Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter V / The Pilgrim of Love >> Page 69

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Page 69

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE LADY OF TRIPOLI. 69
the first and most powerful incentive to valor. He was called
by many cruel epithets�cold, selfish, ungentle ; barren of
heart, capricious and peevish ; loving himself only, like another
Narcissus, when a whole world, worthy of a better heart, crowd-
ed around him soliciting his love ; and this, too, at the very
moment when he was repining with the tenderest yearnings, for
some one object, precious over all, upon whom to expend the
whole wealth of his affections. But he was not long to yearn
thus hopelessly. The fates were about to give an answer to the
cruel reproaches under which he had suffered. They were
about to show that his passion was intense in proportion to the
infrequency of its exercise. His destiny was quite as curious as
it is touching : we say this by way of warning. The reader
must know that we are writing sober history. We are not now
practising with artful romances upon his fancy. The chronicles
are before us as we write. We are fettered by the ancient
record, in complexion of the most sombre black-letter.

It was while Geoffrey R,udel thus lay, sad and sighing, at his
castle of Blaye, near Bordeaux, that news came from the Holy
Land, which set Christendom once more in commotion. The
Crusaders had gone forward in iron legions. They had been
successful in every battle, and their triumphs were upon every
tongue. Jerusalem, the Holy City, had fallen before their arms,
after prodigies of valor had been shown in its defence. But the
deeds of knighthood, and the bloody triumphs of the battle-
field, were not alone the theme of the troubadour and the trav-
eller. The story which, above all, had served to enliven the
imagination, and charm the lyre of Europe, was that of a certain
countess of Tripoli� a lady, whose bravery, under circum-
stances of particular difficulty and peril, was deemed the subject
of greatest wonder and delight. Her beauty had been already
sung. It was now ennobled in Provencal minstrelsy, by in-
stances of courage, magnanimity, and greatness of soul, such as
had seldom been shown by her sex before. Her elastic spirit,
the firmness of her soul, the grace of her carriage, the loveliness
of her face and person, were duly recorded in a thousand ditties.
The pilgrims from the Holy Land could speak of nothing else.
The troubadour caught up the grateful history, and found new