26 January 2011

Those Wacky Crusaders

In one of the classes I teach, we're currently learning about the Crusades, and it brought to mind a funny anecdeote from Jean de Joinville's Life of St. Louis. While on crusade with the King, Jean de Joinville found his tent pitched beside that of the Comte d'Eu. The good count was quite the practical joker, and we get a nice picture of what Crusaders might have done to amuse themselves in their camp.

"I will tell you of the tricks the Count of Eu used to play on us.

I had built a hut, where I used to take my meals, I and my knights lighted through the doorway. Now the doorway gave onto the Count of Eu's quarters; and he, who was very ingenious, made a little machine to throw [rocks] into it, and used to watch when we went to table, and set up his machine in a line with our table and break our jugs and glasses.

I had laid in a stock of hens and capons, and somebody or other had given him a young she-bear, which he let in among my fowls, and it killed a dozen of them, before anyone could get to the spot, while the woman in charge of them was flapping her skirts at the bear."

Oh those wacky Crusaders!

1 comment:

Erica said...

And to think we were worried about all those crickets in your dorm room =D