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 LII: Of the Quarrel between Don Quixote and the Goatherd, with the rare Adventure of the Disciplinants, which he happily accomplished with the Sweat of his Brows.
The goatherd's tale gave a general pleasure to all that heard it, especially to the canon, who, with an unusual curiosity, took notice of his manner of telling it, in which he discovered more of the polite courtier than of the rude goatherd; and therefore he said, that the priest was very much in the right in affirming that the mountains produced men of letters. They all offered their service to Eugenio: but the most liberal of his offers upon this occasion was Don Quixote, who said to him: "In truth, brother goatherd, were I in a capacity of undertaking any new adventure, I would immediately set forward to do you a good turn, by fetching Leandra out of the nunnery, in which, doubtless, she is detained against her will, in spite of the abbess and all opposers, and putting her into your hands, to be disposed of at your pleasure, so far as is consistent with the laws of chivalry, which enjoin, that no kind of violence be offered to damsels; though I hope in God our Lord, that the power of one malicious enchanter shall not be so prevalent but that the power of another and a better intentioned one may prevail over it; and then I promise you my aid and protection, as I am obliged by my profession, which is no other than to favour the weak and necessitous." The goatherd stared at Don Quixote; and observing his bad plight and scurvy appearance, he whispered the barber, who sat next him: "Pray, Sir, who is this man, who makes such a strange figure, and talks so extravagantly?" "Who should it be," answered the barber, "but the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha, the redresser of injuries, the righter of wrongs, the relief of maidens, the dread of giants, and the conqueror of battles?" "This," said the goatherd, "is like what we read of in the books of knights-errant, who did all that you tell me of this man; though, as I take it, either your worship is in jest, or the apartments in this gentleman's skull are unfurnished. " "You are a very great rascal," said Don Quixote, at this instant, "and you are the empty-skulled and the shallow-brained; for I am fuller than ever was the whoreson drab that bore -- thee;" and so saying, and muttering on, he snatched up a loaf that was near him, and with it struck the goatherd full in the face, with so much fury, that he laid his nose flat. The goatherd, who did not understand raillery, perceiving how much in earnest he was treated, without any respect to the carpet or table-cloth, or to the company that sat about it, leaped upon Don Quixote, and, gripping him by the throat with both hands, would doubtless have strangled him, had not Sancho Panza come up in that instant, and, taking him by the shoulders, thrown him back on the table, breaking the dishes and platters, and spilling and overturning all that was upon it. Don Quixote finding himself loose, ran at the goatherd, who being kicked and trampled upon by Sancho, and his face all over blood, was feeling about upon all-four for some knife or other, to take a bloody revenge; but the canon and the priest prevented him; and the barber contrived it so, that the goatherd got Don Quixote under him, on whom he poured such a shower of buffets, that there rained as much blood from the visage of the poor knight as there did from his own. The canon and the priest were ready to burst with laughter; the troopers of the Holy Brotherhood danced and capered for joy; and they stood hallooing them on as people do dogs when they are fighting; only Sancho was at his wits' end, not being able to get loose from one of the canon's servants, who held him from going to assist his master. In short, while all were in high joy and merriment, excepting the two combatants, who were still worrying one another, on a sudden they heard the sound of a trumpet, so dismal, that it made them turn their faces towards the way from whence they fancied the sound came; but he who was most surprised at hearing it was Don Quixote, who, though he was under the goatherd, sorely against his will, and more than indifferently mauled, said to him: "Brother devil (for it is impossible you should be anything else, since you have had the valour and strength to subdue mine), truce, I beseech you, for one hour; for the dolorous sound of that trumpet which reaches our ears, seems to summon me to some new adventure." The goatherd, who by this time was pretty well weary of mauling and being mauled, immediately let him go, and Don Quixote getting upon his legs, turned his face toward the place whence the sound came, and presently saw several people descending from a rising ground, arrayed in white, after the manner of disciplinants.(117)
