Chronicle of the Cid, by Robert Southey

HERE BEGINNETH THE SEVENTH BOOK
of the

CHRONICLE OF THE CID

How the people died after the famine i. And all the people of the town gathered together, like men risen from their graves, . . . yea, like the dead when the trumpet shall sound for the day of judgment, and men shall come out of their graves and be gathered together before the Majesty of God. And hucksters came from Alcudia and brought bread and pulse to sell, and others of the town went out to Alcudia to buy food; and they who were poor, and had not wherewith to buy, plucked of the herbs of the field and ate them, and they held themselves rich because they could go out when they would, and enter in again without fear. And such as were wise among them abstained from taking much food, fearing what would happen, and they took it little by little till they had gotten strength; all they who took their fill died, and the mortality among them was so great that all the fields were full of graves.

Of the honor which the Cid did unto the Moors ii. On the following day after the Christians had taken possession of the town, the Cid entered it with a great company, and he ascended the highest tower of the wall, and beheld all the city; and the Moors came unto him, and kissed his hand, saying he was welcome. And the Cid did great honour unto them. And then he gave order that all the windows of the towers which looked in upon the town should be closed up, that the Christians might not see what the Moors did in their houses; and the Moors thanked him for this greatly. And he commanded and requested the Christians that they should show great honour to the Moors, and respect them, and greet them when they met: and the Moors thanked the Cid greatly for the honour which the Christians did them, saying that they had never seen so good a man, nor one so honourable, nor one who had his people under such obedience.

How the Cid spake unto the Moors iii. Now Abeniaf thought to have the love of the Cid; and calling to mind the wrath with which he had formerly been received, because he had not taken a gift with him, he took now great riches which he had taken from those who sold bread for so great a price during the siege of Valencia, and this he carried to the Cid as a present. Among those who had sold it were some men from the Islands of Majorca, and he took from them all that they had. This the Cid knew, and he would not accept his gifts. And the Cid caused proclamation to be made in the town and throughout the whole district thereof, that the honourable men and knights and castellans should assemble together in the garden of Villa Nueva, where the Cid at that time sojourned. And when they were all assembled, he went out unto them, to a place which was made ready with carpets and with mats, and he made them take their seats before him full honourably, and began to speak unto them, saying, I am a man who have never possessed a kingdom, neither I nor any man of my lineage. But the day when I first beheld this city I was well pleased therewith, and coveted it that I might be its Lord; and I besought the Lord our God that he would give it me. See now what his power is, for the day when I sate down before Juballa I had no more than four loaves of bread, and now by God’s mercy I have won Valencia. And if I administer right and justice here God will let me enjoy it, but if I do evil, and demean myself proudly and wrongfully, I know that he will take it away. Now then let every one go to his own lands, and possess them even as he was wont to have and to hold them. He who shall find his field, or his vineyard, or his garden, desert, let him incontinently enter thereon; and he who shall find his husbanded, let him pay him that hath cultivated it the cost of his labour, and of the seed which he hath sown therein, and remain with his heritage, according to the law of the Moors. Moreover I have given order that they who collect my dues take from you no more than the tenth, because so it is appointed by the custom of the Moors, and it is what ye have been wont to pay. And I have resolved in my heart to hear your complaints two days in the week, on the Monday and the Thursday; but if causes should arise which require haste, come to me when ye will and I will give judgment, for I do not retire with women to sing and to drink, as your Lords have done, so that ye could obtain no justice, but will myself see to these things, and watch over ye as friend over his friend, and kinsman over his kinsman. And I will be Cadi and Guazil, and when dispute happens among ye I will decide it. When he had said these things they all replied that they prayed God to preserve him through long and happy years, and four of the most honourable among them rose and kissed his hands, and the Cid bade them take their seats again.

What farther the Cid said unto the Moors iv. Then the Cid spake unto them and said, It is told me that Abeniaf hath done much evil, and committed great wrong toward some of ye, in that he hath taken great riches from ye to present them to me, saying, that this he did because ye sold food for a great price during the siege. But I will accept of no such gift; for if I were minded to have your riches, I could take them, and need not ask them neither from him, nor from any other; but thing so unseemly as to take that which is his from any one, without just cause, I will not do. They who have gotten wealth thus, God hath given it them; let them go to Abeniaf, and take back what he hath forced from them, for I will order him to restore the whole. Then he said, Ye see the riches which I took from the messengers who went to Murcia; it is mine by right, for I took it in war because they brake the covenant which they had made, and would have deceived me: nevertheless I will restore it to the uttermost farthing, that nothing thereof shall be lost. And ye shall do homage to me that ye will not withdraw yourselves, but will abide here, and do my bidding in all things, and never depart from the covenant which ye make with me; for I love ye, and am grieved to think of the great evil and misery which ye endured from the great famine, and of the mortality which there was. And if ye had done that before which ye have done now, ye would not have been brought to these sufferings and have bought the cafiz of wheat at a thousand maravedís; but I trust in God to bring it to one maravedí. Be ye now secure in your lands, and till your fields, and rear cattle; for I have given order to my men that they offer ye no wrong, neither enter into the town to buy nor to sell; but that they carry on all their dealings in Alcudia, and this I do that ye may receive no displeasure. Moreover I command them not to take any captive into the town, but if this should be done, lay ye hands on the captive and set him free, without fear, and if any one should resist, kill him and fear not. I myself will not enter your city nor dwell therein, but I will build me a place beside the Bridge of Alcantara, where I may go and disport myself at times, and repair when it is needful. When he had said these things he bade them go their way.

How the promises of the Cid proved false, and how he demanded that Aheniaf should be delivered into his hands v. Well pleased were the Moors when they departed from him, and they marvelled at the greatness of his promises, and they set their hearts at rest, and put away the fear which they had had, thinking all their troubles were over; for in all the promises which the Cid had made unto them, they believed that he spake truth; but he said these things only to quiet them, and to make them come to what he wished, even as came to pass. And when he had done, he sent his Almoxarife, Abdalla Adiz, to the Custom House, and made him appoint men to collect the rents of the town for him, which vas done accordingly. And when the Cid had given order concerning his own affairs at his pleasure, the Moors would fain have entered again into possession of their heritages as he told them; but they found it all otherwise, for of all the fields which the Christians had husbanded; they would not yield up one; albeit they let them enter upon such as were left waste; some said that the Cid had given them the lands that year, instead of their pay, and other some that they rented them and had paid rent for the year. So the Moors seeing this, waited till Thursday, when the Cid was to hear complaints, as he had said unto them. When Thursday came all the honourable men went to the Garden, but the Cid sent to say unto them that he could not come out that day, because of other causes which he had to determine; and he desired that they would go their way for that time, and come again on the Monday: this was to show his mastery. And when it was Monday they assembled again in the Garden, and the Cid came out to them, and took his seat upon the estrado, and the Moors made their complaint. And when he had heard them, he began to make similitudes, and offer reasons which were not like those which he had spoken the first day, for he said to them, I ask of ye, whether it is weil that I should be left without men? for if I were without them, I should be like unto one who hath lost his right arm, or to a bird that hath no wings, or to one who should do battle and hath neither spear nor sword. The first thing which I have to look to is to the well-being of my people, that they may live in wealth and honour, so that they may be able to serve me, and defend my honour; for since it has pleased God to give me the city of Valencia, I will not that there be any other Lord here than me. Therefore I say unto you and command you, if you would be well with me, and would that I should show favour unto you, that ye see how to deliver that traitor Abeniaf into my hands. Ye all know the great treason which he committed upon King Yahia, his Lord and yours, how he slew him, and the misery which he brought upon you in the siege; and since it is not fitting that a traitor who hath slain his Lord should live among you, and that his treason should be confounded with your loyalty, see to the obeyment of my command.

