Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[262]-

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 XLVI: In which is finished the notable Adventure of the Troopers of the Holy Brotherhood, with the great Ferocity of our good Knight Don Quixote.

 

While Don Quixote was talking at this rate, the priest was endeavouring to persuade the troopers that Don Quixote was out of his wits, as they might easily perceive by what he did and said, and that they need not give themselves any farther trouble upon that subject; for though they should apprehend and carry him away, they must soon release him as being a madman. To which the officer that had produced the warrant answered, that it was no business of his to judge of Don Quixote's madness, but to obey the orders of his superior; and that when he had once secured him, they might set him free three hundred times if they pleased. "For all that," said the priest, "for this once you must not take him, nor do I think he will suffer himself to be taken." In effect, the priest said so much, and Don Quixote did such extravagances, that the officers must have been more mad than he, had they not discovered his infirmity; and therefore they judged it best to be quiet, and moreover to be mediators for making peace between the barber and Sancho Panza, who still continued their scuffle with great rancour. At last they, as officers of justice, compounded the matter, and arbitrated it in such a manner, that both parties rested, if not entirely contented, at least somewhat satisfied; for they exchanged pannels, but not girths nor halters. As for Mambrino's helmet, the priest, underhand, and unknown to Don Quixote, gave eight reals for the basin, and the barber gave him a discharge in full, acquitting him of all fraud from thenceforth and for evermore, amen.

These two quarrels, as being the chief and of the greatest weight, being thus made up, it remained that three of Don Louis's servants should be contented to return home, and leave one of their fellows behind to wait upon him, wherever Don Fernando pleased to carry him. And as good luck and better fortune had now begun to pave the way, and smoothe the difficulties, in favour of the lovers and heroes of the inn, so fortune would carry it quite through, and crown all with prosperous success; for the servants were contented to do as Don Louis commanded, at which Donna Clara was so highly pleased, that nobody could look in her face without discovering the joy of her heart. Zoraida, though she did not understand all she saw, yet grew sad or cheerful in conformity to what she observed in their several countenances, especially that of her Spaniard, on whom her eyes were fixed and her soul depended. The innkeeper observing what recompense the priest had made the barber, demanded Don Quixote's reckoning, with ample satisfaction for the damage done to his skins, and the loss of his wine; swearing, that neither Rozinante nor the ass should stir out of the inn until he had paid the uttermost farthing. The priest pacified him, and Don Fernando paid him all, though the judge very generously offered payment; and thus they all remained in peace and quietness, and the inn appeared no longer the discord of Agramante's camp, as Don Quixote had called it, but peace itself, and the very tranquillity of Octavius Caesar's days; and it was the general opinion that all this was owing to the good intention and great eloquence of the priest, and the incomparable liberality of Don Fernando. -[263]-

Don Quixote finding himself now freed, and clear of so many quarrels both of his squire's and his own, thought it was high time to pursue his voyage, and put an end to that grand adventure, to which he had been called and elected; and therefore, being thus resolutely determined, he went and kneeled down before Dorothea, who would not suffer him to speak a word until he stood up; which he did, in obedience to her, and said: "It is a common saying, fair lady, that diligence is the mother of good success; and experience has shown in many and weighty matters, that the care of the solicitor brings the doubtful suit to a happy issue; but this truth is in nothing more evident than in matters of war, in which expedition and despatch prevent the designs of the enemy, and carry the victory before the adversary is in a posture to defend himself. All this I say, high and deserving lady, because our abode in this castle seems to me now no longer necessary, and may be so far prejudicial, that we may repent it one day; for who knows but your enemy the giant may, by secret and diligent spies, get intelligence of my coming to destroy him? And time giving him opportunity, he may fortify himself in some impregnable castle or fortress, against which my industry, and the force of my unwearied arm, may little avail. And therefore, sovereign lady, let us prevent, as I have said, his designs by our diligence, and let us depart quickly, in the name of good-fortune, which you can want no longer than I delay to encounter your enemy." Here Don Quixote was silent, and said no more, expecting with great sedateness the answer of the beautiful Infanta; who, with an air of grandeur, and in a style accommodated to that of Don Quixote, answered in this manner: "I am obliged to you, Sir Knight, for the inclination you show to favour me in my great need, like a true knight, whose office and employment it is to succour the orphans and distressed, and Heaven grant that your desire and mine be soon accomplished, that you may see there are some grateful women in the world. As to my departure, let it be instantly, for I have no other will but yours; and pray dispose of me entirely at your own pleasure; for she who has once committed the defence of her person, and the restoration of her dominions, into your hands, must not contradict whatever your wisdom shall direct." "In the name of God," added Don Quixote, "since a lady so humbles herself, I will not lose the opportunity of exalting her, and setting her on the throne of her ancestors. Let us depart instantly; for I am spurred on by the eagerness of my desire, and the length of the journey; and they say, delays are dangerous. And since Heaven has not created, nor hell seen, any danger that can daunt or affright me, Sancho, saddle Rozinante, and get ready your ass, and her majesty's palfrey; and let us take our leaves of the governor of the castle, and of these nobles, and let us depart hence this instant."

