The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus

By Washington Irving | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
APPLICATION TO THE COURT AT THE TIME OF THE SURRENDE
OF GRANADA.

[ 1492.]

When Columbus arrived at the court, he experienced favorable reception, and was given in hospitable charge to hi steady friend Alonzo de Quintanilla, the accountant-genera The moment, however, was too eventful for his business to re. ceive immediate attention. He arrived in time to witness the memorable surrender of Granada to the Spanish arms. He be held Boabdil, the last of the Moorish kings, sally forth from the Alhambra, and yield up the keys of that favorite seat of Moorish power; while the king and queen, with all the chivalry and rank and magnificence of Spain, moved forward in proud and solemn procession, to receive this oken of submission. It was one of the most brilliant triumphs in Spanish history. After near eight hundred years of painful struggle, the crescent was completely cast down, the cross exalted in its place, and the standard of Spain was seen floating on the highest tower of the Albambra. The whole court and army were abandoned to jubilee. The air resounded with shouts of joy, with songs of triumph, and hymns of thanksgiving. On every side were beheld military rejoicings and religious oblations; for it was considered a triumph, not merely of arms, but of Christianity. The king and queen moved in the midst, in more than common magnificence, while every eye regarded them as more than mortal; as if sent by Heaven for the salvation and building up of Spain.* The court was thronged by the most illustrious of that warlike country, and stirring era; by the flower of its nobility, by the most dignified of its prelacy, by bards and minstrels, and all the retinue of a romantic and picturesque age. There was nothing but the glittering of arms, the rustling of robes, the sound of music and festivity.

Do we want a picture of our navigator during this brilliant and triumphant scene? It is furnished by a Spanish writer.

____________________
*
Mariana, Hist. de España, lib. xxv. cap. 18.

-76-

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