The surrender of Almeria was followed by that of Almunecar, Salobrena, and other fortified places of the coast and the interior, and detachments of Christian troops took quiet possession of the Alpuxarras mountains and their secluded and fertile valleys.
*Cura de los Palacios, cap. 93, 94; Pulgar, Cron., part 3, cap. 124; Garibay, Comp. Hist., lib. 18, cap. 37, etc. etc.
EVENTS AT GRANADA SUBSEQUENT TO THE SUBMISSION OF EL ZAGAL.
Who can tell when to rejoice in this fluctuating world? Every wave of prosperity has its reacting surge, and we are often overwhelmed by the very billow on which we thought to be wafted into the haven of our hopes. When Yusef Aben Comixa, the vizier of Boabdil, surnamed El Chico, entered the royal saloon of the Alhambra and announced the capitulation of El Zagal, the heart of the youthful monarch leaped for joy. His great wish was accomplished; his uncle was defeated and dethroned, and he reigned without a rival, sole monarch of Granada. At length he was about to enjoy the fruits of his humiliation and vassalage. He beheld his throne fortified by the friendship and alliance of the Castilian monarchs; there could be no question, therefore, of its stability. "Allah Akbar! God is great!" exclaimed he. "Rejoice with me, O Yusef; the stars have ceased their persecution. Henceforth let no man call me El Zogoybi."
In the first moment of his exultation Boabdil would have ordered public rejoicings, but the shrewd Yusef shook his head. "The tempest has ceased from one point of the heavens," said he, "but it may begin to rage from another. A troubled sea is beneath us, and we are surrounded by rocks and quicksands: let my lord the king defer rejoicings until all has settled into a calm." El Chico, however, could not remain tranquil in this day of exultation: he ordered his steed to be sumptuously caparisoned, and, issuing out of the gate of the Alhambra, descended, with glittering retinue, along the avenue of trees and fountains, into the city to receive the acclamations of the populace. As he entered the great square of the Vivarrambla he beheld crowds of people in violent agitation, but as he approached what was his surprise to hear groans and murmurs and bursts of execration! The tidings had spread through Granada that Muley Abdallah el Zagal had been driven to capitulate, and that all his territories had fallen into the hands of the Christians. No one had inquired into the particulars, but all Granada had been thrown into a ferment of grief and indignation. In the heat of the moment old Muley was extolled to the skies as a patriot prince who had fought to the last for the salvation of his country--as a mirror of monarchs, scorning to compromise the dignity of his crown by any act of vassalage. Boabdil, on the contrary, had looked on exultingly at the hopeless yet heroic struggle of his uncle; he had rejoiced in the defeat of the faithful and the triumph of unbelievers; he had aided in the dismemberment and downfall of the empire. When they beheld him riding forth in gorgeous state on what they considered a day of humiliation for all true Moslems, they could not contain their rage, and amidst the clamors that met his ears Boabdil more than once heard his name coupled with the epithets of traitor and renegado.
Shocked and discomfited, the youthful monarch returned in confusion to the Alhambra, shut himself up within its innermost courts, and remained a kind of voluntary prisoner until the first burst of popular feeling should subside. He trusted that it would soon pass away-- that the people would be too sensible of the sweets of peace to repine at the price at which it was obtained; at any rate, he trusted to the strong friendship of the Christian sovereigns to secure him even against the factions of his subjects.
The first missives from the politic Ferdinand showed Boabdil the value of his friendship. The Christian monarch reminded him of a treaty which he had made when captured in the city of Loxa. By this he had engaged that in case the Catholic sovereigns should capture the cities of Guadix, Baza, and Almeria he would surrender Granada into their hands within a limited time, and accept in exchange certain Moorish towns to be held by him as their vassal. Guadix, Baza, and Almeria had now fallen; Ferdinand called upon him, therefore, to fulfil his engagement.
If the unfortunate Boabdil had possessed the will, he had not the power to comply with this demand. He was shut up in the Alhambra, while a tempest of popular fury raged without. Granada was thronged by refugees from the captured towns, many of them disbanded soldiers, and others broken-down citizens rendered fierce and desperate by ruin. All railed at him as the real cause of their misfortunes. How was he to venture forth in such a storm? Above all, how was he to talk to such men of surrender? In his reply to Ferdinand he represented the difficulties of his situation, and that, so far from having control over his subjects, his very life was in danger from their turbulence. He entreated the king, therefore, to rest satisfied for the present with his recent conquests, promising that should he be able to regain full empire over his capital and its inhabitants, it would be but to rule over them as vassal to the Castilian Crown.