unexpected approach, and the city was quickly delivered into his hands.
Muhammed was sensible that by acquiring possession of the sacred city he had not secured the affections of the Koreish; but by an affected show of clemency he hoped to banish hatred and distrust from their minds. The keys of the Kaaba were delivered to him by Otham; but he returned them to their former possessor, who either won by his clemency, or awed by his sword, embraced the faith of the conqueror. Khalid was severely reprimanded for permitting the slaughter of eight and twenty of the Koreish, and a general pardon was extended to the whole tribe, with the exception of six men and four women, who had been notorious for their hatred to the doctrines and person of the prophet. The penitence, however, or rather the riches and influence, of Hobar ibn al Aswad, who had been his personal enemy, procured his pardon, and he was informed that Islamism had the power of effacing and abolishing all past offences. Amongst the Celtic inhabitants of ancient Britain, the bards had a predominating influence over the mind of the prince and his warriors, and it is pretended that they roused the resentment of the English king Edward, as being the greatest obstacle to his conquests. A similar influence was enjoyed by the poets of the turbu-
- Gagnier, tom. ii. p. 131.
- Id. ib.
scribed by Al Edrisi, as a place between Medina and Mecca, seventy miles from the latter, and five from the sea.