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IVANHOE;


A ROMANCE.


by Walter Scott


Now fitted the halternow traversed the cart
And often took leave----but seemed loath to depart!*


* The motto alludes to the Author returning to the stage
* repeatedly after having taken leave.
Prior.

INTRODUCTION

TO

IVANHOE.

The Author of the Waverley Novels had hitherto proceeded in an
unabated course of popularityand mightin his peculiar
district of literaturehave been termed "L'Enfant Gate" of
success. It was plainhoweverthat frequent publication must
finally wear out the public favourunless some mode could be
devised to give an appearance of novelty to subsequent
productions. Scottish mannersScottish dialectand Scottish
characters of notebeing those with which the author was most
intimatelyand familiarly acquaintedwere the groundwork upon
which he had hitherto relied for giving effect to his narrative.
It washoweverobviousthat this kind of interest must in the
end occasion a degree of sameness and repetitionif exclusively
resorted toand that the reader was likely at length to adopt
the language of Edwinin Parnell's Tale:

'Reverse the spell,' he cries, 'And let it fairly now

suffice. The gambol has been shown.'

Nothing can be more dangerous for the fame of a professor of the
fine artsthan to permit (if he can possibly prevent it) the
character of a mannerist to be attached to himor that he should
be supposed capable of success only in a particular and limited
style. The public arein generalvery ready to adopt the
opinionthat he who has pleased them in one peculiar mode of
compositionisby means of that very talentrendered incapable
of venturing upon other subjects. The effect of this
disinclinationon the part of the publictowards the artificers
of their pleasureswhen they attempt to enlarge their means of
amusingmay be seen in the censures usually passed by vulgar
criticism upon actors or artists who venture to change the
character of their effortsthatin so doingthey may enlarge
the scale of their art.


There is some justice in this opinionas there always is in such
as attain general currency. It may often happen on the stage
that an actorby possessing in a preeminent degree the external
qualities necessary to give effect to comedymay be deprived of
the right to aspire to tragic excellence; and in painting or
literary compositionan artist or poet may be master exclusively
of modes of thoughtand powers of expressionwhich confine him
to a single course of subjects. But much more frequently the
same capacity which carries a man to popularity in one department
will obtain for him success in anotherand that must be more
particularly the case in literary compositionthan either in
acting or paintingbecause the adventurer in that department is
not impeded in his exertions by any peculiarity of featuresor
conformation of personproper for particular partsorby any
peculiar mechanical habits of using the pencillimited to a
particular class of subjects.

Whether this reasoning be correct or otherwisethe present
author feltthatin confining himself to subjects purely
Scottishhe was not only likely to weary out the indulgence of
his readersbut also greatly to limit his own power of
affording them pleasure. In a highly polished countrywhere so
much genius is monthly employed in catering for public amusement
a fresh topicsuch as he had himself had the happiness to light
uponis the untasted spring of the desert;--


Men bless their stars and call it luxury.

But when men and horsescattlecamelsand dromedarieshave
poached the spring into mudit becomes loathsome to those who at
first drank of it with rapture; and he who had the merit of
discovering itif he would preserve his reputation with the
tribemust display his talent by a fresh discovery of untasted
fountains.

If the authorwho finds himself limited to a particular class of
ubjectsendeavours to sustain his reputation by striving to add
a novelty of attraction to themes of the same character which
have been formerly successful under his managementthere are
manifest reasons whyafter a certain pointhe is likely to
fail. If the mine be not wrought outthe strength and capacity
of the miner become necessarily exhausted. If he closely
imitates the narratives which he has before rendered successful
he is doomed to "wonder that they please no more." If he
struggles to take a different view of the same class of subjects
he speedily discovers that what is obviousgracefuland
naturalhas been exhausted; andin order to obtain the
indispensable charm of noveltyhe is forced upon caricature
andto avoid being tritemust become extravagant.

It is notperhapsnecessary to enumerate so many reasons why
the author of the Scottish Novelsas they were then exclusively
termedshould be desirous to make an experiment on a subject
purely English. It was his purposeat the same timeto have
rendered the experiment as complete as possibleby bringing the
intended work before the public as the effort of a new candidate
for their favourin order that no degree of prejudicewhether
favourable or the reversemight attach to itas a new
production of the Author of Waverley; but this intention was
afterwards departed fromfor reasons to be hereafter mentioned.

The period of the narrative adopted was the reign of Richard I.
not only as abounding with characters whose very names were sure


to attract general attentionbut as affording a striking
contrast betwixt the Saxonsby whom the soil was cultivatedand
the Normanswho still reigned in it as conquerorsreluctant to
mix with the vanquishedor acknowledge themselves of the same
stock. The idea of this contrast was taken from the ingenious
and unfortunate Logan's tragedy of Runnamedein whichabout the
same period of historythe author had seen the Saxon and Norman
barons opposed to each other on different sides of the stage. He
does not recollect that there was any attempt to contrast the two
races in their habits and sentiments; and indeed it was obvious
that history was violated by introducing the Saxons still
existing as a high-minded and martial race of nobles.

They didhoweversurvive as a peopleand some of the ancient
Saxon families possessed wealth and poweralthough they were
exceptions to the humble condition of the race in general. It
seemed to the authorthat the existence of the two races in the
same countrythe vanquished distinguished by their plain
homelyblunt mannersand the free spirit infused by their
ancient institutions and laws; the victorsby the high spirit of
military famepersonal adventureand whatever could distinguish
them as the Flower of Chivalrymightintermixed with other
characters belonging to the same time and countryinterest the
reader by the contrastif the author should not fail on his
part.

Scotlandhoweverhad been of late used so exclusively as the
scene of what is called Historical Romancethat the preliminary
letter of Mr Laurence Templeton became in some measure necessary.
To thisas to an Introductionthe reader is referredas
expressing author's purpose and opinions in undertaking this
species of compositionunder the necessary reservationthat he
is far from thinking he has attained the point at which he aimed.

It is scarcely necessary to addthat there was no idea or wish
to pass off the supposed Mr Templeton as a real person. But a
kind of continuation of the Tales of my Landlord had been
recently attempted by a strangerand it was supposed this
Dedicatory Epistle might pass for some imitation of the same
kindand thus putting enquirers upon a false scentinduce them
to believe they had before them the work of some new candidate
for their favour.

After a considerable part of the work had been finished and
printedthe Publisherswho pretended to discern in it a germ of
popularityremonstrated strenuously against its appearing as an
absolutely anonymous productionand contended that it should
have the advantage of being announced as by the Author of
Waverley. The author did not make any obstinate oppositionfor
he began to be of opinion with Dr Wheelerin Miss Edgeworth's
excellent tale of "Maneuvering that Trick upon Trick" might be
too much for the patience of an indulgent publicand might be
reasonably considered as trifling with their favour.

The bookthereforeappeared as an avowed continuation of the
Waverley Novels; and it would be ungrateful not to acknowledge
that it met with the same favourable reception as its
predecessors.

Such annotations as may be useful to assist the reader in
comprehending the characters of the Jewthe Templarthe Captain
of the mercenariesor Free Companionsas they were calledand
others proper to the periodare addedbut with a sparing hand
since sufficient information on these subjects is to be found in


general history.

An incident in the talewhich had the good fortune to find
favour in the eyes of many readersis more directly borrowed
from the stores of old romance. I mean the meeting of the King
with Friar Tuck at the cell of that buxom hermit. The general
tone of the story belongs to all ranks and all countrieswhich
emulate each other in describing the rambles of a disguised
sovereignwhogoing in search of information or amusementinto
the lower ranks of lifemeets with adventures diverting to the
reader or hearerfrom the contrast betwixt the monarch's outward
appearanceand his real character. The Eastern tale-teller has
for his theme the disguised expeditions of Haroun Alraschid with
his faithful attendantsMesrour and Giafarthrough the midnight
streets of Bagdad; and Scottish tradition dwells upon the similar
exploits of James V.distinguished during such excursions by the
travelling name of the Goodman of Ballengeighas the Commander
of the Faithfulwhen he desired to be incognitowas known by
that of Il Bondocani. The French minstrels are not silent on so
popular a theme. There must have been a Norman original of the
Scottish metrical romance of Rauf Colziarin which Charlemagne
is introduced as the unknown guest of a charcoal-man.*

* This very curious poemlong a desideratum in Scottish
* literatureand given up as irrecoverably lostwas
* lately brought to light by the researches of Dr Irvine of
* the Advocates' Libraryand has been reprinted by Mr David
* LaingEdinburgh.
It seems to have been the original of other poems of the kind.

In merry England there is no end of popular ballads on this
theme. The poem of John the Reeveor Stewardmentioned by
Bishop Percyin the Reliques of English Poetry* is said to

* Vol. ii. p. 167.
have turned on such an incident; and we have besidesthe King
and the Tanner of Tamworththe King and the Miller of Mansfield
and others on the same topic. But the peculiar tale of this
nature to which the author of Ivanhoe has to acknowledge an
obligationis more ancient by two centuries than any of these
last mentioned.

It was first communicated to the public in that curious record of
ancient literaturewhich has been accumulated by the combined
exertions of Sir Egerton Brydges. and Mr Hazlewoodin the
periodical work entitled the British Bibliographer. From thence
it has been transferred by the Reverend Charles Henry Hartsborne
M.A.editor of a very curious volumeentitled "Ancient Metrical
Talesprinted chiefly from original sources1829." Mr
Hartshorne gives no other authority for the present fragment
except the article in the Bibliographerwhere it is entitled the
Kyng and the Hermite. A short abstract of its contents will show
its similarity to the meeting of King Richard and Friar Tuck.

King Edward (we are not told which among the monarchs of that
namebutfrom his temper and habitswe may suppose Edward IV.)
sets forth with his court to a gallant hunting-match in Sherwood
Forestin whichas is not unusual for princes in romancehe
falls in with a deer of extraordinary size and swiftnessand
pursues it closelytill he has outstripped his whole retinue
tired out hounds and horseand finds himself alone under the
gloom of an extensive forestupon which night is descending.


Under the apprehensions natural to a situation so uncomfortable
the king recollects that he has heard how poor menwhen
apprehensive of a bad nights lodgingpray to Saint Julianwho
in the Romish calendarstands Quarter-Master-General to all
forlorn travellers that render him due homage. Edward puts up
his orisons accordinglyand by the guidancedoubtlessof the
good Saintreaches a small pathconducting him to a chapel in
the foresthaving a hermit's cell in its close vicinity. The
King hears the reverend manwith a companion of his solitude
telling his beads withinand meekly requests of him quarters
for the night. "I have no accommodation for such a lord as ye
be said the Hermit. I live here in the wilderness upon roots
and rindsand may not receive into my dwelling even the poorest
wretch that livesunless it were to save his life." The King
enquires the way to the next townandunderstanding it is by a
road which he cannot find without difficultyeven if he had
daylight to befriend himhe declaresthat with or without the
Hermit's consenthe is determined to be his guest that night.
He is admitted accordinglynot without a hint from the Recluse
that were he himself out of his priestly weedshe would care
little for his threats of using violenceand that he gives way
to him not out of intimidationbut simply to avoid scandal.

The King is admitted into the cell --- two bundles of straw are
shaken down for his accommodationand he comforts himself that
he is now under shelterand that

A night will soon be gone.

Other wantshoweverarise. The guest becomes clamorous for
supperobserving

For certainly, as I you say,

I ne had never so sorry a day,

That I ne had a merry night.

But this indication of his taste for good cheerjoined to the
annunciation of his being a follower of the Courtwho had lost
himself at the great hunting-matchcannot induce the niggard
Hermit to produce better fare than bread and cheesefor which
his guest showed little appetite; and "thin drink which was
even less acceptable. At length the King presses his host on a
point to which he had more than once alluded, without obtaining a
satisfactory reply:

Then said the King'by God's grace

Thou wert in a merry place

To shoot should thou here

When the foresters go to rest

Sometyme thou might have of the best

All of the wild deer;

I wold hold it for no scathe

Though thou hadst bow and arrows baith

Althoff thou best a Frere.'"

The Hermitin returnexpresses his apprehension that his guest
means to drag him into some confession of offence against the
forest lawswhichbeing betrayed to the Kingmight cost him
his life. Edward answers by fresh assurances of secrecyand
again urges on him the necessity of procuring some venison. The
Hermit repliesby once more insisting on the duties incumbent
upon him as a churchmanand continues to affirm himself free
from all such breaches of order:


Many day I have here been,

And flesh-meat I eat never,

But milk of the kye;

Warm thee well, and go to sleep,

And I will lap thee with my cope,

Softly to lye.

It would seem that the manuscript is here imperfectfor we do
not find the reasons which finally induce the curtal Friar to
amend the King's cheer. But acknowledging his guest to be such a
good fellowas has seldom graced his boardthe holy man at
length produces the best his cell affords. Two candles are
placed on a tablewhite bread and baked pasties are displayed by
the lightbesides choice of venisonboth salt and freshfrom
which they select collops. "I might have eaten my bread dry
said the King, had I not pressed thee on the score of archery
but now have I dined like a prince---if we had but drink enow."

This too is afforded by the hospitable anchoritewho dispatches
an assistant to fetch a pot of four gallons from a secret corner
near his bedand the whole three set in to serious drinking.
This amusement is superintended by the Friaraccording to the
recurrence of certain fustian wordsto be repeated by every
compotator in turn before he drank---a species of High Jinksas
it wereby which they regulated their potationsas toasts were
given in latter times. The one toper says "fusty bandias"to
which the other is obliged to replystrike pantnereand the
Friar passes many jests on the King's want of memorywho
sometimes forgets the words of action. The night is spent in
this jolly pastime. Before his departure in the morningthe
King invites his reverend host to Courtpromisesat leastto
requite his hospitalityand expresses himself much pleased with
his entertainment. The jolly Hermit at length agrees to venture
thitherand to enquire for Jack Fletcherwhich is the name
assumed by the King. After the Hermit has shown Edward some
feats of archerythe joyous pair separate. The King rides home
and rejoins his retinue. As the romance is imperfectwe are not
acquainted how the discovery takes place; but it is probably much
in the same manner as in other narratives turning on the same
subjectwhere the hostapprehensive of death for having
trespassed on the respect due to his Sovereignwhile incognito
is agreeably surprised by receiving honours and reward.

In Mr Hartshorne's collectionthere is a romance on the same
foundationcalled King Edward and the Shepherd*

* Like the Hermitthe Shepherd makes havock amongst the
* King's game; but by means of a slingnot of a bow; like
* the Hermittoohe has his peculiar phrases of
* compotationthe sign and countersign being Passelodion
* and Berafriend. One can scarce conceive what humour our
* ancestors found in this species of gibberish; but
* "I warrant it proved an excuse for the glass."
whichconsidered as illustrating mannersis still more curious
than the King and the Hermit; but it is foreign to the present
purpose. The reader has here the original legend from which the
incident in the romance is derived; and the identifying the
irregular Eremite with the Friar Tuck of Robin Hood's storywas
an obvious expedient.

The name of Ivanhoe was suggested by an old rhyme. All novelists
have had occasion at some time or other to wish with Falstaff
that they knew where a commodity of good names was to be had. On


such an occasion the author chanced to call to memory a rhyme
recording three names of the manors forfeited by the ancestor of
the celebrated Hampdenfor striking the Black Prince a blow with
his racketwhen they quarrelled at tennis:

Tring, Wing, and Ivanhoe,

For striking of a blow,

Hampden did forego,

And glad he could escape so.

The word suited the author's purpose in two material respects
---forfirstit had an ancient English sound; and secondlyit
conveyed no indication whatever of the nature of the story. He
presumes to hold this last quality to be of no small importance.
What is called a taking titleserves the direct interest of the
bookseller or publisherwho by this means sometimes sells an
edition while it is yet passing the press. But if the author
permits an over degree of attention to be drawn to his work ere
it has appearedhe places himself in the embarrassing condition
of having excited a degree of expectation whichif he proves
unable to satisfyis an error fatal to his literary reputation.
Besideswhen we meet such a title as the Gunpowder Plotor any
other connected with general historyeach readerbefore he has
seen the bookhas formed to himself some particular idea of the
sort of manner in which the story is to be conductedand the
nature of the amusement which he is to derive from it. In this
he is probably disappointedand in that case may be naturally
disposed to visit upon the author or the workthe unpleasant
feelings thus excited. In such a case the literary adventurer
is censurednot for having missed the mark at which he himself
aimedbut for not having shot off his shaft in a direction he
never thought of.

On the footing of unreserved communication which the Author has
established with the readerhe may here add the trifling
circumstancethat a roll of Norman warriorsoccurring in the
Auchinleck Manuscriptgave him the formidable name of
Front-de-Boeuf.

Ivanhoe was highly successful upon its appearanceand may be
said to have procured for its author the freedom of the Rules
since he has ever since been permitted to exercise his powers of
fictitious composition in Englandas well as Scotland.

The character of the fair Jewess found so much favour in the eyes
of some fair readersthat the writer was censuredbecausewhen
arranging the fates of the characters of the dramahe had not
assigned the hand of Wilfred to Rebeccarather than the less
interesting Rowena. Butnot to mention that the prejudices of
the age rendered such an union almost impossiblethe author may
in passingobservethat he thinks a character of a highly
virtuous and lofty stampis degraded rather than exalted by an
attempt to reward virtue with temporal prosperity. Such is not
the recompense which Providence has deemed worthy of suffering
meritand it is a dangerous and fatal doctrine to teach young
personsthe most common readers of romancethat rectitude of
conduct and of principle are either naturally allied withor
adequately rewarded bythe gratification of our passionsor
attainment of our wishes. In a wordif a virtuous and
self-denied character is dismissed with temporal wealth
greatnessrankor the indulgence of such a rashly formed or ill
assorted passion as that of Rebecca for Ivanhoethe reader will
be apt to sayverily Virtue has had its reward. But a glance on
the great picture of life will showthat the duties of


self-denialand the sacrifice of passion to principleare
seldom thus remunerated; and that the internal consciousness of
their high-minded discharge of dutyproduces on their own
reflections a more adequate recompensein the form of that peace
which the world cannot give or take away.

Abbotsford
1st September1830.

DEDICATORY EPISTLE

TO

THE REV. DR DRYASDUSTF.A.S.

Residing in the Castle-GateYork.

Much esteemed and dear Sir

It is scarcely necessary to mention the various and concurring
reasons which induce me to place your name at the head of the
following work. Yet the chief of these reasons may perhaps be
refuted by the imperfections of the performance. Could I have
hoped to render it worthy of your patronagethe public would at
once have seen the propriety of inscribing a work designed to
illustrate the domestic antiquities of Englandand particularly
of our Saxon forefathersto the learned author of the Essays
upon the Horn of King Ulphusand on the Lands bestowed by him
upon the patrimony of St Peter. I am conscioushoweverthat
the slightunsatisfactoryand trivial mannerin which the
result of my antiquarian researches has been recorded in the
following pagestakes the work from under that class which bears
the proud mottoDetur digniori. On the contraryI fear I
shall incur the censure of presumption in placing the venerable
name of Dr Jonas Dryasdust at the head of a publicationwhich
the more grave antiquary will perhaps class with the idle novels
and romances of the day. I am anxious to vindicate myself from
such a charge; for although I might trust to your friendship for
an apology in your eyesyet I would not willingly stand
conviction in those of the public of so grave a crimeas my
fears lead me to anticipate my being charged with.

I must therefore remind youthat when we first talked over
together that class of productionsin one of which the private
and family affairs of your learned northern friendMr Oldbuck of
Monkbarnswere so unjustifiably exposed to the publicsome
discussion occurred between us concerning the cause of the
popularity these works have attained in this idle agewhich
whatever other merit they possessmust be admitted to be hastily
writtenand in violation of every rule assigned to the epopeia.
It seemed then to be your opinionthat the charm lay entirely in
the art with which the unknown author had availed himselflike a
second M'Phersonof the antiquarian stores which lay scattered
around himsupplying his own indolence or poverty of invention
by the incidents which had actually taken place in his country at
no distant periodby introducing real charactersand scarcely
suppressing real names. It was not above sixty or seventy years
you observedsince the whole north of Scotland was under a state
of government nearly as simple and as patriarchal as those of our
good allies the Mohawks and Iroquois. Admitting that the author
cannot himself be supposed to have witnessed those timeshe must


have livedyou observedamong persons who had acted and
suffered in them; and even within these thirty yearssuch an
infinite change has taken place in the manners of Scotlandthat
men look back upon the habits of society proper to their
immediate ancestorsas we do on those of the reign of Queen
Anneor even the period of the Revolution. Having thus
materials of every kind lying strewed around himthere was
littleyou observedto embarrass the authorbut the difficulty
of choice. It was no wonderthereforethathaving begun to
work a mine so plentifulhe should have derived from his works
fully more credit and profit than the facility of his labours
merited.

Admitting (as I could not deny) the general truth of these
conclusionsI cannot but think it strange that no attempt has
been made to excite an interest for the traditions and manners of
Old Englandsimiliar to that which has been obtained in behalf
of those of our poorer and less celebrated neighbours. The
Kendal greenthough its date is more ancientought surely to be
as dear to our feelingsas the variegated tartans of the north.
The name of Robin Hoodif duly conjured withshould raise a
spirit as soon as that of Rob Roy; and the patriots of England
deserve no less their renown in our modern circlesthan the
Bruces and Wallaces of Caledonia. If the scenery of the south be
less romantic and sublime than that of the northern mountainsit
must be allowed to possess in the same proportion superior
softness and beauty; and upon the wholewe feel ourselves
entitled to exclaim with the patriotic Syrian---"Are not Pharphar
and Abanarivers of Damascusbetter than all the rivers of
Israel?"

Your objections to such an attemptmy dear Doctorwereyou may
remembertwo-fold. You insisted upon the advantages which the
Scotsman possessedfrom the very recent existence of that state
of society in which his scene was to be laid. Many now alive
you remarkedwell remembered persons who had not only seen the
celebrated Roy M'Gregorbut had feastedand even fought with
him. All those minute circumstances belonging to private life
and domestic characterall that gives verisimilitude to a
narrativeand individuality to the persons introducedis still
known and remembered in Scotland; whereas in England
civilisation has been so long completethat our ideas of our
ancestors are only to be gleaned from musty records and
chroniclesthe authors of which seem perversely to have
conspired to suppress in their narratives all interesting
detailsin order to find room for flowers of monkish eloquence
or trite reflections upon morals. To match an English and a
Scottish author in the rival task of embodying and reviving the
traditions of their respective countrieswould beyou alleged
in the highest degree unequal and unjust. The Scottish magician
you saidwaslike Lucan's witchat liberty to walk over the
recent field of battleand to select for the subject of
resuscitation by his sorceriesa body whose limbs had recently
quivered with existenceand whose throat had but just uttered
the last note of agony. Such a subject even the powerful Erictho
was compelled to selectas alone capable of being reanimated
even by "her" potent magic--


------gelidas leto scrutata medullas

Pulmonis rigidi stantes sine vulnere fibras

Invenitet vocem defuncto in corpore quaerit.

The English authoron the other handwithout supposing him less
of a conjuror than the Northern Warlockcanyou observedonly


have the liberty of selecting his subject amidst the dust of
antiquitywhere nothing was to be found but drysapless
moulderingand disjointed bonessuch as those which filled the
valley of Jehoshaphat. You expressedbesidesyour
apprehensionthat the unpatriotic prejudices of my countrymen
would not allow fair play to such a work as that of which I
endeavoured to demonstrate the probable success. And thisyou
saidwas not entirely owing to the more general prejudice in
favour of that which is foreignbut that it rested partly upon
improbabilitiesarising out of the circumstances in which the
English reader is placed. If you describe to him a set of wild
mannersand a state of primitive society existing in the
Highlands of Scotlandhe is much disposed to acquiesce in the
truth of what is asserted. And reason good. If he be of the
ordinary class of readershe has either never seen those remote
districts at allor he has wandered through those desolate
regions in the course of a summer toureating bad dinners
sleeping on truckle bedsstalking from desolation to desolation
and fully prepared to believe the strangest things that could be
told him of a peoplewild and extravagant enough to be attached
to scenery so extraordinary. But the same worthy personwhen
placed in his own snug parlourand surrounded by all the
comforts of an Englishman's firesideis not half so much
disposed to believe that his own ancestors led a very different
life from himself; that the shattered towerwhich now forms a
vista from his windowonce held a baron who would have hung him
up at his own door without any form of trial; that the hindsby
whom his little pet-farm is manageda few centuries ago would
have been his slaves; and that the complete influence of feudal
tyranny once extended over the neighbouring villagewhere the
attorney is now a man of more importance than the lord of the
manor.

While I own the force of these objectionsI must confessat the
same timethat they do not appear to me to be altogether
insurmountable. The scantiness of materials is indeed a
formidable difficulty; but no one knows better than Dr Dryasdust
that to those deeply read in antiquityhints concerning the
private life of our ancestors lie scattered through the pages of
our various historiansbearingindeeda slender proportion to
the other matters of which they treatbut stillwhen collected
togethersufficient to throw considerable light upon the "vie
prive" of our forefathers; indeedI am convincedthat however I
myself may fail in the ensuing attemptyetwith more labour in
collectingor more skill in usingthe materials within his
reachillustrated as they have been by the labours of Dr Henry
of the late Mr Struttandabove allof Mr Sharon Turneran
abler hand would have been successful; and therefore I protest
beforehandagainst any argument which may be founded on the
failure of the present experiment.

On the other handI have already saidthat if any thing like a
true picture of old English manners could be drawnI would trust
to the good-nature and good sense of my countrymen for insuring
its favourable reception.

Having thus repliedto the best of my powerto the first class
of your objectionsor at least having shown my resolution to
overleap the barriers which your prudence has raisedI will be
brief in noticing that which is more peculiar to myself. It
seems to be your opinionthat the very office of an antiquary
employed in graveandas the vulgar will sometimes allegein
toilsome and minute researchmust be considered as
incapacitating him from successfully compounding a tale of this


sort. But permit me to saymy dear Doctorthat this objection
is rather formal than substantial. It is truethat such slight
compositions might not suit the severer genius of our friend Mr
Oldbuck. Yet Horace Walpole wrote a goblin tale which has
thrilled through many a bosom; and George Ellis could transfer
all the playful fascination of a humouras delightful as it was
uncommoninto his Abridgement of the Ancient Metrical Romances.
So thathowever I may have occasion to rue my present audacity
I have at least the most respectable precedents in my favour.

Still the severer antiquary may thinkthatby thus
intermingling fiction with truthI am polluting the well of
history with modern inventionsand impressing upon the rising
generation false ideas of the age which I describe. I cannot but
in some sense admit the force of this reasoningwhich I yet hope
to traverse by the following considerations.

It is truethat I neither cannor do pretendto the
observation of complete accuracyeven in matters of outward
costumemuch less in the more important points of language and
manners. But the same motive which prevents my writing the
dialogue of the piece in Anglo-Saxon or in Norman-Frenchand
which prohibits my sending forth to the public this essay printed
with the types of Caxton or Wynken de Wordeprevents my
attempting to confine myself within the limits of the period in
which my story is laid. It is necessaryfor exciting interest
of any kindthat the subject assumed should beas it were
translated into the mannersas well as the languageof the age
we live in. No fascination has ever been attached to Oriental
literatureequal to that produced by Mr Galland's first
translation of the Arabian Tales; in whichretaining on the one
hand the splendour of Eastern costumeand on the other the
wildness of Eastern fictionhe mixed these with just so much
ordinary feeling and expressionas rendered them interesting and
intelligiblewhile he abridged the long-winded narratives
curtailed the monotonous reflectionsand rejected the endless
repetitions of the Arabian original. The talestherefore
though less purely Oriental than in their first concoctionwere
eminently better fitted for the European marketand obtained an
unrivalled degree of public favourwhich they certainly would
never have gained had not the manners and style been in some
degree familiarized to the feelings and habits of the western
reader.

In point of justicethereforeto the multitudes who willI
trustdevour this book with avidityI have so far explained our
ancient manners in modern languageand so far detailed the
characters and sentiments of my personsthat the modern reader
will not find himselfI should hopemuch trammelled by the
repulsive dryness of mere antiquity. In thisI respectfully
contendI have in no respect exceeded the fair license due to
the author of a fictitious composition. The late ingenious Mr
Struttin his romance of Queen-Hoo-Hall*

* The author had revised this posthumous work of Mr Strutt.
* See General Preface to the present editionVol I. p. 65.
acted upon another principle; and in distinguishing between what
was ancient and modernforgotas it appears to methat
extensive neutral groundthe large proportionthat isof
manners and sentiments which are common to us and to our
ancestorshaving been handed down unaltered from them to usor
whicharising out of the principles of our common naturemust
have existed alike in either state of society. In this mannera


man of talentand of great antiquarian eruditionlimited the
popularity of his workby excluding from it every thing which
was not sufficiently obsolete to be altogether forgotten and
unintelligible.

The license which I would here vindicateis so necessary to the
execution of my planthat I will crave your patience while I
illustrate my argument a little farther.

He who first opens Chauceror any other ancient poetis so much
struck with the obsolete spellingmultiplied consonantsand
antiquated appearance of the languagethat he is apt to lay the
work down in despairas encrusted too deep with the rust of
antiquityto permit his judging of its merits or tasting its
beauties. But if some intelligent and accomplished friend points
out to himthat the difficulties by which he is startled are
more in appearance than realityifby reading aloud to himor
by reducing the ordinary words to the modern orthographyhe
satisfies his proselyte that only about one-tenth part of the
words employed are in fact obsoletethe novice may be easily
persuaded to approach the "well of English undefiled with the
certainty that a slender degree of patience will enable him to
to enjoy both the humour and the pathos with which old Geoffrey
delighted the age of Cressy and of Poictiers.

To pursue this a little farther. If our neophyte, strong in the
new-born love of antiquity, were to undertake to imitate what he
had learnt to admire, it must be allowed he would act very
injudiciously, if he were to select from the Glossary the
obsolete words which it contains, and employ those exclusively of
all phrases and vocables retained in modern days. This was the
error of the unfortunate Chatterton. In order to give his
language the appearance of antiquity, he rejected every word that
was modern, and produced a dialect entirely different from any
that had ever been spoken in Great Britain. He who would imitate
an ancient language with success, must attend rather to its
grammatical character, turn of expression, and mode of
arrangement, than labour to collect extraordinary and antiquated
terms, which, as I have already averred, do not in ancient
authors approach the number of words still in use, though perhaps
somewhat altered in sense and spelling, in the proportion of one
to ten.

What I have applied to language, is still more justly applicable
to sentiments and manners. The passions, the sources from which
these must spring in all their modifications, are generally the
same in all ranks and conditions, all countries and ages; and it
follows, as a matter of course, that the opinions, habits of
thinking, and actions, however influenced by the peculiar state
of society, must still, upon the whole, bear a strong resemblance
to each other. Our ancestors were not more distinct from us,
surely, than Jews are from Christians; they had eyeshands
organsdimensionssensesaffectionspassions;" were "fed with
the same foodhurt with the same weaponssubject to the same
diseaseswarmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as
ourselves. The tenor, therefore, of their affections and
feelings, must have borne the same general proportion to our own.

It follows, therefore, that of the materials which an author has
to use in a romance, or fictitious composition, such as I have
ventured to attempt, he will find that a great proportion, both
of language and manners, is as proper to the present time as to
those in which he has laid his time of action. The freedom of
choice which this allows him, is therefore much greater, and the


difficulty of his task much more diminished, than at first
appears. To take an illustration from a sister art, the
antiquarian details may be said to represent the peculiar
features of a landscape under delineation of the pencil. His
feudal tower must arise in due majesty; the figures which he
introduces must have the costume and character of their age; the
piece must represent the peculiar features of the scene which he
has chosen for his subject, with all its appropriate elevation of
rock, or precipitate descent of cataract. His general colouring,
too, must be copied from Nature: The sky must be clouded or
serene, according to the climate, and the general tints must be
those which prevail in a natural landscape. So far the painter
is bound down by the rules of his art, to a precise imitation of
the features of Nature; but it is not required that he should
descend to copy all her more minute features, or represent with
absolute exactness the very herbs, flowers, and trees, with which
the spot is decorated. These, as well as all the more minute
points of light and shadow, are attributes proper to scenery in
general, natural to each situation, and subject to the artist's
disposal, as his taste or pleasure may dictate.

It is true, that this license is confined in either case within
legitimate bounds. The painter must introduce no ornament
inconsistent with the climate or country of his landscape; he
must not plant cypress trees upon Inch-Merrin, or Scottish firs
among the ruins of Persepolis; and the author lies under a
corresponding restraint. However far he may venture in a more
full detail of passions and feelings, than is to be found in the
ancient compositions which he imitates, he must introduce nothing
inconsistent with the manners of the age; his knights, squires,
grooms, and yeomen, may be more fully drawn than in the hard, dry
delineations of an ancient illuminated manuscript, but the
character and costume of the age must remain inviolate; they must
be the same figures, drawn by a better pencil, or, to speak more
modestly, executed in an age when the principles of art were
better understood. His language must not be exclusively obsolete
and unintelligible; but he should admit, if possible, no word or
turn of phraseology betraying an origin directly modern. It is
one thing to make use of the language and sentiments which are
common to ourselves and our forefathers, and it is another to
invest them with the sentiments and dialect exclusively proper
to their descendants.

This, my dear friend, I have found the most difficult part of my
task; and, to speak frankly, I hardly expect to satisfy your less
partial judgment, and more extensive knowledge of such subjects,
since I have hardly been able to please my own.

I am conscious that I shall be found still more faulty in the
tone of keeping and costume, by those who may be disposed rigidly
to examine my Tale, with reference to the manners of the exact
period in which my actors flourished: It may be, that I have
introduced little which can positively be termed modern; but, on
the other hand, it is extremely probable that I may have confused
the manners of two or three centuries, and introduced, during the
reign of Richard the First, circumstances appropriated to a
period either considerably earlier, or a good deal later than
that era. It is my comfort, that errors of this kind will escape
the general class of readers, and that I may share in the
ill-deserved applause of those architects, who, in their modern
Gothic, do not hesitate to introduce, without rule or method,
ornaments proper to different styles and to different periods of
the art. Those whose extensive researches have given them the
means of judging my backslidings with more severity, will


probably be lenient in proportion to their knowledge of the
difficulty of my task. My honest and neglected friend,
Ingulphus, has furnished me with many a valuable hint; but the
light afforded by the Monk of Croydon, and Geoffrey de Vinsauff,
is dimmed by such a conglomeration of uninteresting and
unintelligible matter, that we gladly fly for relief to the
delightful pages of the gallant Froissart, although he flourished
at a period so much more remote from the date of my history. If,
therefore, my dear friend, you have generosity enough to pardon
the presumptuous attempt, to frame for myself a minstrel coronet,
partly out of the pearls of pure antiquity, and partly from the
Bristol stones and paste, with which I have endeavoured to
imitate them, I am convinced your opinion of the difficulty of
the task will reconcile you to the imperfect manner of its
execution.

Of my materials I have but little to say. They may be chiefly
found in the singular Anglo-Norman MS., which Sir Arthur Wardour
preserves with such jealous care in the third drawer of his oaken
cabinet, scarcely allowing any one to touch it, and being himself
not able to read one syllable of its contents. I should never
have got his consent, on my visit to Scotland, to read in those
precious pages for so many hours, had I not promised to designate
it by some emphatic mode of printing, as {The Wardour
Manuscript}; giving it, thereby, an individuality as important as
the Bannatyne MS., the Auchinleck MS., and any other monument of
the patience of a Gothic scrivener. I have sent, for your
private consideration, a list of the contents of this curious
piece, which I shall perhaps subjoin, with your approbation, to
the third volume of my Tale, in case the printer's devil should
continue impatient for copy, when the whole of my narrative has
been imposed.

Adieu, my dear friend; I have said enough to explain, if not to
vindicate, the attempt which I have made, and which, in spite of
your doubts, and my own incapacity, I am still willing to believe
has not been altogether made in vain.

I hope you are now well recovered from your spring fit of the
gout, and shall be happy if the advice of your learned
physician should recommend a tour to these parts. Several
curiosities have been lately dug up near the wall, as well as at
the ancient station of Habitancum. Talking of the latter, I
suppose you have long since heard the news, that a sulky churlish
boor has destroyed the ancient statue, or rather bas-relief,
popularly called Robin of Redesdale. It seems Robin's fame
attracted more visitants than was consistent with the growth of
the heather, upon a moor worth a shilling an acre. Reverend as
you write yourself, be revengeful for once, and pray with me that
he may be visited with such a fit of the stone, as if he had all
the fragments of poor Robin in that region of his viscera where
the disease holds its seat. Tell this not in Gath, lest the
Scots rejoice that they have at length found a parallel instance
among their neighbours, to that barbarous deed which demolished
Arthur's Oven. But there is no end to lamentation, when we
betake ourselves to such subjects. My respectful compliments
attend Miss Dryasdust; I endeavoured to match the spectacles
agreeable to her commission, during my late journey to London,
and hope she has received them safe, and found them satisfactory.
I send this by the blind carrier, so that probably it may be some
time upon its journey.*

* This anticipation proved but too true, as my learned
* correspondent did not receive my letter until a

* twelvemonth after it was written. I mention this
* circumstance, that a gentleman attached to the cause of
* learning, who now holds the principal control of the
* post-office, may consider whether by some mitigation of
* the present enormous rates, some favour might not be shown
* to the correspondents of the principal Literary and
* Antiquarian Societies. I understand, indeed, that this
* experiment was once tried, but that the mail-coach having
* broke down under the weight of packages addressed to
* members of the Society of Antiquaries, it was relinquished
* as a hazardous experiment. Surely, however it would be
* possible to build these vehicles in a form more
* substantial, stronger in the perch, and broader in the
* wheels, so as to support the weight of Antiquarian
* learning; when, if they should be found to travel more
* slowly, they would be not the less agreeable to quiet
* travellers like myself.---L. T.
The last news which I hear from Edinburgh is, that the gentleman
who fills the situation of Secretary to the Society of
Antiquaries of Scotland,*

* Mr Skene of Rubislaw is here intimated, to whose taste and
* skill the author is indebted for a series of etchings,
* exhibiting the various localities alluded to in these
* novels.
is the best amateur draftsman in that kingdom, and that much is
expected from his skill and zeal in delineating those specimens
of national antiquity, which are either mouldering under the slow
touch of time, or swept away by modern taste, with the same besom
of destruction which John Knox used at the Reformation. Once
more adieu; vale tandemnon immemor mei". Believe me to be

Reverendand very dear Sir

Your most faithful humble Servant.

Laurence Templeton.

Toppingwoldnear Egremont
CumberlandNov. 171817.

IVANHOE.

CHAPTER I

Thus communed these; while to their lowly dome
The full-fed swine return'd with evening home;
Compell'dreluctantto the several sties
With din obstreperousand ungrateful cries.

Pope's Odyssey

In that pleasant district of merry England which is watered by


the river Donthere extended in ancient times a large forest
covering the greater part of the beautiful hills and valleys
which lie between Sheffield and the pleasant town of Doncaster.
The remains of this extensive wood are still to be seen at the
noble seats of Wentworthof Warncliffe Parkand around
Rotherham. Here haunted of yore the fabulous Dragon of Wantley;
here were fought many of the most desperate battles during the
Civil Wars of the Roses; and here also flourished in ancient
times those bands of gallant outlawswhose deeds have been
rendered so popular in English song.

Such being our chief scenethe date of our story refers to a
period towards the end of the reign of Richard I.when his
return from his long captivity had become an event rather wished
than hoped for by his despairing subjectswho were in the
meantime subjected to every species of subordinate oppression.
The nobleswhose power had become exorbitant during the reign of
Stephenand whom the prudence of Henry the Second had scarce
reduced to some degree of subjection to the crownhad now
resumed their ancient license in its utmost extent; despising the
feeble interference of the English Council of Statefortifying
their castlesincreasing the number of their dependantsreducing
all around them to a state of vassalageand striving by every
means in their powerto place themselves each at the head of such
forces as might enable him to make a figure in the national
convulsions which appeared to be impending.

The situation of the inferior gentryor Franklinsas they were
calledwhoby the law and spirit of the English constitution
were entitled to hold themselves independent of feudal tyranny
became now unusually precarious. Ifas was most generally the
casethey placed themselves under the protection of any of the
petty kings in their vicinityaccepted of feudal offices in
his householdor bound themselves by mutual treaties of alliance
and protectionto support him in his enterprisesthey might
indeed purchase temporary repose; but it must be with the
sacrifice of that independence which was so dear to every English
bosomand at the certain hazard of being involved as a party in
whatever rash expedition the ambition of their protector might
lead him to undertake. On the other handsuch and so multiplied
were the means of vexation and oppression possessed by the great
Baronsthat they never wanted the pretextand seldom the will
to harass and pursueeven to the very edge of destructionany
of their less powerful neighbourswho attempted to separate
themselves from their authorityand to trust for their
protectionduring the dangers of the timesto their own
inoffensive conductand to the laws of the land.

A circumstance which greatly tended to enhance the tyranny of the
nobilityand the sufferings of the inferior classesarose from
the consequences of the Conquest by Duke William of Normandy.
Four generations had not sufficed to blend the hostile blood of
the Normans and Anglo-Saxonsor to uniteby common language and
mutual intereststwo hostile racesone of which still felt the
elation of triumphwhile the other groaned under all the
consequences of defeat. The power had been completely placed in
the hands of the Norman nobilityby the event of the battle of
Hastingsand it had been usedas our histories assure uswith
no moderate hand. The whole race of Saxon princes and nobles had
been extirpated or disinheritedwith few or no exceptions; nor
were the numbers great who possessed land in the country of their
fatherseven as proprietors of the secondor of yet inferior
classes. The royal policy had long been to weakenby every
meanslegal or illegalthe strength of a part of the population


which was justly considered as nourishing the most inveterate
antipathy to their victor. All the monarchs of the Norman race
had shown the most marked predilection for their Norman subjects;
the laws of the chaseand many others equally unknown to the
milder and more free spirit of the Saxon constitutionhad been
fixed upon the necks of the subjugated inhabitantsto add
weightas it wereto the feudal chains with which they were
loaded. At courtand in the castles of the great nobleswhere
the pomp and state of a court was emulatedNorman-French was the
only language employed; in courts of lawthe pleadings and
judgments were delivered in the same tongue. In shortFrench
was the language of honourof chivalryand even of justice
while the far more manly and expressive Anglo-Saxon was abandoned
to the use of rustics and hindswho knew no other. Still
howeverthe necessary intercourse between the lords of the soil
and those oppressed inferior beings by whom that soil was
cultivatedoccasioned the gradual formation of a dialect
compounded betwixt the French and the Anglo-Saxonin which they
could render themselves mutually intelligible to each other; and
from this necessity arose by degrees the structure of our present
English languagein which the speech of the victors and the
vanquished have been so happily blended together; and which has
since been so richly improved by importations from the classical
languagesand from those spoken by the southern nations of
Europe.

This state of things I have thought it necessary to premise for
the information of the general readerwho might be apt to
forgetthatalthough no great historical eventssuch as war or
insurrectionmark the existence of the Anglo-Saxons as a
separate people subsequent to the reign of William the Second;
yet the great national distinctions betwixt them and their
conquerorsthe recollection of what they had formerly beenand
to what they were now reducedcontinued down to the reign of
Edward the Thirdto keep open the wounds which the Conquest had
inflictedand to maintain a line of separation betwixt the
descendants of the victor Normans and the vanquished Saxons.

The sun was setting upon one of the rich grassy glades of that
forestwhich we have mentioned in the beginning of the chapter.
Hundreds of broad-headedshort-stemmedwide-branched oaks
which had witnessed perhaps the stately march of the Roman
soldieryflung their gnarled arms over a thick carpet of the
most delicious green sward; in some places they were intermingled
with beechesholliesand copsewood of various descriptionsso
closely as totally to intercept the level beams of the sinking
sun; in others they receded from each otherforming those long
sweeping vistasin the intricacy of which the eye delights to
lose itselfwhile imagination considers them as the paths to yet
wilder scenes of silvan solitude. Here the red rays of the sun
shot a broken and discoloured lightthat partially hung upon the
shattered boughs and mossy trunks of the treesand there they
illuminated in brilliant patches the portions of turf to which
they made their way. A considerable open spacein the midst of
this gladeseemed formerly to have been dedicated to the rites
of Druidical superstition; foron the summit of a hillockso
regular as to seem artificialthere still remained part of a
circle of rough unhewn stonesof large dimensions. Seven stood
upright; the rest had been dislodged from their placesprobably
by the zeal of some convert to Christianityand laysome
prostrate near their former siteand others on the side of the
hill. One large stone only had found its way to the bottomand
in stopping the course of a small brookwhich glided smoothly
round the foot of the eminencegaveby its oppositiona feeble


voice of murmur to the placid and elsewhere silent streamlet.

The human figures which completed this landscapewere in number
twopartakingin their dress and appearanceof that wild and
rustic characterwhich belonged to the woodlands of the
West-Riding of Yorkshire at that early period. The eldest of
these men had a sternsavageand wild aspect. His garment was
of the simplest form imaginablebeing a close jacket with
sleevescomposed of the tanned skin of some animalon which the
hair had been originally leftbut which had been worn of in so
many placesthat it would have been difficult to distinguish
from the patches that remainedto what creature the fur had
belonged. This primeval vestment reached from the throat to the
kneesand served at once all the usual purposes of
body-clothing; there was no wider opening at the collarthan was
necessary to admit the passage of the headfrom which it may be
inferredthat it was put on by slipping it over the head and
shouldersin the manner of a modern shirtor ancient hauberk.
Sandalsbound with thongs made of boars' hideprotected the
feetand a roll of thin leather was twined artificially round
the legsandascending above the calfleft the knees bare
like those of a Scottish Highlander. To make the jacket sit yet
more close to the bodyit was gathered at the middle by a broad
leathern beltsecured by a brass buckle; to one side of which
was attached a sort of scripand to the other a ram's horn
accoutred with a mouthpiecefor the purpose of blowing. In the
same belt was stuck one of those longbroadsharp-pointedand
two-edged kniveswith a buck's-horn handlewhich were
fabricated in the neighbourhoodand bore even at this early
period the name of a Sheffield whittle. The man had no covering
upon his headwhich was only defended by his own thick hair
matted and twisted togetherand scorched by the influence of the
sun into a rusty dark-red colourforming a contrast with the
overgrown beard upon his cheekswhich was rather of a yellow or
amber hue. One part of his dress only remainsbut it is too
remarkable to be suppressed; it was a brass ringresembling a
dog's collarbut without any openingand soldered fast round
his neckso loose as to form no impediment to his breathingyet
so tight as to be incapable of being removedexcepting by the
use of the file. On this singular gorget was engravedin Saxon
charactersan inscription of the following purport:---"Gurth
the son of Beowulphis the born thrall of Cedric of Rotherwood."

Beside the swine-herdfor such was Gurth's occupationwas
seatedupon one of the fallen Druidical monumentsa person
about ten years younger in appearanceand whose dressthough
resembling his companion's in formwas of better materialsand
of a more fantastic appearance. His jacket had been stained of a
bright purple hueupon which there had been some attempt to
paint grotesque ornaments in different colours. To the jacket he
added a short cloakwhich scarcely reached half way down his
thigh; it was of crimson cloththough a good deal soiledlined
with bright yellow; and as he could transfer it from one shoulder
to the otheror at his pleasure draw it all around himits
widthcontrasted with its want of longitudeformed a fantastic
piece of drapery. He had thin silver bracelets upon his arms
and on his neck a collar of the same metal bearing the
inscriptionWamba, the son of Witless, is the thrall of Cedric
of Rotherwood.This personage had the same sort of sandals with
his companionbut instead of the roll of leather thonghis legs
were cased in a sort of gaitersof which one was red and the
other yellow. He was provided also with a caphaving around it
more than one bellabout the size of those attached to hawks
which jingled as he turned his head to one side or other; and as


he seldom remained a minute in the same posturethe sound might
be considered as incessant. Around the edge of this cap was a
stiff bandeau of leathercut at the top into open work
resembling a coronetwhile a prolonged bag arose from within it
and fell down on one shoulder like an old-fashioned nightcapor
a jelly-bagor the head-gear of a modern hussar. It was to this
part of the cap that the bells were attached; which circumstance
as well as the shape of his head-dressand his own half-crazed
half-cunning expression of countenancesufficiently pointed him
out as belonging to the race of domestic clowns or jesters
maintained in the houses of the wealthyto help away the tedium
of those lingering hours which they were obliged to spend within
doors. He borelike his companiona scripattached to his
beltbut had neither horn nor knifebeing probably considered
as belonging to a class whom it is esteemed dangerous to intrust
with edge-tools. In place of thesehe was equipped with a sword
of lathresembling that with which Harlequin operates his
wonders upon the modern stage.

The outward appearance of these two men formed scarce a stronger
contrast than their look and demeanour. That of the serfor
bondsmanwas sad and sullen; his aspect was bent on the ground
with an appearance of deep dejectionwhich might be almost
construed into apathyhad not the fire which occasionally
sparkled in his red eye manifested that there slumberedunder
the appearance of sullen despondencya sense of oppressionand
a disposition to resistance. The looks of Wambaon the other
handindicatedas usual with his classa sort of vacant
curiosityand fidgetty impatience of any posture of repose
together with the utmost self-satisfaction respecting his own
situationand the appearance which he made. The dialogue which
they maintained between themwas carried on in Anglo-Saxon
whichas we said beforewas universally spoken by the inferior
classesexcepting the Norman soldiersand the immediate
personal dependants of the great feudal nobles. But to give
their conversation in the original would convey but little
information to the modern readerfor whose benefit we beg to
offer the following translation:

The curse of St Withold upon these infernal porkers!said the
swine-herdafter blowing his horn obstreperouslyto collect
together the scattered herd of swinewhichanswering his call
with notes equally melodiousmadehoweverno haste to remove
themselves from the luxurious banquet of beech-mast and acorns on
which they had fattenedor to forsake the marshy banks of the
rivuletwhere several of themhalf plunged in mudlay
stretched at their easealtogether regardless of the voice of
their keeper. "The curse of St Withold upon them and upon me!"
said Gurth; "if the two-legged wolf snap not up some of them ere
nightfallI am no true man. HereFangs! Fangs!" he ejaculated
at the top of his voice to a ragged wolfish-looking doga sort
of lurcherhalf mastiffhalf greyhoundwhich ran limping about
as if with the purpose of seconding his master in collecting the
refractory grunters; but whichin factfrom misapprehension of
the swine-herd's signalsignorance of his own dutyor malice
prepenseonly drove them hither and thitherand increased the
evil which he seemed to design to remedy. "A devil draw the
teeth of him said Gurth, and the mother of mischief confound
the Ranger of the forestthat cuts the foreclaws off our dogs
and makes them unfit for their trade!*

* Note A. The Ranger of the Forestthat cuts the
* fore-claws off our dogs.

Wambaup and help me an thou beest a man; take a turn round the
back o' the hill to gain the wind on them; and when thous't got
the weather-gagethou mayst drive them before thee as gently as
so many innocent lambs."

Truly,said Wambawithout stirring from the spotI have
consulted my legs upon this matter, and they are altogether of
opinion, that to carry my gay garments through these sloughs,
would be an act of unfriendship to my sovereign person and royal
wardrobe; wherefore, Gurth, I advise thee to call off Fangs, and
leave the herd to their destiny, which, whether they meet with
bands of travelling soldiers, or of outlaws, or of wandering
pilgrims, can be little else than to be converted into Normans
before morning, to thy no small ease and comfort.

The swine turned Normans to my comfort!quoth Gurth; "expound
that to meWambafor my brain is too dulland my mind too
vexedto read riddles."

Why, how call you those grunting brutes running about on their
four legs?demanded Wamba.

Swine, fool, swine,said the herdevery fool knows that.

And swine is good Saxon,said the Jester; "but how call you the
sow when she is flayedand drawnand quarteredand hung up by
the heelslike a traitor?"

Pork,answered the swine-herd.

I am very glad every fool knows that too,said Wambaand
pork, I think, is good Norman-French; and so when the brute
lives, and is in the charge of a Saxon slave, she goes by her
Saxon name; but becomes a Norman, and is called pork, when she is
carried to the Castle-hall to feast among the nobles; what dost
thou think of this, friend Gurth, ha?

It is but too true doctrine, friend Wamba, however it got into
thy fool's pate.

Nay, I can tell you more,said Wambain the same tone; there
is old Alderman Ox continues to hold his Saxon epithetwhile he
is under the charge of serfs and bondsmen such as thoubut
becomes Beefa fiery French gallantwhen he arrives before the
worshipful jaws that are destined to consume him. Mynheer Calf
toobecomes Monsieur de Veau in the like manner; he is Saxon
when he requires tendanceand takes a Norman name when he
becomes matter of enjoyment."

By St Dunstan,answered Gurththou speakest but sad truths;
little is left to us but the air we breathe, and that appears to
have been reserved with much hesitation, solely for the purpose
of enabling us to endure the tasks they lay upon our shoulders.
The finest and the fattest is for their board; the loveliest is
for their couch; the best and bravest supply their foreign
masters with soldiers, and whiten distant lands with their bones,
leaving few here who have either will or the power to protect the
unfortunate Saxon. God's blessing on our master Cedric, he hath
done the work of a man in standing in the gap; but Reginald
Front-de-Boeuf is coming down to this country in person, and we
shall soon see how little Cedric's trouble will avail him.
---Here, here,he exclaimed againraising his voiceSo ho! so
ho! well done, Fangs! thou hast them all before thee now, and
bring'st them on bravely, lad.


Gurth,said the JesterI know thou thinkest me a fool, or
thou wouldst not be so rash in putting thy head into my mouth.
One word to Reginald Front-de-Boeuf, or Philip de Malvoisin, that
thou hast spoken treason against the Norman, ---and thou art but
a cast-away swineherd,---thou wouldst waver on one of these trees
as a terror to all evil speakers against dignities.


Dog, thou wouldst not betray me,said Gurthafter having led
me on to speak so much at disadvantage?


Betray thee!answered the Jester; "nothat were the trick of a
wise man; a fool cannot half so well help himself---but soft
whom have we here?" he saidlistening to the trampling of
several horses which became then audible.


Never mind whom,answered Gurthwho had now got his herd
before himandwith the aid of Fangswas driving them down one
of the long dim vistas which we have endeavoured to describe.


Nay, but I must see the riders,answered Wamba; "perhaps they
are come from Fairy-land with a message from King Oberon."


A murrain take thee,rejoined the swine-herd; "wilt thou talk
of such thingswhile a terrible storm of thunder and lightning
is raging within a few miles of us? Harkhow the thunder
rumbles! and for summer rainI never saw such broad downright
flat drops fall out of the clouds; the oakstoonotwithstanding
the calm weathersob and creak with their great boughs as if
announcing a tempest. Thou canst play the rational if thou wilt;
credit me for onceand let us home ere the storm begins to rage
for the night will be fearful."


Wamba seemed to feel the force of this appealand accompanied
his companionwho began his journey after catching up a long
quarter-staff which lay upon the grass beside him. This second
Eumaeus strode hastily down the forest gladedriving before him
with the assistance of Fangsthe whole herd of his inharmonious
charge.


CHAPTER II


A Monk there wasa fayre for the maistrie
An outrider that loved venerie;
A manly manto be an Abbot able
Full many a daintie horse had he in stable:
And whan he rodemen might his bridle hear
Gingeling in a whistling wind as clear
And eke as loudas doth the chapell bell
There as this lord was keeper of the cell.


Chaucer.

Notwithstanding the occasional exhortation and chiding of his
companionthe noise of the horsemen's feet continuing to
approachWamba could not be prevented from lingering
occasionally on the roadupon every pretence which occurred; now
catching from the hazel a cluster of half-ripe nutsand now
turning his head to leer after a cottage maiden who crossed their
path. The horsementhereforesoon overtook them on the road.


Their numbers amounted to ten menof whom the two who rode
foremost seemed to be persons of considerable importanceand the
others their attendants. It was not difficult to ascertain the
condition and character of one of these personages. He was
obviously an ecclesiastic of high rank; his dress was that of a
Cistercian Monkbut composed of materials much finer than those
which the rule of that order admitted. His mantle and hood were
of the best Flanders clothand fell in ampleand not ungraceful
foldsaround a handsomethough somewhat corpulent person. His
countenance bore as little the marks of self-denialas his habit
indicated contempt of worldly splendour. His features might have
been called goodhad there not lurked under the pent-house of
his eyethat sly epicurean twinkle which indicates the cautious
voluptuary. In other respectshis profession and situation had
taught him a ready command over his countenancewhich he could
contract at pleasure into solemnityalthough its natural
expression was that of good-humoured social indulgence. In
defiance of conventual rulesand the edicts of popes and
councilsthe sleeves of this dignitary were lined and turned up
with rich furshis mantle secured at the throat with a golden
claspand the whole dress proper to his order as much refined
upon and ornamentedas that of a quaker beauty of the present
daywhowhile she retains the garb and costume of her sect
continues to give to its simplicityby the choice of materials
and the mode of disposing thema certain air of coquettish
attractionsavouring but too much of the vanities of the world.

This worthy churchman rode upon a well-fed ambling mulewhose
furniture was highly decoratedand whose bridleaccording to
the fashion of the daywas ornamented with silver bells. In his
seat he had nothing of the awkwardness of the conventbut
displayed the easy and habitual grace of a well-trained horseman.
Indeedit seemed that so humble a conveyance as a mulein
however good caseand however well broken to a pleasant and
accommodating amblewas only used by the gallant monk for
travelling on the road. A lay brotherone of those who followed
in the trainhadfor his use on other occasionsone of the
most handsome Spanish jennets ever bred at Andalusiawhich
merchants used at that time to importwith great trouble and
riskfor the use of persons of wealth and distinction. The
saddle and housings of this superb palfrey were covered by a long
foot-clothwhich reached nearly to the groundand on which were
richly embroideredmitrescrossesand other ecclesiastical
emblems. Another lay brother led a sumpter muleloaded probably
with his superior's baggage; and two monks of his own orderof
inferior stationrode together in the rearlaughing and
conversing with each otherwithout taking much notice of the
other members of the cavalcade.

The companion of the church dignitary was a man past fortythin
strongtalland muscular; an athletic figurewhich long
fatigue and constant exercise seemed to have left none of the
softer part of the human formhaving reduced the whole to brawn
bonesand sinewswhich had sustained a thousand toilsand were
ready to dare a thousand more. His head was covered with a
scarlet capfaced with fur---of that kind which the French call
mortierfrom its resemblance to the shape of an inverted
mortar. His countenance was therefore fully displayedand its
expression was calculated to impress a degree of aweif not of
fearupon strangers. High featuresnaturally strong and
powerfully expressivehad been burnt almost into Negro blackness
by constant exposure to the tropical sunand mightin their
ordinary statebe said to slumber after the storm of passion had


passed away; but the projection of the veins of the foreheadthe
readiness with which the upper lip and its thick black moustaches
quivered upon the slightest emotionplainly intimated that the
tempest might be again and easily awakened. His keenpiercing
dark eyestold in every glance a history of difficulties
subduedand dangers daredand seemed to challenge opposition to
his wishesfor the pleasure of sweeping it from his road by a
determined exertion of courage and of will; a deep scar on his
brow gave additional sternness to his countenanceand a sinister
expression to one of his eyeswhich had been slightly injured on
the same occasionand of which the visionthough perfectwas
in a slight and partial degree distorted.

The upper dress of this personage resembled that of his companion
in shapebeing a long monastic mantle; but the colourbeing
scarletshowed that he did not belong to any of the four regular
orders of monks. On the right shoulder of the mantle there was
cutin white clotha cross of a peculiar form. This upper robe
concealed what at first view seemed rather inconsistent with its
forma shirtnamelyof linked mailwith sleeves and gloves of
the samecuriously plaited and interwovenas flexible to the
body as those which are now wrought in the stocking-loomout of
less obdurate materials. The fore-part of his thighswhere the
folds of his mantle permitted them to be seenwere also covered
with linked mail; the knees and feet were defended by splintsor
thin plates of steelingeniously jointed upon each other; and
mail hosereaching from the ankle to the kneeeffectually
protected the legsand completed the rider's defensive armour.
In his girdle he wore a long and double-edged daggerwhich was
the only offensive weapon about his person.

He rodenot a mulelike his companionbut a strong hackney for
the roadto save his gallant war-horsewhich a squire led
behindfully accoutred for battlewith a chamfron or plaited
head-piece upon his beadhaving a short spike projecting from
the front. On one side of the saddle hung a short battle-axe
richly inlaid with Damascene carving; on the other the rider's
plumed head-piece and hood of mailwith a long two-handed sword
used by the chivalry of the period. A second squire held aloft
his master's lancefrom the extremity of which fluttered a small
banderoleor streamerbearing a cross of the same form with
that embroidered upon his cloak. He also carried his small
triangular shieldbroad enough at the top to protect the breast
and from thence diminishing to a point. It was covered with a
scarlet clothwhich prevented the device from being seen.

These two squires were followed by two attendantswhose dark
visageswhite turbansand the Oriental form of their garments
showed them to be natives of some distant Eastern country.*

* Note B. Negro Slaves.
The whole appearance of this warrior and his retinue was wild and
outlandish; the dress of his squires was gorgeousand his
Eastern attendants wore silver collars round their throatsand
bracelets of the same metal upon their swarthy arms and legsof
which the former were naked from the elbowand the latter from
mid-leg to ankle. Silk and embroidery distinguished their
dressesand marked the wealth and importance of their master;
formingat the same timea striking contrast with the martial
simplicity of his own attire. They were armed with crooked
sabreshaving the hilt and baldric inlaid with goldand matched
with Turkish daggers of yet more costly workmanship. Each of
them bore at his saddle-bow a bundle of darts or javelinsabout


four feet in lengthhaving sharp steel headsa weapon much in
use among the Saracensand of which the memory is yet preserved
in the martial exercise called "El Jerrid"still practised in
the Eastern countries.

The steeds of these attendants were in appearance as foreign as
their riders. They were of Saracen originand consequently of
Arabian descent; and their fine slender limbssmall fetlocks
thin manesand easy springy motionformed a marked contrast
with the large-jointed heavy horsastic vows.

Yet so loose were the ideas of the times respecting the conduct
of the clergywhether secular or regularthat the Prior Aymer
maintained a fair character in the neighbourhood of his abbey.
His free and jovial temperand the readiness with which he
granted absolution from all ordinary delinquenciesrendered him
a favourite among the nobility and principal gentryto several
of whom he was allied by birthbeing of a distinguished Norman
family. The ladiesin particularwere not disposed to scan too
nicely the morals of a man who was a professed admirer of their
sexand who possessed many means of dispelling the ennui which
was too apt to intrude upon the halls and bowers of an ancient
feudal castle. The Prior mingled in the sports of the field with
more than due eagernessand was allowed to possess the
best-trained hawksand the fleetest greyhounds in the North
Riding; circumstances which strongly recommended him to the
youthful gentry. With the oldbe had another part to play
whichwhen needfulhe could sustain with great decorum. His
knowledge of bookshowever superficialwas sufficient to
impress upon their ignorance respect for his supposed learning;
and the gravity of his deportment and languagewith the high
tone which he exerted in setting forth the authority of the
church and of the priesthoodimpressed them no less with an
opinion of his sanctity. Even the common peoplethe severest
critics of the conduct of their bettershad commiseration with
the follies of Prior Aymer. He was generous; and charityas it
is well knowncovereth a multitude of sinsin another sense
than that in which it is said to do so in Scripture. The
revenues of the monasteryof which a large part was at his
disposalwhile they gave him the means of supplying his own very
considerable expensesafforded also those largesses which he
bestowed among the peasantryand with which he frequently
relieved the distresses of the oppressed. If Prior Aymer rode
hard in the chaseor remained long at the banquet---if Prior
Aymer was seenat the early peep of dawnto enter the postern
of the abbeyas he glided home from some rendezvous which had
occupied the hours of darknessmen only shrugged up their
shouldersand reconciled themselves to his irregularitiesby
recollecting that the same were practised by many of his brethren
who had no redeeming qualities whatsoever to atone for them.
Prior Aymerthereforeand his characterwere well known to our
Saxon serfswho made their rude obeisanceand received his
benedicite, mes filz_,in return.

But the singular appearance of his companion and his attendants
arrested their attention and excited their wonderand they could
scarcely attend to the Prior of Jorvaulx' questionwhen he
demanded if they knew of any place of harbourage in the vicinity;
so much were they surprised at the half monastichalf military
appearance of the swarthy strangerand at the uncouth dress and
arms of his Eastern attendants. It is probabletoothat the
language in which the benediction was conferredand the
information askedsounded ungraciousthough not probably
unintelligiblein the ears of the Saxon peasants.


I asked you, my children,said the Priorraising his voice
and using the lingua Francaor mixed languagein which the
Norman and Saxon races conversed with each otherif there be in
this neighbourhood any good man, who, for the love of God, and
devotion to Mother Church, will give two of her humblest
servants, with their train, a night's hospitality and
refreshment?

This he spoke with a tone of conscious importancewhich formed a
strong contrast to the modest terms which he thought it proper to
employ.

Two of the humblest servants of Mother Church!repeated Wamba
to himself---butfool as he wastaking care not to make his
observation audible; "I should like to see her seneschalsher
chief butlersand other principal domestics!"

After this internal commentary on the Prior's speechhe raised
his eyesand replied to the question which had been put.

If the reverend fathers,he saidloved good cheer and soft
lodging, few miles of riding would carry them to the Priory of
Brinxworth, where their quality could not but secure them the
most honourable reception; or if they preferred spending a
penitential evening, they might turn down yonder wild glade,
which would bring them to the hermitage of Copmanhurst, where a
pious anchoret would make them sharers for the night of the
shelter of his roof and the benefit of his prayers.

The Prior shook his head at both proposals.

Mine honest friend,said heif the jangling of thy bells bad
not dizzied thine understanding, thou mightst know Clericus
clericum non decimat"; that is to saywe churchmen do not
exhaust each other's hospitalitybut rather require that of the
laitygiving them thus an opportunity to serve God in honouring
and relieving his appointed servants."

It is true,replied Wambathat I, being but an ass, am,
nevertheless, honoured to hear the bells as well as your
reverence's mule; notwithstanding, I did conceive that the
charity of Mother Church and her servants might be said, with
other charity, to begin at home.

A truce to thine insolence, fellow,said the armed rider
breaking in on his prattle with a high and stern voiceand tell
us, if thou canst, the road to---How call'd you your Franklin,
Prior Aymer?

Cedric,answered the Prior; "Cedric the Saxon.---Tell megood
felloware we near his dwellingand can you show us the road?"

The road will be uneasy to find,answered Gurthwho broke
silence for the first timeand the family of Cedric retire
early to rest.

Tush, tell not me, fellow,said the military rider; "'tis easy
for them to arise and supply the wants of travellers such as we
arewho will not stoop to beg the hospitality which we have a
right to command."

I know not,said Gurthsullenlyif I should show the way to
my master's house, to those who demand as a right, the shelter


which most are fain to ask as a favour.

Do you dispute with me, slave! said the soldier; and, setting
spurs to his horse, he caused him make a demivolte across the
path, raising at the same time the riding rod which he held in
his hand, with a purpose of chastising what he considered as the
insolence of the peasant.

Gurth darted at him a savage and revengeful scowl, and with a
fierce, yet hesitating motion, laid his hand on the haft of his
knife; but the interference of Prior Aymer, who pushed his mule
betwixt his companion and the swineherd, prevented the meditated
violence.

Nayby St Marybrother Brianyou must not think you are now
in Palestinepredominating over heathen Turks and infidel
Saracens; we islanders love not blowssave those of holy Church
who chasteneth whom she loveth.---Tell megood fellow said he
to Wamba, and seconded his speech by a small piece of silver
coin, the way to Cedric the Saxon's; you cannot be ignorant of
itand it is your duty to direct the wanderer even when his
character is less sanctified than ours."

In truth, venerable father,answered the Jesterthe Saracen
head of your right reverend companion has frightened out of mine
the way home---I am not sure I shall get there to-night myself.

Tush,said the Abbotthou canst tell us if thou wilt. This
reverend brother has been all his life engaged in fighting among
the Saracens for the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre; he is of the
order of Knights Templars, whom you may have heard of; he is half
a monk, half a soldier.

If he is but half a monk,said the Jesterhe should not be
wholly unreasonable with those whom he meets upon the road, even
if they should be in no hurry to answer questions that no way
concern them.

I forgive thy wit,replied the Abboton condition thou wilt
show me the way to Cedric's mansion.

Well, then,answered Wambayour reverences must hold on this
path till you come to a sunken cross, of which scarce a cubit's
length remains above ground; then take the path to the left, for
there are four which meet at Sunken Cross, and I trust your
reverences will obtain shelter before the storm comes on.

The Abbot thanked his sage adviser; and the cavalcadesetting
spurs to their horsesrode on as men do who wish to reach their
inn before the bursting of a night-storm. As their horses' hoofs
died awayGurth said to his companionIf they follow thy wise
direction, the reverend fathers will hardly reach Rotherwood this
night.

No,said the Jestergrinningbut they may reach Sheffield if
they have good luck, and that is as fit a place for them. I am
not so bad a woodsman as to show the dog where the deer lies, if
I have no mind he should chase him.

Thou art right,said Gurth; "it were ill that Aymer saw the
Lady Rowena; and it were worseit may befor Cedric to quarrel
as is most likely he wouldwith this military monk. Butlike
good servants let us hear and seeand say nothing."


We return to the riderswho had soon left the bondsmen far
behind themand who maintained the following conversation in the
Norman-French languageusually employed by the superior classes
with the exception of the few who were still inclined to boast
their Saxon descent.

What mean these fellows by their capricious insolence?said the
Templar to the Benedictineand why did you prevent me from
chastising it?

Marry, brother Brian,replied the Priortouching the one of
them, it were hard for me to render a reason for a fool speaking
according to his folly; and the other churl is of that savage,
fierce, intractable race, some of whom, as I have often told you,
are still to be found among the descendants of the conquered
Saxons, and whose supreme pleasure it is to testify, by all means
in their power, their aversion to their conquerors.

I would soon have beat him into courtesy,observed Brian; "I am
accustomed to deal with such spirits: Our Turkish you shall soon
be judge; and if the purity of her complexionand the majestic
yet soft expression of a mild blue eyedo not chase from your
memory the black-tressed girls of Palestineayor the houris of
old Mahound's paradiseI am an infideland no true son of the
church."

Should your boasted beauty,said the Templarbe weighed in
the balance and found wanting, you know our wager?

My gold collar,answered the Prioragainst ten buts of Chian
wine;---they are mine as securely as if they were already in the
convent vaults, under the key of old Dennis the cellarer.

And I am myself to be judge,said the Templarand am only to
be convicted on my own admission, that I have seen no maiden so
beautiful since Pentecost was a twelvemonth. Ran it not so?
---Prior, your collar is in danger; I will wear it over my gorget
in the lists of Ashby-de-la-Zouche.

Win it fairly,said the Priorand wear it as ye will; I will
trust your giving true response, on your word as a knight and as
a churchman. Yet, brother, take my advice, and file your tongue
to a little more courtesy than your habits of predominating over
infidel captives and Eastern bondsmen have accustomed you.
Cedric the Saxon, if offended,---and he is noway slack in taking
offence,---is a man who, without respect to your knighthood, my
high office, or the sanctity of either, would clear his house of
us, and send us to lodge with the larks, though the hour were
midnight. And be careful how you look on Rowena, whom he
cherishes with the most jealous care; an he take the least alarm
in that quarter we are but lost men. It is said he banished his
only son from his family for lifting his eyes in the way of
affection towards this beauty, who may be worshipped, it seems,
at a distance, but is not to be approached with other thoughts
than such as we bring to the shrine of the Blessed Virgin.

Well, you have said enough,answered the Templar; "I will for a
night put on the needful restraintand deport me as meekly as a
maiden; but as for the fear of his expelling us by violence
myself and squireswith Hamet and Abdallawill warrant you
against that disgrace. Doubt not that we shall be strong enough
to make good our quarters."

We must not let it come so far,answered the Prior; "but here


is the clown's sunken crossand the night is so dark that we can
hardly see which of the roads we are to follow. He bid us turn
I think to the left."

To the right,said Brianto the best of my remembrance.

To the left, certainly, the left; I remember his pointing with
his wooden sword.

Ay, but he held his sword in his left hand, and so pointed
across his body with it,said the Templar.

Each maintained his opinion with sufficient obstinacyas is
usual in all such cases; the attendants were appealed tobut
they had not been near enough to hear Wamba's directions. At
length Brian remarkedwhat had at first escaped him in the
twilight; "Here is some one either asleepor lying dead at the
foot of this cross---Hugostir him with the but-end of thy
lance."

This was no sooner done than the figure aroseexclaiming in good
FrenchWhosoever thou art, it is discourteous in you to disturb
my thoughts.

We did but wish to ask you,said the Priorthe road to
Rotherwood, the abode of Cedric the Saxon.

I myself am bound thither,replied the stranger; "and if I had
a horseI would be your guidefor the way is somewhat
intricatethough perfectly well known to me."

Thou shalt have both thanks and reward, my friend,said the
Priorif thou wilt bring us to Cedric's in safety.

And he caused one of his attendants to mount his own led horse
and give that upon which he had hitherto ridden to the stranger
who was to serve for a guide.

Their conductor pursued an opposite road from that which Wamba
had recommendedfor the purpose of misleading them. The path
soon led deeper into the woodlandand crossed more than one
brookthe approach to which was rendered perilous by the marshes
through which it flowed; but the stranger seemed to knowas if
by instinctthe soundest ground and the safest points of
passage; and by dint of caution and attentionbrought the party
safely into a wilder avenue than any they had yet seen; and
pointing to a large low irregular building at the upper
extremityhe said to the PriorYonder is Rotherwood, the
dwelling of Cedric the Saxon.

This was a joyful intimation to Aymerwhose nerves were none of
the strongestand who had suffered such agitation and alarm in
the course of passing through the dangerous bogsthat he had not
yet had the curiosity to ask his guide a single question.
Finding himself now at his ease and near shelterhis curiosity
began to awakeand he demanded of the guide who and what he was.

A Palmer, just returned from the Holy Land,was the answer.

You had better have tarried there to fight for the recovery of
the Holy Sepulchre,said the Templar.

True, Reverend Sir Knight,answered the Palmerto whom the
appearance of the Templar seemed perfectly familiar; "but when


those who are under oath to recover the holy cityare found
travelling at such a distance from the scene of their dutiescan
you wonder that a peaceful peasant like me should decline the
task which they have abandoned?"


The Templar would have made an angry replybut was interrupted
by the Priorwho again expressed his astonishmentthat their
guideafter such long absenceshould be so perfectly acquainted
with the passes of the forest.


I was born a native of these parts,answered their guideand
as he made the reply they stood before the mansion of Cedric;---a
low irregular buildingcontaining several court-yards or
enclosuresextending over a considerable space of groundand
whichthough its size argued the inhabitant to be a person of
wealthdiffered entirely from the tallturrettedand
castellated buildings in which the Norman nobility residedand
which had become the universal style of architecture throughout
England.


Rotherwood was nothoweverwithout defences; no habitationin
that disturbed periodcould have been sowithout the risk of
being plundered and burnt before the next morning. A deep fosse
or ditchwas drawn round the whole buildingand filled with
water from a neighbouring stream. A double stockadeor
palisadecomposed of pointed beamswhich the adjacent forest
supplieddefended the outer and inner bank of the trench. There
was an entrance from the west through the outer stockadewhich
communicated by a drawbridgewith a similar opening in the
interior defences. Some precautions had been taken to place
those entrances under the protection of projecting anglesby
which they might be flanked in case of need by archers or
slingers.


Before this entrance the Templar wound his horn loudly; for the
rainwhich had long threatenedbegan now to descend with great
violence.


CHAPTER III


Then (sad relief!) from the bleak coast that hears
The German Ocean roardeep-bloomingstrong
And yellow hair'dthe blue-eyed Saxon came.


Thomson's Liberty

In a hallthe height of which was greatly disproportioned to its
extreme length and widtha long oaken tableformed of planks
rough-hewn from the forestand which had scarcely received anu
polishstood ready prepared for the evening meal of Cedric the
Saxon. The roofcomposed of beams and raftershad nothing to
divide the apartment from the sky excepting the planking and
thatch; there was a huge fireplace at either end of the hallbut
as the chimneys were constructed in a very clumsy mannerat
least as much of the smoke found its way into the apartment as
escaped by the proper vent. The constant vapour which this
occasionedhad polished the rafters and beams of the low-browed
hallby encrusting them with a black varnish of soot. On the
sides of the apartment hung implements of war and of the chase
and there were at each corner folding doorswhich gave access to


other parts of the extensive building.

The other appointments of the mansion partook of the rude
simplicity of the Saxon periodwhich Cedric piqued himself upon
maintaining. The floor was composed of earth mixed with lime
trodden into a hard substancesuch as is often employed in
flooring our modern barns. For about one quarter of the length
of the apartmentthe floor was raised by a stepand this space
which was called the daiswas occupied only by the principal
members of the familyand visitors of distinction. For this
purposea table richly covered with scarlet cloth was placed
transversely across the platformfrom the middle of which ran
the longer and lower boardat which the domestics and inferior
persons feddown towards the bottom of the hall. The whole
resembled the form of the letter Tor some of those ancient
dinner-tableswhicharranged on the same principlesmay be
still seen in the antique Colleges of Oxford or Cambridge.
Massive chairs and settles of carved oak were placed upon the
daisand over these seats and the more elevated table was
fastened a canopy of clothwhich served in some degree to
protect the dignitaries who occupied that distinguished station
from the weatherand especially from the rainwhich in some
places found its way through the ill-constructed roof.

The walls of this upper end of the hallas far as the dais
extendedwere covered with hangings or curtainsand upon the
floor there was a carpetboth of which were adorned with some
attempts at tapestryor embroideryexecuted with brilliant or
rather gaudy colouring. Over the lower range of tablethe roof
as we have noticedhad no covering; the rough plastered walls
were left bareand the rude earthen floor was uncarpeted; the
board was uncovered by a clothand rude massive benches supplied
the place of chairs.

In the centre of the upper tablewere placed two chairs more
elevated than the restfor the master and mistress of the
familywho presided over the scene of hospitalityand from
doing so derived their Saxon title of honourwhich signifies
the Dividers of Bread.

To each of these chairs was added a footstoolcuriously carved
and inlaid with ivorywhich mark of distinction was peculiar to
them. One of these seats was at present occupied by Cedric the
Saxonwhothough but in rank a thaneoras the Normans called
hima Franklinfeltat the delay of his evening mealan
irritable impatiencewhich might have become an alderman
whether of ancient or of modern times.

It appearedindeedfrom the countenance of this proprietor
that he was of a frankbut hasty and choleric temper. He was
not above the middle staturebut broad-shoulderedlong-armed
and powerfully madelike one accustomed to endure the fatigue of
war or of the chase; his face was broadwith large blue eyes
open and frank featuresfine teethand a well formed head
altogether expressive of that sort of good-humour which often
lodges with a sudden and hasty temper. Pride and jealousy there
was in his eyefor his life had been spent in asserting rights
which were constantly liable to invasion; and the promptfiery
and resolute disposition of the manhad been kept constantly
upon the alert by the circumstances of his situation. His long
yellow hair was equally divided on the top of his head and upon
his browand combed down on each side to the length of his
shoulders; it had but little tendency to greyalthough Cedric
was approaching to his sixtieth year.


His dress was a tunic of forest greenfurred at the throat and
cuffs with what was called minever; a kind of fur inferior in
quality to ermineand formedit is believedof the skin of the
grey squirrel. This doublet hung unbuttoned over a close dress
of scarlet which sate tight to his body; he had breeches of the
samebut they did not reach below the lower part of the thigh
leaving the knee exposed. His feet had sandals of the same
fashion with the peasantsbut of finer materialsand secured in
the front with golden clasps. He had bracelets of gold upon his
armsand a broad collar of the same precious metal around his
neck. About his waist he wore a richly-studded beltin which
was stuck a short straight two-edged swordwith a sharp point
so disposed as to hang almost perpendicularly by his side.
Behind his seat was hung a scarlet cloth cloak lined with fur
and a cap of the same materials richly embroideredwhich
completed the dress of the opulent landholder when he chose to go
forth. A short boar-spearwith a broad and bright steel head
also reclined against the back of his chairwhich served him
when he walked abroadfor the purposes of a staff or of a
weaponas chance might require.

Several domesticswhose dress held various proportions betwixt
the richness of their master'sand the coarse and simple attire
of Gurth the swine-herdwatched the looks and waited the
commands of the Saxon dignitary. Two or three servants of a
superior order stood behind their master upon the dais; the rest
occupied the lower part of the hall. Other attendants there were
of a different description; two or three large and shaggy
greyhoundssuch as were then employed in hunting the stag and
wolf; as many slow-hounds of a large bony breedwith thick
neckslarge headsand long ears; and one or two of the smaller
dogsnow called terrierswhich waited with impatience the
arrival of the supper; butwith the sagacious knowledge of
physiognomy peculiar to their raceforbore to intrude upon the
moody silence of their masterapprehensive probably of a small
white truncheon which lay by Cedric's trencherfor the purpose
of repelling the advances of his four-legged dependants. One
grisly old wolf-dog alonewith the liberty of an indulged
favouritehad planted himself close by the chair of stateand
occasionally ventured to solicit notice by putting his large
hairy head upon his master's kneeor pushing his nose into his
hand. Even he was repelled by the stern commandDown, Balder,
down! I am not in the humour for foolery.

In factCedricas we have observedwas in no very placid state
of mind. The Lady Rowenawho had been absent to attend an
evening mass at a distant churchhad but just returnedand was
changing her garmentswhich had been wetted by the storm. There
were as yet no tidings of Gurth and his chargewhich should long
since have been driven home from the forest and such was the
insecurity of the periodas to render it probable that the delay
might be explained by some depreciation of the outlawswith whom
the adjacent forest aboundedor by the violence of some
neighbouring baronwhose consciousness of strength made him
equally negligent of the laws of property. The matter was of
consequencefor great part of the domestic wealth of the Saxon
proprietors consisted in numerous herds of swineespecially in
forest-landwhere those animals easily found their food.

Besides these subjects of anxietythe Saxon thane was impatient
for the presence of his favourite clown Wambawhose jestssuch
as they wereserved for a sort of seasoning to his evening meal
and to the deep draughts of ale and wine with which he was in the


habit of accompanying it. Add to all thisCedric had fasted
since noonand his usual supper hour was long pasta cause of
irritation common to country squiresboth in ancient and modern
times. His displeasure was expressed in broken sentencespartly
muttered to himselfpartly addressed to the domestics who stood
around; and particularly to his cupbearerwho offered him from
time to timeas a sedativea silver goblet filled with wine
---"Why tarries the Lady Rowena?"

She is but changing her head-gear,replied a female attendant
with as much confidence as the favourite lady's-maid usually
answers the master of a modern family; "you would not wish her to
sit down to the banquet in her hood and kirtle? and no lady
within the shire can be quicker in arraying herself than my
mistress."

This undeniable argument produced a sort of acquiescent umph! on
the part of the Saxonwith the additionI wish her devotion
may choose fair weather for the next visit to St John's Kirk;
---but what, in the name of ten devils,continued heturning to
the cupbearerand raising his voice as if happy to have found a
channel into which he might divert his indignation without fear
or control---"whatin the name of ten devilskeeps Gurth so
long afield? I suppose we shall have an evil account of the herd;
he was wont to be a faithful and cautious drudgeand I had
destined him for something better; perchance I might even have
made him one of my warders."*

* The original has "Cnichts"by which the Saxons seem to
* have designated a class of military attendantssometimes
* freesometimes bondsmenbut always ranking above an
* ordinary domesticwhether in the royal household or in
* those of the aldermen and thanes. But the term cnicht
* now spelt knighthaving been received into the English
* language as equivalent to the Norman word chevalierI
* have avoided using it in its more ancient senseto
* prevent confusion. L. T.
Oswald the cupbearer modestly suggestedthat it was scarce an
hour since the tolling of the curfew;an ill-chosen apology
since it turned upon a topic so harsh to Saxon ears.

The foul fiend,exclaimed Cedrictake the curfew-bell, and
the tyrannical bastard by whom it was devised, and the heartless
slave who names it with a Saxon tongue to a Saxon ear! The
curfew!he addedpausingay, the curfew; which compels true
men to extinguish their lights, that thieves and robbers may work
their deeds in darkness!--- Ay, the curfew;---Reginald
Front-de-Boeuf and Philip de Malvoisin know the use of the curfew
as well as William the Bastard himself, or e'er a Norman
adventurer that fought at Hastings. I shall hear, I guess, that
my property has been swept off to save from starving the hungry
banditti, whom they cannot support but by theft and robbery. My
faithful slave is murdered, and my goods are taken for a prey
--and Wamba---where is Wamba? Said not some one he had gone forth
with Gurth?

Oswald replied in the affirmative.

Ay? why this is better and better! he is carried off too, the
Saxon fool, to serve the Norman lord. Fools are we all indeed
that serve them, and fitter subjects for their scorn and
laughter, than if we were born with but half our wits. But I
will be avenged,he addedstarting from his chair in impatience


at the supposed injuryand catching hold of his boar-spear; "I
will go with my complaint to the great council; I have friends
I have followers---man to man will I appeal the Norman to the
lists; let him come in his plate and his mailand all that can
render cowardice bold; I have sent such a javelin as this through
a stronger fence than three of their war shields!---Haply they
think me old; but they shall findalone and childless as I am
the blood of Hereward is in the veins of Cedric.---AhWilfred
Wilfred!" he exclaimed in a lower tonecouldst thou have ruled
thine unreasonable passion, thy father had not been left in his
age like the solitary oak that throws out its shattered and
unprotected branches against the full sweep of the tempest!The
reflection seemed to conjure into sadness his irritated feelings.
Replacing his javelinhe resumed his seatbent his looks
downwardand appeared to be absorbed in melancholy reflection.

>From his musingCedric was suddenly awakened by the blast of a
hornwhich was replied to by the clamorous yells and barking of
all the dogs in the halland some twenty or thirty which were
quartered in other parts of the building. It cost some exercise
of the white truncheonwell seconded by the exertions of the
domesticsto silence this canine clamour.

To the gate, knaves!said the Saxonhastilyas soon as the
tumult was so much appeased that the dependants could hear his
voice. "See what tidings that horn tells us of---to announceI
weensome hership*

* Pillage.
and robbery which has been done upon my lands."

Returning in less than three minutesa warder announced "that
the Prior Aymer of Jorvaulxand the good knight Brian de
Bois-Guilbertcommander of the valiant and venerable order of
Knights Templarswith a small retinuerequested hospitality and
lodging for the nightbeing on their way to a tournament which
was to be held not far from Ashby-de-la-Zoucheon the second day
from the present."

Aymer, the Prior Aymer? Brian de Bois-Guilbert?---muttered
Cedric; "Normans both;---but Norman or Saxonthe hospitality of
Rotherwood must not be impeached; they are welcomesince they
have chosen to halt---more welcome would they have been to have
ridden further on their way---But it were unworthy to murmur for
a night's lodging and a night's food; in the quality of guests
at leasteven Normans must suppress their insolence.---Go
Hundebert he added, to a sort of major-domo who stood behind
him with a white wand; take six of the attendantsand introduce
the strangers to the guests' lodging. Look after their horses
and mulesand see their train lack nothing. Let them have
change of vestments if they require itand fireand water to
washand wine and ale; and bid the cooks add what they hastily
can to our evening meal; and let it be put on the board when
those strangers are ready to share it. Say to themHundebert
that Cedric would himself bid them welcomebut he is under a vow
never to step more than three steps from the dais of his own hall
to meet any who shares not the blood of Saxon royalty. Begone!
see them carefully tended; let them not say in their pridethe
Saxon churl has shown at once his poverty and his avarice."

The major-domo departed with several attendantsto execute his
master's commands.


The Prior Aymer!repeated Cedriclooking to Oswaldthe
brother, if I mistake not, of Giles de Mauleverer, now lord of
Middleham?

Oswald made a respectful sign of assent. "His brother sits in
the seatand usurps the patrimonyof a better racethe race of
Ulfgar of Middleham; but what Norman lord doth not the same? This
Prior isthey saya free and jovial priestwho loves the
wine-cup and the bugle-horn better than bell and book: Good; let
him comehe shall be welcome. How named ye the Templar?"

Brian de Bois-Guilbert.

Bois-Guilbert,said Cedricstill in the musinghalf-arguing
tonewhich the habit of living among dependants had accustomed
him to employand which resembled a man who talks to himself
rather than to those around him---"Bois-Guilbert? that name has
been spread wide both for good and evil. They say he is valiant
as the bravest of his order; but stained with their usual vices
pridearrogancecrueltyand voluptuousness; a hard-hearted
manwho knows neither fear of earthnor awe of heaven. So say
the few warriors who have returned from Palestine.---Well; it is
but for one night; he shall be welcome too.---Oswaldbroach the
oldest wine-cask; place the best meadthe mightiest alethe
richest moratthe most sparkling ciderthe most odoriferous
pigmentsupon the board; fill the largest horns*

* These were drinks used by the Saxonsas we are informed
* by Mr Turner: Morat was made of honey flavoured with the
* juice of mulberries; Pigment was a sweet and rich liquor
* composed of wine highly spicedand sweetened also with
* honey; the other liquors need no explanation. L. T.
---Templars and Abbots love good wines and good measure.
---Elgithalet thy Lady Rowenaknow we shall not this night
expect her in the hallunless such be her especial pleasure."

But it will be her especial pleasure,answered Elgithawith
great readinessfor she is ever desirous to hear the latest
news from Palestine.

Cedric darted at the forward damsel a glance of hasty resentment;
but Rowenaand whatever belonged to herwere privileged and
secure from his anger. He only repliedSilence, maiden; thy
tongue outruns thy discretion. Say my message to thy mistress,
and let her do her pleasure. Here, at least, the descendant of
Alfred still reigns a princess.Elgitha left the apartment.

Palestine!repeated the Saxon; "Palestine! how many ears are
turned to the tales which dissolute crusadersor hypocritical
pilgrimsbring from that fatal land! I too might ask---I too
might enquire---I too might listen with a beating heart to fables
which the wily strollers devise to cheat us into hospitality
---but no---The son who has disobeyed me is no longer mine; nor
will I concern myself more for his fate than for that of the most
worthless among the millions that ever shaped the cross on their
shoulderrushed into excess and blood-guiltinessand called it
an accomplishment of the will of God."

He knit his browsand fixed his eyes for an instant on the
ground; as he raised themthe folding doors at the bottom of the
hall were cast wideandpreceded by the major-domo with his
wandand four domestics bearing blazing torchesthe guests of
the evening entered the apartment.


CHAPTER IV

With sheep and shaggy goats the porkers bled
And the proud steer was on the marble spread;
With fire preparedthey deal the morsels round
Wine rosy bright the brimming goblets crown'd.

* * * * *
Disposed apartUlysses shares the treat;
A trivet table and ignobler seat
The Prince assigns--


OdysseyBook XXI

The Prior Aymer had taken the opportunity afforded himof
changing his riding robe for one of yet more costly materials
over which he wore a cope curiously embroidered. Besides the
massive golden signet ringwhich marked his ecclesiastical
dignityhis fingersthough contrary to the canonwere loaded
with precious gems; his sandals were of the finest leather which
was imported from Spain; his beard trimmed to as small dimensions
as his order would possibly permitand his shaven crown
concealed by a scarlet cap richly embroidered.

The appearance of the Knight Templar was also changed; and
though less studiously bedecked with ornamenthis dress was as
richand his appearance far more commandingthan that of his
companion. He had exchanged his shirt of mail for an under tunic
of dark purple silkgarnished with fursover which flowed his
long robe of spotless whitein ample folds. The eight-pointed
cross of his order was cut on the shoulder of his mantle in black
velvet. The high cap no longer invested his browswhich were
only shaded by short and thick curled hair of a raven blackness
corresponding to his unusually swart complexion. Nothing could
be more gracefully majestic than his step and mannerhad they
not been marked by a predominant air of haughtinesseasily
acquired by the exercise of unresisted authority.

These two dignified persons were followed by their respective
attendantsand at a more humble distance by their guidewhose
figure had nothing more remarkable than it derived from the usual
weeds of a pilgrim. A cloak or mantle of coarse black serge
enveloped his whole body. It was in shape something like the
cloak of a modern hussarhaving similar flaps for covering the
armsand was called a "Sclaveyn"or "Sclavonian". Coarse
sandalsbound with thongson his bare feet; a broad and shadowy
hatwith cockle-shells stitched on its brimand a long staff
shod with ironto the upper end of which was attached a branch
of palmcompleted the palmer's attire. He followed modestly the
last of the train which entered the hallandobserving that the
lower table scarce afforded room sufficient for the domestics of
Cedric and the retinue of his guestshe withdrew to a settle
placed beside and almost under one of the large chimneysand
seemed to employ himself in drying his garmentsuntil the
retreat of some one should make room at the boardor the
hospitality of the steward should supply him with refreshments in
the place he had chosen apart.

Cedric rose to receive his guests with an air of dignified
hospitalityanddescending from the daisor elevated part of


his hallmade three steps towards themand then awaited their
approach.

I grieve,he saidreverend Prior, that my vow binds me to
advance no farther upon this floor of my fathers, even to receive
such guests as you, and this valiant Knight of the Holy Temple.
But my steward has expounded to you the cause of my seeming
discourtesy. Let me also pray, that you will excuse my speaking
to you in my native language, and that you will reply in the same
if your knowledge of it permits; if not, I sufficiently
understand Norman to follow your meaning.

Vows,said the Abbotmust be unloosed, worthy Franklin, or
permit me rather to say, worthy Thane, though the title is
antiquated. Vows are the knots which tie us to Heaven---they are
the cords which bind the sacrifice to the horns of the altar,
---and are therefore,---as I said before,---to be unloosened and
discharged, unless our holy Mother Church shall pronounce the
contrary. And respecting language, I willingly hold
communication in that spoken by my respected grandmother, Hilda
of Middleham, who died in odour of sanctity, little short, if we
may presume to say so, of her glorious namesake, the blessed
Saint Hilda of Whitby, God be gracious to her soul!

When the Prior had ceased what he meant as a conciliatory
haranguehis companion said briefly and emphaticallyI speak
ever French, the language of King Richard and his nobles; but I
understand English sufficiently to communicate with the natives
of the country.

Cedric darted at the speaker one of those hasty and impatient
glanceswhich comparisons between the two rival nations seldom
failed to call forth; butrecollecting the duties of
hospitalityhe suppressed further show of resentmentand
motioning with his handcaused his guests to assume two seats a
little lower than his ownbut placed close beside himand gave
a signal that the evening meal should be placed upon the board.

While the attendants hastened to obey Cedric's commandshis eye
distinguished Gurth the swineherdwhowith his companion Wamba
had just entered the hall. "Send these loitering knaves up
hither said the Saxon, impatiently. And when the culprits came
before the dais,---How comes itvillains! that you have
loitered abroad so late as this? Hast thou brought home thy
chargesirrah Gurthor hast thou left them to robbers and
marauders?"

The herd is safe, so please ye,said Gurth.

But it does not please me, thou knave,said Cedricthat I
should be made to suppose otherwise for two hours, and sit here
devising vengeance against my neighbours for wrongs they have not
done me. I tell thee, shackles and the prison-house shall punish
the next offence of this kind.

Gurthknowing his master's irritable temperattempted no
exculpation; but the Jesterwho could presume upon Cedric's
toleranceby virtue of his privileges as a foolreplied for
them both; "In trothuncle Cedricyou are neither wise nor
reasonable to-night."

'How, sir?said his master; "you shall to the porter's lodge
and taste of the discipline thereif you give your foolery such
license."


First let your wisdom tell me,said Wambais it just and
reasonable to punish one person for the fault of another?

Certainly not, fool,answered Cedric.

Then why should you shackle poor Gurth, uncle, for the fault of
his dog Fangs? for I dare be sworn we lost not a minute by the
way, when we had got our herd together, which Fangs did not
manage until we heard the vesper-bell.

Then hang up Fangs,said Cedricturning hastily towards the
swineherdif the fault is his, and get thee another dog.

Under favour, uncle,said the Jesterthat were still somewhat
on the bow-hand of fair justice; for it was no fault of Fangs
that he was lame and could not gather the herd, but the fault of
those that struck off two of his fore-claws, an operation for
which, if the poor fellow had been consulted, he would scarce
have given his voice.

And who dared to lame an animal which belonged to my bondsman?
said the Saxonkindling in wrath.

Marry, that did old Hubert,said WambaSir Philip de
Malvoisin's keeper of the chase. He caught Fangs strolling in
the forest, and said he chased the deer contrary to his master's
right, as warden of the walk.

The foul fiend take Malvoisin,answered the Saxonand his
keeper both! I will teach them that the wood was disforested in
terms of the great Forest Charter. But enough of this. Go to,
knave, go to thy place---and thou, Gurth, get thee another dog,
and should the keeper dare to touch it, I will mar his archery;
the curse of a coward on my head, if I strike not off the
forefinger of his right hand!---he shall draw bowstring no more.
---I crave your pardon, my worthy guests. I am beset here with
neighbours that match your infidels, Sir Knight, in Holy Land.
But your homely fare is before you; feed, and let welcome make
amends for hard fare.

The feasthoweverwhich was spread upon the boardneeded no
apologies from the lord of the mansion. Swine's fleshdressed
in several modesappeared on the lower part of the boardas
also that of fowlsdeergoatsand haresand various kinds of
fishtogether with huge loaves and cakes of breadand sundry
confections made of fruits and honey. The smaller sorts of
wild-fowlof which there was abundancewere not served up in
plattersbut brought in upon small wooden spits or broachesand
offered by the pages and domestics who bore themto each guest
in successionwho cut from them such a portion as he pleased.
Beside each person of rank was placed a goblet of silver; the
lower board was accommodated with large drinking horns.

When the repast was about to commencethe major-domoor
stewardsuddenly raising his wandsaid aloud---"Forbear!
---Place for the Lady Rowena."

A side-door at the upper end of the hall now opened behind the
banquet tableand Rowenafollowed by four female attendants
entered the apartment. Cedricthough surprisedand perhaps not
altogether agreeably soat his ward appearing in public on this
occasionhastened to meet herand to conduct herwith
respectful ceremonyto the elevated seat at his own right hand


appropriated to the lady of the mansion. All stood up to receive
her; andreplying to their courtesy by a mute gesture of
salutationshe moved gracefully forward to assume her place at
the board. Ere she had time to do sothe Templar whispered to
the PriorI shall wear no collar of gold of yours at the
tournament. The Chian wine is your own.

Said I not so?answered the Prior; "but check your raptures
the Franklin observes you."

Unheeding this remonstranceand accustomed only to act upon the
immediate impulse of his own wishesBrian de Bois-Guilbert kept
his eyes riveted on the Saxon beautymore striking perhaps to
his imaginationbecause differing widely from those of the
Eastern sultanas.

Formed in the best proportions of her sexRowena was tall in
statureyet not so much so as to attract observation on account
of superior height. Her complexion was exquisitely fairbut the
noble cast of her head and features prevented the insipidity
which sometimes attaches to fair beauties. Her clear blue eye
which sate enshrined beneath a graceful eyebrow of brown
sufficiently marked to give expression to the foreheadseemed
capable to kindle as well as meltto command as well as to
beseech. If mildness were the more natural expression of such a
combination of featuresit was plainthat in the present
instancethe exercise of habitual superiorityand the reception
of general homagehad given to the Saxon lady a loftier
characterwhich mingled with and qualified that bestowed by
nature. Her profuse hairof a colour betwixt brown and flaxen
was arranged in a fanciful and graceful manner in numerous
ringletsto form which art had probably aided nature. These
locks were braided with gemsandbeing worn at full length
intimated the noble birth and free-born condition of the maiden.
A golden chainto which was attached a small reliquary of the
same metalhung round her neck. She wore bracelets on her arms
which were bare. Her dress was an under-gown and kirtle of pale
sea-green silkover which hung a long loose robewhich reached
to the groundhaving very wide sleeveswhich came down
howeververy little below the elbow. This robe was crimsonand
manufactured out of the very finest wool. A veil of silk
interwoven with goldwas attached to the upper part of itwhich
could beat the wearer's pleasureeither drawn over the face
and bosom after the Spanish fashionor disposed as a sort of
drapery round the shoulders.

When Rowena perceived the Knight Templar's eyes bent on her with
an ardourthatcompared with the dark caverns under which they
movedgave them the effect of lighted charcoalshe drew with
dignity the veil around her faceas an intimation that the
determined freedom of his glance was disagreeable. Cedric saw
the motion and its cause. "Sir Templar said he, the cheeks of
our Saxon maidens have seen too little of the sun to enable them
to bear the fixed glance of a crusader."

If I have offended,replied Sir BrianI crave your pardon,
--that is, I crave the Lady Rowena's pardon,---for my humility
will carry me no lower.

The Lady Rowena,said the Priorhas punished us all, in
chastising the boldness of my friend. Let me hope she will be
less cruel to the splendid train which are to meet at the
tournament.


Our going thither,said Cedricis uncertain. I love not
these vanities, which were unknown to my fathers when England was
free.

Let us hope, nevertheless,said the Priorour company may
determine you to travel thitherward; when the roads are so
unsafe, the escort of Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert is not to be
despised.

Sir Prior,answered the Saxonwheresoever I have travelled in
this land, I have hitherto found myself, with the assistance of
my good sword and faithful followers, in no respect needful of
other aid. At present, if we indeed journey to
Ashby-de-la-Zouche, we do so with my noble neighbour and
countryman Athelstane of Coningsburgh, and with such a train as
would set outlaws and feudal enemies at defiance.---I drink to
you, Sir Prior, in this cup of wine, which I trust your taste
will approve, and I thank you for your courtesy. Should you be
so rigid in adhering to monastic rule,he addedas to prefer
your acid preparation of milk, I hope you will not strain
courtesy to do me reason.

Nay,said the Priestlaughingit is only in our abbey that
we confine ourselves to the 'lac dulce' or the 'lac acidum'
either. Conversing with, the world, we use the world's fashions,
and therefore I answer your pledge in this honest wine, and leave
the weaker liquor to my lay-brother.

