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by Sir Walter Scott
Ivanhoe Chapter 44 Summary
We've reached the last epigraph! This one is by 17th century playwright John Webster, in Act IV, Scene 1 of his play The White Devil. The speaker announces that it's the end of his story. Beaumanoir pronounces Rebecca innocent of all charges. Bois-Guilbert's weapons and body belong to Ivanhoe. Just then King Richard arrives with a band of armed men. He's bummed that he didn't get a shot at Bois-Guilbert. King Richard commands one of his followers, the Earl of Essex, to arrest Albert de Malvoisin. Philip, his brother, has already been arrested. They're both going to be executed for high treason against the King. And Richard also commands Beaumanoir to take his Knights Templar and leave England. Beaumanoir is outraged at this treatment. He promises to take King Richard's bad behavior straight to the Pope. The Templars march off slowly. During all this activity, Isaac approaches Rebecca. She wants to slip away from the tournament ground without speaking to Ivanhoe. Isaac thinks they should stop and thank him, but for some reason Rebecca is really reluctant to talk to her hero. Isaac remembers that he has had business with Prince John. He doesn't want to get into any trouble with King Richard as a result. So they leave. The Earl of Essex confirms to Ivanhoe that the rebels are dispersing. It's none other than Prince John who brought King Richard the news. Rather than calling out Prince John on his rebellion, King Richard just sends his brother to their mother's house. So the only people who are being executed for this whole thing are Albert and Philip Malvoisin. De Bracy has escaped to the court of Philip II, King of France. And Fitzurse has, of course, been exiled (as we saw in Chapter 40). King Richard's return means the end to all of Cedric's hopes for a Saxon line of kings in England. Cedric also realizes that Athelstane and Rowena don't want to marry each other. Athelstane takes revenge on the monks of St. Edmund's by keeping them in his basement and feeding them only bread and water for three days. (Not too creative. We could imagine worse punishments…) The abbot, the leader of the monks, tries to kick Athelstane out of the Christian church as a result. So Athelstane is too busy with these troubles to think about Rowena. Cedric is happy to see Ivanhoe so famous. He is also happy to think of uniting his own family to a woman (Rowena) who is a descendant of King Alfred the Great. So finally Cedric gives up on Athelstane as the next King of England and agrees to let Ivanhoe marry Rowena. King Richard does his best to soften Cedric's opinion of the Normans. He attends Ivanhoe's wedding, which makes the Saxons like him better. In fact, Cedric lives to see Saxons and Normans marrying each other and generally relaxing. Still, it's not for another 150 years that they will really begin to speak the mixed language that we now call English in the royal court. The second day after Rowena's wedding, she receives a visit from a lovely young lady. It's none other than Rebecca. Rebecca wants Rowena to tell Ivanhoe goodbye for her. Rowena realizes that Rebecca is the Jewish woman Ivanhoe defended against the Templars. She asks why Rebecca has to leave. She could stay under the protection of King Richard I. But Rebecca no longer feels comfortable among the English. She plans to go to Spain with her father, where they have family. Rowena is wearing a veil. The last favor Rebecca asks is that Rowena remove her veil. Rebecca wants to see her face. Rowena's beauty and her kind expression impress Rebecca. She seems content (or at least okay) with leaving her beloved Ivanhoe with Rowena. Rebecca hands Rowena a small case filled with jewels. Rowena tries to refuse such a generous gift, but Rebecca insists: her family has lots of money, and Ivanhoe risked a lot to save Rebecca's honor and life. Rowena asks Rebecca what she'll do. Rebecca is going to dedicate herself to healing and medicine. Still, she looks tearful. Rebecca gives Rowena her blessing and slips away. Rowena tells Ivanhoe about this strange visit. Ivanhoe truly loves Rowena, and they live happily ever after, but he does think of Rebecca often. Ivanhoe does well in King Richard's service. The only thing that stops his rise to fame and greatness is King Richard's premature death, in 1199. Scott ends with another quotation, this one from poet and critic Samuel Johnson. Johnson's lines are about King Charles of Sweden, but he reworks them for King Richard I. The lines remind us that Richard's fame continues to echo through the ages.
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