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Geoffrey de Vinsauf
Itinerary of Richard I and others to the Holy Land
page. 71


Normandy into confusion. What need we say more? The king of France, having taken leave, retired from his army at Acre, and instead of blessings, he received wishes of misfortune and execrations from all.

Chapter XXIII. - How, on the king of France retiring with his hostages and the Marquis to Tyre, the duke of Burgundy and many others of the French remained with King Richard.

On St. Peter’s day the king of France embarked and sailed for Tyre, but he left the greater part of his army with King Richard; and with him he took that infamous marquis and Caracois and the other hostages that had fallen to his lot; and he reckoned that he would receive for their ransom a hundred thousand aurei or more, which would support his army till Easter. But on the term expiring for ransoming the hostages, the Turks paid no attention to it, and most of them perished: for it was very evident that they would not give an egg or a farthing to release them: and by their means nothing at all was gained, nor any portion of provisions found in the city; which caused the French to remember the more frequently that they received no other remuneration from the king of France. On this account there arose frequent wrangling and murmuring amongst them, until King Richard, at the request of the duke of Burgundy, lent him, over and above his hostages, five thousand marks of silver to support his men.

Book IV.

Chapter I. - How King Richard bestows gifts on his soldiers, and repairs the walls of Acre.

King Richard, therefore, perceiving that the consummation of the business and the progress of affairs, together with the labour and expense, devolved upon him chiefly, made most ample largesses of gold and silver to the French and to all the others of every nation, by means of which they might abundantly recruit themselves and redeem what they had put in pledge. On the king of France returning home with haste as aforesaid, King Richard turned his attention to the repair of the walls to a greater height and perfection than before they were thrown down; and he himself walked about, exhorting the workmen and masons, as if his whole intention was to strive for the recovery of God’s inheritance.

Chapter II. - How Saladin stood not to his covenant for restoring our Lord’s cross, and paying the money; and neglected his men, who were hostages.

He therefore awaited the term which had been agreed upon between the Turks and himself as aforesaid, and turned his attention to the packing up of the petrariaǽ and mangonels for transportation. For when the time had expired which had been fixed by the Turks for the restoration of the cross and the ransom of the hostages, after waiting three weeks, according to the conditions, to see if Saladin would stand to his word and covenant, the king looked upon him as a transgressor, as Saladin appeared to have no care about it; and perhaps this was by the dispensation of God, that something more advantageous might be obtained. But the Saracens asked further time to fulfil their promise and make search for the cross. Then you might hear the Christians inquiring for news, and when the cross was coming? but God was unwilling that it should be restored for those by whom it was promised, but preferred rather that they should perish. One would exclaim, "The cross is coming!" another, that he had seen it in the Saracen army; but each speaker was deceived, for Saladin had not taken any steps to restore the cross; nay, he neglected the hostages who were bound for it, for he hoped, by means of it, to obtain much more advantageous terms. Meanwhile, he sent constant presents and messengers to King Richard to gain delay by artful and deceptive words, though he fulfilled none of his promises, but tried to keep the king’s mind in suspense by crafty and ambiguous messages.

Chapter III. - How the king of England sent twice to Tyre, before he could obtain the hostages of Saladin from the Marquis, and how he himself refused to return.

In the meantime messages were sent to Tyre to command the marquis to return to the army, and bring with him the hostages which had been committed to his charge, in order to get the ransom for them, - viz., the share of the payment which belonged to the king of France. With the message were sent the bishop of Salisbury, Earl Robert, and Peter de Pratellis, a very eminent soldier. To these three messengers the marquis answered indignantly, that he dared not venture into King Richard’s presence: moreover, he boasted that if the true cross was ever recovered, he was to receive the half of it for the king of France; and that until this was accomplished he would not resign the hostages. On ascertaining the obstinate determination of the marquis, the messengers tried to prevail upon him with soft speeches, offering to leave one of themselves as an hostage to secure his safe journey to and from King Richard; but they did not succeed in persuading him, - nay, he refused with an oath to come.

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