So! now 'tis ended, like an old wife's story.
When the first moments of surprise were over, Wilfred of Ivanhoe
demanded of the Grand Master, as judge of the field, if he had
manfully and rightfully done his duty in the combat? "Manfully
and rightfully hath it been done," said the Grand Master. "I
pronounce the maiden free and guiltless---The arms and the body
of the deceased knight are at the will of the victor."
"I will not despoil him of his weapons," said the Knight of
Ivanhoe, "nor condemn his corpse to shame---he hath fought for
Christendom---God's arm, no human hand, hath this day struck him
down. But let his obsequies be private, as becomes those of a
man who died in an unjust quarrel.---And for the maiden---"
He was interrupted by a clattering of horses' feet, advancing in
such numbers, and so rapidly, as to shake the ground before them;
and the Black Knight galloped into the lists. He was followed by
a numerous band of men-at-arms, and several knights in complete
"I am too late," he said, looking around him. "I had doomed
Bois-Guilbert for mine own property.---Ivanhoe, was this well,
to take on thee such a venture, and thou scarce able to keep thy
"Heaven, my Liege," answered Ivanhoe, "hath taken this proud man
for its victim. He was not to be honoured in dying as your will
"Peace be with him," said Richard, looking steadfastly on the
corpse, "if it may be so---he was a gallant knight, and has died
in his steel harness full knightly. But we must waste no time
---Bohun, do thine office!"
A Knight stepped forward from the King's attendants, and, laying
his hand on the shoulder of Albert de Malvoisin, said, "I arrest
thee of High Treason."
The Grand Master had hitherto stood astonished at the appearance
of so many warriors.---He now spoke.
"Who dares to arrest a Knight of the Temple of Zion, within the
girth of his own Preceptory, and in the presence of the Grand
Master? and by whose authority is this bold outrage offered?"
"I make the arrest," replied the Knight---"I, Henry Bohun, Earl
of Essex, Lord High Constable of England."
"And he arrests Malvoisin," said the King, raising his visor, "by
the order of Richard Plantagenet, here present.---Conrade
Mont-Fitchet, it is well for thee thou art born no subject of
mine.---But for thee, Malvoisin, thou diest with thy brother
Philip, ere the world be a week older."
"I will resist thy doom," said the Grand Master.
"Proud Templar," said the King, "thou canst not---look up, and
behold the Royal Standard of England floats over thy towers
instead of thy Temple banner!---Be wise, Beaumanoir, and make no
bootless opposition---Thy hand is in the lion's mouth."
"I will appeal to Rome against thee," said the Grand Master, "for
usurpation on the immunities and privileges of our Order."
"Be it so," said the King; "but for thine own sake tax me not
with usurpation now. Dissolve thy Chapter, and depart with thy
followers to thy next Preceptory, (if thou canst find one), which
has not been made the scene of treasonable conspiracy against the
King of England---Or, if thou wilt, remain, to share our
hospitality, and behold our justice."
"To be a guest in the house where I should command?" said the
Templar; "never!---Chaplains, raise the Psalm, 'Quare fremuerunt
Gentes?'---Knights, squires, and followers of the Holy Temple,
prepare to follow the banner of 'Beau-seant!'"
The Grand Master spoke with a dignity which confronted even that
of England's king himself, and inspired courage into his
surprised and dismayed followers. They gathered around him like
the sheep around the watch-dog, when they hear the baying of the
wolf. But they evinced not the timidity of the scared flock
---there were dark brows of defiance, and looks which menaced the
hostility they dared not to proffer in words. They drew together
in a dark line of spears, from which the white cloaks of the
knights were visible among the dusky garments of their retainers,
like the lighter-coloured edges of a sable cloud. The multitude,
who had raised a clamorous shout of reprobation, paused and gazed
in silence on the formidable and experienced body to which they
had unwarily bade defiance, and shrunk back from their front.
The Earl of Essex, when he beheld them pause in their assembled
force, dashed the rowels into his charger's sides, and galloped
backwards and forwards to array his followers, in opposition to a
band so formidable. Richard alone, as if he loved the danger his
presence had provoked, rode slowly along the front of the
Templars, calling aloud, "What, sirs! Among so many gallant
knights, will none dare splinter a spear with Richard?---Sirs of
the Temple! your ladies are but sun-burned, if they are not worth
the shiver of a broken lance?"
