Ivanhoe Chapter 3
Inside Rotherwood, Cedric's home, the table is set for dinner. The hall is rather crude, the roof thatched and the floor dirt; smoke from the chimney often drifts inside. But its simplicity matches that of the Saxon period. On a slightly raised platform is the seat for the family, along with any important guests. Cedric the Saxon sits on this platform, annoyed that the evening meal is late. Though sixty years of age, Cedric is a strong and robust man:
"Pride and jealousy there was in his eye, for his life had been spent in asserting rights which were constantly liable to invasion; and the prompt, fiery, and resolute disposition of the man had been kept constantly upon the alert by the circumstances of his situation." Chapter 3, pg. 23
He wears the Saxon dress, a tunic trimmed with poor fur, and peasant-style sandals. He has several servants and attendants who buzz around the hall, including several dogs. Lady Rowena is still changing her clothes, having just returned from Mass. Cedric is worried about Gurth, who had not yet returned. The swineherd is responsible for many swine, which are vulnerable to thieves. Also, his clown Wamba was not even present to offer him amusement. He continually questions Lady Rowena's maid, who assures him that the young woman will be out shortly. Having no one to bother about Wamba and Gurth, Cedric bitterly assumes that some Norman lord has taken them. He invokes the name of Wilfred, his great ancestor.
The sound of a horn rouses Rotherwood. A servant announces the Prior Aymer of Jorvaulx, the knight Brian de Bois-Guilbert, commander of the order of the Knight's Templars, and their attendants. On their way to a tournament at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, they request lodging for the night. Annoyed that these Normans requested lodging, Cedric nonetheless follows the rules of hospitality, and allows them in. But he tells his servant:
"Say to them, Hundebert, that Cedric would himself bid them welcome, but he is under a vow never to step more than three steps from the dais of his own hall to meet any who shares not the blood of Saxon royalty." Chapter 3, pg. 27
Cedric and an attendant discuss their new guests. The Prior is known for his carnal indulgences, as is the Templar. But Bois-Guilbert is also known for his bravery, and his cruelty. So say other soldiers returning from Palestine. Elgitha, Lady Rowena's maid, tells Cedric how interested the Lady is in the actions in Palestine. This greatly upsets Cedric, who thinks of his defiant son. He briefly considers asking about him, but sternly remembers that such a son is and always will be nothing to him.