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Old December 22nd, 2017, 04:44 AM   #1
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Kings crying and being rebuked


Hello,

First post here, and immediately an incredibly specific question.
There is a famous anecdote in Jean Sire de Joinville's biography of Saint Louis, translated by Caroline Smith (Joinville and Villehardouin: Chronicles of the Crusades, 296) as follows:
At Sidon news reached the king that his mother was dead. He displayed such profound grief that for two days no one could speak to him. After that he sent one of his chamber valets to fetch me. Once he saw that I had come into his presence in his chamber, where he was all alone, he reached out his arms and said to me, ‘Ah! Seneschal, I have lost my mother!’ ‘My lord, that doesn’t surprise me,’ I said, ‘since she had to die. But I am surprised that you, a man of good sense, have demonstrated such great sadness. For you know that the wise man says that a man should not allow whatever distress he has in his heart to appear on his face, because he who does so makes his enemies happy and his friends upset.’ He had many splendid services held overseas, and afterwards he sent a packhorse to France, loaded with letters to churches asking that they might pray for his mother.
I am currently finishing an academic article on this anecdote (and the text as a whole) in which I compare it with a highly similar anecdote in the biography of Saladin written by Baha' l-Din ibn Shaddad. I have also come across an anecdote from James I of Aragon's autobiography in which the king himself rebukes people in his retinue for excessive crying. While I have covered the Islamic side of things fairly well by referral to Prophetic traditions that involve similar dynamics between Muhammad and some companions, and I can also satisfyingly explain the ideas expressed here by linking it to a number of Mirrors for Princes (both Islamic and European), it would be great if I could find more examples of similar accounts about rulers/important office holders from (Western) Europe. This can be in any language, from any period, though preferrably from before or during the 13th century. Let me know if you have come across any accounts that may be useful!
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