Obrazy na stronie
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drez toutes les choses que vous verrez.” Then he gives them counsel to all virtue. “ Beau fils, on doit vivre pour deux choses, c'est a son honneur et a son saulvement: a ton pareil soyez ung, et a ton seigneur humble, et a tous ceulx qui sont soubs toy soyez loyal justicier. Et aymez ton Createur dessus tous. Par ma foy belle chose est de prince sachant, et layde chose est de ignorant et perilleuse pour son pays. Celluy qui cognoist bien son Createur ne peut avoir mauvaise fin. Qui ne se peut vaincre, il n'a droit de vaincre autruy. Beau fils, toute chose se passe fors aymer Dieu.” There is a passage in one of the letters of Sobieski to his queen, which is expressive of great piety. “What you are in habits of doing during the elevation at mass displeases and grieves me exceedingly. We must submit to the will of God, and ask for nothing but what may please Him. So, in the name of God, to whom you address your prayer, I require you to desist for the future, and to conform yourself in all things to his holy will. I shall have no peace till I see you more obedient to the will of God than to mine.”! Again, after thanking her for having caused the prayers of forty hours to be said for him, and begging that they may be continued, he describes the horrible state of his diseased army, and observes, “ You may judge how the spectacle afflicts me. Nevertheless, God be praised, and may his will be done.”

The Moors of Grenada had such confidence in the honour of Peter King of Arragon, that their king refused to take any precaution when the former was fitting out a great armament, since he had a treaty of five years with him ; and he said, “The house of Arragon is the house of God, of faith, and of honour.” When the King of Arragon came to die- it was on the festival of St. Martin having made his devout confession, and received the sacraments, having caused his will to be read aloud, ordering his body to be buried in the monastery of the Holy Cross, after taking leave of the queen and the infantas, giving them his blessing, he caused a cross to be brought to him; he took it in his hands, and wept devoutly, and made a good prayer. Lifting up his eyes to heaven, he crossed himself three times, embraced the cross, and then said,

1 Lett. xii.

“O Lord our Father, true God Jesus Christ, into thy hands I commend my spirit. Deign by thy holy passion, which thou hast suffered, to receive my soul into Paradise with the blessed St. Martin, whose festival the Christians celebrate this day.” And then, with eyes still raised to heaven, he departed.

The simplicity and zeal with which the ordinary exercises of devotion were observed deserve attention. St. Palaye informs us, upon the authority of the doctrinal Mss. of S. Germain, that the knights of old never allowed themselves to be absent from the morning service of the church as soon as they were risen ; and we meet with continued instances of this practice, both in private annals and in the public conduct of the camp, in Froissart, Joinville's History of St. Louis, the Ancient Chronicles, the Lives of Bayard, Du Guesclin, Francis I. and even Henry IV. Every one knows the famous reply of this latter monarch when he and his army

fell upon their knees before the battle of Coutres, "On ne peut trop s'humilier devant Dieu, ni trop braver les hommes.” What a description of Charlemagne is given by Eginhart ! “ He observed with the utmost piety and veneration the Christian religion, with which he had been imbued from childhood; he frequented the church early and late, even at the offices of the night, whenever his health permitted him. Even his banquethall had a religious solemnity; twelve varlets stood round, holding lighted tapers, while a clerk read aloud a chapter from St. Augustine, De Civitate Dei.” The details in Froissart are so associated with heroic

may

be worth while to select a few. Thus, upon the morning of the day on which the French and English armies were to fight at Vironfosse, “quand vint le vendredy au matin, les deux osts s'appareillerent et ouyrent la messe chacun seigneur, entre ses gens et en son logis, et se communierent et confesserent plusieurs.” And on the morning of the battle of Caen, he relates, “ En ce jour se leverent les Anglois moult matin : et s'appareillerent pour aller devant Caen. Puis ouit le Roy messe devant soleil levant : et apres monta à cheval,” &c. Then at Crecy, on the Friday evening before the battle,

scenes, that it

1

Chronique de Ramon de Muntaner, chaps. xlvii. and cxlvi.

the king gave a supper to his earls and barons, “et fit bonne chere: et quand il leur eut donne congé d'aller reposer, et il fut demouré delez les chevaliers de sa chambre, il entra en son oratoire : et fut la à genoux et en oraisons devant son autel en prient Dieu qu'il le laissast lendemain (s'ils se combattoint) issir de la besongne à honneur. Environ minuit s'en alla coucher. Le lendemain se leva assez matin et ouit messe, et le prince de Galles son fils ; et se communierent; et la plus grande partie de ses gens se confesserent et meirent en bon estat." The same historian, in his celebrated description of the Earl of Foix, relates that "

he sayd many orisons every daye : a nocturne of the psalter, matyns of our Lady, and the Holy Ghost, and of the crosse, and dirige every day.” If it be objected to this example, that the same historian has recorded the cruel deeds of this earl, such as the murder of Sir Peter Ernalton, the punishment, in fact the killing, of his son in prison, and the execution of so many noble youths upon mere suspicion, and that therefore his religion and his orisons are nothing, I will rather advise my reader to take the good and to leave the evil, to imitate the simplicity and the charity of Froissart, when he says, “ thus the erle was buryed in the freers before the hyghe aulter: : so there is no more mencion made of hym; God have mercy upon his soule.” Or to exclaim with King Henry, after witnessing the death of Cardinal Beaufort, “O God, forgive him! Forbear to judge, for we are sin

ners all.”

