Chronicle of the Cid, by Robert Southey

HERE BEGINNETH THE NINTH BOOK
of the

CHRONICLE OF THE CID

How the Cid departed for the Cortes i. My Cid the Campeador made ready to appear at the Cortes in Toledo, and he left the Bishop Don Hieronymo, and Martin Pelaez the Asturian, to command in Valencia, and five hundred knights with them, all hidalgos. And he spake with his daughters, and commanded and besought them to tell him the whole truth, how this matter had been, and not say the thing which was false; and they did accordingly, and related unto him all, even as it had befallen them. And the Cid departed from Valencia, and with him went Alvar Fañez Minaya with two hundred knights, and Pero Bermudez with one hundred; and Martin Antolinez with fifty, and Martin Ferrandez with other fifty, and Felez Ferruz and Benito Sanchez with fifty each; . . . these were five hundred knights. And there went fifty with Martin Garcia and Martin Salvadorez, and fifty with Pero Gonzalvez and Martin Muñoz, and Diego Sanchez of Arlanza went with fifty, and Don Nuño, he who colonized Cubiella, and Alvar Bermudez he who colonized Osma, went with forty, and Gonzalo Muñoz of Orbaneja, and Muño Ravia, and Yvañez Cornejo with sixty, and Muño Fernandez the Lord of Monteforte, and Gomez Fernandez he who colonized Pampliego with sixty; and Don Garcia de Roa and Serrazin his brother, Lord of Aza, with ninety; and Antolin Sanchez of Soria took with him forty knights who were his children or his kin: . . . nine hundred knights were they in all. And there went with them five hundred esquires on foot, all hidalgos, beside those who were bred in his household, and beside other foot-men, who were many in number. All these went well clad in right good garments, and with good horses, to serve the Cid both in Cortes and in the war.

How the Infantes would fain have been held excused ii. King Don Alfonso made no delay, but sent out his letters through Leon and Santiago, to the Portugueze and the Calicians, and they of Carrion, and the Castillians, that he would hold a Cortes in Toledo at the end of seven weeks, and that they who did not appear should no longer be accounted his vassals. At this greatly were the Infantes of Carrion troubled, for they feared the coming of my Cid the Campeador. And they took counsel with their kin and prayed the King that he would hold them excused from that Cortes; and the King made answer, that nothing but God should excuse them from it, for the Campeador was coming to demand justice against them, and he, quoth the King, who will not appear, shall quit my kingdoms. So when they saw that they must needs appear, they took counsel with the Count Don Garcia, the enemy of my Cid, who alway wished him ill, and they went with the greatest company that they could assemble, thinking to dismay my Cid the Campeador. And they arrived before him.

Of the meeting between the Cid and the King iii. When my Cid drew nigh unto Toledo, he sent Alvar Fañez forward to kiss the King’s hand, and let him wit that he should be there that night. When the King heard this it rejoiced his heart, and he took horse and went out with a great company to meet him who was born in happy hour; and there went with him his sons-inlaw, the Count Don Anrrich, and the Count Don Remond; this one was the father of the good Emperor. When they came in sight, the Cid dismounted and fell to the ground, and would have abased himself to honour his Lord, but the King cried out to him and said, By St. Isidro this must not be today! Mount, Cid, or I shall not be well pleased! I welcome you with heart and soul; . . . and my heart is grieved for your grief. God send that the court be honoured by you! Amen, said my Cid the Campeador, and he kissed his hand, and afterwards saluted him. And the Cid said, I thank God that I see you, Sir; and he humbled himself to Count Don Anrrich, and Count Don Remond, and the others, and said, God save all our friends, and chiefly you, Sir! my wife Doña Ximena kisses your hand, and my daughters also, that this thing which hath befallen us, may be found displeasing unto you. And the King said, That will it be, unless God prevent. So they rode toward Toledo. And the King said unto him, I have ordered you to be lodged in my Palaces of Galiana, that you may be near me. And the Cid answered, Gramercy, Sir! God grant you long life and happy, but in your Palaces there is none who should be lodged save you. When you hold your Cortes let it be in those Palaces of Galiana, for there is better room there than in the Alcazar. I will not cross the Tagus to-night, but will pass the night in St. Servans on this side, and hold a vigil there. To-morrow I will enter the city, and be in the court before dinner. The King said that it pleased him well, and he returned into Toledo. And the Cid went into the Church of St. Servans, and ordered candles to be placed upon the altar, for he would keep a vigil there; and there he remained with Minaya and the other good ones, praying to the Lord, and talking in private. The tents of his company were pitched upon the hills round about. Any one who beheld them might well have said, that it looked like a great host.

