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 XIV: In which is continued the Adventure of the Knight of the Wood.


Among sundry discourses, which passed between Don Quixote and the Knight of the Wood, the history tells us, that he of the wood said to Don Quixote, "In short, Sir Knight, I would have you to know, that my destiny, or rather my choice, led me to fall in love with the peerless Casildea de Vandalia. Peerless I call her, not so much on account of her stature, as the excellency of her state and beauty. This same Casildea I am speaking of, repaid my honourable thoughts and virtuous desires by employing me, as Hercules was by his stepmother, in many and various perils, promising me, at the end of each of them, that the next should crown my hopes; but she still goes on, adding link upon link to the chain of my labours, insomuch that they are become without number; nor can I guess which will be the last, and that which is to give a beginning to the accomplishment of my good wishes. One time she commanded me to go and challenge the famous giantess of Seville, called Giralda,(149) who is so stout and strong, as being made of brass, and, without stirring from the place, is the most changeable and unsteady woman in the world. I came, I saw, I conquered; I made her stand still and fixed her to a point; for in above a week's time no wind blew but the north. Another time she sent me to weigh the ancient stones of the stout bulls of Guisando,(150) an enterprise fitter for porters than knights; and another time she commanded me to plunge headlong into Cabra's cave, an unheard-of and dreadful attempt, and to bring her a particular relation of what is locked up in that obscure abyss. I stopped the motion of the Giralda, I weighed the bulls of -[349]- Guisando, I precipitated myself into the cavern of Cabra, and brought to light the hidden secrets of that abyss; and yet my hopes are dead! oh, how dead! and her commands and disdains alive! oh, how alive! In short, she has at last commanded me to travel over all the provinces of Spain, and oblige all the knights I shall find wandering therein to confess that she alone excels in beauty all beauties this day living, and that I am the most valiant and the most completely enamoured knight in the world. In obedience to which command, I have already traversed the greater part of Spain, and have vanquished divers knights, who have dared to contradict me. But what I am most proud of, and value myself most upon is, the having vanquished in single combat the so renowned knight Don Quixote de la Mancha, and made him confess, that my Casildea is more beautiful than his Dulcinea; and I make account, that, in this conquest alone, I have vanquished all the knights in the world; for that very Don Quixote I speak of has conquered them all, and I having overcome him, his glory, his fame, and his honour are transferred and passed over to my person; for the victor's renown rises in proportion to that of the vanquished; so that the innumerable exploits of the said Don Quixote are already mine, and placed to my account."

Don Quixote was amazed to hear the Knight of the Wood, and was ready a thousand times to give him the lie, and "You lie" was at the tip of his tongue; but he restrained himself the best he could, in order to make him confess the lie with his own mouth; and therefore he said, very calmly, "Sir Knight, that you may have vanquished most of the knights-errant of Spain, yea, and of the whole world, I will not dispute; but that you have conquered Don Quixote de la Mancha, I somewhat doubt; it might indeed be somebody resembling him, though there are very few such." "Why not?" replied he of the wood. "By the canopy of Heaven! I fought with Don Quixote, vanquished him, and made him submit; by the same token that he is tall of stature, thin-visaged, upright- bodied, robust-limbed, grizzle-haired, hawk-nosed, with large black moustaches: he gives himself the name of the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure; his squire is a country fellow, called Sancho Panza; he oppresses the back and governs the reins of a famous steed called Rozinante; in a word, he has for the mistress of his thoughts one Dulcinea del Toboso, sometime called Aldonza Lorenzo; in like manner as mine, who, because her name was Casildea, and being of Andalusia, is now distinguished by the name of Casildea de Vandalia. If all these tokens are not sufficient to prove the truth of what I say, here is my sword, which shall make incredulity itself believe it." "Be not in a passion, Sir Knight," said Don Quixote, "and hear what I have to say. You are to know, that this Don Quixote you speak of, is the dearest friend I have in the world, insomuch that I may say he is as it were my very self; and by the tokens and marks you have given of him, so exact and so precise, I cannot but think it must be he himself that you have subdued. On the other side, I see with my eyes, and feel with my hands, that it cannot be the same, unless it be, that, having many enchanters his enemies, one especially, who is continually persecuting him, some one or other of them may have assumed his shape, and suffered himself to be vanquished, in order to defraud him of the fame his exalted feats of chivalry have acquired over the face of the whole earth. And, for confirmation hereof, you must know, that these enchanters his enemies, but two days ago, transformed the figure and person of the beautiful -[350]- Dulcinea del Toboso into those of a dirty, mean, country wench; and in like manner they must have transformed Don Quixote. And if all this be not sufficient to justify this truth, here stands Don Quixote himself, ready to maintain it by force of arms, on foot or on horseback, or in whatever manner you please." And so saying, he rose up, and, grasping his sword, expected what resolution the Knight of the Wood would take; who very calmly answered, and said, "A good paymaster is in pain for no pawn; he, who could once vanquish you, Signor Don Quixote, when transformed, may well hope to make you yield in your own proper person. But as knights-errant should by no means do their feats of arms in the dark, like robbers and ruffians, let us wait for daylight, that the sun may be witness of our exploits; and the condition of our combat shall be, that the conquered shall be entirely at the mercy and disposal of the conqueror, to do with him whatever he pleases, provided always that he command nothing but what a knight may with honour submit to." "I am entirely satisfied with this condition and compact," answered Don Quixote; and upon this they both went to look for their squires, whom they found snoring in the very same posture in which sleep had seized them. They awakened them, and ordered them to get ready their steeds; for, at sunrise, they were to engage in a bloody and unparalleled single combat. At which news Sancho was thunderstruck, and ready to swoon, in dread of his master's safety, from what he had heard the squire of the wood tell of his master's valour. But the two squires, without speaking a word, went to look for their cattle, and found them all together; for the three horses and Dapple had already smelt one another out.

By the way the squire of the wood said to Sancho, "You must understand, brother, that the fighters of Andalusia have a custom, when they are godfathers in any combat, not to stand idle with their arms across, while their godsons are fighting.(151) This I say to give you notice, that, while our masters are engaged, we must fight too, and make splinters of one another." "This custom, Signor Squire," answered Sancho, "may be current and pass among the ruffians and fighters you speak of; but among the squires of knights-errant, no, not in thought; at least I have not heard my master talk of any such custom, and he has all the laws and ordinances of knight-errantry by heart. But, taking it for granted that there is an express statute for the squires engaging while their masters are at it, yet will I not comply with it, but rather pay the penalty imposed upon such peaceable squires; which I daresay cannot be above a couple of pounds of white wax;(152) and I will rather pay them, for I know they will cost me less than the money I shall spend in tents to get my head cured, which I already reckon as cut and divided in twain. Besides, another thing, which makes it impossible for me to fight, is, my having no sword; for I never wore one in my life." "I know a remedy for that," said he of the wood; "I have here a couple of linen bags of the same size; you shall take one, and I the other, and we will have a bout at bag-blows with equal weapons." "With all my heart," answered Sancho; "for such a battle will rather dust our jackets than wound our persons." "It must not be quite so, neither," replied the other;" for, lest the wind should blow them aside, we must put in them half a dozen clean and smooth peebles, of equal weight; and thus we may brush one another without much harm or damage." "Body of my father!" answered Sancho, "what sable fur, what bottoms of carded cotton, he puts into the bags, that we may not -[351]- break our noddles nor beat our bones to powder! but though they should be filled with balls of raw silk, be it known to you, Sir, I shall not fight; let our masters fight, and hear of it in another world, and let us drink and live; for time takes care to take away our lives, without our seeking new appetites to destroy them, before they reach their appointed term and season, and drop with ripeness." "For all that," replied he of the wood, "we must fight, if it be but for half an hour." "No, no," answered Sancho, "I shall not be so discourteous nor so ungrateful as to have any quarrel at all, be it never so little, with a gentleman, after having eaten of his bread and drunk of his drink; besides, who the devil can set about dry fighting without anger and without provocation?" "If that be all," said he of the wood, "I will provide a sufficient remedy; which is, that, before we begin the combat, I will come up to your worship, and fairly give you three or four good cuffs, which will lay you flat at my feet, and awaken your choler, though it slept sounder than a dormouse." "Against that expedient," answered Sancho, "I have another not a whit behind it: I will take a good cudgel, and, before you reach me to awaken my choler, I will bastinado yours so sound asleep, that it shall never awake more but in another world, where it is well known I am not a man to let anybody handle my face; and let everyone take heed to the arrow; though the safest way would be for each man to let his choler sleep; for nobody knows what is in another, and some people go out for wool, and come home shorn themselves; and God in all times blessed the peace-makers and cursed the peace-breakers; for if a cat, pursued, pent in a room, and hard put to it, turns into a lion, God knows what I, that am a man, may turn into; and therefore from henceforward I intimate to your worship, Signor Squire, that all the damage and mischief that shall result from our quarrel must be placed to your account." "It is well," replied he of the wood: "God sent us daylight, and we shall see what will come of it."

And now a thousand sorts of enamelled birds began to chirp in the trees, and in variety of joyful songs seemed to give good-morrow, and salute the blooming Aurora, who began now to discover the beauty of her face through the gates and balconies of the east, shaking from her locks an infinite number of liquid pearls, and in that delicious liquor bathing the herbs, which also seem to sprout and rain a kind of seed-pearl. At her approach the willows distilled savoury manna, the fountains smiled, the brooks murmured, the woods were cheered, and the meads were gilded. But scarcely had the clearness of the day given opportunity to see and distinguish objects, when the first thing that presented itself to Sancho's eyes, was the squire of the wood's nose, which was so large, that it almost overshadowed his whole body. In a word, it is said to have been of an excessive size, hawked in the middle, and full of warts and carbuncles, of the colour of a mulberry, and hanging two fingers' breadth below his mouth. The size, the colour, the carbuncles, and the crookedness, so disfigured his face, that Sancho at sight thereof began to tremble, hand and foot, like a child in a fit, and resolved within himself to take two hundred cuffs before his choler should awaken to encounter that hobgoblin.

Don Quixote viewed his antagonist, and found he had his helmet on, and the beaver down, so that he could not see his face; but he observed him to be a strong-made man and not very tall. Over his armour he wore a kind of surtout, or loose coat, seemingly of the finest gold, besprinkled with sundry little moons of resplendent looking-glass, which -[352]- made a most gallant and splendid show. A great number of green, yellow, and white feathers waved about his helmet. His lance, which stood leaning against a tree, was very large and thick, and headed with pointed steel above a span long. Don Quixote viewed and noted everything, judging by all he saw and remarked, that the aforesaid knight must needs be of great strength; but he was not therefore daunted, like Sancho Panza; on the contrary, with a gallant boldness, he said to the Knight of the Looking- Glasses, "Sir Knight, if your great eagerness to fight has not exhausted too much of your courtesy, I entreat you to lift up your beaver a little, that I may see whether the sprightliness of your countenance be answerable to that of your figure." "Whether you be vanquished or victorious in this enterprise, Sir Knight," answered he of the looking-glasses, "there will be time and leisure enough for seeing me; and if I do not now comply with your desire, it is because I think I should do a very great wrong to the beautiful Casildea de Vandalia, to lose so much time as the lifting up my beaver would take up, before I make you confess what you know I pretend to." "However, while we are getting on horseback," said Don Quixote, "you may easily tell me, whether I am that Don Quixote you said you had vanquished." "To this I answer," replied he of the looking-glasses, "that you are as like that very knight I vanquished as one egg is like another; but, since you say you are persecuted by enchanters, I dare not be positive whether you are the same person or no." "That is sufficient," answered Don Quixote, "to make me believe you are deceived; however, to undeceive you quite, let us horse, and in less time than you would have spent in lifting up your beaver, if God, my mistress, and my arm, avail me, I will see your face, and you shall see I am not that vanquished Don Quixote you imagine."

Then, cutting short the discourse, they mounted, and Don Quixote wheeled Rozinante about, to take as much ground as was convenient for encountering his opponent; and he of the looking-glasses did the like; but Don Quixote was not gone twenty paces, when he heard himself called to by the knight of the looking-glasses: so, meeting each other half way, he of the looking-glasses said, "Take notice, Sir Knight, that the condition of our combat is, that the conquered, as I said before, shall remain at the discretion of the conqueror." "I know it," answered Don Quixote, "provided that what is commanded and imposed on the vanquished shall not exceed nor derogate from the laws of chivalry." "So it is to be understood," answered he of the looking-glasses. At this juncture the squire's strange nose presented itself to Don Quixote's sight, who was no less surprised at it than Sancho, insomuch that he looked upon him to be some monster or some strange man, such as are not common now in the world. Sancho, seeing his master set forth to take his career, would not stay alone with Longnose, fearing lest one gentle wipe with that snout across his face should put an end to his battle, and he be laid sprawling on the ground, either by the blow or by fear. Therefore he ran after his master, holding by the back guard of Rozinante's saddle; and, when he thought it was time for him to face about, he said: "I beseech your worship, dear Sir, that, before you turn about to engage, you will be so kind as to help me up into yon cork-tree, from whence I can see better, and more to my liking, than from the ground, the gallant encounter you are about to have with that knight." "I believe, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "you have more mind to climb and mount a scaffold, to see the bull sports without danger." -[353]- "To tell you the truth, Sir," answered Sancho, "the prodigious nose of that squire astonishes and fills me with dread, and I dare not stand near him." "In truth," said Don Quixote, "it is so frightful, that, were I not who I am, I should be afraid myself; and therefore come, and I will help you up."

While Don Quixote was busied in helping Sancho up into the cork-tree, he of the looking-glasses took as large a compass as he thought necessary, and believing that Don Quixote had done the like, without waiting for sound of trumpet, or any other signal, he turned about his horse, who was not a whit more active nor more promising than Rozinante; and at his best speed, which was a middling trot, he advanced to encounter his enemy; but seeing him employed in helping up Sancho, he reined in his steed, and stopped in the midst of his career; for which his horse was most thankful, being not able to stir any further. Don Quixote, thinking his enemy was coming full speed against him, clapped spurs to Rozinante's lean flanks, and made him so bestir himself, that, as the history relates, this was the only time he was known to do something like running; for at all others a downright trot was all; and with this unspeakable fury he soon came up, where he of the looking-glasses stood, striking his spurs up to the very rowels in his steed, without being able to make him stir a finger's length from the place, where he made a full stand in his career. In this good time, and at this juncture, Don Quixote found his adversary embarrassed with his horse, and encumbered with his lance; for either he did not know how, or had not time to set it in its rest. Don Quixote, who heeded none of these inconveniences, with all safety, and without the least danger, attacked him of the looking-glasses with such force, that, in spite of him, he bore him to the ground over his horse's crupper; and such was his fall, that he lay motionless, without any signs of life. Sancho no sooner saw him fallen, than he slid down from the cork-tree, and in all haste ran to his master, who, alighting from Rozinante, was got upon him of the looking-glasses, and unlacing his helmet, to see whether he was dead, or to give him air, if perchance he was alive; when he saw but who can express what he saw, without causing admiration, wonder, and terror in all that hear it? he saw, says the history, the very face, the very figure, the very aspect, the very physiognomy, the very effigy and picture of the Bachelor Sampson Carrasco; and as soon as he saw him, he cried out, "Come hither, Sancho, and behold what you must see but not believe; make haste, son, and observe what magic, what wizards and enchanters, can do." Sancho approached, and, seeing the Bachelor Sampson Carrasco's face, he began to cross and bless himself a thousand times over; and all this while the demolished cavalier showed no signs of life; and Sancho said to Don Quixote, "I am of opinion, Sir, that, right or wrong, your worship should thrust the sword down the throat of him, who seems so like the Bachelor Sampson Carrasco; perhaps in him you may kill some one of those enchanters your enemies." "You do not say amiss," replied Don Quixote;" for the fewer our enemies are the better;" and drawing his sword to put Sancho's advice in execution, the squire of the looking-glasses drew near, without the nose that made him look so frightful, and cried aloud, "Have a care, Signor Don Quixote, what you do; for he, who lies at your feet, is the Bachelor Sampson Carrasco, your friend, and I am his squire." Sancho, seeing him without that former ugliness, said to him, "And the nose?" To which he answered, "I have it here in my pocket;" -[354]- and putting in his hand, he pulled out a pasteboard nose, painted and varnished, of the fashion we have already described; and Sancho, eyeing him more and more, with a loud voice of admiration, said, "Blessed Virgin defend me! Is not this Tom Cecial, my neighbour and gossip?" "Indeed am I," answered the unnosed squire;" Tom Cecial I am, gossip and friend to Sancho Panza; and I will inform you presently what tricks, lies, and wiles brought me hither; in the meantime beg and entreat your master not to touch, maltreat, wound, or kill the Knight of the Looking-Glasses now at his feet; for there is nothing more sure, than that he is the daring and ill-advised bachelor, Sampson Carrasco, our countryman."

By this time he of the looking-glasses was come to himself; which Don Quixote perceiving, he clapped the point of the naked sword to his throat, and said, "You are a dead man, Knight, if you do not confess, that the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso excels in beauty your Casildea de Vandalia; and farther you must promise, if you escape from this conflict and this fall with life, to go to the city of Toboso, and present yourself before her on my behalf, that she may dispose of you as she shall think fit; and, if she leave you at your own disposal, then you shall return, and find me out, for the track of my exploits will serve you for a guide, and conduct you to my presence; and tell me what passes between her and you; these conditions being entirely conformable to our articles before our battle, and not exceeding the rules of knight-errantry." "I confess," said the fallen knight, "that the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso's torn and dirty shoe is preferable to the ill-combed though clean locks of Casildea; and 1 promise to go and return from her presence to yours, and give you an exact and particular account of what you require of me." "You must likewise confess and believe," added Don Quixote, "that the knight you vanquished was not, and could not be, Don Quixote de la Mancha, but somebody else like him; as I do confess and believe, that you, though in appearance the Bachelor Sampson Carrasco, are not he, but some other, whom my enemies have purposely transformed into his likeness, to restrain the impetuosity of my choler, and make me use with moderation the glory of my conquest." "I confess, judge of, and allow everything, as you confess, judge of, and allow," answered the disjointed knight. "Suffer me to rise, I beseech you, if the hurt of my fall will permit, which has left me sorely bruised." Don Quixote helped him to rise, as did his squire Tom Cecial, off whom Sancho could not remove his eyes, asking him things, the answers to which convinced him evidently of his being really that Tom Cecial he said he was. But he was so prepossessed by what his master had said of the enchanters having changed the Knight of the Looking-Glasses into the Bachelor Sampson Carrasco, that he could not give credit to what he saw with his eyes. In short, master and man remained under this mistake; and he of the looking-glasses, with his squire, much out of humour and in ill plight, parted from Don Quixote and Sancho, to look for some convenient place where he might cerecloth himself and splinter his ribs. Don Quixote and Sancho continued their journey to Saragossa, where the history leaves them, to give an account who the Knight of the Looking-Glasses and his nosy squire were.


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