Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[572]-

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 LXIV: Treating of the adventure which gave Don Quixote more sorrow than any which had hitherto befallen him.

 

The history relates, that the wife of Don Antonio Moreno took a great deal of pleasure in seeing Anna Felix in her house. She gave her a kind welcome, enamoured as well of her beauty as of her discretion; for the Morisca excelled in both; and all the people of the city flocked to see her, as if they had been brought together by ringing the great bell. Don Quixote said to Don Antonio, that the method they had resolved upon for the redemption of Don Gregorio was quite a wrong one, there being more danger than probability of success in it; and that they would do better to land him, with his horse and arms, in Barbary; for he would fetch him off in spite of the whole Moorish race as Don Gayferos had done by his spouse Melisendra. "Take notice, sir," quoth Sancho, hearing this, "that Signor Don Gayferos rescued his spouse on firm land, and carried her over land into France; but here, if, peradventure, we rescue Don Gregorio, we have no way to bring him into Spain, since the sea is between." "For all things there is a remedy, excepting for death," replied Don Quixote; "for, let but a vessel come to the seaside, and we can embark in it, though the whole world should endeavour to oppose it." "Your worship," quoth Sancho, "contrives and makes the matter very easy; but, between the saying and the fact is a very large tract; and I stick to the renegado, who seems to me a very honest and good-natured man." Don Antonio said, if the renegado should miscarry in the business, it would be time enough to put in practice the expedient of the great Don Quixote's passing over into Barbary. Two days after, the renegado set sail in a small bark of six oars on a side, manned with a stout crew; and two days after that, the galleys departed for the Levant, the general having engaged the viceroy to give him advice of all that should happen in respect to the deliverance of Don Gregorio, and the fortune of Anna Felix.

One morning, Don Quixote being sallied forth to take the air on the strand, armed at all points (for, as he was wont to say, his arms were his -[573]- finery, and his recreation fighting, and so he was seldom without them), he perceived advancing towards him a knight, armed likewise at all points. On his shield was painted a resplendent moon; and when he was come near enough to be heard, he raised his voice, and, directing it to Don Quixote, he said: "Illustrious knight, and never-enough-renowned Don Quixote de la Mancha, I am the Knight of the White Moon, whose unheard-of exploits, perhaps, may bring him to your remembrance. I come to enter into combat with you, and to try the strength of your arm, in order to make you know and confess, that my mistress, be she who she will, is, without comparison, more beautiful than your Dulcinea del Toboso; which truth, if you do immediately and fairly confess, you will save your own life, and me the trouble of taking it from you; and if you fight, and are vanquished by me, all the satisfaction I expect is, that you lay aside arms, forbear going in quest of adventures, and retire home to your house for the space of one year, where you shall live, without laying hand to your sword, in profound peace, and profitable repose; which will redound both to the improvement of your estate and the salvation of your soul; and if you shall vanquish me, my head shall lie at your mercy, the spoils of my horse and arms shall be yours, and the fame of my exploits shall be transferred from me to you. Consider which is best for you, and answer me presently; for this business must be dispatched this very day."

Don Quixote was surprised and amazed, as well at the arrogance of the Knight of the White Moon, as at the reason of his being challenged by him; and so, with gravity composed, and Countenance severe, he answered: "Knight of the White Moon, whose achievements have not as yet reached my ears, I dare swear you never saw the illustrious Dulcinea; for, had you seen her, I am confident you would have taken care not to engage in this trial, since the sight of her must have undeceived, and convinced you, that there never was, nor ever can be, a beauty comparable to hers; and therefore, without giving you the lie, and only saying you are mistaken, I accept your challenge, with the aforementioned conditions; and that upon the spot, that the day allotted for this business may not first elapse; and out of the conditions I only except the transfer of your exploits, because I do not know what they are, nor that they are; I am contented with my own, such as they are. Take, then, what part of the field you please, and I will do the like, and to whom God shall give it, St. Peter give his blessing."

