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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades


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 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Heroines of the Crusades
page 205

216 IIEKOIXES OF TBK CRUSADES. weather precluded more active sports. Though a practised, Richard was often a careless player, and his fair antago-nist gained many advantages over him, while he perti-naciously declared himself vanquished by her beauty rather than her skill. The ready blush that followed his compli-ments gave occasion for renewed expressions of admira-tion, and often in the midst of triumph the victor found herself covered with confusion. Many gages of trifling value were lost and won between the amicable rivals, but. it was not till after repeated defeats that Richard began to ßuspect there was some article in his possession that his. beautiful opponent was particularly anxious to win. He. playfully proposed to stake his head against one lock of her hair, and when he lost the game, gravely inqnired. whether she would accept the forfeit, with its natural fix-ture, or whether like the vindictive daughter of Herodias, she would require it to be brought in a charger, as was the head of John the Baptist. Re-arranging the pieces before she conld interpose a remonstrance, he declared the stakes, should next be his heart against her hand. The game was, terminated in his favor. Gallantly seizing her hand, press-ing his lips upon it, he protested that in all Iiis tourna-ments he had never won so fair a prize ; then suddenly exclaiming, "What magic game is this, in which a man may both lose and win ?" he laid his broad palm upon his side, and with an appearance of great concern, con-tinued, " By the blessed mother my heart is certainly gone ; and I must hold thee accountable for its restoration." Making a strong effort at recovering her composure, Be-rengaria asserted that she had neither lost nor won the game, since he had arranged the pieces unfairly, and pro-ceeded to capture her queen almost without her knowledge,, and certainly without her consent. The sportive colloquy finally ended in a compromise, Richard agreeing that the affair could justly be accommo-dated by Berengaria's staking her heart against his hand, and she playfully avowing that a gamester so unprincipled might expect to lose both body and soul, if he did not I

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