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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 198



while the ganntleted hand that with matchless skill con-trolled his speed, looked as though it might have belonged to a giant of the olden time. The iinpetuosity^f the black 'knight left the spectators not long in doubt of his purpose. Count Henry of Champagne was summoned to réassume his armor and make good his claim to his recently won laurels. " Pray heaven thine eye and hand falter not, Count Henry," exclaimed Sancho, as he personally inspect-ed the armor of his friend, and cautioned the squires to see that each ring and buckle was securely fastened. " The issue of this combat should depend npon thine own right arm, not upon a weak spring or careless squire." The courtesy of the black knight seemed proportioned to his strength and skill. Peining his horse to the left, he gave the count the full advantage of the wind and sun, and in-stead of meeting him in full career, eluded the shock, parried his thrusts with the most graceful ease, and rode around him like a practised knight conducting the exer-cises of the tilt-yard in such a manner, as to develop and display the prowess of an ambitious squire ; and when at last Count Henry lost his saddle, it was rather the effect of his own rashness, than from any apparent purpose of his antagonist ; for exasperated to the last degree at being thus toyed with, he retreated to the extremity of the lists, put his horse upon its full speed -and dashed upon his oppo-nent. The black knight perceiving the intent of this ma-noeuvre, brought his well-trained steed at once into an attitude of perfect repose, and sitting immovable as an iron pillar, received the full shock upon his impenetrable shield. The horse of the count recoiling from the effect of the terrible collision, sank upon his haunches, and the girth breaking, the rider rolled in the dust. Something like a smothered laugh broke from beneath the bars of the stranger's vizor, as he rode round his vanquished foe, and extended his hand as though inviting him to rise. But his demeanor was grave and dignified, when he presented himself before the admiring Berengaria, who in default of a better chaplet stripped her tiny hand of its snowy cover- 14 BEREXGARIA OP NAVARRE. 209


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