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Bill Nye's history of England from the druids to the reign of Henry VIII

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1896 Excerpt: ... generally so thoroughly incog. that his crest, on a new shield freshly painted and grained and bearing a motto, was his only introduction. Imagine a sweet girl, who for years had been under the eagle eye of a middle-weight chaperon, suddenly espying in the moonlight a disguised man under the window on horseback, in the act of asking her to join him for a few weeks at his shooting-box in the swamp. Then, if you please, imagine her asking for his card, whereupon he exposes the side of his new tin shield, on which is painted in large Old English letters a Latin motto meaning, "It is the early bird that catches the worm," with bird rampant, worm couchant on a field uncultivated. Then, seating herself behind the knight, she must escape for days, and even weeks, --one escape seeming to call for another, as it were. Thus, however, the expense of a wedding was saved, and the knight with the biggest chest measurement generally got the heiress with the copper-colored hair. He wore a crest on his helmet adorned with German favors given him by lady admirers, so that the crest of a popular young knight often looked like a slump at the Bon Marcht. The most peculiar condition required for entry into knighthood was the "vigil of arms," which consisted in keeping a long silent watch in some gloomy spot--a haunted one preferred--over the arms he was about to assume. The illustration representing this subject is without doubt one of the best of the kind extant, and even in the present age of the gold-cure is suggestive of a night-errant of to-day. A tournament was a sort of refined equestrian prize-fight with one-hundred-ounce jabbers. Each knight, clad in tin-foil and armed cap-a-pie, riding in each other's direction just as fast as possible with an uncon... Hide synopsis

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