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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 290



Crusaders, sworn to rescue the holy places from the infidel, should have indulged in. Apparently, they were not immune to the influence of the East and their appearance, garlanded with flowers, in the company of the bawdy women who followed them from Acre, suggested the old Bacchanalian revels. El-Adel wrote from his camp of observation that Richard was unaware of what was going on at Ascalon, and he was prolonging the negotiations to permit of the finishing of that work. This news only increased the Sultan's determination. He now supervised the work personally, going from group to group of workmen, giving directions and offering rewards for increased effort. He was on horseback all the time and the result of his exertions was an illness which laid him low for some days. More than a month was consumed in leveling the walls, and even then the Hospitallers' Tower, strong as a castle, remained untouched. Neither pick nor other tool had any effect and only after it had been subjected to the influence of fire for two days did the stone become friable enough to be dislodged. When this had been accomplished Saladin left Ascalon and went to consult with his brother. His purpose was to check the foraging parties of the enemy and, incidentally, to destroy some more towns which might become strongholds of the Franks. The Castle of Ramleh and Lydda was the first of these. It was then the period of fasting, the month of Ramadan, and Moslems could not eat before sunset, but this did not seem to interfere with the work of demolition. The


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