How The Noble Brotherhood of the Rose Was Founded

   “It is virtue, yea virtue, gentlemen, that maketh gentlemen; that maketh the poor rich, the base-born noble, the subject a sovereign, the deformed beautiful, the sick whole, the weak strong, the most miserable most happy. There are two principal and peculiar gifts in the nature of man, knowledge and reason; the one commandeth, and the other obeyeth: these things neither the whirling wheel of fortune can change, neither the deceitful cavillings of worldlings separate, neither sickness abate, neither age abolish.”—Lilly’s Euphues, 1586.

It now falls to my lot to write of the foundation of that most chivalrous brotherhood of the Rose, which after a few years made itself not only famous in its native country of Devon, but formidable, as will be related hereafter, both in Ireland and in the Netherlands, in the Spanish Main and the heart of South America. And if this chapter shall seem to any Quixotic and fantastical, let them recollect that the generation who spoke and acted thus in matters of love and honor were, nevertheless, practised and valiant soldiers, and prudent and crafty politicians; that he who wrote the “Arcadia” was at the same time, in spite of his youth, one of the subtlest diplomatists of Europe; that the poet of the “Faerie Queene” was also the author of “The State of Ireland;” and if they shall quote against me with a sneer Lilly’s “Euphues” itself, I shall only answer by asking—Have they ever read it? For if they have done so, I pity them if they have not found it, in spite of occasional tediousness and pedantry, as brave, righteous, and pious a book as man need look into: and wish for no better proof of the nobleness and virtue of the Elizabethan age, than the fact that “Euphues” and the “Arcadia” were the two popular romances of the day. It may have suited the purposes of Sir Walter Scott, in his cleverly drawn Sir Piercie Shafton, to ridicule the Euphuists, and that affectatam comitatem of the travelled English of which Languet complains; but over and above the anachronism of the whole character (for, to give but one instance, the Euphuist knight talks of Sidney’s quarrel with Lord Oxford at least ten years before it happened), we do deny that Lilly’s book could, if read by any man of common sense, produce such a coxcomb, whose spiritual ancestors would rather have been Gabriel Harvey and Lord Oxford,—if indeed the former has not maligned the latter, and ill- tempered Tom Nash maligned the maligner in his turn.

But, indeed, there is a double anachronism in Sir Piercie; for he does not even belong to the days of Sidney, but to those worse times which began in the latter years of Elizabeth, and after breaking her mighty heart, had full license to bear their crop of fools’ heads in the profligate days of James. Of them, perhaps, hereafter. And in the meanwhile, let those who have not read “Euphues” believe that, if they could train a son after the fashion of his Ephoebus, to the great saving of their own money and his virtue, all fathers, even in these money-making days, would rise up and call them blessed. Let us rather open our eyes, and see in these old Elizabeth gallants our own ancestors, showing forth with the luxuriant wildness of youth all the virtues which still go to the making of a true Englishman. Let us not only see in their commercial and military daring, in their political astuteness, in their deep reverence for law, and in their solemn sense of the great calling of the English nation, the antitypes or rather the examples of our own: but let us confess that their chivalry is only another garb of that beautiful tenderness and mercy which is now, as it was then, the twin sister of English valor; and even in their extravagant fondness for Continental manners and literature, let us recognize that old Anglo-Norman teachableness and wide- heartedness, which has enabled us to profit by the wisdom and civilization of all ages and of all lands, without prejudice to our own distinctive national character.

And so I go to my story, which, if any one dislikes, he has but to turn the leaf till he finds pasturage which suits him better.

Amyas could not sail the next day, or the day after; for the southwester freshened, and blew three parts of a gale dead into the bay. So having got the Mary Grenville down the river into Appledore pool, ready to start with the first shift of wind, he went quietly home; and when his mother started on a pillion behind the old serving-man to ride to Clovelly, where Frank lay wounded, he went in with her as far as Bideford, and there met, coming down the High Street, a procession of horsemen headed by Will Cary, who, clad cap-a-pie in a shining armor, sword on thigh, and helmet at saddle-bow, looked as gallant a young gentleman as ever Bideford dames peeped at from door and window. Behind him, upon country ponies, came four or five stout serving-men, carrying his lances and baggage, and their own long-bows, swords, and bucklers; and

  By PanEris using Melati.

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