Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada
Part 9 out of 9
for Boabdil and his immediate family and friends. Another caracca
and two galliots received a number of faithful adherents, amounting,
it is said, to eleven hundred and thirty, who followed their prince
A crowd of his former subjects witnessed his embarkation. As the
sails were unfurled and swelled to the breeze, and the vessel
bearing Boabdil parted from the land, the spectators would fain have
given him a farewell cheering; but the humbled state of their once
proud sovereign forced itself upon their minds, and the ominous
surname of his youth rose involuntarily to their tongues: "Farewell,
Boabdil! Allah preserve thee, 'El Zogoybi!'" burst spontaneously
from their lips. The unlucky appellation sank into the heart of the
expatriated monarch, and tears dimmed his eyes as the snowy
summits of the mountains of Granada gradually faded from his view.
He was received with welcome at the court of his relative, Muley
Ahmed, caliph of Fez, the same who had treated El Zagal with such
cruelty in his exile. For thirty-four years he resided in this court,
treated with great consideration, and built a palace or alcazar at
Fez, in which, it is said, he endeavored to emulate the beauties and
delights of the Alhambra.
The last we find recorded of him is in the year 1536, when he
followed the caliph to the field to repel the invasion of two
brothers of the famous line of the Xerifes, who at the head of
Berber troops had taken the city of Morocco and threatened Fez.
The armies came in sight of each other on the banks of the Guadal
Hawit, or river of slaves, at the ford of Balcuba. The river was deep,
the banks were high and broken, and the ford could only be passed
in single file; for three days the armies remained firing at each other
across the stream, neither venturing to attempt the dangerous ford.
At length the caliph divided his army into three battalions: the
command of the first he gave to his brother-in-law and to Aliatar,
son of the old alcayde of Loxa; another division he commanded
himself; and the third, composed of his best marksmen, he put
under the command of his son, the prince of Fez, and Boabdil, now
a gray-haired veteran. The last mentioned column took the lead,
dashed boldly across the ford, scrambled up the opposite bank, and
attempted to keep the enemy employed until the other battalions
should have time to cross. The rebel army, however, attacked them
with such fury that the son of the king of Fez and several of the
bravest alcaydes were slain upon the spot; multitudes were driven
back into the river, which was already crowded with passing troops.
A dreadful confusion took place; the horse trampled upon the foot;
the enemy pressed on them with fearful slaughter; those who escaped
the sword perished by the stream; the river was choked by the dead
bodies of men and horses and by the scattered baggage of the army.
In this scene of horrible carnage fell Boabdil, truly called El Zogoybi,
or the Unlucky--an instance, says the ancient chronicler, of the
scornful caprice of fortune, dying in defence of the kingdom of
another after wanting spirit to die in defence of his own.*
*Marmol, Descrip. de Africa, p. 1, 1. 2, c. 40; idem, Hist. Reb. de
los Moros, lib. 1, c. 21.
The aspersion of the chronicler is more caustic than correct. Boabdil
never showed a want of courage in the defence of Granada, but he
wanted firmness and decision: he was beset from the first by
perplexities, and ultimately by the artifices of Ferdinand and the
treachery of those in whom he most confided.*
*In revising this account of the ultimate fortunes of Boabdil the
author has availed himself of facts recently brought out in
Alcantara's History of Granada, which throw strong lights on
certain parts of the subject hitherto covered with obscurity.
ZORAYA, THE STAR OF THE MORNING.
