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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Heroines of the Crusades
page 437

the island, stealthily riveting the links of the conspiracy, and binding the discordant interests of the various ranks in an indissoluble confederacy, for the overthrow of foreign oppression. The cave of the forest of Palermo was piled with bundles of faggots, in which were concealed the weap-ons that the inhabitants had forged in secresy and in dark-ness, for by the prohibition of the French no Sicilian was permitted to wear arms. The grand conspirator knew well the Sicilian character, ardent, gay, voluptuous,—he chose his time with his wonted sagacity, when the beautiful island; rejoicing in the fullness of bloom, invites her children to banquet upon her charms; when the long abstinence of Lent being over, the senses, reanimated by flesh and wine, start from languor to revel in the enjoyment of luxury and the exhilaration of passion. Easter-Monday, March 30th, 1282, dawns upon Sicily with fair promise for the festal day. The citizens of Palermo look one upon another with furtive glances of restrained impatience, and prepared for the annual fête with busy alacrity, while the foreigners, made apprehensive by the gathering multitudes, come armed to assist in garlanding the very church of God. At sunset a bride and bridegroom go forth, attended by all the inhabitants of the city, both men and women, up the beautiful hill Monréale, to present their vows at the altar of the blessed Virgin :—a traitor whispers the warn-ing, " The Sicilians have arms beneath their robes." The leader of the French hurries forward and seizes the weapon of the bridegroom—he lays his licentious hand upon the bride. Procida draws his sword, and with a cry of " Death to the French !" buries it in the heart of the brutal enemy. At the moment the sound of the Vesper bell floats from the temple of our lady, on the mount of Monréale. It is the ap-pointed signal for vengeance, and " Death to the French !" echoes from lip to lip, through all the ranks of the Sicilians. Everywhere the tyrants are cut down—the houses of the foreigners bear each a fatal mark, and the Destroying Angel spares not even women and children, and the night spreads her solemn pall over the bodies of slaughtered thousands. ELEANORA.

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