Ivanhoe (Chapter 9, page 1 of 9)


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Chapter 9

----In the midst was seen
A lady of a more majestic mien,
By stature and by beauty mark'd their sovereign Queen.
* * * * *
And as in beauty she surpass'd the choir,
So nobler than the rest was her attire;
A crown of ruddy gold enclosed her brow,
Plain without pomp, and rich without a show;
A branch of Agnus Castus in her hand,
She bore aloft her symbol of command.

The Flower and the Leaf

William de Wyvil and Stephen de Martival, the marshals of the field,
were the first to offer their congratulations to the victor, praying
him, at the same time, to suffer his helmet to be unlaced, or, at least,
that he would raise his visor ere they conducted him to receive
the prize of the day's tourney from the hands of Prince John. The
Disinherited Knight, with all knightly courtesy, declined their request,
alleging, that he could not at this time suffer his face to be seen, for
reasons which he had assigned to the heralds when he entered the lists.

The marshals were perfectly satisfied by this reply; for amidst the
frequent and capricious vows by which knights were accustomed to bind
themselves in the days of chivalry, there were none more common than
those by which they engaged to remain incognito for a certain space, or
until some particular adventure was achieved. The marshals, therefore,
pressed no farther into the mystery of the Disinherited Knight, but,
announcing to Prince John the conqueror's desire to remain unknown, they
requested permission to bring him before his Grace, in order that he
might receive the reward of his valour.

John's curiosity was excited by the mystery observed by the stranger;
and, being already displeased with the issue of the tournament, in which
the challengers whom he favoured had been successively defeated by one
knight, he answered haughtily to the marshals, "By the light of Our
Lady's brow, this same knight hath been disinherited as well of his
courtesy as of his lands, since he desires to appear before us without
uncovering his face.--Wot ye, my lords," he said, turning round to his
train, "who this gallant can be, that bears himself thus proudly?"

"I cannot guess," answered De Bracy, "nor did I think there had been
within the four seas that girth Britain a champion that could bear down
these five knights in one day's jousting. By my faith, I shall never
forget the force with which he shocked De Vipont. The poor Hospitaller
was hurled from his saddle like a stone from a sling."

"Boast not of that," said a Knight of St John, who was present;
"your Temple champion had no better luck. I saw your brave lance,
Bois-Guilbert, roll thrice over, grasping his hands full of sand at
every turn."

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