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banner? ” asked Ivanhoe. — “ Under no ensign of war which I can observe, answered Rebecca. ——" A singular novelty, ” inuttered the knight,
to advance to storm such a castle without pennon or banner displayed. See'st thou who they be that act as leaders ? “ A knight, clad in sable armour, is the most conspicuous," said the Jewess; " he alone is armed from head to heel, and seems to assume the direction of all around him.". " What device does he bear on his shield?” replied Ivanhoe.-“ Something resembling a bar of iron, and a padlock painted blue on the black shield.” -“A fetterlock and shakle bolt azure, said Ivanhoe ; " I know not who may bear the device, but well I ween it might now be mine own. Canst thou not see the motto?" “ Scarce the device itself at this dis. tance,” replied Rebecca ; “ but when the sun glances fair upon his shield, it shows as I tell you. " Scem there no other leaders?” exclaimed the anxious inquirer. “ None of mark and distinction that I can behold from this station,” said Rebecca; “ but, doubtless, the other side of the castle is also assailed. They seem even now preparing to advance.—God of Zion, protect us !_What a dreadful sight !
—Those who advance first bear huge shields, and detences made of plank; the others follow, bending their bows as they come on.—They raise their bows! God of Moses, forgive the creatures thou hast made!” - Her description was here suddenly interrupted by the signal for assault, which was given by the blast of a shrill bugle, and at once answered by a flourish of the Norman trumpets from the battlements, which, mingled with the deep and hollow clang of the nakers (a species of kettle-drum), retorted in notes of defiance the challenge of the enemy. -- “ And I must lie here like a bedridden monk,” exclaimed Ivanhoe, “ while the game that gives me freedom or death is played out by the hand of others !-Look from the window once again, land maiden, but beware that you are not marked by the archers bencath-Look out once more, and tell me if they yet advance to the storm." - With patient courage, strengthened by the interval which she had employed in mental devotion, Rebecca again took post at the lattice, sheltering herself, however, so as not to be visible from beneath. 6. What dost thou see, Rebecca ? again demanded the wounded knight. -" Nothing but the cloud of arrows, tiying so thick as to dazzle mine eyes, and to hide the bowmen who shoot them. “ That cannot endure," said Ivanhoe; “ if they press not right on to carry the castle by pure force of arms, the archery may avail but little against stone walls and bulwarks. Look for the knight of the fetterlock, fair Rebecca, and see how he bearshimself; for as the leader is, so will his followers be." I see him not,” said Rebecca. “ Foul craven!” exclaimed Ivanhoe; “ does he blench: from the helm when the wind blows highest ? ' “ He blenches not! he blenches not !” said Rebecca, “ I see him now; he leads a body of men close under the outer barrier of the barbican. They pull down the piles and palisades; they hew down the barriers with axes--His high black plume floats abroad over the throng, like
a raven over the field of the slain. They have made a breach in the barriers—they rush in—they are thrust back !-Front-de-Beuf heads the defenders, I see his gigantic form above the press. They throng again to the breach, and the pass is disputed hand to hand and man to man. God of Jacob! it is the meeting of two fierce tidesthe conflict of two oceans moved by adverse winds."
