Ivanhoe Chapter 4 Summary
- We start out with the ancient Greek epic Odyssey again. This passage is from Book XX, in which long-lost Odysseus returns home in disguise to confront the horrible suitors for his wife Penelope's hand in marriage. The epigraph quotation describes an evening meal.
- Prior Aymer and Bois-Guilbert enter the hall for dinner, followed by their attendants and the Palmer.
- The Palmer is dressed in humble clothing, with a large hat on his head.
- Cedric, the Prior, and Bois-Guilbert immediately get into a (fairly) polite squabble over which language to use, French or English.
- Luckily Cedric notices Gurth before things can get too heated.
- Cedric scolds Gurth for making him wait for dinner.
- Wamba jumps in to try to soothe Cedric's terrible temper.
- Finally they sit down to a fine feast.
- Rowena arrives at the table.
- Cedric looks annoyed that she has come down to dinner with these Normans, but she takes her place at table as the lady of the mansion.
- Bois-Guilbert cannot take his eyes off Rowena.
- Rowena asks him to stop staring at her.
- He apologizes (kind of), but when Prior Aymer and Cedric raise their glasses in a toast, Bois-Guilbert insists on drinking to "the fair Rowena" (4.35).
- Rowena wants to hear news about the Crusades.
- Bois-Guilbert reports that the English are making a truce with Saladin, the Muslim leader in Jerusalem.
- Wamba chimes in that these truces have happened before but the war is still going on.
- Bois-Guilbert scolds Wamba for giving them such poor directions to Cedric's house.
- Cedric reproaches Wamba for treating their guests so poorly.
- A page comes into the hall to announce the arrival of a new guest.
- Cedric bids his steward (his main servant) Oswald to let the guest in.
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