The Hebrew Knight

Howell Gwin wrote this a few years ago.

Once upon a time, there was a Hebrew conqueror in mediaeval Iran.. Though of advanced years, he enjoyed laying waste his neighbors, pillaging, robbing and burning over the countryside. On one occasion, he was surprised to discover a Christian maiden of tender years hiding in a cellar, and was much taken with her. He refused to ransom her to the Christian community, preferring to take her into his house. He educated her, dressed her in the finest silks, taught her the ways of the People, and delighted in her increasing maturity and developing skills.

Along the way, he became increasing drawn to her physically, but being of somewhat diminished potency because of his age, he feared lest she should laugh at him. This would, of course, snuff any possibility of true intimacy. At last he bethought himself of a solution.

To overawe the girl and to increase his own confidence (and therefore ability, agility and capability [as Tom Lehrer saith]) he determined to wear his best and most impressive armour when he entered her bedchamber. On his way to see her that fateful eve, he encountered his Grand Vizier in the hallway and imparted to him his plans. Shaking his head sorrowfully, the Vizier, a man great in wisdom and understanding, said

“Sire, do not go knightly into that good Gentile.”

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