Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[310]-

The Life and Exploits
of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha

By Miguel de Cervantes, Translated by Charles Jarvis, Esq.

The Second Part
 

CHAPTER IV: Wherein Sancho Panza answers the Bachelor Sampson Carrasco's Doubts and Questions, with other Incidents worthy to be known and recited.

 

Sancho came back to Don Quixote's house, and, resuming the former discourse, in answer to what the Bachelor Sampson Carrasco desired to be informed of, namely, by whom, when, and how, the ass was stolen, he said: "That very night, when, flying from the Holy Brotherhood, we entered into the Sable Mountain, after the unlucky adventure of the galley-slaves, and of the dead body that was carrying to Segovia, my master and I got into a thicket, where, he leaning upon his lance, and I sitting upon Dapple, being both of us mauled and fatigued by our late skirmishes, we fell asleep as soundly as if we had had four feather-beds under us; especially I for my part slept so fast, that the thief, whoever he was, had leisure enough to suspend me on four stakes, which he planted under the four corners of -[311]- the pannel, and in this manner, leaving me mounted thereon, got Dapple from under me without my feeling it." "That is an easy matter, and no new accident," said Don Quixote; "for the like happened to Sacripante at the siege of Albraca, where that famous robber Brunelo, by this selfsame invention, stole his horse from between his legs." "The dawn appeared," continued Sancho, "and scarcely had I stretched myself, when, the stakes giving way, down came I with a confounded squelch to the ground. I looked about for my ass, but saw him not: the tears came into my eyes, and I made such a lamentation that, if the author of our history has not set it down, he may reckon that he has omitted an excellent thing. At the end of I know not how many days, as I was accompanying the Princess Micomicona, I saw and knew my ass again, and upon him came, in the garb of a gipsy, that cunning rogue and notorious malefactor Gines de Passamonte, whom my master and I freed from the galley-chain." "The mistake does not lie in this," replied Sampson, "but in the author's making Sancho still ride upon the very same beast, before he gives us any account of his being found again." "To this," said Sancho, "I know not what to answer, unless it be that the historian was mistaken; or it might be an oversight of the printer." "It must be so without doubt," said Sampson;" but what became of the hundred crowns; were they sunk?" "I laid them out," quoth Sancho, "for the use and behoof of my own person, and those of my wife and children; and they have been the cause of my wife's bearing patiently the journeys and rambles I have taken in the service of my master Don Quixote: for, had I returned, after so long a time, penniless and without my ass, black would have been my luck. If you would know anything more of me, here am I, ready to answer the king himself in person; and nobody has anything to meddle or make, whether I brought or brought not, whether I spent or spent not; for, if the blows that have been given me in these sallies were to be paid for in ready money, though rated only at four maravedis apiece, another hundred crowns would not pay for half of them; and let every man lay his hand upon his heart, and let him not be judging white for black, nor black for white; for everyone is as God has made him, and oftentimes a great deal worse."

"I will take care," said Carrasco, "to inform the author of the history that, if he reprints the book, he shall not forget what honest Sancho has told us, which will make the book as good again." "Is there anything else to be corrected in that legend, Signor Bachelor?" added Don Quixote. "There may be others," answered Carrasco, "but none of equal importance with those already mentioned." "And, peradventure," said Don Quixote, "the author promises a second part." "He does," answered Sampson, "but says he has not met with it, nor can learn who has it; and therefore we are in doubt whether it will appear or no; and as well for this reason, as because some people say, that second parts are never good for anything; and others, that as there is enough of Don Quixote already, it is believed there will be no second part; though some, who are more jovial than saturnine, cry, Let us have more Quixotades; let Don Quixote encounter; and Sancho Panza talk; and, be the rest what it will, we shall be contented." "And pray, how stands the author affected?" demanded Don Quixote. "How!" answered Sampson;" why, as soon as ever he can find the history he is looking for with extraordinary diligence, he will immediately send it to the press, being prompted thereto more by interest than by any motive of praise whatever." To which Sancho said: "Does the author -[312]- aim at money and profit? It will be a wonder then if he succeeds, since he will only stitch it away in great haste, like a tailor on Easter Eve; for works that are done hastily are never finished with that perfection they require. I wish this same Signor Moor would consider a little what he is about; for I and my master will furnish him so abundantly with lime and mortar in matter of adventures and variety of accidents, that he may not only compile a second part, but a hundred. The good man thinks, without doubt, that we lie sleeping here in straw; but let him hold up the foot while the smith is shoeing, and he will see on which we halt. What I can say is, that, if this master of mine had taken my counsel, we had ere now been in the field, redressing grievances and righting wrongs, as is the practice and usage of good knights-errant."