"The Brethren of the Temple," said the Grand Master, riding
forward in advance of their body, "fight not on such idle and
profane quarrel---and not with thee, Richard of England, shall a
Templar cross lance in my presence. The Pope and Princes of
Europe shall judge our quarrel, and whether a Christian prince
has done well in bucklering the cause which thou hast to-day
adopted. If unassailed, we depart assailing no one. To thine
honour we refer the armour and household goods of the Order which
we leave behind us, and on thy conscience we lay the scandal and
offence thou hast this day given to Christendom."
With these words, and without waiting a reply, the Grand Master
gave the signal of departure. Their trumpets sounded a wild
march, of an Oriental character, which formed the usual signal
for the Templars to advance. They changed their array from a
line to a column of march, and moved off as slowly as their
horses could step, as if to show it was only the will of their
Grand Master, and no fear of the opposing and superior force,
which compelled them to withdraw.
"By the splendour of Our Lady's brow!" said King Richard, "it is
pity of their lives that these Templars are not so trusty as they
are disciplined and valiant."
The multitude, like a timid cur which waits to bark till the
object of its challenge has turned his back, raised a feeble
shout as the rear of the squadron left the ground.
During the tumult which attended the retreat of the Templars,
Rebecca saw and heard nothing---she was locked in the arms of her
aged father, giddy, and almost senseless, with the rapid change
of circumstances around her. But one word from Isaac at length
recalled her scattered feelings.
"Let us go," he said, "my dear daughter, my recovered treasure
---let us go to throw ourselves at the feet of the good youth."
"Not so," said Rebecca, "O no---no---no---I must not at this
moment dare to speak to him---Alas! I should say more than---No,
my father, let us instantly leave this evil place."
"But, my daughter," said Isaac, "to leave him who hath come forth
like a strong man with his spear and shield, holding his life as
nothing, so he might redeem thy captivity; and thou, too, the
daughter of a people strange unto him and his---this is service
to be thankfully acknowledged."
"It is---it is---most thankfully---most devoutly acknowledged,"
said Rebecca---"it shall be still more so---but not now---for the
sake of thy beloved Rachel, father, grant my request---not now!"
"Nay, but," said Isaac, insisting, "they will deem us more
thankless than mere dogs!"
"But thou seest, my dear father, that King Richard is in
presence, and that------"
"True, my best---my wisest Rebecca!---Let us hence---let us
hence!---Money he will lack, for he has just returned from
Palestine, and, as they say, from prison---and pretext for
exacting it, should he need any, may arise out of my simple
traffic with his brother John. Away, away, let us hence!"
And hurrying his daughter in his turn, he conducted her from the
lists, and by means of conveyance which he had provided,
transported her safely to the house of the Rabbi Nathan.
The Jewess, whose fortunes had formed the principal interest of
the day, having now retired unobserved, the attention of the
populace was transferred to the Black Knight. They now filled
the air with "Long life to Richard with the Lion's Heart, and
down with the usurping Templars!"
"Notwithstanding all this lip-loyalty," said Ivanhoe to the Earl
of Essex, "it was well the King took the precaution to bring thee
with him, noble Earl, and so many of thy trusty followers."
The Earl smiled and shook his head.
"Gallant Ivanhoe," said Essex, "dost thou know our Master so
well, and yet suspect him of taking so wise a precaution! I was
drawing towards York having heard that Prince John was making
head there, when I met King Richard, like a true knight-errant,
galloping hither to achieve in his own person this adventure of
the Templar and the Jewess, with his own single arm. I
accompanied him with my band, almost maugre his consent."
"And what news from York, brave Earl?" said Ivanhoe; "will the
rebels bide us there?"
"No more than December's snow will bide July's sun," said the
Earl; "they are dispersing; and who should come posting to bring
us the news, but John himself!"
"The traitor! the ungrateful insolent traitor!" said Ivanhoe;
"did not Richard order him into confinement?"
"O! he received him," answered the Earl, "as if they had met
after a hunting party; and, pointing to me and our men-at-arms,
said, 'Thou seest, brother, I have some angry men with me---thou
wert best go to our mother, carry her my duteous affection, and
abide with her until men's minds are pacified.'"
"And this was all he said?" enquired Ivanhoe; "would not any one
say that this Prince invites men to treason by his clemency?"
"Just," replied the Earl, "as the man may be said to invite
death, who undertakes to fight a combat, having a dangerous
"I forgive thee the jest, Lord Earl," said Ivanhoe; "but,
remember, I hazarded but my own life---Richard, the welfare of
"Those," replied Essex, "who are specially careless of their own
welfare, are seldom remarkably attentive to that of others---But
let us haste to the castle, for Richard meditates punishing some
of the subordinate members of the conspiracy, though he has
pardoned their principal."
