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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 320



league with his son Henry, the disappointed bridegroom, and instigated the cities of Lombardy to revolt. Alarmed at the disaffection of his subjects, Frederic renewed his promise, and went so far as to consign his kingdom to the protection of the church, during his absence. The death of the pope, in 1227, afforded him another temporary respite. He had, however, in this change of pontiffs, as little mat-ter of congratulation, as the fox in the fahle : Gregory IX. proving a more voracious and intolerant scourge, than his predecessor. After making arrangements to prosecute the designs of Ilonorius upon the Albigenses, the new pope published the eastern crusade, and called upon Frederic to set out without loss of time. The lovely Violante was drooping in her European home. The harsh and guttural language of the Germans, offended her ear, their rude and unpolished manners presented an effectual barrier to the light and graceful amusements, which she sought to introduce in her court, and her delicate frame chilled by the severity of a climate to which 6he was unaccustomed, shrank from every exposure. She pined to revel once more, in the bland and balmy airs that sweep the fragrance from Hermon, and to be served with the courteous reserve, and graceful observances which she had enjoyed in the harem of Cairo. Her only hope of return-ing to her native land, was in the fulfilment of her hus-band's vow ; but finding that her mild entreaties served only to irritate his imperious temper, she refrained to press the subject, and confined her anxieties to her own breast. While the lovely exotic was thus withering under the blighting influence of the uncongenial atmosphere of the north, Jean de Brienne visited the German court. Alarmed at his daugh ter's pale and wasted appearan ce, he regarded her with a tender sympathy, such as he had never before mani-fested towards her; and the heart-broken queen poured out her sorrows before him, and entreated him to take her back to Palestine. The sweet pensiveness so like the ex-pression of her mother's countenance, and which had al-ready become habitual to her youthful features touched a 834 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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