Chronicle of the Cid, by Robert Southey

HERE BEGINNETH THE EIGHTH BOOK
of the

CHRONICLE OF THE CID

How King Bucar made ready to revenge his brother, King Yucef i. Now the history relateth that Gilbert, a sage who wrote the history of the Moorish Kings who reigned in Africa, saith, that Bucar remembering the oath which he had made to his brother King Yucef, how he would take vengeance for him for the dishonour which he had received from the Cid Ruydiez before Valencia, ordered proclamation to be made throughout all the dominions of his father, and gathered together so great a power of Moors, that among the Captains of his host there were twenty and nine Kings; this he could well do, for his father was Miramamolin, which is as much as to say Emperor. And when he had gathered together this mighty host, he entered into his ships and crost the sea, and came unto the port of Valencia, and what there befell him with the Cid the history shall relate in due time.

Of the cowardice shewn by the Infantes of Carrion when the lion brake loose ii. Two years after their marriage did the Infantes of Carrion sojourn in Valencia in peace and pleasure, to their own great contentment, and their uncle Suero Gonzalez with them; and at the end of those two years, there came to pass a great misadventure, by reason of which they fell out with the Cid, in whom there was no fault. There was a lion in the house of the Cid, who had grown a large one, and a strong, and was full nimble: three men had the keeping of this lion, and they kept him in a den which was in a court yard, high up in the palace; and when they cleansed the court they were wont to shut him up in his den, and afterward to open the door that he might come out and eat: the Cid kept him for his pastime, that he might take pleasure with him when he was minded so to do. Now it was the custom of the Cid to dine every day with his company, and after he had dined, he was wont to sleep awhile upon his seat. And one day when he had dined there came a man and told him that a great fleet was arrived in the port of Valencia, wherein there was a great power of the Moors, whom King Bucar had brought over, the son of the Miramamolin of Morocco. And when the Cid heard this, his heart rejoiced and he was glad, for it was nigh three years since he had had a battle with the Moors. Incontinently he ordered a signal to be made that all the honourable men who were in the city should assemble together. And when they were all assembled in the Alcazar and his sons-inlaw with them, the Cid told them the news, and took counsel with them in what manner they should go out against this great power of the Moors. And when they had taken counsel the Cid went to sleep upon his seat, and the Infantes and the others sate playing at tables and chess. Now at this time the men who were keepers of the lion were cleaning the court, and when they heard the cry that the Moors were coming, they opened the den, and came down into the palace where the Cid was, and left the door of the court open. And when the lion had ate his meat and saw that the door was open he went out of the court and came down into the palace, even into the hall where they all were; and when they who were there saw him, there was a great stir among them; but the Infantes of Carrion showed greater cowardice than all the rest. Ferrando González having no shame, neither for the Cid nor for the others who were present, crept under the seat whereon the Cid was sleeping, and in his haste he burst his mantle and his doublet also at the shoulders. And Diego González, the other, ran to a postern door, crying, I shall never see Carrion again! this door opened upon a court yard where there was a wine press, and he jumped out, and by reason of the great height could not keep on his feet, but fell among the lees and defiled himself therewith. And all the others who were in the hall wrapt their cloaks around their arms, and stood round about the seat whereon the Cid was sleeping, that they might defend him. The noise which they made awakened the Cid, and he saw the lion coming towards him, and he lifted up his hand and said, What is this? . . . and the lion hearing his voice stood still; and he rose up and took him by the mane, as if he had been a gentle mastiff, and led him back to the court where he was before, and ordered his keepers to look better to him for the time to come. And when he had done this he returned to the hall and took his seat again; and all they who beheld it were greatly astonished.

How the Infantes plotted to revenge themselves upon the Cid iii. After some time Ferrando Gonzalez crept from under the seat where he had hidden himself, and he came out with a pale face, not having yet lost his fear, and his brother Diego got from among the lees: and when they who were present saw them in this plight you never saw such sport as they made; but my Cid forbade their laughter. And Diego went out to wash himself and change his garments, and he sent to call his brother forth, and they took counsel together in secret, and said to each other, Lo now, what great dishonour this Ruydiez our father-inlaw hath done us, for he let this lion loose for the nonce, to put us to shame. But in an evil day were we born if we do not revenge this upon his daughters. Badly were we matched with them, and now for the after-feast he hath made this mockery of us! But we must keep secret this which we bear in mind, and not let him wit that we are wroth against him, for otherwise he would not let us depart from hence, neither give us our wives to take with us, and he would take from us the swords Colada and Tizona which he gave us. . . . We will therefore turn this thing into merriment before him and his people, to the end that they may not suspect what we have at heart. While they were thus devising their uncle Suero Gonzalez came in, and they told him of their intent. And he counselled them to keep their wrath secret, as they said, till this stir of the Moors from beyond sea was over, and then they should demand their wives of the Cid that they might take them to their own country; This, said he, the Cid can have no reason to deny, neither for detaining ye longer with him, and when ye are got away far out of his land, then may ye do what ye will with his daughters, and ill will ye do if ye know not how to revenge yourselves; so shall ye remove the dishonour from yourselves, and cast it upon him and his children. This wicked counsel did Suero González give unto his nephews, which he might have well excused giving, and then both he and they would not have come off so badly as the history will in due season relate.

