Chronicle of the Cid, by Robert Southey

HERE BEGINNETH THE SIXTH BOOK
of the

CHRONICLE OF THE CID

How Abeniaf was greatly puffed up i. When Abeniaf had slain his Lord, as you have heard, he became haughty like a King, and gave no thought to anything save to building his own houses, and setting guards round about them by day and by night; and he appointed secretaries who should write his secret letters, and chose out a body from among the good men of the city to be his guard. And when he rode out he took with him many knights and huntsmen, all armed, who guarded him like a King; and when he went through the streets the women came out to gaze at him, and shouted and rejoiced in him; and he being elated and puffed up with these vanities, demeaned himself in all things after the manner of a King. This he did for the sake of abasing a certain kinsman of his, who was chief Alcayde, and who was better and wiser than he. Moreover he made no account of the Alcayde of the Almoravides who held the Alcazar, neither took counsel with him concerning anything, and he gave no heed to him except to supply him and his company with their charges, which he did right sparingly.

How the Cid sent letters to Abeniaf ii. But when King Yahia was slain, his servants and eunuchs and they of his household fled to Juballa, a Castle which was held by a kinsman of the Guazil Abenalfarax, who lay in prison; other some fled to Zaragoza, and told the Cid all that had befallen. The Cid was greatly grieved when he heard it, and without delay he set forth with all his people, and went as fast as he could go to Juballa, and there they who had escaped from Valencia met him, and besought him to help them to revenge the death of their Lord, saying that they would follow him for life or for death, and do whatsoever he commanded them. Then the Cid sent letters to Abeniaf, saying disdainfully unto him, that by God’s help he had kept his Lent well, and accomplished his fast with a worthy sacrifice by murdering the King his master! and he reproached him for the shame he had done the King in casting his head into the pond and letting the body be buried in a dunghill; and at the end of the letter he bade Abeniaf give him his corn which he had left in his granaries at Valencia. Abeniaf returned for answer that his granaries had all been plundered, and that the city now “belonged to the King of the Almoravides;” and he said that if the Cid would serve that King he would do his best to help him that he might win his love. When the Cid read this letter he saw that Abeniaf was a fool, for he had sent to reproach him for the death of his Lord, and the answer which he had returned was concerning another matter; and he then knew that Abeniaf was not a man to keep the power which he coveted. So he sent other letters to him, calling him and all who were with him traitors, and saying that he would never leave from making war against them till he had taken vengeance for the death of King Yahia.

How the Cid laid siege to Juballa iii. And the Cid sent letters to all the Castles round about, bidding them supply his host with victuals, and do it speedily, or he would do all he could to destroy them. And there was none to gainsay him; and all obeyed his commands in this matter, saving Aboeza Abenlupo, for he was a discreet man, and perceived what was to come, and in what this was to end; moreover he feared that if he should not do as the Cid commanded, the Cid would put him out of the world, and no one would be able to protect him; and if he should do it, then he feared least he should be banished. So he sent to the Cid to say he would do his pleasure, and he sent also to Abenrazin, the Lord of Albarrazin, saying that he would give him Monviedro and the other Castles in his possession, and bidding him make his terms with the Cid, for as touching himself, he desired to have no dispute, but to come off with his company and his own person in peace. When Abenrazin heard this he was well pleased; and he went to Monviedro with all speed, and took possession of the Castle. From the time that King Yahia was slain till this time, was twenty and six days. And when Abenrazin had got possession of the Castle of Monviedro he came to the Cid, and established love with him, and made a covenant that there should be buying and selling between his Castles and the host, and that he would provide food, and that the Cid should not make war upon him. And upon this they made their writings, which were full fast; and Abenrazin returned to his own land, and left one to keep Monviedro for him; and Abenlupo went with him, taking with him his wives and his children and his people and all that he had, and he thought himself well off that he had escaped with his body, for he desired to have nothing to do with the Cid. And the Cid lay before Juballa, and sent out his foragers towards Valencia twice a day; one party went in the morning, and another towards night; and they slew many Moors, and made many prisoners, and made prey of all the flocks which they found without the walls; nevertheless the Cid commanded that no hurt should be done to those of the land of Moya, nor to the husbandmen, but that they who laboured to produce bread and wine should be protected and encouraged; and this he did thinking that what they raised would be for him when he should lay siege unto the town; and he said this to his knights and Adalides and Almocadenes, and took homage of them that they should obey him therein. All this time the Cid held that Castle besieged, so that none could enter in nor come out thereof; and it is said that terms had secretly been made with him to yield it up, but that it was so to be done that the other Moors might believe they had yielded from great necessity, for it was not stored so as to be able to hold out long. And while the Cid lay before Juballa, all the spoil which his Almogavares took they brought to the host, and from the host it was taken and sold at Monviedro. Many laden beasts came every day, and there was plenty in the host.

How the Cid warred against Valencia iv. Abeniaf gathered together the knights who were natives of the city and vassals to the King whom he had slain, and sent for others who were in Denia, so that in all they were three hundred knights, and maintained them with the bread which was in the granaries of the Cid Ruydiez, and with the rents and possessions of those who had been the King’s officers, and who were gone from Valencia, and with the customs; from all these did he give these knights whatsoever they stood in need of. And he took no counsel with the Alcayde of the Almoravides concerning any thing which he did, neither with any one, nor did he care a jot for them. And when the Alcayde and the Almoravides saw that he made himself master in the city, and how every thing that he did was by his own will, they were offended therewith. The sons of Aboegib were offended also: and they and the Almoravides placed their love upon each other, and took counsel together against him, and became of one party, and they bare great hatred against him, and he against them. All this while the Cid lay before Juballa, and every day he scoured the country to the gates of Valencia, early in the morning, and at noon day, and at night, so that he never let them rest. And the three hundred knights whom Abeniaf had collected went out against his foragers, with the men of the town, and the Christians slew many of them, so that there were lamentations daily within the walls, and wailings over the dead that were brought in. And in one of these skirmishes, a rich Moor was taken who was Alcayde of Acala, which is near Torralva, and they gave him grievous torments till he ransomed himself for ten thousand marks of silver; and moreover he gave the houses which he had in Valencia, which were called the houses of Añaya, to be theirs if peradventure the town should be yielded up.

How the Cid offered to support Abeniaf, who agreed to send away the Almorávides v. When the Cid knew that there was great hatred between Abeniaf and the Almoravides and the sons of Aboegib, he devised means how to set farther strife between them, and sent privily to proffer his love to Abenaif on condition that they should expel the Almoravides out of the town; saying, that if he did this, he would remain Lord thereof, and the Cid would help him in this, and would be good to him, as he knew he had been to the King of Valencia, and would defend him. When Abeniaf heard this he was well pleased, thinking that he should be King of Valencia. And he took counsel with Abenalfarax the Guazii of the Cid, whom he held prisoner, and Abenalfarax, with the hope of getting out of prison, counselled him to do thus, and to accept the love of the Cid. Then sent he to the Cid, saying that he would do all which he commanded to gain his love, and he began to stop the allowance of the Almoravides, saying that he could give them nothing, for he had nothing whereof to give: this did he to the end that they might go their way, for he lacked not means.

