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.

So they three departed, and rode forth till they came to the foot of the mount.  And there the king commanded them to tarry, for he would himself go up into that mount.  So he ascended the hill till he came to a great fire, and there he found an aged woman sitting by a new-made grave, making great sorrow.  Then King Arthur saluted her, and demanded of her wherefore she made such lamentation; to whom she answered:  “Sir knight, speak low, for yonder is a devil, and if he hear thee speak, he will come and destroy thee.  For ye cannot make resistance to him, he is so fierce and so strong.  He hath murdered the Duchess, which here lieth, who was the fairest of all the world, wife to Sir Hoel, Duke of Brittany.”  “Dame,” said the king, “I come from the noble conqueror, King Arthur, to treat with that tyrant.”  “Fie on such treaties,” said she; “he setteth not by the king, nor by no man else.”  “Well,” said Arthur, “I will accomplish my message for all your fearful words.”  So he went forth by the crest of the hill, and saw where the giant sat at supper, gnawing on the limb of a man, and baking his broad limbs at the fire, and three fair damsels lying bound, whose lot it was to be devoured in their turn.  When King Arthur beheld that, he had great compassion on them, so that his heart bled for sorrow.  Then he hailed the giant, saying, “He that all the world ruleth give thee short life and shameful death.  Why hast thou murdered this Duchess?  Therefore come forth, for this day thou shalt die by my hand.”  Then the giant started up, and took a great club, and smote at the king, and smote off his coronal; and then the king struck him in the belly with his sword, and made a fearful wound.  Then the giant threw away his club, and caught the king in his arms, so that he crushed his ribs.  Then the three maidens kneeled down and prayed for help and comfort for Arthur.  And Arthur weltered and wrenched, so that he was one while under, and another time above.  And so weltering and wallowing they rolled down the hill, and ever as they weltered Arthur smote him with his dagger; and it fortuned they came to the place where the two knights were.  And when they saw the king fast in the giant’s arms they came and loosed him.  Then the king commanded Sir Kay to smite off the giant’s head, and to set it on the truncheon of a spear, and fix it on the barbican, that all the people might see and behold it.  This was done, and anon it was known through all the country, wherefor the people came and thanked the king.  And he said, “Give your thanks to God; and take ye the giant’s spoil and divide it among you.”  And King Arthur caused a church to be builded on that hill, in honor of St. Michael.


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The Age of Chivalry from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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