Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[149]-

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 XXIX: Which treats of the beautiful Dorothea's Discretion, with other very ingenious and entertaining Particulars.

 

"This, Gentlemen, is the true history of my tragedy: see now, and judge, whether you might not reasonably have expected more sighs than those you have listened to, more words than those you have heard, and more tears than have yet flowed from my eyes; and the quality of my misfortune considered, you will perceive that all counsel is in vain, since a remedy is nowhere to be found. All I desire of you is, what with ease you can and ought to do, that you would advise me where I may pass my life, without -[150]- the continual dread and apprehension of being discovered by those who are searching after me; for though I know I may depend upon the great love of my parents toward me for a kind reception, yet so great is the shame that overwhelms me, at the bare thought of appearing before them not such as they expected, that I choose rather to banish myself for ever from their sight, than to behold their face under the thought that they see mine estranged from that integrity they had good reason to promise themselves from me."

Here she held her peace, and her face was overspread with such a colour as plainly discovered the concern and shame of her soul. The hearers felt in theirs no less pity than admiration at her misfortune. The priest was just going to administer to her some present comfort and counsel, but Cardenio prevented him, saying: "It seems then, Madam, you are the beautiful Dorothea, only daughter of the rich Clenardo." Dorothea was surprised at hearing her father's name, and to see what a sorry figure he made who named him; for we have already taken notice how poorly Cardenio was apparelled, and she said to him: "Pray, Sir, who are you, that are so well acquainted with my father's name; for to this minute, if I remember right, I have not mentioned his name in the whole series of the account of my misfortune?" — "I am," answered Cardenio, "that unfortunate person, whom, according to your relation, Lucinda owned to be her husband. I am the unhappy Cardenio, whom the base actions of him, who has reduced you to the state you are in, have brought to the pass you see, to be thus ragged, naked, destitute of all human comfort, and, what is worst of all, deprived of reason; for I enjoy it only when Heaven is pleased to bestow it on me for some short interval. I, Dorothea, am he who was an eye-witness of the wrong Don Fernando did me: he who waited to hear the fatal Yes, by which Lucinda confirmed herself his wife. I am he who had not the courage to stay, and see what would be the consequence of her swooning, nor what followed the discovery of the paper in her bosom: for my soul could not bear such accumulated misfortunes; and therefore I abandoned the house and my patience together; and leaving a letter with my host, whom I entreated to deliver it into Lucinda's own hands, I betook myself to these solitudes, with a resolution of ending here my life, which, from that moment, I abhorred as my mortal enemy. But fate would not deprive me of it, contenting itself with depriving me of my senses, perhaps to preserve me for the good fortune I have had in meeting with you; and, as I have no reason to doubt of the truth of what you have related, Heaven, perhaps, may have reserved us both for a better issue out of our misfortunes than we think. For since Lucinda cannot marry Don Fernando, because she is mine, as she has publicly declared, nor Don Fernando Lucinda because he is yours, there is still room for us to hope, that Heaven will restore to each of us our own, since it is not yet alienated nor past recovery. And since we have this consolation, not arising from very distant hopes, nor founded in extravagant conceits, I entreat you, Madam, to entertain other resolutions in your honourable thoughts, as I intend to do in mine, preparing yourself to expect better fortune. For I swear to you, upon the faith of a cavalier and a Christian, not to forsake you, until I see you in possession of Don Fernando; and if I cannot by fair means persuade him to acknowledge what he owes to you, then to take the liberty, allowed me as a gentleman, of calling him to an account with my sword for the wrong he has done you; without reflecting -[151]- on the injuries done to myself, the revenge of which I leave to Heaven, that I may the sooner redress yours on earth."

Dorothea was quite amazed at what Cardenio said; and not knowing what thanks to return him for such great and generous offers, she would have thrown herself at his feet to have kissed them; but Cardenio would by no means suffer her. The licentiate answered for them both, and approved of Cardenio's generous resolution, and, above all things, besought and advised them to go with him to his village, where they might furnish themselves with whatever they wanted, and there consult how to find Don Fernando, or to carry back Dorothea to her parents, or do whatever they thought most expedient. Cardenio and Dorothea thanked him, and accepted of the favour he offered them. The barber, who all this time had stood silent and in suspense, paid also his compliment, and with no less goodwill than the priest, made them an offer of whatever was in his power for their service. He told them also, briefly, the cause that brought them thither, with the strange madness of Don Quixote, and that they were then waiting for his squire, who was gone to seek him. Cardenio hereupon remembered, as if it had been a dream, the quarrel he had with Don Quixote, which he related to the company, but could not recollect whence it arose.

