Ivanhoe

 
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Act 2 Scene 2

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A passage-way in Torquilstone. Enter DE BRACY and followers masked, bringing CEDRIC and ROWENA prisoners.

CEDRIC:
Will not our captor dare to show his face?

DE BRACY:
Aye, that dare I.

He unmasks, laughing.

CEDRIC:
De Bracy! Traitor! Who hast broken bread
In mine own hall!

Meeting on Turret Stair
 
The Meeting on the Turret Stair
(Sir Frederick Burton)
 
ROWENA
I do beseech thee,
In mercy let us go;
As thou art knight of noble name and blood,
I do entreat thee let us hence in safety!
In mercy let us go!
In mercy let us go!

DE BRACY:
The fate of war, the wile of love!
I here declare myself the loyal lover
Of this most lovely lady; and I bear
The sanction of our sovereign liege, Prince John;
And she shall be De Bracy's honoured bride.

CEDRIC:
By heaven, rather would I see
This lady lifeless on her bier
Than yield her to thee! Faithless knight,
Is this thy Norman chivalry
To make weak women mad with fear,
And woo them in a dungeon's gloom?

DE BRACY:
Peace, friend, I pray thee!
Speak not so loudly:
Dost thou not fear to peril thine own son?

CEDRIC:
My son? This is some idle tale
To frighten me! I say I have no son.

DE BRACY:
He, whom his father left to die or live,
Was succoured by a kindly Jew, and nursed
By a fair Jewess; and by fate of war
Jewess and Jew, and wounded knight
Are here interned. None knows his name but I;
And if I breathe the name of Ivanhoe,
Short were his shrift. So, good my friend, be patient.
And, if this lady fair will smile on me,
Then will I save thy son.

CEDRIC: (after a moment)
My son defied me; he is dead to me.
I will not buy his life with a foul bargain!

ROWENA
Thou art his father; pity him – and me!
Oh, gallant knight, I pray thee,
Be deaf to him, and to thine own worse thoughts;
And save this wounded knight of Ivanhoe!
And I will pray for thee.
Mercy! Mercy!

She falls weeping at DE BRACY's feet.

ENSEMBLE.

ROWENA:DE BRACY:CEDRIC:
In mercy save him!In thy fair hands is life of Ivanhoe! Kneel not to him!
Remember who thou art,
In mercy save him!In thy fair hands is life of Ivanhoe! Kneel not to him, a highway robber!
In mercy, in mercyFairest ladyKneel not to him, kneel not to him
In mercy save,Remember in thy handsKneel not to him robber of the highway
Saveis life of IvanhoeRemember, remember who thou art,
him! In mercy save,In thy fair hands, in thyRemember who
In mercy save, in mercy save,fair hands, in thyRemember who thou art, remem-
in mercy save, in mercy save,fair hands is life of Ivanhoe,-ber who, remember who thou art,
in mercy save.is life of Ivanhoe!remember who thou art

Exeunt men with CEDRIC and ROWENA. BRIAN enters.

DE BRACY:
Welcome, Sir Templar! But I may not stay;
I must be gone to woo my captive fair!

Exit DE BRACY.

BRIAN:
Woo thou thy snowflake till she melt for thee;
Another and a wilder bliss be mine!
My lovely Jewess!
Oh, she has drawn a spell about my heart
And whelmed my soul with love!

Her southern splendour, like the Syrian moon,
Draws the full tide of my rebellious blood!
Though Death should clasp me close ere set of sun,
This hour is mine, this hour is mine
and mine the tyrant's mood,
And I will woo her as the lion woos,
To bring his wild mate docile to his side;
And I will win her! as the lion wins
That in the desert seeks his tawny bride.
I will woo her, I will win her,
I will woo and win her, as the lion woos and wins!

O Maid of Judah, trembling in my arms,
Proud is thy fate to own my conquering sword!
Though Hell oppose with all its dire alarms,
This hour is mine, this hour is mine,
and I, and I thy ruthless lord.
If Death be host, I'll drain his cup for wine!
Come night, come Death,
So this wild hour be mine!

Exit BRIAN.

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Page created 6 October 2003