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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 68



horses fell in and were drowned. The king seeing it, pointed it ont to the rest, that they might be more careful and avoid similar danger. Among those that were drowned was that valiant knight Sir John d'Orleans, who bore the banner of the army. When we came to the ford, we saw, on the opposite bank, full 300 Saracen cavalry ready to defend this passage. W e entered the river,- and our horses found a tolerable ford with firm footing, so that by ascending the stream we found an easy shore, and, through (rod's mercy, we all crossed over with safety. The Saracens, observing us thus cross, fled away with the utmost despatch. Before we set out, the king, had ordered that the Templars should form the van, and the count d'Artois, his brother, should command the second division of the army ; but the moment the count d'Artois had passed the ford with all his people, and saw the Saracens flying, they stuck spurs into their horses and galloped after them ; for which those who formed the van were much angered at the count d'Artois, who could not make any answer, on account of Sir Foucquault du Melle, who held the bridle of his horse ; and Sir Foucquault, being deaf, heard nothing the Templars were sayiog to the count d'Artois, but kept bawling out " Forward, forward !" When the Templars perceived this, they thought they should be dishonoured if they allowed the count d'Artois thus to take the lead, and with one accord they spurred their horses to their fastest speed, pursuing the Saracens through the town of Massoura, as far the plains before Babylon ; but on their return the Turks shot at them plenty of arrows, and other artillery, as they repassed through the narrow streets of the town. The count d'Artois and the lord de Coucy, of the name of Raoul, were there slain, and as many as 300 other* knights. The Templars lost, as their chief informed me, full fourteen score men-at-arms and horses. M y knights, as well as myself, noticing on our left a large body of Turks who were arming, instantly charged them ; and when we were advanced into the midst of them, I perceived a sturdy Saracen mounting his horse, which was held by one of his esquires by the bridle, and while he was putting his * The Oriental Chronicle says, that the French lost in this defeat, beside the brother of the king, fourteen hundred knights.


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