He told them, that he had found him naked to his shirt, feeble, wan, and half dead with hunger, and sighing for his lady Dulcinea.
He told them, that he had found him naked to his shirt, feeble, wan,
and half dead with hunger, and sighing for his lady Dulcinea.

At this instant they heard a voice, and knowing it to be Sancho Panza's, who, not finding them where he had left them, was calling as loud as he could to them; they went forward to meet him, and asking him after Don Quixote, he told them, that he had found him naked to his shirt, feeble, wan, and half dead with hunger, and sighing for his Lady Dulcinea; and though he had told him that she laid her commands on him to come out from that place and repair to Toboso, where she expected him, his answer was, that he was determined not to appear before her beauty, until he had performed exploits that might render him worthy of her favour; and if his master persisted in that humour, he would run a risk of never becoming an emperor, as he was in honour bound to be, nor even an archbishop, which was the least he could be; therefore they should consider what was to be done to get him from that place. The licentiate bid him be in no pain about that matter; for they would get him away whether he would or no.

 He then recounted to Cardenio and Dorothea what they had contrived for Don Quixote's cure, or at least for decoying him to his own house. Upon which Dorothea said she would undertake to act the distressed damsel better than the barber, especially since she had there a woman's apparel, with which she could do it to the life; and they might leave it to her to perform what was necessary for carrying on their design, she having read many books of chivalry, and being well acquainted with the style the distressed damsels were wont to use, when they begged their boons of their knights-errant. "Then there needs no more," said the priest, "to put the design immediately in execution; for, doubtless, fortune declares in our favour, since she has begun so unexpectedly to open a door for your relief, and furnished us so easily with what we stood in need of." Dorothea presently took out of her bundle a petticoat of very rich stuff, and a mantle of fine green silk; and out of a casket, a necklace, and other jewels, with which, in an instant, she adorned herself in such a manner, that she had all the appearance of a rich and great lady. All these and more, she said, she had brought from home, to provide against what might happen; but until then she had had no occasion to make use of them. They were all highly -[152]- delighted with the gracefulness of her person, the gaiety of her disposition, and her beauty; and they agreed, that Don Fernando must be a man of little judgment or taste who could slight so much excellence. But he who admired most, was Sancho Panza, who thought, and it was really so, that in all the days of his life he had never seen so beautiful a creature; and therefore he earnestly desired the priest to tell him who that extraordinary beautiful lady was, and what she was looking for in those parts? — "This beautiful lady, friend Sancho," answered the priest, "is to say the least of her, heiress in the direct male line of the great kingdom of Micomicon; and she comes in quest of your master, to beg a boon of him, which is, to redress her a wrong or injury done her by a wicked giant: for it is the fame of your master's prowess, which is spread over all Guinea, that has brought this princess to seek him." — "Now, a happy seeking, and a happy finding," quoth Sancho Panza; "and especially if my master prove so fortunate as to redress that injury, and right that wrong, by killing that whoreson giant you mention; and kill him he certainly will if he encounters him, unless he be a goblin; for my master has no power at all over goblins. But one thing, among others, I would beg of your worship, Signor Licentiate, which is, that you would not let my master take it into his head to be an archbishop, which is what I fear, but that you would advise him to marry this princess out of hand, and then he will be disqualified to receive archiepiscopal orders; and so he will come with ease to his kingdom, and I to the end of my wishes; for I have considered the matter well, and find, by my account, it will not be convenient for me, that my master should be an archbishop; for I am unfit for the church as being a married man; and for me to be now going about to procure dispensations for holding church- livings, having, as I have, a wife and children, would be an endless piece of work. So that, Sir, the whole business rests upon my master's marrying this lady out of hand. I do not yet know her grace, and therefore do not call her by her name." — "She is called," replied the priest, "the Princess Micomicona; for her kingdom being called Micomicon, it is clear she must be called so." — "There is no doubt of that," answered Sancho; "for I have known many take their title and surname from the place of their birth, as Pedro de Alcala, John de Ubeda, Diego de Valladolid; and for aught I know, it may be the custom yonder in Guinea, for Queens to take the names of their kingdoms." — "It is certainly so," said the priest; "and as to your master's marrying, I will promote it to the utmost of my power." With which assurance Sancho rested as well satisfied, as the priest was amazed at his simplicity; and to see how strongly the same absurdities were rivetted in his fancy as in his master's, since he could so firmly persuade himself that Don Quixote would one time or other come to be an emperor.

By this time Dorothea had got upon the priest's mule, and the barber had fitted on the ox-tail beard; and they bid Sancho conduct them to the place where Don Quixote was, cautioning him not to say he knew the licentiate or the barber, for that the whole stress of his master's coming to be an emperor depended upon his not seeming to know them. Neither the priest nor Cardenio would go with them; the latter, that he might not put Don Quixote in mind of the quarrel he had with him; and the priest, because his presence was not then necessary; and therefore they let the others go on before, and followed them fair and softly on foot. The priest would have instructed Dorothea in her part; who said, they need give -[153]- themselves no trouble about that, for she would perform all to a tittle, according to the rules and precepts of the books of chivalry.

They had gone about three quarters of a league, when among some intricate rocks they discovered Don Quixote, by this time clothed, but not armed; and as soon as Dorothea espied him, and was informed by Sancho that was his master, she whipped on her palfrey, being attended by the well-bearded barber; and when she was come up to Don Quixote, the squire threw himself off his mule, and went to take down Dorothea in his arms, who alighting briskly, went and kneeled at Don Quixote's feet; and though he strove to raise her up, she, without getting up, addressed him in this manner:

"I will never arise from this place, O valorous and redoubted knight, until your goodness and courtesy vouchsafe me a boon, which will redound to the honour and glory of your person, and to the weal of the most disconsolate and aggrieved damsel the sun has ever beheld. And if it be so, that the valour of your puissant arm be correspondent to the voice of your immortal fame, you are obliged to protect an unhappy wight, who is come from regions so remote led by the odour of your renowned name, to seek at your hands a remedy for her misfortunes." — "I will not answer you a word, fair lady," replied Don Quixote, "nor will I hear a jot more of your business, until you arise from the ground." — "I will not arise, Signor," answered the afflicted damsel, "if by your courtesy the boon I beg be not first vouchsafed me." — "I do vouchsafe and grant it you," answered Don Quixote, "provided my compliance therewith be of no detriment or disservice to my king, my country, or her who keeps the key of my heart and liberty." — "It will not be to the prejudice or disservice of any of these, dear Sir," replied the doleful damsel. And as she was saying this, Sancho Panza approached his master's ear, and said to him softly: "Your worship, Sir, may very safely grant the boon she asks; for it is a mere trifle; only to kill a great lubberly giant; and she who begs it is the mighty princess Micomicona, queen of the great kingdom of Micomicon in Ζthiopia." — "Let her be who she will," answered Don Quixote, "I shall do what is my duty, and what my conscience dictates, in conformity to the rules of my profession." And turning himself to the damsel, he said: "Fairest lady, arise; for I vouchsafe you whatever boon you ask." — "Then, what I ask," said the damsel, "is, that your magnanimous person will go with me whither I will conduct you; and that you will promise me not to engage in any other adventure, or comply with any other demand whatever, until you have avenged me on a traitor, who against all right, human and divine, has usurped my kingdom." — "I repeat it, that I grant your request," answered Don Quixote; "and therefore, lady, from this day forward, shake off the melancholy that disturbs you, and let your fainting hopes recover fresh force and spirits: for by the help of God and of my arm, you shall soon see yourself restored to your kingdom, and seated on the throne of your ancient and high estate, in despite of all the miscreants that shall oppose it; and therefore all hands to the work; for the danger they say lies in the delay." The distressed damsel would fain have kissed his hands; but Don Quixote, who was in everything a most gallant and courteous knight, would by no means consent to it, but making her arise, embraced her with much politeness and respect, and ordered Sancho to get Rozinante ready, and to help him on with his armour instantly. -[154]- Sancho took down the arms, which were hung like a trophy on a tree, and having got Rozinante ready, helped his master on with his armour in an instant; who finding himself armed, said: "Let us go hence, in God's name, to succour this great lady." The barber was still kneeling, and had enough to do to forbear laughing, and to keep his beard from falling, which had it happened would probably have occasioned the miscarriage of their ingenious device; and seeing that the boon was already granted, and with what alacrity Don Quixote prepared himself to accomplish it, he got up, and took his lady by the other hand; and thus between them both they set her upon the mule. Don Quixote immediately mounted Rozinante, and the barber settled himself upon his beast, Sancho remaining on foot; which renewed his grief for the loss of his Dapple: but he bore it cheerfully, because he thought that his master was now in the right road, and just upon the point of being made an emperor: for he made no doubt that he was to marry that princess, and be at least king of Micomicon; only he was troubled to think that the kingdom was in the land of the negroes, and that the people who were to be his subjects were all blacks; but he presently bethought himself of a special remedy, and said to himself: "What care I, if my subjects be blacks? What have I to do but to ship them off, and bring them over to Spain, where I may sell them for ready money; with which money I may buy some title or employment, on which I may live at my ease all the days of my life? No! sleep on, and have neither sense nor capacity to manage matters nor to sell thirty or ten thousand slaves in the turn of a hand. Before God, I will make them fly, little and big, or as I can, and let them be never so black, I will transform them into white and yellow; let me alone to lick my own fingers." With these conceits he went on, so busied and so satisfied that he forgot the pain of travelling on foot.

All this Cardenio and the priest beheld from behind the bushes, and did not know how to contrive to join companies; but the priest, who was a grand schemer, soon hit upon an expedient; which was, that, with a pair of scissors, which he carried in a case, he should whip off Cardenio's beard in an instant; then put him on a grey capouch, and gave him his own black cloak, himself remaining in his breeches and doublet; and now Cardenio made so different a figure from what he did before, that he would not have known himself though he had looked in a glass. This being done, though the others were got a good way before them while they were thus disguising themselves, they easily got first into the high road; for the ruggedness and narrowness of the way would not permit those on horseback to go on so fast as those on foot. In short they got into the plain at the foot of the mountain; and when Don Quixote and his company came out, the priest set himself to gaze at him very earnestly for some time, giving signs as if he began to know him; and after he had stood a pretty while viewing him, he ran to him with open arms, crying aloud: "In an happy hour are you met, mirror of chivalry, my noble countryman Don Quixote de la Mancha, the flour and cream of gentility, the shelter and relief of the needy, the quintessence of knights-errant!" And in saying this, he embraced Don Quixote by the knee of his left leg; who being amazed at what he saw and heard, set himself to consider him attentively; at length he knew him, and was surprised to see him, and made no small effort to alight; but the priest would not suffer it; whereupon Don Quixote said: "Permit me, Signor Licentiate, to alight; for it is not fit I -[155]- should be on horseback, and so reverend a person as your worship on foot." — "I will by no means consent to it," said the priest; "let your greatness continue on horseback; for on horseback you achieve the greatest exploits and adventures that our age hath beheld; as for me, who am a priest, though unworthy, it will suffice me to get up behind some one of these gentlemen who travel with you, if it be not too troublesome to them; and I shall fancy myself mounted on Pegasus, or on a Cebra, (74) or the sprightly courser bestridden by the famous Moor Muzaraque, who lies to this day enchanted in the great mountain Zulema, not far distant from the grand Compluto." (75) — "I did not think of that, dear Signor Licentiate," said Don Quixote; "and I know, my lady the princess will, for my sake, order her squire to accommodate you with the saddle of his mule; and he may ride behind, if the beast will carry double." — "I believe she will," answered the princess; "and I know it will be needless to lay my commands upon my squire; for he is so courteous and well-bred, that he will not suffer an ecclesiastic to go on foot when he may ride." — "Very true," answered the barber; and alighting in an instant, he complimented the priest with the saddle, which he accepted of without much entreaty. But it unluckily happened, that as the barber was getting up behind, the mule, which was no other than an hackney, and consequently a vicious jade, flung up her hind legs twice or thrice into the air; and had they met with Master Nicholas's breast or head, he would have given his coming for Don Quixote to the Devil. However he was so frighted, that he tumbled to the ground, with so little heed of his beard, that it fell off; and perceiving himself without it, he had no other shift but to cover his face with both hands, and to cry out that his jaw-bone was broke. Don Quixote seeing that bundle of beard, without jaws, and without blood, lying at a distance from the face of the fallen squire, said: "On my life this is very wonderful; no barber could have shaved off his beard more clean and smooth." The priest, who saw the danger their project was in of being discovered, immediately picked up the beard, and ran with it to Master Nicholas, who still lay bemoaning himself; and holding his head close to his breast, at one jerk he fixed it on again, muttering over him some words, which he said was a specific charm for fastening on beards, as they should soon see; and when all was adjusted, he left him, and the barber remained as well bearded and as whole as before. At seeing this, Don Quixote marvelled greatly, and desired the priest, when he had leisure, to teach him that charm; for he was of opinion, that its virtue must extend farther than to the fastening on of beards, since it was clear that where the beard was torn off, the flesh must be left wounded and bloody, and since it wrought a perfect cure, it must be good for other things besides beards." — "It is so," said the priest, and promised to teach it him the very first opportunity. They now agreed that the priest should get up first, and that they should all three ride by turns, until they came to the inn, which was about two leagues off.

The three being mounted, that is to say, Don Quixote, the princess, and the priest; and the other three on foot, namely, Cardenio, the barber, and Sancho Panza; Don Quixote said to the damsel, "Your grandeur, Madam, will be pleased to lead on which way you like best." And before she could reply, the licentiate said: "Toward what kingdom would your ladyship go; towards that of Micomico, I presume? For it must be -[156]- thither, or I know little of kingdoms." She, being perfect in her lesson, knew very well she was to answer Yes, and therefore said, "Yes, Signor, my way lies toward that kingdom." — "If it be so," said the priest, "we must pass through our village; and from thence you must go straight to Carthagena, where, with God's permission, you may take shipping; and, if you have a fair wind, a smooth sea, and no storms, in little less than nine years you may get sight of the great lake Meona, I mean Meotis, which is little more than an hundred days' journey on this side of your highness's kingdom." — "You are mistaken, good Sir," said she; "for it is not two years since I left it; and though, in truth, I had very bad weather during the whole passage, I am already got hither, and behold with my eyes what I so much longed for; namely, Signor Don Quixote de la Mancha, the fame of whose valour reached my ears the moment I set foot in Spain; and put me upon finding him out, that I might recommend myself to his courtesy, and commit the justice of my cause to the valour of his invincible arm." — "No more; cease your compliments," said Don Quixote; "for I am an enemy to all sort of flattery; and though this be not such, still my chaste ears are offended at this kind of discourse. What I can say, dear Madam, is, that whether I have valour or not, what I have, or have not, shall be employed in your service, even to the loss of my life; and so, leaving these things to a proper time, I desire that Signor the Licentiate would tell me what has brought him into these parts, so alone, so unattended, and so lightly clad, that I am surprised at it." — "To this I shall answer briefly," replied the priest. "Your worship, then, is to know, Signor Don Quixote, that I, and Master Nicholas, our friend and barber, were going to Seville to receive some monies, which a relation of mine, who went many years ago to the Indies, had sent me; and it was no inconsiderable sum; for it was above sixty thousand pieces of eight, all of due weight, which is no trivial matter: and passing yesterday through these parts, we were set upon by four highway robbers, who stripped us of all we had, to our very beards, and in such a manner that the barber thought it expedient to put on a counterfeit one; and as for this youth here, (pointing to Cardenio) you see how they have transformed his. And the best of the story is, that it is publicly reported hereabouts, that the persons who robbed us were certain galley-slaves, who, they say, were set at liberty near this very place, by a man so valiant, that in spite of the commissary and all his guards he let them all loose; and without all doubt he must needs have been out of his senses, or as great a rogue as they, or one void of all conscience and humanity, that could let loose the wolf among the sheep, the fox among the hens, and the wasps among the honey. He has defrauded justice of her due, and has set himself up against his king and natural lord, by acting against his lawful authority: he has, I say, disabled the galleys of their hands, and disturbed the many years' repose of the holy brotherhood: in a word, he has done a deed whereby he may lose his soul, and not gain his body." Sancho had related to the priest and the barber the adventure of the galley-slaves, achieved with so much glory by his master; and therefore the priest laid it on thick in the relation, to see what Don Quixote would do or say, whose colour changed at every word; and yet he durst not own that he had been the deliverer of those worthy gentlemen. "These," said the priest, "were the persons that robbed us; and God of His mercy pardon him who prevented their being carried to the punishment they so richly deserved."

 

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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