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caliph himself. Syracon, with his Turks, whom Sanar hath gotten to come into Egypt, will not now be entreated there to leave him, and quietly go their way home. They seize upon the town of Belbeis, which they fortify, and there attend the arrival of more company from Damascus, for the conquest of all Egypt. The soldan perceives their intent, and finds himself not strong enough to expell them, much less to repel the Turkish army, that was likely to second them. He therefore sends messengers to king Almaricke, of Jerusalem, whom with large promises he gets to bring him aid, and so drives out the Turks. Of all this trouble the great caliph hears nothing, or not so much as .should make him look to the playing of his own game.
A greater mischief ariseth, concerning the caliph Elhadech, particularly in his own title. Syracon, captain of the Turks, that had been in Egypt, goes to the caliph of Baldach, (who was opposite to him of Egypt, each of them claiming, as heir to Mahomet, that false prophet, the sovereignty over all that were of the Saracen law,) and tells him the weakness of the Egyptian, with his own ability of doing service in those parts, offering his best means for the extirpation of the schismatical caliph, and the reduction of all Egypt, with the western parts, under the subjection of the Babylonians. This motion is readily and joyfully entertained; all the eastern provinces are up in arms; and Syracon, with a mighty power, dcscendeth into Egypt. The noise of this great expedition so affrighteth king Almaricke, that with all his forces he hasteth into Egypt; well knowing how nearly it concerned him and his kingdom of Jerusalem, to keep the Saracens from joining all under one head. Sanar the soldan, perceiving the faithful care of the Christians his friends, welcomes them, and bestirs himself in giving them all manner of content, as it behoved him; for by their admirable valour, he finally drove the enemies out of the country. But this victory was not so soon gotten as it is quickly told.
Strange it is, (which most concerns our present purpose,) that of so desperate a danger the caliph as yet seems to know nothing. May we not think him to have been king in title only, who meddled so little in the government? The soldan, finding that the Christians, (without whose help all was lost,) could not well stay so long as his necessities required, makes large offers to king Almaiicke, upon condition that he should abide by it. He promiseth a great tribute, (William of Tyre calls it a tribute, the Saracens, perhaps, called it a pension,) which the kings of Jerusalem should receive out of Egypt, for this behoveful assistance. But the Christians, understanding that the soldan, (how much soever he took upon him,) was subject to an higher lord, would make no bargain of such importance with any other than the caliph himself. Hereupon Hugh, Earl of Cassarea, and a knight of the Templars, are sent unto Elhadech, to ratify the covenants. Now shall we see the greatness of the caliph and his estate.
These embassadors were conveyed by the soldan to Cairo, where arriving at the palace, they found it guarded by great troops of soldiers. The first entrance was through dark porches, that were kept by many armed bands of Ethiopians, which, with all diligence, did reverence unto the soldan, as he passed along. Through these straits the warders led them into goodly open courts, of such beauty and riches, that they could not retain the gravity of ambassadors, but were enforced to admire the things that detained their eyes. For there they saw goodly marble pillars, gilded beams, all wrought over with embossed works, curious pavements, fish-ponds of marble with clear waters, and many sort* of strange birds, unknown in those parts of the world, as coming perhaps from the East Indies, which then were undiscovered. The farther they went, the greater was the magnificence ; for the caliph's eunuchs conveyed them into other courts within these, as far excelling the former, as the former did surpass ordinary houses. It were tedious perhaps to rehearse how, the further they entered, the more high state they found, and cause of marvel; suffice it, that the good archbishop, who wrrote these things, was never held a vain author. Finally, they were brought into the caliph's own lodgings, which were yet more stately, and better guarded, where entering the presence, the soldan, having twice prostrated himself, did the third time cast off his sword that he wore about his neck, and throw himself on the ground, before the curtain, behind which the caliph sat. Presently the traverse, wrought with gold and pearls, was opened, and the caliph himself discovered sitting with great majesty on a throne of gold, having few of his most inward servants and eunuchs about him. When the soldan had humbly kissed his master's feet, he briefly told the cause of his coming, the danger wherein the land stood, and the oflers that he had made unto king Almaricke, desiring the caliph himself to ratify them, in presence of the ambassadors. The caliph answered, that he would thoroughly perform all that was promised. But this contented not the ambassadors: they would have him to give his hand upon the bargain; which the Egyptians, that stood by, thought an impudent request. Yet his greatness condescended at length, after much deliberation, at the earnest request of the soldan, to reach out his hand. When the Earl of Caesarea saw that the caliph gave his hand, neither willingly nor bare, he told him roundly this much in effect: ' Sir, Truth seeks no holes to hide itself; prin'ces that will hold covenant, must deal openly, naked'ly, and sincerely : give us therefore your bare hand, * if you mean that we shall trust you, for we will 'make no bargain with your glove.' Much ado there was about this; for it seemed against the majesty of such a prince to yield so far. But, when it
would none otherwise be, with a smiling cheer, (though to the great grief of his servants) he vouchsafed to let the earl take him by the bare hand ; and so rehearsing the covenants, word by word, as the earl spoke them, he ratified all; dismissing finally the ambassadors, with such rewards as testified his greatness.
