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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 151



A.D. 1253.] Τ ALO DR OF A GRNOBSB KNIGHT. he twisted his body in snchwise that it missed him ; and the knight, by a back-hand blow on the Saracen's arm, made his sword mil to the ground, and he then made a good retreat with the infantry. These three famous actions did the Genoese knight perform in the presence of the lord d'Asur, and before all the principal persons of the town, who were assembled on the battlements. The Saracens withdrew from before Acre ; and as they had heard the king was strengthening and enclosing Sajecte, and had but few men-at-arms with him, they marched thither. A s soon as the king learnt their intentions, not haying a sufficient force to oppose them, he retired with the master of his artillery, and as many as the place would hold, into the castle of Sajecte, which was very strong, and well enclosed : few, however, could be lodged within it from the smallness of its extent. The Saracens arrived soon after, and entered Sajecte without any opposition, for the walls were not then finished, and slaughtered full 2,000 of the poorer sort of our army : having done this, and pillaged the town, they marched off toward Damascus. The king was much grieved on hearing that the Saracens had destroyed all his works at Sajecte, but he could not help it ; on the contrary, the barons of the country were rejoiced at it ; and the reason was, that the king intended, after he had finished at Sajecte, to enclose a mound, on which formerly had stood a castle in the time of the Maccabees, and which was on the road from Jaffa to Jerusalem. The barons opposed its being enclosed, because it was five leagues from the sea, and they said, and said truly, that it could never be victualled without certain risk of the provision being seised on the road thither by the Saracens, as they were more numerous. The barons remonstrated with the king, that it would be preferable in point of honour, and in all other respects, to repair Sajecte, than to undertake a large and new building so far from the sea. To this the king assented. During the king's stay at Jaffa, he was told that the sultan of Damascus would allow him to visit Jerusalem in perfect security. The king would most willingly have gone thither, but his great council dissuaded him from it, as it would leave the city in the hands of the enemy. The lords


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