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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 127



that he could not think my demands extravagant; and said to me, that he retained me in his service. Not long after this, the emperor of Germany sent an embassy to the king, with credential letters, to say that he had written to the sultan of Babylon, of whose death ho was ignorant, to give credit to those he sent to him, and, cost what it would, to deliver the king of France and his army from their captivity. But I well remember, that several said they believed the emperor wished to find them still prisoners ; tor they suspected, that his motive in sending this embassy was to cause us to be more straitly confined, and more heavily oppressed. When the ambassadors found us at liberty, they returned to the emperor. After this embassy was departed, there arrived at Acre another from the sultan of Damascus to the king. The sultan complained, in his letter, of the admirals of Egypt, for having put to death their sultan, who was his cousin. H e offered, if the king would assist him against them, to deliver up the kingdom of Jerusalem, which they held. The king replied to these ambassadors, that if they would retire to their lodgings, which had been prepared for them, they should shortly have an answer on the subject on which the sultan of Damascus had written to him. To this they consented ; and the king resolved, in council, to send his answer by the ambassadors: but that they should be accompanied by a monk, called Father Yves le Breton, who was of the order of Preaching Friars. Father Yves was sent for, and despatched to the ambassadors of the sultan, to say, the king had ordered him to accompany them to Damascus, to inform the sultan what were the king's intentions respecting the Saracens. This Father Yves did; but I must relate an incident which I heard from him. On going from the king's residence to the lodgings of the ambassadors, he met a very old woman in the street, having in her right hand a porringer full of fire, and in her left a phial of water. Father u Yves asked, Woman, what art thou going to do with this fire and water which thou art carrying ?" She replied, that with the fire she wished to burn paradise, and with the water to drown hell, so that there should be never


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