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greatest part of the nation by the absurdity of his private and public conduct,
His estates were all seized by the king, and so little
respect was paid to his memory, that even the rights of sepulture were neglected till the queen generously interfered, and expressed an intention of following his remains to the tomb. 66 Let his funeral,” said this magnanimous princess, “ be suitable to his rank, for we ought to remember his birth and forget his faults.”
After the war had continued for some time, with various success, between the crowns of Castile and Arragon, some overtures for peace were made by the latter, and a treaty was con. cluded at Campillo, by which the Castilian monarch made some considerable concessions to his opponent. The people, however, were, in all probability, anxious for peace, and these were the best terms that could then be obtained. About the same time Ferdinand referred the pretensions of the infanta de la Cerda to the kings of Arragon and Portugal, who determined that Don Alonso should have Albade, Tormes, Bejar, Valdecarneja, and several other places, the revenue of which was computed at four hundred thousand marvadies; and that Don Ferdinand should enjoy the revenue of an infant of Spain, on condition that both the princes should pay homage to the king for their respective possessions. After some severe conflicts with Don
A.D. Juan de Lara, a nobleman of high rank
1311. and consummate policy, the king resolved to renew the war against the Moors, and urged the expediency of that measure with such success, that the states of Valladolid consented Vou, XV. U
to defray the whole expence of the campaign. Accordingly, a numerous army was assembled, by the infant Don Pedro, on the frontiers of Andalusia, and the city of Alcaudeta was quickly invested. Upon the arrival of the king at this place, he received information that two persons of the name of Carvajal were in custody, and stood charged with the murder of Don Juan Alonso de Benavides. He immediately ordered the prisoners to be thrown from the summit of a rock, without any form of trial, though they assured him in the most pathetic manner of their innocence, and even offered to give the most irrefragable proofs. When this inhuman sentence was about to be executed, the sufferers summoned Ferdinand to answer for his injustice, within thirty days, at the tribunal of God. Some days after, the king was seized with an indisposition, and expired on the last day of that period.
The sudden death of Ferdinand in, A.D.
volved the nation in fresh commotions, 1312.
and excited many disputes respecting the regency and the tutelage of the young king, Alphonso, who was at this time only three years of age. At length, however, the two in. fants, Pedro and Juan, were declared regents with equal power; and the care of Alphonso's education was committed to his grandmother, Donna Maria, who superintended it, in the most laudable manner, for about nine years, and then died as she had lived with sentiments of unaf. fected piety, though her last moments were rather embittered by the contemplation of the numerous intrigues and dangers to which her beloved pupil would be exposed.
Alphonso assumed the reins of govern. A. D. ment at the age of fifteen, and exhibited
1324. an equal share of judgment and dexterity in the arrangement of his affairs. Such of the nobles as were too headstrong, or too ambitious to stoop to his authority, were put to death; but, though their infidelity merited punishment, the king rendered himself obnoxious by employing assassins rather than officers of justice to execute his vengeance. After several disturbances had been
A. D. quieted in various parts of the kingdom, 1327. Alphonso took the field against the Moors, and made himself master of Qlbera and some other places, while the admiral of Castile gained a complete naval victory over a strong squadron which had been, recently, sent out from Barbary. About this time Don Juan Emanuel renounced his allegiance, and prevailed on the king of Arragon to espouse his quarrel ; in con. sequence of which, the Castilians were overwhelmed with unparalleled calamities, and some of their richest blood was wantonly shed by the daggers of assassins, and the sword of the executioner.
In the spring of 1329, Alphonso, having espoused Donna Maria, infanta of Portugal, and concluded a necessary peace with the king of Arragon, made some considerable concessions in order to bring back Don Juan Emanuel to his allegiance, opened a new campaign against the infidels, and made himself master of Tebe, together with several little towns and castles in the vicinity.
Upon his return to Seville he engaged in an amour with Leonora de Guzman, a lady of high
quality and great endowments of mind, by whom he had a numerous issue, and on whom he lavished his whole affection while his lawful wife was scarcely treated with decent respect. Some time after the commencement of this amour, the king received Don Alonso de la Cerda into favour; instituted a new order of knighthood, called the Order of the Band; and concluded a truce with the Moors, who had distressed his subjects beyond measure, and made themselves más. ters of the important fortress of Gibraltar.
In the summer of 1335 the Castilian troops were called into action by an unprovoked irruption of Henry de Solis, viceroy of Navarre; and the king was threatened with the direst calami. ties by the new intrigues of Don Juan. Emanuel and Don Juan de Lara: but the invader was soon repulsed with great slaughter, and the two traitors were first proscribed in an assembly of the states, and afterwards persuaded to elude destruction by making due submissions to their injured sovereign. A. D.
Abul Assan, king of Morocco, hearing 1339.
that his son, Abul Malic, had fallen in
an encounter with the Castilians, assembled a numerous fleet and army in order to revenge his death, and commenced hostilities with a degree of fury expressive of implacable resent
The Castilian fleet was totally unable to resist the invaders, and fell a sacrifice in an unequal conflict; and the city of Tarefa was reduced to great distress by the united exertions of the kings of Morocco and Granada. At length, however, the king of Portugal marched to his son-in-law's assistance ; the king of Arragon sent a fleet, for the same purpose, under the
command of Don Pedro de Moncado ; and a - battle ensued, in which the Moorish princes were defeated with the loss of two hundred thousand men. - Notwithstanding his ill success in this campaign, the king of Morocco still per
1341. sisted in his sanguinary intentions, and seemed determined to return once more into Spain. Hereupon Alphonso formed the important project of reducing Algeriza, and, though every possible exertion was made against him by the enemy, it was at length surrendered, by the kings of Morocco and Granada, and the Castilian banner was displayed upon the walls, to the immortal honour of this warlike prince and his faithful nobles.
The peace which followed this memorable exploit proved to be of short duration; and the military order of Alphonso prompted him to undertake the recovery of Gibraltar, which had been "unfortunately lost during his minority. This project, having been approved in an assembly of the states, was immediately put in execution, and the siege was continued for twelve months with unremitting assiduity on the part of the Castilians, whilst the king of Morocco was prevented, by some domestic commotions, from attempting any thing for its relief. But at the very juncture when the garrison began to think
cf capitulating, a plague broke out in the Christian camp, and Alphonso fell a sacrifice to its fury on the 26th of March 1949, in the thirty• seventh year of his reign. The Castilian diadem now devolved
A.D. upon Don Pedro, the only surviving son 1349. of Alphonso and the queen. This prince