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JOHN LORD DE JOINVILLE Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France
page 6

where he had remained seven years with the king, Saint Louis, and in other parts ; for which God, out of his mercy, had preserved his body and mind in greater health and vigour to a longer period of time than had been allotted to any of bis predecessors. Although no deed has been found that marks precisely the time of his death, it must have been about the year 1318 ; for in that year his son Anoeau was in possession of the estete of Joinville, and of the office of seneschal of Champagne, as we shall see hereafter. There is a tradition at Joinville, that this lord was of an extraordinary stature and strength of body, and that his head was of an enormous size, as large again as that of any of his contemporaries, and that it may now be seen at Joinville with one of his thigh-bones. This agrees with what he writes himself of his constitution and habit of body, saying that he had " la tête grosse, et une froide fourcelle," meaning a cold stomach; for which cause, his physicians had ordered him to drink his wine pure, and to warm it. With regard to the qualities of his mind, it will be sufficient to say, that the great king, Saint Louis, appointed him one of his principal counsellors and ministers of state ; besides, he says of himself that he had a subtle wit. These memoirs, which Joinville finished in 1309, and published after the death of Philip the Fair, have always been highly esteemed by the public. Although they include s space of but six years, they give us sufficient information respecting the military system of those days, and the principles of administration adopted by St. Louis. They present to us a faithful picture of the customs and manners of our ancestors : they charm us by the affecting simplicity of style, which is one of its greatest merits ; and if we wish to become acquainted with the noble mind of St. Louis, it is in them displayed with the most exact truth. Among the different editions of these memoirs (in French), the two most approved of are that of Du Cange, printed in 1668, and the one published by the late Mr. Capperonnier in 1761. Whatever may be the merit of the edition of 1761, we prefer that of Du Cange. The public opinion, aa well as that of several learned friends, has deter mined us to make this choice. It is not surprising that the edition of Du Cange has preserved its great reputation; for that of. 1761, notwith standing the glossary which has been added to it, would not be intelligible for three-fourths of its readers, who, unless perfectly well versed in the old French language, would be fatigued and disgusted with it. The remarks with which Du Cange has enriched this edition, clear up a number of important facts contained in the memoirs of Joinville, and throw the greatest light on many points connected with the customs and institutions of that period. They seemed too precious to be withheld from our readers, and are, therefore, subjoined to the present edition.

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