Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[536]-

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 LVII: Which relates how Don Quixote took his leave of the Duke, and of what befell him with the witty and wanton Altisidora, one of the Duchess's Waiting Women.

 

Don Quixote now thought it high time to quit so idle a life as that he had led in the castle, thinking he committed a great fault in suffering his person to be thus confined, and in living lazily amidst the infinite pleasures and entertainments the duke and duchess provided for him as a knight-errant; and he was of opinion he must give a strict account to God for this inactivity. And therefore he one day asked leave of those princes that he might depart, which they granted him, with tokens of being mightily troubled that he would leave them. The duchess gave Sancho Panza his wife's letters which he wept over, and said: "Who could have thought that hopes so great as those conceived in the breast of my wife Teresa Panza at the news of my government should end in my returning to the toilsome adventures of my master Don Quixote de la Mancha? Nevertheless, I am pleased to find that my Teresa has behaved like herself in sending the acorns to the duchess; for had she not sent them, I had been sorry, and she had showed herself ungrateful. But my comfort is, that this present cannot be called a bribe; for I was already in possession of the government when she sent them; and it is very fitting that those who receive a benefit should show themselves grateful, though it be with a trifle. In short, naked I went into the government, and naked am I come out of it; and so I can say with a safe conscience (which is no small matter), naked I was born, naked I am, I neither win nor lose." This Sancho spoke in soliloquy on the day of their departure; and Don Quixote, sallying forth one morning, having taken leave of the duke and duchess the night before, presented himself completely armed in the court of the castle. All the folks of the castle beheld him from the galleries; the duke and duchess also came out to see him. Sancho was upon his Dapple, his wallets well furnished, and himself highly pleased; for the duke's steward, who had played the part of Trifaldi, had given him a little purse with two hundred crowns in gold, to supply the occasions of the journey; and this Don Quixote, as yet, knew nothing of. Whilst all the folks were thus gazing at him, as has been said, among the other duennas and damsels of the duchess who were beholding him, on a sudden the witty and wanton Altisidora raised her voice, and in a piteous tone, said:

" Stay, cruel knight,
  Take not thy flight,
Nor spur thy batter'd jade;
  Thy haste restrain,
  Draw in the rein.
And hear a love-sick maid.
  Why dost thou fly?:
  No snake am I,
Nor poison those I love;
  Gentle I am
  As any lamb, 
And harmless as a dove.         -[537]-
  Thy cruel scorn
  Has left forlorn
A nymph, whose charms may vie
  With theirs who sport
  In Cynthia's court,
Tho' Venus' self were by.

Since, fugitive knight, to no purpose I woo thee,
Barabbas s fate still pursue and undo thee.
 

" Like rav'nous kite,
  That takes its flight
Soon as't has stol'n a chicken,
  Thou bear'st away
  My heart, thy prey,
And leav'st me here to sicken:
  Three night-caps, too,
  And garters blue,
That did to legs belong;
  Smooth to the sight,
  As marble white,
And, faith, almost as strong;
  Two thousand groans,
  As many moans,
And sighs enough to fire
  Old Priam's town,
  And burn it down,
Did it again aspire.

Since, fugitive knight, to no purpose I woo thee,
Barabbas s fate still pursue and undo thee.
 

" May Sancho ne'er
  His buttocks bare
Fly-flap, as is his duty;
  And thou still want
  To disenchant
Dulcinea's injur'd beauty.
  May still transform'd,
  And still deform'd,
Toboso's nymph remain,
  In recompense
  Of thy offence,
Thy scorn and cold disdain.
  When thou dost wield
  Thy sword in field,
In combat or in quarrel,
  Ill luck and harms
  Attend thy arms,
Instead of fame and laurel.

Since, fugitive knight, to no purpose I woo thee,
Barabbas s fate still pursue and undo thee.
 

" May thy disgrace
  Fill ev'ry place,
Thy falsehood ne'er be hid,
  But round the world
  Be toss'd and hurl'd,
From Seville to Madrid.
  If, brisk and gay,
  Thou sitt'st to play
At Ombre or at Chess,
  May ne'er Spadille
  Attend thy will,
Nor luck thy movements bless. -[538]-
  Though thou with care
  Thy corns dost pare,
May blood the penknife follow; 
  May thy gums rage,
  And nought assuage
The pain of tooth that's hollow.

Since, fugitive knight, to no purpose I woo thee,
Barabbas s fate still pursue and undo thee."

While the afflicted Altisidora was complaining in the manner you have heard, Don Quixote stood beholding her, and without answering her a word; and then turning his face to Sancho, he said: "By the age of your ancestors, my dear Sancho, I conjure you to tell me the truth: have you taken away the three night-caps and the garters this enamoured damsel mentions?" To which Sancho answered: "The three night-caps I have but as to the garters, I know no more of them than the man in the moon." The duchess was surprised at the liberty Altisidora took; for though she knew her to be bold, witty, and free, yet not to that degree as to venture upon such freedoms; and, as she knew nothing of this jest, her surprise increased. The duke resolved to carry on the humour, and said: "I think it does not look well, Sir Knight, that, having received so civil an entertainment in this castle of mine, you should dare to carry off three night-caps at least, if not my damsel's garters besides; these are indications of a naughty heart, and ill become your character. Return her the garters; if not, I defy you to mortal combat, without being afraid that your knavish enchanters should change or alter my face, as they have done that of Tosilos my lackey, your intended adversary." "God forbid," answered Don Quixote, ''that I should draw my sword against your illustrious person, from whom I have received so many favours. The night-caps shall be restored; for Sancho says he has them: but for the garters, it is impossible; for I have them not, nor he either; and if this damsel of yours will search her hiding-holes, I warrant she will find them. I, my lord duke, never was a thief, and think, if Heaven forsakes me not, I never shall be one as long as I live. This damsel talks (as she owns) like one in love, which is no fault of mine, and therefore I have no reason to ask hers, or your excellency's pardon, whom I beseech to have a better opinion of me, and, once again, to give me leave to depart." "Pray God, Signor Quixote," said the duchess, "send you so good a journey that we may continually hear good news of your exploits: and God be with you; for the longer you stay, the more you increase the fire in the breasts of the damsels that behold you; and, as for mine, I will take her to task so severely, that henceforward she shall not dare to transgress with her eyes, or her words." "Do but hear one word more, O valorous Don Quixote, and I am silent," cried Altisidora;" which is, that I beg your pardon for saying you had stolen my garters; for, on my conscience and soul, I have them on; but I was absent in thought like the man who looked for his ass while he was upon his back." "Did I not tell you," quoth Sancho, "I am a rare one at concealing thefts? Had I been that way given, I had many a fair opportunity for it in 'my government. Don Quixote bowed his head, and made his obeisance to the duke and duchess, and to all the spectators, and turning Rozinante's head, Sancho following upon Dapple, he sallied out at the castle gate, taking the road to Saragossa.

 

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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