Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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The Life and Exploits
of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha

By Miguel de Cervantes, Translated by Charles Jarvis, Esq.

The First Part

CHAPTER III: In which is related the pleasant Method
Don Quixote took to be dubbed a Knight.


And now being disturbed with this thought, he made an abrupt end of his short supper; which done, he called the landlord, and shutting himself up with him in the stable, he fell upon his knees before him, and said: "I will never rise from this place, valorous knight, until your courtesy vouchsafes me a boon I mean to beg of you; which will redound to your own honour, and to the benefit of humankind." The host, seeing his guest at his feet, and hearing such expressions, stood confounded, gazing at him, and not knowing what to say; he then strove to raise him from the ground, but in vain, until he had promised to grant him the boon he requested. (8) "I expected no less, Sir, from your great magnificence," answered Don Quixote; "and therefore know, that the boon I would request, and has been vouchsafed me by your liberality, is, that you shall to-morrow morning dub me a Knight; and this night in the chapel of your castle I will watch my armour: and to-morrow, as I have said, what I so earnestly desire shall be accomplished; that I may be duly qualified to wander through the four quarters of the world, in quest of adventures, for the relief of the distressed, as is the duty of chivalry, and of Knights-errant, whose hearts, like mine, are strongly bent on such achievements."

The host, who, as we have said, was an arch fellow, and had already entertained some suspicions of the madness of his guest, was now, at-hearing such expressions, thoroughly convinced of it; and, that he might have something to make sport with that night, he resolved to keep up the humour; and said to him, that he was certainly very much in the right in what he desired and requested; and that such achievements were peculiar and natural to cavaliers of such prime quality as he seemed to be of, and as his gallant deportment did demonstrate: that he himself, in the days of his youth, had betaken himself to that honourable employ, wandering through divers parts of the world in search of adventures, not omitting to visit (9) the suburbs of Malaga, the isles of Riaran, the compass of Seville, the aqueduct market of Segovia, the olive yard of Valentia, the Rondilla of Granada, the coast of Saint Lucar, the fountain of Cordova, (10) the hedge- taverns -[9]- of Toledo, and sundry other parts, where he had exercised the agility of his feet and dexterity of his hands; doing sundry wrongs, soliciting sundry widows, undoing some damsels, and bubbling several young heirs; in short, making himself known to most of the tribunals and courts of judicature in Spain; and that, at last, he had retired to this castle, where he lived upon his own means and other people's, entertaining all knights-errant, of whatever quality or condition they were, merely for the great love he bore them, and that they might share their gettings with him in requital for his good-will. He further told him there was no chapel in his castle, in which to watch his armour, for it had been pulled down in order to be rebuilt: however, in cases of necessity, he knew it might be watched wherever he pleased, and that he might do it that night in a court of the castle; and the next day, if it pleased God, the requisite ceremonies should be performed, in such manner that he should be dubbed a Knight, and so effectually knighted, that no one in the world could be more so. He asked him also, whether he had any money about him? Don Quixote replied, he had not a farthing, having never read in the histories of Knights- errant that they carried any. To this the host replied, he was under a mistake; for, supposing it was not mentioned in the story, the authors thinking it superfluous to specify a thing so plain, and so indispensably necessary to be carried, as money and clean shirts, it was not therefore to be inferred that they had none: and therefore he might be assured that all the Knights-errant, of whose actions there are such authentic histories, did carry their purses well lined for whatever might befall them, and that they carried also shirts, and a little box of ointment to heal the wounds they might receive, because there was not always one at hand to cure them in the fields and deserts, where they fought, unless they had some sage enchanter for their friend, to assist them immediately, bringing some damsel or dwarf in a cloud through the air, with a phial of water of such virtue, that, in tasting a drop of it, they should instantly become as sound and whole of their bruises and wounds, as if they had never been hurt: but that so long as they wanted this advantage, the Knights-errant of times past never failed to have their squires provided with money, and other necessary things, such as lint and salves, to cure themselves with: and when it happened that the said Knights had no squires, which fell out very rarely, they carried all these things behind them upon their horses, in a very small wallet, hardly visible, as if it were something of greater importance; for were it not upon such an account, this carrying of wallets was not currently admitted among Knights-errant: therefore he advised him, though he might command him as his godson, which he was to be very soon, that, from thenceforward, he should not travel without money, and without the aforesaid precautions; and he would find how useful they would be to him, when he least expected it. Don Quixote promised to follow his advice with all punctuality; and now order was presently given for performing the watch of the armour, in a large yard adjoining to the inn; and Don Quixote, gathering all the pieces of it together, laid them upon a cistern, that stood close to a well: and bracing on his buckler, and grasping his lance, with a solemn pace, he began to walk backward and forward before the cistern, beginning his parade just as the day shut in.

The host acquainted all that were in the inn with the frenzy of his guest, the watching of his armour, and the knighting he expected. They all wondered at so odd a kind of madness, and went out to observe him -[10]- at a distance; and they perceived, that, with a composed air, he sometime continued his walk; at other times, leaning upon his lance, he looked wistfully at his armour, without taking off his eyes for a long time together. It was now quite night; but the moon shone with such a lustre, as might almost vie with his who lent it; so that whatever our new Knight did was distinctly seen by all the spectators.