How Abeniaf sent great treasures to the Miramamolin vi. At this time Ali Abenaxa, the Alcayde who was in Denia, sent to Abeniaf, saying unto him that he should send of that treasure, and of those jewels which he had taken from King Yahia, to the Miramamolin beyond sea; with the which he would gather together a great power, and cross the sea, and come against the Cid, to help the people of Valencia, and protect them against the Cid, who did so much evil to them all. And Abeniaf took counsel with the men of Valencia concerning this matter, whether he should send this to the Miramamolin beyond sea or not. And the old men advised him that he should, and the others that he should not. And Abeniaf took the treasures, and hid the best part thereof for himself, for none knew what it was; and the rest he sent by his messengers, Abenalfarax the Guazil of the Cid being one; and they took their departure from Valencia with great secresy, least the Cid should know it and overtake them upon the road. But Abenalfarax devised means to let the Cid know, and sent him a messenger. And the Cid sent horsemen to follow their track, who caught them, and took the treasure, and brought it to the Cid. Greatly did he thank Abenalfarax for having served him so well at that season, and putting the treasure into his hands, and he promised him goodly guerdon; and he made him chief over all the Moors who were his subjects. At this time the Alcayde of Juballa yielded up the Castle to the Cid, and the Cid placed another therein, and went up with his host against Valencia, and encamped in a village which is called Deroncada. And as the seed time was now over, he burnt all the villages round about, and wasted all that belonged to Abeniaf and his lineage, and he burnt the mills, and the barks which were in the river. And he ordered the corn to be cut, for it was now the season, and he beset the city on all sides, and pulled down the houses and towers which were round about, and the stone and wood thereof he sent to Juballa, to make a town there beside the Castle.

How the Cid won the suburb of Alcudia vii. At this time there came the Guazil of the King of Zaragoza to the host of the Cid, bringing with him great treasures which the King had sent for the redemption of the captives, for ruth which he had of them, and also that he might have his reward from God in the other world. He came also to talk with Abeniaf and counsel him that he should give up the city to the King of Zaragoza, and they would send away the Almoravides, and the King would protect him; but Abeniaf would give no ear to this, and the Guazil said unto him that he would repent not having taken this advice. On the second day after this Guazil had arrived, the Cid attacked the suburb which is called Villa Nueva, and entered it by force, and slew many Moors, both men of Andalusia and Almoravides, and plundered all that they found, and pulled down the houses, and the wood and stone the Cid sent to Juballa, and he set a guard there that the Moors might not recover the place. On the morrow the Cid attacked another suburb, which is called Alcudia, and there were a great body of the Moors gathered together there. And he sent a part of his host against the gate of Alcantara, bidding them attack the gate, while he fought against them in Alcadia; and he thought that by God’s mercy peradventure he should enter the town. And the Cid with his company rode among that great multitude of the Moors, smiting and slaying without mercy, and the Cid’s horse trampled over the dead, and stumbled among them and fell, and the Cid remained afoot. Howbeit they brought him to horse again, and he continued smiting and laying on strenuously, so that the Moors were amazed at the great mortality which he made among them, and maugre all they could do, were fain to fly into the town. And they whom he had sent against the gate of Alcantara, attacked it so bravely that they would have entered the city, if it had not been for the boys and the women, who were upon the wall and in the towers, and threw down stones upon them. And this while the cry went forth in the city, and many horsemen sallied forth and fought with the Christians before the bridge, and the battle lasted from morning until midday, and when they separated, the Cid returned to his camp. And when the Cid had taken food, he returned after the siesta to attack the suburb of Alcudia; and this attack was so vigorous that they who dwelt therein thought the place would be forced, and they began to cry out, Peace! Peace! being in great fear. Then, the Cid bade his men give over the attack, and the good men of the suburb came out to him, and whatsoever terms of security they asked, he granted them; and he took possession of the suburb that night, and set his guards therein; and he commanded his people that they should do no wrong to them of Alcudia, and if any one offended he said that his head should be smitten off; so he returned that night to the camp. And on the morrow he came there, and assembled together the Moors of that place, and comforted them much with his speeches, and promised that he would favour them greatly and not oppress them, and bade them till their fields and tend their flocks securely, saying that he would take only a tenth of the fruit thereof, as their law directed. And he placed a Moor there named Yucef to be his Almoxarife, that is to say, his Receiver. And he gave orders that all Moors who would come and dwell therein might come securely, and they also who would bring food thither for sale, and other merchandize. So much food and much merchandize were brought there from all parts, and that suburb became like a city, and there was plenty therein.

How they of Valencia sent away the Almorávides, and made peace with the Cid viii. Now when the Cid Ruydiez had gotten possession of the suburbs, he cut off from Valencia both the ingress and the egress, and they of the town were greatly straightened, and knew not what they should do, and they repented them that they had not listened to what the King of Zaragoza sent to counsel them, for they had none to help them; and the Almoravides were in the like straight, for they had none to look to, and the pay which they were wont to receive failed, both to them and to the other knights. All this time Abeniaf secretly continued his love with the Cid, for he had not departed from the promise which he had made him to send away the Almoravides, and put himself under his protection. And they took counsel together in this distress, both the Almoravides and the men of the town, how they might obtain the love of the Cid, in whatever manner they could, so that they might remain in peace in the city till they had sent to the Miramamolin beyond sea, and received his commands; and they sent to the Cid to say this. But he made answer that he would make no treaty with them till they had sent away the Almoravides. And they of the town told the Almoravides what the Cid had said, and these Africans were well pleased, being full weary of that place, and said that they would go their way, and that it would be the happiest day of their lives, that, wherein they should depart. So they made their covenant that the Almoravides should be placed in safety, and that they should pay the Cid for all the corn which was in his granaries at the time when King Yahia was slain. And moreover the thousand maravedis per week, which they were wont to pay him should be paid for the whole time which they had been in arms, and also from that time forth. And that the suburb which he had won should be his; and that his host should remain in Juballa so long as they continued in that land. And upon this they made their writings, and confirmed them. And the Almoravides departed from Valencia, and horsemen were sent with them, who conducted them in safety, and the Moors of Valencia were left in peace.

How Juballa became a great town ix. Then the Cid went with all his host to Juballa, leaving none but such as were to collect his rents with his Almoxarife. And Abeniaf cast about how he might pay the Cid for the corn, and also what else was to be given him. And he made terms with those who held the Castles round about Valencia, that they should pay him the tenth of all their fruits and of all their other rents. Now this was the season for gathering in the fruit, and he appointed men in every place who should look to it, and see it valued, and receive the tenth; a Moor and a Christian did he appoint in every place, who were to receive this, and to gather the corn also into the granaries: and this was done after such manner that the Cid had his tribute well paid. At this time came tidings to Valencia, that the Almoravides were coming again with a great power, and the Cid devised how he might prevent their coming, or if they came how he might fight against them. And he sent to tell Abeniaf to forbid them from coming, for if they should enter the town he could not be Lord thereof, which it was better he should be, and the Cid would protect him against all his enemies. Well was Abeniaf pleased at this; and he held a talk with the Alcayde of Xativa, and with him who held the Castle of Carchayra; and they agreed to be of one voice. And they came to Valencia, and the Cid came to his suburb; and they confirmed love with him in great secrecy. But he who had the Castle of Algezira would not be in this covenant with them and the Cid sent parties into his lands, and did him much evil; and the Alcayde of Juballa went against him, and cut down all his corn and brought it to Juballa, which the Cid had made a great town with a church and with towers, and it was a goodly place; and there he had his corn and his other things, and his rents were all brought thither, and it abounded with all things; and men held it for a great marvel that in so short time he had made so great a town, which was so rich and so plentiful. And the Cid thought to have Valencia if the Almoravides did not come, and for this reason did all that he could to prevent their coming.

How the Cid made war upon Albarrazin x. At this time Abenrazin the Lord of Albarrazin covenanted with the King of Aragon that the King should help him to win Valencia, and he would give him great treasures; and he gave him in pledge a Castle which is called Toalba. And in this which he did he gained nothing, but he lost the Castle. Now this Abenrazin had made covenant with the Cid, so that they were friends, and the Cid had never done hurt in his lands. And when he knew this that he had done with the King of Aragon, he held himself to have been deceived and dealt falsely with; howbeit he dissembled this, and let none of his company wit, till they had gathered in all the corn from about Algezira de Xucar, and carried it to Juballa. When this was done, he bade his men make ready, and he told them not whither they were to go, and he set forward at night toward Albarrazin, and came to the Fountain. Now that land was in peace, and the dwellers thereof kept neither watch nor ward; and his foragers slew many, and made many prisoners, and drove great flocks and herds, sheep and kine, and brood mares, and prisoners all together, and they carried away all the corn; and they sent all the spoil to Juballa, and it was so great that Valencia and Juballa and all their dependencies were rich with cattle and with other things. While the Cid lay before Albarrazin, as he one day rode forth with five of his knights to disport himself, there came twelve knights out of the town, thinking to slay him or take him. And he pricked forward against them, and encountered them so bravely that he slew twain, and other twain he overthrew, so that they were taken, and the rest were put to flight: but he remained with a wound in his throat from the push of a spear, and they thought he would have died of that wound; and it was three weeks before it was healed.

How Abeniaf sent for the Cid xi. Now came true tidings to Valencia that the host of the Almoravides were coming, and that they were now at Lorca, and the son in law of the Miramamolin at their head, for he himself could not come, by reason that he ailed. They of Valencia took courage at these tidings, and waxed insolent, and began to devise how they should take vengeance upon Abeniaf, and upon all those who had oppressed them. And Abeniaf was in great trouble at this which was said openly concerning him, and he sent privily to the Cid, telling him to come as soon as might be. The Cid was then before Albarrazin, doing all the evil that he could, and he brake up his camp and came with his host to Juballa; and Abeniaf and the Alcaydes of Xativa and Carchayra came unto him, and they renewed their covenant to stand by each other, and be of one voice. And they took counsel and made a letter for the leader of the army of the Almoravides, wherein they told him that the Cid had made a treaty with the King of Aragon, whereby the King bound himself to help him against them; and they bade him beware how he came towards Valencia, unless he chose to do battle with eight thousand Christian horsemen, covered with iron, and the best warriors in the world. This did they thinking that he would be dismayed and turn back: but the Moor did not cease to advance, notwithstanding this letter.

How the Cid asked Abeniaf to give him a garden xii. There was a garden nigh unto Valencia which had belonged to Abenalhazis, and the Cid asked Abeniaf to give it him, that he might take his pleasure there when he was disposed to solace himself. This he did cunningly, that when the Almoravides heard how this garden had been given him which was so nigh unto the city, they should ween that the men of Valencia had given it, and that they were better pleased with his company than with theirs, Abeniaf granted it. And the Cid was wary, and would not enter it till a gateway had been opened into the garden, for the entrance was through narrow streets, and the Cid would not trust himself in those strait places: so Abeniaf ordered the gate to be made, and told the Cid that he would be his host on a day appointed. And Abeniaf bedecked the gate of this garden full richly, and spread costly carpets, and ordered the way to be strewn with rushes, and made a great feast, and expected him all the day, but he did not come. And when it was night he sent to say that he was sick and could not come: and he prayed him to hold him excused. This he did to see whether they of Valencia would murmur against him. And the sons of Aboegib and all the people murmured greatly, and would fain in their hearts have risen against Abeniaf, but they durst not because of the Cid, with whom they would not fall out least he should lay waste all that was without the walls. And they looked daily for the Almoravides, and one day they said, Lo! now they are coming: and on the morrow they said, They are coming not. And in this manner some days past on. And the murmur which there had been concerning the garden died away; and then the Cid entered it, and took possession of the whole suburb of Alcudia round about it: and this he did peaceably, for the Moors and Christians dwelt there together.

How they of Valencia took courage because of the approach of the Almorávides xiii. Now came true tidings that the host of the Almoravides, which was at Lorca, was coming on through Murcia, and that the tarriance which they had made had been by reason of their Captain, who had fallen sick, but he was now healed, and they were advancing fast. And the sons of Aboegib and great part of the people rejoiced in these tidings, and took heart: and Abeniaf was in great fear, and he began to excuse himself to the men of the town, and said unto them to pacify them, that they did him wrong to complain of him for the garden which the Cid had asked of him, inasmuch as he had only given it him to disport himself therein for some days and take his pleasure, and that he would make him leave it again whenever it should please them. Moreover he said, that seeing they were displeased with what he had done, he would take no farther trouble upon him; but would send to break off his covenant with the Cid, and send to bid him look out for others to collect his payments, for he would have the charge no longer. This he said in his cunning, thinking that he should pacify them; but they understood his heart, and they cried aloud against him that they would not stand to his covenant, nor by his counsel, but that the sons of Aboegib should counsel them, and whatsoever they should think good, that would they do. And they gave order to fasten the gates of the town, and to keep watch upon the towers and walls. When Abeniaf saw this he ceased to do as he had been wont for fear of the people and of the sons of Aboegib, and took unto himself a greater company to be his guard. And the war was renewed between the Cid and the people of Valencia.

Of the great rain and wind which caused the Almorávides to turn back xiv. Now came true tidings that the host of the Almoravides was nigh unto Xativa; and the people of Valencia were glad and rejoiced, for they thought that they were now delivered from their great misery, and from the oppression of the Cid. And when he heard these tidings he left the garden and went to the place where his host was encamped, which was called Xarosa, and remained there in his tents, and he was at a stand what he should do, whether to abide the coming of the Almoravides, or to depart; howbeit he resolved to abide and see what would befall. And he gave order to break down the bridges and opea the sluices, that the plain might be flooded, so that they could only come by one way, which was a narrow pass. Tidings now came that the host of the Almoravides was at Algezira de Xucar, and the joy of the people of Valencia increased, and they went upon the walls and upon the towers to see them come. And when night came they remained still upon the walls, for it was dark, and they saw the great fires of the camp of the Almoravides, which they had pitched near unto a place called Bacer; and they began to pray unto God, beseeching him to give them good speed against the Christians, and they resolved as soon as the Almoravides were engaged in battle with the Cid, that they would issue forth and plunder his tents. But our Lord Jesus Christ was not pleased that it should be so, and he ordered it after another guise; for he sent such a rain that night, with such a wind and flood as no man living remembered, and when it was day the people of Valencia looked from the wall to see the banners of the Almoravides and the place where they had encamped, and behold they could see nothing: and they were full sorrowful, and knew not what they should do, and they remained in such a state as a woman in her time of childing, till the hour of tierce, and then came tidings that the Almoravides had turned back, and would not come unto Valencia. For the rains and floods had dismayed them, and they thought the waters would have swept them away, and that the hand of God was against them, and therefore they turned back. And when the people of Valencia heard this they held themselves for dead men, and they wandered about the streets like drunkards, so that a man knew not his neighbour, and they smeared their faces with black like unto pitch, and they lost all thought like one who falls into the waves of the sea. And then the Christians drew nigh unto the walls, crying out unto the Moors with a loud voice like thunder, calling them false traitors and renegados, and saying, Give up the town to the Cid Ruydiez, for ye cannot escape from him. And the Moors were silent, and made no reply because of their great misery.

