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

The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V2 by William H. Prescott

Part 7 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.

incredibilem animi sublimitatem cum pari morum facilitate, elegantiâque
conjunxerat; ut merito locum in republicâ summo proximum ad supremum usque
diem tenuerit." (De Rebus Gestis, fol. 9.) Martyr, noticing the cardinal's
death, bestows the following brief but comprehensive panegyric on him.
"Periit Gonsalus Mendotiae, domûs splendor et lucida fax; periit quem
universa colebat Hispania, quem exteri etiam principes venerabantur, quem
ordo cardineus collegam sibi esse gloriabatur." Opus Epist., epist. 158.

[3] Salazar de Mendoza, Crón. del Gran Cardenal, pp. 263-273, 381-410.

[4] "Gran varon, y muy experimentado y prudente en negocios," says Oviedo
of the cardinal, "_pero a vueltas de las negociaciones desta vida_,
tuvo trés hijos varones," etc. Then follows a full notice of this
graceless progeny. Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial. 8.

[5] Salazar de Mendoza, Crón. del Gran Cardenal, lib. 2, cap. 66.

The doctor Pedro Salazar de Mendoza's biography of his illustrious
relative is a very fair specimen of the Spanish style of book-making in
ancient times. One event seems to suggest another with about as much
cohesion as the rhymes of "The House that Jack built." There is scarcely a
place or personage of note, that the grand cardinal was brought in contact
with in the course of his life, whose history is not made the theme of
profuse dissertation. Nearly fifty chapters are taken up, for example,
with the distinguished men, who graduated at the college of Santa Cruz.

[6] "Non hoc," says Tacitus with truth, "praecipuum amicorum munus est,
prosequi defunctum ignavo questu; sed quae voluerit meminisse, quae
mandaverit exsequi." Annales, lib. 2, sect. 71.

[7] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 143.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., año
1494.--Salazar de Mendoza, Crón. del Gran Cardenal, lib. 2, cap. 45.

A foundling hospital does not seem to have come amiss in Spain, where,
according to Salazar, the wretched parents frequently destroyed their
offspring by casting them into wells and pits, or exposing them in desert
places to die of famine. "_The more compassionate_," he observes, "laid
them at the doors of churches, where they were too often worried to
death by dogs and other animals." The grand cardinal's nephew, who founded
a similar institution, is said to have furnished an asylum in the course
of his life to no less than 13,000 of these little victims! Ibid., cap.

[8] Salazar de Mendoza, Crón, del Gran Cardenal, lib. 2, cap. 46.--Gomez,
De Rebus Gestis, fol. 8.

The dying cardinal is said to have recommended, among other things, that
the queen should repair any wrong done to Joanna Beltraneja, by marrying
her with the young prince of the Asturias; which suggestion was so little
to Isabella's taste that she broke off the conversation, saying, "the good
man wandered and talked nonsense."

[9] It is singular, that Fiddlier should have blundered some twenty years
in the date of Ximenes's birth, which he makes 1457. (Hist. de Ximenés,
liv. 1, p. 3.) It is not singular, that Marsollier should. Histoire du
Ministère du Cardinal Ximenez, (Toulouse, 1694,) liv. 1, p. 3.

[10] The honorable extraction of Ximenes is intimated in Juan Vergara's
verses at the end of the Complutensian Polyglot:

"Nomine Cisnerius clarâ de stirpe parentum,
Et meritis factus clarior ipse suis."

Fray Pedro de Quintanilla y Mendoza makes a goodly genealogical tree for
his hero, of which King Pelayo, King Pepin, Charlemagne, and other royal
worthies are the respectable roots. (Proemia Dedicatoria, pp. 5-35.)
According to Gonzalo de Oviedo, his father was a poor hidalgo, who, having
spent his little substance on the education of his children, was obliged
to take up the profession of an advocate. Quincuagenas, MS.

[11] Quintanilla, Archetypo, p. 6.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, Ximen., fol.
2.--Idem, Miscellanear., MS., ex Bibliothecâ, Regiâ Matritensi, tom. ii.
fol. 189.

[12] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 2.--Idem, Miscellanear., MS., ubi
supra.--Eugenio de Robles, Compendio de la Vida y Hazañas del Cardenal Don
Fray Francisco Ximenez de Cisneros, (Toledo, 1604,) cap. 11.

[13] Quintanilla, Archetype, pp. 8, 10.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 2.--
Fléchier, Hist. de Ximenés, pp. 8-10.--Suma de la Vida del R. S. Cardenal
Don Fr. Francisco Ximenez de Cisneros, sacada de los Memoriales de Juan de
Vallejo, Paje de CEamara, è de algunas Personas que en su Tiempo lo
vieron: para la Ilustrisima Señora Doña Catalina de la Zerda, Condesa de
Coruña, a quien Dios guarde, y de su Gracia, por un Criado de su Casa, MS.

[14] Suma de la Vida de Cisneros, MS.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 3.--
Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 11.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., dial, de

[15] Quintanilla, Archetypo, p. ll.--Gomez, Miscellanear., MS., ubi
supra.--Idem, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 4.

This edifice, says Salazar de Mendoza, in respect to its sacristy, choir,
cloisters, library, etc., was the most sumptuous and noted of its time. It
was originally destined by the Catholic sovereigns for their place of
sepulture; an honor afterwards reserved for Granada, on its recovery from
the infidels. The great chapel was garnished with the fetters taken from
the dungeons of Malaga, in which the Moors confined their Christian
captives. Monarquía, tom. i. p. 410.

[16] Fléchier, Hist. de Ximenés, p. 14.--Quintanilla, Archetype, pp. 13,
14.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 4.--Suma de la Vida de Cisneros, MS.--
Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.

[17] Salazar de Mendoza, Crón. del Gran Cardenal, lib. 2, cap. 63.--Gomez,
De Rebus Gestis, fol. 4.--Suma de la Vida de Cisneros, MS.--Robles, Vida
de Ximenez, cap. 12.

[18] Fléchier, Hist. de Ximenés, pp. 18, 19.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
epist. 108.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, ubi supra.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas,

[19] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 108.

"Praeterea," says Martyr, in a letter to Don Fernando Alvarez, one of the
royal secretaries, "nonne tu sanotissimum quendam virum à, solitudine
abstrusisque silvis, macie ob abstinentiam confectum, relicti Granatensis
loco fuisse suffactum, scriptitasti? In istius facie obdnctâ, nonne
Hilarionis te imaginem aut primi Pauli vultum conspexisse fateris?" Opus
Epist., epist. 105.

[20] "Todos hablaban," says Oviedo, "de la sanctimonia é vida de este
religioso." The same writer says, that he saw him at Medina del Campo, in
1494, in a solemn procession, on the day of Corpus Christi, his body much
emaciated, and walking barefooted in his coarse friar's dress. In the same
procession was the magnificent cardinal of Spain, little dreaming how soon
his proud honors were to descend on the head of his more humble companion.
Quincuagenas, MS.

[21] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 201.--Suma de la Vida de
Cisneros, MS.--Mosheim, Ecclesiastical History, vol. iii. cent. 14, p. 2.
--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 163.--L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables,
fol. 165.--Oviedo, Epilogo Real, Imperial y Pontifical, MS., apud Mem. de
la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 8.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando,
lib. 3, cap. 15.

[22] Fléchier, Hist. de Ximenés, pp. 25, 26.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, pp.
21, 22.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 6, 7.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap.

[23] Fléchier, Hist. de Ximenes, p. 25.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 1,
cap. ll.--Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 8--Robles, Vida de
Ximenez, ubi supra.

[24] Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 2, dial. 1.--Ferdinand and
Isabella annexed the dignity of high chancellor in perpetuity to that of
archbishop of Toledo. It seems, however, at least in later times, to have
been a mere honorary title. (Mendoza, Dignidades, lib. 2, cap. 8.) The
revenues of the archbishopric at the beginning of the sixteenth century
amounted to 80,000 ducats, (Navagiero, Viaggio, fol. 9.--L. Marineo, Cosas
Memorables, fol. 23,) equivalent to about 702,200 dollars at the present
day. See Introd., Sect. I. Note 63, of this History.

[25] "De mas desto," says Lucio Marineo, "tenia por costumbre que quando
avia de dar alguna dignidad, o obispado, mas mirava en virtud, honestidad,
y sciencia de las personas, que las riquezas, y generosidad, aun que
fuessen sus deudos. Lo qual fue causa que muchos de los que hablavan poco,
y tenian los cabellos mas cortos que las cejas; comenparon a traer los
ojos baxos mirando la tierra, y andar con mas gravedad, y hazer mejor
vida, zimulando por venture algunos mas la virtud, que exercitando la."
(Cosas Memorables, fol. 182.) "L'hypocrisie est l'hommage que le vice rend
à la vertu." The maxim is now somewhat stale, like most others of its
profound author.

[26] Quintanilla, Archetype, lib. 1, cap. 16.--Salazar de Mendoza, Crón.
del Gran Cardenal, lib. 2, cap. 65. This prelate was at this time only
twenty-four years of age. He had been raised to the see of Saragossa when
only six. This strange abuse of preferring infants to the highest
dignities of the church seems to have prevailed in Castile as well as
Aragon; for the tombs of five archdeacons might be seen in the church of
Madre de Dios at Toledo, in Salazar's time, whose united ages amounted
only to thirty years. See Crón. del Gran Cardenal, ubi supra.

[27] Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 4.--Mariana, Hist. de
España, tom. ii. lib. 26, cap. 7.--Suma de la Vida de Cisneros, MS.--
Quintanilla, Archetype, lib. 1, cap. 16.--Gomez, De rebus Gestis, fol.
11.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., año 1495.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 13.--
Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.

[28] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 11.

[29] Ibid., ubi supra.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 13, 14.

[30] "He kept five or six friars of his order," says Gonzalo de Oviedo,
"in his palace with him, and as many asses in his stables; but the latter
all grew sleek and fat, for the archbishop would not ride himself, nor
allow his brethren to ride either." Quincuagenas, MS.

[31] Suma de la Vida de Cisneros, MS.--Quintanilla, Archetype, lib. 2,
cap. 8, 9.--Gomez, de Rebus Gestis, fol. 12.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.--
Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 13.

[32] Gomez de Rebus Gestis, fol. 16. The Venetian minister Navagiero,
noticing the condition of the canons of Toledo, some few years later,
celebrates them, as "lording it above all others in their own city, being
especial favorites with the ladies, dwelling in stately mansions, passing,
in short, the most agreeable lives in the world, without any one to
trouble them." Viaggio, fol. 9.

[33] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 17.

[34] Quintanilla, Archetype, pp. 22, 23.--Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom.
vi. p. 201.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, lib. 3, cap. 15.

[35] "Trataba las monjas," say Riol, "con un agrado y amor tan cariñoso,
que las robaba los corazones, y hecha dueña de ellas, las persuadia non
suavidad y eficacia á que votasen clausura. Y es cosa admirable, que raro
fue el conventu donde entró esta celebre heroina, donde no lograse en el
propio dia el efecto de su santo deseo." Informe, apud Semanario Erudito,
tom. iii. p. 110.

[36] Fléchier, Hist. de Ximenes, pp. 56, 58.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol.
14.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, lib. 3, cap. 15.--Robles, Vida de
Ximenez, cap. 13.

[37] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 23.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 1,
cap. 11.

[38] Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 1, cap. 13-14.--Riol discusses the
various monastic reforms effected by Ximenes, in his Memorial to Philip
V., apud Semanario Erudito, tom. iii. pp. 102-110.

[39] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 165.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos,
MS., cap. 201.--et al.

[40] The practice of concubinage by the clergy was fully recognized, and
the ancient _fueros_ of Castile permitted their issue to inherit the
estates of such parents as died intestate. (See Marina, Ensayo Histórico-
Crítico sobre la Antigua Legislacion de Castilla, (Madrid, 1808,) p. 154.)
The effrontery of these legalized strumpets, _barraganas_, as they
were called, was at length so intolerable as to call for repeated laws,
regulating their apparel, and prescribing a badge for distinguishing them
from honest women. (Sempere, Hist. del Luxo, tom. i. pp. 165-169.) Spain
is probably the only country in Christendom, where concubinage was ever
sanctioned by law; a circumstance doubtless imputable, in some measure, to
the influence of the Mahometans.

