Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

vour meaning.

Apeaking to your in my native language, and that you "The foul fiend take Malvoisin," answered the will reply in the same if your knowledge of it permits; Saxon, and his keeper both! I will teach them that of not, I sufficiently understand Norman to follow the wood was disforested in terms of the great Fo

rest Charter. But enough of this. Go to, knave go Vows," said the Abbot, "must be unloosed, wor- to thy place--and thou, Gurih, get thee another dog, thy Franklin, or permit me rather to say, worthy and should the keeper dare to touch it, I will mar his Thane, though the title is antiquated. Vows are the archery; the curse of a coward on my head, if I strike knots which tie us to Heaven--they are the cords not off the forefinger of his right hand !-he shall which bind the sacrifice to the horns of the altar, - draw bowstring no more. I crave your pardon, my and are therefore,--as I said before, --to be unloosened worthy guests. I am besct here with neighbours that and discharged, unless our holy Mother Church shall match your infidels, Sir Knight, in Holy Land. But pronounce the

contrary: And respecting language, 1 your homely fare is before you; feed, and lei welcome willingly hold communication in that spoken by my make amends for hard fare." respected grandmother, Hilda of Middleham, who The feast, however, which was spread upon the died in odour of sanctity, little short, if we may pre- board, needed no apologies from the lord of the man. sume to say so, of her glorious namesake, the blessed sion. Swine's fesh, dressed in several modes, ap Saint Hilda of Whitby, God be gracious to her soul !" peared on the lower part of the board, as also that of

When the Prior had ceased what he meant as a fowls, deer, goats, and hares, and various kinds of conciliatory harangue, his companion said briefly and fish, together with huge loaves and cakes of bread, emphatically, "I speak ever French, the language of and sundry confections made of fruits and honey. King Richard and his nobles; but I understand The smaller sorts of wild-fowl, of which there was English sufficiently to communicate with the natives abundance, were not served up in platters, but brought of the country.”

in upon small wooden spits or broaches, and offered Cedric darted at the speaker one of those hasty and by the pages and domestics who bore them, to each impatient glances, which comparisons between the guest in succession, who cut from them such a portion two rival nations seldom failed to call forth; but as he pleased. Beside each person of rank was placed recollecting the duties of hospitality, he suppressed a goblet of silver; the lower board was accommo further show of resentment, and, motioning with his dated with large drinking horns. hand, caused his guests to assume two seats a little When the repast was about to commence, the malower than his own, but placed close beside him, and jor-domo, or steward, suddenly raising his wand, said gave a signal that the evening meal should be placed aloud, -"Forbear!-Place for the Lady Rowena." A upon the board.

side-door at the upper end of the hall now opened be While the attendants hastened to obey Cedric's hind the banquet table, and Rowena, followed by commands, his eye distinguished Gurth the swine- four female attendants, entered the apartment. Cedric, herd, who, with his companion Wamba, had just though surprised, and perhaps not altogether agreeaentered the hall. "Send these loitering knaves up bly so, at his ward appearing in public on this occahither," said the Saxon, impatiently. And when the sion, hastened to meet her, and to conduct her, with culprits came before the dais, -"How comes it, vil respectful ceremony, to the elevated seat at his own lains ! that you have loitered abroad so late as this ? right hand, appropriated to the lady of the mansion. Hast thou brought home thy charge, sirrah Gurth, or All stood up to receive her; and, replying to their hast thou left them to robbers and marauders ?" courtesy by a mute gesture of salutation, she moved

"The herd is safe, so please ye," said Gurth. gracefully forward to assume her place at the board.

'But it does not please me, thou knave," said Ced. Ere she had time to do so, the Templar whispered to ric, that I showd be made to suppose otherwise for the Prior, “I shall wear no collar of gold of yours at iwo hours, and sit here devising vengeance against my the tournament. The Chian wine is your own. neighbours for wrongs they have not done me. I tell "Said I not so ?” answered the Prior; "but check thee, shackles and the prison-house shall punish the your raptures, the Franklin observes you. next offence of this kind."

Unheeding this remonstrance, and accustomed only Gurth, knowing his master's irritable temper, at to act upon the immediate impulse of his own wishes, , tempted' no exculpation ; but the Jester, who could Brian de Bois-Guilbert kept his eyes riveted on the presume upon Cedric's tolerance, by virtue of his pri- Saxon beauty, more striking perhaps to his imaginavileges as a fool, replied for them both; "In troth, tion, because differing widely from those of the Eastuncle Cedric, you are neither wise nor reasonable to ern Sultanas. night.”

