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 Bottom Next page   

-[601]-

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 LXXIII: Of the Omens Don Quixote met with at the Entrance into his Village, with other Accidents, which adorn and illustrate this great History.

 

At the entrance into the village, as Cid Hamete reports, Don Quixote saw a couple of boys quarrelling in a threshing-floor, and one said to the other: "Trouble not yourself, Periquillo; for you shall never see it more while you live." Don Quixote hearing him, said to Sancho: "Do you not take notice, friend, what this boy has said, 'you shall never see it more, while you live?'" "Well," answered Sancho, "what signifies it, if the boy did say so?" "What!" replied Don Quixote, "do you not perceive, that applying these words to my purpose, the meaning is, I shall never see Dulcinea more?" Sancho would have answered, but was prevented by seeing a hare come running across the field, pursued by abundance of dogs and sportmen; which frightened, came for shelter, and squatted between Dapple's feet. Sancho took her up alive, and presented her to Don Quixote, who cried, "Malum signum, malum signum! A hare flies; dogs pursue her; Dulcinea appears not." "Your worship is a strange man," quoth Sancho: "let us suppose now, that this hare is Dulcinea del Toboso, and these dogs that pursue her, those wicked enchanters who transformed her into a country wench; she flies, I catch her, and put her into your worship's hands, who have her in your arms, and make much of her; what bad sign is this, or what ill omen can you draw from hence?" The two contending boys came up to look at the hare, and Sancho asked one of them what they were quarrelling about? And answer was made by him who had said, "You shall never see it more while you live;" that he had taken a cage full of crickets from the other boy, which he never intended to restore to him, while he lived. Sancho drew four quarter-maravedis(220) out of his pocket, and gave it the boy for his cage, which he put into Don Quixote's hands, and said: "Behold, Sir, all your omens broken, and come to nothing; and they have no more to do with our adventures, in my judgment, a dunce as I am, than last year's clouds; and, if I remember right, I have heard the priest of our village say, that good Christians and wise people ought not to regard these fooleries; and your worship's own self told me as much a few days ago, giving me to understand that all such Christians as minded presages were fools; so there is no need of troubling ourselves any further about them, but let us go on, and get home to our village."

The hunters came up, and demanded their hare, and Don Quixote gave it them. They went on their way, and at the entrance of the village, in a little meadow, they found the priest, and the Bachelor Sampson Carrasco, repeating their breviary. Now, you must know, that Sancho Panza had thrown the buckram robe, painted with flames of fire, which he had worn at the duke's castle the night he brought Altisidora to life again, instead of a sumpter-cloth over the bundle of armour upon his ass. He had likewise clapped the mitre on Dapple's head; insomuch that never was -[602]- ass so metamorphosed and adorned. The priest and the bachelor presently knew them both, and came running to them with open arms. Don Quixote alighted, and embraced them closely; and the boys, who are sharp-sighted as lynxes, espying the ass's mitre, flocked to view him, and said to one another: "Come, boys, and you shall see Sancho Panza's ass finer than Mingo,(221) and Don Quixote's beast leaner than ever." Finally, surrounded with boys, and accompanied by the priest and the bachelor, they entered the village, and took the way to Don Quixote's house, where they found at the door the housekeeper and the niece, who had already heard the news of his arrival. It had likewise reached the ears of Teresa Panza, Sancho's wife, who half naked, with her hair about her ears, and dragging Sanchica after her, ran to see her husband: and seeing him not so well equipped as she imagined a governor ought to be, she said: "What makes you come thus, dear husband? Methinks you come afoot, and foundered, and look more like a misgoverned person, than a governor." "Peace, Teresa," answered Sancho; "for there is not always bacon where there are pins to hang it on; and let us go to our house, where you shall hear wonders. Money I bring with me (which is the main business), got by my own industry, and without damage to anybody." "Bring but money, my good husband," cried Teresa, "and let it be got this way or that way; for, get it how you will, you will have brought up no new custom in the world." Sanchica embraced her father, and asked if he had brought her anything, for she had been wishing for him, as people do for rain in May; and, she taking hold of his belt on one side, and his wife taking him by the hand on the other, Sanchica pulling Dapple after her, they went home to their house, leaving Don Quixote in his, in the power of his niece and the housekeeper, and in the company of the priest and the bachelor.

