Posted by Sir Randal on February 01, 1998 at 17:24:55:
In Reply to: Re: Glimpses posted by Laird Glenalmond on February 01, 1998 at 12:36:13:
: O come, Sir!
: There must have been one or two bad eggs amongst their numbers.
: I do believe that history rather supports your first description rather than your idealised version.
: However, a new Camelot close to the Tower of Winds, with your good self oversseing which applicants of knight errantry should be admitted, is a cheerful vision.
Sir Randals' reply:
This was the ancients vision
and purseption of the Knights, not neccessarily my
purception. I thought it might be enjoyable to view
how those of the middle ages perceived us, hense
the title "Glimpses". As for "overseeing applicants"
I must decline the job. Perhaps I might be better
qualified to "inspire" those amongst us.
Thank you my friend for this interchange and I am...
...your humble servant.
: Which reminds me of some lines
: "A damsel with a dulcimer
: In a vision once I saw..."
: Farewell for know, honourable Knight!
: Laird Glenalmond
: : Glimpses
: : Human exemplars of the god-like virtues of faith,
: : courage, gallantry, compassion, and aid to the weak
: : and oppressed. There are those who believe that knights
: : were only smelly brutal men in rusty armour, superstitious
: : and greedy, who lived upon the labour of the peasants and
: : went on wars of conquest on the excuse that they were obey-
: : ing their kings.
: : The reality was quite different. The orders and rituals
: : of knighthood were clearly established and the great brother-
: : hood would never have accepted such unsuitable members. A man
: : could not even become a knight unless he was a youth of noble
: : blood, and he had to beg an established knight to take him into
: : service. Acceptance was by no means certain, because a knight's
: : squire had to combine youthful beauty with the promise of superb
: : manhood. He had to entertain the knight by singing sweetly to
: : the lute, act as messenger between the knight and suitable ladies,
: : serve him gracefully at dinner, and generally act as body servant,
: : confidant, and admirer, always prepared to heap lavish praise
: : upon his master for some deed of gallantry.
: : Sometimes this apprenticeship was cut short when a knight
: : was captured in battle. It was appropriate for the squire to
: : offer himself for ransom, and stay in captivity while the knight
: : rode off and tried to raise the ransom.
: : If all went well, the time would come for the squire to win
: : his spurs. The armourers fitted him with his first armour and
: : made his lance, sword, and poignard, while the heralds worked
: : out an appropriate device for his shield. If the squire
: : could afford it he bought various magic charms to protect himself
: : against evil.
: : The young knight practised ardently in the tiltyard in order
: : to grow accustomed to his armour and weapons, until it was time
: : for his first tournament. The ladies in the audience assessed him
: : carefully as he took his place in the lists, and tittered mock-
: : ingly if his opponent unseated him with a great clangour of armour.
: : After the first tests of skill in courage the knight rode forth
: : in search of noble deeds. If he was fortunate there would be a war
: : against enemies of the kingdom, but if not then he had to sally
: : forth alone. By that time he would have fallen in love with some
: : demure virgin, and she gave him a glove or scarf to wear on his
: : helmet. Some older knights wore ladies' stockings streaming from
: : their helms, but a young knight was so pure in heart that such a
: : sight made him blush with embarrassment.
: : On this first knightly journey he had no need of a squire or
: : other retainers. His armour shone brightly without polishing and
: : the light of beckoning glory sustained him without food or sleep.
: : As the hooves of his charger beat along the forest paths he looked
: : eagerly for some fitting opponent.
: : When he entered a village he listened eagerly for news of a
: : dragon or wicked lord in the neighbourhood, preferably the abductor
: : of a fair damsel. He would not be averse to tackling sorcerers,
: : magical beasts who destroyed cattle by breathing on them, or even
: : giants who ate the children of widows. It was, however, preferable
: : to return home with a dragon's head slung behind him and a rescued
: : damsel upon his saddlebow.
: : Any acceptable feat won him the golden spurs of true knighthood,
: : and after that he could spend the time enjoyably in hunting, hawking,
: : fighting in tournaments, feasting, or defending his king against
: : enemies.
: : Unfortunately a young knight's purity of heart gave him many
: : uncomfortable moments. Every knight had to have his lady and he
: : treated her stricly in accordance with the rules. He sent troubadours
: : to serenade her, presented her with the mailed gloves of opponents
: : killed in the lists, and sighed beneath her castle windows on moonlit
: : nights. But the time would come when a lady expected more ardent
: : attentions. A knight would hardly dare to drink his wine for fear
: : that it contained a love potion, and he might be obliged to kill a
: : friend if the impatient lady looked kindly upon him.
: : It was even worse when the wife of a great lord, or even the queen
: : herself, began to languish for the attentions of a young knight. The
: : only rememdy was another knightly journey, on the excuse that he found
: : himself unfitted for love of women and must devote himself to the
: : pursuit of honour. It was always a relief when the king summoned his
: : knights for a battle with some neiboring enemey, and they could enjoy
: : the sport without being distracted by ladies.
: : The time would come, however, when a knight found his joints
: : creaking as loudly as his armour and his head growing bald from the
: : pressure of his helmet. There was no more need to resist the blandish-
: : ments of womankind and he could settle down with his mulled wine by
: : the the hearth. He exchanged stories of dragon hunts with other super-
: : annuated knights and showed the scars won in battle with the king's
: : enemies. They all agreed that modern squires and knights behaved
: : disgracefully. When a lady let down a silken ladder, so that a knight
: : might climb up into her chamber, he would actually use it. The age of
: : knighthood was doomed when knights began to pay more attention to women
: : than to damsels in distress.
: : Perhaps those ancient knights did not die out, perhaps they are
: : still with us. Perhaps they were just away on some long and distant
: : journey or quest. Maybe they have now returned to aid another kingdom.
: : Perhaps in a remote Nortic Kingdom known as Ladonia.
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