Ivanhoe Chapter 34
Prince John collects possible allies at the Castle of York for a big party. He sends Fitzurse among them to test the waters, and see what support there is for John's stealing the Kingship. But his three big guns are missing: Front-de-Boeuf, De Bracy and Bois-Guilbert. It is feared they were either killed or taken prisoner. Prince John, upset by what interfered in his plans, curses the Saxons, whom he believes took his men. Fitzurse tries to reassure the Prince, for he has sent out search parties. But the vain Prince is not calmed. Rather, he is annoyed that his advisor acted without his consent.
Suddenly, De Bracy enters, bloody and battered. He tells them that Bois-Guilbert is gone, and Front-de-Boeuf is dead. Then he releases the bombshell: King Richard is back in England! Prince John nearly faints! De Bracy tells them how he met with Richard, and that he was his prisoner. He also offered to help the King, and now asks Fitzurse to take up arms as well. Prince John notices this, and criticizes their switch of loyalty. De Bracy still refuses to harm Richard, but John says he only wants to imprison him! Fitzurse wants to kill Richard, but De Bracy refuses both options. De Bracy used to wish to fight the King, but not in a cowardly ambush, as Fitzurse suggests. He will not go along with harming King Richard. Prince John reflects on his sorry state--his father had loyal servants, who killed Thomas-a-Becket at his first request. Fitzurse, despite his reservations, agrees to take the King prisoner. After Fitzurse leaves, Prince John speaks to De Bracy. He tells him that Fitzurse's willingness seems suspicious, and that he respects De Bracy's loyalty to the throne! He questions whether Fitzurse is right for the honored post of Chancellor! All because he readily did what the Prince asked:
"There are things most necessary to be done, the perpetrator of which we neither love nor honour; and there may be refusals to serve us which shall rather exalt in our estimation those who deny our request." Chapter 34, pg. 320
Prince John soon checks to make sure Fitzurse and his men are on their way, and asks a servant to keep watch on De Bracy. He fears betrayal.