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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 186



Prophet (on whom be benedictions) was wont to read the ' Book of Life.' " From the heart of the child that turneth ever to watch .the movements of its mother, from the heart of the ser-vant that seeketh the favor of her mistress, from the heart of the sister that exults with pride in the glory of her brother, from the Ja tart of the maiden that beateth bash-fully and tenderly St the sound of the footsteps of her lover, from the heart of the bridegroom that yearneth with strong desire towards his bride, from the heart of the father that expands in the fulness of joy at the sight of his first-born, from the heart of the mother that watcheth ever the steps of her child, whether he sporteth in innocence by her side or wandqreth with vice in foreign parts; I have gath-ered the sweetest and purest and truest thought of Love. Its impalpable essence lies hidden in this phial," and he placed it before them. And lo ! it seemed filled with a vapor which flushed in their gaze with the hue of the dawn. Then spake the third and said, "It is not permitted unto me the servant of Ifraz the Unknown, to declare unto you in what outward manifestations of human hope or desire, in what inward workings of thought and feeling, I have de-tected and imprisoned the elusive spirit of Ilappiness," and he held up his phial before them. And with one voice they exclaimed, " It is empty." And they laughed him to scorn. Then spake he in anger and said, "Truly the fool pro-ceedeth upon probability, and the wise man requireth proof." And they replied, " Go to, now, we will abide the proof." And forthwith they took their way to the land of Snris-tan. And as they passed by the well of Israel, Ben Izak (on whom be peace), they saw a maiden bearing a pitcher of water. And the first said, " Behold, now, immortality is given unto man by the Almighty the Ordainer of fate and destiny (whose name be exalted), but unto woman it is not given except as her beauty shall delight the heart of man." But the second said, " Except as love gives her a BERENGARIA OF NAVARRE. 197


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