The Life of Spain's Queen Isabel
	Chapter 1 
	Towards the end of an autumn day in 1461, a small mounted
cavalcade was cantering along the narrow winding road between
Madrigal and Arevalo in old Castile. Slightly in advance of a column
of armed men, rode a middle-aged man in armor, evidently a hidalgo,
or one of the lower nobility. Beside him, on a pair of strong mules,
were two girls of about ten years of age. One was dark, with restless
black eyes and a smiling mouth that was never long at rest. The other
was of a fairer northern type, with light reddish hair, a determined
chin somewhat too large for her other features and blue eyes in which
there were greenish lights flecked with gold. Both were wrapped in
long woolen cloaks to keep out the cold wind that cut diagonally
across the road, whipping away the grey powdered dust that arose in a
cloud from the hooves of the horses. Under their small, jaunty hats,
each had a silken kerchief, or cawl, tied around hair and ears and
bound under the chin. 
	The dark girl, taller of the two, wore newer clothing of a
somewhat finer quality. She was Beatriz de Bobadilla, daughter of the
royal governor of the castle of Arevalo. Yet she showed a certain
deference to her shabbier companion and never failed to address her
as "Dona Isabel." Even at ten years old, one was taught in
Castile what was due a princess of the blood royal and granting that
Lady Isabel lived with her mother, the Dowager Queen, in very
straightened circumstances, almost forgotten by her half brother,
King Enrique IV, the fact remained that she was the daughter of the
late Juan II by his second wife and that when she grew up would
probably marry some powerful noble. Indeed there had already been
talk of betrothing her to Prince Fernando of Aragon. 
	To all the chatter of Beatriz, Dona Isabel listened with a
serene self-possession uncommon in a child. She liked to listen, it
appeared, rather than talk. When she spoke, it was briefly and to the
point. Even at that age she had a majestic presence, which was not
surprising perhaps, considering that she was descended from Alfred
the Great, William the Conqueror, the Plantagenet kings of England,
St. Louis, King of France, and St. Fernando, King of Castile. Yet it
seemed unlikely that she would ever be a queen. Her younger brother
Alfonso, was nearer to the throne than she, but even he seemed
unlikely ever to sit upon it, there were formidable obstacles.
Beatriz had much to talk about that day, for her father the governor,
had taken them to Medina del Campo, where the greatest fair in Spain
was held three times a year and they had seen merchants from allover
southern Europe buying choice Castilian wools, grains and blooded
steers also horses and mules from Andalusia. They had seen cavaliers
from Aragon, sailors from Catalonia on the east coast, mountaineers
from the north, turbaned Moors from Granada in the south, bearded
Jews in gaberdines, peasants even from Provence and Languedoc and an
occasional blond German or Englishman. Now they were on their way
back to Arevalo, to resume the routine which the Dowager Queen had
	In spite of the King's neglect and the fact that she and her
mother often lacked money for food, clothing and other necessities,
and were obliged to live like peasants, Dona Isabel was receiving the
usual education of daughters of noblemen in Spain at that period. She
had learned to speak Castilian musically and with elegance and to
write it with a touch of distinction. She studied grammar, rhetoric,
painting, poetry, history and philosophy. She embroided intricate
designs on velour and cloth of gold and skillfully illuminated
prayers in Gothic letters on parchment. A missal that she painted and
some banners and ornaments she made for the altar in her chap 1, are
still in the cathedral at Granada. 
	She had inherited from her father a passionate love for music
and poetry and she undoubtedly read the works of his favorite poet,
Juan de Mena and probably a Spanish translation of Dante. From her
tutors, who had studied at Salamanca University which was soon to be
called the Athens o Spain, she learned much of the philosophy of
Aristotle and of S .Thomas of Aquinas. If she read the Vision
deleytable, composed especially that year for the instruction of
Prince Charles of Vienna, to whom she was betrothed by the King, she
probably learned that motion as the cause of heat and a great deal
else on what makes the win s blow, why climates differ, why materials
are unlike one another; what causes the sensations of smell, taste,
and hearing; what are the properties of medicine, and why some plants
are large and others small, all this sugar coated in the form of a
novel, to introduce the silence of the period as pleasantly as
possible into the young royal brain. Spanish versions of The Odyssey
and The Eneid were popular in er brother's court. She was especially
interested in the songs, or concioneros, that had been so dear to her
father. From these she learned the heroic story of her crusading
	Even in sleepy Arevalo, it was known that all Europe was
threatened with conquest by the pitiless barbarians ho had been
disturbing the peace and prosperity of western men for nigh upon a
thousand years. For nearly eight centuries, in truth, Christendom had
been fighting for its very existence. In Isabel's childhood the
fanatical Mohammedans had reached the Danube, overrun Asia Minor,
seized lower Hungary and a greater part of the Balkans a d devastated
all Greece, after battering their way into Constantinople , the key
to the West. In a Europe where kings and princes too often placed
their own selfish interests before the common good of Christendom,
only the Pope could speak with universal moral authority. Although
one pontiff after another solemnly called upon all Christian men to
unite in defense of their homes, little attention was paid to he
warnings, except by the wretched people on the first line of defense.
The Emperor Frederick III, ruler of all central Europe, as too busy
planting a garden and catching birds. England was on t e eve of the
War of the Roses. When the people of Denmark raised mon y to support
the crusade, their king stole it from the sacristy of he cathedral at
Roskilde. Meanwhile, the terrible Mohammed II, known as the Grand
Turk, whose very name evoked terror in European hamlets, was fighting
his way towards Italy, striking at the very heart of civilization. 
	Isabel knew only too well that Spain had bled under the heel
of the Mohammedans for more than seven hundred years. CERTAIN SPANISH
	When the Berbers had learned to speak Castilian musically and
with elegance and to write it with a touch of distinction. She
studied grammar, rhetoric, painting, poetry, history and philosophy.
She embroidered intricate designs on velour and cloth of gold and
skillfully illuminated prayers in Gothic letters on parchment. A
missal that she painted and some banners and ornaments she made for
the altar in her chapel, are still in the cathedral at Granada. She
had inherited from her father a passionate love for music and poetry
and she undoubtedly read the works of his favorite poet, Juan de Mena
and probably a Spanish translation of Dante. 
	From her tutors, who had studied at Salamanca University
which was soon to be called the Athens of Spain, she learned much of
the philosophy of Aristotle and of St. Thomas of Aquinas. If she read
the Vision deleytable, composed especially that year for the
instruction of Prince Charles of Vienna, to whom she was betrothed by
the King, she probably learned that motion was the cause of heat and
a great deal else on what makes the winds blow, why climates differ,
why materials are unlike one another; what causes the sensations of
smell, taste, and hearing; what are the properties of medicine, and
why some plants are large and others small, all this sugar coated in
the form of a novel, to introduce the science of the period as
pleasantly as possible into the young royal brain. 
	Spanish versions of The Odyssey and The Eneid were popular in
her brother's court. She was especially interested in the songs, or
concioneros, that had been so dear to her father. From these she
learned the heroic story of her crusading ancestors. 
	Even in sleepy Arevalo, it was known that all Europe was
threatened with conquest by the pitiless barbarians who had been
disturbing the peace and prosperity of western men for nigh upon a
thousand years. For nearly eight centuries, in truth, Christendom had
been fighting for its very existence. In Isabel's childhood the
fanatical Mohammedans had reached the Danube, overrun Asia Minor,
seized lower Hungary and a greater part of the Balkans and devastated
all Greece, after battering their way into Constantinople, the key to
the West. In a Europe where kings and princes too often placed their
own selfish interests before the common good of Christendom, only the
Pope could speak with universal moral authority. 
	Although one pontiff after another solemnly called upon all
Christian men to unite in defense of their homes, little attention
was paid to the warnings, except by the wretched people on the first
line of defense. The Emperor Frederick III, ruler of all central
Europe, was too busy planting a garden and catching birds. England
was on the eve of the War of the Roses. When the people of Denmark
raised money to support the crusade, their king stole it from the
sacristy of the cathedral at Roskilde. Meanwhile, the terrible
Mohammed II, known as the Grand Turk, whose very name evoked terror
in European hamlets, was fighting his way towards Italy, striking at
the very heart of civilization. 
	Isabel knew only too well that Spain had bled under the heel
of the Mohammedans for more than seven hundred years. Certain Spanish
Jews, who hated Christianity and wished to see its influence
destroyed, had invited the Berbers to cross narrow straits from
Africa and to possess themselves of the lands of the Christians. The
invitation was accepted. The Mohammedans carried fire and sword
through the peninsula and wherever they went, Jews opened the gates
of the cities to the Mohammedans while other Jews, tragically enough,
were fighting in the army of the Christian Visigoths. When the
Berbers had conquered all Spain except a mountainous strip in the
north, where the remaining Christians took refuge, they invaded
France and would probably have completed the conquest of Europe if
Charles Martel had not defeated them in a desperate eight day battle
near Tours in 732. For seven centuries the Spanish Christians had
been slowly winning back the lands of their ancestors from the
invaders. Year by year, century by century, they had driven the
enemies of Christ back toward' the Mediterranean. Isabel knew from
many a song how Christians, fighting against overwhelming odds near
Clavijo, had conquered by the help of one of the Apostles of Christ
who, appearing on a white horse, led the broken ranks to victory. 
	He was St. James the Greater, or as he is call in Spain,
Santiago, who had been the first to preach the Gospel in Spain and
whose body, after his martyrdom in Jerusalem, had been brought to
Spain by his followers according to the Spanish tradition, after
being lost for eight centuries, had been miraculously found, and was
venerated at the celebrated shrine of Compostela. From then on, st.
James was the patron of Spain, and in battle after battle the
Crusaders rode to victory with the war cry, "For God and
Santiagol" until the Moslems retained no political power save in
the rich and powerful kingdom of Granada, among the mountains of the
south. There they remained a constant menace to the Christian
kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, for at any time they might bring new
hordes of fanatics from Africa and reconquer all Spain.  
	At this moment, there was need for a strong and able king in
Castile to unite the various Christian states and complete the
reconquest. Yet the scepter of St. Fernando had fallen into the hands
of a weakling, for Isabel's half-brother was a degenerate known
throughout Europe as Enrique the Impotent. 
	When the little cavalcade from Medina reached Arevalo that
evening, the children and the Governor found the sleepy castle and
village in a strange state of excitement. The King, the King of
Castile, had come unexpectedly to visit his poor relations. 
	Enrique was a pathetic, rather repulsive, awe-inspiring
creature, loose jointed, tall and awkward. His long woolen cloak fell
from him in slovenly folds and his feet, which were too small for so
large a man, were not cased in boots, such as the Castilian cavaliers
wore, but in buskins, like those of the Moors. There was always mud
on them, making them look all the more peculiar on the ends of his
long legs. His eyes were blue and somewhat too large, his nose, wide,
flat, and crooked. In his forehead were two vertical furrows into
which his bushy eyebrows curled most oddly.
	Even his shaggy beard with auburn streaks in it stuck out so
queerly that it made his profile look concave. A flattering courtier
wrote that the King's "aspect was fierce like that of a lion
which by its very look strikes terror to all its beholders." But
another chronicler of the time wrote that his eyes were restless,
like those of a monkey. 
Isabel's mother, who was a Portuguese princess, disliked and
distrusted Enrique intensely. She was a person of high principle and
strong will. Years ago, as the most beautiful woman in Spain, she had
influenced her weak husband Juan II, to free Castile from the tyranny
of his favorite Don Alvaro de Luna, by having that charming but
dissolute and unscrupulous gentleman beheaded. Since the death of
King Juan however, she had suffered from a form of melancholia, which
was becoming chronic and was destined to end in a mild form of
	Like many others of the nobility, the Dowager Queen deplored
the fact that Enrique, to whom the people had looked to deliver them
from the menace of new Mohammedan invasions was, to say the least, a
lukewarm and indifferent Christian. His favorite companions were
enemies of the Catholic faith, Moors, Jews, and Christian renegades.
It was said that the favorite pastime at his table was the invention
of new blasphemies and obscene jokes about the Holy Eucharist, the
Blessed Virgin and the saints. The King attended Mass, but never
confessed or received Communion. He had a Moorish guard, which he
paid more generously than he did his Christian soldiers. When, in
response to popular demand, he organized a crusade in 1457, he led
his thirty thousand troops through the beautiful southern countryside
in such a flippant fashion that his Christian subjects suspected him
of having secretly assured the Moors that he intended them no harm.
	Enrique professed to be a pacifist, who abhorred bloodshed.
Yet he gave employment to a drunken highwayman named Bassasa who,
with another footpad known as Alonzo the Horrible, had assassinated a
wayfarer and peeled the skin off his face to prevent his
identification. He gave a place in his Moorish guard to an apostate
who had participated in the murder of forty Christians. Hence the
Catholic nobility were inclined to regard the King's pacifism less as
a virtue than as a symptom of degeneracy.
	The King was fatuously generous to his favorites. To please
them, he had reduced his country to a state of bankruptcy and
anarchy. He had "farmed out" the privilege of collecting
taxes to the wealthy Rabbi Josef of Segovia and to Diego Arias de
Vala, a converted Jew, to whom he gave the most astonishing powers,
including the right to exile citizens for nonpayment of taxes and
even to put them to death without a hearing. The nobles, despising
the King's character, began to flout his authority, to wage pretty
wars with one another and to coin their own money. Usurers wrung the
last maravedi from the farmers, laborers and merchants, while robber
barons and bandits preyed upon them, burned their houses and violated
their women. In Sevilla, a beautiful city of the south with a large
Jewish population, the King turned over certain taxing privileges to
Xamardal, Rodrigo de Marchena and other greedy extortioners.
Civilization seemed on the brink of destruction under a king whose
abnormal vices were the scandal of all Europe and whose court was a
stench in the nostrils of all decent people.
	His Majesty's most intimate friends, at this period, were
Juan Pacheco, Marqu�s of Villena and his brother Don Pedro Giron, who
were therefore, the two most powerful persons in the realm and who
went about in such magnificent state that they made the King look
insignificant by comparison. They wore fine silks, bordered with
cloth of gold and splendid jewels cunningly ornamented y smiths in
C�rdoba. In a later age these gentlemen would have been described by
journalists as self made men, for they had risen to high power from
obscure origins. They were descended on both sides from a Jew named
Ruy Capon but, like many others of the large Jewish population of
Spain, outwardly professed themselves as Catholics. 
	The Marqu�s of Villena had once been a page in the household
of Don Alvaro de Luna, who hand introduced him at court, where he had
won the favor of Prince Enrique. He was a man who could be very
charming when he chose to be. There was a likeable twinkle in his
shrewd eyes, his beard and moustache had been curled mot ingeniously
and he smelled fragrantly of ambergris. There is a picture of him
kneeling in prayer, with a most pious expression. His long, aquiline
nose was quite hooked in the middle and pointed at the tip and
somewhat too near the base of it a narrow mouth with full lips, gave
a curiously cherubic expression to his whole face. His carefully
waxed and twisted moustache drooped on either side and then of a
sudden turned out and up in two jaunty points. He was the King's most
intimate companion and advisor.
	His brother Don Pedro Giron, was a sleek, well fed man with a
sensual nature and a very bad reputation. He was not considered by
Catholics to be an ornament to their religion, which he professed.
Yet he had capitalized it to the greatest advantage to himself, so
that he had risen even to the illustrious post of Grand Master of the
Order of Calatrave. His income, like that of his brother, was
enormous. One of those men in whose presence women feel
uncomfortable, he permitted his heavy eyes to rest upon the fair skin
and silken hair of the little Princess Isabel with a sort of gloating
	If there was anyone in the world whom Isabel's mother
despised more than the King, it was this same Don Pedro Giron who,
according to court gossip, had once made her an indecent proposal, at
the instigation of no less a personage than the cynical Enrique
himself. It is not strange that she felt that she would rather see
her daughter in her coffin than married to this middle aged rake.
However, the King had already begun making arrangements for Isabel's
	Chapter II
	Even in her seclusion at Ar�valo, the Princess Isabel was
being used as a pawn on the political chess board of Europe by the
Marqu�s of Villena, who was virtually ruler of the Castle.
	Villena was skillful in arranging matters to suit his own
interest. It was he who had sent a Jewish physician to Portugal to
arrange a second marriage for King Enrique, after his accession to
the throne in 1454. Enrique had already been married, at the age of
fourteen to Blanche, the gentle daughter of King Juan of Aragon, but
the marriage had been annulled on the grounds of importance. Villena
was afraid that Enrique, who needed an heir, would contract another
marriage with the house of Aragon. This would never do, for Villena
had persuaded Enrique to give him certain Castilian estates belonging
to the King of Aragon and he had no intention of giving them up. A
Portuguese alliance pleased him better. Consequently, in 1455 there
arrived in C�rdoba as Enrique's second bride, the lovely princess
Juana, a witty and vivacious girl of fifteen, sister of the fat and
chivalrous King Alfonso V.
	Juana, as might have been expected, had a most unhappy life
with her dissolute husband. But she endured her lot patiently until
he began to pay public attention to one of her ladies in waiting,
Do�a Guiomar de Castro. This was too much for the Queen's pride. She
slapped Guiomar's face with her fan in the presence of the whole
court. The King packed his favorite off to a country estate.
	Enrique now posed as the lover of the corrupt and notorious
Catalina de Sandoval. When he grew tired of her, he got rid of her by
removing the pious Abbess of the Convent of San Pedro de las Due�as
in Toledo and bestowing the office on his former mistress,
sardonically explaining that the convent needed to be reformed.
Catalina proceeded to "reform" the nuns.
	This expedient had the additional advantage of irritating the
Archbishop of Toledo. As Primate of Spain, Don Alfonso Carrillo had
already the King, first in private and then in public, for the evils
of his personal life and the scandals of his court and government.
Enrique had retorted by curtailing the Archbishop's jurisdiction and
by ridiculing him and the ceremonies of the Church. The Archbishop
now threw the weight of his authority on the side of a group of
noblemen who were uniting in an attempt to get rid of the tyranny of
the hated Marqu�s of Villena. Chief among them was Don Fadrique
Enriquez, the admiral of Castile. He was a small man physically but
blunt, fearless and outspoken. He had lately increased his prestige
as one of the great landowners of Castile, by marrying his daughter
Juana Enriquez to King Juan of Aragon.
	Villena now looked for help to the enemies of the King of
Aragon who, as luck would have it, had quarreled with Carlos of the
Viani, his own son by a former marriage. Villena made an alliance
with Carlos of Viani, his own son by a former marriage. Villena made
an alliance with Carlos and sealed it by the promise of the hand of
the Princess Isabel.
	This was by no means pleasing to Juana Enriquez, second wife
of the King of Aragon, for it was her chief ambition to bring about
the marriage of Do�a Isabel to her son Fernando. She persuaded her
aged husband to have his son Carlos cast into prison. Carlos, a
scholar forty years old, was so much loved in Catalonia that the
Catalans rebelled and forced the King to release him. Father and son
were reconciled and signed a treaty. Soon after however, Carlos died
and the people declared that he had been poisoned by command of his
father and step-mother. The charge was probably unjust as Carlos had
long been tubercular. 
	His death and the death soon after of his two sisters, left
little Prince Fernando of Aragon with a clear field and his mother
renewed her efforts to arrange a match for him with the royal house
of Castile. The Catalans however, pursued her and Fernando to Gerona
and besieged them in a tower there for several days. The old King of
Aragon was unable to rescue them, but in his anxiety he obtains seven
hundred French lances with archers, artillery and a loan of two
hundred thousand crowns from Louis XI, King of France. Louis
demanded, for security of the loan, the two provinces of Roussillon
and Cerdagne, in northern Spain. He hoped that the King of Aragon
would not be able to redeem them. Thus were sown the seeds of much
later discord.
	Meanwhile, in Castile the conspirators discouraged by the
entanglements in which their ally the King of Aragon had become
involved, gave up their schemes for the time being and king Enrique,
who had been desperately frightened, sat more securely on his shaky
throne. Moreover, about this time his beautiful young wife gave birth
to a daughter under circumstances which provoked much unsavory
	For some time past, the king's favorite Don Beltran de la
Cueva, has been appearing in public with both Their Majesties and he
was generally believed to have won the affections of the Queen. He
was tall, robust and florid of countenance, expert with sword and
lance and quick to quarrel or to engage in a friendly joust. His
influence over the weak King was astonishing even in that
ill-regulated court. He would rage against His Majesty and as if he
were master of the palace, would knock down porters and kick them if
they did not open doors quickly enough. Other nobles envied the new
favorite for his power and detested him for his arrogance and
insolence. It goes without saying that Marqu�s of Villena, whose star
was entering an eclipse, saw no virtue in him at all.
	One day as the King and Queen were riding toward Madrid, they
found the road barricaded. In an adjoining field there were tiers of
scaffolding, crowded with spectators and in the open space, holding
it against all comers was Don Beltran de la Cueva in silvered armor.
He had been there since early morning, challenging each knight who
went that way to tilt six rounds with him, or else to leave his left
glove on the ground as token of his cowardice. This he did to
vindicate the beauty of his lady over all the other women in the
	The King, in commemoration of the day's sport, commanded a
monastery to be built on the spot and San Jer�nimo del Paso (St.
Jerome of the Passage of Arms) stands there to this day. Nevertheless
he himself incurred a great deal of ridicule, for it was believed
that Don Beltran's lady, whose name he had discreetly kept to
himself, was no less a personage than Her Majesty.
	 In March 1462, after seven childless years, Queen Juana gave
birth to her baby girl. The child was named after her mother Juana,
but the courtiers called her La Beltraneja, meaning "the
daughter of Beltran."
	Archbishop Carrillo of Toledo baptized the infant princess
with great pomp and magnificence. The godfathers were the Marques of
Villena and the French Ambassador. The godmother was the Princess
Isabel, a grave determined child of eleven, who had come form Ar�valo
for the purpose. After a meeting of the Cortes, or Parliament a few
days later, when representatives of seventeen cities took the oath of
allegiance to Juana as heiress to the throne of Castile, Isabel was
the first to kiss the baby princess's hand. After the ceremony she
returned to Ar�valo.
	For a little while she continued her education with Beatriz
de Bobadilla. She learned the ride horseback and to hunt hares and
wild boars with the governor. She received her first Holly Communion
and became like her mother, a devout and very sincere Catholic. It
seemed likely that her life would be spent in a fairly agreeable
obscurity. But destiny had a more heroic task prepared for her.
	During that same year, a courier came from Madrid with a
message that fell like a bombshell on the ears of the Dowager Queen
and her little court. King Enrique commanded her to send the Princess
Isabel and Prince Alfonso to the court, that they might be more
virtuously brought up under his personal care.
	The Queen Dowager knew how virtuous Enrique's court was. Even
in sleepy Ar�valo, she had heard something of the fantastic actions
of the King and his intimates. Some of the ruffians of the Moorish
guard had violated several young women and girls and when the fathers
went to the King demanding vengeance, he had them whipped on the
streets, declaring that they had evil minds and were insane.
Unnatural vices of the Moors and of the King himself and some of his
courtiers were matters of common report. No mother would wish her
daughter to live among such unspeakable surroundings. Yet the King's
authority was absolute.
	Isabel and her brother sadly took leave of their heartbroken
mother and sadly rode in the midst of armed men along the King's
highway to Madrid. 
	Chapter III
	The massive gate of the old Moorish Alcazar at Madrid swung
slowly open with a groan and a church. From within came the sound of
female voices, young and shrill, shrieking with laughter and the
beating of many hoofs on pavement. A dozen small mules in gold and
crimson trappings came galloping through the gate, each bearing a
damsel in a low cut sleeveless gown, with skirts so short that when
the wind flapped them back, the bare thighs of the riders were
revealed. The hucksters and beggars who had fled fro the middle of
the narrow street with hoarse cries and curses saw that the legs of
all were painted with cosmetics, brilliantly white in the afternoon
	The girls wore costumes of the most varied character. One had
a saucy bonnet, another went bare headed and let her bobbed, reddish
hair stream in the wind. There was still another with a Moorish
turban of silken gauze woven with threads of gold and yet another
whose black hair was covered with a little kerchief in the Visayan
manner. On was girded about the breast with leathern thongs taken
from a crossbow. One had a dagger in her girdle, one carried a sword,
several had knives of Vittoria hung around their necks. 
	Such were the young women of Enrique's court, according to a
contemporary chronicler and such were the companions among whom
Isabel and her brother were to spend the most impressionable years of
their lives. Madrid was in a fever of balls, tourneys, pageants,
comedies, and bull-fights, intrigues, and scandals. The children
could hardly have lived so long in the royal palace without hearing a
great deal that they had never dreamed of at Ar�velo and much that
would have reduced their worried mother to the last degree of
despair. They must have heard of the new blasphemy that Don Beltran
invented every day and of the Queen's indiscretions and the king's
follies. Yet it is generally agreed that both Isabel and Alfonso
walked through the fetid atmosphere of that foul court without
contamination and emerged from it with a lifelong hatred of the
prevalent immorality and of its causes, among which they reckoned the
influence of Moslems and Jews. 
	When Queen Juana urged Isabel, somewhat later (she was
sixteen), to join in the debaucheries of the court, the little
princess fled in tears to her brother. Alfonso, though only fourteen,
strode to the Queen's apartment and forbade her to mention any
further evil to his sister, after which he visited certain of Her
Majesty's ladies-in-waiting and threatened them with death if they
ever again attempted to corrupt her.
	The King meanwhile, had not been wholly neglectful. Isabel
was instructed in music, painting, poetry, sewing and grammar.
Alfonso learned the accomplishments of a cavalier, which consisted
chiefly of exercise on horseback with sword and lance. He also
studied with a tutor, who is said to have made unsuccessful efforts
to corrupt him.
	All this time the royal children were playing an unconscious
role in political intrigues. As the Catholic nobility and the common
people grew more disgusted with the flabby King and the blasphemous
Don Beltran, they began to see the possibility of playing off Isabel
and Alfonso against La Beltraneja, whose legitimacy was now generally
doubted. The King did not improve the situation when he removed
Prince Alfonso from the Grand Mastership of the Order of St. James,
an office of such power and wealth that it had always been reserved
for one of the royal family and bestowed it upon Don Beltran. Villena
was enraged, for he desired the honor for himself. He was even more
highly incensed when he learned that the King, the Queen and Don
Beltran had taken Dona Isabel to Gibraltar to meet King Alfonso V of
Portugal, who welcomed them with great pomp and magnificence. Alfonso
was a very fat, middle aged gentleman noted for his valor and his
weak judgment. He was so pleased with the pink and white beauty and
the placid wisdom of the twelve year old princess, that he invited
her to become Queen of Portugal. Isabel, thanking him for the honor,
informed him tactfully that according to the laws of Castile and the
King her father, now with God, she could not marry without the
consent of the three estates of Castile assembled in a Cortes.
	On returning to Madrid Isabel was shocked to learn that her
brother had been seized at the King's orders and locked up in a
secret chamber of the Alcazar. All his attempts to communicate with
her had failed but, he had managed to get an appeal to the Archbishop
of Toledo, who sent him a promise of help. 
	Carrillo, who was a product of his time and was more fitted
perhaps, to be a warrior than a priest, kept his word. He appeared on
a huge black war horse armed cap-a-pie in gleaming mail, wearing over
his cuirass a crimson cloak with a great white cross emblazoned on
it. He joined other discontented nobles at Burgos in drawing up a
series of memorable representations publicly addressed to the King.
They censured him in plain terms for his unchristian opinions and
conduct and for his blasphemous and infidel associates, to whose
influence they attributed "the abomination and corruption of
sons so heinous that they are not fit to be named, for they corrupt
the very atmosphere and are a foul blot upon human nature;" sins
"so notorious that their not being punished makes one fear the
ruin of the realms; and many other sins and injustices and tyrannies
have increased in your reign, that did not exist in the past."
	They declared that the King's Moorish guard and others to
whom he had given power had "raped married women and corrupted
and violated virgins, men and boys against nature. Good Christians
who dared to complain were publicly whipped." They accused him
of allowing in his court open "gibes and blasphemies about holy
places and the sacraments...especially the Sacrament of the body of
our good and very mighty Lord...This is a heavy burden on your
conscience, by whose example countless souls have gone and will go to
	They charged that the King had destroyed the property of the
Christian laboring classes by allowing Moors and Jews to exploit
them. He had caused prices to rise unreasonably by debasing the
currency, that he had allowed his officials to practice bribery and
extortion on a huge scale. He had made a mockery of the justice and
government by vicious appointments and by allowing hideous crimes to
go unpunished. He had corrupted the Church by casting good bishops
out of their sees and replacing them by hypocrites and politicians.
Moreover, they denounced the influence of Don Beltran and plainly
told the King; Dona Juana, the one called the Princess, is not your
	Finally, they made the grave charge that Don Beltran had used
the King's authority to gain possession of the Princess Isabel and
her brother Alfonso and was plotting to have them put to death to
ensure the succession to the throne for his daughter, Las Beltraneja.
	The King, greatly frightened, called a council of his
supporters and there were many who, though they despised him,
remained loyal to the legitimate monarch. The aged Bishop of Cuenca,
who had been a counselor of King Juan II, declared that a king could
have no dealings with rebels who defied him, except to offer them
battle. Enrique sneered. "Those who need not fight nor lay hands
on their swords," he declared," are always free with the
lives of others."
	The old Bishop arose, his voice trembling with anger.
"Henceforth, you will be called the most unworthy King Spain has
ever known and you will repent of it Se�or, when it is too
	The pacifist King however, privately sent an appeal to his
old favorite, the Marqu�s of Villena and that dexterous conspirator,
quick to see his own advantage, offered to make peace between the two
factions. In a treaty known as the Concord of Medina del Campo,
Enrique virtually repudiated La Beltraneja by recognizing Alfonso as
Prince of the Asturias and lawful heir to the throne of Castile; and
he agreed to confess his sins and receive Holy Communion at least
once a year.
	Isabel's brother had suddenly become a personage. The King,
with amazing short sightedness, now delivered him into the custody of
the Marqu�s. This gave Villena an enormous advantage. Together with
Archbishop Carrillo and Admiral Enriquez, he had Alfonso proclaimed
King of Castle at Valladolid.
	Early in July the rebels rode to Avila with the little prince
at their head. As the long cavalcade passed through the city and out
into the plain, the populace followed crying "Long live King
Alfonso!" They rode down through a bleak and arid country where
all was grey. The shadows, the earth, the rocks, even the sunlight
wherever it managed to penetrate, had a grayish tinge. On they went
through the old river bed, past piles of granite boulders that had
been polished by the floods of the centuries, out into a wide,
treeless waste on which the shadows lie like great waves of greyness,
that sometimes seemed to heave like the swelling of an infinite sea,
stretching out to the dark, white capped mountains in the distance.
	In the middle of the plain, or vega, there was a platform on
which arose a throne, occupied by a stuffed effigy of King Enrique
IV, wearing a mantle lined with miniver over a black mourning robe,
bearing a crown, the scepter and the great sword of justice of the
Kings of Castile. After the Archbishop of Toledo had said Mass,
certain of the conspirators relieved the scarecrow of the crown,
scepter and sword and then kicked the lamp body into the dust.
Alfonso was then led to the empty throne and crowned the King of
	When Enrique heard of the outrage, he quoted mournfully the
words of Job: "Naked came I out of my mother's womb and naked
shall I return thither!" He shut himself up, strummed his lute
and sang some sad songs. He was sorry now that he had offended the
Marques of Villena.
	There was a considerable reaction in favor of the weak King
however, because the people of Castile respected the idea of kingship
and felt that the rebels had gone too far. Villena now offered to go
over to the King's side and furnish him money and soldiers, besides
the custody of Prince Alfonso, if the King would banish Don Beltran
from the court and give the Princess Isabel in marriage to the
Marqu�s brother, Don Pedro Giron. THE KING COOLLY LISTENED TO THIS
PROPOSAL OF A MARRANO (a so-called converted Jew) OF UNSAVORY
	Isabel was accustomed to playing the part of principal in
royal matchmaking schemes. She had been promised at various times to
Fernando of Aragon, Carlos of Vienna, Alfonso V of Portugal and there
was talk at one time of marrying her to a brother of Edward IV of
England, probably that Earl of Gloucester who became so notorious as
King Richard III. But all these had royal blood, all had qualities
she could respect. Don Pedro Giron had neither. The young princess
was almost in despair. It was characteristic of her to turn to God
for help in her difficulty. She locked herself in her room and fasted
for three days. During the next three days and nights she knelt
almost continually before a Crucifix, passionately begging God to
give death either to her or Don Pedro Giron.
	Beatriz de Bobadilla, to whom the Princess had confided her
grief, decided to take the matter into her own hands. Brandishing a
dagger, she declared that she would kill Don Pedro before she allowed
him to marry the Princess. "God will never permit it," she
cried, ?and neither will I!"
	Meanwhile a courier came from Don Pedro, saying that the
King's instructions pleased him well and that he was setting forth
from his castle at Almagro.
	Chapter IV
	On the evening after his departure from Almagro with a gaudy
retinue and flying pennons, Don Pedro Giron came to Villarubia, a
hamlet near Villareal. Anxious though he was to press on, he was
obliged to stop for the night, for it was growing dark and the roads
were bad and dangerous. He promised himself however, that he would
soon be master of a royal bride and through her of a greater destiny
than any man could foresee.
	But no man, even a Grand Master of Calatrava, is wholly of
his own destiny. During that night Don Pedro became violently ill.
Doctors diagnosed his illness as quinsy, but they could do nothing to
stop its progress. Al night it seemed as if an invisible hand was
slowly choking the sick man. When Don Pedro finally realized the
hopelessness of his condition and was urged to see a priest, a wild
frenzy seized him. He cast aside all pretense of being a Christian,
refused to receive the Sacraments or to say any prayers and on the
third day after his joyous departure he died, blaspheming God for
refusing to add only forty more days to his forty-three years, that
he might enjoy his royal bride. It was with silent worms that Don
Pedro made his bed and all his treasures and titles passed into the
hands of his three bastard sons.
	Do�a Isabel received the news of his death with tears of joy
and gratitude then hastened to the Chapel to give thanks to God. But
was otherwise with King Enrique and the Marqu�s of Villena. The death
of Don Pedro had spoiled all their plans. Villena, feeling that he
had nothing more to expect from the King, deserted him once more and
hearing that the conspirators were again in the field, hastened to
join them. Enrique had now to choose between fighting or giving up
his throne. Finding that he had seventy thousand infantry and
fourteen thousand calvary, he decided to fight. 
	Castile was in a pitiful state during that summer of 1467.
Robberies, burnings and murders were daily occurrences. A church in
which three hundred and fifth men, women, children and tenants of the
Count of Benavente, had taken refuge, was burned by the Count's
enemies and all within perished. IN TOLEDO THERE WAS A STATE OF
THEM OUT OF THE CITY. The canons had the alcalde arrested, but while
they were deliberating as to his punishment, FERNANDO DE LA TORRE, A
	A few days later Isabel's brother arrived at Toledo with
Villena and the Archbishop. A delegation of Old Christians, still
smarting from their recent conflict with the secret Jews, waited on
the King if he would approve of the massacre and of further measures
they planned against the now terrified and disarmed Conversos.
	"God forbid that I should countenance such
injustice!" cried Prince Alfonso. "Much as I love power, I
am not willing to purchase it at such a price." 
	On another occasion the Prince declared that the nobles ought
to be shorn of their power to defy kings and to tyrannize over the
people. This was not likely to please so turbulent a nobleman as
Villena. However, the Marqu�s held a trump card in the person of the
little Prince and he decided to make good use of him before he grew
old enough to be troublesome. He and his friends marched to meet the
King's Army at a field near Olmed. Withe their defiance to Enrique
they sent word to Don Beltran that forty cavaliers had sworn to kill
him. Don Beltran sent them back a detailed description of the armour
he intended to wear.
	The battle was fought on Thursday, August 20. Don Beltran
slew many of his sworn executioners and escaped unhurt. Little Prince
Alfonso appeared in the thick of the battle, in full armour,
accompanied by the fiery Archbishop Carrillo in his scarlet cloak
emblazoned with a white cross. All day the conflict raged. The rebels
finally retreated, but when Don Beltran and his companions looked for
the King to congratulate him, he had disappeared, having run away
from the battle. He was found hiding the next day several miles away.
Both sides claimed the victory.
	Isabel meanwhile was staying at Segovia with Queen Juana and
La Beltraneja. During the following July she was hastily summoned to
the village of Cardenosa, where her brother had suddenly become
seriously ill. When she arrived, he was dead. Some said that a trout
he had eaten on July fourth had been poisoned. But it is possible
that he died of summer fever, which killed many in Castile that
summer, or he may have had acute ptomain poisoning. 
	Isabel returned to Avila after the funeral and remained at
the Cistercian Convent of St. Ann. There the Archbishop of Toledo
sought her out, to offer her the allegiance of the rebels and their
support of her claim to the throne of Castile against Enrique. The
young Princess replied that her brother King Enrique, was the lawful
King, having received the scepter from her father, King Juan II.
Although she did not condemn her brother Don Alfonso, for anything he
had done, she would never seek power by an unconstitutional means,
lest in doing so she lose the grace and blessing of God. To all
Carrillo's pleadings she returned a quiet but adamant refusal.
	The rebel barons, having no leader, were compelled to make
peace with the King. However, the terms of the treaty of Tours de
Guisando were very favorable to Isabel, for the fickle King
acknowledge her as his heiress, agreed to summon a Cortes within
forty days to ratify her title and promised never to compel her to
marry against her wishes providing she would agree not to marry
without his consent. Having signed the agreement, he embraced Isabel
affectionately and all the nobles advanced to kiss her hand.
	It soon appeared, however, that the King, prompted by
Villena, was playing a double game. He summoned the Cortes, as he had
promised, but dissolved it without ratifying the treaty. He now
decided to marry off the Princess as soon as possible to King Alfonso
V or Portugal. Alfonso sent an embassy, under the Archbishop of
Lisbon, to obtain Isabel's consent. 
	The Princess now had two suitors, in addition to Alfonso V,
the Duke of Guyenne, brother and heir apparent to King Louis XI of
France and Prince Fernando of Aragon, to whom she had once before
been promised in early childhood. She sent her chaplain secretly to
Paris and to Saragossa to observe them at close range. He returned
after many weeks, bringing word that the French duke was "a
feeble, effeminate prince, with limbs so emaciated as to be almost
deformed and eyes so weak and watery that he was unfit for all
knightly pursuits." Don Fernando, on the other hand, was "a
very proper youth, comely in face and symmetrical in figure, with a
spirit that is equal to anything he might desire to do."
	What girl of sixteen could hesitate between such
alternatives? Isabel wished to marry Prince Fernando and in this
design she received the strong encouragement of Archbishop Carrillo,
who foresaw that a marriage with Fernando might unit unite the great
kingdoms of Castile and Aragon into one of the powerful nations in
Europe, it was such an alliance. Consequently Isabel temporized with
the Portuguese embassy, telling the Archbishop of Lisbon that she
might consider marrying King Alfonso, if they were not related within
the degrees forbidden by the Church. Enrique therefore, had to send
to Rome for a dispensation and this took time, which was exactly what
Isabel needed. With the advice of the Archbishop and others, she sent
two messengers to Aragon, secretly notifying Prince Fernando of her
	Villena somehow caught wind of the departure of Isabel's
emissaries and the king immediately ordered the arrest of the
Princess. She was then at Oca�na. The people of the town seized arms
and defied the royal troops to arrest her. Even the children waved
the flags of Aragon and Castile in the streets, for the suit of
Prince Fernando was papular, and sang;
								"Flores de Aragon
								 Dentro castilla son!
