Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella V1 by William H. Prescott

Part 8 out of 8

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.9 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

booty, had quitted the line of march, and dispersed in small parties in
search of plunder over the adjacent country; and some of the high-mettled
young cavaliers had the audacity to ride up in defiance to the very walls
of Malaga. The grand master of St. James was the only leader who kept his
columns unbroken, and marched forward in order of battle. Things were in
this state, when the Moorish cavalry under El Zagal, suddenly emerging
from one of the mountain passes, appeared before the astonished rear-guard
of the Christians. The Moors spurred on to the assault, but the well-
disciplined chivalry of St. James remained unshaken. In the fierce
struggle which ensued, the Andalusians became embarrassed by the
narrowness of the ground on which they were engaged, which afforded no
scope for the manoeuvres of cavalry; while the Moors, trained to the wild
tactics of mountain warfare, went through their usual evolutions,
retreating and returning to the charge with a celerity that sorely
distressed their opponents and at length threw them into some disorder.
The grand master, in consequence, despatched a message to the marquis of
Cadiz, requesting his support. The latter, putting himself at the head of
such of his scattered forces as he could hastily muster, readily obeyed
the summons. Discerning on his approach the real source of the grand
master's embarrassment, he succeeded in changing the field of action by
drawing off the Moors to an open reach of the valley, which allowed free
play to the movements of the Andalusian horse, when the combined squadrons
pressed so hard on the Moslems, that they were soon compelled to take
refuge within the depths of their own mountains. [23]

In the mean while, the scattered troops of the advance, alarmed by the
report of the action, gradually assembled under their respective banners,
and fell back upon the rear. A council of war was then called. All further
progress seemed to be effectually intercepted. The country was everywhere
in arms. The most that now could be hoped, was, that they might be
suffered to retire unmolested with such plunder as they had already
acquired. Two routes lay open for this purpose. The one winding along the
sea-shore, wide and level, but circuitous, and swept through the whole
range of its narrow entrance by the fortress of Malaga. This determined
them unhappily to prefer the other route, being that by which they had
penetrated the Axarquia, or rather a shorter cut, by which the adalides
undertook to conduct them through its mazes. [24]

The little army commenced its retrograde movement with undiminished
spirit. But it was now embarrassed with the transportation of its plunder,
and by the increasing difficulties of the sierra, which, as they ascended
its sides, was matted over with impenetrable thickets, and broken up by
formidable ravines or channels, cut deep into the soil by the mountain
torrents. The Moors were now seen mustering in considerable numbers along
the heights, and, as they were expert marksmen, being trained by early and
assiduous practice, the shots from their arquebuses and cross-bows
frequently found some assailable point in the harness of the Spanish men-
at-arms. At length, the army, through the treachery or ignorance of the
guides, was suddenly brought to a halt by arriving in a deep glen or
enclosure, whose rocky sides rose with such boldness as to be scarcely
practicable for infantry, much less for horse. To add to their distresses,
daylight, without which they could scarcely hope to extricate themselves,
was fast fading away. [25]

In this extremity no other alternative seemed to remain, than to attempt
to regain the route from which they had departed. As all other
considerations were now subordinate to those of personal safety, it was
agreed to abandon the spoil acquired at so much hazard, which greatly
retarded their movements. As they painfully retraced their steps, the
darkness of the night was partially dispelled by numerous fires, which
blazed along the hill-tops, and which showed the figures of their enemies
flitting to and fro like so many spectres. It seemed, says Bernaldez, as
if ten thousand torches were glancing along the mountains. At length, the
whole body, faint with fatigue and hunger, reached the borders of a little
stream, which flowed through a valley, whose avenues, as well as the
rugged heights by which it was commanded, were already occupied by the
enemy, who poured down mingled volleys of shot, stones, and arrows on the
heads of the Christians. The compact mass presented by the latter afforded
a sure mark to the artillery of the Moors; while they, from their
scattered position, as well as from the defences afforded by the nature of
the ground, were exposed to little annoyance in return. In addition to
lighter missiles, the Moors occasionally dislodged large fragments of
rock, which, rolling with tremendous violence down the declivities of the
hills, spread frightful desolation through the Christian ranks. [26]

The dismay occasioned by these scenes, occurring amidst the darkness of
night, and heightened by the shrill war-cries of the Moors, which rose
around them on every quarter, seems to have completely bewildered the
Spaniards, even their leaders. It was the misfortune of the expedition,
that there was but little concert between the several commanders, or, at
least, that there was no one so pre-eminent above the rest as to assume
authority at this awful moment. So far, it would seem, from attempting
escape, they continued in their perilous position, uncertain what course
to take, until midnight; when at length, after having seen their best and
bravest followers fall thick around them, they determined at all hazards
to force a passage across the sierra in the face of the enemy. "Better
lose our lives," said the grand master of St. James, addressing his men,
"in cutting a way through the foe, than be butchered without resistance,
like cattle in the shambles." [27]

The marquis of Cadiz, guided by a trusty adalid, and accompanied by sixty
or seventy lances, was fortunate enough to gain a circuitous route less
vigilantly guarded by the enemy, whose attention was drawn to the
movements of the main body of the Castilian army. By means of this path,
the marquis, with his little band, succeeded, after a painful march, in
which his good steed sunk under him oppressed with wounds and fatigue, in
reaching a valley at some distance from the scene of action, where he
determined to wait the coming up of his friends, who he confidently
expected would follow on his track. [28]

But the grand master and his associates, missing this track in the
darkness of the night, or perhaps preferring another, breasted the sierra
in a part where it proved extremely difficult of ascent. At every step the
loosened earth gave way under the pressure of the foot, and, the infantry
endeavoring to support themselves by clinging to the tails and manes of
the horses, the jaded animals, borne down with the weight, rolled headlong
with their riders on the ranks below, or were precipitated down the sides
of the numerous ravines. The Moors, all the while, avoiding a close
encounter, contented themselves with discharging on the heads of their
opponents an uninterrupted shower of missiles of every description.

It was not until the following morning, that the Castilians, having
surmounted the crest of the eminence, began the descent into the opposite
valley, which they had the mortification to observe was commanded on every
point by their vigilant adversary, who seemed now in their eyes to possess
the powers of ubiquity. As the light broke upon the troops, it revealed
the whole extent of their melancholy condition. How different from the
magnificent array which, but two days previous, marched forth with such
high and confident hopes from the gates of Antequera! their ranks thinned,
their bright arms defaced and broken, their banners rent in pieces, or
lost,--as had been that of St. James, together with its gallant
_alferez_, Diego Becerra, in the terrible passage of the preceding
night,--their countenances aghast with terror, fatigue, and famine.
Despair now was in every eye, all subordination was at an end. No one,
says Pulgar, heeded any longer the call of the trumpet, or the wave of the
banner. Each sought only his own safety, without regard to his comrade.
Some threw away their arms; hoping by this means to facilitate their
escape, while in fact it only left them more defenceless against the
shafts of their enemies. Some, oppressed with fatigue and terror, fell
down and died without so much as receiving a wound. The panic was such
that, in more than one instance, two or three Moorish soldiers were known
to capture thrice their own number of Spaniards. Some, losing their way,
strayed back to Malaga and were made prisoners by females of the city, who
overtook them in the fields. Others escaped to Alhama or other distant
places, after wandering seven or eight days among the mountains,
sustaining life on such wild herbs and berries as they could find, and
lying close during the day. A greater number succeeded in reaching
Antequera, and, among these, most of the leaders of the expedition. The
grand master of St. James, the adelantado Henriquez, and Don Alonso de
Aguilar effected their escape by scaling so perilous a part of the sierra
that their pursuers cared not to follow. The count de Cifuentes was less
fortunate. [30] That nobleman's division was said to have suffered more
severely than any other. On the morning after the bloody passage of the
mountain, he found himself suddenly cut off from his followers, and
surrounded by six Moorish cavaliers, against whom he was defending himself
with desperate courage, when their leader, Reduan Benegas, struck with the
inequality of the combat, broke in, exclaiming, "Hold, this is unworthy of
good knights." The assailants sunk back abashed by the rebuke, and left
the count to their commander. A close encounter then took place between
the two chiefs; but the strength of the Spaniard was no longer equal to
his spirit, and, after a brief resistance, he was forced to surrender to
his generous enemy. [31]

The marquis of Cadiz had better fortune. After waiting till dawn for the
coming up of his friends, he concluded that they had extricated themselves
by a different route. He resolved to provide for his own safety and that
of his followers, and, being supplied with a fresh horse, accomplished his
escape, after traversing the wildest passages of the Axarquia for the
distance of four leagues, and got into Antequera with but little
interruption from the enemy. But, although he secured his personal safety,
the misfortunes of the day fell heavily on his house; for two of his
brothers were cut down by his side, and a third brother, with a nephew,
fell into the hands of the enemy. [32]

The amount of slain in the two days' actions is admitted by the Spanish
writers to have exceeded eight hundred, with double that number of
prisoners. The Moorish force is said to have been small, and its loss
comparatively trifling. The numerical estimates of the Spanish historians,
as usual, appear extremely loose; and the narrative of their enemies is
too meagre in this portion of their annals to allow any opportunity of
verification. There is no reason, however, to believe them in any degree

The best blood of Andalusia was shed on this occasion. Among the slain,
Bernaldez reckons two hundred and fifty, and Pulgar four hundred persons
of quality, with thirty commanders of the military fraternity of St.
James. There was scarcely a family in the south, but had to mourn the loss
of some one of its members by death or captivity; and the distress was not
a little aggravated by the uncertainty which hung over the fate of the
absent, as to whether they had fallen in the field, or were still
wandering in the wilderness, or were pining away existence in the dungeons
of Malaga and Granada. [33]

Some imputed the failure of the expedition to treachery in the adalides,
some to want of concert among the commanders. The worthy Curate of Los
Palacios concludes his narrative of the disaster in the following manner.
"The number of the Moors was small, who inflicted this grievous defeat on
the Christians. It was, indeed, clearly miraculous, and we may discern in
it the special interposition of Providence, justly offended with the
greater part of those that engaged in the expedition; who, instead of
confessing, partaking the sacrament, and making their testaments, as
becomes good Christians, and men that are to bear arms in defence of the
Holy Catholic faith, acknowledged that they did not bring with them
suitable dispositions, but, with little regard to God's service, were
influenced by covetousness and love of ungodly gain." [34]


[1] Estrada, Poblacion de España, tom. ii. pp. 242, 243.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. iv. fol. 317.--Cardonne, Hist. d'Afrique et d'Espagne, tom. iii. p.

