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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 79



at ; for their hair and beards are long and black. They live on the superabundance of the milk from their herds ; and their numbers are not to be counted ; for they dwell in the kingdoms of Jerusalem, Egypt, and throughout all the lands of the Saracens and infidels, to whom they are tributary. Now I am on the subject of the Bedouins, I must say that I have seen, since my return from the Holy Land, some calling themselves Christians, who hold similar faith with the Bedouins ; for they maintain that no man can die before his determined time, happen what may, which is a falsehood. I consider such a belief the same as if they should say that God had not the power to assist or hurt us, nor to lengthen or abridge our lives, which is heresy. On the contrary, I declare that we ought to put our whole faith in him who is all-powerful, and may, according to his good pleasure, send us death sooner or later. This is the opposite to the faith of the Bedouins, who firmly believe the day of death to each person is determined infallibly, without any possibility of prolonging or shortening the time. To return to the original matter, and continue my history. In the evening of this severe engagement that I spoke of, and when we had taken up our quarters in those from whence we had driven the Saracens, my people brought me, from the main army, a tent, which the master of the Templars, who had the command of the van, had given me. I had it pitched on the right of those machines we had won from the enemy, as each of us was eager for repose : indeed we had need of it, from the wounds and fatigues we had suffered in the late battle. Before daybreak, however, we were alarmed by the cries of " To arms, to arms ! " and I made my chamberlain rise, who lay by my side, to go and see what was the matter. He was not long in returning, much frightened, and crying out, u My lord, up instantly ; for the Saracens have entered the camp, both horse and foot, and have already defeated the guard which the king had appointed for our security, and to defend the engines we had won from them." These engines were in front of the king's pavilions, and of us who were near to him. I immediately rose, threw a cuirass on my back, and put my iron skull-cap on my head s


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