Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[443]-

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 XXXIV: Giving an Account of the Method prescribed for disenchanting the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso; which is one of the most famous Adventures of this Book.

 

Great was the pleasure the duke and duchess received from the conversation of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza; and, persisting in the design -[444]- they had of playing them some tricks which should carry the semblance and face of adventures, they took a hint from what Don Quixote had already told them of the cave of Montesinos to dress up a famous one. But what the duchess most wondered at was, that Sancho should be so very simple as to believe for certain that Dulcinea del Toboso was enchanted, he himself having been the enchanter and impostor in that business. Having instructed their servants how they were to behave, six days after they carried Don Quixote on a hunting party, with a train of hunters and huntsmen not inferior to that of a crowned head. They gave Don Quixote a hunting-suit, and Sancho another, of the finest green cloth; but Don Quixote would not put his on, saying he must shortly return to the severe exercise of arms, and that he could not carry wardrobes and sumpters about him. But Sancho took what was given him, with design to sell it the first opportunity he should have.

The expected day being come, Don Quixote armed himself, and Sancho put on his new suit and mounted Dapple, whom he would not quit, though they offered him a horse; and so he thrust himself amidst the troop of hunters. The duchess issued forth magnificently dressed, and Don Quixote, out of pure politeness and civility, held the reins of her palfrey, though the duke would not consent to it. At last they came to a wood, between two very high mountains, and posting themselves in places where the toils were to be pitched, and all the company having taken their different stands, the hunt began with a great hallooing and noise, insomuch that they could not hear one another on account of the cry of the hounds and the winding of the horns. The duchess alighted, and, with a boar-spear in her hand, took her stand in a place where she knew wild boars used to pass. The duke and Don Quixote alighted also, and placed themselves by her side. Sancho planted himself in the rear of them all, without alighting from Dapple, whom he durst not quit, lest some mischance should befall him. And scarcely were they on foot, and ranged in order, with several of their servants round them, when they perceived an enormous boar, pursued by the dogs, and followed by the hunters, making towards them, grinding his teeth and tusks, and tossing foam from his mouth. Don Quixote, seeing him, braced his shield, and laying his hand to his sword, stepped before the rest to receive him. The duke did the like, with his javelin in his hand. But the duchess would have advanced before them, if the duke had not prevented her. Only Sancho, at sight of the fierce animal, quitted Dapple, and ran the best he could, and endeavoured to climb up into a tall oak, but could not; and, being got about half-way up, holding by a bough, and striving to mount to the top, he was so unfortunate and unlucky that the bough broke, and, in tumbling down, he remained in the air, suspended by a stump from the tree, without coming to the ground; and, finding himself in this situation, and that the green loose coat was tearing, and considering that, if the furious animal came that way, he should be within his reach, he began to cry out so loud, and to call for help so violently, that all who heard him and did not see him thought verily he was between the teeth of some wild beast. In short, the tusked boar was laid at his length by the points of the many boar-spears levelled at him; and Don Quixote, turning his head about at Sancho's cries, by which he knew him, saw him hanging from the oak with his head downward, and close by him Dapple, who deserted him not in his calamity. And Cid Hamete Benengeli says, he seldom saw Sancho without Dapple, -[445]- or Dapple without Sancho; such was the amity and cordial love maintained between them. Don Quixote went and disengaged Sancho, who, finding himself freed and upon the ground, began to examine the rent in the hunting-suit, and it grieved him to the soul; for he fancied he possessed in that suit an inheritance in fee-simple.

They laid the mighty boar across a sumpter-mule, and, covering it with branches of rosemary and myrtle, they carried it, as the spoils of victory, to a large field-tent, erected in the middle of the wood; where they found the tables ranged in order, and dinner set out so sumptuous and grand, that it easily discovered the greatness and magnificence of the donor. Sancho, showing the wounds of his torn garment to the duchess, said, "Had this been a hare-hunting, or a fowling for small birds, my coat had been safe from the extremity it is now in; I do not understand what pleasure there can be in waiting for a beast, who, if he reaches you with a tusk, may cost you your life. I remember to have heard an old ballad sung to this purpose:

' May Fabila's sad doom be thine,
  And hungry bears upon thee dine.'

 "He was a Gothic king," said Don Quixote, "who, going to hunt wild beasts, was devoured by a bear." — "What I say," answered Sancho, "is, that I would not have princes and kings run themselves into such dangers, merely for their pleasure; which methinks ought not to be so, since it consists in killing a creature that has not committed any fault." — "You are mistaking, Sancho; it is quite otherwise," answered the duke: "for, the exercise of hunting wild beasts is the most proper and necessary for kings and princes of any whatever. Hunting is an image of war: in it there are stratagems, artifices, and ambuscades to overcome your enemy without hazard to your person; in it you endure pinching cold and intolerable heat; idleness and sleep are contemned; natural vigour is corroborated, and the members of the body more active: in short, it is an exercise which may be used without prejudice to anybody, and with pleasure to many; and the best of it is, that it is not for all people, as are all other country sports, excepting hawking, which is also peculiar to kings and great persons. And therefore, Sancho, change your opinion, and, when you are a governor, exercise yourself in hunting, and you will find your account in it." — "Not so," answered Sancho;" the good governor, and the broken leg, should keep at home. It would be fine indeed for people to come fatigued about business to seek him, while he is in the mountains following his recreations; at that rate the government might go to wreck. In good truth, Sir, hunting and pastimes are rather for your idle companions than for governors. What I design to divert myself with shall be playing at brag at Easter, and at bowls on Sundays and holidays; as for your huntings, they befit not my condition, nor agree with my conscience." — "God grant you prove as good as you say! but saying and doing are at a wide distance," answered the duke. "Be it so," replied Sancho: "The good paymaster is in pain for no fawn; and God's help is better than rising early; and The belly carries the legs, and not the legs the belly; I mean, that, with the help of God and a good intention, I shall govern better than a goss-hawk. Ay, ay, let them put their finger in my mouth, and they shall see whether I can bite or no."  — "The curse of God and of all his saints light on thee, accursed Sancho!" said Don Quixote;" when will the day come, as I have often said, that I -[446]- shall hear thee utter one current and coherent sentence without proverbs? I beseech your grandeurs, let this blockhead alone; he will grind your souls to death, not between two but between two thousand proverbs, introduced as much to the purpose and as well-timed as I wish God may grant him health, or me if I desire to hear them." — "Sancho Panza's proverbs," said the duchess, "though they exceed in number those of the Greek commentator,(178) yet they are not to be less valued for the brevity of the sentences. For my own part, I must own, they give me more pleasure than any others, though better timed and better applied."

With these entertaining discourses they left the tent, and went into the wood, to visit the toils and nets. The day was soon spent, and night came on not so clear nor so calm as the season of the year, which was the midst of summer, required, but a kind of clair-obscure, which contributed very much to help forward the duke and duchess's design. Now, night coming on, soon after the twilight, on a sudden the wood seemed on fire from ail the four quarters; and presently were heard, on all sides, an infinite number of cornets and other instruments of war, as if a great body of horse was passing through the wood. The blaze of the fire, and the sound of the warlike instruments, almost blinded and stunned the eyes and ears of the by-standers, and even of all that were in the wood. Presently were heard infinite Lelilies,(179) after the Moorish fashion, when they are just going to join battle. Trumpets and clarions sounded, drums beat, fifes played, almost all at once, so fast and without any intermission, that he must have had no sense, who had not lost it at the confused din of so many instruments. The duke was in astonishment, the duchess in a fright, Don Quixote in amaze, and Sancho Panza in a fit of trembling; in short, even they who were in the secret were terrified, and consternation held them all in silence. A post-boy, habited like a devil, passed before them, winding, instead of a cornet, a monstrous hollow horn, which yielded a hoarse and horrible sound. "So ho, brother courier," said the duke, "who are you? Whither go you? And what soldiers are those who seem to be crossing this wood?" To which the courier answered in a hoarse and dreadful voice: "I am the devil, and am going in quest of Don Quixote de la Mancha! the people you inquire about are six troops of enchanters, who are conducting the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso in a triumphal chariot! she comes enchanted, with the gallant Frenchman Montesinos, to inform Don Quixote how that same lady is to be disenchanted." — "If you were the devil, as you say, and as your figure denotes you to be," replied Don Quixote, "you would before now have known that same knight, Don Quixote de la Mancha, who stands here before you." — "Before God, and upon my conscience," replied the devil, "I did not see him; for my thoughts are distracted about so many things, that I forgot the principal business I came about." — "Doubtless," quoth Sancho, "this devil must needs be a very honest fellow, and a good Christian; else he would not have sworn by God and his conscience; now, for my part, I verily believe there are some good folks in hell itself." Then the devil, without alighting, directing his eyes to Don Quixote, said, "To you, Knight of the Lions (and may I see you between their paws), the unfortunate but valiant knight Montesinos sends me, commanding me to tell you from him to wait for him in the very place I meet you in; for he brings with him her whom they call Dulcinea del Toboso, in order to instruct you how you may disenchant her; and this being all I came for, I must stay no longer. Devils like me -[447]- be with you, and good angels with this lord and lady." And so saying, he blew his monstrous horn, and turned his back, and away he went without staying for an answer from anybody. Everyone again wondered, especially Sancho and Don Quixote; Sancho, to see how, in spite of truth, Dulcinea must be enchanted; and Don Quixote, for not being sure of the truth of what had happened to him in Montesinos' cave. While he stood wrapped up in these cogitations, the duke said to him, "Does your worship, Signor Don Quixote, design to wait here?" — "Why not?" answered he;" here will I wait, intrepid and courageous, though all hell should come to assault me." — "Now, for my part," quoth Sancho, "I will no more stay here to see another devil and hear another such horn than I would in Flanders."

The night now grew darker, and numberless lights began to run about the wood, like those dry exhalations from the earth, which, glancing along the sky, seem to our sight as shooting stars. There was heard likewise a dreadful noise, like that caused by the ponderous wheels of an ox-waggon, from whose harsh and continued creaking, it is said, wolves and bears fly away, if there chance to be any within hearing. To all this confusion was added another, which augmented the whole; which was, that it seemed as if there were four engagements, or battles, at the four quarters of the wood, all at once: for here sounded the dreadful noise of artillery; there were discharged infinite volleys of small shot; the shouts of the combatants seemed to be near at hand; the Moorish Lelilνes were heard at a distance. In short, the cornets, horns, clarions, trumpets, drums, cannon, muskets, and above all, the frightful creaking of the waggons, formed all together so confused and horrid a din, that Don Quixote had need of all his courage to be able to bear it. But Sancho's quite failed him, and he fell down in a swoon upon the train of the duchess's robe, who presently ordered cold water to be thrown in his face; which being done, he recovered his senses at the instant one of the creaking waggons arrived at that stand. It was drawn by four lazy oxen, all covered with black palls, and a large burning torch of wax fastened to each horn. At the top of the waggon was fixed an exalted seat, on which sat a venerable old man with a beard whiter than snow itself, and so long that it reached below his girdle. His vestment was a long gown of black buckram; for the waggon was so illuminated that one might easily discern and distinguish whatever was in it. The drivers were two ugly devils, habited in the same buckram, and of such hideous aspect that Sancho, having once seen them, shut his eyes close, that he might not see them a second time. The waggon being now come close up to the place, the venerable sire raised himself from his lofty seat, and standing upon his feet, with a loud voice he said, "I am the sage Lirgandeo;" and the waggon went forward without his speaking another word. After this there passed another waggon in the same manner, with another old man enthroned; who, making the waggon stop, with a voice, as solemn as the other's, said, "I am the sage Alquife, the great friend to Urganda the Unknown;" and passed on. Then advanced another waggon with the same pace; but he who was seated on the throne was not an old man like the two former, but a robust and ill-favoured fellow, who, when he came near, standing up as the rest had done, said, with a voice more hoarse and more diabolical, "I am Arcalaus the enchanter, mortal enemy of Amadis de Gaul and all his kindred;" and on he went. These three waggons halted at a little distance, and the irksome jarring noise of their wheels ceased; and presently was heard another, but not noisy sound, -[448]- composed of sweet and regular music; at which Sancho was much rejoiced, and took it for a good sign; and therefore he said to the duchess, from whom he had not stirred an inch, "Where there is music, Madam, there can be no harm." — "Nor where there are lights and brightness," answered the duchess. To which Sancho replied, "The fire may give light, and bonfires may be bright, as we see by those that surround us, and yet we may very easily be burned by them; but music is always a sign of feasting and merriment." — "That we shall see presently," said Don Quixote, who listened to all that was said; and he said right, as is shown in the following chapter.

 

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