From the judicial investigations which followed on this occasion,
and which are given at length in the Wardour Manuscript, it
appears that Maurice de Bracy escaped beyond seas, and went into
the service of Philip of France; while Philip de Malvoisin, and
his brother Albert, the Preceptor of Templestowe, were executed,
although Waldemar Fitzurse, the soul of the conspiracy, escaped
with banishment; and Prince John, for whose behoof it was
undertaken, was not even censured by his good-natured brother.
No one, however, pitied the fate of the two Malvoisins, who only
suffered the death which they had both well deserved, by many
acts of falsehood, cruelty, and oppression.
Briefly after the judicial combat, Cedric the Saxon was summoned
to the court of Richard, which, for the purpose of quieting the
counties that had been disturbed by the ambition of his brother,
was then held at York. Cedric tushed and pshawed more than once
at the message---but he refused not obedience. In fact, the
return of Richard had quenched every hope that he had entertained
of restoring a Saxon dynasty in England; for, whatever head the
Saxons might have made in the event of a civil war, it was plain
that nothing could be done under the undisputed dominion of
Richard, popular as he was by his personal good qualities and
military fame, although his administration was wilfully careless,
now too indulgent, and now allied to despotism.
But, moreover, it could not escape even Cedric's reluctant
observation, that his project for an absolute union among the
Saxons, by the marriage of Rowena and Athelstane, was now
completely at an end, by the mutual dissent of both parties
concerned. This was, indeed, an event which, in his ardour for
the Saxon cause, he could not have anticipated, and even when the
disinclination of both was broadly and plainly manifested, he
could scarce bring himself to believe that two Saxons of royal
descent should scruple, on personal grounds, at an alliance so
necessary for the public weal of the nation. But it was not the
less certain: Rowena had always expressed her repugnance to
Athelstane, and now Athelstane was no less plain and positive in
proclaiming his resolution never to pursue his addresses to the
Lady Rowena. Even the natural obstinacy of Cedric sunk beneath
these obstacles, where he, remaining on the point of junction,
had the task of dragging a reluctant pair up to it, one with each
hand. He made, however, a last vigorous attack on Athelstane,
and he found that resuscitated sprout of Saxon royalty engaged,
like country squires of our own day, in a furious war with the
It seems that, after all his deadly menaces against the Abbot of
Saint Edmund's, Athelstane's spirit of revenge, what between the
natural indolent kindness of his own disposition, what through
the prayers of his mother Edith, attached, like most ladies, (of
the period,) to the clerical order, had terminated in his keeping
the Abbot and his monks in the dungeons of Coningsburgh for three
days on a meagre diet. For this atrocity the Abbot menaced him
with excommunication, and made out a dreadful list of complaints
in the bowels and stomach, suffered by himself and his monks, in
consequence of the tyrannical and unjust imprisonment they had
sustained. With this controversy, and with the means he had
adopted to counteract this clerical persecution, Cedric found the
mind of his friend Athelstane so fully occupied, that it had no
room for another idea. And when Rowena's name was mentioned the
noble Athelstane prayed leave to quaff a full goblet to her
health, and that she might soon be the bride of his kinsman
Wilfred. It was a desperate case therefore. There was obviously
no more to be made of Athelstane; or, as Wamba expressed it, in a
phrase which has descended from Saxon times to ours, he was a
cock that would not fight.
There remained betwixt Cedric and the determination which the
lovers desired to come to, only two obstacles---his own
obstinacy, and his dislike of the Norman dynasty. The former
feeling gradually gave way before the endearments of his ward,
and the pride which he could not help nourishing in the fame of
his son. Besides, he was not insensible to the honour of allying
his own line to that of Alfred, when the superior claims of the
descendant of Edward the Confessor were abandoned for ever.
Cedric's aversion to the Norman race of kings was also much
undermined,---first, by consideration of the impossibility of
ridding England of the new dynasty, a feeling which goes far to
create loyalty in the subject to the king "de facto"; and,
secondly, by the personal attention of King Richard, who
delighted in the blunt humour of Cedric, and, to use the language
of the Wardour Manuscript, so dealt with the noble Saxon, that,
ere he had been a guest at court for seven days, he had given his
consent to the marriage of his ward Rowena and his son Wilfred of
The nuptials of our hero, thus formally approved by his father,
were celebrated in the most august of temples, the noble Minster
of York. The King himself attended, and from the countenance
which he afforded on this and other occasions to the distressed
and hitherto degraded Saxons, gave them a safer and more certain
prospect of attaining their just rights, than they could
reasonably hope from the precarious chance of a civil war. The
Church gave her full solemnities, graced with all the splendour
which she of Rome knows how to apply with such brilliant effect.
