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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 110



lodgings, he made the sign of the cross on the ground, and crossed his body all orer. The Saracens added, that if their Mahomet had allowed them to suffer the manifold evils that God had caused the king to undergo, they would never have had any confidence in him, nor paid him their adorations. Not long after the conventions had been completed between the king and the admirals, it was determined that on the morrow of the feast of the Ascension of our Lord, Damietta should be surrendered to the Turks, and the king and all the other prisoners set at liberty. Our four galleys were anchored before the bridge of Damietta, where a pavilion had been pitched for the king's landing. Abont sunrise of the appointed day, Sir Geoffry de Sergines went to the town of Damietta* to deliver it to the admirals, and instantly the flags of the sultan were displayed from the walls. The Saracen knights entered the town, and drank of the wines they found there, insomuch that the greater part were drunk. One of them came on board our galley with his naked sword reeking with blood, telling us that he had killed six of our countrymen, which was a brutal thing for any knight or other to boast of. Before the surrender of Damietta, the queen had embarked with all our people on board the ships, except the poor sick, whom the Saracens were bound by their oath to take care oi, and give up on the payment of 200,000 livres, as has been mentioned. They were also to restore the war machines, salted meats, which they never eat, and our armour ; but these infidel dogs, on the contrary, killed all the sick, and cut to pieces the machines and other things which they had promised to take care of and restore at the proper time and place. They made a great heap of the whole, and set it on fire ; and it was so immense, the fire blazed from the Friday to the Sunday following. After they had thus killed, destroyed, and set fire to all they could lay hands on, we that ought to have had our * It was then under the guard of the duke of Burgundy and Olivier de Termes, in which the legate and a number of prelates had saved themselves ; as did likewise the queen of France, according to Matt. Paris. Aython, ch. 24, says, that when it had been surrendered to the Saracens, they completely destroyed it, and made it a desert, building another town farther distant from the river and sea, to which they gave the name of New Damietta.


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