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together, and depart out of Spain, and go to Aachen, there to await the fulfilment of thy promise. But he will leave his rear guard of twenty thousand, together with Roland and Oliver, and his twelve noblest knights, to follow after him. Fall on these with all thy warriors; let 5 not one escape. So shall the pride of Charles be broken; for the strength of his army is not in his host, but in these, and in Roland his right arm. Destroy them, and thou mayest choose thy terms of peace, for Charles will fight no more. The rear guard will take their journey 10 along the narrow Valley of Roncesvalles. Surround the valley with thy host, and lie in wait for them. They will fight hard, but in vain."
When Ganelon came before Charles, he told him King Marsilius would perform the oath which he swore, and was 15 even now setting out upon his journey, to pay the price of peace and be baptized. Then Charles lifted up his hands towards heaven, and thanked God for the prosperous ending of the war in Spain.
On the morrow the king arose and gathered to him 20 his host to go away to keep the feast of St. Michael at Aachen, and to meet Marsilius there. And Olger the Dane he made captain of the vanguard of his army which should go with him. Then said the king to Ganelon, "Whom shall I make captain of the rear guard which I 25 leave behind?" Ganelon answered, "Roland; for there is none like him in all the host." So Charles made
Roland captain of the rear guard. With Roland there remained behind Oliver, and the twelve knights, and Turpin the Archbishop, who for love of Roland went with him, and twenty thousand well-proved warriors. Then 5 said the king to his nephew, "Good Roland, behold, the half of my army have I given thee in charge. See thou keep them safely." Roland answered: "Fear nothing. I shall render good account of them."
-G. W. Cox: Popular Romances of the Middle Ages.
pa'gans, heathen; en'voys, those bearing messages from one king or government to another, ambassadors; rai'ment, clothing; vas'sal, one pledged to the service of a lord; cov'e nant, agreement; hom'age, respect paid to a lord by his vassal; trib'ute, a sum paid to a stronger state by a weaker in return for peace or protection; hos'ta ges, in old times, persons placed by one country in the hands of another, to be killed or kept prisoners in case that it did not fulfill an agreement; van'guard, the guard of the van or front of the army.
1. Who were the Moors? Where did they come from? Why was Charles so anxious to drive them out of Spain? 2. Who was Mohammed? Find out something about the Mohammedan religion. What people now believe in it? 3. Find Saragossa and Cordova on your maps. 4. Where is Aachen, or Aix-la-Chapelle, as it is generally called? 5. Trace the course of the army on your maps from Cordova to Aachen.
Punctuation: The Hyphen. On the first page of Lesson 43, why is there a short dash or hyphen (-) after the first syllable of the word "fortress"? How many other instances of this same kind can you find on that page? Where does the hyphen always occur? Make a list of ten words in the lesson that are written with a hyphen. Why is the hyphen used? Could you divide any of the words differently?
ROLAND AND HIS HORN (Continued)
So they took leave of one another, and the king and his host marched forward, till they reached the borders of Spain. They had to travel along steep and dangerous mountain ways, and down through silent valleys made gloomy by overhanging crags. And when the king 5 thought upon his nephew whom he left behind, his heart grew heavy with the thought of ill. So they came into France and saw their own lands again. But Charles would not be comforted, and would sit with his face wrapped in his mantle; and he often said that he feared 10 that Ganelon had wrought some treason.
Now Marsilius had sent in haste to all his barons to assemble a mighty army, and in three days he gathered four hundred thousand men at Roncesvalles, in the Western Pyrenees, and there lay in wait for the rear guard of 15 King Charles. And a great number of the most valiant pagan kings banded themselves together to attack Roland in a body, and to fight with none other till he was slain.
Now when the rear guard had toiled up the rocky pass and climbed the mountain ridge, they looked down on 20 Roncesvalles, whither their journey lay. And behold! all the valley bristled with spears, and the valley sides were overspread with them, for the multitude was like
blades of grass upon a pasture; and the murmur of the pagan host rose to them on the mountain as the murmur of a sea.
Then when they saw that Ganelon had played them 5 false, Oliver spake to Roland: "What shall we now do because of this treason? For this is a greater multitude of pagans than has ever been gathered together in the world before. And they will certainly give us battle." Roland answered: "God grant it; for sweet it 10 is to do our duty for our king. This will we do: when we have rested we will go forward." Then said Oliver: "We are but a handful. These are in number as the
sands of the sea. Be wise; take now your horn, good
comrade, and sound it; perhaps Charles may hear, and 15 come back with his host to rescue us." But Roland an
swered: "The greater the number, the more glory. God forbid I should sound my horn and bring Charles back with his barons, and lose my good name, and bring disgrace upon us all. Fear not the numbers of the host; I 20 promise you they shall repent of coming here; they are as good as dead already in my mind."
Three times Oliver urged him to sound his horn, but Roland would not, for he said, "God and His angels are on our side; through Him we shall do great wonders, and 25 He will not see us put to shame before His enemies.' Yet again Oliver pleaded, for he had mounted up into a pine tree and seen more of the multitude that came
against them; far as the eye could see they reached; and he prayed Roland to come and see also. But he would not. "Time enough," he said, "to know their numbers, when we come to count the slain. We will make ready for battle."
Roland ranged his trusty warriors and went to and fro among them, riding upon his battle horse, by his side his good sword Durendal. There was not a man but loved him unto death and cheerfully would follow where he led. He looked upon the pagan host, and his counte-10 nance waxed fierce and terrible; he looked upon his band, and his face was mild and gentle. He said: "Good comrades, lords, and barons, let no man grudge his life to-day; but only see that he sells it dear. A score of pagans is a poor price for one of us. I have promised to render good 15 account of you. I have no fear. God knows the result of the fight, but we know that much glory and worship await us upon earth and crowns in Paradise." Then he gave the word, "Forward!" and with his golden spurs pricked his steed. So, foremost, he led the rear guard 20 down the mountain side, down into the Valley of Death, called Roncesvalles. Close following came Oliver, Archbishop Turpin, and the valiant Twelve, the guard pressing forward with shouts and bearing the snow-white banner of their king aloft.
Marvelous and fierce was the battle. was good, for it crashed through fifteen pagan bodies,