How the Cid sent his ivory seat to be placed in the palace iv. When the King entered the city, he bade his seneschal, Benito Perez, make ready the Palaces of Galiana for the next day, when the Cortes should begin; and he fitted the great Palace after this manner. He placed estrados with carpets upon the ground, and hung the walls with cloth of gold. And in the highest place he placed the royal chair in which the King should sit; it was a right noble chair and a rich, which he had won in Toledo, and which had belonged to the Kings thereof; and round about it right noble estrados were placed for the Counts and honourable men who were come to the Cortes. Now the Cid knew how they were fitting up the Palaces of Galiana, and he called for a squire, who was a young man, one whom he had brought up and in whom he had great trust; he was an hidalgo, and hight Ferran Alfonso; and the Cid bade him take his ivory seat which he had won in Valencia, and which had belonged to the Kings thereof, and place it in the Palace, in the best place, near the seat of the King; and that none might hurt or do dishonour unto it, he gave him a hundred squires, all hidalgos, to go with him, and ordered them not to leave it till he should come there the next day. So when they had dined, they made the seat be taken up, and went with it to the Palaces of Galiana, and placed it near the seat of the King, as the Cid had commanded; and all that day and night they remained there guarding the ivory seat, till the Cid should come and take his place thereon; every one having his sword hung from his neck. This was a right noble seat, and of subtle work, so that whoso beheld it would say it was the seat of a good man, and that it became such a one as the Cid. It was covered with cloth of gold, underneath which was a cushion.

Of the strife which was about to rise concerning the ivory seat v. On the morrow, after the King had heard mass, he went into the Palace of Galiana, where the Cortes was to assemble, and the Infantes of Carrion and the other Counts and Ricos-omes with him, save the Cid who was not yet come; and when they who did not love the Cid beheld his ivory seat, they began to make mock of it. And Count Garcia said to the King, I beseech your Grace, tell me, for whom that couch is spread beside your seat: for what dame is it made ready; will she come drest in the almexia . . . or with white alquinales on her head, or after what fashion will she be apparelled? Sir, a seat like that is fit for none but your Grace: give order to take it for yourself, or that it be removed. When Ferran Alfonso, who was there to guard the ivory seat heard this, he answered and said, Count, you talk full foolishly, and speak ill of one against whom it behoves you not to talk. He who is to sit upon this seat is better than you, or than all your lineage; and he hath ever appeared a man to all his enemies, not like a woman as you say. If you deny this I will lay hands upon you, and make you acknowledge it before my Lord the King Don Alfonso, who is here present. And I am of such a race that you cannot acquit yourself by saying I am not your peer, and the vantage of half your arms I give you! At these words was the King greatly troubled, and the Counts also, and all the honourable men who were there present. And Count García who was an angry man, wrapt his mantle under his arm, and would have struck Ferran Alfonso, saying, Let me get at the boy who dares me! And Ferran Alfonso laid hand upon his sword and came forward to meet him, saying, that if it were not for the King, he would punish him thereright for the folly which he had uttered. But the King seeing that these words went on from bad to worse, put them asunder that farther evil might not happen, and he said, None of ye have reason to speak thus of the seat of the Cid; he won it like a good knight and a valiant, as he is. There is not a King in the world who deserves this seat better than my vassal the Cid, and the better and more honourable he is, the more am I honoured through him. This seat he won in Valencia, where it had belonged to the Kings thereof; and much gold and silver, and many precious stones hath he won; and many a battle hath he won both against Christians and Moors: and of all the spoil which he hath won, he hath alway sent me part, and great presents and full rich, such as never other vassal sent to his Lord; and this he hath done in acknowledgment that I am his Lord. Ye who are talking here against him, which of ye hath ever sent me such gifts as he? If any one be envious, let him atchieve such feats as he hath done, and I will seat him with myself to do him honour.

