The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right. — G. K. Chesterton

Ivanhoe Told to the Children - Ethel Lindsay




The Rescue of Rebecca

When Ivanhoe left Coningsburgh in answer to the Jew's message, he rode hard to Templestowe, where the Templar had taken Rebecca. Here he found the Templar, whom he challenged to mortal combat. After a fierce fight the Templar was defeated, and reeling from his horse, fell to the ground and expired. At this moment King Richard rode up.

"I am too late," he said, looking round. "I had doomed Bois-Guilbert for my own prisoner. Ivanhoe, was this well, to take on thee such a venture, and thou scarce able to keep thy saddle yet?"

"Heaven, my Liege," answered Ivanhoe, "hath taken this proud man for his victim."

By now Rebecca was locked in her father's arms.

"Let us go," he said, "and throw ourselves at the feet of the good youth whose strong arm has rescued you."

"No, no," said Rebecca "not now—not now! I most devoutly acknowledged his service, and it shall be more so; but not now, father; grant my request—not now! Thou seest that King Richard is with him."

"True, my dear Rebecca," said Isaac, "then let us hence! He is, no doubt, short of money now he has returned from Palestine, and he may want some of mine and blame me for lending it to Prince John."

Richard I
AFTER A FIERCE FIGHT THE TEMPLAR WAS DEFEATED.


Hurrying his daughter away, Isaac conveyed her to the house of another Jew, where he left her in safety.

And now as time went on, Cedric answered the summons of King Richard, and seeing his hopes of restoring a Saxon King to the throne were at an end, he obeyed and made his vows of allegiance to Richard. King Richard, on this occasion, paid Cedric so much personal attention and delighted so much in his blunt humour that ere he had been a guest at the King's court for seven days, Cedric had given his consent for the marriage of his ward to his son Ivanhoe. The truth was that now Athelstane had refused to marry Rowena, Cedric was proud that his son, whose growing fame gave him pleasure, should be allied to a descendant of King Alfred, and so their marriage was celebrated in the noble minster of York. The King himself attended, and from the countenance which he afforded on this and other occasions to the distressed Saxons, who had always been looked down on and sneered at by the Normans, he gave them a certain promise of attaining their just right in future, equally with the Normans. Upon the second morning after her marriage, Rowena was made acquainted that a damsel wished to see her, and she commanded that she should be admitted. When the stranger entered, she dropped on one knee and kissed the hem of Rowena's dress.

"What means this?" said Rowena.

"It means," said Rebecca (for it was she), rising up, "that I am the unhappy Jewess whom your husband rescued, and I may lawfully, and without rebuke, pay my debt of gratitude to you."

"Damsel," said Rowena, "Wilfred of Ivanhoe on that day paid back in slight measure the debt he owed you for saving his life. Is there aught remains in which he or I can serve you?"

"Nothing," said Rebecca, "unless you will give him my grateful farewell."

"You leave England, then?" said Rowena.

"I leave it, lady," said Rebecca, "ere this moon changes. My father hath a brother high in favour with the King of Grenada; thither we go, secure of peace and protection. Farewell!" said she, and glided from the apartment, leaving Rowena surprised at the visit.

The fair Saxon related the incident to her husband, on whose mind it left a deep impression. He lived long and happily with Rowena, for they were attached to each other by bonds of early affection.

Ivanhoe distinguished himself in the service of King Richard, and was graced with further marks of his favour. He might have risen still higher, but for the premature death of the heroic Richard, who was killed while storming a castle in France. The brave Gurth was given land, and being made a freeman by Cedric, lived long to render good service to Wilfred as his squire, while the brave Wamba also lived long and happily, after being greatly rewarded for his services. As time went on, the Saxons and Normans intermingled more and more, and married one with the other till the races became united in general peace.

Richard spared Prince John and sent him abroad to reside with their mother till, at his death, John secured the crown of England. It was in his reign that Normans and Saxons rose together to force the King to give greater justice to his subjects, thus uniting the two races in a common cause.