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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 200



thou mayest make good thy boast, for truly these demi-gods wield no mortal weapons," said Count Raimond, with a bit-ter smile, as the prince anticipating a challenge'rode forth to meet, the white champion. Unpractised in the use of the-mace, Sancho, whose ire was completely roused at seeing the honors of the day borne off by strangers, disregarded the laws of the tournament (which required the challenger to use the same weapons as his adversary), and seizing his spear, attacked his opponent with a fierce energy, which showed that he fought for deadly combat, and not for trial of skill in knightly courtesy. The brilliant figure, at the first rush, bowed his head, till the plumage of the dove mingled with the flowing mane of his courser, and suffered the animal to sheer to the right, thus compelling the prince, in his onward career, to make a similar involuntary obei-sance as the result of his ineffectual thrust. Completing the demivolte, the two champions again returned to the onset ; and now the mace of the white knight describing shining circles round his head, received upon its edge the spear of the prince, clave the tough oak wood asunder, and sent the spear-head whirling through the air almost to the feet of the spectators. A second, a third, and a fourth spear met with the same fate. The welkin rang with the applause of the beholders. "Bravo, sir white knight!" "Glory to the Red Cross !" "Honor to'the crusader !" "Death to the Paynim," accompanied the flourish of trumpets and the shouts of heralds, which, together with the flutter of pennons and the waving of signals from the galleries of the ladies, showed the exciting interest of the scene. At length the dove-crested warrior, by a skilful manoeuvre, brought himself into such proximity as to be able with one blow to strike the helmet from the head of his antagonist ; at the same moment, however, he extended his hand and prevented the unbonneted prince from falling prone beneath the feet of his horse. The gallant Sancho thus compelled to yield, with knightly grace accompanied his vanquisher to Berengaria's throne. " Thy best guerdon, my sister, for thy brother's conqueror," said he. "Beside the arm of BERENGARIA OF NAVARRE. 211


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