St. Louis the King urged his nobles to virtue and to never quarrel among themselves

February 21, 2013

Saint Louis (Louis IX) at a judgment under the oak of Vincennes. Painting by Georges Rouget

Saint Louis (Louis IX) at a judgment under the oak of Vincennes. Painting by Georges Rouget

He [St. Louis] asked me [the Seneschal of Joinville] if I wished to be honored in this world, and to go into paradise at my death? And I said “Yes.” And he said: “Keep yourself then from knowingly doing or saying anything which, if the whole world heard thereof, you would be ashamed to acknowledge, saying ‘I did this,’ or ‘I said that.’” He told me to beware not to contradict or impugn anything that was said before me—unless indeed silence would be a sin or to my own hurt—because hard words often move to quarreling, wherein men by the thousand have found death.

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Geoffroy de Villehardouin and Jean de Joinville, Memoirs of the Crusades, trans. Sir Frank Marzials (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., n.d.), 140.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 258

 

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