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- The Prince of India - 1/91 -


THE PRINCE OF INDIA OR WHY CONSTANTINOPLE FELL

BY LEW. WALLACE

VOL. II.

_Rise, too, ye Shapes and Shadows of the Past Rise from your long forgotten grazes at last Let us behold your faces, let us hear The words you uttered in those days of fear Revisit your familiar haunts again The scenes of triumph and the scenes of pain And leave the footprints of your bleeding feet Once more upon the pavement of the street_ LONGFELLOW

CONTENTS

BOOK IV THE PALACE OF BLACHERNE (_Continued_)

CHAPTER XI. THE PRINCESS HEARS FROM THE WORLD XII. LAEL TELLS OF HER TWO FATHERS XIII. THE HAMARI TURNS BOATMAN XIV. THE PRINCESS HAS A CREED XV. THE PRINCE OF INDIA PREACHES GOD TO THE GREEKS XVI. HOW THE NEW FAITH WAS RECEIVED XVII. LAEL AND THE SWORD OF SOLOMON XVIII. THE FESTIVAL OF FLOWERS XIX. THE PRINCE BUILDS CASTLES FOR HIS GUL BAHAR XX. THE SILHOUETTE OF A CRIME XXI. SERGIUS LEARNS A NEW LESSON XXII. THE PRINCE OF INDIA SEEKS MAHOMMED XXIII. SERGIUS AND NILO TAKE UP THE HUNT XXIV. THE IMPERIAL CISTERN GIVES UP ITS SECRET

BOOK V MIRZA

I. A COLD WIND FROM ADRIANOPLE II. A FIRE FROM THE HEGUMEN'S TOMB III. MIRZA DOES AN ERRAND FOR MAHOMMED IV. THE EMIR IN ITALY V. THE PRINCESS IRENE IN TOWN VI. COUNT CORTI IN SANCTA SOPHIA VII. COUNT CORTI TO MAHOMMED VIII. OUR LORD'S CREED IX. COUNT CORTI TO MAHOMMED X. SERGIUS TO THE LION

BOOK VI CONSTANTINE

I. THE SWORD OF SOLOMON II. MAHOMMED AND COUNT CORTI MAKE A WAGER III. THE BLOODY HARVEST IV. EUROPE ANSWERS THE CRY FOR HELP V. COUNT CORTI RECEIVES A FAVOR VI. MAHOMMED AT THE GATE ST. ROMAIN VII. THE GREAT GUN SPEAKS VIII. MAHOMMED TRIES HIS GUNS AGAIN IX. THE MADONNA TO THE RESCUE X. THE NIGHT BEFORE THE ASSAULT XI. COUNT CORTI IN DILEMMA XII. THE ASSAULT XIII. MAHOMMED IN SANCTA SOPHIA

BOOK IV

THE PALACE OF BLACHERNE (_Continued_)

CHAPTER XI

THE PRINCESS HEARS FROM THE WORLD

The sun shone clear and hot, and the guests in the garden were glad to rest in the shaded places of promenade along the brooksides and under the beeches and soaring pines of the avenues. Far up the extended hollow there was a basin first to receive the water from the conduit supposed to tap the aqueduct leading down from the forest of Belgrade. The noise of the little cataract there was strong enough to draw a quota of visitors. From the front gate to the basin, from the basin to the summit of the promontory, the company in lingering groups amused each other detailing what of fortune good and bad the year had brought them. The main features of such meetings are always alike. There were games by the children, lovers in retired places, and old people plying each other with reminiscences. The faculty of enjoyment changes but never expires.

An array of men chosen for the purpose sallied from the basement of the palace carrying baskets of bread, fruits in season, and wine of the country in water-skins. Dispersing themselves through the garden, they waited on the guests, and made distribution without stint or discrimination. The heartiness of their welcome may be imagined; while the thoughtful reader will see in the liberality thus characterizing her hospitality one of the secrets of the Princess's popularity with the poor along the Bosphorus. Nor that merely. A little reflection will lead up to an explanation of her preference for the Homeric residence by Therapia. The commonalty, especially the unfortunate amongst them, were a kind of constituency of hers, and she loved living where she could most readily communicate with them.

