Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[163]-

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 XXXI: Of the relishing Conversation which passed between Don Quixote and his Squire Sancho Panza, with other Accidents.

 

"All this does not displease me; go on," said Don Quixote. "You arrived; and what was that queen of beauty doing? Without doubt, you found her stringing pearls, or embroidering some device with threads of gold for this her captive knight." "No, I did not," answered Sancho, "but I found her winnowing two bushels of wheat in a back-yard of her house." "Then make account," said Don Quixote, "that the grains of that wheat were so many grains of pearl, when touched by her hands. And did you take notice, friend, whether the wheat was fine, or the ordinary sort?" "It was neither," answered Sancho, "but of the reddish kind." "Be assured, however," said Don Quixote, "that when winnowed by her hands, it certainly made the finest manchet bread: but go on. When you gave her my letter, did she kiss it? Did she put it upon her head? Did she use any ceremony worthy of such a letter? Or what did she do?" "When I was going to give it her," answered Sancho, "she was very busy in winnowing a good sieveful of the wheat; and she said to me: 'Lay the letter, friend, upon that sack; for I cannot read it, until I have done winnowing all that is here."' "Discreet Lady!" said Don Quixote; "this was, to be sure, that she might read it and entertain herself with it at leisure. Proceed, Sancho: while she was thus employed, what discourse had she with you? What did she inquire of you concerning me? And what did you answer? Make an end; tell me all; leave nothing at the bottom of the ink-horn." "She asked me nothing," said Sancho; "but I told her how your worship was doing penance for her service among these rocks, naked from the waist upwards, as if you were a savage, sleeping on the ground, not eating bread on a napkin, nor combing your beard, weeping and cursing your fortune." "In saying that I cursed my fortune, you said amiss," replied Don Quixote: "I rather bless it, and shall bless it all the days of my life, for having made me worthy to love so high a lady as Dulcinea del Toboso." "So high indeed," answered Sancho, "that, in good faith, she is a handful taller than I am." "Why how, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "have you measured with her?" "I measured thus," answered Sancho: -[164]- "as I was helping her to put a sack of wheat upon an ass, we stood so close, that I perceived she was taller than I by more than a full span." "If it be so," replied Don Quixote, "does she not accompany and set off this stature of body with a thousand millions of graces of the mind?"

But, Sancho, conceal not one thing from me; when you stood so near her, did you not perceive a Sabean odour, an aromatic fragrancy, and something so sweet, that I know not what name to give it? I say, a scent, a smell, as if you were in some curious glover's shop?" "All I can say is," quoth Sancho, "that I perceived somewhat of a mannish smell, which must have proceeded from her being in a dripping sweat with overmuch painstaking." "It could not be so," answered Don Quixote: "you must either have had a cold in your head, or have smelt your own self; for I very well know the scent of that rose among thorns, that lily of the valley, that liquid amber." "All that may be," answered Sancho; "for the same smell often comes from me, as, methought, then came from my Lady Dulcinea; but where's the wonder, that one devil should be like another?" "Well then," continued Don Quixote, "she has now done winnowing, and the corn is sent to the mill. What did she do when she had read the letter?" "The letter," quoth Sancho, "she did not read; for she told me she could neither read nor write: on the contrary, she tore it to pieces, saying, she would not give it to anybody to read, that her secrets might not be known in the village; and that what I had told her by word of mouth, concerning the love your worship bore her, and the extraordinary penance you were doing for her sake, was enough: lastly, she bid me tell your worship that she kissed your hands, and that she remained with greater desire to see you than to write to you; and therefore she humbly entreated and commanded you at sight hereof, to quit these brakes and bushes, and leave off these foolish extravagances, and set out immediately for Toboso, if some other business of greater importance did not intervene; for she had a mighty mind to see your worship. She laughed heartily when I told her how you called yourself the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure. I asked her whether the Biscainer of t'other day had been there with her: she told me he had, and that he was a very honest fellow; I asked her also after the galley-slaves; but she told me she had not yet seen any of them." "All goes well, as yet," said Don Quixote. "But tell me what jewel did she give you at your departure, for the news you had brought her of me? For it is an usual and ancient custom among knights and ladies-errant to bestow some rich jewel on the squires, damsels, or dwarfs, who bring them news of their mistresses or servants, as a reward or acknowledgment for their welcome news." "Very likely," quoth Sancho, "and a very good custom it was; but it must have been in days of yore; for nowadays the custom is to give only a piece of bread and cheese: for that was what my Lady Dulcinea gave me, over the pales of the yard, when she dismissed me; by the same token that the cheese was made of sheep's milk." "She is extremely generous," said Don Quixote; "and if she did not give you a jewel of gold, it must be because she had not one about her; but sleeves are good after Easter. (80) I shall see her, and all shall be set to rights.

"But do you know, Sancho, what I am surprised at? It is, that you must have gone and come through the air; for you have been little more than three days in going and coming between this and Toboso, though it is more than thirty leagues from hence thither; from whence I conclude, -[165]- that the sage enchanter who has the superintendence of my affairs, and is my friend, for such a one there is, and must of necessity be, otherwise I should be no true knight-errant; I say this same enchanter must have assisted you in travelling, without your perceiving it; for there are sages, who will take you up a knight-errant sleeping in his bed; and without his knowing how, or in what manner, he awakes the next day above a thousand leagues from the place where he fell asleep. And were it not for this, the knights-errant could not succour one another in their dangers, as they now do at every turn. For a knight happens to be fighting in the mountains of Armenia with some dreadful monster or fierce goblin, or some other knight, and has the worst of the combat, and is just upon the point of being killed; and when he least expects it, there appears upon a cloud, or in a chariot of fire, another knight, his friend, who just before was in England, who succours him and delivers him from death; and that night he finds himself in his own chamber supping with a very good appetite, though there be the distance of two or three thousand leagues between the two countries. And all this is brought about by the industry and skill of those sage enchanters who undertake the care of those valorous knights. So that, friend Sancho, I make no difficulty in believing that you went and came in so short a time between this place and Toboso, since, as I have already said, some sage, our friend, must have expedited your journey, without your being sensible of it." "It maybe so," quoth Sancho, "for in good faith, Rozinante went like any gipsy's ass with quicksilver in his ears." "With quicksilver!" said Don Quixote, "aye, and with a legion of devils to boot; a sort of cattle that travel, and make others travel, as fast as they please, without being tired.

"But, setting this aside, what would you advise me to do now, as to what my lady commands me, about going to see her? For though I know I am bound to obey her commands, I find myself at present under an impossibility of doing it, on account of the boon I have promised to grant the princess who is now with us; and the laws of chivalry oblige me to comply with my word rather than indulge my pleasure. On the one hand, the desire of seeing my lady persecutes and perplexes me: on the other, I am incited and called by my promised faith, and the glory I shall acquire in this enterprise. But what I propose to do, is to travel fast, and get quickly to the place where this giant is, and presently after my arrival to cut off his head, and settle the princess peaceably in her kingdom, and that instant to return and see that sun which enlightens my senses; to whom I will make such an excuse that she shall allow my delay was necessary; for she will perceive that all redounds to the increase of her glory and fame, since what I have won, do win, or shall win, by force of arms in this life, proceeds wholly from the succour she affords me, and from my being hers." "Ah!" quoth Sancho, "how is your worship disordered in your head! Pray, tell me, Sir, do you intend to take this journey for nothing? And will you let slip so considerable a match as this, when the dowry is a kingdom, which as I have heard say is above twenty thousand leagues in circumference, and abounding in all things necessary for the support of human life, and bigger than Portugal and Castile together? For the love of God say no more, and take shame to yourself for what you have said already: follow my advice, and pardon me, and be married out of hand at the first place where there is a priest; and if there be none, here is our Licentiate, who will do it cleverly. And pray take -[166]- notice, I am of age to give advice, and what I now give is as fit as if it were cast in a mould for you; for a sparrow in the hand is worth more than a bustard on the wing, and he that may have good, if he will, it is his own fault if he chooses ill." "Look you, Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "if you advise me to marry, that, by killing the giant, I may immediately become a king, and have it in my power to reward you by giving you what I promised you, I would have you to know, that without marrying I can easily gratify your desire; for I will covenant before I enter into the battle, that, upon my coming off victorious, without marrying the princess, I shall be entitled to a part of the kingdom, to bestow it on whom I please; and when I have it, to whom do you think I should give it, but to yourself?" "That is clear," answered Sancho; "but pray, Sir, take care to choose it toward the sea, that, if I should not like living there, I may ship off my black subjects, and dispose of them as I said before. (81) And trouble not yourself now to go and see my Lady Dulcinea, but go and kill the giant, and let us make an end of this business; for, before God, I verily believe it will bring us much honour and profit." "You are in the right, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "and I take your advice as to going first with the princess, before I go to see Dulcinea. And be sure you say nothing to anybody, no, not to those who are in our company, of what we have been discoursing and conferring upon; for since Dulcinea is so reserved, that she would not have her thoughts known, it is not fit that I, or any one else for me, should discover them." "If it be so," quoth Sancho, "why does your worship send all those you conquer by the might of your arm, to present themselves before my Lady Dulcinea, this being to give it under your hand, that you are in love with her? If these persons must fall upon their knees before her, and declare they come from you to pay their obeisance to her, how can your mutual inclinations be a secret?" "How dull and foolish you are!" said Don Quixote. "You perceive not, Sancho, that all this redounds the more to her exaltation. For you must know that, in this our style of chivalry, it is a great honour for a lady to have many knights-errant, who serve her merely for her own sake, without expectation of any other reward of their manifold and good desires, than the honour of being admitted into the number of her knights." "I have heard it preached," quoth Sancho, "that God is to be loved with this kind of love, for Himself alone, without our being moved to it by the hope of reward, or the fear of punishment; though, for my part, I am inclined to love and serve Him for what He is able to do for me." "The devil take you for a bumpkin," said Don Quixote; "you are ever and anon saying such smart things, that one would almost think you have studied." "And yet, by my faith," quoth Sancho, "I cannot so much as read."

 While they were thus talking, Master Nicholas called aloud to them to halt a little; for they had a mind to stop and drink at a small spring hard by. Don Quixote stopped, much to the satisfaction of Sancho, who began to be tired of telling so many lies, and was afraid his master should at last catch him tripping; for though he knew Dulcinea was a farmer's daughter of Toboso, he had never seen her in all his life. In the meanwhile Cardenio had put on the clothes which Dorothea wore when they found her; and, though they were none of the best, they were far beyond those he had put off. They all alighted near the fountain, and with what the priest had furnished himself with at the inn, they somewhat appeased the violence of their hunger. -[167]-

While they were thus employed, a young lad happened to pass by, travelling along the road; who, looking very earnestly at those who were at the fountain, presently ran to Don Quixote, and, embracing his legs, fell a-weeping in good earnest, and said: "Ah! dear Sir, does not your worship know me? Consider me well: I am Andres, the lad whom you delivered from the oak to which I was tied." Don Quixote knew him again, and, taking him by the hand, he turned to the company, and said: "To convince you of what importance it is, that there should be knights-errant in the world, to redress the wrongs and injuries committed in it by insolent and wicked men; you must know, good people, that, a few days ago, as I was passing by a wood, I heard certain outcries and a very lamentable voice, as of some person in affliction and distress. I hastened immediately, prompted by my duty, toward the place from which the voice seemed to come; and I found tied to an oak this lad whom you see here. I am glad in my soul he is present; for he will attest the truth of what I say. I say he was tied to the oak, naked from the waist upward; and a country fellow whom I afterward found to be his master, was cruelly lashing him with the reins of a bridle; and, as soon as I saw it, I asked him the reason of so severe a whipping. The clown answered, that he was his servant, and that he whipped him for some instances of neglect, which proceeded rather from knavery than simplicity. On which this boy said: 'Sir, he whips me only because I ask him for my wages.' The master replied with I know not what speeches and excuses, which I heard indeed, but did not admit. In short, I made him untie the boy, and swear to take him home, and pay him every real down upon the nail, and perfumed into the bargain. Is not all this true, son Andres? And did you not observe with what authority I commanded, and how submissively he promised to do whatever I enjoined, notified, and required, of him? Answer; be under no concern, but tell these gentlefolks what passed, that they may see and consider how useful it is, as I said, that there should be knights-errant upon the road." "All that your worship has said, is very true," answered the lad; "but the business ended quite otherwise than you imagine." "How otherwise?" replied Don Quixote: "did not the rustic instantly pay you?" "He not only did not pay me," answered the boy, "but, as soon as your worship was got out of the wood, and we were left alone, he tied me again to the same tree, and gave me so many fresh strokes, that I was flayed like any Saint Bartholomew; and, at every lash he gave me, he said something by way of scoff or jest upon your worship; at which, if I had not felt so much pain, I could not have foreborne laughing. In short, he laid on me in such manner, that I have been ever since in an hospital, under cure of the bruises the barbarous countryman then gave me. And your worship is in the fault of all this; for had you gone on your way, and not come where you was not called, nor meddled with other folks' business, my master would have been satisfied with giving me a dozen or two of lashes, and then would have loosed me, and paid me what he owed me. But by your worship's abusing him so unmercifully, and calling him so many hard names, his wrath was kindled; and not having it in his power to be revenged on you, no sooner had you left him, but he discharged the tempest upon me in such sort, that I shall never be a man again while I live."

"The mischief," said Don Quixote, "was in my going away; I should not have stirred until I had seen you paid; for I might have known, by long experience, that no rustic will keep his word if he finds it inconvenient -[168]- for him so to do. But you may remember, Andres, that I swore, if he did not pay you I would seek him out, and find him though he hid himself in the whale's belly." "That is true," quoth Andres; "but it signified nothing." "You shall see now whether it signifies," said Don Quixote; and so saying, he arose up very hastily, and ordered Sancho to bridle Rozinante, who was grazing while they were eating. Dorothea asked him what it was he meant to do? He answered, that he would go and find out the rustic, and chastise him for so base a proceeding, and make him pay Andres to the last farthing, in spite and defiance of all the rustics in the world. She desired he would consider what he did, since, according to the promised boon, he could not engage in any other adventure until he had accomplished hers; and, since he could not but know this better than anybody else, she entreated him to moderate his resentment, until his return from her kingdom. (82) "You are in the right," answered Don Quixote, "and Andres must have patience until my return, as you say, Madam; and I again swear and promise not to rest, until he is revenged and paid." "I do not depend upon these oaths," said Andres: "I would rather have wherewithal to carry me to Seville, than all the revenges in the world. If you have anything to give me to eat, and to carry with me, let me have it; and God be with your worship and with all knights-errant, and may they prove as luckily errant to themselves as they have been to me." Sancho pulled a piece of bread, and another of cheese, out of his knapsack, and giving it to the lad, said to him, "Here, brother Andres, we all have a share in your misfortune." "Why, what share have you in it?" said Andres. "This piece of bread and cheese, which I give you," answered Sancho: "God knows whether I may not want it myself; for I would have you to know, friend, that we squires to knights-errant are subject to much hunger, and to ill-luck, and to other things too, which are more easily conceived than told." Andres laid hold on the bread and cheese; and seeing that nobody else gave him anything, he made his bow and marched off. It is true he said, at parting, to Don Quixote, "For the love of God, Signor Knight-errant, if ever you meet me again, though you see they are beating me to pieces, do not succour nor assist me, but leave me to my misfortune; which cannot be so great but a greater will follow from your worship's aid, whom may the curse of God light upon, and upon all the knights-errant that ever were born in the world." Don Quixote was getting up to chastise him; but he fell a- running so fast that nobody offered to pursue him. Don Quixote was mightily abashed at Andres's story; and the rest were forced to refrain, though with some difficulty, from laughing, that they might not put him quite out of countenance.

 

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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