April 26, 2007 - 0 Comments

"So we may well believe that the King's men were shriven on the night before they fought. Something of the young man's vision had penetrated to his captains and his soldiers. Something of the new ideal of the Round Table which was to be born in pain, something about doing a hateful and dangerous action for the sake of decency--for they knew that the fight was to be fought in blood and death without reward. They would get nothing but the unmarketable conscience of having done what they ought to do in spite of fear--something which wicked people have often debased by calling it glory with too much sentiment, but which is glory all the same. This idea was in the hearts of the young men who knelt before the God-distributing bishops--knowing that the odds were three to one, and that their own warm bodies might be cold at sunset."

"Why did not Lancelot make love to Guenever, or run away with his hero's wife altogether, as any enlightened man would do today?
One reason for his dilemma was that he was a Christian. The modern world is apt to forget that several people were Christians in the remote past, and in Lancelot's time there were no Protestants--except John Scotus Erigena. His Church, in which he had been brought up--and it is difficult to escape from your upbringing--directly forbade him to seduce his best friend's wife."

"'It is all very well for Bors,' he said complainingly, 'but what about the hermit? What about Sir Colgrevance? Why didn't God save them?"
'Dogmas are difficult things,' said Arthur.
Guenever said: "We don't know what their past history was. The killing didn't do any harm to their souls. Perhaps it even helped their souls, to die like that. Perhaps God gave them this good death because it was the best thing for them.'"

- White, The Once and Future King, 1958.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home