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 Bottom Next page   


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 VII: Of what passed between Don Quixote and his Squire, with other most famous occurrences


The housekeeper no sooner saw that Sancho and her master had locked themselves up together, but she presently began to suspect the drift of their conference; and, imagining that it would end in a resolution for a third sally, she took her veil, and, full of anxiety and trouble, went in quest of the Bachelor Sampson Carrasco, thinking, that as he was a well-spoken person, and a new acquaintance of her master's, he might be able to dissuade him from so extravagant a purpose. She found him walking to and fro in the courtyard of his house, and, as soon as she espied him, she fell down at his feet in violent disorder and a cold sweat. When Carrasco beheld her with signs of so much sorrow and heart-beating, he said: "What is the matter, Mistress Housekeeper, what has befallen you, that you look as if your heart was at your mouth?" — "Nothing at all, dear Master Sampson," cried she, "only that my master is most certainly breaking forth." — "How breaking forth, Madam?" demanded Sampson; "has he broken a hole in any part of his body?" — "No," said she, "he is only breaking forth at the door of his own madness. I mean, Signor Bachelor, that he has a mind to sally out again, and this will be his third time, to ramble about the world in quest of what he calls adventures,(141) though, for my part, I cannot tell why he calls them so. The first time, he was brought home to us across an ass, and mashed to mummy. The second time, he came home in an ox-waggon, locked up in a cage, in which he persuaded himself he was enchanted; and the poor soul was so changed, that he could not be known by the mother that bore him; feeble, wan, his eyes sunk to the inmost lodgings of his brain; insomuch that I spent above six hundred eggs in getting him a little up again, as God and the world is my witness, and my hens, that will not let me lie." — "I can easily believe that," answered the bachelor; "for they are so good, so plump, and so well nurtured, that they will not say one thing for another, though they should burst for it. In short then, Mistress Housekeeper, there is nothing more, nor any other disaster, only what is feared Signor Don Quixote may peradventure have a mind to do?" — "No, Sir," answered she. "Be in no pain then," replied the bachelor, "but go home in God's name, and get me something warm for breakfast, and by the way, as you go, repeat the prayer of Saint Apollonia, if you know it; and I will be with you instantly, and you shall see wonders." — "Dear me!" replied the housekeeper, "the prayer of Saint Apollonia, say you? That might do something if my master's distemper lay in his gums; but, alas I it lies in his brain." — "I know what I say, Mistress Housekeeper," replied Sampson: "get you home, and do not stand disputing with me; for you know I am -[322]- a Salamanca Bachelor of Arts, and there is no bachelorising(142) beyond that." With that away went the housekeeper, and the bachelor immediately went to find the priest, and consult with him about what you will hear of in due time.

