Of the brilliant group that wrote during the early and middle years of the last century, Alarcon, B£cquer, and Alas have here been selected. Valera, Pardo-Bazan, Caballero and a score of others also contributed tales of high merit. Many recent writers, and in particular the “Group of ’08,” have discussed in short-story form the changing social order, but the leaders of young Spain, Benavente and Blasco-Ibanez, Baroja and “Azorin,” have as a rule preferred the novel.
The Spaniards have not contributed very much to the development of the short story, though they have, over a period of nearly a thousand years, produced a multitude of readable and picturesque tales.
The Miracle of the Jew
Anonymous: 13th Century
The Chronicle of the Cid is a voluminous collection of adventures based upon the exploits of the celebrated Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, who lived in the Tenth Century. Many ballads and several longer poems had made their appearance before the Chronicle was finally put together at the instigation of King Alfonso of Castile in the Thirteenth Century.
The episode of The Miracle of the Jew occurs toward the end of the book. It is a tale of wonder recounted for the glory of the warrior whose praises are celebrated throughout the entire work.
The present version is from the Chronicle of the Cid, translated by Robert Southey. There is no title in the original.
The Miracle of the Jew
Now Don Garcia Tellez the Abbot, and the trusty Gil Diaz, were wont every year to make a great festival on the day of the Cid’s departure, and on that anniversary they gave food and clothing to the poor, who came from all parts round about. And it came to pass when they made the seventh anniversary, that a great multitude assembled as they were wont to do, and many Moors and Jews came to see the strange manner of the Cid’s body.
And it was the custom of the Abbot Don Garcia Tellez, when they made that anniversary, to make a right noble sermon to the people: and because the multitude which had assembled was so great that the church could not hold them, they went out into the open place before the Monastery, and he preached unto them there. And while he was preaching there remained a Jew in the church, who stopped before the body of the Cid, looking at him to see how nobly he was there seated, having his countenance so fair and comely, and his long beard in such goodly order, and his sword Tizona in its scabbard in his left hand, and the strings of his mantle in his right, even in such manner as King Don Alfonso had left him, save only that the garments had been changed, it being now seven years since the body had remained there in that ivory chair.