He had traversed the fertile country of Flanders; he had visited the rich commercial and industrial republics of Bruges and Ghent, which had escaped the disasters of the Hundred Years War; and, finally, he had enjoyed a hospitality as princely as it was self-interested at Brussels and at Dijon, the two capitals, where he had seen the brilliancy of a court unique in Europe for the ideal of chivalric life it offered.
Charles VIII., a prince with neither intelligence nor resolution, his head stuffed with chivalric romance, was scarcely freed from his sisters control when he sought in Italy a fatal distraction from the struggle with the house of Austria.
The question now was how to occupy the military activity of a young, handsome, chivalric and gallant prince, ondoyant et divers, intoxicated by his first victory and his tardy accession to fortune.
It was subsequently given by Joseph to his brother-inlaw Brons, whose grandson Perceval is destined to be the final winner and guardian of the relic. The Merlin forms the connecting thread between this definitely ecclesiastical romance and the chivalric atmosphere of Arthur's court; and finally, in the Perceval, the hero, son of Alain and grandson to Brons, is warned by Merlin of the quest which awaits him and which he achieves after various adventures.
We know nothing of the authors of these poems, which treat of the heroic adventures of the great warriors and lovely ladies of the chivalric age in strains of artless but often exquisite beauty.