Chapter 16 Notes from Ivanhoe

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Ivanhoe Chapter 16

The Black Knight, who quickly left the tournament, continues through the forests. Bored, perhaps with no lady love to think about, the Black Knight looks for lodging or company. He lets his horse forge the path, and before nightfall he arrives at a crude hut. A clear fountain of water flows nearby, and the ruins of a small chapel sit in a heap. All is peace and quiet. Since it is a hermit's duty to give hospitality to travelers, the Black Knight feels very lucky.

It takes a long time for the hermit to answer, and when he does it is with no good news. He tells the Knight that he has very little to offer in the way of food or comfort, and he should move along. The Knight asks at least to be shown the correct path, but the hermit will not even do that. At the threat of having his door broken in, the hermit finally opens it. The hermit is big and shaggy, roughly dressed, and he holds two big and shaggy dogs. The hermit's home is very meager, just as he had said. As he sits down to a small meal, the Knight removes his helmet, revealing a handsome face and piercing blue eyes. The hermit then throws back his hood, revealing a bald monastic head and a face a bit too jolly and round for a monk. The Knight is suspicious, and asks for some liquor. The hermit produces a jug of water from the fountain. They exchange names--the Holy Clerk of Copmanhurst for the monk, and the Sluggish Knight for our friend. The hermit pulls out some food, claiming it is from his keeper. The knight plays along, and gulps up much of the venison pastry the hermit brought out. The knight shares with his host, claiming it is a foreign custom they must follow. The hermit partakes, glad for the knight's discreet invitation to dine. Such food is usually off-limits for a hermit. Then, the same request from the Knight makes the hermit bring out some wine. The Knight tries to find out if the hermit hunts, which is against the law. At first he swears he does not, then he shows the Knight his collection of weapons. Pulling out a harp, the hermit readies himself to play. The two men are friendly in spite of their odd meeting and conversation.

Topic Tracking: Loyalty 8

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