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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 434



During his southern campaign, King Edward had con-tracted an alliance between his eldest daughter Eleanora, and Alphonso, the young Prince of Arragon. The next sister, Joanna of Acre, who most of all resembled her mother in beauty and strength of character, was about the same time, married to the first peer of the realm, Gilbert the red Earl of Gloucester, and the third daughter wedded to John, the Duke of Brabant. At these nuptials the queen presented a golden cup of benison to each of the brides, inscribed with appropriate passages of Holy "Writ; and though, in consequence of Frederic's promise to her father, the betrothment between himself and Agnes could not then take place, Eleanora bestowed upon her lovely ward a similar gift, bearing these words, " Thou hast been unto me as a daughter." ftfaft uf i»**.^wi""-*i»»v J^Miff .*»'* *•*• fui*.*? Vk*j»» CHAPTER XVI. LETTER FROM PROCIDA TO DON PEDRO, KING OF ARRAGON. ******* « Thou didst tell me in Arragon, that to restore Sicily to the house of Suabia, was the chi-mera of a maddened brain ; that the strong arm of the church would be lifted to crush the Ghibellines in their final struggle ; that gold was wanting to bribe the soldier to draw his sword in behalf of the doomed race, and that the enemies of Charles of Anjou could not be brought to . act together against their common foe. Becall now the cruel words that drove Procida from thy court, a Mendicant, ' Conquer these impossibilities, and the fleet of Arragon is ready to substantiate the claim of the daughter of Manfred to the throne of Sicily.'' -Goaded by the mocking promise, the mendicant wanders in Sicily. Now, companion of the tax-gatherer, he wrings the last drachme from the hard hand of toil, and now with the agents of tyranny, he hides the skins of stags or deer in the huts of the peasant, and then 450 HEROINES OP THE CRUSADES.


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