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Meanwhile, the Grand-master had assumed his seat; and when the chivalry of his order was placed around and behind him, each in his due rank, a loud and long flourish of the trumpets announced that the court were seated for judgment. Malvoisin, then, acting as godfather of the champion, stepped forward and laid the glove of the Jewess, which was the pledge of battle, at the feet of the Grandmaster.
• Valorous Lord, and reverend Father' said he, here standeth the good Knight, Brian de Bois-Guilbert, Knight Preceptor of the Order of the Temple, who, by accepting the pledge of battle which I now lay at your reverence's feet, hath become bound to do his devoir in combat this day, to maintain that this Jewish maiden, by name Rebecca, hath justly deserved the doom passed upon her in a Chapter of this most Holy Order of the Temple of Zion, condemning her to die as a sorceress ;-here, I say, he standeth, such battle to do, knightly and honourable, if such be your noble and sanctified pleasure.
“Hath he made oath,' said the Grand-master, “that his quarrel is just and honourable ? Bring forward the Crucifix and the Te igitur.'1
“Sir, and most reverend father,' answered Malvoisin readily, our brother here present hath already sworn to the truth of his accusation in the hand of the good Knight Conrade de MontFitchet; and otherwise he ought not to be sworn, seeing that his adversary is an unbeliever, and may take no oath.'
The Grand-master, having allowed the apology of Albert Malvoisin, commanded the herald to stand forth and do his devoir. The trumpets then again flourished, and a herald, stepping forward, proclaimed aloud: 'Oyez, oyez, oyez.2 Here standeth the good Knight, Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert, ready to do battle with any knight of free blood, who will sustain the quarrel allowed and allotted to the Jewess Rebecca, to try by champion, in respect of lawful essoine of her own body; and to such champion the reverend and valorous Grand-master here present allows a fair field, and equal partition of sun and wind, and whatever else appertains to a fair combat. The trumpets again sounded, and there was a dead pause of many minutes.
No champion appears for the appellant,' said the Grand-master. "Go, herald, and ask her whether she expects any one to do battle for her in this her cause.' The herald went to the chair in which
The name of a service-book, so called from the first words. 2 Hear, hear, hear. Rebecca was seated, and spoke to her in these terms : ‘Damsel, the Honourable and Reverend the Grand-master demands of thee, if thou art prepared with a champion to do battle this day in thy behalf, or if thou dost yield thee as one justly condemned to a deserved doom?'
"Say to the Grand-master,' replied Rebecca, 'that I maintain my innocence, and do not yield me as justly condemned, lest I become guilty of mine own blood. Say to him that I challenge such delay as his forms will permit, to see if God, whose opportunity is in man’s extremity, will raise me up a deliverer; and when such uttermost space is passed, may His holy will be done !' The herald retired to carry this answer to the Grand-master.
"God forbid,' said Lucas Beaumanoir, 'that Jew or Pagan should impeach us of injustice! Until the shadows be cast from the west to the eastward, will we wait to see if a champion shall appear for this unfortunate woman. When the day is so far passed, let her prepare for death.'
The herald communicated the words of the Grand-master to Rebecca, who bowed her head submissively, folded her arms, and, looking up towards Heaven, seemed to expect that aid from above which she could scarce promise herself from man.
The judges had now been two hours in the lists, awaiting in vain the appearance of a champion. It was, however, the general belief that no one could or would appear for a Jewess, accused of sorcery; and the knights, instigated by Malvoisin, whispered to each other that it was time to declare the pledge of Rebecca forfeited. At this instant a knight, urging his horse to speed, appeared on the plain advancing towards the lists. A hundred voices exclaimed : ' A champion ! a champion !' And despite the prepossessions and prejudices of the multitude, they shouted unanimously as the knight rode into the tilt-yard. The second glance, however, served to destroy the hope that his timely arrival had excited. His horse, urged for many miles to its utmost speed, appeared to reel from fatigue, and the rider, however undauntedly he presented himself in the lists, either from weakness, weariness, or both, seemed scarce able to support himself in the saddle.
To the summons of the herald who demanded his rank, his name, and purpose, the stranger knight answered readily and boldly : 'I am a good knight and noble, come hither to sustain with lance and sword the just and lawful quarrel of this damsel, Rebecca, daughter of Isaac of York; to uphold the doom pronounced against her to be false and truthless, and to defy Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert, as a traitor, murderer, and liar ; as I will prove in this field with my body against his, by the aid of God, of Our Lady, and of Monseigneur Saint George, the good knight.'
• The stranger must first shew,' said Malvoisin, 'that he is good knight, and of honourable lineage. The Temple sendeth not forth her champions against nameless men.'
"My name,' said the Knight, raising his helmet, is better known, my lineage more pure, Malvoisin, than thine own. I am Wilfred of Ivanhoe.'
'I will not fight with thee at present,' said the Templar, in a changed and hollow voice. “Get thy wounds healed, purvey thee a better horse, and it may be I will hold it worth my while to scourge out of thee this boyish spirit of bravade.?
