Chronicle of the Cid, by Robert Southey

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How it was resolved to impeacli the people of Zamora i. Now when the King was dead, the townsmen who were in the camp forsook their tents and fled, and much did they lose in their flight; but the noble Castillians, thinking rather of what they were bound to do as men who had always preserved their loyalty, like their ancestors before them, would not depart from Zamora, nor break up the siege thereof, but remained bravely before it, though they had lost their Lord. And they summoned all the Bishops, and took the body of the King and sent it full honourably to the Monastery of Oña, and buried him there as beseemed a King: and while one part of the chief men of the host accompanied the body, the rest remained in the camp before Zamora. And when the prelates and good men had returned to the army, they took counsel together how they should proceed against the men of Zamora for this great treason which had been committed. Then Count Don García de Cabra arose and said, Friends, ye see that we have lost our Lord the King Don Sancho; the traitor, Vellido, being his vassal, slew him, and they of Zamora have received and harboured him within their walls; and therefore as we think, and as has been said unto us, he did this treason by their counsel. Now then if there be one here who will impeach them for this thing, we will do whatever may be needful that he may come off with honour, and the impeachment be carried through. Then Don Diego Ordoñez arose, the son of Count Don Ordono, a man of royal lineage and great hardihood; and he said unto them, If ye will all assent to this which ye have heard, I will impeach the men of Zamora, for the death of the King our Lord: and they all assented, promising to fulfil what had been said. Now my Cid did not make this impeachment against the people of Zamora, because of the oath which he had sworn.

How Don Diego Ordonez made the impeachment ii. Then Don Diego Ordoñez went to his lodging and armed himself well, and armed his horse also, and mounted and rode toward Zamora. And when he drew nigh unto the town, he covered himself with his shield that they might not hurt him from the walls, and began to cry aloud, asking if Don Arias Gonzalo were there, for he would speak with him. A squire who was keeping guard upon the wall went to Don Arias and told him that there was a knight well armed calling for him, without the walls, and he said that if it pleased Don Arias he would shoot at him with a cross-bow, and strike him or kill his horse; but Don Arias forbade him, saying that he should no ways harm him. And Don Arias Gonzalo went with his sons upon the wall to see who called for him, and he spake to the knight, saying, Friend, what wouldest thou? And Don Diego Ordoñez answered, The Castillians have lost their Lord; the traitor Vellido slew for him, being his vassal, and ye of Zamora have received Vellido and harboured him within your walls. Now therefore I say that he is a traitor who hath a traitor with him, if he knoweth and consenteth unto the treason. And for this I impeach the people of Zamora, the great as well as the little, the living and the dead, they who now are and they who are yet unborn; and I impeach the waters which they drink and the garments which they put on; their bread and their wine, and the very stones in their walls. If there be any one in Zamora to gainsay what I have said, I will do battle with him, and with God’s pleasure conquer him, so that the infamy shall remain upon you. Don Arias Gonzalo replied, If I were what thou sayest I am, it had been better for me never to have been born; but in what thou sayest thou liest. In that which the great do the little have no fault, nor the dead for the deeds of the living, which they neither see nor hear: but setting aside these and the things which have no understanding, as to the rest I say that thou liest, and I will do battle with thee upon this quarrel, or give thee one in my stead. But know that you have been ill advised in making this impeachment, for the manner is, that whosoever impeacheth a Council must do battle with five, one after another, and if he conquer the five he shall be held a true man, but if either of the five conquer him, the Council is held acquitted and he a liar. When Don Diego heard this it troubled him; howbeit he dissembled this right well, and said unto Don Arias Gonzalo, I will bring twelve Castillians, and do you bring twelve men of Zamora, and they shall swear upon the Holy Gospel to judge justly between us, and if they find that I am bound to do battle with five, I will perform it. And Don Arias made answer that he said well, and it should be so. And truce was made for three times nine days, till this should have been determined and the combat fought.

Of the manner in which the combat was to be performed iii. Then when the truce was made, Don Arias Gonzalo went out from the town into the host of the Castillians, and his sons with him, and many of the knights of the town; and all the Ricos-omes and knights who were in the host assembled together with them, and consulted what was to be done in this impeachment. And they chose out twelve alcades on the one part, and twelve on the other, who should decide in what manner he was bound to perform combat who impeached a Council. And the four and twenty alcades accorded concerning what was the law in this case; and two of them who were held the most learned in these things arose, the one being a Castillian and the other of Zamora, and said that they had found the law as it was written to be this: That whosoever impeacheth the Council of a town which was a bishop’s seat, must do battle with five in the field, one after another; and that after every combat there should be given unto him fresh arms and horse, and three sops of bread, and a draught either of wine or of water, as he chose. And in this sentence which the twain pronounced, the other twenty and two accorded.

