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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 424



fame and pecuniary reward ? Thou hast heard, perchance, of the magician Albertus Magnus, who constructed a human figure, which performed the office of a servant ; and of the stupid priest Thomas Aquinas, who, alarmed by the appear-ance of the automaton which opened the door and ushered him in with ceremonious obeisance, destroyed with one blow the work of years." "I can forgive his terror," said Eleanora, "for I well re-member my own affright, when the brazen head contrived by Friar Bacon, rolled along on the table towards me, and uttered '•pax vohiscum? with startling distinctness." "Albertus Magnus performed a still more astonishing work," continued Alphonso. " At a banquet which he gave in the garden of his cloister, in the depth of winter, trees appeared covered with leaves and flowers, which vanished as if by enchantment, when the guests rose to depart." " By what means were these wonderful works produced?" said Eleanora, with astonishment. " "With the mode of this operation I am not familiar," re-turned the philosopher. " Doubtless by some of the pow-erful agents alchemy reveals to its votaries." " And what dost thou consider the chief agent in the universe ?" said Eleanora, with the air of one inquiring after truth. " Nature," returned the philosopher, emphatically. " And will it pain my brother, if his unlearned sister call that great agent, who brings the flowers and leaves upon the trees in their season, by the name of God ?" " Certainly, the name can affect nothing," replied Al-phonso ; " and if thy priest require it of thee, sin not against him, by a more liberal view." " And if the ignorant mass, who cannot be enlightened by thy theories, are restrained from vice by the thought that an Omniscient Being takes note of their actions, would it be well to free them from the necessary monitor ?" in-quired his sister. " It is doubtless well for man to be deterred from evil HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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