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Chronicle of the Cid: from the Spanish online

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remember what had been the cause of this thing, and do v^rith them as
he thought good. And Ruy Velasquez spake like a friend, to the end
that they might not suspect him.

^ Paflos de home muerto.

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Then Ruy Velasquez said to Gonzalo Gustios, Brother-law, this
marriage of mine hath put me to great cost, and the Count Don Garei
did not help me so much as I expected. Almanzor, a? you know,
sent me great help towards my charges ; if it please you, you shall
go to him, and take him letters of salutation, and tell him the heavy
costs I have been at ; and certes he will give you great gifts. And
Gonzalo Gustios answered that he was right willing to do his bidding,
and Ruy Velasquez went apart with a Moor who spake the Roman
tongue,* and wrote letters in Arabic ; and this was what the letter
said : To you, Almanzor, health, from me Ruy Velasquez ; know
that the sons of Gonzalo Gustios oif Salas, he who bringeth this letter,
have done great dishonor to me and to my wife, and I cannot revenge
myself upon them here in the land of the Christians. I send therefore
this their father unto you, that incontinently you may have his head
struck off. And I will draw out my people, and take his seven sons
with me, and will lodge with them at Almenar, and do you send
Viara and Galve with your host, and I will put them in your power.
And then do you strike off the heads of the seven Infantes my
nephews ; for when you shall have slain them, all the land of the
Christians will be at your will ; for know you that these knights are
greater enemies to you than any other whatsoever, and that in them
is the strength of Count Garci Ferrandez.

As soon as this letter was made, Ruy Velasquez killed the Moor
who had written it, least he should discover what had been done.
Meantime Gonzalo Gustios went to Salas, and Ruy Velasquez went
thither after him : and he said to his sister Doria Sancha, Don Gon-
zalo will return full rich from Cordova, if it please God ; he will
bring us such treasures that we shall be rich for ever. And he said
to Gonzalo Gustios, Brother-law, dispeed yourself of Dona Sancha,
for it is time ; and you and I will go sleep this night at Bivestre.
And they took horse, and they communed together great part of the
night. And on the morrow Ruy Velasquez gave him the letter, and
he not knowing the deceit took it, and went his way. And when he
came to Cordova he gave the letter to Almanzor, saying, Almanzor,
Ruy Velasquez greeteth you, and desireth that you will send him an
answer to what he hath said in his letter. And Almanzor took the
letter, and when he saw the enmity that was therein, he tore the let-
ter, and said unto Gonzalo Gustios, What is this which thou hast
brought me ? And he answered that he knew not. And Almanzor
said unto him. Know then that Ruy Velasquez sends to bid me strike
off thy head ; but I will not do this ; nevertheless I must put thee in
prison. And he did so ; and he gave charge to an honorable Moorish
woman that she should keep him and serve him well ; and it came to
pass that this Moor and Don Gonzalo loved each other.

' Moro ladino,

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Now when Ruy Velasquez had thus sent Gonzalo Gustios to CJor-
dova, he spake with his nephews the seven Infantes, and said to them,
I hold it good, while your father is gone to Almanzor, that we make
an inroad towards Almenar ; if it please you to go with me, I shall
rejoice in your company ; but if it be otherwise, then do you tarry
and guard the land. And they said unto him, Don Rodrigo, it is not
fitting that you should go forth, with the host, and we tarry behind.
And he said. Make ready then, and ye shall go with me. And then
Ruy Velasquez sent through all the land, bidding those who would go
forth with him, to make ready, and jom him. And when the people
heard that he would go forth, they were full joyful, and many came
unto him, for this Ruy Velasquez was a man who had good fortune
in the inroads which he made. And when Ruy Velasquez saw that
they were more than enough, he sent to bid his nephews come after
him, for he would wait for them in the plain of Febros ; and inconti-
nently he sallied from Barvadiello with his people, and went his way.
And the seven Infantes set forth to follow him ; and when they came
to a grove of pines which was upon the way, they looked for omens,
and lull evil ones they had. And Nufio SaJido was greatly troubled
at these omens, seeing them so bad, and he said to the Infantes that
they should return to Salas, for it was not fitting to go on with omens
such as those. And Gonzalo Gonzalez, the youngest of the seven
brethren, said imlo him, Don Nufio Salido, this which you say is
nought, . . for they are not for us, but for him who hath gathered
together the host, and goeth as their leader. But do you, who are
now an old man, and full of years, and no longer fit for battle, turn
back, for we will go on with our uncle Ruy Velasquez. And Nunc
Salido answered, My sons, verily I speak truth, and it grieveth me to
the heart that ye will go in this inroad, for I see such omens that we
shall never return to our own homes. And Gonzalo Gonzalez an-
swered. Hold thy peace Don Nufio, and say no more, for we will not
believe you whatever you may say. And Nuno Salido said, Sorely
doth it trouble me that ye will not believe what I say ; but since it is
so, I will take my leave of ye now, for I know full well that I shall
never see ye more. Then Nuiio Salido turned back, and the Infantes
went their way. But as Nufio Sahdo went along, he thought that he
was doing ill in thus forsaking those whom he had bred up so many
years, for the fear of death : and he said within himself. Far better
doth it become me to go wherever death may find me, than them,
who are yet young men, and should have long life before them.
Moreover, if they should die there, Ruy Velasquez would slay mc
when he returned, and it would even be suspected that I had taken
counsel for their death ; . . and this would be an evil fame for me,
and I who have been honored in my youth, should be put to shame
in my old age. And with that he turned again towards the Infantes,
and went after them.

