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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 71



I then quitting hold of the rein of hie bridle, he galloped towards the count d'Anjou, to request he would support us in the danger we were in. There was a great lord with him who wished to detain him, but the good prince would not attend to what he urged, but, spurring his horse, galloped towards us followed by his men. The Saracens, observing them coming, left us ; bnt when on their arrival they saw the Saracens carrying away their prisoner, Sir Raould de Wanon, badly wounded, they hastened to recover him, and brought him back in a most pitiful state. Shortly after, I saw the king arrive with all his attendants, and with a terrible noise of trumpets, clarions, and horns. He halted on an eminence, with his men-at-arms, for something be had to say ; and I assure you I never saw so handsome a man under arms. He was taller than any of his troop by the shoulders ; and his helmet, which was gilded, was handsomely placed on his head ; and he bore a German sword* in his hand. Soon after he had halted, many of his knights were observed intermixed with the Turks : their companions instantly rushed into the battle among them ; and you must know, that in this engagement were performed, on both sides, the most gallant deeds that were ever done in this expedition to the Holy Land ; for none made use of the bow,t cross-bow, or * William Goiart, in the Life of Philip Augustus, speaks of these German swords : — M A grans espées d'Allemagne Leur tranchent souvent les poins outre.'· In bis description of the battle of Bovines, be says that the Germane fought with short and sharp swords. The emperor Nicephorns Phocas reproaches the Germans, through his ambassador Luitprandus, for their long swords. In some old ordinances of the town of Paris mention is made of the swords of Lubec. The French, on the contrary, used short swords. William Guiart : — " Li François espées reportent, Courtes et roi dee, dont ils taillent." f To sul an enemy by the bow, cross-bow, or other artillery, has never been esteemed by the French an action of valour. They only valued blows from the hand, sword, or lance, which required address and skill ; and it was for this reason, that, in process of time, they forbade the use of cross-bows, arrows, and poisoned dirts : it was not sufficient to destroy the enemy by any means whatever, it was necessary that he should be conquered by fair farce, and with such arms as displayed the dexterity of the person using


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