The Order Of Chivalry
Also entitled: The Book of the Ordre of Chyualry or Knyghthode, by Ramon Lull, Translated by William Caxton & edited by F. S. Ellis. with: L’Ordene de Chevalerie An anonymous French poem, Translated by William Morris as, The Ordination of Knighthood & edited by F. S. Ellis.

Barrie, Ontario. 2009

The Book of the Ordre of Chyualry or Knyghthode, by Ramon Lull, translated by William Caxton, with , L’Ordene de Chevalerie, an anonymous French poem, translated by William Morris as ; The Ordination of Knighthood, with a frontispiece by Edward BurneJones & edited by F. S. Ellis. Originally Published : Hammersmith : Kelmscott Press, 1893. Digital Edition : Barrie : Sovereign Press Canada, 2009. Re-Typeset in : P22 Morris Troy © Sovereign Press Canada, 2009. New material & layout only. Original is in the Public Domain.


1 ere begynneth the Table of this preH sent booke Intytled the Book of the Ordre of Chyualry or Knyghthode. NTO the praysynge and dyuyne glorye of god, which is lord and souerayne kynge aboue & ouer alle thynges celestyal and worldly, we begynne this book of the Ordre of Chyualry ; for to shew that to the sygnefyaunce of god, the prynce almyghty, which seygnoryeth aboue the seuen plan– ettes that make the cours celestyal, and haue power and seygnorye in gouernynge and ordeynynge the bodyes terrestre and erthely, that in lyke wyse owen the kynges, prynces and grete lordes to haue puyssaunce and seygnorye vpon the Knyghts, and the Knyghts by symylytude oughten to haue power and dominacion ouer the moyen peple. And this booke conteyneth viii chapitres. 2 he first chapytre sayth how a Knyght, T beyng an heremyte, deuysed to the Squyer the Rule and Ordre of Chyualry. 2 he second is of the begynnynge of T Chyualry. 2 he thyrd is of tho∏yce of Chyualry. T

2 he fourthe of thexamynacion that T ought to be made to the Esquyer whan he wylle entre in to the Ordre of Chyualry. 2 he fyfthe is in what maner thesquyer T ought to receyue Chyualry. 2 he syxthe is of the sygnefyaunce of T the armes longynge to a Knyght al by ordre. 2 he seuenth, of the custommes that T apperteyne to a Knyght. 2 he eyght is of the honour that oughte T to be done to a Knyght. 2 hus endeth the table of the Book of T Chyualry.

1 ere after foloweth the mater and H tenour of this said Booke. And the fyrst chapyter saith hou the good Heremyte deuysed to the Esquyer the Rule & Ordre of Chyualrye 0  0 C ON T R E Y THER WAS in which it happed that a wyse Knyght whiche longe had mayntened the ordre of chyualrye, & that by the force & noblesse of his hyghe courage and wysedom, & in auenturyng his body had mayntened warres, justes & tornoyes, & in many batailles had had many noble vyctoryes and glorious, & by cause he sawe & thought in his corage that he myght not long lyue, as he which by long tyme had ben by cours of nature nyghe vnto his ende, chass to hym an heremytage. For nature faylled in hym by age, and hadde no power ne vertu to vse armes as he was woned to do. Soo that thenne

his herytages, & alle his rychesses he lefte to his children, and made his habytacion or dwelling place in a greete wode, habondaunt of watres and of grete trees & hyhe, berynge fruytes of dyuerse manyers ; and fledde the world by cause that the feblenesse of his body in the whiche he was by old age fallen, & that he dishonoured not that whiche that in honourable thynges & auenturous hadde ben longe tyme honoured1 he same knyght thynkynge on T the dethe, remembryth the departynge fro this world in to that other, & also thought of the ryght redoubtable sentence of oure lord in the whiche hym behoued to come to the day of Jugement2  one of the parIn tyes of the same wode was a fayr medowe, in whiche was a tree wel laden & charged of fruyte in his tyme of whiche the knyght lyued in the forest. And vnder the same tree was a fontayne moche fayre and clere, that arowsed and moysted all the medowe. 1 nd in that same place was the knyght A acustomed to come euery daye fore to preye & adoure god Almyghty ; to whome he rendryd thankynge of the honoure that he had done to hym in thys world alle the dayes of his lyf2  that tyme it happed at the In 2

entryng of a strong wynter, that a kynge moche noble, wyse and ful of good custommes, sente for many nobles by cause that he wold hold a grete courte1 nd A by the grete renommee that was of thys courte it happed that a Squyer moeued hym for to goo thyder, in entencion that there he shold be made Knyght1 hus as he T wente all allone, rydynge vppon his palfroy, it happed that for the trauaylle that he had susteyned of rydynge he slepte vpon his horse2  the meane whyle that In he rode soo slepynge, his palfroy yssued oute of the ryght waye, and entryd in to the forest where as was the Knyghte Heremyte1 nd soo longe he wente that he A came to the fontayne at the same tyme that the Knyght whiche dwellyd in the wode to doo his penaunce, was there comen for to praye vnto god, & for to despyse the vanytees of this worlde, lyke as he was acustomed euery day1  han he sawe the Squyer W come, he lefte his oroyson and satte in the medowe in the shadow of a tree, and beganne to rede in a lytyl book that he had in his lappe. And whan the palfroy was come to the fontayn he beganne to drynke, and the Squyer that slept, anone felte that 3

his hors meued not & lyghtly awoke, and thenne to hym came the Knyght whiche was moche old, & had a grete berde, longe heer and a feble gowne worne and broken for ouer longe werynge, and by the penaunce that he dayly made was moche discolourd and lene ; & by the teres that he had wepte were his eyen moche wasted, & hadde a regard or countenaunce of moche hooly lyf. 2  che of them merueylled of other ; for E the Knyght, whiche hadde ben moche longe in his heremytage, had sene no man sythe that he had lefte the world ; & the Squyer merueylled hym strongly how he was comen in to that place1 henne descended T the Squyer fro his palfroy and salewed the Knyght, and the Knyght receyued hym moche wysely, & after sette them vpon the grasse that one by that other2 nd er ony A of them spak, eche of them byheld eche others chere1 he Knyght that knewe T that the Squyer wold not speke fyrst, by cause that he wold doo to hym reuerence, spak fyrst and said,


AYR frend, what is your corage or entent ? And wyther goo ye ? Wherfor be ye comen hyther ? Syre, said he, the renommee is sprad by ferre conntreyes that a kynge, moche wyse and noble, hath commaunded a Courte general, and wylle be maade hym self newe Knyght, and after adoube and make other newe Knyghtes, estraunge barons and pryue, & therefore I goo to this Courte for to be adoubed Knyght1  ut B whanne I was a slepe, for the trauylle that I haue had of the grete journeyes that I haue made, my palfroy wente oute of the ryght way, and hath brought me vnto this place2  hanne the Knyght herd speke W of the Knyghthode and Chyualrye, and remembryd hym of thordre of the same, and of that whiche apperteyneth to a Knyght, he caste oute a grete syghe, and entryd in a grete thought, remembrynge of the honoure in whiche Chyualrye hadde ben longe mayntened1  the meane whyle that the In Knyghte thus thought, the Esquyer demaunded of hym wherof he was so pensyf. 2 nd the Knyght answerd to hym, A 5

AYRE sone my thoughte is of the ordre of Knyghthode or Chyualrye, & of the gretenesse in whiche a Knyght is holden in mayntenynge the gretenesse of the honour of Chyualrye1 henne the Esquyer prayd T to the Knyght that he wold saye to hym thordre & the manere wherfore men ought the better honoure and kepe in hyhe worshippe hit, as hit oughte to be after the ordenauce of god2 ow sone, sayde the H Knyght, knowest thow not what is the rule & ordre of knyghthode ? And I meruaylle how thou darest demaunde Chyualrye or Knyghthode vnto the tyme that thow knowe the ordre ; for noo Knyght maye not loue the ordre, ne that whiche apperteyneth to his ordre, but yf he can knowe the de∏aultes that he dothe ageynst the ordre of Chyualrye ; ne no Knyght ought to make ony Knyghtes, but yf he hym self knowe thordre. For a disordynate Knyghte is he that maketh a Knyght, and can not shewe the ordre to hym in the customme of Chyualry. 6

N the meane whyle that the Knyght sayd these wordes to the Esquyer that demaunded Chyualrye, withoute that he knewe what thynge was Chyualrye, the Esquyer answerd and sayd to the Knyght2 yre, yf S hit be youre playsyre, I byseche yow that ye wylle saye and telle to me the ordre of Chyualrye, for wel me semeth & thynketh that I shold lerne hit for the grete desyre that I haue therto, and after my power I shalle ensiewe hit, yf hit please yow to enseygne, shewe, and teche hit me2  Frend, sayd the Knyght, the Rule and Ordre of Chyualrye is wreton in this lytyl booke that I hold here in myn handes, in whiche I rede and am besy somtyme, to the ende that hit make me remembre or thynke on the grace and bounte that god hath gyuen and done to me in this world by cause that I honoured & mayntened with al my power thordre of Chyualrye ; for alle in lyke wyse as Chyualrye gyueth to a Knyghte alle that to hym apperteyneth, in lyke wyse a Knyght ought to gyue alle his forces for to honoure Chyualrye2 henne the Knyght deT lyuerd to the Esquyer the lytyl booke. 7

ND whanne he had redde therin he vnderstode that the Knyght only amonge a thousand persones is chosen worthy to haue more noble offyce than alle the thousand, and he had also vnderstanden by that lytyl booke the Rule and Ordre of Chyualry1 And thenne he remembryd hym a lytyl, and after sayd, A syre, blessyd be ye that haue brought me in place and in tyme that I haue knowlege of Chyualrye, the whiche I haue longe tyme desyred, withoute that I knewe the noblesse of the ordre, ne the honoure in whiche oure lord god hath sette alle them that ben in thordre of Chyualrye. HE Knyght sayd, faire sone, I am an old man and feble, and may not forthon moche longe lyue, and therfor this lytyl booke, that is made for the deuocion, loyalte and the ordenaunce that a Knyght ought to haue in holdynge his ordre, ye shall bere with yow to the Courte where as ye go vnto, and to shewe to alle them that will be made Knyghtes2 nd whan ye shalle be newe A doubed Knyght, and ye shall retorne in to 8

your countrey, come ageyne to this place, and lete me haue knowlege who they be that haue ben obeyssaunt to the doctryne of Chyualrye. HENNE the Knyght gaf to the Squyer his blessynge ; & he took leue of hym, & tooke the booke moche deuoutely, and after mounted vpon his palfory & went forth hastely to the courte. And whan he was comen he presented the booke moche wysely & ordynatly to the noble kynge, & furthermore he o∏ryd that euery noble man that wold be in thordre of Chyualry myght haue a copye of sayd book, to thende that he myght see and lerne thordre of Knyghthode and Chyualrye.


1 he Second chapytre is of the begynT nynge of Chyualrye or Knyghthode. HAN charyte, loyaulte, trouthe, justyce & veryte fayllen in the world, thenne begynneth cruelte, iniurye, des loyalte and falsenes, and therfore was erroure & trouble in the world, in whiche god hath created man, in intencion that of the man he be knowen and loued, doubted, serued and honoured2 At the begynnyng whan to the world was comen mesprysion, justyce retorned by drede in to honour, in whiche she was wonte to be, and therfore alle the peple was deuyded bythousandes, and of eche thousand was chosen a man most loyal, moost stronge & of most noble courage, & better enseygned and manerd than al the other. ND after was enquyred & serched what beest was moost couenable, moost fayre, most couragyous & moost stronge to susteyne trauaylle, and moost able to serue the man. 10

1 nd thenne was founden that the hors A was the moost noble, & the moost couenable for to serue man. And by cause that, emong alle the beestes the man chaas the hors, and gaf hym to this same man that was soo chosen amonge a thowsand men, for after the hors, whiche is called Chyual in Frensshe, is that man named Chyualler, whiche is a Knyght in Englyssh. Thus to the moost noble man was gyuen the moost noble beest2  behoueth after this that It ther shold be chosen alle the armures suche as ben most noble and moste couenable to batayll & de∏ende the man fro dethe, and these armures were gyuen and appropred to the Knyght. HENNE who that wylle entre in to the ordre of Chyualrye, he must thynke on the noble begynnynge of chyualrye. And hym behoueth that the noblesse of his courage in good custommes accorde to the begynnyng of chyualry1  yf hit were not For soo he shold be contrary to his ordre and to his begynnynges, & therfore hit is not couenable thynge that thordre of chyualry receyue his enemyes in honours, ne them 11

that ben contrarye to his begynnynges loue and drede begynnen ageynst hate and mesprysyon ; & therfore hit behoueth that the knyght by noblesse of courage and of noble customme and bounte, and by the honour soo grete and so hyhe that he is maade be election, by his hors and by his armes, be loued and doubted of the peple, and that by loue he recouere charyte and ensygnement, and by fere recoure veryte and justyce. F as moche as a man hath more of wytte and of vnderstandyng, and is of more stronger nature than a woman, of soo moche may he be better than a woman. For yf he were not more puyssaunt and dy∏erent to be better than the woman, it shold ensiewe that bounte and strengthe of nature were contrary to bounte of courage and to good werkes. Thenne al thus as a man by his nature is more apparaylled to haue noble courage and to be better than the woman, in lyke wyse moche more enclyned to be vycious than a woman. For yf it were not thus he shold not be worthy that he had gretter meryte to be good more than 12

the woman1  eware thow Squyer that B wol entre in to thordre of Chyualry what thou shalt doo ; for yf thou be a Knyght thow receyuest honour and the seruytude that must be hadde vnto the frendes of Chyualrye, for of soo moche as thou hast more noble begynnyngr & hast more honour, of soo moche arte thow more bonde and bounden to be good & agreable to god and also to the peple2 nd yf thow be A wycked thow arte enemy of Chyualry and arte contrary to his commaundements and honours. So moche hyhe and soo moche noble is thordre of Chyualrye that it su∏yseth not that there be made Knyghtes of the moost noble persones, ne that ther shold be gyuen to them the moost noble beete and the beste, the most noble armures and the beste only. UT hym behoueth, & it must be, that he be made lord of many men, for in seygnorye is moche noblesse, & in seruytude as moche of subiections2 henne yf thow take T thordre of Knyghthode, & arte a vyle man and wycked thou dost grete iniurye to all thy subgettis and to thy felawes that ben 13

good, for by the vylette in whiche thow arte yf thou be wycked, thou oughtest to be put vnder a serf or bonde man, and by the noblesse of Kyghtes that be good it is indygne and not worthy that thow be called a Knyght. LECTION, ne hors, ne armures, su∏yse not yet to the hyghe honour whiche longeth to a Knyght, but it behoueth that there be gyuen to hym a squyer & seruaunt that may take hede to his hors1 nd hit A behoueth also that the comyn peple laboure the londes for to brynge fruytes and goodes wherof the knyght and his beestes haue theyr lyuyng, and that the Knyght reste hym and be at seiourne after his noblesse, and desporte hym vpon his hors for to hunte or in other manere after that it shal please hym, and that he ease hym and delyte in thynges of whiche his men haue payne & trauayl1 he clerkes stuT dyen in doctryne & scyence how they may conne knowe god and loue hym and his werkes, to thende that they gyue doctryne to the peple laye and bestiall by good ensamples, to knowe, loue, serue, & do hon14

oure to god oure gloryous lord2  to For thende that they may ordynatly do these thynges, they folowe & ensyewe the scoles. 1 henne thus as the ckerkes by honest T lyf, by good ensample and scyence, haue goten ordre and o∏yce tenclyne the peple to deuocion and good lyf, alle in lyke wyse the Knyghtes by noblesse of courage and by force of armes mayntene the ordre of Chyualrye, and haue the same ordre, to thende, by the whiche the one doubte to doo wronge to the other. HE scyence and the scole of the ordre of Chyualrye is that the Knyght make his sone to lerne in his yongthe to ryde ; for yf he lerne not in his yongthe he shalle neuer lerne it in his old age1 nd it bhoueth that the A sone of a Knyght in the tyme that he is Squyer can take kepynge of hors ; and hym behoueth that he serue, & that he be fyrste subgette or he be lord, for otherwyse shold he not knowe the noblesse of the seygnory whan he shold be Knyght.


