Chronicle of the Cid, by Robert Southey

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How King Don Sancho was wroth at the partition of the kingdoms i. The history relates how after the death of King Don Ferrando, the three Kings his sons reigned each in his kingdom, according to the division made by their father, who had divided that which should all by right have descended to the King Don Sancho. Now the Kings of Spain were of the blood of the Goths, which was a fierce blood, for it had many times come to pass among the Gothic Kings, that brother had slain, brother upon this quarrel; from this blood was King Don Sancho descended, and he thought that it would be a reproach unto him if he did not join together the three kingdoms under his own dominion, for he was not pleased with what his father had given him, holding that the whole ought to have been his. And he went through the land setting it in order, and what thing soever his people asked at his hand that did he grant them freely, to the end that he might win their hearts.

How the Kings of Navarre and Aragón came against Castille ii. Now when King Don Sancho of Navarre saw that there was a new King in Castille, he thought to recover the lands of Bureva and of Old Castille as far as Laredo, which had been lost when the King his father was defeated and slain at Atapuerca in the mountains of Oca. And now seeing that the kingdom of Ferrando was divided, he asked help of his uncle Don Ramiro, King of Aragon; and the men of Aragon and of Navarre entered Castille together. But King Don Sancho gathered together his host, and put the Cid at their head; and such account did he give of his enemies, that he of Navarre was glad to enjoy Rioja in peace, and lay no farther claim to what his father had lost. Now the King of Castille was wroth against the King of Aragon, that he should thus have joined against him without cause; and in despite of him he marched against the Moors of Zaragoza, and laying waste their country with fire and sword, he came before their city, and gave orders to assault it, and began to set up his engines. When the King of Zaragoza saw the great will which the King had to do evil unto him, and that there was none to help him, he thought it best to come to his mercy, paying tribute, or serving him, or in any manner whatsoever. And he sent interpreters to King Don Sancho saying, that he would give him much gold and silver, and many gifts, and be his vassal, and pay him tribute yearly. The King received them right honourably, and when he had heard their bidding he answered resolutely, being of a great heart, All this which the King of Zaragoza sends to say unto me is well, but he hath another thing in his heart. He sends to bid me break up the siege and depart from his land, and as soon as I should have departed, he would make friends unto himself among Christians and among Moors, and fail me in all which he covenants. Nevertheless I will do this thing which your King requires of me; but if in the end he lie, I will come back upon him and destroy him, trusting in God that he cannot defend himself against me. And when the interpreters heard this they were greatly dismayed, and they returned and told their King all that he had said. And the Moors seeing that they could not help themselves, made such terms with him as it pleased him to grant, and gave him hostages that they might not be able to prove false. And they gave him gold and silver and precious stones in abundance, so that with great riches and full honourably did he and all his men depart from the siege.

How King Don Sancho defeated the King of Aragón iii. Greatly was the King of Aragon displeased at this which King Don Sancho had done, thinking that it was to his great injury and abasement, for Zaragoza he held to be within his conquest. And he came out with all his power to cut off the King’s return, and took possession of the way, and said unto him that he should not pass till he had made amends for the great dishonour which he had wrought him, in coming into his conquest and against his vassals: the amends which he required was, that he should yield unto him all the spoil, and all which the King of Zaragoza had given him, else should he not pass without battle. When King Don Sancho heard this, being a man of great heart, he made answer, that he was the head of the kingdoms of Castille and Leon, and all the conquests in Spain were his, for the Kings of Aragon had no conquests appertaining unto them, being by right his tributaries, and bound to appear at his Cortes. Wherefore he counselled him to waive this demand, and let him pass in peace. But the King of Aragon drew up his host for battle, and the onset was made, and heavy blows were dealt on both sides, and many horses were left without a master. And while the battle was yet upon the chance, King Don Sancho riding light bravely through the battle, began to call out Castille! Castille! and charged the main body so fiercely that by fine force he broke them; and when they were thus broken, the Castillians began cruelly to slay them, so that King Don Sancho had pity thereof, and called out unto his people not to kill them, for they were Christians. Then King Don Ramiro being discomfited, retired to a mountain, and King Don Sancho beset the mountain round about, and made a covenant with him that he should depart, and that the King of Zaragoza should remain tributary to Castille; and but for this covenant the King of Aragon would then have been slain, or made prisoner. This was the battle whereof the Black Book of Santiago speaketh, saying, that in this year, on the day of the Conversion of St. Paul, was the great slaughter of the Christians in Porca. In all these wars did my Cid demean himself after his wonted manner; and because of the great feats which he performed the King loved him well, and made him his Alferez; so that in the whole army he was second only to the King. And because when the host was in the field it was his office to chuse the place for encampment, therefore was my Cid called the Campeador.

Of the beginning of the strife between the brethren iv. While King Don Sancho was busied in these wars, King Don García of Galicia took by force from Doña Urraca his sister a great part of the lands which the King their father had given her. And when she heard this she began to lament aloud, saying, Ah King Don Ferrando, in an evil hour didst thou divide thy kingdom, for thereby will all the land be brought to destruction. And now also will be accomplished that which my fosterer Arias Gonzalo said, for now that King Don García who is my younger brother, hath dispossessed me and broken the oath which he made unto my father, what will not the elder do, who made the vow by compulsion, and alway made protestation against the division! God send that as thou hast disherited me, thou mayest speedily thyself in like manner be disherited, Amen! But when King Don Sancho heard what his brother had done he was well pleased thereat, thinking that he might now bring to pass that which he so greatly desired; and he assembled together his Ricos-omes and his knights, and said unto them, The King my father divided the kingdoms which should have been mine, and therein he did unjustly; now King Don Garcia my brother hath broken the oath and disherited Doña Urraca my sister; I beseech ye therefore counsel me what I shall do, and in what manner to proceed against him, for I will take his kingdom away from him. Upon this Count Don Garcia Ordoñez arose and said, There is not a man in the world, Sir, who would counsel you to break the command of your father, and the vow which you made unto him. And the King was greatly incensed at him and said, Go from before me, for I shall never receive good counsel from thee. The King then took the Cid by the hand and led him apart, and said unto him, Thou well knowest my Cid, that when the King my father commended thee unto me, he charged me upon pain of his curse that I should take you for my adviser, and whatever I did that I should do it with your counsel, and I have done so even until this day; and thou hast alway counselled me for the best, and for this I have given thee a county in my kingdom, holding it well bestowed. Now then I beseech you advise me how best to recover these kingdoms, for if I have not counsel from you I do not expect to have it from any man in the world.