The case was, that the clouds that year had failed to refresh the earth with seasonable showers, and throughout all the villages of that district they made processions, disciplines, and public prayers, beseeching God to open the hands of his mercy, and send them rain: and for this purpose the people of a town hard by were coming in procession to a devout hermitage, built upon the side of a hill bordering upon that valley. Don Quixote perceiving the strange attire of the disciplinants, without recollecting how often he must have seen the like before, imagined it was some adventure, and that it belonged to him alone, as a knight-errant, to undertake it; and he was the more confirmed in this fancy by thinking, that an image they had with them, covered with black,(118) was some lady of note, whom those miscreants and discourteous ruffians were forcing away. And no sooner had he taken this into his head, than he ran with great agility to Rozinante, who was grazing about; and taking the bridle and buckler from the pommel of the saddle, he bridled him in a trice, and demanding from Sancho his sword, he mounted Rozinante, and braced his target, and with a loud voice said to all that were present: "Now, my worthy companions, you shall see -- of what consequence it is, that there are in the world such as profess the order of chivalry: now I say, you shall see, by my restoring liberty to that good lady, who is carried captive yonder, whether knights-errant are to be valued or not." And so saying, he laid legs to Rozinante, for spurs he had none, and on a hand-gallop, for we nowhere read, in all this faithful history, that ever Rozinante went full-speed, he ran to encounter the disciplinants; the priest, the canon, and the barber, in vain endeavouring to stop him; and in vain did Sancho cry out, saying: "Whither go you, Signor Don Quixote? What devils are in you that instigate you to assault the Catholic faith? Consider, a curse on me! that this is a procession of disciplinants, and that the lady carried upon the bier is an image of the blessed and immaculate Virgin: have a care what you do; for this once I am sure you do not know." Sancho wearied himself to no purpose; for his master was so bent upon encountering the men in white, and delivering the mourning lady, that he heard not a word, and, if he had, would not have come back, though the king himself had commanded him.
Being now come up to the procession, he checked Rozinante, who already had a desire to rest a little, and, with a disordered and hoarse voice, said: "You there, who cover your faces, for no good I suppose, stop, and give ear to what I shall say." The first who stopped were they who carried the image; and one of the four ecclesiastics, who sung the litanies, observing the strange figure of Don Quixote, the leanness of Rozinante, and other ridiculous circumstances attending the knight, answered him, saying: "Good brother, if you have anything to say to us, say it quickly; for these our brethren are tearing their flesh to pieces, and we cannot, nor is it reasonable we should, stop to hear anything, unless it be so short that it may be said in two words." "I will say it in one," replied Don Quixote, "and it is this: that you immediately set at liberty that fair lady, whose tears and sorrowful countenance are evident tokens of her being carried away against her will, and that you have done her some notorious injury; and I, who was born into the world on purpose to redress such wrongs, will not suffer you to proceed one step farther, until you have given her the liberty she desires and deserves." By these expressions, all that heard them gathered that Don Quixote must be some madman; upon which they fell a-laughing very heartily; which was adding fuel to the fire of Don Quixote's choler; for, without saying a word more, he drew his sword, and attacked the bearers; one of whom, leaving the burden to his comrades, stepped forward to encounter Don Quixote, brandishing a pole, on which he rested the bier when they made a stand; and receiving on it a huge stroke, which the knight let fly at him, and which broke it in two, with what remained of it he gave Don Quixote such a blow on the shoulder of his sword-arm, that, his target not being able to ward off so furious an assault, poor Don Quixote fell to the ground in evil plight. Sancho Panza, who came puffing close after him, perceiving him fallen, called out to his adversary not to strike him again, for he was a poor enchanted knight, who never had done anybody harm in all the days of his life. But that which made the rustic forbear was not Sancho's crying out, but his seeing that Don Quixote stirred neither hand nor foot; and so believing he had killed him, in all haste he tucked up his frock under his girdle, and began to fly away over the field as nimble as a buck.
