20 Pages

Chap. VII. On the Merits and Effects of Chivalry

The genius of chivalry was personal, inasmuch as each knight, when not following the banner of his sovereign, was in himself an independent being, acting from his own sense of virtue, and not deriving counsel from, or sharing opprobrium with, others. This independence of action exalted his character; and, nourished by that pride and energy of soul which belong to man in an early state of society, all the lJjgher and sterner qualities of the mind, - dignity, uncompromising fidelity to obligations, self:denial,

and generousness, both of sentiment and conduct, - became the virtues of chivalry.