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DEATH OF THE CID
NEWS COMES OF ANOTHER INVASION BY KING BUCAR. THE VISION OF THE CID. HE TELLS HIS FRIENDS OF HIS END. THE
DEATH OF THE CID. HIS COMPANY LEAVES VALENCIA WITH HIS BODY ON HIS HORSE.
OR five years the Cid remained in peace and strove to serve God and keep the Moors quiet, so that Moors and
Christians dwelt as if they had always lived together; and they all loved and served the Cid with wonderful
When these five years were over, tidings came that King Bucar of Morocco, whose father had now died, and who
had become Miramamolin, or emperor, thinking himself disgraced because the Cid had conquered him near Valencia
and driven him into the sea, had gone in person throughout all his kingdom and stirred up the people to raise
a vast army to cross the sea to take revenge upon the Cid. It was
 said that his host was so great that no man could number it.
When the Cid heard this, he was troubled, but he allowed no one to know this. When he knew certainly that
Bucar was coming, he bade all the Moors of Valencia to come into his presence, and said to them: "You know
well that since I have been lord of this city you have lived in peace and have been protected, neither have I
done to you anything except what was right. But now tidings come to me that King Bucar of Morocco is arriving
with a mighty power from beyond the sea to take from me this city. Now, therefore, I command all of you to
leave the town and go into Alcudia and the other suburbs to dwell there with the other Moors, until we see the
end of this business between me and King Bucar." Then the Moors were loath to do this, but they obeyed; and
then the Cid felt safer than before, for though these men had lived peaceably with him, he feared that when
Bucar would come they might join him and fight against himself, as they were of the same race and religion as
the men from Morocco.
Shortly after this, in the middle of the night, the Cid was lying in his bed, planning how he might
 meet Bucar, for when he was alone he thought of nothing else. At midnight there came a great light into the
palace and a great odor wonderfully sweet. As he was marvelling what this might be, there appeared to him a
man white as snow, and he carried certain keys in his hand; and before the Cid could speak, he said, "Sleepest
thou, Rodrigo, or what art thou doing?" And the Cid made answer, "What man art thou who askest me?" And he
said, "I am St. Peter, who comes to thee with more urgent tidings than those for which thou art taking thought
concerning King Bucar, and it is that thou art to leave the world and go to that which hath no end; and this
will be in thirty days. But God will show you favor, so that your people shall defeat King Bucar, and thou
being dead shalt win this battle. Do thou strive to make atonement for thy sins, and thou shalt be saved."
When the Cid heard this, he had pleasure at heart, and he fell upon the earth that he might kiss the feet of
St. Peter; but the Apostle said, "Strive not to do this, for thou canst not touch me, but all that I have told
thee will come to pass." Then the Apostle disappeared, and the Cid was greatly comforted by what St. Peter had
said to him, being as
 certain that all this could come to pass as if it were already over.
Early on the next day he called all his chief men into the Alcazar, and he began to say, with tears on his
cheeks: "Friends and kinsmen and true vassals, many of you remember when Alfonso our lord twice banished me
from his land, and most of you, for the love you bore me, followed me into banishment and have guarded me ever
since. God has shown such mercy to you and to me that we have won many battles. Moreover, we won this city,
which is not under the dominion of any man save our king, Alfonso, and that by reason of our loyalty to him
rather than any other obligation. Now I would have you know that I am in the latter days of my life, and that
thirty days hence will be my last. Of this I am assured, for these seven nights I have seen visions. I have
seen my father and my son, and they said to me, 'You have tarried here long enough, let us now go among the
people who live forever.' Also St. Peter appeared to me last night, when I was awake and not sleeping, and
told me that when thirty days are past I should leave this world. Now you know that Bucar is coming against us
with thirty-six kings. But be you
cer-  tain that I shall so counsel you that you shall conquer Bucar in the field and win great honor, and my wife
and all of you shall then go from this place in safety. How you are to do this, I will tell you hereafter."
After this the Cid grew sick, and the day before he grew very ill he ordered the gates of the city to be shut
and he went to the Church of St. Peter, and there, before the Bishop and the clergy and the knights and
honorable ladies, the Cid stood up and preached a noble sermon showing how none can escape death, to which he
said he drew near. Then he said: "Since you know this body of mine has never been conquered, I beseech you let
it not happen now. How this is to be done, I will leave in the hands of the Bishop and of Alvar and Pero."
