The heroic story of the King Arthur, or the Roland, of the Spaniards, less mythical but no less interesting. Robert Southey's 'Chronicle of the Cid' is all translation from the Spanish, but is not translation from a single book. Its groundwork is that part of the Cronica General de Espana, the most ancient of the Prose Chronicles of Spain, in which adventures of the Cid are fully told. This old Chronicle was compiled in the reign of Alfonso the Wise, who was learned in the exact science of his time, and also a troubadour. Alfonso reigned between the years 1252 and 1284, and the Chronicle was written by the King himself, or under his immediate direction.
Chronicle Of The Cid(p.navPoint-1)
I. King Don Ferrando succeeded to the states of Castille after the death of his father King Don Sancho el Mayor, in the era 1072, which was the year of the Incarnation 1034, and from the coming of the Patriarch Tubal to settle in Spain 3197, and from the general deluge 3339, and from the creation of the world 4995, according to the computation of the Hebrews, and from the beginning of the false sect of the Moors 413. And in the year 1037 Ferrando slew Bermudo the King of Leon in battle, who was his wife’s brother, and conquered his kingdom, and succeeded to it in right of his wife Doña Sancha. So he was the first person who united the states of Castille and Leon, and the first who was called King of Castille; for till this time the lords of that country had been called Counts. He was a good king, and one who judged justly and feared God, and was bold in all his doings. Before he reigned he had by Doña Sancha his wife the Infanta Doña Urraca, his eldest daughter, who was a right excellent lady, of good customs and bounty and beauty; and after her he had the Infante Don Sancho, his eldest son and heir; and then the Infanta Doña Elvira, whom after the death of the King her father, her brother King Don Alfonso married to the Count Don Garci de Cabra. And after he became King he had the Infante Don Alfonso, and the Infante Don Garcia, who was the youngest of all. And he put his sons to read, that they might be of the better understanding, and he made them take arms, and be shown how to demean themselves in battle, and to be huntsmen. And he ordered that his daughters should be brought up in the studies beseeming dames, so that they might be of good customs, and instructed in devotion and in all things which it behoved them to know.(p.navPoint-6)
I. The history relates how after the death of King Don Ferrando, the three Kings his sons reigned each in his kingdom, according to the division made by their father, who had divided that which should all by right have descended to the King Don Sancho. Now the Kings of Spain were of the blood of the Goths, which was a fierce blood, for it had many times come to pass among the Gothic Kings, that brother had slain, brother upon this quarrel; from this blood was King Don Sancho descended, and he thought that it would be a reproach unto him if he did not join together the three kingdoms under his own dominion, for he was not pleased with what his father had given him, holding that the whole ought to have been his. And he went through the land setting it in order, and what thing soever his people asked at his hand that did he grant them freely, to the end that he might win their hearts.(p.navPoint-8)
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.(p.navPoint-10)