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The Knight's Puzzle


This worthy man was, as Chaucer tells us, "a very perfect, gentle knight," and "In many a noble army had he been: At mortal battles had he been fifteen." His shield, as he is seen showing it to the company at the "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 piece 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 an interesting problem to count the number of squares that may be formed on the shield by uniting four roses.

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