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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 218



would not agree to such conditions. As long as he remained in control he would see to it that nothing good should come to them. Jerusalem would be taken by force and death and imprisonment be meted out to all. He would spill the blood of the men and take the women and children at his own terms. In view of what actually happened it must be regarded as evident that the clever secretary of the Sultan was either deceived or was misrepresenting his master. Saladin could not have used this language unless it was to throw a scare into his visitor, and it is not often that we find him bluffing. Imad ed-din quotes Balian as replying in these words : " Sire, we cease to hope for rescue and look neither for peace nor mercy, but for that reason we will defend ourselves to the death and make our blood as dear as may be. No one of us will be wounded before he has wounded ten of you. Our houses will be burned, the towers wrecked. Debris will be all you will have to plunder. The Sahrah we will destroy, and then we will see how you will regret it. Also the tower of the Sahrah will be wrecked and the Sulvan springs stopped up. The five thousand Moslem prisoners, high and low, will be massacred. Gold and valuables will be destroyed, our wives and children killed, and not one stone be left upon another. What advantage will you then draw from the ruins?" Ibn el-Athir quotes Balian to like effect but in more plausible language. The, knight boasts less and there is a sincerer ring of despair in his ultimatum.


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