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 XXXV: The Conclusion of the "Novel of the Curious Impertinent", with the dreadful Battle betwixt Don Quixote and certain Wine-skins.


There remained but little more of the novel to be read, when from the room where Don Quixote lay, Sancho Panza came running out all in a fright, crying aloud: "Run, Sirs, quickly, and succour my master, who is over head and ears in the toughest and closest battle my eyes have ever beheld. As God shall save me, he has given the giant, that enemy of the Princess Micomicona, such a stroke, that he has cut off his head close to his shoulders, as if it had been a turnip." "What say you, brother?" cried the priest, leaving off reading the remainder of the novel. "Are you in your senses, Sancho? How the devil can this be, since the giant is two thousand leagues off?" At that instant they heard a great noise in the room, and Don Quixote calling aloud, "Stay, cowardly thief, robber, rogue; for here I have you, and your scimitar shall avail you nothing." And it seemed as if he gave several hacks and slashes against the walls. "Do not stand listening," quoth Sancho; "but go in and part the fray, or aid my master; though by this time there will be no occasion; for doubtless the giant is already dead, and giving an account to God of his past wicked life; for I saw the blood run about the floor, and the head cut off, and fallen on one side, and as big as a great wine-skin." "I will be hanged," quoth the innkeeper at this juncture, "if Don Quixote, or Don Devil, has not given a gash to some of the wine-skins that stand at his bed's head, and the wine he has let out must be what this honest fellow takes for blood;" and so saying, he went into the room, and the whole company after him; and they found Don Quixote in the strangest situation in the world. He was in his shirt, which was not quite long enough before to cover his thighs, and was six inches shorter behind: his legs were very long and lean, full of hair, and not over clean; he had on his head a little red cap, somewhat greasy, which belonged to the innkeeper. About his left arm he had twisted the blanket (to which Sancho owed a grudge, and he very well knew why), and in his right hand he held his drawn sword, with which he was laying about him on all sides, and uttering words, as if he had really been fighting with some giant; and the best of it was, his eyes were shut; for he was asleep, and dreaming that he was engaged in battle with the giant; for his imagination was so taken up with the adventure he had undertaken, that it made him dream he was already arrived at the kingdom of Micomicon, and engaged in fight with his enemy; and, fancying he was cleaving the giant down, he had given the skins so many cuts, that the whole room was afloat with wine. The innkeeper perceiving it, fell into such a rage, that he set upon Don Quixote, and, with his clenched fists, began to give him so many cuffs, that if Cardenio and the priest had not taken him off, he would have put an end to the war of the giant; and yet, notwithstanding all this, the poor gentleman did not awake until the barber brought a large bucket of cold water from the well, and soused it all over his body at a dash; Don Quixote awoke, but not so thoroughly as to be sensible of the pickle he was in. Dorothea perceiving how scantily and airily he was arrayed, would not go in to see the fight between her champion and her adversary. Sancho was searching -[198]- all about the floor for the head of the giant; and not finding it he said: "Well, I see plainly that everything about this house is enchantment; for the time before, in this very same place where I now am, I had several punches and thumps given me, without knowing from whence they came, or seeing anybody; and now the head is vanished which I saw cut off with my own eyes, and the blood spouting from the body like any fountain." "What blood, and what fountain, thou enemy to God and His saints?" said the innkeeper. "Dost thou not see, thief, that the blood and the fountain are nothing but these skins pierced and ripped open, and the red wine floating about the room? I wish I may see his soul floating in hell that pierced them!" "I know nothing," said Sancho; "only that I should be so unfortunate, that for want of finding this head, my earldom will melt away like salt in water." Now Sancho awake was more mad than his master asleep; so besotted was he with the promises he had made him. The innkeeper lost all patience to see the squire's phlegm, and the knight's wicked handiwork; and he swore they should not escape as they did the time before, without paying; and that this bout, the privileges of his chivalry should not exempt him from discharging both reckonings, even to the patches of the torn skins.