How the Moors asked counsel of Abdalla Adiz, and how they delivered up Abeniaf vi. When the honourable Moors heard this they were dismayed; verily they knew that he spake truth touching the death of the King, but it troubled them that he departed from the promise which he had made; and they made answer that they would take counsel concerning what he had said, and then reply. Then five of the best and most honourable among them withdrew, and went to Abdalla Adiz, and said unto him, Areed us thy reed now the best and truest that thou canst, for thou art of our law, and oughtest to do this; and the reason why we ask counsel of thee is this. The Cid promised us many things, and now behold he says nothing to us of what he said before, but moveth other new reasons, at which great dismay hath seized us. And because thou better knowest his ways, tell us now what is his pleasure, for albeit we might wish to do otherwise, this is not a time wherein anything but what he shall command can be done. When the Almoxarife heard this he made answer, Good men, it is easy to understand what he would have, and to do what should be done. We a11 know the great treason which Abeniaf committed against we all in killing your Lord the King: for albeit, at that time ye felt the burden of the Christians, yet it was nothing so great as after he had killed him, neither did ye suffer such misery. And since God hath brought him who was the cause to this state, see now by all means how ye may deliver him into the hands of the Cid. And fear not, neither take thought for the rest; for though the Cid may do his pleasure in some things, better is it to have him for Lord, than this traitor who hath brought so much evil upon ye. Moreover the things of this world soon pass away, and my heart tells me that we shall ere long come out of the bondage of the Cid, and of the Christians, for the Cid is well nigh at the full of his days, and we who remain alive after his death, shall then be masters of our city. When the good men heard what he said, they thanked him much, and held themselves to be well advised, and said that they would do willingly what he bade them: and they returned forthwith to the Cid, and said unto him that they would fulfil his commandment. Incontinently did the good men dispeed themselves of the Cid, and they went into the city, and gathered together a great posse of armed men, and went to the place where Abeniaf dwelt; and they assaulted the house and brake the doors, and entered in and laid hands on him, and his son, and all his company, and carried them before the Cid. And the Cid ordered Abeniaf to be cast into prison, and all those who had taken counsel with him for the death of King Yahia.

How the Cid said that he would dwell in the Alcazar, and how he took possession thereof vii. When this was done, the Cid said unto the good men, Now that ye have fulfilled my bidding, I hold it good to show favour unto you in that which ye yourselves shall understand to be fitting for me to grant. Say therefore what ye would have, and I will do that which I think behoveth me: but in this manner, that my dwelling place be within the city of Valencia, in the Alcazar, and that my Christian men have all the fortresses in the city. And when the good men heard this, they were greatly troubled; howbeit they dissembled the sorrow which they resented, and said unto him, Sir Cid, order it as you think good, and we consent thereto. Then said he unto them that he would observe towards them all the uses and customs of their law, and that he would have the power, and be Lord of all; and they should till their fields and feed their flocks and herds, and give him his tenth, and he would take no more. When the Moors heard this they were well pleased, and since they were to remain in the town, and in their houses and their inheritances, and with their uses and customs, and that their Mosques were to be left them, they held themselves not to be badly off. Then they asked the Cid to let their Guazil be the same as he had first appointed, and that he would give them for their Cadi the Alfaqui Alhagi, and let him appoint whom he would to assist him in distributing justice to the Moors; and thus he himself would be relieved of the wearisomeness of hearing them, save only when any great occasion might befall. This Alhagi was he who made the lamentation for Valencia, as ye have heard; and when the Cid was peaceably established in Valencia, he was converted, and the Cid made him a Christian. And the Cid granted this which they required, and they kissed his hand, and returned into the town. Nine months did the Cid hold Valencia besieged, and at the end of that time it fell into his power, and he obtained possession of the walls, as ye have heard. And one month he was practising with the Moors that he might keep them quiet, till Abeniaf was delivered into his hands; and thus ten months were fulfilled, and they were fulfilled on Thursday the last day of June, in the year of the æra one thousand one hundred and thirty and one, which was in the year one thousand ninety and three of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. And when the Cid had finished all his dealings with the Moors, on this day he took horse with all his company in good array, his banner being carried before him, and his arms behind: and in this guise, with great rejoicings he entered the city of Valencia. And he alighted at the Alcazar, and gave order to lodge all his men round about it, and he bade them his banner upon the highest tower of the Alcazar.

Glad was the Campeador, and all they who were with him when they saw his banner planted in that place. And from that day forth was the Cid possessed of all the Castles and fortresses which were in the kingdom of Valencia, and established in what God had given him, and lie and ail Ins people rejoiced.

How Abeniaf was tortured to make him give account of his riches, and he gave a false account, and was stoned viii. On the morrow the Cid sent Abeniaf to Juballa. and they gave him great tortures till he was at the point of death; and they kept him there two days, and then brought him to Valencia to the Garden of the Cid, and the Cid gave order that he should write with his own hand an account of all that he had. And he did this, and wrote down the carkanets, and rings, and costly garments, and rich apparel which he had, and also many other precious household things, and the debts which were due unto him. This the Cid did that he might see if all was there which Abeniaf had taken when he slew the King his Master; and the writing was read before the Cid. And the Cid sent for certain Moors who were good and honourable men, and made Abeniaf be brought before him, and demanded of him if he had nothing more than what was there written down; and he answered that he had not; and he bade him swear this before the Moors, and Abeniaf swore accordingly. Then the Cid sent privily to make search in all the houses of the friends of Abeniaf, swearing unto them, that if they had anything of his and denied it, and it should afterwards be discovered, he would put them to death, and moreover take from them all that they had. And they when they heard this, partly in the fear of the Cid, and partly that they might find favour with him, brought each of them great riches, saying, Sir, Abeniaf gave us this in keeping, that if it might be saved, he might share it with us. And he gave order to search and dig in the houses of Abeniaf, and they found great treasure there in gold and in silver, and in pearls, and in precious stones, all which a servant discovered unto them. And when the Cid saw it all before him it pleased him much, and he called for the Moors before whom Abeniaf had taken the oath, and he took his seat upon the estrado full nobly, and there in the presence of Christians and Moors he ordered Abeniaf and all the other prisoners to be brought forth. And he bade that Alfaqui whom he had made Cadi, and the other good men, judge by what death he who had slain his Lord deserved to die, according to their law, and who moreover was perjured, for he had sworn that he possessed nothing more than what he had set down in writing: and the Cadi and the other Moors said that according to their law, he and his accomplices should be stoned: This, they said, we find in our law, but you will do as you think good. Nevertheless we ask mercy of you for his son, who is but a child; may it please you to set him free, for he hath no fault in what his father hath done. And the Cid answered, that for the love of them he pardoned the child, but that he should depart from the city, for he would not have the son of a traitor dwell therein. And he commanded them that they should stone Abeniaf and all them who had taken counsel with him for the death of the King, according as they had given sentence. Then the honourable Moors rose and kissed his feet and his hands for the mercy which he had shown to the son of Abeniaf; and they took out Abeniaf to stone him, and other twenty and two with him. And the Cid bade them come again to him on the morrow, and he would appoint what should be the manner of his dwelling among them.

Of the speech which the Cid made unto the Moors, telling them that he would have the city to himself ix. That night the Cid spake with Alvar Fañez and with Pero Bermudez, and all them who were of his council, and they resolved in what manner they would live among the Moors. And on the morrow the honourable Moors of Valencia assembled together in the Alcazar as they had been commanded to do, and the Cid took his seat upon the estrado, and all the honourable men round about him, and he spake unto them after this manner: Good men of the Aljama of Valencia, ye know how I served and defended King Yahia your Lord, and ye also, until his death. And I had great sorrow for him, and strove to revenge him, as ye know, and endured great hardships in winning Valencia.