How Don Arias and his sons resolved to do combat for Zamora iv. On the morrow before the hour of tierce, the four and twenty alcades marked out the lists upon the sand beside the river, at the place which is called Santiago, and in the middle of the lists they placed a bar, and ordained that he who won the battle should lay hand on the bar, and say that he had conquered: and then they appointed a term of nine days for the combatants to come to those lists which had been assigned. And when all was appointed as ye have heard, Don Arias returned to Zamora, and told the Infanta Doña Urraca all that had been done, and she ordered a meeting to be called, at which all the men of the town assembled. And when they were gathered together, Don Arias Gonzalo said unto them, Friends, I beseech ye, if there be any here among ye who took counsel for the death of King Don Sancho, or were privy thereunto, that ye now tell me, and deny it not; for rather would I go with my sons to the land of the Moors, than be overcome in the field, and held for a traitor. Then they all replied, that there was none there who knew of the treason, nor had consented unto it. At this was Don Arias Gonzalo well pleased, and he bade them go each to his house; and he went to his house also with his sons, and chose out four of them to do combat, and said that he would be the fifth himself; and he gave them directions how to demean themselves in the lists, and said, that he would enter first; and if, said he, what the Castillian saith be true, I would die first, not to see the infamy; but if what he saith be false, I shall conquer him, and ye shall ever be held in honour.

How Don Arias was persuaded that his son Pedrarias should do battle in his stead v. When the day appointed was come, Don Arias Gonzalo early in the morning armed his sons, and they armed him; and it was told him that Don Diego Ordoñez was already in the lists. Then he and his sons mounted their horses, and as they rode through the gates of their house, Doña Urraca, with a company of dames met them, and said to Don Arias, weeping, Remember now how my father, King Don Ferrando, left me to your care, and you swore between his hands that you would never forsake me; and lo! now you are forsaking me. I beseech you remain with me, and go not to this battle, for there is reason enough why you should be excused, and not break the oath which you made unto my father. And she took hold on him, and would not let him go, and made him be disarmed. Then came many knights around him, to demand arms of him, and request that they might do battle in his stead; nevertheless he would give them to none. And he called for his son Pedro Arias, who was a right brave knight, though but of green years, and who had greatly intreated his father before this, that he would suffer him to fight in his stead. And Don Arias armed him compleatly with his own hands, and instructed him how to demean himself, and gave him his blessing with his right hand, and said unto him, that in such a point he went to save the people of Zamora, as when our Lord Jesus Christ came through the Virgin Mary, to save the people of this world, who were lost by our father Adam. Then went they into the field, where Don Diego Ordoñez was awaiting them, and Pedrarias entered the lists, and the judges placed them each in his place, and divided the sun between them, and went out, leaving them in the lists.

Of the first combat vi. Then they turned their horses one against the other, and ran at each other full bravely, like good knights. Five times they encountered, and at the sixth encounter their spears brake, and they laid hand upon their swords, and dealt each other such heavy blows that the helmets failed; and in this manner the combat between them continued till noon. And when Don Diego Ordoñez saw that it lasted so long, and he could not yet conquer him, he called to mind that he was there fighting to revenge his Lord, who had been slain by a foul treason, and he collected together all his strength. And he lifted up his sword and smote Pedrarias upon the helmet, so that he cut through it, and through the hood of the mail also, and made a wound in the head. And Pedrarias with the agony of death, and with the blood which ran over his eyes, bowed down to the neck of the horse; yet with all this he neither lost his stirrups, nor let go his sword. And Don Diego Ordoñez seeing him thus, thought that he was dead, and would not strike him again; and he called aloud, saying, Don Arias, send me another son, for this one will never fulfil your bidding. When Pedrarias heard this, grievously wounded as he was, he wiped the blood away with the sleeve of his mail, and went fiercely against him: and he took the sword in both hands, and thought to give it him upon his head; but the blow missed, and fell upon the horse, and cut off great part of his nostrils, and the reins with it; and the horse immediately ran away because of the great wound which he had received. And Don Diego had no reins wherewith to stop him, and perceiving that he should else be carried out of the lists, he threw himself off. And while he did this, Pedrarias fell down dead, just without the mark. And Don Diego Ordoñez laid hand on the bar, and said. Praised be the name of God, one is conquered. And incontinently the judges came and took him by the hand, and led him to a tent and disarmed him, and gave him three sops, and he drank of the wine and rested awhile. And afterwards they gave him other arms, and a horse that was a right good one, and went with him to the lists.

Of the second combat vii. Then Don Arias Gonzalo called for another son, whose name was Diego Arias, and said unto him, To horse! and go fight to deliver this Council and to revenge the death of your brother; and he answered, For this am I come hither. Then his father gave him his blessing and went with, him to the lists. And the judges took the reins of the two champions and led them each to his place, and went out and left them in the lists. And they ran against each other with such force that both shields failed, and in another career they brake their lances. Then laid they hand on their good swords, and delivered such blows that their helmets were cut away, and the sleeves of the mail. And at length Diego Arias received such a blow near the heart that he fell dead. And Don Diego Ordoñez went to the bar and laid hold on it, and cried out to Don Arias Gonzalo, Send me another son, for I have conquered two, thanks be to God. Then the judges came and said that the dead knight was not yet out of the lists, and that he must alight and cast him out. And Don Diego Ordoñez did as they had directed him, and alighted from his horse and took the dead man by the leg, and dragged him to the line, and then letting the leg fall he thrust him out of the lists with his feet. And then he went and laid hand upon the bar again, saying that he had liefer fight with a living man than drag a dead one out of the field. And then the judges came to him, and led him to the tent, and disarmed him, and gave him the three sops and the wine, as they had done before, and sent to say to Don Arias Gonzalo that this son also was slain, and that he should send another.

