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suffered to be treated, an unoffending guest, as your highness has this day beheld me used; and whatever was the misfortune of our fathers on the field of Hastings, those may at least be silent,” here he looked at Front-deBeuf and the Templar, "who have within these few hours once and again lost saddle and stirrup before the lance of a Saxon."

“By my faith, a biting jest !” said Prince John. "How like you it, sirs ?-Our Saxon subjects rise in spirit and courage ; become shrewd in wit, and bold in bearing, in these unsettled times—What say ye, my lords ?-By this good light, I hold it best to take our galleys, and return to Normandy in time.'

“For fear of the Saxons !” said De Bracy, laughing ; "we should need no weapons but our hunting spears to bring these boars to bay."

“A truce with your raillery, Sir Knights," said Fitzurse "and it were well,” he added, addressing the Prince," that your highness should assure the worthy Cedric there is no insults intended him by jests, which must sound but harshly in the ear of a stranger.”

“Insult !" answered Prince John, resuming his courtesy of demeanour; “I trust it will not be thought that I could mean, or permit any, to be offered in my presence. Here! I fill my cup to Cedric himself, since he refuses to pledge his son's health.”

The cup went round amid the well-dissembled applause of the courtiers, which, however, failed to make the impression on the mind of the Saxon that had been designed. He was not naturally acute of perception, but those too much undervalned his understanding who deemed that this flattering compliment would obliterate the sense of the prior insult. He was silent, however, when the royal pledge again passed round, "To Sir Athelstane of Coningsburgh.'

The knight made his obeisance, and showed his sense of the honour by draining a huge goblet in answer to it.

“And now, sirs,” said Prince John, who began to be warmed with the wine he had drank, “having done justice to our Saxon guests, we will pray of them some requital to our courtesy. Worthy Thane," he continued, addressing Cedric, “may we pray you to name to us some Norman whose mention may least sully your mouth, and to wash down with a goblet of wine all bitterness which the sound may leave behind it?"

Fitzurse arose while Prince John spoke, and gliding behind the seat of the Saxon, whispered to him not to omit the opportunity of putting an end to unkindness betwixt the two races, by naming Prince John. The Saxon replied not to this politic insinuation, bụt rising up, and filling his cup to the brim, he addressed Prince John in these words : "Your highness has required that I should name a Norman deserving to be remembered at our banquet. This, perchance, is a hard task, since it calls on the slave to sing the praises of the master-upon the vanquished, while pressed by all the evils of conquest, to sing the praises of the conqueror. Yet I will name a Norman-the first in arms and in placethe best and the noblest of his race. And the lips that shall refuse to pledge me to his well earned fame, I term false and dishonoured, and will so maintain them with my life-I quaff this goblet to the health of Richard the Lion-hearted !"

Prince John, who had expected that his own name would have closed the Saxon's speech, started when that of his injured brother was so unexpectedly introduced. He raised mechanically the wine cup to his

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Thus spake Prince John, wilfully forgetting, that of all the sons of Henry the Second, though no one was free from the charge, he himself had been most distinguished for rebellion and ingratitude to his father. "I think,” said he, after a moment's pause, that

my

brother proposed to confer upon his favourite the rich manor of Ivanhoe.'

“He did endow him with it," answered Cedric, "nor is it my least quarrel with my son that he stooped to as a feudal vassal, the very domains which his fathers possessed in free and independent right.

We shall then have your willing sanction, good Cedric," said Prince John, " to confer this fief upon a person whose dignity will not be dimin. ished by holding land of the British crown.—Sir Reginald Front-de-Beuf," he said, turning towards that Baron, “ I trust you will so keep the goodly Barony of Ivanhoe, that Sir Wilfred shall not incur his father's displeasure by again entering upon that fief."

By St. Anthony !" answered the black-brow'd giant, “ I will consent that your highness shall hold me a Saxon, if either Cedric, or Wilfred, or the best that ever bore English blood, shall wrench from me the gift with which your highness has graced me.

Whoever shall call thee Saxon, Sir Baron," replied Cedric, offended at a mode of expression by which the Normans frequently expressed their habitual contempt of the English, "will do thee an honour as great as it is undeserved.”

Front-de-Beuf would have replied, but Prince John's petulance and levity got the start.

• Assuredly,” said he, “my lords, the noble Cedric speaks truth; and his race may claim precedence over us as much in the length of their pedigrees as in the longitude of their cloaks."

• They go before us indeed in the field--as deer before dogs," said Malvoisin.

“And with good right may they go before us- - forget not,” said Prior Aymer, " the superior decency and decorum of their manners.

"" Their singular abstemiousness and temperance,” said De Bracy, forgetting the plan which promised him a Saxon bride.

“Together with the courage and conduct,” said Brian de Bois-Guilbert, by which they distinguished themselves at Hastings and elsewhere.”

While, with smooth and smiling cheek, the courtiers, each in turn, followed their Prince's example, and aimed a shaft of ridicule at Cedric, the face of the Saxon became inflamed with passion, and he glanced his eyes fiercely from one to another, as if the quick succession of so many injuries had prevented his replying to them in turn; or, like a baited bull, who, surrounded by his tormentors, is at a loss to choose from among them the immediate object of his revenge. At length he spoke, in a voice halfchoked with passion; and addressing himself to Prince John, as the head and front of the offence which he had received, " Whatever," he said, “have been the follies and vices of our race, a Saxon would have been held niering, (the most emphatic term for abject worthlessness), “who should, in his own hall, and while his own wine-cup passed, have treated, or

* There was nothing accounted so ignominious among the Saxons as to merit this disgraceful epithet. Even William the Conqueror, hated as he was by them, continued to draw a considerable army of Anglo-Saxons to his standard, by threatening to stigmatise those who staid at home as nidering. Bartholinus, I think, mentions a similar phrase which had like influence on the Danes.-L. T.

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suffered to be treated, an unoffending guest, as your highness has this day beheld me used ; and whatever was the misfortune of our fathers on the field of Hastings, those may at least be silent,” here he looked at Front-deBeuf and the Templar, " who have within these few hours once and again lost saddle and stirrup before the lance of a Saxon."

By my faith, a biting jest !” said Prince John. "How like you it, sirs ?-Our Saxon subjects rise in spirit and courage ; become shrewd in wit, and bold in bearing, in these unsettled times—What say ye, my lords ?—By this good light, I hold it best to take our galleys, and return to Normandy in time.'

"For fear of the Saxons !” said De Bracy, laughing ; "we should need no weapons but our hunting spears to bring these boars to bay."

A truce with your raillery, Sir Knights," said Fitzurse "and it were well,” he added, addressing the Prince, " that your highness should assure the worthy Cedric there is no insults intended him by jests, which must sound but harshly in the ear of a stranger."

"Insult !" answered Prince John, resuming his courtesy of demeanour; “I trust it will not be thought that I could mean, or permit any, to be offered in my presence. Here! I fill my cup to Cedric himself, since he refuses to pledge his son's health."

The cup went round amid the well-dissembled applause of the courtiers, which, however, failed to make the impression on the mind of the Saxon that had been designed. He was not naturally acute of perception, but those too much undervalued his understanding who deemed that this flattering compliment would obliterate the sense of the prior insult. He was silent, however, when the royal pledge again passed round, "To Sir Athelstane of Coningsburgh.'

The knight made his obeisance, and showed his sense of the honour by draining a huge goblet in answer to it.

“And now, sirs,” said Prince John, who began to be warmed with the wine he had drank, “having done justice to our Saxon guests, we will pray of them some requital to our courtesy. Worthy Thane,” he continued, addressing Cedric, "may we pray you to name to us some Norman whose mention may least sully your mouth, and to wash down with a goblet of wine all bitterness which the sound may leave behind it?".

Fitzurse arose while Prince John spoke, and gliding behind the seat of the Saxon, whispered to him not to omit the opportunity of putting an end to unkindness betwixt the two races, by naming Prince John. The Saxon replied not to this politic insinuation, bụt rising up, and filling his cup to the brim, he addressed Prince John in these words : “ Your highness has required that I should name a Norman deserving to be remembered at our banquet. This, perchance, is a hard task, since it calls on the slave to sing the praises of the master-upon the vanquished, while pressed by all the evils of conquest, to sing the praises of the conqueror. Yet I will name a Norman—the first in arms and in placethe best and the noblest of his race. And the lips that shall refuse to pledge me to his well earned fame, I term false and dishonoured, and will so maintain them with my life-I quaff this goblet to the health of Richard the Lion-hearted !"

Prince John, who had expected that his own name would have closed the Saxon's speech, started when that of his injured brother was so unexpectedly introduced. He raised mechanically the wine cup to his

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lips, then instantly set it down to view the demeanour of the company at this unexpected proposal, which many of them felt it as unsafe to oppose as to comply with Some of them, ancient and experienced courtiers, closely imitated the example of the Prince himself, raising the goblet to their lips, and again replacing it before them. There were many who, with a more generous feeling, exclaimed," Long live King Richard ! and may he be speedily restored to us !" And some few, among whom were Front-de-Bouf and the Templar, in sullen disdain suffered their goblets to stand untasted before them. But no man ventured directly to gainsay a pledge filled to the health of the reigning monarch.

