In this enterprise, however, he had more real difficulties than generally fell to the lot of a knight-errant of yore, who seldom had anything but giants, enchanters, fiery dragons, and such like easily conquered adversaries, to contend with and had to make his way merely through gates of iron and brass, and walls of adamant to the castle
keep, where the lady of his heart was confined; all which he achieved as easily as a man would carve his way to the centre of a Christmas pie; and then the lady gave him her hand as a matter of course.
Soon after, I went to see a panorama of the Mississippi, and as I worked my way up the river in the light of today, and saw the steamboats wooding up, counted the rising cities, gazed on the fresh ruins of Nauvoo, beheld the Indians moving west across the stream, and, as before I had looked up the Moselle, now looked up the Ohio and the Missouri and heard the legends of Dubuque and of Wenona's Cliff--still thinking more of the future than of the past or present--I saw that this was a Rhine stream of a different kind; that the foundations of castles
were yet to be laid, and the famous bridges were yet to be thrown over the river; and I felt that THIS WAS THE HEROIC AGE ITSELF, though we know it not, for the hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men.
Privately, and unknown to any one, I painted my great picture, "Heidelberg Castle
Illuminated"--my first really important work in oils--and had it hung up in the midst of a wilderness of oil-pictures in the Art Exhibition, with no name attached to it.
The nobles, whose power had become exorbitant during the reign of Stephen, and whom the prudence of Henry the Second had scarce reduced to some degree of subjection to the crown, had now resumed their ancient license in its utmost extent; despising the feeble interference of the English Council of State, fortifying their castles
, increasing the number of their dependants, reducing all around them to a state of vassalage, and striving by every means in their power, to place themselves each at the head of such forces as might enable him to make a figure in the national convulsions which appeared to be impending.
At the door were standing two young women, girls of the district as they call them, on their way to Seville with some carriers who had chanced to halt that night at the inn; and as, happen what might to our adventurer, everything he saw or imaged seemed to him to be and to happen after the fashion of what he read of, the moment he saw the inn he pictured it to himself as a castle
with its four turrets and pinnacles of shining silver, not forgetting the drawbridge and moat and all the belongings usually ascribed to castles
of the sort.
He thought that since the maid was defenseless he could carry her away to one of his castles
and none could gainsay him.
To-day we must accept it as one of the earliest castles
of the Conquest, probably not later than the time of Henry I.
Never before, within the scope of his memory, had he been so close to a young and beautiful woman for so long a period of time, although he had often seen women in the castles
that had fallen before his vicious and terrible attacks.
From the time of the Edwards such buildings as Conway or Caernarvon castles
, to say nothing of Royal Windsor, had shown that it was possible to secure luxury in peace as well as security in times of trouble.
Hardly a month went by without one of these tramps arriving; and generally loaded with a tale about some princess or other wanting help to get her out of some far-away castle
where she was held in captivity by a lawless scoundrel, usually a giant.
Take off your clothes and spread them on the path which leads from here to the castle
Towards the middle of the month of May, in the year 1660, at nine o'clock in the morning, when the sun, already high in the heavens, was fast absorbing the dew from the ramparts of the castle
of Blois a little cavalcade, composed of three men and two pages, re-entered the city by the bridge, without producing any other effect upon the passengers of the quay beyond a first movement of the hand to the head, as a salute, and a second movement of the tongue to express, in the purest French then spoken in France: "There is Monsieur returning from hunting.
So, as she sat in the door of her castle
, she happened to look around and saw Dorothy lying asleep, with her friends all about her.
In the morning came the fox again and met him as he was beginning his journey, and said, 'Go straight forward, till you come to a castle
, before which lie a whole troop of soldiers fast asleep and snoring: take no notice of them, but go into the castle
and pass on and on till you come to a room, where the golden bird sits in a wooden cage; close by it stands a beautiful golden cage; but do not try to take the bird out of the shabby cage and put it into the handsome one, otherwise you will repent it.
We whisked by many a gray old medieval castle
, clad thick with ivy that swung its green banners down from towers and turrets where once some old Crusader's flag had floated.