Gurth, gallantly apparelled, attended as esquire upon his young
master whom he had served so faithfully, and the magnanimous
Wamba, decorated with a new cap and a most gorgeous set of silver
bells. Sharers of Wilfred's dangers and adversity, they
remained, as they had a right to expect, the partakers of his
more prosperous career.
But besides this domestic retinue, these distinguished nuptials
were celebrated by the attendance of the high-born Normans, as
well as Saxons, joined with the universal jubilee of the lower
orders, that marked the marriage of two individuals as a pledge
of the future peace and harmony betwixt two races, which, since
that period, have been so completely mingled, that the
distinction has become wholly invisible. Cedric lived to see
this union approximate towards its completion; for as the two
nations mixed in society and formed intermarriages with each
other, the Normans abated their scorn, and the Saxons were
refined from their rusticity. But it was not until the reign of
Edward the Third that the mixed language, now termed English, was
spoken at the court of London, and that the hostile distinction
of Norman and Saxon seems entirely to have disappeared.
It was upon the second morning after this happy bridal, that the
Lady Rowena was made acquainted by her handmaid Elgitha, that a
damsel desired admission to her presence, and solicited that
their parley might be without witness. Rowena wondered,
hesitated, became curious, and ended by commanding the damsel to
be admitted, and her attendants to withdraw.
She entered---a noble and commanding figure, the long white veil,
in which she was shrouded, overshadowing rather than concealing
the elegance and majesty of her shape. Her demeanour was that of
respect, unmingled by the least shade either of fear, or of a
wish to propitiate favour. Rowena was ever ready to acknowledge
the claims, and attend to the feelings, of others. She arose,
and would have conducted her lovely visitor to a seat; but the
stranger looked at Elgitha, and again intimated a wish to
discourse with the Lady Rowena alone. Elgitha had no sooner
retired with unwilling steps, than, to the surprise of the Lady
of Ivanhoe, her fair visitant kneeled on one knee, pressed her
hands to her forehead, and bending her head to the ground, in
spite of Rowena's resistance, kissed the embroidered hem of her
"What means this, lady?" said the surprised bride; "or why do you
offer to me a deference so unusual?"
"Because to you, Lady of Ivanhoe," said Rebecca, rising up and
resuming the usual quiet dignity of her manner, "I may lawfully,
and without rebuke, pay the debt of gratitude which I owe to
Wilfred of Ivanhoe. I am---forgive the boldness which has
offered to you the homage of my country---I am the unhappy
Jewess, for whom your husband hazarded his life against such
fearful odds in the tiltyard of Templestowe."
"Damsel," said Rowena, "Wilfred of Ivanhoe on that day rendered
back but in slight measure your unceasing charity towards him in
his wounds and misfortunes. Speak, is there aught remains in
which he or I can serve thee?"
"Nothing," said Rebecca, calmly, "unless you will transmit to
him my grateful farewell."
"You leave England then?" said Rowena, scarce recovering the
surprise of this extraordinary visit.
"I leave it, lady, ere this moon again changes. My father had a
brother high in favour with Mohammed Boabdil, King of Grenada
---thither we go, secure of peace and protection, for the payment
of such ransom as the Moslem exact from our people."
"And are you not then as well protected in England?" said Rowena.
"My husband has favour with the King---the King himself is just
"Lady," said Rebecca, "I doubt it not---but the people of England
are a fierce race, quarrelling ever with their neighbours or
among themselves, and ready to plunge the sword into the bowels
of each other. Such is no safe abode for the children of my
people. Ephraim is an heartless dove---Issachar an over-laboured
drudge, which stoops between two burdens. Not in a land of war
and blood, surrounded by hostile neighbours, and distracted by
internal factions, can Israel hope to rest during her
"But you, maiden," said Rowena---"you surely can have nothing to
fear. She who nursed the sick-bed of Ivanhoe," she continued,
rising with enthusiasm---"she can have nothing to fear in
England, where Saxon and Norman will contend who shall most do
"Thy speech is fair, lady," said Rebecca, "and thy purpose
fairer; but it may not be---there is a gulf betwixt us. Our
breeding, our faith, alike forbid either to pass over it.
