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by Sir Walter Scott

Ivanhoe Chapter 27 Summary

  • This chapter's epigraph is two passages from George Crabbe's poem "The Hall of Justice." The first part of the quote is in the voice of a judge condemning the second speaker for his crimes. The second part of the quote is from the criminal, who wants to confess his terrible life.
  • Urfried doesn't lead Cedric out of the castle, as she promised.
  • Instead, she leads him to a room where they can talk.
  • Urfried knows that Cedric is a Saxon, and she wants to tell him her life story.
  • Urfried is the daughter of Torquil Wolfganger, Cedric's father's friend.
  • Urfried realizes that the man in front of her is none other than Cedric of Rotherwood.
  • Cedric is equally shocked to realize that Urfried is none other than Ulrica, whom the Saxons had all mourned as dead.
  • She was taken prisoner by Reginald Front-de-Boeuf Senior, the current Front-de-Boeuf's father.
  • Reginald Front-de-Boeuf Senior murdered Ulrica's father.
  • Throughout her captivity, she has hated the Normans. She has done her best to encourage their rivalries and in-fighting.
  • Her greatest achievement was in provoking Reginald Front-de-Boeuf Junior into killing his father.
  • But with the death of her rapist (Front-de-Boeuf Senior), Ulrica lost all of her power in the Front-de-Boeuf household.
  • She has been reduced to the status of a servant, and grown aged and vicious.
  • Cedric thinks it would have been better if she had died rather than live this sinful life.
  • Ulrica begs Cedric not to leave her behind.
  • Otherwise she will tell Front-de-Boeuf who Cedric really is underneath his friar disguise.
  • Cedric is so disgusted by her that he won't stand by her side. He tells Ulrica to repent for her evil life.
  • Ulrica resolves to live from now on as a true daughter of Torquil Wolfganger.
  • Reginald Front-de-Boeuf arrives and Ulrica disappears.
  • Front-de-Boeuf asks if the prisoners have been given their last rites.
  • Cedric says they have.
  • Cedric explains that he can only speak Saxon because he is a friar of Saint Withold (supposedly an Anglo-Saxon holy man).
  • Front-de-Boeuf instructs Cedric to tell the outlaws whatever he can think of to make them stay at Torquilstone for 24 hours.
  • Then Front-de-Boeuf asks if Cedric can read.
  • Cedric says he cannot.
  • Front-de-Boeuf instructs Cedric to take a written message to the castle of Philip de Malvoisin.
  • Front-de-Boeuf wants to use his "friar" to delay the outlaws and to bring Norman reinforcements to destroy them.
  • Front-de-Boeuf believes that the "friar" will help, even if he is a Saxon, because the outlaws rob churchmen and ordinary folk alike.
  • Front-de-Boeuf watches Cedric leave the castle.
  • Front-de-Boeuf then goes to Cedric's cell. He quickly realizes that the "Cedric" in the cell is an impostor, Wamba the jester.
  • Front-de-Boeuf finally gets that the "friar" to whom he was just talking was Cedric himself.
  • De Bracy sees that Wamba is willing to die for his master and tells Front-de-Boeuf to have mercy.
  • The Normans turn to Athelstane.
  • Athelstane offers them a thousand marks for his freedom.
  • They agree to let him go if he will pull back the Saxon outlaws from Torquilstone. Also, Athelstane's ransom does not include Rebecca and Isaac.
  • Athelstane is fine with that; he doesn't want to help two Jewish people anyway.
  • De Bracy wants to keep Rowena, and Front-de-Boeuf wants to keep Wamba so he can torture and kill him.
  • Athelstane protests that Rowena is his fiancé.
  • A monk arrives at the door of the castle.
  • This time, it's a real monk – Brother Ambrose, a servant of Prior Aymer.
  • Athelstane challenges the best knight among them to a duel, to pay for illegally capturing him.
  • Front-de-Boeuf will agree to a duel once Athelstane is free and the ransom paid.
  • The Saxon prisoners are taken away.
  • Brother Ambrose arrives bringing news that Prior Aymer has been kidnapped by the Saxons.
  • Prior Aymer hopes the Norman knights will ransom him.
  • Brother Ambrose also says that the Saxons outside are preparing to set siege on the castle.
  • Front-de-Boeuf calls his men to arms.
  • De Bracy recognizes the Black Knight among the castle's attackers.
  • Front-de-Boeuf wants revenge against the Black Knight for his defeat during the tournament.
  • The knights arrange themselves for battle.

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