How King Don Sancho had a meeting with his brother King Don Alfonso v. Greatly troubled at this was the Cid, and he answered and said, Ill, Sir, would it behove me to counsel you that you should go against the will of your father. You well know that when I went to Cabezon unto him, after he had divided his kingdoms, how he made me swear to him that I would alway counsel his sons the best I could, and never give them ill counsel; and while I can, thus must I continue to do. But the King answered, My Cid, I do not hold that in this I am breaking the oath made to my father, for I ever said that the partition should not be, and the oath which I made was forced upon me. Now King Don García my brother hath broken the oath, and all these kingdoms by right are mine: and therefore I will that you counsel me how I may unite them, for from so doing there is nothing in this world which shall prevent me, except it be death. Then when the Cid saw that he could by no means turn him from that course, he advised him to obtain the love of his brother King Don Alfonso, that he might grant him passage through his kingdom to go against Don García: and if this should be refused he counselled him not to make the attempt. And the King saw that his counsel was good, and sent his letters to King Don Alfonso beseeching him to meet him at Sahagun. When King Don Alfonso received the letters he marvelled to what end this might be: howbeit he sent to say that he would meet him. And the two kings met in Sahagun. And King Don Sancho said, Brother, you well know that King Don Garcia our brother hath broken the oath made unto our father, and disherited our sister Doña Urraca: for this I will take his kingdom away from him, and I beseech you join with me. But Don Alfonso answered that he would not go against the will of his father, and the oath which he had sworn. Then King Don Sancho said, that if he would let him pass through his kingdom he would give him part of what he should gain: and King Don Alfonso agreed to this. And upon this matter they fixed another day to meet; and then forty knights were named, twenty for Castille and twenty for Leon, as vouchers that this which they covenanted should be faithfully fulfilled on both sides.

How King Don Garcia sent to ask aid from his brother King Don Alfonso vi. Then King Don Sancho gathered together a great host, Castillians and Leonese, and they of Navarre and Biscay, Asturians, and men of Aragon and of the border. And he sent Alvar Fañez, the cousin of the Cid, to King Don Garcia, to bid him yield up his kingdom, and if he refused to do this to defy him on his part. Alvar Fañez, albeit unwillingly, was bound to obey the bidding of his Lord, and he went to King Don Garcia and delivered his bidding. When King Don Garcia heard it he was greatly troubled, and he cried out in his trouble and said, Lord Jesus Christ, thou rememberest the oath which we made to our father! for my sins I have been the first to break it, and have disherited my sister. And he said to Alvar Fañez, Say to my brother that I beseech him not to break the oath which he made to our father; but if he will persist to do this thing I must defend myself as I can. And with this answer Alvar Fañez returned. Then King Don Garcia called unto him a knight of Asturias, whose name was Ruy Ximenez, and bade him go to his brother King Don Alfonso and tell him what had past, and how King Don Sancho would take away his kingdom from him; and to beseech him as a brother that he would not let him pass through his dominions. And King Don Alfonso replied, Say to my brother that I will neither help King Don Sancho, nor oppose him; and tell him that if he can defend himself I shall be well pleased. And with this answer, Ruy Ximenez returned, and bade the King look to himself for defence, for he would find no help in his brother.

How Don Rodrigo Frojaz slew Verna vii. Now Don Garcia was not beloved in his kingdom of Galicia, neither in Portugal, for as much as he showed little favour to the hidalgos, both Galegos and Portugueze, and vexed the people with tributes which he had newly imposed. The cause of all this was a favourite, by name Verna, to whom the King gave so much authority, that he displeased all the chief persons in his dominions, and hearkened unto him in all things; and by his advice it was that he had despoiled his sister Doña Urraca of her lands, and his sister Doña Elvira also, and had done other things, whereby Portugal and Galicia were now in danger to be lost. And the knights and hidalgos took counsel together how they might remedy these evils, and they agreed that the King should in the name of them all be advised how ill he was served, and intreated to put away his favourite. Don Rodrigo Frojaz was the one named to speak unto the King; for being a man of approved valour, and the Lord of many lands, it was thought that the King would listen more to him than to any other. But it fell out otherwise than they had devised, for Verna had such power over the mind of the King, that the remonstrance was ill received, and Don Rodrigo and the other hidalgos were contumeliously treated in public by the King. Don Rodrigo would not bear this, being a right loyal and valiant man; and he went one day into the palace, and finding Verna busied in affairs of state, he drew forth his sword and slew him; then leaving the palace, for none cared to lay hands on him, he left Portugal, and took the road toward France; many of his vassals and kinsmen and friends following him, to seek their fortunes in a country where valour would be esteemed, for they were weary of the bad Government of King Don García.

Of the battle at Agoa de Mayas viii. But when King Don Garcia knew of the league which his brethren had made to divide his kingdom between them, it was a greater trouble to him than the death of Verna, and he called his chief captains together and consulted with them; and they advised him that he should send to recall Don Rodrigo Frojaz, for having him the realm would be secure, and without him it was in danger to be lost. So two hidalgos were sent after him, and they found him in Navarre, on the eve of passing into France. But when he saw the King’s letters, and knew the peril in which he then stood, setting aside the remembrance of his own wrongs, like a good and true Portugueze, he turned back, and went to the King at Coimbra. In good time did he arrive, for the captains of King Don Sancho had now gained many lands in Galicia and in the province of Beira, finding none to resist them, and the Count Don Nuño de Lara, and the Count of Monzon, and Don Garcia de Cabra, were drawing nigh unto Coimbra. When Don Rodrigo heard this and knew that the Castillians were approaching, and who they were, he promised the King either to maintain his cause, or die for it; and he besought him not to go into the battle himself, having so many vassals and so good; for it was not fitting that he should expose himself when there was no King coming against him. And it came to pass that when the scouts gave notice that the Castillians were at hand, he ordered the trumpets to be sounded, and the Portugueze sallied, and a little below the city, at the place which is now called Agoa de Mayas, the two squadrons met. Then was the saying of Arias Gonzalo fulfilled, that kinsmen should kill kinsmen, and brother fall by his brother’s hand. But the Portugueze fought so well, and especially Don Rodrigo, and his brothers Don Pedro and Don Vermui Frojaz, that at length they discomfited the Castillians, killing of them five hundred and forty, of whom three hundred were knights, and winning their pennons and banners. Howbeit this victory was not obtained without great loss to themselves: for two hundred and twenty of their people were left upon the field, and many were sorely wounded, among whom, even to the great peril of his life, was Don Rodrigo Frojaz, being wounded with many and grievous wounds. In this battle was slain the Count Don Fafes Sarracem de Lanhoso, with many of his vassals, he from whom the Godinhos are descended: he was a right good knight.

How King Don Garcia fled to the Moors ix. A sorrowful defeat was that for King Don Sancho, more for the quality of the slain than for their number; and he put himself at the head of his army, and hastened through the midst of Portugal, to go against his brother. And King Don Garcia hearing of his approach, called together his knights and hidalgos, and said unto them, Friends, we have no land whereunto to fly from the King Don Sancho my brother, let us therefore meet him in battle, and either conquer him or die; for better is it to die an honourable death than to suffer this spoiling in our country. And to the Portugueze he said, Friends, ye are right noble and haughty knights, and it is your custom to have among you few lords and good ones; now therefore make me a good one, which will be to your own great honour and profit; and if I come out of this struggle well, I shall guerdon ye well, so that ye shall understand the will I have to do good towards ye. And they made answer and said that they would stand by him to the last, and that he should not be put down by their default. Then spake he to the Galegos and said. Friends, ye are right good and true knights, and never was it yet said that lord was forsaken by you in the field. I put myself in your hands, being assured that ye will well and loyally advise me, and help me to the utmost of your power. Ye see how King Don Sancho my brother presses upon us, and we have nothing left us but to die or to conquer; but if ye know any other counsel. I beseech ye tell it now. And the Galegos answered, that they would serve and defend him loyally, and that they held it best to fight. Nevertheless they were too few in number to stand against the King Don Sancho: so they retired before him. And Don Garcia took with him three hundred horsemen, and went to the Moors, and besought them to lend him aid against his brother, saying that he would give them the kingdom of Leon. And the Moors made answer, O King, thou canst not defend thyself; how then canst thou give unto us the kingdom of Leon? Howbeit they did him honour and gave him great gifts, and he returned to his people and recovered many of the castles which he had lost.

