Obrazy na stronie

banner the Oriflamme, the banner of the Abbey of St. Denis, is strongly characteristic of a religious spirit. In the time of Clovis the banner of devotion was that of St. Martin ; under Charlemagne it was that of St. Maurice. Father Campian takes another view, when he says, speaking of the princes who in various ages defended the Church, “ How many Theodosiuses in the East, and Charleses in the West, how many Edwardses in England, and Louises in France; how glorious is the memory of the Hermenegilds in Spain, of the Henries in Saxony, of the Winceslases in Bohemia, of the Leopolds in Austria, of the Stephens in Hungary !”? Monsieur de Machault sieur de Romaincourt, who wrote the Livre des Faicts des Mareschal de Boucicaut, says in the beginning of his book, “ Deux choses sont par la volonté de Dieu establies au monde, ainsi comme deux piliers à soustenir les ordres des loix divines et humaines. Sceulx deux piliers sans faille sont chevalrie et science, qui moult bien conviennent ensemble ; car en pays, royaume ou empire au quel l'une des deux faudroit, conviendroit que

le lieu eust peu de durée.” Here again we have the same idea, which Alain Chartier expresses thus in his Bréviaire des Nobles :

Car Dieu forma noble condition
Pour foi garder et pour vivre en justice.

France, “ quia omne simile non est idem;" and this he says, with great courtesy, may be proved “ sans blesser l'ancienneté de ces maisons." He gives a very learned account how some families derived it by special grant from the French kings, and others from hereditary succession, adopted originally, he supposes, from the expression of the Wise King, “ qui pascuntur in liliis” (Lib. Cant. iv.). These houses bear them in three ways; “les unes les portent semées, comme les armes de Beaumont, Fréauville, Saint Brisson, Saint Gilles, Saint Valeri, Mortemer, Brucourt, Recusson, Du Fai, Carronges, Chene vière, Alleman, Chambes, Moreul; d'autres les ont en nombre certain, comme aux écus de Montgommeri, Nino, Venoix, Porçon, Queret, Vignacourt, La Marzeliere, Farneze, La Rochefaton, Kenellec, Brillac, Nanteuil, Chamblai, Grispokerque, Bazentin, Arscot; ou enfin en nombre singulier, comme Saint Germain d'Argences, Digbi, Clerci, Andelot, Rechignevoisin, Le Bouteilles,” &c. &c.

| The Oriflamme was red, without device or figure. It was the banner of the abbey. The last that we hear of it is in the inventory of the treasury of this church in 1534 : “ Etendard d'un cendal fort épais, fendu par le milieu en façon d'un gonfaron fort caduque." It was seen in Henry IV.'s time.

Appeal to the Two Universities.



St. Anselm, addressing a king, Henry of England, urges the duty on another ground, saying to him, " Nulli homini magis expedit quam regi se subdere legi Dei; et nullus periculosius se subtrahit a lege ejus.”

“ Earthly rank and grandeur,” says Nicole,2 " are but the instruments of Providence to enforce and recommend the observance of his will : Ainsi la grandeur est une pure ministère qui a pour fin l'honneur de Dieu et l'avantage des hommes, qui ne les rapporte point à elle-même. Elle n'est point pour soi, elle est pour les autres ;—pour établir l'empire de Dieu et pour procurer sa gloire.” This is unguardedly expressed ; but the lesson which he wished to convey was that impressed upon all knights; the Prince de Conty, in his treatise Sur les Devoirs des Grands, lays it down expressly ; and when King Louis VI. of France was expiring on a bed of ashes, he urged it to his son, “ Remember that royalty is a public charge, of which you will have to give a strict account to Him who alone disposes of crowns and sceptres.”_ All the laws of chivalry were dictated with this spirit. The first was 'to fear, honour, and serve God; to contend with all strength for the faith, and rather to suffer a thousand deaths than to renounce Christianity.” Then, “ to support justice, to attend to the proper complaints of the weak, especially of widows, orphans, and demoiselles, and, when necessity requires, to undertake their cause, saving always his own honour; to fight for the right and common cause.

This close connexion between the defence of religion and of justice is evinced in. the concession made by Sismondi, namely, that during the civil wars between Lothaire III. and Conrad II., the Guelfes were at once the defenders of the Church and of the privileges of the people. Again, in the old poem on the order of chivalry, the virtues which are peculiarly to distinguish a knight are seven, of which the three first are, faith, hope, and charity. And Eustache Deschamps says, “ You who desire to become a knight must pursue a new course of life. Devoutly you must watch in prayer, avoid sins, pride, and idleness ; you must defend the Church,

Epist. lib. iii. 95.
? De la Grandeur, - Essais de Morale, tom. ii.
3 Favin, Theatre d'Honneur et de Chevalerie.
* Hist. des Repub. Ital. v. p. 223.



widows, and orphans, and with noble boldness you must protect the people.” In L'Ordene de Chevalerie, by Hugues de Tabarie, that is, by Hugues Chatelain de St. Omer, Comte de Tiberiade, the squire who was to be made a knight was to be placed in a beautiful bed, and to be addressed thus : Sire, this signifies

C'on doit par sa chevalerie
Conquerre lit en Paradis

Ke Dieu otroie à ses amis.
He was to be dressed in white, to signify

A se car netement tenir

Se il à Dieu velt parvenir.
Then he was to have a scarlet robe, to signify

Que vostre sang deves espandre

Et pour Sainte Eglise deffendre.
Then he was to put on black sandals, to signify

La mort, et la terre ou girez

Dont venistes, et ou irez. Then he was to be bound with a white girdle, to signify purity; then two gilt spurs were to be fastened on, to signify activity.