The Knight of the White Moon was discovered from the city, and the viceroy was informed that he was in conference with Don Quixote de la Mancha. The viceroy believing it was some new adventure, contrived by Don Antonio Moreno, or by some other gentleman of the town, immediately rode out to the strand, accompanied by Don Antonio, and a great many other gentlemen; and arrived just as Don Quixote had wheeled Rozinante about, to take the necessary ground for his career. The viceroy, perceiving they were both ready to turn for the encounter, interposed, asking what induced them to so sudden a fight. The Knight of the White Moon answered, it was the precedency of beauty; and told him in a few words, what he had said to Don Quixote, and that the conditions of the combat were agreed to on both sides. The viceroy asked Don Antonio, in his ear, whether he knew who the Knight of the White Moon was, and whether it was some jest designed to be put upon Don Quixote. Don Antonio answered, that he neither knew who he was, nor whether -[574]- this challenge was in jest or earnest. This answer perplexed the viceroy, putting him in doubt whether he should suffer them to proceed to the combat; but, inclining rather to believe it could be nothing but a jest, he went aside, saving: "If there is no other remedy, knights, but to confess or die, and if Signor Don Quixote persists in denying, and your worship of the White Moon in affirming, at it, in God's name." He of the White Moon thanked the viceroy in courtly and discreet terms for the leave he gave them; and Don Quixote did the same; who, recommending himself to Heaven with all his heart, and to his Dulcinea (as was his custom at the beginning of the combats that offered), wheeled about again to fetch a larger compass, because he saw his adversary did the like; and, without sound of trumpet or other warlike instrument, to give the signal for the onset, they both turned their horses about at the same instant; and he of the White Moon being the nimblest, met Don Quixote at two-thirds of the career, and there encountered him with such impetuous force (not touching him with his lance, which he seemed to raise on purpose), that he gave Rozinante and Don Quixote a perilous fall to the ground. Presently he was upon him, and, clapping his lance to his visor, he said: "Knight, you are vanquished and a dead man, if you do not confess the conditions of our challenge." Don Quixote bruised and stunned, without lifting up his visor, as if he was speaking from within a tomb, in a feeble and low voice, said: "Dulcinea del Toboso is the most beautiful woman in the world, and I the most unfortunate knight on earth, and it is not fit that my weakness should discredit this truth; knight, push on your lance, and take away my life, since you have spoiled me of my honour." "By no means," quoth he of the White Moon: "live, live the fame of the beauty of the lady Dulcinea del Toboso, in its full lustre; all the satisfaction I demand is, that the great Don Quixote retire home to his own town for a year, or till such time as I shall command, according to our agreement before we began this battle." All this was heard by the viceroy, Don Antonio, and many other persons there present; who also heard Don Quixote reply, that since he required nothing of him to the prejudice of Dulcinea, he would perform all the rest like a punctual and true knight.

This confession being made, he of the White Moon turned about his horse, and, making a bow with his head to the viceroy, at a full gallop entered into the city. The viceroy ordered Don Antonio to follow him, and by all means to learn who he was. They raised Don Quixote from the ground, and, uncovering his face, found him pale, and in a cold sweat. Rozinante, out of pure ill plight, could not stir for the present. Sancho, quite sorrowful, and cast down, knew not what to do or say. He fancied all that had happened to be a dream, and that all this business was matter of enchantment: he saw his master vanquished, and under an obligation not to bear arms during a whole year; he imagined the light of the glory of his achievements obscured, and the hopes of his late promises dissipated as smoke by the wind; he was afraid Rozinante's bones were quite broken, and his master's disjointed, and wished it might prove no worse. Finally, Don Quixote was carried back to the city in a chair the viceroy had commanded to be brought; and the viceroy also returned thither, impatient to learn who the Knight of the White Moon was that had left Don Quixote in such evil plight.

 

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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