How the Infantes were afraid when they beheld the great power of the Moors iv. After Suero González and his nephews had taken this evil counsel together, they went to their lodging, and on the morrow they went to the Alcazar and came to the Cid where he was preparing for business. And when they drew nigh, the Cid rose and welcomed them right well, and they carried a good countenance towards him, and made sport of what had happened about the lion. And the Cid began to give order in what array they should go out to battle. While they were in this discourse, a great cry was heard in the town and a great tumult, and this was because King Bucar was come with his great power into the place which is called the Campo del Quarto, which is a league from Valencia, and there he was pitching his tents and when this was done the camp made a mighty show, for the history saith that there were full five thousand pavilions, besides common tents. And when the Cid heard this, he took both his sons-inlaw and Suero González with them, and went upon the highest tower of the Alcazar, and showed them the great power which King Bucar of Morocco had brought; and when he beheld this great power he began to laugh and was exceeding glad: but Suero González and his nephews were in great fear: howbeit they would not let it be seen. And when they came down from the tower the Cid went foremost, and they tarried behind, and said, If we go into this battle we shall never return to Carrion. Now it so chanced that Muño Gustios heard them, and he told it to the Cid, and it grieved the Cid at heart; but he presently made sport of it, and turned to his sons-inlaw, and said, You my sons shall remain in Valencia and guard the town, and we who are used to this business will go out to battle; and they when they heard this were ashamed, for they weened that some one had overheard what they said; and they made answer, God forefend, Cid, that we should abide in Valencia! we will go with you to the work, and protect your body as if we were your sons, and you were the Count Don Gonzalo Gomez our father. And the Cid was well pleased hearing them say this.

Of the message sent by King Bucar to the Cid v. While they were thus saying, word was brought to the Cid that there was a messenger from King Bucar at the gate of the town, who would fain speak with him. The name of this Moor was Ximen de Algezira, and the Cid gave order that he should be admitted. Now the history saith, God had given such grace to my Cid that never Moor beheld his face without having great fear of him; and this Ximen began to gaze upon his countenance, and said nothing, for he could not speak. And so great was the fear which came upon him that the Cid perceived it, and bade him take courage and deliver the bidding of his Lord, without fear or shame, for he was a messenger. And when the Moor heard this he laid aside his fear, and recovered heart, and delivered his bidding fully, after this wise. Sir Cid Campeador, King Bucar my Lord hath sent me to thee saying, great wrong hast thou done him in holding Valencia against him, which belonged to his forefathers; and moreover thou hast discomfited his brother King Yucef. And now he is come against thee with twenty and nine Kings, to take vengeance for his brother, and to win Valencia from thee in spite of thee and of all who are with thee. Nevertheless, King Bucar saith, that inasmuch as he hath heard that thou art a wise man and of good understanding, he will show favour unto thee, and let thee leave Valencia with all the lands thereof, and go into Castille, and take with thee all that is thine. And if thou wilt not do this he sends to say that he will fight against Valencia, and take thee and thy wife and thy daughters, and torment thee grievously, in such manner that all Christians who shall hear tell of it shall talk thereof for evermore. This is the bidding of my Lord King Bucar.

Of the answer of the Cid vi. When the Cid heard this, notwithstanding he was wroth at heart, he would not manifest it, but made answer in few words and said, Go tell thy Lord King Bucar I will not give him up Valencia: great labour did I endure in winning it, and to no man am I beholding for it in the world, save only to my Lord Jesus Christ, and to my kinsmen and friends and vassals who aided me to win it. Tell him that I am not a man to be besieged, and when he does not expect it I will give him battle in the field; and would that even as he has brought with him twenty and nine Kings, so he had brought all the Moors of all Pagandom, for with the mercy of God in which I trust, I should think to conquer them all. Bear this answer to your Lord, and come here no more with messages, neither on this account nor on any other. When Ximen de Algezira, the Moorish messenger, heard this, he left Valencia, and went unto his Lord and told him before the twenty and nine Kings all that the Cid had said. And they were astonished at the brave words of the Cid, for they did not think that he would have resisted, so great was their power, neither did they ween that he would so soon come out to battle. And they began to give order to set their siege round about Valencia, as the history, and as Gilbert also relateth. This King Bucar and his brother King Yucef were kinsmen of Alimaymon, who had been King of Toledo and Valencia, and this was the reason why Bucar said that Valencia had belonged to his forefathers.

Of the order of the Cid’s battle vii. No sooner had Ximen, the messenger of King Bucar, left the city, than the Cid ordered the bell to be struck, at the sound of which all the men at arms in Valencia were to gather together. Incontinently they all assembled before the Cid, and he told them all to be ready full early on the morrow to go out and give battle to the Moors. And they made answer with one accord that they were well pleased to do this, for they trusted in God and in his good fortune that they should overcome them. On the morrow therefore at the first cock-crow, they confessed and communicated, as was their custom, and before the morning brake they went forth from Valencia. And when they had got through the narrow passes among the gardens, the Cid set his army in array. The van he gave to Alvar Fañez Minaya, and to Pero Bermudez who bore his banner; and he gave them five hundred horsemen, and a thousand and five hundred men a-foot. In the right wing was that honourable one with the shaven crown, Don Hieronymo the Bishop, with the like number both of horse and foot; and in the left Martin Antolinez of Burgos and Alvar Salvadores, with as many more. The Cid came in the rear with a thousand horsemen all in coats of mail, and two thousand five hundred men a-foot. And in this array they proceeded till they came in sight of the Moors. As soon as the Cid saw their tents he ordered his men to slacken their pace, and got upon his horse Bavieca, and put himself in the front before all his army, and his sons-inlaw the Infantes of Carrion advanced themselves with him. Then the Bishop Don Hieronymo came to the Cid and said, This day have I said the mass of the Holy Trinity before you, I left my own country and came to seek you, for the desire I had to kill some Moors, and to do honour to my order and to my own hands. Now would I be the foremost in this business; I have my pennon and my armorial bearing, and will employ them by God’s help, that my heart may rejoice. And my Cid, if you do not for the love of me grant this I will go my ways from you. But the Cid bade him do his pleasure, saying that it would please him also. And then the great multitude of the Moors began to come out of their tents, and they formed their battle in haste, and came against the Christians, with the sound of trumpets and tambours, and with a great uproar; and as they came out upon the alarm, not expecting that the Cid would come against them so soon, they did not advance in order, as King Bucar had commanded. And when the Cid saw this, he ordered his banner to be advanced, and bade his people lay on manfully. The Bishop Don Hieronynio he pricked forward; two Moors he slew with the two first thrusts of the lance; the haft broke, and he laid hand on his sword, God, . . . how well the Bishop fought! two he slew with the lance and five with the sword; the Moors came round about him and laid on load of blows, but they could not pierce his arms. He who was born in happy hour had his eyes upon him, and he took his shield and placed it before him, and lowered his lance, and gave Bavieca the spur, that good horse. With heart and soul he went at them, and made his way into their first battle; seven the Campeador smote down, and four he slew. In short time they joined battle in such sort that many were slain and many overthrown, on one side and on the other, and so great was the din of strokes and of tambours that none could hear what another said; and they smote away cruelly, without rest or respite.