Having enjoyed his triumph for about a minute, Cedric said to his companion. • Úp, noble Athelstane! we have remained here long enough, since we have requited the hospitable courtesy of Prince John's banquet. Those who wish to know further of our rude Saxon manners must henceforth seek us in the homes of our fathers, since we have seen enough of royal banquets, and enough of Norman courtesy."

So saying, he arose and left the banqueting room, followed by Athelstane, and by several other guests, who, partaking of the Saxon lineage, held themselves insulted by the sarcasms of Prince John and his courtiers.

“By the bones of St. Thomas," said Prince John, as they retreated, “the Saxon churls have borne off the best of the day, and have retreated with triumph.".

“They are breaking up," said the Prince in a whisper to Fitzurse ; “their fears anticipate the event, and the coward Prior is the first to shrink from me.'

"Fear not, my lord,” said Waldemar; "I will shew him such reasons as shall induce him to join us when we hold our meeting at York. Sir Prior," he said, “I must speak with you in private before you mount your palfrey."

The other guests were now fast dispersing, with the exception of those immediately attached to Prince John's faction, and his retinue.

" This, then, is the result of your advice," said the Prince, turning an angry countenance upon Fitzurse; that I should be bearded at my own board by a drunken Saxon churl, and that, on the mere sound of my brother's name, men should fall off from me as if I had the leprosy ?”

“Have patience, sir,” replied his counsellor; “I might retort your accusation, and blame the inconsiderate levity which foiled

my design, and misled your own better judgment. But this is no time for recrimination. De Bracy and I will instantly go among these shuffling cowards, and convince them they have gone too far to recede.”

“ It will be in vain," said Prince John, pacing the apartment with disordered steps, and expressing himself with an agitation to which the wine he had drank partly contributed—“ It will be in vain ; they have seen the handwriting on the wall; they have marked the paw of the lion in the sand; they have heard his approaching roar shake the wood ; nothing will reanimate their courage.

“Would to God,” said Fitzurse to De Bracy, “that aught could reanimate his own! His brother's very name is an ague to him. Un. happy are the counsellors of a Prince who wants fortitude and perseverance alike in good and in evil.”

66

CHAPTER XV.

“And yet he thinks-ha, ha, ha, ha-he thinks

I am the tool and servant of his will.
Well, let it be; through all the maze of trouble
His plots and base oppression must create,
I'll shape myself a way to higher things,
And who will say 'tis wrong?".

- Basil, a Tragedy.

N

O spider ever took more pains to repair the shattered meshes of his

web than did Waldemar Fitzurse to reunite and combine the scattered members of Prince John's cabal. Few of these were

attached to him from inclination, and none from personal regard. It was, therefore, necessary that Fitzurse should open to them new prospects of advantage, and remind them of those which they at present enjoyed. To the young and wild nobles he held out the prospect of unpunished licence and uncontrolled revelry; to the ambitious, that of power, and to the covetous that of increased wealth and extended domains. The leaders of the mercenaries received a donation of gold; an argument the most persuasive to their minds, and without which all others would have proved in vain. Promises were still more liberally distributed than money by this active agent; and, in fine, nothing was left undone that could determine the wavering, or animate the disheartened. The return of King. Richard he spoke of as an event altogether beyond the reach of probability; yet, when he observed, from the doubtful looks and uncertain answers which he received, that this was the apprehension by which the minds of his accomplices were most haunted, he boldly treated that event, should it really take place, as one which ought not to alter their political calculations.

If Richard returns," said Fitzurse, "he returns to enrich his needy and impoverished crusaders at the expense of those who did not follow him to the Holy Land. He returns to call to a fearful reckoning those who, during his absence, have done aught that can be construed offence or encroachment upon either the laws of the land or the privileges of the crown. He returns to avenge upon the Orders of the Temple and the Hospital the preference which they shewed to Philip of France during the wars in the Holy Land. He returns, in fine, to punish as a rebel overy adherent of his brother, Prince John. Are ye afraid of his power ?” continued the artful confident of that Prince ; we acknowledge him a strong and valiant knight; but these are not the days of King Arthur, when a champion could encounter an army. If Richard indeed comes back, it must be alone -unfollowed-unfriended. The bones of his gallant army have whitened the sands of Palestine. The few of his followers who have returned have struggled hither, like this Wilfred of Ivanhoe, beggared and broken men.

And what talk ye of Richard's right of birth ?” he proceeded, in answer to • those who objected scruples on that head. "Is Richard's title of primo

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