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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 205

different corps of troops of each army. This, however, did not prevent the French army from encamping at Charmesah : the Monday following, being the 7th of the same moon, the army advanced to Bermoun. On Sunday, the 13th day of the same moon, the Christian army appeared before the town of Mansoura ; the branch of the Achmoum was between it and the Egyptian camp. Nasir Daoud, prince of Karak, was on tbe western bank of the Nile with some troops. The French traced out their camp, surrounding it with a deep ditch surmounted by a palisado, and erected machines to cast stones at the Egyptian army. Their fleet arrived at the same time ; so that there were engagements on water and on land. On Wednesday, the 15th day of the same moon, six deserters passed over to the camp of the Mussulmen, and informed them that the French army was in want of provision. The day of Bairam,* a great lord, and relation to the king of France, was made prisoner. Not a day passed without skirmishes on both sides, and with alternate success. The Mussulmen were particularly anxious to make prisoners, to gain information as to the state of the enemy's army, and used all sorts of stratagems for this purpose. A soldier from Cairo bethought himself of putting his head withinside of a watermelon, the interior of which he had scooped out, and of thus swimming toward the French camp ; a Christian soldier, not suspecting a trick, leaped into the Nile to seize the melon ; but the Egyptian was a stout swimmer, and catching hold of him, dragged him to his general.t On Wednesday, the 7th day of the moon Chewal (Jan. 12, 1250), the Mussulmen captured a large boat, in which were a hundred soldiers, commanded by an officer of distinction. On Thursday, the 15th of tbe same moon, the French marched out of their camp, and their cavalry began to move. Tbe troops were ordered to file off, when a slight skirmish took place, and the French left on the field forty cavaliers with their horses. * The grand Bairam, the 1st day of the moon Chewal, was on Thursday, 6th January, 1250. f The Egyptians are, at this day, perfect swimmers, and they exhibit extraordinary specimens of their art in this line.

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