How the Cid defeated King Bucar and twenty-nine kings viii. Now it came to pass in this battle that the Infante Diego Gonzalez encountered a Moor of Africa who was of great stature and full valiant withal, and this Moor came fiercely against him; and when the Infante saw how fiercely he was coming, he turned his back and fled. No one beheld this but Felez Muñoz the nephew of the Cid, who was a squire; he set himself against the Moor with his lance under his arm, and gave him such a thrust in the breast, that the streamer of the lance came out all red with blood between his shoulders, and he down’d with the dead man and took his horse by the bridle, and began to call the Infante Diego Gonzalez. When the Infante heard himself called by his name he turned his head to see who called him, and when he saw that it was his cousin Felez Muñoz, he turned and awaited him. And Felez Muñoz said, Take this horse, cousin Diego Gonzalez, and say that you killed the Moor; nobody shall ever know otherwise from me, unless you give just cause. While they were talking the Cid came up, after another Moorish knight, whom he reached just as he came up to them, and smote him with his sword upon the head, so that he split it down to the teeth. When Felez Muñoz saw the Cid, he said, Sir, your son-inlaw Don Diego Gonzalez hath great desire to serve and help you in this day’s work, and he hath just slain a Moor from whom he hath won this horse: and this pleased the Cid much, for he weened that it was true. And then they all three advanced themselves toward the midst of the battle, giving great strokes, and smiting and slaying. Who can tell how marvellously the Bishop Don Hieronymo behaved himself in this battle, and how well all the rest behaved, each in his way, and above all, the Cid Campeador, as the greatest and best of all! nevertheless the power of the Moors was so great that they could not drive them to flight, and the business was upon the balance even till the hour of nones. Many were the Christians who died that day among the foot-soldiers; and the dead, Moors and Christians together, were so many, that the horses could scant move among their bodies. But after the hour of nones the Cid and his people smote the Moors so sorely that they could no longer stand against them, and it pleased God and the good fortune of the Cid that they turned their backs; and the Christians followed, hewing them down, and smiting and slaying; ana they tarried not to lay hands on those whom they felled, but went on in the pursuit as fast as they could. Then might you have seen cords broken, and stakes plucked up as the Christians came to the tents; my Cid’s people drove King Bucar’s through their camp, and many an arm with its sleeve-mail was lopt off, and many a head with its helmet fell to the ground; and horses ran about on all sides without riders. Seven full miles did the pursuit continue. And while they were thus following their flight the Cid set eyes upon King Bucar, and made at him to strike him with the sword; and the Moorish King knew him when he saw him coming; Turn this way Bucar, cried the Campeador, you who came from beyond sea, to see the Cid with the long beard. We must greet each other and cut out a friendship! God confound such friendship, cried King Bucar, and turned his bridle, and began to fly towards the sea, and the Cid after him, having great desire to reach him. But King Bucar had a good horse and a fresh, and the Cid went spurring Bavieca who had had hard work that day, and he came near his back; and when they were nigh unto the ships, and the Cid saw that he could not reach him, he darted his sword at him, and struck him between the shoulders; and King Bucar being badly wounded rode into the sea, and got to a boat, and the Cid alighted and picked up his sword. And his people came up, hewing down the Moors before them, and the Moors in their fear of death ran into the sea, so that twice as many died in the water as in the battle; nevertheless so many were they who were slain in the field, that they were thought to be seventeen thousand persons and upward: but a greater number died in the sea. And so many were they who were taken prisoner, that it was a wonder; and of the twenty and nine Kings who came with King Bucar, seventeen were slain. And when the Cid saw that of the Moors some had gotten to the ships and the others were slain or taken, he returned toward their tents.

