the couch of the wounded knight, "this impatient yearning after
action--this struggling with and repining at your present weakness,
will not fail to injure your returning health--How couldst thou hope
to inflict wounds on others, ere that be healed which thou thyself hast
"Rebecca," he replied, "thou knowest not how impossible it is for one
trained to actions of chivalry to remain passive as a priest, or a
woman, when they are acting deeds of honour around him. The love of
battle is the food upon which we live--the dust of the 'melee' is the
breath of our nostrils! We live not--we wish not to live--longer than
while we are victorious and renowned--Such, maiden, are the laws of
chivalry to which we are sworn, and to which we offer all that we hold
"Alas!" said the fair Jewess, "and what is it, valiant knight, save an
offering of sacrifice to a demon of vain glory, and a passing through
the fire to Moloch?--What remains to you as the prize of all the blood
you have spilled--of all the travail and pain you have endured--of
all the tears which your deeds have caused, when death hath broken the
strong man's spear, and overtaken the speed of his war-horse?"
"What remains?" cried Ivanhoe; "Glory, maiden, glory! which gilds our
sepulchre and embalms our name."
"Glory?" continued Rebecca; "alas, is the rusted mail which hangs as a
hatchment over the champion's dim and mouldering tomb--is the defaced
sculpture of the inscription which the ignorant monk can hardly read to
the enquiring pilgrim--are these sufficient rewards for the sacrifice
of every kindly affection, for a life spent miserably that ye may
make others miserable? Or is there such virtue in the rude rhymes of
a wandering bard, that domestic love, kindly affection, peace and
happiness, are so wildly bartered, to become the hero of those ballads
which vagabond minstrels sing to drunken churls over their evening ale?"
"By the soul of Hereward!" replied the knight impatiently, "thou
speakest, maiden, of thou knowest not what. Thou wouldst quench the pure
light of chivalry, which alone distinguishes the noble from the base,
the gentle knight from the churl and the savage; which rates our life
far, far beneath the pitch of our honour; raises us victorious over
pain, toil, and suffering, and teaches us to fear no evil but disgrace.
Thou art no Christian, Rebecca; and to thee are unknown those high
feelings which swell the bosom of a noble maiden when her lover hath
done some deed of emprize which sanctions his flame. Chivalry!--why,
maiden, she is the nurse of pure and high affection--the stay of the
oppressed, the redresser of grievances, the curb of the power of the
tyrant--Nobility were but an empty name without her, and liberty finds
the best protection in her lance and her sword."