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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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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 

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 375



Courtenay, with instinctive delicacy', had obtained permis-sion to absent himself from the scene on a visit to the Holy Sepulchre. As king-of-arms, and first in rank, it was the duty of Edward to preside over this fearful ceremony, which, by the true and loyal, was regarded as more terrible than death itself. At the first stroke of the great bell, the pursuivants, hav-ing robed Sir Francis for the last time in his knightly ha-biliments, conducted him from the Oursed Tower toward the; church. As they entered the door, the doleful peal sank in silence, and, after one awful moment, his fellow-knights,, with broken voices, began to chant the burial service. An elevated stage, hung with black, had been erected in* tbe centre of the nave, and upon this the pursuivants, whose business it was to divest him of every outward in-signia of courage and truth, placed the culprit, in full view of all the vast concourse. When the chanting ceased, Prince Edward spoke in a voice that thrilled to every heart, "Sir Francis d'Essai!, thou who didst receive the sword of knighthood from the hand of the good St. Louis, dost stand before us this day attaint of treason to thy God^thy truth, and the lady of thy love. "Wherefore thy peers have willed that the order of knighthood, by the which thou hast received all the honor and worship upon thy body, le brought to nought, and thy state be undone, and thou be driven forth outcast and dis-honored according to thy base deserts." Instantly the brazen tongue from the belfry ratified the fiat, and announ-ced the hour of doom. At the word, the squire with trembling hand removed the helmet, the defence of dis-loyal eyes, revealing the pale and haggard countenance of the recreant knight, and the choir resumed the mournful dirge. Then each pursuivant advanced in his order to the performance of his unwelcome duty. One by one the knightly trappings of D'Essai were torn from his body, and as cuirass, greaves, brassarts, and gauntlets rang upon the pavements, the heralds exclaimed, " Behold the harness of a miscreant !" ELEANOKA.


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