Renier Sacrificed His Son, To Save His Lord’s

September 5, 2019

The bonds of feudalism were stronger than family ties. The lord was greater than a father, and a vassal was more than a son. . . .

A traitor of the name of Fromont one day murdered his lord and master, Girart de Blaines, and in his made rage would have slain every member of the family of which he had slain the chief. There only remained, alas, a child, a little lad of a few months old, and this only child of Girart had been confided to the care of a devoted vassal named Renier, whose wife was called Erembourc. The traitor ordered these good people to bring to him Girart’s child, the little Jourdain whom he wished to kill. After lengthy and moving remonstrances, which we shall have opportunity to relate elsewhere, they refused, and ended by giving up their own child, which they palmed off as the son of their seigneur, to the assassin. Yes! They sacrificed their very flesh and blood, and were suffering spectators of the agony of the child. They weep, they faint, they die; but after all they are vassals, and those people believed that they were accomplishing a duty in saving the little son of their lord at such a price. It was hard!

León Gautier, Chivalry, trans. Henry Frith (London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd., 1891), 64.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 690

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