Ivanhoe (Chapter 6, page 1 of 20)


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Chapter 6

To buy his favour I extend this friendship:
If he will take it, so; if not, adieu;
And, for my love, I pray you wrong me not.

--Merchant of Venice

As the Palmer, lighted by a domestic with a torch, passed through the
intricate combination of apartments of this large and irregular mansion,
the cupbearer coming behind him whispered in his ear, that if he had
no objection to a cup of good mead in his apartment, there were many
domestics in that family who would gladly hear the news he had brought
from the Holy Land, and particularly that which concerned the Knight of
Ivanhoe. Wamba presently appeared to urge the same request, observing
that a cup after midnight was worth three after curfew. Without
disputing a maxim urged by such grave authority, the Palmer thanked them
for their courtesy, but observed that he had included in his religious
vow, an 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 Christians, e'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 Palmer, with
small thanks for short courtesy."

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