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 XXXII: Which treats of what befell Don Quixote's whole Company
in the Inn.


The notable repast being ended, they saddled immediately, and without anything happening to them worthy to be related, they arrived the next day at the inn, that dread and terror of Sancho Panza, who, though he would fain have declined going in, could not avoid it. The hostess, the -[169]- host, their daughter, and Maritornes, seeing Don Quixote and Sancho coming, went out to meet them, with signs of much joy; and he received them with a grave deportment, and a nod of approbation, bidding them prepare him a better bed than they had done the time before; to which the hostess answered, that provided he would pay better than the time before she would get him a bed for a prince. Don Quixote said he would; and so they made him a tolerable one in the same large room where he had lain before; and he immediately threw himself down upon it; for he arrived very much shattered, both in body and brains. He was no sooner shut into his chamber, but the hostess fell upon the barber, and taking him by the beard, said, "By my faith, you shall use my tail no longer for a beard; give me my tail again; for my husband's thing is tossed up and down that it is a shame; I mean the comb I used to stick in my good tail." The barber would not part with it for all her tugging, until the licentiate bid him give it her; for there was no farther need of that artifice, but he might now discover himself, and appear in his own shape, and tell Don Quixote that, being robbed by those thieves the galley slaves, he had fled to this inn; and if he should ask for the Princess's squire, they should tell him, she had despatched him before with advice to her subjects, that she was coming and bringing with her their common deliverer. With this, the barber willingly surrendered to the hostess the tail, together with all the other appurtenances she had lent them, in order to Don Quixote's enlargement. All the folks of the inn were surprised, both at the beauty of Dorothea and the comely personage of the shepherd Cardenio. The priest ordered them to get ready what the house afforded; and the host, in hopes of being better paid, soon served up a tolerable supper. All this time Don Quixote was asleep, and they agreed not to awaken him; for he had more occasion for sleep than food.

The discourse at supper, at which were present the innkeeper, his wife, his daughter, and Maritornes, and all the passengers, turned upon the strange madness of Don Quixote, and the condition in which they had found him. The hostess related to them what befell him with the carrier; and looking about to see whether Sancho was by, and not seeing him, she gave them a full account of his being tossed in a blanket, at which they were not a little diverted. And the priest happening to say that the books of chivalry which Don Quixote had read had turned his brain, the innkeeper said, "I cannot conceive how that can be; for really as far as I can understand there is no choicer reading in the world; and I have by me three or four of them, with some manuscripts, which, in good truth, have kept me alive, and not me only but many others beside. For in harvest time many of the reapers come hither every day for shelter during the noon-day heat; and there is always one or other among them that can read, who takes one of these books in hand, and above thirty of us place ourselves round him, and listen to him with so much pleasure, that it prevents a thousand hoary hairs; at least, I can say for myself, that when I hear of those furious and terrible blows which the knights-errant lay on, I have a month's mind to be doing as much, and could sit and hear them day and night." "I wish you did," quoth the hostess; "for I never have a quiet moment in my house but when you are listening to the reading; for then you are so besotted that you forget to scold for that time." "It is true," said Maritornes; "and, in good faith, I too am very -[170]- much delighted at hearing those things; for they are very fine, especially when they tell us how such a lady and her knight lie embracing each other under an orange tree, and how a duenna stands upon the watch, dying with envy, and her heart going pit-a-pat. I say all this is pure honey." "And pray, miss, what is your opinion of these matters?" said the priest, addressing himself to the innkeeper's daughter. "I do not know, indeed, Sir," answered the girl: "I listen too; and truly, though I do not understand it, I take some pleasure in hearing it; but I have no relish for those blows and slashes which please my father so much; what I chiefly like is, the complaints the knights make, when they are absent from their mistresses; and really sometimes they make me weep out of the pity I have for them." "You would soon afford them relief, young gentlewoman," said Dorothea, "if they wept for you." "I do not know what I should do," answered the girl; "only I know, that several of those ladies are so cruel that their knights call them tigers and lions, and a thousand other ugly names. And, Jesu! I cannot imagine what kind of folks they be who are so hard-hearted and unconscionable, that rather than bestow a kind look on an honest gentleman they will let him die, or run mad. And, for my part, I cannot see why all this coyness; if it is out of honesty let them marry them; for that is what the gentlemen would be at." "Hold your tongue, hussey," said the hostess: "methinks you know a great deal of these matters; and it does not become young maidens to know or talk so much." "When this gentleman asked me a civil question," replied the girl, "I could do no less, sure, than answer him."

"It is mighty well," said the priest; "pray, landlord, bring me those books, for I have a mind to see them." "With all my heart," answered the host; and going into his chamber, he brought out a little old cloak-bag, with a padlock and chain to it, and opening it, he took out three large volumes, and some manuscript papers written in a very fair character. The first book he opened he found to be "Don Cirongilio of Thrace," the next "Felixmarte of Hyrcania," and the third the "History of the Grand Captain Gonzalo Hernandez of Cordova, with the Life of Diego Garcia de Paredes." When the priest had read the titles of the two first, he turned about to the barber, and said: "We want here our friend's housekeeper and niece." "Not at all," answered the barber; "for I myself can carry them to the yard, or to the chimney, where there is a very good fire." "What, Sir! would you burn my books?" said the innkeeper. "Only these two," said the priest; "that of Don Cirongilio and that of Felixmarte." "What, then, are my books heretical, or phlegmatical, that you have a mind to burn them?" "Schismatical, you would say, friend," said the barber, "and not phlegmatical." "It is true," replied the innkeeper; "but if you intend to burn any, let it be this of the Grand Captain, and this of Diego de Garcia; for I will sooner let you burn one of my children, than either of the others." "Dear brother," said the priest, "these two books are great liars, and full of extravagant and foolish conceits; and this of the Grand Captain is a true history, and contains the exploits of Gonzalo Hernandez of Cordova, who for his many and brave actions deserved to be called by all the world the Grand Captain; a name renowned and illustrious, and merited by him alone. As for Diego Garcia de Paredes, he was a gentleman of note, born in the town of Truxillo in Estremadura, a very brave soldier, and of such great natural strength, that he could stop a windmill, in its greatest rapidity, -[171]- with a single finger; and being once posted with a two-handed sword at the entrance upon a bridge, he repelled a prodigious army, and prevented their passage over it. And he performed other such things, that if, instead of being related by himself with the modesty of a cavalier who is his own historian, they had been written by some other dispassionate and unprejudiced author, they would have eclipsed the actions of the Hectors, the Achilleses, and Orlandos." "Persuade my grandmother to that," quoth the innkeeper; "do but see what it is he wonders at, the stopping of a mill-wheel! before God your worship should have read what I have read, concerning Felixmarte of Hyrcania, who with one back-stroke cut asunder five giants in the middle, as if they had been so many bean-pods, of which the children make little puppet-friars. (83) At another time he encountered a very great and powerful army, consisting of above a million and six hundred thousand soldiers, all armed from head to foot, and defeated them all, as if they had been a flock of sheep. But what will you say of the good Don Cirongilio of Thrace, who was so stout and valiant, as you may see in the book, wherein is related, that as he was sailing on a river, a fiery serpent appeared above water; and as soon as he saw it, he threw himself upon it, and getting astride upon his scaly shoulders, squeezed its throat with both his hands with so much force, that the serpent, finding itself in danger of being choked, had no other remedy but to let itself sink to the bottom of the river, carrying along with him the knight, who would not quit his hold; and when they were got to the bottom, he found himself in a fine palace, and in so pretty a garden, that it was wonderful; and presently the serpent turned into a venerable old man, who said so many things to him, that the like was never heard. Therefore pray say no more, Sir; for, if you were but to hear all this, you would run mad with pleasure. A fig for the Grand Captain, and for that Diego Garcia you speak of."

Dorothea hearing this, said softly to Cardenio: "Our landlord wants but little to make the second part of Don Quixote." "I think so too," answered Cardenio; "for, according to the indications he gives, he takes all that is related in these books for gospel, and neither more or less than matters of fact; and the bare-footed friars themselves could not make him believe otherwise." "Look you, brother," said the priest; "there never was in the world such a man as Felixmarte of Hyrcania, nor Don Cirongilio of Thrace, nor any other knights such as the books of chivalry mention; for all is but the contrivance and invention of idle wits, who composed them for the purpose of whiling away time, as you see your readers do in reading them; for I vow and swear to you, there never were any such knights in the world, nor did such feats or extravagant things ever happen in it." "To another dog with this bone," answered the host; "as if I did not know how many make five, or where my own shoe pinches. Do not think, Sir, to feed me with pap; for before God, I am no suckling. A good jest, indeed, that your worship should endeavour to make me believe that all the contents of these good books are lies and extravagances, being printed with the license of the king's privy counsel; as if they were people that would allow the impressions of such a pack of lies, battles, and enchantments, as are enough to make one distracted." "I have already told you, friend," replied the priest, "that it is done for the amusement of our idle thoughts; and as in all well-instituted commonwealths, the games of chess, tennis, and billiards, are permitted for the -[172]- entertainment of those who have nothing to do. and who ought not or cannot work; for the same reason they permit such books to be written and printed, presuming, as they well may, that nobody can be so ignorant as to take them for true histories. And if it were proper at this time, and my hearers required it, I could lay down such rules for the composing books of chivalry, as should, perhaps, make them agreeable, and even useful to many persons; but I hope the time may come that I may communicate this design to those who can remedy it; and in the meanwhile, Signor Innkeeper, believe what I have told you, and here take your books and settle the point whether they contain truths or lies, as you please; and much good may do you with them; and God grant you do not halt on the same foot your guest Don Quixote does." "Not so," answered the innkeeper, "I shall not be so mad as to turn knight-errant; for I know very well that times are altered since those famous knights-errant wandered about the world."

Sancho came in about the middle of this conversation, and was much confounded and very pensive at what he heard said, that knights-errant were not now in fashion, and that all books of chivalry were mere lies and fooleries; and he resolved with himself to wait the event of this expedition of his master's; and if it did not succeed as happily as he expected, he determined to leave him and return home to his wife and children, and to his accustomed labour.

The innkeeper was carrying away the cloak-bag and the books; but the priest said to him: "Pray stay, for I would see what papers those are, that are written in so fair a character." The host took them out, and having given them to him to read, he found about eight sheets in manuscript, and at the beginning a large title, which was, "The Novel of the Curious Impertinent." The priest read three or four lines to himself, and said: "In truth I do not dislike the title of this novel, and I have a mind to read it all." To which the innkeeper answered: "Your reverence may well venture to read it; for I assure you, that some of my guests who have read it liked it mightily, and begged it of me with great earnestness; but I would not give it them, designing to restore it to the person who forgot and left behind him this cloak-bag with these books and papers; for perhaps their owner may come this way again some time or other; and though I know I shall have a great want of the books, in faith I will restore them; for though I am an innkeeper, thank God, I am a Christian." "You are much in the right, friend," said the priest; "nevertheless, if the novel pleases me, you must give me leave to take a copy of it." "With all my heart," answered the innkeeper. While these two were thus talking, Cardenio had taken up the novel, and began to read it; and being likewise pleased with it, he desired the priest to read it, so that as they might all hear it. "I will," said the priest, "if it be not better to spend our time in sleeping than in reading." "It will be as well for me," said Dorothea, "to pass the time in listening to some story; for my spirits are not yet so composed as to give me leave to sleep, though it were needful." "Well then," said the priest, "I will read it, if it were but for curiosity; perhaps it may contain something that is entertaining." Master Nicholas and Sancho joined in the same request; on which the priest, perceiving that he should give them all pleasure, and receive some himself, said: "Be all attentive then, for the novel begins in the following manner: "


Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

Gavilan Spanish Questions or comments Bibliographic Record Index page Previous page Top Next page