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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 314



deavor, and sought refuge from his remonstrances in the .female apartments of the palace. The stay of Jean de Brienne in Egypt was marked by an event of great consequence, both to the Christians and Mussulmans. The health of Elsiebede had long been de-clining ; and in the maturity of years, passed in benevo-lent efforts to harmonize the discordant interests of those among whom she dwelt a stranger and a sovereign, she sank to her rest. Violante wept bitterly at the loss of her patron and friend, but the Moorish maidens, to whom she had rendered herself inexpressibly dear, were not permit-ted by their law to indulge in expressions of sorrow, though an involuntary tear accompanied the consolatory words with which they addressed Melech Camel : " Alia wills it. May the blessing of the All-inerciful rest upon thee." : Violante had so long dwelt in the house of Elsiebede, that the distinctions of faith were forgotten, and she was allowed to mingle with the mourning-train that carried the body to the burial : but King Jean de Brienne and the pa-triarch of Jerusalem were prohibited from profaning the sa-cred ceremony by their presence. The serene dawn of an Eastern morning was gilding the domes and minarets of Cairo, as the body of Elsiebede was carried forth to the mosque, to be prepared, according to the faith of her fathers, for its final home. As the bearers entered the door, the congregation repeated in solemn ca-dence, " Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds, the most merciful, the king of the day of judgment. Thee do we worship, and of thee do we beg assistance. Direct us in the right way, in the way of those to whom thou hast been gracious ; not of those against whom thou art incensed, nor of those who go astray." The imam then stood up and called upon one and another to testify concerning the life of the illustrions dead ; and each vied with the other in recounting her acts of benefi-cence and piety, till the priest concluded with, " She was more glorious than the four perfect women who dwell in the bowers of the blest. She was more bountiful than Ea- HEROINES OP THE CRUSADES.


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