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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 4410 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2009, 11:03:58 pm »

Finding the benefit which might be derived from the daggers of the Fedavee, Kameshtegin resolved to employ them against his personal enemies. The vizir of the young prince, and two of the principal emirs, had laid a plot for his destruction. Coming to the knowledge of it, he determined to be beforehand with

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them, and, watching the moment when Malek-es-Saleh was about to mount his horse to go to the chase, he approached him, requesting his signature to a blank paper, under pretence of its being necessary for some affair of urgent importance. The young prince signed his name without suspicion, and Kameshtegin instantly wrote on the paper a letter to the Sheikh of the Assassins, in which Malek-es-Saleh was made to request him to send men to put those three emirs out of the way. The Ismaïlite chief readily complied with the request, as he supposed it to be, of his young friend and neighbour, and several Fedavees were despatched to execute his wishes. Two of these fell on the vizir as he was going out of the eastern gate of a mosk near his own house. They were cut to pieces on the spot. Soon after three fell on the emir Mujaheed as he was on horseback. One of them caught hold of the end of his cloak, in order to make more sure of him, but the emir gave his horse the spurs, and broke away, leaving his cloak behind. The people seized the Assassins, two of whom were recognized as being acquaintances of the emir's head groom. One of them was crucified, and along with him the groom as an accomplice: on the breast of the latter was placed this inscription, "This is the reward of the concealer of the Impious." The others were dragged to the castle, and beaten on the soles of their feet to make them confess what had induced them to attempt the commission of such a crime. In the midst of his tortures one of them cried out, "Thou didst desire of our lord Sinan the murder of thy slaves, and now thou dost punish us for performing thy wishes." Full of wrath Malek-es-Saleh wrote a letter to the sheikh Sinan filled with the bitterest reproaches. The sheikh made no other reply than that of sending him back the letter bearing his own subscription. Historians do not tell us what

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the final result was; and it is also in a great measure uncertain at what time this event occurred.

The Assassins did not give over their attempts upon Saladin, whose power became more formidable to them after he had deprived the family of Noor-ed-deen of their honours and dominions; and he was again attacked by them in his camp before the fortress of Ezag. One of them assailed him and wounded him in the head, but the sultan (he had now assumed that title) caught him by the arm and struck him down. A second rushed on--he was cut down by the guards; a third, a fourth, shared the same fate. Terrified at their obstinate perseverance, the sultan shut himself up in his tent during several days, and ordered all strangers and suspicious persons to quit the camp.

Next year (1176) the sultan, being at peace with his other enemies, resolved to take exemplary vengeance on those who had so unprovokedly attempted his life. Assembling an army, he entered the mountains, wasted with fire and sword the territory of the Ismaïlites, and came and laid siege to Massyat. The power of the Syrian Ismaïlites would have been now extinguished but for the intercession of the Prince of Hama, the sultan's uncle, who, at the entreaty of Sinan, prevailed on his nephew to grant a peace on condition of no attempt being made at any future time on his life. Sinan gladly assented to these terms, and he honourably kept his engagement, for the great Saladin reigned fifteen years after this time, carried on continual wars, conquered Jerusalem and the Holy Land, exposed himself to danger in the field and in the camp, but no Assassin was ever again known to approach him with hostile intentions.


106:* The former of these names is Arabic, the latter Persian.

108:* He was accompanied by Saladin, who gives the following account of his own repugnance to the expedition:--"When Noor-ed-deen ordered me to go to Egypt with my uncle, after Sheerkoh had said to me in his presence, 'Come Yoossuf, make ready for the journey!' I replied, 'By God, if thou wert to give me the kingdom of Egypt I would not go, for I have endured in Alexandria what I shall not forget while I live.' But Sheerkoh said to Noor-ed-deen, 'It cannot be but that he should accompany me.' Whereupon Noor-ed-deen repeated his command, but I persisted in my refusal. As Noor-ed-deen also adhered to his determination, I excused myself by pleading the narrowness of my circumstances. Noor-ed-deen then gave me all that was requisite for my outfit, but I felt as if I was going to death."--Abulfeda.

109:* William of Tyre xx. 12.

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