Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis
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 XLIII: Which treats of the agreeable History of the young Muleteer, with other strange Accidents that happened in the Inn.
When the singer came to this point, Dorothea thought it would be wrong to let Donna Clara lose the opportunity of hearing so good a voice; and so jogging her gently to and fro, she awakened her, saying: "Pardon me, child, that I wake you; for I do it that you may have the pleasure of hearing the best voice perhaps you have ever heard in all your life." Clara awoke quite sleepy, and at first did not understand what Dorothea had said to her; and having asked her, she repeated it; whereupon Clara was attentive. But scarcely had she heard two verses which the singer was going on with, when she fell into so strange a trembling, as if some violent fit of a quartan ague had seized her; and, clasping Dorothea close in her arms, she said to her: "Ah! dear lady of my soul and life, why did you awaken me? For the greatest good that fortune could do me at this time would be to keep my eyes and ears closed, that I might neither see nor hear this unhappy musician." — "What is it you say, child? Pray take notice, we are told he that sings is but a muleteer." — "Oh no, he is no such thing," replied Clara; "he is a young gentleman of large possessions, and so much master of my heart, that if he has no mind to part with it, it shall be his eternally." Dorothea was astonished at the passionate -- expressions of the girl, thinking them far beyond what her tender years might promise; and therefore she said to her: "You speak in such a manner, Miss Clara, that I cannot understand you: explain yourself farther, and tell me what it is you say of heart, and possessions, and of this musician, whose voice disturbs you so much. But say nothing now; for I will not lose the pleasure of hearing him sing to mind your trembling; for methinks he is beginning to sing again, a new song and a new tune." — "With all my heart," answered Clara, and stopped both her ears with her hands that she might not hear him; at which Dorothea wondered very much; and being attentive to what was sung, she found it was to this purpose: "
Here the voice ceased, and Donna Clara began to sigh afresh; all which excited Dorothea's curiosity to know the cause of so sweet a song, and so sad a plaint. And, therefore, she again asked her what it was she would have said a while ago. Then Clara, lest Lucinda should hear her, embracing Dorothea, put her mouth so close to Dorothea's ear that she might speak securely without being overheard, and said to her: "The singer, dear Madam, is son of a gentleman of the kingdom of Arragon, lord of two towns, who lived opposite to my father's house at court. And though my father kept his windows with canvas in the winter, and lattices in summer, I know not how it happened that this young gentleman, who then went to school, saw me; nor can I tell whether it was at church or elsewhere; but, in short, he fell in love with me, and gave me to understand his passion from the windows of his house by so many signs and so many tears, that I was forced to believe, and even to love him, without knowing what I desired. Among other signs which he used to make, one was, to join one hand with the other, signifying his desire to marry me; and though I should have been very glad it might have been so. yet being alone and without a mother, I knew not whom to communicate the affair to; and therefore I let it rest, without granting him any other favour than, when his father and mine were both abroad, to lift up the canvas or lattice -- window, (104) and give him a full view of me; at which he would be so transported, that one would think he would run stark mad. Now the time of my father's departure drew near, of which he heard, but not from me; for I never had an opportunity to tell it him. He fell sick, as far as I could learn, of grief; so that on the day we came away, I could not see him to bid him farewell, though it were but with my eyes. But after we had travelled two days, at going into an inn in a village a day's journey from hence, I saw him at the door in the habit of a muleteer, so naturally dressed, that, had I not carried his image so deeply imprinted in my soul, it had been impossible for me to know him. I knew him, and was both surprised and overjoyed. He stole looks at me unobserved by my father, whom he carefully avoids when he crosses the way before me, either on the road, or at our inn. And knowing what he is, and considering that he comes on foot, and takes such pains for love of me, I die with concern, and continually set my eyes where he sets his feet. I cannot imagine what he proposes to himself, nor how he could escape from his father, who loves him passionately, having no other heir, and he being so very deserving, as you will perceive when you see him. I can assure you besides, that all he sings is of his own invention; for I have heard he is a very great scholar and a poet. And now every time I see him, or hear him sing, I tremble all over, and am in a fright lest my father should come to know him, and so discover our inclinations. In my life I never spoke a word to him, and yet I love him so violently, that I shall never be able to live without him. This, dear Madam, is all I can tell you of this musician, whose voice has pleased you so much; by that alone you may easily perceive he is no muleteer, but master of hearts and towns, as I have already told you."
