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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 263



him at once to credit the report, and determined liim upon securing the enchanted treasure. He immediately sum*, moned the baron to give up to him as feudal lord, a share of the rich prize. The Castellan declared that nothing had been found but a pot of Roman coins which were at his service. The impetuous monarch could not be satisfied with this explanation of the affair, and immediately com-menced a siege. He was pierced by an arrow from the walls, and the wound though not mortal was so inflamed by the unskilfulness of the physician, and the king's im-patience under treatment, as to cause his death. Queen Eleanöra was at this time in England ; but Berengaria at-tended him in his last moments, and forgetting the years of neglect, and the ebullitions of ill temper that had poison- f ed her domestic happiness, watched and wept over him with the tenderest care. Scarcely had he breathed his last, when Joanna, Count-ess Of Toulouse, arrived in Aquitaine. She had come to entreat the assistance of the monarch against the haughty barons who had taken up arms against her husband. But when she looked upon the kingly form of her beloved bro-ther stretched in the stillness of death ; when she saw that the dull, cold eye kindled not as of yore at the recitative of her wrongs ; and when she lifted the powerless hand ever ready for her defence, her long-tried courage gave Way and 6he sank fainting by his side. The weight of this new grief, added to her former afflictions, pressed upon her enfeebled frame, and on the third day she expired, entreat-ing Eerengaria to bury her with her brother Richard. The sorrowing queen conveyed the royal remains of her hus-band and sister for interment to the stately abbey of Fon-tevraud, and laid them in the tomb of their father Henry II., and within a few short weeks after paid the last tribute of affection to her -sweet sister Blanche, wife of Thibaut, Count of Champagne. The world was now a desert to Berengaria. She retired to her dower estate of Orleans, where she founded the no-^ ble abbey of L'Espan, and passed the remainder of her life in acts of charity and beneficence. 274 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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