'Ha! proud Templar,' said Ivanhoe, 'hast thou forgotten that twice didst thou fall before this lance ? Remember the lists at Acre-remember the passage of arms at Ashby-remember thy proud vaunt in the halls of Rotherwood, and the gage of your gold chain against my reliquary, that thou wouldst do battle with Wilfred of Ivanhoe, and recover the honour thou hadst lost! By that reliquary, and the holy relic it contains, I will proclaim thee, Templar, a coward in every court of Europe-in every Preceptory of thine Order-unless thou do battle without further delay
Bois-Guilbert turned his countenance irresolutely towards Rebecca, and then exclaimed, looking fiercely at Ivanhoe: 'Dog of a Saxon! take thy lance, and prepare for the death thou hast drawn
* Does the Grand-master allow me the combat ?' said Ivanhoe.
'I may not deny what thou hast challenged,' said the Grandmaster, ‘provided the maiden accepts thee as her champion. Yet I would thou wert in better plight to do battle. An enemy of our Order hast thou ever been, yet would I have thee honourably met with.
“Thus thus as I am, and not otherwise,' said Ivanhoe ; “it is the judgment of God—to His keeping I commend myself.—Rebecca, said he, riding up to the fatal chair, dost thou accept of me for thy champion ?'
'I do,' she said—'I do'-fluttered by an emotion which the fear of death had been unable to produce—'I do accept thee as the champion whom Heaven hath sent me. Yet, no-no-thy wounds are uncured. Meet not that proud man-why shouldst thou perish also ?'
But Ivanhoe was already at his post, and had closed his visor, and assumed his lance. Bois-Guilbert did the same; and his esquire remarked, as he clasped his visor, that his face, which had, notwithstanding the variety of emotions by which he had been agitated, continued during the whole morning of an ashy paleness, was now become suddenly very much flushed.
The herald then, seeing each champion in his place, uplifted his voice, repeating thrice : ' Faites vos devoirs, preux chevaliers !’1 After the third cry, he withdrew to one side of the lists, and again proclaimed that none, on peril of instant death, should dare, by word, cry, or action, to interfere with or disturb this fair field of combat. The Grand-master, who held in his hand the gage of battle, Rebecca's glove, now threw it into the lists and pronounced the fatal signal words, Laissez aller.2
The trumpets sounded, and the knights charged each other in full career.
The wearied horse of Ivanhoe, and its no less exhausted rider, went down, as all had expected, before the wellaimed lance and vigorous steed of the Templar. This issue of the combat all had foreseen; but although the spear of Ivanhoe did but, in comparison, touch the shield of Bois-Guilbert, that champion, to the astonishment of all who beheld it, reeled in his saddle, lost his stirrups, and fell in the lists.
Ivanhoe, extricating himself from his fallen horse, was soon on foot, hastening to mend his fortune with his sword; but his antagonist arose not. Wilfred, placing his foot on his breast, and the sword's point to his throat, commanded him to yield him, or die on the spot. Bois-Guilbert returned no answer.
'Slay him not, Sir Knight, cried the Grand-master, “unshriven and unabsolved-kill not body and soul ! We allow him vanquished.
He descended into the lists, and commanded them to unhelm the conquered champion. His eyes were closed—the dark red flush was still on his brow. As they looked on him in astonishment, the eyes opened—but they were fixed and glazed. The flush passed from his brow, and gave way to the pallid hue of death. Unscathed by the lance of his enemy, he had died a victim to the violence of his own contending passions.
*This is indeed the judgment of God,' said the Grand-master looking upwards—Fiat voluntas tua!'3
1 Do your duties, valiant knights.
2 Let go.
FRANCIS JEFFREY: 1773–1850.
Jeffrey, an Edinburgh advocate, the most celebrated critic and essayist of
his time, was editor of The Edinburgh Review from 1803 until 1829, when he retired on being elected Dean of the Faculty of Advocates. Next year he became Lord Advocate, and in 1834 was raised to the bench. His more important essays have been published under the title of Contributions to the Edinburgh Review.
THE PERISHABLE NATURE OF POETICAL FAME.
From a review of Campbell's Specimens of the British Poets in
The Edinburgh Review, 1819. Next to the impression of the vast fertility, compass, and beauty of our English poetry, the reflection that recurs most frequently and forcibly to us in accompanying Mr Campbell through his wide survey, is the perishable nature of poetical fame, and the speedy oblivion that has overtaken so many of the promised heirs of immortality. Of near two hundred and fifty authors, whose works are cited in these volumes, by far the greater part of whom were celebrated in their generation, there are not thirty who now enjoy anything that can be called popularity--whose works are to be found in the hands of ordinary readers, in the shops of ordinary booksellers, or in the press for republication. About fifty more may be tolerably familiar to men of taste or literature: the rest slumber on the shelves of collectors, and are partially known to a few antiquaries and scholars. Now, the fame of a poet is popular, or nothing. He does not address himself, like the man of science, to the learned, or those who desire to learn, but to all mankind; and his purpose being to delight and to be praised, necessarily extends to all who can receive pleasure, or join in applause. It is strange, then, and somewhat humiliating, to see how great a proportion of those who had once fought their way successfully to distinction, and surmounted the rivalry of contemporary envy, have again sunk into lect. We have great deference for public opinion; and readily admit that nothing but what is good can be permanently popular. But though its vivati be generally oracular, its pereata appears to us to be often sufficiently capricious; and
i Let it live.
? Let it perish.