ND therfor euery man that wylle come to Knyghthode, hym behoueth to lerne in his yongeth to kerue at the table, to serue to arme and to adoube a Knyght ; for in lyke wyse as a man wyl lerne to sewe for to be a taillour, or a carpenter, hym behoueth that ha haue a mayster that can sewe of hewe2 Al in lyke wyse it behoueth that a noble man that loueth the ordre of Chyualrye, and wyl a Knyght, haue fyrst a mayster that is a Knyght, for thus as a discouenable thyng it shold be that a man that wold lerne to sewe shold lerne to sewe of a carpenter, al in like wise shold it be a discouenable thyng that a Squyer shold lerne thordre & noblesse of chyualry of ony other man than of a knyght. O moche is hyhe & honoured the ordre of chyualrye, that to a Squyer ne su∏yseth not only to kepe hors and lerne to serue a knyght and that he goo with hym to tornoyes & bataylles, but hit is nedeful that ther be holden to hym a scole of the ordre of Knyghthode, and that the scyence were wreton 16

in bookes, and that the arte were shewed & redde, and that the sones of Knyghtes lerne fyrst the scyence that apperteyneth to thordre of Chyualry1 nd after that A they were Squyers they shold ryde thrugh dyuerse countrees with the Knyghtes, and yf ther were none errour in the Clerkes and in the Knyghtes, vnneth shold ther be ony in other peple ; for by the Clerkes they shold haue deuocion and loue to god, and by the Knyghtes they shold doubte to doo wronge, trayson and barate, the one to another2 henne sythe the Clerkes haue T maysters and doctryne & go to the scoles for to lerne, & ther ben soo many scyences that they ben wreton and ordeyned in doctryne, grete wrong is done to the ordre of Knyghthode, of this, that it is not a scyence wreton and redde in scoles lyke as the other scyences, and therfore he that maade this booke bysecheth to the noble kynge, and to alle the noble companye of noble Knyghtes that ben in this courte assembled in the honoure of Chyualrye, that of the wrong that is done to hit may be amendyd and satisfaction done. 17

1  f tho∏yce that apperteyneth to a O Knyght. FFYCE of a Knyght is thende and the begynnynge wherfore began the ordre of Chyualrye1 Thenne yf a Knyght vse not his offyce he is contrarye to his ordre, and to the begynnynge of Chyualrye to fore sayd : by the whiche contraryete he is not a very Knyght, how be hit that he bere the name2  such a Knyght For is more vyle than the smythe or the carpenter that done their o∏yce after that they owe to doo and haue lerned2 he o∏yce of T a Knyght is to mayntene and de∏ende the holy feyth catholyque, by the whiche god the fader sente his sone in to the world to take flesshe humayne in the gloryous vyrgyn oure lady saynt Mary, and for to honoure and multyplye the feythe, su∏ryd in this world many trauaylles, despytes and anguysshous deth. 18

HENNE in lyke wyse as our lord god hath chosen the clerkes for to mayntene the holy feith catholike with Scripture and resons ayenst the mescreaunts and not bileuyng, in lyke wise god of glory hath chosen Knyghtes by cause that by force of armes they vaynquysshe the mescreauntes, whiche daily laboure for to destroye holy chirche1 nd suche Knyghtes god holdA eth them for his frendes, honoured in this world and in that other, when they kepe and mayntene the feith by the whiche we entende to be saued2 he Knyght that hath T no feythe and vseth no feyth, and is contrarye to them that mayntene it, is as thentendement of a man to whome god hath gyuen reason & useth the contrary. Thenne he that hath feithe & is contrary to feythe, & will be saued, he doth ageynst hym self, for his wylle accordeth to mescreaunce, whiche is contrary to feith and to the sauacion ; by the whiche mescreaunce a man is juged to torments infynytes and perdurable1  any there ben that haue ofM fyces whiche god hath gyuen to them in this world, to thende that of hym he shold 19

be serued & honoured, but the most noble and the most honourable o∏yces that ben, ben tho∏yces of Clerkes and of Knyghtes, and therfor the grettest amytye that shold be in this world, ought to be bitwene the Knyghtes and Clerkes. HENNE thus as Clerkes be not ordeyned of their clergy that they be ayenst thordre of Chyualry, also Knyghtes maintene not by thordre of Chyualry them that be contrary to the clerkes which ben bounden to loue and mayntene thordre of Chyualry. 1 hordre is not gyuen to a man for that T he shold loue his ordre only, but he ought to loue the other ordres ; for to loue one ordre and to hate another is nothynge to loue ordre, for God hath gyuen none ordre that is contrarye to other ordre2 henne T thus as the relygyous that loueth not soo moche his own ordre that he is enemy of an other ordre, he foloweth not ne ensieweth the rule of thordre1 hus a Knyght T loueth not tho∏yce of a Knyght that so moche loueth and preyseth his own ordre that he myspryseth & hateth other ordre. 20

OR yf a Knyght loued the ordre of Chyualry and destroyed somme other ordre, hit shold seme that the ordre shold be contrary to God, the whiche thyng may not be, syth he hath establysshed ordre. 1 o moche noble is cheualrye that euery S Knyght ought to be gouenour of a grete countre or lond. But ther ben soo many Knyghtes that the lond maye not su∏yse to sygnefye that one ought to be lord of al thynged2 hemperour ought to be a T Knyght and lord of al Knyghtes, but by cause themperour may not by him self gouerne al Knyghtes, hym behoueth that he haue vnder hym Kynges that ben Knyghtes to thende that they ayde and helpe to mayntene thordre of Chyualry, and the Kynges ought to haue vnder them dukes, erles, vycountes and other lordes, & vnder the barons ought to be Knyghtes, whiche ought to gouernr hem after the ordynaunce of the barons whiche ben in the hyhe degree of Chyualry to fore named for to shewe thexcellence, seygnorye, power & wysedome of oure lord god gloryous, whiche is one only god in Trynyte, & can & may gouerne 21

alle thynges ; wherfore hit is not thyng couenable that a Knyght allone shold by hym self gouerne alle the people of thys world 1  yf one knight allone myght so do, For the seygnorye, the power and wysedom of god shold not be so wel sygnefyed. ND therfore for to gouerne alle the peples that ben in the world, god wyl that ther be many Knyghtes, of whome he is gouernour only, lyke as it is sayd atte begynnyng1 And thenne kynges & prynces which make prouostes and baillyes of other persones than of Knyghtes, done ayenst tho∏yce of Chyualry, for the Knyght is more worthy to haue the seygnorye ouer the peple than ony other man, & by thonour of his o∏yce ought to be done to hym more gretter honour than ony other man that hath not so an honourable o∏yce, and by thonour that he receyueth of his ordre he hath noblesse of herte, and by noblesse of courage he is the lasse enclyned to doo a vylaynous fait or dede than another man.


HOFFYCE of a Kngyht is to mayntene and de∏ende his lord worldly or terryen, for a kyng ne no hyhe baron hath no power to mayntene ryghtwysnes in his men without ayde and helpe1 henne yf ony man do T ageynst the commandement of his kyng or prynce, it behoueth that the Knyghtes ayde their lord, whiche is but a man only as another is, and therfor the euyl Knyght whiche sooner helpeth another man that wold put doun his lord fro the seignory that he ought to haue vpon him, he foloweth not tho∏yce by which he is called a Knyght2  y the Knyghtes ought to be B mayntened and kept justyce, for in lyke wyse as the juges haue the tho∏yce to juge, in lyke wyse haue the Knyghtes tho∑ce for to kepe them fro vyolence in exercysyng the fayt of iustyce. Yf it myght be that Chyualry and Clergy assembled them to gyder in such maner that Knyghtes shold be lerned so that by scyence they were suffysaunt to be juges, none o∑ce sholde be so couenable to be a juge as Chyualry ; for he that by justyce may best be holden is more couenable to be a juge than ony other. 23

NYGHTES ought to take coursers to juste and to go to tornoyes, to holde open table, to hunt at hertes, at bores, and other wyld bestes1  For in doynge these thynges the Knyghtes exercyse them to armes for to mayntene thordre of Knyghthode. Thenne to mesprise and to leue the custom of the which the Knyght is most apparailled to vse his o∑ce is but despising of thordre. And thus as al these thynges afore said apperteyne to a Knyght as touching his body, in lyke wise justice, wysedom, charite, loyalte, verite, humylite, strength, hope, swiftnes and al other vertues semblable, apperteyne to a Knyght as touchyng his soule, and therfor the Knyght that vseth the thynges that apperteyne to thordre of Chyualry as touchyng his body, and hath none of these vertues that apperteyne to Chyualry touchyng his soule, is not the frende of thordre of Knyghthode2  For yf hit were thus that he maade separacion of the vertues aboue sayd, sayenge that they apperteyne not to the soule, and to thordre of Chyualrye to gyder, it shold signefye that the body & Chyualrye were 24

bothe two to gyder contrarye to the soule and to these vertues, and that is fals. HOFFYCE of a Knyght is to mayntene the londe, for by cause that the drede of the comyn people haue of the Knyghtes, they laboure and cultyue the erthe for fere ledte they shold be destroyed, and by the drede of the Knyghtes they redoubte the kynges, prynces and lordes, by whome they haue theyr power1  ut the wycked B Knyght that aydeth not his erthely lord & naturel countrey ageynst another prynce is a Knyght withoute o∏yce, & is lyke vnto faith withoute werkes and lyke vnto mysbyleue, which is ayenst the feyth. Thenne yf suche a Knyght folowe tho∏yce of Chyualrye in destournyng hym self and not to ayde his lorde, suche a Knyght & his ordre shold doo wronge to that Knyght whiche fyghtrth vnto the deth for justyce and for to mayntene & de∏ende his lorde2 her T is no o∏yce that is ofte made but that it may be de∏eated, for yf that whiche is mage myght not be de∏eated, that shold be a thyng semblable to God, which is not ne may not be de∏eated ne destroyed1 25

Thenne as tho∑ce is made & ordeyned of God, and is mayntened by them that loue thordre of Chyualry, by cause the wycked Knyght that loueth not the ordre of Chyualrye de∏eate a Knyght in hym self ; but the euyl kyng or prynce that diffeateth in hym self thordre of Chyualry, he di∏eateth it not only in hym self, but he di∏eateth it in the Knyghtes that ben put vnder hym, the whiche done that whiche apperteyneth not to a Knyght by the wycked ensample of their lord, soo that by desloyal flaterye they be loued of hym. ND by this reason the wycked prynces ben not al only contrarye to the ordre & offyce of Chyualrye to theire persones, but they ben also to them that ben submysed to them, in whome they de∏eate the ordre of Chyualrye. Thenne yf to caste a Knyght oute of Chyualrye is grete cruelte & grete wyckednesse, moche more grete de∏aulte is for to cast many oute of Chyualrye. Whan ony noble prynce or hyhe baron hath in his courte or in his companye, wycked Knyghtes, fals and traytours, that neuer fynysshe to admoneste hym that he do 26

wyckednesse, barate, traysons and extorcions to his trewe subgettis, and the good prynce by the strengthe of his noble courage, and by the grete loue and loyalte that he hath to Chyualrye surmounteth them, vanyquyssheth and destroyeth, by cause that in hymself he destroyeth not Chyualrye. OCHE grete strengthe of courage and grete noblesse hath suche a lord in hym self and gretely is he the frende of Chyualrye whan he taketh vengeaunce of suche enemyes that wold take from hym & plucke aweye the wele and honoure of Chyualrye and corrupte his noble courage2 f ChyY ualrye were not more stronge of body than in strengthe of courage, ordre of Chyualrye shold more accorde to the body than to the soule. And yf it were so, the body shold be more noble than the soule, but that is openly fals1 henne noblesse of T courage may not be vaynquysshed of man, ne surmounted, ne of alle the men that ben, whan she is in her ryght strengthe2 nd A whanne a body is lyghtly taken, and vaynquysshed of another, hit appiereth wel 27

that the courage of man is more stronge and noble than the body ND by suche manere, a Knyght that is in bataylle with his lord & for lacke of courage fleeth fro the bataylle whan nede shole be that he shold ayde. Therfor he that more redoubteth or fereth the torment or peryll of his body than of his courage, and vseth not tho∏yce of Chyualrye, ne is not seruaunt ne obeyssaunt to other honoures, but is ageynste the ordre of Chyualrye, whiche was bygonne by noblesse of courage, yf the lasse noblesse of courage shold accorde better to the ordre of Chyualrye than the gretter, vnto Chyualry shold accorde slouthe of herte and cowardyse ageynste hardynesse & strengthe of courage2 nd yf hit were thus, slouthe and A cowardyse shold be tho∏yce of a Knyght, and hardynesse and strengthe of courage shold dysordeyne the ordre of Chyualry. Thenne how be it alle the contrarye1 Therfore a noble Knyghte that loueth Chyualrye, how moche lasse he hath ayde of his felawes, and lasse of armes & lasse to de∏ende, so moche more hym behoueth 28

tenforce hym self to haue tho∏yce of a Knyght by hardynesse of a stronge courage and of noble apparence ageynste them that ben contrarye to Chyualry. ND yf he deye for to mayntene Chyualry, thenne he acquyreth Chyualrye in that in whiche he maye the better loue & serue hit ; for Chyualry abydeth not soo agreably in no place as in noblesse of courage, and no man may more honoure and loue Chyualrye, ne more for hym maye not be do than that deyeth for loue and for to honoure the ordre of Chyualrye. HYUALRYE & hardynesse may not accorde without wytte and discrescion. And yf hit were thus that foyle & ygnoraunce accorded therto, wytte and discrescion shold be contrary to the ordre of Chyualrye, and that is thynge impossible ; by whiche is openly sygnefyed to the Knyght that thow hast grete loue to the ordre of Chyualrye, that al in lyke wyse as Chyualrye by noblesse of courage hath made the to haue hardynesse, so that thow doubtest no peril 29

ne deth, by cause thow myghtest honoure Chyualry, in lyke wyse hit behoueth that thordre of Chyualry make the to loue wysedom, by whiche thow mayest loue and honoure the ordre of Chyualrye, ageynst the disordynaince and de∏aulte that is in them that wene to ensiewe and folowe the ordre of Chyualry by foyle and ygnoraunce & withoute entendement. HOFFYCE of a Kyght is to mayntene & de∏ende wymmen, wydowes & orphanes, and men dyseased and not puyssaunt ne stronge ; for lyke as customme and reason is that the grettest and moost myghty helpe the feble and lasse, & that they haue recours to the grete, ryght soo is thordre of Chyualry, by cause she is grete, honourable and myghty, be in socoure and in ayde to them that ben vnder hym, and lasse myghty and lasse honoured than he is1 henne as it is soo, that for to doo T wrong & force to wymmen, wydowes that haue nede of ayde, & orphelyns that haue nede of gouernaunce, and to robbe & destroye the feble that haue nede of strengthe, & to take awey from them that is gyuen to them, these thynges may not accorde to 30

thordre of Chyualry, for this is wyckednesse, cruelte and tyranny, & the Knyght that in stede of these vyces is full of vertues, he is dygne & worthy to haue thordre of Chyualrye2 nd al in lyke wyse as god A hath gyuen eyen to the werk man for to see to werke, ryght so he hath gyuen eyen to a synnar to thende that he bewepe his synnes ; and lyke as god hath gyuen to hym an herte to thende that he be hardy by his noblesse, so ought he to haue in his herte mercy, and that his courage be enclyned to the werkes of myserycorde & of pyte ; that is to wete, to helpe and ayde them that al wepynge requyre of the Knyghtes ayde & mercy, and that in them haue their hope. HENNE Knyghtes that haue none eyen by whiche they may see the feble & not strong, ne haue not the herte ne myght by whiche they maye recorde the nedes of the myschaunt & nedy peple ben not worthy to be in thordre of Chyualry1 f Chyualrye, whiche Y is so moche an honourable o∏yce, were to robbe and to destroye the poure peple and not myghty, and tengyne and doo wronge to good wymmen, wydowes that haue no31

thynge to de∏ende them, that o∏yce thenne were not vertuous, but it shold be vycious. HOFFYCE of a Knyght is to haue a castel and horse for to kepe the wayes & for to deffende them that labouren the londes and the erthe, and they ought to haue townes & cytees for to holde ryght to the peple, & for to assemble in a place men of many dyuerse craftes whiche ben moche necessarye to the ordenaunce of this world to kepe & mayntene the lyf of man & of woman1 henne T as the Knyghtes for to mayntene theyre o∏yces ben soo moche preysed & allowed, that they be lordes of townes, castellys & cytees, and of moche peple ; yf thenne they entende to destroye castellys, cytees and townes, brenne howses, hewe doune trees, slee beestes, and robbe in the hyhe wayes were the o∏yce of Chyualrye, hit shold be disordynaunce to Chyualrye. OR yf hit were soo, Chyualrye were not well ordeyned, for thenne good ordenaunce and his contrary shold be one thynge, & that may not be. Tho∏yce of a Knyght is 32

also to enserche for theues, robbours and other wyckked folke, for to make them to be punysshed. For in lyke wyse as the axe is made for to hewe and destroye the euylle trees, in lyke wyse is tho∏yce of a Knyght establysshyd for to punysshe the trespacers & delynquaunts. And by cause that god and Chyualry concorde to gydre, hit behoueth that fals swerynge and vntrewe othe be not in them that mayntene thordre of Chyualrye. And yf lecherye and justyce accorded to gyder, Chyualry whiche accordeth to Justyce shold accorde to lecherye. And yf Chyualrye and lecherye accorded, chastyte whiche is contrary to lechery shold be ageynst the honour of Chyualry. And yf hit were so, that for to mayntene lecherye Knyghtes were honoured in mayntenynge Chyualrye, seen that lecherye and justyce ben contrarye, and that Chyualry is ordeygned for to mayntene justyce, the Knyght oughte and shold be just, & therefore a Knyght gyuen ouer to lecherye is contrary to the Ordre of Chyualrye. Since this is so, we ought not to punysshe this vyce of lecherye in no ordre so much as in the ordre of Chyualrye, since it makes a Knyght to be so di∏erent from his ordre & 33

o∑ce and totally contrary to thende wherfor the ordre of Knyghthode was fyrst establysshed. And yf justyce and humylyte weren contrary, Chyualry whiche accordeth hym not to justyce shold be contrary to humylyte. And yf he accordeth hym to pryde he shold be contrarye to humylyte. And thenne yf a Knyght in as moche as he is prowd mayntened Chyualry, he corrupteth his ordre whiche was begonne by justyce & humylyte for to susteyne the humble ayenst the prowde. For yf hit were so, the Knyghtes that now ben, shold not ben in that ordre in whiche they were fyrste Knyghtes. UT alle the Knyghtes now injuryous and prowd, ful of wyckednesse, be not worthy to Chyualrye, but oughten to be reputed for nought. Where thenne ben humylyte and justyce, what done they ? Or wherof serue they ? And yf justyce and pees were contrary, Chyualry whiche accordeth hym to justyce shold be contrary to peas, and by that, that they loue warres, theftes, and robberte shold be Knyghtes. And to the contrarye they that pacyfye and accorde 34

the good people, and that flee the trybulacions and wyckednes of the world, shold be euylle and wycked Knyghtes. UT the hyhe emperour god, whiche al seeth and knoweth, wote wel that is contrarye and otherwyse1  the feFor lons & iniuryous ben al contrary to Chyualrye and to al honour. I demaunde the thenne, who were the fyrst Knyghtes that accorded them to justyce and pees and pacyfyed by justyce and by force and strengthe of armes ? For al in lyke wyse, in the tyme in whiche Chyualry beganne, was tho∏yce of Chyualrye to pacyfye and accorde the peple by force of armes2 he Knyghtes iniuryous T and warryours that now ben, mayntene and dysordeyne the ordre of chyualry. In many maners owe & may a Knyght vse tho∏yce of Knyghthode. But by cause we haue to speke of many thynges we pass ouer as lyghtly as we maye ; & also at the request of the ryght curtoys Esquyer, loyal, verytable, and wel enseygned in al curtoyse and honoure, whiche moche longe hath desyred the rule and ordre of Chyualrye, we haue begonne this book ; for the loue of hym, 35

for his desyre and wyll taccomplysshe we purpose bryfly to speke in this booke by cause that shortly he shal be adoubbed and made newe Knyght. 1  f thexamynynge of the Squyer that O wyl entre in to the ordre of Chyualrye or Knyghthode. O examyne a Squyer that wylle entre in to the ordre of Chyualrye apperteyneth wel, & hym behoueth an examynatour whiche ought to be a Knyght, and next after god that he loue aboue all thynges Chyualrye or Knyghthode. For some Knyghtes ther ben whiche loue better grete nombre of Knyghtes, al be they euyl and wycked, than a lytyll nombre of good. 1 nd notwithstandyng Chyualrye hath A no regard to the multytude of nombre, but loueth only them that ben ful of noblesse of courage and of good enseygnement as tofore is sayd. Therfore yf the examynoure loueth more multytude of Knyghtes than noblesse of Chyualrye he is not co36

uenable ne worthy to be an examynour, but it shold be nede that he shold be examyned and repreuyd of the wronge that he hath done to the hyhe honour of Chyualrye. YRSTE hym behoueth to demaunde of the Squyer that wyl be a Knyght, yf he loue and drede god1  For withoute to loue and to drede god noman is worthy to entre in to the ordre of Chyualrye, & drede maketh hym to fere the de∏aultes by whiche Chyualrye taketh dishonour2 henne T whan it happeth that the Squyer that nothyng dredeth god is made Knyght, he taketh thonour in receyuynge Chyualrye, and receyueth dishonour, in as moche that he receyueth it withoute to honoure and drede god of whome Chyualrye is honoured2 herfor a Squyer withoute loue and T drede of god is not dygne ne worthy to be a Knyght for to destroye and punysshe the wycked men2 henne yf a Knyght is a T robbour, wycked and traitour, and that it be trewe that theues and robbours ought to be taken and delyuerd to deth by the Knyghtes, thenne late the Knyght so entatched with wycked condycions take jus37

tyce and ryght of hym self and vse his offyce as he ought to do of other. And yf he wil not vse in hym self his o∏yce lyke as he shold vse hit in other, hit shold folowe that he shold loue better the ordre of Chyualrye in other than in hym self. But a thynge couenable ne lawfull is it not that a man slee hym self, and therfore a Knyght that is a robbour and a theef ought to be taken and delyuerd to dethe by other Knyghtes. ND euery Knyght that susteyneth & su∏reth a Knyght to be a robbour and theef, in that doyng he vseth not his o∏yce, for yf he vsed in that maner, he shold do thenne ageynst his o∏yce. Therfore the fals men & traitours ought to be destroyed whiche be not very trewe Knyghtes. F thou Knyght haue ony euyl or sore in one of thy handes, that sore or payn is more ner to thyn other hand than to me or to another man1 henne T euery Knyght, a traitour and robbour, is more ner to the that art a Knyght than to me that am no Knyght ne of 38

thyn o∏yce, as he whom thou sustenest, and is suche by thy de∏aulte. And yf that same euyl grieue the more than me, wherfore thenne excusest the of the punysshyng of suche a man whiche is contrarye & enemy of Chyualry ? And they that ben not Knyghtes thou repreuest or oughtest to reprehende of theyr de∏aultes. A Knyght beyng a theef doyh gretter thefte to the honour of Chyualrye, in as moche as he taketh awey the name of a Knyght withoute cause, than he doth that taketh awey or steleth money or other thynges. OR to stele or take awey thonour, is to gyue euyll fame & renommee, and to blame that thyng whiche is worthy to haue praysyng & honour. For honour is more worth than gold or syluer, withoute ony comparyson. Fyrst by cause it is said that it is more grete de∏aulte for to stele or take awey Chyualry than for to stele money or other thynges that ben not Chyualrye. For yf hit were the contrary, it shold folowe that money & other thynges shold be of more valewe than honour. 39

ECONDLY yf ony traytour that slewe his lord, or laye with his wyf, or bitrayed his castel were named a Knyght what name shold haue that man that for to honoure & def fende his lord dyeth in the fait of armes ? 2 hirdly, yf a Knyght beynge a traytre be T borne oute of his de∏aulte, what de∏aulte may he thenne make of whiche he be repreuyd & punysshed, syth that his lord punyssheth hym not of trayson ? And yf his lord maynteneth not thordre of Chyualry in punysshyng his Knyght traytre, in whome shalle he mayntene it ? And yf he destroye not his traitre, what thyng shal he destroye ? And eury lord that taketh not vegeaunce of his traitour, wherfore is he a lord or a man of only puyssaunce ? HOFFYCE of a trewe Knyght is to accuse a traytour and to fyght ageynst hym, & thoffyce of a Knyght traitre is to gaynsay hym of that he is appelled of, & to fyght ayenst a trewe Knyght. And these two o∏yces ben wel contrary that one ayenst that other, for soo moche euyl is the courage of a Kngyht 40

traytre that he may not vaynquysshe and surmounte the noble courage of a good Knyght, how wel that by surquedrye he weneth somtyme to ouer come in fyghtyng ; for the trewe Knyght that fyghteth for the ryght may not be surmounted. For yf a Knyght, a frende of Chyualry, were vaynquysshed that shold be pyte and ayenst the honour of Chyualrye. Yf to robbe and to take awey were tho∏yce of a Knyght, to gyue shold contrarye to the ordre of Chyualrye. And yf to gyue apperteyned to ony other o∏yce, how wel that a man shold haue, that he shold mayntene tho∏yce for to gyue. And yf to gyue the thynged stolen apperteyned to Chyualrye, to whome shold apperteyne to rendre and to reestablysshe ? ND yf a Knyght toke awey fro the good people that whiche god hath gyuen to them, and wold reteyne it as his possession, what thyng shold de∏ende to good men their ryght ? Lytil knoweth he and euyl kepeth he that commaundeth his sheep to the kepyng of the wulf, & that putteth his faire wyf in the kepynge of a yonge Knyght traytre, & that 41

his strong castel delyuere to a Knyght coueytous2 nd yf suche a man that thus foA lysshly delyuerth to kepe his thynges, how sholde he wel kepe other mennes ? Is ther no Knyght that gladly wold kepe his wyf from a Knyght traytour ? Certes I trowe yes ; also is ther no Knyght couetous and robbour that neuer fayneth hym to stele. Certainly no suche Knyghtes that ben euylle & wycked maye not be brought ageyne, ne redressid to thordre of Chyualry. OR to haue harnoys fayr and good, & to knowe hym self to take hede of his hors is thoffyce of a Knyght ; that is to saye that a Knyghte ought wel to conne doo as a good maystre, to thende that them whome he hath com mysed to doo or make ony thynge, he coude repreue of theyr dy∏aultes. And yf to haue harnoys and none hors wer tho∏yce of a Knyght, it shold seme that that whiche that is & that whiche is not were thoffyce of a Knyght1  ut to be & not to be shold br B out harnoys may not be, ne ought to benamed a Knyght. 42

HERE is a commaundement in oure lawe, that no crysten man shold be pariured. Also a fals oth ought to be repreuyd in thordre of Chyualry, and he is not, that periureth hym, worthy to be in thordre of Chyualry. Theene yf a Squyer haue a vyle courage and would be a Knyght, he wylle destroye the ordre that he demaundeth. Wherfor thenne demaundeth he thordre he loueth not, the whiche he entendeth to destyoye by his evyl nature ? And he that maketh a Knyght of vyle courage by fauour or otherwyse, forseen that he knowe that he be suche, doth ageynst his ordre and chargeth his conscyence. ECHE not noblesse of courage in the mouth, for eueryche mouth sayth not trouthe. Ne seche it not in honourable clo– thynge, for vnder many a fayr habyte hath ben ofte vyle courage, ful of barate and of wyckednesse.


E seke hit not in the hors, for he may not answere, ne seche hit not in the fayr garnementes, ne in the fayr harnoys, for within fayr garnementes is oftyme a wycked herte & coward2 henne yf thou wylt fynde noblesse T of courage, demaunde it of faythe, hope, charyte, justyce, strengthe, attemperaunce loyaulte, and of other noble vertues, for in them is noblesse of courage, by them is diffeated the hert of a noble Knyght fro wickednesse, fro trecherye, & fro the enemyes of Chyualrye1 ge couenable apA perteyneth to a newe Knyght, for yf thesquyer that be a Knyght be ouer yong, he is not worthy to be it, by cause he may not be so wyse that he hath lerned the thynges that apperteyne a Squyer for to knowe tofore that he be a Knyght, and yf he be a Knyght in his enfancy he may neuer so moche remembre that whiche he promyseth to thordre of Chyualrye whan nede shal be that he remembre it. And yf the Squyer that wyl be a Knyght be vyle to fore that he be it, he doth vylony and iniury to Chyualrye, that is mayntened by strong men 44

and fyghtars and is defouled by coward men and faynt of herte, vnmyghty, feble, ouercomen and flears. L in lyke wyse as vertue and mesure abyde in the myddel of two extremytees and theyr contrarye, that is to wete, pryde and vyce, ryght so a Knyght ought to be made Knyght, and to be nourysshed in age competent and alwey vertuous vnto thende by ryght mesure, For yf it were not thus, hit shold folowe that contraryousnes were bitwene Chyualry and mesure2 nd yf hit A were soo, vertue and Chyualrye shold be contrarye. And yf they shold be contrarye in the, a Squyer, whyche arte latchous and slowe to be a Knyght, wherfore wylt thou thenne be in the ordre of Knyghthode or Chyualrye ? Yf by beaute of facion, or by a body fayr, grete, & wel aourned, or by fayr here, by regard, or for to holde the myrrour in the hand, & by the other jolytees shold a Squyer be adoubed Knyght of vylayns and of peple of lytl lygnage, lowe & vyle mayest thou make Knyghtes1 nd yf thou maA dest them, thy lygnage thou sholdest dishonoure & mespryse, & the noblesse that 45

god hath gyuen gretter to man than to woman, thow sholdest make it lasse & brynge hit to vylete. For by the thynges tofore sayd thou myghtest chese wymmen to be Knyghtes, whiche oft haue the myrrour in the hande, by whiche thou sholdest mynuysshe and make lowe the Ordre of Chyualry : in soo moche that ony vyle woman or ony vylayne of herte myght come to be put in the ryght hyhe honoure of thordre of Chyualrye, ARAGE and Chyualrye accorden to gyder ; for parage is none thynge but honour auncyently acustomed, and Chyualrye is an ordre that hath endured syth the tyme in whiche hit was begonne vnto this present tyme. And by cause that parage and Chyualry accorde them, yf thou make a Knyght that is not of parage thou makest Chyualrye to be contrary to parage1    And by this same reason, he whome thou makest Knyght is contrary to parage and to Chyualry ; thenne thou mayest not haue soo moche power that thou make a Knyght a man of vyle courage, forseen that to the Ordre of Chyualrye thou wylt do ryght. 46

ATURE is moche honoured intrees and in beestes as touchyng to nature corporal ; but by the noblesse of the soule resonable, whiche so moche only parteth with the herte of a man bycause that nature hath gretter vertue in the body humayne than in the body bestyal1 hus in the same wyse T thordre of Chyualry is more couenable and moche more fyttynge to a gentyl herte replenysshed wyth al vertues than in a man vyle & of euyl lyf2 nd yf hit were otherA wyse hit shold ensiewe that Chyualry shold better agree to the nature of the body than to the vertue of the soule ; and that is fals ; for it better agreeth to the soule than to the body : noblesse of courage apperteyneth to Chyualry1 o examyne a Squyer T that wyll be a Knyght behoueth to demaunde & enquyre of his custommes and maners, for euylle enseygnements ben occasion by whiche the wycked Knyghtes ben put oute of the ordre of Chyualrye1  A dyscouenable thynge hit is that a Squyer beyng wycked be made a Knyght, and that he entre in to thordre, oute of whiche he must yssue by wycked fayttes and dys47

agreable custommes ; for Chyualrye casteth out of his ordre alle the enemyes to honoure, and receyueth them that haue valeur and maynteyne honeste. ND yf hit were not soo, hit shold folowe that Chyualrye myght be destroyed in vylete and myght not be repayred ne restored in to noblesse, & that is fals1 nd therfore A thou Knyght that examynest the Squyer arte bounden more strongly to enserche noblesse & valoyre in a Squyer than in ony other persone2 hou Knyght that hast T tho∏yce to examyne a Squyer that wil entre into thordre of chyualrye, thou oughtest to knowe for what entencion the squyer hath wil for to soiourne or for to be honoured, without that he do honour to Chyualrye & to them that honoure hit1 nd A yf hit appiere to the that for that cause he pretendeth to be a Knyght, knowe that he is not worthy to be maade Knyght, ne for to haue thordre.


L thus as thentencion failleth & endeth in clerkes bt symonye, by whiche they ben enhaunced to be prelates, ryght so an evyll Squyer falseth & setteth his wille and entencion whan he wylle be Knyght ayenst the Ordre of Chyualrye1 nd yf a clerk haue A symonye, in that hit is ageynst his prelacye, ryght so a Squyer that hath fals entencion to tho∏yce of Chyualry is ayenst thordre of Chyualry what someuer he doth. A Squyer that desyreth Chyualrye, hym behoueth to knowe the grete charge and the peryls that ben apparaylled to them that wylle haue Chyualrye and mayntene it1  Knyght ought more to doubte the A blame of the people & his dishonoure than he shold the perylle of dethe, and ought to gyue gretter passion to his corage than hongre ne thurste, hete ne colde, maye gyue to his body2 nd by cause alle the peryls A oughte to be shewed & told to the Squyer to fore er he be adoubed or made a Knyght.


