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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 93



to worthy deed9 !" and the haughty woman burst into tears of mingled tenderness and mortified pride. " By the crucifix at Lucca !" exclaimed Stephen, rising in wrath, " an thou wilt not listen to reason, 'twere vain to talk." " And if reason determined thy return, wherefore comest thou alone ?" said Adela, striving to conquer her emotion. " Alone !" replied the count. " Of the multitudes that left Europe at the preaching of Peter, three fourths have returned already or fallen victims to their folly. The Her-mit himself has fled from the sight of miseries that he was impotent to relieve and unable to endure. Baldwin has joined a piratical band that ravage the coast of Cilicia. Raimond, of Toulouse, languishes the victim of a pestilen-tial fever. Godfrey, the soul of the expedition, torn and lacerated, in an encounter with wild beasts, lies prostrate with his wounds ; nay, the Count Melun, and Tatius the lieutenant of Alexius, have withdrawn their forces ; and when sickness compelled me to retire for a season from the siege of Antioch, fifteen thousand Turks, from the heart of Asia, were on their way to join the myriads that surround the christian camp." " And what kind hand tended thy illness ?" said the countess, her tenderness returning at the thought of his suf-fering. " The bivouac of the soldier admits few of those atten-tions so grateful to an invalid," replied her husband, much softened. " However, my indisposition was of short dura-tion, and I should have rejoined my companions, had not intelligence reached me that caused me to abandon all hope for the success of the enterprise. " 1 tell thee that the project of subduing Asia is utterly foolish and vain. The Greek empire, the barrier of Europe on the east, is little less infidel than the sons of Islam ; and every conquest of the Christians is claimed by Alexius as feudal lord. He wrested from us the city of Nice in the very hour of victory. On my return, I met him at the head of his army on the way to take possession of Antioch, 100 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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