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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 404



" It is my care," continued Sancho, • ' to grant him every-thing, but freedom to disturb my kingdom. Jews and Arabs, his chosen friends, doctors of Salerno and Salaman-ca, friars and priests, (though, sooth to say for them, he careth little save as they bring him mouldy manuscripts from the monasteries,) jugglers and mummers, a worthy retinue, have free access to his presence. To-morrow thou mayest see the philosopher, surrounded by his motley cour-tiers, and methinks thou wilt then pronounce him as do others, either fool or madman.' King Edward, who from conversation with the nobles of Castile, no less than with Sancho, had arrived at the same conclusion with his royal nephew, made no efforts to re-lease Alphonso from his confinement, but gladly accepted an invitation to accompany the King of Castile on an expe-dition against the Moors in southern Spain. During their absence Eleanora remained in Burgos, and devoted herself to the care of her brother, for whose sanity she began to entertain serious fears. Alphonso's affection for his lovely sister so far prevailed over his excitable tem-perament, that he permitted her to enter his apartments at all hours without exhibiting any annoyance, and often turned aside from his abstruse studies to indnlge in remin-iscences of their youthful sports, and to satisfy her inqui-ries concerning his present pursuits. Eleanora possessed that genial spirit which discovers something of interest in every occupation, and that ex-quisite tact which enabled her to insinuate a truth, even while seemipg not to contradict an error ; and it was soon apparent that, though the philosopher still uttered his absurdities with great complacency,—his temper became more tranquil, and his manners far more affable to all who approached him. The queen listened patiently to his tedi-ous explanations of the motions of the planets, and exerted her utmost powers of perception to comprehend the dia-grams which he contended were illustrative of the whole theo-ry of Nature, and the great end and purpose of her solemn mysteries inscribed on the scroll of the heavens, form- HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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