Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter VI / Love's Last Supper; A True Story of the Troubadours >> Page 80

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription CHAPTER VI.

" O, the sacrifice, How ceremonious, solemn, and unearthly, It was i' the offering."� Winter's Tale.

THE ladies had retired, but midnight still found a sufficiently large group gathered together on the upper deck. By this time others of the party had added themselves to the circle of raconteurs, and from one of these we obtained another curious history from the pages of chivalric times, and the troubadours of Provence. The narrator assured us that it was a veritable biography.



IN the first conception of the institution of chivalry it was doubtless a device of great purity, and contemplated none but highly proper and becoming purposes. Those very features which, in our more sophisticated era, seem to have been the most absurd, or at least fantastic, were, perhaps among its best securities. The sentiment of love, apart from its passion, is what a very earnest people, in a very selfish period, can not so well understand ; but it was this very separation of interests, which we now hold to be inseparable, that constituted the peculiarity of chivalry the fanciful in its characteristics rendering sentiment independent of passion, and refining the crude desire by the exercise and influence of tastes, which do not usually accompany it. Among the Provencal knights and troubadours, in the palmy days of their progress, love was really the most innocent and the most elevated of sentiments. It seems to have been nursed without guile, and was professed, even when seemingly