Enchanted Castles

De Saint Foix says that women and girls were subject to violence whenever they passed by an abbey quite as much as when they approached a feudal castle. When these victims were sought for and demanded back, the monks would sustain a siege rather than relinquish them; and, if close pressed, would bring to the walls some sacred relic, which so awed the assailants that they would desist rather than incur the risk of violating such holy articles. This, he says, is the origin of enchanters, enchantments, and enchanted castles. (Historical Essays.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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