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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 142



484 JOINVILLB'S MKMOIRfl OP 8AINT LOUIS IX. []PT.IL When he heard my terms, he burst into laughter, and said that he retained me accordingly; then, taking me by the hand, he led me before the legate to his council, and repeated the convention that had been agreed to between as. Every one was joyous on hearing it, and consequently I remained. I will now speak of the acts of justice, and the sentences of the king, which I witnessed during his stay at Cassare*. The first was on a knight who had been caught in a house of ill fame : be gave him the alternative,* that the prostitute with whom he had been found should lead him in his shirt through the army, with a cord tied to his private parts, one end of which cord the prostitute was to hold ; or, should he not like this, he should forfeit his horse, armour, and accoutrements, and be driven from and banished the king's army. The knight preferred the loss of his horse and arms, and banishment from the army. When I saw the horse was forfeited, I requested to have him for one of my knights who was a poor gentleman ; but the king said my request was unreasonable, for that the horse was well worth nom fourscore to a hundred livres, which was no small sum. I answered, 4 1 Sire, you have broken our convention in thus replying to my request." The king laughed, and said, " Lord de Joinville, you may say what you please, but you shall not put me in a passion the sooner." However, I did not get the horse for my poor gentleman. The second act of justice I witnessed was on some of my knights who, one day, had gone to hunt the animal called an antelope, which is something like a roe-buck. The Knights Hospitallers had sallied out to meet my knights, fought with them, and did them much mischief, for which outrage I went to lay my complaints before their commander, taking with me those of my knights who had been wounded. The commander, having heard my accusation, promised to do me justice, according to the rules and customs of the Holy Land, which were, to make the brethren who had been guilty of this * Matthew of Westminster relates, in the year 1253, another instance of the severity of St. Louis in the punishment of knights found guilty of crimes. He tells us, that the king having ordered a knight to be hanged, the father was so outrageous at it, that he retired to the Saracena, ana, changing his religion, embraced that of Mahomet.


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