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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 165



A.D. 1254.] THE PABTT IN DANGER OF SHIPWRECK. 507 against some dangerous half-covered rocks, and should have been in the utmost peril of being all drowned. W e were even now in much danger. All thought themselves lost, and that the vessel must be wrecked; but a sailor, casting the lead, found we were no longer aground, on which every one rejoiced and returned thanks to God. Many on board were kneeling before the holy sacrament that was on the ship's altar, adoring and begging pardon of God, for each expected nothing but death. When day appeared, we saw the rocks on which we should have struck, had it not been for the good fortune of the sandbank. In the morning the king sent for the principal of the ships' captains, who brought with them four divers, fellows who dive naked to the bottom of the sea like fish. The captains ordered the divers to plunge into the sea at this place, who did so, and passed under the king's ship. On their reappearance on the opposite side to where they bad gone down, we heard each ask the other what he bad found. They all reported, that on the part where our vessel had struck on the sand three fathoms of its keel had been beaten οΑζ which account surprised very much the king, and all who heard it The king asked the mariners for their advice on the occasion, who replied,—" Sire, if you will believe us, you must remove from this ship to another. We know well, that since the keel has suffered sucb damage, all the ribs of tbe vessel will have been started, and we very much fear that she will be unable to bear the sea, should there be any wind, without danger of sinking. When you sailed from France, we saw an accident just similar happen to a vessel which had struck on a bank ; and when she was afterward in a gale of wind she could not withstand it, but opened her sides and was lost ; all on board perished but a young woman, with an infant child in her arms, who had accidentally remained on one of the ship's timbers, and was saved." The king having listened to what the mariners said, and the example they brought, I testified to the truth of it ; for I had seen the woman and child, who had arrived at the city of Baphe, in the house of the count de Joingny, who had all care taken of them for the honour of God. The king summoned his council to deliberate on what was to be done, and they unanimously agreed to what the mariners


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