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,
"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."