Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[252]-

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 XLIV: A Continuation of the unheard-of Adventures of the Inn.

 

In short, Don Quixote roared out so terribly, that the host in a fright opened the inn door hastily to see who it was that made those outcries; nor were the strangers less surprised. Maritornes, who was also wakened by the same noise, imagining what it was, went to the straw loft, and without anybody's seeing her, untied the halter which held up Don Quixote, who straight fell to the ground in sight of the innkeeper and the travellers; who, coming up to him, asked him what ailed him, that he so cried out? He, without answering a word, slipped the rope from off his wrist, and raising himself up on his feet, mounted Rozinante, braced his target, couched his lance, and taking a good compass about the field, came up at a half-gallop, saying: "Whoever shall dare to affirm that I was fairly enchanted, provided my sovereign lady the Princess Micomicona gives me leave, I say he lies, and I challenge him to single combat." The new comers were amazed at Don Quixote's words; but the innkeeper removed their wonder by telling them who Don Quixote was; and that they should not mind him, for he was beside himself. They then inquired of the host whether there was not in the house a youth about fifteen years old, habited like a muleteer, with such and such marks, describing the same clothes that Donna Clara's lover had on. The host answered, there were so many people in the inn that he had not taken particular notice of any such. But one of them espying the coach the judge came in, said: "Without doubt he must be here; for this is the coach, it is said, he follows: let one of us stay at the door, and the rest go in to look for him; and it would not be amiss for one of us to ride round the inn, that he may not escape over the pales of the yard." "It shall be so done," answered one of them; and accordingly two went in, leaving the third at the door, while the fourth walked the rounds; all which the innkeeper saw, and could not judge certainly why they made this search, though he believed they sought the young lad they had been describing to him.

By this time it was clear day, which, together with the noise Don Quixote had made, had raised the whole house, especially Donna Clara and Dorothea, who had slept but indifferently, the one through concern at being so near her lover, and the other through the desire of seeing him. Don Quixote perceiving that none of the four travellers minded him, nor answered to his challenge, was dying and running mad with rage and despite; and could he have found a precedent in the statutes and ordinances -[253]- of chivalry, that a knight-errant might lawfully undertake or begin any other adventure, after having given his word and faith not to engage in any new enterprise, until he had finished what he had promised, he would have attacked them all, and made them answer whether they would or no. But thinking it not convenient, nor decent, to set about a new adventure, until he had reinstated Micomicona in her kingdom, he thought it best to say nothing and be quiet, until he saw what would be the issue of the inquiry and search those travellers were making; one of whom found the youth he was in quest of sleeping by the side of a muleteer, little dreaming of anybody's searching for him or finding him. The man pulling him by the arm, said: "Upon my word, Signor Don Louis, the dress you are in is very becoming such a gentleman as you; and the bed you lie on is very suitable to the tenderness with which your mother brought you up." The youth rubbed his drowsy eyes, and looking wistfully at him who held him, presently knew him to be one of his father's servants; which so surprised him, that he could not speak a word for a good while; and the servant went on, saying: "There is no more to be done, Signor Don Louis, but for you to have patience, and return home, unless you have a mind my master, your father, should depart to the other world; for nothing less can be expected from the pain he is in at your absence." "Why, how did my father know," said Don Louis, "that I was come this road, and in this dress?" "A student," answered the servant, "to whom you gave an account of your design, discovered it, being moved to pity by the lamentations your father made the instant he missed you; and so he despatched four of his servants in quest of you; and we are all here at your service, overjoyed beyond imagination at the good despatch we have made, and that we shall return with you so soon, and restore you to those eyes that love you so dearly." "That will be as I shall please, or as Heaven shall ordain," answered Don Louis. "What should you please, or Heaven ordain, otherwise than that you should return home?" added the servant; "for there is no possibility of avoiding it."