Formed in the best proportions of her sex, Rowena * How, şir ?" said his master; you shall to the was tall in stature, yet not so much so as to attract porter's lodge, and taste of the discipline there, if you observation on account of superior height. Her comgive your foolery such license.'

plexion was exquisitely fair, but the noble cast of her First let your wisdom tell me," said Wamba, "is head and features prevented the insipidity which it just and reasonable to punish one person for the sometimes attaches to fair beauties. Her clear blue fault of another?"

eye, which sate enshrined beneath a graceful eyebrow Certainly not, fool," answered Cedric.

of brown, sufficiently marked to give expression to the "Then why should you shackle poor Garth, uncle, forehead, seemed capable to kindle as well as melt for the fault of his dog Fangs ? for I dare be sworn to command as well as to beseech. If mildness were we lost not a minute by the way, when we had got the more natural expression of such a combination of our herd together, which Fangs did not manage until features, it was plain, that in the present instance, the we heard the vesper-bell.".

exercise of habitual superiority, and the reception of "Then hang up Fangs," said Cedric, turning has. general homage, had given to the Saxon lady a loftier tily towards the swineherd, "if the fault is his, and character, which mingled with and qualified that be get thee another dog.'

stowed by nature. Her profuse hair, of a colour beUnder favour, uncle," said the Jester, " that were twixt brown and flaxen, was arranged in a fanciful still somewhat on the bow-hand of fair justice; for it and graceful manner in numerous ringlets, to fordi was no fault of Fangs that he was lame and could which, art had probably aided nature. These locks not gather the herd, but the fault of those that struck were braided with gems, and being worn at full off two of his fore-claws, an operation for which, if length, intimated the noble birth and free-born condithe poor fellow had been consulted, he would scarce tion of the maiden. A golden chain, to which was fave given his voice."

attached a small reliquary of the same metal, hung And who dared to lame an animal which be- round her neck. She wore bracelets on her arms onged to my bondsman ?" said the Saxon, kindling which were bare. Her dress was an under-gown and in wrath.

kirtle of pale sea-green silk, over which hung a long "Marry, that did old Hubert,” said Wamba, "Şir loose robe, which reached to the ground, having verv Philip de Malvoisin's keeper of the chase. He caught wide sleeves, which came down, however, very little Fangs strolling in the forest, and said he chased the below the elbow. This robe was crimson, and manu deer contrary to his master's right, as warden of the factured out of the very finest wool. A veil of silk, walk.'

interwoven with gold, was attached to the upper part

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Chap. W]
IVANHOE.

.

of it, which could be, at the wearer's pleasure, either of them in my day, each of which wad to endure for drawn over the face and bosom after the Spanish the course of fifty years; so that, by computation, I fashion, or disposed as a sort of drapery round the must be at least a hundred and fifty years old." shoulders.info

"I will warrant

you against dying of old age, how When Rowena perceived the Knight Templar's ever," said the Templar, who now recognised his eyes bent on her with an ardour, that, compared with friend of the forest; "I will assure you from all the dark caverns under which they moved, gave them deaths but a violent one, if you give such directions to the effect of lighted charcoal, she drew with dignity wayfarers, as you did this night

to the Prior and me." the veil around her face, as an intimation that the "How, sirrah!” said Cedric, "misdirect travellers? determined freedom of his glance was disagreeable: We must have you whipt; you are at least as much Cedric saw the motion

and its cause. "Sir Templar,'' rogue as fool." said he, "the cheeks of our Saxon maidens have seen "I pray thee, uncle," answered the Jester, "let my too little of the sun to enable them to bear the fixed folly for once protect my roguery. I did but make a glance of a crusader,"

mistake between my right hand and my left; and he "If I have offended, replied Sir Brjan, "I crave might have pardoned a greater, who took a fool for your pardon-that is, I crave the Lady Rowena's his counsellor and guide. pardon--for my humility will carry me no lower." Conversation was here interrupted by the entrance "The Lady Rowena," said the Prior, "has punished of the porter's page, who announced that there was us all, in chastising the boldness of my friend. Let a stranger at the gate, imploring admittance and me hope she will be less cruel to the splendid train hospitality, which are to meet at the tournament."

