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Geoffrey de Vinsauf
Itinerary of Richard I and others to the Holy Land
page. 92


were elated to an insolent pitch by their arrival. For all that, the Pisans, irritated when they saw them coming, went forth boldly to meet them; for their appearance was that of men disposed to fight. Falling upon the duke of Burgundy, who seemed to be their leader, they surrounded him, and having pierced his horse with a lance, threw him to the ground; they then retreated to the city, and closed and bolted the gates, as a precaution against any unforeseen accidents which might happen. For they had heard that the Genoese had sent to the marquis to ask him to come as quickly as possible, and seize the city of Acre, which they promised to deliver over to him. The Pisans, therefore, took every precaution against this faction, for their own safety and that of the city. The marquis, without a moment’s delay, came to Acre in his galleys, with a large number of armed men, in the hope of seizing on the city unawares; and on their arrival, the Pisans attacked them manfully with petrariǽ and mangonels; and confiding in their own valour, and the justice of their cause, they resisted their adversaries for three days, and fought bravely with them, until they sent a message to King Richard to inform him of the state of affairs, and bid him come with all speed. The king was then at Cǽsarea, on his way to the conference with the marquis, when the messengers arrived, and set forth the whole matter, and asked of him on the part of the Pisans, to come quickly and preserve the city: they then returned to Acre under favour of the darkness of the night. The marquis, on hearing that King Richard was close at hand, returned hastily to Tyre, as if conscious that the king’s coming betokened ill to himself. For all his haste, the duke of Burgundy and the French reached Tyre first. But King Richard, on learning the confused state of things on his arrival at Acre, took upon himself to arrange everything on the day after Ash Wednesday, as if he were the only man left in the place; and having called the people together, he persuaded them, with most convincing arguments, that nothing was more commendable, amongst comrades, than friendship, nothing pleasanter than good fellowship, or sweeter than peace and concord, or more lasting than unity; and, on the contrary, that nothing was more dangerous to the continuance of peace, or more pernicious than ill-will, for it loosened the bonds of affection: in fine, that whatever was bound by mutual charity, and strengthened by the graceful ties of friendship, was always dissolved by the fermentations of envy. By means of such arguments, King Richard reconciled the Genoese and Pisans, and caused them to unite in harmony and concord, and re-established their former good understanding

Chapter XI. - How King Richard held a conference with the marquis at the castle of Ymbric, and admonished him to return and join the army, and how, on his refusing, he disinherited him of the lands and revenues which had been promised to him.

King Richard, having pacified them in this manner, sent a messenger to the marquis to return to the conference at Ymbric, and try if they could, with the help of the divine grace, come to an amicable understanding about the arrangement of affairs, in order that the government of the kingdom might be the better administered by their joint efforts. They therefore met, and held a long conference, but to little purpose. The marquis brought forward, as a pretext for not performing his duty, the retirement of the duke of Burgundy and the French; and returning to Tyre, concealed himself in his wife’s chambers, away from camps and war. King Richard, perceiving that the duke of Burgundy and the marquis, as well as the French, had now voluntarily absented themselves from the army, and reflecting deeply on the terms of peace which had been agreed upon, hesitated for a long time in his mind what it was best to do under the circumstances, and took into his counsel the leaders and more discreet men of the army, to ascertain what they thought most expedient; and they, after carefully weighing the merits of the whole matter, adjudged that the marquis had forfeited his claim to the kingdom which had been promised him, and that, in consequence of his doubtful and prevaricating conduct, he should be deprived of all his revenues. In consequence of this decision, great discord arose between the nobles of the French and King Richard, and especially between him and the marquis, who, as he had often done before, importuned all the French to quit Ascalon, and come to him at Tyre; thus throwing the kingdom and country into such a state of confusion, that King Richard, fully aware of his treachery, remained in Acre from the day after Ash Wednesday until the Tuesday before Easter. For it is the part of a prudent man to take precautions even against an humble foe.

Chapter XII. - How, while King Richard was at Acre, our men at Joppa and Ascalon made an expedition and brought back an immense booty; and how King Richard knighted Saphadin’s son.

On the third day, before Palm Sunday, a number of young men at

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