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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 204



called from being quartered in the castle which this prince had built in the island of Roudah, opposite to old Cairo. This militia, in course of time, seized on the throne of Egypt As soon as the sultan had expired, the sultana Chegeret-Eddur, his spouse, sent for the general Fakreddin and the eunuch Diemaleddin, to inform them of the death of the sultan, and to request their assistance in supporting the weight of government at such a critical period. All three resolved to keep the sultan's death a secret, and to act in his name as if he were alive. His death was not to be made public until after the arrival of Touran-Chah, to whom were sent messengers after messengers. Notwithstanding these precautions, the French were informed of his death. Their army instantly quitted the plains of Damietta, and encamped at Fariskour. Boats laden with provision and stores came up the Nile, and kept the army abundantly supplied. The emir Fakreddin sent a letter to Cairo, to inform the inhabitants of the approach of the French, and to exhort them to sacrifice their lives and fortunes in the defence of the country. This letter was read in the pulpit of the great mosque, and the people answered only with sighs and groans. Every thing was in trouble and confusion ; and the death of the sultan, which was suspected, added to the consternation. The most cowardly thought of quitting a town which they believed unable to withstand the French; but the more courageous, on the contrary, marched to Mansoura, to join the Mussulman army. On Tuesday, the let day of the moon Ramadan (Dec. 7, A.D. 1249), there were some trifling skirmishes between occupied hie place, bat reigned only two yean. Khotoui succeeded him. Bibara-Elbondukdari, the same who, at the head of the Mamelukes, charged the French cavalry with such fury as forced them to abandon Mansnura, ascended this throne the 658th year of the H egira, and of our era 1289, and took the name of Melikul-Daher. After a glorious reign of seventeen years, he died at Damascus. This dynasty reigned in Egypt and Syria during one hundred and thirty-six years, and had twenty* seven sultans. The Mamelukes-Baharites were originally Turks, and had been sold to the sultan Nedjm-Eddin by merchants from Syria. The slaves, or Mamelukes-Circassians, dethroned them in their turn, in the 784th year of the H egira, and of our asra 1382, and formed anew dynasty, which governed Egypt until the conquest of that kingdom by Sultan Selim, emperor of the Turks, in the 923rd year of the Hegira, A.D . 1517·


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