Admit him," said Cedric, "be he who or what he "Our going thither," said Cedric, is uncertain. "I may ;-a night like that which roars without, compels love not these vanities, which were unknown to my even wild animals to herd with tame, and to seek fathers when England was free."

the protection of man, their mortal foe, rather than V "Let us hope, nevertheless," said the Prior, “our perish by the elements. Let his wants be ministered company may determine you to travel thitherward; to with all care-look to it, Oswald." when the roads are so unsafe, the escort of Sir Brian And the steward left the banquetting hall to see the de Bois-Guilbert is not to be despised."

commands of his patron obeyed. "Sir Prior," answered the Saxon, "wheresoever I have travelled in this land, I have hitherto

found myself, with the assistance of my good sword and faith

CHAPTER V. ful followers, in no respect needful of other aid. At present, if we indeed journey to Ashby-de-la-Zouche, sions, senses, affections, passions ? Fed with the same food,

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimen we do so with my noble neighbour and countryman, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, Athelstane of Coningsburgh, and with such a train healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same as would set outlaws and feudal enemies at defiance. winter and summer, as a Christian is? -I drink to you, Sir Prior, in this cup of wine, which

Merchant of Venice. I trust your taste will approve, and I thank you for OSWALD, returning, whispered into the ear of his your courtesy. Should you be so rigid in adhering to master, "It is a Jew, who calls himself Isaac or monastic rule," he added, “as to prefer your acid pre-York; is it fit I should marshal him into the hall ??? paration of milk, I hope you will not strain courtesy with his usual efirontery; "the swineherd will be a to do me reason.

“Nay," said the Priest, laughing, “it is only in our fit usher to the Jew." abbey that we confine

ourselves to the lac dulce or the St. Mary," said the Abbot, crossing himself, "an lae acidum either. Conversing

with the world, we unbelieving Jew, and admitted into this presence !" use the world's fashion, and therefore I answer your "A dog Jew, echoed the Templar, "to approach pledge in this honest wine, and leave the weaker a defender of the Holy Sepulchre ?" liquor, to my lay-brother."

"By my faith," said Wamba, "it would seem the And I," said the Templar, filling his goblet, Templars love the Jews' inheritance better than they “drink wassail to the fair Rowena; for

since her do their company," namesake introduced the word into England, has "Peace, my worthy guests,” said Cedric, "my never been one more worthy of such a tribute. By hospitality must not be bounded by your dislikes. If my faith, I could pardon the unhappy Vortigern, had Heaven bore with the whole nation of stiff-necked he half the cause that we now witness, for making unbelievers for more years than a layman can numshipwreck of his honour and his kingdom." ber, we may endure the presence of one Jew for a

"I will spare your courtesy, Sir Knight," said few hours. But I constrain no man to converse or to Rowena with dignity, and without unveiling herself; feed with him.-Let him

have a board and a morsel or rather I will tax it so far as to require of you the apart, -unless," he said smiling, "these turban'd latest news from Palestine, a theme more agreeable strangers will admit his society. to our English ears, than the compliments which "Sir Franklin," answered the Templar, "my Sara your French breeding teaches."

cen slaves are true Moslems, and scorn as much as .."I have little of importance to say, lady," answered any Christian to hold

intercourse with a Jew.” Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert, "excepting the confirmed Now, in faith,” said Wamba, "I cannot see that tidings of a truce with Saladin."

the worshippers of Mahound

and Termagaunt have He was interrupted by Wamba, who had taken his so greatly the advantage over the people once chosen appropriated seat upon a chair, the back of which was of Heaven." decorated with two ass's ears, and which was placed "He shall sit with thee, Wamba,” said Cedric; about two steps behind that of his master, who, from "the fool and the knave will be well met." time to time, supplied him with victuals from his own * The fool,” answered Wamba, raising the relics trencher; a favour, however, which the Jester shared of a gammon of bacon," will take care to erect a with the favourite dogs, of whom, as we have already bulwark against the knave." noticed there were several in attendance. Here sat Hush," said Cedric " for here he comes.” Wamba, with a small table before him, his heels Introduced with litile ceremony, and advancing tucked up against the bar of the chair, his cheeks with fear and hesitation, and many a bow of deep sucked up so as to make his jaws resemble a pair of humility, a tall thin old man,

who, however, had lost wut-crackers, eyes half-shut, yet watching by the habit

of stoopir.g much of his actual height with alertness every opportunity to exercise his approached the lower end of the board. His features licensed foolery.