								 Pendon de Aragon!
								 Pendon de Aragon!"
	Isabel fled from Oca�na to Madrigal, the place of her birth.
There she remained until the return of her two envoys from Aragon.
They brought word that conditions in Aragon were so disturbed that
Prince Fernando could not come to marry her at present. His aged
father had gone blind, his mother was ill with cancer and the
Catalans, encouraged by Louis XI of France, were again in rebellion.
Nevertheless, Fernando had signed the marriage agreement and sent
Isabel, as a dowry a pledge of his sincerity, a necklace of pearls
and balas rubies, worth forty thousand gold florins and eight
thousand florins in gold coin. The necklace, belonging to his mother
had been pawned, but Fernando had borrowed money from some of the
rich Jews of Aragon to redeem it.
	All this time the spies of Villena and the King had been
watching Isabel at Madrigal and there too, the messengers of the King
of Portugal found her again. Once more she gave them an evasive
answer saying, "Before all things I shall beg God in all my
affairs and especially this one which touches me so nearly, that he
will show me His will and raise me up for whatever may be for His
service and for the welfare of these kingdoms."
	About this time the spies of the Marqu�s sent him a
description of the necklace Isabel had received fro Aragon. Villena
was furious and he sent at once for the King. Enrique dispatched a
troop of calvary to Madrigal to arrest the Princess.
	Isabel waited in an agony of suspense. Where was the
Archbishop? He had promised to protect her, yet he had gone away and
she did not know where he was. Somewhere in the town she heard
shouts, the sound of feet running, the clatter of horses' hooves
galloping over the cobblestone. She fell on her knees and prayed.
	Chapter V
	A few moments later Isabel looked up to see in her apartment
an overshadowing form in gleaming Toledo armor, whose spurs rattled
as he came. It was Carrillo, he had kept his word and had come to her
rescue with three hundred horsemen just in the nick of time. 
	As they rode through the gates of Madrigal, only an hour or
two before the arrival of the royal troops, the Archbishop explained
with his slow, pompous gravity, why he had not come before and why he
had brought so small a force instead of the army he ad planned to
bring. He was having difficulty with some of his towns, rents were
hard to collect, money was scarce and mercenary soldiers were greedy.
As Carrillo talked on, the young Princess was calmly appraising him,
as she was learning to do with all men. His weakness was vanity,
which took the form of a childish love of glory. Like Villena, he was
always looking for royal favors, but unlike Villena, he wanted them
only to give away to his friends and flatterers. He was so generous
that with all his titles and possession he was constantly without
funds as he was especially good to the poor and to religious
communities. He was a strange mixture of priest and soldier. Yet he
had a sincere devotion to the church. He had reformed certain abuses
among the priests of his diocese. He had built the monastery of St.
Francis at Alcala de Henares and had founded a chair at the college
	Isabel rode fifty miles with the stalwart Archbishop to the
city of Valladolid, where the citizens came forth to meet and to
acclaim her. Yet, as Carrillo shrewdly observed, the citizens of
Valladolid would count little against Enrique's army. The Princess
was still in grave danger, without money and with few troops. The
Archbishop saw no hope of her long escaping prison, unless Prince
Fernando of Aragon might somehow be smuggled over the frontier
through the estates of the Mendozas, who were faithful to Enrique, so
he might marry the Princess, who would then have a stronger status as
a wife. She could flee to Aragon or confront Enrique with a fait
accompli. Isabel agreed. A swift messenger was sent to Aragon,
bidding Fernando come at once in disguise.
		The Prince replied that he would make the attempt. A
few days later, while the King and Villena were on their way north
from Estremadura, Prince Fernando set out from Tarazona in Aragon,
disguised as a muleteer, with a small caravan of merchants. Aragon,
disguised as a muleteer, with a small caravan of merchants. Going as
rapidly as their mules and asses, laden with goods, could proceed,
the travelers rode long after sundown by out of the way trails that
went only through small villages. Whenever they stopped at an inn,
the young muleteer, in his ragged garments with a soiled cap pulled
over his eyes, waited on the rest at table. While the others were
asleep, he tossed restlessly about, or arose to pace the courtyard of
the inn and study the stars.
	Working their way west along the river Duero to Soria, the
"merchants" followed a rocky trail across the mountains and
late on the second night of their journey came to Burgos de Osma. The
castle there was the first they had come to that did not belong to
the enemies of Princess Isabel. Its gates, however, were locked for
the night. The merchants stopped at a little distance to deliberate,
but the young muleteer more impatient, ran ahead and knocked loudly.
From a window overhead came a shower of large stones, one of which
grazed the ear of the Prince. 
	"Do you want to kill me, yo fools?" he cried.
"It is Don Fernando! Let me in!"
	The governor of the castle came down to open the gate with
profuse apologies, he had mistaken the travelers for robbers. 
	Early next morning he conducted the Prince along the road to
Valladolid, where Isabel was waiting for him at the palace of Juan de
Vivero. She was then eighteen, eleven months older than Fernando and
perhaps an inch taller and though no authentic portraits of her are
extant, all who saw her agreed on the fine proportions of her
athletic body, her graciousness and poise, the classic purity of her
features, the beauty and harmony of her gestures, the music of her
low and distinct voice, the copper and bronze lights in her hair and
the delicate blonde coloring that would have been the despair of any
painter. Like Fernando, who was her second cousin, she was descended
on both sides from the English house of Lancaster, through John of
	Early responsibility had made the Prince seem older than his
seventeen years. He had a lofty brow, accentuated by premature
baldness and bold, alert eyes under bushy eyebrows. He was simple in
his dress, sober in his tastes, always master of himself in all
circumstances, always the Prince. He had rather irregular teeth,
which showed pleasantly when he smiled. His voice was usually hard
and authoritative, but became agreeable with those whom he like or
wished to please. Isabel appears to have loved him at once and to
have remained in love with him for the rest of her life.
	In was the eleventh of October. The next day the Princess
wrote to King Enrique, announcing her intention to marry Fernando and
begging for his royal blessing. She intended to marry the Prince in
any event, but she preferred to do so with the King's consent. A more
serious obstacle, in her eyes, was the lack of dispensation. At this
juncture Fernando's grandfather the Admiral, produced a bull granted
by the Pope to marry any person within the fourth degree of kinship.
It was found later that this document had been forged, as so many
supposed Papal briefs were of the period. When Isabel discovered the
deceit, she had no rest until an authentic dispensation came from
Rome. But the false paper, devised by Fernando's wily father, served
its purpose at the time in overcoming her scruples and the wedding
ceremony was performed by the Archbishop on October 18.
	To protect her kingdom of Castile against the possibility of
Aragonese aggression, she insisted upon Fernando's signing an
agreement under oath, to respect all the laws and customs of Castile.
To reside there and never to leave without her approval, to leave all
nominations to church benefices in her hands, to continue the holy
war against the Moors of Granada, to provide for Isabel's mother at
Arevalo and to treat King Enrique with respect and devotion as the
lawful ruler of Castile. All public ordinances were to be signed
jointly Isabel and Fernando and if she succeeded Enrique, she was to
be the undisputed sovereign of Castile, Fernando to be King only by
courtesy. It was characteristic of Isabel's direct and lucid mind to
insist upon a thorough understanding at the start.
	The lovers were not compatible in every way. Isabel was
better educated than her husband and had a more lofty and magnanimous
spirit. She was a person of strong and uncompromising convictions.
She hated cards and all games of chance and according to the scholar
Lucio Marineo, who lived at her court for some years, she classed
professional gamesters with blasphemers. She gave great honor to
grave, worthy and modest persons. She abhorred libertines, loquacious
fellows, the importunate and the fickle; "and she did not wish
to see nor hear liars, coxcombs, rascals, clairvoyants, magicians,
swindlers, fortune-tellers, pal-readers, acrobats, climbers and other
vulgar tricksters."
	It must have been a trial to Isabel to find that Fernando was
very fond of cards. In his youth, he also played Pelota, though later
he was more partial to chess and backgammon. His wife, on the other
hand preferred poetry, music, riding, hunting and serious
conversation on literature, philosophy and theology. Fernando ate
sparingly and drank moderately, but Isabel never touched wine at all.
One great bond which helped to bridge over their differences was that
both were sincerely religious. Fernando never broke his fast until he
heard Mass, even when traveling. Isabel not only heard Mass daily,
but read the prayers in her breviary every day, like a priest or a
un, besides many private and extraordinary devotions.
	They remained at Valladolid throughout the winter of 1469,
waiting for Enrique's consent. But no word came from the court,
except a brief letter from the King, saying that Isabel had disobeyed
him and having broken the treaty of Toros de Guisando, must be
treated like any other rebel. Although Isabel wrote him several times
justifying her action, he would deign no other reply.
	Later that summer she went to Duenas and there, on the first
day of October 1470, her first child, a fair-haired girl also named
Isabel, was born. A few days later the young mother sat up in bed and
dictated a long letter to the King, in which she again offered him
her allegiance, but declared that if he persisted in treating her as
an enemy, she would take whatever steps seemed necessary and would
appeal to the judgment of God.
	Enrique decided to make war on the Princess and her husband.
He summoned his eight year old daughter to Lozaya, where the Marqu�s
of Villena and several others of the King's followers took the oath
of allegiance to her as heiress to Castile and Leon, after which she
was solemnly betrothed to the Duke of Guyenne. It now became apparent
that the powerful Louis XI of France was siding with King Enrique
against Isabel. Pope Paul II also tended to favor Enrique as the
legitimate sovereign. Isabel's future looked dark and uncertain.
	There was famine that winter in Castile. The roads were full
of foot-pads and cutthroats. Money had almost disappeared and goods
were exchanged by primitive barter. Corpses were found every morning
on city streets, strangled or died from starvation. There was
pestilence everywhere and everywhere the tolling of funeral bells and
the digging of graves. It was a long, cruel winter.
	Spring came at last and it brought a turn in the tide of
Isabel's fortunes. Two provinces declared for her against the King.
The people of Aranda de Duero rejected the officers of Queen Juana
and acclaimed Isabel their sovereign. Other towns joined her cause.
The Duke of Guyenne died suddenly, removing a strong link between
Enrique and France. In the summer of 1471 came news of the death of
Pope Paul II. To his successor, Pope Sixtus IV, a devout and learned
Franciscan monk, Isabel and her friends looked with renewed hope. 
	Chapter VI
	Isabel had heard stories from Rome that made her hope that
Pope Sixtus would commence his reign by reforming the Church. It was
well known that abuses ad crept into the ecclesiastical organization.
One of the causes of the condition was the Black Death. In 1347 and
1348 this mysterious and dreadful disease from Asia spread to every
corner of Europe, killing at least twenty-five million people. Some
cities perished utterly. Most of the lost from a third to half their
population. Whole masses went insane. Some in despair plunged into
orgies of vice, other rushed to the monasteries to throw over the
walls pest tainted gold, from which the monks shrank in horror.
Ghostly ships with flapping sails were washed on the shores of France
and Spain and the curious fishermen who boarded them found only
black, rotting corpses on the decks and themselves went ashore to
	The church suffered more than the general population, for her
priests were constantly exposed to contagion by the necessity of
administering the sacraments to the sick and dying. As a result her
priesthood was almost annihilated. To fill the places of the dead
even partially she had to lower her standard and accept men ignorant
of Latin. In this way many wolves crept into the fold and morale and
discipline were everywhere weakened. To make matters worse, the
authority of the Popes suffered terribly from their enforced exile at
Avignon, as virtual prisoners of the French Kings, for seventy years.
	It was not until 1337 that Gregory XI returned to Rome, to
find moral corruption widespread both in Church and State and many
abuses prevalent. One of the worst results of the exile at Avignon
was the Great Schism. Christians were bewildered by the spectacle of
two and even three claimants to the chair of St. Peter. Yet through
all her trials the Church continued to hand down, century after
century, the treasury of faith committed to her y Christ; to promote
education and to foster the arts and sciences; to repress the evil
impulses of tyrannical kings and to give all men a divine standard of
truth and justice by which to measure and regulate their lives. The
Church gave to all Europe a common civilization and culture which, in
the Thirteenth Century at least, attained a height never surpassed
before or since. The Pope alone could speak with more than human
authority. He ruled as a Prince over Rome and other papal estates in
Italy, but his moral authority went to the ends of the civilized
world. When he spoke on matters of faith or morals, men felt that
they could rely upon him, as the representative of Christ on earth,
for wisdom and leadership. He was usually an old man, weighted down
with terrific problems. Ambitious kings sought to use him to further
their own designs. He was constantly struggling against them to
preserve the spiritual independence of the Church.
	All this time, while Europe was in danger of being conquered
by successive onslaught of Mohammedan invaders, only the great voice
of St. Peter thundered above the follies and passions of selfish men,
calling upon princes to lay aside their petty quarrels and unite in
the defense of their common civilization. Meanwhile the Turks broke
into Servia, overran Hungary and in 1453 took Constantinople by
storm. The Spanish Pope Calixtus III sold his art treasures and table
service to obtain money for the crusade to regain the great gateway
to the West. But although his fleet drove the enemy from Lemnos and
other places, he failed in the end, because the European princes were
too stupid and/or too selfish to perceive the common danger. Pope
Pius II in his old age declared that if the European Kings would not
lead a crusade to save Europe, he would lead it himself and the
saintly old man, who had been so gay a scholar in his youth, placed
himself at the head of a fleet and died on his way to meet the Turks. 
	When Isabel was nineteen years old, all Italy and Spain were
in a panic as news came that the Grand Turk Mohammed II had launched
a fleet of four hundred ships against Negroponte, a supposedly
impregnable Venetian outpost on the island of Euboea. Pope Paul II
succeeded in uniting the princes for the moment. But, when he died
the following summer, he left Christendom in a critical state,
bequeathing to his successor two mighty problems, the growing
corruption in the Church and the Turkish invasion. Each of these
evils contributed to perpetuate the other. The weakening of
ecclesiastical discipline and the scandalous lives of many political
prelates made it more difficult for the Pope to organize Europe
against the enemy Yet the enormous demands of the crusade left him
neither time nor energy for the thorough house cleaning that was
needed. To break the vicious circle, the times called for a Pope of
holy and irreproachable life, who at the same time would be a
statesman of masterful genius.
	When Sixtus IV, a devout Franciscan monk, was crowned on
August 25, 1471, it was believed that he would immediately commence
the reform of the Church. But the defense of Christendom seemed even
more urgent than its reform and the Turkish victories in the East
made quick action necessary. The Pope sent five cardinals to various
parts of Europe to reorganize the crusade. He sent the Spanish
Cardinal Roderigo Borgia, to his native country.
	Wen Borgia (destined to rule later as Pope Alexander VI)
sailed from Ostia in May, 1472, he was just forty-two years of age,
tall and powerfully built, a commanding and majestic figure with
penetrating black eyes. He was a gentleman of courtly manners, a
charming conversationalist and an administrator of great capacity. He
was a nephew of Pope Calixtus III, who had made him a cardinal at the
age of twenty-three.
	Borgia achieved a very considerable success in his Spanish
mission. He found the country on the verge of starvation after
failure of the crops and on the brink of civil war. After diplomatic
conferences with Archbishop Carrillo, the Marqu�s of Villena and
others, he succeeded in arranging for a reconciliation between the
Princess Isabel and King Enrique. Beatriz de Bobadilla went to
Segovia in disguise to win the King's consent to the Cardinal's
program. Enrique invited his half-sister Isabel to Segovia to receive
his blessing and to kiss his brotherly hand. He received her
graciously and entertained her royally. When, after a great public
banquet, he had a sharp pain in his side, there were the usual rumors
of poisoning, but all the rest of his life the King suffered from
what was believed to be a disease of the liver. Possibly he had what
we would now call appendicitis.
	Isabel and Cardinal Borgia were then entertained by
Archbishop Carrillo at Alcal�. While she was there, she learned with
horror of a dreadful massacre of the Conversos, or secret Jews, at
Cordoba. Such occurrences had long been a disgrace to her country and
she resolved that if she ever had the power, she would put an end to
It seems that one Sunday in Lent the Christians of C�rdoba had held a
solemn procession to the Cathedral. The converted Jews (New
Christians, or Conversos) were excluded, possibly because they had
become so secure in C�rdoba that they were openly attending the
Jewish synagogues and mocking the Christian religion. However this
may be, as the procession passed the house of one of the richest
Conversos, a girl threw a bucket full of filthy liquid from one of
the upper windows. It splashed upon a statue on the Blessed Virgin
Mary, which was being borne at the head of the procession. This was
the signal for a bloody massacre of the secret Jews.
	In C�rdoba however, they found a powerful champion, Don
Alonzo de Aguilar, who had married a woman of Jewish descent, a
daughter of the Marqu�s of Villena. He and his brother, Gonsalvo de
Cordoba, who was later to win fame in Italy as "the Great
Captain," defended the Conversos. The Old Christians (bona fide
Christians) led by the Count of Cabra, besieged them in the Alcazar.
The result was a state of war which lasted for nearly four years.
Unhappily too, the periodical frenzy against the "New
Christians" or Jewish converts (also Marranos), flamed up in a
dozen other places. One of the most brutal of the massacres occurred
Whether or not the Jews actually had committed a crime, or were
innocent victims of prejudice and we know that Jews have been falsely
accused in other places of what is called "ritual murder,"
(here the author obviously does not know anything about the fact that
the Jews do, in deed, murder young innocent Christian boys and girls
and use their blood in their filthy Jewish religious rites) no one
say with certainty at this late date. Colmenares records in his
History of Segovia that the Jews were sentenced to death by the
Bishop of Segovia, Don Juan Arias de Avila, himself the son of
converted Jews, and were drawn and hanged. 
	In 1468. Sepulveda, Segovia, Spain: The Jews sacrificed a
Christian child on a cross. The Bishop of Segovia investigated the
crime, and ordered the culprits to Segovia, where they were executed.
It is important to know that this Bishop was himself a son of a
converted Jew; Jean d'Avila was his name. Colmenares's History of
Segovia records the facts of the case, which was juridically decided
by a man of Jewish blood. That may be the reason that one finds no
mention of it in Strack's book in defense of the Jews, The Jew and
Human Sacrifice.
	In 1474 the governor of Segovia was Cabrera, a Conversos of
great ability, who had married Beatriz de Bobadilla, girlhood friend
of the Princess Isabel. Villena had a grudge against this man and
knowing that the Old Christians of Segovia hated him, he sent troops
to stir up a massacre against all Conversos, under cover of which he
hoped to get rid of his enemy.
	On Sunday May 16, the Conversos awoke to find a city full of
armed men, crying for their blood. Hooves rang, swords rattled,
bullets pelted the walls and the flames lapped greedily over the
hillside, devouring house after house. Corpses lay in tangled piles
on the streets.
	Fortunately news of the dastardly plot had reached Cardinal
Borgia at Guadalajara. He sent a hasty warning to the King, who
notified Governor Cabrera. The governor had barely time to assemble
some of his troops and dash to the rescue of the Conversos. He and
his men swept the streets clear of Villena's men. The Marques and his
hirelings fled from the city.
	When Isabel and Fernando arrived at Segovia, the place still
stank of charred timbers, rotting flesh, carnage and pestilence. She
commended Cabrera for his valor, affectionately welcomed his wife
Beatriz and denounced all the misguided or fanatical tools of Villena
who had shared in the massacre. Only recently she had prevented a
massacre of the Conversos at Villadolid, even though it meant the
loss of many of her adherents and the necessity of fleeing from the
city with her husband and Archbishop. NOW SHE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY OF
MARRANOS ON EVERY PROVOCATION? Isabel and Fernando came to the
conclusion that the great need of Castile was a government strong
enough to be feared and respected by all classes.
	Events now conspired to give them the opportunity that they
desired. The Marques of Villena, their relentless enemy, died on
October 4, 1474. King Enriques, left forlorn and friendless, failed
rapidly in health and on the twelfth of December, after confessing
his sins for along hour to the prior of the monastery he had built to
commemorate the prowess of Don Beltran, he too expired, stubbornly
refusing to the end to state whether or not "La Beltraneja"
was his daughter.
	Isabel heard the news in Segovia. Her first act was to put on
mourning garments and go to the church of St. Michael to pray for the
repose of the King's soul. When she returned to the castle, she was
notified by Cabrera and the chief men of Segovia that she would be
crowned Queen of Castile on the morrow, St. Lucy's Day. Destiny had
strangely put into the hands of a girl the power she had dreamed of
using. The Middle Ages were past and modern Spain was about to be
	Chapter VII
	Isabel looked down from the Alcazar of Segovia on the frosty
morning of December thirteenth upon a town full of people. Into the
four gates of the stern city built upon a cliff, were coming noblemen
and commoners from all the countryside, with much flourishing of
pennons and much music of trumpets, flageolets and kettledrums, for
ho ceremony in Spain was complete without music. 
	There was a mighty shout as the gate of the castle opened and
Dona Isabel came forth on a white palfrey, with the Governor Cabrera
on one side of her and Archbishop Carrillo on the other. She was then
twenty-three years old, a beautiful and stately figure, clad from
head to foot in white brocade and ermine. Gems sparkled at her
throat, at her bridle, the arch of her foot and her mount were
caparisoned with cloth of gold. Slowly she advanced along the narrow,
stony street near the head of a gorgeous procession. Just in front of
her on a great horse rode a herald, holding point upward the
Castilian sword of justice naked, menacingly brighter in the
sunlight, symbol that the young woman in the white jennet had the
power of life and death over all who beheld her. After him came two
pages, bearing on a pillow the gold crown of her ancestor, King
Fernando the Saint. After the Princess came prelates and priests in
chasubles worked in gold threads over purple silks, velours,
glistening with gold chains and precious stones, councilmen of
Segovia in ancient heraldic costumes, spear men, cross-bowmen, men at
arms, flag-bearers, musicians, with a great rabble following. 
	"Viva la Reinal! Castile for the Queen Lady
Isabel!" cried the people.
	Arriving at the plaza, she dismounted and ascended a high
platform, draped with stuffs of rich colors and seated herself on a
throne where, amid shouts and trumpet blasts, the great crown of her
ancestors was placed on her light auburn hair. The bells of all the
churches and convents of the city began to ring joyously. Muskets and
arquebusses were fired from the keep of the Alcazar and heavy
lombards thundered from the city walls.
	Isabel was a queen at last.
	After all the nobles present had kissed her hand and sworn
allegiance to her, she walked to the Cathedral, where she humbly
prostrated herself before the high altar, giving thanks to God for
bringing her safely through so many perils and asking the grace to
rule according to His will.
	A few days later she learned that her husband was riding from
the north as fast as his horses could carry him. The news of
Enrique's death and of his wife's coronation had reached him in
Perpignan, where he had gone early in the autumn to save his father
from capture by his enemies. Having rescued the aged King, Fernando
had commenced to restore order in Aragon in the way that he and
Isabel agreed was necessary in those abnormal times. HE HAD FOUND THE
XIMENES GORDO, A RICH CONVERSOS (a supposed converted Jew), WHO HAD
THE PEOPLE. The young Prince on his arrival, invited the tyrant to
visit him and when Gordo came, had him seized and delivered to the
ministrations of a priest and a hangman. The body was exposed in the
market place that noon.
	When Fernando learned from a letter of Carrillo of his wife's
coronation, he was indignant because the sword of justice had been
carried before her. It was not customary in Aragon or Castile to
carry the sword before queens. In Aragon too there was a Salic law,
excluding women from the throne. Fernando evidently thought,
notwithstanding the terms of his marriage agreement with Isabel, that
he would be the real King of Castile after Enrique's death and it was
a great shock to him to find that the gentle lady he had married
intended to take the burden of government into her own hands. Gossip,
controversies and intrigues among the nobles made the matter worse
and when Fernando arrived at Segovia, the court was divided into two
factions, bitterly disputing the merits of husband and wife.
	A reconciliation was effected however, by the efforts of Don
Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza Cardinal of Spain, representing the Queen
and Archbishop Carrillo, speaking for King Fernando. But it was
Isabel herself who, with her tact and dignity, maneuvered her husband
into a position where he could only acquiesce as gracefully as
possible. According to her secretary Pulgar, she spoke to him in
these words:
	"This subject Se�or, need never have been discussed,
because where there is such union as by the grace of God exists
between us, there can be no difference. Already, as my husband, you
are King of Castile and your commands have to be obeyed here. These
realms, please God, will remain after our days for your sons and
mine. But since it has pleased these cavaliers to open up this
discussion, perhaps it is just as well that any doubts they have be
clarified, as the law of these our kingdoms provides. This Senor I
say, because as you perceive, it has not pleased God thus far to give
us any heir but the princess Do�a Isabel, our daughter, it could
happen that after our days someone might come who, being descended
from the royal house of Castile, might allege that these realms
belonged to him even by the collateral line and not to your daughter
the Princess, on account of her being a woman ...Hence you will see
Senor, what great embarrassment would ensue for our descendants. We
ought to consider that God willing, the Princess our daughter has to
marry a foreign prince, to whom will belong the government of these
realms and who may desire to place in command of our fortresses and
royal patrimony other people of his nation, who will not be
Castilians. Whence it may follow, that the kingdom may pass into the
hands of a foreign race. That would be a great burden on our
consciences and a disservice to God and a great loss to our
successors and subjects. It is well that this declaration be made
now, to avoid any misunderstandings in the future."
	Fernando evidently could think of no reply. "The King,
knowing this to be true, was much pleased," says the chronicler,
"and gave orders that nothing further be said on the
	Fernando had disappointed Isabel more than once since their
marriage. She had suffered keenly on learning the truth about the
forged dispensation his father had sent from Aragon. She was even
more deeply wounded when she learned that he had an illegitimate
child, born about the time of his marriage. Henceforth she was to
know the torment of a jealousy for which Fernando only too often
provided the occasion, for he had four children born out of wedlock.
Nevertheless she continued to love him to the day of her death. Never
again, with one notable exception, would they have any serious
difference of opinion. Henceforth in most public affairs, they were
to act as one person, both signatures on all documents, both faces on
all coins. "Even if necessity parted them, love held their wills
in unison...Many persons tired to divide them, but they were resolved
not to disagree."
	They could not afford to have differences if they wished to
accomplish the gigantic task that awaited them. To bring order out of
anarchy, to restore the prestige of the crown, to recover from robber
barons the crown lands illegally granted by Enrique. To deflate the
currency and restore prosperity to the farms and industries, to
settle the Jewish problem, the Moorish problem, the Conversos
problem, this was a task that seemed impossible for a young woman and
young man with neither troops nor money. Castile was in a state of
	The young Queen commenced her reign resolutely however, by
sweeping out of sight the worst of the parasites who had made her
brother's court so infamous. She appointed able and trustworthy men
to the chief offices. Mendoza, the Cardinal of Spain, as Chancellor;
Count Haro as Constable of Castile; Fernando's uncle Fadrique as
Admiral of Castile; Gutierre de Cardenas as Treasurer and Bursar. She
and Fernando began to have thieves and murderers executed right and
left, until "the men and citizens and laborers and all the
people in general who longed for peace were joyful and gave thanks to
God, because they had lived to see a time in which it pleased Him to
have mercy on these kingdoms...The King and Queen, with this justice
which they administered, gained the hearts of all in such a manner
that the good had love for them and the evil had fear."
	The great barons who had looted the country under the weak
Enrique were not willing however, to lose their power without a
struggle. The young M�rques of Villena threatened to proclaim Juana,
La Beltraneja, Queen of Castile if Isabel did not grant him the Grand
Mastership of the order of Santiago and several cities. Archbishop
Carrillo, angered because Fernando had offered him certain lands
different from those he had promised, left the court in a huff and
remained at his home at Alcala de Henares, performing alchemistic
experiments with a friend of his, Doctor Alarcon. Both the Archbishop
and young Villena were said to be in correspondence with Alfonso V of
	Cardinal Mendoza, whose elevation to the Primacy and growing
influence with Isabel and Fernando had aroused the jealousy of the
old Archbishop, now rode to Alcala and attempted to conciliate the
old warrior by offering to efface himself and to let Carrillo play
the first part in a reform Cortes to be assembled at Segovia in the
	The Archbishop gave an evasive answer, which was somewhat too
ceremonious to be reassuring. Mendoza disappointed, returned to the
young sovereigns to report that he feared something was brewing
between Carrillo, Villena and Alfonso V of Portugal. To make matters
worse, several miniature wars had broken out among the nobles. Three
of them were quarreling over the Grand Mastership of Santiago. Two of
them were conducting a war for the possession of Seville. Two others
were fighting at C�rdoba.
	At this juncture Isabel and Fernando, then at Valladolid,
received a letter from King Alfonso of Portugal, announcing that he
was about to marry La Beltraneja and therefore, was entitled to call
himself King of Castile and Leon. He added that many of the great
Castilian nobles, including the Archbishop of Toledo, were ready to
join him.
	Isabel could not believe that her old friend Carrillo had
gone over to her enemies. She had her secretary write a passionate
letter of appeal to him. The Archbishop made no reply. People were
saying all over Castile, "Whoever gets the Archbishop will
	The Queen decided, in spite of the advice of her councilors,
to ride to Alcal� and make a personal appeal to him. She sent Count
Haro ahead to make arrangements for her visit.
	Carrillo received the count with gloomy courtesy and was
obviously moved by the nobleman's appeal to his generosity and his
loyalty. However, his attitude changed after he had consulted certain
friends, who may have been emissaries of Villena and of Portugal. He
now declared that if Queen Isabel came in at one gate of Alcal�, he
would go out the other. "I took her from the distaff and gave
her a scepter and I will send her back to the distaff!" he said.
	Haro rode back to Colmenar, where the Queen was in a church
praying and waiting for his return. She did not receive her envoy
until Mass was over. When she heard his report, she turned pale and
put her hands to her hair, says Pulgar, as if to hold her wits
together. Closing her eyes, she remained silent till she had regained
control of herself. Then, looking up, she said, "My Lord Jesus
Christ, in your hands I place all my affairs and I implore your
protection and aid!" and mounting her horse, rode on toward
	There she learned that Alfonso V, with 20,000 men, had
crossed the border from Portugal into Estremadura on May 25, and
marching to Plasencia, where his Castilian allies joined him, had
publicly married La Beltraneja and had himself and his fifteen year
old bride proclaimed King and Queen of Castile and Leon.
	Fernando rode frantically through the north, seeking to raise
an army. He had become unpopular in Castile however, since his
attempt to usurp the crown and it was evident that any successful
appeal to the country must come from Isabel herself. It appeared only
too likely however, that Alfonso would soon have both her and the
kingdom in his power.
	Queen Isabel, wearing a breastplate of steel over her pain
brocade dress, pressed her lips silently together as she mounted her
horse and took the road to the north. 
	Chapter VIII
	Instead of marching to seize Isabel, Alfonso V proceeded to
Ar�valo, in the heart of Castile, and camped there. By so doing he
hoped to prevent her from assembling an army. He failed to reckon
upon her awakening genius, a genius quite as remarkable in its way as
that of Saint Joan of Arc and he gave her the one thing she needed,
	She proceeded to make the most of her advantage. Sickness,
foul weather and rough dangerous country were no obstacles to her.
For months she lived almost constantly on horseback, going from one
end of the kingdom to the other, making speeches, holding
conferences, sitting up all night dictating letters to her
secretaries, holding court all morning to sentence a few thieves and
murderers to be hanged and riding a hundred miles or two over cold
mountain passes to plead with some lukewarm nobleman for five hundred
soldiers. Wherever she went, she stirred into flame the ancient
hatred of the Castilians for the Portuguese, who had defeated their
ancestors so decisively at Aljubarrota in 1385. She concluded every
appeal with a passionate prayer:
	"Thou O Lord, who knowest the secrets of the heart, of
me Thou knowest that not by an unjust way, not by cunning or by
tyranny, but by believing truly that these realms of the King my
father, belong to me rightfully, have Endeavored to obtain them, that
what the kings my forebears won with so much bloodshed may not fall
into the hands of an alien race. Lord, in whose hands lies the sway
of kingdoms, I humbly beseech Thee to hear the prayer of Thy servant
and show forth the truth and manifest Thy will with Thy marvelous
works, so that if my cause is not just, I may not be allowed to sin
through ignorance and if it is just, Thou give me wisdom and courage
to sustain it with the aid of Thine arm, that through Thy grace we
may have peace in these kingdoms, which till now have endured so many
evils and destructions."
	While Fernando collected troops from the northern provinces,
Isabel assembled several thousand men at Toledo and rode at their
head, in full armour like Saint Joan, to meet her husband at
	By the end of June they had assembled a motley host of
forty-two thousand men, poorly equipped and badly disciplined, many
of them farm hands and released convicts. Whipping them hastily into
thirty-five battalions, Fernando left Valladolid in July and struck
south-west to the river Duero. Isabel, who was ill, remained at
Tordesillas to keep the line of communications open and to watch
	Alfonso marched to Toro, which yielded to him. There the
impulsive Fernando besieged him, hoping to crush him quickly and ten
march north against the French, who were invading Guip�zcoa. But the
governor of Castro Nu�o, who had treacherously gone over to the
Portugese. His army threatened with starvation, Fernando had no
choice but to retreat to Medina del Campo. Many of his men deserted
on the way and it was only a remnant of the great army that he
brought back to the disappointed Queen.
	A disaster that would have been crushing to ordinary persons
only stimulated Isabel to greater efforts. From this time on she was
fortunate in having almost constantly with her, as friend and adviser
one of the ablest men of his time, Don Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza,
Cardinal of Spain. Son of a distinguished soldier and poet, the
Marques of Santillana, he was learned, acute, charming, a devout
churchman, a skillful soldier and a profound statesman. It was he who
now made a suggestion that saved the day for Isabel. He appealed to
the clergy to melt down the silver plate accumulated as gifts and
heirlooms in various churches for centuries. In this way a sum of
thirty million maravedis was realized. The help of the church enabled
Isabel to pay her troops, to enlist new recruits, to bring gunpowder
and heavy lombards from Italy and Germany and to buy food and
clothing. By December first, less than five months after the retreat
from Toro, a new army was ready for the field. It comprised only
fifteen thousand men, ut they were well armed and well trained. 
	Fernando marched again toward Toro. Alfonso offered to retire
on condition he receive Toro and Zamora, the kingdom of Galicia, and
a sum of money. But Isabel declared that she would never give away a
single battlement of her father's kingdom.
	Fernando was obliged to leave his army before Toro and ride
to Burgos in the north, to aid his supporters there. Meanwhile
Isabel, after posting guards on all the roads, galloped to Toledo,
130 miles south, to bring back reinforcements of new levies. She then
made a wide and rapid swing to Leon, more than two hundred miles
north, to rescue the province from a treacherous governor.
	Returning, she sent the Count of Benavente to make a night
attack on the Portugese. Alfonso and his army withdrew twenty miles
to Zamora, a fort built on a lofty rock, inaccessible except by a
powerful fortified bridge across the Douro.
	One night Isabel, learned that the governor of the bridge was
willing to deliver it to her, if she would send troops to take it.
She sent word to Fernando to leave Burgos in disguise and come at
once. Fernando, pretending illness, left his quarters alone, rode
sixty miles by night through an enemy country and arrived at
Valladolid just before dawn. There Isabel had a picked force of
cavalry ready for him. Zamora was fifty miles away. The next night he
reached the Bridge and took possession of it. He had only to hold
until Isabel brought up reinforcements and artillery. She had her big
guns on the road before dawn.
	Alfonso awoke to find his position commanded by the Castilian
guns. He withdrew his army into the open country and Fernando
occupied the town. Next day Alfonso was reinforced by his son, Dom
Joao with 20,000 troops. He was now in a position to besiege Fernando
and he did so. For two Fernando and his army were cooped up in
	Isabel, threatened with defeat, was spurred on to almost
superhuman activity. Like all great soldiers, she saw the advantage
of attack. If the enemy's force outnumbered hers, it must be divided.
She sent troops to assail Alfonso's base at Toro. She hurled others
against his right flank. Finally she discovered that a town at his
rear, commanding his line of communications, was poorly guarded. She
sent two thousand calvary to seize it.
	Alfonso in his turn was not compelled to retreat. One cold
night, while his men grumbled at the scarcity of food, he broke camp
and started along the river bank to Toro.
	When Fernando discovered that the enemy had vanished, he
rapidly pursued and overtook him in the middle of the afternoon.
Cardinal Mendoza, riding ahead to reconnoiter, returned to the King
to tell him that the Portugese were drawn up in battle order, just
beyond a small hill. Fernando gave the word to advance. Slowly the
Castilian host went over the piece of rising ground and defiled into
the plain. The sun, far down the western sky, was at their backs,
shining murkily from under a heavy curtain of grey clouds, into the
eyes of the Portugese. Presently a fine, cold, drizzly rain began to
	There was a long splintering rash as the hosts came together
and were interlocked...the splitting of lances, the rattle of armor,
the thumping of horses; riders catapulted to the ground to lie still
or rise and draw swords, footmen running out among them with daggers
and axes...the melee grimly settled down to a business like hacking
and thrusting. "Fernando!" cried the Castilians.
"Alfonso!" shouted the Portugese.
	Where the standards of the rival kings fluttered back and
forth on the waves of steel, there was the fiercest fighting,
shouting, letting of blood and piling up of the slain. On the left
the Cardinal of Spin, his bishop's crochet torn and spattered with
blood that looked almost black in that leaden dusk, fought with the
fury of a tiger, laying men flat to right and left of him as he
pressed forward through the ranks of the Portugese. On the right, Dom
Joeo's artillery thundered; the echoes rumbled from the river to the
crags, followed by the brisk rattle of his musketry. The six
squadrons of Fernando's Galician and Austrian cavalry broke and fled,
pursued by the yelling Portugese.
	Entangled with their foes, neither Fernando nor the Cardinal
could go to help of their right wing and to make matters worse, Dom
Joao doubled back after a brief pursuit of the scared mountaineers
and fell upon their flank. The fighting was desperate, to the death.
Back and forth, up and down they swayed in the cold crepuscular rain,
while the shouts became hoarser and the moanings of the wounded more
frequently under foot and the darkness came swiftly down from the
slaty sky and still neither side had the victory. Thus for three
hours the fortune of the battle hung in the balance. They fought
silently now, panting for breath.
	Mendoza had hacked his way through the Portugese right to
where he could barely see in the thick gloom the standard of King
Alfonzo, rising and falling. Duarte de Almeida was making a heroic
struggle to keep Alfonso's standard flying. Wounded in the right arm,
he held the flag in his left. When a Castilian arrow transfixed his
left arm, he held the staff between his teeth until he fell, pierced
through the body, while the Cardinal of Spain seized the Portugese
flag and bore it off. The fat Alfonso, puffing valiantly gave ground.
Their flag down, their king beaten back, a great hesitation like some
slow fog began to drift over the mass of the tired Portugese, who had
eaten nothing since they left Zamor at daybreak. They gave way here,
they drew in there. It was now quite dark.
	Suddenly, with a mighty shout, the six battalions of mountain
horsemen who had fled from Dom Joao's guns at the outset, but had
slowly reassembled in shame on the hillside, fell upon the disordered
Portugese. The whole line began to retreat. At the same time the
Cardinal of Spain and the Duke of Alba drove them from the flank
toward the river. In vain Alfonso and Dom Joao shouted their battle
cries. In vain the stout-hearted Carrillo, blood from head to foot,
the red cloak torn from his back, stormed and pleaded with them while
he smote about him like some Homeric hero in the opaque night. 
	The flight became a panic. "Santiago!" cried the
victors. "Castile! Castile for King Fernando and Queen
Isabel!" The miserable Portugese slew each other by mistake.
