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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 219



" Know, Ο Sultan, that we soldiers in this city are in the midst of God knows how many people who are slackening the fight in the hope of thy grace, believing that thou wilt grant it to them as thou hast granted it to other cities." Here is the subtle appeal of diplomacy addressed to one who has never been found wanting when the cry of mercy has been raised. It may be relied upon where threats are but empty gestures. As Balian's squire tells the tale his master went out to Saladin and spoke to him about terms for the surrender of the city but, even while he was speaking, an assault was delivered against the walls and a number of the Saracen banners floated from them in token of their success. And Saladin said scoffingly : "Wh y do you ask me to make terms when my banners and my people are already in possession and it is apparent that the city is mine? " However, at this moment the garrison made a desperate effort and drove out his soldiers, whereupon Saladin agreed to discuss the matter further on the morrow, and Balian returned to Jerusalem to report to the council. That night the city was prey to many terrors. Some one raised the cry of treason and every man feared his neighbor. A mournful procession of priests, monks and nuns, preceded by the Corpus Domini and the Cross, paraded the streets chanting the Miserere. The churches were filled with agonized citizens frenziedly scourging themselves and imploring Divine aid.


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