Illustration from Ballet comique de la reine by Jacques Patin
Two Knights at a Tournament
Plate from A History of the Development and Customs of Chivalry by
Dr. Franz Kottenkamp
Perhaps the ancient way of being was a way to encourage feelings of love and friendship. The speedy monosyllabic vocabulary of today does not encourage the connection to other human beings. It’s good for making plans sometimes, but the amount of texts to set a time is infinite.
Gallantry comes from gale, also regale. It describes pleasure, rejoicing and fun. A gallant man is flirtatious and chivalrous. Gallantry is courage in battle including the war of love. It is polite attention and respect towards women.
Virtue is a trait that describes the feminine in a relationship. In French there is a connection to truth. La vérité. As nature is a virtuous phenomenon it is connected by the color green. In French “verte”.
The feminine passivity throughout history has been the principled, the chaste, morality, integrity and discipline. The idea was to encourage nobility in the human spirit. As men with superior physical strength went to war and built structures, women supported the hearth. In today’s world of uncompromising equality, who looks after the contemplative nature of home?
We scientifically know more facts but do we integrate them with our psyche? Facts require proof. Our inner beings know that proof, trust and finite facts are malleable. Amenable requires flexibility to another point of view.
Relationships seem today to be based on the Freudian concepts of sex and how our primary, I.e. parental examples evolved. But, throughout history, romance and storytelling provided insight and encouragement to seek out virtue and gallantry. A hero requires a quest. Connecting is being a part of a journey together.
The beauty and her beast taught each other bravery and to seek the possibilities of love in the invisible courageous depths of life.
Today contracts rule the world. Chivalry and gallantry rely on trust.