"Rouse The Lion From His Lair"

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Last Updated on May 18, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 139

Context: A Scottish knight, Sir Kenneth, has gone with the forces of Richard the Lion-Hearted on the Third Crusade to the Holy Land. During a truce, while Richard lies ill in his tent amid restive allies, Sir Kenneth is sent across the desert on a mission to the cave of the Christian recluse Theodorick. After speaking to the hermit, Sir Kenneth attends a secret mass during which the king's cousin, the knight's hopeless love, drops rosebuds at his feet. An abrupt change of scene brings the next chapter back to Richard's tent. To prepare the change, Scott, who often followed the custom of including chapter mottoes, opened with lines he probably wrote himself, though he assigned them to an "Old Play":

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Now change the scene–and let the trumpets sound,
For we must rouse the lion from his lair.

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