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“ For this dominion and this wealth, as being things superfluous and destructive to the body, and, moreover, to the soul, would it be better to reject and abhor them ? Certainly, I say no: and I affirm, that when they are gained with a good conscience, and justly administered, we may derive from them advantage, and pleasure, and joy in this world, and everlasting glory in the next *." Gilles de Rome, in his Mirror, gives an admirable lesson to the great, when he shews that noble princes and barons ought to consider their servants as their brethren; for, he continues, “ It is not said in Genesis that God gave man dominion over man; but servitude is the consequence of sin and of the fall.” “C'est chose decente a ta prudence de familierement vivre avec tes servans; ils sont non mye seullement serfs mais oultre sont hommes, et servans, et humbles amys et conserfs.” The most villain slavery is that of sin. “Et par ce appert que c'est chose possible que le serf soit seigneur et le seigneur serf.” A modern writer has well expressed the same idea. " Vice is the greatest of all Jacobins, the arch leveller.” The mottos of noble families exemplify our position. Thus “ Aide Dieu au bon chevalier !” was that borne by the noble house of Candole in Provence. Raymond de Candole had graven on his saddle, “ Calum coeli domino, et terram dedit filiis hominum.” The house of Arcussia-Esparron bore three bows on its shield, with the device, “Non enim in arcu meo sperabo et gladius meus non salvabit me," to commemorate one of the family having slain three Sarrassins, and having brought their golden bows to the tent of his sovereign. The viscount de Villeneuve Bargemont mentions others belonging to the nobles of Provence: thus, that of Grimaldi, the terror of the Sarrassins, was “ Dieu aidant!" that of Bausset, which has lately given a prince to the church, the historian of Bossuet and Fenelon, “ Le seul salut est de servir Dieu ;" he cites also that of Clovis, Mountjoie Saint Denis, or ma joie; that of Bourbon, ", Tout vient de Dieu ;" of Montmorency, “ Aide Dieu au premier baron Chrétien;" of Rohan, “ Dieu gard le Pélerin.” Down to a very late age, this principle was so generally recognised, that we find Caussin dedicating his great work, “ the
Holy Court,” to the nobility of France. His address to them is very eloquent. “ Miserable that thou art,” he says, “ if, after thy ancestors have planted the French lillies (or the roses of England) amongst the palms of Palestine, sincerely led thereto with the zeal which they bare to their faith, thou betrayest religion, virtue, and conscience, by a brutish life.” He expects much from them, from the very consideration of their rank. “Oye noble men, God useth you as Adam in terrestrial paradise: he provideth you with all things at once, that you may have no obstacle to a life of contemplation.” In fact, there is a monastic air about many of the ancient castles and palaces of chivalry, which seems to indicate that such expectations were not wholly visionary. An example of this may be seen in the Escurial, where the Spanish court used to pass the autumn. This vast and solemn pile is placed at the foot of the mountains. The winds at that season of the year collect in their chasms, and blow with an inconceivable violence round the lofty towers. The glass of its eleven thousand casements rattles with a singular sound. Groans seem to echo through the long cloisters. The bell tolls for the dead. Their vigil is arrived with November. The castle of Pennafort, in Catalonia, whose lords were descended from the Counts of Barcelona, and nearly allied to the kings of Arragon, was converted in the 15th century into a convent of the order of St. Dominick. The cathedral of Strygonia, or Gran, was founded by the King St. Stephen; it is built within the walls of the castle. The archbishop is primate of Hungary. The King St. Stephen lies there buried. This religious spirit was expressed in every thing chivalrous. Meyric speaks of an illuminated missal, in which Sir John Lutterel, on his charger, is receiving from one lady his helmet, and from another his lance *. Chivalry was associated with religion in all the thoughts of holy men. One night, St. Francis seemed to see in his sleep a magnificent palace, filled with rich arms, all marked with the sign of the Cross, and he thought he heard one tell him that these arms belonged to him and to his soldiers, if they would take up the Cross and fight under its banner.
• Hist. of Ancient Armour.
This infusion of the religious spirit gave rise, during the middle ages, to many singular privileges and distinctions, which would appear absurd, if we did not bear in mind the principle on which they proceeded. The treasurer of the cathedral of Nevers had the privilege of assisting in the choir, booted and spurred, with a sword at his side, and a falcon in his fist *. After the victory of the English and Burgundians, in 1423, at Crevant, the chapter of Auxerre ordained, that the eldest son of the House of Chastellux, the lord of which had enabled them to gain the victory, should be honorary canon, and be en. titled to assist at the offices in full armour, with a surplice over it, and holding his falcon on his fist t. On great festivals, René d'Anjou used always to appear in a stall of the cathedral of Aix, on the side of the epistle next the altar, where he joined in singing vespers, being an honorary canon. The heads of the Douglas family were honorary canons in the church of St. Martin at Tours. The Kings of France were the first canons of the cathedral of Lyons, and they wore the surplice in the choir. So were also the Dauphins of Vienne, the Dukes of Burgundy, Berrie, Savoy, the Sires de Thaire and de Villars. Hugues Capet signed himself, along with other titles, abbot of Paris. The Emperor, in the Pope's presence, exercises the office of deacon, and may chaunt the Gospel, which, says the author of the Tree of Battles, “ est une très grande dignité f." The Emperor Sigismond officiated in this capacity at the midnight mass at Constance, though the Pope was about to be deposed. The office of Avoüez, or guardian of a monastery, began about the time of Charlemagne. The nearest lord was appointed to protect the abbey. Sometimes princes discharged the office. Thus the Emperor Lewis of Germany was guardian of St. Gall, and Otho of the abbey of Gomblon, in Brabant. The greatest lords accepted of the office of vidame to the nearest abbey, which obliged them to act for the ecclesiastics in their temporal affairs. The historians record of Robert King of France, son and successor of Hugues Capet, that he was regular in assisting at divine service.