[41] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 23.




Tranquil State of Granada.--Mild Policy of Talavera.--Clergy Dissatisfied
with it.--Violent Measures of Ximenes.--His Fanaticism.--Its Mischievous
Effects.--Insurrection in Granada.--Tranquillity Restored.--Baptism of the

Moral energy, or constancy of purpose, seems to be less properly an
independent power of the mind than a mode of action, by which its various
powers operate with effect. But, however this may be, it enters more
largely, perhaps, than mere talent, as commonly understood, into the
formation of what is called character, and is often confounded by the
vulgar with talent of the highest order. In the ordinary concerns of life,
indeed, it is more serviceable than brilliant parts; while, in the more
important, these latter are of little weight without it, evaporating only
in brief and barren flashes, which may dazzle the eye by their splendor,
but pass away and are forgotten.

The importance of moral energy is felt not only, where it would be
expected, in the concerns of active life, but in those more exclusively of
an intellectual character, in deliberative assemblies, for example, where
talent, as usually understood, might be supposed to assert an absolute
supremacy, but where it is invariably made to bend to the controlling
influence of this principle. No man destitute of it can be the leader of a
party; while there are few leaders, probably, who do not number in their
ranks minds from which they would be compelled to shrink in a contest for
purely intellectual pre-eminence.

This energy of purpose presents itself in a yet more imposing form when
stimulated by some intense passion, as ambition, or the nobler principle
of patriotism or religion; when the soul, spurning vulgar considerations
of interest, is ready to do and to dare all for conscience' sake; when,
insensible alike to all that this world can give or take away, it loosens
itself from the gross ties which bind it to earth, and, however humble its
powers in every other point of view, attains a grandeur and elevation,
which genius alone, however gifted, can never reach.

But it is when associated with exalted genius, and under the action of the
potent principles above mentioned, that this moral energy conveys an image
of power, which approaches, nearer than anything else on earth, to that of
a divine intelligence. It is, indeed, such agents that Providence selects
for the accomplishment of those great revolutions, by which the world is
shaken to its foundations, new and more beautiful systems created, and the
human mind carried forward at a single stride, in the career of
improvement, further than it had advanced for centuries. It must, indeed,
be confessed, that this powerful agency is sometimes for evil, as well as
for good. It is this same impulse, which spurs guilty Ambition along his
bloody track, and which arms the hand of the patriot sternly to resist
him; which glows with holy fervor in the bosom of the martyr, and which
lights up the fires of persecution, by which he is to win his crown of
glory. The direction of the impulse, differing in the same individual
under different circumstances, can alone determine whether he shall be the
scourge or the benefactor of his species.

These reflections have been suggested by the character of the
extraordinary person brought forward in the preceding chapter, Ximenes de
Cisneros, and the new and less advantageous aspect, in which he must now
appear to the reader. Inflexible constancy of purpose formed, perhaps, the
most prominent trait of his remarkable character. What direction it might
have received under other circumstances it is impossible to say. It would
be no great stretch of fancy to imagine, that the unyielding spirit, which
in its early days could voluntarily endure years of imprisonment, rather
than submit to an act of ecclesiastical oppression, might under similar
influences have been aroused, like Luther's, to shake down the ancient
pillars of Catholicism, instead of lending all its strength to uphold
them. The latter position, however, would seem better assimilated to the
constitution of his mind, whose sombre enthusiasm naturally prepared him
for the vague and mysterious in the Romish faith, as his inflexible temper
did for its bold and arrogant dogmas. At any rate, it was to this cause he
devoted the whole strength of his talents and commanding energies.

We have seen, in the preceding chapter, with what promptness he entered on
the reform of religious discipline, as soon as he came into office, and
with what pertinacity he pursued it, in contempt of all personal interest
and popularity. We are now to see him with similar zeal devoting himself
to the extirpation of heresy; with contempt not merely of personal
consequences, but also of the most obvious principles of good faith and
national honor.

Nearly eight years had elapsed since the conquest of Granada, and the
subjugated kingdom continued to repose in peaceful security under the
shadow of the treaty, which guaranteed the unmolested enjoyment of its
ancient laws and religion. This unbroken continuance of public
tranquillity, especially difficult to be maintained among the jarring
elements of the capital, whose motley population of Moors, renegades, and
Christians suggested perpetual points of collision, must be chiefly
referred to the discreet and temperate conduct of the two individuals whom
Isabella had charged with the civil and ecclesiastical government. These
were Mendoza, count of Tendilla, and Talavera, archbishop of Granada.

The former, the brightest ornament of his illustrious house, has been
before made known to the reader by his various important services, both
military and diplomatic. Immediately after the conquest of Granada he was
made alcayde and captain general of the kingdom, a post for which he was
every way qualified by his prudence, firmness, enlightened views, and long
experience. [1]

The latter personage, of more humble extraction, [2] was Fray Fernando de
Talavera, a Hieronymite monk, who, having been twenty years prior of the
monastery of Santa Maria del Prado, near Valladolid, was made confessor of
Queen Isabella, and afterwards of the king. This situation necessarily
gave him considerable influence in all public measures. If the keeping of
the royal conscience could be safely intrusted to any one, it might
certainly be to this estimable prelate, equally distinguished for his
learning, amiable manners, and unblemished piety; and, if his character
was somewhat tainted with bigotry, it was in so mild a form, so far
tempered by the natural benevolence of his disposition, as to make a
favorable contrast to the dominant spirit of the time. [3]

After the conquest, he exchanged the bishopric of Avila for the
archiepiscopal see of Granada. Notwithstanding the wishes of the
sovereigns, he refused to accept any increase of emolument in this new and
more exalted station. His revenues, indeed, which amounted to two millions
of maravedies annually, were somewhat less than he before enjoyed. [4] The
greater part of this sum he liberally expended on public improvements and
works of charity; objects, which, to their credit be it spoken, have
rarely failed to engage a large share of the attention and resources of
the higher Spanish clergy. [5]

The subject which pressed most seriously on the mind of the good
archbishop, was the conversion of the Moors, whose spiritual blindness he
regarded with feelings of tenderness and charity, very different from
those entertained by most of his reverend brethren. He proposed to
accomplish this by the most rational method possible. Though late in life,
he set about learning Arabic, that he might communicate with the Moors in
their own language, and commanded his clergy to do the same. [6] He caused
an Arabic vocabulary, grammar, and catechism to be compiled; and a version
in the same tongue to be made of the liturgy, comprehending the selections
from the Gospels; and proposed to extend this at some future time to the
whole body of the Scriptures. [7] Thus unsealing the sacred oracles which
had been hitherto shut out from their sight, he opened to them the only
true sources of Christian knowledge; and, by endeavoring to effect their
conversion through the medium of their understandings, instead of seducing
their imaginations with a vain show of ostentatious ceremonies, proposed
the only method by which conversion could be sincere and permanent.

These wise and benevolent measures of the good prelate, recommended, as
they were, by the most exemplary purity of life, acquired him great
authority among the Moors, who, estimating the value of the doctrine by
its fruits, were well inclined to listen to it, and numbers were daily
added to the church. [8]

The progress of proselytism, however, was necessarily slow and painful
among a people reared from the cradle, not merely in antipathy to, but
abhorrence of, Christianity; who were severed from the Christian community
by strong dissimilarity of language, habits, and institutions; and now
indissolubly knit together by a common sense of national misfortune. Many
of the more zealous clergy and religious persons, conceiving, indeed, this
barrier altogether insurmountable, were desirous of seeing it swept away
at once by the strong arm of power. They represented to the sovereigns,
that it seemed like insensibility to the goodness of Providence, which had
delivered the infidels into their hands, to allow them any longer to usurp
the fair inheritance of the Christians, and that the whole of the stiff-
necked race of Mahomet might justly be required to submit without
exception to instant baptism, or to sell their estates and remove to
Africa. This, they maintained, could be scarcely regarded as an
infringement of the treaty, since the Moors would be so great gainers on
the score of their eternal salvation; to say nothing of the
indispensableness of such a measure to the permanent tranquillity and
security of the kingdom. [9]

But these considerations, "just and holy as they were," to borrow the
words of a devout Spaniard, [10] failed to convince the sovereigns, who
resolved to abide by their royal word, and to trust to the conciliatory
measures now in progress, and a longer and more intimate intercourse with
the Christians, as the only legitimate means for accomplishing their
object. Accordingly, we find the various public ordinances, as low down as
1499, recognizing this principle, by the respect which they show for the
most trivial usages of the Moors, [11] and by their sanctioning no other
stimulant to conversion than the amelioration of their condition. [12]
Among those in favor of more active measures was Ximenes, archbishop of
Toledo. Having followed the court to Granada in the autumn of 1499, he
took the occasion to communicate his views to Talavera, the archbishop,
requesting leave at the same time to participate with him in his labor of
love; to which the latter, willing to strengthen himself by so efficient
an ally, modestly assented. Ferdinand and Isabella soon after removed to
Seville; but, before their departure, enjoined on the prelates to observe
the temperate policy hitherto pursued, and to beware of giving any
occasion for discontent to the Moors. [13]

No sooner had the sovereigns left the city, than Ximenes invited some of
the leading _alfaquies_, or Mussulman doctors, to a conference, in
which he expounded, with all the eloquence at his command, the true
foundations of the Christian faith, and the errors of their own; and, that
his teaching might be the more palatable, enforced it by liberal presents,
consisting mostly of rich and costly articles of dress, of which the Moors
were at all times exceedingly fond. This policy he pursued for some time,
till the effect became visible. Whether the preaching or presents of the
archbishop had most weight, does not appear. [14] It is probable, however,
that the Moorish doctors found conversion a much more pleasant and
profitable business than they had anticipated; for they one after another
declared their conviction of their errors, and their willingness to
receive baptism. The example of these learned persons was soon followed by
great numbers of their illiterate disciples, insomuch that no less than
four thousand are said to have presented themselves in one day for
baptism; and Ximenes, unable to administer the rite to each individually,
was obliged to adopt the expedient familiar to the Christian missionaries,
of christening them _en masse_ by aspersion; scattering the consecrated
drops from a mop, or hyssop, as it was called, which he twirled over the
heads of the multitude. [15]

So far all went on prosperously; and the eloquence and largesses of the
archbishop, which latter he lavished so freely as to encumber his revenues
for several years to come, brought crowds of proselytes to the Christian
fold. [16] There were some, indeed, among the Mahometans, who regarded
these proceedings as repugnant, if not to the letter, at least to the
spirit of the original treaty of capitulation; which seemed intended to
provide, not only against the employment of force, but of any undue
incentive to conversion. [17] Several of the more sturdy, including some
of the principal citizens, exerted their efforts to stay the tide of
defection, which threatened soon to swallow up the whole population of the
city. But Ximenes, whose zeal had mounted up to fever heat in the
excitement of success, was not to be cooled by any opposition, however
formidable; and if he had hitherto respected the letter of the treaty, he
now showed himself to be prepared to trample on letter and spirit
indifferently, when they crossed his designs.

Among those most active in the opposition was a noble Moor named Zegri,
well skilled in the learning of his countrymen, with whom he had great
consideration. Ximenes having exhausted all his usual artillery of
arguments and presents on this obdurate infidel, had him taken into
custody by one of his officers named Leon, "a lion," says a punning
historian, "by nature as well as by name," [18] and commanded the latter
to take such measures with his prisoner, as would clear the film from his
eyes. This faithful functionary executed his orders so effectually, that,
after a few days of fasting, fetters, and imprisonment, he was able to
present his charge to his employer, penitent to all outward appearance,
and with an humble mien strongly contreating with his former proud and
lofty bearing. After the most respectful obeisance to the archbishop,
Zegri informed him, that "on the preceding night he had had a revelation
from Allah, who had condescended to show him the error of his ways, and
commanded him to receive instant baptism;" at the same time, pointing to
his jailer, he "jocularly" remarked, "Your reverence has only to turn this
lion of yours loose among the people, and my word for it, there will not
be a Mussulman left many days within the walls of Granada." [19] "Thus,"
exclaims the devout Ferreras, "did Providence avail itself of the darkness
of the dungeon to pour on the benighted minds of the infidel the light of
the true faith!" [20]

The work of proselytism now went on apace; for terror was added to the
other stimulants. The zealous propagandist, in the mean while, flushed
with success, resolved not only to exterminate infidelity, but the very
characters in which its teachings were recorded. He accordingly caused all
the Arabic manuscripts which he could procure to be heaped together in a
common pile in one of the great squares of the city. The largest part were
copies of the Koran, or works in some way or other connected with
theology; with many others, however, on various scientific subjects. They
were beautifully executed, for the most part, as to their chirography, and
sumptuously bound and decorated; for, in all relating to the mechanical
finishing, the Spanish Arabs excelled every people in Europe. But neither
splendor of outward garniture, nor intrinsic merit of composition, could
atone for the taint of heresy in the eye of the stern inquisitor; he
reserved for his university of Alcalá three hundred works, indeed,
relating to medical science, in which the Moors were as pre-eminent in
that day as the Europeans were deficient; but all the rest, amounting to
many thousands, [21] he consigned to indiscriminate conflagration. [22]

This melancholy _auto da fe_, it will be recollected, was celebrated,
not by an unlettered barbarian, but by a cultivated prelate, who was at
that very time actively employing his large revenues in the publication of
the most stupendous literary work of the age, and in the endowment of the
most learned university in Spain. [23] It took place, not in the darkness
of the Middle Ages, but in the dawn of the sixteenth century, and in the
midst of an enlightened nation, deeply indebted for its own progress to
these very stores of Arabian wisdom. It forms a counterpart to the imputed
sacrilege of Omar, [24] eight centuries before, and shows that bigotry is
the same in every faith and every age.

The mischief occasioned by this act, far from being limited to the
immediate loss, continued to be felt still more severely in its
consequences. Such as could, secreted the manuscripts in their possession
till an opportunity occurred for conveying them out of the country; and
many thousands in this way were privately shipped over to Barbary. [25]
Thus Arabian literature became rare in the libraries of the very country
to which it was indigenous; the Arabic scholarship, once so flourishing in
Spain, and that too in far less polished ages, gradually fell into decay
from want of aliment to sustain it. Such were the melancholy results of
this literary persecution; more mischievous, in one view, than even that
directed against life; for the loss of an individual will scarcely be felt
beyond his own generation, while the annihilation of a valuable work, or,
in other words, of mind itself embodied in a permanent form, is a loss to
all future time.

The high hand with which Ximenes now carried measures, excited serious
alarm in many of the more discreet and temperate Castilians in the city.
They besought him to use greater forbearance, remonstrating against his
obvious violations of the treaty, as well as against the expediency of
forced conversions, which could not, in the nature of things, be lasting.
But the pertinacious prelate only replied, that, "A tamer policy might,
indeed, suit temporal matters, but not those in which the interests of the
soul were at stake; that the unbeliever, if he could not be drawn, should
be driven, into the way of salvation; and that it was no time to stay the
hand, when the ruins of Mahometanism were tottering to their foundations."
He accordingly went on with unflinching resolution. [26]

But the patience of the Moors themselves, which had held out so
marvellously under this system of oppression, began now to be exhausted.
Many signs of this might be discerned by much less acute optics than those
of the archbishop; but his were blinded by the arrogance of success. At
length, in this inflammable state of public feeling, an incident occurred
which led to a general explosion.

Three of Ximenes's servants were sent on some business to the Albayein, a
quarter inhabited exclusively by Moors, and encompassed by walls which
separated it from the rest of the city. [27] These men had made themselves
peculiarly odious to the people by their activity in their master's
service. A dispute, having arisen between them and some inhabitants of the
quarter, came at last to blows, when two of the servants were massacred on
the spot, and their comrade escaped with difficulty from the infuriated
mob. [28] The affair operated as the signal for insurrection. The
inhabitants of the district ran to arms, got possession of the gates,
barricaded the streets, and in a few hours the whole Albayein was in
rebellion. [29]

In the course of the following night, a large number of the enraged
populace made their way into the city to the quarters of Ximenes, with the
purpose of taking summary vengeance on his head for all his persecutions.
Fortunately, his palace was strong, and defended by numerous resolute and
well-armed attendants. The latter, at the approach of the rioters,
implored their master to make his escape, if possible, to the fortress of
the Alhambra, where the count of Tendilla was established. But the
intrepid prelate, who held life too cheap to be a coward, exclaimed, "God
forbid I should think of my own safety, when so many of the faithful are
perilling theirs! No, I will stand to my post and wait there, if Heaven
wills it, the crown of martyrdom." [30] It must be confessed he well
deserved it.

The building, however, proved too strong for the utmost efforts of the
mob; and, at length, after some hours of awful suspense and agitation to
the beleaguered inmates, the count of Tendilla arrived in person at the
head of his guards, and succeeded in dispersing the insurgents, and
driving them back to their own quarters. But no exertions could restore
order to the tumultuous populace, or induce them to listen to terms; and
they even stoned the messenger charged with pacific proposals from the
count of Tendilla. They organized themselves under leaders, provided arms,
and took every possible means for maintaining their defence. It seemed as
if, smitten with the recollections of ancient liberty, they were resolved
to recover it again at all hazards. [31] At length, after this disorderly
state of things had lasted for several days, Talavera, the archbishop of
Granada, resolved to try the effect of his personal influence, hitherto so
great with the Moors, by visiting himself the disaffected quarter. This
noble purpose he put in execution, in spite of the most earnest
remonstrances of his friends. He was attended only by his chaplain,
bearing the crucifix before him, and a few of his domestics, on foot and
unarmed like himself. At the site of their venerable pastor, with his
countenance beaming with the same serene and benign expression with which
they were familiar when listening to his exhortations from the pulpit, the
passions of the multitude were stilled. Every one seemed willing to
abandon himself to the tender recollections of the past; and the simple
people crowded around the good man, kneeling down and kissing the hem of
his robe, as if to implore his benediction. The count of Tendilla no
sooner learned the issue, than he followed into the Albayein, attended by
a handful of soldiers. When he had reached the place where the mob was
gathered, he threw his bonnet into the midst of them, in token of his
pacific intentions. The action was received with acclamations, and the
people, whose feelings had now taken another direction, recalled by his
presence to the recollection of his uniformly mild and equitable rule,
treated him with similar respect to that shown the archbishop of Granada.

These two individuals took advantage of this favorable change of feeling
to expostulate with the Moors on the folly and desperation of their
conduct, which must involve them in a struggle with such overwhelming odds
as that of the whole Spanish monarchy. They implored them to lay down
their arms and return to their duty, in which event they pledged
themselves, as far as in their power, to allow no further repetition of
the grievances complained of, and to intercede for their pardon with the
sovereigns. The count testified his sincerity, by leaving his wife and two
children as hostages in the heart of the Albayein; an act which must be
admitted to imply unbounded confidence in the integrity of the Moors. [33]
These various measures, backed, moreover, by the counsels and authority of
some of the chief alfaquis, had the effect to restore tranquillity among
the people, who, laying aside their hostile preparations, returned once
more to their regular employments. [34]

The rumor of the insurrection, in the mean while, with the usual
exaggeration, reached Seville, where the court was then residing. In one
respect rumor did justice, by imputing the whole blame of the affair to
the intemperate zeal of Ximenes. That personage, with his usual
promptness, had sent early notice of the affair to the queen by a negro
slave uncommonly fleet of foot. But the fellow had become intoxicated by
the way, and the court were several days without any more authentic
tidings than general report. The king, who always regarded Ximenes's
elevation to the primacy, to the prejudice, as the reader may remember, of
his own son, with dissatisfaction, could not now restrain his indignation,
but was heard to exclaim tauntingly to the queen, "So we are like to pay
dear for your archbishop, whose rashness has lost us in a few hours what
we have been years in acquiring." [35]

The queen, confounded at the tidings, and unable to comprehend the silence
of Ximenes, instantly wrote to him in the severest terms, demanding an
explanation of the whole proceeding. The archbishop saw his error in
committing affairs of moment to such hands as those of his sable
messenger; and the lesson stood him in good stead, according to his
moralizing biographer, for the remainder of his life. [36] He hastened to
repair his fault by proceeding to Seville in person, and presenting
himself before the sovereigns. He detailed to them the history of all the
past transactions; recapitulated his manifold services, the arguments and
exhortations he had used, the large sums he had expended, and his various
expedients, in short, for effecting conversion, before resorting to
severity. He boldly assumed the responsibility of the whole proceeding,
acknowledging that he had purposely avoided communicating his plans to the
sovereigns for fear of opposition. If he had erred, he said, it could be
imputed to no other motive, at worst, than too great zeal for the
interests of religion; but he concluded with assuring them, that the
present position of affairs was the best possible for their purposes,
since the late conduct of the Moors involved them in the guilt, and
consequently all the penalties of treason, and that it would be an act of
clemency to offer pardon on the alternatives of conversion or exile! [37]

The archbishop's discourse, if we are to credit his enthusiastic
biographer, not only dispelled the clouds of royal indignation, but drew
forth the most emphatic expressions of approbation. [38] How far Ferdinand
and Isabella were moved to this by his final recommendation, or what, in
clerical language, may be called the "improvement of his discourse," does
not appear. They did not at any rate adopt it in its literal extent. In
due time, however, commissioners were sent to Granada, fully authorized to
inquire into the late disturbances and punish their guilty authors. In the
course of the investigation, many, including some of the principal
citizens, were imprisoned on suspicion. The greater part made their peace
by embracing Christianity. Many others sold their estates and migrated to
Barbary; and the remainder of the population, whether from fear of
punishment, or contagion of example, abjured their ancient superstition
and consented to receive baptism. The whole number of converts was
estimated at about fifty thousand, whose future relapses promised an
almost inexhaustible supply for the fiery labors of the Inquisition. From
this period the name of Moors, which had gradually superseded the
primitive one of Spanish Arabs, gave way to the title of Moriscoes, by
which this unfortunate people continued to be known through the remainder
of their protracted existence in the Peninsula. [39]

The circumstances, under which this important revolution in religion was
effected in the whole population of this great city, will excite only
feelings of disgust at the present day, mingled, indeed, with compassion
for the unhappy beings, who so heedlessly incurred the heavy liabilities
attached to their new faith. Every Spaniard, doubtless, anticipated the
political advantages likely to result from a measure, which divested the
Moors of the peculiar immunities secured by the treaty of capitulation,
and subjected them at once to the law of the land. It is equally certain,
however, that they attached great value in a spiritual view to the mere
show of conversion, placing implicit confidence in the purifying influence
of the waters of baptism, to whomever and under whatever circumstances
administered. Even the philosophic Martyr, as little tinctured with
bigotry as any of the time, testifies his joy at the conversion, on the
ground, that, although it might not penetrate beneath the crust of
infidelity, which had formed over the mind of the older and of course
inveterate Mussulman, yet it would have full effect on his posterity,
subjected from the cradle to the searching operation of Christian
discipline. [40]

With regard to Ximenes, the real author of the work, whatever doubts were
entertained of his discretion, in the outset, they were completely
dispelled by the results. All concurred in admiring the invincible energy
of the man, who, in the face of such mighty obstacles, had so speedily
effected this momentous revolution in the faith of a people, bred from
childhood in the deadliest hostility to Christianity; [41] and the good
archbishop Talavera was heard in the fulness of his heart to exclaim, that
"Ximenes had achieved greater triumphs than even Ferdinand and Isabella;
since they had conquered only the soil, while he had gained the souls of
Granada!" [42]


[1] "Hombre," says his son, the historian, of him, "de prudencia en
negocios graves, de animo firme, asegurado con luenga experiencia de
rencuentros i battallas ganadas." (Guerra de Granada, lib. 1, p. 9.)
Oviedo dwells with sufficient amplification on the personal history and
merits of this distinguished individual, in his garrulous reminiscences.
Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial. 28.

[2] Oviedo, at least, can find no better pedigree for him, than that of
Adam. "Quanto á su linage él fué del linage de todos los humanos ó de
aquel barro y subcesion de Adan." (Quincuagenas, MS. dial. de Talavera.)
It is a very hard case, when a Castilian cannot make out a better
genealogy for his hero.

