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A. D. 1171 -1193.
OHAP. The hilly country beoynd the Tigris is occupied by the pasLIX. toral tribes of the Curds ; a people hardy, strong, savage,
impatient of the yoke, addicted to rapine, and tenacious of Bedienciend the government of their national chiefs. The resemblance of Saladin, of name, situation, and manners, seems to identify them with
the Carduchians of the Greeks ;t and they still defend against the Ottoman Porte the antique freedom which they asserted against the successors of Cyrus. Poverty and ambition prompted them to embrace the profession of mercenary soldiers : the service of his father and uncle prepared the reign of the great Saladin : 4 and the son of Job or Ayub, a simple Curd, magnanimously smiled at his pedigree, which flattery deduced from the Arabian caliphs. So unconscious was Noureddin of the impending ruin of his house, that he constrained the reluctant youth to follow his uncle Shiracouh into Egypt: his military character was established by the defence of Alexandria ; and if we may believe the Latins, he solicited and obtained from the Christian general the profane honours of knighthood.50 On the death of Shiracouh, the office of grand vizir was bestowed on Saladin, as the youngest and less powerful of the emirs; but with the advice of his father, whom he invited to Cairo, his genius obtained the ascendant over his equals, and attached the army to his person and interest. While Noureddin lived, these ambitious Curds were the most humble of his slaves; and the indiscreet murmurs of the divan were silenced by the prudent Ayub, who loudly protested that at the command of the sultan he himself would lead his son in chains to the foot of the throne. “Such language,” he added in private,
was prudent and proper in an assembly of your rivals ; but
-31, xx. 5—12,) Bohadin (in Vit. Saladin. p. 30—39,) Abulfeda (in Excerpt. Schultens, p. 1--12,) D'Herbelot (Bibliot. Orient. Adheid, Fathemah, but very incorrect,) Renaudot (Hist. Patriarch. Alex. p. 522——525. 532--537,) Vertot (Hist. des Chevaliers de Malthe, tom. i. p. 141-163, in 4to.) and M. de Guignes (tom. ii. p. 185-215.)
40 For the Curds, see de Guignes, tom. I. p. 416, 417, the Index Geographicus of Schultens, and Tavernier, Voyages, p. i. p. 308, 309. The Ayoubites descended from the tribe of the Rawadiæi, one of the noblest ; bui as they were infected with the heresy of the Metempsychosis, the orthodox sultans insinuated that their descent was only on the mother's side, and that their ancestor was a stranger who settled among the Curds.
47 See the fourth book of the Anabasis of Xenophon. The ten thousand suffered more from the arrows of the free Carduchians, than from the splendid weakness of the great king.
48 We are indebted to the professor Schultens (Lugd. Bat. 1753, in folio) for the richest and most authentic materials, a life of Saladin by his friend and minister the Cadi Bohadin, and copious extracts from the history of his kinsman the prince Abulfeda of Hamah. To these we may add, the article of Salaheddin in the Bibliotheque Orientale, and all that may be gleaned from the Dynasties of Abulpharagius.
49 Since Abulfeda was himself an Ayoubite, he may share the praise, for imitating, at least tacitly, the modesty of ihe founder.
50 Hist. Hierosol. in the Gesta Dei per Francos, p. 1152. A similar example may be found in Joinville (p. 42, edition du Louvre ;) but the pious St. Louis refused to dignify infidels with the order of Christian knighthood (Ducange, Observations, p. 70.)
we are now above fear and obedience; and the threats of chap. Noureddin shall not extort the tribute of a sugar-cane.” His LIX. seasonable death relieved them from the odious and doubtful conflict : his son, a minor of eleven years of age, was left for a while to the emirs of Damascus; and the new lord of Egypt was decorated by the caliph with every title that could sanctity his usurpation in the eyes of the people. Nor was Saladin long content with the possession of Egypt; he despoiled the Christians of Jerusalem, and the Atabeks of Damascus, Aleppo, and Diarbekir: Mecca and Medina acknowledged him for their temporal protector ; his brother subdued the distant regions of Yemen, or the happy Arabia, and at the hour of his death, his empire was spread from the African Tripoli to the Tigris, and from the Indian ocean to the mountains of Armenia. In the judgment of his character, the reproaches of treason and ingratitude strike forcibly on our minds, impressed, as they are, with the principle and experience of law and loyalty. But his ambition may in some measure be excused by the revolution of Asia, 52 which had erased every notion of legitimate succession ; by the recent example of the Atabeks themselves ; by his reverence to the son of his benefactors ; his bumane and generous behaviour to the collateral branches; by their incapacity and his merit ; by the approbation of the caliph, the sole source of all legitimate power; and, above all, by the wishes and interest of the people, whose happiness is the first object of government. In his virtues, and in those of his patron, they admired the singular union of the hero and the saint; for both Noureddin and Saladin are ranked among the Mahometan saints; and the constant meditation of the holy war appears to have shed a serious and sober colour over their lives and actions. The youth of the latter was addicted to wine and women ; but his aspiring spirit soon renounced the temptations of pleasure, for the graver follies of fame and do. minion: the garment of Saladin was of coarse woolen ; water was his only drink ; and, while he emulated the temperance, he surpassed the chastity, of his Arabian prophet. Both in faith and practice he was a rigid Mussulman; he ever deplored that the defence of religion had not allowed him to accomplish the pilgrimage of Mecca ; but at the stated hours, five times each day, the sultan devoutly prayed with his brethren : the involuntary omission of fasting was scrupulously repaid ; and his perusal of the Koran on horseback between the approach
51 In these Arabic titles, religionis must always be understood ; Noureddin, lumper r. ; Ezzodin, decus ; Amadoddin, columen: our hero's proper name was Joseph, and he was styled Salahoddin ; salus ; Al Malichus, Al Nasirus, rex de. fensor ; Abu Modaffir, pater victoriæ. Schultens, Præfat.
