“Let Me Die, But for the Love of God, the Son of Saint Mary, Do Not Surrender the Town.”

August 8, 2019

City of Narbonne in south of France, and the Saint Just cathedral, viewed from the Gilles Aycelin dungeon. Photo by Benh.

It was in obedience to the voice of duty solely, that in another of our poems (one little known) the aged Ameri of Narbonne, who had lived a hundred years, spotless and fearless, stood boldly up before the Muslim and refused to acknowledge Muhammad. They beat the aged man with briars and rods, they cut into his living flesh, they prepared the woodpile to burn him, and the Narbonnais could hear the crackling of the flames which were soon to devour him. Nothing daunted him; and perceiving on the ramparts his wife, Ermengart, who was a weeping spectator of this horrible punishment, he cried to her—

“Let me die, but for the love of God, the son of Saint Mary, do not surrender the town.”

León Gautier, Chivalry, trans. Henry Frith (London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd., 1891), 37.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 686


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