Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[545]-

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 LIX: Wherein is related an extraordinary Accident which befell Don Quixote, and which may pass for an Adventure.

 

The dust and weariness Don Quixote and Sancho underwent through the rude encounter of the bulls were relieved by a clear and limpid fountain they met with in a cool grove; on the brink of which, leaving Dapple and Rozinante free without halter or bridle, the way-beaten couple, master and man, sat them down. Sancho had recourse to the cupboard of his wallet, and drew out what he was wont to call his sauce. He rinsed his mouth, and Don Quixote washed his face; with which refreshment they recovered their fainting spirits. Don Quixote would eat nothing out of pure chagrin, nor durst Sancho touch the victuals out of pure good manners, expecting his master should first be his taster. But seeing him so carried away by his imaginations as to forget to put a bit in his mouth, he said nothing, but breaking through all kind of ceremony, began to stuff his hungry maw with the bread and cheese before him. "Eat, friend Sancho," said Don Quixote; "and support life, which is of more importance to you than to me, and leave me to die by the hands of my reflections, and by the force of my misfortunes. I, Sancho, was born to live dying, and you to die eating; and, to show you that I speak the -[546]- truth, consider me printed in histories, renowned in arms, courteous in my actions, respected by princes, courted by damsels; and, after all, when I expected palms, triumphs, and crowns, earned and merited by my valorous exploits, this morning have I seen myself trod upon, kicked, and bruised under the feet of filthy and impure beasts. This reflection sets my teeth on edge, stupefies my grinders, benumbs my hands, and quite takes away my appetite; so that I intend to suffer myself to die with hunger, the cruelest of all deaths." "At this rate," quoth Sancho (chewing all the while apace), "your worship will not approve of the proverb which says: Let Martha die, but die with her belly full. At least, I do not intend to kill myself, but rather to imitate the shoemaker, who pulls the leather with his teeth till he stretches it to what he would have it. I will stretch my life by eating, till it reaches the end Heaven has allotted it; and let me tell you, Sir, there is no greater madness than to despair as you do: believe me, and, after you have eaten, try to sleep a little upon the green mattress of this grass, and you will see, when you awake, you will find yourself much eased." Don Quixote complied, thinking Sancho reasoned more like a philosopher than a fool; and he said: "If, O Sancho, you would now do for me what I am going to tell you, my comforts would he more certain, and my sorrows not so great; and it is this, that while I, in pursuance of your advice, am sleeping, you will step a little aside from hence, and with the reins of Rozinante's bridle, turning up your flesh to the sky, give yourself three or four hundred lashes, in part of the three thousand and odd you are bound to give yourself for the disenchantment of Dulcinea; for it is a great pity the poor lady should continue under enchantment through your carelessness and neglect." "There is a great deal to be said as to that," quoth Sancho: "for the present, let us both sleep, and afterwards God knows what may happen. Pray, consider, Sir, that this same whipping one's self in cold blood is a cruel thing, and more so, when the lashes light upon a body ill sustained and worse fed. Let my Lady Dulcinea have patience; for, when she least thinks of it, she shall see me pinked like a sieve by dint of stripes; and until death all is life: I mean, I am still alive, together with the desire of fulfilling my promise." Don Quixote thanked him, ate a little, and Sancho much; and both of them addressed themselves to sleep, leaving Rozinante and Dapple, those inseparable companions and friends, at their own discretion, and without any control, to feed upon the plenty of grass with which that meadow abounded.

