Chapter 5

Also remember the story of Perseus,
Whose name is well-known
Throughout the world, both soft and hard,
The swift horse Pegasus afterward
He rode through the air flying,
And Andromeda in his fight
From the demon he delivered her
And with his strength he saved her;
As a right good errant mighty knight
Brought her again to her family safely.
Keep this deed in your mind,
For a good knight should also be bold.
This way if that he will have fame and
Worship, which is much better than riches,
Look upon his shining shield,
Which has overcome many.
Be sure that you are armed with weapons like his,
Both strong and steadfast you should be.

Gloss

And because it is a good thing for a knight to have worship and reverence, we shall do so in the manner of poets. Perseus was a very worthy knight and won many battles, and the name of the great land of Persia comes from him. And poets said that he rode the flying horse called Pegasus; and by that we should understand that he had a great name which flew around the world. He bore in his hand a falchion1 or a glaive2, which defeated many people who challenged him to battle. He delivered Andromeda from the sea monster. This was a king’s daughter who had been sentenced by a goddess to be devoured, who he then delivered. This Perseus and the flying horse should be noted for the good name that a good night should have which shall be his reward; and that name shall be known in all countries. who he delivered from a monster of the sea, which by the sentence of the goddess should have devoured her. This is to understand that all knights should save women that have need of their help. And Aristotle says that a good name makes a man shining to the world and agreeable in the presence of princes.

Allegory

The chivalrous spirit should desire a good name among the saints of heaven to be his best reward. The horse Pegasus that bore him shall be his good angel, which shall make good report of him on judgement day. Andromeda that shall be delivered, it is his soul, which he delivered from the fiend of hell by overcoming sin. And a man should want to have a good name in this world for the pleasure of God, not for vanity, Saint Austin says in the Book of Correction that a few things are necessary to serve well: good conscious and good name, conscience for faith and good name for his neighbors; and whosoever trusts in conscience and hates a good name, he is cruel; for it is a sign of a noble courage to love the power of a good name. And to this purpose says the wiseman: Have regard to thy name; for that shall continue with thee above a thousand great treasures of gold.3

Footnotes

  1. Falchion: A kind of saber.
  2. Glaive: A type of polearm.
  3. This comes from Ecclesiasticus 41:15. Christine’s original Latin reads: “Curam habe de bono nomine; magis enim permanebit tibi quam mille thesauri preciosi.”

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