• Le Grand Hist. de la vie privée des François, III. 4.
“Chantant toujours avec le chour, souvent même portant chappe la Couronne en tête et le sceptre à la main." To protect, to honour, and exalt religion, was the pride of nobility. What an affecting instance was lately furnished by the Colonna family, who, notwithstanding the depression of their fortune, supplied Pope Pius VII. with white horses, to make his entry into Rome! In Spain, the first carriage which meets a priest carrying the blessed sacrament is always offered to him. Many old historians hesitate not to give their opinion, that Rodolph of Hapsburgh owed his elevation to the imperial throne to the particular favour of God, who thus rewarded and exalted him for that singular instance of devotion, when, on his return from hunting, and meeting between Fahr and Baden a priest on foot, who carried the blessed eucharist along a broken and dirty road, he dismounted, and gave up his horse to the minister of heaven, saying, “ that it ill became him to ride while the bearer of Christ's body walked on foot." I shall conclude these examples with an extract from Ysaie le Trieste. When the hermit and Ysaie, by order of Merlin, had proceeded to the hermitage of Sir Lancelot du Lac, and found that he was dead, and by advice of the dwarf Tronc, when they had repaired to his tomb, the marble slab which covered the body of the warrior being raised, the hermit dubbed Ysaie a knight with the right arm of the skeleton, ending the harangue, which accompanied this ghastly inauguration, with these words, “ Soiez humble à non-puissans, et aidez toujours le droit à soustenir, et confons celluy qui tort a vefoes dames poures pucelles, et orphelins, et poures gens aymes toujours a ton pouvoir, et avec ce aime toujours saincte Eglise.”
Although it is a boundless subject, I must briefly notice how faithfully that precept of chivalry was observed, which prescribed the application of riches to founding and providing for religious institutions. All that can be done is to select a few examples, which may convey an idea of the spirit which actuated the nobles of Europe. One day, Charlemagne having lost his way while hunting, came to a brook in a deep forest, which his horse refused to approach, as soon as he perceived the sulphurious exhalation from the water. The king dismounted, and followed the brook till he reached its source, hidden under the superb ruins of a Roman palace. Upon this discovery, Charlemagne resolved to fix his court here. The first thought of his creative genius was turned towards the eternal Being, without whom all the projects of kings fail : soon, says, Marchangy, at the voice of this new Solomon, a magnificent temple is raised to the Lord, enriched with spoils, mosaiques and bronzes from Pisa, candélabras from Verona, and fragments from the imperial palace of Ratenna; the perfumes of the East are burnt in vases taken from the caliphs, and the hymns which Charles had brought from Rome, with the Grégorian chant, add to the solemnities of the sacred place. This religious spirit of magnificence belonged especially to knighthood. When Bouchet relates the death of La Tremoille, he gives as a reason, why, notwithstanding his high station, there was so little money found in his possession, that he had built in his own town the church of our Lady. “ Qui est fort sumptueuse et magnifique.” We read of the Mareschal Boucicaut, in the memoirs of his life, “ Moult volontiers aussi ayde à secourir convens et eglises, et faict reparations de chapelles et lieux d'oraisons. volontiers donne à pauvres prebstres, à pauvres religieux, et à tous ceulx qui sont au service de Dieu.” Many of the superb churches and monasteries of Normandy were raised by the bounty of the dukes and nobles. The rich donations of the Tancarvilles, the Harcourts, the Pommerayes, the Crevec@urs, Lacys, Courcys, Saint Clairs, Montgomerys, may be still seen in the charters of these different foundations, many of which have been published by the Abbe de la Rue. King Alfred used to make donations to the churches in Wales, Cornwall, France, Bretagne, Northumbria, and Ireland ; nay, he even sent Sighelm, bishop of Shireburn, to the shrine of St. Thomas in India, and others he sent to Rome with gifts. In the chronicle of the Cid, it is recorded how Rodrigo " was al. ways greatly affectionate to the church of St. Martin in the city of Burgos, and that he built the belfrey tower thereof.” In the 36th year of Henry III. the church of Hales was built by Richard Earl of Cornwall. The building of that church stood the Earl in 10,000 marks, as he himself confessed to Matthew Paris. The great captain of Spain, Gonsalvo de Cordova founded a superb