Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis
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 XLI: Of the Arrival of Clavileno,(181) with the Conclusion of this prolix Adventure.
In the meanwhile night came on, and with it the point of time fixed for the arrival of the famous horse Clavileno; whose stay perplexed Don Quixote very much; thinking that, since Malambruno delayed sending -- him, either he was not the knight for whom this adventure was reserved, or Malambruno durst not encounter him in single combat. But, behold, on a sudden four savages entered the garden, all clad in green ivy, and bearing on their shoulders a large wooden horse. They set him upon his legs on the ground, and one of the savages said: "Let him, who has courage to do it, mount this machine." — "Not I," quoth Sancho; "for neither have I courage, nor am I a knight," and the savage proceeded: "And let the squire, if he has one, get up behind, and trust the valorous Malambruno; for no other body's sword or malice shall hurt him; and there is no more to do but to screw the pin he has in his forehead, and he will bear them through the air to the place where Malambruno expects them: but, lest the height and sublimity of the way should make their heads swim, their eyes must be covered till the horse neighs, which is to be the signal of his being arrived at his journey's end." This said, leaving Clavileno, with courteous demeanour, they returned by the way they came.
As soon as the Afflicted espied the horse, almost with tears, she said to Don Quixote: "Valorous knight, Malambruno has kept his word; here is the horse; our beards are increasing, and everyone of us, with every hair of them, beseech you to shave and shear us, since there is no more for you to do, but to mount, with your squire behind you, and so give a happy beginning in your new journey." — "That I will, with all my heart, and most willingly, Madam Trifaldi," said Don Quixote, "without staying to procure a cushion, or put on my spurs, to avoid delay; so great is the desire I have to see your ladyship and all these duennas shaven and clean." — "That will not I," quoth Sancho, "with a bad will or a good will, or anywise; and, if this shaving cannot be performed without my riding behind, let my master seek some other squire to bear him company, and these madams some other way of smoothing their faces; for I am no wizard to delight in travelling through the air: besides, what will my islanders say, when they hear that their governor is taking the air upon the wings of the wind? And another thing: it being three thousand leagues from hence to Candaya, if the horse should tire, or the giant be out of humour, we shall be half-a-dozen years in coming back, and by that time I shall have neither island nor islanders in the world that will know me; and, since it is a common saying, that, the danger lies in the delay; and, when they give you a heifer, make haste with the halter; these gentlewomen's beards must excuse me: Saint Peter is well at Rome; I mean, that I am very well in this house, where they make much of me, and from the master of which I expect so great a benefit as to be made a governor." To which the duke said: "Friend Sancho, the island I have promised you is not a floating one, nor will it run away: it is so fast rooted in the abyss of the earth, that it cannot be plucked up, nor stirred from the place where it is, at three pulls; and since you know there is no kind of office of any considerable value, but is procured by some kind of bribe, more or less, what I expect for this government, is that you go with your master Don Quixote, to accomplish and put an end to this memorable adventure; and, whether you return upon Clavileno with the expedition his speed promises, or the contrary fortune betides you, and you come back on foot, turned pilgrim from house to house, and from inn to inn, return when you will, you will find your island where you left it, and your islanders with the same desire to receive you for their governor; and my good will shall always be the same; and to doubt this truth, Signor Sancho, would be -- doing a notorious injury to the inclination I have to serve you." — "No more, good Sir," quoth Sancho; "I am a poor squire, and cannot carry so much courtesy upon my back; let my master get up; let these eyes of mine be hoodwinked, and commend me to God; and, pray tell me, when we are in our altitudes, may I not pray to God, and invoke the angels to protect me?" To which the Trifaldi answered: "You may pray to God, Sancho, or to whom you will; for, though Malambruno be an enchanter, he is a Christian, and performs his enchantments with much sagacity, great precaution, and without disturbing anybody." — "Come on then," quoth Sancho; "God and the most holy Trinity of Gaeta(182) help me!" — "Since the memorable adventure of the fulling-mills," said Don Quixote, "I never saw Sancho in so much fear as now; and, were I as superstitious as other people, his pusillanimity would a little discourage me: but come hither, Sancho; for with the leave of these noble persons, I would have a word or two with you in private."