And I,said the Templarfilling his gobletdrink wassail to
the fair Rowena; for since her namesake introduced the word into
England, has never been one more worthy of such a tribute. By
my faith, I could pardon the unhappy Vortigern, had he half the
cause that we now witness, for making shipwreck of his honour and
his kingdom.

I will spare your courtesy, Sir Knight,said Rowena with
dignityand without unveiling herself; "or rather I will tax it
so far as to require of you the latest news from Palestinea
theme more agreeable to our English ears than the compliments
which your French breeding teaches."

I have little of importance to say, lady, answered Sir Brian de
Bois-Guilbert, excepting the confirmed tidings of a truce with
Saladin."

He was interrupted by Wambawho had taken his appropriated seat
upon a chairthe back of which was decorated with two ass's
earsand which was placed about two steps behind that of his
masterwhofrom time to timesupplied him with victuals from
his own trencher; a favourhoweverwhich the Jester shared with
the favourite dogsof whomas we have already noticedthere
were several in attendance. Here sat Wambawith a small table
before himhis heels tucked up against the bar of the chairhis
cheeks sucked up so as to make his jaws resemble a pair of
nut-crackersand his eyes half-shutyet watching with alertness
every opportunity to exercise his licensed foolery.

These truces with the infidels,he exclaimedwithout caring
how suddenly he interrupted the stately Templarmake an old man
of me!

Go to, knave, how so?said Cedrichis features prepared to
receive favourably the expected jest.


Because,answered WambaI remember three of them in my day,
each of which was to endure for the course of fifty years; so
that, by computation, I must be at least a hundred and fifty
years old.

I will warrant you against dying of old age, however,said the
Templarwho now recognised his friend of the forest; "I will
assure you from all deaths but a violent oneif you give such
directions to wayfarersas you did this night to the Prior and
me."

How, sirrah!said Cedricmisdirect travellers? We must have
you whipt; you are at least as much rogue as fool.

I pray thee, uncle,answered the Jesterlet my folly, for
once, protect my roguery. I did but make a mistake between my
right hand and my left; and he might have pardoned a greater, who
took a fool for his counsellor and guide.

Conversation was here interrupted by the entrance of the porter's
pagewho announced that there was a stranger at the gate
imploring admittance and hospitality

Admit him,said Cedricbe he who or what he may;---a night
like that which roars without, compels even wild animals to herd
with tame, and to seek the protection of man, their mortal foe,
rather than perish by the elements. Let his wants be ministered
to with all care---look to it, Oswald.

And the steward left the banqueting hall to see the commands of
his patron obeyed.

CHAPTER V

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew handsorgansdimensions
sensesaffectionspassions? Fed with the same foodhurt with
the same weaponssubject to the same diseaseshealed by the
same meanswarmed and cooled by the same winter and summeras
a Christian is?

Merchant of Venice

Oswaldreturningwhispered into the ear of his masterIt is a
Jew, who calls himself Isaac of York; is it fit I should marshall
him into the hall?

Let Gurth do thine office, Oswald,said Wamba with his usual
effrontery; "the swineherd will be a fit usher to the Jew."

St Mary,said the Abbotcrossing himselfan unbelieving Jew,
and admitted into this presence!

A dog Jew,echoed the Templarto approach a defender of the
Holy Sepulchre?

By my faith,said Wambait would seem the Templars love the
Jews' inheritance better than they do their company.

Peace, my worthy guests,said Cedric; "my hospitality must not
be bounded by your dislikes. If Heaven bore with the whole


nation of stiff-necked unbelievers for more years than a layman
can numberwe may endure the presence of one Jew for a few
hours. But I constrain no man to converse or to feed with him.
---Let him have a board and a morsel apart---unless he said
smiling, these turban'd strangers will admit his society."

Sir Franklin,answered the Templarmy Saracen slaves are true
Moslems, and scorn as much as any Christian to hold intercourse
with a Jew.

Now, in faith,said WambaI cannot see that the worshippers
of Mahound and Termagaunt have so greatly the advantage over the
people once chosen of Heaven.

He shall sit with thee, Wamba,said Cedric; "the fool and the
knave will be well met."

The fool,answered Wambaraising the relics of a gammon of
baconwill take care to erect a bulwark against the knave.

Hush,said Cedricfor here he comes.

Introduced with little ceremonyand advancing with fear and
hesitationand many a bow of deep humilitya tall thin old man
whohoweverhad lost by the habit of stooping much of his
actual heightapproached the lower end of the board. His
featureskeen and regularwith an aquiline noseand piercing
black eyes; his high and wrinkled foreheadand long grey hair
and beardwould have been considered as handsomehad they not
been the marks of a physiognomy peculiar to a racewhichduring
those dark ageswas alike detested by the credulous and
prejudiced vulgarand persecuted by the greedy and rapacious
nobilityand whoperhapsowing to that very hatred and
persecutionhad adopted a national characterin which there was
muchto say the leastmean and unamiable.

The Jew's dresswhich appeared to have suffered considerably
from the stormwas a plain russet cloak of many foldscovering
a dark purple tunic. He had large boots lined with furand a
belt around his waistwhich sustained a small knifetogether
with a case for writing materialsbut no weapon. He wore a high
square yellow cap of a peculiar fashionassigned to his nation
to distinguish them from Christiansand which he doffed with
great humility at the door of the hall.

The reception of this person in the ball of Cedric the Saxonwas
such as might have satisfied the most prejudiced enemy of the
tribes of Israel. Cedric himself coldly nodded in answer to the
Jew's repeated salutationsand signed to him to take place at
the lower end of the tablewherehoweverno one offered to
make room for him. On the contraryas he passed along the file
casting a timid supplicating glanceand turning towards each of
those who occupied the lower end of the boardthe Saxon
domestics squared their shouldersand continued to devour their
supper with great perseverancepaying not the least attention to
the wants of the new guest. The attendants of the Abbot crossed
themselveswith looks of pious horrorand the very heathen
Saracensas Isaac drew near themcurled up their whiskers with
indignationand laid their hands on their poniardsas if ready
to rid themselves by the most desperate means from the
apprehended contamination of his nearer approach.

Probably the same motives which induced Cedric to open his hall
to this son of a rejected peoplewould have made him insist on


his attendants receiving Isaac with more courtesy. But the Abbot
hadat this momentengaged him in a most interesting discussion
on the breed and character of his favourite houndswhich he
would not have interrupted for matters of much greater importance
than that of a Jew going to bed supperless. While Isaac thus
stood an outcast in the present societylike his people among
the nationslooking in vain for welcome or resting placethe
pilgrim who sat by the chimney took compassion upon himand
resigned his seatsaying brieflyOld man, my garments are
dried, my hunger is appeased, thou art both wet and fasting.
So sayinghe gathered togetherand brought to a flamethe
decaying brands which lay scattered on the ample hearth; took
from the larger board a mess of pottage and seethed kidplaced
it upon the small table at which he had himself suppedand
without waiting the Jew's thankswent to the other side of the
hall;---whether from unwillingness to hold more close
communication with the object of his benevolenceor from a wish
to draw near to the upper end of the tableseemed uncertain.

Had there been painters in those days capable to execute such a
subjectthe Jewas he bent his withered formand expanded his
chilled and trembling hands over the firewould have formed no
bad emblematical personification of the Winter season. Having
dispelled the coldhe turned eagerly to the smoking mess which
was placed before himand ate with a haste and an apparent
relishthat seemed to betoken long abstinence from food.

Meanwhile the Abbot and Cedric continued their discourse upon
hunting; the Lady Rowena seemed engaged in conversation with one
of her attendant females; and the haughty Templarwhose eye
wandered from the Jew to the Saxon beautyrevolved in his mind
thoughts which appeared deeply to interest him.

I marvel, worthy Cedric,said the Abbotas their discourse
proceededthat, great as your predilection is for your own
manly language, you do not receive the Norman-French into your
favour, so far at least as the mystery of wood-craft and hunting
is concerned. Surely no tongue is so rich in the various phrases
which the field-sports demand, or furnishes means to the
experienced woodman so well to express his jovial art.

Good Father Aymer,said the Saxonbe it known to you, I care
not for those over-sea refinements, without which I can well
enough take my pleasure in the woods. I can wind my horn, though
I call not the blast either a 'recheate' or a 'morte'---I can
cheer my dogs on the prey, and I can flay and quarter the animal
when it is brought down, without using the newfangled jargon of
'curee, arbor, nombles', and all the babble of the fabulous Sir
Tristrem.*

* There was no language which the Normans more formally
* separated from that of common life than the terms of the
* chase. The objects of their pursuitwhether bird or
* animalchanged their name each yearand there were a
* hundred conventional termsto be ignorant of which was to
* be without one of the distinguishing marks of a gentleman.
* The reader may consult Dame Juliana Berners' book on the
* subject. The origin of this science was imputed to the
* celebrated Sir Tristremfamous for his tragic intrigue
* with the beautiful Ysolte. As the Normans reserved the
* amusement of hunting strictly to themselvesthe terms of
* this formal jargon were all taken from the French language.
The French,said the Templarraising his voice with the


presumptuous and authoritative tone which he used upon all
occasionsis not only the natural language of the chase, but
that of love and of war, in which ladies should be won and
enemies defied.:

Pledge me in a cup of wineSir Templar said Cedric, and fill
another to the Abbotwhile I look back some thirty years to tell
you another tale. As Cedric the Saxon then washis plain
English tale needed no garnish from French troubadourswhen it
was told in the ear of beauty; and the field of Northallerton
upon the day of the Holy Standardcould tell whether the Saxon
war-cry was not heard as far within the ranks of the Scottish
host as the 'cri de guerre' of the boldest Norman baron. To the
memory of the brave who fought there!---Pledge memy guests."
He drank deepand went on with increasing warmth. "Aythat was
a day of cleaving of shieldswhen a hundred banners were bent
forwards over the heads of the valiantand blood flowed round
like waterand death was held better than flight. A Saxon bard
had called it a feast of the swords---a gathering of the eagles
to the prey---the clashing of bills upon shield and helmetthe
shouting of battle more joyful than the clamour of a bridal. But
our bards are no more he said; our deeds are lost in those of
another race---our language---our very name---is hastening to
decayand none mourns for it save one solitary old man
---Cupbearer! knavefill the goblets---To the strong in arms
Sir Templarbe their race or language what it willwho now bear
them best in Palestine among the champions of the Cross!"

It becomes not one wearing this badge to answer,said Sir Brian
de Bois-Guilbert; "yet to whombesides the sworn Champions of
the Holy Sepulchrecan the palm be assigned among the champions
of the Cross?"

To the Knights Hospitallers,said the Abbot; "I have a brother
of their order."

I impeach not their fame,said the Templar; "nevertheless-----"

I think, friend Cedric,said Wambainterferingthat had
Richard of the Lion's Heart been wise enough to have taken a
fool's advice, he might have staid at home with his merry
Englishmen, and left the recovery of Jerusalem to those same
Knights who had most to do with the loss of it.

Were there, then, none in the English army,said the Lady
Rowenawhose names are worthy to be mentioned with the Knights
of the Temple, and of St John?

Forgive me, lady,replied De Bois-Guilbert; "the English
monarch didindeedbring to Palestine a host of gallant
warriorssecond only to those whose breasts have been the
unceasing bulwark of that blessed land."

Second to NONE,said the Pilgrimwho had stood near enough to
hearand had listened to this conversation with marked
impatience. All turned toward the spot from whence this
unexpected asseveration was heard.

I say,repeated the Pilgrim in a firm and strong voicethat
the English chivalry were second to NONE who ever drew sword in
defence of the Holy Land. I say besides, for I saw it, that King
Richard himself, and five of his knights, held a tournament after
the taking of St John-de-Acre, as challengers against all comers.
I say that, on that day, each knight ran three courses, and cast


to the ground three antagonists. I add, that seven of these
assailants were Knights of the Temple---and Sir Brian de
Bois-Guilbert well knows the truth of what I tell you.

It is impossible for language to describe the bitter scowl of
rage which rendered yet darker the swarthy countenance of the
Templar. In the extremity of his resentment and confusionhis
quivering fingers griped towards the handle of his swordand
perhaps only withdrewfrom the consciousness that no act of
violence could be safely executed in that place and presence.
Cedricwhose feelings were all of a right onward and simple
kindand were seldom occupied by more than one object at once
omittedin the joyous glee with which be heard of the glory of
his countrymento remark the angry confusion of his guest; "I
would give thee this golden braceletPilgrim he said, couldst
thou tell me the names of those knights who upheld so gallantly
the renown of merry England."

That will I do blithely,replied the Pilgrimand without
guerdon; my oath, for a time, prohibits me from touching gold.

I will wear the bracelet for you, if you will, friend Palmer,
said Wamba.

The first in honour as in arms, in renown as in place,said the
Pilgrimwas the brave Richard, King of England.

I forgive him,said Cedric; "I forgive him his descent from the
tyrant Duke William."

The Earl of Leicester was the second,continued the Pilgrim;
Sir Thomas Multon of Gilsland was the third.

Of Saxon descent, he at least,said Cedricwith exultation.

Sir Foulk Doilly the fourth,proceeded the Pilgrim.

Saxon also, at least by the mother's side,continued Cedric
who listened with the utmost eagernessand forgotin part at
leasthis hatred to the Normansin the common triumph of the
King of England and his islanders. "And who was the fifth?" he
demanded.

The fifth was Sir Edwin Turneham.

Genuine Saxon, by the soul of Hengist!shouted Cedric---"And
the sixth?" he continued with eagerness---"how name you the
sixth?"

The sixth,said the Palmerafter a pausein which he seemed
to recollect himselfwas a young knight of lesser renown and
lower rank, assumed into that honourable company, less to aid
their enterprise than to make up their number---his name dwells
not in my memory.

Sir Palmer,said Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert scornfullythis
assumed forgetfulness, after so much has been remembered, comes
too late to serve your purpose. I will myself tell the name of
the knight before whose lance fortune and my horse's fault
occasioned my falling---it was the Knight of Ivanhoe; nor was
there one of the six that, for his years, had more renown in
arms.---Yet this will I say, and loudly---that were he in
England, and durst repeat, in this week's tournament, the
challenge of St John-de-Acre, I, mounted and armed as I now am,


would give him every advantage of weapons, and abide the result.

Your challenge would soon be answered,replied the Palmer
were your antagonist near you. As the matter is, disturb not
the peaceful hall with vaunts of the issue of the conflict, which
you well know cannot take place. If Ivanhoe ever returns from
Palestine, I will be his surety that he meets you.

A goodly security!said the Knight Templar; "and what do you
proffer as a pledge?"

This reliquary,said the Palmertaking a small ivory box from
his bosomand crossing himselfcontaining a portion of the
true cross, brought from the Monastery of Mount Carmel.

The Prior of Jorvaulx crossed himself and repeated a pater
nosterin which all devoutly joinedexcepting the Jewthe
Mahomedansand the Templar; the latter of whomwithout vailing
his bonnetor testifying any reverence for the alleged sanctity
of the relictook from his neck a gold chainwhich he flung on
the boardsaying---"Let Prior Aymer hold my pledge and that of
this nameless vagrantin token that when the Knight of Ivanhoe
comes within the four seas of Britainhe underlies the challenge
of Brian de Bois-Guilbertwhichif he answer notI will
proclaim him as a coward on the walls of every Temple Court in
Europe."

It will not need,said the Lady Rowenabreaking silence; "My
voice shall be heardif no other in this hall is raised in
behalf of the absent Ivanhoe. I affirm he will meet fairly every
honourable challenge. Could my weak warrant add security to the
inestimable pledge of this holy pilgrimI would pledge name and
fame that Ivanhoe gives this proud knight the meeting he
desires."

A crowd of conflicting emotions seemed to have occupied Cedric
and kept him silent during this discussion. Gratified pride
resentmentembarrassmentchased each other over his broad and
open browlike the shadow of clouds drifting over a
harvest-field; while his attendantson whom the name of the
sixth knight seemed to produce an effect almost electricalhung
in suspense upon their master's looks. But when Rowena spoke
the sound of her voice seemed to startle him from his silence.

Lady,said Cedricthis beseems not; were further pledge
necessary, I myself, offended, and justly offended, as I am,
would yet gage my honour for the honour of Ivanhoe. But the
wager of battle is complete, even according to the fantastic
fashions of Norman chivalry---Is it not, Father Aymer?

It is,replied the Prior; "and the blessed relic and rich chain
will I bestow safely in the treasury of our conventuntil the
decision of thiswarlike challenge."

Having thus spokenhe crossed himself again and againand after
many genuflections and muttered prayershe delivered the
reliquary to Brother Ambrosehis attendant monkwhile he
himself swept up with less ceremonybut perhaps with no less
internal satisfactionthe golden chainand bestowed it in a
pouch lined with perfumed leatherwhich opened under his arm.
And now, Sir Cedric,he saidmy ears are chiming vespers with
the strength of your good wine---permit us another pledge to the
welfare of the Lady Rowena, and indulge us with liberty to pass
to our repose.


By the rood of Bromholme,said the Saxonyou do but small
credit to your fame, Sir Prior! Report speaks you a bonny monk,
that would hear the matin chime ere he quitted his bowl; and, old
as I am, I feared to have shame in encountering you. But, by my
faith, a Saxon boy of twelve, in my time, would not so soon have
relinquished his goblet.

The Prior had his own reasonshoweverfor persevering in the
course of temperance which he had adopted. He was not only a
professional peacemakerbut from practice a hater of all feuds
and brawls. It was not altogether from a love to his neighbour
or to himselfor from a mixture of both. On the present
occasionhe had an instinctive apprehension of the fiery temper
of the Saxonand saw the danger that the reckless and
presumptuous spiritof which his companion had already given so
many proofsmight at length produce some disagreeable explosion.
He therefore gently insinuated the incapacity of the native of
any other country to engage in the genial conflict of the bowl
with the hardy and strong-headed Saxons; something he mentioned
but slightlyabout his own holy characterand ended by pressing
his proposal to depart to repose.

The grace-cup was accordingly served roundand the guestsafter
making deep obeisance to their landlord and to the Lady Rowena
arose and mingled in the hallwhile the heads of the familyby
separate doorsretired with their attendants.

Unbelieving dog,said the Templar to Isaac the Jewas he
passed him in the throngdost thou bend thy course to the
tournament?

I do so propose,replied Isaacbowing in all humilityif it
please your reverend valour.

Ay,said the Knightto gnaw the bowels of our nobles with
usury, and to gull women and boys with gauds and toys---I warrant
thee store of shekels in thy Jewish scrip.

Not a shekel, not a silver penny, not a halfling---so help me
the God of Abraham!said the Jewclasping his hands; "I go but
to seek the assistance of some brethren of my tribe to aid me to
pay the fine which the Exchequer of the Jews*

* In those days the Jews were subjected to an Exchequer
* specially dedicated to that purposeand which laid them
* under the most exorbitant impositions.---L. T.
have imposed upon me---Father Jacob be my speed! I am an
impoverished wretch---the very gaberdine I wear is borrowed from
Reuben of Tadcaster."

The Templar smiled sourly as he repliedBeshrew thee for a
false-hearted liar!and passing onwardas if disdaining farther
conferencehe communed with his Moslem slaves in a language
unknown to the bystanders. The poor Israelite seemed so
staggered by the address of the military monkthat the Templar
had passed on to the extremity of the hall ere he raised his
head from the humble posture which he had assumedso far as to
be sensible of his departure. And when he did look aroundit
was with the astonished air of one at whose feet a thunderbolt
has just burstand who hears still the astounding report ringing
in his ears.


The Templar and Prior were shortly after marshalled to their
sleeping apartments by the steward and the cupbearereach
attended by two torchbearers and two servants carrying
refreshmentswhile servants of inferior condition indicated to
their retinue and to the other guests their respective places of
repose.

CHAPTER VI

To buy his favour I extend this friendship:
If he will take itso; if notadieu;
Andfor my loveI pray you wrong me not.

Merchant of Venice

As the Palmerlighted by a domestic with a torchpast through
the intricate combination of apartments of this large and
irregular mansionthe cupbearer coming behind him whispered in
his earthat if he had no objection to a cup of good mead in his
apartmentthere were many domestics in that family who would
gladly hear the news he had brought from the Holy Landand
particularly that which concerned the Knight of Ivanhoe. Wamba
presently appeared to urge the same requestobserving that a cup
after midnight was worth three after curfew. Without disputing a
maxim urged by such grave authoritythe Palmer thanked them for
their courtesybut observed that he had included in his
religious vowan obligation never to speak in the kitchen on
matters which were prohibited in the hall. "That vow said
Wamba to the cupbearer, would scarce suit a serving-man."

The cupbearer shrugged up his shoulders in displeasure. "I
thought to have lodged him in the solere chamber said he; but
since he is so unsocial to Christianse'en let him take the next
stall to Isaac the Jew's.---Anwold said he to the torchbearer,
carry the Pilgrim to the southern cell.---I give you
good-night he added, Sir Palmerwith small thanks for short
courtesy."

Good-night, and Our Lady's benison,said the Palmerwith
composure; and his guide moved forward.

In a small antechamberinto which several doors openedand
which was lighted by a small iron lampthey met a second
interruption from the waiting-maid of Rowenawhosaying in a
tone of authoritythat her mistress desired to speak with the
Palmertook the torch from the hand of Anwoldandbidding him
await her returnmade a sign to the Palmer to follow.
Apparently he did not think it proper to decline this invitation
as he had done the former; forthough his gesture indicated some
surprise at the summonshe obeyed it without answer or
remonstrance.

A short passageand an ascent of seven stepseach of which was
composed of a solid beam of oakled him to the apartment of the
Lady Rowenathe rude magnificence of which corresponded to the
respect which was paid to her by the lord of the mansion. The
walls were covered with embroidered hangingson which
different-coloured silksinterwoven with gold and silver
threadshad been employed with all the art of which the age was
capableto represent the sports of hunting and hawking. The bed


was adorned with the same rich tapestryand surrounded with
curtains dyed with purple. The seats had also their stained
coveringsand onewhich was higher than the restwas
accommodated with a footstool of ivorycuriously carved.

No fewer than four silver candelabrasholding great waxen
torchesserved to illuminate this apartment. Yet let not
modern beauty envy the magnificence of a Saxon princess. The
walls of the apartment were so ill finished and so full of
crevicesthat the rich hangings shook in the night blastand
in despite of a sort of screen intended to protect them from the
windthe flame of the torches streamed sideways into the air
like the unfurled pennon of a chieftain. Magnificence there was
with some rude attempt at taste; but of comfort there was little
andbeing unknownit was unmissed.

The Lady Rowenawith three of her attendants standing at her
backand arranging her hair ere she lay down to restwas seated
in the sort of throne already mentionedand looked as if born to
exact general homage. The Pilgrim acknowledged her claim to it
by a low genuflection.

Rise, Palmer,said she graciously. "The defender of the absent
has a right to favourable reception from all who value truthand
honour manhood." She then said to her trainRetire, excepting
only Elgitha; I would speak with this holy Pilgrim.

The maidenswithout leaving the apartmentretired to its
further extremityand sat down on a small bench against the
wallwhere they remained mute as statuesthough at such a
distance that their whispers could not have interrupted the
conversation of their mistress.

Pilgrim,said the ladyafter a moment's pauseduring which
she seemed uncertain how to address himyou this night
mentioned a name---I mean,she saidwith a degree of effort
the name of Ivanhoe, in the halls where by nature and kindred
it should have sounded most acceptably; and yet, such is the
perverse course of fate, that of many whose hearts must have
throbbed at the sound, I, only, dare ask you where, and in what
condition, you left him of whom you spoke?---We heard, that,
having remained in Palestine, on account of his impaired health,
after the departure of the English army, he had experienced the
persecution of the French faction, to whom the Templars are known
to be attached.

I know little of the Knight of Ivanhoe,answered the Palmer
with a troubled voice. "I would I knew him bettersince you
ladyare interested in his fate. He hathI believe
surmounted the persecution of his enemies in Palestineand is
on the eve of returning to Englandwhere youladymust know
better than Iwhat is his chance of happiness."

The Lady Rowena sighed deeplyand asked more particularly when
the Knight of Ivanhoe might be expected in his native country
and whether he would not be exposed to great dangers by the road.
On the first pointthe Palmer professed ignorance; on the
secondhe said that the voyage might be safely made by the way
of Venice and Genoaand from thence through France to England.
Ivanhoe,he saidwas so well acquainted with the language and
manners of the French, that there was no fear of his incurring
any hazard during that part of his travels.

Would to God,said the Lady Rowenahe were here safely


arrived, and able to bear arms in the approaching tourney, in
which the chivalry of this land are expected to display their
address and valour. Should Athelstane of Coningsburgh obtain
the prize, Ivanhoe is like to hear evil tidings when he reaches
England.---How looked he, stranger, when you last saw him? Had
disease laid her hand heavy upon his strength and comeliness?

He was darker,said the Palmerand thinner, than when he came
from Cyprus in the train of Coeur-de-Lion, and care seemed to sit
heavy on his brow; but I approached not his presence, because he
is unknown to me.

He will,said the ladyI fear, find little in his native land
to clear those clouds from his countenance. Thanks, good
Pilgrim, for your information concerning the companion of my
childhood.---Maidens,she saiddraw near---offer the sleeping
cup to this holy man, whom I will no longer detain from repose.

One of the maidens presented a silver cupcontaining a rich
mixture of wine and spicewhich Rowena barely put to her lips.
It was then offered to the Palmerwhoafter a low obeisance
tasted a few drops.

Accept this alms, friend,continued the ladyoffering a piece
of goldin acknowledgment of thy painful travail, and of the
shrines thou hast visited.

The Palmer received the boon with another low reverenceand
followed Edwina out of the apartment.

In the anteroom he found his attendant Anwoldwhotaking the
torch from the hand of the waiting-maidconducted him with more
haste than ceremony to an exterior and ignoble part of the
buildingwhere a number of small apartmentsor rather cells
served for sleeping places to the lower order of domesticsand
to strangers of mean degree.

In which of these sleeps the Jew?said the Pilgrim.

The unbelieving dog,answered Anwoldkennels in the cell next
your holiness.---St Dunstanhow it must be scraped and cleansed
ere it be again fit for a Christian!"

And where sleeps Gurth the swineherd?said the stranger.

Gurth,replied the bondsmansleeps in the cell on your right,
as the Jew on that to your left; you serve to keep the child of
circumcision separate from the abomination of his tribe. You
might have occupied a more honourable place had you accepted of
Oswald's invitation.

It is as well as it is,said the Palmer; "the companyeven of
a Jewcan hardly spread contamination through an oaken
partition."

So sayinghe entered the cabin allotted to himand taking the
torch from the domestic's handthanked himand wished him
good-night. Having shut the door of his cellhe placed the
torch in a candlestick made of woodand looked around his
sleeping apartmentthe furniture of which was of the most simple
kind. It consisted of a rude wooden stooland still ruder hutch
or bed-framestuffed with clean strawand accommodated with two
or three sheepskins by way of bed-clothes.


The Palmerhaving extinguished his torchthrew himselfwithout
taking off any part of his clotheson this rude couchand
sleptor at least retained his recumbent posturetill the
earliest sunbeams found their way through the little grated
windowwhich served at once to admit both air and light to his
uncomfortable cell. He then started upand after repeating his
matinsand adjusting his dresshe left itand entered that of
Isaac the Jewlifting the latch as gently as he could.

The inmate was lying in troubled slumber upon a couch similar to
that on which the Palmer himself had passed the night. Such
parts of his dress as the Jew had laid aside on the preceding
eveningwere disposed carefully around his personas if to
prevent the hazard of their being carried off during his
slumbers. There was a trouble on his brow amounting almost to
agony. His hands and arms moved convulsivelyas if struggling
with the nightmare; and besides several ejaculations in Hebrew
the following were distinctly heard in the Norman-Englishor
mixed language of the country: "For the sake of the God of
Abrahamspare an unhappy old man! I am poorI am penniless
---should your irons wrench my limbs asunderI could not gratify
you!"

The Palmer awaited not the end of the Jew's visionbut stirred
him with his pilgrim's staff. The touch probably associatedas
is usualwith some of the apprehensions excited by his dream;
for the old man started uphis grey hair standing almost erect
upon his headand huddling some part of his garments about him
while he held the detached pieces with the tenacious grasp of a
falconhe fixed upon the Palmer his keen black eyesexpressive
of wild surprise and of bodily apprehension.

Fear nothing from me, Isaac,said the PalmerI come as your
friend.

The God of Israel requite you,said the Jewgreatly relieved;
I dreamed---But Father Abraham be praised, it was but a dream.
Thencollecting himselfhe added in his usual toneAnd what
may it be your pleasure to want at so early an hour with the poor
Jew?

It is to tell you,said the Palmerthat if you leave not this
mansion instantly, and travel not with some haste, your journey
may prove a dangerous one.

Holy father!said the Jewwhom could it interest to endanger
so poor a wretch as I am?

The purpose you can best guess,said the Pilgrim; "but rely on
thisthat when the Templar crossed the hall yesternighthe
spoke to his Mussulman slaves in the Saracen languagewhich I
well understandand charged them this morning to watch the
journey of the Jewto seize upon him when at a convenient
distance from the mansionand to conduct him to the castle of
Philip de Malvoisinor to that of Reginald Front-de-Boeuf."

It is impossible to describe the extremity of terror which seized
upon the Jew at this informationand seemed at once to overpower
his whole faculties. His arms fell down to his sidesand his
head drooped on his breasthis knees bent under his weight
every nerve and muscle of his frame seemed to collapse and lose
its energyand he sunk at the foot of the Palmernot in the
fashion of one who intentionally stoopskneelsor prostrates
himself to excite compassionbut like a man borne down on all


sides by the pressure of some invisible forcewhich crushes him
to the earth without the power of resistance.

Holy God of Abraham!was his first exclamationfolding and
elevating his wrinkled handsbut without raising his grey head
from the pavement; "Ohholy Moses! Oblessed Aaron! the dream
is not dreamed for noughtand the vision cometh not in vain! I
feel their irons already tear my sinews! I feel the rack pass
over my body like the sawsand harrowsand axes of iron over
the men of Rabbahand of the cities of the children of Ammon!"

Stand up, Isaac, and hearken to me,said the Palmerwho viewed
the extremity of his distress with a compassion in which contempt
was largely mingled; "you have cause for your terrorconsidering
how your brethren have been usedin order to extort from them
their hoardsboth by princes and nobles; but stand upI say
and I will point out to you the means of escape. Leave this
mansion instantlywhile its inmates sleep sound after the last
night's revel. I will guide you by the secret paths of the
forestknown as well to me as to any forester that ranges it
and I will not leave you till you are under safe conduct of some
chief or baron going to the tournamentwhose good-will you have
probably the means of securing."

As the ears of Isaac received the hopes of escape which this
speech intimatedhe began graduallyand inch by inchas it
wereto raise himself up from the grounduntil he fairly rested
upon his kneesthrowing back his long grey hair and beardand
fixing his keen black eyes upon the Palmer's facewith a look
expressive at once of hope and fearnot unmingled with
suspicion. But when he heard the concluding part of the
sentencehis original terror appeared to revive in full force
and he dropt once more on his faceexclaiming'I' possess the
means of securing good-will! alas! there is but one road to the
favour of a Christian, and how can the poor Jew find it, whom
extortions have already reduced to the misery of Lazarus?Then
as if suspicion had overpowered his other feelingshe suddenly
exclaimedFor the love of God, young man, betray me not---for
the sake of the Great Father who made us all, Jew as well as
Gentile, Israelite and Ishmaelite---do me no treason! I have not
means to secure the good-will of a Christian beggar, were he
rating it at a single penny.As he spoke these last wordshe
raised himselfand grasped the Palmer's mantle with a look of
the most earnest entreaty. The pilgrim extricated himselfas
if there were contamination in the touch.

Wert thou loaded with all the wealth of thy tribe,he said
what interest have I to injure thee?---In this dress I am vowed
to poverty, nor do I change it for aught save a horse and a coat
of mail. Yet think not that I care for thy company, or propose
myself advantage by it; remain here if thou wilt---Cedric the
Saxon may protect thee.

Alas!said the Jewhe will not let me travel in his train
---Saxon or Norman will be equally ashamed of the poor Israelite;
and to travel by myself through the domains of Philip de
Malvoisin and Reginald Front-de-Boeuf---Good youth, I will go
with you!---Let us haste---let us gird up our loins---let us
flee!---Here is thy staff, why wilt thou tarry?

I tarry not,said the Pilgrimgiving way to the urgency of his
companion; "but I must secure the means of leaving this place
--follow me."


He led the way to the adjoining cellwhichas the reader is
apprisedwas occupied by Gurth the swineherd.---"AriseGurth
said the Pilgrim, arise quickly. Undo the postern gateand let
out the Jew and me."

Gurthwhose occupationthough now held so meangave him as
much consequence in Saxon England as that of Eumaeus in Ithaca
was offended at the familiar and commanding tone assumed by the
Palmer. "The Jew leaving Rotherwood said he, raising himself
on his elbow, and looking superciliously at him without quitting
his pallet, and travelling in company with the Palmer to
boot---"

I should as soon have dreamt,said Wambawho entered the
apartment at the instantof his stealing away with a gammon of
bacon.

Nevertheless,said Gurthagain laying down his head on the
wooden log which served him for a pillowboth Jew and Gentile
must be content to abide the opening of the great gate---we
suffer no visitors to depart by stealth at these unseasonable
hours.

Nevertheless,said the Pilgrimin a commanding toneyou will
not, I think, refuse me that favour.

So sayinghe stooped over the bed of the recumbent swineherd
and whispered something in his ear in Saxon. Gurth started up
as if electrified. The Pilgrimraising his finger in an
attitude as if to express cautionaddedGurth, beware---thou
are wont to be prudent. I say, undo the postern---thou shalt
know more anon.

With hasty alacrity Gurth obeyed himwhile and the Jew followed
both wondering at the sudden change in the swineherd's demeanour.
My mule, my mule!said the Jewas soon as they stood without
the postern.

Fetch him his mule,said the Pilgrim; "andhearest thou
---let me have anotherthat I may bear him company till he is
beyond these parts---I will return it safely to some of Cedric's
train at Ashby. And do thou"---he whispered the rest in Gurth's
ear.

Willingly, most willingly shall it be done,said Gurthand
instantly departed to execute the commission.

I wish I knew,said Wambawhen his comrade's back was turned
what you Palmers learn in the Holy Land.

To say our orisons, fool,answered the Pilgrimto repent our
sins, and to mortify ourselves with fastings, vigils, and long
prayers.

Something more potent than that,answered the Jester; "for when
would repentance or prayer make Gurth do a courtesyor fasting
or vigil persuade him to lend you a mule?---l trow you might as
well have told his favourite black boar of thy vigils and
penanceand wouldst have gotten as civil an answer."

Go to,said the Pilgrimthou art but a Saxon fool.

Thou sayst well.said the Jester; "had I been born a Normanas
I think thou artI would have had luck on my sideand been next


door to a wise man."

At this moment Gurth appeared on the opposite side of the moat
with the mules. The travellers crossed the ditch upon a
drawbridge of only two planks breadththe narrowness of which
was matched with the straitness of the posternand with a little
wicket in the exterior palisadewhich gave access to the forest.
No sooner had they reached the mulesthan the Jewwith hasty
and trembling handssecured behind the saddle a small bag of
blue buckramwhich he took from under his cloakcontainingas
be muttereda change of raiment---only a change of raiment.
Then getting upon the animal with more alacrity and haste than
could have been anticipated from his yearshe lost no time in so
disposing of the skirts of his gabardine as to conceal completely
from observation the burden which he had thus deposited "en
croupe".

The Pilgrim mounted with more deliberationreachingas he
departedhis hand to Gurthwho kissed it with the utmost
possible veneration. The swineherd stood gazing after the
travellers until they were lost under the boughs of the forest
pathwhen he was disturbed from his reverie by the voice of
Wamba.

Knowest thou,said the Jestermy good friend Gurth, that thou
art strangely courteous and most unwontedly pious on this summer
morning? I would I were a black Prior or a barefoot Palmer, to
avail myself of thy unwonted zeal and courtesy ---certes, I would
make more out of it than a kiss of the hand.

Thou art no fool thus far, Wamba,answered Gurththough thou
arguest from appearances, and the wisest of us can do no more
---But it is time to look after my charge.

So sayinghe turned back to the mansionattended by the Jester.

Meanwhile the travellers continued to press on their journey with
a dispatch which argued the extremity of the Jew's fearssince
persons at his age are seldom fond of rapid motionThe Palmer
to whom every path and outlet in the wood appeared to be
familiarled the way through the most devious pathsand more
than once excited anew the suspicion of the Israelitethat he
intended to betray him into some ambuscade of his enemies.

His doubts might have been indeed pardoned; forexcept perhaps
the flying fishthere was no race existing on the earthin the
airor the waterswho were the object of such an
unintermittinggeneraland relentless persecution as the Jews
of this period. Upon the slightest and most unreasonable
pretencesas well as upon accusations the most absurd and
groundlesstheir persons and property were exposed to every turn
of popular fury; for NormanSaxonDaneand Britonhowever
adverse these races were to each othercontended which should
look with greatest detestation upon a peoplewhom it was
accounted a point of religion to hateto revileto despiseto
plunderand to persecute. The kings of the Norman raceand the
independent nobleswho followed their example in all acts of
tyrannymaintained against this devoted people a persecution of
a more regularcalculatedand self-interested kind. It is a
well-known story of King Johnthat he confined a wealthy Jew in
one of the royal castlesand daily caused one of his teeth to be
torn outuntilwhen the jaw of the unhappy Israelite was half
disfurnishedhe consented to pay a large sumwhich it was the
tyrant's object to extort from him. The little ready money which


was in the country was chiefly in possession of this persecuted
peopleand the nobility hesitated not to follow the example of
their sovereignin wringing it from them by every species of
oppressionand even personal torture. Yet the passive courage
inspired by the love of gaininduced the Jews to dare the
various evils to which they were subjectedin consideration of
the immense profits which they were enabled to realize in a
country naturally so wealthy as England. In spite of every kind
of discouragementand even of the special court of taxations
already mentionedcalled the Jews' Exchequererected for the
very purpose of despoiling and distressing themthe Jews
increasedmultipliedand accumulated huge sumswhich they
transferred from one hand to another by means of bills of
exchange---an invention for which commerce is said to be indebted
to themand which enabled them to transfer their wealth from
land to landthat when threatened with oppression in one
countrytheir treasure might be secured in another.

The obstinacy and avarice of the Jews being thus in a measure
placed in opposition to the fanaticism that tyranny of those
under whom they livedseemed to increase in proportion to the
persecution with which they were visited; and the immense wealth
they usually acquired in commercewhile it frequently placed
them in dangerwas at other times used to extend their
influenceand to secure to them a certain degree of protection.
On these terms they lived; and their characterinfluenced
accordinglywas watchfulsuspiciousand timid---yet obstinate
uncomplyingand skilful in evading the dangers to which they
were exposed.

When the travellers had pushed on at a rapid rate through many
devious pathsthe Palmer at length broke silence.

That large decayed oak,he saidmarks the boundaries over
which Front-de-Boeuf claims authority---we are long since far
from those of Malvoisin. There is now no fear of pursuit.

May the wheels of their chariots be taken off,said the Jew
like those of the host of Pharaoh, that they may drive heavily!
---But leave me not, good Pilgrim---Think but of that fierce and
savage Templar, with his Saracen slaves---they will regard
neither territory, nor manor, nor lordship.

Our road,said the Palmershould here separate; for it
beseems not men of my character and thine to travel together
longer than needs must be. Besides, what succour couldst thou
have from me, a peaceful Pilgrim, against two armed heathens?

O good youth,answered the Jewthou canst defend me, and I
know thou wouldst. Poor as I am, I will requite it---not with
money, for money, so help me my Father Abraham, I have none---but
------

Money and recompense,said the Palmerinterrupting himI
have already said I require not of thee. Guide thee I can; and,
it may be, even in some sort defend thee; since to protect a Jew
against a Saracen, can scarce be accounted unworthy of a
Christian. Therefore, Jew, I will see thee safe under some
fitting escort. We are now not far from the town of Sheffield,
where thou mayest easily find many of thy tribe with whom to take
refuge.

The blessing of Jacob be upon thee, good youth!said the Jew;
in Sheffield I can harbour with my kinsman Zareth, and find some


means of travelling forth with safety.

Be it so,said the Palmer; "at Sheffield then we partand
half-an-hour's riding will bring us in sight of that town."

The half hour was spent in perfect silence on both parts; the
Pilgrim perhaps disdaining to address the Jewexcept in case of
absolute necessityand the Jew not presuming to force a
conversation with a person whose journey to the Holy Sepulchre
gave a sort of sanctity to his character. They paused on the top
of a gently rising bankand the Pilgrimpointing to the town of
Sheffieldwhich lay beneath themrepeated the wordsHere,
then, we part.

Not till you have had the poor Jew's thanks,said Isaac; "for
I presume not to ask you to go with me to my kinsman Zareth's
who might aid me with some means of repaying your good offices."

I have already said,answered the Pilgrimthat I desire no
recompense. If among the huge list of thy debtors, thou wilt, for
my sake, spare the gyves and the dungeon to some unhappy
Christian who stands in thy danger, I shall hold this morning's
service to thee well bestowed.

Stay, stay,said the Jewlaying hold of his garment;
something would I do more than this, something for thyself.
---God knows the Jew is poor---yes, Isaac is the beggar of his
tribe---but forgive me should I guess what thou most lackest at
this moment.

If thou wert to guess truly,said the Palmerit is what thou
canst not supply, wert thou as wealthy as thou sayst thou art
poor.

As I say?echoed the Jew; "O! believe itI say but the truth;
I am a plunderedindebteddistressed man. Hard hands have
wrung from me my goodsmy moneymy shipsand all that I
possessed---Yet I can tell thee what thou lackestandit may
besupply it too. Thy wish even now is for a horse and armour."

The Palmer startedand turned suddenly towards the Jew:---"What
fiend prompted that guess?" said hehastily.

No matter,said the Jewsmilingso that it be a true one
---and, as I can guess thy want, so I can supply it.

But consider,said the Palmermy character, my dress, my
vow.

I know you Christians,replied the Jewand that the noblest
of you will take the staff and sandal in superstitious penance,
and walk afoot to visit the graves of dead men.

Blaspheme not, Jew,said the Pilgrimsternly.

Forgive me,said the Jew; "I spoke rashly. But there dropt
words from you last night and this morningthatlike sparks
from flintshowed the metal within; and in the bosom of that
Palmer's gownis hidden a knight's chain and spurs of gold.
They glanced as you stooped over my bed in the morning."

The Pilgrim could not forbear smiling. "Were thy garments
searched by as curious an eyeIsaac said he, what discoveries
might not be made?"


No more of that,said the Jewchanging colour; and drawing
forth his writing materials in hasteas if to stop the
conversationhe began to write upon a piece of paper which he
supported on the top of his yellow capwithout dismounting from
his mule. When he had finishedhe delivered the scrollwhich
was in the Hebrew characterto the PilgrimsayingIn the town
of Leicester all men know the rich Jew, Kirjath Jairam of
Lombardy; give him this scroll---he hath on sale six Milan
harnesses, the worst would suit a crowned head---ten goodly
steeds, the worst might mount a king, were he to do battle for
his throne. Of these he will give thee thy choice, with every
thing else that can furnish thee forth for the tournament: when
it is over, thou wilt return them safely---unless thou shouldst
have wherewith to pay their value to the owner.


But, Isaac,said the Pilgrimsmilingdost thou know that in
these sports, the arms and steed of the knight who is unhorsed
are forfeit to his victor? Now I may be unfortunate, and so lose
what I cannot replace or repay.


The Jew looked somewhat astounded at this possibility; but
collecting his couragehe replied hastily. "No---no---no---It
is impossible---I will not think so. The blessing of Our Father
will be upon thee. Thy lance will be powerful as the rod of
Moses."


So sayinghe was turning his mule's head awaywhen the Palmer
in his turntook hold of his gaberdine. "Naybut Isaacthou
knowest not all the risk. The steed may be slainthe armour
injured---for I will spare neither horse nor man. Besidesthose
of thy tribe give nothing for nothing; something there must be
paid for their use."


The Jew twisted himself in the saddlelike a man in a fit of the
colic; but his better feelings predominated over those which were
most familiar to him. "I care not he said, I care not---let
me go. If there is damageit will cost you nothing---if there
is usage moneyKirjath Jairam will forgive it for the sake of
his kinsman Isaac. Fare thee well!---Yet hark theegood youth
said he, turning about, thrust thyself not too forward into this
vain hurly-burly---I speak not for endangering the steedand
coat of armourbut for the sake of thine own life and limbs."


Gramercy for thy caution,said the Palmeragain smiling; "I
will use thy courtesy franklyand it will go hard with me but
I will requite it."


They partedand took different roads for the town of Sheffield.


CHAPTER VII


Knightswith a long retinue of their squires
In gaudy liveries march and quaint attires;
One laced the helmanother held the lance
A third the shining buckler did advance.
The courser paw'd the ground with restless feet
And snorting foam'd and champ'd the golden bit.
The smiths and armourers on palfreys ride
Files in their handsand hammers at their side;



And nails for loosen'd spearsand thongs for shields provide.
The yeomen guard the streets in seemly bands;
And clowns come crowding onwith cudgels in their hands.


Palamon and Arcite

The condition of the English nation was at this time sufficiently
miserable. King Richard was absent a prisonerand in the power
of the perfidious and cruel Duke of Austria. Even the very place
of his captivity was uncertainand his fate but very imperfectly
known to the generality of his subjectswho werein the
meantimea prey to every species of subaltern oppression.

Prince Johnin league with Philip of FranceCoeur-de-Lion's
mortal enemywas using every species of influence with the Duke
of Austriato prolong the captivity of his brother Richardto
whom he stood indebted for so many favours. In the meantimehe
was strengthening his own faction in the kingdomof which he
proposed to dispute the successionin case of the King's death
with the legitimate heirArthur Duke of Brittanyson of
Geoffrey Plantagenetthe elder brother of John. This
usurpationit is well knownhe afterwards effected. His own
character being lightprofligateand perfidiousJohn easily
attached to his person and factionnot only all who had reason
to dread the resentment of Richard for criminal proceedings
during his absencebut also the numerous class of "lawless
resolutes whom the crusades had turned back on their country,
accomplished in the vices of the East, impoverished in substance,
and hardened in character, and who placed their hopes of harvest
in civil commotion. To these causes of public distress and
apprehension, must be added, the multitude of outlaws, who,
driven to despair by the oppression of the feudal nobility, and
the severe exercise of the forest laws, banded together in large
gangs, and, keeping possession of the forests and the wastes, set
at defiance the justice and magistracy of the country. The
nobles themselves, each fortified within his own castle, and
playing the petty sovereign over his own dominions, were the
leaders of bands scarce less lawless and oppressive than those of
the avowed depredators. To maintain these retainers, and to
support the extravagance and magnificence which their pride
induced them to affect, the nobility borrowed sums of money from
the Jews at the most usurious interest, which gnawed into their
estates like consuming cankers, scarce to be cured unless when
circumstances gave them an opportunity of getting free, by
exercising upon their creditors some act of unprincipled
violence.

Under the various burdens imposed by this unhappy state of
affairs, the people of England suffered deeply for the present,
and had yet more dreadful cause to fear for the future. To
augment their misery, a contagious disorder of a dangerous nature
spread through the land; and, rendered more virulent by the
uncleanness, the indifferent food, and the wretched lodging of
the lower classes, swept off many whose fate the survivors were
tempted to envy, as exempting them from the evils which were to
come.

Yet amid these accumulated distresses, the poor as well as the
rich, the vulgar as well as the noble, in the event of a
tournament, which was the grand spectacle of that age, felt as
much interested as the half-starved citizen of Madrid, who has
not a real left to buy provisions for his family, feels in the
issue of a bull-feast. Neither duty nor infirmity could keep
youth or age from such exhibitions. The Passage of Arms, as it


was called, which was to take place at Ashby, in the county of
Leicester, as champions of the first renown were to take the
field in the presence of Prince John himself, who was expected to
grace the lists, had attracted universal attention, and an
immense confluence of persons of all ranks hastened upon the
appointed morning to the place of combat.

The scene was singularly romantic. On the verge of a wood, which
approached to within a mile of the town of Ashby, was an
extensive meadow, of the finest and most beautiful green turf,
surrounded on one side by the forest, and fringed on the other by
straggling oak-trees, some of which had grown to an immense size.
The ground, as if fashioned on purpose for the martial display
which was intended, sloped gradually down on all sides to a level
bottom, which was enclosed for the lists with strong palisades,
forming a space of a quarter of a mile in length, and about half
as broad. The form of the enclosure was an oblong square, save
that the corners were considerably rounded off, in order to
afford more convenience for the spectators. The openings for the
entry of the combatants were at the northern and southern
extremities of the lists, accessible by strong wooden gates, each
wide enough to admit two horsemen riding abreast. At each of
these portals were stationed two heralds, attended by six
trumpets, as many pursuivants, and a strong body of men-at-arms
for maintaining order, and ascertaining the quality of the
knights who proposed to engage in this martial game.

On a platform beyond the southern entrance, formed by a natural
elevation of the ground, were pitched five magnificent pavilions,
adorned with pennons of russet and black, the chosen colours of
the five knights challengers. The cords of the tents were of the
same colour. Before each pavilion was suspended the shield of
the knight by whom it was occupied, and beside it stood his
squire, quaintly disguised as a salvage or silvan man, or in some
other fantastic dress, according to the taste of his master, and
the character he was pleased to assume during the game.*

* This sort of masquerade is supposed to have occasioned the
* introduction of supporters into the science of heraldry.
The central pavilion, as the place of honour, had been assigned
to Brian be Bois-Guilbert, whose renown in all games of chivalry,
no less than his connexions with the knights who had undertaken
this Passage of Arms, had occasioned him to be eagerly received
into the company of the challengers, and even adopted as their
chief and leader, though he had so recently joined them. On one
side of his tent were pitched those of Reginald Front-de-Boeuf
and Richard de Malvoisin, and on the other was the pavilion of
Hugh de Grantmesnil, a noble baron in the vicinity, whose
ancestor had been Lord High Steward of England in the time of the
Conqueror, and his son William Rufus. Ralph de Vipont, a knight
of St John of Jerusalem, who had some ancient possessions at a
place called Heather, near Ashby-de-la-Zouche, occupied the fifth
pavilion. From the entrance into the lists, a gently sloping
passage, ten yards in breadth, led up to the platform on which
the tents were pitched. It was strongly secured by a palisade on
each side, as was the esplanade in front of the pavilions, and
the whole was guarded by men-at-arms.

The northern access to the lists terminated in a similar entrance
of thirty feet in breadth, at the extremity of which was a large
enclosed space for such knights as might be disposed to enter the
lists with the challengers, behind which were placed tents
containing refreshments of every kind for their accommodation,


with armourers, tarriers, and other attendants, in readiness to
give their services wherever they might be necessary.

The exterior of the lists was in part occupied by temporary
galleries, spread with tapestry and carpets, and accommodated
with cushions for the convenience of those ladies and nobles who
were expected to attend the tournament. A narrow space, betwixt
these galleries and the lists, gave accommodation for yeomanry
and spectators of a better degree than the mere vulgar, and might
be compared to the pit of a theatre. The promiscuous multitude
arranged themselves upon large banks of turf prepared for the
purpose, which, aided by the natural elevation of the ground,
enabled them to overlook the galleries, and obtain a fair view
into the lists. Besides the accommodation which these stations
afforded, many hundreds had perched themselves on the branches of
the trees which surrounded the meadow; and even the steeple of a
country church, at some distance, was crowded with spectators.

It only remains to notice respecting the general arrangement,
that one gallery in the very centre of the eastern side of the
lists, and consequently exactly opposite to the spot where the
shock of the combat was to take place, was raised higher than the
others, more richly decorated, and graced by a sort of throne and
canopy, on which the royal arms were emblazoned. Squires, pages,
and yeomen in rich liveries, waited around this place of honour,
which was designed for Prince John and his attendants. Opposite
to this royal gallery was another, elevated to the same height,
on the western side of the lists; and more gaily, if less
sumptuously decorated, than that destined for the Prince himself.
A train of pages and of young maidens, the most beautiful who
could be selected, gaily dressed in fancy habits of green and
pink, surrounded a throne decorated in the same colours. Among
pennons and flags bearing wounded hearts, burning hearts,
bleeding hearts, bows and quivers, and all the commonplace
emblems of the triumphs of Cupid, a blazoned inscription informed
the spectators, that this seat of honour was designed for La
Royne de las Beaulte et des Amours". But who was to represent
the Queen of Beauty and of Love on the present occasion no one
was prepared to guess.

Meanwhilespectators of every description thronged forward to
occupy their respective stationsand not without many quarrels
concerning those which they were entitled to hold. Some of these
were settled by the men-at-arms with brief ceremony; the shafts
of their battle-axesand pummels of their swordsbeing readily
employed as arguments to convince the more refractory. Others
which involved the rival claims of more elevated personswere
determined by the heraldsor by the two marshals of the field
William de Wyviland Stephen de Martivalwhoarmed at all
pointsrode up and down the lists to enforce and preserve good
order among the spectators.

Gradually the galleries became filled with knights and noblesin
their robes of peacewhose long and rich-tinted mantles were
contrasted with the gayer and more splendid habits of the ladies
whoin a greater proportion than even the men themselves
thronged to witness a sportwhich one would have thought too
bloody and dangerous to afford their sex much pleasure. The
lower and interior space was soon filled by substantial yeomen
and burghersand such of the lesser gentryasfrom modesty
povertyor dubious titledurst not assume any higher place. It
was of course amongst these that the most frequent disputes for
precedence occurred.


Dog of an unbeliever,said an old manwhose threadbare tunic
bore witness to his povertyas his swordand daggerand golden
chain intimated his pretensions to rank---"whelp of a she-wolf!
darest thou press upon a Christianand a Norman gentleman of the
blood of Montdidier?"

This rough expostulation was addressed to no other than our
acquaintance Isaacwhorichly and even magnificently dressed
in a gaberdine ornamented with lace and lined with furwas
endeavouring to make place in the foremost row beneath the
gallery for his daughterthe beautiful Rebeccawho had joined
him at Ashbyand who was now hanging on her father's armnot a
little terrified by the popular displeasure which seemed
generally excited by her parent's presumption. But Isaacthough
we have seen him sufficiently timid on other occasionsknew well
that at present he had nothing to fear. It was not in places of
general resortor where their equals were assembledthat any
avaricious or malevolent noble durst offer him injury. At such
meetings the Jews were under the protection of the general law;
and if that proved a weak assuranceit usually happened that
there were among the persons assembled some baronswhofor
their own interested motiveswere ready to act as their
protectors. On the present occasionIsaac felt more than
usually confidentbeing aware that Prince John was even then in
the very act of negotiating a large loan from the Jews of York
to be secured upon certain jewels and lands. Isaac's own share
in this transaction was considerableand he well knew that the
Prince's eager desire to bring it to a conclusion would ensure
him his protection in the dilemma in which he stood.

Emboldened by these considerationsthe Jew pursued his point
and jostled the Norman Christianwithout respect either to his
descentqualityor religion. The complaints of the old man
howeverexcited the indignation of the bystanders. One of
thesea stout well-set yeomanarrayed in Lincoln greenhaving
twelve arrows stuck in his beltwith a baldric and badge of
silverand a bow of six feet length in his handturned short
roundand while his countenancewhich his constant exposure to
weather had rendered brown as a hazel nutgrew darker with
angerhe advised the Jew to remember that all the wealth he had
acquired by sucking the blood of his miserable victims had but
swelled him like a bloated spiderwhich might be overlooked
while he kept in a comerbut would be crushed if it ventured
into the light. This intimationdelivered in Norman-English
with a firm voice and a stern aspectmade the Jew shrink back;
and he would have probably withdrawn himself altogether from a
vicinity so dangeroushad not the attention of every one been
called to the sudden entrance of Prince Johnwho at that moment
entered the listsattended by a numerous and gay train
consisting partly of laymenpartly of churchmenas light in
their dressand as gay in their demeanouras their companions.
Among the latter was the Prior of Jorvaulxin the most gallant
trim which a dignitary of the church could venture to exhibit.
Fur and gold were not spared in his garments; and the points of
his bootsout-heroding the preposterous fashion of the time
turned up so very faras to be attachednot to his knees
merelybut to his very girdleand effectually prevented him
from putting his foot into the stirrup. Thishoweverwas a
slight inconvenience to the gallant Abbotwhoperhapseven
rejoicing in the opportunity to display his accomplished
horsemanship before so many spectatorsespecially of the fair
sexdispensed with the use of these supports to a timid rider.
The rest of Prince John's retinue consisted of the favourite
leaders of his mercenary troopssome marauding barons and


profligate attendants upon the courtwith several Knights
Templars and Knights of St John.

It may be here remarkedthat the knights of these two orders
were accounted hostile to King Richardhaving adopted the side
of Philip of France in the long train of disputes which took
place in Palestine betwixt that monarch and the lion-hearted
King of England. It was the well-known consequence of this
discord that Richard's repeated victories had been rendered
fruitlesshis romantic attempts to besiege Jerusalem
disappointedand the fruit of all the glory which he had
acquired had dwindled into an uncertain truce with the Sultan
Saladin. With the same policy which had dictated the conduct of
their brethren in the Holy Landthe Templars and Hospitallers in
England and Normandy attached themselves to the faction of Prince
Johnhaving little reason to desire the return of Richard to
Englandor the succession of Arthurhis legitimate heir. For
the opposite reasonPrince John hated and contemned the few
Saxon families of consequence which subsisted in Englandand
omitted no opportunity of mortifying and affronting them; being
conscious that his person and pretensions were disliked by them
as well as by the greater part of the English commonswho feared
farther innovation upon their rights and libertiesfrom a
sovereign of John's licentious and tyrannical disposition.

Attended by this gallant equipagehimself well mountedand
splendidly dressed in crimson and in goldbearing upon his hand
a falconand having his head covered by a rich fur bonnet
adorned with a circle of precious stonesfrom which his long
curled hair escaped and overspread his shouldersPrince John
upon a grey and high-mettled palfreycaracoled within the lists
at the head of his jovial partylaughing loud with his train
and eyeing with all the boldness of royal criticism the beauties
who adorned the lofty galleries.

Those who remarked in the physiognomy of the Prince a dissolute
audacitymingled with extreme haughtiness and indifference to
the feelings of others could not yet deny to his countenance that
sort of comeliness which belongs to an open set of featureswell
formed by naturemodelled by art to the usual rules of courtesy
yet so far frank and honestthat they seemed as if they
disclaimed to conceal the natural workings of the soul. Such an
expression is often mistaken for manly franknesswhen in truth
it arises from the reckless indifference of a libertine
dispositionconscious of superiority of birthof wealthor of
some other adventitious advantagetotally unconnected with
personal merit. To those who did not think so deeplyand they
were the greater number by a hundred to onethe splendour of
Prince John's "rheno"(i.e. fur tippet) the richness of his
cloaklined with the most costly sableshis maroquin boots and
golden spurstogether with the grace with which he managed his
palfreywere sufficient to merit clamorous applause.

In his joyous caracole round the liststhe attention of the
Prince was called by the commotionnot yet subsidedwhich had
attended the ambitious movement of Isaac towards the higher
places of the assembly. The quick eye of Prince John instantly
recognised the Jewbut was much more agreeably attracted by the
beautiful daughter of Zionwhoterrified by the tumultclung
close to the arm of her aged father.

The figure of Rebecca might indeed have compared with the
proudest beauties of Englandeven though it had been judged by
as shrewd a connoisseur as Prince John. Her form was exquisitely


symmetricaland was shown to advantage by a sort of Eastern
dresswhich she wore according to the fashion of the females of
her nation. Her turban of yellow silk suited well with the
darkness of her complexion. The brilliancy of her eyesthe
superb arch of her eyebrowsher well-formed aquiline noseher
teeth as white as pearland the profusion of her sable tresses
whicheach arranged in its own little spiral of twisted curls
fell down upon as much of a lovely neck and bosom as a simarre of
the richest Persian silkexhibiting flowers in their natural
colours embossed upon a purple groundpermitted to be visible
---all these constituted a combination of lovelinesswhich
yielded not to the most beautiful of the maidens who surrounded
her. It is truethat of the golden and pearl-studded clasps
which closed her vest from the throat to the waistthe three
uppermost were left unfastened on account of the heatwhich
something enlarged the prospect to which we allude. A diamond
necklacewith pendants of inestimable valuewere by this means
also made more conspicuous. The feather of an ostrichfastened
in her turban by an agraffe set with brilliantswas another
distinction of the beautiful Jewessscoffed and sneered at by
the proud dames who sat above herbut secretly envied by those
who affected to deride them.

By the bald scalp of Abraham,said Prince Johnyonder Jewess
must be the very model of that perfection, whose charms drove
frantic the wisest king that ever lived! What sayest thou, Prior
Aymer?---By the Temple of that wise king, which our wiser brother
Richard proved unable to recover, she is the very Bride of the
Canticles!

The Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley,---answered the
Priorin a sort of snuffling tone; "but your Grace must remember
she is still but a Jewess."

Ay!added Prince Johnwithout heeding himand there is my
Mammon of unrighteousness too---the Marquis of Marks, the Baron
of Byzants, contesting for place with penniless dogs, whose
threadbare cloaks have not a single cross in their pouches to
keep the devil from dancing there. By the body of St Mark, my
prince of supplies, with his lovely Jewess, shall have a place in
the gallery!---What is she, Isaac? Thy wife or thy daughter, that
Eastern houri that thou lockest under thy arm as thou wouldst thy
treasure-casket?

My daughter Rebecca, so please your Grace,answered Isaacwith
a low congeenothing embarrassed by the Prince's salutationin
whichhoweverthere was at least as much mockery as courtesy.

The wiser man thou,said Johnwith a peal of laughterin
which his gay followers obsequiously joined. "Butdaughter or
wifeshe should be preferred according to her beauty and thy
merits.---Who sits above there?" he continuedbending his eye on
the gallery. "Saxon churlslolling at their lazy length!---out
upon them!---let them sit closeand make room for my prince of
usurers and his lovely daughter. I'll make the hinds know they
must share the high places of the synagogue with those whom the
synagogue properly belongs to."

Those who occupied the gallery to whom this injurious and
unpolite speech was addressedwere the family of Cedric the
Saxonwith that of his ally and kinsmanAthelstane of
Coningsburgha personagewhoon account of his descent from
the last Saxon monarchs of Englandwas held in the highest
respect by all the Saxon natives of the north of England. But


with the blood of this ancient royal racemany of their
infirmities had descended to Athelstane. He was comely in
countenancebulky and strong in personand in the flower of his
age---yet inanimate in expressiondull-eyedheavy-browed
inactive and sluggish in all his motionsand so slow in
resolutionthat the soubriquet of one of his ancestors was
conferred upon himand he was very generally called Athelstane
the Unready. His friendsand he had manywhoas well as
Cedricwere passionately attached to himcontended that this
sluggish temper arose not from want of couragebut from mere
want of decision; others alleged that his hereditary vice of
drunkenness had obscured his facultiesnever of a very acute
orderand that the passive courage and meek good-nature which
remained behindwere merely the dregs of a character that might
have been deserving of praisebut of which all the valuable
parts had flown off in the progress of a long course of brutal
debauchery.

It was to this personsuch as we have described himthat the
Prince addressed his imperious command to make place for Isaac
and Rebecca. Athelstaneutterly confounded at an order which
the manners and feelings of the times rendered so injuriously
insultingunwilling to obeyyet undetermined how to resist
opposed only the "vis inertiae" to the will of John; andwithout
stirring or making any motion whatever of obedienceopened his
large grey eyesand stared at the Prince with an astonishment
which had in it something extremely ludicrous. But the impatient
John regarded it in no such light.

The Saxon porker,he saidis either asleep or minds me not
---Prick him with your lance, De Bracy,speaking to a knight
who rode near himthe leader of a band of Free Companionsor
Condottieri; that isof mercenaries belonging to no particular
nationbut attached for the time to any prince by whom they were
paid. There was a murmur even among the attendants of Prince
John; but De Bracywhose profession freed him from all scruples
extended his long lance over the space which separated the
gallery from the listsand would have executed the commands of
the Prince before Athelstane the Unready had recovered presence
of mind sufficient even to draw back his person from the weapon
had not Cedricas prompt as his companion was tardyunsheathed
with the speed of lightningthe short sword which he woreand
at a single blow severed the point of the lance from the handle.
The blood rushed into the countenance of Prince John. He swore
one of his deepest oathsand was about to utter some threat
corresponding in violencewhen he was diverted from his purpose
partly by his own attendantswho gathered around him conjuring
him to be patientpartly by a general exclamation of the crowd
uttered in loud applause of the spirited conduct of Cedric. The
Prince rolled his eyes in indignationas if to collect some safe
and easy victim; and chancing to encounter the firm glance of the
same archer whom we have already noticedand who seemed to
persist in his gesture of applausein spite of the frowning
aspect which the Prince bent upon himhe demanded his reason for
clamouring thus.

I always add my hollo,said the yeomanwhen I see a good
shot, or a gallant blow.

Sayst thou?answered the Prince; "then thou canst hit the white
thyselfI'll warrant."

A woodsman's mark, and at woodsman's distance, I can hit,
answered the yeoman.


And Wat Tyrrel's mark, at a hundred yards,said a voice from
behindbut by whom uttered could not be discerned.

This allusion to the fate of William Rufushis Relativeat once
incensed and alarmed Prince John. He satisfied himselfhowever
with commanding the men-at-armswho surrounded the liststo
keep an eye on the braggartpointing to the yeoman.

By St Grizzel,he addedwe will try his own skill, who is so
ready to give his voice to the feats of others!

I shall not fly the trial,said the yeomanwith the composure
which marked his whole deportment.

Meanwhile, stand up, ye Saxon churls,said the fiery Prince;
for, by the light of Heaven, since I have said it, the Jew shall
have his seat amongst ye!

By no means, an it please your Grace!---it is not fit for such
as we to sit with the rulers of the land,said the Jew; whose
ambition for precedence though it had led him to dispute Place
with the extenuated and impoverished descendant of the line of
Montdidierby no means stimulated him to an intrusion upon the
privileges of the wealthy Saxons.

Up, infidel dog when I command you,said Prince Johnor I
will have thy swarthy hide stript off, and tanned for
horse-furniture.

Thus urgedthe Jew began to ascend the steep and narrow steps
which led up to the gallery.

Let me see,said the Princewho dare stop him,fixing his
eye on Cedricwhose attitude intimated his intention to hurl the
Jew down headlong.

The catastrophe was prevented by the clown Wambawhospringing
betwixt his master and Isaacand exclaimingin answer to the
Prince's defianceMarry, that will I!opposed to the beard of
the Jew a shield of brawnwhich he plucked from beneath his
cloakand with whichdoubtlesshe had furnished himselflest
the tournament should have proved longer than his appetite could
endure abstinence. Finding the abomination of his tribe opposed
to his very nosewhile the Jesterat the same timeflourished
his wooden sword above his headthe Jew recoiledmissed his
footingand rolled down the steps---an excellent jest to the
spectatorswho set up a loud laughterin which Prince John and
his attendants heartily joined.

Deal me the prize, cousin Prince,said Wamba; "I have
vanquished my foe in fair fight with sword and shield he added,
brandishing the brawn in one hand and the wooden sword in the
other.

Whoand what art thounoble champion?" said Prince Johnstill
laughing.

A fool by right of descent,answered the Jester; "I am Wamba
the son of Witlesswho was the son of Weatherbrainwho was the
son of an Alderman."

Make room for the Jew in front of the lower ring,said Prince
Johnnot unwilling perhaps toseize an apology to desist from


his original purpose; "to place the vanquished beside the victor
were false heraldry."


Knave upon fool were worse,answered the Jesterand Jew upon
bacon worst of all.


Gramercy! good fellow,cried Prince Johnthou pleasest me
---Here, Isaac, lend me a handful of byzants.


As the Jewstunned by the requestafraid to refuseand
unwilling to complyfumbled in the furred bag which hung by his
girdleand was perhaps endeavouring to ascertain how few coins
might pass for a handfulthe Prince stooped from his jennet and
settled Isaac's doubts by snatching the pouch itself from his
side; and flinging to Wamba a couple of the gold pieces which it
containedhe pursued his career round the listsleaving the Jew
to the derision of those around himand himself receiving as
much applause from the spectators as if he had done some honest
and honourable action.


CHAPTER VIII


At this the challenger with fierce defy
His trumpet sounds; the challenged makes reply:
With clangour rings the fieldresounds the vaulted sky.
Their visors closedtheir lances in the rest
Or at the helmet pointed or the crest
They vanish from the barrierspeed the race
And spurring see decrease the middle space.


Palamon and Arcite

In the midst of Prince John's cavalcadehe suddenly stoptand
appealing to the Prior of Jorvaulxdeclared the principal
business of the day had been forgotten.

By my halidom,said hewe have forgotten, Sir Prior, to name
the fair Sovereign of Love and of Beauty, by whose white hand the
palm is to be distributed. For my part, I am liberal in my
ideas, and I care not if I give my vote for the black-eyed
Rebecca.

Holy Virgin,answered the Priorturning up his eyes in horror
a Jewess!---We should deserve to be stoned out of the lists; and
I am not yet old enough to be a martyr. Besides, I swear by my
patron saint, that she is far inferior to the lovely Saxon,
Rowena.

Saxon or Jew,answered the PrinceSaxon or Jew, dog or hog,
what matters it? I say, name Rebecca, were it only to mortify the
Saxon churls.

A murmur arose even among his own immediate attendants.

This passes a jest, my lord,said De Bracy; "no knight here
will lay lance in rest if such an insult is attempted."

It is the mere wantonness of insult,said one of the oldest and
most important of Prince John's followersWaldemar Fitzurse
and if your Grace attempt it, cannot but prove ruinous to your


projects.

I entertained you, sir,said Johnreining up his palfrey
haughtilyfor my follower, but not for my counsellor.

Those who follow your Grace in the paths which you tread,said
Waldemarbut speaking in a low voiceacquire the right of
counsellors; for your interest and safety are not more deeply
gaged than their own.

>From the tone in which this was spokenJohn saw the necessity of
acquiescence "I did but jest he said; and you turn upon me
like so many adders! Name whom you willin the fiend's name
and please yourselves."

Nay, nay,said De Bracylet the fair sovereign's throne
remain unoccupied, until the conqueror shall be named, and then
let him choose the lady by whom it shall be filled. It will add
another grace to his triumph, and teach fair ladies to prize the
love of valiant knights, who can exalt them to such distinction.

If Brian de Bois-Guilbert gain the prize,said the PriorI
will gage my rosary that I name the Sovereign of Love and
Beauty.

Bois-Guilbert,answered De Bracyis a good lance; but there
are others around these lists, Sir Prior, who will not fear to
encounter him.

Silence, sirs,said Waldemarand let the Prince assume his
seat. The knights and spectators are alike impatient, the time
advances, and highly fit it is that the sports should commence.

Prince Johnthough not yet a monarchhad in Waldemar Fitzurse
all the inconveniences of a favourite ministerwhoin serving
his sovereignmust always do so in his own way. The Prince
acquiescedhoweveralthough his disposition was precisely of
that kind which is apt to be obstinate upon triflesand
assuming his throneand being surrounded by his followersgave
signal to the heralds to proclaim the laws of the tournament
which were briefly as follows:

Firstthe five challengers were to undertake all comers.

Secondlyany knight proposing to combatmightif he pleased
select a special antagonist from among the challengersby
touching his shield. If he did so with the reverse of his lance
the trial of skill was made with what were called the arms of
courtesythat iswith lances at whose extremity a piece of
round flat board was fixedso that no danger was encountered
save from the shock of the horses and riders. But if the shield
was touched with the sharp end of the lancethe combat was
understood to be at "outrance"that isthe knights were to
fight with sharp weaponsas in actual battle.

Thirdlywhen the knights present had accomplished their vowby
each of them breaking five lancesthe Prince was to declare the
victor in the first day's tourneywho should receive as prize a
warhorse of exquisite beauty and matchless strength; and in
addition to this reward of valourit was now declaredhe should
have the peculiar honour of naming the Queen of Love and Beauty
by whom the prize should be given on the ensuing day.

Fourthlyit was announcedthaton the second daythere should


be a general tournamentin which all the knights presentwho
were desirous to win praisemight take part; and being divided
into two bands of equal numbersmight fight it out manfully
until the signal was given by Prince John to cease the combat.
The elected Queen of Love and Beauty was then to crown the knight
whom the Prince should adjudge to have borne himself best in this
second daywith a coronet composed of thin gold platecut into
the shape of a laurel crown. On this second day the knightly
games ceased. But on that which was to followfeats of archery
of bull-baitingand other popular amusementswere to be
practisedfor the more immediate amusement of the populace. In
this manner did Prince John endeavour to lay the foundation of a
popularitywhich he was perpetually throwing down by some
inconsiderate act of wanton aggression upon the feelings and
prejudices of the people.

The lists now presented a most splendid spectacle. The sloping
galleries were crowded with all that was noblegreatwealthy
and beautiful in the northern and midland parts of England; and
the contrast of the various dresses of these dignified
spectatorsrendered the view as gay as it was richwhile the
interior and lower spacefilled with the substantial burgesses
and yeomen of merry Englandformedin their more plain attire
a dark fringeor borderaround this circle of brilliant
embroideryrelievingandat the same timesetting off its
splendour.

The heralds finished their proclamation with their usual cry of
Largesse, largesse, gallant knights!and gold and silver pieces
were showered on them from the galleriesit being a high point
of chivalry to exhibit liberality towards those whom the age
accounted at once the secretaries and the historians of honour.
The bounty of the spectators was acknowledged by the customary
shouts of "Love of Ladies---Death of Champions---Honour to the
Generous---Glory to the Brave!" To which the more humble
spectators added their acclamationsand a numerous band of
trumpeters the flourish of their martial instruments. When these
sounds had ceasedthe heralds withdrew from the lists in gay and
glittering processionand none remained within them save the
marshals of the fieldwhoarmed cap-a-piesat on horseback
motionless as statuesat the opposite ends of the lists.
Meantimethe enclosed space at the northern extremity of the
listslarge as it waswas now completely crowded with knights
desirous to prove their skill against the challengersandwhen
viewed from the galleriespresented the appearance of a sea of
waving plumageintermixed with glistening helmetsand tall
lancesto the extremities of which werein many casesattached
small pennons of about a span's breadthwhichfluttering in the
air as the breeze caught themjoined with the restless motion of
the feathers to add liveliness to the scene.

At length the barriers were openedand five knightschosen by
lotadvanced slowly into the area; a single champion riding in
frontand the other four following in pairs. All were
splendidly armedand my Saxon authority (in the Wardour
Manuscript) records at great length their devicestheir colours
and the embroidery of their horse trappings. It is unnecessary
to be particular on these subjects. To borrow lines from a
contemporary poetwho has written but too little:

The knights are dust,

And their good swords are rust,

Their souls are with the saints, we trust.*


* These lines are part of an unpublished poemby Coleridge
* whose Muse so often tantalizes with fragments which
* indicate her powerswhile the manner in which she flings
* them from her betrays her capriceyet whose unfinished
* sketches display more talent than the laboured
* masterpieces of others.
Their escutcheons have long mouldered from the walls of their
castles. Their castles themselves are but green mounds and
shattered ruins---the place that once knew themknows them no
more---naymany a race since theirs has died out and been
forgotten in the very land which they occupiedwith all the
authority of feudal proprietors and feudal lords. Whatthen
would it avail the reader to know their namesor the evanescent
symbols of their martial rank!

Nowhoweverno whit anticipating the oblivion which awaited
their names and featsthe champions advanced through the lists
restraining their fiery steedsand compelling them to move
slowlywhileat the same timethey exhibited their paces
together with the grace and dexterity of the riders. As the
procession entered the liststhe sound of a wild Barbaric music
was heard from behind the tents of the challengerswhere the
performers were concealed. It was of Eastern originhaving been
brought from the Holy Land; and the mixture of the cymbals and
bells seemed to bid welcome at onceand defianceto the knights
as they advanced. With the eyes of an immense concourse of
spectators fixed upon themthe five knights advanced up the
platform upon which the tents of the challengers stoodand there
separating themselveseach touched slightlyand with the
reverse of his lancethe shield of the antagonist to whom he
wished to oppose himself. The lower orders of spectators in
general---naymany of the higher classand it is even said
several of the ladieswere rather disappointed at the champions
choosing the arms of courtesy. For the same sort of persons
whoin the present dayapplaud most highly the deepest
tragedieswere then interested in a tournament exactly in
proportion to the danger incurred by the champions engaged.

Having intimated their more pacific purposethe champions
retreated to the extremity of the listswhere they remained
drawn up in a line; while the challengerssallying each from
his pavilionmounted their horsesandheaded by Brian de
Bois-Guilbertdescended from the platformand opposed
themselves individually to the knights who had touched their
respective shields.

At the flourish of clarions and trumpetsthey started out
against each other at full gallop; and such was the superior
dexterity or good fortune of the challengersthat those opposed
to Bois-GuilbertMalvoisinand Front-de-Boeufrolled on the
ground. The antagonist of Grantmesnilinstead of bearing his
lance-point fair against the crest or the shield of his enemy
swerved so much from the direct line as to break the weapon
athwart the person of his opponent---a circumstance which was
accounted more disgraceful than that of being actually unhorsed;
because the latter might happen from accidentwhereas the former
evinced awkwardness and want of management of the weapon and of
the horse. The fifth knight alone maintained the honour of his
partyand parted fairly with the Knight of St Johnboth
splintering their lances without advantage on either side.

The shouts of the multitudetogether with the acclamations of
the heraldsand the clangour of the trumpetsannounced the


triumph of the victors and the defeat of the vanquished. The
former retreated to their pavilionsand the lattergathering
themselves up as they couldwithdrew from the lists in disgrace
and dejectionto agree with their victors concerning the
redemption of their arms and their horseswhichaccording to
the laws of the tournamentthey had forfeited. The fifth of
their number alone tarried in the lists long enough to be greeted
by the applauses of the spectatorsamongst whom he retreatedto
the aggravationdoubtlessof his companions' mortification.

A second and a third party of knights took the field; and
although they had various successyetupon the wholethe
advantage decidedly remained with the challengersnot one of
whom lost his seat or swerved from his charge---misfortunes which
befell one or two of their antagonists in each encounter. The
spiritsthereforeof those opposed to themseemed to be
considerably damped by their continued success. Three knights
only appeared on the fourth entrywhoavoiding the shields of
Bois-Guilbert and Front-de-Boeufcontented themselves with
touching those of the three other knightswho had not altogether
manifested the same strength and dexterity. This politic
selection did not alter the fortune of the fieldthe challengers
were still successful: one of their antagonists was overthrown
and both the others failed in the "attaint"*

* This term of chivalrytransferred to the lawgives the
* phrase of being attainted of treason.
that isin striking the helmet and shield of their antagonist
firmly and stronglywith the lance held in a direct lineso
that the weapon might break unless the champion was overthrown.

After this fourth encounterthere was a considerable pause; nor
did it appear that any one was very desirous of renewing the
contest. The spectators murmured among themselves; foramong
the challengersMalvoisin and Front-de-Boeuf were unpopular from
their charactersand the othersexcept Grantmesnilwere
disliked as strangers and foreigners.

But none shared the general feeling of dissatisfaction so keenly
as Cedric the Saxonwho sawin each advantage gained by the
Norman challengersa repeated triumph over the honour of
England. His own education had taught him no skill in the games
of chivalryalthoughwith the arms of his Saxon ancestorshe
had manifested himselfon many occasionsa brave and determined
soldier. He looked anxiously to Athelstanewho had learned the
accomplishments of the ageas if desiring that he should make
some personal effort to recover the victory which was passing
into the hands of the Templar and his associates. Butthough
both stout of heartand strong of personAthelstane had a
disposition too inert and unambitious to make the exertions which
Cedric seemed to expect from him.

The day is against England, my lord,said Cedricin a marked
tone; "are you not tempted to take the lance?"

I shall tilt to-morrowanswered Athelstanein the 'melee'; it
is not worth while for me to arm myself to-day.

Two things displeased Cedric in this speech. It contained the
Norman word "melee"(to express the general conflict) and it
evinced some indifference to the honour of the country; but it
was spoken by Athelstanewhom he held in such profound respect
that he would not trust himself to canvass his motives or his


foibles. Moreoverhe had no time to make any remarkfor Wamba
thrust in his wordobservingIt was better, though scarce
easier, to be the best man among a hundred, than the best man of
two.

Athelstane took the observation as a serious compliment; but
Cedricwho better understood the Jester's meaningdarted at him
a severe and menacing look; and lucky it was for Wambaperhaps
that the time and place prevented his receivingnotwithstanding
his place and servicemore sensible marks of his master's
resentment.

The pause in the tournament was still uninterruptedexcepting by
the voices of the heralds exclaiming---"Love of ladies
splintering of lances! stand forth gallant knightsfair eyes
look upon your deeds!"

The music also of the challengers breathed from time to time wild
bursts expressive of triumph or defiancewhile the clowns
grudged a holiday which seemed to pass away in inactivity; and
old knights and nobles lamented in whispers the decay of martial
spiritspoke of the triumphs of their younger daysbut agreed
that the land did not now supply dames of such transcendent
beauty as had animated the jousts of former times. Prince John
began to talk to his attendants about making ready the banquet
and the necessity of adjudging the prize to Brian de
Bois-Guilbertwho hadwith a single spearoverthrown two
knightsand foiled a third.

At lengthas the Saracenic music of the challengers concluded
one of those long and high flourishes with which they had broken
the silence of the listsit was answered by a solitary trumpet
which breathed a note of defiance from the northern extremity.
All eyes were turned to see the new champion which these sounds
announcedand no sooner were the barriers opened than he paced
into the lists. As far as could be judged of a man sheathed in
armourthe new adventurer did not greatly exceed the middle
sizeand seemed to be rather slender than strongly made. His
suit of armour was formed of steelrichly inlaid with goldand
the device on his shield was a young oak-tree pulled up by the
rootswith the Spanish word Desdichadosignifying Disinherited.
He was mounted on a gallant black horseand as he passed
through the lists he gracefully saluted the Prince and the ladies
by lowering his lance. The dexterity with which he managed his
steedand something of youthful grace which he displayed in his
mannerwon him the favour of the multitudewhich some of the
lower classes expressed by calling outTouch Ralph de Vipont's
shield---touch the Hospitallers shield; he has the least sure
seat, he is your cheapest bargain.

The championmoving onward amid these well-meant hintsascended
the platform by the sloping alley which led to it from the lists
andto the astonishment of all presentriding straight up to
the central pavilionstruck with the sharp end of his spear the
shield of Brian de Bois-Guilbert until it rung again. All stood
astonished at his presumptionbut none more than the redoubted
Knight whom he had thus defied to mortal combatand wholittle
expecting so rude a challengewas standing carelessly at the
door of the pavilion.

Have you confessed yourself, brother,said the Templarand
have you heard mass this morning, that you peril your life so
frankly?


I am fitter to meet death than thou artanswered the
Disinherited Knight; for by this name the stranger had recorded
himself in the books of the tourney.

Then take your place in the lists,said Bois-Guilbertand
look your last upon the sun; for this night thou shalt sleep in
paradise.

Gramercy for thy courtesy,replied the Disinherited Knight
and to requite it, I advise thee to take a fresh horse and a new
lance, for by my honour you will need both.

Having expressed himself thus confidentlyhe reined his horse
backward down the slope which he had ascendedand compelled him
in the same manner to move backward through the liststill he
reached the northern extremitywhere he remained stationaryin
expectation of his antagonist. This feat of horsemanship again
attracted the applause of the multitude.

However incensed at his adversary for the precautions which he
recommendedBrian de Bois-Guilbert did not neglect his advice;
for his honour was too nearly concernedto permit his neglecting
any means which might ensure victory over his presumptuous
opponent. He changed his horse for a proved and fresh one of
great strength and spirit. He chose a new and a tough spear
lest the wood of the former might have been strained in the
previous encounters he had sustained. Lastlyhe laid aside his
shieldwhich had received some little damageand received
another from his squires. His first had only borne the general
device of his riderrepresenting two knights riding upon one
horsean emblem expressive of the original humility and poverty
of the Templarsqualities which they had since exchanged for the
arrogance and wealth that finally occasioned their suppression.
Bois-Guilbert's new shield bore a raven in full flightholding
in its claws a skulland bearing the mottoGare le Corbeau.

When the two champions stood opposed to each other at the two
extremities of the liststhe public expectation was strained to
the highest pitch. Few augured the possibility that the
encounter could terminate well for the Disinherited Knightyet
his courage and gallantry secured the general good wishes of the
spectators.

The trumpets had no sooner given the signalthan the champions
vanished from their posts with the speed of lightningand closed
in the centre of the lists with the shock of a thunderbolt. The
lances burst into shivers up to the very graspand it seemed at
the moment that both knights had fallenfor the shock had made
each horse recoil backwards upon its haunches. The address of
the riders recovered their steeds by use of the bridle and spur;
and having glared on each other for an instant with eyes which
seemed to flash fire through the bars of their visorseach made
a demi-volteandretiring to the extremity of the lists
received a fresh lance from the attendants.

A loud shout from the spectatorswaving of scarfs and
handkerchiefsand general acclamationsattested the interest
taken by the spectators in this encounter; the most equalas
well as the best performedwhich had graced the day. But no
sooner had the knights resumed their stationthan the clamour
of applause was hushed into a silenceso deep and so deadthat
it seemed the multitude were afraid even to breathe.

A few minutes pause having been allowedthat the combatants and


their horses might recover breathPrince John with his truncheon
signed to the trumpets to sound the onset. The champions a
second time sprung from their stationsand closed in the centre
of the listswith the same speedthe same dexteritythe same
violencebut not the same equal fortune as before.

In this second encounterthe Templar aimed at the centre of his
antagonist's shieldand struck it so fair and forciblythat his
spear went to shiversand the Disinherited Knight reeled in his
saddle. On the other handthat champion hadin the beginning
of his careerdirected the point of his lance towards
Bois-Guilbert's shieldbutchanging his aim almost in the
moment of encounterhe addressed it to the helmeta mark more
difficult to hitbut whichif attainedrendered the shock more
irresistible. Fair and true he hit the Norman on the visor
where his lance's point kept hold of the bars. Yeteven at this
disadvantagethe Templar sustained his high reputation; and had
not the girths of his saddle bursthe might not have been
unhorsed. As it chancedhoweversaddlehorseand manrolled
on the ground under a cloud of dust.

To extricate himself from the stirrups and fallen steedwas to
the Templar scarce the work of a moment; andstung with madness
both at his disgrace and at the acclamations with which it was
hailed by the spectatorshe drew his sword and waved it in
defiance of his conqueror. The Disinherited Knight sprung from
his steedand also unsheathed his sword. The marshals of the
fieldhoweverspurred their horses between themand reminded
themthat the laws of the tournament did noton the present
occasionpermit this species of encounter.

We shall meet again, I trust,said the Templarcasting a
resentful glance at his antagonist; "and where there are none to
separate us."

If we do not,said the Disinherited Knightthe fault shall
not be mine. On foot or horseback, with spear, with axe, or with
sword, I am alike ready to encounter thee.

More and angrier words would have been exchangedbut the
marshalscrossing their lances betwixt themcompelled them to
separate. The Disinherited Knight returned to his first station
and Bois-Guilbert to his tentwhere he remained for the rest of
the day in an agony of despair.

Without alighting from his horsethe conqueror called for a bowl
of wineand opening the beaveror lower part of his helmet
announced that he quaffed itTo all true English hearts, and to
the confusion of foreign tyrants.He then commanded his trumpet
to sound a defiance to the challengersand desired a herald to
announce to themthat he should make no electionbut was
willing to encounter them in the order in which they pleased to
advance against him.

The gigantic Front-de-Boeufarmed in sable armourwas the first
who took the field. He bore on a white shield a black bull's
headhalf defaced by the numerous encounters which he had
undergoneand bearing the arrogant mottoCave, Adsum. Over
this champion the Disinherited Knight obtained a slight but
decisive advantage. Both Knights broke their lances fairlybut
Front-de-Boeufwho lost a stirrup in the encounterwas adjudged
to have the disadvantage.

In the stranger's third encounter with Sir Philip Malvoisinhe


was equally successful; striking that baron so forcibly on the
casquethat the laces of the helmet brokeand Malvoisinonly
saved from falling by being unhelmetedwas declared vanquished
like his companions.


In his fourth combat with De Grantmesnilthe Disinherited Knight
showed as much courtesy as he had hitherto evinced courage and
dexterity. De Grantmesnil's horsewhich was young and violent
reared and plunged in the course of the career so as to disturb
the rider's aimand the strangerdeclining to take the
advantage which this accident afforded himraised his lanceand
passing his antagonist without touching himwheeled his horse
and rode back again to his own end of the listsoffering his
antagonistby a heraldthe chance of a second encounter. This
De Grantmesnil declinedavowing himself vanquished as much by
the courtesy as by the address of his opponent.


Ralph de Vipont summed up the list of the stranger's triumphs
being hurled to the ground with such forcethat the blood gushed
from his nose and his mouthand he was borne senseless from the
lists.


The acclamations of thousands applauded the unanimous award of
the Prince and marshalsannouncing that day's honours to the
Disinherited Knight.


CHAPTER IX


--------In the midst was seen
A lady of a more majestic mien
By stature and by beauty mark'd their sovereign Queen.


* * * * *
And as in beauty she surpass'd the choir
So nobler than the rest was her attire;
A crown of ruddy gold enclosed her brow
Plain without pompand rich without a show;
A branch of Agnus Castus in her hand
She bore aloft her symbol of command.

The Flower and the Leaf

William de Wyvil and Stephen de Martivalthe marshals of the
fieldwere the first to offer their congratulations to the
victorpraying himat the same timeto suffer his helmet to be
unlacedorat leastthat he would raise his visor ere they
conducted him to receive the prize of the day's tourney from the
hands of Prince John. The Disinherited Knightwith all knightly
courtesydeclined their requestallegingthat he could not at
this time suffer his face to be seenfor reasons which he had
assigned to the heralds when he entered the lists. The marshals
were perfectly satisfied by this reply; for amidst the frequent
and capricious vows by which knights were accustomed to bind
themselves in the days of chivalrythere were none more common
than those by which they engaged to remain incognito for a
certain spaceor until some particular adventure was achieved.
The marshalsthereforepressed no farther into the mystery of
the Disinherited Knightbutannouncing to Prince John the
conqueror's desire to remain unknownthey requested permission
to bring him before his Gracein order that he might receive
the reward of his valour.


John's curiosity was excited by the mystery observed by the
stranger; andbeing already displeased with the issue of the
tournamentin which the challengers whom he favoured had been
successively defeated by one knighthe answered haughtily to
the marshalsBy the light of Our Lady's brow, this same knight
hath been disinherited as well of his courtesy as of his lands,
since he desires to appear before us without uncovering his face.
---Wot ye, my lords,be saidturning round to his trainwho
this gallant can be, that bears himself thus proudly?

I cannot guess,answered De Bracynor did I think there had
been within the four seas that girth Britain a champion that
could bear down these five knights in one day's jousting. By my
faith, I shall never forget the force with which he shocked De
Vipont. The poor Hospitaller was hurled from his saddle like a
stone from a sling.

Boast not of that,said a Knight of St Johnwho was present;
your Temple champion had no better luck. I saw your brave
lance, Bois-Guilbert, roll thrice over, grasping his hands full
of sand at every turn.

De Bracybeing attached to the Templarswould have repliedbut
was prevented by Prince John. "Silencesirs!" he said; "what
unprofitable debate have we here?"

The victor,said De Wyvilstill waits the pleasure of your
highness.

It is our pleasure,answered Johnthat he do so wait until we
learn whether there is not some one who can at least guess at his
name and quality. Should he remain there till night-fall, he has
had work enough to keep him warm.

Your Grace,said Waldemar Fitzursewill do less than due
honour to the victor, if you compel him to wait till we tell your
highness that which we cannot know; at least I can form no guess
---unless he be one of the good lances who accompanied King
Richard to Palestine, and who are now straggling homeward from
the Holy Land.

It may be the Earl of Salisbury,said De Bracy; "he is about
the same pitch."

Sir Thomas de Multon, the Knight of Gilsland, rather,said
Fitzurse; "Salisbury is bigger in the bones." A whisper arose
among the trainbut by whom first suggested could not be
ascertained. "It might be the King---it might be Richard
Coeur-de-Lion himself!"

Over God's forbode!said Prince Johninvoluntarily turning at
the same time as pale as deathand shrinking as if blighted by
a flash of lightning; "Waldemar!---De Bracy! brave knights and
gentlemenremember your promisesand stand truly by me!"

Here is no danger impending,said Waldemar Fitzurse; "are you
so little acquainted with the gigantic limbs of your father's
sonas to think they can be held within the circumference of
yonder suit of armour?---De Wyvil and Martivalyou will best
serve the Prince by bringing forward the victor to the throne
and ending an error that has conjured all the blood from his
cheeks.---Look at him more closely he continued, your highness
will see that he wants three inches of King Richard's heightand


twice as much of his shoulder-breadth. The very horse he backs
could not have carried the ponderous weight of King Richard
through a single course."

While he was yet speakingthe marshals brought forward the
Disinherited Knight to the foot of a wooden flight of steps
which formed the ascent from the lists to Prince John's throne.
Still discomposed with the idea that his brotherso much
injuredand to whom he was so much indebtedhad suddenly
arrived in his native kingdomeven the distinctions pointed out
by Fitzurse did not altogether remove the Prince's apprehensions;
and whilewith a short and embarrassed eulogy upon his valour
he caused to be delivered to him the war-horse assigned as the
prizehe trembled lest from the barred visor of the mailed form
before himan answer might be returnedin the deep and awful
accents of Richard the Lion-hearted.

But the Disinherited Knight spoke not a word in reply to the
compliment of the Princewhich he only acknowledged with a
profound obeisance.

The horse was led into the lists by two grooms richly dressed
the animal itself being fully accoutred with the richest
war-furniture; whichhoweverscarcely added to the value of the
noble creature in the eyes of those who were judges. Laying one
hand upon the pommel of the saddlethe Disinherited Knight
vaulted at once upon the back of the steed without making use of
the stirrupandbrandishing aloft his lancerode twice around
the listsexhibiting the points and paces of the horse with the
skill of a perfect horseman.

The appearance of vanitywhich might otherwise have been
attributed to this displaywas removed by the propriety shown in
exhibiting to the best advantage the princely reward with which
he had been just honouredand the Knight was again greeted by
the acclamations of all present.

In the meanwhilethe bustling Prior of Jorvaulx had reminded
Prince Johnin a whisperthat the victor must now display his
good judgmentinstead of his valourby selecting from among the
beauties who graced the galleries a ladywho should fill the
throne of the Queen of Beauty and of Loveand deliver the prize
of the tourney upon the ensuing day. The Prince accordingly made
a sign with his truncheonas the Knight passed him in his second
career around the lists. The Knight turned towards the throne
andsinking his lanceuntil the point was within a foot of the
groundremained motionlessas if expecting John's commands;
while all admired the sudden dexterity with which he instantly
reduced his fiery steed from a state of violent emotion and high
excitation to the stillness of an equestrian statue.

Sir Disinherited Knight,said Prince Johnsince that is the
only title by which we can address you, it is now your duty, as
well as privilege, to name the fair lady, who, as Queen of Honour
and of Love, is to preside over next day's festival. If, as a
stranger in our land, you should require the aid of other
judgment to guide your own, we can only say that Alicia, the
daughter of our gallant knight Waldemar Fitzurse, has at our
court been long held the first in beauty as in place.
Nevertheless, it is your undoubted prerogative to confer on whom
you please this crown, by the delivery of which to the lady of
your choice, the election of to-morrow's Queen will be formal and
complete.---Raise your lance.


The Knight obeyed; and Prince John placed upon its point a
coronet of green satinhaving around its edge a circlet of gold
the upper edge of which was relieved by arrow-points and hearts
placed interchangeablylike the strawberry leaves and balls upon
a ducal crown.

In the broad hint which he dropped respecting the daughter of
Waldemar FitzurseJohn had more than one motiveeach the
offspring of a mindwhich was a strange mixture of carelessness
and presumption with low artifice and cunning. He wished to
banish from the minds of the chivalry around him his own indecent
and unacceptable jest respecting the Jewess Rebecca; he was
desirous of conciliating Alicia's father Waldemarof whom he
stood in aweand who had more than once shown himself
dissatisfied during the course of the day's proceedings. He had
also a wish to establish himself in the good graces of the lady;
for John was at least as licentious in his pleasures as
profligate in his ambition. But besides all these reasonshe
was desirous to raise up against the Disinherited Knight (towards
whom he already entertained a strong dislike) a powerful enemy in
the person of Waldemar Fitzursewho was likelyhe thought
highly to resent the injury done to his daughterin caseas was
not unlikelythe victor should make another choice.

And so indeed it proved. For the Disinherited Knight passed the
gallery close to that of the Princein which the Lady Alicia was
seated in the full pride of triumphant beautyandpacing
forwards as slowly as he had hitherto rode swiftly around the
listshe seemed to exercise his right of examining the numerous
fair faces which adorned that splendid circle.

It was worth while to see the different conduct of the beauties
who underwent this examinationduring the time it was
proceeding. Some blushedsome assumed an air of pride and
dignitysome looked straight forwardand essayed to seem
utterly unconscious of what was going onsome drew back in
alarmwhich was perhaps affectedsome endeavoured to forbear
smilingand there were two or three who laughed outright. There
were also some who dropped their veils over their charms; butas
the Wardour Manuscript says these were fair ones of ten years
standingit may be supposed thathaving had their full share of
such vanitiesthey were willing to withdraw their claimin
order to give a fair chance to the rising beauties of the age.

At length the champion paused beneath the balcony in which the
Lady Rowena was placedand the expectation of the spectators was
excited to the utmost.

It must be ownedthat if an interest displayed in his success
could have bribed the Disinherited Knightthe part of the lists
before which he paused had merited his predilection. Cedric the
Saxonoverjoyed at the discomfiture of the Templarand still
more so at themiscarriage of his two malevolent neighbours
Front-de-Boeuf and Malvoisinhadwith his body half stretched
over the balconyaccompanied the victor in each coursenot with
his eyes onlybut with his whole heart and soul. The Lady
Rowena had watched the progress of the day with equal attention
though without openly betraying the same intense interest. Even
the unmoved Athelstane had shown symptoms of shaking off his
apathywhencalling for a huge goblet of muscadinehe quaffed
it to the health of the Disinherited Knight. Another group
stationed under the gallery occupied by the Saxonshad shown no
less interest in the fate of the day.


Father Abraham!said Isaac of Yorkwhen the first course was
run betwixt the Templar and the Disinherited Knighthow
fiercely that Gentile rides! Ah, the good horse that was brought
all the long way from Barbary, he takes no more care of him than
if he were a wild ass's colt---and the noble armour, that was
worth so many zecchins to Joseph Pareira, the armourer of Milan,
besides seventy in the hundred of profits, he cares for it as
little as if he had found it in the highways!

If he risks his own person and limbs, father,said Rebeccain
doing such a dreadful battle, he can scarce be expected to spare
his horse and armour.

Child!replied Isaacsomewhat heatedthou knowest not what
thou speakest---His neck and limbs are his own, but his horse and
armour belong to---Holy Jacob! what was I about to say!
---Nevertheless, it is a good youth---See, Rebecca! see, he is
again about to go up to battle against the Philistine---Pray,
child---pray for the safety of the good youth,---and of the
speedy horse, and the rich armour.---God of my fathers!he again
exclaimedhe hath conquered, and the uncircumcised Philistine
hath fallen before his lance,---even as Og the King of Bashan,
and Sihon, King of the Amorites, fell before the sword of our
fathers!---Surely he shall take their gold and their silver, and
their war-horses, and their armour of brass and of steel, for a
prey and for a spoil.

The same anxiety did the worthy Jew display during every course
that was runseldom failing to hazard a hasty calculation
concerning the value of the horse and armour which was forfeited
to the champion upon each new success. There had been therefore
no small interest taken in the success of the Disinherited
Knightby those who occupied the part of the lists before which
he now paused.

Whether from indecisionor some other motive of hesitationthe
champion of the day remained stationary for more than a minute
while the eyes of the silent audience were riveted upon his
motions; and thengradually and gracefully sinking the point of
his lancehe deposited the coronet Which it supported at the
feet of the fair Rowena. The trumpets instantly soundedwhile
the heralds proclaimed the Lady Rowena the Queen of Beauty and of
Love for the ensuing daymenacing with suitable penalties those
who should be disobedient to her authority. They then repeated
their cry of Largesseto which Cedricin the height of his joy
replied by an ample donativeand to which Athelstanethough
less promptlyadded one equally large.

There was some murmuring among the damsels of Norman descentwho
were as much unused to see the preference given to a Saxon
beautyas the Norman nobles were to sustain defeat in the games
of chivalry which they themselves had introduced. But these
sounds of disaffection were drowned by the popular shout of "Long
live the Lady Rowenathe chosen and lawful Queen of Love and of
Beauty!" To which many in the lower area addedLong live the
Saxon Princess! long live the race of the immortal Alfred!

However unacceptable these sounds might be to Prince Johnand to
those around himhe saw himself evertheless obliged to confirm
the nomination of the victorand accordingly calling to horse
he left his throne; and mounting his jennetaccompanied by his
trainhe again entered the lists. The Prince paused a moment
beneath the gallery of the Lady Aliciato whom he paid his
complimentsobservingat the same timeto those around him


---"By my halidomesirs! if the Knight's feats in arms have
shown that he hath limbs and sinewshis choice hath no less
proved that his eyes are none of the clearest."

It was on this occasionas during his whole lifeJohn's
misfortunenot perfectly to understand the characters of those
whom he wished to conciliate. Waldemar Fitzurse was rather
offended than pleased at the Prince stating thus broadly an
opinionthat his daughter had been slighted.

I know no right of chivalry,he saidmore precious or
inalienable than that of each free knight to choose his lady-love
by his own judgment. My daughter courts distinction from no one;
and in her own character, and in her own sphere, will never fail
to receive the full proportion of that which is her due.

Prince John replied not; butspurring his horseas if to give
vent to his vexationhe made the animal bound forward to the
gallery where Rowena was seatedwith the crown still at her
feet.

