Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[208]-

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 XXXVII: Wherein is continued the History of the famous Infanta Micomicona, with other pleasant Adventures.

 

Sancho heard all this with no small grief of mind, because he saw the hope of his preferment disappearing and vanishing into smoke; and that the fair Princess Micomicona was turned into Dorothea, and the giant into Don Fernando, while his master lay in a sound sleep, without troubling his head about what passed. Dorothea could not be sure whether the happiness she enjoyed was not a dream. Cardenio was in the same doubt; and Lucinda knew not what to think. Don Fernando gave thanks to Heaven for the blessing bestowed on him in bringing him out of that perplexed labyrinth, in which he was upon the brink of losing his honour and his soul. In short, all that were in the inn were pleased at the happy conclusion of such intricate and hopeless affairs. The priest, like a man of sense, placed everything in its true light, and congratulated every one upon their share of the good that had befallen them. But she who rejoiced most and was most delighted, was the hostess; Cardenio and the priest having promised to pay her with interest for all the damages sustained upon Don Quixote's account. Sancho, as has been said, was the only afflicted, unhappy, and sorrowful person; and so with dismal looks he went in to his master who was then awake, to whom he said: "Your worship may very well sleep your fill, Signor Sorrowful Figure, without troubling yourself about killing any giant, or restoring the princess to her kingdom; for all is done and over already." "I verily believe it," answered Don Quixote; "for I have had the most monstrous and dreadful battle with the giant that I believe I shall ever have in all the days of my life; and with one back-stroke I tumbled his head to the ground, and so great was the quantity of blood that gushed from it, that the streams ran along the ground as if it had been water." "As if it had been red wine, your worship might better say," answered Sancho; "for I would have you to know, if you do not know it already, that the dead giant is a pierced skin, and the blood eighteen gallons of red wine contained in its belly; and the head cut off is the whore that bore me, and the devil take all for me." "What is it you say, fool?" replied Don Quixote; "are you in your senses?" "Pray get up, Sir," quoth Sancho, "and you will see what a fine spot of work you have made, and what a reckoning we have to pay; and you will see the queen converted into a private lady called Dorothea, with other accidents, which if you take them right, will astonish you." "I shall wonder at nothing of all this," replied Don Quixote; "for, if you remember well, the last time we were here, I told you that all things in this place went by enchantment, and it would be no wonder if -[209]- it should be so now." "I should believe so too," answered Sancho, "if my being tossed in the blanket had been a matter of this nature: but it was downright real and true; and I saw the innkeeper, who was here this very day, holding a corner of the blanket, and canting me towards Heaven with notable alacrity and vigour, and with as much laughter as force; and where it happens that we know persons, in my opinion, though simple and a sinner, there is no enchantment at all, but much misusage and much mishap." "Well, God will remedy it," said Don Quixote; "give me my clothes, that I may go and see the accidents and transformations you talk of."

Sancho reached him his apparel; and while he was dressing, the priest gave Don Fernando and the rest an account of Don Quixote's madness, and of the artifice they had made use of to get him from the barren rock, to which he imagined himself banished through his lady's disdain. He related also to them almost all the adventures which Sancho had recounted; at which they wondered and laughed not a little, thinking, as everybody did, that it was the strangest kind of madness that ever entered into an extravagant imagination. The priest said farther, that since Dorothea's good fortune would not permit her to go on with their design, it was necessary to invent and find out some other way of getting him home to his village. Cardenio offered to assist in carrying on the project, and proposed that Lucinda should personate Dorothea. "No," said Don Fernando, "it must not be so; for I will have Dorothea herself go on with her contrivance; and as it is not far from hence to this good gentleman's village, I shall be glad to contribute to his cure." "It is not above two days' journey," said the priest. "Though it were farther," said Don Fernando, "I would undertake it with pleasure, to accomplish so good a work."

By this time Don Quixote sallied forth, completely armed with his whole furniture; Mambrino's helmet, though bruised and battered, on his head, his target braced on, and resting on his sapling or lance. The strange appearance he made greatly surprised Don Fernando and his company, especially when they perceived his tawny and withered lantern jaws, his ill-matched armour, and the stiffness of his measured pace; and they stood silent to hear what he would say, when with much gravity and solemnity, fixing his eyes on the fair Dorothea, he said: "I am informed, fair lady, by this my squire, that your grandeur is annihilated, and your yery being demolished; and that from a queen and great lady which you were wont to be, you are metamorphosed into a private maiden. If this has been done by order of the necromantic king your father, out of fear lest I should not afford you the necessary and due aid, I say he neither knows, nor ever did know, one half of his trade, and that he is but little versed in histories of knight-errantry; for had he read and considered them as attentively and as much at his leisure as I have read and considered them, he would have found at every turn how other knights, of a great deal less fame than myself, have achieved matters much more difficult, it being no such mighty business to kill a pitiful giant, be he never so arrogant: for not many hours are past, since I had a bout with one myself, and I say no more lest I should be thought to lie; but time, the revealer of all things, will tell it when we least think of it." "It was with a couple of wine-skins, and not a giant," cried the innkeeper; but Don Fernando commanded him to hold his peace, and in no wise to interrupt -[210]- Don Quixote's discourse, who went on, saying: "In short, high and disinherited lady, if, for the cause aforesaid, your father has made this metamorphosis in your person, I would have you give no heed to it at all; for there is no danger upon earth through which my sword shall not force a way, and by bringing down the head of your enemy to the ground, place the crown of your kingdom upon your own in a few days."

Don Quixote said no more, but awaited the princess's answer; who knowing Don Fernando's inclination that she should carry on the deceit until Don Quixote was brought home to his house, with much grace and gravity answered him: "Whoever told you, valorous Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, that I was changed and altered from what I was, did not tell you the truth; for I am the same to-day that I was yesterday: it is true, indeed, some fortunate accidents that have befallen me, to my heart's desire, have made some alteration in me for the better; yet for all that, I do not cease to be what I was before, and to have the same thoughts I always had of employing the prowess of your redoubted and invincible arm. So that, dear Sir, of your accustomed bounty, restore to the father who begot me his honour, and esteem him to be a wise and prudent man, since by his skill he found out so easy and certain a way to remedy my misfortune: for I verily believe, had it not been for you, Sir, I should never have lighted on the happiness I now enjoy; and in this I speak the very truth, as most of these gentlemen here present can testify. What remains is, that to-morrow morning we set forward on our journey; for to-day we could not go far; and for the rest of the good success I expect, I refer it to God and to the valour of your breast."

Thus spoke the discreet Dorothea, and Don Quixote having heard her, turned to Sancho, and, with an air of much indignation, said to him: "I tell thee now, little Sancho, that thou art the greatest little rascal in all Spain; tell me, thief, vagabond; didst thou not say just now, that this princess was transformed into a damsel called Dorothea; and that the head, which, as I take it, I lopped off from a giant, was the whore that bore thee; with other absurdities, which put me into the greatest confusion I ever was in all the days of my life? I vow (and here he looked up to Heaven, and gnashed his teeth) I have a great mind to make such havoc of thee, as shall put wit into the noddles of all the lying squires of knights-errant, that shall be from henceforward in the world." "Pray, dear Sir, be pacified," answered Sancho; "for I may easily be mistaken as to the transformation of Madam the Princess Micomicona; but as to the giant's head, or at least the piercing of the skins, and the blood's being but red wine, I am not deceived, as God liveth; for the skins yonder at your worship's bed's head are cut and slashed, and the red wine has turned the room into a pond; and if not, it will be seen in the frying of the eggs, (95) I mean, you will find it when his worship Signor Innkeeper here demands damages. As for the rest, I rejoice in my heart that Madam the Queen is as she was; for I have my share in it, as every neighbour's child has." "I tell thee, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thou art an ass; forgive me, that's enough." "It is enough," said Don Fernando, "and let no more be said of this; and since Madam the Princess says we must set forward in the morning, it being too late to-day, let us do so, and let us pass this night in agreeable conversation until to-morrow, when we will all bear Signor Don Quixote company; for we desire to be eye-witnesses of the valorous and unheard-of deeds which he is to perform in the progress of this grand -[211]- enterprise that he has undertaken." "It is I that am to wait upon you, and bear you company," answered Don Quixote; "and I am much obliged to you for the favour you do me, and the good opinion you have of me; which it shall be my endeavour not to disappoint, or it shall cost me my life, and even more, if more it could cost me."

Many compliments, and many offers of service, passed between Don Quixote and Don Fernando; but all was put a stop to by a traveller that just then entered the inn; who, by his garb, seemed to be a Christian newly come from among the Moors; for he had on a blue cloth loose coat, with short skirts, half sleeves, and no collar; his breeches also were of blue cloth, and he wore a cap of the same colour; he had on a pair of date-coloured stockings, and a Moorish scimitar hung in a shoulder-belt that came across his breast. There came immediately after him a woman mounted on an ass in a Moorish dress, her face veiled, a brocade turban on her head, and covered with a mantle from her shoulders to her feet. The man was of a robust and agreeable make, a little above forty years old, of a brownish complexion, large whiskers, and a well-set beard; in short, his mien, if he had been well dressed, would have denoted him a person of quality and well-born. At coming in, he asked for a room, and being told there was none to spare at the inn, he seemed to be troubled, and going to the woman, who, by her habit seemed to be a Moor, he took her down in his arms. Lucinda, Dorothea, the landlady, her daughter, and Maritornes, gathered about the Moorish lady, on account of the novelty of her dress, the like of which they had never seen before; and Dorothea, who was always obliging, complaisant, and discreet, imagining that both she and her conductor were uneasy for want of a room, said to her: "Be not much concerned, Madam, about proper accommodations; it is what one must not expect to meet with at inns. And since it is so, if you please to take share with us (pointing to Lucinda), perhaps, in the course of your journey, you may have met with worse entertainment." The veiled lady returned no answer, but only, rising from her seat, and laying her hands across on her breast, bowed her head and body, in token that she thanked her. By her silence they concluded she must be a Moor, and could not speak the Christian language.

By this time her companion, who had hitherto been employed about something else, came in, and seeing that they were all standing about the woman who came with him, and that whatever they said to her she continued silent, he said: "Ladies, this young woman understands scarcely anything of our language, nor can she speak any other than that of her own country; and this is the reason she has not answered to anything you may have asked her." "Nothing has been asked her," answered Lucinda, "but only whether she would accept of our company for this night, and take part of our lodging, where she shall be accommodated and entertained as well as the place will afford, and with that good-will which is due to all strangers that are in need of it, and especially from us to her, as she is of our own sex." "Dear Madam," answered the stranger, "I kiss your hands for her and myself, and highly prize, as I ought, the favour offered us, which, at such a time, and from such persons as you appear to be, must be owned to be very great." "Pray tell me, Signor," said Dorothea, "is this lady a Christian or a Moor? For her habit and her silence make us think she is what we wish she were not." "She is a Moor," answered the stranger, "in her attire and in her body; but, in her soul, she is already -[212]- very much a Christian, having a very strong desire to become one." "She is not yet baptized then?" added Lucinda. "There has been no time for that yet," answered the stranger, "since she left Algiers, her native country and place of abode, and she has not hitherto been in any danger of death so imminent as to make it necessary to have her baptized before she be instructed in all the ceremonies our Holy Mother the Church enjoins; but I hope, if it please God, she shall soon be baptized, with the decency becoming her quality, which is above what either her habit or mine seem to denote."

This discourse gave all who heard him a desire to know who the Moor and the stranger were; but nobody would ask them just then, seeing it was more proper at that time to let them take some rest, than to be inquiring into their lives. Dorothea took her by the hand, and led her to sit down by her, desiring her to uncover her face. She looked at the stranger as if she asked him what they said, and what she should do. He told her in Arabic that they desired she would uncover her face, and that he would have her do so; accordingly she did, and discovered a face so beautiful, that Dorothea thought her handsomer than Lucinda, and Lucinda than Dorothea; and all the bystanders saw, that, if any beauty could be compared with theirs, it must be that of the Moor; nay, some of them thought she surpassed them in some things. And as beauty has the prerogative and power to reconcile minds, and attract inclinations, they all presently fell to caressing and making much of the beautiful Moor. Don Fernando asked of the stranger the Moor's name, who answered, Lela Zoraida; and as soon as she heard this, understanding what they had inquired of the Christian, she said hastily, with a sprightly but concerned air, "No, not Zoraida; Maria, Maria;" letting them know her name was Maria, and not Zoraida. These words, and the great earnestness with which she pronounced them, extorted more than one tear from those who heard her; especially from the women, who are naturally tender-hearted and compassionate. Lucinda embraced her very affectionately, saying to her: "Yes, yes, Maria, Maria;" to whom the Moor answered: "Yes, yes, Maria, Zoraida macange;" as much as to say, not Zoraida.

And thus they banqueted, much to their satisfaction.
And thus they banqueted, much to their satisfaction.

By this time it was four in the afternoon, and, by order of Don Fernando and his company, the innkeeper had taken care to provide a collation for them, the best it was possible for him to get; which being now ready, they all sat down at a long table, like those in halls, there being neither a round nor a square one in the house. They gave the upper end and principal seat, though he would have declined it, to Don Quixote, who would needs have the Lady Micomicona sit next him, as being her champion. Then sat down Lucinda and Zoraida, and opposite to them Don Fernando and Cardenio, and then the stranger and the rest of the gentlemen; and next to the ladies sat the priest and the barber; and thus they banqueted much to their satisfaction; and it gave them an additional pleasure to hear Don Quixote, who, moved by such another spirit as that which had moved him to talk so much when he supped with the goatherds, instead of eating, spoke as follows:

"In truth, gentlemen, if it be well considered, great and unheard-of things do they see who profess the order of knight-errantry. If any one thinks otherwise, let me ask him what man living that should now enter at this castle-gate and see us sitting in this manner, could judge or believe us to be the persons we really are? Who could say that this lady, sitting -[213]- here by my side, is that great queen that we all know her to be, and that I am that Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, so blazoned abroad by the mouth of fame? There is no doubt but that this art and profession exceeds all that have been ever invented by men; and so much the more honourable is it, by how much it is exposed to more dangers. Away with those who say that letters have the advantage over arms; I will tell them, be they who they will, that they know not what they say. For the reason they usually give, and which they lay the greatest stress upon is, that the labours of the brain exceed those of the body, and that arms are exercised by the body alone; as if the use of them were the business of porters, for which nothing is necessary but downright strength; or as if in this, which we who profess it call chivalry, were not included the acts of fortitude, which require a very good understanding to execute them; or as if the mind of the warrior who has an army, or the defence of a besieged city committed to his charge, does not labour with his understanding as well as his body. If not, let us see how, by mere bodily strength, he will be able to penetrate into the designs of the enemy, to form stratagems, overcome difficulties, and prevent dangers, which threaten; for all these things are acts of the understanding, in which the body has no share at all. It being so, then, that arms employ the mind as well as letters, let us next see whose mind labours most, the scholar's or the warrior's. And this may be determined by the scope and ultimate end of each; for that intention is to be the most esteemed which has the noblest end for its object. Now the end and design of letters (I do not now speak of divinity, which has for its aim the raising and conducting souls to Heaven; for to an end so endless as this no other can be compared), I speak of human learning, whose end, I say, is to regulate distributive justice, and give to every man his due, to know good laws, and cause them to be strictly observed; an end most certainly generous and exalted, and worthy of high commendation; but not equal to that which is annexed to the profession of arms, whose object and end is peace, the greatest blessing men can wish for in this life. Accordingly, the first good news the world and men received, was what the angels brought on that night, which was our day, when they sung in the clouds, Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace and good-will towards men; and the salutation, which the best master of earth or Heaven taught his followers and disciples, was, that when they entered into any house, they should say, Peace be to this house: and many other times he said: My peace I give unto you, my peace I leave with you, peace be amongst you. A jewel and legacy, worthy of coming from such a hand! A jewel, without which there can be no happiness either in earth or in Heaven! This peace is the true end of war; for to say arms or war is the same thing. Granting, therefore, this truth, that the end of war is peace, and that in this it has the advantage of the end proposed by letters, let us come now to the bodily labours of the scholar, and to those of the professor of arms; and let us see which are the greatest."

Don Quixote went on with his discourse in such a manner, and in such proper expressions, that none of those who heard him at that time could take him for a madman. On the contrary, most of his hearers being gentlemen, to whom the use of arms properly belongs, they listened to him with pleasure, and he continued, saying:

"I say, then, that the hardships of the scholar are these: in the first place, poverty; not that they are all poor, but I would put the case in the -[214]- strongest manner possible; and when I have said that he endures poverty, methinks no more need be said to show his misery; for he who is poor is destitute of every good thing; he endures poverty in all its parts, sometimes in hunger and cold, sometimes in nakedness, and sometimes in all these together. Notwithstanding all this, it is not so great, but that still he eats, though somewhat later than usual, either of the rich man's scraps and leavings, or, which is the scholar's greatest misery, by what is called among them going a-sopping. Neither do they always want a fireside or chimney-corner of some other person, which, if it does not quite warm them, at least abates their extreme cold; and, lastly, at night, they sleep somewhere under cover. I will not mention other trifles, such as want of shirts, and no plenty of shoes, the thinness and thread bare n ess of their clothes, nor that laying about them with so much eagerness and pleasure, when good fortune sets a plentiful table in their way. By the way that I have described, rough and difficult, here stumbling, there falling, now rising, then falling again, they arrive to the degree they desire; which being attained, we have seen many who, having passed these Syrtes, these Scyllas, these Charybdises, buoyed up as it were by favourable fortune; I say, we have seen them from a chair command and govern the world; their hunger converted into satiety, their pinching cold into refreshing coolness, their nakedness into embroidery, and their sleeping on a mat to reposing in holland and damask; a reward justly merited by their virtue. But their hardships, opposed to, and compared with those of the warrior, fall far short of them, as I shall presently show."

 

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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