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CHARLES J. ROSEBAULT. Saladin. Prince of Chivalry


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Saladin. Prince of Chivalry
page 147

so many different kinds of men would have no stomach for the formalities which hem in the spirit and check free intercourse. Having surrounded himself with clever and talented men his object was to draw from each what he had to give for the entertainment or instruction of the company, and at the same time create the subtle spirit of fellowship which would inspire the poets and weavers of tales among them to give free rein to their fancy. The more one delves into those nights at Damascus the more one is convinced that they must have been really worth while, gatherings from which the participants went forth stimulated to high purpose and aglow with that warmth of comradery which issues only from the free contact of man with man in the glow of lamp and candle light, when bodies are relaxed and tongues run freely. It is not difficult to reconstruct such a night from the evidence at hand sufficiently to give some impression of its atmosphere. The Sultan is on the scene early, for he is punctilious in politeness to his guests. He is in simple attire, for it is his habit to wear only garments of wool, cotton or linen, and though there is much mention of his gifts of handsome "robes of honor" to simple holy men, poets and scholars, as well as to princes, ambassadors and warriors of mark, his pleasure evidently was in the giving of these elegant garments and not in the wearing of them. The guests arrive, are greeted warmly and simply, for Saladin puts aside formal ceremony wherever it can be avoided. Even newcomers are made to feel that

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