This was the hour she chose to go out and personally visit her guests. Descending from the portico, she led her household attendants into the garden. She alone appeared unveiled. The happiness of the many amongst whom she immediately stepped touched every spring of enjoyment in her being; her eyes were bright, her cheeks rosy, her spirit high; in a word, the beauty so peculiarly hers, and which no one could look on without consciousness of its influence, shone with singular enhancement.

News that she was in the garden spread rapidly, and where she went everyone arose and remained standing. Now and then, while making acknowledgments to groups along the way, she recognized acquaintances, and for such, whether men or women, she had a smile, sometimes a word. Upon her passing, they pursued with benisons, "God bless you!" "May the Holy Mother keep her!" Not unfrequently children ran flinging flowers at her feet, and mothers knelt and begged her blessing. They had lively recollection of a sickness or other overtaking by sorrow, and of her boat drawing to the landing laden with delicacies, and bringing what was quite as welcome, the charm of her presence, with words inspiring hope and trust. The vast, vociferous, premeditated Roman ovation, sonorously the Triumph, never brought a Consular hero the satisfaction this Christian woman now derived.

She was aware of the admiration which went with her, and the sensation was of walking through a purer and brighter sunshine. Nor did she affect to put aside the triumph there certainly was in the demonstration; but she accounted it the due of charity--a triumph of good work done for the pleasure there was in the doing.

At the basin mentioned as the landward terminus of the garden the progress in that direction stopped. Thence, after gracious attentions to the women and children there, the Princess set out for the summit of the promontory. The road taken was broad and smooth, and on the left hand lined from bottom to top with pine trees, some of which are yet standing.

The summit had been a place of interest time out of mind. From its woody cover, the first inhabitants beheld the Argonauts anchor off the town of Amycus, king of the Bebryces; there the vengeful Medea practised her incantations; and descending to acknowledged history, it were long telling the notable events of the ages landmarked by the hoary height. When the builder of the palace below threw his scheme of improvement over the brow of the hill, he constructed water basins on different levels, surrounding them with raised walls artistically sculptured; between the basins he pitched marble pavilions, looking in the distance like airy domes on a Cyclopean temple; then he drew the work together by a tesselated pavement identical with the floor of the house of Caesar hard by the Forum in Rome.

Giving little heed to the other guests in occupancy of the summit, the attendants of the Princess broke into parties sight seeing; while she called Sergius to her, and conducted him to a point commanding the Bosphorus for leagues. A favorite lookout, in fact, the spot had been provided with a pavement and a capacious chair cut from a block of the coarse brown limestone native to the locality. There she took seat, and the ascent, though all in shade, having been wearisome, she was glad of the blowing of the fresh upper air.

From a place in the rear Sergius had witnessed the progress to the present halt. Every incident and demonstration had been in his view and hearing. The expressions of affection showered upon the Princess were delightful to him; they seemed so spontaneous and genuine. As testimony to her character in the popular estimate at least, they left nothing doubtful. His first impression of her was confirmed. She was a woman to whom Heaven had confided every grace and virtue. Such marvels had been before. He had heard of them in tradition, and always in a strain to lift those thus favored above the hardened commonplace of human life, creatures not exactly angels, yet moving in the same atmosphere with angels. The monasteries, even those into whose gates women are forbidden to look, all have stories of womanly excellence which the monks tell each other in pauses from labor in the lentil patch, and in their cells after vesper prayers. In brief, so did Sergius' estimate of the Princess increase that he was unaware of impropriety when, trudging slowly after the train of attendants, he associated her with heroines most odorous in Church and Scriptural memories; with Mothers Superior famous for sanctity; with Saints, like Theckla and Cecilia; with the Prophetess who was left by the wayside in the desert of Zin, and the later seer and singer, she who had her judgment-seat under the palm tree of Deborah.

Withal, however, the monk was uncomfortable. The words of his Hegumen


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