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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 109



cens for the king, and was then come to him to assist in his delivery from them. It was the custom among the Pagans and Christians, that in case any two princes were at war with each other, and one of them should die during the time ambassadors were sent to either, the ambassadors were, in such case, to remain prisoners, whether in pagan land or in Christendom ; and because the sultan, lately murdered, had granted a safe-conduct to this patriarch, he was become a prisoner to the Saracens as well as ourselves. The admirals perceiving the king was not to be frightened by their menaces, one of them said to the others, that it was the patriarch who had thus advised him ; and if they would allow him to act, he would force the king to take the oath, for he would cut off the head of the patriarch, and make it fly into the king's lap. The rest would not agree to this ; but they seized the good patriarch, and tied him to a post in the presence of the king, and bound his hands behind his back so tightly, that they soon swelled as big as his head ; and the blood spouted ont from several parts of his hands. From the sufferings he endured, he cried out, " Ah ! sire, sire, swear boldly ; for I take the whole sin of it on my own soul, since it is by this means alone you may have the power to fulfil your promises." I know not whether the oath was taken at last ; but however that may be, the admirals at length held themselves satisfied with the oaths of the king and his lords then present When the knights of the Hauleca had slain the sultan, the admirals ordered their trumpets and nacaires to sound merrily before the king's tent ; and it was told the king, that the admirals had holden a council and were very desirous to elect him sultan of Babylon. The king one day asked me, if I were of opinion, that if the kingdom of Babylon had been offered him, he ought to have taken it ? I answered, that if he had, he would have done a foolish thing, seeing they had murdered their lord. Notwithstanding this, the king told me he should have scarcely refused it. This project only failed from the admirals saying among themselves, that the king was the proudest Christian they ever knew ; and that, if they elected him sultan, he would force them to turn Christians, or have them put to death. This they said from observing, that whenever he quitted his 2 Q 2


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