Sancho had scarcely finished this discourse, when the neighings of Rozinante reached their ears; which Don Quixote took for a most happy omen, and resolved to make another sally within three or four days; and, declaring his intention to the bachelor, he asked his advice which way he should begin his journey. The bachelor replied, he was of opinion that he should go directly to the kingdom of Arragon and the city of Saragossa, where, in a few days, there was to be held a most solemn tournament, in honour of the festival of Saint George, in which he might acquire renown above all the Arragonian knights, which would be the same thing as acquiring it above all the knights in the world. He commended his resolution as most honourable and most valorous, and gave him a hint to be more wary in encountering dangers, because his life was not his own, but theirs who stood in need of his aid and succour in their distresses. "This is what I renounce, Signor Sampson," quoth Sancho;" for my master makes no more of attacking a hundred armed men, than a greedy boy would do half a dozen melons. Body of the world! Signor Bachelor, yes, there must be a time to attack, and a time to retreat; and it must not be always, Saint Jago, and charge! Spain!(134) And, farther, I have heard say (and, if I remember right, from my master himself) that the mean of true valour lies between the extremes of cowardice and rashness; and if this be so, I would not have him run away when there is no need of it; nor would I have him fall on, when the too great superiority requires another thing: but above all things I would let my master know that, if he will take me with him, it must be upon condition that he shall battle it all himself, and that I will not be obliged to do any other thing but to look after his clothes and his diet; to which purpose I will fetch and carry like any spaniel: but to imagine that I will lay hand to my sword, though it be against rascally woodcutters with hooks and hatchets, is to be very much mistaken. I, Signor Sampson, do not set up for the fame of being valiant, but for that of being the best and faithfullest squire that ever served a knight-errant; and if my lord Don Quixote, in consideration of my many and good services, has a mind to bestow on me some one island of the many his worship says he shall light upon, I shall be much beholden to him for the favour; and though he should not give me one, born I am; and we must not rely upon one another, but upon God; and perhaps the bread I shall eat without the government may go down more savourily than that I should eat with it; and how do I know but the devil, in one of these governments, may provide me some stumbling-block, that I may fall and dash out my grinders? Sancho I was born, and Sancho I intend to die: yet, for all that, if fairly and squarely, without much solicitude or much danger, Heaven should chance -[313]- to throw an island, or some such thing, in my way, I am not such a fool neither as to refuse it; for it is a saying, When they give you a heifer, make haste with the rope; and when good fortune comes, be sure take her in."

"Brother Sancho," said Carrasco, "you have spoken like any professor; nevertheless trust in God, and Signor Don Quixote, that he will give you, not only an island, but even a kingdom." "One as likely as the other," answered Sancho;" though I could tell Signor Carrasco that my master will not throw the kingdom he gives me into a bag without a bottom; for I have felt my own pulse, and find myself in health enough to rule kingdoms and govern islands, and so much I have signified before now to my lord." "Look you, Sancho," said Sampson, "honours change manners; and it may come to pass, when you are a governor, that you may not know the very mother that bore you." "That," answered Sancho, "may be the case with those that are born among the mallows, but not with those whose souls, like mine, are covered four inches thick with grease of the old Christian: no; consider my disposition, whether it is likely to be ungrateful to anybody." "God grant it!" said Don Quixote, "and we shall see when the government comes; for methinks I have it already in my eye."

This said, he desired the bachelor, if he were a poet, that he would do him the favour to compose for him some verses by way of a farewell to his lady Dulcinea del Toboso, and that he would place a letter of her name at the beginning of each verse, in such manner, that at the end of the verses, the first letters taken together might make Dulcinea del Toboso. The bachelor answered, though he was not of the famous poets of Spain, who were said to be but three and a half,(135) he would not fail to compose those verses; though he was sensible it would be no easy task, the name consisting of seventeen letters; for, if he made four stanzas of four verses each, there would be a letter too much; and if he made them of five, which they call decimas or redondillas, there would be three letters wanting; nevertheless he would endeavour to sink a letter as well as he could, so as that the name of Dulcinea del Toboso should be included in the four stanzas. "Let it be so by all means," said Don Quixote; "for, if the name be not plain and manifest, no woman will believe the rhymes were made for her." They agreed upon this, and that they should set out eight days after. Don Quixote enjoined the bachelor to keep it secret, especially from the priest and Master Nicholas, and from his niece and housekeeper, that they might not obstruct his honourable and valorous purpose. All which Carrasco promised, and took his leave, charging Don Quixote to give him advice of his good or ill success, as opportunity offered; and so they again bade each other farewell, and Sancho went to provide and put in order what was necessary for the expedition.

 

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