"Say no more, my dear Clara," said Dorothea, kissing her a thousand times;" pray say no more, and stay until to-morrow; for I hope in God so to manage your affair, that the conclusion shall be as happy as so innocent a beginning deserves." — "Ah! Madam," said Donna Clara, "what conclusion can be hoped for, since his father is of such quality, and so wealthy, that he will not think me worthy to be so much as his son's servant, and how much less his wife? And as to marrying without my father's consent or knowledge, I would not do it for all the world. I would only have this young man go back and leave me: perhaps, by not seeing him, and by the great distance of place and time, the pains I now endure may be abated; though I daresay this remedy is likely to do me little good. I know not what sorcery this is, nor which way this love possessed me, he and I being both so young; for I verily believe we are of the same age, and I am not yet full sixteen, nor shall be, as my father says, until next Michaelmas." Dorothea could not forbear smiling to hear how childishly Donna Clara talked, to whom she said: "Let us try to rest the short remainder of the night; to-morrow is a new day, and we shall speed, or my hand will be mightily out."
Then they composed themselves to rest, and there was a profound silence all over the inn: only the innkeeper's daughter, and her maid Maritornes, did not sleep; who very well knowing Don Quixote's peccant humour, and that he was standing without doors, armed, and on horseback, keeping guard, agreed to put some trick upon him, or at least to have a little pastime, by overhearing some of his extravagant speeches.
Now you must know that the inn had no window towards the field, only a kind of spike-hole to the straw-loft, by which they took in or threw -- out their straw. At this hole, then, this pair of demi-lasses planted themselves, and perceived that Don Quixote was on horseback, leaning forward on his lance, and uttering every now and then such mournful and profound sighs, that one would think each of them sufficient to tear away his very soul. They heard him also say, in a soft, soothing, and amorous tone: "Oh my dear Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, perfection of all beauty, sum total of discretion, treasury of wit and good-humour, and pledge of modesty; lastly, the idea and exemplar of all that is profitable, decent, or delightful in the world! what may your ladyship be now doing? Art thou, peradventure, thinking of thy captive knight, who voluntarily exposes himself to so many perils, merely for thy sake? O thou triformed luminary, bring me tidings of her; perhaps thou art now gazing at her, envious of her beauty, as she is walking through some gallery of her sumptuous palace, or leaning over some balcony, considering how, without offence to her modesty and grandeur, she may assuage the torment this poor afflicted heart of mine endures for her sake; or perhaps considering what glory to bestow on my sufferings, what rest on my cares, and lastly, what life on my death, and what reward on my services. And thou, sun, who by this time must be hastening to harness thy steeds, to come abroad early, and visit my mistress, I entreat thee as soon as thou seest her, salute her in my name! but beware, when thou seest and salutest her, that thou dost not kiss her face; for I shall be more jealous of thee than thou wast of that swift ingrate who made thee sweat, and run so fast over the plains of Thessaly, or along the banks of Peneus; for I do not well remember over which of them thou rannest at that time."
