E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Honours of War.
The privilege allowed to an honoured enemy, on capitulation, of being permitted to retain their offensive arms. This is the highest honour a victor can pay a vanquished foe. Sometimes the soldiers
so honoured are required to pile arms; in other cases they are allowed to march with all their arms, drums beating, and colours flying.