And since God hath thought it good that I should be Lord thereof, I will have it for myself, and for those who have helpen me to win it, saving the sovereignty of King Don Alfonso of Castille, my Lord, whom God preserve for his service long and happy years. Ye are all now in my power, to do with ye whatever I will, both with your persons and your riches, and your wives and your children; but I will not do thus. And I hold it good that the honourable men among ye who have alway been loyal, remain in the city in their dwellings and with all their family; and that none among ye keep more than one beast, which shall be a mule, and that ye do not use arms, neither have them in your possession, except when it is needful and I shall give command. And all the rest of the people shall go out of the town and dwell in the suburb of Alcudia, where I was wont to be. Ye shall have two Mosques, one in the city and one in the suburb; and ye shall have your Alfaquis and follow your own law; and ye shall have your Cadis, and your Guazil, as I have appointed; and ye shall have your inheritances, and pay me the tenth of the fruits thereof as your service; and the power of justice shall be mine, and I will order such money to be coined as I shall think good. Do ye therefore who are minded to abide with me in the land, abide: and let those who are not, go, in God’s name, and good luck with them, but they shall take only their own persons, and I will give command to see them escorted in safety. When the Moors of Valencia heard this they were full sorrowful; howbeit it was now a time when they could do no otherwise than as he commanded. And incontinently they began to go out of the city with their wives and children, all except those whom the Cid had commanded to abide there; and as the Moors went out the Christians who dwelt in Alcudia entered in. And the history saith, that so great was the multitude which departed, that they were two whole days in going out. Great was the joy of the Cid and his people that day, and from thenceforward he was called My Cid the Campeador, Lord of Valencia.

How the King of Seville came against Valencia, and was defeated x. Now was it bruited abroad throughout all lands, how the Cid Ruydiez had won the noble city of Valencia. And when Ali Abenaxa the Adelantado of the Almoravides knew it, he sent his son-inlaw the King of Seville to besiege him in Valencia, and gave him thirty thousand men at arms. And this King came in great haste to Valencia, and besieged the Cid therein. And the Cid made ready with all his people, and went out to fight him. And the battle was nigh unto Valencia, beside the garden which is called the Garden of Villa Nueva; and it was a good battle, and at length he of the good fortune conquered; and the pursuit continued as far as Xativa; even so far did the Christians pursue them, smiting and slaying. And at the passage of the Xucar there might you have seen confusion, and there the Moors without liking it drank plenty of water. They say that fifteen thousand Moors died in the river; and the King of Seville fled with three great blows. This day did Martin Pelaez the Asturian approve himself a right good one: there was no knight so good that day in arms as he, nor who bore away such honour. And when the pursuit was ended the Cid returned to the field of battle, and ordered the spoils of the field and of the tents to be collected. Be it known that this was a profitable day’s work. Every foot soldier shared a hundred marks of silver that day. And the Cid returned full honourably to Valencia. Great was the joy of the Christians in the Cid Ruydiez, he who was born in a good hour. His beard was grown, and continued to grow a great length. My Cid said of his chin, For the love of King Don Alfonso, who hath banished me from his land, no scissars shall come upon it, nor shall a hair be cut away, and Moors and Christians shall talk of it.

How the Cid numbered his people xi. That night the Cid took counsel with Alvar Fañez, who departed not from his side, and with the other honourable men who were of his council, concerning what should be done: for now that his people were all rich, he feared least they should return into their own country, for my Cid saw that if they might go they would. And Minaya advised him that he should cause proclamation to be made through the city, that no man should depart without permission of the Cid, and if any one went who had not dispeeded himself and kist his hand, if he were overtaken he should lose all that he had, and moreover be fixed upon a stake. And that they might be the more certain, he said unto Minaya that he would take account of all the people who were with him, both horsemen and foot, and Pero Bermudez and Martin Antolinez made the roll; and there were found a thousand knights of lineage, and five hundred and fifty other horsemen, and of foot soldiers four thousand, besides boys and others; thus many were the people of my Cid, he of Bivar. And his heart rejoiced, and he smiled and said, Thanks be to God, Minaya, and to Holy Mary Mother! . . . we had a smaller company when we left the house of Bivar!

How there came a Bishop to Valencia, and the Cid made the city a bishopric for him xii. At this time there came a crowned one from the parts of the East, that is to say, one who was shaven and shorn; his name was the Bishop Don Hieronymo, a full learned man and a wise, and one who was mighty both on horseback and a-foot: and he came enquiring for the Cid, wishing that he might see himself with the Moors in the field, for if he could once have his fill of smiting and slaying them, Christians should never lament him. And when the Cid knew this it pleased him in his heart, and he took horse and went to visit him, and rejoiced greatly that he was come; and he resolved to make Valencia a bishopric and give it to this good Christian. And they took counsel, and it was that on the morrow the Bishop and his clergy should turn the Mosques into Churches, wherein they might sing masses, and sacrifice the body of Jesus Christ. And rents were appointed for the table of the Bishop and for his Canons, and for all the clergy in the city of Valencia. And nine parish Churches were made. And the greatest was called St. Pedro’s, and another was called St. Mary of the Virtues. This was near the Alcazar, and there the Cid went oftenest to hear service. After this manner the Cid ordered his city that it should be a Bishopric, for the honour of the Catholic faith. God! how joyful was all Christendom that there was a Lord Bishop in the land of Valencia!

How the Cid sent for his wife and daughters xiii. Now the Cid bethought him of Doña Ximena his wife, and of his daughters Doña Elvira and Doña Sol, whom he had left in the Monastery of St. Pedro de Cardeña; and he called for Alvar Fañez and Martin Antolinez of Burgos, and spake with them, and besought them that they would go to Castille, to King Don Alfonso his Lord, and take him a present from the riches which God had given them; and the present should be a hundred horses, saddled and bridled; and that they would kiss the King’s hand for him, and beseech him to send him his wife Doña Ximena, and his daughters, and that they would tell the King all the mercy which God had shown him, and how he was at his service with Valencia and with all that he had. Moreover he bade them take a thousand marks of silver to the Monastery of St. Pedro de Cardeña, and give them to the Abbot, and thirty marks, of gold for his wife and daughters, that they might prepare themselves and come in honourable guise. And he ordered three hundred marks of gold to be given them, and three hundred marks of silver, to redeem the chests full of sand which he had pledged in Burgos to the Jews; and he bade them ask Rachel and Vidas to forgive him the deceit of the sand, for he had done it because of his great need: and he said, You, Martin Antolinez, were aiding and abetting herein, but praised be the name of the Lord for ever, he hath let me quit myself truly; tell them that they shall have more profit than they asked. And he bade them each take with him his whole company, that they might be better advised and accompanied, and that Doña Ximena might come with the greater honour: and the company was this: two hundred knights who were of Don Alvar Fañez, and fifty of Martin Antolinez: and he ordered money to be given them for their disbursement, and for all things needful, in abundance.

How these messengers came to the king, and of the great favor which was shewn them xiv. Alvar Fañez and Martin Antolinez went their way, and they found the King in the city of Palencia. When they arrived he was coming from mass, and seeing this goodly company of horsemen he stopped in the church porch, and asked who they were. And it was told him that they were people of the Cid, who came to him with a full great present. And Alvar Fañez and Martin Antolinez alighted, and came to the King, and kissed his hand; and he received them right well, and said, What tidings bring ye me of the Cid, my true vassal, the most honourable knight that ever was knighted in Castille? Well was Minaya pleased when he heard this, and he said, A boon, Sir King Don Alfonso, for the love of your Maker: My Cid sendeth to kiss your hands and your feet, as his natural Lord, at whose service he is, and from whom he expecteth much bounty and good. You banished him from the land; but though in another’s country, he hath only done you service. Five pitched battles hath he won since that time, some with Moors and some with bad Christians; and he hath taken Xerica, and Ondra, and Almenar, and Monviedro which is a bigger place, and Cebola also, and Castrejon, and Peña Cadiella which is a strong eminence, and with all the right noble city of Valencia, for the honour of the faith of Jesus Christ, and of you our Lord and King; and he hath made it a Bishopric, and made the Honourable Don Hieronymo Bishop thereof with his own hand. And behold here are a hundred horses of the spoils which he hath won; they are great and swift, and are all bridled and saddled, and he kisseth your hand and beseecheth you as his natural Lord to receive them. When the King heard this he was greatly astonished, and he lifted up his right hand and blessed himself, and said, As St. Isidro shall keep me, I rejoice in the good fortune of the Cid, and receive his gift full willingly. But though this pleased the King it did not please Garci Ordoñez, and he said, It seemeth there is not a man left in the land of the Moors, that the Cid can thus do his pleasure! And the King said unto him, Hold thy peace, for in all things he serves me better than thou.

