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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 131



he enjoyed; and that, when Mahomet had made his great conquests over mankind, he quarrelled with and separated from Aly, who perceiving the pride of Mahomet, and that he wished to trample upon him, began to draw as many as he could to his doctrines, and retired to a part of the deserts and mountains of Egypt, where he gave them a different creed from that of Mahomet Those who support the religion of Al y call those who follow Mahomet unbelievers, as the Mahometans in like manner style the Bedouins infidels. Each party, in this respect, says the truth, for in fact they are both unbelievers. One of the points of doctrine of Aly consists in the belief that when any one is killed by the command or in the service of his superior, the soul of the person so killed* goes into another body of higher rank, and enjoys more comforts than before. It is for this reason that the Bedouins of the mountain are ambitious to be killed in tbe service of their prince, in the expectation of enjoying the above recompense. Another point is, that no man can die before his predetermined day. This the Bedouins so firmly believe, that they never go in armour to battle ; for, if they did, they would think they were acting contrary to the dogmas of their faith. When they swear at their children, they usually say, " Mayest thou be cursed like him who arms himself for fear of death," which, they think, every one should be ashamed of. This is an absurd error ; for it supposes that God, who is all-powerful, cannot abridge or lengthen life at his pleasure. It is also false, for in Him alone resides omnipotency. While Father Yves Le Breton was on his embassy to the Old Man of the Mountain, he one day found at the head of the prince's bed a small book,t in which were written many of the excellent words that our Saviour had said to Peter during his residence on earth, and prior to his passion. Father Yves, having read them, said, α Ah ! my lord ! the frequent reading of this book will do you much good ; for, small as it may be, it contains many excellent things." * They had borrowed from the Arabians the doctrine of the Metempsychosis. f This prince had, in this respect, followed the example of his predecessors, who had made themselves acquainted with the mysteries of our religion, by reading the Erangelists and Epistles of St. Paul.


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