and then keen and regular, with an aquiline nose, and piercing These truces with the infidels,” he exclaimed, black eyes ; his high and wrinkled forehead, and long without caring how suddenly he interrupted the stately gray hair and beard, would have

been considered as Templar, "make an old man of me!"

handsome, had they not been the marks of a physiog, “Go to, knave, how so ?" said Cedric, his features nomy peculiar to a race, which, during those dark Prepared to receive favourably

the expected jest. ages, was alike detested by the credulous and preju Because, "answered Wamba, "I remember three diced vulgar, and persecuted jy the greedy and rnda cious nobility, and who, perhaps, owing to that very “Good Father Aymer,' said the Saron, "be it natred and persecution, had adopted a pational known to you, I care not for those over-sea refine character, in which there was much, to say the least, ments without which I can well enough take my mean and unamiable.

pleasure in the woods. I can wind my horn, though The Jew's dress, which appealed to have suffered I call not the blast either a recheate or a morte-I can considerably from the storm, was a plain russet cloak cheer my dogs on the prey, and I can flay and

quarter of many folds, covering a dark purple tunic. He had the animal when it is brought down, without using large boots lined with fur, and a belt around his the newfangled jargon of curec, arbor, nombles, and waist, which sustained a small knife, together with a all the babble of the fabulous Sir Tristrem." case for writing materials, but no weapon. He wore "The French," said the Templar, raising his voice a high square yellow cap of a peculiar fashion, with the presumptuous and authoritative tone which assigned to his nation to distinguish them from he used upon all occasions, “is not only the natural Christians, and which he doffed with great humility language of the chase, but that of love and of war, in at the door of the hall.

which ladies should be won and enemies defied. The reception of this person in the hall of Cedric "Pledge me in a cup of wine, Sir Templar," said the Saxon, was such as might have satisfied the Cedric, and fill another to the Abbot, while I look most prejudiced enemy of the tribes of Israel. Ced- back some thirty years to tell you another tale. As ric himself coldly nodded in answer to the Jew's Cedric the Saxon then was, his plain English tale repeated salutations, and signed to him to take place needed no garnish from French troubadours when it at the lower end of the table where, however, no one was told in the ear of beauty; and the field of Northoffered to make room for him. On the contrary, as allerton, upon the day of the Holy Standard, could he passed along the file, casting a timid supplicating tell whether the Saxon war-cry, was not heard as far glance, and turning towards each of those who occu- within the ranks of the Scottish host as the cri do pied the lower end of the board, the Saxon domestics guerre of the boldest Norman baron. To the memory squared their shoulders, and continued to devour their of the brave who fought there.Pledge me, my supper with great perseverance, paying not the least guests." He drank deep, and went on with increasing attention to ihe wants of the new guest. The atten-warmth. “Ay, that was a day of cleaving of shields, dants of the Abbot crossed themselves, with looks of when a hundred banners were bent forward over the pious horror, and the very heathen Saracens as Isaac heads of the valiant, and blood Howed round like drew near them, curled up their whiskers with indig. water, and death was held better than flight. A nation, and laid their hands on their poniards, as if Saxon bard had called it a feast of the swords-a ready to rid themselves by the most desperate means gathering of the eagles to the prey-the clashing of bills from the apprehended contamination of his nearer upon shield and helmet, the shouting of battle more approach.

