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And when the sons saw such a number arriving, they imagined Ruy had sent to demand their heads, and prepared to fight to the last. But the cavaliers raised their voices, crying,-"Sons of Lara, if we live-if we die-it will be with you, for your uncle desires your death, and we are no friends of traitors; but if we escape alive, we desire you will defend us against Don Ruy;" which the sons promised to do.
And after having thus spoken they commenced the attack on the Moors. Thereupon commenced a battle, such as no man before had ever heard of for bloody feats of arms; a combat more extraordinary than ever was undertaken by such a handful of Christians; for history relates that they killed two thousand Moors before one on their side had fallen. In spite of these valorous deeds, the three hundred cavaliers who came to aid the sons of Lara dropped fast around, and at length not one survived. The sons, fatigued to death with their superhuman efforts, no longer had strength to raise their arms or strike a blow.
When the Moorish chiefs, Viara and Galve, saw them thus exhausted, they took pity on them, and drawing them from the mêlée, conducted them to their tents, where they were detained, and partook of bread and wine.
But when Ruy Velasquez came to learn this circumstance, he sent word to the Moorish commanders, saying, that it would prove a fatal thing to preserve the lives of such men ; that evil must come out of it, because they should never return again to Castille, but that he would go to Cordova, and demand their death of the Moorish king.
Gonçalo Goncalez, on learning these words of Ruy, raised his hand to heaven, saying, "He is a false traitor!-our wicked uncle. God alone can pardon him." Now Viara and Galve in their turn thus spoke to the brothers: "We know not how to act, for if your uncle goes to Cordova, as he says he will, much hatred will be caused against us. Almançor will give him full power to act, and from this cause evil will befall us. Since things stand thus, we will reconduct you to the plain from whence you came, and you must do your best." And when the sons of Lara were once more on the plain, the Moorish troops fell upon them like a storm of hail,-then commenced a battle more cruel than all that had yet preceded it.
Although the six sons were like one giant warrior fighting with untamed courage, it must be remarked that Gonçalo Gonçalez, the younger son, performed more feats of daring courage than any of his brothers; but the number of the enemy was so great that it could no longer be resisted; the sons were now so exhausted with fighting, that they remained motionless on the same spot. And their noble horses! it was painful to see them, for even if their riders could have continued the fight, the poor animals could not; they
were like their masters, fast sinking under wounds and fatigue. The sons had now no defensive arms, either swords or lances, all were lost, or broken.
When the Moors beheld these gallant warriors without arms, they killed their horses, and took the riders prisoners; then taking off their armour, beheaded them, one by one, without delay,-it may be said, under the eyes of Ruy Velasquez, their unnatural, disloyal uncle.
Gonçalo Gonçalez, the younger of all, seeing his brothers beheaded before him, took heart and rushing upon the miscreant who had executed them by a single blow of his fist in the stomach, laid him dead at his feet. He also killed several more in the same way, but finally was overcome, and shared the fate of his brothers.
After this fatal tragedy was enacted, Ruy Velasquez took leave of the Moors, and returned to his quarters of Bilaren.
The Moors collected the heads of the seven sons of Lara, and their good preceptor, and carried them to Cordova.
When Viara and Galve were arrived in presence of Almançor, they displayed the seven heads of the sons of Lara, and that of Nuno Salido. Almançor viewed them, recognised their features, and ordered the blood to be washed from them with wine and spices.
After they were washed, he caused a white cloth to be spread in the palace, and the heads to be placed thereon in a row; that of Nuno was placed by itself above them.
Almançor then went to the prison, where lay Don Gustios, the father of the seven sons, and said to him; "Gonçalo Gustios, how are you?" "My lord, he replied," as you wish me,-quite well; and in truth, I am rejoiced that you have come here, for I understand by it that you are going to spare my life; and so it should be, for when a king visits his prisoner, the prisoner is free."
And the king spoke : I am come to you, to tell you that my troops in the country of Castille have beaten the Christians on the plains of Almenar. My chiefs have brought eight heads of noble warriors, seven of them are young men, and one the head of an old, venerable man; I wish you to see themto learn if you can recognise them, for my adalides (scribes) say they are from the country of Lara."
"King Almangor, when I see them, I can surely say to whom they belonged; for in truth, there is not in all Castille a single noble cavalier, whom I do not know." Don Gustios was then conducted into the palace, where the heads were exposed. On seeing them, he instantly recognised the SEPT. 1845.
mangled features of his noble sons. So great was the sorrowful shock, that he fell to the ground, and was thought dead. After a time he rose up, and large tear drops fell from his eyes, as he said to Almançor: "Well do I know these heads, they are those of my sons, the seven children of Salas; the other one is that of Nuno Salido, who brought them up. Alas! and woe is me."
After thus speaking, he began to vent sighs, so full of grief, that none of the spectators, seeing his great sorrow, could restrain their tears. He took each of the heads up, and kissing it, enumerated all the great deeds it had performed. Then in his great anguish of mind, he snatched a sword from an attendant, and with it killed seven Alguazils, even in the presence of Almançor.
How many more he would have killed had he not been prevented, cannot be conjectured. He then implored Almançor to put him to death, having nothing more to live for. But Almançor took pity on him, and would not allow him to be harmed,—no, not one hair of his head to be hurt.
Don Gustios being in this anguish of mind, there came to him the Moorish dame who waited upon him: "Courage, sennhor Don Gonçalo; cease weeping. Learn that I once had thirteen sons, all good cavaliers, and such was their fate and mine, that they were all killed one day in battle. I have, nevertheless, taken courage, and at last remained silent in sorrow. How much more so ought you, who are a knight; you may well weep for your sons, but that will not recall them, or enable you once more to see them during your life. Do not, therefore, let your grief kill you."