They ran up the hills, they leaped into the swift river and were
sucked under the cold waters by the weight of their armor. Bands of
them rushed wildly about seeking their king and crying
"Fernando! Fernando!" to avoid slaughter.
	During the night Fernando ordered the men to cease slaying
the vanquished and to make prisoners of them. The fury of the
Castilians was such that even after some days, they wished to kill
the Portugese prisoners and might have done so but for the indignant
opposition of Cardinal Mendoza, who said, "Never, please God,
may such a thing be said, or such an example of us remain in the
memory of living men. Let us arrive to conquer and not think of
vengeance, for to conquer is for strong men and to avenge is for weak
	At dawn Fernando sent a briefly affectionate message to
Isabel, announcing his victory. She received the news with great joy
at Tordesillas. She ordered all the clergy of the town to assemble
and to march through the streets singing the "Te Deum."
Amid the acclamations of the people, the young Queen came out of her
palace barefoot and thus she walked over the rough stones of the
streets to the monastery of Saint Paul, where she went on silent feet
through the murmuring crowd to the high altar and prostrated herself
with great devotion and humility, giving thanks to the God of
	Chapter IX
	The victory over Portugal had left Isabel mistress of
Castile, but it was a Castle ridden with famine, pestilence and
economically almost beyond repair. "No one paid his debts if he
didn't want to," wrote her secretary in her chronicle. "The
people were accustomed to all disorders...and the citizens, laborers
and peaceful men were not masters of their own property and had no
recourse to anybody for the robberies and acts of violence they
endured... Each man would willingly have given half his goods, if he
could purchase security for himself and his family."
	The chief task that confronted Isabel and Fernando was to
restore respect for law. This they proceeded to do with a rigor which
they felt was justified by the prevailing anarchy. At a Cortes
assembled at Madrigal in 1476, they took steps to revive the Santa
Hermandad or Holy Brotherhood, a voluntary police force, which in the
fourteenth century had been organized to defend the local rights of
the people against the crown, but in the end had become a tool of the
nobles. Isabel proceeded to convert this nearly useless weapon of the
privileged classes into an instrument of royal discipline. A force of
two thousand horsemen was organized under a captain-general, the Duke
of Villahermosa, bastard brother of King Fernando, with eight
captains under him. Every hundred householders maintained a horseman,
well armed and equipped, ready at any moment to start in pursuit of a
criminal. For every community of thirty families there were two
alcades (Magistrates), whose powers were absolute, unless appeals
were taken to the bishop of Cartagena, or as a last resort to the
King and Queen.
	But unless a lawbreaker had good grounds for an appeal, he
had short shrift and the mildest penalty he could expect was the loss
of an ear or hand. A petty thief was relieved of one of his feet, to
make sure that he did not repeat his offence. More often, the penalty
was death. As soon as the sentence was pronounced, a priest was
fetched to hear the prisoner's confession and give him the last
sacraments. Tied to the nearest tree, the convict was dispatched with
arrows by the Hermandad. Evidently the authors of the ordinances of
the Brotherhood were skeptical about the permanency of any moral
reforms effected by force among criminals, for they commanded that
the shooting follow the absolution "as speedily as possible,
that his soul may pass from his body with the greatest safety."
	This stern and speedy justice seemed a matter of course to
Isabel and Fernando and their contemporaries. The sympathy that
Enrique El Impotente had lavished on the criminal they reserved for
the murdered man and his widow and children, the ravished woman, the
family burned to death kin in the middle of the night by bandits or
robber barons. It was not that the Spanish were any more cruel than
other western people. For example, life was incredibly cheap in
England at that period. Even a century later we find an English
chronicler reporting the hanging every year of form three hundred to
four hundred "rogues" including petty thieves and during
the reign of King Henry VIII seventy-two thousand died on the gallows
for thefts alone. 
	Isabel and her husband rode from town to town, sometimes
together, sometimes separately, administering justice without delay
and without cost to the people. The young Queen would hear
complaints, order reconciliations and restitutions, condemn the
guilty to death and ride on to the next place. Within a short time
her justice had filled the country with consternation. It was the
more terrifying because it was felt to be impartial and
	Although she was desperately in need of money, she frequently
refused to accept bribes from rich criminals. A wealthy noble named
Alvar Ya�ez, who had murdered a notary, had offered the Queen the
enormous sum of forty thousand ducats if she would spare his life.
Some of her council, knowing how bare the royal treasury was, advised
her to accept. But the Queen "preferred justice to money."
She had the head of Ya�ez, struck off the same day and to avoid any
suspicion of mercenary motives, had the property distributed among
his sons, although there were plenty of precedents to justify her
confiscating it. 
	One day while she was resting at Tord�sillas, after driving
the remaining Portugese out of Toro, she heard that a revolt had
begun at Segovia and that the insurgents were storming the tower of
the Alcazar, in which her baby Isabel, was guarded by a mere handful
of loyalists. 
	Beatriz de Bobdilla, who had been left in charge of the
child, had come to Tordesillas to confer with Her majesty. Cabrera,
the governor, had left the city and during his absence, some of his
enemies, with weapons concealed under their laborer's clothes, had
entered the Alcazar, killed the guard at the gate and taken
possession of the castle. The men assigned to guard the Infanta
retreated to the tower where the child and her nurse were furiously
resisted. Men all over the city took arms and joined one side or the
other. The majority however, joined the rebels out of hatred for the
Conversos Cabrera. Even the bishop of Segovia, Don Juan Arias de
Avila joined them, though he himself was a Conversos.
	Queen Isabel had with her at the time only Cardinal Mendoza,
her friend Beatriz, and the count of Benavente. There was no time to
assemble troops and she could travel more rapidly without them. She
mounted a horse and followed by her three friends, rode madly for
Segovia, sixty miles away.
	The sun glared on the white road, as hot as on the sands of
the Sahara. The dust, six inches deep, arose in clouds about her and
her horse; it whitened them with powder; it blinded her eyes and
rubbed the skin off her lips. The Queen lost her way trying to cut
through a pine forest, retraced her steps to the road, let her horses
rest awhile at Coca and during the night, when a cold wind came up
with the August moon, pressed on to Segovia. At dawn she saw the
tower of the Alcazar, rising above the rocky spur that projects over
the grey plain like the prow of a galley. All around them barren and
treeless, stretched the desolate waste of a cruel, inscrutable
country. Was the Princess still in the tower? Were they too late?
	When the Queen approached the gate of St. John, the Bishop
and several of the chief citizens came forth and begged her not to
enter, for there was sharp fighting nearby. Furthermore the Bishop
requested that she leave outside the walls Cabrera's wife and his
friend the Count of Benavente, since the sight of them would
infuriate the mob. The young queen with cold anger, cut short their
ceremonious speeches, saying:
	"Tell those cavaliers and citizens of Segovia that I am
Queen of Castile and this city is mine, for the king my father left
it to me. To enter what is mine I do not need any laws or conditions
that they may lay down for me. I shall enter the city by the gate I
choose and the Count of Benavente shall enter with me and all others
that I think proper for my service. Say to them further, that they
shall all come to me and do what I shall command like loyal subjects
and cease making tumults and scandals in my city, lest they suffer
hurt in their persons and their property."
	So saying, Isabel clapped the spurs into her jaded horse and
followed by her three friends, galloped through the gate of St. john
into the midst of the howling mob. Fearless of the swords and spears
that flashed about her in the morning sun, she pressed on to the
small courtyard near the tower. The Bishop followed, vainly trying to
quiet the people. The mob surged around the little group.
	"Kill them all!" they cried. "To the sword
with the friends of Mayordomo! Down with Cabrera! Storm the tower and
kill them all!" The Queen silent, haggard and dusty on her white
horse, faced them. The Cardinal leaned toward her. Urgently he begged
her to have the gate of the Alcazar closed, that no more of the mob
might enter the court. The Queen shook her head.
	"Open the gates wider," she said, "and bid
them all come in." The gates creaked. "Friends,"
shouted a cavalier, "the Queen commands that all come in, as
many as can." A murmur went over the crowd. The Queen! After a
hesitation there was a forward seething of the human sea and an
overflowing into the court. The Queen waited for silence. The
Cardinal, indifferent to his own safety, watched her with a mixture
of admiration and fear. Her words, clear and resonant, sped like
arrows over the heads of the shoving and grumbling people:
	"My vassals and servants, say now what you desire, for
what suits you is agreeable with me, since it is for the common good
of the city." A leader of the mob, motioning for quiet, stood
forth as spokesman to relate their grievances at length.
"Senora," he began, "we have several supplications to
make. The first is, that the Mayordomo Andres de Cabrera no longer
have the keeping of the Alcazar! The second..."
	"What you wish, I wish. He is removed. I shall take
possession of these towers and walls and commit them to a loyal
companion of mine, who will guard them with loyalty to me and honour
to you." A howl broke from the crowd, a howl of triumph and
approbation. "Viva la Reina!" The people outside the gate
took up the cry. It was the same motley swarthy multitude that had
screamed those words to her that winter morning three years ago, when
she rode out of this very court to be crowned. In a trice the men who
had been cursing Cabrera were clamoring for the blood of his enemies.
The rebel leaders fled for their lives. By noon the towers and walls
had been cleared of them and Isabel was in complete possession of the
Alcazar. Her first thought was to embrace the Princess, from whom she
had so long been separated. Then she rode in weary triumph through
the streets to the palace near the Church of St. Martin, followed by
a mob that all but smothered her in their joy and admiration. From
the steps of the palace she made a brief speech, bidding them go
peacefully to their homes, promising that if they would send a
committee to her to explain all their grievances, she would have
justice done. The multitude melted away. The Queen entered the
palace, threw herself on a bed and slept.
	Subsequently, when she considered the complaints laid before
her by the committee and sifted them to the bottom, she reinstated
Cabrera, finding him innocent of the charges against him, though some
of his subordinates had committed minor tyrannies. The Queen believed
on the part of men who wanted his post, or the strong Old Christian
Kon Juan Arias, repented of his part in the day's work, bethinking
him that the Queen might have a long. memory and a long arm. The time
was coming, though he little suspected it, when he would have a
particular need of her friendship.
	Chapter X
	Late in September, when Queen Isabel went to Valladolid to
meet her husband on his return from his estates in the north. She was
vexed to learn of a conflict that had arisen over the Grand
Mastership of the Order of Santiago. The Count of Paredes, chief
claimant to the honor had died and his rival Don Alonso de Cardenas,
had marched at the head of an army to Ucles, where the treces and
comendadores of the Order had assembled at his bidding to elect him
Grand Master.
	Isabel had no personal objection to Cardenas. On the
contrary, she found him an exceptionally able officer in a private
"war" he had waged against the Duke of Medina Sidonia in
the conflict against the Portugese. She hoped to make use of him in
the crusade she planned to begin against the Moors as soon as she had
restored peace and prosperity in Castile. On the other hand she had
vivid and painful memories of past civil wars fought for the
Mastership of Santiago under King Enrique. Besides, she had a plan of
her own making the famous military order useful to the Crown.
	Three great military orders had grown up in Spain during the
Middle Ages. The Order of Calatrava had been founded by two
Cistercian monks, who with their companions defended a strategic pass
between Castile and Anadalusia saving Christian Spain from being
reconquered by the Moors. As time went on the Order grew in numbers
and wealth, until it included fifty-six commanderies, sixteen
priories, sixty-four villages and enjoyed an annual income of fifty
thousand ducats.
	The Order of Alcantara was organized to hold the town of that
name, an important outpost, when it was taken from the Moors by the
Christians in 1214. To defend it, a group of knights banded together,
wearing over their armor the White Cistercian Mantle embroidered with
a scarlet overcross. They too in time accumulated numbers and wealth. 
	But the most noted of the three orders was that of Santiago,
founded in the twelfth century to protect pilgrims coming from all
parts of Europe to the shrine of St. James the Apostle at Compostela
in Galicia, where his body, found intact after eight centuries, was
reserved and honored. But after the Moors withdrew into Granada and
no longer menaced the northern kingdoms, the knight grew indifferent
and warred with each other instead of with the Infidel. The election
of a Grand Master was so important that it often led to a civil war.
That dignitary ruled over eightey-three commanderies, two cities, one
hundred and seventy-eight boroughs and villages, two hundred
parishes, five hospitals, five convents, and a college at Salamanca.
He virtually presided over the kingdom and enjoyed more in come than
many kings. In time of war he could lead into the field, four hundred
knights and a thousand lances.
	Isabel saw that if the Crown was to be supreme, it must do
away with such powerful organizations, particularly when they were no
longer of any great use in the new warfare that scientific discovery
was making possible. Gunpowder was putting an end to the tactics of
chivalry, simply because two or three plebeians with a canon could
blow up any number of men in armor, be their blood ever so blue and
their hearts ever so stout. She decided to annex the powers of the
orders by asking the Pope to appoint King Fernando to each
Mastership, when the present incumbent died. The death of the Count
of Paredes was her first opportunity. She dispatched a messenger to
Rome, asking that Fernando be appointed Grand Master of Santiago. But
Cardenas with his usual promptness and boldness jeopardized her plan.
	Ucles, where the delegates were meeting, was two hundred
miles away, across the mountains and the rains had set in, but that
made no difference to Isabel. Taking a small retinue, she mounted her
horse and started on the dangerous journey in a heavy downpour. At
the end of the third day she came to Ocana, fifty miles from her
destination. She was urged to spend the night in the palace there,
the palace she had fled from with Carrillo eight years before, but
fearing that the election might be held the next morning, she pressed
on all night under the beating rain. Next morning, as the knights of
Santiago were about to vote on the Mastership, they were astonished
to see the weary and drenched Queen walk silently into their midst.
	As usual Isabel went to the heart of the problem and told
them plainly why she had come. The Mastership of Santiago she said,
was too important an office not to be kept in the royal family, hence
she had decided that it must belong to King Fernando. She commanded
them, as her subjects, to postpone their election.
	The Queen's self possession carried the day and Cardenas
submitted with good grace. Later, when Isabel had in her hands the
Pope's bull, giving the administration of the Order to Fernando, she
appointed Cardenas Grand Master for life, on condition that the order
pay three million maravedis a year to maintain its forts along the
Moorish frontier. When Cardenas died in 1499, Fernando assumed the
Mastership. Similarly he took over the administration of Calatrava in
1487 and that of Clcantata in 1492. His wife's foresight was
ultimately to increase the royal revenue by a million dollars a year.
	Isabel now returned to Ocana to meet Fernando, who had been
strengthening their defenses on the Portugese frontier, for peace had
not yet been formally made and together they proceeded to Toledo.
There, at the Queen's orders, a great preparation had been made for a
triumph in honor of Fernando's victory at Toro. She had promised,
after the battle, that as soon as possible she would give public
thanks to God and would build a church in honor of St. John the
Evangelist, to whom she had prayed during the perilous days of the
Portugese war. They entered the city one afternoon, to find waiting
for them a gorgeous procession of prelates, canons and priests,
together with noblemen and townspeople who marched with a raised
crucifix before them to the great cathedral. There, in the vast grove
of marble and granite, the rich colors of the late sunlight filtered
through the stained glass to mingle with the shadows about the young
King and the splendid Queen who knelt in silence before the high
altar, giving thanks to God.
	On the next day there was a second and even more magnificent
procession to the cathedral. This time the King and Queen entered by
the gate of their ancestor St. Fernando, who had freed Andalusia from
the Moorish yoke by capturing Cordoba in 1235. Isabel wore his golden
crown, blazing with precious stones, while a long mantle of ermine
fell over her gown of white brocade, flowered with castles and lions
of gold. Around her neck gleamed the famous necklace of pearls and
the collar of balas rubies, the largest of which was supposed to have
belonged to King Solomon when he sent to Spain the ancient Tashish of
Jews, for his gold and silver, his ivory and apes and peacocks.
("...bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and
peacocks." (1 Kings 10:22) Silver and brass were not considered
of great value in the days of Solomon. And every three years the navy
of Tarshish came bringing with them gold and silver. They also
brought ivory, "apes" and "peacocks." These last
two do not refer to animals or birds, but rather, they are the
Commercial Names of Lead and Copper brought in the ships. From
America! In modern language we refer to animals or birds, but rather,
they are the commercial names of Lead and Copper brought in the
ships. In modern language we refer to iron as "pigs" so,
too, in ancient times Lead was called "Apes" because of its
peculiar formation and color, while Copper Ore, with its rich and
changeable coloring, was called "Peacocks.")
	After hearing High Mass, they walked to the tomb of their
other ancestor, Juan I of Castile, who had been defeated by the
Portugese at Aljubarrota nearly a hundred years before and over his
resting place Isabel draped the torn and bloody standard taken from
Alfonso V at Toro.
	Before leaving Toledo, Isabel bought several houses between
two of the gates, had them destroyed and there had ground broken for
the Franciscan monastery of Saint-John-of-the-Kings, on whose
construction she was to spend several years. Its four vaults, carved
with the most delicate lace work in stone, in infinite variety, still
remain as a monument to her lifelong love for Fernando. She never
tired of sending gold chalices, jewels, trophies, tapestries and
paintings to the church and in all parts of it may be found the arms
of Castile and Aragon, and the cyphers of Isabel and Fernando,
	From Toledo the sovereigns proceeded to Madrid. There they
found waiting for them several pieces of disquieting news. The new
King of Granada, Muley Abou'l Hassan, had refused to send them the
customary tribute which they had demanded and it was believed that he
was preparing for war. This would have suited Isabel and Fernando
well at a later time, for one of their chief ambitions was to drive
the Moorish power out of Spain. But the hour had not yet come when
they could afford to undertake so costly a struggle. Meanwhile, fresh
Portugese armies had invaded Castile in the west and it was said that
Alfonson V had gone to Paris, seeking aid from France and had been
received with great honor by Louis XI. In the cities of the south the
wildest anarchy still reigned. 
	Isabel proposed that while Fernando crushed the remaining
Castilian rebels in the west and Cardenas went to meet the Portugese,
she herself would ride to Southern Estremadura and pacify the
country. To this the King and the council strenuously objected. They
said there was no city or town that she could use as a base of
operations, for every fortress was in the hands of some petty tyrant
whose crimes were so notorious that he dare not surrender for fear of
being hanged. They suggest that she remain in some safe place, such
as Toledo, until the King and Cardenas returned.
	The Queen listened to their advice and as usual, calmly
announced her own decision:
	"I have always heard it said that the blood, like a good
schoolmistress, always goes to repair the part of the body that
receives some hurt. Now, to hear continually of the war that the
Portugese make as foes and the Castilians as tyrants and to endure it
with complacency, would not be the office of a good king; for kings
who wish to reign have to labor. It seems to me that my Lord ought to
go to those places beyond the mountain pass and I to the other parts
of Estremadura...It is true that there are certain obstacles to my
going, such as you have mentioned. But in all human affairs there are
things both certain and doubtful and both are equally in the hands of
God, who is accustomed to guide a good end the causes that are just
and are sought with diligence."
	The King and the council acquiesced, knowing well that when
the Queen spoke in that vein, further argument was useless. While
Fernando took the field in the west, therefore Isabel donned her
armor again and rode south into the country of her foes the robber
	Chapter XI
	Dismounting at Guadalupe, Queen Isabel sent one of her
secretaries ahead to demand the keys of the fortress of Trujillo. The
governor sent back word that he would deliver the keys to no one but
his master the young Marques of Villena, one of several noblemen who
still defied her. Queen cried angrily, "Do I have to remain out
of my own city/ Surely no good king would do it and no more will
	Summoned heavy artillery and troops from Sevilla and Cordoba
and planned to blow down the walls of Trujillo. Meanwhile, she took
Madrilego, a notorious robber's den and when the garrison had marched
out, commanded her gunners to fire upon the walls and towers until
not one stone was left upon another. This example frightened the
petty tyrants of the vicinity and many of them submitted to the
determined Queen.
	The young Marques of Villena now appeared and offered to give
her Trujillo on certain conditions. "There can be no
discussion," she said, "until I have the keys of
Trujillo."      Villena then ordered his alcalde to surrender
and Isabel entered the city in triumph. She rode to Caceres, settled
a bloody feud there over an election, posted garrisons in Badajoz and
other frontier towns and proceeded to Sevilla.
	Sevilla was one of the largest and most beautiful cities of
Andalusia. Taken from the Moors by St. Fernando, it was still
principally Moorish in character, a bewildering labyrinth of narrow
winding streets and lanes, lined with one-story white houses
enclosing gay flowers and cool fountains in patios where the people
virtually lived most of the year.
	There were to causes of this discord. The weakness of
Enrique's government had emboldened the nobles to take the law into
their own hands and for three years two of the most powerful nobles
of the south, the Duke of Medina Sidonia and young Don Rodrigo Ponce
de Leon, Marques of Cadiz, had been fighting pitched battles in and
about the city, regardless of the damage to the lives and property of
the citizens.
	The other cause was racial, or perhaps more accurately
religious. There was in Sevilla a large Jewish quarter, or Juderia,
though the old law compelling the Jews to reside in it was no longer
enforced. Far more numerous however, were the Jews who lived as
Conversos among the Christians, intermarried with them, held most
influential and lucrative office, owned the most valuable property in
the city and derived great incomes, as did some of the Jews of the
synagogue, from money lending and from the busy slave market in which
Moors and blacks from Africa were bought and sold.
	 "The Spanish Jews differed but little from the
Christian population with regard to customs and education," say
the Jewish Encyclopedia. "They were fond of luxury and the women
wore costly garments with long trains, also valuable jewelry. This
tended to increase the hatred of the populace toward them. They were
quarrelsome and inclined to robbery, often attacked and insulted one
another even in their synagogues and prayer houses, frequently
inflicting wounds with the rapier or sword they were accustomed to
carry." This was equally true of the Conversos, or Marranos but
they were even more dislike because as "Christian" they
dominated activities from which the Jews were excluded.
	Queen Isabel seems to have had no prejudice against the Jews
as a race. The problem as she saw it was religious, rather than
racial. All her life she employed in positions of trust certain Jews
who she felt were sincere in their profession of Catholic
Christianity. She repeatedly protected the Jews of the synagogue from
the fury of the mob. She believed however, that a very large
percentage of the Conversos were really secret Jews who went to Mass
on Sundays only for business or social reasons and could be found in
the synagogue on Saturday, while they lost no opportunity to ridicule
and blaspheme the most sacred truths of the Christian religion and to
undermine the faith which was the basis of morality of the people
among whom they lived. Isabel sought some way to restrict the
activities of such hypocritical Christians and at the same time to
save them from the periodic massacres at the hands of the exploited
populace. It was difficult to deal with them, because when a Jew
professed himself a Christian, no one could say with certainty
whether he was sincere or not. There were of course, many sincere
Jewish Catholics who must be protected both from the misunderstanding
of the mob and from the attempts of their Jewish friends to win them
back to the synagogue.
	About this time it was suggested that the Queen establish the
Inquisition in Castile. She referred the matter to the venerable
Bishop of Cadiz, asking him to investigate the situation in Seville
and report to her. Meanwhile, she intended to deal with the prevalent
crimes of Seville in her own way, under the existing laws. She
announced that every Friday she would hold public court, as her
ancestors had done and would give justice in all criminal or civil
cases promptly and without cost. The laxity and corruption of the
courts of Sevilla made this necessary. 
	When the Queen entered the city on a July morning in 1477,
the streets were canopied with rich old tapestries stretched from one
roof to another, so that the royal cortege, glittering with gems and
purple and cloth of gold, might advance in a soft, multicolored
shadow, over grown strewn with jasmine and roses from hundreds of
gardens. Isabel went first to the Cathedral, as usual, to give thanks
to God and to implore His help. Then she proceeded to the Alcazar,
formerly a Moorish palace and walked through gardens where tufted
palms swayed over pomegranates laden with blood red fruits and orange
trees with spheres of godl. Finally she sat, pensive and grave, in
the judgment seat of Saint Fernando in the Hall of the Ambassadors.
There she resolved to restore peace to laughing Sevilla. While the
chief men of the city were hurrying about to arrange for her
entertainment with feasts, banquets and bull-fights, she was calmly
thinking of having some of them hanged.
	As for the bull fighting, she despised the sport so intensely
that she forbade it by royal decree but when she discovered that the
Andalusians loved it too passionately to give it up, permitted it
only on condition that false horns, blunted, be fastened to the heads
of the bulls.
	Every Friday during the next two months all who had
grievances found their way to the Hall of the Ambassadors, where the
young Queen sat on a dias draped with cloth of gold against a
background of blue Moorish glazed tiles, called azulejos. As each
petition was received by her four secretaries, she would commit it to
one of her councillors, who sat below her on one side, with
instructions that the witnesses be examined diligently and a verdict
returned in three days. The Queen herself heard all doubtful cases
and all appeals from her judges. Soldiers began bringing in
malefactors, great and small, rich and poor, from all parts of the
city and its suburbs. Murderers and other major offenders were taken
out, given time to confess and hanged without further ceremony. Huge
quantities of stolen goods were restored to their rightful owners.
	As it became evident that the Queen was terribly in earnest,
rich citizens began offering her bribes, if she would relent. But
Isabel was inexorable and now even those who had not been denounced
began to flee from their homes by night. Four thousand left the city
within a week. So many families in the city were involved that the
aged Bishop of Cadiz finally went to see the Queen, taking with him a
great throng of the wives, children, parents, brothers and sisters of
the fugitives. He pointed out that under a lax government like
Enrique's it was only natural for human nature to follow the course
of least resistance. Hence so many in Sevilla were guilty that hardly
a house was without a criminal, or an accessory in some way to crime.
He begged the Queen to be merciful, saying:
	"True it is, most excellent Queen and Lady, that our
Lord uses justice as well as mercy; but justice sometimes and mercy
all the time; for if He used justice as He does mercy, all mortals
would be condemned and the world would perish...Scripture enjoins
mercy, and the Holy Catholic Church continually chants in praise of
the mercy of God. The reign of justice is nigh to cruelty and the
prince is called cruel who, even though he has cause, does not use
moderation in punishing."
	The Queen listened thoughtfully to the old prelate's speech
and concluding that she had already accomplished her purpose, acceded
to his request and proclaimed a general amnesty convening all
offences except heresy.
	She now turned her attention to the feud between the Duke of
Medina Sidonia and the Marques of Cadiz and having heard only the
Duke's side of the dispute, became quite angry against the Marques
who, according to his enemy, was the cause of all the anarchy in
Sevilla, besides conspiring against his sovereign. Isabel issued
commands for his arrest. Instead of taking flight however, young
Rodrigo mounted a horse one August evening, rode to Sevilla with only
one servant and boldly presented himself at the Queen's apartments.
She found him a man in his early thirties, of middle height, though
his powerful, compact frame made him look shorter; pock-marked; a
face framed by curly red hair and ending in a pointed beard of the
same color. His eyes were frank and fearless and he met the Queen's
scrutiny coolly.
	"You see me here, most powerful Queen, in your
hands," he began. "I have come to show my innocence, and
that being demonstrated, your royal highness may do with me what you
please." He denied all of the accusations made against him by
the Duke and declared that he had always been a loyal subject of the
	His frankness and fearlessness so favorably impressed her
that she promised to investigate the quarrel between him and the Duke
and do justice to both, on condition that both deliver to her certain
fortresses illegally given away by Enriques IV. Finding later that
she could not reconcile such proud and high spirited enemies, she
banished them both to their estates, forbidding them to return to
Sevilla under pain of death.
	Fernando, who had been engaged in similar work in other
cities, rejoined his wife at Sevilla in August. In October they
visited the Duke of Medina Sidonia at San Lucan and the Marques of
Cadiz at Rota. They returned to Sevilla in December and on Christmas
Day issued the first known royal decree on printing, exempting the
famous Louvain printer Dierck Maertens, from taxation, as a printer
of books and forbidding anyone to interfere with his work. The first
book printed in Spain had been a collection of songs in honor of Our
Lady published in 1474, followed by an edition of Sallust and a
translation of the Bible into Castilian in 1478.
	There was great joy in the city and much ringing of bells and
firing of cannon, when Queen Isabel gave birth to a son on the
morning of June 30. Little Prince Juan was taken on the ninth of July
to the Cathedral, where the great pillars of marble and granite were
draped with brocades and silks of many gay colors. The royal infant
was carried in on a pillow of red brocade at the head of a splendid
procession, including the court, the foreign ambassadors, the
officials of Sevilla and the great prelates and nobles of the south.
First came Cardinal Mendoza, followed by the distinguished
godfathers, the Papal Legate, the Ambassador of Venice, the Constable
of Castile and the Count of Benavente, to the accompaniment of music
of horns of many sorts, from the highest piccolo to the throatiest
basso profundo. Afterwards there was a great feast, during which the
baby's godmother, the duchess of Medina Sidonia, gave her tabard to
King Fernando's pet dwarf, Alegre.
	A moth later Queen Isabel went to Mass to present the Prince
to God, as the Infant Jesus had been presented in Jerusalem by His
mother. She sat on a white pony with a gilded saddle and caparisons
of gold and silver, her silk skirt was woven with pearls. His majesty
rode before her on a small silver grey horse with trappings of gold
on black velvet and the King's sombrero was bordered with thread of
	Three weeks later there was a total eclipse of the sun.
People indulged in much speculation as to what it might mean. Some
feared that it boded ill for little Prince Juan.
	About this time the Bishop of Cadiz reported on his
investigation of the activities of the Conversos in Seville. He
confirmed the Queen's suspicion that most of them were secret Jews
who were continually winning over Christians to Judicial practices
and were "on the point of preaching Moses"even from
Catholic pulpits. The Bishop felt that the ordinary criminal courts
of the state could not distinguish between the hypocritical
Conversos, who were undermining Church and State, and the sincere
Christian Jews. Serious as the crimes against faith might begin their
effects on public and private morality, they were so secret that they
were difficult to prove. An ordinary judge could not always give an
intelligent judgment on the religious views of the accused. It would
take a court composed of men skilled in theology to pass judgment on
this orthodoxy before the State could proceed against him. The bishop
recommended that the Inquisition, which had served in a similar
crisis in southern France long before, be established in Castile. 
	To understand the bitterness of Spanish Christians against
the secret Jews, who pretended to be Catholics, one must remember
sympathizers in the United States were suspected and often persecuted
during the World War. Unfortunately for the Jews, it was only too
evident that Isabel and Fernando were on the eve of another long and
dangerous conflict with the power in Granada.
	Muley Baou'l Hassan had just retorted to their final demand
for the tribute: "The Kings of Granada who paid tribute are dead
and so are the Kings that received it."
	Isabel and Fernando, having neither money nor men to enforce
their demands, were obliged to conclude a three year truce with him.
The ink on the treaty was hardly dry when Muley led four thousand
cavalry and fifty thousand infantry into Christian Murcia, destroyed
crops, drove off cattle and taking the Christian town of Ciefa by
storm, put all the inhabitants, men, women and children to the sword.
	Isabel and Fernando were compelled to endure this atrocity in
patience. But they solemnly renewed the promise they had made in
their marriage agreement nine years before, never to rest while the
Moors held any power in Spain and they were resolved that if possible
they would commence the final war of reparation for Christian Spain
when the truce expired in 1481.
	It was evident that when war began the two chief bases of
operation must be Sevilla and Cordoba. In both places the Conversos
were so numerous, rich and powerful, that it was felt their influence
would be disastrous to the Crusade. Isabel therefore, decided that
before the war began, she would find some means of making sure of the
loyalty of the secret Jews. Yet she strove to be just and merciful.
When Cardinal Mendoza suggested that many of the Conversos had no
opportunity to be decently instructed in Christian doctrine, she
allowed him to write a catechism, which he caused to be read and
explained in all the churches of Sevilla
 and nearby places, in the hope of bringing back to the faith, the
Conversos who had returned to Judaism. This labor occupied His
Eminence for two years.
	Meanwhile, the Queen secretly applied to Pope Sixtus IV for
permission to organize an inquisitorial court at Sevilla, the
inquisitors to be appointed by the Crown. It would be useful to have
in case she decided to establish the Inquisition.
	Chapter XII
	Isabel was a humane and charitable woman. Mother of five
children, she abhorred all unnecessary shedding of human blood and
could not even tolerate the bull fighting which was the favorite
sport of her own people. How then could such a woman establish the
Inquisition, in whose flames two thousand persons of Jewish descent
were to perish during her lifetime alone? The usual observations
about the complexities of human character will hardly suffice to
explain this paradox; nor will the much repeated insinuation that she
was "priest-ridden," especially when on considers that her
confessor at this period was of Jewish descent and disapproved of the
Inquisition. To urge such a woman to so radical a step, there must
have been something in the circumstances confronting her which she
considered more than commonly sinister.
	For the Inquisition as such, she had no more affection than a
modern judge or governor has for the electric chair. But like most of
the wisest people of her time, she held that it was the lesser to two
evils. It was an extension of the police powers of the State to meet
war time emergency. The very existence of the State was involved and
the State had the right and the duty to protect itself. We may pass
judgment on her if we choose but, before doing so, we should try to
see her world as she saw it and not from the viewpoint of other
places and other centuries. 
	Most of her biographers have emphasized what she and her
people did to the Jews. But if the resolute Queen could speak in her
own defense, she might fairly claim that as ruler of a Christian
country, she felt obliged to take into consideration also what the
Jews had done and were doing to her own people. She did not believe
that the Jewish version of the history of civilization which they
hated, should be accepted as impartial and definitive.
	As a Christian, she knew that it was wrong to persecute
anyone, but as a monarch she owed it to her subjects to protect them
from all enemies within and without. Among these enemies she reckoned
the Jews. The same spiritual blindness that had led them to reject
and crucify the Messiah had caused them in their later wanderings, to
seek the destruction of the Church He had founded and the subversion
and enslavement of every society based upon its teachings. Wherever
they went, these unhappy people, as if doomed to repeat the same
exact errors until they should acknowledge Jesus as the Christ,
seemed to exemplify His prophecies, "I came not to send peace,
but the sword...He who is not with Me is against Me." 
	Wherever they had gone in every age, they had passed through
similar cycles of experience, toleration, prosperity and persecution.
Always they had made common cause with the enemies of the Catholic
Church and of Christian order and peace. They had sought to kill the
first Christians. They had stoned Saint Stephen to death, they had
clamored for the blood of Saint Paul and they had demanded the head
of Saint James. They were so turbulent against the earliest
Christians in Rome that the Emperor Claudius expelled them from the
city. (1) They slew 90,000 Christians when the Persians took
Jerusalem and caused 35,000 others to be dragged away into slavery.
In every country, as Jewish writers still boast, they encouraged
those Christian division which are called heresies. It was among the
Jews of Mecca and Medina that Mohammed developed the new sect that
was to be the scourge of Christendom for a thousand years. It was the
Jews of Spain, as the Jewish Encyclopedia records, who invited the
Mohammedans to enter the peninsula and possess themselves of the
property and lives of the Christians. Under the tolerant rule of the
Mohammedans," writes Lewis Browne, a modern Jew, "the Jews
began to prosper. They who had been poor and bedraggled peddlers for
centuries now became wealthy and powerful traders. They traveled
everywhere, from England to India, from Bohemia to Egypt. THEIR
	But for the Jews, in fact, there might never have been an
Inquisition. For the Albigensian heresy, which sought to destroy the
Catholic Church and which it succeeded, would have corrupted and
overthrown the whole social structure of Europe, grew up in the part
of southern France which had been called Judea Secunda because its
Jewish population was so large and influential. "If the truth
were fully known," says Lewis Browne, "Probably it would be
found that the learned Jews in Provence were in large part
responsible for the existence of this free thinking sect. The
doctrines which the Jews had been spreading throughout the land for
years could not but have helped to undermine the Church's
power." It was to meet the questions raised by the Albigenses or
Cathari, that the Inquisition was first established.
	These secretaries were Manichean pessimists who taught that
life was evil, being the creation not of God but of the Devil. That
marriage therefore was evil, since it propagated life and that a
woman with child was possessed by the Devil. Teaching and practicing
suicide on principle, they frequently smothered or stared their sick 
and even put infants to death. Such ideas and practices were a
challenge to both Church and State. Because the ordinary State courts
could not cope with the evil, Pope Innocent III, one of the greatest
statesmen of  all time, permitted the establishment of the courts of
the Inquisition, in which Dominican priests, well versed in theology,
decided whether or not the opinions of the accused were contrary to
the teachings of Christ and His Church and if so, whether they
belonged to the peculiarly sinister and anti social group known as
the Cathari. As for the Jews themselves aloof  from it and so escaped
the chastisement of the Inquisition, but not the crueller vengeance
of the infuriated mobs who rose against them from time to time. (The
first persecution of Christians under the Roman Empire was instigated
by the Jews. Until a few years ago historians generally accepted the
statement of Tacitus that Nero had the followers of Christ thrown to
the lions to divert suspicion from himself after he had caused Rome
to be burned. But modern scholarship, availing itself of other
sources (Suetonius Clement of Rome, Tertullian) has made it appear
that the persecution had nothing to do with the fire. Pooppaea, the
wife of Nero, is known to have protected the Jews and was a Jewess.
Several fairly recent historians believe that the Jews of Rome,
working through her and others of their religion in the Imperial
court, directed Nero's attention to the Christians and persuaded him
that they were guilty of various crimes. Vide Leon Hardy Canfield,
The Early Persecution of the Christians, New York 1913; J.F. Bacchus,
The Neronian Persecution, Dublin Review, 1908, pp. 287 et seq;
Allard, Histoire des persecutions pendant les deux preieres siecles,
Paris, 1903, pp. 43 et seq.; E. Th. Klette, Die Christenkatastrophe
unter Nero, Tubingen, 1907, p. 18, the other referenes given by Mr.
Canfield in this interesting and scholarly study. Jewish scholars
admit  the animus of the Jews against the Christians and the
extraordinary favor shown to the former by Poppaea: for example, vide
Ismar Elbogen, History of the Jews, Berlin, English Translation,
Cincinnati, 1926))
	The Inquisition itself never condemned anyone to death. The
Inquisitors would go to a certain city and summon
all heretics to confess within a fixed time, usually thirty days. All
who came forward and gave u their anti social opinions and practices
were treated leniently. Two witnesses were required to convict a
person of heresy. The defendant had no witnesses, for no one would
dare testify for a suspected heretic, for fear of being suspected
himself. The accused was allowed to name all his enemies and if his
accuser's names were among them, their testimony was rejected.
	A prisoner who was found guilty and refused to abjure was
handed over by the inquisitors to the State, which then proceeded
against him as against a traitor. In practice about two persons out
of a hundred accused were put to death. Others were given penances,
some were imprisoned and some were freed. Torture was used as a last
resort, the strappado or the rack, both cruel torments, but efforts
were made to restrict their use. Eymeric, one of the most famous
inquisitors, said torture was an unsafe and ineffective method of
discovering the truth and recommended that it be used very cautiously
and only after careful consideration. The inquisitorial courts were
usually more humane than the civil courts, all of which used torture.
Obviously innocent persons must sometimes have been driven by pain to
confess. Cruel and fanatical men undoubtedly perpetrated some
atrocities. But in general the inquisitorial judges were selected
with great care and were probably more intelligent and conscientious
than the judges of the State courts.
	Isabel was wondering how the Inquisition would succeed in
Castile, where so many Jews professing to be Catholics were more or
less secretly trying to undermine and destroy the Catholic faith. She
turned the problem over in her mind as she rode along the river from
Sevilla to Cordoba.
	Chapter XIII
	The Queen put an end to anarchy at Cordoba by the same stern
measures she had found so effective at Sevilla and then turned her
attention to other matters. 
	Carrillo, she was told, was urging Alfonso V to make a second
invasion of Castile. Isabel retaliated by putting an embargo on his
revenues and proclaiming that she intended to ask the Pope to remove
him. Carrillo, deserted by his friends, was compelled to ask pardon
of the Queen, who once more forgave him and allowed him to retire to
his estates.
