Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[507]-

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 L: In which is declared who were the Enchanters and Executioners that whipped the Duenna, and pinched and scratched Don Quixote; with the success of the Page, who carried the Letter to Teresa Panza, Sancho's wife.

 

Cid Hamete, the most punctual searcher after the very atoms of this true history, says, that, when Donna Rodriguez went out of her chamber to go to Don Quixote's, another donna, who lay with her, perceived it; and, as all duennas have the itch of listening after, prying into, and smelling out things, she followed her so softly, that good Rodriguez did not perceive it; and, as soon as the duenna saw her enter Don Quixote's chamber, that she might not be wanting in the general humour of all duennas, which is, to be tell-tales, away she went that instant to acquaint the duchess that Donna Rodriguez was then actually in Don Quixote's chamber. The duchess acquainted the duke with it, and desired his leave that she and Altisidora might go and see what was the duenna's business with Don Quixote. The duke gave it her; and they both, very softly, and step by step, went and posted themselves close to the door of Don Quixote's chamber, and so close, that they overheard all that was said within; and when the duchess heard the duenna expose the fountains of her issues, she could not bear it, nor Altisidora neither; and so, brimful of choler and longing for revenge, they bounced into the room, and pinched Don Quixote and whipped the duenna, in the manner above related; for affronts, levelled against the beauty and vanity of women, awaken their wrath in an extraordinary manner, and inflame them with a desire of revenging themselves.

The duchess recounted to the duke all that had passed, with which he was much diverted; and the duchess, proceeding in her design of making sport with Don Quixote, despatched the page, who had acted the part of Dulcinea in the project of her disenchantment, to Teresa Panza, with her husband's letter (for Sancho was so taken up with his government that he had quite forgotten it), and with another from herself, and a large string of rich corals by way of present. -[508]-

Now the history tells us, that the page was very discreet and sharp, and being extremely desirous to please his lord and lady, he departed, with a very good will, for Sancho's village; and being arrived near it, he saw some women washing in a brook, of whom he demanded if they could tell him whether one Teresa Panza, wife of one Sancho Panza, squire to a knight called Don Quixote de la Mancha, lived in that town. At which question a young wench, who was washing, started up, and said, "That Teresa Panza is my mother, and that Sancho my father, and that knight our master." "Come then, damsel," said the page, "and bring me to your mother; for I have a letter and a present for her from that same father of yours." "That I will, with all my heart, Sir," answered the girl, who seemed to be about fourteen years of age; and leaving the linen she was washing to one of her companions, without putting anything on her head or her feet (for she was bare-legged and dishevelled), she ran skipping along before the page's horse, saying, "Come along, Sir; for our house stands just at the entrance of the village, and there you will find my mother in pain enough for not having heard any news of my father this great while." "I bring her such good news," said the page, "that she may well thank God for it." In short, with jumping, running, and capering, the girl came to the village, and before she got into the house, she called aloud at the door, "Come forth, Mother Teresa, come forth, come forth; for here is a gentleman who brings letters and other things from my good father."

And, with great respect, went and kneeled before the lady Teresa.
And, with great respect, went and kneeled before the
lady Teresa.

 At which voice her mother Teresa Panza came out, spinning a distaff full of tow, having on a gray petticoat, so short, that it looked as if it had been docked at the placket, with a gray bodice also, and her smock-sleeves hanging about it. She was not very old, though she seemed to be above forty; but was strong, hale, sinewy, and hard as a hazel-nut. She, seeing her daughter, and the page on horseback, said, "What is the matter, girl? What gentleman is this?" "It is a humble servant of my Lady Donna Teresa Panza," answered the page. And, so saying, he flung himself from his horse, and, with great respect, went and kneeled before the Lady Teresa, saying: "Be pleased, Signora Donna Teresa, to give me your ladyship's hand to kiss, as being the lawful and only wife of Signor Don Sancho Panza, sole governor of the island of Barataria." "Ah, dear Sir, forbear, do not so," answered Teresa: "for I am no court dame, but a poor countrywoman, daughter of- a plough-man, and wife of a squire-errant, and not of any governor at all." "Your ladyship," answered the page, "is the most worthy wife of an arch-worthy governor; and, for proof of what I say, be pleased, Madam, to receive the letter and this present." Then he pulled out of his pocket a string of corals, each bead set in gold; and, putting it about her neck, he said: "This letter is from my lord governor; and another that I have here, and these corals are from my lady duchess, who sends me to your ladyship Teresa was amazed, and her daughter neither more nor less, and the girl said: "May I die, if our master, Don Quixote, be not at the bottom of this business, and has given my father the government, or earldom, he so often promised him." "It is even so," answered the page;" and, for Signor Don Quixote's sake, my lord Sancho is now governor of the island Barataria, as you will see by this letter." "Pray, young gentleman," said Teresa, "be pleased to read it; for, though I can spin, I cannot read a tittle." "Nor I neither," added Sanchica; "but stay a little, and I will go call somebody that can, though it be the priest himself, or the bachelor Sampson Carrasco, who will come with all their hearts to hear news of my father." -[509]- "There is no need of calling anybody," replied the page;" for, though I cannot spin, I can read, and will read it." So he read it; but, it having been inserted before, it is purposely omitted here. Then he pulled out that from the duchess, which was as follows:

"Friend Teresa,

"The good qualities, both of integrity and capacity, of your husband Sancho, moved and induced me to desire the duke, my husband, to give him the government of one of the many islands he has. I am informed he governs like any hawk; at which I and my lord duke are mightily pleased; and I give great thanks to Heaven, that I have not been deceived in my choice of him for the said government; for, let me tell Madam Teresa, it is a difficult thing to find a good governor in these days, and God make me as good as Sancho governs well. I send you hereby, my dear, a string of corals set in gold; I wish they were of Oriental pearl; but, whoever gives thee an egg, has no mind to see thee dead. The time will come, when we shall be better acquainted, and converse together, and God knows what may happen. Commend me to Sanchica your daughter, and tell her from me to get herself ready; for I mean to marry her toppingly, when she least thinks of it. I am told the acorns of your town are very large: pray send me some two dozen of them; for I shall esteem them very much, as coming from your hand; and write to me immediately, advising me of your health and welfare; and if you want anything, you need but open your mouth, and your mouth shall be measured. So God keep you,

     

"Your loving friend,

"The Duchess."

"From this place."

"Ah!" cried Teresa, at hearing the letter, "how good, how plain, how humble a lady! Let me be buried with such ladies as this, and not with such gentlewomen as this town affords, who think, because they are gentlefolks, the wind must not blow upon them; and they go to church with as much vanity as if they were very queens. One would think they took it for a disgrace to look upon a countrywoman; and you see here how this good lady, though she be a duchess, calls me friend, and treats me as if 1 were her equal, and equal may I see her to the highest steeple in La Mancha. As to the acorns, Sir, I will send her ladyship a pocketful, and such as, for their bigness, people may come to see and admire from far and near. And for the present, Sanchica, see and make much of this gentleman; take care of his horse, and bring some new-laid eggs out of the stable, and slice some rashers of bacon, and let us entertain him like any prince; for the good news he has brought us, and his own good looks, deserve no less; and, in the meanwhile, I will step and carry my neighbours the news of our joy, and especially to our father, the priest, and to Master Nicholas, the barber, who are, and always have been, your father's great friends." "Yes, mother, I will," answered Sanchica: "but, hark you, I must have half that string of corals; for I do not take my lady duchess to be such a fool as to send it all to you." "It is all for you, daughter," answered Teresa; "but let me wear it a few days about my neck; for truly methinks it cheers my very heart." "You will be no less cheered," said the page, "when you see the bundle I have in this portmanteau; it is a habit of superfine cloth, which the governor wore only one day at a hunting-match, and has sent it all to Signora Sanchica." "May he live a thousand years," answered Sanchica, "and the bearer neither more nor less, ay, and two thousand, if need be."

Teresa now went out of the house with the letters, and the beads about her neck, and playing, as she went along, with her fingers upon the letters, as if they had been a timbrel; and, accidentally meeting the priest and -[510]- Sampson Carrasco, she began to dance, and say, "In faith we have no poor relations now; we have got a government: ay, ay, let the proudest gentlewoman of them all meddle with me; I will make her know her distance." "What is the matter, Teresa Panza? What extravagances are these, and what papers are those?" demanded the priest. "No other extravagances," said she, "but that these are letters from duchesses and governors, and these about my neck are true coral; the Ave Maries and the Paternosters are of beaten gold, and I am a governess." "God be our aid, Teresa," replied they;" we understand you not, nor know what you mean." "Believe your own eyes," answered Teresa, giving them the letters. The priest read them so that Sampson Carrasco heard the contents; and Sampson and the priest stared at each other, as surprised at what they read. The bachelor demanded who had brought those letters. Teresa answered, if they should come home with her to her house, they would see the messenger, who was a youth like any golden pine-tree; and that he had brought her another present, worth twice as much. The priest took the corals from her neck, and viewed and reviewed them; and being satisfied they were right, he began to wonder afresh, and said, "By the habit I wear, I know not what to say, nor what to think of these letters and these presents. On one hand I see and feel the fineness of these corals, and on the other hand I read, that a duchess sends to desire a dozen or two of acorns." "Make these things tally, if you can," replied Carrasco; "but let us go and see the bearer of this packet, who may give us some light into these difficulties, which puzzle us." They did so, and Teresa went back with them.

They found the page sifting a little barley for his horse, and Sanchica cutting a rasher to fry, and pave it with eggs for the page's dinner; whose aspect and good appearance pleased them both very much. After they had saluted him, and he them, Sampson desired him to tell them news both, of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza; for, though they had read Sancho's and the duchess's letters, still they were confounded, and could not devise what Sancho's government could mean, and especially of an island, most or all those in the Mediterranean belonging to his majesty. To which the page answered, "That Signor Sancho Panza is a governor, there is no manner of doubt; but whether it be an island that he governs or not, I concern not myself at all: let it suffice, that it is a place containing above a thousand inhabitants. As to the acorns, I say, my lady duchess is so humble and affable, that her sending to beg acorns of a countrywoman is nothing; for, ere now, she has sent to borrow a comb of one of her neighbours: for you must know, gentlemen, that the ladies of Arragon, though of as great quality, are not so haughty, nor so ceremonious, as the ladies of Castile; they treat people more upon the level."

While they were in the midst of this discourse, in came Sanchica with a lapful of eggs, and said to the page, "Pray, Sir, does my father, now he is a governor, wear trunk-hose?"(202) "I never observed that," answered the page;" but doubtless he does." "God's my life!" replied Sanchica, "what a sight must it be to see my father with laced breeches! Is it not strange that, ever since I was born, I have longed to see my father with his breeches laced to his girdle?" "I warrant you will,. if you live," answered the page; "before God, if his government lasts but two months, he is in a fair way to travel with a cape to his cap." The priest and the bachelor easily perceived that the page spoke jestingly; but the fineness -[511]- of the corals, and the hunting suit, which Sancho had sent (for Teresa had already showed them the habit), undid all. Nevertheless, they could not forbear smiling at Sanchica's longing, and more, when Teresa said, "Master Priest, do so much as inquire if anybody be going to Madrid or Toledo, who may buy me a farthingale round and completely made, and fashionable, and one of the best that is to be had; for, verily, verily, I intend to honour my husband's government as much as I can; and, if they vex me, I will get me to this court myself, and ride in my coach as well as the best of them there; for she who has a governor for her husband may very well have one, and maintain it too." "Ay, marry," added Sanchica, "and would to God it were to-day rather than to-morrow, though folks, that saw me seated in that coach with my lady mother, should say, 'Do but see such a one, daughter of such a one, stuffed with garlic; how she sits in state, and lolls in her coach like the pope's lady!' but let them jeer, so they trudge in the dirt, and I ride in my coach with my feet above the ground. A sad year, and a worse month, to all the murmurers in the world; and, if I go warm, let folks laugh. Say I well, mother?" "Ay, mighty well, daughter," answered Teresa; "and my good man Sancho foretold me all this, and even greater good luck; and you shall see, daughter, it will never stop till it has made me a countess; for to be lucky, the whole business is to begin; and, as I have often heard your good father say (who, as he is yours, is also the father of proverbs), 'When they give you a heifer, make haste with the halter;' so, when a government is given you, seize it; when they give you an earldom, lay your claws on it; and when they whistle to you with a good gift, snap at it. No, no, sleep on, and do not answer to the lucky hits, and the good fortune, that stand calling at the door of your house." "And what care I," added Sanchica; "let who will say, when they see me step it stately and bridle it, 'The higher a monkey climbs, the more he exposes his ,' and so forth."

The priest, hearing this, said, "I cannot believe but that all of this race of the Panzas were born with a bushel of proverbs in their bellies; I never saw one of them, who did not scatter them about, at all times, and in all the discourses they ever held." "I believe so too," replied the page;" for my lord governor Sancho utters them at every step; and though many of them are wide of the purpose, still they please, and my lady duchess and the duke commend them highly." "You persist then in affirming, Sir," said the bachelor, "that this business of Sancho's government is real and true, and that these presents and letters are really sent by a duchess? For our parts, though we touch the presents, and have read the letters, we believe it not, and take it to be one of our countryman Don Quixote's adventures, who thinks everything of this kind done by way of enchantment; and therefore I could almost find in my heart to touch and feel your person, to know whether you are a visionary messenger, or one of flesh and bones." "All I know of myself, gentlemen," answered the page, "is, that I am a real messenger, and that Signor Sancho Panza actually is a governor; and that my lord duke and my lady duchess can give, and have given, the said government; and I have heard it said, that the said Sancho Panza behaves himself most notably in it. Whether there be any enchantment in this or not, you may dispute by yourselves; for, by the oath am going to take, which is, by the life of my parents, who are living, and whom I dearly love, I know nothing more of the matter." "It may be so," replied the bachelor;" but dubitat Augustinus." "Doubt who will," answered the -[512]- page, "the truth is what I tell you, and truth will always get above a lie. like oil above water; and, if you will not believe me, operibus credite et non verbis. Come one of you, gentlemen, along with me, and you shall see with your eyes what you will not believe by the help of your ears." "That jaunt is for me," cried Sanchica; "take me behind you, Sir, upon your nag; for I will go with all my heart to see my honoured father." "The daughters of governors," said the page, "must not travel alone, but attended with coaches and litters, and good store of servants." "Before God," answered Sanchica, "I can travel as well upon an ass's colt as in a coach; I am none of your tender squeamish folks." "Peace, wench," said Teresa; "you know not what you say, and the gentleman is in the right: for, according to reason, each thing in its season: when it was Sancho, it was Sancha; and when governor, Madam. Said I amiss?" "Madam Teresa says more than she imagines," replied the page;" and pray give me to eat, and despatch me quickly; for I intend to return home this night." To which the priest said: "Come, Sir, and do penance with me; for Madam Teresa has more good-will than good cheer to welcome so worthy a guest." The page refused at first, but at length thought it most for his good to comply, and the priest very willingly took him home with him, that he might have an opportunity of inquiring at leisure after Don Quixote and his exploits. The bachelor offered Teresa to write answers to her letters; but she would not let him meddle in her matters, for she looked upon him as somewhat of a wag; and so she gave a roll of bread and a couple of eggs to a young noviciate friar, who could write; who wrote for her two letters, one for her husband, and the other for the duchess, and both of her inditing; and they are none of the worst recorded in this grand history, as will be seen hereafter.

 

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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