Almançor said to him: "Return to thy country. It is long since thy wife, Donna Sancha, has seen thee; as to the heads of thy sons, I will do all I can to their honour, and all that can be done shall be done.”
Gonçalo Gustios took leave of Almançor, and of the grandees of his court, and returned to Salas, leaving the Moorish lady half his signet ring as a token.
We shall now relate how the Moorish lady had a son, and that he was the son of Don Gustios; that he was named Mudarra Gonçalez by his mother; that from the fourth year of the King Bermudo's reign until the eleventh, we have nothing to recite relative to this history. But in the end it will be geen how the seven sons of Lara were revenged.
At ten years of age Mudarra was knighted by Almançor, whom it is said loved him full well because his mother was the king's own sister. Mudarra became a gallant cavalier. He knew that his father was a Christian,-what he had suffered in prison, the death of his brothers by treachery; his mother had told him all these things.
One day he said to his companions :- Friends, you know how my noble father, Don Gustios, suffered great sorrow and tribulation without cause. You also know how the seven sons of Lara died. I tell you here that I have a great mind to go into the land of the Christians and revenge their deaths."
He took leave of the king and went to Salas, where he was recognised by his father, to whom he presented the broken ring given to his mother for a token between them. Don Gustios was greatly pleased with him, and his sad heart was raised to joy. But at the expiration of some days, Mudarra said to his father, "I am come here to know how your fortunes went, and to revenge the death of the seven sons of Lara. That being my intention, it is not good that we should prolong the business."
Mudarra went to Burgos, where was Count Garci Ferrandez and Ruy Velasquez, and defied the latter before the count. Ruy would not accept the challenge. Mudarra was greatly enraged, and went towards him sword in hand to strike him, but Ferrandez prevented it, and would not allow Ruy to be struck. He commanded a truce of three days, but longer he would not allow it, and all those who were present with the count took leave of him except Ruy Velasquez, who remained until midnight.
Mudarra Gonçalez waited for him on his road homeward, and when he saw him coming, exclaimed in a loud voice: Thou shalt die, false traitor !" then running against him with all his horse's strength, he gave him such a dreadful blow with his sword, that Ruy Velasquez fell dead from his saddle with his head cleft in twain. He also killed thirty vassal horsemen that served as Don Ruy's escort. After this Mudarra hastened to the palace of Velasquez, took Donna Lambra prisoner, and finally burnt her to death; but this was not done during the life of Count Garci Ferrandez, because Donna Lambra was his near relative.
And to conclude, it must be told that when Mudarra Gonçalo returned to Salas, his father caused him to be baptised, and made a Christian, for before this he was a Moor.
A FATHER'S ADVICE TO HIS ONLY DAUGHTER. (Written Immediately after her Marriage.)
MY DEAR MARY,-You have just entered into that state which is replete with happiness or misery. The issue depends upon that prudent, amiable, uniform conduct, which wisdom and virtue so strongly recommend, on the one hand; or on that imprudence which a want of reflection, an indulgence of passion, or even of a querulous habit may prompt on the other.
A FATHER'S ADVICE TO HIS ONLY DAUGHTER.
You are allied to a man of blameless character,-to a man of honour, of talents, of culture, and of an, open, generous disposition. You have, therefore, in your power all the essential ingredients of domestic happiness. Your felicity cannot be marred, if you, my daughter, properly reflect upon that system and course of conduct which it is within your reach invariably to pursue, or if you now perceive clearly the path from which you will resolve never to deviate.
A maxim of the first importance which should, of course, be impressed at once with an adequate strength upon your mind, so as to become a fixed principle, is, never to attempt to control your husband by a harsh opposition, by mere displeasure, or any other species or mark of angry passion. A man of sense, of prudence, of warm feelings, cannot, and will not, bear an opposition of any sort which is attended with a passionate look or expression. The current of his affections is suddenly stopped; his attachment is weakened; he feels a deep mortification; he is lowered in his own esteem; and be assured that the wife who once excites those sentiments in the breast of her husband, will hardly ever regain the high ground which she might and ought to have retained. When he marries her, if he be a good man, he expects from her reliance, not frowns; he does not expect from her a tyrannical control either of tongue or of sulky opposition, nor that she will ever attempt to take from him the freedom of acting as his own judgment shall deliberately direct; but one who will place such confidence in him, as to be
ieve that his prudence is a sufficient guide; who will strive to act and think in consort with him, and who will wield her rightful and proper sway, rather by means of silken cords than obdurate chains. Little things,-what in reality are mere trifles in themselves, often produce bickerings, if not lasting quarrels. Never permit them to be a subject of dispute. A difference with your husband ought to be considered as the greatest calamity. What, indeed, can a woman gain by her opposition or quarrelsomeness? Nothing. She loses everything; she loses her partner's respect, his love, and with that, all prospect of future happiness. She creates her own misery, and then utters idle and vain complaints. The love of a husband, who is at all worthy the appellation, can be retained only by the high opinion which he cherishes of his wife's goodness of heart, of her amiability, of her prudence, and of her devotion to him. Let nothing on any occasion ever be calculated to lessen that opinion. On the contrary, it should augment every day; he should have much more reason to admire her for those excellent qualities which will cast a lustre over a virtuous woman, when her personal attractions are no more.
Has your husband staid out longer than you expected? When he returns,