Of the third combat, and how it was left undetermined viii. Then Don Arias Gonzalo, in great rage and in great trouble called for his son Rodrigo Arias, who was a good knight, right hardy and valiant, the elder of all the brethren; he had been in many a tournament, and with good fortune. And Don Arias said unto him, Son, go now and do battle with Diego Ordoñez, to save Doña Urraca your Lady, and yourself, and the Council of Zamora; and if you do this, in happy hour were you born. Then Rodrigo Arias kissed his hand and answered, Father, I thank you much for what you have said, and be sure that I will save them, or take my death. And he took his arms and mounted, and his father gave him his blessing, and went with him to the lists; and the judges took his reins and led him in. And when the judges were gone out, they twain ran at each other, and Don Diego missed his blow, but Rodrigo Arias did not miss, for he gave him so great a stroke with the lance that it pierced through the shield, and broke the saddle-bow behind, and made him lose his stirrups, and he embraced the neck of his horse. But albeit that Don Diego was sorely bested with that stroke, he took heart presently, and went bravely against him, and dealt him so great a blow that he broke the lance in him; for it went through the shield and all his other arms, and great part of the lance remained in his flesh. After this they laid hand to sword, and gave each to the other great blows, and great wounds with them. And Rodrigo Arias gave so great a wound to Diego Ordoñez, that he cut his left arm through to the bone. And Don Diego Ordoñez, when he felt himself so sorely wounded, went against Rodrigo Arias and delivered him a blow upon the head which cut through the helmet and the hood of the mail, and entered into his head. When Rodrigo Arias felt himself wounded to death, he let go the reins and took his sword in both hands, and gave so great a blow to the horse of Don Diego that he cut his head open. And the horse in his agony ran out of the lists, and carried Don Diego out also, and there died. And Rodrigo Arias fell dead as he was following him. Then Don Diego Ordoñez would have returned into the field to do battle with, the other two, but the judges would not permit this, neither did they think good to decide whether they of Zamora were overcome in this third duel or not. And in this manner the thing was left undecided. Nevertheless, though no sentence was given, there remained no infamy upon the people of Zamora. But better had it been for Don Arias Gonzalo if he had given up Vellido to the Castillians, that he might have died the death of a traitor; he would not then have lost these three sons, who died like good men, in their duty. Now what was the end of Vellido the history sayeth not, through the default of the Chroniclers; but it is to be believed, that because the impeachment was not made within three days, Don Arias Gonzalo thrust him out of the town as Doña Urraca had requested, and that he fled into other lands, peradventure among the Moors. And though it may be that he escaped punishment in this world, yet certes he could not escape it in hell where he is tormented with Dathan and Abiram. and with Judas the Traitor, for ever and ever.

How King Don Alfonso departed from Toledo ix. In the meantime the Infanta Doña Urraca wrote letters secretly and sent messengers with them to Toledo to King Don Alfonso, telling him that King Don Sancho his brother was dead, and had left no heir, and that he should come as speedily as he could to receive the kingdoms, And she bade her messengers deliver these privately that the Moors might not discover what had taken place, lest they should seize upon King Don Alfonso, whom she dearly loved. Moreover the Castillians assembled together and found that as King Don Sancho had left no son to succeed him they were bound by right to receive King Don Alfonso as their Lord; and they also sent unto him in secret. Howbeit, certain of those spies who discover to the Moors whatever the Christians design to do, when they knew the death of King Don Sancho, went presently to acquaint the Moors therewith. Now Don Peransures, as he was a man of great understanding and understood the Arabick tongue, when he knew the death of King Don Sancho, and while he was devising how to get his Lord away from Toledo, rode out every day, as if to solace himself, on the way towards Castille, to see whom he might meet, and to learn tidings. And it fell out one day that he met a man who told him he was going with news to King Alimaymon, that King Don Sancho was dead; and Don Peransures took him aside from the road as if to speak to him, and cut off his head. And Peransures returned into the road and met another man coming with the same tidings to the King, and he slew him in like manner. Nevertheless the tidings reached King Alimaymon. Now Peransures and his brethren feared that if the Moor knew this he would not let their Lord depart, but would seize him and make hard terms for his deliverance; and on the other hand, they thought that if he should learn it from any other than themselves, it would be yet worse. And while they were in doubt what they should do, King Don Alfonso, trusting in God’s mercy, said unto them, When I came hither unto this Moor, he received me with great honour, and gave to me abundantly all things of which I stood in need, even as if I had been his son; how then should I conceal from him this favour which it hath pleased God to show me? I will go and tell it unto him. But Don Peransures besought him not to tell him of his brother’s death. And he went to King Alimaymon and said unto him, that he would fain go into his own country, if it pleased him, to help his vassals, who stood greatly in need of him, and he besought him that he would give him men. The death of King Don Sancho he did not make known. And King Alimaymon answered that he should not do this, because he feared that King Don Sancho his brother would take him. And King Don Alfonso said, that he knew the ways and customs of his brother, and did not fear him, if it pleased the King to give him some Moors to help him. Now Alimaymon had heard of the death of King Don Sancho, and be had sent to occupy the roads and the passes, that King Don Alfonso might be stopt if he should attempt to depart without his knowledge. Howbeit he did not fully believe the tidings, seeing that King Don Alfonso did not speak of it; and he rejoiced in his heart at what the King said, and he said unto him, I thank God, Alfonso, that thou hast told me of thy wish to go into thine own country; for in this thou hast dealt loyally by me, and saved me from that which might else have happened, to which the Moors have alway importuned me. And hadst thou departed privily thou couldest not have escaped being slain or taken. Now then go and take thy kingdom; and I will give thee whatever thou hast need of to give to thine own people and win their hearts that they may serve thee. And he then besought him to renew the oath which he had taken, never to come against him nor his sons, but alway to befriend them; and this same oath did the King of Toledo make unto him. Now Alimaymon had a grandson whom he dearly loved, who was not named in the oath, and King Don Alfonso therefore was not bound to keep it towards him. And King Don Alfonso made ready for his departure, and Alimaymon and the chief persons of the court went out from the city with him and rode with him as far as the Sierra del Dragon, which is now called Valtome; and he gave him great gifts, and there they took leave of each other with great love.

