The Vale of Cedars eBook

Grace Aguilar
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 347 pages of information about The Vale of Cedars.
and he could only feel.  Marie’s cheek and lip had indeed blanched as she beheld him, but the deep and quiet calm she had so earnestly sought, even then did not forsake her; once only her voice faltered, when she conjured him to allude no longer to the past, that the exertions she had made for him demanded no such gratitude as he expressed.  He would have answered with his usual passionate impetuosity, but there was something in her manner which restrained him; it was no longer the timid, yielding girl, who, even while she told him of the barrier between them, had yet betrayed the deep love she felt:  it was the woman whose martyr spirit was her strength.  And yet, spite of himself, he hoped.  Isabella, in parting with him, had spoken such words as sent a thrill of delight over his whole being, and he quitted Segovia buoyant and glad-hearted, to wait weeks, months, he thought even years:  so certain did he feel of success at last.

Isabella accompanied Ferdinand to Arragon, and determined on remaining at Saragossa during the commencement of his Moorish campaign; but she did not part from him without demanding and receiving his solemn promise to send for her as soon as the residence of females in the camp was practicable.  She well knew the inspiring power of her presence in similar scenes, and the joy and increased ardor which the vicinity of near and dear relations, composing her court, would excite in the warrior camp of Ferdinand.  The promise was given, and the annals of the Moorish war tell us how faithfully it was kept, and how admirably Isabella performed the part she had assigned herself.

Months glided slowly and peacefully on; as each passed, the trembling heart of Marie foreboded change and sorrow; but it was not till she had been eight months a widow that aught transpired which could account for such strange fears.  Then, indeed, the trial came:  she thought she was prepared, but the aching heart and failing strength with which she listened to the Queen’s commands, betrayed how little our best endeavors can pave the way for sorrow.  Isabella spoke gently and kindly indeed, but so decisively, there was no mistaking the meaning of her words:  she had waited, she said, till time had restored not only health and strength, but some degree of tranquillity to the heart, and elasticity to the mind.  That, as a Jewess, Marie must have long known, the Queen could not continue favor; that she was, in fact, acting without a precedent in thus permitting the attendance of an unbeliever on her person, or appearance in her court; but that she had so acted, believing that when perfectly restored to sense and energy, Marie would herself feel the necessity, and gladly embrace the only return she required—­a calm deliberation of the Catholic faith, and, as a necessary consequence, its acceptance.  She therefore desired that Marie would devote herself to the instructions of a venerable monk (Father Denis by name), whom she had selected

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The Vale of Cedars from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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