Ivanhoe (Chapter 8, page 1 of 9)


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Chapter 8

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

Palamon and Arcite

In the midst of Prince John's cavalcade, he suddenly stopt, and
appealing to the Prior of Jorvaulx, declared the principal business of
the day had been forgotten.

"By my halidom," said he, "we 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 Prior, turning 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 Prince, "Saxon 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 followers, Waldemar Fitzurse, "and if your
Grace attempt it, cannot but prove ruinous to your projects."

"I entertained you, sir," said John, reining up his palfrey haughtily,
"for my follower, but not for my counsellor."

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

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

"Nay, nay," said De Bracy, "let 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."

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