Then going aside with Sancho among some trees in the garden, and taking held of both his hands, he said to him: "You see, brother Sancho, the long journey we are going to undertake, and God knows when we shall return, or what convenience and leisure business will afford us; and therefore my desire is, that you retire to your chamber, as if to fetch something necessary for the road, and in a twinkling, give yourself if it be but five hundred lashes, in part of the three thousand and three hundred you stand engaged for; for well begun is half ended." — "Before God, "quoth Sancho, "your worship is stark mad; this is just the saying: 'You see I am in haste, and you charge me with a maidenhead;' now that I am just going to sit down upon a bare board, would you have me gall— ? Verily, verily, your worship is in the wrong; let us now go and trim these duennas, and, at my return, I promise you I will make such despatch to get out of debt, that your worship shall be contented; and I say no more." Don Quixote answered: "With this promise then, honest Sancho, I am somewhat comforted, and believe you will perform it; for, though you are not over-wise, you are true-blue." — "I am not blue, but brown," quoth Sancho; "but, though I were a mixture of both, I would make good my promise."
Upon this they came back, in order to mount Clavileno; and, at getting up, Don Quixote said: "Sancho, hoodwink yourself, and get up; for whoever he be that sends for us from countries so remote, he cannot surely intend to deceive us, considering the little glory he will get by deceiving those who confide in him; but, suppose the very reverse of what we imagine should happen, no malice can obscure the glory of having attempted the exploit." — "Let us be gone, Sir," quoth Sancho; "for the beards and tears of these ladies have pierced my heart, and I shall not eat a bit to do me good till I see them restored to their former smoothness. Mount you, Sir, and hoodwink first; for, if I am to ride behind, it is plain that he who is to be in the saddle, must get up first." — "That is true," replied Don Quixote; and pulling a handkerchief out of his pocket, he desired the Afflicted to cover his eyes close; which, being done, he uncovered them again, and said: "If I remember right, I have read in Virgil that story of the Palladium of Troy, which was a wooden horse, dedicated by the Greeks to the goddess Pallas, and filled with armed knights, who afterwards proved the final destruction of Troy; and therefore it will not be amiss to see first what Clavileno has in his belly." — "There is no need of that," said the Afflicted;" for I am confident that Malambruno has -- nothing of the trickster or traitor in him; your worship, Signor Don Quixote, may mount without fear, and upon me be it if any harm happens to you." Don Quixote considered, that to talk any more of his security would be a reflection upon his courage; and so, without farther contest, he mounted Clavileno, and tried the pin, which screwed about very easily; and having no stirrups, and his legs dangling down, he looked like a figure, in a Roman triumph, painted or woven in some antique piece of Flemish tapestry.
By little and little, and much against his will, Sancho got up behind, adjusting himself the best he could upon the crupper; which he found not over soft, and begged the duke, if it were possible, to accommodate him with some pillow or cushion, though it were from the duchess's state sofa, or from one of the pages' beds; the horse's crupper seeming rather to be of marble than of wood. To this the Trifaldi replied, that Clavileno would not endure any kind of furniture upon him; but that he might sit sideways like a woman, and then he would not be so sensible of the hardness. Sancho did so, and, bidding adieu, he suffered his eyes to be blindfolded. But soon putting by the bandage, and looking sorrowfully and with tears upon all the folks in the garden, he begged them to assist him, in that danger, with two paternosters, and as many Ave Maries as they wished God might might provide somebody to do the like good office for them in the like extremity. To which Don Quixote said: "Thief! are you upon the gallows, or at the last gasp, that you have recourse to such doleful prayers? Are you not, poor-spirited and dastardly creature, in the same place which the fair Magalona occupied, and from which she descended, not to the grave, but to be Queen of France, if histories lie not? And I, who sit by you, may I not vie with the valorous Peter, who pressed this very seat that I now press? Cover, cover your eyes, heartless animal, and suffer not your fear to escape out of your mouth, at least in my presence." — "Hoodwink me, then," answered Sancho, "and since you have no mind I should commend myself to God, nor that others do it for me, what wonder is it that I am afraid, lest some legion of devils may be lurking hereabouts, to hang us first, and try us afterwards?"
They were now hoodwinked, and Don Quixote, perceiving he was fixed as he should be, began to turn the peg; and scarcely had he put his fingers to it, when all the duennas and the standers-by lifted up their voices, saying: "God be your guide, valorous knight! God be with you, intrepid squire! now, now, you mount into the air, breaking it with more swiftness than an arrow: now you begin to surprise and astonish all who behold you upon the earth; sit fast, valorous Sancho, for you totter; beware, lest you fall; for your fall will be worse than that of the daring youth who aspired to rule the chariot of his father, the Sun." Sancho heard the voices, and nestling closer to his master, and embracing him with his arms, said: "How can they say, Sir, we are got so high, when their voices reach us, ard they seem to be talking here hard by us?" — "Never mind that, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "for as these matters and these flights are out of the ordinary course, you may see and hear anything a thousand leagues on, but do not squeeze me so hard; for you will tumble me down; and, to say the truth, I do not see why you are so disturbed and frightened; for I can safely swear I never was upon the back of an easier-paced steed in all the days of my life; methinks we do not so much as stir from our place. Banish fear, friend; for in short, the business goes as it should, and we -- have the wind in our poop." — "That is true," answered Sancho; "for on this side, the wind blows so strong, that a thousand pair of bellows seem to be fanning me." And indeed it was so; for they were airing him with several huge pairs of bellows; and so well was this adventure concerted by the duke, the duchess, and the steward, that nothing was wanting to make it complete. Don Quixote now, feeling the wind, said: "Without all doubt, Sancho, we must by this time have reached the second region of the air, where the hail and snows are formed; thunder and lightning are engendered in the third region; and, if we go on mounting at this rate, we shall soon reach the region of fire; and I know not how to manage this peg so as not to mount where we shall be scorched."
While they were thus discoursing, some flax, set on fire at the end of a long cane, at some distance, began to warm their faces. Sancho, feeling the heat, said: "May I be hanged, if we are not already at that same fire place, or very near it; for it has singed a great part of my beard; and, Sir, I am just going to peep out and see whereabouts we are." — "By no means," answered Don Quixote; "remember the true story of the licentiate Torralva, whom the devils carried through the air, riding on a cane, with his eyes shut; and in twelve hours he arrived at Rome, and alighted on the tower of Nona, which is a street of that city, and saw all the tumult, assault, and death of the Constable of Bourbon; and the next morning he returned to Madrid, where he gave an account of all he had seen. He said likewise, that, during his passage through the air, the devil bid him open his eyes; and so he did, and found himself, to his thinking, so near the body of the moon, that he could have laid hold of it with his hand; and that he durst not look down towards the earth for fear of being giddy. So that, Sancho, we must not uncover our faces; for he, who has taken upon him the charge of us, will give an account of us; and perhaps we are now making a point, and soaring aloft to a certain height, to come souse down upon the kingdom of Candaya, like a hawk upon a heron. And though to us it does not seem more than half an hour since we left the garden, believe me we must have made a great deal of way." — "I know nothing as to that," answered Sancho Panza;" I can only say, that if Madam Magallanes, or Magalona, was contented to ride upon this crupper, her flesh must not have been of the tenderest."
All this discourse of the two heroes was overheard by the duke and duchess and all that were in the garden; with which they were extremely delighted; and being now willing to put an end to this strange and well-concerted adventure, they clapped some lighted flax to Clavileno's tail; and that instant he, being full of squibs and crackers, blew up with a strange noise, and threw to the ground Don Quixote and Sancho, half singed. By this time the Trifaldi, with the whole bearded squadron of duennas, were vanished, and all that remained in the garden, counterfeiting a trance, lay flat upon the ground. Don Quixote and Sancho got up in but indifferent plight, and, looking about them on all sides, were amazed to find themselves in the same garden from whence they set out, and to see such a number of folks stretched upon the ground. But their wonder was increased when, on one side of the garden, they perceived a great lance sticking in the earth, and a smooth piece of white parchment hanging to it by two green silken strings; upon which was written in large letters of gold what follows:
"The renowned Knight Don Quixote de la Mancha has finished and achieved the adventure of the Countess Trifaldi, otherwise called the -- Afflicted Matron, and company, only by attempting it. Malambruno is entirely satisfied and desires no more; the chins of the duennas are smooth and clean, and Don Clavijo and Antonomasia have recovered their pristine state; and when the squirely whipping shall be accomplished, the white dove shall be delivered from the cruel pounces of the hawks that pursue her, and shall find herself in the arms of her beloved turtle; for so it is ordained by the sage Merlin, the prince of enchanters."