Then Alvar Fañez kissed the King’s hand again, and said, Sir, the Cid beseecheth you of your bounty that he may have his wife Doña Ximena and his two daughters, that they may go to Valencia unto him, from the Monastery where he left them, for it is many days since he saw them, and if it please you this would rejoice him. And the King made answer, It pleases me well, and I will give them a guard throughout my dominions, that they may be conducted honourably to the border: when they have past it, the Campeador himself will look to them. And he said, Hear me! all those whom I have disseized of their inheritances for following the Campeador, I restore again to the possession thereof, and all those who desire to serve him I freely licence: let them go in the grace of God. Moreover the King said, I grant him Valencia and all that he hath won and shall win hereafter, that he be called Lord thereof, and that he hold it of no other Lordship save of me, who am his liege Lord. Alvar Fañez and Martin Antolinez kissed his hand for this in the Cid’s name. And the King called a porter, who should go with them, bearing a writing from the King, that all things needful should be given unto them so long as they were in his lands. Then Alvar Fañez and Martin Antolinez dispeeded themselves of the King, and took their way towards Burgos.

How they came to Burgos, and how Doña Ximena and her daughters left the monastery to go with them to Valencia xv. When they reached Burgos they sent for Rachel and for Vidas, and demanded from them the chests, and paid unto them the three hundred marks of gold and the three hundred of silver as the Cid had commanded, and they besought them to forgive the Cid the deceit of the chests, for it was done because of his great necessity. And they said they heartily forgave him, and held themselves well paid; and they prayed God to grant him long life and good health, and to give him power to advance Christendom, and put down Pagandom. And when it was known through the city of Burgos the goodness and the gentleness which the Cid had shown to these merchants in redeeming from them the chests full of sand and earth and stones, the people held it for a great wonder, and there was not a place in all Burgos where they did not talk of the gentleness and loyalty of the Cid; and they besought blessings upon him, and prayed that he and his people might be advanced in honour. When they had done this, they went to the Monastery of St. Pedro de Cardeña, and the porter of the King went with them, and gave order every where that every thing which they wanted should be given them. If they were well received, and if there was great joy in St. Pedro de Cardeña over them, it is not a thing to ask, for Doña Ximena and her daughters were like people beside themselves with the great joy which they had, and they came running out on foot to meet them, weeping plenteously for great joy. And Alvar Fañez and Martin Antolinez, when they saw them coming, leapt off their horses and went to them, and Minaya embraced Doña Ximena and both his cousins, Doña Elvira and Doña Sol, and so great was the rejoicing which they made together that no man can tell it you. And when this great joy was somewhat abated, Doña Ximena asked how the Cid fared, for since he had parted from her she had heard no news of him. And Alvar Fañez said he had left him safe and sound in Valencia; and he bade her and her daughters thank God for the great favour that he had shown him, for he had won sundry castles from the Moors, and the noble city of Valencia, whither he was now come to carry her and her daughters, for the Cid had sent for them, and when he should see them his heart’s desire would be accomplished. When Doña Ximena and her daughters heard this, they set their knees to the ground, and lifted up their hands and thanked God for the favour he had shown to the Cid, and to them with him, in giving him the Lordship of Valencia. While they were preparing for the journey, Alvar Fañez sent three knights to the Cid to tell him how they had sped with the King, and of the great favour which they had found at his hands, and how he only tarried now to equip Doña Ximena, that she might come full honourably. That good one Minaya then began to deck them out for the journey with the best trappings which could be found in Burgos: right noble garments did he provide for them, and a great company of damsels, and good palfreys, and great mules, which were not bad ones. And he gave the Abbot the thousand marks of silver which the Cid had sent for the Monastery, with which to discharge all the debt that Doña Ximena and his daughters had contracted. Great was the stir throughout all that land of the honour of the Cid, and of the licence which the King gave to as many as should chuse to join him; and for this reason full sixty knights came to St. Pedro de Cárdena, and a great number of squires on foot. Don Alvar Fañez was well pleased to see them, and he promised them that he would obtain the Cid’s grace for them, and would befriend them all he could. Great dole did the Abbot make when they departed; and he said, As God shall help you, Minaya, kiss the hand of the Campeador for me. This Monastery will never forget him, to pray for him every day in the year. The Cid will alway prosper more and more. Minaya promised to do this, and dispeeded himself, and they went their way. Five days they travelled, and then they came to Medina Celi; and alway the porter of the King was with them, and made all that they wanted be given unto them, even as the King had commanded.

How Doña Ximena and her daughters came to Valencia xvi. Now the three knights whom Alvar Fañez had sent, came to the Cid and delivered their message. When my Cid heard it his heart rejoiced and he was glad, and he spake with his mouth and said, He who sends good messengers looks for good tidings. Blessed be the name of God, since King Don Alfonso rejoices in my good fortune. And he called for Muño Gustios, and Pero Bermudez, and the Bishop Don Hieronymo, and bade them take a hundred knights least there should be need to fight, and go to Molina, to Abencaño, who was his friend and vassal, and bid him take another hundred knights, and go with them to Medina Celi as fast as they could go. There, said he, ye will find Alvar Fañez and my wife and daughters; bring them to me with great honour: I will remain here in Valencia which has cost me so much; great folly would it be if I were to leave it: I will remain in it, for I hold it for my heritage. And they did as he commanded them. And when they came to Molina, Abencaño received them right well, and did them great honour; and though the Cid had bidden him take only one hundred horse, he took two. On the morrow they went to horse: they crossed the mountains which are great and wild, and they passed Mata de Toranz without fear, and they thought to come through the valley of Arbuxedo. There was good look out kept in Medina, and Alvar Fañez sent two knights to know who they were. They made no tarriance in doing this, for they had it at heart; one tarried with them, and the other returned, and said it was the host of the Campeador with Pero Bermudez, and Muño Gustios, and the Bishop Hieronymo, and the Alcayaz Abencaño. This instant, said Minaya, let us to horse; incontinently this was done, for they would make no delay. And they rode upon goodiy horses with bells at their poitrals and trappings of sandall silk, and they had their shields round their necks, and lances with streamers in their hands. Oh, how Alvar Fañez went out from Castille with these ladies! They who pricked forward, couched their spears and then raised them, and great joy was there by Salon where they met. The others humbled themselves to Minaya: when Abencaño carne up he kissed him on the shoulder, for such was his custom. In a good day, Minaya, said he, do you bring these ladies, the wife and daughters of the Cid, whom we all honour. Whatever ill we may wish him we can do him none; in peace or in war he will have our wealth, and he must be a fool who does not acknowledge this truth. Alvar Fañez smiled and told him he should lose nothing by this service which he had done the Cid: and now, said he, let us go rest, for the supper is ready. Abencaño said he was well pleased to partake it, and that within three days he would return him the entertainment two-fold. Then they entered Medina, and Minaya served them; all were full glad of the service which they had undertaken, and the King’s porter paid for all. The night is gone, morning is come, mass is said, and they go to horse. They left Medina and past the river Salon, and pricked up Arbuxuelo, and they crost the plain of Torancio. That good Christian the Bishop Don Hieronymo, night and day he guarded the ladies; on a goodly horse he rode, and they went between him and Alvar Fañez. They came to Molina and there were lodged in a good and rich house, and Abencaño the Moor waited on them. Nothing did they want which they could wish to have; he even had all their beasts new shod, and for Minaya and the ladies, Lord! how he honoured them! On the morrow they left Molina, and the Moor went with them. When they were within three leagues of Valencia, news of their coming was brought to the Cid. Glad was the Cid, never was he more joyful, never had he such joy, for tidings were come to him of what he loved best. Two hundred knights did he order out to meet them, others he bade to keep the Alcazar, and the other high towers, and all the gates and entrances. And he commanded that they should bring him Bavieca. It was but a short time since he had won this horse; my Cid, he who girt on sword in a happy hour, did not yet know if he was a good goer, and if he stopt well. The Bishop Don Hieronymo, he pricked forward and entered the city. He left his horse and went to the Church, and collected all the clergy; they put on their surplices, and with crosses of silver went out to meet the ladies, and that good one Minaya. He who was born in happy hour made no tarriance; they saddled him Bavieca and threw his trappings on. My Cid wore light armour, and his surcoat over it: long was his beard. He went out upon this horse, and ran a career with him; Bavieca was the name of the horse, and when he was running all marvelled at him: from that day Bavieca was famous all over Spain. At the end of the course my Cid alighted and went toward his wife and his daughters. Who can tell the joy that was made at their meeting? They fell at his feet, and their joy was such that they could not speak. And he raised them up and embraced them, and kissed them many times, weeping for joy that he saw them alive. Hear what he said who was born in happy hour! You dear and honoured wife, and ye my daughters, my heart and my soul; enter with me into Valencia; . . . this is the inheritance which I have won for you. While they were thus rejoicing the Bishop Don Hieronymo came with the procession. Doña Ximena brought good relicks and other sacred things, which she gave to ennoble the new Church of Valencia. In this guise they entered the city. Who can tell the rejoicings that were made that day, throwing at the board, and killing bulls! My Cid led them to the Alcazar, and took them up upon the highest tower thereof, and there they looked around and beheld Valencia, how it lay before them, and the great Garden with its thick shade, and the sea on the other side; and they lifted up their hands to thank God. Great honour did the Cid do to Abencaño the Lord of Molina, for all the service which he had done to Doña Ximena. Then said Abencaño, This, Sir, I was bound to do, for since I have been your vassal I have alway been respected, and defended from all my enemies, and maintained in good estate; how then should I do otherwise than serve you? If I did not, I should lack understanding. And the Cid thanked him for what he had done, and what he had said, and promised also to show favour unto him. And Abencaño took his leave and returned to Molina.

