Last came forth Boabdil, most truly called El Zogoybi, the Unlucky. Accustomed, as he was, to be crowned and uncrowned, to be ransomed and treated as a matter of bargain, he had acceded of course to the capitulation. He was enfeebled by his wounds and had an air of dejection, yet, it is said, his conscience acquitted him of a breach of faith toward the Castilian sovereigns, and the personal valor he had displayed had caused a sympathy for him among many of the Christian cavaliers. He knelt to Ferdinand according to the forms of vassalage, and then departed in melancholy mood for Priego, a town about three leagues distant.
Ferdinand immediately ordered Loxa to be repaired and strongly garrisoned. He was greatly elated at the capture of this place, in consequence of his former defeat before its walls. He passed great encomiums upon the commanders who had distinguished themselves, and historians dwelt particularly upon his visit to the tent of the English earl. His Majesty consoled him for the loss of his teeth by the consideration that he might otherwise have lost them by natural decay, whereas the lack of them would now be esteemed a beauty rather than a defect, serving as a trophy of the glorious cause in which he had been engaged.
The earl replied that he gave thanks to God and to the Holy Virgin for being thus honored by a visit from the most potent king in Christendom; that he accepted with all gratitude his gracious consolation for the loss of his teeth, though he held it little to lose two teeth in the service of God, who had given him all--"A speech," says Fray Antonio Agapida, "full of most courtly wit and Christian piety; and one only marvels that it should have been made by a native of an island so far distant from Castile."
King Ferdinand followed up his victory at Loxa by laying siege to the strong town of Illora. This redoubtable fortress was perched upon a high rock in the midst of a spacious valley. It was within four leagues of the Moorish capital, and its lofty castle, keeping vigilant watch over a wide circuit of country, was termed the right eye of Granada.
The alcayde of Illora was one of the bravest of the Moorish commanders, and made every preparation to defend his fortress to the last extremity. He sent the women and children, the aged and infirm, to the metropolis. He placed barricades in the suburbs, opened doors of communication from house to house, and pierced their walls with loopholes for the discharge of crossbows, arquebuses, and other missiles.
King Ferdinand arrived before the place with all his forces; he stationed himself upon the hill of Encinilla, and distributed the other encampments in various situations so as to invest the fortress. Knowing the valiant character of the alcayde and the desperate courage of the Moors, he ordered the encampments to be fortified with trenches and palisadoes, the guards to be doubled, and sentinels to be placed in all the watch-towers of the adjacent heights.
When all was ready the duke del Infantado demanded the attack: it was his first campaign, and he was anxious to disprove the royal insinuation made against the hardihood of his embroidered chivalry. King Ferdinand granted his demand, with a becoming compliment to his spirit; he ordered the count de Cabra to make a simultaneous attack upon a different quarter. Both chiefs led forth their troops-- those of the duke in fresh and brilliant armor, richly ornamented, and as yet uninjured by the service of the field; those of the count were weatherbeaten veterans, whose armor was dented and hacked in many a hard-fought battle. The youthful duke blushed at the contrast. "Cavaliers," cried he, "we have been reproached with the finery of our array: let us prove that a trenchant blade may rest in a gilded sheath. Forward! to the foe! and I trust in God that as we enter this affray knights well accoutred, so we shall leave it cavaliers well proved." His men responded by eager acclamations, and the duke led them forward to the assault. He advanced under a tremendous shower of stones, darts, balls, and arrows, but nothing could check his career; he entered the suburb sword in hand; his men fought furiously, though with great loss, for every dwelling had been turned into a fortress. After a severe conflict they succeeded in driving the Moors into the town about the same time that the other suburb was carried by the count de Cabra and his veterans. The troops of the duke del Infantado came out of the contest thinned in number and covered with blood and dust and wounds; they received the highest encomiums of the king, and there was never afterward any sneer at their embroidery.
The suburbs being taken, three batteries, each furnished with eight huge lombards, were opened upon the fortress. The damage and havoc were tremendous, for the fortifications had not been constructed to withstand such engines. The towers were overthrown, the walls battered to pieces; the interior of the place was all exposed, houses were demolished, and many people slain. The Moors were terrified by the tumbling ruins and the tremendous din. The alcayde had resolved to defend the place until the last extremity: he beheld it a heap of rubbish; there was no prospect of aid from Granada; his people had lost all spirit to fight and were vociferous for a surrender; with a reluctant heart he capitulated. The inhabitants were permitted to depart with all their effects, excepting their arms, and were escorted in safety by the duke del Infantado and the count de Cabra to the bridge of Pinos, within two leagues of Granada.