They awoke somewhat of the latest; they mounted again, and pursued their journey, hastening to reach an inn, which seemed to be about a league off; I say an inn, because Don Quixote called it so, contrary to his custom of calling all inns castles. They arrived at it, and demanded of the host if he had any lodging? He answered he had, with all the conveniences and entertainment that were to be found even in Saragossa. They alighted, and Sancho secured his travelling cupboard in a chamber, of which the landlord gave him the key. He took the beasts to the stable, gave them their allowance, and went to see what commands Don Quixote, who was sat down upon a stone bench, had for him, giving particular thanks to Heaven that this inn had not been taken by his master for a castle. Supper-time came; they betook them to their chamber. Sancho asked the host what he had to give them for supper. The host answered, his mouth should be measured, and he might call for whatever be pleased; -[547]- for the inn was provided, as far as birds of the air, fowls of the earth, and fishes of the sea could go. "There is no need of quite so much," answered Sancho; "roast us but a couple of chickens, and we shall have enough; for my master is of a nice stomach, and I am no glutton." The host replied, he had no chickens, for the kites had devoured them. "Then order a pullet, Signor Host," quoth Sancho, "to be roasted; but see that it be tender." "A pullet? My father!" answered the host: "truly, truly, I sent above fifty yesterday to the city to be sold; but, excepting pullets, ask for whatever you will." "If it be so," quoth Sancho, "veal or kid cannot be wanting." "There is none in the house at present," answered the host;" for it is all made an end of; but next week there will be enough, and to spare." "We are much the nearer for that," answered Sancho: "I will lay a wager, all these deficiencies will be made up with a superabundance of bacon and eggs." "Before God," answered the host, "my guest has an admirable guess with him: I told him I had neither pullets nor hens, and he would have me have eggs; talk of other delicacies, but ask no more for hens." "Body of me! let us come to something," quoth Sancho; "tell me, in short, what you have, and lay aside your flourishings, Master Host." "Then," said the innkeeper, "what I really and truly have is a pair of cow-heels that look like calves-feet, or a pair of calves-feet that look like cow-heel; they are stewed with pease, onions, and bacon, and at this very minute are crying, 'Come eat me, come eat me.'" "I mark them for my own, from this moment," quoth Sancho, "and let nobody touch them; for I will pay more for them than another shall, because I could wish for nothing that I like better; and I care not a fig what heels they are, so they are not hoofs." "Nobody shall touch them," said the host;" for some other guests in the house, out of pure gentility, bring their own cook, their caterer, and their provisions with them." "If gentility be the business," quoth Sancho, "nobody is more a gentleman than my master; but the calling he is of allows of no catering nor butlering: alas! we clap us down in the midst of a green field, and fill our bellies with acorns, or medlars." This discourse Sancho held with the innkeeper, because he did not care to answer him any farther; for he had already asked him of what calling or employment his master was.

The host brought the flesh-pot just as it was.
The host brought the flesh-pot just as it was.

Supper-time being come, Don Quixote withdrew to his chamber; the host brought the flesh-pot just as it was, and fairly sat himself down to supper. It seems in the room next to that where Don Quixote was, and divided only by a partition of lath, Don Quixote heard somebody say: "By your life, Signor Don Jeronimo, while supper is getting ready, let us read another chapter of the second part of 'Don Quixote de la Mancha.'" Scarcely had Don Quixote heard himself named, when up he stood, and, with an attentive ear, listened to their discourse, and heard the aforesaid Don Jeronimo answer: "Why, Signor Don John, would you have us read such absurdities? For he who has read the first part of the history of 'Don Quixote de la Mancha' cannot possibly be pleased with reading the second." "But for all that," said Don John, "it will not be amiss to read it; for there is no book so bad but it has something good in it. What displeases me most in it is that the author describes Don Quixote as no longer in love with Dulcinea del Toboso." Which Don Quixote overhearing, full of wrath and indignation, he raised his voice, and said: "Whoever shall say that Don Quixote de la Mancha has forgotten, or can forget, Dulcinea del Toboso, I will make him know, with equal arms, that -[548]- he is very wide of the truth; for the peerless Dulcinea can neither be forgotten, nor is Don Quixote capable of forgetting: his motto is constancy, and his profession is to preserve it with sweetness, and without doing himself any violence." "Who is it that answers us?" replied one in the other room. "Who should it be," quoth Sancho, "but Don Quixote de la Mancha himself? who will make good all he says, and all he shall say? For, a good paymaster is in pain for no pawn." Scarcely had Sancho said this, when into the room came two gentlemen; for such they seemed to be; and one of them throwing his arms about Don Quixote's neck, said "Your presence can neither belie your name, nor your name do otherwise than credit your presence. Doubtless, Signor, you are the true Don Quixote de la Mancha, the north and morning star of knight-errantry, maugre and in despite of him, who has endeavoured to usurp your name and annihilate your exploits, as the author of this book I here give you has done." And, putting a book that his companion brought into Don Quixote's hands, he took it, and, without answering a word, began to turn over the leaves, and presently after returned it, saying: "In the little I have seen I have found three things in this author that deserve reprehension: The first is some words I have read in the preface; the next, that the language is Arragonian; for he sometimes writes without articles; and the third, which chiefly convicts him of ignorance, is that he errs and deviates from the truth in a principal point of the history. For here he says, that the wife of my squire Sancho Panza is called Mary Gutierrez, whereas that is not her name, but Teresa Panza; and he who errs in so principal a point, may very well be supposed to be mistaken in the rest of the history." Here Sancho said: "Prettily done indeed of this same historian! he must be well informed, truly, of our adventures, since he calls Teresa Panza, my wife, Mary Gutierrez. Take the book again, Sir, and see whether I am in it, and whether he has changed my name." "By what I have heard you speak, friend," said Don Jeronimo, "without doubt, you are Sancho Panza, Don Quixote's squire." "I am so," answered Sancho, "and value myself upon it." "In faith then," said the gentleman, "this modern author does not treat you with that decency which seems agreeable to your person. He describes you a glutton, and a simpleton, and not at all pleasant, and a quite different Sancho from him described in the first part of your master's history." "God forgive him," quoth Sancho; "he might have let me alone in my corner, without remembering me at all: for let him who knows the instrument play on it; and, Saint Peter is nowhere so well as at Rome." The two gentlemen desired of Don Quixote that he would step to their chamber, and sup with them; for they knew very well there was nothing to be had in that inn fit for his entertainment. Don Quixote, who was always courteous, condescended to their request, and supped with them. Sancho stayed behind with the flesh-pot, cum mero mixto imperio; he placed himself at the head of the table, and by him sat down the inn-keeper, as fond of the calves-feet, or cow-heels, as he.