[2] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 58.--Mariana, Hist. de España,
tom. ii, pp. 249, 250.--Cardonne, Hist. d'Afrique et d'Espagne, tom. iii.
pp. 259, 260.

[3] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 173.--Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, p.
187.--Zurita, Anales, tom. iv. fol. 316, 317.

[4] Rades y Andrada, Las Tres Ordenes, fol. 80, 81.--L. Marineo, Cosas
Memorables, fol. 173.--Lebrija, Rerum Gestarum Decades, ii. lib. 1, cap.
7.--Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes, tom. iii. p. 214.--Carbajal, Anales,
MS., año 1482.

[5] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, pp. 189-191.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos,
MS., cap. 58.--Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes, tom. iii. pp. 214-217.--
Cardonne, Hist. d'Afrique et d'Espagne, tom. iii. pp. 260, 261.

[6] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 58.--Conde, Dominacion de los
Arabes, tom. iii. pp. 214-217.--Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, ubi supra.--
Lebrija, Rerum Gestarum Decades, ii. lib. 1, cap. 7.--The _Peña de los
Enamorados_ received its name from a tragical incident in Moorish
history. A Christian slave succeeded in inspiring the daughter of his
master, a wealthy Mussulman of Granada, with a passion for himself. The
two lovers, after some time, fearful of the detection of their intrigue,
resolved to mate their escape into the Spanish territory. Before they
could effect their purpose, however, they were hotly pursued by the
damsel's father at the head of a party of Moorish horsemen, and overtaken
near a precipice which rises between Archidona and Antequera. The
unfortunate fugitives, who had scrambled to the summit of the rocks,
finding all further escape impracticable, after tenderly embracing each
other threw themselves headlong from the dizzy heights, preferring this
dreadful death to falling into the hands of their vindictive pursuers. The
spot consecrated as the scene of this tragic incident has received the
name of _Rock of the Lovers_. The legend is prettily told by Mariana,
(Hist. de España, tom. ii. pp. 253, 254,) who concludes with the pithy
reflection, that "such constancy would have been truly admirable, had it
been shown in defence of the true faith, rather than in the gratification
of lawless appetite."

[7] Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes, tom. iii. pp. 214-217.--Cardonne,
Hist. d'Afrique et d'Espagne, tom. iii. pp. 262, 263.--Marmol, Rebelion de
Moriscos, lib, 1, cap. 12.--Bernaldez states that great umbrage was taken
at the influence which the king of Granada allowed a person of Christian
lineage, named Venegas, to exercise over him. Pulgar hints at the bloody
massacre of the Abencerrages, which, without any better authority that I
know of, forms the burden of many an ancient ballad, and has lost nothing
of its romantic coloring under the hand of Cinés Perez de Hyta.

[8] Cardonne, Hist. d'Afrique et d'Espagne, ubi supra.--Conde, Dominacion
de los Arabes, ubi supra.

Boabdil was surnamed "el Chico," _the Little_, by the Spanish writers, to
distinguish him from an uncle of the same name; and "el Zogoybi," _the
Unfortunate_, by the Moors, indicating that he was the last of his race
destined to wear the diadem of Granada. The Arabs, with great felicity,
frequently select names significant of some quality in the objects they
represent. Examples of this may be readily found in the southern regions
of the Peninsula, where the Moors lingered the longest. The etymology of
Gibraltar, Gebal Tarik, _Mount of Tarik_, is well known. Thus, Algeziras
comes from an Arabic word which signifies _an island_: Alpuxarras comes
from a term signifying _herbage_ or _pasturage_: Arrecife from another,
signifying _causeway_ or _high road_, etc. The Arabic word _wad_ stands
for _river_. This without much violence has been changed into _guad_, and
enters into the names of many of the southern streams; for example,
Guadalquivir, _great river_, Guadiana, _narrow_ or _little river_,
Guadalete, etc. In the same manner the term Medina, _Arabicè_ "city,"
has been retained as a prefix to the names of many of the Spanish towns,
as Medina Celi, Medina del Campo, etc. See Conde's notes to El Nubiense,
Description de España, passim.

[9] Salazar de Mendoza, Crón. del Gran Cardenal, p. 181.--Pulgar, Claros
Varones, tit. 20.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., año 1483.--Aleson, Annales de
Navarra, tom. v. p. 11, ed. 1766.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 158.

[10] Fred. Marslaar, De Leg. 2, 11.--M. de Wicquefort derives the word
_ambassadeur_ (anciently in English _ambassador_) from the Spanish word
_embiar_, "to send." See Rights of Embassadors, translated by Digby
(London, 1740,) book 1, chap. 1.

[11] Sismondi, Républiques Italiennes, tom. xi. cap. 88.--Pulgar, Reyes
Católicos, pp. 195-198.--Zurita, Anales, tom iv. fol. 218.

[12] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, lib. 34, cap. 1.--Histoire du Royaume de
Navarre, p. 558. Leonora's son, Gaston de Foix, prince of Viana, was slain
by an accidental wound from a lance, at a tourney at Lisbon, in 1469. By
the princess Magdeleine, his wife, sister of Louis XI, he left two
children, a son and daughter, each of whom in turn succeeded to the crown
of Navarre. Francis Phoebus ascended the throne on the demise of his
grandmother Leonora, in 1479. He was distinguished by his personal graces
and beauty, and especially by the golden lustre of his hair, from which,
according to Aleson, he derived his cognomen of Phoebus. As it was an
ancestral name, however, such an etymology may be thought somewhat

[13] Ferdinand and Isabella had at this time four children; the infant Don
John, four years and a half old, but who did not live to come to the
succession, and the infantas Isabella, Joanna, and Maria; the last, born
at Cordova during the summer of 1482.

[14] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, lib. 34, cap. 2; lib. 35, cap. 1.--
Histoire du Royaume de Navarre, pp. 578, 579.--La Clède, Hist. de
Portugal, tom. iii. pp. 438-441.--Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, p. 199.--
Mariana, Hist. de España, tom. ii. p. 551.

[15] Lebrija, Rerum Gestarum Decades, ii. lib. 2, cap. 1.

Besides the armada in the Mediterranean, a fleet under Pedro de Vera was
prosecuting a voyage of discovery and conquest to the Canaries at this

[16] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, p. 199.--Mariana, tom. ii. p. 551.--
Coleccion de Cédulas y Otros Documentos, (Madrid, 1829,) tom. iii. no. 25.

For this important collection, a few copies of which, only, were printed
for distribution, at the expense of the Spanish government, I am indebted
to the politeness of Don A. Calderon de la Barca.

[17] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 58.--Pulgar, Reyes Católicos,
p. 202.

Juan de Corral imposed on the king of Granada by means of certain
credentials, which he had obtained from the Spanish sovereigns without any
privity on their part to his fraudulent intentions. The story is told in a
very blind manner by Pulgar.

It may not be amiss to mention here a doughty feat performed by another
Castilian envoy, of much higher rank, Don Juan de Vera. This knight, while
conversing with certain Moorish cavaliers in the Alhambra, was so much
scandalized by the freedom with which one of them treated the immaculate
conception, that he gave the circumcised dog the lie, and smote him a
sharp blow on the head with his sword. Ferdinand, say Bernaldez, who tells
the story, was much gratified with the exploit, and recompensed the good
knight with many honors.

[18] The _adalid_ was a guide, or scout, whose business it was to
make himself acquainted with the enemy's country, and to guide the
invaders into it. Much dispute has arisen respecting the authority and
functions of this officer. Some writers regard him as an independent
leader, or commander; and the Dictionary of the Academy defines the term
_adalid_ by these very words. The Siete Partidas, however, explains
at length the peculiar duties of this officer, conformably to the account
I have given. (Ed. de la Real Acad. (Madrid, 1807,) part. 2, tit. 2, leyes
1-4.) Bernaldez, Pulgar, and the other chroniclers of the Granadine war,
repeatedly notice him in this connection. When he is spoken of as a
captain, or leader, as he sometimes is in these and other ancient records,
his authority, I suspect, is intended to be limited to the persons who
aided him in the execution of his peculiar office.--It was common for the
great chiefs, who lived on the borders, to maintain in their pay a number
of these _adalides_, to inform them of the fitting time and place for
making a foray. The post, as may well be believed, was one of great trust
and personal hazard.

[19] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, p. 203.--L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol.
173.--Zurita, Anales, tom. iv. fol. 320.

[20] Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial. 36.--Lebrija,
Rerum Gestarum Decades, ii. lib. 2, cap. 2.

The title of _adelantado_ implies in its etymology one preferred or
placed before others. The office is of great antiquity; some have derived
it from the reign of St. Ferdinand in the thirteenth century, but Mendoza
proves its existence at a far earlier period. The adelantado was possessed
of very extensive judicial authority in the province or district in which
he presided, and in war was invested with supreme military command. His
functions, however, as well as the territories over which he ruled, have
varied at different periods. An adelantado seems to have been generally
established over a border province, as Andalusia for example. Marina
discusses the civil authority of this officer, in his Teoría, tom. ii.
cap. 23. See also Salazar de Mendoza, Dignidades, lib. 2, cap. 15.

[21] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 60.--Rades y Andrada, Las Tres
Ordenes, fol. 71.--Zurita, Anales, tom. iv. fol. 320.--Zuñiga, Annales de
Sevilla, fol. 395.--Lebrija, Rerum Gestarum Decades, ii. lib. 2, cap. 2.--
Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial. 36.