The priest held Don Quixote by the hands; who, imagining he had finished the adventure, (91) and that he was in the presence of the Princess Micomicona, fell on his knees before the priest, and said: "High and renowned lady, well may your grandeur from this day forward, live more secure, now this ill-born creature can do you no hurt; and I also, from this day forward, am freed from the promise I gave you, since, by the assistance of the most high God, and through the favour of her by whom I live and breathe, I have so happily accomplished it." "Did not I tell you so?" quoth Sancho, hearing this; "so that I was not drunk; see if my master has not already put the giant in pickle; here are the bulls; (92) my earldom is safe." Who could forbear laughing at the absurdities of both master and man? They all laughed, except the innkeeper, who cursed himself to the devil. But at length the barber, Cardenio, and the priest, with much ado, threw Don Quixote on the bed; who fell fast asleep, with signs of very great fatigue. They left him to sleep on, and went out to the inn-door to comfort Sancho for not finding the giant's head; though they had most to do to pacify the innkeeper, who was out of his wits for the murder of his wine-skins. The hostess muttered, and said: "In an unlucky minute, and in an evil hour, came this knight-errant into my house; oh that my eyes had never seen him! He has been a dear guest to me. The last time he went away with a night's reckoning for supper, bed, straw, and barley, for himself and for his squire, for a horse and an ass, telling us, forsooth, that he was a knight-adventurer! Evil adventures befall him, and all the adventurers in the world! And therefore he said he was not obliged to pay anything; for so it was written in the registers of knight-errantry; and now, again on his account too, comes this other gentleman, and carries off my tail, and returns it me with two-penny worth of damage, all the hair off, so that it can serve no more for my husband's purpose. And after all, to rip open my skins, and let out my wine! would I could see his blood so let out! But let him not think to escape; for by the bones of my father, and the soul of my mother, they shall pay me down upon the nail every farthing, or may I never be called by my own name, nor be my own father's daughter." The hostess said all this, and -[199]- more, in great wrath; and honest Maritornes, her maid, seconded her. The daughter held her peace, but now and then smiled. The priest quieted all, promising to make them the best reparation he could for their loss, as well in the wine-skins as the wine, and especially for the damage done to the tail which they valued so much. Dorothea comforted Sancho Panza, telling him, that whenever it should really appear that his master had cut off the giant's head, she promised when she was peaceably seated on her throne, to bestow on him the best earldom in her dominions. With this Sancho was comforted, and assured the princess she might depend upon it that he had seen the giant's head, by the same token that it had a beard which reached down to the girdle; and if it was not to be found, it was because everything passed in that house by way of enchantment, as he had experienced the last time he lodged there. Dorothea said she believed so, and bid him be in no pain; for all would be well, and succeed to his heart's desire. All being now pacified, the priest had a mind to read the remainder of the novel; for he saw it wanted but little. Cardenio, Dorothea, and the rest, entreated him so to do; and he, willing to please all the company, and himself among the rest, went on with the story as follows:

"Now so it was, that Anselmo, through the satisfaction he took in the supposed virtue of Camilla, lived with all the content and security in the world; and Camilla purposely looked shy on Lothario, that Anselmo might think she rather hated than loved him; and Lothario, for farther security in his affair, begged Anselmo to excuse his coming any more to his house, since it was plain the sight of him gave Camilla great uneasiness. But the deceived Anselmo would by no means comply with his request; and thus, by a thousand different ways, he became the contriver of his own dishonour, while he thought he was so of his pleasure. As for Leonela, she was so pleased to find herself thus at liberty to follow her amour, that without minding anything else, she let loose the reins, and took her swing, being confident that her lady would conceal it, and even put her in the most commodious way of carrying it on.

"In short, one night Anselmo perceived somebody walking in Leonela's chamber; and being desirous to go in to know who it was, he found the door was held against him, which increased his desire of getting in; and he made such an effort, that he burst open the door, and just as he entered, he saw a man leap down from the window into the street; and running hastily to stop him, or to see who he was, he could do neither; for Leonela clung about him, crying: 'Dear Sir, be calm, and be not so greatly disturbed, nor pursue the man who leaped out; he belongs to me; in short he is my husband.' Anselmo would not believe Leonela, but blind with rage, drew his poniard, and offered to stab her, assuring her, if she did not tell him the whole truth, he would kill her. She, with the fright, not knowing what she was saying, said: 'Do not kill me, Sir, and I will tell you things of greater importance than any you can imagine.' 'Tell me then quickly,' said Anselmo, 'or you are a dead woman.' 'At present it is impossible,' said Leonela, 'I am in such confusion; let me alone until to-morrow morning, and then you shall know from me what will amaze you: in the meantime be assured, that the person who jumped out of the window is a young man of this city, who has given me a promise of marriage.' With this Anselmo was somewhat pacified, and was content to wait the time she desired, not dreaming he should hear anything against -[200]- Camilla, of whose virtue he was so satisfied and secure; and so leaving the room, he locked Leonela in, telling her she should not stir from thence, until she had told him what she had to say to him. He went immediately to Camilla, and related to her all that had passed with her waiting-woman, and the promise she had given him to acquaint him with things of the utmost importance. It is needless to say whether Camilla was disturbed or not; so great was the consternation she was in, that verily believing, as indeed it was very likely, that Leonela would tell Anselmo all she knew of her disloyalty, she had not the courage to wait until she saw whether her suspicion was well or ill grounded; and that very night, when she found Anselmo was asleep, taking with her all her best jewels, and some money, without being perceived by anybody, she left her house, and went to Lothario's, to whom she recounted what had passed, desiring him to conduct her to some place of safety, or to go off with her, where they might live secure from Anselmo. Camilla put Lothario into such confusion, that he knew not how to answer her a word, much less to resolve what was to be done. At length he bethought himself of carrying Camilla to a convent, the prioress of which was a sister of his. Camilla consented, and Lothario conveyed her thither with all the haste the case required, and left her in the monastery; and he too presently left the city, without acquainting anybody with his absence.

 "When it was day-break, Anselmo, without missing Camilla from his side, so impatient was he to know what Leonela had to tell him, got up and went to the chamber where he had left her locked in. He opened the door, and went in, but found no Leonela there; he only found the sheets tied to the window, an evident sign that by them she had slid down, and was gone off. He presently returned, full of concern, to acquaint Camilla with it; and not finding her in bed, nor anywhere in the house, he stood astonished. He inquired of the servants for her, but no one could give him any tidings. It accidentally happened, as he was searching for Camilla, that he found her cabinet open, and most of her jewels gone; and this gave him the first suspicion of his disgrace, and that Leonela was not the cause of his misfortune. And so just as he then was, but half dressed, he went sad and pensive to give an account of his disaster to his friend Lothario; but not finding him, and his servants telling him that their master went away that night, and took all the money he had with him, he was ready to run mad. And to complete all, when he came back to his house, he found not one of all his servants, man nor maid, but the house left alone and deserted. He knew not what to think, say, or do, and by little and little his wits began to fail him. He considered, and saw himself in an instant deprived of wife, friend, and servants; abandoned, as he thought, by the heaven that covered him; but above all, robbed of his honour, since in missing Camilla, he saw his own ruin. After some thought, he resolved to go to his friend's country-house, where he had been when he gave the opportunity for plotting this unhappy business. He locked the doors of his house, got on horseback, and set forward with great oppression of spirits; and scarcely had he gone half way, when, overwhelmed by his melancholy thoughts, he was forced to alight and tie his horse to a tree, at the foot of which he dropped down, breathing out bitter and mournful sighs, and stayed there until almost night; about which time he saw a man coming on horseback from the city; and having saluted him, he inquired what news there was in Florence? 'The strangest,' replied the citizen, -[201]- 'that has been heard these many days; for it is publicly talked, that last night Lothario, that great friend of Anselmo the Rich, who lived at St John's, carried off Camilla, wife to Anselmo, and that he also is missing. All this was told by a maid-servant of Camilla's, whom the governor caught in the night letting herself down by a sheet from a window of Anselmo's house. In short, I do not know the particulars; all I know is, that the whole town is in wonder at this accident; for no one could have expected any such thing, considering the great friendship between them, which it is said was so remarkable, that they were styled the Two Friends.' 'Pray, is it known,' said Anselmo, 'which way Lothario and Camilla have taken? ' 'It is not,' replied the citizen, 'though the governor has ordered diligent search to be made after them.' 'God be with you,' said Anselmo. 'And with you also,' said the citizen, and went his way.

"This dismal news reduced Anselmo almost to the loss not only of his wits, but his life. He got up as well as he could, and arrived at his friend's house, who had not yet heard of his misfortune; but seeing him come in pale, spiritless, and faint, he concluded he was oppressed by some heavy affliction. Anselmo begged him to lead him immediately to a chamber, and to let him have pen, ink, and paper. They did so, and left him alone on the bed, locking the door, as he desired. And now finding himself alone, he so overcharged his imagination with his misfortunes, that he plainly perceived he was drawing near his end; and therefore resolved to leave behind him some account of the cause of his strange death; and beginning to write, before he had set down all he had intended, his breath failed him, and he yielded up his life into the hands of that sorrow which was occasioned by his impertinent curiosity. The master of the house finding it grow late, and that Anselmo did not call, determined to go in to him, to know whether his indisposition increased, and found him with his face downward, half of his body in bed, and half leaning on the table, with the paper he had written open, and his hand still holding the pen. His friend having first called to him, went and took him by the hand; and finding he did not answer him, and that he was cold, he perceived that he was dead. He was very much surprised and troubled, and called the family to be witnesses of the sad misfortune that had befallen Anselmo; afterwards he read the paper, which he knew to be written with Anselmo's own hand, in which were these words:

Anselmo's Paper.

"'A foolish and impertinent desire has deprived me of life. If the news of my death reaches Camilla's ears, let her know I forgive her; for she was not obliged to do miracles nor was I under a necessity of desiring she should; and since I was the contriver of my own dishonour, there is no reason why '"

Thus far Anselmo wrote; by which it appeared, that at this point, without being able to finish the sentence, he gave up the ghost. The next day his friend sent his relations an account of his death, who had already heard of his misfortune, and of Camilla's retiring to the convent, where she was almost in a condition of bearing her husband company in that inevitable journey; not through the news of his death, but of her lover's absenting himself. It is said, that though she was now a widow, she would neither quit the convent nor take the veil, until not many days after, news being come of Lothario's having been killed in a battle fought about -[202]- that time between Monsieur de Lautrec, and the great Captain Gonzalo Fernandez of Cordova, in the kingdom of Naples, whither the too-late repenting friend had made his retreat; she then took the religious habit, and soon after gave up her life into the rigorous hands of grief and melancholy. This was the end of them all; an end sprung from an extravagant rashness at the beginning."

"I like this novel very well," said the priest, "but I cannot persuade myself it is a true story; and if it be a fiction, the author has erred against probability; for it cannot be imagined there can be any husband so senseless as to desire to make such a dangerous experiment as Anselmo did. Had this case been supposed between a gallant and his mistress, it might pass; but between husband and wife, there is something impossible in it; however, I am not displeased with the manner of telling it."


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