HYUALRY may not be mayntened withoute harnoys whiche apperteyneth to a Knyght, nor without thonourable costes & dispences whiche apperteyne to Chyualrye1  y cause a Squyer beyng withB oute harnoys, and that hath no rychesse for to make his dispences, yf he be made Knyght, hym shold perauenture happe for nede to be a robbour, a theef, traitre, lyar or begylour, or haue some other vyces whiche brn contrary to Chyualry2  man A lame, or ouer grete, or ouer fatte, or that hath ony other evyl disposycion in his body, for whiche he may not vse tho∏yce of Chyualrye, is not su∏ysaunt to be a Knyght1  hit shold not be honest to For thordre of Chyualrye yf she receyued a man for to bere armes whiche were entatched, corrupt, and not myghty. For so moche noble and hyhe is Chyualry in hyr honour, that a Squyer lame of ony membre, how wel that he be noble & ryche and borne of noble lygnage, is not dygne ne worthy to be receiued in to thordre of Chyualrye. And after also ought to be enquyred and demaunded of thesquyer that de50

maundeth Chyualry, yf he euer dyd ony falsenesse or trechery whiche is ayenst thordre of Chyualry. For such a fait may he haue done, and yet but lytyl sette by hit, that he is not worthy that Chyualry shold receyue hym in to his ordre, ne that he be made felawe of them that mayntene thordre of Chyualrye. F a Squyer haue vayne glorye of that he doth, he is not worthy to be a Knyght ; for vayne glory is a vyce whiche destroyeth and bryngeth to nought the merytes & guerdons of the benefyce of Chyualry1  A Squyer, a flaterer, discordeth to thordre of Chyualrye, for a man beyng a flaterer corrupteth good entencion, by the whiche corrupcion is destroyed and corrupt the noblesse that apperteyneth to the courage of a Knyght2  Squyer prowde, euylle A taught, ful of vylaynous wordes and of vylayne courage, auarycious, a lyar, vntrewe, slouthful, a glouton, periued, or that hath ony other vyces semblable, accordeth not to Chyualry. Thenne of Chyualry myght receyue them that ben ayenst thordre, hit shold folowe that in Chyualry 51

ordynaunce and disordynaunce were one propre thyng. And whan sith Chyualrye is knowen for the ordre of valoir, therfor euery Squyer ought to be examyned to fore er he be made a Knyght. 1  what maner a Squyer ought to be reIn eyued in to thordre of Chyualrye. T the begynnynge, that a Squyer ought to entre in to thordre of Chyualry, hym behoueth that he confesse hym of his de∏aultes that he hath done ageynst god, and ought to receyve Chyualry in entencion that in the same he serue our lord god whiche is gloryous ; and yf he be clene out of synne he ought to receyue his sauyour2  to make and adoube a For Knyght it apperteyneth the day of some grete feste, as Crystemas, Ester, Whitsontyd, or on suche dayes solempne ; by cause that by the honour of the feste assemble moche peple in that place where thesquyer ought to be adoubed Knyght, and god ought to be adoured & praid that 52

he gyue to hym grace for to lyue wel after thordre of Chyualry2 hesquyer ought T to faste the vygylle of the same feste in thonour of the saint of whom the fest is made that day, and he ought to go to the chirche for to pray god ; and ought to wake the nyght and be in his prayers ; and ought to here the word of god, and touchyng the fait of Chyualry ; for yf he otherwyse here janglours & rybauldes that speke of putery & of synne, he shold begynne thenne to dishonoure Chyualrye. N the morn after the feste, in the which he hath be adoubed, hym behoueth that he do a masse to be songen solemply, & thesquyer ought to come to fore thaulter and o∏re to the preest, which holdeth the place of our lord, to thonour of whom he must oblige & submyse hym self to kepe thonour of Chyualry with al his power. In that same day ought to be made a sermon, in which shold be recounted and declared the xii artycles in which is founded tholy faith catholik, the x commandements & the vii sacraments of holy chirch, and thother thynges that apperteinen to the faith1  53

And the Squyer ought moch dylygently to take hede and reteyne al these thynges, to thende he kepe in his mynde tho∏yce of Chyualry touchynge the thynges that apperteynen to the faith2 he xii artycles T ben suche ; to bileue one god only, that is the fyrst ; & it behoueth to byleue that the Fader, the Sone, & the Holy Ghost ben one god only in thre persones, without ende and without begynnyng, whiche make vnto the fourth artycle ; to byleue that god is creatoure and maker of al thynges is the fyfth1 he syxthe is to byleue that god T is redemer, that is to say that he hath redemed or bought ageyne the humayne lygnage fro the paynes of helle, to whiche hit was juged by the synne of Adam and Eue, our fyrst fader and moder2 he vii is to T byleue that god gaf glory to them that ben in heuen. These vii artycles apperteyne to the deyte, & thother folowyng apperteynen to thumanyte that the sone of god took in our lady seynt Mary. HE first of the vii artycles folowyng to thumanyte, is to byleue that Jhesu cryst was conceyued of the holy ghost whan saynt gabriel tharchau– ngel salewed our lady1 he T 54

second and thyrd is to bileue that he hath be crucyfyed & dede for to saue vs2 he T fourth is to byleue that his soule deualed in to helle for to delyuere his frendes, that is to wete Adam, Abraham and other prophetes whiche byleued his holy comyng2  The v is to byleue that he reysed fro deth to lyf1 he vi is to byleue that he styed T vp in to heuen the day of ascencion2 he T vii is to byleue that Jhesu cryst shal come at the day of jugement whan al shal aryse and shal juge the good and euyl, and shal gyue to eueryche payne & glory, after that he hath deseruyd in this transytory world 1  behoueth to al good crysten men to It byleue these artycles whiche ben very wytnesse of god and of his werkes, for without these artycles no man may be saued, HE comaundements of god whiche he gaf to Moyses vpon the mount of Synay ben x1 he fyrst is that thou T shalt adoure, loue, and shalt serue alonly one god ; ne thou shalt not be pariured ; halowe & sanctyfye the sonday ; honoure thy fader and moder ; ne be thou none homycyde ne murderer ; do ne thefte ne fornicacion, ne bere thou no 55

false wytnesse ; ne coueyte the wyf of thy neyghbour, ne haue thou none enuye of the goodes of thy neyghbour1 o alle KnyT ghtes it behoueth to knowe the x commaundements that god hath gyuen2 he T sacraments of holy chich ben vii, that is to wete, baptysme, confyrmacion, the sacrament of thaulter, ordre, maryage, penaunce, and vnction. Y these vii sacraments we hope al to be saued. And a Knyght is bounden by his othe to hon– oure and accomplysshe these seuen sacraments ; & therfor it apperteyneth to euery Knyght that he knowe wel his o∏yce, and the thynges to whiche he is bounden syth that he hath receyued thordre of Knyghthode. 1 nd alle these thynges to fore said & of A other that apperteyne to Chyualry, the pre– chour ought to make mencion that precheth in the presence of the Squyer ; whiche ought to pray moche deuoutely that god gyue to hym his grace and his blessyng by whiche he may be a good Knyght al the dayes of his lyf fro thenne forthon. 56

HAN the prechour hath sayd al thys that apperteyneth to his office, thenne must the prynce or baron that wyl make the Squyer & adoube hym a Knyght haue in hym self the vertue & ordre of Chyualry ; for yf the Knyght that maketh Knyghtes is not vertuous, how maye he gyue that whiche he hath not ? Suche a Knyght is of werse condycion than be the plantes, for the plantes haue power to gyue their natures the one to the other, and of beestes and of fowles is also a thyng semblable and lyke. But this may not the Knyght do : suche a Knyght is euyl and false that disordynatly wyl multyplye his ordre, for he doth wrong and vylonye to Chyualry, for he wil do that the whiche is not couenable thyng to do, and that by whiche he ought to honoure Chyualry he dy∏eateth and blameth2 henne yf by T de∏aulte of suche a Knyght it happe somtyme that the Squyer that receyueth of hym Chyualry is not so moche ayded ne mayntened of grace of our lord, ne of vertue, ne of Chyualry, as he shold be yf he were made of a good and loyal Knyght : and therfor suche a Squyer is a foole and 57

al other semblably that of suche a Knyght receyueth thordre of Chyualry. HE Squyer ought to knele to fore thaulter and lyfte vp to god his eyen corporal & spyritual, & his hondes to heuen. And the Knyght ought to gyrde hym, in sygne of Chastite, Justyce & of Charyte, with his swerd 2 he Knyght ought to kysse the Squyer T and to gyue hym a palme, by cause that ne remembryng of that whiche he receyueth and promytteth, and of the grete charge in whiche he is obliged and bounden, & of the grete honoure that he recyueth by thordre of Chyualry1 nd after, whan the A Knyght espyrytuel, that is the preest, and the Knyght tereyen haue done that apperteyneth to theyr o∏yce, as touchyng to the makyng of a newe Knyght, the newe Knyght ought to ryde thurgh the toune and to shewe hym to the peple, to thende that al men knowe and see that he is newely made Knyght, and that he is bounden to mayntene & de∏ende the hyhe honour of Chyualry. 58

OR so moche shal he haue more gretter refraynynge to do euyl ; for by his shame that he shall haue of the peple that shal knowe his chyualry, he shal withdrawe hym so moche the more for to mespryse ayenst thordre of Chyualry1 t that same day A hym behoueth to make a grete fests, and to gyue fair yefts & grete dyners ; to jouste and sporte and doo other thynges that apperteyne to thordre of Chyualry, and to gyue to kynges of armes and to herowdes as it is acustomed of auncyente. ND the lord that maketh a newe Knyght ought to yeue to the newe Knyght also a present or yefte2 nd also A the newe Knyght ought to yeue to hym and to other that same day, for who so receyueth sa grete a yefte as is thordre of Chyualry honoureth not his ordre yf he gyue not after the power that he may gyue1 ll these thynges A and many other, the whiche I wylle not now recounte by cause of shortnesse of tyme, apperteyne to Chyualry, 59

1  f the sygnefyaunce of the armes of a O Knyght. HENNE that whiche the preest revesteth hym whan he syngeth the mas– se hath somme syg– nefyaunce whiche concordeth to his o∏yce. And the offyce of preesthode & of Chyualry haue grete concordaunce. Therfor thordre of Chyualry requyreth that al that whiche is nedeful to a Knyght as touchnge the vse of his o∏yce haue somme sygnefyaunce, by the whiche is sygnefyed the noblesse of Chyualrye and of his ordre. NTO a Knyght is gyuen a swerd whiche is made in sem– blaunce of the crosse for to sygnefye hou our lord god vanquysshed in the crosse the dethe of humayne lygnage, to the whiche he was juged for the synne of our fyrste fader Adam. Al in lyke wyse a Knyght oweth to vanquysshe & destroye the enemyes of the crosse by the swerd. 60

OR Chyualrye is to mayntene justyce, and therfore is the swerd made cuttynge on bothe sydes, to sygnefye that the Knyght ought with the swerd mayntene Chyualrye and Justyce2 o a Knyght is gyuT en a spere for to sygnefye trouthe, for trouthe is a thynge ryght and rurn, & that trouthe oughte to go to fore falsenesse, and the yron or hede of the spere sygnefyeth strengthe ehiche trouthe ought to haue aboue falsenesse1 nd the penone A sygnefyeth that trouble sheweth to alle feythe, and hath no frede ne fere of falsenesse ne of trecherye. And verytr is susteynynge of hope & also of other thynges, whiche ben sygnefyed by the spere of the Knyght. The hatte of steel or yron is gyuen to the Knyght to sygnefye shamefastnes, for a Knyght withoute shamefastnesse maye not be obeyssaunt to thordre of Chyualrye1 nd al thus as shameA fastnes maketh a man to be ashamed and causeth to caste doune his eyen ayenst the erthe, in lyke wyse the hatte of yron deffendeth a man to loke vpward on hyhe, and maketh hym to loke toward the ground, 61

and is the moyen bytwene thynges hyhe and lowe, for it coueryth the hede of a man which is the most hye & pryncipal membre that is in the body of a man. LSO shamefastnes de∏endeth the Knyght, whiche hath the most noble o∏yce and most hyhe that is next tho∏yce of a clerk, that he enclyne ne bowe hym not to vylaynous faytes and horryble, and that the noblesse of his courage abandoune hym, ne gyue hym to barate, wickednesse, ne to ony euyll enseygnement2 he hauberke T sygnefyeth a castel and fortresse ageynst vyces and de∏aultes, for al in lyke wyse as a castel and fortresse ben closed al aboute, in lyke wyse an hauberke is ferme and cloos on al partes, to thende that hit gyue sygnefyaunce to a noble Knyght that he in his courage ought not to entre in to treason ne none other vyce. HAUCES of yron or legge harnoys ben gyuen to a Knyght for to kepe and holde surely his legges and feet from perylle, to sygnefye that a Knyght with yron 62

ought to holde hym vpon the wayes, that is to vnderstonde with the swerd, spere & mace, and other garnementes of yron for to take the malefactours, & to punysshe them2 he spores ben gyuen to a Knyght T to sygnefye dylygence & swyftnesse, bycause that with these two thynges every Knyght may mayntene his ordre in the hyhe honour that bylongeth to it. OR in lyke wyse as with the spores he prycketh his hors by cause to haste hym to renne, ryght so doth dylygence haste hym to doo his thynges, & maketh hym to procure the harnoys & the dyspences that ben nedeful to a Knyght, to the ende that a man be not surprysed ne taken sodenly1 he gorget is gyuen to a Knyght to T sygnefye obedyence, for every Knyght that is not obeyssaunt to his lord ne to the ordre of Chyualrye dishonoured his lord, and yssueth oute of his ordre. ND ryght soo as the gorgette enuyronneth or goth aboute the neck of a Knyght by cause it shold be de∏ended fro strokes and woundes, in lyke wyse maketh obedy63

ence a Knyght to be withynne the commaundements of his souerayne & within thordre of Chyualry, to thende that treason, pryde, ne none other vyce corrupte not the othe that the Knyght hath made to his lord and to Chyualrye. HE mace is gyuen to the Knyght to sygnefye strength of courage ; for lyke as a mace or pollax is strong ageynst al armes & smyteth on al partes, ryght so, force or strengthe of courage de∏endeth a Knyght fro al vyces and enforceth vertues and good custommes, by the which Knyghtes mayntene thordre of Chyualrye in the hyhe honour which is due and apperteyneth to it. YSERICORDE, or knyf with a crosse, is gyuen to a Knyght to thende that yf his other armures faylle hym that he haue recours to the myserycorde or daggar. Or yf he be so nyhe his enemy that he may not greue ne smyte hym with his spere or with his swerde, that thenne he joyne to hym & surmounte hym, yf he maye, by the force or strength of his myserycorde or knyf. And 64

bicause this armure whiche is named myserycorde sheweth to a Knyght that he ought not to trust al in his armes ne in his strength, but he ought so moche a∏ye and trust in god and to joyne to hym by ryght good werkes and by very hope that he ought to haue in hym, that by the helpe and ayde of god he vaynquysshe his enemyes & them whiche ben contrary to thordre of Chyualry. HE shelde is gyuen to the Knyght to sygnefye the offyce of a Knyght, for in lyke wyse as the Knyght putteth his sheld bytwene hym and his enemy, ryght soo the Kn– yght is the moyen bytwene the prynce and the peple. And lyke as the stroke falleth vp– on the shelde and saueth the Knyght, ryght so the Knyght ought to apparaylle hym & presente his body to fore his lord whan he is in peryl, hurte or taken. AUNTELOTS ben gyuen to a Knyght to thende that he putte his hondes therin for to be sure and to receyue the strokes yf it were so that his other armures manyable fayl– 65

led to hym. And thus as the Knyght with his gauntelots handleth more surely the spere or his swerd, and that to the sygnefyaunce of the guantelots he lyfye vp on hyhe his hond, ryght soo ought he to lyfte them vp in thankyng god of the vyctory that he hath had. Y the guantelots is also sygnefyed that he ought not to lyfte vp his hond in makyng a false othe, ne handle none euylle ne foule touchynges ne dishonest with his hondes 2 he sadyl in whiche the Knyght sytteth T whan he rydeth, sygnefyeth surete of courage, the charge and the grete burthen of Chyualry1  lyke as by the sadyl a For Knyght is sure vpon his hors, ryght so surete of courage maketh a Knyght to be in the fronte of the batayll, by the whiche surete, aduenture, frende of Chivalry, aydeth hym 1  And by surete ben mesprysed many cowardes, vauntours, & many vayne semblaunces, whiche make men cowardys for to seme hardy and strong of courage. And by that ben many men refreyned in suche manere that they dare not passe to for in that place where noble courage and 66

stronge oughte to be, and passe aboue the cours of a valyaunt Knyght and hardy. And by the sadel is sygnefyed the charge of a Knyght, for the sadel, lyke as we haue said, hodeth the Knyght ferme and sure vpon his hors, so that he may not falle ne moeue lyghtly but yf he wyll1 nd therfore the A sadel, whiche is so grete, sygnefyeth the charge of Chyualry, that the Knyghte ought not in no wyse to moeue for lyghte thynges. And yf it behoueth hym to moeue he ought to haue grete courage, noble and hardy ageynst his enemye for tenhaunce thordre of Chyualrye. O a Knyght is gyuen an horse, and also a coursour for to sygnefye noblesse of courage1 nd by cause that he A be wel horsed and hyhe, is by cause he may be sene fro ferre, & that is the sygnefyaunce he oughte to be made redy to doo al that whiche behoueth to thordre of chyualrye more than another man2 o an horse is gyuen a bryT del, and the raynes of the brydel ben gyuen in the hondes of the Knyght, by cause that the Knyght may at his wylle holde his hors and refrayne him1 nd thys sygnefyeth A 67

that a Knyghte oughte to refrayne his tongue and holde that he speke no fowle wordes ne false ; and also hit sygnefyeth that he ought to refrayne his hondes, that he gyue not soo moche that he be su∏ratous and nedy, ans that he begge ne demaunde nought, ne he ought not be so hardy but that in his hardynesse he haue reason and attemperaunce. ND by the reynes is sygnefyed to the Knyght that he oughte to be ladde oueral where thordre of Chyualry wylle lede hym or sende hym1  And whan it shal be tyme of necessite to make largesse, his hondes must gyue and dispende after that it apperteyneth to his honour. And that he be hardy and doubte nothyng his enemyes, for doubtaunce a∏eblysshyth strengthe of courage1 nd yf a Knyght doo contrary A to doo alle these thynges, hid horse kepeth better the rule of Chyualry than he doth. 2 o his hors is gyuen in his hede a tesT tiere to sygnefye that a Knyght ought to do none armes without reason, for lyke as the hede of an hors goth to fore the Knyght, ryght soo ought reason goo to 68

fore all that a Knyght doth, for al werkes without reason ben vyces in hym. And al in lyke wyse as the testier kepeth and deffendeth the hede of the hors, ryght so reason kepeth and de∏endeth a Knyght fro blame and fro shame. ARNEMENTS of the hors ben for to kepe & de∏ende the hors, and they sygnefye that a Knyght ought to kepe his goodes and his rychesses by cause that they myght suftyse to hym for thoffice of Chyualry to mayntene1  lyke as the hors is defFor fended of the strokes or hurtes by hys garnements, and withoute them he is in peryl of deth, in lyke wyse a Knyght with oute goodes temporel may not mayntene thonour of Chyualrye, ne may not be deffended fro euylle peryls : for pouerte causeth a man to thynke barates, falsetees & traysons, & to this purpos saith the scrip– ture. Propter inopiam multi delinquerunt, for pouerte many haue maade falshede.