How King Don Garcia went out from Santarem to battle x. Then King Don Sancho came against his brother, to besiege him in Santarem. And the Portugueze and Galegos took counsel together what they should do; for some were of advice that it was better to defend the cities and fortresses which they held, and so lengthen out the war; others that they should harass the army of the Castillians with frequent skirmishes and assaults, and never give them battle power to power, thinking that in this manner they might baffle them till the winter came on. Don Rodrigo Frojaz was at this time recovering of the wounds which he had received at Agoa de Mayas, and he said unto the King that it behoved him above all things to put his kingdom upon the hazard of a battle; for his brother being a greater lord of lands than he, and richer in money and more powerful in vassals, could maintain the war longer than he could do, who peradventure would find it difficult another year to gather together so good an army as he had now ready. For this cause he advised him to put his trust in God first, and then in the hidalgos who were with him, and without fear give battle to the King his brother, over whom God and his good cause would give him glorious victory. And to show his own good will to the King, he besought of him the leading of the van for himself and the Counts Don Pedro and Don Vermui Frojaz his brethren, and his two nephews. Greatly was the King Don Garcia encouraged by his gallant cheer, and he bade his host make ready to give battle to King Don Sancho, as soon as he should arrive; and he marched out from the city, and took his stand near unto it in a field where afterwards were the vineyards of the town. And when the banners of the Castillians were seen advancing, the Galegos and Portugueze drew up in battle array, Don Rodrigo and his brethren having the van, as he had requested, and a body of chosen knights with them.

How Alvar Fancz asked the king for a horse and arms xi. Count Don Garcia came in the front of King Don Sancho’s army, and in the one wing was the Count de Monzon and Count Don Nuño de Lara; and the Count Don Fruela of Asturias in the other; and the King was in the rear, with Don Diego de Osma, who carried his banner: and in this manner were they arrayed on the one side and on the other, being ready for the onset. And King Don Garcia bravely encouraged his men, saying, Vassals and friends, ye see the great wrong which the King my brother doth unto me, taking from me my kingdom; I beseech ye help me now to defend it; for ye well know that all which I had therein I divided among ye, keeping ye for a season like this. And they answered, Great benefits have we received at your hands, and we will serve you to the utmost of our power. Now when the two hosts were ready to join battle, Alvar Fañez came to King Don Sancho and said to him, Sir, I have played away my horse and arms; I beseech you give me others for this battle, and I will be a right good one for you this day; if I do not for you the service of six knights, hold me for a traitor. And the Count Don Garcia, who heard this, said to the King, Give him, Sir, what he asketh; and the King ordered that horse and arms should be given him. So the armies joined battle bravely on both sides, and it was a sharp onset; many were the heavy blows which were given on both sides, and many were the horses that were slain at that encounter, and many the men. Now my Cid had not yet come up into the field.

How King Don Sancho was taken, and of the death of Don Rodrigo Frojaz xii. Now Don Rodrigo Frojaz and his brethren and the knights who were with them had resolved to make straight for the banner of the King of Castille. And they broke through the ranks of the Castillians, and made their way into the middle of the enemy’s host, doing marvellous feats of arms. Then was the fight at the hottest, for they did their best to win the banner, and the others to defend it; the remembrance of what they had formerly done, and the hope of gaining more honours, heartened them; and with the Castillians there was their King, giving them brave example as well as brave words. The press of the battle was here; here died Gonzalo de Sies, a right valiant Portugueze, on the part of Don García; but on Don Sancho’s part the Count Don Ñuño was sorely wounded and thrown from his horse; and Count Don García Ordoñez was made prisoner, and the banner of King Don Sancho was beaten down, and the King himself also. The first who encountered him was Don Gomes Echiguis, he from whom the old Sousas of Portugal derived their descent; he was the first who set his lance against King Don Sancho, and the other one was Don Moninho Hermigis, and Don Rodrigo made way through the press and laid hands on him and took him. But in the struggle his old wounds burst open, and having received many new ones he lost much blood, and perceiving that his strength was failing, he sent to call the King Don García with all speed. And as the King came, the Count Don Pedro Frojaz met him and said, An honourable gift, Sir, hath my brother Don Rodrigo to give you, but you lose him in gaining it. And tears fell from the eyes of the King, and he made answer and said, It may indeed be that Don Rodrigo may lose his life in serving me, but the good name which he hath gained, and the honour which be leaveth to his descendants, death cannot take away. Saying this, he came to the place where Don Rodrigo was, and Don Rodrigo gave into his hands the King Don Sancho his brother, and asked him three times if he was discharged of his prisoner; and when the King had answered Yes, Don Rodrigo said, For me, Sir, the joy which I have in your victory is enough; give the rewards to these good Portugueze, who with so good a will have put their lives upon the hazard to serve you, and in all things follow their counsel, and you will not err therein. Having said this he kissed the King’s hand, and lying upon his shield, for he felt his breath fail him, with his helmet for a pillow, he kissed the cross of his sword in remembrance of that on which the incarnate Son of God had died for him, and rendered up his soul into the hands of his Creator. This was the death of one of the worthy knights of the world, Don Rodrigo Frojaz. In all the conquests which King Don Ferrando had made from the Moors of Portugal, great part had he borne, insomuch that that King was wont to say that other Princes might have more dominions than he, but two such knights as his two Rodrigos, meaning my Cid and this good knight, there was none but himself who had for vassals.

How Alvar Fanez rescued the king xiii. Then King Don Garcia being desirous to be in the pursuit himself, delivered his brother into the hands of six knights that they should guard him, which be ought not to have done. And when he was gone King Don Sancho said unto the knights, Let me go and I will depart out of your country and never enter it again; and I will reward ye well as long as ye live; but they answered him, that for no reward would they commit such disloyalty, but would guard him well, not offering him any injury, till they had delivered him to his brother the King Don Garcia. While they were parleying Alvar Fañez Minaya came up, he to whom the King had given horse and arms before the battle; and he seeing the King held prisoner, cried out with a loud voice, Let loose my Lord the King: and he spurred his horse and made at them; and before his lance was broken he overthrew two of them, and so bestirred himself that he put the others to flight; and he took the horses of the two whom he had smote down, and gave one to the King, and mounted upon the other himself, for his own was hurt in the rescue; and they went together to a little rising ground where there was yet a small body of the knights of their party, and Alvar Fañez cried out to them aloud, Ye see here the King our Lord, who is free; now then remember the good name of the Castillians, and let us not lose it this day. And about four hundred knights gathered about him. And while they stood there they saw the Cid Ruydiez coming up with three hundred knights, for he had not been in the battle, and they knew his green pennon. And when King Don Sancho beheld it his heart rejoiced, and he said, Now let us descend into the plain, for he of good fortune cometh: and he said, Be of good heart, for it is the will of God that I should recover my kingdom, for I have escaped from captivity, and seen the death of Don Rodrigo Frojaz who took me, and Ruydiez the fortunate one cometh. And the King went down to him and welcomed him right joyfully, saying, In happy time are you come, my fortunate Cid; never vassal succoured his Lord in such season as you now succour me, for the King my brother had overcome me. And the Cid answered, Sir, be sure that you shall recover the day, or I will die; for wheresoever you go, either you shall be victorious or I will meet my death.

