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- Journeys Through Bookland - 4/71 -


king commanded him to knight nine noble squires with his own hand, and he took his sword before the altar and knighted them.

It was soon after this that there came to the king messengers from the Moors, whom Ruydiez had overpowered, all bringing him tribute and praising the generous treatment he had accorded them after his victory. At the same time they called him _Cid_, which meant _lord_, and from this time on by the king's orders Ruydiez vas called _The Cid_, because the Moors had so named him. To this name is added the word _Campeador_, which means _The Conqueror_.

The remaining incidents from the life of The Cid are taken directly from Southey's _Chronicle of the Cid_.

THE CID MAKES A BRAVE MAN OF A COWARD

Here the history relates that Martin Pelaez, the Asturian, came with a convoy of laden beasts, carrying provisions to the host of the Cid; and as he passed near the town the Moors sallied out in great numbers against him; but he, though he had few with him, defended the convoy right well, and did great hurt to the Moors, slaying many of them, and drove them into the town. This Martin Pelaez, who is here spoken of, did the Cid make a right good knight of a coward, as ye shall hear.

When the Cid first began to lay siege to the city of Valencia, this Martin Pelaez came unto him; he was a knight, a native of Santillana in Asturias, a hidalgo, great of body and strong of limb, a well-made man of goodly semblance, but withal a right coward at heart, which he had shown in many places when he was among feats of arms. And the Cid was sorry when he came unto him, though he would not let him perceive this; for he knew he was not fit to be of his company. Howbeit he thought that since he was come, he would make him brave, whether he would or not.

And when the Cid began to war upon the town, and sent parties against it twice and thrice a day, as ye have heard, for the Cid was alway upon the alert, there was fighting and tourneying every day. One day it fell out that the Cid and his kinsmen and friends and vassals were engaged in a great encounter, and this Martin Pelaez was well armed; and when he saw that the Moors and Christians were at it, he fled and betook himself to his lodging, and there hid himself till the Cid returned to dinner. And the Cid saw what Martin Pelaez did, and when he had conquered the Moors he returned to his lodging to dinner.

Now it was the custom of the Cid to eat at a high table, seated on his bench, at the head. And Don Alvar Faņez, and Pero Bermudez, and other precious knights, ate in another part, at high tables, full honourably, and none other knights whatsoever dared take their seats with them, unless they were such as deserved to be there; and the others who were not so approved in arms ate upon estrados, at tables with cushions. This was the order in the house of the Cid, and every one knew the place where he was to sit at meat, and every one strove all he could to gain the honour of sitting to eat at the table of Don Alvar Faņez and his companions, by strenuously behaving himself in all feats of arms; and thus the honour of the Cid was advanced. This Martin Pelaez, thinking that none had seen his badness, washed his hands in turn with the other knights, and would have taken his place among them.

And the Cid went unto him, and took him by the hand and said, "You are not such a one as deserves to sit with these, for they are worth more than you or than me; but I will have you with me:" and he seated him with himself at table.

And he, for lack of understanding, thought that the Cid did this to honour him above all the others.

On the morrow the Cid and his company rode towards Valencia, and the Moors came out to the tourney; and Martin Pelaez went out well armed, and was among the foremost who charged the Moors, and when he was in among them he turned the reins, and went back to his lodging; and the Cid took heed to all that he did, and saw that though he had done badly he had done better than the first day.

And when the Cid had driven the Moors into the town he returned to his lodging, and as he sat down to meat he took this Martin Pelaez by the hand, and seated him with himself, and bade him eat with him in the same dish, for he had deserved more that day than he had the first.

And the knight gave heed to that saying, and was abashed; howbeit he did as the Cid commanded him; and after he had dined he went to his lodging and began to think upon what the Cid had said unto him, and perceived that he had seen all the baseness which he had done; and then he understood that for this cause he would not let him sit at board with the other knights who were precious in arms, but had seated him with himself, more to affront him than to do him honour, for there were other knights there better than he, and he did not show them that honour. Then resolved he in his heart to do better than he had done heretofore.

Another day the Cid and his company and Martin Pelaez rode toward Valencia, and the Moors came out to the tourney full resolutely, and Martin Pelaez was among the first, and charged them right boldly; and he smote down and slew presently a good knight, and he lost there all the bad fear which he had had, and was that day one of the best knights there; and as long as the tourney lasted there he remained, smiting and slaying and overthrowing the Moors, till they were driven within the gates, in such manner that the Moors marveled at him, and asked where that devil came from, for they had never seen him before.

And the Cid was in a place where he could see all that was going on, and he gave good heed to him, and had great pleasure in beholding him, to see how well he had forgotten the great fear which he was wont to have. And when the Moors were shut up within the town, the Cid and all his people returned to their lodging, and Martin Pelaez full leisurely and quietly went to his lodging also, like a good knight.

[Illustration: MARTIN PELAEZ SLEW A GOOD KNIGHT]

And when it was the hour of eating, the Cid waited for Martin Pelaez; and when he came, and they had washed, the Cid took him by the hand and said, "My friend, you are not such a one as deserves to sit with me from henceforth, but sit you here with Don Alvar Faņez, and with these other good knights, for the good feats which you have done this day have made you a companion for them"; and from that day forward he was placed in the company of the good.

And the history saith that from that day forward this knight, Martin Pelaez, was a right good one, and a right valiant, and a right precious, in all places where he chanced among feats of arms, and he lived alway with the Cid, and served him right well and truly. And the history saith, that after the Cid had won the city of Valencia, on the day when they conquered and, discomfited the king of Seville, this Martin Pelaez was so good a one, that setting aside the body of the Cid himself, there was no such good knight there, nor one who bore such part, as well in the battle as in the pursuit. And so great was the mortality which he made among the Moors that day, that when he returned from the business the sleeves of his mail were clotted with blood, up to the elbow; insomuch that for what he did that day his name is written in this history, that it may never die.

And when the Cid saw him come in that guise, he did him great honour, such as he never had done to any knight before that day, and from thenceforward gave him a place in all his actions and in all his secrets, and he was his great friend. In this knight Martin Pelaez was fulfilled the example which saith, that he who betaketh himself to a good tree, hath good shade, and he who serves a good lord winneth good guerdon; for by reason of the good service which he did the Cid, he came to such good state that he was spoken of as ye have heard; for the Cid knew how to make a good knight, as a good groom knows how to make a good horse.

THE CID DEFEATS TWO MOORISH KINGS

And my Cid lay before Alcocer fifteen weeks; and when he saw that the town did not surrender, he ordered his people to break up their camp, as if they were flying, and they left one of their tents behind them, and took their way along the Salon, with their banners spread. And when the Moors saw this they rejoiced greatly, and there was a great stir among them, and they praised themselves for what they had done in withstanding him, and said that the Cid's bread and barley had failed him, and he had fled away, and left one of his tents behind him. And they said among themselves, "Let us pursue them and spoil them, for if they of Teruel should be before us, the honour and the profit will be theirs, and we shall have nothing." And they went out after him, great and little, leaving the gates open and shouting as they went; and there was not left in the town a man who could bear arms.

And when my Cid saw them coming he gave orders to quicken their speed, as if he was in fear, and would not let his people turn till the Moors were far enough from the town. But when he saw that there was a good distance between them and the gates, then he bade his banner turn, and spurred towards them, crying, "Lay on, knights, by God's mercy the spoil is our own." God! what a good joy was theirs that morning! My Cid's vassals laid on without mercy--in one hour, and in a little space, three hundred Moors were slain, and the Cid and Alvar Faņez had good horses and got between them and the castle, and stood in the gateway sword in hand, and there was a great mortality among the Moors; and my Cid won the place, and Pero Bermudez planted his banner upon the highest point of the castle. And the Cid said, "Blessed be God and all his saints, we have bettered our quarters both for horses and men."

And he said to Alvar Faņez and all his knights, "Hear me, we shall get nothing by killing these Moors; let us take them and they shall show us their treasures which they have hidden in their houses, and we will dwell here and they shall serve us." In this manner did my Cid win Alcocer, and take up his abode therein.

Much did this trouble the Moors of Teca, and it did not please those of Teruel, nor of Calatayud. And they sent to the king of Valencia to tell him that one who was called Ruydiez the Cid, whom King Don Alfonso had banished, was come into their country, and had taken Alcocer; and if a stop were not put to him, the king might look upon Teca and Teruel and Calatayud as lost, for nothing could stand against him, and he had plundered the whole country, along the Salon on the one side, and the Siloca on the other. When the king of Valencia, whose name was Alcamin, heard this, he was greatly troubled; and incontinently he spake unto two Moorish kings, who were his vassals, bidding them take three thousand horsemen, and all the men of the border, and bring the Cid to him alive, that he might make atonement to him for having entered his land.

Fariz and Galve were the names of these two Moorish kings and they set out with companies of King Alcamin from Valencia, and halted the first night in Segorve, and the second night at Celfa de Canal. And they sent their messengers through the land to all the Councils thereof, ordering all men at arms, as well horsemen as footmen, to join them, and the third night they halted at Calatayud, and great numbers joined them; and they came up against Alcocer, and pitched their tents round about


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