Notwithstanding the deadly rivalship of this youthful sultana with
Ayxa la Horra, the virtuous mother of Boabdil, and the disasters
to which her ambitious intrigues gave rise, the placable spirit of
Boabdil bore her no lasting enmity. After the death of his father
he treated her with respect and kindness, and evinced a brotherly
feeling toward her sons Cad and Nazar. In the capitulations for
the surrender of Granada he took care of her interests, and the
possessions which he obtained for her were in his neighborhood in
the valleys of the Alpuxarras. Zoraya, however, under the influence
of Queen Isabella, returned to the Christian faith, the religion of
her infancy, and resumed her Spanish name of Isabella. Her two sons,
Cad and Nazar, were baptized under the names of Don Fernando and
Don Juan de Granada, and were permitted to take the titles of infantas
or princes. They intermarried with noble Spanish families, and the
dukes of Granada, resident in Valladolid, are descendants of Don
Juan (once Nazar), and preserve to the present day the blazon of
their royal ancestor, Muley Abul Hassan, and his motto, Le Galib ile
Ala, God alone is conqueror.
FATE OF ABEN COMIXA.
An ancient chronicle which has long remained in manuscript, but has
been published of late years in the collection of Spanish historical
documents,* informs us of the subsequent fortunes of the perfidious
Aben Comixa. Discarded and despised by Boabdil for his treachery,
he repaired to the Spanish court, and obtained favor in the eyes of
the devout queen Isabella by embracing the Christian religion, being
baptized under her auspices with the name of Don Juan de Granada.
He even carried his zeal for his newly-adopted creed so far as to
become a Franciscan friar. By degrees his affected piety grew cool
and the friar's garb became irksome. Taking occasion of the sailing
of some Venetian galleys from Almeria, he threw off his religious habit,
embarked on board of one of them, and crossed to Africa, where he
landed in the dress of a Spanish cavalier.
*Padilla, Cronica de Felipe el Hermosa, cap. 18, y 19, as cited
In a private interview with Abderraman, the Moorish king of Bujia,
he related his whole history, and declared that he had always been
and still was at heart a true Mahometan. Such skill had he in
inspiring confidence that the Moorish king took him into favor and
appointed him governor of Algiers. While enjoying his new dignity a
Spanish squadron of four galleys, under the celebrated count Pedro
de Navarro, anchored in the harbor in 1509. Aben Comixa paid the
squadron a visit of ceremony in his capacity of governor, gave the
count repeated fetes, and in secret conversations with him laid open
all the affairs of the king of Bujia, and offered, if the count should
return with sufficient force, to deliver the city into his hands and
aid him in conquering the whole territory. The count hastened back
to Spain and made known the proposed treachery to the Cardinal
Ximenes, then prime minister of Spain. In the following month of
January he was sent with thirty vessels and four thousand soldiers
to achieve the enterprise. The expedition of Navarro was successful.
He made himself master of Bujia and seized in triumph on the royal
palace, but he found there the base Aben Comixa weltering in his
blood and expiring under numerous wounds. His treachery had
been discovered, and the vengeance of the king of Bujia had closed
his perfidious career.
DEATH OF THE MARQUES OF CADIZ.
The renowned Roderigo Ponce de Leon, marques-duke of Cadiz, was
unquestionably the most distinguished among the cavaliers of Spain
for his zeal, enterprise, and heroism in the great crusade of Granada.
He began the war by the capture of Alhama; he was engaged in
almost every inroad and siege of importance during its continuance;
and was present at the surrender of the capital, the closing scene
of the conquest. The renown thus acquired was sealed by his
death, which happened in the forty-eighth year of his age, almost
immediately at the close of his triumphs and before a leaf of his
laurels had time to wither. He died at his palace in the city of
Seville on the 27th day of August, 1492, but a few months after
the surrender of Granada, and of an illness caused by exposures and
fatigues undergone in this memorable war. That honest chronicler,
Andres Bernaldez, the curate of Los Palacios, who was a contemporary
of the marques, draws his portrait from actual knowledge and
observation. He was universally cited (says he) as the most perfect
model of chivalrous virtue of the age. He was temperate, chaste, and
rigidly devout, a benignant commander, a valiant defender of his
vassals, a great lover of justice, and an enemy to all flatterers,
liars, robbers, traitors, and poltroons.
