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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 112



servants, it was agreed among the admirals, about sunset, that we should have our liberty, and we were in consequence brought back to Damietta. Our galleys were moored close to the shore, and we requested permission to land ; but they would not allow it until we had refreshed ourselves, for the Saracens said it would be a shame for the admirals to discharge us fasting from their prison. Shortly after they sent us provision from the army ; that is to say, loaves of cheese that had been baked in the sun to prevent the worms from collecting in them, with hard eggs, which had been boiled four or five days, and the shells of which, in honour to us, they had painted with various colours. When we had eaten some little, they put us on shore, and we went towards the king, whom the Saracens were conducting from the pavilion where they had detained him, toward the water-side. There were fuU 20,000 Saracens on foot surrounding the king, girded with sworda It chanced that a Genoese galley was on the river opposite to the king, on board of which there appeared but one man, who, the moment he saw the king, whistled, and instantly fourscore cross-bows, well equipped, with their bows bent and arrows placed, leaped on the deck from below. The Saracens no sooner saw them, than, panic struck, they ran away like sheep, and not more than two or three stayed with the king. The Genoese cast a plank on shore, and took on board the king, his brother the count d'Anjou, who was afterward king of Sicily, Sir Geoffry de Sergines, Sir Philip de Nemours, the marshal of France, the master of the Trinity, and myself. The count de Poitiers remained prisoner with the Saracens until the king should send the 200,000 livres which he was bound to pay before he quitted the river. The Saturday after the Ascension, which was the morrow of our deliverance, the earl of Flanders, the count de Soissons, and many other great lords, came to take leave of the king. He entreated them to delay going until his brother, the count de Poitiers, should have hie liberty ; but they replied it was not possible, for their galleys were on the point of sailing. They embarked on board their galleys on their return to France, and with them was the earl of Brittany, who was


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