joyful than the clamour of a bridal. But our bards Probably the same motives which induced Cedric are no more," he said; " our deeds are lost in those to open his hall to this son of a rejected people, would of another 'race-our language-our very names have made him insist on his attendants receiving hastening to decay, and none mourns for it save one Isaac with more courtesy. But the Abbot had, at solitary old man-Cup-bearer ! knave, fill the goblets this moment, engaged him in a most interesting dis- - To the strong in arms, Sir Templar, be their race cussion on the breed and character of his favourite or language what it will, who now bear them best in hounds, which he would not have interrupted for Palestine among the champions of the Cross !" matters of much greater importance than that of a "It becomes not one wearing this badge to anJew going to bed supperless. While Isaac thus stood swer," said Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert; "yet to an outcast in the present society, like his people whom, besides the sworn Champions of the Holy among the nations, looking in vain for welcome or Sepulchre, can the palm be assigned among the resting-place, the pilgrim who sat by the chimney champions of the Cross ?" took compassion upon him, and resigned his seat, "To the Knights Hospitallers," said the Abbot ; saying briefly, "Old man, my garments are dried, "I have a brother of their order. my hunger is appeased, thou art both wet and fast- "I impeach not their fame," said the Templar; ing." So saying, he gathered together, and brought "nevertheless"to a flame, the decaying brands which lay scattered "I think, friend Cedric," said Wamba, interfering on the ample hearth; took from the larger board a that had Richard of the Lion's Heart been wise mess of pottage and seethed kid, placed it upon the enough to have taken a fool's advice, he might have small table at which he had himself supped, and, staid at home with his merry Englishmen, and left without waiting the Jew's thanks, went to the other the recovery of Jerusalem to those same Knights side of the hall;-whether from unwillingness to who had most to do with the loss of it." hold more close communication with the object of Were there, then, none in the English army," his benevolence, or from a wish to draw near to the said the Lady Rowena, "whose names are worthy to apper end of the table, seemed uncertain.

be mention with the Knights of the Temple, and of Had there been painters in those days capable to St. John ?" execute such a subject, the Jew, as he bent his "Forgive me, lady," replied De Bois-Guilbert, "the withered form, and expanded his chilled and trem, English monarch díd, indeed, bring to Palestine a host ( bling hands over the fire, would have formed no bad of gallant warriors, second only to those whose emblematical personification of the Winter season. breasts have been the unceasing bulwark of that Having dispelled the cold, he turned eagerly to the blessed land." enoking mess which was placed before him, and ate "Şecond to none," said the Pilgrim, who had with a haste and an apparent relish, that seemed to stood near enough to hear, and had listened to this betoken long abstinence from food.

conversation with marked' impatience. All turned Mean while the Abbot and Cedric continued their towards the spot from whence this unexpected asse discourse upon hunting; the Lady Rowena seemed veration was heard. “I say,. repeated the Pilgrim engaged in conversation with one of her attendant in a firm and strong voice," thai the English

chifemales; and the haughty Templar, whose eye seemed valry were second to none who ever drew sword in to wander from the Jew to the Saxon beauty, re- defence of the Holy Land. I say besides, for I saw volved in his mind thoughts which appeared deeply it, that King Richard himself, and five of his knights to interest him.

• There was no language which the Normans more formally "I marvel, worthy Cedric," said the Abbot, as their separated from that or common life than the terms of the chase discourse proceeded, " that, great as your predñection The objects of their pursuit, whether bird or animal, change us for your own manly language, you do not receive the Norman-French into your favour, so far at least terms, to be ignorant of which was to be without one of the

distinguished marks of a gentleman. The reader may cousa : as the mystery of wood-craft and hunting is con- Dame Juliana Berners' book on the subject. The origin of this cerned. Surely no tongue is so rich in the various science was imputed to the celebrated Sir 'Tristrem, famous fx obrases which the field-sports demand, or furnishes his tragic intrigue with the beautiful Ysolte. As the Nornazs ans to the experienced woodman so well to express

reserved the amusement of hunting strictly to themselves, the

terms of this formal jargon were all taken from the Free i jovial art

language.

66

[ocr errors]

held a tournament after the taking of St. John-de- 1 latter of whom, without vailing his bonnet, or testify. Acre, as challengers against all comers. I say that, ing any reverence for the alleged sancuty, of the on that day, each knight ran three courses, and cast relic, took from his neck a gold chain, which he flung to the ground three antagonists. I add, that seven of on the board, saying-" Let Prior Aymer hold r. these assailants were Knights of the Temple-and pledge and that of this nameless vagrant, in tokea Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert well knows the truth of that when the Knight of Ivanhoe comes within the what I tell you."

