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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 86



We were instantly on horseback, and hastened to attack the Germans, whom, with hard blows of sword and lance, we drove from the monastery, where many were killed and wounded. When this was done, the good man fell on his knees before the altar, and cried with a loud voice to our Lord, praying that he would be pleased to have mercy on his soul, that he might die for his service, to the end that he might be entitled to the reward of paradise. I have related this, that yon may know, as I firmly believe, that God has granted to him the request he then made. After this battle was ended, the king summoned all his barons, knights, and other great lords, to whom, when assembled, he thus kindly addressed himself : " My lords and friends, you have all now witnessed the great grace which God our Creator has of late shewn us, and continues to do so daily, for which we are bounden to return him our thanksgiving. Last Tuesday, which was Shrovetide, we, aided by him, dislodged our enemies from their quarters, of which we have gained the possession. This Friday, which is now passed, we have defended ourselves against them, very many of us being without arms, while they were completely armed on horseback, and on their own ground." Many more fair speeches did he make ; and the good king dwelt much upon what had passed, to comfort and give them courage and faith in God. In pursuing the subject-matter of my book it is necessary now and then to make digressions, and to inform you of the manner in which the sultan supported his men-at-arms, and how his armies were supplied. It is true that the greater part of his chivalry was composed of foreigners, whom the merchants trading by sea had bought when young, and whom the Egyptians purchased by order of their sultan. They came mostly from the east ; for when an eastern king* had defeated in battle another neighbouring monarch, the victor, and * It is still the castoni of the Turks to compose their principal military force, the Jsnissries, from tributary children, sent for this purpose every fifth year by commissaries established in the provinces. These children are carried off from Christians, and are instructed in the Turkish religion, and trained up to military exercises. Soldiers, thus educated, and unacquainted with their parents and birth, only acknowledge the Grand Signor for their father and protector, which is one of the best political maxims of the infidels, although contrary to the law of nature.


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