Assume,he saidfair lady, the mark of your sovereignty, to
which none vows homage more sincerely than ourself, John of
Anjou; and if it please you to-day, with your noble sire and
friends, to grace our banquet in the Castle of Ashby, we shall
learn to know the empress to whose service we devote to-morrow.

Rowena remained silentand Cedric answered for her in his native
Saxon.

The Lady Rowena,he saidpossesses not the language in which
to reply to your courtesy, or to sustain her part in your
festival. I also, and the noble Athelstane of Coningsburgh,
speak only the language, and practise only the manners, of our
fathers. We therefore decline with thanks your Highness's
courteous invitation to the banquet. To-morrow, the Lady Rowena
will take upon her the state to which she has been called by the
free election of the victor Knight, confirmed by the acclamations
of the people.

So sayinghe lifted the coronetand placed it upon Rowena's
headin token of her acceptance of the temporary authority
assigned to her.

What says he?said Prince Johnaffecting not to understand the
Saxon languagein whichhoweverhe was well skilled. The
purport of Cedric's speech was repeated to him in French. "It is
well he said; to-morrow we will ourself conduct this mute
sovereign to her seat of dignity.---Youat leastSir Knight
he added, turning to the victor, who had remained near the
gallery, will this day share our banquet?"

The Knightspeaking for the first timein a low and hurried
voiceexcused himself by pleading fatigueand the necessity of
preparing for to-morrow's encounter.

It is well,said Prince Johnhaughtily; "although unused to
such refusalswe will endeavour to digest our banquet as we may
though ungraced by the most successful in armsand his elected
Queen of Beauty."

So sayinghe prepared to leave the lists with his glittering
trainand his turning his steed for that purposewas the signal
for the breaking up and dispersion of the spectators.


Yetwith the vindictive memory proper to offended pride
especially when combined with conscious want of desertJohn had
hardly proceeded three pacesere againturning aroundhe fixed
an eye of stern resentment upon the yeoman who had displeased him
in the early part of the dayand issued his commands to the
men-at-arms who stood near---"On your lifesuffer not that
fellow to escape."

The yeoman stood the angry glance of the Prince with the same
unvaried steadiness which had marked his former deportment
sayingwith a smileI have no intention to leave Ashby until
the day after to-morrow---I must see how Staffordshire and
Leicestershire can draw their bows---the forests of Needwood and
Charnwood must rear good archers.

I,said Prince John to his attendantsbut not in direct reply
---"I will see how he can draw his own; and woe betide him
unless his skill should prove some apology for his insolence!"

It is full time,said De Bracythat the 'outrecuidance'*

* Presumption, insolence.
of these peasants should be restrained by some striking example.

Waldemar Fitzursewho probably thought his patron was not taking
the readiest road to popularityshrugged up his shoulders and
was silent. Prince John resumed his retreat from the listsand
the dispersion of the multitude became general.

In various routesaccording to the different quarters from which
they cameand in groups of various numbersthe spectators were
seen retiring over the plain. By far the most numerous part
streamed towards the town of Ashbywhere many of the
distinguished persons were lodged in the castleand where others
found accommodation in the town itself. Among these were most of
the knights who had already appeared in the tournamentor who
proposed to fight there the ensuing dayand whoas they rode
slowly alongtalking over the events of the daywere greeted
with loud shouts by the populace. The same acclamations were
bestowed upon Prince Johnalthough he was indebted for them
rather to the splendour of his appearance and trainthan to the
popularity of his character.

A more sincere and more generalas well as a better-merited
acclamationattended the victor of the dayuntilanxious to
withdraw himself from popular noticehe accepted the
accommodation of one of those pavilions pitched at the
extremities of the liststhe use of which was courteously
tendered him by the marshals of the field. On his retiring to
his tentmany who had lingered in the liststo look upon and
form conjectures concerning himalso dispersed.

The signs and sounds of a tumultuous concourse of men lately
crowded together in one placeand agitated by the same passing
eventswere now exchanged for the distant hum of voices of
different groups retreating in all directionsand these speedily
died away in silence. No other sounds were heard save the voices
of the menials who stripped the galleries of their cushions and
tapestryin order to put them in safety for the nightand
wrangled among themselves for the half-used bottles of wine and
relics of the refreshment which had been served round to the
spectators.


Beyond the precincts of the lists more than one forge was
erected; and these now began to glimmer through the twilight
announcing the toil of the armourerswhich was to continue
through the whole nightin order to repair or alter the suits of
armour to be used again on the morrow.


A strong guard of men-at-armsrenewed at intervalsfrom two
hours to two hourssurrounded the listsand kept watch during
the night.


CHAPTER X


Thuslike the sad presaging raventhat tolls
The sick man's passport in her hollow beak
And in the shadow of the silent night
Doth shake contagion from her sable wings;
Vex'd and tormentedruns poor Barrabas
With fatal curses towards these Christians.


Jew of Malta

The Disinherited Knight had no sooner reached his pavilionthan
squires and pages in abundance tendered their services to disarm
himto bring fresh attireand to offer him the refreshment of
the bath. Their zeal on this occasion was perhaps sharpened by
curiositysince every one desired to know who the knight was
that had gained so many laurelsyet had refusedeven at the
command of Prince Johnto lift his visor or to name his name.
But their officious inquisitiveness was not gratified. The
Disinherited Knight refused all other assistance save that of his
own squireor rather yeoman---a clownish-looking manwhowrapt
in a cloak of dark-coloured feltand having his head and face
half-buried in a Norman bonnet made of black furseemed to
affect the incognito as much as his master. All others being
excluded from the tentthis attendant relieved his master from
the more burdensome parts of his armourand placed food and wine
before himwhich the exertions of the day rendered very
acceptable.

The Knight had scarcely finished a hasty mealere his menial
announced to him that five meneach leading a barbed steed
desired to speak with him. The Disinherited Knight had exchanged
his armour for the long robe usually worn by those of his
conditionwhichbeing furnished with a hoodconcealed the
featureswhen such was the pleasure of the weareralmost as
completely as the visor of the helmet itselfbut the twilight
which was now fast darkeningwould of itself have rendered a
disguise unnecessaryunless to persons to whom the face of an
individual chanced to be particularly well known.

The Disinherited Knightthereforestept boldly forth to the
front of his tentand found in attendance the squires of the
challengerswhom he easily knew by their russet and black
dresseseach of whom led his master's chargerloaded with the
armour in which he had that day fought.

According to the laws of chivalry,said the foremost of these
menI, Baldwin de Oyley, squire to the redoubted Knight Brian
de Bois-Guilbert, make offer to you, styling yourself, for the


present, the Disinherited Knight, of the horse and armour used by
the said Brian de Bois-Guilbert in this day's Passage of Arms,
leaving it with your nobleness to retain or to ransom the same,
according to your pleasure; for such is the law of arms.

The other squires repeated nearly the same formulaand then
stood to await the decision of the Disinherited Knight.

To you four, sirs,replied the Knightaddressing those who had
last spokenand to your honourable and valiant masters, I have
one common reply. Commend me to the noble knights, your masters,
and say, I should do ill to deprive them of steeds and arms which
can never be used by braver cavaliers.---I would I could here end
my message to these gallant knights; but being, as I term myself,
in truth and earnest, the Disinherited, I must be thus far bound
to your masters, that they will, of their courtesy, be pleased to
ransom their steeds and armour, since that which I wear I can
hardly term mine own.

We stand commissioned, each of us,answered the squire of
Reginald Front-de-Boeufto offer a hundred zecchins in ransom
of these horses and suits of armour.

It is sufficient,said the Disinherited Knight. "Half the sum
my present necessities compel me to accept; of the remaining
halfdistribute one moiety among yourselvessir squiresand
divide the other half betwixt the heralds and the pursuivants
and minstrelsand attendants."

The squireswith cap in handand low reverencesexpressed
their deep sense of a courtesy and generosity not often
practisedat least upon a scale so extensive. The Disinherited
Knight then addressed his discourse to Baldwinthe squire of
Brian de Bois-Guilbert. "From your master said he, I will
accept neither arms nor ransom. Say to him in my namethat our
strife is not ended---nonot till we have fought as well with
swords as with lances---as well on foot as on horseback. To this
mortal quarrel he has himself defied meand I shall not forget
the challenge.---Meantimelet him be assuredthat I hold him
not as one of his companionswith whom I can with pleasure
exchange courtesies; but rather as one with whom I stand upon
terms of mortal defiance."

My master,answered Baldwinknows how to requite scorn with
scorn, and blows with blows, as well as courtesy with courtesy.
Since you disdain to accept from him any share of the ransom at
which you have rated the arms of the other knights, I must leave
his armour and his horse here, being well assured that he will
never deign to mount the one nor wear the other.

You have spoken well, good squire,said the Disinherited
Knightwell and boldly, as it beseemeth him to speak who
answers for an absent master. Leave not, however, the horse and
armour here. Restore them to thy master; or, if he scorns to
accept them, retain them, good friend, for thine own use. So far
as they are mine, I bestow them upon you freely.

Baldwin made a deep obeisanceand retired with his companions;
and the Disinherited Knight entered the pavilion.

Thus far, Gurth,said headdressing his attendantthe
reputation of English chivalry hath not suffered in my hands.

And I,said Gurthfor a Saxon swineherd, have not ill played


the personage of a Norman squire-at-arms.

Yea, but,answered the Disinherited Knightthou hast ever
kept me in anxiety lest thy clownish bearing should discover
thee.

Tush!said GurthI fear discovery from none, saving my
playfellow, Wamba the Jester, of whom I could never discover
whether he were most knave or fool. Yet I could scarce choose
but laugh, when my old master passed so near to me, dreaming all
the while that Gurth was keeping his porkers many a mile off, in
the thickets and swamps of Rotherwood. If I am discovered------

Enough,said the Disinherited Knightthou knowest my
promise.

Nay, for that matter,said GurthI will never fail my friend
for fear of my skin-cutting. I have a tough hide, that will bear
knife or scourge as well as any boar's hide in my herd.

Trust me, I will requite the risk you run for my love, Gurth,
said the Knight. "MeanwhileI pray you to accept these ten
pieces of gold."

I am richer,said Gurthputting them into his pouchthan
ever was swineherd or bondsman.

Take this bag of gold to Ashby,continued his masterand find
out Isaac the Jew of York, and let him pay himself for the horse
and arms with which his credit supplied me.

Nay, by St Dunstan,replied Gurththat I will not do.

How, knave,replied his masterwilt thou not obey my
commands?

So they be honest, reasonable, and Christian commands,replied
Gurth; "but this is none of these. To suffer the Jew to pay
himself would be dishonestfor it would be cheating my master;
and unreasonablefor it were the part of a fool; and
unchristiansince it would be plundering a believer to enrich an
infidel."

See him contented, however, thou stubborn varlet,said the
Disinherited Knight.

I will do so,said Gurthtaking the bag under his cloakand
leaving the apartment; "and it will go hard he muttered, but I
content him with one-half of his own asking." So sayinghe
departedand left the Disinherited Knight to his own perplexed
ruminations; whichupon more accounts than it is now possible to
communicate to the readerwere of a nature peculiarly agitating
and painful.

We must now change the scene to the village of Ashbyor rather
to a country house in its vicinity belonging to a wealthy
Israelitewith whom Isaachis daughterand retinuehad taken
up their quarters; the Jewsit is well knownbeing as liberal
in exercising the duties of hospitality and charity among their
own peopleas they were alleged to be reluctant and churlish in
extending them to those whom they termed Gentilesand whose
treatment of them certainly merited little hospitality at their
hand.


In an apartmentsmall indeedbut richly furnished with
decorations of an Oriental tasteRebecca was seated on a heap of
embroidered cushionswhichpiled along a low platform that
surrounded the chamberservedlike the estrada of the
Spaniardsinstead of chairs and stools. She was watching the
motions of her father with a look of anxious and filial
affectionwhile he paced the apartment with a dejected mien and
disordered step; sometimes clasping his hands together
---sometimes casting his eyes to the roof of the apartmentas
one who laboured under great mental tribulation. "OJacob!" he
exclaimed---"Oall ye twelve Holy Fathers of our tribe! what a
losing venture is this for one who hath duly kept every jot and
tittle of the law of Moses---Fifty zecchins wrenched from me at
one clutchand by the talons of a tyrant!"

But, father,said Rebeccayou seemed to give the gold to
Prince John willingly.

Willingly? the blotch of Egypt upon him!---Willingly, saidst
thou?---Ay, as willingly as when, in the Gulf of Lyons, I flung
over my merchandise to lighten the ship, while she laboured in
the tempest---robed the seething billows in my choice silks
---perfumed their briny foam with myrrh and aloes---enriched
their caverns with gold and silver work! And was not that an
hour of unutterable misery, though my own hands made the
sacrifice?

But it was a sacrifice which Heaven exacted to save our lives,
answered Rebeccaand the God of our fathers has since blessed
your store and your gettings.

Ay,answered Isaacbut if the tyrant lays hold on them as he
did to-day, and compels me to smile while he is robbing me?---O,
daughter, disinherited and wandering as we are, the worst evil
which befalls our race is, that when we are wronged and
plundered, all the world laughs around, and we are compelled to
suppress our sense of injury, and to smile tamely, when we would
revenge bravely.

Think not thus of it, my father,said Rebecca; "we also have
advantages. These Gentilescruel and oppressive as they are
are in some sort dependent on the dispersed children of Zion
whom they despise and persecute. Without the aid of our wealth
they could neither furnish forth their hosts in warnor their
triumphs in peaceand the gold which we lend them returns with
increase to our coffers. We are like the herb which flourisheth
most when it is most trampled on. Even this day's pageant had
not proceeded without the consent of the despised Jewwho
furnished the means."

Daughter,said Isaacthou hast harped upon another string of
sorrow. The goodly steed and the rich armour, equal to the full
profit of my adventure with our Kirjath Jairam of Leicester
---there is a dead loss too---ay, a loss which swallows up the
gains of a week; ay, of the space between two Sabbaths---and yet
it may end better than I now think, for 'tis a good youth.

Assuredly,said Rebeccayou shall not repent you of requiting
the good deed received of the stranger knight.

I trust so, daughter,said Isaacand I trust too in the
rebuilding of Zion; but as well do I hope with my own bodily eyes
to see the walls and battlements of the new Temple, as to see a
Christian, yea, the very best of Christians, repay a debt to a


Jew, unless under the awe of the judge and jailor.

So sayinghe resumed his discontented walk through the
apartment; and Rebeccaperceiving that her attempts at
consolation only served to awaken new subjects of complaint
wisely desisted from her unavailing efforts---a prudential line
of conductand we recommend to all who set up for comforters and
advisersto follow it in the like circumstances.

The evening was now becoming darkwhen a Jewish servant entered
the apartmentand placed upon the table two silver lampsfed
with perfumed oil; the richest winesand the most delicate
refreshmentswere at the same time displayed by another
Israelitish domestic on a small ebony tableinlaid with silver;
forin the interior of their housesthe Jews refused themselves
no expensive indulgences. At the same time the servant informed
Isaacthat a Nazarene (so they termed Christianswhile
conversing among themselves) desired to speak with him. He that
would live by trafficmust hold himself at the disposal of every
one claiming business with him. Isaac at once replaced on the
table the untasted glass of Greek wine which he had just raised
to his lipsand saying hastily to his daughterRebecca, veil
thyself,commanded the stranger to be admitted.

Just as Rebecca had dropped over her fine features a screen of
silver gauze which reached to her feetthe door openedand
Gurth enteredwrapt in the ample folds of his Norman mantle.
His appearance was rather suspicious than prepossessing
especially asinstead of doffing his bonnethe pulled it still
deeper over his rugged brow.

Art thou Isaac the Jew of York?said Gurthin Saxon.

I am,replied Isaacin the same language(for his traffic had
rendered every tongue spoken in Britain familiar to him)---"and
who art thou?"

That is not to the purpose,answered Gurth.

As much as my name is to thee,replied Isaac; "for without
knowing thinehow can I hold intercourse with thee?"

Easily,answered Gurth; "Ibeing to pay moneymust know that
I deliver it to the right person; thouwho are to receive it
will notI thinkcare very greatly by whose hands it is
delivered."

O,said the Jewyou are come to pay moneys?---Holy Father
Abraham! that altereth our relation to each other. And from whom
dost thou bring it?

From the Disinherited Knight,said Gurthvictor in this day's
tournament. It is the price of the armour supplied to him by
Kirjath Jairam of Leicester, on thy recommendation. The steed
is restored to thy stable. I desire to know the amount of the
sum which I am to pay for the armour.

I said he was a good youth!exclaimed Isaac with joyful
exultation. "A cup of wine will do thee no harm he added,
filling and handing to the swineherd a richer drought than Gurth
had ever before tasted. And how much money continued Isaac,
has thou brought with thee?"

Holy Virgin!said Gurthsetting down the cupwhat nectar


these unbelieving dogs drink, while true Christians are fain to
quaff ale as muddy and thick as the draff we give to hogs!---What
money have I brought with me?continued the Saxonwhen he had
finished this uncivil ejaculationeven but a small sum;
something in hand the whilst. What, Isaac! thou must bear a
conscience, though it be a Jewish one.

Nay, but,said Isaacthy master has won goodly steeds and
rich armours with the strength of his lance, and of his right
hand---but 'tis a good youth---the Jew will take these in present
payment, and render him back the surplus.

My master has disposed of them already,said Gurth.

Ah! that was wrong,said the Jewthat was the part of a fool.
No Christians here could buy so many horses and armour---no Jew
except myself would give him half the values. But thou hast a
hundred zecchins with thee in that bag,said Isaacprying under
Gurth's cloakit is a heavy one.

I have heads for cross-bow bolts in it,said Gurthreadily.

Well, then---said Isaacpanting and hesitating between
habitual love of gain and a new-born desire to be liberal in the
present instanceif I should say that I would take eighty
zecchins for the good steed and the rich armour, which leaves me
not a guilder's profit, have you money to pay me?

Barely,said Gurththough the sum demanded was more reasonable
than he expectedand it will leave my master nigh penniless.
Nevertheless, if such be your least offer, I must be content.

Fill thyself another goblet of wine,said the Jew. "Ah! eighty
zecchins is too little. It leaveth no profit for the usages of
the moneys; andbesidesthe good horse may have suffered wrong
in this day's encounter. Oit was a hard and a dangerous
meeting! man and steed rushing on each other like wild bulls of
Bashan! The horse cannot but have had wrong."

And I say,replied Gurthhe is sound, wind and limb; and you
may see him now, in your stable. And I say, over and above, that
seventy zecchins is enough for the armour, and I hope a
Christian's word is as good as a Jew's. If you will not take
seventy, I will carry this bag(and he shook it till the
contents jingled) "back to my master."

Nay, nay!said Isaac; "lay down the talents---the shekels---the
eighty zecchinsand thou shalt see I will consider thee
liberally."

Gurth at length complied; and telling out eighty zecchins upon
the tablethe Jew delivered out to him an acquittance for the
horse and suit of armour. The Jew's hand trembled for joy as he
wrapped up the first seventy pieces of gold. The last ten he
told over with much deliberationpausingand saying something
as he took each piece from the tableand dropt it into his
purse. It seemed as if his avarice were struggling with his
better natureand compelling him to pouch zecchin after zecchin
while his generosity urged him to restore some part at least to
his benefactoror as a donation to his agent. His whole speech
ran nearly thus:

Seventy-one---seventy-two; thy master is a good youth
---seventy-three, an excellent youth---seventy-four---that piece


hath been clipt within the ring---seventy-five---and that looketh
light of weight ---seventy-six---when thy master wants money, let
him come to Isaac of York---seventy-seven---that is, with
reasonable security.Here he made a considerable pauseand
Gurth had good hope that the last three pieces might escape the
fate of their comrades; but the enumeration proceeded.
---"Seventy-eight---thou art a good fellow---seventy-nine---and
deservest something for thyself------"

Here the Jew paused againand looked at the last zecchin
intendingdoubtlessto bestow it upon Gurth. He weighed it
upon the tip of his fingerand made it ring by dropping it upon
the table. Had it rung too flator had it felt a hair's breadth
too lightgenerosity had carried the day; butunhappily for
Gurththe chime was full and truethe zecchin plumpnewly
coinedand a grain above weight. Isaac could not find in his
heart to part with itso dropt it into his purse as if in
absence of mindwith the wordsEighty completes the tale, and
I trust thy master will reward thee handsomely.---Surely,he
addedlooking earnestly at the bagthou hast more coins in
that pouch?

Gurth grinnedwhich was his nearest approach to a laughas he
repliedAbout the same quantity which thou hast just told over
so carefully.He then folded the quittanceand put it under
his capadding---"Peril of thy beardJewsee that this be
full and ample!" He filled himself unbiddena third goblet of
wineand left the apartment without ceremony.

Rebecca,said the Jewthat Ishmaelite hath gone somewhat
beyond me. Nevertheless his master is a good youth---ay, and I
am well pleased that he hath gained shekels of gold and shekels
of silver, even by the speed of his horse and by the strength of
his lance, which, like that of Goliath the Philistine, might vie
with a weaver's beam.

As he turned to receive Rebecca's answerhe observedthat
during his chattering with Gurthshe had left the apartment
unperceived.

In the meanwhileGurth had descended the stairandhaving
reached the dark antechamber or hallwas puzzling about to
discover the entrancewhen a figure in whiteshown by a small
silver lamp which she held in her handbeckoned him into a side
apartment. Gurth had some reluctance to obey the summons. Rough
and impetuous as a wild boarwhere only earthly force was to be
apprehendedhe had all the characteristic terrors of a Saxon
respecting fawnsforest-fiendswhite womenand the whole of
the superstitions which his ancestors had brought with them from
the wilds of Germany. He rememberedmoreoverthat he was in
the house of a Jewa people whobesides the other unamiable
qualities which popular report ascribed to themwere supposed to
be profound necromancers and cabalists. Neverthelessafter a
moment's pausehe obeyed the beckoning summons of the
apparitionand followed her into the apartment which she
indicatedwhere he found to his joyful surprise that his fair
guide was the beautiful Jewess whom he had seen at the
tournamentand a short time in her father's apartment.

She asked him the particulars of his transaction with Isaac
which he detailed accurately.

My father did but jest with thee, good fellow,said Rebecca;
he owes thy master deeper kindness than these arms and steed


could pay, were their value tenfold. What sum didst thou pay my
father even now?

Eighty zecchins,said Gurthsurprised at the question.

In this purse,said Rebeccathou wilt find a hundred.
Restore to thy master that which is his due, and enrich thyself
with the remainder. Haste---begone---stay not to render thanks!
and beware how you pass through this crowded town, where thou
mayst easily lose both thy burden and thy life.---Reuben,she
addedclapping her hands togetherlight forth this stranger,
and fail not to draw lock and bar behind him.Reubena
dark-brow'd and black-bearded Israeliteobeyed her summonswith
a torch in his hand; undid the outward door of the houseand
conducting Gurth across a paved courtlet him out through a
wicket in the entrance-gatewhich he closed behind him with such
bolts and chains as would well have become that of a prison.

By St Dunstan,said Gurthas he stumbled up the dark avenue
this is no Jewess, but an angel from heaven! Ten zecchins from
my brave young master---twenty from this pearl of Zion---Oh,
happy day!---Such another, Gurth, will redeem thy bondage, and
make thee a brother as free of thy guild as the best. And then
do I lay down my swineherd's horn and staff, and take the
freeman's sword and buckler, and follow my young master to the
death, without hiding either my face or my name.

CHAPTER XI

1st Outlaw: Standsirand throw us that you have about you;

If notwe'll make you sitand rifle you.
Speed: Sirwe are undone! these are the villains

That all the travellers do fear so much.
Val: My friends--1st
Out: That's not sosirwe are your enemies.
2d Out: Peace! we'll hear him.
3d Out: Ayby my beardwill we;

For he's a proper man.

Two Gentlemen of Verona

The nocturnal adventures of Gurth were not yet concluded; indeed
he himself became partly of that mindwhenafter passing one or
two straggling houses which stood in the outskirts of the
villagehe found himself in a deep lanerunning between two
banks overgrown with hazel and hollywhile here and there a
dwarf oak flung its arms altogether across the path. The lane
was moreover much rutted and broken up by the carriages which had
recently transported articles of various kinds to the tournament;
and it was darkfor the banks and bushes intercepted the light
of the harvest moon.

>From the village were heard the distant sounds of revelrymixed
occasionally with loud laughtersometimes broken by screamsand
sometimes by wild strains of distant music. All these sounds
intimating the disorderly state of the towncrowded with
military nobles and their dissolute attendantsgave Gurth some
uneasiness. "The Jewess was right he said to himself. By
heaven and St DunstanI would I were safe at my journey's end
with all this treasure! Here are such numbersI will not say of


arrant thievesbut of errant knights and errant squireserrant
monks and errant minstrelserrant jugglers and errant jesters
that a man with a single merk would be in dangermuch more a
poor swineherd with a whole bagful of zecchins. Would I were out
of the shade of these infernal bushesthat I might at least see
any of St Nicholas's clerks before they spring on my shoulders."

Gurth accordingly hastened his pacein order to gain the open
common to which the lane ledbut was not so fortunate as to
accomplish his object. Just as he had attained the upper end of
the lanewhere the underwood was thickestfour men sprung upon
himeven as his fears anticipatedtwo from each side of the
roadand seized him so fastthat resistanceif at first
practicablewould have been now too late.---"Surrender your
charge said one of them; we are the deliverers of the
commonwealthwho ease every man of his burden."

You should not ease me of mine so lightly,muttered Gurth
whose surly honesty could not be tamed even by the pressure of
immediate violence---"had I it but in my power to give three
strokes in its defence."

We shall see that presently,said the robber; andspeaking to
his companionshe addedbring along the knave. I see he would
have his head broken, as well as his purse cut, and so be let
blood in two veins at once.

Gurth was hurried along agreeably to this mandateand having
been dragged somewhat roughly over the bankon the left-hand
side of the lanefound himself in a straggling thicketwhich
lay betwixt it and the open common. He was compelled to follow
his rough conductors into the very depth of this coverwhere
they stopt unexpectedly in an irregular open spacefree in a
great measure from treesand on whichthereforethe beams of
the moon fell without much interruption from boughs and leaves.
Here his captors were joined by two other personsapparently
belonging to the gang. They had short swords by their sidesand
quarter-staves in their handsand Gurth could now observe that
all six wore visorswhich rendered their occupation a matter of
no questioneven had their former proceedings left it in doubt.

What money hast thou, churl?said one of the thieves.

Thirty zecchins of my own property,answered Gurthdoggedly.

A forfeit---a forfeit,shouted the robbers; "a Saxon hath
thirty zecchinsand returns sober from a village! An undeniable
and unredeemable forfeit of all he hath about him."

I hoarded it to purchase my freedom,said Gurth.

Thou art an ass,replied one of the thieves "three quarts of
double ale had rendered thee as free as thy masterayand freer
tooif he be a Saxon like thyself."

A sad truth,replied Gurth; "but if these same thirty zecchins
will buy my freedom from youunloose my handsand I will pay
them to you."

Hold,said one who seemed to exercise some authority over the
others; "this bag which thou bearestas I can feel through thy
cloakcontains more coin than thou hast told us of."

It is the good knight my master's,answered Gurthof which,


assuredly, I would not have spoken a word, had you been satisfied
with working your will upon mine own property.

Thou art an honest fellow,replied the robberI warrant thee;
and we worship not St Nicholas so devoutly but what thy thirty
zecchins may yet escape, if thou deal uprightly with us.
Meantime render up thy trust for a time.So sayinghe took
from Gurth's breast the large leathern pouchin which the purse
given him by Rebecca was enclosedas well as the rest of the
zecchinsand then continued his interrogation.---"Who is thy
master?"

The Disinherited Knight,said Gurth.

Whose good lance,replied the robberwon the prize in
to-day's tourney? What is his name and lineage?

It is his pleasure,answered Gurththat they be concealed;
and from me, assuredly, you will learn nought of them.

What is thine own name and lineage?

To tell that,said Gurthmight reveal my master's.

Thou art a saucy groom,said the robberbut of that anon.

How comes thy master by this gold? is it of his inheritance, or
by what means hath it accrued to him?

By his good lance,answered Gurth.---"These bags contain the
ransom of four good horsesand four good suits of armour."

How much is there?demanded the robber.

Two hundred zecchins.

Only two hundred zecchins!said the bandit; "your master hath
dealt liberally by the vanquishedand put them to a cheap
ransom. Name those who paid the gold."

Gurth did so.

The armour and horse of the Templar Brian de Bois-Guilbert, at
what ransom were they held?---Thou seest thou canst not deceive
me.

My master,replied Gurthwill take nought from the Templar
save his life's-blood. They are on terms of mortal defiance, and
cannot hold courteous intercourse together.

Indeed!---repeated the robberand paused after he had said the
word. "And what wert thou now doing at Ashby with such a charge
in thy custody?"

I went thither to render to Isaac the Jew of York,replied
Gurththe price of a suit of armour with which he fitted my
master for this tournament.

And how much didst thou pay to Isaac?---Methinks, to judge by
weight, there is still two hundred zecchins in this pouch.

I paid to Isaac,said the Saxoneighty zecchins, and he
restored me a hundred in lieu thereof.

How! what!exclaimed all the robbers at once; "darest thou


trifle with usthat thou tellest such improbable lies?"

What I tell you,said Gurthis as true as the moon is in
heaven. You will find the just sum in a silken purse within
the leathern pouch, and separate from the rest of the gold.

Bethink thee, man,said the Captainthou speakest of a Jew
---of an Israelite,---as unapt to restore gold, as the dry sand
of his deserts to return the cup of water which the pilgrim
spills upon them.

There is no more mercy in them,said another of the banditti
than in an unbribed sheriffs officer.

It is, however, as I say,said Gurth.

Strike a light instantly,said the Captain; "I will examine
this said purse; and if it be as this fellow saysthe Jew's
bounty is little less miraculous than the stream which relieved
his fathers in the wilderness."

A light was procured accordinglyand the robber proceeded to
examine the purse. The others crowded around himand even two
who had hold of Gurth relaxed their grasp while they stretched
their necks to see the issue of the search. Availing himself of
their negligenceby a sudden exertion of strength and activity
Gurth shook himself free of their holdand might have escaped
could he have resolved to leave his master's property behind him.
But such was no part of his intention. He wrenched a
quarter-staff from one of the fellowsstruck down the Captain
who was altogether unaware of his purposeand had well-nigh
repossessed himself of the pouch and treasure. The thieves
howeverwere too nimble for himand again secured both the bag
and the trusty Gurth.

Knave!said the Captaingetting upthou hast broken my head;
and with other men of our sort thou wouldst fare the worse for
thy insolence. But thou shalt know thy fate instantly. First
let us speak of thy master; the knight's matters must go before
the squire's, according to the due order of chivalry. Stand thou
fast in the meantime---if thou stir again, thou shalt have that
will make thee quiet for thy life---Comrades!he then said
addressing his gangthis purse is embroidered with Hebrew
characters, and I well believe the yeoman's tale is true. The
errant knight, his master, must needs pass us toll-free. He is
too like ourselves for us to make booty of him, since dogs should
not worry dogs where wolves and foxes are to be found in
abundance.

Like us?answered one of the gang; "I should like to hear how
that is made good."

Why, thou fool,answered the Captainis he not poor and
disinherited as we are?---Doth he not win his substance at the
sword's point as we do?---Hath he not beaten Front-de-Boeuf and
Malvoisin, even as we would beat them if we could? Is he not the
enemy to life and death of Brian de Bois-Guilbert, whom we have
so much reason to fear? And were all this otherwise, wouldst
thou have us show a worse conscience than an unbeliever, a Hebrew
Jew?

Nay, that were a shame,muttered the other fellow; "and yet
when I served in the band of stout old Gandelynwe had no such
scruples of conscience. And this insolent peasant---he tooI


warrant meis to be dismissed scatheless?"

Not if THOU canst scathe him,replied the Captain.---"Here
fellow continued he, addressing Gurth, canst thou use the
staffthat thou starts to it so readily?"

I think,said Gurththou shouldst be best able to reply to
that question.

Nay, by my troth, thou gavest me a round knock,replied the
Captain; "do as much for this fellowand thou shalt pass
scot-free; and if thou dost not---whyby my faithas thou art
such a sturdy knaveI think I must pay thy ransom myself.---Take
thy staffMiller he added, and keep thy head; and do you
others let the fellow goand give him a staff---there is light
enough to lay on load by."

The two champions being alike armed with quarter-stavesstepped
forward into the centre of the open spacein order to have the
full benefit of the moonlight; the thieves in the meantime
laughingand crying to their comradeMiller! beware thy
toll-dish.The Milleron the other handholding his
quarter-staff by the middleand making it flourish round his
head after the fashion which the French call "faire le moulinet"
exclaimed boastfullyCome on, churl, an thou darest: thou shalt
feel the strength of a miller's thumb!

If thou best a miller,answered Gurthundauntedlymaking his
weapon play around his head with equal dexteritythou art
doubly a thief, and I, as a true man, bid thee defiance.

So sayingthe two champions closed togetherand for a few
minutes they displayed great equality in strengthcourageand
skillintercepting and returning the blows of their adversary
with the most rapid dexteritywhilefrom the continued clatter
of their weaponsa person at a distance might have supposed that
there were at least six persons engaged on each side. Less
obstinateand even less dangerous combatshave been described
in good heroic verse; but that of Gurth and the Miller must
remain unsungfor want of a sacred poet to do justice to its
eventful progress. Yetthough quarter-staff play be out of
datewhat we can in prose we will do for these bold champions.

Long they fought equallyuntil the Miller began to lose temper
at finding himself so stoutly opposedand at hearing the
laughter of his companionswhoas usual in such casesenjoyed
his vexation. This was not a state of mind favourable to the
noble game of quarter-staffin whichas in ordinary
cudgel-playingthe utmost coolness is requisite; and it gave
Gurthwhose temper was steadythough surlythe opportunity of
acquiring a decided advantagein availing himself of which he
displayed great mastery.

The Miller pressed furiously forwarddealing blows with either
end of his weapon alternatelyand striving to come to half-staff
distancewhile Gurth defended himself against the attack
keeping his hands about a yard asunderand covering himself by
shifting his weapon with great celerityso as to protect his
head and body. Thus did he maintain the defensivemaking his
eyefootand hand keep true timeuntilobserving his
antagonist to lose windhe darted the staff at his face with his
left hand; andas the Miller endeavoured to parry the thrusthe
slid his right hand down to his leftand with the full swing of
the weapon struck his opponent on the left side of the headwho


instantly measured his length upon the green sward.

Well and yeomanly done!shouted the robbers; "fair play and Old
England for ever! The Saxon hath saved both his purse and his
hideand the Miller has met his match."

Thou mayst go thy ways, my friend,said the Captainaddressing
Gurthin special confirmation of the general voiceand I will
cause two of my comrades to guide thee by the best way to thy
master's pavilion, and to guard thee from night-walkers that
might have less tender consciences than ours; for there is many
one of them upon the amble in such a night as this. Take heed,
however,he added sternly; "remember thou hast refused to tell
thy name---ask not after oursnor endeavour to discover who or
what we are; forif thou makest such an attemptthou wilt come
by worse fortune than has yet befallen thee."

Gurth thanked the Captain for his courtesyand promised to
attend to his recommendation. Two of the outlawstaking up
their quarter-stavesand desiring Gurth to follow close in the
rearwalked roundly forward along a by-pathwhich traversed the
thicket and the broken ground adjacent to it. On the very verge
of the thicket two men spoke to his conductorsand receiving an
answer in a whisperwithdrew into the woodand suffered them to
pass unmolested. This circumstance induced Gurth to believe both
that the gang was strong in numbersand that they kept regular
guards around their place of rendezvous.

When they arrived on the open heathwhere Gurth might have had
some trouble in finding his roadthe thieves guided him straight
forward to the top of a little eminencewhence he could see
spread beneath him in the moonlightthe palisades of the lists
the glimmering pavilions pitched at either endwith the pennons
which adorned them fluttering in the moonbeamsand from which
could be heard the hum of the song with which the sentinels were
beguiling their night-watch.

Here the thieves stopt.

We go with you no farther,said they; "it were not safe that we
should do so.---Remember the warning you have received---keep
secret what has this night befallen youand you will have no
room to repent it---neglect what is now told youand the Tower
of London shall not protect you against our revenge."

Good night to you, kind sirs,said Gurth; "I shall remember
your ordersand trust that there is no offence in wishing you a
safer and an honester trade."

Thus they partedthe outlaws returning in the direction from
whence they had comeand Gurth proceeding to the tent of his
masterto whomnotwithstanding the injunction he had
receivedhe communicated the whole adventures of the evening.

The Disinherited Knight was filled with astonishmentno less at
the generosity of Rebeccaby whichhoweverhe resolved he
would not profitthan that of the robbersto whose profession
such a quality seemed totally foreign. His course of reflections
upon these singular circumstances washoweverinterrupted by
the necessity for taking reposewhich the fatigue of the
preceding dayand the propriety of refreshing himself for the
morrow's encounterrendered alike indispensable.

The knightthereforestretched himself for repose upon a rich


couch with which the tent was provided; and the faithful Gurth
extending his hardy limbs upon a bear-skin which formed a sort
of carpet to the pavilionlaid himself across the opening of the
tentso that no one could enter without awakening him.


CHAPTER XII


The heralds left their pricking up and down
Now ringen trumpets loud and clarion.
There is no more to saybut east and west
In go the speares sadly in the rest
In goth the sharp spur into the side
There see men who can just and who can ride;
There shiver shaftes upon shieldes thick
He feeleth through the heart-spone the prick;
Up springen spearestwenty feet in height
Out go the swordes to the silver bright;
The helms they to-hewn and to-shred;
Out burst the blood with stern streames red.


Chaucer.

Morning arose in unclouded splendourand ere the sun was much
above the horizonthe idlest or the most eager of the spectators
appeared on the commonmoving to the lists as to a general
centrein order to secure a favourable situation for viewing the
continuation of the expected games.

The marshals and their attendants appeared next on the field
together with the heraldsfor the purpose of receiving the names
of the knights who intended to joustwith the side which each
chose to espouse. This was a necessary precautionin order to
secure equality betwixt the two bodies who should be opposed to
each other.

According to due formalitythe Disinherited Knight was to be
considered as leader of the one bodywhile Brian de
Bois-Guilbertwho had been rated as having done second-best in
the preceding daywas named first champion of the other band.
Those who had concurred in the challenge adhered to his party of
courseexcepting only Ralph de Vipontwhom his fall had
rendered unfit so soon to put on his armour. There was no want
of distinguished and noble candidates to fill up the ranks on
either side.

In factalthough the general tournamentin which all knights
fought at oncewas more dangerous than single encountersthey
wereneverthelessmore frequented and practised by the chivalry
of the age. Many knightswho had not sufficient confidence in
their own skill to defy a single adversary of high reputation
wereneverthelessdesirous of displaying their valour in the
general combatwhere they might meet others with whom they were
more upon an equality. On the present occasionabout fifty
knights were inscribed as desirous of combating upon each side
when the marshals declared that no more could be admittedto the
disappointment of several who were too late in preferring their
claim to be included.

About the hour of ten o'clockthe whole plain was crowded with
horsemenhorsewomenand foot-passengershastening to the


tournament; and shortly aftera grand flourish of trumpets
announced Prince John and his retinueattended by many of those
knights who meant to take share in the gameas well as others
who had no such intention.

About the same time arrived Cedric the Saxonwith the Lady
Rowenaunattendedhoweverby Athelstane. This Saxon lord had
arrayed his tall and strong person in armourin order to take
his place among the combatants; andconsiderably to the surprise
of Cedrichad chosen to enlist himself on the part of the Knight
Templar. The Saxonindeedhad remonstrated strongly with his
friend upon the injudicious choice he had made of his party; but
he had only received that sort of answer usually given by those
who are more obstinate in following their own coursethan strong
in justifying it.

His bestif not his only reasonfor adhering to the party of
Brian de Bois-GuilbertAthelstane had the prudence to keep to
himself. Though his apathy of disposition prevented his taking
any means to recommend himself to the Lady Rowenahe was
neverthelessby no means insensible to her charmsand
considered his union with her as a matter already fixed beyond
doubtby the assent of Cedric and her other friends. It had
therefore been with smothered displeasure that the proud though
indolent Lord of Coningsburgh beheld the victor of the preceding
day select Rowena as the object of that honour which it became
his privilege to confer. In order to punish him for a
preference which seemed to interfere with his own suit
Athelstaneconfident of his strengthand to whom his
flatterersat leastascribed great skill in armshad
determined not only to deprive the Disinherited Knight of his
powerful succourbutif an opportunity should occurto make
him feel the weight of his battle-axe.

De Bracyand other knights attached to Prince Johnin obedience
to a hint from himhad joined the party of the challengersJohn
being desirous to secureif possiblethe victory to that side.
On the other handmany other knightsboth English and Norman
natives and strangerstook part against the challengersthe
more readily that the opposite band was to be led by so
distinguished a champion as the Disinherited Knight had approved
himself.

As soon as Prince John observed that the destined Queen of the
day had arrived upon the fieldassuming that air of courtesy
which sat well upon him when he was pleased to exhibit ithe
rode forward to meet herdoffed his bonnetandalighting from
his horseassisted the Lady Rowena from her saddlewhile his
followers uncovered at the same timeand one of the most
distinguished dismounted to hold her palfrey.

It is thus,said Prince Johnthat we set the dutiful example
of loyalty to the Queen of Love and Beauty, and are ourselves her
guide to the throne which she must this day occupy.---Ladies,he
saidattend your Queen, as you wish in your turn to be
distinguished by like honours.

So sayingthe Prince marshalled Rowena to the seat of honour
opposite his ownwhile the fairest and most distinguished ladies
present crowded after her to obtain places as near as possible to
their temporary sovereign.

No sooner was Rowena seatedthan a burst of musichalf-drowned
by the shouts of the multitudegreeted her new dignity.


Meantimethe sun shone fierce and bright upon the polished arms
of the knights of either sidewho crowded the opposite
extremities of the listsand held eager conference together
concerning the best mode of arranging their line of battleand
supporting the conflict.

The heralds then proclaimed silence until the laws of the tourney
should be rehearsed. These were calculated in some degree to
abate the dangers of the day; a precaution the more necessaryas
the conflict was to be maintained with sharp swords and pointed
lances.

The champions were therefore prohibited to thrust with the sword
and were confined to striking. A knightit was announcedmight
use a mace or battle-axe at pleasurebut the dagger was a
prohibited weapon. A knight unhorsed might renew the fight on
foot with any other on the opposite side in the same predicament;
but mounted horsemen were in that case forbidden to assail him.
When any knight could force his antagonist to the extremity of
the listsso as to touch the palisade with his person or arms
such opponent was obliged to yield himself vanquishedand his
armour and horse were placed at the disposal of the conqueror.
A knight thus overcome was not permitted to take farther share in
the combat. If any combatant was struck downand unable to
recover his feethis squire or page might enter the listsand
drag his master out of the press; but in that case the knight was
adjudged vanquishedand his arms and horse declared forfeited.
The combat was to cease as soon as Prince John should throw down
his leading staffor truncheon; another precaution usually taken
to prevent the unnecessary effusion of blood by the too long
endurance of a sport so desperate. Any knight breaking the rules
of the tournamentor otherwise transgressing the rules of
honourable chivalrywas liable to be stript of his armsand
having his shield reversed to be placed in that posture astride
upon the bars of the palisadeand exposed to public derisionin
punishment of his unknightly conduct. Having announced these
precautionsthe heralds concluded with an exhortation to each
good knight to do his dutyand to merit favour from the Queen of
Beauty and of Love.

This proclamation having been madethe heralds withdrew to their
stations. The knightsentering at either end of the lists in
long processionarranged themselves in a double fileprecisely
opposite to each otherthe leader of each party being in the
centre of the foremost ranka post which he did not occupy until
each had carefully marshalled the ranks of his partyand
stationed every one in his place.

It was a goodlyand at the same time an anxioussightto
behold so many gallant championsmounted bravelyand armed
richlystand ready prepared for an encounter so formidable
seated on their war-saddles like so many pillars of ironand
awaiting the signal of encounter with the same ardour as their
generous steedswhichby neighing and pawing the groundgave
signal of their impatience.

As yet the knights held their long lances uprighttheir bright
points glancing to the sunand the streamers with which they
were decorated fluttering over the plumage of the helmets. Thus
they remained while the marshals of the field surveyed their
ranks with the utmost exactnesslest either party had more or
fewer than the appointed number. The tale was found exactly
complete. The marshals then withdrew from the listsand William
de Wyvilwith a voice of thunderpronounced the signal words


--"Laissez aller!" The trumpets sounded as he spoke---the spears
of the champions were at once lowered and placed in the rests
---the spurs were dashed into the flanks of the horsesand the
two foremost ranks of either party rushed upon each other in full
gallopand met in the middle of the lists with a shockthe
sound of which was heard at a mile's distance. The rear rank of
each party advanced at a slower pace to sustain the defeatedand
follow up the success of the victors of their party.

The consequences of the encounter were not instantly seenfor
the dust raised by the trampling of so many steeds darkened the
airand it was a minute ere the anxious spectator could see the
fate of the encounter. When the fight became visiblehalf the
knights on each side were dismountedsome by the dexterity of
their adversary's lance---some by the superior weight and
strength of opponentswhich had borne down both horse and man
---some lay stretched on earth as if never more to rise---some
had already gained their feetand were closing hand to hand with
those of their antagonists who were in the same predicament
---and several on both sideswho had received wounds by which
they were disabledwere stopping their blood by their scarfs
and endeavouring to extricate themselves from the tumult. The
mounted knightswhose lances had been almost all broken by the
fury of the encounterwere now closely engaged with their
swordsshouting their war-criesand exchanging buffetsas if
honour and life depended on the issue of the combat.

The tumult was presently increased by the advance of the second
rank on either sidewhichacting as a reservenow rushed on to
aid their companions. The followers of Brian de Bois-Guilbert
shouted ---"Ha! Beau-seant! Beau-seant!*

* "Beau-seant" was the name of the Templars' bannerwhich
* was half blackhalf whiteto intimateit is saidthat
* they were candid and fair towards Christiansbut black
* and terrible towards infidels.
--- For the Temple---For the Temple!" The opposite party shouted
in answer---"Desdichado! Desdichado!"---which watch-word they
took from the motto upon their leader's shield.

The champions thus encountering each other with the utmost fury
and with alternate successthe tide of battle seemed to flow now
toward the southernnow toward the northern extremity of the
listsas the one or the other party prevailed. Meantime the
clang of the blowsand the shouts of the combatantsmixed
fearfully with the sound of the trumpetsand drowned the groans
of those who felland lay rolling defenceless beneath the feet
of the horses. The splendid armour of the combatants was now
defaced with dust and bloodand gave way at every stroke of the
sword and battle-axe. The gay plumageshorn from the crests
drifted upon the breeze like snow-flakes. All that was beautiful
and graceful in the martial array had disappearedand what was
now visible was only calculated to awake terror or compassion.

Yet such is the force of habitthat not only the vulgar
spectatorswho are naturally attracted by sights of horrorbut
even the ladies of distinction who crowded the galleriessaw the
conflict with a thrilling interest certainlybut without a wish
to withdraw their eyes from a sight so terrible. Here and there
indeeda fair cheek might turn paleor a faint scream might be
heardas a lovera brotheror a husbandwas struck from his
horse. Butin generalthe ladies around encouraged the
combatantsnot only by clapping their hands and waving their


veils and kerchiefsbut even by exclaimingBrave lance! Good
sword!when any successful thrust or blow took place under their
observation.

Such being the interest taken by the fair sex in this bloody
gamethat of the men is the more easily understood. It showed
itself in loud acclamations upon every change of fortunewhile
all eyes were so riveted on the liststhat the spectators seemed
as if they themselves had dealt and received the blows which were
there so freely bestowed. And between every pause was heard the
voice of the heraldsexclaimingFight on, brave knights! Man
dies, but glory lives!---Fight on---death is better than defeat!
---Fight on, brave knights!---for bright eyes behold your deeds!

Amid the varied fortunes of the combatthe eyes of all
endeavoured to discover the leaders of each bandwhomingling
in the thick of the fightencouraged their companions both by
voice and example. Both displayed great feats of gallantrynor
did either Bois-Guilbert or the Disinherited Knight find in the
ranks opposed to them a champion who could be termed their
unquestioned match. They repeatedly endeavoured to single out
each otherspurred by mutual animosityand aware that the fall
of either leader might be considered as decisive of victory.
Suchhoweverwas the crowd and confusionthatduring the
earlier part of the conflicttheir efforts to meet were
unavailingand they were repeatedly separated by the eagerness
of their followerseach of whom was anxious to win honourby
measuring his strength against the leader of the opposite party.

But when the field became thin by the numbers on either side who
had yielded themselves vanquishedhad been compelled to the
extremity of the listsor been otherwise rendered incapable of
continuing the strifethe Templar and the Disinherited Knight at
length encountered hand to handwith all the fury that mortal
animosityjoined to rivalry of honourcould inspire. Such was
the address of each in parrying and strikingthat the spectators
broke forth into a unanimous and involuntary shoutexpressive of
their delight and admiration.

But at this moment the party of the Disinherited Knight had the
worst; the gigantic arm of Front-de-Boeuf on the one flankand
the ponderous strength of Athelstane on the otherbearing down
and dispersing those immediately exposed to them. Finding
themselves freed from their immediate antagonistsit seems to
have occurred to both these knights at the same instantthat
they would render the most decisive advantage to their partyby
aiding the Templar in his contest with his rival. Turning their
horsesthereforeat the same momentthe Norman spurred against
the Disinherited Knight on the one sideand the Saxon on the
other. It was utterly impossible that the object of this unequal
and unexpected assault could have sustained ithad he not been
warned by a general cry from the spectatorswho could not but
take interest in one exposed to such disadvantage.

Beware! beware! Sir Disinherited!was shouted so universally
that the knight became aware of his danger; andstriking a full
blow at the Templarhe reined back his steed in the same moment
so as to escape the charge of Athelstane and Front-de-Boeuf.
These knightsthereforetheir aim being thus eludedrushed
from opposite sides betwixt the object of their attack and the
Templaralmost running their horses against each other ere they
could stop their career. Recovering their horses howeverand
wheeling them roundthe whole three pursued their united purpose
of bearing to the earth the Disinherited Knight.


Nothing could have saved himexcept the remarkable strength and
activity of the noble horse which he had won on the preceding
day.

This stood him in the more steadas the horse of Bois-Guilbert
was woundedand those of Front-de-Boeuf and Athelstane were both
tired with the weight of their gigantic mastersclad in complete
armourand with the preceding exertions of the day. The
masterly horsemanship of the Disinherited Knightand the
activity of the noble animal which he mountedenabled him for a
few minutes to keep at sword's point his three antagonists
turning and wheeling with the agility of a hawk upon the wing
keeping his enemies as far separate as he couldand rushing now
against the onenow against the otherdealing sweeping blows
with his swordwithout waiting to receive those which were aimed
at him in return.

But although the lists rang with the applauses of his dexterity
it was evident that he must at last be overpowered; and the
nobles around Prince John implored him with one voice to throw
down his warderand to save so brave a knight from the disgrace
of being overcome by odds.

Not I, by the light of Heaven!answered Prince John; "this same
springaldwho conceals his nameand despises our proffered
hospitalityhath already gained one prizeand may now afford to
let others have their turn." As he spoke thusan unexpected
incident changed the fortune of the day.

There was among the ranks of the Disinherited Knight a champion
in black armourmounted on a black horselarge of sizetall
and to all appearance powerful and stronglike the rider by whom
he was mountedThis knightwho bore on his shield no device of
any kindhad hitherto evinced very little interest in the event
of the fightbeating off with seeming ease those combatants who
attacked himbut neither pursuing his advantagesnor himself
assailing any one. In shorthe had hitherto acted the part
rather of a spectator than of a party in the tournamenta
circumstance which procured him among the spectators the name of
Le Noir Faineantor the Black Sluggard.

At once this knight seemed to throw aside his apathywhen he
discovered the leader of his party so hard bestead; forsetting
spurs to his horsewhich was quite freshhe came to his
assistance like a thunderboltexclaimingin a voice like a
trumpet-callDesdichado, to the rescue!It was high time;
forwhile the Disinherited Knight was pressing upon the Templar
Front-de-Boeuf had got nigh to him with his uplifted sword; but
ere the blow could descendthe Sable Knight dealt a stroke on
his headwhichglancing from the polished helmetlighted with
violence scarcely abated on the "chamfron" of the steedand
Front-de-Boeuf rolled on the groundboth horse and man equally
stunned by the fury of the blow. "Le Noir Faineant" then turned
his horse upon Athelstane of Coningsburgh; and his own sword
having been broken in his encounter with Front-de-Boeufhe
wrenched from the hand of the bulky Saxon the battle-axe which he
wieldedandlike one familiar with the use of the weapon
bestowed him such a blow upon the crestthat Athelstane also lay
senseless on the field. Having achieved this double featfor
which he was the more highly applauded that it was totally
unexpected from himthe knight seemed to resume the sluggishness
of his characterreturning calmly to the northern extremity of
the listsleaving his leader to cope as he best could with Brian


de Bois-Guilbert. This was no longer matter of so much
difficulty as formerly. The Templars horse had bled muchand
gave way under the shock of the Disinherited Knight's charge.
Brian de Bois-Guilbert rolled on the fieldencumbered with the
stirrupfrom which he was unable to draw his foot. His
antagonist sprung from horsebackwaved his fatal sword over the
head of his adversaryand commanded him to yield himself; when
Prince Johnmore moved by the Templars dangerous situation than
he had been by that of his rivalsaved him the mortification of
confessing himself vanquishedby casting down his warderand
putting an end to the conflict.

It wasindeedonly the relics and embers of the fight which
continued to burn; for of the few knights who still continued in
the liststhe greater part hadby tacit consentforborne the
conflict for some timeleaving it to be determined by the strife
of the leaders.

The squireswho had found it a matter of danger and difficulty
to attend their masters during the engagementnow thronged into
the lists to pay their dutiful attendance to the woundedwho
were removed with the utmost care and attention to the
neighbouring pavilionsor to the quarters prepared for them in
the adjoining village.

Thus ended the memorable field of Ashby-de-la-Zoucheone of the
most gallantly contested tournaments of that age; for although
only four knightsincluding one who was smothered by the heat of
his armourhad died upon the fieldyet upwards of thirty were
desperately woundedfour or five of whom never recovered.
Several more were disabled for life; and those who escaped best
carried the marks of the conflict to the grave with them. Hence
it is always mentioned in the old recordsas the Gentle and
Joyous Passage of Arms of Ashby.

It being now the duty of Prince John to name the knight who had
done besthe determined that the honour of the day remained with
the knight whom the popular voice had termed "Le Noir Faineant."
It was pointed out to the Princein impeachment of this decree
that the victory had been in fact won by the Disinherited Knight
whoin the course of the dayhad overcome six champions with
his own handand who had finally unhorsed and struck down the
leader of the opposite party. But Prince John adhered to his own
opinionon the ground that the Disinherited Knight and his party
had lost the daybut for the powerful assistance of the Knight
of the Black Armourto whomthereforehe persisted in awarding
the prize.

To the surprise of all presenthoweverthe knight thus
preferred was nowhere to be found. He had left the lists
immediately when the conflict ceasedand had been observed by
some spectators to move down one of the forest glades with the
same slow pace and listless and indifferent manner which had
procured him the epithet of the Black Sluggard. After he had
been summoned twice by sound of trumpetand proclamation of the
heraldsit became necessary to name another to receive the
honours which had been assigned to him. Prince John had now no
further excuse for resisting the claim of the Disinherited
Knightwhomthereforehe named the champion of the day.

Through a field slippery with bloodand encumbered with broken
armour and the bodies of slain and wounded horsesthe marshals
of the lists again conducted the victor to the foot of Prince
John's throne.


Disinherited Knight,said Prince Johnsince by that title
only you will consent to be known to us, we a second time award
to you the honours of this tournament, and announce to you your
right to claim and receive from the hands of the Queen of Love
and Beauty, the Chaplet of Honour which your valour has justly
deserved.The Knight bowed low and gracefullybut returned
no answer.

While the trumpets soundedwhile the heralds strained their
voices in proclaiming honour to the brave and glory to the victor
---while ladies waved their silken kerchiefs and embroidered
veilsand while all ranks joined in a clamorous shout of
exultationthe marshals conducted the Disinherited Knight across
the lists to the foot of that throne of honour which was occupied
by the Lady Rowena.

On the lower step of this throne the champion was made to kneel
down. Indeed his whole action since the fight had endedseemed
rather to have been upon the impulse of those around him than
from his own free will; and it was observed that he tottered as
they guided him the second time across the lists. Rowena
descending from her station with a graceful and dignified step
was about to place the chaplet which she held in her hand upon
the helmet of the championwhen the marshals exclaimed with one
voiceIt must not be thus---his head must be bare.The knight
muttered faintly a few wordswhich were lost in the hollow of
his helmetbut their purport seemed to be a desire that his
casque might not be removed.

Whether from love of formor from curiositythe marshals paid
no attention to his expressions of reluctancebut unhelmed him
by cutting the laces of his casqueand undoing the fastening of
his gorget. When the helmet was removedthe well-formedyet
sun-burnt features of a young man of twenty-five were seen
amidst a profusion of short fair hair. His countenance was as
pale as deathand marked in one or two places with streaks of
blood.

Rowena had no sooner beheld him than she uttered a faint shriek;
but at once summoning up the energy of her dispositionand
compelling herselfas it wereto proceedwhile her frame yet
trembled with the violence of sudden emotionshe placed upon the
drooping head of the victor the splendid chaplet which was the
destined reward of the dayand pronouncedin a clear and
distinct tonethese words: "I bestow on thee this chapletSir
Knightas the meed of valour assigned to this day's victor:"
Here she paused a momentand then firmly addedAnd upon brows
more worthy could a wreath of chivalry never be placed!

The knight stooped his headand kissed the hand of the lovely
Sovereign by whom his valour had been rewarded; and thensinking
yet farther forwardlay prostrate at her feet.

There was a general consternation. Cedricwho had been struck
mute by the sudden appearance of his banished sonnow rushed
forwardas if to separate him from Rowena. But this had been
already accomplished by the marshals of the fieldwhoguessing
the cause of Ivanhoe's swoonhad hastened to undo his armour
and found that the head of a lance had penetrated his
breastplateand inflicted a wound in his side.


CHAPTER XIII


Heroes, approach!Atrides thus aloud
Stand forth distinguish'd from the circling crowd,
Ye who by skill or manly force may claim,
Your rivals to surpass and merit fame.
This cow, worth twenty oxen, is decreed,
For him who farthest sends the winged reed.


Iliad

The name of Ivanhoe was no sooner pronounced than it flew from
mouth to mouthwith all the celerity with which eagerness could
convey and curiosity receive it. It was not long ere it reached
the circle of the Princewhose brow darkened as he heard the
news. Looking around himhoweverwith an air of scornMy
Lords,said heand especially you, Sir Prior, what think ye of
the doctrine the learned tell us, concerning innate attractions
and antipathies? Methinks that I felt the presence of my
brother's minion, even when I least guessed whom yonder suit of
armour enclosed.

Front-de-Boeuf must prepare to restore his fief of Ivanhoe,
said De Bracywhohaving discharged his part honourably in the
tournamenthad laid his shield and helmet asideand again
mingled with the Prince's retinue.

Ay,answered Waldemar Fitzursethis gallant is likely to
reclaim the castle and manor which Richard assigned to him, and
which your Highness's generosity has since given to
Front-de-Boeuf.

Front-de-Boeuf,replied Johnis a man more willing to swallow
three manors such as Ivanhoe, than to disgorge one of them. For
the rest, sirs, I hope none here will deny my right to confer the
fiefs of the crown upon the faithful followers who are around me,
and ready to perform the usual military service, in the room of
those who have wandered to foreign Countries, and can neither
render homage nor service when called upon.

The audience were too much interested in the question not to
pronounce the Prince's assumed right altogether indubitable.
A generous Prince!---a most noble Lord, who thus takes upon
himself the task of rewarding his faithful followers!

Such were the words which burst from the trainexpectants all of
them of similar grants at the expense of King Richard's followers
and favouritesif indeed they had not as yet received such.
Prior Aymer also assented to the general propositionobserving
howeverThat the blessed Jerusalem could not indeed be termed a
foreign country. She was 'communis mater'---the mother of all
Christians. But he saw not,he declaredhow the Knight of
Ivanhoe could plead any advantage from this, since he(the
Prior) "was assured that the crusadersunder Richardhad never
proceeded much farther than Askalonwhichas all the world
knewwas a town of the Philistinesand entitled to none of the
privileges of the Holy City."

Waldemarwhose curiosity had led him towards the place where
Ivanhoe had fallen to the groundnow returned. "The gallant
said he, is likely to give your Highness little disturbanceand
to leave Front-de-Boeuf in the quiet possession of his gains--he


is severely wounded."

Whatever becomes of him,said Prince Johnhe is victor of the
day; and were he tenfold our enemy, or the devoted friend of our
brother, which is perhaps the same, his wounds must be looked to
---our own physician shall attend him.

A stern smile curled the Prince's lip as he spoke. Waldemar
Fitzurse hastened to replythat Ivanhoe was already removed from
the listsand in the custody of his friends.

I was somewhat afflicted,he saidto see the grief of the
Queen of Love and Beauty, whose sovereignty of a day this event
has changed into mourning. I am not a man to be moved by a
woman's lament for her lover, but this same Lady Rowena
suppressed her sorrow with such dignity of manner, that it could
only be discovered by her folded hands, and her tearless eye,
which trembled as it remained fixed on the lifeless form before
her.

Who is this Lady Rowena,said Prince Johnof whom we have
heard so much?

A Saxon heiress of large possessions,replied the Prior Aymer;
a rose of loveliness, and a jewel of wealth; the fairest among a
thousand, a bundle of myrrh, and a cluster of camphire.

We shall cheer her sorrows,said Prince Johnand amend her
blood, by wedding her to a Norman. She seems a minor, and must
therefore be at our royal disposal in marriage.---How sayst thou,
De Bracy? What thinkst thou of gaining fair lands and livings,
by wedding a Saxon, after the fashion of the followers of the
Conqueror?

If the lands are to my liking, my lord,answered De Bracyit
will be hard to displease me with a bride; and deeply will I hold
myself bound to your highness for a good deed, which will fulfil
all promises made in favour of your servant and vassal.

We will not forget it,said Prince John; "and that we may
instantly go to workcommand our seneschal presently to order
the attendance of the Lady Rowena and her company---that isthe
rude churl her guardianand the Saxon ox whom the Black Knight
struck down in the tournamentupon this evening's banquet.---De
Bigot he added to his seneschal, thou wilt word this our
second summons so courteouslyas to gratify the pride of these
Saxonsand make it impossible for them again to refuse;
althoughby the bones of Becketcourtesy to them is casting
pearls before swine."

Prince John had proceeded thus farand was about to give the
signal for retiring from the listswhen a small billet was put
into his hand.

From whence?said Prince Johnlooking at the person by whom it
was delivered.

From foreign parts, my lord, but from whence I know notreplied
his attendant. "A Frenchman brought it hitherwho saidhe had
ridden night and day to put it into the hands of your highness."

The Prince looked narrowly at the superscriptionand then at the
sealplaced so as to secure the flex-silk with which the billet
was surroundedand which bore the impression of three


fleurs-de-lis. John then opened the billet with apparent
agitationwhich visibly and greatly increased when he had
perused the contentswhich were expressed in these words:

Take heed to yourself for the Devil is unchained!

The Prince turned as pale as deathlooked first on the earth
and then up to heavenlike a man who has received news that
sentence of execution has been passed upon him. Recovering from
the first effects of his surprisehe took Waldemar Fitzurse and
De Bracy asideand put the billet into their hands successively.
It means,he addedin a faltering voicethat my brother
Richard has obtained his freedom.

This may be a false alarm, or a forged letter,said De Bracy.

It is France's own hand and seal,replied Prince John.

It is time, then,said Fitzurseto draw our party to a head,
either at York, or some other centrical place. A few days later,
and it will be indeed too late. Your highness must break short
this present mummery.

The yeomen and commons,said De Bracymust not be dismissed
discontented, for lack of their share in the sports.

The day,said Waldemaris not yet very far spent---let the
archers shoot a few rounds at the target, and the prize be
adjudged. This will be an abundant fulfilment of the Prince's
promises, so far as this herd of Saxon serfs is concerned.

I thank thee, Waldemar,said the Prince; "thou remindest me
toothat I have a debt to pay to that insolent peasant who
yesterday insulted our person. Our banquet also shall go forward
to-night as we proposed. Were this my last hour of powerit
should be an hour sacred to revenge and to pleasure---let new
cares come with to-morrow's new day."

The sound of the trumpets soon recalled those spectators who had
already begun to leave the field; and proclamation was made that
Prince Johnsuddenly called by high and peremptory public
dutiesheld himself obliged to discontinue the entertainments
of to-morrow's festival: Neverthelessthatunwilling so many
good yeoman should depart without a trial of skillhe was
pleased to appoint thembefore leaving the groundpresently to
execute the competition of archery intended for the morrow. To
the best archer a prize was to be awardedbeing a bugle-horn
mounted with silverand a silken baldric richly ornamented with
a medallion of St Hubertthe patron of silvan sport.

More than thirty yeomen at first presented themselves as
competitorsseveral of whom were rangers and under-keepers in
the royal forests of Needwood and Charnwood. Whenhoweverthe
archers understood with whom they were to be matchedupwards of
twenty withdrew themselves from the contestunwilling to
encounter the dishonour of almost certain defeat. For in those
days the skill of each celebrated marksman was as well known for
many miles round himas the qualities of a horse trained at
Newmarket are familiar to those who frequent that well-known
meeting.

The diminished list of competitors for silvan fame still amounted
to eight. Prince John stepped from his royal seat to view more
nearly the persons of these chosen yeomenseveral of whom wore


the royal livery. Having satisfied his curiosity by this
investigationhe looked for the object of his resentmentwhom
he observed standing on the same spotand with the same composed
countenance which he had exhibited upon the preceding day.

Fellow,said Prince JohnI guessed by thy insolent babble
that thou wert no true lover of the longbow, and I see thou
darest not adventure thy skill among such merry-men as stand
yonder.

Under favour, sir,replied the yeomanI have another reason
for refraining to shoot, besides the fearing discomfiture and
disgrace.

And what is thy other reason?said Prince Johnwhofor some
cause which perhaps he could not himself have explainedfelt a
painful curiosity respecting this individual.

Because,replied the woodsmanI know not if these yeomen and
I are used to shoot at the same marks; and because, moreover, I
know not how your Grace might relish the winning of a third prize
by one who has unwittingly fallen under your displeasure.

Prince John coloured as he put the questionWhat is thy name,
yeoman?

Locksley,answered the yeoman.

Then, Locksley,said Prince Johnthou shalt shoot in thy
turn, when these yeomen have displayed their skill. If thou
carriest the prize, I will add to it twenty nobles; but if thou
losest it, thou shalt be stript of thy Lincoln green, and
scourged out of the lists with bowstrings, for a wordy and
insolent braggart.

And how if I refuse to shoot on such a wager?said the yeoman.
---"Your Grace's powersupportedas it isby so many
men-at-armsmay indeed easily strip and scourge mebut cannot
compel me to bend or to draw my bow."

If thou refusest my fair proffer,said the Princethe Provost
of the lists shall cut thy bowstring, break thy bow and arrows,
and expel thee from the presence as a faint-hearted craven.

This is no fair chance you put on me, proud Prince,said the
yeomanto compel me to peril myself against the best archers of
Leicester And Staffordshire, under the penalty of infamy if they
should overshoot me. Nevertheless, I will obey your pleasure.

Look to him close, men-at-arms,said Prince Johnhis heart is
sinking; I am jealous lest he attempt to escape the trial.---And
do you, good fellows, shoot boldly round; a buck and a butt of
wine are ready for your refreshment in yonder tent, when the
prize is won.

A target was placed at the upper end of the southern avenue which
led to the lists. The contending archers took their station in
turnat the bottom of the southern accessthe distance between
that station and the mark allowing full distance for what was
called a shot at rovers. The archershaving previously
determined by lot their order of precedencewere to shoot each
three shafts in succession. The sports were regulated by an
officer of inferior ranktermed the Provost of the Games; for
the high rank of the marshals of the lists would have been held


degradedhad they condescended to superintend the sports of the
yeomanry.

One by one the archersstepping forwarddelivered their shafts
yeomanlike and bravely. Of twenty-four arrowsshot in
successionten were fixed in the targetand the others ranged
so near itthatconsidering the distance of the markit was
accounted good archery. Of the ten shafts which hit the target
two within the inner ring were shot by Huberta forester in the
service of Malvoisinwho was accordingly pronounced victorious.

Now, Locksley,said Prince John to the bold yeomanwith a
bitter smilewilt thou try conclusions with Hubert, or wilt
thou yield up bow, baldric, and quiver, to the Provost of the
sports?

Sith it be no better,said LocksleyI am content to try my
fortune; on condition that when I have shot two shafts at yonder
mark of Hubert's, he shall be bound to shoot one at that which I
shall propose.

That is but fair,answered Prince Johnand it shall not be
refused thee.---If thou dost beat this braggart, Hubert, I will
fill the bugle with silver-pennies for thee.

A man can do but his best,answered Hubert; "but my grandsire
drew a good long bow at Hastingsand I trust not to dishonour
his memory."

The former target was now removedand a fresh one of the same
size placed in its room. Hubertwhoas victor in the first
trial of skillhad the right to shoot firsttook his aim with
great deliberationlong measuring the distance with his eye
while he held in his hand his bended bowwith the arrow placed
on the string. At length he made a step forwardand raising the
bow at the full stretch of his left armtill the centre or
grasping-place was nigh level with his facehe drew his
bowstring to his ear. The arrow whistled through the airand
lighted within the inner ring of the targetbut not exactly in
the centre.

You have not allowed for the wind, Hubert,said his antagonist
bending his bowor that had been a better shot.

So sayingand without showing the least anxiety to pause upon
his aimLocksley stept to the appointed stationand shot his
arrow as carelessly in appearance as if he had not even looked at
the mark. He was speaking almost at the instant that the shaft
left the bowstringyet it alighted in the target two inches
nearer to the white spot which marked the centre than that of
Hubert.

By the light of heaven!said Prince John to Hubertan thou
suffer that runagate knave to overcome thee, thou art worthy of
the gallows!

Hubert had but one set speech for all occasions. "An your
highness were to hang me he said, a man can but do his best.
Neverthelessmy grandsire drew a good bow---"

The foul fiend on thy grandsire and all his generation!
interrupted Johnshoot, knave, and shoot thy best, or it shall
be the worse for thee!


Thus exhortedHubert resumed his placeand not neglecting the
caution which he had received from his adversaryhe made the
necessary allowance for a very light air of windwhich had just
arisenand shot so successfully that his arrow alighted in the
very centre of the target.

A Hubert! a Hubert!shouted the populacemore interested in a
known person than in a stranger. "In the clout!---in the clout!
---a Hubert for ever!"

Thou canst not mend that shot, Locksley,said the Princewith
an insulting smile.

I will notch his shaft for him, however,replied Locksley.

And letting fly his arrow with a little more precaution than
beforeit lighted right upon that of his competitorwhich it
split to shivers. The people who stood around were so astonished
at his wonderful dexteritythat they could not even give vent to
their surprise in their usual clamour. "This must be the devil
and no man of flesh and blood whispered the yeomen to each
other; such archery was never seen since a bow was first bent in
Britain."

And now,said LocksleyI will crave your Grace's permission
to plant such a mark as is used in the North Country; and welcome
every brave yeoman who shall try a shot at it to win a smile from
the bonny lass he loves best.

He then turned to leave the lists. "Let your guards attend me
he said, if you please---I go but to cut a rod from the next
willow-bush."

Prince John made a signal that some attendants should follow him
in case of his escape: but the cry of "Shame! shame!" which
burst from the multitudeinduced him to alter his ungenerous
purpose.

Locksley returned almost instantly with a willow wand about six
feet in lengthperfectly straightand rather thicker than a
man's thumb. He began to peel this with great composure
observing at the same timethat to ask a good woodsman to shoot
at a target so broad as had hitherto been usedwas to put shame
upon his skill. "For his own part he said, and in the land
where he was bredmen would as soon take for their mark King
Arthur's round-tablewhich held sixty knights around it. A
child of seven years old he said, might hit yonder target
with a headless shaft; but added he, walking deliberately to
the other end of the lists, and sticking the willow wand upright
in the ground, he that hits that rod at five-score yardsI call
him an archer fit to bear both bow and quiver before a kingan
it were the stout King Richard himself."

My grandsire,said Hubertdrew a good bow at the battle of
Hastings, and never shot at such a mark in his life---and neither
will I. If this yeoman can cleave that rod, I give him the
bucklers---or rather, I yield to the devil that is in his jerkin,
and not to any human skill; a man can but do his best, and I will
not shoot where I am sure to miss. I might as well shoot at the
edge of our parson's whittle, or at a wheat straw, or at a
sunbeam, as at a twinkling white streak which I can hardly see.

Cowardly dog!said Prince John.---"Sirrah Locksleydo thou
shoot; butif thou hittest such a markI will say thou art the


first man ever did so. However it bethou shalt not crow over
us with a mere show of superior skill."


I will do my best, as Hubert says,answered Locksley; "no man
can do more."


So sayinghe again bent his bowbut on the present occasion
looked with attention to his weaponand changed the string
which he thought was no longer truly roundhaving been a little
frayed by the two former shots. He then took his aim with some
deliberationand the multitude awaited the event in breathless
silence. The archer vindicated their opinion of his skill: his
arrow split the willow rod against which it was aimed. A jubilee
of acclamations followed; and even Prince Johnin admiration of
Locksley's skilllost for an instant his dislike to his person.
These twenty nobles,he saidwhich, with the bugle, thou hast
fairly won, are thine own; we will make them fifty, if thou wilt
take livery and service with us as a yeoman of our body guard,
and be near to our person. For never did so strong a hand bend a
bow, or so true an eye direct a shaft.


Pardon me, noble Prince,said Locksley; "but I have vowedthat
if ever I take serviceit should be with your royal brother King
Richard. These twenty nobles I leave to Hubertwho has this day
drawn as brave a bow as his grandsire did at Hastings. Had his
modesty not refused the trialhe would have hit the wand as well
I."


Hubert shook his head as he received with reluctance the bounty
of the strangerand Locksleyanxious to escape further
observationmixed with the crowdand was seen no more.


The victorious archer would not perhaps have escaped John's
attention so easilyhad not that Prince had other subjects of
anxious and more important meditation pressing upon his mind at
that instant. He called upon his chamberlain as he gave the
signal for retiring from the listsand commanded him instantly
to gallop to Ashbyand seek out Isaac the Jew. "Tell the dog
he said, to send mebefore sun-downtwo thousand crowns. He
knows the security; but thou mayst show him this ring for a
token. The rest of the money must be paid at York within six
days. If he neglectsI will have the unbelieving villain's
head. Look that thou pass him not on the way; for the
circumcised slave was displaying his stolen finery amongst us."


So sayingthe Prince resumed his horseand returned to Ashby
the whole crowd breaking up and dispersing upon his retreat.


CHAPTER XIV


In rough magnificence array'd
When ancient Chivalry display'd
The pomp of her heroic games
And crested chiefs and tissued dames
Assembledat the clarion's call
In some proud castle's high arch'd hall.


Warton

Prince John held his high festival in the Castle of Ashby. This


was not the same building of which the stately ruins still
interest the travellerand which was erected at a later period
by the Lord HastingsHigh Chamberlain of Englandone of the
first victims of the tyranny of Richard the Thirdand yet better
known as one of Shakspeare's characters than by his historical
fame. The castle and town of Ashbyat this timebelonged to
Roger de QuincyEarl of Winchesterwhoduring the period of
our historywas absent in the Holy Land. Prince Johnin the
meanwhileoccupied his castleand disposed of his domains
without scruple; and seeking at present to dazzle men's eyes by
his hospitality and magnificencehad given orders for great
preparationsin order to render the banquet as splendid as
possible.

The purveyors of the Princewho exercised on this and other
occasions the full authority of royaltyhad swept the country of
all that could be collected which was esteemed fit for their
master's table. Guests also were invited in great numbers; and
in the necessity in which he then found himself of courting
popularityPrince John had extended his invitation to a few
distinguished Saxon and Danish familiesas well as to the Norman
nobility and gentry of the neighbourhood. However despised and
degraded on ordinary occasionsthe great numbers of the
Anglo-Saxons must necessarily render them formidable in the civil
commotions which seemed approachingand it was an obvious point
of policy to secure popularity with their leaders.

It was accordingly the Prince's intentionwhich he for some time
maintainedto treat these unwonted guests with a courtesy to
which they had been little accustomed. But although no man with
less scruple made his ordinary habits and feelings bend to his
interestit was the misfortune of this Princethat his levity
and petulance were perpetually breaking outand undoing all that
had been gained by his previous dissimulation.

Of this fickle temper he gave a memorable example in Ireland
when sent thither by his fatherHenry the Secondwith the
purpose of buying golden opinions of the inhabitants of that new
and important acquisition to the English crown. Upon this
occasion the Irish chieftains contended which should first offer
to the young Prince their loyal homage and the kiss of peace.
Butinstead of receiving their salutations with courtesyJohn
and his petulant attendants could not resist the temptation of
pulling the long beards of the Irish chieftains; a conduct which
as might have been expectedwas highly resented by these
insulted dignitariesand produced fatal consequences to the
English domination in Ireland. It is necessary to keep these
inconsistencies of John's character in viewthat the reader may
understand his conduct during the present evening.

In execution of the resolution which he had formed during his
cooler momentsPrince John received Cedric and Athelstane with
distinguished courtesyand expressed his disappointmentwithout
resentmentwhen the indisposition of Rowena was alleged by the
former as a reason for her not attending upon his gracious
summons. Cedric and Athelstane were both dressed in the ancient
Saxon garbwhichalthough not unhandsome in itselfand in the
present instance composed of costly materialswas so remote in
shape and appearance from that of the other gueststhat Prince
John took great credit to himself with Waldemar Fitzurse for
refraining from laughter at a sight which the fashion of the day
rendered ridiculous. Yetin the eye of sober judgmentthe
short close tunic and long mantle of the Saxons was a more
gracefulas well as a more convenient dressthan the garb of


the Normanswhose under garment was a long doubletso loose as
to resemble a shirt or waggoner's frockcovered by a cloak of
scanty dimensionsneither fit to defend the wearer from cold or
from rainand the only purpose of which appeared to be to
display as much furembroideryand jewellery workas the
ingenuity of the tailor could contrive to lay upon it. The
Emperor Charlemagnein whose reign they were first introduced
seems to have been very sensible of the inconveniences arising
from the fashion of this garment. "In Heaven's name said he,
to what purpose serve these abridged cloaks? If we are in bed
they are no coveron horseback they are no protection from the
wind and rainand when seatedthey do not guard our legs from
the damp or the frost."

Neverthelessspite of this imperial objurgationthe short
cloaks continued in fashion down to the time of which we treat
and particularly among the princes of the House of Anjou. They
were therefore in universal use among Prince John's courtiers;
and the long mantlewhich formed the upper garment of the
Saxonswas held in proportional derision.

The guests were seated at a table which groaned under the
quantity of good cheer. The numerous cooks who attended on the
Prince's progresshaving exerted all their art in varying the
forms in which the ordinary provisions were served uphad
succeeded almost as well as the modern professors of the culinary
art in rendering them perfectly unlike their natural appearance.
Besides these dishes of domestic originthere were various
delicacies brought from foreign partsand a quantity of rich
pastryas well as of the simnel-bread and wastle cakeswhich
were only used at the tables of the highest nobility. The
banquet was crowned with the richest winesboth foreign and
domestic.

Butthough luxuriousthe Norman nobles were not generally
speaking an intemperate race. While indulging themselves in the
pleasures of the tablethey aimed at delicacybut avoided
excessand were apt to attribute gluttony and drunkenness to the
vanquished Saxonsas vices peculiar to their inferior station.
Prince Johnindeedand those who courted his pleasure by
imitating his foibleswere apt to indulge to excess in the
pleasures of the trencher and the goblet; and indeed it is well
known that his death was occasioned by a surfeit upon peaches and
new ale. His conducthoweverwas an exception to the general
manners of his countrymen.

With sly gravityinterrupted only by private signs to each
otherthe Norman knights and nobles beheld the ruder demeanour
of Athelstane and Cedric at a banquetto the form and fashion of
which they were unaccustomed. And while their manners were thus
the subject of sarcastic observationthe untaught Saxons
unwittingly transgressed several of the arbitrary rules
established for the regulation of society. Nowit is well
knownthat a man may with more impunity be guilty of an actual
breach either of real good breeding or of good moralsthan
appear ignorant of the most minute point of fashionable
etiquette. Thus Cedricwho dried his hands with a towel
instead of suffering the moisture to exhale by waving them
gracefully in the airincurred more ridicule than his companion
Athelstanewhen he swallowed to his own single share the whole
of a large pasty composed of the most exquisite foreign
delicaciesand termed at that time a "Karum-Pie". When
howeverit was discoveredby a serious cross-examinationthat
the Thane of Coningsburgh (or Franklinas the Normans termed


him) had no idea what he had been devouringand that he had
taken the contents of the Karum-pie for larks and pigeons
whereas they were in fact beccaficoes and nightingaleshis
ignorance brought him in for an ample share of the ridicule which
would have been more justly bestowed on his gluttony.

The long feast had at length its end; andwhile the goblet
circulated freelymen talked of the feats of the preceding
tournament---of the unknown victor in the archery gamesof the
Black Knightwhose self-denial had induced him to withdraw from
the honours he had won---and of the gallant Ivanhoewho had so
dearly bought the honours of the day. The topics were treated
with military franknessand the jest and laugh went round the
hall. The brow of Prince John alone was overclouded during these
discussions; some overpowering care seemed agitating his mind
and it was only when he received occasional hints from his
attendantsthat he seemed to take interest in what was passing
around him. On such occasions he would start upquaff a cup of
wine as if to raise his spiritsand then mingle in the
conversation by some observation made abruptly or at random.

We drink this beaker,said heto the health of Wilfred of
Ivanhoe, champion of this Passage of Arms, and grieve that his
wound renders him absent from our board---Let all fill to the
pledge, and especially Cedric of Rotherwood, the worthy father of
a son so promising.

No, my lord,replied Cedricstanding upand placing on the
table his untasted cupI yield not the name of son to the
disobedient youth, who at once despises my commands, and
relinquishes the manners and customs of his fathers.

'Tis impossible,cried Prince Johnwith well-feigned
astonishmentthat so gallant a knight should be an unworthy or
disobedient son!

Yet, my lord,answered Cedricso it is with this Wilfred.
He left my homely dwelling to mingle with the gay nobility of
your brother's court, where he learned to do those tricks of
horsemanship which you prize so highly. He left it contrary to
my wish and command; and in the days of Alfred that would have
been termed disobedience---ay, and a crime severely punishable.

Alas!replied Prince Johnwith a deep sigh of affected
sympathysince your son was a follower of my unhappy brother,
it need not be enquired where or from whom he learned the lesson
of filial disobedience.

Thus spake Prince Johnwilfully forgettingthat of all the sons
of Henry the Secondthough no one was free from the chargehe
himself had been most distinguished for rebellion and ingratitude
to his father.

I think,said heafter a moment's pausethat my brother
proposed to confer upon his favourite the rich manor of Ivanhoe.

He did endow him with it,answered Cedric; "nor is it my least
quarrel with my sonthat he stooped to holdas a feudal vassal
the very domains which his fathers possessed in free and
independent right."

We shall then have your willing sanction, good Cedric,said
Prince Johnto confer this fief upon a person whose dignity
will not be diminished by holding land of the British crown.


---Sir Reginald Front-de-Boeuf,he saidturning towards that
BaronI trust you will so keep the goodly Barony of Ivanhoe,
that Sir Wilfred shall not incur his father's farther displeasure
by again entering upon that fief.

By St Anthony!answered the black-brow'd giantI will consent
that your highness shall hold me a Saxon, if either Cedric or
Wilfred, or the best that ever bore English blood, shall wrench
from me the gift with which your highness has graced me.

Whoever shall call thee Saxon, Sir Baron,replied Cedric
offended at a mode of expression by which the Normans frequently
expressed their habitual contempt of the Englishwill do thee
an honour as great as it is undeserved.

Front-de-Boeuf would have repliedbut Prince John's petulance
and levity got the start.

Assuredly,said bemy lords, the noble Cedric speaks truth;
and his race may claim precedence over us as much in the length
of their pedigrees as in the longitude of their cloaks.

They go before us indeed in the field---as deer before dogs,
said Malvoisin.

And with good right may they go before us---forget not,said
the Prior Aymerthe superior decency and decorum of their
manners.

Their singular abstemiousness and temperance,said De Bracy
forgetting the plan which promised him a Saxon bride.

Together with the courage and conduct,said Brian de
Bois-Guilbertby which they distinguished themselves at
Hastings and elsewhere.

Whilewith smooth and smiling cheekthe courtierseach in
turnfollowed their Prince's exampleand aimed a shaft of
ridicule at Cedricthe face of the Saxon became inflamed with
passionand he glanced his eyes fiercely from one to anotheras
if the quick succession of so many injuries had prevented his
replying to them in turn; orlike a baited bullwhosurrounded
by his tormentorsis at a loss to choose from among them the
immediate object of his revenge. At length he spokein a voice
half choked with passion; andaddressing himself to Prince John
as the head and front of the offence which he had received
Whatever,he saidhave been the follies and vices of our
race, a Saxon would have been held 'nidering',*

* There was nothing accounted so ignominious among the
* Saxons as to merit this disgraceful epithet. Even William
* the Conquerorhated as he was by themcontinued to draw
* a considerable army of Anglo-Saxons to his standardby
* threatening to stigmatize those who staid at homeas
* nidering. BartholinusI thinkmentions a similar phrase
* which had like influence on the Danes. L. T.
(the most emphatic term for abject worthlessness) "who should in
his own halland while his own wine-cup passedhave treatedor
suffered to be treatedan unoffending guest as your highness has
this day beheld me used; and whatever was the misfortune of our
fathers on the field of Hastingsthose may at least be silent
here he looked at Front-de-Boeuf and the Templar, who have
within these few hours once and again lost saddle and stirrup


before the lance of a Saxon."

By my faith, a biting jest!said Prince John. "How like you
itsirs?---Our Saxon subjects rise in spirit and courage; become
shrewd in witand bold in bearingin these unsettled times
---What say yemy lords?---By this good lightI hold it best to
take our galleysand return to Normandy in time."

For fear of the Saxons?said De Bracylaughing; "we should
need no weapon but our hunting spears to bring these boars to
bay."

A truce with your raillery, Sir Knights,said Fitzurse;---"and
it were well he added, addressing the Prince, that your
highness should assure the worthy Cedric there is no insult
intended him by jestswhich must sound but harshly in the ear of
a stranger."

Insult?answered Prince Johnresuming his courtesy of
demeanour; "I trust it will not be thought that I could meanor
permit anyto be offered in my presence. Here! I fill my cup to
Cedric himselfsince he refuses to pledge his son's health."

The cup went round amid the well-dissembled applause of the
courtierswhichhoweverfailed to make the impression on the
mind of the Saxon that had been designed. He was not naturally
acute of perceptionbut those too much undervalued his
understanding who deemed that this flattering compliment would
obliterate the sense of the prior insult. He was silent
howeverwhen the royal pledge again passed roundTo Sir
Athelstane of Coningsburgh.

The knight made his obeisanceand showed his sense of the honour
by draining a huge goblet in answer to it.

And now, sirs,said Prince Johnwho began to be warmed with
the wine which he had drankhaving done justice to our Saxon
guests, we will pray of them some requital to our courtesy.
---Worthy Thane,he continuedaddressing Cedricmay we pray
you to name to us some Norman whose mention may least sully your
mouth, and to wash down with a goblet of wine all bitterness
which the sound may leave behind it?

Fitzurse arose while Prince John spokeand gliding behind the
seat of the Saxonwhispered to him not to omit the opportunity
of putting an end to unkindness betwixt the two racesby naming
Prince John. The Saxon replied not to this politic insinuation
butrising upand filling his cup to the brimbe addressed
Prince John in these words: "Your highness has required that I
should name a Norman deserving to be remembered at our banquet.
Thisperchanceis a hard tasksince it calls on the slave to
sing the praises of the master---upon the vanquishedwhile
pressed by all the evils of conquestto sing the praises of the
conqueror. Yet I will name a Norman---the first in arms and in
place---the best and the noblest of his race. And the lips that
shall refuse to pledge me to his well-earned fameI term false
and dishonouredand will so maintain them with my life.---I
quaff this goblet to the health of Richard the Lion-hearted!"

Prince Johnwho had expected that his own name would have closed
the Saxon's speechstarted when that of his injured brother was
so unexpectedly introduced. He raised mechanically the wine-cup
to his lipsthen instantly set it downto view the demeanour of
the company at this unexpected proposalwhich many of them felt


it as unsafe to oppose as to comply with. Some of themancient
and experienced courtiersclosely imitated the example of the
Prince himselfraising the goblet to their lipsand again
replacing it before them. There were many whowith a more
generous feelingexclaimedLong live King Richard! and may he
be speedily restored to us!And some fewamong whom were
Front-de-Boeuf and the Templarin sullen disdain suffered their
goblets to stand untasted before them. But no man ventured
directly to gainsay a pledge filled to the health of the
reigning monarch.

Having enjoyed his triumph for about a minuteCedric said to his
companionUp, noble Athelstane! we have remained here long
enough, since we have requited the hospitable courtesy of Prince
John's banquet. Those who wish to know further of our rude Saxon
manners must henceforth seek us in the homes of our fathers,
since we have seen enough of royal banquets, and enough of Norman
courtesy.

So sayinghe arose and left the banqueting roomfollowed by
Athelstaneand by several other guestswhopartaking of the
Saxon lineageheld themselves insulted by the sarcasms of Prince
John and his courtiers.

By the bones of St Thomas,said Prince Johnas they retreated
the Saxon churls have borne off the best of the day, and have
retreated with triumph!

'Conclamatum est, poculatum est',said Prior Aymer; "we have
drunk and we have shouted---it were time we left our wine
flagons."

The monk hath some fair penitent to shrive to-night, that he is
in such a hurry to depart,said De Bracy.

Not so, Sir Knight,replied the Abbot; "but I must move several
miles forward this evening upon my homeward journey."

They are breaking up,said the Prince in a whisper to Fitzurse;
their fears anticipate the event, and this coward Prior is the
first to shrink from me.

Fear not, my lord,said Waldemar; "I will show him such reasons
as shall induce him to join us when we hold our meeting at York.
---Sir Prior he said, I must speak with you in privatebefore
you mount your palfrey."

The other guests were now fast dispersingwith the exception of
those immediately attached toPrince John's factionand his
retinue.

This, then, is the result of your advice,said the Prince
turning an angry countenance upon Fitzurse; "that I should be
bearded at my own board by a drunken Saxon churland thaton
the mere sound of my brother's namemen should fall off from me
as if I had the leprosy?"

Have patience, sir,replied his counsellor; "I might retort
your accusationand blame the inconsiderate levity which foiled
my designand misled your own better judgment. But this is no
time for recrimination. De Bracy and I will instantly go among
these shuffling cowardsand convince them they have gone too far
to recede."


It will be in vain,said Prince Johnpacing the apartment with
disordered stepsand expressing himself with an agitation to
which the wine he had drank partly contributed---"It will be in
vain--they have seen the handwriting on the wall---they have
marked the paw of the lion in the sand---they have heard his
approaching roar shake the wood---nothing will reanimate their
courage."


Would to God,said Fitzurse to De Bracythat aught could
reanimate his own! His brother's very name is an ague to him.
Unhappy are the counsellors of a Prince, who wants fortitude and
perseverance alike in good and in evil!


CHAPTER XV


And yet he thinks---hahahaha---he thinks
I am the tool and servant of his will.
Welllet it be; through all the maze of trouble
His plots and base oppression must create
I'll shape myself a way to higher things
And who will say 'tis wrong?


Basila Tragedy

No spider ever took more pains to repair the shattered meshes of
his webthan did Waldemar Fitzurse to reunite and combine the
scattered members of Prince John's cabal. Few of these were
attached to him from inclinationand none from personal regard.
It was therefore necessarythat Fitzurse should open to them new
prospects of advantageand remind them of those which they at
present enjoyed. To the young and wild nobleshe held out the
prospect of unpunished license and uncontrolled revelry; to the
ambitiousthat of powerand to the covetousthat of increased
wealth and extended domains. The leaders of the mercenaries
received a donation in gold; an argument the most persuasive to
their mindsand without which all others would have proved in
vain. Promises were still more liberally distributed than money
by this active agent; andin finenothing was left undone that
could determine the waveringor animate the disheartened. The
return of King Richard he spoke of as an event altogether beyond
the reach of probability; yetwhen he observedfrom the
doubtful looks and uncertain answers which he receivedthat this
was the apprehension by which the minds of his accomplices were
most hauntedhe boldly treated that eventshould it really take
placeas one which ought not to alter their political
calculations.

If Richard returns,said Fitzursehe returns to enrich his
needy and impoverished crusaders at the expense of those who did
not follow him to the Holy Land. He returns to call to a fearful
reckoning, those who, during his absence, have done aught that
can be construed offence or encroachment upon either the laws of
the land or the privileges of the crown. He returns to avenge
upon the Orders of the Temple and the Hospital, the preference
which they showed to Philip of France during the wars in the Holy
Land. He returns, in fine, to punish as a rebel every adherent
of his brother Prince John. Are ye afraid of his power?
continued the artful confident of that Princewe acknowledge
him a strong and valiant knight; but these are not the days of
King Arthur, when a champion could encounter an army. If Richard


indeed comes back, it must be alone,---unfollowed---unfriended.
The bones of his gallant army have whitened the sands of
Palestine. The few of his followers who have returned have
straggled hither like this Wilfred of Ivanhoe, beggared and
broken men.---And what talk ye of Richard's right of birth?he
proceededin answer to those who objected scruples on that head.
Is Richard's title of primogeniture more decidedly certain than
that of Duke Robert of Normandy, the Conqueror's eldest son? And
yet William the Red, and Henry, his second and third brothers,
were successively preferred to him by the voice of the nation,
Robert had every merit which can be pleaded for Richard; he was a
bold knight, a good leader, generous to his friends and to the
church, and, to crown the whole, a crusader and a conqueror of
the Holy Sepulchre; and yet he died a blind and miserable
prisoner in the Castle of Cardiff, because he opposed himself to
the will of the people, who chose that he should not rule over
them. It is our right,he saidto choose from the blood royal
the prince who is best qualified to hold the supreme power
---that is,said hecorrecting himselfhim whose election
will best promote the interests of the nobility. In personal
qualifications,he addedit was possible that Prince John
might be inferior to his brother Richard; but when it was
considered that the latter returned with the sword of vengeance
in his hand, while the former held out rewards, immunities,
privileges, wealth, and honours, it could not be doubted which
was the king whom in wisdom the nobility were called on to
support.

Theseand many more argumentssome adapted to the peculiar
circumstances of those whom he addressedhad the expected weight
with the nobles of Prince John's faction. Most of them consented
to attend the proposed meeting at Yorkfor the purpose of making
general arrangements for placing the crown upon the head of
Prince John.

It was late at nightwhenworn out and exhausted with his
various exertionshowever gratified with the resultFitzurse
returning to the Castle of Ashbymet with De Bracywho had
exchanged his banqueting garments for a short green kittlewith
hose of the same cloth and coloura leathern cap or head-piece
a short sworda horn slung over his shouldera long bow in his
handand a bundle of arrows stuck in his belt. Had Fitzurse met
this figure in an outer apartmenthe would have passed him
without noticeas one of the yeomen of the guard; but finding
him in the inner hallhe looked at him with more attentionand
recognised the Norman knight in the dress of an English yeoman.

What mummery is this, De Bracy?said Fitzursesomewhat
angrily; "is this a time for Christmas gambols and quaint
maskingswhen the fate of our masterPrince Johnis on the
very verge of decision? Why hast thou not beenlike meamong
these heartless cravenswhom the very name of King Richard
terrifiesas it is said to do the children of the Saracens?"

I have been attending to mine own business,answered De Bracy
calmlyas you, Fitzurse, have been minding yours.

I minding mine own business!echoed Waldemar; "I have been
engaged in that of Prince Johnour joint patron."

As if thou hadst any other reason for that, Waldemar,said De
Bracythan the promotion of thine own individual interest?
Come, Fitzurse, we know each other---ambition is thy pursuit,
pleasure is mine, and they become our different ages. Of Prince


John thou thinkest as I do; that he is too weak to be a
determined monarch, too tyrannical to be an easy monarch, too
insolent and presumptuous to be a popular monarch, and too fickle
and timid to be long a monarch of any kind. But he is a monarch
by whom Fitzurse and De Bracy hope to rise and thrive; and
therefore you aid him with your policy, and I with the lances of
my Free Companions.

A hopeful auxiliary,said Fitzurse impatiently; "playing the
fool in the very moment of utter necessity.---What on earth dost
thou purpose by this absurd disguise at a moment so urgent?"

To get me a wife,answered De Bracy coollyafter the manner
of the tribe of Benjamin.

The tribe of Benjamin?said Fitzurse; "I comprehend thee not."

Wert thou not in presence yester-even,said De Bracywhen we
heard the Prior Aymer tell us a tale in reply to the romance
which was sung by the Minstrel?---He told how, long since in
Palestine, a deadly feud arose between the tribe of Benjamin and
the rest of the Israelitish nation; and how they cut to pieces
well-nigh all the chivalry of that tribe; and how they swore by
our blessed Lady, that they would not permit those who remained
to marry in their lineage; and how they became grieved for their
vow, and sent to consult his holiness the Pope how they might be
absolved from it; and how, by the advice of the Holy Father, the
youth of the tribe of Benjamin carried off from a superb
tournament all the ladies who were there present, and thus won
them wives without the consent either of their brides or their
brides' families.

I have heard the story,said Fitzursethough either the Prior
or thou has made some singular alterations in date and
circumstances.

I tell thee,said De Bracythat I mean to purvey me a wife
after the fashion of the tribe of Benjamin; which is as much as
to say, that in this same equipment I will fall upon that herd of
Saxon bullocks, who have this night left the castle, and carry
off from them the lovely Rowena.

Art thou mad, De Bracy?said Fitzurse. "Bethink thee that
though the men be Saxonsthey are rich and powerfuland
regarded with the more respect by their countrymenthat wealth
and honour are but the lot of few of Saxon descent."

And should belong to none,said De Bracy; "the work of the
Conquest should be completed."

This is no time for it at least,said Fitzurse "the approaching
crisis renders the favour of the multitude indispensableand
Prince John cannot refuse justice to any one who injures their
favourites."

Let him grant it, if he dare,said De Bracy; "he will soon see
the difference betwixt the support of such a lusty lot of spears
as mineand that of a heartless mob of Saxon churls. Yet I mean
no immediate discovery of myself. Seem I not in this garb as
bold a forester as ever blew horn? The blame of the violence
shall rest with the outlaws of the Yorkshire forests. I have
sure spies on the Saxon's motions---To-night they sleep in the
convent of Saint Wittolor Witholdor whatever they call that
churl of a Saxon Saint at Burton-on-Trent. Next day's march


brings them within our reachandfalcon-wayswe swoop on them
at once. Presently after I will appear in mine own shapeplay
the courteous knightrescue the unfortunate and afflicted fair
one from the hands of the rude ravishersconduct her to
Front-de-Boeuf's Castleor to Normandyif it should be
necessaryand produce her not again to her kindred until she be
the bride and dame of Maurice de Bracy."

A marvellously sage plan,said Fitzurseand, as I think, not
entirely of thine own device.---Come, be frank, De Bracy, who
aided thee in the invention? and who is to assist in the
execution? for, as I think, thine own band lies as far of as
York.

Marry, if thou must needs know,said De Bracyit was the
Templar Brian de Bois-Guilbert that shaped out the enterprise,
which the adventure of the men of Benjamin suggested to me. He
is to aid me in the onslaught, and he and his followers will
personate the outlaws, from whom my valorous arm is, after
changing my garb, to rescue the lady.

By my halidome,said Fitzursethe plan was worthy of your
united wisdom! and thy prudence, De Bracy, is most especially
manifested in the project of leaving the lady in the hands of thy
worthy confederate. Thou mayst, I think, succeed in taking her
from her Saxon friends, but how thou wilt rescue her afterwards
from the clutches of Bois-Guilbert seems considerably more
doubtful---He is a falcon well accustomed to pounce on a
partridge, and to hold his prey fast.

He is a Templar,said De Bracyand cannot therefore rival me
in my plan of wedding this heiress;---and to attempt aught
dishonourable against the intended bride of De Bracy---By Heaven!
were he a whole Chapter of his Order in his single person, he
dared not do me such an injury!

Then since nought that I can say,said Fitzursewill put this
folly from thy imagination, (for well I know the obstinacy of thy
disposition,) at least waste as little time as possible---let not
thy folly be lasting as well as untimely.

I tell thee,answered De Bracythat it will be the work of a
few hours, and I shall be at York---at the head of my daring and
valorous fellows, as ready to support any bold design as thy
policy can be to form one.---But I hear my comrades assembling,
and the steeds stamping and neighing in the outer court.
---Farewell.---I go, like a true knight, to win the smiles of
beauty.

Like a true knight?repeated Fitzurselooking after him; "like
a foolI should sayor like a childwho will leave the most
serious and needful occupationto chase the down of the thistle
that drives past him.---But it is with such tools that I must
work;---and for whose advantage?---For that of a Prince as unwise
as he is profligateand as likely to be an ungrateful master as
he has already proved a rebellious son and an unnatural brother.
---But he---hetoois but one of the tools with which I labour;
andproud as he isshould he presume to separate his interest
from minethis is a secret which he shall soon learn."

The meditations of the statesman were here interrupted by the
voice of the Prince from an interior apartmentcalling out
Noble Waldemar Fitzurse!andwith bonnet doffedthe future
Chancellor (for to such high preferment did the wily Norman


aspire) hastened to receive the orders of the future sovereign.

