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 LIV: Which treats of Matters relating to this History, and to no other.


The duke and duchess resolved that Don Quixote's challenge of their vassal, for the cause above-mentioned, should go forward; and, though the young man was in Flanders, whither he was fled to avoid having Donna Rodriguez for his mother-in-law, they gave orders for putting in his place a Gascon lackey called Tosilos, instructing him previously in everything he was to do. About two days after, the duke said to Don Quixote, that his opponent would be there in four days, and present himself in the lists armed as a knight, and would maintain that the damsel lied by half the beard, and even by the whole beard, if she said he had given her a promise of marriage. Don Quixote was highly delighted with the news, and promised himself to do wonders upon the occasion, esteeming it a special happiness that an opportunity offered of demonstrating to their grandeurs how far the valour of his puissant arm extended; and so, with pleasure and satisfaction, he waited the four days, which, in the account of his impatience, were four hundred ages.

Let us let them pass, as we let pass many other things, and attend upon Sancho, who, between glad and sorry, was making the best of his way upon Dapple toward his master, whose company he was fonder of than of being governor of all the islands in the world. Now he had not gone far from the island of his government (for he never gave himself the trouble: determine whether it was an island, city, town, or village that he governed), when he saw coming along the road six pilgrims, with their staves, being foreigners, such as ask alms, singing; and, as they drew near to him, they placed themselves in a row, and, raising their voices all together, began to sing, in their language, what Sancho could not understand, excepting one word, which they distinctly pronounced, signifying alms; whence he concluded that alms was what they begged in their canting way. And he being, as Cid Hamete says, extremely charitable, he took the half loaf and half cheese out of his wallet, and gave it them, making signs to them that he had nothing else to give them. They received it very willingly, and cried, "Guelte, guelte."(205) — "I do not understand you," answered Sancho; "what is it you would have, good people?" Then one of them pulled out of his bosom a purse, and showed it to Sancho; whence he found that they asked for money; and he, putting his thumb to his throat, and extending his hand upward, gave them to understand he had not a penny of money; and, spurring his Dapple, he broke through them; and, as he passed by, one of them, who had viewed him with much attention, caught hold of him, and, throwing his arms about his waist, with a loud voice, and in very go« Castilian, said: "God be my aid! what is it I see? Is it possible I have -[525]- in my arms my dear friend and good neighbour Sancho Panza? Yes, certainly I have; for I am neither asleep, nor drunk." Sancho was surprised to hear himself called by his name, and to find himself embraced by the stranger pilgrim; and, though he viewed him earnestly a good while, without speaking a word, he could not call him to mind; but the pilgrim, perceiving his suspense, said: "How! is it possible, brother Sancho Panza, you do not know your neighbour Ricote, the Morisco shopkeeper of your town?" Then Sancho observed him more attentively, and began to recollect him, and at last remembered him perfectly; and, without alighting from his beast, he threw his arms about his neck, and said: "Who the devil, Ricote, should know you in this disguise? Tell me, how came you thus Frenchified? And how dare you venture to return to Spain, where, if you are known and caught, it will fare but ill with you?" — "If you do not discover me, Sancho," answered the pilgrim, "I am safe enough; for in this garb nobody can know me. And let us go out of the road to yonder poplar grove, where my comrades have a mind to dine and repose themselves, and you shall eat with them, for they are a very good sort of people; and there I shall have an opportunity to tell you what has befallen me since I departed from our village, in obedience to his majesty's proclamation, which so rigorously threatened the miserable people of our nation, as you must have heard."

