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ligion and of Chivalry. They were, then, in general, sent from home, those fathers even, who possessed the means of conducting their education themselves, preferring to intrust it to some other noble knight who could be biased by no paternal tenderness to spare the young aspirant to Chivalry, any of those trials and hardships absolutely necessary to prepare him for his after-career.
On entering the household of another knight, the first place filled by the youths, then fresh from all the soft kindnesses of home, was that of page or varlet, which, though it implied every sort of attendance on the person of their new lord, was held as honorable, not degrading.
Here they still remained much among the women of the family, who undertook to complete their knowledge of their duty to God and their lady, instilling into their infant minds that refined and mystic idea of love, which was so peculiar a trait in the Chivalry of old. In the mean while, the rest 4 of their days were passed in the service of the lord, accompanying him in his excursions, serving him at table, pouring out his drink; all of which offices being shared in by the children and young relations of the baron himself, were reckoned, as I have said, highly honorable, and formed the first step in the ascent to Chivalry.
At the same time infinite pains were bestowed upon the education of these pages. They were taught all sorts of gymnastic exercises which could strengthen the body; and, by continually mingling with the guests of the castle, re5 ceiving them on their arrival, offering them every sort of service, and listening respectfully to the conversation of their elders, they acquired that peculiar grace of manner which, under the name of courtesy, formed a principal perfection in the character of the true knight.
At fourteen, the page was usually admitted to the higher grade of squire, and exchanged his short dagger for the manly sword This, however, was made a religious ceremony; and the weapon which he was in future to wear, was laid upon the altar, from whence it was taken by the 6 priests, and after several benedictions, was hung over the shoulder of the new squire, with many a sage caution and instruction as to its use.
His exercises now became more robust than they had ever been before; and, if we are to believe the old biogra
pher of the celebrated Boucicaut, they were far more fatigu ing than any man of the present age could endure. To spring upon horseback, armed at all pieces, without putting a foot in the stirrup; to cast somersets in heavy armor for 7 the purpose of strengthening the arms; to leap upon the shoulders of a horseman from behind, without other hold than one hand laid upon his shoulder-such, and many others, were the daily exercises of the young noble, be→ sides regular instruction in riding and managing his arms.
Many services which we should consider menial, were performed by the squires of the highest race about the persons of their lords. Nor was this confined to what might be considered military services; for we learn that they not only held the stirrup for the lord to mount, and then followed, 8 carrying his helm, his lance, his shield, or his gauntlets; but they continued to serve him at table, to clean his armor, to dress his horses, and to fulfil a thousand other avocations, in which they were aided, it is true, by the common servants, but which they still had their share in accomplishing with their own hands.
The squires, of course, had often more important duties to perform. It was for them to follow their lords to the battle-field; and, while the knights, formed in a long line, fought hand to hand against their equals, the squires remained 9 watching eagerly the conflict, and ready to drag their master from the mêlée,* to cover him if he fell, to supply him with fresh arms, and, in short, to lend him every aid; without, however, presuming to take an active part against the adverse knights, with whose class it was forbidden a squire to engage.
These services in the field perfected the aspirant to Chivalry in the knowledge of his profession; and the trials of skill which, on the day that preceded a tournament, were permitted to squires in the lists, gave him an opportunity of distinguishing himself in the eyes of the people, and of 10 gaining a name among the heralds and chroniclers of
If a noble squire had conducted himself well during the period of his service, it seldom occurred that his lord refused to bestow upon him the honor of knighthood at the age of twenty-one; and sometimes, if he had been distinguished by any great or gallant feat, or by uniform talent and cour* Pronounced MA-LA.
age, he was admitted into the order before he had reached
On the day appointed for that purpose, all the knights and nobles at that time in the city where the solemnity was 11 to be performed, with the bishops and clergy, each covered with the appropriate vestments of his order, the knight in his coat-of-arms, and the bishop in his stole, conducted the aspirant to the principal church of the place. There, after the high mass had been chanted, the novice approached the altar and presented the sword to the bishop or priest, who, taking it from his hand, blessed and consecrated it to the service of religion and virtue.
It often happened that the bishop himself then solemnly warned the youth of the difficulties and requisites of the or12 der to which he aspired. "He who seeks to be a knight," said the bishop of Valenciennes to the young count of Ostrevant on one of these occasions, "he who wishes to be a knight should have great qualities. He must be of noble birth, liberal in gifts, high in courage, strong in danger, secret in council, patient in difficulties; powerful against enemies, prudent in his deeds. He must also swear to observe the following rules: To undertake nothing without having heard mass fasting; to spare neither his blood nor his life in defence of the Catholic faith; to give aid to all widows 13 and orphans; to undertake no war without just cause; to favor no injustice, but to protect the innocent and oppressed; to be humble in all things; to seek the welfare of those placed under him; never to violate the rights of his sovereign, and to live irreprehensibly before God and man."
The bishop, then taking his joined hands in his own, placed them on the missal, and received his oath to follow. the statutes laid down to him, after which, his father advancing, dubbed him a knight.
At other times it occurred, that when the sword had been 14 blessed, the novice carried it to the knight who was to be his godfather in Chivalry, and kneeling before him, plighted his vow to him. After this, the other knights, and often the ladies present, advanced, and completely armed the youth, sometimes beginning with one piece of the armor, sometimes another.
After having been armed, the novice still remained upon his knees before his godfather in arms, who, then, rising
from his seat, bestowed upon him the accolade, as it was called, which consisted generally of three blows of the 15 naked sword upon the neck or shoulder. Sometimes it was performed by a blow given with the palm of the hand upon the cheek of the novice, which was always accompanied by some words, signifying that the ceremony was complete, and the squire had now become a knight.
The words which accompanied the accolade were generally, when the kings of France bestowed the honor, “In the name of God, St. Michael, and St. George, I make thee knight; be loyal, bold, and true."
How beautiful the world is! The green earth covered with flowers-the trees laden with rich blossoms-the blue sky, and the bright water, and the golden sunshine. The world is, indeed, beautiful, and He who made it must be beautiful.
It is a happy world. Hark! how the merry birds singand the young lambs-see! how they gambol on the hillside. Even the trees wave, and the brooks ripple in gladness. Yon eagle !—Ah! how joyously he soars up to the glorious heavens the bird of liberty, the bird of America.
"His throne is on the mountain-top;
His fields the boundless air;
And hoary peaks, that proudly prop
"He rises, like a thing of light,
Amid the noontide blaze:
The midway sun is clear and bright
It cannot dim his gaze."
It is happy-I see it and hear it all about me-nay, I feel it-here, in the glow, the eloquent glow of my own heart. He who made it must be happy.
It is a great world.
Look off to the mighty ocean when
the storm is upon it;--to the huge mountain, when the thunder and the lightnings play over it; to the vast forestthe interminable waste;-the sun, the moon, and the myriads of fair stars, countless as the sands upon the seashore. It is a great, a magnificent world, and He who made it,Oh, he is the perfection of all loveliness, all goodness, all greatness, all gloriousness!
Oh how canst thou renounce the boundless store
All that the mountain's sheltering bosom shields,
Oh how canst thou renounce .. and hope to be forgiven
Prince Edward alone in Prison.
Doth the bright sun from the high arch of heaven,
Do the green woods dance to the wind? The lakes
Do the flocks bleat, and the wild creatures bound
Wing the mid-air in lightly-skimming bands ?-