The feeblest warrior without any assistance could stoop his head and put it through the belt of his shield, as an angler takes off his fishing creel, and there he was, totally disarmed. No squire was needed to disarm him, any more than to disarm Girard in the Chancun de Willame.
We have already shown, in the more appropriate instance of the Chancun de Willame, that considerable varieties in diction and metre occur in a single MS. of that poem, a MS. written probably within less than a century of the date of the poem's composition.
The argument is that a man with a large shield needs no body armour, or uses the shield because he has no body armour. We turn to a French Chanson de Geste La Chancun de Willem of the twelfth century A.D., to judge by the handwriting. One of the heroes, Girard, having failed to rescue Vivien in battle, throws down his weapons and armour, blaming each piece for having failed him.
"Give them my body back again, that the Trojans and Trojans' wives grant me my due of fire after my death." Compare La Chancun de Williame, lines 1041-1058 with lines 1140-1134. In both the dinner of a knight who has been long deprived of food is described in passages containing many identical lines. The poet, having found his formula, uses it whenever occasion serves.