[3] Pedraza, Antiguedad de Granada, lib. 3, cap. 10.--Marmol, Rebelion de
Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 21. Talavera's correspondence with the queen,
published in various works, but most correctly, probably, in the sixth
volume of the Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., (Ilust. 13,) is not calculated to
raise his reputation. His letters are little else than homilies on the
love of company, dancing, and the like heinous offences. The whole savors
more of the sharp twang of Puritanism than that of the Roman Catholic
school. But bigotry is neutral ground, on which the most opposite sects
may meet.

[4] Pedraza, Antiguedad de Granada, lib. 3, cap. 10.--Marmol, lib. 1, cap.

Equivalent to 56,000 dollars of the present day; a sum which Pedraza makes
do quite as hard duty, according to its magnitude, as the 500 pounds of
Pope's Man of Ross.

[5] Pedraza, ubi supra.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., dial. de Talavera.

The worthy archbishop's benefactions on some occasions were of rather an
extraordinary character. "Pidiendole limosna," says Pedraza, "Una muger
que no tenia camisa, se entró en una casa, y se desnudó la suya y se la
dio; diziendo con san Pedro, No tengo oro ni plata que darte, doyte lo que
tengo." Antiguedad de Granada, lib. 3, cap. 10.

[6] Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 21.--Pedraza, Antiguedad de
Granada, ubi supra.

[7] Fléchier, Hist. de Ximenes, p. 17.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 2,
cap. 2.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 32.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.

These tracts were published at Granada, in 1505, in the European
character, being the first books ever printed in the Arabic language,
according to Dr. M'Crie, (Reformation in Spain, p. 70,) who cites
Schnurrer, Bibl. Arabica, pp. 16-18.

[8] Bleda, Corónica, lib. 5, cap. 23.--Pedraza, Antiguedad de Granada,
lib. 3, cap. 10.--Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 21.--Gomez,
De Rebus Gestis, fol. 29.--"Hacia lo que predicaba, é predicó lo que
hizo," says Oviedo of the archbishop, briefly, "é así fué mucho provechoso
é util en aquella ciudad para la conversion de los Moros." Quincuagenas,

[9] Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 23.

[10] Ibid., ubi supra.

[11] In the _pragmática_ dated Granada, October 30th, 1499, prohibiting
silk apparel of any description, an exception was made in favor of the
Moors, whose robes were usually of that material, among the wealthier
classes. Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 120.

[12] Another law, October 31st, 1499, provided against the disinheritance
of Moorish children who had embraced Christianity, and secured, moreover,
to the female converts a portion of the property which had fallen to the
state on the conquest of Granada. (Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 5.)--
Llorente has reported this pragmatic with some inaccuracy. Hist. de
l'Inquisition, tom. i. p. 334.

[13] Bleda, Corónica, lib. 5, cap. 23.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 29.--
Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 2, p. 54.--Suma de la Vida de Cisneros, MS.
Ferdinand and Isabella, according to Ferreras, took counsel of sundry
learned theologians and jurists, whether they could lawfully compel the
Mahometans to become Christians, notwithstanding the treaty, which
guaranteed to them the exercise of their religion. After repeated
conferences of this erudite body, "il fut decidé," says the historian,
"qu'on solliciteroit la conversion des Mahometans de la Ville et du
Royaume de Grenade, en ordonnant à ceux qui ne voudroient pas embrasser la
religion Chrétienne, de vendre leurs biens et de sortir du royaume."
(Hist. d'Espagne, tom. viii. p. 194.) Such was the idea of solicitation
entertained by these reverend casuists! The story, however, wants a better
voucher than Ferreras.

[14] The honest Robles appears to be of the latter opinion. "Alfin," says
he, with _naïveté_, "con halagos, dadivas, y caricias, los truxo a
conocimiento del verdadero Dios." Vida de Ximenez, p. 100.

[15] Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 14.--Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib.
1, cap. 24.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 29.--Suma de la Vida de
Cisneros, MS.

[16] Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 14.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, fol. 55.--
The sound of bells, so unusual to Mahometan ears, pealing day and night
from the newly consecrated mosques, gained Ximenes the appellation of
_alfaqui campanero_ from the Granadines. Suma de la Vida de Cisneros,

[17] Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 25.

Take for example the following provisions in the treaty. "Que si algun
Moro tuviere alguna renegada por muger, no será apremiada á ser Christiana
contra su voluntad, sino que será interrogada, en presencia de Christianos
y de Moros, y se siguirá su voluntad; y lo mesmo se entenderá con los
niños y niñas nacidos de Christiana y Moro. Que ningun Moro ni Mora serán
apremiados á ser Christianos contra su voluntad; y que si alguna doncella,
ó casada, ó viuda, por razon de algunos amores se quisiere tornar
Christiana, tampoco será recebida, hasta ser interrogada." The whole
treaty is given in _extenso_ by Marmol, and by no other author that I
have seen.

[18] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, lib. 1, fol. 29.

[19] Robles, Rebelion de Moriscos, cap. 14.--Suma de la Vida de Cisneros,
MS.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 30.--Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib.
1, cap. 25.

Zegri assumed the baptismal name of the Great Captain, Gonzalo Hernandez,
whose prowess he had experienced in a personal rencontre in the vega of
Granada. Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, ubi supra.--Suma de la Vida de
Cisneros, MS.

[20] Hist. d'Espagne, tom. viii. p. 195.

[21] According to Robles, (Rebelion de Moriscos, p. 104,) and the Suma de
la Vida de Cisneros, 1,005,000; to Conde, (El Nubiense, Descripcion
d'España, p. 4, note,) 80,000; to Gomez and others, 5000. There are
scarcely any data for arriving at probability in this monstrous
discrepancy. The famous library of the Ommeyades at Cordova was said to
contain 600,000 volumes. It had long since been dissipated; and no similar
collection had been attempted in Granada, where learning was never in that
palmy state which it reached under the Cordovan dynasty. Still, however,
learned men were to be found there, and the Moorish metropolis would
naturally be the depository of such literary treasures as had escaped the
general shipwreck of time and accident. On the whole, the estimate of
Gomez would appear much too small, and that of Robles as
disproportionately exaggerated. Conde, better instructed in Arabic lore
than any of his predecessors, may be found, perhaps, here, as elsewhere,
the best authority.

[22] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, lib. 2, fol. 30.--Marmol, Rebelion de
Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 25.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 14.--Suma de la
Vida de Cisneros, MS.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, p. 58.

[23] Yet the archbishop might find some countenance for his fanaticism in
the most polite capital of Europe. The faculty of Theology in Paris, some
few years later, declared "que c'en était fait de la religion, si on
permettait l'etude du Grec et de l'Hebreu!" Villers, Essai sur l'Esprit et
l'Influence de la Réformation de Luther, (Paris, 1820,) p. 64, note.

[24] Gibbon's argument, if it does not shake the foundations of the whole
story of the Alexandrian conflagration, may at least raise a natural
skepticism as to the pretended amount and value of the works destroyed.

[25] The learned Granadine, Leo Africanus, who emigrated to Fez after the
fall of the capital, notices a single collection of 3000 manuscripts
belonging to an individual, which he saw in Algiers, whither they had been
secretly brought by the Moriscoes from Spain.--Conde, Dominacion de los
Arabes, prólogo.--Casiri, Bibliotheca Escurialensis, tom. i. p. 172.

[26] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 30.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, rey 30,
cap. 10.

[27] Casiri, Bibliotheca Escurialensis, tom. ii. p. 281.--Pedraza,
Antiguedad de Granada, lib. 3, cap. 10.

[28] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 31. There are some discrepancies, not
important, however, between the narrative of Gomez and the other
authorities. Gomez, considering his uncommon opportunities of information,
is worth them all.

[29] Suma de la Vida de Cisneros, MS.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, lib. 2,
fol. 31.--Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 26.

[30] Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 14.--Mariana, Hist. de España, tom. ii.
lib. 27, cap. 5.--Quintanilla, Archetype, p. 56.--Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 212.

[31] Mariana, Hist. de España, ubi supra.--Bleda, Corónica, lib. 5, cap.
23.--Mendoza, Guerra de Granada, p. 11.

[32] Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 25.--Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 212.--Quintanilla, Archetype, p. 56.--Bleda, Corónica, ubi

[33] Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, loc cit.--Mendoza, Guerra de Granada,
lib. 1, p. 11. That such confidence was justified, may be inferred from a
common saying of Archbishop Talavera, "That Moorish works and Spanish
faith were all that were wanting to make a good Christian." A bitter
sarcasm this on his own countrymen! Pedraza, Antiguedad de Granada, lib.
3, cap. 10.

[34] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 212.--Bleda, Corónica, loc. cit.--
Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, ubi supra.

[35] Mariana, Hist. de España, tom. ii. lib. 27, cap. 5.--Robles, Vida de
Ximenez, 14.--Suma de la Vida de Cisneros, MS.

[36] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 32.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 14.

[37] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, ubi supra.

[38] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 33.--Suma de la Vida de Cisneros, MS.

[39] Bleda, Corónica, lib. 5, cap. 23.--Mariana, Hist. de España, tom. ii.
lib. 27, cap. 5.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 215.--Marmol, Rebelion
de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 27.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, lib. 2, fol. 32.--
Lanuza, Historias, tom. i. lib. 1, cap. 11.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., año
1500.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 159.--The last author carries
the number of converts in Granada and its _environs_ to 70,000.

[40] "Tu vero inquies," he says, in a letter to the cardinal of Santa
Cruz, "hisdem in snum Mahometem vivent animis, atque id jure merito
suspicandum est. Durum namque majorum institute relinquere; attamen ego
existimo, consultum optime fuisse ipsorum admittere postulata: paulatim
namque nova superveniente disciplina, juvenun saltem et infantum atque eo
tutius nepotum, inanibus illis superstitionibus abrasis, novis imbuentur
ritibus. De senescentibus, qui callosis animis induruerunt, haud ego
quidem id futurum inficior." Opus Epist., epist. 215.--Also, Carta de
Gonzalo, MS.

[41] "Magnae deinceps," says Gomez, "apud omnes veneration! Ximenius esse
cospit.--Porro plus mentis acie videre quam solent homines credebatur,
qufid re ancipiti, neque plane confirmata, barbara civitate adhoc suum
Mahumetum spirante, tanza animi contentione, ut Christi doctrinam
amplecterentur, laboraverat et effecerat." (De Rebus Gestis, fol. 33.) The
panegyric of the Spaniard is endorsed by Fléchier, (Histoire de Ximenes,
p. 119,) who, in the age of Louis XIV., displays all the bigotry of that
of Ferdinand and Isabella.

[42] Talavera, as I have already noticed, had caused the offices,
catechisms, and other religious exercises to be translated into Arabic for
the use of the converts; proposing to extend the translation at some
future time to the great body of the Scriptures. That time had now
arrived, but Ximenes vehemently remonstrated against the measure. "It
would be throwing pearls before swine," said he, "to open the Scriptures
to persons in their low state of ignorance, who could not fail, as St.
Paul says, to wrest them to their own destruction. The word of God should
be wrapped in discreet mystery from the vulgar, who feel little reverence
for what is plain and obvious. It was for this reason, that our Saviour
himself clothed his doctrines in parables, when he addressed the people.
The Scriptures should be confined to the three ancient languages, which
God with mystic import permitted to be inscribed over the head of his
crucified Son; and the vernacular should be reserved for such devotional
and moral treatises, as holy men indite, in order to quicken the soul, and
turn it from the pursuit of worldly vanities to heavenly contemplation."
De Rebus Gestis, fol. 32, 33.

The narrowest opinion, as usual, prevailed, and Talavera abandoned his
wise and benevolent purpose. The sagacious arguments of the primate lead
his biographer, Gomez, to conclude, that he had a prophetic knowledge of
the coming heresy of Luther, which owed so much of its success to the
vernacular versions of the Scriptures; in which probable opinion he is
faithfully echoed, as usual, by the good bishop of Nismes. Fléchier, Hist.
de Ximenés, pp. 117-119.




Rising in the Alpuxarras.--Expedition to the Sierra Vermeja.--Alonso de
Aguilar.--His Noble Character, and Death.--Bloody Rout of the Spaniards.--
Final Submission to Ferdinand.--Cruel Policy of the Victors.--
Commemorative Ballads.--Edict against the Moors,--Causes of Intolerance.--
Last Notice of the Moors under the Present Reign.

While affairs went forward so triumphantly in the capital of Granada, they
excited general discontent in other parts of that kingdom, especially the
wild regions of the Alpuxarras. This range of maritime Alps, which
stretches to the distance of seventeen leagues in a southeasterly
direction from the Moorish capital, sending out its sierras like so many
broad arms towards the Mediterranean, was thickly sprinkled with Moorish
villages, cresting the bald summits of the mountains, or checkering the
green slopes and valleys which lay between them. Its simple inhabitants,
locked up within the lonely recesses of their hills, and accustomed to a
life of penury and toil, had escaped the corruptions as well as
refinements of civilization. In ancient times they had afforded a hardy
militia for the princes of Granada; and they now exhibited an unshaken
attachment to their ancient institutions and religion, which had been
somewhat effaced in the great cities by more intimate intercourse with the
Europeans. [1]

These warlike mountaineers beheld with gathering resentment the faithless
conduct pursued towards their countrymen, which, they had good reason to
fear, would soon be extended to themselves; and their fiery passions were
inflamed to an ungovernable height by the public apostasy of Granada. They
at length resolved to anticipate any similar attempt on themselves by a
general insurrection. They accordingly seized on the fortresses and strong
passes throughout the country, and began as usual with forays into the
lands of the Christians.

These bold acts excited much alarm in the capital, and the count of
Tendilla took vigorous measures for quenching the rebellion in its birth.
Gonsalvo de Cordova, his early pupil, but who might now well be his master
in the art of war, was at that time residing in Granada; and Tendilla
availed himself of his assistance to enforce a hasty muster of levies, and
march at once against the enemy.

His first movement was against Huejar, a fortified town situated in one of
the eastern ranges of the Alpuxarras, whose inhabitants had taken the lead
in the insurrection. The enterprise was attended with more difficulty than
was expected. "God's enemies," to borrow the charitable epithet of the
Castilian chroniclers, had ploughed up the lands in the neighborhood; and,
as the light cavalry of the Spaniards was working its way through the deep
furrows, the Moors opened the canals which intersected the fields, and in
a moment the horses were floundering up to their girths in the mire and
water. Thus embarrassed in their progress, the Spaniards presented a fatal
mark to the Moorish missiles, which rained on them with pitiless fury; and
it was not without great efforts and considerable loss, that they gained a
firm landing on the opposite side. Undismayed, however, they then charged
the enemy with such vivacity, as compelled him to give way and take refuge
within the defences of the town.

No impediment could now check the ardor of the assailants. They threw
themselves from their horses, and, bringing forward the scaling-ladders,
planted them against the walls. Gonsalvo was the first to gain the summit;
and, as a powerful Moor endeavored to thrust him from the topmost round of
the ladder, he grasped the battlements firmly with his left hand and dealt
the infidel such a blow with the sword in his right, as brought him
headlong to the ground. He then leapt into the place, and was speedily
followed by his troops. The enemy made a brief and ineffectual resistance.
The greater part were put to the sword; the remainder, including the women
and children, were made slaves, and the town was delivered up to pillage.

The severity of this military execution had not the effect of intimidating
the insurgents; and the revolt wore so serious an aspect, that King
Ferdinand found it necessary to take the field in person, which he did at
the head of as complete and beautiful a body of Castilian chivalry as ever
graced the campaigns of Granada. [3] Quitting Alhendin, the place of
rendezvous, in the latter end of February, 1500, he directed his march on
Lanjaron, one of the towns most active in the revolt, and perched high
among the inaccessible fastnesses of the sierra, southeast of Granada.

The inhabitants, trusting to the natural strength of a situation, which
had once baffled the arms of the bold Moorish chief El Zagal, took no
precautions to secure the passes. Ferdinand, relying on this, avoided the
more direct avenue to the place; and, bringing his men by a circuitous
route over dangerous ravines and dark and dizzy precipices, where the foot
of the hunter had seldom ventured, succeeded at length, after incredible
toil and hazard, in reaching an elevated point, which entirely commanded
the Moorish fortress.

Great was the dismay of the insurgents at the apparition of the Christian
banners, streaming in triumph in the upper air, from the very pinnacles of
the sierra. They stoutly persisted, however, in the refusal to surrender.
But their works were too feeble to stand the assault of men, who had
vanquished the more formidable obstacles of nature; and, after a short
struggle, the place was carried by storm, and its wretched inmates
experienced the same dreadful fate with those of Huejar. [4]

At nearly the same time, the count of Lerin took several other fortified
places in the Alpuxarras, in one of which he blew up a mosque filled with
women and children. Hostilities were carried on with all the ferocity of a
civil, or rather servile war; and the Spaniards, repudiating all the
feelings of courtesy and generosity, which they had once shown to the same
men, when dealing with them as honorable enemies, now regarded them only
as rebellious vassals, or indeed slaves, whom the public safety required
to be not merely chastised, but exterminated.

These severities, added to the conviction of their own impotence, at
length broke the spirit of the Moors, who were reduced to the most humble
concessions; and the Catholic king, "unwilling out of his great clemency,"
says Abarca, "to stain his sword with the blood of all these wild beasts
of the Alpuxarras," consented to terms, which may be deemed reasonable, at
least in comparison with his previous policy. These were, the surrender of
their arms and fortresses and the payment of the round sum of fifty
thousand ducats. [5]

As soon as tranquillity was re-established, measures were taken for
securing it permanently, by introducing Christianity among the natives,
without which they never could remain well affected to their present
government. Holy men were therefore sent as missionaries, to admonish
them, calmly and without violence, of their errors, and to instruct them
in the great truths of revelation. [6] Various immunities were also
proposed, as an additional incentive to conversion, including an entire
exemption to the party from the payment of his share of the heavy mulct
lately imposed. [7] The wisdom of these temperate measures became every
day more visible in the conversion, not merely of the simple mountaineers,
but of nearly all the population of the great cities of Baza, Guadix, and
Almeria, who consented before the end of the year to abjure their ancient
religion, and receive baptism. [8]

This defection, however, caused great scandal among the more sturdy of
their countrymen, and a new insurrection broke out on the eastern confines
of the Alpuxarras, which was suppressed with similar circumstances of
stern severity,. and a similar exaction of a heavy sum of money;--money,
whose doubtful efficacy may be discerned, sometimes in staying, but more
frequently in stimulating, the arm of persecution. [9]

But while the murmurs of rebellion died away in the east, they were heard
in thunders from the distant hills on the western borders of Granada. This
district, comprehending the sierras Vermeja and Villa Luenga, in the
neighborhood of Ronda, was peopled by a warlike race, among whom was the
African tribe of Gandules, whose blood boiled with the same tropical
fervor as that which glowed in the veins of their ancestors. They had
early shown symptoms of discontent at the late proceedings in the capital.
The duchess of Arcos, widow of the great marquis duke of Cadiz, whose
estates lay in that quarter, [10] used her personal exertions to appease
them; and the government made the most earnest assurances of its intention
to respect whatever had been guaranteed by the treaty of capitulation.
[11] But they had learned to place little trust in princes; and the
rapidly extending apostasy of their countrymen exasperated them to such a
degree, that they at length broke out in the most atrocious acts of
violence; murdering the Christian missionaries, and kidnapping, if report
be true, many Spaniards of both sexes, whom they sold as slaves in Africa.
They were accused, with far more probability, of entering into a secret
correspondence with their brethren on the opposite shore, in order to
secure their support in the meditated revolt. [12]

The government displayed its usual promptness and energy on this occasion.
Orders were issued to the principal chiefs and cities of Andalusia, to
muster their forces with all possible despatch, and concentrate them on

The summons was obeyed with such alacrity, that, in the course of a very
few weeks, the streets of that busy city were thronged with a shining
array of warriors drawn from all the principal towns of Andalusia. Seville
sent three hundred horse and two thousand foot. The principal leaders of
the expedition were the count of Cifuentes, who, as assistant of Seville,
commanded the troops of that city; the count of Ureña, and Alonso de
Aguilar, elder brother of the Great Captain, and distinguished like him
for the highest qualities of mind and person.

It was determined by the chiefs to strike at once into the heart of the
Sierra Vermeja, or Red Sierra, as it was called from the color of its
rocks, rising to the east of Ronda, and the principal theatre of
insurrection. On the 18th of March, 1501, the little army encamped before
Monarda, on the skirts of a mountain, where the Moors were understood to
have assembled in considerable force. They had not been long in these
quarters before parties of the enemy were seen hovering along the slopes
of the mountain, from which the Christian camp was divided by a narrow
river,--the Rio Verde, probably, which has gained such mournful celebrity
in Spanish song. [13] Aguilar's troops, who occupied the van, were so much
roused by the sight of the enemy, that a small party, seizing a banner,
rushed across the stream without orders, in pursuit of them.

The odds, however, were so great, that they would have been severely
handled, had not Aguilar, while he bitterly condemned their temerity,
advanced promptly to their support with the remainder of his corps. The
count of Ureña followed with the central division, leaving the count of
Cifuentes with the troops of Seville to protect the camp. [14]

The Moors fell back as the Christians advanced, and, retreating nimbly
from point to point, led them up the rugged steeps far into the recesses
of the mountains. At length they reached an open level, encompassed on all
sides by a natural rampart of rocks, where they had deposited their
valuable effects, together with their wives and children. The latter, at
sight of the invaders, uttered dismal cries, and fled into the remoter
depths of the sierra.

The Christians were too much attracted by the rich spoil before them to
think of following, and dispersed in every direction in quest of plunder,
with all the heedlessness and insubordination of raw, inexperienced
levies. It was in vain, that Alonso de Aguilar reminded them, that their
wily enemy was still unconquered; or that he endeavored to force them into
the ranks again, and restore order. No one heeded his call, or thought of
anything beyond the present moment, and of securing as much booty to
himself as he could carry.

The Moors, in the mean while, finding themselves no longer pursued, were
aware of the occupation of the Christians, whom they not improbably had
purposely decoyed into the snare. They resolved to return to the scene of
action, and surprise their incautious enemy. Stealthily advancing,
therefore, under the shadows of night, now falling thick around, they
poured through the rocky defiles of the inclosure upon the astonished
Spaniards. An unlucky explosion, at this crisis, of a cask of powder, into
which a spark had accidentally fallen, threw a broad glare over the scene,
and revealed for a moment the situation of the hostile parties;--the
Spaniards in the utmost disorder, many of them without arms, and
staggering under the weight of their fatal booty; while their enemies were
seen gliding like so many demons of darkness through every crevice and
avenue of the inclosure, in the act of springing on their devoted victims.
This appalling spectacle, vanishing almost as soon as seen, and followed
by the hideous yells and war-cries of the assailants, struck a panic into
the hearts of the soldiers, who fled, scarcely offering any resistance.
The darkness of the night was as favorable to the Moors, familiar with all
the intricacies of the ground, as it was fatal to the Christians, who,
bewildered in the mazes of the sierra, and losing their footing at every
step, fell under the swords of their pursuers, or went down the dark gulfs
and precipices which yawned all around. [15]

Amidst this dreadful confusion, the count of Ureña succeeded in gaining a
lower level of the sierra, where he halted and endeavored to rally his
panic-struck followers. His noble comrade, Alonso de Aguilar, still
maintained his position on the heights above, refusing all entreaties of
his followers to attempt a retreat. "When," said he proudly, "was the
banner of Aguilar ever known to fly from the field?" His eldest son, the
heir of his house and honors, Don Pedro de Cordova, a youth of great
promise, fought at his side. He had received a severe wound on the head
from a stone, and a javelin had pierced quite through his leg. With one
knee resting on the ground, however, he still made a brave defence with
his sword. The sight was too much for the father, and he implored him to
suffer himself to be removed from the field. "Let not the hopes of our
house be crushed at a single blow," said he; "go, my son, live as becomes
a Christian knight,--live, and cherish your desolate mother." All his
entreaties were fruitless, however; and the gallant boy refused to leave
his father's side, till he was forcibly borne away by the attendants, who
fortunately succeeded in bringing him in safety to the station occupied by
the count of Ureña. [16]

