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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 297



setoutfromDamascus loaded with most rare and costly gifts. Cohr-Eddin, with the enthusiasm of a lover, determined to ex-ercise the liberty of the European princes and gain an inter-view with his intended bride. Before setting out he received from his mother a fragment of the true cross, and thus armed with what he thought would render him irresistible to the christian maiden, he rode gaily along at the head of the splen-did cavalcade, beguiling the way in converse with a cele-brated Howadji, learned in the precepts of the Koran, and in the gorgeous and metaphorical fictions of eastern poetry. In the desert, as in the sea, the eye takes in a vast circle without obstruction from forest or dwelling: the scouts on the second day, therefore, easily discerned, far in the rear, a solitary horseman upon a fleet Arabian barb. He did not, however, join the troop, but passing it to the north, disappeared in the distance ere conjecture had settled upon his identity, or the cause of his sudden apparition. When the hour for evening prayers arrived, on the last day of the journey, the cortege turned aside into a small grove of palms, and sought refreshment by a fountain, which threw up its clear waters, and with untiring voice, warbled its perpetual hymn. The breath of the evening was scented by the odor of the sorrowful nyctanthes, and as they entered, they observed that the place had been ren-dered sacred by the burial of one whose marble tomb, des-titute of name or inscription, was shaded by the tender leaves of the sensitive mimosa. The repast being over, the story-loving Saracens gathered around the Howadji, who continued to unfold the stores of his learning, descanting upon the beauties of the place, and the influences of the stars, that, like the generations of the earth, follow each other in solemn procession, through the heavens ; and drawing from his memory gems of poetry appropriate to the time and occasion'. Thus said he :— " Open thine eyes to consider the Narcissus, Thou wouldst say it is the circle of the Pleiades around the sun ; Yet since the Rose has removed the veil from before her cheek, The Narcissus has become all eyes to gaze upon her." VIOLANTE. 311


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