How the Cid would not kiss the King’s hand x. As soon as King Don Alfonso arrived at Zamora, he pitched his tents in the field of Santiago, and took counsel with his sister. And the Infanta Doña Urraca, who was a right prudent lady and a wise, sent letters throughout the land, that a Cortes should assemble and receive him for their Lord. And when the Leonese and the Gallegos knew that their Lord King Don Alfonso was come, they were full joyful, and they came to Zamora and received him for their Lord and King. And afterwards the Castillians arrived, and they of Navarre, and they also received him for their Lord and King, but upon this condition, that he should swear that he had not taken counsel for the death of his brother King Don Sancho. Howbeit they did not come forward to receive the oath, and they kissed his hands in homage, all, save only Ruydiez, my Cid. And when King Don Alfonso saw that the Cid did not do homage and kiss his hand, as all the other chief persons and prelates and Councils had done, he said, Since now ye have all received me for your Lord, and given me authority over ye, I would know of the Cid Ruydiez why he will not kiss my hand and acknowledge me; for I would do something for him, as I promised unto my father King Don Ferrando, when he commended him to me and to my brethren. And the Cid arose and said, Sir, all whom you see here present, suspect that by your counsel the King Don Sancho your brother came to his death; and therefore, I say unto you that, unless you clear yourself of this, as by right you should do, I will never kiss your hand, nor receive you for my Lord. Then said the King, Cid, what you say pleases me well; and here I swear to God and to St. Mary, that I never slew him, nor took counsel for his death, neither did it please me, though he had taken my kingdom from me. And I beseech ye therefore all, as friends and true vassals, that ye tell me how I may clear myself. And the chiefs who were present said, that he and twelve of the knights who came with him from Toledo, should make this oath in the church at St. Gadea at Burgos, and that so he should be cleared.

Of the oath which King Don Alfonso took xi. So the King and all his company took horse and went to Burgos. And when the day appointed for the oath was come, the King went to hear mass in the church of Gadea, and his sisters the Infantas Doña Urraca and Doña Elvira with him, and all his knights. And the King came forward upon a high stage that all the people might see him, and my Cid came to him to receive the oath; and my Cid took the book of the Gospels and opened it, and laid it upon the altar, and the King laid his hands upon it, and the Cid said unto him, King Don Alfonso, you come here to swear concerning the death of King Don Sancho your brother, that you neither slew him nor took counsel for his death; say now you and these hidalgos, if ye swear this. And the King and the hidalgos answered and said, Yea, we swear it. And the Cid said, If ye knew of this thing, or gave command that it should be done, may you die even such a death as your brother the King Don Sancho, by the hand of a villain whom you trust; one who is not a hidalgo, from another land, not a Castillian; and the King and the knights who were with him said Amen. And the king’s colour changed; and the Cid repeated the oath unto him a second time, and the King and the twelve knights said Amen to it in like manner, and in like manner the countenance of the King was changed again. And my Cid repeated the oath unto him a third time, and the King and the knights said Amen; but the wrath of the King was exceeding great, and he said to the Cid, Ruydiez, why dost thou thus press me, man? To-day thou swearest me, and tomorrow thou wilt kiss my hand. And from that day forward there was no love towards my Cid in the heart of the King.

How Don Alfonso was crowned King xii. After this was King Don Alfonso crowned King of Castille, and Leon, and Galicia, and Portugal; and he called himself King and Emperor of all Spain, even as his father had done before him. And in the beginning of his reign he did in all things according to the counsel of the Infanta Doña Urraca his sister; and he was a good King, and kept his kingdom so well, that rich and poor alike dwelt in peace and security, neither did one man take arms against another, nor dare to do it, if he valued the eyes in his head. And if the King was noble and high of lineage, much more was he of heart; and in his days justice abounded in the land so, that if a woman had gone alone throughout the whole of his dominions, bearing gold and silver in her hand, she would have found none to hurt her, neither in the waste, nor in the peopled country. The merchants and pilgrims also who passed through his lands were so well protected, that none durst do them wrong. Never while the kingdom was his, had they of his land to do service to any other Lord. And he was a comforter of the sorrowful, and an increaser of the faith, and a defender of the churches, and the strength of the people; a judge without fear; there was not in Spain a consoler of the poor and of those who were oppressed, till he came. Now there was a mortal enmity between my Cid and Count Garcia Ordoñez, and in this year did my Cid gather together those of his table, and all his power, and entered into the lands of Logroño, and Navarre, and Calahorra, burning and spoiling the country before him. And he laid siege to the Castle of Faro and took it. And he sent messengers to the Count his enemy, to say that he would wait for him seven days, and he waited. And the mighty men of the land came to the Count Don Garcia, but come against my Cid that they dared not do, for they feared to do battle with him.