How King Don Garcia was taken xiv. By this time King Don García returned from the pursuit, singing as he came full joyfully, for he thought that the King his brother was a prisoner, and his great power overthrown. But there came one and told him that Don Sancho was rescued and in the field again, ready to give him battle a second time. Bravely was that second battle fought on both sides; and if it had not been for the great prowess of the Cid, the end would not have been as it was: in the end the Galegos and Portugueze were discomfited, and the King Don García taken in his turn. And in that battle the two brethren of Don Rodrigo Frojaz, Don Pedro and Don Vermui, were slain, and the two sons of Don Pedro, so that five of that family died that day. And the King Don Sancho put his brother in better ward than his brother three hours before had put him, for he put him in chains and sent him to the strong castle of Luna.

How King Don Sancho went against his brother Alfonso xv. When King Don Sancho had done this he took unto himself the kingdom of Galicia and of Portugal, and without delay sent to his brother King Don Alfonso, commanding him to yield up to him the kingdom of Leon, for it was his by right. At this was the King of Leon troubled at heart; howbeit he answered that he would not yield up his kingdom, but do his utmost to defend it. Then King Don Sancho entered Leon, slaying and laying waste before him, as an army of infidels would have done; and King Don Alfonso sent to him to bid him cease from this, for it was inhuman work to kill and plunder the innocent: and he defied him to a pitched battle, saying that to whichsoever God should give the victory, to him also would he give the kingdom of Leon: and the King of Castille accepted the defiance, and a day was fixed for the battle, and the place was to be Lantada, which is near unto Carrion. The chief counsellor of King Don Alfonso was Don Pero Ansures, a notable and valiant knight, of the old and famous stock of the Ansures, Lords of Monzon, which is nigh unto Palencia; the same who in process of time was Count of Carrion and of Saldaña and Liebana, and Lord of Valladolid, a city which was by him greatly increased. This good knight commanded the army of his King Don Alfonso, and on the part of King Don Sancho came Ruydiez the Cid. Both Kings were in the field that day, and full hardily was the battle contested, and great was the mortality on either side, for the hatred which used to be between Moors and Christians was then between brethren. And that day also was the saying of Arias Gonzalo fulfilled. But in the end the skill and courage of my Cid prevailed, and King Don Alfonso was fain to avail himself of his horse’s feet to save himself.

Of the battle at Vulpegora xvi. Nevertheless the power of King Don Alfonso was not yet destroyed, and he would not yield up his kingdom: and he sent to his brother a second time to bid him battle, saying that whosoever conquered should then certainly remain King of Leon; and the place appointed was at Vulpegera, beside the river Carrion. And the two armies met and joined battle, and they of Leon had the victory, for my Cid was not in the field. And King Don Alfonso had pity upon the Castillians because they were Christians, and gave orders not to slay them; and his brother King Don Sancho fled. Now as he was flying, my Cid came up with his green pennon; and when he saw that the King his Lord had been conquered it grieved him sorely: howbeit he encouraged him saying, This is nothing, Sir! to fail or to prosper is as God pleases. But do you gather together your people who are discomfited, and bid them take heart. The Leonese and Galegos are with the King your brother, secure as they think themselves in their lodging, and taking no thought of you; for it is their custom to extol themselves when their fortune is fair, and to mock at others, and in this boastfulness will they spend the night, so that we shall find them sleeping at break of day, and will fall upon them. And it came to pass as he had said. The Leonese lodged themselves in Vulpegera, taking no thought of their enemies, and setting no watch; and Ruydiez arose betimes in the morning and fell upon them, and subdued them before they could take their arms. King Don Alfonso fled to the town of Carrion, which was three leagues distant, and would have fortified himself there in the Church of St. Mary, but he was surrounded and constrained to yield.

How the Cid delivered King Don Sancho xvii. Now the knights of Leon gathered together in their flight, and when they could not find their King they were greatly ashamed, and they turned back and smote the Castillians; and as it befell, they encountered King Don Sancho and took him prisoner, not having those in his company whom he should have had, for his people considered the victory as their own, and all was in confusion. And thirteen knights took him in their ward and were leading him away — but my Cid beheld them and galloped after them: he was alone, and had no lance, having broken his in the battle. And he came up to them and said, Knights, give me my Lord and I will give unto you yours. They knew him by his arms, and they made answer, Ruydiez, return in peace and seek not to contend with us, otherwise we will carry you away prisoner with him. And he waxed wroth and said, Give me but a lance and I will, single as I am, rescue my Lord from all of ye: by God’s help I will do it. And they held him as nothing because he was but one, and gave him a lance. But he attacked them therewith so bravely that he slew eleven of the thirteen, leaving two only alive, on whom he had mercy; and thus did he rescue the King. And the Castillians rejoiced greatly at the King’s deliverance: and King Don Sancho went to Burgos, and took with him his brother prisoner.

How King Don Alfonso fled to the Moors xviii. Great was the love which the Infanta Doña Urraca bore to her brother King Don Alfonso, and when she heard that he was made prisoner, she feared least he should be put to death: and she took with her the Count Don Peransures, and went to Burgos. And they spake with the Cid, and besought him that he would join with them and intercede with the King that he should release his brother from prison, and let him become a Monk at Sahagun. Full willing was the Cid to serve in any thing the Infanta Doña Urraca, and he went with her before the King. And she knelt down before the King her brother, and besought mercy for Don Alfonso, his brother and hers. And the King took her by the hand and raised her from her knees, and made her sit beside him, and said unto her, Now then, my sister, say what you would have. And she besought him that he would let their brother Don Alfonso take the habit of St. Benedict, in the royal Monastery of Sahagun, and my Cid, and Count Peransures and the other chief persons who were there present, besought him in like manner. And the King took my Cid aside, and asked counsel of him what he should do; and the Cid said, that if Don Alfonso were willing to become a Monk, he would do well to set him free upon that condition, and he besought him so to do. Then King Don Sancho, at my Cid’s request, granted to Doña Urraca what she had asked. And he released King Don Alfonso from prison, and Don Alfonso became a Monk in the Monastery at Sahagun, more by force than of free will. And being in the Monastery he spake with Don Peransures, and took counsel with him, and fled away by night from the Monks, and went among the Moors to King Alimaymon of Toledo. And the Moorish King welcomed him with a good will, and did great honour to him, and gave him great possessions and many gifts.