Of the great spoil which was won by the Christians ix. My Cid Ruydiez the Campeador returned from the slaughter; the hood of his mail was thrown back, and the coif upon his head bore the marks of it. And when he saw his sons-inlaw the Infantes of Carrion, he rejoiced over them, and said to them to do them honour, Come here, my sons, for by your help we have conquered in this battle. Presently Alvar Fañez came up: the shield which hung from his neck was all battered: more than twenty Moors had he slain, and the blood was running from his wrist to his elbow. Thanks be to God, said he, and to the Father who is on high, and to you, Cid, we have won the day. All these spoils are yours and your vassals. Then they spoiled the field, where they found great riches in gold, and in silver, and in pearls, and in precious stones, and in sumptuous tents, and in horses, and in oxen, which were so many that it was a wonder. The poorest man among the Christians was made full rich that day. So great was the spoil that six hundred horses fell to the Cid as his fifth, beside sumpter beasts and camels, and twelve hundred prisoners; and of the other things which were taken no man can give account, nor of the treasure which the Cid won that day in the Campo del Quarto. God be praised! said the Campeador . . . once I was poor, but now am I rich in lands and in possessions, and in gold and in honour. And Moors and Christians both fear me. Even in Morocco, among their Mosques, do they fear least I should set upon them some night. Let them fear it! I shall not go to seek them, but here will I be in Valencia, and by God’s help they shall pay me tribute. Great joy was made in Valencia for this victory, and great was the joy of the Infantes of Carrion; five thousand marks came to them for their portion of the spoil. And when they saw themselves so rich, they and their uncle Suero Gonzalez took counsel together, and confirmed the wicked resolution which they had taken.

How the Infantes said that they would return into their own country x. One day the companions of the Cid were talking before him of this victory, and they were saying who were the young knights that had demeaned themselves well in the battle and in the pursuit, and who had not; but no mention was made of the Infantes; for though some there were who whispered to each other concerning them, none would speak ill of them before the Cid. And the Infantes saw this, and took counsel with their uncle, who ought not to have given them the evil counsel that he did, and they determined forthwith to put their wicked design in execution. So they went before the Cid, and Ferrando Gonzalez, having enjoined silence, began to say thus. Cid, thou knowest well the good tie which there is between thee and us, for we hold thee in the place of a father, and thou didst receive us as thy sons on the day when thou gavest us thy daughters to be our wives; and from that day we have alway abode with thee, and have alway endeavoured to do that which was to thy service; and if we have at any time failed therein it hath not been wilfully, but for lack of better understanding. Now inasmuch as it is long time since we departed from Castille, from our father and from our mother, and because neither we know how it fares with them, nor they how it fares with us, we would now, if you and Doña Ximena should so think good, return unto them, and take our wives with us: so shall our father and our mother and our kinsmen see how honourably we are mated, and how greatly to our profit, and our wives shall be put in possession of the towns which we have given them for their dower, and shall see what is to be the inheritance of the children whom they may have. And whensoever you shall call upon us, we will be ready to come and do you service. Then the Cid made answer, weening that this was spoken without deceit, My sons, I am troubled at what ye say, for when ye take away my daughters ye take my very heart-strings: nevertheless, it is fitting that ye do as ye have said. Go when ye will, and I will give unto you such gifts that it shall be known in Gallicia and in Castille and in Leon, with what riches I have sent my sons-inlaw home.

How Doña Ximena mistrusted the evil purpose of the Infantes xi. When the Cid had made this reply, he rose from his seat and went to Doña Ximena his wife, and spake with her and with Alvar Fañez, and told them what had passed with his sons-inlaw, and what answer he had given. Greatly was Doña Ximena troubled at this, and Alvar Fañez also, that he had consented to what they asked; and she said, I do not think it is wisely done to let them take our daughters from us, and carry them into another country; for these our sons-inlaw are traitorous and false at heart, and if I areed them right they will do some dishonour to our daughters, when there will be none there to call them to account. And Alvar Fañez was of the same mind; but the Cid was displeased at this, and marvelled greatly at what they said; and he bade them speak no more thereof, for God would not let it be so, . . . neither were the Infantes of such a race as that they should do this; neither, quoth he, would it come into their minds to do it, if only because our Lord King Don Alfonso was he who made the marriage; but if the Devil should tempt them, and they should commit this wickedness, dearly would it cost them!

Of the partings between the Cid and his daughters xii. So the Infantes of Carrion made ready for their departure, and there was a great stir in Valencia. And the two sisters Doña Elvira and Doña Sol, came and knelt before the Cid and before Doña Ximena their mother, and said, You send us to the lands of Carrion, and we must fulfil your command: now then give us your blessing, and let us have some of your people with us in Carrion, we beseech you. And the Cid embraced them and kissed them, and the mother kissed them and embraced them twice as much, and they gave them their blessing, and their daughters kissed their hands. And the Cid gave unto his sons-inlaw great store of cloth of gold, and of serge, and of wool, and an hundred horses bridled and saddled, and an hundred mules with all their trappings, and ten cups of gold, and an hundred vessels of silver, and six hundred marks of silver in dishes and trenchers and other things. When all this was done they took their departure and went out of Valencia, and the Cid rode out a long league with them. He looked at the birds, and the augury was bad, and he thought that these marriages would not be without some evil. And his heart smote him, and he began to think on what Doña Ximena had said, and to fear lest evil should befall him from these sons-inlaw, for the manner of their speech was not as it was wont to be. Where art thou my nephew, where art thou Felez Muñoz? thou art the cousin of my daughters, said he, both in heart and in soul. Go with them even unto Carrion, and see the possessions which are given them, and come back with tidings thereof And Felez Muñoz said that he would do this. And the Cid bade him salute the Moor Abengalvon in his name, with whom they should tarry a night at Molina, and bid him do service unto his daughters, and his sons-inlaw, and accompany them as far as Medina; and for all that he shall do; said the Cid, I will give him good guerdon. And when the ladies came to take their leave of their father the Cid, and of their mother Doña Ximena, great were the lamentations on both sides, as if their hearts had divined the evil which was to come; and the Cid strove to comfort them, saying, that he should alway think of them, and would maintain them in good estate: and he gave them his blessing and turned back toward Valencia, and they went their way with their husbands, and that parting was like plucking the nail from the flesh.

How the Infantes would have slain Abengalvon xiii. So the Infantes of Carrion went their way, by the Campo del Quarto to Chiva, and to Bonilla, and to Requena, and to Campo–Robres, and they took up their lodging at Villa Taxo. And on the morrow they took the road to Amaja, and leaving it on the right came to Adamuz, and passed by Colcha, and rested at Quintana. And when Abengalvon knew that the daughters of the Cid were coming, he went out joyfully from Molina to meet them, and pitched tents for them in the field, and had food brought there in abundance. God, how well he served them! and on the morrow the Moor gave full rich and noble gifts to the daughters of his Lord the Cid, and to each of the Infantes he gave a goodly horse. And he took horse himself and rode on with them, having two hundred knights in his company. They crossed the mountains of Luzon and passed Arbuxuelo, and came to Salon, and the Moor lodged them in the place which is called Ansarera; all this he did for the love of the Cid Campeador. Now the Infantes seeing the riches which this Moor had with him, took counsel together for treason, and said, Lo now if we could slay this Moor Abengalvon, we should possess all these riches as safely as if we were in Carrion, and the Cid could never take vengeance. And a Moor who understood the Latin of the country, heard them and knew what they said, and he went to Abengalvon, and said unto him, Acaiaz, that is to say, Sire, take heed, for I heard the Infantes of Carrion plotting to kill thee. Abengalvon the Moor was a bold Baron, and when this was told him, he went with his two hundred men before the Infantes, and what he said to them did not please them. Infantes of Carrion, he said, tell me, what have I done? I have served ye without guile, and ye have taken counsel for my death. If it were not for the sake of my Cid, never should you reach Carrion! I would carry back his daughters to the loyal Campeador, and so deal with you that it should be talked of over the whole world. But I leave ye for traitors as ye are. Doña Elvira and Doña Sol, I go with your favour. God grant that this marriage may please your father! Having said this the good Moor returned to Molina.

Of the great cruelty which the Infantes committed upon their wives xiv. They went on by Valdespino, and by Parra, and Berrocal, and Val de Endrinas, and they left Madina Celi on the right, and crost the plain of Barahona, and past near Berlanga; and they crost the Douro by a ford below the town, and rode on and came into the Oak-wood of Corpes. The mountains were high, and the trees thick and lofty, and there were wild beasts in that place. And they came to a green lawn in the midst of that oak forest, where there was a fountain of clear water, and there the Infantes gave order that their tents should be pitched; and they passed the night there, making show of love to their wives, which they badly fulfilled when the sun was risen, for this was the place where they thought to put them to shame. Early in the morning they ordered the sumpter beasts to be laden, and the tent struck, and they sent all their company on, so that none remained with them, neither man nor woman, but they and their wives were left alone that they might disport with them at pleasure. And Doña Elvira said to her husband, Why wouldst thou that we should remain alone in this place? And he said, Hold thy peace, and thou shall see! And the Infantes tore away the mantles from off their wives, and the garments which they wore, save only their inner garment, and they held them by the hair of their head with one hand, and with the other took the girths of their horses. And the women said, Don Diego and Don Ferrando, ye have strong swords and of sharp edge; the one is called Colado and the other Tizona; cut off our heads and we shall become martyrs! But set not this evil example upon us, for whatever shame ye do unto us shall be to your own dishonour. But the Infantes heeded not what they said, and heat them cruelly with the saddle-girths, and kicked them with their spurs, so that their garments were torn, and stained with blood. Oh, if the Cid Campeador had come upon them at that hour! And the women cried out, and called upon God and Holy Mary to have mercy upon them; but the more they cried, the more cruelly did those Infantes beat and kick them, till they were covered with blood, and swooned away. Then the Infantes took their mantles and their cloaks, and their furs of ermine and other garments, and left them for dead, saying, Lie there, daughters of the Cid of Bivar, for it is not fitting that ye should be our wives, nor that ye should have your dower in the lands of Carrion! We shall see how your father will avenge you, and we have now avenged ourselves for the shame he did us with the Lion. And they rode away as they said this, leaving them to the mountain birds and to the beasts of the forest. Oh if the Cid Campeador had come upon them at that hour! And the Infantes rode on glorying in what they had done, for they said that the daughters of the Cid were worthy to be their harlots, but not their wives.

How Felez Munoz found these dames lying in the forest xv. When the Infantes, before they committed this great cruelty, ordered their company to ride forward, Felez Muñoz the nephew of the Cid, rode on with the rest: but this order nothing pleased him, and he was troubled at heart, insomuch that he went aside from his companions, and struck into the forest, and there waited privily till he should see his cousins come, or learn what the Infantes had done to them. Presently he saw the Infantes, and heard what they said to each other. Certes if they had espied him he could not have escaped death. But they pricked on not seeing him, and he rode back to the fountain, and there he found the women lying senseless, and in such plight as ye have heard. And he made great lamentation over them, saying, Never can it please God that ye my cousins should receive such dishonour! God and St. Mary give them who have done this an evil guerdon! for ye never deserved this, neither are ye of a race to deserve that this or any other evil should betide ye! By this time the women began to come to themselves, but they could not speak, for their hearts were breaking. And Felez Muñoz called out to them, Cousins! Cousins! Doña Elvira! Doña Sol! for the love of God rouse yourselves that we may get away before night comes, or the wild beasts will devour us! and they came to themselves and began to open their eyes, and saw that he who spake to them was Felez Muñoz; and he said to them, For the love of God take heart and let us be gone; for the Infantes will soon seek for me, and if God do not befriend us we shall all be slain. And Doña Sol said to him in her great pain, Cousin, for all that our father hath deserved at your hands, give us water. Felez Muñoz took his hat and filled it with water and gave it to them. And he comforted them and bade them take courage, and besought them to bear up. And he placed them upon his horse, and covered them both with his cloak, and led them through the oak forest, into the thickest part thereof, and there he made a bed of leaves and of grass, and laid them on it, and covered them with his cloak, and he sate down by them and began to weep, for he knew not what he should do: for he had no food, and if he went to seek it, great danger was there because they were wounded and bloody, that the wild beasts and the birds of the mountain would attack them; and on the other hand, unless he went to his uncle the Cid, to tell him of this wickedness, none other knew what had been done, and thus there would be no vengeance taken.

