Yet this will I say for Malkin, for so I call her, that unless you were to borrow a ride on the juggler's steed that paces a hornpipe amongst the eggs, you could not go a journey on a creature so gentle and smooth-paced.
``I pray you, reverend father,'' said Ivanhoe, ``let Malkin be got ready instantly, and bid Gurth attend me with mine arms.''
``Nay, but fair sir,'' said the Prior, ``I pray you to remember that Malkin hath as little skill in arms as her master, and that I warrant not her enduring the sight or weight of your full panoply.
``I thank you, reverend father, but will abide by your first offer, as I see Malkin is already led forth to the gate.
Ivanhoe now descended the stairs more hastily and easily than his wound promised, and threw himself upon the jennet, eager to escape the importunity of the Prior, who stuck as closely to his side as his age and fatness would permit, now singing the praises of Malkin, now recommending caution to the Knight in managing her.
I would I had not trusted Malkin to his keeping, for, crippled as I am with the cold rheum, I am undone if aught but good befalls her.