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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 277



announced that he came in behalf of Richard to ask that an interview be arranged between the two. Saladin evidently suspected his adversary, whose reputation for cunning and artifice had spread even to the East, and seemed to be fearful he might be placed at a disadvantage in a personal interview. A man of the Sultan's dignity and politeness could not fail to take umbrage should the English monarch indulge in one of his not infrequent outbursts of insolence and brutality, and thereafter all further negotiations between the two would be impossible, thus putting off all chance of real peace, Saladin's words indicated that some such thought was in his mind. " It is not customary," said he, " for kings to meet, unless they have previously laid the foundations of a treaty. For, after they have spoken together and given one another the tokens of mutual confidence that are natural in such circumstances, it is not seemly for them to make war upon one another. It is therefore absolutely essential that the preliminaries should be arranged first of all, and that a trustworthy interpreter should act as our intermediary to explain to each of us what the other says. As soon as the preliminaries are settled, the interview, please God, shall take place." This message did not receive a fitting response, nor ameliorate the relations between the enemies; for after an attack on the Moslem camp a few days later a Moslem prisoner was killed and burned within sight of his comrades, an act followed immediately by one of similar ferocity on the part of the Moslems.


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