Obrazy na stronie

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 connection 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 t. 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, 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 beau.. tiful 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.

# Favin, Theatre d'Honneur et de Chevalerie.
f Hist. des Repub. Ital. v. p. 223.

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 connection 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 car. dinal, 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, open-hearted 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 you 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 Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, founded by St. Helena, is conferred by the monks of St. Francis. “It is not a little honour," says a French writer, “ which has been conferred upon these poor barefooted monks, that they should have the privilege of creating knights for the defence of the holy land, sanctified by the birth, life, passion, and death of our Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ *.” Knights of the Garter, the decoration of which illustrious order still remains, were admonished at their installation to wear the symbols of their order, that by the imitation of the blessed martyr and soldier of Christ, Saint George +, they may be able to overpass both adverse

* La Colombiere, Theatre d'Honeur et de Chevalerie, tom. i. 586.

+ The account of St. George killing the dragon and delivering the princess, is not found in any of the early manuscripts of his life ; it first and prosperous adventures ; and that, having stoutly vanquished their enemies, both of body and soul, they may occurs in a manuscript in the Ambrosial Library at Milan, written later than the age of the crusades. The story had been brought from Palestine. Constantine had painted an emblematical picture of a contest between a knight and a dragon, the latter signifying the enemy of the Church. St. Theodorus, a soldier and martyr, was similarly represented in St. Mark's Place, at Venice. In the 12th century, this contest was ascribed to St. George, though it had been usual to represent all the Saints in this manner, as may be instanced in St. Victor ; nay, even holy virgins, such as St. Catherine and St. Dymphnae, are made to stand upon serpents. St. George suffered under Diocletian : his festival was celebrated as early as the time of Constantine, as appears from the Missal of Gregory the Great. St. George was born in Capadocia, of a warlike father, who trained him to arms, and in his twentieth year he was made a count. On the persecution breaking out, he declared himself a Christian, and was cast into prison and tortured: he miraculously recovered from his wounds, and escaped, but was again imprisoned, and at length suffered martyrdom. He was the patron of England as early as the time of Richard I. He is also patron of Malta, of Genoa, of Valentia, and Arragon. “In England," say the Bollandists, “the honour of St. George per schismata et hæreses jam pene extinctus, aut in profanam omnino ceremoniam conversus." He is called St. Georgius Anglorum Protector et Patronus. Some have thought, however, that he was patron of England before the Norman conquest. In the old manuscript Martyrology, in Benet College, Cambridge, written about the time of St. Dunstan, the 23d of April, is devoted to celebrate St. George, omitting mention of all other Saints which might fall on that day, “tamquam singulari gaudio exultans.” Some Anglo-Saxon poems also mention St. George. Bede likewise gives it in his Collection IX. Kal. Maii Natale St. Georgis Martyris. Till the time of Henry VIII. parts of his armour used to be borne in procession from Windsor castle. Henry VIII. left this festival as a day of rest from all labour. Edward VI. (vel potius sub illo Parlamentum) suppressed it altogether: “ Et gloriosus Christi miles St. Georgius de equo, ut aiunt, ad asinos, per istos traductus est.” Thus St. George had churches to his memory, when the wicked Bishop of Alexandria, the enemy of St. Athanasius, was justly punished with death under Julian; yet Reynolds and Echard confounded this George of Capadocia with the Saint: still there might have been later Saints of the same name. Pope Gelasius, A.D. 494, says in council, after rejecting the acts of the martyr as spurious, “ nos tamen cum prædicta ecclesia omnes martyres, et eorum gloriosos agones (qui Deo magis quam hominibus noti sunt) omni devotione veneramur.” Mr. Gibbon asserts, that Pope Gelasius was the first Catholic who acknowledged St. George, and that St. Gregory knew nothing of him: he is able to recognize in the acts of St. George the combat which was sustained in the presence of Queen Alexandria against the Magician Athanasius. In this he alludes to a legend of St. George having overcome a Magician. He concludes with saying, “ The infamous George of Capadocia has been transformed into the renowned St. George of England, the patron of arms, of chivalry, and of the garter;" adding in a note, “ This transformation is

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