Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[566]-

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 LXIII: Of the unlucky Accident which befell Sancho Panza in visiting the Galleys, and the strange Adventure of the beautiful Morisca.

 

Many were the reflections Don Quixote made upon the answer of the enchanted head, none of them hitting upon the trick of it, and all centring in the promise, which he looked upon as certain, of the disenchantment of Dulcinea. He rejoiced within himself, believing he should soon see the accomplishment of it; and Sancho, though he abhorred being a governor, as has been said, had still a desire to command again, and be obeyed: such is the misfortune power brings along with it, though but in jest. In short, that evening Don Antonio Moreno and his two friends, with Don Quixote and Sancho, went to the galleys. The commodore of the four galleys, who had notice of the coming of the two famous personages, Don Quixote and Sancho, no sooner perceived them approach the shore, but he ordered all the galleys to strike their awnings, and the waits to play; and immediately he sent out the pinnace, covered with rich carpets, and furnished with cushions of crimson velvet; and just as Don Quixote set his foot into it, the captain-galley discharged her forecastle piece, and the other galleys did the like; and at his mounting the ladder on the starboard side all the crew of slaves saluted him, as the custom is when a person of rank comes on board, with three "Hu, hu, hu's." The general, for so we shall call him, who was a gentleman of quality of -[567]- Valencia, gave Don Quixote his hand, and embraced him, saying: "This day will I mark with a white stone, as one of the best I ever wish to see, while I live, having seen Signor Don Quixote de la Mancha, in whom is composed and abridged the whole worth of knight-errantry." Don Quixote answered him in expressions no less courteous, being overjoyed to find himself treated so like a lord. All the company went to the poop, which was finely adorned, and seated themselves upon the lockers. The boatswain passed along the middle gangway, and gave the signal with his whistle for the slaves to strip; which was done in an instant. Sancho, seeing so many men in buff, was frightened; and more so, when he saw them spread an awning so swiftly over the galley, that he thought all the devils in hell were there at work. But all this was tarts and cheesecakes to what I am going to relate.

Sancho was seated near the stern, on the right hand, close to the hindmost rower, who, being instructed what he was to do, laid hold on Sancho, and lifted him up in his arms. Then the whole crew of slaves standing up, and beginning from the right side, passed him from bank to bank, and from hand to hand, so swiftly, that poor Sancho lost the very sight of his eyes, and verily thought the devils themselves were carrying him away; and they had not done with him, till they brought him round by the left side, and replaced him at the stern. The poor wretch remained bruised, out of breath, and in a cold sweat, without being able to imagine what had befallen him. Don Quixote, who beheld Sancho's flight without wings, asked the general if that was a ceremony commonly used at people's first coming aboard the galleys: for, if so, he, who had no intention of making profession in them, had no inclination to perform the like exercise, and vowed to God, that if anyone presumed to lay hold, of him to toss him, he would kick their souls out. And; saying this, he stood up, and laid his hand on his sword. At that instant they struck the awning, and with a great noise, let fall the mainyard from the top of the mast to the bottom. Sancho thought the sky was falling off its hinges, and tumbling upon his head, and shrinking it down, he clapped it for fear between his legs. Don Quixote knew not what to think of it, and he too quaked, shrugged his shoulders, and changed countenance. The slaves hoisted the mainyard with the same swiftness and noise they had struck it; and all this without speaking a word, as if they had neither voice nor breath. The boatswain made a signal for weighing anchor, and jumping into the middle of the forecastle, with his bull's pizzle, he began to fly-flap the shoulders of the slaves at the oar, and by little and little to put off to sea. Sancho, seeing so many red feet (for such he took the oars to be) move all together, said to himself: "Ay, these are enchanted things indeed, and not those my master talks of. What have these unhappy wretches done to be whipped at this rate? And how has this one man, who goes whistling up and down, the boldness to whip so many? I maintain it, this is hell, or purgatory at least." Don Quixote seeing with what attention Sancho observed all that passed, said: "Ah, friend Sancha, how quickly and how cheaply might you, if you would strip to the waist, and, placing yourself among these gentlemen, put an end to the enchantment of Dulcinea! for, having so many companions in pain, you would feel but little of your own; besides, perhaps, the sage Merlin would take every lash of theirs, coming from so good a hand, upon account for ten of those you must, one day or other, give yourself." -[568]-

The general would have asked what lashes he spoke of, and what he meant by the disenchantment of Dulcinea; when a mariner said: "The fort of Montjuy makes a signal that there is a vessel with oars on the coast, on the western side." The general hearing this, leaped upon the middle gangway, and said: "Pull away, my lads, let her not escape us; it must be some brigantine belonging to the corsairs of Algiers that the fort makes the signal for." Then the other three galleys came up with the captain to receive his orders. The general commanded that two of them should put out to sea as fast as they could, and he with the other would go along shore, and so the vessel could not escape. The crew plied the oars, impelling the galleys with such violence that they seemed to fly. Those that stood out to sea, about two miles off discovered a sail, which they judged to carry about fourteen or fifteen banks of oars; and so it proved to be. The vessel discovering the galleys, put herself in chase, with design and in hope to get away by her swiftness. But, unfortunately for her, the captain-galley happened to be one of the swiftest vessels upon the sea, and therefore gained upon the brigantine so fast, that the corsairs saw they could not escape; and so the master of her ordered his men to drop their oars, and yield themselves prisoners, that they might not exasperate the captain of our galleys. But fortune, that would have it otherwise, so ordered, that just as the captain-galley came so near that the corsairs could hear a voice from her, calling to them to surrender, two Toraquis, that is to say two Turks, that were drunk, who came in the brigantine with twelve others, discharged two muskets, with which they killed two of our soldiers upon the prow. Which the general seeing, he swore not to leave a man alive he should take in the vessel, and coming up with all fury to board her, she slipped away under the oars of the galley. The galley ran ahead a good way; they in the vessel, perceiving they were got clear, made all the way they could while the galley was coming about, and again put themselves in chase with oars and sails. But their diligence did them, not so much good as their presumption did them harm; for the captain-galley, overtaking them in little more than half-a-mile, clapped her oars on the vessel, and took them all alive.

By this time the two other galleys were come up, and all four returned with their prize to the strand, where a vast concourse of people stood expecting them, desirous to see what they had taken. The general cast anchor near the land, and knowing that the viceroy was upon the shore, he ordered out the boat to bring him on board, and commanded the main-yard to be let down, immediately to hang thereon the master of the vessel, and the rest of the Turks he had taken in her, being about six-and-thirty persons, all brisk fellows, and most of them Turkish musketeers. The general inquired which was the master of the brigantine; and one of the captives, who afterwards appeared to be a Spanish renegado, answered him in Castilian: "This youth, Sir, you see here, is our master;" pointing to one of the most beautiful and most graceful young men that human imagination could paint. His age, in appearance, did not reach twenty years. The general said to him: "Tell me, ill-advised dog, what moved you to kill my soldiers, when you saw it was impossible to escape? Is this the respect paid to captain-galleys? Know you not, that temerity is not valour, and that doubtful hopes should make men daring, but not rash?" The youth would have replied; but the general could not hear him then, because he was going to receive the viceroy, who was just then entering -[569]- he galley; with whom there came several of his servants, and some people of the town. "You have had a fine chase of it, Signor General," said the viceroy. "So fine," answered the general, "that your excellency shall presently see the cause of it hanged up at the yardarm." "How so?" said the viceroy. "Because," replied the general, "against all law, against all reason, and the custom of war, they have killed me two of the best soldiers belonging to the galleys, and I have sworn to hang every man I took prisoner, especially this youth here, who is master of the brigantine;" pointing to one who had his hands already tied, and a rope about his neck, and stood expecting death. The viceroy looked at him, and, seeing him so beautiful, so genteel, and so humble (his beauty giving him, in that instant, a kind of letter of recommendation), he had a mind to save him, and therefore he asked him: "Tell me, Sir, are you a Turk, a Moor, or a renegado?" To which the youth answered in the Castilian tongue: "I am neither a Turk, nor a Moor, nor a renegado." "What are you then?" replied the viceroy. "A Christian woman," answered the youth. "A Christian woman in such a garb, and in such circumstances," said the viceroy, "is a thing rather to be wondered at than believed." "Gentlemen," said the youth, "suspend the execution of my death; it will be no great loss to defer your revenge, while I recount the story of my life." What heart could be so hard as not to relent at these expressions, at least so far as to hear what the sad and afflicted youth had to say? The general bid him say what he pleased, but not to expect pardon for his notorious offence. With this license the youth began his story in the following manner:

"I was born of Moorish parents, of that nation more unhappy than wise, so lately overwhelmed under a sea of misfortunes. In the current of their calamity, I was carried away by two of my uncles into Barbary, it availing me nothing to say I was a Christian, as indeed I am, and not of the feigned or pretended, but of the true and Catholic ones. The discovery of this truth had no influence on those who were charged with our unhappy banishment; nor would my uncles believe it, but rather took it for a lie, and an invention of mine, in order to remain in the country where I was born; and so, by force rather than by my good-will, they carried me with them. My mother was a Christian, and my father a discreet man, and a Christian too. I sucked in the Catholic faith with my milk. I was virtuously brought up, and neither in my language nor behaviour did I, as I thought, give any indication of being a Morisca. My beauty, if I have any, grew up, and kept equal pace with these virtues; for such I believe them to be; and, though my modesty and reserve were great, I could not avoid being seen by a young gentleman, called Don Gaspar Gregorio, eldest son of a person of distinction, whose estate joins to our town. How he saw me, how we conversed together, how he was undone for me, and how I was little less for him, would be tedious to relate, especially at a time when I am under apprehensions that the cruel cord which threatens me may interpose between my tongue and my throat; and therefore I will only say, that Don Gregorio resolved to bear me company in our banishment. And so, mingling with the Moors, who came from other towns (for he spoke the language well), in the journey he contracted an intimacy with my two uncles, who had the charge of me; for my father being a prudent and provident person, as soon as he saw the first edict for our banishment, left the town, and went to seek some place of refuge for us in foreign -[570]- kingdoms, He left a great number of pearls, and precious stones of great value, hid and buried in a certain place, known to me only, with some money in crusadoes and pistoles of gold, commanding me in nowise to touch the treasure he left, if peradventure we should be banished before he returned. I obeyed, and passed over into Barbary with my uncles and other relations and acquaintance, as I have already said; and the place we settled in was Algiers, or rather hell itself. The king heard of my beauty, and fame told him of my riches, which partly proved my good fortune. He sent for me, and asked me of what part of Spain I was, and what money and jewels I had brought with me. I told him the town, and that the jewels and money were buried in it; but that they might easily be brought off, if I myself went to fetch them. All this I told him, in hopes that his own covetousness, more than my beauty, would blind him.

"While he was thus discoursing with me, information was given him, that one of the genteelest and handsomest youths imaginable came in my company. I presently understood that they meant Don Gaspar Gregorio, whose beauty is beyond all possibility of exaggeration. I was greatly disturbed when I considered the danger Don Gregorio was in; for, among those barbarous Turks, a beautiful boy or youth is more valued and esteemed than a woman, be she never so beautiful. The king commanded him to be immediately brought before him, that he might see him,  and asked me if It was true what he was told of that youth. I, as if inspired by Heaven, answered Yes, it was; but that I must inform him he was not a man, but a woman, as I was; and I requested that he would let me go and dress her in her proper garb, that she might shine in full beauty, and appear in his presence with the less concern. He said I might go in a good hour, and that next day he would talk with me of the manner how I might conveniently return to Spain, to get the hidden treasure. I consulted with Don Gaspar; I told him the danger he ran in appearing as a man; and I dressed him like a Morisca, and that very afternoon introduced him as a woman to the king, who was in admiration at the sight of her and proposed to reserve her for a present to the Grand Signior; and, to: prevent the risk she might run in the seraglio among his own wives, and distrusting himself, he ordered her to be lodged in the house of a Moorish lady of quality, there to be kept and waited upon; whither she was instantly conveyed. What we both felt (for I cannot deny that I love him) I leave to the consideration of those who mutually love each other, and are forced to part. The king presently gave order for my returning to Spain in this brigantine, accompanied by two Turks, being those who killed your soldiers. There came with me also this Spanish renegado (pointing to him who spoke first), whom I certainly know to be a Christian in his heart and that he comes with a greater desire to stay in Spain, than to return to Barbary. The rest of the ship's crew are Moors and Turks, who serve for nothing but to row at the oar. The two drunken and insolent Turks disobeying the orders given them to set me and the renegado on shore in the first place of Spain we should touch upon, in the habit of Christians, with which we came provided, would needs first scour the coast, and make some prize, if they could; fearing, if they should land us first, we might be induced by some accident or other to discover that such a vessel was at sea, and, if perchance there were any galleys abroad upon this coast, she might be taken. Last night we made this shore, and not knowing anything of these four galleys, were discovered ourselves, and what you have seen -[571]- has befallen us. In short, Don Gregorio remains among the women, in woman's attire, and in manifest danger of being undone; and I find myself, with my hands tied, expecting, or rather fearing, to lose that life, of which I am already weary. This, Sir, is the conclusion of my lamentable story, as true as unfortunate. What I beg of you is, that you will suffer me to die like a Christian, since, as I have told you, I am nowise chargeable with the blame into which those of my nation have fallen."

Here she held her peace, her eyes pregnant with tender tears, which were accompanied by many of those of the standers-by. The viceroy being of a kind and compassionate disposition, without speaking a word, went to her, and with his own hands unbound the cord that tied the beautiful ones of the fair Morisca. While the Moriscan Christian was relating her strange story, an old pilgrim, who came aboard the galley with the viceroy, fastened his eyes on her, and scarcely had she made an end, when, throwing himself at her feet, and embracing them, with words interrupted by a thousand sobs and sighs, he said: "O Anna Felix! my unhappy daughter! I am thy father Ricote, who am returned to seek thee, not being able to live without thee, who art my very soul." At which words, Sancho opened his eyes, and lifted up his head, which he was holding down, ruminating upon his late disgrace; and looking at the pilgrim, he knew him to be the very Ricote he met with upon the day he left his government, and was persuaded this must be his daughter; who, being now unbound, embraced her father, mingling her tears with his. Ricote said to the general and the viceroy: "This, Sirs, is my daughter, happy in her name alone: Anna Felix she is called, with the surname of Ricote, as famous for her own beauty as for her father's riches. I left my native country, to seek, in foreign kingdoms, some shelter and safe retreat; and, having found one in Germany, I returned in this pilgrim's weed, in the company of some Germans, in quest of my daughter, and to take up a great deal of wealth I had left buried. My daughter I found not; but the treasure I did, and have it in my possession; and now, by the strange turn of fortune you have seen, I have found the treasure which most enriches me, my beloved daughter. If our innocence, and her tears and mine, through the uprightness of your justice, can open the gates of mercy, let us partake of it, who never had a thought of offending you, nor in any ways conspired with the designs of our people, who have been justly banished." Sancho then said: "I know Ricote very well, and am sure what he says of Anna Felix's being his daughter is true; but as for the other idle stories of his going and coming, and of his having a good or bad intention, I meddle not with them."

All that were present wondered at the strangeness of the case; and the general said: "Each tear of yours hinders me from fulfilling my oath; live, fair Anna Felix, all the years Heaven has allotted you, and let the daring and the insolent undergo the punishment their crime deserves." Immediately he ordered that the two Turks who had killed his soldiers should be hanged at the yardarm. But the viceroy earnestly entreated him not to hang them, their fault being rather the effect of madness than of valour. The general yielded to the viceroy's request; for it is not easy to execute revenge in cold blood. Then they consulted how to deliver Don Gaspar Gregorio from the danger he was left in. Ricote offered above two thousand ducats, which he had in pearls and jewels, towards it. Several expedients were proposed, but none so likely to succeed as that of the Spanish -[572]- renegado afore-mentioned, who offered to return to Algiers in a. small barque of about eight banks, armed with Christian rowers; for he knew where, how, and when he might land; nor was he ignorant of the house in which Don Gaspar was kept. The general and the viceroy were in doubt whether they should rely on the renegado, or trust him with the Christians, who were to row at the oar. Anna Felix answered for him, and her father Ricote said he would be answerable for the ransom of those Christians if they should be betrayed. Matters being thus settled, the viceroy went ashore, and Don Antonio Moreno took the Morisca and her father along with him, the viceroy charging him to regale and welcome them as much as possible, offering, on his own part, whatever his house afforded for their better entertainment; so great was the kindness and charity that the beauty of Anna Felix infused into his breast.

 

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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