four seas of Britain, he underlies the challenge of It is impossible for language to describe the bitter Brian de Bois-Guilbert, which, if he answer not, scowl of rage which rendered yet darker the swarthy will proclaim him as a coward on the walls of every countenance of the Templar. In the extremity of Temple Court in Europe." niş resentment and confusion, his quivering fingers "It will not need,” said the Lady Rowena, breakgriped towards the handle of his sword, and perhaps ing silence; "my voice shall be heard, if no other in only withdrew, from the consciousness that no act of this hall is raised in behalf of the absent Ivanhoe. I violence could be safely executed in that place and affirm he will meet fairly every honourable challenge. presence. Cedric, whose feelings were all of a right Could my weak

warrant add security to the inestionward and simple kind, and were seldom occupied by mable pledge of this holy pilgrim, I would pledgo more than one object at once, omitted, in the joyous name and fame that Ivanhoe gives this proud knight glee with which he heard of the glory of his country- the meeting he desires.”' men, to remark the angry confusion of his guest; A crowd of conflicting emotions seemed to have "I would give thee this golden bracelet, Pilgrim," he occupied Cedrig and kept him silent during this dissaid, "couldst thou tell me the names of those knights cussion. Gratified pride, resentment, embarrassment, who upheld so gallantly the renown of merry Eng- chased each other over his broad and open brow, like land."

the shadow of clouds drifting over a harvest-field; "That will I do blithely," replied the Pilgrim, “and while his attendants, on whom the name of the sixth without guerdon; my oath, for a time, prohibits me knight seemed to produce an effect almost electrical, from touching gold."

hung in suspense upon their master's looks. But "I will wear the bracelet for you, if you will, friend when Rowena spoke, the sound of her voice seemed Palmer,” said Wamba.

to startle him from his silence. “The first in honour as in arms, in renown as in "Lady,” said Cedric, “this beseems nội; were fur. place," said the Pilgrim, "was the brave Richard, ther pledge necessary, I myself, offended, and justly King of England."

offended, as I am, would yet gage my honour for the "I forgive him," said Cedric; . I forgive him his honour of Ivanhoe. But the wager of battle is comdescent from the tyrant Duke William.'

plete, even according to the fantastic fashions of Nor. "The Earl af Leicester was the second," continued man chivalry--Is it not, Father Aymer ?". the Pilgrim; Sir Thomas Multon of Gilsland was the "It is," replied the Prior; "and the blessed relic third."

and rich chain will I bestow safely in the treasury "Of Saxon descent, he at least,” said Cedric, with of our convent, until the decision of this warlike exultation.

challenge." " Sir Foulk Doilly the fourth," proceeded the Pil- Having thus spoken, he crossed himself again and grim.

again, and after many, genuflections and murtered “Saxon also, at least by the mother's side," con- prayers, he delivered the reliquary 10 Brother Amtinued Cedric, whọ listened with the utmost eager- brose, his attendant monk, while he himself swept up ness, and forgot, in part at least, his hatred to the with less ceremony, but perhaps with no less internal Normans, in the common triumph of the King of satisfaction, the golden chain, and bestowed it in a England and his islanders. And who was the pouch lined with perfumed leather, which opened fifth ?" he demanded.

under his arm. And now, Sir Cedric,” he said, “The fifth was Edward Turneham."

my ears are chiming vespers with the strength of "Genuine Saxon, by the soul of Hengist !" shouted your good wine---permit us another pledge to the wel. Cedric- " And the sixth ?" he continued with eager- fare of the Lady Rowena, and indulge us with liberty Dess-"how name you the sixth ?"

to pass to our repose." “The sixth," said the Palmer, after a pause, in By the rood of Bromholme," said the Saxon, which he seemed to recollect himself, was a young "you do but small credit to your fame, Sir Prior! knight of lesser renown and lower rank, assumed Report speaks you a bonny monk, that would hear into that honourable company, less to aid their enter the matin chime ere he quitted his bowl; and, old as prise than to make up their number-his name dwells I am, I feared to have shame in encountering you. not in my memory.

