Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[332]-

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 X: Wherein is related the Cunning used by Sancho in enchanting the Lady Dulcinea, with other Events as ridiculous as true.

 

The author of this grand history, coming to relate what is contained in this chapter, says, he had a mind to have passed it over in silence, fearing not to be believed, because herein Don Quixote's madness exceeds all bounds, and rises to the utmost pitch, even two bow-shots beyond the greatest extravagance; however, notwithstanding this fear and diffidence, he has set everything down in the manner it was transacted, without adding to or diminishing a tittle from the truth of the story, and not regarding the objections that might be made against his veracity; and he had reason; for truth may be stretched, but cannot be broken, and always gets above falsehood, as oil does above water; and so, pursuing his story, he says:

As soon as Don Quixote had sheltered himself in the grove, oak-wood, or forest, near the great Toboso, he ordered Sancho to go back to the town, commanding him not to return into his presence, till he had first spoken to his lady, beseeching her that she would be pleased to give her captive knight leave to wait upon her, and that she would deign to give him her blessing, that from thence he might hope for the most prosperous success in all his encounters and difficult enterprises. Sancho undertook to fulfil his command, and to bring him as good an answer now as he did the time before. "Go then, son," replied Don Quixote, "and be not in confusion when you stand before the blaze of that sun of beauty you are going to seek. Happy thou above all the squires in the world! Bear in mind, and be sure do not forget, how she receives you; whether she changes colour while you are delivering your embassy; whether you perceive in her any uneasiness or disturbance at hearing my name; whether her cushion cannot hold her, if perchance you find her seated on the rich Estrado(145) of her dignity; and, if she be standing, mark whether she stands sometimes upon one foot and sometimes upon the other; whether she repeats the answer she gives you three or four times; whether she changes it from soft to harsh, from sharp to amorous; whether she lifts her hand to adjust her hair, though it be not disordered: lastly, son, observe all her actions and motions; for by your relating them to me just as they were, I shall be able to give a shrewd guess at what she keeps concealed in the secret recesses of her heart, touching the affair of my love. For you must know, Sancho, if you do not know it already, that among lovers the external actions and gestures, when their loves are the subject, are most certain couriers, and bring infallible tidings of what passes in the inmost recesses of the soul. Go, friend; and better fortune than mine be your guide; and may better success, than what I fear and expect in this bitter solitude, send you back safe." "I will go, and return quickly," quoth Sancho; "in the meantime, good Sir, enlarge that little heart of yours, which at present can be no bigger than a hazel-nut, and consider the common saying, A good heart breaks bad luck; and, Where there is no bacon, there are no pins to hang it on; and, Where we least think it, there starts the hare; this I say, because, though we could not find the castles or palaces of my Lady Dulcinea last night, now it is daylight I reckon to meet with them, when I least think of it; and when I have found them, let me alone to deal with -[333]- her." "Verily, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "you have the knack of applying your proverbs so to the subject we are upon, that I pray God send me better luck in obtaining my wishes."

Upon this Sancho turned his back, and switched his Dapple, leaving Don Quixote on horseback, resting on his stirrups, and leaning on his lance, full of sad and confused imaginations; where we will leave him, and go along with Sancho Panza, who departed from his master no less confused and thoughtful than he; insomuch that he was scarcely got out of the grove, when, turning about his head, and finding that Don Quixote was not in sight, he lighted from his beast, and setting himself down at the foot of a tree, he began to talk to himself, and say: "Tell me now, brother Sancho, whither is your worship going? Are you going to seek some ass that is lost? No, verily. Then what are you going to seek? Why, I go to look for a thing of nothing, a princess, and in her the sun of beauty and all Heaven together. Well, Sancho, and where think you to find all this? Where? In the grand city of Toboso. Very well; and pray who sent you on this errand? Why, the renowned knight Don Quixote de la Mancha, who redresses wrongs, and gives drink to the hungry and meat to the thirsty. All this is very well; and do you know her house, Sancho? My master says it must be some royal palace or stately castle. And have you ever seen her? Neither I nor my master have ever seen her. And do you think it would be right or advisable that the people of Toboso should know you come with a design to inveigle away their princesses, and lead their ladies astray? What if they should come and grind your ribs with pure dry basting, and not leave you a whole bone in your skin? Truly they would be much in the right of it, unless they please to consider that I am commanded, and, being but a messenger, am not in fault. Trust not to that, Sancho; for the Manchegans are as choleric as honourable, and so ticklish nobody must touch them. God's my life! if they smoke us, woe be to us. But why go I looking for three legs in a cat, for another man's pleasure? Besides, to look for Dulcinea up and down Toboso is as if one should look for little Mary in Rabena, or a bachelor in Salamanca. The devil, the devil, and nobody else, has put me upon this business."