[22] Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes, tom. iii. p. 217.--Cardonne, Hist.
d'Afrique et d'Espagne, tom. iii. pp. 264-267.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Católicos, MS., cap. 60.

[23] Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes, tom. iii. p. 217.--Pulgar, Reyes
Católicos, p. 204.--Rades y Andrada, Las Tres Ordenes, fol. 71, 72.

[24] Mariana, Hist. de España, tom. ii. pp. 552, 553.--Pulgar, Reyes
Católicos, p. 205.--Zurita, Anales, tom. iv. fol. 321.

[25] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, p. 205.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. p.

[26] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 60.--Pulgar, Reyes Católicos,
ubi supra.--Cardonne, Hist. d'Afrique et d'Espagne, tom. iii. pp. 264-267.

[27] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, p. 206.--Rades y Andrada, Las Tres Ordenes,
fol. 71, 72.

[28] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, loc. cit.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS.,
cap. 60.

[29] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, p. 206. Mr. Irving, in his "Conquest of
Granada," states that the scene of the greatest slaughter in this rout is
still known to the inhabitants of the Axarquia by the name of _La Cuesta
de la Matanza_, or "The Hill of the Massacre."

[30] Oviedo, who devotes one of his dialogues to this nobleman, says of
him, "Fue una de las buenas lanzos de nuestra España en su tiempo; y muy
sabio y prudente caballero. Hallose en grandes cargos y negocios de paz y
de guerra." Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial. 36.

[31] Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes, tom. iii, p. 218.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. iv. fol. 321.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., año 1483.--Pulgar, Reyes
Católicos, ubi supra.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 60.--
Cardonne, Hist. d'Afrique et d'Espagne, tom. iii. pp. 266, 267.--The
count, according to Oviedo, remained a long while a prisoner in Granada,
until he was ransomed by the payment of several thousand doblas of gold.
Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial 36.

[32] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 60.--Marmol says that three
brothers and two nephews of the marquis, whose names he gives, were all
slain. Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 12.

[33] Zuñiga, Annales de Sevilla, fol. 395.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos,
MS., ubi supra.--Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, p. 206.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas,
MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial. 38.--Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1,
cap. 12.

[34] Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 60. Pulgar has devoted a large space to
the unfortunate expedition to the Axarquia. His intimacy with the
principal persons of the court enabled him, no doubt, to verify most of
the particulars which he records. The Curate of Los Palacios, from the
proximity of his residence to the theatre of action, may be supposed also
to have had ample means for obtaining the requisite information. Yet their
several accounts, although not strictly contradictory, it is not always
easy to reconcile with one another. The narratives of complex military
operations are not likely to be simplified under the hands of monkish
bookmen. I have endeavored to make out a connected tissue from a
comparison of the Moslem with the Castilian authorities. But here the
meagreness of the Moslem annals compels us to lament the premature death
of Conde. It can hardly be expected, indeed, that the Moors should have
dwelt with much amplification on this humiliating period. But there can be
little doubt, that far more copious memorials of theirs than any now
published, exist in the Spanish libraries; and it were much to be wished
that some Oriental scholar would supply Conde's deficiency, by exploring
these authentic records of what may be deemed, as far as Christian Spain
is concerned, the most glorious portion of her history.




Defeat and Capture of Abdallah.--Policy of the Sovereigns.--Large Trains
of Artillery.--Description of the Pieces.--Stupendous Roads.--Isabella's
Care of the Troops.--Her Perseverance.--Discipline of the Army.--Swiss
Mercenaries.--English Lord Scales.--Magnificence of the Nobles.--Isabella
Visits the Camp.--Ceremonies on the Occupation of a City.

The young monarch, Abu Abdallah, was probably the only person in Granada
who did not receive with unmingled satisfaction the tidings of the rout in
the Axarquia. He beheld with secret uneasiness the laurels thus acquired
by the old king his father, or rather by his ambitious uncle El Zagal,
whose name now resounded from every quarter as the successful champion of
the Moslems. He saw the necessity of some dazzling enterprise, if he would
maintain an ascendency even over the faction which had seated him on the
throne. He accordingly projected an excursion, which, instead of
terminating in a mere border foray, should lead to the achievement of some
permanent conquest.

He found no difficulty, while the spirits of his people were roused, in
raising a force of nine thousand foot, and seven hundred horse, the flower
of Granada's chivalry. He strengthened his army still further by the
presence of Ali Atar, the defender of Loja, the veteran of a hundred
battles, whose military prowess had raised him from the common file up to
the highest post in the army; and whose plebeian blood had been permitted
to mingle with that of royalty, by the marriage of his daughter with the
young king Abdallah.

With this gallant array, the Moorish monarch sallied forth from Granada.
As he led the way through the avenue which still bears the name of the
gate of Elvira, [1] the point of his lance came in contact with the arch
and was broken. This sinister omen was followed by another more alarming.
A fox, which crossed the path of the army, was seen to run through the
ranks, and, notwithstanding the showers of missiles discharged at him, to
make his escape unhurt. Abdallah's counsellors would have persuaded him to
abandon, or at least postpone, an enterprise of such ill augury. But the
king, less superstitious, or from the obstinacy with which feeble minds,
when once resolved, frequently persist in their projects, rejected their
advice, and pressed forward on his march. [2]

The advance of the party was not conducted so cautiously but that it
reached the ear of Don Diego Fernandez de Cordova, _alcayde de los
donzeles_, or captain of the royal pages, who commanded in the town of
Lucena, which he rightly judged was to be the principal object of attack.
He transmitted the intelligence to his uncle the count of Cabra, a
nobleman of the same name with himself, who was posted at his own town of
Baena, requesting his support. He used all diligence in repairing the
fortifications of the city, which, although extensive and originally
strong, had fallen somewhat into decay; and, having caused such of the
population as were rendered helpless by age or infirmity to withdraw into
the interior defences of the place, he coolly waited the approach of the
enemy. [3]

The Moorish army, after crossing the borders, began to mark its career
through the Christian territory with the usual traces of devastation, and,
sweeping across the environs of Lucena, poured a marauding foray into the
rich _campiña_ of Cordova, as far as the walls of Aguilar; whence it
returned, glutted with spoil, to lay siege to Lucena about the 21st of

The count of Cabra, in the mean while, who had lost no time in mustering
his levies, set forward at the head of a small but well-appointed force,
consisting of both horse and foot, to the relief of his nephew. He
advanced with such celerity that he had wellnigh surprised the
beleaguering army. As he traversed the sierra, which covered the Moorish
flank, his numbers were partially concealed by the inequalities of the
ground; while the clash of arms and the shrill music, reverberating among
the hills, exaggerated their real magnitude in the apprehension of the
enemy. At the same time the _alcayde de los donzeles_ supported his
uncle's advance by a vigorous sally from the city. The Granadine infantry,
anxious only for the preservation of their valuable booty, scarcely waited
for the encounter, before they began a dastardly retreat, and left the
battle to the cavalry. The latter, composed, as has been said, of the
strength of the Moorish chivalry, men accustomed in many a border foray to
cross lances with the best knights of Andalusia, kept their ground with
their wonted gallantry. The conflict, so well disputed, remained doubtful
for some time, until it was determined by the death of the veteran
chieftain Ali Atar, "the best lance," as a Castilian writer has styled
him, "of all Morisma," who was brought to the ground after receiving two
wounds, and thus escaped by an honorable death the melancholy spectacle of
his country's humiliation. [4]

The enemy, disheartened by this loss, soon began to give ground. But,
though hard pressed by the Spaniards, they retreated in some order, until
they reached the borders of the Xenil, which were thronged with the
infantry, vainly attempting a passage across the stream, swollen by
excessive rains to a height much above its ordinary level. The confusion
now became universal, horse and foot mingling together; each one, heedful
only of life, no longer thought of his booty. Many, attempting to swim the
stream, were borne down, steed and rider, promiscuously in its waters.
Many more, scarcely making show of resistance, were cut down on the banks
by the pitiless Spaniards. The young king Abdallah, who had been
conspicuous during that day in the hottest of the fight, mounted on a
milk-white charger richly caparisoned, saw fifty of his loyal guard fall
around him. Finding his steed too much jaded to stem the current of the
river, he quietly dismounted and sought a shelter among the reedy thickets
that fringed its margin, until the storm of battle should have passed
over. In this lurking-place, however, he was discovered by a common
soldier named Martin Hurtado, who, without recognizing his person,
instantly attacked him. The prince defended himself with his scimitar,
until Hurtado, being joined by two of his countrymen, succeeded in making
him prisoner. The men, overjoyed at their prize (for Abdallah had revealed
his rank, in order to secure his person from violence), conducted him to
their general, the count of Cabra. The latter received the royal captive
with a generous courtesy, the best sign of noble breeding, and which,
recognized as a feature of chivalry, affords a pleasing contrast to the
ferocious spirit of ancient warfare. The good count administered to the
unfortunate prince all the consolations which his state would admit; and
subsequently lodged him in his castle of Baena, where he was entertained
with the most delicate and courtly hospitality. [5]

Nearly the whole of the Moslem cavalry were cut up, or captured, in this
fatal action. Many of them were persons of rank, commanding high ransoms.
The loss inflicted on the infantry was also severe, including the whole of
their dear-bought plunder. Nine, or indeed, according to some accounts,
two and twenty banners fell into the hands of the Christians in this
action; in commemoration of which the Spanish sovereigns granted to the
count of Cabra, and his nephew, the alcayde de los donzeles, the privilege
of bearing the same number of banners on their escutcheon, together with
the head of a Moorish king, encircled by a golden coronet, with a chain of
the same metal around the neck. [6]

Great was the consternation occasioned by the return of the Moorish
fugitives to Granada, and loud was the lament through its populous
streets; for the pride of many a noble house was laid low on that day, and
their king (a thing unprecedented in the annals of the monarchy) was a
prisoner in the land of the Christians. "The hostile star of Islam,"
exclaims an Arabian writer, "now scattered its malignant influences over
Spain, and the downfall of the Mussulman empire was decreed."

