Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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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 XL: Of matters relating and appertaining to this Adventure, and to this memorable History.


In reality and truth, all who delight in such histories as this ought to be thankful to its original author, Cid Hamete, for his curious exactness in recording the minutest circumstances of it, without omitting anything how trifling soever, but bringing everything distinctly to light. He paints thoughts, discovers imaginations, answers the silent, clears up doubts, resolves arguments; and, lastly, manifests the least atoms of the most inquisitive desire. O most celebrated author! O happy Don Quixote! O famous Dulcinea! O facetious Sancho Panza! Live each jointly and severally infinite ages, for the general pleasure and pastime of the living;

Now the story says, that, when Sancho saw the Afflicted faint away, he said: "Upon the faith of an honest man, and by the blood of all my ancestors, the Panzas, I swear I never heard, nor saw, nor has my master ever told me, nor did such an adventure as this ever enter into his thoughts. A thousand devils take thee (I would not curse anybody) for an enchanter and a giant, Malambruno! couldest thou find no other kind of punishment to inflict upon these sinners, but that of bearding them? Had it not been better (I am sure it had been better for them) to have whipped off half their noses, though they had snuffed for it, than to have clapped them on beards? I will lay a wager, they have not wherewith to pay for shaving." — "That is true, Sir," answered one of the twelve;" we have not -[463]- wherewithal to keep ourselves clean; and therefore, to shift as well we can, some of us use sticking plasters of pitch; which, being applied to the face, and pulled off with a jerk, we remain as sleek and smooth as the bottom of a stone mortar; for, though there are women in Candaya who go from house to house, to take off the hair of the body, and shape the eyebrows, and other jobs pertaining to women, we, who are my lady's duennas, would never have anything to do with them; for most of them smell of the procuress, having ceased to be otherwise serviceable; and if we are not relieved by Signor Don Quixote, with beards shall we be carried to our graves." — "Mine," cried Don Quixote, "shall be plucked off in the country of the Moors rather than not free you from yours."

By this time Trifaldi was come to herself, and said: "The murmuring sound of that promise, valorous knight, in the midst of my swoon, reached my ears, and was the occasion of my coming out of it, and recovering my senses; and so once again I beseech you, illustrious errant and invincible Sir, that your gracious promises may be converted into deeds." — "It shall not rest at me," answered Don Quixote;" inform me, Madam, what it is I am to do; for my inclination is fully disposed to serve you." — "The case is," answered the Afflicted, "that, from hence to the kingdom of Candaya, if you go by land, it is five thousand leagues, one or two more or less; but, if you go through the air in a direct line, it is three thousand two hundred and twenty-seven. You must know also, that Malambruno told me, when fortune should furnish me with the knight our deliverer, he would send him a steed, much better, and with fewer vicious tricks, than a post-horse returned to his stage; for it is to be that very wooden horse upon which the valiant Peter of Provence carried off the fair Magalona. This horse is governed by a pin he has in his forehead, which serves for a bridle; and he flies through the air with such swiftness that one would think the devil himself carried him. This same horse, according to ancient tradition, was the workmanship of the sage Merlin, who lent him to Peter, who was his friend; upon which he took great journeys, and stole, as has been said, the fair Magalona, carrying her behind him through the air, and leaving all that beheld him from the earth staring and astonished; and he lent him to none but particular friends, or such as paid him a handsome price. Since the grand Peter to this time we know of nobody that has been upon his back. Malambruno procured him by his art, and keeps him in his power, making use of him in the journeys he often takes through divers parts of the world; to-day he is here, to-morrow in France, and the next day in Potosi; and the best of it is, that this same horse neither eats nor sleeps, nor wants any shoeing, and ambles such a pace through the air, without wings, that his rider may carry a dishful of water in his hand, without spilling a drop, he travels so smooth and easy; which made the fair Magalona take great delight in riding him."

To this Sancho said: "For smooth and easy goings commend me to my Dapple, though he goes not through the air; but, by land, I will match him against all the amblers in the world." This made the company laugh, and the Afflicted proceeded: "Now this horse, if Malambruno intends to put an end to our misfortune, will be here with us within half an hour after it is dark; for he told me, that the sign by which I should be assured of having found that knight I sought after should be the sending me the horse to the place where the knight was, with conveniency and speed." — "And pray," quoth Sancho, "how many can ride upon this same horse?" -[464]- "Two persons," answered the Afflicted;" one in the saddle, and the other behind on the crupper; and generally, these two persons are the knight and his squire, when there is no stolen damsel in the case." — "I should be glad to know too, Madam Afflicted," quoth Sancho, "what this horse's name is." — "His name," answered the Afflicted, "is not Pegasus, as was that of Bellerophon; nor Bucephalus, as was that of Alexander the Great; nor Brigliador, as was that of Orlando Furioso; nor is it Bayarte, which belonged to Reynaldos of Montalvan; nor Frontino, which was Rogero's: nor is it Boφtes, nor Pyrithous, as they say the horses of the sun are called; neither is he called Orelia, the horse which the unfortunate Roderigo, the last king of the Goths in Spain, mounted in that battle wherein he lost his kingdom and life." — "I will venture a wager," quoth Sancho, "since they have given him none of those famous and well-known names, neither have they given him that of my master's horse Rozinante, which in propriety exceeds all that have been hitherto named." — "True," answered the bearded countess; "but still it suits him well; for he is called Clavileno the Winged; which name answers to his being of wood, to the peg in his forehead, and to the swiftness of his motion; so that, in respect of his name, he may very well come in competition with the renowned Rozinante." — "I dislike not the name," replied Sancho;" but with what bridle, or with what halter is he guided?" — "I have already told you," answered the Trifaldi, "that he is guided by a peg, by which the rider, turning it this way or that, makes him go either aloft in the air, or else sweeping, and, as it were, brushing the earth; or in the middle region, which is what is generally aimed at, and is to be kept to in all well-ordered actions."