His ambition was of a lofty kind: he sought to distinguish himself
and his family by heroic and resounding deeds, and to increase the
patrimony of his ancestors by the acquisition of castles, domains,
vassals, and other princely possessions. His recreations were
all of a warlike nature; he delighted in geometry as applied to
fortifications, and spent much time and treasure in erecting and
repairing fortresses. He relished music, but of a military kind--the
sound of clarions and sackbuts, of drums and trumpets. Like a true
cavalier, he was a protector of the sex on all occasions, and an
injured woman never applied to him in vain for redress. His prowess
was so well known, and his courtesy to the fair, that the ladies of
the court, when they accompanied the queen to the wars, rejoiced to
find themselves under his protection; for wherever his banner was
displayed the Moors dreaded to adventure. He was a faithful and
devoted friend, but a formidable enemy; for he was slow to forgive,
and his vengeance was persevering and terrible.
The death of this good and well-beloved cavalier spread grief and
lamentation throughout all ranks. His relations, dependants, and
companions-in-arms put on mourning for his loss, and so numerous
were they that half of Seville was clad in black. None, however,
deplored his death more deeply and sincerely than his friend and
chosen companion Don Alonso de Aguilar.
The funeral ceremonies were of the most solemn and sumptuous kind.
The body of the marques was arrayed in a costly shirt, a doublet of
brocade, a sayo or long robe of black velvet, a marlota or Moorish
tunic of brocade reaching to the feet, and scarlet stockings. His
sword, superbly gilt, was girded to his side, as he used to wear it
when in the field. Thus magnificently attired, the body was enclosed
in a coffin which was covered with black velvet and decorated with a
cross of white damask. It was then placed on a sumptuous bier in the
centre of the great hall of the palace. Here the duchess made great
lamentation over the body of her lord, in which she was joined by
her train of damsels and attendants, as well as by the pages and
esquires and innumerable vassals.
In the close of the evening, just before the Ave Maria, the funeral
train issued from the palace. Ten banners were borne around the
bier, the particular trophies of the marques won from the Moors
by his valor in individual enterprises before King Ferdinand had
commenced the war of Granada. The procession was swelled by
an immense train of bishops, priests, and friars of different orders,
together with the civil and military authorities and all the chivalry
of Seville, headed by the count of Cifuentes, at that time intendente
or commander of the city. It moved slowly and solemnly through the
streets, stopping occasionally and chanting litanies and responses.
Two hundred and forty waxen tapers shed a light like the day about
the bier. The balconies and windows were crowded with ladies, who
shed tears as the funeral train passed by, while the women of the
lower classes were loud in their lamentations, as if bewailing the
loss of a father or a brother. On approaching the convent of St.
Augustine the monks came forth with the cross and tapers and
eight censers and conducted the body into the church, where it lay
in state until all the vigils were performed by the different orders,
after which it was deposited in the family tomb of the Ponces in the
same church, and the ten banners were suspended over the sepulchre.*
*Cura de los Palacios, c.104.
The tomb of the valiant Roderigo Ponce de Leon, with his banners
mouldering above it, remained for ages an object of veneration with
all who had read or heard of his virtues and achievements. In the
year 1810, however, the chapel was sacked by the French, its altars
were overturned, and the sepulchres of the family of the Ponces
shattered to pieces. The present duchess of Benevente, the worthy
descendant of this illustrious and heroic line, has since piously
collected the ashes of her ancestors, restored the altar, and
repaired the chapel. The sepulchres, however, were utterly
destroyed: an inscription in gold letters on the wall of the chapel
to the right of the altar is all that denotes the place of sepulture
of the brave Ponce de Leon.
THE LEGEND OF THE DEATH OF DON ALONSO DE AGUILAR.
To such as feel an interest in the fortune of the valiant Don Alonso
de Aguilar, the chosen friend and companion-in-arms of Ponce de
Leon, marques of Cadiz, and one of the most distinguished heroes
of the war of Granada, a few particulars of his remarkable fate will
not be unacceptable.
For several years after the conquest of Granada the country remained
feverish and unquiet. The zealous efforts of the Catholic clergy to
effect the conversion of the infidels, and the coercion used for that
purpose by government, exasperated the stubborn Moors of the
mountains. Several missionaries were maltreated, and in the town
of Dayrin two of them were seized and exhorted, with many menaces,
to embrace the Moslem faith; on their resolutely refusing they were
killed with staves and stones by the Moorish women and children, and
their bodies burnt to ashes.*
*Cura de los Palacios, c. 165.
Upon this event a body of Christian cavaliers assembled in Andalusia
to the number of eight hundred, and, without waiting for orders from
the king, revenged the death of these martyrs by plundering and
laying waste the Moorish towns and villages. The Moors fled to the
mountains, and their cause was espoused by many of their nation
who inhabited those rugged regions. The storm of rebellion began to
gather and mutter its thunders in the Alpuxarras. They were echoed
from the Serrania of Ronda, ever ready for rebellion, but the strongest
hold of the insurgents was in the SierraBermeja, or chain of Red
Mountains, which lie near the sea, the savage rocks and precipices
of which may be seen from Gibraltar.
When King Ferdinand heard of these tumults he issued a proclamation
ordering all the Moors of the insurgent regions to leave them within
ten days and repair to Castile; giving secret instructions, however,
that those who should voluntarily embrace the Christian faith might
be permitted to remain. At the same time he ordered Don Alonso de
Aguilar and the counts of Urena and Cifuentes to march against the
Don Alonso de Aguilar was at Cordova when he received the commands
of the king. "What force is allotted us for this expedition?" said he.
On being told, he perceived that the number of troops was far from
adequate. "When a man is dead," said he, "we send four men into
his house to bring forth the body. We are now sent to chastise these
Moors, who are alive, vigorous, in open rebellion, and ensconced in
their castles; yet they do not give us man to man." These words of
the brave Alonso de Aguilar were afterward frequently repeated, but,
though he saw the desperate nature of the enterprise, he did not
hesitate to undertake it.
Don Alonso was at that time in the fifty-first year of his age --a
warrior in whom the fire of youth was yet unquenched, though
tempered by experience. The greater part of his life had been spent
in camp and field until danger was as his habitual element. His
muscular frame had acquired the firmness of iron without the rigidity
of age. His armor and weapons seemed to have become a part
of his nature, and he sat like a man of steel on his powerful
He took with him on this expedition his son, Don Pedro de Cordova, a
youth of bold and generous spirit, in the freshness of his days, and
armed and arrayed with the bravery of a young Spanish cavalier. When
the populace of Cordova beheld the veteran father, the warrior of a
thousand battles, leading forth his son to the field, they bethought
themselves of the family appellation. "Behold," cried they, "the eagle
teaching his young to fly! Long live the valiant line of Aguilar!"*
*"Aguilar," the Spanish for eagle.
The prowess of Don Alonso and of his companions-in-arms was
renowned throughout the Moorish towns. At their approach,
therefore, numbers of the Moors submitted, and hastened to
Ronda to embrace Christianity. Among the mountaineers, however,
were many of the Gandules, a tribe from Africa, too proud of spirit
to bend their necks to the yoke. At their head was a Moor named
El Feri of Ben Estepar, renowned for strength and courage. At his
instigation his followers gathered together their families and most
precious effects, placed them on mules, and, driving before them
their flocks and herds, abandoned their valleys and retired up the
craggy passes of the SierraBermeja. On the summit was a fertile
plain surrounded by rocks and precipices, which formed a natural
fortress. Here El Feri placed all the women and children and all the
property. By his orders his followers piled great stones on the rocks
and cliffs which commanded the defiles and the steep sides of the
mountain, and prepared to defend every pass that led to his place
The Christian commanders arrived, and pitched their camp before the
town of Monarda, a strong place, curiously fortified, and situated
at the foot of the highest part of the Sierra Bermeja. Here they
remained for several days, unable to compel a surrender. They were
separated from the skirt of the mountain by a deep barranca, or
ravine, at the bottom of which flowed a small stream. The Moors
commanded by El Feri drew down from their mountain-height, and
remained on the opposite side of the brook to defend a pass which
led up to their stronghold.
One afternoon a number of Christian soldiers in mere bravado seized
a banner, crossed the brook, and, scrambling up the opposite bank,
attacked the Moors. They were followed by numbers of their
companions, some in aid, some in emulation, but most in hope of
booty. A sharp action ensued on the mountain-side. The Moors were
greatly superior in number, and had the vantage-ground. When the
counts of Urena and Cifuentes beheld the skirmish, they asked Don
Alonso de Aguilar his opinion. "My opinion," said he, "was given at
Cordova, and remains the same: this is a desperate enterprise.
However, the Moors are at hand, and if they suspect weakness in
us it will increase their courage and our peril. Forward then to the
attack, and I trust in God we shall gain a victory." So saying, he
led his troops into the battle.*
*Bleda, 1. 5, c. 26.
On the skirts of the mountain were several level places, like
terraces; here the Christians pressed valiantly upon the Moors, and
had the advantage; but the latter retreated to the steep and craggy
heights, whence they hurled darts and rocks upon their assailants.
They defended their passes and defiles with valor, but were driven
from height to height until they reached the plain on the summit of
the mountain where their wives and children were sheltered. Here
they would have made a stand, but Alonso de Aguilar, with his son
Don Pedro, charged upon them at the head of three hundred men
and put them to flight with great carnage. While they were pursuing
the flying enemy the rest of the army, thinking the victory achieved,
dispersed themselves over the little plain in search of plunder.
They pursued the shrieking females, tearing off their necklaces,
bracelets, and anklets of gold, and they found so much treasure of
various kinds collected in this spot that they threw by their armor
and weapons to load themselves with booty.
Evening was closing. The Christians, intent upon spoil, had ceased
to pursue the Moors, and the latter were arrested in their flight by
the cries of their wives and children. Their leader, El Feri, threw
himself before them. "Friends, soldiers," cried he, "whither do you
fly? Whither can you seek refuge where the enemy cannot follow
you? Your wives, your children, are behind you--turn and defend
them; you have no chance for safety but from the weapons in your
The Moors turned at his words. They beheld the Christians scattered
about the plain, many of them without armor, and all encumbered with
spoil. "Now is the time!" shouted El Feri: "charge upon them while
laden with your plunder. I will open a path for you." He rushed to
the attack, followed by his Moors, with shouts and cries that echoed
through the mountains. The scattered Christians were seized with
panic, and, throwing down their booty, began to fly in all directions.
Don Alonso de Aguilar advanced his banner and endeavored to rally
them. Finding his horse of no avail in these rocky heights, he
dismounted, and caused his men to do the same: he had a small
band of tried followers, with which he opposed a bold front to the
Moors, calling on the scattered troops to rally in the rear.
Night had completely closed. It prevented the Moors from seeing the
smallness of the force with which they were contending, and Don
Alonso and his cavaliers dealt their blows so vigorously that, aided
by the darkness, they seemed multiplied to ten times their number.
Unfortunately, a small cask of gunpowder blew up near to the scene
of action. It shed a momentary but brilliant light over all the plain
and on every rock and cliff. The Moors beheld, with surprise, that
they were opposed by a mere handful of men, and that the greater
part of the Christians were flying from the field. They put up loud
shouts of triumph. While some continued the conflict with redoubled
ardor, others pursued the fugitives, hurling after them stones and
darts and discharging showers of arrows. Many of the Christians in
their terror and their ignorance of the mountains, rushed headlong
from the brinks of precipices and were dashed in pieces.
Don Alonso still maintained his ground, but, while some of the Moors
assailed him in front, others galled him with all kinds of missiles
from the impending cliffs. Some of the cavaliers, seeing the
hopeless nature of the conflict, proposed to abandon the height and
retreat down the mountain. "No," said Don Alonso proudly; "never
did the banner of the house of Aguilar retreat one foot in the field of
battle." He had scarcely uttered these words when his son Pedro
was stretched at his feet. A stone hurled from a cliff had struck out
two of his teeth, and a lance passed quivering through his thigh.
The youth attempted to rise, and, with one knee on the ground, to
fight by the side of his father. Don Alonso, finding him wounded,
urged him to quit the field. "Fly, my son," said he; "let us not put
everything at venture upon one hazard. Conduct thyself as a good
Christian, and live to comfort and honor thy mother."
Don Pedro still refused to leave his side. Whereupon Don Alonso
ordered several of his followers to bear him off by force. His friend
Don Francisco Alvarez of Cordova, taking him in his arms, conveyed
him to the quarters of the count of Urena, who had halted on the
height at some distance from the scene of battle for the purpose of
rallying and succoring the fugitives. Almost at the same moment the
count beheld his own son, Don Pedro Giron, brought in grievously
In the mean time, Don Alonso, with two hundred cavaliers, maintained
the unequal contest. Surrounded by foes, they fell, one after another,
like so many stags encircled by the hunters. Don Alonso was the last
survivor, without horse and almost without armor, his corselet unlaced
and his bosom gashed with wounds. Still, he kept a brave front to the
enemy, and, retiring between two rocks, defended himself with such
valor that the slain lay in a heap before him.
He was assailed in this retreat by a Moor of surpassing strength and
fierceness. The contest was for some time doubtful, but Don Alonso
received a wound in the head, and another in the breast, which
made him stagger. Closing and grappling with his foe, they had a
desperate struggle, until the Christian cavalier, exhausted by his
wounds, fell upon his back. He still retained his grasp upon his
enemy. "Think not," cried he, "thou hast an easy prize; know that
I am Don Alonso, he of Aguilar!"--"If thou art Don Alonso," replied
the Moor, "know that I am El Feri of Ben Estepar." They continued
their deadly struggle, and both drew their daggers, but Don Alonso
was exhausted by seven ghastly wounds: while he was yet struggling
his heroic soul departed from his body, and he expired in the grasp
of the Moor.
Thus fell Alonso de Aguilar, the mirror of Andalusian chivalry--one
of the most powerful grandees of Spain for person, blood, estate,
and office. For forty years he had made successful war upon the
Moors--in childhood by his household and retainers, in manhood by
the prowess of his arm and in the wisdom and valor of his spirit.
His pennon had always been foremost in danger; he had been
general of armies, viceroy of Andalusia, and the author of glorious
enterprises in which kings were vanquished and mighty alcaydes and
warriors laid low. He had slain many Moslem chiefs with his own arm,
and among others the renowned Ali Atar of Loxa, fighting foot to foot,
on the banks of the Xenil. His judgment, discretion, magnanimity,
and justice vied with his prowess. He was the fifth lord of his
warlike house that fell in battle with the Moors.
"His soul," observes the worthy Padre Abarca, "it is believed,
ascended to heaven to receive the reward of so Christian a captain;
for that very day he had armed himself with the sacraments of
confession and communion."*
*Abarca, Anales de Aragon, Rey xxx. cap. ii.
The Moors, elated with their success, pursued the fugitive
Christians down the defiles and sides of the mountains. It was
with the utmost difficulty that the count de Urena could bring off a
remnant of his forces from that disastrous height. Fortunately, on
the lower slope of the mountain they found the rear-guard of the
army, led by the count de Cifuentes, who had crossed the brook and
the ravine to come to their assistance. As the fugitives came flying
in headlong terror down the mountain it was with difficulty the count
kept his own troops from giving way in panic and retreating in
confusion across the brook. He succeeded, however, in maintaining
order, in rallying the fugitives, and checking the fury of the Moors;
then, taking his station on a rocky eminence, he maintained his post
until morning, sometimes sustaining violent attacks, at other times
rushing forth and making assaults upon the enemy. When morning
dawned the Moors ceased to combat, and drew up to the summit
of the mountain.
It was then that the Christians had time to breathe and to ascertain
the sad loss they had sustained. Among the many valiant cavaliers
who had fallen was Don Francisco Ramirez of Madrid, who had been
captain-general of artillery throughout the war of Granada, and
contributed greatly by his valor and ingenuity to that renowned
conquest. But all other griefs and cares were forgotten in anxiety
for the fate of Don Alonso de Aguilar. His son, Don Pedro de
Cordova, had been brought off with great difficulty from the battle,
and afterward lived to be marques of Priego; but of Don Alonso
nothing was known, except that he was left with a handful of
cavaliers fighting valiantly against an overwhelming force.
As the rising sun lighted up the red cliffs of the mountains the
soldiers watched with anxious eyes if perchance his pennon might
be descried fluttering from any precipice or defile, but nothing of
the kind was to be seen. The trumpet-call was repeatedly sounded,
but empty echoes alone replied. A silence reigned about the
mountain-summit which showed that the deadly strife was over.
Now and then a wounded warrior came dragging his feeble steps
from among the cliffs and rocks, but on being questioned he shook
his head mournfully and could tell nothing of the fate of his
The tidings of this disastrous defeat and of the perilous situation
of the survivors reached King Ferdinand at Granada: he immediately
marched at the head of all the chivalry of his court to the mountains
of Ronda. His presence with a powerful force soon put an end to
the rebellion. A part of the Moors were suffered to ransom
themselves and embark for Africa; others were made to embrace
Christianity; and those of the town where the Christian missionaries
had been massacred were sold as slaves. From the conquered Moors
the mournful but heroic end of Alonso de Aguilar was ascertained.
On the morning after the battle, when the Moors came to strip and
bury the dead, the body of Don Alonso was found among those of
more than two hundred of his followers, many of them alcaydes and
cavaliers of distinction. Though the person of Don Alonso was well
known to the Moors, being so distinguished among them both in peace
and war, yet it was so covered and disfigured with wounds that it
could with difficulty be recognized. They preserved it with great
care, and on making their submission delivered it up to King
Ferdinand. It was conveyed with great state to Cordova, amidst
the tears and lamentations of all Andalusia. When the funeral train
entered Cordova, and the inhabitants saw the coffin containing the
remains of their favorite hero, and the war-horse led in mournful
trappings on which they had so lately seen him sally forth from
their gates, there was a general burst of grief throughout the city.
The body was interred with great pomp and solemnity in the church
of St. Hypolito.
Many years afterward his granddaughter, Dona Catalina of Aguilar
and Cordova, marchioness of Priego, caused his tomb to be altered.
On examining the body the head of a lance was found among the
bones, received without doubt among the wounds of his last mortal
combat. The name of this accomplished and Christian cavalier has
ever remained a popular theme of the chronicler and poet, and is
endeared to the public memory by many of the historical ballads and
songs of his country. For a long time the people of Cordova were
indignant at the brave count de Urena, who they thought had
abandoned Don Alonso in his extremity; but the Castilian monarch
acquitted him of all charge of the kind and continued him in honor
and office. It was proved that neither he nor his people could
succor Don Alonso, or even know his peril, from the darkness of the
night. There is a mournful little Spanish ballad or romance which
breathes the public grief on this occasion, and the populace on the
return of the count de Urena to Cordova assailed him with one of its
plaintive and reproachful verses:
Count Urena! Count Urena!
Tell us, where is Don Alonso!
(Dezid conde Urena!
Don Alonso, donde queda?)
*Bleda, 1. 5, c. 26.
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