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Geoffrey de Vinsauf
Itinerary of Richard I and others to the Holy Land
purse as he knew each had need. And such was his approval and encouragement of the workmen, such his diligence and expenditure, that
three-fourths of the city of Ascalon were said to have been rebuilt by his means.
Chapter VII. - How King Richard rescued from the Turks at Darum 12,000 Christian captives, who were on their way to Babylon.
Meanwhile Saladin had made preparations for sending 12,000 Christians, French, and natives of the Holy Land, captives to Babylon; and his servants had brought them as far as Darum, and were spending the night there, with the intention of setting forward on their journey on the morrow; when it happened, by the dispensation of God, that they were rescued by King Richard from slavery. For one day the king chanced to be out, with a chosen body of soldiers, reconnoitering the fortress of Darum, to ascertain how he could take it; for there was a passage there too convenient for the Turks, who brought provisions from Babylon to Jerusalem. The Turks, who had arrived just before sunset, recognizing the king by his banner, became frightened for their lives, and consulting their own safety, let themselves quickly into the tower of the fort, leaving their captives outside; and these persons, on seeing this, took refuge with all speed in a church close by. The king, coming up, released them without a moment’s delay, and let them go away uninjured; whilst he and his men slew many Turks, who happened to fall in their way. Then the king took many valuable horses, and captured twenty of the Turkish chiefs alive. Who can doubt but that the king’s coming, which turned out so advantageous to those captives, was ordained of God? Had he not come and rescued them, there is no doubt they would have been condemned to perpetual slavery.
Chapter VIII. - How King Richard sent an order to the marquis and was not obeyed.
After performing these exploits, King Richard sent messengers to the marquis, whom we have so often already mentioned, as he had done many times before, bidding him coins to Ascalon to join in the campaign for the kingdom to which he aspired; and this he charged him to do by the oath
which he had taken to the king of France, who was a pledge for his fidelity; but the base marquis replied, with a perverse sneer, that he would on no account stir unless King Richard first gave him a meeting. They afterwards held a conference by appointment at the fort of Ymbric.
Chapter IX. - How the duke of Burgundy, who had been recalled by King Richard to Ascalon, again left him, and retired to Acre, because the king would not lend him money.
While, therefore, the king and his army were diligently engaged in the restoration of the walls of Ascalon, a quarrel took place between King Richard and the duke of Burgundy; for the provisions, being for the most part consumed, and the substance of each man almost brought to nothing, the French began to importune the duke of Burgundy for the pay which was owing to them, alleging that if they were not paid, they could not serve any longer in the camp. The duke, not being able to meet their pressing demands, thought it best to ask King Richard to supply him with a large sum of money. For, on a former occasion, as before said, the king, at the duke’s request, lent the French an immense sum of money at Acre, which was to be repaid out of the ransom money from the captives; but this had turned out to be nothing, as the captives had paid no other ransom than their heads; wherefore King Richard refused his application. It was owing to this, and other causes of disagreement, that the duke left Ascalon; and for all his inability to pay them, the French set out hastily with him towards Acre.
Chapter X. - How the Pisans at Acre, who favoured King Guy, fought with the Genoese, who sided with the marquis and the French, and how they threw the duke of Burgundy from his horse, and compelled him and the marquis to flee to Tyre; and how they sent for King Richard, who made peace between them.
On their arrival at Acre, the French found the Pisans and Genoese engaged in a fierce conflict with each other. For the Pisans, from mere generosity, and a sense of the justice of his cause, were favourers of King
Guy, while the Genoese were on the side of the marquis, - chiefly on account of the oath of fidelity by which he was bound to the king of France. Hence arose discords which ended in bloodshed, and mutual attacks, as in a civil war, at Acre; and the whole city was in a state of confusion. On approaching the city the French heard a great uproar, and the noise of the people, exhorting each other to fight; upon which they, and the duke of Burgundy, in full armour, hastened to give succour to the Genoese, who
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