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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 81



they could not defend themselves, and took to flight, to the great astonishment of the other Turks and Saracena When the Turks saw their leaders fly, they stuck spurs into their horses, and charged the priest, who was returning to our army, whence had sallied fifty of our men to oppose them, as they were pursuing him on horseback : the Turks would not meet them, but wheeled off two or three times. It happened, however, that during these wheelings, one of our men threw his dagger* at a Turk, and hit him between the ribs : he carried off the dagger, but it caused his death. The other Turks, seeing this, were more shy than before, and never dared to approach while our men were carrying away the stones of the rampart. My priest was well known ever after by the whole army, who said when they saw him, 1 4 That is tbe priest who, single-handed, defeated the Saracens." These things happened during tbe first day of Lent ; and this same day the Saracens elected another chief^ in the place of their late chief, Secedun, of whom mention has been made, and who died in the battle of Shrove-Tuesday ; at the same time, probably, that the good count d'Artois, brother to tbe king St. Louis, was slain. Tbis new chief found among the other dead the body of the count d'Artois, who had shewn great intrepidity in this battle, magnificently dressed, becoming a prince; and this chief took the count's coat of armour, and, to give courage to tbe Turks and Saracens, had it hoisted before them, telling them it was the coat-armour of the king their enemy, who had been slain in battle ; adding, " My lords, this should make you exert yourselves the more, for body without head is nothing, nor is an army without prince or chief to be feared. I advise, and you ought to have confidence in me, that we increase the force of our attacks on them ; and on Friday next we must conquer and gain the battle, since they have now lost their commander." AU who heard him cheerfully agreed to follow his advice. You must know that the king had many spies in the Saracen army, who, having overheard their plans, knew their inten * The word dague is still in use for a small knife or dagger. The Spaniards call it dagas, the English dagger. The statutes of William, king of Scotland, cap. 23 :—" Habeat equum, habergeon, capitium e ferro et cultellum, qui dicitur dagger."


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