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

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JOHN LORD DE JOINVILLE
Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France
page 47



A.D. 1249.]] ARRIVAL AT DAMIETTA. 389 fleet on the Thursday after Whitsuntide at Damietta, where a great company were waiting for us. On the shore we saw the whole force of the sultan, who were handsome men to look at. The sultan wore arms of burnished gold of so fine a polish, that when the sun shone on them, he seemed like a sun himself. The tumult and noise they made with their horns and nacaires* was frightful to hear, and seemed very strange to the French. The king, perceiving this, called together his barons and counsellors to consult on what should be done. They advised him to wait until the whole of his force should arrive ; for he had not now with him a third part, owing, as I before said, to the contrariety of the wind. But the king would not consent, saying, that by such conduct he should encourage the enemy ; and likewise because there was not any port near in those seas whither he might retire, and wait in safety the return of those who bad been dispersed by the storm. He added, that a strong gust of wind might arise and separate them from each other in these foreign countries, as had happened to his other knights on Whitsunday last They acceded, therefore, to his proposal, that on the Friday preceding Trinity Sunday the king should disembark, and combat the Saracens, if it were not their fault. The king ordered the lord John de Belmont to cause a galley to be given to the lord Airart de Brienne, with whom I was, to land us and our men-at-arms, because the large ships could not approach near enough to the shore. Thus was it the will of God that I should quit my ship, and enter a small galley, which I thought I had lost, and wherein were eight of my horses. This galley had been given me by Madame de Baruth, cousin-german to the count de Montbehal. The lord Airart de Brienne and I, fully armed, went to the * The Italians call them and gnacara. Philippo Venuto says, that it is a " Stromento musico, col quale i fanciulli cantano il san Martino." Pietro de la Valle, in his Travels, ep. 6, says, that a sort of drum is called by this name which is used by the German cavalry, and which we commonly call tymbals. Jean d'Oronville, in his History of Louis, Duke of Bourbon, chap. 76, attributes in like manner the naccaires to the Saracens of Africa. " The king of Tunis, the king of Tremeçen, and the king of Bugia, came before the town of Africa with their array, and, according to custom, attended by their naccaires, drums, cymbals, flutes, and shoutings."


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