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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 408

the queen, followed by Procida, into a small laboratory filled with all the mysterious appurtenances of his art. The learned doctor busied himself in clearing a space in the centre of the apartment and arranging in a circle sun-dry jars and a brazier, while the philosopher king, opening a cabinet, took thence some dried and withered sea-weed, which he threw into the brazier and kindled into a flame. The blazing kelp was soon reduced to ashes, which Procida carefully gathered into an old empty crucible, and set before the queen. Alphonso advancing took up the cruci-ble, saying, " "What seest thou, my sister ?" " A dull, gray powder," she replied. Bîe then placed a tube from one of the jars within the crucible, and bidding her regard it attentively, submitted it to a chemical process which she did not understand, re-peating his question. • " I now see," replied Eleanora, with astonishment, " the dull powder transformed into little shining globules like silver." "Thou mayst take them in thine hand," said the phi-losopher, after a pause ; " they will not harm thee." With some timidity the wondering queen received the metallic drops, almost fearing that her brother was a necro-mancer as the priests affirmed. " Canst judge if it be a metal ?" said Alphonso, enjoying her confusion. " My sight and touch assure me of the fact. Yet whence—" " Is it not a miracle," interrupted the philosopher, laugh-ing, " more real than thy fancied transubstantiation?" A frown gathered on the serene brow of the lovely queen •—but commiserating his impiety as sincerely as he pitied her ignorance, with forced gayety she replied, " Nay, heaven works not miracles by the hands of such unbeliev-ers as thou. I fear me lest evil spirits have aided thee, as they did the Egyptians with their enchantments and she handed the globules to the philosopher. 424 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.

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