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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 234



awed Moslems retreat before this irresistible foeman, who must certainly be under the protection of some powerful djinn, else how explain his charmed life, his invulnerability to blow and missile? In spite of the injury suffered through his valiant feats, Saladin could not resist being thrilled by them, for, as Ernoul explains, the Sultan " loved nothing so much as a good knight/' Having dismissed the emirs and their troops, Saladin retired with his own soldiers to Acre, where he spent the winter in strengthening the defenses, evidently foreseeing what threatened when the Franks received their reinforcements. The expedition of William of Tyre in his black-sailed galley and the seething conditions in Europe could not have been unknown to him, and he never had doubted that, whatever his success, there would always be the threat of reprisal from this reservoir of supplies and soldiers for his opponents. With the opening of spring, when the roads were again passable, Saladin moved against those towns and fortresses which still remained in the possession of the foe, thinking thus to weaken the defense of Tyre. He began with Belvoir, which had been under blockade by a contingent of his troops. These had allowed themselves to be surprised in a night attack, and it was with the hope of making amends that he pushed through snow and ice to this stronghold of the Hospitallers, not far from Tiberias. A number of sharp assaults were made upon its defenses, but it was too


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