Page:Idalia, by 'Ouida'.djvu/338

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IDALIA

his namesake the Rhymer makes Syr Tristam love better to go back to the risk of death and shame, to the land of his foe, to the old piercing pain and the old delicious sorcery, than to live in peace and honour and royalty without the smile of King Marc's wife, without the light of Ysonde's eyes. Let come what would, he followed Idalia.

In the love he bore her there was a strange mingling of utter humility, of most reverential chivalry, with the wildest passion and the most reckless daring; in it the two sides of his nature were blent.

He rode to the Golden Horn, where the flags of every nation were streaming from the crowded masts in the clear hot light. He knew that her departure by any one of the vessels could easily be ascertained.

To seek the guests whom he had met at her house to inquire of her from the numerous acquaintance he had among the various chancelleries in Constantinople, and the military and naval men passing through or staying off there; to ask who she was, whence she came, how she was held in social estimation; all that might have been the natural course of most was impossible to Erceldoune. He could not have brought himself to speak of her to others; he felt that if he heard her name lightly