Sancho, who was present all the while, said, shaking his head from side to side: "Ah, master, master, there are more tricks in a town than are dreamt of with respect to the honourable coifs, be it spoken." "What tricks can there be to my discredit in any town, or in all the towns in the world, thou bumpkin?" said Don Quixote. "If your worship puts yourself into a passion," answered Sancho, "I will hold my tongue, and forbear to say what I am bound to tell, as a faithful squire and a dutiful servant ought, to his master." "Say what you will," replied Don Quixote, "so your words tend not to making me afraid; if you are afraid, you do but like yourself; and if I am not afraid, I do like myself." "Nothing of all -[264]- this, as I am a sinner to God," answered Sancho; "only that I am sure and positively certain, that this lady who calls herself queen of the great kingdom of Micomicon is no more a queen than my mother; for were she what she pretends to be, she would not be nuzzling at every turn, and in every corner, with somebody that is in the company." Dorothea's colour came at what Sancho said, it being true indeed, that her husband, Don Fernando, now and then, by stealth, had snatched with his lips an earnest of that reward his affections deserved; which Sancho having espied, he thought this freedom more becoming a lady of pleasure, than a queen of so vast a kingdom. Dorothea neither could, nor would, answer Sancho a word, but let him go on with his discourse, which he did, saying: "I say this, Sir, because, supposing that after we have travelled, through thick and thin, and passed many bad nights and worse days, one who is now solacing himself in this inn, should chance to reap the fruit of our labours, I need be in no haste to saddle Rozinante, nor to get the ass and the palfrey ready; for we had better be quiet; and let every drab mind her spinning, and let us to dinner." Good God! how great was the indignation of Don Quixote at hearing his squire speak thus disrespectfully! I say it was so great, that, with speech stammering, tongue faltering, and living fire darting from his eyes, he said: "Scoundrel! designing, unmannerly, ignorant, ill-spoken, foul-mouthed, impudent, murmuring, and back-biting villain! darest thou utter such words in my presence, and in the presence of these illustrious ladies? And hast thou dared to entertain such rude and insolent thoughts in thy confused imagination? Avoid my presence, monster of nature, treasury of lies, magazine of deceits, storehouse of rogueries, inventor of mischiefs, publisher of absurdities, and enemy of the respect due to royal personages! Begone; appear not before me, on pain of my indignation." And in saying this, he arched his brows, puffed his cheeks, stared round about him, and gave a violent stamp with his right foot on the floor; all manifest tokens of the rage locked up in his breast. At these words and furious gestures, Sancho was so frightened, that he would have been glad the earth had opened that instant, and swallowed him up. And he knew not what to do, but to turn his back and get out of the enraged presence of his master.

But the discreet Dorothea, who so perfectly understood Don Quixote's humour, to pacify his wrath, said: "Be not offended, good Sir Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, at the follies your good Squire has uttered; for perhaps he has not said them without some ground; nor can it be suspected, considering his good understanding and Christian conscience, that he would slander, or bear false witness against anybody; and, therefore, we must believe, without all doubt, as you yourself say, Sir Knight, that, since all things in this castle fall out in the way of enchantment, perhaps, I say, Sancho, by means of the same diabolical illusion, may have seen what he says he saw, so much to the prejudice of my honour." "By the omnipotent God I swear," cried Don Quixote, "your Grandeur has hit the mark, and some wicked apparition must have appeared to this sinner, and have made him see what was impossible for him to see by any other way but that of enchantment; for I am perfectly assured of the simplicity and innocence of this unhappy wretch, and that he knows not how to invent a slander on anybody." "So it is, and so it shall be," said Don Fernando: "wherefore, Signor Don Quixote, you ought to pardon him, and restore him to the bosom of your favour, sicut erat in principio, before these -[265]- illusions turned his brain." Don Quixote answered, that he pardoned him; and the priest went for Sancho, who came in very humble, and falling down on his knees, begged his master's hand, who gave it him; and after he had let him kiss it, he gave him his blessing, saying: "Now you will be thoroughly convinced, son Sancho, of what I have often told you before, that all things in this castle are done by way of enchantment." "I believe so too," quoth Sancho, "excepting the business of the blanket, which really fell out in the ordinary way." "Do not believe it," answered Don Quixote; "for were it so, I would have revenged you at that time, and even now. But neither could I then, nor can I now, find on whom to revenge the injury." They all desired to know what that business of the blanket was, and the innkeeper gave them a very circumstantial account of Sancho Panza's tossing; at which they were not a little diverted. And Sancho would have been no less ashamed, if his master had not assured him afresh that it was all enchantment. And yet Sancho's folly never rose so high as to believe that it was not downright truth, without any mixture of illusion or deceit, being convinced he had been tossed in the blanket by persons of flesh and blood, and not by imaginary or visionary phantoms, as his master supposed and affirmed.