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When the seven Infantes came to Febros, Ruy Velasquez went oi^t
to meet them, and he asked for Nuno Sahdo, wherefore he came not
with them. And they told him what had past concerning the omens.
And when Ruy Velasquez heard it, he said unto them with fair words,
but lying ones. My nephews, these omens were right good ones, for
they give us to understand that we shall make great spoil of the
goods of another, and lose none of our own ; Nuno Salido hath done
ill in not coming with ye, and God send that he may one day repent
of it. While they were thus communing Nuiio Salido came up, and
the Infantes welcomed him with good cheer. And Ruy Velasquez
said unto him, Don Nuno Salido, you have alway been my enemy ip
all that you could ; and you are so at this time ; but greatly will it
grieve me, if I shall not be righted upon you. Nuiio Salido answer-
ed, Don Rodrigo, I have never dealt falsely, nor as an enemy towards
you, but alway like a true man ; and I say imto you, that, whosoever
saith the omens which we have seen are good, and promise gain to
us, Ueth with great treason. He said nothing amiss in this, for they
had contrived treason : and he said it because he knew what Ruy
Velasquez had spoken. And when Ruy Velasquez heard these
words, he held hirnself greatly dishonored, and he said to his vassals,
In an evil day do I give ye your pay, since ye see me thus dishonor-
ed by Nuiio Salido, and do not right me upon him ! When one of
his luiights heard this, he took a sword, and went to strike Nuno Sap
lido ; but when Gonzalo Gonzalez beheld him, he went up to him,
and gave him such a blow that he laid him at the feet of Ruy Velas-
quez. And Ruy Velasquez in his anger cried aloud, and called for
arms that he might revenge himself upon his nephew. And the In-
fantes and Nuno Salido drew apart, with two hundred knights of
their company, for they well perceived that Ruy Velasquez, desired
to be revenged upon them ; and the others drew up their battle, and
they did the like, one against the other. And Gonzalo Gonzalez said
unto Ruy Velasquez, What is this ? why hast thou brought us from
our own land to go against the Moors, if it be thy wish that we should
slay each other here ? And Ruy Velasquez saw that it was not the
time to take vengeance as he desired, and he said that Gonzalo Gon-
zalez had spoken well, and that he was well pleased with what he
bad said, and thus they were all friends.

So when there was love between them again, they moved from thence
and went towards Almena, and Ruy Velasquez placed himself in am-
bush with all his people, and ordered the Lifantes to scour the coun-
try, for he had sent to the Moors to bid them drive their flocks out
that dav. And when the Infantes were about to do his bidding, their
foster-wther Nuiio said unto them, Do not my sons go to take the
spoil yet, for if ye will tarry awhile, ye will see many more Moors
and more flocks. While they were thus talking they saw more than
t&a thousand appear with their ensigns and pennons. And Goqzalo

