Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[550]-

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 LX: Of what befell Don Quixote in his Way to Barcelona.

 

The morning was cool, and the day promised to be so too, when Don Quixote left the inn, first informing himself which was the directest road to Barcelona, without touching at Saragossa; so great was his desire to give the lie to that new historian, who, it was said, had abused him so much. Now it happened, that in above six days, nothing fell out worth setting down in writing; at the end of which, going out of the road, night overtook them among some shady oaks, or cork trees; for in this Cid Hamete does not observe that punctuality he is wont do in other matters. Master and man alighted from their beasts, and seating themselves at the foot of the trees, Sancho, who had had his afternoon's collation that day, entered abruptly the gates of sleep. But Don Quixote, whose imaginations, much more than hunger, kept him waking, could not close his eyes; on the contrary, he was hurried in thought to and from a thousand places: now he fancied himself in Montesinos' cave; now that he saw Dulcinea, transformed into a country wench, mount upon her ass at a spring; the next moment, that he was hearing the words of the sage Merlin, declaring to him the conditions to be observed, and the despatch necessary for the disenchantment of Dulcinea. He was ready to run mad to see the carelessness and little charity of his squire Sancho, who, as he believed, had given himself five lashes only; a number poor and disproportionate to the infinite still behind; and hence he conceived so much chagrin and indignation, that he spoke thus to himself: "If Alexander the Great cut the Gordian knot, saying, 'To cut is the same as to untie,' and became, nevertheless, universal lord of all Asia, the same, neither more nor less, may happen now in the disenchantment of Dulcinea, if I should whip Sancho, whether he will or no; for if the condition of this remedy consists in Sancho's receiving upwards of three thousand lashes, what is it to me whether he gives them himself, or somebody else for him, since the essence lies in his receiving them, come they from what hand they will?"

With this conceit, he approached Sancho, having first taken Rozinante's reins, and adjusted them so that he might lash him with them, and began to. untruss his points; though it is generally thought that he had none but that before, which kept up his breeches. But no sooner had he begun than Sancho awoke, and said: "What is the matter? Who is it that touches and untrusses me?" "It is I," answered Don Quixote, "who -[551]- come to supply your defects, and to remedy my own troubles; I come to whip you, Sancho, and to discharge, at least in part, the debt you stand engaged for. Dulcinea is perishing; you live unconcerned; I am dying with desire; and therefore untruss of your own accord, for I mean to give you in this solitude at least two thousand lashes." "Not so," quoth Sancho; "pray be quiet, or, by the living God, the deaf shall hear us. The lashes I stand engaged for must be voluntary, and not upon compulsion; and at present I have no inclination to whip myself: let it suffice that I give your worship my word to flog and flay myself, when I have a disposition to it." "There is no leaving it to your courtesy, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "for you are hard-hearted, and though a peasant, of very tender flesh." Then he struggled with Sancho, and endeavoured to untruss him. Which Sancho Panza perceiving he got upon his legs, and closing with his master, he flung his arms about him, and tripping up his heels, he laid him flat on his back, and setting his right knee upon his breast, with his hands he held both his master's so fast, that he could neither stir nor breathe. Don Quixote said to him: "How, traitor I do you rebel against your master and natural lord? Do you lift up your hand against him who feeds you?" "I neither make nor unmake kings," answered Sancho; "I only assist myself, who am my own lord. If your worship will promise me to be quiet, and not meddle with whipping me for the present, I will let you go free, and at your liberty; if not, here thou diest, traitor, enemy to Donna Sancha." Don Quixote promised him he would, and swore, by the life of his thoughts, he would not touch a hair of his garment, and would leave the whipping himself entirely to his own choice and free will, whenever he was so disposed.

Sancho got up, and went aside some little distance from thence; and leaning against a tree, he felt something touch his head, and lifting up his hands, he felt a couple of feet dangling, with hose and shoes. He began to tremble with fear; he went to another tree, and the like befell him again; he called out to Don Quixote for help. Don Quixote going to him, asked him what the matter was, and what he was frightened at. Sancho answered that all those trees were full of men's legs and feet. Don Quixote felt them, and immediately guessed what it was, and said to Sancho: "You need not be afraid; for what you feel, without seeing, are doubtless the feet and legs of some robbers and banditti, who are hung upon these trees; for here the officers of justice hang them, when they can catch them, by twenties and thirties at a time, in clusters; whence I guess I am not far from Barcelona." And in truth, it was as he imagined.