The muleteer, who lay with Don Louis, hearing this contest between them, got up, and went to acquaint Don Fernando and Cardenio, and the rest of the company, who were all by this time up and dressed, with what had passed. He related to them how the man had styled the young lad Don, and repeated the discourse which passed between them, and how the man would have him return to his father's house, and that the youth refused to go. Hearing this, and considering besides how fine a voice Heaven had bestowed upon him, they had all a great longing to know who he was, and to assist him, if any violence should be offered him; and so they went towards the place where he was talking and contending with his servant. Dorothea now came out of her chamber, and behind her Donna Clara in great disorder; and Dorothea, calling Cardenio aside, related to him in few words the history of the musician and Donna Clara; and he on his part told her what had passed in relation to the servants coming in search after him; and he did not speak so low, but Donna Clara overheard him; at which she was in such an agony, that had not Dorothea caught hold of her, she had sunk down to the ground. Cardenio desired Dorothea to go back with Donna Clara to their chamber, while he would endeavour to set matters to rights. Now all the four who came in quest of Don Louis were in the inn, and had surrounded him, pressing him to return immediately to comfort his father, without delaying a moment. He answered, that he -[254]- could in no wise do so, until he had accomplished a business, in which his life, his honour, and his soul, were concerned. The servants urged him, saying, they would by no means go back without him, and that they were resolved to carry him, whether he would or no. "That you shall not do," replied Don Louis, "except you kill me; and, whichever way you carry me, it will be without life." Most of the people that were in the inn were got together to hear the contention, particularly Cardenio, Don Fernando, and his companions, the judge, the priest, the barber, and Don Quixote, who now thought there was no farther need of continuing upon the castle-guard. Cardenio, already knowing the young man's story, asked the men, who were for carrying him away, why they would take away the youth against his will?" "Because," replied one of the four, "we would save the life of his father, who is in danger of losing it by this gentleman's absence." Then Don Louis said: "There is no need of giving an account of my affairs here; I am free, and will go back if I please; and if not, none of you shall force me." "But reason will force you," answered the servant; "and though it should not prevail upon you, it must upon us, to do what we came about, and what we are obliged to." "Hold," said the judge, "let us know what this business is to the bottom." The man, who knew him as being his master's near neighbour, answered: "Pray my lord judge, does not your honour know this gentleman? He is your neighbour's son, and has absented himself from his father's house in an indecent garb, as your honour may see." Then the judge observed him more attentively, and embracing him, said: "What childish frolic is this, Signor Don Louis? or what powerful cause has moved you to come in this manner, and this dress, so little becoming your quality?" The tears came into the young gentleman's eyes, and he could not answer a word. The judge bid the servants be quiet, for all would be well; and taking Don Louis by the hand, he went aside with him, and asked him why he came in that manner.

While the judge was asking this, and some other questions, they heard a great outcry at the door of the inn, and the occasion was, that two guests who had lodged there that night, seeing all the folks busy about knowing what the four men searched for, had attempted to go off without paying their reckoning. But the host, who minded his own business more than other people's, laid hold of them as they were going out of the door, and demanded his money, giving them such hard words for their evil intention, that he provoked them to return him an answer with their fists; which they did so roundly, that the poor innkeeper was forced to call out for help. The hostess and her daughter, seeing nobody so disengaged and so proper to succour him as Don Quixote, the daughter said to him: "Sir Knight, I beseech you, by the valour God has given you, come and help my poor father, whom a couple of wicked fellows are beating to mummy." To whom Don Quixote answered very leisurely, and with much phlegm: "Fair maiden, your petition cannot be granted at present, because I am incapacitated from intermeddling in any other adventure, until I have accomplished one I have already engaged my word for; but what I can do for your service is, what I will now tell you: run, and bid your father maintain the fight the best he can, and in nowise suffer himself to be vanquished, while I go and ask permission of the Princess Micomicona to relieve him in his distress; which, if she grants me, rest assured I will bring him out of it." "As I am a sinner," cried Maritornes, who was then by, "before your worship can obtain the license you talk of, my master may be gone -[255]- into the other world." "Permit me, Madam, to obtain the license I speak of," answered Don Quixote; "for if I have it, no matter though he be in the other world; for from thence would I fetch him back, in spite of the other world itself, should it dare to contradict or oppose me; or at least I will take such ample revenge on those who shall have sent him thither, that you shall be more than moderately satisfied." And, without saying a word more, he went and kneeled down before Dorothea, beseeching her in knightly and errant-like expressions, that her Grandeur would vouchsafe to give him leave to go and succour the governor of that castle, who was in grievous distress. The princess gave him it very graciously; and he presently, bracing on his target, and drawing his sword, ran to the inn door, where the two guests were still lugging and worrying the poor host; but when he came he stopped short and stood irresolute, though Maritornes and the hostess asked him why he delayed succouring their master and husband. "I delay," said Don Quixote, "because it is not lawful for me to draw my sword against squire-like folks: but call hither my squire Sancho; for to him this defence and revenge does most properly belong." This passed at the door of the inn, where the boxing and the cuffing went about briskly, to the innkeeper's cost, and the rage of Maritornes, the hostess, and her daughter, who were ready to run distracted to behold the cowardice of Don Quixote, and the injury then doing to their master, husband, and father.

