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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Heroines of the Crusades
page 105

magnificence, and the only relic of her former state was a gorgeous curtain that divided her oratory from the cheer-less apartment, chosen as the home of her future years. "Maude," said she, as thejT sat together there, "remem-berest thou the riddle of life and love that once formed our theme of converse in an hour like this ? How thy heart pined for the convent, and mine shuddered at its gloom." " Aye," said Maude, " well do I remember it, and often have I smiled at the presumption which made me attempt to solve the greatest mystery of human existence, and arrogate to myself the choice of the future ; when the highest wisdom leads only to the faithful performance of daily duties." " I mind me now," replied the countess, " that thy gentle admonition pointed to that effect.—But I scorned control, and when I saw the cruel policy by which my father strengthened his dominion, I determined that my hand should never seal the bond of a political alliance, and it was not till after years that I learned that the meeting be-tween Stephen and myself resulted from a preconcerted plan to bind me to one whose mild virtues would counteract my unholy aspirings. Thy instructions had taught me the power of a righteous purpose, and I sought its aid to com-pensate for what I considered a defect in my husband's character, vainly hoping that ambition, sanctioned by re-ligion, would secure its reward. With fatal skill I wrought upon his generous affections till he relinquished the dear delights of his family, to seek barren laurels, and find a lonely grave on a foreign shore." " Reproach not thyself," said Maude, tenderly. The countess heeded not her interruption. " Thou and I," said she, " have wrought for different ends, and the re-sults for which I toiled have come to thee unsought." Maude would have replied, but the passionate woman proceeded. "Nay, let me speak ; for since my great grief has fallen upon me, I have unburdened my heart to no one. As a captive thou didst bring a blessing to the household of the Conqueror ; thy sweet spirit moulded the rude Simon into a benefactor of his dependents, and I know well 112 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.

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