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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 193



EXTRACTS FROM AN ARABIAN MANUSCRIPT ENTITLED Blaeuxonrc 1.1 MARIÔÊT IL DUVBL IL MULOUK ; that is to say, " The Jtoad to Knowledge of the Reigns of Kings." It is the History of tte Sultans CUEOES-BIOVBITBS, of the race of Saladin, and of the Ivo Dynasties thai have reigned in Egypt ; the one of Turkish slaves, Jtnown under the name of MAIÌBLUKES-BAHARITES, the other of Circassians. This Work was composed by MAKRIST, who was born en the 769th year of the Hegha, or one hundred and twenty years qfter the expedition Sr. Louis. THE sultan Melikul-Kamil died at Damascus the 21st of tli Θ moon Regeb, in the 685th year of the Η egira (March IO, A.D. 1238). Melikul-Àdil-Scifeddin, one of his two sons, wa s proclaimed on the morrow, in the same town, sultan of Syria, and of Egypt He was the seventh king of the posterity of the Eioubites, who descended from Saladin. On the 17th day of the moon Ramadan, there arrived an ambassador from the caliph of Bagdad, who was the bearer o f a standard and rich robe for the sultan, weak remnants o f the vast authority the caliphs who succeeded Mahoinmed* formerly enjoyed, and of which the sultans had not thought i t worth their while to deprive them. Melikul-Adil, when scarcely on the throne, instead of attending to the government of his kingdoms, gave himself up t o all sorts of debauchery. The grandees of the state, who might have reproached him for the dissipated life he led, were banished under various pretexts, and replaced by more complaisant ministers. He believed he could have nothing to fear, if the troops were attached to him; and, in order to gain them, he made them great presents, which, added to those his pleasures required, exhausted the trea sures his father had amassed with* so much difficulty. * The caliphs, successors to Mahommed, were formerly masters of Syria, Egypt, and in general of all the conquests made by the Mahommedans. Corrupted by luxury and indolence, they suffered Egypt and Syria to be taken from them by the Fatimites, at the time of the expedition of St. Louis, and they retained Irak-Arabia. They, however, still preserved a shadow of power over the provinces captured from them. The sultans of Egypt submitted to a sort of inauguration on their part, which consisted in the investiture of a dress which the caliphs sent them. This custom is not yet abolished : the grand seignior sends a similar dress to the hispodars of Moldavia and Walachia, when he nominates them to these principalities.


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