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Their sceptres stretcht from east to western shore,
Forewasted all their land and them expell’d:
Behind her far away a dwarf did lag,
That every wight to shroud it did constrain,
With footing worn, and leading inward far:
And forth they pass, with pleasure forward led,
The builder Oak, sole king of forests all,
The Laurel, meed of mighty conquerors
The Birch for shafts, the Sallow for the mill,
The fruitful Olive, and the Plantain round,
Led with delight they thus beguile the way,
So many paths, so many turnings seen,
These verses are easily comprehended. Every young person should know something of chivalry. That institution once had great influence upon the manners and happiness of Europe. The situation of Una, and the nature of her protector's character and office, will not be understood without some acquaintance with the meaning of chivalry.
. CHIVALRY. The origin of Chivalry was briefly this :-France, Spain, England, Germany, Italy and Holland, once belonged to the Roman Empire; but armies from the North of Europe invaded these more southern countries, overthrew the Roman power, and at different times took possession of the places they conquered. When they made themselves masters of a country, the great leaders of the armies took large tracts of land, and their followers, that is the soldiers they commanded, together with such of the original inhabitants of the countries as they permitted to live, became the vassals of these great men.
These poor people were not acquainted with the useful arts or comforts of life that we enjoy, but they could take care of cattle, cultivate the soil in a rude and imperfect manner, could help to erect the castles and churches of their masters, and could follow him to battle. This latter service, together with a great part of the cattle and corn which they could procure from the cultivation of the soil, they gave to their lords. The lords always kept many of their vassals in their houses or castles, and usually went out with a considerable number of them as attendants. This was partly for show, and partly for safety. These followers were called Retainers, and when they went abroad with their master formed his Retinue. The more people a great lord had about his person, the better was he guarded, and the more was he feared.
In the present happier age of the world, when every man has his own business, and property, and leisure, and enjoyments, no great man has any right to the services of so many of his fellow-men; nor has he any need of them, for he has nothing to fear from the violence of others—he is protected by the laws of his country, and what is better, by the humanity of all men who have learned, in some measure, to respect one another's lives and property, and to know, in order that all may be happy, all must be safe, and protected by each other.
But a thousand years ago men lived very differently. The lands which had been seized by the great lords of Europe, were not exactly bounded, each proprietor or landholder did not precisely know how much belonged to himself: so that the owners of property which lay together often claimed the same; and as there were not courts of justice to inquire into and settle their rights, they and their vassals fought about them. Many of the richer and more powerful lords, wanting to become still more rich and powerful, and having no sense of religion, of justice, or mercy-none of the fear of God or love of man-murdered their neighbours, set fire to their houses, carried off their property, and claimed their lands : on
these occasions the ladies were often treated in a barbarous manner.
A remarkable instance of this may be found in Shakspeare's Tragedy of Macbeth. Macbeth, a Scottish nobleman, invited Duncan, king of Scotland, to his castle, and there murdered him, that he might be king instead of Duncan. On the murder of the king, his two sons fled from Scotland in fear of their lives. Macduff, a Scotch lord, followed Malcolm, one of the young princes, into England ; upon which the usurper Macbeth was so en
raged, that he vowed to revenge himself upon Macduff for • this desertion. In order to do this, Macbeth resolved
upon killing Macduff's innocent family, which he had left behind, and he accordingly gave orders for this cruel act. It is described nearly thus:-After the bloody work was done, Rosse, a friend of the unfortụnate family, escaped into England to inform Macduff of it. He found him talking to Malcolm, and after preparing his mind, relates the event.
“Rosse. Your castle is surprised, your wife and babes Savagely slaughtered!
Malcolm. Merciful heaven!
Rosse. Wife, children, servants, all
Macd. And I must be from thence!-
Rosse. I have said.
Macd. He has no children !-All my pretty ones?
Macbeth, Act IV. Scene 3. You will observe that Malcolm proposes to make amends for this cruel injury by some “ great revenge," that is, by some act of equal cruelty to the murderers of Macduff's wife and children. This was the way in which people at that time usually endeavoured to satisfy themselves, but they only continued a strife which the descendants of both parties felt bound never to forget nor forgive, and which many long years after the first offence, was given, caused fresh quarrels, murders, and destruction of property.
In this state of violence and danger, many people lived in constant and great fear, and were always prepared to expect, and to defend themselves against an enemy. The rich lived in strong castles, surrounded by walls and gates, a watch was kept to look out for the approach of their foes, and, before the discovery of gun. powder, and the use of firearms, the knights-that is, the gentlemen-soldiers-used generally to wear armour.
Then, as at all times, there were good men-some who were not weak and timid, or ferocious and cruel, who could not see the acts of these barbarians without indignation against them, and compassion for the unfortunate victims of their cruelty. The distress of the ladies, above all, inspired the just and the generous with a desire to serve them, and to save them from the dreadful calamities to which they were exposed. Many noblemen and brave soldiers devoted themselves to the redress of injuries inflicted upon all good persons, and particularly upon the young and the beautiful of the female sex. These formed what is called the order of Chivalry. · The young men who composed the order of Chivalry could not be admitted into it, unless they possessed strength and courage, and were distinguished by truth and honour; and this being known, made ambitious youth desirous to be so distinguished, that they might be worthy to assert justice, and to defend innocence, that they might become objects of admiration and praise, and form at once the protectors and ornaments of society. To be all this, it was necessary that they should not only be fearless and powerful, but that they should also be pleasing and interesting: that they should perfectly understand the use of arms to prevail over their enemies, and be masters of