And Doña Urraca gave orders that the council should meet; and she said unto them: "Friends, ye will see the resoluteness of the King, Don Sancho, my brother; and already have ye suffered much evil and much wretchedness for doing right and loyally, losing kinsmen and friends in my service. Ye have done enough, and I do not hold it good that ye perish. I command ye, therefore, give up the town to him within nine days, and I will go to Toledo to my brother, King Don Alfonso."

The men of Zamora when they heard this had great sorrow, because they had endured the siege so long and must give up the town at last; and they determined to go with the Infanta, and not remain in Zamora.



Translated by JOHN DRYDEN.

[Theseus, King of Athens, on returning with Hippolita, his Queen, and her sister, the fair Emily, from a long journey, chancing to look aside, saw a crowd of dames on the roadside. As soon as they saw him they raised a loud cry, and beat their breasts and tore their hair. When he asked the cause of their grief, they told him Thebes, a city in his kingdom, had been taken by Creon, and their lords had been slain in battle. The cruel conqueror would not allow the dead bodies to be buried, but left them as food for his hounds. Theseus promised them that he would go to Thebes without delay, and punish Creon as he deserved.]

LL day Theseus marched, and all th' ensuing night,


And saw the city with returning light;

And when the victor chief had Creon slain

And conquered Thebes, he pitched upon the plain.
Now to the ladies he restored again

The bodies of their lords in battle slain.

There, in a heap of slain, among the rest,

Two youthful knights they found by load oppressed,

Both fair, and both of royal blood they seemed,
Whom kinsmen to Creon the heralds deemed;
Nor well alive, nor wholly dead they were,
But some faint signs of feeble life appear.
These two were sisters' sons-Arcite one.
And the other valiant Palamon.

From these their costly arms the spoilers rent,
And softly both conveyed to Theseus' tent.
Now in a tower never to be loosed,

The woful captive kinsmen were enclosed.

Once young Emilia to the tower garden took her way,
To offer maiden vows in honor of the May.

It happened Palamon thro' a window cast his sight,
Though thick with bars, that gave a scanty light;
But that faint glimmering served him to descry
The wondrous and amazing charms of Emily.
He cried aloud. Young Arcite heard,

And up he ran to help his friend, if need with sword.
He asked him why he looked so deadly wan,

And whence and how his change of cheer began. "The glance of some new goddess gave the wound, Whom, like Actæon, unaware I found."

While yet he spoke,

Arcite on Emily had fixed his look.

Then from his inmost soul he sighed,

"Ah, me!

How longs my heart for her, so sweet, I see !

"Speak'st thou in earnest or in jesting vein?"


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Jesting," said Arcite, "suits but ill with pain."

Said Palamon, "We plighted faith, that neither prove His fellow's hindrance in pursuit of love.

But my love began ere thine was born;

Thou art my council and my brother sworn."

Great was their strife, which hourly was renewed
Till each with mortal hate the other viewed.

At length it chanced Pirithous came to attend
The worthy Theseus, his familiar friend.
Theseus to gratify his friend and guest,
Who made our Arcite's freedom his request,
Restored to liberty the captive knight,
But on these hard conditions I recite:
That if, hereafter, Arcite should be found
Within the compass of Athenian ground,
By day or night, or on whate'er pretence,
His head should pay the forfeit of the offence.
“What have I gained,” Arcite mourned in loud lament,
"If I but change my bonds for banishment?
What matters it to me if, from prison free,
I starve abroad, and lose sight of Emily?"

When Palamon knew his rival freed and gone,
He swelled with wrath and made outrageous moan:
"Alas!" he cried, "I, wretch, in prison pine,
Too happy rival, while the fruit is thine.
And after, by some treaty made, thou'lt possess
Fair Emily, the pledge of lasting peace!"
When Arcite was to Thebes returned again,
The loss of her he loved renewed his pain;

He raved in mad despair, his eyes in hollow sockets sink,
Bereft of sleep, he loathed his meat and drink.

By chance a mirror he espied and there beheld
His altered look, at which belief rebelled.

A sudden thought then starting in his mind:

"Since I in Arcite cannot Arcite find,

The world may search in vain with all their eyes,
But never penetrate through this disguise."

Arrived at Athens, soon he came to court,
Unknown, unquestioned in that thick resort.

He passed a year, Emilia's chamberlain, attending thus
On Emily, and by name being called Philostratus.

To Theseus' person he was ever near,

And Theseus for his virtues held him dear.

Still hopeless Palamon mourns his fate, the captive knight,
For six long years immured, at last from prison took his flight.
A thick-spread forest, near the city lay,

To this with lengthened strides he took his way.
Unconscious to the grove Arcite conveyed

His steps where in secret Palamon was laid.
“In mean estate," moaned Arcite, "I serve my foe,
The man who caused my country's overthrow."

No word missed Palamon, and, starting from his place,
Discovered stood, and showed his hostile face:
“False traitor! Arcite! traitor to thy blood;
Bound by thy sacred oath to seek my good!
But be assured, either thou shalt die,
Or else renounce thy claim on Emily."

"Now, by the gods who govern Heaven above,
Wert thou not weak with hunger, mad with love,

That word had been thy last, or in this grove

This hand, Palamon, should force thee to renounce thy love.
Here, alone, I will come to-morrow, with arms for thee and me;
Bedding and food I will provide, that thou a worthy conquest be."

His promise Palamon accepts, but him prayed

To keep it better than the first he made.
Arcite, ere the day, two suits of armor sought,
Which before him on his steed he brought.
Thus pale they met; their eyes with fury burn;
None greets, for none the greeting will return.

Two long hours in equal arms they stood,

And wounded each the other till both were bathed in blood.

So fought the knights, and, fighting, must abide,

Till fate an umpire sends, their difference to decide.

In Theseus one appears, whose youthful joy

Was beasts of chase in forest to destroy.

This gentle knight forsook his couch at early day,
And to the woods and wilds pursued his way.
Beside him rode Hippolita, the Queen,

And Emily, attired in lively green,

With horns, and hounds, and all the tuneful cry,
To hunt a royal hart within the covert nigh.
The way that Theseus took was to the wood,
Where the two knights in cruel battle stood.
Approached, and looking underneath the sun,
He saw proud Arcite and fierce Palamon
In mortal battle, doubling blow on blow;
Like lightning flamed their falchions to and fro.
He gazed with wonder on their equal might,
Looked eager on, but knew not either knight.
But soon with sword unsheathed, on pain of life,
Commands both combatants to cease their strife.
Then with imperious tone pursues his threat:
"What are you? Why in arms together met?
How dares your pride presume against my laws,
As in a listed field to fight your cause?"

Then Palamon, with scarce recovered breath,
Thus hasty spoke: "We both deserve the death,
And both would die; for, look the world around,
A pair so wretched is not to be found.
Now, as thou art a sovereign judge, decree
The rightful doom of death to him and me;
Me first, oh, kill me first, and cure my woe;
Then sheathe the sword of justice in my foe.
Arcite of Thebes is he, Philostratus called by thee,
A traitor trusted, and in high degree,

Aspiring to fair Emily. From Thebes my birth I own,

And call myself the unhappy Palamon.

Know me for what I am. I broke my chain,

Nor promised I thy prisoner to remain."

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