Of the friendship which Alimaynion showed to King Don Alfonso xix. When Doña Urraca knew that her brother King Don Alfonso had fled to Toledo, she sent to him three good men of the kingdom of Leon, that they should be his counsellors, for she loved him well. These were Don Pero Ansures, and Don Ferran Ansures, and Don Gonzalo Ansures, all three brethren: and they went with King Don Sancho’s permission, for it was God’s pleasure. Now Alimaymon rejoiced in the King Don Alfonzo, and loved him as if he had been his own son. And Don Alfonso made a covenant with him to love him and defend him and serve him alway, so long as he should remain with him, and not to depart from him without his leave; and the King covenanted on his side to love him and honour him, and defend him to the utmost of his power. And Alimaymon ordered fair palaces to be edified for him, by the wall of the Alcazar, on the outer part, that the Moors of the city might do no displeasure neither to him nor to his companions: and they were hard by a garden of the King’s, that he might go out and disport himself therein whensoever it pleased him. And for these things King Don Alfonso loved to serve King Alimaymon. Nevertheless when he saw the great honour of the King of Toledo, and how powerful he was, and that he was the Lord of so great chivalry, and of the noblest city which had belonged unto the Gothic Kings, from whom he himself was descended, it grieved him in his heart to see that city in the hands of the Moors: and he said within his heart, Lord God and Father Jesus Christ, it is wholly in thy power to give and to take away, and right it is that thy will should be done, even as thou hast done it to me, to whom thou gavest a kingdom, and it was thy will to take it away from me, and thou hast made me come hither to serve the enemies who were at the service of the King my father. Lord, I put my hope in thee that thou wilt deliver me from this servitude, and give me a land and kingdom to command, and that thou wilt show unto me such favour that this land and this city shall by me be won, that thy holy body may be sacrificed in it to the honour of Christendom. This prayer he made with great devotion and with many tears; and the Lord God heard him, as hereafter you shall hear in this history. In those days King Alimaymon was at war with other Moorish Kings his enemies, and King Don Alfonso fought against them on his side, and did such good service that he quelled their power, and they durst no longer offend him. And in time of peace Don Alfonso and his companions went fowling along the banks of the Tagus, for in those days there was much game there, and venison of all kinds; and they killed venison among the mountains. And as he was thus spoiling he came to a place which is now called Brihuega, and it pleased him well, for it was a fair place to dwell in, and abounded with game, and there was a dismantled castle there, and he thought that he would ask the King for this place. And he returned to Toledo and asked it of the King, and King Alimaymon gave it him, and he placed there his huntsmen and his fowlers who were Christians, and fortified the place as his own. And the lineage of these people continued there till Don Juan, the third archbishop of Toledo, enlarged it, and peopled the parish of St. Pedro.

Of the talk which the Moors held, in what manner Toledo could be taken xx. It came to pass after this that both the Kings one day came out of Toledo, and past over the bridge of Alcantara, and went into the royal garden to disport themselves therein and take their pleasure. And at evening Don Alfonso lay down upon a bed to sleep, and King Alimaymon fell in talk with his favourites concerning his city of Toledo, how strong it was and how well provided with all things, and that he feared neither war of Moor nor Christian against it; and he asked them if it could, by any, means be lost in war. Then one of them answered and said, Sir, if you would not hold it ill, I would tell you how it might be lost, and by no other manner in the world could it be so. And the King bade him say on. And the favourite then said, If this city were beset for seven years, and the bread and the wine and the fruits should be cut down year by year, it would be lost for lack of food. All this King Don Alfonso heard, for he was not sleeping, and he took good heed of it. Now the Moors knew not that he was lying there. And when they had thus spoken, Alimaymon arose to walk in the palace, and he saw King Don Alfonso lying there as if he were sleeping: and it troubled him, and he said to his favourites, We did not heed Alfonso who is lying there, and has heard all that we have said. And the favourites made answer, Kill him, Sir. But the King said, How shall I go against my true promise? moreover he sleepeth, and peradventure hath heard nothing. And they said to him, Would you know whether or not he sleepeth? and he answered, Yea: and they said, Go then and wake him, and if he have drivelled he hath slept, but if not he hath been awake and hath heard us. Then King Don Alfonso immediately wetted the pillow, and feigned himself hard to be awakened, so that Alimaymon thought he slept.

How Alimaymon took an oath from King Don Alfonso xxi. And when the Easter of the Sheep was come, which the Moors celebrate, the King of Toledo went out of the city to kill the sheep at the place accustomed, as he was wont to do, and King Don Alfonso went with him. Now Don Alfonso was a goodly personage and of fair demeanour, so that the Moors liked him well. And as he was going by the side of the King, two honourable Moors followed them, and the one said unto the other, How fair a knight is this Christian, and of what good customs! well doth he deserve to be the lord of some great land. And the other made answer, I dreamed a dream last night, that this Alfonso entered the city riding upon a huge boar, and many swine after him, who rooted up all Toledo with their snouts, and even the Mosques therein: Certes, he will one day become King of Toledo. And while they were thus communing every hair upon King Don Alfonso’s head stood up erect, and Alimaymon laid his hand upon them to press them down, but so soon as his hand was taken off they rose again; and the two Moors held it for a great token, and spake with each other concerning it, and one of King Alimaymon’s favourites heard all which they said. And after the sheep had been sacrificed they returned into the city, and the favourite told the King what he had heard the two Moors say; and the King sent for them forthwith, and questioned them, and they repeated to him what they had said, even as ye have heard. And King Alimaymon said unto them, What then shall I do? and they made answer, that he should put Don Alfonso to death; but the King replied, that this he would not do, nor go against the true promise which he had given him, but that he would so deal that no evil should ever come towards himself from Alfonso. So he sent for Don Alfonso and bade him swear that he would never come against him, nor against his sons, and that no evil should come against them from him; and King Don Alfonso did as Alimaymon required, and did him homage to this effect. And thenceforth was the King of Toledo more secure of him, and held him even in greater favour than before. All this while did King Don Alfonso govern himself by the advice of Count Peransures, who alway advised him discreetly and well.

How King Don Sancho crowned himself king of the three kingdoms xxii. But when King Don Sancho heard how his brother had fled from the Monastery, he drew out his host and went against the city of Leon. The Leonese would fain have maintained the city against him, but they could not, and he took the city of Leon, and all the towns and castles which had been under the dominion of his brother King Don Alfonso. And then he put the crown upon his head, and called himself King of the three kingdoms. He was a fair knight and of marvellous courage, so that both Moors and Christians were dismayed at what they saw him do, for they saw that nothing which he willed to take by force could stand against him. And when the Infanta Doña Urraca, and the men of Zamora, saw that he had quiet possession of both his brother’s kingdoms, they feared that he would come against them and disherit his sister also. And for this reason they took Don Arias Gonzalo to be their chief captain, Doña Urraca’s foster-father, that by his means they might protect themselves, if need should be. And it came to pass as they had feared, for King Don Sancho knew that his sisters greatly loved Don Alfonso, and he thought that by their counsel he had fled from the Monastery, especially by Doña Urraca’s, because Don Alfonso guided himself in all things by her counsel, holding her in place of a mother, for she was a lady of great understanding. And he went forth with his army, and took from the Infanta Doña Elvira the half of the Infantazgo which she possessed, and also from Doña Urraca the other half. And he went against Toro, the city of Doña Elvira, and took it; and then he went to Zamora to Doña Urraca, bidding her yield him up the city, and saying that he would give her lands as much as she required in the plain country. But she returned for answer, that she would in no manner yield unto him that which the King her father had given her; and she besought him that he would suffer her to continue to dwell peaceably therein, saying that no disservice should ever be done against him on her part.