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Gonzalez said to Ruy Velasquez, Don Rodrigo, what are yonder
banners which rise up ? And Ruy Velasquez said, Fear not, for I
have scoured this country three times and borne away great
spoil and never yet found Moor to hinder me, and those Moors
when they knew it came here with their ensigns and standards, as
you now see them ; therefore I say unto you, fear not, and scoinr the
country as far as you will, for if need be, which I know it will not, I
will succor ye. Now all these words were full of deceit and false-
hood ; and when he had said this, he went aside, and rode off privily
to the Moors, and told them to strive and do battle with the seven
Infantes, for there were no more than two hundred knights who
would help them, and by all means devise to slay them aU, so that
not one should escape alive. But Nufio Salido rode after Ruy
Velasquez, for he saw him go to the Moors, and when he heard this
he began to cry aloud and say, Ah traitor, how hast thou betrayed
thy nephews to death ! God give thee an evil guerdon, for as long as
the world shall last thy treason shall be talked of ! And when he had
said this, he rode back to the Infantes as fast as he could, and said to
them. To arms my sons, for your uncle Ruy Valasquez and the Moors
are of one consent, and have taken counsel together to slay you. When
the Infantes heard this they armed themselves as fast as they could.
And the Moors being many more in number, made fifteen battal-
ions, and went against the Infantes and hemmed them round about
And then Nufio Salido began to hearten them, saying. Take courage
my sons and fear not, for the omens which I said were evil, are not
so ; they will prove good ones : and they gave us to know that we
should get the victory, and win something from our enemies. I will
go smite that foremost body, and from henceforth, I commend you to
God. And with that he went against the Moors and slew many of
them ; but as they were many in number, they came upon him, and
hemmed him in on all sides, and slew him there. And there they
joined battle one with the other, and there the Christians fought with
such good heart, that they slew many more than they were them-
selves ; but all the two himdred knights of the Infantes were slain, so
that none were left alive, save only the seven brethren, with none to
help them. And when they saw that there was no remedy but to
conquer or die, they commended themselves to God, and called upon
the Apostle Santiago, and attacked the Moors, and so bravely they
attacked them, and slew so many, that there was not a Moor who
dared stand before them ; nevertheless the Moors were so many, and
they so few, that they could no longer withstand them. And Ferran
Gonzalez said then to his brethren. Let us take courage and fight
with a good heart, for we have none but God to help us, and since
we have lost our foster-father Nufio Salido and our knights, it behoves
us to revenge them here, or die with them ; and if we should be
wearied, let us get upon the point of this sierra, and take Inreath.

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With that they fell upon the Moors again, and fought so bravely that
they slew many, but at last Ferran Gonzalez was slain. And the In-
fantes feeling themselves weary, strove to make way through the
Moors, and they got to the point which they had spoken of. And
then they cleaned away the dust from their faces ; and when they
could not see their brother Ferran Gonzalez they had great sorrow,
for they well knew that he was either slain, or taken.

Then the Infantes accorded, that they would ask a truce of Viara
and Gtilve, till they could let their imcle Ruy Velasquez know in
what stead they were, if he would succor them or not. And they did
thus. And the Moors willingly granted it, and then they sent Diego
Gonzalez to Ruy Velasquez. And Diego Velasquez said unto hun
what he was charged to say ; and when Ruy Velasquez had heard
him he made answer, I know not what thou sayest. Then Diego
Gonzalez said unto hun again, Let it be your pleasure to help us,
for the Moors have slain your nephew Ferran Gonzalez, and our two
hundred knights ; . . and if you would not do it for our sakes, do it
for God's sake, and because we are Christians, and countrymen of
Castille. But Ruy Velasquez made answer, Friend, go thy way, and
good luck with thee ; . . thinkest thou that I have forgotten the shame
which ye did me at Burgos, at my marriage, when ye slew Alvar
Sanchez ; and what ye did to my wife Doiia Lambra, when ye slew
the man before her ; and the knight whom ye slew at Febros ? be
good knights and think of defending yourselves how ye can, for in
me ye are to have no trust. When Diego Gonzalez saw this he de-
parted, and went to his brethren and told them all that their uncle
had said.

