Pellinore’s Wedding

Photo courtesy of www.barrieingham.com

Photo courtesy of http://www.barrieingham.com

“King Arthur was delighted to see his old friends again, and to hear of Pellinore’s engagement.He was the first knight he had taken a fancy to, when he was a small boy in the Forest Sauvage, and he decided to give the dear fellow a marriage of unexampled splendour. The cathedral of Carlion was booked for it, and no trouble was spared that a good time should be had by all. The pontifical nuptial high mass was celebrated by such a galaxy of cardinals and bishops and nuncios that there seemed to be no part of the immense church which was not teeming with violet and scarlet and incense and little boys ringing silver bells. Sometimes a boy would rush at a bishop and ring a bell at him. Sometimes a nuncio would pounce on acardinal and cense him all over. It was like a battle of flowers. Thousands of candles blazed before the gorgeous altars. In every direction the blunt, accustomed, holy fingers were spreading little tablecloths, or holding up books, or blessing each other thoroughly, or soaking each other with Holy Water, or reverently displaying God to the people. The music was heavenly, both Gregorian and Ambrosian, and the church was packed. There were monks and friars and abbots of every description, standing about in sandals among the knights,whose armour flashed by candlelight. There was even a Franciscan bishop, wearing grey,with a red hat. The copes and mitres were almost all of solid gold cloth crusted with diamonds, and there was such a putting of them on and taking of them off that the whole cathedral rustled. As for the Latin, it was talked at such a speed that the rafters rang with genitive plurals—and there was such a prelatical issuing of admonitions, exhortations and benedictions that it was a wonder the whole congregation did not go to heaven on the spot. Even the Pope, who was as keen as anybody that the thing should go with a swing, had kindly sent a number of indulgences for everybody he could think of.”

-T.H. White, The Once and Future King

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