The Feudal Lord was a Gentle Father

December 19, 2019

The feudal father was a king, but one who governed his own kingdom with a gentle hand which one would scarcely have expected from a giant cased in steel. It is with a sympathetic tenderness that he looks around on his family, and reads the old poem about Doon to his children—of whom he had twelve, sons, like our typical knight; and it as somewhat difficult to bring up such a large family, but the more there are the more he loves them. Victor Hugo has said that the lion-hearted are fathers. We may apply this saying to our knights, who were tender as brave. When they set off for the far-distant Jerusalem they desired to see their children at last, and cried out with the afflicted Amis: “Show me my son Girard once again.”

León Gautier, Chivalry, trans. Henry Frith (London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd., 1891), 410.

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