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236 WASHINGTON. Irv ING.
ways appearing in the garb and manner of their country — and were indeed something very magnificent, delectable, and strange to behold.” “The worthy chronicler is no less elaborate in his description of the masters of Santiago, Calatrava, and Alcantara, and their valiant knights, armed at all points, and decorated with the badges of their orders. These, he affirms, were the flower of Christian chivalry; being constantly in service they became more steadfast and accomplished in discipline than the irregular and temporary levies of feudal nobles. Calm, solemn, and stately, they sat like towers upon their powerful chargers. On parades they manifested none of the show and ostentation of the other troops: neither, in battle, did they endeavor to signalize themselves by any fiery vivacity, or desperate and vainglorious exploit, — everything, with them, was measured and sedate; yet it was observed that none were more warlike in their appearance in the camp, or more terrible for their achievements in the field. “The gorgeous magnificence of the Spanish nobles found but little favor in the eyes of the sovereigns. They saw that it caused a competition in expense ruinous to cavaliers of moderate fortune; and they feared that a softness and effeminacy might thus be introduced, incompatible with the stern nature of the war. They signified
their disapprobation to several of the principal noblemen, and recommended a more sober and soldier-like display while in actual service. “‘These are rare troops for a tournay, my lord [said Ferdinand to the Duke of Infantado, as he beheld his retainers glittering in gold and embroidery]; but gold, though gorgeous, is soft and yielding: iron is the metal for the field.’ “Sire [replied the duke], if my men parade in gold, your majesty will find they fight with steel.” The king smiled, but shook his head, and the duke treasured up his speech in his heart.”
Our author excels in such descriptions as that of the progress of Isabella to the camp of Ferdinand after the capture of Loxa, and of the picturesque pageantry which imparted something of gayety to the brutal pastime of war : —
“It was in the early part of June that the queen departed from Cordova, with the Princess Isabella and numerous ladies of her court. She had a glorious attendance of cavaliers and pages, with many guards and domestics. There were forty mules for the use of the queen, the princess, and their train.
“As this courtly cavalcade approached the Rock of the Lovers, on the banks of the river Yeguas, they beheld a splendid train of knights advancing to meet them. It was headed by that accomplished cavalier the Marques Duke de Cadiz, accompanied by the adelantado of Andalusia. He had left the camp the day after the capture of Illora, and advanced thus far to receive the queen and escort her over the borders. The queen received the marques with distinguished honor, for he was esteemed the mirror of chivalry. His actions in this war had become the theme of every tongue, and many hesitated not to compare him in prowess with the immortal Cid. “Thus gallantly attended, the queen entered the vanquished frontier of Granada, journeying securely along the pleasant banks of the Xenel, so lately subject to the scourings of the Moors. She stopped at Loxa, where she administered aid and consolation to the wounded, distributing money among them for their support, according to their rank. “The king, after the capture of Illora, had removed his camp before the fortress of Moclin, with an intention of besieging it. Thither the queen proceeded, still escorted through the mountain roads by the Marques of Cadiz. As Isabella drew near to the camp, the Duke del Infantado issued forth a league and a half to receive her, magnificently arrayed, and followed by all his chivalry in glorious attire. With him came the standard of Seville, borne by the men-at-arms of that renowned city, and the Prior of St. Juan, with his followers. They ranged themselves in order of battle, on the left of the road by which the queen was to pass. “The worthy Agapida is loyally minute in his description of the state and grandeur of the Catholic sovereigns. The queen rode a chestnut mule, seated in a magnificent saddle-chair, decorated with silver gilt. The housings of the mule were of fine crimson cloth ; the borders embroidered with gold; the reins and head-piece were of satin, curiously embossed with needlework of silk, and wrought with golden letters. The queen wore a brial or regal skirt of velvet, under which were others of brocade; a scarlet mantle, ornamented in the Moresco fashion; and a black hat, embroidered round the crown and brim. “The infanta was likewise mounted on a chestnut mule, richly caparisoned. She wore a brial or skirt of black brocade, and a black mantle ornamented like that of the queen. “When the royal cavalcade passed by the chivalry of the Duke del Infantado, which was drawn out in battle array, the queen made a reverence to the standard of Seville, and ordered it to pass to the right hand. When she approached the camp, the multitude ran forth to meet her, with great demonstrations of joy; for she was universally beloved by her subjects. All the battalions sallied forth in military array, bearing the various standards and banners of the camp, which were lowered in salutation as she passed. “The king now came forth in royal state, mounted on a superb chestnut horse, and attended by many grandees of Castile. He wore a jubon or close vest of crimson cloth, with cuisses or short skirts of yellow satin, a loose cassock of brocade, a rich Moorish scimiter, and a hat with plumes. The grandees who attended him were arrayed with wonderful magnificence, each according to his taste and invention. “These high and mighty princes [says Antonio Agapida] regarded each other with great deference, as allied sovereigns rather than with connubial familiarity, as mere husband and wife. When they approached each other, therefore, before embracing, they made three profound reverences, the queen taking off her hat, and remaining in a silk net or cawl, with her face uncovered. The king then approached and embraced her, and kissed her respectfully on the cheek. He also embraced his daughter the princess; and, making the sign of the cross, he blessed her, and kissed her on the lips. “The good Agapida seems scarcely to have been more struck with the appearance of the sovereigns than with that of the English earl. He