Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis
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 V: Wherein is continued the Narration of our Knight's Misfortune.
But finding that he was really not able to stir, he bethought himself of having recourse to his usual remedy, which was to recollect some passage of his books; and his frenzy instantly presented to his remembrance that of Valdovinos and the Marquis of Mantua, when Carloto left him wounded on the mountain; a story known to children, not unknown to youth, commended and credited by old men, and for all that no truer than the miracles of Mahomet. Now this example seemed to him as if it had been cast in a mould to fit the distress he was in, and so with signs of great bodily pain, he began to roll himself on the ground, and said with a faint tone what was said by the wounded Knight of the Wood: —
And in this manner he went on with the romance until he came to those verses where it is said; "O noble Marquis of Mantua, my uncle and lord by blood." And it so happened that just as he came to that verse there passed by a countryman of his own village, and his near neighbour, who had been carrying a load of wheat to the mill; who, seeing a man lying stretched on the earth, came up and asked him who he was and what ailed him, that he made such a doleful lamentation. Don Quixote believed he must certainly be the Marquis of Mantua, his uncle, and so returned him no answer, but went on with his romance, giving an account of his misfortune, and of the amours of the emperor's son with his wife, just in the same manner as it is there recounted. The peasant stood confounded at hearing such extravagancies, and taking off his visor, which was beaten all to pieces, he wiped his face, which was covered with dust; and the moment he had done wiping it he knew him, and said, "Ah! Signor Quixada," for so he was called before he had lost his senses and was transformed from a sober gentleman to a knight-errant, "how came your worship in this condition?" But he answered out of his romance to whatever question he asked him.
The good man, seeing this, made a shift to take off his back and breast-piece -- to see if he had received any wound; but he saw no blood, nor sign of any hurt. Then he endeavoured to raise him from the ground, and with much ado set him upon his ass, as being the beast of easier carriage. He gathered together all the arms, not excepting the broken pieces of the lance, and tied them upon Rozinante; and so, taking him by the bridle, and his ass by the halter, he went on toward his village, full of reflection at hearing the extravagancies which Don Quixote uttered. And no less thoughtful was the knight, who, through the mere force of bruises and bangs, could scarce keep himself upon the ass, and ever and anon sent forth such groans as seemed to pierce the skies, insomuch that the peasant was again forced to ask him what ailed him. And sure nothing but the devil himself could furnish his memory with stories so suited to what had befallen him; for at that instant, forgetting Valdovinos, he bethought himself of the Moor Abindarraez, at the time when the governor of Antequera, Roderigo of Narvaez, had taken him prisoner and conveyed him to his castle. So that when the peasant asked him again how he did, he answered him in the very same words and expressions in which the prisoner Abindarraez answered Roderigo of Narvaez, according as he had read the story in the "Diana "of George of Montemayor, applying it so patly to his own case, that the peasant went on cursing himself to the devil, to hear such a monstrous heap of nonsense: from whence he collected that his neighbour was run mad, and therefore made what haste he could to reach the village, to free himself from the vexation of Don Quixote's tiresome and impertinent speeches, who in conclusion said: "Be it known to your worship, Signor Don Roderigo de Narvaez, that this beauteous Xarifa, whom I mentioned, is now the fair Dulcinea del Toboso, for whom I have done, do, and will do, the most famous exploits of chivalry that have been, are, or shall be seen in the world." To this the peasant answered: "Look you, Sir, as I am a sinner, I am not Don Roderigo de Narvaez, nor the Marquis of Mantua, but Pedro Alonso your neighbour; neither is your worship Valdovinos, nor Abindarraez, but the worthy gentleman Signor Quixada." — "I know who I am," answered Don Quixote; "and I know too that I am not only capable of being those I have mentioned, but all the Twelve Peers of France, yea, and the Nine Worthies, since my exploits will far exceed all that they have jointly or separately achieved.
