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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 311



a distracted state. The Templars were in effect the lords of Palestine, and a cessation of hostilities with the Infidels, was hut a signal for the breaking out of animosities be tween the rival Christians. Disheartened with the gloomy aspect of things, the dis-consolate ting sat in his palace at Acre, devising schemes to mend his broken fortunes, each one of which, upon mature consideration, he was forced to abandon as hope- i less and impracticable, when the chamberlain entered and presented a letter. The epistle was from Elsiebede, and brought the melancholy intelligence of the death of his beloved Mary, whose remains, preserved in wax, and attended by her own christian maidens, had been brought to Acre under the convoy of the fleet of Melech Camel. With the delicate tenderness of one who had tasted grief, the Sultana dwelt upon the virtues of the deceased queen, and consoled the bereaved husband with assurances that her disease had been treated by the most learned leeches of the royal household, and her last hours been blest with the attendance of a christian priest, and the performance of the rites enjoined by the christian faith. Concerning the orphan, Violante, she continued, " Let the damsel, I pray thee, abide with me, that I may show kindness unto her for her mother's sake. She shall have the nurture of a prin-cess in the house of the Egyptian, for God hath made her nnto me as Moses to the daughter of Pharaoh. The an-gel of the storm rideth upon the sea, while the winter re-maineth, but when the queen of the flowers shall ascend her throne of enamelled foliage, thou mayest require her, and she shall come to thee, by the blessing of Allah (whose name be exalted), and by the blessing also of thy prophet Jesus, in whom thou trustest." The burial-ground of Acre was crowded with christian graves. The best and noblest of the brave sons of the West, champions and martyrs of the cross, had there gained worthy sepulture ; but it was meet that the Queen of Jeru-salem should find her last resting-place among the ancient kings of that time-honored metropolis. By the favor of Cohr- VIOLANTE. 325


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