Study Guide

Ivanhoe Chapter 6

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Chapter 6

  • The epigraph of this chapter is from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice again. Obviously, this is going to be Scott's go-to reference.
  • This is another quote from Shylock, the play's main Jewish character. Shylock is apparently offering friendship (sort of; it's complicated, so check out our Merchant of Venice learning guide if you want to know more) to a Christian, Antonio. It's up to Antonio to take or leave Shylock's good wishes.
  • One of the servers at Cedric's table asks the Palmer to come and tell the servants his news from the Holy Land.
  • The Palmer refuses. He has taken an oath not to gossip with servants.
  • A maid arrives to demand that the Palmer come speak with Rowena. She leads him to Rowena's chambers, where she is waiting with three of her attendants.
  • Rowena wants to ask the Palmer about Ivanhoe.
  • The Palmer assures her that Ivanhoe is well, and that he is returning to England soon.
  • Rowena gives the Palmer a bit of money and bids him good night.
  • The Palmer finds that his room for the evening lies between Isaac's (on the left) and Gurth's (on the right).
  • After dinner, the Palmer overheard Bois-Guilbert telling his two Muslim servants to ambush Isaac and take him to either Reginald Front-de-Boeuf or Philip de Malvoisin. The Palmer knows that Isaac has reason to worry, since the Jews have been horribly victimized in England. He goes to Isaac's room to warn him. He promises to help Isaac to escape into the forest.
  • The Palmer finds Gurth so that the pig-herder can open the main gate.
  • Gurth is reluctant at first, but then the Palmer whispers something in Saxon in his ear. Gurth jumps up to follow the Palmer 's orders.
  • Wamba spots them and wonders what the Palmer said to convince Gurth to obey him.
  • Gurth brings mules for Isaac and the Palmer.
  • When Isaac gets on his mule, he quickly hides a small blue bag among his clothes.
  • As they ride off, Isaac continues to look very nervous.
  • The narrator comments that the Christians in this period – be they Norman, Saxon, or Dane – all felt perfectly free to victimize the Jews.
  • Christian noblemen frequently stole or extorted money from Jewish people with no hesitation, so it makes sense that Isaac continues to feel paranoid around them.
  • The Palmer promises to escort Isaac to the town of Sheffield, where he can seek refuge with his fellow Jews.
  • They reach Sheffield after half an hour's ride.
  • The Palmer refuses any kind of reward because he has taken a religious vow of poverty, but Isaac guesses what the Palmer most wants: a horse and armor.
  • Sure, the Palmer may be wandering around disguised as a pilgrim and religious man, but it's clear to Isaac that the Palmer has a knight's heart.
  • Isaac makes arrangements with a very wealthy Jewish man in Leicester to loan the Palmer a full suit of armor and a fine horse for the tournament coming next week.
  • The Palmer is grateful and promises to find a way to repay Isaac for his generosity.

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