Two days had already passed since all this illustrious company had been in the inn; and thinking it now time to depart, they contrived how, without giving Dorothea and Don Fernando the trouble of going back with Don Quixote to his village, under pretence of restoring the Queen of Micomicon, the priest and the barber might carry him as they desired, and endeavour to get him cured of his madness at home. While this was in agitation, Don Quixote was laid down upon a bed, to repose himself after his late fatigues; and in the meantime they agreed with a waggoner, who chanced to pass by with his team of oxen, to carry him in this manner. They made a kind of cage with poles, gratewise, large enough to contain Don Quixote at his ease; and immediately Don Fernando and his companions, with Don Louis's servants, and the officers of the Holy Brotherhood, together with the innkeeper, all by the contrivance and direction of the priest, covered their faces, and disguised themselves, some one way, some another, so as to appear to Don Quixote to be quite other persons than those he had seen in that castle. This being done, with the greatest silence they entered the room, where Don Quixote lay fast asleep, and not dreaming of any such accident, and laying fast hold of him, they bound him hand and foot, so that when he awoke with a start, he could not stir, nor do anything but look round him, and wonder to see such strange visages about him. And presently he fell into the usual conceit, that his disordered imagination was perpetually presenting to him, believing that all these shapes were goblins of that enchanted castle, and that, without all doubt, he must be enchanted, since he could not stir nor defend himself; all precisely as the priest, the projector of this stratagem, fancied it would fall out. Sancho alone, of all that were present, was in his perfect senses, and in his own figure; and though he wanted but little of being infected with his master's disease, yet he was not at a loss to know who all these counterfeit goblins were; but he durst not open his lips until he saw what this surprisal and imprisonment of his master meant. Neither did the knight utter a word, waiting to see the issue of his disgrace; which was, that, bringing the cage thither, they shut him up in it, and nailed the bars so fast, that there was no breaking them open, though you pulled never so hard. They then -[266]- hoisted him on their shoulders, and at going out of the room, a voice was heard, as dreadful as the barber could form (not he of the pannel, but the other), saying: "O Knight of the Sorrowful Figure! let not the confinement you are under afflict you; for it is expedient it should be so, for the more speedy accomplishment of the adventure in which your great valour has engaged you: which shall be finished when the furious Manchegan lion shall be coupled with the white Tobosian dove, after having submitted their stately necks to the soft matrimonial yoke; from which unheard-of conjunction shall spring into the light of the world brave whelps, who shall emulate the tearing claws of their valorous sire. And this shall come to pass before the pursuer of the fugitive nymph shall have made two rounds to visit the bright constellations in his rapid and natural course. And thou, O the most noble and obedient squire that ever had sword in belt, beard on face, and smell in nostrils, be not dismayed nor afflicted, to see the flower of knight-errantry carried thus away before thine eyes. For, ere long, if it so please the fabricator of the world, thou shalt see thyself so exalted and sublimated, that thou shalt not know thyself, and shalt not be defrauded of the promises made thee by thy noble lord. And I assure thee, in the name of the sage Mentironiana,(107) that thy wages shall be punctually paid thee, as thou wilt see in effect: follow, therefore, the footsteps of the valorous and enchanted knight, for it is expedient for you to go where ye may both rest; and, because I am permitted to say no more, God be with you; for I return I well know whither." And, at finishing the prophecy, he raised his voice very high, and then sunk it by degrees, with so soft an accent, that even they who were in the secret of the jest were almost ready to believe that what they heard was true.

Don Quixote remained much comforted by the prophecy he had heard; for he presently apprehended the whole signification of it, and saw, that it promised he should be joined in holy and lawful wedlock with his beloved Dulcinea del Toboso, from whose happy womb should issue the whelps, his sons, to the everlasting honour of La Mancha. And, with this firm persuasion, he raised his voice, and fetching a deep sigh, he said: "Oh thou, whoever thou art, who hast prognosticated me so much good, I beseech thee to entreat, on my behalf, the sage enchanter, who has the charge of my affairs, that he suffers me not to perish in this prison, in which I am now carried, until I see accomplished those joyous and incomparable promises now made me; for if they come to pass I shall account the pains of my imprisonment glory, the chains with which I am bound refreshment, and this couch whereon I am laid, not a hard field of battle, but a soft bridal bed of down. And as, touching the consolation of Sancho Panza, my squire, I trust in his goodness and integrity that he will not forsake me, either in good or evil fortune. And though it should fall out, through his or my hard fortune, that I should not be able to give him the island, or something else equivalent, that I have promised him, at least he cannot lose his wages; for in my will, which is already made, I have declared what shall be given him, not indeed proportionable to his many and good services, but according to my own poor ability." Sancho Panza bowed with great respect, and kissed both his master's hands; for one alone he could not, they being both tied together. Then the goblins took the cage on their shoulders, and placed it on the waggon.

 

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