But while the banner was square the pennon, which resembled it in other respects, was either pointed or forked at its extremity, and the pencel, which was considerably less than the others, always terminated in a single tail or streamer.6 If indeed we look at the scale of chivalric subordination from another point of view, it seems to be more properly divisible into four than into three stages, of which two may be called provisional and two final.
He had traversed the fertile country of Flanders; he had visited the rich commercial and industrial republics of Bruges and Ghent, which had escaped the disasters of the Hundred Years War; and, finally, he had enjoyed a hospitality as princely as it was self-interested at Brussels and at Dijon, the two capitals, where he had seen the brilliancy of a court unique in Europe for the ideal of chivalric life it offered.
The question now was how to occupy the military activity of a young, handsome, chivalric and gallant prince, ondoyant et divers, intoxicated by his first victory and his tardy accession to fortune.
We know nothing of the authors of these poems, which treat of the heroic adventures of the great warriors and lovely ladies of the chivalric age in strains of artless but often exquisite beauty.
The boy is brought up as his own by Roald, or Rual, seneschal of the kingdom, who has him carefully trained in all chivalric and courtly arts.
This defect appears most strongly in his treatment of Joan of Arc; and the attack on Agnes Sorel seems to have been dictated by the dauphin (afterwards Louis XI.), then a refugee in Burgundy, of whom he was afterwards to become a severe critic. He was not, however, misled, as his more picturesque predecessor Froissart had been, by feudal and chivalric tradition into misconception of the radical injustice of the English cause in France; and except in isolated instances where Burgundian interests were at stake, he did full justice to the patriotism of Frenchmen.
For even the high lifted and chivalric Crusaders of old times were not content to traverse two thousand miles of land to fight for their holy sepulchre, without committing burglaries, picking pockets, and gaining other pious perquisites by the way.
Charles VIII., a prince with neither intelligence nor resolution, his head stuffed with chivalric romance, was scarcely freed from his sisters control when he sought in Italy a fatal distraction from the struggle with the house of Austria.
It was subsequently given by Joseph to his brother-inlaw Brons, whose grandson Perceval is destined to be the final winner and guardian of the relic. The Merlin forms the connecting thread between this definitely ecclesiastical romance and the chivalric atmosphere of Arthur's court; and finally, in the Perceval, the hero, son of Alain and grandson to Brons, is warned by Merlin of the quest which awaits him and which he achieves after various adventures.