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Main > English folktales > Fairy tale "St. George Of Merrie England"

St. George Of Merrie England


Then St. George rising, and bowing low, said quietly: "Peerless lady! Lo! I am that very knight to whom thou did'st condescend to give this."

And with this he slipped the diamond ring she had given him on her finger. But she looked not at it, but at him, with love in her eyes.

Then he told her of her father's base treachery and Almidor's part in it, so that her anger grew hot and she cried:

"Waste no more time in talk. I remain no longer in this detested place. Ere Almidor returns from hunting we shall have escaped."

So she led St. George to the armoury, where he found his trusty sword Ascalon, and to the stable, where his swift steed Bayard stood ready caparisoned.

Then, when her brave Knight had mounted, and she, putting her foot on his, had leapt like a bird behind him, St. George touched the proud beast lightly with his spurs, and, like an arrow from a bow, Bayard carried them together over city and plain, through woods and forests, across rivers, and mountains, and valleys, until they reached the Land of Greece.

And here they found the whole country in festivity over the marriage of the King. Now amongst other entertainments was a grand tournament, the news of which had spread through the world. And to it had come all the other Six Champions of Christendom; so St. George arriving made the Seventh. And many of the champions had with them the fair lady they had rescued. St. Denys of France brought beautiful Eglantine, St. James of Spain sweet Celestine, while noble Rosalind accompanied St. Anthony of Italy. St. David of Wales, after his seven years' sleep, came full of eager desire for adventure. St. Patrick of Ireland, ever courteous, brought all the six Swan-princesses who, in gratitude, had been seeking their deliverer St. Andrew of Scotland; since he, leaving all worldly things, had chosen to fight for the faith.

So all these brave knights and fair ladies joined in the joyful jousting, and each of the Seven Champions was in turn Chief Challenger for a day.

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