This soliloquy Sancho held with himself, and the upshot was to return to it again, saying to himself: "Well, there is a remedy for everything but death, under whose dominion we must all pass, in spite of our teeth, at the end of our lives. This master of mine, by a thousand tokens that I have seen, is mad enough to be tied in his bed; and in truth I come very little behind him: nay, I am madder than he is, to follow him and serve him, if there be any truth in the proverb that says: Show me thy company, and I will tell thee what than art; or in that other, Not with whom thou wert bred, but with whom thou art fed. He then, being a madman, as he really is, and so mad as frequently to mistake one thing for another, taking black for white, and white for black, as appeared plainly when he said the windmills were giants, and the monks' mules dromedaries, and the flocks of sheep armies of enemies, and many more matters to the same tune; it will not be very difficult to make him believe that the first country wench I light on is the Lady Dulcinea; and should he not believe it, I will swear to it; and if he swears, I will outswear him; and if he persists, I will persist more than he, in such manner that mine shall still be uppermost, come what will of it. Perhaps by this positiveness, I shall -[334]- put an end to his sending me again upon such errands, seeing what preposterous answers I bring him; or perhaps he will think, as I imagine he will, that some wicked enchanter, of those he says bear him a spite, has changed her form to do him mischief and harm."

This project set Sancho's spirit at rest, and he reckoned his business as good as half done; and so staying where he was till towards evening, that Don Quixote might have room to think he had spent so much time in going to and returning from Toboso, everything fell out so luckily for him, that, when he got up to mount his Dapple, he espied three country wenches, coming from Toboso toward the place where he was, upon three young asses; but, whether male or female the author declares not, though it is more probable they were she-asses, that being the ordinary mounting of country-women; but, as it is a matter of no consequence, we need not give ourselves any trouble to decide it.

In short, as soon as Sancho spied the lasses, he rode back at a round rate to seek his master Don Quixote, whom he found breathing a thousand sighs and amorous lamentations. As soon as Don Quixote saw him, he said: "Well, friend Sancho, am I to mark this day with a white or a black stone?" "Your worship," answered Sancho, "had better mark it with red ochre, as they do the inscriptions on professors' chairs, to be the more easily read by the lookers-on." "By this," said Don Quixote, "you should bring good news." "So good," answered Sancho, "that your worship has no more to do but to clap spurs to Rozinante, and get out upon the plain to see the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, who, with a couple of her damsels, is coming to make your worship a visit." "Holy God! what is it you say, friend Sancho?" said Don Quixote. "Take care you do not impose on my real sorrow by a counterfeit joy." "What should I get," answered Sancho, "by deceiving your worship, and being detected the next moment? Come, Sir, put on, and you will see the princess our mistress, arrayed and adorned, in short, like herself. She and her damsels are one blaze of flaming gold; all strings of pearls, all diamonds, all rubies, all cloth of tissue above ten hands deep; their tresses, loose about their shoulders, are so many sunbeams playing with the wind; and, what is more, they come mounted upon three pie-bellied belfreys, the finest one can lay eyes on." "Palfreys, you would say, Sancho," said Don Quixote. "There is no great difference, I think," answered Sancho, "between belfreys and palfreys; but let them be mounted how they will, they are surely the finest creatures one would wish to see, especially my mistress the Princess Dulcinea, who ravishes one's senses." "Let us go, son Sancho," answered Don Quixote; "and, as a reward for this news, as unexpected as good, I bequeath you the choicest spoils I shall gain in my next adventure; and, if that will not satisfy you, I bequeath you the colts my three mares will foal this year upon our town common." "I stick to the colts," answered Sancho; "for it is not very certain that the spoils of your next adventure will be worth much."