How tidings came that the Miramamolin was coming against Valencia xvii. The winter is past, and March is coming in. Three months Doña Ximena had been in Valencia, when tidings came to the Cid from beyond sea, that King Yucef, the son of the Miramamolin, who dwelt in Morocco, was coming to lay siege unto Valencia with fifty thousand men. When the Cid heard this he gave command to store all his Castles, and had them well repaired. And he had the walls of the city prepared, and stored it well with food and with all things needful for war, and gathered together a great power of Christians and of the Moors of his seignory. Hardly had he done this before he heard that Yucef was near at hand, and coming as fast as he could come. Then the Cid assembled together the Christians in the Alcazar, and when they were assembled, he rose upon his feet and said, Friends and kinsmen and vassals, praised be God and holy Mary Mother, all the good which I have in the world I have here in Valencia; with hard labour I won the city, and hold it for my heritage, and for nothing less than death will I leave it. My daughters and my wife shall see me fight, they shall see with their own eyes our manner of living in this land, and how we get our bread. We will go out against the Moors and give them battle, and God who hath thus far shown favour unto us will still continue to be our helper. When they heard this they cried out with one accord that they would do his bidding, and go out with him and fight under his banner, for certain they were that by his good fortune the Moors would be overthrown.

How the Cid took his wife and daughters upon the lower, that they might see the Moors land xviii. On the morrow the Cid took Doña Ximena by the hand, and her daughters with her, and made them go up upon the highest tower of the Alcazar, and they looked toward the sea and saw the great power of the Moors, how they came on and drew nigh, and began to pitch their tents round about Valencia, beating their tambours and with great uproar. And Ximena’s heart failed her, and she asked the Cid if peradventure God would deliver him from these enemies. Fear not, honoured woman, said he; you are but lately arrived, and they come to bring you a present, which shall help marry your daughters. Fear not, for you shall see me fight by the help of God and holy Mary Mother; my heart kindles because you are here! The more Moors the more gain! The tambours sounded now with a great alarum, and the sun was shining. Cheer up, said my Cid; this is a glorious day. But Ximena was seized with such fear as if her heart would have broken; she and her daughters had never been in such fear since the day that they were born. Then the good Cid Campeador stroked his beard and said, Fear not, all this is for your good. Before fifteen days are over, if it please God, those tambours shall be laid before you, and shall be sounded for your pleasure, and then they shall be given to the Bishop Don Hieronymo, that he may hang them up in the Church of St. Mary, Mother of God. This vow the Cid Campeador made. Now the Moors began to enter the gardens which were round about the town, and the watchman saw them and struck the bell. My Cid looked back and saw Alvar Salvadores beside him, and he said, go now, take two hundred horse, and sally upon yonder Moors who are entering the gardens; let Doña Xiraena and her daughters see the good will you have to serve them. Down went Alvar Salvadores in great haste, and ordered a bell to be rung which was a signal for two hundred knights to make ready; for the history saith, that the Cid, by reason that he was alway in war, had appointed, such signals for his people, that they knew when one hundred were called for, and when two, and so forth. Presently they were ready at the place of meeting, and the gate was opened which was nearest the gardens where the Moors had entered, without order; and they fell fiercely upon them, smiting and slaying. Great was the pleasure of the Cid at seeing how well they behaved themselves. And Doña Ximena and her daughters stood trembling, like women who had never seen such things before: and when the Cid saw it he made them seat themselves, so as no longer to behold it. Great liking had the Bishop Don Hieronymo to see how bravely they fought. Alvar Salvadores and his companions bestirred themselves so well that they drove the enemy to their tents, making great mortality among them, and then they turned back, whereat my Cid was well pleased; but Alvar Salvadores went on, hacking and hewing all before him, for he thought the ladies were looking on, and he pressed forward so far, that being without succour he was taken. The others returned to the city, falling back in brave order till they were out of reach of the enemy: and they had done no little in that exploit, for they slew above two hundred and fifty Moors. When my Cid saw that they who eat his bread were returned, he went down from the tower, and received them right well, and praised them for what they had done like good knights: howbeit he was full sorrowful for Alvar Salvadores that he should be in the hands of the Moors, but he trusted in God that he should deliver him on the morrow.

Of the counsel which was taken, after what manner they should attack the Moors xix. And the Cid assembled his chief captains and knights and people, and said unto them, Kinsmen and friends and vassals, hear me: today has been a good day, and tomorrow shall be a better. Be you all armed and ready in the dark of the morning; mass shall be said, and the Bishop Don Hieronymo will give us absolution, and then we will to horse, and out and smite them in the name of the Creator and of the Apostle Santiago. It is fitter that we should live than that they should gather in the fruits of this land. But let us take counsel in what manner we may go forth, so as to receive least hurt, for they are a mighty power, and we can only defeat them by great mastery in war. When Alvar Fañez Minaya heard this, he answered and said, Praised be God and your good fortune, you have achieved greater things than this, and I trust in God’s mercy that you will achieve this also. Give me three hundred horse, and we will go out when the first cock crows, and put ourselves in ambush in the valley of Albuhera; and when you have joined battle we will issue out and fall upon them on the other side, and on one side or the other God will help us. Well was the Cid pleased with this counsel, and he said that it should be so; and he bade them feed their horses in time and sup early, and as soon as it was cock-crow come to the Church of St. Pedro, and hear mass, and shrive themselves, and communicate, and then take horse in the name of the Trinity, that the soul of him who should die in the business might go without let to God.

