The banquet ended, El Zagal took courteous leave of Ferdinand, and sallied from the pavilion attended by the cavaliers who had been present. Each of these now made himself known to the old monarch by his name, title, or dignity, and each received an affable gesture in reply. They would all have escorted the old king back to the gates of Almeria, but he insisted on their remaining in the camp, and with difficulty could be persuaded upon to accept the honorable attendance of the marques of Villena, the commander, Don Gutierrez de Cardenas, the count de Cifuentes, and Don Luis Puerto Carrero.
On the following morning (22d December) the troops were all drawn out in splendid array in front of the camp, awaiting the signal of the formal surrender of the city. This was given at mid-day, when the gates were thrown open and a corps marched in, led by Don Gutierrez de Cardenas, who had been appointed governor. In a little while the gleam of Christian warriors was seen on the walls and bulwarks; the blessed cross was planted in place of the standard of Mahomet, and the banner of the sovereigns floated triumphantly above the Alcazar. At the same time a numerous deputation of alfaquis and the noblest and wealthiest inhabitants of the place sallied forth to pay homage to King Ferdinand.
On the 23d of December the king himself entered the city with grand military and religious pomp, and repaired to the mosque of the castle, which had previously been purified and sanctified and converted into a Christian temple: here grand mass was performed in solemn celebration of this great triumph of the faith.
These ceremonies were scarcely completed when joyful notice was given of the approach of the queen Isabella with the rear-guard of the army. She came accompanied by the princess Isabella, and attended by her ghostly counsellor the cardinal Mendoza and her confessor Talavera. The king sallied forth to meet her, accompanied by El Zagal, and it is said the reception of the latter by the queen was characterized by the deference and considerate delicacy which belonged to her magnanimous nature.
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."