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the Cid, and next to him in renown; Rodrigo Frojaz was a nobleman of Galicia, and had received very ill treatment from his sovereign Don Garcia, to whom nevertheless he continued to devote his honour and his life.
'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 Lora; 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 in that encounter, and many the men. Now my Cid had not yet come up into the field.
'Now Don Rodrigo Frojaz, and his brother, 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 bráve words. The press of the battle was here; here died Gonzalo de Sies a right valiant Portuguese on the part of Don Garcia, but on Don Sancho's part the Count Don Nuño was sorely wounded, and thrown from his horse; and Count Don Garcia Ordonez, 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 hav
ing received many new ones he lost much blood, and perceiving that his strength was failing, he sent to call the King Don Garcia, 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 Rodri go 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 had gained, and the honour which he leayeth to his descen dants, 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 poor Portuguese, who with so good a will have put their lives upon a hazard to serve you, and in all things follow their counsel, and you will not err therein, Hav, ang 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 crass 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 most worthy knights of the world, Don Rodrigo Frojaz. In all the conquests which king Don Fernando had made from the Moors of Por tugal, 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,
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 he 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 light; and he took the horses of the two whom he had smote down, and gave one to the king and mounted the other him, self, 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 Castilians, and let us not lose it this day. And about fourhundred 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 pennow. And when king Don Sancho beheld it his heart rejoiced, and he said, now let us descend into the plain, for he of good ortune 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 fortu hate one cometh. And the king went down to him and welcomed him right joyfully, saying, in happy time you are come, my fortu nate 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.
By this time king Don Garcia 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 and in the end, the Galegos and Portuguese were discomfited, and the king Don Garcia 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.'(P. 44.)
The remainder of the history of Don Sancho presents almost as good a lesson for ambition as the life of Charles the twelfth of Sweden. After the conquest of Galicia, he turn ed his arms against his second brother, Alonzo king of Leon, whom he compelled to seek refuge with Alimaymon the Moorish king of Toledo. But, ill satisfied with all his acquisitions, as long as any thing remained to be acquired, he lastly embarked his honour on the pitiful enterprise of wresting from his sister, Donna Uracca, the single town of Zamora, which had been assigned as her portion by the last will of King Ferdinand their father. Before this place he perished, in the year 1073, in the 8th of his reign, by the hand of an obscure assassin named Vellido Dolfos.
During the whole of these transactions, we hear little of my Cid' except indeed on a certain occasion, in which he rescued the king from the most imminent danger by opposing himself singly to thirteen armed assailants, of whom he slew eleven. This anecdote will probably be ranked in the same class with the miracle of the leper. Butthe infrequency of the
Cid's appearance is accounted for in a way very honourable to himself,since it is apparent that he disapproved altogether of the ambitious designs of his sovereign. He was with the army, however, on the occasion of Sancho's assassination, and pursued the murderer, who nevertheless reached Zamora in safety, because the Cid, in his too great haste to overtake him, had forgot to buckle on his spurs, on which occasion he uttered a portentous anathema; cursed be the knight who ever gets on horseback without his spurs!"
Of the residence of Don Alonso, at the court of Alimay mon, some very interesting particulars are related, illustrative of the rude hospitality of the times, and the magnifi cence of a Moorish court. The story of his pretended sleep in order to overhear the dialogue between Alimaymon and his favourites respecting the defensibility of Toledo, has been copied into every Spanish history, and is certainly by no means improbable in itself, but it presents, together with the further circumstance of Alonso's equivocal oath, (by which, in swearing perpetual amity to Alimaymon and his sons, he reserved the right of disturbing his grandson, when, and as often as he should feel inclined,) a very curious, example of the total want of a sense of common honesty, so frequently observable in the transactions of the dark ages, especially where a misbeliever is party to the contract. Another instance of the same sort occurs in the conduct of the Cid himself, who, when in banishment, being reduced to great distress, takes up money of two Jews of Burgos,on the security of two trunks, full of imagined treasure but of real sand. This is a trick worthy of Gil Blas, or of that more ac complished swindler, Don Raphael himself; and it requires a tolerably intimate acquaintance with the true character of the ages of chivalry,not to start with surprise at finding such an action ascribed to the most honourable knight in Christendom.
The death of Don Sancho did not put an immediate stop to the calamities of the people of Zamora and the third book of the history opens with a very particular account(well worthy of notice for the insight which it affords into some of the customs of the age, of the impeachment' of the town for harbouring the murderer,and of the combat undertaken on the occasion, by Diego Ordoñez, the challenger, singly against five of Donna Urraca's champions. Nor is what follows at all less interesting with respect to the oath of purgation, which Don Alonso was obliged to take previous to the admission of his claims on the succession to the crown, for the purpose of clearing himself from suspicions which appear to have been strongly entertained of his being
accessary to the murder. On this occasion the conduct of the Cid gave very great offence to the king; which, it seems, he did not cordially forgive till many years after, when the personal conquests of that hero had rendered him equal in power to any sovereign prince in Spain, and it became a matter of prudence, or even necessity to keep him in his allegiance to the crown of Castile.
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, 66 If ye knew of this thing, or gave command that it should be done, may you die even such a death as your brother Don Sancho, by the hand of a vil-, lain whom you trust, one who is not a hidalgo, from another land, not a Castilian ;" and the king and the knights who were with him, said, Amen. And the king's colour changed; and the Cid repeated the oath to him a second time, and the king and the twelve knights said Amen in like manner, and in like manner the countenance of the king 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 to morrow thou wilt kiss my hand." And from that day forward, there was no love towards my Cid, in the heart of the king.'
The new monarch had not long to wait for an opportunity of venting the ill humour thus conceived against the champion of the crown. The immediate cause of his banishment is not worth relating; but some circumstances attending his departure are so very interesting, that, notwithstanding the amplitude of our extracts already made, we cannot refrain from giving them in this place. As soon as his sentence had been pronounced,
'The Cid sent for all his friends and his kinsmen and vassals, and told them how King Don Alonso had banished him from the land, and asked of them, who would follow him into banishment, and who
*These twelve knights answer in a remarkable manner to the Compurgators' of our old Saxon law. We do not find that Mr. Southey has observed this resemblance; but the reader will find in his notes, some good illustrations of the Spanish laws in this respect.