Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Bayard: the Good Knight Without Fear and Without Reproach   By:

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: BAYARD.]

BAYARD

THE GOOD KNIGHT WITHOUT FEAR AND WITHOUT REPROACH

BY CHRISTOPHER HARE

WITH COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS BY HERBERT COLE

INTRODUCTION

That courtesy title which flies to the mind whenever the name Bayard is mentioned "The Good Knight without Fear and without Reproach" is no fancy name bestowed by modern admirers, but was elicited by the hero's merits in his own day and from his own people.

The most valuable chronicle of the Good Knight's life and deeds was written with charming simplicity by a faithful follower, who, in single hearted devotion to his beloved master's fame, took no thought for himself, but blotted out his own identity, content to remain for all time a nameless shadow merely the LOYAL SERVITOR. It is from his record that the incidents in the following pages are retold.

The "Loyal Servitor" is now believed from recent research to have been Jacques de Mailles, his intimate friend and companion at arms, probably his secretary. He certainly learnt from Bayard himself the story of his early years, which he tells so delightfully, and he writes with the most minute detail about the later events which happened in his presence, and the warlike encounters in which he himself took part; and a most vivid and interesting account he makes of it. In an ancient catalogue of the Mazarine Library, his book is first set down as the Histoire du Chevalier Bayard, par Jacques de Mailles, Paris, in 4to, 1514 (probably a mistake for 1524). The better known edition, with only the name of the "Loyal Servitor," was published in 1527, under the title of

THE VERY JOYFUL AND VERY DELIGHTFUL HISTORY OF THE LIFE, THE HEROIC DEEDS, THE TRIUMPHS AND THE VALOUR OF THE GOOD KNIGHT WITHOUT FEAR AND WITHOUT REPROACH

BAYARD.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

BAYARD

A FINE EXHIBITION OF HORSEMANSHIP

BATTLE OF FORNOVO

BAYARD DEFENDS THE BRIDGE

THE PAGE PRESENTS HIS PRISONER

SEIZURE OF THE SPY

BAYARD PRESENTED TO HENRY VIII

THE DEATH OF BAYARD

[Illustration: LE CHEVALIER BAYARD Sans peur et sans reproche .]

THE STORY OF BAYARD

CHAPTER I

Pierre Terrail, the renowned Bayard of history, was born at the Castle of Bayard, in Dauphiné, about the year 1474, when Louis XI. was King of France. He came of an ancient and heroic race, whose chief privilege had been to shed their blood for France throughout the Middle Ages.

The lord of Bayard had married Hélène Alleman, a good and pious lady of a noble family, whose brother Laurent was the Bishop of Grenoble. Pierre Bayard, the hero of this story, was the second son of a large family; he had three brothers and four sisters. His eldest brother, Georges, was five or six years older than himself, then came his sisters, Catherine, Jeanne, and Marie, while younger than himself were Claudie, and two brothers, Jacques and Philippe.

Like so many other mediaeval strongholds, the Castle of Bayard was built upon a rocky hill, which always gave an advantage in case of attack. It had been erected by the great grandfather and namesake of our Pierre Bayard, probably on the site of an earlier stronghold, in the year 1404. No better position could have been chosen, for it commanded a deep valley on two sides, in a wild and mountainous district of Dauphiné, near the village of Pontcharra in the Graisivaudan. Even now we can still see from its ruins what a powerful fortress it was in its time, with massive towers three stories high, standing out well in front of the castle wall, and defended by a strong drawbridge. Well fortified, it could have stood a siege before the days of artillery.

But towards the end of the fifteenth century, when Bayard's childhood was spent here, such castles as these were not looked upon as mainly places of defence and refuge, they were gradually becoming more like the later manor houses family homes, with comfortable chambers and halls, where once there had chiefly been the rude dwelling of a garrison used for defence and stored with missiles and arms... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books