How King Don Sancho went against Zamora xxiii. Then King Don Sancho went to Burgos, because it was not the season for besieging a town, being winter. And he sent his letters through all the land, calling upon his vassals to assemble together upon the first day of March in Sahagun, upon pain of forfeiting his favour. Now though the King was yet but a young man, whose beard was but just coming, he was of so great courage that the people feared him, and dared not do otherwise than as he commanded. And they assembled together in Sahagun on the day appointed; and when the King heard in what readiness they were, it gladdened him, and he lifted up his hands to God and said, Blessed be thy name, O Lord, because thou hast given me all the kingdoms of my father. And when he had said this he ordered proclamation to be made through the streets of Burgos, that all should go forth to protect the host and the body of the King their Lord. And the day in which they left Burgos they took up their lodging at Fromesta; and the next day they came to Canion, but the King would not lodge there, and he went on to Sahagun, where the army awaited him, and took up his lodging without the town; and on the following morning he bade the host advance, and they made such speed that in three days they arrived before Zamora, and pitched their tents upon the banks of the Douro; and he ordered proclamation to be made throughout the host that no harm should be done until he had commanded it. And he mounted on horseback with his hidalgos and rode round the town, and beheld how strongly it was situated upon a rock, with strong walls, and many and strong towers, and the river Douro running at the foot thereof; and he said unto his knights, Ye see how strong it is, neither Moor nor Christian can prevail against it; if I could have it from my sister either for money or exchange, I should be Lord of Spain.

Of the message which the king sent to Doña Urraca xxiv. Then the King returned to his tents, and incontinently he sent for the Cid, and said unto him, Cid, you well know how manifoldly you are bound unto me, both by nature, and by reason of the breeding which the King my father gave you; and when he died he commended you to me, and I have ever shown favour unto you, and you have ever served me as the loyalest vassal that ever did service to his Lord; and I have for your good deserts given unto you more than there is in a great county, and have made you the chief of all my household. Now therefore I beseech you as my friend and true vassal, that you go to Zamora to my sister Doña Urraca, and say unto her again, that I beseech her to give me the town either for a price, or in exchange, and I will give to her Medina de Rio-seco, with the whole Infantazgo, from Villalpando to Valladolid, and Tiedra also, which is a good Castle; and I will swear unto her, with twelve knights of my vassals, never to break this covenant between us; but if she refuseth to do this I will take away the town from her by force. And my Cid kissed the hand of the King and said unto him, This bidding, Sir, should be for other messenger, for it is a heavy thing for me to deliver it; for I was brought up in Zamora by your father’s command, in the house of Don Arias Gonzalo, with Doña Urraca and with his sons, and it is not fitting that I should be the bearer of such bidding. And the King persisted in requiring of him that he should go, insomuch that he was constrained to obey his will. And he took with him fifteen of his knights and rode towards Zamora, and when he drew nigh he called unto those who kept guard in the towers not to shoot their arrows at him, for he was Ruydiez of Bivar, who came to Doña Urraca with the bidding of her brother King Don Sancho. With that there came down a knight who was nephew to Arias Gonzalo, and had the keeping of the gate, and he bade the Cid enter, saying that he would order him to be well lodged while he went to Doña Urraca to know if she would be pleased to see him. So the Cid went in, and the knight went to the Infanta, and told her that Ruydiez of Bivar was come with a message from King Don Sancho; and it pleased her well that he should be the messenger, and she bade him come before that she might know what was his bidding; and she sent Arias Gonzalo and the other knights of her party to meet him and accompany him. And when the Cid entered the palace Doña Urraca advanced to meet him, and greeted him full well, and they seated themselves both upon the Estrado. And Doña Urraca said unto him, Cid, you well know that you were brought up with me here in Zamora, in the house of Don Arias Gonzalo, and when my father was at the point of death he charged you that you should alway counsel his sons the best you could. Now therefore tell me I beseech you what is it which my brother goes about to do, now that he has called up all Spain in arms, and to what lands he thinks to go, whether against Moors or Christians. Then the Cid answered and said, Lady, to messenger and a letter no wrong should be done; give me safe assurance and I will tell unto you that which the King your brother hath sent me to say. And she said she would do as Don Arias Gonzalo should advise her. And Don Arias answered that it was well to hear what the King her brother had sent to say: Peradventure, said he, he goeth against the Moors, and requires aid of you, which it would be right to give; and for such service I and my sons would go with him, and I would give fifteen of my people well mounted and armed, and supply them with food for ten years, if he needed them. Doña Urraca then said to the Cid, that he might speak his bidding safely. Then said my Cid, The King your brother sends to greet you, and beseeches you to give him this town of Zamora, either for a price or in exchange; and he will give to you Medina de Rio-seco, with the whole Infantazgo, from Villalpando to Valladolid, and the good castle of Tiedra, and he will swear unto you, with twelve knights his vassals, never to do you hurt or harm; but if you will not give him the town, he will take it against your will.

Of the council which Doña Urraca held, and the answer which she gave xxv. When Doña Urraca heard this she was sorely grieved, and in her great sorrow she lamented aloud, saying, Wretch that I am, many are the evil messages which I have heard since my father’s death! He hath disherited my brother King Don Garcia of his kingdom, and taken him, and now holds him in irons as if he were a thief or a Moor; and he hath taken his lands from my brother King Don Alfonso, and forced him to go among the Moors, and live there exiled, as if he had been a traitor; and would let none go with him except Don Peransures and his brethren, whom I sent; and he hath taken her lands from my sister Doña Elvira against her will, and now would he take Zamora from me also! Now then let the earth open and swallow me, that I may not see so many troubles! And with that, in her strong anger against her brother King Don Sancho, she said, I am a woman, and well know that I cannot strive with him in battle; but I will have him slain either secretly or openly. Then Don Arias Gonzalo stood up and said, Lady Doña Urraca, in thus complaining and making lamentation you do inconsiderately; for in time of trouble it befits us to take thought of what best is to be done, and so must we do. Now then, Lady, give order that all the men of Zamora assemble in St. Salvador’s and know of them whether they will hold with you, seeing that your father gave them to you to be your vassals. And if they will hold with you, then give not you up the town, neither for a price, nor in exchange; but if they will not, let us then go to Toledo among the Moors, where your brother King Don Alfonso abideth. And she did as her foster-father had advised, and it was proclaimed through the streets that the men of Zamora should meet in council at St. Salvador’s. And when they were all assembled, Doña Urraca arose and said, Friends and vassals, ye have seen how my brother King Don Sancho hath disherited all his brethren, against the oath which he made to the King my father, and now he would disherit me also. He hath sent to bid me give him Zamora, either for a price or in exchange. Now concerning this I would know whereunto ye advise me, and if you will hold with me as good vassals and true, for he saith that he will take it from me whether I will or no; but if ye will keep my career I think to defend it by God’s mercy and with your help. Then by command of the council there rose up a knight who was called Don Nuño, a man of worth, aged, and of fair speech; and he said, God reward you, Lady, this favour which you have shown us in thinking good to come to our council, for we are your vassals, and should do what you command. And we beseech you give not up Zamora, neither for price nor for exchange, for he who besieges you upon the rock would soon drive you from the plain. The council of Zamora will do your bidding, and will not desert you neither for trouble nor for danger which may befall them, even unto death. Sooner, Lady, will we expend all our possessions, and eat our mules and horses, yea sooner feed upon our children and our wives, than give up Zamora, unless by your command. And they all with one accord confirmed what Don Nuño had said. When the Infanta Doña Urraca heard this she was well pleased, and praised them greatly; and she turned to the Cid and said unto him, You were bred up with me in this town of Zamora, where Don Arias Gonzalo fostered you by command of the King my father, and through your help it was that the King my father gave it unto me to be my inheritance. I beseech you help me now against my brother, and intreat him that he will not seek to disherit me; but if he will go on with what he hath begun, say to him that I will rather die with the men of Zamora, and they with me, than give him up the town, either for price or exchange. And with this answer did the Cid return unto the King.

