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attack of the bayle or lists, where many feats of chivalry were performed by the knights and men at arms, who considered the assault of that work as particularly belonging to them, the weight of their armour preventing them from scaling the walls. As this part was attacked by the knights and men at arms, it was also defended by those of the same rank in the place, whence many single combats were fought here.
This was at the first investing of the place. - Grose.
Page 109. line 139.
A rude coat of mail Unhosed, unhooded, as of lowly line, In France only persons of a certain estate, called un fief de hauber, were permitted to wear a hauberk, which was the armour of a knight. Esquires might only wear a simple coat of mail without the hood and hose. Had this aristocratic distinction consisted in the ornamental part of the arms alone, it would not have been objectionable. In the enlightened and free states of Greece, every soldier was well provided with defensive arms. In Rome, a civic wreath was the reward of him who should save the life of a citizen. But to use the words of Dr. Gillies, “ the miserable peasants of modern Europe are exposed without defence as without remorse, by the ambition of men, whom the Greeks would have stiled tyrants.”
Page 110. line 143. The rude-featured helm. The burgonet, which represented the shape of the head and features.
Page 110. line 148. On his crown-crested helm. Earls and dukes frequently wore their coronets on the crests of their helmets. At the battle of Agincourt Henry wore “a bright helmet, whereupon was set a crowne of gold, repleate with pearle and precious stones, marvellous rich.” - Stowe.
Page 110. line 159. And against the iron fence beneath.
Page 111. line 197. Conrade, with an active bound,
Sprung on the battlements. The nature of this barrier has been explained in a previous
The possibility of leaping upon it is exemplified in the following adventure, which is characteristic of the period in which it happened (1370).
“ At that time there was done an extraordinary feat of arms by a Scotch knight, named sir John Assueton, being one of those men of arms of Scotland, who had now entered king Edward's pay. This man left his rank with his spear in his hand, his page riding behind him, and went towards the barriers of Noyon, where he alighted, saying, “Here hold my horse, and stir not from hence;' and so he came to the barriers. There were there at that time sir John de Roye, and sir Lancelot de Lorris with ten or twelve more, who all wondered what this knight designed to do. He for his part being close at the barriers said unto them, “ Gentlemen, I am come hither to visit you, and because I see you will not come forth of your barriers to me, I will come in to you, if I may, and prove my knighthood against you. Win me if you can.' And with that he leaped over the bars, and began to lay about him like a lion, he at them and they at him; so that he alone fought thus against them all for near the space of an hour, and hurt several of them. * And all the while those of the town beheld with much delight from the walls and their garret windows his great activity, strength and courage ; but they offered . not to do him any hurt, as they might very easily have done, if they had been minded to cast stones or darts at him : but the French knights charged them to the contrary, saying • how they should let them alone to deal with him.' When matters had continued thus about an hour, the Scotch page came to the barriers with his master's horse in his hand, and said in his language, • Sir, pray come away, it is high time
for you to leave off now: for the army is marched off out of sight.' The knight heard his man, and then gave two or three terrible strokes about him to clear the way, and so, armed as he was, he leaped back again over the barriers and mounted his horse, having not received any hurt; and turning to the Frenchman, said, “ Adieu, sirs ! I thank you for my diversion.' And with that he rode after his man upon the spur towards the army." - Joshua Barnes, p. 801.
Page 112. line 213. The iron weight swung high. Le massue est un bâton gros comme le bras, ayant à l'un de ses bouts une forte courroie pour tenir l'arme et l'empêcher de glisser, et à l'autre trois chaînons de fer, auxquels pend un boulet pesant huit livres. Il n'y a pas d'homme aujourd'hui capable de manier une telle arme. Le Grand.
The arms of the Medici family “ are romantically referred to Averardo de Medici, a commander under Charlemagne, who for his valour in destroying the gigantic plunderer Mugello, by whom the surrounding country was laid waste, was honoured with the privilege of bearing for his arms six palle or balls, as characteristic of the iron balls that hung from the mace of his fierce antagonist, the impression of which remained on his shield.”. Roscoe.
Scudery enumerates the mace among the instruments of war, in a passage whose concluding line may vie with any bathos of sir Richard Blackmore.
La confusément frappent de toutes parts -
Page 113. line 257. - There was a portal in the English fort
Which opend on the wall. Vitruvius observes, in treating upon fortified walls, that near the towers the walls should be cut within-side the breadth of the tower, and that the ways broke in this manner should only
be joined and continued by beams laid upon the two extre mities, without being made fast with iron ; that in case the enemy should make himself master of any part of the wall, the besieged might remove this wooden bridge, and thereby prevent his passage to the other parts of the wall and into the towers.
Rollin. The precaution recommended by Vitruvius had not been observed in the construction of the English walls. On each side of every tower, a small door opened upon the wall; and the garrison of one tower are represented in the poem as flying by this way from one to shelter themselves in the other. With the enterprising spirit and the defensive arms of chivalry, the subsequent events will not be found to exceed probability.
Page 114. line 294.
Not overbrow'd by jutting parapet. The machicolation: a projection over the gate-way of a town or castle, contrived for letting fall great weights, scalding water, &c. on the heads of any assailants who might have got close to
“ Machecollare, or machecoulare,” says Coke, “ is to make a warlike device over a gate or other passage like to a grate, through which scalding water, or ponderous or offensive things may be cast upon the assaylants.”
Page 115. 1. 316. Plucking from the shield the severed head,
He threw it back, I have met with one instance in English history, and only one, of throwing the spear after the manner of the ancients. It is in Stowe's chronicle. “ 1442. The 30th of January, a challenge was done in Smithfield within lists, before the king ; the one sir Philip de Beawse of Arragon a knight, and the other an esquire of the king's house called John Ausley or Astley. These comming to the fielde, tooke their tents, and there was the knight's sonne made knight by the king, and so brought again to his father's tent. Then the heralds of armes called them by name to doe their battel, and so they came both, all armed, with their weapons; the knight came with
his sword drawn, and the esquire with his speare. The esquire cast his speare against the knight, but the knight avoiding it with his sword, cast it to the ground. Then the esquire took his axe and went against the knight suddenly, on whom he stroke many strokes, hard and sore upon his basenet, and on his hand, and made him loose and let fall his axe to the ground, and brast up his limbes three times, and caught his dagger and would have smitten him in the face, for to have slaine him in the field ; and then the king cried hoo, and so they were departed and went to their tents, and the king dubbed John Astley knight for his valiant torney, and the knight of Arragon offered his armes at Windsor."
Page 115. line 320. Full on the corslet of a meaner man. The corslet was chiefly worn by pikemen.
Page 119. line 449. A harlot !.. an adulteress! This woman, who is always respectably named in French history, had her punishment both in herself and in her child.
“ This fair Agnes had been five years in the service of the queen, during which she had enjoyed all the pleasures of life, in wearing rich clothes, furred robes, golden chains, and precious stones; and it was commonly reported that the king often visited her, and maintained her in a state of concubinage, for the people are more inclined to speak ill than well of their superiors.
“ The affection the king showed her was as much for her gaiety of temper, pleasing manners, and agreeable conversation, as for her beauty. She was so beautiful that she was called the Fairest of the Fair, and the Lady of Beauty, as well on account of her personal charms, as because the king had given her for life the castle of Beauté near Paris.
She was very charitable, and most liberal in her alms, which she distributed among such churches as were out of repair, and to beggars. It is true that Agnes had a daughter who lived but a short time, which she said was the king's, and gave it to him as the