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 XXII: How Don Quixote set at liberty several unfortunate Persons who were carrying, much against their Wills, to a place they did not like.


Cid Hamet Benengeli, the Arabian and Manchegan author, relates in this most grave, lofty, accurate, delightful, and ingenious history, that presently after those discourses which passed between the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha and Sancho Panza his squire, as they are related at the end of the foregoing chapter, Don Quixote lifted up his eyes, and saw coming on in the same road about a dozen men on foot, strung like beads in a row, by the necks, in a great iron chain, and all handcuffed. Their came also with them two men on horseback, and two on foot; those on horseback armed with firelocks, and those on foot with pikes and swords, And Sancho Panza espying them, said: "This is a chain of galley-slaves, persons forced by the king to the galleys." "How! persons forced!" cried Don Quixote; "is it possible the king should force anybody?" "I say not so," answered Sancho, "but that they are persons condemned by the law for their crimes, to serve the king in the galleys per force." "In short," replied Don Quixote, "however it be, still they are going by force, and not with their own liking." "It is so," said Sancho. "Then," said his master, "here the execution of my office takes place to defeat violence and to succour and relieve the miserable." "Consider, Sir," quoth Sancho, "that justice, that is, the king himself, does no violence nor injury to such persons, but only punishes them for their crimes."

By this the chain of galley-slaves were come up, and Don Quixote, in most courteous terms, desired of the guard that they would be pleased to inform and tell him the cause or causes why they conducted those persons in that manner. One of the guards on horseback answered, that they were slaves belonging to his majesty, and going to the galleys, which was all he could say, or the other need know, of the matter. "For all that," replied Don Quixote, "I should be glad to know from each of them in particular the cause of his misfortune." To these he added such other courteous expressions to induce them to tell him what he desired, that the other horseman said, "Though we have here the record and certificate of the sentence of each of these wretches, this is no time to produce and read them; draw near, Sir, and ask it of themselves; they may inform you, if they please, and inform you they will, for they are such as take a pleasure both in acting and relating rogueries." With this leave, which Don Quixote would have taken though they had not given it, he drew near to the chain, and demanded of the first for what offence he marched in such -[97]- evil plight. He answered, that he went in that manner for being in love. "For that alone?" replied Don Quixote: "if they send folks to the galleys for being in love, I might long since have been rowing in them." "It was not such love as your worship imagines," said the galley-slave: "mine was for the being so deeply enamoured of a basket of fine linen, and embracing it so close, that if justice had not taken it from me by force I should not have parted with it by my good-will to this very day. I was taken in the fact, so there was no place for the torture; the process was short; they accommodated my shoulders with a hundred lashes, and have sent me, by way of supplement, for three years to the Gurapas, and there is an end of it." "What are the Gurapas?" said Don Quixote. "The Gurapas are galleys," answered the slave, who was a young man about twenty-four years of age, and said he was born at Piedrahita. Don Quixote put the same question to the second, who returned no answer, he was so melancholy and dejected; but the first answered for him, and said, "This gentleman goes for being a canary-bird, I mean, for being a musician and a singer." "How so," replied Don Quixote; "are men sent to the galleys for being musicians and singers?" "Yes, Sir," replied the slave; "for there is nothing worse than to sing in an agony." "Nay," said Don Quixote, "I have heard say, Who sings in grief, procures relief." "This is the very reverse," said the slave; "for here he who sings once weeps all his life after." "I do not understand that," said Don Quixote. One of the guards said to him: "Signor Cavalier, to sing in an agony means, in the cant of these rogues, to confess upon the rack. This offender was put to the torture, and confessed his crime, which was that of being a quartrero, that is, a stealer of cattle; and, because he confessed, he is sentenced for six years to the galleys, besides two hundred lashes he has already received on the shoulders. And he is always pensive and sad; because the rest of the rogues, both those behind and those before, abuse, vilify, flout, and despise him for confessing, and not having the courage to say No: for they say, No contains the same number of letters as Ay; and it is lucky for a delinquent, when his life or death depends upon his own tongue, and not upon proofs and witnesses; and for my part I think they are in the right of it." "And I think so too," answered Don Quixote; who, passing on to the third, interrogated him as he had done the others: who answered very readily, and with very little concern; "I am going to Mesdames the Gurapas for five years, for wanting ten ducats." "I will give twenty with all my heart," said Don Quixote, "to redeem you from this misery." "That," said the slave, "is like having money at sea, and dying for hunger, where there is nothing to be bought with it. I say this, because, if I had been possessed in time of those twenty ducats you now offer me, I would have so greased the clerk's pen, and sharpened my advocate's wit, that I should have been this day upon the market-place of Zocodover in Toledo, and not upon this road, coupled and dragged like a hound; but God is great: patience; I say no more."

Don Quixote passed on to the fourth, who was a man of a venerable aspect, with a white beard reaching below his breast; who, hearing himself asked the cause of his coming thither, began to weep, and answered not a word; but the fifth lent him a tongue, and said, "This honest gentleman goes for four years to the galleys after having gone in the usual procession pompously apparelled and mounted." (58) "That is, I suppose," said Sancho, "put to public shame." "Right," replied the slave; "and the offence for which he underwent his punishment was his having been a broker of the -[98]- ear, yea, and of the whole body: in effect, I would say, that this cavalier goes for pimping, and exercising the trade of a conjuror." "Had it been merely for pimping," said Don Quixote, "he had not deserved to row in, but to command, and be general of the galleys: for the office of a pimp is not a slight business, but an employment fit only for discreet persons, and a most necessary one in a well-regulated commonwealth; and none but persons well-born ought to exercise it; and in truth there should be inspectors and comptrollers of it, as there are of other offices, with a certain number of them deputed, like exchange-brokers; by which means many mischiefs would be prevented which now happen, because this office and profession is in the hands of foolish and ignorant persons, such as silly waiting-women, pages, and buffoons, of a few years standing, and of small experience, who, in the greatest exigency, and when there is occasion for the most dexterous management and address, suffer the morsel to freeze between the fingers and the mouth, and scarce know which is their hand. I could go on, and assign the reasons why it would be expedient to make choice of proper persons to exercise an office so necessary in the commonwealth, but this is no proper place for it; and I may one day or other lay this matter before those who can provide a remedy. At present I only say, that the concern I felt at seeing those grey hairs, and that venerable countenance, in so much distress for pimping, is entirely removed by the additional character of his being a wizard: though I very well know, there are no sorceries in the world which can affect and force the will, as some foolish people imagine; for our will is free, and no herb nor charm can compel it. What some silly women and crafty knaves are wont to do, is, with certain mixtures and poisons, to turn people's brains, under pretence that they have power to make one fall in love; it being, as I say, a thing impossible to force the will." "It is so," said the honest old fellow: "and truly, Sir, as to being a wizard, I am not guilty; but as for being a pimp, I cannot deny it; but I never thought there was any harm in it; for the whole of my intention was, that all the world should divert themselves, and live in peace and quiet, without quarrels or troubles: but this good design could not save me from going whence I shall have no hope of returning, considering I am so loaden with years, and so troubled with the strangury, which leaves me not a moment's repose." And here he began to weep, as at first; and Sancho was so moved with compassion, that he drew out from his bosom a real, and gave it him as an alms.

Don Quixote went on, and demanded of another what his offence was; who answered, not with less, but much more alacrity than the former: "I am going for making a little too free with two she cousin-germans of mine, and with two other cousin-germans not mine: in short, I carried the jest so far with them all, that the result of it was the increasing of kindred so intricately, that no causuist can make it out. The whole was proved upon me; I had neither friends nor money; my windpipe was in the utmost danger; I was sentenced to the galleys for six years; I submit; it is the punishment of my fault; I am young; life may last, and time brings everything about: if your worship, Signor Cavalier, has anything about you to relieve us poor wretches, God will repay you in heaven, and we will make it the business of our prayers to beseech Him, that your worship's life and health may be as long and prosperous as your goodly presence deserves." This slave was in the habit of a student; and one of the guards said, he was a great talker, and a very pretty Latinist. -[99]-