	Alfonson V was no longer a serious menace to Castile. He had
gone to France hopeful of obtaining the aid of Louis XI, but the
"Spiker King" was already being won over by overtures made
on behalf of Fernando and Isabel by that skillful statesman, Cardinal
Mendoza and in 1479 he concluded a treaty of peace with them at St.
Jean de Luz. When Alfonso discovered that Louis had deserted him, he
wrote to Portugal, abdicating his throne, explaining that he intended
to enter a monastery. He changed his mind and returned home just in
time to see the people celebrating the coronation of his son. But Dom
Joao dutifully permitted his father to remount the throne.
	Alfonso's pride might have prolonged the quarrel with Castile
indefinitely, had he not been persuaded by his sister-in-law, Dona
Beatriz, to discuss terms of peace. Encouraged in her design by Pope
Sixtus, Dona Beatriz wrote to Queen Isabel secretly, asking for a
meeting, in which perchance, "with the aid of God and of the
glorious Virgin His Mother, they would find a way to restore peace
and concord" to the two kingdoms. Isabel although she had an
eight month old baby and again expecting a third child in November
and although troops of Alfonso were again invading her territory and
killing her subjects, went to Alcantara to meet her aunt. After
several days of conversation, the two talented women drew up a treaty
providing that Alfonso should give up his claim to Castile and
promise never to marry La Beltraneja, who must agree to marry Prince
Juan when he became old enough, or to enter a convent. 
	Prince Alfonso, younger son of the King of Portugal, would
marry the Princess Isabel, then nine years old. It took Dona Beatriz
nine months to persuade Alfonso to accept so humiliating a document
and she did so only with the help of Dom Joao, who bluntly told his
father that the war against Castile had been unjust and that all his
misfortunes were a punishment from God. Peace was concluded at last
and Isabel had nothing more to fear from the west.
	She was still disturbed however, about here enemies in the
south and about the European situation in general. It was quite
evident that the Mohammedans were making a determined attempt to
conquer all Europe. In 1479 Mohammed II, the Grand Turk, advanced by
sea to lay waste to the Island of Rhodes. No one knew where his next
stopping place might be. When the true with Granada expired in 1481,
the Moors there were likely to join in t6he general offensive against
Christendom. Isabel felt that she had no time to lose. After the
birth of her third child, the ill-fated Juan the Mad, in November
1479, she proceeded to Toledo and there, at a Cortes which met in the
spring of 1480, she drew into her own hands the last strands of
authority and made the crown supreme. She reorganized the royal
council by introducing lawyers and other middle class representatives
to check the power of the great nobles. She divided her government
into five departments, which maintained contact with local officials
and brought about uniformity of administration everywhere.
Furthermore, she had experts compile a new and enlightened code of
laws, a great improvement on the ones her ancestors had passed.
	But the most unpopular task she had set herself was the
recovery of the last of the lands and revenues illegally given to the
nobles by King Enrique. She entrusted this unpleasant duty to Frey
Hernando and altogether enriched the royal treasury by thirty million
maravedis. Five years before, such and attempt would have been the
signal for a revolution, but Isabel and Fernando had become absolute
	In private life Queen Isabel was humble and devout. On the
advise of Cardinal Mendoza she chose Talavera for her confessor. He
was prior of the Convent of Santa Maria and a holy and learned man
whose grandparents had been converted Jews. When she first went to
confession to him, he sat in a chair and motioned her to kneel by his
side. This was something new to Isabel, whose confessors in deference
to her rank, had always knelt beside her and she said in surprise:
	"Reverend Father, it is customary for both to
kneel." "My daughter," replied Fray Hernando,
"the confessional is God's tribunal, in which there are no kings
or queens, but only human sinners and I, unworthy as I am, am His
minister. It is right that I sit and you kneel."
	The Queen knelt and confessed her sins. Afterwards she said:
	"This is the confessor I have been looking for,"
and for several years she retained Talavera for her spiritual
adviser. Nevertheless in her public capacity she insisted upon the
respect she felt was due to the Crown, both for herself and for King
Fernando. One evening when she had retired early, while the King in
the next room was playing a long game of chess with his uncle the
Admiral Don Fadrique, she heard that nobleman exclaim, "Aha! I
have beaten my nephew!" Hastily throwing a wrap about her, the
Queen hurried to the tapestry at the door and said frigidly:
"Don Fadrique, my lord the King has no relatives or friends, he
has only servants and vassals."
	When the Admiral's son, named after him, had a quarrel in the
Queen's palace with young Ramir Nunez de Guzman, she was just as
severe with him as if he had not been related to the royal family.
She commanded him to remain in his father's house and not to leave
without her permission. Meanwhile she gave a safe conduct to Don
Ramir. A few days later Don Ramir was attacked by asked men and
severely beaten. Queen Isabel, believing young Donfadrique guilty,
mounted a horse in the pouring rain and rode twenty miles to
Simancas, where she demanded that the Admiral surrender the culprit.
When he explained that his son was not there, the angry Queen took
form him the keys of his castle and returned to Valladolid. Next day
she was so ill that she could not get out of bed, but she persisted
in her search for Don Fadrique and when he was found, had him marched
through the streets and locked up like any ordinary criminal, in
solitary confinement. The only concession she would make to King
Fernando, who pleaded for his relative, was to exile Don Fadrique to
	Isabel and Fernando completed the organization of their
government not a moment too soon for in 1480, when Mohammed II was
repulsed by the valor of the Knights of St. John at Rhodes, he threw
all Europe into consternation by swooping down upon the shores of
Italy. His crews ravaged the coast of Apulia and on August 11, he
took by storm the city of Otranto in the kingdom of Naples. Of the
twenty-two thousand inhabitants the barbarians bound twelve thousand
with ropes and thus helpless, but them to death with terrible
tortures. They slew all the priests in the city. They sawed in two
the aged Archbishop of Otrano, whom they found praying before the
Altar. On a hill outside the city, now known as Martyr's Hill, they
butchered captives who refused to become Mohammedans and threw their
corpses to the dogs.
	Pope Sixtus appealed to the Italian princes in these solemn terms:
	"If the faithful, especially the Itanians, wish to
preserve their lands, their houses, their wives, their children,
their liberty and their lives; if they wish to maintain that Faith
into which we are regenerated, let them take up their arms and
	The apathy of the Italian princes was incredible. King
Ferrante of Naples was at war with Florence and his son Alfonso, Duke
of Calabria, was 150 leagues away in Tuscany, fighting in the Tuscan
war. Alfonso frantically marched to the defense of his dominions and
almost unaided saved Pope Sixtus, who had the sacred vessels melted
to obtain money for the crusade, he besieged the Turks in Otranto and
recaptured the city.
	On hearing of the atrocity in Italy, Isabel immediately sent
the whole Castilian fleet of twenty-two vessels to Italian waters to
assist in the recapture of Otranto and to protect King Fernando's
kingdom of Sicily. Then she sent royal officers to the cities of the
north to raise a fleet powerful enough to sweep the Turks from the
	Panic began tow sweep over the Spanish kingdoms. Men were
asking what would happen if the Turks came form the east and the
Moors of Granada took the offensive in the south against Andalusia.
Castile was evidently on the eve of war. It would be a war in which
she would need every ounce of her strength. YET THERE WERE SECRET
FEARED MOHAMMEDANS. Isabel felt that the time had come to establish
that unity which every nation in a state of war considers
	Not six weeks after the fall of Otranto, Queen Isabel decided
to avail herself of the permission of Pope Sixtus had given her two
years before, to establish the Inquisition and on September 26, 1480,
she and Fernando signed an order making it effective. The double
signature: "Yo, el Rey, Yo, la Reyna" marked the beginning
of the last chapter in the slow resurrection of Christian Spain and
of a new and sad one in the weary annals of the children of Yehudah.
	Chapter XIV
	Whoever can understand the story of the Jews will begin
perhaps to understand the history of the world. This extraordinary
race, gifted with intelligence, will and a remarkably solidarity
which usually resists all attempts at assimilation, has repeated its
strange adventure in country after country and in century after
century. Time after time these wanderers, who seem to have been
miraculously preserved as unwilling witnesses to the Crucifixion,
have entered a country, poor and wrenched, have been welcomed with
kindness, have attained wealth and power over their neighbors with
astonishing rapidity and finally, when they seem on the very point of
building a New Jerusalem on the ruins of the civilization into whose
heart they had penetrated, have been turned upon by the more numerous
Goyim about them and shorn of their pre-eminence, often with the
utmost barbarity and cruelty.
	This happened in Mohammedan kingdom of Fez and it happened in
the Mohammedan city of Granada, which at one time was called
"the city of the Jews" until the Moors rose against them on
December 30, 1066, and slew four thousand; while one of the caliphs
expelled all the Jews from Granada.
	Something very similar was happening in Medieval Christian
Spain. Whether the Jews first went to Spain after the destruction of
Jerusalem, which was prophesied by Christ, or whether they ad been
there eve before the Crucifixion, is disputed. But certainly they
were present in large numbers early in the Christian Era, under the
rule of the Aryan Visigoths who were Christians, but not Catholics.
CONDEMNED TO SLAVERY and even after their liberation were repressed
by the cruel provisions of the Visigothic Code. In spite of all this
they prospered and by the beginning of the eighth century they were
so rich and powerful in all the principal cities that when in 709
	The gradual reconquest of the peninsula by the Christians,
who had long since returned to the Catholic fold with the dying out
of the old Aryan heresy, did not disturb the Jews. When St. Fernando
recaptured Sevilla in 1224 A.D., he gave them four Moorish mosques to
convert into synagogues. He allowed them one of the pleasantest
sections for their homes and demanded only that they refrain from
insulting the Christian religion and from making converts among the
Christians. The Jews observed neither of these conditions, yet
several of the later kings, especially those of lukewarm faith or
those in need of money, shoed them high favor and Alfonso VIII made
one of them his treasurer.
	Toward the end of the thirteenth century the Jews were so
powerful in the Christian kingdoms that they had almost brought the
reconquest to an end. There must have been in all Spain from four to
five million of them out a total population of twenty-five to thirty
millions. So great was the influence of the Jews that the laws
against blasphemy could not be enforce against them. It was so plain
that they were above the law that some of the Albigenses, who had
gone from southern France to Spain, used to circumcise themselves, so
that they might teach freely as Jews the heresy for which they had
been punished as Christians. 
	In a Europe which on the whole abhorred usury as a sin, for
as such the Catholic Church has always regarded it, the Jews were
almost the only bankers and money lenders and little by little the
capital and commerce of the country passed into their hands. They
generally charged twenty percent interest in Aragon and
thirty-three-and-one-third percent in Castile. During the famine of
1326 they demanded forty percent interest on money lent to the town
of Cuenca to buy wheat. The citizens with taxes to pay, the farmers
with no money to buy wheat for his planting, the burgher held for
ransom by a robber baron turned in desperation to the Jewish money
lender and became his economic slave. By lending money to the kings
the Jews also acquired control of the government. The common people
hated them because they often bought from the King the privilege of
taxation and wrung all the money they could from the citizens. Now
and then a massacre occurred. 
	To avert such evils the Church attempted to prevent the
employment of Jews in public offices; but in vain. Certain kings
found it more convenient to borrow from the Jews than to listen to
either the people or the Church. Under Pedro the Cruel of Castile,
who was denounced by Pope Urban I as a friend of the Jews and Moors
and a slayer of Christians, the Jews had complete control of the
government and kept it until Pedro was slain by Henry Trastamara, the
great great grandfather of Queen Isabel.
	When the Black Death slew half the population of Europe in
two years, the Jews suffered worse than the rest, for the crazed
populace accused them of having caused the pestilence by poisoning
the wells and commenced to slay them all over Europe. Pope Clement VI
denounced the accusations against the Jews as lies, pointing out that
the plague had been just as deadly in lands where no Jews lived and
sternly threatened to excommunicate the fanatics. But the mobs
continued to kill Jews.
	In Castile in 1391, thousands were massacred. As a result
many Jews embraced Christianity and became known as Conversos of
Morrano. Thirty-five thousand were converted by the marvelous
eloquence of St. Vincent Ferrer, who traveled through Spain,
preaching to them. After one of his sermons, four-thousand were
baptized in Toledo in one day. Thus there came into being a new class
of Jewish Christians, some of whom were sincere, but large numbers of
whom, while attending Mass on a Sunday, secretly continued to attend
the synagogue and to eat kosher food.
	As professing Christians, the secret Jews were now free from
the restrictions imposed upon their brothers of the synagogue and
could intermarry with any of the leading families of Spain.
Furthermore, a new highly important field was opened to them, for as
"Christians" they could become priests, to dedicate their
sons to the Church to show their loyalty to their new religion, with
the result that in Isabel's time, they controlled and exploited the
Catholic Church in Spain to an astonishing degree. Many of the
bishops were of Jewish decent. There were in Spain many Catholic
priests who were secretly Jews and who made a mockery of the Mass and
of the sacraments thy pretended to administer. One such priest for
example, never gave absolution when he heard confessions. Naturally
Catholics resented these sacrileges bitterly and some blamed the Jews
exclusively for the prevalent corruption in the Church, ignoring such
other factors as the Black Death and the exile of the Popes at
	The Conversos oddly enough, became the leaders in persecuting
the poor despised Jews who had clung to the Law of Moses at the risk
of their lives and the most cruel and discriminatory laws were passed
by legislatures dominated by these New Christians. The Conversos were
even more detested by the Old Christians than the Jews of the
synagogue were. They offended their neighbors by keeping various
Jewish customs, such as cooking their meat in oil instead of lard.
Many of them made a mockery of the sacraments and when, out of
deference to public opinion, they went to confession, they usually
lied to the confessor.
	"Usually they were usurious people, of many wiles and
deceits," wrote Bernaldez, a chronicler of the time, "for
they all lived an easy occupations and offices, and in buying and
selling they have no conscience where Christians are concerned. Never
would they undertake the occupations of tilling the soil or digging
or cattle-raising, nor would they teach their children anything
except holding public offices and sitting down to earn enough to eat
with little labor. Many of them in these realms in a short time
acquired very great fortunes and estates, since they only gained at
the expense of their enemies, according to the command of God in the
departure of the people of Israel to rob the Egyptians."
	Queen Isabel, facing a long and dangerous war with Granada,
felt that the time had come to destroy the power of the secret Jews
as a kingdom within the kingdom. Cardinal Mendoza's catechism had
failed to bring about the conversions he had hoped for, it had only
stirred the Conversos to new laughter and new blasphemies. Finally,
one cool day in September, the Queen unlocked one of the cunningly
carved wood chests in which her state papers were kept and drew from
it a document that had reposed there in profound secrecy since the
last days of 1478. It was a piece of parchment, fastened with a
leaden seal hung on threads of colored silk and bore the signature of
Pope Sixtus IV. It took note of the intention of the King and Queen
to complete the liberation of Spain from the Moors. It noted that
many Jews who had voluntarily become Christians had returned to
"the principles and ordinances of Jewish superstition and
falsehood," and "not content with their own blindness, were
infecting others with the same errors," so that on account of
their crimes Spain had been brought to a state bordering on anarchy.
The Pope therefore, permitted the King and Queen to appoint two or
three bishops or other well educated men of high character in each
city or diocese to inquire into the opinions of the Jewish
Christians, with a view to bringing back to the true faith those who
had relapsed into Judaism.
	It would seem from the text of the Pope's letter that he
intended the Inquisition to be a temporary protection for Spain
during the crusade against the Moors and had no idea that it would
become an instrument of royal supremacy for three centuries. Pope
Sixtus later complained that the Spanish ambassador at Rome had
tricked him into granting the bull by misrepresenting the situation
in Castile. Had he known the length to which Isabel and Fernando
would proceed, he would probably never have granted them permission
to appoint the inquisitors and to control their activities. 
	But Isabel and Fernando were so bent upon gaining full
control of their kingdoms that they issued a decree, appointing two
inquisitors, Fray Juan de San Martin, bachelor of theology and Fray
Miguel de Morillo, master of theology, giving them to understand that
they were responsible not to the Pope, but to the royal crown. The
Inquisition, as they planned it, was religious in form only. Its
judges were to be Dominican monks, but the monks were to be servants
of the State and not of the Church. Thus Queen Isabel, through all
her life a most devout Catholic, was carried on the tide of events
toward a dangerous shoal on which many kings had come to grief.
Perhaps her attitude toward the Jews was inevitable. She was after
all, the daughter of that uncompromising Portugese Queen who had
pursued De Luna, the friend of Jews and Conversos, to his doom.
	Queen Isabel was the girl who had turned with disgust from
the immoralities of Enrique's court, where the Conversos had held the
Palm, who had shuddered at the bare thought of being embraced by that
lecherous Converso Don Pedro Giron; who had sickened on hearing men
accuse that other Converso Villena, of poisoning her brother Alfonso.
Like her ancestors, William the Conqueror and Henry II, she was
possessed of an iron will which, once it had marked out an objective,
was not easily turned aside. She, who had ordered the execution of so
many thieves and murderers in the jew ridden city of Sevilla, was not
likely to hesitate over putting to death some of those who were
boring within the State on the very eve of a life and death struggle
for independence. She had not forgotten that after the Massacres of
1473, the Conversos of Cordoba had attempted to purchase Gibraltar
from King Enruque, with the intention, as was generally believed, of
using it as a base to bring new hordes of Moors from Africa to
reconquer all Spain. She believe too, that in proceeding against the
Conversos she was substituting a legal procedure for the cruel
massacres by which the mob periodically punished them and was
protecting the sincere Christians among them from unjust suspicion
and persecution.
	It remained to be seen whether the Queen was powerful enough
to enforce her will. Her court was full of powerful Conversos. Her
closest friend Beatriz, had married one of them. Her confessor and
secretaries had Jewish ancestors on one side or the other. In
Fernando's court in Aragon the secret Jews were even more dominant.
In fact his government, as he had inherited it from his father, was
in the hands of Conversos, such as the millionaire lawyer Luis de
Santangel, a descendant of Rabbi Azarias Zinello. It would be strange
if these shrewd and powerful politicians did not make every effort to
dissuade the King and queen from the step they were contemplating and
secretly place in their way every possible obstacle. 
	Chapter XV
	When Morillo and San Martin arrived in Sevilla late in
October, the rich Conversos of the city threw so many difficulties in
their way that, as late as December 27, Fernando and Isabel found it
necessary to issue a sharp command to all officials to render every
possible aid to their Inquisitors. Meanwhile the latter had been
taking much secret evidence and had begun to make arrests. The
Conversos, thoroughly alarmed, at last began to flee from Queen
Isabel's audiences. Many of them went to the country estates of great
nobles, to whim they paid money for protection. But the two
Inquisitors issued a proclamation January 2, 1481, commanding all the
great lords, even the powerful Marques of Cadiz, to deliver up any
strangers within their lands under pain of the most grievous
penalties. The nobility hastened to comply. Times had changed indeed
since the days of Enrique. The fortress of Triasa, across the river
from Sevilla, held in its gloomy dungeons, below the water level,
some of the richest and most powerful men and women of the beautiful
city. Trials commenced at once.
	Since there was no longer any doubt of the Queen's
intentions, several of the most powerful Conversos met in the
Catholic Church of San Salvador to discuss means for protecting
themselves. Catholic priests, friars, magistrates, government
official, all of Jewish descent and secret enemies of the Catholic
Church, were present. Diego de Susan, a rabbi whose fortune was
estimated at ten million maravedis, demanded in a fiery speech that
they resist the Inquisition by force. "Are we not the principal
men of this city?" he cried. "Let us assemble troops and if
they come to take us, let us start an uprising with the troops and
the people. We will kill them and avenge ourselves on our
enemies!" All applauded and committees were formed to collect
money, to buy arms and to raise soldiers.
	Susan had a daughter, one of the most beautiful women of
Sevilla, who had a Christian lover. She told him the secret and he
reported it to the Inquisitors. The chief conspirators were seized.
In the house of one of them, the major-domo of the Cathedral, weapons
enough to arm a hundred men were found hidden. Susan and his wealthy
accomplices were tried before a jury of lawyers. Several of them who
confessed were given penances to perform, according to the degree of
their impenitent heretics and were turned over by the Inquisitors to
be secular officials of the Crown.
	The first auto-da-fe in Castile, was held February 6, 1481.
The weather was damp and only a few stragglers followed the
procession, for the pestilence had returned and the people were
afraid of catching it. Two by two the civil officers and friars,
followed by the conspirators guarded by troops, marched over the
bridge across the Guadalaquivar to the market place of Sevilla and
after Mass was said in the Cathedral, the repentant Judaizers
received their penances and were reconciled to the church. The
assembly left the Cathedral and the auto-da=fe, or act of faith, was
	Afterwards the six unrepentant conspirators were taken by
officials of the city to Camp de Talbada, beyond the wall and there,
tied to stakes, were burned. Susan's execution was three days later.
His is said to have become reconciled to the Church just before his
death. His property was confiscated by the Crown, with that of
several of the other conspirators. It was now becoming apparent that
Isabel and her astute husband were using their new powers to take
away from the secret Jews money which had been gained, in part at
least, by profiteering and usury at the expense of Christians and
using it to prepare for the final crusade for Christian independence.
But if the fate of Susan and his friends seems barbarous, it must be
remembered that in other countries where there was no Inquisition,
any plot to resist royal authority would have been followed by cruel
	Thousands of Conversos now fled in panic in all directions,
some to Portugal, some to Italy, where the Jews in times of
persecution had never failed to find a protector in the Pope. Many of
them were captured leaving Sevilla however and seven hundred of them
who confessed and were reconciled to the Church, marched as penitents
in a long procession.
	The plague was now raging with violence. It may have been a
less virulent form of the Black Death and in some respects it
resembles what we know as the bubonic plague. The first symptom was a
bluish black boil under the arm pit or on the balm of the hand,
followed by headaches, vertigo, deafness, pains and convulsions,
swelling of glands, buboes, and coughing up blood. The victim usually
died in about ten days. At the first appearances of the dreaded
disease, all who could fled from the city. Those who had to remain
built great bonfires on public squares and other open spaces to
purify the air, as they supposed, and prevent the spread of the
infection. People marched in processions through the cities, doing
public penance for their sins. The dead were buried by monks or by
members of burial societies organized by pious Catholic laymen, for
no one else would dare touch the corpses and even closest realities
fled in terror from the blackened remains of the victims.
	In Sevilla alone that summer, fifteen thousand people died of
the plague, even the Inquisition must have seemed little more than an
incident, by comparison. From the low, white-washed houses came the
wailings of the bereaved. No women laughed in the balconies, the
gaudy flowers went to seed uncut, the oranges shriveled on the trees.
Every day there were grim, silent processions of penitentiaries in
black hoods, stalking through the crooked streets with liters of
	The Conversos begged Diego de Merlo, one of the Inquisitors'
court, to let them leave the city until the pest abated. He
mercifully granted the request and eight thousand Conversos escaped.
The Inquisitors now moved to Aracena, where shortly afterwards
twenty-three heretics were delivered to the secular arm and burned by
the State. When they returned to Sevilla, they announced a term of
grace for two months during which time any heretic who voluntarily
confessed would be pardoned and given a merciful penance, if he told
all he knew of other Judaizers, or apostates. Hundreds of Conversos
now rushed in to confess. Some in their fears betraying friends, and
relatives, even mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and
daughters. In one auto-de-fe alone fifteen hundred of them, each
wearing a yellow garment with a crimson cross on it, were reconciled
to the Church.
	Even the Inquisitors were astonished to find how large a
percentage of the Conversos were engaged in undermining the Christian
religion, which they outwardly professed. They suggested to the King
and Queen an extension of the Inquisition to other cities, wherever
Jewish influence was strong. Four Inquisitors began investigations at
Cordoba in 1482. The first auto-de-fe was held there in 1483, and in 
    February of the following year the treasurer of the Catholic
Cathedral there was burned, his servants having killed an officer of
the Inquisition when he was arrested.
	By the end of 1484, four tribunals of the Inquisition had
been established. Later on a court was opened at Segovia, in spite of
the vigorous protests of the Bishop, Juan Arias de Avila, the same
who had condemned the sixteen Jews to be burned several years before
and who had met Queen Isabel at the gates on that hot day in 1476.
One of the first acts of the Inquisitors was to condemn his mother
and father, then dead, as secret Jews and heretics. The bishop drove
them out of the diocese and sent a furious remonstrance to Queen
Isabel. When she refused to interfere, the Bishop, fearing that the
bones of his ancestors would be publicly burned, dug them up and hid
them. He then fled to Rome and placed himself under the protection of
Pope Sixtus, to whom he seems to have declared that the Queen's chief
purpose in establishing the Inquisition had been to obtain money, for
she wrote her ambassadors at Rome, making denial of this charge and
telling them what they were to say to His Holiness to offset the
complaints of the Bishop.
	Wildly exaggerated accounts of the Spanish Inquisition have
been circulated during the past four centuries by writers hostile to
Spain and to the Catholic Church. The truth seems to be that in all
of Isabel's reign about two thousand persons, including not only
secret Jews, but bigamists, blasphemers, church robbers, false
mystical sin other offenders were burned and fifteen thousand
accepted penances and were reconciled to the Church, in all of Spain.
In Sevilla from 1481 to the end of 1488 seven hundred from all parts
of Andalusia were burned, including three priests, three or four
friars and a doctor of divinity, who was a secret Jew and a
persistent enemy of the Church he vowed to serve.
	Considerable sums were collected in fines and confiscations.
Fernando and Isabel commanded that these should be used for no
purpose except for the forthcoming holy war against the Moors. 
	Public opinion undoubtedly approved of the Inquisition. The
chroniclers of the time took it as a matter of course, dismissing it
briefly in a few pages. The Queen herself believed it to e a
necessary instrument for the salvation of her country and far from
being ashamed of it, always referred to it with pride. She would have
been astonished if she could have foreseen that in later times men
would accuse her of having brought about the intellectual decay of
Spain. She would have resented this and with some reason. For the
intellectual life of Spain was never more vigorous than in the
century after she established the Holy Office.
	It was the period of her thee greatest poets, Cervantes, Lope
de Vega and Calderon, the golden age of her literature. It was the
period when her finest schools and universities were established,
while foreign scholars flocked to Spain and were honored and medicine
and other sciences made their most notable gains. Never were the
industries and commerce of the peninsula so prosperous. Never was
order so well maintained at home and prestige abroad as during the
sixteenth century when Spain became the head of a new empire that
overshadowed all Europe and the Americas. It would be grotesque to
attribute all these results to the Inquisition. But the Inquisition
did not prevent their coming into being and it did make possible the
political unity that enabled the new nation to take advantage of the
opportunities of the changing world. Queen Isabel at one time tried
to induce King Henry VII of England to extend the Holy Office to
England and Henry promised to do so. He failed to keep his promise
however, and the Inquisition remained almost entirely a Spanish
	Chapter XVI
	While Marillo and San Martin were establishing the Holy
Office in Andalusia, Isabel and Fernando were in Aragon, where they
had gone to have Prince Juan recognized as heir by the Cortes and to
dispatch a fleet of fifty vessels from the port of Laredo against the
Moors in Italy. Fortunately for Christendom, the Grand Turk Mohammed
II had died and the Mohammedan offensive had been abandoned for the
time being. The royal party returned to Castile.
	In ten months Queen Isabel had ridden about two thousand
miles on horseback and had attended three parliaments, besides having
conducted all her usual state business. She was expecting the birth
of her fourth child in the summer of 1482.
	She arrived in Medina del Campo early in January, 1482. There
she found waiting for her many complaints against her two
Inquisitors, who had taken the royal commandments only too literally
and had proceeded with a zeal that seemed to some Christians to be
more vindictive than judicial. Anyone who remembers how certain
Germans were suspected and hated during the World War will understand
the position of the Conversos in Spain on the eve of the final
struggle with Mohammedans. The out and out Jews of course were not
troubled by the Inquisition. But if any Christian of Jewish descent
bought his meat of a rabbi, or washed the blood from it in the Jewish
manner, or gave his children Hebrew names, or wore his best clothes
on Saturday instead of Sunday, he was likely to be denounced by his
neighbors and dragged before the Inquisitors to be asked all sorts of
questions. Some of the accused were heretics, but undoubtedly others
who truly meant to be Christians and faithful subjects of the Queen,
even though they clung to certain customs of their ancestors, were
suspected and punished unjustly.
	A great storm of protest seemed also to have been carried to
Rome by the fugitive Conversos, for a month or two after her return,
Queen Isabel received a letter from Pope Sixtus IV dated January 29,
1482, in saying he protested against the abuses of Morillo and San
Martin, saying:
	"The accusation is made that hasty action and disregard
of legal procedure on the part of these Inquisitors have brought
about the unjust imprisonment and even severe torturing of many
innocent persons, who have been unjustly condemned as heretics,
despoiled of their possessions and made to pay the extreme
	Many of the Cardinals, he said, were of the opinion that
Morillo and San Martin ought to be removed from office and the Holy
Father was inclined to do so unless Fernando and Isabel would promise
to make them act legally and justly and would henceforth follow the
Pope's wishes "as Catholic Kings ought" so that they would
"deserve to be commended before God and men." 
	Queen Isabel felt keenly the indignant rebuke of Pope Sixtus,
but before it reached her she had found herself caught up by a
current of dramatic events which pushed the Inquisition in to the
background. The long expected war with Granada had begun at last. On
Christmas Day when a heavy rain pelted the fields of Andalusia and a
tempest raged in the mountains between Christian Spain and Granada,
Muley Abou'l Hassan had taken by storm the town of Zahara, fifteen
miles southeast of Sevilla. This powerful Christian outpost had been
considered impregnable. The walled castle was perched on the top of a
rocky mountain so high that no birds flew there and the clouds
drifted below it, hugging the broken cliffs. The very streets and
many of the houses were hewn out of solid rock. There was only one
gate, at the west, surrounded by massive bulwarks and turrets and the
only approach to it was by a winding steep road so jagged that it
looked like a stairway cut out of granite. But under cover of the
storm, the Moors mounted the wet walls by scaling ladders, entered
the town, slew the defenders and dragged the women and children to
Granada as slaves, killing those who fell in the way. On contemporary
says that the Moors slew all the women and children.
	Isabel and Fernando, three hundred miles to the north,
received the atrocious news days later while they were hearing Mass.
Queen Isabel, whose kingdom slay nearer to Granada than Fernando's,
found herself act to face with one of the greatest crises of her
life. While she sent orders to governors of castles on the frontier
to strengthen their  garrisons and maintain a strict watch, she
steeled herself for what she knew would be a long and difficult task.
She proposed to conquer a rich and fertile kingdom of some three
million Moors, in the center of which, more than half a mile above
sea level, stood the high walled city of Granada, on the slope of the
Sierra Nevada. It was protected on almost every side by high
mountains, commanded by a circle of powerfully fortified cities, many
of them considered unconquerable. No one could lay siege to Granada
without first battering down a score of other walled places. It was
evident that the war would require months and perhaps years of heroic
	Yet, Isabel was resolved to end the Moorish domination in the
south, no matter how long it might take. What all good Castilian
kings had dreamed of doing, what her father had failed to do and
weaklings like her half brother had neglected to do she proposed,
with God's help and Fernando's, to accomplish. The King would lead
the Christian host in the crusade and she, in her magnificent prime
at thirty, would be recruiting agent, commissary, purchaser of
munitions, field nurse, hospitaller and propaganda bureau, all in
one. Her labors in the Portugese War had ben an excellent preparation
for what she now had to do.
	Chapter XVII
	Queen Isabel was at Medina with her husband, making plans for
the war that seemed imminent, when she learned that the Marques of
Cadiz, the same red-bearded young gentleman who had so frankly sought
her pardon in Sevilla in 1477, had precipited the conflict by a
brilliant exploit.
	Don Rodrigo Ponce de Leon came from a long line of crusaders
and living in Andalusia on the Moorish frontier, had been trained
almost from the cradle for the holy war. He had killed Moors at the
age of fourteen, long before he had sacked the city of Sevilla to
avenge himself on the Duke of Medina Sidonia and he was now the
popular hero of the south. A chronicler wrote that he was chaste,
sober, a lover of justice and "the enemy of all flatterers,
liars, traitors and poltroons." He heard Mass every morning and
knelt from beginning to end. Even Moorish women who fell into his
hands were treated with knightly courtesy and respect. He had heard,
with deep chagrin, of the capture of Zahara and when he learned from
a spy that Alhama, a rich and wealthy city situated high on a
fortified rock, was negligently guarded by the Moors and might be
taken by surprise, he decided to capture it, regardless of the fact
that it was twenty miles inside the outposts of Granada. 
	A veteran climber who scaled the walls one dark night
reported that although the town was well guarded, the castle, rising
out of solid rock above, had no sentries. The Maraques sent a message
to Medina to ask permission of the King and Queen to attempt to
surprise this important place.
	On receiving their permission, he assembled a force of 2,400
light cavalry and 3,000 foot and marched, by night only, to a valley
a mile and a half from Alhama. Thirty volunteers scaled the cliff and
the lofty walls, killing guards and opened a gate to admit the
Marques and a handful of his men.
	Fighting desperately for many hours from street to street and
house to house, the crusaders finally won possession of the town,
killing 800 Moors and capturing 3,000. They also released many
Christian captives whom they found loaded with chains in the
dungeons. They were now masters of a rich booty of gold and silver,
rare silks and taffetas, grain, oil and honey, horse and asses of the
best breeds. They remained in Alhama five days, celebrating their
victory. In fact they remained too long, for one morning they looked
out and saw themselves surrounded by an army of 53,000 that Muley
Abou'l Hassan had brought from Granada to recover his fortress. Muley
attempted to storm Alhama, but having no artillery, he failed and was
obliged to undertake a slow siege. 
	Knowing that there were no wells or fountains in the city, he
decided to divert the channel of the river far below from which the
people obtained their water and thus so cause the crusaders to die of
thirst. The Marques and his knights descended through a narrow tunnel
and standing knee keep in the cold current, fought hand to hand with
the Moslems until the river bed was choked with Moorish and Christian
bodies and the stream ran red. The Christian survivors then retreated
slowly before overwhelming numbers. The Saracens diverted all of the
river except a tiny rill that trickled through the dry bed.
	Henceforth, to get even a cupful of water, Dan Rodrigo and
his men had to pass under the archery fire of the Moors and fight
their way step by step to the thin stream, so that every drop of
water was paid for with a drop of precious blood. They seemed doomed
to certain death unless help reached them within a few days. 
	When Isabel and Fernando learned of the perilous situation of
Don Rodrigo, 300 miles away, the King mounted his horse and galloped
day and night to place himself at the head of the Christian army that
was assembling in Andalusia. But it was Don Rodrigo's wife who sent
the first rescue party to Alhama. In her anguish she appealed to her
husband's mortal enemy, The Duke of Medina Sidonia, at his
neighboring estate and the Duke, chivalrously putting aside his old
grudge, gathered together 5,000 cavalry and dashed off to the relief
of Alhama.
	Muley Madeone last attack, but finding the Duke of Sidonia
approaching on his other side, he withdrew during the night, for the
Moors disliked open warfare. Next day the Duke entered Alhama with a
great flourish of trumpets, while Don Rodrigo, with tears in his
eyes, advanced to embrace the man whom he had once sworn to kill.
From that time on the Marques and the Duke were friends and
brothers-in-arms. During the ten years of the war they were two of
the most useful generals in the Christian army. Several other
noblemen who had been fighting one another under King Enrique, now
gave all their energies to the common cause of Castile and of
Christendom and Queen Isabel had no reason to regret her tact and
wisdom in dealing with such high spirited cavaliers.
	Isabel, at the head of the troops of Old Castile, arrived at
Cordoba late in March. A council of war was held to determine whether
Alhama, so dangerously situated, should be retained, or destroyed and
abandoned. Although old border warriors shook their heads, the Queen
declared that she would never dream of giving up the first place she
had conquered and that if it cost labor, money and blood to retain
it, that was only to be expected in war time. Instead of giving up
Alhama, they should now extend their conquest into the heart of the
enemy country. Isabel's council prevailed and it was decided that the
King would lead an army against Loja, the nearest large Moorish city
to Alhama. 
	Meanwhile, as in the Portugese war, Isabel appealed to all
the cities of her kingdoms for troops, money and supplies and she
ordered the fleet that had returned from Italy to the straits of
Gibraltar, to cut off reinforcements to Granada from the Barbary
coast. She was no longer able to go from camp to camp on a horse or
mule, but she continued to carry on an enormous amount of official
business in the palace at C�rdoba until the very day of the birth of
her fourth child, Maria. 
	Kin Fernando was destined in the course of the Moorish War to
become the greatest and most able king of his time, both on the
battlefield and in the council chamber. But, at this period he was
inclined to be too impetuous, as in the Portugese War and against the
advice of Don Rodrigo and others, he advanced too far into broken
ground where he was obliged to scatter his troops on different
elevations separated by ravines, with no room for cavalry or
artillery to work. To make matters worse, the Moors held a height
from which they could dominate the Christian camp. The Marques of
Cadiz stormed this elevation and planted twenty guns there. The Moors
captured it but Don Rodrigo regained it fighting up hill with a
terrible loss of lives.
	King Fernando now admitted that the Marques had been right
and consented to withdraw from before Loja. As the Christians
retreated, the Moors rushed out of the town to attack them and only
the most heroic efforts by Fernando and Don Rodrigo and other
knights, fighting hand to hand in the front of the conflict,
prevented a complete rout. It was a defeated and crestfallen Fernando
who led the remnants of his army back to Cordoba. In spite of glory
that Don Rodrigo had won at Alhama, the first year of the war had
been disastrous.
	Isabel and Fernando now saw clearly that it was not going to
be easy to take Granada and that it would not be sufficient to have
chivalrous Christian warriors with stout arms and brave hearts. Heavy
artillery would be needed and that must come from France, Germany and
Italy. Munitions of war and other supplies would require money. But
for the Inquisition and its fines, the prosecution of the war would
have been hopeless.
	That winter, while she was waiting for the big guns to
arrive, Queen Isabel began to study Latin, so that she might
understand foreign diplomats without having to depend upon
interpreters. It was characteristic of her that within a year she was
able to speak and write Latin correctly, if not elegantly. After
Christmas she went to Madrid to hunt wolves and boars in the
neighboring forests. In the spring she returned to Cordoba, restored
in health, to help the King prepare for the second year's campaign.
But before Fernando could assemble his army, another unforeseen
disaster put an end to Christian hopes for that year. 
	Early in the spring the Marques of Cadiz and others of the
great lords of the south, decided to make a raid on the Axarquia of
Malaga, a winding valley rich in herds and vineyards. They thought
they could collect enormous booty in the valley and then take the
rich city of Malaga by assault. They set out in high spirits, all the
flower of Andalusia chivalry. But the Moors, who had gotten wind of
the attempt, ambushed them one dark night and slew nearly all of
them. Only Don Rodrigo and a handful of others cut their way out and
returned to Cordoba to report the tragedy to the grief stricken
Queen. "All Andalusia" wrote Bernaldez, "was in great
sorrow and there was no drying of the eyes that wept in her and in a
great part of Castile, wherever grief had touched."
	Queen Isabel went into her chapel and remained a long time in
the silence, praying. 
	Chapter XVIII
	Queen Isabel was a devout Christian. In every crisis she
humbly laid her difficulties at the feet of God, but having appealed
to Him with all confidence, she proceeded to do her part with an
energy almost unparalled in history. She had nothing but contempt for
oriental nations of irrestisble fate. She believed that the human
will, under God, was the supreme factor in existence. Her
achievements remind us of the sometimes forgotten fact that women of
talent enjoyed a large measure of independence in the Middle Ages.
