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In the Orders of Chivalry, the slurs had a Symbolic meaning as important as their practical use was necessary. "To win one's spurs" was a phrase which meant "to win one's right to the dignity of knighthood." Hence, in the investiture of a knight, he was told that the spurs were a symbol of promptitucle in military Service; and in the degradation of an unfaithful knight, his spurs were hacked off by the book, to show his utter unworthiness to wear them. Stowe says (Annals, 902), in describing the ceremony of investing knights: "Evening prayer being ended, there stood at the chapel-door the king's master-cook, with his white apron and sleeves, and chopping-knife in his hand, gilded about the edge, and challenged their spurs. which they redeemed with a noble a piece, and he said to every knight, as they pressed by him: fair Knight, look that you be true and loyal to the King, my master, or else I must hew these spurs from your heels.' " In the Masonic Orders of Chivalry, the symbolism of the spurs has unfortunately been omitted.

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