"Nay, nay," said the knight, "these were not feats of arms, but mere wayside ventures and the chances of travel.
Never a bad word have I for the French, for, though I have ridden twenty times up to their array, I have never yet failed to find some very gentle and worthy knight or squire who was willing to do what he might to enable me to attempt some small feat of arms.
Now, however, no whit anticipating the oblivion which awaited their names and feats, the champions advanced through the lists, restraining their fiery steeds, and compelling them to move slowly, while, at the same time, they exhibited their paces, together with the grace and dexterity of the riders.
This feat of horsemanship again attracted the applause of the multitude.
"For God's sake, Porthos my friend, reserve your feats
of strength, or they will not have, when needed the honor they deserve.
The feat he had just accomplished seemed little less than miraculous, and I could hardly credit the evidence of my senses when I saw the wide distance that a single daring act had so suddenly placed between us.
To my surprise the only effects of my feat were a few slight contusions too trifling to care about.
"Mordioux!" cried D'Artagnan, "I know but one man capable of such a feat of strength."
I cried out, `Nobody but the Baron de Bracieux could have performed such a feat of strength.' You heard me, you turned round, you recognized me, we embraced; and, ma foi!
He again held up his foot, which had a gouty appearance owing to its being contained in a dumpy little worsted sock, and I thought he proposed to repeat his first performance, but in this I did him an injustice, for, unlike Porthos, he was one who scorned to do the same feat twice; perhaps, like the conjurors, he knew that the audience were more on the alert the second time.
Thus he commented on his new feat, but it was also a reminder to me, a trifle cruel, that he was not my boy.
Now, the beheading of the Sperm Whale is a scientific anatomical feat
, upon which experienced whale surgeons very much pride themselves; and not without reason.