And now the day breaking, they lifted up their eyes, and perceived that the clusters hanging on those trees were so many bodies of banditti; and if the dead had scared them, no less were they terrified by above forty living banditti, who surrounded them unawares, bidding them, in the Catalan tongue, be quiet, and stand still, till their captain came. Don Quixote was on foot, his horse unbridled, his lance leaning against a tree, and, in short, defenceless; and therefore he thought it best to cross his hands, and hang his head, reserving himself for a better opportunity and conjuncture. The robbers fell to rifling Dapple, and stripping him of everything he carried in the wallet or the pillion; and it fell out luckily for Sancho, that he had secured the crowns given him by the duke, and those he brought from home, in a belt about his middle. But for all that, these good folks would have searched and examined him, even to what -[552]- lay hid between the skin and the flesh, had not their captain arrived just in the nick. He seemed to be about thirty-four years of age, robust, above the middle size, of a grave aspect, and a brown complexion. He was mounted upon a puissant steed, clad in a coat of mail, and armed with two case of pistols, or firelocks. He saw that his squires (for so they call men of that vocation) were going to plunder Sancho Panza; he commanded them to forbear, and was instantly obeyed, and so the girdle escaped. He wondered to see a lance standing against a tree, a target on the ground, and Don Quixote in armour and pensive, with the most sad and melancholy countenance that sadness itself could frame. He went up to him, and said: "Be not so dejected, good Sir; for you are not fallen into the hands of a cruel Osiris, but into those of Roque Guinart, who is more compassionate than cruel." "My dejection," answered Don Quixote, "is not upon account of my having fallen into your hands, O valorous Roque, whose renown no bounds on earth can limit, but for being so careless, that your soldiers surprised me, my horse unbridled; whereas I am bound, by the order of knight-errantry, which I profess, to be continually upon the watch, and at all hours my own sentinel: for let me tell you, illustrious Roque, had they found me on horseback with my lance and my target, it had not been very easy for them to have made me surrender; for I am Don Quixote de la Mancha, he of whose exploits the whole globe is full." Roque Guinart presently perceived that Don Quixote's infirmity had in it more of madness than valour; and though he had sometimes heard him spoken of, he never took what was published of him for truth, nor could he persuade himself that such an humour should reign in the heart of man; so that he was extremely glad he had met with him, to be convinced near at hand of the truth of what he had heard at a distance; and therefore he said to him: "Be not concerned, valorous knight, nor look upon this accident as a piece of sinister fortune; for it may chance, among these turnings and windings, that your crooked lot may be set to rights; for Heaven, by strange, unheard-of, and by men unimagined, ways, raises those that are fallen, and enriches those that are poor."

Don Quixote was just going to return him thanks, when they heard behind them a noise like that of a troop of horses; but it was occasioned by one only, upon which came riding full speed a youth, seemingly about twenty years of age, clad in green damask with a gold-lace trimming, trousers, and a loose coat; his hat cocked in the Walloon fashion, with straight waxed boots, and his spurs, dagger, and sword gilt; a small carbine in his hand, and a brace of pistols by his side. Roque turned about his head at the noise, and saw this handsome figure, which, at coming up to him, said: "In quest of you I come, O valorous Roque, hoping to find in you, if not a remedy, at least some alleviation of my misfortune; and not to keep you in suspense, because I perceive you do not know me, I will tell you who I am. I am Claudia Jeronima, daughter of Simon Forte, your singular friend, and particular enemy to Clauquel Torellas, who is also yours, being of the contrary faction; and you know, that this Torellas has a son, called Don Vincente de Torellas, or at least was called so not two hours ago. He then (to shorten the story of my misfortune, I will tell you in a few words what he has brought upon me), he, I say, saw me, and courted me; I hearkened to him, and fell in love with him, unknown to my father; for there is no woman, be she never so retired, or never so reserved, but has time enough to effect and put in execution her unruly -[553]- desires. In short, he promised to be my husband, and I gave him my word to be his, without proceeding any farther. Yesterday I was informed that, forgetting his obligations to me, he had contracted himself to another, and this morning was going to be married. This news confounded me, and I lost all patience; and my father happening to be out of town, I had an opportunity of putting myself into this garb you see me in, and spurring this horse, I overtook Don Vincente about a league from hence, and without urging reproaches, or hearing excuses, I discharged this carabine, and this pair of pistols into the bargain, and, as I believe, lodged more than a brace of balls in his body, opening a door through which my honour, distained in his blood, might issue out. I left him among his servants, who durst not, or could not, interpose in his defence. I am come to seek you, that by your means I may escape to France, where I have relations, and to entreat you likewise to protect my father, that the numerous relations of Don Vincente may not dare to take a cruel revenge upon him."