How the Cid and his knights apparelled themselves and went to the Cortes vi. Now the Cid had performed his vigil in the Church of St. Servan, matins and primes were said, and mass performed; and then he made ready to go to the Cortes, and with him went Alvar Fañez Minaya, whom he called his right arm, and Pero Bermudez, and Muño Gustios, and Martin Antolinez that doughty Burgalese, and Alvar Alvarez, and Alvar Salvadorez, and Martin Muñoz, and Felez Muñoz the Cid’s nephew, and Malanda who was a learned man, and Galin Garciez the good one of Aragon: these and others made ready to go with him, being an hundred of the best of his company. They wore velmezes under their harness, that they might be able to bear it, and then their mail, which was as bright as the sun: over this they had ermine or other skins, laced tight that the armour might not be seen, and under their cloaks, their swords which were sweet and sharp. He who was born in happy hour made no tarriance; he drew on his legs hose of fine cloth, and put on over them shoes which were richly worked. A shirt of ranzal he wore, which was as white as the sun; all the fastenings were wrought with gold and silver: over this a brial of gold tissue; and over this a red skin with points of gold. My Cid the Campeador alway wore it. On his head he had a coif of scarlet wrought with gold, which was made that none might clip the hair of the good Cid. His was a long beard, and he bound it with a cord. And he bade Alvar Fañez and Pero Bermudez assemble their companions, and when he saw them he said, If the Infantes of Carrion should seek a quarrel, where I have a hundred such as these I may be well without fear! And he said, Let us mount now and go to the Cortes. We go to make one defiance, and peradventure it may be two or three, through the folly of those who may stir against us. Ye will be ready to aid me, saying and doing as I shall call upon ye, always saving the honour and authority of King Don Alfonso our Lord; see now that none of ye say or do ought amiss, for it would be unseemly. Then called he for his horse, and bestrode it, and rode to the Cortes.

How the King bade the Cid sit on his ivory seat vii. My Cid and his company alighted at the gate of the Palaces of Galiana, and he and his people went in gravely, he in the midst and his hundred knights round about him. When he who was born in happy hour entered, the good King Don Alfonso rose up, and the Counts Don Anrrich and Don Remond did the like, and so did all the others, save the curly-headed one of Granon, and they who were on the side of the Infantes of Carrion. All the others received him with great honour. And he said unto the King, Sir, where do you bid me sit with these my kinsmen and friends who are come with me? And the King made answer, Cid, you are such a one, and have past your time so well to this day, that if you would listen to me and be commanded by me, I should hold it good that you took your seat with me; for he who hath conquered Kings, ought to be seated with Kings. But the Cid answered, That, Sir, would not please God, but I will be at your feet for by the favour of the King your father Don Ferrando was I made, his creature and the creature of your brother King Don Sancho am I, and it behoveth not that he who receiveth bounty should sit with him who dispenseth it. And the King answered, Since you will not sit with me, sit on your ivory seat, for you won it like a good man; and from this day I order that none except King or Prelate sit with you, for you have conquered so many high-born men, and so many Kings, both Christians and Moors, that for this reason there is none who is your peer, or ought to be seated with you. Sit therefore like a King and Lord upon your ivory seat. Then the Cid kissed the King’s hand, and thanked him for what he had said, and for the honour which he had done him; and he took his seat, and his hundred knights seated themselves round about him. All who were in the Cortes sate looking at my Cid and at his long beard which he had bound with a cord; but the Infantes of Carrion could not look upon him for shame.

How the King appointed Alcades to give judgment in this cause viii. When they were all seated the King gave command that they should be silent; and when the Cid saw that they were all still, he rose and spake after this manner. Sir King Don Alfonso, I beseech you of your mercy that you would hear me, and give command that I should be heard, and that you would suffer none to interrupt me, for I am not a man of speech, neither know I how to set forth my words, and if they interrupt me I shall be worse. Moreover, Sir, give command that none be bold enough to utter unseemly words, nor be insolent towards me, least we should come to strife in your presence. Then King Don Alfonso rose and said, Hear me, as God shall help you! Since I have been King I have held only two Cortes, one in Burgos, and one in Carrion. This third I have assembled here in Toledo for the love of the Cid, that he may demand justice against the Infantes of Carrion for the wrongs which we all know. The Counts Don Anrrich and Don Remoud shall be Alcaldes in this cause; and these other Counts who are not on either side, give ye all good heed, for ye are to take cognizance that the right may be decreed. And I give order, and forbid any one, to speak without my command, or to utter aught insolent against the Cid; and I swear by St. Isidro, that whosoever shall disturb the Cortes shall lose my love and be banished from the kingdom. I am on the side of him who shall be found to have the right. Then those Counts who were appointed Alcaldes were sworn upon the Holy Gospels, that they would judge between the Cid and the Infantes of Carrion, rightly and truly, according to the law of Castille and Leon.