The sultana Zoraya, however, was not of a temper to waste time in useless
lamentation. She was aware that a captive king, who held his title by so
precarious a tenure as did her son Abdallah, must soon cease to be a king
even in name. She accordingly despatched a numerous embassy to Cordova,
with proffers of such a ransom for the prince's liberation, as a despot
only could offer, and few despots could have the authority to enforce.

King Ferdinand, who was at Vitoria with the queen, when he received
tidings of the victory of Lucena, hastened to the south to determine on
the destination of his royal captive. With some show of magnanimity, he
declined an interview with Abdallah, until he should have consented to his
liberation. A debate of some warmth occurred in the royal council at
Cordova, respecting the policy to be pursued; some contending that the
Moorish monarch was too valuable a prize to be so readily relinquished,
and that the enemy, broken by the loss of their natural leader, would find
it difficult to rally under one common head, or to concert any effective
movement. Others, and especially the marquis of Cadiz, urged his release,
and even the support of his pretensions against his competitor, the old
king of Granada; insisting that the Moorish empire would be more
effectually shaken by internal divisions, than by any pressure of its
enemies from without. The various arguments were submitted to the queen,
who still held her court in the north, and who decided for the release of
Abdallah, as a measure best reconciling sound policy with generosity to
the vanquished. [8]

The terms of the treaty, although sufficiently humiliating to the Moslem
prince, were not materially different from those proposed by the sultana
Zoraya. It was agreed that a truce, of two years should be extended to
Abdallah, and to such places in Granada as acknowledged his authority. In
consideration of which, he stipulated to surrender four hundred Christian
captives without ransom, to pay twelve thousand doblas of gold annually to
the Spanish sovereigns, and to permit a free passage, as well as furnish
supplies, to their troops passing through his territories, for the purpose
of carrying on the war against that portion of the kingdom which still
adhered to his father. Abdallah moreover bound himself to appear when
summoned by Ferdinand, and to surrender his own son, with the children of
his principal nobility, as sureties for his fulfilment of the treaty. Thus
did the unhappy prince barter away his honor and his country's freedom for
the possession of immediate, but most precarious sovereignty; a
sovereignty, which could scarcely be expected to survive the period when
he could be useful to the master whose breath had made him. [9]

The terms of the treaty being thus definitively settled, an interview was
arranged to take place between the two monarchs at Cordova. The Castilian
courtiers would have persuaded their master to offer his hand for Abdallah
to salute, in token of his feudal supremacy; but Ferdinand replied, "Were
the king of Granada in his own dominions, I might do this; but not while
he is a prisoner in mine." The Moorish prince entered Cordova with an
escort of his own knights, and a splendid throng of Spanish chivalry, who
had marched out of the city to receive him. When Abdallah entered the
royal presence, he would have prostrated himself on his knees; but
Ferdinand, hastening to prevent him, embraced him with every demonstration
of respect. An Arabic interpreter, who acted as orator, then, expatiated,
in florid hyperbole, on the magnanimity and princely qualities of the
Spanish king, and the loyalty and good faith of his own master. But
Ferdinand interrupted his eloquence, with the assurance that "his
panegyric was superfluous, and that he had perfect confidence that the
sovereign of Granada would keep his faith as became a true knight and a
king." After ceremonies so humiliating to the Moorish prince,
notwithstanding the veil of decorum studiously thrown over them, he set
out with his attendants for his capital, escorted by a body of Andalusian
horse to the frontier, and loaded with costly presents by the Spanish
king, and the general contempt of his court. [10]

Notwithstanding the importance of the results in the war of Granada, a
detail of the successive steps by which they were achieved would be most
tedious and trifling. No siege or single military achievement of great
moment occurred until nearly four years from this period, in 1487;
although, in the intervening time, a large number of fortresses and petty
towns, together with a very extensive tract of territory, were recovered
from the enemy. Without pursuing the chronological order of events, it is
probable that the end of history will be best attained by presenting a
concise view of the general policy pursued by the sovereigns in the
conduct of the war.

The Moorish wars under preceding monarchs had consisted of little else
than _cavalgadas_, or inroads into the enemy's territory, [11] which,
pouring like a torrent over the land, swept away whatever was upon the
surface, but left it in its essential resources wholly unimpaired. The
bounty of nature soon repaired the ravages of man, and the ensuing harvest
seemed to shoot up more abundantly from the soil, enriched by the blood of
the husbandman. A more vigorous system of spoliation was now introduced.
Instead of one campaign, the army took the field in spring and autumn,
intermitting its efforts only during the intolerable heats of summer, so
that the green crop had no time to ripen, ere it was trodden down under
the iron heel of war.

The apparatus for devastation was also on a much greater scale than had
ever before been witnessed. From the second year of the war, thirty
thousand foragers were reserved for this service, which they effected by
demolishing farmhouses, granaries, and mills, (which last were exceedingly
numerous in a land watered by many small streams,) by eradicating the
vines, and laying waste the olive-gardens and plantations of oranges,
almonds, mulberries, and all the rich varieties that grew luxuriant in
this highly-favored region. This merciless devastation extended for more
than two leagues on either side of the line of march. At the same time,
the Mediterranean fleet cut off all supplies from the Barbary coast, so
that the whole kingdom might be said to be in a state of perpetual
blockade. Such and so general was the scarcity occasioned by this system,
that the Moors were glad to exchange their Christian captives for
provisions, until such ransom was interdicted by the sovereigns, as
tending to defeat their own measures. [12]

Still there was many a green and sheltered valley in Granada, which
yielded its returns unmolested to the Moorish husbandman; while his
granaries were occasionally enriched with the produce of a border foray.
The Moors too, although naturally a luxurious people, were patient of
suffering, and capable of enduring great privation. Other measures,
therefore, of a still more formidable character, became necessary in
conjunction with this rigorous system of blockade.

The Moorish towns were for the most part strongly defended, presenting
within the limits of Granada, as has been said, more than ten times the
number of fortified places that are now scattered over the whole extent of
the Peninsula. They stood along the crest of some precipice, or bold
sierra, whose natural strength was augmented by the solid masonry with
which they were surrounded, and which, however insufficient to hold out
against modern artillery, bade defiance to all the enginery of battering
warfare known previously to the fifteenth century. It was this strength of
fortification, combined with that of their local position, which
frequently enabled a slender garrison in these places to laugh to scorn
all the efforts of the proudest Castilian armies.

The Spanish sovereigns were convinced that they must look to their
artillery as the only effectual means for the reduction of these strong-
holds. In this, they as well as the Moors were extremely deficient,
although Spain appears to have furnished earlier examples of its use than
any other country in Europe. Isabella, who seems to have had the
particular control of this department, caused the most skilful engineers
and artisans to be invited into the kingdom from France, Germany, and
Italy. Forges were constructed in the camp, and all the requisite
materials prepared for the manufacture of cannon, balls, and powder. Large
quantities of the last were also imported from Sicily, Flanders, and
Portugal. Commissaries were established over the various departments, with
instructions to provide whatever might be necessary for the operatives;
and the whole was intrusted to the supervision of Don Francisco Ramirez,
an hidalgo of Madrid, a person of much experience, and extensive military
science, for that day. By these efforts, unremittingly pursued during the
whole of the war, Isabella assembled a train of artillery, such as was
probably not possessed at that time by any other European potentate.

Still, the clumsy construction of the ordnance betrayed the infancy of the
art. More than twenty pieces of artillery used at the siege of Baza,
during this war, are still to be seen in that city, where they long served
as columns in the public market-place. The largest of the lombards, as the
heavy ordnance was called, are about twelve feet in length, consisting of
iron bars two inches in breadth, held together by bolts and rings of the
same metal. These were firmly attached to their carriages, incapable
either of horizontal or vertical movement. It was this clumsiness of
construction which led Machiavelli, some thirty years after, to doubt the
expediency of bringing cannon into field engagements; and he particularly
recommends in his treatise on the Art of War, that the enemy's fire should
be evaded by intervals in the ranks being left open opposite to his
cannon. [14]

The balls thrown from these engines were sometimes of iron, but more
usually of marble. Several hundred of the latter have been picked up in
the fields around Baza, many of which are fourteen inches in diameter, and
weigh a hundred and seventy-five pounds. Yet this bulk, enormous as it
appears, shows a considerable advance in the art since the beginning of
the century, when the stone balls discharged, according to Zurita, at the
siege of Balaguer, weighed not less than five hundred and fifty pounds. It
was very long before the exact proportions requisite for obtaining the
greatest effective force could be ascertained. [15]

The awkwardness with which their artillery was served, corresponded with
the rudeness of its manufacture. It is noticed as a remarkable
circumstance by the chronicler, that two batteries, at the siege of
Albahar, discharged one hundred and forty balls in the course of a day.
[16] Besides this more usual kind of ammunition, the Spaniards threw from
their engines large globular masses, composed of certain inflammable
ingredients mixed with gunpowder, "which, scattering long trains of
light," says an eye-witness, "in their passage through the air, filled the
beholders with dismay, and, descending on the roofs of the edifices,
frequently occasioned extensive conflagration." [17]

The transportation of their bulky engines was not the least of the
difficulties which the Spaniards had to encounter in this war. The Moorish
fortresses were frequently intrenched in the depths of some mountain
labyrinth, whose rugged passes were scarcely accessible to cavalry. An
immense body of pioneers, therefore, was constantly employed in
constructing roads for the artillery across these sierras, by levelling
the mountains, filling up the intervening valleys with rocks, or with cork
trees and other timber that grew prolific in the wilderness, and throwing
bridges across the torrents and precipitous _barrancos_. Pulgar had
the curiosity to examine one of the causeways thus constructed preparatory
to the siege of Cambil, which, although six thousand pioneers were
constantly employed in the work, was attended with such difficulty, that
it advanced only three leagues in twelve days. It required, says the
historian, the entire demolition of one of the most rugged parts of the
sierra, which no one could have believed practicable by human industry.

The Moorish garrisons, perched on their mountain fastnesses, which, like
the eyry of some bird of prey, seemed almost inaccessible to man, beheld
with astonishment the heavy trains of artillery, emerging from the passes,
where the foot of the hunter had scarcely been known to venture. The walls
which encompassed their cities, although lofty, were not of sufficient
thickness to withstand long the assaults of these formidable engines. The
Moors were deficient in heavy ordnance. The weapons on which they chiefly
relied for annoying the enemy at a distance were the arquebus and cross-
bow, with the last of which they were unerring marksmen, being trained to
it from infancy. They adopted a custom, rarely met with in civilized
nations of any age, of poisoning their arrows; distilling for this purpose
the juice of aconite, or wolfsbane, which they found in the _Sierra
Nevada_, or Snowy Mountains, near Granada. A piece of linen or cotton
cloth steeped in this decoction was wrapped round the point of the weapon,
and the wound inflicted by it, however trivial in appearance, was sure to
be mortal. Indeed, a Spanish writer, not content with this, imputes such
malignity to the virus that a drop of it, as he asserts, mingling with the
blood oozing from a wound, would ascend the stream into the vein, and
diffuse its fatal influence over the whole system! [19]

Ferdinand, who appeared at the head of his armies throughout the whole of
this war, pursued a sagacious policy in reference to the beleaguered
cities. He was ever ready to meet the first overtures to surrender, in the
most liberal spirit; granting protection of person, and such property as
the besieged could transport with them, and assigning them a residence, if
they preferred it, in his own dominions. Many, in consequence of this,
migrated to Seville and other cities of Andalusia, where they were settled
on estates which had been confiscated by the inquisitors; who looked
forward, no doubt, with satisfaction to the time, when they should be
permitted to thrust their sickle into the new crop of heresy, whose seeds
were thus sown amid the ashes of the old one. Those who preferred to
remain in the conquered Moorish territory, as Castilian subjects, were
permitted the free enjoyment of personal rights and property, as well as
of their religion; and, such was the fidelity with which Ferdinand
redeemed his engagements during the war, by the punishment of the least
infraction of them by his own people, that many, particularly of the
Moorish peasantry, preferred abiding in their early homes to removing to
Granada, or other places of the Moslem dominion. It was perhaps a
counterpart of the same policy, which led Ferdinand to chastise any
attempt at revolt, on the part of his new Moorish subjects, the Mudejares,
as they were called, with an unsparing rigor, which merits the reproach of
cruelty. Such was the military execution inflicted on the rebellious town
of Benemaquez, where he commanded one hundred and ten of the principal
inhabitants to be hung above the walls, and, after consigning the rest of
the population, men, women, and children, to slavery, caused the place to
be razed to the ground. The humane policy, usually pursued by Ferdinand,
seems to have had a more favorable effect on his enemies, who were
exasperated, rather than intimidated, by this ferocious act of vengeance.

The magnitude of the other preparations corresponded with those for the
ordnance department. The amount of forces assembled at Cordova, we find
variously stated at ten or twelve thousand horse, and twenty, and even
forty thousand foot, exclusive of foragers. On one occasion, the whole
number, including men for the artillery service and the followers of the
camp, is reckoned at eighty thousand. The same number of beasts of burden
were employed in transporting the supplies required for this immense host,
as well as for provisioning the conquered cities standing in the midst of
a desolated country. The queen, who took this department under her special
cognizance, moved along the frontier, stationing herself at points most
contiguous to the scene of operations. There, by means of posts regularly
established, she received hourly intelligence of the war. At the same time
she transmitted the requisite munitions for the troops, by means of
convoys sufficiently strong to secure them against the irruptions of the
wily enemy. [21]

Isabella, solicitous for everything that concerned the welfare of her
people, sometimes visited the camp in person, encouraging the soldiers to
endure the hardships of war, and relieving their necessities by liberal
donations of clothes and money. She caused also a number of large tents,
known as "the queen's hospitals," to be always reserved for the sick and
wounded, and furnished them with the requisite attendants and medicines,
at her own charge. This is considered the earliest attempt at the
formation of a regular camp hospital, on record. [22]

Isabella may be regarded as the soul of this war. She engaged in it with
the most exalted views, less to acquire territory than to re-establish the
empire of the Cross over the ancient domain of Christendom. On this point,
she concentrated all the energies of her powerful mind, never suffering
herself to be diverted by any subordinate interest from this one great and
glorious object. When the king, in 1484, would have paused a while from
the Granadine war, in order to prosecute his claims to Roussillon against
the French, on the demise of Louis the Eleventh, Isabella strongly
objected to it; but, finding her remonstrance ineffectual, she left her
husband in Aragon, and repaired to Cordova, where she placed the cardinal
of Spain at the head of the army, and prepared to open the campaign in the
usual vigorous manner. Here, however, she was soon joined by Ferdinand,
who, on a cooler revision of the subject, deemed it prudent to postpone
his projected enterprise.

On another occasion, in the same year, when the nobles, fatigued with the
service, had persuaded the king to retire earlier than usual, the queen,
dissatisfied with the proceeding, addressed a letter to her husband, in
which, after representing the disproportion of the results to the
preparations, she besought him to keep the field as long as the season
should serve. The grandees, says Lebrija, mortified at being surpassed in
zeal for the holy war by a woman, eagerly collected their forces, which
had been partly disbanded, and returned across the borders to renew
hostilities. [23]

A circumstance, which had frequently frustrated the most magnificent
military enterprises under former reigns, was the factions of these potent
vassals, who, independent of each other, and almost of the crown, could
rarely be brought to act in efficient concert for a length of time, and
broke up the camp on the slightest personal jealousy, Ferdinand
experienced something of this temper in the duke of Medina Celi, who, when
he had received orders to detach a corps of his troops to the support of
the count of Benavente, refused, replying to the messenger, "Tell your
master, that I came here to serve him at the head of my household troops,
and they go nowhere without me as their leader." The sovereigns managed
this fiery spirit with the greatest address, and, instead of curbing it,
endeavored to direct it in the path of honorable emulation. The queen, who
as their hereditary sovereign received a more deferential homage from her
Castilian subjects than Ferdinand, frequently wrote to her nobles in the
camp, complimenting some on their achievements, and others less fortunate
on their intentions, thus cheering the hearts of all, says the chronicler,
and stimulating them to deeds of heroism. On the most deserving she freely
lavished those honors which cost little to the sovereign, but are most
grateful to the subject. The marquis of Cadiz, who was pre-eminent above
every other captain in this war for sagacity and conduct, was rewarded,
after his brilliant surprise of Zahara, with the gift of that city, and
the titles of Marquis of Zahara and Duke of Cadiz. The warrior, however,
was unwilling to resign the ancient title under which he had won his
laurels, and ever after subscribed himself, Marquis Duke of Cadiz.
[24] Still more emphatic honors were conferred on the count de Cabra,
after the capture of the king of Granada. When he presented himself before
the sovereigns, who were at Vitoria, the clergy and cavaliers of the city
marched out to receive him, and he entered in solemn procession on the
right hand of the grand cardinal of Spain. As he advanced up the hall of
audience in the royal palace, the king and queen came forward to welcome
him, and then seated him by themselves at table, declaring that "the
conqueror of kings should sit with kings." These honors were followed by
the more substantial gratuity of a hundred thousand maravedies annual
rent; "a fat donative," says an old chronicler, "for so lean a treasury."
The young alcayde de los donzeles experienced a similar reception on the
ensuing day. Such acts of royal condescension were especially grateful to
the nobility of a court, circumscribed beyond every other in Europe by
stately and ceremonious etiquette. [25]

The duration of the war of Granada was such as to raise the militia
throughout the kingdom nearly to a level with regular troops. Many of
these levies, indeed, at the breaking out of the war, might pretend to
this character. Such were those furnished by the Andalusian cities, which
had been long accustomed to skirmishes with their Moslem neighbors. Such
too was the well-appointed chivalry of the military orders, and the
organized militia of the hermandad, which we find sometimes supplying a
body of ten thousand men for the service. To these may be added the
splendid throng of cavaliers and hidalgos, who swelled the retinues of the
sovereigns and the great nobility. The king was attended in battle by a
body-guard of a thousand knights, one-half light, and the other half heavy
armed, all superbly equipped and mounted, and trained to arms from
childhood, under the royal eye.

Although the burden of the war bore most heavily on Andalusia, from its
contiguity to the scene of action, yet recruits were drawn in abundance
from the most remote provinces, as Galicia, Biscay, and the Asturias, from
Aragon, and even the transmarine dominions of Sicily. The sovereigns did
not disdain to swell their ranks with levies of a humbler description, by
promising an entire amnesty to those malefactors, who had left the country
in great numbers of late years to escape justice, on condition of their
serving in the Moorish war. Throughout this motley host the strictest
discipline and decorum were maintained. The Spaniards have never been
disposed to intemperance; but the passion for gaming, especially with
dice, to which they seem to have been immoderately addicted at that day,
was restrained by the severest penalties. [26]

The brilliant successes of the Spanish sovereigns diffused general
satisfaction throughout Christendom, and volunteers flocked to the camp
from France, England, and other parts of Europe, eager to participate in
the glorious triumphs of the Cross. Among these was a corps of Swiss
mercenaries, who are thus simply described by Pulgar. "There joined the
royal standard a body of men from Switzerland, a country in upper Germany.
These men were bold of heart, and fought on foot. As they were resolved
never to turn their backs upon the enemy, they wore no defensive armor,
except in front; by which means they were less encumbered in fight. They
made a trade of war, letting themselves out as mercenaries; but they
espoused only a just quarrel, for they were devout and loyal Christians,
and above all abhorred rapine as a great sin." [27] The Swiss had recently
established their military renown by the discomfiture of Charles the Bold,
when they first proved the superiority of infantry over the best-appointed
chivalry of Europe. Their example no doubt contributed to the formation of
that invincible Spanish infantry, which, under the Great Captain and his
successors, may be said to have decided the fate of Europe for more than
half a century.

Among the foreigners was one from the distant isle of Britain, the earl of
Rivers, or conde de Escalas, as he is called from his patronymic, Scales,
by the Spanish writers. "There came from Britain," says Peter Martyr, "a
cavalier, young, wealthy, and high-born. He was allied to the blood royal
of England. He was attended by a beautiful train of household troops three
hundred in number, armed after the fashion of their land with long-bow and
battle-axe." This nobleman particularly distinguished himself by his
gallantry in the second siege of Loja, in 1486. Having asked leave to
fight after the manner of his country, says the Andalusian chronicler, he
dismounted from his good steed, and putting himself at the head of his
followers, armed like himself _en blanco_, with their swords at their
thighs, and battle-axes in their hands, he dealt such terrible blows
around him as filled even the hardy mountaineers of the north with
astonishment. Unfortunately, just as the suburbs were carried, the good
knight, as he was mounting a scaling-ladder, received a blow from a stone,
which dashed out two of his teeth, and stretched him senseless on the
ground. He was removed to his tent, where he lay some time under medical
treatment; and, when he had sufficiently recovered, he received a visit
from the king and queen, who complimented him on his prowess, and
testified their sympathy for his misfortune. "It is little," replied he,
"to lose a few teeth in the service of him, who has given me all. Our
Lord," he added, "who reared this fabric, has only opened a window, in
order to discern the more readily what passes within." A facetious
response, says Peter Martyr, which gave uncommon satisfaction to the
sovereigns. [28]

The queen, not long after, testified her sense of the earl's services by a
magnificent largess, consisting, among other things, of twelve Andalusian
horses, two couches with richly wrought hangings and coverings of cloth of
gold, with a quantity of fine linen, and sumptuous pavilions for himself
and suite. The brave knight seems to have been satisfied with this state
of the Moorish wars; for he soon after returned to England, and in 1488
passed over to France, where his hot spirit prompted him to take part in
the feudal factions of that country, in which he lost his life, fighting
for the duke of Brittany. [29]

The pomp with which the military movements were conducted in these
campaigns, gave the scene rather the air of a court pageant, than that of
the stern array of war. The war was one, which, appealing both to
principles of religion and patriotism, was well calculated to inflame the
imaginations of the young Spanish cavaliers; and they poured into the
field, eager to display themselves under the eye of their illustrious
queen, who, as she rode through the ranks mounted on her war-horse, and
clad in complete mail, afforded no bad personification of the genius of
chivalry. The potent and wealthy barons exhibited in the camp all the
magnificence of princes. The pavilions decorated with various-colored
pennons, and emblazoned with the armorial bearings of their ancient
houses, shone with a splendor, which a Castilian writer likens to that of
the city of Seville. [30] They always appeared surrounded by a throng of
pages in gorgeous liveries, and at night were preceded by a multitude of
torches, which shed a radiance like that of day. They vied with each other
in the costliness of their apparel, equipage, and plate, and in the
variety and delicacy of the dainties with which their tables were covered.

Ferdinand and Isabella saw with regret this lavish ostentation, and
privately remonstrated with some of the principal grandees on its evil
tendency, especially in seducing the inferior and poorer nobility into
expenditures beyond their means. This Sybarite indulgence, however, does
not seem to have impaired the martial spirit of the nobles. On all
occasions, they contended with each other for the post of danger. The duke
del Infantado, the head of the powerful house of Mendoza, was conspicuous
above all for the magnificence of his train. At the siege of Illora, 1486,
he obtained permission to lead the storming party. As his followers
pressed onwards to the breach, they were received with such a shower of
missiles as made them falter for a moment. "What, my men," cried he, "do
you fail me at this hour? Shall we be taunted with bearing more finery on
our backs than courage in our hearts? Let us not, in God's name, be
laughed at as mere holyday soldiers!" His vassals, stung by this rebuke,
rallied, and, penetrating the breach, carried the place by the fury of
their assault. [32]

Notwithstanding the remonstrances of the sovereigns against this
ostentation of luxury, they were not wanting in the display of royal state
and magnificence on all suitable occasions. The Curate of Los Palacios has
expatiated with elaborate minuteness on the circumstances of an interview
between Ferdinand and Isabella in the camp before Moclin, in 1486, where
the queen's presence was solicited for the purpose of devising a plan of
future operations. A few of the particulars may be transcribed, though at
the hazard of appearing trivial to readers, who take little interest in
such details.

On the borders of the Yeguas, the queen was met by an advanced corps,
under the command of the marquis-duke of Cadiz, and, at the distance of a
league and a half from Moclin, by the duke del Infantado, with the
principal nobility and their vassals, splendidly accoutred. On the left of
the road was drawn up in battle array the militia of Seville, and the
queen, making her obeisance to the banner of that illustrious city,
ordered it to pass to her right. The successive battalions saluted the
queen as she advanced, by lowering their standards, and the joyous
multitude announced with tumultuous acclamations her approach to the
conquered city.

The queen was accompanied by her daughter, the infanta Isabella, and a
courtly train of damsels, mounted on mules richly caparisoned. The queen
herself rode a chestnut mule, seated on a saddle-chair embossed with gold
and silver. The housings were of a crimson color, and the bridle was of
satin, curiously wrought with letters of gold. The infanta wore a skirt of
fine velvet, over others of brocade; a scarlet mantilla of the Moorish
fashion; and a black hat trimmed with gold embroidery. The king rode
forward at the head of his nobles to receive her. He was dressed in a
crimson doublet, with _chausses_, or breeches, of yellow satin. Over
his shoulders was thrown a cassock or mantle of rich brocade, and a
sopravest of the same materials concealed his cuirass. By his side, close
girt, he wore a Moorish scimitar, and beneath his bonnet his hair was
confined by a cap or headdress of the finest stuff.

Ferdinand was mounted on a noble war-horse of a bright chestnut color. In
the splendid train of chivalry which attended him, Bernaldez dwells with
much satisfaction on the English lord Scales. He was followed by a retinue
of five pages arrayed in costly liveries. He was sheathed in complete
mail, over which was thrown a French surcoat of dark silk brocade. A
buckler was attached by golden, clasps to his arm, and on his head he wore
a white French hat with plumes. The caparisons of his steed were azure
silk, lined with violet and sprinkled over with stars of gold, and swept
the ground, as he managed his fiery courser with an easy horsemanship that
excited general admiration.

The king and queen, as they drew near, bowed thrice with formal reverence
to each other. The queen at the same time raising her hat, remained in her
coif or headdress, with her face uncovered; Ferdinand, riding up, kissed
her affectionately on the cheek, and then, according to the precise
chronicler, bestowed a similar mark of tenderness on his daughter
Isabella, after giving her his paternal benediction. The royal party were
then escorted to the camp, where suitable accommodations had been provided
for the queen and her fair retinue. [33]

It may readily be believed that the sovereigns did not neglect, in a war
like the present, an appeal to the religious principle so deeply seated in
the Spanish character. All their public acts ostentatiously proclaimed the
pious nature of the work in which they were engaged. They were attended in
their expeditions by churchmen of the highest rank, who not only mingled
in the councils of the camp, but, like the bold bishop of Jaen, or the
grand cardinal Mendoza, buckled on harness over rochet and hood, and led
their squadrons to the field. [34] The queen at Cordova celebrated the
tidings of every new success over the infidel, by solemn procession and
thanksgiving, with her whole household, as well as the nobility, foreign
ambassadors, and municipal functionaries. In like manner Ferdinand, on the
return from his campaigns, was received at the gates of the city, and
escorted in solemn pomp beneath a rich canopy of state to the cathedral
church, where he prostrated himself in grateful adoration of the Lord of
hosts. Intelligence of their triumphant progress in the war was constantly
transmitted to the pope, who returned his benediction, accompanied by more
substantial marks of favor, in bulls of crusade, and taxes on
ecclesiastical rents. [35]

The ceremonials observed on the occupation of a new conquest were such as
to affect the heart no less than the imagination. "The royal
_alferez_," says Marineo, "raised the standard of the Cross, the sign
of our salvation, on the summit of the principal fortress; and all who
beheld it prostrated themselves on their knees in silent worship of the
Almighty, while the priests chanted the glorious anthem, _Te Deum
laudamus_. The ensign or pennon of St. James, the chivalric patron of
Spain, was then unfolded, and all invoked his blessed name. Lastly was
displayed the banner of the sovereigns, emblazoned with the royal arms; at
which the whole army shouted forth, as if with one voice, 'Castile,
Castile!' After these solemnities, a bishop led the way to the principal
mosque, which, after the rites of purification, he consecrated to the
service of the true faith." The standard of the Cross above referred to
was of massive silver, and was a present from Pope Sixtus the Fourth to
Ferdinand, in whose tent it was always carried throughout these campaigns.
An ample supply of bells, vases, missals, plate, and other sacred
furniture, was also borne along with the camp, being provided by the queen
for the purified mosques. [36]

The most touching part of the incidents usually occurring at the surrender
of a Moorish city was the liberation of the Christian captives immured in
its dungeons. On the capture of Ronda, in 1485, more than four hundred of
these unfortunate persons, several of them cavaliers of rank, some of whom
had been taken in the fatal expedition of the Axarquia, were restored to
the light of heaven. On being brought before Ferdinand, they prostrated
themselves on the ground, bathing his feet with tears, while their wan and
wasted figures, their dishevelled locks, their beards reaching down to
their girdles, and their limbs loaded with heavy manacles, brought tears
into the eye of every spectator. They were then commanded to present
themselves before the queen at Cordova, who liberally relieved their
necessities, and, after the celebration of public thanksgiving, caused
them to be conveyed to their own homes. The fetters of the liberated
captives were suspended in the churches, where they continued to be
revered by succeeding generations as the trophies of Christian warfare.

