Chapter 24 Notes from Ivanhoe

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Ivanhoe Chapter 24

During all this, Rebecca waits in a high tower of the castle. An old sibyl is in the tower when Rebecca enters. She hums in Saxon, and jealously looks at her beautiful cell-mate. When asking her to move out, the men call her Dame Urfried. She hotly refuses to move, and they leave grumbling. She then turns to Rebecca, and by her speech recognizes her as a Jew. Rebecca asks her what will become of her, and Dame Urfried tells her own story. When she was young, Front-de-Boeuf's father stormed this castle, and her whole family died defending it. She became their prisoner, and has been here ever since. There is no escape.

Rebecca always feared the worst would come to her, that ill luck was fated to the Jew. She was humble to others, but still kept her pride fresh in her mind. So like her father, harsh circumstances were in some ways expected, and therefore easier to deal with. She felt prepared. She searches for a way out but finds none. The one window is useless for escape. Where one could be hopeless, she looks to God and hopes for mercy or salvation.

Courage is needed, for a masked man enters her chamber. She offers him jewelry, but he refuses. It is her beauty, not material things, he wants. He drops his mask, revealing Brian de Bois-Guilbert. He tells her he does not want to hurt her, but to adorn her and love her. She objects, citing their differences. They could never marry. Of course not, he retorts, for he is a Templar, and cannot marry. But all other sins can be easily absolved. She notes his hypocrisy, and he sharpens his tone. She threatens to tell about his proposed sin with a Jewess; he tells her no one within the castle will care, and she will never leave it. He tells her she should renounce her religion, but she cries out that any religion with the likes of him is none at all! At this, she jumps to the window, and perches above the abyss below. Her face and manner are calm at the possibility of such a fate, but the Templar talks her down with a promise of no harm.

Topic Tracking: Loyalty 11
Topic Tracking: Bravery 6

Bois-Gilbert begs Rowena for forgiveness, insisting he was not always so cruel. It was a woman who made him so, a woman named Adelaide de Montemare. He journeyed to fight for her, but when he returned, she was wedded to a petty Gascon squire, who had done nothing for her! In vengeance, he renounced his independence and became a Templar:

"The Templar loses, as thou hast said, his social rights, his power of free agency, but he becomes a member and a limb of a mighty body, before which thrones already tremble--even as the single drop of rain which mixes with the sea becomes an individual part of that restless ocean which undermines rocks and ingulphs mighty armadas." Chapter 24, pg. 211

This power feeds his ambition. The accumulation of wealth and power are things the order founders never thought of, preferring their fasts and old beliefs. He breaks off now, at the sound of the horn outside. But he promises to return again soon. Alone, Rebecca prays for the respite, for the safety of her father, and of the injured Christian. She catches herself in this prayer for a foe of her religion, but it is too late, the prayer already spoken.

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