This worthy man was, as Chaucer tells us, "a very
knight," and "In many a noble army had he been.
A mortal battles had he
" His shield, as he is seen showing it to the company at
"Tabard" in the illustration, was, in the peculiar language of the
heralds, "argent, semée of roses, gules," which means that
on a white
ground red roses were scattered or strewn, as seed is sown by the hand.
When this knight was called on to propound a puzzle, he said to the
company, "This riddle a wight did ask of me when that I fought with the
lord of Palatine against the heathen in Turkey.
In thy hand take a
of chalk and learn how many perfect squares thou canst make with one of
the eighty-seven roses at each corner thereof."
The reader may find it
interesting problem to count the number of squares that may be formed
the shield by uniting four roses.