How the Cid demanded back Colada and Tizona ix. When this was done the King bade the Cid make his demand; and the Cid rose and said, Sir, there is no reason for making long speeches here, which would detain the Cortes. I demand of the Infantes of Carrion, before you, two swords which I gave into their keeping; the one is Colada and the other Tizona. I won them like a man, and gave them to the keeping of the Infantes that they might honour my daughters with them, and serve you. When they left my daughters in the Oak-forest of Corpes they chose to have nothing to do with me, and renounced my love; let them therefore give me back the swords, seeing that they are no longer my sons-inlaw. Then the King commanded the Alcaldes to judge upon this demand according as they should find the right; and they took counsel and judged, that the swords should be restored unto the Cid. And Count Don Garcia said they would talk concerning it; and the Infantes of Carrion talked apart with those who were on their side, and they thought that they were well off; for that the Cid would demand nothing more of them, but would leave the Cortes when he had recovered the swords. So they brought the swords Colada and Tizona, and delivered them to the King. The King drew the swords, and the whole Court shone with their brightness: their hilts were of solid gold; all the good men of the Cortes marvelled at them. And the Cid rose and received them, and kissed the King’s hand, and went back to his ivory seat; and he took the swords in his hand and looked at them; they could not change them, for the Cid knew them well, and his whole frame rejoiced, and he smiled from his heart. And he laid them upon his lap and said, Ah, my swords, Colada and Tizona, truly may I say of you, that you are the best swords in Spain; and I won you, for I did not get you either by buying or by barter. I gave ye in keeping to the Infantes of Carrion that they might do honour to my daughters with ye. But ye were not for them! they kept ye hungry, and did not feed ye with flesh as ye were wont to be fed. Well is it for you that ye have escaped that thraldom and are come again to my hands, and happy man am I to recover you. Then Alvar Fañez rose and kissed the hand of the Cid, and said, I beseech you give Colada into my keeping while this Cortes shall last, that I may defend you therewith: and the Cid gave it him and said. Take it, it hath changed its master for the better. And Pero Bermudez rose and made the same demand for the sword Tizona, and the Cid gave it him in like manner. Then the Cid laid hand upon his beard as he was wont to do, and the Infantes of Carrion and they who were of their side thought that he meant to disturb the Cortes, and they were greatly afraid; but he sate still like a man of good understanding, for he was not one who did things lightly.

How the Cid made his second demand against the Infantes x. Then the Cid rose and said, Thanks be to God and to you, Sir King, I have recovered my swords Colada and Tizona, I have now another demand against the Infantes of Carrion, King Don Alfonso, you well know that it was your pleasure to bid me meet you at Requeña, and I went there in obedience to your command. And you asked of me my daughters in marriage for the Infantes, and I did not refuse, in that I would not disobey your command; and you bade me deliver them to my kinsman here Don Alvar Fañez, and he gave them to the Infantes to be their wives, and the blessing was given them in the church of St. Mary, according to the law of Rome. You, Sir, gave them in marriage, not I; and you did it for good, not for evil; but what they did was after another wise. And though they are of great blood and honourable, yet would I not have given my daughters to them, unless in obedience to your command; and this, Sir, you well know, for so I said unto you. I gave them, when they took my daughters from Valencia, horses and mules, and cups and vessels of fine gold, and much wrought silver, and many noble garments, and other gifts, three thousand marks of silver in all, thinking that I gave it to my daughters whom I loved. Now, Sir, since they have cast my daughters off, and hold themselves to have been dishonoured in marrying them, give command that they restore unto me this which is my own, or that they show cause why they should not. Then might you have seen the Infantes of Carrion in great chafing. And Count Don Remond called upon them to speak; and they said, We gave his swords to the Cid Campeador, that he might ask nothing more of us, if it please the King. But the King said that they must answer to the demand. And they asked to consult together concerning it; and the King bade them take counsel and make answer incontinently. So they went apart, and with them eleven Counts and Ricos-omes who were on their side, but no right or reason could they find for opposing this demand which the Cid had made. Howbeit Count Don Garcia spake for them and said, Sir, this which the Cid demands back from them, it is true that he gave it, but they have expended it in your service; we hold therefore that they are not bound to make restitution of it, seeing how it hath been expended. Nevertheless if you hold it to be lawful that they should restore this money, give order that time be given them to make the payment, and they will go to Carrion, their inheritance, and there discharge the demand as you shall decree. When the Count had thus said he sate down. And the Cid arose and said, Sir, if the Infantes of Carrion have expended aught in your service, it toucheth not me. You and the Alcaldes whom you have appointed have heard them admit that I gave them this treasure, and this excuse which they set up; I pray you let judgment be given whether they are bound to pay it or not. Then King Don Alfonso answered and said, If the Infantes of Carrion have expended aught in my service, I am bound to repay it, for the Cid must not lose what is his own; and he bade the Alcaldes consult together and judge according to what they should find right. And the Alcaldes having taken counsel gave judgment, that seeing the Infantes acknowledged the Cid had given them this treasure with his daughters, and they had abandoned them, they must needs make restitution in the Cortes of the King there right: and the King confirmed this sentence, and the Cid rose and kissed the King’s hand. Greatly were the Infantes of Carrion troubled at this sentence, and they besought the King that he would obtain time for them from the Cid, in which to make their payment; and the King besought him to grant them fifteen days, after this manner, that they should not depart from the Court till they had made the payment, and that they should plight homage for the observance of this. And the Cid granted what the King desired, and they plighted homage accordingly in the hands of the King, Then made they their account with the King, and it was found that what they had expended for his service was two hundred marks of silver, and the King said that he would repay this, so that there remained for them two thousand and eight hundred to pay. Who can tell the trouble in which the Infantes were, to pay this treasure to the Cid, they and all their kindred and friends, for it was full hard for them to accomplish, And they took up upon trust horses and mules and wrought silver, and other precious things, and as they could get them, delivered them over to the Cid. Then might you have seen many a good-going horse brought there, and many a good mule, and many a good palfrey, and many a good sword with its mountings. And they sent to Carrion to their father and mother to help them, for they were in great trouble; and they raised for them all they could, so that they made up the sum within the time appointed. And then they thought that the matter was at an end, and that nothing more would be demanded from them.

