That he might not, therefore, have two enemies at such a distance from each other upon his hands at once, this year, as soon as the rains were over, he determined to march and attack the basha. The basha was very soon informed of his designs, and as soon prepared to meet them; so that the king found him already in the field, encamped on his own side of the Mareb, but without having committed, till then, any act of hostility. He marched out of his camp, and formed, upon seeing the royal army approach; leaving a sufficient field for the king to draw up in, if he should incline to cross the river, and attack him.
This confident, rather than prudent conduct of the basha, did not intimidate the king, who being used to improve ever)' advantage coolly, and without bravado, embraced this very opportunity his enemy chose to give him. He formed, therefore, on his own side of the Mareb, and passed it in as good order as possible, considering it is a swift stream, and very deep at that season of the year. He halted several times while his men were in the water, to put them again in order, as if he had expected to be attacked the moment he landed on the other side. The basha, a man of knowledge in his profession, who saw this cautious conduct of the king, is laid to have cried out, "How unlike he is to what I have heard of his father!" alluding to the general rash behaviour of the late king Menas whilst at the head of his army.
Sertza Denghel having left all his baggage on the other side, and palled the river, drew up his army in the same deliberate manner in which he had crossed the Mareb, and formed opposite to the basha; as if he had been acting un-