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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 425



by salutary fear, till he rises to more exalted capabilities," replied Alphonso. " And art willing," suggested Eleanora, cautiously, " to administer to this wholesome necessity until thy divine philosophy become sufficiently perfected to renovate their character." " What priestly scheme hast thou in hand ?" said her brother, regarding her with a look of mirthful curiosity. "Thou knowest how dearly I love the Castilian lan-guage," returned the queen, " and I would that my brother should perpetuate his fame by that which will benefit his subjects. The sight of thy Jewish scribes, suggested the thought that it would be easy for thee to procure the trans-lation of the Scriptures into our mother tongue." The philosopher remained silent for a moment, and then answered, " knowest thou the effect of the measures thou proposest ?" " I conceive," replied Eleanora, " that it will make thy people more virtuous and happy, and," added she, mindful of his foible, " prepare them to receive all the additional light to which thy investigations may lead." "There will be another effect, which, perhaps thou dost not anticipate," replied Alphonso. " It will overthrow the power of the priesthood ; for as now each man inquires of his confessor concerning his duty, he will, if enabled to read the boasted oracles, claim the right to interpret for himself. But thy experiment shall be tried, and now I be-think me, those learned scribes which our benevolent son Sancho hath permitted us to employ in transcribing the laws of Spain into the language of Castile, shall be placed under thy direction for this important work. Thus the object for which Eleanora had so long and so patiently prayed and planned, progressed under the aus-pices of a man who affected to despise the truths he yet condescended to propagate ; and while the philosopher gave critical attention to the correctness of the work, he found leisure to complete his Astronomical tables, and to commence the first general history of Spain. ILEA NOB A. 441


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