Ivanhoe Chapter 14
That night is the festival, and Prince John presides over the event. He tries to act the part of gracious host, but he is too irritable and vapid a man. Some time ago, his father sent him to Ireland, to court the local chieftains. But he was such a silly, careless man that he pulled the chieftains' strange long beards at the very first meeting. The Irishmen were not too happy, and England's relations with the country suffered greatly.
Lady Rowena does not attend the party with Cedric and Athelstane, and Prince John nearly laughs at their Saxon dress the way he laughed at the Irishmen. They, and other Norman nobles, also work hard to hold their tongues when their Saxon guests do not display the proper table manners. The Prince raises his goblet to Ivanhoe, but Cedric will not drink. His son left him to follow the Norman arts of chivalry, and to fight for a Norman king. He cannot forgive the smear to their Saxon heritage.
As the meal progresses, the Norman's ridicule of Cedric becomes more vocal. He chastises his host's uncivil treatment, and stands up for his Saxon heritage, and the Saxon knight who had won the tournament. After a few courtesies pass, and the conflict seems smoothed, the Prince asks Cedric to name a worthy Norman. Fitzurse whispers to Cedric that he should name Prince John, but proud Cedric instead names the Prince's worst foe--his brother, King Richard! When most of the guests are gone, the Prince complains to Fitzurse that the courage of his men is failing with Richard so close, and he fears all is lost. But Fitzurse wonders about the bravery and steadfastness of the Prince himself.