Patrañas; or, Spanish Stories, Legendary and Traditional | Annotated Tale

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Don Jaime de Aragon

THE good King of Aragon whom men call Jaime, was wondrous brave. Day and night he bethought him by what new means he could increase the glory of the Christian faith, and lay low the power of the usurping Moor.

               He called together the nobles of every degree belonging to his kingdom, the archbishops and prelates, and all the orders of knights, and summoned them to meet him in his good town of Zaragoza on a certain day.

               When they had all come together, he spoke thus to them:--"My soul is greatly grieved that our fair Island of Mallorca [1] should remain in the hand of the Moor; the voice of our Divine religion is silenced, and Al Korán is openly taught. The noble seaport of Valencia, too, so rich and flourishing, which the Cid won back for us once, to our shame is now retaken by the infidel. Now I have resolved that I will spare nothing, not even my own life, to recover these two strongholds. For I trust in the protection of Christ, that He will give us the victory according to our prayers. To this end, then, I have called you together, to tell you this my resolve, and to seek your counsel as to the means of compassing it."

               To which they all responded with a shout of confident joy:--"Be it done in the Name of God, that which his Highness desires; for in an undertaking so honourable our goods and our lives shall not fail him!"

               The bearers of all the noble names of Aragon sent forth their sons that day; and Barcelona by the sea welcomed them, and gave them all provisions for the undertaking with no measured hand. She found them ships too to take over their arms and men. And when the king found all was ready and nothing wanting, he took his place on the ship, and his nobles followed round him. At break of day next morning the trumpet gave a blast, and so they set sail, that gallant host, with shouts and tears of joy, all the brave colours waving which they had borne in many a fight. The cross they bore aloft, and the Virgin Mary's image, and that, too, of St. George, who always watched over Aragon.

               Proudly they skimmed the water, the oars of the galleys cut the waves, and the white sails cut the air; for they knew that there gazed upon them, from out Monjuy so high, the ladies fair they had left behind, praying for victory.

               Now as they neared Mallorca, the Moors were all amazed; to their shores they rushed in sudden haste, striving vainly to drive back the Christian host. So a bloody fight ensued; but the Christians won the day; and with the help of God the cross was raised once more on all the islands near.

               They then came back by Valencia, laid siege to its strong walls; nor could its fortifications stand before their impetuous onset. So good King Jaime of Aragon came home covered with glory and renown.



[1] Majorca.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Don Jaime de Aragon
Tale Author/Editor: Busk, Rachel
Book Title: Patrañas; or, Spanish Stories, Legendary and Traditional
Book Author/Editor: Busk, Rachel
Publisher: Griffith and Farran
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1870
Country of Origin: Spain
Classification: unclassified

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