How the King was wroth with the Cid xxvi. When King Don Sancho heard what the Cid said, his anger kindled against him, and he said, You have given this counsel to my sister because you were bred up with her. And my Cid answered and said, Faithfully have I discharged your bidding, and as a true vassal. Howbeit, O King, I will not bear arms against the Infanta your sister, nor against Zamora, because of the days which are passed; — and I beseech you do not persist in doing this wrong. But then King Don Sancho was more greatly incensed, and he said unto him, If it were not that my father left you commended to me, I would order you this instant to be hanged. But for this which you have said I command you to quit my kingdom within nine days. And the Cid went to his tent in anger, and called for his kinsmen and his friends, and bade them make ready on the instant to depart with him. And he set forth with all the knights and esquires of his table, and with all their retainers horse and foot, twelve hundred persons, all men of approved worth, a goodly company; — and they took the road to Toledo, meaning to join King Don Alfonso among the Moors. And that night they slept at Castro Nuño. But when the Counts and Ricos-omes, and the other good men of the host saw this, they understood the great evil and disservice which might arise to the King, and to the land, from the departure of the Cid, who went away in wrath. And they went to the King and said unto him, Sir, wherefore would you lose so good a vassal, who has done you such great service? If he should go unto your brother Don Alfonso among the Moors, he would not let you besiege this city thus in peace. And the King perceived that they spake rightly, and he called for Don Diego Ordoñez, the son of Count Don Bermudo, who was the son of the Infante Don Ordoño of Leon, and bade him follow the Cid, and beseech him in his name to return; and whatever covenant he should make it should be confirmed unto him; and of this he ordered his letters of credence to be made out. And Don Diego Ordoñez went to horse, and rode after the Cid, and overtook him between Castro Nuño and Medina del Campo. And when it was told unto the Cid that Don Diego Ordoñez was coming, he turned to meet him, and greeted him well, and asked him wherefore he was come. And he delivered the King’s bidding, and showed unto him his letters of credence, and said unto him that the King besought him not to bear in mind the words which he had spoken unto him, being in anger. Then the Cid called together his kinsmen and friends, and asked them what they should do. And they counselled him that he should return to the King, for it was better to remain in his land and serve God, than to go among the Moors. And he held their counsel good, and called for Don Diego, and said unto him that he would do the will of the King: and Don Diego sent to the King to tell him how he had sped. And when the Cid drew nigh unto the host, the King went out with five hundred knights to meet him, and received him gladly, and did him great honour. And the Cid kissed his hand and asked him if he confirmed what Don Diego had said; and the King confirmed it before all the knights who were there present, promising to give him great possessions. And when they came to the army great was the joy because of the Cid’s return, and great were the rejoicings which were made: but as great was the sorrow in Zamora, for they who were in the town held that the siege was broken up by his departure. Nevertheless my Cid would not bear arms against the Infanta, nor against the town of Zamora, because of the days which were past.

How Doña Urraca resolved to yield the town xxvii. And the King ordered proclamation to be made throughout the host that the people should make ready to attack the town. And they fought against it three days and three nights so bravely that all the ditches were filled up, and the barbicans thrown down, and they who were within fought sword in hand with those without, and the waters of the Douro, as they past below the town, were all discoloured with blood. And when Count Don García de Cabra saw the great loss which they were suffering, it grieved him; and he went unto the King and told him that many men were slain, and advised him to call off the host that they should no longer fight against the town, but hold it besieged, for by famine it might soon be taken. Then the King ordered them to draw back, and he sent to each camp to know how many men had died in the attack, and the number was found to be a thousand and thirty. And when the King knew this he was greatly troubled for the great loss which he had received, and he ordered the town to be beleagered round about, and in this manner he begirt it, that none could enter into it, neither go out therefrom; and there was a great famine within the town. And when Don Arias Gonzalo saw the misery, and the hunger, and the mortality which were there, he said to the Infanta Doña Urraca, You see, Lady, the great wretchedness which the people of Zamora have suffered, and do every day suffer to maintain their loyalty; now then call together the Council, and thank them truly for what they have done for you, and bid them give up the town within nine days to the King your brother. And we, Lady, will go to Toledo to your brother King Don Alfonso, for we cannot defend Zamora; King Don Sancho is of so great heart and so resolute, that he will never break up the siege, and I do not hold it good, that you should abide here longer. And Doña Urraca gave orders that the good men of Zamora should meet together in Council; and she said unto them, Friends, ye well see the resoluteness of King Don Sancho my brother; and already have ye suffered much evil and much wretchedness for doing right and loyally, losing kinsmen and friends in my service. Ye have done enough, and I do not hold it good that ye should perish; I command ye therefore give up the town to him within nine days, and I will go to Toledo to my brother King Don Alfonso. The men of Zamora when they heard this had great sorrow, because they had endured the siege so long, and must now give up the town at last; and they determined all to go with the Infanta, and not remain in the town.

How Vellido Dolfos fled out of the town xxviii. When Vellido Dolfos heard this, he went to Doña Urraca and said, Lady, I came here to Zamora to do you service with thirty knights, all well accoutred, as you know; and I have served you long time, and never have I had from you guerdon for my service, though I have demanded it: but now if you will grant my demand I will relieve Zamora, and make King Don Sancho break up the siege. Then said Doña Urraca, Vellido, I shall repeat to thee the saying of the wise man, A man bargains well with the slothful and with him who is in need; and thus you would deal with me. I do not bid thee commit any evil thing, if such thou hast in thy thought; but I say unto you, that there is not a man in the world to whom if he should relieve Zamora, and make the King my brother raise the siege, I would not grant whatsoever he might require. And when Vellido heard this he kissed her hand, and went to a porter who kept one of the gates of the town, and spake with him, saying, that he should open the gate unto him when he saw him flying toward it, and he gave him his cloak. Then went he to his lodging and armed himself, and mounted his horse, and rode to the house of Don Arias Gonzalo, and cried with a loud voice, We all know the reason, Don Arias Gonzalo, why you will not let Doña Urraca exchange Zamora with her brother; it is because you deal with her as a harlot, like an old traitor. When Arias Gonzalo heard this, it grieved him to the heart, and he said, In an evil day was I born, that so shameful a falsehood as this should be said to me in mine old age, and there should be none to revenge me! Then his sons arose and armed themselves hastily, and went after Vellido, who fled before them toward the gate of the town. The porter when he saw him coming opened the gate, and he rode out and galloped into the camp of the King Don Sancho, and the others followed him till they were nigh the camp, but farther they did not venture. And Vellido went to the King and kissed his hand, and said unto him these false words with a lying tongue: Sir, because I said to the Council of Zamora that they should yield the town unto you, the sons of Arias Gonzalo would have slain me, even as you have seen. And therefore come I to you, Sir, and will be your vassal, if I may find favour at your hands. And I will show you how in a few days you may have Zamora, if God pleases; and if I do not as I have said, then let me be slain. And the King believed all that he said, and received him for his vassal, and did him great honour. And all that night they talked together of his secrets, and he made the King believe that he knew a postern by means of which he would put Zamora into his hands.