How Pero Sanchez and the other knights defied the Infantes xvi. While Felez Muñoz was in this great trouble the Infantes joined their company, and their spurs were bloody and their hands also from the wounds which they had given their wives. And when their people saw them in this plight, and that their wives were not with them, they weened that some wickedness had been done; and all they who were of good heart and understanding among them went apart, to the number of an hundred, with one who was named Pero Sanchez; and he spake unto them, saying, Friends, these Infantes have done a foul deed upon their wives, the daughters of our Lord the Cid; and they are our liege Ladies, for we did homage to them before their father, and accepted them as such; and the Cid made us knights that we should discharge the duty which we owe to them. Now then, it behoveth us that we arm ourselves, and demand of the Infantes what they have done with our ladies, and require them at their hands. And if they will not deliver them to us, then will we fight against them even to death; for thus shall we do right, and otherwise we shall be ill spoken of, and not worthy to live in the world. This was the counsel which Pero Sanchez gave, and they all held it good and did accordingly. And the Infantes, when they saw them coming and heard their demand, were greatly afraid, and they said, Go to the fountain in the Oak-forest of Corpes, and there ye may find them; we left them safe and sound, and no harm have we done unto them; but we would not take them with us. Ill have ye done, replied those knights, to forsake such wives, and the daughters of such a father, and ill will ye fare for it! And from henceforward, we renounce all friendship with ye, and defy ye for the Cid, and for ourselves, and for all his people. And the Infantes could not reply. And when they saw that the Infantes did not answer, they said, Get ye gone for traitors and false caitiffs: there is no way in the world by which ye can escape from the enemies whom ye have now made! But for all this the Infantes made no reply, and went their way.

How those knights made their complaint to the king xvii. Pero Sanchez and those other knights rode back to the green lawn in the Oak-forest, where they had left the dames; and when they came to the fountain they saw that there was blood round about, but the dames were not there; and they were greatly troubled, and knew not where to seek them. And they went about the forest seeking them, calling them aloud, and making great lamentation for the ill that had befallen, and also, because they could not find them. Now Felez Muñoz and the women heard their voices, and were in great fear, for they weened that it was the Infantes and their company, who were returned with intent to kill them; and in their great fear they remained still, and would fain have been far from that place. So Pero Sanchez and they who were with him went about seeking them in vain. Then spake up a knight called Martin Ferrandez, who was a native of Burgos, saying, Friends, it boots us to turn back from hence and follow after the Infantes, and do battle with them, even unto death, because of this wickedness which they have committed, rather than return to the Cid; for if we do not strive to take vengeance, we are not worthy to appear before him. And if, peradventure, we cannot come up with them upon the road, let its go before the King Don Alfonso, and discover unto him this foul deed, and tell him the truth thereof, to the intent that he may order justice to be done for such a thing; for certes, greatly will he be troubled when he knoweth it, and greatly will he be incensed against them, inasmuch as he it was who besought the Cid to give them his daughters to wife. And we will not depart from the King’s house, nor take unto ourselves any other Lord till the Cid shall have obtained justice in this matter. And all those knights held this counsel to be good, and agreed to do so. And they took their way and followed after the Infantes as fast as they could, taking no rest; but the Infantes had ridden away full speed, and they could not overtake them. And when they saw this they went their way to King Don Alfonso who was at Palencia, and they came before him and kissed his hands, and then with sorrowful hearts told him of the evil which had befallen the Cid, in this dishonour done unto his daughters by the Infantes of Carrion. And when the King heard it he was grievously offended, as one who had great part therein; and he said unto him, It must needs be, that before many days we shall receive tidings of this from the Cid Campeador, and then upon his complaint we will enter into the business in such wise, that every one shall have justice. Then Pero Sanchez and the other knights kissed the King’s hands for what he had said; and they abode in his court, waiting tidings from the Cid.

How Felez Munoz found a good man, who took the dames to bis house xviii. When Felez Muñoz saw that the voices which they heard had ceased, he went after awhile to a village which was at hand, to seek food for the dames and for himself; and in this manner he kept them for seven days. And in that village he found a good man, who was a husbandman, and who lived a godly life with his wife and with his daughters; and this good man knew the Cid Ruydiez, for the Cid had lodged in his house, and he had heard tell of his great feats. And when Felez Muñoz knew this he took the man aside, seeing how good a man he was, and how well he spake of the Cid, and told him what had befallen those dames, and how he had hidden them in the wood. And when the good man heard it he had great ruth for them, but he held himself a happy man in that he could do them service; and he took two asses and went with Felez Muñoz to the place where they were hidden, and took with him his two sons, who were young men. And when the dames saw them they marvelled who they might be, and were ashamed and would have hidden themselves; but they could not. And the good man bent his knees before them, weeping, and said, Ladies, I am at the service of the Cid your father, who hath many times lodged in my house, and I served him the best I could, and he alway was bountiful toward me. And now, this young man, who saith his name is Felez Muñoz, hath told me the great wrong and dishonour which your husbands, the Infantes of Carrion, have done unto you. And when I heard it I was moved to great sorrow, and for the great desire I have to do service to the Cid and to you, I am come hither, to carry you, if you will be so pleased, upon these beasts, to my house; for you must not remain in this wild forest, where the beasts would devour you. And when you are there, I and my wife and my daughters will serve you the best we can; and you may then send this squire to your father, and we will keep you secretly and well till your father shall send for you; this place is not fit for you, for you would die of cold and hunger. When the good man had said this, Doña Sol turned to Doña Elvira and said, Sister, the good man saith well, and it is better that we should go with him than remain and die here, for so shall we see the vengeance which I trust in God our father will give us. So they gave thanks to God, and to that man. And he set them upon his beasts, and led them to the village, when it was now night; and they entered his house secretly, so that none knew of their coming save the good man and his family, whom he charged that they should tell no man thereof. And there his wife and his daughters ministered uoto them with pure good will.