Dona Lucia de Madrona was a brilliant teacher of Greek and Latin in
the University of Salamanca. Dona Francisca de Lebrija succeeded her
father as professor of rhetoric at the university of Alcala; St.
Catherine of Siena, by her own efforts, brought about the end of the
Papal exile at Avignon. Women commonly managed large estates and
ruled over cities and even provinces while their husbands were
absent, fighting in the crusades.
	The Mohammedan culture, against which Isabel had commenced a
death struggle for the possession of Spain, did not accord women the
high position they had always occupied in Christian civilization. The
Koran hardly recognized them as human beings. It divided all mankind
into twelve orders, of which the eleventh included robbers,
sorcerers, pirates and drunkards and the twelfth and lowest, women.
In practice the polygamy advocated by Mohammed did reduce the Arab
women to the position of slaves and chattels of men.
	The women of the harem sometimes managed however, to exert
considerable influence over the affairs of their men and it was so
with Muley Aou's Hassan, King of Granada. It was his misfortune that
two of his fairest wives had more brains and ambition than women were
supposed to have. For many years his favorite wife had been a
Christian captive, Isabel de Solis, a blond of such surpassing beauty
that the Moors called her Zoraya, Star of the Morning and her son
Boabdil was the recognized heir to the throne of Granada. His father
Muley however, took unto himself in his old age a new wife named
Ayesh, with the result of course, that Zoraya was jealous and,
fearing that her son would be cheated out of his inheritance, she
provoked a civil war. While Muley was retreating from Alhambra, the
people of Granada locked the gates against him, and proclaimed his
son king.
	Young Bobdil now decided to distinguish himself in a military
way by leading and expediting against the Christian town of Lucerna.
The Court of Cabra intercepted him with a greatly inferior fore and
during the battle in a fog by a river, defeated the Moors and
captured Boabdil.
	The possession of Boabdil gave Fernando, one of the most
skillful and subtle diplomats of his time, an excellent chance to
divide his Mohammedan enemies. He agreed to recognize the Moorish
prince as King of Granada if Boabdil would agree to hold his throne
as vassal to Castile, and pay ransom and an annul tribute. Keeping
Boabdil's son as hostage, the wily Fernando sent the long haired
Moor, with hollow cheeks and mournful eyes, back to Granada, to be a
thorn in the side of his own father. On his arrival however, he found
that the latter had regained control of the city. After a bloody
battle between the two factions, the Prince fled to Almeida.
	Muley now assembled an army of nineteen thousand men and sent
it against Utrera. On the way they met an army of Christian knights
who defeated them with great slaughter on the banks of the Lopera,
September 17, recovering some of the horses and fine armor taken by
the Moors in their victory near Malaga. 
	Isabel and Fernando were at Vittoria, in Old Castile, when
they heard of this triumph. They ordered the Te Deum sung in the
churches and processions and feasts to be held and on their return to
Cordoba, they gave a formal reception to the Court of Cabra, who had
captured Boabdil and otherwise distinguished himself. When the Count
arrived at the gates of the city, he was met by Cardinal Mendoza in
scarlet robes and by the king's brother, the Duke of Villahermosa,
who conducted him to the palace where the King and Queen were
waiting, seated on a lofty dais covered with cloth of gold. The King
arose and advanced five steps to meet the Count, who knelt and kissed
his hand. Queen Isabel took two steps forward and gave her hand to
the Count to kiss.
	Cushions were now brought and the Count was asked to seat
himself, a rare privilege in the Castilian royal presence, while
Their Majesties resumed their places on the throne. Music from unseen
instruments sounded through the whole audience. Twenty of the Queen's
ladies, in magnificent gowns of many colors, began a stately square
dance with twenty cavaliers. After the dance the King and Queen
retired to dine while the Count, graciously dismissed, went to the
palace of the Cardinal of Spain to be guest of honor at a great
banquet. A week later the King and Queen invited him to supper and on
that occasion Queen Isabel danced with King Fernando and the Count
danced with the Infanta Isabel.
	Isabel, though simple in her tastes and in her private life,
knew well how much the Castilians, perhaps from long contact with the
Moors, loved splendor and ceremony. Determined to make the throne
respected by all classes, she wore the most magnificent dresses at
public functions and spread no effort to dazzle the eyes of the
people. It was her policy to bestow great honors sparingly, but when
she did make gifts, they were the rich and generous ones of a woman
who despised half measures. She never tired of heaping honors and
riches on men who, like the Count of Cabra, had performed exploits of
	The third year of the war ended far more triumphantly than
had either of the first two. Late in October the Marques of Cadiz
recaptured Zahara by a surprise attack in broad daylight, without the
loss of a man. Queen Isabel, who had not begun to receive plenty of
heavy artillery from abroad, hopefully looked forward to a more
vigorous sort of warfare, a modern war of sieges, for 1485.
	At this juncture King Louis XI of France died, leaving the
throne to his weak son Charles VIII, an amiable youth with a touch of
megalomania, who was completely dominated by his aunt, the Regent
Anne de Beaujeu. King Fernando now saw an opportunity to recapture
his father's provinces, Roussillon and Cerdagne, which had been so
long illegally retained by King Louis. To do this he proposed giving
up the Moorish war for a year and using the troops and artillery to
extend his kingdom in the north. When Isabel objected, he replied
that his war against France would be an eminently just one.
	"Senor," said Isabel, "it is very true that
your war is a just one, but my war is not only a just one, but a holy
one." She reminded her lord the King, as she called him, that he
had promised in his marriage agreement to prosecute the crusade
against the Moors and she resolutely refused to be turned from her
	Fernando felt that logic was on his side. If he was ever to
strike for his lost provinces, he must do so now while Charles VIII
was but a boy. When Charles grew older, it might be too late. He
decided to make war on France without Isabel's help.
	The Queen therefore left Tarazona, in Aragon, with Cardinal
Mendoza and other Castilian noblemen, rode to Cordoba four hundred
miles away and after spending Easter at Toledo, made a rapid
recruiting tour of Andalusia. By April she had assembled at Antiquary
an army of six thousand horse and twelve thousand foot, well equipped
with artillery and munitions, under the direction of master gunners
and engineers from Germany and France. She had surgeons to care for
the sick and wounded and three centuries before the Red Cross, she
established the first military hospital in history, consisting of six
great tents equipped with beds, medicines and other hospital supplies
and know throughout the wondering army as the "Queen's
Hospital." Mounted on a war horse, she watched her host file out
into the plains, under the leadership of Do Alonso de Aguilar, the
Marques of Cadiz, the Grand Master of Cardenas of Santiago and
Gonsalvo de Cordoba, who on this occasion had a first important
command; besides the Duke of Medina Sidonia and the Count of Cabra.
	The army marched to the sea coast near Malaga, defeated the
Moors who came out to attack them, burned villages, destroyed crops
and returned laden with spoils to Antiquary. They had not stormed
Malaga. Perhaps Queen Isabel was unwilling that anyone but her lord
the King should have that glory.
	Fernando had remained in Aragon, pleading in vain with the
stubborn Catalans for money enough to wage war against France. Their
refusal left him no alternative but to return to Castile and place
himself at the head of Isabel's army, which of course was exactly
what she had oped he would do.
	Marching to Illora, he battered his way into it in nine days,
ravaged the countryside to the gates of Granada and returned to
Cordoba. Making a second campaign that summer, he smashed his way
into the powerful fortress of Setenil. The Queen's new artillery had
amply justified her wisdom in securing it, as her husband was
justifying her faith in him as a general. When he returned
victoriously to Cordoba, they had an affectionate reconciliation, and
went to Sevilla to spend the winter. 
	No historian has told us whether Fernando admitted that he
had been wrong, or whether Isabel ever said, "I told you
so." an undated letter in the King's handwriting however, may
perhaps have been written during the stormy spring when Isabel rode
to Toledo to continue the crusade:
	"Mi Senora, Now at last it is clear which of us two
loves best. Judging by what you have ordered should be written to me,
I see that you can be happy while I lose my sleep, because messenger
comes after messenger and brings me no letters from you. The reason
why you do not write is not because there is no paper to be had, or
that you do not write know how to write, but because you do not love
me and because you are proud. You are living at Toledo, I am living
in small villages. Well! One day you will return to your old
affection. If you do not, I shall die and the guilt will be yours.
	Write to me and let me know how you are. There is nothing to
be said about the affairs which keep me here, except what Silva will
communicate to you and what Fernando Pulgar has told you. I beg you
to believe Silva. Do write to me. 
	The affairs of the Princess must not be forgotten. For God's
sake remember her, as well as her father, who kisses your hands, and
is your servant.    "The King"
	Chapter XIX
	All this time Pope Sixtus IV had watched developments in
Spain with an anxious eye. Although he rejoiced to note that
Christian arms were beginning to make headway against the
Mohammedans, he was not at all pleased with reports that reached him
concerning activities of the inquisitors appointed by Isabel and
Fernando. After his threat in January 1482 to remove them, the
sovereigns had evidently explained the cruelties of Morillo and San
Martin by reporting to the Pope that the cases of heresy were too
numerous for any two men to give them proper attention.
	In February that year, Sixtus appointed eight new inquisitors
for Castile and Leon, saying that they had been recommended to him
"for their purity of life, love and zeal for religion,
gentleness of manners, extensive learning and other virtues."
The seventh man named in the Pope's brief was Tomas of Torquemada,
prior of the Dominican convent of Santa Cruz at Segovia. This there
emerges into the light of history, for the first time, the name of a
man who was to be held up for centuries in the English tradition as a
monster of cruelty and intolerance.
	The fact that Sixtus himself appointed the inquisitors on
this occasion, instead of allowing the King and Queen to do so, shows
how much he had begun to distrust the new instrument of royal
absolutism in Spain. Two months later he permitted Fernando to extend
the Inquisition to Aragon. But, in October he suspended the
permission, no doubt on receipt of new and more forceful from the
Conversos flocking to Rome. Queen Isabel wrote the Pope in her own
handwriting, assuring him of her filial obedience and devotion and
protesting that the secret Jews in Rome, with their usually
duplicity, had deceived him about their own conduct and about the
situation in Castile generally. The Pope had been receiving appeals
form the Inquisition and granting pardons and remissions of fines
very liberally. The Queen suggested that the court of appeal should
be not in Rome, but in Spain where the judges would be familiar with
the peculiar local situation.
	Pope Sixtus replied in affectionate terms, saying he was glad
to have the Queen's assurance that she was carrying out his wishes in
being just and merciful to the Conversos and that he had not been
deceived by her enemies in Rome. He promised to discuss with the
Cardinals her petition for a court in Spain and to be guided by their
advise. Meanwhile, although he did not blame the King and Queen
personally for the irregularitis of the Inquisition, he was far from
being convinced that all the complaints of the New Christians were
	He said that their official, "having put aside the fear
of God, do not shrink from laying the scythe to an unseemly harvest,
from breaking our provisions and the apostolic mandates...without
being hindered or retarded, as is obvious, by any regard for
censures," and that this had given great offence to him.
"Therefore we urge and require that you carefully avoid censures
of this kind, to be feared by any of the faithful whomsoever, nor
suffer so evident an injury to be inflicted upon us and upon this
Holy See...For this the Lord, in whose power are Kings themselves,
will direct your desire, the favor of the Apostolic See aiding you;
He will cause your posterity and your affairs to flourish and all
things will happen to Your Highness, walking in the right way,
according to your wish."
	After consulting the Cardinals, the Pope permitted the
establishment of a court of appeal in Spain under the Archbishop of
Sevilla, at the same time removing from office an inquisitor named
Galves. The new court was not successful. Fugitives from Sevilla
continued to flock to Rome, begging mercy of the Pope.
	Sixtus was having an anxious time with the Venetians, who
were threatening to bring the Turks back into Italy. Yet he seems to
have watched the progress of affairs in Spain with keen solicitude
and finally on August 2, 1483, he issued a long bull addressed not to
the Spanish sovereigns but to posterity, condemning the new court of
appeal at some length. He declared that accused persons were denied
access by Crown officials to the court of appeal and that letters of
pardon issued by the Pope had been treated with contempt in Spain. He
commanded that in the future complete freedom of appeal be guaranteed
to all accused persons and that all penitents, whether heretics or
Judaizers, be forgiven and admitted to penance secretly and
circumspectly. Conversos, whose appeals were pending in the Roman
Curia, must be treated and considered as true Catholics.
	"It is mercy alone that makes us like to God,"
wrote Pope Sixtus, "and therefore we ask and exhort the said
King and Queen in the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, that imitating
Him, whose way is always to pity and to spare, they should wish to
spare their citizens of Sevilla and the natives of that diocese who
recognize their error and implore mercy, so that if henceforth they
(the penitents) wish to live, as they promise, according to the true
and orthodox faith, they may obtain indulgence from their Majesties
just as they receive it from God...and that they may remain, abide,
live and pass safely and securely night and day with their goods and
their families, as freely as they could before they were summoned on
account of the crimes of heresy and apostasy."
	In conclusion, Sixtus threatened any who opposed his wishes
with the indignation of god and the penalties of the Church. Although
Sixtus suspended the operation of this bull ten days later, to give
further consideration to some objection that had been made to it, we
know that it was receive and published by the Bishop of Elora in
Portugal five months later and that Sixtus himself and the two
succeeding Popes followed its letter and spirit in their dealings
with the Spanish Inquisition.
	The controversy between the Holy See and the spanish Crown
had now reached an acute stage. Sixtus felt that he had taken the
only position possible for the head of the Church with the
information before him. But Isabel and Fernando still believed that
His Holiness did not fully understand the gravity of the Jewish
problem in Spain. A compromise was suggested and Queen Isabel
prompted, it is said, by Cardinal Mendoza, recommended that the Pope
appoint an Inquisitor-General a man whose qualification had been well
demonstrated for a year and a half since his appointment as one of
the eight and who had shown himself to have all the characteristics
of a good and upright judge. Sixtus consented, and in August 1483, he
appointed Fray Tomas of Torquemada Inquisitor-General for Castile and
Leon and a few days later for Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia.
	Torquemada had never wanted to be an inquisitor. He was a man
of sixty-three, who for twenty years had been quietly presiding over
a very devout monastery and giving the friars under him the example
of a gentile, unselfish and studious life. He insisted upon
discipline, but he was even stricter with himself than with others,
for he never ate meat. He slept upon a bare board and he wore no
linen next to his skin. He was fearless and incorruptible, so that
secret Jews could not hope either to frighten him or to bribe him
into neglecting his duties. He had previously been offered a
bishopric, but he had declined, since he had no craving for honor or
glory. Whatever money he received in the form of gifts he was
continually spending on the poor and on various charitable and
religious organizations. It was he who built the beautiful monastery
of St. Thomas Aquinas at Avila and enlarged the one of Santa Cruz at
	Torquemada seems to have accepted the office of inquisitor as
a painful duty, because he had become convinced that only the
Inquisition could prevent the secret Jews from destroying the
Christian religion and the Christian civilization of Spain. He had
not forgotten that the Christ who had blessed the lilies of the field
and preached the Sermon on the Mount, was the same Christ who had
foretold, in burning words, the destruction of Jerusalem and the
punishment of the Jews for rejecting Him and who, when he scourged
the money changer out of the Temple, reminded the Jews of the
prophesy that "the stone rejected by the builders would become
the head of the corner," and declared to them: "Therefore I
say to you, that the kingdom of God shall be taken form you and shall
be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof. Whosoever shall
fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall,
it shall grind him to powder."
	Perhaps it was natural for a man who had lived so long in
DESTROY HIS WORK, to take a stern view of the problem of Christianity
toward that race whose ancestors had cried on the day of the
Crucifixion, "His blood be upon us and upon our children."
Yet perhaps too Torquemada, Queen Isabel and King Fernando made the
mistake that St. Peter made when he cut off the ear of the servant of
the High Priest with his sword in the garden of Gethsemane, only to
be rebuked by his Master. It may well be that Spain at last paid for
the Inquisition and the security it gave her, by the destruction of
her empire. But be that as it may, we may grant that Torquemada and
his royal master were as sincere as was St. Peter and like him did
what they did, rightly or wrongly, out of love.
	All the chroniclers of the time who mention Torquemada pay
tribute to his lofty character, his administrative efficiency and the
confidence he inspired in the King and Queen. Two Popes, Sixtus and
Alexander VI, praised his zeal and his wisdom. He commenced with calm
energy to reform and reorganize the Inquisition. He discharged the
inquisitors who were unjust or temperamentally unfit and appointed
others in whom he had confidence.
	In general he made the procedure of the tribunal more lenient
and he seems to have striven in every way possible to avoid the
mistakes and abuses of the earlier French inquisitors. He insisted
upon clean and well ventilated prisons, far better than those
maintained by the civil authorities all over Europe. He commanded
that every effort be made to safeguard the legal rights of the
accused, who were always allowed counsel and whose enemies were
eliminated from among his witnesses. Torture was used only when all
other means failed to elicit a confession from one against whom there
was strong evidence. If we remember that heresy was considered very
much like high treason and that high treason everywhere in Europe was
punished not only by a cruel form of death, but by confiscation of
the estates of the condemned, the attitude of Isabel and Fernando and
their Inquisition seems moderate with some of the treason trials in
England under Henry VII, Henry III, and Queen Elizabeth. The
advantage is all on the side of the Inquisition. If an institution is
to be judged, as de Maitre insisted, not only by the evils it caused,
but by those it prevented, we must admit that in certain ways the
Inquisition was a blessing to Spain, for in the long run its saved
more lives than it destroyed.
	Not only was Spain free from the terrible religious wars that
cost hundreds of thousands of lives in countries where Protestantism
obtained a foothold, but she escaped almost completely the terrors of
witch burning, which claimed one hundred thousand victims in Germany
and thirty thousand in Great Britain. When the witch hunting craze
swept over Protestant Europe, Spain was not immune from that ghastly
impulse to persecute. The inquisitors claimed jurisdiction over
witchcraft and after an investigation they announced that the whole
business was a delusion. A dabbler in the black arts was whipped or
made to do penance here and there but few, if any lives were lost.
	In the last twenty-three years of Queen Isabel's reign, one
hundred thousand persons were placed on trial, of whom about two
percent, or two thousand, were put to death. These included not only
heretics, but bigamists, blasphemers, church robbers, priests who
married women and deceived them as to their status, usurers,
employees of the Inquisition who violated female prisoners and other
	After Torquemada had reformed the Inquisition in Castile, he
proceeded to do likewise in Aragon. In the Latter place he appointed
as inquisitors Fray Gaspar Juglar, a Dominican and Maestre Pedro
Arbues of Epila, a member of the Order of Canons Regular attached to
the metropolitan church at Saragossa. At the first auto-de-fe four
persons were penanced and reconciled. There were no executions. The
penitents were fined, however and the Conversos, seeing that the King
and Queen intended to reap a large harvest at their expense, for the
prosecution of the Moorish War, began to reorganize, as in Castile,
	When their protests failed to move Fernando and Isabel, they
attempted to bribe the sovereigns. When the King and Queen refused to
accept money, the Jewish millionaires, who outwardly professed
Christianity, decided to use force. A large number of them gathered
at the house of Luis de Santangel to raise funds to hire a band of
assassins to murder the inquisitors. Juglar is said to have been
poisoned by some cakes given to him by certain of the secret Jews.
	Several attempts were not made to waylay the other
inquisitor, Pedro Arbues. All accounts agree that he was a holy and
learned man of retiring disposition, who had accepted the office of
Inquisitor, at the royal command, with the greatest of reluctance. He
was an eloquent preacher and is said to have had the gift of
prophesy. His activities as inquisitor had consisted, so far as
known, merely obtaining evidence.
	On the night of September 14, 1485, the assassins hid
themselves in the church where Pedro Arbues was accustomed to pray.
	At midnight he entered the church and kneeling before the
blessed sacraments, was soon lost in prayer. The assassins crept
slowly toward him, Durango, a French Jew, stabbed him in the back of
the neck, while another ruffian ran a sword twice through his body.
Pedro Arbues cried out, "Praised be Jesus Christ, that I die for
His Holy faith!" and fell, while the assassins fled.
	Before dawn the streets were crowded with angry men,
demanding the blood of the Conversos and undoubtedly one of
traditional massacres would have occurred if the young Archbishop of
Saragossa, who was a bastard son of King Fernando, had not ridden
among the people, assuring them that justice would be done.
	Peter Arbues died in the middle of the following night. For
twenty-four hours since the assault he had spoken no words against
his murderers, "but always glorified our Lord till his soul left
him." When he was buried on the following Saturday, in the
presence of a great multitude, eye witnesses declared that some of
his blood which had fallen on the flagstones had dried there,
suddenly liquified and bubbled up. He was venerated as a martyr and a
few years later, Fernando and Isabel erected a statue over his tomb.
He was canonized in 1867 by Pope Pius IX.
	Far from having the effect that the Jews hoped for, the
assassination of St. Peter Arbues gave the Inquisition a free hand in
Aragon. The chief conspirators were caught and cruelly executed and
in a series of inexorable trials, during which every effort at
bribery and corruption failed, Torquemada proceeded to shatter the
power of the great Jewish plutocracy of Aragon and turned the
proceeds into the war chest of the crusade.
	Chapter XX
	When Isabel saw her husband ride out of Cordoba on April 5,
1485, with 29,000 men, including 9,000 cavalry, she felt that Castile
at last had an army that would prove invincible. During the winter it
had been completely recognized to meet the new conditions of warfare
made possible by the increased use of gunpowder. The days of
chivalry, in which knights met each other hand to hand and the better
man won, were almost past. A new era in warfare had begun. In the
Middle Ages it was the privileged classes, the men who caused wars
and chiefly benefitted by them, who occupied the dangerous places in
the front ranks, while the farmers and artisans remained working at
home or served for a limited period, performing menial tasks with the
army. But in the new modern warfare the common people would have the
privilege of risking their lives.
	Like every modern army Isabel's was well supplied with heavy
artillery, the best in Europe. Some of her Italian guns, called
lombards, could throw marble bullets weighing about one hundred
sixty-five pounds.
	While Fernando and his host set out for the enemy country,
Queen Isabel remained at Cordoba, praying for victory. Sometimes she
heard Mass at the Cathedral, in a forest of porphyry and jasper and
lapis lazuli, among exquisite traceries and mosaics. The splendor of
the old church was almost barbaric. Indeed, it had once been a
Moorish mosque, built by Abd er Rahman and had been transformed into
a Christian church. The sanctuary was paved with silver. The pulpit
was of ivory inlaid with gold and gems. All about hung thousands of
lanterns made of filigree work like priceless lace.
	As a rule the Queen preferred to hear Mass in her own chapel.
It was characteristically at once rich and simple. The ornaments were
all of gold and silver and the vestments were of choice silk or
satin. The altar was covered with brocade and satin studded with
precious stones and pearls of great value. Before the altar, on silk
rugs of many rich colors spread over the floor, stood massive silver
candlesticks of subtle workmanship. Queen Isabel listened so
attentively that if any of the priests or choristers who chanted the
beautiful liturgy of the Church happened to mispronounce a Latin
word, or slur over a single syllable, she made a note of it; and
afterwards she corrected and instructed the delinquent.
	She was then thirty-four, serene and thoughtful of
countenance and still comely as on the day of her coronation. In
dress she followed the prevailing fashion. A lady of rank usually
wore long, full garments with graceful lines. The gown, with a tight
bodice and a girdle tied in a looped know at the front, fell over the
ankles to the ground, reveling only the tips of the square toed
shoes. Over this a cloak was drawn across the figure from the left
and caught under the right arm, falling at the sides in long folds.
It was customary to wear a veil and over it a hood like covering that
met under the chin and was draped over the breast in small horizontal
folds. Except on state occasions, the Queen wore few jewels.
	When King Fernando was there, the Queen generally breakfasted
with him after Mass, while both opened their mail and afterwards they
mounted horses and rode through the city to inspect the camp. Now
that he had taken the field, she was left alone to pray and to
forward supplies to the army. At first nothing but good news came
from the Moorish frontier. The King had captured by storm, three
large places and had destroyed seventy smaller Moorish towns. Next he
had tried out his new artillery on the thick walls of Rhonda, which
was called "the Jews' town." the people surrendered and
those who wished were allowed to go to Africa or elsewhere, while
those who stayed had lands and assigned to them by the King and
whether Moors or Jews, were allowed freedom of worship. Hundreds of
Christian prisoners released from the dungeons of Rhonda were sent to
Cordoba. There Queen Isabel received them on the steps of the
Cathedral and commanded food, clothing and money to be given to the
half starved, half naked wretches with matted beards and hair, who
fell on their knees, weeping at her feet.
	The Queen was ill and nervous and expected her fifth child.
She had heard that King Fernando and the Count of Cabra were planning
a difficult maneuver to take the town of Macklin, a stronghold
commanding the northern approach to Granada. Wishing to beware the
scene, she went to Vaena with Cardinal Mendoza and little Prince
Juan. There she sat in the tower of the castle, waiting for the
tidings of victory.
	One day when heard women wailing in the streets below and
learned that couriers had come bring bad news. The Count of Cabra,
who had taken a large portion of the King's army to storm Macklin,
had been ambushed in the mountains by El Zagal, brother of Muley, and
defeated with terrible slaughter.
	Isabel, for the first time in her life, was tempted to
despair. A silent melancholy, somewhat like that of her mother, began
to steal upon her. For a few hours it seemed as if all the labors of
her life had been in vain and as if the defeat of the Count were not
enough, the situation in Castile was not wholly reassuring. In June
of that very year the Jews and Conversos of Toledo planned to seize
the gates of the city during a procession on the feast of Corpus
Christi, to murder all the leading Christians and to rule the city.
Fortunately the plot was detected and punished by the Inquisition,
but the Queen could not escape the thought that what had happened in
Toledo might occur elsewhere with greater suddenness. She had many
black hours, to which her physical condition no doubt contributed.
But Mendoza, the great Cardinal of Spain, consoled her and encouraged
her, until she shook off her gloomy presentiments and assembled her
inner resources for a new effort. 
	Isabel held a council of war. Letters of the King said he had
been on the way to attack Macklin from the other side when he learned
of the Count's defeat. He was in doubt whether to retreat or to
advance on Macklin and stake all on one desperate assault. During the
discussion the Bishop of Jaen, one of the Queen councillors,
suggested that it might be wiser for the King to storm the twin
castles of Cambial and Albahar before attempting Macklin, otherwise
he would have the tow hostile places at his back. The Queen and the
Cardinal thought the plan excellent and sent word to the King, who
proceeded to adopt it. While Fernando advanced against the castles,
Isabel and her court went to Jaen, to watch the events.
	All went well until the King, having pitched his camps on the
heights about Cambial and Albahar, made the alarming discovery that
he could not bring his heavy guns through one narrow rugged path that
led over the mountains, along perpendicular crags and precipices.
	The new peril called forth the amazing energies of the Queen
in a way that reminded her lieutenants of the invincible Lady Isabel
of Portugese War. Calling for a horse, she rode over the hills to
inspect the terrain. She saw that a mountain stood in the way of her
new guns. Very well then, let the mountain be removed.
	Under the direction of the Queen and the Bishop of Jaen 6,000
sappers and pioneers started digging and blasting a new road on the
mountainside, so high up on the steep slope that "a bird could
hold on there with difficulty." Day and night they worked,
filling up valleys, breaking rocks, cutting down trees, in one place
leveling a whole hill. When the royal funds gave out, the Cardinal
paid the workmen. Nine miles of road were made in twelve days and the
Moors who had been laughing at the discomfiture of the Christians,
looked out one morning to see the black noses of heavy lombards,
drawn by great oxen, come slowly through a gap in the mountainside.
	Fernando's artillery now began to batter the towers and the
walls of the twin castles and before long the Moors submitted and
were allowed to depart for Granada.
	It was now September and the court returned to Cordoba. It
rained almost continuously that year form November 11 until Christmas
Day. Cordoba and Devilla were in danger from the floods and Queen
Isabel, at the invitation of Cardinal Mendoza, went with her family
to spend the winter at his palace at Alcala de Henares.
	Looking over her correspondence just before her departure,
she found a letter from Rota that bore the crest of the Duke of
Medina Celi, recommending to Her majesty an individual named
Cristobal Colomo, who had come from Portugal and was on his way to
France to as the French King for three or four ships with which to
sail across the western ocean to find certain islands. The Duke felt
that if there were any islands to be discovered, the credit ought to
go to Castile rather than France and he was keeping Colomo, or as he
had come to be known in English Christopher Columbus, until he heard
form He Majesty.
	Isabel had no money for ships while the Moorish war was in so
uncertain a stage, but she did not wish the credit for any
discoveries to go either to France or to such a rich nobleman like
the Duke of Medina Celi. She instructed the Duke therefore, to send
Colomo to Cordoba, saying that she would hear what he had to say on
her return.
	She proceeded to Alcala and there, in the palace that had
once belonged to Archbishop Carrillo, she brought into the world, on
the fifteenth of December, her fifth and last child. It was a girl
named Catalina, destined to be known in history as Catherine of
Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII.
	Chapter XXI
	A man in his late thirties, with prematurely grey hair that
added a touch of nobility to a solemn and rather morose countenance,
rode on a mule through the western gate of Cordoba on a warmish day
in January, 1486. The sun was bright after the long rains, the air
perfumed with the scents of new flowers. The whitewashed houses and
gilded turrets sparkled like a city of alabaster and gold. But the
man on the mule rode on, without looking to the right or to the left,
past the great Cathedral with its nineteen doors of polished brass,
until he came to Alcazar. There he dismounted and entering the
palace, presented a letter form the Duke of Medina Celi to Their
Highnesses, the King and Queen of Castile.
	Not until April 28 however, did Isabel and Fernando return
from the north so Christopher Columbus was obliged to wait for three
months as the guest of their treasurer, Don Alonso de Quintanilla.
Columbus was an intense, impatient man and the delay chafed him, but
while he was waiting for their Majesties, he was treated with great
kindness by people of such note as Cardinal Mendoza, Fray Hernando
Diego de Deza, Prince Juan's tutor who later became Archbishop of
Sevilla and succeeded Torquemada as Inquisitor-General; Queen
Isabel's lifelong friend, Beatriz de Bobadilla; and some of the great
Conversos, such as Gabriel Sanchez, the royal treasurer for Aragon;
and the rich banker-lawyer, Luis de Santangel, in whose house the
murder of St. Peter of Arbues had been planned. In spite of his own
complaints and the false legend to which they gave birth, Columbus
seems to have been helped from the very beginning by the leading men
and women of Spain.
	His early life has remained cloaked in mystery and there are
conflicting accounts of him, but from his own statements and those of
his son, it appears that he was an Italian born in one of the little
villages outside Genoa, probably about 1451, the year of Queen
Isabel's birth. His father was a woolcomber and Christopher seems to
have been a weaver at Savona, his father's birthplace, until late
1472, when he took to the sea. He made a voyage to Chios and later
ones to England, Iceland and Guinea. He married in Portugal and there
his son Diego was born in 1480. Shortly afterwards Columbus conceived
the idea of sailing west to reach the Indies and the lands described
by Marco Polo and Sir John Mandeville.
	Like all well informed people of his time, HE MUST HAVE KNOWN
THE WORLD WAS ROUND, for he had read Aristotle's opinion in the Imago
Mundi of Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly. Within his lifetime the noted
scholar who became Pope Pius II had written, "Almost all agree
that the shape of the world is round." It was generally believed
however, that the earth was larger than it is.
	Columbus asked the aid of Dom Joao, King of Portugal, who
appointed a committee of two bishops and two doctors to investigate.
They advised the King that Columbus was only a visionary. Columbus
later attributed their refusal to "that Jew Joseph," the
Physician and astrologer Vecinho. In Castile however, he had reason
to be grateful to many Jews and one of them was to contribute in
decisive fashion to his success.
	Discouraged in Portugal, Columbus had set sail for Spain,
intending to go from there to France, but a storm drove him ashore at
Palos, where he asked for food and shelter for himself and little
Diego at the Franciscan monastery at La Rabida. He explained his
ambitions to Fray Antonion Maruchena, a monk skilled in astronomy and
cosmology and to Fray Juan Perez, prior of the monastery, who had at
one time been Queen Isabel's confessor. They were bot patriotic
subjects of Castile and they begged Columbus to give Queen Isabel the
opportunity of reaping the glory of his discoveries. It was probably
they who had suggested his going to the Duke of Medin Celi.
	When Isabel and Fernando returned to Cordoba, they received
Columbus in the great hall of the Alcazar and listened to him explain
his project. He appears to have made a favorable impression upon them
from the start. He had a long freckled face that flushed easily as he
spoke. His little grey eyes shone like those of a man with a vision.
His nose, hooked like the beak of an eagle (the mark of a Jew),
suggested an inquisitive and domineering nature. Father Barnaldez,
the historian priest, whose guest Colombus was a few years later,
called him "a man of very high talent, but without much
	But however interesting the Liqurian and his plans may have
been not the King and Queen, they doubted the wisdom of spending two
million maravedis, probably �7,000 in our money, on a voyage to lands
that might not exist, when they were in the middle of a long and
costly war and needed money for guns, munitions and ships to blockade
the Moorish cities on the Mediterranean. It seemed to them wise to
keep Columbus at the court until the end of the war. King Fernando,
with the Queen's consent, appointed a commission under her confessor
Fray Hernando, to look into Columbus's claims. Meanwhile they allowed
the navigator a pension of about three thousand maravedis a month.
After that they probably forgot all about him for awhile.
	It was in that year that they put forth their greatest effort
to press the war to a speedy end. Their gallant efforts had appealed
to the imaginations of men all over Europe and soldiers from every
Christian nation had come to fight under the silver standard of the
Holy Cross and Pope Sixtus IV had sent with his special blessings.
There were even Englishmen and Irishmen in the host of fifty-two
thousand men that King Fernando led that summer against the Moors. He
marched on Loja, where he had suffered his first humiliation in the
war and after a few days of long and bloody fighting, battered down
the walls and entered the city in triumph, while the whole army cried
"Castile! Castile!" and knelt, saying the Te Deum. Fernando
sent the good news to Isabel in Cordoba and asked her to visit the
troops. She did so and the fifty thousand Christian warriors passed
in review before her, each battalion lowering its colors before her
in salute. She was mounted on a chestnut mule, on a magnificent
silver saddle chair. As the King came forth to receive her, she made
three reverences to him and he made three to her. She then took off
her hat, leaving on her auburn hair the silk net or cawl, which
showed her cheeks uncovered. King Fernando embraced her and kissed
her on the cheek. Then he embraced the Princess Isabel, kissing her
on the mouth and gave her his blessing.
	One of the foreign nobles who came to pay his respects to the
Queen was Lord Scales (Earl Rivers), brother-in-law of King Henry
VII, who brought one hundred English archers and two hundred yeomen
to fight in the Crusade. At the siege of Loja a great stone thrown by
a Moor had smashed his magnificent cavalier's front teeth. Queen
Isabel expressed her sorrow for his loss.
	"It is a small thing," said the Englishman,
"to lose a few teeth in the service of Him who gave them all to
me. Our Blessed Lord, who built all this house, has merely opened a
window in it, that He may more easily see what passeth within."
	The Queen was so delighted with this nobleman that she sent
him a present the next day of twelve splendid Andalusian steeds, two
beds with covers of gold brocade and stately tents for his men.
	Fernando then took Macklin by Storm. When he and Isabel
entered in triumph at the head of a long precession, with the choir
of the royal chapel singing the Te Deum, they heard faintly, as if
from underground, a chorus of voices singing ecstatically,
"Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini." The sound came
from the dungeons where the Christian captive were kept and the poor
wretches were led forth, half naked and half starved, but still
singing hysterically and weeping.
	The Queen followed her victorious army almost to the walls of
Granada and then returned to Cordoba. It had been a most successful
year. But new and perhaps graver dangers were looming up in the
Mediterranean. For Granada was only a small segment of the long
battle line of Islam, whose unbroken empire extended from Gibraltar
eastward to China. Alarmed by the success of Fernando and Isabel, the
Sultan of Egypt and the Turkish Emperor Bajazet II had patched up
their quarrel and had decided to start a new offensive against
Christian Europe. They agreed that while Bajazet launched a great
fleet against Fernando's kingdom of Sicily, the Sultan would send a
huge army from Africa to Spain to reinforce the Moors of Granada.
	It was the gravest crisis of Christendom since Otranto fell
in 1480. Pope Innocent VIII, a kind, charitable man of fifty-four,
with weak eyes and feeble health, issued a bull calling upon all
Christian nations to support the Spanish sovereigns in their crusade.
But in general the appeals fell on ears made deaf by selfishness.
	Chapter XXII
	King Fernando had courage and intelligence, but his wife had
genius and when she learned of the new Mohammedan plan to conquer
Europe, she suggested that he give up his design to storm Baza and
instead descend to the Mediterranean coast and attack the three
fortified ports, Valez Malaga, Malaqu and Almeria.
	These were the southern outposts of Granada and their capture
would cut off the Moorish kingdom form Africa. The most important of
these was Malaga, through which supplies of men, food and munitions
passed constantly from the Barbary coast to Granada. Fernando, who
valued the queen's advice supremely, left Cordoba on Palm Sunday 1487
with 70,000 men, preceded by 4,000 pioneers to smooth out roads over
the snow-clad mountains. Harried by Moorish mountaineers, the
crusaders fought their way over the winding mule paths, far above
yawning chasms and ravines and struggled over dizzy precipices, until
at last the saw below the warm valley of Valez Malaga and the blue of
the Mediterranean.
	Fernando established his camp on a slope above the town and
waited for his artillery to come up. The Moors surprised his camp and
in the sharp battle they fought, the King would have been killed but
for the timely aid of the Marques of Cadiz.
	El Zagal now marched by night over the mountains to relieve
Valez and camped on the mountains above Fernando, who now found
himself in a dangerous position between two foes. He sent a fast
courier to Queen Isabel, asking for reinforcements.
	Isabel had no troops to send and no money to hire them. She
was now thirty-six and beginning to show the effects of overwork and
privation. But the challenge of the impossible once more spurred her
energies to heroic accomplishment. She was in the saddle day and
night, making swift round of cities and castles, calling to arms all
the men in Andalusia under seventy years of age.
	Under the fascination of her voice and words old veteran of
the border warfare forgot their rheumatism, took their swords and
lances form the walls and repaired to Cordoba, where the Queen and
her faithful friend Cardinal Mendoza, who had come in his old age in
spite of sickness, to answer her call, marshaled them quickly into
regiments. The white haired Cardinal paid the men out of the remains
of his private fortune and took the field at their head to rescue
king Fernando.
	Before the relief party arrived, El Zagal had attacked the
Christians, but the help he had expected from Malaga failed him and
he was repulsed by Fernando with great slaughter. When the artillery
and the Queen's expedition arrived over the mountain, Valez
surrendered and the victorious crusaders marched into Malaqua. 
	This rich and beautiful city lay between two powerful forts
by the curve of the tranquil sea. The vast walls rose out of the
water into great hanging gardens like those of Babylon. Stately
cedars and palms shaded fountains, patios, groves of oranges and
pomegranates. The garrison was composed of Gomeres, fierce and
fanatical warriors from Barbary, commanded by a daring leader, Ez
	The Christian artillery thundered against the walls, but the
Moors were growing accustomed to the new lombards and were learning
how to repair breaches. Meanwhile a pestilence that had been raging
in the neighboring villages spread to the Christian camp, slaying
more soldiers than the Moors did. Supplies were running low and thee
was danger of famine. King Fernando appealed as usual to the Queen.