How King Don Alfonso went to succor Alimaymon xiii. In the second year of the reign of King Don Alfonso, the King of Cordova made war upon Alimaymon, King of Toledo, and did great damage in his land, and held him besieged in Toledo; and King Don Alfonso drew forth a great host and went to help the King of Toledo. When Alimaymon knew that he was coming with so great a power, he was greatly dismayed, thinking that he came against him; and he sent to remind him of the love and the honour which he had shown unto him in the days of his brother King Don Sancho, and of the oath which he had taken; and to beseech him that he would continue in peace with him. And the King detained his messengers, giving them no reply, and went on advancing into the land, doing no hurt therein. And when he came to Olias, he ordered the whole army to halt. And when the King of Cordova knew that King Don Alfonso was coming, he rose up from before Toledo, and fled away, and the men of Toledo pursued him, and inflicted great loss upon him in his flight.

How the King went into Toledo xiv. And when the army had halted at Olias, the King called for the messengers of Alimaymon, and took with him five knights, and rode to Toledo. And when they came to the gate which is called Visagra, the messengers who went with him made him enter the town, and he sent one of them to tell the King that he was there, and went on in the meantime towards the Alcazar. And when King Alimaymon heard this, he would not wait till a beast should be brought him that he might ride, but set out on foot and went to meet him; and as he was going out he met King Don Alfonso, and they embraced each other. And the King of Toledo kissed King Don Alfonso’s shoulder, for the joy and pleasure that he had in his heart at seeing him; and he gave thanks to God for what he had done to King Don Alfonso, and thanked him also for the truth which was in him, in coming thus to his deliverance, and for remembering the oath which they had made each to the other. And they rejoiced together all that night, and great was the joy of the people of Toledo, because of the love which King Don Alfonso bore toward their Lord. But great was the sorrow in the host of the Castillians, for they never thought to see their Lord again; and they thought that he had committed a great folly in thus putting himself into the power of the Moors.

Of the noble dealing of the King with Alimaymun xv. On the morrow, King Don Alfonso besought King Alimaymon that he would go and eat with him at Olias, and see how he came to help him. And they went both together with a little company, and when they of the host saw their Lord they were all right joyful, and the two Kings went through the camp, and they sat down to eat in the tent of the King, which was a large one. And while they were at meat King Don Alfonso gave order in secret that five hundred knights should arm themselves and surround the tent. And when the King of Toledo saw these armed knights, and that the tent was surrounded, he was in great fear, and he asked of King Don Alfonso what it should be; and the King bade him eat, and said, that afterwards they would tell him. And after they had eaten, King Don Alfonso said to Alimaymon, You made me swear and promise when you had me in Toledo in your power that no evil should ever come against you on my part: now since I have you in my power I will that you release me from this oath and covenant. And the King of Toledo consented to release him, and besought him to do him no other wrong, and he acquitted him from the promise three times. And when he had done this King Don Alfonso called for the book of the Gospels, and said unto him, Now then that you are in my power, I swear and promise unto you, never to go against you, nor against your son, and to aid you against all other men in the world. And I make this oath unto you because there was reason why I should have broken that other one, seeing that it was made when I was in your hands; but against this I must not go, for I make it when you are in mine, and I could do with you even whatever pleased me; and he laid his hands upon the book, and swore even as he had said. Right joyful was the King of Toledo at this which King Don Alfonso had done, for the loyalty which he had shown towards him. And they remained that night together; and on the morrow Alimaymon returned to his city full gladly, and King Don Alfonso made his host move on towards Cordova, and Alimaymon went with him; and they overran the land, and burnt towns and villages, and destroyed castles, and plundered whatever they could find; and they returned each into his own country with great spoils. And from thenceforward the King of Cordova durst no more attack the King of Toledo.

How my Cid won many l)atlles xvi. In the following years, nothing is found to be related, save that my Cid did battle by command of the King with a knight called Ximen García de Tiogelos, who was one of the best of Navarre: they fought for the castle of Pazluengas, and for two other castles, and my Cid conquered him, and King Don Alfonso had the castles. And after this my Cid did battle in Medina Celi, with a Moor called Faras, who was a good knight in arms, and he defeated and slew him and another also. And in the fifth year of the reign of King Don Alfonso, the King sent the Cid to the Kings of Seville and of Cordova, for the tribute which they were bound to pay him. Now there was at this time war between Almocanis, King of Seville and Almundafar, King of Granada, and with Almundafar were these men of Castille, the Count Don Garcia Ordoñez and Fortun Sanchez, the son-inlaw of King Don Garcia, of Navarre, and Lope Sanchez his brother, and Diego Perez, one of the best men of Castille; and they aided him all that they could, and went against the King of Seville, and when my Cid knew this it troubled him, and he sent unto them requiring them not to go against the King of Seville, nor to destroy his country, because he was King Don Alfonso’s vassal; otherwise the King must defend him. And the King of Granada and the Ricos-omes who were with him cared nothing for his letters, but entered boldly into the land of Seville, and advanced as far as Cabra, burning and laying waste before them. When the Cid saw this he gathered together what Christians he could and went against them. And the King of Granada and the Christians who were with him, sent to tell him that they would not go out of the country for him. And the wrath of the Cid was kindled, and he went against them, and fought with them in the field, and the battle lasted from the hour of tierce even until the hour of sexts; and many died upon the part of the King of Granada, and at length my Cid overcame them and made them, take to flight. And Count Garcia Ordoñez was taken prisoner, and Lope Sanchez, and Diego Perez, and many other knights, and of other men so many that they were out of number; and the dead were so many that no man could count them; and the spoils of the field were very great. And the Cid held these good men prisoners three days and then set them free, and he returned with great honour and great riches to Seville. And King Almocanis received him full honourably, and gave him great gifts for himself, and paid him the full tribute for the King; and he returned rich to Castille, and with great honour. And King Don Alfonso was well pleased with the good fortune of the Cid in all his feats; but there were many who wished ill to him, and sought to set the King against him.