Sancho consented, and Ricote speaking to the rest of the pilgrims, they turned aside toward the poplar grove which they saw at a distance, far enough out of the high road. They flung down their staves, and, putting off their pilgrim's weeds, remained in their jackets. They were all genteel young fellows, excepting Ricote, who was pretty well advanced in years. They all carried wallets, which, as appeared afterwards, were well provided with incitatives, and such as provoke to thirst at two leagues' distance. They laid themselves along on the ground, and making the grass their table-cloth, they spread their bread, salt, knives, nuts, slices of cheese, and clean bones of gammon of bacon, which, if they would not bear picking, did not forbid being sucked. They produced also a kind of black eatable, called Caviere, made of the roes of fish, a great awakener of thirst. There wanted not olives, though dry, and without any sauce, yet savoury, and well preserved. But, what carried the palm in the field of this banquet, was six bottles of wine, each producing one out of his wallet. Even honest Ricote, who had transformed himself from a Moor into a German, or Dutchman, pulled out his, which for bigness might vie with the other five. Now they began to eat with the highest relish, and much at their leisure, dwelling upon the taste of every bit they took upon the point of a knife, and very little of each thing; and straight all together lifting up their arms and their bottles into the air, mouth applied to mouth, and their eyes nailed to the Heavens, as if they were taking aim at it, and in his posture, waving their heads from side to side, in token of the pleasure they received, they continued a good while, transfusing the entrails of the vessels into their own stomachs. Sancho beheld all this, and was nothing grieved thereat; but rather, in compliance with the proverb he very well knew, When you are at Rome, do as they do at Rome, he demanded of Ricote the bottle, and took his aim, as the others had done, and not with less relish. Four times the bottles bore being tilted; but for the fifth, it was not to be done; for they were now as empty and as dry as a rush, which struck a damp upon the mirth they had hitherto shown. One or other of -[526]- them, from time to time, would take Sancho by the right hand, and say: "Spaniard and Dutchman, all one, goot companion;" and Sancho would answer; "Goot companion, I vow to gad." And then he burst out into a fit of laughing, which held him an hour, without his remembering at that time anything of what had befallen him in his government; for cares have commonly but very little jurisdiction over the time that is spent in eating and drinking. Finally, the making an end of the wine was the beginning of a sound sleep, which seized them all, upon their very board and table-cloth. Only Ricote and Sancho remained awake, having drank less, though eaten more, than the rest. And they too, going aside, sat them down at the foot of a beech, leaving the pilgrims buried in a sweet sleep; and Ricote, laying aside his Morisco, said what follows, in pure Castilian:

"You well know, O Sancho, my neighbour and friend, how the proclamation and edict which his majesty commanded to be published against those of my nation, struck a dread and terror into us all; at least into me it did, in such sort, that methought the rigour of the penalty was already executed upon me and my children, before the time limited for our departure from Spain. I provided therefore, as I thought, like a wise man, who knowing at such a time the house he lives in will be taken from him, secures another to remove to: I say, I left our town, alone, and without my family, to find out a place whither I might conveniently carry them, without that hurry the rest went away in. For I well saw, as did all the wisest among us, that those proclamations were not bare threatenings, as some pretended they were, but effectual laws, and such as would be put in execution at the appointed time. And what confirmed me in the belief of this, was my knowing the mischievous extravagant designs of our people: which were such, that, in my opinion, it was a divine inspiration that moved his majesty to put so brave a resolution in practice. Not that we were all culpable; for some of us were steady and true Christians; but these were so few, they could not be compared with those that were otherwise; and it is not prudent to nourish a serpent in one's bosom, by keeping one's enemies within doors. In short, we were justly punished with the sentence of banishment; a soft and mild one, in the opinion of some, but to us the most terrible that can be inflicted. Wherever we are, we weep for Spain: for, in short, here were we born, and this is our native country. We nowhere find the reception our misfortune requires. Even in Barbary, and all other parts of Africa, where we expected to be received, cherished, and made much of, there it is we are most neglected and misused. We knew not our happiness till we lost it; and so great is the desire almost all of us have of returning to Spain, that most of those (and they are not a few) who can speak the language like myself, forsake their wives and children, and come back again; so violent is the love they bear it. And it is now I know, and find by experience, the truth of that common saying, Sweet is the love of one's country.

"I went away, as I said, from our town; I entered into France; and, though there I met with a good reception, I had a desire to see other countries. I went into Italy, and then into Germany, and there I thought we might live more at liberty, the natives not standing much upon niceties, and everyone living as he pleases; for, in most parts of it, there is liberty of conscience. I took a house in a village near Augsburgh, but soon left «, and joined company with these pilgrims, who come in great numbers -[527]- every year, into Spain, to visit its holy places, which they look upon as their Indies, and a certain gain, and sure profit. They travel almost the kingdom over, and there is not a village but they are sure of getting meat and drink in it, and a real at least in money; and, at the end of their journey, they go off with above a hundred crowns clear, which, being changed into gold, they carry out of the kingdom, either in the hollow of their staves, or in the patches of their weeds, or by some other sleight they are masters of, and get safe into their own country, in spite of all the officers and searchers of the passes and ports, where money is registered. Now my design, Sancho, is to carry off the treasure I left buried (for, it being without the town, I can do it with the less danger), and to write or go over to my wife and daughter, who I know are in Algiers, and contrive how to bring them to some port of France, and from thence carry them into Germany, where we will wait, and see how God will be pleased to dispose of us. For, in short, Sancho, I know for certain that Ricota, my daughter, and Francisca Ricote, my wife, are Catholic Christians, and though I am not altogether such, yet I am more of the Christian than the Moor; and I constantly pray to God to open the eyes of my understanding, and make me know in what manner I ought to serve him. But what I wonder at is, that my wife and daughter should rather go into Barbary, than into France, where they might have lived as Christians."

