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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 273

am frail and suffering of body. But I see that no one can order and marshal you like I who am your lord. If you choose to grant to me to take the sign of the cross, that I may guard you and instruct you, and that my son may re-main in my place to guard the land, I will go live or die with you and the pilgrims.' And when they heard him they all cried out with one voice, ' We beg you in God's name to grant it, and to do it, and to come with us.' Then great pity took possession of the men of the land, and of the pilgrims, and they shed many tears to think that this val-iant man had such great cause to remain, for he was an old man and had beautiful ey%s in his head, but saw not with them, having lost his sight through a wound on the crown ; exceeding great of heart was he. So he descended from the pulpit and walked straight to the altar, and threw him-self upon his knees, pitifully weeping ; and they sewed the cross-on a large cape of cotton, because he wished the peo-ple to see it. And the Venetians began to take the cross in large numbers and in great plenty on that day, until which very few had taken the cross. Our pilgrims were moved with exceeding joy even to overflowing as regarded this new crusader, on account,of the sense and the prowess that were his. Thus the doge took the cross as you have heard." But by a singular circumstance the expedition was diverted from its original design. Isaac Angelus, the vicious and tyrannical Emperor of Constantinople, had been deposed by his subjects, deprived of his eyesight, and cast into prison. His brother Alexius was invested with the purple, and rejecting the name of Angelus, assumed the royal appellation of the Comnenian race. Young Alexius, the son of Isaac, was at this time twelve years of age. Es-caping from the guards of his uncle in the disguise of a common sailor, he found a refuge in the island of Sicily. Thence he set off for Germany, having accepted an invita-tion to reside with his sister Irene, wife of Philip of Suabia. Passing through Italy, he found the flower of western chiv-alry assembled at Venice ready for the crusade, and it immediately occurred to his young and ardent mind that ISABELLA. 285

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