Of the great price of food in Valencia, and how the suburbs were destroyed xv. Then Abenalfarax, a Moor of Valencia, he who wrote this history in Arabic, took account of the food which was in the city, to see how long it could hold out. And he says that the cafiz of wheat was valued at eleven maravedís, and the cafiz of barley at seven maravedís, and that of pulse or other grain at six; and the arroba of honey at fifteen dineros; and the arroba of carobs the third of a maravedí, and the arroba of onions two thirds of a maravedí, and the arroba of cheese two maravedís and a half, and the measure of oil frhich the Moors call maron, a maravedí, and the quintal of figs five maravedís, and the pound of mutton six dineros of silver, and the pound of beef four. These maravedis were silver ones, for no other money was current among them. The Moors who dwelt in the suburbs carried all the best of their goods into the city, and the rest they buried. And when the Cid was certain that the Almoravides were not coming, he returned again to lodge in the garden, and gave order to spoil the suburbs, save that of Alcudia, because the inhabitants of that had received him without resistance; and the Moors fled into the city with their wives and children. And when the Christians began to plunder the suburbs they of the town came out and plundered also those houses which were nearest unto the walls, so that every thing was carried away and nothing but the timbers left; and then the Christians took that to build them lodgments in the camp; and when the Moors saw this they came out, and carried away what timber they could into the city. And the Christians pulled down all the houses, save only such as could be defended with arrows, and these which they dared not pull down they set fire to by night. And when all the houses had been levelled they began to dig in the foundations, and they found great wealth there, and store of garments, and hoards of wheat; and when the Cid saw this he ordered them to dig every where, so that nothing might be lost. And when all had been dug up the Cid drew nearer to the city, and girt it round about, and there was fighting every day at the barriers, for the Moors came out and fought hand to hand, and many a sword-stroke was given and many a push with the spear. While the Moors were thus beleagered came letters from the Captain of the Almoravides, saying that he had not turned back to Algezira de Xucar for fear, nor for cowardice, neither as one who fled, but for lack of food, and also by reason of the waters; and that it was his set purpose at all events to succour them and deliver them from the oppression which they endured, and he was preparing to do this with all diligence. And he bade them take courage, and maintain the city. And when the Moors of Valencia heard, these letters they took heart, and joined with the sons of Aboegib, and their resolve was that they would be firm and maintain the city. And they said that Abeniaf had made the Almoravides retreat, because he had told them that there was discord in the town. And Abeniaf kept great watch, having a great guard to secure him, least the people should attempt aught against him. And the price of all things in Valencia was doubled.

How the Almorávides returned into their own country xvi. Then the Cid drew nearer to the walls, so that no man could either enter in or issue out, but whosoever attempted it was either slain or taken. And he gave orders to till all the lands which lay round about Alcudia, for this was now become a great place, even like a city, and the Moors who dwelt there were safe; and tents and shops were made there for all kinds of merchandize, and merchants came there safely from all parts to buy and to sell, so that they who dwelt there were greatly enriched. And justice was administered to all full righteously, so that there was none who could complain of the Cid nor of his Almoxarife, nor of any of his people; and the Moors were judged by their own law, and were not vexed, and he took from them only a tenth. Now came true tidings from Denia that the Almoravides had returned into their own country, and that there was no hope of succour at their hands. And when they of Valencia heard this they were greatly troubled. And they who held the Castles round about came humbly to the Cid, to place their love upon him, and besought him that he would accept tribute from them, and have them under his protection; and he gave orders that they might travel the roads in peace: and in this manner his rents increased, so that he had plenty to give. And he sent to them who held the Castles, bidding them provide him with cross-bow men, and foot-soldiers, to fight against the city; and there was none who dared disobey his bidding, and they sent him cross-bow men and foot-men in great numbers, with their arms and provisions. Thus was Valencia left desolate, and forsaken by all the Moorish people; and it was attacked every day, and none could enter in, neither could any come out; and they were sore distressed, and the waves of death compassed them round about.

Of the lamentation which was made for Valencia xvii. Then was there a Moor in the city who was a learned man and a wise, and he went upon the highest tower, and made a lamentation, and the words with which he lamented he put in writing, and it was rendered afterwards from the Arabic into the Castillian tongue, and the lamentation which he made was this:

Valencia! Valencia! trouble is come upon thee, and thou art in the hour of death; and if peradventure thou shouldst escape, it will be a wonder to all that shall behold thee.

But if ever God hath shown mercy to any place, let him be pleased to show mercy unto thee; for thy name was joy, and all Moors delighted in thee and took their pleasure in thee.

And if it should please God utterly to destroy thee now, it will be for thy great sins, and for the great presumption which thou hadst in thy pride.

The four corner stones whereon thou art founded would meet together and lament for thee, if they could!

Thy strong wall which is founded upon these four stones trembles, and is about to fall, and hath lost all its strength.

Thy lofty and fair towers which were seen from far, and rejoiced the hearts of the people, . . . little by little they are falling.

Thy white battlements which glittered afar off, have lost their truth with which they shone like the sunbeams.

Thy noble river Guadalaver, with all the other waters with which thou hast been served so well, have left their channel, and now they run where they should not.

Thy water courses, which were so clear and of such great profit to so many, for lack of cleansing are choked with mud.

Thy pleasant gardens which were round about thee; . . . the ravenous wolf hath gnawn at the roots, and the trees can yield thee no fruit.

Thy goodly fields, with so many and such fair flowers, wherein thy people were wont to take their pastime, are all dried up.

Thy noble harbour, which was so great honour to thee, is deprived of all the nobleness which was wont to come into it for thy sake.

The fire hath laid waste the lands of which thou wert called Mistress, and the great smoke thereof reacheth thee.

There is no medicine for thy sore infirmity, and the physicians despair of healing thee.

Valencia! Valencia! from a broken heart have I uttered all these things which I have said of thee.

And this grief would I keep unto myself that none should know it, if it were not needful that it should be known to all.

How they of Valencia put their trust again in Abeniaf xviii. Now all the trouble and distress which the men of Valencia endured, pleased Abeniaf well, because they had forsaken him and followed the sons of Aboegib; and he said that it did not behove a man to give advice unto those who would not listen to it, and that if the people had hearkened to him they would not have been brought to this misery; and what evil they endured was because of the sons of Aboegib, who lacked wit to be well with any one, or to do any thing. These things Abeniaf said daily to all who came to visit him: so that the people great as well as little began to talk thereof, saying that Abeniaf spake truly. And the Christians fought against them every day, and prest them close, and the price of food increased daily: and they withdrew themselves from the love of the sons of Aboegib, and thought that they had been ill advised to follow their counsel, and that because of them all this evil was come upon them, and they held them for fools. And the people cried out upon Abeniaf that he should forgive them for having forsaken him, and that he should protect them, and devise means for their deliverance from this great trouble. And Abeniaf said that he would have nothing to do with them more than as one of them; for if they were in trouble, so was he: and what they stood in fear of, that did he fear also; and that he could not give counsel to men who were divided among themselves; and he said unto them that they must agree among themselves, and be all of one mind to do one of these two things; . . . either to forsake the sons of Aboegib and their counsel; or to stand by it. And when he should see that they no longer opposed him with their evil counsels and the bad way in which they were going on, that he would then take counsel for them in such guise that they should be at peace; for they knew how they had sped so long as they let him direct them, and he trusted in God so to speed as that they should have no war with the Cid, neither with any other. And they made answer with one accord that they would trust in him and obey him, and do all which he should command, for it had alway been well with them when they followed his advice.