Farewell---yet, ere I go indulge me one request. The bridal-veil
hangs over thy face; deign to raise it, and let me see the
features of which fame speaks so highly."
"They are scarce worthy of being looked upon," said Rowena; "but,
expecting the same from my visitant, I remove the veil."
She took it off accordingly; and, partly from the consciousness
of beauty, partly from bashfulness, she blushed so intensely,
that cheek, brow, neck, and bosom, were suffused with crimson.
Rebecca blushed also, but it was a momentary feeling; and,
mastered by higher emotions, past slowly from her features like
the crimson cloud, which changes colour when the sun sinks
beneath the horizon.
"Lady," she said, "the countenance you have deigned to show me
will long dwell in my remembrance. There reigns in it
gentleness and goodness; and if a tinge of the world's pride or
vanities may mix with an expression so lovely, how should we
chide that which is of earth for bearing some colour of its
original? Long, long will I remember your features, and bless
God that I leave my noble deliverer united with---"
She stopped short---her eyes filled with tears. She hastily
wiped them, and answered to the anxious enquiries of Rowena
---"I am well, lady---well. But my heart swells when I think of
Torquilstone and the lists of Templestowe.---Farewell. One, the
most trifling part of my duty, remains undischarged. Accept this
casket---startle not at its contents."
Rowena opened the small silver-chased casket, and perceived a
carcanet, or neck lace, with ear-jewels, of diamonds, which were
obviously of immense value.
"It is impossible," she said, tendering back the casket. "I dare
not accept a gift of such consequence."
"Yet keep it, lady," returned Rebecca.---"You have power, rank,
command, influence; we have wealth, the source both of our
strength and weakness; the value of these toys, ten times
multiplied, would not influence half so much as your slightest
wish. To you, therefore, the gift is of little value,---and to
me, what I part with is of much less. Let me not think you deem
so wretchedly ill of my nation as your commons believe. Think ye
that I prize these sparkling fragments of stone above my liberty?
or that my father values them in comparison to the honour of his
only child? Accept them, lady---to me they are valueless. I
will never wear jewels more."
"You are then unhappy!" said Rowena, struck with the manner in
which Rebecca uttered the last words. "O, remain with us---the
counsel of holy men will wean you from your erring law, and I
will be a sister to you."
"No, lady," answered Rebecca, the same calm melancholy reigning
in her soft voice and beautiful features---"that---may not be. I
may not change the faith of my fathers like a garment unsuited to
the climate in which I seek to dwell, and unhappy, lady, I will
not be. He, to whom I dedicate my future life, will be my
comforter, if I do His will."
"Have you then convents, to one of which you mean to retire?"
"No, lady," said the Jewess; "but among our people, since the
time of Abraham downwards, have been women who have devoted their
thoughts to Heaven, and their actions to works of kindness to
men, tending the sick, feeding the hungry, and relieving the
distressed. Among these will Rebecca be numbered. Say this to
thy lord, should he chance to enquire after the fate of her whose
life he saved."
There was an involuntary tremour on Rebecca's voice, and a
tenderness of accent, which perhaps betrayed more than she would
willingly have expressed. She hastened to bid Rowena adieu.
"Farewell," she said. "May He, who made both Jew and Christian,
shower down on you his choicest blessings! The bark that waits
us hence will be under weigh ere we can reach the port."
She glided from the apartment, leaving Rowena surprised as if a
vision had passed before her. The fair Saxon related the
singular conference to her husband, on whose mind it made a deep
impression. He lived long and happily with Rowena, for they were
attached to each other by the bonds of early affection, and they
loved each other the more, from the recollection of the obstacles
which had impeded their union. Yet it would be enquiring too
curiously to ask, whether the recollection of Rebecca's beauty
and magnanimity did not recur to his mind more frequently than
the fair descendant of Alfred might altogether have approved.
Ivanhoe distinguished himself in the service of Richard, and was
graced with farther marks of the royal favour. He might have
risen still higher, but for the premature death of the heroic
Coeur-de-Lion, before the Castle of Chaluz, near Limoges. With
the life of a generous, but rash and romantic monarch, perished
all the projects which his ambition and his generosity had
formed; to whom may be applied, with a slight alteration, the
lines composed by Johnson for Charles of Sweden---
His fate was destined to a foreign strand,
A petty fortress and an "humble" hand;
He left the name at which the world grew pale,
To point a moral, or adorn a TALE.