COTE is gyuen to a Knyght in sygnefyaunce of the grete trauaylles that a Knyght must su∏re for to honoure Chyualrye ; for lyke as the cote is aboue the other garnementes of yron, and is in the rayne, and receyueth the strokes to fore the hawberke and the other armures, ryght so is a Kny– ght chosen to susteyne gretter trauailles than another man2 nd alle the men that A ben vnder the noblesse of hym, and is his garde, ought whan they haue nede to haue recours to hym. And the Knyght ought to de∏ende them after his power, & the Knyghtes ought rather to be taken, hurte or dede, than the men that ben in their garde. HENNE as it is so ryght grete & large, Chyualrye, therfore ben the prynces and barons in so grete trauaylles for to kepe theyr londes and their peple. A token or esseygnal of armes is gyuen to a knyghte in his shelde and in hys cote, by cause that he be knowen in the bataylle, and that he be allowed yf he be hardy, and yf he do grete and fayr feates of armes. And yf he be coward, faulty, or 70

recreaunt, the enseygnal is gyuen to hym by cause that he be blamed, vytupered and repreuyd. Thesseygnal is also gyuen to a Knyght to thende that he be knowen yf he be a frende or enemy of Chyualrye. HERFOR euery Knyght ought to honoure his esseygnal, that he be kepte fro blame, the whiche blame caseth the Knyght & putteth hym oute of Chyualry2 he baner is T gyuen to a kyng, a prynce, baron, and to a Knyght banerete, whiche hath vnder hym many Knyghtes, to sygnefye that a Knyght ought to mayntene thonour of his lord & of his londe. For a Knyght is loued, preysed and honoured of the folke of worship of the Royamme of his lord, & yf they doo dishonour of the londe wherin they be and of their lord, suche Knyghtes ben more blamed & shamed than other men ; for lyke as for honoure they ought to be more preysed by cause that in them ought to be the honoure of a prynce, & of the Knyght, and of the lord, in lyke wyse, in their dishonour they ought to be more blamed, and by cause that for their latchesse, falshede, or treason, ben kynges & prynces more disheryted than by ony other men. 71

1  f the custommes that apperteynen O to a Knyght. HE noblesse of cou– rage hath chosen a Knyght to be aboue al other men that ben vnder hym in seruytude. Thenne noblesse of custommes & good nourysshements apper teynen to a Knyght ; for noblesse of courage may not mounte in the hyhe honour of chyualry without election of vertues and good custommes. 2 henne as it is so, it behoueth of force T to a Knyghte that he be replenysshed of good custommes and of good enseygnements. Euery Knyght ought to knowe the seuen vertues whiche ben begynnynge and rote of al good custommes, & ben the way and path of the celestyal glory perdurable. F whiche seuen vertues the thre ben theologale or deuyne, and the other four ben cardynal1  he theologal T ben fayth, hope, & charyte. 2 he cardynal ben justyce, T 72

prudence, strengthe and attemperaunce. A Knyght withoute fayth may not haue in hym good custommes, for by fayth a man seeth spyrytuelly god and his werkes, and byleueth thynges inuysyble, and by feyth hath a man hope, charyte & loyaulte, and is seruaunt of veryte & trouthe. And by deffaulte of feyth a man byleueth not god to be a man, his werkes & the thynges whiche ben inuysyble, the whiche a man without faith may not vnderstand ne knowe. Knyghtes ben acustommed by the feyth that they haue gone in to the londe ouer the see in pylgremage, & there proue theyr strength and Chyualry ageynst the enemyes of the crosse, and ben martird yf they deye, for they fyghte for tenhaunce the holy feyth catholyk2 nd also by feyth ben A the clerkes de∏ended by the Knyghtes fro wycked men whiche by de∏aulte mespryse, robbe, & disheryte them as moche as they may. OPE is a vertue whiche moche strongly apperteyneth to thof– fyce of a Knyght. For by hope that he hath in god, he entend– rth to haue vyctory of the batayll by reason of tha∏yaunce 73

whiche he hath gretter in god than in his body ne in his armes, cometh to the aboue of his enemyes. By hope is enforced the courage of the Knyght & vaynquysshyth the latchednesse and cowardyse1 ope H maketh knyghtes to susteyne and suffre tauailles, & for to be auenturous in peryls in whiche they putte them self ofte2 lA so hope maketh them to su∏re hongre and thurst, in castels, cytees and fortresses, to the garde of whom they ben assygned, and de∏ende them and the castel valyauntly as moche as they may. OR yf ther were none hope a Knyght myght not vse his o∏yce1 nd also hope is A pryncipal instrument to vse tho∏yce of a Knyght, lyke as the honde of a carpenter is pryncipal instrument of carpentrye. A Knyght withoute charyte maye not be without cruelte and euylle wylle, and cruelte and euyll wylle accorde not to the o∏yce of Chyualrye, by cause that charyte behoueth to be in a Knyght ; for yf a Knyght haue not charyte in god and in his neyghbour, how or in what wyse shold he loue god ? And yf he had not pyte on poure men, not myghty, & 74

dyseased, how shold he haue mercy on the men taken and vaynquysshed, that demaunde mercy as not of power to escape, and maye not fynde the fynaunce that is of them demaunded for theyr delyueraunce ? And yf in a Knyght were not charyte, how myght he be in thordre of Chyualry ? HARITE is a vertue aboue other vertues for she depart– eth euery vyce2 harite is a C loue of the which euery Knyght ought to haue as moche as nede is to mayntene his of– fyce, & charite also maketh a man to bere ly– ghtly the peisant burthens of Chyualry ; for al in lyke wyse as an hors withoute feete may not bere the Knyght, ryght soo a Knyght maye not withoute charyte susteyne the grete charge and burthen of his ordre. And by charyte maye Chyualrye ben honoured and enhaunced. F a man withoute body were a man, thenne were a man a thyng inuysyble, and yf he were inuysyble he were not a man, ne that whiche he is, & al in lyke wyse, yf a man with– out justyce were a Knyght, hym behoueth 75

by force that justyce were not in that in which she is, or that Chyualry were a thyng dyuerse fro the same Chyualrye whiche now is1 nd how be it that a Knyght haue A the begynnyng of justyce & be iniuryous, & weneth to be in thordre of Chyualrye, that apperteyneth not, for Chyualrye and justyce accorden so strongly, that withoute justyce Chyualrye may not be2  an inFor iuryous Knyght is enemy of justyce and dy∏eateth & casteth hym self out of Chy– ualrye and of his noble ordre, and renyeth hit & despyseth2 he vertu of prudence T is she by the whiche a man hath knowlege of good and euyl, and by the whiche a man hath grace to be frend of the good, & enemy to the euyl. For prudence is a scyence by the whiche a man hath knowleche of the thynges that ben to come by the thynges presente ; & prudence is whan by ony cautels and maystryes a man can eschewe the dommages bodyly and ghostly2 nd as A the Knyghtes ben ordeyned for to put awey & destroye the euyll, for no men put theyr bodyes in so many peryls as done the Knyghts. 76

HAT thyng is thenne to a Knyght more necessary than the verue of prudence ? To the custommaunce of a Knyght is apperteynaunt to arme hym and to fyghte. But that accordeth not so moche to the o∏yce of a Knyght as doth vsaunce of reason and of entendement & ordeyned wylle ; for many bataylles ben many tymes vaynquysshed more by maystrye, by wytte and industrye than by multytude of people, of hors, ne of good armours. And to thys purpos sayd the valyaunt Knyght Judas machabeus to his people whan he sawe his enemyes, whiche were in nombre syxe tymes more than were the hys, and cam for to fyghte. 1  my bretheren, sayd he, be ye nothyng O in doubte but that god wyl helpe vs at this tyme, for I saye yow wel that vyctorye lyeth not in grete multitude, for therin is grete confusyon. ND by the wytte and good prudence of the sayd Judas machabeus was the batayl of his enemyes vaynquysshed, & he obteyned gloryous vyctorye. Thenne as it is soo, yf 77

thou Knyght wilt acustomme thy sone to tho∏yce of a Knyght for to mayntene Chyualrye and his noble Ordre, make hym fyrst to acustomme and vse reason and entendement, and make hym that with all his power he be frend to good and enemye to euyl. For by suche vsages prudence and Chyualry assemble them to honoure thordre of Chyualrye. Strength is a vertu whiche remayneth and dwelleth in noble courage ageynst the seuen dedly synnes by whiche men goo to helle to su∏re and susteyne greuous torments without ende ; the whiche synnes ben gloutonnye, lecherye, auaryce, pryde, slouthe, enuye & yre. 1 henne a Knyght that foloweth suche T way, goth not in to the hows of noblesse of herte, ne maketh not there his abydyng ne his habitacion 2  loutonye engendreth G feblesse of body, by ouer oultragyous drynkyng gloutonye chargeth alle the body with metes, and engendreth slouthe and lachenes of body which greueth the soule.


HENNE all the vyces ben con– trary to Chyualry, therfor the strong courage of a noble Kn– yght fyghteth with the ayde of abstynence, prudence, and attemperaunce that he hath, ageynst gloutonye ; lecherye and chastyte fyghten that one ageynste that other1  And the armes with whiche lecherye warreth chastyte ben yongthe, beaulte, moche drynke & moche mete, queynt vestures & galaunt, falshede, treason, iniurye & despysyng of god & of his glorye2 nd for A to doubte the paynes of helle whiche ben in– fynyte, & the other thynges semblable to that, chastyte & strengthe warren & fyghten ageynst lecherye, & surmounte hit by remembraunce of his commaundementys. 1 nd for to remembre and wel to vnderA stonde the goodes and glory that god gyu– eth to them that loue, serue and honoure hym, & the euyll & the payne whiche is apparaylled to them that despyse and byleue not in hym. And by wel to loue god he is worthy to be loued, serued & honoured, & by that chastyte warreth & vaynquyssheth lecherye with noblesse of courage, who that wylle not submytte to euylle ne to fo79

ule thoughtes, ne wylle not be aualed ne defouled from his hyhe honour, and as a Knyght is named Chyualer by cause that he oweth to fyghte and warre ageynst vyces, and ought to vanquysshe and surmounte by force of noble & good courage yf he be not suche one that he be without strength, ne hath not the herte of a Knyght, nor hath not the armes with whiche he ought to fyghte, thenne is he none. UARYCE is a vyce whiche maketh noble courage to descende & auale & to be submysed to vyle & fowle thynges. 2 henne by the de∏aulte of T strengthe & of good courage whiche de∏ende them not ageynst auaryce, ben many submysed & vaynquysshed, & the courage of a Knyght also that wyll be strong & noble is vaynquysshed, & by that ben the Knyghtes couetous & auarycious ; & by theyr couetyses done mant wronges and wyckednesse, & ben serf and bonde to the goodes that god hath gyuen, to whome thay ben abandonned and submytted.


TRENGTH hath suche a cu– stomme, that no tyme he ayd– eth his enemy, ne neuer shall helpe a man yf he demaunde hym not secours & ayde. For so moche is noble and hyhe a thynge, strengthe of courage in hym self, & soo moche grete honour is due to it, that at nede of trauyles and peryls it ought to be called, and ayde ought to be demaunded of it1 henne whan the Knyght is by avaT ryce tempted to enclyne his courage therto, whiche is moder & rote of all euyls and of treson, thenne ought he to haue his recours and renne to strength, in the which he shal neuer fynde cowardyse ne latchednesse, ne feblenesse, ne de∏aulte of socours, ne of ayde2  with strength a noble hert may For vaynquysshe al vyces. Thenne thou Knyght couetous, wherfor hast thou not strong courage & noble, lyke as was the noble cou– rage of the puyssaunt kynge Alysander, whiche in desprysyng auarice and couetyse had alwey the handes stratched forthe for to gyue vnto his Knyghts so moche, that by the renomme of his largesse they that were souldyours with the Kyng auarycious, whiche made warre ageynst hym, tour– 81

ned & came toward the seyd Alexander, and confused his enemy coueytous whiche to fore was theyr mayster ? ND therfore thou oughtest for to thynke to the ende that thou be not submytted to vylaynous werkes and to foule thoughtes by auaryce, the whiche accordeth not ne apperteyneth not to Chyualry. For yf she apperteyned to hit, who shold denye thenne that lechery were not apperteynynge to a Knyght. LOUTHE is a vyce by the whiche a man is louer of wyckednesse and of euylle and to hate goodnesse2 nd by this vyce   A may be knowen and sene in men sygnes of dampnacion better than by ony other vyce, & by the contrarye, of strengthe may be better knowen in a man the signe of sauacion than by ony other ver– tue1 nd therfore who that wyl ouerA come & surmounte accydye, him behoueth that in his herte he haue strengthe, by the whiche he vaynquysshe the nature of the body, whiche by the synne of Adam is enclyned & apparaylled to doo euyll2  man A 82

that hath accydye or slouthe hath sorowe & angre the whyle that he knoweth that an other man doth wel. And whan a man do the harme to hym self, he that hath accydye or slouthe is heuy and sorowful that, that he hath not more and gretter1 nd therA fore suche a man hath sorow both of good and of euylle of other men. For yre & dysplaysyre gyuen passion and payn to the body & to the sowle ; therfor thou Knyght which wylt vaynquysshe and surmounte that same vyce oughtest to praye strengthe that she wylle enforce thy courage ageynst accydye, in remembryng that yf god do good to ony man, therfor foloweth it not that he ought also wel to do to the ; for he gyueth not to hym al that he hath ne that he may gyue, ne in that so gyuyng he taketh awey nothyng fro the. And therfor oure god hath gyuen to vs an ensample in the gospel of them that laboured in the vyneyerd, whan he repryued them that hadde wrought fro the mornyng vnto the euen, of that they murmured by cause that the lord of the vyneyerd gaf as moche sallary & wages to them that were come at euensong tyme as to them that had laboured alle the daye, and sayd to them that he dyd them no wro83

nge, and that of his owne good he myght doo his wylle. RYDE is a vyce of inequalyte, or to be inegal to other and not lyke ; for a proud man wylle haue no pere ne egall to hym, but loueth better to be allone, not lyke ony other. And therfore humylyte and strengthe ben two vertues that loue egalte1 nd in that they A be ageynst pryde, yf thou prowde Knyght wylt vaynquysshe thy pryde, assemble within thy courage humylyte and strengthe, for humylyte without strengthe is no thyng, ne it maye not holde ageynst pryde, and pryde maye not be vaynquysshed but by that. HAN thou shalt be armed and mounted vpon thy grete hors, thou shalt be parauenter proud, but yf strengthe of humylyte make the to remembre the reson and thentencion wherfor thou arte Knyght, thou shalt neuer be proud, & yf thou be proud thou shalt neuer have strendthe in thy courage by whiche thou mayst cast out proud thoughtes. 84

UT yf thou be beten doune of thy horse in batayll, taken and vaynquysshed, thou shalt not be thenne so moche proud as thou were to fore, for strengthe of body hath vaynquysshyd and surmounted the pryde of thy courage. Thenne yf strengthe of body maye vaynquysshe and surmounte the pryde of thy courage, how be hit that noblesse is not a thynge corporal, strengthe & humylyte whiche ben thynges spyrytual, ought moche better to caste oute pryde of noble courage. NUYE is a vyce disagreable to justyce, to charyte & to largesse, whiche apperteynen to thordre of Chyualry. Thenne whan ony Knyght hath a slouthful herte and fayllynge of courage, and may not susteyne ne ensiewe thordre of Chyualrye for de∏aulte of strength, whiche is not in his courage, ne hath not in hym self the vertues of justyce, charyte ne of largesse, suche fayte is force, vyolence, dishonour, & iniurye to Chyualrye. And by that is many a Knyght enuyous of others wele, & is slowe to gete the goodes 85

aboue seyd by strengthe of armes, & is ful of euylle courage, enclyned and redy to take awey other mens thynges that be not his, and of whiche he was neuer in possession ; and by that hym behoueth to thynke how he myght make barates and falshede for to gete rychesses, of whiche somtyme the ordre of Chyualrye is dishonoured. RE is in courage troublement & remembraunce of wycked wil, & by this trouble and remembraunce it torneth hym in to forgetynge or oublyaunce, thendendemente in to ygnoraunce, & wylle in to not retchynge. And as to remembre, to understonde, & to wylle, ben ofte enlumynyng, by whiche a Knyght may folowe the way and the rule of Chyualry, who wylle thenne caste oute of his courage that whiche is trouble of vnderstondyng1 nd of his spyryte hym A behoueth to recouere strength of courage, charite, attemperaunce, and pacyence, whiche haue domynacion vpon the refraynyng of yre, and they be reste and allegeaunce of the trauaylles and passions that yre gyueth. 86