Don Quixote, without standing upon times or seasons, in that very instant went apart with the bachelor and the priest, and related to them in a few words how he was vanquished, and the obligation he lay under, not to stir from his village in a year; which he intended punctually to observe, without transgressing a tittle, as became a true knight-errant, obliged by the strict precepts of chivalry. He also told them how he had resolved to turn shepherd for that year, and to pass his time in the solitude of the fields, where he might give the reins to his amorous thoughts, exercising himself in that pastoral and virtuous employment; beseeching them, if they had leisure, and were not engaged in business of greater consequence, to bear him company; telling them he would purchase sheep and stock sufficient to give them the name of shepherds; acquainting them also, that the principal part of the business was already done, he having chosen to for them names as fit as if they had been cast in a mould. The priest desired him to repeat them. Don Quixote answered, that he himself was to be called the Shepherd Quixotiz; the bachelor, the Shepherd Carrascon; the priest, the Shepherd Curiambro, and Sancho Panza, the Shepherd Panzino. They were astonished at this new madness of Don Quixote; but to prevent his rambling once more from his village, and resuming chivalries, and in hopes he might be cured in that year, they fell in with his new project, and; applauded his folly as an high piece of discretion, offering to be his companions in that exercise. "Besides," said Sampson Carrasco, "I, as everybody knows, am an excellent poet, and shall be composing at every turn, pastoral or courtly verses, or such as shall be most for my purpose, to amuse and divert us as we range the fields. But, gentlemen, the first and -[603]- chief thing necessary, is, that each of us choose the name of the shepherdess he intends to celebrate in his verses, and we will not leave a tree, be it never so hard, in whose bark we will not inscribe and grave her name, as is the fashion and custom of enamoured shepherds." "That is very right," answered Don Quixote;" though I need not trouble myself to look for a feigned name, having the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso, the glory of these banks, the ornament of these meads, the support of beauty, the cream of good humour, and, lastly, the worthy subject of all praise, be it never so hyperbolical." "That is true," said the priest; "but as for us, we must look out for shepherdesses of an inferior stamp, who, if they do not square, may corner with us." To which Sampson Carrasco added: "And when we are at a loss, we will give them the names we find in print, of which the world is full, as Phillises, Amarillises, Dianas, Floridas, Galateas, and Belisardas; for since they are sold in the market we may lawfully buy, and make use of them as our own. If my mistress, or to speak more properly, my shepherdess, is called Anna, I will celebrate her under the name of Anarda, and if Frances, I will call her Francesina, and if Lucy, Lucinda; and so of the rest. And Sancho Panza, if he is to be one of this brotherhood, may celebrate his wife Teresa Panza by the name of Teresaina." Don Quixote smiled at the application of the names, and the priest highly applauded his virtuous and honourable resolution, and again offered to bear him company all the time he could spare from attending the duties of his function. With this they took their leave of him, desiring and entreating him to take care of his health, and make much of himself with good heartening things.

Now fortune would have it, that his niece and housekeeper overheard their conversation; and as soon as these two were gone, they both came in to Don Quixote; and the niece said: "What is the meaning of this, uncle? Now that we thought your worship was returned with a resolution to stay at home, and live a quiet and decent life, you have a mind to involve yourself in new labyrinths, by turning shepherd. In truth, the straw is too hard to make pipes of." To which the housekeeper added: "And can your worship bear in the fields the summer's sultry heat, the winter's pinching cold, and the howling of the wolves? No, certainly; for this is the business of robust fellows, tanned and bred to such employment, as it were, from their cradles and swaddling clothes. And, of the two evils, it is better to be a knight-errant than a shepherd. Look you, Sir, take my advice, which is not given by one full of bread and wine, but fasting, and with fifty years over my head: stay at home, look after your estate, go often to confession, and relieve the poor; and if any ill comes of it, let it lie at my door." "Peace, daughters," answered Don Quixote; "for I know perfectly what I have to do. Lead me to bed; for, methinks, I am not very well; and assure yourselves, that whether I am a knight-errant, or a wandering shepherd, I will not fail to provide for you, as you shall find by experience." The two good women (for doubtless such they were), the housekeeper and niece, carried him to bed, where they gave him to eat, and made as much of him as possible.

 

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