While Don Quixote and Sancho continued locked up together, there passed some discourse between them, which the history relates at large with great punctuality and truth. Quoth Sancho to his master, "Sir, I have now reluced my wife to consent to let me go with your worship wherever you please to carry me." — "Reduced, you should say, Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "and not reluced." — "Once or twice already," answered Sancho, "if I remember right, I have besought your worship not to mend my words, if you understand my meaning; and when you do not, say, Sancho, or devil, I understand you not; and if I do not explain myself, then you may correct me; for I am so focible." — "I do not understand you, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "for I know not the meaning of focible." — "So focible," answered Sancho, "means, I am so much so." — "I understand less now," replied Don Quixote. "Why, if you do not understand me," answered Sancho, "I know not how to express it; I know no more, God help me!" — "Oh, now I have it," answered Don Quixote; "you mean you are so docible, so pliant, and so tractable, that you will readily comprehend whatever I shall say to you, and will learn whatever I shall teach you." — "I will lay a wager," quoth Sancho, "you took me from the beginning, and understood me perfectly; only you had a mind to put me out, to hear me make two hundred blunders more." — "That may be," replied Don Quixote; "but, in short, what says Teresa?" — "Teresa," quoth Sancho, "says, that fast bind fast find, and that we must have less talking and more doing; for he who shuffles is not he who cuts, and one performance is worth two promises; and say I, there is but little in woman's advice, yet he that won't take it is not over-wise." — "I say so too," replied Don Quixote: "proceed, Sancho, for you talk admirably to-day." — "The case is," replied Sancho, "that, as your worship very well knows, we are all mortal, here to-day and gone to-morrow; that the lamb goes to the spit as soon as the sheep; and that nobody can promise himself in this world more hours of life than God pleases to give him; for death is deaf, and when he knocks at life's door, is always in haste; and nothing can stay him, neither force, nor entreaties, nor sceptres, nor mitres, according to public voice and report, and according to what is told us from our pulpits." — "All this is true," said Don Quixote; "but I do not perceive what you would be at." — "What I would be at," quoth Sancho, "is, that your worship would be pleased to appoint me a certain salary, at so much per month, for the time I shall serve you, and that the said salary be paid me out of your estate; for I have no mind to stand to the courtesy of recompenses, which come late, or lame, or never; God help me with my own! In short, I would know what I am to get, be it little or much; for the hen sits, if it be but upon one egg, and many littles make a mickle, and while one is getting something, one is losing nothing. In good truth, should it fall out, which I neither believe nor expect, that your worship should give me that same island you have promised me, I am not so ungrateful, nor am I for making so hard a bargain, as not to consent that the amount of the rent of such island be appraised, and my salary be deducted, cantity for cantity." — "Is not quantity as good as cantity, friend Sancho?" answered Don Quixote. "I understand you," quoth Sancho; "I will lay a wager I should -[323]- have said quantity, and not cantity; but that signifies nothing, since your worship knew my meaning." — "Yes, and so perfectly too," returned Don Quixote, "that I see to the very bottom of your thoughts, and the mark you drive at with the innumerable arrows of your proverbs. Look you, Sancho; I could easily appoint you wages, had I ever met with any precedent, among the histories of knights-errant, to discover or show me the least glimmering of what they used to get monthly or yearly. I have read all or most of those histories, and do not remember ever to have read that any knight-errant allowed his squire set wages. I only know that they all served upon courtesy, and that, when they least thought of it, if their masters had good luck, they were rewarded with an island, or something equivalent, or at least remained with a title and dignity. If, Sancho, upon the strength of these expectations, you are willing to return to my service, in God's name do so; but to think that I will force the ancient usage of knight-errantry off the hinges, is a very great mistake. And therefore, Sancho, go home, and tell your wife my intention, and if she is willing, and you have a mind to stay with me upon courtesy, benθ quidem; if not, we are as we were; for, if the dove-house wants not bait, it will never want pigeons; and take notice, son, that a good reversion is better than a bad possession, and a good demand than bad pay. I talk thus, Sancho, to let you see that I can let fly a volley of proverbs as well as you. To be short with you, if you are not disposed to go along with me upon courtesy, and run the same fortune with me, the Lord have thee in his keeping, and I pray God to make thee a saint; for I can never want a squire who will be more obedient, more diligent, and neither so selfish nor so talkative as you are."

When Sancho heard his master's fixed resolution, the sky clouded over with him, and the wings of his heart downright nagged; for till now he verily believed his master would not go without him for the world's worth. While he stood thus thoughtful and in suspense, in came Sampson Carrasco, and the niece and the housekeeper, who had a mind to hear what arguments he made use of to dissuade their master and uncle from going again in quest of adventures. Sampson, who was a notable wag, drew near, and embracing Don Quixote, as he did the time before, he exalted his voice, and said, "O flower of knight-errantry! O resplendent light of arms! O mirror and honour of the Spanish nation! may it please Almighty God, of his infinite goodness, that the person or persons who shall obstruct or disappoint your third sally may never find the way out of the labyrinth of their desires, nor ever accomplish what they so ardently wish!" And, turning to the housekeeper, he said, "Now, Mistress Housekeeper, you may save yourself the trouble of saying the prayer of St Apollonia; for I know that it is the precise determination of the stars that Signor Don Quixote shall once more put in execution his glorious and uncommon designs, and I should greatly burden my conscience did I not give intimation thereof, and persuade this knight no longer to detain and withhold the force of his valorous arm and the goodness of his most undaunted courage, lest by his delay he defraud the world of the redress of injuries, the protection of orphans, the maintaining the honour of damsels, the relief of widows, and the support of married women, with other matters of this nature, which concern, depend upon, appertain, and are annexed to, the order of knight-errantry. Go on then, dear Signor Don Quixote, beautiful and brave! and let your worship and grandeur lose no time, but set forward rather to-day -[324]- than to-morrow; and if anything be wanting towards putting your design in execution, here am I, ready to supply it with my life and fortune; and if your magnificence stands in need of a squire, I shall think it a singular piece of good fortune to serve you as such."

