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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 276



spiration. Never had he exhibited such infinite patience or more indomitable will. Through a whole day of fierce fighting he remained in the saddle without a mouthful of food, taking only the medicine his physician forced upon him. Had the war been limited to the two opposing forces it is doubtful who would have been the winner. His burning messages had finally had their effect and his army was gradually brought into splendid shape. But there was Acre under constant attack, the garrison under assault by day and by night, its fighters called upon to remove the corpses of men and horses from moat and fosse, to repair the growing breaches in barbican and inner walls, to snatch sleep amid continual alarms, to battle often on empty bellies. Ever and again supplies were smuggled in, and the signal of the city's drum would always be responded to promptly by the Sultan's attack upon the besiegers, both within and outside their camp, but the long continued strain was wearing down the powers of resistance of the besieged. From the first Richard indicated the wish to meet his opponent. Two weeks after his arrival, after a fierce fight between the two armies outside the Christian camp, in which neither had prevailed, a messenger came to el-Adel with the request that he be taken before the Sultan. Apparently Richard had discovered that the Sultan's brother was more pliable than the Sultan, and from this time forward the English king almost invariably addressed himself to the former. When the messenger was received by Saladin he


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