She hastened to the camp with Cardinal Mendoza and the Princess
	Shortly after her arrival, a Moor was captured who said that
he was a prophet to whom Allah had revealed how and when Malaga
should e taken, but he would share his secret with no one but King
Fernando and Queen Isabel. The Marques of Cadiz sent the man to the
royal tent, thinking he might have valuable information.
	The King was taking his siesta and Isabel decided to wait and
interview the prisoner with him when he awoke. Hence the Moor was
taken to a nearby tent where the Queen's friend prince Don Alvaro.
The Moor supposed them to be the King and Queen. He asked for a drink
of water and while his guards turned to fetch it, he drew a scimitar
from under his burnous and threw himself upon the unsuspecting
players. He laid Don Alvaro senseless with a gash in his head and
would have killed Dona Beatriz but for the return of the guards.
Royal troops soon cut the assassin to pieces and threw his hacked
remains by catapult, over the walls of Malaga. Isabel offered devout
prayers of thanksgiving for her husband's escape.
	Her presence as usual, put new heart into the camp. The
Spanish had an almost superstitious conviction that wherever she
went, victory was sure to follow. Even the Moors had begun to share
this belief. She rode about in armor inspecting the hospital tents,
consoling the sick and binding up the wounds with her own hands.
	Under her influence a new and holy spirt began to pervade the
camp. There was no cursing or brawling while she was there. Priests
said Mass every morning as in a great city and preached "to
those who were healthy as well as to the sick," and the singers
from the Queen's chapel sang daily at Vespers and marched chanting,
in solemn processions.
	Over the wide city of silk and linen shone the silver cross
of Pope Sixtus and forty great silver bells of varying pitch, chimed
the hours of the day and night. The Moors, whose Koran forbade the
use of bells, hated the sound and used to shout over the walls,
"What, you have no cows and yet you bring cowbells?"
	In honor of the Queen's coming Fernando suspended firing and
offered the people of Malqa their lives, liberty and property if they
surrendered. Under the fanatical Ez Zegri they refused. When at last
they were obliged to submit, Fernando and Isabel entered the city as
conquerors, after a siege of three months and eleven days and
released 600 Christian captives from the dungeons. Many of the
Castilians who had been buried alive for fifteen and twenty years.
King Fernando proceeded to deal harshly with those who had cost him
so much money and blood. He ordered all the people to be sold into
slavery, except those who could pay a ransom of thirty gold doblas.
He gave them eight moths to raise the money and after that time
11,000 of them, unable to meet his terms, were sold.
	Four hundred and fifty Moorish Jews who lived in Malaga were
ransomed by Abraham Senior, chief rabbi of Castile, a millionaire who
had lent money to Isabel and Fernando and to whom they farmed out
some of their taxes to raise money for the crusade.
	The King and Queen went to Aragon for the winter and returned
to the south in the spring. 
	The year 1488 was unfortunate, chiefly because Fernando made
the mistake of sending troops to aid the Duke of Brittany in his
rebellion against the Crown of France. Perhaps Queen Isabel gave her
husband consent this time in a moment of gratitude for the King's
successes and his almost miraculous escapes from death. The results
confirmed her misgivings. The French rebels were defeated and more
than a thousand of the Spanish were killed. This left Fernando short
of men in the year when the blow so long prepared by the Mohammedans
fell upon Europe. A Turkish fleet of 55 galleys sailed with an army
of 100,000 men to attack Fernando's kingdom of Sicily and with the
intention of using it as a base to bring men and supplies from Africa
to conquer Italy and thence overrun all Europe.
	Fortunately the design failed because Pope Innocent rallied
enough strength to defend Malta against the Turks and the latter were
not able to get to Sicily without taking Malta. But, Fernando had
only 19,000 men and very little money to fight the crusade and when
he attacked Almeria, he was unable to take it and he had to retreat.
Leaving his army, he went to the famous Cross of Caravaca in the
hills of Murcia and there, like King David of old, he knelt in the
dust to do penance for his sins and to ask God to give him better
	The Moors, encouraged by Fernando's retirement, assumed the
offensive all along the frontier, seized Christian towns, drove off
herds of cattle, led men, women and children into slavery. They
carried fire and sword into Murcia on the east and on the west front
many Moorish towns that Fernando had taken, threw off their new yoke
and began slaying Christians. 
	As if God and nature had turned against King Fernando for
giving up the crusade for a private war, the year ended in floods,
storms and pestilence. Wrecks of ships were scattered along every
coast in Spain. Roofs were torn off houses by the winds, stone towers
were laid flat, the Guadaquivir encircled Sevilla in an angry embrace
and lashed the low buildings with its muddy yellow waters until the
inhabitants feared total destruction. In Cordoba that year more
people died of the plague than in 1481.
	The King and Queen spent the winter assembling a new army and
by strenuous efforts they collected 53,000 men, whom Fernando led
against Baza. This was a tremendously strong place, defended in the
rear by a mountain and in front by massive walls and turrets. It was
evident as soon as Fernando had camped outside its walls, that the
cost of taking it would be tremendous. Many of the King's generals,
including the Marques of Cadiz, advised giving up the siege until the
following year. Once more Fernando sent for Isabel's advice. Her
reply was characteristic, Baza must be taken at any cost. Another
retreat would be fatal to the spirit of the people and to the
crusade. If the King and his army would continue the siege, she
guaranteed on her part, with the help of god, to send them food,
munitions and money to pay the troops.
	To obtain funds to keep her promise, she pawned her gold and
plate, priceless heirlooms from her ancestors. She sent all her
jewels by speedy messengers to Valencia and Barcelona, to pledge them
to Jewish money lenders. She pawned her pearl necklace, her balas
rubies, even the jeweled crown of St. Fernando. The money just
obtained saved the crusade at its most critical moment.
	Chapter XXIII
	When Isabel came within sight of Baza, even the Moors crowded
to the walls and towers to catch a glimpse of the mighty Queen to
whose beauty, goodness and sense of justice even their own minstrels
paid tribute. Her coming put new life into the Christian army and
filled the enemy with despair. The very next day the Moslems asked
for terms of peace and on December 4, they surrendered.
	While the King and Queen were at Baza, they were visited by
two Franciscan friars, sent from Jerusalem by the Sultan of Egypt, to
warn them that if they did not cease the war against Granada, he
would slay all the Christians in Palestine and destroy their churches
and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. Isabel received
the monks with great kindness, gave a grant of 1,000 ducats a year to
their monastery and sent back, in their charge, a rich embroidery,
the work of her own hands, to be hung in the Church of the Holy
Sepulchre. They took word to the Sultan that she would send an
ambassador to him at a later date to go more fully into the questions
he raised, Thus the Queen gained time. Eventually she dispatched
Peter Martyr, an Italian scholar, to make peace with him.
	A third man in a brown robe who had an audience with the King
and Queen at this time was Christopher Columbus, who still had hopes
of getting three ships to sail to the Indies. Like every man with a
dominant idea, he considered everything else in the world of
secondary or slight importance, He could not understand or tolerate
opposition and his sensitiveness to criticism amounted almost to a
delusion of persecution. He was very prone to blame someone else,
instead of himself, for all his misfortunes.
	In a moment of bitterness he wrote that everyone in Castile
was against him and yet he had been treated with great kindness. The
pension Isabel gave him was almost equivalent to the salary of one of
the most noted professors at the University of Alcala and when lack
of money compelled the Queen to discontinue his allowance in1489, she
commanded all owners of inns and hotels to feed and clothe him and
his two sons.
	It is true that Fray Hernando de Talavera and the other
commission of learned men and mariners appointed by King Fernando to
investigate Columbus's proposal in 1486,had reported adversely. But,
Columbus himself seems to have been to blame for this for he did not
explain his plan completely to them, fearing that they might steal
his material and attempt to make secret use of it, as he believed the
Portugese had. His suspicious attitude and lack of frankness must
have made an unfavorable impression on the commissioners.
	Immediately after this rebuff however, Columbus received a
cordial invitation from the Dominican monks who were professors at
Salamanca University, to visit them and to discuss his plans with
them. For this kindness he was indebted chiefly to Fray Diego de
Deza, formerly confessor to the Queen and tutor to Prince Juan and
now Bishop of Salamanca and professor of theology at the University,
a Converso.
	Columbus remained as a guest at the Dominican college of St.
Stephen at Salamanca for several months. At the time the University
had 6,000 students. Most of the great nobles sent their sons there
but poor boys, if worthy, were taught without charge. It was there
that Columbus vigorously defended his scheme. He quoted form the
prophecies of Isaias and other parts of the Bible and declared that
God had chosen him directly to "open the gates of the western
seas." This was not a very convincing argument to monks who were
scientists and who, pious though they might be, objected to having
quotations from the Church Fathers lugged into a scientific
discussion. But on the whole they considered the Italian's plan well
worth trying and henceforth they were among his staunchest advocates
before the King and Queen. 
	Isabel had no intention of giving up the chief ambition of
her life to send a poetic adventurer, as he appeared to many to be,
across the Atlantic. Once more she dismissed him with kindly words
and he departed from Baza, to be heard from no more for the next two
	Fernando marched for Almeria, on the south coast, on December
7. Isabel followed with the rear guard. The winter had settled down
over the gusty mountains when she set out on her perilous journey
over the most desolate and savage part of the long Sierra. Surrounded
by shivering cavaliers, muffled in cloaks, she rode over icy peaks
above the clouds and down through valleys were the sun never
penetrated. It had cost her over 20,00 lives to take Baza. Hundreds
more perished on the way to the Mediterranean.
	Almeida surrendered with a struggle and the court spent
Christmas very joyously by the salt scented beaches and hunted
mountain boars along the wooded hills nearby. It was not fairly
certain that the war against Granada would be won. Isabel and
Fernando must have turned around wit relief from battles and sieges
to the education of their children and making plans for their
	They sought an alliance with the German Emperor Maximilian,
or as he was called, the King of the Romans, by arranging to marry
Prince Juan to his daughter Marguerite and the eccentric Princess
Juana to his son, Philip the Fair. Then to bind a treaty with England
against France they had already agreed to give their youngest
daughter Catalina, to Prince Arthur of Wales, as soon as both were
old enough.
	At the tournaments and feasts held at Medina del Campo when
the treaty with England was signed, Fernando wore a rich robe of
cloth of gold, trimmed with costly sable and Isabel wore a robe woven
entirely of gold and over it a riding hood of black velvet, with
large holes slashed in it. From her left shoulder hung shot cloak of
fine crimson satin furred with ermine. Her necklace was of gold and
jeweled roses and on her breast she wore a ribbon studded with
diamonds, rubies and pearls. An Englishman wrote home that the pouch
of her white leather girdle was set with a large balas ruby the size
of a tennis ball, between five rich diamonds and other stones the
size of a bean. This was in March 1489, before the siege of Baza. The
jewels were now in the coffers of the money-lenders of Valencia and
	To arrange terms with Henry VII, Isabel and fernando sent to
England Doctor de Puebla, who was described as lame, stingy, shrewd,
vain and deceitful, for under the flattery of the wily King Henry, he
appears to have betrayed his own employers. He wrote that he had seen
little Pine Arthur asleep and found him "fat and fair, but small
for his age of twenty months."
	Isabel and Fernando had agreed in 1479 to Betroth the
Princess Isabel to Dom Alfonson, heir to the throne of Portugal. In
1486 we find them offering the Princess to young Charles VIII of
France, but the Regent, Anne de Beaujeu, refused. Fernando and Isabel
appear to have been sometimes unscrupulous in dealing with the
unscrupulous monarchs of the time. At any rate they finally kept
their agreement with Portugal and the Princess was married on Easter
Sunday, 1490, by proxy and sent to Portugal as a bride in November.
She had seventy maids of honor and one hundred pages, the feasts and
tournaments for her wedding lasted two weeks. 
	The particular pride of Queen Isabel's heart was the little
blond Prince whom she called "my angel." As he seemed
likely to rule over all Spain, she gave the greatest care to his
health and to his education, for he was delicate. She chose ten boys
as is companions, five of his own age and five older, with whom he
was obliged to compete on equal terms in his sports and his studies.
They all lived together in a little palace of their own like a king
and his courtiers, to train the Prince for the task before him.
	It was a proud day for Prince Juan when he was allowed to
ride horseback, in armor from head to foot, at his father's side when
the King took the field with an army of 25,000 in 1490. They marched
through the country of the Moors, burning the fields and the
orchards, until they came in sight of the red towers of Granada and
there the King knighted Prince Juan, who had for his sponsors the two
old enemies, now friends, the Marques of Cadiz and the Duke of Medina
	Both sovereigns were resolved to bring the war to a
conclusion if possible in 1490 and by a great effort they put into
the field an army of 50,000 men, who marched to Los Ojos de Huecar,
four miles from Granada and there laid out and fortified a great
grand angular camp. When Isabel and the Princesses arrived, the
Marques of Cadiz offered her his own tent and she took up her
residence in it. 
	One night in July, while the Queen was asleep, her tent
caught fire from a flickering candle. The flame spread from tent to
tent until the whole city of silk and brocade was ablaze. The Queen,
aroused by the shouts of the soldiers, rushed into the next tent,
where the King was sleeping soundly and woke him. They rescued the
Prince and the Infantas who were sleeping nearby and then, still
quiet the panic of the men. By that time the wooden barracks of the
infantry had caught fire and in a short time the whole camp was
reduced to cinders.
	When it became known that the Queen's wardrobe had been
destroyed, Gonsalvo de Cordoba, the handsome cavalier known as the
Prince of Youth, offered her his wife's. Isabel, in thinking him
said, "Your household has lost more by the disaster then mine
	Fernando ordered his troops to prevent the Moors from
exulting too much over the fire. Isabel, instead of being
discouraged, set her army to work rebuilding the camp, not in silk
and wood this time, but in stone. Rocks were drawn from the
neighboring hills and day after day the new buildings arose in the
sight of the puzzled Arabs. The army constructed a complete city in
three months in the midst of the plain. It had towers, battlements
and walls, and its two principal streets formed a great cross. The
cavaliers wanted it named after the Queen, but she insisted upon
calling it Santa Fe, Holy Faith. 
	One day in August when the Queen had ridden forth with her
children, the Marques of Cadiz and a large escort of troops, to see
Granada from a hill, the Moors came forth to attack. Isabel had an
opportunity to see her troops in action at close range. She knelt in
prayer while the Marques and his cavalry spurred into action, and
after the battle, when her troops had killed or captured 2,000 of the
Moors with hardly the loss of one man, she commanded a monastery to
be raised on the spot to the memory of St. Francis, to whose aid she
attributed the victory.
	When autumn came, the Moors at last decided to surrender
Granada. Fernando and Isabel granted them magnanimous terms. They
allowed them to retain their own religion, their mosques, their laws,
language, costumes and property, with the exemption from taxes for
three years. Boabdil came forth to surrender January 2, 1492 and
handed the keys of Granada to King Fernando, who in turn gave them to
the Queen, who appeared on the high tower of the city with the flag
of Santiago beside it. The King and Queen and the whole army knelt in
the dust, giving thanks to God for their victory and the crusaders
shouted: "Santiago! Santiago! Castile! Castile! For the
invincible monarchs, Don Fernando and Dona Isabel!"
	Four days later, on the feast of Epiphany, the monarchs
entered the city and after giving thanks again at High Mass, went to
the Alhambra and seated themselves on the thrones of the Emirs. It
was the first time that Christians had ruled in that place for 777
	Among the chief men who were present at the triumph were Fray
Hernando de Talavera, who was to be Archbishop of Granada; her
lifelong friend, Cardinal Mendoza; the Inquisitor-General, Fray Tomas
de Torquemada; the Great Captain Gonsalvo de Gonzalvo de Cordoba; the
Marques of Cadiz and Christopher Columbus. It was one of the happiest
days of Queen Isabel's life.
	Chapter XXIV
	King Fernando's letter announcing the fall of Granada reached
Rome on the night of February 1, a month after the event and Pope
Innocent VIII and all the Cardinals went in solemn procession next
morning from the Vatican to the Spanish Church of St. James, to offer
a Mass of thanksgiving for the glorious ending of the epic struggle
which had lasted for eight centuries between Spanish Christians and
an alien foe.
	When the news reached England, King Henry VII command all the
nobles and prelates, who were then in court, to march with the Lord
Mayor and Aldermen of London to St. Paul's Church, where the Lord
Chancellor made an address in praise of Isabel and Fernando, saying
that all Christians should rejoice in their victory. Then they
marched through London, singing the Te Deum Laudamus. In fact all
Europe celebrated the triumphant end of Isabel's ten year war. Church
bells rang and bonfires blazed from the Mediterranean to the North
	The tired Queen meanwhile was resting in the beautiful palace
of the Alhambra. All about her were pillared halls, incomparable
mosaics, colors, delicate fragrances, the sons of tropical birds in
the most luxurious gardens of the world.
	The Queen rested and contemplated what she had done. She had
reigned eighteen years and her genius had transformed a bankrupt
country, drenched in blood, into a peaceful and prosperous Spin that
was now one of the leading powers of Europe. It is true that Spain
was not a nation in the technical sense, for Isabel ruled Castile and
Fernando ruled Aragon. But practically, the Spanish kingdoms acted as
one and the time was not far off when they would be permanently
	The Queen was now free to give her attention to the plan of
Christopher Columbus. She received him in audience and was evidently
impressed by what he said. But, King Fernando was less enthusiastic,
particularly as the royal treasury was bare after the long strain of
war. The result was that he referred the matter to another
commission, which probably reported unfavorably, (the record of their
findings has been lost) for Columbus left the court in sorrow and
anger and decided to go to France. Once more he stopped at the
Franciscan monastery of La Rabida. He told what had happened to
Father Juan Perez the prior and it may be that in his bitterness he
described his plans more frankly than he had a court. Friar Juan, at
any rate, persuaded the Italian to remain at the monastery while he
sent Queen Isabel a letter, saying that he was convinced that
Columbus was right and felt it would be a great mistake not to help
	Isabel was so influenced by the letter of her old confessor,
that she sent back 20,000 maravedis in gold florins, by his
messenger, to buy new clothes and a mule for Columbus and she bade
him return to court. Columbus returned to Grenada, feeling that his
eighteen years of waiting and begging were to be rewarded at last.
"In all men there was disbelief," he wrote later, "but
to the Queen, my lady, God gave the spirit of understanding and great
courage." He had no doubt that she would now give him what he
	Isabel and Fernando were hardly prepared however, for the
terms that the Liqurian weaver, standing before them in the Hall of
Ambassadors in the Alhambra, was about to lay down in his lordly
manner. He spoke like one who had divine mission. He believed he had
and he declared that once he heard a voice saying to him in the
night: "God will cause thy name to be wonderfully resounded
through the earth and will give thee the keys of the gates of the
ocean, which are closed with strong chains."
	Now, addressing the monarchs of Castile in the tone of one
king treating with another, he demanded to be made Admiral of all the
seas and countries he was about to discover and Viceroy and Governor
of all continents and islands he might find. He must have a tenth
part of all merchandise, such as pearls and gold, that might be
found. If any disputes arose between the countries of Asia and Spain
over mercantile matters, he was to be the only judge. He reserved the
right to contribute an eighth part of the expenses of all ships that
might sail from Spain to the Indies and in return to receive an
eighth part of the profits.
	Such terms were bound to strike the King and Queen as
preposterous. The title of Admiral in Spain was reserved for those of
the royal blood, such as the King's uncle, Don Fadrique. Discoverers
in Portugal and Spain were usually rewarded by captaincies and
	Queen Isabel had also to consider the effect of bestowing so
high a title upon a foreigner. The Castilians were intensely proud of
their own kingdom and had never quite forgiven King Fernando for
being an Aragonese. What would they think of making an Italian
woolcomber a Viceroy? The sovereigns once more said to Columbus. He
bade them a dignified farewell this time, as he thought, forever.
Leaving the Alhambra, he mounted his mule, rode sadly through the
gates of Granada and took the road to the west. This was later in
January, 1492.
	It would appear that before he left, he made a final appeal
to some of his friends at court. Three of them hastened to the Queen
to beg her to reconsider. They were Beatriz de Bobadilla, Marques of
Moya, the Queen's treasurer Alonso de Quintanilla and the rich
Converso Luis de Santangel. Santangel, who ad been penanced the year
before by the Inquisition, made an impassioned plea for Columbus, and
when the Queen objected that she had no money to buy ships, it was he
who pointed to a way out of the difficulty. He happened to know that
the Santa Hermandad, or Holy Brotherhood, of which he was one of the
treasurers, was well supplied with funds received from taxes and he
was able to advance 1,140,000 maravedis out of these pubic funds to
Archbishop Talavera to equip an expedition for Columbus. Thus the
police force that Isabel and Fernando had re-established years ago,
to put an end to crime in their kingdoms, now made it possible for
them to reach into the unknown world to the west for untold wealth
and power. It is interesting to note that they owed the suggestion to
the intelligence and persistence of a Christian Jew. They granted all
of Columbus's demands. The contract was signed on April 17, 1492, and
the Admiral, now Don Cristobal Colon, a grandee of Castile, proceeded
to Palos to organize his fleet. The town of Palos, for some offence
against the Crown, was sentenced to provide two caravels, fully
manned and equipped for a two months' voyage, while Their Majesties
agreed to defray the cost of a third ship.
	Queen Isabel remained at Granada until Pentecost, considering
certain reports from the Inquisitor-General concerning the Jews. The
Inquisition, it seemed, had repressed the secret Jews and had
financed the Moorish war with their money, but it had not put an end
to the attempts of the Jews of the synagogue to win back those who
had become Christians. In March of that year, the Queen came to a
momentous decision.
	Chapter XXV
	During November of 1491 when Isabel and Fernando were
negotiating with Boabdil for the surrender of Granada, there occurred
at the bleak town of Avila, not far from where the unfortunate Prince
Alfonso had once been crowned, an execution which was to have
momentous and tragic consequences. Two Jews and six Conversos were
burned at the stake after having been convicted, by a court
Inquisition, of having kidnaped a Christian boy of about four years
and of having crucified him in a cave, in mockery of Jesus Christ.
They were also accused of having cut out his heart with the intention
of making a charm by black magic, which would cause the Christians of
Spain to go insane and die thus giving the Jews control of the
country. This sounds fantastic to us and one is tempted to say that
the charge is only one more instance of the cruel accusation of
ritual murder, which has been brought against the Jews in many times
and places even in the United States and in Arabia in our own time
and has been denounced as false by several Popes.
	(The Popes denied it, of course, because they were themselves
Jews. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia list more than 100 cases of
ritual murder, some times called blood libel, which were proven to
have happened and some by Jews who confessed that they had done the
	One does not have to believe that Jews ever officially
countenanced such an atrocity as ritual murder however, to admit that
Jewish individuals or groups may from time to time have been led by
their hatred of Christ and Christianity into committing irresponsible
and terrible crimes. There is no doubt that children have been killed
in connection with the activities of devil worshipers in which
renegade Jews have taken a part. There is evidence that from time to
time consecrated hosts have been stolen from Catholic churches, to be
injured or insulted in connection with such obscene and blasphemous
rites as the "black mass" of Paris and elsewhere.
	The Spanish mind, inflamed by centuries of war and hating the
Jews as a friend of the enemy, found no difficulty in believing Jews
guilty of the most atrocious crimes. Seventeen Jews of Segovia were
found guilty in 1468, the year of Isabel's brother's death, of having
crucified a Christian boy. It was the Bishop Juan Arias de Avila, son
of Jewish Converts, who passed sentence of death on them, whether
justly or unjustly. The cruel charges against the Jews was so widely
believed that it had found expression in a law passed by one of
Isabel's ancestors, Alfonso the Wise.
	"Because we have heard it said that in some places the
Jews have made and do make remembrance of the Passion of Our Lord
Jesus Christ in a scandalous fashion, stealing our boys and placing
them on the cross, or making wax images and crucifying them when they
could not obtain boys. We command that if such a thing be done
henceforth in any place in our seignory, if it can be ascertained,
all those who are implicated in the deeds hall be arrested and
brought before the King and when he shall know the truth, he ought to
command that they be put to death very ignominiously, as many of them
as there may be."
	Whether or not the jews executed from time to time were
guilty of the crimes attributed to them, or of any crime attributed
to them, or of any rime, it is impossible how to say. They same is
true of the trial at Avila in the last months of the Moorish war.
	A Converso named Benito Garcia had been arrested in June
1490, after some men who rifled his knapsack at an inn had found in
it what appeared to be a Host from the altar of a Catholic church. He
was tortured and admitted that although a professing Christian, he
had been a secret Jew for many years, had never received Holy
Communion and had made false confessions to the priest. A month
later, as a result of Benito's confession and those of his friends,
an old Jew named Ca Franco and his son Yuce, a lad of twenty, were
arrested and taken to the prison of the Inquisition at Segovia,
formerly the home of the Queen's friend Beatriz and her husband now
Manques of Moya, who had donated it to the Holy Office.
	The use of such a place as a prison shows how Torquemada had
striven to make the Inquisition more humane. After a few days the
young Jew became ill and thought he was going to die. The Inquisitors
sent a physician to prescribe for him. Yuce begged the doctor to send
him a Jew who could give him the consolation of the dying. The
inquisitors did not believe, from the doctor's report that Yuce was
going to die, but they sent him a converted Jew who was a learned
master of theology, Fray Alonso Enriquez, disguised as a rabbi.
During the conversation the "rabbi" asked Yuce why he had
been arrested and Yuce, according to the sworn deposition of Fray
Alonso and of the Physician, who was listening near by, said he
supposed "he had been arrested for the death of a boy after the
manner of that man."
	"That man" was a term used by the Jews in referring
to Our Lord. The inquisitors were so impressed that they took their
evidence to Torquemada, who was then in Segovia at the convent of
Santa Cruz. He appointed three of his most trustworthy judges to try
the case, commanding them to punish the guilty and to set free the
innocent. Five other Conversos were arrested.
	Three months after the arrest Yuce told the inquisitors that
about three years before, one of the Conversos named Alonso Franco
had told him that one Good Friday, he and his three brothers had
crucified a boy. Two months later Yue was formally placed on trial
and accused of having been associated with others in crucifying a
Christian boy on Good Friday and of taking part in an outrage upon a
consecrated Host, with the intention of destroying the Christians of
Spain. The prosecutor demanded sentence of death, saying, "I
swear before God and before His cross, on which I place my hand, that
I do not make this demand and accusation against the said Yuce Franco
maliciously, but believe him to have committed all that I have
	"It is the greatest falsehood in the world," replied Yuce.
	The inquisitors then appointed two lawyers to represent him
and at his request granted him a third counsel of his own choice a
few days later. His lawyers denied the charges against him and asked
	It is not known to this day who was the boy to whose murder
the Conversos and the Jews confessed and Jewish scholars persist in
saying that the charges were all made up out of whole cloth by the
inquisitors. On the other hand, about 150 pages of testimony have
been found and a great deal of it has the ring of reality in it.
Until the rest of the testimony is discovered, it will be impossible
at this late date to say whether or not the accused were guilty. We
do know however, that the inquisitors took all the evidence to the
monastery of St. Stephen, where Columbus had been received with such
kindness and there submitted it to a jury composed of seven of the
most distinguished professors at the University of Salamanca. After
three days the seven scholars returned a unanimous verdict of guilty
against Yuce.
	Yuce was not threatened with torture by the "water
cure," and under fear of being tied to a ladder and being half
suffocated by water dropped slowly through a cloth in his mouth, he
made a more detailed confession, repeating some very foul and
blasphemous insults spoken to the child, but intended for the person
of Jesus Christ. Next day Yuce's father, under torture, confirmed his
son's testimony and the Conversos, examined separately, also
confirmed it.
	On November 11, 1491, the inquisitors submitted their
evidence to a second jury of the most learned men of Avila. There
were five of them and they also returned a verdict of guilty.
	It is possible, of course, that the twelve jurors were
mistaken, but it seems improbable that so many scholars and priests
should have agreed to the death of six men unless they were convinced
of their guilt. At least it is no more improbable than that two Jews
and four secret Jews, together with their accomplices who were dead,
should have committed a crime of ignorance and superstition. The
claim that the evidence was concocted for propaganda purposes would
be more plausible if the testimony had been public. However, it
appears to have been hidden in the archives of the Inquisition and
came to light four centuries later, in 1887.
	Whether guilty or innocent, the six men were executed the
same month that Granada surrendered and all confirmed their
confessions at the stake before death. The news spread rapidly from
village to village. There were riots everywhere and at Avila a Jew
was cruelly stoned to death by the angry mob. The Jews of Avila, in
terror for their lives, sent an appeal for protection to the King and
Queen at Granada. Isabel and Fernando sent them a letter of safe
conduct, December 16, 1491, forbidding anyone to harm the Jews or
their property, under various penalties, ranging from a fine of
10,000 maravedis to sentence of death. 
	Torquemada appears to have laid the evidence in the La
Guardia case and the sentence of the court before Their Majesties,
for two days before they entered the Moorish capital, they issued an
edict commending "the devout father Fray Tomas de Torquemada,
prior of the monastery of Santa Cruz of Segovia, our confessor and of
our council" and the inquisitors of Alvila, to whom he had
delegated certain judicial powers and giving him permission to use
the confiscated property of the condemned for the expenses of the
Holy Office.
	It is believed that when Torquemada went to the Alhambra
early in 1492, he urged the King and Queen to go to the heart of the
Jewish problem by expelling all the Jews from Spain. The evidence in
the La Guardia case had shown how persistently the Jews worked to
destroy the influence of Christianity among the Conversos and how the
Conversos influenced the Christians among whom they lived. As long as
the Jews remained in Spain, the same situation would exist and in the
end all the lifework of Isabel and Fernando would be undone.
	Whether or not Torquemada actually made this argument we do
not know. No proof is available and it is likely that the later
legend of his extraordinary influence over the sovereigns was
exaggerated. Neither of them needed much encouragement against the
Jews. As a matter of fact they had been considering the expulsion of
the Jews for several years. In 1482 they had issued an edict
expelling the Jews from Andalusia but later, for some reason, had
suspended the order.
	King Fernando in 1486 had caused all Jews to be expelled from
the Archbishopric of Saragossa. A story was prevalent in Spain that
this tragic action was the result of a request by the young Prince
Don Juan. According to the Libro Verde de Aragon, King Fernando had a
Jewish physician, Maestre Ribas Altas, who used to wear about his
neck a golden ball hung on a chain of gold. One day when he was
called to attend Prince Juan, who was often ill, the Prince opened
the ball and found inside a tiny parchment on which was painted the
image of the crucified Christ with one of the physician in an
unspeakably obscene posture. The little Prince was so shocked and
disgusted that he became ill and did not recover until his father
promised to expel all the Jews.
	Many modern historians scoff at this tale, but the fact
remains that the King and Queen did permit their personal physician,
Ribas Altas, to be burned at the stake. No one can say with certainty
that the physician's execution had anything to do with the expulsion
of the Jews. But there is no doubt that, whatever their reasons may
have been, both Isabel and Fernando were disposed for several years
towards the course they finally took. They were probably waiting for
the end of the Moorish War to follow it. The Trial and execution of
the Jews and Conversos at Avila and the indignation that followed it,
probably forced their decision or at least gave them an occasion for
the action they had in mind.
	On the last day in March 1492, they issued an edict ordering
all Jews to leave their kingdoms on or before July first, taking with
them no gold, silver, or minted money. They explained that in spite
of the Inquisition, "there remains and is apparent the great
injury to the Christians, which has resulted and does not result from
the participation, conversation and communication which they have
held and hold with the Jews, who had demonstrated that they would
always endeavor, by all possible ways and manners, to subvert and
draw away faithful Christians from our Holy Catholic Faith and
separate them from it and attract and pervert them to their wicked
belief and opinion"..."which is clear from many utterances
and confessions, not only by the Jews themselves, but by those who
were perverted and injured by them."
	It had been plainly demonstrated, they said, that the crimes
and offences of the Jews against the Faith were increasing daily and
that nothing would remove the root of trouble but to drive them from
the kingdom. Sometimes a college was closed for some serious and
detestable crime committed by some of its members and the innocent
had to suffer with the guilty. It was even more important "that
those who pervert the good and honest life of cities and towns by the
contamination that can injure others, be expelled from among the
	For that reason Isabel and Fernando "with the council
and advice of many prelates and noblemen and cavaliers of our realms
and of other persons of knowledge and conscience in our council,
having given much deliberation to the subject, have decided to
command all of the said Jews, men and women, to leave our kingdoms
and never to return to them." Only those Jews who were baptized
before July first would be permitted to remain. Later the time was
extended to August second.
	Abraham Senior, chief rabbi of Castile, is said to have
offered the sovereign 30,000 ducats to revoke the edict. When they
refused, he was baptized, together with his son and took the name of
Ferrand Perez Coronel. Most of the Jews however, began selling their
goods and preparing to leave. When the King and Queen sent priests to
preach the Gospel to them, their rabbis told them it was false and
assured them that if they stood firm and left the country, God would
perform miracles for them and give them wealth and honor as he had
for the people of Israel when they fled from Egypt.
	"They lived mostly in the larger cities," wrote
Bernaldez..."and in the most wealthy, prosperous and fertile
lands ...and all of them were merchants, venders, lessors and farmers
of taxing privileges. They were stewards of manors, cloth shearers,
tailors, cobblers, leather dealers, curriers, weavers, spicers,
peddlers, silk merchants, jewelers and had other similar occupations.
Never did they till the soil, nor were they laborers, nor carpenters,
nor masons; but all sought easy occupations and ways of making money
with little work. They were a cunning people and people who commonly
lived on gains and usuries at the expense of the Christians. Many of
the poor among them became rich in a short time. They were charitable
among themselves, one to another. As the time for their exodus
approached, the rich Jews paid the expenses of the poor Jews, so that
only a few became Christians and remained." The rest sold their
property at a terrible sacrifice.
	A Jew would give a house for an ass and a vineyard for a
tapestry or a piece of linen. Yet it was said they managed to take
with them a large amount of gold and silver. The story became current
that they ground gold pieces between their teeth, swallowed and
carried them in their bellies. It was believed that one Jewish woman
had swallowed 30 ducats. All boys and girls over twelve years of age
were married, so that each girl might set out under the protection of
her husband. So, putting all their glory behind and confiding in the
vain hope of their blindness," wrote the curate of Los Palacios,
"they gave themselves over to the travail of the road and went
forth from the lands of their birth little and great, old and young,
on foot and on horses and asses and other beasts and in carts, each
one pursuing his way to the port to which he had to go. They stopped
on the roads and in the fields, with many labors and misfortunes,
some falling down, others getting up, some dying, some being born and
others sick. There was no Christian who did not grieve for them.
Everywhere the people invited them to be baptized...but the rabbis
encouraged them and caused the women and boys to sing and play
tambourines and timbrels to make the people merry.
	"When those who were to embark from Puerto de Santa
Maria and Cadiz saw the sea, both men and women shrieked and cried
out, praying for God's mercy and thinking they would see some
miracles. They stayed there several days and had so much misfortune
they wished they had never been born." At last they set sail in
twenty five ships, but had to bribe the pirate Fragosa with 10,000
ducats, evidently they had found some way to defeat the royal order
concerning money, to let them sail for Cartagena. Some however,
returned to Castile and were baptized. But most went to Arcilla and
thence to Fez.
	Others proceeded to Portugal and were allowed, on payment of
a large tax, to enter. Some went to Navarre, others straggled as far
as the Balkans, where their descendants to this day speak a dialect
containing many fifteenth century Spanish words. The Jews who reached
Africa had most to suffer from the lust and cruelty of the Moors. The
Jews paid the King of Fez to protect them, but he took their money
and then gave orders to have them robbed. Moslem soldiers violated
the Jewish women and girls under the very eyes of their husbands,
fathers and brothers and slew any of the men who dared to protest.
Evidently these barbarians too, had heard the tale that the Jewish
women had swallowed gold, for after dishonoring them, they ripped
their bellies with scimitars to search for the ducats.
	Some of the survivors staggered on till they reached Fez
naked, starving and swarming with vermin. Others straggled back to
Spain, convinced that their sufferings were a punishment for their
rejection of Christ and begged to be baptized. Among them were many
rabbis. Bernaldez reports that he baptized ten or twelve of them who
confessed that their eyes had been opened at last to the truth of the
prophecies of Isaias concerning the birth, passion and resurrection
of Christ," whom they admitted they truly believe to be the true
Messiahs, of whom they said they had been ignorant through the
hindrance of their ancestors, who had forbidden them, under pain of
excommunication, to read or hear the Scriptures of the
	About 160,000 Jews appear to have left Spain. There remained,
of course, a large number of persons of Jewish descent, possibly as
many as three or four millions, who had been baptized as Christians.
	Isabel and Fernando felt that they had at last freed their
kingdoms from Jewish influence and made possible permanent
prosperity. There is no doubt however, in forcing the Jews to be
baptized, they violated a fundamental principle of Christianity, on
which the Catholic Church had always insisted. They were very angry
with Pope Alexander VI, because he received some of the Jewish
refugees at Rome. Some of the Jews had become victims of pestilence
on their ship. The Jews of Rome, fearing perhaps that they would
catch the disease, offered Pope Alexander a large sum of money if he
would forbid them to land. Alexander needed money, but he indigently
refused the offer of the Roman Jews, allowed the Spanish Jews to land
and received them with fatherly kindness. For this, although he
himself was a Borgia (a Jew) born in Spain, he was contemptuously
referred to in his native land as "the marrano" and
"the Jew."
	Chapter XXVI
	Columbus set sail from Palos on the day after the exodus of
the Jews. It was Friday, always a lucky day for him and for Spain and
he had a favorable wind straight from the east. On the evening before
he and his men had confessed their sins to Fray Juan Perez in the
chapel of the Franciscan monastery of La Rabida and that morning, the
first Friday of the month, they had received Holy Communion and
placed themselves under the protection of God.
	After the good prior had blessed the ships, the ensigns of
the Holy Cross and of the King and Queen were hoisted to the
mastheads and at eight o'clock, after the women of Palos had cried
their last farewells to their men, the Admiral weighed anchor at the
bar of Saltes "in the name of the Most Holy Trinity," he
began all his undertakings with these words and put out to sea. It
was a solemn moment for Columbus and for the whole human race, for he
went with the lofty purpose of bringing about the conversion of the
whole world to the Catholic Faith. In his journal addressed to the
King and Queen, he wrote:
	"Your Highnesses, as Catholic Christians and Princes,
loving the Holy Christian Faith and the spreading of it and enemies
of the sect of Mohammed and of all idolatries and heresies, decided
to send me, Christopher Columbus, to the said regions of India to see
the said Princes and the peoples and lands, to learn of their
disposition and of everything and the measures which could be taken
for their conversion to our Holy Faith."
	He had gotten his ships and crews together with the greatest
difficulty. The people of Palos had been antagonistic and Isabel and
Fernando were obliged to send them a sharp reminder that Columbus was
their officer. The money contributed by the Crown appears to have
been insufficient, but Columbus obtained a certain sum from Martin
Alonzo Pinzon, the most expert sea captain in Palos, who also helped
the Admiral to find sailors for his dangerous expedition. Ninety
seamen enlisted, including a converted Jew, who went as physician, an
English man and an Irishman from Galway.
	The ships were good solid sailing vessels, well adapted for
the voyage, but as small as safety would allow, to permit them to
enter shallow harbors and coasts along unknown shores. Columbus's
flagship, the Maria Galente, which he renamed the Santa Maria in
honor of the Blessed Virgin, was about 128 feet long and 26 feet in
the beam at the main deck and carried a crew of 52. The Pinto and the
Nina were smaller, with a crew eighteen apiece and they were
commanded by Pinzon and his brother.