By this time they were got out of the wood, and saw the three wenches very near. Don Quixote darted his eyes over all the road toward Toboso, and seeing nobody but the three wenches, he was much troubled, and asked Sancho whether they were come out of the city when he left them. "Out of the city!" answered Sancho; "are your worship's eyes in the nape of your neck, that you do not see it is they who are coming, shining like the sun at noonday?" "I see only three country girls," answered -[335]- Don Quixote, "on three asses." "Now God keep me from the devil!" quoth Sancho; "is it possible that three palfreys, or how do you call them, white as the driven snow, should appear to you to be asses? As the Lord liveth, you shall pluck off this beard of mine if that be so." "I tell you, friend Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "that it is as certain they are he or she asses, as I am Don Quixote and you Sancho Panza; at least such they seem to me." "Sir," quoth Sancho, "say not such a word, but snuff those eyes of yours, and come and make your reverence to the mistress of your thoughts, who is just at hand." And so saying he advanced a little forward to meet the country wenches, and, alighting from Dapple, he laid hold of one of their asses by the halter, and, bending both knees to the ground, he said: "Queen, princess, and duchess of beauty, let your haughtiness and greatness be pleased to receive into your grace and good liking your captive knight, who stands yonder turned into stone, in total disorder, and without any pulse, to find himself before your magnificent presence. I am Sancho Panza his squire, and he is that forlorn knight Don Quixote de la Mancha, otherwise called the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure."

Don Quixote had now placed himself on his knees close by Sancho, and with staring and disturbed eyes looked wistfully at her whom Sancho called queen and lady; and, as he saw nothing in her but a plain country girl, and homely enough, for she was round-visaged and flat-nosed, he was confounded and amazed, without daring to open his lips. The wenches too were astonished to see their companion stopped by two men of such different aspects, and both on their knees; but she who was stopped, broke silence, and, in an angry tone, said: "Get out of the road and be hanged, and let us pass by, for we are in haste." To which Sancho made answer: "O princess, and universal Lady of Toboso, does not your magnificent heart relent to see kneeling before your sublimated presence the pillar and prop of knight-errantry?" Which one of the other two hearing, said (checking her beast, that was turning out of the way), "Look ye, how these small gentry come to make a jest of us poor country girls, as if we did not know how to give them as good as they bring: get you gone your way, and let us go ours; and so speed you well." "Rise, Sancho," said Don Quixote, hearing this; "for I now perceive that fortune, not yet satisfied with afflicting me, has barred all the avenues whereby any relief might come to this wretched soul I bear about me in the flesh. And thou, O extreme of all that is valuable, utmost limit of all human gracefulness, sole remedy of this disconsolate heart that adores thee! though now some wicked enchanter persecutes me, spreading clouds and cataracts over my eyes, and has to them, and them only, changed and transformed thy peerless beauty and countenance into that of a poor country wench; if he has not converted mine also into that of some goblin, to render it abominable in your eyes, afford me one kind and amorous look, and let this submissive posture, and these bended knees, before your disguised beauty, tell you the humility wherewith my soul adores you." "Marry come up," cried the wench, "with your idle gibberish! Get you gone, and let us go, and we shall be obliged to you." Sancho moved off and let her go, highly delighted that he was come off so well with his contrivance. The imaginary Dulcinea was scarcely at liberty, when, pricking her beast with a goad she had in a stick, she began to scour along the field; and the ass, feeling the smart more than usual, fell a-kicking and wincing in such a manner, that -[336]- down came the Lady Dulcinea to the ground. Don Quixote, seeing this, ran to help her up, and Sancho to adjust the pannel, that was got under the ass's belly. The pannel being righted, and Don Quixote desirous to raise his enchanted mistress in his arms and set her upon her palfrey, the lady, getting up from the ground, saved him that trouble; for, retiring three or four steps back, she took a little run, and, clapping both hands upon the ass's crupper, jumped into the saddle lighter than a falcon, and seated herself astride like a man. Upon which Sancho said, "By Saint Roque, Madam our mistress is lighter than a hawk, and able to teach the most expert Cordovan or Mexican how to mount la gineta: she springs into the saddle at a jump, and, without the help of spurs, makes her palfrey run like a wild ass; and her damsels are as good at it as she; they all fly like the wind." And so it really was; for, Dulcinea being remounted, they all made after her, and ran, without looking behind them, for above half a league.