But let us leave him there awhile; for he will not want somebody or other to relieve him; or, if not, let him suffer and be silent, who is so foolhardy as to engage in what is above his strength; and let us turn fifty paces back to see what Don Louis replied to the judge, whom we left apart, asking the cause of his coming on foot, and so meanly apparelled. To whom the youth, squeezing him hard by both hands, as if some great affliction was wringing his heart, and pouring down tears in great abundance, said: "All I can say, dear Sir, is, that from the moment Heaven was pleased, by means of our neighbourhood, to give me a sight of Donna Clara, your daughter, from that very instant I made her sovereign mistress of my affections; and if you, my true lord and father, do not oppose it, this very day she shall be my wife. For her I left my father's house, and for her I put myself into this dress, to follow her whithersoever she went, as the arrow to the mark, or the mariner to the north-star. As yet, she knows no more of my passion, than what she may have perceived from now and then seeing at a distance my eyes full of tears. You know, my lord, the wealthiness and nobility of my family, and that I am sole heir; if you think these motives sufficient for you to venture the making me entirely happy, receive me immediately for your son; for though my father, biased by other views of his own, should not approve of this happiness I have found for myself, time may work some favourable change, and alter his mind." Here the enamoured youth was silent, and the judge remained in suspense, no less surprised at the manner and ingenuity of Don Louis in discovering his passion, than confounded and at a loss what measures to take in so sudden and unexpected an affair; and therefore he returned no other answer, but only bid him be easy for the present, and not let his servants go back that day, that there might be time to consider what was most expedient to be done. Don Louis kissed his hands by force, and even bathed them with tears, enough to soften a heart of marble, and much more that of the judge, who, being a man of sense, soon saw how -[256]- advantageous and honourable this match would be for his daughter; though, if possible, he would have effected it with the consent of Don Louis's father, who he knew had pretensions to a title for his son.

By this time the innkeeper and his guests had made peace, more through the persuasion and arguments of Don Quixote than his threats, and had paid him all he demanded; and the servants of Don Louis were waiting until the judge should have ended his discourse, and their master determined what he would do; when the devil, who sleeps not, so ordered it, that, at that very instant, the barber came into the inn, from whom Don Quixote had taken Mambrino's helmet, and Sancho Panza the ass-furniture, which he trucked for his own; which barber, leading his beast to the stable, espied Sancho Panza, who was mending something about the pannel; and as soon as he saw him, he knew him, and made bold to attack him, saying, "Ah! Mister Thief, have I got you! give me my basin and my pannel, with all the furniture you robbed me of." Sancho, finding himself attacked so unexpectedly, and hearing the opprobrious language given him, with one hand held fast the pannel, and with the other gave the barber such a douse, that he bathed his mouth in blood. But for all that, the barber did not let go his hold; on the contrary, he raised his voice in such a manner, that all the folks of the inn ran together at the noise and scuffle; and he cried out: "Help, in the king's name, and in the name of justice; for this rogue and highway robber would murder me for endeavouring to recover my own goods." "You lie," answered Sancho, "I am no highway robber; my master Don Quixote won these spoils in fair war." Don Quixote was now present, and not a little pleased to see how well his squire performed, both on the defensive and offensive, and from thenceforward took him for a man of mettle, and resolved in his mind to dub him a knight the first opportunity that offered, thinking the order of chivalry would be very well bestowed upon him.

Now among other things, the barber during the skirmish said: "Gentlemen, this pannel is as certainly mine as the death I owe to God, and I know it as well as if it were a child of my own body, and yonder stands my ass in the stable, who will not suffer me to lie; pray do but try it, and if it does not fit him to a hair, let me be infamous; and moreover, by the same token, the day they took this from me, they robbed me likewise of a new brass basin, never handselled, that was worth a crown." Here Don Quixote could not forbear answering; and thrusting himself between the two combatants, and parting them, and making them lay down the pannel on the ground in public view, until the truth should be decided, he said: "Sirs, you shall presently see, clearly and manifestly, the error this honest squire is in, in calling that a basin, which was, is, and ever shall be, Mambrino's helmet; I won it in fair war, so am its right and lawful possessor. As to the pannel, I intermeddle not; what I can say of that matter is, that my squire Sancho asked my leave to take the trappings of this conquered coward's horse to adorn his own with: I gave him leave; he took them, and if from horse-trappings they are metamorphosed into an ass's pannel, I can give no other reason for it but that common one, that these kind of transformations are frequent in adventures of chivalry; for confirmation of which, run, son Sancho, and fetch hither the helmet which this honest man will needs have to be a basin." "In faith, Sir," quoth Sancho, "if we have no other proof of our cause but what your worship mentions, Mambrino's helmet will prove as errant a basin as this honest man's trappings -[257]- are a pack-saddle." "Do what I bid you," replied Don Quixote; "for sure all things in this castle cannot be governed by enchantment." Sancho went for the basin, and brought it; and as soon as Don Quixote saw it, he took it in his hands, and said: "Behold, gentlemen, with what face can this squire pretend this to be a basin, and not the helmet I have mentioned? I swear by the order of knighthood, which I profess, this helmet is the very same I took from him, without addition or diminution." "There is no doubt of that," quoth Sancho; "for from the time my master won it until now, he has fought but one battle in it, which was, when he freed those unlucky galley-slaves; and had it not been for his basin-helmet, he had not then got off over-well; for he had a power of stones hurled at him in that skirmish."

 

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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