CHAPTER XVI

Far in a wildunknown to public view
>From youth to age a reverend hermit grew;
The moss his bedthe cave his humble cell
His food the fruitshis drink the crystal well
Remote from manwith God he pass'd his days
Prayer all his business---all his pleasure praise.


Parnell

The reader cannot have forgotten that the event of the tournament
was decided by the exertions of an unknown knightwhomon
account of the passive and indifferent conduct which he had
manifested on the former part of the daythe spectators had
entitledLe Noir Faineant. This knight had left the field
abruptly when the victory was achieved; and when he was called
upon to receive the reward of his valourhe was nowhere to be
found. In the meantimewhile summoned by heralds and by
trumpetsthe knight was holding his course northwardavoiding
all frequented pathsand taking the shortest road through the
woodlands. He paused for the night at a small hostelry lying out
of the ordinary routewherehoweverhe obtained from a
wandering minstrel news of the event of the tourney.

On the next morning the knight departed earlywith the intention
of making a long journey; the condition of his horsewhich he
had carefully spared during the preceding morningbeing such as
enabled him to travel far without the necessity of much repose.
Yet his purpose was baffled by the devious paths through which he
rodeso that when evening closed upon himhe only found himself
on the frontiers of the West Riding of Yorkshire. By this time
both horse and man required refreshmentand it became necessary
moreoverto look out for some place in which they might spend
the nightwhich was now fast approaching.

The place where the traveller found himself seemed unpropitious
for obtaining either shelter or refreshmentand he was likely to
be reduced to the usual expedient of knights-errantwhoon such
occasionsturned their horses to grazeand laid themselves down
to meditate on their lady-mistresswith an oak-tree for a
canopy. But the Black Knight either had no mistress to meditate
uponorbeing as indifferent in love as he seemed to be in war
was not sufficiently occupied by passionate reflections upon her
beauty and crueltyto be able to parry the effects of fatigue
and hungerand suffer love to act as a substitute for the solid
comforts of a bed and supper. He felt dissatisfiedtherefore
whenlooking aroundhe found himself deeply involved in woods
through which indeed there were many open gladesand some paths
but such as seemed only formed by the numerous herds of cattle
which grazed in the forestor by the animals of chaseand the
hunters who made prey of them.

The sunby which the knight had chiefly directed his coursehad
now sunk behind the Derbyshire hills on his leftand every
effort which he might make to pursue his journey was as likely to
lead him out of his road as to advance him on his route. After
having in vain endeavoured to select the most beaten pathin


hopes it might lead to the cottage of some herdsmanor the
silvan lodge of a foresterand having repeatedly found himself
totally unable to determine on a choicethe knight resolved to
trust to the sagacity of his horse; experience havingon former
occasionsmade him acquainted with the wonderful talent
possessed by these animals for extricating themselves and their
riders on such emergencies.

The good steedgrievously fatigued with so long a day's journey
under a rider cased in mailhad no sooner foundby the
slackened reinsthat he was abandoned to his own guidancethan
he seemed to assume new strength and spirit; and whereas
formerly he had scarce replied to the spurotherwise than by a
groanhe nowas if proud of the confidence reposed in him
pricked up his earsand assumedof his own accorda more
lively motion. The path which the animal adopted rather turned
off from the course pursued by the knight during the day; but as
the horse seemed confident in his choicethe rider abandoned
himself to his discretion.

He was justified by the event; for the footpath soon after
appeared a little wider and more wornand the tinkle of a small
bell gave the knight to understand that he was in the vicinity
of some chapel or hermitage.

Accordinglyhe soon reached an open plat of turfon the
opposite side of whicha rockrising abruptly from a gently
sloping plainoffered its grey and weatherbeaten front to the
traveller. Ivy mantled its sides in some placesand in others
oaks and holly busheswhose roots found nourishment in the
cliffs of the cragwaved over the precipices belowlike the
plumage of the warrior over his steel helmetgiving grace to
that whose chief expression was terror. At the bottom of the
rockand leaningas it wereagainst itwas constructed a rude
hutbuilt chiefly of the trunks of trees felled in the
neighbouring forestand secured against the weather by having
its crevices stuffed with moss mingled with clay. The stem of a
young fir-tree lopped of its brancheswith a piece of wood tied
across near the topwas planted upright by the dooras a rude
emblem of the holy cross. At a little distance on the right
handa fountain of the purest water trickled out of the rock
and was received in a hollow stonewhich labour had formed into
a rustic basin. Escaping from thencethe stream murmured down
the descent by a channel which its course had long wornand so
wandered through the little plain to lose itself in the
neighbouring wood.

Beside this fountain were the ruins of a very small chapelof
which the roof had partly fallen in. The buildingwhen entire
had never been above sixteen feet long by twelve feet in breadth
and the rooflow in proportionrested upon four concentric
arches which sprung from the four corners of the buildingeach
supported upon a short and heavy pillar. The ribs of two of
these arches remainedthough the roof had fallen down betwixt
them; over the others it remained entire. The entrance to this
ancient place of devotion was under a very low round arch
ornamented by several courses of that zig-zag moulding
resembling shark's teethwhich appears so often in the more
ancient Saxon architecture. A belfry rose above the porch on
four small pillarswithin which hung the green and weatherbeaten
bellthe feeble sounds of which had been some time before heard
by the Black Knight.

The whole peaceful and quiet scene lay glimmering in twilight


before the eyes of the travellergiving him good assurance of
lodging for the night; since it was a special duty of those
hermits who dwelt in the woodsto exercise hospitality towards
benighted or bewildered passengers.

Accordinglythe knight took no time to consider minutely the
particulars which we have detailedbut thanking Saint Julian
(the patron of travellers) who had sent him good harbouragehe
leaped from his horse and assailed the door of the hermitage
with the butt of his lancein order to arouse attention and
gain admittance.

It was some time before he obtained any answer
and the replywhen madewas unpropitious.

Pass on, whosoever thou art,was the answer given by a deep
hoarse voice from within the hutand disturb not the servant of
God and St Dunstan in his evening devotions.

Worthy father,answered the knighthere is a poor wanderer
bewildered in these woods, who gives thee the opportunity of
exercising thy charity and hospitality.

Good brother,replied the inhabitant of the hermitageit has
pleased Our Lady and St Dunstan to destine me for the object of
those virtues, instead of the exercise thereof. I have no
provisions here which even a dog would share with me, and a horse
of any tenderness of nurture would despise my couch---pass
therefore on thy way, and God speed thee.

But how,replied the knightis it possible for me to find my
way through such a wood as this, when darkness is coming on? I
pray you, reverend father as you are a Christian, to undo your
door, and at least point out to me my road.

And I pray you, good Christian brother,replied the anchorite
to disturb me no more. You have already interrupted one
'pater', two 'aves', and a 'credo', which I, miserable sinner
that I am, should, according to my vow, have said before
moonrise.

The road---the road!vociferated the knightgive me
directions for the road, if I am to expect no more from thee.

The road,replied the hermitis easy to hit. The path from
the wood leads to a morass, and from thence to a ford, which, as
the rains have abated, may now be passable. When thou hast
crossed the ford, thou wilt take care of thy footing up the left
bank, as it is somewhat precipitous; and the path, which hangs
over the river, has lately, as I learn, (for I seldom leave the
duties of my chapel,) given way in sundry places. Thou wilt then
keep straight forward-----

A broken path---a precipice---a ford, and a morass!said the
knight interrupting him---"Sir Hermitif you were the holiest
that ever wore beard or told beadyou shall scarce prevail on me
to hold this road to-night. I tell theethat thouwho livest
by the charity of the country---ill deservedas I doubt it is
---hast no right to refuse shelter to the wayfarer when in
distress. Either open the door quicklyorby the roodI will
beat it down and make entry for myself."

Friend wayfarer,replied the hermitbe not importunate; if
thou puttest me to use the carnal weapon in mine own defence, it


will be e'en the worse for you.

At this moment a distant noise of barking and growlingwhich the
traveller had for some time heardbecame extremely loud and
furiousand made the knight suppose that the hermitalarmed
by his threat of making forcible entryhad called the dogs who
made this clamour to aid him in his defenceout of some inner
recess in which they had been kennelled. Incensed at this
preparation on the hermit's part for making good his inhospitable
purposethe knight struck the door so furiously with his foot
that posts as well as staples shook with violence.

The anchoritenot caring again to expose his door to a similar
shocknow called out aloudPatience, patience---spare thy
strength, good traveller, and I will presently undo the door,
though, it may be, my doing so will be little to thy pleasure.

The door accordingly was opened; and the hermita large
strong-built manin his sackcloth gown and hoodgirt with a
rope of rushesstood before the knight. He had in one hand a
lighted torchor linkand in the other a baton of crab-tree
so thick and heavythat it might well be termed a club. Two
large shaggy dogshalf greyhound half mastiffstood ready to
rush upon the traveller as soon as the door should be opened.
But when the torch glanced upon the lofty crest and golden spurs
of the knightwho stood withoutthe hermitaltering probably
his original intentionsrepressed the rage of his auxiliaries
andchanging his tone to a sort of churlish courtesyinvited
the knight to enter his hutmaking excuse for his unwillingness
to open his lodge after sunsetby alleging the multitude of
robbers and outlaws who were abroadand who gave no honour to
Our Lady or St Dunstannor to those holy men who spent life in
their service.

The poverty of your cell, good father,said the knightlooking
around himand seeing nothing but a bed of leavesa crucifix
rudely carved in oaka missalwith a rough-hewn table and two
stoolsand one or two clumsy articles of furniture---"the
poverty of your cell should seem a sufficient defence against any
risk of thievesnot to mention the aid of two trusty dogslarge
and strong enoughI thinkto pull down a stagand of course
to match with most men."

The good keeper of the forest,said the hermithath allowed
me the use of these animals, to protect my solitude until the
times shall mend.

Having said thishe fixed his torch in a twisted branch of iron
which served for a candlestick; andplacing the oaken trivet
before the embers of the firewhich he refreshed with some dry
woodhe placed a stool upon one side of the tableand beckoned
to the knight to do the same upon the other.

They sat downand gazed with great gravity at each othereach
thinking in his heart that he had seldom seen a stronger or more
athletic figure than was placed opposite to him.

Reverend hermit,said the knightafter looking long and
fixedly at his hostwere it not to interrupt your devout
meditations, I would pray to know three things of your holiness;
first, where I am to put my horse?---secondly, what I can have
for supper?---thirdly, where I am to take up my couch for the
night?


I will reply to you,said the hermitwith my finger, it being
against my rule to speak by words where signs can answer the
purpose.So sayinghe pointed successively to two corners of
the hut. "Your stable said he, is there---your bed there;
and reaching down a platter with two handfuls of parched pease
upon it from the neighbouring shelf, and placing it upon the
table, he added, your supper is here."

The knight shrugged his shouldersand leaving the hutbrought
in his horse(which in the interim he had fastened to a tree)
unsaddled him with much attentionand spread upon the steed's
weary back his own mantle.

The hermit was apparently somewhat moved to compassion by the
anxiety as well as address which the stranger displayed in
tending his horse; formuttering something about provender left
for the keeper's palfreyhe dragged out of a recess a bundle of
foragewhich he spread before the knight's chargerand
immediately afterwards shook down a quantity of dried fern in the
corner which he had assigned for the rider's couch. The knight
returned him thanks for his courtesy; andthis duty doneboth
resumed their seats by the tablewhereon stood the trencher of
pease placed between them. The hermitafter a long gracewhich
had once been Latinbut of which original language few traces
remainedexcepting here and there the long rolling termination
of some word or phraseset example to his guestby modestly
putting into a very large mouthfurnished with teeth which might
have ranked with those of a boar both in sharpness and whiteness
some three or four dried peasea miserable grist as it seemed
for so large and able a mill.

The knightin order to follow so laudable an examplelaid aside
his helmethis corsletand the greater part of his armourand
showed to the hermit a head thick-curled with yellow hairhigh
featuresblue eyesremarkably bright and sparklinga mouth
well formedhaving an upper lip clothed with mustachoes darker
than his hairand bearing altogether the look of a bolddaring
and enterprising manwith which his strong form well
corresponded.

The hermitas if wishing to answer to the confidence of his
guestthrew back his cowland showed a round bullet head
belonging to a man in the prime of life. His close-shaven crown
surrounded by a circle of stiff curled black hairhad something
the appearance of a parish pinfold begirt by its high hedge. The
features expressed nothing of monastic austerityor of ascetic
privations; on the contraryit was a bold bluff countenance
with broad black eyebrowsa well-turned foreheadand cheeks as
round and vermilion as those of a trumpeterfrom which descended
a long and curly black beard. Such a visagejoined to the
brawny form of the holy manspoke rather of sirloins and
haunchesthan of pease and pulse. This incongruity did not
escape the guest. After he had with great difficulty
accomplished the mastication of a mouthful of the dried peasehe
found it absolutely necessary to request his pious entertainer to
furnish him with some liquor; who replied to his request by
placing before him a large can of the purest water from the
fountain.

It is from the well of St Dunstan,said hein which, betwixt
sun and sun, he baptized five hundred heathen Danes and Britons
---blessed be his name!And applying his black beard to the
pitcherhe took a draught much more moderate in quantity than
his encomium seemed to warrant.


It seems to me, reverend father,said the knightthat the
small morsels which you eat, together with this holy, but
somewhat thin beverage, have thriven with you marvellously. You
appear a man more fit to win the ram at a wrestling match, or the
ring at a bout at quarter-staff, or the bucklers at a sword-play,
than to linger out your time in this desolate wilderness, saying
masses, and living upon parched pease and cold water.

Sir Knight,answered the hermityour thoughts, like those of
the ignorant laity, are according to the flesh. It has pleased
Our Lady and my patron saint to bless the pittance to which I
restrain myself, even as the pulse and water was blessed to the
children Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego, who drank the same
rather than defile themselves with the wine and meats which were
appointed them by the King of the Saracens.

Holy father,said the knightupon whose countenance it hath
pleased Heaven to work such a miracle, permit a sinful layman to
crave thy name?

Thou mayst call me,answered the hermitthe Clerk of
Copmanhurst, for so I am termed in these parts---They add, it is
true, the epithet holy, but I stand not upon that, as being
unworthy of such addition.---And now, valiant knight, may I pray
ye for the name of my honourable guest?

Truly,said the knightHoly Clerk of Copmanhurst, men call me
in these parts the Black Knight,---many, sir, add to it the
epithet of Sluggard, whereby I am no way ambitious to be
distinguished.

The hermit could scarcely forbear from smiling at his guest's
reply.

I see,said heSir Sluggish Knight, that thou art a man of
prudence and of counsel; and moreover, I see that my poor
monastic fare likes thee not, accustomed, perhaps, as thou hast
been, to the license of courts and of camps, and the luxuries of
cities; and now I bethink me, Sir Sluggard, that when the
charitable keeper of this forest-walk left those dogs for my
protection, and also those bundles of forage, he left me also
some food, which, being unfit for my use, the very recollection
of it had escaped me amid my more weighty meditations.

I dare be sworn he did so,said the knight; "I was convinced
that there was better food in the cellHoly Clerksince you
first doffed your cowl.---Your keeper is ever a jovial fellow;
and none who beheld thy grinders contending with these peaseand
thy throat flooded with this ungenial elementcould see thee
doomed to such horse-provender and horse-beverage (pointing to
the provisions upon the table,) and refrain from mending thy
cheer. Let us see the keeper's bountythereforewithout
delay."

The hermit cast a wistful look upon the knightin which there
was a sort of comic expression of hesitationas if uncertain how
far be should act prudently in trusting his guest. There was
howeveras much of bold frankness in the knight's countenance
as was possible to be expressed by features. His smiletoohad
something in it irresistibly comicand gave an assurance of
faith and loyaltywith which his host could not refrain from
sympathizing.


After exchanging a mute glance or twothe hermit went to the
further side of the hutand opened a hutchwhich was concealed
with great care and some ingenuity. Out of the recesses of a
dark closetinto which this aperture gave admittancehe brought
a large pastybaked in a pewter platter of unusual dimensions.
This mighty dish he placed before his guestwhousing his
poniard to cut it openlost no time in making himself acquainted
with its contents.

How long is it since the good keeper has been here?said the
knight to his hostafter having swallowed several hasty morsels
of this reinforcement to the hermit's good cheer.

About two months,answered the father hastily.

By the true Lord,answered the knightevery thing in your
hermitage is miraculous, Holy Clerk! for I would have been sworn
that the fat buck which furnished this venison had been running
on foot within the week.

The hermit was somewhat discountenanced by this observation; and
moreoverhe made but a poor figure while gazing on the
diminution of the pastyon which his guest was making desperate
inroads; a warfare in which his previous profession of abstinence
left him no pretext for joining.

I have been in Palestine, Sir Clerk,said the knightstopping
short of a suddenand I bethink me it is a custom there that
every host who entertains a guest shall assure him of the
wholesomeness of his food, by partaking of it along with him.
Far be it from me to suspect so holy a man of aught inhospitable;
nevertheless I will be highly bound to you would you comply with
this Eastern custom.

To ease your unnecessary scruples, Sir Knight, I will for once
depart from my rule,replied the hermit. And as there were no
forks in those dayshis clutches were instantly in the bowels
of the pasty.

The ice of ceremony being once brokenit seemed matter of
rivalry between the guest and the entertainer which should
display the best appetite; and although the former had probably
fasted longestyet the hermit fairly surpassed him.

Holy Clerk,said the knightwhen his hunger was appeasedI
would gage my good horse yonder against a zecchin, that that same
honest keeper to whom we are obliged for the venison has left
thee a stoup of wine, or a runlet of canary, or some such trifle,
by way of ally to this noble pasty. This would be a
circumstance, doubtless, totally unworthy to dwell in the memory
of so rigid an anchorite; yet, I think, were you to search yonder
crypt once more, you would find that I am right in my
conjecture.

The hermit only replied by a grin; and returning to the hutchhe
produced a leathern bottlewhich might contain about four
quarts. He also brought forth two large drinking cupsmade out
of the horn of the urusand hooped with silver. Having made
this goodly provision for washing down the supperhe seemed to
think no farther ceremonious scruple necessary on his part; but
filling both cupsand sayingin the Saxon fashion'Waes
hael', Sir Sluggish Knight!he emptied his own at a draught.

'Drink hael', Holy Clerk of Copmanhurst!answered the warrior


and did his host reason in a similar brimmer.

Holy Clerk,said the strangerafter the first cup was thus
swallowedI cannot but marvel that a man possessed of such
thews and sinews as thine, and who therewithal shows the talent
of so goodly a trencher-man, should think of abiding by himself
in this wilderness. In my judgment, you are fitter to keep a
castle or a fort, eating of the fat and drinking of the strong,
than to live here upon pulse and water, or even upon the charity
of the keeper. At least, were I as thou, I should find myself
both disport and plenty out of the king's deer. There is many a
goodly herd in these forests, and a buck will never be missed
that goes to the use of Saint Dunstan's chaplain.

Sir Sluggish Knight,replied the Clerkthese are dangerous
words, and I pray you to forbear them. I am true hermit to the
king and law, and were I to spoil my liege's game, I should be
sure of the prison, and, an my gown saved me not, were in some
peril of hanging.

Nevertheless, were I as thou,said the knightI would take my
walk by moonlight, when foresters and keepers were warm in bed,
and ever and anon,---as I pattered my prayers,---I would let fly
a shaft among the herds of dun deer that feed in the glades
--Resolve me, Holy Clerk, hast thou never practised such a
pastime?

Friend Sluggard,answered the hermitthou hast seen all that
can concern thee of my housekeeping, and something more than he
deserves who takes up his quarters by violence. Credit me, it is
better to enjoy the good which God sends thee, than to be
impertinently curious how it comes. Fill thy cup, and welcome;
and do not, I pray thee, by further impertinent enquiries, put me
to show that thou couldst hardly have made good thy lodging had I
been earnest to oppose thee.

By my faith,said the knightthou makest me more curious than
ever! Thou art the most mysterious hermit I ever met; and I will
know more of thee ere we part. As for thy threats, know, holy
man, thou speakest to one whose trade it is to find out danger
wherever it is to be met with.

Sir Sluggish Knight, I drink to thee,said the hermit;
respecting thy valour much, but deeming wondrous slightly of thy
discretion. If thou wilt take equal arms with me, I will give
thee, in all friendship and brotherly love, such sufficing
penance and complete absolution, that thou shalt not for the next
twelve months sin the sin of excess of curiosity.

The knight pledged himand desired him to name his weapons.

There is none,replied the hermitfrom the scissors of
Delilah, and the tenpenny nail of Jael, to the scimitar of
Goliath, at which I am not a match for thee---But, if I am to
make the election, what sayst thou, good friend, to these
trinkets?

Thus speakinghe opened another hutchand took out from it a
couple of broadswords and bucklerssuch as were used by the
yeomanry of the period. The knightwho watched his motions
observed that this second place of concealment was furnished with
two or three good long-bowsa cross-bowa bundle of bolts for
the latterand half-a-dozen sheaves of arrows for the former. A
harpand other matters of a very uncanonical appearancewere


also visible when this dark recess was opened.

I promise thee, brother Clerk,said heI will ask thee no
more offensive questions. The contents of that cupboard are an
answer to all my enquiries; and I see a weapon there(here be
stooped and took out the harp) "on which I would more gladly
prove my skill with theethan at the sword and buckler."

I hope, Sir Knight,said the hermitthou hast given no good
reason for thy surname of the Sluggard. I do promise thee I
suspect thee grievously. Nevertheless, thou art my guest, and I
will not put thy manhood to the proof without thine own free
will. Sit thee down, then, and fill thy cup; let us drink, sing,
and be merry. If thou knowest ever a good lay, thou shalt be
welcome to a nook of pasty at Copmanhurst so long as I serve the
chapel of St Dunstan, which, please God, shall be till I change
my grey covering for one of green turf. But come, fill a flagon,
for it will crave some time to tune the harp; and nought pitches
the voice and sharpens the ear like a cup of wine. For my part,
I love to feel the grape at my very finger-ends before they make
the harp-strings tinkle.*

* The Jolly Hermit.---All readershowever slightly
* acquainted with black lettermust recognise in the Clerk
* of CopmanhurstFriar Tuckthe buxom Confessor of Robin
* Hood's gangthe Curtal Friar of Fountain's Abbey.
CHAPTER XVII


At evewithin yon studious nook
I ope my brass-embossed book
Portray'd with many a holy deed
Of martyrs crown'd with heavenly meed;
Thenas my taper waxes dim
Chantere I sleepmy measured hymn.


* * * * *
Who but would cast his pomp away
To take my staff and amice grey
And to the world's tumultuous stage
Prefer the peaceful Hermitage?

Warton

Notwithstanding the prescription of the genial hermitwith which
his guest willingly compliedhe found it no easy matter to bring
the harp to harmony.

Methinks, holy father,said hethe instrument wants one
string, and the rest have been somewhat misused.

Ay, mark'st thou that?replied the hermit; "that shows thee a
master of the craft. Wine and wassail he added, gravely
casting up his eyes---all the fault of wine and wassail!---I
told Allan-a-Dalethe northern minstrelthat he would damage
the harp if he touched it after the seventh cupbut he would not
be controlled---FriendI drink to thy successful performance."

So sayinghe took off his cup with much gravityat the same
time shaking his head at the intemperance of the Scottish harper.


The knight in the meantimehad brought the strings into some
orderand after a short preludeasked his host whether he would
choose a "sirvente" in the language of "oc"or a "lai" in the
language of "oui"or a "virelai"or a ballad in the vulgar
English.*

* Note C. Minstrelsy.
A ballad, a ballad,said the hermitagainst all the 'ocs' and
'ouis' of France. Downright English am I, Sir Knight, and
downright English was my patron St Dunstan, and scorned 'oc' and
'oui', as he would have scorned the parings of the devil's hoof
---downright English alone shall be sung in this cell.

I will assay, then,said the knighta ballad composed by a
Saxon glee-man, whom I knew in Holy Land.

It speedily appearedthat if the knight was not a complete
master of the minstrel arthis taste for it had at least been
cultivated under the best instructors. Art had taught him to
soften the faults of a voice which had little compassand was
naturally rough rather than mellowandin shorthad done all
that culture can do in supplying natural deficiencies. His
performancethereforemight have been termed very respectable
by abler judges than the hermitespecially as the knight threw
into the notes now a degree of spiritand now of plaintive
enthusiasmwhich gave force and energy to the verses which he
sung.

THE CRUSADER'S RETURN.

1.
High deeds achieved of knightly fame
From Palestine the champion came;
The cross upon his shoulders borne
Battle and blast had dimm'd and torn.
Each dint upon his batter'd shield
Was token of a foughten field;
And thusbeneath his lady's bower
He sung as fell the twilight hour:---


2.
Joy to the fair!---thy knight behold,
Return'd from yonder land of gold;
No wealth he brings, nor wealth can need,
Save his good arms and battle-steed
His spurs, to dash against a foe,
His lance and sword to lay him low;
Such all the trophies of his toil,
Such---and the hope of Tekla's smile!


3.
Joy to the fair! whose constant knight
Her favour fired to feats of might;
Unnoted shall she not remain
Where meet the bright and noble train;
Minstrel shall sing and herald tell---
'Mark yonder maid of beauty well
'Tis she for whose bright eyes were won
The listed field at Askalon!



4.
'Note well her smile!---it edged the blade

Which fifty wives to widows made,

When, vain his strength and Mahound's spell,

Iconium's turban'd Soldan fell.

Seest thou her locks, whose sunny glow

Half shows, half shades, her neck of snow?

Twines not of them one golden thread,

But for its sake a Paynim bled.'

5.
Joy to the fair!---my name unknown

Each deedand all its praise thine own

Thenoh! unbar this churlish gate

The night dew fallsthe hour is late.

Inured to Syria's glowing breath

I feel the north breeze chill as death;

Let grateful love quell maiden shame

And grant him bliss who brings thee fame."

During this performancethe hermit demeaned himself much like a
first-rate critic of the present day at a new opera. He reclined
back upon his seatwith his eyes half shut; nowfolding his
hands and twisting his thumbshe seemed absorbed in attention
and anonbalancing his expanded palmshe gently flourished them
in time to the music. At one or two favourite cadenceshe threw
in a little assistance of his ownwhere the knight's voice
seemed unable to carry the air so high as his worshipful taste
approved. When the song was endedthe anchorite emphatically
declared it a good oneand well sung.

And yet,said heI think my Saxon countrymen had herded long
enough with the Normans, to fall into the tone of their
melancholy ditties. What took the honest knight from home? or
what could he expect but to find his mistress agreeably engaged
with a rival on his return, and his serenade, as they call it, as
little regarded as the caterwauling of a cat in the gutter?
Nevertheless, Sir Knight, I drink this cup to thee, to the
success of all true lovers---I fear you are none,he addedon
observing that the knight (whose brain began to be heated with
these repeated draughts) qualified his flagon from the water
pitcher.

Why,said the knightdid you not tell me that this water was
from the well of your blessed patron, St Dunstan?

Ay, truly,said the hermitand many a hundred of pagans did
he baptize there, but I never heard that he drank any of it.
Every thing should be put to its proper use in this world. St
Dunstan knew, as well as any one, the prerogatives of a jovial
friar.

And so sayinghe reached the harpand entertained his guest
with the following characteristic songto a sort of derry-down
chorusappropriate to an old English ditty.*

* It may be proper to remind the readerthat the chorus of
* "derry down" is supposed to be as ancientnot only as
* the times of the Heptarchybut as those of the Druids
* and to have furnished the chorus to the hymns of those
* venerable persons when they went to the wood to gather

* mistletoe.
THE BAREFOOTED FRIAR.

1.
I'll give theegood fellowa twelvemonth or twain
To search Europe throughfrom Byzantium to Spain;
But ne'er shall you findshould you search till you tire
So happy a man as the Barefooted Friar.


2.
Your knight for his lady pricks forth in career
And is brought home at even-song prick'd through with a spear;
I confess him in haste---for his lady desires
No comfort on earth save the Barefooted Friar's.


3.
Your monarch?---Pshaw! many a prince has been known
To barter his robes for our cowl and our gown
But which of us e'er felt the idle desire
To exchange for a crown the grey hood of a Friar!


4.
The Friar has walk'd outand where'er he has gone
The land and its fatness is mark'd for his own;
He can roam where he listshe can stop when he tires
For every man's house is the Barefooted Friar's.


5.
He's expected at noonand no wight till he comes
May profane the great chairor the porridge of plums
For the best of the cheerand the seat by the fire
Is the undenied right of the Barefooted Friar.


6.
He's expected at nightand the pasty's made hot
They broach the brown aleand they fill the black pot
And the goodwife would wish the goodman in the mire
Ere he lack'd a soft pillowthe Barefooted Friar.


7.
Long flourish the sandalthe cordand the cope
The dread of the devil and trust of the Pope;
For to gather life's rosesunscathed by the briar
Is granted alone to the Barefooted Friar.


By my troth,said the knightthou hast sung well and lustily,
and in high praise of thine order. And, talking of the devil,
Holy Clerk, are you not afraid that he may pay you a visit daring
some of your uncanonical pastimes?

I uncanonical!answered the hermit; "I scorn the charge---I
scorn it with my heels!---I serve the duty of my chapel duly and
truly---Two masses dailymorning and eveningprimesnoonsand
vespers'avescredospaters'------"


Excepting moonlight nights, when the venison is in season,said
his guest.


'Exceptis excipiendis'replied the hermitas our old abbot
taught me to say, when impertinent laymen should ask me if I kept
every punctilio of mine order.


True, holy father,said the knight; "but the devil is apt to
keep an eye on such exceptions; he goes aboutthou knowestlike
a roaring lion."


Let him roar here if he dares,said the friar; "a touch of my
cord will make him roar as loud as the tongs of St Dunstan
himself did. I never feared manand I as little fear the devil
and his imps. Saint DunstanSaint DubricSaint WinibaldSaint
WinifredSaint SwibertSaint Willicknot forgetting Saint
Thomas a Kentand my own poor merits to speedI defy every
devil of themcome cut and long tail.---But to let you into a
secretI never speak upon such subjectsmy frienduntil after
morning vespers."


He changed the conversation; fast and furious grew the mirth of
the partiesand many a song was exchanged betwixt themwhen
their revels were interrupted by a loud knocking at the door of
the hermitage.


The occasion of this interruption we can only explain by resuming
the adventures of another set of our characters; forlike old
Ariostowe do not pique ourselves upon continuing uniformly to
keep company with any one personage of our drama.


CHAPTER XVIII


Away! our journey lies through dell and dingle
Where the blithe fawn trips by its timid mother
Where the broad oakwith intercepting boughs
Chequers the sunbeam in the green-sward alley---
Up and away!---for lovely paths are these
To treadwhen the glad Sun is on his throne
Less pleasantand less safewhen Cynthia's lamp
With doubtful glimmer lights the dreary forest.


Ettrick Forest

When Cedric the Saxon saw his son drop down senseless in the
lists at Ashbyhis first impulse was to order him into the
custody and care of his own attendantsbut the words choked in
his throat. He could not bring himself to acknowledgein
presence of such an assemblythe son whom he had renounced and
disinherited. He orderedhoweverOswald to keep an eye upon
him; and directed that officerwith two of his serfsto convey
Ivanhoe to Ashby as soon as the crowd had dispersed. Oswald
howeverwas anticipated in this good office. The crowd
dispersedindeedbut the knight was nowhere to be seen.

It was in vain that Cedric's cupbearer looked around for his
young master---he saw the bloody spot on which he had lately sunk
downbut himself he saw no longer; it seemed as if the fairies
had conveyed him from the spot. Perhaps Oswald (for the Saxons
were very superstitious) might have adopted some such hypothesis


to account for Ivanhoe's disappearancehad he not suddenly cast
his eye upon a person attired like a squirein whom he
recognised the features of his fellow-servant Gurth. Anxious
concerning his master's fateand in despair at his sudden
disappearancethe translated swineherd was searching for him
everywhereand had neglectedin doing sothe concealment on
which his own safety depended. Oswald deemed it his duty to
secure Gurthas a fugitive of whose fate his master was to
judge.

Renewing his enquiries concerning the fate of Ivanhoethe only
information which the cupbearer could collect from the bystanders
wasthat the knight had been raised with care by certain
well-attired groomsand placed in a litter belonging to a lady
among the spectatorswhich had immediately transported him out
of the press. Oswaldon receiving this intelligenceresolved
to return to his master for farther instructionscarrying along
with him Gurthwhom he considered in some sort as a deserter
from the service of Cedric.

The Saxon had been under very intense and agonizing apprehensions
concerning his son; for Nature had asserted her rightsin spite
of the patriotic stoicism which laboured to disown her. But no
sooner was he informed that Ivanhoe was in carefuland probably
in friendly handsthan the paternal anxiety which had been
excited by the dubiety of his fategave way anew to the feeling
of injured pride and resentmentat what he termed Wilfred's
filial disobedience.

Let him wander his way,said he---"let those leech his wounds
for whose sake he encountered them. He is fitter to do the
juggling tricks of the Norman chivalry than to maintain the fame
and honour of his English ancestry with the glaive and
brown-billthe good old weapons of his country."

If to maintain the honour of ancestry,said Rowenawho was
presentit is sufficient to be wise in council and brave in
execution---to be boldest among the bold, and gentlest among the
gentle, I know no voice, save his father's------

Be silent, Lady Rowena!---on this subject only I hear you not.
Prepare yourself for the Prince's festival: we have been summoned
thither with unwonted circumstance of honour and of courtesy,
such as the haughty Normans have rarely used to our race since
the fatal day of Hastings. Thither will I go, were it only to
show these proud Normans how little the fate of a son, who could
defeat their bravest, can affect a Saxon.

Thither,said Rowenado I NOT go; and I pray you to beware,
lest what you mean for courage and constancy, shall be accounted
hardness of heart.

Remain at home, then, ungrateful lady,answered Cedric; "thine
is the hard heartwhich can sacrifice the weal of an oppressed
people to an idle and unauthorized attachment. I seek the noble
Athelstaneand with him attend the banquet of John of Anjou."

He went accordingly to the banquetof which we have already
mentioned the principal events. Immediately upon retiring from
the castlethe Saxon thaneswith their attendantstook horse;
and it was during the bustle which attended their doing sothat
Cedricfor the first timecast his eyes upon the deserter
Gurth. The noble Saxon had returned from the banquetas we have
seenin no very placid humourand wanted but a pretext for


wreaking his anger upon some one.

The gyves!he saidthe gyves!---Oswald---Hundibert!---Dogs
and villains!---why leave ye the knave unfettered?

Without daring to remonstratethe companions of Gurth bound him
with a halteras the readiest cord which occurred. He submitted
to the operation without remonstranceexcept thatdarting a
reproachful look at his masterhe saidThis comes of loving
your flesh and blood better than mine own.

To horse, and forward!said Cedric.

It is indeed full time,said the noble Athelstane; "forif we
ride not the fasterthe worthy Abbot Waltheoff's preparations
for a rere-supper*

* A rere-supper was a night-mealand sometimes signified a
* collationwhich was given at a late hourafter the
* regular supper had made its appearance. L. T.
will be altogether spoiled."

The travellershoweverused such speed as to reach the convent
of St Withold's before the apprehended evil took place. The
Abbothimself of ancient Saxon descentreceived the noble
Saxons with the profuse and exuberant hospitality of their
nationwherein they indulged to a lateor rather an early hour;
nor did they take leave of their reverend host the next morning
until they had shared with him a sumptuous refection.

As the cavalcade left the court of the monasteryan incident
happened somewhat alarming to the Saxonswhoof all people of
Europewere most addicted to a superstitious observance of
omensand to whose opinions can be traced most of those notions
upon such subjectsstill to be found among our popular
antiquities. For the Normans being a mixed raceand better
informed according to the information of the timeshad lost most
of the superstitious prejudices which their ancestors had brought
from Scandinaviaand piqued themselves upon thinking freely on
such topics.

In the present instancethe apprehension of impending evil was
inspired by no less respectable a prophet than a large lean black
dogwhichsitting uprighthowled most piteously as the
foremost riders left the gateand presently afterwardsbarking
wildlyand jumping to and froseemed bent upon attaching itself
to the party.

I like not that music, father Cedric,said Athelstane; for by
this title of respect he was accustomed to address him.

Nor I either, uncle,said Wamba; "I greatly fear we shall have
to pay the piper."

In my mind,said Athelstaneupon whose memory the Abbot's good
ale (for Burton was already famous for that genial liquor) had
made a favourable impression---"in my mind we had better turn
backand abide with the Abbot until the afternoon. It is
unlucky to travel where your path is crossed by a monka hare
or a howling doguntil you have eaten your next meal."

Away!said Cedricimpatiently; "the day is already too short
for our journey. For the dogI know it to be the cur of the


runaway slave Gurtha useless fugitive like its master."

So sayingand rising at the same time in his stirrupsimpatient
at the interruption of his journeyhe launched his javelin at
poor Fangs---for Fangs it waswhohaving traced his master thus
far upon his stolen expeditionhad here lost himand was now
in his uncouth wayrejoicing at his reappearance. The javelin
inflicted a wound upon the animal's shoulderand narrowly missed
pinning him to the earth; and Fangs fled howling from the
presence of the enraged thane. Gurth's heart swelled within him;
for he felt this meditated slaughter of his faithful adherent in
a degree much deeper than the harsh treatment he had himself
received. Having in vain attempted to raise his hand to his
eyeshe said to Wambawhoseeing his master's ill humour had
prudently retreated to the rearI pray thee, do me the kindness
to wipe my eyes with the skirt of thy mantle; the dust offends
me, and these bonds will not let me help myself one way or
another.

Wamba did him the service he requiredand they rode side by side
for some timeduring which Gurth maintained a moody silence. At
length he could repress his feelings no longer.

Friend Wamba,said heof all those who are fools enough to
serve Cedric, thou alone hast dexterity enough to make thy folly
acceptable to him. Go to him, therefore, and tell him that
neither for love nor fear will Gurth serve him longer. He may
strike the head from me---he may scourge me---he may load me with
irons---but henceforth he shall never compel me either to love or
to obey him. Go to him, then, and tell him that Gurth the son of
Beowulph renounces his service.

Assuredly,said Wambafool as I am, I shall not do your
fool's errand. Cedric hath another javelin stuck into his
girdle, and thou knowest he does not always miss his mark.

I care not,replied Gurthhow soon he makes a mark of me.
Yesterday he left Wilfred, my young master, in his blood. To-day
he has striven to kill before my face the only other living
creature that ever showed me kindness. By St Edmund, St Dunstan,
St Withold, St Edward the Confessor, and every other Saxon saint
in the calendar,(for Cedric never swore by any that was not of
Saxon lineageand all his household had the same limited
devotion) "I will never forgive him!"

To my thinking now,said the Jesterwho was frequently wont to
act as peace-maker in the familyour master did not propose to
hurt Fangs, but only to affright him. For, if you observed, he
rose in his stirrups, as thereby meaning to overcast the mark;
and so he would have done, but Fangs happening to bound up at the
very moment, received a scratch, which I will be bound to heal
with a penny's breadth of tar.

If I thought so,said Gurth---"if I could but think so---but
no---I saw the javelin was well aimed---I heard it whizz through
the air with all the wrathful malevolence of him who cast itand
it quivered after it had pitched in the groundas if with regret
for having missed its mark. By the hog dear to St AnthonyI
renounce him!"

And the indignant swineherd resumed his sullen silencewhich no
efforts of the Jester could again induce him to break.

Meanwhile Cedric and Athelstanethe leaders of the troop


conversed together on the state of the landon the dissensions
of the royal familyon the feuds and quarrels among the Norman
noblesand on the chance which there was that the oppressed
Saxons might be able to free themselves from the yoke of the
Normansor at least to elevate themselves into national
consequence and independenceduring the civil convulsions which
were likely to ensue. On this subject Cedric was all animation.
The restoration of the independence of his race was the idol of
his heartto which he had willingly sacrificed domestic
happiness and the interests of his own son. Butin order to
achieve this great revolution in favour of the native Englishit
was necessary that they should be united among themselvesand
act under an acknowledged head. The necessity of choosing their
chief from the Saxon blood-royal was not only evident in itself
but had been made a solemn condition by those whom Cedric had
intrusted with his secret plans and hopes. Athelstane had this
quality at least; and though he had few mental accomplishments or
talents to recommend him as a leaderhe had still a goodly
personwas no cowardhad been accustomed to martial exercises
and seemed willing to defer to the advice of counsellors more
wise than himself. Above allhe was known to be liberal and
hospitableand believed to be good-natured. But whatever
pretensions Athelstane had to be considered as head of the Saxon
confederacymany of that nation were disposed to prefer to the
title of the Lady Rowenawho drew her descent from Alfredand
whose father having been a chief renowned for wisdomcourage
and generosityhis memory was highly honoured by his oppressed
countrymen.

It would have been no difficult thing for Cedrichad he been so
disposedto have placed himself at the head of a third partyas
formidable at least as any of the others. To counterbalance
their royal descenthe had courageactivityenergyandabove
allthat devoted attachment to the cause which had procured him
the epithet of The Saxonand his birth was inferior to none
excepting only that of Athelstane and his ward. These qualities
howeverwere unalloyed by the slightest shade of selfishness;
andinstead of dividing yet farther his weakened nation by
forming a faction of his ownit was a leading part of Cedric's
plan to extinguish that which already existedby promoting a
marriage betwixt Rowena and Athelstane. An obstacle occurred to
this his favourite projectin the mutual attachment of his ward
and his son and hence the original cause of the banishment of
Wilfred from the house of his father.

This stern measure Cedric had adoptedin hopes thatduring
Wilfred's absenceRowena might relinquish her preferencebut in
this hope he was disappointed; a disappointment which might be
attributed in part to the mode in which his ward had been
educated. Cedricto whom the name of Alfred was as that of a
deityhad treated the sole remaining scion of that great monarch
with a degree of observancesuch asperhapswas in those days
scarce paid to an acknowledged princess. Rowena's will had been
in almost all cases a law to his household; and Cedric himself
as if determined that her sovereignty should be fully
acknowledged within that little circle at leastseemed to take a
pride in acting as the first of her subjects. Thus trained in
the exercise not only of free willbut despotic authority
Rowena wasby her previous educationdisposed both to resist
and to resent any attempt to control her affectionsor dispose
of her hand contrary to her inclinationsand to assert her
independence in a case in which even those females who have been
trained up to obedience and subjectionare not infrequently apt
to dispute the authority of guardians and parents. The opinions


which she felt stronglyshe avowed boldly; and Cedricwho could
not free himself from his habitual deference to her opinions
felt totally at a loss how to enforce his authority of guardian.

It was in vain that he attempted to dazzle her with the prospect
of a visionary throne. Rowenawho possessed strong sense
neither considered his plan as practicablenor as desirableso
far as she was concernedcould it have been achieved. Without
attempting to conceal her avowed preference of Wilfred of
Ivanhoeshe declared thatwere that favoured knight out of
questionshe would rather take refuge in a conventthan share a
throne with Athelstanewhomhaving always despisedshe now
beganon account of the trouble she received on his account
thoroughly to detest.

NeverthelessCedricwhose opinions of women's constancy was far
from strongpersisted in using every means in his power to bring
about the proposed matchin which he conceived he was rendering
an important service to the Saxon cause. The sudden and romantic
appearance of his son in the lists at Ashbyhe had justly
regarded as almost a death's blow to his hopes. His paternal
affectionit is truehad for an instant gained the victory over
pride and patriotism; but both had returned in full forceand
under their joint operationhe was now bent upon making a
determined effort for the union of Athelstane and Rowena
together with expediting those other measures which seemed
necessary to forward the restoration of Saxon independence.

On this last subjecthe was now labouring with Athelstanenot
without having reasonevery now and thento lamentlike
Hotspurthat he should have moved such a dish of skimmed milk to
so honourable an action. Athelstaneit is truewas vain
enoughand loved to have his ears tickled with tales of his high
descentand of his right by inheritance to homage and
sovereignty. But his petty vanity was sufficiently gratified by
receiving this homage at the hands of his immediate attendants
and of the Saxons who approached him. If he had the courage to
encounter dangerhe at least hated the trouble of going to seek
it; and while he agreed in the general principles laid down by
Cedric concerning the claim of the Saxons to independenceand
was still more easily convinced of his own title to reign over
them when that independence should be attainedyet when the
means of asserting these rights came to be discussedhe was
still "Athelstane the Unready slow, irresolute,
procrastinating, and unenterprising. The warm and impassioned
exhortations of Cedric had as little effect upon his impassive
temper, as red-hot balls alighting in the water, which produce a
little sound and smoke, and are instantly extinguished.

If, leaving this task, which might be compared to spurring a
tired jade, or to hammering upon cold iron, Cedric fell back to
his ward Rowena, he received little more satisfaction from
conferring with her. For, as his presence interrupted the
discourse between the lady and her favourite attendant upon the
gallantry and fate of Wilfred, Elgitha, failed not to revenge
both her mistress and herself, by recurring to the overthrow of
Athelstane in the lists, the most disagreeable subject which
could greet the ears of Cedric. To this sturdy Saxon, therefore,
the day's journey was fraught with all manner of displeasure and
discomfort; so that he more than once internally cursed the
tournament, and him who had proclaimed it, together with his own
folly in ever thinking of going thither.

At noon, upon the motion of Athelstane, the travellers paused in


a woodland shade by a fountain, to repose their horses and
partake of some provisions, with which the hospitable Abbot had
loaded a sumpter mule. Their repast was a pretty long one; and
these several interruptions rendered it impossible for them to
hope to reach Rotherwood without travelling all night, a
conviction which induced them to proceed on their way at a more
hasty pace than they had hitherto used.


CHAPTER XIX


A train of armed men, some noble dame
Escorting, (so their scatter'd words discover'd,
As unperceived I hung upon their rear,)
Are close at hand, and mean to pass the night
Within the castle.


Orra, a Tragedy

The travellers had now reached the verge of the wooded country,
and were about to plunge into its recesses, held dangerous at
that time from the number of outlaws whom oppression and poverty
had driven to despair, and who occupied the forests in such large
bands as could easily bid defiance to the feeble police of the
period. From these rovers, however, notwithstanding the lateness
of the hour Cedric and Athelstane accounted themselves secure, as
they had in attendance ten servants, besides Wamba and Gurth,
whose aid could not be counted upon, the one being a jester and
the other a captive. It may be added, that in travelling thus
late through the forest, Cedric and Athelstane relied on their
descent and character, as well as their courage. The outlaws,
whom the severity of the forest laws had reduced to this roving
and desperate mode of life, were chiefly peasants and yeomen of
Saxon descent, and were generally supposed to respect the persons
and property of their countrymen.

As the travellers journeyed on their way, they were alarmed by
repeated cries for assistance; and when they rode up to the place
from whence they came, they were surprised to find a horse-litter
placed upon the ground, beside which sat a young woman, richly
dressed in the Jewish fashion, while an old man, whose yellow cap
proclaimed him to belong to the same nation, walked up and down
with gestures expressive of the deepest despair, and wrung his
hands, as if affected by some strange disaster.

To the enquiries of Athelstane and Cedric, the old Jew could for
some time only answer by invoking the protection of all the
patriarchs of the Old Testament successively against the sons of
Ishmael, who were coming to smite them, hip and thigh, with the
edge of the sword. When he began to come to himself out of this
agony of terror, Isaac of York (for it was our old friend) was at
length able to explain, that he had hired a body-guard of six men
at Ashby, together with mules for carrying the litter of a sick
friend. This party had undertaken to escort him as far as
Doncaster. They had come thus far in safety; but having received
information from a wood-cutter that there was a strong band of
outlaws lying in wait in the woods before them, Isaac's
mercenaries had not only taken flight, but had carried off with
them the horses which bore the litter and left the Jew and his
daughter without the means either of defence or of retreat, to be
plundered, and probably murdered, by the banditti, who they


expected every moment would bring down upon them. Would it but
please your valours added Isaac, in a tone of deep humiliation,
to permit the poor Jews to travel under your safeguardI swear
by the tables of our lawthat never has favour been conferred
upon a child of Israel since the days of our captivitywhich
shall be more gratefully acknowledged."

Dog of a Jew!said Athelstanewhose memory was of that petty
kind which stores up trifles of all kindsbut particularly
trifling offencesdost not remember how thou didst beard us in
the gallery at the tilt-yard? Fight or flee, or compound with
the outlaws as thou dost list, ask neither aid nor company from
us; and if they rob only such as thee, who rob all the world, I,
for mine own share, shall hold them right honest folk.

Cedric did not assent to the severe proposal of his companion.
We shall do better,said beto leave them two of our
attendants and two horses to convey them back to the next
village. It will diminish our strength but little; and with your
good sword, noble Athelstane, and the aid of those who remain, it
will be light work for us to face twenty of those runagates.

Rowenasomewhat alarmed by the mention of outlaws in forceand
so near themstrongly seconded the proposal of her guardian.
But Rebecca suddenly quitting her dejected postureand making
her way through the attendants to the palfrey of the Saxon lady
knelt downandafter the Oriental fashion in addressing
superiorskissed the hem of Rowena's garment. Then risingand
throwing back her veilshe implored her in the great name of the
God whom they both worshippedand by that revelation of the Law
upon Mount Sinaiin which they both believedthat she would
have compassion upon themand suffer them to go forward under
their safeguard. "It is not for myself that I pray this favour
said Rebecca; nor is it even for that poor old man. I know
that to wrong and to spoil our nation is a light faultif not a
meritwith the Christians; and what is it to us whether it be
done in the cityin the desertor in the field? But it is in
the name of one dear to manyand dear even to youthat I
beseech you to let this sick person be transported with care and
tenderness under your protection. Forif evil chance himthe
last moment of your life would be embittered with regret for
denying that which I ask of you."

The noble and solemn air with which Rebecca made this appeal
gave it double weight with the fair Saxon.

The man is old and feeble,she said to her guardianthe
maiden young and beautiful, their friend sick and in peril of his
life---Jews though they be, we cannot as Christians leave them in
this extremity. Let them unload two of the sumpter-mules, and
put the baggage behind two of the serfs. The mules may transport
the litter, and we have led horses for the old man and his
daughter.

Cedric readily assented to what she proposedand Athelstane only
added the conditionthat they should travel in the rear of the
whole party, where Wamba,he saidmight attend them with his
shield of boar's brawn.

I have left my shield in the tilt-yard,answered the Jester
as has been the fate of many a better knight than myself.

Athelstane coloured deeplyfor such had been his own fate on the
last day of the tournament; while Rowenawho was pleased in the


same proportionas if to make amends for the brutal jest of her
unfeeling suitorrequested Rebecca to ride by her side.

It were not fit I should do so,answered Rebeccawith proud
humilitywhere my society might be held a disgrace to my
protectress.

By this time the change of baggage was hastily achieved; for the
single word "outlaws" rendered every one sufficiently alertand
the approach of twilight made the sound yet more impressive.
Amid the bustleGurth was taken from horsebackin the course of
which removal he prevailed upon the Jester to slack the cord with
which his arms were bound. It was so negligently refastened
perhaps intentionallyon the part of Wambathat Gurth found no
difficulty in freeing his arms altogether from bondageand then
gliding into the thickethe made his escape from the party.

The bustle had been considerableand it was some time before
Gurth was missed; foras he was to be placed for the rest of the
journey behind a servantevery one supposed that some other of
his companions had him under his custodyand when it began to be
whispered among them that Gurth had actually disappearedthey
were under such immediate expectation of an attack from the
outlawsthat it was not held convenient to pay much attention
to the circumstance.

The path upon which the party travelled was now so narrowas not
to admitwith any sort of convenienceabove two riders abreast
and began to descend into a dingletraversed by a brook whose
banks were brokenswampyand overgrown with dwarf willows.
Cedric and Athelstanewho were at the head of their retinuesaw
the risk of being attacked at this pass; but neither of them
having had much practice in warno better mode of preventing the
danger occurred to them than that they should hasten through the
defile as fast as possible. Advancingthereforewithout much
orderthey had just crossed the brook with a part of their
followerswhen they were assailed in frontflankand rear at
oncewith an impetuosity to whichin their confused and
ill-prepared conditionit was impossible to offer effectual
resistance. The shout of "A white dragon!---a white dragon!
---Saint George for merry England!" war-cries adopted by the
assailantsas belonging to their assumed character of Saxon
outlawswas heard on every sideand on every side enemies
appeared with a rapidity of advance and attack which seemed to
multiply their numbers.

Both the Saxon chiefs were made prisoners at the same momentand
each under circumstances expressive of his character. Cedric
the instant that an enemy appearedlaunched at him his remaining
javelinwhichtaking better effect than that which he had
hurled at Fangsnailed the man against an oak-tree that happened
to be close behind him. Thus far successfulCedric spurred his
horse against a seconddrawing his sword at the same timeand
striking with such inconsiderate furythat his weapon
encountered a thick branch which hung over himand he was
disarmed by the violence of his own blow. He was instantly made
prisonerand pulled from his horse by two or three of the
banditti who crowded around him. Athelstane shared his
captivityhis bridle having been seizedand he himself forcibly
dismountedlong before he could draw his weaponor assume any
posture of effectual defence.

The attendantsembarrassed with baggagesurprised and terrified
at the fate of their mastersfell an easy prey to the


assailants; while the Lady Rowenain the centre of the
cavalcadeand the Jew and his daughter in the rearexperienced
the same misfortune.

Of all the train none escaped except Wambawho showed upon the
occasion much more courage than those who pretended to greater
sense. He possessed himself of a sword belonging to one of the
domesticswho was just drawing it with a tardy and irresolute
handlaid it about him like a liondrove back several who
approached himand made a brave though ineffectual attempt to
succour his master. Finding himself overpoweredthe Jester at
length threw himself from his horseplunged into the thicket
andfavoured by the general confusionescaped from the scene of
action. Yet the valiant Jesteras soon as he found himself
safehesitated more than once whether he should not turn back
and share the captivity of a master to whom he was sincerely
attached.

I have heard men talk of the blessings of freedom,he said to
himselfbut I wish any wise man would teach me what use to make
of it now that I have it.

As he pronounced these words alouda voice very near him called
out in a low and cautious toneWamba!andat the same timea
dogwhich he recognised to be Fangsjumped up and fawned upon
him. "Gurth!" answered Wambawith the same cautionand the
swineherd immediately stood before him.

What is the matter?said he eagerly; "what mean these cries
and that clashing of swords?"

Only a trick of the times,said Wamba; "they are all
prisoners."

Who are prisoners?exclaimed Gurthimpatiently.

My lord, and my lady, and Athelstane, and Hundibert, and
Oswald.

In the name of God!said Gurthhow came they prisoners?
---and to whom?

Our master was too ready to fight,said the Jester; "and
Athelstane was not ready enoughand no other person was ready at
all. And they are prisoners to green cassocksand black visors.
And they lie all tumbled about on the greenlike the crab-apples
that you shake down to your swine. And I would laugh at it
said the honest Jester, if I could for weeping." And he shed
tears of unfeigned sorrow.

Gurth's countenance kindled---"Wamba he said, thou hast a
weaponand thy heart was ever stronger than thy brain---we are
only two---but a sudden attack from men of resolution will do
much---follow me!"

Whither?---and for what purpose?said the Jester.

To rescue Cedric.

But you have renounced his service but now,said Wamba.

That,said Gurthwas but while he was fortunate---follow me!

As the Jester was about to obeya third person suddenly made his


appearanceand commanded them both to halt. From his dress and
armsWamba would have conjectured him to be one of those outlaws
who had just assailed his master; butbesides that he wore no
maskthe glittering baldric across his shoulderwith the rich
bugle-horn which it supportedas well as the calm and commanding
expression of his voice and mannermade himnotwithstanding
the twilightrecognise Locksley the yeomanwho had been
victoriousunder such disadvantageous circumstancesin the
contest for the prize of archery.

What is the meaning of all this,said heor who is it that
rifle, and ransom, and make prisoners, in these forests?

You may look at their cassocks close by,said Wambaand see
whether they be thy children's coats or no---for they are as like
thine own, as one green pea-cod is to another.

I will learn that presently,answered Locksley; "and I charge
yeon peril of your livesnot to stir from the place where ye
standuntil I have returned. Obey meand it shall be the
better for you and your masters.---Yet stayI must render
myself as like these men as possible."

So saying he unbuckled his baldric with the bugletook a
feather from his capand gave them to Wamba; then drew a vizard
from his pouchandrepeating his charges to them to stand fast
went to execute his purposes of reconnoitring.

Shall we stand fast, Gurth?said Wamba; "or shall we e'en give
him leg-bail? In my foolish mindhe had all the equipage of a
thief too much in readinessto be himself a true man."

Let him be the devil,said Gurthan he will. We can be no
worse of waiting his return. If he belong to that party, he must
already have given them the alarm, and it will avail nothing
either to fight or fly. Besides, I have late experience, that
errant thieves are not the worst men in the world to have to deal
with.

The yeoman returned in the course of a few minutes.

Friend Gurth,he saidI have mingled among yon men, and have
learnt to whom they belong, and whither they are bound. There
is, I think, no chance that they will proceed to any actual
violence against their prisoners. For three men to attempt them
at this moment, were little else than madness; for they are good
men of war, and have, as such, placed sentinels to give the alarm
when any one approaches. But I trust soon to gather such a
force, as may act in defiance of all their precautions; you are
both servants, and, as I think, faithful servants, of Cedric the
Saxon, the friend of the rights of Englishmen. He shall not want
English hands to help him in this extremity. Come then with me,
until I gather more aid.

So sayinghe walked through the wood at a great pacefollowed
by the jester and the swineherd. It was not consistent with
Wamba's humour to travel long in silence.

I think,said helooking at the baldric and bugle which he
still carriedthat I saw the arrow shot which won this gay
prize, and that not so long since as Christmas.

And I,said Gurthcould take it on my halidome, that I have
heard the voice of the good yeoman who won it, by night as well


as by day, and that the moon is not three days older since I
did so.


Mine honest friends,replied the yeomanwho, or what I am, is
little to the present purpose; should I free your master, you
will have reason to think me the best friend you have ever had
in your lives. And whether I am known by one name or another
---or whether I can draw a bow as well or better than a
cow-keeper, or whether it is my pleasure to walk in sunshine or
by moonlight, are matters, which, as they do not concern you, so
neither need ye busy yourselves respecting them.


Our heads are in the lion's mouth,said Wambain a whisper to
Gurthget them out how we can.


Hush---be silent,said Gurth. "Offend him not by thy folly
and I trust sincerely that all will go well."


CHAPTER XX


When autumn nights were long and drear
And forest walks were dark and dim
How sweetly on the pilgrim's ear
Was wont to steal the hermit's hymn


Devotion borrows Music's tone
And Music took Devotion's wing;
Andlike the bird that hails the sun
They soar to heavenand soaring sing.


The Hermit of St Clement's Well

It was after three hours' good walking that the servants of
Cedricwith their mysterious guidearrived at a small opening
in the forestin the centre of which grew an oak-tree of
enormous magnitudethrowing its twisted branches in every
direction. Beneath this tree four or five yeomen lay stretched
on the groundwhile anotheras sentinelwalked to and fro in
the moonlight shade.

Upon hearing the sound of feet approachingthe watch instantly
gave the alarmand the sleepers as suddenly started up and bent
their bows. Six arrows placed on the string were pointed
towards the quarter from which the travellers approachedwhen
their guidebeing recognisedwas welcomed with every token of
respect and attachmentand all signs and fears of a rough
reception at once subsided.

Where is the Miller?was his first question.

On the road towards Rotherham.

With how many?demanded the leaderfor such he seemed to be.

With six men, and good hope of booty, if it please St Nicholas.

Devoutly spoken,said Locksley; "and where is Allan-a-Dale?"

Walked up towards the Watling-street, to watch for the Prior of
Jorvaulx.


That is well thought on also,replied the Captain;---"and where
is the Friar?"

In his cell.

Thither will I go,said Locksley. "Disperse and seek your
companions. Collect what force you canfor there's game afoot
that must be hunted hardand will turn to bay. Meet me here by
daybreak.---And stay he added, I have forgotten what is most
necessary of the whole---Two of you take the road quickly towards
Torquilstonethe Castle of Front-de-Boeuf. A set of gallants
who have been masquerading in such guise as our ownare carrying
a band of prisoners thither---Watch them closelyfor even if
they reach the castle before we collect our forceour honour is
concerned to punish themand we will find means to do so. Keep
a close watch on them therefore; and dispatch one of your
comradesthe lightest of footto bring the news of the yeomen
thereabout."

They promised implicit obedienceand departed with alacrity on
their different errands. In the meanwhiletheir leader and his
two companionswho now looked upon him with great respectas
well as some fearpursued their way to the Chapel of
Copmanhurst.

When they had reached the little moonlight gladehaving in front
the reverendthough ruinous chapeland the rude hermitageso
well suited to ascetic devotionWamba whispered to GurthIf
this be the habitation of a thief, it makes good the old proverb,
The nearer the church the farther from God.---And by my
coxcomb,he addedI think it be even so---Hearken but to the
black sanctus which they are singing in the hermitage!

In fact the anchorite and his guest were performingat the full
extent of their very powerful lungsan old drinking songof
which this was the burden:--


Come, trowl the brown bowl to me,
Bully boy, bully boy,
Come, trowl the brown bowl to me:
Ho! jolly Jenkin, I spy a knave in drinking,
Come, trowl the brown bowl to me.


Now, that is not ill sung,said Wambawho had thrown in a few
of his own flourishes to help out the chorus. "But whoin the
saint's nameever expected to have heard such a jolly chant come
from out a hermit's cell at midnight!"

Marry, that should I,said Gurthfor the jolly Clerk of
Copmanhurst is a known man, and kills half the deer that are
stolen in this walk. Men say that the keeper has complained to
his official, and that he will be stripped of his cowl and cope
altogether, if he keeps not better order.

While they were thus speakingLocksley's loud and repeated
knocks had at length disturbed the anchorite and his guest.
By my beads,said the hermitstopping short in a grand
flourishhere come more benighted guests. I would not for my
cowl that they found us in this goodly exercise. All men have
their enemies, good Sir Sluggard; and there be those malignant
enough to construe the hospitable refreshment which I have been
offering to you, a weary traveller, for the matter of three short
hours, into sheer drunkenness and debauchery, vices alike alien
to my profession and my disposition.


Base calumniators!replied the knight; "I would I had the
chastising of them. NeverthelessHoly Clerkit is true that
all have their enemies; and there be those in this very land whom
I would rather speak to through the bars of my helmet than
barefaced."

Get thine iron pot on thy head then, friend Sluggard, as quickly
as thy nature will permit,said the hermitwhile I remove
these pewter flagons, whose late contents run strangely in mine
own pate; and to drown the clatter---for, in faith, I feel
somewhat unsteady---strike into the tune which thou hearest me
sing; it is no matter for the words---I scarce know them myself.

So sayinghe struck up a thundering "De profundis clamavi"
under cover of which he removed the apparatus of their banquet:
while the knightlaughing heartilyand arming himself all the
whileassisted his host with his voice from time to time as his
mirth permitted.

What devil's matins are you after at this hour?said a voice
from without.

Heaven forgive you, Sir Traveller!said the hermitwhose own
noiseand perhaps his nocturnal potationsprevented from
recognising accents which were tolerably familiar to him---"Wend
on your wayin the name of God and Saint Dunstanand disturb
not the devotions of me and my holy brother."

Mad priest,answered the voice from withoutopen to
Locksley!

All's safe---all's right,said the hermit to his companion.

But who is he?said the Black Knight; "it imports me much to
know."

Who is he?answered the hermit; "I tell thee he is a friend."

But what friend?answered the knight; "for he may be friend to
thee and none of mine?"

What friend?replied the hermit; "thatnowis one of the
questions that is more easily asked than answered. What friend?
---whyhe isnow that I bethink me a littlethe very same
honest keeper I told thee of a while since."

Ay, as honest a keeper as thou art a pious hermit,replied the
knightI doubt it not. But undo the door to him before he beat
it from its hinges.

The dogsin the meantimewhich had made a dreadful baying at
the commencement of the disturbanceseemed now to recognise the
voice of him who stood without; fortotally changing their
mannerthey scratched and whined at the dooras if interceding
for his admission. The hermit speedily unbolted his portaland
admitted Locksleywith his two companions.

Why, hermit,was the yeoman's first question as soon as he
beheld the knightwhat boon companion hast thou here?

A brother of our order,replied the friarshaking his head;
we have been at our orisons all night.


He is a monk of the church militant, I think,answered
Locksley; "and there be more of them abroad. I tell theefriar
thou must lay down the rosary and take up the quarter-staff; we
shall need every one of our merry menwhether clerk or layman.
---But he added, taking him a step aside, art thou mad? to
give admittance to a knight thou dost not know? Hast thou forgot
our articles?"

Not know him!replied the friarboldlyI know him as well as
the beggar knows his dish.

And what is his name, then?demanded Locksley.

His name,said the hermit---"his name is Sir Anthony of
Scrabelstone---as if I would drink with a manand did not know
his name!"

Thou hast been drinking more than enough, friar,said the
woodsmanand, I fear, prating more than enough too.

Good yeoman,said the knightcoming forwardbe not wroth
with my merry host. He did but afford me the hospitality which I
would have compelled from him if he had refused it.

Thou compel!said the friar; "wait but till have changed this
grey gown for a green cassockand if I make not a quarter-staff
ring twelve upon thy pateI am neither true clerk nor good
woodsman."

While he spoke thushe stript off his gownand appeared in a
close black buckram doublet and drawersover which he speedily
did on a cassock of greenand hose of the same colour. "I pray
thee truss my points said he to Wamba, and thou shalt have a
cup of sack for thy labour."

Gramercy for thy sack,said Wamba; "but think'st thou it is
lawful for me to aid you to transmew thyself from a holy hermit
into a sinful forester?"

Never fear,said the hermit; "I will but confess the sins of my
green cloak to my greyfriar's frockand all shall be well
again."

Amen!answered the Jester; "a broadcloth penitent should have a
sackcloth confessorand your frock may absolve my motley doublet
into the bargain."

So sayinghe accommodated the friar with his assistance in tying
the endless number of pointsas the laces which attached the
hose to the doublet were then termed.

While they were thus employedLocksley led the knight a little
apartand addressed him thus:---"Deny it notSir Knight---you
are he who decided the victory to the advantage of the English
against the strangers on the second day of the tournament at
Ashby."

And what follows if you guess truly, good yeoman?replied the
knight.

I should in that case hold you,replied the yeomana friend
to the weaker party.

Such is the duty of a true knight at least,replied the Black


Champion; "and I would not willingly that there were reason to
think otherwise of me."

But for my purpose,said the yeomanthou shouldst be as well
a good Englishman as a good knight; for that, which I have to
speak of, concerns, indeed, the duty of every honest man, but is
more especially that of a true-born native of England.

You can speak to no one,replied the knightto whom England,
and the life of every Englishman, can be dearer than to me.

I would willingly believe so,said the woodsmanfor never had
this country such need to be supported by those who love her.
Hear me, and I will tell thee of an enterprise, in which, if thou
be'st really that which thou seemest, thou mayst take an
honourable part. A band of villains, in the disguise of better
men than themselves, have made themselves master of the person of
a noble Englishman, called Cedric the Saxon, together with his
ward, and his friend Athelstane of Coningsburgh, and have
transported them to a castle in this forest, called Torquilstone.
I ask of thee, as a good knight and a good Englishman, wilt thou
aid in their rescue?

I am bound by my vow to do so,replied the knight; "but I would
willingly know who you arewho request my assistance in their
behalf?"

I am,said the forestera nameless man; but I am the friend
of my country, and of my country's friends---With this account of
me you must for the present remain satisfied, the more especially
since you yourself desire to continue unknown. Believe, however,
that my word, when pledged, is as inviolate as if I wore golden
spurs.

I willingly believe it,said the knight; "I have been
accustomed to study men's countenancesand I can read in thine
honesty and resolution. I willthereforeask thee no further
questionsbut aid thee in setting at freedom these oppressed
captives; which doneI trust we shall part better acquainted
and well satisfied with each other."

So,said Wamba to Gurth---for the friar being now fully
equippedthe Jesterhaving approached to the other side of the
huthad heard the conclusion of the conversation---"So we have
got a new ally ?---l trust the valour of the knight will be truer
metal than the religion of the hermitor the honesty of the
yeoman; for this Locksley looks like a born deer-stealerand the
priest like a lusty hypocrite."

Hold thy peace, Wamba,said Gurth; "it may all be as thou dost
guess; but were the horned devil to rise and proffer me his
assistance to set at liberty Cedric and the Lady RowenaI fear I
should hardly have religion enough to refuse the foul fiend's
offerand bid him get behind me."

The friar was now completely accoutred as a yeomanwith sword
and bucklerbowand quiverand a strong partisan over his
shoulder. He left his cell at the head of the partyandhaving
carefully locked the doordeposited the key under the threshold.

Art thou in condition to do good service, friar,said Locksley
or does the brown bowl still run in thy head?

Not more than a drought of St Dunstan's fountain will allay,


answered the priest; "something there is of a whizzing in my
brainand of instability in my legsbut you shall presently see
both pass away."

So sayinghe stepped to the stone basinin which the waters of
the fountain as they fell formed bubbles which danced in the
white moonlightand took so long a drought as if he had meant to
exhaust the spring.

When didst thou drink as deep a drought of water before, Holy
Clerk of Copmanhurst?said the Black Knight.

Never since my wine-but leaked, and let out its liquor by an
illegal vent,replied the friarand so left me nothing to
drink but my patron's bounty here.

Then plunging his hands and head into the fountainhe washed
from them all marks of the midnight revel.

Thus refreshed and soberedthe jolly priest twirled his heavy
partisan round his head with three fingersas if he had been
balancing a reedexclaiming at the same timeWhere be those
false ravishers, who carry off wenches against their will? May
the foul fiend fly off with me, if I am not man enough for a
dozen of them.

Swearest thou, Holy Clerk?said the Black Knight.

Clerk me no Clerks,replied the transformed priest; "by Saint
George and the DragonI am no longer a shaveling than while my
frock is on my back---When I am cased in my green cassockI
will drinkswearand woo a lasswith any blithe forester in
the West Riding."

Come on, Jack Priest,said Locksleyand be silent; thou art
as noisy as a whole convent on a holy eve, when the Father Abbot
has gone to bed.---Come on you, too, my masters, tarry not to
talk of it---I say, come on, we must collect all our forces, and
few enough we shall have, if we are to storm the Castle of
Reginald Front-de-Boeuf.

What! is it Front-de-Boeuf,said the Black Knightwho has
stopt on the king's highway the king's liege subjects?---Is he
turned thief and oppressor?

Oppressor he ever was,said Locksley.

And for thief,said the priestI doubt if ever he were even
half so honest a man as many a thief of my acquaintance.

Move on, priest, and be silent,said the yeoman; "it were
better you led the way to the place of rendezvousthan say what
should be left unsaidboth in decency and prudence."

CHAPTER XXI

Alashow many hours and years have past
Since human forms have round this table sate
Or lampor taperon its surface gleam'd!
MethinksI hear the sound of time long pass'd


Still murmuring o'er usin the lofty void
Of these dark archeslike the ling'ring voices
Of those who long within their graves have slept.

Orraa Tragedy

While these measures were taking in behalf of Cedric and his
companionsthe armed men by whom the latter had been seized
hurried their captives along towards the place of securitywhere
they intended to imprison them. But darkness came on fastand
the paths of the wood seemed but imperfectly known to the
marauders. They were compelled to make several long haltsand
once or twice to return on their road to resume the direction
which they wished to pursue. The summer morn had dawned upon
them ere they could travel in full assurance that they held the
right path. But confidence returned with lightand the
cavalcade now moved rapidly forward. Meanwhilethe following
dialogue took place between the two leaders of the banditti.

It is time thou shouldst leave us, Sir Maurice,said the
Templar to De Bracyin order to prepare the second part of thy
mystery. Thou art next, thou knowest, to act the Knight
Deliverer.

I have thought better of it,said De Bracy; "I will not leave
thee till the prize is fairly deposited in Front-de-Boeuf's
castle. There will I appear before the Lady Rowena in mine own
shapeand trust that she will set down to the vehemence of my
passion the violence of which I have been guilty."

And what has made thee change thy plan, De Bracy?replied the
Knight Templar.

That concerns thee nothing,answered his companion.

I would hope, however, Sir Knight,said the Templarthat this
alteration of measures arises from no suspicion of my honourable
meaning, such as Fitzurse endeavoured to instil into thee?

My thoughts are my own,answered De Bracy; "the fiend laughs
they saywhen one thief robs another; and we knowthat were he
to spit fire and brimstone insteadit would never prevent a
Templar from following his bent."

Or the leader of a Free Company,answered the Templarfrom
dreading at the hands of a comrade and friend, the injustice he
does to all mankind.

This is unprofitable and perilous recrimination,answered De
Bracy; "suffice it to sayI know the morals of the Temple-Order
and I will not give thee the power of cheating me out of the fair
prey for which I have run such risks."

Psha,replied the Templarwhat hast thou to fear?---Thou
knowest the vows of our order.

Right well,said De Bracyand also how they are kept. Come,
Sir Templar, the laws of gallantry have a liberal interpretation
in Palestine, and this is a case in which I will trust nothing to
your conscience.

Hear the truth, then,said the Templar; "I care not for your
blue-eyed beauty. There is in that train one who will make me a
better mate."


What! wouldst thou stoop to the waiting damsel?said De Bracy.

No, Sir Knight,said the Templarhaughtily. "To the
waiting-woman will I not stoop. I have a prize among the
captives as lovely as thine own."

By the mass, thou meanest the fair Jewess!said De Bracy.

And if I do,said Bois-Guilbertwho shall gainsay me?

No one that I know,said De Bracyunless it be your vow of
celibacy, or a cheek of conscience for an intrigue with a
Jewess.

For my vow,said the Templarour Grand Master hath granted me
a dispensation. And for my conscience, a man that has slain
three hundred Saracens, need not reckon up every little failing,
like a village girl at her first confession upon Good Friday
eve.

Thou knowest best thine own privileges,said De Bracy. "YetI
would have sworn thy thought had been more on the old usurer's
money bagsthan on the black eyes of the daughter."

I can admire both,answered the Templar; "besidesthe old Jew
is but half-prize. I must share his spoils with Front-de-Boeuf
who will not lend us the use of his castle for nothing. I must
have something that I can term exclusively my own by this foray
of oursand I have fixed on the lovely Jewess as my peculiar
prize. Butnow thou knowest my driftthou wilt resume thine
own original planwilt thou not?---Thou hast nothingthou
seestto fear from my interference."

No,replied De BracyI will remain beside my prize. What
thou sayst is passing true, but I like not the privileges
acquired by the dispensation of the Grand Master, and the merit
acquired by the slaughter of three hundred Saracens. You have
too good a right to a free pardon, to render you very scrupulous
about peccadilloes.

While this dialogue was proceedingCedric was endeavouring to
wring out of those who guarded him an avowal of their character
and purpose. "You should be Englishmen said he; and yet
sacred Heaven! you prey upon your countrymen as if you were very
Normans. You should be my neighboursandif somy friends;
for which of my English neighbours have reason to be otherwise?
I tell yeyeomenthat even those among ye who have been branded
with outlawry have had from me protection; for I have pitied
their miseriesand curst the oppression of their tyrannic
nobles. Whatthenwould you have of me? or in what can this
violence serve ye?---Ye are worse than brute beasts in your
actionsand will you imitate them in their very dumbness?"

It was in vain that Cedric expostulated with his guardswho had
too many good reasons for their silence to be induced to break it
either by his wrath or his expostulations. They continued to
hurry him alongtravelling at a very rapid rateuntilat the
end of an avenue of huge treesarose Torquilstonenow the hoary
and ancient castle of Reginald Front-de-Boeuf. It was a fortress
of no great sizeconsisting of a donjonor large and high
square towersurrounded by buildings of inferior heightwhich
were encircled by an inner court-yard. Around the exterior wall
was a deep moatsupplied with water from a neighbouring rivulet.


Front-de-Boeufwhose character placed him often at feud with his
enemieshad made considerable additions to the strength of his
castleby building towers upon the outward wallso as to flank
it at every angle. The accessas usual in castles of the
periodlay through an arched barbicanor outworkwhich was
terminated and defended by a small turret at each corner.

Cedric no sooner saw the turrets of Front-de-Boeuf's castle raise
their grey and moss-grown battlementsglimmering in the morning
sun above the wood by which they were surroundedthan he
instantly augured more truly concerning the cause of his
misfortune.

I did injustice,he saidto the thieves and outlaws of these
woods, when I supposed such banditti to belong to their bands; I
might as justly have confounded the foxes of these brakes with
the ravening wolves of France. Tell me, dogs---is it my life or
my wealth that your master aims at? Is it too much that two
Saxons, myself and the noble Athelstane, should hold land in the
country which was once the patrimony of our race?---Put us then
to death, and complete your tyranny by taking our lives, as you
began with our liberties. If the Saxon Cedric cannot rescue
England, he is willing to die for her. Tell your tyrannical
master, I do only beseech him to dismiss the Lady Rowena in
honour and safety. She is a woman, and he need not dread her;
and with us will die all who dare fight in her cause.

The attendants remained as mute to this address as to the former
and they now stood before the gate of the castle. De Bracy
winded his horn three timesand the archers and cross-bow men
who had manned the wall upon seeing their approachhastened to
lower the drawbridgeand admit them. The prisoners were
compelled by their guards to alightand were conducted to an
apartment where a hasty repast was offered themof which none
but Athelstane felt any inclination to partake. Neither had the
descendant of the Confessor much time to do justice to the good
cheer placed before themfor their guards gave him and Cedric to
understand that they were to be imprisoned in a chamber apart
from Rowena. Resistance was vain; and they were compelled to
follow to a large roomwhichrising on clumsy Saxon pillars
resembled those refectories and chapter-houses which may be still
seen in the most ancient parts of our most ancient monasteries.

The Lady Rowena was next separated from her trainand conducted
with courtesyindeedbut still without consulting her
inclinationto a distant apartment. The same alarming
distinction was conferred on Rebeccain spite of her father's
entreatieswho offered even moneyin this extremity of
distressthat she might be permitted to abide with him. "Base
unbeliever answered one of his guards, when thou hast seen thy
lairthou wilt not wish thy daughter to partake it." And
without farther discussionthe old Jew was forcibly dragged off
in a different direction from the other prisoners. The
domesticsafter being carefully searched and disarmedwere
confined in another part of the castle; and Rowena was refused
even the comfort she might have derived from the attendance of
her handmaiden Elgitha.

The apartment in which the Saxon chiefs were confinedfor to
them we turn our first attentionalthough at present used as a
sort of guard-roomhad formerly been the great hall of the
castle. It was now abandoned to meaner purposesbecause the
present lordamong other additions to the conveniencesecurity
and beauty of his baronial residencehad erected a new and noble


hallwhose vaulted roof was supported by lighter and more
elegant pillarsand fitted up with that higher degree of
ornamentwhich the Normans had already introduced into
architecture.

Cedric paced the apartmentfilled with indignant reflections on
the past and on the presentwhile the apathy of his companion
servedinstead of patience and philosophyto defend him against
every thing save the inconvenience of the present moment; and so
little did he feel even this lastthat he was only from time to
time roused to a reply by Cedric's animated and impassioned
appeal to him.

Yes,said Cedrichalf speaking to himselfand half addressing
himself to Athelstaneit was in this very hall that my father
feasted with Torquil Wolfganger, when he entertained the valiant
and unfortunate Harold, then advancing against the Norwegians,
who had united themselves to the rebel Tosti. It was in this
hall that Harold returned the magnanimous answer to the
ambassador of his rebel brother. Oft have I heard my father
kindle as he told the tale. The envoy of Tosti was admitted,
when this ample room could scarce contain the crowd of noble
Saxon leaders, who were quaffing the blood-red wine around their
monarch.

I hope,said Athelstanesomewhat moved by this part of his
friend's discoursethey will not forget to send us some wine
and refactions at noon---we had scarce a breathing-space allowed
to break our fast, and I never have the benefit of my food when I
eat immediately after dismounting from horseback, though the
leeches recommend that practice.

Cedric went on with his story without noticing this
interjectional observation of his friend.

The envoy of Tosti,he saidmoved up the hall, undismayed by
the frowning countenances of all around him, until he made his
obeisance before the throne of King Harold.

'What terms' he said'Lord Kinghath thy brother Tosti to
hopeif he should lay down his armsand crave peace at thy
hands?'

'A brother's love,' cried the generous Harold, 'and the fair
earldom of Northumberland.'

'But should Tosti accept these terms' continued the envoy
'what lands shall be assigned to his faithful allyHardrada
King of Norway?'

'Seven feet of English ground,' answered Harold, fiercely, 'or,
as Hardrada is said to be a giant, perhaps we may allow him
twelve inches more.'

The hall rung with acclamationsand cup and horn was filled to
the Norwegianwho should be speedily in possession of his
English territory."

I could have pledged him with all my soul,said Athelstane
for my tongue cleaves to my palate.

The baffled envoy,continued Cedricpursuing with animation
his talethough it interested not the listenerretreated, to
carry to Tosti and his ally the ominous answer of his injured


brother. It was then that the distant towers of York, and the
bloody streams of the Derwent,*

* Note D. Battle of Stamford.
beheld that direful conflict, in which, after displaying the
most undaunted valour, the King of Norway, and Tosti, both fell,
with ten thousand of their bravest followers. Who would have
thought that upon the proud day when this battle was won, the
very gale which waved the Saxon banners in triumph, was filling
the Norman sails, and impelling them to the fatal shores of
Sussex?---Who would have thought that Harold, within a few brief
days, would himself possess no more of his kingdom, than the
share which he allotted in his wrath to the Norwegian invader?
---Who would have thought that you, noble Athelstane---that you,
descended of Harold's blood, and that I, whose father was not the
worst defender of the Saxon crown, should be prisoners to a vile
Norman, in the very hall in which our ancestors held such high
festival?

It is sad enough,replied Athelstane; "but I trust they will
hold us to a moderate ransom---At any rate it cannot be their
purpose to starve us outright; and yetalthough it is high noon
I see no preparations for serving dinner. Look up at the window
noble Cedricand judge by the sunbeams if it is not on the verge
of noon."

It may be so,answered Cedric; "but I cannot look on that
stained lattice without its awakening other reflections than
those which concern the passing momentor its privations. When
that window was wroughtmy noble friendour hardy fathers knew
not the art of making glassor of staining it---The pride of
Wolfganger's father brought an artist from Normandy to adorn his
hall with this new species of emblazonmentthat breaks the
golden light of God's blessed day into so many fantastic hues.
The foreigner came here poorbeggarlycringingand
subservientready to doff his cap to the meanest native of the
household. He returned pampered and proudto tell his rapacious
countrymen of the wealth and the simplicity of the Saxon nobles
---a follyohAthelstaneforeboded of oldas well as
foreseenby those descendants of Hengist and his hardy tribes
who retained the simplicity of their manners. We made these
strangers our bosom friendsour confidential servants; we
borrowed their artists and their artsand despised the honest
simplicity and hardihood with which our brave ancestors supported
themselvesand we became enervated by Norman arts long ere we
fell under Norman arms. Far better was our homely dieteaten in
peace and libertythan the luxurious daintiesthe love of which
hath delivered us as bondsmen to the foreign conqueror!"

I should,replied Athelstanehold very humble diet a luxury
at present; and it astonishes me, noble Cedric, that you can bear
so truly in mind the memory of past deeds, when it appeareth you
forget the very hour of dinner.

It is time lost,muttered Cedric apart and impatientlyto
speak to him of aught else but that which concerns his appetite!
The soul of Hardicanute hath taken possession of him, and he hath
no pleasure save to fill, to swill, and to call for more.
---Alas!said helooking at Athelstane with compassionthat
so dull a spirit should be lodged in so goodly a form! Alas! that
such an enterprise as the regeneration of England should turn on
a hinge so imperfect! Wedded to Rowena, indeed, her nobler and
more generous soul may yet awake the better nature which is


torpid within him. Yet how should this be, while Rowena,
Athelstane, and I myself, remain the prisoners of this brutal
marauder and have been made so perhaps from a sense of the
dangers which our liberty might bring to the usurped power of his
nation?

While the Saxon was plunged in these painful reflectionsthe
door of their prison openedand gave entrance to a sewer
holding his white rod of office. This important person advanced
into the chamber with a grave pacefollowed by four attendants
bearing in a table covered with dishesthe sight and smell of
which seemed to be an instant compensation to Athelstane for all
the inconvenience he had undergone. The persons who attended on
the feast were masked and cloaked.

What mummery is this?said Cedric; "think you that we are
ignorant whose prisoners we arewhen we are in the castle of
your master? Tell him he continued, willing to use this
opportunity to open a negotiation for his freedom,---Tell your
masterReginald Front-de-Boeufthat we know no reason he can
have for withholding our libertyexcepting his unlawful desire
to enrich himself at our expense. Tell him that we yield to his
rapacityas in similar circumstances we should do to that of a
literal robber. Let him name the ransom at which he rates our
libertyand it shall be paidproviding the exaction is suited
to our means." The sewer made no answerbut bowed his head.

And tell Sir Reginald Front-de-Boeuf,said Athelstanethat I
send him my mortal defiance, and challenge him to combat with me,
on foot or horseback, at any secure place, within eight days
after our liberation; which, if he be a true knight, he will not,
under these circumstances, venture to refuse or to delay.

I shall deliver to the knight your defiance,answered the
sewer; "meanwhile I leave you to your food."

The challenge of Athelstane was delivered with no good grace; for
a large mouthfulwhich required the exercise of both jaws at
onceadded to a natural hesitationconsiderably damped the
effect of the bold defiance it contained. Stillhoweverhis
speech was hailed by Cedric as an incontestible token of reviving
spirit in his companionwhose previous indifference had begun
notwithstanding his respect for Athelstane's descentto wear out
his patience. But he now cordially shook hands with him in token
of his approbationand was somewhat grieved when Athelstane
observedthat he would fight a dozen such men as
Front-de-Boeuf, if, by so doing, he could hasten his departure
from a dungeon where they put so much garlic into their pottage.
Notwithstanding this intimation of a relapse into the apathy of
sensualityCedric placed himself opposite to Athelstaneand
soon showedthat if the distresses of his country could banish
the recollection of food while the table was uncoveredyet no
sooner were the victuals put therethan he proved that the
appetite of his Saxon ancestors had descended to him along with
their other qualities.

The captives had not long enjoyed their refreshmenthoweverere
their attention was disturbed even from this most serious
occupation by the blast of a horn winded before the gate. It was
repeated three timeswith as much violence as if it had been
blown before an enchanted castle by the destined knightat whose
summons halls and towersbarbican and battlementwere to roll
off like a morning vapour. The Saxons started from the table
and hastened to the window. But their curiosity was


disappointed; for these outlets only looked upon the court of the
castleand the sound came from beyond its precincts. The
summonshoweverseemed of importancefor a considerable degree
of bustle instantly took place in the castle.

CHAPTER XXII

My daughter---O my ducats---O my daughter!
------------O my Christian ducats!
Justice---the Law---my ducatsand my daughter!

Merchant of Venice

Leaving the Saxon chiefs to return to their banquet as soon as
their ungratified curiosity should permit them to attend to the
calls of their half-satiated appetitewe have to look in upon
the yet more severe imprisonment of Isaac of York. The poor Jew
had been hastily thrust into a dungeon-vault of the castlethe
floor of which was deep beneath the level of the groundand very
dampbeing lower than even the moat itself. The only light was
received through one or two loop-holes far above the reach of the
captive's hand. These apertures admittedeven at mid-dayonly
a dim and uncertain lightwhich was changed for utter darkness
long before the rest of the castle had lost the blessing of day.
Chains and shackleswhich had been the portion of former
captivesfrom whom active exertions to escape had been
apprehendedhung rusted and empty on the walls of the prison
and in the rings of one of those sets of fetters there remained
two mouldering boneswhich seemed to have been once those of the
human legas if some prisoner had been left not only to perish
therebut to be consumed to a skeleton.

At one end of this ghastly apartment was a large fire-grateover
the top of which were stretched some transverse iron barshalf
devoured with rust.

The whole appearance of the dungeon might have appalled a stouter
heart than that of Isaacwhoneverthelesswas more composed
under the imminent pressure of dangerthan he had seemed to be
while affected by terrorsof which the cause was as yet remote
and contingent. The lovers of the chase say that the hare feels
more agony during the pursuit of the greyhoundsthan when she is
struggling in their fangs.*

* "Nota Bene." ---We by no means warrant the accuracy of
* this piece of natural historywhich we give on the
* authority of the Wardour MS. L. T.
And thus it is probablethat the Jewsby the very frequency of
their fear on all occasionshad their minds in some degree
prepared for every effort of tyranny which could be practised
upon them; so that no aggressionwhen it had taken placecould
bring with it that surprise which is the most disabling quality
of terror. Neither was it the first time that Isaac had been
placed in circumstances so dangerous. He had therefore
experience to guide himas well as hopethat he might againas
formerlybe delivered as a prey from the fowler. Above allhe
had upon his side the unyielding obstinacy of his nationand
that unbending resolutionwith which Israelites have been
frequently known to submit to the uttermost evils which power and


violence can inflict upon themrather than gratify their
oppressors by granting their demands.

In this humour of passive resistanceand with his garment
collected beneath him to keep his limbs from the wet pavement
Isaac sat in a corner of his dungeonwhere his folded handshis
dishevelled hair and beardhis furred cloak and high capseen
by the wiry and broken lightwould have afforded a study for
Rembrandthad that celebrated painter existed at the period.
The Jew remainedwithout altering his positionfor nearly three
hoursat the expiry of which steps were heard on the dungeon
stair. The bolts screamed as they were withdrawn---the hinges
creaked as the wicket openedand Reginald Front-de-Boeuf
followed by the two Saracen slaves of the Templarentered the
prison.

Front-de-Boeufa tall and strong manwhose life had been spent
in public war or in private feuds and broilsand who had
hesitated at no means of extending his feudal powerhad
features corresponding to his characterand which strongly
expressed the fiercer and more malignant passions of the mind.
The scars with which his visage was seamedwouldon features of
a different casthave excited the sympathy and veneration due to
the marks of honourable valour; butin the peculiar case of
Front-de-Boeufthey only added to the ferocity of his
countenanceand to the dread which his presence inspired. This
formidable baron was clad in a leathern doubletfitted close to
his bodywhich was frayed and soiled with the stains of his
armour. He had no weaponexcepting a poniard at his beltwhich
served to counterbalance the weight of the bunch of rusty keys
that hung at his right side.

The black slaves who attended Front-de-Boeuf were stripped of
their gorgeous appareland attired in jerkins and trowsers of
coarse linentheir sleeves being tucked up above the elbowlike
those of butchers when about to exercise their function in the
slaughter-house. Each had in his hand a small pannier; andwhen
they entered the dungeonthey stopt at the door until
Front-de-Boeuf himself carefully locked and double-locked it.
Having taken this precautionhe advanced slowly up the apartment
towards the Jewupon whom he kept his eye fixedas if he wished
to paralyze him with his glanceas some animals are said to
fascinate their prey. It seemed indeed as if the sullen and
malignant eye of Front-de-Boeuf possessed some portion of that
supposed power over his unfortunate prisoner. The Jew sate with
his mouth a-gapeand his eyes fixed on the savage baron with
such earnestness of terrorthat his frame seemed literally to
shrink togetherand to diminish in size while encountering the
fierce Norman's fixed and baleful gaze. The unhappy Isaac was
deprived not only of the power of rising to make the obeisance
which his terror dictatedbut he could not even doff his capor
utter any word of supplication; so strongly was he agitated by
the conviction that tortures and death were impending over him.

On the other handthe stately form of the Norman appeared to
dilate in magnitudelike that of the eaglewhich ruffles up its
plumage when about to pounce on its defenceless prey. He paused
within three steps of the corner in which the unfortunate Jew had
nowas it werecoiled himself up into the smallest possible
spaceand made a sign for one of the slaves to approach. The
black satellite came forward accordinglyandproducing from his
basket a large pair of scales and several weightshe laid them
at the feet of Front-de-Boeufand again retired to the
respectful distanceat which his companion had already taken his


station.

The motions of these men were slow and solemnas if there
impended over their souls some preconception of horror and of
cruelty. Front-de-Boeuf himself opened the scene by thus
addressing his ill-fated captive.

Most accursed dog of an accursed race,he saidawaking with
his deep and sullen voice the sullen echoes of his dungeon vault
seest thou these scales?

The unhappy Jew returned a feeble affirmative.

In these very scales shalt thou weigh me out,said the
relentless Barona thousand silver pounds, after the just
measure and weight of the Tower of London.

Holy Abraham!returned the Jewfinding voice through the very
extremity of his dangerheard man ever such a demand?---Who
ever heard, even in a minstrel's tale, of such a sum as a
thousand pounds of silver?---What human sight was ever blessed
with the vision of such a mass of treasure?---Not within the
walls of York, ransack my house and that of all my tribe, wilt
thou find the tithe of that huge sum of silver that thou speakest
of.

I am reasonable,answered Front-de-Boeufand if silver be
scant, I refuse not gold. At the rate of a mark of gold for each
six pounds of silver, thou shalt free thy unbelieving carcass
from such punishment as thy heart has never even conceived.

Have mercy on me, noble knight!exclaimed Isaac; "I am oldand
poorand helpless. It were unworthy to triumph over me---It is
a poor deed to crush a worm."

Old thou mayst be,replied the knight; "more shame to their
folly who have suffered thee to grow grey in usury and knavery
---Feeble thou mayst befor when had a Jew either heart or hand
---But rich it is well known thou art."

I swear to you, noble knight,said the Jew "by all which I
believeand by all which we believe in common------"

Perjure not thyself,said the Normaninterrupting himand
let not thine obstinacy seal thy doom, until thou hast seen and
well considered the fate that awaits thee. Think not I speak to
thee only to excite thy terror, and practise on the base
cowardice thou hast derived from thy tribe. I swear to thee by
that which thou dost NOT believe, by the gospel which our church
teaches, and by the keys which are given her to bind and to
loose, that my purpose is deep and peremptory. This dungeon is
no place for trifling. Prisoners ten thousand times more
distinguished than thou have died within these walls, and their
fate hath never been known! But for thee is reserved a long and
lingering death, to which theirs were luxury.

He again made a signal for the slaves to approachand spoke to
them apartin their own language; for he also had been in
Palestinewhere perhapshe had learnt his lesson of cruelty.
The Saracens produced from their baskets a quantity of charcoal
a pair of bellowsand a flask of oil. While the one struck a
light with a flint and steelthe other disposed the charcoal in
the large rusty grate which we have already mentionedand
exercised the bellows until the fuel came to a red glow.


Seest thou, Isaac,said Front-de-Boeufthe range of iron bars
above the glowing charcoal?*--


* Note E. The range of iron bars above that glowing charcoal
on that warm couch thou shalt lie, stripped of thy clothes as if
thou wert to rest on a bed of down. One of these slaves shall
maintain the fire beneath thee, while the other shall anoint thy
wretched limbs with oil, lest the roast should burn.---Now,
choose betwixt such a scorching bed and the payment of a thousand
pounds of silver; for, by the head of my father, thou hast no
other option.

It is impossible,exclaimed the miserable Jew---"it is
impossible that your purpose can be real! The good God of nature
never made a heart capable of exercising such cruelty!"

Trust not to that, Isaac,said Front-de-Boeufit were a fatal
error. Dost thou think that I, who have seen a town sacked, in
which thousands of my Christian countrymen perished by sword, by
flood, and by fire, will blench from my purpose for the outcries
or screams of one single wretched Jew?---or thinkest thou that
these swarthy slaves, who have neither law, country, nor
conscience, but their master's will---who use the poison, or the
stake, or the poniard, or the cord, at his slightest wink
---thinkest thou that THEY will have mercy, who do not even
understand the language in which it is asked?---Be wise, old man;
discharge thyself of a portion of thy superfluous wealth; repay
to the hands of a Christian a part of what thou hast acquired by
the usury thou hast practised on those of his religion. Thy
cunning may soon swell out once more thy shrivelled purse, but
neither leech nor medicine can restore thy scorched hide and
flesh wert thou once stretched on these bars. Tell down thy
ransom, I say, and rejoice that at such rate thou canst redeem
thee from a dungeon, the secrets of which few have returned to
tell. I waste no more words with thee---choose between thy dross
and thy flesh and blood, and as thou choosest, so shall it be.

So may Abraham, Jacob, and all the fathers of our people assist
me,said IsaacI cannot make the choice, because I have not
the means of satisfying your exorbitant demand!

Seize him and strip him, slaves,said the knightand let the
fathers of his race assist him if they can.

The assistantstaking their directions more from the Baron's eye
and his hand than his tongueonce more stepped forwardlaid
hands on the unfortunate Isaacplucked him up from the ground
andholding him between themwaited the hard-hearted Baron's
farther signal. The unhappy Jew eyed their countenances and that
of Front-de-Boeufin hope of discovering some symptoms of
relenting; but that of the Baron exhibited the same cold
half-sullenhalf-sarcastic smile which had been the prelude to
his cruelty; and the savage eyes of the Saracensrolling
gloomily under their dark browsacquiring a yet more sinister
expression by the whiteness of the circle which surrounds the
pupilevinced rather the secret pleasure which they expected
from the approaching scenethan any reluctance to be its
directors or agents. The Jew then looked at the glowing furnace
over which he was presently to be stretchedand seeing no chance
of his tormentor's relentinghis resolution gave way.

I will pay,he saidthe thousand pounds of silver---That is,


he addedafter a moment's pauseI will pay it with the help of
my brethren; for I must beg as a mendicant at the door of our
synagogue ere I make up so unheard-of a sum.---When and where
must it be delivered?

Here,replied Front-de-Boeufhere it must be delivered
---weighed it must be---weighed and told down on this very
dungeon floor.---Thinkest thou I will part with thee until thy
ransom is secure?

And what is to be my surety,said the Jewthat I shall be at
liberty after this ransom is paid?

The word of a Norman noble, thou pawn-broking slave,answered
Front-de-Boeuf; "the faith of a Norman noblemanmore pure than
the gold and silver of thee and all thy tribe."

I crave pardon, noble lord,said Isaac timidlybut wherefore
should I rely wholly on the word of one who will trust nothing to
mine?

Because thou canst not help it, Jew,said the knightsternly.
Wert thou now in thy treasure-chamber at York, and were I
craving a loan of thy shekels, it would be thine to dictate the
time of payment, and the pledge of security. This is MY
treasure-chamber. Here I have thee at advantage, nor will I
again deign to repeat the terms on which I grant thee liberty.

The Jew groaned deeply.---"Grant me he said, at least with my
own libertythat of the companions with whom I travel. They
scorned me as a Jewyet they pitied my desolationand because
they tarried to aid me by the waya share of my evil hath come
upon them; moreoverthey may contribute in some sort to my
ransom."

If thou meanest yonder Saxon churls,said Front-de-Boeuf
their ransom will depend upon other terms than thine. Mind
thine own concerns, Jew, I warn thee, and meddle not with those
of others.

I am, then,said Isaaconly to be set at liberty, together
with mine wounded friend?

Shall I twice recommend it,said Front-de-Boeufto a son of
Israel, to meddle with his own concerns, and leave those of
others alone?---Since thou hast made thy choice, it remains but
that thou payest down thy ransom, and that at a short day.

Yet hear me,said the Jew---"for the sake of that very wealth
which thou wouldst obtain at the expense of thy------" Here he
stopt shortafraid of irritating the savage Norman. But
Front-de-Boeuf only laughedand himself filled up the blank at
which the Jew had hesitated.

At the expense of my conscience, thou wouldst say, Isaac; speak
it out---I tell thee, I am reasonable. I can bear the reproaches
of a loser, even when that loser is a Jew. Thou wert not so
patient, Isaac, when thou didst invoke justice against Jacques
Fitzdotterel, for calling thee a usurious blood-sucker, when thy
exactions had devoured his patrimony.

I swear by the Talmud,said the Jewthat your valour has been
misled in that matter. Fitzdotterel drew his poniard upon me in
mine own chamber, because I craved him for mine own silver. The


term of payment was due at the Passover.

I care not what he did,said Front-de-Boeuf; "the question is
when shall I have mine own?---when shall I have the shekels
Isaac?"

Let my daughter Rebecca go forth to York,answered Isaacwith
your safe conduct, noble knight, and so soon as man and horse can
return, the treasure------Here he groaned deeplybut added
after the pause of a few seconds---"The treasure shall be told
down on this very floor."

Thy daughter!said Front-de-Boeufas if surprised---"By
heavensIsaacI would I had known of this. I deemed that
yonder black-browed girl had been thy concubineand I gave her
to be a handmaiden to Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbertafter the
fashion of patriarchs and heroes of the days of oldwho set us
in these matters a wholesome example."

The yell which Isaac raised at this unfeeling communication made
the very vault to ringand astounded the two Saracens so much
that they let go their hold of the Jew. He availed himself of
his enlargement to throw himself on the pavementand clasp the
knees of Front-de-Boeuf.

Take all that you have asked,said heSir Knight---take ten
times more---reduce me to ruin and to beggary, if thou wilt,
---nay, pierce me with thy poniard, broil me on that furnace, but
spare my daughter, deliver her in safety and honour!---As thou
art born of woman, spare the honour of a helpless maiden---She is
the image of my deceased Rachel, she is the last of six pledges
of her love---Will you deprive a widowed husband of his sole
remaining comfort?---Will you reduce a father to wish that his
only living child were laid beside her dead mother, in the tomb
of our fathers?

I would,said the Normansomewhat relentingthat I had known
of this before. I thought your race had loved nothing save their
moneybags.

Think not so vilely of us, Jews though we be,said Isaaceager
to improve the moment of apparent sympathy; "the hunted foxthe
tortured wildcat loves its young---the despised and persecuted
race of Abraham love their children!"

Be it so,said Front-de-Boeuf; "I will believe it in future
Isaacfor thy very sake---but it aids us not nowI cannot help
what has happenedor what is to follow; my word is passed to my
comrade in armsnor would I break it for ten Jews and Jewesses
to boot. Besideswhy shouldst thou think evil is to come to the
girleven if she became Bois-Guilbert's booty?"

There will, there must!exclaimed Isaacwringing his hands in
agony; "when did Templars breathe aught but cruelty to menand
dishonour to women!"

