Study Guide

Ivanhoe Chapter 25

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Chapter 25

  • This chapter's epigraph comes from Oliver Goldsmith's play <em>She Stoops to Conquer</em> (1773). It's a line from one of the play's main characters, Tony Lumpkin. He pretends to be unable to read a letter that will get someone else in the play into trouble.
  • De Bracy and Bois-Guilbert meet in the main hall of the castle.
  • They both complain about their failed love affairs.
  • Front-de-Boeuf comes to join them.
  • A messenger delivers a letter in Saxon to the Normans.
  • Bois-Guilbert reads it, but at first he thinks it's a joke.
  • It's written by Wamba and Gurth on behalf of Locksley and the Black Knight.
  • The letter demands that Reginald Front-de-Boeuf free Rowena, Cedric, Athelstane, Isaac, Rebecca, and their pack animals.
  • The letter is signed with a drawing of a rooster's head (Wamba's mark), a cross (Gurth's mark), an arrow (Locksley's mark), and the words "Le Noir Faineant" (a.k.a. the Black Sluggard, who we call the Black Knight).
  • De Bracy and Bois-Guilbert burst out laughing.
  • Reginald Front-de-Boeuf is not amused. This whole business is causing him more trouble than it's worth.
  • One of the squires informs Reginald Front-de-Boeuf that there are about two hundred outlaws waiting in the woods.
  • Bois-Guilbert and De Bracy want to ride out immediately to fight.
  • But Front-de-Boeuf reminds them that the outlaws know the forest and have ten times their numbers.
  • Front-de-Boeuf decides to write them a nasty letter.
  • In the letter, he suggests that they send one churchman into Torquilstone Castle to hear a last confession from the captives.
  • The next day, Front-de-Boeuf is going to execute all the captives and place their heads on spikes outside the castle.
  • The heads will prove what he thinks of outlaws trying to bully him.
  • The Normans send this letter out to the outlaws.
  • The Black Knight reads the letter to his friends.
  • They are enraged at the idea that the Normans plan to execute Cedric.
  • Locksley thinks the Normans are just trying to buy time.
  • They decide to send Wamba into Torquilstone, dressed as a friar.
  • (The actual Friar won't do it because he's in his outlaw outfit now.)

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