In all castles mass was said every morning. Thus we are told of Sir Galahad, Sir Launcelot's son:

66 And at the laste hit happened hym to depart from a place or a castle, the whiche was named Abblasoure, and he hadde herd no masse, the whiche he was wonte ever to here or ever he departed oute of ony castle or place, and kepte that for a customme.” Upon this subject I will exclaim with Sir Thomas Maleore, “Lo ye al englissh men,-Loo thus was the olde custome and usage of this londe." Froissart relates how the Earl of Pembroke, when besieged in the house of the Templars near Poictiers, despatched a squire upon his best horse to Sir John Chandos. The squire "departed at the hour of mydnight, and al the night he rode out of his way, and when it was mornyng

and fayre day, then he knew his way, and so rode towards Poiters, and by that tyme his horse was wary: howbeit he came thyder by nyne of the clocke, and ther alyghted before Sir Johan Chandos lodgyng, and entred and founde him at masse, and so came and kneeled down before him, and dyde his message as he was commanded.” This was the famous Sir John Chandos, whom Du Guesclin called “ the moost renowned knight of the worlde;" and Froissart, “a right hardy and courageous knight, who was slain in battle, and lamented by his friends and his foes.” Sir John Froissart relates, that he travelled for some days with Sir Espeange de Lion, “a valyant and an experte man of armes, about the age of L yeres :—and this knyght every day after he had sayd his prayers, moost parte all the day after he toke his pastyme with me, in demaunding of tidynges.” These instances will serve to shew what was the universal practice of the age. There were, indeed, then, as there are now, men who objected to it as useless and superstitious. Thus they accused St. Louis of devoting too much time to his prayers.

« Les hommes sont étranges,” he replied with sweetness,“ on me fait un crime de mon assiduité à la prière ; on ne disoit mot si j'employs les heures que je lui donne à jouer aux jeux de hasard, à courir la bete fauve, ou à chasser aux oiseaux.” An old historian says, that the private chapel of Louis IX. “etoit son arsenal contre toutes les traverses du monde.”

But let us return to the Chevalier Bayard. “ He loved and feared God,” says the President d’Expilly, in the conclusion of his éloge." He had always recourse to him in difficulty, praying regularly, both morning and evening, for which purpose he would be always alone.”

So we read of King Louis VIII. « Il avoit coustume que devant tous ses fais faisoit oraison à nostre Seigneur.”] In time of war, the observance of this duty was regarded as of vital importance. Before the battle of Hastings, while the English passed the night in revellings, “ les Normands au contraire,” says an old chronicle, " ordonnerent de leurs consciences, en faisant des prieres et des oraisons. Les gens d'eglise ne cesserent de dire des lytanies et le pseautier, ouirent des confessions, et adminis

1 Chronique de St. Denis, ii. 2.

trerent ceux qui se présenterent au plus matin." Thus also in the old poem, on the combat of the thirty Bretons against thirty English, we read,

Et Englois jurent Dieu qui souffre passions
Beaumanoir sera mort, le gentil et li bons,
Mais ly preux et ly sages fist ses devocions
Et faisoit dire messes par grant oblacions

Que Dieu leur soit en aide par ses saintismes nous. However, it appears from Froissart that the English were also in prayer before the battle. It was remarked, that on the morning of the 17th of July, 1453, that of the fatal battle of Castillon, the gallant Lord Talbot hastily left the mass, upon a sudden information, saying, “May I never again hear mass, if I do not this day defeat the French who are here." And against the entreaties of the old experienced Sir Thomas Cuningham, who bore his banner, he gave battle, and lost his army, his son, and his own life. In the year 870, when the Danes, with their two kings, were going to give battle at Aston, near Wallingford in Berkshire, Ethelred, the Saxon king, waited to say his prayers in his tent, which he declared he would not leave till the priest had finished. It was remarked that the event of the day was not the less happy.. The long and dreadful struggle ended in the death of the King Bacseg, of the younger Sidroc, of many earls, and of some thousand Danes, who fled in general rout.

Sir Thomas More, when Lord Chancellor, used daily, in the morning, with his children, to say the seven Psalms and the Litanies; and, at night, he would call all his household to go with him into the chapel, or to his hall, and there, on his knees, he would say the psalm Miserere, and the anthem Salve Regina, and the psalm de Profundis; and on every festival he took care that all his family should hear mass, and at Easter, Christmas, Whitsuntide, and All-Saints, he would have all to arise at midnight and go to the church, and there be present at matins.

Olivier de la Marche thus describes the Count of Charolois, who, in jousting, would give and receive as great blows as if he had been only a poor companion. was expert at every chivalrous game, and beloved by all, dancing with high and low, rich and poor, all alike: he was also skilled in music. Devout before God, he kept

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