Chapter 18 Notes from Ivanhoe

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Ivanhoe Chapter 18

The story now shifts to the Saxons. Cedric considers taking care of Ivanhoe, but he decides instead to have his servant Oswald keep tabs on him. He loses track of Ivanhoe, but recognizes Gurth, and brings him to Cedric. Oswald learns that Ivanhoe is well-cared for, and Cedric's worried heart quickly turned angry again at his son's dishonor. The Lady Rowena stands up for Ivanhoe's honor and bravery, for she loves him deeply. But Cedric will have none of it, and he leaves for the Prince's party--Lady Rowena refuses to go.

They feast and do not leave until the next day. Upon leaving, they notice a thin black dog trying to tag along. The Saxons are superstitious, and believe this is a bad omen. But the dog is only Fangs, and Cedric strikes the dog with his javelin. Shortly after, Gurth asks Wamba to tell Cedric that he renounces his service to him. Wamba refuses. In the front of the party, the subjects are more grand. Cedric and Athelstane discuss the possibility of a Saxon restoration during the upcoming uprising, and the need to start mobilizing and uniting their kinsmen. An alliance between Athelstane and Rowena would be a good start, and Cedric intends to promote one. The Lady Rowena and Ivanhoe had been in love, and this was why Cedric banished him. But Rowena is used to being in charge, as she rules as head of the family. Therefore she resents this whole affair, and dull Athelstane as well. She does not want to be a queen, and would rather enter a convent than marry Athelstane. Ivanhoe's reappearance does not help Cedric:

"The sudden and romantic appearance of his son in the lists at Ashby he had justly regarded as almost a death's blow to his hopes. His paternal affection, it is true, had for an instant gained the victory over pride and patriotism; but both had returned in full force, and under their joint operation he was now bent upon making a determined effort for the union of Athelstane and Rowena, together with expediting those other measures which seemed necessary to forward the restoration of Saxon independence." Chapter 18, pg. 162

Athelstane's nickname was the Unready--not coward or lazy, but unready, and slow to act, even in the name of his Saxon heritage.

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