The word Chivalry has meant at different times a good many different things—from heavy cavalry to giving a woman a seat in a train. But if we want to understand chivalry as an ideal distinct from other ideals—if we want to isolate that particular conception of the man comme il faut which was the special contribution of the Middle Ages to our culture—we cannot do better than turn to the words addressed to the greatest of all imaginary knights in Malory’s Morte D’Arthur. Thou wert the meekest man, says Sir Ector to the dead Launcelot. Thou wert the meekest man
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