"Look you, Ricote," answered Sancho, "that perhaps was not at their choice, because John Tiopeyo, your wife's brother, who carried them away, being a rank Moor, would certainly go where he thought it best to stay; and I can tell you another thing, which is, that I believe it is in vain for you to look for the money you left buried, because we had news that your brother-in-law and your wife had abundance of pearls, and a great deal of money in gold, taken from them, as not having been registered." — "That may be," replied Ricote; "but I am sure, Sancho, they did not touch my hoard; for I never discovered it to them, as fearing some mischance; and therefore, Sancho, if you will go along with me, and help me to carry it off and conceal it, I may give yon two hundred crowns, with which you may relieve your wants; for you know I am not ignorant they are many." — "I would do it," answered Sancho, "but that I am not at all covetous: for had I been so, I quitted an employment this very morning, out of which I could have made the walls of my house of gold, and, before six months had been at an end, have eaten in plate; so that, for this reason, and because I think I should betray my king by favouring his enemies, I will not go with you, though, instead of two hundred crowns, you should lay me down four hundred upon the nail." — "And what employment is it you have quitted, Sancho?" demanded Ricote. "I left being governor of an island," answered Sancho, "and such a one as, in faith, you will scarcely, at three pulls, meet with its fellow." — "And where is this island?" demanded Ricote. "Where!" answered Sancho; "why, two leagues from hence, and it is called the island Barataria." — "Peace, Sancho," said Ricote; "for islands are out at sea; there are no islands on the mainland." — "No!" replied Sancho: "I tell you, friend Ricote, that I left it this very morning; and yesterday I was in it, governing at my pleasure, like any Sagitarius: but, for all that, I quitted it, looking upon the office of a governor to be a very dangerous thing." — "And what have you got by the government?" demanded Ricote. "I have got," answered Sancho, "this experience, to know I am fit to govern nothing -[528]- but a herd of cattle, and that the riches got in such governments are got at the expense of one's ease and sleep, yea, and of one's sustenance; for, in islands, governors eat but little, especially if they have physicians to look after their health." — "I understand you not, Sancho," said Ricote; "and all you say seems to me extravagant; for who should give you islands to govern? Are there wanting men in the world abler than you are to be governors? Hold your peace, Sancho, recall your senses, and consider whether you will go along with me, as I said, and help me to take up the treasure I left buried; for, in truth, it may very well be called a treasure; and I will give you wherewithal to live, as I have already told you."— "And I have told you, Ricote," replied Sancho, "that I will not: be satisfied, I will not discover you; and go your way, in God's name, and let me go mine; for I know that what is well got may meet with disaster, and what is ill got destroys both it and its master."

"I will not urge you farther, Sancho," added Ricote; "but, tell me, were you in our town when my wife and daughter, and my brother-in-law went away?" — "Was I? Ay," answered Sancho; "and I can tell you that your daughter went away so beautiful, that all the town went out to see her, and everybody said she was the finest creature in the world. She went away weeping, and embraced all her friends and acquaintance, and all that came to see her; and desired them all to recommend her to God, and to our Lady, his Mother; and this so feelingly, that she made me weep, who am no great whimperer; and, in faith, many had a desire to conceal her, and to go and take her away upon the road; but the fear of transgressing the king's command restrained them. Don Pedro Gregorio, the rich heir you know, showed himself the most affected; for they say he was mightily in love with her; and since she went away, he has never been seen in our town; and we all think he followed to steal her away; but hitherto nothing farther is known." — "I ever had a jealousy," answered Ricote, "that this gentleman was smitten with my daughter; but trusting to the virtue of my Ricota, it gave me no trouble to find he was in love with her; for you must have heard, Sancho, that the Moorish women seldom or never mingle in love with old Christians; and my daughter, who, as I believe, minded religion more than love, little regarded this rich heir's courtship." — "God grant it," replied Sancho; "for it would be very ill for them both; and let me begone, friend Ricote; for I intend to be to-night with my master Don Quixote." — "God be with you, brother Sancho," said Ricote; "for my comrades are stirring, and it is time for us also to be on our way." And then they embraced each other: Sancho mounted his Dapple, and Ricote leaned on his pilgrim's staff; and so they parted.


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