Que vous ayez bien en corage

De Dieu servir tout vostre éage.
Then he girt on the sword, to shew

K'il doit ja povre gent garder,
Ke li riches nel puist foler,
Et le feble doit soustenir,
Que li fors ne le puist honir,

Ch'est ævre de misericorde. Finally, he was to be covered with a white garment, to signify the purity with which we must clothe our soul against the day of judgment.

Chivalry was proud of its connexion with religion; it was the glory of the illustrious house of Chatillon, which had given the Sires of Chamolitte and of Pontallier, and so many lords of renown, to victory, that it had given St. Bernard to the Church. The noble family of Vintimille in Provence, or vingt contre mille, from an ancestor with twenty men having put to flight twenty thousand of the

enemy, boasted that it had produced the great St. Anthony in the fourth century; so far were high families from considering it as a disgrace to have a member distinguished for religious zeal. In fact, the general character of that zeal commanded respect from men of honour as well as from saints.

Count William of Holland, when elected king of the Romans in 1277, was knighted at Cologne. At this time he was only a squire ; so it was necessary, according to the custom of creating the Christian emperors, that he should be made a knight before he received the crown of the empire at Aix-la-Chapelle. When every thing was prepared in the church at Cologne, after mass, the Squire William was led by the King of Bohemia before the cardinal, Father Caputzius, legate of the Pope Innocent, who was addressed in these words : “ We place before your honoured reverence, beloved father, this squire, humbly beseeching that in paternal kindness you would accept his desires that he may become worthy of associating among knights." Then the cardinal said to the youth, “ What is a knight, according to the meaning of that word? Whoso desireth to obtain knighthood must be high-minded, open-hearted, generous, superior, and firm ; high-minded in adversity, openhearted in his connexions, generous in honour, superior in courtesy, and firm in manly honesty ; but before you make your vow, take this yoke of the order which


desire into mature consideration. These are the rules of chivalry : 1. Before all, with pious remembrance, every day to hear the mass of God's passion. 2d. To risk body and life boldly for the Catholic faith. 3d. To protect holy Church, with her servants, from every one who shall attack her. 4th. To search out widows and helpless orphans in their necessity. 5th. To avoid engaging in unjust wars. 6th. To refuse unreasonable rewards. 7th. To fight for the deliverance of innocence. 8th. To pursue warlike exercises only for the sake of perfecting warlike strength. 9th. To obey the Roman Emperor, or his deputy, with reverence in all temporal things. 10th. To hold inviolable the public good. 11th. In no way to alienate the feudal tenures of the empire. 12th. And without reproach before God or man, to live in the world. When you shall have faithfully attended to these laws of chivalry, know that you shall

obtain temporal honour on the earth, and, this life ended, eternal happiness in heaven.” When the Cardinal had said this, he placed the joined hands of the young warrior on the holy book of the mass, out of which the Gospel had been read, saying, “ Wilt thou piously receive knighthood in the name of God, and fulfil, to the best of thy power, according to the letter, what has been taught ?” The squire answered, “I will.” Therefore the Cardinal gave him the following solemn instruction, which the youth read aloud publicly : “ I, William, count of Holland, knight and vassal of the holy Roman empire, swear to observe the rules of knighthood in presence of my Lord Peter of the Golden Fleece, Cardinal, Deacon, and Legate of the Apostolic see; by this Holy Gospel which I touch with my hands." Then the Cardinal said, “ May this devout confession give thee pardon of thy sins !” This spoken, he gave a blow on the neck of the squire, and said, “ For the honour of God Almighty, I make you a knight, and do you take the obligation ; but remember how he was smitten in the presence of the high priest Annas, how he was mocked by Pilate the governor, how he was beaten with scourges, crowned with thorns, and, arrayed in royal robe, was derided before King Herod, and how he, naked before all the people, was hanged upon the cross. I counsel you to think upon his reproach, and I exhort you to take upon you his cross.

After this had taken place, the new knight, amidst the sound of trumpets, beat of kettle-drums, and crash of musical instruments, ran three times against the son of the King of Bohemia, to display his warlike exercise in battle. Then he held court for three days, and maintained his honour before all the great by princely gifts.

Here it appears that the first law of chivalry compelled knights to devote their first thoughts each day to the worship of God. So in the Ordene de Chevalerie,

Que chacun jour doit messe oïr,
S'il a de quoi, si doit offrir;
Car moult est bien l'offrande assise
Qui à table de Dieu est mise,

Car elle porte grant vertu. Before the extinction of the Saxon dynasty in England, the order of knighthood was conferred with all the pomp of a religious ceremony: bishops could confer it. The

« PoprzedniaDalej »