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