While they were at supper, Don John asked Don Quixote what news he had of the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso; whether she was married; whether yet brought to bed, or with child; or if, continuing a maiden, she still remembered with the reserve of her modesty and good decorum the amorous inclinations of Signor Don Quixote. To which our knight replied: "Dulcinea is still a maiden, and my inclinations more constant than ever; our correspondence upon the old foot, and her beauty -[549]- transformed into the visage of a coarse country wench." Then he recounted every particular of the enchantment of the Lady Dulcinea, and what had befallen him in Montesinos' cave, with the direction the sage Merlin had given him for her disenchantment, namely, by Sancho's lashes. Great was the satisfaction the two gentlemen received to hear Don Quixote relate the strange adventures of his history, admiring equally at his extravagances, and at his elegant manner of telling them. One while they held him for a wise man, then for a fool; nor could they determine what degree to assign him between discretion and folly.

Sancho made an end of supper, and leaving the innkeeper fuddled, went to the chamber where his master was, and at entering, he said: "May I die, gentlemen, if the author of this book you have got has a mind he and I should eat a good meal together; I wish, since, as you say, he calls me a glutton, he may not call me drunkard too." "Ay, marry, does he," replied Don Jeronimo; "but I do not remember after what manner; though I know the expressions carried but an ill sound, and were false into the bargain, as I see plainly by the countenance of honest Sancho here present." "Believe me, gentlemen," quoth Sancho, "that the Sancho and Don Quixote of that history are not the same with those of the book composed by Cid Hamete Benengeli, who are we; my master, valiant, discreet, and in love; and I, simple and pleasant, and neither a glutton nor a drunkard." "I believe it," answered Don John, "and, if it were possible, it should be ordered that none should dare to treat of matters relating to Don Quixote, but only Cid Hamete, his first author; in like manner as Alexander commanded that none should dare to draw his picture but Apelles." "Draw me who will," said Don Quixote; "but let him not abuse me; for patience is apt to fail, when it is overladen with injuries." "None," replied Don John, "can be offered Signor Don Quixote, that he cannot revenge; unless he wards it off with the buckler of his patience, which, in my opinion, is strong and great."

In these, and the like discourses, they spent great part of the night; and though Don John had a mind Don Quixote should read more of the book, to see what it treated of, he could not be prevailed upon, saying he deemed it as read, and pronounced it as foolish; besides, he was unwilling its author should have the pleasure of thinking he had read it, if per adventure he might come to hear he had had it in his hands; for the thoughts, and much more the eyes, ought to be turned from everything filthy and obscene. They asked him which way he intended to bend his course? He answered, to Saragossa, to be present at the jousts for the suit of armour, which are held every year in that city. Don John told him how the new history related that Don Quixote, whoever he was, had been there at the running at the ring, and that the description thereof was defective in the contrivance, mean and low in the style, miserably poor in devices, and rich only in simplicities. "For that very reason," answered Don Quixote, "I will not set a foot in Saragossa, and so I will expose to the world the falsity of this modern historiographer, and all people will plainly perceive I am not the Don Quixote he speaks of." "You will do very well," said Don Jeronimo, "and there are to be other jousts at Barcelona, where Signor Don Quixote may display his valour." "It is my intention so to do," answered Don Quixote; "and, gentlemen, be pleased to give me leave to go to bed, for it is time, and place me among the number of your best friends and faithful servants." "And me too," quoth Sancho; -[550]- "perhaps I may be good for something." Having thus taken leave of one another, Don Quixote and Sancho retired to their chamber, leaving Don John and Don Jeronimo in astonishment at the mixture he had discovered of wit and madness; and they verily believed these were the true Don Quixote and Sancho, and not those described by the Arragonese author. Don Quixote got up very early, and tapping at the partition of the other room, he again bid his new friends adieu; Sancho paid the innkeeper most magnificently, and advised him to brag less of the provision of his inn, or to provide it better.

 

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