Ivanhoe Chapter 42 Summary
- We're back to Scott's "Old Play" for the epigraph of this chapter. The speaker of these lines describes a funeral ceremony.
- King Richard and Ivanhoe enter Coningsburgh Castle.
- At Athelstane's funeral there are about a dozen representatives of old Saxon families from the area.
- When King Richard enters the room, Cedric recognizes him as the Black Knight.
- Ivanhoe hides his identity from his father.
- Cedric guides the two men into a chapel, where there is a woman dressed in black.
- This is Edith, Athelstane's mother.
- Cedric introduces Edith to "these [...] worthy strangers" (42.9).
- He especially draws her attention to the Black Knight, as a noble defender of the Saxons.
- Cedric guides his two guests to another room.
- There are about twenty Saxon women there.
- Rowena and three other girls are singing a hymn for Athelstane's soul.
- Cedric then leads the two men to a room where they can stay for the night.
- The Black Knight reminds Cedric that he owes him a favor.
- Then the Black Knight reveals that he is King Richard I.
- Cedric refuses to bow to a Norman.
- King Richard promises that he is equally king of the Normans and the Saxons.
- He is not the <em>rightful </em>King of England, Cedric answers.
- King Richard asks if there are any other options Cedric has in mind.
- Cedric is angry that King Richard is mocking him with Athelstane's death, since Athelstane was the last living Saxon royalty.
- Cedric recognizes that King Richard will stay king no matter what he says.
- King Richard calls in his favor. He wants Cedric to forgive his son.
- Cedric then recognizes that his second guest is none other than Ivanhoe.
- Ivanhoe throws himself at his father's feet.
- Cedric agrees to forgive his son.
- But he reminds Ivanhoe that Rowena has to stay in mourning for Athelstane for two years, according to Saxon custom.
- Just then, out of nowhere, appears... Athelstane! He's alive!
- He tells his story:
- Athelstane was not killed by Bois-Guilbert, but only knocked unconscious.
- He wakes up in an open coffin at the nearby Church of Saint Edmund's.
- Instead of letting him go, the monks of the church keep Athelstane a prisoner.
- Since Athelstane has no heir, the monks think <em>they </em>will be able to inherit his fortune.
- Of course, they can't inherit if Athelstane is still alive, hence the forced imprisonment.
- Athelstane sits for three days in the basement of the church, chained to the wall with only bread and water to drink.
- When the monks leave their church to go to Athelstane's funeral, a drunk friar comes down the stairs.
- He leaves behind some wine and meat for Athelstane, instead of the usual water and bread.
- Cheered by this better food, Athelstane starts pulling at his chains, and eventually he breaks free.
- Athelstane sneaks upstairs and finds two men drinking.
- One of them is the outlaw Friar, who tries to hit Athelstane.
- Athelstane knocks him out and steals a horse from the stables to make his escape.
- Now Athelstane wants to kill the monks of the Church of Saint Edmund for revenge.
- Cedric introduces Athelstane to King Richard.
- Athelstane immediately swears loyalty to the King.
- Athelstane's mother and Cedric are both angry that he won't try to get his rightful throne back.
- But Athelstane wants no part in plots for the kingdom. That's what got him imprisoned by the monks in the first place.
- All he wants is a comfortable life on his own lands.
- (Oh, and he also wants to execute the leader of the monks at St. Edmund's.)
- Athelstane tells Cedric that Rowena is in love with Ivanhoe.
- When they all look around, they see that Ivanhoe has disappeared.
- Apparently a Jewish man came by with a message for him. Ivanhoe put on his armor, took Gurth, and left the castle.
- Rowena is so embarrassed by Athelstane revealing her feelings for Ivanhoe that she leaves the room.
- King Richard, who finds out where Ivanhoe has gone, also takes off.
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