Page:15 decisive battles of the world (New York).djvu/183

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BATTLE OF TOURS. 177


narrated also the expedition into Gaul of their great emir, and his defeat and death near Tours, in battle with the host of the Franks under King Caldus, the name into which they metamorphose Charles Martel.*

They tell us how there was war between the count of the Frankish frontier and the Moslems, and how the count gathered together all his people, and fought for a time with doubtful success. "But," say the Arabian chroniclers, "Abderrahman drove them back; and the men of Abderrahman were puffed up in spirit by their repeated successes, and they were full of trust in the valor and the practice in war of their emir. So the Moslems smote their enemies, and passed the River Garonne and laid waste the country, and took captives without number. And that army went through all places like a desolating storm. Prosperity made these warriors insatiable. At the passage of the river, Abderrahman overthrew the count, and the count retired into his stronghold, but the Moslems fought against it, and entered it by force and slew the count; for every thing gave way to their cimeters, which were the robbers of lives. All the nations of the Franks trembled at that terrible army, and they betook them to their king Caldus, and told him of the havoc made by the Moslem horsemen, and how they rode at their will through all the land of Narbonne, Toulouse, and Bordeaux, and they told the king of the death of their count. Then the king bade them be of good cheer, and offered to aid them. And in the 114th year† he mounted his horse, and he took with him a host that could not be numbered, and went against the Moslems. And he came upon them at the great city of Tours. And Abderrahman and other prudent cavaliers saw the disorder of the Moslem troops, who were loaded with spoil; but they did not venture to displease the soldiers by ordering them to abandon every thing except their arms and war-horses. And Abderrahman trusted in the valor of his soldiers, and in the good fortune which had ever

  • The Arabian chronicles were compiled and translated into Spanish

by Don Jose Antonio Conde, in his "Historia de la Dominacion de los Arabos en Espana," published at Madrid in 1820. Conde's plan, which I have endeavored to follow, was to preserve both the style and spirit of his Oriental authorities, so that we find in his pages a genuine Saracenic narrative of the wars in Western Europe between the Mohammedans and the Christians.

† Of the Hegira.

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