How Diego Tellez took these dames to Santesteban xix. Then these dames wrote a letter to their father the Cid, which was a letter of credence, that he should believe the tidings which Felez Muñoz would deliver, and they wrote it with the blood from their wounds. And Felez Muñoz went his way toward Valencia; and when he came to Santesteban he spake with Diego Tellez, who had been of the company of Alvar Fañez, and told him of what had befallen. He, so soon as he heard this great villainy, took beasts and seemly raiment, and went for those dames, and brought them from the house of that good man to Santesteban, and did them all honour that he could. They of Santesteban were always gentlemen; and they comforted the daughters of the Cid, and there they were healed of their hurts. In the mean time Felez Muñoz proceeded on his journey; and it came to pass that he met Alvar Fañez Minaya, and Pero Bermudez on the way, going to the King with a present which the Cid had sent him; and the present was this, . . . two hundred horses, from those which he had won in the battle of Quarto from King Bucar, and an hundred Moorish prisoners, and many good swords, and many rich saddles. And as Alvar Fañez and Pero Bermudez rode on in talk, they thought that it was he, and marvelled greatly; and he when he drew nigh began to tear his hair, and make great lamentation, so that they were greatly amazed. And they alighted, asking him what it was. And he related unto them all that had befallen. But when they heard this, who can tell the lamentation which they made? And they took counsel together what they should do, and their counsel was this, . . . that they should proceed to the King, and demand justice at his hands in the name of the Cid, and that Felez Muñoz should proceed to Valencia. So he told them the name of the good man with whom he had left the dames, and the place where he dwelt, and also how he had spoken with Diego Tellez at Santesteban, and then they parted.

How Alvar Fanez demanded justice of the King against the Infantes xx. Alvar Fañez and Pero Bermudez held on their way, and came to the King, whom they found in Valladolid. And he received them right well, and asked them for the Cid, and they kissed his hand and said, Sir, the Cid commends himself to your grace; he hath had a good affair with King Bucar of Morocco, and hath defeated him, and nine and twenty Kings who came with him, in the field of Quarto, and great booty did he gain there in gold and in silver, and in horses and tents and cattle; and he hath slain many and taken many prisoners. And in acknowledgment of you as his natural Lord, he sends you two hundred horses, and an hundred black Moors, and many rich saddles and precious swords, beseeching you to accept them at his hand, in token of the desire he hath to do service to God and to you, maintaining the faith of Jesus Christ. And King Don Alfonso made answer and said, that he took the present of the Cid with a right good will, as of the truest and most honourable vassal that ever Lord had: and he gave order to his people to receive it, and bade Alvar Fañez and Pero Bermudez seat themselves at his feet. After a while Alvar Fañez rose and said, Sir, when we departed from the Cid we left him in great honour and prosperity; but on our way we met a squire who is his nephew, by name Felez Muñoz, and he hath told us the evil and the dishonour which both we and the Cid endure in the villainy which the Infantes of Carrion have committed upon his daughters. You, Sir, know how great this villainy hath been, and how nearly it toucheth you, for the marriage was of your appointment, and I gave them by your command to the Infantes. Pero Sánchez hath told you that the dames were dead, as he believed them to be; but we, Sir, know that they are yet alive, having been grievously hurt and wounded with bridles and spurs, and stript of their garments, . . . in which plight Felez Muñoz found them. Certes such a thing as this cannot please God in heaven, and ought to offend you who are Lord here in your own realm. Now therefore we beseech you that you take justice for yourself, and give us and the Cid ours. And let not the Cid be dishonoured in your time, for blessed be God, he hath never been dishonoured yet, but hath gone on alway advancing in honour since King Don Ferrando your father knighted him in Coimbra. To this the King made answer and said, God knoweth the trouble which I resent for this dishonour which hath been done to the Cid, and the more I hear of it the more doth it trouble me, and many reasons are there why it should; for my own sake, and for the sake of the Cid, and for the sake of his daughters; but since they are yet alive the evil is not so great, for as they have been wrongfully put to shame, nothing meriting such treatment, they may be rightfully avenged, as my Cortes shall determine. Moreover it is a grief to me that my vassals the Infantes of Carrion should have erred so badly and with such cruelty; but since it hath been so I cannot but do justice. I hold it good therefore to summon them to my Cortes, which I will assemble for this matter in Toledo, and the time assigned them shall be three months from this day; and do ye tell the Cid to come there with such of his people as he shall think good. Glad were Alvar Fañez and Pero Bermudez of this reply, and they kissed his hand, and dispeeded themselves. And the King ordered mules to be given them for the dames, with right noble saddles and trappings of gold and cloth of gold and of wool, with menever and gris.