How King l^on Alfonto was made wroth with tlie Cid xvii. After this King Don Alfonso assembled together all his power and went against the Moors. And the Cid should have gone with him, but he fell sick and perforce therefore abode at home. And while the King was going through Andalusia, having the land at his mercy, a great power of the Moors assembled together on the other side, and entered the land, and besieged the castle of Gormaz, and did much evil. At this time the Cid was gathering strength; and when he heard that the Moors were in the country, laying waste before them, he gathered together what force he could, and went after them; and the Moors, when they heard this, dared not abide his coming, but began to fly. And the Cid followed them to Atienza, and to Ciguenza, and Fita, and Guadalajara, and through the whole land of St. Esteban, as far as Toledo, slaying and burning, and plundering and destroying, and laying hands on all whom he found, so that he brought back seven thousand prisoners, men and women; and he and all his people returned rich and with great honour. But when the King of Toledo heard of the hurt which he had received at the hands of the Cid, he sent to King Don Alfonso to complain thereof, and the King was greatly troubled. And then the Ricos-omes who wished ill to the Cid, had the way open to do him evil with the King, and they said to the King, Sir, Ruydiez hath broken your faith, and the oath and promise which you made to the King of Toledo: and he hath done this for no other reason but that the Moors of Toledo may fall upon us here, and slay both you and us. And the King believed what they said, and was wroth against the Cid, having no love towards him because of the oath which he had pressed upon him at Burgos concerning the death of King Don Sancho his brother. And he went with all speed to Burgos, and sent from thence to bid the Cid come unto him.

How ihe Cid was wrongfully banished xviii. Now my Cid knew the evil disposition of the King towards him, and when he received his bidding, he made answer that he would meet him between Burgos and Bivar. And the King went out from Burgos and came nigh unto Bivar; and the Cid came up to him and would have kissed his hand, but the King withheld it, and said angrily unto him, Ruydiez, quit my land. Then the Cid clapt spurs to the mule upon which he rode, and vaulted into a piece of ground which was his own inheritance, and answered, Sir, I am not in your land, but in my own. And the King replied full wrathfully, Go out of my kingdoms without any delay. And the Cid made answer, Give me then thirty days time, as is the right of the hidalgos; and the King said he would not, but that if he were not gone in nine days time he would come and look for him. The Counts were well pleased at this; but all the people of the land were sorrowful. And then the King and the Cid parted. And the Cid sent for all his friends and his kinsmen and vassals, and told them how King Don Alfonso had banished him from the land, and asked of them who would follow him into banishment, and who would remain at home. Then Alvar Fañez, who was his cousin-german, came forward and said, Cid, we will all go with you, through desert and through peopled country, and never fail you. In your service will we spend our mules and horses, our wealth and our garments, and ever while we live be unto you loyal friends and vassals. And they all confirmed what Alvar Fañez had said; and the Cid thanked them for their love, and said that there might come a time in which he should guerdon them.

How the Cid departed from his own house, being a banished man xix. And as he was about to depart he looked back upon his own home, and when he saw his hall deserted, the household chests unfastened, the doors open, no cloaks hanging up, no seats in the porch, no hawks upon the perches, the tears came into his eyes, and he said, My enemies have done this . . . God be praised for all things. And he turned toward the East and knelt and said, Holy Mary Mother, and all Saints, pray to God for me, that he may give me strength to destroy all the Pagans, and to win enough from them to requite my friends therewith, and all those who follow and help me. Then he called for Alvar Fañez and said unto him, Cousin, the poor have no part in the wrong which the King hath done us; see now that no wrong be done unto them along our road: and he called for his horse. And then an old woman who was standing at her door said, Go in a lucky minute, and make spoil of whatever you wish. And with this proverb he rode on, saying, Friends, by God’s good pleasure we shall return to Castilla with great honour and great gain. And as they went out from Bivar they had a crow on their right hand, and when they came to Burgos they had a crow on the left.

How the Burgalese dared not receive him xx. My Cid Ruydiez entered Burgos, having sixty streamers in his company. And men and women went forth to see him, and the men of Burgos and the women of Burgos were at their windows, weeping, so great was their sorrow; and they said with one accord, God, how good a vassal if he had but a good Lord! and willingly would each have bade him come in, but no one dared so to do. For King Don Alfonso in his anger had sent letters to Burgos, saying that no man should give the Cid a lodging; and that whosoever disobeyed should lose all that he had, and moreover the eyes in his head. Great sorrow had these Christian folk at this, and they hid themselves when he came near them because they did not dare speak to him; and my Cid went to his Posada, and when he came to the door he found it fastened, for fear of the King. And his people called out with a loud voice, but they within made no answer. And the Cid rode up to the door, and took his foot out of the stirrup, and gave it a kick, but the door did not open with it, for it was well secured; a little girl of nine years old then came out of one of the houses and said unto him, O Cid, the King hath forbidden us to receive you. We dare not open our doors to you, for we should lose our houses and all that we have, and the eyes in our head. Cid, our evil would not help you, but God and all his Saints be with you. And when she had said this she returned into the house. And when the Cid knew what the King had done he turned away from the door and rode up to St. Mary’s, and there he alighted and knelt down, and prayed with all his heart; and then he mounted again and rode out of the town, and pitched his tent near Arlanzon, upon the Glera, that is to say, upon the sands. My Cid Ruydiez, he who in a happy hour first girt on his sword, took up his lodging upon the sands, because there was none who would receive him within their door. He had a good company round about him, and there he lodged as if he had been among the mountains.

