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THE MATURITY OF CHIVALRY

This chapter looks at chivalry in the fourteenth century-the period when it had attained its noon-day splendour, when it shone forth in all the graces of devotion to woman and romantic veneration, and when consideration and courtesy were shown by the stronger sex to the weaker. In England, under the auspices of the chivalric Edward IlL, chivalry attained its perfection as an institution, and assumed it is most pleasing and attractive form, when some of its brightest representative ornaments appear on the page of history. In the halcyon days of chivalry the popular solemnities were the main entertainment and education of the time. In conducting these combats, the laws of Christian chivalry were strictly enforced. The maintenance of truth was also a characteristic of chivalry. The word of a knight was generally to be depended upon, though on the fulfilment of that word or vow he might have to perform the most hazardous and difficult deeds.