Ivanhoe (Chapter 10, page 2 of 9)


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Chapter 10

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

"To you four, sirs," replied the Knight, addressing those who had last
spoken, "and 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-Boeuf, "to 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 half,
distribute one moiety among yourselves, sir squires, and divide the
other half betwixt the heralds and the pursuivants, and minstrels, and
attendants."

The squires, with cap in hand, and low reverences, expressed their deep
sense of a courtesy and generosity not often practised, at least upon a
scale so extensive. The Disinherited Knight then addressed his discourse
to Baldwin, the squire of Brian de Bois-Guilbert. "From your master,"
said he, "I will accept neither arms nor ransom. Say to him in my name,
that our strife is not ended--no, not 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 me, and I shall not forget the
challenge.--Meantime, let him be assured, that I hold him not as one of
his companions, with whom I can with pleasure exchange courtesies; but
rather as one with whom I stand upon terms of mortal defiance."

"My master," answered Baldwin, "knows 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 Knight,
"well 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."

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