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After Abenamar, followed a rich triumphal car, lined with silk of various colours, having six steps, and on the highest a triumphal arch of extraordinary workmanship, under which upon a rich seat was placed the portrait of the lovely Fatima, so naturally executed to the life, that had not the original been present, many would have mistaken it for the lady herself. The admiration that was bestowed on its entry, filled the ladies with envy. The dress was Turkish, of extraordinary richness and elegance, orange and purple, spangled with golden stars, and trimmed with silver tissue. The hair fancifully flowing like fine threads of Arabian gold, and fastened at the top with a bandeau of white and red roses intermixed. Over the head was seen the god of love, with wings outspread, and plumes of a thousand colours, placing a crown upon it, and at her feet was laid his bow and quiver, as tributes to her unequalled beauty.
Thus entered the portrait, in a car drawn by four mares whiter than the mountain snow, and attracted the attention of every eye; behind it came thirty gentlemen, like the former, in green and scarlet liveries, and plumes of the same colours. Various instruments of music played whilst Abenamar entered; having made a circle round the square, he advanced to the royal balconies, gratifying his majesty, the queen, and the ladies with the sight. They all admired the lovely portrait of the lady that stood beside them, with Daraxa, Sarracina, Galiana, and many others, models of the most enchanting beauty.
“ If your knight, fair Fatima,” exclaimed her majesty, gains the prize over the other knights in skill as he does in gallantry, you may esteem yourself the happiest lady in the world.” “I know not,” replied Fatima, concealing the pleasure she felt, " what are Abenamat's motives, but I
suppose it is his fancy, and that he takes this
method of obliging me; as to more, I am certain it conceris not me. “ Yet there is a mystery," cried Xarifa, “in procuring your portrait, and challenging all competitors, he must have some motive certainly?"_"I do not pretend to dive into it," said Fatima, “He does as he pleases. Has not Abindarraez also performed a thousand actions worthy of note in your honour?" " All Granada knows that," cried Xarifa, 66 but this affair of Abenamar's is quite a novelty; I should be sorry to see the two cavaliers enter the lists together, 56. Whether it be their fate or not, it can be of little consequence to you,” answered Fatima. “ O yes, but it can, and a great deal too;" said Xarifa," it would grieve me to see your portrait fall into my
hands." “ You imagine then, perhaps," returned Fatima, « that Abenamar has already lost the day; but do not be over-confident in your knight; certainly those who give a general challenge have some reason to expect they will be able to maintain it; but fortune is fickle, and we are all subject to her caprice.”
The queen, who had been some time listening to these repartees, at length put a stop to them. “ Ladies," cried her majesty, ®“ this conversation is very unimportant: your beauty is equal, it will not be long before we see who wins the palm of honour; let us therefore attend to the sports.
Casting their eyes then towards the square, they perceived Abenamar had placed the car close to the jewels, and to the sound of soft music the portrait of Fatima was gently raised and placed beside them. Abenamar alighting from his horse gave it to his attendants, and seating himself at the door of his tent, quietly expected some cava. lier to enter the lists. The gentlemen of his train ranged themselves on each side, and the judges took their station on a high stand, where they might have a full view of every thing that passed. The judges were two Zegries, two Gomeles, and an Abencerrage, named Abencarcax, the chief Alguazil of Granada, an office only given to persons of the highest rank and valour. It was not long before a very gallant squadron was seen to enter the square from the street of the Gomeles, in scarlet and white brocade, and plumes of the same colour, and with them a knight, in a Turkish dress of scarlet: velvet, lined with gold tissue, and plumes of great value ; his jacket also set with precious stones. The cavalier was soon discovered to be the gallant Sarracino. Behind hiin came & splendid car bearing four triumphal arches, painted with the battles of the Moors and Christians on the plain of Granada; in which Garlilaso de la Vega's, and Audallas, a Moor of high renown, who, out of contempt for the christian religion, placed the Ave Maria on the tail of his horse, was particularly distinguished. Beneath the arches was placed a round throne, open on all sides, of the whitest alabaster, enriched with the most beautiful sculpture, and upon it the portrait of a lady in blue brocade fringed with gold, and at her feet a vanquished Cupid on his knees, with his bow and arrows broken, and scattered round him. Sarracino's device was a sea, in the midst a rock, assaulted by the waves, and these words on the rock:
My constancy is like a rock,
No less gallantly did Sarracino make his entry than Abenamar; his car was drawn by four bay horses, with scarlet and gold trappings: and was followed by a noble squadron of gentlemen in scar, let liveries, parading round the square to the sound of soft music,
The portrait was now known for the lovely Galiana's, and every tongue exclaimed that Abenamar had a brave opponent. The queen was surprised at the beauty of the picture, and at the painter's skill; and turning to Galiana, exclaimed, * this conquest of your's is entirely new to us; the object of your choice however I see is no way inferior to Abenamar;" to which Galiana made no reply. The king promised himself great delight, and observed it was impossible not to see shortly deeds worthy of note, since the challenger and the knight, who contended for the prize, were both .equally brave, and each would exert himself in defending the portrait of his lady.
Sarracino, having rode round the square, left the car on one side, and advancing to the challenger, “ Sir knight,” said he, you are not unacquainted with the motive of my arrival; I am ready to try the fate of three lances, and understand to a certainty that my lady is to enjoy the portrait of your's, and the golden chain of a thou. sand doubloons; but if fortune should prove my foe, with the portrait I consent to forfeit this scarf, worked by the lovely hands of my lady hersélf; its value is at least equal to the chain: and indeed was, being entirely covered with pearls, and precious stones.
Sarracino, relying on his own ability, chose to risk the scarf, not considering the skill of his an. tagonist, who without hesitation replied, he was ready to make the trial, and would forfeit the portrait of his lady and the chain if it was his fortune to lose them; and saying this, he chose a horse from eight that were caparisoned for the play, and selecting a proper lance, made several evolutions round the square, so gracefully, that the king and all the spectators remarked the gallantry of his deportment. Making the horse give a high vault
into the air, he finished his career, and parting like an arrow from a bow, he raised aloft his arm, and arriving at the ring touched the upper part of it with his lance, and failed very little of carrying it away. The attempt therefore miscarried, as it was necessary to file the lance through the ring to win the contest.
Abenamar now stopped to see in what manner Sarracino would acquit himself; he was in no little confusion in the outset, but stretching forth his arm, he adroitly filed the lance through the ring, and bore it off with him. Shouts and acclamations en, sued, and thousands of voices exclaimed that Abenamar had lost the portrait and the chain : fortune favours Sarracino, and gives him the victory.
Sarracino was overjoyed, and considered himself already in possession of the prizes, making his immediate claim, and alleging that he had fairly won them. Muza, who was the challenger's umpire, informed him that there was still two lances to run, according to the conditions of the agreement. Sarracino's umpire, an Azarque Cavalier, maintained the contrary; the matter was therefore referred to the judges, who, commanding silence, read the condition of the challenge, which in reality was for three lances, and not for a single one. Sarricino was greatly enraged to find the prize that the public voice had given him was refused, and Abenamar was equally offended with the spectators and himself. Galiana's countenance was illumined with joy, but Fatima's was filled with chagrin, though she had sufficient command over her feelings to conceal it.
“ It goes but ill with our cavalier, friend Fatima," exclaims Xarifa, “his affairs are in a very indifferent situation, and if they continue so much longer, I should not be very willing to purchase his gains. “ I think very little of the past,” replied Fatima,