Thus far Don Quixote had proceeded in his piteous soliloquy, when the innkeeper's daughter began to call softly to him, and to say: "Sir, pray come a little this way, if you please." At which signal and voice, Don Quixote turned about his head, and perceived by the light of the moon, which then shone very bright, that somebody called him from the spike- hole, which to him seemed a window with gilded bars, fit for rich castles, such as he fancied the inn to be; and instantly it came again into his mad imagination, as it had done before, that the fair damsel, daughter of the lord of the castle, being irresistibly in love with him, was come to solicit him again; and with this thought, that he might not appear discourteous and ungrateful, he turned Rozinante about, and came up to the hole; and, as soon as he saw the two wenches, he said: "I pity you, fair lady, for having placed your amorous inclinations where it is impossible for you to meet with a suitable return, such as your great worth and beauty deserve; yet ought you not to blame this unfortunate enamoured knight, whom love has made incapable of engaging his affections to any other than to her, whom, the moment he laid his eyes on her, he made absolute mistress of his soul. Pardon me, good lady, and retire to your chamber; and do not, by a farther discovery of your desires, force me to seem still more ungrateful; and if, through the passion you have for me, you can find anything else in me to satisfy you, provided it be not downright love, pray command it; for I swear to you by that absent sweet enemy of mine, to bestow it upon you immediately, though you should ask me for a lock of Medusa's hair, which was all snakes, or even the sunbeams enclosed in a veil." — "Sir," said Maritornes, my lady wants nothing of all this." — "What is it then your lady wants, discreet Duenna?" answered Don Quixote. '' Only one of your beautiful hands," replied Maritornes, "whereby partly -- to satisfy that longing which brought her to this window so much to the peril of her honour, that if her lord and father should come to know it, the least slice he would whip off would be one of her ears." — "I would fain see that," answered Don Quixote; "he had best have a care what he does, unless he has a mind to come to the most disastrous end that ever father did in the world for having laid violent hands on the delicate members of his beloved daughter." Maritornes made no doubt but Don Quixote would give his hand, as they had desired; and so resolving with herself what she would do, she went down into the stable, from whence she took the halter of Sancho Panza's ass, and returned very speedily to her spike-hole, just as Don Quixote had got upon Rozinante's saddle to reach the gilded window, where he imagined the enamoured damsel stood; and, at giving her his hand, he said: "Take, Madam, this hand, or rather this chastiser of the evil-doers of the world: take, I say, this hand, which no woman's hand ever touched before, not even hers who has the entire right to my whole body. I do not give it you to kiss, but only that you may behold the contexture of its nerves, the firm knitting of its muscles, the largeness and spaciousness of its veins, whence you may gather what must be the strength of that arm which has such a hand." — "We shall soon see that," cried Maritornes; and making a running knot on the halter, she clapped it on his wrist, and, descending from the hole, she tied the other end of it very fast to the staple of the door of the hay-loft. Don Quixote, feeling the harshness of the rope about his wrist, said: "You seem rather to rasp than grasp my hand; pray do not treat it so roughly, since that is not to blame for the injury my inclination does you; nor is it right to discharge the whole of your displeasure on so small a part: consider that lovers do not take revenge at this cruel rate." But nobody heard a word of all this discourse; for as soon as Maritornes had tied Don Quixote up, they both went away ready to die with laughing, and left him fastened in such a manner, that it was impossible for him to get loose.