Don Quixote, having read the inscription on the parchment, understood plainly that it spoke of the disenchantment of Dulcinea; and, giving abundance of thanks to Heaven for his having achieved so great an exploit with so little danger, reducing thereby the venerable faces of the duennas to their former complexion, he went where the duke and duchess lay, being not yet come to themselves; and, pulling the duke by the arm, he said: "Courage, courage, my good Lord; the adventure is over without damage to the bars, as yon register plainly shows." The duke, by little and little, like one awaking out of a sound sleep, came to himself, and in like manner the duchess and all that were in the garden, with such show of wonder and affright that what they had so well acted in jest seemed almost to themselves to have happened in earnest. The duke read the scroll with his eyes half shut, and presently, with open arms, embraced Don Quixote, assuring him he was the bravest knight that ever lived. Sancho looked up and down for the Afflicted, to see what kind of face she had now she was beardless, and whether she was as handsome without it as her gallant presence seemed to promise; but he was told that, as Clavileno came flaming down through the air and tumbled upon the ground, the whole squadron of duennas, with the Trifaldi, disappeared, and their beards vanished, roots and all.
The duchess inquired of Sancho how it faired with him in that long voyage. To which Sancho answered: "I perceived, Madam, as my master told me, that we were passing by the region of fire, and I had a mighty mind to peep a little; and though my master, whose leave I asked, would not consent to it, I, who have I know not what spice of curiosity, and a desire of knowing what is forbidden and denied me, softly, and, without being perceived by anybody, shoved up the handkerchief near my nostrils, and thence looked down towards the earth; and methought it was no bigger than a grain of mustard-seed, and the men that walked upon it little bigger than hazel-nuts: judge you, Madam, how high we must have been then." To this answered the duchess: "Take care, friend Sancha, what you say; for it is plain you saw not the earth, but the men only that walked upon it; for, if the earth appeared but like a grain of mustard-seed, and each man like a hazel-nut, one man alone must needs cover the whole earth." — "That is true," quoth Sancho, "but, for all that, I had a side view of it, and saw it all." — "Take heed, Sancho," said the duchess; "for by a side view, one does not see the whole of what one looks at." — "I do not understand these kind of views," replied Sancho; "I only know, it is fit your ladyship should understand, that since we flew by enchantment, by enchantment I might see the whole earth, and all the men whichever way I looked; and if you do not believe this, neither will your ladyship believe me when I tell you that, thrusting up the kerchief close to my eyebrows, I found myself so near to Heaven, that from me to it was not above a span and a half; and I can take my oath, Madam, that it is huge big; and it so fell out, that we passed by where the seven little she-goats are,(183) and, upon my conscience and soul, having been in my childhood a -- goatherd in my own country, I no sooner saw them, but I had a longing desire to divert myself with them awhile, and, had I not done it, I verily think I should have burst. Well, then, what do I? Why, without saying a word to anybody, not even to my master, I slipped down fair and softly from Clavileno, and played with those she-goats, which are like so many violets, about the space of three-quarters of an hour; and all the while Clavileno moved not from the place, nor stirred a foot." — "And while honest Sancho was diverting himself with the goats," said the duke, "how did Signor Don Quixote amuse himself?" To which Don Quixote answered: "As these and the like accidents are out of the order of nature, no wonder Sancho says what he does; for my own part, I can say, I neither looked up nor down, and saw neither Heaven nor earth, nor sea nor sands: it is very true, I was sensible that I passed through the region of the air, and even touched upon that of fire; but that we passed beyond it I cannot believe; for the fiery region being between the sphere of the moon and the utmost region of the air, we could not reach that Heaven where the seven goats Sancho speaks of are, without being burnt; and since we were not burnt, either Sancho lies or Sancho dreams." — "I neither lie nor dream," answered Sancho; "do but ask me the marks of those same goats, and by them you may guess whether I speak the truth or not." — "Tell us them, Sancho," said the duchess. "They are," replied Sancho, "two of them green, two carnation, two blue, and one motley-coloured." — "A new kind of goats those same," replied the duke; "in our region of the earth we have no such colours — I mean, goats of such colours." — "The reason is plain," quoth Sancho; "there must be a difference between the goats of Heaven and those of earth." — "Pr'ythee, Sancho," said the duke, "was there ever a he-goat(184) among them?" — "No, Sir," answered Sancho; "for they told me none pass beyond the horns of the moon." They would not ask Sancho any more questions about his journey, perceiving he was in a humour of rambling all over the heavens, and giving an account of what passed there, without stirring from the garden.
In short, this was the conclusion of the adventure of the Afflicted Matron, which furnished the duke and duchess with matter of laughter, not only at that time, but for their whole lives, and Sancho something to relate for ages, had he lived so long; and Don Quixote, coming to Sancho, whispered him in the ear, saying, "Sancho since you would have us believe all you have seen in Heaven, I expect you should believe what I saw in Montesinos' cave: I say no more."
Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis