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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 309

and the shrill tones of the Syrian pipe. They entered next npon a broader space open to the clear light of day, where were galleries wainscoted with gold, and ornamented with marble pillars and sculptured images of the old Egyptian deities ; and paved with mosaics of colored stone. There were basins filled with limpid waters, which glided in • shining streams over rocks arranged to resemble the ravines and grottoes of the wilderness. The branches of the olive, pomegranate and fig were loaded with fruit, and the place resounded with the warbling of birds of varied and gor-geous plumage ; while through vistas pleasantly opening to them as they passed, the eye caught glimpses of artificial forests in which bounded the silver-footed antelope, and the bright-eyed gazelle, with multitudes of graceful and beauti-ful animals, " Such as painters imagine in the wantonness of their art, such as poetic fancies describe, such as we see in dreams, and such as are found only in the lands of the Orient and the South." The open court turned upon a cor-ridor, and at the entrance beneath a crystal floor, there rolled a clear stream through which the glittering gold fish sport-ed, and the mottled trout pursued the shining insects with restless avidity. The little Violante unpractised in the de- I ceits of art, lifted her robe and stepped daintily upon the glassy surface, as if to lave her tiny feet in the translucent waters. Finding that the firm basis yielded not to the tread, she passed on with a puzzled look of surprise and pleasure, till her attention was attracted by the sound of a multitude of voices, and melodious harpings with which the satellites of the ante-chamber greeted their approach. Bands of Mamelukes dressed in robes of the greatest mag-nificence, prostrated themselves thrice before their Sultan, and then raised their feathery wands to bar the progress of the train to the inner court of the harem. The gates rolled back upon their golden hinges, and a troop of maidens fair as the houries, approached to receive the christian fe-males, while the Sultan with the king and his knights turned away from the closing gates, like lost spirits ban-ished from the bowers of Elysium. VIOLANTE. 323

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