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GEOFFREY VINSAUF Itinerary of Richard I and others to the Holy Land

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Itinerary of Richard I and others to the Holy Land
page 60

he would not throw him into iron chains. The king, moved with pity, raised him up, and made him sit beside him; he also had his daughter brought to him, and when he saw her, he was wonderfully overjoyed, and embracing her most affectionately, covered her with kisses, while the tears started from his eyes. This took place on the Friday after the feast of St. Augustine, and before Pentecost. And the king threw the emperor not into iron chains, but silver ones.

Chapter XL. - How, after that the king had subjugated Cyprus and set it in order, he made preparations for his voyage, and sent his army to Limozin.

Thus the king gained possession of Cyprus in fifteen days, and gave it to his men to inhabit. He found all the towers fortified, and the forts filled with much treasure; and various riches, in golden cups, and vases, and plates; also in silver jars, and caldrons, and casks of a large size; with saddles, bits, and spurs of gold; and a large quantity of precious stones, of great value. He also found robes of scarlet and woven cloths, of beautiful pattern, and very costly. Why need we say more? Whatever different kinds of wealth CrÏsus is said to have possessed, King Richard found that the emperor had amassed; and being necessary for his expedition, he took possession of them as if they had been prepared for him; for it is scarcely possible that means should fail the man who is rich in courage, or abundance attend on one who is poor in spirit. Having done all these things, King Richard sent back his army to the city of Limozin, where the queens were, and the domestics, with the baggage; and he gave them orders to give their whole attention to the repair of the fleet, for crossing the sea. He committed the emperor to the custody of King Guy, and his young little daughter he delivered to his queen, to bring her up and educate her.

Chapter XLI. - How, while the fleet of King Richard was sailing towards Acre, a very large Saracen ship bore in sight, and how the king immediately attacked it, and took it.

Having concluded these operations, the king gave his attention to the immediate crossing of the sea, and when they had placed the baggage on board, a favourable wind blowing, the fleet set sail from the shore; and the queens moved forward in company with the king in person. The king had left in Cyprus brave and diligent men to secure a supply of necessary provisions hereafter; viz. wheat, corn, and barley; meat and live stock of various kinds, which abound in that island. By this time a report was spread that Acre was on the point of being taken, and when the king heard it, he sighed deeply and said, "May God defer the taking of Acre till I come, after it has been so long besieged, and therefore the triumph will be the more glorious with the assistance of God." Then getting ready with all speed, he went on board one of his largest and swiftest galleys, at Famagusta; and as was his wont, he moved forward in advance, impatient of delay, while the other ships followed in his wake as quickly as they could, and well prepared, for there is no power that might not justly have dreaded their hostility. As they ploughed across the sea, the holy land of Jerusalem was descried for the first time, the fort called Margat being the first spot that met the eye; afterwards Tortuosa, situated on the sea-shore; then Tripolis, Nephyn, and Bocion. And soon after appeared the lofty tower of Gibelath. Lastly, on this side of Sidon, opposite Baruth, there bore in sight a vessel filled with Saracens, chosen from all the Pagan empire, and destined by Saladin for the assistance of the besieged in Acre. They were not able to obtain a speedy entrance into the port, because of the Christian army that menaced them, and so were waiting a favourable moment for entering the port by surprise. The king, observing the ship, called Peter des Barres, commander of one of his galleys, and ordered him to row quickly, and inquire who commanded the vessel. And when they answered that it belonged to the king of France, the king in his eager haste approached it; but it had no mark of being French, neither did it bear any Christian symbol or standard; and on looking at it near, the king began to wonder at its immense size and compact make, for it was crowned with three tall masts, and its sides were marked with streaks of red and yellow, and it was well furnished in all manner of equipments, so that nothing could exceed them, and it was abundantly supplied with all kinds of provisions. One of those on board said, that while at Baruth, he saw the vessel laden with all these things; viz. one hundred camel-loads of arms, slings, bows, darts, and arrows: it had also on board seven Saracen admirals, and eighty chosen Turks, besides a quantity of all kinds of provisions, exceeding computation. They had also on board a large quantity of Greek fire, in bottles, and two hundred most deadly serpents for the destruction of the Christians. Others were therefore sent to obtain more exact information who they were, and when, instead of

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