Now while they were in this tribulation, seeing themselves alone
and without help, God put it in the heart of some of those Christians
who were with Ruy Velasquez, to go and succor them. And about
a thousand knights went out from his company to help them ; and
when this was told to him he went after them, and made them turn
back, saying, Friends, suffer ye my nephews to display themselves in
battle, for I should go to succor them if need were. And with that
they drew back, greatly against their will, for they well saw that there
was treason in this matter. But when they were come back to their
post, they went out by threes and by fours, privily. Full three hun-
dred knights were they who thus gathered together in one place, and
they made a vow that he should be held for a traitor, who did not go
and stand by the Infantes for life or for death ; and that if peradven-
ture Ruy Velasquez should again attempt to turn them back, they
would slay him without delay. Incontinently when they had done
this, they pricked forward as last as they could. And the Infantes,
when they saw them coming towards them, thought that Ruy Velas-
quez came to slay them : but the knights, when they drew nigh, cried
aloud and said. Infantes, fear not, for we come to succor you, and to

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live or die with you ; for it is plain that your unde Buy Velasquez is
greatly desirous of your death. And if peradventure we should es-
cape from hence alive, we beseech you plight your faith to us thai
you will defend us against him ; . . and the Infantes promised them
this which they desired. And when they had done this they went
against the Moors, and then began between them so fierce, and so
grievous, and so desperate, and so cruel a battle, that never man
beard tell of a greater, the Christians being so few : and so great
was the mortahty which they made among the Moors before any one
of them died, that more than two thousand Moors were destroyed,
as the history relateth. Howbeit, at the end these three hundred
who came to help the Infantes were slain. And the Infantes were
now so over- worn with fighting, that they could not command thek
arms to strike with the sword. And when Viara and Galve saw
them thus wearied they had compassion upon them, and went to them
to take them out of the press, and took them to their tents, and had
them disarmed, and ordered bread and wine to be given them.

But when Ruy Velasquez knew this he went to Viara and Gralve,
and told them that they did ill in leaving such men as those ahve,
and that they would fare ill in so doing ; for if they escaped he
could not return again to Caslille ; and that he would go forthwith
to Cordova, and there cause them to be put to death for what they
had done : and the Moors when they heard this were full sorrowfuL
And Gonzalo Gonzalez said. Fake traitor, thou broughtest us here
to bring down the enemies of the faith, and now thou teUest them to
slay us ; but may God never forgive thee for this thing which thou
hast done against us ! And Viara and Galve said then to the In-
fantes, We know not what to do in this matter ; for if Ruy Velasquez
your uncle should go to Cordova as he says, and turn Moor there,
and Almanzor give him all his power, he would do us great evil for
this. And since it is so we must place you again in the field from
which we took you, for you plainly see that we can do no otherwise.
And they did accordingly. And the Moors, when they saw the In-
fantes in the field, beat their tambours, and came at them as thick as
the rain when it falls, and they began a crueller battle than any of the
former, . . but though all the six Infantes stood by each other hkc
one man, and fought right well and courageously, yet the Moors
were so many that they could not bear up against them, and they
were so wearied with fighting that they could not stir from the place,
nor their horses with them : and even if they would have fought,
they had neither swords nor other arms, for all were broken and lost
And the Moors, when they saw them without arms, slew their horses,
and took them ; and stript off their armor, and struck off their heads
one by one, in order according to their birth, before the eyes of their
imcle Ruy Velasquez. But when Gonzalo Gonzalez, who was the
younger of them all, saw all his brethren lying headless before hin^

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he took heart with the grief which he resented, and went against the
Moor who had beheaded them, and gave him so great a blow in the
throat that he laid him dead upon the ground, and caught up the
sword which he had used, and slew therewith more than twenty
Moors who were round about him, as the history relateth. Never-
theless the Moors took him, and smote off his head thereright. And
when they were all slain as you have heard, Ruy Velasquez dispeeded
himself from the Moors, and returned home. And the Moors took
the heads of the seven Infantes, and of Nuno Salido their fost^
father, and went with them to Cordova.

