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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 111

The language that prevailed all over the south of France, was called Provençal. It was the mother-tongue of Duke William, the grandfather of Eleanor, who was one of the most liberal patrons and earliest professors of that style of composition in which the Troubadours celebrated the feats of love and arms. The matchless charms of Eleanor were enhanced by all the accomplishments of the south. Her fine genius found ample exercise in composing the sirvantes and chansons of Provençal poetry, and her delicate fingers wiled the spirit of music from the echoing harp to accompany her voice adown the tide of song. She inherited from her grandfather the political sover-eignty of her native dominions not only, but the brilliant talents and ancestral superiority that made her Empress in the realm of Taste, and Queen of the courts of Love. When the gay and licentious Duke William felt the in-firmities of age coming upon him, he determined to seek the readiest means to rid himself of the burden of his sins. Accordingly, he resolved to resign the most potent sceptre in Europe to the unpractised hand of his youthful grand-daughter, and devote the rest of his days to prayer and penitence in a hermitage of the rocky wilderness of St. James de Compostella. Eleanor had not attained her fif-teenth year when her grandfather commenced his career of self-denial, by summoning the baronage of Aquitaine to transfer their allegiance to herself; and the child-sov-ereign exercised the royal functions of her new dignities while the duke visited the court of Louis le Gros and offer-ed her hand to the young prince. The wise lawgiver of France readily accepted the proposal—for the rich prov-inces which constituted the dower of Eleanor, held alle-giance to the crown, only by feudal tenure ; and the son, equally impatient for the possession of his fair prize, set off with a noble train for Bordeaux. The light heart of Elea-nor was easily won by the unrivalled attractions of Louis le Jeune, whose courtly graces were illuminated by the pros-pect of the crown of Charlemagne ; while the damsels that composed her court, exercised their blandishments with 120 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.

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