Summary and Analysis
Isaac, bearing the letter from the Prior to Brian de Bois-Guilbert, arrives at Templestowe and is brought to the Grand Master, Lucas Beaumanoir. The letter discloses Rebecca's presence at Templestowe and thus casts reflection on Brian de Bois-Guilbert. At the same time its contents (by insinuation) condemn Rebecca as a sorceress, "a second witch of Endor."
Albert Malvoisin, Preceptor of Templestowe, makes excuses for the Templar, claiming he has been enticed against his will. Meanwhile Bois-Guilbert, finding himself in love with her, has been pressing his suit with Rebecca, only to be repulsed. When Malvoisin reminds him of his ambitions in the order and how his concern with a Jewess is endangering his future, Brian de Bois-Guilbert is torn between two desires.
Beaumanoir orders an immediate trial to convict Rebecca as a witch. The Templar seeks a way to help her escape.
Superstition and a fanatical hatred of Jews combine to hasten the trial of Rebecca. Lucas Beaumanoir, proud and forceful chief of the Templars, allows this to take precedence over any contempt for the Prior, or punishment for the Templar.
That greed for power had also invaded the ranks of the Templars is evident in Malvoisin's words to Bois-Guilbert, "Women are but the toys which amuse our lighter hours; ambition is the serious business of life." The "holy rule" which the Grand Master quotes in Latin is against loose women and, ironically, does not apply to the virtuous Rebecca.
Ut leo semper feriatur. Let the lion always be beaten down.
Ut omnium mulierum fugiantur oscula. Let all kissing be avoided.
de lectione literarum on the reading of letters
Vinum Loetificat cor hominis. Wine maketh glad the heart of man.
Rex delectabitur pulchritucine tua. The king shall rejoice in thy beauty.
Semper percutiatur leo. The ravening lion is ever to be beaten down.
de commilitonibus Templi in sancta civitate, qui cum miserrimis mulieribus versantur, propter oblectationem carnis concerning the brethren in arms of the holy community of the Temple who frequent the company of misguided women for the gratification of their fleshly lusts
le don d'smoutrux merci the highest favor that love can bestow