52 Abulfeda, who descended from a brother of Saladin, observes from many examples, that the founders of dynasties took the guilt for themselves, and left tbe reward to their innocent collaterals (Excerpt. p. 10.) 53 See bis life and character in Renaudot, p. 537-548. VOL. VI.
CHAP. ing armies, may be quoted as a proof, however ostentatious, LIX. of piety and courage.54 The superstitious doctrine of the
sect of Shafei was the only study that he deigned to encourage : the poets were safe in his contempt; but all profane science was the object of his aversion ; and a philosopher who had vented some speculative novelties, was seized and strangled by the command of the royal saint. The justice of his divan was accessible to the meanest suppliant against himself and his ministers; and it was only for a kingdom that Saladin would deviate from the rule of equity. While the descendants of Seljuk and Zenghi held his stirrup and smoothed his garments, he was affable and patient with the meanest of his servants. So boundless was his liberality, that he distributed twelve thousand horses at the siege of Acre, and at the time of his death, no more than forty-seven drachms of silver and one piece of gold coin were found in the treasury; yet in a martial reign, the tributes were diminished, and the wealthy citizens enjoyed, without fear or danger, the fruits of their industry. Egypt, Syria, and Arabia, were adorned by the royal foundations of hospitals, colleges, and mosques ; and Cairo was fortified with a wall and citadel : but his works were consecrated to public use, nor did the sultan indulge himself in a garden or palace of private luxury. In a fanatic age, himself a fanatic, the genuine virtues of Saladin commanded the esteem of the Christians : the emperor of Germany gloried in his friendship :* the Greek emperor solicited his alliance ;5; and the conquest of Jerusalem diffused, and perhaps magnified, his fame both in the East and West.
During its short existence, the kingdom of Jerusalem was Kingdom, supported by the discord of the Turks and Saracens; and both AD117, the Fatimite caliphs and the sultans of Damascus were tempijuly 3,
ed to sacrifice the cause of their religion to the meaner considerations of private and present advantage. But the powers of Egypt, Syria, and Arabia, were now united by a hero, whom nature and fortune had armed against the Christians. All without, now bore the most threatening aspect; and all was feeble and hollow in the internal state of Jerusalem. After the two first Baldwins, the brother and cousin of Godfrey of Bouillon, the sceptre devolved by female succession to Melisenda, daughter of the second Baldwin, and her husband
54 His civil and religious virtues are celebrated in the first chapter of Bohadin (p. 4—30,) bimself an eye-witness, and an honest bigot.
55 In many works, particularly Joseph's well in the castle of Cairo, the sultan and the patriarch have been confounded by the ignorance of natives and tra. vellers.
56 Anonym. Canisii, tom. iii. P. ii. p. 504.
18 For the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, see William of Tyre, from the ninth to the twenty-second book. Jacob à Vitriaco, Hist. Hierosolem, l. i. and Saniu. tus, Secrata Fidelium Crusis, l. iii. p. vi. vii. viii. ix.
