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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 389 pages of information about Sir John Constantine.



“Aucassins, biax amis doux
En quel terre en irons nous? 
—­Douce amie, que sai jou? 
Moi ne caut u nous aillons,
En forest u en destor,
Mais que je soie aveuc vous!”

                                        Aucassin and Nicolete.

“E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.”

I awoke to a hum of voices . . . but when my eyes opened, the speakers were gone, and I lay staring at an open window beyond which the sky shone, blue and deep as a well.  On a chair beside the window sat the Princess, her hands in her lap. . . .  While I stared at her, two strange fancies played together in my mind like couples crossing in a dance; the first, that she sat there waiting for something to happen, and had been waiting for a very long, an endless, while; the other that her body had grown transparent.  The sunlight seemed to float through it as through a curtain.

I dare say that I lay incapable of movement; but this did not distress me at all, for I felt no desire to stir—­only a contentment, deep as the sky outside, to rest there and let my eyes rest on her.  Yet either I must have spoken or (yes, the miracle was no less likely!) she heard my thoughts; for she lifted her head and, rising, came towards me.  As she drew close, her form appeared to expand, shutting out the light . . . and I drifted back into darkness.

By-and-by the light glimmered again.  I seemed to be rising to it, this time, like a drowned man out of deep water; drowned, not drowning, for I felt no struggle, but rather stood apart from my body and watched it ascending, the arms held downwards, rigid, the palms touching its thighs—­until at the surface, on the top of a wave, my will rejoined it and forced it to look.  Then I knew that I had been mistaken.  The sky was there, deep as a well; and, as before, it shone through an opening; and the opening had a rounded top like the arch of a window; yet it was not a window.  As before, my love sat between me and the light, and the light shone through her.  My bed rocked a little under me, and for a while I fancied myself on board the Gauntlet, laid in my bunk and listening to the rolling of her loose ballast—­until my ear distinguished and recognized the sound for that of wheels, a low rumble through which a horse’s footfall plodded, beating time.

I was scarcely satisfied of this before the sound grew indistinct again and became a murmur of voices.  The arch that framed the sunlight widened; the sky drew nearer, breaking into vivid separate tinctures—­orange, blood-red, sapphire-blue; and at the same time the Princess receded and diminished in stature. . . .  The frame was a window again, and she a figure on a coloured pane, shining there in a company of saints and angels.  But her voice remained beside me, speaking with another voice in a great emptiness.

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