue at the opportune moment. And now it remained for him to sit in judgment. How would he meet this situation when the flower of Christian chivalry lay in the hollow of his hand? Viewed in the light of his past there must be both mercy and stern justice, and so the event proved. There were some nasty debts to be paid. That of Reginald de Chatillon, for instance. Likewise that of Gerard de Rideford, and the whole crew of Templars and Hospitallers, who recked nothing of breaking the faith with Moslems who had been indulgent. Swaying like drunken men, the weary nobles were led up to his tent, and first to appear before him were the King and Reginald. A chair was placed for the King, and, seeing how exhausted he was, the Sultan ordered a bowl of sherbet, made with iced rose water, to be brought to him. The King, having satisfied his thirst, offered the bowl to the Lord of Kerak, but here Saladin intervened. " Tell the King," he said to his interpreter, " it is he and not I who am offering this man to drink." This was to avoid any misinterpretation of his attitude towards Reginald, for he had adopted the Arab custom of sparing the prisoner to whom he had offered hospitality. Then, turning to Reginald, he said : "How often hast thou sworn and not kept thy oath? Made agreements and not observed them — beside using our confidence only to abuse it? " His menacing tone and stern eyes may well have


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