Cathyn Fitzgerald on


AElflaed note: This was lifted from Cathyn's website so I could edit and preserve it. It might still be out there elsewhere as well.

When looking at the various lists of The X Knightly Virtues (X usually being some number between seven and twelve) Largesse is frequently listed, or is listed as Charity. The two concepts while similar, differ slightly, and both are virtues. I believe that Charity applies as a virtue to all, while Largesse is more the realm of the Nobility. Charity is generosity to those in need, and a highly admirable virtue indeed. Largesse is sharing with others (usually of similar rank) within the prudent bounds of one's resources. When looked at in these terms, Charity may well be the superior virtue. However, in period, Knights may well not have been expected to practice Charity, but Largesse was expected, rooted in the Biblical concept of Hospitality, a virtue which also appears in place of Largesse on many lists. Call it what you will, but practice it by whatever name you call it.

Largesse is positively not rooted in monetary considerations. For many of us, we best display Largesse by sharing our time with others, teaching what we know, inviting others to our homes to allow them to use our tools to make armor or clothing or soap or what have you. We go to events and teach Arts and Sciences classes. We take hours and hours of our time volunteering to cook a meal for our local group's annual Harvest Feast. When we are in public or communicating in private we behave in accordance with the Virtues, being role-models for how members of the nobility (which we are all presumed to be) act towards each other. In short, we share of ourselves, our skills, our knowledge, our resources, to make our Society a better place, better dressed, better armed, better fed, better taught.

As a real world example, consider this. A candidate was being discussed in the circle in which I sit. This candidate was looked upon favorably, but the one knock against him was that his level of participation was a bit low, and he moved frequently due to being in the US Military. A speech regarding this candidate was given, pointing out that he attended every event and practice he could, within the restrictions placed upon him by his mundane occupation, and that this was a fine example of Largesse, in that he shared with us his company, his skills, and his knowledge to the full extent of his resources. Today I am proud to call this man my brother Knight.

More on Virtues, more on Cathyn, more Ælflæd of Duckford