How Abeniaf took the sons of Aboegib and delivered them to the Cid xix. Then the men of Valencia made Abeniaf their Adelantado, and promised to abide by his counsel; howbeit this could not lightly be done, for many of the people held with the others. And when Abeniaf saw that they would have him for their chief, he said that they should make a writing, and the chief persons of the town confirm it with their names; and the people accorded that it should be so, and it was done accordingly. Then he made offers to the Cid that they should pay him tribute, and took counsel with him how to put the sons of Aboegib, and those who held with them, out of the town; and their counsel was, that the Cid should draw nigh to the walls, and speak unto the men of the town, saying, that so long as they followed after the ways of the sons of Aboegib, he would never grant them his love; and that all the evil which he did unto them was because of them, and because they were guided by them and by their evil counsel. And if they desired to speed well they should send away the sons of Aboegib, and take Abeniaf to be their chief, and give ear unto him. And the Cid came nigh unto the walls and said these things, and moreover that he had great ruth for them, for he loved them well; and if they would do according to his words he would help them and protect them, as he had been wont to do in the days of King Yahia; and he bade them look well to what they were doing, and not suffer themselves to be brought to destruction. And Abeniaf also said these things to those of his household and to all those who talked with him, and asked of them why they would let themselves be brought to destruction by the counsel of foolish men and unwise. And this he said so often that they thought it was truth, and they besought him that as he was their Adelantado now, he would devise means for their deliverance, and how they might live in peace; and he made answer that they were not to think he had forgotten this, for he had laboured greatly with the Cid to obtain his love for them, but the Cid had sworn that they should never have his love till they had put the sons of Aboegib out of the town; when they had done that, he would do whatsoever they should think good, but till they had done it there should be no covenant between him and them. But when the men of the town heard this they murmured greatly, and said that he demanded a hard thing, and that it were better they should all die than do this; and they talked concerning this matter three days, being in doubt what they should do. And when Abeniaf saw that the people were thus at a stand, he took counsel privily with the Cid, and with the knights, and the good men who were on his side, how he might take them. And one of the chief persons of Abeniaf’s household went out with a great company of horse and foot to seize the sons of Aboegib; and they when they knew this, took shelter in the house of an Alfaqui, that is to say, one learned in the law, who was held in much honour by the Moors; and in this house, which was surrounded with an embattled wall, they thought with the little company that they had with them, to defend themselves, till the cry could go forth through the city, and their friends come to their succour. And they who went to take them set fire to the outer gates, and many of the baser sort gathered together to see what the stir was. And they ascended the roof and threw down tiles upon the assailants till they made them take shelter under the eaves, and then the house was forced, and they plundered all that they could find, and laid hands on the sons of Aboegib and carried them to prison. All this was done before the cry could go forth through the town; and all the kinsmen of the sons of Aboegib were taken also: they were kept that day in prison, and when it was night they were taken to the Cid, to his lodging in Alcudia, and delivered into his hands.

How Abeniaf went out to meet the Cid, and how he would not keep the terms which were made xx. On the morrow there was a great stir among the men of the town, and they were greatly troubled at this foul thing which Abeniaf had done. But Abeniaf thinking that he should now have his desire, and that all was done, took horse and rode forth with all his company to the Bridge-end, to see Ruydiez the Cid. And the Bishop, as he was called, of Albarrazin, came to meet him with a great company of knights, being the chiefs of the company of the Cid, and they did great honour unto him, thinking that he would give them something. And they brought him to the lodging of the Cid, which was in the Garden of the New Town; and the Cid came out to meet him at the garden gate, and embraced him, and made much of him. And the first thing which he said, was, to ask him why he had not put on kingly garments, for King he was: and he bade him take off the coif which he wore, for it was not what beseemed him now, and made semblance as if he would have held his stirrups. And they stood talking awhile. Now the Cid thought that Abeniaf would not come to him with empty hands, and looked that he should give him of the treasures and jewels that he had taken from King Yahia whom he had slain; but when he saw that he brought nothing, then began the Cid to talk of terms, and said unto him that if he desired to have his love, and that there should be peace between them, he must divide with him the rents of the town, as well what was collected within as without, and that he would have his own Almoxarife to see to this and collect his share. And Abeniaf made answer that it should be so. And the Cid demanded of him his son as hostage, that he might keep him in Juballa, for otherwise he said he could not be secure. And Abeniaf agreed to this also; so they parted for that day, having appointed that they should meet on the morrow, and confirm this covenant by writings so that it should be good. Then Abeniaf returned into the city, full sorrowful and taking great thought; and then he saw the foolishness that he had done in sending away the Almoravides out of the land, and in putting his trust in men of another law. And on the morrow the Cid sent for him that he should come out and confirm the covenant; but Abeniaf sent him word that he would not give him his son, even though he knew he should lose his head for refusing. And the Cid sent him a letter with great threats, saying, that since he had thus deceived him, there should never more be love between them, nor would he ever believe aught which he should say. And then the hatred between them waxed very great. And the Cid sent unto that Moor who had taken the sons of Aboegib and bade him leave the town, and go unto the Castle which was called Alcala; and he obeyed and went thither, for he dared not do otherwise than as the Cid commanded. And he did great honours to the sons of Aboegib and to their kinsmen, and gave orders that they should be provided with all things which they needed, and gave them garments, and promised that he would be their great friend. At this time three good men of Valencia died, who were the most honourable of the town and of the most discretion, and Abeniaf was left as Chief, for there was none to gainsay him.

Of the pride and tyranny of Abeniaf; and how the price of food waxed more and more xxi. And the Cid made war afresh upon the city as cruelly as he could, and the price of bread was now three times as great as it had been at the beginning; the load of wheat was worth an hundred maravedís of silver, and the pound of flesh was a maravedí. And the Cid drew nigh unto the walls, so as to fight hand to hand with the townsmen. And Abeniaf waxed proud and despised the people, and when any went to make complaint before him, and ask justice at his hands, he dishonoured them, and they were evil entreated by him. And he was like a King, retired apart, and trobadors and gleemen and masters disported before him which could do the best, and he took his pleasure. And they of the town were in great misery, from the Christians who warred upon them from without, and the famine whereof they died within. Moreover Abeniaf oppressed them greatly, and he took unto himself all the goods of those who died, and he made all persons equal, the good and the bad, and took from all all that he could; and those who gave him nothing he ordered to be tormented with stripes, and cast into rigorous prisons, till he could get something from them. And he had no respect neither for kinsman nor friend. There was but one measure for all, and men cared nothing now for their possessions, so that the sellers were many and the buyers none. And with all these miseries the price of food became exceeding great, for the cafiz of wheat was priced at ninety maravedis, and that of barley at eighty, and that of painick eighty and five, and that of all pulse sixty, and the arroba of figs seven, and of honey twenty, and of cheese eighteen, and of carobs sixteen, and of onions twelve, and the measure of oil twenty: flesh there was none, neither of beast nor of anything else; but if a beast died, the pound was worth three maravedis. And they were so weak with hunger that the Christians came to the walls and threw stones in with the hand, and there was none who had strength to drive them back.