Dog of an infidel,said Front-de-Boeufwith sparkling eyes
and not sorryperhapsto seize a pretext for working himself
into a passionblaspheme not the Holy Order of the Temple of
Zion, but take thought instead to pay me the ransom thou hast
promised, or woe betide thy Jewish throat!

Robber and villain!said the Jewretorting the insults of his
oppressor with passionwhichhowever impotenthe now found it


impossible to bridleI will pay thee nothing---not one silver
penny will I pay thee, unless my daughter is delivered to me in
safety and honour?


Art thou in thy senses, Israelite?said the Normansternly
---"has thy flesh and blood a charm against heated iron and
scalding oil?"


I care not!said the Jewrendered desperate by paternal
affection; "do thy worst. My daughter is my flesh and blood
dearer to me a thousand times than those limbs which thy cruelty
threatens. No silver will I give theeunless I were to pour it
molten down thy avaricious throat---nonot a silver penny will I
give theeNazarenewere it to save thee from the deep damnation
thy whole life has merited! Take my life if thou wiltand say
the Jewamidst his torturesknew how to disappoint the
Christian."


We shall see that,said Front-de-Boeuf; "for by the blessed
roodwhich is the abomination of thy accursed tribethou shalt
feel the extremities of fire and steel!---Strip himslavesand
chain him down upon the bars."


In spite of the feeble struggles of the old manthe Saracens had
already torn from him his upper garmentand were proceeding
totally to disrobe himwhen the sound of a bugletwice winded
without the castlepenetrated even to the recesses of the
dungeonand immediately after loud voices were heard calling for
Sir Reginald Front-de-Boeuf. Unwilling to be found engaged in
his hellish occupationthe savage Baron gave the slaves a signal
to restore Isaac's garmentandquitting the dungeon with his
attendantshe left the Jew to thank God for his own deliverance
or to lament over his daughter's captivityand probable fateas
his personal or parental feelings might prove strongest.


CHAPTER XXIII


Nayif the gentle spirit of moving words
Can no way change you to a milder form
I'll woo youlike a soldierat arms' end
And love you 'gainst the nature of loveforce you.


Two Gentlemen of Verona

The apartment to which the Lady Rowena had been introduced was
fitted up with some rude attempts at ornament and magnificence
and her being placed there might be considered as a peculiar mark
of respect not offered to the other prisoners. But the wife of
Front-de-Boeuffor whom it had been originally furnishedwas
long deadand decay and neglect had impaired the few ornaments
with which her taste had adorned it. The tapestry hung down from
the walls in many placesand in others was tarnished and faded
under the effects of the sunor tattered and decayed by age.
Desolatehoweveras it wasthis was the apartment of the
castle which had been judged most fitting for the accommodation
of the Saxon heiress; and here she was left to meditate upon her
fateuntil the actors in this nefarious drama had arranged the
several parts which each of them was to perform. This had been
settled in a council held by Front-de-BoeufDe Bracyand the
Templarin whichafter a long and warm debate concerning the


several advantages which each insisted upon deriving from his
peculiar share in this audacious enterprisethey had at length
determined the fate of their unhappy prisoners.

It was about the hour of noonthereforewhen De Bracyfor
whose advantage the expedition had been first plannedappeared
to prosecute his views upon the hand and possessions of the Lady
Rowena.

The interval had not entirely been bestowed in holding council
with his confederatesfor De Bracy had found leisure to decorate
his person with all the foppery of the times. His green cassock
and vizard were now flung aside. His long luxuriant hair was
trained to flow in quaint tresses down his richly furred cloak.
His beard was closely shavedhis doublet reached to the middle
of his legand the girdle which secured itand at the same time
supported his ponderous swordwas embroidered and embossed with
gold work. We have already noticed the extravagant fashion of
the shoes at this periodand the points of Maurice de Bracy's
might have challenged the prize of extravagance with the gayest
being turned up and twisted like the horns of a ram. Such was
the dress of a gallant of the period; andin the present
instancethat effect was aided by the handsome person and good
demeanour of the wearerwhose manners partook alike of the grace
of a courtierand the frankness of a soldier.

He saluted Rowena by doffing his velvet bonnetgarnished with a
golden broachrepresenting St Michael trampling down the Prince
of Evil. With thishe gently motioned the lady to a seat; and
as she still retained her standing posturethe knight ungloved
his right handand motioned to conduct her thither. But Rowena
declinedby her gesturethe proffered complimentand replied
If I be in the presence of my jailor, Sir Knight---nor will
circumstances allow me to think otherwise---it best becomes his
prisoner to remain standing till she learns her doom.

Alas! fair Rowena,returned De Bracyyou are in presence of
your captive, not your jailor; and it is from your fair eyes that
De Bracy must receive that doom which you fondly expect from
him.

I know you not, sir,said the ladydrawing herself up with all
the pride of offended rank and beauty; "I know you not---and the
insolent familiarity with which you apply to me the jargon of a
troubadourforms no apology for the violence of a robber."

To thyself, fair maid,answered De Bracyin his former tone
---"to thine own charms be ascribed whate'er I have done which
passed the respect due to herwhom I have chosen queen of my
heartand loadstar of my eyes."

I repeat to you, Sir Knight, that I know you not, and that no
man wearing chain and spurs ought thus to intrude himself upon
the presence of an unprotected lady.

That I am unknown to you,said De Bracyis indeed my
misfortune; yet let me hope that De Bracy's name has not been
always unspoken, when minstrels or heralds have praised deeds of
chivalry, whether in the lists or in the battle-field.

To heralds and to minstrels, then, leave thy praise, Sir
Knight,replied Rowenamore suiting for their mouths than for
thine own; and tell me which of them shall record in song, or in
book of tourney, the memorable conquest of this night, a conquest


obtained over an old man, followed by a few timid hinds; and its
booty, an unfortunate maiden, transported against her will to the
castle of a robber?

You are unjust, Lady Rowena,said the knightbiting his lips
in some confusionand speaking in a tone more natural to him
than that of affected gallantrywhich he had at first adopted;
yourself free from passion, you can allow no excuse for the
frenzy of another, although caused by your own beauty.

I pray you, Sir Knight,said Rowenato cease a language so
commonly used by strolling minstrels, that it becomes not the
mouth of knights or nobles. Certes, you constrain me to sit
down, since you enter upon such commonplace terms, of which each
vile crowder hath a stock that might last from hence to
Christmas.

Proud damsel,said De Bracyincensed at finding his gallant
style procured him nothing but contempt---"proud damselthou
shalt be as proudly encountered. Know thenthat I have
supported my pretensions to your hand in the way that best suited
thy character. It is meeter for thy humour to be wooed with bow
and billthan in set termsand in courtly language."

Courtesy of tongue,said Rowenawhen it is used to veil
churlishness of deed, is but a knight's girdle around the breast
of a base clown. I wonder not that the restraint appears to gall
you---more it were for your honour to have retained the dress and
language of an outlaw, than to veil the deeds of one under an
affectation of gentle language and demeanour.

You counsel well, lady,said the Norman; "and in the bold
language which best justifies bold action I tell theethou shalt
never leave this castleor thou shalt leave it as Maurice de
Bracy's wife. I am not wont to be baffled in my enterprisesnor
needs a Norman noble scrupulously to vindicate his conduct to the
Saxon maiden whom be distinguishes by the offer of his hand.
Thou art proudRowenaand thou art the fitter to be my wife.
By what other means couldst thou be raised to high honour and to
princely placesaving by my alliance? How else wouldst thou
escape from the mean precincts of a country grangewhere Saxons
herd with the swine which form their wealthto take thy seat
honoured as thou shouldst beand shalt beamid all in England
that is distinguished by beautyor dignified by power?"

Sir Knight,replied Rowenathe grange which you contemn hath
been my shelter from infancy; and, trust me, when I leave it
---should that day ever arrive---it shall be with one who has not
learnt to despise the dwelling and manners in which I have been
brought up.

I guess your meaning, lady,said De Bracythough you may
think it lies too obscure for my apprehension. But dream not,
that Richard Coeur de Lion will ever resume his throne, far less
that Wilfred of Ivanhoe, his minion, will ever lead thee to his
footstool, to be there welcomed as the bride of a favourite.
Another suitor might feel jealousy while he touched this string;
but my firm purpose cannot be changed by a passion so childish
and so hopeless. Know, lady, that this rival is in my power, and
that it rests but with me to betray the secret of his being
within the castle to Front-de-Boeuf, whose jealousy will be more
fatal than mine.

Wilfred here?said Rowenain disdain; "that is as true as that


Front-de-Boeuf is his rival."

De Bracy looked at her steadily for an instant.

Wert thou really ignorant of this?said he; "didst thou not
know that Wilfred of Ivanhoe travelled in the litter of the Jew?
---a meet conveyance for the crusaderwhose doughty arm was to
reconquer the Holy Sepulchre!" And he laughed scornfully.

And if he is here,said Rowenacompelling herself to a tone of
indifferencethough trembling with an agony of apprehension
which she could not suppressin what is he the rival of
Front-de-Boeuf? or what has he to fear beyond a short
imprisonment, and an honourable ransom, according to the use of
chivalry?

Rowena,said De Bracyart thou, too, deceived by the common
error of thy sex, who think there can be no rivalry but that
respecting their own charms? Knowest thou not there is a jealousy
of ambition and of wealth, as well as of love; and that this our
host, Front-de-Boeuf, will push from his road him who opposes his
claim to the fair barony of Ivanhoe, as readily, eagerly, and
unscrupulously, as if he were preferred to him by some blue-eyed
damsel? But smile on my suit, lady, and the wounded champion
shall have nothing to fear from Front-de-Boeuf, whom else thou
mayst mourn for, as in the hands of one who has never shown
compassion.

Save him, for the love of Heaven!said Rowenaher firmness
giving way under terror for her lover's impending fate.

I can---I will---it is my purpose,said De Bracy; "forwhen
Rowena consents to be the bride of De Bracywho is it shall dare
to put forth a violent hand upon her kinsman---the son of her
guardian---the companion of her youth? But it is thy love must
buy his protection. I am not romantic fool enough to further the
fortuneor avert the fateof one who is likely to be a
successful obstacle between me and my wishes. Use thine
influence with me in his behalfand he is safe---refuse to
employ itWilfred diesand thou thyself art not the nearer to
freedom."

Thy language,answered Rowenahath in its indifferent
bluntness something which cannot be reconciled with the horrors
it seems to express. I believe not that thy purpose is so
wicked, or thy power so great.

Flatter thyself, then, with that belief,said De Bracyuntil
time shall prove it false. Thy lover lies wounded in this castle
---thy preferred lover. He is a bar betwixt Front-de-Boeuf and
that which Front-de-Boeuf loves better than either ambition or
beauty. What will it cost beyond the blow of a poniard, or the
thrust of a javelin, to silence his opposition for ever? Nay,
were Front-de-Boeuf afraid to justify a deed so open, let the
leech but give his patient a wrong draught---let the chamberlain,
or the nurse who tends him, but pluck the pillow from his head,
and Wilfred in his present condition, is sped without the
effusion of blood. Cedric also---

And Cedric also,said Rowenarepeating his words; "my noble
---my generous guardian! I deserved the evil I have encountered
for forgetting his fate even in that of his son!"

Cedric's fate also depends upon thy determination,said De


Bracy; "and I leave thee to form it."

HithertoRowena had sustained her part in this trying scene with
undismayed couragebut it was because she had not considered the
danger as serious and imminent. Her disposition was naturally
that which physiognomists consider as proper to fair complexions
mildtimidand gentle; but it had been temperedandas it
werehardenedby the circumstances of her education.
Accustomed to see the will of alleven of Cedric himself
(sufficiently arbitrary with others) give way before her wishes
she had acquired that sort of courage and self-confidence which
arises from the habitual and constant deference of the circle in
which we move. She could scarce conceive the possibility of her
will being opposedfar less that of its being treated with total
disregard.

Her haughtiness and habit of domination wasthereforea
fictitious characterinduced over that which was natural to her
and it deserted her when her eyes were opened to the extent of
her own dangeras well as that of her lover and her guardian;
and when she found her willthe slightest expression of which
was wont to command respect and attentionnow placed in
opposition to that of a man of a strongfierceand determined
mindwho possessed the advantage over herand was resolved to
use itshe quailed before him.

After casting her eyes aroundas if to look for the aid which
was nowhere to be foundand after a few broken interjections
she raised her hands to heavenand burst into a passion of
uncontrolled vexation and sorrow. It was impossible to see so
beautiful a creature in such extremity without feeling for her
and De Bracy was not unmovedthough he was yet more embarrassed
than touched. He hadin truthgone too far to recede; and yet
in Rowena's present conditionshe could not be acted on either
by argument or threats. He paced the apartment to and fronow
vainly exhorting the terrified maiden to compose herselfnow
hesitating concerning his own line of conduct.

Ifthought heI should be moved by the tears and sorrow of this
disconsolate damselwhat should I reap but the loss of these
fair hopes for which I have encountered so much riskand the
ridicule of Prince John and his jovial comrades? "And yet he
said to himself, I feel myself ill framed for the part which I
am playing. I cannot look on so fair a face while it is
disturbed with agonyor on those eyes when they are drowned in
tears. I would she had retained her original haughtiness of
dispositionor that I had a larger share of Front-de-Boeuf's
thrice-tempered hardness of heart!"

Agitated by these thoughtshe could only bid the unfortunate
Rowena be comfortedand assure herthat as yet she had no
reason for the excess of despair to which she was now giving way.
But in this task of consolation De Bracy was interrupted by the
hornhoarse-winded blowing far and keen,which had at the same
time alarmed the other inmates of the castleand interrupted
their several plans of avarice and of license. Of them all
perhapsDe Bracy least regretted the interruption; for his
conference with the Lady Rowena had arrived at a pointwhere he
found it equally difficult to prosecute or to resign his
enterprise.

And here we cannot but think it necessary to offer some better
proof than the incidents of an idle taleto vindicate the
melancholy representation of manners which has been just laid


before the reader. It is grievous to think that those valiant
baronsto whose stand against the crown the liberties of England
were indebted for their existenceshould themselves have been
such dreadful oppressorsand capable of excesses contrary not
only to the laws of Englandbut to those of nature and humanity.
Butalas! we have only to extract from the industrious Henry one
of those numerous passages which he has collected from
contemporary historiansto prove that fiction itself can hardly
reach the dark reality of the horrors of the period.

The description given by the author of the Saxon Chronicle of the
cruelties exercised in the reign of King Stephen by the great
barons and lords of castleswho were all Normansaffords a
strong proof of the excesses of which they were capable when
their passions were inflamed. "They grievously oppressed the
poor people by building castles; and when they were builtthey
filled them with wicked menor rather devilswho seized both
men and women who they imagined had any moneythrew them into
prisonand put them to more cruel tortures than the martyrs ever
endured. They suffocated some in mudand suspended others by
the feetor the heador the thumbskindling fires below them.
They squeezed the heads of some with knotted cords till they
pierced their brainswhile they threw others into dungeons
swarming with serpentssnakesand toads." But it would be
cruel to put the reader to the pain of perusing the remainder of
this description.*

* Henry's Hist. edit. 1805vol. vii. p. .146.
As another instance of these bitter fruits of conquestand
perhaps the strongest that can be quotedwe may mentionthat
the Princess Matildathough a daughter of the King of Scotland
and afterwards both Queen of Englandniece to Edgar Atheling
and mother to the Empress of Germanythe daughterthe wifeand
the mother of monarchswas obligedduring her early residence
for education in Englandto assume the veil of a nunas the
only means of escaping the licentious pursuit of the Norman
nobles. This excuse she stated before a great council of the
clergy of Englandas the sole reason for her having taken the
religious habit. The assembled clergy admitted the validity of
the pleaand the notoriety of the circumstances upon which it
was founded; giving thus an indubitable and most remarkable
testimony to the existence of that disgraceful license by which
that age was stained. It was a matter of public knowledgethey
saidthat after the conquest of King Williamhis Norman
followerselated by so great a victoryacknowledged no law but
their own wicked pleasureand not only despoiled the conquered
Saxons of their lands and their goodsbut invaded the honour of
their wives and of their daughters with the most unbridled
license; and hence it was then common for matrons and maidens of
noble families to assume the veiland take shelter in convents
not as called thither by the vocation of Godbut solely to
preserve their honour from the unbridled wickedness of man.

Such and so licentious were the timesas announced by the public
declaration of the assembled clergyrecorded by Eadmer; and we
need add nothing more to vindicate the probability of the scenes
which we have detailedand are about to detailupon the more
apocryphal authority of the Wardour MS.

CHAPTER XXIV


I'll woo her as the lion woos his bride.
Douglas

While the scenes we have described were passing in other parts of
the castlethe Jewess Rebecca awaited her fate in a distant and
sequestered turret. Hither she had been led by two of her
disguised ravishersand on being thrust into the little cell
she found herself in the presence of an old sibylwho kept
murmuring to herself a Saxon rhymeas if to beat time to the
revolving dance which her spindle was performing upon the floor.
The hag raised her head as Rebecca enteredand scowled at the
fair Jewess with the malignant envy with which old age and
uglinesswhen united with evil conditionsare apt to look upon
youth and beauty.

Thou must up and away, old house-cricket,said one of the men;
our noble master commands it---Thou must e'en leave this chamber
to a fairer guest.

Ay,grumbled the hageven thus is service requited. I have
known when my bare word would have cast the best man-at-arms
among ye out of saddle and out of service; and now must I up and
away at the command of every groom such as thou.

Good Dame Urfried,said the other manstand not to reason on
it, but up and away. Lords' hests must be listened to with a
quick ear. Thou hast had thy day, old dame, but thy sun has long
been set. Thou art now the very emblem of an old war-horse
turned out on the barren heath---thou hast had thy paces in thy
time, but now a broken amble is the best of them---Come, amble
off with thee.

Ill omens dog ye both!said the old woman; "and a kennel be
your burying-place! May the evil demon Zernebock tear me limb
from limbif I leave my own cell ere I have spun out the hemp on
my distaff!"

Answer it to our lord, then, old housefiend,said the manand
retired; leaving Rebecca in company with the old womanupon
whose presence she had been thus unwillingly forced.

What devil's deed have they now in the wind?said the old hag
murmuring to herselfyet from time to time casting a sidelong
and malignant glance at Rebecca; "but it is easy to guess
---Bright eyesblack locksand a skin like paperere the
priest stains it with his black unguent---Ayit is easy to guess
why they send her to this lone turretwhence a shriek could no
more be heard than at the depth of five hundred fathoms beneath
the earth.---Thou wilt have owls for thy neighboursfair one;
and their screams will be heard as farand as much regardedas
thine own. Outlandishtoo she said, marking the dress and
turban of Rebecca---What country art thou of?---a Saracen? or an
Egyptian?---Why dost not answer?---thou canst weepcanst thou
not speak?"

Be not angry, good mother,said Rebecca.

Thou needst say no more,replied Urfried "men know a fox by the
trainand a Jewess by her tongue."

For the sake of mercy,said Rebeccatell me what I am to


expect as the conclusion of the violence which hath dragged me
hither! Is it my life they seek, to atone for my religion?
will lay it down cheerfully.

Thy life, minion?answered the sibyl; "what would taking thy
life pleasure them?---Trust methy life is in no peril. Such
usage shalt thou have as was once thought good enough for a
noble Saxon maiden. And shall a Jewesslike theerepine
because she hath no better? Look at me---I was as young and
twice as fair as thouwhen Front-de-Boeuffather of this
Reginaldand his Normansstormed this castle. My father and
his seven sons defended their inheritance from story to story
from chamber to chamber---There was not a roomnot a step of the
stairthat was not slippery with their blood. They died---they
died every man; and ere their bodies were coldand ere their
blood was driedI had become the prey and the scorn of the
conqueror!"

Is there no help?---Are there no means of escape?said Rebecca
---"Richlyrichly would I requite thine aid."

Think not of it,said the hag; "from hence there is no escape
but through the gates of death; and it is latelate she added,
shaking her grey head, ere these open to us---Yet it is comfort
to think that we leave behind us on earth those who shall be
wretched as ourselves. Fare thee wellJewess!---Jew or Gentile
thy fate would be the same; for thou hast to do with them that
have neither scruple nor pity. Fare thee wellI say. My thread
is spun out---thy task is yet to begin."

Stay! stay! for Heaven's sake!said Rebecca; "staythough it
be to curse and to revile me ---thy presence is yet some
protection."

The presence of the mother of God were no protection,answered
the old woman. "There she stands pointing to a rude image of
the Virgin Mary, see if she can avert the fate that awaits
thee."

She left the room as she spokeher features writhed into a sort
of sneering laughwhich made them seem even more hideous than
their habitual frown. She locked the door behind herand
Rebecca might hear her curse every step for its steepnessas
slowly and with difficulty she descended the turret-stair.

Rebecca was now to expect a fate even more dreadful than that of
Rowena; for what probability was there that either softness or
ceremony would be used towards one of her oppressed race
whatever shadow of these might be preserved towards a Saxon
heiress? Yet had the Jewess this advantagethat she was better
prepared by habits of thoughtand by natural strength of mind
to encounter the dangers to which she was exposed. Of a strong
and observing charactereven from her earliest yearsthe pomp
and wealth which her father displayed within his wallsor which
she witnessed in the houses of other wealthy Hebrewshad not
been able to blind her to the precarious circumstances under
which they were enjoyed. Like Damocles at his celebrated
banquetRebecca perpetually beheldamid that gorgeous display
the sword which was suspended over the heads of her people by a
single hair. These reflections had tamed and brought down to a
pitch of sounder judgment a temperwhichunder other
circumstancesmight have waxed haughtysuperciliousand
obstinate.


>From her father's example and injunctionsRebecca had learnt to
bear herself courteously towards all who approached her. She
could not indeed imitate his excess of subserviencebecause she
was a stranger to the meanness of mindand to the constant state
of timid apprehensionby which it was dictated; but she bore
herself with a proud humilityas if submitting to the evil
circumstances in which she was placed as the daughter of a
despised racewhile she felt in her mind the consciousness that
she was entitled to hold a higher rank from her meritthan the
arbitrary despotism of religious prejudice permitted her to
aspire to.

Thus prepared to expect adverse circumstancesshe had acquired
the firmness necessary for acting under them. Her present
situation required all her presence of mindand she summoned it
up accordingly.

Her first care was to inspect the apartment; but it afforded few
hopes either of escape or protection. It contained neither
secret passage nor trap-doorand unless where the door by which
she had entered joined the main buildingseemed to be
circumscribed by the round exterior wall of the turret. The door
had no inside bolt or bar. The single window opened upon an
embattled space surmounting the turretwhich gave Rebeccaat
first sightsome hopes of escaping; but she soon found it had no
communication with any other part of the battlementsbeing an
isolated bartisanor balconysecuredas usualby a parapet
with embrasuresat which a few archers might be stationed for
defending the turretand flanking with their shot the wall of
the castle on that side.

There was therefore no hope but in passive fortitudeand in that
strong reliance on Heaven natural to great and generous
characters. Rebeccahowever erroneously taught to interpret the
promises of Scripture to the chosen people of Heavendid not err
in supposing the present to be their hour of trialor in
trusting that the children of Zion would be one day called in
with the fulness of the Gentiles. In the meanwhileall around
her showed that their present state was that of punishment and
probationand that it was their especial duty to suffer without
sinning. Thus prepared to consider herself as the victim of
misfortuneRebecca had early reflected upon her own stateand
schooled her mind to meet the dangers which she had probably to
encounter.

The prisoner trembledhoweverand changed colourwhen a step
was heard on the stairand the door of the turret-chamber slowly
openedand a tall mandressed as one of those banditti to whom
they owed their misfortuneslowly enteredand shut the door
behind him; his cappulled down upon his browsconcealed the
upper part of his faceand he held his mantle in such a manner
as to muffle the rest. In this guiseas if prepared for the
execution of some deedat the thought of which he was himself
ashamedhe stood before the affrighted prisoner; yetruffian as
his dress bespoke himhe seemed at a loss to express what
purpose had brought him thitherso that Rebeccamaking an
effort upon herselfhad time to anticipate his explanation.
She had already unclasped two costly bracelets and a collar
which she hastened to proffer to the supposed outlawconcluding
naturally that to gratify his avarice was to bespeak his favour.

Take these,she saidgood friend, and for God's sake be
merciful to me and my aged father! These ornaments are of value,
yet are they trifling to what he would bestow to obtain our


dismissal from this castle, free and uninjured.

Fair flower of Palestine,replied the outlawthese pearls are
orient, but they yield in whiteness to your teeth; the diamonds
are brilliant, but they cannot match your eyes; and ever since I
have taken up this wild trade, I have made a vow to prefer beauty
to wealth.

Do not do yourself such wrong,said Rebecca; "take ransomand
have mercy!---Gold will purchase you pleasure---to misuse us
could only bring thee remorse. My father will willingly satiate
thy utmost wishes; and if thou wilt act wiselythou mayst
purchase with our spoils thy restoration to civil society---mayst
obtain pardon for past errorsand be placed beyond the necessity
of committing more."

It is well spoken,replied the outlaw in Frenchfinding it
difficult probably to sustainin Saxona conversation which
Rebecca had opened in that language; "but knowbright lily of
the vale of Baca! that thy father is already in the hands of a
powerful alchemistwho knows how to convert into gold and silver
even the rusty bars of a dungeon grate. The venerable Isaac is
subjected to an alembicwhich will distil from him all he holds
dearwithout any assistance from my requests or thy entreaty.
The ransom must be paid by love and beautyand in no other coin
will I accept it."

Thou art no outlaw,said Rebeccain the same language in which
he addressed her; "no outlaw had refused such offers. No outlaw
in this land uses the dialect in which thou hast spoken. Thou
art no outlawbut a Norman---a Normannoble perhaps in birth
---Obe so in thy actionsand cast off this fearful mask of
outrage and violence!"

And thou, who canst guess so truly,said Brian de
Bois-Guilbertdropping the mantle from his faceart no true
daughter of Israel, but in all, save youth and beauty, a very
witch of Endor. I am not an outlaw, then, fair rose of Sharon.
And I am one who will be more prompt to hang thy neck and arms
with pearls and diamonds, which so well become them, than to
deprive thee of these ornaments.

What wouldst thou have of me,said Rebeccaif not my wealth?
---We can have nought in common between us---you are a Christian
---I am a Jewess.---Our union were contrary to the laws, alike of
the church and the synagogue.

It were so, indeed,replied the Templarlaughing; "wed with a
Jewess? 'Despardieux!'---Not if she were the Queen of Sheba! And
knowbesidessweet daughter of Zionthat were the most
Christian king to offer me his most Christian daughterwith
Languedoc for a doweryI could not wed her. It is against my
vow to love any maidenotherwise than 'par amours'as I will
love thee. I am a Templar. Behold the cross of my Holy Order."

Darest thou appeal to it,said Rebeccaon an occasion like
the present?

And if I do so,said the Templarit concerns not thee, who
art no believer in the blessed sign of our salvation.

I believe as my fathers taught,said Rebecca; "and may God
forgive my belief if erroneous! But youSir Knightwhat is
yourswhen you appeal without scruple to that which you deem


most holyeven while you are about to transgress the most solemn
of your vows as a knightand as a man of religion?"

It is gravely and well preached, O daughter of Sirach!answered
the Templar; "butgentle Ecclesiasticsthy narrow Jewish
prejudices make thee blind to our high privilege. Marriage were
an enduring crime on the part of a Templar; but what lesser folly
I may practiseI shall speedily be absolved from at the next
Perceptory of our Order. Not the wisest of monarchsnot his
fatherwhose examples you must needs allow are weightyclaimed
wider privileges than we poor soldiers of the Temple of Zion have
won by our zeal in its defence. The protectors of Solomon's
Temple may claim license by the example of Solomon."

If thou readest the Scripture,said the Jewessand the lives
of the saints, only to justify thine own license and profligacy,
thy crime is like that of him who extracts poison from the most
healthful and necessary herbs.

The eyes of the Templar flashed fire at this reproof---"Hearken
he said, Rebecca; I have hitherto spoken mildly to theebut now
my language shall be that of a conqueror. Thou art the captive
of my bow and spear---subject to my will by the laws of all
nations; nor will I abate an inch of my rightor abstain from
taking by violence what thou refusest to entreaty or necessity."

Stand back,said Rebecca---"stand backand hear me ere thou
offerest to commit a sin so deadly! My strength thou mayst
indeed overpower for God made women weakand trusted their
defence to man's generosity. But I will proclaim thy villainy
Templarfrom one end of Europe to the other. I will owe to the
superstition of thy brethren what their compassion might refuse
meEach Preceptory---each Chapter of thy Ordershall learn
thatlike a hereticthou hast sinned with a Jewess. Those who
tremble not at thy crimewill hold thee accursed for having so
far dishonoured the cross thou wearestas to follow a daughter
of my people."

Thou art keen-witted, Jewess,replied the Templarwell aware
of the truth of what she spokeand that the rules of his Order
condemned in the most positive mannerand under high penalties
such intrigues as he now prosecutedand thatin some instances
even degradation had followed upon it---"thou art sharp-witted
he said; but loud must be thy voice of complaintif it is heard
beyond the iron walls of this castle; within thesemurmurs
lamentsappeals to justiceand screams for helpdie alike
silent away. One thing only can save theeRebecca. Submit to
thy fate---embrace our religionand thou shalt go forth in such
statethat many a Norman lady shall yield as well in pomp as in
beauty to the favourite of the best lance among the defenders of
the Temple."

Submit to my fate!said Rebecca---"andsacred Heaven! to what
fate?---embrace thy religion! and what religion can it be that
harbours such a villain?---THOU the best lance of the Templars!
---Craven knight!---forsworn priest! I spit at theeand I defy
thee.---The God of Abraham's promise hath opened an escape to his
daughter---even from this abyss of infamy!"

As she spokeshe threw open the latticed window which led to the
bartisanand in an instant afterstood on the very verge of the
parapetwith not the slightest screen between her and the
tremendous depth below. Unprepared for such a desperate effort
for she had hitherto stood perfectly motionlessBois-Guilbert


had neither time to intercept nor to stop her. As he offered to
advanceshe exclaimedRemain where thou art, proud Templar, or
at thy choice advance!---one foot nearer, and I plunge myself
from the precipice; my body shall be crushed out of the very form
of humanity upon the stones of that court-yard, ere it become the
victim of thy brutality!

As she spoke thisshe clasped her hands and extended them
towards heavenas if imploring mercy on her soul before she made
the final plunge. The Templar hesitatedand a resolution which
had never yielded to pity or distressgave way to his admiration
of her fortitude. "Come down he said, rash girl!---I swear by
earthand seaand skyI will offer thee no offence."

I will not trust thee, Templar,said Rebecca; thou hast taught
me better how to estimate the virtues of thine Order. The next
Preceptory would grant thee absolution for an oaththe keeping
of which concerned nought but the honour or the dishonour of a
miserable Jewish maiden."

You do me injustice,exclaimed the Templar fervently; "I swear
to you by the name which I bear---by the cross on my bosom---by
the sword on my side---by the ancient crest of my fathers do I
swearI will do thee no injury whatsoever! If not for thyself
yet for thy father's sake forbear! I will be his friendand in
this castle he will need a powerful one."

Alas!said RebeccaI know it but too well---dare I trust
thee?

May my arms be reversed, and my name dishonoured,said Brian de
Bois-Guilbertif thou shalt have reason to complain of me!
Many a law, many a commandment have I broken, but my word never.

I will then trust thee,said Rebeccathus far;and she
descended from the verge of the battlementbut remained standing
close by one of the embrasuresor "machicolles"as they were
then called.---"Here she said, I take my stand. Remain where
thou artand if thou shalt attempt to diminish by one step the
distance now between usthou shalt see that the Jewish maiden
will rather trust her soul with Godthan her honour to the
Templar!"

While Rebecca spoke thusher high and firm resolvewhich
corresponded so well with the expressive beauty of her
countenancegave to her looksairand mannera dignity that
seemed more than mortal. Her glance quailed nother cheek
blanched notfor the fear of a fate so instant and so horrible;
on the contrarythe thought that she had her fate at her
commandand could escape at will from infamy to deathgave a
yet deeper colour of carnation to her complexionand a yet more
brilliant fire to her eye. Bois-Guilbertproud himself and
high-spiritedthought he had never beheld beauty so animated and
so commanding.

Let there be peace between us, Rebecca,he said.

Peace, if thou wilt,answered Rebecca---"Peace---but with this
space between."

Thou needst no longer fear me,said Bois-Guilbert.

I fear thee not,replied she; "thanks to him that reared this
dizzy tower so highthat nought could fall from it and live


--thanks to himand to the God of Israel!---I fear thee not."

Thou dost me injustice,said the Templar; "by earthseaand
skythou dost me injustice! I am not naturally that which you
have seen mehardselfishand relentless. It was woman that
taught me crueltyand on woman therefore I have exercised it;
but not upon such as thou. Hear meRebecca---Never did knight
take lance in his hand with a heart more devoted to the lady of
his love than Brian de Bois-Guilbert. Shethe daughter of a
petty baronwho boasted for all his domains but a ruinous tower
and an unproductive vineyardand some few leagues of the barren
Landes of Bourdeauxher name was known wherever deeds of arms
were doneknown wider than that of many a lady's that had a
county for a dowery.---Yes he continued, pacing up and down the
little platform, with an animation in which he seemed to lose all
consciousness of Rebecca's presence---Yesmy deedsmy danger
my bloodmade the name of Adelaide de Montemare known from the
court of Castile to that of Byzantium. And how was I requited?
---When I returned with my dear-bought honourspurchased by toil
and bloodI found her wedded to a Gascon squirewhose name was
never heard beyond the limits of his own paltry domain! Truly
did I love herand bitterly did I revenge me of her broken
faith! But my vengeance has recoiled on myself. Since that day
I have separated myself from life and its ties---My manhood must
know no domestic home---must be soothed by no affectionate wife
---My age must know no kindly hearth---My grave must be solitary
and no offspring must outlive meto bear the ancient name of
Bois-Guilbert. At the feet of my Superior I have laid down the
right of self-action---the privilege of independence. The
Templara serf in all but the namecan possess neither lands
nor goodsand livesmovesand breathesbut at the will and
pleasure of another."

Alas!said Rebeccawhat advantages could compensate for such
an absolute sacrifice?

The power of vengeance, Rebecca,replied the Templarand the
prospects of ambition.

An evil recompense,said Rebeccafor the surrender of the
rights which are dearest to humanity.

Say not so, maiden,answered the Templar; "revenge is a feast
for the gods! And if they have reserved itas priests tell us
to themselvesit is because they hold it an enjoyment too
precious for the possession of mere mortals.---And ambition? it
is a temptation which could disturb even the bliss of heaven
itself."---He paused a momentand then addedRebecca! she who
could prefer death to dishonour, must have a proud and a powerful
soul. Mine thou must be!---Nay, start not,he addedit must
be with thine own consent, and on thine own terms. Thou must
consent to share with me hopes more extended than can be viewed
from the throne of a monarch!---Hear me ere you answer and judge
ere you refuse.---The Templar loses, as thou hast said, his
social rights, his power of free agency, but he becomes a member
and a limb of a mighty body, before which thrones already
tremble,---even as the single drop of rain which mixes with the
sea becomes an individual part of that resistless ocean, which
undermines rocks and ingulfs royal armadas. Such a swelling
flood is that powerful league. Of this mighty Order I am no mean
member, but already one of the Chief Commanders, and may well
aspire one day to hold the batoon of Grand Master. The poor
soldiers of the Temple will not alone place their foot upon the
necks of kings---a hemp-sandall'd monk can do that. Our mailed


step shall ascend their throne---our gauntlet shall wrench the
sceptre from their gripe. Not the reign of your vainly-expected
Messiah offers such power to your dispersed tribes as my ambition
may aim at. I have sought but a kindred spirit to share it, and
I have found such in thee.

Sayest thou this to one of my people?answered Rebecca.
Bethink thee---

Answer me not,said the Templarby urging the difference of
our creeds; within our secret conclaves we hold these nursery
tales in derision. Think not we long remained blind to the
idiotical folly of our founders, who forswore every delight of
life for the pleasure of dying martyrs by hunger, by thirst, and
by pestilence, and by the swords of savages, while they vainly
strove to defend a barren desert, valuable only in the eyes of
superstition. Our Order soon adopted bolder and wider views, and
found out a better indemnification for our sacrifices. Our
immense possessions in every kingdom of Europe, our high military
fame, which brings within our circle the flower of chivalry from
every Christian clime---these are dedicated to ends of which our
pious founders little dreamed, and which are equally concealed
from such weak spirits as embrace our Order on the ancient
principles, and whose superstition makes them our passive tools.
But I will not further withdraw the veil of our mysteries. That
bugle-sound announces something which may require my presence.
Think on what I have said.---Farewell!---I do not say forgive me
the violence I have threatened, for it was necessary to the
display of thy character. Gold can be only known by the
application of the touchstone. I will soon return, and hold
further conference with thee.

He re-entered the turret-chamberand descended the stair
leaving Rebecca scarcely more terrified at the prospect of the
death to which she had been so lately exposedthan at the
furious ambition of the bold bad man in whose power she found
herself so unhappily placed. When she entered the
turret-chamberher first duty was to return thanks to the God of
Jacob for the protection which he had afforded herand to
implore its continuance for her and for her father. Another name
glided into her petition---it was that of the wounded Christian
whom fate had placed in the hands of bloodthirsty menhis avowed
enemies. Her heart indeed checked heras ifeven in communing
with the Deity in prayershe mingled in her devotions the
recollection of one with whose fate hers could have no alliance
---a Nazareneand an enemy to her faith. But the petition was
already breathednor could all the narrow prejudices of her sect
induce Rebecca to wish it recalled.

CHAPTER XXV

A damn'd cramp piece of penmanship as ever I saw in my life!
She Stoops to Conquer

When the Templar reached the hall of the castlehe found De
Bracy already there. "Your love-suit said De Bracy, hathI
supposebeen disturbedlike mineby this obstreperous summons.
But you have come later and more reluctantlyand therefore I
presume your interview has proved more agreeable than mine."


Has your suit, then, been unsuccessfully paid to the Saxon
heiress?said the Templar.

By the bones of Thomas a Becket,answered De Bracythe Lady
Rowena must have heard that I cannot endure the sight of women's
tears.

Away!said the Templar; "thou a leader of a Free Companyand
regard a woman's tears! A few drops sprinkled on the torch of
lovemake the flame blaze the brighter."

Gramercy for the few drops of thy sprinkling,replied De Bracy;
but this damsel hath wept enough to extinguish a beacon-light.
Never was such wringing of hands and such overflowing of eyes,
since the days of St Niobe, of whom Prior Aymer told us.*

* I wish the Prior had also informed them when Niobe was
* sainted. Probably during that enlightened period when
* Pan to Moses lent his pagan horn." L. T.
A water-fiend hath possessed the fair Saxon."

A legion of fiends have occupied the bosom of the Jewess,
replied the Templar; "forI think no single onenot even
Apollyon himselfcouldhave inspired such indomitable pride and
resolution.---But where is Front-de-Boeuf? That horn is sounded
more and more clamorously."

He is negotiating with the Jew, I suppose,replied De Bracy
coolly; "probably the howls of Isaac have drowned the blast of
the bugle. Thou mayst knowby experienceSir Brianthat a Jew
parting with his treasures on such terms as our friend
Front-de-Boeuf is like to offerwill raise a clamour loud enough
to be heard over twenty horns and trumpets to boot. But we will
make the vassals call him."

They were soon after joined by Front-de-Boeufwho had been
disturbed in his tyrannic cruelty in the manner with which the
reader is acquaintedand had only tarried to give some
necessary directions.

Let us see the cause of this cursed clamour,said
Front-de-Boeuf---"here is a letterandif I mistake notit is
in Saxon."

He looked at itturning it round and round as if he had had
really some hopes of coming at the meaning by inverting the
position of the paperand then handed it to De Bracy.

It may be magic spells for aught I know,said De Bracywho
possessed his full proportion of the ignorance which
characterised the chivalry of the period. "Our chaplain
attempted to teach me to write he said, but all my letters
were formed like spear-heads and sword-bladesand so the old
shaveling gave up the task."

Give it me,said the Templar. "We have that of the priestly
characterthat we have some knowledge to enlighten our valour."

Let us profit by your most reverend knowledge, then,said De
Bracy; "what says the scroll?"

It is a formal letter of defiance,answered the Templar; "but
by our Lady of Bethlehemif it be not a foolish jestit is the


most extraordinary cartel that ever was sent across the
drawbridge of a baronial castle."

Jest!said Front-de-BoeufI would gladly know who dares jest
with me in such a matter!---Read it, Sir Brian.

The Templar accordingly read it as follows:---"IWambathe son
of WitlessJester to a noble and free-born manCedric of
Rotherwoodcalled the Saxon---And IGurththe son of
Beowulphthe swineherd------"

Thou art mad,said Front-de-Boeufinterrupting the reader.

By St Luke, it is so set down,answered the Templar. Then
resuming his taskhe went on---"IGurththe son of Beowulph
swineherd unto the said Cedricwith the assistance of our allies
and confederateswho make common cause with us in this our feud
namelythe good knightcalled for the present 'Le Noir
Faineant'and the stout yeomanRobert Locksleycalled
Cleave-the-WandDo youReginald Front de-Boeufand your allies
and accomplices whomsoeverto witthat whereas you have
without cause given or feud declaredwrongfully and by mastery
seized upon the person of our lord and master the said Cedric;
also upon the person of a noble and freeborn damselthe Lady
Rowena of Hargottstandstede; also upon the person of a noble and
freeborn manAthelstane of Coningsburgh; also upon the persons
of certain freeborn mentheir 'cnichts'; also upon certain
serfstheir born bondsmen; also upon a certain Jewnamed Isaac
of Yorktogether with his daughtera Jewessand certain
horses and mules: Which noble personswith their 'cnichts' and
slavesand also with the horses and mulesJew and Jewess
beforesaidwere all in peace with his majestyand travelling
as liege subjects upon the king's highway; therefore we require
and demand that the said noble personsnamelyCedric of
RotherwoodRowena of HargottstandstedeAthelstane of
Coningsburghwith their servants'cnichts'and followersalso
the horses and mulesJew and Jewess aforesaidtogether with all
goods and chattels to them pertainingbewithin an hour after
the delivery hereofdelivered to usor to those whom we shall
appoint to receive the sameand that untouched and unharmed in
body and goods. Failing of whichwe do pronounce to youthat
we hold ye as robbers and traitorsand will wager our bodies
against ye in battlesiegeor otherwiseand do our utmost to
your annoyance and destruction. Wherefore may God have you in
his keeping.---Signed by us upon the eve of St Withold's day
under the great trysting oak in the Hart-hill Walkthe above
being written by a holy manClerk to Godour Ladyand St
Dunstanin the Chapel of Copmanhurst."

At the bottom of this document was scrawledin the first place
a rude sketch of a cock's head and combwith a legend expressing
this hieroglyphic to be the sign-manual of Wambason of Witless.
Under this respectable emblem stood a crossstated to be the
mark of Gurththe son of Beowulph. Then was writtenin rough
bold charactersthe wordsLe Noir Faineant. Andto conclude
the wholean arrowneatly enough drawnwas described as the
mark of the yeoman Locksley.

The knights heard this uncommon document read from end to end
and then gazed upon each other in silent amazementas being
utterly at a loss to know what it could portend. De Bracy was
the first to break silence by an uncontrollable fit of laughter
wherein he was joinedthough with more moderationby the
Templar. Front-de-Boeufon the contraryseemed impatient of


their ill-timed jocularity.

I give you plain warning,he saidfair sirs, that you had
better consult how to bear yourselves under these circumstances,
than give way to such misplaced merriment.

Front-de-Boeuf has not recovered his temper since his late
overthrow,said De Bracy to the Templar; "he is cowed at the
very idea of a cartelthough it come but from a fool and a
swineherd."

By St Michael,answered Front-de-BoeufI would thou couldst
stand the whole brunt of this adventure thyself, De Bracy. These
fellows dared not have acted with such inconceivable impudence,
had they not been supported by some strong bands. There are
enough of outlaws in this forest to resent my protecting the
deer. I did but tie one fellow, who was taken redhanded and in
the fact, to the horns of a wild stag, which gored him to death
in five minutes, and I had as many arrows shot at me as there
were launched against yonder target at Ashby.---Here, fellow,he
addedto one of his attendantshast thou sent out to see by
what force this precious challenge is to be supported?

There are at least two hundred men assembled in the woods,
answered a squire who was in attendance.

Here is a proper matter!said Front-de-Boeufthis comes of
lending you the use of my castle, that cannot manage your
undertaking quietly, but you must bring this nest of hornets
about my ears!

Of hornets?said De Bracy; "of stingless drones rather; a band
of lazy knaveswho take to the woodand destroy the venison
rather than labour for their maintenance."

Stingless!replied Front-de-Boeuf; "fork-headed shafts of a
cloth-yard in lengthand these shot within the breadth of a
French crownare sting enough."

For shame, Sir Knight!said the Templar. "Let us summon our
peopleand sally forth upon them. One knight---ayone
man-at-armswere enough for twenty such peasants."

Enough, and too much,said De Bracy; "I should only be ashamed
to couch lance against them."

True,answered Front-de-Boeuf; "were they black Turks or Moors
Sir Templaror the craven peasants of Francemost valiant De
Bracy; but these are English yeomenover whom we shall have no
advantagesave what we may derive from our arms and horses
which will avail us little in the glades of the forest. Sally
saidst thou? we have scarce men enough to defend the castle. The
best of mine are at York; so is all your bandDe Bracy; and we
have scarcely twentybesides the handful that were engaged in
this mad business."

Thou dost not fear,said the Templarthat they can assemble
in force sufficient to attempt the castle?

Not so, Sir Brian,answered Front-de-Boeuf. "These outlaws
have indeed a daring captain; but without machinesscaling
laddersand experienced leadersmy castle may defy them."

Send to thy neighbours,said the Templarlet them assemble


their people, and come to the rescue of three knights, besieged
by a jester and a swineherd in the baronial castle of Reginald
Front-de-Boeuf!

You jest, Sir Knight,answered the baron; "but to whom should I
send?---Malvoisin is by this time at York with his retainersand
so are my other allies; and so should I have beenbut for this
infernal enterprise."

Then send to York, and recall our people,said De Bracy. "If
they abide the shaking of my standardor the sight of my Free
CompanionsI will give them credit for the boldest outlaws ever
bent bow in green-wood."

And who shall bear such a message?said Front-de-Boeuf; "they
will beset every pathand rip the errand out of his bosom.---I
have it he added, after pausing for a moment---Sir Templar
thou canst write as well as readand if we can but find the
writing materials of my chaplainwho died a twelvemonth since in
the midst of his Christmas carousals---"

So please ye,said the squirewho was still in attendanceI
think old Urfried has them somewhere in keeping, for love of the
confessor. He was the last man, I have heard her tell, who ever
said aught to her, which man ought in courtesy to address to maid
or matron.

Go, search them out, Engelred,said Front-de-Boeuf; "and then
Sir Templarthou shalt return an answer to this bold challenge."

I would rather do it at the sword's point than at that of the
pen,said Bois-Guilbert; "but be it as you will."

He sat down accordinglyand inditedin the French languagean
epistle of the following tenor:---"Sir Reginald Front-de-Boeuf
with his noble and knightly allies and confederatesreceive no
defiances at the hands of slavesbondsmenor fugitives. If the
person calling himself the Black Knight have indeed a claim to
the honours of chivalryhe ought to know that he stands degraded
by his present associationand has no right to ask reckoning at
the hands of good men of noble blood. Touching the prisoners we
have madewe do in Christian charity require you to send a man
of religionto receive their confessionand reconcile them with
God; since it is our fixed intention to execute them this morning
before noonso that their heads being placed on the battlements
shall show to all men how lightly we esteem those who have
bestirred themselves in their rescue. Whereforeas abovewe
require you to send a priest to reconcile them to Godin doing
which you shall render them the last earthly service."

This letter being foldedwas delivered to the squireand by him
to the messenger who waited withoutas the answer to that which
he had brought.

The yeoman having thus accomplished his missionreturned to the
head-quarters of the allieswhich were for the present
established under a venerable oak-treeabout three arrow-flights
distant from the castle. Here Wamba and Gurthwith their allies
the Black Knight and Locksleyand the jovial hermitawaited
with impatience an answer to their summons. Aroundand at a
distance from themwere seen many a bold yeomanwhose silvan
dress and weatherbeaten countenances showed the ordinary nature
of their occupation. More than two hundred had already
assembledand others were fast coming in. Those whom they


obeyed as leaders were only distinguished from the others by a
feather in the captheir dressarmsand equipments being in
all other respects the same.

Besides these bandsa less orderly and a worse armed force
consisting of the Saxon inhabitants of the neighbouring township
as well as many bondsmen and servants from Cedric's extensive
estatehad already arrivedfor the purpose of assisting in his
rescue. Few of these were armed otherwise than with such rustic
weapons as necessity sometimes converts to military purposes.
Boar-spearsscythesflailsand the likewere their chief
arms; for the Normanswith the usual policy of conquerorswere
jealous of permitting to the vanquished Saxons the possession or
the use of swords and spears. These circumstances rendered the
assistance of the Saxons far from being so formidable to the
besiegedas the strength of the men themselvestheir superior
numbersand the animation inspired by a just causemight
otherwise well have made them. It was to the leaders of this
motley army that the letter of the Templar was now delivered.

Reference was at first made to the chaplain for an exposition of
its contents.

By the crook of St Dunstan,said that worthy ecclesiastic
which hath brought more sheep within the sheepfold than the
crook of e'er another saint in Paradise, I swear that I cannot
expound unto you this jargon, which, whether it be French or
Arabic, is beyond my guess.

He then gave the letter to Gurthwho shook his head grufflyand
passed it to Wamba. The Jester looked at each of the four
corners of the paper with such a grin of affected intelligence as
a monkey is apt to assume upon similar occasionsthen cut a
caperand gave the letter to Locksley.

If the long letters were bows, and the short letters broad
arrows, I might know something of the matter,said the brave
yeoman; "but as the matter standsthe meaning is as safefor
meas the stag that's at twelve miles distance."

I must be clerk, then,said the Black Knight; and taking the
letter from Locksleyhe first read it over to himselfand then
explained the meaning in Saxon to his confederates.

Execute the noble Cedric!exclaimed Wamba; "by the roodthou
must be mistakenSir Knight."

Not I, my worthy friend,replied the knightI have explained
the words as they are here set down.

Then, by St Thomas of Canterbury,replied Gurthwe will have
the castle, should we tear it down with our hands!

We have nothing else to tear it with,replied Wamba; "but mine
are scarce fit to make mammocks of freestone and mortar."

'Tis but a contrivance to gain time,said Locksley; "they dare
not do a deed for which I could exact a fearful penalty."

I would,said the Black Knightthere were some one among us
who could obtain admission into the castle, and discover how the
case stands with the besieged. Methinks, as they require a
confessor to be sent, this holy hermit might at once exercise his
pious vocation, and procure us the information we desire.


A plague on thee, and thy advice!said the pious hermit; "I
tell theeSir Slothful Knightthat when I doff my friar's
frockmy priesthoodmy sanctitymy very Latinare put off
along with it; and when in my green jerkinI can better kill
twenty deer than confess one Christian."

I fear,said the Black KnightI fear greatly, there is no one
here that is qualified to take upon him, for the nonce, this same
character of father confessor?

All looked on each otherand were silent.

I see,said Wambaafter a short pausethat the fool must be
still the fool, and put his neck in the venture which wise men
shrink from. You must know, my dear cousins and countrymen, that
I wore russet before I wore motley, and was bred to be a friar,
until a brain-fever came upon me and left me just wit enough to
be a fool. I trust, with the assistance of the good hermit's
frock, together with the priesthood, sanctity, and learning which
are stitched into the cowl of it, I shall be found qualified to
administer both worldly and ghostly comfort to our worthy master
Cedric, and his companions in adversity.

Hath he sense enough, thinkst thou?said the Black Knight
addressing Gurth.

I know not,said Gurth; "but if he hath notit will be the
first time he hath wanted wit to turn his folly to account."

On with the frock, then, good fellow,quoth the Knightand
let thy master send us an account of their situation within the
castle. Their numbers must be few, and it is five to one they
may be accessible by a sudden and bold attack. Time wears---away
with thee.

And, in the meantime,said Locksleywe will beset the place
so closely, that not so much as a fly shall carry news from
thence. So that, my good friend,he continuedaddressing
Wambathou mayst assure these tyrants, that whatever violence
they exercise on the persons of their prisoners, shall be most
severely repaid upon their own.

Pax vobiscum,said Wambawho was now muffled in his religious
disguise.

And so saying he imitated the solemn and stately deportment of a
friarand departed to execute his mission.

CHAPTER XXVI

The hottest horse will oft be cool
The dullest will show fire;
The friar will often play the fool
The fool will play the friar.
Old Song

When the Jesterarrayed in the cowl and frock of the hermitand
having his knotted cord twisted round his middlestood before


the portal of the castle of Front-de-Boeufthe warder demanded
of him his name and errand.

Pax vobiscum,answered the JesterI am a poor brother of the
Order of St Francis, who come hither to do my office to certain
unhappy prisoners now secured within this castle.

Thou art a bold friar,said the warderto come hither, where,
saving our own drunken confessor, a cock of thy feather hath not
crowed these twenty years.

Yet I pray thee, do mine errand to the lord of the castle,
answered the pretended friar; "trust me it will find good
acceptance with himand the cock shall crowthat the whole
castle shall hear him."

Gramercy,said the warder; "but if I come to shame for leaving
my post upon thine errandI will try whether a friar's grey gown
be proof against a grey-goose shaft."

With this threat he left his turretand carried to the hall of
the castle his unwonted intelligencethat a holy friar stood
before the gate and demanded instant admission. With no small
wonder he received his master's commands to admit the holy man
immediately; andhaving previously manned the entrance to guard
against surprisehe obeyedwithout further scruplethe
commands which he had received. The harebrained self-conceit
which had emboldened Wamba to undertake this dangerous office
was scarce sufficient to support him when he found himself in the
presence of a man so dreadfuland so much dreadedas Reginald
Front-de-Boeufand he brought out his "pax vobiscum"to which
hein a good measuretrusted for supporting his characterwith
more anxiety and hesitation than had hitherto accompanied it.
But Front-de-Boeuf was accustomed to see men of all ranks tremble
in his presenceso that the timidity of the supposed father did
not give him any cause of suspicion.

Who and whence art thou, priest?said he.

'Pax vobiscum',reiterated the JesterI am a poor servant of
St Francis, who, travelling through this wilderness, have fallen
among thieves, (as Scripture hath it,) 'quidam viator incidit in
latrones', which thieves have sent me unto this castle in order
to do my ghostly office on two persons condemned by your
honourable justice.

Ay, right,answered Front-de-Boeuf; "and canst thou tell me
holy fatherthe number of those banditti?"

Gallant sir,answered the Jester'nomen illis legio', their
name is legion.

Tell me in plain terms what numbers there are, or, priest, thy
cloak and cord will ill protect thee.

Alas!said the supposed friar'cor meum eructavit', that is
to say, I was like to burst with fear! but I conceive they may be
---what of yeomen ---what of commons, at least five hundred men.

What!said the Templarwho came into the hall that moment
muster the wasps so thick here? it is time to stifle such a
mischievous brood.Then taking Front-de-Boeuf aside "Knowest
thou the priest?"


He is a stranger from a distant convent,said Front-de-Boeuf;
I know him not.

Then trust him not with thy purpose in words,answered the
Templar. "Let him carry a written order to De Bracy's company
of Free Companionsto repair instantly to their master's aid.
In the meantimeand that the shaveling may suspect nothing
permit him to go freely about his task of preparing these Saxon
hogs for the slaughter-house."

It shall be so,said Front-de-Boeuf. And he forthwith
appointed a domestic to conduct Wamba to the apartment where
Cedric and Athelstane were confined.

The impatience of Cedric had been rather enhanced than diminished
by his confinement. He walked from one end of the hall to the
otherwith the attitude of one who advances to charge an enemy
or to storm the breach of a beleaguered placesometimes
ejaculating to himselfsometimes addressing Athelstanewho
stoutly and stoically awaited the issue of the adventure
digestingin the meantimewith great composurethe liberal
meal which he had made at noonand not greatly interesting
himself about the duration of his captivitywhich he concluded
wouldlike all earthly evilsfind an end in Heaven's good time.

'Pax vobiscum',said the Jesterentering the apartment; "the
blessing of St DunstanSt DennisSt Duthocand all other
saints whatsoeverbe upon ye and about ye."

Enter freely,answered Cedric to the supposed friar; "with what
intent art thou come hither?"

To bid you prepare yourselves for death,answered the Jester.

It is impossible!replied Cedricstarting. "Fearless and
wicked as they arethey dare not attempt such open and
gratuitous cruelty!"

Alas!said the Jesterto restrain them by their sense of
humanity, is the same as to stop a runaway horse with a bridle of
silk thread. Bethink thee, therefore, noble Cedric, and you
also, gallant Athelstane, what crimes you have committed in the
flesh; for this very day will ye be called to answer at a higher
tribunal.

Hearest thou this, Athelstane?said Cedric; "we must rouse up
our hearts to this last actionsince better it is we should die
like menthan live like slaves."

I am ready,answered Athelstaneto stand the worst of their
malice, and shall walk to my death with as much composure as ever
I did to my dinner.

Let us then unto our holy gear, father,said Cedric.

Wait yet a moment, good uncle,said the Jesterin his natural
tone; "better look long before you leap in the dark."

By my faith,said CedricI should know that voice!

It is that of your trusty slave and jester,answered Wamba
throwing back his cowl. "Had you taken a fool's advice formerly
you would not have been here at all. Take a fool's advice now
and you will not be here long."


How mean'st thou, knave?answered the Saxon.

Even thus,replied Wamba; "take thou this frock and cordwhich
are all the orders I ever hadand march quietly out of the
castleleaving me your cloak and girdle to take the long leap in
thy stead."

Leave thee in my stead!said Cedricastonished at the
proposal; "whythey would hang theemy poor knave."

E'en let them do as they are permitted,said Wamba; "I trust
---no disparagement to your birth---that the son of Witless may
hang in a chain with as much gravity as the chain hung upon his
ancestor the alderman."

Well, Wamba,answered Cedricfor one thing will I grant thy
request. And that is, if thou wilt make the exchange of garments
with Lord Athelstane instead of me.

No, by St Dunstan,answered Wamba; "there were little reason in
that. Good right there isthat the son of Witless should suffer
to save the son of Hereward; but little wisdom there were in his
dying for the benefit of one whose fathers were strangers to
his."

Villain,said Cedricthe fathers of Athelstane were monarchs
of England!

They might be whomsoever they pleased,replied Wamba; "but my
neck stands too straight upon my shoulders to have it twisted for
their sake. Whereforegood my mastereither take my proffer
yourselfor suffer me to leave this dungeon as free as I
entered."

Let the old tree wither,continued Cedricso the stately hope
of the forest be preserved. Save the noble Athelstane, my trusty
Wamba! it is the duty of each who has Saxon blood in his veins.
Thou and I will abide together the utmost rage of our injurious
oppressors, while he, free and safe, shall arouse the awakened
spirits of our countrymen to avenge us.

Not so, father Cedric,said Athelstanegrasping his hand
---forwhen roused to think or acthis deeds and sentiments
were not unbecoming his high race---"Not so he continued; I
would rather remain in this hall a week without food save the
prisoner's stinted loafor drink save the prisoner's measure of
waterthan embrace the opportunity to escape which the slave's
untaught kindness has purveyed for his master."

You are called wise men, sirs,said the Jesterand I a crazed
fool; but, uncle Cedric, and cousin Athelstane, the fool shall
decide this controversy for ye, and save ye the trouble of
straining courtesies any farther. I am like John-a-Duck's mare,
that will let no man mount her but John-a-Duck. I came to save
my master, and if he will not consent---basta---I can but go away
home again. Kind service cannot be chucked from hand to hand
like a shuttlecock or stool-ball. I'll hang for no man but my
own born master.

Go, then, noble Cedric,said Athelstaneneglect not this
opportunity. Your presence without may encourage friends to our
rescue---your remaining here would ruin us all.


And is there any prospect, then, of rescue from without?said
Cedriclooking to the Jester.

Prospect, indeed!echoed Wamba; "let me tell youwhen you fill
my cloakyou are wrapped in a general's cassock. Five hundred
men are there withoutand I was this morning one of the chief
leaders. My fool's cap was a casqueand my bauble a truncheon.
Wellwe shall see what good they will make by exchanging a fool
for a wise man. TrulyI fear they will lose in valour what they
may gain in discretion. And so farewellmasterand be kind to
poor Gurth and his dog Fangs; and let my cockscomb hang in the
hall at Rotherwoodin memory that I flung away my life for my
masterlike a faithful------fool."

The last word came out with a sort of double expressionbetwixt
jest and earnest. The tears stood in Cedric's eyes.

Thy memory shall be preserved,he saidwhile fidelity and
affection have honour upon earth! But that I trust I shall find
the means of saving Rowena, and thee, Athelstane, and thee, also,
my poor Wamba, thou shouldst not overbear me in this matter.

The exchange of dress was now accomplishedwhen a sudden doubt
struck Cedric.

I know no language,he saidbut my own, and a few words of
their mincing Norman. How shall I bear myself like a reverend
brother?

The spell lies in two words,replied Wamba--- "'Pax vobiscum'
will answer all queries. If you go or comeeat or drinkbless
or ban'Pax vobiscum' carries you through it all. It is as
useful to a friar as a broomstick to a witchor a wand to a
conjurer. Speak it but thusin a deep grave tone---'Pax
vobiscum!'---it is irresistible---Watch and wardknight and
squirefoot and horseit acts as a charm upon them all. I
thinkif they bring me out to be hanged to-morrowas is much to
be doubted they mayI will try its weight upon the finisher of
the sentence."

If such prove the case,said the mastermy religious orders
are soon taken---'Pax vobiscum'. I trust I shall remember the
pass-word.---Noble Athelstane, farewell; and farewell, my poor
boy, whose heart might make amends for a weaker head---I will
save you, or return and die with you. The royal blood of our
Saxon kings shall not be spilt while mine beats in my veins; nor
shall one hair fall from the head of the kind knave who risked
himself for his master, if Cedric's peril can prevent it.
---Farewell.

Farewell, noble Cedric,said Athelstane; "remember it is the
true part of a friar to accept refreshmentif you are offered
any."

Farewell, uncle,added Wamba; "and remember 'Pax vobiscum'."

Thus exhortedCedric sallied forth upon his expedition; and it
was not long ere he had occasion to try the force of that spell
which his Jester had recommended as omnipotent. In a low-arched
and dusky passageby which he endeavoured to work his way to the
hall of the castlehe was interrupted by a female form.

'Pax vobiscum!'said the pseudo friarand was endeavouring to
hurry pastwhen a soft voice replied'Et vobis---quaso, domine


reverendissime, pro misericordia vestra'.

I am somewhat deaf,replied Cedricin good Saxonand at the
same time muttered to himselfA curse on the fool and his 'Pax
vobiscum!' I have lost my javelin at the first cast.

It washoweverno unusual thing for a priest of those days to
be deaf of his Latin earand this the person who now addressed
Cedric knew full well.

I pray you of dear love, reverend father,she replied in his
own languagethat you will deign to visit with your ghostly
comfort a wounded prisoner of this castle, and have such
compassion upon him and us as thy holy office teaches---Never
shall good deed so highly advantage thy convent.

Daughter,answered Cedricmuch embarrassedmy time in this
castle will not permit me to exercise the duties of mine office
---I must presently forth---there is life and death upon my
speed.

Yet, father, let me entreat you by the vow you have taken on
you,replied the suppliantnot to leave the oppressed and
endangered without counsel or succour.

May the fiend fly away with me, and leave me in Ifrin with the
souls of Odin and of Thor!answered Cedric impatientlyand
would probably have proceeded in the same tone of total departure
from his spiritual characterwhen the colloquy was interrupted
by the harsh voice of Urfriedthe old crone of the turret.

How, minion,said she to the female speakeris this the
manner in which you requite the kindness which permitted thee to
leave thy prison-cell yonder?---Puttest thou the reverend man to
use ungracious language to free himself from the importunities
of a Jewess?

A Jewess!said Cedricavailing himself of the information to
get clear of their interruption---"Let me passwoman! stop me
not at your peril. I am fresh from my holy officeand would
avoid pollution."

Come this way, father,said the old hagthou art a stranger
in this castle, and canst not leave it without a guide. Come
hither, for I would speak with thee.---And you, daughter of an
accursed race, go to the sick man's chamber, and tend him until
my return; and woe betide you if you again quit it without my
permission!

Rebecca retreated. Her importunities had prevailed upon Urfried
to suffer her to quit the turretand Urfried had employed her
services where she herself would most gladly have paid themby
the bedside of the wounded Ivanhoe. With an understanding awake
to their dangerous situationand prompt to avail herself of each
means of safety which occurredRebecca had hoped something from
the presence of a man of religionwhoshe learned from Urfried
had penetrated into this godless castle. She watched the return
of the supposed ecclesiasticwith the purpose of addressing him
and interesting him in favour of the prisoners; with what
imperfect success the reader has been just acquainted.


CHAPTER XXVII

Fond wretch! and what canst thou relate
But deeds of sorrowshameand sin?
Thy deeds are proved---thou know'st thy fate;
But comethy tale---begin---begin.
* * * * *
But I have griefs of other kind
Troubles and sorrows more severe;
Give me to ease my tortured mind

Lend to my woes a patient ear;
And let meif I may not find
A friend to help---find one to hear.

Crabbe's Hall of Justice

When Urfried had with clamours and menaces driven Rebecca back to
the apartment from which she had salliedshe proceeded to
conduct the unwilling Cedric into a small apartmentthe door of
which she heedfully secured. Then fetching from a cupboard a
stoup of wine and two flagonsshe placed them on the tableand
said in a tone rather asserting a fact than asking a question
Thou art Saxon, father---Deny it not,she continuedobserving
that Cedric hastened not to reply; "the sounds of my native
language are sweet to mine earsthough seldom heard save from
the tongues of the wretched and degraded serfs on whom the proud
Normans impose the meanest drudgery of this dwelling. Thou art a
Saxonfather---a Saxonandsave as thou art a servant of God
a freeman.---Thine accents are sweet in mine ear."

Do not Saxon priests visit this castle, then?replied Cedric;
it were, methinks, their duty to comfort the outcast and
oppressed children of the soil.

They come not---or if they come, they better love to revel at
the boards of their conquerors,answered Urfriedthan to hear
the groans of their countrymen---so, at least, report speaks of
them---of myself I can say little. This castle, for ten years,
has opened to no priest save the debauched Norman chaplain who
partook the nightly revels of Front-de-Boeuf, and he has been
long gone to render an account of his stewardship.---But thou art
a Saxon---a Saxon priest, and I have one question to ask of
thee.

I am a Saxon,answered Cedricbut unworthy, surely, of the
name of priest. Let me begone on my way---I swear I will return,
or send one of our fathers more worthy to hear your confession.

Stay yet a while,said Urfried; "the accents of the voice which
thou hearest now will soon be choked with the cold earthand I
would not descend to it like the beast I have lived. But wine
must give me strength to tell the horrors of my tale." She
poured out a cupand drank it with a frightful aviditywhich
seemed desirous of draining the last drop in the goblet. "It
stupifies she said, looking upwards as she finished her
drought, but it cannot cheer---Partake itfatherif you would
hear my tale without sinking down upon the pavement." Cedric
would have avoided pledging her in this ominous convivialitybut
the sign which she made to him expressed impatience and despair.
He complied with her requestand answered her challenge in a
large wine-cup; she then proceeded with her storyas if appeased
by his complaisance.


I was not born,she saidfather, the wretch that thou now
seest me. I was free, was happy, was honoured, loved, and was
beloved. I am now a slave, miserable and degraded---the sport of
my masters' passions while I had yet beauty---the object of their
contempt, scorn, and hatred, since it has passed away. Dost thou
wonder, father, that I should hate mankind, and, above all, the
race that has wrought this change in me? Can the wrinkled
decrepit hag before thee, whose wrath must vent itself in
impotent curses, forget she was once the daughter of the noble
Thane of Torquilstone, before whose frown a thousand vassals
trembled?

Thou the daughter of Torquil Wolfganger!said Cedricreceding
as he spoke; "thou---thou---the daughter of that noble Saxonmy
father's friend and companion in arms!"

Thy father's friend!echoed Urfried; "then Cedric called the
Saxon stands before mefor the noble Hereward of Rotherwood had
but one sonwhose name is well known among his countrymen. But
if thou art Cedric of Rotherwoodwhy this religious dress?
---hast thou too despaired of saving thy countryand sought
refuge from oppression in the shade of the convent?"

It matters not who I am,said Cedric; "proceedunhappy woman
with thy tale of horror and guilt!---Guilt there must be---there
is guilt even in thy living to tell it."

There is---there is,answered the wretched womandeep, black,
damning guilt,---guilt, that lies like a load at my breast
--guilt, that all the penitential fires of hereafter cannot
cleanse.---Yes, in these halls, stained with the noble and pure
blood of my father and my brethren---in these very halls, to have
lived the paramour of their murderer, the slave at once and the
partaker of his pleasures, was to render every breath which I
drew of vital air, a crime and a curse.

Wretched woman!exclaimed Cedric. "And while the friends of
thy father---while each true Saxon heartas it breathed a
requiem for his souland those of his valiant sonsforgot not
in their prayers the murdered Ulrica---while all mourned and
honoured the deadthou hast lived to merit our hate and
execration---lived to unite thyself with the vile tyrant who
murdered thy nearest and dearest---who shed the blood of infancy
rather than a male of the noble house of Torquil Wolfganger
should survive---with him hast thou lived to unite thyselfand
in the hands of lawless love!"

In lawless hands, indeed, but not in those of love!answered
the hag; "love will sooner visit the regions of eternal doom
than those unhallowed vaults.---Nowith that at least I cannot
reproach myself---hatred to Front-de-Boeuf and his race governed
my soul most deeplyeven in the hour of his guilty endearments."

You hated him, and yet you lived,replied Cedric; "wretch! was
there no poniard---no knife---no bodkin!---Well was it for thee
since thou didst prize such an existencethat the secrets of a
Norman castle are like those of the grave. For had I but dreamed
of the daughter of Torquil living in foul communion with the
murderer of her fatherthe sword of a true Saxon had found thee
out even in the arms of thy paramour!"

Wouldst thou indeed have done this justice to the name of
Torquil?said Ulricafor we may now lay aside her assumed name
of Urfried; "thou art then the true Saxon report speaks thee! for


even within these accursed wallswhereas thou well sayest
guilt shrouds itself in inscrutable mysteryeven there has the
name of Cedric been sounded---and Iwretched and degradedhave
rejoiced to think that there yet breathed an avenger of our
unhappy nation.---I also have had my hours of vengeance---I have
fomented the quarrels of our foesand heated drunken revelry
into murderous broil---I have seen their blood flow---I have
heard their dying groans!---Look on meCedric---are there not
still left on this foul and faded face some traces of the
features of Torquil?"

Ask me not of them, Ulrica,replied Cedricin a tone of grief
mixed with abhorrence; "these traces form such a resemblance as
arises from the graves of the deadwhen a fiend has animated the
lifeless corpse."

Be it so,answered Ulrica; "yet wore these fiendish features
the mask of a spirit of light when they were able to set at
variance the elder Front-de-Boeuf and his son Reginald! The
darkness of hell should hide what followedbut revenge must
lift the veiland darkly intimate what it would raise the dead
to speak aloud. Long had the smouldering fire of discord glowed
between the tyrant father and his savage son---long had I nursed
in secretthe unnatural hatred---it blazed forth in an hour of
drunken wassailand at his own board fell my oppressor by the
hand of his own son---such are the secrets these vaults conceal!
---Rend asunderye accursed arches she added, looking up
towards the roof, and bury in your fall all who are conscious
of the hideous mystery!"

And thou, creature of guilt and misery,said Cedricwhat
became thy lot on the death of thy ravisher?

Guess it, but ask it not.---Here---here I dwelt, till age,
premature age, has stamped its ghastly features on my countenance
---scorned and insulted where I was once obeyed, and compelled to
bound the revenge which had once such ample scope, to the efforts
of petty malice of a discontented menial, or the vain or unheeded
curses of an impotent hag---condemned to hear from my lonely
turret the sounds of revelry in which I once partook, or the
shrieks and groans of new victims of oppression.

Ulrica,said Cedricwith a heart which still, I fear, regrets
the lost reward of thy crimes, as much as the deeds by which thou
didst acquire that meed, how didst thou dare to address thee to
one who wears this robe? Consider, unhappy woman, what could the
sainted Edward himself do for thee, were he here in bodily
presence? The royal Confessor was endowed by heaven with power
to cleanse the ulcers of the body, but only God himself can cure
the leprosy of the soul.

Yet, turn not from me, stern prophet of wrath,she exclaimed
but tell me, if thou canst, in what shall terminate these new
and awful feelings that burst on my solitude---Why do deeds, long
since done, rise before me in new and irresistible horrors? What
fate is prepared beyond the grave for her, to whom God has
assigned on earth a lot of such unspeakable wretchedness? Better
had I turn to Woden, Hertha, and Zernebock---to Mista, and to
Skogula, the gods of our yet unbaptized ancestors, than endure
the dreadful anticipations which have of late haunted my waking
and my sleeping hours!

I am no priest,said Cedricturning with disgust from this
miserable picture of guiltwretchednessand despair; "I am no


priestthough I wear a priest's garment."

Priest or layman,answered Ulricathou art the first I have
seen for twenty years, by whom God was feared or man regarded;
and dost thou bid me despair?

I bid thee repent,said Cedric. "Seek to prayer and penance
and mayest thou find acceptance! But I cannotI will not
longer abide with thee."

Stay yet a moment!said Ulrica; "leave me not nowson of my
father's friendlest the demon who has governed my life should
tempt me to avenge myself of thy hard-hearted scorn---Thinkest
thouif Front-de-Boeuf found Cedric the Saxon in his castlein
such a disguisethat thy life would be a long one?---Already his
eye has been upon thee like a falcon on his prey."

And be it so,said Cedric; "and let him tear me with beak and
talonsere my tongue say one word which my heart doth not
warrant. I will die a Saxon---true in wordopen in deed---I bid
thee avaunt!---touch me notstay me not!---The sight of
Front-de-Boeuf himself is less odious to me than thoudegraded
and degenerate as thou art."

Be it so,said Ulricano longer interrupting him; "go thy way
and forgetin the insolence of thy superoritythat the wretch
before thee is the daughter of thy father's friend.---Go thy way
---if I am separated from mankind by my sufferings---separated
from those whose aid I might most justly expect---not less will I
be separated from them in my revenge!---No man shall aid mebut
the ears of all men shall tingle to hear of the deed which I
shall dare to do!---Farewell!---thy scorn has burst the last tie
which seemed yet to unite me to my kind---a thought that my woes
might claim the compassion of my people."

Ulrica,said Cedricsoftened by this appealhast thou borne
up and endured to live through so much guilt and so much misery,
and wilt thou now yield to despair when thine eyes are opened to
thy crimes, and when repentance were thy fitter occupation?

Cedric,answered Ulricathou little knowest the human heart.
To act as I have acted, to think as I have thought, requires the
maddening love of pleasure, mingled with the keen appetite of
revenge, the proud consciousness of power; droughts too
intoxicating for the human heart to bear, and yet retain the
power to prevent. Their force has long passed away---Age has no
pleasures, wrinkles have no influence, revenge itself dies away
in impotent curses. Then comes remorse, with all its vipers,
mixed with vain regrets for the past, and despair for the future!
---Then, when all other strong impulses have ceased, we become
like the fiends in hell, who may feel remorse, but never
repentance.---But thy words have awakened a new soul within me
---Well hast thou said, all is possible for those who dare to
die!---Thou hast shown me the means of revenge, and be assured I
will embrace them. It has hitherto shared this wasted bosom with
other and with rival passions---henceforward it shall possess me
wholly, and thou thyself shalt say, that, whatever was the life
of Ulrica, her death well became the daughter of the noble
Torquil. There is a force without beleaguering this accursed
castle---hasten to lead them to the attack, and when thou shalt
see a red flag wave from the turret on the eastern angle of the
donjon, press the Normans hard---they will then have enough to do
within, and you may win the wall in spite both of bow and
mangonel.---Begone, I pray thee---follow thine own fate, and


leave me to mine.

Cedric would have enquired farther into the purpose which she
thus darkly announcedbut the stern voice of Front-de-Boeuf was
heardexclaimingWhere tarries this loitering priest? By the
scallop-shell of Compostella, I will make a martyr of him, if he
loiters here to hatch treason among my domestics!

What a true prophet,said Ulricais an evil conscience! But
heed him not---out and to thy people---Cry your Saxon onslaught,
and let them sing their war-song of Rollo, if they will;
vengeance shall bear a burden to it.

As she thus spokeshe vanished through a private doorand
Reginald Front-de-Boeuf entered the apartment. Cedricwith
some difficultycompelled himself to make obeisance to the
haughty Baronwho returned his courtesy with a slight
inclination of the head.

Thy penitents, father, have made a long shrift---it is the
better for them, since it is the last they shall ever make.
Hast thou prepared them for death?

I found them,said Cedricin such French as he could command
expecting the worst, from the moment they knew into whose power
they had fallen.

How now, Sir Friar,replied Front-de-Boeufthy speech,
methinks, smacks of a Saxon tongue?

I was bred in the convent of St Withold of Burton,answered
Cedric.

Ay?said the Baron; "it had been better for thee to have been a
Normanand better for my purpose too; but need has no choice of
messengers. That St Withold's of Burton is a howlet's nest worth
the harrying. The day will soon come that the frock shall
protect the Saxon as little as the mail-coat."

God's will be done,said Cedricin a voice tremulous with
passionwhich Front-de-Boeuf imputed to fear.

I see,said hethou dreamest already that our men-at-arms are
in thy refectory and thy ale-vaults. But do me one cast of thy
holy office, and, come what list of others, thou shalt sleep as
safe in thy cell as a snail within his shell of proof.

Speak your commands,said Cedricwith suppressed emotion.

Follow me through this passage, then, that I may dismiss thee by
the postern.

And as he strode on his way before the supposed friar
Front-de-Boeuf thus schooled him in the part which he desired he
should act.

Thou seest, Sir Friar, yon herd of Saxon swine, who have dared
to environ this castle of Torquilstone---Tell them whatever thou
hast a mind of the weakness of this fortalice, or aught else that
can detain them before it for twenty-four hours. Meantime bear
thou this scroll---But soft---canst read, Sir Priest?

Not a jot I,answered Cedricsave on my breviary; and then I
know the characters, because I have the holy service by heart,


praised be Our Lady and St Withold!

The fitter messenger for my purpose.---Carry thou this scroll to
the castle of Philip de Malvoisin; say it cometh from me, and is
written by the Templar Brian de Bois-Guilbert, and that I pray
him to send it to York with all the speed man and horse can make.
Meanwhile, tell him to doubt nothing, he shall find us whole and
sound behind our battlement---Shame on it, that we should be
compelled to hide thus by a pack of runagates, who are wont to
fly even at the flash of our pennons and the tramp of our horses!
I say to thee, priest, contrive some cast of thine art to keep
the knaves where they are, until our friends bring up their
lances. My vengeance is awake, and she is a falcon that slumbers
not till she has been gorged.

By my patron saint,said Cedricwith deeper energy than became
his characterand by every saint who has lived and died in
England, your commands shall be obeyed! Not a Saxon shall stir
from before these walls, if I have art and influence to detain
them there.

Ha!said Front-de-Boeufthou changest thy tone, Sir Priest,
and speakest brief and bold, as if thy heart were in the
slaughter of the Saxon herd; and yet thou art thyself of kindred
to the swine?

Cedric was no ready practiser of the art of dissimulationand
would at this moment have been much the better of a hint from
Wamba's more fertile brain. But necessityaccording to the
ancient proverbsharpens inventionand he muttered something
under his cowl concerning the men in question being
excommunicated outlaws both to church and to kingdom.

'Despardieux',answered Front-de-Boeufthou hast spoken the
very truth---I forgot that the knaves can strip a fat abbot, as
well as if they had been born south of yonder salt channel. Was
it not he of St Ives whom they tied to an oak-tree, and compelled
to sing a mass while they were rifling his mails and his wallets?
---No, by our Lady---that jest was played by Gualtier of
Middleton, one of our own companions-at-arms. But they were
Saxons who robbed the chapel at St Bees of cup, candlestick and
chalice, were they not?

They were godless men,answered Cedric.

Ay, and they drank out all the good wine and ale that lay in
store for many a secret carousal, when ye pretend ye are but
busied with vigils and primes!---Priest, thou art bound to
revenge such sacrilege.

I am indeed bound to vengeance,murmured Cedric; "Saint Withold
knows my heart."

Front-de-Boeufin the meanwhileled the way to a postern
wherepassing the moat on a single plankthey reached a small
barbicanor exterior defencewhich communicated with the open
field by a well-fortified sallyport.

Begone, then; and if thou wilt do mine errand, and if thou
return hither when it is done, thou shalt see Saxon flesh cheap
as ever was hog's in the shambles of Sheffield. And, hark thee,
thou seemest to be a jolly confessor---come hither after the
onslaught, and thou shalt have as much Malvoisie as would drench
thy whole convent.


Assuredly we shall meet again,answered Cedric.

Something in hand the whilst,continued the Norman; andas
they parted at the postern doorhe thrust into Cedric's
reluctant hand a gold byzantaddingRemember, I will fly off
both cowl and skin, if thou failest in thy purpose.

And full leave will I give thee to do both,answered Cedric
leaving the posternand striding forth over the free field with
a joyful stepif, when we meet next, I deserve not better at
thine hand.---Turning then back towards the castlehe threw the
piece of gold towards the donorexclaiming at the same time
False Norman, thy money perish with thee!

Front-de-Boeuf heard the words imperfectlybut the action was
suspicious---"Archers he called to the warders on the outward
battlements, send me an arrow through yon monk's frock!---yet
stay he said, as his retainers were bending their bows, it
avails not--we must thus far trust him since we have no better
shift. I think he dares not betray me---at the worst I can but
treat with these Saxon dogs whom I have safe in kennel.---Ho!
Giles jailorlet them bring Cedric of Rotherwood before meand
the other churlhis companion---him I mean of Coningsburgh
---Athelstane thereor what call they him? Their very names are
an encumbrance to a Norman knight's mouthand haveas it were
a flavour of bacon---Give me a stoup of wineas jolly Prince
John saidthat I may wash away the relish---place it in the
armouryand thither lead the prisoners."

His commands were obeyed; andupon entering that Gothic
apartmenthung with many spoils won by his own valour and that
of his fatherhe found a flagon of wine on the massive oaken
tableand the two Saxon captives under the guard of four of his
dependants. Front-de-Boeuf took a long drought of wineand then
addressed his prisoners;---for the manner in which Wamba drew the
cap over his facethe change of dressthe gloomy and broken
lightand the Baron's imperfect acquaintance with the features
of Cedric(who avoided his Norman neighboursand seldom stirred
beyond his own domains) prevented him from discovering that the
most important of his captives had made his escape.

Gallants of England,said Front-de-Boeufhow relish ye your
entertainment at Torquilstone?---Are ye yet aware what your
'surquedy' and 'outrecuidance'*

* Surquedy" and "outrecuidance" - insolence and presumption
meritfor scoffing at the entertainment of a prince of the House
of Anjou?---Have ye forgotten how ye requited the unmerited
hospitality of the royal John? By God and St Dennisan ye pay
not the richer ransomI will hang ye up by the feet from the
iron bars of these windowstill the kites and hooded crows have
made skeletons of you!---Speak outye Saxon dogs---what bid ye
for your worthless lives?---How say youyou of Rotherwood?"

Not a doit I,answered poor Wamba---"and for hanging up by the
feetmy brain has been topsy-turvythey sayever since the
biggin was bound first round my head; so turning me upside down
may peradventure restore it again."

Saint Genevieve!said Front-de-Boeufwhat have we got here?

And with the back of his hand he struck Cedric's cap from the


head of the Jesterand throwing open his collardiscovered
the fatal badge of servitudethe silver collar round his neck.

Giles---Clement---dogs and varlets!exclaimed the furious
Normanwhat have you brought me here?

I think I can tell you,said De Bracywho just entered the
apartment. "This is Cedric's clownwho fought so manful a
skirmish with Isaac of York about a question of precedence."

I shall settle it for them both,replied Front-de-Boeuf; "they
shall hang on the same gallowsunless his master and this boar
of Coningsburgh will pay well for their lives. Their wealth is
the least they can surrender; they must also carry off with them
the swarms that are besetting the castlesubscribe a surrender
of their pretended immunitiesand live under us as serfs and
vassals; too happy ifin the new world that is about to begin
we leave them the breath of their nostrils.---Go said he to
two of his attendants, fetch me the right Cedric hitherand I
pardon your error for once; the rather that you but mistook a
fool for a Saxon franklin."

Ay, but,said Wambayour chivalrous excellency will find
there are more fools than franklins among us.

What means the knave?said Front-de-Boeuflooking towards his
followerswholingering and loathfaltered forth their belief
that if this were not Cedric who was there in presencethey knew
not what was become of him.

Saints of Heaven!exclaimed De Bracyhe must have escaped in
the monk's garments!

Fiends of hell!echoed Front-de-Boeufit was then the boar of
Rotherwood whom I ushered to the postern, and dismissed with my
own hands!---And thou,he said to Wambawhose folly could
overreach the wisdom of idiots yet more gross than thyself---I
will give thee holy orders---I will shave thy crown for thee!
---Here, let them tear the scalp from his head, and then pitch
him headlong from the battlements---Thy trade is to jest, canst
thou jest now?

You deal with me better than your word, noble knight,whimpered
forth poor Wambawhose habits of buffoonery were not to be
overcome even by the immediate prospect of death; "if you give
me the red cap you proposeout of a simple monk you will make a
cardinal."

The poor wretch,said De Bracyis resolved to die in his
vocation.---Front-de-Boeuf, you shall not slay him. Give him to
me to make sport for my Free Companions.---How sayst thou, knave?
Wilt thou take heart of grace, and go to the wars with me?

Ay, with my master's leave,said Wamba; "forlook youI must
not slip collar" (and he touched that which he wore) "without his
permission."

Oh, a Norman saw will soon cut a Saxon collar.said De Bracy.

Ay, noble sir,said Wambaand thence goes the proverb--


'Norman saw on English oak,

On English neck a Norman yoke;

Norman spoon in English dish,


And England ruled as Normans wish;

Blithe world to England never will be more,

Till England's rid of all the four.'

Thou dost well, De Bracy,said Front-de-Boeufto stand there
listening to a fool's jargon, when destruction is gaping for us!
Seest thou not we are overreached, and that our proposed mode of
communicating with our friends without has been disconcerted by
this same motley gentleman thou art so fond to brother? What
views have we to expect but instant storm?

To the battlements then,said De Bracy; "when didst thou ever
see me the graver for the thoughts of battle? Call the Templar
yonderand let him fight but half so well for his life as he has
done for his Order---Make thou to the walls thyself with thy huge
body---Let me do my poor endeavour in my own wayand I tell thee
the Saxon outlaws may as well attempt to scale the cloudsas
the castle of Torquilstone; orif you will treat with the
bandittiwhy not employ the mediation of this worthy franklin
who seems in such deep contemplation of the wine-flagon?---Here
Saxon he continued, addressing Athelstane, and handing the cup
to him, rinse thy throat with that noble liquorand rouse up
thy soul to say what thou wilt do for thy liberty."

What a man of mould may,answered Athelstaneproviding it be
what a man of manhood ought.---Dismiss me free, with my
companions, and I will pay a ransom of a thousand marks.

And wilt moreover assure us the retreat of that scum of mankind
who are swarming around the castle, contrary to God's peace and
the king's?said Front-de-Boeuf.

In so far as I can,answered AthelstaneI will withdraw them;
and I fear not but that my father Cedric will do his best to
assist me.

We are agreed then,said Front-de-Boeuf---"thou and they are to
be set at freedomand peace is to be on both sidesfor payment
of a thousand marks. It is a trifling ransomSaxonand thou
wilt owe gratitude to the moderation which accepts of it in
exchange of your persons. But markthis extends not to the Jew
Isaac."

Nor to the Jew Isaac's daughter,said the Templarwho had now
joined them.

Neither,said Front-de-Boeufbelong to this Saxon's company.

I were unworthy to be called Christian, if they did,replied
Athelstane: "deal with the unbelievers as ye list."

Neither does the ransom include the Lady Rowena,said De Bracy.
It shall never be said I was scared out of a fair prize without
striking a blow for it.

Neither,said Front-de-Boeufdoes our treaty refer to this
wretched Jester, whom I retain, that I may make him an example to
every knave who turns jest into earnest.

The Lady Rowena,answered Athelstanewith the most steady
countenanceis my affianced bride. I will be drawn by wild
horses before I consent to part with her. The slave Wamba has
this day saved the life of my father Cedric---I will lose mine
ere a hair of his head be injured.


Thy affianced bride?---The Lady Rowena the affianced bride of a
vassal like thee?said De Bracy; "Saxonthou dreamest that the
days of thy seven kingdoms are returned again. I tell theethe
Princes of the House of Anjou confer not their wards on men of
such lineage as thine."

My lineage, proud Norman,replied Athelstaneis drawn from a
source more pure and ancient than that of a beggarly Frenchman,
whose living is won by selling the blood of the thieves whom he
assembles under his paltry standard. Kings were my ancestors,
strong in war and wise in council, who every day feasted in their
hall more hundreds than thou canst number individual followers;
whose names have been sung by minstrels, and their laws recorded
by Wittenagemotes; whose bones were interred amid the prayers of
saints, and over whose tombs minsters have been builded.

Thou hast it, De Bracy,said Front-de-Boeufwell pleased with
the rebuff which his companion had received; "the Saxon hath hit
thee fairly."

As fairly as a captive can strike,said De Bracywith apparent
carelessness; "for he whose hands are tied should have his tongue
at freedom.---But thy glibness of replycomrade rejoined he,
speaking to Athelstane, will not win the freedom of the Lady
Rowena."

To this Athelstanewho had already made a longer speech than was
his custom to do on any topichowever interestingreturned no
answer. The conversation was interrupted by the arrival of a
menialwho announced that a monk demanded admittance at the
postern gate.

In the name of Saint Bennet, the prince of these bull-beggars,
said Front-de-Boeufhave we a real monk this time, or another
impostor? Search him, slaves---for an ye suffer a second
impostor to be palmed upon you, I will have your eyes torn out,
and hot coals put into the sockets.

Let me endure the extremity of your anger, my lord,said Giles
if this be not a real shaveling. Your squire Jocelyn knows him
well, and will vouch him to be brother Ambrose, a monk in
attendance upon the Prior of Jorvaulx.

Admit him,said Front-de-Boeuf; "most likely he brings us news
from his jovial master. Surely the devil keeps holidayand the
priests are relieved from dutythat they are strolling thus
wildly through the country. Remove these prisoners; andSaxon
think on what thou hast heard."

I claim,said Athelstanean honourable imprisonment, with due
care of my board and of my couch, as becomes my rank, and as is
due to one who is in treaty for ransom. Moreover, I hold him
that deems himself the best of you, bound to answer to me with
his body for this aggression on my freedom. This defiance hath
already been sent to thee by thy sewer; thou underliest it, and
art bound to answer me---There lies my glove.

I answer not the challenge of my prisoner,said Front-de-Boeuf;
nor shalt thou, Maurice de Bracy.---Giles,he continuedhang
the franklin's glove upon the tine of yonder branched antlers:
there shall it remain until he is a free man. Should he then
presume to demand it, or to affirm he was unlawfully made my
prisoner, by the belt of Saint Christopher, he will speak to one


who hath never refused to meet a foe on foot or on horseback,
alone or with his vassals at his back!

The Saxon prisoners were accordingly removedjust as they
introduced the monk Ambrosewho appeared to be in great
perturbation.

This is the real 'Deus vobiscum',said Wambaas he passed the
reverend brother; "the others were but counterfeits."

Holy Mother,said the monkas he addressed the assembled
knightsI am at last safe and in Christian keeping!

Safe thou art,replied De Bracy; "and for Christianityhere is
the stout Baron Reginald Front-de-Boeufwhose utter abomination
is a Jew; and the good Knight TemplarBrian de Bois-Guilbert
whose trade is to slay Saracens---If these are not good marks of
ChristianityI know no other which they bear about them."

Ye are friends and allies of our reverend father in God, Aymer,
Prior of Jorvaulx,said the monkwithout noticing the tone of
De Bracy's reply; "ye owe him aid both by knightly faith and holy
charity; for what saith the blessed Saint Augustinin his
treatise 'De Civitate Dei'------"

What saith the devil!interrupted Front-de-Boeuf; "or rather
what dost thou saySir Priest? We have little time to hear
texts from the holy fathers."

'Sancta Maria!'ejaculated Father Ambrosehow prompt to ire
are these unhallowed laymen!---But be it known to you, brave
knights, that certain murderous caitiffs, casting behind them
fear of God, and reverence of his church, and not regarding the
bull of the holy see, 'Si quis, suadende Diabolo'------

Brother priest,said the Templarall this we know or guess at
---tell us plainly, is thy master, the Prior, made prisoner, and
to whom?

Surely,said Ambrosehe is in the hands of the men of Belial,
infesters of these woods, and contemners of the holy text, 'Touch
not mine anointed, and do my prophets naught of evil.'

Here is a new argument for our swords, sirs,said
Front-de-Boeufturning to his companions; "and soinstead of
reaching us any assistancethe Prior of Jorvaulx requests aid at
our hands? a man is well helped of these lazy churchmen when he
hath most to do!---But speak outpriestand say at oncewhat
doth thy master expect from us?"

So please you,said Ambroseviolent hands having been imposed
on my reverend superior, contrary to the holy ordinance which I
did already quote, and the men of Belial having rifled his mails
and budgets, and stripped him of two hundred marks of pure
refined gold, they do yet demand of him a large sum beside, ere
they will suffer him to depart from their uncircumcised hands.
Wherefore the reverend father in God prays you, as his dear
friends, to rescue him, either by paying down the ransom at which
they hold him, or by force of arms, at your best discretion.

The foul fiend quell the Prior!said Front-de-Boeuf; "his
morning's drought has been a deep one. When did thy master hear
of a Norman baron unbuckling his purse to relieve a churchman
whose bags are ten times as weighty as ours?---And how can we do


aught by valour to free himthat are cooped up here by ten times
our numberand expect an assault every moment?"

And that was what I was about to tell you,said the monkhad
your hastiness allowed me time. But, God help me, I am old, and
these foul onslaughts distract an aged man's brain.
Nevertheless, it is of verity that they assemble a camp, and
raise a bank against the walls of this castle.

To the battlements!cried De Bracyand let us mark what these
knaves do without;and so sayinghe opened a latticed window
which led to a sort of bartisan or projecting balconyand
immediately called from thence to those in the apartment
---"Saint Dennisbut the old monk hath brought true tidings!
---They bring forward mantelets and pavisses*

* Mantelets were temporary and movable defences formed of
* planksunder cover of which the assailants advanced to
* the attack of fortified places of old. Pavisses were a
* species of large shields covering the whole person
* employed on the same occasions.
and the archers muster on the skirts of the wood like a dark
cloud before a hailstorm."

Reginald Front-de-Boeuf also looked out upon the fieldand
immediately snatched his bugle; andafter winding a long and
loud blastcommanded his men to their posts on the walls.

De Bracy, look to the eastern side, where the walls are lowest
---Noble Bois-Guilbert, thy trade hath well taught thee how to
attack and defend, look thou to the western side---I myself will
take post at the barbican. Yet, do not confine your exertions to
any one spot, noble friends!---we must this day be everywhere,
and multiply ourselves, were it possible, so as to carry by our
presence succour and relief wherever the attack is hottest. Our
numbers are few, but activity and courage may supply that defect,
since we have only to do with rascal clowns.

But, noble knights,exclaimed Father Ambroseamidst the bustle
and confusion occasioned by the preparations for defencewill
none of ye hear the message of the reverend father in God Aymer,
Prior of Jorvaulx?---I beseech thee to hear me, noble Sir
Reginald!

Go patter thy petitions to heaven,said the fierce Normanfor
we on earth have no time to listen to them.---Ho! there, Anselm I
see that seething pitch and oil are ready to pour on the heads of
these audacious traitors---Look that the cross-bowmen lack not
bolts.*

* The bolt was the arrow peculiarly fitted to the cross-bow,
* as that of the long-bow was called a shaft. Hence the
* English proverb---I will either make a shaft or bolt of
* it signifying a determination to make one use or other
* of the thing spoken of.
---Fling abroad my banner with the old bull's head---the knaves
shall soon find with whom they have to do this day!

But, noble sir,continued the monkpersevering in his
endeavours to draw attentionconsider my vow of obedience, and
let me discharge myself of my Superior's errand.


Away with this prating dotard,said Front-de Boeuflock him
up in the chapel, to tell his beads till the broil be over. It
will be a new thing to the saints in Torquilstone to hear aves
and paters; they have not been so honoured, I trow, since they
were cut out of stone.


Blaspheme not the holy saints, Sir Reginald,said De Bracywe
shall have need of their aid to-day before yon rascal rout
disband.


I expect little aid from their hand,said Front-de-Boeuf
unless we were to hurl them from the battlements on the heads of
the villains. There is a huge lumbering Saint Christopher
yonder, sufficient to bear a whole company to the earth.


The Templar had in the meantime been looking out on the
proceedings of the besiegerswith rather more attention than the
brutal Front-de-Boeuf or his giddy companion.


By the faith of mine order,he saidthese men approach with
more touch of discipline than could have been judged, however
they come by it. See ye how dexterously they avail themselves
of every cover which a tree or bush affords, and shun exposing
themselves to the shot of our cross-bows? I spy neither banner
nor pennon among them, and yet will I gage my golden chain, that
they are led on by some noble knight or gentleman, skilful in the
practice of wars.


I espy him,said De Bracy; "I see the waving of a knight's
crestand the gleam of his armour. See yon tall man in the
black mailwho is busied marshalling the farther troop of the
rascaille yeomen---by Saint DennisI hold him to be the same
whom we called 'Le Noir Faineant'who overthrew thee
Front-de-Boeufin the lists at Ashby."


So much the better,said Front-de-Boeufthat he comes here to
give me my revenge. Some hilding fellow he must be, who dared
not stay to assert his claim to the tourney prize which chance
had assigned him. I should in vain have sought for him where
knights and nobles seek their foes, and right glad am I he hath
here shown himself among yon villain yeomanry.


The demonstrations of the enemy's immediate approach cut off all
farther discourse. Each knight repaired to his postand at the
head of the few followers whom they were able to musterand who
were in numbers inadequate to defend the whole extent of the
wallsthey awaited with calm determination the threatened
assault.


CHAPTER XXVIII


This wandering racesever'd from other men
Boast yet their intercourse with human arts;
The seasthe woodsthe desertswhich they haunt
Find them acquainted with their secret treasures:
And unregarded herbsand flowersand blossoms
Display undreamt-of powers when gather'd by them.


The Jew


Our history must needs retrograde for the space of a few pages
to inform the reader of certain passages material to his
understanding the rest of this important narrative. His own
intelligence may indeed have easily anticipated thatwhen
Ivanhoe sunk downand seemed abandoned by all the worldit was
the importunity of Rebecca which prevailed on her father to have
the gallant young warrior transported from the lists to the house
which for the time the Jews inhabited in the suburbs of Ashby.

It would not have been difficult to have persuaded Isaac to this
step in any other circumstancesfor his disposition was kind and
grateful. But he had also the prejudices and scrupulous timidity
of his persecuted peopleand those were to be conquered.

Holy Abraham!he exclaimedhe is a good youth, and my heart
bleeds to see the gore trickle down his rich embroidered
hacqueton, and his corslet of goodly price---but to carry him to
our house!---damsel, hast thou well considered?---he is a
Christian, and by our law we may not deal with the stranger and
Gentile, save for the advantage of our commerce.

Speak not so, my dear father,replied Rebecca; "we may not
indeed mix with them in banquet and in jollity; but in wounds and
in miserythe Gentile becometh the Jew's brother."

I would I knew what the Rabbi Jacob Ben Tudela would opine on
it,replied Isaac;---"neverthelessthe good youth must not
bleed to death. Let Seth and Reuben bear him to Ashby."

Nay, let them place him in my litter,said Rebecca; "I will
mount one of the palfreys."

That were to expose thee to the gaze of those dogs of Ishmael
and of Edom,whispered Isaacwith a suspicious glance towards
the crowd of knights and squires. But Rebecca was already busied
in carrying her charitable purpose into effectand listed not
what he saiduntil Isaacseizing the sleeve of her mantle
again exclaimedin a hurried voice---"Beard of Aaron!---what if
the youth perish!---if he die in our custodyshall we not be
held guilty of his bloodand be torn to pieces by the
multitude?"

He will not die, my father,said Rebeccagently extricating
herself from the grasp of Isaac "he will not die unless we
abandon him; and if sowe are indeed answerable for his blood to
God and to man."

Nay,said Isaacreleasing his holdit grieveth me as much to
see the drops of his blood, as if they were so many golden
byzants from mine own purse; and I well know, that the lessons of
Miriam, daughter of the Rabbi Manasses of Byzantium whose soul is
in Paradise, have made thee skilful in the art of healing, and
that thou knowest the craft of herbs, and the force of elixirs.
Therefore, do as thy mind giveth thee---thou art a good damsel, a
blessing, and a crown, and a song of rejoicing unto me and unto
my house, and unto the people of my fathers.

The apprehensions of Isaachoweverwere not ill founded; and
the generous and grateful benevolence of his daughter exposed
heron her return to Ashbyto the unhallowed gaze of Brian de
Bois-Guilbert. The Templar twice passed and repassed them on the
roadfixing his bold and ardent look on the beautiful Jewess;
and we have already seen the consequences of the admiration which
her charms excited when accident threw her into the power of that


unprincipled voluptuary.

Rebecca lost no time in causing the patient to be transported to
their temporary dwellingand proceeded with her own hands to
examine and to bind up his wounds. The youngest reader of
romances and romantic balladsmust recollect how often the
femalesduring the dark agesas they are calledwere initiated
into the mysteries of surgeryand how frequently the gallant
knight submitted the wounds of his person to her curewhose
eyes had yet more deeply penetrated his heart.

But the Jewsboth male and femalepossessed and practised the
medical science in all its branchesand the monarchs and
powerful barons of the time frequently committed themselves to
the charge of some experienced sage among this despised people
when wounded or in sickness. The aid of the Jewish physicians
was not the less eagerly sought afterthough a general belief
prevailed among the Christiansthat the Jewish Rabbins were
deeply acquainted with the occult sciencesand particularly with
the cabalistical artwhich had its name and origin in the
studies of the sages of Israel. Neither did the Rabbins disown
such acquaintance with supernatural artswhich added nothing
(for what could add aught?) to the hatred with which their nation
was regardedwhile it diminished the contempt with which that
malevolence was mingled. A Jewish magician might be the subject
of equal abhorrence with a Jewish usurerbut he could not be
equally despised. It is besides probableconsidering the
wonderful cures they are said to have performedthat the Jews
possessed some secrets of the healing art peculiar to themselves
and whichwith the exclusive spirit arising out of their
conditionthey took great care to conceal from the Christians
amongst whom they dwelt.

The beautiful Rebecca had been heedfully brought up in all the
knowledge proper to her nationwhich her apt and powerful mind
had retainedarrangedand enlargedin the course of a progress
beyond her yearsher sexand even the age in which she lived.
Her knowledge of medicine and of the healing art had been
acquired under an aged Jewessthe daughter of one of their most
celebrated doctorswho loved Rebecca as her own childand was
believed to have communicated to her secretswhich had been left
to herself by her sage father at the same timeand under the
same circumstances. The fate of Miriam had indeed been to fall a
sacrifice to the fanaticism of the times; but her secrets had
survived in her apt pupil.

Rebeccathus endowed with knowledge as with beautywas
universally revered and admired by her own tribewho almost
regarded her as one of those gifted women mentioned in the sacred
history. Her father himselfout of reverence for her talents
which involuntarily mingled itself with his unbounded affection
permitted the maiden a greater liberty than was usually indulged
to those of her sex by the habits of her peopleand wasas we
have just seenfrequently guided by her opinioneven in
preference to his own.

When Ivanhoe reached the habitation of Isaache was still in a
state of unconsciousnessowing to the profuse loss of blood
which had taken place during his exertions in the lists. Rebecca
examined the woundand having applied to it such vulnerary
remedies as her art prescribedinformed her father that if fever
could be avertedof which the great bleeding rendered her little
apprehensiveand if the healing balsam of Miriam retained its
virtuethere was nothing to fear for his guest's lifeand that


he might with safety travel to York with them on the ensuing day.
Isaac looked a little blank at this annunciation. His charity
would willingly have stopped short at Ashbyor at most would
have left the wounded Christian to be tended in the house where
he was residing at presentwith an assurance to the Hebrew to
whom it belongedthat all expenses should be duly discharged.
To thishoweverRebecca opposed many reasonsof which we shall
only mention two that had peculiar weight with Isaac. The one
wasthat she would on no account put the phial of precious
balsam into the hands of another physician even of her own tribe
lest that valuable mystery should be discovered; the otherthat
this wounded knightWilfred of Ivanhoewas an intimate
favourite of Richard Coeur-de-Lionand thatin case the monarch
should returnIsaacwho had supplied his brother John with
treasure to prosecute his rebellious purposeswould stand in no
small need of a powerful protector who enjoyed Richard's favour.

Thou art speaking but sooth, Rebecca,said Isaacgiving way to
these weighty arguments---"it were an offending of Heaven to
betray the secrets of the blessed Miriam; for the good which
Heaven givethis not rashly to be squandered upon others
whether it be talents of gold and shekels of silveror whether
it be the secret mysteries of a wise physician---assuredly they
should be preserved to those to whom Providence hath vouchsafed
them. And him whom the Nazarenes of England call the Lion's
Heartassuredly it were better for me to fall into the hands of
a strong lion of Idumea than into hisif he shall have got
assurance of my dealing with his brother. Wherefore I will lend
ear to thy counseland this youth shall journey with us unto
Yorkand our house shall be as a home to him until his wounds
shall be healed. And if he of the Lion Heart shall return to the
landas is now noised abroadthen shall this Wilfred of Ivanhoe
be unto me as a wall of defencewhen the king's displeasure
shall burn high against thy father. And if he doth not return
this Wilfred may natheless repay us our charges when he shall
gain treasure by the strength of his spear and of his swordeven
as he did yesterday and this day also. For the youth is a good
youthand keepeth the day which he appointethand restoreth
that which he borrowethand succoureth the Israeliteeven the
child of my father's housewhen he is encompassed by strong
thieves and sons of Belial."

It was not until evening was nearly closed that Ivanhoe was
restored to consciousness of his situation. He awoke from a
broken slumberunder the confused impressions which are
naturally attendant on the recovery from a state of
insensibility. He was unable for some time to recall exactly to
memory the circumstances which had preceded his fall in the
listsor to make out any connected chain of the events in which
he had been engaged upon the yesterday. A sense of wounds and
injuryjoined to great weakness and exhaustionwas mingled with
the recollection of blows dealt and receivedof steeds rushing
upon each otheroverthrowing and overthrown---of shouts and
clashing of armsand all the heady tumult of a confused fight.
An effort to draw aside the curtain of his conch was in some
degree successfulalthough rendered difficult by the pain of his
wound.

To his great surprise he found himself in a room magnificently
furnishedbut having cushions instead of chairs to rest upon
and in other respects partaking so much of Oriental costumethat
he began to doubt whether he had notduring his sleepbeen
transported back again to the land of Palestine. The impression
was increasedwhenthe tapestry being drawn asidea female


formdressed in a rich habitwhich partook more of the Eastern
taste than that of Europeglided through the door which it
concealedand was followed by a swarthy domestic.

As the wounded knight was about to address this fair apparition
she imposed silence by placing her slender finger upon her ruby
lipswhile the attendantapproaching himproceeded to uncover
Ivanhoe's sideand the lovely Jewess satisfied herself that the
bandage was in its placeand the wound doing well. She
performed her task with a graceful and dignified simplicity and
modestywhich mighteven in more civilized dayshave served to
redeem it from whatever might seem repugnant to female delicacy.
The idea of so young and beautiful a person engaged in attendance
on a sick-bedor in dressing the wound of one of a different
sexwas melted away and lost in that of a beneficent being
contributing her effectual aid to relieve painand to avert the
stroke of death. Rebecca's few and brief directions were given
in the Hebrew language to the old domestic; and hewho had been
frequently her assistant in similar casesobeyed them without
reply.

The accents of an unknown tonguehowever harsh they might have
sounded when uttered by anotherhadcoming from the beautiful
Rebeccathe romantic and pleasing effect which fancy ascribes to
the charms pronounced by some beneficent fairyunintelligible
indeedto the earbutfrom the sweetness of utteranceand
benignity of aspectwhich accompanied themtouching and
affecting to the heart. Without making an attempt at further
questionIvanhoe suffered them in silence to take the measures
they thought most proper for his recovery; and it was not until
those were completedand this kind physician about to retire
that his curiosity could no longer be suppressed.---"Gentle
maiden be began in the Arabian tongue, with which his Eastern
travels had rendered him familiar, and which he thought most
likely to be understood by the turban'd and caftan'd damsel who
stood before him---I pray yougentle maidenof your
courtesy------"

But here he was interrupted by his fair physiciana smile which
she could scarce suppress dimpling for an instant a facewhose
general expression was that of contemplative melancholy. "I am
of EnglandSir Knightand speak the English tonguealthough my
dress and my lineage belong to another climate."

Noble damsel,---again the Knight of Ivanhoe began; and again
Rebecca hastened to interrupt him.

Bestow not on me, Sir Knight,she saidthe epithet of noble.
It is well you should speedily know that your handmaiden is a
poor Jewess, the daughter of that Isaac of York, to whom you were
so lately a good and kind lord. It well becomes him, and those
of his household, to render to you such careful tendance as your
present state necessarily demands.

I know not whether the fair Rowena would have been altogether
satisfied with the species of emotion with which her devoted
knight had hitherto gazed on the beautiful featuresand fair
formand lustrous eyesof the lovely Rebecca; eyes whose
brilliancy was shadedandas it weremellowedby the fringe
of her long silken eyelashesand which a minstrel would have
compared to the evening star darting its rays through a bower of
jessamine. But Ivanhoe was too good a Catholic to retain the
same class of feelings towards a Jewess. This Rebecca had
foreseenand for this very purpose she had hastened to mention


her father's name and lineage; yet---for the fair and wise
daughter of Isaac was not without a touch of female weakness
---she could not but sigh internally when the glance of
respectful admirationnot altogether unmixed with tenderness
with which Ivanhoe had hitherto regarded his unknown
benefactresswas exchanged at once for a manner coldcomposed
and collectedand fraught with no deeper feeling than that which
expressed a grateful sense of courtesy received from an
unexpected quarterand from one of an inferior race. It was not
that Ivanhoe's former carriage expressed more than that general
devotional homage which youth always pays to beauty; yet it was
mortifying that one word should operate as a spell to remove poor
Rebeccawho could not be supposed altogether ignorant of her
title to such homageinto a degraded classto whom it could not
be honourably rendered.

But the gentleness and candour of Rebecca's nature imputed no
fault to Ivanhoe for sharing in the universal prejudices of his
age and religion. On the contrary the fair Jewessthough
sensible her patient now regarded her as one of a race of
reprobationwith whom it was disgraceful to hold any beyond the
most necessary intercourseceased not to pay the same patient
and devoted attention to his safety and convalescence. She
informed him of the necessity they were under of removing to
Yorkand of her father's resolution to transport him thither
and tend him in his own house until his health should be
restored. Ivanhoe expressed great repugnance to this planwhich
he grounded on unwillingness to give farther trouble to his
benefactors.

Was there not,he saidin Ashby, or near it, some Saxon
franklin, or even some wealthy peasant, who would endure the
burden of a wounded countryman's residence with him until he
should be again able to bear his armour?---Was there no convent
of Saxon endowment, where he could be received?---Or could he not
be transported as far as Burton, where he was sure to find
hospitality with Waltheoff, the Abbot of St Withold's, to whom he
was related?

Any, the worst of these harbourages,said Rebeccawith a
melancholy smilewould unquestionably be more fitting for your
residence than the abode of a despised Jew; yet, Sir Knight,
unless you would dismiss your physician, you cannot change your
lodging. Our nation, as you well know, can cure wounds, though
we deal not in inflicting them; and in our own family, in
particular, are secrets which have been handed down since the
days of Solomon, and of which you have already experienced the
advantages. No Nazarene---I crave your forgiveness, Sir Knight
---no Christian leech, within the four seas of Britain, could
enable you to bear your corslet within a month.

And how soon wilt THOU enable me to brook it?said Ivanhoe
impatiently.

Within eight days, if thou wilt be patient and conformable to my
directions,replied Rebecca.

By Our Blessed Lady,said Wilfredif it be not a sin to name
her here, it is no time for me or any true knight to be
bedridden; and if thou accomplish thy promise, maiden, I will pay
thee with my casque full of crowns, come by them as I may.

I will accomplish my promise,said Rebeccaand thou shalt
bear thine armour on the eighth day from hence, if thou will


grant me but one boon in the stead of the silver thou dost
promise me.

If it be within my power, and such as a true Christian knight
may yield to one of thy people,replied IvanhoeI will grant
thy boon blithely and thankfully.

Nay,answered RebeccaI will but pray of thee to believe
henceforward that a Jew may do good service to a Christian,
without desiring other guerdon than the blessing of the Great
Father who made both Jew and Gentile.

It were sin to doubt it, maiden,replied Ivanhoe; "and I repose
myself on thy skill without further scruple or questionwell
trusting you will enable me to bear my corslet on the eighth day.
And nowmy kind leechlet me enquire of the news abroad. What
of the noble Saxon Cedric and his household?---what of the lovely
Lady---" He stoptas if unwilling to speak Rowena's name in the
house of a Jew---"Of herI meanwho was named Queen of the
tournament?"

And who was selected by you, Sir Knight, to hold that dignity,
with judgment which was admired as much as your valour,replied
Rebecca.

The blood which Ivanhoe had lost did not prevent a flush from
crossing his cheekfeeling that he had incautiously betrayed a
deep interest in Rowena by the awkward attempt he had made to
conceal it.

It was less of her I would speak,said hethan of Prince
John; and I would fain know somewhat of a faithful squire, and
why he now attends me not?

Let me use my authority as a leech,answered Rebeccaand
enjoin you to keep silence, and avoid agitating reflections,
whilst I apprize you of what you desire to know. Prince John
hath broken off the tournament, and set forward in all haste
towards York, with the nobles, knights, and churchmen of his
party, after collecting such sums as they could wring, by fair
means or foul, from those who are esteemed the wealthy of the
land. It is said be designs to assume his brother's crown.

Not without a blow struck in its defence,said Ivanhoeraising
himself upon the couchif there were but one true subject in
England I will fight for Richard's title with the best of them
---ay, one or two, in his just quarrel!

But that you may be able to do so,said Rebecca touching his
shoulder with her handyou must now observe my directions, and
remain quiet.

True, maiden,said Ivanhoeas quiet as these disquieted times
will permit---And of Cedric and his household?

His steward came but brief while since,said the Jewess
panting with haste, to ask my father for certain monies, the
price of wool the growth of Cedric's flocks, and from him I
learned that Cedric and Athelstane of Coningsburgh had left
Prince John's lodging in high displeasure, and were about to set
forth on their return homeward.

Went any lady with them to the banquet?said Wilfred.


The Lady Rowena,said Rebeccaanswering the question with more
precision than it had been asked---"The Lady Rowena went not to
the Prince's feastandas the steward reported to usshe is
now on her journey back to Rotherwoodwith her guardian Cedric.
And touching your faithful squire Gurth------"

Ha!exclaimed the knightknowest thou his name?---But thou
dost,he immediately addedand well thou mayst, for it was
from thy hand, and, as I am now convinced, from thine own
generosity of spirit, that he received but yesterday a hundred
zecchins.

Speak not of that,said Rebeccablushing deeply; "I see how
easy it is for the tongue to betray what the heart would gladly
conceal."

But this sum of gold,said Ivanhoegravelymy honour is
concerned in repaying it to your father.

Let it be as thou wilt,said Rebeccawhen eight days have
passed away; but think not, and speak not now, of aught that may
retard thy recovery.

Be it so, kind maiden,said Ivanhoe; "I were most ungrateful to
dispute thy commands. But one word of the fate of poor Gurth
and I have done with questioning thee."

I grieve to tell thee, Sir Knight,answered the Jewessthat
he is in custody by the order of Cedric.---And then observing
the distress which her communication gave to Wilfredshe
instantly addedBut the steward Oswald said, that if nothing
occurred to renew his master's displeasure against him, he was
sure that Cedric would pardon Gurth, a faithful serf, and one who
stood high in favour, and who had but committed this error out of
the love which he bore to Cedric's son. And he said, moreover,
that he and his comrades, and especially Wamba the Jester, were
resolved to warn Gurth to make his escape by the way, in case
Cedric's ire against him could not be mitigated.

Would to God they may keep their purpose!said Ivanhoe; "but it
seems as if I were destined to bring ruin on whomsoever hath
shown kindness to me. My kingby whom I was honoured and
distinguishedthou seest that the brother most indebted to him
is raising his arms to grasp his crown;---my regard hath brought
restraint and trouble on the fairest of her sex;---and now my
father in his mood may slay this poor bondsman but for his love
and loyal service to me!---Thou seestmaidenwhat an ill-fated
wretch thou dost labour to assist; be wiseand let me goere
the misfortunes which track my footsteps like slot-houndsshall
involve thee also in their pursuit."

Nay,said Rebeccathy weakness and thy grief, Sir Knight,
make thee miscalculate the purposes of Heaven. Thou hast been
restored to thy country when it most needed the assistance of a
strong hand and a true heart, and thou hast humbled the pride of
thine enemies and those of thy king, when their horn was most
highly exalted, and for the evil which thou hast sustained, seest
thou not that Heaven has raised thee a helper and a physician,
even among the most despised of the land?---Therefore, be of good
courage, and trust that thou art preserved for some marvel which
thine arm shall work before this people. Adieu---and having
taken the medicine which I shall send thee by the hand of Reuben,
compose thyself again to rest, that thou mayest be the more able
to endure the journey on the succeeding day.


Ivanhoe was convinced by the reasoningand obeyed the
directionsof Rebecca. The drought which Reuben administered
was of a sedative and narcotic qualityand secured the patient
sound and undisturbed slumbers. In the morning his kind
physician found him entirely free from feverish symptomsand fit
to undergo the fatigue of a journey.

He was deposited in the horse-litter which had brought him from
the listsand every precaution taken for his travelling with
ease. In one circumstance only even the entreaties of Rebecca
were unable to secure sufficient attention to the accommodation
of the wounded knight. Isaaclike the enriched traveller of
Juvenal's tenth satirehad ever the fear of robbery before his
eyesconscious that he would be alike accounted fair game by the
marauding Norman nobleand by the Saxon outlaw. He therefore
journeyed at a great rateand made short haltsand shorter
repastsso that he passed by Cedric and Athelstane who had
several hours the start of himbut who had been delayed by their
protracted feasting at the convent of Saint Withold's. Yet such
was the virtue of Miriam's balsamor such the strength of
Ivanhoe's constitutionthat he did not sustain from the hurried
journey that inconvenience which his kind physician had
apprehended.

In another point of viewhoweverthe Jew's haste proved
somewhat more than good speed. The rapidity with which he
insisted on travellingbred several disputes between him and the
party whom he had hired to attend him as a guard. These men were
Saxonsand not free by any means from the national love of ease
and good living which the Normans stigmatized as laziness and
gluttony. Reversing Shylock's positionthey had accepted the
employment in hopes of feeding upon the wealthy Jewand were
very much displeased when they found themselves disappointedby
the rapidity with which he insisted on their proceeding. They
remonstrated also upon the risk of damage to their horses by
these forced marches. Finallythere arose betwixt Isaac and his
satellites a deadly feudconcerning the quantity of wine and ale
to be allowed for consumption at each meal. And thus it happened
that when the alarm of danger approachedand that which Isaac
feared was likely to come upon himhe was deserted by the
discontented mercenaries on whose protection he had relied
without using the means necessary to secure their attachment.

In this deplorable condition the Jewwith his daughter and her
wounded patientwere found by Cedricas has already been
noticedand soon afterwards fell into the power of De Bracy and
his confederates. Little notice was at first taken of the
horse-litterand it might have remained behind but for the
curiosity of De Bracywho looked into it under the impression
that it might contain the object of his enterprisefor Rowena
had not unveiled herself. But De Bracy's astonishment was
considerablewhen he discovered that the litter contained a
wounded manwhoconceiving himself to have fallen into the
power of Saxon outlawswith whom his name might be a protection
for himself and his friendsfrankly avowed himself to be Wilfred
of Ivanhoe.

The ideas of chivalrous honourwhichamidst his wildness and
levitynever utterly abandoned De Bracyprohibited him from
doing the knight any injury in his defenceless conditionand
equally interdicted his betraying him to Front-de-Boeufwho
would have had no scruples to put to deathunder any
circumstancesthe rival claimant of the fief of Ivanhoe. On the


other handto liberate a suitor preferred by the Lady Rowenaas
the events of the tournamentand indeed Wilfred's previous
banishment from his father's househad made matter of notoriety
was a pitch far above the flight of De Bracy's generosity. A
middle course betwixt good and evil was all which he found
himself capable of adoptingand he commanded two of his own
squires to keep close by the litterand to suffer no one to
approach it. If questionedthey were directed by their master
to saythat the empty litter of the Lady Rowena was employed to
transport one of their comrades who had been wounded in the
scuffle. On arriving at Torquilstonewhile the Knight Templar
and the lord of that castle were each intent upon their own
schemesthe one on the Jew's treasureand the other on his
daughterDe Bracy's squires conveyed Ivanhoestill under the
name of a wounded comradeto a distant apartment. This
explanation was accordingly returned by these men to
Front-de-Boeufwhen he questioned them why they did not make for
the battlements upon the alarm.

A wounded companion!he replied in great wrath and
astonishment. "No wonder that churls and yeomen wax so
presumptuous as even to lay leaguer before castlesand that
clowns and swineherds send defiances to noblessince men-at-arms
have turned sick men's nursesand Free Companions are grown
keepers of dying folk's curtainswhen the castle is about to be
assailed.---To the battlementsye loitering villains!" he
exclaimedraising his stentorian voice till the arches around
rung againto the battlements, or I will splinter your bones
with this truncheon!

The men sulkily repliedthat they desired nothing better than
to go to the battlements, providing Front-de-Boeuf would bear
them out with their master, who had commanded them to tend the
dying man.

The dying man, knaves!rejoined the Baron; "I promise thee we
shall all be dying men an we stand not to it the more stoutly.
But I will relieve the guard upon this caitiff companion of
yours.---HereUrfried---hag---fiend of a Saxon witch---hearest
me not?---tend me this bedridden fellow since he must needs be
tendedwhilst these knaves use their weapons.---Here be two
arblastscomradeswith windlaces and quarrells*

* The arblast was a cross-bowthe windlace the machine
* used in bending that weaponand the quarrellso called
* from its square or diamond-shaped headwas the bolt
* adapted to it.
---to the barbican with youand see you drive each bolt through
a Saxon brain."

The menwholike most of their descriptionwere fond of
enterprise and detested inactionwent joyfully to the scene of
danger as they were commandedand thus the charge of Ivanhoe was
transferred to Urfriedor Ulrica. But shewhose brain was
burning with remembrance of injuries and with hopes of vengeance
was readily induced to devolve upon Rebecca the care of her
patient.

CHAPTER XXIX


Ascend the watch-tower yondervaliant soldier
Look on the fieldand say how goes the battle.

Schiller's Maid of Orleans

A moment of peril is often also a moment of open-hearted kindness
and affection. We are thrown off our guard by the general
agitation of our feelingsand betray the intensity of those
whichat more tranquil periodsour prudence at least conceals
if it cannot altogether suppress them. In finding herself once
more by the side of IvanhoeRebecca was astonished at the keen
sensation of pleasure which she experiencedeven at a time when
all around them both was dangerif not despair. As she felt his
pulseand enquired after his healththere was a softness in her
touch and in her accents implying a kinder interest than she
would herself have been pleased to have voluntarily expressed.
Her voice faltered and her hand trembledand it was only the
cold question of IvanhoeIs it you, gentle maiden?which
recalled her to herselfand reminded her the sensations which
she felt were not and could not be mutual. A sigh escapedbut
it was scarce audible; and the questions which she asked the
knight concerning his state of health were put in the tone of
calm friendship. Ivanhoe answered her hastily that he wasin
point of healthas welland better than he could have expected
---"Thanks he said, dear Rebeccato thy helpful skill."

He calls me DEAR Rebecca,said the maiden to herselfbut it
is in the cold and careless tone which ill suits the word. His
war-horse---his hunting hound, are dearer to him than the
despised Jewess!

My mind, gentle maiden,continued Ivanhoeis more disturbed
by anxiety, than my body with pain. From the speeches of those
men who were my warders just now, I learn that I am a prisoner,
and, if I judge aright of the loud hoarse voice which even now
dispatched them hence on some military duty, I am in the castle
of Front-de-Boeuf---If so, how will this end, or how can I
protect Rowena and my father?

He names not the Jew or Jewess,said Rebecca internally; "yet
what is our portion in himand how justly am I punished by
Heaven for letting my thoughts dwell upon him!" She hastened
after this brief self-accusation to give Ivanhoe what information
she could; but it amounted only to thisthat the Templar
Bois-Guilbertand the Baron Front-de-Boeufwere commanders
within the castle; that it was beleaguered from withoutbut by
whom she knew not. She addedthat there was a Christian priest
within the castle who might be possessed of more information.

A Christian priest!said the knightjoyfully; "fetch him
hitherRebeccaif thou canst---say a sick man desires his
ghostly counsel---say what thou wiltbut bring him---something I
must do or attemptbut how can I determine until I know how
matters stand without?"

Rebecca in compliance with the wishes of Ivanhoemade that
attempt to bring Cedric into the wounded Knight's chamber
which was defeated as we have already seen by the interference of
Urfriedwho had also been on the watch to intercept the supposed
monk. Rebecca retired to communicate to Ivanhoe the result of
her errand.

They had not much leisure to regret the failure of this source of


intelligenceor to contrive by what means it might be supplied;
for the noise within the castleoccasioned by the defensive
preparations which had been considerable for some timenow
increased into tenfold bustle and clamour. The heavyyet hasty
step of the men-at-armstraversed the battlements or resounded
on the narrow and winding passages and stairs which led to the
various bartisans and points of defence. The voices of the
knights were heardanimating their followersor directing means
of defencewhile their commands were often drowned in the
clashing of armouror the clamorous shouts of those whom they
addressed. Tremendous as these sounds wereand yet more
terrible from the awful event which they presagedthere was a
sublimity mixed with themwhich Rebecca's high-toned mind could
feel even in that moment of terror. Her eye kindledalthough
the blood fled from her cheeks; and there was a strong mixture of
fearand of a thrilling sense of the sublimeas she repeated
half whispering to herselfhalf speaking to her companionthe
sacred text---"The quiver rattleth---the glittering spear and
the shield---the noise of the captains and the shouting!"

But Ivanhoe was like the war-horse of that sublime passage
glowing with impatience at his inactivityand with his ardent
desire to mingle in the affray of which these sounds were the
introduction. "If I could but drag myself he said, to yonder
windowthat I might see how this brave game is like to go---If I
had but bow to shoot a shaftor battle-axe to strike were it but
a single blow for our deliverance!---It is in vain---it is in
vain---I am alike nerveless and weaponless!"

Fret not thyself, noble knight,answered Rebeccathe sounds
have ceased of a sudden---it may be they join not battle.

Thou knowest nought of it,said Wilfredimpatiently; "this
dead pause only shows that the men are at their posts on the
wallsand expecting an instant attack; what we have heard was
but the instant muttering of the storm---it will burst anon in
all its fury.---Could I but reach yonder window!"

Thou wilt but injure thyself by the attempt, noble knight,
replied his attendant. Observing his extreme solicitudeshe
firmly addedI myself will stand at the lattice, and describe
to you as I can what passes without.

You must not---you shall not!exclaimed Ivanhoe; "each lattice
each aperturewill be soon a mark for the archers; some random
shaft---"

It shall be welcome!murmured Rebeccaas with firm pace she
ascended two or three stepswhich led to the window of which
they spoke.

Rebecca, dear Rebecca!exclaimed Ivanhoethis is no maiden's
pastime---do not expose thyself to wounds and death, and render
me for ever miserable for having given the occasion; at least,
cover thyself with yonder ancient buckler, and show as little of
your person at the lattice as may be.

Following with wonderful promptitude the directions of Ivanhoe
and availing herself of the protection of the large ancient
shieldwhich she placed against the lower part of the window
Rebeccawith tolerable security to herselfcould witness part
of what was passing without the castleand report to Ivanhoe the
preparations which the assailants were making for the storm.
Indeed the situation which she thus obtained was peculiarly


favourable for this purposebecausebeing placed on an angle
of the main buildingRebecca could not only see what passed
beyond the precincts of the castlebut also commanded a view of
the outwork likely to be the first object of the meditated
assault. It was an exterior fortification of no great height
or strengthintended to protect the postern-gatethrough which
Cedric had been recently dismissed by Front-de-Boeuf. The castle
moat divided this species of barbican from the rest of the
fortressso thatin case of its being takenit was easy to
cut off the communication with the main buildingby withdrawing
the temporary bridge. In the outwork was a sallyport
corresponding to the postern of the castleand the whole was
surrounded by a strong palisade. Rebecca could observefrom the
number of men placed for the defence of this postthat the
besieged entertained apprehensions for its safety; and from the
mustering of the assailants in a direction nearly opposite to the
outworkit seemed no less plain that it had been selected as a
vulnerable point of attack.

These appearances she hastily communicated to Ivanhoeand added
The skirts of the wood seem lined with archers, although only a
few are advanced from its dark shadow.

Under what banner?asked Ivanhoe.

Under no ensign of war which I can observe,answered Rebecca.

A singular novelty,muttered the knightto advance to storm
such a castle without pennon or banner displayed!---Seest thou
who they be that act as leaders?

A knight, clad in sable armour, is the most conspicuous,said
the Jewess; "he alone is armed from head to heeland seems to
assume the direction of all around him."

What device does he bear on his shield?replied Ivanhoe.

Something resembling a bar of iron, and a padlock painted blue
on the black shield.*

* Note F. Heraldry
A fetterlock and shacklebolt azure,said Ivanhoe; "I know not
who may bear the devicebut well I ween it might now be mine
own. Canst thou not see the motto?"

Scarce the device itself at this distance,replied Rebecca;
but when the sun glances fair upon his shield, it shows as I
tell you.

Seem there no other leaders?exclaimed the anxious enquirer.

None of mark and distinction that I can behold from this
station,said Rebecca; "butdoubtlessthe other side of the
castle is also assailed. They appear even now preparing to
advance---God of Zionprotect us!---What a dreadful sight!
---Those who advance first bear huge shields and defences made of
plank; the others followbending their bows as they come on.
---They raise their bows!---God of Mosesforgive the creatures
thou hast made!"

Her description was here suddenly interrupted by the signal for
assaultwhich was given by the blast of a shrill bugleand at
once answered by a flourish of the Norman trumpets from the


battlementswhichmingled with the deep and hollow clang of the
nakers(a species of kettle-drum) retorted in notes of defiance
the challenge of the enemy. The shouts of both parties augmented
the fearful dinthe assailants cryingSaint George for merry
England!and the Normans answering them with loud cries of "En
avant De Bracy!---Beau-seant! Beau-seant!---Front-de-Boeuf a la
rescousse!" according to the war-cries of their different
commanders.

It was nothoweverby clamour that the contest was to be
decidedand the desperate efforts of the assailants were met by
an equally vigorous defence on the part of the besieged. The
archerstrained by their woodland pastimes to the most effective
use of the long-bowshotto use the appropriate phrase of the
timeso "wholly together that no point at which a defender
could show the least part of his person, escaped their cloth-yard
shafts. By this heavy discharge, which continued as thick and
sharp as hail, while, notwithstanding, every arrow had its
individual aim, and flew by scores together against each
embrasure and opening in the parapets, as well as at every
window where a defender either occasionally had post, or might be
suspected to be stationed,---by this sustained discharge, two or
three of the garrison were slain, and several others wounded.
But, confident in their armour of proof, and in the cover which
their situation afforded, the followers of Front-de-Boeuf, and
his allies, showed an obstinacy in defence proportioned to the
fury of the attack and replied with the discharge of their large
cross-bows, as well as with their long-bows, slings, and other
missile weapons, to the close and continued shower of arrows;
and, as the assailants were necessarily but indifferently
protected, did considerably more damage than they received at
their hand. The whizzing of shafts and of missiles, on both
sides, was only interrupted by the shouts which arose when either
side inflicted or sustained some notable loss.

And I must lie here like a bedridden monk exclaimed Ivanhoe,
while the game that gives me freedom or death is played out by
the hand of others!---Look from the window once againkind
maidenbut beware that you are not marked by the archers beneath
--Look out once moreand tell me if they yet advance to the
storm."

With patient couragestrengthened by the interval which she had
employed in mental devotionRebecca again took post at the
latticesheltering herselfhoweverso as not to be visible
from beneath.

What dost thou see, Rebecca?again demanded the wounded knight.

Nothing but the cloud of arrows flying so thick as to dazzle
mine eyes, and to hide the bowmen who shoot them.

That cannot endure,said Ivanhoe; "if they press not right on
to carry the castle by pure force of armsthe archery may avail
but little against stone walls and bulwarks. Look for the Knight
of the Fetterlockfair Rebeccaand see how he bears himself;
for as the leader isso will his followers be."

I see him not,said Rebecca.

Foul craven!exclaimed Ivanhoe; "does he blench from the helm
when the wind blows highest?"

He blenches not! he blenches not!said RebeccaI see him now;


he leads a body of men close under the outer barrier of the
barbican.*

* Every Gothic castle and city had, beyond the outer-walls,
* a fortification composed of palisades, called the
* barriers, which were often the scene of severe
* skirmishes, as these must necessarily be carried before
* the walls themselves could be approached. Many of those
* valiant feats of arms which adorn the chivalrous pages of
* Froissart took place at the barriers of besieged places.
---They pull down the piles and palisades; they hew down the
barriers with axes.---His high black plume floats abroad over the
throng, like a raven over the field of the slain.---They have
made a breach in the barriers---they rush in---they are thrust
back!---Front-de-Boeuf heads the defenders; I see his gigantic
form above the press. They throng again to the breach, and the
pass is disputed hand to hand, and man to man. God of Jacob! it
is the meeting of two fierce tides---the conflict of two oceans
moved by adverse winds!

She turned her head from the latticeas if unable longer to
endure a sight so terrible.

Look forth again, Rebecca,said Ivanhoemistaking the cause of
her retiring; "the archery must in some degree have ceasedsince
they are now fighting hand to hand.---Look againthere is now
less danger."

Rebecca again looked forthand almost immediately exclaimed
Holy prophets of the law! Front-de-Boeuf and the Black Knight
fight hand to hand on the breach, amid the roar of their
followers, who watch the progress of the strife---Heaven strike
with the cause of the oppressed and of the captive!She then
uttered a loud shriekand exclaimedHe is down!---he is down!

Who is down?cried Ivanhoe; "for our dear Lady's saketell me
which has fallen?"

The Black Knight,answered Rebeccafaintly; then instantly
again shouted with joyful eagerness---"But no---but no!---the
name of the Lord of Hosts be blessed!---he is on foot againand
fights as if there were twenty men's strength in his single arm
---His sword is broken---he snatches an axe from a yeoman---he
presses Front-de-Boeuf with blow on blow---The giant stoops and
totters like an oak under the steel of the woodman---he falls
---he falls!"

Front-de-Boeuf?exclaimed Ivanhoe.

Front-de-Boeuf!answered the Jewess; "his men rush to the
rescueheaded by the haughty Templar---their united force
compels the champion to pause---They drag Front-de-Boeuf within
the walls."

The assailants have won the barriers, have they not?said
Ivanhoe.

They have---they have!exclaimed Rebecca---"and they press the
besieged hard upon the outer wall; some plant ladderssome swarm
like beesand endeavour to ascend upon the shoulders of each
other---down go stonesbeamsand trunks of trees upon their
headsand as fast as they bear the wounded to the rearfresh
men supply their places in the assault---Great God! hast thou


given men thine own imagethat it should be thus cruelly defaced
by the hands of their brethren!"

Think not of that,said Ivanhoe; "this is no time for such
thoughts---Who yield?---who push their way?"

The ladders are thrown down,replied Rebeccashuddering; "the
soldiers lie grovelling under them like crushed reptiles---The
besieged have the better."

Saint George strike for us!exclaimed the knight; "do the false
yeomen give way?"

No!exclaimed Rebeccathey bear themselves right yeomanly
---the Black Knight approaches the postern with his huge axe
---the thundering blows which he deals, you may hear them above
all the din and shouts of the battle---Stones and beams are
hailed down on the bold champion---he regards them no more than
if they were thistle-down or feathers!

By Saint John of Acre,said Ivanhoeraising himself joyfully
on his couchmethought there was but one man in England that
might do such a deed!

The postern gate shakes,continued Rebecca; "it crashes---it is
splintered by his blows---they rush in---the outwork is won---Oh
God!---they hurl the defenders from the battlements---they throw
them into the moat---O menif ye be indeed menspare them that
can resist no longer!"

The bridge---the bridge which communicates with the castle
---have they won that pass?exclaimed Ivanhoe.

No,replied RebeccaThe Templar has destroyed the plank on
which they crossed---few of the defenders escaped with him into
the castle--- the shrieks and cries which you hear tell the fate
of the others---Alas!---I see it is still more difficult to look
upon victory than upon battle.

What do they now, maiden?said Ivanhoe; "look forth yet again
---this is no time to faint at bloodshed."

It is over for the time,answered Rebecca; "our friends
strengthen themselves within the outwork which they have
masteredand it affords them so good a shelter from the foemen's
shotthat the garrison only bestow a few bolts on it from
interval to intervalas if rather to disquiet than effectually
to injure them."

Our friends,said Wilfredwill surely not abandon an
enterprise so gloriously begun and so happily attained.---O no!
I will put my faith in the good knight whose axe hath rent
heart-of-oak and bars of iron.---Singular,he again muttered to
himselfif there be two who can do a deed of such derring-do!*

* Derring-do"---desperate courage.
---a fetterlockand a shacklebolt on a field sable---what may
that mean?---seest thou nought elseRebeccaby which the Black
Knight may be distinguished?"

Nothing,said the Jewess; "all about him is black as the wing
of the night raven. Nothing can I spy that can mark him further
---but having once seen him put forth his strength in battle


methinks I could know him again among a thousand warriors. He
rushes to the fray as if he were summoned to a banquet. There is
more than mere strengththere seems as if the whole soul and
spirit of the champion were given to every blow which he deals
upon his enemies. God assoilize him of the sin of bloodshed!
---it is fearfulyet magnificentto behold how the arm and
heart of one man can triumph over hundreds."

Rebecca,said Ivanhoethou hast painted a hero; surely they
rest but to refresh their force, or to provide the means of
crossing the moat---Under such a leader as thou hast spoken this
knight to be, there are no craven fears, no cold-blooded delays,
no yielding up a gallant emprize; since the difficulties which
render it arduous render it also glorious. I swear by the honour
of my house---I vow by the name of my bright lady-love, I would
endure ten years' captivity to fight one day by that good
knight's side in such a quarrel as this!

Alas,said Rebeccaleaving her station at the windowand
approaching the couch of the wounded knightthis impatient
yearning after action---this struggling with and repining at your
present weakness, will not fail to injure your returning health
---How couldst thou hope to inflict wounds on others, ere that be
healed which thou thyself hast received?

Rebecca,he repliedthou knowest not how impossible it is for
one trained to actions of chivalry to remain passive as a priest,
or a woman, when they are acting deeds of honour around him. The
love of battle is the food upon which we live---the dust of the
'melee' is the breath of our nostrils! We live not---we wish not
to live---longer than while we are victorious and renowned
---Such, maiden, are the laws of chivalry to which we are sworn,
and to which we offer all that we hold dear.

Alas!said the fair Jewessand what is it, valiant knight,
save an offering of sacrifice to a demon of vain glory, and a
passing through the fire to Moloch?---What remains to you as the
prize of all the blood you have spilled---of all the travail and
pain you have endured---of all the tears which your deeds have
caused, when death hath broken the strong man's spear, and
overtaken the speed of his war-horse?

What remains?cried Ivanhoe; "Glorymaidenglory! which gilds
our sepulchre and embalms our name."

Glory?continued Rebecca; "alasis the rusted mail which hangs
as a hatchment over the champion's dim and mouldering tomb---is
the defaced sculpture of the inscription which the ignorant monk
can hardly read to the enquiring pilgrim---are these sufficient
rewards for the sacrifice of every kindly affectionfor a life
spent miserably that ye may make others miserable? Or is there
such virtue in the rude rhymes of a wandering bardthat domestic
lovekindly affectionpeace and happinessare so wildly
barteredto become the hero of those ballads which vagabond
minstrels sing to drunken churls over their evening ale?"

By the soul of Hereward?replied the knight impatientlythou
speakest, maiden, of thou knowest not what. Thou wouldst quench
the pure light of chivalry, which alone distinguishes the noble
from the base, the gentle knight from the churl and the savage;
which rates our life far, far beneath the pitch of our honour;
raises us victorious over pain, toil, and suffering, and teaches
us to fear no evil but disgrace. Thou art no Christian, Rebecca;
and to thee are unknown those high feelings which swell the bosom


of a noble maiden when her lover hath done some deed of emprize
which sanctions his flame. Chivalry!---why, maiden, she is the
nurse of pure and high affection---the stay of the oppressed, the
redresser of grievances, the curb of the power of the tyrant
---Nobility were but an empty name without her, and liberty finds
the best protection in her lance and her sword.

I am, indeed,said Rebeccasprung from a race whose courage
was distinguished in the defence of their own land, but who
warred not, even while yet a nation, save at the command of the
Deity, or in defending their country from oppression. The sound
of the trumpet wakes Judah no longer, and her despised children
are now but the unresisting victims of hostile and military
oppression. Well hast thou spoken, Sir Knight,---until the God
of Jacob shall raise up for his chosen people a second Gideon, or
a new Maccabeus, it ill beseemeth the Jewish damsel to speak of
battle or of war.

The high-minded maiden concluded the argument in a tone of
sorrowwhich deeply expressed her sense of the degradation of
her peopleembittered perhaps by the idea that Ivanhoe
considered her as one not entitled to interfere in a case of
honourand incapable of entertaining or expressing sentiments of
honour and generosity.

How little he knows this bosom,she saidto imagine that
cowardice or meanness of soul must needs be its guests, because I
have censured the fantastic chivalry of the Nazarenes! Would to
heaven that the shedding of mine own blood, drop by drop, could
redeem the captivity of Judah! Nay, would to God it could avail
to set free my father, and this his benefactor, from the chains
of the oppressor! The proud Christian should then see whether
the daughter of God's chosen people dared not to die as bravely
as the vainest Nazarene maiden, that boasts her descent from some
petty chieftain of the rude and frozen north!

She then looked towards the couch of the wounded knight.

He sleeps,she said; "nature exhausted by sufferance and the
waste of spiritshis wearied frame embraces the first moment of
temporary relaxation to sink into slumber. Alas! is it a crime
that I should look upon himwhen it may be for the last time?
---When yet but a short spaceand those fair features will be no
longer animated by the bold and buoyant spirit which forsakes
them not even in sleep!---When the nostril shall be distended
the mouth agapethe eyes fixed and bloodshot; and when the proud
and noble knight may be trodden on by the lowest caitiff of this
accursed castleyet stir not when the heel is lifted up against
him!---And my father!---ohmy father! evil is it with his
daughterwhen his grey hairs are not remembered because of the
golden locks of youth!---What know I but that these evils are the
messengers of Jehovah's wrath to the unnatural childwho thinks
of a stranger's captivity before a parent's? who forgets the
desolation of Judahand looks upon the comeliness of a Gentile
and a stranger?---But I will tear this folly from my heart
though every fibre bleed as I rend it away!"

She wrapped herself closely in her veiland sat down at a
distance from the couch of the wounded knightwith her back
turned towards itfortifyingor endeavouring to fortify her
mindnot only against the impending evils from withoutbut also
against those treacherous feelings which assailed her from
within.


CHAPTER XXX

Approach the chamberlook upon his bed.
His is the passing of no peaceful ghost
Whichas the lark arises to the sky

'Mid morning's sweetest breeze and softest dew
Is wing'd to heaven by good men's sighs and tears!---
Anselm parts otherwise.

Old Play

During the interval of quiet which followed the first success of
the besiegerswhile the one party was preparing to pursue their
advantageand the other to strengthen their means of defence
the Templar and De Bracy held brief council together in the hall
of the castle.

Where is Front-de-Boeuf?said the latterwho had superintended
the defence of the fortress on the other side; "men say he hath
been slain."

He lives,said the Templarcoollylives as yet; but had he
worn the bull's head of which he bears the name, and ten plates
of iron to fence it withal, he must have gone down before yonder
fatal axe. Yet a few hours, and Front-de-Boeuf is with his
fathers---a powerful limb lopped off Prince John's enterprise.

And a brave addition to the kingdom of Satan,said De Bracy;
this comes of reviling saints and angels, and ordering images of
holy things and holy men to be flung down on the heads of these
rascaille yeomen.

Go to---thou art a fool,said the Templar; "thy superstition is
upon a level with Front-de-Boeuf's want of faith; neither of you
can render a reason for your belief or unbelief."

Benedicite, Sir Templar,replied De Bracypray you to keep
better rule with your tongue when I am the theme of it. By the
Mother of Heaven, I am a better Christian man than thou and thy
fellowship; for the 'bruit' goeth shrewdly out, that the most
holy Order of the Temple of Zion nurseth not a few heretics
within its bosom, and that Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert is of the
number.

Care not thou for such reports,said the Templar; "but let us
think of making good the castle.---How fought these villain
yeomen on thy side?"

Like fiends incarnate,said De Bracy. "They swarmed close up to
the wallsheadedas I thinkby the knave who won the prize at
the archeryfor I knew his horn and baldric. And this is old
Fitzurse's boasted policyencouraging these malapert knaves to
rebel against us! Had I not been armed in proofthe villain had
marked me down seven times with as little remorse as if I had
been a buck in season. He told every rivet on my armour with a
cloth-yard shaftthat rapped against my ribs with as little
compunction as if my bones had been of iron---But that I wore a
shirt of Spanish mail under my plate-coatI had been fairly
sped."

But you maintained your post?said the Templar. "We lost the


outwork on our part."

That is a shrewd loss,said De Bracy; "the knaves will find
cover there to assault the castle more closelyand mayif not
well watchedgain some unguarded corner of a toweror some
forgotten windowand so break in upon us. Our numbers are too
few for the defence of every pointand the men complain that
they can nowhere show themselvesbut they are the mark for as
many arrows as a parish-butt on a holyday even. Front-de-Boeuf
is dying tooso we shall receive no more aid from his bull's
head and brutal strength. How think youSir Brianwere we not
better make a virtue of necessityand compound with the rogues
by delivering up our prisoners?"

How?exclaimed the Templar; "deliver up our prisonersand
stand an object alike of ridicule and execrationas the doughty
warriors who dared by a night-attack to possess themselves of the
persons of a party of defenceless travellersyet could not make
good a strong castle against a vagabond troop of outlawsled by
swineherdsjestersand the very refuse of mankind?---Shame on
thy counselMaurice de Bracy!---The ruins of this castle shall
bury both my body and my shameere I consent to such base and
dishonourable composition."

Let us to the walls, then,said De Bracycarelessly; "that man
never breathedbe he Turk or Templarwho held life at lighter
rate than I do. But I trust there is no dishonour in wishing I
had here some two scores of my gallant troop of Free Companions?
---Ohmy brave lances! if ye knew but how hard your captain were
this day bestedhow soon should I see my banner at the head of
your clump of spears! And how short while would these rabble
villains stand to endure your encounter!"

Wish for whom thou wilt,said the Templarbut let us make
what defence we can with the soldiers who remain---They are
chiefly Front-de-Boeuf's followers, hated by the English for a
thousand acts of insolence and oppression.

The better,said De Bracy; "the rugged slaves will defend
themselves to the last drop of their bloodere they encounter
the revenge of the peasants without. Let us up and be doing
thenBrian de Bois-Guilbert; andlive or diethou shalt see
Maurice de Bracy bear himself this day as a gentleman of blood
and lineage."

To the walls!answered the Templar; and they both ascended the
battlements to do all that skill could dictateand manhood
accomplishin defence of the place. They readily agreed that
the point of greatest danger was that opposite to the outwork of
which the assailants had possessed themselves. The castle
indeedwas divided from that barbican by the moatand it was
impossible that the besiegers could assail the postern-doorwith
which the outwork correspondedwithout surmounting that
obstacle; but it was the opinion both of the Templar and De
Bracythat the besiegersif governed by the same policy their
leader had already displayedwould endeavourby a formidable
assaultto draw the chief part of the defenders' observation to
this pointand take measures to avail themselves of every
negligence which might take place in the defence elsewhere. To
guard against such an eviltheir numbers only permitted the
knights to place sentinels from space to space along the walls in
communication with each otherwho might give the alarm whenever
danger was threatened. Meanwhilethey agreed that De Bracy
should command the defence at the posternand the Templar should


keep with him a score of men or thereabouts as a body of reserve
ready to hasten to any other point which might be suddenly
threatened. The loss of the barbican had also this unfortunate
effectthatnotwithstanding the superior height of the castle
wallsthe besieged could not see from themwith the same
precision as beforethe operations of the enemy; for some
straggling underwood approached so near the sallyport of the
outworkthat the assailants might introduce into it whatever
force they thought propernot only under coverbut even
without the knowledge of the defenders. Utterly uncertain
thereforeupon what point the storm was to burstDe Bracy and
his companion were under the necessity of providing against every
possible contingencyand their followershowever brave
experienced the anxious dejection of mind incident to men
enclosed by enemieswho possessed the power of choosing their
time and mode of attack.

Meanwhilethe lord of the beleaguered and endangered castle lay
upon a bed of bodily pain and mental agony. He had not the usual
resource of bigots in that superstitious periodmost of whom
were wont to atone for the crimes they were guilty of by
liberality to the churchstupefying by this means their terrors
by the idea of atonement and forgiveness; and although the refuge
which success thus purchasedwas no more like to the peace of
mind which follows on sincere repentancethan the turbid
stupefaction procured by opium resembles healthy and natural
slumbersit was still a state of mind preferable to the agonies
of awakened remorse. But among the vices of Front-de-Boeufa
hard and griping manavarice was predominant; and he preferred
setting church and churchmen at defianceto purchasing from them
pardon and absolution at the price of treasure and of manors.
Nor did the Templaran infidel of another stampjustly
characterise his associatewhen he said Front-de-Boeuf could
assign no cause for his unbelief and contempt for the established
faith; for the Baron would have alleged that the Church sold her
wares too dearthat the spiritual freedom which she put up to
sale was only to be bought like that of the chief captain of
Jerusalemwith a great sum,and Front-de-Boeuf preferred
denying the virtue of the medicineto paying the expense of the
physician.

But the moment had now arrived when earth and all his treasures
were gliding from before his eyesand when the savage Baron's
heartthough hard as a nether millstonebecame appalled as he
gazed forward into the waste darkness of futurity. The fever of
his body aided the impatience and agony of his mindand his
death-bed exhibited a mixture of the newly awakened feelings of
horrorcombating with the fixed and inveterate obstinacy of his
disposition;---a fearful state of mindonly to be equalled in
those tremendous regionswhere there are complaints without
hoperemorse without repentancea dreadful sense of present
agonyand a presentiment that it cannot cease or be diminished!

Where be these dog-priests now,growled the Baronwho set
such price on their ghostly mummery?---where be all those unshod
Carmelites, for whom old Front-de-Boeuf founded the convent of St
Anne, robbing his heir of many a fair rood of meadow, and many a
fat field and close---where be the greedy hounds now?---Swilling,
I warrant me, at the ale, or playing their juggling tricks at the
bedside of some miserly churl.---Me, the heir of their founder
---me, whom their foundation binds them to pray for---me
---ungrateful villains as they are!---they suffer to die like the
houseless dog on yonder common, unshriven and unhouseled!---Tell
the Templar to come hither---he is a priest, and may do something


---But no!---as well confess myself to the devil as to Brian de
Bois-Guilbert, who recks neither of heaven nor of hell.---I have
heard old men talk of prayer---prayer by their own voice---Such
need not to court or to bribe the false priest---But I---I dare
not!

Lives Reginald Front-de-Boeuf,said a broken and shrill voice
close by his bedsideto say there is that which he dares not!

The evil conscience and the shaken nerves of Front-de-Boeuf
heardin this strange interruption to his soliloquythe voice
of one of those demonswhoas the superstition of the times
believedbeset the beds of dying men to distract their thoughts
and turn them from the meditations which concerned their eternal
welfare. He shuddered and drew himself together; butinstantly
summoning up his wonted resolutionhe exclaimedWho is there?
---what art thou, that darest to echo my words in a tone like
that of the night-raven?---Come before my couch that I may see
thee.

I am thine evil angel, Reginald Front-de-Boeuf,replied the
voice.

Let me behold thee then in thy bodily shape, if thou best indeed
a fiend,replied the dying knight; "think not that I will blench
from thee.---By the eternal dungeoncould I but grapple with
these horrors that hover round meas I have done with mortal
dangersheaven or hell should never say that I shrunk from the
conflict!"

Think on thy sins, Reginald Front-de-Boeuf,said the almost
unearthly voiceon rebellion, on rapine, on murder!---Who
stirred up the licentious John to war against his grey-headed
father---against his generous brother?

Be thou fiend, priest, or devil,replied Front-de-Boeufthou
liest in thy throat!---Not I stirred John to rebellion---not I
alone---there were fifty knights and barons, the flower of the
midland counties---better men never laid lance in rest---And
must I answer for the fault done by fifty?---False fiend, I defy
thee! Depart, and haunt my couch no more---let me die in peace
if thou be mortal---if thou be a demon, thy time is not yet
come.

In peace thou shalt NOT die,repeated the voice; "even in death
shalt thou think on thy murders---on the groans which this castle
has echoed--- on the blood that is engrained in its floors!"

Thou canst not shake me by thy petty malice,answered
Front-de-Boeufwith a ghastly and constrained laugh. "The
infidel Jew---it was merit with heaven to deal with him as I did
else wherefore are men canonized who dip their hands in the blood
of Saracens?---The Saxon porkerswhom I have slainthey were
the foes of my countryand of my lineageand of my liege lord.
---Ho! ho! thou seest there is no crevice in my coat of plate
---Art thou fled?---art thou silenced?"

No, foul parricide!replied the voice; "think of thy father!
---think of his death!---think of his banquet-room flooded with
his goreand that poured forth by the hand of a son!"

Ha!answered the Baronafter a long pausean thou knowest
that, thou art indeed the author of evil, and as omniscient as
the monks call thee!---That secret I deemed locked in my own


breast, and in that of one besides---the temptress, the partaker
of my guilt.---Go, leave me, fiend! and seek the Saxon witch
Ulrica, who alone could tell thee what she and I alone witnessed.
---Go, I say, to her, who washed the wounds, and straighted the
corpse, and gave to the slain man the outward show of one parted
in time and in the course of nature---Go to her, she was my
temptress, the foul provoker, the more foul rewarder, of the deed
---let her, as well as I, taste of the tortures which anticipate
hell!

She already tastes them,said Ulricastepping before the couch
of Front-de-Boeuf; "she hath long drunken of this cupand its
bitterness is now sweetened to see that thou dost partake it.
---Grind not thy teethFront-de-Boeuf---roll not thine eyes
---clench not thine handnor shake it at me with that gesture of
menace!---The hand whichlike that of thy renowned ancestor who
gained thy namecould have broken with one stroke the skull of a
mountain-bullis now unnerved and powerless as mine own!"

Vile murderous hag!replied Front-de-Boeuf; "detestable
screech-owl! it is then thou who art come to exult over the ruins
thou hast assisted to lay low?"

Ay, Reginald Front-de-Boeuf,answered sheit is Ulrica!---it
is the daughter of the murdered Torquil Wolfganger!---it is the
sister of his slaughtered sons!---it is she who demands of thee,
and of thy father's house, father and kindred, name and fame
---all that she has lost by the name of Front-de-Boeuf!---Think
of my wrongs, Front-de-Boeuf, and answer me if I speak not truth.
Thou hast been my evil angel, and I will be thine---I will dog
thee till the very instant of dissolution!

Detestable fury!exclaimed Front-de-Boeufthat moment shalt
thou never witness---Ho! Giles, Clement, and Eustace! Saint Maur,
and Stephen! seize this damned witch, and hurl her from the
battlements headlong---she has betrayed us to the Saxon!---Ho!
Saint Maur! Clement! false-hearted, knaves, where tarry ye?

Call on them again, valiant Baron,said the hagwith a smile
of grisly mockery; "summon thy vassals around theedoom them
that loiter to the scourge and the dungeon---But knowmighty
chief she continued, suddenly changing her tone, thou shalt
have neither answernor aidnor obedience at their hands.
---Listen to these horrid sounds for the din of the
recommenced assault and defence now rung fearfully loud from the
battlements of the castle; in that war-cry is the downfall of
thy house---The blood-cemented fabric of Front-de-Boeuf's power
totters to the foundationand before the foes he most despised!
---The SaxonReginald!---the scorned Saxon assails thy walls!
---Why liest thou herelike a worn-out hindwhen the Saxon
storms thy place of strength?"

Gods and fiends!exclaimed the wounded knight; "Ofor one
moment's strengthto drag myself to the 'melee'and perish as
becomes my name!"

Think not of it, valiant warrior!replied she; "thou shalt die
no soldier's deathbut perish like the fox in his denwhen the
peasants have set fire to the cover around it."

Hateful hag! thou liest!exclaimed Front-de-Boeuf; "my
followers bear them bravely---my walls are strong and high---my
comrades in arms fear not a whole host of Saxonswere they
headed by Hengist and Horsa!---The war-cry of the Templar and of


the Free Companions rises high over the conflict! And by mine
honourwhen we kindle the blazing beaconfor joy of our
defenceit shall consume theebody and bones; and I shall live
to hear thou art gone from earthly fires to those of that hell
which never sent forth an incarnate fiend more utterly
diabolical!"

Hold thy belief,replied Ulricatill the proof reach thee
---But, no!she saidinterrupting herselfthou shalt know,
even now, the doom, which all thy power, strength, and courage,
is unable to avoid, though it is prepared for thee by this feeble
band. Markest thou the smouldering and suffocating vapour which
already eddies in sable folds through the chamber?---Didst thou
think it was but the darkening of thy bursting eyes---the
difficulty of thy cumbered breathing?---No! Front-de-Boeuf, there
is another cause---Rememberest thou the magazine of fuel that is
stored beneath these apartments?

Woman!he exclaimed with furythou hast not set fire to it?
---By heaven, thou hast, and the castle is in flames!

They are fast rising at least,said Ulricawith frightful
composure; "and a signal shall soon wave to warn the besiegers to
press hard upon those who would extinguish them.---Farewell
Front-de-Boeuf!---May MistaSkogulaand Zernebockgods of the
ancient Saxons---fiendsas the priests now call them---supply
the place of comforters at your dying bedwhich Ulrica now
relinquishes!---But knowif it will give thee comfort to know
itthat Ulrica is bound to the same dark coast with thyselfthe
companion of thy punishment as the companion of thy guilt.---And
nowparricidefarewell for ever!---May each stone of this
vaulted roof find a tongue to echo that title into thine ear!"

So sayingshe left the apartment; and Front-de-Boeuf could hear
the crash of the ponderous keyas she locked and double-locked
the door behind herthus cutting off the most slender chance of
escape. In the extremity of agony he shouted upon his servants
and allies--"Stephen and Saint Maur!---Clement and Giles!---I
burn here unaided!---To the rescue---to the rescuebrave
Bois-Guilbertvaliant De Bracy!---It is Front-de-Boeuf who
calls!---It is your masterye traitor squires!---Your ally
---your brother in armsye perjured and faithless knights!---all
the curses due to traitors upon your recreant headsdo you
abandon me to perish thus miserably!---They hear me not---they
cannot hear me---my voice is lost in the din of battle.---The
smoke rolls thicker and thicker---the fire has caught upon the
floor below---Ofor one drought of the air of heavenwere it to
be purchased by instant annihilation!" And in the mad frenzy of
despairthe wretch now shouted with the shouts of the fighters
now muttered curses on himselfon mankindand on Heaven itself.
---"The red fire flashes through the thick smoke!" he exclaimed;
the demon marches against me under the banner of his own element
---Foul spirit, avoid!---I go not with thee without my comrades
---all, all are thine, that garrison these walls---Thinkest thou
Front-de-Boeuf will be singled out to go alone?---No---the
infidel Templar---the licentious De Bracy---Ulrica, the foul
murdering strumpet---the men who aided my enterprises---the dog
Saxons and accursed Jews, who are my prisoners---all, all shall
attend me---a goodly fellowship as ever took the downward road
---Ha, ha, ha!and he laughed in his frenzy till the vaulted
roof rang again. "Who laughed there?" exclaimed Front-de-Boeuf
in altered moodfor the noise of the conflict did not prevent
the echoes of his own mad laughter from returning upon his ear
---"who laughed there?---Ulricawas it thou?---Speakwitchand


I forgive thee---foronly thou or the fiend of hell himself
could have laughed at such a moment. Avaunt---avaunt!------"


But it were impious to trace any farther the picture of the
blasphemer and parricide's deathbed.


CHAPTER XXXI


Once more unto the breachdear friendsonce more
Orclose the wall up with our English dead.
--------------- And yougood yeomen
Whose limbs were made in Englandshow us here
The mettle of your pasture---let us swear
That you are worth your breeding.


King Henry V

Cedricalthough not greatly confident in Ulrica's message
omitted not to communicate her promise to the Black Knight and
Locksley. They were well pleased to find they had a friend
within the placewho mightin the moment of needbe able to
facilitate their entranceand readily agreed with the Saxon that
a stormunder whatever disadvantagesought to be attemptedas
the only means of liberating the prisoners now in the hands of
the cruel Front-de-Boeuf.

The royal blood of Alfred is endangered,said Cedric.

The honour of a noble lady is in peril,said the Black Knight.

And, by the Saint Christopher at my baldric,said the good
yeomanwere there no other cause than the safety of that poor
faithful knave, Wamba, I would jeopard a joint ere a hair of his
head were hurt.

And so would I,said the Friar; "whatsirs! I trust well that
a fool---I meand'ye see mesirsa fool that is free of his
guild and master of his craftand can give as much relish and
flavour to a cup of wine as ever a flitch of bacon can---I say
brethrensuch a fool shall never want a wise clerk to pray for
or fight for him at a straitwhile I can say a mass or flourish
a partisan." And with that he made his heavy halberd to play
around his head as a shepherd boy flourishes his light crook.

True, Holy Clerk,said the Black Knighttrue as if Saint
Dunstan himself had said it.---And now, good Locksley, were it
not well that noble Cedric should assume the direction of this
assault?

Not a jot I,returned Cedric; "I have never been wont to study
either how to take or how to hold out those abodes of tyrannic
powerwhich the Normans have erected in this groaning land. I
will fight among the foremost; but my honest neighbours well know
I am not a trained soldier in the discipline of warsor the
attack of strongholds."

Since it stands thus with noble Cedric,said LocksleyI am
most willing to take on me the direction of the archery; and ye
shall hang me up on my own Trysting-tree, an the defenders be
permitted to show themselves over the walls without being stuck


with as many shafts as there are cloves in a gammon of bacon at
Christmas.

Well said, stout yeoman,answered the Black Knight; "and if I
be thought worthy to have a charge in these mattersand can find
among these brave men as many as are willing to follow a true
English knightfor so I may surely call myselfI am readywith
such skill as my experience has taught meto lead them to the
attack of these walls."

The parts being thus distributed to the leadersthey commenced
the first assaultof which the reader has already heard the
issue.

When the barbican was carriedthe Sable Knight sent notice of
the happy event to Locksleyrequesting him at the same timeto
keep such a strict observation on the castle as might prevent the
defenders from combining their force for a sudden sallyand
recovering the outwork which they had lost. This the knight was
chiefly desirous of avoidingconscious that the men whom he led
being hasty and untrained volunteersimperfectly armed and
unaccustomed to disciplinemustupon any sudden attackfight
at great disadvantage with the veteran soldiers of the Norman
knightswho were well provided with arms both defensive and
offensive; and whoto match the zeal and high spirit of the
besiegershad all the confidence which arises from perfect
discipline and the habitual use of weapons.

The knight employed the interval in causing to be constructed a
sort of floating bridgeor long raftby means of which he hoped
to cross the moat in despite of the resistance of the enemy.
This was a work of some timewhich the leaders the less
regrettedas it gave Ulrica leisure to execute her plan of
diversion in their favourwhatever that might be.

When the raft was completedthe Black Knight addressed the
besiegers:---"It avails not waiting here longermy friends; the
sun is descending to the west---and I have that upon my hands
which will not permit me to tarry with you another day. Besides
it will be a marvel if the horsemen come not upon us from York
unless we speedily accomplish our purpose. Whereforeone of ye
go to Locksleyand bid him commence a discharge of arrows on the
opposite side of the castleand move forward as if about to
assault it; and youtrue English heartsstand by meand be
ready to thrust the raft endlong over the moat whenever the
postern on our side is thrown open. Follow me boldly acrossand
aid me to burst yon sallyport in the main wall of the castle. As
many of you as like not this serviceor are but ill armed to
meet itdo you man the top of the outworkdraw your bow-strings
to your earsand mind you quell with your shot whatever shall
appear to man the rampart---Noble Cedricwilt thou take the
direction of those which remain?"

Not so, by the soul of Hereward!said the Saxon; "lead I
cannot; but may posterity curse me in my graveif I follow not
with the foremost wherever thou shalt point the way---The quarrel
is mineand well it becomes me to be in the van of the battle."

Yet, bethink thee, noble Saxon,said the knightthou hast
neither hauberk, nor corslet, nor aught but that light helmet,
target, and sword.

The better!answered Cedric; "I shall be the lighter to climb
these walls. And---forgive the boastSir Knight---thou shalt


this day see the naked breast of a Saxon as boldly presented to
the battle as ever ye beheld the steel corslet of a Norman."

In the name of God, then,said the knightfling open the
door, and launch the floating bridge.

The portalwhich led from the inner-wall of the barbican to the
moatand which corresponded with a sallyport in the main wall of
the castlewas now suddenly opened; the temporary bridge was
then thrust forwardand soon flashed in the watersextending
its length between the castle and outworkand forming a slippery
and precarious passage for two men abreast to cross the moat.
Well aware of the importance of taking the foe by surprisethe
Black Knightclosely followed by Cedricthrew himself upon the
bridgeand reached the opposite side. Here he began to thunder
with his axe upon the gate of the castleprotected in part from
the shot and stones cast by the defenders by the ruins of the
former drawbridgewhich the Templar had demolished in his
retreat from the barbicanleaving the counterpoise still
attached to the upper part of the portal. The followers of the
knight had no such shelter; two were instantly shot with
cross-bow boltsand two more fell into the moat; the others
retreated back into the barbican.

The situation of Cedric and of the Black Knight was now truly
dangerousand would have been still more sobut for the
constancy of the archers in the barbicanwho ceased not to
shower their arrows upon the battlementsdistracting the
attention of those by whom they were mannedand thus affording
a respite to their two chiefs from the storm of missiles which
must otherwise have overwhelmed them. But their situation was
eminently perilousand was becoming more so with every moment.

Shame on ye all!cried De Bracy to the soldiers around him; "do
ye call yourselves cross-bowmenand let these two dogs keep
their station under the walls of the castle?---Heave over the
coping stones from the battlementsan better may not be---Get
pick-axe and leversand down with that huge pinnacle!" pointing
to a heavy piece of stone carved-work that projected from the
parapet.

At this moment the besiegers caught sight of the red flag upon
the angle of the tower which Ulrica had described to Cedric. The
stout yeoman Locksley was the first who was aware of itas he
was hasting to the outworkimpatient to see the progress of the
assault.

Saint George!he criedMerry Saint George for England!---To
the charge, bold yeomen!---why leave ye the good knight and noble
Cedric to storm the pass alone?---make in, mad priest, show thou
canst fight for thy rosary,---make in, brave yeomen!---the castle
is ours, we have friends within---See yonder flag, it is the
appointed signal---Torquilstone is ours!---Think of honour, think
of spoil---One effort, and the place is ours!

With that he bent his good bowand sent a shaft right through
the breast of one of the men-at-armswhounder De Bracy's
directionwas loosening a fragment from one of the battlements
to precipitate on the heads of Cedric and the Black Knight. A
second soldier caught from the hands of the dying man the iron
crowwith which he heaved at and had loosened the stone
pinnaclewhenreceiving an arrow through his head-piecehe
dropped from the battlements into the moat a dead man. The
men-at-arms were dauntedfor no armour seemed proof against the


shot of this tremendous archer.

Do you give ground, base knaves!said De Bracy; "'Mount joye
Saint Dennis!'---Give me the lever!"

Andsnatching it uphe again assailed the loosened pinnacle
which was of weight enoughif thrown downnot only to have
destroyed the remnant of the drawbridgewhich sheltered the two
foremost assailantsbut also to have sunk the rude float of
planks over which they had crossed. All saw the dangerand the
boldesteven the stout Friar himselfavoided setting foot on
the raft. Thrice did Locksley bend his shaft against De Bracy
and thrice did his arrow bound back from the knight's armour of
proof.

Curse on thy Spanish steel-coat!said Locksleyhad English
smith forged it, these arrows had gone through, an as if it had
been silk or sendal.He then began to call outComrades!
friends! noble Cedric! bear back, and let the ruin fall.

His warning voice was unheardfor the din which the knight
himself occasioned by his strokes upon the postern would have
drowned twenty war-trumpets. The faithful Gurth indeed sprung
forward on the planked bridgeto warn Cedric of his impending
fateor to share it with him. But his warning would have come
too late; the massive pinnacle already totteredand De Bracy
who still heaved at his taskwould have accomplished ithad not
the voice of the Templar sounded close in his ears:--


All is lost, De Bracy, the castle burns.

Thou art mad to say so!replied the knight.

It is all in a light flame on the western side. I have striven
in vain to extinguish it.

With the stern coolness which formed the basis of his character
Brian de Bois-Guilbert communicated this hideous intelligence
which was not so calmly received by his astonished comrade.

Saints of Paradise!said De Bracy; "what is to be done? I vow
to Saint Nicholas of Limoges a candlestick of pure gold---"

Spare thy vow,said the Templarand mark me. Lead thy men
down, as if to a sally; throw the postern-gate open---There are
but two men who occupy the float, fling them into the moat, and
push across for the barbican. I will charge from the main gate,
and attack the barbican on the outside; and if we can regain that
post, be assured we shall defend ourselves until we are relieved,
or at least till they grant us fair quarter.

It is well thought upon,said De Bracy; "I will play my part
---Templarthou wilt not fail me?"

Hand and glove, I will not!said Bois-Guilbert. "But haste
theein the name of God!"

De Bracy hastily drew his men togetherand rushed down to the
postern-gatewhich he caused instantly to be thrown open. But
scarce was this done ere the portentous strength of the Black
Knight forced his way inward in despite of De Bracy and his
followers. Two of the foremost instantly felland the rest gave
way notwithstanding all their leader's efforts to stop them.


Dogs!said De Bracywill ye let TWO men win our only pass for
safety?

He is the devil!said a veteran man-at-armsbearing back from
the blows of their sable antagonist.

And if he be the devil,replied De Bracywould you fly from
him into the mouth of hell?---the castle burns behind us,
villains!---let despair give you courage, or let me forward! I
will cope with this champion myself

And well and chivalrous did De Bracy that day maintain the fame
he had acquired in the civil wars of that dreadful period. The
vaulted passage to which the postern gave entranceand in which
these two redoubted champions were now fighting hand to hand
rung with the furious blows which they dealt each otherDe Bracy
with his swordthe Black Knight with his ponderous axe. At
length the Norman received a blowwhichthough its force was
partly parried by his shieldfor otherwise never more would De
Bracy have again moved limbdescended yet with such violence on
his crestthat he measured his length on the paved floor.

Yield thee, De Bracy,said the Black Championstooping over
himand holding against the bars of his helmet the fatal poniard
with which the knights dispatched their enemies(and which was
called the dagger of mercy)---"yield theeMaurice de Bracy
rescue or no rescueor thou art but a dead man."

I will not yield,replied De Bracy faintlyto an unknown
conqueror. Tell me thy name, or work thy pleasure on me---it
shall never be said that Maurice de Bracy was prisoner to a
nameless churl.

The Black Knight whispered something into the ear of the
vanquished.

I yield me to be true prisoner, rescue or no rescue,answered
the Normanexchanging his tone of stern and determined obstinacy
for one of deep though sullen submission.

Go to the barbican,said the victorin a tone of authority
and there wait my further orders.

Yet first, let me say,said De Bracywhat it imports thee to
know. Wilfred of Ivanhoe is wounded and a prisoner, and will
perish in the burning castle without present help.

Wilfred of Ivanhoe!exclaimed the Black Knight---"prisonerand
perish!---The life of every man in the castle shall answer it if
a hair of his head be singed---Show me his chamber!"

Ascend yonder winding stair,said De Bracy; "it leads to his
apartment---Wilt thou not accept my guidance?" he addedin a
submissive voice.

No. To the barbican, and there wait my orders. I trust thee
not, De Bracy.

During this combat and the brief conversation which ensued
Cedricat the head of a body of menamong whom the Friar was
conspicuoushad pushed across the bridge as soon as they saw the
postern openand drove back the dispirited and despairing
followers of De Bracyof whom some asked quartersome offered
vain resistanceand the greater part fled towards the


court-yard. De Bracy himself arose from the groundand cast a
sorrowful glance after his conqueror. "He trusts me not!" he
repeated; "but have I deserved his trust?" He then lifted his
sword from the floortook off his helmet in token of submission
andgoing to the barbicangave up his sword to Locksleywhom
he met by the way.

As the fire augmentedsymptoms of it became soon apparent in the
chamberwhere Ivanhoe was watched and tended by the Jewess
Rebecca. He had been awakened from his brief slumber by the
noise of the battle; and his attendantwho hadat his anxious
desireagain placed herself at the window to watch and report to
him the fate of the attackwas for some time prevented from
observing eitherby the increase of the smouldering and stifling
vapour. At length the volumes of smoke which rolled into the
apartment---the cries for waterwhich were heard even above the
din of the battle made them sensible of the progress of this new
danger.

The castle burns,said Rebecca; "it burns!---What can we do to
save ourselves?"

Fly, Rebecca, and save thine own life,said Ivanhoefor no
human aid can avail me.

I will not fly,answered Rebecca; "we will be saved or perish
together---And yetgreat God!---my fathermy father---what will
be his fate!"

At this moment the door of the apartment flew openand the
Templar presented himself---a ghastly figurefor his gilded
armour was broken and bloodyand the plume was partly shorn
awaypartly burnt from his casque. "I have found thee said he
to Rebecca; thou shalt prove I will keep my word to share weal
and woe with thee---There is but one path to safetyI have cut
my way through fifty dangers to point it to thee---upand
instantly follow me!"*

* The author has some idea that this passage is imitated
* from the appearance of Philidaspesbefore the divine
* Mandanewhen the city of Babylon is on fireand he
* proposes to carry her from the flames. But the theft
* if there be onewould be rather too severely punished
* by the penance of searching for the original passage
* through the interminable volumes of the Grand Cyrus.
Alone,answered RebeccaI will not follow thee. If thou wert
born of woman---if thou hast but a touch of human charity in thee
---if thy heart be not hard as thy breastplate---save my aged
father---save this wounded knight!

A knight,answered the Templarwith his characteristic
calmnessa knight, Rebecca, must encounter his fate, whether it
meet him in the shape of sword or flame---and who recks how or
where a Jew meets with his?

Savage warrior,said Rebeccarather will I perish in the
flames than accept safety from thee!

Thou shalt not choose, Rebecca---once didst thou foil me, but
never mortal did so twice.

So sayinghe seized on the terrified maidenwho filled the air
with her shrieksand bore her out of the room in his arms in


spite of her criesand without regarding the menaces and
defiance which Ivanhoe thundered against him. "Hound of the
Temple---stain to thine Order---set free the damsel! Traitor of
Bois-Guilbertit is Ivanhoe commands thee!---VillainI will
have thy heart's blood!"

I had not found thee, Wilfred,said the Black Knightwho at
that instant entered the apartmentbut for thy shouts.

If thou best true knight,said Wilfredthink not of me
---pursue yon ravisher---save the Lady Rowena---look to the noble
Cedric!

In their turn,answered he of the Fetterlockbut thine is
first.

And seizing upon Ivanhoehe bore him off with as much ease as
the Templar had carried off Rebeccarushed with him to the
posternand having there delivered his burden to the care of two
yeomenhe again entered the castle to assist in the rescue of
the other prisoners.

One turret was now in bright flameswhich flashed out furiously
from window and shot-hole. But in other partsthe great
thickness of the walls and the vaulted roofs of the apartments
resisted the progress of the flamesand there the rage of man
still triumphedas the scarce more dreadful element held mastery
elsewhere; for the besiegers pursued the defenders of the castle
from chamber to chamberand satiated in their blood the
vengeance which had long animated them against the soldiers of
the tyrant Front-de-Boeuf. Most of the garrison resisted to the
uttermost---few of them asked quarter---none received it. The
air was filled with groans and clashing of arms---the floors were
slippery with the blood of despairing and expiring wretches.

Through this scene of confusionCedric rushed in quest of
Rowenawhile the faithful Gurthfollowing him closely through
the "melee"neglected his own safety while he strove to avert
the blows that were aimed at his master. The noble Saxon was so
fortunate as to reach his ward's apartment just as she had
abandoned all hope of safetyandwith a crucifix clasped in
agony to her bosomsat in expectation of instant death. He
committed her to the charge of Gurthto be conducted in safety
to the barbicanthe road to which was now cleared of the enemy
and not yet interrupted by the flames. This accomplishedthe
loyal Cedric hastened in quest of his friend Athelstane
determinedat every risk to himselfto save that last scion of
Saxon royalty. But ere Cedric penetrated as far as the old hall
in which he had himself been a prisonerthe inventive genius of
Wamba had procured liberation for himself and his companion in
adversity.

When the noise of the conflict announced that it was at the
hottestthe Jester began to shoutwith the utmost power of his
lungsSaint George and the dragon!---Bonny Saint George for
merry England!---The castle is won!And these sounds he rendered
yet more fearfulby banging against each other two or three
pieces of rusty armour which lay scattered around the hall.

A guardwhich had been stationed in the outeror anteroomand
whose spirits were already in a state of alarmtook fright at
Wamba's clamourandleaving the door open behind themran to
tell the Templar that foemen had entered the old hall. Meantime
the prisoners found no difficulty in making their escape into the


anteroomand from thence into the court of the castlewhich was
now the last scene of contest. Here sat the fierce Templar
mounted on horsebacksurrounded by several of the garrison both
on horse and footwho had united their strength to that of this
renowned leaderin order to secure the last chance of safety and
retreat which remained to them. The drawbridge had been lowered
by his ordersbut the passage was beset; for the archerswho
had hitherto only annoyed the castle on that side by their
missilesno sooner saw the flames breaking outand the bridge
loweredthan they thronged to the entranceas well to prevent
the escape of the garrisonas to secure their own share of booty
ere the castle should be burnt down. On the other handa party
of the besiegers who had entered by the postern were now issuing
out into the court-yardand attacking with fury the remnant of
the defenders who were thus assaulted on both sides at once.

Animatedhoweverby despairand supported by the example of
their indomitable leaderthe remaining soldiers of the castle
fought with the utmost valour; andbeing well-armedsucceeded
more than once in driving back the assailantsthough much
inferior in numbers. Rebeccaplaced on horseback before one of
the Templar's Saracen slaveswas in the midst of the little
party; and Bois-Guilbertnotwithstanding the confusion of the
bloody frayshowed every attention to her safety. Repeatedly he
was by her sideandneglecting his own defenceheld before her
the fence of his triangular steel-plated shield; and anon
starting from his position by herhe cried his war-crydashed
forwardstruck to earth the most forward of the assailantsand
was on the same instant once more at her bridle rein.

Athelstanewhoas the reader knowswas slothfulbut not
cowardlybeheld the female form whom the Templar protected thus
sedulouslyand doubted not that it was Rowena whom the knight
was carrying offin despite of all resistance which could be
offered.

By the soul of Saint Edward,he saidI will rescue her from
yonder over-proud knight, and he shall die by my hand!

Think what you do!cried Wamba; "hasty hand catches frog for
fish---by my baubleyonder is none of my Lady Rowena---see but
her long dark locks!---Nayan ye will not know black from white
ye may be leaderbut I will be no follower---no bones of mine
shall be broken unless I know for whom.---And you without armour
too!---Bethink yousilk bonnet never kept out steel blade.
---Naythenif wilful will to waterwilful must drench.
---'Deus vobiscum'most doughty Athelstane!"---he concluded
loosening the hold which he had hitherto kept upon the Saxon's
tunic.

To snatch a mace from the pavementon which it lay beside one
whose dying grasp had just relinquished it---to rush on the
Templar's bandand to strike in quick succession to the right
and leftlevelling a warrior at each blowwasfor Athelstane's
great strengthnow animated with unusual furybut the work of a
single moment; he was soon within two yards of Bois-Guilbert
whom he defied in his loudest tone.

Turn, false-hearted Templar! let go her whom thou art unworthy
to touch---turn, limb of a hand of murdering and hypocritical
robbers!

Dog!said the Templargrinding his teethI will teach thee
to blaspheme the holy Order of the Temple of Zion;and with


these wordshalf-wheeling his steedhe made a demi-courbette
towards the Saxonand rising in the stirrupsso as to take full
advantage of the descent of the horsehe discharged a fearful
blow upon the head of Athelstane.

Well said Wambathat silken bonnet keeps out no steel blade. So
trenchant was the Templar's weaponthat it shore asunderas it
had been a willow twigthe tough and plaited handle of the mace
which the ill-fated Saxon reared to parry the blowand
descending on his headlevelled him with the earth.

'Ha! Beau-seant!'exclaimed Bois-Guilbertthus be it to the
maligners of the Temple-knights!Taking advantage of the dismay
which was spread by the fall of Athelstaneand calling aloud
Those who would save themselves, follow me!he pushed across
the drawbridgedispersing the archers who would have intercepted
them. He was followed by his Saracensand some five or six
men-at-armswho had mounted their horses. The Templar's retreat
was rendered perilous by the numbers of arrows shot off at him
and his party; but this did not prevent him from galloping round
to the barbicanof whichaccording to his previous planhe
supposed it possible De Bracy might have been in possession.

De Bracy! De Bracy!he shoutedart thou there?

I am here,replied De Bracybut I am a prisoner.

Can I rescue thee?cried Bois-Guilbert.

No,replied De Bracy; "I have rendered merescue or no rescue.
I will be true prisoner. Save thyself---there are hawks abroad
---put the seas betwixt you and England---I dare not say more."

Well,answered the Templaran thou wilt tarry there, remember
I have redeemed word and glove. Be the hawks where they will,
methinks the walls of the Preceptory of Templestowe will be cover
sufficient, and thither will I, like heron to her haunt.

Having thus spokenhe galloped off with his followers.

Those of the castle who had not gotten to horsestill continued
to fight desperately with the besiegersafter the departure of
the Templarbut rather in despair of quarter than that they
entertained any hope of escape. The fire was spreading rapidly
through all parts of the castlewhen Ulricawho had first
kindled itappeared on a turretin the guise of one of the
ancient furiesyelling forth a war-songsuch as was of yore
raised on the field of battle by the scalds of the yet heathen
Saxons. Her long dishevelled grey hair flew back from her
uncovered head; the inebriating delight of gratified vengeance
contended in her eyes with the fire of insanity; and she
brandished the distaff which she held in her handas if she had
been one of the Fatal Sisterswho spin and abridge the thread of
human life. Tradition has preserved some wild strophes of the
barbarous hymn which she chanted wildly amid that scene of fire
and of slaughter:--


1.
Whet the bright steel
Sons of the White Dragon!
Kindle the torch
Daughter of Hengist!
The steel glimmers not for the carving of the banquet
It is hardbroadand sharply pointed;

The torch goeth not to the bridal chamber

It steams and glitters blue with sulphur.

Whet the steelthe raven croaks!

Light the torchZernebock is yelling!

Whet the steelsons of the Dragon!

Kindle the torchdaughter of Hengist!

2.
The black cloud is low over the thane's castle
The eagle screams--he rides on its bosom.
Scream notgrey rider of the sable cloud
Thy banquet is prepared!
The maidens of Valhalla look forth
The race of Hengist will send them guests.
Shake your black tressesmaidens of Valhalla!
And strike your loud timbrels for joy!
Many a haughty step bends to your halls
Many a helmed head.
3.
Dark sits the evening upon the thanes castle
The black clouds gather round;
Soon shall they be red as the blood of the valiant!
The destroyer of forests shall shake his red crest against
them.
Hethe bright consumer of palaces
Broad waves he his blazing banner
Redwide and dusky
Over the strife of the valiant:
His joy is in the clashing swords and broken bucklers;
He loves to lick the hissing blood as it bursts warm from the

wound!

4.
All must perish!
The sword cleaveth the helmet;
The strong armour is pierced by the lance;
Fire devoureth the dwelling of princes
Engines break down the fences of the battle.
All must perish!
The race of Hengist is gone---
The name of Horsa is no more!
Shrink not then from your doomsons of the sword!
Let your blades drink blood like wine;
Feast ye in the banquet of slaughter
By the light of the blazing halls!
Strong be your swords while your blood is warm
And spare neither for pity nor fear
For vengeance hath but an hour;
Strong hate itself shall expire
I also must perish! *
* Note G. Ulrica's Death Song
The towering flames had now surmounted every obstructionand
rose to the evening skies one huge and burning beaconseen far
and wide through the adjacent country. Tower after tower crashed
downwith blazing roof and rafter; and the combatants were
driven from the court-yard. The vanquishedof whom very few
remainedscattered and escaped into the neighbouring wood. The
victorsassembling in large bandsgazed with wondernot
unmixed with fearupon the flamesin which their own ranks and
arms glanced dusky red. The maniac figure of the Saxon Ulrica
was for a long time visible on the lofty stand she had chosen


tossing her arms abroad with wild exultationas if she reined
empress of the conflagration which she had raised. At length
with a terrific crashthe whole turret gave wayand she
perished in the flames which had consumed her tyrant. An awful
pause of horror silenced each murmur of the armed spectators
whofor the space of several minutesstirred not a fingersave
to sign the cross. The voice of Locksley was then heardShout,
yeomen!---the den of tyrants is no more! Let each bring his
spoil to our chosen place of rendezvous at the Trysting-tree in
the Harthill-walk; for there at break of day will we make just
partition among our own bands, together with our worthy allies in
this great deed of vengeance.


CHAPTER XXXII.


Trust me each state must have its policies:
Kingdoms have edictscities have their charters;
Even the wild outlawin his forest-walk
Keeps yet some touch of civil discipline;
For not since Adam wore his verdant apron
Hath man with man in social union dwelt
But laws were made to draw that union closer.


Old Play

The daylight had dawned upon the glades of the oak forest. The
green boughs glittered with all their pearls of dew. The hind
led her fawn from the covert of high fern to the more open walks
of the greenwoodand no huntsman was there to watch or intercept
the stately hartas he paced at the head of the antler'd herd.

The outlaws were all assembled around the Trysting-tree in the
Harthill-walkwhere they had spent the night in refreshing
themselves after the fatigues of the siegesome with winesome
with slumbermany with hearing and recounting the events of the
dayand computing the heaps of plunder which their success had
placed at the disposal of their Chief.

The spoils were indeed very large; fornotwithstanding that much
was consumeda great deal of platerich armourand splendid
clothinghad been secured by the exertions of the dauntless
outlawswho could be appalled by no danger when such rewards
were in view. Yet so strict were the laws of their societythat
no one ventured to appropriate any part of the bootywhich was
brought into one common massto be at the disposal of their
leader.

The place of rendezvous was an aged oak; not however the same to
which Locksley had conducted Gurth and Wamba in the earlier part
of the storybut one which was the centre of a silvan
amphitheatrewithin half a mile of the demolished castle of
Torquilstone. Here Locksley assumed his seat---a throne of turf
erected under the twisted branches of the huge oakand the
silvan followers were gathered around him. He assigned to the
Black Knight a seat at his right handand to Cedric a place upon
his left.

Pardon my freedom, noble sirs,he saidbut in these glades I
am monarch---they are my kingdom; and these my wild subjects
would reck but little of my power, were I, within my own


dominions, to yield place to mortal man.---Now, sirs, who hath
seen our chaplain? where is our curtal Friar? A mass amongst
Christian men best begins a busy morning.---No one had seen the
Clerk of Copmanhurst. "Over gods forbode!" said the outlaw
chiefI trust the jolly priest hath but abidden by the wine-pot
a thought too late. Who saw him since the castle was ta'en?

I,quoth the Millermarked him busy about the door of a
cellar, swearing by each saint in the calendar he would taste the
smack of Front-de-Boeuf's Gascoigne wine.

Now, the saints, as many as there be of them,said the Captain
forefend, lest he has drunk too deep of the wine-butts, and
perished by the fall of the castle!---Away, Miller!---take with
you enow of men, seek the place where you last saw him---throw
water from the moat on the scorching ruins ---I will have them
removed stone by stone ere I lose my curtal Friar.

The numbers who hastened to execute this dutyconsidering that
an interesting division of spoil was about to take placeshowed
how much the troop had at heart the safety of their spiritual
father.

Meanwhile, let us proceed,said Locksley; "for when this bold
deed shall be sounded abroadthe bands of De Bracyof
Malvoisinand other allies of Front-de-Boeufwill be in motion
against usand it were well for our safety that we retreat from
the vicinity.---Noble Cedric he said, turning to the Saxon,
that spoil is divided into two portions; do thou make choice of
that which best suits theeto recompense thy people who were
partakers with us in this adventure."

Good yeoman,said Cedricmy heart is oppressed with sadness.
The noble Athelstane of Coningsburgh is no more---the last
sprout of the sainted Confessor! Hopes have perished with him
which can never return!---A sparkle hath been quenched by his
blood, which no human breath can again rekindle! My people, save
the few who are now with me, do but tarry my presence to
transport his honoured remains to their last mansion. The Lady
Rowena is desirous to return to Rotherwood, and must be escorted
by a sufficient force. I should, therefore, ere now, have left
this place; and I waited---not to share the booty, for, so help
me God and Saint Withold! as neither I nor any of mine will touch
the value of a liard,---I waited but to render my thanks to thee
and to thy bold yeomen, for the life and honour ye have saved.

Nay, but,said the chief Outlawwe did but half the work at
most---take of the spoil what may reward your own neighbours and
followers.

I am rich enough to reward them from mine own wealth,answered
Cedric.

And some,said Wambahave been wise enough to reward
themselves; they do not march off empty-handed altogether. We do
not all wear motley.

They are welcome,said Locksley; "our laws bind none but
ourselves."

But, thou, my poor knave,said Cedricturning about and
embracing his Jesterhow shall I reward thee, who feared not to
give thy body to chains and death instead of mine!---All forsook
me, when the poor fool was faithful!


A tear stood in the eye of the rough Thane as he spoke---a mark
of feeling which even the death of Athelstane had not extracted;
but there was something in the half-instinctive attachment of his
clownthat waked his nature more keenly than even grief itself.

Nay,said the Jesterextricating himself from master's
caressif you pay my service with the water of your eye, the
Jester must weep for company, and then what becomes of his
vocation?---But, uncle, if you would indeed pleasure me, I pray
you to pardon my playfellow Gurth, who stole a week from your
service to bestow it on your son.

Pardon him!exclaimed Cedric; "I will both pardon and reward
him.---Kneel downGurth."---The swineherd was in an instant at
his master's feet---"THEOW and ESNE*

* Thrall and bondsman.
art thou no longer said Cedric touching him with a wand;
FOLKFREE and SACLESS*

* A lawful freeman.
art thou in town and from townin the forest as in the field.
A hide of land I give to thee in my steads of Walbrughamfrom me
and mine to thee and thine aye and for ever; and God's malison on
his head who this gainsays!"

No longer a serfbut a freeman and a landholderGurth sprung
upon his feetand twice bounded aloft to almost his own height
from the ground. "A smith and a file he cried, to do away the
collar from the neck of a freeman!---Noble master! doubled is my
strength by your giftand doubly will I fight for you!---There
is a free spirit in my breast---I am a man changed to myself and
all around.---HaFangs!" he continued---for that faithful cur
seeing his master thus transportedbegan to jump upon himto
express his sympathy---"knowest thou thy master still?"

Ay,said WambaFangs and I still know thee, Gurth, though we
must needs abide by the collar; it is only thou art likely to
forget both us and thyself.

I shall forget myself indeed ere I forget thee, true comrade,
said Gurth; "and were freedom fit for theeWambathe master
would not let thee want it."

Nay,said Wambanever think I envy thee, brother Gurth; the
serf sits by the hall-fire when the freeman must forth to the
field of battle---And what saith Oldhelm of Malmsbury---Better a
fool at a feast than a wise man at a fray.

The tramp of horses was now heardand the Lady Rowena appeared
surrounded by several ridersand a much stronger party of
footmenwho joyfully shook their pikes and clashed their
brown-bills for joy of her freedom. She herselfrichly attired
and mounted on a dark chestnut palfreyhad recovered all the
dignity of her mannerand only an unwonted degree of paleness
showed the sufferings she had undergone. Her lovely browthough
sorrowfulbore on it a cast of reviving hope for the futureas
well as of grateful thankfulness for the past deliverance---She
knew that Ivanhoe was safeand she knew that Athelstane was
dead. The former assurance filled her with the most sincere
delight; and if she did not absolutely rejoice at the lattershe


might be pardoned for feeling the full advantage of being freed
from further persecution on the only subject in which she had
ever been contradicted by her guardian Cedric.

As Rowena bent her steed towards Locksley's seatthat bold
yeomanwith all his followersrose to receive heras if by a
general instinct of courtesy. The blood rose to her cheeksas
courteously waving her handand bending so low that her
beautiful and loose tresses were for an instant mixed with the
flowing mane of her palfreyshe expressed in few but apt words
her obligations and her gratitude to Locksley and her other
deliverers.---"God bless youbrave men she concluded, God and
Our Lady bless you and requite you for gallantly perilling
yourselves in the cause of the oppressed!---If any of you should
hungerremember Rowena has food---if you should thirstshe has
many a butt of wine and brown ale---and if the Normans drive ye
from these walksRowena has forests of her ownwhere her
gallant deliverers may range at full freedomand never ranger
ask whose arrow hath struck down the deer."

Thanks, gentle lady,said Locksley; "thanks from my company and
myself. Butto have saved you requites itself. We who walk the
greenwood do many a wild deedand the Lady Rowena's deliverance
may be received as an atonement."

Again bowing from her palfreyRowena turned to depart; but
pausing a momentwhile Cedricwho was to attend herwas also
taking his leaveshe found herself unexpectedly close by the
prisoner De Bracy. He stood under a tree in deep meditationhis
arms crossed upon his breastand Rowena was in hopes she might
pass him unobserved. He looked uphoweverandwhen aware of
her presencea deep flush of shame suffused his handsome
countenance. He stood a moment most irresolute; thenstepping
forwardtook her palfrey by the reinand bent his knee before
her.

Will the Lady Rowena deign to cast an eye---on a captive knight
---on a dishonoured soldier?

Sir Knight,answered Rowenain enterprises such as yours, the
real dishonour lies not in failure, but in success.

Conquest, lady, should soften the heart,answered De Bracy;
let me but know that the Lady Rowena forgives the violence
occasioned by an ill-fated passion, and she shall soon learn that
De Bracy knows how to serve her in nobler ways.

I forgive you, Sir Knight,said Rowenaas a Christian.

That means,said Wambathat she does not forgive him at all.

But I can never forgive the misery and desolation your madness
has occasioned,continued Rowena.

Unloose your hold on the lady's rein,said Cedriccoming up.
By the bright sun above us, but it were shame, I would pin thee
to the earth with my javelin---but be well assured, thou shalt
smart, Maurice de Bracy, for thy share in this foul deed.

He threatens safely who threatens a prisoner,said De Bracy;
but when had a Saxon any touch of courtesy?

Then retiring two steps backwardhe permitted the lady to move
on.


Cedricere they departedexpressed his peculiar gratitude to
the Black Championand earnestly entreated him to accompany him
to Rotherwood.

I know,he saidthat ye errant knights desire to carry your
fortunes on the point of your lance, and reck not of land or
goods; but war is a changeful mistress, and a home is sometimes
desirable even to the champion whose trade is wandering. Thou
hast earned one in the halls of Rotherwood, noble knight. Cedric
has wealth enough to repair the injuries of fortune, and all he
has is his deliverer's---Come, therefore, to Rotherwood, not as
a guest, but as a son or brother.

Cedric has already made me rich,said the Knight---"he has
taught me the value of Saxon virtue. To Rotherwood will I come
brave Saxonand that speedily; butas nowpressing matters of
moment detain me from your halls. Peradventure when I come
hitherI will ask such a boon as will put even thy generosity to
the test."

It is granted ere spoken out,said Cedricstriking his ready
hand into the gauntleted palm of the Black Knight---"it is
granted alreadywere it to affect half my fortune."

Gage not thy promise so lightly,said the Knight of the
Fetterlock; "yet well I hope to gain the boon I shall ask.
Meanwhileadieu."

I have but to say,added the Saxonthat, during the funeral
rites of the noble Athelstane, I shall be an inhabitant of the
halls of his castle of Coningsburgh---They will be open to all
who choose to partake of the funeral banqueting; and, I speak in
name of the noble Edith, mother of the fallen prince, they will
never be shut against him who laboured so bravely, though
unsuccessfully, to save Athelstane from Norman chains and Norman
steel.

Ay, ay,said Wambawho had resumed his attendance on his
masterrare feeding there will be---pity that the noble
Athelstane cannot banquet at his own funeral.---But he,
continued the Jesterlifting up his eyes gravelyis supping in
Paradise, and doubtless does honour to the cheer.

Peace, and move on,said Cedrichis anger at this untimely
jest being checked by the recollection of Wamba's recent
services. Rowena waved a graceful adieu to him of the Fetterlock
---the Saxon bade God speed himand on they moved through a wide
glade of the forest.

They had scarce departedere a sudden procession moved from
under the greenwood branchesswept slowly round the silvan
amphitheatreand took the same direction with Rowena and her
followers. The priests of a neighbouring conventin
expectation of the ample donationor "soul-scat"which Cedric
had propinedattended upon the car in which the body of
Athelstane was laidand sang hymns as it was sadly and slowly
borne on the shoulders of his vassals to his castle of
Coningsburghto be there deposited in the grave of Hengistfrom
whom the deceased derived his long descent. Many of his vassals
had assembled at the news of his deathand followed the bier
with all the external marksat leastof dejection and sorrow.
Again the outlaws aroseand paid the same rude and spontaneous
homage to deathwhich they had so lately rendered to beauty


---the slow chant and mournful step of the priests brought back
to their remembrance such of their comrades as had fallen in the
yesterday's array. But such recollections dwell not long with
those who lead a life of danger and enterpriseand ere the sound
of the death-hymn had died on the windthe outlaws were again
busied in the distribution of their spoil.

Valiant knight,said Locksley to the Black Championwithout
whose good heart and mighty arm our enterprise must altogether
have failed, will it please you to take from that mass of spoil
whatever may best serve to pleasure you, and to remind you of
this my Trysting-tree?

I accept the offer,said the Knightas frankly as it is
given; and I ask permission to dispose of Sir Maurice de Bracy at
my own pleasure.

He is thine already,said Locksleyand well for him! else the
tyrant had graced the highest bough of this oak, with as many of
his Free-Companions as we could gather, hanging thick as acorns
around him.---But he is thy prisoner, and he is safe, though he
had slain my father.

De Bracy,said the Knightthou art free---depart. He whose
prisoner thou art scorns to take mean revenge for what is past.
But beware of the future, lest a worse thing befall thee.
---Maurice de Bracy, I say BEWARE!

De Bracy bowed low and in silenceand was about to withdraw
when the yeomen burst at once into a shout of execration and
derision. The proud knight instantly stoppedturned back
folded his armsdrew up his form to its full heightand
exclaimedPeace, ye yelping curs! who open upon a cry which ye
followed not when the stag was at bay---De Bracy scorns your
censure as he would disdain your applause. To your brakes and
caves, ye outlawed thieves! and be silent when aught knightly or
noble is but spoken within a league of your fox-earths.

This ill-timed defiance might have procured for De Bracy a volley
of arrowsbut for the hasty and imperative interference of the
outlaw Chief. Meanwhile the knight caught a horse by the rein
for several which had been taken in the stables of Front-de-Boeuf
stood accoutred aroundand were a valuable part of the booty.
He threw himself upon the saddleand galloped off through the
wood.

When the bustle occasioned by this incident was somewhat
composedthe chief Outlaw took from his neck the rich horn and
baldric which he had recently gained at the strife of archery
near Ashby.

Noble knight.he said to him of the Fetterlockif you disdain
not to grace by your acceptance a bugle which an English yeoman
has once worn, this I will pray you to keep as a memorial of your
gallant bearing---and if ye have aught to do, and, as happeneth
oft to a gallant knight, ye chance to be hard bested in any
forest between Trent and Tees, wind three mots*

* The notes upon the bugle were anciently called mots, and
* are distinguished in the old treatises on hunting, not by
* musical characters, but by written words.
upon the horn thus, 'Wa-sa-hoa!' and it may well chance ye shall
find helpers and rescue.


He then gave breath to the bugleand winded once and again the
call which be describeduntil the knight had caught the notes.

Gramercy for the gift, bold yeoman,said the Knight; "and
better help than thine and thy rangers would I never seekwere
it at my utmost need." And then in his turn he winded the call
till all the greenwood rang.

Well blown and clearly,said the yeoman; "beshrew me an thou
knowest not as much of woodcraft as of war!---thou hast been a
striker of deer in thy dayI warrant.---Comradesmark these
three mots---it is the call of the Knight of the Fetterlock; and
he who hears itand hastens not to serve him at his needI will
have him scourged out of our band with his own bowstring."

Long live our leader!shouted the yeomenand long live the
Black Knight of the Fetterlock!---May he soon use our service, to
prove how readily it will be paid.

Locksley now proceeded to the distribution of the spoilwhich he
performed with the most laudable impartiality. A tenth part of
the whole was set apart for the churchand for pious uses; a
portion was next allotted to a sort of public treasury; a part
was assigned to the widows and children of those who had fallen
or to be expended in masses for the souls of such as had left no
surviving family. The rest was divided amongst the outlaws
according to their rank and meritand the judgment of the Chief
on all such doubtful questions as occurredwas delivered with
great shrewdnessand received with absolute submission. The
Black Knight was not a little surprised to find that menin a
state so lawlesswere nevertheless among themselves so regularly
and equitably governedand all that he observed added to his
opinion of the justice and judgment of their leader.

When each had taken his own proportion of the bootyand while
the treasureraccompanied by four tall yeomenwas transporting
that belonging to the state to some place of concealment or of
securitythe portion devoted to the church still remained
unappropriated.

I would,said the leaderwe could hear tidings of our joyous
chaplain---he was never wont to be absent when meat was to be
blessed, or spoil to be parted; and it is his duty to take care
of these the tithes of our successful enterprise. It may be the
office has helped to cover some of his canonical irregularities.
Also, I have a holy brother of his a prisoner at no great
distance, and I would fain have the Friar to help me to deal with
him in due sort---I greatly misdoubt the safety of the bluff
priest.