How Alvar Fanez went for the dames xxi. Then Alvar Fañez and Pero Bermudez went their way, and Pero Sanchez and his company departed with them. They went up Val de Esgueva to Peñafiel, and by Roa and Arrueco, and they entered the Oak-forest of Corpes, and Pero Sanchez showed the place beside the fountain where the villainy had been committed; and they made such lamentation there as if they had seen the dames lie dead before them. Then rode they to the village where the good man dwelt, and went to his dwelling, and good guerdon did they give unto him for the service which he had done, so that he was full well requited. And they took with them the two sons and the two daughters of the good man, that they might recompense them for the good deeds of their father; and the dames gave them in marriage, and made them full rich, and held them even as brothers and as sisters, because of the service which they had received from them. When it was known at Santesteban that Minaya was coming for his kinswomen, the men of that town welcomed him and his company, and they brought him in payment the efurcion, that is to say, the supper-money, and it was full great. But Minaya would not accept it at their hands, and he thanked them, and said, Thanks, men of Santesteban, for what ye have done, and my Cid the Campeador will thank ye, as I do, and God will give ye your guerdon. Then went they to visit their kinswomen, and when they saw the dames, who can tell the great lamentation which was made on both sides? albeit that they rejoiced to see each other. And Minaya said unto them, By God, cousins, he knoweth the truth, and your father and mother know it also, . . . I misdoubted this when you went away with those false ones; and it grieved me when your father said that he had given his consent that ye should go, and your mother gainsaid it also; but we could not prevail, for he said he had consented. Howbeit, since ye are alive, of evils let us be thankful for the least: you have lost one marriage, and may gain a better, and the day will come when we shall avenge ye. That night they rested at Santesteban, and on the morrow they set forward and took the road towards Atienza, and the men of Santesteban escorted them as far as the river Damor, to do them pleasure. And they past Alcoceba, and went on to the King’s Ford, and there took up there lodging at the Casa de Berlanga. On the morrow they lodged at Medina Celi, and from thence they went to Molina, and Abengalvon came out with a right good will to welcome them, for love of the Cid, and he did them all the honour that he could. And it was accorded between them that the dames should rest there some days, because of their weakness, and that they should send and let the Cid know what had been done.

How Pero Bermudez returned to Valencia xxii. Then Pero Bermudez went on to Valencia, and Alvar Fañez and the rest of his company abode with the dames in Molina. And when Pero Bermudez arrived he found the Cid Ruydiez just risen with his chivalry from dinner, and when the Cid saw him he welcomed him right well; howbeit he could not refrain from weeping; for before this Felez Muñoz had told him all. And he stroked his beard and said, Thanks be to Christ, the Lord of this world, by this beard which no one hath ever cut, the Infantes of Carrion shall not triumph in this! And he began to take comfort, hearing how King Don Alfonso had appointed the Cortes. And he took Pero Bermudez by the hand and led him to Doña Ximena, who wept greatly at seeing him, and said, Ah, Pero Bermudez, what tidings bringest thou of my daughters? And he comforted her and said, Weep not, Lady, for I left them alive and well at Molina, and Alvar Fañez with them; by God’s blessing you shall have good vengeance for them! Then the Cid seated himself near his wife, and Pero Bermudez took his seat before them, and told them all that he had done, and how the King had summoned them to the Cortes at Toledo. And he said unto the Cid, My uncle and Lord, I know not what to say, but ill is my luck that I could not take vengeance before I returned here; and certes, if I could have found them I would have died, or have compleated it: but they when they had done this villainy dared not appear before the King, neither in his Court, and therefore he hath issued this summons to them that they should come. Manifestly may it be seen that the King well inclineth to give you justice, if you fail not to demand it. Now then I beseech you tarry not, but let us to horse and confront them and accuse them, for this is not a thing to be done leisurely. And the Cid answered and said, Chafe not thyself, Pero Bermudez, for the man who thinketh by chafing to expedite his business, leaveth off worse than he began. Be you certain, that if I die not I shall take vengeance upon those traitors, and I trust in God not to die till I have taken it. Now therefore, give me no more anger than I feel in my own heart, for Felez Muñoz hath given me enough. I thank my Lord King Don Alfonso for the answer which he gave you, and for appointing the Cortes, and in such guise will I appear there as shall gall them who wish ill to me. God willing, we will take our departure in good time! Do you now return to Molina, and bring on my daughters, for I would fain see them; and I will talk with them that they may tell me the whole truth of this thing, that I may know the whole when I go to the court of the King to demand vengeance.

How the dames returned to Valencia xxiii. Pero Bermudez returned the next day to Molina, where Abengalvon had done great honour to the dames, and to Alvar Fañez, and all that were with him. And they departed from Molina, and Abengalvon with them, for he would not leave them till he had brought them to Valencia to his Lord the Cid. And when the Cid knew that they were drawing nigh he rode out two leagues to meet them, and when they saw him they made great lamentation, they and all his company, not only the Christians but the Moors also who were in his service. But my Cid embraced his daughters, and kissed them both, and smiled and said, Ye are come, my children, and God will heal you! I accepted this marriage for you, but I could do no other; by God’s pleasure ye shall be better mated hereafter. And when they reached Valencia and went into the Alcazar to their mother Doña Ximena, who can tell the lamentation which was made by the mother over her daughters, and the daughters with their mother, and by the women of their household. Three days did this great lamentation last. And the Cid thanked Abengalvon, his vassal, for the honour which he had shown to his children and their company, and promised to protect him from all who should come against him. And Abengalvon returned to Molina well pleased.

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