The Age of Chivalry eBook

Thomas Bulfinch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 436 pages of information about The Age of Chivalry.
hatred against the survivor.  She took, therefore, her opportunity when he was asleep, fell upon him, and, with the assistance of her women, tore him in pieces.  This horrid story would not be worth relating, were it not for the fact that it has furnished the plot for the first tragedy which was written in the English language.  It was entitled “Gorboduc,” but in the second edition “Ferrex and Porrex,” and was the production of Thomas Sackville, afterwards Earl of Dorset, and Thomas Norton, a barrister.  Its date was 1561.


This is the next name of note.  Molmutius established the Molmutine laws, which bestowed the privilege of sanctuary on temples, cities, and the roads leading to them, and gave the same protection to ploughs, extending a religious sanction to the labors of the field.  Shakspeare alludes to him in “Cymbeline,” Act iii., Scene 1: 

“...  Molmutius made our laws; Who was the first of Britain which did put His brows within a golden crown, and called Himself a king.”

Brennus and Belinus,

The sons of Molmutius, succeeded him.  They quarrelled, and Brennus was driven out of the island, and took refuge in Gaul, where he met with such favor from the king of the Allobroges that he gave him his daughter in marriage, and made him his partner on the throne.  Brennus is the name which the Roman historians give to the famous leader of the Gauls who took Rome in the time of Camillus.  Geoffrey of Monmouth claims the glory of the conquest for the British prince, after he had become king of the Allobroges.


After Belinus and Brennus there reigned several kings of little note, and then came Elidure.  Arthgallo, his brother, being king, gave great offence to his powerful nobles, who rose against him, deposed him, and advanced Elidure to the throne.  Arthgallo fled, and endeavored to find assistance in the neighboring kingdoms to reinstate him, but found none.  Elidure reigned prosperously and wisely.  After five years’ possession of the kingdom, one day, when hunting, he met in the forest his brother, Arthgallo, who had been deposed.  After long wandering, unable longer to bear the poverty to which he was reduced, he had returned to Britain, with only ten followers, designing to repair to those who had formerly been his friends.  Elidure, at the sight of his brother in distress, forgetting all animosities, ran to him, and embraced him.  He took Arthgallo home with him, and concealed him in the palace.  After this he feigned himself sick, and, calling his nobles about him, induced them, partly by persuasion, partly by force, to consent to his abdicating the kingdom, and reinstating his brother on the throne.  The agreement being ratified, Elidure took the crown from his own head, and put it on his brother’s head.  Arthgallo after this reigned ten years, well and wisely, exercisng strict justice towards all men.

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The Age of Chivalry from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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