By this time all Don Quixote's company was come up, and the processioners seeing them running toward them, and with them the troopers -- of the Holy Brotherhood with their cross-bows, began to fear some ill accident, and drew up in a circle round the image; and, lifting up their hoods,(119) and grasping their whips, as the ecclesiastics did their tapers, they stood expecting the assault, determined to defend themselves, and if they could, to offend their aggressors. But fortune ordered it better than they imagined; for all that Sancho did was to throw himself upon the body of his master, and to pour forth the most dolorous and ridiculous lamentation in the world, believing verily that he was dead. The priest was known by another who came in the procession, and their being acquainted dissipated the fear of the two squadrons. The first priest gave the second an account in two words who Don Quixote was; upon which he and the whole rout of disciplinants went to see whether the poor knight was dead or not, and they overheard Sancho Panza say, with tears in his eyes: "O flower of chivalry, who by one single thwack hast finished the career of thy well- spent life! O glory of thy race, credit and renown of La Mancha, yea, of the whole world, which, by wanting thee, will be over-run with evil-doers, who will no longer fear the being chastised for their iniquities! O liberal above all Alexanders, seeing that, for eight months' service only, thou hast given me the best island the sea doth compass or surround! O thou, that wert humble with the haughty, and arrogant with the humble, undertaker of dangers, sufferer of affronts, in love without cause, imitator of the good, scourge of the wicked, enemy of the base; in a word, knight-errant, which is all that can be said!"(120) At Sancho's cries and lamentations, Don Quixote revived, and the first word he said was: "He who lives absented from thee, sweetest Dulcinea, is subject to greater miseries than these. Help, friend Sancho, to lay me upon the enchanted car; for I ana no longer in a condition to press the saddle of Rozinante, all this shoulder being mashed to pieces." "That I will do with all my heart, dear Sir," answered Sancho;" and let us return home in company of these gentlemen who wish you well, and there we will give order about another sally, that may prove of more profit and renown." "You say well, Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "and it will be great prudence in us to wait until the evil influence of the stars, which now reigns, is overpassed."(121) The canon, the priest, and the barber told him they approved his resolution; and so, having received a great deal of pleasure from the simplicities of Sancho Panza, they placed Don Quixote in the waggon, as before.
The procession resumed its former order, and went on its way. The goatherd bade them all farewell. The troopers would go no farther, and the priest paid them what they had agreed for. The canon desired the priest to give him advice of what befell Don Quixote, and whether his madness was cured or continued, and so took leave, and pursued his journey. In short, they all parted, and took their several ways, leaving the priest, the barber, Don Quixote, and Sancho, with good Rozinante, who bore all accidents as patiently as his master. The waggoner yoked his oxen, and accommodated Don Quixote on a truss of hay, and with his accustomed pace jogged on the way the priest directed. On the sixth day they arrived at Don Quixote's village, and entered it about noon; and it being Sunday, all the people were standing in the market-place, through the midst of which Don Quixote's car must of necessity pass. Everybody ran to see who was in the waggon, and when they found it was their townsman, they were greatly surprised, and a boy ran full speed to acquaint the house- keeper and niece that their uncle and master was coming home, weak and -- pale, and stretched upon a truss of hay, in a waggon drawn by oxen. It was piteous to hear the outcries the two good women raised, to see the buffets they gave themselves, and how they cursed afresh the damned books of chivalry, and all this was renewed by seeing Don Quixote coming in at the gate.