In this caliph and his soldan, we may discern the image of the ancient Pharaoh and his viceroy; we see a prince of great estate, sitting in his palace, and not vexing himself with the great preparations made against him, which terrify his neighbour countries; we see his viceroy, in the mean season, using all royal power; making war and peace, entertaining and repelling armies of strangers: yea, making the land of Egypt tributary to a foreign prince. What greater authority was given to Joseph, when Pharaoh said unto him, ' Thou shalt be over mine house, 'and at thy word shall all my people be armed, only * in the king's throne will I be above thee; behold, 1 I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.'
I do not commend this form of government; neither can I approve the conjecture of mine author, where he thinks, that the Egyptians, ever since Joseph's time, have felt the burden of that servitude, which he brought upon them, when he bought them, and their lands, for Pharaoh. Herein I find his judgment good; that he affirms this manner of the Egyptian kings, in taking their ease, and ruling by a viceroy, to be part of the ancient customs practised by the Pharaohs. For we find that even the Ptolemies, (excepting Ptolemaeus Lagi, and his son Philadelphus, founder and establisher of that race,) were given, all of them, wholly to please their own appetites, leaving the charge of the kingdom to women, eunuchs, and other ministers of their desires. The pleasures which that country afforded, were indeed sufficient to invite the kings thereof unto a voluptuous life; and the awful regard wherein the Egyptians held their princes, gave them security, whereby they might the better trust their officers with so ample commission. But of this matter I will not stand longer to dispute. It is enough to have shewed, that the great and almost absolute power of the viceroy's governing Egypt, is set down by Moses; and that a lively example of the same is found in William of Tyre, who lived in the same age was in few years after chancellor of the kingdom of Jerusalem, and had full discourse with Hugh Earl of Caesarea touching all these matters. Wherefore it remains, that we be not carried away with a vain opinion, to believe that all they were kings whom reports of the fabulous Egyptians have honoured with that style; but rest contented with a catalogue of such as we find by circumstance likely to have reigned in that country; after whom it follows that we should make enquiry.
Of Acherres; 'whether he were Uchoreus that was the eighth from Osymandyas. Of Osymandyas and his tomb.
In this business I hold it vain to be too curious. For who can hope to attain to the perfect knowledge of the truth, when Diodorus varies from Herodotus, Eusebius from both of them; and late writers, that have sought to gather the truth out of these and others, find no one with whom they can agree. In this case Annius would do good service, if a man could trust him. But it is enough to be beholden to him, when others do either say nothing, or that which may justly be suspected. I will, therefore, hold myself contented with the pleasure that he hath done me, in saying somewhat of Osiris, Isis, Or us, and those antiquities removed so far out of sight. As for the kings following the departure of Israel out of Egypt, it shall suffice, that Herodotus, Diodorus, and Eusebius, have not been silent, and