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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 146



fix from the altar, the forest from its foundations, and while the choir were preparing to vociferate a splendid song of triumph, friar and fiend, angels and apparatus were precip-itated into the yawning purgatory beneath. At the same moment, the man with the moon abruptly set, leaving the chapel in total darkness. The musical pitch wavered and quavered, and terminated in shrieks of affright, and the audience, apprehensive that the devil had not yet his due, fled in most undignified haste. It was not until the queen had reached her own apartments, and her tire-women one after another came hurrying to her presence in ludicrous disarray, that she forgot her fright and gave way to a ge-nial burst of merriment. The forlorn damsels at length found it impossible not to join in her mirth, and every fresh arrival was hailed with irrepressible peals of laughter. " Welcome, my angeliques," cried the queen. " I feared that your late promotion would unfit you for mortal duties ; but I perceive, with pleasure, that a foretaste of the punish-ment that awaits the unfaithful, has rendered you more than usually alert this- evening. For ourself, we feel the necessity for repose, and will gladly be disrobed for our couch." N Notwithstanding the unsuccessful efforts of her Saxon clerks, Eleanor was not discouraged. She summoned from Blois a celebrated abbot named William, who, under her patronage, and assisted by her genius, brought out his tra-gedy of Flaura and Marcus, the first appearance of the reg-ular drama in England. ELEANOR. 155


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