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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 159



A.D. 125β.] CAPTURE OF BALDAC BY THE TARTARS. 501 take place between their two children. The caliph, having consulted hie council, replied, that he was satisfied with the proposal. In return, the king of Tartary requested that he would send to him forty of his principal counsellors to treat of and agree to this marriage. This the caliph complied with; but the king of Tartary detained them, and sent word they were not enough, and that forty more of the richest of the caliph's subjects must also be sent for the greater security of the articles of the marriage. The caliph, believing what he said was the truth, sent him forty more, as he had desired, and even a third time the same number of his principal subjects. "When the Tartar king had thus got six score of the best captains, and the principal and most wealthy of the caliph's subjects, he thought the remainder must consist of such common people as could not resist him, and would be unable to defend themselves. "Upon this, he ordered the six score personages to be beheaded, and attacked the town so briskly that he took it, with the caliph its lord. "Having gained the town, he wished to cover his disloyalty and treason by throwing the blame on the caliph, whom he confined in an iron cage. He made him fast until the last extremity, when the king came to him, and asked if he were hungry. 4 Yes, indeed, am I,' replied the caliph, and not without cause.' The king then ordered a large golden platter filled with jewels and precious stones to be offered to him, and asked him, 1 Caliph, dost thou know these rich jewels and treasure which thou seest before thee ? ' * Yes,' said the caliph, for they had been his own. The king again asked, if he much loved these jewels ; and on the caliph answering in the affirmative, he replied,4 Well, since then thou lo vest these treasures so much, take of them as much as thou wilt, and eat them, to appease thy hunger.' The caliph said they were not food to eat 4 Now,' answered the king of Tartary,4 thou mayest at present see thy great fault; for if thou hadst given of thy treasures, which thou lovest so dearly, to subsidize soldiers in thy defence, thou mightest have held out against me ; but that which thou prizedat the most has failed thee in thy need.' " ]


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