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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 200



On Friday, the 2let of the moon Sefer, and in the year of the Hegira 647 (A.D . 1249, Friday, 4th Jane), the French fleet arrived off the coast, at two o'clock of the day, filled with an innumerable body of troops under the command of Louis, son to Louis, king of France. Tbe Franks, who were masters of Syria, had joined the French. The whole fleet anchored on the strand opposite to the camp of Fakmhfin The king of France, before he commenced any hostilities, sent by a herald a letter to the sultan Nedjm-Eddin, conceived in the following words :— " You are not ignorant that I am the prince of those who follow the religion of JESUS CHBIST, as you are of those who obey ihe laws of MahommecL Your power inspires me with no fear. How should it ? I who make the Mussulmen hi Spain tremble ! I lead them as a shepherd does a flock of sheep. I have made the bravest among them perish, and loaded their women and children with chains. They endeavour by presents to appease me, and turn my arms to another quarter. The soldiers who march under my standards cover the plains, and my cavalry is not less redoubtable. You have but one method to avoid tbe tempest that threatens you. Receive priests, who will teach you the Christian religion ; embrace it, and adore the Cross ; otherwise I will pursue you everywhere, and God shall decide whether you or I be master of E*yPt." Nedjm-Eddin, on reading this letter, could not restrain his tears. He caused the following answer to be written by the cadi Behaedin, his secretary :— "In the name of the Omnipotent and AU-mereiful God, salvation to our prophet Mahommed and his friends ! I have received your letter ; it is filled with menaces, and you make a boast of the great number of your soldiers. Are yon ignorant that we know the use of arms, and that we inherit the valour of our ancestors ? No one has ever attacked us without feeling our superiority. Recollect the conquests we have made from the Christians ; we have driven them from the lands they possessed ; their strongest towns have fallen under our blows. Recai to your mind that passage of the Alcoran, which says, ( Those who make war unjustly shall death, and those who pretend to strictness of doctrine never fini to observe it.


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