He stood, as has been said, upright on Rozinante, his arm within the hole, and tied by the wrist to the bolt of the door, in the utmost fear and dread that if Rozinante stirred ever so little one way or other, he must remain hanging by the arm; and therefore he durst not make the least motion; though he might well expect, from the sobriety and patience of Rozinante, that he would stand stock-still an entire century. In short, Don Quixote finding himself tied, and that the ladies were gone, began presently to imagine that all this was done in the way of enchantment, as the time before, when in that very same castle the enchanted Moor of a carrier so mauled him. Then, within himself, he cursed his own inconsiderateness and indiscretion, since, having come off so ill before, he had ventured to enter in a second time; it being a rule with knights-errant, that when they had once tried an adventure, and cannot accomplish it, it is a sign of its not being reserved for them, but for somebody else, and therefore there is no necessity for them to try it a second time. However, he pulled his arm to see if he could loose himself; but he was so fast tied, that all his efforts were in vain. It is true, indeed, he pulled gently, lest Rozinante should stir; and though he would fain have got into the saddle, and have sat down, he could not, but must stand up, or pull off his hand. Now he wished for Amadis's sword, against which no enchantment had any power; and now he cursed his fortune. Then he exaggerated the loss the world would have of his presence, all the while he should stand -- there enchanted, as, without doubt, he believed he was. Then he bethought himself afresh of his beloved Dulcinea del Toboso. Then he called upon his good squire Sancho Panza, who, buried in sleep, and stretched upon his ass's pannel, did not at that instant so much as dream of the mother that bore him. Then he invoked the sages Lirgandeo and Alquife to help him; then he called upon his special friend Urganda to assist him; at last the morning overtook him, so despairing and confounded, that he bellowed like a bull; for he did not expect that the day would bring him any relief; for, accounting himself enchanted, he concluded it would be eternal; and he was the more induced to believe it, seeing Rozinante budged not at all; and he verily thought that himself and his horse must remain in that posture without eating, drinking, or sleeping, until that evil influence of the stars was overpast, or until some more sage enchanter should disenchant him.
But he was much mistaken in his belief; for scarcely did the day begin to dawn, when four men on horseback arrived at the inn, very well appointed and accoutred, with carbines hanging at the pommels of their saddles. They called at the inn door, which was not yet opened, knocking very hard; which Don Quixote perceiving from the place where he still stood sentinel, he cried out with an arrogant and loud voice: "Knights, or squires, or whoever you are, you have no business to knock at the gate of this castle; for it is very plain, that at such hours they who are within are either asleep, or do not use to open the gates of their fortress until the sun has spread his beams over the whole horizon; get farther off, and stay until clear daylight, and then we shall see whether it is fit to open to you or no." — "What the devil of a fortress or castle is this," cried one of them, "to oblige us to observe all this ceremony? If you are the innkeeper, make somebody open the door; for we are travellers, and only want to bait our horses, and go on, for we are in haste." — "Do you think, gentlemen, that I look like an innkeeper?" answered Don Quixote. "I know not what you look like," replied the other; "but I am sure you talk preposterously, to call this inn a castle." — "It is a castle," said Don Quixote, "and one of the best in this whole province; and it has in it persons who who have had sceptres in their hands, and crowns on their heads." — "You bad better have said the very reverse," replied the traveller; "the sceptre on the head, and the crown in the hand; but, perhaps, some company of strolling players is within, who frequently wear those crowns and sceptres you talk of; otherwise, I do not believe that in so small and paltry an inn, and where all is so silent, there can be lodged persons worthy to wear crowns and wield sceptres." — "You know little of the world," replied Don Quixote, "if you are ignorant of the accidents which usually happen in knight-errantry." The querist's comrades were tired with the dialogue between him and Don Quixote, and so they knocked again with greater violence, and in such a manner, that the innkeeper awoke, and all the rest of the people that were in the inn, and the host got up to ask who knocked.
Now it fell out that one of the four strangers' horses came to smell at Rozinante, who,
melancholy and sad, his ears hanging down, bore up his distended master without stirring; but, being in fact of
flesh though he seemed to be of wood, he could not but be sensible of it, and smell him again that came so kindly to
caress him; and scarcely had he stirred a step, when Don Quixote's feet slipped, and, tumbling from the saddle, he
had fallen to the ground, had he not hung by the arm; which put him to
-- so much torture, that he fancied his wrist was cutting off, or his arm tearing from his body:
yet he hung so near the ground, that he could just reach it with the tips of his toes, which turned to his
prejudice; for, feeling how little he wanted to set his feet to the ground, he strove and stretched as much as he
could to reach it quite; like those who are tortured by the strappado, who, being placed just above the surface, are
themselves the cause of increasing their own pain, by their eagerness to extend themselves, deceived by the hope
that if they stretch ever so little further, they shall reach the ground.
Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis