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• the Queen of Beauty and of Love on This rough expostulation was ad- 50
the present occasion no one was pre- dressed to no other than our acquaintpared to guess.
ance Isaac, who, richly and even Meanwhile, spectators of every de. magnificently dressed in a gaberdine scription thronged forward to occupy ornamented with lace and lined with their respective stations, and not with fur, was endeavoring to make place out many quarrels concerning those in the foremost row beneath the which they were entitled to hold. gallery for his daughter, the beautiful
Some of these were settled by the Rebecca, who had joined him at 10 at-arms with brief ceremony; the Ashby, and who was now hanging on
; shafts of their battle-axes and pum- her father's arm, not a little terrified 60 mels of their swords being readily em- by the popular displeasure which ployed as arguments to convince the seemed generally excited by her parmore refractory. Others, which in- ent's presumption. But Isaac, though volved the rival claims of more ele- we have seen him sufficiently timid on vated persons, were determined by other occasions, knew well that at the heralds, or by the two marshals of present he had nothing to fear. It the field, William de Wyvil and was not in places of general resort,
Stephen de Martival, who, armed at all or where their equals were assembled, 20 points, rode up and down the lists to that any avaricious or malevolent
enforce and preserve good order among noble durst offer him injury. At 70 the spectators.
such meetings the Jews were under Gradually the galleries became filled the protection of the general law; with knights and nobles, in their and if that proved a weak assurance, robes of peace, whose long and rich- it usually happened that there were tinted mantles were contrasted with among the persons assembled some the gayer and more splendid habits of barons who, for their own interested the ladies, who, in a greater proportion motives, were ready to act as their
than even the themselves, protectors. On the present occasion, , 30 thronged to witness a sport which Isaac felt more than usually confi
one would have thought too bloody dent, being aware that Prince John 80 and dangerous to afford their sex was even then in the very act of much pleasure. The lower and in- negotiating a large loan from the Jews terior space was soon filled by sub- of York, to be secured upon certain stantial yeomen and burghers, and jewels and lands. Isaac's own share such of the lesser gentry as, from in this transaction was considerable, modesty, poverty, or dubious title and he well knew that the Prince's durst not assume any higher place. eager desire to bring it to a conclusion
It was of course amongst these that would ensure him his protection in 40 the most frequent disputes for preced- the dilemma in which he stood. ence occurred.
Emboldened by these considera- 90 “Dog of an unbeliever," said an tions, the Jew pursued his point, and old man, whose threadbare tunic bore jostled the Norman Christian without witness to his poverty, as his sword, respect either to his descent, quality, and dagger, and golden chain inti- or religion. The complaints of the old mated his pretensions to rank-"whelp man, however, excited the indignation of a she-wolf! darest thou press upon of the bystanders. One of these, a a Christian, and a Norman gentleman stout, well-set yeoman, arrayed in of the blood of Montdidier?”
Lincoln green, having twelve arrows
stuck in his belt, with a baldric and troops, some marauding barons and badge of silver, and a bow of six feet profligate attendants upon the court, 50 length in his hand, turned short round, with several Knights Templars and and while his countenance, which his Knights of St. John. constant exposure to weather had It may be here remarked that the rendered brown as a hazelnut, grew knights of these two orders were darker with anger, he advised the accounted hostile to King Richard, Jew to remember that all the wealth having adopted the side of Philip of
he had acquired by sucking the blood France in the long train of disputes 10 of his miserable victims had but which took place in Palestine betwixt
swelled him like a bloated spider, that monarch and the lion-hearted which might be overlooked while it King of England. It was the well- 60 kept in a corner, but would be crushed known consequence of this discord if it ventured into the light. This in- that Richard's repeated victories had timation, delivered in Norman-English been rendered fruitless, his romantic with a firm voice and a stern aspect, attempts to besiege Jerusalem dismade the Jew shrink back; and he appointed, and the fruit of all the would have probably withdrawn him- glory which he had acquired had
self altogether from a vicinity so dan- dwindled into an uncertain truce with 20 gerous, had not the attention of every- the Sultan Saladin. With the same
one been called to the sudden entrance policy which had dictated the conduct of Prince John, who at that moment of their brethren in the Holy Land, 70 entered the lists, attended by a nu- the Templars and Hospitalers in merous and gay train, consisting England and Normandy attached
, partly of laymen, partly of churchmen, themselves to the faction of Prince as light in their dress, and as gay in John, having little reason to desire the their demeanor, as their companions. return of Richard to England, or the Among the latter was the Prior of succession of Arthur, his legitimate
Jorvaulx, in the most gallant trim heir. For the opposite reason, Prince 30 which a dignitary of the church could John hated and contemned the few
venture to exhibit. Fur and gold were Saxon families of consequence which not spared in his garments; and the subsisted in England, and omitted no so point of his boots, out-Heroding the opportunity of mortifying and affrontpreposterous fashion of the time, ing them; being conscious that his turned up so very far as to be attached
person and pretensions were disliked not to his knees merely, but to his by them, as well as by the greater very girdle, and effectually preventing part of the English commons, who him from putting his foot into the feared further innovation upon their
stirrup. This, however, was a slight rights and liberties from a sovereign 40 inconvenience to the gallant Abbot, of John's licentious and tyrannical
who, perhaps even rejoicing in the disposition. opportunity to display his accom- Attended by this gallant equipage, so plished horsemanship before so many himself well mounted, and splendidly spectators, especially of the fair sex, dressed in crimson and in gold, bearing dispensed with the use of these sup- upon his hand a falcon, and having ports to a timid rider. The rest of his head covered by a rich fur bonnet, Prince John's retinue consisted of the adorned with a circle of precious favorite leaders of his mercenary
71. Templars and Hospitalers, members of two 33. out-Heroding, overdoing.
famous religious and military orders.
stones, from which his long curled hair the beautiful daughter 'of Zion, who, escaped and overspread his shoulders, terrified by the tumult, clung close 50 Prince John, upon a gray and high- to the arm of her aged father. mettled palfrey, caracoled within the The figure of Rebecca might indeed lists at the head of his jovial party, have compared with the proudest laughing loud with his train, and eye- beauties of England, even though it ing with all the boldness of royal had been judged by as shrewd a criticism the beauties who adorned connoisseur as Prince John. Her form the lofty galleries.
was exquisitely symmetrical, and was Those who remarked in the physi- shown to advantage by a sort of ognomy of the Prince a dissolute Eastern dress, which she wore audacity, mingled with extreme cording to the fashion of the females of haughtiness and indifference to the her nation. Her turban of yellow silk feelings of others, could not yet deny suited well with the darkness of her to his countenance that sort of come- complexion. The brilliancy of her liness which belongs to an open set of eyes, the superb arch of her eyebrows, features, well formed by nature, mod- her well-formed aquiline nose, her eled by art to the usual rules of cour- teeth as white as pearl, and the pro
tesy, yet so far frank and honest that fusion of her sable tresses, which, each 20 they seemed as if they disclaimed to arranged in its own little spiral of
conceal the natural workings of the twisted curls, fell down upon as much soul. Such an expression is often of a lovely neck and bosom as mistaken for manly frankness, when simarre of the richest Persian silk, in truth it arises from the reckless in- exhibiting flowers in their natural difference of a libertine disposition, colors embossed upon a purple ground, conscious of superiority of birth, of permitted to be visible--all these conwealth, or of some other adventitious stituted a combination of loveliness advantage, totally unconnected with which yielded not to the most beauti
personal merit. To those who did ful of the maidens who surrounded 30 not think so deeply, and they were her. It is true, that of the golden
the greater number by a hundred to and pearl-studded clasps which closed one, the splendor of Prince John's her vest from the throat to the waist, 80 rheno (i. e., fur tippet), the richness the three uppermost were left unof his cloak, lined with the most fastened on account of the heat, which costly sables, his maroquin boots and something enlarged the prospect to golden spurs, together with the grace which we allude. A diamond neckwith which he managed his palfrey, lace, with pendants of inestimable were sufficient to merit clamorous value, was by this means also made applause.
more conspicuous. The feather of an In his joyous caracole round the ostrich, fastened in her turban by an lists, the attention of the Prince was agraffe set with brilliants, was another called by the commotion, not yet distinction of the beautiful Jewess, 90 subsided, which had attended the scoffed and sneered at by the proud ambitious movement of Isaac toward dames who sat above her, but secretly the higher places of the assembly. envied by those who affected to deride The quick eye of Prince John in- them. stantly recognized the Jew, but was "By the bald scalp of Abraham," much more agreeably attracted by said Prince John, “yonder Jewess 35. maroquin, morocco.
71. slmarre, loose, light robe. 89. agraffe, clasp.
must be the very model of that per daughter. I'll make the hinds know fection whose charms drove frantic they must share the high places of the wisest king that ever lived! What the synagogue with those whom the sayest thou, Prior Aymer? By the synagogue properly belongs to." Temple of that wise king, which our Those who occupied the gallery, to 50 wiser brother Richard proved unable whom this injurious and unpolite to recover, she is the very Bride of speech was addressed, were the family the Canticles!”
of Cedric the Saxon, with that of his “The Rose of Sharon and the Lily ally and kinsman, Athelstane of Con10 of the Valley,” answered the Prior, ingsburgh, a personage who, on
in a sort of snuffling tone; "but your account of his descent from the last Grace must remember she is still Saxon monarchs of England, was held but a Jewess.”
in the highest respect by all the Saxon “Aye!” added Prince John, without natives of the north of England. But heeding him, "and there is my Mam- with the blood of this ancient royal so mon of unrighteousness too—the Mar
race many of their infirmities had quis of Marks, the Baron of Byzants, descended to Athelstane. He was contesting for place with penniless comely in countenance, bulky and
dogs, whose threadbare cloaks have strong in person, and in the flower of 20 not a single cross in their pouches to his age; yet inanimate in expression,
keep the devil from dancing there. dull-eyed, heavy-browed, inactive and By the body of St. Mark, my prince sluggish in all his motions, and so slow of supplies, with his lovely Jewess, in resolution that the soubriquet of shall have a place in the gallery! one of his ancestors was conferred What is she, Isaac? Thy wife or upon him, and he was very generally 70 thy daughter, that Eastern houri called Athelstane the Unready. His that thou lockest under thy arm as friends—and he had many who, as thou wouldst thy treasure-casket?” well as Cedric, were passionately at
“My daughter Rebecca, so please tached to him-contended that this 30 your Grace," answered Isaac, with a sluggish temper arose not from want
low congee, nothing embarrassed by of courage, but from mere want of the Prince's salutation, in which, how- decision; others alleged that his ever, there was at least as much hereditary vice of drunkenness had mockery as courtesy.
obscured his faculties, never of a very “The wiser man thou,” said John, acute order, and that the passive so with a peal of laughter, in which his courage and meek good nature which gay followers obsequiously joined. remained behind were merely the dregs "But, daughter or wife, she should be of a character that might have been
preferred according to her beauty and deserving of praise, but of which all 40 thy merits. Who sits above there?” the valuable parts had flown off in
he continued, bending his eye on the the progress of a long course of brutal gallery. “Saxon churls, lolling at debauchery. their lazy length! Out upon them! It was to this person, such as we Let them sit close, and make room have described him, that the Prince for my prince of usurers and his lovely addressed his imperious command to 90
make place for Isaac and Rebecca. wisest king. Solomon (his temple and The Song of Solomon are later alluded to).
Athelstane, utterly confounded at an Song of Solomon i, 1. Song of Solomon ii, i. 17. Marks, Byzants, familiar order which the manners and feelings
hourl, an oriental nymph of per fect beauty.
of the times rendered so injuriously in
8. Canticles, see The 9. The Rose of Sharon, see The
coins of the time. 26.
sulting, unwilling to obey, yet un- to encounter the firm glance of the determined how to resist, opposed same areher whom we have already 50 only the vis inertiæ to the will of John; noticed, and who seemed to persist and, without stirring or making any in his gesture of applause, in spite of motion whatever of obedience, opened the frowning aspect which the Prince his large gray eyes and stared at the bent upon him, he demanded his Prince with an astonishment which reason for clamoring thus. had in it something extremely lu- “I always add my hollo,” said the
dicrous. But the impatient John re- yeoman, “when I see a good shot or 10 garded it in no such light.
a gallant blow.”
“Sayst thou?" answered the Prince. either asleep or minds me not. Prick “Then thou canst hit the white thy- 60 him with your lance, De Bracy,” self, I'll warrant. speaking to a knight who rode near "A woodsman's mark, and at woodshim, the leader of a band of free man's distance, I can hit," answered companions, or condottieri: that is, of
the yeoman. mercenaries belonging to no particular “And Wat Tyrrel's mark, at a nation, but attached for the time to hundred yards," said a voice from
any prince by whom they were paid. behind, but by whom uttered could 20 There was a murmur even among the not be discerned.
attendants of Prince John; but De This allusion to the fate of William Bracy, whose profession freed him Rufus, his relative, at once incensed 70 from all scruples, extended his long and alarmed Prince John. He satislance over the space which separated fied himself, however, with command the gallery from the lists, and would ing the men-at-arms, who surrounded have executed the commands of the the lists, to keep an eye on the bragPrince before Athelstane the Unready gart, pointing to the yeoman. had recovered presence of mind suffi- "By St. Grizzel," he added, "we
cient even to draw back his person will try his own skill, who is so ready 30 from the weapon, had not Cedric, as to give his voice to the feats of others !"
prompt as his companion was tardy, "I shall not fly the trial," said the unsheathed, with the speed of light yeoman, with the composure which so ning, the short sword which he wore, marked his whole deportment. and at a single blow severed the point "Meanwhile, stand up, ye Saxon of the lance from the handle. The churls," said the fiery Prince; “for, blood rushed into the countenance of by the light of Heaven, since I have Prince John. He swore one of his said it, the Jew shall have his seat deepest oaths, and was about to utter amongst ye!"
some threat corresponding in violence, “By no means, an it please your 40 when he was diverted from his pur- Grace! It is not fit for such as we
pose, partly by his own attendants, to sit with the rulers of the land," who gathered around him conjuring said the Jew, whose ambition for 9 him to be patient, partly by a general precedence, though it had led him to exclamation of the crowd, uttered in dispute place with the extenuated and loud applause of the spirited conduct impoverished descendant of the line of Cedric. The Prince rolled his eyes of Montdidier, by no means stimuin indignation, as if to collect some lated him to an intrusion upon the safe and easy victim; and chancing privileges of the wealthy Saxons. 3. vis laertle, sluggishness.
65. Wat Tyrrel, the man who killed William II.