• She turned her head from the lattice, as if unable longer to endure a sight so terrible. Look forth again, Rebecca, said Ivanhoe, mistaking the cause of her retiring ; “ the archery must in some degree have ceased, since they are now fighting hand to hand-Look again, there is now less danger. Rebecca again looked forth, and almost immediately exclaimed, “ Holy prophets of the law ! Frontde-Beuf and the Black Knight fight hand to hand on the breach, amid the roar of their followers, who watch the progress of the strife - Heaven strike with the cause of the oppressed and of the captive !" She then uttered a loud shriek, and exclaimed, “ He is down !-he is down!" -" Who is down ? " cried Ivanhoe; " for our dear Lady's sake, tell me which has fallen ? ” — “ The Black Knight, answered Rebecca, faintly; then instantly again shouted with joyful eagerness—“ But no-but no !- the name of the Lord of Hosts be blessed he is on foot again, and fights as if there were twenty men's strength in his single arm-His sword is broken-he snatches an axe from a yeoman—he presses Front-de-Bæuf with blow on blow— The giant stoops and totters like an oak under the steel of the woodman-he falls-he falls !" “ Front-de-Bæuf!” exclaimed Ivanhoe, Front-de-Bæuf," answered the Jewess; “his men rush to the rescue, headed by the haughty Templar— their united force compels the champion to pause— They drag Front-de-Bæuf within the walls." -“ The assailants have won the barriers, have they not?" said Ivanhoe. -- " They have they have--and they press the besieged hard upon the outer wall ; some plant ladders, some swarm like bees, and endeavour to ascend upon the shoulders of each other -dowɔl go stones, beams, and trunks of trees upon their heads, and as fast as they bear the wounded to the rear, fresh men supply their places in the assault-Great God ! hast thou given men thine own image, that it should be thus cruelly defaced by the hands of their brethren!” — “ Think not of that,” replied Ivanhoe; “ this is no time for such thoughts.- Who yield ?-who push their way?"• The ladders are thrown down,” replied Rebecca, shuddering ; “ the soldiers lie grovelling under them like crushed reptiles-The besieged have the better.” -“ Saint George strike for us, said the knight, “ do the false yeomen give way?” – “No!" exclaimed Rebecca, “ they bear themselves right yeomanly—the Black Knight approaches the postern with his huge axe- the thundering blows which he deals, you may hear them above all the din and shouts of the battle-stones and beams are hailed down on the bold champion-he regards them no more than if they were thistle-down Qr feathers. ' _" By St John of Acre,” said Ivanhoe, raising him
self joyfully on his couch, “ methought there was but one man in England that might do such a deed.” “ The postern gate shakes, continued Rebecca; “it crashes-it is splintered by his blows--they rush in-the out-work is won-Oh God !—they hurry the defenders from the battlements—they throw them into the moat-O men, if ye be indeed men, spare them that can resist no longer !" bridge the bridge which communicates with the castle--have they won that pass ? ” exclaimed Ivanhoe. — “ No,” replied Rebecca, “ the Templar has destroyed the plank on which they crossed-few of the defenders escaped with him into the castle-the shrieks and cries which you hear tell the fate of the others-- Alas! I see that it is still more difficult to look upon victory than upon battle.” “ Seest thou nothing else, Rebecca, by wbich the Black Knight may be distinguished ?” Nothing,” said the Jewess; “ all about him is black as the wing of the night raven. Nothing can I spy
that can mark him further ---but having once seen him put forth his strength in battle, methinks I could know him again among a thousand warriors. He rushes to the fray as if he were summoned to a banquet. There is more than mere strength-there seems as if the whole soul and spirit of the champion were given to every blow which he deals upon his enemies. God assoilzie him of the sin of bloodshed !-it is fearful, yet magnificent, to behold how the arm and heart of one man can triumph over hundreds." II. 290–301.
The roar of the combat is now hushed for a season, while the assailants collect their strength in the position they have won; and the exhausted frame of Ivanhoe sinks into slumber at the first cessation of the excitement. The heroic Jewess bends over him with emotions warmer and decper than those of mere compassion.
“ He sleeps !” che said ; “ nature exhausted by sufferance and the waste of spirits, his wearied frame embraces the first moment of temporary relaxation to sink into slumber. Alas! is it a crime that I should look upon liim, when it may be for the last time? When yet but a short space, and those fair features will be no longer animated by the bold and buoyant spirit which forsakes them not even in sleep !-- When the nostril shall be distended, the mouth agape, the eyes fixed and blood-shot; and when the proud and noble knight may be trodden on by the lowest caitiff of this accursed castle, yet stir not when the heel is lifted up against him!- And my father! oh, my father! evil is it with his daughter, when his grey hairs are not remembered because of the golden locks of youth !What know I but that these evils are the messengers of Jehovah's wrath to the unnatural child, who thinks of a stranger's captivity before a parent's? who forgets the desolation of Judah, and looks upon the comeliness of a Gentile and a stranger? - But I will tear this folly from my heart, though every fibre bleed as I rend it away!”. She wrapped herself closely in her veil, and sat down at a distance from the couch of the wounded knight, with her back furned towards it, fortifying of
endeavouring to fortify her mind, not only against the impending evils from without, but also against those treacherous feelings which assailed her from within.' II. 306, 307.
