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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 178



the long and difficult journey to England, and in name of Queen Sibylla, had delivered to him as the successor of Fulk of Anjou, the royal banner and the keys of the Holy City and Sepulchre. Now impressed with a sense of the vanity of human hopes, and the fading grandeur of earthly distinction, he determined if possible, to divert his mind from the endless train of sad recollections, by plunging into the excitement of novel scenes and rekindling his wasting energies at the fane of Religion. The eyes of all the European nations were at this time directed, witli pecu-liar anxiety to the distresses of the Christians in Palestine. At the death of Baldwin III. the sceptre passed to the .hands of his brother Almeric, who wasted his subjects and treasure in a fruitless war with the Vizier of Egypt. The crown from Almeric descended to Baldwin IV., his son by Agnes de Courteney, heiress to the lost principality of Edessa. Baldwin IV. was a leper ; and finding that disease incapaci-tated him for performing the royal functions, he committed the government to his brother-in-law Guy de Lusignan, a French knight whom Henry had banished for murder. At the death of Baldwin his sister Sibylla and her husband Guy became lung and Queen of Jerusalem, but the Count of Tripoli refused to do them homage. At last he consented to proffer his allegiance to the queen, on condition that she should be divorced from Lusignan and choose a partner who should be able to protect the kingdom. Sibylla was a woman of great beauty, majestic person and commanding talents. She consented to the proposal of the Count of Tripoli, only requiring in return the oath of the barons that they would accept for sovereign whomsoever she should choose. The terms were settled, the divorce obtained, and the ceremony of her coronation took place. As soon as she was crowned, turning proudly to the rebel lords, she placed the diadem on the head of Lusignan, saluted him as her husband, bent the knee to him as king, and with a voice of authority, cried aloud, " Those whom God has joined together let not man put asunder." The simple truth and affection of the queen, and the grandeur of the spectacle ELEANOR. 187


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