How the Cid made his third demand against the Infantes xi. After this payment had been made the Cortes assembled again, and the King and all the honourable men being each in his place, the Cid rose from his ivory seat, and said, Sir, praise be to God and your favour, I have recovered my swords, and my treasure; now then I pray you let this other demand be heard which I have to make against the Infantes. Full hard it is for me to make it, though I have it rooted in my heart! I say then, let them make answer before you, and tell why it was that they besought you to marry them with my daughters, and why they took them away from me from Valencia, when they had it in heart to dishonour me, and to strike them, and leave them as they were left, in the Oak-forest of Corpes? Look, Sir, what dishonour they did them! they stript them of the garments which they had not given them, as if they had been bad women, and the children of a bad father. With less than mortal defiance I shall not let them go! . . . How had I deserved this, Infantes, at your hands? I gave you my daughters to take with you from Valencia; with great honour and great treasures gave I them unto you; . . . Dogs and Traitors, . . . ye took them from Valencia when ye did not love them, and with your bridles ye smote and with your spurs ye spurned and wounded them, and ye left them alone in the Oak-forest, to the wild beasts, and to the birds of the mountain! King Don Alfonso, they neither remembered God, nor you, nor me, nor their own good fortune! And here was fulfilled the saying of the wise man, that harder it is for those who have no understanding to bear with good than with evil. Praise be to God and to your grace, such a one am I, and such favour hath God shown me, from the day when I first had horse and arms, until now, that not only the Infantes of Carrion, but saving yourself, Sir, there is not a King in Christendom who might not think himself honoured in marrying with either of my daughters, . . . how much more then these traitors! . . . I beseech you give me justice upon them for the evil and dishonour which they have done me! And if you and your Cortes will not right me, through the mercy of God and my own good cause, I will take it myself, for the offence which they have committed against God and the faith, and the truth which they promised and vowed to their wives. I will pull them down from the honour in which they now are; better men than they have I conquered and made prisoners ere now! and with your license, Sir, to Carrion will I follow them, even to their inheritance, and there will I besiege them, and take them by the throat, and carry them prisoners to Valencia to my daughters, and there make them do penance for the crime which they have committed, and feed them with the food which they deserve. If I do not perform this, call me a flat traitor. When the King heard this he rose up and said, that it might be seen how he was offended in this thing. Certes, Cid Ruydiez Campeador, I asked your daughters of you for the Infantes of Carrion, because, as they well know, they besought me to do so, I never having thought thereof. It well seemeth now that they were not pleased with this marriage which I made at their request, and great part of the dishonour which they have done you, toucheth me. But seeing ye are here in my presence, it is not fitting that you make your demand in any other manner than through my Cortes; do you therefore accuse them, and let them acquit themselves if they can before my Alcaldes, who will pass sentence according to what is right. And the Cid kissed the King’s hand, and returned to his place upon the ivory seat.

