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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 133



• church wouldf he a grievous sin. The Saracen soon per-suaded her that love for her alone had endowed him with supernatural powers, and the delicate flattery determined her to exercise to the fullest extent the influence that could produce such wonderful effects. The young Emir belted his tunic with a silken girdle several yards in length. Upon this ribbon Eleanor, still intent upon her design, em-broidered a cross which the youth accepted with his accus-tomed gallantry, saying, " I worship the Divinity it repre-sents." The next day he brought her a casket of diamonds, and an ivory box filled with the sweetest perfumes. As he reclined at her feet she opened the box, and twining his raven hair about her fingers poured the precious liquid upon his head. Peyrol who from his childhood had regarded the queen with the impassioned devotion of the south, had hardly consented to share her heart with Louis. Since her mar-riage, her ambition for conquest had kept him constantly in a state of jealous excitement. His interested eyes had 1 been the first to discern her stolen interviews with Saladin ; and on the day of her acceptance of the diamonds, he con-trived to secrete himself in the garden, and thus witnessed the whole affair. Convinced of her danger, he set off direct for Jerusalem, to advertise Louis of her conduct, and while Eleanor fancied herself doing God service in her ef-forts to convert the lord of the Saracens, though at some slight sacrifice of. personal delicacy, the king arrived at Antioch, and hurried her away with small leave-taking of her uncle, and without even allowing her a parting inter-view with her heathen convert. Eleanor submitted to this unaccustomed harshness of her husband, with a very ill grace. She attempted to explain to him that she was do-ing more for the preservation of the Sepulchre than King Baldwin himself. She expressed the most violent anger at being the object of unfounded suspicion, and entered the Holy City in a most indignant mood. The upright mind of Louis could not be made to comprehend the piety that led to such an ebullition of temper, nor could he well ap- 142 HEROINES OP THE CRUSADES.


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