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Geoffrey de Vinsauf
Itinerary of Richard I and others to the Holy Land
marked, that a painter could not have imitated them with perfect accuracy. As if preparing himself for a swifter movement, he disdained to be checked by his golden curb, and by the alternate change of his feet he seemed at one time to move forward on his hind, at another on his fore legs. The king bounded into his saddle glittering with gold spangles interspersed with
red, while on the binder part two small lions of gold were turned towards each other, with their months open, and one pointed to the other on each of the fore legs, as if stretched out to devour. The king’s feet were decorated with golden spurs, and he was clothed in a vest of rose-coloured stuff, ornamented with rows of crescents of solid silver, like orbs of the sun shining in thick profusion. The king thus apparelled rode forward, girded with a sword of proved metal with a handle of gold and a woven belt, and the mouth of the scabbard was fastened with silver; on his head he wore a hat of scarlet, ornamented with the shapes of various birds and beasts worked with the hand, and sown in with orfray-work by the needle. He carried a staff in his hand, and the manner of his bearing it proved him to be a soldier of the highest order, and afforded the greatest gratification to all who saw him. After many proposals from both sides, between the king and the emperor, the emperor offered to swear fidelity to him in every thing, and that he would send five hundred knights to the land of Jerusalem, for the service of God, to be at the disposal and command of King Richard; and in addition to all these things, in order that he might fully satisfy the king and leave no doubt on his mind, he offered to place all his castles and forts in the hands of the king’s guards, and he gave besides three thousand five hundred marks as satisfaction to those who had lost their money, or had it plundered; and if the king, according to the agreement between them, should think that he and his men fought faithfully, the emperor should have his territory with his castles and forts restored to him; the friendship between them remaining the same as heretofore. And when the king referred this offer to his friends for examination, to see whether there was any thing derogatory to the king’s honour by such an agreement, and whether all were satisfied with it, they answered that it was in every respect to the king’s honour, and that they were perfectly satisfied with it. And after the king had heard this, the emperor immediately sware to observe faithfully all the aforesaid conditions to the king; and having exchanged the kiss of peace, they made an alliance in the manner described. The king, returning from the conference, which had been broken up, immediately sent to the emperor his pavilion, which he had captured in the aforesaid battle, as a pledge of
peace and friendship; he sent, besides, the vessels which had been plundered from it, and the emperor caused tents to be erected forthwith on the spot where the abovementioned conference took place.
Chapter XXXVII. - Of the flight of the emperor by night through Famagusta as far as Candosia, and of the capture of Nicosia.
On the following night, at the suggestion of a treacherous knight named Pain de Caiffa, the emperor, trusting to the darkness, fled away with all speed on a valuable and favourite horse, for the knight told him that King Richard intended to seize upon him that night, and throw him in chains; and the emperor, frightened thereat, escaped to his city of Famagusta, leaving behind him his tents and chargers, and all his household stuff. On hearing which, King Richard commenced a pursuit after him, with his galleys, accusing him of perjury and the violation of his word, and he entrusted to King Guy the conduct of his army by land to Famagusta, where he arrived on the third day, and found it deserted, for the emperor, convinced that it would not be safe for him to stand a siege, concealed himself in the woods, where access was difficult, that, if our men should venture to pass through, he might attack them from an ambuscade. The king, on arriving at Famagusta, gave orders that the ports of the sea should be most strictly watched by his galleys, in order that he might take the emperor prisoner, if he attempted to escape. And, after staying there three days, there came as ambassadors, the bishop of Beauvais, and Drogo de Mirle, a nobleman of high renown, to exhort him to cross the sea without delay, and to assure him that the king of France would not proceed to the assault of Acre before his arrival; and they added words of rebuke, that he had neglected necessary matters, and expended his endeavours on vain duties, and was presumptuously persecuting innocent Christians, when so many thousand Saracens were to be attacked in the land adjoining, for whom, even his valour, although so mighty, would be no match on trial. To this message, the king replied in angry terms, by no means suitable for insertion here; but their labour was in vain, although they used every argument to dissuade him from his purpose, for he was
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