How the Cid sent to borrow money of the Jews xxi. Moreover the King had given orders that no food should be sold them in Burgos, so that they could not buy even a pennyworth. But Martin Antolinez, who was a good Burgalese, he supplied my Cid and all his company with bread and wine abundantly. Campeador, said he to the Cid, to-night we will rest here, and tomorrow we will be gone. I shall be accused for what I have done in serving you, and shall be in the King’s displeasure; but following your fortunes, sooner or later, the King will have me for his friend, and if not, I do not care a fig for what I leave behind. Now this Martin Antolinez was nephew unto the Cid, being the son of his brother, Ferrando Diaz. And the Cid said unto him, Martin Antolinez, you are a bold Lancier; if I live I will double you your pay. You see I have nothing with me, and yet must provide for my companions. I will take two chests and fill them with sand, and do you go in secret to Rachel and Vidas, and tell them to come hither privately; for I cannot take my treasures with me because of their weight, and will pledge them in their hands. Let them come for the chests at night, that no man may see them. God knows that I do this thing more of necessity than of wilfulness; but by God’s good help I shall redeem all. Now Rachel and Vidas were rich Jews, from whom the Cid used to receive money for his spoils. And Martin Antolinez went in quest of them, and he passed through Burgos and entered into the Castle; and when he saw them he said, Ah Rachel and Vidas, my dear friends! now let me speak with ye in secret. And they three went apart. And he said to them, Give me your hands that you will not discover me neither to Moor nor Christian! I will make you rich men for ever. The Campeador went for the tribute and he took great wealth, and some of it he has kept for himself. He has two chests full of gold; ye know that the King is in anger against him, and he cannot carry these away with him without their being seen. He will leave them therefore in your hands, and you shall lend him money upon them, swearing with great oaths and upon your faith, that ye will not open them till a year be past. Rachel and Vidas took counsel together and answered, We well knew he got something when he entered the land of the Moors; he who has treasures does not sleep without suspicion; we will take the chests, and place them where they shall not be seen. But tell us with what will the Cid be contented, and what gain will he give us for the year? Martin Antolinez answered like a prudent man, My Cid requires what is reasonable; he will ask but little to leave his treasures in safety. Men come to him from all parts. He must have six hundred marks. And the Jews said, We will advance him so much. Well then, said Martin Antolinez, ye see that the night is advancing; the Cid is in haste, give us the marks. This is not the way of business, said they; we must take first, and then give. Ye say well, replied the Burgalese: come then to the Campeador, and we will help you to bring away the chests, so that neither Moors nor Christians may see us. So they went to horse and rode out together, and they did not cross the bridge, but rode through the water that no man might see them, and they came to the tent of the Cid.

How tlie Jews lent the money, and took away the chests xxii. Meantime the Cid had taken two chests, which were covered with leather of red and gold, and the nails which fastened down the leather were well gilt; they were ribbed with bands of iron, and each fastened with three locks; they were heavy, and he filled them with sand. And when Rachel and Vidas entered his tent with Martin Antolinez, they kissed his hand; and the Cid smiled and said to them, Ye see that I am going out of the land, because of the King’s displeasure; but I shall leave something with ye. And they made answer, Martin Antolinez has covenanted with us, that we shall give you six hundred marks upon these chests, and keep them a full year, swearing not to open them till that time be expired, else shall we be perjured. Take the chests, said Martin Antolinez; I will go with you, and bring back the marks, for my Cid must move before cock-crow. So they took the chests, and though they were both strong men they could not raise them from the ground; and they were full glad of the bargain which they had made. And Rachel then went to the Cid and kissed his hand and said, Now, Campeador, you are going from Castille among strange nations, and your gain will be great, even as your fortune is. I kiss your hand, Cid, and have a gift for you, a red skin: it is Moorish and honourable. And the Cid said, It pleases me; give it me if ye have brought it, if not, reckon it upon the chests. And they departed with the chests, and Martin Antolinez and his people helped them, and went with them. And when they had placed the chests in safety, they spread a carpet in the middle of the hall, and laid a sheet upon it and they threw down upon it three hundred marks of silver. Don Martin counted them, and took them without weighing. The other three hundred they paid in gold. Don Martin had five squires with him, and he loaded them all with the money. And when this was done he said to them, Now Don Rachel and Vidas, you have got the chests, and I who got them for you well deserve a pair of hose. And the Jews said to each other, Let us give him a good gift for this which he has done; and they said to him, We will give you enough for hose and for a rich doublet and a good cloak; you shall have thirty marks. Don Martin thanked them and took the marks, and bidding them both farewell, he departed right joyfully.

