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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 349

nience from utter poverty. He had given his niece in mar-riage to a Turkish emir, and ratified a treaty with a haughty pagan by tasting his blood. He demolished vacant houses in Constantinople for winter fuel, stripped the lead from the churches for the daily expense of his family; mort-gaged his father's estates in France to increase'the public revenue ; and pawned the heir of the purple at Yenice, as security for a debt. One only treasure yet remained, the Holy Crown of Thorns; but piety forbade him to make merchandise of that which all Christendom regarded with such superstitious veneration. It was therefore determined to present the precious bauble to the most honorable prince in Europe, and rely upon his pious gratitude to make suit-able return. A wooden box conveyed the inestimable relic to France. It was opened in the presence of the no-bility, discovering within a silver shrine in which was pre-served the monument of the Passion, enclosed in a golden vase. St. Louis, with all his court, made a pilgrimage to Troyes, to receive the precious deposit. And the devout monarch, barefoot, and without other clothing than a simple tunic, carried it in triumph through the streets of Paris, and placed it in La Sainte Chapelle, which he pre-pared for the purpose. This solemn ceremony roused all the mirthfulness of Eva, nor could the habitual reverence of Eleanora so far prevail over her good sense, as to pre-vent some slight misgivings concerning the authenticity of the various and multiplied relics that then formed so lucra-tive a branch of commerce. " I warrant me," said the madcap, Eva, to the maidens, " we shall all of us be compelled to kneel upon the cold pavement before that prickly emblem, as a punishment for our many transgressions." Shocked at her impiety, yet in-wardly amused, the merry party mingled their reproaches with encouraging peals of laughter. " No doubt," continued she, "it will cure all diseases, at least it has humbled the holy king like St. Paul's thorn in the flesh. For me, though I strove to wear a devout face, I could not help laughing at the sight of his royal shins." The ELEANORA. 365

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