Behind all these came a man some thirty years of age, of a goodly aspect; only he seemed to thrust one eye into the other; he was bound somewhat differently from the rest; for he had a chain to his leg, so long, that it was fastened round his middle, and two collars about his neck, one of which was fastened to the chain, and the other, called a keep-friend, or friend's foot, had two straight irons, which came down from it to his waist, at the ends of which were fixed two manacles, wherein his hands were secured with a huge padlock; insomuch that he could neither lift his hands to his mouth, nor bend down his head to his hands. Don Quixote asked why this man went fettered and shackled so much more than the rest. The guard answered, because he alone had committed more villanies than all the rest put together; and, that he was so bold and desperate a villain, that though they carried him in that manner they were not secure of him, but were still afraid he would make his escape. "What kind of villanies has he committed?" said Don Quixote, "that they have deserved no greater punishment than being sent to the galleys?" "He goes for ten years," said the guard, "which is a kind of civil death: you need only be told, that this honest gentleman is the famous Gines de Passamonte, alias Ginesillo de Parapilla." "Fair and softly, Signor Commissary," said the slave; "let us not be now lengthening out names and surnames. Gines is my name, and not Ginesillo; and Passamonte is the name of my family, and not Parparilla, as you say: and let everyone turn himself round, and look at home, and he will find enough to do." "Speak with more respect, Sir Thief above measure," replied the commissary, "unless you will oblige me to silence you to your sorrow." "You may see," answered the slave, "that man goeth as God pleaseth; but somebody may learn one day, whether my name is Ginesillo de Parapilla, or no." "Are you not called so, lying rascal?" said the guard. "They do call me so," answered Gines; "but I will oblige them not to call me so, or I will flay them where I care not at present to say. Signor Cavalier," continued he, "if you have anything to give us, give it us now, and God be with you; for you tire us with inquiring so much after other men's lives: if you would know mine, know that I am Gines de Passamonte, whose life is written by these very fingers." "He says true," said the commissary: "for he himself has written his own history, as well as heart could wish, and has left the book in prison, in pawn for two hundred reals." "Aye, and I intend to redeem it," said Gines, "if it lay for two hundred ducats." "What! is it so good?" said Don Quixote. "So good," answered Gines, "that woe be to Lazarillo de Tormes, and to all that have written or shall write in that way. What I can affirm is, that it relates truths, and truths so ingenious and entertaining, that no fictions can come up to them." "How is the book intituled?" demanded Don Quixote. "The Life of Gines de Passamonte," replied Gines himself. "And is it finished?" quoth Don Quixote. "How can it be finished," answered he, "since my life is not finished? what is written is from my cradle to the moment of my being sent this last time to the galleys." "Then you have been there before?" said Don Quixote. "Four years the other time," replied Gines, "to serve God and the king; and I know already the relish of the biscuit and bull's pizzle: nor does it grieve me much to go to them again, since I shall there have the opportunity of finishing my book: for I have a great many things to say, and in the galleys of Spain there is leisure more than enough, though I shall not want much for what I have to write, because -[100]- I have it by heart." "You seem to be a witty fellow," said Don Quixote. "And an unfortunate one," answered Gines; "but misfortunes always pursue the ingenious." "Pursue the villainous," said the commissary. "I have already desired you, Signor Commissary," answered Passamonte, "to go on fair and softly; for your superiors did not give you that staff to misuse us poor wretches here, but to conduct and carry us whither his majesty commands; now by the life of I say no more; but the spots which were contracted in the inn, may perhaps one day come out in the bucking; and let everyone hold his tongue, and live well, and speak better; and let us march on, for this has held us long enough."

The commissary lifted up his staff to strike Passamonte, in return for his threats: but Don Quixote interposed, and desired he would not abuse him, since it was but fair that he who had his hands so tied up, should have his tongue a little at liberty. Then turning about to the whole string, he said: "From all you have told me, dearest brethren, I clearly gather, that though it be only to punish you for your crimes, you do not much relish the punishment you are going to suffer, and that you go to it much against the grain and against your good liking: and, perhaps, the pusillanimity of him who was put to the torture, this man's want of money, and the other's want of friends, and in short the judge's wresting of the law, may have been the cause of your ruin, and that you did not come off as in justice you ought to have done. And I have so strong a persuasion that this is the truth of the case, that my mind prompts and even forces me to show in you the effect for which heaven threw me into the world, and ordained me to profess the order of chivalry, which I do profess, and the vow I made in it to succour the needy and those oppressed by the mighty. But, knowing that it is one part of prudence not to do that by foul means which may be done by fair, I will entreat these gentlemen, your guard, and the commissary, that they will be pleased to loose and let you go in peace, there being people enough to serve the king for better reasons: for it seems to me a hard case to make slaves of those whom God and nature made free. Besides, gentlemen guards," added Don Quixote, "these poor men have committed no offence against you: let every one answer for his sins in the other world: there is a God in heaven who does not neglect to chastise the wicked nor to reward the good; neither is it fitting that honest men should be the executioners of others, they having no interest in the matter. I request this of you in this calm and gentle manner, that I may have some ground to thank you for your compliance: but if you do it not willingly, this lance and this sword, with the vigour of my arm, shall compel you to do it." "This is pleasant fooling," answered the commissary; "an admirable conceit he has hit upon at last: he would have us let the king's prisoners go, as if we had authority to set them free, or he to command us to do it. Go on your way, Signor, and adjust that basin on your noddle, and do not go feeling for three legs in a cat." "You are a cat, and a rat, and a rascal to boot," answered Don Quixote; and so, with a word and a blow, he attacked him so suddenly, that before he could stand upon his defence he threw him to the ground, much wounded with a thrust of the lance. And it happened luckily for Don Quixote, that this was one of the two who carried firelocks. The rest of the guards were astonished and confounded at the unexpected encounter; but recovering themselves, those on horseback drew their swords, and those on foot laid hold of their javelins, and fell upon Don Quixote, who waited for them with much -[101]- calmness; and doubtless it had gone ill with him, if the galley-slaves, perceiving the opportunity which offered itself to them of recovering their liberty, had not procured it, by breaking the chain with which they were linked together. The hurry was such, that the guards, now endeavouring to prevent the slaves from getting loose, and now engaging with Don Quixote, who attacked them, did nothing to any purpose. Sancho for his part assisted in loosing of Gines de Passamonte, who was the first that leaped free and disembarrassed upon the plain; and setting upon the fallen commissary, he took away his sword and his gun, and by levelling it, first at one and then at another, without discharging it, he cleared the field of all the guard, who fled no less from Passamonte's gun than from the shower of stones which the slaves, now at liberty, poured upon them.

Sancho was much grieved at what had happened; for he imagined that the fugitives would give notice of the fact to the Holy Brotherhood, who, upon ringing a bell, would sally out in quest of the delinquents; and so he told his master, and begged of him to be gone from thence immediately, and take shelter among the trees and rocks of the neighbouring mountain. "It is well," said Don Quixote; "but I know what is now expedient to be done." Then having called all the slaves together, who were in a fright, and had stripped the commissary to his buff, they gathered in a ring about him to know his pleasure; when he thus addressed them: "To be thankful for benefits received, is the property of persons well born; and one of the sins at which God is most offended, is ingratitude. This I say, gentlemen, because you have already found by manifest experience the benefit you have received at my hands; in recompense of which my will and pleasure is, that, laden with this chain which I have taken off from your necks, you immediately set out and go to the city of Toboso, and there present yourselves before the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, and tell her that the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure sends you to present his service to her; and recount to her every tittle and circumstance of this memorable adventure, to the point of setting you at your wished-for liberty: this done, you may go in God's name whither you list." (59)

Gines de Passamonte answered for them all.
Gines de Passamonte answered for them all.

Gines de Passamonte answered for them all, and said: "What your worship commands us, noble Sir, and our deliverer, is of all impossibilities the most impossible to be complied with; for we dare not be seen together on the road, but must go separate and alone, each man by himself, and endeavour to hide ourselves in the very bowels of the earth from the Holy Brotherhood, who doubtless will be out in quest of us. What your worship may and ought to do is, to change this service and duty to the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso into a certain number of Ave Marias and Credos, which we will say for the success of your design; and this is what we may do by day or by night, flying or reposing, in peace or in war; but to think that we will now return to the brick-kilns of Egypt, I say, to take our chains, and put ourselves on the way to Toboso, is to think it is now night already, whereas it is not yet ten o'clock in the morning; and to expect this from us is to expect pears from an elm-tree." "I vow then," said Don Quixote, already enraged, "Don son of a whore, Don Ginesillo de Parapilla, or however you call yourself, you alone shall go with your tail between your legs, and the whole chain upon your back." Passamonte, who was not over passive, and had already perceived that Don Quixote was not wiser than he should be, since he committed such an extravagance as the setting them at liberty, seeing himself treated in this manner, winked upon -[102]- his comrades; and they all stepping aside, began to rain such a shower of stones upon Don Quixote, that he could not contrive to cover himself with his buckler; and poor Rozinante made no more of the spur than if he had been made of brass. Sancho got behind his ass, and by that sheltered himself from the storm and hail that poured upon them both. Don Quixote could not screen himself so well, but that he received I know not how many thumps on the body with such force, that they brought him to the ground; and scarce was he fallen, when the student set upon him, and taking the basin from off his his head, gave him three or four blows with it on the shoulders, and then struck it as often against the ground, whereby he almost broke it to pieces. They stripped him of a jacket he wore over his armour, and would have stripped him of his trousers too, if the greaves had not hindered them. They took from Sancho his cloak, leaving him in his doublet; and sharing among themselves the spoils of the battle, they made the best of their way off, each a several way, with more care how to escape the Holy Brotherhood they were in fear of, than to load themselves with the chain, and to go and present themselves before the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso.

The ass and Rozinante, Sancho and Don Quixote, remained by themselves; the ass hanging his head and pensive, and now and then shaking his ears, thinking that the storm of stones was not yet over, but still whizzing about his head; Rozinante stretched along close by his master, he also being knocked down with another stone; Sancho in his doublet, and afraid of the Holy Brotherhood; and Don Quixote very much out of humour, to find himself so ill-treated by those very persons to whom he had done so much good.


Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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