While he was thus employed, one of the carriers, who inned there, had a mind to water his mules, and it was necessary first to remove Don Quixote's armour from off the cistern; who, seeing him approach, called to him with a loud voice: "Ho, there, whoever thou art, rash Knight, that approachest to touch the arms of the most valorous adventurer that ever girded sword, take heed what thou doest, and touch them not, unless thou wouldst leave thy life a forfeit for thy temerity." The carrier troubled not his head with these speeches, though it had been better for him if he had, for he might have saved his carcase; but, instead of that, taking hold of the straps, he tossed the armour a good distance from him; which Don Quixote perceiving, he lifted up his eyes to Heaven, and fixing his thoughts, as it seemed, on his mistress Dulcinea, he said: "Assist me, dear Lady, in this first affront, offered to this breast, enthralled to thee; let not thy favour and protection fail me in this first moment of danger." And uttering these and the like ejaculations, he let slip his target, and lifting up his lance with both hands, gave the carrier such a blow on the head, that he laid him flat on the ground, in such piteous plight, that, had he seconded his blow, there would have been no need of a surgeon. This done, he gathered up his armour, and walked backward and forward with the same gravity as at first.

Soon after, another carrier, not knowing what had happened, for still the first lay stunned, came out with the same intention of watering his mules; and as he was going to clear the cistern, by removing the armour, Don Quixote, without speaking a word, or imploring anybody's protection, again let slip his target, and, lifting up his lance, broke the second carrier's head in three or four places. All the people of the inn ran together at the noise, and the inn-keeper among the rest: which Don Quixote perceiving, he braced on his target, and laying his hand on his sword, he said: "O Queen of Beauty, the strength and vigour of my enfeebled heart, now is the time to turn the eyes of thy greatness towards this thy captived Knight, whom so prodigious an adventure at this instant awaits." Hereby, in his opinion, he recovered so much courage, that, if all the carriers in the world had attacked him, he would not have retreated an inch. The comrades of those that were wounded, for they now perceived them in that condition, began to let fly a shower of stones at Don Quixote; who sheltered himself, the best he could, under his shield, and was afraid of stirring from the cistern, lest he should seem to abandon his armour. The host cried out to them to let him alone, for he had already told them he was mad, and that he would be acquitted as a madman, though he should kill them all. Don Quixote also cried out louder, calling them cowards and traitors, and the Lord of the castle a poltroon and a base-born Knight for suffering Knights-errant to be treated in that manner; and that, if he had received the order of knighthood, he would make him smart for his treachery: "But for you, rascally and base scoundrels," said he, "I do not value you a straw: draw near, come on, and do your worst; you shall quickly see the reward you are likely to receive of your folly and insolence." -[11]-

This he uttered with so much vehemence and resolution, that he struck a terrible dread into the hearts of the assailants; and, for this reason, together with the landlord's persuasions, they forbore throwing any more stones; and he permitted the wounded to be carried off, and returned to the watch of his armour with the same tranquillity and sedateness as before.

The host did not relish these pranks of his guest, and therefore determined to put an end to them by giving him the unlucky order of knighthood out of hand, before any farther mischief should ensue; and so, coming up to him, he begged pardon for the rudeness those vulgar people had been guilty of, without his knowing anything of the matter; however, he said, they had been sufficiently chastised for their rashness. He repeated to him, that there was no chapel in that castle, neither was it necessary for what remained to be done; for the whole stress of being dubbed a Knight lay in the blows on the neck and shoulders, as he had learned from the ceremonial of the order; and that it might be effectually performed in the middle of a field: that he had already discharged all that belonged to the watching of the armour, which was sufficiently performed in two hours; and much more, since he had been above four about it. All which Don Quixote believed, and said, he was there ready to obey him; and desired him to finish the business with the utmost despatch, because, if he should be assaulted again, and found himself dubbed a Knight, he was resolved not to leave a soul alive in the castle, except those he should command him to spare for his sake. The constable, thus warned, and apprehensive of what might be the event of this resolution, presently brought the book in which he entered the accounts of the straw and barley he furnished to the carriers; and with the two above-said damsels, and a boy carrying an end of candle before them, he came where Don Quixote was, whom he commanded to kneel; and reading in his manual, as if he had been saying some devout prayer, in the midst of the reading he lifted up his hand, and gave him a good blow on the nape of the neck, and after that, with his own sword, a handsome thwack on the shoulder, still muttering between his teeth, as if he was praying. This done, he ordered one of the ladies to gird on his sword, which she did with the most obliging freedom, and discretion too, of which not a little was needful to keep them from bursting with laughter at every period of the ceremonies; but, indeed, the exploits they had already seen our new Knight perform kept their mirth within bounds. At girding on the sword, the good Lady said: "God make you a fortunate Knight, and give you success in battle." Don Quixote asked her name, that he might know, from thenceforward, to whom he was indebted for the favour received; for he intended her a share of the honour he should acquire by the valour of his arm. She replied, with much humility, that she was called La Tolosa, and was a cobbler's daughter of Toledo, who lived at the little shops of Sanchobienaya; and, wherever she was, she would serve and honour him as her lord. Don Quixote then desired her, for his sake, thenceforward to add to her name the Don, and to call herself Donna Tolosa; which she promised to do. The other buckled on his spurs; with whom he held almost the same kind of dialogue as he had done with her companion: he asked her name also, and she said, she was called La Molinera, and was daughter of an honest miller of Antequera. Don Quixote entreated her also to add the Don, and call herself Donna Molinera, making her fresh offers of service and thanks. -[12]-

Thus the never-till-then-seen ceremonies being hastily despatched, Don Quixote, who was impatient to see himself on horseback, and sallying out in quest of adventures, immediately saddled Rozinante, and, embracing his host mounted; and at parting said such strange things to him, acknowledging the favour of dubbing him a knight, that it is impossible to express them. The host, to get him the sooner out of the inn, returned his compliments with no less flourishes, though in fewer words, and, without demanding anything for his lodging, wished him a good journey.

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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