Roque, surprised at the gallantry, bravery, fine shape, and accident of the beautiful Claudia, said: "Come, Madam, and let us see whether your enemy be dead, and afterwards we will consider what is most proper to be done for you." Don Quixote, who had listened attentively to what Claudia had said, and what Roque Guinart answered, said: "Let no one trouble himself about defending this lady; for I take it upon myself: give me my horse and my arms, and stay here for me, while I go in quest of this knight, and, dead or alive, make him fulfil his promise made to so much beauty." "Nobody doubts that," quoth Sancho: "my master has a special hand at match-making; for not many days ago he obliged another person to marry, who also had denied the promise he had given to another maiden; and had not the enchanters, who persecute him, changed his true shape into that of a lackey, at this very hour that same maiden would not have been one." Roque, who was more intent upon Claudia's business than the reasoning of master and man, understood them not; and commanding his squires to restore to Sancho all they had taken from Dapple, ordering them likewise to retire to the place where they had lodged the night before, he presently went off with Claudia, in all haste, in quest of the wounded, or dead, Don Vincente. They came to the place where Claudia had come up with him, and found nothing there but blood newly spilt; then looking round about them, as far as they could extend their sight, they discovered some people upon the side of a hill, and guessed (as indeed it proved) that it must be Don Vincente, whom his servants were carrying off, alive or dead, in order either to his cure, or his burial. They made all the haste they could to overtake them; which they easily did, the others going but softly. They found Don Vincente in the arms of his servants, and with a low and feeble voice, desiring them to let him die there, for the anguish of his wounds would not permit him to go any further. Claudia and Roque, flinging themselves from their horses, drew near. The servants were startled at the sight of Roque, and Claudia was disturbed at that of Don Vincente; and so, divided betwixt tenderness and cruelty, she approached him, and taking hold of his hand, she said: "If you had given me this, according to our contract, you had not been reduced to this extremity." The wounded cavalier opened his almost closed eyes; and knowing Claudia, he said: "I perceive, fair and mistaken lady, that to your hand I owe my death; a punishment neither merited by me, nor due to my wishes; -[554]- for neither my desires, nor my actions, could, or would offend you." "Is it not true then," said Claudia, "that this very morning you were going to be married to Leonora, daughter of the rich Balvastro?" "No, in truth,' answered Don Vincente; "my evil fortune must have carried you that news, to excite your jealousy to bereave me of life, which since I leave in your hands, and between your arms, I esteem myself happy; and to assure you of this truth, take my hand, and receive me for your husband, if you are willing; for I can give you no greater satisfaction for the injury you imagine you have received."

Claudia pressed his hand, and so wrung her own heart, that she fell into a swoon upon the bloody bosom of Don Vincente, and he into a mortal paroxysm. Roque was confounded, and knew not what to do. The servants ran for water to fling in their faces, and bringing it, sprinkled them with it. Claudia returned from her swoon, but not Don Vincente from his paroxysm; for it put an end to his life. Which Claudia seeing, and being assured that her sweet husband was no longer alive, she broke the air with her sighs, wounded the heavens with her complaints, tore her hair, and gave it to the winds, disfigured her face with her own hands, with ail the signs of grief and affliction that can be imagined to proceed from a sorrowful heart. "O cruel and inconsiderate woman!" said she; "with what facility wert thou moved to put so evil a thought in execution! O raging force of jealousy, to what a desperate end dost thou lead those who harbour thee in their breasts! O my husband! whose unhappy lot, for being mine, hath sent thee, for thy bridal bed, to the grave!" Such and so great were the lamentations of Claudia, that they extorted tears from the eyes of Roque, not accustomed to shed them upon any occasion. The servants wept; Claudia fainted away at every step, and all around seemed to be a field of sorrow, and seat of misfortune. Finally, Roque Guinart ordered Don Vincente's servants to carry his body to the place where his father dwelt, which was not far off, there to give it burial. Claudia told Roque she would retire to a nunnery, of which an aunt of hers was abbess; where she designed to end her life, in the company of a better and an eternal Spouse. Roque applauded her good intention, and offered to bear her company whithersoever she pleased, and to defend her father against Don Vincente's relations, and all who should desire to hurt him. Claudia would by no means accept of his company, and thanking him for his offer in the best manner she could, took her leave of him weeping. Don Vincente's servants carried off his body, and Roque returned to his companions. Thus ended the loves of Claudia Jeronima; and no wonder, since the web of her doleful history was woven by the cruel and irresistible hand of jealousy.