Of the famine which there was in Valencia xxii. And the Cid having it at heart to take the town, let make an engine, and placed it at one of the gates, and it did great hurt both to the walls and within the town; and the Moors made other engines, with the which they brake that of the Cid. And the Cid in his anger let make three engines, and placed them at the three gates of the town, and they did marvellous great hurt. And food waxed dearer every day, till at last dear nor cheap it was not to be had, and there was a great mortality for famine; and they eat dogs and cats and mice. And they opened the vaults and privies and sewers of the town, and took out the stones of the grapes which they had eaten, and washed them, and ate them. And they who had horses fed upon them. And many men, and many women, and many children watched when the gates were open, and went out and gave themselves into the hands of the Christians, who slew some, and took others, and sold them to the Moors in Alcudia; and the price of a Moor was a loaf and a pitcher of wine: and when they gave them food, and they took their fill, they died. Them that were stronger they sold to merchants who came there by sea from all parts. And the Moors of Alcudia, and of the town which the Cid had made there, had plenty of all things, and as great as was their abundance, even so great was the misery of those in the town: and they spake the verse which sayeth, If I go to the right the water will destroy me, and if I go to the left the lion will kill me, and if I turn back there is the fire.

How they sent to ask aid of the King of Zaragoza xxiii. Now the Moors of Valencia being in this great misery because of the siege which the Cid laid unto the town, Abeniaf bethought him that he would send a messenger to the King of Zaragoza, and beseech him to come to his succour, even as he had succoured the grandson of Alimaymon, when the Lord of Denia and Tortosa came against him. And the good men of the town took counsel whether they should say in these letters, To you the King, or whether they should humble themselves before him and call him Lord; and they debated upon this for three days, and agreed that they would call him Lord, that he might have the more compassion upon them. And though Abeniaf was troubled at heart at this determination, nevertheless he said in the letter as they had appointed. And he called a Moor who spake the mixed language, and instructed him how to get out of the city by night, so that the Christians might not see him, and told him that when he had given that letter to the King of Zaragoza, the King would give him garments, and a horse, and a mule to ride on, and that he himself would show favour unto him as long as he lived. So the messenger departed with the letter. And the famine in the town waxed greater, and food was not now bought by the cafiz, neither by the fanega, but by ounces, or at most by the pound. And the pound of wheat cost a maravedí and a half, and that of barley a maravedi, and that of painick a maravedi and a quarter, and of pulse a maravedi, and of flax-seed three parts of a maravedi, and of cheese three dineros, and of honey three, and of figs one; and the panilla of oil was eight dineros, and the pound of colewort five, and the ounce of carobs three parts of a dinero, and the ounce of onions the same, and the head of garlick the same; and a pound of beast’s flesh was six maravedis, and grape-stones were half a dinero the pound, and the skins of kine and of beasts five dineros; the dinero was silver, for there was no money current save silver and gold.

Of the answer of the King of Zaragoza, and of the search which Abeniaf made for food xxiv. When the King of Zaragoza saw the letter which Abeniaf and the men of Valencia had sent him, he gave no heed to it, neither cared he for the messenger, neither did he give him even a draught of water for his reward. And the messenger waited for his answer from day to day for three weeks, and he dared not depart without it for fear least Abeniaf should slay him; and he thought also that some of the King’s people would come out after him and slay him upon the way; and he was urgent for his answer, and began at last to cry aloud at the gate of the King’s house, so that the King asked of what that messenger was making his complaint. Then they told the King that he wanted his answer that he might be gone. And the King wrote an answer and said, that this aid which they besought of him he could not give till he had sent to ask help of King Don Alfonso of Castille, for he could not else venture to do battle with the Cid. And he exhorted them to defend themselves the best they could while he procured horsemen from King Don Alfonso to help them, and that they should from time to time send him word how they went on. So the messenger returned in great sorrow that he had sped no better, and that nothing had been given him as Abeniaf had promised: and all this which the King of Zaragoza said was only delay, and meant nothing. And the famine now waxed so great, that there was no food to sell, and many died of hunger. And many for great misery went out to the Christians, recking not whether they should be made captive, or slain, for they thought it better to be slain than to perish for lack of food. And Abeniaf searched all the houses in the town for food, and where he found any store, he left only what would suffice for a fortnight, and took the rest, saying that in that time the King of Zaragoza would come and relieve them, for that he only tarried to collect great store of food, that he might bring it with him. This he said to keep the people quiet, and to encourage them. And of the food which he carried away he took the most part for himself and for his guards, and the rest he ordered to be sold in such manner that none should buy more than would suffice him for the day. And what he took he did not pay for, and when the people demanded payment he put them off till another day; and he bade them not complain, for they would be relieved from this misery, and then he would pay them well. And they who had any food left buried it for fear, and for this reason there was none to be bought, neither dear nor cheap. And they who had nothing else, ate herbs, and leather, and electuaries from the apothecaries which they bought at a great price, and the poor ate the dead bodies.

How the King of Zaragoza sent letters to Valencia xxv. Now Abeniaf had no hope of succour save only from the King of Zaragoza, who had sent to bid him hold out; and he sent to him every night to tell him of the great misery which there was in Valencia, and the King of Zaragoza returned for answer that King Don Alfonso had sent him a great body of horsemen with Garcia Ordoñez, and would come himself after them; and he sent in this letter another letter written with his own hand, and which was to be shown to the good men of the town, privily; and he said therein, with great oaths to confirm it, that he would without fail come and deliver them, for it was a great grief to him to think what they endured, and that this was as great sorrow to him, as theirs could be. And certain of the King’s favourites wrote to Abeniaf also after the same manner, telling him that he would surely come; howbeit one of his favourites who had compassion upon the men of Valencia sent a covert message to warn them, saying, That the King of Zaragoza would build a tower in Alcudia de Tudela; the meaning of this was, that all the King said, was only to put them off. Abeniaf did not understand it, and sent to ask him what it was that he had said; but the other made him no reply. Then the King of Zaragoza sent two messengers to the Cid with jewels and rich presents, and besought him that he would not distress the men of Valencia so greatly, and also that he would let his messengers enter the town that they might speak with Abeniaf. This the Cid would not permit; howbeit they found means to send in a letter, saying, Wit ye that I send to entreat the Cid that he will not do so great evil unto you, and I give him jewels and rich presents that he may do my will in this, and I believe that he will do it. But if he should not, I will gather together a great host, and drive him out of the land. Howbeit these were but dissembling words, for the King of Zaragoza and the Cid were friends and were of one accord, that the Cid should take Valencia and give it the King, who should give him great treasures in return.

How Abenmoxiz rose against Abeniaf and how he was taken xxvi. Then the Cid began to treat with a great Moor of the town, named Abenmoxiz that he should rise up against Abeniaf, and kill him or deliver him into his hands, and that he would make him Lord over Valencia, and the country as far as Denia. And Abenmoxiz took counsel with his friends, and they advised him that he should do this: but Abeniaf knew of their counsel, and took them, and put them in prison, and gave them in charge to two of his household in whom he had great trust. And Abenmoxiz talked with his keepers, and told them all that he proposed to do, and promised them, if they would release him, to reward them greatly when he had succeeded, saying, that he undertook this with the consent and advice of the King of Zaragoza: so they were persuaded and promised to join with him. And when it was night Abenmoxiz and his friends and the two keepers agreed to seize the Alcazar, which was the place wherein they were imprisoned, and to beat the alarm, and raise a cry for the King of Zaragoza; and they thought the men of the town would join with them, and then they would go to the house of Abeniaf and lay hands on him. And they did accordingly, and beat a drum, and sent a cryer upon the tower of the Mosque to bid all the people assemble at the Alcazar. And when the people heard that drum and that cryer they were in great fear, and knew not what to think: and they assembled some to guard their own houses, other some to guard the tower, till they knew what it was. And when Abeniaf heard it, he was greatly dismayed, and he asked of all whom he found at his gates, what the uproar was, and what this thing might be. In short time all they who were on his side, both horse and foot, assembled together, and then they knew what it was; and he bade them go to the Alcazar and take Abenmoxiz, and all that held with him. Abenmoxiz this while was at the gate of the Alcazar with his little company, thinking that the whole town would join him; and behold Abeniaf’s company came up and charged him; and he thought to defend himself with the few that were with him, but the most part fled, and he with four others were taken; and they led them with great shame to the house of Abeniaf, who sent him to prison, and gave orders to smite off the heads of the others. And Abeniaf sent to lay hands on all whom he suspected, and took from them all that they had. And he sent messengers to the King of Zaragoza, to tell him what had chanced, and they took with them Abenmoxiz prisoner, and they were charged to remain at Zaragoza, and send him true tidings from thence.