Don Quixote thereupon turning to Sancho, said: "Did I not tell you, Sancho, that I should have squires enough, and to spare? Behold, who is it that offers himself to be one, but the unheard-of Bachelor Sampson Carrasco, the perpetual darling and delight of the Salamancan schools, sound and active of body, no prater, patient of heat and cold, of hunger and thirst, with all the qualifications necessary to the squire of a knight-errant? But Heaven forbid that, to gratify my own private inclination, I should endanger this pillar of literature, this urn of sciences, and lop off so eminent a branch of the noble and liberal arts. Let our new Sampson abide in his country, and, in doing it honour, at the same time reverence the grey hairs of his ancient parents; for I will make shift with any squire whatever, since Sancho deigns not to go along with me." — "I do deign," quoth Sancho, melted into tenderness, and his eyes overflowing with tears, and proceeded: "It shall never be said of me, dear master, the bread is eaten and the company broke up. I am not come of an ungrateful stock; since all the world knows, especially our village, who the Panzas were, from whom I am descended: besides, I know, and am very well assured, by many good works and more good words, of the desire your worship has to do me a kindness; and if I have taken upon me so much more than I ought, by intermeddling in the article of wages, it was out of complaisance to my wife, who, when once she takes in hand to persuade a thing, no mallet drives and forces the hoops of a tub as she does to make one do what she has a mind to: but in short, a man must be a man, and a woman a woman; and since I am a man everywhere else, I cannot deny that I will also be one in my own house, vex whom it will; and therefore there is no more to be done, but that your worship give orders about your will, and its codicil, in such manner that it cannot be rebuked, and let us set out immediately, that the soul of Signor Sampson may not suffer, who says he is obliged in conscience to persuade your worship to make a third sally; and I again offer myself to serve your worship, faithfully and loyally, as well and better than all the squires that ever served knight-errant in past or present times."

The bachelor stood in admiration to hear Sancho Panza's style and manner of talking; for, though he had read the first part of his master's history, he never believed he was so ridiculous as he is therein described; but hearing him now talk of will and codicil that could not be rebuked, instead of revoked, he believed all he had read of him, and concluded him to be one of the most solemn coxcombs of the age; and said to himself, that two such fools as master and man were never before seen in the world. In short, Don Quixote and Sancho, being perfectly reconciled, embraced each other; and, with the approbation and good liking of the grand Carrasco, now their oracle, it was decreed their departure should be within three days, in which time they might have leisure to provide what was necessary for the expedition, especially a complete helmet, which Don Quixote said he must by all means carry with him. Sampson offered him one belonging to a friend of his, who, he was sure, would not deny it him, though, to say the truth, the brightness of the steel was not a little obscured by the tarnish and rust. The curses which the housekeeper and niece -[325]- heaped upon the bachelor were not to be numbered: they tore their hair, and scratched their faces, and, like the funeral mourners formerly in fashion, lamented the approaching departure as if it had been the death of their master. The design Sampson had, in persuading him to sally forth again, was to do what the history tells us hereafter, all by the advice of the priest and the barber, with whom he had plotted beforehand.

In short, in those three days, Don Quixote and Sancho furnished themselves with what they thought convenient; and Sancho having appeased his wife, and Don Quixote his niece and housekeeper, in the dusk of the evening, unobserved by anybody but the bachelor, who would needs bear them company half a league from the village, they took the road to Toboso; Don Quixote upon his good Rozinante, and Sancho upon his old Dapple, his wallets stored with provisions, and his purse with money, which Don Quixote had given him against whatever might happen. Sampson embraced him, praying him to give advice of his good or ill fortune, that he might rejoice or condole with him, as the laws of their mutual friendship required. Don Quixote promised he would; Sampson returned to the village, and the knight and squire took their way toward the great city of Toboso.


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