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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 209



mense in horses, males, tents, and other riches. There were but one hundred slain on the side of the Mussulmen. The Baharite slaves, under the command of Bibars Elbondukdari, performed in this battle signal acts of valour. The king of France had retired, with a few of his lords, to a small hillock, and surrendered himself, under promise of his life being spared, to the eunuch Djemaddelin Mahsun-Elsalihi : he was bound with a chain, and in this state conducted to Mansoura, where he was confined in the house of Ibrahim-ben Lokman, secretary to the sultan, and under the guard of the eunuch Sahil. The king's brother was made prisoner at the same time, and carried to the same house. The sultan provided for their subsistence. The number of slaves was so great, it was embarrassing, and the sultan gave orders to Seifeddin-Jousef-ben-tardi to put them to death. Every night this cruel minister of the vengeance of his master had from three to four hundred of the prisoners brought from their places of confinement, and, after he had caused them to be beheaded, their bodies were thrown into the Nile ; in this manner perished one hundred thousand of the French. The sultan departed from Mansoura, and went to Fariskour, where he had pitched a most magnificent tent. He had also built a tower of wood over the Nile ; and, being freed from a disagreeable war, he there gave himself up to all sorts of debauchery. The victory he had just gained was so brilliant that he was eager to make all who were subjected to him acquainted with it He wrote with his own hand a letter in the following terms, to the emir Djemal-Edden^ben-Jagmour, governor of Damascus : " Thanks be given to the All-powerful, who has changed our grief to joy : it is to him alone we owe the victory. The favours he has condescended to shower upon us are innumerable, but this last is most precious. You will announce to the people of Damascus, or rather to all Mussulmen, that God has enabled us to gain a complete victory over the Christians, at the moment they had conspired our ruin. " On Monday, the first day of this year, we opened our treasury, and distributed riches and arms to our faithful soldiers. W e had called to our succour the Arabian tribes, and


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