How the Cid attacked the city and was put to the worst, and of the great cruelty which he committed upon the Moors xxvii. Now there was no food to be bought in the city, and the people were in the waves of death: and men were seen to drop and die in the streets, and the Place of the Alcazar round about the walls thereof was full of graves, and there was no grave which had fewer than ten bodies in it. As many as could fled out of the town, and delivered themselves up to the Christians to be made prisoners. The Cid thought that they who were the Chiefs within the walls, thrust out the poor and feeble, that they might be able to hold out longer; and it troubled him, for he thought to take the town by starving it, and he feared the coming of the Almoravides. Sometimes it troubled him, and at other times he seemed pleased that the Moors should come out and give themselves prisoners to his people. Now it befel that once, at such time as it seemed to please him, some of the chief men of the town came out in this manner, and counselled him that be should attack it, for they said the men at arms were few, and weak for hunger, and that he might presently win it: and the Cid took thought upon this matter, and resolved to do as they said; and he gathered together his host and advanced against the gate which is called Belfanhanes, that is to say, the Gate of the Snake, and they drew nigh unto the wall. And all the people of the town assembled, even all the force which was therein, and threw down stones from the gate and from the wall, and shot their arrows, so that neither stone nor arrow fell in vain; and the Cid and they who had advanced with him went into a bath which was near the wall, to be under cover from the arrows. And Abeniaf’s company opened the gate and sallied out, seeing that the stones and arrows from the wall had hurt many, and made the Christians draw back; and the Cid and they who were with him remained in the bath, being shut up there, for they could not go out by the door where at they had entered, and they broke through the wall on the other side, and the Cid escaped that way, being thus put to rout. Then he thought himself ill advised in having attacked the town, and in putting himself into a place from whence he had escaped with such great danger; and he held that the worst war which he could make upon the men of Valencia was to let them die of hunger. So he ordered proclamation to be made so loud that all the Moors upon the walls could hear, bidding all who had come out from the town to return into it, or he would burn as many as he should find; and saying also that he would slay all who came out from that time forth. Nevertheless they continued to let themselves down from the walls, and the Christians took them without his knowledge. But as many as he found he burnt alive before the walls, so that the Moors could see them; in one day he burnt eighteen, and cast others alive to the dogs, who tore them in pieces. They who could hide any sent them away by sea and by land to be sold; the most whom they sent were young men and girls, for others they would not take; and many virgins they kept for themselves. And if they knew that any who came out, had left kinsmen or friends in the town who would give any thing for them, they tortured them before the walls, or hung them from the towers of the Mosques which were without the city, and stoned them; and when they in the town saw this they gave ransom for them, that they might be permitted to dwell in Alcudia with the Moors who were in peace with the Cid. This continued for two months, till there were only four beasts left in the town, and one was a mule of Abeniaf’s, and another was a horse of his son’s; and the people were so wasted that there were but few who had strength to mount the wall.

How the people went to an Alfaqui, and it was accorded that he should go between them and the Cid xxviii. The company of Abeniaf and of his kinsmen despaired now of holding out, and of the help of the King of Zaragoza, or of the Almoravides, and they desired rather to die than endure this misery. And the good men of the city, as many as were left, went to an Alfaqui, who was a good man, and one who was held in great esteem, and besought him to give them counsel, for he saw their great distress, and how they were out of all hope of succour; and they besought him that he would go to Abeniaf, and know of him what he thought to do, or what hope he had, that he let them all perish thus. The Alfaqui gave ear to them, and said that if they would all hold together, and be of one heart, and show great anger at having been brought to this misery, he would do all he could to relieve them; and they promised to do whatever he should advise. Now Abeniaf knew of the talk which the good men of the town had had with the Alfaqui, and understood that it was because of the great misery which they endured; and he thought in his heart that he would humble himself, and do whatever his people should think good. And the Alfaqui thought that happy man was his dole now that the people had committed themselves to his guidage, and he went to Abeniaf and communed with him, and their accord was to give up all hope of succour. And Abeniaf put himself in the hands of the Alfaqui, that he should go between him and the Cid and the people of Valencia, and make the best terms for them that he could, seeing that they could no longer hold out, and maintain the town.

