Chapter 37 Notes from Ivanhoe

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Ivanhoe Chapter 37

The Grand Master presides over the trial of Rebecca. The hall is filled with people, including peasants whom Beaumanoir hoped to teach by this example. He speaks of the history and sanctity of the order, and tells the crowd that it is the actions of a vile temptress, a witch, who brought them here. He accuses her of making Bois-Guilbert insane under her spell. To the Grand Master, Bois-Guilbert is a brave warrior and defender of Christianity, respected and high-ranking. He could only have sinned under the spell of witchcraft. Therefore, the witch needs to be removed. But, if Bois-Guilbert had sinned of his own powers, he would have to be removed from the order. That, said the Grand Master, is what they must find out.

He calls witnesses to tell how Bois-Guilbert had risked his life for Rebecca's at Torquilstone. Albert testifies, and is given a light penance for allowing the Jewess into the castle. When asked by the court, Bois-Guilbert denies the charges against Rebecca. Such foolishness is seen as a sign of her spell over him. The court then brings forth a poor Saxon who was healed by Rebecca's doctoring. The Saxon still had some of the balm Rebecca used on him, and since the mixture was exotic and unknown, the court took it to be magical.

The Grand Master orders her to remove her veil and, despite her arguments in favor of female modesty, she eventually complies. Then Albert brings forward two men who make charges against Rebecca; the charges are silly and baseless, mostly having to do with her native language or clothes. Unfortunately, the court sees all as truth. When asked to speak, Rebecca said that explaining her customs to them would be useless. She instead asks Bois-Guilbert to speak, but all he can say is "The scroll!" Rebecca looks at the scrap of paper in her hands. It reads: "Demand a champion." She thus declares her innocence and asks for combat--she can only hope someone will come to her defense.

Topic Tracking: Bravery 12
Topic Tracking: Prejudice 14

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