How the Cid defied the Infantes xii. Then the Cid arose and said, God prosper you, Sir, in life, and honour, and estate, since you have compassion for me and for the dishonour which my daughters have received. And he turned towards the Infantes of Carrion, and said, Ferrando Gonzalez and Diego Gonzalez, I say that ye are false traitors for leaving your wives as ye left them in the Oak-forest; and here before the King I attaint you as false traitors, and defy you, and will produce your peers who shall prove it upon you, and slay you or thrust you out of the lists, or make you confess it in your throats. And they were silent. And the King said, that seeing they were there present, they should make answer to what the Cid had said. Then Ferrando Gonzalez the elder arose and said, Sir, we are your subjects, of your kingdom of Castille, and of the best hidalgos therein, sons of the Count Don Gonzalo Gonzalez; and we hold that men of such station as ourselves were not well married with the daughters of Ruydiez of Bivar. And for this reason we forsook them, because they come not of blood fit for our wives, for one lineage is above another. Touching what he says, that we forsook them, he saith truly; and we hold that in so doing we did nothing wrong, for they were not worthy to be our wives, and we are more to be esteemed for having left them, than we were while they were wedded with us. Now then, Sir, there is no reason why we should do battle upon this matter with any one. And Diego Gonzalez his brother arose and said, You know, Sir, what perfect men we are in our lineage, and it did not befit us to be married with the daughters of such a one as Ruydiez; and when he had said this he held his peace and sate down. Then Count Don García rose and said, Come away, Infantes, and let us leave the Cid sitting like a bridegroom in his ivory chair: . . . he lets his beard grow and thinks to frighten us with it! . . . The Campeador put up his hand to his beard, and said, What hast thou to do with my beard, Count? Thanks be to God, it is long because it hath been kept for my pleasure; never son of woman hath taken me by it; never son of Moor or of Christian hath plucked it, as I did yours in your castle of Cabra, Count, when I took your castle of Cabra, and took you by the beard; there was not a boy of the host but had his pull at it. What I plucked then is not yet methinks grown even! . . . And the Count cried out again, Come away, Infantes, and leave him! Let him go back to Rio de Ovierna, to his own country, and set up his mills, and take toll as he used to do! . . . he is not your peer that you should strive with him. At this the knights of the Cid looked at each other with fierce eyes and wrathful countenances; but none of them dared speak till, the Cid bade them, because of the command which he had given.

How Pero Bermudez, being angered by the Cid, smote, down Count Don Garcia xiii. When the Cid saw that none of his people made answer he turned to Pero Bermudez and said, Speak, Pero Mudo, what art thou silent for? He called him Mudo, which is to say, Dumb-ee, because he snaffled and stuttered when he began to speak; and Pero Bermudez was wroth that he should be so called before all that assembly. And he said, I tell you what, Cid, you always call me Dumb-ee in Court, and you know I cannot help my words; but when anything is to be done, it shall not fail for me. And in his anger he forgot what the Cid had said to him and to the others that they should make no broil before the King. And he gathered up his cloak under his arm and went up to the eleven Counts who were against the Cid, to Count Garcia, and when he was nigh him he clenched his fist, and gave him a blow which brought him to the ground. Then was the whole Cortes in an uproar by reason of that blow, and many swords were drawn, and on one side the cry was Cabra and Grañon, and on the other side it was Valencia and Bivar; but the strife was in such sort that the Counts in short time voided the Palace, King Don Alfonso meantime cried out aloud, forbidding them to fight before him, and charging them to look to his honour; and the Cid then strove what he could to quiet his people, saying to the King. Sir, you saw that I could bear it no longer, being thus maltreated in your presence; if it had not been before you, well would I have had him punished. Then the King sent to call those Counts who had been driven out; and they came again to the Palace, though they fain would not, complaining of the dishonour which they had received. And the King said unto them that they should defend themselves with courtesy and reason, and not revile the Cid, who was not a man to be reviled; and he said that he would defend as far as he could the rights of both parties. Then they took their seats on the estrados as before.

How the King said that he would give sentence in this matter xiv. And Pero Bermudez rose and said to Count Garcia, Foul mouth, in which God hath put no truth, thou hast dared let thy tongue loose to speak of the Cid’s beard. His is a praiseworthy beard, and an honourable one, and one that is greatly feared, and that never hath been dishonoured, nor overcome! and if you please you may remember when he fought against you in Cabra, hundred to hundred, he threw you from your horse, and took thee by the beard, and made thee and thy knights prisoners, and carried thee prisoner away across a pack-saddle; and his knights pulled thy beard for thee, and I who stand here had a good hand-full of it: how then shall a beard that hath been pulled speak against one that hath alway been honourable! If you deny this, I will fight you upon this quarrel before the King our Lord. Then Count Suero González rose in great haste and said, Nephews, go you away and leave these rascally companions: if they are for fighting, we will give them their fill of that, if our Lord the King should think good so to command; that shall not fail for us, though they are not our peers. Then Don Alvar Fañez Minaya arose and said, Hold thy peace, Count Suero Gonzalez! you have been to breakfast before you said your prayers, and your words are more like a drunkard’s than one who is in his senses. Your kinsmen like those of the Cid! . . . if it were not out of reverence to my Lord and King, I would teach you never to talk again in this way. And then the King saw that these words were going on to worse, and moreover that they were nothing to the business; and he commanded them to be silent, and said, I will determine this business of the defiance with the Alcaldes, as shall be found right; and I will not have these disputes carried on before me, least you should raise another uproar in my presence.