F so moche that yre is grete, of so moche hit behoueth that he haue strengthe of courage that wylle surmounte and joyne with hym benyuolence, abstynence, charyte, pacyence & humylyte, & thus shalle be yre surmounted & eulle wylle, yre and inpacyence and other vyces appetyced and lassed2 nd whan the vyces ben A mynuysshed, & the vertues gretter as ben justyce and wysedom : and by the gretenesse of justyce & of wysedom is thordre of Chyualrye the gretter. We haue sayd here to fore the manere after the whiche strengthe ought to be in the courage of a Knyght ageynst the seuen dedely synnes, and we shalle say herafter of the vertu of attemperaunce. TTEMPERAUNCE is a vertu the whiche dwelleth in the myddle of two vyces ; of whome the one is synne by ouer grete quantite, and that other is synne by ouer lytyl quantyte2 nd therfore bytwene ouer A moche and ouer lytyl muste be attemperaunce in so resonable quantite that it be 87

vertue. For yf there were noo vertu bytwene the ouer grete and ouer lytyl, there shold be no moyen, & that may not be1  KnA yght acustommed of good custommes and wel enseygned, ought to be attempryd in hardynesse in etynge, in drynkynge, in semblable to the same. ITHOUT attemperaunce a Knyght maye not mayntene thordre of Chyualrye, ne he may not be in place where ver– tue dwelleth. The custome & vsage of a Knyght ought to be to here masse and sermon, to adoure & pray to god, and the same to loue & drede. For by that acustommaunce a Knyght may remembre the deth & fylthe of this world and demaunde of god the celestyal glory, and drede and doubte the paynes of helle ; and by that he maye acustomme hym to vse vertues and other thynges that apperteyne to mayntene thorder of Chyualrye. UT a Knyght that to this doth the contrarye and byleueth in deuynaylles, and in fleyng of byrdes, doth ageynst god, & hath gretter fayth and hope in the wynde of his hede, and in 88

the werkes that the byrdes done and the deuynours, than in god and in his werkes ; and therfore suche a Knyght is not agreable to ne maynteneth not thordre of chyualrye. HE carpenter, ne the tayllour, ne the other crafty men haue not power to vse theyr offyce withoute the art & the manere that apperteynen to theyr offyces, and as god hath gyuen discrescion and reason to a Knyght by whiche he can vse his o∏yce ; and yf he can lyue in mayntenynge the rule of Chyualrye, yf he thenne soo do not, he doth wrong & iniurye to discrescion and to reason. For a Knyght that leueth his discrescion, & that whiche reason and entendement sygnyfye and shewe, and he folowe and byleue the deuynaylles of them that bythe flyght of byrdes deuynen, and sayen that the byrd that fleeth on the ryght syde sygnefyeth contrary to the lyfte syde, & to suche thynges thynketh and gyueth a∏yaunce : suche a Knyght casteth awey the noblesse of his courage, and is all lyke to a foole that vseth no wytte ne reason, but doth at al auenture al that he doth. And therfore suche a Kny89

ght is ageynst god, and after ryght and reason he ought to be vaynquysshed and surmounted of his enemye whiche vseth reason and discrescion ageynst hym, and hath hope in god. ND yf hit were not thus, it sh– old folowe that the deuynours by the flyghte of byrdes and other thynges withoute reason and Ordre of Chyualry, hath among them gretter concordaunce than god, reason, discrescion, hope, feythe & noble courage, and that is openly fals. NYGHTES that adiouste fe– yth to deuynours, that say that it is euylle happe to see a woman discouerd in the mornyng, and that he maye not make ne doo a good faytte of armes that daye that he seeth the hede of his wyf or any other bare and discouerd by the false byleue that he hath2 lso lyke as A a juge vseth his offyce whan he jugeth after custome, ryght soo a Knyght vseth his offyce whan he vseth reason & discrescion, whiche ben the customme of Chyualrye. And also lyke as the juge that shold gyue 90

sentence after witnesse, & thenne gyueth false jugement by the flyght of byrdes, or by barkyng of dogges, or by suche other thynges lyke to the same, ryght so a Knyghte doth ageynst his o∏yce yf he doo not that whiche reason & discrescion shewe to hym & wytnessen, but byleueth that whiche that the byrdes done by theyr necessytees, and by cause they go fleyng by the ayer at auenture. Thenne as it is soo, by that ought to ensiewe reason & discrescion, & doo after the sygnefyaunce that hys armures representen, lyke to that whiche we haue said to fore. And of the thynges that happen by aduenture he ought not to make necessite ne customme. O a Knyght apperteyneth that he be louer of the comyn wele, for by the comynalte of the people was the Chyualrye founden and establyssshed. And the comyn wele is gretter and more necessary than propre good and specyall. To a Knyght apperteyneth to speke nobly and curtoisly and to haue fayr harnoys and to be wel cladde, and to holde a good houshold, and an honest hows, for alle these thynges ben, to hon91

oure Chyualrye, necessarye. Curtosye and Chyualry concorden to gyder, for vylaynous and foule wordes ben ageynst thordre of Chyualrye. RYUALTE and acqueyntaunce of good folke, loyalte & trouthe, hardynesse, largesse, honeste, humylyte, pyte, and the other thynges semblable to these, apperteyne to Chyualry, and in lyke wyse as he ought to god to compare all his noblesse, ryght so a knyght ought to compare to alle that wher– of Chyualry may receyue honour for them that ben in his ordre. The custome and the good enseygnement that a Knyght dothe to his hors is not so moche to mayntene thordre of Chyualrye as is the good customme & good enseygnement that he doth to hym self and to his children2  ChyFor ualry is not only in the hors ne in the armes, but hit is in the Knyght that wel enduceth and enseyggneth his hors and acustommed hym self and his sone to good enseygnements and vertuouse werkes2 nd soo a A wycked Knyghte whiche enduceth and enseygneth hym self and his sone to euylle enseygnements and doctrynes, he en92

forceth to make of hym self and of his sone, beestes, and of his hors, a Knyghte. 1  f the honour that ought to be done to O a Knyght. OD hath honoured a Knyghte & all the pe– ple honoueth hym lyke as in this booke is recounted. And Chyualrye is an honourable offyce aboue alle offyces, ordres, and estates of the world, reserued thordre of presthode, whiche apperteyneth to the holy sacrefyce of thaulter. And thordre of Chyualry is moche necessary as touchyng the gouernement of the world, lyke as we haue tofore touchyd ; and therfor Chyualry by alle these reasons, and by many other ought to be honoured of the peple. 2 f to a kyng ne to a prynce were not noY blesse of Chyualry incorporate, by de∏aulte of that whiche they shold not be suffysaunt, and that they hadde not in them the vertues ne thonour that apperteyneth to thordre of Chyualry, they shold not be worthy to be kynges, ne prynces, ne lordes 93

of countree, for in them Chyualry ought to be honoured1 he Knyghtes ought T thenne to be honoured by the kynges and grete barons. For lyke as by the Knyghtes the hyhe barons ben honoured aboue the moyen peple, ryght soo the kynges & the hyhe barons oughten aboue the other people to holde the Knyghtes1  hyualrye & C fraunchyse accorden to gyder and to the franchyse, & seygnorye of the kyng or of the prynce accorden to the Knyghtes, for the Knyght must be free & franke by cause that the kyng is his lord. And therfore it behoueth that thonour of a kyng or of a prynce, or of euery baron and lord of a lond, be accordyng in thonour of a Knyght, in suche manere that the kynge or prynce be lord & the Knyght be honoured. O thonour of a Knyght apperteyneth that he be loued for his bounte & goodnesse, and that he be doubted & dredde by his strengthe, and that he be prayd for his debonayrte and pryualte, and by cause that he is counceyllour of the kynge or of the prynce, or of another hyhe baron2 henne to despryse T a baron by cause he is of the same nature of 94

whiche euery man is, is to despyse alle the thynges afore sayd for whiche a Knyght oughte to be honoured. Euery noble baron and hyhe lord that honoureth a Knyght & holdeth hym in hys courte, in his counceylle, & at his table, he honoureth hym self, and semblably he that honoureth hym in bataylle, honoureth hym self. ND the lord that of a wyse Knyght maketh his messager or embassatour delyuereth his honour to noblesse of courage, & the lord that multyply– eth honour in a Knyght that is in his seruyce, multiplyeth honour in hym self2 nd the lord that aydeth & mayntA eneth a Knyght, he doth his offyce and enforceth his seygnorye ; and the lord that is ptyue with a Knyght hath amytye to Chyualry1 o requyer foly of the wyf of a T Knyght, ne tenclyne her to wyckednesse, is not the honour of a Knyght2 nd the wyf A of a Knyght whiche hath chidren of vylayns, honoureth not the Knyght, but destroyeth and bryngeth to nought the auncyente of the noble confraternyte & of the noble lygnage of a Knyght2  Knyght A also that hath children of a vylayne woman 95

honoureth not gentylnesse ne Chyualrye. And as it is so, thenne gentylnesse and the honour of Chyualry accorden to gyder in a Knyght and in a lady by the vertue of maryage, and the contrary is destruction of Chyualry. F the men that ben not Knyghtes ben oblyged & holden to honoure a Knyght, moche more is oblyged and bounden a Knyght to honoure his body in beyng wel cladde and nobly, and in beyng wel horsed, and to haue fayr harnoys, good and noble, and to be seruyd and honoured of good persones, moche more without comparyson than of other. Thenne, to honoure the noblesse of his courage, by the whiche he is in thordre of Chyualry, the whiche courage is disordynate & dishonoured whan a Knyght putteth foule thoughtes, wyckednesse & traysons in hym self, and casteth oute of his courage noble thoughtes & good cogytacions whiche apperteyne to thordre of Chyualry1 he Knyght that dishonoureth T hym self & his pere, that is to wete another Knyght, he is not dygne ne worthy to haue honoure. For yf he were worthy, wronge 96

shold be done to the Knyght that holdeth and doth to Chyualry as touchyng to hym self and to that other Knyght. Thenne as Chyualry hath his dwellyng in the noble courage of a Knyght, no man may not so moche honoure or dishonoure Chyualry as a Knyght. ANY ben thonours and the reuerences that ought to be done to a Knyght2 nd of A as moche as the Knyght is gretter, of soo moche is he more charged and bounden to honoure Chyualry1In this book here haue we spoken shortly ynough of thordre of Chyualry, therfor we make now here an ende to thonour and the lawde of god our glorious lord, and of our lady saynt Mary, whiche be blessyd in secula seculorum2  Amen ERE endeth the book of thordre of Chyualry, whiche book is translated oute of Frensshe in to Englysshe at a requeste of a gentyl & noble esquyer by me Willian Caxton, dwellynge in Westmynstre besyde London, in the most best wyse 97

that god hath su∏red me, & accordynge to the copye that the sayd Squyer delyuerd to me ; whiche book is not requysyte to euery comyn man to haue, but to noble gentylmen that by their vertu entende to come & entre in to the noble ordre of Chyualry, the whiche in these late dayes hath ben vsed accordyng to this booke here to fore wreton, but forgeten, and thexcersytees of Chyualry not vsed, honoured ne excersysed as hit hath ben in auncyent tyme1At whiche tyme the noble actes of the Knyghtes of Englond that vsed Chyualry were renomed thurgh the vnyuersal world. As for to speke to fore thyncarnacion of Jhesu Cryste, where were there euer ony lyke to Brenius & Belynus, that from the grete Brytayne now called Englond vnto Rome & frerre beyonde conquered many Royammes & londes ? Whos noblactes remayne in thold hystoryes of thee Romayns2 nd syth the Incarnacion of A oure lord byhold that noble kyng of Brytayne Kyng Arthur with al the noble Knyghtes of the Round Table ; whos noble actes and noble Chyualry of his Knyghtes occupye soo many large volumes, that is a world, or as thyng incredyble to byleue. 98

O ye Knyghtes of Englond, where is the custome and vsage of noble chyualry that was vsed in tho dayes ? What do ye now but go to the baynes and playe atte dyse ? And some not wel aduysed vse not honest and good rule, ageyn alle ordre of Knyghthode. Leue this, leue it, and rede the noble volumes of Saynt Graal, of Lancelot, of Galaad, of Trystram, of Perseforest, of Percyual, of Gawayn and many mo. Ther shalle ye see manhode, curtosye and gentylnesse1And loke in latter dayes of the noble actes syth the conquest in Kyng Rychard dayes, cuer du lyon, Edward the fyrste and the thyrd and his noble sones ; Syre Robert Knolles, Syr Johan Hawkwode, Syr Johan Chaundos & Syre Gaultier Manny ; rede Froissart, & also behold that vyctoryous and noble kynge Harry the Fyfth, and the capytayns vnder hym, his noble bretheren, Therle of Salysbury, Montagu, and many other whoos names shyne gloryously by their vertuous noblesse and actes that they did in thonour of thordre of Chyualry. Allas, what doo ye but slepe & take ease ? And ar al disordred fro Chyualry. I wold demaunde a question yf I shold not displease, How many Knygh99

tes ben ther now in Englond that haue thuse & thexcercyse of a Knyghte ? That is to wete, that he knoweth his hors & his hors hym, that is to saye, he beynge redy at a po– ynt to haue al thyng that longeth to a Kny– ght ; an hors that is accordyng and broken after his hand, his armures and harnoys mete and fyttyng & so forth, et cetera1 I suppose, and a due serche shold be made, ther shold many founden that lacke, the more pyte is2 wold it pleasyd oure sou– I erayne lord that twyes or thryes in a yere, or at the lest ones he wold do crye Justes of pees, to thende that euery Knyght shold haue hors and harneys, & also the vse and craft of a Knyght, and also to tornoye one ageynst one, or ii ageynst ii, & the best to haue a prys, a dyamond or jewel, suche as shold please the prynce1This shold cau– se gentylmen to resorte to thauncyent cus– tommes of chyualry to grete fame and renommee, and also to be alwey redy to serue theyr prynce whan he shalle calle them or haue nede1Thenne late euery man that is come of noble blood & entendeth to come to the noble Ordre of Chyualry, rede this lytyl book and doo therafter in kepyng the lore & commaundements therin compry100

sed. And thenne I doubte not he shall atteyne to thordre of Chyualry, et cetera0And thus thys lytyl book I presente to my redoubted, naturel & most dradde souerayne lord Kyng Rychard, Kyng of Englond and of Fraunce, to thende that he commaunde this book to be had & redde vnto other yong lordes, Knyghtes & gentylmen within this royame, that the noble Ordre of Chyualrye be herafter better vsed & honoured than hit hath ben in late dayes passed. And herin he shalle do a noble & vertuouse dede, & I shalle pray almyghty god for his long lyf & prosperous welfare, and thet he may haue victory of al his enemyes, & after this short & transitory lyf to haue euerlastyng lyf in heuen, where as is joye and blysse world without ende1Amen.


The Order of Chivalry, translated from the French by William Caxton, edited by F.S. Ellis, & printed by me William Morris at the Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, in the County of Middlesex, & finished on the 10th day of November, 1892 Sold by Reeves & Turner, 196, Strand, London.