Ever since the victory of Lucena, the sovereigns had made it a capital
point of their policy to foment the dissensions of their enemies. The
young king Abdallah, after his humiliating treaty with Ferdinand, lost
whatever consideration he had previously possessed. Although the sultana
Zoraya, by her personal address, and the lavish distribution of the royal
treasures, contrived to maintain a faction for her son, the better classes
of his countrymen despised him as a renegade, and a vassal of the
Christian king. As their old monarch had become incompetent, from
increasing age and blindness, to the duties of his station in these
perilous times, they turned their eyes on his brother Abdallah, surnamed
El Zagal, or "The Valiant," who had borne so conspicuous a part in the
rout of the Axarquia. The Castilians depict this chief in the darkest
colors of ambition and cruelty; but the Moslem writers afford no such
intimation, and his advancement to the throne at that crisis seems to be
in some measure justified by his eminent talents as a military leader.

On his way to Granada, he encountered and cut to pieces a body of
Calatrava knights from Alhama, and signalized his entrance into his new
capital by bearing along the bloody trophies of heads dangling from his
saddlebow, after the barbarous fashion long practised in these wars.
[38] It was observed that the old king Abul Hacen did not long survive his
brother's accession. [39] The young king Abdallah sought the protection of
the Castilian sovereigns in Seville, who, true to their policy, sent him
back into his own dominions with the means of making headway against his
rival. The _alfakies_ and other considerate persons of Granada,
scandalized at these fatal feuds, effected a reconciliation, on the basis
of a division of the kingdom between the parties. But wounds so deep could
not be permanently healed. The site of the Moorish capital was most
propitious to the purposes of faction. It covered two swelling eminences,
divided from each other by the deep waters of the Darro. The two factions
possessed themselves respectively of these opposite quarters. Abdallah was
not ashamed to strengthen himself by the aid of Christian mercenaries; and
a dreadful conflict was carried on for fifty days and nights, within the
city, which swam with the blood that should have been shed only in its
defence. [40]

Notwithstanding these auxiliary circumstances, the progress of the
Christians was comparatively slow. Every cliff seemed to be crowned with a
fortress; and every fortress was defended with the desperation of men
willing to bury themselves under its ruins. The old men, women, and
children, on occasions of a siege, were frequently despatched to Granada.
Such was the resolution, or rather ferocity of the Moors, that Malaga
closed its gates against the fugitives from Alora, after its surrender,
and even massacred some of them in cold blood. The eagle eye of El Zagal
seemed to take in at a glance the whole extent of his little territory,
and to detect every vulnerable point in his antagonist, whom he
encountered where he least expected it; cutting off his convoys,
surprising his foraging parties, and retaliating by a devastating inroad
on the borders. [41]

No effectual and permanent resistance, however, could be opposed to the
tremendous enginery of the Christians. Tower and town fell before it.
Besides the principal towns of Cartama, Coin, Setenil, Ronda, Marbella,
Illora, termed by the Moors "the right eye," Moclin, "the shield" of
Granada, and Loja, after a second and desperate siege in the spring of
1486, Bernaldez enumerates more than seventy subordinate places in the Val
de Cartama, and thirteen others after the fall of Marbella. Thus the
Spaniards advanced their line of conquest more than twenty leagues beyond
the western frontier of Granada. This extensive tract they strongly
fortified and peopled, partly with Christian subjects, and partly with
Moorish, the original occupants of the soil, who were secured in the
possession of their ancient lands, under their own law. [42]

Thus the strong posts, which may be regarded as the exterior defences of
the city of Granada, were successively carried. A few positions alone
remained of sufficient strength to keep the enemy at bay. The most
considerable of these was Malaga, which from its maritime situation
afforded facilities for a communication with the Barbary Moors, that the
vigilance of the Castilian cruisers could not entirely intercept. On this
point, therefore, it was determined to concentrate all the strength of the
monarchy, by sea and land, in the ensuing campaign of 1487.

* * * * *

Two of the most important authorities for the war of Granada are Fernando
del Pulgar and Antonio de Lebrija, or Nebrissensis, as he is called from
the Latin _Nebrissa_.

Few particulars have been preserved respecting the biography of the
former. He was probably a native of Pulgar, near Toledo. The Castilian
writers recognize certain provincialisms in his style belonging to that
district. He was secretary to Henry IV., and was charged with various
confidential functions by him. He seems to have retained his place on the
accession of Isabella, by whom he was appointed national historiographer
in 1482, when, from certain remarks in his letters, it would appear he was
already advanced in years. This office, in the fifteenth century,
comprehended, in addition to the more obvious duties of an historian, the
intimate and confidential relations of a private secretary. "It was the
business of the chronicler," says Bernaldez, "to carry on foreign
correspondence in the service of his master, acquainting himself with
whatever was passing in other courts and countries, and, by the discreet
and conciliatory tenor of his epistles, to allay such feuds as might arise
between the king and his nobility, and establish harmony between them."
From this period Pulgar remained near the royal person, accompanying the
queen in her various progresses through the kingdom, as well as in her
military expeditions into the Moorish territory. He was consequently an
eye-witness of many of the warlike scenes which he describes, and, from
his situation at the court, had access to the most ample and accredited
sources of information. It is probable he did not survive the capture of
Granada, as his history falls somewhat short of that event. Pulgar's
chronicle, in the portion containing a retrospective survey of events
previous to 1482, may be charged with gross inaccuracy. But, in all the
subsequent period, it may be received as perfectly authentic, and has all
the air of impartiality. Every circumstance relating to the conduct of the
war is developed with equal fulness and precision. His manner of
narration, though prolix, is perspicuous, and may compare favorably with
that of contemporary writers. His sentiments may compare still more
advantageously in point of liberality, with those of the Castilian
historians of a later age.

Pulgar left some other works, of which his commentary on the ancient
satire of "Mingo Revulgo," his "Letters," and his "Claros Varones," or
sketches of illustrious men, have alone been published. The last contains
notices of the most distinguished individuals of the court of Henry IV.,
which, although too indiscriminately encomiastic, are valuable
subsidiaries to an accurate acquaintance with the prominent actors of the
period. The last and most elegant edition of Pulgar's Chronicle was
published at Valencia in 1780, from the press of Benito Montfort, in large

Antonio de Lebrija was one of the most active and erudite scholars of this
period. He was born in the province of Andalusia, in 1444. After the usual
discipline at Salamanca, he went at the age of nineteen to Italy, where he
completed his education in the university of Bologna. He returned to Spain
ten years after, richly stored with classical learning and the liberal
arts that were then taught in the flourishing schools of Italy. He lost no
time in dispensing to his countrymen his various acquisitions. He was
appointed to the two chairs of grammar and poetry (a thing unprecedented)
in the university of Salamanca, and lectured at the same time in these
distinct departments. He was subsequently preferred by Cardinal Ximenes to
a professorship in his university of Alcalá de Henares, where his services
were liberally requited, and where he enjoyed the entire confidence of his
distinguished patron, who consulted him on all matters affecting the
interests of the institution. Here he continued, delivering his lectures
and expounding the ancient classics to crowded audiences, to the advanced
age of seventy-eight, when he was carried off by an attack of apoplexy.

Lebrija, besides his oral tuition, composed works on a great variety of
subjects, philological, historical, theological, etc. His emendation of
the sacred text was visited with the censure of the Inquisition, a
circumstance which will not operate to his prejudice with posterity.
Lebrija was far from being circumscribed by the narrow sentiments of his
age. He was warmed with a generous enthusiasm for letters, which kindled a
corresponding flame in the bosoms of his disciples, among whom may be
reckoned some of the brightest names in the literary annals of the period.
His instruction effected for classical literature in Spain what the labors
of the great Italian scholars of the fifteenth century did for it in their
country; and he was rewarded with the substantial gratitude of his own
age, and such empty honors as could be rendered by posterity. For very
many years, the anniversary of his death was commemorated by public
services, and a funeral panegyric, in the university of Alcalá.

The circumstances attending the composition of his Latin Chronicle, so
often quoted in this history, are very curious. Carbajal says, that he
delivered Pulgar's Chronicle, after that writer's death, into Lebrija's
hands for the purpose of being translated into Latin. The latter proceeded
in his task, as far as the year 1486. His history, however, can scarcely
be termed a translation, since, although it takes up the same thread of
incident, it is diversified by many new ideas and particular facts. This
unfinished performance was found among Lebrija's papers, after his
decease, with a preface containing not a word of acknowledgment to Pulgar.
It was accordingly published for the first time, in 1545 (the edition
referred to in this history), by his son Sancho, as an original production
of his father. Twenty years after, the first edition of Pulgar's original
Chronicle was published at Valladolid, from the copy which belonged to
Lebrija, by his grandson Antonio. This work appeared also as Lebrija's.
Copies however of Pulgar's Chronicle were preserved in several private
libraries; and two years later, 1567, his just claims were vindicated by
an edition at Saragossa, inscribed with his name as its author.

Lebrija's reputation has sustained some injury from this transaction,
though most undeservedly. It seems probable, that he adopted Pulgar's text
as the basis of his own, intending to continue the narrative to a later
period. His unfinished manuscript being found among his papers after his
death, without reference to any authority, was naturally enough given to
the world as entirely his production. It is more strange, that Pulgar's
own Chronicle, subsequently printed as Lebrija's, should have contained no
allusion to its real author. The History, although composed as far as it
goes with sufficient elaboration and pomp of style, is one that adds, on
the whole, but little to the fame of Lebrija. It was at best but adding a
leaf to the laurel on his brow, and was certainly not worth a plagiarism.


"Por esa puerte de Elvira
sale muy gran cabalgada:
cuanto del _hidalgo moro_,
cuánto de la yegua baya.

* * * * * *

"Cuánta pluma y gentíleza,
cuánto capellar de grana,
cuánto bayo borceguf,
cuánto raso que se esmalta,

"Cuánto de espuela de oro,
cuánta estribera de plata!
Toda es gente valerosa,
y esperta para batalla.

"En medio de todos ellos
va el rey Chico de Granada,
mirando las damas moras
de las torres del Alhambra.

"La reina mora su madre
de esta manera le habla;
'Alá te guarde, mi hijo,
Mahoma vaya en tu guarda.'" Hyta, Guerras de Granada, tom. i. p. 232.

