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  • Il Novellino

    Here it is told of the great killing done by King Richard

    Good King Richard of England once crossed the seas with his barons, counts and brave and valiant knights, but he brought no horses, and so he arrived in the land of the Sultan.

    And it came about that he gave the order for battle, and made such a great killing of the Saracens that the nurses say there to the children when they cry: Here comes King Richard, for like death was he feared.

    They tell that the Sultan seeing his men fly, asked: how many are these Christians who do such great slaughter, and they answered him: Sire, there is only King Richard with his folk. Then the Sultan said: May God forbid that so noble a man as King Richard should go on foot. He ordered a fine steed to be sent to him.

    The messenger brought the fine steed and said: Sire, the Sultan sends you this horse so that you need not remain on foot.

    But the King was wise, and ordered a squire of his to mount the horse that he might try it.

    And this the squire did. The horse was trained to come back to the Sultan's camp. The horseman could not hold it in, for it raced with all its might to the Sultan's pavilion. The Sultan had been expecting to see King Richard, but he did not come.

    Thus we see that we should have little trust in the kind offers of our enemies.

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    Il Novellino : The Hundred Old Tales
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    Storer, Edward, trans. Il Novellino: The Hundred Old Tales. London: G. Routledge & Sons Ltd.; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., [1925]. 174-175


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