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JOHN LORD DE JOINVILLE Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France
page 206

On the Friday, seventy prisoners were conducted to Cairo, among whom were three lords of rank. On the 22nd of the same moon, a large boat belonging to the French took fire, which was considered as a fortunate omen for the Mussulmen. Some traitors having shewn the ford over the canal of Aohmoum to the French, fourteen hundred cavaliers crossed it, and fell unexpectedly on the camp of the Mussulmen, on a Tuesday, the 15th day of the moon Zilkalde (Feb. 8), having at their head the brother of the king of France. The emir Fakreddin was at the time in the bath : he instantly quitted it with precipitation, and mounted a horse without saddle or bridle, followed only by some slaves. The enemy attacked him on all sides, but his slaves, like cowards, abandoned him when in the midst of the French: it was in vain he attempted to defend himself ; he fell pierced with wounds. The French, after the death of Fakreddin, retreated to Djédilé ; but their whole cavalry advanced to Mansoura, and, having forced one of the gates, entered the town : the Mussulmen fled to the right and left. The king of France had already penetrated as far as the sultan's palace, and victory seemed ready to declare for him, when the Baharite slaves, led by Bibars, advanced, and snatched it from his hands : their charge was so furious that the French were obliged to retreat. The French infantry, during this time, had advanced to cross the bridge; had they been able to join their cavalry, the defeat of the Egyptian army, and the loss of the town of Mansoura, would have been inevitable. Night separated the combatants, when the French retreated in disorder to Djédilé, after leaving fifteen hundred of their men on the field. They surrounded their camp with a ditch and wall, but their army was divided* into two corps: the least considerable body was encamped on the branch of the Achmoum, and tbe larger on the great branch of the Nile that runs to Damietta. A pigeon had been let loose to fly to Cairof the instant the French had surprised the camp of Fakreddin, having a note under its wing, to inform the inhabitants of this mis * Join ville speaks of a camp separate from that of the king, com manded by the count of Burgundy, f This custom is very ancient in the East.

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