Upon the news of Don Quixote's arrival, Sancho Panza's wife, who knew her husband was gone with him to serve him as his squire, repaired thither; and as soon as she saw Sancho, the first thing she asked him was, whether the ass was come home well. Sancho answered, he was, and in a better condition than his master. "The Lord be praised," replied she, "for so great a mercy to me. But tell me, friend, what good have you got by your squireship? What petticoat do you bring home to me, and what shoes to your children?" "I bring nothing of all this, dear wife," quoth Sancho;" but I bring other things of greater moment and consequence." "I am very glad of that," answered the wife: "pray show me these things of greater moment and consequence, my friend; for I would fain see them, to rejoice this heart of mine, which has been so sad and discontented all the long time of your absence." "You shall see them at home, wife," quoth Sancho, "and be satisfied at present; for if it please God that we make another sally in quest of adventures, you will soon see me an earl, or governor of an island, and not an ordinary one neither, but one of the best that is to be had." "Grant Heaven it may be so, husband," said the wife, "for we have need enough of it. But pray tell me what you mean by islands; for I do not understand you." "Honey is not for the mouth of an ass," answered Sancho;" in good time you shall see, wife, yea, and admire to hear yourself styled ladyship by all your vassals." "What do you mean, Sancho, by ladyship, islands, and vassals?" answered Teresa Panza, for that was Sancho's wife's name, though they were not of kin, but because it is the custom in La Mancha for the wife to take the husband's name. "Be not in so much haste, Teresa, to know all this," said Sancho: "let it suffice that I tell you the truth, and sew up your mouth. But for the present know that there is nothing in the world so pleasant to an honest man as to be squire to an knight-errant, and seeker of adventures. It is true, indeed, most of them are not so much to a man's mind as he could wish; for ninety-nine of a hundred one meets with fall out cross and unlucky. This I know by experience; for I have sometimes come off tossed in a blanket, and sometimes well cudgelled. Yet, for all that, it is a fine thing to be in expectation of accidents, traversing mountains, searching woods, marching over rocks, visiting castles, lodging in inns, all at discretion, and the devil a farthing to pay."
All this discourse passed between Sancho Panza and his wife Teresa Panza, while the housekeeper and the niece received Don Quixote, and having pulled off his clothes, laid him in his old bed. He looked at them with eyes askew, not knowing perfectly where he was. The priest charged the niece to take great care, and make much of her uncle, and to keep a watchful eye over him, lest he should once more give them the slip, telling her what difficulty they had to get him home to his house. Here the two women exclaimed afresh, and renewed their execrations against all books of chivalry, begging of Heaven to confound to the centre of the abyss the authors of so many lies and absurdities. Lastly, they remained full of trouble and fear, lest they should lose their uncle and master, as soon as ever he found himself a little better; and it fell out as they imagined. -- But the author of this history, though he applied himself, with the utmost curiosity and diligence, to trace the exploits Don Quixote performed in his third sally, could get no account of them, at least from any authentic writings. Only fame has preserved in the Memoirs of La Mancha, that Don Quixote, the third time he sallied from home, went to Saragossa,(122) where he was present at a famous tournament in that city, and that there befell him things worthy of his valour and good understanding. Nor should he have learned anything at all concerning his death, if a lucky accident(123) had not brought him acquainted with an aged physician, who had in his custody a leaden box, found, as he said, under the ruins of an ancient hermitage then rebuilding; in which box was found a manuscript of parchment, written in Gothic characters, but in Castilian verse, containing many of his exploits, and giving an account of the beauty of Dulcinea del Toboso, the figure of Rozinante, the fidelity of Sancho Panza, and the burial of Don Quixote himself, with several epitaphs and eulogies on his life and manners. All that could be read and perfectly made out, were those inserted here by the faithful author of this strange and never-before-seen history; which author desires no other reward from those who shall read it, in recompense of the vast pains it has cost him to inquire into and search all the archives of La Mancha to bring it to light, but that they would afford him the same credit that ingenious people give to books of knight-errantry, which are so well received in the world; and herewith he will reckon himself well paid and will rest satisfied; and will, moreover, be encouraged to seek and find out others, if not as true, at least of as much invention and entertainment. The first words written in the parchment which was found in the leaden box were these:
"The Academicians of Argamasilla, a. Town of La Mancha, on the Life and Death
Monicongo, Academician of Argamasilla, on the Sepulchre of Don Quixote.
Academician of Argamasilla, on the Sepulture of Dulcinea del Toboso.
These were all the verses that could be read: the rest, the characters being worm-eaten, were consigned to one of the academicians, to find out their meaning by conjectures. We are informed he has done it, after many lucubrations and much pains, and that he designs to publish them, giving us hopes of Don Quixote's third sally.
"Forsi altro cantarΰ con miglior plectro."
Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis