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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry

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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT.
Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 317



The whole of Damascus was in tears, and many were so stunned they could not remember the formal prayers but could only exclaim. When his death was announced all doors were shut and the streets remained deserted. "N o one," wrote one chronicler, " thought to pillage the city." The funeral was of the simplest character. The poets could no longer sing and there was neither dirge nor funeral oration. A single striped cloth covered the coffin, in which was placçd the sword he had carried throughout the war. There is a legend that when he was dying he summoned his standard bearer and said to him: " Do thou, who art wont to bear my banner in the wars, also carry the banner of my death. Let it be a vile rag, which thou must bear through all Damascus set upon a lance, crying: ζ Lo, at his death the King of the East could take nothing with him save this cloth only.' " There was no money left in the palace. " We were obliged to borrow money to purchase everything necessary for the funeral," wrote the Cadi, " even down to things that cost but a halfpenny, such as the straw to be mixed with the clay (to make the bricks with which the tombs of all persons of position were lined)." Two years later el-Afdal built a chapel on the north side of the Mosque and had the body interred there. There it is now, with this inscription over the entrance composed by the vizier, the Cadi el-Fadel:


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