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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 430



churches taten from the Infidels. Edward proposed to return by sea to Bordeaux, where he appointed his queen to meet him within the following month. But the tidings she received from Procida, through an ambassador that craved a private andience, created a more agitating interest than even the affairs of their own realm could awaken. At sight of the stranger, she recognized the saviour of Agnes, and her first impulse was to thank him for his generous exertions in behalf of her fair ward. But the grave formality of his manner cheeked the grace-ful condescension. He seemed but the bearer of a letter, and received her greeting merely as the messenger of Pro-cida, and presuming upon his avowed character, she pro-ceeded to peruse the despatch in his presence. The epistle from the Jew commenced abruptly without date. It acquainted the queen with the rank and title of the bearer, " Frederic the Bitten," Duke of Saxony, grand-son of the illustrious Emperor of Germany, and commend-ed him to her courtesy as the suitor of the young Agnes. Procida alluded darkly to negotiations and plots, which he trusted would accomplish the deliverance of his country, but towards the close of the epistle, the father triumphed over the conspirator, and the expressions of paternal love subdued the tone of vengeance to the accents of tenderness and apprehension. " I was anxious my royal friend," said he, " now that rugged winter has been smoothed by a softer breath, I was anxious to write and to address thee some grateful strain, as the first-fruits of the spring. But the mournful news presages to ine new storms ; my songs sink into tears. In vain do the heavens smile ; in vain do the gardens and groves inspire me with unseasonable joy, and the returning concert of the birds tempt me to resume my own. I can-not behold with dry eyes the approaching desolation of my kind nurse Sicily. Which shall I choose for her, the-jToke, or honor? I see that in the confusion of insurrection numbers of her innocent children must perish. Shall I then leave her under the power of the tyrant ? Shall our m HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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