[2] Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes, tom. iii. cap. 36.--Cardonne, Hist.
d'Afrique et d'Espagne, tom. iii. pp. 267-271.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Católicos, MS., cap. 60.--Pedraza, Antiguedad de Granada, fol. 10.--
Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 12.

[3] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, part. 3, cap. 20.

The _donzeles_, of which Diego de Cordova was alcayde, or captain, were a
body of young cavaliers, originally brought up as pages in the royal
household, and organized as a separate corps of the militia. Salazar
de Mendoza, Dignidades, p. 259.--See also Morales, Obras, tom. xiv. p. 80.

[4] Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes, tom. iii. cap. 36.--Abarca, Reyes de
Aragon, tom. ii. fol. 302.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., año 1483.--Bernaldez,
Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 61.--Pulgar, Crónica, cap. 20.--Marmol,
Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 12.

[5] Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. p. 637.--Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, ubi
supra.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 61.--Conde, Dominacion de
los Arabes, tom. iii. cap. 36.--Cardonne, Hist. d'Afrique et d'Espagne,
tom. iii. pp. 271-274.

The various details, even to the site of the battle, are told in the usual
confused and contradictory manner by the garrulous chroniclers of the
period. All authorities, however, both Christian and Moorish, agree as to
its general results.

[6] Mendoza, Dignidades, p. 382.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1,
quinc. 4, dial. 9.

[7] Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes, tom. iii. cap. 36.--Cardonne, Hist.
d'Afrique et d'Espagne, pp. 271-274.

[8] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, cap. 23.--Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib.
1, cap. 12.

Charles V. does not seem to have partaken of his grandfather's delicacy in
regard to an interview with his royal captive, or indeed to any part of
his deportment towards him.

[9] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, ubi supra.--Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes,
cap. 36.

[10] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, loc. cit.--Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes,
cap. 36.

[11] The term _cavalgada_ seems to be used indifferently by the ancient
Spanish writers to represent a marauding party, the foray itself, or the
booty taken in it.

[12] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, cap. 22.--Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom.
vi. Ilust. 6.

[13] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, cap. 32, 41.--Zurita, Anales, tom. iv lib.
20, cap. 59.--Lebrija, Rerum Gestarum Decades, ii. lib. 3, cap. 5.

[14] Machiavelli, Arte della Guerra, lib. 3.

[15] Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 6.

According to Gibbon, the cannon used by Mahomet in the siege of
Constantinople, about thirty years before this time, threw stone balls,
which weighed above 600 pounds. The measure of the bore was twelve palms.
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chap. 68.

[16] Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 6.

We get a more precise notion of the awkwardness with which the artillery
was served in the infancy of the science, from a fact recorded in the
Chronicle of John II., that at the siege of Setenil, in 1407, five
lombards were able to discharge only forty shot in the course of a day. We
have witnessed an invention, in our time, that of our ingenious
countryman, Jacob Perkins, by which a gun, with the aid of that miracle-
worker, steam, is enabled to throw a thousand bullets in a single minute.

[17] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 174.--Pulgar, Reyes Católicos,
cap. 44. Some writers, as the Abbé Mignot, (Histoire des Rois Catholiques
Ferdinand et Isabelle, (Paris, 1766,) tom. i. p. 273,) have referred the
invention of bombs to the siege of Ronda. I find no authority for this.
Pulgar's words are, "They made many iron balls, large and small, some of
which they cast in a mould, having reduced the iron to a state of fusion,
so that it would run like any other metal."

[18] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, cap. 51.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS.,
cap. 82.

[19] Mendoza, Guerra de Granada, (Valencia, 1776,) pp. 73, 74.--Zurita,
Anales, tom. iv. lib. 20, cap. 59.--Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. p.
168. According to Mendoza, a decoction of the quince furnished the most
effectual antidote known against this poison.

[20] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. fol. 304.--Lebrija, Rerum Gestarum
Decades, ii. lib. 4, cap. 2.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 76.--
Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 12.

Pulgar, who is by no means bigoted for the age, seems to think the literal
terms granted by Ferdinand to the enemies of the faith stand in need of
perpetual apology. See Reyes Católicos, cap. 44 et passim.

[21] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 75.--Pulgar, Reyes Católicos,
cap. 21, 33, 42.--Lebrija, Rerum Gestarum Decades, ii. lib. 8, cap. 6.--
Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 13.

[22] Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 6.

[23] Lebrija, Rerum Gestarum Decades, ii. lib. 3, cap. 6.--Pulgar, Reyes
Católicos, cap. 31.

[24] After another daring achievement, the sovereigns granted him and his
heirs the royal suit worn by the monarchs of Castile on Ladyday; a
present, says Abarca, not to be estimated by its cost. Reyes de Aragon,
tom. ii. fol. 308.

[25] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, ubi supra.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., lib
1, epist. 41.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 68.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. iv. cap. 58.

[26] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, cap. 31, 67, 69.--Lebrija, Rerum Gestarum
Decades, ii. lib. 2, cap. 10.

[27] Reyes Católicos, cap. 21.

[28] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., lib. 1, epist. 62.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Católicos, MS., cap. 78.

[29] Guillaume de Ialigny, Histoire de Charles VIII., (Paris, 1617,) pp.

[30] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 75.--This city, even before the
New World had poured its treasures into its lap, was conspicuous for its
magnificence, as the ancient proverb testifies. Zuñiga, Annales de
Sevilla, p. 183.

[31] Pulgar. Reyes Católicos, cap. 41.

[32] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, cap. 59.--This nobleman, whose name was
Iñigo Lopez de Mendoza, was son of the first duke, Diego Hurtado, who
supported Isabella's claims to the crown. Oviedo was present at the siege
of Illora, and gives a minute description of his appearance there. "He
came," says that writer, "attended by a numerous body of cavaliers and
gentlemen, as befitted so great a lord. He displayed all the luxuries
which belong to a time of peace; and his tables, which were carefully
served, were loaded with rich and curiously wrought plate, of which he had
a greater profusion than any other grandee in the kingdom." In another
place he says, "The duke Iñigo was a perfect Alexander for his liberality,
in all his actions princely, maintaining unbounded hospitality among his
numerous vassals and dependents, and beloved throughout Spain. His palaces
were garnished with the most costly tapestries, jewels, and rich stuffs of
gold and silver. His chapel was filled with accomplished singers and
musicians; his falcons, hounds, and his whole hunting establishment,
including a magnificent stud of horses, not to be matched by any other
nobleman in the kingdom. Of the truth of all which," concludes Oviedo, "I
myself have been an eye-witness, and enough others can testify." See
Oviedo, (Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial. 8,) who has given the
genealogy of the Mendozas and Mendozinos, in all its endless

[33] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 80.--The lively author of "A
Year in Spain" describes, among other suits of armor still to be seen in
the museum of the armory at Madrid, those worn by Ferdinand and his
illustrious consort. "In one of the most conspicuous stations is the suit
of armor usually worn by Ferdinand the Catholic. He seems snugly seated
upon his war-horse with a pair of red velvet breeches, after the manner of
the Moors, with lifted lance and closed visor. There are several suits of
Ferdinand and of his queen Isabella, who was no stranger to the dangers of
a battle. By the comparative heights of the armor, Isabella would seem to
be the bigger of the two, as she certainly was the better." A Year in
Spain, by a young American, (Boston, 1829,) p. 116.

[34] Cardinal Mendoza, in the campaign of 1485, offered the queen to raise
a body of 3000 horse, and march at its head to the relief of Alhama, and
at the same time to supply her with such sums of money as might be
necessary in the present exigency. Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, cap. 50.

[35] In 1486, we find Ferdinand and Isabella performing a pilgrimage to
the shrine of St. James of Compostella. Carbajal, Anales, MS., año 86.

[36] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 173.--Bernaldez, Reyes. Católicos,
MS., cap. 82, 87.

[37] Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, cap. 47.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS.,
cap. 75.

[38] Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes, tom. iii. cap. 37.--Cardonne, Hist.
d'Afrique et d'Espagne, tom. iii. pp. 276, 281, 282.--Abarca, Reyes de
Aragon, tom. ii. fol. 304.

"El enjaeza el caballo
Be las cabezas de fama,"

says one of the old Moorish ballads. A garland of Christian heads seems to
have been deemed no unsuitable present from a Moslem knight to his lady
love. Thus one of the Zegries triumphantly asks,

"¿Que Cristianos habeis muerto,
O escalado que murallas?
¿O que cabezas famosas
Aveis presentado a damas?"

This sort of trophy was also borne by the Christian cavaliers. Examples of
this may be found even as late as the siege of Granada. See, among others,
the ballad beginning

"A vista de los dos Reyes."

[39] The Arabic historian alludes to the vulgar report of the old king's
assassination by his brother, but leaves us in the dark in regard to his
own opinion of its credibility. "Algunos dicen que le procuro la muerte su
hermano el Rey Zagal; pero Dios lo sabe, que es el unico eterno e
inmutable."--Conde, Domination de los Arabes, tom. in. cap. 38.

[40] Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes, tom. iii. cap. 38.--Cardonne, Hist.
d'Afrique et d'Espagne, pp. 291, 292.--Mariana, Hist. de España, lib. 25,
cap. 9.--Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 12.

"Muy revuelta anda Granada
en armas y fuego ardiendo,
y los ciudadanos de ella
duras muertes padeciendo;

Por tres reyes que hay esquivos,
cada uno pretendiendo
el mando, cetro y corona
de Granada y su gobierno," etc.

See this old _romance_, mixing up fact and fiction, with more of the
former than usual, in Hyta, Guerras de Granada, tom. i. p. 292.

[41] Among other achievements, Zagal surprised and beat the count of Cabra
in a night attack upon Moclin, and wellnigh retaliated on that nobleman
his capture of the Moorish king Abdallah. Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, cap.

[42] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 75.--Pulgar, Reyes Católicos,
cap. 48.--Lebrija, Rerum Gestarum Decades, ii. lib. 3, cap. 5, 7; lib. 4,
cap. 2, 3.--Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 12.


Book of the day: