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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 149



A.D. 1253.] SUDDEN ATTACK OF THE SARACENS. ordered the body of Count Gantier to be delivered to them, in order that they might take their own revenge on him. These traitorous dogs entered the prison of the count and cut him into pieces, making him thus suffer martyrdom, for which we may imagine he is now glorious in paradise. But to return to the sultan of Damascus. He withdrew the men he had at Gadres, and, entering Egypt, made an attack on the admirals. By the fortune of war, one of his battalions defeated one of the admirals, and in another instance the chance was just the reverse. On this account, the sultan of Damascus returned to Gadres, very badly wounded in the head and other places. While he stayed there, the admiral sent him ambassadors, who made a peace between them, so that we seemed a subject of mockery to both sides ; for, from that time forward, we enjoyed neither peace nor truce from the enltan, nor from the admirais. You must know, that we could never muster in our army more than about 1,400 menat-arms fit for service. As soon as the sultan of Damascus had concluded a peace with the admirals of Egypt, he collected all his men from Gadres, and marched his whole army, amounting to 20,000 Saracens and 10,000 Bedouins, within sight of us. They passed within two leagues, but never made any attack. The king, the master of his artillery, and the whole army were on the watch for three days, lest they should attempt to fall on us when we were unprepared. On St. Johns day, next after Easter, while the king was at sermon, one of the men attached to the master of the artillery entered the king's chapel armed and told him that the Saracens had surrounded the master of the cross-bows in the plain. 1 instantly requested of the king permission to go thither, to which he consented, and gave me 500 menat-arms, whom he named. As soon as we were without the camp, and were perceived by the Saracens who were pressing round the master of the cross-bows, they retreated to an admiral that was posted on a small hillock with at least 1,000 men. The battle now began between the Saracens and the company of the master of the cross-bows; and as the admiral saw his men nul, he sent thither fresh reinforcements, in like manner did the master of the cross-bows to his men. While they were thus fighting, the legate and the barons of


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