But, by my faith, a Saxon boy of twelve, in my time, "Sir Palmer," said Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert would not so soon have relinquished his goblei.” scornfully, "this assumed forgetfulness, after so much The Prior had his own reasons, however, for per has been remembered, comes too late to serve your severing in the course of temperance which ne had purpos I will myself tell the name of the knight adopted. He was not only a professional peace before whose lance fortune and my horse's fault occa- maker, but from practice a hater of all feuds and sioned my falling-it was the Knight of Ivanhoe; brawls. It was not altogether from a love to his nor was there one of the six that, for his years, had neighbour, or to himself, or from a mixture of both. more renown in arms.--Yet this will I say, and loudly On the present occasion, he had an instinctive appre-that were he in England, and durst repeat, in this hension of the fiery temper of the Saxon, and saw week's tournament, the challenge of St. John-de- the danger that the reckless and presumptuous spirit, Acre, I, mounted and armed as I now am, would of which his companion had already given so many give him every advantage of weapons, and abide the proofs, might at length produce some disagreeable result."

explosion. He therefore gently insinuated the inca. Your challenge would be soon answered," replied pacity of the native of any other country to engage in the Palmer, "were your antagonist near you. As the the genial conflict of the bowl with the hardy and matter is, disturb not the peaceful hall with vaunts of strong-headed Saxons; something he mentioned, but the issue of a conflict, which you well know cannot slightly, about his own holy character, and ended by take place. If Ivanhoe ever returns from Palestine, i pressing his proposal to depart to repose. will be his surety that he meets you."

The grace-cup was accordingly, served round, and "A goodly security!" said the Knight Templar; the guests, after making deep obedience to their landand what do you proffer as a pledge ?",

lord and to the Lady Rowena, arose and mingled in "This reliquary," said the Palmer, taking a small the hall, while the heads of the family, by separate ivory box from his bosom, and crossing himself, doors, retired with their attendants.

containing a portion of the true cross, brought from Unbelieving dog," said the Templar to Isaac the the Monastery of Mount Carmel."

Jew, as he passed him in the throng," dost thou bend The prior of Jorvaulx crossed himself and repeated thy course to the tournament?” @pater noster, in which all devoutly joined, excepting "I do so propose," replied Isaac, bowing in all the Jew, the Mahomedans, and the Templar; the humility, "if it please vour reverend valour

[ocr errors]

66

"Ay," said the Knight, " to gnaw the bowels of magnificence of which corresponded to the respect our nobles with usury, and to gull women and boys which was paid to her by the lord of the mansion. with gauds and toys - I warrant thee store of shekels The walls were covered with embroidered hangings in thy Jewish scrip.”'

on which different-coloured silks, interwoven with Not a shekel, not a silver penny, not a halfling gold and silver threads, had been employed with all so help me the God of Abraham?'said the Jew, the art of which the age was capable, to represent the clasping his hands; "I go but to seek the assistance sports of hunting and hawking. The bed was of some brethren of my tribe to aid me to pay the adorned with the same rich tapestry, and surrounded fine which the Exchequer of the Jews* have imposed with curtains dyed with purple. The seats had also upon me-Father Jacob be my speed! I am an im- their stained coverings, and one, which was higher poverished wretch--the very gaberdine I wear is bur- than the rest, was accommodated with a footstool of Fowed from Reuben of Tadcaster."

ivory, curiously carved. The Templar smiled sourly as he replied, “Beshrew No fewer than four silver candelabras, holding great thee for a false-hearted liar !" and passing onward, as waxen torches, served to illuminate this apartment. * If disdaining farther conference, he communed with Yet let not modern beauty envy the magnificence of his Mosleni slaves in a language unknown to the a Saxon princess. The walls of the apartment were bystanders. The poor Israelite seemed so staggered so ill finished and so full of crevices, that the rich by the address of the military monk, that the Templar hangings shook to the night blast, and, in despite of a had passed on to the extremity of the hall ere he raised sort of screen intended to protect them from the wind, his head from the humble posture which he had the flame of the torches streamed sideways into the assumed, so far as to be sensible of his departure. air, like the unfurled pennon of a chieftain. Mag. And when he did look around, it was with the nificence there was, with some rude attempt at taste; astonished air of one at whose feet a thunderbolt but of comfort there was little, and, being unknown has just burst, and who hears still the astounding it was unmissed. report ringing in his ears.

The Lady Rowena, with three of her attendants The Templar and Prior were shortly after mar, standing at her back, and arranging her hair ere she shalled to their sleeping apartments by the steward lay down to rest, was seated in the sort of throne and the cup-bearer, each attended by two torch-bearers already mentioned, and looked as if born to exact and two servants carrying, refreshments, while ser- general șomage. The Pilgrim acknowledged her vants of inferior condition indicated to their retinue claim to it by a low genuflection. and to the other guests their respective places of "Rise, Palmer," said she graciously. "The defender repose.

of the absent has a right to favourable reception from all who value truth, and honour manhood." She

then said to her train, "Retire, excepting only Elgitha; CHAPTER V I.