How the battle was appointed, and the Cid named his champions xv. Then the King rose and called to the Alcaldes, and went apart with them into a chamber, and the Cid and all the others remained in the Hall. And when the King and the Alcaldes had taken counsel together concerning what was right in this matter, they came out from the chamber, and the King went and seated himself in his chair, and the Alcaldes each in his place, and they commanded all persons to be silent and hear the sentence which the King should give. Then the King spake thus: I have taken counsel with these Counts whom I appointed to be Alcaldes in this cause between the Cid and the Infantes of Carrion, and with other honourable and learned men: and this is the sentence which I give; that both the Infantes and Count Suero Gonzalez their fosterer and uncle, forasmuch as it is given me to understand that he was the adviser and abettor in the dishonour which they did unto the daughters of the Cid, shall do battle with such three of the Cid’s people as it may please him to appoint, and thereby acquit themselves if they can. When the King had given this sentence, the Cid rose and kissed, his hand and said, May God have you, Sir, in his holy keeping long and happy years, seeing you have judged justly, as a righteous King and our natural Lord. I receive your sentence; and now do I perceive that it is your pleasure to show favour unto me, and to advance mine honour, and for this reason I shall ever be at your service. Then Pero Bermudez rose up and went to the Cid and said, A boon, Sir! I beseech you let me be one of those who shall do battle on your part, for such a one do I hold myself to be, and this which they have done is so foul a thing, that I trust in God to take vengeance for it. And the Cid made answer that he was well pleased it should be so, and that he should do battle with Ferrando Gonzalez the eldest; and upon that Pero Bermudez kissed his hand. Then Martin Antolinez of Burgos rose and besought the Cid that he might be another, and the Cid granted his desire, and said that he should do battle with Diego Gonzalez the younger brother. And then Muño Gustioz of Linquella rose and besought the Cid that he might be the third, and the Cid granted it, and appointed him to do battle with Count Suero Gonzalez. And when the Cid had appointed his three champions, the King gave command that the combat should be performed on the morrow; but the Infantes were not prepared to fight so soon, and they besought him of his favour that he would let them go to Carrion, and that they would come prepared for the battle. And the King would not allow this time which they requested; howbeit the Counts Don Anrrich and Don Remond his sons-inlaw, and Count Don Nuño, spake with him, and besought him of his grace that he would allow them three weeks; and the King at their intreaty granted it with the pleasure of the Cid.

How the Infantes of Aragón and Navarre sent to ask the daughters of the Cid in marriage xvi. Now when all this had been appointed, as ye have heard, and while they were all in the court, there came into the Palace messengers from the Kings of Aragon and of Navarre, who brought letters to King Don Alfonso, and to the Cid Campeador, wherein those Kings sent to ask the daughters of the Cid in marriage, the one for the Infante Don Sancho of Aragon, the other for the Infante Garcia Ramirez of Navarre. And when they came before the King, they bent their knees and gave him the letters, and delivered their message; the like did they to the Cid. Much were the King and the Cid also pleased at this news, and the King said unto him, What say you to this? And the Cid answered, I and my daughters are at your disposal, do you with us as you shall think good. And the King said, I hold it good that they wed with these Infantes, and that from henceforward they be Queens and Ladies; and that for the dishonour which they have received, they now receive this honour. And the Cid rose and kissed the hands of the King, and all his knights did the like. These messengers hight, he of Aragon Yñigo Ximenez, and he of Navarre Ochoa Perez. And the King gave order that his letters of consent to these marriages should be given, and the Cid did the like. And those knights did homage before the King, that in three months from that day the Infantes of Aragon and of Navarre should come to Valencia, to the Cid, to be wedded to his daughters. Great joy had the companions of the Cid that these marriages were appointed, seeing how their honour was increased; and contrariwise, great was the sorrow of the Infantes of Carrion and their friends, because it was to their confusion and great shame. And King Don Alfonso said aloud unto the Cid before them all, Praised be the name of God, because it hath pleased him that the dishonour which was done to me and to you and your daughters, should thus be turned into honour: for they were the wives of the sons of Counts, and now shall they he the wives of the sons of Kings, and Queens hereafter. Great was the pleasure of the Cid and his company at these words of the King, for before they had sorrow, and now it was turned into joy. And the Infantes went away from the Palace full sadly, and went to their lodging, and prepared to go to Carrion that they might make ready for the combat, which was to be in three weeks from that time.

