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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 174



And casting up her eyes to heaven, She did for mercy call, And drinking up the poison strong, Her life she lost withal. " Help ! ho ! Have done with your foolish madrigal," cried a stout yeoman, who had watched the terrible agony depicted upon the face of the king, during this rehearsal ; " the holy palmer is well nigh suffocated with your folly." " Give him a taste of one of the psalms of David," hic-coughed a little man from the opposite side of the booth, " the pious aye thrive upon the good book," and he laughed at his own profanity. " A horn of good English beer will do him better," roared a Yorkshire man, pouring out a bumper of ale. " Build up the body, mon, and the soul will do weel eneugh." " Gramercy !" cried the minstrel, going nearer and gazing upon his distorted features. " Some evil demon possesses him. 'Tis a terror to look upon his bloodshot eyes." " An if the evil demon is in him 'twere best to cast him out," interposed the owner of the booth. Suiting the action to the word, he dragged the senseless king from the couch of fern leaves, to a more refreshing bed upon the dewy grass. The cool air at length revived the miserable monarch, and the very torture of returning recollection gave him strength to rise and pursue his course. On he sped through the night, insensible to fatigue and regardless of rest. As he struck into the bridle path where his eyes were dazzled by the bright vision that first led his feet to Godstowe, the faint sound of the convent bell fell upon his ear. He thought it the ringing of the matin chime ; but approaching nearer, the solemn toll smote heavily upon his heart, for he recognized in it the knell of a parting soul. He quickened his steps,, and by reason of his friar's gown, gained ready admittance to the convent. The messenger that had been despatched for a priest to shrive the dying nun had not yet returned,, and Henry's services were put in requisition to perform the holy office. Without giving him time for question or ex-planation, the frightened sisters hurried him through the ELEANOK. 183


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