Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[423]-

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 XXX: Of what befell Don Quixote with a fair Huntress.

 

The knight and squire arrived at their castle sufficiently melancholy and out of humour; especially Sancho, who was grieved to the very soul to touch the capital of the money, all that was taken from thence seeming to him to be so much taken from the very apples of his eyes. At length they mounted without exchanging a word, and quitted the famous river; Don Quixote buried in the thoughts of his love, and Sancho in those of his preferment, which he thought, for the present, far enough off; for, as much a blockhead as he was, he saw well enough that most, or all, of his master's actions were extravagances, and waited for an opportunity, without coming to accounts or discharges, to walk off some day or other, and march home; but fortune ordered matters quite contrary to what he feared.

It fell out then, that the next day, about sunset, going out of a wood, Don Quixote cast his eyes over a green meadow, and saw people at the farther side of it; and drawing near, he found they were persons taking -[424]- the diversion of hawking. Drawing yet nearer, he observed among them a gallant lady upon a palfrey, or milk-white pad, with green furniture, and a side-saddle of cloth of silver. The lady herself also was arrayed in green, and her attire so full of fancy, and so rich, that fancy herself seemed transformed into her. On her left hand she carried a hawk; from whence Don Quixote conjectured, she must be a lady of great quality, and mistress of all those sportsmen about her, as in truth she was; and so he said to Sancho: "Run, son Sancho, and tell that lady of the palfrey and the hawk, that I, the Knight of the Lions, kiss the hands of her great beauty, and, if her highness gives me leave, I will wait upon her to kiss them, and to serve her to the utmost of my power, in whatever her highness shall command; and take heed, Sancho, how you speak, and have a care not to interlard your embassy with any of your proverbs." "You have hit upon the interlarder," quoth Sancho: "why this to me? As if this were the first time I had carried a message to high and mighty ladies in my life." "Excepting that to the Lady Dulcinea," replied Don Quixote, "I know of none you have carried, at least none from me." "That is true," answered Sancho; "but a good paymaster needs no surety; and where there is plenty, dinner is not long a-dressing: I mean, there is no need of advising me; for I am prepared for all, and have a smattering of everything." "I believe it, Sancho," replied Don Quixote;" go in a good hour, and God be your guide!"

Sancho went off at a round rate, forcing Dapple out of his usual pace, and came where the fair huntress was; and, alighting and kneeling before her, he said: "Beauteous lady, that knight yonder, called the Knight of the Lions, is my master, and I am his squire, called at home Sancho Panza. This same Knight of the Lions, who, not long ago, was called he of the Sorrowful Figure, sends by me to desire your grandeur would be pleased to give leave, that, with your liking, goodwill, and consent, he may approach and accomplish his wishes, which, as he says, and I believe, are no other, than to serve your high-towering falconry and beauty; which, if your ladyship grant him, you will do a thing that will redound to your grandeur's advantage, and he will receive a most signal favour and satisfaction."

 "Truly, good squire," answered the lady, "you have delivered your message with all the circumstances which such embassies require: rise up; for it is not fit the squire of so renowned a knight as he of the Sorrowful Figure, of whom we have already heard a great deal in these parts, should remain upon his knees; rise, friend, and tell your master he may come and welcome; for I and the duke, my husband, are at his service in a country-seat we have here hard by." Sancho rose up, in admiration as well at the good lady's beauty as at her great breeding and courtesy, and especially at what she had said, that she had some knowledge of his master, the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure; and, if she did not call him the Knight of the Lions, he concluded it was because he had assumed it so very lately. The duchess, whose title is not yet known, said to him: "Tell me, Brother Squire, is not this master of yours the person of whom there goes about a history in print, called, 'The ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha, who has for Mistress of his Affections one Dulcinea del Toboso?' " "The very same," answered Sancho; "and that squire of his, who is, or ought to be, in that same history, called Sancho Panza, am I, unless I was changed in the cradle, I mean in the press." "I am very -[425]- glad of all this," said the duchess: "go, brother Panza, and tell your master he is heartily welcome to my estates, and that nothing could happen to me which could give me greater pleasure." With this agreeable answer, Sancho, infinitely delighted, returned to his master, to whom he recounted all that the great lady had said to him, extolling, in his rustic phrase, her beauty, her good-humour, and her courtesy to the skies. Don Quixote, putting on his best airs, seated himself handsomely in his saddle, adjusted his visor, enlivened Rozinante's mettle, and with a genteel assurance advanced to kiss the duchess's hand; who, having caused the duke, her husband, to be called, had been telling him, while Don Quixote was coming up, the purport of Sancho's message; and they both, having read the first part of this history, and having learned by it the extravagant humour of Don Quixote, waited for him with the greatest pleasure and desire to be acquainted with him, for the purpose of carrying on the humour, and giving him his own way, treating him like a knight-errant all the while he should stay with them, with all the ceremonies usual in books of chivalry, which they had read, and were also very fond of.

By this time Don Quixote was arrived, with his beaver up; and making a show of alighting, Sancho was hastening to hold his stirrup, but was so unlucky, that, in. getting off from Dapple, his foot hung in one of the rope stirrups, in such manner, that it was impossible for him to disentangle himself: but he hung by it with his face and breast on the ground. Don Quixote, who was not used to alight without having his stirrup held, thinking Sancho was come to do his office, threw his body off with a swing, and carrying with him Rozinante's saddle, which was ill-girted, both he and his saddle came to the ground, to his no-small shame, and many a heavy curse muttered between his teeth on the unfortunate Sancho, who still had his legs in the stocks. The duke commanded some of his sportsmen to help the knight and squire, who raised up Don Quixote in ill plight through this fall; and limping, and as well as he could, he made shift to go and kneel before the lord and lady. But the duke would by no means suffer it: on the contrary, alighting from his horse, he went and embraced Don Quixote, saying, "I am very sorry, Sir Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, that your first arrival at my estate should prove so unlucky; but the carelessness of squires is often the occasion of worse mischances." "It could not be accounted unlucky, O valorous prince," answered Don Quixote, "though I had met with no stop till I had fallen to the bottom of the deep abyss, for the glory of having seen your highness would have raised me even from thence. My squire, God's curse light on him, is better at letting loose his tongue to say unlucky things, than at fastening a saddle to make it sit firm; but, whether down or up, on foot or on horseback, I shall always be at your highness's service, and at my Lady Duchess's, your worthy consort, and worthy mistress of all beauty, and universal princess of courtesy." "Softly, dear Signor Don Quixote de la Mancha," said the duke;" for where Lady Donna Dulcinea del Toboso is, it is not reasonable other beauties should be praised."

Sancho Panza was now got free from the noose; and happening to be near, before his master could answer, he said, "It cannot be denied, but must be affirmed, that my lady Dulcinea del Toboso is very beautiful; but where we are least aware, there starts the hare. I have heard say, that what they call nature is like a potter who makes earthen vessels, and he who makes one handsome vessel may also make two, and three, and a -[426]- hundred. This I say, because, on my faith, my lady the duchess comes not a whit behind my mistress the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso." Don Quixote turned himself to the duchess, and said, "I assure you, Madam, never any knight-errant in the world had a more prating nor a more merry-conceited squire than I have; and he will make my words good, if your highness is pleased to make use of my service for some days." To which the duchess answered, "I am glad to hear that honest Sancho is pleasant; it is a sign he is discreet; for pleasantry and good humour, Signor Don Quixote, as your worship well knows, dwell not in dull noddles; and since Sancho is pleasant and witty, from henceforward I pronounce him discreet." "And a prate-apace," added Don Quixote. "So much the better," said the duchess;" for many good things cannot be expressed in few words, and, that we may not throw away all our time upon them, come on, great Knight of the Sorrowful Figure." "Of the Lions, your highness should say," quoth Sancho; "the Sorrowful Figure is no more." "Of the Lions then let it be," continued the duke;" I say come on, Sir Knight of the Lions, to a castle of mine hard by, where you shall be received in a manner suitable to a person of so elevated a rank, and as the duchess and I are wont to receive all knights-errant who come to it."

By this time Sancho had adjusted and well girted Rozinante's saddle; and Don Quixote mounting upon him, and the duke upon a very fine horse, they placed the duchess in the middle, and rode towards the castle. The duchess ordered Sancho to be near her, being mightily delighted with his conceits. Sancho was easily prevailed upon, and winding himself in among the three, made a fourth in the conversation, to the great satisfaction of the duke and duchess, who looked upon it as a notable piece of good fortune to entertain in their castle such a knight-errant and such an erred squire.

 

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