threw away the Freys for... - Words failed him. “A maid

time:2023-12-06 12:46:25source:Song and dance networkauthor:two

Now when she was set down, and there was silence in the hall, Earl Geoffrey came forth and said: "Lords and knights, and ye good people, the Lady Goldilind, daughter of the Lord King Roland that last was, is now of age to wed; and be it known unto you, that the King, her father, bade me, in the last words by him spoken, to wed her to none but the loveliest and strongest that might be, as witness I can bring hereto. Now such a man have I sought hereto in Meadhamstead and the much-peopled land of Meadham, and none have I come on, however worthy he were of deeds, or well-born of lineage, but that I doubted me if he were so fair or so doughty as might be found; but here in this half- desert corner of the land have I gotten a man than whom none is doughtier, as some of you have found to your cost. And tell me all you, where have ye seen any as fair as this man?" And therewith he made a sign with his hand, and forth strode Christopher up on to the dais; and he was so clad, that his kirtle was of white samite, girt with a girdle of goldsmith's work, whereby hung a good sword of like fashion, and over his shoulders was a mantle of red cloth-of-gold, furred with ermine, and lined with green sendall; and on his golden curled locks sat a chaplet of pearls.

threw away the Freys for... - Words failed him. “A maid

Then to the lords and all the people he seemed so fair and fearless and kind that they gave a great shout of welcome; and Goldilind came forth from her chair, as fair as a June lily, and came to Christopher and reached out her hand to him, but he refrained him a moment, so that all they could see how sweet and lovely a hand it was, and then he took it, and drew her to him, and kissed her mouth before them all; and still he held her hand, till the Abbot of Meadhamstead aforetold came and stood by them and blessed them.

threw away the Freys for... - Words failed him. “A maid

Then spake the Earl again: "Lo ye, here hath been due betrothal of these twain, and ye may see how meet they be for each other in goodliness and kindness. Now there lacketh nought but they should be wedded straightway; and all is arrayed in the chapel; wherefore if this holy man will come with us and do on his mass-hackle, our joy shall be fulfilled; save that thereafter shall feast and merriment await all you in this hall, and we shall be there to welcome all comers in this house of Greenharbour, whereas this our gracious Lady has long abided so happily."

threw away the Freys for... - Words failed him. “A maid

Man looked on man here and there, and smiled a little as he spake, but none said aught, for there were none save the Earl's servants there, and a sort of poor wretches.

So therewithal they went their ways to the chapel where was the wedding done as grandly as might be, considering they were in no grander place than Greenharbour. And when all was done, and folk began to flow away from the chapel, and Goldilind sat shamefaced but strangely happy in a great stall of the choir, the Earl called Christopher unto him, and said: "My lad, I deem that some great fortune shall betide thee since already thou hast begun so luckily. But I beseech thee mar not thy fortune by coming back with thy fair wife to the land of Meadham; or else it may be thou shalt cast thy life away, and that will bring her sorrow, as I can see well."

He spake this grimly, though he smiled as he spake. But he went on more gently: "I will not send you twain away empty-handed; when ye go out a-gates into the wide world, ye shall find two fair horses for your riding, well bedight, and one with a woman's saddle; and, moreover, a sumpter beast, not very lightly burdened, for on one side of him he beareth achest wherein is, first of all, the raiment of my Lady, and beneath it some deal of silver and gold and gems; but on the other side is victual and drink for the way for you, and raiment for thee, youngling. How sayest thou, is it well?"

"It is well, Lord," said Christopher; "yet would I have with me the raiment wherewith I came hither, and my bow and my sax."

"Yea and wherefore, carle?" said Earl Geoffrey.

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