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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 432



the thought,that he was occupied with a more healthful and profitable pursuit than were the abstruse-researches into the mysteries of nature, in which she had found him engaged. She had also the satisfaction of knowing that the deposed monarch had laid aside all his ambitious projects for empire, and now busied his thoughts in calculating the immense ad-vantage and glory that would accrue to mankind from the Castilian literature he had in preparation. The affectionate J farewells were exchanged, and, accompanied by her two beautiful children, Beatrice and Berengaria, her maidens and the attendant squires, and a small band of Spanish cavaliers, among whom rode the Duke of Saxony, she set off to meet her lord in Aquitaine. In the genial society of the queen and her maidens, whose spirits were exhilarated by the exercise and incidents of the journey, Frederic seemed to breathe an atmosphere to which he had been unaccus-tomed, and which served to enliven his habitual gravity, and develop the gentler qualities of his naturally generous character. The maidens amused themselves with constant allusions to the happy accomplishment of their prediction, and the wit of the fair Agnes was sorely tested, in meeting and parrying their playful attacks. The courteous atten-tions of the duke, were so impartially distributed among the ladies, that not even jealousy itself could find cause for complaint ; yet it was only the voice of Agnes that had power to rouse him from his frequent reveries, and when he spoke, his eye instinctively turned to read in her counte-nance approbation or dissent. Disciplined in the school of adversity, he manifested a strength and severity of char-acter, tempered by a pensive tenderness, which showed that his mother's wrongs had wrought in his heart a senti-ment of sympathy for the suffering which made him hesi-tate to involve his country in the exterminating wars, that he foresaw would follow a renewal of the strife between the'Guelphs and Ghibellines ; and though he felt an en-thusiastic admiration for the ardor and zeal of Procida, yet the unscrupulous Jew, who studied the character of all he met with reference to their availability in the approach- HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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