"I have a great desire to see him," answered Sancho;" but to thinks that I will get upon him, either in the saddle or behind upon the crupper is to look for pears upon an elm tree. It were a good jest, indeed, for me, who can hardly sit my own Dapple, though upon a pannel softer than very silk, to think now of getting upon a crupper of boards, without either pillow or cushion; in faith, I do not intend to flay myself, to take off anybody's beard: let everyone shave as he likes best; I shall not bear my master company in so long a journey; besides, I am out of the question; for I can be of no service towards the shaving these beards, as I am for the disenchanting of my Lady Dulcinea." — "Indeed, but you can, friend," answered the Trifaldi; "and of so much service, that, without you, as I take it, we are likely to do nothing at all." — "In the king's name," quoth Sancho, "what have squires to do with their masters' adventures? Must they run away with the fame of those they accomplish, and must we undergo the fatigue? Body of me! did the historians but say: Such a knight achieved such and such an adventure, with the help of such a one, his squire, without whom it had been impossible for him to finish it, it were something; but you shall have them drily write thus: 'Don Paralipomenon of the Three Stars achieved the adventure of the six goblins;' without naming his squire, who was present all the while, as if there had been no such person in the world. I say again, good my lord and lady, my master may go by himself, and much good may it do him: for I will stay here by my lady duchess; and, perhaps, when he comes back, he may find Madam Dulcinea's business pretty forward; for I intend, at idle and leisure whiles, to give myself such a whipping-bout, that not a hair shall interpose." -[465]- "For all that, honest Sancho," said the duchess, "you must bear him company, if need be, and that at the request of good people; for it would be a great pity the faces of these ladies should remain thus bushy through your needless fears." — "In the king's name once more," replied Sancho, "were this piece of charity undertaken for modest sober damsels, or for poor innocent hospital-girls, a man might venture upon some painstaking; but to endure it to rid duennas of their beards, with a murrain to them! I had rather see them all bearded, from the highest to the lowest, and from the nicest to the most slatternly." — "You are upon very bad terms with the duennas, friend Sancho," replied the duchess, "and are much of the Toledan apothecary's mind; but in troth you are in the wrong; for I have duennas in my family fit to be patterns to all duennas; and here stands Donna Rodriguez, who will not contradict me." — "Your excellency may say what you please," replied Rodriguez; for God knows the truth of everything; and, good or bad, bearded or smooth, such as we are, our mothers brought us forth, like other women; and since God cast us into the world, he knows for what; and I rely upon his mercy, and not upon anybody's beard whatever."

"Enough, Mistress Rodriguez," said Don Quixote;" and, Madam Trifaldi and company, I trust in God that he will look upon your distresses with an eye of goodness; and as for Sancho, he shall do what I command him. I wish Clavileno were once come, and that Malambruno and I were at it; for I am confident no razor would more easily shave your ladyships' beards than my sword shall shave off Malambruno's head from his shoulders: for, though God permits the wicked to prosper, it is but for a time." — "Ah!" said the Afflicted, at this juncture, "valorous knight, may all the stars of the celestial regions behold your worship with eyes of benignity, and infuse into your heart all prosperity and courage, to be the shield and refuge of our reviled and dejected order, abominated by apothecaries, murmured at by squires, and scoffed at by pages! Ill betide the wretch, who, in the flower of her age, does rather profess herself a nun than a duenna! Unfortunate duennas! though we were descended in a direct male line from Hector of Troy, our mistresses will never forbear thouing us, were they to be made queens for it. O giant Malambruno, who, though thou art an enchanter, art very punctual in thy promises, send us now the incomparable Clavileno, that our misfortune may have an end! for, if the heats come on, and these beards of ours continue, woe be to us!" The Trifaldi uttered this with so deep a concern, that she drew tears from the eyes of all the by-standers, and even made Sancho's overflow; and he purposed in his heart to accompany his master to the farthest part of the world, if the clearing of those venerable faces of their wool depended on that.


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