Don Quixote followed them as far as he could with his eyes, and, when they were out of sight, turning to Sancho, he said, "Sancho, what think you? How am I persecuted by enchanters! and take notice how far their malice and the grudge they bear me extends, even to the depriving me of the pleasure I should have had in seeing my mistress in her own proper form. Surely I was born to be an example to the unhappy, and the butt and mark at which all the arrows of ill-fortune are aimed and levelled. And you must also observe, Sancho, that these traitors were not contented with barely changing and transforming my Dulcinea, but they must transform and metamorphose her into the mean and deformed resemblance of that country wench; at the same time robbing her of that which is peculiar to great ladies, the fragrant scent occasioned by being always among flowers and perfumes: for I must tell you, Sancho, that when I approached to help Dulcinea upon her palfrey, as you call it, though to me it appeared to be nothing but an ass, she gave me such a whiff of undigested garlic, as almost knocked me down, and poisoned my very soul." "O scoundrels!" cried Sancho at this juncture, "O barbarous and evil-minded enchanters! oh, that I might see you all strung and hung up by the gills like sardines(146) a-smoking! Much ye know, much ye can, and much more ye do. It might, one would think, have sufficed ye, rogues as ye are, to have changed the pearls of my lady's eyes into cork-galls, and her hair of the purest gold into bristles of a red cow's tail, and lastly all her features from beautiful to deformed, without meddling with her breath, by which we might have guessed at what was hid beneath that coarse disguise; though, to say the truth, to me she did not appear in the least deformed, but rather all beauty, and that increased too by a mole she had on her right lip, like a whisker, with seven or eight red hairs on it, like threads of gold, and above a span long." "As to that mole," said Don Quixote, "according to the correspondence there is between the moles of the face and those of the body, Dulcinea should have another on the brawn of her thigh, on the same side with that on her face; but hairs of the length you mention are somewhat of the longest for moles." "Yet I can assure your worship," answered Sancho, "that there they were, and looked as if they had been born with her." "I believe it, friend," replied Don Quixote; "for nature has placed nothing about Dulcinea but what is finished and perfect; and, therefore, had she a hundred moles, like those you speak of, in her they would not be moles, but moons and resplendent -[337]- stars. But tell me, Sancho, that which to me appeared to be a pannel, and which you adjusted, was it a side-saddle or a pillion?" "It was a side-saddle," answered Sancho, "with a field-covering, worth half a kingdom for the richness of it." "And why could not I see all this, Sancho?" said Don Quixote. "Well, I say it again, and will repeat it a thousand times, that I am the most unfortunate of men." The sly rogue Sancho had much ado to forbear laughing, to hear the fooleries of his master, who was so delicately gulled. In short, after many other discourses passed between them, they mounted their beasts again, and followed the road to Saragossa, which they intended to reach in time to be present at a solemn festival wont to be held every year in that noble city. But, before their arrival, there befell them things, which, for their number, greatness, and novelty, deserve to be written and read, as will be seen.

Don Quixote went on his way exceedingly pensive, to think what a base trick the enchanters had played him.
Don Quixote went on his way exceedingly pensive, to think what a base trick
the enchanters had played him.

 

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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