Meantime the brave little band of cavaliers, who remained true to Aguilar,
had fallen one after another; and the chief, left almost alone, retreated
to a huge rock which rose in the middle of the plain, and, placing his
back against it, still made fight, though weakened by loss of blood, like
a lion at bay, against his enemies. [17] In this situation he was pressed
so hard by a Moor of uncommon size and strength, that he was compelled to
turn and close with him in single combat. The strife was long and
desperate, till Don Alonso, whose corselet had become unlaced in the
previous struggle, having--received a severe wound in the breast, followed
by another on the head, grappled closely with his adversary, and they came
rolling on the ground together. The Moor remained uppermost; but the
spirit of the Spanish cavalier had not sunk with his strength, and he
proudly exclaimed, as if to intimidate his enemy, "I am Don Alonso de
Aguilar;" to which the other rejoined, "And I am the Feri de Ben Estepar,"
a well-known name of terror to the Christians. The sound of this detested
name roused all the vengeance of the dying hero; and, grasping his foe in
mortal agony, he rallied his strength for a final blow; but it was too
late,-his hand failed, and he was soon despatched by the dagger of his
more vigorous rival. [18]

Thus fell Alonso Hernandez de Cordova, or Alonso de Aguilar, as he is
commonly called from the land where his family estates lay. [19] "He was
of the greatest authority among the grandees of his time," says Father
Abarca, "for his lineage, personal character, large domains, and the high
posts which he filled, both in peace and war. More than forty years of his
life he served against the infidel, under the banner of his house in
boyhood, and as leader of that same banner in later life, or as viceroy of
Andalusia and commander of the royal armies. He was the fifth lord of his
warlike and pious house who had fallen fighting for their country and
religion against the accursed sect of Mahomet. And there is good reason to
believe," continues the same orthodox authority, "that his soul has
received the glorious reward of the Christian soldier; since he was armed
on that very morning with the blessed sacraments of confession and
communion." [20]

The victorious Moors, all this time, were driving the unresisting
Spaniards, like so many terrified deer, down the dark steeps of the
sierra. The count of Ureña, who had seen his son stretched by his side,
and received a severe wound himself, made the most desperate efforts to
rally the fugitives, but was at length swept away by the torrent. Trusting
himself to a faithful adalid, who knew the passes, he succeeded with much
difficulty in reaching the foot of the mountain, with such a small remnant
of his followers as could keep in his track. [21] Fortunately, he there
found the count of Cifuentes, who had crossed the river with the
rearguard, and encamped on a rising ground in the neighborhood. Under
favor of this strong position, the latter commander and his brave
Sevillians, all fresh for action, were enabled to cover the shattered
remains of the Spaniards, and beat off the assaults of their enemies till
the break of morn, when they vanished like so many foul birds of night
into the recesses of the mountains.

The rising day, which dispersed their foes, now revealed to the Christians
the dreadful extent of their own losses. Few were to be seen of all that
proud array, which had marched up the heights so confidently under the
banners of their ill-fated chiefs the preceding evening. The bloody roll
of slaughter, besides the common file, was graced with the names of the
best and bravest of the Christian knighthood, Among the number was
Francisco Ramirez de Madrid, the distinguished engineer, who had
contributed so essentially to the success of the Granadine war. [22]

The sad tidings of the defeat soon spread throughout the country,
occasioning a sensation such as had not been felt since the tragic affair
of the Axarquia. Men could scarcely credit that so much mischief could be
inflicted by an outcast race, who, whatever terror they once inspired, had
long since been regarded with indifference or contempt. Every Spaniard
seemed to consider himself in some way or other involved in the disgrace;
and the most spirited exertions were made on all sides to retrieve it. By
the beginning of April, King Ferdinand found himself at Ronda, at the head
of a strong body of troops, which he determined to lead in person,
notwithstanding the remonstrances of his courtiers, into the heart of the
Sierra, and take bloody vengeance on the rebels.

These latter, however, far from being encouraged, were appalled by the
extent of their own success; and, as the note of warlike preparation
reached them in their fastnesses, they felt their temerity in thus
bringing the whole weight of the Castilian monarchy on their heads. They
accordingly abandoned all thoughts of further resistance, and lost no time
in sending deputies to the king's camp, to deprecate his anger, and sue in
the most submissive terms for pardon.

Ferdinand, though far from vindictive, was less open to pity than the
queen; and in the present instance he indulged in a full measure of the
indignation, with which sovereigns, naturally identifying themselves with
the state, are wont to regard rebellion, by viewing it in the aggravated
light of a personal offence. After some hesitation, however, his prudence
got the better of his passions, as he reflected that he was in a situation
to dictate the terms of victory, without paying the usual price for it.
His past experience seems to have convinced him of the hopelessness of
infusing sentiments of loyalty in a Mussulman towards a Christian prince;
for, while he granted a general amnesty to those concerned in the
insurrection, it was only on the alternative of baptism or exile, engaging
at the same time to provide conveyance for such as chose to leave the
country, on the payment of ten doblas of gold a head. [23.]

These engagements were punctually fulfilled. The Moorish emigrants were
transported in public galleys from Estepona to the Barbary coast. The
number, however, was probably small; by far the greater part being
obliged, however reluctantly, from want of funds, to remain and be
baptized. "They would never have stayed," says Bleda, "if they could have
mustered the ten doblas of gold; a circumstance," continues that
charitable writer, "which shows with what levity they received baptism,
and for what paltry considerations they could be guilty of such
sacrilegious hypocrisy!" [24]

But, although every spark of insurrection was thus effectually
extinguished, it was long, very long, before the Spanish nation could
recover from the blow, or forget the sad story of its disaster in the Red
Sierra. It became the theme, not only of chronicle, but of song; the note
of sorrow was prolonged in many a plaintive _romance_, and the names
of Aguilar and his unfortunate companions were embalmed in that beautiful
minstrelsy, scarcely less imperishable, and far more touching, than the
stately and elaborate records of history. [25] The popular feeling was
displayed after another fashion in regard to the count of Ureña and his
followers, who were accused of deserting their posts in the hour of peril;
and more than one ballad of the time reproachfully demanded an account
from him of the brave companions in arms whom he had left in the Sierra.

The imputation on this gallant nobleman appears wholly undeserved; for
certainly he was not called on to throw away his own life and those of his
brave followers, in a cause perfectly desperate, for a chimerical point of
honor. And, so far from forfeiting the favor of his sovereigns by his
conduct on this occasion, he was maintained by them in the same high
stations, which he before held, and which he continued to fill with
dignity to a good old age. [27]

It was about seventy years after this event, in 1570, that the duke of
Arcos, descended from the great marquis of Cadiz, and from this same count
of Ureña, led an expedition into the Sierra Vermeja, in order to suppress
a similar insurrection of the Moriscoes. Among the party were many of the
descendants and kinsmen of those who had fought under Aguilar. It was the
first time since that these rude passes had been trodden by Christian
feet; but the traditions of early childhood had made every inch of ground
familiar to the soldiers. Some way up the eminence, they recognized the
point at which the count of Ureña had made his stand; and further still,
the fatal plain, belted round with its dark rampart of rocks, where the
strife had been hottest. Scattered fragments of arms and harness still lay
rusting on the ground, which was covered with the bones of the warriors,
that had lain for more than half a century unburied and bleaching in the
sun. [28] Here was the spot on which the brave son of Aguilar had fought
so sturdily by his father's side; and there the huge rock, at whose foot
the chieftain had fallen, throwing its dark shadow over the remains of the
noble dead, who lay sleeping around. The strongly marked features of the
ground called up all the circumstances, which the soldiers had gathered
from tradition; their hearts beat high, as they recapitulated them one to
another; and the tears, says the eloquent historian who tells the story,
fell fast down their iron cheeks, as they gazed on the sad relics, and
offered up a soldier's prayer for the heroic souls which once animated
them. [29]

Tranquillity was now restored throughout the wide borders of Granada. The
banner of the Cross floated triumphantly over the whole extent of its wild
sierras, its broad valleys, and populous cities. Every Moor, in exterior
at least, had become a Christian. Every mosque had been converted into a
Christian church. Still the country was not entirely purified from the
stain of Islamism, since many professing their ancient faith were
scattered over different parts of the kingdom of Castile, where they had
been long resident before the surrender of their capital. The late events
seemed to have no other effect than to harden them in error; and the
Spanish government saw with alarm the pernicious influence of their
example and persuasion, in shaking the infirm faith of the new converts.

To obviate this, an ordinance was published, in the summer of 1501,
prohibiting all intercourse between these Moors and the orthodox kingdom
of Granada. [30] At length, however, convinced that there was no other way
to save the precious seed from being choked by the thorns of infidelity
than to eradicate them altogether, the sovereigns came to the
extraordinary resolution of offering them the alternative of baptism or
exile. They issued a pragmática to that effect from Seville, February
12th, 1502. After a preamble, duly setting forth the obligations of
gratitude on the Castilians to drive God's enemies from the land, which he
in his good time had delivered into their hands, and the numerous
backslidings occasioned among the new converts by their intercourse with
their unbaptized brethren, the act goes on to state, in much the same
terms with the famous ordinance against the Jews, that all the unbaptized
Moors in the kingdoms of Castile and Leon, above fourteen years of age if
males, and twelve if females, must leave the country by the end of April
following; that they might sell their property in the mean time, and take
the proceeds in anything save gold and silver and merchandise regularly
prohibited; and, finally, that they might emigrate to any foreign country,
except the dominions of the Grand Turk, and such parts of Africa as Spain
was then at war with. Obedience to these severe provisions was enforced by
the penalties of death and confiscation of property. [31]

This stern edict, so closely modelled on that against the Jews, must have
been even more grievous in its application. [32] For the Jews may be said
to have been denizens almost equally of every country; while the Moors,
excluded from a retreat among their countrymen on the African shore, were
sent into the lands of enemies or strangers. The former, moreover, were
far better qualified by their natural shrewdness and commercial habits for
disposing of their property advantageously, than the simple, inexperienced
Moors, skilled in little else than husbandry or rude mechanic arts. We
have nowhere met with any estimate of the number who migrated on this
occasion. The Castilian writers pass over the whole affair in a very few
words; not, indeed, as is too evident, from any feelings of
disapprobation, but from its insignificance in a political view. Their
silence implies a very inconsiderable amount of emigrants; a circumstance
not to-be wondered at, as there were very few, probably, who would not
sooner imitate their Granadine brethren, in assuming the mask of
Christianity, than encounter exile under all the aggravated miseries with
which it was accompanied. [33]

Castile might now boast, the first time for eight centuries, that every
outward stain, at least, of infidelity, was purified from her bosom. But
how had this been accomplished? By the most detestable expedients which
sophistry could devise, and oppression execute; and that, too, under an
enlightened government, proposing to be guided solely by a conscientious
regard for duty. To comprehend this more fully, it will be necessary to
take a brief view of public sentiment in matters of religion at that time.

It is a singular paradox, that Christianity, whose doctrines inculcate
unbounded charity, should have been made so often an engine of
persecution; while Mahometanism, whose principles are those of avowed
intolerance, should have exhibited, at least till later times, a truly
philosophical spirit of toleration. [34] Even the first victorious
disciples of the prophet, glowing with all the fiery zeal of proselytism,
were content with the exaction of tribute from the vanquished; at least,
more vindictive feelings were reserved only for idolaters, who did not,
like the Jews and Christians, acknowledge with themselves the unity of
God. With these latter denominations they had obvious sympathy, since it
was their creed which formed the basis of their own. [35] In Spain, where
the fiery temperament of the Arab was gradually softened under the
influence of a temperate climate and higher mental culture, the toleration
of the Jews and Christians, as we have already had occasion to notice, was
so remarkable, that, within a few years after the conquest, we find them
not only protected in the enjoyment of civil and religious freedom, but
mingling on terms almost of equality with their conquerors.

It is not necessary to inquire here, how far the different policy of the
Christians was owing to the peculiar constitution of their hierarchy,
which, composed of a spiritual militia drawn from every country in Europe,
was cut off by its position from all human sympathies, and attached to no
interests but its own; which availed itself of the superior science and
reputed sanctity, that were supposed to have given it the key to the dread
mysteries of a future life, not to enlighten but to enslave the minds of a
credulous world; and which, making its own tenets the only standard of
faith, its own rites and ceremonial the only evidence of virtue,
obliterated the great laws of morality, written by the divine hand on
every heart, and gradually built up a system of exclusiveness and
intolerance most repugnant to the mild and charitable religion of Jesus

Before the close of the fifteenth century, several circumstances operated
to sharpen the edge of intolerance, especially against the Arabs. The
Turks, whose political consideration of late years had made them the
peculiar representatives and champions of Mahometanism, had shown a
ferocity and cruelty in their treatment of the Christians, which brought
general odium on all the professors of their faith, and on the Moors, of
course, though most undeservedly, in common with the rest. The bold,
heterodox doctrines, also, which had occasionally broken forth in
different parts of Europe in the fifteenth century, like so many faint
streaks of light ushering in the glorious morn of the Reformation, had
roused the alarm of the champions of the church, and kindled on more than
one occasion the fires of persecution; and, before the close of the
period, the Inquisition was introduced into Spain.

From that disastrous hour, religion wore a new aspect in this unhappy
country. The spirit of intolerance, no longer hooded in the darkness of
the cloister, now stalked abroad in all his terrors. Zeal was exalted into
fanaticism, and a rational spirit of proselytism, into one of fiendish
persecution. It was not enough now, as formerly, to conform passively to
the doctrines of the church, but it was enjoined to make war on all who
refused them. The natural feelings of compunction in the discharge of this
sad duty was a crime; and the tear of sympathy, wrung out by the sight of
mortal agonies, was an offence to be expiated by humiliating penance. The
most frightful maxims were deliberately engrafted into the code of morals.
Any one, it was said, might conscientiously kill an apostate wherever he
could meet him. There was some doubt whether a man might slay his own
father, if a heretic or infidel, but none whatever as to his right, in
that event, to take away the life of his son or of his brother. [36] These
maxims were not a dead letter, but of most active operation, as the sad
records of the dread tribunal too well prove. The character of the nation
underwent a melancholy change. The milk of charity, nay of human feeling,
was soured in every bosom. The liberality of the old Spanish cavalier gave
way to the fiery fanaticism of the monk. The taste for blood, once
gratified, begat a cannibal appetite in the people, who, cheered on by the
frantic clergy, seemed to vie with one another in the eagerness with which
they ran down the miserable game of the Inquisition.

It was at this very time, when the infernal monster, gorged but not sated
with human sacrifice, was crying aloud for fresh victims, that Granada
surrendered to the Spaniards, under the solemn guaranty of the full
enjoyment of civil and religious liberty. The treaty of capitulation
granted too much, or too little,--too little for an independent state, too
much for one whose existence was now merged in that of a greater; for it
secured to the Moors privileges in some respects superior to those of the
Castilians, and to the prejudice of the latter. Such, for example, was the
permission to trade with the Barbary coast, and with the various places in
Castile and Andalusia, without paying the duties imposed on the Spaniards
themselves; [37] and that article, again, by which runaway Moorish slaves
from other parts of the kingdom were made free and incapable of being
reclaimed by their masters, if they could reach Granada. [38] The former
of these provisions struck at the commercial profits of the Spaniards, the
latter directly at their property.

It is not too much to say, that such a treaty, depending for its
observance on the good faith and forbearance of the stronger party, would
not hold together a year in any country of Christendom, even at the
present day, before some flaw or pretext would be devised to evade it. How
much greater was the probability of this in the present case, where the
weaker party was viewed with all the accumulated odium of long hereditary
hostility and religious rancor!

The work of conversion, on which the Christians, no doubt, much relied,
was attended with greater difficulties than had been anticipated by the
conquerors. It was now found, that, while the Moors retained their present
faith, they would be much better affected towards their countrymen in
Africa, than to the nation with which they were incorporated. In short,
Spain still had enemies in her bosom; and reports were rife in every
quarter, of their secret intelligence with the Barbary states, and of
Christians kidnapped to be sold as slaves to Algerine corsairs. Such
tales, greedily circulated and swallowed, soon begat general alarm; and
men are not apt to be over-scrupulous as to measures which they deem
essential to their personal safety.

The zealous attempt to bring about conversion by preaching and
expostulation was fair and commendable. The intervention of bribes and
promises, if it violated the spirit, did not, at least, the letter of the
treaty. The application of force to a few of the most refractory, who by
their blind obstinacy were excluding a whole nation from the benefits of
redemption, was to be defended on other grounds; and these were not
wanting to cunning theologians, who considered that the sanctity of the
end justified extraordinary means, and that, where the eternal interests
of the soul were at stake, the force of promises and the faith of treaties
were equally nugatory. [39]

But the _chef-d'oeuvre_ of monkish casuistry was the argument imputed
to Ximenes for depriving the Moors of the benefits of the treaty, as a
legitimate consequence of the rebellion, into which they had been driven
by his own malpractices. This proposition, however, far from outraging the
feelings of the nation, well drilled by this time in the metaphysics of
the cloister, fell short of them, if we are to judge from recommendations
of a still more questionable import, urged, though ineffectually, on the
sovereigns at this very time, from the highest quarter. [40]

Such are the frightful results to which the fairest mind may be led, when
it introduces the refinements of logic into the discussions of duty; when,
proposing to achieve some great good, whether in politics or religion, it
conceives that the importance of the object authorizes a departure from
the plain principles of morality, which regulate the ordinary affairs of
life; and when, blending these higher interests with those of a personal
nature, it becomes incapable of discriminating between them, and is led
insensibly to act from selfish motives, while it fondly imagines itself
obeying only the conscientious dictates of duty. [41]

With these events may be said to terminate the history of the Moors, or
the Moriscoes, as henceforth called, under the present reign. Eight
centuries had elapsed since their first occupation of the country; during
which period they had exhibited all the various phases of civilization,
from its dawn to its decline. Ten years had sufficed to overturn the
splendid remains of this powerful empire; and ten more, for its nominal
conversion to Christianity. A long century of persecution, of unmitigated
and unmerited suffering, was to follow, before the whole was to be
consummated by the expulsion of this unhappy race from the Peninsula.
Their story, in this latter period, furnishes one of the most memorable
examples in history, of the impotence of persecution, even in support of a
good cause against a bad one. It is a lesson that cannot be too deeply
pondered through every succeeding age. The fires of the Inquisition are,
indeed, extinguished, probably to be lighted no more. But where is the
land which can boast that the spirit of intolerance, which forms the very
breath of persecution, is altogether extinct in its bosom?


[1] Alpuxarras,--an Arabic word, signifying "land of warriors," according
to Salazar de Mendoza. (Monarquía, tom. ii. p. 138.)

According to the more accurate and learned Conde, it is derived from an
Arabic term for "pasturage." (El Nubiense, Descripcion de España, p. 187.)

"La Alpuxarra, aquessa sierra
que al Sol la cervis lavanta
y que poblada de Villas,
es Mar de peñas, y plantas,
adonde sus poblaciones
ondas navegan de plata."

Calderon, (Comedias, (Madrid, 1760,) tom. i. p. 353,) whose gorgeous muse
sheds a blaze of glory over the rudest scenes.

[2] Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, tom. i. lib. 1, cap. 28.--Quintana,
Españoles Célebres, tom. i. p. 239.--Bleda, Corónica, lib. 5, cap. 23.--
Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 159.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom.
ii. fol. 338.--Mendoza, Guerra de Granada, p. 12.

[3] If we are to believe Martyr, the royal force amounted to 80,000 foot
and 15,000 horse; so large an army, so promptly brought into the field,
would suggest high ideas of the resources of the nation; too high indeed
to gain credit, even from Martyr, without confirmation.

[4] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 215.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom.
ii. fol. 338.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 3, cap. 45.--Carbajal, Anales,
MS., año 1500.

[5] Footnote: Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 28.--Abarca,
Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. fol. 338.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap.
159.--Bleda, Corónica, lib. 5, cap. 24.

[6] Bleda, Corónica, lib. 5, cap. 24.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS.,
cap. 165.

[7] Privilegios á los Moros de Valdelecrin y las Alpuxarras que se
convirtieren, á 30 de Julio de 1500. Archive de Simancas, apud Mem. de la
Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. apend. 14.

[8] Carbajal, Anales, MS., año 1500.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib.
19, cap. 10.

[9] Footnote: Carbajal, Anales, MS., año 1501.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v.
lib. 4, cap. 27, 31.

[10] The great marquis of Cadiz was third count of Arcos, from which his
descendants took their title on the resumption of Cadiz by the crown after
his death. Mendoza, Dignidades, lib. 3, cap. 8, 17.

[11] See two letters dated Seville, January and February, 1500, addressed
by Ferdinand and Isabella to the inhabitants of the Serrania de Ronda,
preserved in the archives of Simancas, apud Mem. de la Acad. de Hist.,
tom. vi. Ilust. 15.

[12] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 165.--Bleda, Corónica, lib.
5, cap. 25.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 221.

The complaints of the Spanish and African Moors to the Sultan of Egypt, or
of Babylon, as he was then usually styled, had drawn from that prince
sharp remonstrances to the Catholic sovereigns against their persecutions
of the Moslems, accompanied by menaces of strict retaliation on the
Christians in his dominions. In order to avert such calamitous
consequences, Peter Martyr was sent as ambassador to Egypt. He left
Granada in August, 1501, proceeded to Venice, and embarked there for
Alexandria, which place he reached in December. Though cautioned on his
arrival, that his mission, in the present exasperated state of feeling at
the court, might cost him his head, the dauntless envoy sailed up the Nile
under a Mameluke guard to Grand Cairo. Far from experiencing any outrage,
however, he was courteously received by the Sultan; although the
ambassador declined compromising the dignity of the court he represented,
by paying the usual humiliating mark of obeisance, in prostrating himself
on the ground in the royal presence; an independent bearing highly
satisfactory to the Castilian historians. (See Garibay, Compendio, tom.
ii. lib. 19, cap. 12.) He had three audiences, in which he succeeded so
completely in effacing the unfavorable impressions of the Moslem prince,
that the latter not only dismissed him with liberal presents, but granted,
at his request, several important privileges to the Christian residents,
and the pilgrims to the Holy Land, which lay within his dominions.
Martyr's account of this interesting visit, which gave him ample
opportunity for studying the manners of a nation, and seeing the
stupendous monuments of ancient art, then little familiar to Europeans,
was published in Latin, under the title of "De Legatione Babylonica," in
three books, appended to his more celebrated "Decades de Rebus Oceanicis
et Novo Orbe." Mazzuchelli, (Sorittori d'ltalia, race Anghiera,) notices
an edition which he had seen published separately, without date or name of
the printer.

"Rio Verde, Rio Verde,
Tinto va en sangre viva;"--

Percy, in his well-known version of one of these agreeable
_romances_, adopts the tame epithet of "gentle river," from the
awkwardness, he says, of the literal translation of "verdant river." He
was not aware, it appears, that the Spanish was a proper name. (See
Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, (London, 1812,) vol. i. p. 357.) The
more faithful version of "green river," however, would have nothing very
unpoetical in it; though our gifted countryman, Bryant seems to intimate,
by his omission, somewhat of a similar difficulty, in his agreeable
stanzas on the beautiful stream of that name in New England.

[14] Zuñiga, Annales de Sevilla, año 1501.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom.
ii. p. 340.--Bleda, Corónica, lib. 5, cap. 26.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Católicos, MS., cap. 165.

"Fue muy gentil capitan," says Oviedo, speaking of this latter nobleman,
"y valiente lanza; y rauchas vezes dio testimonio grande de su animoso
esfuerzo." Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial. 36.

[15] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. fol. 340.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v.
lib. 4, cap. 33.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 10.--
Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 165.--Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos,
lib. 1, cap. 28.

[16] Mendoza, Guerra de Granada, p. 13.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. 2,
fol. 340.--Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 28.--Oviedo,
Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial. 36.

The boy, who lived to man's estate, was afterwards created marquis of
Priego by the Catholic sovereigns. Salazar de Mendoza, Dignidades, lib. 2,
cap. 13.

[17] It is the simile of the fine old ballad:

"Solo queda Don Alonso
Su campaña es acabada
Pelea como un Leon
Pero poco aprovechaba."

[18] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., ubi supra.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon,
tom. ii. ubi supra.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 10.--
Mendoza, Guerra de Granada, p. 13.--Sandoval, Hist. Del Emp. Carlos V.,
tom. i. p. 5.

According to Hyta's prose, Aguilar had first despatched more than thirty
Moors with his own hand. (Guerras de Granada, part. i. p. 568.) The
ballad, with more discretion, does not vouch for any particular number.

