Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Horn, the fairest youth ever born, is bright as glass and white as a flower; his color is rose-red, and he has no equal in any kingdom. When Horn is fifteen years old, his father, King Murry of Suddene Isle of Man, is killed by invading Saracens. His mother, Queen Godhild, finds refuge under a rock, where she prays for Horn’s safety. Because of Horn’s fairness, the Saracens spare him, setting him adrift with twelve companions, among them his brother Athulf and the wicked Fikenhild, on a ship that they expect will sink. The youths land safely on the shore of Westernesse, where good King Aylmar receives them kindly and takes a special liking to Horn. Aylmar’s daughter, Rymenhild, is also attracted to Horn and asks the steward, Athelbrus, who is in charge of Horn’s instruction, to bring him to her room. Disturbed at this command, Athelbrus brings Athulf instead. Mistaking him for Horn, Rymenhild tells Athulf that she loves him. When she discovers that Athelbrus tricked her, she threatens to have him hanged, whereupon Athelbrus brings Horn to her. Rymenhild asks him to marry her, but Horn refuses, saying that he is a foundling and unworthy. At this rebuff, Rymenhild falls in a swoon. Horn takes her in his arms, kisses her, and asks her to have her father make him a knight so that he might marry her.
King Aylmar knights Horn and permits him to knight his companions. As soon as Horn is knighted, Rymenhild wants him to marry her; but Horn says that he...
(The entire section is 1053 words.)
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