00000000000000 L’ORDENE DE CHEVALERIE. ON fet a preudome parler Car on i puet mout conquester De sens, de bien, de cortoisie : Bon fet anter lor compaignie. Qui a lor fais prenderoit garde, Ja de folie n’aroit garde ; Car on le trueve en Salemon ; Que tout ades fet sages hom Toutes ses œvres bonement, Et s’il aucune foiz mesprent, Coument que soit par non savoir, De legier doit perdon avoir, Tant com il s’en voelle retraire. Mes des–ore me convient retraire : A rimoier, et a conter, N conte c’ai oi conter, D’un Rois qu’en terre paienie, Fu jadis de grand Signourie Et mout fu loiaus Sarrazin ; Il ot a non Salehadins : Crueus fu, et mout de desroi Fist maintes fois a nostre loi, Et a no gent fist maint damage Par son orguel et son outrage ; 107

Et tant que une foiz avint, Qu’a la bataille un Prinches vint ; Hues ot non de Tabarie, O lui s’avoit grant compagnie Des Chevaliers de Galilee, Car sire estoit de la contree. Assez fisent d’armes chel jour, Mes il ne plot au Creatour, C’on appele le Roy de gloire, Que li nostre eussent victorie, Car la fu pris li Prinches Hues ; S’en fu mene a val les rues Droit pardevant Salehadin, Si le salue en son latin ; Car il le conoissoit mout bien. Hues, mout sui lie quant vous tien, Che dist li Rois, par Mahoumet. Et une cose vous promet, Que il vous convennra morir, Ou a grant raenchon venir. Li Prinches Hues respondi, Puisque m’avez le giu parti, Je prenderai dont le raiembre, Se j’ai de quoi jel’ puisse rendre. Oil, che li a dist li Rois, Cent mil Besans me conterois. Ha, Sire, ataindre n’i porroie, Se tout ma terre Vendoie. 108

Si ferez bien. Sire, comment ? Vous estes de grant hardement, Et plains de grant Chevalerie, Et preudons n’escondira mie, Se rouvez a vo raenchon, Que il ne vous doinst un bel don, Ensi vous porrez aquiter. Or vous voel jou demander Coument jou partirai de chi ? Salehadins li respondi, Hues, vous le m’afierez Sour vostre foi que revenrez, Et de sour le vostre creanche, Que d’ui en deux ans sanz faillanche, Arez rendu vo raenchon, U vous revenrez em prison : Ensi porrez partir de chi. Sire, fet–il, vostre merchi, Et tout ensi le creant–gie. A tant a demande congie, C’aler s’en velt en son pais. Mais li Rois l’a par le main pris Et en sa cambre l’en mena, Et mout douchement li proia : Hues, fet–il, par chele foi, Que ti doiz au Dieu de ta Loi, Fai moi sage, quar j’ai talent De savoir trestout l’errement ; 109

Et jel’ saroie volentiers Coument l’en fet les Chevaliers. Biaus Sire, dist–il, non ferai ; Porqoi, Sire, jel’ vous dirai. Sainte Ordre de Chevalerie Seroit en vous mal emploiie, Car vous estes de mal loi, Si n’avez baptesme ne foi, Et grant folie entreprendroie, Se un fumier de dras de soie Voloie vestir et couvrir, Qu’il ne peust jamais puir, A nul fuer fere ne poroie, Et tout ensemnet mesprendroie Se sour vous metoie tel ordre, Jou ne m’i oseroie amordre, Car moult en seroie blasmez. Sa, Hues, fet–il, non ferez. Il n’i a point de mesprison, Car vous estes en ma prison, Si vous covient mon voloir fere, Mais que bien vous doie desplere, Sire, puisque faire l’estuet, Ne Contredis valoir n’i puet, Si le ferai tout sans dangier. ORS li commenche a ensignier Tout chou que il li covient faire, Caviaus et barbe, et le viaire 110

Li fist apparillier mout bel ; Ch’est droiz a Chevalier nouvel, Puis le fist en un baing entrer. Lors li coumenche a demander Li soudans, que che senefie, Hues respont de Tabarie : Sire, cil bains ou vous baingniez, Si est a chou senefiez, Tout ensement com l’enfechons Nes de pechie ist hors des fons Quant de baptesme est aportez, Sire, tout ensement devez Issir sanz nule vilounie, Et estre plains de courtoisie, Baignier devez en honeste, En courtoisie et en bonte. Et fere amer a toutes genz. Mout est biaus chist coumenchemenz, Che dist li Rois par le grant De. Apres si l’a du baing oste, Si le choucha an un bel lit Qui estoit fez par grant delit. Hues, dites–moi sans faillance De ce lit la senefiance : Sire, cis lis vous senefie C’on doit par sa Chevalerie Conquerre lit en paradis, Ke Diex otroie a ses amis ; 111

Car chou est li lis de repos : Qui la ne sera, mout iert sos. Quant el lit ot un poi geu, Sus le dresche, si l’a vestu De blans dras qui erent de lin ; Lors dist Hues en son latin, Sire, nel’ tenez a escar, Chis dras qui sont pres de vo car Tout blanc, vous dounent a entendre, Que Chevaliers doit ades tendre A se car netement tenir, Se il a Diu velt parvenir. Apres li vest robe vermeille : Salehadins mout se merveille, Porqoi li Prinches chou li fait. Hues, fait–il, tout entresait Cheste reube que senefie ? Hues respont de Tabarie, Sire, cheste reube vous done A entendre, chen est la somme, Que ja ne soiez sans douner Pour Diu servir et hounourer, Et pour sainte Glise de∏endre, Que nus ne puist vers li mesprendre, Car tout chou doit Chevaliers faire, S’il veut a Dui de noient plaire : Chest entendu par le vermeil. Hues, fait–il, mout me merveil. 112

Apres li a cauches cauchies De saie brune et delijes. Et li dist, Sire, sans faillanche, Tout chou vous doune ramembranche Par cheste cauchemente noire, C’aijez tout ades en memoire La mort, et la terre ou girrez, Dont venistes, et ou irez : A chou doivent garder votre oel, Si n’enkerrez pas en orguel ; Car orgueus ne doit pas regner En Chevalier, ne demorer, A simpleche doit ades tendre. Tout chou est mout bon a entendre, Che dist li Rois, pas ne me grieve. Apres en son estant se lieve, Puis si l’a chaint d’une chainture Blanche, et petite de feture ; Sire, par cheste chainturete, Est entendu que vo car nete, Vos rains, vos cors entirement Devez tenir tout fermement Ausi com en virginite, Vo cors tenir en netee, Luxure despire et blasmer ; Car Chevaliers doit moult amer Son cors a netement tenir, Qu’il ne se puist en chou hounir ; 113

Car Diex het mout itel ordure. Li Rois repont, bien est droiture. Apres deus esperons li mist En ses deus pies, et si li dist : Sire, tout autressi isniaus Que vos volez que vos chevaux Soit de bien corre entalentez, Quant vous des esperons ferez, K’il voist par tout isnelement, Et cha et la a vo talent, Senefient chist esperon, Qui dore sont tout environ, Que vous aijez bien en courage De Diu servir tout vostre eage ; Car tuit li Chevalier le font, Qui Diu aiment de cuer parfont, Ades le servent de cuer fin. Moult plaisoit bien Salehadin. Apres li a chainte l’espee. Salehadin a demandee la senefiance del branc. Sire, fet–il, chou et garant Contre l’assaut del’ anemi, Tout ensement com vees ci : Doi trenchant ki vous font savoir, C’ades doit Chevaliers avoir Droiture et leaute ensanle, Chou est a dire ; che me sanle 114

K’il doit ja povre gent garder, Ke li riches nel’ puist foler, Et le feble doit soustenir, Qui li fors ne le puist honir. Ch’ est oevre de misericorde. Salehadins bien s’i accorde, Qui bien a escoute ses dis. Apres li a en son cief mis Une coife qui tout iert blanche, Puis li dist la senefianche. Sire, fait il, or esgardez, Tout ensement com vous savez Que cheste coife est sanz ordure, Et blanche et bele, nete et pure Et est deseur vo cief assise, Ensement au jor dou juise, Des grans pechiez que fais avons, Devons l’ame rendre a estrous, Et pure et nete des folies, Que li cors a tozjors basties A Dieu, pour avoir le merite De paradis qui nous delite ; Car lange ne porroit conter, Oreil oir, ne cuer pensser Ch’ est li biautes de paradis, Que Diex otroie a ses amis. Li Rois trestout chou escouta, Et en apres li demanda,


S’il i faloit plus nule cose, Sire, oil mes fere nel’ ose Que chou est donc ? Chest li colee. Poroi ne le m’ avez dounee, Et dite la senefianche ? Sire, chou est li ramembranche De chelui qui l’a adoube A chevalier, et ordene ; Mes mie ne le vous donron, Car je sui chi en vo prison, Si ne doi fere vilounie Por cose c’on me fache et die, Si ne vous voel pour chou ferir ; Bien vous devez a tant tenir. Mais encor vous voel monstrer Et ensignier, et deviser Quatre coses especiauns, C’avoir doit Chevaliers noviaus Et toute sa vie tenir, Se il veut a honneur venir. Chou est tout au coumenchement, Qu’il ne soit a faus jugement, N’en liu ou il ait traison, Mais tost s’en parte a habandon, Se le mal ne puet destorner, Tantost se doit d’iluec torner. L’autre cose si est mout bele, Dame ne doit ne Damoisele 116

Por nule rien fourconsillier ; Mais s’eles ont de lui mestier, Aidier leur doit a son pooir, Se il veut los et pris avoir ; Car femes doit l’en honourer, Et por lor droit grans fez porter. L’austre cose si est por voir, Que abstinence doit avoir, Et por verite le vous di, Qu’il doit juner au Venredi Pour chele sainte ramembranche Que Jhesu Cris fu de la lanche Ferus pour no redempcion, Et que a Longis fist pardon. Toute se vie en chelui jor Doit juner pour nostre signor Se il nel’laist por maladie, Ou por aucune compaignie ; Et s’il ne puet por chou juner, Si se doit vers, Diu acorder, D’aumosne fere, ou d’autre cose. L’autre si est a la parclose Que cascun jor doit Messe oir, S’il a de qoi, si doit o∏rir ; Car mout est bien l’o∏rande assise Qui a la table Diu est mise, 117

Car ele porte grant vertu. I Rois a mout bien entendu Chou que Hues li va contant, S’en a eu joie mout grant. Apres chou li Rois est levez Ensi com il fu atornez, Droit en sa chambre s’en entra, Cinquante Amiraus i trova, Qui tuit erent de son pais ; Puis est en sa caiere assis, Ey Hues se sist a ses pies ; Mais tost en fu a mont drechies, Li Rois l’a fait en haut seoir, Et dist li Rois, sachiez por voir, Pour chou que vous estes preudon, Vous voel–jou faire un moult bel don ; Car je vous otroi bonement, Se nus est pris de vostre gent En poigneis, ne en bataille, Por vostre amor quites s’en aille, Se le volez venir requerre ; Mais cevalchies parmi me terre Tout belement et sanz desroi. Sor le col de vo palefroi Metez vos hiaume en contenanche, C’on ne vous fache destorbanche, Et de vo gent qui sont or pris, Vous renderai–jou jusc’a dis, 118

Se les volez oster de chi. Sire, dist–il, vostre merchi, Car che fait mout a merchier ; Mes jou ne voel pas oublier Que me desistes que rouvaisses Quant jou les preudomes trouvaisses Pour aidier a ma raenchon, Mais je n’i voi or si preudon Com vous estes, biaus Sire Rois, Si me dounez, car chou est drois, Quant le rouver m’avez apris. A donc Salehadins a ris, Et dist a semblant d’oume lie, Vous avez mout bien comenchie, Si vous donrai trestout sanz ghile De bons besans chinquante mile, Car ne voel pas c’a moi faillies. Apres chou s’est levez en piez, Si a dit au Prinche Huon : Vous irez a chascun Baron, Et jou irai avoecques vous. Signor, dist li Rois, dounez nous A chest grant Prinches racater. Adont coumenchent a douner Li Amiraus tuit environ, Tant que il ot sa raenchon Largement, que li remanans Valut treize mille besans, 119

Tant li ont doune et promis. Dont a Hues le congie pris, C’aler s’en velt de paienie ? Ensi n’en partirez vous mie, Che dist li Rois dusques a tant Que vous aiiez le remanant Du sorplus c’on nous a promis, Car en mon tresor seront pris Li treze mil besans d’ormir. Lors a dist a son tresorier Que il les besans li rendist, Et apres si les represist A chiaus qui les orent dounez. Chil a les besans bien pesez, Si les doune a Conte Huon, Si les a pris, ou voel ou non, Car il n’en voloit nus porter. Plus chier eust a racater Ses genz qui erent en prison Et en grande caitivaison Entre les mains as Sarrazins. Quant chou oi Salehadins, Si en a Mahoumet hure Que jamais n’erent racate. Et quant Hues li oi dire, Si en ot a son cuer grant ire ; Mais li Rois plus prijer n’osa Por chou que Mahoumet jura, 120

Car il nel’ osa courechier. Lors comande a apparillier Ses dis compagnons qu’il ot quis Pour remener en son pais ; Mais il i a puis demore Huit jors toz plains et sejorne, A grant feste, et a grant deduit, Puis a demande le conduit. Parmi la terre de∏aee ; Salehadin li a livree Grant compaignie de se gent, Chuinquante sont qui bonement Les conduient par paiennie Sans orguel et sans vilounie C’onques n’i orent destorbier. Chil se sont mis au repairer, Si se mueuvent en lor contree, Et li Prinches de Galilee Si s’en revint tout ensement ; Mais mout li poise de sa gent Que il covint la demorer ; Mes il ne le pot amender, Si en est plus courchiez que nus. Dont est en son pais venus Lui onzime, sans plus avoir Lors departi le grant avoir K’il avoit o lui aporte, Si en a maint houme doune


Qui en est riches devenus. Signour, bien doit estre venus Chis Contes entre bone gent, Car as autres ne vaut noient K’il n’entendent plus que berbis, Foi que doi Diu de paradis. Chil perderoit bien ses joiaus Qui les jetroit entre porciaus, Sachiez qu’il les defouleroient, Ne ja ne s’en deporteroient, Car il ne saroient pas tant, Si seroient mesentendant Qui chest conte leur conteroit, Tout aussi defoules seroit, Et vieus tenus par leur entendre, Mais s’il i voloient aprendre ; En Chest conte puet–on trouver Deux coses qui font a loer. L’une si est au comenchier Coument on fet le chevalier Que toz li mons doit hounerer, Car il nous ont toz a garder ; Car se n’estoit Chevalerie, Petit vauroit no Signourie ; Car il de∏endent sainte Glise, Et si nous tienent bien justise De chiaus qui nous voelent malfere. D’aus loer ne me voel retrere. 122

Qui nes aime, mout par est niches, Que on embleroit nos calices Devant nous a la taule De, Que ja ne seroit destorne : Mes lor justiche bien en pense Qui de par aus nou fet de∏ense ; Si les mauves ne congioient, Ja li bon durer ne porroient Se che n’ert, fors des Sarrazins. D’Aubejois, et de Barbarins, Et de genz de mauvese loi, Qui nous metroient a besloi ; Mes it criement les Chevaliers ; Si les doit–on avoir plus chiers, Et essauchier et hounourer, Et se doit–on contre aus lever De si loing c’on les voit venir. Chertes, bien devroit–on hounir, Chiaus qui les tienent en viute ; Car je vous di par verite, Que il Chevaliers a pooir De toutes ses armes avoir, Et en sainte Glise aporter Quant il vieut le Messe escouter, Que nus mauves ne contredie Le serviche le Fill Marie, Ne le saint digne Sacrement Porqoi nous avons sauvement ;


Et se nus le voloit desdire, Il a pooir de li ochire. Encor un peu dire m’estuet. Fai que dois, aviegne que puet. Ch’est commande au Chevalier, Si l’en doit–on avoir plus chier, S’il bien cheste parole entent. Que je vous di hardiement, Se il fesoit selonc son ordre, A nul fuer ne porroit estordre De droit aler an Paradis ; Por chou vous ai jou chi apris, De fere chou que vous deves, Qui les Chevaliers houneres, Sour toz houmes outreement, Fors Prestre qui fait Sacrement Du cors Diu, je vous di pour voir Que par chest dit puet–on savoir, K’il avint au Prinche Huon, Ki mout fu sages et preudon, Salehadins molt l’onora, Por chou que preudom le trova, Et si le fist mout hounourer, Pour chou se fait–il bon pener De fere bien a son pooir, Car on i puet grant preu avoir. Et si truis, lisant en latin, De bones œvres, bone fin. 124

Or prions au definement Chelui qui est sans finement, Quant nous venrons au definer, Que nous puissoumes si finer Que nous aions la joie fine Ki as bons mie ne define, Et por celui qui chou escrist, Que il soit avoec Jhesu–Crist, Et en l’onnour Sainte Marie Amen, amen chascuns en die. Explicit l’Ordene de Chevalerie.



THE ORDINATION OF KNIGHTHOOD. HAT the wise speak is goodly gain, For thereby do we win amain Of sense, of good and courtesy : ’Tis good to haunt the company Of him who of his ways hath heed, And hath no keep of folly’s deed. For as in Solomon we find, The man that is of wisdom’s kind Doth well in every deed there is ; And if at whiles he doth amiss In whatso wise, unwittingly, Swift pardon shall he have thereby. Whereas he willeth penitence. UT now I needs must draw me hence To rhyming, and to tell in word A tale that erewhile I have heard, About a King of Paynemry A great lord of the days gone by ; 128

He was full loyal Saracen And of his name hight Saladin. Cruel he was, and did great scathe Full many a time unto our faith, And to our folk did mickle ill Through pride of heart and evil will. So on a time it fell out so That ’gainst him to the fight did go A Prince hight Hugh of Tabary, Therewith was mickle company, The Knights of Galilee, to hand ; For lord was he of that same land. That day were great deeds done amain, But nought was our Creator fain, He that the lord of glory hight, That we should vanquish in the fight ; For there was taken the Prince Hugh And led along the streets and through, And right before lord Saladin, Who greeted him in his Latin, For well he knew it certainly : “ Hugh, of thy taking fain am I By Mahomet,” so spake the King ; “ And here I promise thee one thing, That it behoveth thee to die Or with great ransom thee to buy.” Then answered him the lord Sir Hugh, “ Since choice thou givest me hereto 129

Unto the ransom do I fall If so be I have wherewithal.” “ Yea,” said the King, “ then payest thou An hundred thousand besants now.” “ Ah Sir, this thing I may not do if all my lands I sell thereto.” “ Yet dost thou well.” “ Yea Sire & how ? ” “ Thou art full of hardihood enow And full of mighty Chivalry, Thy lords shall nought gainsay it thee, But with thy ransom deal they should And give to thee a gift full good, And in this wise quit should’st thou be.” “ Yet one thing would I ask of thee, How may I get me hence away ? ” Then thereto Saladin did say : “ Hugh, unto me shalt thou make oath By that thy faith and by thy troth To come again unto this place Without fail in a two year’s space, And then to pay thy ransom clear, Or come back to the prison here. Thus wise from henceforth art thou quit.” “ Sir,” quoth he, have thou thank for it And all my faith I pledge thereto.”


HEN craveth he a leave–to– go That he may come to his own land. But the King takes him by the hand And leads him to his chamber fair And prayeth him full sweetly there : “ Hugh,” saith he, “ by the faith ye owe Unto the God whose law ye know Now make me wise : for sore I crave The right road straight–away to have, And I have will to learn aright In what wise one is made a Knight.” “ Fair sir,” he said, “ this may not be And wherefore I will tell to thee : The holy order of Knighthood In thee will nowise turn to good ; For evil law thou holdest now, Nor faith nor Baptism hast thou. Great fool is he that undertakes To clothe and cover o’er a jakes With silken web, and then to think That never more the same shall stink ; In nowise one may do the feat, E’en so to me it were unmeet To lay such order upon thee, O’er hardy were such deed to me, 131

For sure blame thereby should I win.” “ Ha Hugh, quoth he, nought lies herein, This is no evil deed to do, For in my prison dost thou go And needs must do the thing I will Howso to thee it seemeth ill.” “ Sir, since ye drive me to the thing And nought avails my nay–saying Then riskless I the work shall earn.” HEREWITH he fell the King to learn In all wise what behoved to do With face and hair and beard thereto, And did him clothe himself right well As to a new–made Knight befel, And in that bath wash lithe and limb. Then ’gan the Soudan ask of him What these same things might signify, And answered Hugh of Tabarie : “ This bath wherein thy body is Forsooth it signifyeth this. For e’en as infants born in sin, Stainless from out the font do win, When they to baptism are brought, E’en so Sir Soudan, now ye ought To come forth free from felony, And be fulfilled of courtesy ; 132

In honesty and in good will And kindness should’st thou bathe thee still And grow beloved of all on earth.” “ Beginneth this fight well of worth, By God the great,” spake forth the King. HEN from that fair bath outgoing He laid him in a full fair bed That dearly was apparelled. “ Tell me without fail, Hugh,” he saith, “ What this same bed betokeneth.” “ Sire, betokeneth now the bed That one by Knighthood should be led The bed of Paradise to win Which God gives to his friends therein. For there a bed of rest there is Made for no evil man ywis.” So on the bed a while he lay And did on there full fair array, Which was of linen white of hue. Then in his Latin said Sir Hugh : “ Sir, deem not that my word is vain, The web that next your skin hath lain All white, would do you this to wit, That Knights should ever look to it To hold them clean, if they will well To come their ways with God to dwell.” 133

would know What this same gown betokeneth.” Then Hugh of Tabarie answereth : “ This gown in gift is given withal That ye may know the sum of all, And fail not more your blood to give In serving God the while ye live, And Holy Church to fortify That by no man it fare awry. For all these deeds to Knights are meet If they to God would make them sweet. The scarlet gown betokeneth this.” “ Hugh,” said he, “ much my marvel is.” HOES on his feet he then did do Of loose–wrought say all brown of hue, And spake he : “ Sir, withouten fail For thy remembrance doth avail This foot–gear that is shapen black, That ne’er shalt thou the memory lack 134

ITH scarlet gown he clad him then And marvelled Saladin again Wherefor the Prince bedight him so. “ Hugh,” said he, “ now I fain

Of death, and earth to lie in low, Whence cam’st thou, whither thou dost go. So ward ye then your eye, withal, Lest into pride at last ye fall, For never o’er a Knight should pride Bear sway, or in his heart abide ; Of simpleness should he have heed.” “ All this is good to hear indeed,” Spake then the King, “ nor grieveth me.” HEN upright on his feet stands he, And girds him with a belt withal That white is and of fashion small. “ Lo Sire, this little belt doth mean That thou thy flesh shalt hold all clean, Thy reins and all the body of thee And hold it ever steadfastly ; Yea even as in virginhood Thy body to hold clean and good, And lechery to blame and ban. For ever loveth knightly man To hold his body free from stain, Lest he be shamed and honour wane. For unclean things God hateth sore.” The King said : “ Goodly is thy lore.” 135

WO spurs thereafter did he on His feet, and word therewith he won “ Sir, e’en as swift and speedily As ye would wish thine horse should be, And of good will to run aright When ye with spurs his sides do smite, That swiftly he may wend all wise, And here and there as ye devise, These spurs betoken without doubt (Gilt as they be all round about) That ever heart should be in you To serve your God your life days through. For even thus doth every Knight That loveth God in heart aright To serve him with a heart full dear.” Fain then was Saladin to hear. HEREWITH he girt to him a sword And Saladin hath asked the word What thing betokeneth the brand. “ Sir,” said he, “ ’tis a guard to hand ’Gainst onslaught of the Fiend to bear, Even as now thou seest here; The two–edged blade doth learn thee lore How a good Knight should ever more 136

Have blended right and loyalty. Which is to say it seemeth me, To guard the poor folk of the land Against the rich man’s heavy hand, And feeble people to uphold ’Gainst shaming of the strong and bold ; This then is Mercy’s work to win.” All this yeasayeth Saladin, Who hearkened well all words he said. HEREAFTER set he on his head A coif which was all shining white And told its tokening all aright. “ Now look hereon Sir King,” said he, “ E’en as this coif, as thou dost see, Is wholly without stain or sear, And fair and white, and clean and clear, And sitteth now upon thine head ; So on the day of doom the dread, Free from the great guilt we have wrought, And clear and clean from deeds of nought Which ever hath the body done, We then must render everyone To God that we may win the prize Of all delights of Paradise. Because no tongue may tell the tale, Ear hearken, nor a heart avail 137

To think of Paradise the fair, And what his friends God giveth there.” To all this hearkened well the King, And afterward he asked a thing, If aught he lacked whereof was need. EA Sir, but dare I not the deed.” What is it then ? “ The stroke,” said he. “ Why hast thou given it not to me And told me its betokening ? ” “ Sir, ’tis the memory–stirring thing Of him who hath ordained the Knight And duly with his gear him dight. Now I will lay it not on thee, For in thy prison here I be, Nor ugly deed here may I do, Lest men lay wite on me thereto ; Nor by me shall the stroke be laid With things so done, be thou apaid. ET will I show thee further–more, And learn and tell thee o’er and o’er Three matters weightiest to tell, Whereof should new Knight wot full well, And hold them all his life–days through, If honour he would come unto. And this is first of all I wot, That with false doom he meddle not 138

Nor in the place of treason bide, But lightly wend him thence and wide ; But if the ill he may not turn, Thence forth away must he full yerne. The other matter liketh well. Never may Dame nor Damosel Of him have any evil rede ; But if the rede of him they need Aid them should he with all his might, If he would win fair fame aright. For women should of worship be, And deeds for them done mightily. HIS also must thou look unto That rightwise abstinence to do, And this I tell you verily On Fridays must there fasting be, The holy memory to bear How Christ was smitten with the spear Even for our redemption, And gave to Longius pardon. On that same day till life be past, For the Lord’s sake, then, should one fast. But if it be for sickness sake, Or fellowship against it make ; Or if perchance fast one may not, The peace of God must then be got By almsdeed or some otherwise. 139

HE next and last thing I devise, Mass should one hear each day and all, And o∏er if one have withal ; For right well o∏ering lies ywis That laid upon God’s table is : For there it beareth mickle might.” O hath the King heard all aright Of all that Hugh hath told him there, And joy he maketh great and fair. Then stood the King upon his feet Apparelled as it was meet : He entered straight his feast–hall fair, And fifty admirals found there, Who were all men of his country ; Then on his high–seat down sat he, And Hugh before his feet sat down, But soon had place of more renown, For the King made him sit on high. HEN spake the King : “ Know verily Because thou art a valiant man A right fair gift for thee I can ; For this I grant thee frank & free ; When so thy folk shall taken be In battle pitched, or in the fray For thy love they shall go their way. 140

If this to crave, thou come to hand. But if thou ride amidst my land, Without impeace fair shalt thou go And on thy palfrey’s neck thereto Shalt lay thine helm before men’s eyes, That nought of fray ’gainst thee arise. Moreover of thy taken men Now will I give thee up to ten If thou wilt have them hence with thee.” “ Sir,” said he, “ of thy much mercy Much thank and good can I : but yet One thing I would not all forget. Thou leadest me to seek and crave Of good men, if I might them have, To help me to my ransoming : But never shall I find, O King, A valianter than thou ywis ; Therefore give me, as right it is, E’en that ye learned me crave of you.” King Saladin, he laughed thereto, And spake as one well pleased would say: “ Right well hast thou begun the way And fifty thousand besants bright Now will I give to thee outright ; By me thou shalt not fail herein.” Unto his feet then did he win And to the lord Hugh spake he so : “ To every baron shalt thou go 141

And I will wend along with thee.” “ Sir,” said the King, “ give him and me Wherewith this mighty lord to buy.” To giving fell they presently, The Admirals all round about, Till all the ransom was told out And remnant was, if all were paid, Of thirteen thousand besants weighed ; So much they promised him, and gave. Then would lord Hugh the free leave have To get him gone from paynemry. “ Thus wise thou partest not from me,” Said then the King, “ until ye get The remnant that is over yet Of what behight they to be told. For all those besants of mere gold From out my treasure shall we take.” Then to his treasurer he spake To give the besants to Sir Hugh, And take them after, as was due, Of them who had the promise made. Then he the besants duly weighed And gave them to the Count Sir Hugh, Who took them, would he, would he no. But he to take them was unfain ; Liever were he to buy again His folk who in the prison were In thralldom and right heavy cheer, 142

In hand of barons Sarrazin. But when thereof heard Saladin, Then by his Mawmet strong he swore They should be ransomed never more. And when Hugh heard it, for his part Great wrath he had within his heart, But further durst not pray the King, Since he by Mawmet swore the thing. Nor durst he wroth him more that day. Therewith he bade them to array, Those ten fellows, whom he did crave The road to their own land to have. Yet did he tarry from the road And there for eight days yet abode In feast full great and all delight. Then he the let–pass craved aright To pass therewith the foeman’s land. And Saladin gave ’neath his hand Of his own folk great company. A fifty fellows there had he, And they from Paynemrie him lead Without ill pride or evil deed, That never had they fight nor fray. So too they then the backward way, And to their land ride frank and free. Therewith the Prince of Galilee In likewise gat him home again, But for his folk hard was his pain 143

That he behoved to leave behind, Whereof no mending might he find. More grieved is he than all and some. O to his own land is he come With but those ten and hath no more. Then shareth he the wealth good store That thence awayward he had brought, And unto no man giveth nought, That wealthy wax they, each, and hail. AIR sirs, well wended is the tale Amidst good people of good will ; For nought it shall be to the ill, Who no more than the sheep shall hear By God and Paradise the dear ! For well may he his jewels tyne Who casteth them before the swine : They shall but tread them under feet, And deem them neither good nor sweet. For nothing of it should they wot But ever understand it not, And whoso such a tale should tell, Down trod he should be e’en as well, And held of nought by their un–wit. 144

UT he who willeth learn of it, Two things in this same tale shall find well worthy worship in his mind. And this the first, to wot aright In what wise one is made a Knight Such as the whole world worship shall Whereas he wardeth one and all. For if there were not fair Knighthood Then Lordship were but little good : For Holy Church it wardeth still, And from ill doer’s evil will In right and justice keepeth all ; So this I praise what e’er befall. Who loves it not is such as they Who would the mass–cup steal away That doth upon God’s altar stand. Lo, how their rightwiseness hath care For all men good defence to bear, For drove they not ill men away, Good men might dure not ever a day. Then all were Sarracens in sooth, And Albigeois and men uncouth, Folk of the law of devilry, Who should us make our faith deny : But these the Knighthood have in fear. Therefore those should we hold full dear 145

In honour and in worship meet, And ever rise upon our feet Against their coming from afar. Certes well worth the shame they are Who hold such men in grudge and hate. For now forsooth I tell you straight, That power full due still hath the Knight To have his weapons all aright, And them in holy church to bear When he hath will the mass to hear : That missay may no evil one The worship of the Mary–Son ; Or the all–hallowed sacrament, From whence is our salvation sent. And if missayeth any wight, There may he slay the same outright. OME deal more needeth yet to say : Do ye the right, come what come may. The Knight is bidden hold this same. If he would win the word of fame This word he well must understand. Boldly I tell you out of hand If he after his Order doth None hinder may, or lief or loth, But he wend straight to Paradise. 146

O have I learned you this devise To do the thing ye should of right In worship ever of a Knight Over all men ; saving the priest Who doth the sacrament and feast Of God’s own body Thus I tell True tale that ye may know it well Of what betided to Prince Hugh, A valiant man and wise thereto. Of Saladin great praise had he Whereas he found his valiancy : Also he made him honoured fair Whereas he wrought with pain and care After his might good works to win. For good gain lieth still therein, And in the Latin read I this Of good deed ever good end is. So for our ending let us pray To him who endeth never a day, That coming to the end of all We to good ending may befall, And win unending joyance then Which hath no end for righteous men. Ahd pray for him who wrote as well With Jesus Christ for aye to dwell And in the love of Mary May. Now each and all, amen we say. THE end of the Ordination of Chivalry. 147

MEMORANDA CONCERNING THE TWO PIECES HERE REPRINTED. HE “ Order of Chivalry ” was translated by Caxton from the French original, of which there are many early manuscripts in existence. That in the British Museum, Fr. Roy. 14 E.16, is beautifully written, and has at the head of the first column a well painted miniature representing the Hermit and the Squire in conference. It forms part of a large folio volume which is said to have been made for Edward IVth. A strange confusion has been made by various writers & bibliographers between this treatise and a charming little French poem of the 13th century, entitled “ L’Ordene de Chevalerie.” This was first printed at Paris in 1759, by M. Barbazan, and again in the “ Fabliaux et Contes,” Paris, 1808, from the text found in the MS. volume 25462, fo.149–157, in the National Library at Paris, which is said by M. Ernest Langlois (La Chevalerie, par L. Gautier, p. 293) to be 148

an excellent one. M. Langlois speaks of “ L’Ordre de Chevalerie ” as a prose render– ing of the XIIIth century poem, and M. Gautier appears to have adopted this view, for while he gives a summary of the poem, he omits all mention of the prose work ¶ To enable those who are interested in the mat– ter to judge how far there is reason to sup– pose that the one work is drawn from the other, the poem is here reprinted from the text given in the “ Fabliaux et Contes,” 1808. It will be seen that while it consists of only 510 lines, or about 2750 words, of which not more than half relate to the Ordering of Knighthood, the prose work con– sists of about 18000 words and is from be– ginning to end devoted to describing the duties of a Knight, the manner of his insti– tution, & the symbolism of the ceremonies used on the occasion. As the poem is as– cribed to the 13th century, and the learned Director of the French National Library at– tributes the prose work to the 14th century, it might very well be that the author of the “ Ordre de Chevalerie ” was acquainted with the earlier work & might have been in some measure inspired by it. But there can be little doubt that the symbolizing of the 149

ceremonies of Knighthood was a matter of common knowledge in the 13th and 14th centuries, or probably at a much earlier date, & is as little likely to have been originated by the author of the earlier work as by the compiler of the later one. The French version of the “ Ordre de Chevalerie ” was not printed till 1504 and even then it did not appear as a treatise on Chivalry, but as a part of “ Le Jeu des Eschez moralise,” printed at Paris for A. Verard. In 1510 it was printed at Lyons, but was then put forth as the work of Symphorien Champier, though it had been written a hundred years or more before he was born. This tardy & obscure mode of publication is good evidence how entirely dead, by the end of the 15th century, was the spirit of Chivalry as understood by the writers of these books. Caxton appears, from his eloquent appeal at the end of the treatise, to have been a belated lover of Chivalry, but his hope that the publication of this little book would give new life to it was evidently doomed to disappointment, for that no second edition of it was ever produced by him is of itself good proof that his appeal fell on deaf ears. How little interest the 150

subject aroused is also shown by the fact that no other English typographer either of the 15th or 16th centuries was at the pains to reprint the book1The interest that it has now as an historical document is considerable, and the wonder is that it has not been reprinted before this time in our own days. F. S. E. THIS Ordination of Knighthood was printed by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, in the Country of Middlesex; finished on the 24th day of February, 1893.