With these and the like discourses, they reached the village about sunset; but the peasant stayed until the night was a little advanced, that the people might not see the poor battered gentleman so scurvily mounted. When the hour he thought convenient was come, he entered the village, and arrived at Don Quixote's house, which he found all in an uproar. The priest and the barber (18) of the place, who were Don Quixote's great friends, happened to be there, and the housekeeper was saying to them aloud: "What is your opinion, Signor Licentiate Pero Perez," for that was the priest's name, "of my master's misfortune? For neither he nor his horse, nor the target, nor the lance, nor the armour, have been seen these six days past. Woe is me! I am verily persuaded, and it is as certainly true as I was born to die, that these cursed books of knight-errantry which he keeps, and is so often reading, have turned his brain. And now I think of it, I have often heard him say, talking to himself, that he would turn knight-errant, and go about the world in quest of adventures. The devil and Barabbas take all such books that have thus spoiled the finest -- understanding in all la Mancha." The niece joined with her, and said moreover: "Know, master Nicholas," for that was the barber's name, "that it has often happened that my honoured uncle has continued poring on these confounded books of disventures two whole days and nights; and then throwing the book out of his hand, he would draw his sword, and fence, back-stroke, and fore-stroke, with the walls; and when he was heartily tired would say he had killed four giants as tall as so many steeples, and that the sweat which ran from him, when weary, was the blood of the wounds he had received in the fight: and then he would presently drink off a large jug of cold water, and be as quiet and well as ever, telling us that the water was a most precious liquor brought him by the sage Esquife, (19) a great enchanter and his friend. But I take the blame of all this to myself, that I did not advertise you, gentlemen, of my dear uncle's extravagancies before they were come to the height they now are, that you might have prevented them by burning all those cursed books, of which he has so great store, and which as justly deserve to be committed to the flames as if they were heretical." — " I say the same," quoth the priest; "and, in faith, to-morrow shall not pass without holding a public inquisition against them, and condemning them to the fire, that they may no more minister occasion to those who read them to do what I fear my good friend has done."
All this the peasant and Don Quixote overheard, and it confirmed the countryman in the belief of
his neighbour's infirmity; and so he began to cry aloud: "Open the doors, gentlemen, to Signor Valdovinos and the
Marquis of Mantua, who comes dangerously wounded; and to Signor Abindarraez the Moor, whom the valorous Roderigo de
Narvaez, Governor of Antequera, brings as his prisoner." At hearing this they all came out, and, as some knew their
friend, and others their master and uncle, they all ran to embrace him, who was not yet alighted from the ass, for
indeed he could not. "Forbear, all of you," he cried, "for I am sorely wounded through my horse's fault. Carry me to
my bed, and if it be possible, send for the sage Urganda
(20) to search and heal my wounds." —
"Look ye, in the devil's name," said the housekeeper immediately, "if my heart did not tell me right on which leg my
master halted. Get upstairs, in God's name; for without the help of that same Urganda we shall find a way to cure
you ourselves. Cursed say I again, and a hundred times cursed be those books of knight-errantry that have brought
your worship to this pass." They carried him presently to his chamber, and searching for his wounds, they found none
at all; and he told them he was only bruised by a great fall he got with his horse Rozinante, as he was fighting
with ten of the most prodigious and audacious giants that were to be found on the earth. "Ho, ho!" says the priest;
"what, there are giants too in the dance.
(21) By my faith, I shall set fire to
them all before to-morrow night." They asked Don Quixote a thousand questions, and he would answer nothing, but only
desired something to eat and that they would let him sleep, which was what he stood most in need of. They did so,
and the priest inquired particularly of the countryman in what condition he had found Don Quixote, who gave him an
account of the whole, with the extravagancies he had uttered both at the time of finding him and all the way home,
which increased the licentiate's desire to do what he did the next day: which was to call on his friend, master
Nicholas the barber, with whom he came to Don Quixote's house.
Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis