'The King turned to the tables, and held him out his own cup of wine. The old man drank, and beckoned behind him, and, before all the Normans, my Hugh bore away the empty cup, Saxon-fashion, upon the knee.

This is from "The Tree of Justice" in Rewards and Fairies by Kipling.


I do not understand the meaning of below.

bear away the empty cup on the knee
Because the old man and Hugh are both standing.

I am so glad if somebody kindly teach me.

1 Answer 1


The old man gestures to Hugh to take the cup from him, and Hugh--who recognizes the old man as Harold Godwinson, the English king defeated and dethroned forty years before at Hastings--kneels to receive the cup from him, and still on his knees carries it away from him. The next line of the story confirms this:

“It is Harold!” said De Aquila. “His own stiff-necked blood kneels to serve him.”

  • StoneyB,thank you so much for your answer. I understand the meaning. Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 6:44

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