I would speak with this holy Pilgrim."
To buy his favour I extend this friendship:

The maidens, withoạt leaving the apartment, retired
If he will take it, so ; if not, adieu ;

to its further extremity, and sat down on a small And, for my love, I pray you wrong me not

bench against the wall, where they remained mute

Merchant of Venice. as statues, though at such a distance that their As the Palmer, lighted by a domestic with a torch, whispers could not have interrupted the conversation past through the intricate combination of apartments of their mistress, of this large and irregular mansion, the cupbearer "Pilgrim," said the lady, after a moment's pause, coming behind him whispered in his ear, that if he during which she seemed uncertain how to address had no objection to a cup of good mead in his apart- him, you this night mentioned a name-I mean, ment, there were many domestics in that family who she said, with a degree of effort, "the name of Ivan. would gladly hear the news he had brought from the hoe, in the halls where by nature and kindred it should Holy Land, and particularly that which concerned have sounded most acceptably; and yet, such is the the Knight of Ivanhoe. Wamba presently appeared perverse course of fate, that of many whose hearts to urge the same request, observing that a cup after must have throbbed at the sound, I, only, dare ask midnight was worth three after curfew. Without dis- you where, and in what condition, you left him of puting a maxim urged by such grave authority, the whom you spoke ?-We heard, that having remained Palmer thanked them for their courtesy, but observed in Palestine, on account of his impaired health, after that he had included in his religious vow, an obliga- the departure of the English army, he had experienced tion never to speak in the kitchen on matters which the persecution of the French faction, to whom the were prohibited in the hall. “That vow," said Wamba Templars are known to be attached. to the cup-bearer, “would scarce suit a serving-man.' "I know little of the Knight of Ivanhoe,' answer;

The cup-bearer shrugged up his shoulders in dis- ed the Palmer, with a troubled voice. "I would I pleasure." I thought to have lodged him in the solere knew him beiter, since you, lady, are interested in his chamber," said he; " but since he is so unsocial to fate. He hath, I believe, surmounted the persecution Christians, e'en let him take the next stall to Isaac of his enemies in Palestine, and is on the eve of rethe Jew's.-Anwold," said he to the the torch-bearer, turning to England, where you, lady, must know "carry the Pilgrim to the southern cell.-1 give you better than I, what is his chance of happiness.” good-night," he added, Sir Palmer, with small The Lady Rowena sighed deeply, and asked more thanks for short courtesy."

particularly when the Knight of Ivanhoe might be "Good-night, and Our Lady's benison !'' said the expected in his native country, and whether he would Palmer, with composure; and his guide moved for not be exposed to great dangers by the road. On the ward.

first point, the Palmer professed ignorance; on the In a small antechamber, into which several doors second, he said that the voyage might be safely made opened, and which was lighted by a small iron lamp, by the way of Venice and Genoa, and from thence they met a second interruption from the waiting-maid through France to England. "Ivanhoe," he said, of Rowena, who, saying in a tone of authority, that" was so well acquainted with the language and manher mistress desired to speak with the Palmer, took ners of the French, that there was no fear of his inthe torch from the hand of Anwold, and, bidding him curring any hazard during that part of his travels." await her return, made a sign to the Palmer to fol- "Would to God," said the Lady Rowena," he were low. Apparently he did not think it proper to decline here safely arrived, and able to bear arms in the ap this invitation as he had done the former; for, though proaching tourney, in which the chivalry of this land his gesture indicated sojne surprise at the summons, are expected to display their address and valour. · he obeyed it without answer or remonstrance. Should Athelstane of Coningsburgh obtain the prize,

A short passage, and an ascent of seven steps, cach Ivanhoe is like to hear evil tidings when he reaches of which was composed of a solid beam of oak, led England. --How looked he, stranger, when you last him to the apartment of the Lady Rowena, the rude saw him? Had disease laid her hand heavy upon his * In those days Ine Jews were subjected to an Exchequer,

strength and comeliness?". specially dedicated to that purpose, and which laid them

under than when he came from Cyprus in the train of Canr

"He was darker," said the Palmer, "and thinner, tire most exorbitant impositions

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »