Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Charles Jarvis

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-[578]-

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 LXVI: Treating of Matters, which he who reads will see; and he who hears them read, will hear.

 

At going out of Barcelona, Don Quixote turned about to see the spot where he was overthrown, and said: "Here stood Troy; here my misfortunes, not my cowardice, despoiled me of my acquired glory; here I experienced the fickleness of fortune; here the lustre of my exploits was obscured; and lastly, here fell my happiness, never to rise again." Which Sancho hearing, he said: "It is as much the part of valiant minds, dear Sir, to be patient under misfortunes, as to rejoice in prosperity; and this I judge by myself: for as, when a governor, I was merry, now that I am a squire on foot, I am not sad; for I have heard say, that she, they commonly call Fortune, is a drunken, capricious dame, and above all, very blind; so that she does not see what she is about, nor knows whom she casts down, or whom she exalts." "You are much of a philosopher, Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "and talk very discreetly; I know not whence you had it. What I can tell you is, that there is no such thing in the world as Fortune, nor do the things which happen in it, be they good or bad, fall out by chance, but by the particular appointment of Heaven; and hence comes the saying, that every man is the maker of his own fortune. I have been so of mine, but not with all the prudence necessary; and my presumption has succeeded accordingly: for I ought to have considered that the feebleness of Rozinante was not a match for the ponderous bulk of the Knight of the White Moon's steed. In short, I adventured it; I did my best; I was overthrown; and, though I lost my honour, I lost not, nor could I lose, the virtue of performing my promise. When I was a knight-errant, daring and valiant, by my works I gained credit to my exploits; and now that I am but a walking squire, I will gain reputation to my words, by performing my promise. March on then, friend Sancho, and let us pass at home the year of our noviciate; by which retreat we shall acquire fresh vigour, to return to the never-by-me-forgotten exercise of arms." "Sir," answered Sancho, "trudging on foot is no such pleasant thing, as as to encourage or incite me to travel great days' journeys: let us leave this armour hanging upon some tree, instead of a hanged man; and when I am mounted upon Dapple, my feet from the ground, we will travel as your worship shall like and lead the way; for to think that I am to foot it, and make large stages, is to expect what cannot be." "You hare said well, Sancho," answered Don Quixote;" hang up my armour for a trophy; and -[579]- under them, or round about them, we will carve on the tree that, which was written on the trophy of Orlando's arms:

' These arms let none attempt to wear
  Unless they Roldan 's rage can bear.'"

"All this seems to me extremely right," answered Sancho, "and were it not for the want we should have of Rozinante upon the road, it would not be amiss to leave him hanging too." "Neither him, nor the armour," replied Don Quixote, "will I suffer to be hanged, that it may not be said for good service, bad recompense." "Your worship says well," answered Sancho;" for according to the opinion of the wise, the ass's fault should not be laid upon the pack-saddle, and since your worship is in fault for this business, punish yourself, and let not your fury spend itself upon the already shattered and bloody armour, nor upon the gentleness of Rozinante, nor upon the tenderness of my feet, making them travel more than they can bear."

In these reasonings and discourses they passed all that day, and even four more, without encountering anything to put them out of their way. And on the fifth, at entering into a village they saw at the door of an inn, a great number of people, who, it being a holiday, were there solacing themselves. When Don Quixote came up to them, a peasant said aloud: "One of these two gentlemen who are coming this way, and who know not the parties, shall decide our wager." "That I will," answered Don Quixote, "most impartially, when I am made acquainted with it." "The business, good Sir," said the peasant, "is, that an inhabitant of this town, who is so corpulent, that he weighs about twenty-three stone,(213) has challenged a neighbour who weighs not above ten and a half, to run with him an hundred yards, upon condition of carrying equal weight; and the challenger, being asked how the weight should be made equal, said, that the challenged, who weighed but ten and a half, should carry thirteen stone of iron about him, and so both the lean and the fat would carry equal weight." "Not so," quoth Sancho immediately, before Don Quixote could answer; "and to me, who have so lately left being a governor and a judge, as all the world knows, it belongs to resolve these doubts, and give my opinion in every controversy." "Answer in a good hour, friend Sancho," cried Don Quixote;" for I am not fit to feed a cat,(214) my brain is so disturbed and turned topsy-turvy." With this license, Sancho said to the country-fellows, who crowded about him, gaping, and expecting his decision: "Brothers, the fat man's proposition is unreasonable, nor is there the least shadow of justice in it; for if it be true what is commonly said, that the challenged may choose his weapons, it is not reasonable the other should choose for him such as will hinder and obstruct his coming off conqueror: and therefore my sentence is, that the fat fellow, the challenger, pare away, slice off, or cut out, thirteen stone of his flesh, somewhere or other, as he shall think best and properest; and so being reduced to ten and a half stone weight, he will be equal to, and matched exactly with his adversary; and so they may run upon even terms." "I vow," cried one of the peasants, who listened to Sancho's decision, "this gentleman has spoken like a saint, and given sentence like a canon; but I warrant the fat fellow will have no mind to part with an ounce of his flesh, much less thirteen stone." "The best way," answered another, "will be, not to run at all, that the lean may not break his back with the weight, nor the fat lose flesh; and let half the -[580]- wager be spent in wine, and let us take these gentlemen to the tavern that has the best, and give me the cloak when it rains." "I thank ye, gentlemen," answered Don Quixote, "but cannot stay a moment; for melancholy thoughts and disastrous circumstances oblige me to appear uncivil, and to travel faster than ordinary." And so, clapping spurs to Rozinante, he went on, leaving them in admiration, both at the strangeness of his figure, and the discretion of his man (for such they took Sancho to be); and another of the peasants said: "If the man be so discreet, what must the master be? I will lay a wager if they go to study at Salamanca, in a trice they will come to be judges at court; for there is nothing easier; it is but studying hard, and having favour and good luck, and when a man least thinks of it, he finds himself with a white wand in his hand, or a mitre on his head'

That night master and man passed in the middle of the fields, exposed to the smooth and clear sky; and the next day, going on their way, they saw coming towards them a man on foot, with a wallet about his neck, and a javelin or half-pike in his hand, the proper equipment of a foot-post; who, when he was come pretty near to Don Quixote, mended his pace, and half running, went up to him, and embracing his right thigh (for he could reach no higher) with signs of great joy, he said: "Oh! Signor Don Quixote de la Mancha, with what pleasure will my lord duke's heart be touched, when he understands that your worship is returning to his castle where he still is with my lady duchess!" "I know you not, friend," answered Don Quixote, "nor can I guess who you are, unless you tell me." "I, Signor Don Quixote," answered the foot-post, "am Tosilos, the duke's lackey, who would not fight with your worship about the marriage of Donna Rodriguez's daughter." "God be my aid!" cried Don Quixote, "are you he, whom the enchanters, my enemies, transformed into the lackey, to defraud me of the glory of that combat?" "Peace, good Sir," replied the foot-post: "for there was not any enchantment, nor change of face; I was as much the lackey Tosilos, when I entered the lists, as Tosilos the lackey, when I came out. I thought to have married without fighting, because I liked the girl: but my design succeeded quite otherwise; for as soon as your worship was departed from our castle, my lord duke ordered a hundred bastinadoes to be given me for having contravened the directions he gave me before the battle; and the business ended in the girl's turning nun, and Donna Rodriguez's returning to Castile; and I am now going to Barcelona, to carry a packet of letters from my lord to the viceroy. If your worship pleases to take a little draught, pure, though warm, I have here a calabash full of the best, with a few slices of Trochon cheese, which will serve as a provocative and awakener of thirst, if perchance it be asleep." "I accept of the invitation," quoth Sancho;" and throw aside the rest of the compliment, and fill, honest Tosilos, maugre and in spite of all the enchanters that are in the Indies." "In short, Sancho," said Don Quixote," you are the greatest glutton in the world, and the greatest ignorant upon earth, if you cannot be persuaded that this foot-post is enchanted, and this Tosilos a counterfeit. Stay you with him, and sate yourself; for I will go on fair and softly before, and wait your coming." The lackey laughed, unsheathed his calabash, and unwalleted his cheese; and taking out a little loaf, he and Sancho sat down upon the green grass, and in peace and good fellowship, quickly despatched, and got to the bottom of the provisions in the wallet, with so good an appetite that they licked the very packet of letters, because it smelt of cheese. Tosilos said to Sancho: "Doubtless, -[581]- friend Sancho, this master of yours ought to be reckoned a madman." "Why ought?"(215) replied Sancho;" he owes nothing to anybody; for he pays for everything, especially where madness is current. I see it full well, and full well I tell him of it; but what boots it, especially now that there is an end of him? For he is vanquished by the Knight of the White Moon." Tosilos desired him to tell him what had befallen him; but Sancho said it was unmannerly to let his master wait for him, and that some other time, if they met, he should have leisure to do it. And rising up, after he had shaken his loose upper coat, and the crumbs from his beard, he drove Dapple before him, and bidding Tosilos adieu, he left him, and overtook his master, who was staying for him under the shade of a tree.

 

 

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