How the men of Zamora warned King Don Sancho of the treason which was designed xxix. On the morrow in the morning, one of the knights who were in the town went upon the wall, and cried out with a loud voice, so that the greater part of the host heard him, King Don Sancho, give ear to what I say; I am a knight and hidalgo, a native of the land of Santiago; and they from whom I spring were true men and delighted in their loyalty, and I also will live and die in my truth. Give ear, for I would undeceive you, and tell you the truth, if you will believe me, I say unto you, that from this town of Zamora there is gone forth a traitor to kill you; his name is Vellido Dolfos; he is the son of Adolfo, who slew Don Nuño like a traitor, and the grandson of Laino, another traitor, who killed his gossip and threw him into the river; and this is as great a traitor as the rest of his race; look to yourself therefore and take heed of him. I say this to you, that if peradventure evil should befall you by this traitor, it may not be said in Spain that you were not warned against him. Now the name of this knight was Bernal Diañez de Ocampo. And the men of Zamora sent also to the King to bid him beware of Vellido, and the king took their warning in good part, and sent to say unto them, that when he had the town he would deal bountifully with them, for this which they had done; nevertheless he gave no heed to the warning. And Vellido, when he heard this went to the King, and said, Sir, the old Arias Gonzalo is full crafty, and hath sent to say this unto you, because he knows that by my means you would have won the town. And he called for his horse, feigning that he would depart because of what had been said. But the King took him by the hand and said, Friend and vassal, take no thought for this; I say unto you, that if I may have Zamora, I will make you chief therein, even as Arias Gonzalo is now. Then Vellido kissed his hand and said, God grant you life, Sir, for many and happy years, and let you fulfil what you desire. But the traitor had other thoughts in his heart.

How King Don Sancho was slain by treason xxx. After this Vellido took the King apart and said to him, If it please you, Sir, let us ride out together alone; we will go round Zamora, and see the trenches which you have ordered to be made; and I will show unto you the postern which is called the Queen’s, by which we may enter the town, for it is never closed. When it is night you shall give me a hundred knights who are hidalgos, well armed, and we will go on foot, and the Zamorans because they are weak with famine and misery, will let us conquer them, and we will enter and open the gate, and keep it open till all your host shall have entered in; and thus shall we win the town of Zamora. The King believed what he said, and they took horse and went riding round the town, and the King looked at the trenches, and that traitor snowed him the postern whereof he had spoken. And after they had ridden round the town the King had need to alight upon the side of the Douro and go apart; now he carried in his hand a light hunting spear which was gilded over, even such as the Kings from whom he was descended were wont to bear; and he gave this to Vellido to hold it while he went aside, to cover his feet. And Vellido Dolfos, when he saw him in that guise, took the hunting spear and thrust it between his shoulders, so that it went through him and came out at his breast. And when he had stricken him he turned the reins and rode as fast as he could toward the postern; this was not the first treason which he had committed, for he had killed the Count Don Nuño treacherously. Now it chanced that the Cid saw him riding thus, and asked him wherefore he fled, and he would not answer; and then the Cid understood that he had done some treason, and his heart misgave him that he had slain the King; and he called in haste for his horse, but while they were bringing it, Vellido had ridden far away; and the Cid being eager to follow him, took only his lance and did not wait to have his spurs buckled on. And he followed him to the postern and had well nigh overtaken him, but Vellido got in; and then the Cid said in his anger, Cursed be the knight who ever gets on horseback without his spurs. Now in all the feats of the Cid never was fault found in him save only in this, that he did not enter after Vellido into the town; but he did not fail to do this for cowardice, neither for fear of death, or of imprisonment; but because he thought that peradventure this was a device between him and the King, and that he fled by the King’s command; for certes, if he had known that the King was slain, there was nothing which would have prevented him from entering the town, and slaying the traitor in the streets, thereright.

How Vellido Dolfos fled to Doña Urraca for protection xxxi. Now the history saith, that when Vellido Dolfos had got within the postern, he was in such fear both of those who were in the town and of those who were without, that he went and placed himself under the mantle of the Infanta Doña Urraca. And when Don Arias Gonzalo knew this he went unto the Infanta and said, Lady, I beseech you that you give up this traitor to the Castillians, otherwise be sure that it will be to your own harm; for the Castillians will impeach all who are in Zamora, and that will be greater dishonour for you and for us. And Doña Urraca made answer, Counsel me then so that he may not die for this which he hath done. Don Arias Gonzalo then answered, Give him unto me, and I will keep him in custody for three days, and if the Castillians impeach us we will deliver him into their hands; and if they do not impeach us within that time, we will thrust him out of the town so that he shall not be seen among us. And Don Arias Gonzalo took him from thence, and secured him with double fetters, and guarded him well.

Of the death of the king xxxii. Meantime the Castillians went to seek their King, and they found him by the side of the Douro, where he lay sorely wounded, even unto death; but he had not yet lost his speech, and the hunting spear was in his body, through and through, and they did not dare to take it out least he should die immediately. And a master of Burgos came up who was well skilled in these things, and he sawed off the ends of the spear, that he might not lose his speech, and said that he should be confessed, for he had death within him. Then Count Don García de Cabra, the curley-haired one of Grañon, said unto him, Sir, think of your soul, for you have a desperate wound. And the King made answer, Blessed be you, Count, who thus counsel me, for I perceive that I am slain; the traitor Vellido has killed me, and I well know that this was for my sins, because I broke the oath which I made unto the King my father. And as the King was saying this the Cid came up and knelt before him and said, I, Sir, remain more desolate than any other of your vassals, for for your sake have I made your brethren mine enemies, and all in the world who were against you, and against whom it pleased you to go. The King your father commended me to them as well as to you, when he divided his kingdoms, and I have lost their love for your sake, having done them great evil. And now neither can I go before King Don Alfonso, your brother, nor remain among the Christians before Doña Urraca your sister, because they hold that whatsoever you have done against them was by my counsel. Now then, Sir, remember me before you depart. The King then commanded that they should raise him up in the bed, and the Counts and Ricos-omes stood round about him, and the Bishops and Archbishops who had come thither to make accord between him and his sister Doña Urraca, and they heard what the Cid said, and knew that he said truly; for whatever good speed King Don Sancho had had in his doings was all by means of my Cid. And the King said unto them, I beseech all ye who are here present, Counts and Ricos-omes, and all my other vassals, that if my brother King Don Alfonso should come from the land of the Moors, ye beseech him to show favour unto you, my Cid, and that he always be bountiful unto you, and receive you to be his vassal; and if he alway doth this and listen unto you, he will not be badly advised. Then the Cid arose and kissed his Wand, and all the chief persons who were there present did the like. And after this the King said unto them, I beseech ye intreat my brother King Don Alfonso to forgive me whatever wrong I have done him, and to pray to God to have mercy upon my soul. And when he had said this he asked for the candle, and presently his soul departed. And all who were there present made great lamentation for the King.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59