How the Cid went to Doña Ximena at Cárdena xxiii. When Martin Antolinez came into the Cid’s tent he said unto him, I have sped well, Campeador! you have gained six hundred marks, and I thirty. Now then strike your tent and be gone. The time draws on, and you may be with your Lady Wife at St. Pedro de Cardeña, before the cock crows. So the tent was struck, and my Cid and his company went to horse at this early hour. And the Cid turned his horse’s head toward St. Mary’s, and with his right hand he blest himself on the forehead, and he said, God be praised! help me, St. Mary. I go from Castille because the anger of the King is against me, and I know not whether I shall ever enter it again in all my days. Help me, glorious Virgin, in my goings, both by night and by day. If you do this and my lot be fair, I will send rich and goodly gifts to your altar, and will have a thousand masses sung there. Then with a good heart he gave his horse the reins. And Martin Antolinez said to him, Go ye on; I must back to my wife and tell her what she is to do during my absence. I shall be with you in good time. And back he went to Burgos, and my Cid and his company pricked on. The cocks were crowing amain, and the day began to break, when the good Campeador reached St. Pedro’s. The Abbot Don Sisebuto was saying matins, and Doña Ximena and five of her ladies of good lineage were with him, praying to God and St. Peter to help my Cid. And when he called at the gate and they knew his voice, God, what a joyful man was the Abbot Don Sisebuto! Out into the court yard they went with torches and with tapers, and the Abbot gave thanks to God that he now beheld the face of my Cid. And the Cid told him all that had befallen him, and how he was a banished man; and he gave him fifty marks for himself, and a hundred for Doña Ximena and her children. Abbot, said he, I leave two little girls behind me, whom I commend to your care. Take you care of them and of my wife and of her ladies: when this money be gone, if it be not enough, supply them abundantly; for every mark which you expend upon them I will give the Monastery four. And the Abbot promised to do this with a right good will. Then Doña Ximena came up and her daughters with her, each of them borne in arms, and she knelt down on both her knees before her husband, weeping bitterly, and she would have kissed his hand; and she said to him, Lo now you are banished from the land by mischief-making men, and here am I with your daughters, who are little ones and of tender years, and we and you must be parted, even in your life time. For the love of St. Mary tell me now what we shall do. And the Cid took the children in his arms, and held them to his heart and wept, for he dearly loved them. Please God and St. Mary, said he, I shall yet live to give these my daughters in marriage with my own hands, and to do you service yet, my honoured wife, whom I have ever loved, even as my own soul.

How the Cid took leave of his wife and daughters xxiv. A great feast did they make that day in the Monastery for the good Campeador, and the bells of St. Pedro’s rung merrily. Meantime the tidings had gone through Castille how my Cid was banished from the land, and great was the sorrow of the people. Some left their houses to follow him, others forsook their honourable offices which they held. And that day a hundred and fifteen knights assembled at the bridge of Arlanzon, all in quest of my Cid; and there Martin Antolinez joined them, and they rode on together to St. Pedro’s. And when he of Bivar knew what a goodly company were coming to join him, he rejoiced in his own strength, and rode out to meet them and greeted them full courteously; and they kissed his hand, and he said to them, I pray to God that I may one day requite ye well, because ye have forsaken your houses and your heritages for my sake, and I trust that I shall pay ye two fold. Six days of the term allotted were now gone, and three only remained: if after that time he should be found, within the King’s dominions, neither for gold nor for silver could he then escape. That day they feasted together, and when it was evening the Cid distributed among them, all that he had, giving to each man according to what he was; and he told them that they must meet at mass after matins, and depart at that early hour. Before the cock crew they were ready, and the Abbot said the mass of the Holy Trinity, and when it was done they left the church and went to horse. And my Cid embraced Doña Ximena and his daughters, and blest them; and the parting between them was like separating the nail from the quick flesh: and he wept and continued to look round after them. Then Alvar Fañez came up to him and said, Where is your courage, my Cid? In a good hour were you born of woman. Think of our road now; these sorrows will yet be turned into joy. And the Cid spake again to the Abbot, commending his family to his care; — well did the Abbot know that he should one day receive good guerdon. And as he took leave of the Cid, Alvar Fañez said to him, Abbot, if you see any who come to follow us, tell them what route we take, and bid them make speed, for they may reach us either in the waste or in the peopled country. And then they loosed the reins and pricked forward.

How the Cid left the kingdom of King Don Alfonso xxv. That night my Cid lay at Spinar de Can, and people flocked to him from all parts, and early on the morrow he set out; Santestevan lay on his left hand, which is a good city, and Ahilon on the right, which belongs to the Moors, and he passed by Alcobiella, which is the boundary of Castille. And he went by the Calzada de Quinea, and crost the Douro upon rafts. That night, being the eighth, they rested at Figeruela, and more adventurers came to join him. And when my Cid was fast asleep, the Angel Gabriel appeared to him in a vision, and said, Go on boldly and fear nothing; for everything shall go well with thee as long as thou livest, and all the things which thou beginnest, thou shalt bring to good end, and thou shalt be rich and honourable. And the Cid awoke and blest himself; and he crost his forehead and rose from his bed, and knelt down and gave thanks to God for the mercy which he had vouchsafed him, being right joyful because of the vision. Early on the morrow they set forth; now this was the last day of the nine. And they went on towards the Sierra de Miedes. Before sunset the Cid halted and took account of his company; there were three hundred lances, all with streamers, besides foot-soldiers. And he said unto them, Now take and eat, for we must pass this great and wild Sierra, that we may quit the land of King Alfonso this night. To-morrow he who seeks us may find us. So they passed the Sierra that night.

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