Originally Latin, actually spelled “caballarius” and pronounced “SHiv? lre”, is chivalry. Chivalry is the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight. Such qualities include honor, courtesy, courage, justice, and willing to assist those in need. If one is chivalrous in character, then one is a gentleman and noble in his good deeds. He would in no manner hesitate to serve others and serve his God. This is evident as Honore de Balzac puts it: “the motto of chivalry is also the motto of wisdom; to serve all, but love only one.
” Chivalry, besides its original usage as “calvary,” can truly only be delineated in only one way, which is to refer to a virtuous code of conduct. There isn’t any negative connotations to the word either, unless somebody called a fellow thane chivalrous in Old Anglo-Saxon times! Other than that, the only emotional association with the word is generally positive. This noble idea of conduct is constituted of several virtues in spite of the narrow usage of the word.
So, how did chivalry come into existence?
Journey to the medieval times and you will discover that chivalry was once an existential characteristic of every man sworn into nobility or born into it. These men were knights. Medieval knights battled horseback and practiced outstanding gallantry. Knights were always calvary in battle, and exhibited righteous morals. A group of knights was actually called “the chivalry” of the militia. They were excelled in sword craft nearly comparable to their high level of graciousness, and could ride a horse well-nigh to the speed of which they are willing to assist a damsel in distress.
Chivalry came to be known as the demeanor of an ideal knight, rather than simply a group of knights. As Chaucer puts it in Canterbury Tales, an ideal knight “loved chivalry, truth and honor, freedom and courtesy; … a very gentle, perfect knight. ” Whatever happened to chivalry? Certain writers may say chivalry is dead, or it might just have a bad case of the flu. As long as wrongs are still righted, chivalry will survive. Chivalry cannot and will never die out. It may become exponentially less evident everyday, but underlying all the rudeness and discourtesy, chivalry is there.
Chivalry does indeed need to be implemented more and more into society. Every single man’s major desire should be to act magnanimously and reveal a generous and noble state of mind. If every man were to be genuinely chivalrous then hardly would there ever be any cheating, debt, adultery, stealing, or even bad attitudes. Each and every man would be true in their religion, honest, courteous, and would have a burning passion to do what is right.
Think of that chivalry based utopian society. A world where people were more worried about humbling themselves rather than raising themselves up would be phenomenal. Modern chivalry should predominate like it did with Sir Lancelot around Queen Guinevere. Contemporary America could learn from John Bowring’s “Chivalry” poem which reads: “Now tell me what is chivalry? To battle in the foremost fight For anything—for wrong—for right, For some fair lady’s scornful smile, For what is virtuous, what is vile, Come, tell me, is this chivalry?
No! in the men for truth who pant, In wretchedness and woe and want, Who bear the world’s contemptuous hate, With patient soul, with heart elate. No! in the woman in whose home No peace is found, no comforts come, Yet bends in silence,—feeling still ‘Tis God’s most kind, most holy will. This—this is truest chivalry! ” Chivalry essentially is the essence of all that is good, virtuous, and holy, conglomerated into one admirably cultivated code of conduct to live by.