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Thomas Bulfinch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 350 pages of information about The Age of Chivalry.
giving them a splendid retinue of young men, sons of earls and barons, all mounted on the best horses, with complete suits of choice armor.  They numbered in all seven hundred, but only nine had yet received the order of knighthood; the rest were candidates for that honor, and anxious to earn it by an early encounter with the enemy.  Gawain, the leader, was a knight of wonderful strength; but what was most remarkable about him was that his strength was greater at certain hours of the day than at others.  From nine o’clock till noon his strength was doubled, and so it was from three to evensong; for the rest of the time it was less remarkable, though at all times surpassing that of ordinary men.

After a march of three days they arrived in the vicinity of London, where they expected to find Arthur and his court, and very unexpectedly fell in with a large convoy belonging to the enemy, consisting of numerous carts and wagons, all loaded with provisions, and escorted by three thousand men, who had been collecting spoil from all the country round.  A single charge from Gawain’s impetuous cavalry was sufficient to disperse the escort and recover the convoy, which was instantly despatched to London.  But before long a body of seven thousand fresh soldiers advanced to the attack of the five princes and their little army.  Gawain, singling out a chief named Choas, of gigantic size, began the battle by splitting him from the crown of the head to the breast.  Galachin encountered King Sanagran, who was also very huge, and cut off his head.  Agrivain and Gahariet also performed prodigies of valor.  Thus they kept the great army of assailants at bay, though hard pressed, till of a sudden they perceived a strong body of the citizens advancing from London, where the convoy which had been recovered by Gawain had arrived, and informed the mayor and citizens of the danger of their deliverer.  The arrival of the Londoners soon decided the contest.  The enemy fled in all directions, and Gawain and his friends, escorted by the grateful citizens, entered London, and were received with acclamations.

CHAPTER V

Arthur (Continued)

After the great victory of Mount Badon, by which the Saxons were for the time effectually put down, Arthur turned his arms against the Scots and Picts, whom he routed at Lake Lomond, and compelled to sue for mercy.  He then went to York to keep his Christmas, and employed himself in restoring the Christian churches which the Pagans had rifled and overthrown.  The following summer he conquered Ireland, and then made a voyage with his fleet to Iceland, which he also subdued.  The kings of Gothland and of the Orkneys came voluntarily and made their submission, promising to pay tribute.  Then he returned to Britain, where, having established the kingdom, he dwelt twelve years in peace.

During this time he invited over to him all persons whatsoever that were famous for valor in foreign nations, and augmented the number of his domestics, and introduced such politeness into his court as people of the remotest countries thought worthy of their imitation.  So that there was not a nobleman who thought himself of any consideration unless his clothes and arms were made in the same fashion as those of Arthur’s knights.

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