Roque Guinart found his squires in the place he had appointed them, and Don Quixote among them, mounted upon Rozinante, and making a speech, wherein he was persuading them to leave that kind of life, so dangerous both to soul and body. But most of them being Gascons, a rude and disorderly sort of people, Don Quixote's harangue made little or no impression upon them. Roque being arrived, demanded of Sancho Panza whether they had returned and restored him all the moveables and jewels his folks had taken from Dapple. Sancho answered, they had, all but three nightcaps, which were worth three cities. "What does the fellow say?" cried one of the bystanders;" I have them, and they are not worth three reals." "That is true," said Don Quixote; "but my squire -[555]- values them at what he has said, for the sake of the person who gave them." Roque Guinart ordered them to be restored that moment, and commanding his men to draw up in a line, he caused all the clothes, jewels, and money, and, in short, all they had plundered since the last distribution, to be brought before them; and making a short appraisement, and reducing the undividables into money, he shared it among his company with so much amity and prudence, that he neither went beyond, nor fell the least short of distributive justice. This done, with which all were paid, contented, and satisfied, Roque said to Don Quixote: "If this punctuality were not strictly observed, there would be no living among these fellows." To which Sancho said: "By what I have seen, justice is so good a thing, that it is necessary even among thieves themselves." One of the squires hearing him, lifted up the butt-end of a musket, and had doubtless split Sancho's head therewith, had not Roque Guinart called out aloud to him to forbear. Sancho was frightened, and resolved not to open his lips, while he continued among those people.

At this juncture, came two or three of the squires, who were posted as sentinels on the highway, to observe travellers, and give notice to their chief of what passed, and said to him: "Not far from hence, Sir, in the road that leads to Barcelona, comes a great company of people." To which Roque replied: "Have you distinguished whether they are such as seek us, or such as we seek?" "Such as we seek," answered the squire. "Then sally forth," replied Roque, "and bring them hither presently, without letting one escape."

They obeyed; and Don Quixote, Sancho, and Roque remaining by themselves, stood expecting what the squires would bring; and, in this interval, Roque said to Don Quixote: "This life of ours must needs seem very new to Signor Don Quixote; new adventures, new accidents, and all of them full of danger; nor do I wonder it should appear so to you; for, I confess truly to you, there is no kind of life more unquiet, nor more full of alarms, than ours. I was led into it by I know not what desire of revenge, which has force enough to disturb the most sedate minds. I am naturally compassionate and good-natured; but, as I have said, the desire of revenging an injury done me so bears down this good inclination in me, that I persevere in this state, in spite of knowing better; and, as one mischief draws after it another, and one sin is followed by a second, my revenges nave been so linked together, that I not only take upon me my own, but those of other people. But it pleases God, that though I see myself in the midst of this labyrinth of confusions, I do not lose the hope of getting out of it, and arriving at last in a safe harbour."

Don Quixote was in admiration to hear Roque talk such good and sound sense; for he thought that amongst those of his trade of robbing, murdering, and waylaying, there could be none capable of serious reflection; and he answered: "Signor Roque, the beginning of health consists in the knowledge of the distemper, and in the patient's being willing to take the medicines prescribed him by the physician. You are sick; you know your disease; and Heaven, or rather God, who is our physician, will apply medicines to heal you, such as usually heal gradually, by little and little, and not suddenly, and by miracle. Besides, sinners of good understanding are nearer to amendment than foolish ones; and since, by your discourse, you lave shown your prudence, it remains only that you be of good cheer, and hope for a bettering of your conscience; and, if you would shorten the -[556]- way, and place yourself with ease in that of your salvation, come with me, and I will teach you to be a knight-errant; in which profession there are so many troubles and disasters that, being placed to the account of penance, they will carry you to Heaven in two twinklings of an eye." Roque smiled at Don Quixote's counsel, to whom, changing the discourse, he related the tragical adventure of Claudia Jeronima, which extremely grieved Sancho, who did not dislike the beauty, freedom, and sprightliness of the young lady.

By this time the squires returned with their prize, bringing with them two gentlemen on horseback, two pilgrims on foot, and a coach full of women, with about six servants, some on foot and some on horseback, accompanying them, and two muleteers belonging to the gentlemen. The squires enclosed them round, the vanquishers and vanquished keeping a profound silence, waiting till the great Roque should speak; who asked the gentlemen who they were, whither they were going, and what money they had. One of them answered: "Sir, we are two captains of Spanish foot; our companies are at Naples, and we are going to embark in four galleys, which are said to be at Barcelona, with orders to pass over to Sicily. We have about two or three hundred crowns, with which we think ourselves rich and happy, since the usual penury of soldiers allows no greater treasures." Roque put the same question to the pilgrims, who replied, they were going to embark for Rome, and that, between them both, they might have about sixty reals. He demanded also, who those were in the coach, where they were going, and what money they carried; and one of those on horseback answered: "The persons in the coach are, my Lady Donna Guiomar de Quinones, wife of the regent of the vicarship of Naples, a little daughter, a waiting-maid, and a duenna. Six servants of us accompany them; and the money they carry is six hundred crowns." "So then," said Roque Guinart, "we have here nine hundred crowns, and sixty reals; my soldiers are sixty; see how much it comes to apiece, for I am but an indifferent accountant." The robbers, hearing him say this, lifted up their voices, saying: "Long live Roque Guinart, in spite of all the wretches who seek his destruction." The captains showed signs of affliction, the Lady Regent was dejected, and the pilgrims were not at all pleased, at seeing the confiscation of their effects. Roque held them thus for some time in suspense, but would not let their sorrow, which might be seen a musket-shot off, last any longer; and, turning to the captains, he said: "Be pleased, gentlemen, to do me the favour to lend me sixty crowns, and you, Lady Regent, fourscore, to satisfy this squadron of my followers; for, the abbot must eat, that sings for his meat; and then you may depart free and unmolested, with a pass I will give you, that if you meet with any more of my squadrons, which I keep in several divisions up and down in these parts, they may not hurt you; for it is not my intention to wrong soldiers, nor any woman, especially if she be of quality." Infinite and well expressed were the thanks the captains returned Roque for his courtesy and liberality; for such they esteemed his leaving them part of their own money. Donna Guiomar de Quinones was ready to throw herself out of her coach, to kiss the feet and hands of the great Roque; but he would in no wise consent to it, but rather begged pardon for the injury he was forced to do them, in compliance with the precise duty of his wicked office. The Lady Regent ordered one of her servants immediately to give the eighty crowns, her share of the -[557]- assessment, and the captains had already disbursed their sixty. The pilgrims were going to offer their little all; but Roque bid them stay a little, and turning about to his men, he said: "Of these crowns, two fall to each man's share, and twenty remain; let ten be given to these pilgrims, and the other ten to this honest squire, that he may have it in his power to speak well of this adventure;" and calling for pen, ink, and paper, with which he always was provided, Roque gave them a pass, directed to the chiefs of his band, and taking leave of them, he let them go free, in admiration at his generosity, his graceful deportment, and strange procedure, and looking upon him rather as an Alexander the Great, than a notorious robber.

One of the squires said, in his Gascon and Catalan language: "This captain of ours is fitter for a friar than a felon; for the future, if he has a mind to show himself liberal, let it be of his own goods, and not of ours." The wretch spoke not so low but Roque overheard him, and drawing his sword, he almost cleft his head in two, saying: "Thus I chastise the ill-tongued and saucy." All the rest were frightened, and no one durst utter a word; such was the awe and obedience they were held in. Roque went a little aside, and wrote a letter to a friend of his at Barcelona, acquainting him that the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha, that knight-errant of whom so many things were reported, was in his company; giving him to understand that he was the pleasantest and most ingenious person in the world; and that, four days after, on the feast of Saint John Baptist, he would appear on the strand of the city, armed at all points, mounted on his horse Rozinante, and his squire Sancho upon an ass; desiring him to give notice thereof to his friends the Niarri, that they might make themselves merry with him; and expressing his wishes, that his enemies the Cadelli might not partake of the diversion; though that was impossible, because the wild extravagances and distraction of Don Quixote, together with the witty sayings of his squire Sancho Panza, could not fail to give general pleasure to all the world. He despatched this epistle by one of his squires, who changing the habit of an outlaw for that of a peasant, entered into Barcelona, and delivered it into the hands of the person it was directed to.

 

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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