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EXTRACTS IN FAVOUR OF THE BRIGHT SIDE OF CHIVALRY

Chivalry was a fraternal association, or rather an enthusiastic compact between men of feeling and courage, of delicacy and devotion such, at least, was the noble aim it had in view, and which it constantly strove to attain. The women respected by men were taught to respect themselves. The men were even scrutinizing censors of such women as violated the decorum of the sex. Chivalry accordingly brought knights of every rank into equal and open competition, and taught even sovereign princes to consider it an honour to be made knights even by female persons, pre-eminently distinguished by the qualities that chivalry wished to call forth. Whilst approving the generous protection which chivalry extended to the weak and to the oppressed, the Church always endeavoured to destroy the savage doctrine of paganism which confounded might with right.