In the Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of July 14, 2014, it was told about the Franj. This was the Arab name for the Franks, the Crusaders who had arrived in the Holy Land circa 1098 Anno Domini.
Some, no doubt, must have been astonished to find how the Franj had boiled and eaten Saracens at the city of Ma’aara. And yet we find the following anecdote, from the pen of Sir Walter Scott :
“While warring in the Holy Land, Richard [the Lionheart] was seized with an ague. The best leeches of the camp were unable to effect the cure of the King’s disease; but the prayers of the army were more successful. He became convalescent, and the first symptom of his recovery was a violent longing for pork. But pork was not likely to be plentiful in a country whose inhabitants had an abhorrence for swine’s flesh.”
(In the Scottish lingo): “Though his men should be hanged, They ne might, in that countrey, For gold, ne silver, ne no money, No pork find, take, ne get, That King Richard might aught of eat.”
An old knight with Richard biding,
When he heard of that tiding,
That the kingis wants were swyche,
To the steward he spake privyliche:
“Our lord the king sore is sick, I wis,
After porck he alonged is;
Ye may none find to selle;
No man be hardy him so to telle!
If he did he might die.
Now behoves to done as I shall say,
Tho’ he wete nought of that.
Take a Saracen, young and fat;
In haste let the thief be slain,
Opened, and his skin off flayn;
And sodden full hastily,
With powder and with spicery,
And with saffron of good colour.
When the king feels thereof savour,
Out of ague if he be went,
He shall have thereto good talent.
When he has a good taste,
And eaten well a good repast,
And supped of the BREWIS [Broth] a sup,
Slept after and swet a drop,
Through Goddis help and my counsail,
Soon he shall be fresh and hail.”
The sooth to say, at wordes few,
Slain and sodden was the heathen shrew.
Before the king it was forth brought:
Quod his men, “Lord, we have pork sought;
Eates and sups of the brewis SOOTE [Sweet],
Thorough grace of God it shall be your boot.”
Before King Richard carff a knight,
He ate faster than he carve might.
The king ate the flesh and GNEW [Gnawed] the bones,
And drank well after for the nonce.
And when he had eaten enough,
His folk hem turned away, and LOUGH [Laughed].
He lay still and drew in his arm;
His chamberlain him wrapped warm.
He lay and slept, and swet a stound,
And became whole and sound.
King Richard clad him and arose,
And walked abouten in the close.
(An attack of the Saracens was repelled by Richard in person, and then…)
When King Richard had rested a whyle,
A knight his arms ‘gan unlace,
Him to comfort and solace.
Him was brought a sop in wine.
“The head of that ilke swine,
That I of ate!” (the cook he bade,)
“For feeble I am, and faint and mad.
Of mine evil now I am fear;
Serve me therewith at my soupere!”
Quod the cook, “That head I ne have.”
Then said the king, “So God me save,
But I see the head of that swine,
For sooth, thou shalt lesen thine!”
The cook saw none other might be;
He fet the head and let him see.
He fell on knees, and made a cry:
“Lo, here the head! my Lord, mercy!”
The swarte vis [swarthy face] when the king seeth,
His black beard and white teeth,
How his lippes grinned wide,
“What devil is this?” the king cried,
And ‘gan to laugh as he were wode.
“What! is Saracen’s flesh thus good?
That never erst I nought wist!
By God’s death and his uprist,
Shall we never die for default,
While we may in any assault,
Slee Saracens, the flesh may take,
And seethen and roasten and do hem bake,
[And] Gnawen her flesh to the bones!
Now I have it proved once, For hunger ere I be wo,
I and my folk shall eat mo!”
(The above first appeared at my Melchizedek Communique web site on August 23, 2010.)
——- Sources ——-
 From “Appendix to Introduction.” The Talisman, by Sir Walter Scott