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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 217



surrender His city. To this brave speech agreed knight and burgher and sergeant, but here the Patriarch intervened. It was all very well, said he, for them to make this last stand, but not if thereby they put in danger souls which might be saved; for, though they might conceivably escape, their women and children would be irretrievably lost to Christianity. Even though the Saracen spared their lives he would compel them to embrace his faith, and was not their first duty to save the women and keep the children for Christ? This argument could not be resisted and, though later there were some who suspected Heraclius of other motives than the one he advanced, especially after it was known he had carried away with him much of the church treasure, it is beyond question that the plan of Balian, though heroic, would have been but a splendid gesture, with tragic consequences. The decision finally was that Balian should seek out the Sultan and learn what terms might be made for the surrender of the city. There are some differences in the records as to w6at occurred in the interview between Balian andthe Sultan. Imad ed-din would make it appear that the latter was in a stern mood and told the knight he would conquer the city in the same spirit shown by the Crusaders ninety-one years earlier. The men would be killed and the women and children taken into captivity. When Balian insisted on free exit for the population Saladin replied he did not trust him and


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