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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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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 

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 106



that it was thy benevolent wisdom which .instructed Ma-tilda to secure the liberty of England, and thé stability of Henry's throne. Thy silent sacrifices have made the rich current of thy life one stream of beneficence, while my err-ing spirit has converted the bounties of heaven into foun-tains of misery. My wicked pride found occasion in the imbecility of my first-born "William for ceaseless repining, and sowed the seeds of sorrow in the hearts of my other noble beautiful children. Thibaut is in arms against his sovereign, Stephen a pensioner on the fickle humors of a king, Henry seeks preferment through the church, and my lovely Lucy, the darling of her father, lies entombed in the sea. Oh ! Maude ! Maude ! my best and truest friend, pity her whose only occupation through long years has been 1 to write bitter things against herself !' But I might have known it all," continued she impetuously, " for heaven through thy intercession deigned to warn me of my fate, and I would not tell thee lest thy gentle love should win me from it." She drew aside the curtain of the oratory, and led the princess within the shadow. Through the oriel windows the mellow light of the autumnal sun fell softly upon the altar, where stood beside the crucifix the crystal urn con-taining the hallowed dust of Palestine. The scarf of Stephen, with its golden embroidery rusted, and its bright pearls dimmed with his blood, was wound round the precious love-gift, and fastened with the thorn obtained from Ingulfus. " It seems but yesterday," said she, tenderly detaching the baldric, " since I held this up before thee with pride and pleasure, and in careless wonder saw thee wreathe it in the canopy of my couch. But that dream, now that my whole life looks a dream, seems the one reality of my ex-istence. 1 shall tell it thee, for my spirit already feels the balm of thy gentle sympathy. " My slumbers were at first broken and disturbed. I seemed with Stephen and Robert in an eastern land, hur-rying over rocks and sands, a tiresome, weary way, in pur- 6 ADELA. 113


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