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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 362



" Thy goodness reproveth me beyond thy words. I would that I could be always truthful and pure as thou," said Eva. " Nay," returned the queen, " I do but repeat that which the confessor this morning told me." "Forgive my irreverent prating," replied the maiden, " but it seemeth strange to me that one, who lacks the grace of christian charity himself, should dictate the devo-tions of my lady who is love itself." " Ah ! partial one," returned the princess, " hadst thou lived in Beziers, St. Dominick would have had thy head for thy heresy. But seriously, my Eva, thy praises humble me, for methinks had my life really exhibited those graces for which thy partial fondness gives me credit, I might ere this have taught thy restless spirit the composure which trust in God always gives." Alarmed by the grave tone of her mistress, and anxious to conceal the emotions that welled up in her heart, Eva re-plied, with assumed gaiety, " Nay, what canst thou expect from a sea-sprite? Surely I must rise and fall like my na-tive element." "Ah! darling, this is that which hath so often forced home upon me the thought I would not willingly apply to thee, ' Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.' And this it is makes me solicitous to gain thy candid ear while I unfold my husband's plans." Tears rolled over the fair girl's cheeks, but she remained perfectly silent. " Sir Warrenne Bassingbourn, whose noble heart thou knowest well, hath demanded thee of Edward, being pleased to say that thy fair hand would be sufficient guerdon for his gal-lant conduct in the wars. My royal father will give thee fitting dowry, and I would see my sweet friend well be-stowed with some worthy protector before I embark upon that voyage from which I may never return." " Thou embark for Palestine !" exclaimed Eva, forgetting her own brilliant prospects in the contemplation of her lady's purpose. " Bethink thee, my most honored mistress, of all the perils that beset thy course." 378 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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