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Spain fell before the Saracens. But the tide soon turned. As the necessity of military talent and courage became evident, the Christian religion was used by its ministers (justly and wisely so far as respected self-defence) as an additional spur to the temper of the valiant. These books of the Old Testament which Ulphilas declined to translate, because they afforded too much fuel for the military zeal of the ancient Goths, were now commented upon to animate the sinking courage of their descendants. Victory and glory on earth, and a happy immortality after death, were promised to those champions who should distinguish themselves in battle against the infidels. And who shall blame the preachers who held such language, when it is remembered that the Saracens had at one time nearly possessed themselves of Aquitaine, and that but for the successful valour of Charles Martel, Pepin, and Charlemagne, the crescent might have dispossessed the cross of the fairest portion of Europe? The fervent sentiments of devotion which direct men's eyes toward heaven, were then justly invoked to unite with those which are most valuable on earth, the love of our country and its liberties.

But the Romish clergy, who have in all ages possessed the wisdom of serpents, if they sometimes have fallen short of the simplicity of doves, saw the advantage of converting this temporary zeal, which animated the warriors of their creed against the invading infidels, into a permanent union of principles, which should blend the ceremonies of religious worship with the military establishment of the

ancient Goths and Germans. The admission of the noble youth to the practice of arms was no longer a mere military ceremony, where the sword or javelin was delivered to him in presence of the prince or elders of his tribe; it became a religious rite, sanctified by the forms of the church which he was in future to defend. The novice had to watch his arms in a church or chapel, or at least on hallowed ground, the night before he had received the honour of knighthood. He was made to assume a white dress, in imitation of the neophytes of the church. Fast and confession were added to vigils; the purification of the bath was imposed on the military acolyte, in imitation of the initiatory rite of Christianity; and he was attended by godfathers, who became security for his performing his military vows, as sponsors had formerly appeared for him at baptism. In all points of ceremonial, the investiture of Chivalry was brought to resemble, as nearly as possible, the administrations of the sacraments of the church. The ceremony itself was performed, where circumstances would admit, in a church or cathedral, and the weapons with which the young warrior was invested were previously blessed by the priest. The oath of Chivalry bound the knight to defend the rights of the holy church, and to respect religious persons and institutions, and to obey the precepts of the gospel. Nay, more, so intimate was the union betwixt chivalry and religion esteemed to be, that the several gradations of the former were seriously considered as parallel to those of the church, and the knight was supposed to resemble the bishop in rank, duties, and privileges, while the squire and

page corresponded to the priest and deacon. At what period this infusion of religious ceremonial into an order purely military first commenced, and when it became complete and perfect, would be a curious but a difficult subject of investigation. Down to the reign of Charlemagne, and somewhat lower, the investiture was of a nature purely civil, but long before the time of the crusades, it had assumed the religious character we have described.

The effect which this union of religious and military zeal was likely to produce in every other case, save that of defensive war, could not but be unfavourable to the purity of the former. The knight, whose profession was war, being solemnly enlisted in the service of the gospel of peace, regarded infidels and heretics of every description as the enemies whom, as God's own soldier, he was called upon to attack and slay wherever he could meet with them, without demanding or waiting for any other cause of quarrel than the difference of religious faith. The duties of morality were indeed formally imposed on him by the oath of his order, as well as that of defending the church, and extirpating heresy and misbelief. But, in all ages, it has been usual for men to compound with their consciences for breaches of the moral code of religion, by a double portion of zeal for its abstract doctrines. In the middle ages, this course might be pursued on system: for the church allowed an exploit done on the infidels as a merit which might obliterate the guilt of the most atrocious crimes.

The genius alike of the age and of the order tended to render the zeal of the professors of Chi

valry fierce, burning, and intolerant. If an infidel, says a great authority, impugn the doctrines of the Christian faith before a churchman, he should reply to him by argument; but a knight should render no other reason to the infidel than six inches of his falchion thrust into his accursed bowels. Even courtesy, and the respect due to ladies of high degree, gave way when they chanced to be infidels. The renowned Sir Bevis of Hamptoun, being invited by the fair Princess Josiane to come to her bower, replies to the Paynims who brought the message,

"I will ne gou one foot on ground
For to speke with an heathen hound;
Unchristian houndes, I rede ye flee,
Or I your heart's bloode will see."

This intemperate zeal for religion the knights were expected to maintain at every risk, however imminent. Like the early Christians, they were prohibited from acquiescing, even by silence, in the rites of idolatry, although death should be the consequence of their interrupting them. In the fine romance of Huon of Bourdeaux,' that champion is represented as having failed in duty to God and his faith, because he had professed himself a Saracen for the temporary purpose of obtaining entrance into the palace of the Amial Gaudifer. "And when Sir Huon passed the third gate, he remembered him of the lie he had spoken to obtain entrance into the first. Alas! said the knight, what but

[Les prouesses et faictz merveilleux du noble HUON DE · BARDEAUX, per de France, Duc de Guyenne; rediges en bon Francoys. Paris, 1516.]

destruction can betide one who has so foully falsified and denied his faith towards him who has done so much for me!" His mode of repentance was truly chivalrous. When he came to the gate of the last interior enclosure of the castle, he said to the warder," Pagan, accursed be thou of God, open the gate." When he entered the hall where the pagan monarch was seated in full state, he struck off, without ceremony, the head of the pagan lord who sat next in rank to him, exclaiming at the same time with a loud voice, "God, thou hast given me grace well to commence my emprise; may our Redeemer grant me to bring it to an honourable conclusion!" Many such passages might be quoted to show the outrageous nature of the zeal which was supposed to actuate a Christian knight. But it is needless to ransack works of fiction for this purpose. The real history of the Crusades, founded on the spirit of Chivalry, and on the restless and intolerant zeal which was blended by the churchmen with this military establishment, are an authentic and fatal proof of the same facts. The hare-brained and adventurous character of these enterprises, not less than the promised pardons, indulgences, and remissions of the church, rendered them dear to the warriors of the middle ages; the idea of re-establishing the Christian religion in the Holy Land, and wresting the tomb of Christ from the infidels, made kings, princes, and nobles, blind to its hazards; and they rushed, army after army, to Palestine, in the true spirit of Chivalry, whose faithful professors felt themselves the rather called upon to undertake an

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