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Chapter 2 Notes from Ivanhoe

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Ivanhoe Chapter 2

Soon the horsemen are upon them. The most important one of the group is a monk, decked out in clothes too fine for his order. He wears a fine long cape, and his sleeves are trimmed with fur. Traveling with him is a lay brother riding a beautiful horse, and a dark-skinned man, his dress a mixture of monastic robe and military garb. Several squires accompany them, as well as two attendants, dark-skinned men from the Orient. Wamba recognizes the monk as the Prior of Jorvaulx Abbey, also called the Prior Aymer, known for his un-monk-like behavior.

Topic Tracking: Loyalty 1

Speaking in the mixed language of French and Saxon, the primary means of communication between the classes, the Prior asks Wamba and Gurth if they know of someone who would give him and his companions a night's lodgings. Wamba jokingly suggests a hermitage, but the Prior insists on something better. Cedric is the Prior's franklin, so he requests directions to Cedric's home. Gurth tries to resist the request, and makes excuses. One of the attendants threatens Gurth, so the Prior decides to try his luck with Wamba. Wamba gives them the wrong directions, and the group heads off.

Gurth doesn't mind Wamba's deception. He fears the womanizing Prior will see the Lady Rowena and also the quarrelsome Cedric meeting with the irritable group. The group, now speaking in elevated Norman-French, discusses what just passed. The dark-skinned man, a Templar, asks the Prior why he was so easy with the two. The Prior answers that to hurt the jester could hurt his master too, who is:

"Proud, fierce, jealous, and irritable, a withstander of the nobility, and even of his neighbors, Reginald Front-de-Boeuf and Philip Malvoisin, who are no babes to strive with. He stands up so sternly for the privileges of his race, and is so proud of his uninterrupted descent from Hereward, a renowned champion of the Heptarchy, that he is universally called Cedric the Saxon; and makes boast of his belonging to a people from whom many others endeavour to hide their descent, lest they should encounter a share of the voe victis, or severities imposed upon the vanquished." Chapter 2, pg.17.

The Templar then speaks of the Lady Rowena, and his desire to see this beautiful woman. He thinks the Prior to be a great judge of such beauty, and so his curiosity is much heightened. He fears her father, but the Prior tells him that Cedric is not her father; Rowena is descended from a higher lineage. Still related to Cedric, he acts as her guardian. The two men then bet on how beautiful the lady will be. They reach a fork in the road, and cannot remember the way. A man lies in the road, and they ask him the way. The Palmer leads them on the right road, and they are soon at Rotherwood. The mansion is protected by moats and walls, so the Templar blows his horn outside the gate.

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