How the Cid made Martin Pelaez, of a coward, a good knight xxix. Here the history relates that at this time Martin Pelaez the Asturian came with a convoy of laden beasts, carrying provisions to the host of the Cid; and as he passed near the town the Moors sallied out in great numbers against him; but he, though he had few with him, defended the convoy right well, and did great hurt to the Moors, slaying many of them, and drove them into the town. This Martin Pelaez who is here spoken of, did the Cid make a right good knight, of a coward, as ye shall hear. When the Cid first began to lay siege to the city of Valencia, this Martin Pelaez came unto him; he was a knight, a native of Santillana in Asturias, a hidalgo, great of body and strong of limb, a well made man and of goodly semblance, but withal a right coward at heart, which he had shown in many places when he was among feats of arms. And the Cid was sorry when he came unto him, though he would not let him perceive this; for he knew he was not fit to be of his company. Howbeit he thought that since he was come he would make him brave whether he would or not. And when the Cid began to war upon the town, and sent parties against it twice and thrice a day, as ye have heard, for the Cid was alway upon the alert, there was fighting and tourneying every day. One day it fell out that the Cid and his kinsmen and friends and vassals were engaged in a great encounter, and this Martin Pelaez was well armed; and when he saw that the Moors and Christians were at it, he fled and betook himself to his lodging, and there hid himself till the Cid returned to dinner. And the Cid saw what Martin Pelaez did, and when he had conquered the Moors he returned to his lodging to dinner. Now it was the custom of the Cid to eat at a high table, seated on his bench, at the head. And Don Alvar Fañez, and Pero Bermudez, and other precious knights, ate in another part, at high tables, full honourably, and none other knights whatsoever dared take their seats with them, unless they were such as deserved to be there; and the others who were not so approved in arms ate upon estrados, at tables with cushions. This was the order in the house of the Cid, and every one knew the place where he was to sit at meat, and every one strove all he could to gain the honour of sitting to eat at the table of Don Alvar Fañez and his companions, by strenuously behaving himself in all feats of arms; and thus the honour of the Cid was advanced. This Martin Pelaez, thinking that none had seen his badness, washed his hands in turn with the other knights, and would have taken his place among them. And the Cid went unto him, and took him by the hand and said, You are not such a one as deserves to sit with these, for they are worth more than you or than me; but I will have you with me: and he seated him with himself at table. And he, for lack of understanding, thought that the Cid did this to honour him above all the others. On the morrow the Cid and his company rode towards Valencia, and the Moors came out to the tourney; and Martin Pelaez went out well armed, and was among the foremost who charged the Moors, and when he was in among them he turned the reins, and went back to his lodging; and the Cid took heed to all that he did, and saw that though he had done badly he had done better than the first day. And when the Cid had driven the Moors into the town he returned to his lodging, and as he sate down to meat he took this Martin Pelaez by the hand, and seated him with himself, and bade him eat with him in the same dish, for he had deserved more that day than he had the first. And the knight gave heed to that saying, and was abashed; howbeit he did as the Cid commanded him: and after he had dined he went to his lodging and began to think upon what the Cid had said unto him, and perceived that he had seen all the baseness which he had done; and then he understood that for this cause he would not let him sit at board with the other knights who were precious in arms, but had seated him with himself, more to affront him than to do him honour, for there were other knights there better than he, and he did not show them that honour. Then resolved he in his heart to do better than he had done heretofore. Another day the Cid and his company and Martin Pelaez rode toward Valencia, and the Moors came out to the tourney full resolutely, and Martin Pelaez was among the first, and charged them right boldly; and he smote down and slew presently a good knight, and he lost there all the bad fear which he had had, and was that day one of the best knights there; and as long as the tourney lasted there he remained, smiting and slaying and overthrowing the Moors, till they were driven within the gates, in such manner that the Moors marvelled at him, and asked where that Devil came from, for they had never seen him before. And the Cid was in a place where he could see all that was going on, and he gave good heed to him, and had great pleasure in beholding him, to see how well he had forgotten the great fear which he was wont to have. And when the Moors were shut up within the town, the Cid and all his people returned to their lodging, and Martin Pelaez full leisurely and quietly went to his lodging also, like a good knight. And when it was the hour of eating the Cid waited for Martin Pelaez, and when he came, and they had washed, the Cid took him by the hand and said, My friend, you are not such a one as deserves to sit with me from henceforth, but sit you here with Don Alvar Fañez, and with these other good knights, for the good feats which you have done this day have made you a companion for them; and from that day forward he was placed in the company of the good. And the history saith that from that day forward this knight Martin Pelaez was a right good one, and a right valiant, and a right precious, in all places where he chanced among feats of arms, and he lived alway with the Cid, and served him right well and truly. And the history saith, that after the Cid had won the city of Valencia, on the day when they conquered and discomfited the King of Seville, this Martin Pelaez was so good a one, that setting aside the body of the Cid himself, there was no such good knight there, nor one who bore such part, as well in the battle as in the pursuit. And so great was the mortality which he made among the Moors that day, that when he returned from the business the sleeves of his mail were clotted with blood, up to the elbow; insomuch that for what he did that day his name is written in this history, that it may never die. And when the Cid saw him come in that guise, he did him great honour, such as he never had done to any knight before that day, and from thenceforward gave him a place in all his actions and in all his secrets, and he was his great friend. In this knight Martin Pelaez was fulfilled the example which saith, that he who betaketh himself to a good tree, hath good shade, and he who serves a good Lord winneth good guerdon; for by reason of the good service which he did the Cid, he came to such good state that he was spoken of as ye have heard: for the Cid knew how to make a good knight, as a good groom knows how to make a good horse. The history now leaves to speak of him, and returns to the accord of the Alfaqui and Abeniaf, which they propounded unto the Cid.

How the city was to be yielded up, if succor did not come within fifteen days xxx. This Alfaqui sent his messengers to an Almoxarife of the Cid whose name was Abdalla Adiz; who was a good man and one whom the Cid loved, and who never left him after he had obtained his favour. And when Abdalla Adiz heard that they wished to propose terms, he spake with the Cid upon this matter, and the Cid bade him enter the town, and speak with them, and know of them what they would have. And he went into the town, and spake with them as the Cid had commanded, and came out again, and reported unto him what they had said, till he had made terms between them, Abeniaf sent three good men with him to confirm the terms which were made, and the covenant was after this manner, that they of Valencia should send messengers to the King of Zaragoza, and to Ali Abenaxa who was Adelantado of the Almoravides and Lord of Murcia, beseeching them to succour them within fifteen days; and if within that time they were not succoured they should then give up the city to the Cid, with such conditions, that Abeniaf should remain mighty in the town, as he had been before, his person being secure and all that he had, and his wives, and his children, and that he should remain Veedor, that is to say. Overseer, of all the rents of the town, he and the Almoxarife of the Cid, and a Moor who was called Musa should be Guazil of the town; this Musa had looked after the affairs of the Cid in the time of King Yabia, and never forsook him after the death of the King his Lord; and the Cid made him Alcayde of a Castle, and alway found him loyal, and at his service, and for this reason trusted he in him so as to make him Guazil, who should keep the keys of the town, with a guard of Almocadenes, and of Christian foot-men of Almogavares who had been born in the land of the Moors. And it was appointed that the Cid should dwell in Juballa, in the town which he had made, and that he should alter none of their privileges, nor of their customs, nor the rents which they paid, nor their money.

Of the riches which were found upon the messengers, and of the price of food xxxi. Presently on the morrow they sent five good men as messengers to the King of Zaragoza, and as many more to Murcia; and it had been covenanted that neither of these messengers should take with him more than fifty maravedís for his journey, and that they should go by sea as far as Denia, in a ship of the Christians, and from thence by land. These messengers embarked with their company on board that ship, and the Cid sent orders to the master thereof not to sail till he came; and the Cid came himself in his own body and bade them search the messengers to see if they took with them more than had been agreed; and he found upon them great riches in gold and in silver and in pearls and in precious stones; part was their own, and part belonged to other merchants in the city, who thought to send it to Murcla, not being minded to abide in Valencia: and he took it all, leaving them no more than fifty maravedís each, according to the covenant. This was the price of food on the day when these messengers departed: the pound of wheat was three maravedís, and the pound of barley one and a half, and the pound of painick three, saving a quarter; the ounce of cheese three dineros, and the ounce of hemp seed four, and the pound of colewort one maravedí and two dineros of silver, and the pound of neat-skin one maravedí. In the whole town there was only one mule of Abeniaf’s, and one horse: another horse which belonged to a Moor he sold to a butcher for three hundred and eighty doblas of gold, bargaining that he should have ten pounds of the flesh. And the butcher sold the flesh of that horse at ten maravedís the short pound, and afterwards at twelve, and the head for twenty doblas of gold.

How the city was yielded up xxxii. The Moors of Valencia were now something comforted, for they weened that they should receive help, and the Christians did not now war upon them; nevertheless they kept guard, and went the rounds, as before, and waited for the day appointed, as one who looked to be released from prison. And for this reason men began to bring out the food which they had hidden, and to sell of it, and thus they went on til the time expired, and the messengers were not returned. And Abeniaf besought them that they would wait yet three days more, but they made answer that they would not, for they could bear it no longer. And the Cid sent unto them bidding them yield up the town, as they had covenanted to do; and he swore with great oaths, that if they delayed a single hour after the time was expired, he would not keep the terms which he had made, and moreover that he would slay the hostages; nevertheless they let a day pass over and above the term. And then they who made the covenant with the Cid went out unto him and besought him to come and receive the town, but the Cid said wrathfully to them that he was not bound to keep the terms, seeing they had let the time appointed pass; and they yielded themselves into his hands that he should do with them according to his pleasure; then he was moved to compassion, and had pity upon them. And Abeniaf and other good men came out, and the writings were made and were confirmed on both sides, by the Chiefs of the Christians and of the Moors, and the gates were opened at the hour of noon, upon Thursday the last day of June, after the feast of St. John, which the Moors call Alhazaro. And when the gate was opened Abeniaf was there within, with a great company round about him, both of his own people and of those of the town; and the Christians as they entered ascended the walls and towers. And Abeniaf asked why so many went up, for it was not in the terms; but they would not cease for that, and they took possession of all, little to his liking.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/southey/robert/chronicle-of-the-cid/book6.html

Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:30