When Viara and Galve reached Cordova, they went to Almanzor^
and presented unto him the heads of the seven Infantes, and of Nuno
Salido. And Almanzor, when he saw them, made semblance as if
he were greatly grieved that they had slain them thus, and gave
order that the blood with which they were smeared should be washed
off with wine. And after they had been washed, he had a white
sheet spread in the palace, and the heads were placed thereon, in
order, according to the order of their birth, and that of Nuno Salido
apart from them, at the end. And Almanzor went to the prison
where Gonzalo Gustios, the father of the Infantes, lay prisoner, and
he said unto him. How fares it with thee, Gonzalo Gustios ? And
he made answer and said. Even Sir as it please th you ; and glad am
I that you come here, for I well know that this day you will show me
favor, and order me to be taken out from hence, seeing you have
come to see me ; for this is your custom, that when the Lord goeth
to visit his prisoner, incontinently he giveth command that he should
be set free. And Almanzor said unto him, I sent my host into the
land of Castille, and they did their battle with the Christians in the
plain of Almenar, and the Christians were vanquished : and they
have brought me here eight heads, the seven are young, and the
other is of an old man ; and I will take thee out that thou mayest see
if thou knowest them, for my Adalides say that they were natives of
the straits of Lara. Gonzalo Gustios answered. When I see them,
I will tell thee who they are, or of what place, or of what lineage, for
verily there is not a knight in all Castille but is known to me. And
Almanzor gave order that he should be taken out, and went with him
to the place where the heads were laid. And when Gonzalo Gustios
saw them and knew them, so exceeding great was his sorrow that he
fell upon the ground like a dead man, and they thought that he had
past away from this life ; and he lay thus a long while, and when he
came to himself, he began to lament so bitterly that it was marvel-
lous to hear him. And he said to Almanzor, I know these heads full
well, for they are my children's, the seven Infantes of Salas, and this
other one is Nufio Salido's, who fostered them. And when he had
said, he began again to make his lamentation full dolorously, so that
there was not a man who could have seen him without great oompa»-

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sion, or have stood by and borne it without weeping. And he Xock
up the heads one by one, and talked to them, recounting to each
the good feats which he had achieved. And in his strong agony, he
took up a sword which he saw in the hall, and slew with it seven
guards there right before Almanzor ; and the Moors closed in with
him, so that he could do no more, and then he earnestly prayed Al-
manzor to put him to death, for he would hever die than live : but
Almanzor, for the pity which he resented for him, commanded them
to do him no hurt.

Now when Gonzalo Gustios was in this great sorrow, and lament-
ing as ye have heard, the Moorish woman who guarded him, as ye
have been told, came in, and said unto him. Take heart. Sir Don
Gonzalo, and cease to lament ; I had thirteen sons, all of them good
knights, and such was my fortune and theirs, that all thirteen were
slain from me in battle in one day ; howbeit I did not fail to take
comfort ; . . how much more then should you who are a knight ?
For it is not by lamenting all your life long that you could recover
your sons, and what doth it profit you to destroy yourself ? And
Almanzor said, God knows, Gonzalo Gustios, that I have great ruth
for this evil and breaking down which hath come upon thee, and I
will release thee from prison, and give thee all of which thou hast
need, and also the heads of thy children. Go thy way to thine own
country, and to thy wife Doiia Sancha, for it is long since she hath
seen thee. Then Gonzalo Gustios answered, God requite thee for
the goodness which thou showest me, and peradventure the time may
come when I shall do you service in return. . . And the Moorish
woman who had guarded him, took him apart and said. Sir Don
Gonzalo, I am great with child by you ; tell me therefore what I
shall do. And he made answer. If it shall be a boy, give him two
nurses who will breed him up right well ; and when he is of age to
know good and evil, tell him he is my son, and send him to me at
Salas. And when he had said this, he took a ring from his finger,
and brake it in half, and gave her the one half, saying. Keep you
this half ring for a token ; and when the boy is grown up, give it
him that he may bring it unto me, and thereby I shall know him. And
when Don Gonzalo had done this, he dispeeded himself from Alman-
zor and the other chiefs, and went to Salas.

Not many days after his departure the Moorish woman brought
forth a son, and Almanzor appointed two nurses who should breed
him up, and they named him Mudarra Gonzalez. And when he
grew to be ten years of age, Almanzor made him a knight, for he
loved him well ; for it is said that the Moor whose son he was,
was Almanzor's sister : and moreover he loved him because he saw
that he proved good, and was of good understanding, and good cus-
toms, and right hardy in all things that beseemed his years. And on
the day that Almanzor made him a knight, he knighted two hundred

Online LibraryRobert SoutheyChronicle of the Cid: from the Spanish → online text (page 36 of 43)