Of the great victory which the Cid won over King Yucef xx. Day is gone, and night is come. At cock-crow they all assembled together in the Church of St. Pedro, and the Bishop Don Hieronymo sung mass, and they were shriven and assoyled, and howselled. Great was the absolution which the Bishop gave them: He who shall die, said he, fighting face forward, I will take his sins, and God shall have his soul. Then said he, A boon, Cid Don Rodrigo; I have sung mass to you this morning: let me have the giving the first wounds in this battle! and the Cid granted him this boon in the name of God. Then being all ready they went out through the gate which is called the Gate of the Snake, for the greatest power of the Moors was on that side, leaving good men to guard the gates. Alvar Fañez and his company were already gone forth, and had laid their ambush. Four thousand, lacking thirty, were they who went out with my Cid, with a good will, to attack fifty thousand. They went through all the narrow places, and bad passes, and leaving the ambush on the left, struck to the right hand, so as to get the Moors between them and the town. And the Cid put his battles in good array, and bade Pero Bermudez bear his banner. When the Moors saw this they were greatly amazed; and they harnessed themselves in great haste, and came out of their tents. Then the Cid bade his banner move on, and the Bishop Don Hieronymo pricked forward with his company, and laid on with such guise, that the hosts were soon mingled together. Then might you have seen many a horse running about the field with the saddle under his belly, and many a horseman in evil plight upon the ground. Great was the smiting and slaying in short time; but by reason that the Moors were so great a number, they bore hard upon the Christians, and were in the hour of overcoming them. And the Cid began, to encourage them with a loud voice, shouting God and Santiago! And Alvar Fañez at this time issued out from ambush, and fell upon them, on the side which was nearest the sea; and the Moors thought that a great power had arrived to the Cid’s succour, and they were dismayed, and began to fly. And the Cid and his people pursued, punishing them in a bad way. If we should wish to tell you how every one behaved himself in this battle, it is a thing which could not be done, for all did so well that no man can relate their feats. And the Cid Ruydiez did go well, and made such mortality among the Moors, that the blood ran from his wrist to his elbow! great pleasure had he in his horse Bavieca that day, to find himself so well mounted. And in the pursuit he came up to King Yucef, and smote him three times: but the King escaped from under the sword, for the horse of the Cid passed on in his course, and when he turned, the King being on a fleet horse, was far off, so that he might not be overtaken; and he got into a Castle called Guyera, for so far did the Christians pursue them, smiting and slaying, and giving them no respite, so that hardly fifteen thousand escaped of fifty that they were. They who were in the ships, when they saw this great overthrow, fled to Denia.

How the Cid entered the city, and how he gave in marriage the damsels of his wife Doña Ximena xxi. Then the Cid and his people returned to the field and began to plunder the tents. And the spoil was so great that there was no end to the riches, in gold and in silver, and in horses and arms, so that men knew not what to leave and what to take. And they found one tent which had been King Yucef’s; never man saw so noble a thing as that tent was; and there were great riches therein, and there also did they find Alvar Salvadores, who had been made prisoner the yesterday, as ye have heard. Greatly did the Cid rejoice when he saw him alive and sound, and he ordered his chains to be taken off; and then he left Alvar Fañez to look to the spoil, and went into Valencia with a hundred knights. His wrinkled brow was seen, for he had taken off his helmet, and in this manner he entered, upon Bavieca, sword in hand. Great joy had Doña Ximena and her daughters, who were awaiting him, when they saw him come riding in; and he stopt when he came to them, and said, Great honour have I won for you, while you kept Valencia this day! God and the Saints have sent us goodly gain, upon your coming. Look, with a bloody sword, and a horse all sweat, this is the way that we conquer the Moors! Pray God that I may live yet awhile for your sakes, and you shall enter into great honour, and they shall kiss your hands. Then my Cid alighted when he had said this, and the ladies knelt down before him, and kissed his hand, and wished him long life. Then they entered the Palace with him, and took their seats upon the precious benches. Wife Doña Ximena, said he, these damsels who have served you so well, I will give in marriage to these my vassals, and to every one of them two hundred marks of silver, that it may be known in Castille what they have got by their services. Your daughters’marriage will come in time. And they all rose and kissed his hand: and great was the joy in the Palace, and it was done according as the Cid had said.

Of the great spoil which was found xxii. Alvar Fañez this while was in the field writing and taking account of the spoil: but the tents and arms and precious garments were so many that they cannot be told, and the horses were beyond all reckoning; they ran about the field, and there was no body to take them, and the Moors of the land got something by that great overthrow. Nevertheless so many horses were taken that the Campeador had to his share of the good ones a thousand and five hundred. Well might the others have good store when he had so many. And my Cid won in this battle from King Yucef, his good sword Tizona, which is to say, the firebrand. The tent of the King of Morocco, which was supported by two pillars wrought with gold, he gave order not to be touched, for he would send it to Alfonso the Castillian. The Bishop Don Hieronymo, that perfect one with the shaven crown, he had his fill in that battle, fighting with both hands; no one could tell how many he slew. Great booty came to him, and moreover the Cid sent him the tithe of his fifth. Glad were the Christian folk in Valencia for the great booty which they had gotten, and glad was Doña Ximena and her daughters, and glad were all those ladies who were married.

How King Yucef died, and of the charge he gave his brother to revenge him xxiii. King Yucef, after the pursuit was given over, and he saw that he might come forth from the Castle, fled to Denia, and embarked in his ships, and returned to Morocco. And thinking every day how badly he had sped, and how he had been conquered by so few, and how many of his people he had lost, he fell sick and died. But before he died he besought his brother, who was called Bucar, that for the tie there was between them, he would take vengeance for the dishonour which he had received from the Cid Campeador before Valencia; and Bucar promised to do this, and swore also upon the Koran, which is the book of their law. And accordingly he came afterwards across the sea, with nine and twenty Kings, as shall be related when the time comes.

Of the present which the Cid sent unto the king xxiv. Then the Cid sent Alvar Fañez and Pero Bermudez with a present to King Alfonso his Lord. And the present which he sent was two hundred horses saddled and bridled, with each a sword hanging from the saddle-bow: and also the noble tent which he had won from King Yucef of Morocco. This present he gave, because the King had sent him his wife and daughters when he asked for them, and because of the honour which he had done them, and that the King might not speak ill of him who commanded in Valencia. Alvar Fañez and Pero Bermudez went their way towards Castille, over sierras and mountains and waters; and they asked where the King was, and it was told them that he was at Valladolid, and thither they went. And when they drew nigh unto the city, they sent to let him know of their coming, and to ask of him whether he thought it good for them to come into the city unto him, or if he would come out to them, for they were a great company, and the present a full great one, which he would see better without, than in the town. And the King thought this best, and he went to horse, and bade all the hidalgos who were with him do the like. Now the Infantes of Carrion were there, Diego Gonzalez and Ferrando Gonzalez, the sons of Count Don Gonzalo. And they found the company of the Cid about half a league from the town, and when the King saw how many they were, he blest himself, for they seemed like a host. And Minaya and Pero Bermudez pricked on when they saw him, and came before him, and alighted, and knelt down, and kissed the ground and kissed both his feet; and he bade them rise and mount their horses, and would not hear them till they had mounted, and taken their places one at his right hand, and the other at his left. And they said, Sir, the Cid commends himself to your grace as his liege Lord, and thanks you greatly for having sent him with such honour his wife and daughters. And know. Sir, that since they arrived, he hath achieved a great victory over the Moors, and their King Yucef of Morocco, the Miramamolin, who besieged him in Valencia with fifty thousand men. And he went out against them, and smote them, and hath sent you these two hundred horses from his fifth. Then Alvar Fañez gave order that the horses should be led forward. And this was the manner in which they came. The two hundred horses came first, and every one was led by a child, and every one had a sword hanging from the saddle, on the left side; and after them came the pages of all the knights in company, carrying their spears, and then the company, and after them, an hundred couple with spears in rest. And when they had all past by, the King blest himself again, and he laughed and said that never had so goodly a present been sent before to King of Spain by his vassal. And Alvar Fañez said moreover, Sir, he hath sent you a tent, the noblest that ever man saw, which he won in this battle: and the King gave order that the tent should be spread, and he alighted and went into it, he and all his people, and he was greatly pleased; and they all said that they had never seen so noble a tent as this; and the King said he had won many from the Moors, but never such as this. But albeit that all the others were well pleased, Count Don Garcia was not so; and he and ten of his lineage talked apart, and said that this which the Cid had done was to their shame, for they hated the Cid in their hearts. And King Don Alfonso said, Thanks be to God and to Sir Saint Isidro of León, these horses may do me good service; and he gave three of them to Minaya, and Pero Bermudez, and bade them chuse, and he ordered food and cloathing to be given them while they remained, and said that he would give them compleat armour when they returned, such as was fit for them to appear in before my Cid. And they were lodged, and all things that were needful provided for them and their people.

