THE STORY OF GUY AND PHYLLIS
 It was not long after Brunhilda and Gordian went to
live in Warwick that
their little baby boy was born. It seemed to Brunhilda
that this was the
only thing that she had wanted to make her quite, quite
happy. She thought
that no baby had ever been so beautiful as hers. And
indeed he was a very
wonderful child. Soon after he was born, a wise woman
came to see
Brunhilda. She took the baby in her arms and looked
long and earnestly at
him. Then giving him back to Brunhilda, she said,
"Thou art a happy woman.
Thy son will be a great man. He will do many wonderful
deeds, and his name
will be remembered for hundreds and hundreds of years."
 Then the wise woman went away, leaving Brunhilda very
Gordian and Brunhilda called their little boy Guy.
They loved him very
much. He was a pretty child that all the ladies in the
castle loved too.
They used to play with him and kiss him and give him
As Guy grew older he became as strong and brave as he
was beautiful. When
he was only eight years old he could run and fight,
throw stones and climb
trees, better than a boy of twelve. By the time that
he was sixteen he was
taller and stronger than any man. No knight in all the
compare with him. He rode a horse, and handled a sword
and spear better
than any of them. Yet he was not a knight, but only a
At last Earl Rohand heard of Guy and his wonderful
strength and skill. He
asked the boy to a great dinner at Warwick Castle, and
afterwards to join in
a Tournament, as the games in which knights took part
 Earl Rohand loved brave deeds and brave men. So,
although Guy was only his
steward's son, he treated him as an honoured guest.
Guy was given a seat
near the upper end of the table, quite close to the
Earl, and opposite his
lovely daughter, Phyllis.
At first Guy was rather shy at finding himself among so
many grand lords,
and knights, and fair ladies. But soon he took
courage, and, raising his
eyes, he saw Lady Phyllis looking at him. She, too,
had heard of Guy's
great deeds and had longed to speak to him. For
although Guy had had dinner
every day in the same room as Phyllis, he had sat far
down the table, and
did not dare to speak to so grand a lady. But he had
often looked at her
from his distant seat, and had thought that no one in
all the world was so
beautiful. Now that he looked at her, as she sat
opposite, he was sure of
And indeed Phyllis was the most beautiful lady in the
whole kingdom. Some
people say she was one of the most beautiful
 ladies who have ever lived in all the world. Certainly
Guy thought so. He
did not want to sit at dinner any longer. He longed
for the Tournament to
begin, so that he might show Phyllis how well he could
At last the feast was over and the Tournament began.
Lord Rohand and Lady
Phyllis, and many other gay lords and ladies, sat
watching, while the
knights fought and wrestled.
Never did Guy fight so well as on this day. He
conquered every one of the
knights, and won the prize. Shouts and cheers filled
the air as he knelt
before Phyllis. She smiled kindly at him, as she put
the crown of roses
upon his head, and the chain of gold around his neck.
It pleased her that
the son of her father's steward should be so brave.
And as he knelt before
her, Guy's heart beat so loud and fast that he thought
every one must hear
it and know that he loved Phyllis, although he did not
dare to tell her so.
Earl Rohand soon grew to like Guy very much, and he
often invited him to the
 Every time that Guy came, he saw Phyllis. Each time
that he saw her, he
loved her more.
Guy knew that it was very foolish to love Phyllis, for
she was a great lady,
and he only a steward's son.
Day by day great lords and princes came to the castle
to ask Phyllis to
marry them. To each one she said, "No, I love thee
not." Then they went
away sadly, for Phyllis was very beautiful and very
Yet Guy lived in constant fear that some day Phyllis
would marry one of
these splendid princes who came to ask for her hand.
Then she would go
away, and perhaps he would never see her again.
One beautiful spring day Phyllis and Guy were walking
in the garden
together. They birds were singing, the sun was
shining, the first flowers
were making sweet the air, and all the world seemed
full of happiness. Only
in Guy's heart was there pain and trouble.
"Phyllis," he said suddenly, "Phyllis, I love thee, I
love thee; I cannot
 Phyllis had been merry and smiling. In a moment she
looked cold and proud.
She was no longer his laughing playmate, but the Lady
Phyllis, his master's
"What nonsense, Guy," she said; "surely thou has
forgotten that I am Lord
Rohand's daughter, and thou but his steward's son. Go
away, and never speak
to me again." Then she walked proudly up the garden
path, leaving poor Guy
feeling very miserable indeed.
After this Guy became most unhappy. He no longer
laughed and sang with his
friends, but wandered about by himself, silent and
gloomy. He became at
last so pale and ill that every one wondered what the
matter could be.
Lord Rohand, who was very fond of Guy, was sorry to see
him look so pale.
"What aileth thee, Guy?" he asked.
"Nothing, my lord, nothing at all," replied Guy. He
did not dare to say, "I
love Lady Phyllis, and she is angry with me."
Poor Guy! he was strong, and brave,
 and handsome; he could fight wicked giants and wild
beasts, but he did not
know in the least how to make a beautiful lady love
him. So he wandered
about alone, looking very pale and miserable.
Now Phyllis began to be sorry that she had spoken so
crossly to Guy. She
missed him very much, for he never came now to walk
with her in the garden,
or to ride through the woods. She thought at first
that he would soon come
back, and that they would be friends again. But day
after day passed and
still he did not come.
Strange to say, too, the longer Guy stayed away, the
more Phyllis wished he
would come back; and the more she thought about him,
the sorrier she became
that she had spoken so crossly, till at last she
thought of nothing but Guy all day long.
From thinking of Guy all day long, Phyllis came to
dream about him all night
too. One night she dreamed that he had come back,
dressed in splendid
armour, and looking like a grand prince.
 When Phyllis woke after this dream she began to wonder
if it could ever come
true. She wished it would. Certainly it seemed as if
something strange had
happened to her, for instead of being angry with Guy,
she now felt that she
loved him better than any one in all the world.
But day after day went by, and Guy did not come, so at
last Phyllis sent for
him. He came quickly, wondering what she wanted to say
to him, and when
Phyllis saw him looking sad and miserable, she was more
sorry than ever that
she had been so cross.
As she looked at him the tears came into her eyes. "I
am very sorry," she
said gently; "wilt thou forgive me, and be my friend
It seemed to Guy as if the sun suddenly began to shine
and the birds to
sing. "Dost thou mean it?" he cried. "Dost thou truly
want me to come back
again? And may I love thee? And wilt thou marry me?"
Phyllis, looking more beautiful than ever,
 answered, "Yes, I want thee to come back, Guy, but I
cannot marry thee yet.
I am very proud—I cannot help it—and I want
to be proud of thee
too. I could not be proud of thee while thou art only
a steward's son, even
if thy father is really a nobleman. Go away and make
thyself famous, and
when thou comest back then I will marry thee."
Guy took Phyllis in his arms and kissed her once.
"Good-bye," he cried,
"good-bye, I will come back famous."
Then he mounted upon his horse and rode away, and
Phyllis did not see him
again for a long time.
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics