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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 75



" And did the spirited damsel smile upon thy suit ?" " I proffered no suit save to her uncle." " And what said the Atheling to thy visionary scheme ?" " lie promised to give her to me with his blessing, on his return from the crusade." " But here comes another son of Cushi, with tidings for the Countess of Blois. Judging from his tattered garments, and limping gait, his story must eclipse all that have gone before. My ' visionary schemes' shall not claim the atten-tion that should be devoted to this magnificent eastern am-bassador ;" and with a smile of irony Henry took his de-parture. The appearance of the individual who entered the pres-ence of Adela, and the tidings he brought, fully justified the sarcastic conjectures of Henry. He was a refugee from the party of "Walter Penniless, a band whose only rec-ommendation for the Holy war was their poverty. Before setting out, each one was searched, and the man upon whose person was found the sum of two sous, was hooted from the camp. Animated by a blind fanaticism, they ex-pected that rivers would be opened for their passage ; that flesh would be miraculously supplied ; manna rained from heaven upon them, and the smitten rock send forth its cooling stream. The hospitality of the Hungarians con-firmed their faith ; but when they entered the kingdom of Bulgaria, the illusion vanished, and the famine-stricken multitudes, abandoning their presumptuous trust in heaven, resorted to carnage and plunder. The exasperated inhabi-tants fell upon them without fear or mercy. Many were slain, numbers fled to the forests, and a remnant of the dis-appointed devotees attempted to retrace their steps to their own land. After listening to the account of the miserable fugitive, Adela remarked, that the misfortunes of the company doubtless proceeded from their forgetfulness of the last directions of the Saviour : " He that hath a purse let him take it, and likewise his scrip, and he that hath no sword let him sell his garment and buy one." 82 HEROINES OP THE CRUSADES.


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