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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 110



CHAPTER I. " In the midst was seen A lady of a more majestic mien, By stature and by beauty marked their sovereign Queen." THE southern provinces of France, Poitou, Saintogne, Auvergne, Perigord, Limousin, Angoumois and Guienne, received of the Romans the classic appellation of Aquitaine. This beautiful land, watered by the Garonne and Loire, whose clear and sparkling streams, flowing from vine-clad hills, stretched their silvery arms to irrigate the fairest fields and to enclose the finest harbors in the world, was in the twelfth century, inhabited by the most civilized and polished people on the face of the earth. The arts, and the idealities, and the refinements of life, like the native flow-ers of its sunny vales, seemed wakened and nourished by the genial airs of a climate, softened by the proximity of the sea, and rendered bracing by the mountain breeze. The numerous and independent sovereigns, whose feudal 6way extended over this fair territory, imbibed the spirit of chivalry, and caught the enthusiasm that precipitated the armies of Europe upon Asia. Count Raimond of Tou-louse, was one of the first who took the cross, at the council of Clermont. He was styled par excellence the Moses of the expedition. Before leaving for Palestine, on his re-turnless voyage, he ceded his dominions to his daughter, wife of William IX. of Poitou. The grand-children of William IX. were Eleanor and Petronilla. The father of these fair sisters, William X., left Aquitaine in 1132, with their uncle Raimond, who was chosen prince of Antioch. The poetical taste of Eleanor was early cultivated and developed by the unrestrained freedom she enjoyed in the queenless court of her minstrel grandfather in Gay Guienne.


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