« PoprzedniaDalej »
were released, and after a splendid entertainment, how the emperor accompanied Huon and his train on their journey to his estates at Bourdeaux.
The Monk of Ramsay * has left a picture of an accomplished knight among the Anglo-Saxons, in the following description of one of Edgar's favourites : “ His innate discretion, his noble faith, and approved vigour of body in warlike affairs, had obtained from the king much dignity and favour. He was distinguished for religion at home, and for the exercise of his strength and use of military dis.cipline abroad. He adorned the nobility which he derived from his birth by the grace of his manners : he was of a cheerful and pleasing countenance, of great gravity of mien, of courteous and fluent conversation. He was mild and sincere in his words, in the discharge of his duty impartial, in his affections discreet, with a heart resembling his face, constant in good faith, steady and devout, in council advising what was right, ending disputes by the equity of his judgments, revering the divine love in others, and persuading them to cultivate it.” Of Baldwin, the good count of Flanders, we have the following description : “ Il avoit tousjours la crainte de Dieu devant ses yeux, qu'estoit la cause que jamais il ne commençoit rien que preallablement il n'eust invoqué son nom trèssainct. Il hantoit merveilleusement volontiers les eglises et ne passoit jour qu'il ne frequentast avec tout respect et diligence le service divin, sy avant toutesfois que les affaires plus urgents de son dommaine le luy permettoyent. Car il sçavoit que mesmes en l'expedition d'iceux il faisoit æuvre meritoir et tres agreable à Dieu t."
George Chastellain thus sums up the character of Philip the Good : “ N'avoit nulz serments en bouche, ne nulz vilz mots en usage, nulles injures envers autruy, ne d'autruy honte ramentevance : des bons parloit par faveur et des mauvais par compassion; traistable estoit et débonnaire à servir; oncques, je cuide, menterie ne lui partit des lèvres ; et estoit son scel sa bouche, et son dire léal comme or fin ; lui mesme estoit la perle des vaillans, et l'estoile de chevalerie ne oncques peur ne lui entra en
• Apud Gale III. 595.
reine. Estoit courtois à tous hommes; affable aux tous petits et aux grands, et aux femmes surtout; tousjours estoit un en manière, tel au véspre comme au matin ; non meu pour joye ne pour effroy troublé; constant en tout envoy de fortune, et asseur en tout péril ; servoit Dieu et le craignoit, fort dévot à Nostre-Dame, observoit jeunes ordinaires ; donnoit grandes aumosnes et en secret. Recueilloit estrangers et les honnoroit, et en toultes nations fist les largesses ; par diverses villes se communiquoit avec les bourgeois ; reclinoit en leurs maisons recreant ; humain en tous lieux, et en tous cas bénigne et doux. Repudioit par argu en son derrain la noble et saincte dame sa femme, saincte chrestienne et dévote et chaste, grande aumosniere-dont je remetz à Dieu la cause. Son dehors apparoit tout bon; son dedans prend en divin oeil et Dieu seul en peut juger et cognoistre. Ses claires singulières vertus ont esté données par singulière grâce; dont après les avoir conférees à tel homme, et à si grant nombre quant au corps, pitié seroit si l'ame en avoit carente par abus en ce monde ; non plaise à Dieu."
Of Charles the Bold, in his youth, he says, “Estoit ce sembloit né en fer tant l'aimoit.” He was of pure life from the fear of God, 6 et estoit seigneur de soi-mesme. Naturellement il estoit léal et entier homme ; veritable et ferme en son dire : aimoit honneur et craignoit Dieu." His admirable address to Charles the Bold, is inserted in the CCXLIst chapter of his chronicle. " Vertu prend son mouvement en Dieu; et au lieu dont elle meut, elle corone sa fin. Dieu doncques la guide et la gouverne, et Dieu a l'ail tousjours sur elle qui de vertu use. Requiers ly de son amour et dispose à sa grace.”
What a lively portrait of Frederic I. of his person and his manners, is given by Rodericus ?" His complexion always ruddy with youthful health often became deeply coloured through modesty and not through anger. Bellorum amator, sed ut per eo pax acquiratur. He was prompt in action, firm in council, open to compassion, and propitious to all who trusted in him. If you enquire his daily habits, before light, either alone or with a very small company, he used to go into the churches, and meet priests, whom he respected with such care that he furnished an example to all Italy of preserving honour and reverence for Bishops and clerks. In hunting, whether with horses or dogs, or hawks or other birds, he was second to no one. In shooting with the bow, he drew the string and let fly the arrow; choose what he shall hit, he hits what you choose. He was not stern and full of threats to his domestics, nor did he disdain to admit them to his council. He diligently examined the Scriptures and the deeds of the ancients: he distributed alms largely with his own hand.” This was that bold lion, as Henry de Blois styles him, whose majestic countenance and mighty arm had deterred wild beasts from destroying, had subdued rebels, had brought adventurers to peace, who after binding together Germany and Italy, intimidating its Northern and Sclavonian princes, and extending his renown over the East, came in the end to kiss the feet of the Pope, and to take up his cross in defence of Christendom.