How the Infantes, of Carrion desired to marry the Cid’s daughters xxv. When the Infantes of Carrion, Diego Gonzalez and Ferrando Gonzalez, saw the noble present which the Cid had sent unto the King, and heard how his riches and power daily increased, and thought what his wealth must needs be when he had given those horses out of the fifth of one battle, and moreover that he was Lord of Valencia: they spake one with the other, and agreed, that if the Cid would give them his daughters to wife, they should be well married, and become rich and honourable. And they agreed together that they would talk with the King in private upon this matter. And they went presently to him, and said, Sir, we beseech you of your bounty to help us in a thing which will be to your honour; for we are your vassals, and the richer we are the better able shall we be to serve you. And the King asked of them what it was they would have, and they then told him their desire. And the King thought upon it awhile, and then came to them, and said, Infantes, this thing which you ask lies not in me, but in the Cid; for it is in his power to marry his daughters, and peradventure he will not do it as yet. Nevertheless that he ye may not fail for want of my help, I will send to tell him what ye wish. Then they kissed his hand for this favour. And the King sent for Alvar Fañez and Pero Bermudez, and went apart with them, and praised the Cid, and thanked him for the good will which he had to do him service, and said that he had great desire to see him. Say to him, he said, that I beseech him to come and meet me, for I would speak with him concerning something which is to his good and honour. Diego and Ferrando, the Infantes of Carrion, have said unto me that they would fain wed with his daughters, if it seemeth good to him; and methinks this would be a good marriage. When Alvar Fañez and Pero Bermudez heard this, they answered the King, and said, Certain we are, Sir, that neither in this, nor in anything else will the Cid do aught but what you, Sir, shall command or advise. When ye have your meeting ye will agree concerning it as is best. Then they kissed his hand, and took their leave.

How the meeting was appointed between the King and the Cid xxvi. On the morrow the messengers of the Cid departed from Valladolid, and took their way towards Valencia; and when the Cid knew that they were nigh at hand he went out to meet them, and when he saw them he waxed joyful, and he embraced them, and asked what tidings of his Lord Alfonso. And they told him how they had sped, and how greatly the King loved him; and when we departed, said they, he bade us beseech you to come and meet him anywhere where you will appoint, for he desireth to speak with you, concerning the marriage of your daughters with the Infantes of Carrion, if it should please you so to bestow them: now by what the King said it seemeth unto us that this marriage pleaseth him. And when the Cid heard this he became thoughtful, and he said to them after awhile, What think ye of this marriage? And they answered him, Even as it shall please you. And he said to them, I was banished from my own country, and was dishonoured, and with hard labour gained I what I have got; and now I stand in the King’s favour, and he asketh of me my daughters for the Infantes of Carrion. They are of high blood and full orgullous, and I have no liking to this match; but if our Lord the King adviseth it we can do no otherwise; we will talk of this, and God send it for the best. So they entered Valencia, and the Cid spake with Doña Ximena touching this matter, and when she heard it it did not please her; nevertheless she said, if the King thought it good they could do no otherwise. Then the Cid gave order to write letters to the King, saying, that he would meet the King as he commanded, and whatever the King wished that he would do. And he sealed the letters well, and sent two knights with them. And when the King saw the letters he was well pleased, and sent others to say that the time of their meeting should be three weeks after he received these letters, and the place appointed was upon the Tagus, which is a great river.

How they made ready for the meeting xxvii. Now began they to prepare on both sides for this meeting. He who should relate to you the great preparations, and the great nobleness which were made for the nonce, would have much to recount. Who ever saw in Castille so many a precious mule, and so many a good-going palfrey, and so many great horses, and so many goodly streamers set upon goodly spears, and shields adorned with gold and with silver, and mantles, and skins, and rich sendals of Adria? The King sent great store of food to the banks of the Tagus, where the place of meeting was appointed. Glad were the Infantes of Carrion, and richly did they bedight themselves; some things they paid for, and some they went in debt for: great was their company, and with the King there were many Leonese and Galegos, and Castillians out of number. My Cid the Campeador made no tarriance in Valencia; he made ready for the meeting: there was many a great mule, and many a palfrey, and many a good horse, and many a goodly suit of arms, cloaks, and mantles both of cloth and of peltry; . . . great and little are all clad in colours. Alvar Fañez Minaya, and Pero Bermudez, and Martin Munoz, and Martin Antolinez that worthy Burgalese, and the Bishop Don Hieronymo that good one with the shaven crown, and Alvar Alvarez, and Alvar Salvadores, and Muño Gustios that knight of prowess, and Galind Garcia of Aragon; all these and all the others made ready to go with the Cid. But he bade Alvar Salvadores and Galind Garcia and all those who were under them, remain and look with heart and soul to the safety of Valencia, and not open the gates of the Alcazar neither by day nor by night, for his wife and daughters were there, in whom he had his heart and soul, and the other ladies with them; he like a good husband gave order that not one of them should stir out of the Alcazar till he returned. Then they left Valencia and pricked on more than apace; more than a thousand knights, all ready for war, were in this company. All those great horses that paced so well and were so soft of foot, my Cid won; they were not given to him.

Of the meeting xxviii. King Don Alfonso arrived first by one day at the place of meeting, and when he heard that the Cid was at hand, he went out with all his honourable men, more than a long league to meet him. When he who was born in a good hour had his eye upon the King, he bade his company halt, and with fifteen of the knights whom he loved best he alighted, and put his hands and his knees to the ground, and took the herbs of the field between his teeth, as if he would have eaten them, weeping for great joy; . . . thus did he know how to humble himself before Alfonso his Lord; and in this manner he approached his feet and would have kissed them. And the King drew back and said, The hand, Cid Campeador, not the foot! And the Cid drew nigh upon his knees and besought grace, saying, In this guise grant me your love, so that all present may hear. And the King said that he forgave him, and granted him his love with his heart and soul. And the Cid kissed both his hands, being still upon his knees; and the King embraced him, and gave him the kiss of peace. Well pleased were all they who beheld this, save only Alvar Diez and García Ordoñez, for they did not love the Cid. Then went they all toward the town, the King and the Cid talking together by the way. And the Cid asked the King to eat with him, and the King answered, Not so, for ye are not prepared; we arrived yesterday, and ye but now. Eat you and your company therefore with me, for we have made ready. To-day, Cid Campeador, you are my guest, and tomorrow we will do as pleases you. Now came the Infantes of Carrion up and humbled themselves before the Cid, and he received them well, and they promised to do him service. And the company of the Cid came up, and kissed the King’s hand. So they alighted and went to meat; and the King said unto the Cid that he should eat with him at his table; howbeit he would not. And when the King saw that he would not take his seat with him, he ordered a high table to be placed for the Cid and for Count Don Gonzalo, the father of the Infantes of Carrion. All the while that they ate the King could never look enough at the Cid, and he marvelled greatly at his beard, that it had grown to such length. And when they had eaten they were merry, and took their pleasure. And on the morrow the King and all they who went with him to this meeting, ate with the Cid, and so well did he prepare for them that all were full joyful, and agreed in one thing, that they had not eaten better for three years. There was not a man there who did not eat upon silver, and the King and the chief persons ate upon dishes and trenchers of gold. And when the Infantes saw this they had the marriage more at heart than before.