The rest of the storming of the castle is equally magnificent with what we have extracted. The Black Knight thunders at the gates, and, bearing down all opposition, forces his way, followed by the valiant Cedric, into the court-yard. The men-atarms fall before the shafts of the unerring bowyer of Sherwood; and, in the mean time, the vengeful hag sets fire to the castle in the rear, and, after bawling curses in the ear of the dying I'ront-de-Bauf, stations herself on a loity turret in the midst of the flames, and then singing a strain of wild and demoniac execration, leaps madly into the heart of the conflagration.De Bracy is made captive by the Black Knight; who rescues Ivanhoe just as the flames are ascending to his couch-and Cedric does as much for Rowena. But the Templar, after levelJing the noble Athelstane to the earth, seizes the lovely Rebėcca, and, making a desperate sally, cuts his way through the assailants, and makes clear off with his prize. The poor Jew is rescued by the jolly Friar, who, peering into the cellarage in quest of a cup of liquor, stumbles upon his dungeon ;-and captives and victors are soon assembled to divide the spoil before the sylvan throne of the gallant Locksley.-De Bracy is dismissed by the Black Knight, who receives from the hand of Locksley a bugle horn, on the winding of which in any part of the midland forest, he is assured that resort will be made for his rescue.--Gurth obtains his freedom for his gallant services; and Cedric and Rowena march off to prepare for the funeral of Athelstane.-The Jew and the Friar are handsomely ransomed by the outlaws; and the former sets forward to the Preceptory of the Templars, to which he understood that Rebecca had been conducted, in order to negociate for her rescue.
In the mean time, the treacherous John learns from De Bracy, what our more sagacious readers have probably already discovered, that the Black Knight of the Fetterlock is no other than Richard of the Lion Heart himself;--and basely despatches a band of mercenaries to beset and assassinate him in the woods, before he has an opportunity of rearing his royal standard, or strengthening himself in the love of his people. FThis company of caitiffs accordingly overtake him, with no better escort than the faithful jester of Cedric, --who again does better service than could have been expected from a better man. As they are jogging gaily on, the sage Wamba observes,
“ And now let Valour rouse himself, and shake his mane ; for, if I mistake not, there are company in yonder brake that are on the look-out for us. " What makes thee judge so ?” said the Knight
“ Because I have twice or thrice noticed the glance of a morrion from amongst the green leaves. Had they been honest men, they had kept the path. But yonder thicket is a choice chapel for the Clerks to St Nicholas.” — By my faith,” said the Knight, closing his visor, “ I think thou beʼst in the right on't.” — And in good time did he close it, for three arrows flew at the same instant from the suspected spot against his head and breast, one of which would have penetrated to the brain, had it not been turned aside by the steel visor. The other two were averted by the gorget, and by the shield which hung around his neck." Thanks, trusty armourer, said the Knight.--" Wamba, let us close with them,”-and he rode straight to the thicket. He was met by six or seven men-at-arms, who run against him with their lances at full career. Three of the weapons struck against him, and splintered with as little effect as if they had been driven against a tower of steel. The Black Knight's eyes seemed to flash fire even through the aperture of his visor. He raised himself in his stirrups with an air of inexpressible dignity, and exclaimed, “ What means this, my masters !”—The men made no other reply than by drawing their swords and attacking him
on every side, crying, “ Die, tyrant !
66 Ha! Saint Edward! Ha! Saint George !” said the Black Knight, striking down a man at every invocation ; “ have we traitors here ? ” — The assailants, desperate as they were, bore back from an arm which carried death in every blow; and it seemed as if the terror of his single strength was about to gain the battle against such odds, when a knight, in blue armour, who had hitherto kept himself behind the other assailants, spurred forward with his lance, and taking aim, not at the rider but at the steed, wounded the noble animal mortally. - “ That was a felon stroke !” exclaimed the Black Knight, as the steed fell to the earth, bearing his rider along with him.-- And at this moment, Wamba winded the bugle, for the whole had passed so speedily that he had not time to do so sooner. The sudden sound inade the murderers bear back once more ; and Wamba, though so imperfectly weaponed, did not hesitate to rush in and assist the Black Knight to arise. “ Shame on ye, false cowards !” exclaimed the Knight, who seemed to lead the assailants ; “ do ye fly from the empty blast of a horr blown by a Jester? ”
• The Jester now hovered on the skirts of the fight, and effectually checked the fatal career of the Blue Knight, by ham-stringing his horse with a stroke of his sword. Horse and man went to the ground; yet the situation of the Knight of the Fetterlock continued very precarious, as he was pressed close by several men completely armed, and began to be fatigued by the violent exertions necessary to defend himself on so many points at nearly the same moment, when a gray.goose shaft suddenly stretched on the earth one of the most formidable of his assailants, and a band of yeomen broke forth from the glade, headed by Locksley and the jovial Friar, who, taking ready and effectual part in the fray, soon dis.