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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 62



404 JOINVILLE'S MEMOIRS OF SAINT LOUIS IX. [PT. ix. is on the Rexi branch, that from that quarter they might tall on us. On Christmas day, whilst X and all my people were at dinner with my companion Pierre d'Avalon, the Saracens entered our camp, and slew many of our poor soldiers who had strayed into the fields. We instantly mounted our horses to attack them ; and well timed was it for my lord Perron, our host, who had quitted the camp on the first alarm ; for before we could overtake him, the Saracens had made him prisoner, and were carryinghim off with his brother, the lord Du Val. We pushed our horses forward, attacked the Saracene, and rescued these two good knights, whom they had already, by their blows, struck to the ground, and brought them back to the camp. The Templars, who were within hearing, formed a bold and determined rear-guard. The Turks continued to make repeated attacks on us in that quarter with much courage, until our army had closed up the canal toward Damietta, from that branch to the one of Rexi. This Sacedun, chief of the Turks, was held to be the most able and courageous of all the infidels. He bore on his banners the arras of the emperor who had made him a knight ; his banner had several bends,* on one of which he bore the same arms with the sultan of Aleppo, and on another bend on the side were the arms of the sultan of Babylon. His name was, as I said before, Sacedun, son of the sheik, which signifies the same in their language as to say the son of the old man. His name had great weight with them ; for they are a people, it is said, who pay much honour to such old men as have in their youth been especially careful to preserve their characters from reproach. This chief, as it was told the king by his spies, boasted, that on St. Sebastian's day next coming, he would dine in the king's tent. When the king heard this, he replied, that he would take good care to prevent it. He then drew his army in closer array, orders for which were given to the men-at-arms ; and to the count d'Artois, brother to the king, was given the com * It results from this passage that armorial bearings were in use among the Mahometans, and that their saltans or princes had them painted on their banners.


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