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MonkeyNotes-Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
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Chapter 35

Isaac of York is warned by his relation Nathan that Lucas Beaumanoir, Chief of the Order of Templars, is also present at Templestowe, where Rebecca is being held prisoner. Beaumanoir is a rigid knight who is insistent on Templar principles, a cruel enemy to the Moslems, and a strong hater of the Jews.

Isaac brings a letter from Prior Aymer to Bois-Guilbert, asking for the Prior's ransom; the Jew is brought to Lucas Beaumanoir. Until Isaac shows up, Beaumanoir is completely unaware of Rebecca's presence in the castle. He is annoyed that Bois-Guilbert is guilty of sequestering Rebecca for immoral purposes, since he is a strict keeper of the Knights Templar rules of celibacy.

Isaac is oblivious to the fact that the Prior's letter nastily hints that Rebecca is a "second witch of Endor"; in it, the Prior says Rebecca has cast a spell over the Templar. Malvoisin, the preceptor of Templestowe, seizes on the notion that Rebecca is a witch and defends his friend Bois-Guilbert. In the meantime, Bois-Guilbert finds he is strongly attracted to Rebecca and continues to press her to accept him.

Beaumanoir orders a full-scale trial for Rebecca, thinking this is his only chance to save the reputation of the Knight Templar who has acted so out of keeping with the order's rules. Bois-Guilbert's attempts to help Rebecca escape the trial by marrying him are in vain.


Notes

The wily Prior has discovered a way of helping Bois-Guilbert and destroying Rebecca at the same time. As a priest, his word carries weight. When he casts a pall on Rebecca's reputation, suggesting that she is a witch, many things go against her. The Normans are superstitious and they hate Jews. They also regard women with little respect, considering them to be "but the toys which amuse our lighter hours." In addition, Rebecca's beauty and her skill in medicine are strongly distrusted. It is ironic that this woman of very high moral principles, who will die before succumbing to the demands of the despicable Bois-Gilbert, is to be tried as a witch, while her suitor is destined to go free.

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