Gateway to the Classics: The World's Story: England by Eva March Tappan
The World's Story: England by  Eva March Tappan

Stories of the Age of Richard the Lion-Hearted

Historical Note

THE ideal gentleman of the Middle Ages was the knight. To attain this eminence, a man must as a rule be well-born, and he must, as page and squire, be carefully educated in the use of arms, in riding, music, and courtesy. Having completed this course of instruction, he was made a knight with much ceremony, and was then sent out into the world with the blessing of the priest, having vowed to succor all women in distress, to right wrongs, and to maintain and defend the Church. There were numerous jousts, or combats between two, but the great joy of the knight who wished to show his prowess and do honor to his lady-love was the tournament, or combat between two parties of knights. The invitations were given far in advance, and elaborate preparations were made. When the moment had come, the heralds called out, "Come forth, knights, come forth!" Then followed a contest with as many rules as the most intricate system of etiquette could furnish. Prizes were given, and the day closed with a ball wherein not the man of highest rank, but he who had shown most valor in the contest, was the hero of the hour.

It is for these reasons that the name of Richard I has been surrounded with a blaze of glory. He rebelled against his father, he sold most offices in the gift of the Crown, and even freed, for a large sum of money, the Scottish king from his obligations of fealty. He spent a very small portion of his reign in England; but when he went on a crusade and was taken prisoner, his English subjects willingly paid his large ransom, for was he not their idol, "a verray parfit gentil knyght"?

 Table of Contents  |  Index  |  Home  | Previous: The Story of John Lackland  |  Next: The Tournament of Ashby-de-la-Zouche
Copyright (c) 2005 - 2023   Yesterday's Classics, LLC. All Rights Reserved.