I were right sorry for that,said the Knight of the Fetterlock
for I stand indebted to him for the joyous hospitality of a
merry night in his cell. Let us to the ruins of the castle; it
may be we shall there learn some tidings of him.

While they thus spokea loud shout among the yeomen announced
the arrival of him for whom they fearedas they learned from
the stentorian voice of the Friar himselflong before they saw
his burly person.

Make room, my merry-men!he exclaimed; "room for your godly
father and his prisoner---Cry welcome once more.---I comenoble
leaderlike an eagle with my prey in my clutch."---And making


his way through the ringamidst the laughter of all aroundhe
appeared in majestic triumphhis huge partisan in one handand
in the other a halterone end of which was fastened to the neck
of the unfortunate Isaac of Yorkwhobent down by sorrow and
terrorwas dragged on by the victorious priestwho shouted
aloudWhere is Allan-a-Dale, to chronicle me in a ballad, or if
it were but a lay?---By Saint Hermangild, the jingling crowder is
ever out of the way where there is an apt theme for exalting
valour!

Curtal Priest,said the Captainthou hast been at a wet mass
this morning, as early as it is. In the name of Saint Nicholas,
whom hast thou got here?

A captive to my sword and to my lance, noble Captain,replied
the Clerk of Copmanhurst; "to my bow and to my halberdI should
rather say; and yet I have redeemed him by my divinity from a
worse captivity. SpeakJew---have I not ransomed thee from
Sathanas?---have I not taught thee thy 'credo'thy 'pater'and
thine 'Ave Maria'?---Did I not spend the whole night in drinking
to theeand in expounding of mysteries?"

For the love of God!ejaculated the poor Jewwill no one take
me out of the keeping of this mad---I mean this holy man?

How's this, Jew?said the Friarwith a menacing aspect; "dost
thou recantJew?---Bethink theeif thou dost relapse into thine
infidelitythough thou are not so tender as a suckling pig---I
would I had one to break my fast upon---thou art not too tough to
be roasted! Be conformableIsaacand repeat the words after
me. 'Ave Maria'!---"

Nay, we will have no profanation, mad Priest,said Locksley;
let us rather hear where you found this prisoner of thine.

By Saint Dunstan,said the FriarI found him where I sought
for better ware! I did step into the cellarage to see what might
be rescued there; for though a cup of burnt wine, with spice, be
an evening's drought for an emperor, it were waste, methought, to
let so much good liquor be mulled at once; and I had caught up
one runlet of sack, and was coming to call more aid among these
lazy knaves, who are ever to seek when a good deed is to be done,
when I was avised of a strong door---Aha! thought I, here is the
choicest juice of all in this secret crypt; and the knave butler,
being disturbed in his vocation, hath left the key in the door
---In therefore I went, and found just nought besides a commodity
of rusted chains and this dog of a Jew, who presently rendered
himself my prisoner, rescue or no rescue. I did but refresh
myself after the fatigue of the action, with the unbeliever, with
one humming cup of sack, and was proceeding to lead forth my
captive, when, crash after crash, as with wild thunder-dint and
levin-fire, down toppled the masonry of an outer tower, (marry
beshrew their hands that built it not the firmer!) and blocked up
the passage. The roar of one falling tower followed another---I
gave up thought of life; and deeming it a dishonour to one of my
profession to pass out of this world in company with a Jew, I
heaved up my halberd to beat his brains out; but I took pity on
his grey hairs, and judged it better to lay down the partisan,
and take up my spiritual weapon for his conversion. And truly,
by the blessing of Saint Dunstan, the seed has been sown in good
soil; only that, with speaking to him of mysteries through the
whole night, and being in a manner fasting, (for the few
droughts of sack which I sharpened my wits with were not worth
marking,) my head is well-nigh dizzied, I trow.---But I was clean


exhausted.---Gilbert and Wibbald know in what state they found me
---quite and clean exhausted.

We can bear witness,said Gilbert; "for when we had cleared
away the ruinand by Saint Dunstan's help lighted upon the
dungeon stairwe found the runlet of sack half emptythe Jew
half deadand the Friar more than half---exhaustedas he calls
it."

Ye be knaves! ye lie!retorted the offended Friar; "it was you
and your gormandizing companions that drank up the sackand
called it your morning draught---I am a paganan I kept it not
for the Captain's own throat. But what recks it? The Jew is
convertedand understands all I have told himvery nearlyif
not altogetheras well as myself."

Jew,said the Captainis this true? hast thou renounced thine
unbelief?

May I so find mercy in your eyes,said the Jewas I know not
one word which the reverend prelate spake to me all this fearful
night. Alas! I was so distraught with agony, and fear, and
grief, that had our holy father Abraham come to preach to me, he
had found but a deaf listener.

Thou liest, Jew, and thou knowest thou dost.said the Friar; "I
will remind thee of but one word of our conference---thou didst
promise to give all thy substance to our holy Order."

So help me the Promise, fair sirs,said Isaaceven more
alarmed than beforeas no such sounds ever crossed my lips!
Alas! I am an aged beggar'd man---I fear me a childless---have
ruth on me, and let me go!

Nay,said the Friarif thou dost retract vows made in favour
of holy Church, thou must do penance.

Accordinglyhe raised his halberdand would have laid the staff
of it lustily on the Jew's shouldershad not the Black Knight
stopped the blowand thereby transferred the Holy Clerk's
resentment to himself.

By Saint Thomas of Kent,said hean I buckle to my gear, I
will teach thee, sir lazy lover, to mell with thine own matters,
maugre thine iron case there!

Nay, be not wroth with me,said the Knight; "thou knowest I am
thy sworn friend and comrade."

I know no such thing,answered the Friar; "and defy thee for a
meddling coxcomb!"

Nay, but,said the Knightwho seemed to take a pleasure in
provoking his quondam hosthast thou forgotten how, that for my
sake (for I say nothing of the temptation of the flagon and the
pasty) thou didst break thy vow of fast and vigil?

Truly, friend,said the Friarclenching his huge fistI will
bestow a buffet on thee.

I accept of no such presents,said the Knight; "I am content to
take thy cuff*

* Note H. Richard Coeur-de-Lion.

as a loanbut I will repay thee with usury as deep as ever thy
prisoner there exacted in his traffic."

I will prove that presently,said the Friar.

Hola!cried the Captainwhat art thou after, mad Friar?
brawling beneath our Trysting-tree?

No brawling,said the Knightit is but a friendly interchange
of courtesy.---Friar, strike an thou darest---I will stand thy
blow, if thou wilt stand mine.

Thou hast the advantage with that iron pot on thy head,said
the churchman; "but have at thee---Down thou goestan thou wert
Goliath of Gath in his brazen helmet."

The Friar bared his brawny arm up to the elbowand putting his
full strength to the blowgave the Knight a buffet that might
have felled an ox. But his adversary stood firm as a rock. A
loud shout was uttered by all the yeomen around; for the Clerk's
cuff was proverbial amongst themand there were few whoin jest
or earnesthad not had the occasion to know its vigour.

Now, Priest,saidthe Knightpulling off his gauntletif I
had vantage on my head, I will have none on my hand---stand fast
as a true man.

'Genam meam dedi vapulatori'---I have given my cheek to the
smiter,said the Priest; "an thou canst stir me from the spot
fellowI will freely bestow on thee the Jew's ransom."

So spoke the burly Priestassumingon his parthigh defiance.
But who may resist his fate? The buffet of the Knight was given
with such strength and good-willthat the Friar rolled head over
heels upon the plainto the great amazement of all the
spectators. But he arose neither angry nor crestfallen.

Brother,said he to the Knightthou shouldst have used thy
strength with more discretion. I had mumbled but a lame mass an
thou hadst broken my jaw, for the piper plays ill that wants the
nether chops. Nevertheless, there is my hand, in friendly
witness, that I will exchange no more cuffs with thee, having
been a loser by the barter. End now all unkindness. Let us put
the Jew to ransom, since the leopard will not change his spots,
and a Jew he will continue to be.

The Priest,said Clementis not have so confident of the
Jew's conversion, since he received that buffet on the ear.

Go to, knave, what pratest thou of conversions?---what, is there
no respect?---all masters and no men?---I tell thee, fellow, I
was somewhat totty when I received the good knight's blow, or I
had kept my ground under it. But an thou gibest more of it, thou
shalt learn I can give as well as take.

Peace all!said the Captain. "And thouJewthink of thy
ransom; thou needest not to be told that thy race are held to be
accursed in all Christian communitiesand trust me that we
cannot endure thy presence among us. Thinkthereforeof an
offerwhile I examine a prisoner of another cast."

Were many of Front-de-Boeuf's men taken?demanded the Black
Knight.


None of note enough to be put to ransom,answered the Captain;
a set of hilding fellows there were, whom we dismissed to find
them a new master---enough had been done for revenge and profit;
the bunch of them were not worth a cardecu. The prisoner I speak
of is better booty---a jolly monk riding to visit his leman, an I
may judge by his horse-gear and wearing apparel.---Here cometh
the worthy prelate, as pert as a pyet.Andbetween two yeomen
was brought before the silvan throne of the outlaw Chiefour old
friendPrior Aymer of Jorvaulx.

CHAPTER XXXIII

------Flower of warriors
How is't with Titus Lartius?
MARCIUS.--As with a man busied about decrees
Condemning some to death and some to exile
Ransoming him or pityingthreatening the other.

Coriolanus

The captive Abbot's features and manners exhibited a whimsical
mixture of offended prideand deranged foppery and bodily
terror.

Why, how now, my masters?said hewith a voice in which all
three emotions were blended. "What order is this among ye? Be
ye Turks or Christiansthat handle a churchman?---Know ye what
it is'manus imponere in servos Domini'? Ye have plundered my
mails---torn my cope of curious cut lacewhich might have served
a cardinal!---Another in my place would have been at his
'excommunicabo vos'; but I am placibleand if ye order forth my
palfreysrelease my brethrenand restore my mailstell down
with all speed an hundred crowns to be expended in masses at the
high altar of Jorvaulx Abbeyand make your vow to eat no venison
until next Pentecostit may be you shall hear little more of
this mad frolic."

Holy Father,said the chief Outlawit grieves me to think
that you have met with such usage from any of my followers, as
calls for your fatherly reprehension.

Usage!echoed the priestencouraged by the mild tone of the
silvan leader; "it were usage fit for no hound of good race
---much less for a Christian---far less for a priest---and least
of all for the Prior of the holy community of Jorvaulx. Here is
a profane and drunken minstrelcalled Allan-a-Dale---'nebulo
quidam'---who has menaced me with corporal punishment---naywith
death itselfan I pay not down four hundred crowns of ransomto
the boot of all the treasure he hath already robbed me of---gold
chains and gymmal rings to an unknown value; besides what is
broken and spoiled among their rude handssuch as my pouncer-box
and silver crisping-tongs."

It is impossible that Allan-a-Dale can have thus treated a man
of your reverend bearing,replied the Captain.

It is true as the gospel of Saint Nicodemus,said the Prior;
he swore, with many a cruel north-country oath, that he would
hang me up on the highest tree in the greenwood.


Did he so in very deed? Nay, then, reverend father, I think you
had better comply with his demands---for Allan-a-Dale is the very
man to abide by his word when he has so pledged it.*

* A commissary is said to have received similar consolation
* from a certain Commander-in-chiefto whom he complained
* that a general officer had used some such threat towards
* him as that in the text.
You do but jest with me,said the astounded Priorwith a
forced laugh; "and I love a good jest with all my heart. But
ha! ha! ha! when the mirth has lasted the livelong nightit is
time to be grave in the morning."

And I am as grave as a father confessor,replied the Outlaw;
you must pay a round ransom, Sir Prior, or your convent is
likely to be called to a new election; for your place will know
you no more.

Are ye Christians,said the Priorand hold this language to a
churchman?

Christians! ay, marry are we, and have divinity among us to
boot,answered the Outlaw. "Let our buxom chaplain stand forth
and expound to this reverend father the texts which concern this
matter."

The Friarhalf-drunkhalf-soberhad huddled a friar's frock
over his green cassockand now summoning together whatever
scraps of learning he had acquired by rote in former daysHoly
father,said he'Deus faciat salvam benignitatem vestram'
---You are welcome to the greenwood.

What profane mummery is this?said the Prior. "Friendif thou
be'st indeed of the churchit were a better deed to show me how
I may escape from these men's handsthan to stand ducking and
grinning here like a morris-dancer."

Truly, reverend father,said the FriarI know but one mode in
which thou mayst escape. This is Saint Andrew's day with us, we
are taking our tithes.

But not of the church, then, I trust, my good brother?said the
Prior.

Of church and lay,said the Friar; "and thereforeSir Prior
'facite vobis amicos de Mammone iniquitatis'---make yourselves
friends of the Mammon of unrighteousnessfor no other friendship
is like to serve your turn."

I love a jolly woodsman at heart,said the Priorsoftening his
tone; "comeye must not deal too hard with me---I can well of
woodcraftand can wind a horn clear and lustilyand hollo till
every oak rings again---Comeye must not deal too hard with me."

Give him a horn,said the Outlaw; "we will prove the skill he
boasts of."

The Prior Aymer winded a blast accordingly. The Captain shook
his head.

Sir Prior,he saidthou blowest a merry note, but it may not
ransom thee---we cannot afford, as the legend on a good knight's


shield hath it, to set thee free for a blast. Moreover, I have
found thee---thou art one of those, who, with new French graces
and Tra-li-ras, disturb the ancient English bugle notes.---Prior,
that last flourish on the recheat hath added fifty crowns to thy
ransom, for corrupting the true old manly blasts of venerie.

Well, friend,said the Abbotpeevishlythou art ill to
please with thy woodcraft. I pray thee be more conformable in
this matter of my ransom. At a word---since I must needs, for
once, hold a candle to the devil---what ransom am I to pay for
walking on Watling-street, without having fifty men at my back?

Were it not well,said the Lieutenant of the gang apart to the
Captainthat the Prior should name the Jew's ransom, and the
Jew name the Prior's?

Thou art a mad knave,said the Captainbut thy plan
transcends!---Here, Jew, step forth---Look at that holy Father
Aymer, Prior of the rich Abbey of Jorvaulx, and tell us at what
ransom we should hold him?---Thou knowest the income of his
convent, I warrant thee.

O, assuredly,said Isaac. "I have trafficked with the good
fathersand bought wheat and barleyand fruits of the earth
and also much wool. Oit is a rich abbey-stedeand they do
live upon the fatand drink the sweet wines upon the leesthese
good fathers of Jorvaulx. Ahif an outcast like me had such a
home to go toand such incomings by the year and by the monthI
would pay much gold and silver to redeem my captivity."

Hound of a Jew!exclaimed the Priorno one knows better than
thy own cursed self, that our holy house of God is indebted for
the finishing of our chancel---

And for the storing of your cellars in the last season with the
due allowance of Gascon wine,interrupted the Jew; "but that
---that is small matters."

Hear the infidel dog!said the churchman; "he jangles as if our
holy community did come under debts for the wines we have a
license to drink'propter necessitatemet ad frigus
depellendum'. The circumcised villain blasphemeth the holy
churchand Christian men listen and rebuke him not!"

All this helps nothing,said the leader.---"Isaacpronounce
what he may paywithout flaying both hide and hair."

An six hundred crowns,said Isaacthe good Prior might well
pay to your honoured valours, and never sit less soft in his
stall.

Six hundred crowns,said the leadergravely; "I am contented
---thou hast well spokenIsaac---six hundred crowns.---It is a
sentenceSir Prior."

A sentence!---a sentence!exclaimed the band; "Solomon had not
done it better."

Thou hearest thy doom, Prior,said the leader.

Ye are mad, my masters,said the Prior; "where am I to find
such a sum? If I sell the very pyx and candlesticks on the altar
at JorvaulxI shall scarce raise the half; and it will be
necessary for that purpose that I go to Jorvaulx myself; ye may


retain as borrows*

* Borghsor borrowssignifies pledges. Hence our word to
* borrowbecause we pledge ourselves to restore what is
* lent.
my two priests."

That will be but blind trust,said the Outlaw; "we will retain
theePriorand send them to fetch thy ransom. Thou shalt not
want a cup of wine and a collop of venison the while; and if thou
lovest woodcraftthou shalt see such as your north country never
witnessed."

Or, if so please you,said Isaacwilling to curry favour with
the outlawsI can send to York for the six hundred crowns, out
of certain monies in my hands, if so be that the most reverend
Prior present will grant me a quittance.

He shall grant thee whatever thou dost list, Isaac,said the
Captain; "and thou shalt lay down the redemption money for Prior
Aymer as well as for thyself."

For myself! ah, courageous sirs,said the JewI am a broken
and impoverished man; a beggar's staff must be my portion through
life, supposing I were to pay you fifty crowns.

The Prior shall judge of that matter,replied the Captain.
---"How say youFather Aymer? Can the Jew afford a good
ransom?"

Can he afford a ransom?answered the Prior "Is he not Isaac of
Yorkrich enough to redeem the captivity of the ten tribes of
Israelwho were led into Assyrian bondage?---I have seen but
little of him myselfbut our cellarer and treasurer have dealt
largely with himand report says that his house at York is so
full of gold and silver as is a shame in any Christian land.
Marvel it is to all living Christian hearts that such gnawing
adders should be suffered to eat into the bowels of the state
and even of the holy church herselfwith foul usuries and
extortions."

Hold, father,said the Jewmitigate and assuage your choler.
I pray of your reverence to remember that I force my monies upon
no one. But when churchman and layman, prince and prior, knight
and priest, come knocking to Isaac's door, they borrow not his
shekels with these uncivil terms. It is then, Friend Isaac, will
you pleasure us in this matter, and our day shall be truly kept,
so God sa' me?---and Kind Isaac, if ever you served man, show
yourself a friend in this need! And when the day comes, and I
ask my own, then what hear I but Damned Jew, and The curse of
Egypt on your tribe, and all that may stir up the rude and
uncivil populace against poor strangers!

Prior,said the CaptainJew though he be, he hath in this
spoken well. Do thou, therefore, name his ransom, as he named
thine, without farther rude terms.

None but 'latro famosus'---the interpretation whereof,said the
Priorwill I give at some other time and tide---would place a
Christian prelate and an unbaptized Jew upon the same bench. But
since ye require me to put a price upon this caitiff, I tell you
openly that ye will wrong yourselves if you take from him a penny
under a thousand crowns.


A sentence!---a sentence!exclaimed the chief Outlaw.

A sentence!---a sentence!shouted his assessors; "the Christian
has shown his good nurtureand dealt with us more generously
than the Jew."

The God of my fathers help me!said the Jew; "will ye bear to
the ground an impoverished creature?---I am this day childless
and will ye deprive me of the means of livelihood?"

Thou wilt have the less to provide for, Jew, if thou art
childless,said Aymer.

Alas! my lord,said Isaacyour law permits you not to know
how the child of our bosom is entwined with the strings of our
heart---O Rebecca! laughter of my beloved Rachel! were each leaf
on that tree a zecchin, and each zecchin mine own, all that mass
of wealth would I give to know whether thou art alive, and
escaped the hands of the Nazarene!

Was not thy daughter dark-haired?said one of the outlaws; "and
wore she not a veil of twisted sendalbroidered with silver?"

She did!---she did!said the old mantrembling with eagerness
as formerly with fear. "The blessing of Jacob be upon thee!
canst thou tell me aught of her safety?"

It was she, then,said the yeomanwho was carried off by the
proud Templar, when he broke through our ranks on yester-even.
I had drawn my bow to send a shaft after him, but spared him even
for the sake of the damsel, who I feared might take harm from the
arrow.

Oh!answered the JewI would to God thou hadst shot, though
the arrow had pierced her bosom!---Better the tomb of her fathers
than the dishonourable couch of the licentious and savage
Templar. Ichabod! Ichabod! the glory hath departed from my
house!

Friends,said the Chieflooking roundthe
old man is but a Jew, natheless his grief touches me.---Deal
uprightly with us, Isaac---will paying this ransom of a thousand
crowns leave thee altogether penniless?

Isaacrecalled to think of his worldly goodsthe love of which
by dint of inveterate habitcontended even with his parental
affectiongrew palestammeredand could not deny there might
be some small surplus.

Well---go to---what though there be,said the Outlawwe will
not reckon with thee too closely. Without treasure thou mayst as
well hope to redeem thy child from the clutches of Sir Brian de
Bois-Guilbert, as to shoot a stag-royal with a headless shaft.
---We will take thee at the same ransom with Prior Aymer, or
rather at one hundred crowns lower, which hundred crowns shall be
mine own peculiar loss, and not light upon this worshipful
community; and so we shall avoid the heinous offence of rating a
Jew merchant as high as a Christian prelate, and thou wilt have
six hundred crowns remaining to treat for thy daughter's ransom.
Templars love the glitter of silver shekels as well as the
sparkle of black eyes.---Hasten to make thy crowns chink in the
ear of De Bois-Guilbert, ere worse comes of it. Thou wilt find
him, as our scouts have brought notice, at the next Preceptory


house of his Order.---Said I well, my merry mates?

The yeomen expressed their wonted acquiescence in their leader's
opinion; and Isaacrelieved of one half of his apprehensionsby
learning that his daughter livedand might possibly be ransomed
threw himself at the feet of the generous Outlawandrubbing
his beard against his buskinssought to kiss the hem of his
green cassock. The Captain drew himself backand extricated
himself from the Jew's graspnot without some marks of contempt.

Nay, beshrew thee, man, up with thee! I am English born, and
love no such Eastern prostrations---Kneel to God, and not to a
poor sinner, like me.

Ay, Jew,said Prior Aymer; "kneel to Godas represented in the
servant of his altarand who knowswith thy sincere repentance
and due gifts to the shrine of Saint Robertwhat grace thou
mayst acquire for thyself and thy daughter Rebecca? I grieve for
the maidenfor she is of fair and comely countenance---I beheld
her in the lists of Ashby. Also Brian de Bois-Guilbert is one
with whom I may do much---bethink thee how thou mayst deserve my
good word with him."

Alas! alas!said the Jewon every hand the spoilers arise
against me---I am given as a prey unto the Assyrian, and a prey
unto him of Egypt.

And what else should be the lot of thy accursed race?answered
the Prior; "for what saith holy writ'verbum Domini projecerunt
et sapientia est nulla in eis'---they have cast forth the word of
the Lordand there is no wisdom in them; 'propterea dabo
mulieres eorum exteris'---I will give their women to strangers
that is to the Templaras in the present matter; 'et thesauros
eorum haeredibus alienis'and their treasures to others---as in
the present case to these honest gentlemen."

Isaac groaned deeplyand began to wring his handsand to
relapse into his state of desolation and despair. But the leader
of the yeomen led him aside.

Advise thee well, Isaac,said Locksleywhat thou wilt do in
this matter; my counsel to thee is to make a friend of this
churchman. He is vain, Isaac, and he is covetous; at least he
needs money to supply his profusion. Thou canst easily gratify
his greed; for think not that I am blinded by thy pretexts of
poverty. I am intimately acquainted, Isaac, with the very iron
chest in which thou dost keep thy money-bags---What! know I not
the great stone beneath the apple-tree, that leads into the
vaulted chamber under thy garden at York?The Jew grew as pale
as death---"But fear nothing from me continued the yeoman, for
we are of old acquainted. Dost thou not remember the sick yeoman
whom thy fair daughter Rebecca redeemed from the gyves at York
and kept him in thy house till his health was restoredwhen thou
didst dismiss him recoveredand with a piece of money?---Usurer
as thou artthou didst never place coin at better interest than
that poor silver markfor it has this day saved thee five
hundred crowns."

And thou art he whom we called Diccon Bend-the-Bow?said Isaac;
I thought ever I knew the accent of thy voice.

I am Bend-the-Bow,said the Captainand Locksley, and have a
good name besides all these.


But thou art mistaken, good Bend-the-Bow, concerning that same
vaulted apartment. So help me Heaven, as there is nought in it
but some merchandises which I will gladly part with to you---one
hundred yards of Lincoln green to make doublets to thy men, and a
hundred staves of Spanish yew to make bows, and a hundred silken
bowstrings, tough, round, and sound---these will I send thee for
thy good-will, honest Diccon, an thou wilt keep silence about the
vault, my good Diccon.

Silent as a dormouse,said the Outlaw; "and never trust me but
I am grieved for thy daughter. But I may not help it---The
Templars lances are too strong for my archery in the open field
---they would scatter us like dust. Had I but known it was
Rebecca when she was borne offsomething might have been done;
but now thou must needs proceed by policy. Comeshall I treat
for thee with the Prior?"

In God's name, Diccon, an thou canst, aid me to recover the
child of my bosom!

Do not thou interrupt me with thine ill-timed avarice,said the
Outlawand I will deal with him in thy behalf.

He then turned from the Jewwho followed himhoweveras
closely as his shadow.

Prior Aymer,said the Captaincome apart with me under this
tree. Men say thou dost love wine, and a lady's smile, better
than beseems thy Order, Sir Priest; but with that I have nought
to do. I have heard, too, thou dost love a brace of good dogs
and a fleet horse, and it may well be that, loving things which
are costly to come by, thou hatest not a purse of gold. But I
have never heard that thou didst love oppression or cruelty.
---Now, here is Isaac willing to give thee the means of pleasure
and pastime in a bag containing one hundred marks of silver, if
thy intercession with thine ally the Templar shall avail to
procure the freedom of his daughter.

In safety and honour, as when taken from me,said the Jew
otherwise it is no bargain.

Peace, Isaac,said the Outlawor I give up thine interest.
---What say you to this my purpose, Prior Aymer?

The matter,quoth the Prioris of a mixed condition; for, if
I do a good deal on the one hand, yet, on the other, it goeth to
the vantage of a Jew, and in so much is against my conscience.
Yet, if the Israelite will advantage the Church by giving me
somewhat over to the building of our dortour,*

* Dortour"or dormitory.
I will take it on my conscience to aid him in the matter of his
daughter."

For a score of marks to the dortour,said the Outlaw---"Be
stillI sayIsaac!---or for a brace of silver candlesticks to
the altarwe will not stand with you."

Nay, but, good Diccon Bend-the-Bow---said Isaacendeavouring
to interpose.

Good Jew---good beast---good earthworm!said the yeomanlosing
patience; "an thou dost go on to put thy filthy lucre in the


balance with thy daughter's life and honourby HeavenI will
strip thee of every maravedi thou hast in the worldbefore three
days are out!"

Isaac shrunk togetherand was silent.

And what pledge am I to have for all this?said the Prior.

When Isaac returns successful through your mediation,said the
OutlawI swear by Saint Hubert, I will see that he pays thee
the money in good silver, or I will reckon with him for it in
such sort, he had better have paid twenty such sums.

Well then, Jew,said Aymersince I must needs meddle in this
matter, let me have the use of thy writing-tablets---though, hold
---rather than use thy pen, I would fast for twenty-four hours,
and where shall I find one?

If your holy scruples can dispense with using the Jew's tablets,
for the pen I can find a remedy,said the yeoman; andbending
his bowhe aimed his shaft at a wild-goose which was soaring
over their headsthe advanced-guard of a phalanx of his tribe
which were winging their way to the distant and solitary fens of
Holderness. The bird came fluttering downtransfixed with the
arrow.

There, Prior,said the Captainare quills enow to supply all
the monks of Jorvaulx for the next hundred years, an they take
not to writing chronicles.

The Prior sat downand at great leisure indited an epistle to
Brian de Bois-Guilbertand having carefully sealed up the
tabletsdelivered them to the JewsayingThis will be thy
safe-conduct to the Preceptory of Templestowe, and, as I think,
is most likely to accomplish the delivery of thy daughter, if it
be well backed with proffers of advantage and commodity at thine
own hand; for, trust me well, the good Knight Bois-Guilbert is of
their confraternity that do nought for nought.

Well, Prior,said the OutlawI will detain thee no longer
here than to give the Jew a quittance for the six hundred crowns
at which thy ransom is fixed---I accept of him for my pay-master;
and if I hear that ye boggle at allowing him in his accompts the
sum so paid by him, Saint Mary refuse me, an I burn not the abbey
over thine head, though I hang ten years the sooner!

With a much worse grace than that wherewith he had penned the
letter to Bois-Guilbertthe Prior wrote an acquittance
discharging Isaac of York of six hundred crownsadvanced to him
in his need for acquittal of his ransomand faithfully promising
to hold true compt with him for that sum.

And now,said Prior AymerI will pray you of restitution of
my mules and palfreys, and the freedom of the reverend brethren
attending upon me, and also of the gymmal rings, jewels, and fair
vestures, of which I have been despoiled, having now satisfied
you for my ransom as a true prisoner.

Touching your brethren, Sir Prior,said Locksleythey shall
have present freedom, it were unjust to detain them; touching
your horses and mules, they shall also be restored, with such
spending-money as may enable you to reach York, for it were cruel
to deprive you of the means of journeying.---But as concerning
rings, jewels, chains, and what else, you must understand that we


are men of tender consciences, and will not yield to a venerable
man like yourself, who should be dead to the vanities of this
life, the strong temptation to break the rule of his foundation,
by wearing rings, chains, or other vain gauds.

Think what you do, my masters,said the Priorere you put
your hand on the Church's patrimony---These things are 'inter res
sacras', and I wot not what judgment might ensue were they to be
handled by laical hands.

I will take care of that, reverend Prior,said the Hermit of
Copmanhurst; "for I will wear them myself."

Friend, or brother,said the Priorin answer to this solution
of his doubtsif thou hast really taken religious orders, I
pray thee to look how thou wilt answer to thine official for the
share thou hast taken in this day's work.

Friend Prior,returned the Hermityou are to know that I
belong to a little diocese, where I am my own diocesan, and care
as little for the Bishop of York as I do for the Abbot
of Jorvaulx, the Prior, and all the convent.

Thou art utterly irregular,said the Prior; "one of those
disorderly menwhotaking on them the sacred character without
due causeprofane the holy ritesand endanger the souls of
those who take counsel at their hands; 'lapides pro pane
condonantes iis'giving them stones instead of bread as the
Vulgate hath it."

Nay,said the Friaran my brain-pan could have been broken by
Latin, it had not held so long together.---I say, that easing a
world of such misproud priests as thou art of their jewels and
their gimcracks, is a lawful spoiling of the Egyptians.

Thou be'st a hedge-priest,*

* Note I. Hedge-Priests.
said the Priorin great wrath'excommuicabo vos'.

Thou best thyself more like a thief and a heretic,said the
Friarequally indignant; "I will pouch up no such affront before
my parishionersas thou thinkest it not shame to put upon me
although I be a reverend brother to thee. 'Ossa ejus
perfringam'I will break your bonesas the Vulgate hath it."

Hola!cried the Captaincome the reverend brethren to such
terms?---Keep thine assurance of peace, Friar.---Prior, an thou
hast not made thy peace perfect with God, provoke the Friar no
further.---Hermit, let the reverend father depart in peace, as a
ransomed man.

The yeomen separated the incensed priestswho continued to raise
their voicesvituperating each other in bad Latinwhich the
Prior delivered the more fluentlyand the Hermit with the
greater vehemence. The Prior at length recollected himself
sufficiently to be aware that he was compromising his dignityby
squabbling with such a hedge-priest as the Outlaw's chaplainand
being joined by his attendantsrode off with considerably less
pompand in a much more apostolical conditionso far as worldly
matters were concernedthan he had exhibited before this
rencounter.


It remained that the Jew should produce some security for the
ransom which he was to pay on the Prior's accountas well as
upon his own. He gaveaccordinglyan order sealed with his
signetto a brother of his tribe at Yorkrequiring him to pay
to the bearer the sum of a thousand crownsand to deliver
certain merchandises specified in the note.

My brother Sheva,he saidgroaning deeplyhath the key of my
warehouses.

And of the vaulted chamber,whispered Locksley.

No, no---may Heaven forefend!said Isaac; "evil is the hour
that let any one whomsoever into that secret!"

It is safe with me,said the Outlawso be that this thy
scroll produce the sum therein nominated and set down.---But what
now, Isaac? art dead? art stupefied? hath the payment of a
thousand crowns put thy daughter's peril out of thy mind?

The Jew started to his feet---"NoDicconno---I will presently
set forth.---Farewellthou whom I may not call goodand dare
not and will not call evil."

Yet ere Isaac departedthe Outlaw Chief bestowed on him this
parting advice:---"Be liberal of thine offersIsaacand spare
not thy purse for thy daughter's safety. Credit methat the
gold thou shalt spare in her causewill hereafter give thee as
much agony as if it were poured molten down thy throat."

Isaac acquiesced with a deep groanand set forth on his journey
accompanied by two tall foresterswho were to be his guidesand
at the same time his guardsthrough the wood.

The Black Knightwho had seen with no small interest these
various proceedingsnow took his leave of the Outlaw in turn;
nor could he avoid expressing his surprise at having witnessed
so much of civil policy amongst persons cast out from all the
ordinary protection and influence of the laws.

Good fruit, Sir Knight,said the yeomanwill sometimes grow
on a sorry tree; and evil times are not always productive of evil
alone and unmixed. Amongst those who are drawn into this lawless
state, there are, doubtless, numbers who wish to exercise its
license with some moderation, and some who regret, it may be,
that they are obliged to follow such a trade at all.

And to one of those,said the KnightI am now, I presume,
speaking?

Sir Knight,said the Outlawwe have each our secret. You are
welcome to form your judgment of me, and I may use my conjectures
touching you, though neither of our shafts may hit the mark they
are shot at. But as I do not pray to be admitted into your
mystery, be not offended that I preserve my own.

I crave pardon, brave Outlaw,said the Knightyour reproof is
just. But it may be we shall meet hereafter with less of
concealment on either side.---Meanwhile we part friends, do we
not?

There is my hand upon it,said Locksley; "and I will call it
the hand of a true Englishmanthough an outlaw for the present."


And there is mine in return,said the Knightand I hold it
honoured by being clasped with yours. For he that does good,
having the unlimited power to do evil, deserves praise not only
for the good which he performs, but for the evil which he
forbears. Fare thee well, gallant Outlaw!Thus parted that
fair fellowship; and He of the Fetterlockmounting upon his
strong war-horserode off through the forest.


CHAPTER XXXIV


KING JOHN.---I'll tell thee whatmy friend
He is a very serpent in my way;
And wheresoe'er this foot of mine doth tread
He lies before me.---Dost thou understand me?


King John

There was brave feasting in the Castle of Yorkto which Prince
John had invited those noblesprelatesand leadersby whose
assistance he hoped to carry through his ambitious projects upon
his brother's throne. Waldemar Fitzursehis able and politic
agentwas at secret work among themtempering all to that pitch
of courage which was necessary in making an open declaration of
their purpose. But their enterprise was delayed by the absence
of more than one main limb of the confederacy. The stubborn and
daringthough brutal courage of Front-de-Boeuf; the buoyant
spirits and bold bearing of De Bracy; the sagacitymartial
experienceand renowned valour of Brian de Bois-Guilbertwere
important to the success of their conspiracy; andwhile cursing
in secret their unnecessary and unmeaning absenceneither John
nor his adviser dared to proceed without them. Isaac the Jew
also seemed to have vanishedand with him the hope of certain
sums of moneymaking up the subsidy for which Prince John had
contracted with that Israelite and his brethren. This deficiency
was likely to prove perilous in an emergency so critical.

It was on the morning after the fall of Torquilstonethat a
confused report began to spread abroad in the city of Yorkthat
De Bracy and Bois-Guilbertwith their confederate
Front-de-Boeufhad been taken or slain. Waldemar brought the
rumour to Prince Johnannouncingthat he feared its truth the
more that they had set out with a small attendancefor the
purpose of committing an assault on the Saxon Cedric and his
attendants. At another time the Prince would have treated this
deed of violence as a good jest; but nowthat it interfered with
and impeded his own planshe exclaimed against the perpetrators
and spoke of the broken lawsand the infringement of public
order and of private propertyin a tone which might have become
King Alfred.

The unprincipled marauders,he said---"were I ever to become
monarch of EnglandI would hang such transgressors over the
drawbridges of their own castles."

But to become monarch of England,said his Ahithophel coolly
it is necessary not only that your Grace should endure the
transgressions of these unprincipled marauders, but that you
should afford them your protection, notwithstanding your laudable
zeal for the laws they are in the habit of infringing. We shall
be finely helped, if the churl Saxons should have realized your


Grace's vision, of converting feudal drawbridges into gibbets;
and yonder bold-spirited Cedric seemeth one to whom such an
imagination might occur. Your Grace is well aware, it will be
dangerous to stir without Front-de-Boeuf, De Bracy, and the
Templar; and yet we have gone too far to recede with safety.

Prince John struck his forehead with impatienceand then began
to stride up and down the apartment.

The villains,he saidthe base treacherous villains, to
desert me at this pinch!

Nay, say rather the feather-pated giddy madmen,said Waldemar
who must be toying with follies when such business was in hand.

What is to be done?said the Princestopping short before
Waldemar.

I know nothing which can be done,answered his counsellor
save that which I have already taken order for.---I came not to
bewail this evil chance with your Grace, until I had done my best
to remedy it.

Thou art ever my better angel, Waldemar,said the Prince; "and
when I have such a chancellor to advise withalthe reign of John
will be renowned in our annals.---What hast thou commanded?"

I have ordered Louis Winkelbrand, De Bracy's lieutenant, to
cause his trumpet sound to horse, and to display his banner, and
to set presently forth towards the castle of Front-de-Boeuf, to
do what yet may be done for the succour of our friends.

Prince John's face flushed with the pride of a spoilt childwho
has undergone what it conceives to be an insult. "By the face of
God!" he saidWaldemar Fitzurse, much hast thou taken upon
thee! and over malapert thou wert to cause trumpet to blow, or
banner to be raised, in a town where ourselves were in presence,
without our express command.

I crave your Grace's pardon,said Fitzurseinternally cursing
the idle vanity of his patron; "but when time pressedand even
the loss of minutes might be fatalI judged it best to take this
much burden upon mein a matter of such importance to your
Grace's interest."

Thou art pardoned, Fitzurse,said the princegravely; "thy
purpose hath atoned for thy hasty rashness.---But whom have we
here?---De Bracy himselfby the rood!---and in strange guise
doth he come before us."

It was indeed De Bracy---"bloody with spurringfiery red with
speed." His armour bore all the marks of the late obstinate
fraybeing brokendefacedand stained with blood in many
placesand covered with clay and dust from the crest to the
spur. Undoing his helmethe placed it on the tableand stood a
moment as if to collect himself before be told his news.

De Bracy,said Prince Johnwhat means this?---Speak, I
charge thee!---Are the Saxons in rebellion?

Speak, De Bracy,said Fitzursealmost in the same moment with
his masterthou wert wont to be a man---Where is the Templar?
---where Front-de-Boeuf?


The Templar is fled,said De Bracy; "Front-de-Boeuf you will
never see more. He has found a red grave among the blazing
rafters of his own castle and I alone am escaped to tell you."

Cold news,said Waldemarto us, though you speak of fire and
conflagration.

The worst news is not yet said,answered De Bracy; andcoming
up to Prince Johnhe uttered in a low and emphatic tone
---"Richard is in England---I have seen and spoken with him."

Prince John turned paletotteredand caught at the back of an
oaken bench to support himself---much like to a man who receives
an arrow in his bosom.

Thou ravest, De Bracy,said Fitzurseit cannot be.

It is as true as truth itself,said De Bracy; "I was his
prisonerand spoke with him."

With Richard Plantagenet, sayest thou?continued Fitzurse.

With Richard Plantagenet,replied De Bracywith Richard
Coeur-de-Lion---with Richard of England.

And thou wert his prisoner?said Waldemar; "he is then at the
head of a power?"

No---only a few outlawed yeomen were around him, and to these
his person is unknown. I heard him say he was about to depart
from them. He joined them only to assist at the storming of
Torquilstone.

Ay,said Fitzursesuch is indeed the fashion of Richard
---a true knight-errant he, and will wander in wild adventure,
trusting the prowess of his single arm, like any Sir Guy or Sir
Bevis, while the weighty affairs of his kingdom slumber, and his
own safety is endangered.---What dost thou propose to do De
Bracy?

I?---I offered Richard the service of my Free Lances, and he
refused them---I will lead them to Hull, seize on shipping, and
embark for Flanders; thanks to the bustling times, a man of
action will always find employment. And thou, Waldemar, wilt
thou take lance and shield, and lay down thy policies, and wend
along with me, and share the fate which God sends us?

I am too old, Maurice, and I have a daughter,answered
Waldemar.

Give her to me, Fitzurse, and I will maintain her as fits her
rank, with the help of lance and stirrup,said De Bracy.

Not so,answered Fitzurse; "I will take sanctuary in this
church of Saint Peter---the Archbishop is my sworn brother."

During this discoursePrince John had gradually awakened from
the stupor into which he had been thrown by the unexpected
intelligenceand had been attentive to the conversation which
passed betwixt his followers. "They fall off from me he said
to himself, they hold no more by me than a withered leaf by the
bough when a breeze blows on it?---Hell and fiends! can I shape
no means for myself when I am deserted by these cravens?"---He
pausedand there was an expression of diabolical passion in the


constrained laugh with which he at length broke in on their
conversation.

Ha, ha, ha! my good lords, by the light of Our Lady's brow, I
held ye sage men, bold men, ready-witted men; yet ye throw down
wealth, honour, pleasure, all that our noble game promised you,
at the moment it might be won by one bold cast!

I understand you not,said De Bracy. "As soon as Richard's
return is blown abroadhe will be at the head of an armyand
all is then over with us. I would counsel youmy lordeither
to fly to France or take the protection of the Queen Mother."

I seek no safety for myself,said Prince Johnhaughtily; "that
I could secure by a word spoken to my brother. But although you
De Bracyand youWaldemar Fitzurseare so ready to abandon me
I should not greatly delight to see your heads blackening on
Clifford's gate yonder. Thinkest thouWaldemarthat the wily
Archbishop will not suffer thee to be taken from the very horns
of the altarwould it make his peace with King Richard? And
forgettest thouDe Bracythat Robert Estoteville lies betwixt
thee and Hull with all his forcesand that the Earl of Essex is
gathering his followers? If we had reason to fear these levies
even before Richard's returntrowest thou there is any doubt now
which party their leaders will take? Trust meEstoteville alone
has strength enough to drive all thy Free Lances into the
Humber."---Waldemar Fitzurse and De Bracy looked in each other's
faces with blank dismay.---"There is but one road to safety
continued the Prince, and his brow grew black as midnight; this
object of our terror journeys alone---He must be met withal."

Not by me,said De Bracyhastily; "I was his prisonerand he
took me to mercy. I will not harm a feather in his crest."

Who spoke of harming him?said Prince Johnwith a hardened
laugh; "the knave will say next that I meant he should slay him!
---No---a prison were better; and whether in Britain or Austria
what matters it?---Things will be but as they were when we
commenced our enterprise---It was founded on the hope that
Richard would remain a captive in Germany---Our uncle Robert
lived and died in the castle of Cardiffe."

Ay, but,said Waldemaryour sire Henry sate more firm in his
seat than your Grace can. I say the best prison is that which is
made by the sexton---no dungeon like a church-vault! I have said
my say.

Prison or tomb,said De BracyI wash my hands of the whole
matter.

Villain!said Prince Johnthou wouldst not bewray our
counsel?

Counsel was never bewrayed by me,said De Bracyhaughtily
nor must the name of villain be coupled with mine!

Peace, Sir Knight!said Waldemar; "and yougood my lord
forgive the scruples of valiant De Bracy; I trust I shall soon
remove them."

That passes your eloquence, Fitzurse,replied the Knight.

Why, good Sir Maurice,rejoined the wily politicianstart not
aside like a scared steed, without, at least, considering the


object of your terror.---This Richard---but a day since, and it
would have been thy dearest wish to have met him hand to hand in
the ranks of battle---a hundred times I have heard thee wish it.

Ay,said De Bracybut that was as thou sayest, hand to hand,
and in the ranks of battle! Thou never heardest me breathe a
thought of assaulting him alone, and in a forest.

Thou art no good knight if thou dost scruple at it,said
Waldemar. "Was it in battle that Lancelot de Lac and Sir
Tristram won renown? or was it not by encountering gigantic
knights under the shade of deep and unknown forests?"

Ay, but I promise you,said De Bracythat neither Tristram
nor Lancelot would have been match, hand to hand, for Richard
Plantagenet, and I think it was not their wont to take odds
against a single man.

Thou art mad, De Bracy---what is it we propose to thee, a hired
and retained captain of Free Companions, whose swords are
purchased for Prince John's service? Thou art apprized of our
enemy, and then thou scruplest, though thy patron's fortunes,
those of thy comrades, thine own, and the life and honour of
every one amongst us, be at stake!

I tell you,said De Bracysullenlythat he gave me my life.
True, he sent me from his presence, and refused my homage---so
far I owe him neither favour nor allegiance---but I will not lift
hand against him.

It needs not---send Louis Winkelbrand and a score of thy
lances.

Ye have sufficient ruffians of your own,said De Bracy; "not
one of mine shall budge on such an errand."

Art thou so obstinate, De Bracy?said Prince John; "and wilt
thou forsake meafter so many protestations of zeal for my
service?"

I mean it not,said De Bracy; "I will abide by you in aught
that becomes a knightwhether in the lists or in the camp; but
this highway practice comes not within my vow."

Come hither, Waldemar,said Prince John. "An unhappy prince am

I. My fatherKing Henryhad faithful servants---He had but to
say that he was plagued with a factious priestand the blood of
Thomas-a-Becketsaint though he wasstained the steps of his
own altar.---TracyMorvilleBrito *
* Reginald FitzurseWilliam de TracyHugh de Morville
* and Richard Britowere the gentlemen of Henry the
* Second's householdwhoinstigated by some passionate
* expressions of their sovereignslew the celebrated
* Thomas-a-Becket.
loyal and daring subjectsyour namesyour spiritare extinct!
and although Reginald Fitzurse hath left a sonhe hath fallen
off from his father's fidelity and courage."

He has fallen off from neither,said Waldemar Fitzurse; "and
since it may not better beI will take on me the conduct of
this perilous enterprise. Dearlyhoweverdid my father
purchase the praise of a zealous friend; and yet did his proof of


loyalty to Henry fall far short of what I am about to afford; for
rather would I assail a whole calendar of saintsthan put spear
in rest against Coeur-de-Lion.---De Bracyto thee I must trust
to keep up the spirits of the doubtfuland to guard Prince
John's person. If you receive such news as I trust to send you
our enterprise will no longer wear a doubtful aspect.---Page he
said, hie to my lodgingsand tell my armourer to be there in
readiness; and bid Stephen WetheralBroad Thoresbyand the
Three Spears of Spyinghowcome to me instantly; and let the
scout-masterHugh Bardonattend me also.---Adieumy Prince
till better times." Thus speakinghe left the apartment. "He
goes to make my brother prisoner said Prince John to De Bracy,
with as little touch of compunctionas if it but concerned the
liberty of a Saxon franklin. I trust he will observe our orders
and use our dear Richard's person with all due respect."

De Bracy only answered by a smile.

By the light of Our Lady's brow,said Prince Johnour orders
to him were most precise---though it may be you heard them not,
as we stood together in the oriel window---Most clear and
positive was our charge that Richard's safety should be cared
for, and woe to Waldemar's head if he transgress it!

I had better pass to his lodgings,said De Bracyand make him
fully aware of your Grace's pleasure; for, as it quite escaped my
ear, it may not perchance have reached that of Waldemar.

Nay, nay,said Prince JohnimpatientlyI promise thee he
heard me; and, besides, I have farther occupation for thee.
Maurice, come hither; let me lean on thy shoulder.

They walked a turn through the hall in this familiar postureand
Prince Johnwith an air of the most confidential intimacy
proceeded to sayWhat thinkest thou of this Waldemar Fitzurse,
my De Bracy?---He trusts to be our Chancellor. Surely we will
pause ere we give an office so high to one who shows evidently
how little he reverences our blood, by his so readily undertaking
this enterprise against Richard. Thou dost think, I warrant,
that thou hast lost somewhat of our regard, by thy boldly
declining this unpleasing task---But no, Maurice! I rather
honour thee for thy virtuous constancy. There are things most
necessary to be done, the perpetrator of which we neither love
nor honour; and there may be refusals to serve us, which shall
rather exalt in our estimation those who deny our request. The
arrest of my unfortunate brother forms no such good title to the
high office of Chancellor, as thy chivalrous and courageous
denial establishes in thee to the truncheon of High Marshal.
Think of this, De Bracy, and begone to thy charge.

Fickle tyrant!muttered De Bracyas he left the presence of
the Prince; "evil luck have they who trust thee. Thy Chancellor
indeed!---He who hath the keeping of thy conscience shall have an
easy chargeI trow. But High Marshal of England! that he
said, extending his arm, as if to grasp the baton of office, and
assuming a loftier stride along the antechamber, that is indeed
a prize worth playing for!"

De Bracy had no sooner left the apartment than Prince John
summoned an attendant.

Bid Hugh Bardon, our scout-master, come hither, as soon as he
shall have spoken with Waldemar Fitzurse.


The scout-master arrived after a brief delayduring which John
traversed the apartment withunequal and disordered steps.


Bardon,said hewhat did Waldemar desire of thee?


Two resolute men, well acquainted with these northern wilds, and
skilful in tracking the tread of man and horse.


And thou hast fitted him?


Let your grace never trust me else,answered the master of the
spies. "One is from Hexamshire; he is wont to trace the Tynedale
and Teviotdale thievesas a bloodhound follows the slot of a
hurt deer. The other is Yorkshire bredand has twanged his
bowstring right oft in merry Sherwood; he knows each glade and
dinglecopse and high-woodbetwixt this and Richmond."


'Tis well,said the Prince.---"Goes Waldemar forth with them?"


Instantly,said Bardon.


With what attendance?asked Johncarelessly.


Broad Thoresby goes with him, and Wetheral, whom they call, for
his cruelty, Stephen Steel-heart; and three northern men-at-arms
that belonged to Ralph Middleton's gang---they are called the
Spears of Spyinghow.


'Tis well,said Prince John; then addedafter a moment's
pauseBardon, it imports our service that thou keep a strict
watch on Maurice De Bracy---so that he shall not observe it,
however---And let us know of his motions from time to time
---with whom he converses, what he proposeth. Fail not in this,
as thou wilt be answerable.


Hugh Bardon bowedand retired.


If Maurice betrays me,said Prince John---"if he betrays meas
his bearing leads me to fearI will have his headwere Richard
thundering at the gates of York."


CHAPTER XXXV


Arouse the tiger of Hyrcanian deserts
Strive with the half-starved lion for his prey;
Lesser the riskthan rouse the slumbering fire
Of wild Fanaticism.


Anonymus

Our tale now returns to Isaac of York.---Mounted upon a mulethe
gift of the Outlawwith two tall yeomen to act as his guard and
guidesthe Jew had set out for the Preceptory of Templestowe
for the purpose of negotiating his daughter's redemption. The
Preceptory was but a day's journey from the demolished castle of
Torquilstoneand the Jew had hoped to reach it before nightfall;
accordinglyhaving dismissed his guides at the verge of the
forestand rewarded them with a piece of silverhe began to
press on with such speed as his weariness permitted him to exert.
But his strength failed him totally ere he had reached within


four miles of the Temple-Court; racking pains shot along his back
and through his limbsand the excessive anguish which he felt at
heart being now augmented by bodily sufferinghe was rendered
altogether incapable of proceeding farther than a small
market-townwere dwelt a Jewish Rabbi of his tribeeminent in
the medical professionand to whom Isaac was well known. Nathan
Ben Israel received his suffering countryman with that kindness
which the law prescribedand which the Jews practised to each
other. He insisted on his betaking himself to reposeand used
such remedies as were then in most repute to check the progress
of the feverwhich terrorfatigueill usageand sorrowhad
brought upon the poor old Jew.

On the morrowwhen Isaac proposed to arise and pursue his
journeyNathan remonstrated against his purposeboth as his
host and as his physician. It might cost himhe saidhis life.
But Isaac repliedthat more than life and death depended upon
his going that morning to Templestowe.

To Templestowe!said his host with surprise again felt his
pulseand then muttered to himselfHis fever is abated, yet
seems his mind somewhat alienated and disturbed.

And why not to Templestowe?answered his patient. "I grant
theeNathanthat it is a dwelling of those to whom the despised
Children of the Promise are a stumbling-block and an abomination;
yet thou knowest that pressing affairs of traffic sometimes carry
us among these bloodthirsty Nazarene soldiersand that we visit
the Preceptories of the Templarsas well as the Commanderies of
the Knights Hospitallersas they are called." *

* The establishments of the Knight Templars were called
* Preceptoriesand the title of those who presided in the
* Order was Preceptor; as the principal Knights of Saint
* John were termed Commandersand their houses
* Commanderies. But these terms were sometimesit would
* seemused indiscriminately.
I know it well,said Nathan; "but wottest thou that Lucas de
Beaumanoirthe chief of their Orderand whom they term Grand
Masteris now himself at Templestowe?"

I know it not,said Isaac; "our last letters from our brethren
at Paris advised us that he was at that citybeseeching Philip
for aid against the Sultan Saladine."

He hath since come to England, unexpected by his brethren,said
Ben Israel; "and he cometh among them with a strong and
outstretched arm to correct and to punish. His countenance is
kindled in anger against those who have departed from the vow
which they have madeand great is the fear of those sons of
Belial. Thou must have heard of his name?"

It is well known unto me,said Isaac; "the Gentiles deliver
this Lucas Beaumanoir as a man zealous to slaying for every point
of the Nazarene law; and our brethren have termed him a fierce
destroyer of the Saracensand a cruel tyrant to the Children of
the Promise."

And truly have they termed him,said Nathan the physician.
Other Templars may be moved from the purpose of their heart by
pleasure, or bribed by promise of gold and silver; but Beaumanoir
is of a different stamp---hating sensuality, despising treasure,


and pressing forward to that which they call the crown of
martyrdom---The God of Jacob speedily send it unto him, and unto
them all! Specially hath this proud man extended his glove over
the children of Judah, as holy David over Edom, holding the
murder of a Jew to be all offering of as sweet savour as the
death of a Saracen. Impious and false things has he said even of
the virtues of our medicines, as if they were the devices of
Satan---The Lord rebuke him!

Nevertheless,said IsaacI must present myself at
Templestowe, though he hath made his face like unto a fiery
furnace seven times heated.

He then explained to Nathan the pressing cause of his journey.
The Rabbi listened with interestand testified his sympathy
after the fashion of his peoplerending his clothesand saying
Ah, my daughter!---ah, my daughter!---Alas! for the beauty of
Zion!---Alas! for the captivity of Israel!

Thou seest,said Isaachow it stands with me, and that I may
not tarry. Peradventure, the presence of this Lucas Beaumanoir,
being the chief man over them, may turn Brian de Bois-Guilbert
from the ill which he doth meditate, and that he may deliver to
me my beloved daughter Rebecca.

Go thou,said Nathan Ben Israeland be wise, for wisdom
availed Daniel in the den of lions into which he was cast; and
may it go well with thee, even as thine heart wisheth. Yet, if
thou canst, keep thee from the presence of the Grand Master, for
to do foul scorn to our people is his morning and evening
delight. It may be if thou couldst speak with Bois-Guilbert in
private, thou shalt the better prevail with him; for men say that
these accursed Nazarenes are not of one mind in the Preceptory
---May their counsels be confounded and brought to shame! But do
thou, brother, return to me as if it were to the house of thy
father, and bring me word how it has sped with thee; and well do
I hope thou wilt bring with thee Rebecca, even the scholar of the
wise Miriam, whose cures the Gentiles slandered as if they had
been wrought by necromancy.

Isaac accordingly bade his friend farewelland about an hour's
riding brought him before the Preceptory of Templestowe.

This establishment of the Templars was seated amidst fair meadows
and pastureswhich the devotion of the former Preceptor had
bestowed upon their Order. It was strong and well fortifieda
point never neglected by these knightsand which the disordered
state of England rendered peculiarly necessary. Two halberdiers
clad in blackguarded the drawbridgeand othersin the same
sad liveryglided to and fro upon the walls with a funereal
paceresembling spectres more than soldiers. The inferior
officers of the Order were thus dressedever since their use of
white garmentssimilar to those of the knights and esquireshad
given rise to a combination of certain false brethren in the
mountains of Palestineterming themselves Templarsand bringing
great dishonour on the Order. A knight was now and then seen to
cross the court in his long white cloakhis head depressed on
his breastand his arms folded. They passed each otherif they
chanced to meetwith a slowsolemnand mute greeting; for such
was the rule of their Orderquoting thereupon the holy texts
In many words thou shalt not avoid sin,and "Life and death are
in the power of the tongue." In a wordthe stern ascetic rigour
of the Temple disciplinewhich had been so long exchanged for
prodigal and licentious indulgenceseemed at once to have


revived at Templestowe under the severe eye of Lucas Beaumanoir.

Isaac paused at the gateto consider how he might seek entrance
in the manner most likely to bespeak favour; for he was well
awarethat to his unhappy race the reviving fanaticism of the
Order was not less dangerous than their unprincipled
licentiousness; and that his religion would be the object of hate
and persecution in the one caseas his wealth would have exposed
him in the other to the extortions of unrelenting oppression.

Meantime Lucas Beaumanoir walked in a small garden belonging to
the Preceptoryincluded within the precincts of its exterior
fortificationand held sad and confidential communication with a
brother of his Orderwho had come in his company from Palestine.

The Grand Master was a man advanced in ageas was testified by
his long grey beardand the shaggy grey eyebrows overhanging
eyesof whichhoweveryears had been unable to quench the
fire. A formidable warriorhis thin and severe features
retained the soldier's fierceness of expression; an ascetic
bigotthey were no less marked by the emaciation of abstinence
and the spiritual pride of the self-satisfied devotee. Yet with
these severer traits of physiognomythere was mixed somewhat
striking and noblearisingdoubtlessfrom the great part which
his high office called upon him to act among monarchs and
princesand from the habitual exercise of supreme authority over
the valiant and high-born knightswho were united by the rules
of the Order. His stature was talland his gaitundepressed by
age and toilwas erect and stately. His white mantle was shaped
with severe regularityaccording to the rule of Saint Bernard
himselfbeing composed of what was then called Burrel cloth
exactly fitted to the size of the wearerand bearing on the left
shoulder the octangular cross peculiar to the Orderformed of
red cloth. No vair or ermine decked this garment; but in respect
of his agethe Grand Masteras permitted by the ruleswore his
doublet lined and trimmed with the softest lambskindressed with
the wool outwardswhich was the nearest approach he could
regularly make to the use of furthen the greatest luxury of
dress. In his hand he bore that singular "abacus"or staff of
officewith which Templars are usually representedhaving at
the upper end a round plateon which was engraved the cross of
the Orderinscribed within a circle or orleas heralds term it.
His companionwho attended on this great personagehad nearly
the same dress in all respectsbut his extreme deference towards
his Superior showed that no other equality subsisted between
them. The Preceptorfor such he was in rankwalked not in a
line with the Grand Masterbut just so far behind that
Beaumanoir could speak to him without turning round his head.

Conrade,said the Grand Masterdear companion of my battles
and my toils, to thy faithful bosom alone I can confide my
sorrows. To thee alone can I tell how oft, since I came to this
kingdom, I have desired to be dissolved and to be with the just.
Not one object in England hath met mine eye which it could rest
upon with pleasure, save the tombs of our brethren, beneath the
massive roof of our Temple Church in yonder proud capital. O,
valiant Robert de Ros! did I exclaim internally, as I gazed upon
these good soldiers of the cross, where they lie sculptured on
their sepulchres,---O, worthy William de Mareschal! open your
marble cells, and take to your repose a weary brother, who would
rather strive with a hundred thousand pagans than witness the
decay of our Holy Order!

It is but true,answered Conrade Mont-Fitchet; "it is but too


true; and the irregularities of our brethren in England are even
more gross than those in France."

Because they are more wealthy,answered the Grand Master.
Bear with me, brother, although I should something vaunt myself.
Thou knowest the life I have led, keeping each point of my Order,
striving with devils embodied and disembodied, striking down the
roaring lion, who goeth about seeking whom he may devour, like a
good knight and devout priest, wheresoever I met with him---even
as blessed Saint Bernard hath prescribed to us in the forty-fifth
capital of our rule, 'Ut Leo semper feriatur'.*

* In the ordinances of the Knights of the Temple, this
* phrase is repeated in a variety of forms, and occurs in
* almost every chapter, as if it were the signal-word of the
* Order; which may account for its being so frequently put
* in the Grand Master's mouth.
But by the Holy Temple! the zeal which hath devoured my substance
and my life, yea, the very nerves and marrow of my bones; by that
very Holy Temple I swear to thee, that save thyself and some few
that still retain the ancient severity of our Order, I look upon
no brethren whom I can bring my soul to embrace under that holy
name. What say our statutes, and how do our brethren observe
them? They should wear no vain or worldly ornament, no crest
upon their helmet, no gold upon stirrup or bridle-bit; yet who
now go pranked out so proudly and so gaily as the poor soldiers
of the Temple? They are forbidden by our statutes to take one
bird by means of another, to shoot beasts with bow or arblast, to
halloo to a hunting-horn, or to spur the horse after game. But
now, at hunting and hawking, and each idle sport of wood and
river, who so prompt as the Templars in all these fond vanities?
They are forbidden to read, save what their Superior permitted,
or listen to what is read, save such holy things as may be
recited aloud during the hours of refaction; but lo! their ears
are at the command of idle minstrels, and their eyes study empty
romaunts. They were commanded to extirpate magic and heresy.
Lo! they are charged with studying the accursed cabalistical
secrets of the Jews, and the magic of the Paynim Saracens.
Simpleness of diet was prescribed to them, roots, pottage,
gruels, eating flesh but thrice a-week, because the accustomed
feeding on flesh is a dishonourable corruption of the body; and
behold, their tables groan under delicate fare! Their drink was
to be water, and now, to drink like a Templar, is the boast of
each jolly boon companion! This very garden, filled as it is
with curious herbs and trees sent from the Eastern climes, better
becomes the harem of an unbelieving Emir, than the plot which
Christian Monks should devote to raise their homely pot-herbs.
---And O, Conrade! well it were that the relaxation of discipline
stopped even here!---Well thou knowest that we were forbidden to
receive those devout women, who at the beginning were associated
as sisters of our Order, because, saith the forty-sixth chapter,
the Ancient Enemy hath, by female society, withdrawn many from
the right path to paradise. Nay, in the last capital, being, as
it were, the cope-stone which our blessed founder placed on the
pure and undefiled doctrine which he had enjoined, we are
prohibited from offering, even to our sisters and our mothers,
the kiss of affection---'ut omnium mulierum fugiantur oscula'.
--I shame to speak---I shame to think---of the corruptions which
have rushed in upon us even like a flood. The souls of our pure
founders, the spirits of Hugh de Payen and Godfrey de Saint Omer,
and of the blessed Seven who first joined in dedicating their
lives to the service of the Temple, are disturbed even in the
enjoyment of paradise itself. I have seen them, Conrade, in the


visions of the night---their sainted eyes shed tears for the sins
and follies of their brethren, and for the foul and shameful
luxury in which they wallow. Beaumanoir, they say, thou
slumberest---awake! There is a stain in the fabric of the
Temple, deep and foul as that left by the streaks of leprosy on
the walls of the infected houses of old.*

* See the 13th chapter of Leviticus.
The soldiers of the Cross, who should shun the glance of a woman
as the eye of a basilisk, live in open sin, not with the females
of their own race only, but with the daughters of the accursed
heathen, and more accursed Jew. Beaumanoir, thou sleepest; up,
and avenge our cause!---Slay the sinners, male and female!---Take
to thee the brand of Phineas!---The vision fled, Conrade, but as
I awaked I could still hear the clank of their mail, and see the
waving of their white mantles.---And I will do according to their
word, I WILL purify the fabric of the Temple! and the unclean
stones in which the plague is, I will remove and cast out of the
building.

Yet bethink thee, reverend father,said Mont-Fitchetthe
stain hath become engrained by time and consuetude; let thy
reformation be cautious, as it is just and wise.

No, Mont-Fitchet,answered the stern old man---"it must be
sharp and sudden---the Order is on the crisis of its fate. The
sobrietyself-devotionand piety of our predecessorsmade us
powerful friends---our presumptionour wealthour luxuryhave
raised up against us mighty enemies.---We must cast away these
richeswhich are a temptation to princes---we must lay down that
presumptionwhich is an offence to them---we must reform that
license of mannerswhich is a scandal to the whole Christian
world! Or---mark my words---the Order of the Temple will be
utterly demolished---and the Place thereof shall no more be known
among the nations."

Now may God avert such a calamity!said the Preceptor.

Amen,said the Grand Masterwith solemnitybut we must
deserve his aid. I tell thee, Conrade, that neither the powers
in Heaven, nor the powers on earth, will longer endure the
wickedness of this generation---My intelligence is sure---the
ground on which our fabric is reared is already undermined, and
each addition we make to the structure of our greatness will only
sink it the sooner in the abyss. We must retrace our steps, and
show ourselves the faithful Champions of the Cross, sacrificing
to our calling, not alone our blood and our lives---not alone our
lusts and our vices---but our ease, our comforts, and our natural
affections, and act as men convinced that many a pleasure which
may be lawful to others, is forbidden to the vowed soldier of the
Temple.

At this moment a squireclothed in a threadbare vestment(for
the aspirants after this holy Order wore during their noviciate
the cast-off garments of the knights) entered the gardenand
bowing profoundly before the Grand Masterstood silentawaiting
his permission ere he presumed to tell his errand.

Is it not more seemly,said the Grand Masterto see this
Damian, clothed in the garments of Christian humility, thus
appear with reverend silence before his Superior, than but two
days since, when the fond fool was decked in a painted coat, and
jangling as pert and as proud as any popinjay?---Speak, Damian,


we permit thee---What is thine errand?

A Jew stands without the gate, noble and reverend father,said
the Squirewho prays to speak with brother Brian de
Bois-Guilbert.

Thou wert right to give me knowledge of it,said the Grand
Master; "in our presence a Preceptor is but as a common compeer
of our Orderwho may not walk according to his own willbut to
that of his Master---even according to the text'In the hearing
of the ear he hath obeyed me.'---It imports us especially to know
of this Bois-Guilbert's proceedings said he, turning to his
companion.

Report speaks him brave and valiant said Conrade.

And truly is he so spoken of said the Grand Master; in our
valour only we are not degenerated from our predecessorsthe
heroes of the Cross. But brother Brian came into our Order a
moody and disappointed manstirredI doubt meto take our vows
and to renounce the worldnot in sincerity of soulbut as one
whom some touch of light discontent had driven into penitence.
Since thenhe hath become an active and earnest agitatora
murmurerand a machinatorand a leader amongst those who impugn
our authority; not considering that the rule is given to the
Master even by the symbol of the staff and the rod---the staff to
support the infirmities of the weak---the rod to correct the
faults of delinquents.---Damian he continued, lead the Jew to
our presence."

The squire departed with a profound reverenceand in a few
minutes returnedmarshalling in Isaac of York. No naked slave
ushered into the presence of some mighty princecould approach
his judgment-seat with more profound reverence and terror than
that with which the Jew drew near to the presence of the Grand
Master. When he had approached within the distance of three
yardsBeaumanoir made a sign with his staff that he should come
no farther. The Jew kneeled down on the earth which he kissed in
token of reverence; then risingstood before the Templarshis
hands folded on his bosomhis head bowed on his breastin all
the submission of Oriental slavery.

Damian,said the Grand Masterretire, and have a guard ready
to await our sudden call; and suffer no one to enter the garden
until we shall leave it.---The squire bowed and retreated.
---"Jew continued the haughty old man, mark me. It suits not
our condition to hold with thee long communicationnor do we
waste words or time upon any one. Wherefore be brief in thy
answers to what questions I shall ask theeand let thy words be
of truth; for if thy tongue doubles with meI will have it torn
from thy misbelieving jaws."

The Jew was about to replybut the Grand Master went on.

Peace, unbeliever!---not a word in our presence, save in answer
to our questions.---What is thy business with our brother Brian
de Bois-Guilbert?

Isaac gasped with terror and uncertainty. To tell his tale might
be interpreted into scandalizing the Order; yetunless he told
itwhat hope could he have of achieving his daughter's
deliverance? Beaumanoir saw his mortal apprehensionand
condescended to give him some assurance.


Fear nothing,he saidfor thy wretched person, Jew, so thou
dealest uprightly in this matter. I demand again to know from
thee thy business with Brian de Bois-Guilbert?

I am bearer of a letter,stammered out the Jewso please your
reverend valour, to that good knight, from Prior Aymer of the
Abbey of Jorvaulx.

Said I not these were evil times, Conrade?said the Master. "A
Cistertian Prior sends a letter to a soldier of the Templeand
can find no more fitting messenger than an unbelieving Jew.
---Give me the letter."

The Jewwith trembling handsundid the folds of his Armenian
capin which he had deposited the Prior's tablets for the
greater securityand was about to approachwith hand extended
and body crouchedto place it within the reach of his grim
interrogator.

Back, dog!said the Grand Master; "I touch not misbelievers
save with the sword.---Conradetake thou the letter from the
Jewand give it to me."

Beaumanoirbeing thus possessed of the tabletsinspected the
outside carefullyand then proceeded to undo the packthread
which secured its folds. "Reverend father said Conrade,
interposing, though with much deference, wilt thou break the
seal?"

And will I not?said Beaumanoirwith a frown. "Is it not
written in the forty-second capital'De Lectione Literarum' that
a Templar shall not receive a letterno not from his father
without communicating the same to the Grand Masterand reading
it in his presence?"

He then perused the letter in hastewith an expression of
surprise and horror; read it over again more slowly; then
holding it out to Conrade with one handand slightly striking it
with the otherexclaimed---"Here is goodly stuff for one
Christian man to write to anotherand both membersand no
inconsiderable membersof religious professions! When said he
solemnly, and looking upward, wilt thou come with thy fanners to
purge the thrashing-floor?"

Mont-Fitchet took the letter from his Superiorand was about to
peruse it.

Read it aloud, Conrade,said the Grand Master---"and do thou"
(to Isaac) "attend to the purport of itfor we will question
thee concerning it."

Conrade read the letterwhich was in these words: "Aymerby
divine gracePrior of the Cistertian house of Saint Mary's of
Jorvaulxto Sir Brian de Bois-Guilberta Knight of the holy
Order of the Templewisheth healthwith the bounties of King
Bacchus and of my Lady Venus. Touching our present condition
dear Brotherwe are a captive in the hands of certain lawless
and godless menwho have not feared to detain our personand
put us to ransom; whereby we have also learned of
Front-de-Boeuf's misfortuneand that thou hast escaped with that
fair Jewish sorceresswhose black eyes have bewitched thee. We
are heartily rejoiced of thy safety; neverthelesswe pray thee
to be on thy guard in the matter of this second Witch of Endor;
for we are privately assured that your Great Masterwho careth


not a bean for cherry cheeks and black eyescomes from Normandy
to diminish your mirthand amend your misdoings. Wherefore we
pray you heartily to bewareand to be found watchingeven as
the Holy Text hath it'Invenientur vigilantes'. And the wealthy
Jew her fatherIsaac of Yorkhaving prayed of me letters in his
behalfI gave him theseearnestly advisingand in a sort
entreatingthat you do hold the damsel to ransomseeing he will
pay you from his bags as much as may find fifty damsels upon
safer termswhereof I trust to have my part when we make merry
togetheras true brothersnot forgetting the wine-cup. For
what saith the text'Vinum laetificat cor hominis'; and again
'Rex delectabitur pulchritudine tua'.

Till which merry meeting, we wish you farewell. Given from this
den of thieves, about the hour of matins,

Aymer Pr. S. M. Jorvolciencis.

'Postscriptum.' Truly your golden chain hath not long abidden
with me, and will now sustain, around the neck of an outlaw
deer-stealer, the whistle wherewith he calleth on his hounds.

What sayest thou to this, Conrade?said the Grand Master---"Den
of thieves! and a fit residence is a den of thieves for such a
Prior. No wonder that the hand of God is upon usand that in
the Holy Land we lose place by placefoot by footbefore the
infidelswhen we have such churchmen as this Aymer.---And what
meaneth heI trowby this second Witch of Endor?" said he to
his confidentsomething apart. Conrade was better acquainted
(perhaps by practice) with the jargon of gallantrythan was his
Superior; and he expounded the passage which embarrassed the
Grand Masterto be a sort of language used by worldly men
towards those whom they loved 'par amours'; but the explanation
did not satisfy the bigoted Beaumanoir.

There is more in it than thou dost guess, Conrade; thy
simplicity is no match for this deep abyss of wickedness. This
Rebecca of York was a pupil of that Miriam of whom thou hast
heard. Thou shalt hear the Jew own it even now.Then turning
to Isaache said aloudThy daughter, then, is prisoner with
Brian de Bois-Guilbert?

Ay, reverend valorous sir,stammered poor Isaacand
whatsoever ransom a poor man may pay for her deliverance------

Peace!said the Grand Master. "This thy daughter hath practised
the art of healinghath she not?"

Ay, gracious sir,answered the Jewwith more confidence; "and
knight and yeomansquire and vassalmay bless the goodly gift
which Heaven hath assigned to her. Many a one can testify that
she hath recovered them by her artwhen every other human aid
hath proved vain; but the blessing of the God of Jacob was upon
her."

Beaumanoir turned to Mont-Fitchet with a grim smile. "See
brother he said, the deceptions of the devouring Enemy!
Behold the baits with which he fishes for soulsgiving a poor
space of earthly life in exchange for eternal happiness
hereafter. Well said our blessed rule'Semper percutiatur leo
vorans'.---Up on the lion! Down with the destroyer!" said he
shaking aloft his mystic abacusas if in defiance of the powers
of darkness---"Thy daughter worketh the curesI doubt not thus
he went on to address the Jew, by words and sighsand periapts


and other cabalistical mysteries."


Nay, reverend and brave Knight,answered Isaacbut in chief
measure by a balsam of marvellous virtue.


Where had she that secret?said Beaumanoir.


It was delivered to her,answered Isaacreluctantlyby
Miriam, a sage matron of our tribe.


Ah, false Jew!said the Grand Master; "was it not from that
same witch Miriamthe abomination of whose enchantments have
been heard of throughout every Christian land?" exclaimed the
Grand Mastercrossing himself. "Her body was burnt at a stake
and her ashes were scattered to the four winds; and so be it with
me and mine Orderif I do not as much to her pupiland more
also! I will teach her to throw spell and incantation over the
soldiers of the blessed Temple.---ThereDamianspurn this Jew
from the gate---shoot him dead if he oppose or turn again. With
his daughter we will deal as the Christian law and our own high
office warrant."


Poor Isaac was hurried off accordinglyand expelled from the
preceptory; all his entreatiesand even his offersunheard and
disregarded. He could do not better than return to the house of
the Rabbiand endeavourthrough his meansto learn how his
daughter was to be disposed of. He had hitherto feared for her
honourhe was now to tremble for her life. Meanwhilethe Grand
Master ordered to his presence the Preceptor of Templestowe.


CHAPTER XXXVI


Say not my art is fraud---all live by seeming.
The beggar begs with itand the gay courtier
Gains land and titlerank and ruleby seeming;
The clergy scorn it notand the bold soldier
Will eke with it his service.---All admit it
All practise it; and he who is content
With showing what he isshall have small credit
In churchor campor state---So wags the world.


Old Play

Albert MalvoisinPresidentorin the language of the Order
Preceptor of the establishment of Templestowewas brother to
that Philip Malvoisin who has been already occasionally mentioned
in this historyand waslike that baronin close league with
Brian de Bois-Guilbert.

Amongst dissolute and unprincipled menof whom the Temple Order
included but too manyAlbert of Templestowe might be
distinguished; but with this difference from the audacious
Bois-Guilbertthat he knew how to throw over his vices and his
ambition the veil of hypocrisyand to assume in his exterior the
fanaticism which be internally despised. Had not the arrival of
the Grand Master been so unexpectedly suddenhe would have seen
nothing at Templestowe which might have appeared to argue any
relaxation of discipline. Andeven although surprisedandto
a certain extentdetectedAlbert Malvoisin listened with such
respect and apparent contrition to the rebuke of his Superior
and made such haste to reform the particulars he censured


---succeededin fineso well in giving an air of ascetic
devotion to a family which had been lately devoted to license and
pleasurethat Lucas Beaumanoir began to entertain a higher
opinion of the Preceptor's moralsthan the first appearance of
the establishment had inclined him to adopt.

But these favourable sentiments on the part of the Grand Master
were greatly shaken by the intelligence that Albert had received
within a house of religion the Jewish captiveandas was to be
fearedthe paramour of a brother of the Order; and when Albert
appeared before himbe was regarded with unwonted sternness.

There is in this mansion, dedicated to the purposes of the holy
Order of the Temple,said the Grand Masterin a severe tonea
Jewish woman, brought hither by a brother of religion, by your
connivance, Sir Preceptor.

Albert Malvoisin was overwhelmed with confusion; for the
unfortunate Rebecca had been confined in a remote and secret part
of the buildingand every precaution used to prevent her
residence there from being known. He read in the looks of
Beaumanoir ruin to Bois-Guilbert and to himselfunless he should
be able to avert the impending storm.

Why are you mute?continued the Grand Master.

Is it permitted to me to reply?answered the Preceptorin a
tone of the deepest humilityalthough by the question he only
meant to gain an instant's space for arranging his ideas.

Speak, you are permitted,said the Grand Master---"speakand
sayknowest thou the capital of our holy rule---'De
commilitonibus Templi in sancta civitatequi cum miserrimis
mulieribus versanturpropter oblectationem carnis?'"*

* The edict which he quotesis against communion with
* women of light character.
Surely, most reverend father,answered the PreceptorI have
not risen to this office in the Order, being ignorant of one of
its most important prohibitions.

How comes it, then, I demand of thee once more, that thou hast
suffered a brother to bring a paramour, and that paramour a
Jewish sorceress, into this holy place, to the stain and
pollution thereof?

A Jewish sorceress!echoed Albert Malvoisin; "good angels guard
us!"

Ay, brother, a Jewish sorceress!said the Grand Master
sternly. "I have said it. Darest thou deny that this Rebecca
the daughter of that wretched usurer Isaac of Yorkand the pupil
of the foul witch Miriamis now---shame to be thought or spoken!
---lodged within this thy Preceptory?"

Your wisdom, reverend father,answered the Preceptorhath
rolled away the darkness from my understanding. Much did I
wonder that so good a knight as Brian de Bois-Guilbert seemed so
fondly besotted on the charms of this female, whom I received
into this house merely to place a bar betwixt their growing
intimacy, which else might have been cemented at the expense of
the fall of our valiant and religious brother.


Hath nothing, then, as yet passed betwixt them in breach of his
vow?demanded the Grand Master.

What! under this roof?said the Preceptorcrossing himself;
Saint Magdalene and the ten thousand virgins forbid!---No! if I
have sinned in receiving her here, it was in the erring thought
that I might thus break off our brother's besotted devotion to
this Jewess, which seemed to me so wild and unnatural, that I
could not but ascribe it to some touch of insanity, more to be
cured by pity than reproof. But since your reverend wisdom hath
discovered this Jewish quean to be a sorceress, perchance it may
account fully for his enamoured folly.

It doth!---it doth!said Beaumanoir. "Seebrother Conrade
the peril of yielding to the first devices and blandishments of
Satan! We look upon woman only to gratify the lust of the eye
and to take pleasure in what men call her beauty; and the Ancient
Enemythe devouring Lionobtains power over usto completeby
talisman and spella work which was begun by idleness and folly.
It may be that our brother Bois-Guilbert does in this matter
deserve rather pity than severe chastisement; rather the support
of the staffthan the strokes of the rod; and that our
admonitions and prayers may turn him from his follyand restore
him to his brethren."

It were deep pity,said Conrade Mont-Fitchetto lose to the
Order one of its best lances, when the Holy Community most
requires the aid of its sons. Three hundred Saracens hath this
Brian de Bois-Guilbert slain with his own hand.

The blood of these accursed dogs,said the Grand Mastershall
be a sweet and acceptable offering to the saints and angels whom
they despise and blaspheme; and with their aid will we counteract
the spells and charms with which our brother is entwined as in a
net. He shall burst the bands of this Delilah, as Sampson burst
the two new cords with which the Philistines had bound him, and
shall slaughter the infidels, even heaps upon heaps. But
concerning this foul witch, who hath flung her enchantments over
a brother of the Holy Temple, assuredly she shall die the death.

But the laws of England,---said the Preceptorwhothough
delighted that the Grand Master's resentmentthus fortunately
averted from himself and Bois-Guilberthad taken another
directionbegan now to fear he was carrying it too far.

The laws of England,interrupted Beaumanoirpermit and enjoin
each judge to execute justice within his own jurisdiction. The
most petty baron may arrest, try, and condemn a witch found
within his own domain. And shall that power be denied to the
Grand Master of the Temple within a preceptory of his Order?
---No!---we will judge and condemn. The witch shall be taken out
of the land, and the wickedness thereof shall be forgiven.
Prepare the Castle-hall for the trial of the sorceress.

Albert Malvoisin bowed and retired---not to give directions for
preparing the hallbut to seek out Brian de Bois-Guilbertand
communicate to him how matters were likely to terminate. It was
not long ere he found himfoaming with indignation at a repulse
he had anew sustained from the fair Jewess. "The unthinking he
said, the ungratefulto scorn him whoamidst blood and flames
would have saved her life at the risk of his own! By Heaven
Malvoisin! I abode until roof and rafters crackled and crashed
around me. I was the butt of a hundred arrows; they rattled on
mine armour like hailstones against a latticed casementand the


only use I made of my shield was for her protection. This did I
endure for her; and now the self-willed girl upbraids me that I
did not leave her to perishand refuses me not only the
slightest proof of gratitudebut even the most distant hope that
ever she will be brought to grant any. The devilthat possessed
her race with obstinacyhas concentrated its full force in her
single person!"

The devil,said the PreceptorI think, possessed you both.
How oft have I preached to you caution, if not continence? Did I
not tell you that there were enough willing Christian damsels to
be met with, who would think it sin to refuse so brave a knight
'le don d'amoureux merci', and you must needs anchor your
affection on a wilful, obstinate Jewess! By the mass, I think
old Lucas Beaumanoir guesses right, when he maintains she hath
cast a spell over you.

Lucas Beaumanoir!---said Bois-Guilbert reproachfully---"Are
these your precautionsMalvoisin? Hast thou suffered the dotard
to learn that Rebecca is in the Preceptory?"

How could I help it?said the Preceptor. "I neglected nothing
that could keep secret your mystery; but it is betrayedand
whether by the devil or nothe devil only can tell. But I have
turned the matter as I could; you are safe if you renounce
Rebecca. You are pitied---the victim of magical delusion. She
is a sorceressand must suffer as such."

She shall not, by Heaven!said Bois-Guilbert.

By Heaven, she must and will!said Malvoisin. "Neither you nor
any one else can save her. Lucas Beaumanoir hath settled that
the death of a Jewess will be a sin-offering sufficient to atone
for all the amorous indulgences of the Knights Templars; and thou
knowest he hath both the power and will to execute so reasonable
and pious a purpose."

Will future ages believe that such stupid bigotry ever existed!
said Bois-Guilbertstriding up and down the apartment.

What they may believe, I know not,said Malvoisincalmly; "but
I know wellthat in this our dayclergy and laymentake
ninety-nine to the hundredwill cry 'amen' to the Grand Master's
sentence."

I have it,said Bois-Guilbert. "Albertthou art my friend.
Thou must connive at her escapeMalvoisinand I will transport
her to some place of greater security and secrecy."

I cannot, if I would,replied the Preceptor; "the mansion is
filled with the attendants of the Grand Masterand others who
are devoted to him. Andto be frank with youbrotherI would
not embark with you in this mattereven if I could hope to bring
my bark to haven. I have risked enough already for your sake. I
have no mind to encounter a sentence of degradationor even to
lose my Preceptoryfor the sake of a painted piece of Jewish
flesh and blood. And youif you will be guided by my counsel
will give up this wild-goose chaseand fly your hawk at some
other game. ThinkBois-Guilbert---thy present rankthy future
honoursall depend on thy place in the Order. Shouldst thou
adhere perversely to thy passion for this Rebeccathou wilt give
Beaumanoir the power of expelling theeand he will not neglect
it. He is jealous of the truncheon which he holds in his
trembling gripeand he knows thou stretchest thy bold hand


towards it. Doubt not he will ruin theeif thou affordest him a
pretext so fair as thy protection of a Jewish sorceress. Give
him his scope in this matterfor thou canst not control him.
When the staff is in thine own firm graspthou mayest caress the
daughters of Judahor burn themas may best suit thine own
humour."

Malvoisin,said Bois-Guilbertthou art a cold-blooded---

Friend,said the Preceptorhastening to fill up the blankin
which Bois-Guilbert would probably have placed a worse word
---"a cold-blooded friend I amand therefore more fit to give
thee advice. I tell thee once morethat thou canst not save
Rebecca. I tell thee once morethou canst but perish with her.
Go hie thee to the Grand Master---throw thyself at his feet and
tell him---"

Not at his feet, by Heaven! but to the dotard's very beard will
I say---

Say to him, then, to his beard,continued Malvoisincoolly
that you love this captive Jewess to distraction; and the more
thou dost enlarge on thy passion, the greater will be his haste
to end it by the death of the fair enchantress; while thou, taken
in flagrant delict by the avowal of a crime contrary to thine
oath, canst hope no aid of thy brethren, and must exchange all
thy brilliant visions of ambition and power, to lift perhaps a
mercenary spear in some of the petty quarrels between Flanders
and Burgundy.

Thou speakest the truth, Malvoisin,said Brian de
Bois-Guilbertafter a moment's reflection. "I will give the
hoary bigot no advantage over me; and for Rebeccashe hath not
merited at my hand that I should expose rank and honour for her
sake. I will cast her off---yesI will leave her to her fate
unless---"

Qualify not thy wise and necessary resolution,said Malvoisin;
women are but the toys which amuse our lighter hours---ambition
is the serious business of life. Perish a thousand such frail
baubles as this Jewess, before thy manly step pause in the
brilliant career that lies stretched before thee! For the
present we part, nor must we be seen to hold close conversation
---I must order the hall for his judgment-seat.

What!said Bois-Guilbertso soon?

Ay,replied the Preceptortrial moves rapidly on when the
judge has determined the sentence beforehand.

Rebecca,said Bois-Guilbertwhen he was left alonethou art
like to cost me dear---Why cannot I abandon thee to thy fate, as
this calm hypocrite recommends?---One effort will I make to save
thee---but beware of ingratitude! for if I am again repulsed, my
vengeance shall equal my love. The life and honour of
Bois-Guilbert must not be hazarded, where contempt and reproaches
are his only reward.

The Preceptor had hardly given the necessary orderswhen he was
joined by Conrade Mont-Fitchetwho acquainted him with the Grand
Master's resolution to bring the Jewess to instant trial for
sorcery.

It is surely a dream,said the Preceptor; "we have many Jewish


physiciansand we call them not wizards though they work
wonderful cures."

The Grand Master thinks otherwise,said Mont-Fitchet; "and
AlbertI will be upright with thee---wizard or notit were
better that this miserable damsel diethan that Brian de
Bois-Guilbert should be lost to the Orderor the Order divided
by internal dissension. Thou knowest his high rankhis fame in
arms---thou knowest the zeal with which many of our brethren
regard him---but all this will not avail him with our Grand
Mastershould he consider Brian as the accomplicenot the
victimof this Jewess. Were the souls of the twelve tribes in
her single bodyit were better she suffered alonethan that
Bois-Guilbert were partner in her destruction."

I have been working him even now to abandon her,said
Malvoisin; "but stillare there grounds enough to condemn this
Rebecca for sorcery?---Will not the Grand Master change his mind
when he sees that the proofs are so weak?"

They must be strengthened, Albert,replied Mont-Fitchetthey
must be strengthened. Dost thou understand me?

I do,said the Preceptornor do I scruple to do aught for
advancement of the Order---but there is little time to find
engines fitting.

Malvoisin, they MUST be found,said Conrade; "well will it
advantage both the Order and thee. This Templestowe is a poor
Preceptory---that of Maison-Dieu is worth double its value
---thouknowest my interest with our old Chief---find those who
can carry this matter throughand thou art Preceptor of
Maison-Dieu in the fertile Kent---How sayst thou?"

There is,replied Malvoisinamong those who came hither with
Bois-Guilbert, two fellows whom I well know; servants they were
to my brother Philip de Malvoisin, and passed from his service to
that of Front-de-Boeuf---It may be they know something of the
witcheries of this woman.

Away, seek them out instantly---and hark thee, if a byzant or
two will sharpen their memory, let them not be wanting.

They would swear the mother that bore them a sorceress for a
zecchin,said the Preceptor.

Away, then,said Mont-Fitchet; "at noon the affair will
proceed. I have not seen our senior in such earnest preparation
since he condemned to the stake Hamet Alfagia convert who
relapsed to the Moslem faith."

The ponderous castle-bell had tolled the point of noonwhen
Rebecca heard a trampling of feet upon the private stair which
led to her place of confinement. The noise announced the arrival
of several personsand the circumstance rather gave her joy; for
she was more afraid of the solitary visits of the fierce and
passionate Bois-Guilbert than of any evil that could befall her
besides. The door of the chamber was unlockedand Conrade and
the Preceptor Malvoisin enteredattended by four warders clothed
in blackand bearing halberds.

Daughter of an accursed race!said the Preceptorarise and
follow us.


Whither,said Rebeccaand for what purpose?


Damsel,answered Conradeit is not for thee to question, but
to obey. Nevertheless, be it known to thee, that thou art to be
brought before the tribunal of the Grand Master of our holy
Order, there to answer for thine offences.


May the God of Abraham be praised!said Rebeccafolding her
hands devoutly; "the name of a judgethough an enemy to my
peopleis to me as the name of a protector. Most willingly do I
follow thee---permit me only to wrap my veil around my head."


They descended the stair with slow and solemn steptraversed a
long galleryandby a pair of folding doors placed at the end
entered the great hall in which the Grand Master had for the time
established his court of justice.


The lower part of this ample apartment was filled with squires
and yeomenwho made way not without some difficulty for
Rebeccaattended by the Preceptor and Mont-Fitchetand followed
by the guard of halberdiersto move forward to the seat
appointed for her. As she passed through the crowdher arms
folded and her head depresseda scrap of paper was thrust into
her handwhich she received almost unconsciouslyand continued
to hold without examining its contents. The assurance that she
possessed some friend in this awful assembly gave her courage to
look aroundand to mark into whose presence she had been
conducted. She gazedaccordinglyupon the scenewhich we
shall endeavour to describe in the next chapter.


CHAPTER XXXVII


Stern was the law which bade its vot'ries leave
At human woes with human hearts to grieve;
Stern was the lawwhich at the winning wile
Of frank and harmless mirth forbade to smile;
But sterner stillwhen high the iron-rod
Of tyrant power she shookand call'd that power of God.


The Middle Ages

The Tribunalerected for the trial of the innocent and unhappy
Rebeccaoccupied the dais or elevated part of the upper end of
the great hall---a platformwhich we have already described as
the place of honourdestined to be occupied by the most
distinguished inhabitants or guests of an ancient mansion.

On an elevated seatdirectly before the accusedsat the Grand
Master of the Templein full and ample robes of flowing white
holding in his hand the mystic staffwhich bore the symbol of
the Order. At his feet was placed a tableoccupied by two
scribeschaplains of the Orderwhose duty it was to reduce to
formal record the proceedings of the day. The black dresses
bare scalpsand demure looks of these church-menformed a
strong contrast to the warlike appearance of the knights who
attendedeither as residing in the Preceptoryor as come
thither to attend upon their Grand Master. The Preceptorsof
whom there were four presentoccupied seats lower in height
and somewhat drawn back behind that of their superior; and the
knightswho enjoyed no such rank in the Orderwere placed on


benches still lowerand preserving the same distance from the
Preceptors as these from the Grand Master. Behind thembut
still upon the dais or elevated portion of the hallstood the
esquires of the Orderin white dresses of an inferior quality.

The whole assembly wore an aspect of the most profound gravity;
and in the faces of the knights might be perceived traces of
military daringunited with the solemn carriage becoming men of
a religious professionand whichin the presence of their Grand
Masterfailed not to sit upon every brow.

The remaining and lower part of the hall was filled with guards
holding partisansand with other attendants whom curiosity had
drawn thitherto see at once a Grand Master and a Jewish
sorceress. By far the greater part of those inferior persons
werein one rank or otherconnected with the Orderand were
accordingly distinguished by their black dresses. But peasants
from the neighbouring country were not refused admittance; for it
was the pride of Beaumanoir to render the edifying spectacle of
the justice which he administered as public as possible. His
large blue eyes seemed to expand as be gazed around the assembly
and his countenance appeared elated by the conscious dignityand
imaginary meritof the part which he was about to perform. A
psalmwhich he himself accompanied with a deep mellow voice
which age had not deprived of its powerscommenced the
proceedings of the day; and the solemn soundsVenite exultemus
Dominoso often sung by the Templars before engaging with
earthly adversarieswas judged by Lucas most appropriate to
introduce the approaching triumphfor such he deemed itover
the powers of darkness. The deep prolonged notesraised by a
hundred masculine voices accustomed to combine in the choral
chantarose to the vaulted roof of the halland rolled on
amongst its arches with the pleasing yet solemn sound of the
rushing of mighty waters.

When the sounds ceasedthe Grand Master glanced his eye slowly
around the circleand observed that the seat of one of the
Preceptors was vacant. Brian de Bois-Guilbertby whom it had
been occupiedhad left his placeand was now standing near the
extreme corner of one of the benches occupied by the Knights
Companions of the Templeone hand extending his long mantleso
as in some degree to hide his face; while the other held his
cross-handled swordwith the point of whichsheathed as it was
he was slowly drawing lines upon the oaken floor.

Unhappy man!said the Grand Masterafter favouring him with a
glance of compassion. "Thou seestConradehow this holy work
distresses him. To this can the light look of womanaided by
the Prince of the Powers of this worldbring a valiant and
worthy knight!---Seest thou he cannot look upon us; he cannot
look upon her; and who knows by what impulse from his tormentor
his hand forms these cabalistic lines upon the floor?---It may be
our life and safety are thus aimed at; but we spit at and defy
the foul enemy. 'Semper Leo percutiatur!'"

This was communicated apart to his confidential followerConrade
Mont-Fitchet. The Grand Master then raised his voiceand
addressed the assembly.

Reverend and valiant men, Knights, Preceptors, and Companions of
this Holy Order, my brethren and my children!---you also,
well-born and pious Esquires, who aspire to wear this holy Cross!
---and you also, Christian brethren, of every degree!---Be it
known to you, that it is not defect of power in us which hath


occasioned the assembling of this congregation; for, however
unworthy in our person, yet to us is committed, with this batoon,
full power to judge and to try all that regards the weal of this
our Holy Order. Holy Saint Bernard, in the rule of our knightly
and religious profession, hath said, in the fifty-ninth capital,*

* The reader is again referred to the Rules of the Poor
* Military Brotherhood of the Temple, which occur in the
* Works of St Bernard. L. T.
that he would not that brethren be called together in council,
save at the will and command of the Master; leaving it free to
us, as to those more worthy fathers who have preceded us in this
our office, to judge, as well of the occasion as of the time and
place in which a chapter of the whole Order, or of any part
thereof, may be convoked. Also, in all such chapters, it is our
duty to hear the advice of our brethren, and to proceed according
to our own pleasure. But when the raging wolf hath made an
inroad upon the flock, and carried off one member thereof, it is
the duty of the kind shepherd to call his comrades together, that
with bows and slings they may quell the invader, according to our
well-known rule, that the lion is ever to be beaten down. We
have therefore summoned to our presence a Jewish woman, by name
Rebecca, daughter of Isaac of York---a woman infamous for
sortileges and for witcheries; whereby she hath maddened the
blood, and besotted the brain, not of a churl, but of a Knight
---not of a secular Knight, but of one devoted to the service of
the Holy Temple---not of a Knight Companion, but of a Preceptor
of our Order, first in honour as in place. Our brother, Brian de
Bois-Guilbert, is well known to ourselves, and to all degrees who
now hear me, as a true and zealous champion of the Cross, by
whose arm many deeds of valour have been wrought in the Holy
Land, and the holy places purified from pollution by the blood of
those infidels who defiled them. Neither have our brother's
sagacity and prudence been less in repute among his brethren than
his valour and discipline; in so much, that knights, both in
eastern and western lands, have named De Bois-Guilbert as one who
may well be put in nomination as successor to this batoon, when
it shall please Heaven to release us from the toil of bearing it.
If we were told that such a man, so honoured, and so honourable,
suddenly casting away regard for his character, his vows, his
brethren, and his prospects, had associated to himself a Jewish
damsel, wandered in this lewd company, through solitary places,
defended her person in preference to his own, and, finally, was
so utterly blinded and besotted by his folly, as to bring her
even to one of our own Preceptories, what should we say but that
the noble knight was possessed by some evil demon, or influenced
by some wicked spell?---If we could suppose it otherwise, think
not rank, valour, high repute, or any earthly consideration,
should prevent us from visiting him with punishment, that the
evil thing might be removed, even according to the text, 'Auferte
malum ex vobis'. For various and heinous are the acts of
transgression against the rule of our blessed Order in this
lamentable history.---1st, He hath walked according to his proper
will, contrary to capital 33, 'Quod nullus juxta propriam
voluntatem incedat'.---2d, He hath held communication with an
excommunicated person, capital 57, 'Ut fratres non participent
cum excommunicatis', and therefore hath a portion in 'Anathema
Maranatha'.---3d, He hath conversed with strange women, contrary
to the capital, 'Ut fratres non conversantur cum extraneis
mulieribus'.---4th, He hath not avoided, nay, he hath, it is to
be feared, solicited the kiss of woman; by which, saith the last
rule of our renowned Order, 'Ut fugiantur oscula', the soldiers
of the Cross are brought into a snare. For which heinous and


multiplied guilt, Brian de Bois-Guilbert should be cut off and
cast out from our congregation, were he the right hand and right
eye thereof.

He paused. A low murmur went through the assembly. Some of the
younger partwho had been inclined to smile at the statute 'De
osculis fugiendis'became now grave enoughand anxiously waited
what the Grand Master was next to propose.

Such,he saidand so great should indeed be the punishment of
a Knight Templar, who wilfully offended against the rules of his
Order in such weighty points. But if, by means of charms and of
spells, Satan had obtained dominion over the Knight, perchance
because he cast his eyes too lightly upon a damsel's beauty, we
are then rather to lament than chastise his backsliding; and,
imposing on him only such penance as may purify him from his
iniquity, we are to turn the full edge of our indignation upon
the accursed instrument, which had so well-nigh occasioned his
utter falling away.---Stand forth, therefore, and bear witness,
ye who have witnessed these unhappy doings, that we may judge of
the sum and bearing thereof; and judge whether our justice may be
satisfied with the punishment of this infidel woman, or if we
must go on, with a bleeding heart, to the further proceeding
against our brother.

Several witnesses were called upon to prove the risks to which
Bois-Guilbert exposed himself in endeavouring to save Rebecca
from the blazing castleand his neglect of his personal defence
in attending to her safety. The men gave these details with the
exaggerations common to vulgar minds which have been strongly
excited by any remarkable eventand their natural disposition to
the marvellous was greatly increased by the satisfaction which
their evidence seemed to afford to the eminent person for whose
information it had been delivered. Thus the dangers which
Bois-Guilbert surmountedin themselves sufficiently great
became portentous in their narrative. The devotion of the Knight
to Rebecca's defence was exaggerated beyond the boundsnot only
of discretionbut even of the most frantic excess of chivalrous
zeal; and his deference to what she saideven although her
language was often severe and upbraidingwas painted as carried
to an excesswhichin a man of his haughty temperseemed
almost preternatural.

The Preceptor of Templestowe was then called on to describe the
manner in which Bois-Guilbert and the Jewess arrived at the
Preceptory. The evidence of Malvoisin was skilfully guarded.
But while he apparently studied to spare the feelings of
Bois-Guilberthe threw infrom time to timesuch hintsas
seemed to infer that he laboured under some temporary alienation
of mindso deeply did he appear to be enamoured of the damsel
whom he brought along with him. With sighs of penitencethe
Preceptor avowed his own contrition for having admitted Rebecca
and her lover within the walls of the Preceptory---"But my
defence he concluded, has been made in my confession to our
most reverend father the Grand Master; he knows my motives were
not evilthough my conduct may have been irregular. Joyfully
will I submit to any penance he shall assign me."

Thou hast spoken well, Brother Albert,said Beaumanoir; "thy
motives were goodsince thou didst judge it right to arrest
thine erring brother in his career of precipitate folly. But
thy conduct was wrong; as he that would stop a runaway steed
and seizing by the stirrup instead of the bridlereceiveth
injury himselfinstead of accomplishing his purpose. Thirteen


paternosters are assigned by our pious founder for matinsand
nine for vespers; be those services doubled by thee. Thrice
a-week are Templars permitted the use of flesh; but do thou keep
fast for all the seven days. This do for six weeks to comeand
thy penance is accomplished."

With a hypocritical look of the deepest submissionthe Preceptor
of Templestowe bowed to the ground before his Superiorand
resumed his seat.

Were it not well, brethren,said the Grand Masterthat we
examine something into the former life and conversation of this
woman, specially that we may discover whether she be one likely
to use magical charms and spells, since the truths which we have
heard may well incline us to suppose, that in this unhappy course
our erring brother has been acted upon by some infernal
enticement and delusion?

Herman of Goodalricke was the Fourth Preceptor present; the other
three were ConradeMalvoisinand Bois-Guilbert himself. Herman
was an ancient warriorwhose face was marked with sears
inflicted by the sabre of the Moslemahand had great rank and
consideration among his brethren. He arose and bowed to the
Grand Masterwho instantly granted him license of speech. "I
would crave to knowmost Reverend Fatherof our valiant
brotherBrian de Bois-Guilbertwhat he says to these wondrous
accusationsand with what eye he himself now regards his unhappy
intercourse with this Jewish maiden?"

Brian de Bois-Guilbert,said the Grand Masterthou hearest
the question which our Brother of Goodalricke desirest thou
shouldst answer. I command thee to reply to him.

Bois-Guilbert turned his head towards the Grand Master when thus
addressedand remained silent.

He is possessed by a dumb devil,said the Grand Master. "Avoid
theeSathanus!---SpeakBrian de Bois-GuilbertI conjure thee
by this symbol of our Holy Order."

