Ivanhoe HTML version

Chapter 13
"Heroes, approach!" Atrides thus aloud,
"Stand forth distinguish'd from the circling crowd,
Ye who by skill or manly force may claim,
Your rivals to surpass and merit fame.
This cow, worth twenty oxen, is decreed,
For him who farthest sends the winged reed."
The name of Ivanhoe was no sooner pronounced than it flew from mouth to mouth, with
all the celerity with which eagerness could convey and curiosity receive it. It was not
long ere it reached the circle of the Prince, whose brow darkened as he heard the news.
Looking around him, however, with an air of scorn, "My Lords," said he, "and especially
you, Sir Prior, what think ye of the doctrine the learned tell us, concerning innate
attractions and antipathies? Methinks that I felt the presence of my brother's minion,
even when I least guessed whom yonder suit of armour enclosed."
"Front-de-Boeuf must prepare to restore his fief of Ivanhoe," said De Bracy, who, having
discharged his part honourably in the tournament, had laid his shield and helmet aside,
and again mingled with the Prince's retinue.
"Ay," answered Waldemar Fitzurse, "this gallant is likely to reclaim the castle and manor
which Richard assigned to him, and which your Highness's generosity has since given
to Front-de-Boeuf."
"Front-de-Boeuf," replied John, "is a man more willing to swallow three manors such as
Ivanhoe, than to disgorge one of them. For the rest, sirs, I hope none here will deny my
right to confer the fiefs of the crown upon the faithful followers who are around me, and
ready to perform the usual military service, in the room of those who have wandered to
foreign Countries, and can neither render homage nor service when called upon."
The audience were too much interested in the question not to pronounce the Prince's
assumed right altogether indubitable. "A generous Prince!---a most noble Lord, who
thus takes upon himself the task of rewarding his faithful followers!"
Such were the words which burst from the train, expectants all of them of similar grants
at the expense of King Richard's followers and favourites, if indeed they had not as yet
received such. Prior Aymer also assented to the general proposition, observing,
however, "That the blessed Jerusalem could not indeed be termed a foreign country.
She was 'communis mater'---the mother of all Christians. But he saw not," he declared,
"how the Knight of Ivanhoe could plead any advantage from this, since he" (the Prior)
"was assured that the crusaders, under Richard, had never proceeded much farther