Fulk, count of Anjou, the father, by a former marriage, of CHAP. our English Plantagenets. Their two sons, Baldwin the Third Lix. and Amaury, waged a strenuous, and not unsuccessful, war against the infidels; but the son of Amaury, Baldwin the Fourth, was deprived, by the leprosy, a gift of the crusades, of the faculties both of mind and body. His sister Sybilla, the mother of Baldwin the Fifth, was his natural heiress : after the suspicious death of her child, she crowned her second husband, Guy of Lusignan, a prince of a handsome person, but of such base renown, that his own brother Jeffrey was heard to exclaim, “Since they have made him a king, surely they would have made me a god!” The choice was generally blamed; and the most powerful vassal, Raymond count of Tripoli
, who had been excluded from the succession and regency, entertained an implacable hatred against the king, and exposed his honour and conscience to the temptations of the sultan. Such were the guardians of the holy city; a leper, a child, a woman, a coward, and a traitor; yet its fate was delayed twelve years by some supplies from Europe, by the valour of the military orders, and by the distant or domestic avocations of their great enemy. At length, on every side the sinking state was encircled and pressed by a hostile line; and the truce was violated by the Franks, whose existence it protected. A soldier of fortune, Reginald of Chatillon, had seized a fortress, on the edge of the desert, from whence he pillaged the caravans, insulted Mahomet, and threatened the cities of Mecca and Medina. Saladin condescended to complain ; rejoiced in the denial of justice; and at the head of fourscore thousand horse and foot, invaded the Holy Land. The choice of Tiberias for his first siege was suggested by the count of Tripoli, to whom it belonged; and the king of Jerusalem was persuaded to drain his garrisons, and to arm his people for the relief of that important place." By the advice of the perfidious Raymond, the Christians were betrayed into a camp destitute of water : he fled on the first onset with the curses of both nations ;60 Lusignan was overthrown with the loss of thirty thousand men; and the wood of the true cross, a dire misfortune! was left in the power of the infidels. The royal captive was conducted to the tent of Saladin; and as he fainted with thirst and terror, the generous victor presented him with a cup of sherbet cooled in snow, without suffering his companion, Reginald of Chatillon, to partake of this pledge of hospitality
59 Templarii ut apes bombabant et Hospitalarii ut venti stridebant, et barones se exitio offerebant, et Turcopuli (the Christian light troops) semet ipsi in ignem injiciebant (Ispahani de Expugnatione Kudistică, p. 18, apud Schultens ;) a specimen of Arabian eloquence, somewbat different from the style of Xenopbon !
60 The Latins affirm, the Arabians insinuate, the treason of Raymond; but had he really ernbraced their religion, he would have been a saint and a hero in the eyes of the latter.
CHAP. and pardon. “The person and dignity of a king,” said the LIX. sultan, “are sacred; but this impious robber must instantly wacknowledge the prophet
, whom he has blasphemed, or meet the death which he has so often deserved.” On the proud or conscientious refusal of the Christian warrior, Saladin struck him on the head with his scimitar, and Reginald was despatched by the guards.61 The trembling Lusignan was sent to Damascus to an honourable prison and speedy ransom ; but the victory was stained by the execution of two hundred and thirty knights of the hospital, the intrepid champions and martyrs of their faith. The kingdom was left without a head; and of the two grand masters of the military orders, the one was slain and the other was a prisoner. From all the cities, both of the seacoast and the inland country, the garrisons had been drawn away for this fatal field : Tyre and Tripoli alone could escape the rapid inroad of Saladin, and three months after the battle of Tiberias he appeared in arms before the gates of Jerusa
lem. 62 and city of He might expect, that the siege of a city, so venerable on earth A. D. 1187, and in heaven, so interesting to Europe and Asia, would rekin
dle the last sparks of enthusiasm ; and that, of sixty thousand Christians, every man would be a soldier, and every soldier a candidate for martyrdom. But queen Sybilla trembled for herself and her captive husband; and the barons and knights, who had escaped from the sword and chains of the Turks, displayed the same factious and sellish spirit in the public ruin. The most numerous portion of the inhabitants were composed of the Greek and Oriental Christians, whom experience had taught to prefer the Mahometan before the Latin yoke ;43 and the holy sepulchre attracted a base and needy crowd, without arms or courage, who subsisted only on the charity of the pilgrims. Some feeble and hasty efforts were made for the defence of Jerusalem ; but in the space of fourteen days, a victorious army drove back the sallies of the besieged, planted their engines, opened the wall to the breadth of fifteen cubits, applied their scaling ladders, and erected on the breach twelve banners of the prophet and the sultan. It was in vain that a barefoot procession of the queen, the women, and the monks, implored the Son of God to save his tomb and his inheritance from impious violation. Their sole hope was in the mercy
61 Renaud, Reginald, or Arnold de Chatillon, is celebrated by the Latins in his life and death ; but the circumstances of the latter are more distinctly related by Bohadin and Abulfeda ; and Joinville (Hist. de St. Louis, p. 70,) ailudes to the practice of Saladin, of never putting to death a prisoner who bad tasted his bread and salt. Some of the companions of Arnold had been slaugbtered, and almost sacrificed, in a valley of Mecca, ubi sacrificia mactantur (Abulseda, p. 32.)
61 Vertot, who well describes the loss of the kingdom and city (Hist, des Chevaliers de Malthe, tom. i. I. ii. p. 226–278,) inserts two original cpistles of a knight templar.
63 Renaudot, Hist. Patriarch. Alex, p. 545.