How the King asked the Cid to give his daughters in marriage to the Infantes xxix. On the morrow as soon as it was day, the Bishop Don Hieronymo sung mass before the King, in the oratory of the Cid; and when it was over, the King said before all who were there assembled, Counts and Infanzones and knights, hear what I shall say unto the Cid. Cid Ruydiez, the reason wherefore I sent for you to this meeting was two-fold: first, that I might see you, which I greatly desired, for I love you much because of the many and great services which you have done me, albeit that at one time I was wroth against you and banished you from the land. But you so demeaned yourself that you never did me disservice, but contrariwise, great service both to God and to me, and have won Valencia, and enlarged Christendom, wherefore I am bound to show favour unto you and to love you alway. The second reason was, that I might ask you for your two daughters Doña Elvira and Doña Sol, that you would give them in marriage to the Infantes of Carrion, for this methinks would be a fit marriage, and to your honour and good. When the Cid heard this, he was in a manner bound to consent, having them thus demanded from him; and he answered and said, Sir, my daughters are of tender years and if it might please you, they are yet too young for marriage. I do not say this as if the Infantes of Carrion were not worthy to match with them, and with better than they. And the King bade him make no excuse, saying, that he should esteem himself well served if he gave his consent. Then the Cid said, Sir, I begat them, and you give them in marriage; both I and they are yours, . . . give them to whom you please, and I am pleased therewith. When the King heard this he was well pleased, and he bade the Infantes kiss the hand of the Cid Campeador, and incontinently they changed swords before the King, and they did homage to him, as sons-inlaw to their father-inlaw. Then the King turned to the Cid, and said, I thank thee, Ruydiez, that thou hast given me thy daughters for the Infantes of Carrion: and here I give them to the Infantes to be their brides; I give them and not you, and I pray God that it may please him, and that you also may have great joy herein. The Infantes I put into your hands; they will go with you, and I shall return from hence, and I order that three hundred marks of silver be given to them for their marriage, and they and your daughters will all be your children.

How the Cid dispeeded himself of the King xxx. Eight days this meeting lasted; the one day they dined with the King, and the other with the Cid. Then was it appointed that on the morrow at sunrise every one should depart to his own home. My Cid then began to give to every one who would take his gifts, many a great mule, and many a good palfrey, and many a rich garment, . . . every one had what he asked, . . . he said no to none. Threescore horses did my Cid give away in gifts; well pleased were all they who went to that meeting. And now they were about to separate, for it was night. The King took the Infantes by the hand, and delivered them into the power of my Cid the Campeador, . . . See here your sons: from this day, Campeador, you will know what to make of them. And the Cid answered, Sir, may it please you, seeing it is you who have made this marriage for my daughters, to appoint some one to whom I may deliver them, and who may give them, as from your hand, to the Infantes. And the King called for Alvar Fañez Minaya, and said. You are sib to the damsels; I command you, when you come to Valencia, to take them with your own hands, and give them to the Infantes, as I should do if that I were there present: and be you the bride’s father. Then said the Cid, Sir, you must accept something from me at this meeting. I bring for you twenty palfreys, these that are gaily trapped, and thirty horses fleet of foot, these that are well caparisoned, . . . take them, and I kiss your hand. Greatly have you bound me, said King Don Alfonso; I receive this gift, and God and all Saints grant that it may well be requited; if I live you shall have something from me; Then my Cid sprung up upon his horse Bavieca, and he said, Here I say before my Lord the King, that if any will go with me to the wedding, I think they will get something by it! and he besought the King that he would let as many go with him as were so minded; and the king licensed them accordingly. And when they were about to part, the company that went with the Cid was greater than that which returned with the King. And the Cid kissed the King’s hand and dispeeded himself with his favour, and the King returned to Castille.

Of the conditions of the Infantes xxxi. My Cid went his way toward Valencia, and he appointed Pero Bermudez and Muño Gustios, than whom there were no better two in all his household, to keep company with the Infantes of Carrion and be their guard, and he bade them spy out what their conditions were; and this they soon found out. The Count Don Suero González went with the Infantes; he was their father’s brother, and had been their Ayo and bred them up, and badly had he trained them, for he was a man of great words, good of tongue, and of nothing else good; and full scornful and orgullous had he made them, so that the Cid was little pleased with them, and would willingly have broken off the marriage; but he could not, seeing that the King had made it. And when they reached Valencia, the Cid lodged the Infantes in the suburb of Alcudia, where he had formerly lodged himself; and all the company who were come to the marriage were quartered with them. And he went to the Alcazar.

How Alvar Fanez gave his kinswomen to the Infantes xxxii. On the morrow the Cid mounted his horse and rode ínto Alcudia, and brought the Infantes his sons-inlaw from thence with him into the city to the Alcazar, that they might see their brides Doña Elvira and Doña Sol. Doña Ximena had her daughters ready to receive them in full noble garments, for since midnight they had done nothing but prink and prank themselves. Full richly was the Alcazar set out that day, with hangings both above and below, purple and samite, and rich cloth. The Cid entered, between the Infantes, and all that noble company went in after them; and they went into the chief hall of the Alcazar, where Doña Ximena was with her daughters: and when they saw the Cid and the Infantes, they rose up and welcomed them right well. And the Cid took his seat upon his bench with one of the Infantes on one side of him, and one on the other, and the other honourable men seated themselves on the estrados, each in the place where he ought to be, and which belonged to him; and they remained awhile silent. Then the Cid rose and called for Alvar Fañez and said, Thou knowest what my Lord the King commanded; fulfil now his bidding, . . . take thy cousins, and deliver them to the Infantes, for it is the King who gives them in marriage, and not I. And Alvar Fañez arose and took the damsels one in each hand, and delivered them to the Infantes, saying. Diego Gonzalez, and Ferrando Gonzalez, I deliver unto you these damsels, the daughters of the Cid Campeador, by command of King Don Alfonso my Lord, even as he commanded. Receive you them as your equal helpmates, as the law of Christ enjoineth. And the Infantes took each his bride by the hand, and went to the Cid and kissed his hand, and the same did they to their mother Doña Ximena Gomez: and the Bishop Don Hieronymo espoused them, and they exchanged rings. When this was done, the Cid went and seated himself on the estrado with the ladies, he and Doña Ximena in the middle, and beside him he placed Doña Elvira his eldest daughter, and by her, her spouse the Infante Diego Gonzalez; and Doña Sol was seated on the other side, by her mother, and the Infante Ferrando by her. And when they had solaced themselves awhile, the Cid said that now they would go eat, and that the marriage should be performed on the morrow, and he besought and commanded the Bishop Don Hieronymo to perform it in such a manner that no cost should be spared, but that every thing should be done so compleatly, that they who came from Castille to this wedding might alway have something to tell of.

Of the marriage xxxiii. On the morrow they went to the Church of St. Mary, and there the Bishop Don Hieronymo sate awaiting them, and he blest them all four at the altar. Who can tell the great nobleness which the Cid displayed at that wedding, the feasts and the bull-fights, and the throwing at the target, and the throwing canes, and how many joculars were there, and all the sports which are proper at such weddings? As soon as they came out of Church they took horse and rode to the Glera; three times did the Cid change his horse that day; seven targets were set up on the morrow, and before they went to dinner all seven were broken. Fifteen days did the feasts at this wedding continue; then all they who had come there to do honour to the Cid took leave of him and of the Infantes. Who can tell the great and noble gifts which the Cid gave to them, both to great and little, each according to his quality, vessels of gold and silver, rich cloth, cloaks, furs, horses, and money beyond all reckoning, so that all were well pleased. And when it was told in Castille with what gifts they who had been to the wedding were returned, many were they who repented that they had not gone there.

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