	While the gallant little fleet sailed west to brave the
terrors of an unknown ocean that some people thought full of
whirlpools and mythical monsters, Queen Isabel was at Cordoba, living
in seclusion and wearing the deepest mourning for the death of Don
Rodrigo Ponce de Leon, Marques-Duke of Cadiz, the outstanding hero of
the Moorish War and the idol of all the ladies of Spain. By an odd
coincidence, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, his reconciled enemy,
followed him to the tomb within a week.
	After the funerals the Queen and the court went to Saragossa
and thence to spend the winter at Barcelona. Through the long journey
over winding roads to the east coast Isabel saw many reminders of the
glorious success of her life work. Andalusia was a booming garden,
Castile was producing abundant crops of corn and wheat. Thousands of
men driven previously by despair to crime were now earning their
living in various industries. The great glass works of Barcelona
rivaled those of Venice. Fine woollens from the looms of Castile were
exported to all parts of Europe. The silk industries of Sevilla
employed as many as 130,000 workmen. The leather trade of Cordoba was
flourishing. Granada made velvets too fine to be imitated, Toledo and
Valencia wove exquisite carpets. Even the bleak area of treeless
deserts were beginning to bloom again under the Queen's orders, for
she commanded trees to be planted and commenced a regular program of
reforestation which unfortunately, was not followed by her
	Freed from the anxieties of war, she now turned to the
pursuits that had been so dear to her father and became generous
patron of all the arts and sciences. She encouraged the beginnings of
botany and zoology. Alonsode Cordoba dedicated his astronomical
tables to her and under the patronage of Prince Juan's tutor, Bishop
Diego de Deza the noted Jewish astrologer Abraham Zacuto, prepared
his Almanach Perpetuum, with tables of the sun, moon and stars which
Columbus used on his voyages.
	Medical studies flourished and the King and Queen established
great hospitals at Granada, Salamanca and Santiago. One of Prince
Juan's tutors opened up the vast field of archeology and made a
collection of written inscriptions, while Professor Lebrija studied
the Roman circuses at Merida. Isabel and Fernando endowed several
colleges, the baggiest of which were at Salamanca and Alcala de
Henares, where some of the most noted humanists of the later
Renaissance gave lectures. Higher education became so popular that
only a generation later, the great scholar Erasmus could write,
"The Spaniards have attained such eminence in literature, that
they not only excite the admiration of the most polished nations of
Europe, but likewise serve as their models."
	The medieval Spanish, like the Greeks, considered music an
essential part of every education and no person was thought educated
who was not well trained in singing and in playing the various
instruments. Music was considered especially necessary for the kings
and princes. "By song," wrote the Jesuit historian Mariana,
"princes can understand how strong is the influence of laws, how
useful order is in life, how suave and sweet is moderation in our
desires. The King ought to cultivate music to distract his soul, to
temper the violence of his character and to harmonize his affections.
In studying music, he will understand that the happiness of a
republic consists in the exact proportion and the just accord of the
	Isabel applied this principle to the education of Prince
Juan. Not only was he trained to sing and to play skillfully on the
harp, but he was surrounded by musicians. Isabel had a passion for
the art and never went anywhere, even to the battlefield, without
taking musicians with her. Garcilaso de la Vega, whom she sent as
Ambassador to Rome, was an excellent harpist. One of her subjects,
Francisco Penalosa, became one of the most brilliant musicians in the
papal choir at Rome where Palestrina, only half a century later, was
to lay the foundation of modern music.
	Even when Isabel went to a military camp, she took with her
the forty trained singers of her choir, besides organists and players
on the viol, the lute, the clavecin, the flute and other instruments.
Prince Juan at this period was fifteen years old. One of his best
tutors was Peter Martyr, a scholar who had come from Italy to serve
in the army against the Moors. He was so eloquent that when he gave a
lecture on Juvenal at the University of Salamanca in 1488, the pupils
bore him on their shoulders in triumph as if he had made a victorious
athlete. Under his tutelage Prince Juan made rapid progress. All this
time the prince lived in his own house with his ten companions, like
a young monarch surrounded by his court. On certain days the Queen
sent the lawyers and statesmen of her council to sit with him while
he asked them questions for practice and gravely gave judgment on
real and imaginary problems of statecraft.
	Isabel's activities in time of peace were almost as
exhausting as her heroic efforts during the war. She never allowed
her public career to interfere with her duty to her husband and five
children. She is said to have made Fernando's shirts and she
illuminated manuscripts. She took her spinning wheel to a convent
where she heard discipline had grown lax and spent a day toiling
there as an example to the nuns. She tried to be a mother to all her
subjects. Nothing was too minute for her attention. She issued a
decree against the costly and ostentatious funerals for which the
Spanish had a weakness, point out that it was inconsistent for them,
as Christians, who believe in the immortality of the soul, to waste
so much money on the perishable body. 
	About this time she chose for her confessor a man who was
later to be one of the greatest statesmen in Europe. He was
Franciscan friar, Ximenes de Cisneros. He was recommended to her by
Cardinal Mendoza, when the Queen visited him during his last illness,
to console him and to receive his final advice as to the future
government of the kingdom he had served so long and so well. As usual
his counsel proved to be excellent. Ximenes was a humble, ascetic
priest of lowly origin, who had been educated on a free scholarship
at Salamanca and had graduated with high honors. At one time he
offended Archbishop Carrillo and the impulsive old warrior clapped
him into jail and kept him there for six years, but during those six
years Ximenes became master of himself.
	Isabel now asked the Pope to appoint Ximenes, Archbishop of
Toledo, to succeed Mendoza. King Fernando objected, for he wanted the
post for his own natural son, the Archbishop of Saragossa. But Isabel
had her way as usual and Pope Alexander appointed Ximenes. 
	Ximenes turned pale and fled from Court when the papal bull
reached him one Good Friday and it took six months of pleading on the
part of the Queen and a second bull of command from Pope Alexander to
make him accept the honor. Even after his elevation he continued to
wear coarse cotton, to sleep on bare boards and to eat simple convent
fare. He would not have put on the gorgeous robes of his office if
Queen Isabel and the Pope had not insisted. However, he still wore a
hair shirt next to his skin, under the silk and cloth of gold of his
	Such was the man who guided Queen Isabel's conscience from
1492 until the end of her life. With her aid, he reformed the Church
of Spain. It was he who established the University at Alcala. One of
his greatest achievements was the assembling of the Complutensian
Polyglot Bible, comprising all the known texts of Holy Scripture in
various languages. This work took him many years, during which he
engaged all the greatest scholars of Europe and ransacked all the
libraries. After Isabel's death, he averted a civil war in Spain. He
was Inquisitor General and after Fernando's death he became Regent,
ruled with great wisdom, saved the dearly won unity of Spain, led a
crusade to Africa at his own expense and finally was repaid by the
ingratitude of the young Emperor Charles V, who on his assession
summarily discharged the greatest prime minister in Spanish history.
	All this time Isabel and Fernando kept several secretaries
constantly engaged in correspondence with all the princes of Europe.
They sent most of their messages in code and any dispatch of an
important character was sent by three different couriers traveling by
different routes, so dangerous was traveling at that time. One of the
codes sent by Queen Isabel to Dr. Puebla in London during the last
year of the Moorish War reads as follows:
	"Considering the question whether the town of 102 be 90
or 39 90, we are constructing a188 there in which we intend to have
good 97 and all that is necessary of 94 102 or at least to watch her
so closely that it shall 39 be necessary to 94 her now."
	This decoded meant:
	"Considering the question whether the town of Granada be
conquered or not conquered, we are constructing a fortress there
(Santa Fe) in which we intend to have good troops and all that is
necessary to besiege Granada, or at least to watch her so closely
that it shall not be necessary to besiege her now."
	Chapter XXVII
	King Fernando was a skillful and crafty statesman. He had to
deal with master liars like Louis XI, Henry VII, Ludovico Sforza of
Milan and Philip the Fair and he met them with his own weapons. A new
and alarming Europe was coming into being. England, under the miserly
but sagacious Henry VII, was becoming a power to be reckoned with. In
France the septre had fallen into the dangers hands of young Charles
VIII, a weakling of twenty-two, who liked to imagine himself as a
Caesar or a Charlemagne.
	Charles wished to make a crusade to regain the Holy Sepulchre
at Jerusalem, but lacking the generosity of such true crusaders as
Richard of the Lion Beart and St. Louis, cherished a selfish plan to
seize the kingdom of Naples on the way. He had inherited a rather
shadowy claim to it through the house of Anjou. At one time while
King Ferrante of Naples had been besieging Rome, Pope Innocent VIII
had appealed to Charles for protection.
	Pope Innocent's successor, elected in 1492, was the Spanish
Cardinal Borgia, who took the title of Pope Alexander VI. An
experienced papal statesman and a splendid specimen of manhood in his
sixties, the new pontiff inspired general confidence when he promised
to be a father to Christendom and to united Europe against the
Moslems. Like King Fernando, he wanted to keep Charles VIII out of
Italy, fearing that the French would seize control of the whole
country and upset the political balance of Europe.
	King Fernando saw a chance to get something out of Charles by
pretending to favor his plans. He asked the young French King to
return Roussillon and Cerdagne, which belonged to Aragon and Charles
agreed to do so in the Treaty of Barcelona, signed January 8, 1493.
In the same treaty Fernando promised not to oppose Charles in his
crusade and to assist him against anybody in the world, except the
	This last chance was inserted by the wily Fernando for
excellent reasons, but Charles was completely deceived and resumed
his preparations to conquer Italy.
	About this time an attempt was made to assassinate King
Fernando. Every Friday he used to hold public court where the poor
might have justice without cost, without delay and without being
victimized by the greed and hypocrisy of lawyers. Naturally these
audiences were popular and Fernando found himself besieged by
petitioners from morning to night. One Friday he arose from his
judgment seat at twelve o'clock, after having heard evidence since
eight and walked down a flight of stairs. As he did so a madman
leaped forward and struck him from behind with a cutlass, inflicting
a deep wound from the top of the head to the ear and down the neck to
the shoulders. A great hubbub arose in the city and Queen Isabel,
listening at her palace window, heard the people shout, "the
King is dead! They have killed the King!"
	Fernando's condition remained critical for several days and
Isabel remained at his bedside day and night. Meanwhile the people of
Barcelona promised to make pilgrimages and mortifications if he
recovered. Isabel, in her anxiety, wrote to her former confessor,
Talavera, now Archbishop of Granada:
	"Very pious and very reverend Father: Since we see that
Kings, like other men, are exposed to mortal accidents, it is a
reason why they should be prepared for death. I say this, although I
have never doubted it. I have reflected on it for a long time, for
grandeur and prosperity made me think of it all the more and fear to
reach the end of life without sufficient preparation. But the
distance is great from the firm belief to the realization from
concrete experience. Since the King my Lord has seen death near hand,
the experience was more real and more lasting than if I myself had
been at the point of death. Not even at the moment of leaving the
body would my soul endure anything similar. I cannot say or explain
what I suffer. Indeed then, before I touch death again, please God it
may not be in such a way, I should like to be in other dispositions
than those in which I find myself at this moment and particularly as
to my debts. Inform yourself of all the cases where it seems to you
there can be restitution and satisfaction of the interested persons
and how this may be effected. Send me a memorandum of it. It will be
the greatest peace in the world for me to have it and having it and
knowing my debts, I shall labor to pay them."
	In a later letter she corrects certain details of her first
account of the attack on the King.
	"The wound was so great, as Doctor Guadalupe said, for I
could not find the courage to look at it, that it penetrated four
inches and was twelve inches long. My heart trembles to speak of
it...but God, in his mercy decreed that it should be in a place where
the wound would not be mortal for, the nerves and the spine having
been left untouched, it soon became evident that there was no danger
of death. Afterwards, the fever and the danger of a hemorrhage
alarmed us. The seventh day he was so well that I wrote you and
dispatched a courier to you much relieved, although I was nearly mad
for lack of sleep. Then after the seventh day he had an access of
fever so great that he suffered the greatest anguish he had yet
endured. The fever lasted a day and a night of which I will not say
what Saint Gregory says in the office for Holy Saturday, but it was a
night of hell. So that you may believe Father, that never was the
like seen among the people at any time, for officials ceased their
work and none paused to speak with another. All was pilgrimages,
processions and almsgiving and more hearings of confessions than even
in Holy Week and that without being asked by anyone. In the churches,
in the monasteries, night and day, without cease, ten or twelve
friars were praying. On can't tell all that happened.
	"God, in His goodness, wished to have pity on us, for
when Herrera left, taking you another letter form me, His Lordship
was very well, as I told you. He has continued so, thanks be to God,
so that he has got up and goes here and there. Tomorrow, if it please
God, he will be able to mount his horse and go about town and visit
the house where we are going to live. Great has been our pleasure at
seeing him about, as great as our sadness was before. Indeed, he has
brought us all back to life! Everyone wept for joy.
	I don't know how we shall thank God for so great a grace,
many virtues would not suffice to do it. What shall I do, who have
none? Please God, henceforth I shall serve Him as I ought. Your
prayers and your counsels will aid me in this, as they always have
helped me.
	After many days Fernando recovered and said that his illness
had been a punishment for his sins. The good people of Barcelona were
seen going barefoot on the streets in thanksgiving and some went to
various churches and shrines on their knees, as they had promised
during his illness.
	Isabel's keen sense of her own sinfulness seems to have been
the result of a very humble and sensitive conscience, for all
investigators have agreed that Washington Irving was right in calling
her "one of the purest and most beautiful characters in the
pages of history."
	How humbly this autocratic Queen regarded herself as an
individual may be judged from one of her letters to Talavera,
apologizing for allowing ladies and gentlemen to eat at table
together and for permitting bullfights against her better judgment.
Yet when the old Archbishop wrote her that he had disturbing reports
of the richness of her gown on certain occasions, she defended
herself with vigor, saying that her dress was not new. In fact, the
dress was only "made of silk and with three bands of gold, as
plainly as possible." and she had worn it before in the presence
of the same French Ambassadors. The same was true of her ladies. Some
of the men's costumes may have been extravagant, she admitted, but it
had not been by her orders nor by her example. With all her courage
and determination, Isabel was very feminine.
	Not long after the King's recovery, two of the most powerful
Conversos of the court, Luis de Santangel and Gabriel Sanchez,
received letters from Christopher Columbus, who had dropped
completely out of sight for eight months, after setting sail from
Palos. Just why the Admiral should have written first to these secret
Jews, instead of the King and Queen, remains a mystery to this day
(Obviously the original author of this document did not know that
Christopher Columbus was a Jew, which explains his contacting Jews
first before the King and Queen). Perhaps he wrote them and his
letters have been lost. At any rate, he wrote to Sanchez that
thirty-three days after his departure, he had arrived in the sea of
India and had discovered many islands, the first of which he called
San Salvador or Holy Savior.
	"These islands are of a beautiful appearance and present
a great diversity of views. They may be traversed in any part and are
adorned with a great variety of exceedingly lofty trees, which, to
appearance, never lose their foliage, for I saw them as verdant and
flourishing as they exist in Spain in the month of May. Some are
covered with flowers, others loaded with fruit, according to their
season of bearing...The nightingale and countless other birds were
singing, although it was the month of November when I fixated this
delightful region."
	Columbus reported that the people he had found were naked,
timid, peaceful, honest and so generous that they would trade away
their cotton and gold like idiots for broken hoofs, platters and
glass, if he had not forbidden his men to take advantage of them. He
said there were other Indians on an island beyond who were cannibals
and he had heard of another island where the people had no hair and
possessed large quantities of gold. Finally he promised that he could
provide Their Majesties with any quantify of gold, drugs, cotton and
other commodities and as many slaves for the service of the marine as
they might need.
	It still remains a mystery why Columbus should have
emphasized the possibility of commercial gain and of a flourishing
slave trade in his letters to the two Conversos. Whereas in his
dealing with the King and Queen he had fallen in with their lofty
purpose of making the whole world Catholic. But men's motives are
sometimes mixed and in spite of the fact that THE JEWS HAD BEEN
of the modern assertion that Santangel supported Columbus in the
expectation of making great profits by the sale of human flesh and
that Columbus also was of Jewish origin. In any case, the sincerity
of the great discover's faith in Christ seems beyond question.
	Presently came letters to the court from Portugal, stating
that the Admiral had been driven by a storm into the port of Lisbon,
where he had been royally entertained by King Joeo. He was now on his
way to Barcelona to report in person to Their Majesties. 
	Chapter XXVIII
	Columbus entered Barcelona with a burst of splendor in the
middle of April. Many young noblemen and merchants came forth from
the gates to receive him, as if he had been a Roman victor returning
from the wars. The first to enter the city were the six Indians he
had brought from the lands of Kubla Khan, painted and be feathered
and shivering with cold. After them walked the sailors of the
Admiral's crew, carrying live parrots, stuffed birds and animals from
the Indies and weapons and implements of the Indians. Columbus
followed on horseback in silken doublet and hose, with a new velvet
bonnet and a gorgeous cloak flung over his shoulders the Admiral of
the Ocean Seas, making the most of the moment for which he had waited
so many years. It was as if his poetic soul already whispered to him
that after six months of applause he would be almost a forgotten man.
	To show honor to the man who thought he had been to the
waters of China and Japan, the King and Queen had their throne placed
in public, before the Cathedral, under the canopy of gold brocade and
there, with Prince Juan on one side of the and the Cardinal of Spain
on the other, they received Columbus and when he knelt to kiss their
hands, they raised him as if he were a person of the highest rank and
begged him to be seated, a courtesy extended in Castile and Aragon
only to princes of the blood.
	The woolcomber's son with his grave and gracious dignity,
told them all he had seen. The substance of his account may still be
read in his journal. He had made for the Canaries and then, September
6, after certain repairs, had boldly sailed west. On the eleventh
they saw part of the mast of a ship of about 120 tons floating in the
water. On the night of the fifteenth they beheld "a remarkable
bolt of fire fall into the sea at a distance of four or five
leagues." It drizzled the next day, but from then on there was
nothing but very pleasant weather.
	"The morning were most delightful," wrote the
Admiral. "Nothing was wanting but the melody of the nightingales
to make it like Andalusia in April." He encouraged the sailors
by pointing to some patches of green weeds and said, "The
continent we shall find farther ahead." (Note: If Columbus had
not known what was west of Spain, then how could he have known that
there was a continent further own? It is because he was in possession
of maps that had been prepared by Israelites centuries before he made
his famous voyage). But on the seventeenth the sailors were terrified
when the Admiral noted, for the first time in history, the magnetic
variation of the needle, a whole point from the north. The Admiral
invented a very ingenious explanation to quiet the men. He told them
the compass was correct but the north star, instead of being
stationary, as all had supposed, evidently revolved about the pole
like a lantern, what could be more simple?
	After that ‘they were all very cheerful and strove which
vessel should outsail the others." They saw tunnies and a live
crab. The Admiral said he saw a white bird called a water-wagtail,
which does not sleep at sea. On the eighteenth a pelican came aboard.
The Admiral said they never went more than twenty leagues form land
so there must be islands near. He was then in the middle of the
Atlantic Ocean.
	The wind blew so steadily from the east that the sailors
began to say that it never blew in any other direction in that ocean,
hence they could never return home, but must sail west forever.
Fortunately, on the twenty-second the wind changed. The Admiral,
seeing the hand of God in everything said, "This head wind was
very necessary to me, for my crew had grown much alarmed." The
next day the sea was so smooth and tranquil that the sailors
murmured, saying that they had got into an ocean where no winds blew.
But they were presently astonished to see the waves rise without a
wind. The Admiral recorded, "The rising of the sea was very
favorable to me, as it happened formerly to Moses when he led the
Israelites from Egypt."
	He had differences of opinion with Martin Alonzo Pinzon. At
sunset September 25, Pinzon cried that he saw land and the crew of
the Pinta sang the Gloria in excels is Deo, the other crews joining
in. Sailors of that period commonly sang at their work and the
Admiral had them all sing every evening the beautiful hymn called the
Salve Regina. But, on this occasion the chanting of the ninety voices
withered into a disappointed silence when the "land" turned
out to be a cloud.
	The Admiral now began to conceal from the crew the true
distance they had gone. October first he told them they had sailed
only 584 leagues, whereas his own reckoning showed 707. He would lop
a few leagues off the reckoning each day. The weather continued fine.
"Many thanks to God," wrote the Admiral in his log.
	On the sixth of October Pinzon urged Columbus to alter the
course from west to south-west, where he thought there would be
islands. Columbus, who appeared to have found Pinzon very irritating,
refused. But on the next day he shifted his course form west to west
south west, giving as his reason that the birds were flying toward
the south-west and by attending to the flight of birds." If
Columbus had continued to follow the inner voice of his own genius
instead of Martin Alono and the birds, he would have landed on the
North American continent in a few days. As it was, he discovered land
on the fourth day. In his journal he says nothing of any
"mutiny" or threats not mutiny by his crew.
	On the evening of the eleventh the Admiral saw a moving light
ahead. The three crews chanted the Salve Regina with unusual fervor
and the next morning they landed on an island which Columbus called
San Salvador, "Holy Savior." It was on a Friday, Columbus's
lucky day.
	It is not certain which of the islands of the Lucaya
Archipelago is the San Salvador of Columbus. It may have been Watling
Island. It may have been Grand Turk, or Turk's Island, which
corresponds to Columbus's description of San Salvador as "flat,
without any lofty eminence, surrounded by a reef of rocks and with a
lake in the center."
	Naked savages gazed with wonder and delight as the
"celestial men" landed. Columbus bore the royal standard
and each of the Pinzons carried a banner of the Green Cross,
containing the initials of the names of the King and Queen on each
side of the cross and over each letter a crown. The Indians swam out
to the ships.
	"As I saw that they were very friendly to us,"
wrote the Admiral in his journal, "and perceived that they could
be much more easily converted to our Holy Faith by gentle means than
by force, I presented them with some red caps and strings of beads to
wear upon the neck and many other trifles of small value, wherewith
they were much delighted.
	To me, they seemed on the whole, to be a very poor people.
They all go completely naked, even the women, though I saw but one
girl. All whom I saw were young, not above thirty years of age, well
made with fine shapes and faces. Their hair was short and coarse like
that of a horse's tail, combed toward the forehead, except a small
portion which they suffer to hang down behind and never cut. Some
pain themselves with black, some with white and others with
	When Columbus had finished his narrative, the King and Queen
and the Prince and all the court knelt and raised their hands and
voices in gratitude to Heaven, while the royal choir sang the Te Deum
Laudamus; and then all arose and marched in joyous procession through
the city.
	Queen Isabel invited the Admiral to dine with the royal
family and promised him a new fleet for a second expedition. Prince
Juan was especially interested in the Indians and Columbus gave him
one for a servant, but the Spanish climate was too much for the
savage and he soon died. When the six aborigines were baptized, the
King and Queen sponsored them.
	For a whole month Columbus was the hero of the court. He was
seen riding in the park with King Fernando and the Prince. He was
entertained by the Cardinal at supper. His praises were sung in
London, Paris, Vienna and especially at Genoa. The first person that
Isabel and Fernando notified was Pope Alexander VI. There was a great
rejoicing in Rome for nearly everyone thought that Columbus had
reached Asia and that his discovery would result in the winning over
of many souls to Christ.
	About a year later when a dispute arose between Spain and
Portugal over the new discoveries, which the Portugese declared were
in waters that belonged to them, Pope Alexander prevented war by
drawing an imaginary line through the Atlantic to protect each nation
in the right to its discoveries. All discovered to the west of that
line should belong to Spain, since Columbus had sailed west; all to
the east should be Portugese since their activity had been along the
coast of Africa. Of course Pope Alexander had no idea at the time
that the American continent existed. Later, to satisfy Dom Joao, the
Pope shifted the arbitrary line 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde
Islands and in 1499 the two nations agreed to a treaty, which gave
Portugal her later title to Brazil. 
	By September 1493, Isabel had assembled a second expedition
for Columbus, consisting of seventeen ships and about 1,500 men,
including soldiers, farmers, artisans, missionary priests, monks and
young cavaliers in search of gold and adventure. Since "the
Indies" had no domestic animals or agricultural products useful
to civilized men, she had the fleet well stored with all kinds of
seeds, wheat, barley, oranges, lemons, bergamots, melons and other
fruit and vegetables; and all manner of beasts, cows, bulls, goats,
horses, pigs, hens and rabbits. Her genius provided that the whole
virgin continent, so rich in soil but poor in products, should become
capable of sustaining civilization.
	In return for these benefits the New World gave to the Old
"a root that looked like a carrot and tasted like
chestnuts" the potato, a truly American product, Irish only by
adoption. Luis de Torres, a Christian Jew, who went with Columbus as
interpreter, came back imitating the savages in burning certain herbs
in a Y-shaped pipe called a tobago. He had seen the Indians perfuming
themselves with this pipe by inserting the two hollow tubes of the Y
in their nostrils and inhaling the fumes through the nose. De Tores
seems to have been the first tobacco smoker in Europe. Columbus was
reported to have found some very peculiar animals "which looked
like large rats, or something between a large rat and a rabbit and
are very good and savory for eating and have feet and paws like rats
and climb trees" undoubtedly the "island," ‘possum.
	In October 1493, Columbus set sail a second time for the
shores of Cathay. Meanwhile Charles VIII had notified King Fernando
that he was commenting his crusade against the Turks and casually
mentioned as though it were a fact of no importance, that he would
take Naples on the way. He started with an army of 31,000 and plenty
of artillery, but as he needed money and cavalry, he reminded
Fernando of the Treaty of Barcelona and asked him for aid and for the
use of the harbors of Sicily.
	Fernando and Isabel now sent an ambassador to congratulate
Charles on his zeal for the Faith and to promise him all possible aid
against the Turks. But they felt it their duty to point out that the
right of conquest in Africa had been reserved to Castile by papal
brief; and they could not approve of Charles's design against Naples,
because that kingdom was a fief of the Holy See. They had agreed at
Barcelona to do nothing against the Pope.
	Charles saw that he had been tricked by Fernando and was
furious. But, having gone so far with his plans, he resolved to
continue without Spanish aid. He crossed the Alps with his army and
proceeded to conquer Italy. It was not difficult. Towns everywhere
opened their gates to him. The mercenary armies of the Italian
states, led by the condottieri, melted away like shadows. They were
really little more than sham armies who used to fight sham battles.
It is said that in one battle that "raged" all day long,
only one man was killed, and he was smothered by the weight of his
armor. Often the opposing fighters would declare a holiday and play
games. Naturally such troops fled without resistance before the well
trained French and Swiss army of Charles. The truth was that the
Italian States had become over civilized and so softened by ease and
luxury, by books and art, that they had forgotten how to fight and
had left their defense to mercenaries who cared for nothing but
collecting their pay.
	Rome was in a panic. While Pope Alexander and the Cardinals
took refuge in the castle of San Angelo, the young French King, like
a modern Caesar, rode triumphantly into the city at the head of his
	Chapter XXIX
	Charles had entered Rome with every intention of cause the
Pope to be deposed and calling a Church Council which would elect
Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere or some other member of the Sacred
College, who was believed to be favorable to France. In this he was
encouraged by the letters and sermons of Savonarola, the sallow faced
Dominican friar with the aquilie nose and piercing fiery eyes who had
snubbed Lorenzo the Magnificent and had burned the pagan art
treasures of Florence. He was a holy and admirable man but, something
of a fanatic, who imagined that Charles was the instrument chosen by
God to reform the Church and save Europe.
	It seemed likely that French influence, which had cause the
papal exile at Avignon and other misfortunes of the Church, might
once more gain great power at the expense of the See of Peter. It was
expected that Alexander would resign rather than face a hostile
council assembled by the French. But when the stately old Spaniard
drew up his majestic figure on the crumbling ramparts of San Angelo
and calmly defied the young King with the bronze cannon and Swiss
infantry and the Italian traitors and cardinals who had joined the
cabal of Giuliano, it was Charles who submitted. Charles humbly knelt
before Alexander and acknowledged him to be the true Pope.
	Meanwhile, the farsighted King Fernando of Aragon was
secretly preparing for the game he intended to play with Charles. He
sent to Sicily a strong fleet with 300 picked men on board under
Gonsalve de Cordoba, the Great Captain whom the Queen recommended for
the post. He also sent Garcilaso de la Vega to Rome to assure the
Pope of the loyalty and obedience of the Spanish kingdoms to assure
the Pope of the Italian States against the invader. Garcilaso went
from one Italian prince to another, rebuking some for their weakness
and appealing to others on the grounds of Faith, patriotism and self
	While Charles was marching to take Naples, the Spanish envoy
was carefully preparing an alliance of the Pope, Venice, Milan, the
German Emperor and Spain to oppose him. Thus was organized, in many
night conferences, the League of Venice. The Italian States premised
to raise a force of 24,000 horse and 20,000 foot to defend the Holy
See against Charles. Forty Venetian galleys were to attack the French
forts on the Neapolitan coast, Charles's friend, the Duke of Milan,
agreed to desert him and cut off his reinforcements from France. King
Fernando offered his fleet and army and agreed to invade France. 
	Charles did not discover the existence of the League against
him until he had entered Naples in triumph, clad in robes of scarlet
and ermine, with the imperial crown on his head. He was furious to
find how he had been tricked by the Spanish sovereigns, but there was
noting to do about it but to hurry home and defend his kingdom
against the threatened invasion from Aragon. He fought his way north,
with heavy losses and retreated across the Alps.
	Meanwhile Gonsalvo de Cordoba had quietly crossed from Sicily
to Celabria, which he proceeded to conquer in a brilliant campaign
which showed him to be one of the great military leaders of his time.
After taking Atella, he marched against Ostia where a French
garrison, under a notorious freebooter, had cut off the supplies and
destroyed the commerce of Rome and took it by storm. 
	Gonsalvo de Cordoba then went to Rome and was hailed as its
deliverer. Pope Alexander publicly bestowed upon him the Golden Rose.
Thus Spain, instead of France, became the dominant political force in
Italy and all at very slight expense. In fact when the Great Captain
wrote home for supplies of food and clothing for his men. King
Fernando replied, "let them live off the country."
Fernando, with all his faults, had become one of the most powerful
Kings of his time. "If you consider his actions," said
Machiavelli, "you will find them always great and
extraordinary." He now began to dream of a new empire to be
established by conquest and by diplomatic marriages, to be ruled over
one day by Prince Juan.
	Both Fernando and Isabel were very skillful at playing off
England against France. They engaged in a long period of haggling
with Henry VII over the forthcoming marriage of their daughter
Catalina with his son Prince Arthur of Wales. Finally a treaty was
agreed upon in which Henry agreed to make war on France whenever
Fernando did. It was agreed also that Catalina's marriage portion was
to be 200,000 scudos, each scudo worth 4s. 2d.; half to be paid at
the time of marriage and the rest within two years. The dower of the
Princess was to consist of a third part of the revenues of Wales,
Cornwell and Exeter.
	When Charles VIII entered Rome, Isabel and Fernando tried to
induce him to join the League in defense of the Pope. Henry replied
that there was no more zealous Christian in the world and no one more
disposed to aid the Holy See as he; but he could not believe the Pope
was rally in danger, for he had not told him so. Doctor Puebla wrote
them that it was true, no appeal from the pope had reached England
and this astonished him, "because the authority of the Pope is
very great in England and his letter would have produced much effect.
	The Princess Isabel, who had married the Portugese Prince
Alfonso, had been widowed after six months of marriage and had
returned to her parents to lead virtually the life of a noon in the
palace. When her husband's brother Dom Manoel, became King of
Portugal in 1495, he asked for her hand. But the beautiful widow did
not even consider a second marriage at that time, nor did her parents
insist. Isabel now began to think of sending the Princess Maria to
Portugal. This proved somewhat embarrassing, because King James of
Scotland had made a request for one of the daughters and they were
anxious to please him, for they were using him as a club to force
Henry, who feared him, into a war with France. Queen Isabel solved
the difficulty by writing Doctor Puebla in England that if there were
a fifth daughter, they would gladly give her to the King of Scotland.
But, since there were only four, she was about to send an ambassador
to James, "To keep him in suspense as much as he is able."
	The chief purpose of the foreign policy of Isabel and
Fernando at this time was to isolate France in such a way as to
prevent Charles from overrunning Europe. They were anxious to prevent
a war between France and Spain in Italy and to achieve this they did
all they could to involve France in a war with their
"brother" Henry. Isabel's letters, at this time, are
sometimes nervous and tense and occasionally illustrate the judgment
of her secretary that "she was naturally truthful and desired to
keep her word, though it happened in those times and in certain
persons and by the great events of the times, that she was made to
swerve from it sometimes."
	Isabel was not forty-five years old, a difficult age and her
letters sometimes show a trace of hysteria. Yet, the frankness and
fearlessness of the young Isabel are often apparent. There is a
pulsating vigor, characteristically hers, that is missing from the
join correspondence signed "Ferninandus et Isabella." In
the letters that she herself wrote, there is a freshness of epithet,
and aptness of metaphor and simile. In short, much of the charm, the
power and the individuality of a woman of genius.
	In her anxiety lest Puebla, whom she began to suspect, should
be more devoted to Henry's interests than to hers, she flattered him,
in one letter addressing him as "My counselor and
ambassador," and in another, "Virtuous and intimate
friend." She wrote Henry that he would be doing King Charles a
service if he declared war on him. "If the King of France will
continue to carry things with a high hand, putting reason entirely
out of sight, then it would be of a certainty be doing him a good
office to prevent him from further following the road to ruin which
he is taking.
	In order to do this, there does not appear to us a better
course to take than for the King of England to make war upon
him." Isabel goes on to argue that in this event Charles would
give up his plan, make terms, and thus "restore peace to
Christendom without prejudice to anyone, in addition to which it
would greatly benefit the said King of England, our cousin." By
making war, she adds, Henry will "put the finishing stroke to a
thing of immense and universal good." At one time she actually
made the ridiculous promise that if Henry would make war upon France
she would arrange with the Pope to give him a bull of crusade and let
him keep a third or half of whatever he might conquer.
	To strengthen their hand against France, Isabel and Fernando
had long planned the marriage of their second daughter Juana, to the
Archduke Philip the Fair, so of the Emperor Maximilian and that of
Prince Juan to the Archduchess Margot. The time now came for these
marriages and Queen Isabel went to the north coast to see the
departure of her second daughter. Juana was then sixteen, slim and
dark and so closely resembling her grandmother Juana Enriquez that
the Queen used to address her teasingly as suegra, mother-in-law. In
temperament however, Juana was more like her maternal grandmother at
Arevalo. She was moody, melancholy, given to fits of sullenness and
inexplicable depression. Of the four daughters she alone laced
physical charm and she was jealous of the others. She resented her
mother's discipline and sometimes showed a great impatience with
religious instruction and observance. Such was the unfortunate girl
who was sent to Flanders as the bride of a careless, sensual and
pleasure loving boy.
	She showed no emotion or regret at leaving her mother. She
seemed more interested in the weather and the ship, both of which she
detested. She was hardly to be blamed, for the weather was foul and
even under the fairest skies, a voyage was bound to be dangerous and
uncomfortable in a four masted vessel with a double tower stern, wide
bow and narrow poop, all rolling like a cork in the heavy wind.
	The sky was cloudy and the sea rough when she set sail. The
Queen watched her go with a heavy heart full of misgivings. She had
no news of her daughter for several months, during which reports of
wrecks washed up on the Biscayan coasts kept her in a continual state
of fear and remorse. At last Isabel heard that the fleet she had sent
with Juana had been scattered in a storm and had stopped at Flanders
for repairs, but had finally reached Flanders.
	This news came indirectly, not from Juana, for she did not
answer her mother's letters. Phillip was hunting in Luxembourg when
she arrived and did not take the trouble to meet her for a month. She
fell in love with him at once but he cared nothing for her.
	The fleet that took Juana to her fate brought back a charming
Princess to be the bride of Prince Juan. Margot had been sent to
Paris at the age of four to be affianced to Charles VIII and had been
brought up carefully by Charles's Regent, Anne de Beaujeu and very
well educated. But Charles had jilted her at his sister's command, to
marry Anne of Brittany and thereby unite that province to France.
When Margo left the French court, the people cheered her, for she was
very popular there. She was charming, intelligent and attractive.
Queen Isabel hoped that she would make an ideal wife for the delicate
and sensitive boy with blond hair whom she called "My
	Chapter XXX
	Columbus had returned from his second voyage while the Queen
was at Almazan, waiting for Juana to sail, and she sent him a summons
to come to court, for she had been receiving some very disquieting
reports about him. A few weeks later he appeared before her at
Laredo, shockingly changed. During his thirty months of absence his
beard had grown, his face had become aged and lined in sickness and
care. Instead of the gay attire in which he had last appeared, he had
returned to the brown habit of the Third Order of Saint Francis, so
that on the whole he would have looked more like a hermit than an
admiral of Castile, but for that touch of gloomy majesty that never
forsook him. He came to court where he had many enemies and
backbiters and few staunch friends save the Queen, the young Prince
Juan and the royal nurse.
	After a voyage of five weeks he had arrived at Antilles,
November 3, 1493. When the crews went ashore at one of the islands,
which the Admiral called Guadalupe, they found a very filthy village
containing evidence that the idyllic picture Columbus had painted of
the Indians after his first voyage was not quite accurate.
	In several hamlets they found human limbs hung from rafters
of the huts, as if curing for meat. They found the head of a young
man recently killed, still bleeding and some parts of his body
roasting before the fire. Others were being boiled with the flesh of
geese and parrots.
	When Columbus reached Espanola (Hayti), he found no trace of
the garrison of thirty-nine men whom he had left there to defend the
fortress of La Navidad. Indians had evidently burned the fort to the
ground and killed all its inmates. Columbus landed and commenced
building the first Christian town in the New World, which he named
Isabella after the Queen. On the feast of the Epiphany 1494, the
first High Mass in America was solemnly offered up. The news was
received in Europe with rejoicing.
	Columbus now made his search for gold, but in vain. He
explored Cuba, which he called Juana and which he was positive was
the mainland of Asia. He explored the coast of Jamaica and then
returned to Cuba to look for a channel through the
"continent" so that he might circumnavigate the globe and
return to Spain by way of Jerusalem.
	Many complaints had reached the Queen that Columbus, with all
his vision and greatness of soul, was from being an ideal
administrator. He was sometimes too severe or sometimes too lenient.
He could be impatient and overbearing. He had the faults of his
virtues and sooner or later he appears to have quarreled with most of
the people who had close relations with him. He so exasperated a
devout priest, Fray Bernard Buyl, that the latter, with Captain Pedro
Margarite, fled to Spain to appeal to the King and Queen, from what
they described as the tyranny of Columbus and his brother. Columbus
was working, of course, under great difficulties.
	The site of his town proved unhealthy and he was prostrated
by illness for several months. Many of the adventurers who had gone
with him wanted to find gold without labor or discomfort and were
angry when Columbus made them work. The most difficult thing in his
career for his friends to explain, is his attitude towards slavery.
Catholics had always held the traffic in abhorrence and the Church
had discouraged it wherever her influence was sufficient. Columbus's
attitude, it was admitted, was hardly Christian.
	Early in 1494 Columbus wrote the King and Queen suggesting
that some of the cannibals of the Caribbean be sent to Spain as
slaves. He argued that it would be doing them a service to wean them
from their taste for human flesh and to teach them the tenets of the
true Faith. Isabel put him off by writing that she would answer his
proposal later.
	In 1494 he sent four shiploads of slaves to Sevilla, to be
sold in slave markets. The King and Queen authorized their sale,
believing them to be male prisoners of war. Columbus had sent them
news of a battle in which his 300 men at arms aided by blood hounds,
had vanquished 100,000 Indians.
