Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The First Part

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The History of the
Valorous & Witty Knight-Errant Don Quixote of the Mancha

By Miguel de Cervantes, Translated by Thomas Shelton

The First Part

Certain Sonnets, Written by Knights-Errant, Ladies, Squires, and Horses, in the Praise of Don Quixote, His Dame, His Squire and Steed



Amadis of Gaule, in Praise of Don Quixote.         

Thou that my doleful life didst imitate,
When, absent and disdained, it befell,
Devoid of joy, I a repentant state
Did lead, and on the Poor Rock’s top did dwell;
Thou, that the streams so often from thine eyes
Didst suck of scalding tears’ disgustful brine;
And, without pewter, copper, plate likewise,
Wast on the bare earth oft constrain’d to dine,—
Live of one thing secure eternally,
That whilst bright Phoebus shall his horses spur
Through the fourth sphere’s dilated monarchy,
Thy name shall be renowned, near and fur;
And as, ’mongst countries, thine is best alone,
So shall thine author peers on earth have none.

Don Belianis of Greece to Don Quixote of the Mancha.         

I Tore, I hackt, abolish’d, said and did,
More than knight-errant else on earth hath done:
I, dexterous, valiant, and so stout beside,
Have thousand wrongs reveng’d, millions undone.
I have done acts that my fame eternise,
In love I courteous and so peerless was:
Giants, as if but dwarfs, I did despise;
And yet no time of love-plaints I let pass.
I have held fortune prostrate at my feet,
And by my wit seiz’d on Occasion’s top,
Whose wandering steps I led where I thought meet;
And though beyond the moon my soaring hope
Did crown my hap with all felicity,
Yet, great Quixote, do I still envy thee.

The Knight of the Sun, Alphebo, to Don Quixote.         

My sword could not at all compare with thine,
Spanish Alphebo! full of courtesy;
Nor thine arm’s valour can be match’d by mine,
Though I was fear’d where days both spring and die.
Empires I scorn’d, and the vast monarchy
Of th’ Orient ruddy (offer’d me in vain),
I left, that I the sovereign face might see
Of my Aurora, fair Claridiane,
Whom, as by miracle, I surely lov’d:
So banish’d by disgrace, even very hell
Quak’d at mine arm, that did his fury tame.
But thou, illustrious Goth, Quixote! hast prov’d
Thy valour, for Dulcinea’s sake, so well
As both on earth have gain’d eternal fame.

Orlando Furioso, Peer of France, to Don Quixote of the Mancha.         

Though thou art not a peer, thou hast no peer,
Who mightst among ten thousand peers be one;
Nor shalt thou never any peer have here,
Who, ever-conquering, vanquish’d was of none.
Quixote, I’m Orlando! that, cast away
For fair Angelica, cross’d remotest seas,
And did such trophies on Fame’s altar lay
As pass oblivion’s reach many degrees.
Nor can I be thy peer; for peerlessness
Is to thy prowess due and great renown,
Although I lost, as well as thou, my wit;
Yet mine thou may’st be, if thy good success
Make thee the proud Moor tame, [achieve] that crown,
Us equals in disgrace and loving fit.

Solis Dan to Don Quixote of the Mancha.                

Maugre the ravings that are set abroach,
And rumble up and down thy troubled brain,
Yet none thine acts, Don Quixote, can reproach,
Or thy proceedings tax as vile or vain.
Thy feats shall be thy fairest ornament
(Seeing wrongs t’undo thou goest thus about),
Although with blows a thousand time y-shent
Thou wert well-nigh, yea, even by the miscreant rout.
And if thy fair Dulcinea shall wrong
By misregard thy fairer expectation,
And to thy cares will lend no listening ear,
Then let this comfort all thy woes outwear,—
That Sancho fail’d in broker’s occupation:
He, foolish; cruel, she; thou, without tongue.

The Princess Oriana of Great Britain to Lady Dulcinea del Toboso.         

Happy those which, for more commodity
And ease, Dulcinea fair! could bring to pass
That Greenwich, where Toboso is, might be,
And London chang’d where thy knight’s village was.
Happy she that might body and soul adorn
With thy rich livery and thy high desire;
And see thy happy knight, by honour borne,
In cruel combat, broaching out his ire.
But happiest she that might so cleanly ‘scape
From Amadis as thou hast whilom done
From thy well-manner’d knight, courteous Quixote!
O! were I she, I’d envy no one’s hap,
And had been merry when I most did moan,
And ta’en my pleasure without paying shot

Gandaline, Amadis of Gaule’s Squire, to Sancho Panza, Don Quixote’s Squire.         

Hail, famous man! whom fortune hath so blist,
When first, in squire-like trade, it thee did place,
As thou didst soft and sweetly pass disgrace
Ere thou thereof the threatening danger wist.
The shovel or sickle little do resist
The wandering exercise; for now’s in grace
Plain squire-like dealing, which doth quite deface
His pride that would the Moor bore with his fist.
Thine ass I jointly envy, and thy name,
And eke thy wallet I do emulate,
An argument of thy great providence.
Hail once again! who, ’cause so good a man,
Thy worths our Spanish Ovid does relate,
And lovely chants them with all reverence.

A Dialogue between Babieca, Horse to the Cid, a Famous Conqueror of Spain;         
and Rozinante, Don Quixote’s Courser

Ba. How haps it, Rozinante, thou art so lean?
Ro. Because I travel still, and never eat:
Ba. Thy want of barley and straw, what does it mean?
Ro. That of my lord, a bit I cannot get.
Ba. Away, sir jade! you are ill-mannered,
Whose ass’ tongue your lord does thus abase.
Ro. If you did see how he’s enamoured,
You would conclude that he’s the greater ass.
Ba. Is love a folly? —Ro. Sure it is no wit.
Ba. Thou art a metaphysician. —Ro. For want of meat.
Ba. Complain upon the squire. —Ro. What profits it?
Or how shall I my woful plaints repeat?
Since, though the world imputes slowness to me,
Yet greater jades my lord and Sancho be.


Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The First Part

Gavilan Spanish Questions or comments Bibliographic Record Index page Previous page Top Next page