Let us not pass over in silence the piety of two of our early kings, Edward the Confessor, and Henry VI. The Confessor was pious, merciful and good, the father of the poor and the protector of the weak, more willing to give than to receive, and better pleased to pardon than to punish. “ King Henry," says Grafton, “ which rayned at this time, was a man of a meek spirit and of a simple witte, preferring peace before war, rest before businesse, honestie before profite, and quietness before labour : and to the intente that men might perceive that there could be none more chaste, more meek, more holye, nor a better creature, in him raigned shamefacedness, modestie, integritie and pacience to be marveylled at, taking and suffering all losses, chaunces, displeasures, and such worldly torments in good parte, and wyth a pacient manner, as though they had chaunced by his own faulte or negligent oversight. He gaped not for honour, nor thirsted for riches, but studied onlye for the health of his soule, the saving whereof he esteemed to be the greatest wisdome, and the losse therof the extremest folie that could be.” “ Pacyence was so radicate in his harte," says Hall, “ that of all the injuries to him committed, which was no small number, he never asked vengeance nor punishment, but for that, rendered to Almighty God his Creator, hearty thanks, thinking that by this trouble and adversitie his sinnes were to him forgotten and forgiven. What shall I say, that this good, this gentle, this week, this sober and wise man did declare and affirm, that those mischiefs and miseries partly came to him for his own offence and partly for the hepyng of sin upon sin wretchedly by his auncestors and forefathers, wherefore he little or nothing esteemed or in any wyse did torment or macerate himself, whatsoever dignity, what honour, what state of life, what child, what friend, he had lossed or missed, but if it did but sound an offence towards God he looked on that, and not without repentance both moured and sorrowed for it. This king Henry was of a liberal mind, and especially to such as loved good learning, and them whom he saw profit in any virtuous science he heartily favoured and embraced, wherefore he first holp his own young seholars to atteyn its discipline, and for them he founded a solempne schole at Eton, a toune next unto Wyndsore, in the which he had established an honest college of sad priests with a grete number of children, which bee there of his cost frankely and freely taught the rudiments and rules of grammar. Besides this, he edifyed a princely college in the Universitie of Cambridge, called tbe Kynges College, for the further erudition of such as were brought up at Eton, which at this day," says Hall, “ so flourisheth in all kyndes as well of literature as of tongues, that above all other it is worthy to be called the Prince of Colleges.”
The advice of the Dame Terrail to her son the Chevalier Bayard is another striking instance. The young page was already monnted on his little horse in the castle court, accompanied by his good uncle the Bishop of Grenoble, who was to conduct him to Chamberri; his father had bestowed his blessing, and all the youth of the castle were taking affectionate leave of their companion. “La povre Dame de mere estoit en une tour du chasteau, qui tendrement ploroit; car, combien qu'elle feust joyeuse dont son fils estoit en voye de parvenir, amour de mere l'admonnestoit de larmoyer. Toutefois, apres qu'on luy fut venu dire, Madame, si voulez venir veoir vostre fils, il est tout à cheval prest à partir. La bonne gentil femme sortit par le derriere de la tour, et fist venir son fils vers elle, auquel elle dist ces parolles : Pierre mon amy, vous allez au service d'un gentil Prince. As far as a mother can command her child, I command you to observe three
things, and if you fulfil them be assured that you will live with honour in this world, and that God will bless you.
The first is, that you fear God, serve him and love him, without ever offending him, if that be possible. It is he who has created us, in whom we live, and by whom we are preserved. It is by him that we shall be saved. Without him and without his grace we should never be able to perform the smallest good action. Be particular to pray to him every day, both morning and evening, and he will assist you. The second is, that you be gentle and courteous towards the nobility, that you evince neither · hauteur nor pride towards any person, that you be ready always to oblige every person, that you avoid deceit, falsehood, and envy, these are vices unworthy of a Christian, that you be sober, faithful to your word, and above all, charitable to the poor, and God will return to you again whatever you shall give for the love of him. Particularly console the widows and orphans as much as will be in your power. Finally avoid flatterers, and take care that you never become one of them. It is a character equally odious and pernicious. The third thing which I recommend to you is again, charity. That will never bring you to poverty, and believe me whatever alms you give for the love of God will be profitable to both body and soul. Behold, this is all that I have to say to you. Neither your father nor I have a long time to live. God grant that before we die we may hear news of you which may bring honour upon ourselves and upon you. I commend you to the Divine Goodness *."
Attend now to the modest reply of Bayard. “ My lady mother, I thank you with all my heart for these good lessons which you have given to me, and I hope by the grace of Him to whom you commend me, dearly to preserve them in memory, and to give you satisfaction by my faithful practice t."
• Compare this simple lesson with the celebrated advice of Madame de Lambert to her son, and how cold and formal will appear the lecture of the accomplished Marchioness, how little worthy of a Christian mother, how strained and unnatural, how incapable of either convincing the understanding or of affecting the heart! Well has Madame de Stael observed, in allusion to the effect of such lessons, “ La religion reste dans les idées, comme le roi restoit dans la constitution que l'assemblée con. stituante avoit décrétée. C'étoit une république, plus un roi.”
La vie de Bayard par Berville. See also “ la tres joyeuse, plaisante