The Cid Sends Alvar Fanez to King Alfonso With a Gift of Thirty Horses

January 27, 2022

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, El Cid

The Cid said then to Alvar: “I will send King Alfonso a present from my part of the spoils. You shall go to Castile, and take with you thirty horses, the best of those captured from the Moors, all saddled and bridled, and each having a sword hanging from the saddle bow; and you shall give them to the king for me, and kiss his hand for me, and tell him that we know how to make our way among the Moors. Take also this bag of gold and silver, and give it to the Church of St. Mary at Burgos, and hang up there these banners of the Moorish kings whom we have conquered. Go then to St. Pedro’s and salute my wife and my daughters, and tell them how I am, and that if I live I will make them all rich women. Salute for me the Abbot, and give him fifty marks of silver; and whatever money is left, give to my wife, and bid them all pray for me. We have now taken all the spoils in this region, and we will have to fight elsewhere. If when you come back we are not here, you will learn where we are.”

Alvar went his way to Castile, and found the king in Valladolid, and made ready to present him the gifts of the Cid. When the king saw them, before Alvar could do his errand, Alfonso said, “Who sends me this goodly present?” And Alvar replied, “The Cid, the Campeador, sends it, and kisses by me your hands.” He then told him the wonderful story of their adventures, and added, “Of the fifth of the horses that were taken the Cid has sent you these, as to his king, whose favor he desires.”

A statue of Álvar Fáñez in Burgos, Spain.

Then Alfonso answered: “It is soon for a banished man to ask favor of his king; nor is it befitting for a king to be angry so short a time. Nevertheless, because the horses were won from the Moors, I will take them, and rejoice that the Cid is faring so well. And I give you your pardon, Alvar, and give again to you all lands which were yours, and you have my permission to go and come as you will. Of the Cid I shall say nothing now, except that all who wish to follow him may do so, and their person and property will be safe.” Then Alvar said: “May God grant you many happy years! Now I beg that you also grant the property of those who are now in the company of the Cid may be safe.” And the king gave orders that this should be as Alvar requested. Then Alvar kissed the king’s hand and said, “You have done this much now, and you will do the rest hereafter;” meaning that later he would pardon the Cid.

 

 

Calvin Dill Wilson, The Story of the Cid: For Young People (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1901), 97–99.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 813

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