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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 87



bis people, seized tbe subjects of tbe vanquished, whom they sold to merchants, who bought them, as I have said, to sell again in Egypt The children born from these captives the sultan supported and educated, and when their beards appeared, they were taught to draw the bow, by way of amusement ; and when he was in a jocund mood they displayed their skill before him. As they increased in strength, their small bows were exchanged for others of greater weight, and proportioned to their powers. These youths bore the arms of the sultan, and were called bis Bahairiz.* When their beards were grown, the sultan made them knights; and their emblazonments were like his, of pure gold, save that to distinguish them, they added bars of vermilion, with roses, birds, griffins, or any other difference as they please. They were called the band of La Hauleca, which signifies the archers of the king's guard ; and were always about the person of the sultan to defend him. When the sultan went to war they were quartered near him as his body-guard. He had, beside these, other guards still nearer to his person, such as porters and minstrels, who played upon their instruments from the break of day until the sultan rose ; and in the evenings sounded tbe retreat Their instruments made so loud a noise, that those who were near them could not hear each other speak ; and their notes were distinctly heard throughout the army. During the daytime, they dared on no account play on them, without express orders from the commander of the Hauleca. * Bahairiz.—This word comes from Bahr, which the Arabians use to express the sea. or any great collection of water. The name of Bahairiz was first given to a thousand youths, whom Melik-Ussali had bought of the Tartars who ravaged the Turquestan, and whom he had educated in all military exercises in a castle, built by his orders, opposite to Cairo, on an island of the Kile called Revdhah. This fort was called Bahriieh, or tbe Maritime Fortress, on account of the Nile surrounding it. It was in this castle that Melik-Ussali, who had not forgotten the cowardly conduct of his troops at the siege of Napoulous, fixed his residence. He gave his whole confidence to these Bahairiz, loaded them with favours, and named from among them the governors of provinces, the commanders of his armies, and the first officers of the state. The remainder were reserved for the guard of his new palace, and to attend on him wherever he went, during peace or war. It is this body of troops the lord de Join ville means under the name of La Hauleca.


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