129. The Saladin of the Crusades. See Gibbon, Chap. LIX. Dante
also makes mention of him, as worthy of affectionate remembrance, in
the " Convito", IV. 2. Mr. Cary quotes the following passage from
Knolle's " History of the Turks", page 57:--
"About this time (1193) died the great Sultan Saladin, the
greatest terror of the Christians, who, mindful of man's
fragility and the vanity of worldly honors, commanded at the time
of his death no solemnity to be used at his burial, but only his
shirt, in manner of an ensign, made fast unto the point of a
lance, to be carried before his dead body as an ensign, a plain
priest going before, and crying aloud unto the people in this
sort, `Saladin' Conqueror of the East, of all the greatness and
riches he had in his life, carrieth not with him anything more
than his shirt. ' A sight worthy so great a king, as wanted
nothing to his eternal commendation more than the true knowledge
of his salvation in Christ Jesus. He reigned about sixteen years
with great honor. " The following story of Saladin is from the
"Cento Novelle Antiche. "
Roscoe's "Italian Novelists", I. 18:--
"On another occasion the great Saladin, in the career of victory,
proclaimed a truce between the Christian armies and his own.
During this interval he visited the camp and the cities belonging
to his enemies, with the design, should he approve of the customs
and manners of the people, of embracing the Christian faith. He
observed their tables spread with the finest damask coverings
ready prepared for the feast, and he praised their magnificence.
On entering the tents of the king of France during a festival, he
was much pleased with the order and ceremony with which
everything was conducted, and the courteous manner in which he
feasted his nobles; but when he approached the residence of the
poorer class, and perceived them devouring their miserable
pittance upon the ground, he blamed the want of gratitude which
permitted so many faithful followers of their chief to fare so
much worse than the rest of their Christian brethren.
"Afterwards, several of the Christian leaders returned with the
Sultan to observe the manners of the Saracens. They appeared much
shocked on seeing all ranks of people take their meals sitting
upon the ground. The Sultan led them into a grand pavilion where
he feasted his court, surrounded with the most beautiful
tapestries, and rich foot-cloths, on which were wrought large
embroidered figures of the cross. The Christian chiefs trampled
them under their feet with the utmost indifference, and even
rubbed their boots, and spat upon them. "On perceiving this,
the Sultan turned towards them in the greatest anger, exclaiming:
`And do you who pretend to preach the cross treat it thus
ignominiously? Gentlemen, I am shocked at your conduct.
Am I to suppose from this that the worship of your Deity
consists only in words, not in actions? Neither your manners nor
your conduct please me.' And on this he dismissed them,
breaking off the truce and commencing hostilities more
warmly than before."
143. Avicenna, an Arabian physician of Ispahan in the eleventh
century. Born 980, died 1036.
144. Avverrhoes, an Arabian scholar of the twelfth century, who
translated the works of Aristotle, and wrote a commentary upon
them. He was born in Cordova in 1149, and died in Morocco, about
1200. He was the head of the Western School of philosophy, as
Avicenna was of the Eastern.