The truth is, Alisande, these archaics are a little too simple; the vocabulary is too limited, and so, by consequence, descriptions suffer in the matter of variety; they run too much to level Saharas of fact, and not enough to picturesque detail; this throws about them a certain air of the monotonous; in fact the fights are all alike: a couple of people come together with great random—random is a good word, and so is exegesis, for that matter, and so is holocaust, and defalcation, and usufruct and a hundred others, but land! a body ought to discriminate—they come together with great random, and a spear is brast, and one party brake his shield and the other one goes down, horse and man, over his horse-tail and brake his neck, and then the next candidate comes randoming in, and brast his spear, and the other man brast his shield, and down he goes, horse and man, over his horse-tail, and brake his neck, and then there's another elected, and another and another and still another, till the material is all used up; and when you come to figure up results, you can't tell one fight from another, nor who whipped; and as a picture, of living, raging, roaring battle, sho! why, it's pale and noiseless—just ghosts scuffling in a fog. Dear me, what would this barren vocabulary get out of the mightiest spectacle?—the burning of Rome in Nero's time, for instance? Why, it would merely say, "Town burned down; no insurance; boy brast a window, fireman brake his neck!" Why, that ain't a picture!
Maleorie posted...Wherefore Kynge Bane and Bors made hem redy and dressed theire shyldis and harneysse, and were so curageous that their enemyes shooke and byverd for egirnesse. All thys whyle Sir Lucas, Gwynas, Bryaunte, and Bellias of Flaundres helde stronge medle agaynste six kynges, which were Kynge Lott, Kynge Nentres, Kynge Brandegoris, Kynge Idres, Kyng Uriens, and Kynge Angwysshauns. So, with the helpe of Sir Kay and of Sir Gryfflet, they helde thes six kyngis harde, that unneth they had ony power to deffende them. But whan Kynge Arthure saw the batayle wolde nat be ended by no maner, he fared woode as a lyon and stirred his horse here and there, on the ryght honde and the lyffte honde, that he stynted nat tylle he had slayne twenty knyghtes. ALso he wounded Kynge Lotte sore on the shoulder and made hym to leve that grownde, for Sir Kay with Sir Gryfflet dud with Kynge Arthure grete dedis of armys there.