صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

cowards, and feared to be slain in battle. The Cid told them to remain in Valencia; but stung by shame they went forth with Bermuez, who reported that both had fleshed their swords in battle with the Moor.

Great was the slaughter of the Moors on that field. Alvar Fanez, Minaya, and the fighting bishop came back dripping with

gore, and as for my Cid, he slew King Bucar himself, and brought home the famous sword, Tizon, worth full a thousand marks in gold.

The Infantes, still wrathful at their humiliation, talked apart : “ Let us take our wealth and our wives and return to Carrion. Once away from the Campeador, we will punish his daughters, so that we shall hear no more of the affair of the lion. With the wealth we have gained from the Cid we can now wed whom we please.”

Sore was the heart of the Cid when he heard of their determination ; but he gave them rich gifts, and also the priceless swords Colada and Tizon. "I won them in knightly fashion," said he, “and I give them to you, for ye are my sons, since I gave you my daughters ; in them ye

take the core of my heart.” He ordered Feliz Muñoz, his nephew, to accompany them as an escort, and sent them by way of Molina to salute his friend, Abengalvon the Moor.

The Moor received them in great state, and escorted them as far as the Salon; but when he overheard the Infantes

l plotting to destroy him, and seize his substance, he left them in anger. At night the Infantes pitched their tents in an oak forest full of tall trees, among which roamed fierce beasts. During the night they made a great show of love to their wives, and the next morning ordered the escort to go on, saying that they would follow alone. As soon as they were alone they stripped the daughters of the Cid of their garments, beat them with their saddle-girths and spurs, and left them for dead in the wild forest.

" Now we are avenged for the dishonor of the lion,” said they, as they departed for Carrion. But Feliz Muñoz, who had suspected the Infantes, had gone forward but a little way, and then crept back, so that from a thicket he perceived the sufferings of his cousins. Straightway he went to their rescue, found them clothes, and helped them home again.

When the Cid heard of this insult to himself and his daughters, he grasped his beard and swore a mighty oath that the Infantes would rue the day when they had thus offended him. All of the Cid's friends strove to comfort the ladies Elvira and Sol, and Abengalvon the Moor made them a rich supper for love of the Cid.

At the request of my Cid, King Alfonso summoned a Cortes at Toledo, to try the cause of the Cid and the Infantes. Thither went the Cid, richly clad, so that all men wondered at his rich garments, his long hair in a scarlet and gold coif, and his uncut beard bound up with cords. He and his hundred men wore bright hauberks under their ermines, and trenchant swords under their mantles, for they feared treachery.

The king appointed some of his counts as judges, and announced that he held this, the third Cortes of his reign, for the love of the Cid. Then


Cid stood forth. “I am not dishonored because the Infantes deserted my daughters," said the Cid, " for the king gave them away, not I; but I demand my swords, Colada and Tizon. When my lords of Carrion gave up my daughters they relinquished all claims to my property."

The Infantes, well pleased that he demanded no more, returned the swords; and when the blades were unsheathed and placed in the hands of the king, the eyes of the court were dazzled by their brightness.

The Cid presented Tizon to his nephew and Colada to Martin Antolinez. “Now, my king, I have another grievance. I now demand that the Infantes restore the three thousand marks in gold and silver they carried from Valencia. When they ceased to be my sons-in-law they ceased to own my gold.” Then the Infantes were troubled, for they had spent the money; but the judges gave them no relief, and they were forced to pay it out of their heritage of Carrion.

“So please your grace," said the Cid, "still another griev

[ocr errors]

ance, the greatest of all, I have yet to state. I hold myself dishonored by the Infantes. Redress by combat they must yield, for I will take no other."

The Count Garcia ridiculed the Cid's claim. " The noble lords of Carrion are of princely birth; your daughters are not fitting mates for them.” Then, while his enemies were taunting him and the court broke into an uproar, the Cid called on Pero Bermuez, “ Dumb Peter," to speak.

When Pero spoke he made himself clear. For the first time he told how like a craven Ferrando had demeaned himself in battle, and how he himself had slain the Moor on whom the prince had turned his back. He also reminded Ferrando of the affair of the lion. When Diego attempted to speak, he was silenced by Martin Antolinez, who told of the figure he cut when he clung to the wine-press beam in an agony of fear, on the day the lion came forth from its cage. Then the king, commanding silence, gave them permission to fight. Martin Antolinez engaged to meet Diego, Pero Bermuez was to combat with Ferrando, and Muño Gustioz challenged the brawler, Assur Gonzalez. agreed that the combat should be held at the end of three weeks in the vega of Carrion.

When all had been arranged to his satisfaction, the Cid took off his coif, and released his beard, and all the court wondered at him. Then he offered some of his wealth to all present, and, kissing the king's hand, besought him to take Babieca. But this the king refused to do: “ Babieca is for the like of you to keep the Moors off with. If I took him he would not have so good a lord.”

When the day for the combat arrived, the king himself went to Carrion to see that no treachery was used, and he said to the Infantes: “Ye have need to fight like men.

If ye come out successful, ye will receive great honor. If ye are vanquished, the fault will be on your own heads. Seek to do no wrong ; woe betide him who attempts it !”

Then the marshals placed the contestants in the lists and left them face to face. Each with his gaze fixed on the other, they rushed together and met midway of the lists.

It was

At the thrust of Pero's lance, Ferrando fell from his horse and yielded, as he saw the dread Tizon held over him. At the same time Diego fled from the sword of Martin Antolinez, and Muño Gustioz's lance pierced Assur Gonzalez, who begged him to hold his hand, since the Infantes were vanquished.

Thus the battle was won, and Don Roderick's champions gained the victory. Great was the sorrow in the house of Carrion ; but he who wrongs a noble lady deserves such suffering.

Rejoiced were they of Valencia when the champions brought home these tidings, and ere long, favored by Alfonso himself, the princes of Navarre and Aragon wooed my Cid's daughters, and were married to them with the most splendid nuptials. Now was the Cid happy, and happier still he grew as his honor increased, until upon the feast of Pentecost he passed away. The grace of Christ be upon him !




AFTER one of the victories over the Moors won by the Cid after his banishment by King Alfonso, he despatched a messenger to the king with a gift of thirty horses, and while awaiting his return, encamped in the Pine-wood of Tebar and levied tribute on the surrounding country. This information was conveyed to the Count of Barcelona, Raymond Berenger, who prepared to march against the intruder.

Great mustering there is of Moors and Christians through the land,
A mighty host of men-at-arms he hath at his command.
Two days, three nights, they march to seek the Good One of Bivar,
To snare him where he harbors in the Pine-wood of Tebar;
And such the speed of their advance, that, cumbered with his spoils,
And unaware, my Cid wellnigh was taken in the toils.
The tidings reached my Cid as down the sierra side he went,
Then straightway to Count Raymond he a friendly message sent:

“Say to the count that he, meseems, to me no grudge doth owe:
Of him I take no spoil, with him in peace I fain would go."
• Nay," said the count, "for all his deeds he hath to make amends :
This outlaw must be made to know whose honor he offends."
With utmost speed the messenger Count Raymond's answer brought;
Then of a surety knew my Cid a battle must be fought.
“Now, cavaliers," quoth he, “make safe the booty we have won.
Look to your weapons, gentlemen ; with speed your armor don.
On battle bent Count Raymond comes; a mighty host hath he
Of Moors and Christians; fight we must if hence we would go free.
Here let us fight our battle out, since fight we must perforce.
On with your harness, cavaliers, quick! saddle, and to horse !
Yonder they come, the linen breeks, all down the mountain side,
For saddles they have Moorish pads, with slackened girths they ride:
Our saddles are Galician make, our leggings tough and stout:
A hundred of us gentlemen should scatter such a rout.
Before they gain the level plain, home with the lance charge we,
And then, for every blow we strike, we empty saddles three.
Count Raymond Berenger shall know with whom he has to do;
And dearly in Tebar to-day his raid on me shall rue.”
In serried squadron while he speaks they form around my Cid.
Each grasps his lance, and firm and square each sits upon his steed.
Over against them down the hill they watch the Franks descend,
On to the level ground below, where plain and mountain blend.
Then gives my Cid the word to charge — with a good will they go:
Fast ply the lances; some they pierce, and some they overthrow.
And he that in a good hour was born soon hath he won the field;
And the Count Raymond Berenger he hath compelled to yield;
And reaping honor for his beard a noble prize hath made :
A thousand marks of silver worth, the great Colada blade.

Unto his quarters under guard the captive count he sent,
While his men haste to gather in their spoils in high content.
Then for my Cid Don Roderick a banquet they prepare ;
But little doth Count Raymond now for feast or banquet care.
They bring him meat and drink, but he repels them with disdain.
“No morsel will I touch," said he, "for all the wealth of Spain.
Let soul and body perish now; life why should I prolong,
Conquered and captive at the hands of such an ill-breeched throng ?
“ Nay," said my Cid; “take bread and wine; eat, and thou goest free;
If not, thy realms in Christendom thou never more shalt see."
“Go thou, Don Roderick,” said the Count, “eat if thou wilt, but I
Have no more lust for meat and drink: I only crave to die.”
Three days, while they the booty share, for all that they entreat,
The Count his purpose holds unchanged, refusing still to eat.
Then said my Cid, “I pray thee, Count, take food and trust to me;
Thyself and two knights of thy train I promise to set free.”
Glad was Count Raymond in his heart when he the promise heard
“A marvel that will be, my Cid, if thou dost keep thy word."

Then, Count, take food, and when I see thy hunger satisfied,
My word is pledged to let thee go, thyself and two beside.

« السابقةمتابعة »