	Five days later the Queen, troubled in her conscience, issued
an order forbidding the sale of the slaves. When she learned that the
poor wretches were not prisoners of war, but "five hundred
souls, men, women and children, ranging from twelve years to
thirty-five," she was highly indignant. Isabel commanded them
all to be freed and sent back to their homes in the New World.
Unhappily all of them died from the effect of the cold climate before
the monarch's command could be carried out.
	How Columbus justified his action to the Queen, history has
not recorded. Bernalez says that he seized the Indians in retaliation
for the burning of his fort and the murder of the garrison. But the
sending of the slaves seems to have been the turning point in his
life and from then on misfortunes closed in about him like dogs on
the trail for a wounded lion.
	Yet in all his adventures he remains a man of will, a heroic
man. Columbus was vain and capable of self-deception and like all
vain men had a passion for self justification. But under the
influence of suffering he became a strong, unselfish man, who learned
to live a life of ascetic self control even among dissolute men in a
strange world. He subordinated his own ambition to a desire to gain
money and to spend it only for the recovery of the Holy Spulchre at
	His voyage back to Spain in 1496 was a hideous one, lasting
four months. Food and water ran short and it was a crew of emaciated,
half starved, fever stricken wretches that crawled from the caravels
at Cadiz. Last of all, in his brown habit, came the Admiral. His
popularity was gone, everyone was calling him a humbug. Yet Isabel
still saw in him a great man and she announced that whatever happened
she intended to send him on a third expedition.
	She was now at Burges, waiting for the Princess Margot, then
on the high seas. Columbus predicted that Margo would arrive at
Santander and he proved to be right. She arrived a few days later and
came ashore to the sound of music and the shouts of the people.
	She was now at Burges, waiting for the Princess Margot, then
on the high seas. Columbus predicted that Margot would arrive at
Santander and he proved to be right. She arrived a few days later and
came ashore to the sound of music and the shouts of the people.
	She had a piquant French charm and was witty and joyous. Her
blond hair was long enough, if undone, to fall to her feet. Riding to
Burgos between the King and the Prince, she gave an amusing account
of her voyage and of the storm that had driven her ship into
Southampton. In the worst of the tempest, when the sailors expected
the ship to founder, Margot had written her own epitaph in verse and
sewed it on her wrist band as a mark of identification in case her
body was washed ashore.
	"Ci-git Margot, la gentil damoiselle,
	Qu'eut deux maris, et si, mourut pucelle."
	("The gentle damsel Margo here lies dead, 
	Sho had two husbands and so died unwed.")
	The Queen was delighted with her and all Spain joined in the
rejoycing of the royal family. The marriage was celebrated almot
immediately on Palm Sunday by Archbishop Ximenes. Isabel and Fernando
overwhelmed Margot with their generosity. The Queen even gave the
Aragonese necklace that Fernando had given her and her balas ruby
necklace, which she had redeemed from the money lenders. After the
usual tournaments, feasts and processions, Juan and Margot rode in
triumph through the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, feted everywhere,
symbols of eternal youth and love.
	To her mother's delight the Princess Isabel now agreed to
marry Dom Manoel of Portugal, on condition that he would drive all
the Jews out of his kingdom. Manoel hesitated, for the Portugese Jews
were rich, influential and rendered distinguished services to the
crown. Nevertheless he was not sorry to have an excuse to rid himself
of subjects who were rapidly taking into their hands all the new
foreign trade and wealth that Portugal had gained through her
discoveries. He expelled the Jews and the Princess went to Portugal a
second time as a bride. After her departure, Queen Isabel was
compelled to take to her bed, for the strain of the festivities in
honor of the Princess had been too much for her. Isabel's tremendous
energies, long overtaxed, were beginning to wear down at last. Next
day came a courier from Salamanca with bad news. Prince Juan had
developed a high fever after the feats in his honor at Salamanca and
the physicians sent word that his condition was alarming. 
	The King mounted a horse and posted to Salamanca, more than a
hundred miles away, while Isabel remained in an agony of suspense.
When Fernando reached his son's bedside, the physicians had given up
hope and the Prince was reconciled to the prospect of death. He bade
his father and mother to be of good cheer and submit to the will of
God. He himself had known nothing but happiness and blessings in his
short life, he said, and he would die without regret. He told his
father that Margot had conceived and he commended her and the unborn
infant to the kindness of his parents and his own soul to God. Fray
Tomas of Torquemada, the Inquisitor-General, who had hastened to
Salamanca at the King's summons, heard the dying boy's confession and
gave him Holy Communion and Extreme Unction.
	The King, according to Bernaldez, comforted the Prince much
when the last hour approached, saying, "Fijo mucho amado, have
patience since God calls you, who is a great King than any other and
has other kingdoms and seigniories greater and better than any we
might hold or might hope to give you and they will last you forever.
	"Therefore be of good heart to receive death, which
comes only once inevitably to all, with hope to be immortal
henceforth and to live in glory." thus he spoke and when the
Prince had signed his last, closed the boy's eyes and wondered
perhaps, why death, that had spared him in so many perilous battles,
should strike down a happy youth on the threshold of life. The Prince
died October 3, 1497, and "thus was laid low the hope of all
Spain." sadly wrote Peter Martyr, his tutor.
	The King had sent courier after courier to Alcantara,
reporting every slight symptom that might be interpreted favorable
and keeping up the Queen's hopes until the last, perhaps in the
belief that a miracle might yet happen. 
	Now, as soon as the body of Juan was laid in state in the
Cathedral of Salamanca, amid the lamentations of the university
students and townspeople, he chose to be the first to break the
tidings to the Queen. Isabel gave a cry of relief, for she imagined
his coming signified that the Prince was out of danger. The King's
face however, disillusioned her before he spoke. "Tell me the
truth, Senor!" she demanded. "He is with God," replied
Fernando. The great Queen stood pale and shaken. "This was the
first knife of sorrow," said Bernaldez, "that pierced her
heart." Then she bowed her head and said: "God gave him and
god has taken him away. Blessed be His holy name!"
	The King and Queen shut themselves up with their grief for
several days while the church bells, all over Spain, tolled for the
Prince and people everywhere put on mourning, draped the walls and
gates of every city in black and suspended all public and private
business for several days. 
	When at last the sovereigns emerged from their retirement,
they faced the world with such fortitude that all marveled at their
self control. Peter Martyr wrote, "The sovereigns force
themselves to hide their grief and they succeed. As we watch them,
crushed by the weakness of our souls, the look calmly, eye to eye, at
those about them. Where do they get such a power to hide their
feelings? It seems as if, clothed as men, they were not beings of
human flesh and that their nature, harder than diamond, did not feel
their loss."
	But, under serene exterior of Queen Isabel there was a fatal
wound. The world would never be to her as it had been, for she had
learned at last the meaning of the word "impossible."
	Chapter XXXI
	The world was never the same to Queen Isabel after Don Juan
was laid in his beautiful tomb at Avila and the seven remaining years
of her life were y ears of illness, anxiety, prayer and
mortification. Death had removed many of her old fiends and servants.
Cardinal Mendoza, whose contribution to her greatness can hardly be
over estimated, was gone. Torquemada died in 1498 at the age of
seventy-five and many venerated him as a saint, because a sweet and
agreeable odor came from his tomb.
	Charles VIII had died after a short and dissolute life, as
the result of bumping his head on a low doorway. A few days later, in
April 1498, Savonarola was hanged in Florence. King Fernando may have
regretted the loss of Mendoza and Torquemada, but he probably shed no
tears over Charles or the eloquent Dominican of Florence, who had
invited the French King into Italy. It may be inferred that in this
respect he was not far out of sympathy with Pope Alexander VI.
	Savonarola, a powerful preacher, had made himself virtual
dictator of Florence, where he had preached with increasing violence
against the Medici and the Pope. Alexander, who had been heartbroken
by the mysterious murder of his favorite son, the Duke of Fandia the
year before, had paid no attention to personal attacks of the more
slanderous nature, until Savonarola invited Charles to make a second
descent into Italy. The Pope then forbade him to preach. But the
prior of San Marco defied the command and preached more violently
than ever. The Pope therefore excommunicated him. Savonarola then
declared from the pulpit that all who persecuted him were enemies of
Christ. Early in 1498 he wrote to the Emperor and to the Kings of
France, Spain, England and Hungary that "the hour of vengeance
has arrived. God desires me to reveal His secret counsels and to
announce to all the world the dangers to which the barque of Peter is
exposed in consequence of your slackness...I assure you, in verbo
Domini, that this Alexander is no Pope at all and should not be
accounted such." He went so far as to say that the Pope had
bought his way into the Chair of St. Peter and did not even believe
in the existence of God.
	This seems to have been false, for Alexander, with all his
faults, had faith and manifested an especial devotion to the Blessed
Virgin. His political enemies had accused him of obtaining his
election by simony, or the use of money, but there is no proof of the
assertion. On the contrary, he was unanimously elected after having
served for several years as an able and efficient Papal Chancellor.
He made vigorous efforts to unite Europe against the Turks, who had
been ravaging Poland and even the mainland of Venice.
	The previous year he had appointed a committee to draw up a
program for the reform of the Church. One of his greatest faults
seems to have been that in his ardent affection for his own family he
often placed their interests before those of the Church, or at least
furnished ground for the jealousy of spiteful prince lings who were
his enemies or the enemies of the Church. He had been severely
criticized for making Cesare Borgia commander of the papal troops and
conqueror of a large part of Italy.
	But in this respect, Alexander and Cesare were only carrying
on the work of unification and centralization of power that was going
on everywhere in Europe. A period of something like anarchy was being
followed by an epoch of strong kings who repressed the selfish
nobility, who had been preying upon the people and warring among
themselves and gathered all authority into their own hands.
	Louis XI had done this in France, Henry VII was doing it in
England, Fernando and Isabel had found it necessary for the
reconstruction of Spai9n and Alexander and Cesare were attempting
something quite similar in Italy. Naturally the robber barons and
petty kings, whom Cesare, with his very considerable genius, had
shorn of their power, had another point of view and nothing was too
vile for them to say about the Pope, Cesare and Lucretia, who so far
as history has left any trust worthy records, was one of the most
lovable and virtuous women of her time.
	Savonarola evidently believed all that the Pope's enemies in
Florence were saying about him and he continued to thunder against
him and his family. But the Florentines turned against him on finding
that many of his prophecies were false and after a trial of heresy
and sedition, with cruel torture by the strappado, he was hanged with
two other friars in April 1498. It is a mistake to consider
Savonarola as the forerunner of Luther. He was convinced that the
Catholic Church was the one true Church established by Christ and he
lived and died in obedience to her teachings even though he disputed
the title of the then reigning Pope. Many Catholics, including St.
Philip Neri, have venerated him as a saint.
	The new French King, Louis XII, announced his intention to
lead a new crusade against the Turks and the Pope was now led by
various circumstances into friendly relations with him. Cesare, who
had been made a cardinal, but had never been a priest, wished to give
up the red robe to marry some princess and become a great secular
lord and King Louis, possibly in gratitude for the annulment of his
marriage to the lame Princess Jeanne, who was later canonized as
Saint Jeanne Valentino is. 
	Fernando and Isabel, who wished to keep the French out of
Italy, were disgusted with Alexander's new French policy and together
with Portugal they attempted to frighten him with threats of a
General the Spanish chronicler Zurita who wrote later, when prejudice
against Alexander had become very strong, "Informed him that he
was not the rightful Pope." The aged Pope replied that he had
been elected, without a dissenting voice, that he held his title
justly, whereas Fernando and Isabel were usurpers, who had seized the
power in Spain that rightfully belonged to Juana, "La
Beltraneja." Alexander evidently defended himself vigorously and
accused Garcilaso de la Vega to his face, of having circulated false
reports about him. He declared that the death of Prince Juan, which
left Fernando and Isabel without direct successors , was a punishment
from God for their encroachments upon the rights of the Church.
	It is true that a strange fatality seems to have followed the
children of the Spanish monarchs, whatever the cause may have been.
Margot had been with child when Don Juan died, but the baby was born
dead and the young Princess finally returned to her father's court.
The succession to the throne of Castile now devolved upon the young
Queen of Portugal. She bore a son in the summer of 1498, but died an
hour later. The child, whose name was Michael, was now the center of
all Queen Isabel's hopes and affections. She dreamed that one day he
would rule all Spain and Portugal. But alas for the hopes of the
Queen, within two years he had followed his mother to her beautiful
tomb at Toledo.
	"The first knife of grief that passed through the soul
of the Queen Dona Isabel," wrote Bernaldez, "was the death
of the Prince, the second was the death of Dona Isabel, her eldest
daughter, the third was the death of Don Miguel, her grandson, with
whom she had consoled herself. From that time, the Queen Dona Isabel,
so illustrious and virtuous and so necessary to Castile, lived
without pleasure and cut short her health and her life.
	Maria, most fortunate of all Queen Isabel's daughters, lived
to be thirty-five. In 1500 she married the King of Portugal and bore
him six sons and two daughters. Poor Juana was very unhappy in
Flanders and a constant source of anxiety to her mother. She was
wildly jealous of her husband. Philip gave her no money and the
Spaniards who had gone to Flanders with her were living in poverty.
On the feast of Saint Matthias in 1500 she because the mother of a
boy named Charles, who was destined to inherit through her, a vast
empire. This included all Spain, Naples, Sicily, Germany, Austria and
Flanders, as the Emperor Charles V, and then, at the height of his
power, to relinquish it all and enter a monastery.
	Of all the children there now remained with Queen Isabel only
the youngest, Catalina, but the beginning of her long martyrdom was
at hand. On Whit-Sunday, 1499, she was married by proxy to Prince
Arthur of Wales. However, Queen Isabel deferred sending her to
England as long as she could, because the Princess was only thirteen
and she distrusted the miserly Henry, of whom her ambassador wrote,
"If gold coin once enters into his strong boxes, it never comes
out again. He always pays in depreciated coin...All his servants are
like him, they have quite a wonderful dexterity in getting other
people's money."
	While the two courts were haggling over the Princess's going,
her money jewels, her reception and her status in England, the
affairs of Columbus were giving renewed uneasiness to the King and
Queen. He had begun his third voyage by knocking down one Ximenes de
Breviasca, a Converso employed by the Indian office, who had
irritated him beyond further endurance and kicking him about the dock
at Cadiz. 
	The Admiral discovered Trinidad and on the following day
August 1, 1498, he saw the American continent from his deck and named
it Holy Island, thinking it naturally to be another island. His crew
went ashore, but he himself was prevented by illness from doing so.
He discovered Venezuela, which he called Garcia. When he reached
Hispaniola, he found the colonists in rebellion against his brother,
whom he had left in charge. As both Columbus and his enemies sent
their conflicting reports to Spain, Fernando and Isabel sent
Francisco de Bobadilla, who had been an officer in the Moorish War,
to investigate and to place under arrest any disturbers of the peace.
	Bobadilla seems to have concluded, perhaps somewhat hastily,
that the Admiral's incapacity as an administrator was the cause of
the trouble, for he arrested him, had him taken aboard ship in chains
and sent him to Spain. When the ship captain offered to take off his
chains, Columbus insisted on wearing them and thus in November 1500,
he landed in Cadiz, crippled by gout, white-haired, painfully aged by
exposure and suffering. But under all circumstances, right or wrong,
sick or well, rich or poor, he preserved a certain sublimity of
bearing and a grandeur of phrase that leave him always, despite all
that has been or can be said against him, a great figure and a heroic
man. If Columbus had been a thief, he would have taken purses with a
lordly air. If he had been a beggar, he would have held out his hand
with the gesture of an emperor.
	On shipboard he wrote to Prince Juan's old nurse, who had
always been his friend, a letter burning with indignation:
	"God is just and He will in due time, make known by whom
and why it has all been done. Let them not judge me as a governor who
had been sent to some province or city under regular government,
where the laws could be executed without fear of danger to the public
weal or subjection to any enormous wrong. I ought to be judged as a
captain sent from Spain to the Indies to conquer a nation numerous
and warlike with customs and religion altogether different to ours. A
people who dwell altogether different to ours. A people who dwell in
the mountains, without regular habitations for themselves or for us.
Where, by the divine will, I have subdued another world to the
dominion of the King and Queen, our sovereigns, in consequence of
which Spain, what used to be called poor, is now the most wealthy of
kingdoms. I ought to be judged as a captain who for many years had
borne arms, never quitting them for an instant. I ought to be judged
by cavaliers who have themselves won the need of victory, by knights
of the sword and not of title-deeds."
	When the Admiral walked through the streets of Cadiz in
chains, a murmur of pity and indignation swept through the town and
thence through all Spain. When he appeared in the presence of the
King and Queen at Granada, public sympathy had turned the tide in his
favor and he was received with kindness, publicly vindicated and
allowed to retain all his titles and privileges. Nevertheless a new
governor named Ovando was sent to Hispaniola in his place. Bobadilla
appears to have remained at Court and to have been much honored.
	It is possible that Columbus was a little insane at this
period, for he published a book of prophecies in which he predicted
the end of the world in 155 years. Nevertheless, the Queen agreed to
send him on a fourth voyage, if he would keep away from Hispaniola,
He went and once more failed gloriously. Shipwrecked for eight months
among hostile Indians on the island of Jamaica, sick, betrayed,
denied entrance to the port he had discovered, he still kept his
unconquerable spirit and one cannot read this letters without feeling
sympathy and admiration. 
	Chapter XXXII
	While Queen Isabel was reading the letters of Columbus among
the gardens of the Alhambra, King Fernando was making every effort to
keep Louis XII out of Italy. But Louis sent an army over the Alpa,
under Trivulzio, in the summer of 1499 and made himself virtually
master of northern Italy. Nothing remained but to march on Naples.
Yet, remembering the unfortunate experience of Charles, he hesitated
to do so without making sure that the Spanish would not invade
France. His fear drove him into making a fool's bargain with King
Fernando. By a secret treaty of November 11, 1500, they agreed to
divide the kingdom of Naples between them, deposing Fernando's
cousin, King Federigo of Naples, because he had betrayed Christendom
by inviting the Turks into Italy to help him against Louis. Meanwhile
Fernando had already sent Gonsalvo de Cordoba very quietly to Sicily
with 70 ships, y00 cavalry and 5,000 of the crack Spanish infantry,
to be ready to deal with Louis's army when the time came. 
	Gonsalvo answered the Holy Father's appeal by joining the
Venetian fleet. They proceeded against Cephalonia, which they
recaptured from the Turks after a siege of fifty days. 
	Pope Alexander, in gratitude, gave King Fernando the title
Defender of the Faith. Gonsalvo, whose victory had saved Venice and
perhaps all Europe, was received everywhere with applause and
princely gifts, which he distributed among his troops with his usual
magnificence and he proceeded to Naples to take possession of his
master's half of it.
	Up to this point King Fernando could claim that he had been
actuated chiefly by zeal for the Church, but from then on his
devotion to his own interest became more apparent. Gonsalvo probably
on his master's instructions, soon quarreled with the French and then
proceeded to drive them out of Naples in one of the most brilliant
campaigns in the history of warfare. Thanks to King Fernando's
statecraft and the Great Captain's military genius Spain, instead of
France, was the dominant power in Italy.
	Queen Isabel was greatly interested at this time in the
attempts to convert Moors of Granada to Christianity, for she feared
that so long as they remained Mohammedan there would be danger of
their conspiring with the Moslems of Africa to disrupt the dearly won
unity of Spain. Her old confessor Talavera, had been making great
progress among the Moors as Archbishop, for his boundless charity and
the purity and nobility of his life, appealed to the Mohammedans so
powerfully that many of them voluntarily became Christians. But when
Ximenes de Cisneros, Archbishop of Toledo, went to Grenada to assist
Talavera in 1499, he was not content with the slow and sure gains of
the latter, but decided upon more energetic measures. He began
inviting the leaders of the Moors to his palace to discuss religion
with him and many of them were so impressed by his arguments that
they became Christians. On one day he baptized 4,000 Moors.
	The result was that the more bitter enemies of Christianity
among the Moors stirred up a rebellion which spread through many
towns. Ximenes retaliated with characteristic vigor by having the
ringleaders arrested. In his exasperation he commanded the prisoners
to receive instruction in the Christian religion from the chaplains
and when some of the refused, punished them severely. He caused
several thousand copies of the Koran and other Mohammedan books to be
burned on the public square and he compelled the descendants of
renegades to be baptized, even against the wishes of their parents.
Thus by his indiscreet zeal and bigotry, the capable Ximenes betrayed
the time honored principle of the Church that no one must be forced
to become a Christian. The result was what might have been expected,
the Moors of Granada took arms against the Christians and besieged
them for nine days and nights. It began to appear as though all the
Christians would be butchered, when the saintly Archbishop Talavera,
attended by a single chaplain carrying a cross before him, went forth
on foot to face the howling mob of Mohammedans. He raised his hand
for silence and spoke to them in Arabic. So great was their affection
for him and the power of his sanctity, that the Moors nearest to him
fell upon their knees and kissed the hem of his robe. Through his
good office, peace was once again restored. Yet the Inquisition later
dared to attack this holy man, merely because his parents had been
	King Fernando, who had never liked Ximenes, was mightily
enraged against him.
	"Ah!" he cried to the Queen. "Does it not
appear to you, Senora, that your Archbishop in a single hour has
placed in jeopardy all that the Kings our ancestor and we ourselves
have won in so long a time and with so great a cost in toil and
	Isabel sent to Ximenes for an explanation. He hurried to
Sevilla and he was so successful in defending his course, probably on
the ground that without it the Moors might conquer Spain a second
time, that the sovereigns followed his suggestion of giving the Moors
their choice between persecution for high treason and baptism.
	Nearly all the Moors in Granada chose to be baptized. In the
following year however, a new revolt broke out in the Alpujarras, the
mountains running south-west from Granada and many of the friars sent
to preach to the people were murdered. Moorish women and boys stoned
to death two priests who had been tied to trees with matted grass.
Mohammedans sailed by night from Africa, ten miles across the
straits, to burn the Christian hamlets near the sea and slay the
people. King Fernando placed himself at the head of an army and
marched swiftly into the Moorish territory. When the Moors asked for
terms of peace, he gave them their choice between exile to Africa and
baptism. Most of them chose to become Christians.
	Thus came into existence that class of unwilling Christians
known as the Moriscos, of whom half a million were finally expelled
under Philip III in 1609. Their going was a serious economic loss to
Spain, for they were excellent farmers who understood the importance
of irrigation. But for a whole century after the death of Queen
Isabel her kingdoms were to enjoy the height of their prosperity.
	The later decline of Spain was due more to the discoveries of
Christopher Columbus, than to the exodus of either Jews or Moors.
Spain exhausted herself in the stupendous effort to colonize and
civilize the New World. In the seventeenth century the secret Jews of
Holland, Italy and England, descendants of those punished by the
Inquisition or expelled form the country, used their great power to
divert trade from Spain to those countries and to obtain information
about Spanish naval activities from the Conversos in Spain, for the
benefit of England especially. Even in Cromwell's time Jews who
pretended to be Spanish Catholics gave the English government
information about Spanish military and commercial secrets. 
	Chapter XXXIII
	The Princess Catalina finally left Granada May 21, 1501, on
her long journey to England. She had five hundred miles to travel to
Coruna, the port of embarkation, in the extreme north-west. She took
with her 150 attendants, including Dona Elvira Manuel, first lady of
the bedchamber, for Henry had asked that only beautiful ones be
brought. The group also included a major-domo, a master of
ceremonies, a chief-cup-bearer and trenchant, a confessor, two
chaplains and an almoner. Pages and equerries, gentlemen in waiting,
a cook, a purser, a baker, a sweeper and others of high and low
degree. Henry had asked to have the number restricted, since he,
"did not propose to starve them, as the Archdue Philip had
starved the Spaniards in Flanders." King Fernando and Queen
Isabel did not accompany the Princess, that she might travel faster.
Besides, the Queen was too ill to ride.
	Catalina found the heat so intense that she had to stop
frequently and took two months for the journey. She reached Guadalupe
July 5, and arrived at Coruna July 20. Illness and bad weather caused
further delays, so that she did not set sail until August. A furious
storm nearly confounded the armada, causing it to return to the
Spanish coast and seek refuge in the port of Laredo. Embarking a
second time September 27, the ships had gotten as far as Ushant when
they were over taken by a vendabal (south wind) with thunderstorms.
During all the rest of the voyage they had thunderstorms every four
or five hours. It was October 2 when the tired and miserable little
Princess landed in the harbor of Portsmouth.
	The Prince and Princess were married November 14, 1501, at
the altar of Stain Paul's Cathedral in London, before an immense
concourse. Catalina was fifteen years old, her husband sixteen. The
news was a relief to Queen Isabel, for until the very last moment she
had not been certain that Henry would not make some new arrangement
with another power and send Catalina home, as Margot had been sent
home from Paris. But Henry wrote that he much admired the beauty of
Catalina and her agreeable and dignified manners. "The union
between the tow royal families and the two kingdoms is now so
complete," he wrote, "that is impossible to make any
distinction between the interests of England and Spain."
	Prince Arthur informed his wife's parents that he had
"never felt so much joy in his life as when he beheld the sweet
face of his bride." Within six months the Prince was dead and
Fernando and Isabel, alarmed by the reports of Henry's indifference
to the comfort of their daughter, were sending frantic requests to
the English court for her immediate return to Spain. They demanded
form Henry the 100,000 scudos which had been paid as the first
instalment of the marriage portion of the Princess. They demanded
that the towns and lands assigned to her as her dowry be delivered
and they begged their "brother" to send her to Spain
"in the best manner and in the shortest time possible." At
the same time they authorized the Duke of Estrada, their ambassador,
to conclude a second marriage between Catalina and Henry, Prince of
Wales, since the young widow declared that her marriage with Arthur
had never been consummated. She was only at the beginning of the
years of suffering which were to end with her divorce to Henry VIII
and the final shattering of that Christian European unity to which
Fernando and Isabel had devoted their lives and the lives of their
children. Isabel wrote Puebla that the death of Prince Arthur had
revived the affliction caused by her former losses, "but the
will of God must be obeyed."
	Two weeks later in May 1502, the Spanish sovereigns wrote a
most urgent letter to Puebla. They said they expected confidently
that Henry would at once fulfill his obligations toward their
daughter. They had been told that Catalina had been advised to borrow
money, because the King of England would not provide for her.
	If she were really to do that, it would reflect great
dishonor upon Henry. "Such a thing is unheard of." When the
Queen of Portugal their daughter became a widow, she received all she
wanted from the new King of Portugal and they had never to send her a
farthing. When the Princess Margot was widowed in Spain, they
provided for all her wants, as though she had been their own
daughter. Neither her father nor her brother Philip had sent her the
smallest sum of money. If they had done so, Fernando and Isabel would
have considered it an insult and would not have accept it.
	In June they wrote that some persons had advised the Princess
of Wales not to accept what the King of England had offered her
(Presumably because it was so small). "The advice is bad. She
must accept all she can get."
	Queen Elizabeth of England had been kind to catalina and
after Arthur's death had sent a black litter borne between two horses
to fetch her to Croydon Palace, but Elizabeth died in childbirth the
following winter. The very letter of Doctor de Puebla that notified
the Spanish Court of her death intimated that King Henry "was
not disinclined to marry the Princess of Wales." Queen Isabel
wrote the Duke of Estrada her opinion of this, April 11, 1503:
	"The Doctor has written us concerning the marriage of
the King of England with the Princess of Wales, our daughter, saying
that it is spoken of in England. But as this would be an evil thing,
one never before seen and the mere mention of which offends the ears,
we would not for anything in the world that it should take place.
Therefore, if anything be said to you about it, speak of it as a
thing not to be endured."
	For the next seven years Catalina was doomed to a most
wretched life, while her father and Henry bargained about her dowry,
her plate, her household and the long and tiresome details of the
agreement under which she was at last married to Prince Henry.
Fernando sent her very little money, evidently in the belief that if
he did not do so, Henry would be compelled by shame, if not by
generosity, to provide for her. But Henry, whose position on the
throne was now secure, was never troubled by either shame or
generosity. Several years later the Princess wrote her father that
her servants and maidens had no money to buy clothes. She herself
sometimes had to borrow money for food. All this time Fernando was
using her as a special ambassador. She was skillful and trustworthy
and kept him well informed.
	Queen Isabel too, has been accused of employing her daughter
for political purposes and abandoning her to the cold charity of
Henry. The facts hardly justify so severe a judgment. Isabel only
lived two years after the death of Prince Arthur. Two years of
sickness, anxiety and discouragement. Her letters to England show the
most earnest desire to have Catalina sent home, unless her position
could be made secure by a marriage to Prince Henry. The betrothal of
Catalina to the Prince of Wales, just before Isabel's death,
naturally ended all talk of the return of the Princess. If the great
Queen could have foreseen the consequences of this match, her last
moments would have been greatly embittered.
	Henry had urged the Spanish sovereigns to send Catalina to
England, promising to be a father to her. But his conduct was cold,
stingy and heartless almost consistently, except when he saw some
advantage in a temporary gift. Even after her betrothal to Prince
Henry in 1503, her condition in no way improved. To make matters
worse, she was almost constantly ill from the effects of the English
climate and in 1504 was almost given up by the physician who had bled
her and repeatedly purged her of a cough and a fever.
	As Catalina could not marry her husband's brother without a
dispensation, King Fernando wrote to Rome requesting one of Alexander
VI. Pope Alexander died however, in the summer of 1503 and was
succeeded by the irreproachable and highly respected Pope Pius III.
Queen Isabel celebrated the event with pomp and welcomed his brief
reign as the beginning of the great and needed reform by which the
Church was to purge itself of the stains that a dying civilization
had left upon it.
	By this time 1503, it was pretty generally known throughout
Europe that the great Queen had almot finished her course, but the
last months of her life were to be still further embittered by the
actions of Juana and she was to find peace only in death.
	The Archduchess had come to Spain with her husband in 1501,
to be acknowledged as heir to the throne of Castile. When Philip
returned to Flanders, Juana remained a prey to despondency and
jealousy. Her second son Fernando, was born in March 1503. She wished
to return home at once, but as war had begun with France on the
northern borders, she was compelled to remain with her mother and
"she raged like a lioness," according to Peter Martyr and
accused every one of being in a monstrous plot to keep her away from
her husband. People were now calling her Juana la Loca, "Crazy
	King Louis meanwhile, enraged at being outwitted by Fernando,
had launched a great offensive against Spain. One army was to invade
Italy, another to cross the border near Fuenterrabia, a third of
20,000 men to penetrate Roussillon and regain it. 
	King Fernando hastily raised an army in Aragon to defend his
territory. In the midst of his recruiting, he heard that Isabel was
dying at Segovia, 300 miles away. He dropped everything and rode
night and day until he reached her side.
	The Queen was ill but not as seriously as rumor had
represented. When the King returned to Aragon to lead his army
against the invaders, she arose to help him for the last time to
raise troops and supplies. While her household fasted, prayed and
visited all the churches in the city, Fernando was again victorious. 
	When the Queen heard that the danger was past and the French
in disorderly flight to the north, she sent the King a letter,
begging him to remember that the French were a Christian nation and
not to drive them to despair by cutting off their retreat to their
own country. Fernando, in answer to her appeal and to one from the
second Inquisitor-General, permitted no unnecessary, but contented
himself with their leaving the country. Some believe that if the
Queen and the inquisitor had not interfered, he would have invaded
France and conquered it.
	Isabel's effort had left her weak and almost exhausted but,
her troubles were not yet ended. Juana, whom she had placed under the
supervision of the Bishop at Medina de Campo, fled half clad, from
the palace one cold and stormy November evening and attempted to flee
through the city gate, which was already closed for the night. The
Bishop pleaded with her in vain. She would not return to the palace,
but spent all night clinging to the iron bars, shrieking, weeping and
threatening the guards with punishment if they did not let her join
her husband.
	When Queen Isabel heard of this, forty miles away, she was
too ill to ride, but she managed to leave Segovia the following day
and hurried to Medina. Juana was still clinging to the gate an she
addressed her royal mother with anger and bitterness. It was a severe
trial for the ceremonious Queen, especially before a crowd of gaping
citizens and yokes, but her strong will prevailed and Juana sullenly
returned to the palace. Later, when she returned to Flanders in the
spring of 1504, she was reconciled to Philip, but soon after she
struck his mistress and cut off her beautiful hair in the presence of
the whole court. The story was carried through all the capitals of
Europe and Queen Isabel, struck to the heart with grief and shame,
failed rapidly. As soon as the weather permitted, she was taken to
Medina del Campo, where there were so many happy childhood
recollections and there she prepared for death.
	People were saying that some misfortune was about to befall
Castile. On Holy Thursday, twelve beggars form the streets were
brought into the palace and King Fernando, following the example of
his Lord, knelt humbly before the tattered odds and ends of humanity
and washed their feet, a custom observed by the Kings of Spain. On
the following day, Good Friday, the King and Queen fasted and prayed
with their usual rigor an don that day occurred an event that struck
all hearts with terror. A violent earthquake, accompanied by a loud
and peculiar noise in the air overhead, rumbled through Anadalusia
and parts of Castile.
	That summer both the King and the Queen were ill with the
prevalent fever. Fernando recovered but Isabel, more anxious about
him than herself, developed symptoms of dropsy and from that time on
had no illusions that her life would be prolonged, nor had she any
wish to remain longer in a world that seemed to be to futile. Hearing
that people were going on pilgrimages and marching in processions all
over Spain for her recovery, she asked them not to pray for the heath
of her body, but for the salvation of our soul. On October 12, the
twelfth anniversary of the landing of her Admiral in San Salvador,
she signed her last will and testament.
	She desired her body to be taken to Granada and placed
without unnecessary expense or ostentation in a simple tomb of humble
design. The money that would otherwise have been wasted upon an
extravagant funeral was to be distributed in the form of dowries for
twelve poor girls, always a favorite charity with Isabel, and the
ransom of Christian captives in the hand of the African Moors. She
would not even permit the vanity of embalming for her body, that it
might more quickly return to dust.
	Her love for King Fernando, which appears to have grown and
deepened, in spite of occasional jealousies, since that day when she
first saw him a young Prince in Villadolid, shines through her
testament with characteristic frankness and warmth. "Should the
King my lord, prefer a sepulchre in some other place, then my will is
that my body be transported there and laid by his side, that the
union we have enjoyed in this world and through the mercy of God may
hope again for our souls in heaven, may be represented by our bodies
in the earth."
	She provided for a personal maintenance of the King a sum
"less than I could wish and far less than he deserves,
considering the eminent services he had rendered the State:"
half of all the net profits of the discoveries in the Indies and
10,000,000 maravedis a year assigned on the alcabalas (ten percent
tax) of the military orders. In case her daughter Juana was unable
for any reason to rule, the Queen desired Fernando to act as regent
until the majority of their grandson Charles.
	Finally, "I beseech the King and my lord that he will
accept all my jewels, or such as he shall select, so that seeing them
he may be reminded of the singular love I always born him while
living, now that I am waiting for him in a better world, by which
remembrance he may be encourage to live the more justly and holly in
	      Even in her last moments Isabel saw clearly the evils
that were likely to come upon Castile following her death and sought
to avert them. Six weeks after signing her will and only three days
before her death, she wrote a codicil. She appointed a commission to
make a new codification of the laws, a reform that she had twice
accomplished but never to her complete satisfaction. She recommended
an inquiry into the legality of the alcabalas, a ten per cent tax on
commerce, which she implies was not intended to be perpetual and
ought not to be mad so without the consent of the people, showing
that after she had accomplished her purposes by a necessary
concentration of authority, her sense of fair play led her to look
backward to the free institutions of her ancestors. Further, she most
earnestly enjoined her successors to treat the Indians in the new
possessions beyond the seas, with the greatest kindness and
gentleness. To redress any wrongs they might justly complain of and
to carry on the sacred work of civilizing them and converting them to
Christianity. With characteristic foresight she insisted that
Gibraltar was necessary to the safety of Spain and must never be
given up.
	Her duty accomplished, the Queen returned to her prayers.
Clad in a Franciscan robe, she confessed, received Holy Communion and
consoled the friends who came in tears to pay their final reverence.
Archbishop Ximenes, who was engrossed in building his university and
preparing his polyglot Bible, hurried from Alcala to give Isabel his
last consolation. Prospero Colonna, one of her visitors from Italy,
told the King that he had come to Spain "to see a women who from
her bed of sickness rules the world."
	A Franciscan brought from Jerusalem a stone slab from the
Holy Sepulchre, part of which he gave to the Queen, who received it
with the greatest reverence. "We sit sorrowful in the palace all
the day long," wrote Peter Martyr, "tremulously awaiting
the hour when religion and virtue shall quit the earth with
	It stormed almost continually that November. On the
twenty-sixth the skies were dull grey, the rain beat against the
castle walls, the rivers were in flood and the wind whistle over the
melancholy Vegas. The Queen felt that her moment was near. She
received the sacraments again and was anointed, signifying by a
gesture that she did not wish her feet uncovered during the ceremony.
She then became unconscious. Toward noon she recognized the King at
her bedside, smiled weakly, folded her hands, turned her eyes upward
in hope and supplication and gently breathed out her pure and
luminous soul. There was a silence in the great chamber, then a
sobbing and a wailing of women.   
	"My hand fall powerless by my said for very
sorrow," wrote Peter Martyr to Archbishop Talavera. "The
world has lost it noblest ornament, a loss to be deplored not only by
Spain, which she has so long carried forward in the career of lory,
but by every nation in Christendom, for she was the mirror of every
virtue, the child of the innocent and an avenging sword to the
wicked. I know none of her sex, in ancient or modern times, who in my
judgment is at all worthy to be named with this incomparable
	The next day, after King Fernando had announced the Queen's
death and taken the oath as regent, in accordance with her wishes, a
cortege of cavaliers and prelates, wrapped in black cloaks of
mourning and mounted on horses and mules with black caparisons, left
Medina with the unpretentious black litter containing the boy of the
Queen still wrapped, according to her wishes, in a corse Franciscan
robe. They had hardly left the city when a terrific tempest of rain
and wind burst over them. The cavalcade went slowly on through
Arevalo, where the queen had spent her girlhood; through Toledo where
she had joyously celebrated Fernando's victory at Toro in the flush
of her young womanhood; through Jaen, where she had saved the
Christian cause and completed the building of the Spanish nation, by
pawning her jewels to finance the siege of Baza.
	During the three weeks of the journey they saw neither sun or
stars. Roads were almost impassable. Bridges had been swept away, the
fields and plains were lakes and the small rivers roaring torrents in
which, now and then, a horse would tumble, to be drowned with his
rider. It was still storming December 18, when the drenched pilgrims
carried their silent burden through the gates of the city that the
great Queen had conquered. Through the gates of the Alhambra whence
she had sent forth Christopher Columbus to discover a world and laid
Queen Isabel in the Franciscan monastery.
	When the clouds lifted that day, the sun looked down upon a
Spain from which something vital had passed forever. Somewhere on the
sea there was a ship bearing a letter from the Princess Catalina in
England. She had written it on the very day of her mother's death,
saying that she was very depressed and adding:
	"I have no other hope or comfort in this world than that
which comes form known that my mother and father are well."
	Christopher Columbus, who had returned from his fourth
voyage, was on his way to Medinas when the news reached him. He wrote
with a heavy heart to his son Diego:
	"The principal thing is to commend affectionately and
with great devotion the soul of the Queen, our lady, to God. Her life
was always Catholic and holy and prompt in all things in His holy
service. For this reason we may rest assured that she is received
into His glory and beyond the care of this rough and weary
	The End