Bois-Guilbert made an effort to suppress his rising scorn and
indignationthe expression of whichhe was well awarewould
have little availed him. "Brian de Bois-Guilbert he answered,
replies notmost Reverend Fatherto such wild and vague
charges. If his honour be impeachedhe will defend it with his
bodyand with that sword which has often fought for
Christendom."

We forgive thee, Brother Brian,said the Grand Master; "though
that thou hast boasted thy warlike achievements before usis a
glorifying of thine own deedsand cometh of the Enemywho
tempteth us to exalt our own worship. But thou hast our pardon
judging thou speakest less of thine own suggestion than from the
impulse of him whom by Heaven's leavewe will quell and drive
forth from our assembly." A glance of disdain flashed from the
dark fierce eyes of Bois-Guilbertbut he made no reply.---"And
now pursued the Grand Master, since our Brother of
Goodalricke's question has been thus imperfectly answeredpursue
we our questbrethrenand with our patron's assistancewe will
search to the bottom this mystery of iniquity.---Let those who
have aught to witness of the life and conversation of this Jewish
womanstand forth before us." There was a bustle in the lower
part of the halland when the Grand Master enquired the reason
it was repliedthere was in the crowd a bedridden manwhom the


prisoner had restored to the perfect use of his limbsby a
miraculous balsam.

The poor peasanta Saxon by birthwas dragged forward to the
barterrified at the penal consequences which he might have
incurred by the guilt of having been cured of the palsy by a
Jewish damsel. Perfectly cured he certainly was notfor he
supported himself forward on crutches to give evidence. Most
unwilling was his testimonyand given with many tears; but he
admitted that two years sincewhen residing at Yorkhe was
suddenly afflicted with a sore diseasewhile labouring for Isaac
the rich Jewin his vocation of a joiner; that he had been
unable to stir from his bed until the remedies applied by
Rebecca's directionsand especially a warming and spicy-smelling
balsamhad in some degree restored him to the use of his limbs.
Moreoverhe saidshe had given him a pot of that precious
ointmentand furnished him with a piece of money withalto
return to the house of his fathernear to Templestowe. "And may
it please your gracious Reverence said the man, I cannot think
the damsel meant harm by methough she hath the ill hap to be a
Jewess; for even when I used her remedyI said the Pater and the
Creedand it never operated a whit less kindly---"

Peace, slave,said the Grand Masterand begone! It well
suits brutes like thee to be tampering and trinketing with
hellish cures, and to be giving your labour to the sons of
mischief. I tell thee, the fiend can impose diseases for the
very purpose of removing them, in order to bring into credit
some diabolical fashion of cure. Hast thou that unguent of which
thou speakest?

The peasantfumbling in his bosom with a trembling hand
produced a small boxbearing some Hebrew characters on the lid
which waswith most of the audiencea sure proof that the devil
had stood apothecary. Beaumanoirafter crossing himselftook
the box into his handandlearned in most of the Eastern
tonguesread with ease the motto on the lid---"The Lion of the
tribe of Judah hath conquered." "Strange powers of Sathanas."
said hewhich can convert Scripture into blasphemy, mingling
poison with our necessary food!---Is there no leech here who can
tell us the ingredients of this mystic unguent?

Two medicinersas they called themselvesthe one a monkthe
other a barberappearedand avouched they knew nothing of the
materialsexcepting that they savoured of myrrh and camphire
which they took to be Oriental herbs. But with the true
professional hatred to a successful practitioner of their art
they insinuated thatsince the medicine was beyond their own
knowledgeit must necessarily have been compounded from an
unlawful and magical pharmacopeia; since they themselvesthough
no conjurorsfully understood every branch of their artso far
as it might be exercised with the good faith of a Christian.
When this medical research was endedthe Saxon peasant desired
humbly to have back the medicine which he had found so salutary;
but the Grand Master frowned severely at the request. "What is
thy namefellow?" said he to the cripple.

Higg, the son of Snell,answered the peasant.

Then Higg, son of Snell,said the Grand MasterI tell thee it
is better to be bedridden, than to accept the benefit of
unbelievers' medicine that thou mayest arise and walk; better to
despoil infidels of their treasure by the strong hand, than to
accept of them benevolent gifts, or do them service for wages.


Go thou, and do as I have said.

Alack,said the peasantan it shall not displease your
Reverence, the lesson comes too late for me, for I am but a
maimed man; but I will tell my two brethren, who serve the rich
Rabbi Nathan Ben Samuel, that your mastership says it is more
lawful to rob him than to render him faithful service.

Out with the prating villain!said Beaumanoirwho was not
prepared to refute this practical application of his general
maxim.

Higgthe son of Snellwithdrew into the crowdbutinterested
in the fate of his benefactresslingered until he should learn
her doomeven at the risk of again encountering the frown of
that severe judgethe terror of which withered his very heart
within him.

At this period of the trialthe Grand Master commanded Rebecca
to unveil herself. Opening her lips for the first timeshe
replied patientlybut with dignity---"That it was not the wont
of the daughters of her people to uncover their faces when alone
in an assembly of strangers." The sweet tones of her voiceand
the softness of her replyimpressed on the audience a sentiment
of pity and sympathy. But Beaumanoirin whose mind the
suppression of each feeling of humanity which could interfere
with his imagined dutywas a virtue of itselfrepeated his
commands that his victim should be unveiled. The guards were
about to remove her veil accordinglywhen she stood up before
the Grand Master and saidNay, but for the love of your own
daughters---Alas,she saidrecollecting herselfye have no
daughters!---yet for the remembrance of your mothers---for the
love of your sisters, and of female decency, let me not be thus
handled in your presence; it suits not a maiden to be disrobed
by such rude grooms. I will obey you,she addedwith an
expression of patient sorrow in her voicewhich had almost
melted the heart of Beaumanoir himself; "ye are elders among your
peopleand at your command I will show the features of an
ill-fated maiden."

She withdrew her veiland looked on them with a countenance in
which bashfulness contended with dignity. Her exceeding beauty
excited a murmur of surpriseand the younger knights told each
other with their eyesin silent correspondencethat Brian's
best apology was in the power of her real charmsrather than of
her imaginary witchcraft. But Higgthe son of Snellfelt most
deeply the effect produced by the sight of the countenance of his
benefactress.

Let me go forth,he said to the warders at the door of the
hall---"let me go forth!---To look at her again will kill me
for I have had a share in murdering her."

Peace, poor man,said Rebeccawhen she heard his exclamation;
thou hast done me no harm by speaking the truth---thou canst not
aid me by thy complaints or lamentations. Peace, I pray thee
---go home and save thyself.

Higg was about to be thrust out by the compassion of the warders
who were apprehensive lest his clamorous grief should draw upon
them reprehensionand upon himself punishment. But he promised
to be silentand was permitted to remain. The two men-at-arms
with whom Albert Malvoisin had not failed to communicate upon the
import of their testimonywere now called forward. Though both


were hardened and inflexible villainsthe sight of the captive
maidenas well as her excelling beautyat first appeared to
stagger them; but an expressive glance from the Preceptor of
Templestowe restored them to their dogged composure; and they
deliveredwith a precision which would have seemed suspicious to
more impartial judgescircumstances either altogether fictitious
or trivialand natural in themselvesbut rendered pregnant with
suspicion by the exaggerated manner in which they were toldand
the sinister commentary which the witnesses added to the facts.
The circumstances of their evidence would have beenin modern
daysdivided into two classes---those which were immaterialand
those which were actually and physically impossible. But both
werein those ignorant and superstitions timeseasily credited
as proofs of guilt.---The first class set forththat Rebecca was
heard to mutter to herself in an unknown tongue---that the songs
she sung by fits were of a strangely sweet soundwhich made the
ears of the hearer tingleand his heart throb---that she spoke
at times to herselfand seemed to look upward for a reply---that
her garments were of a strange and mystic formunlike those of
women of good repute---that she had rings impressed with
cabalistical devicesand that strange characters were broidered
on her veil.

All these circumstancesso natural and so trivialwere gravely
listened to as proofsorat leastas affording strong
suspicions that Rebecca had unlawful correspondence with mystical
powers.

But there was less equivocal testimonywhich the credulity of
the assemblyor of the greater partgreedily swallowedhowever
incredible. One of the soldiers had seen her work a cure upon a
wounded manbrought with them to the castle of Torquilstone.
She didhe saidmake certain signs upon the woundand repeated
certain mysterious wordswhich he blessed God he understood not
when the iron head of a square cross-bow bolt disengaged itself
from the woundthe bleeding was stanchedthe wound was closed
and the dying man waswithin a quarter of an hourwalking upon
the rampartsand assisting the witness in managing a mangonel
or machine for hurling stones. This legend was probably founded
upon the factthat Rebecca had attended on the wounded Ivanhoe
when in the castle of Torquilstone. But it was the more
difficult to dispute the accuracy of the witnessasin order to
produce real evidence in support of his verbal testimonyhe drew
from his pouch the very bolt-headwhichaccording to his story
had been miraculously extracted from the wound; and as the iron
weighed a full ounceit completely confirmed the talehowever
marvellous.

His comrade had been a witness from a neighbouring battlement of
the scene betwixt Rebecca and Bois-Guilbertwhen she was upon
the point of precipitating herself from the top of the tower.
Not to be behind his companionthis fellow statedthat he had
seen Rebecca perch herself upon the parapet of the turretand
there take the form of a milk-white swanunder which appearance
she flitted three times round the castle of Torquilstone; then
again settle on the turretand once more assume the female form.

Less than one half of this weighty evidence would have been
sufficient to convict any old womanpoor and uglyeven though
she had not been a Jewess. United with that fatal circumstance
the body of proof was too weighty for Rebecca's youththough
combined with the most exquisite beauty.

The Grand Master had collected the suffragesand now in a solemn


tone demanded of Rebecca what she had to say against the sentence
of condemnationwhich he was about to pronounce.

To invoke your pity,said the lovely Jewesswith a voice
somewhat tremulous with emotionwould, I am aware, be as
useless as I should hold it mean. To state that to relieve the
sick and wounded of another religion, cannot be displeasing to
the acknowledged Founder of both our faiths, were also
unavailing; to plead that many things which these men (whom may
Heaven pardon!) have spoken against me are impossible, would
avail me but little, since you believe in their possibility; and
still less would it advantage me to explain, that the
peculiarities of my dress, language, and manners, are those of my
people---I had well-nigh said of my country, but alas! we have no
country. Nor will I even vindicate myself at the expense of my
oppressor, who stands there listening to the fictions and
surmises which seem to convert the tyrant into the victim.---God
be judge between him and me! but rather would I submit to ten
such deaths as your pleasure may denounce against me, than
listen to the suit which that man of Belial has urged upon me
---friendless, defenceless, and his prisoner. But he is of your
own faith, and his lightest affirmance would weigh down the most
solemn protestations of the distressed Jewess. I will not
therefore return to himself the charge brought against me---but
to himself---Yes, Brian de Bois-Guilbert, to thyself I appeal,
whether these accusations are not false? as monstrous and
calumnious as they are deadly?

There was a pause; all eyes turned to Brain de Bois-Guilbert. He
was silent.

Speak,she saidif thou art a man---if thou art a Christian,
speak!---I conjure thee, by the habit which thou dost wear, by
the name thou dost inherit---by the knighthood thou dost vaunt
---by the honour of thy mother---by the tomb and the bones of thy
father---I conjure thee to say, are these things true?

Answer her, brother,said the Grand Masterif the Enemy with
whom thou dost wrestle will give thee power.

In factBois-Guilbert seemed agitated by contending passions
which almost convulsed his featuresand it was with a
constrained voice that at last he repliedlooking to Rebecca
---"The scroll!---the scroll!"

Ay,said Beaumanoirthis is indeed testimony! The victim of
her witcheries can only name the fatal scroll, the spell
inscribed on which is, doubtless, the cause of his silence.

But Rebecca put another interpretation on the words extorted as
it were from Bois-Guilbertand glancing her eye upon the slip of
parchment which she continued to hold in her handshe read
written thereupon in the Arabian characterDemand a Champion!
The murmuring commentary which ran through the assembly at the
strange reply of Bois-Guilbertgave Rebecca leisure to examine
and instantly to destroy the scroll unobserved. When the whisper
had ceasedthe Grand Master spoke.

Rebecca, thou canst derive no benefit from the evidence of this
unhappy knight, for whom, as we well perceive, the Enemy is yet
too powerful. Hast thou aught else to say?

There is yet one chance of life left to me,said Rebeccaeven
by your own fierce laws. Life has been miserable---miserable, at


least, of late---but I will not cast away the gift of God, while
he affords me the means of defending it. I deny this charge---I
maintain my innocence, and I declare the falsehood of this
accusation---I challenge the privilege of trial by combat, and
will appear by my champion.


And who, Rebecca,replied the Grand Masterwill lay lance in
rest for a sorceress? who will be the champion of a Jewess?


God will raise me up a champion,said Rebecca---"It cannot be
that in merry England---the hospitablethe generousthe free
where so many are ready to peril their lives for honourthere
will not be found one to fight for justice. But it is enough
that I challenge the trial by combat---there lies my gage."


She took her embroidered glove from her handand flung it down
before the Grand Master with an air of mingled simplicity and
dignitywhich excited universal surprise and admiration.


CHAPTER XXXVIII


------There I throw my gage
To prove it on thee to the extremest point
Of martial daring.


Richard II

Even Lucas Beaumanoir himself was affected by the mien and
appearance of Rebecca. He was not originally a cruel or even a
severe man; but with passions by nature coldand with a high
though mistakensense of dutyhis heart had been gradually
hardened by the ascetic life which he pursuedthe supreme power
which he enjoyedand the supposed necessity of subduing
infidelity and eradicating heresywhich he conceived peculiarly
incumbent on him. His features relaxed in their usual severity
as he gazed upon the beautiful creature before himalone
unfriendedand defending herself with so much spirit and
courage. He crossed himself twiceas doubting whence arose the
unwonted softening of a heartwhich on such occasions used to
resemble in hardness the steel of his sword. At length he spoke.

Damsel,he saidif the pity I feel for thee arise from any
practice thine evil arts have made on me, great is thy guilt.
But I rather judge it the kinder feelings of nature, which
grieves that so goodly a form should be a vessel of perdition.
Repent, my daughter---confess thy witchcrafts---turn thee from
thine evil faith---embrace this holy emblem, and all shall yet be
well with thee here and hereafter. In some sisterhood of the
strictest order, shalt thou have time for prayer and fitting
penance, and that repentance not to be repented of. This do and
live---what has the law of Moses done for thee that thou
shouldest die for it?

It was the law of my fathers,said Rebecca; "it was delivered
in thunders and in storms upon the mountain of Sinaiin cloud
and in fire. Thisif ye are Christiansye believe---it isyou
sayrecalled; but so my teachers have not taught me."

Let our chaplain,said Beaumanoirstand forth, and tell this
obstinate infidel---


Forgive the interruption,said Rebeccameekly; "I am a maiden
unskilled to dispute for my religionbut I can die for itif it
be God's will.---Let me pray your answer to my demand of a
champion."

Give me her glove,said Beaumanoir. "This is indeed he
continued, as he looked at the flimsy texture and slender
fingers, a slight and frail gage for a purpose so deadly!
---Seest thouRebeccaas this thin and light glove of thine is
to one of our heavy steel gauntletsso is thy cause to that of
the Templefor it is our Order which thou hast defied."

Cast my innocence into the scale,answered Rebeccaand the
glove of silk shall outweigh the glove of iron.

Then thou dost persist in thy refusal to confess thy guilt, and
in that bold challenge which thou hast made?

I do persist, noble sir,answered Rebecca.

So be it then, in the name of Heaven,said the Grand Master;
and may God show the right!

Amen,replied the Preceptors around himand the word was
deeply echoed by the whole assembly.

Brethren,said Beaumanoiryou are aware that we might well
have refused to this woman the benefit of the trial by combat
---but though a Jewess and an unbeliever, she is also a stranger
and defenceless, and God forbid that she should ask the benefit
of our mild laws, and that it should be refused to her.
Moreover, we are knights and soldiers as well as men of religion,
and shame it were to us upon any pretence, to refuse proffered
combat. Thus, therefore, stands the case. Rebecca, the daughter
of Isaac of York, is, by many frequent and suspicious
circumstances, defamed of sorcery practised on the person of a
noble knight of our holy Order, and hath challenged the combat in
proof of her innocence. To whom, reverend brethren, is it your
opinion that we should deliver the gage of battle, naming him, at
the same time, to be our champion on the field?

To Brian de Bois-Guilbert, whom it chiefly concerns,said the
Preceptor of Goodalrickeand who, moreover, best knows how the
truth stands in this matter.

But if,said the Grand Masterour brother Brian be under the
influence of a charm or a spell---we speak but for the sake of
precaution, for to the arm of none of our holy Order would we
more willingly confide this or a more weighty cause.

Reverend father,answered the Preceptor of Goodalrickeno
spell can effect the champion who comes forward to fight for the
judgment of God.

Thou sayest right, brother,said the Grand Master. "Albert
Malvoisingive this gage of battle to Brian de Bois-Guilbert.
---It is our charge to theebrother he continued, addressing
himself to Bois-Guilbert, that thou do thy battle manfully
nothing doubting that the good cause shall triumph.---And do
thouRebeccaattendthat we assign thee the third day from the
present to find a champion."

That is but brief space,answered Rebeccafor a stranger, who


is also of another faith, to find one who will do battle,
wagering life and honour for her cause, against a knight who is
called an approved soldier.

We may not extend it,answered the Grand Master; "the field
must be foughten in our own presenceand divers weighty causes
call us on the fourth day from hence."

God's will be done!said Rebecca; "I put my trust in Himto
whom an instant is as effectual to save as a whole age."

Thou hast spoken well, damsel,said the Grand Master; "but well
know we who can array himself like an angel of light. It remains
but to name a fitting place of combatandif it so hapalso of
execution.---Where is the Preceptor of this house?"

Albert Malvoisinstill holding Rebecca's glove in his handwas
speaking to Bois-Guilbert very earnestlybut in a low voice.

How!said the Grand Masterwill he not receive the gage?

He will---he doth, most Reverend Father,said Malvoisin
slipping the glove under his own mantle. "And for the place of
combatI hold the fittest to be the lists of Saint George
belonging to this Preceptoryand used by us for military
exercise."

It is well,said the Grand Master.---"Rebeccain those lists
shalt thou produce thy champion; and if thou failest to do soor
if thy champion shall be discomfited by the judgment of Godthou
shalt then die the death of a sorceressaccording to doom.---Let
this our judgment be recordedand the record read aloudthat no
one may pretend ignorance."

One of the chaplainswho acted as clerks to the chapter
immediately engrossed the order in a huge volumewhich contained
the proceedings of the Templar Knights when solemnly assembled on
such occasions; and when he had finished writingthe other read
aloud the sentence of the Grand Masterwhichwhen translated
from the Norman-French in which it was couchedwas expressed as
follows.--


Rebecca, a Jewess, daughter of Isaac of York, being attainted of
sorcery, seduction, and other damnable practices, practised on a
Knight of the most Holy Order of the Temple of Zion, doth deny
the same; and saith, that the testimony delivered against her
this day is false, wicked, and disloyal; and that by lawful
'essoine'*

* Essoine" signifies excuseand here relates to the
* appellant's privilege of appearing by her championin
* excuse of her own person on account of her sex.
of her body as being unable to combat in her own behalfshe doth
offerby a champion instead thereofto avouch her casehe
performing his loyal 'devoir' in all knightly sortwith such
arms as to gage of battle do fully appertainand that at her
peril and cost. And therewith she proffered her gage. And the
gage having been delivered to the noble Lord and KnightBrian de
Bois-Guilbertof the Holy Order of the Temple of Zionhe was
appointed to do this battlein behalf of his Order and himself
as injured and impaired by the practices of the appellant.
Wherefore the most reverend Father and puissant LordLucas
Marquis of Beaumanoirdid allow of the said challengeand of


the said 'essoine' of the appellant's bodyand assigned the
third day for the said combatthe place being the enclosure
called the lists of Saint Georgenear to the Preceptory of
Templestowe. And the Grand Master appoints the appellant to
appear there by her championon pain of doomas a person
convicted of sorcery or seduction; and also the defendant so to
appearunder the penalty of being held and adjudged recreant in
case of default; and the noble Lord and most reverend Father
aforesaid appointed the battle to be done in his own presence
and according to all that is commendable and profitable in such a
case. And may God aid the just cause!"

Amen!said the Grand Master; and the word was echoed by all
around. Rebecca spoke notbut she looked up to heavenand
folding her handsremained for a minute without change of
attitude. She then modestly reminded the Grand Masterthat she
ought to be permitted some opportunity of free communication with
her friendsfor the purpose of making her condition known to
themand procuringif possiblesome champion to fight in her
behalf.

It is just and lawful,said the Grand Master; "choose what
messenger thou shalt trustand he shall have free communication
with thee in thy prison-chamber."

Is there,said Rebeccaany one here, who, either for love of
a good cause, or for ample hire, will do the errand of a
distressed being?

All were silent; for none thought it safein the presence of the
Grand Masterto avow any interest in the calumniated prisoner
lest he should be suspected of leaning towards Judaism. Not even
the prospect of rewardfar less any feelings of compassion
alonecould surmount this apprehension.

Rebecca stood for a few moments in indescribable anxietyand
then exclaimedIs it really thus?---And, in English land, am I
to be deprived of the poor chance of safety which remains to me,
for want of an act of charity which would not be refused to the
worst criminal?

Higgthe son of Snellat length repliedI am but a maimed
man, but that I can at all stir or move was owing to her
charitable assistance.---I will do thine errand,he added
addressing Rebeccaas well as a crippled object can, and happy
were my limbs fleet enough to repair the mischief done by my
tongue. Alas! when I boasted of thy charity, I little thought I
was leading thee into danger!

God,said Rebeccais the disposer of all. He can turn back
the captivity of Judah, even by the weakest instrument. To
execute his message the snail is as sure a messenger as the
falcon. Seek out Isaac of York---here is that will pay for horse
and man---let him have this scroll.---I know not if it be of
Heaven the spirit which inspires me, but most truly do I judge
that I am not to die this death, and that a champion will be
raised up for me. Farewell!---Life and death are in thy haste.

The peasant took the scrollwhich contained only a few lines in
Hebrew. Many of the crowd would have dissuaded him from touching
a document so suspicious; but Higg was resolute in the service of
his benefactress. She had saved his bodyhe saidand he was
confident she did not mean to peril his soul.


I will get me,he saidmy neighbour Buthan's good capul,*

* Capul"i.e. horse; in a more limited sensework-horse.
and I will be at York within as brief space as man and beast
may."

But as it fortunedhe had no occasion to go so farfor within a
quarter of a mile from the gate of the Preceptory he met with two
riderswhomby their dress and their huge yellow capshe knew
to be Jews; andon approaching more nearlydiscovered that one
of them was his ancient employerIsaac of York. The other was
the Rabbi Ben Samuel; and both had approached as near to the
Preceptory as they daredon hearing that the Grand Master had
summoned a chapter for the trial of a sorceress.

Brother Ben Samuel,said Isaacmy soul is disquieted, and I
wot not why. This charge of necromancy is right often used for
cloaking evil practices on our people.

Be of good comfort, brother,said the physician; "thou canst
deal with the Nazarenes as one possessing the mammon of
unrighteousnessand canst therefore purchase immunity at their
hands---it rules the savage minds of those ungodly meneven as
the signet of the mighty Solomon was said to command the evil
genii.---But what poor wretch comes hither upon his crutches
desiringas I thinksome speech of me?---Friend continued the
physician, addressing Higg, the son of Snell, I refuse thee not
the aid of mine artbut I relieve not with one asper those who
beg for alms upon the highway. Out upon thee!---Hast thou the
palsy in thy legs? then let thy hands work for thy livelihood;
foralbeit thou best unfit for a speedy postor for a careful
shepherdor for the warfareor for the service of a hasty
masteryet there be occupations---How nowbrother?" said he
interrupting his harangue to look towards Isaacwho had but
glanced at the scroll which Higg offeredwhenuttering a deep
groanhe fell from his mule like a dying manand lay for a
minute insensible.

The Rabbi now dismounted in great alarmand hastily applied the
remedies which his art suggested for the recovery of his
companion. He had even taken from his pocket a cupping
apparatusand was about to proceed to phlebotomywhen the
object of his anxious solicitude suddenly revived; but it was to
dash his cap from his headand to throw dust on his grey hairs.
The physician was at first inclined to ascribe this sudden and
violent emotion to the effects of insanity; andadhering to his
original purposebegan once again to handle his implements. But
Isaac soon convinced him of his error.

Child of my sorrow,he saidwell shouldst thou be called
Benoni, instead of Rebecca! Why should thy death bring down my
grey hairs to the grave, till, in the bitterness of my heart, I
curse God and die!

Brother,said the Rabbiin great surpriseart thou a father
in Israel, and dost thou utter words like unto these?---I trust
that the child of thy house yet liveth?

She liveth,answered Isaac; "but it is as Danielwho was
called Beltheshazzareven when within the den of the lions. She
is captive unto those men of Belialand they will wreak their
cruelty upon hersparing neither for her youth nor her comely
favour. O! she was as a crown of green palms to my grey locks;


and she must wither in a nightlike the gourd of Jonah!---Child
of my love!---child of my old age!---ohRebeccadaughter of
Rachel! the darkness of the shadow of death hath encompassed
thee."

Yet read the scroll,said the Rabbi; "peradventure it may be
that we may yet find out a way of deliverance."

Do thou read, brother,answered Isaacfor mine eyes are as a
fountain of water.

The physician readbut in their native languagethe following
words:--


To Isaac, the son of Adonikam, whom the Gentiles call Isaac of
York, peace and the blessing of the promise be multiplied unto
thee!---My father, I am as one doomed to die for that which my
soul knoweth not---even for the crime of witchcraft. My father,
if a strong man can be found to do battle for my cause with
sword and spear, according to the custom of the Nazarenes, and
that within the lists of Templestowe, on the third day from this
time, peradventure our fathers' God will give him strength to
defend the innocent, and her who hath none to help her. But if
this may not be, let the virgins of our people mourn for me as
for one cast off, and for the hart that is stricken by the

hunter, and for the flower which is cut down by the scythe of the
mower. Wherefore look now what thou doest, and whether there be
any rescue. One Nazarene warrior might indeed bear arms in my
behalf, even Wilfred, son of Cedric, whom the Gentiles call
Ivanhoe. But he may not yet endure the weight of his armour.
Nevertheless, send the tidings unto him, my father; for he hath
favour among the strong men of his people, and as he was our
companion in the house of bondage, he may find some one to do
battle for my sake. And say unto him, even unto him, even unto
Wilfred, the son of Cedric, that if Rebecca live, or if Rebecca
die, she liveth or dieth wholly free of the guilt she is charged
withal. And if it be the will of God that thou shalt be deprived
of thy daughter, do not thou tarry, old man, in this land of
bloodshed and cruelty; but betake thyself to Cordova, where thy
brother liveth in safety, under the shadow of the throne, even of
the throne of Boabdil the Saracen; for less cruel are the
cruelties of the Moors unto the race of Jacob, than the cruelties
of the Nazarenes of England.

Isaac listened with tolerable composure while Ben Samuel read the
letterand then again resumed the gestures and exclamations of
Oriental sorrowtearing his garmentsbesprinkling his head with
dustand ejaculatingMy daughter! my daughter! flesh of my
flesh, and bone of my bone!

Yet,said the Rabbitake courage, for this grief availeth
nothing. Gird up thy loins, and seek out this Wilfred, the son
of Cedric. It may be he will help thee with counsel or with
strength; for the youth hath favour in the eyes of Richard,
called of the Nazarenes Coeur-de-Lion, and the tidings that he
hath returned are constant in the land. It may be that he may
obtain his letter, and his signet, commanding these men of blood,
who take their name from the Temple to the dishonour thereof,
that they proceed not in their purposed wickedness.

I will seek him out,said Isaacfor he is a good youth, and
hath compassion for the exile of Jacob. But he cannot bear his
armour, and what other Christian shall do battle for the


oppressed of Zion?

Nay, but,said the Rabbithou speakest as one that knoweth
not the Gentiles. With gold shalt thou buy their valour, even as
with gold thou buyest thine own safety. Be of good courage, and
do thou set forward to find out this Wilfred of Ivanhoe. I will
also up and be doing, for great sin it were to leave thee in thy
calamity. I will hie me to the city of York, where many warriors
and strong men are assembled, and doubt not I will find among
them some one who will do battle for thy daughter; for gold is
their god, and for riches will they pawn their lives as well as
their lands.---Thou wilt fulfil, my brother, such promise as I
may make unto them in thy name?

Assuredly, brother,said Isaacand Heaven be praised that
raised me up a comforter in my misery. Howbeit, grant them not
their full demand at once, for thou shalt find it the quality of
this accursed people that they will ask pounds, and peradventure
accept of ounces---Nevertheless, be it as thou willest, for I am
distracted in this thing, and what would my gold avail me if the
child of my love should perish!

Farewell,said the physicianand may it be to thee as thy
heart desireth.

They embraced accordinglyand departed on their several roads.
The crippled peasant remained for some time looking after them.

These dog-Jews!said he; "to take no more notice of a free
guild-brotherthan if I were a bond slave or a Turkor a
circumcised Hebrew like themselves! They might have flung me a
mancus or twohowever. I was not obliged to bring their
unhallowed scrawlsand run the risk of being bewitchedas more
folks than one told me. And what care I for the bit of gold that
the wench gave meif I am to come to harm from the priest next
Easter at confessionand be obliged to give him twice as much to
make it up with himand be called the Jew's flying post all my
lifeas it may hapinto the bargain? I think I was bewitched
in earnest when I was beside that girl!---But it was always so
with Jew or Gentilewhosoever came near her---none could stay
when she had an errand to go---and stillwhenever I think of
herI would give shop and tools to save her life."

CHAPTER XXXIX

O maidunrelenting and cold as thou art
My bosom is proud as thine own.
Seward

It was in the twilight of the day when her trialif it could be
called suchhad taken placethat a low knock was heard at the
door of Rebecca's prison-chamber. It disturbed not the inmate
who was then engaged in the evening prayer recommended by her
religionand which concluded with a hymn we have ventured thus
to translate into English.

When Israelof the Lord beloved
Out of the land of bondage came
Her father's God before her moved



An awful guidein smoke and flame.

By dayalong the astonish'd lands

The cloudy pillar glided slow;

By nightArabia's crimson'd sands

Return'd the fiery column's glow.

There rose the choral hymn of praise
And trump and timbrel answer'd keen
And Zion's daughters pour'd their lays
With priest's and warrior's voice between.
No portents now our foes amaze
Forsaken Israel wanders lone;
Our fathers would not know THY ways
And THOU hast left them to their own.


Butpresent stillthough now unseen;
When brightly shines the prosperous day
Be thoughts of THEE a cloudy screen
To temper the deceitful ray.
And ohwhen stoops on Judah's path
In shade and storm the frequent night
Be THOUlong-sufferingslow to wrath
A burningand a shining light!


Our harps we left by Babel's streams
The tyrant's jestthe Gentile's scorn;
No censer round our altar beams
And mute our timbreltrumpand horn.
But THOU hast saidthe blood of goat
The flesh of ramsI will not prize;
A contrite heartand humble thought
Are mine accepted sacrifice.


When the sounds of Rebecca's devotional hymn had died away in
silencethe low knock at the door was again renewed. "Enter
she said, if thou art a friend; and if a foeI have not the
means of refusing thy entrance."

I am,said Brian de Bois-Guilbertentering the apartment
friend or foe, Rebecca, as the event of this interview shall
make me.

Alarmed at the sight of this manwhose licentious passion she
considered as the root of her misfortunesRebecca drew backward
with a cautious and alarmedyet not a timorous demeanourinto
the farthest corner of the apartmentas if determined to retreat
as far as she couldbut to stand her ground when retreat became
no longer possible. She drew herself into an attitude not of
defiancebut of resolutionas one that would avoid provoking
assaultyet was resolute to repel itbeing offeredto the
utmost of her power.

You have no reason to fear me, Rebecca,said the Templar; "or
if I must so qualify my speechyou have at least NOW no reason
to fear me."

I fear you not, Sir Knight,replied Rebeccaalthough her
short-drawn breath seemed to belie the heroism of her accents;
my trust is strong, and I fear thee not.

You have no cause,answered Bois-Guilbertgravely; "my former
frantic attempts you have not now to dread. Within your call are
guardsover whom I have no authority. They are designed to
conduct you to deathRebeccayet would not suffer you to be


insulted by any oneeven by mewere my frenzy---for frenzy it
is---to urge me so far."

May Heaven be praised!said the Jewess; "death is the least of
my apprehensions in this den of evil."

Ay,replied the Templarthe idea of death is easily received
by the courageous mind, when the road to it is sudden and open.
A thrust with a lance, a stroke with a sword, were to me little
---To you, a spring from a dizzy battlement, a stroke with a
sharp poniard, has no terrors, compared with what either thinks
disgrace. Mark me---I say this---perhaps mine own sentiments of
honour are not less fantastic, Rebecca, than thine are; but we
know alike how to die for them.

Unhappy man,said the Jewess; "and art thou condemned to expose
thy life for principlesof which thy sober judgment does not
acknowledge the solidity? Surely this is a parting with your
treasure for that which is not bread---but deem not so of me.
Thy resolution may fluctuate on the wild and changeful billows of
human opinionbut mine is anchored on the Rock of Ages."

Silence, maiden,answered the Templar; "such discourse now
avails but little. Thou art condemned to die not a sudden and
easy deathsuch as misery choosesand despair welcomesbut a
slowwretchedprotracted course of torturesuited to what the
diabolical bigotry of these men calls thy crime."

And to whom---if such my fate---to whom do I owe this?said
Rebecca "surely only to himwhofor a most selfish and brutal
causedragged me hitherand who nowfor some unknown purpose
of his ownstrives to exaggerate the wretched fate to which he
exposed me."

Think not,said the Templarthat I have so exposed thee; I
would have bucklered thee against such danger with my own bosom,
as freely as ever I exposed it to the shafts which had otherwise
reached thy life.

Had thy purpose been the honourable protection of the innocent,
said RebeccaI had thanked thee for thy care---as it is, thou
hast claimed merit for it so often, that I tell thee life is
worth nothing to me, preserved at the price which thou wouldst
exact for it.

Truce with thine upbraidings, Rebecca,said the Templar; "I
have my own cause of griefand brook not that thy reproaches
should add to it."

What is thy purpose, then, Sir Knight?said the Jewess; "speak
it briefly.---If thou hast aught to dosave to witness the
misery thou hast causedlet me know it; and thenif so it
please youleave me to myself---the step between time and
eternity is short but terribleand I have few moments to prepare
for it."

I perceive, Rebecca,said Bois-Guilbertthat thou dost
continue to burden me with the charge of distresses, which most
fain would I have prevented.

Sir Knight,said RebeccaI would avoid reproaches---But what
is more certain than that I owe my death to thine unbridled
passion?


You err---you err,---said the Templarhastilyif you impute
what I could neither foresee nor prevent to my purpose or agency.
---Could I guess the unexpected arrival of yon dotard, whom some
flashes of frantic valour, and the praises yielded by fools to
the stupid self-torments of an ascetic, have raised for the
present above his own merits, above common sense, above me, and
above the hundreds of our Order, who think and feel as men free
from such silly and fantastic prejudices as are the grounds of
his opinions and actions?

Yet,said Rebeccayou sate a judge upon me, innocent---most
innocent---as you knew me to be---you concurred in my
condemnation, and, if I aright understood, are yourself to appear
in arms to assert my guilt, and assure my punishment.

Thy patience, maiden,replied the Templar. "No race knows so
well as thine own tribes how to submit to the timeand so to
trim their bark as to make advantage even of an adverse wind."

Lamented be the hour,said Rebeccathat has taught such art
to the House of Israel! but adversity bends the heart as fire
bends the stubborn steel, and those who are no longer their own
governors, and the denizens of their own free independent state,
must crouch before strangers. It is our curse, Sir Knight,
deserved, doubtless, by our own misdeeds and those of our
fathers; but you---you who boast your freedom as your birthright,
how much deeper is your disgrace when you stoop to soothe the
prejudices of others, and that against your own conviction?

Your words are bitter, Rebecca,said Bois-Guilbertpacing the
apartment with impatiencebut I came not hither to bandy
reproaches with you.---Know that Bois-Guilbert yields not to
created man, although circumstances may for a time induce him to
alter his plan. His will is the mountain stream, which may
indeed be turned for a little space aside by the rock, but fails
not to find its course to the ocean. That scroll which warned
thee to demand a champion, from whom couldst thou think it came,
if not from Bois-Guilbert? In whom else couldst thou have excited
such interest?

A brief respite from instant death,said Rebeccawhich will
little avail me---was this all thou couldst do for one, on whose
head thou hast heaped sorrow, and whom thou hast brought near
even to the verge of the tomb?

No maiden,said Bois-Guilbertthis was NOT all that I
purposed. Had it not been for the accursed interference of yon
fanatical dotard, and the fool of Goodalricke, who, being a
Templar, affects to think and judge according to the ordinary
rules of humanity, the office of the Champion Defender had
devolved, not on a Preceptor, but on a Companion of the Order.
Then I myself---such was my purpose---had, on the sounding of the
trumpet, appeared in the lists as thy champion, disguised indeed
in the fashion of a roving knight, who seeks adventures to prove
his shield and spear; and then, let Beaumanoir have chosen not
one, but two or three of the brethren here assembled, I had not
doubted to cast them out of the saddle with my single lance.
Thus, Rebecca, should thine innocence have been avouched, and to
thine own gratitude would I have trusted for the reward of my
victory.

This, Sir Knight,said Rebeccais but idle boasting---a brag
of what you would have done had you not found it convenient to do
otherwise. You received my glove, and my champion, if a creature


so desolate can find one, must encounter your lance in the lists
---yet you would assume the air of my friend and protector!

Thy friend and protector,said the TemplargravelyI will
yet be---but mark at what risk, or rather at what certainty, of
dishonour; and then blame me not if I make my stipulations,
before I offer up all that I have hitherto held dear, to save the
life of a Jewish maiden.

Speak,said Rebecca; "I understand thee not."

Well, then,said Bois-GuilbertI will speak as freely as ever
did doting penitent to his ghostly father, when placed in the
tricky confessional.---Rebecca, if I appear not in these lists I
lose fame and rank---lose that which is the breath of my
nostrils, the esteem, I mean, in which I am held by my brethren,
and the hopes I have of succeeding to that mighty authority,
which is now wielded by the bigoted dotard Lucas de Beaumanoir,
but of which I should make a different use. Such is my certain
doom, except I appear in arms against thy cause. Accursed be he
of Goodalricke, who baited this trap for me! and doubly accursed
Albert de Malvoisin, who withheld me from the resolution I had
formed, of hurling back the glove at the face of the
superstitious and superannuated fool, who listened to a charge so
absurd, and against a creature so high in mind, and so lovely in
form as thou art!

And what now avails rant or flattery?answered Rebecca. "Thou
hast made thy choice between causing to be shed the blood of an
innocent womanor of endangering thine own earthly state and
earthly hopes---What avails it to reckon together?---thy choice
is made."

No, Rebecca,said the knightin a softer toneand drawing
nearer towards her; "my choice is NOT made---naymarkit is
thine to make the election. If I appear in the listsI must
maintain my name in arms; and if I do sochampioned or
unchampionedthou diest by the stake and faggotor there lives
not the knight who hath coped with me in arms on equal issueor
on terms of vantagesave Richard Coeur-de-Lionand his minion
of Ivanhoe. Ivanhoeas thou well knowestis unable to bear his
corsletand Richard is in a foreign prison. If I appearthen
thou diesteven although thy charms should instigate some
hot-headed youth to enter the lists in thy defence."

And what avails repeating this so often?said Rebecca.

Much,replied the Templar; "for thou must learn to look at thy
fate on every side."

Well, then, turn the tapestry,said the Jewessand let me see
the other side.

If I appear,said Bois-Guilbertin the fatal lists, thou
diest by a slow and cruel death, in pain such as they say is
destined to the guilty hereafter. But if I appear not, then am I
a degraded and dishonoured knight, accused of witchcraft and of
communion with infidels---the illustrious name which has grown
yet more so under my wearing, becomes a hissing and a reproach.
I lose fame, I lose honour, I lose the prospect of such greatness
as scarce emperors attain to---I sacrifice mighty ambition, I
destroy schemes built as high as the mountains with which
heathens say their heaven was once nearly scaled---and yet,
Rebecca,he addedthrowing himself at her feetthis greatness


will I sacrifice, this fame will I renounce, this power will I
forego, even now when it is half within my grasp, if thou wilt
say, Bois-Guilbert, I receive thee for my lover.

Think not of such foolishness, Sir Knight,answered Rebecca
but hasten to the Regent, the Queen Mother, and to Prince John
---they cannot, in honour to the English crown, allow of the
proceedings of your Grand Master. So shall you give me
protection without sacrifice on your part, or the pretext of
requiring any requital from me.

With these I deal not,he continuedholding the train of her
robe---"it is thee only I address; and what can counterbalance
thy choice? Bethink theewere I a fiendyet death is a worse
and it is death who is my rival."

I weigh not these evils,said Rebeccaafraid to provoke the
wild knightyet equally determined neither to endure his
passionnor even feign to endure it. "Be a manbe a Christian!
If indeed thy faith recommends that mercy which rather your
tongues than your actions pretendsave me from this dreadful
deathwithout seeking a requital which would change thy
magnanimity into base barter."

No, damsel!said the proud Templarspringing upthou shalt
not thus impose on me---if I renounce present fame and future
ambition, I renounce it for thy sake, and we will escape in
company. Listen to me, Rebecca,he saidagain softening his
tone; "England---Europe---is not the world. There are spheres
in which we may actample enough even for my ambition. We will
go to Palestinewhere ConradeMarquis of Montserratis my
friend---a friend free as myself from the doting scruples which
fetter our free-born reason----rather with Saladin will we league
ourselvesthan endure the scorn of the bigots whom we contemn.
---I will form new paths to greatness he continued, again
traversing the room with hasty strides---Europe shall hear the
loud step of him she has driven from her sons!---Not the millions
whom her crusaders send to slaughtercan do so much to defend
Palestine---not the sabres of the thousands and ten thousands of
Saracens can hew their way so deep into that land for which
nations are strivingas the strength and policy of me and those
brethrenwhoin despite of yonder old bigotwill adhere to me
in good and evil. Thou shalt be a queenRebecca---on Mount
Carmel shall we pitch the throne which my valour will gain for
youand I will exchange my long-desired batoon for a sceptre!"

A dream,said Rebecca; "an empty vision of the nightwhich
were it a waking realityaffects me not. Enoughthat the power
which thou mightest acquireI will never share; nor hold I so
light of country or religious faithas to esteem him who is
willing to barter these tiesand cast away the bonds of the
Order of which he is a sworn memberin order to gratify an
unruly passion for the daughter of another people.---Put not a
price on my deliveranceSir Knight---sell not a deed of
generosity---protect the oppressed for the sake of charityand
not for a selfish advantage---Go to the throne of England;
Richard will listen to my appeal from these cruel men."

Never, Rebecca!said the Templarfiercely. "If I renounce my
Orderfor thee alone will I renounce it---Ambition shall remain
mineif thou refuse my love; I will not be fooled on all hands.
---Stoop my crest to Richard?---ask a boon of that heart of
pride?---NeverRebeccawill I place the Order of the Temple at
his feet in my person. I may forsake the OrderI never will


degrade or betray it."

Now God be gracious to me,said Rebeccafor the succour of
man is well-nigh hopeless!

It is indeed,said the Templar; "forproud as thou artthou
hast in me found thy match. If I enter the lists with my spear
in restthink not any human consideration shall prevent my
putting forth my strength; and think then upon thine own fate
---to die the dreadful death of the worst of criminals---to be
consumed upon a blazing pile---dispersed to the elements of which
our strange forms are so mystically composed---not a relic left
of that graceful framefrom which we could say this lived and
moved!---Rebeccait is not in woman to sustain this prospect
---thou wilt yield to my suit."

Bois-Guilbert,answered the Jewessthou knowest not the heart
of woman, or hast only conversed with those who are lost to her
best feelings. I tell thee, proud Templar, that not in thy
fiercest battles hast thou displayed more of thy vaunted courage,
than has been shown by woman when called upon to suffer by
affection or duty. I am myself a woman, tenderly nurtured,
naturally fearful of danger, and impatient of pain---yet, when we
enter those fatal lists, thou to fight and I to suffer, I feel
the strong assurance within me, that my courage shall mount
higher than thine. Farewell---I waste no more words on thee; the
time that remains on earth to the daughter of Jacob must be
otherwise spent---she must seek the Comforter, who may hide his
face from his people, but who ever opens his ear to the cry of
those who seek him in sincerity and in truth.

We part then thus?said the Templarafter a short pause;
would to Heaven that we had never met, or that thou hadst been
noble in birth and Christian in faith!---Nay, by Heaven! when I
gaze on thee, and think when and how we are next to meet, I could
even wish myself one of thine own degraded nation; my hand
conversant with ingots and shekels, instead of spear and shield;
my head bent down before each petty noble, and my look only
terrible to the shivering and bankrupt debtor---this could I
wish, Rebecca, to be near to thee in life, and to escape the
fearful share I must have in thy death.

Thou hast spoken the Jew,said Rebeccaas the persecution of
such as thou art has made him. Heaven in ire has driven him from
his country, but industry has opened to him the only road to
power and to influence, which oppression has left unbarred. Read
the ancient history of the people of God, and tell me if those,
by whom Jehovah wrought such marvels among the nations, were then
a people of misers and of usurers!---And know, proud knight, we
number names amongst us to which your boasted northern nobility
is as the gourd compared with the cedar---names that ascend far
back to those high times when the Divine Presence shook the
mercy-seat between the cherubim, and which derive their splendour
from no earthly prince, but from the awful Voice, which bade
their fathers be nearest of the congregation to the Vision---Such
were the princes of the House of Jacob.

Rebecca's colour rose as she boasted the ancient glories of her
racebut faded as she addedwith at sighSuch WERE the
princes of Judah, now such no more!---They are trampled down like
the shorn grass, and mixed with the mire of the ways. Yet are
there those among them who shame not such high descent, and of
such shall be the daughter of Isaac the son of Adonikam!
Farewell!---I envy not thy blood-won honours---I envy not thy


barbarous descent from northern heathens---I envy thee not thy
faith, which is ever in thy mouth, but never in thy heart nor in
thy practice.

There is a spell on me, by Heaven!said Bois-Guilbert. "I
almost think yon besotted skeleton spoke truthand that the
reluctance with which I part from thee hath something in it more
than is natural.---Fair creature!" he saidapproaching near her
but with great respect---"so youngso beautifulso fearless of
death! and yet doomed to dieand with infamy and agony. Who
would not weep for thee?---The tearthat has been a stranger to
these eyelids for twenty yearsmoistens them as I gaze on thee.
But it must be---nothing may now save thy life. Thou and I are
but the blind instruments of some irresistible fatalitythat
hurries us alonglike goodly vessels driving before the storm
which are dashed against each otherand so perish. Forgive me
thenand let us partat leastas friends part. I have
assailed thy resolution in vainand mine own is fixed as the
adamantine decrees of fate."

Thus,said Rebeccado men throw on fate the issue of their
own wild passions. But I do forgive thee, Bois-Guilbert, though
the author of my early death. There are noble things which cross
over thy powerful mind; but it is the garden of the sluggard, and
the weeds have rushed up, and conspired to choke the fair and
wholesome blossom.

Yes,said the TemplarI am, Rebecca, as thou hast spoken me,
untaught, untamed---and proud, that, amidst a shoal of empty
fools and crafty bigots, I have retained the preeminent fortitude
that places me above them. I have been a child of battle from my
youth upward, high in my views, steady and inflexible in pursuing
them. Such must I remain---proud, inflexible, and unchanging;
and of this the world shall have proof.---But thou forgivest me,
Rebecca?

As freely as ever victim forgave her executioner.

Farewell, then,said the Templarand left the apartment.

The Preceptor Albert waited impatiently in an adjacent chamber
the return of Bois-Guilbert.

Thou hast tarried long,he said; "I have been as if stretched
on red-hot iron with very impatience. What if the Grand Master
or his spy Conradehad come hither? I had paid dear for my
complaisance.---But what ails theebrother?---Thy step totters
thy brow is as black as night. Art thou wellBois-Guilbert?"

Ay,answered the Templaras well as the wretch who is doomed
to die within an hour.---Nay, by the rood, not half so well---for
there be those in such state, who can lay down life like a
cast-off garment. By Heaven, Malvoisin, yonder girl hath
well-nigh unmanned me. I am half resolved to go to the Grand
Master, abjure the Order to his very teeth, and refuse to act the
brutality which his tyranny has imposed on me.

Thou art mad,answered Malvoisin; "thou mayst thus indeed
utterly ruin thyselfbut canst not even find a chance thereby to
save the life of this Jewesswhich seems so precious in thine
eyes. Beaumanoir will name another of the Order to defend his
judgment in thy placeand the accused will as assuredly perish
as if thou hadst taken the duty imposed on thee."


'Tis false---I will myself take arms in her behalf,answered
the Templarhaughtily; "andshould I do soI thinkMalvoisin
that thou knowest not one of the Orderwho will keep his saddle
before the point of my lance."

Ay, but thou forgettest,said the wily adviserthou wilt have
neither leisure nor opportunity to execute this mad project. Go
to Lucas Beaumanoir, and say thou hast renounced thy vow of
obedience, and see how long the despotic old man will leave thee
in personal freedom. The words shall scarce have left thy lips,
ere thou wilt either be an hundred feet under ground, in the
dungeon of the Preceptory, to abide trial as a recreant knight;
or, if his opinion holds concerning thy possession, thou wilt be
enjoying straw, darkness, and chains, in some distant convent
cell, stunned with exorcisms, and drenched with holy water, to
expel the foul fiend which hath obtained dominion over thee.
Thou must to the lists, Brian, or thou art a lost and dishonoured
man.

I will break forth and fly,said Bois-Guilbert---"fly to some
distant landto which folly and fanaticism have not yet found
their way. No drop of the blood of this most excellent creature
shall be spilled by my sanction."

Thou canst not fly,said the Preceptor; "thy ravings have
excited suspicionand thou wilt not be permitted to leave the
Preceptory. Go and make the essay---present thyself before the
gateand command the bridge to be loweredand mark what answer
thou shalt receive.---Thou are surprised and offended; but is it
not the better for thee? Wert thou to flywhat would ensue but
the reversal of thy armsthe dishonour of thine ancestrythe
degradation of thy rank?---Think on it. Where shall thine old
companions in arms hide their heads when Brian de Bois-Guilbert
the best lance of the Templarsis proclaimed recreantamid the
hisses of the assembled people? What grief will be at the Court
of France! With what joy will the haughty Richard hear the news
that the knight that set him hard in Palestineand well-nigh
darkened his renownhas lost fame and honour for a Jewish girl
whom he could not even save by so costly a sacrifice!"

Malvoisin,said the KnightI thank thee---thou hast touched
the string at which my heart most readily thrills!---Come of it
what may, recreant shall never be added to the name of
Bois-Guilbert. Would to God, Richard, or any of his vaunting
minions of England, would appear in these lists! But they will
be empty---no one will risk to break a lance for the innocent,
the forlorn.

The better for thee, if it prove so,said the Preceptor; "if no
champion appearsit is not by thy means that this unlucky damsel
shall diebut by the doom of the Grand Masterwith whom rests
all the blameand who will count that blame for praise and
commendation."

True,said Bois-Guilbert; "if no champion appearsI am but a
part of the pageantsitting indeed on horseback in the lists
but having no part in what is to follow."

None whatever,said Malvoisin; "no more than the armed image of
Saint George when it makes part of a procession."

Well, I will resume my resolution,replied the haughty Templar.
She has despised me---repulsed me---reviled me---And wherefore
should I offer up for her whatever of estimation I have in the


opinion of others? Malvoisin, I will appear in the lists.

He left the apartment hastily as he uttered these wordsand the
Preceptor followedto watch and confirm him in his resolution;
for in Bois-Guilbert's fame he had himself a strong interest
expecting much advantage from his being one day at the head of
the Ordernot to mention the preferment of which Mont-Fitchet
had given him hopeson condition he would forward the
condemnation of the unfortunate Rebecca. Yet althoughin
combating his friend's better feelingshe possessed all the
advantage which a wilycomposedselfish disposition has over a
man agitated by strong and contending passionsit required all
Malvoisin's art to keep Bois-Guilbert steady to the purpose he
had prevailed on him to adopt. He was obliged to watch him
closely to prevent his resuming his purpose of flightto
intercept his communication with the Grand Masterlest he should
come to an open rupture with his Superiorand to renewfrom
time to timethe various arguments by which he endeavoured to
showthatin appearing as champion on this occasion
Bois-Guilbertwithout either accelerating or ensuring the fate
of Rebeccawould follow the only course by which be could save
himself from degradation and disgrace.

CHAPTER XL

Shadows avaunt!---Richard's himself again.
Richard III

When the Black Knight---for it becomes necessary to resume the
train of his adventures---left the Trysting-tree of the generous
Outlawhe held his way straight to a neighbouring religious
houseof small extent and revenuecalled the Priory of Saint
Botolphto which the wounded Ivanhoe had been removed when the
castle was takenunder the guidance of the faithful Gurthand
the magnanimous Wamba. It is unnecessary at present to mention
what took place in the interim betwixt Wilfred and his deliverer;
suffice it to saythat after long and grave communication
messengers were dispatched by the Prior in several directions
and that on the succeeding morning the Black Knight was about to
set forth on his journeyaccompanied by the jester Wambawho
attended as his guide.

We will meet,he said to Ivanhoeat Coningsburgh, the castle
of the deceased Athelstane, since there thy father Cedric holds
the funeral feast for his noble relation. I would see your
Saxon kindred together, Sir Wilfred, and become better acquainted
with them than heretofore. Thou also wilt meet me; and it shall
be my task to reconcile thee to thy father.

So sayinghe took an affectionate farewell of Ivanhoewho
expressed an anxious desire to attend upon his deliverer. But
the Black Knight would not listen to the proposal.

Rest this day; thou wilt have scarce strength enough to travel
on the next. I will have no guide with me but honest Wamba, who
can play priest or fool as I shall be most in the humour.

And I,said Wambawill attend you with all my heart. I would
fain see the feasting at the funeral of Athelstane; for, if it be


not full and frequent, he will rise from the dead to rebuke cook,
sewer, and cupbearer; and that were a sight worth seeing.
Always, Sir Knight, I will trust your valour with making my
excuse to my master Cedric, in case mine own wit should fail.

And how should my poor valour succeed, Sir Jester, when thy
ight wit halts?---resolve me that.

Wit, Sir Knight,replied the Jestermay do much. He is a
quick, apprehensive knave, who sees his neighbours blind side,
and knows how to keep the lee-gage when his passions are blowing
high. But valour is a sturdy fellow, that makes all split. He
rows against both wind and tide, and makes way notwithstanding;
and, therefore, good Sir Knight, while I take advantage of the
fair weather in our noble master's temper, I will expect you to
bestir yourself when it grows rough.

Sir Knight of the Fetterlock, since it is your pleasure so to be
distinguished,said IvanhoeI fear me you have chosen a
talkative and a troublesome fool to be your guide. But he knows
every path and alley in the woods as well as e'er a hunter who
frequents them; and the poor knave, as thou hast partly seen, is
as faithful as steel.

Nay,said the Knightan he have the gift of showing my road,
I shall not grumble with him that he desires to make it pleasant.
---Fare thee well, kind Wilfred---I charge thee not to attempt to
travel till to-morrow at earliest.

So sayinghe extended his hand to Ivanhoewho pressed it to his
lipstook leave of the Priormounted his horseand departed
with Wamba for his companion. Ivanhoe followed them with his
eyesuntil they were lost in the shades of the surrounding
forestand then returned into the convent.

But shortly after matin-songhe requested to see the Prior. The
old man came in hasteand enquired anxiously after the state of
his health.

It is better,he saidthan my fondest hope could have
anticipated; either my wound has been slighter than the effusion
of blood led me to suppose, or this balsam hath wrought a
wonderful cure upon it. I feel already as if I could bear my
corslet; and so much the better, for thoughts pass in my mind
which render me unwilling to remain here longer in inactivity.

Now, the saints forbid,said the Priorthat the son of the
Saxon Cedric should leave our convent ere his wounds were healed!
It were shame to our profession were we to suffer it.

Nor would I desire to leave your hospitable roof, venerable
father,said Ivanhoedid I not feel myself able to endure the
journey, and compelled to undertake it.

And what can have urged you to so sudden a departure?said the
Prior.

Have you never, holy father,answered the Knightfelt an
apprehension of approaching evil, for which you in vain attempted
to assign a cause?---Have you never found your mind darkened,
like the sunny landscape, by the sudden cloud, which augurs a
coming tempest?---And thinkest thou not that such impulses are
deserving of attention, as being the hints of our guardian
spirits, that danger is impending?


I may not deny,said the Priorcrossing himselfthat such
things have been, and have been of Heaven; but then such
communications have had a visibly useful scope and tendency. But
thou, wounded as thou art, what avails it thou shouldst follow
the steps of him whom thou couldst not aid, were he to be
assaulted?

Prior,said Ivanhoethou dost mistake---I am stout enough to
exchange buffets with any who will challenge me to such a traffic
---But were it otherwise, may I not aid him were he in danger, by
other means than by force of arms? It is but too well known that
the Saxons love not the Norman race, and who knows what may be
the issue, if he break in upon them when their hearts are
irritated by the death of Athelstane, and their heads heated by
the carousal in which they will indulge themselves? I hold his
entrance among them at such a moment most perilous, and I am
resolved to share or avert the danger; which, that I may the
better do, I would crave of thee the use of some palfrey whose
pace may be softer than that of my 'destrier'.*

* "Destrier"---war-horse.
Surely,said the worthy churchman; "you shall have mine own
ambling jennetand I would it ambled as easy for your sake as
that of the Abbot of Saint Albans. Yet this will I say for
Malkinfor so I call herthat unless you were to borrow a ride
on the juggler's steed that paces a hornpipe amongst the eggs
you could not go a journey on a creature so gentle and
smooth-paced. I have composed many a homily on her backto the
edification of my brethren of the conventand many poor
Christian souls."

I pray you, reverend father,said Ivanhoelet Malkin be got
ready instantly, and bid Gurth attend me with mine arms.

Nay, but fair sir,said the PriorI pray you to remember that
Malkin hath as little skill in arms as her master, and that I
warrant not her enduring the sight or weight of your full
panoply. O, Malkin, I promise you, is a beast of judgment, and
will contend against any undue weight---I did but borrow the
'Fructus Temporum' from the priest of Saint Bees, and I promise
you she would not stir from the gate until I had exchanged the
huge volume for my little breviary.

Trust me, holy father,said IvanhoeI will not distress her
with too much weight; and if she calls a combat with me, it is
odds but she has the worst.

This reply was made while Gurth was buckling on the Knight's
heels a pair of large gilded spurscapable of convincing any
restive horse that his best safety lay in being conformable to
the will of his rider.

The deep and sharp rowels with which Ivanhoe's heels were now
armedbegan to make the worthy Prior repent of his courtesyand
ejaculate---"Naybut fair sirnow I bethink memy Malkin
abideth not the spur---Better it were that you tarry for the mare
of our manciple down at the Grangewhich may be had in little
more than an hourand cannot but be tractablein respect that
she draweth much of our winter fire-woodand eateth no corn."

I thank you, reverend father, but will abide by your first
offer, as I see Malkin is already led forth to the gate. Gurth


shall carry mine armour; and for the rest, rely on it, that as I
will not overload Malkin's back, she shall not overcome my
patience. And now, farewell!

Ivanhoe now descended the stairs more hastily and easily than his
wound promisedand threw himself upon the jenneteager to
escape the importunity of the Priorwho stuck as closely to his
side as his age and fatness would permitnow singing the praises
of Malkinnow recommending cautionto the Knight in managing her.

She is at the most dangerous period for maidens as well as
mares,said the old manlaughing at his own jestbeing barely
in her fifteenth year.

Ivanhoewho had other web to weave than to stand canvassing a
palfrey's paces with its ownerlent but a deaf ear to the
Prior's grave advices and facetious jestsand having leapt on
his mareand commanded his squire (for such Gurth now called
himself) to keep close by his sidehe followed the track of the
Black Knight into the forestwhile the Prior stood at the gate
of the convent looking after himand ejaculating---"Saint Mary!
how prompt and fiery be these men of war! I would I had not
trusted Malkin to his keepingforcrippled as I am with the
cold rheumI am undone if aught but good befalls her. And yet
said he, recollecting himself, as I would not spare my own old
and disabled limbs in the good cause of Old Englandso Malkin
must e'en run her hazard on the same venture; and it may be they
will think our poor house worthy of some munificent guerdon---or
it may bethey will send the old Prior a pacing nag. And if
they do none of theseas great men will forget little men's
servicetruly I shall hold me well repaid in having done that
which is right. And it is now well-nigh the fitting time to
summon the brethren to breakfast in the refectory---Ah! I doubt
they obey that call more cheerily than the bells for primes and
matins."

So the Prior of Saint Botolph's hobbled back again into the
refectoryto preside over the stockfish and alewhich was just
serving out for the friars' breakfast. Pursy and importanthe
sat him down at the tableand many a dark word he threw outof
benefits to be expected to the conventand high deeds of service
done by himselfwhichat another seasonwould have attracted
observation. But as the stockfish was highly saltedand the ale
reasonably powerfulthe jaws of the brethren were too anxiously
employed to admit of their making much use of their ears; nor do
we read of any of the fraternitywho was tempted to speculate
upon the mysterious hints of their Superiorexcept Father
Diggorywho was severely afflicted by the toothacheso that he
could only eat on one side of his jaws.

In the meantimethe Black Champion and his guide were pacing at
their leisure through the recesses of the forest; the good Knight
whiles humming to himself the lay of some enamoured troubadour
sometimes encouraging by questions the prating disposition of his
attendantso that their dialogue formed a whimsical mixture of
song and jestof which we would fain give our readers some idea.
You are then to imagine this Knightsuch as we have already
described himstrong of persontallbroad-shoulderedand
large of bonemounted on his mighty black chargerwhich seemed
made on purpose to bear his weightso easily he paced forward
under ithaving the visor of his helmet raisedin order to
admit freedom of breathyet keeping the beaveror under part
closedso that his features could be but imperfectly
distinguished. But his ruddy embrowned cheek-bones could be


plainly seenand the large and bright blue eyesthat flashed
from under the dark shade of the raised visor; and the whole
gesture and look of the champion expressed careless gaiety and
fearless confidence---a mind which was unapt to apprehend danger
and prompt to defy it when most imminent---yet with whom danger
was a familiar thoughtas with one whose trade was war and
adventure.

The Jester wore his usual fantastic habitbut late accidents had
led him to adopt a good cutting falchioninstead of his wooden
swordwith a targe to match it; of both which weapons he had
notwithstanding his professionshown himself a skilful master
during the storming of Torquilstone. Indeedthe infirmity of
Wamba's brain consisted chiefly in a kind of impatient
irritabilitywhich suffered him not long to remain quiet in any
postureor adhere to any certain train of ideasalthough he was
for a few minutes alert enough in performing any immediate task
or in apprehending any immediate topic. On horsebacktherefore
he was perpetually swinging himself backwards and forwardsnow
on the horse's earsthen anon on the very rump of the animal

---now hanging both his legs on one sideand now sitting with
his face to the tailmopingmowingand making a thousand apish
gesturesuntil his palfrey took his freaks so much to heartas
fairly to lay him at his length on the green grass---an incident
which greatly amused the Knightbut compelled his companion to
ride more steadily thereafter.

At the point of their journey at which we take them upthis
joyous pair were engaged in singing a virelaias it was called
in which the clown bore a mellow burdento the better instructed
Knight of the Fetterlock. And thus run the ditty:--


Anna-Marieloveup is the sun

Anna-Marielovemorn is begun

Mists are dispersinglovebirds singing free

Up in the morningloveAnna-Marie.

Anna-Marieloveup in the morn

The hunter is winding blithe sounds on his horn

The echo rings merry from rock and from tree

'Tis time to arouse theeloveAnna-Marie.

Wamba.

O TybaltloveTybaltawake me not yet

Around my soft pillow while softer dreams flit

For what are the joys that in waking we prove

Compared with these visionsOTybaltmy love?

Let the birds to the rise of the mist carol shrill

Let the hunter blow out his loud horn on the hill

Softer soundssofter pleasuresin slumber I prove--


But think not I dreamt of theeTybaltmy love.

A dainty song,said Wambawhen they had finished their carol
and I swear by my bauble, a pretty moral!---I used to sing it
with Gurth, once my playfellow, and now, by the grace of God and
his master, no less than a freemen; and we once came by the
cudgel for being so entranced by the melody, that we lay in bed
two hours after sunrise, singing the ditty betwixt sleeping and
waking---my bones ache at thinking of the tune ever since.
Nevertheless, I have played the part of Anna-Marie, to please
you, fair sir.

The Jester next struck into another carola sort of comic ditty


to which the Knightcatching up the tunereplied in the like
manner.

Knight and Wamba.

There came three merry men from southwestand north
Ever more sing the roundelay;
To win the Widow of Wycombe forth
And where was the widow might say them nay?

The first was a knightand from Tynedale he came
Ever more sing the roundelay;
And his fathersGod save uswere men of great faine
And where was the widow might say him nay?

Of his father the lairdof his uncle the squire
He boasted in rhyme and in roundelay;
She bade him go bask by his sea-coal fire
For she was the widow would say him nay.


Wamba.

The next that came forthswore by blood and by nails
Merrily sing the roundelay;
Hur's a gentlemanGod wotand hur's lineage was of Wales
And where was the widow might say him nay?

Sir David ap Morgan ap Griffith ap Hugh
Ap Tudor ap Rhicequoth his roundelay
She said that one widow for so many was too few
And she bade the Welshman wend his way.


But then next came a yeomana yeoman of Kent
Jollily singing his roundelay;
He spoke to the widow of living and rent
And where was the widow could say him nay?


Both.

So the knight and the squire were both left in the mire
There for to sing their roundelay;
For a yeoman of Kentwith his yearly rent
There never was a widow could say him nay.

I would, Wamba,said the knightthat our host of the
Trysting-tree, or the jolly Friar, his chaplain, heard this thy
ditty in praise of our bluff yeoman.

So would not I,said Wamba---"but for the horn that hangs at
your baldric."

Ay,said the Knight---"this is a pledge of Locksley's

goodwillthough I am not like to need it. Three mots on this
bugle willI am assuredbring roundat our needa jolly band
of yonder honest yeomen."

I would say, Heaven forefend,said the Jesterwere it not
that that fair gift is a pledge they would let us pass
peaceably.

Why, what meanest thou?said the Knight; "thinkest thou that
but for this pledge of fellowship they would assault us?"

Nay, for me I say nothing,said Wamba; "for green trees have


ears as well as stone walls. But canst thou construe me this
Sir Knight---When is thy wine-pitcher and thy purse better empty
than full?"

Why, never, I think,replied the Knight.

Thou never deservest to have a full one in thy hand, for so
simple an answer! Thou hadst best empty thy pitcher ere thou
pass it to a Saxon, and leave thy money at home ere thou walk in
the greenwood.

You hold our friends for robbers, then?said the Knight of the
Fetterlock.

You hear me not say so, fair sir,said Wamba; "it may relieve a
man's steed to take of his mail when he hath a long journey to
make; andcertesit may do good to the rider's soul to ease him
of that which is the root of evil; therefore will I give no hard
names to those who do such services. Only I would wish my mail
at homeand my purse in my chamberwhen I meet with these good
fellowsbecause it might save them some trouble."

WE are bound to pray for them, my friend, notwithstanding the
fair character thou dost afford them.

Pray for them with all my heart,said Wamba; "but in the town
not in the greenwoodlike the Abbot of Saint Beeswhom they
caused to say mass with an old hollow oak-tree for his stall."

Say as thou list, Wamba,replied the Knightthese yeomen did
thy master Cedric yeomanly service at Torquilstone.

Ay, truly,answered Wamba; "but that was in the fashion of
their trade with Heaven."

Their trade, Wamba! how mean you by that?replied his
companion.

Marry, thus,said the Jester. "They make up a balanced account
with Heavenas our old cellarer used to call his cipheringas
fair as Isaac the Jew keeps with his debtorsandlike himgive
out a very littleand take large credit for doing so; reckoning
doubtlesson their own behalf the seven-fold usury which the
blessed text hath promised to charitable loans."

Give me an example of your meaning, Wamba,---I know nothing of
ciphers or rates of usage,answered the Knight.

Why,said Wambaan your valour be so dull, you will please to
learn that those honest fellows balance a good deed with one not
quite so laudable; as a crown given to a begging friar with an
hundred byzants taken from a fat abbot, or a wench kissed in the
greenwood with the relief of a poor widow.

Which of these was the good deed, which was the felony?
interrupted the Knight.

A good gibe! a good gibe!said Wamba; "keeping witty company
sharpeneth the apprehension. You said nothing so wellSir
KnightI will be swornwhen you held drunken vespers with the
bluff Hermit.---But to go on. The merry-men of the forest set
off the building of a cottage with the burning of a castle---the
thatching of a choir against the robbing of a church---the
setting free a poor prisoner against the murder of a proud


sheriff; orto come nearer to our pointthe deliverance of a
Saxon franklin against the burning alive of a Norman baron.
Gentle thieves they arein shortand courteous robbers; but it
is ever the luckiest to meet with them when they are at the
worst."

How so, Wamba?said the Knight.

Why, then they have some compunction, and are for making up
matters with Heaven. But when they have struck an even balance,
Heaven help them with whom they next open the account! The
travellers who first met them after their good service at
Torquilstone would have a woful flaying.---And yet,said Wamba
coming close up to the Knight's sidethere be companions who
are far more dangerous for travellers to meet than yonder
outlaws.

And who may they be, for you have neither bears nor wolves, I
trow?said the Knight.

Marry, sir, but we have Malvoisin's men-at-arms,said Wamba;
and let me tell you, that, in time of civil war, a halfscore of
these is worth a band of wolves at any time. They are now
expecting their harvest, and are reinforced with the soldiers
that escaped from Torquilstone. So that, should we meet with a
band of them, we are like to pay for our feats of arms.---Now, I
pray you, Sir Knight, what would you do if we met two of them?

Pin the villains to the earth with my lance, Wamba, if they
offered us any impediment.

But what if there were four of them?

They should drink of the same cup,answered the Knight.

What if six,continued Wambaand we as we now are, barely two
---would you not remember Locksley's horn?

What! sound for aid,exclaimed the Knightagainst a score of
such 'rascaille' as these, whom one good knight could drive
before him, as the wind drives the withered leaves?

Nay, then,said WambaI will pray you for a close sight of
that same horn that hath so powerful a breath.

The Knight undid the clasp of the baldricand indulged his
fellow-travellerwho immediately hung the bugle round his own
neck.

Tra-lira-la,said hewhistling the notes; "nayI know my
gamut as well as another."

How mean you, knave?said the Knight; "restore me the bugle."

Content you, Sir Knight, it is in safe keeping. When Valour and
Folly travel, Folly should bear the horn, because she can blow
the best.

Nay but, rogue,said the Black Knightthis exceedeth thy
license---Beware ye tamper not with my patience.

Urge me not with violence, Sir Knight,said the Jesterkeeping
at a distance from the impatient championor Folly will show a
clean pair of heels, and leave Valour to find out his way through


the wood as best he may.

Nay, thou hast hit me there,said the Knight; "andsooth to
sayI have little time to jangle with thee. Keep the horn an
thou wiltbut let us proceed on our journey."

You will not harm me, then?said Wamba.

I tell thee no, thou knave!

Ay, but pledge me your knightly word for it,continued Wamba
as he approached with great caution.

My knightly word I pledge; only come on with thy foolish self.

Nay, then, Valour and Folly are once more boon companions,said
the Jestercoming up frankly to the Knight's side; "butin
truthI love not such buffets as that you bestowed on the burly
Friarwhen his holiness rolled on the green like a king of the
nine-pins. And now that Folly wears the hornlet Valour rouse
himselfand shake his mane; forif I mistake notthere are
company in yonder brake that are on the look-out for us."

What makes thee judge so?said the Knight.

Because I have twice or thrice noticed the glance of a motion
from amongst the green leaves. Had they been honest men, they
had kept the path. But yonder thicket is a choice chapel for the
Clerks of Saint Nicholas.

By my faith,said the Knightclosing his visorI think thou
best in the right on't.

And in good time did he close itfor three arrowsflew at the
same instant from the suspected spot against his head and breast
one of which would have penetrated to the brainhad it not been
turned aside by the steel visor. The other two were averted by
the gorgetand by the shield which hung around his neck.

Thanks, trusty armourers,said the Knight.---"Wambalet us
close with them---and he rode straight to the thicket. He was
met by six or seven men-at-arms, who ran against him with their
lances at full career. Three of the weapons struck against him,
and splintered with as little effect as if they had been driven
against a tower of steel. The Black Knight's eyes seemed to
flash fire even through the aperture of his visor. He raised
himself in his stirrups with an air of inexpressible dignity, and
exclaimed, What means thismy masters!"---The men made no other
reply than by drawing their swords and attacking him on every
sidecryingDie, tyrant!

Ha! Saint Edward! Ha! Saint George!said the Black Knight
striking down a man at every invocation; "have we traitors here?"

His opponentsdesperate as they werebore back from an arm
which carried death in every blowand it seemed as if the terror
of his single strength was about to gain the battle against such
oddswhen a knightin blue armourwho had hitherto kept
himself behind the other assailantsspurred forward with his
lanceand taking aimnot at the rider but at the steedwounded
the noble animal mortally.

That was a felon stroke!exclaimed the Black Knightas the
steed fell to the earthbearing his rider along with him.


And at this momentWamba winded the buglefor the whole had
passed so speedilythat he had not time to do so sooner. The
sudden sound made the murderers bear back once moreand Wamba
though so imperfectly weaponeddid not hesitate to rush in and
assist the Black Knight to rise.

Shame on ye, false cowards!exclaimed he in the blue harness
who seemed to lead the assailantsdo ye fly from the empty
blast of a horn blown by a Jester?

Animated by his wordsthey attacked the Black Knight anewwhose
best refuge was now to place his back against an oakand defend
himself with his sword. The felon knightwho had taken another
spearwatching the moment when his formidable antagonist was
most closely pressedgalloped against him in hopes to nail him
with his lance against the treewhen his purpose was again
intercepted by Wamba. The Jestermaking up by agility the want
of strengthand little noticed by the men-at-armswho were
busied in their more important objecthovered on the skirts of
the fightand effectually checked the fatal career of the Blue
Knightby hamstringing his horse with a stroke of his sword.
Horse and man went to the ground; yet the situation of the Knight
of the Fetterlock continued very precariousas he was pressed
close by several men completely armedand began to be fatigued
by the violent exertions necessary to defend himself on so many
points at nearly the same momentwhen a grey-goose shaft
suddenly stretched on the earth one of the most formidable of
his assailantsand a band of yeomen broke forth from the glade
headed by Locksley and the jovial Friarwhotaking ready and
effectual part in the fraysoon disposed of the ruffiansall
of whom lay on the spot dead or mortally wounded. The Black
Knight thanked his deliverers with a dignity they had not
observed in his former bearingwhich hitherto had seemed rather
that of a blunt bold soldierthan of a person of exalted rank.

It concerns me much,he saideven before I express my full
gratitude to my ready friends, to discover, if I may, who have
been my unprovoked enemies.---Open the visor of that Blue Knight,
Wamba, who seems the chief of these villains.

The Jester instantly made up to the leader of the assassinswho
bruised by his falland entangled under the wounded steedlay
incapable either of flight or resistance.

Come, valiant sir,said WambaI must be your armourer as well
as your equerry---I have dismounted you, and now I will unhelm
you.

So sayingwith no very gentle hand he undid the helmet of the
Blue Knightwhichrolling to a distance on the grassdisplayed
to the Knight of the Fetterlock grizzled locksand a countenance
he did not expect to have seen under such circumstances.

Waldemar Fitzurse!he said in astonishment; "what could urge
one of thy rank and seeming worth to so foul an undertaking? "

Richard,said the captive Knightlooking up to himthou
knowest little of mankind, if thou knowest not to what ambition
and revenge can lead every child of Adam.

Revenge?answered the Black Knight; "I never wronged thee---On
me thou hast nought to revenge."


My daughter, Richard, whose alliance thou didst scorn---was that
no injury to a Norman, whose blood is noble as thine own?

Thy daughter?replied the Black Knight; "a proper cause of
enmityand followed up to a bloody issue!---Stand backmy
mastersI would speak to him alone.---And nowWaldemar
Fitzursesay me the truth---confess who set thee on this
traitorous deed."

Thy father's son,answered Waldemarwho, in so doing, did but
avenge on thee thy disobedience to thy father.

Richard's eyes sparkled with indignationbut his better nature
overcame it. He pressed his hand against his browand remained
an instant gazing on the face of the humbled baronin whose
features pride was contending with shame.

Thou dost not ask thy life, Waldemar,said the King.

He that is in the lion's clutch,answered Fitzurseknows it
were needless.

Take it, then, unasked,said Richard; "the lion preys not on
prostrate carcasses.---Take thy lifebut with this condition
that in three days thou shalt leave Englandand go to hide thine
infamy in thy Norman castleand that thou wilt never mention the
name of John of Anjou as connected with thy felony. If thou art
found on English ground after the space I have allotted thee
thou diest---or if thou breathest aught that can attaint the
honour of my houseby Saint George! not the altar itself shall
be a sanctuary. I will hang thee out to feed the ravensfrom
the very pinnacle of thine own castle.---Let this knight have a
steedLocksleyfor I see your yeomen have caught those which
were running looseand let him depart unharmed."

But that I judge I listen to a voice whose behests must not be
disputed,answered the yeomanI would send a shaft after the
skulking villain that should spare him the labour of a long
journey.

Thou bearest an English heart, Locksley,said the Black Knight
and well dost judge thou art the more bound to obey my behest
---I am Richard of England!

At these wordspronounced in a tone of majesty suited to the
high rankand no less distinguished character of Coeur-de-Lion
the yeomen at once kneeled down before himand at the same time
tendered their allegianceand implored pardon for their
offences.

Rise, my friends,said Richardin a gracious tonelooking on
them with a countenance in which his habitual good-humour had
already conquered the blaze of hasty resentmentand whose
features retained no mark of the late desperate conflict
excepting the flush arising from exertion---"Arise he said,
my friends!---Your misdemeanourswhether in forest or field
have been atoned by the loyal services you rendered my distressed
subjects before the walls of Torquilstoneand the rescue you
have this day afforded to your sovereign. Arisemy liegemen
and be good subjects in future.---And thoubrave Locksley---"

Call me no longer Locksley, my Liege, but know me under the
name, which, I fear, fame hath blown too widely not to have
reached even your royal ears---I am Robin Hood of Sherwood


Forest.*

* From the ballads of Robin Hoodwe learn that this
* celebrated outlawwhen in disguisesometimes assumed
* the name of Locksleyfrom a village where he was born
* but where situated we are not distinctly told.
King of Outlaws, and Prince of good fellows!said the King
who hath not heard a name that has been borne as far as
Palestine? But be assured, brave Outlaw, that no deed done in
our absence, and in the turbulent times to which it hath given
rise, shall be remembered to thy disadvantage.

True says the proverb,said Wambainterposing his wordbut
with some abatement of his usual petulance--


'When the cat is away,
The mice will play.'


What, Wamba, art thou there?said Richard; "I have been so long
of hearing thy voiceI thought thou hadst taken flight."

I take flight!said Wamba; "when do you ever find Folly
separated from Valour? There lies the trophy of my swordthat
good grey geldingwhom I heartily wish upon his legs again
conditioning his master lay there houghed in his place. It is
trueI gave a little ground at firstfor a motley jacket does
not brook lance-headsas a steel doublet will. But if I fought
not at sword's pointyou will grant me that I sounded the
onset."

And to good purpose, honest Wamba,replied the King. "Thy good
service shall not be forgotten."

'Confiteor! Confiteor!'---exclaimedin a submissive tonea
voice near the King's side---"my Latin will carry me no farther
---but I confess my deadly treasonand pray leave to have
absolution before I am led to execution!"

Richard looked aroundand beheld the jovial Friar on his knees
telling his rosarywhile his quarter-staffwhich had not been
idle during the skirmishlay on the grass beside him. His
countenance was gathered so as be thought might best express the
most profound contritionhis eyes being turned upand the
corners of his mouth drawn downas Wamba expressed itlike the
tassels at the mouth of a purse. Yet this demure affectation of
extreme penitence was whimsically belied by a ludicrous meaning
which lurked in his huge featuresand seemed to pronounce his
fear and repentance alike hypocritical.

For what art thou cast down, mad Priest?said Richard; "art
thou afraid thy diocesan should learn how truly thou dost serve
Our Lady and Saint Dunstan?---Tushman! fear it not; Richard of
England betrays no secrets that pass over the flagon."

Nay, most gracious sovereign,answered the Hermit(well known
to the curious in penny-histories of Robin Hoodby the name of
Friar Tuck) "it is not the crosier I fearbut the sceptre.
---Alas! that my sacrilegious fist should ever have been applied
to the ear of the Lord's anointed!"

Ha! ha!said Richardsits the wind there?---In truth I had
forgotten the buffet, though mine ear sung after it for a whole
day. But if the cuff was fairly given, I will be judged by the


good men around, if it was not as well repaid---or, if thou
thinkest I still owe thee aught, and will stand forth for another
counterbuff---

By no means,replied Friar TuckI had mine own returned, and
with usury---may your Majesty ever pay your debts as fully!

If I could do so with cuffs,said the Kingmy creditors
should have little reason to complain of an empty exchequer.

And yet,said the Friarresuming his demure hypocritical
countenanceI know not what penance I ought to perform for that
most sacrilegious blow!------

Speak no more of it, brother,said the King; "after having
stood so many cuffs from Paynims and misbelieversI were void of
reason to quarrel with the buffet of a clerk so holy as he of
Copmanhurst. Yetmine honest FriarI think it would be best
both for the church and thyselfthat I should procure a license
to unfrock theeand retain thee as a yeoman of our guard
serving in care of our personas formerly in attendance upon the
altar of Saint Dunstan."

My Liege,said the FriarI humbly crave your pardon; and you
would readily grant my excuse, did you but know how the sin of
laziness has beset me. Saint Dunstan---may he be gracious to us!
---stands quiet in his niche, though I should forget my orisons
in killing a fat buck---I stay out of my cell sometimes a night,
doing I wot not what---Saint Dunstan never complains---a quiet
master he is, and a peaceful, as ever was made of wood.---But to
be a yeoman in attendance on my sovereign the King---the honour
is great, doubtless---yet, if I were but to step aside to comfort

a widow in one corner, or to kill a deer in another, it would be,
'where is the dog Priest?' says one. 'Who has seen the accursed
Tuck?' says another. 'The unfrocked villain destroys more
venison than half the country besides,' says one keeper; 'And is
hunting after every shy doe in the country!' quoth a second.
---In fine, good my Liege, I pray you to leave me as you found
me; or, if in aught you desire to extend your benevolence to me,
that I may be considered as the poor Clerk of Saint Dunstan's
cell in Copmanhurst, to whom any small donation will be most
thankfully acceptable.

I understand thee,said the Kingand the Holy Clerk shall
have a grant of vert and venison in my woods of Warncliffe.
Mark, however, I will but assign thee three bucks every season;
but if that do not prove an apology for thy slaying thirty, I am
no Christian knight nor true king.

Your Grace may be well assured,said the Friarthat, with the
grace of Saint Dunstan, I shall find the way of multiplying your
most bounteous gift.

I nothing doubt it, good brother,said the King; "and as
venison is but dry foodour cellarer shall have orders to
deliver to thee a butt of sacka runlet of Malvoisieand three
hogsheads of ale of the first strikeyearly---If that will not
quench thy thirstthou must come to courtand become acquainted
with my butler."

But for Saint Dunstan?said the Friar--


A cope, a stole, and an altar-cloth shalt thou also have,


continued the Kingcrossing himself---"But we may not turn our
game into earnestlest God punish us for thinking more on our
follies than on his honour and worship."

I will answer for my patron,said the Priestjoyously.

Answer for thyself, Friar,said King Richardsomething
sternly; but immediately stretching out his hand to the Hermit
the lattersomewhat abashedbent his kneeand saluted it.
Thou dost less honour to my extended palm than to my clenched
fist,said the Monarch; "thou didst only kneel to the oneand
to the other didst prostrate thyself."

But the Friarafraid perhaps of again giving offence by
continuing the conversation in too jocose a style---a false step
to be particularly guarded against by those who converse with
monarchs--- bowed profoundlyand fell into the rear.

At the same timetwo additional personages appeared on the
scene.

CHAPTER XLI

All hail to the lordlings of high degree

Who live not more happythough greater than we!

Our pastimes to see

Under every green tree
In all the gay woodlandright welcome ye be.

Macdonald

The new comers were Wilfred of Ivanhoeon the Prior of Botolph's
palfreyand Gurthwho attended himon the Knight's own
war-horse. The astonishment of Ivanhoe was beyond boundswhen
he saw his master besprinkled with bloodand six or seven dead
bodies lying around in the little glade in which the battle had
taken place. Nor was he less surprised to see Richard
surrounded by so many silvan attendantsthe outlawsas they
seemed to beof the forestand a perilous retinue therefore for
a prince. He hesitated whether to address the King as the Black
Knight-errantor in what other manner to demean himself towards
him. Richard saw his embarrassment.

Fear not, Wilfred,he saidto address Richard Plantagenet as
himself, since thou seest him in the company of true English
hearts, although it may be they have been urged a few steps aside
by warm English blood.

Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe,said the gallant Outlawstepping
forwardmy assurances can add nothing to those of our
sovereign; yet, let me say somewhat proudly, that of men who have
suffered much, he hath not truer subjects than those who now
stand around him.

I cannot doubt it, brave man,said Wilfredsince thou art of
the number---But what mean these marks of death and danger? these
slain men, and the bloody armour of my Prince?

Treason hath been with us, Ivanhoe,said the King; "but
thanks to these brave mentreason hath met its meed---Butnow I


bethink methou too art a traitor said Richard, smiling; a
most disobedient traitor; for were not our orders positivethat
thou shouldst repose thyself at Saint Botolph's until thy wound
was healed?"

It is healed,said Ivanhoe; "it is not of more consequence than
the scratch of a bodkin. But whyoh whynoble Princewill you
thus vex the hearts of your faithful servantsand expose your
life by lonely journeys and rash adventuresas if it were of no
more value than that of a mere knight-errantwho has no interest
on earth but what lance and sword may procure him?"

And Richard Plantagenet,said the Kingdesires no more fame
than his good lance and sword may acquire him---and Richard
Plantagenet is prouder of achieving an adventure, with only his
good sword, and his good arm to speed, than if he led to battle
a host of an hundred thousand armed men.

But your kingdom, my Liege,said Ivanhoeyour kingdom is
threatened with dissolution and civil war---your subjects menaced
with every species of evil, if deprived of their sovereign in
some of those dangers which it is your daily pleasure to incur,
and from which you have but this moment narrowly escaped.

Ho! ho! my kingdom and my subjects?answered Richard
impatiently; "I tell theeSir Wilfredthe best of them are most
willing to repay my follies in kind---For examplemy very
faithful servantWilfred of Ivanhoewill not obey my positive
commandsand yet reads his king a homilybecause he does not
walk exactly by his advice. Which of us has most reason to
upbraid the other?---Yet forgive memy faithful Wilfred. The
time I have spentand am yet to spend in concealmentisas I
explained to thee at Saint Botolph'snecessary to give my
friends and faithful nobles time to assemble their forcesthat
when Richard's return is announcedhe should be at the head of
such a force as enemies shall tremble to faceand thus subdue
the meditated treasonwithout even unsheathing a sword.
Estoteville and Bohun will not be strong enough to move forward
to York for twenty-four hours. I must have news of Salisbury
from the south; and of Beauchampin Warwickshire; and of Multon
and Percy in the north. The Chancellor must make sure of London.
Too sudden an appearance would subject me to dangersother than
my lance and swordthough backed by the bow of bold Robinor
the quarter-staff of Friar Tuckand the horn of the sage Wamba
may be able to rescue me from."

Wilfred bowed in submissionwell knowing how vain it was to
contend with the wild spirit of chivalry which so often impelled
his master upon dangers which he might easily have avoidedor
ratherwhich it was unpardonable in him to have sought out. The
young knight sighedthereforeand held his peace; while
Richardrejoiced at having silenced his counsellorthough his
heart acknowledged the justice of the charge he had brought
against himwent on in conversation with Robin Hood.---"King of
Outlaws he said, have you no refreshment to offer to your
brother sovereign? for these dead knaves have found me both in
exercise and appetite."

In troth,replied the Outlawfor I scorn to lie to your
Grace, our larder is chiefly supplied with---He stoppedand
was somewhat embarrassed.

With venison, I suppose?said Richardgaily; "better food at
need there can be none---and trulyif a king will not remain at


home and slay his own gamemethinks he should not brawl too loud
if he finds it killed to his hand."

If your Grace, then,said Robinwill again honour with your
presence one of Robin Hood's places of rendezvous, the venison
shall not be lacking; and a stoup of ale, and it may be a cup of
reasonably good wine, to relish it withal.

The Outlaw accordingly led the wayfollowed by the buxom
Monarchmore happyprobablyin this chance meeting with Robin
Hood and his forestersthan he would have been in again assuming
his royal stateand presiding over a splendid circle of peers
and nobles. Novelty in society and adventure were the zest of
life to Richard Coeur-de-Lionand it had its highest relish when
enhanced by dangers encountered and surmounted. In the
lion-hearted Kingthe brilliantbut useless characterof a
knight of romancewas in a great measure realized and revived;
and the personal glory which he acquired by his own deeds of
armswas far more dear to his excited imaginationthan that
which a course of policy and wisdom would have spread around his
government. Accordinglyhis reign was like the course of a
brilliant and rapid meteorwhich shoots along the face of
Heavenshedding around an unnecessary and portentous light
which is instantly swallowed up by universal darkness; his feats
of chivalry furnishing themes for bards and minstrelsbut
affording none of those solid benefits to his country on which
history loves to pauseand hold up as an example to posterity.
But in his present company Richard showed to the greatest
imaginable advantage. He was gaygood-humouredand fond of
manhood in every rank of life.

Beneath a huge oak-tree the silvan repast was hastily prepared
for the King of Englandsurrounded by men outlaws to his
governmentbut who now formed his court and his guard. As the
flagon went roundthe rough foresters soon lost their awe for
the presence of Majesty. The song and the jest were exchanged
---the stories of former deeds were told with advantage; and at
lengthand while boasting of their successful infraction of the
lawsno one recollected they were speaking in presence of their
natural guardian. The merry Kingnothing heeding his dignity
any more than his companylaughedquaffedand jested among the
jolly band. The natural and rough sense of Robin Hood led him to
be desirous that the scene should be closed ere any thing should
occur to disturb its harmonythe more especially that he
observed Ivanhoe's brow clouded with anxiety. "We are honoured
he said to Ivanhoe, apart, by the presence of our gallant
Sovereign; yet I would not that he dallied with timewhich the
circumstances of his kingdom may render precious."

It is well and wisely spoken, brave Robin Hood,said Wilfred
apart; "and knowmoreoverthat they who jest with Majesty even
in its gayest mood are but toying with the lion's whelpwhich
on slight provocationuses both fangs and claws."

You have touched the very cause of my fear,said the Outlaw;
my men are rough by practice and nature, the King is hasty as
well as good-humoured; nor know I how soon cause of offence may
arise, or how warmly it may be received---it is time this revel
were broken off.

It must be by your management then, gallant yeoman,said
Ivanhoe; "for each hint I have essayed to give him serves only to
induce him to prolong it."


Must I so soon risk the pardon and favour of my Sovereign?said
Robin Hoodpausing for all instant; "but by Saint Christopher
it shall be so. I were undeserving his grace did I not peril it
for his good.---HereScathlockget thee behind yonder thicket
and wind me a Norman blast on thy bugleand without an instant's
delay on peril of your life."

Scathlock obeyed his captainand in less than five minutes the
revellers were startled by the sound of his horn.

It is the bugle of Malvoisin,said the Millerstarting to his
feetand seizing his bow. The Friar dropped the flagonand
grasped his quarter-staff. Wamba stopt short in the midst of a
jestand betook himself to sword and target. All the others
stood to their weapons.

Men of their precarious course of life change readily from the
banquet to the battle; andto Richardthe exchange seemed but a
succession of pleasure. He called for his helmet and the most
cumbrous parts of his armourwhich he had laid aside; and while
Gurth was putting them onhe laid his strict injunctions on
Wilfredunder pain of his highest displeasurenot to engage in
the skirmish which he supposed was approaching.

Thou hast fought for me an hundred times, Wilfred,---and I have
seen it. Thou shalt this day look on, and see how Richard will
fight for his friend and liegeman.

In the meantimeRobin Hood had sent off several of his followers
in different directionsas if to reconnoitre the enemy; and when
he saw the company effectually broken uphe approached Richard
who was now completely armedandkneeling down on one knee
craved pardon of his Sovereign.

For what, good yeoman?said Richardsomewhat impatiently.
Have we not already granted thee a full pardon for all
transgressions? Thinkest thou our word is a feather, to be blown
backward and forward between us? Thou canst not have had time to
commit any new offence since that time?

Ay, but I have though,answered the yeomanif it be an
offence to deceive my prince for his own advantage. The bugle
you have heard was none of Malvoisin's, but blown by my
direction, to break off the banquet, lest it trenched upon hours
of dearer import than to be thus dallied with.

He then rose from his kneefolded his arm on his bosomand in a
manner rather respectful than submissiveawaited the answer of
the King---like one who is conscious he may have given offence
yet is confident in the rectitude of his motive. The blood
rushed in anger to the countenance of Richard; but it was the
first transient emotionand his sense of justice instantly
subdued it.

The King of Sherwood,he saidgrudges his venison and his
wine-flask to the King of England? It is well, bold Robin!---but
when you come to see me in merry London, I trust to be a less
niggard host. Thou art right, however, good fellow. Let us
therefore to horse and away---Wilfred has been impatient this
hour. Tell me, bold Robin, hast thou never a friend in thy band,
who, not content with advising, will needs direct thy motions,
and look miserable when thou dost presume to act for thyself?

Such a one,said Robinis my Lieutenant, Little John, who is


even now absent on an expedition as far as the borders of
Scotland; and I will own to your Majesty, that I am sometimes
displeased by the freedom of his councils---but, when I think
twice, I cannot be long angry with one who can have no motive for
his anxiety save zeal for his master's service.

Thou art right, good yeoman,answered Richard; "and if I had
Ivanhoeon the one handto give grave adviceand recommend it
by the sad gravity of his browand theeon the otherto trick
me into what thou thinkest my own goodI should have as little
the freedom of mine own will as any king in Christendom or
Heathenesse.---But comesirslet us merrily on to Coningsburgh
and think no more on't."

Robin Hood assured them that he had detached a party in the
direction of the road they were to passwho would not fail to
discover and apprize them of any secret ambuscade; and that he
had little doubt they would find the ways secureorif
otherwisewould receive such timely notice of the danger as
would enable them to fall back on a strong troop of archerswith
which he himself proposed to follow on the same route.

The wise and attentive precautions adopted for his safety touched
Richard's feelingsand removed any slight grudge which he might
retain on account of the deception the Outlaw Captain had
practised upon him. He once more extended his hand to Robin
Hoodassured him of his full pardon and future favouras well
as his firm resolution to restrain the tyrannical exercise of the
forest rights and other oppressive lawsby which so many English
yeomen were driven into a state of rebellion. But Richard's good
intentions towards the bold Outlaw were frustrated by the King's
untimely death; and the Charter of the Forest was extorted from
the unwilling hands of King John when he succeeded to his heroic
brother. As for the rest of Robin Hood's careeras well as the
tale of his treacherous deaththey are to be found in those
black-letter garlandsonce sold at the low and easy rate of one
halfpenny

Now cheaply purchased at their weight in gold.

The Outlaw's opinion proved true; and the Kingattended by
IvanhoeGurthand Wambaarrivedwithout any interruption
within view of the Castle of Coningsburghwhile the sun was yet
in the horizon.

There are few more beautiful or striking scenes in Englandthan
are presented by the vicinity of this ancient Saxon fortress.
The soft and gentle river Don sweeps through an amphitheatrein
which cultivation is richly blended with woodlandand on a
mountascending from the riverwell defended by walls and
ditchesrises this ancient edificewhichas its Saxon name
implieswasprevious to the Conquesta royal residence of the
kings of England. The outer walls have probably been added by the
Normansbut the inner keep bears token of very great antiquity.
It is situated on a mount at one angle of the inner courtand
forms a complete circle of perhaps twenty-five feet in diameter.
The wall is of immense thicknessand is propped or defended by
six huge external buttresses which project from the circleand
rise up against the sides of the tower is if to strengthen or to
support it. These massive buttresses are solid when they arise
from the foundationand a good way higher up; but are hollowed
out towards the topand terminate in a sort of turrets
communicating with the interior of the keep itself. The distant
appearance of this huge buildingwith these singular


accompanimentsis as interesting to the lovers of the
picturesqueas the interior of the castle is to the eager
antiquarywhose imagination it carries back to the days of the
Heptarchy. A barrowin the vicinity of the castleis pointed
out as the tomb of the memorable Hengist; and various monuments
of great antiquity and curiosityare shown in the neighbouring
churchyard.*

* Note J. Castle of Coningsburgh.
When Coeur-de-Lion and his retinue approached this rude yet
stately buildingit was notas at presentsurrounded by
external fortifications. The Saxon architect had exhausted his
art in rendering the main keep defensibleand there was no other
circumvallation than a rude barrier of palisades.

A huge black bannerwhich floated from the top of the tower
announced that the obsequies of the late owner were still in the
act of being solemnized. It bore no emblem of the deceased's
birth or qualityfor armorial bearings were then a novelty among
the Norman chivalry themselves andwere totally unknown to the
Saxons. But above the gate was another banneron which the
figure of a white horserudely paintedindicated the nation and
rank of the deceasedby the well-known symbol of Hengist and his
Saxon warriors.

All around the castle was a scene of busy commotion; for such
funeral banquets were times of general and profuse hospitality
which not only every one who could claim the most distant
connexion with the deceasedbut all passengers whatsoeverwere
invited to partake. The wealth and consequence of the deceased
Athelstaneoccasioned this custom to be observed in the fullest
extent.

Numerous partiesthereforewere seen ascending and descending
the hill on which the castle was situated; and when the King and
his attendants entered the open and unguarded gates of the
external barrierthe space within presented a scene not easily
reconciled with the cause of the assemblage. In one place cooks
were toiling to roast huge oxenand fat sheep; in another
hogsheads of ale were set abroachto be drained at the freedom
of all comers. Groups of every description were to be seen
devouring the food and swallowing the liquor thus abandoned to
their discretion. The naked Saxon serf was drowning the sense
of his half-year's hunger and thirstin one day of gluttony and
drunkenness---the more pampered burgess and guild-brother was
eating his morsel with gustor curiously criticising the
quantity of the malt and the skill of the brewer. Some few of
the poorer Norman gentry might also be seendistinguished by
their shaven chins and short cloaksand not less so by their
keeping togetherand looking with great scorn on the whole
solemnityeven while condescending to avail themselves of the
good cheer which was so liberally supplied.

Mendicants were of course assembled by the scoretogether with
strolling soldiers returned from Palestine(according to their
own account at least) pedlars were displaying their wares
travelling mechanics were enquiring after employmentand
wandering palmershedge-priestsSaxon minstrelsand Welsh
bardswere muttering prayersand extracting mistuned dirges
from their harpscrowdsand rotes.*

* The crowthor crowdwas a species of violin. The rote a
* sort of guitaror rather hurdy-gurdythe strings of

* which were managed by a wheelfrom which the instrument
* took its name.
One sent forth the praises of Athelstane in a doleful panegyric;
anotherin a Saxon genealogical poemrehearsed the uncouth and
harsh names of his noble ancestry. Jesters and jugglers were not
awantingnor was the occasion of the assembly supposed to render
the exercise of their profession indecorous or improper. Indeed
the ideas of the Saxons on these occasions were as natural as
they were rude. If sorrow was thirstythere was drink---if
hungrythere was food---if it sunk down upon and saddened the
hearthere were the means supplied of mirthor at least of
amusement. Nor did the assistants scorn to avail themselves of
those means of consolationalthoughevery now and thenas if
suddenly recollecting the cause which had brought them together
the men groaned in unisonwhile the femalesof whom many were
presentraised up their voices and shrieked for very woe.


Such was the scene in the castle-yard at Coningsburgh when it was
entered by Richard and his followers. The seneschal or steward
deigned not to take notice of the groups of inferior guests who
were perpetually entering and withdrawingunless so far as was
necessary to preserve order; nevertheless he was struck by the
good mien of the Monarch and Ivanhoemore especially as he
imagined the features of the latter were familiar to him.
Besidesthe approach of two knightsfor such their dress
bespoke themwas a rare event at a Saxon solemnityand could
not but be regarded as a sort of honour to the deceased and his
family. And in his sable dressand holding in his hand his
white wand of officethis important personage made way through
the miscellaneous assemblage of gueststhus conducting Richard
and Ivanhoe to the entrance of the tower. Gurth and Wamba
speedily found acquaintances in the court-yardnor presumed to
intrude themselves any farther until their presence should be
required.


CHAPTER XLII


I found them winding of Marcello's corpse.
And there was such a solemn melody
'Twixt doleful songstearsand sad elegies---
Such as old grandameswatching by the dead
Are wont to outwear the night with.


Old Play

The mode of entering the great tower of Coningsburgh Castle is
very peculiarand partakes of the rude simplicity of the early
times in which it was erected. A flight of stepsso deep and
narrow as to be almost precipitousleads up to a low portal in
the south side of the towerby which the adventurous antiquary
may stillor at least could a few years sincegain access to a
small stair within the thickness of the main wall of the tower
whic