How the Cid committed his three knights to the King’s protection xvii. Then the Cid said unto the King, Sir, I have appointed those who are to do battle with the Infantes and their uncle for the enmity and treason which they committed against me and my daughters; and now, Sir, as there is nothing more for me to do here, I will leave them in your hand, knowing that you will not suffer them to receive any displeasure or wrong soever, and that you will defend their right. And if it please you I would fain return to Valencia, where I have left my wife and daughters, and my other companions; for I would not that the Moors should rise up against me during my absence, thinking peradventure that I have not sped so well in this matter as I have done, praised be God and you. And moreover I have to make ready for these marriages which you have now appointed. And the King bade him go when he pleased, and good fortune with him, and said that he would protect his knights and maintain his right in all things. Then the Cid kissed the King’s hand for this which he had said, and commended the knights to his keeping. And the King called for Count Don Remond his son-inlaw, and gave the knights of the Cid to his charge, and bade them not depart from him; and then the King rose and returned to the Alcazar.

Of the nobleness with which the Cid distributed his treasure xviii. Then the Cid took off his coif of ranzal, which was as white as the sun, and he loosed his beard, and took it out of the cord with which it was bound. All they who were there could not be satisfied with looking at him. And the Counts Don Anrrich and Don Remond came up to him, and he embraced them, and thanked them and the other good men who had been Alcaldes in this business, for maintaining his right; and he promised to do for them in requital whatever they might require; and he besought them to accept part of his treasures. And they thanked him for his offer, but said that it was not seemly. Howbeit he sent great presents to each of them, and some accepted them and some did not. Who can tell how nobly the Cid distributed his treasure before he departed? And he forgave the King the two hundred marks which should have been paid on account of the Infantes. And to the knights who had come from Aragon and Navarre concerning the marriages, he gave many horses, and money in gold, and sent them with great honour into their own country.

How the Cid would have given Bavieca to the King xix. On the morrow the Cid went to take leave of the King, and the King went some way out of the town with him, and all the good men who were in the court also, to do him honour as he deserved. And when he was about to dispeed himself of the King they brought him his precious horse Bavieca, and he turned to the King and said, Sir, I should depart ill from hence if I took with me so good a horse as my Bavieca, and did not leave him for you, for such a horse as this is fit for you and for no other master: and that you may see what he is, I will do before you what it is long since I have done except in the battles which I have had with my enemies. Then he mounted his horse, with his ermine housings, and gave him the spur. Who can tell the goodness of the horse Bavieca, and of the Cid who rode him? And as the Cid was doing this the horse brake one of his reins, yet he came and stopt before the King as easily as if both the reins had been whole. Greatly did the King and all they who were with him marvel at this, saying that they had never seen or heard of so good a horse as that. And the Cid besought the King that he would be pleased to take the horse, but the King answered, God forbid that I should take him! . . . rather would I give you a better if I had one, for he is better bestowed on you than on me or any other, for upon that horse you have done honour to yourself, and to us, and to all Christendom, by the good feats which you have atchieved. Let him go as mine, and I will take him when I please. Then the Cid kissed the King’s hand and dispeeded himself, and the King embraced him and returned to Toledo.

Of what the Cid said to his three knights xx. Now when the Cid had taken leave of the King, and of the other honourable men and Counts, and Ricos-omes who were with him, Pero Bermudez and Martin Antolinez and Muño Gustioz went on yet awhile with him: and he counselled them how to demean themselves so as to clear him of the shame which had been done him, and to be held for good knights themselves, and to take vengeance for King Don Alfonso, and for him, and for themselves, that he might receive good tidings from them in Valencia. And they took his counsel well, as they afterwards manifested when there was occasion. But Martin Antolinez made answer, Why do you say this, Sir? we have undertaken the business and we shall go through it; and they said unto him, God have you in his guidance. Sir, and be you sure and certain, that by the mercy and help of God we shall so demean ourselves as to come to you without shame. But if for our sins it should betide otherwise, never more shall we appear before you dead or living, . . . for slain we may be, but never vanquished. Then he bade them return to the King, praying to God to have them in his keeping, and assist them in fulfilling their demand, as he knew that their cause was right.

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