When he had said this, he placed himself at the feet of the Bishop, and there made a general confession of all
his sins. And the Bishop appointed him penance and absolved him. Then he arose and took leave of the people,
weeping much, and returned to the Alcazar, and went to bed and never rose from it again. Every day he grew
weaker, till only seven days of the appointed time remained.
Then he called for the caskets of gold in which
 the balsam and myrrh were which the Sultan had sent him. When these were before him, he bade them bring him
the golden cup, of which he was accustomed to drink; and he took of that balsam and myrrh as much as a little
spoonful, and mingled it in the cup with rose water, and drank of it. And for the seven days that he lived he
neither ate nor drank anything else than a little of that myrrh and balsam mixed with water. Then his body and
his face appeared fairer and fairer than before, and his voice clearer, though he grew weaker and weaker, so
that he could not move in his bed.
On the twenty-ninth day he called for his wife and the Bishop and Alvar and Pero and Gil Diaz, and began to
direct them what to do after his death. He said to them: "King Bucar will be here presently to besiege the
city with mighty power of the Moors. Now the first thing you do when I am dead, wash my body with rose water
many times, then dry it well and anoint it with this myrrh and balsam from head to foot. And do you, my wife,
and your women see that no cries are made, that the Moors may not know of my death. When King Bucar arrives,
order all the people to go upon the walls, sound your trumpets, and make the greatest
rejoic-  ing that you can. When you would set out for Castile, let all the people know in secret, that they may be
ready; but let none of the Moors in the suburbs know. For you cannot keep the city after my death. See that
beasts be laden with all that there is in Valencia, so that nothing of value be left. Then saddle my horse
Bavieca and arm him well; and you shall clothe my body, and put me upon the horse and tie me on so that it
cannot fall; and fasten my sword Tizona in my right hand. Let the Bishop go on one side of me and Gil Diaz on
the other, and he shall lead my horse. You, Pero, shall carry my banner; and you, Alvar, gather your company
together and put the army in order. And go you forth and fight Bucar; and be certain you will win this battle.
When you have won the fight, take all the spoil you can find. What you are to do afterward I will tell you
to-morrow in my will."
Early on the next day these persons came again to the Cid, and he began to make his will. He ordered that his
body should be buried in the Church of St. Pedro de Cardena, where it now lies, and he bequeathed to the
monastery much riches. He left to his company and his household according to the deserts of every one. To the
 had served him ever since he left his own country, he gave much wealth. To the others who had not served him
so long, he gave to some a thousand marks of silver, to others two, and to others three. He bade them when
they arrived at the church to give clothing to four thousand poor people. He gave to his wife all other things
that he had that she might live honorably in the monastery of St. Pedro, and he commanded Gil Diaz to remain
with her and serve her all her life.
He commanded Alvar and Pero, when they had conquered King Bucar, to proceed to Castile and carry out his
orders. Then the Bishop gave him the sacrament, and he received it upon his knees, weeping. Then he sat upon
his bed and prayed, "I beseech thee, pardon me my sins, and let my soul enter into the light which hath no
end." When the Cid had said this, this noble man yielded up his soul to God, on the twenty-ninth of May, in
the year 1099, in the seventy-third year of his age. Then his body was cared for as he had commanded.
Three days after the death of the Cid, King Bucar came with his host. There came with him thirty-six kings and
one Moorish queen, who was a negress, and she brought with her two hundred horsewomen,
 negresses like herself; and they were all armed in coats of mail and with Turkish bows. King Bucar ordered his
tents to be pitched around Valencia, and there were fifteen thousand tents.
The Moors at once received great loss, for they went blindly up to the walls, and were killed there. The
Christians went upon the walls and sounded trumpets and tambourines, as the Cid had commanded. This continued
for eight days, until the companions of the Cid had made all things ready. And Bucar thought the Cid and his
people did not dare to come out, and they were encouraged and began to think of making engines to break down
When the Cid's people had made all things ready, they placed the Cid's body on his horse, and fitted boards to
the body and fastened them to the saddle, so that the body could not move; and it seemed alive. And they put
on a surcoat of green sendal, so painted that it seemed like iron; his shield was around his neck, and his
sword in his right hand, and they fastened his arm upright. The Bishop went upon one side, and Gil Diaz on the
other, and he led the horse as the Cid had commanded.
When all was ready, they went out of Valencia at
 midnight, Pero went first with five hundred knights, and after these came the baggage, then came the body of
the Cid with a hundred knights, and behind him Ximena with her company, and six hundred knights in the rear.
All these went out silently, and by the time they had all gone out it was broad day.