"Don Alonso en este tiempo
Muy gran batalla hacia,
El cavallo le havian muerto,
Por muralla le tenia.
Y arrimado a un gran peñon
Con valor se defendia:

Muchos Moros tiene muertos,
Pero poco le valia.
Porque sobre el cargan muchos,
Y le dan grandes heridas,
Tantas que cayó allí muerto
Entre la gente enemiga."

The warrior's death is summed up with an artless brevity, that would be
affectation in more studied composition.

"Muerto queda Don Alonso,
Y eterna fama ganada."

[19] Paolo Giovio finds an etymology for the name in the eagle (aguila),
assumed as the device of the warlike ancestors of Don Alonso. St.
Ferdinand of Castile, in consideration of the services of this illustrious
house at the taking of Cordova, in 1236, allowed it to bear as a cognomen
the name of that city. This branch, however, still continued to be
distinguished by their territorial epithet of Aguilar, although Don
Alonso's brother, the Great Captain, as we have seen, was more generally
known by that of Cordova. Vita Magni Gonsalvi, fol. 204.

[20] Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. fol 340, 341.

The hero's body, left on the field of battle, was treated with decent
respect by the Moors, who restored it to King Ferdinand; and the
sovereigns caused it to be interred with all suitable pomp in the church
of St. Hypolito at Cordova. Many years afterwards the marchioness of
Priego, his descendant, had the tomb opened; and, on examining the
mouldering remains, the iron head of a lance, received in his last mortal
struggle, was found buried in the bones. Bleda, Corónica, lib. 5, cap. 26.

"Tambien el Conde de Urena,
Mal herido en demasia,
Se sale de la batalla
Llevado por una guia.
"Que sabia bien la senda
Que de la Sierra salia:
Muchos Moros dexaba muertos
Por su grande valentia.
"Tambien algunos se escapan,
Que al buen Conde le seguian."

Oviedo, speaking of this retreat of the good count and his followers,
says, "Volvieron las riendas a sus caballos, y se retiraron a mas que
galope por la multitud de los Infieles." Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc.
1, dial. 36.

[22] Zuñiga, Annales de Sevilla, año 1501.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., año
1501.--Bleda, Corónica, lib. 5, cap. 26.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat.
1, quinc. 1, dial. 36.

For a more particular notice of Ramirez, see Part I. Chapter 13, of this

[23] Bleda, Corónica, lib. 5, cap. 26, 27.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap.
16.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 165.--Mariana, Hist. de España,
lib. 27, cap. 5.--Marmol, Rebelion de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 28.

[24] Corónica, lib. 5, cap. 27.

The Curate of Los Palacios disposes of the Moors rather summarily; "The
Christians stripped them, gave them a free passage, and sent them to the
devil!" Reyes Católicos, cap. 165.

[25] According to one of the _romances_, cited by Hyta, the expedition of
Aguilar was a piece of romantic Quixotism, occasioned by King
Ferdinand's challenging the bravest of his knights to plant his banner on
the summits of the Alpuxarras.

"Qual de vosotros, amigos,
Ira a la Sierra mañana,
A poner mi Real pendon
Encima de la Alpuxarra?"

All shrunk from the perilous emprise, till Alonso de Aguilar stepped
forward and boldly assumed it for himself.

"A todos tiembla la barba,
Sino fuera don Alonso,
Que de Aguilar se llamaba.
Levantose en pie ante el Rey
De esta manera le habla.

"Aquesa empresa, Señor,
Para mi estaba guardada,
Que mi senora la reyna
Ya me la tiene mandada.

"Alegrose mucho el Rey
Por la oferta que le daba,
Au no era amanecido
Don Alonso ya cavalga."

These popular ditties, it cannot be denied, are slippery authorities for
any important fact, unless supported by more direct historic testimony.
When composed, however, by contemporaries, or those who lived near the
time, they may very naturally record many true details, too insignificant
in their consequences to attract the notice of history. The ballad
translated with so much elaborate simplicity by Percy, is chiefly taken
up, as the English reader may remember, with the exploits of a Sevillian
hero named Saavedra. No such personage is noticed, as far as I am aware,
by the Spanish chroniclers. The name of Saavedra, however, appears to have
been a familiar one in Seville, and occurs two or three times in the
muster-roll of nobles and cavaliers of that city, who joined King
Ferdinand's army in the preceding year, 1500. Zuñiga, Annales de Sevilla,
eodem anno.

[26] Mendoza notices these splenetic effusions (Guerra de Granada, p. 13);
and Bleda (Corónica, p. 636) cites the following couplet from one of them.

"Decid, conde de Ureña,
Don Alonso donde queda."

[27] The Venetian ambassador, Navagiero, saw the count of Ureña at Ossuna,
in 1526. He was enjoying a green old age, or, as the minister expresses
it, "molto vecchio e gentil corteggiano però." "Diseases," said the
veteran good-humoredly, "sometimes visit me, but seldom tarry long; for my
body is like a crazy old inn, where travellers find such poor fare, that
they merely touch and go." Viaggio, fol. 17.

[28] Guerra de Granada, p. 301.--Compare the similar painting of Tacitus,
in the scene where Germanicus pays the last sad offices to the remains of
Varus and his legions. "Dein semiruto vallo, humili fossa, accisae jam
reliquiae consedisse intelligebantur: medio campi albentia ossa, ut
fugerant, ut restiterant, disjecta vel aggerata; adjacebant fragmina
telorum, equorumque artus, simul truncis arborum antefixa ora."(Annales,
lib. 1, sect. 61.) Mendoza falls nothing short of this celebrated
description of the Roman historian;

"Pan etiam Arcadiâ dicat se judice victum."

[29] Mendoza, Guerra de Granada, pp. 300-302.

The Moorish insurrection of 1570 was attended with at least one good
result, in calling forth this historic masterpiece, the work of the
accomplished Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, accomplished alike as a statesman,
warrior, and historian. His "Guerra de Granada," confined as it is to a
barren fragment of Moorish history, displays such liberal sentiments,
(too liberal, indeed, to permit its publication till long after its
author's death,) profound reflection, and classic elegance of style, as
well entitled him to the appellation of the Spanish Sallust.

[30] Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 6.

[31] Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 7.

[32] Bleda anxiously claims the credit of the act of expulsion for Fray
Thomas de Torquemada, of inquisitorial memory. (Corónica, p. 640.) That
eminent personage had, indeed, been dead some years; but this edict was so
obviously suggested by that against the Jews, that it may be considered as
the result of his principles, if not directly taught by him. Thus it is,
"the evil that men do lives after them."

[33] The Castilian writers, especially the dramatic, have not been
insensible to the poetical situations afforded by the distresses of the
banished Moriscoes. Their sympathy for the exiles, however, is whimsically
enough contrasted by an orthodox anxiety to justify the conduct of their
own government. The reader may recollect a pertinent example in the story
of Sancho's Moorish friend, Ricote. Don Quixote, part. 2, cap. 54.

[34] The _spirit of toleration_ professed by the Moors, indeed, was
made a principal argument against them in the archbishop of Valencia's
memorial to Philip III. The Mahometans would seem the better Christians of
the two. See Geddes, Miscellaneous Tracts, (London, 1702-6,) vol. i. p.

[35] Heeren seems willing to countenance the learned Pluquet in regarding
Islamism, in its ancient form, as one of the modifications of
Christianity; placing the principal difference between that and
Socinianism, for example, in the mere rites of circumcision and baptism.
(Essai sur l'Influence des Croisades, traduit par Villers, (Paris, 1808,)
p. 175, not.) "The Mussulmans," says Sir William Jones, "are a sort of
heterodox Christians, if Locke reasons justly, because they firmly believe
the immaculate conception, divine character, and miracles of the Messiah;
heterodox in denying vehemently his character of Son, and his equality, as
God, with the Father, of whose unity and attributes they entertain and
express the most awful ideas." See his Dissertation on the Gods of Greece,
Italy, and India; Works, (London, 1799,) vol. i. p. 279.

[36] See the bishop of Orihuela's treatise, "De Bello Sacro," etc., cited
by the industrious Clemencin. (Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust.
15.) The Moors and Jews, of course, stood no chance in this code; the
reverend father expresses an opinion, with which Bleda heartily coincides,
that the government would be perfectly justified in taking away the life
of every Moor in the kingdom, for their shameless infidelity. Ubi supra;--
and Bleda, Corónica, p. 995.

[37] The articles of the treaty are detailed at length by Marmol, Rebelion
de Moriscos, lib. 1, cap. 19.

[38] Idem, ubi supra.

[39] See the arguments of Ximenes, or of his enthusiastic biographer
Fléchier, for it is not always easy to discriminate between them. Hist. de
Ximenés, pp. 108, 109.

[40] The duke of Medina Sidonia proposed to Ferdinand and Isabella to be
avenged on the Moors, in some way not explained, after their
disembarkation in Africa, on the ground that, the term of the royal safe-
conduct having elapsed, they might lawfully be treated as enemies. To this
proposal, which would have done honor to a college of Jesuits in the
sixteenth century, the sovereigns made a reply too creditable not to be
transcribed. "El Rei é la Réina. Fernando de Zafra, nuestro secretário.
Vimos vuestra letra, en que nos fecistes saber lo que el duque de
Medinasidónia tenia pensado que se podia facer contra los Moros de
Villaluenga después de desembarcados allende. Decide que le agradecemos y
tenemos en servício el buen deseo que tiene de nos servir: _pero porqué
nuestra, palabra y seguro real así se debe guardar á los infieles como á
los Oristianos_, y faciéndose lo que él dice pareceria cautela y engaño
armado sobre nuestro seguro para no le guardar, que en ninguna, manera se
haga eso, ni otra cosa de que pueda parecer que se quebranta nuestro
seguro. De Granada véinte y nueve de mayo de quiniéntos y un años.--Yo el
Rei.--Yo la Réina--Por mandado del Rei é del Réina, Miguel Perez Almazan."
Would that the suggestions of Isabella's own heart, instead of the clergy,
had always been the guide of her conduct in these matters! Mem. de la
Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 15, from the original in the archives of
the family of Medina Sidonia.

[41] A memorial of the archbishop of Valencia to Philip III. affords an
example of this moral obliquity, that may make one laugh, or weep,
according to the temper of his philosophy. In this precious document he
says, "Your Majesty may, without any scruple of conscience, make slaves of
all the Moriscoes, and may put them into your own galleys or mines, or
sell them to strangers. And as to their children, they may be all sold at
good rates here in Spain; which will be so far from being a punishment,
that it will be a mercy to them; since by that means they will all become
Christians; which they would never have been, had they continued with
their parents. By the holy execution of which piece of justice, _a great
sum of money will flow into your Majesty's treasury_." (Geddes,
Miscellaneous Tracts, vol. i. p. 71.) "Il n'est point d'hostilité
excellente comme la Chrestienne," says old Montaigne; "nostre zele faict
merveilles, quand il va secondant nostre pente vers la haine, la cruanté,
l'ambition, l'avarice, la detraction, la rebellion. Nostre religion est
faicte pour extirper les vices; elle les couvre, les nourrit, les incite."
Essais, liv. 2, chap. 12.




Progress of Discovery.--Reaction of Public Feeling.--The Queen's
Confidence in Columbus.--He Discovers Terra Firma.--Isabella Sends Back
the Indian Slaves.--Complaints against Columbus.--Superseded in the
Government.--Vindication of the Sovereigns.--His Fourth and Last Voyage.

The reader will turn with satisfaction from the melancholy and mortifying
details of superstition, to the generous efforts, which the Spanish
government was making to enlarge the limits of science and dominion in the
west. "Amidst the storms and troubles of Italy, Spain was every day
stretching her wings over a wider sweep of empire, and extending the glory
of her name to the far Antipodes." Such is the swell of exultation with
which the enthusiastic Italian, Martyr, notices the brilliant progress of
discovery under his illustrious countryman Columbus. [1] The Spanish
sovereigns had never lost sight of the new domain, so unexpectedly opened
to them, as it were, from the depths of the ocean. The first accounts
transmitted by the great navigator and his companions, on his second
voyage, while their imaginations were warm with the beauty and novelty of
the scenes which met their eyes in the New World, served to keep alive the

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest