Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The Second 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 Second Part

CHAPTER V: Of the Wise and Pleasant Discourse that passed betwixt Sancho Panza and his Wife Teresa Panza, and other Accidents worthy of Happy Remembrance


THE translator of this history, when he came to write this fifth chapter, says that he holds it for apocrypha, because Sancho speaks in it after another manner than could be expected from his slender understanding, and speaks things more acutely than was possible for him; yet he would translate it for the accomplishment of his promise; and so goes on, as followeth.

Sancho came home so jocund and so merry that his wife perceived it a flight-shot off, insomuch that she needs would ask him, ‘Friend Sancho, what’s the matter that you are so joyful?’ To which he answered, ‘Wife, I would to God I were not so glad as I make show for.’ ‘I understand you not, husband,’ quoth she; ‘and I understand not what you mean, that, if it pleased God, you would not be so contented; for, though I be a fool, yet I know not who would willingly be sad.’

‘Look ye, Teresa,’ said Sancho, ‘I am jolly, because I am determined to serve my master Don Quixote once more, who will now this third time sally in pursuit of his adventures, and I also with him, for my poverty will have it so, besides my hope that rejoiceth me, to think that I may find another hundred pistolets for those that are spent. Yet I am sad again to leave thee and my children; and if it pleased God that I might live quietly at home, without putting myself into those deserts and crossways, which He might easily grant if He pleased and were willing, it is manifest that my content might be more firm and wholesome, since the present joy I have is mingled with a sorrow to leave thee: so that I said well, I should be glad if it pleased God I were not so contented.’

‘Fie, Sancho,’ quoth Teresa; ‘ever since thou hast been a member of a knight-errant thou speakest so round-about the bush that nobody can understand thee.’ ‘It is enough,’ quoth Sancho, ‘that God understands me, who understands all things; and so much for that. But mark, sister, I would have you for these three days look well to my Dapple, that he may be fit for arms. Double his allowance, seek out his pack-saddle and the rest of his tackling; for we go not to a marriage, but to compass the world, and to give and take with giants, sprites, and hobgoblins; to hear hissing, roaring, bellowing, and bawling, and all this were sweetmeat if we had not to do with Yangueses1 and enchanted Moors.’

‘I believe, indeed,’ quoth Teresa, ‘that your squires-errant gain not their bread for nothing; I shall therefore pray to our Lord, that he deliver you speedily from this misfortune.’ ‘I’ll tell you, wife,’ said Sancho, ‘if I thought not ere long to be governor of an island, I should die suddenly.’ ‘None of that, husband,’ quoth Teresa; ‘let the hen live, though it be with her pip; live you, and the devil take all the governments in the world. Without government were you born, without government have you lived hitherto, and without government must you go or be carried to your grave, when it shall please God. How many be there in the world that live without governments, yet they live well enough, and well esteemed of! Hunger is the best sauce in the world, and when the poor want not this they eat contentedly. But hark, Sancho; if you should chance to see a government, pray forget not me and your children: little Sancho is now just fifteen years old, and ‘tis fit he go to school if his uncle the abbot mean to make him a churchman; and look ye too, Mary Sancha our daughter will not die if we marry her; for I suspect she desires marriage as much as you your government; and indeed a daughter is better ill married than well paramoured.’

‘In good faith,’ quoth Sancho, ‘if I have aught with my government, wife, Mary Sancha shall be so highly married that she shall be called lady at least.’ ‘Not so, Sancho,’ quoth Teresa: ‘the best way is to marry her with her equal; for, if instead of her pattens you give her high-shoes2 if, instead of a coarse petticoat, a farthingale and silk kirtle; and from little Mal, my Lady Wacham, the girl will not know herself, and she will every foot fall into a thousand errors, discovering the thread of her gross and coarse web.’

‘Peace, fool!’ said Sancho; ‘all must be two or three years’ practice, and then her greatness will become her, and her state fall out pat. Howsoever, what matter is it? Let her be your ladyship, and come what will on it.’ ‘Measure yourself by your means,’ said Teresa, ‘and seek not after greater; keep yourself to the proverb, “Let neighbours children hold together.” ‘Twere pretty, i’ faith, to marry our Mary with a great lord or knight, that, when the toy takes him in the head, should new-mould her, calling her milkmaid, boor’s daughter, rock-peeler. Not while I live, husband; for this, forsooth, have I brought up my daughter? Get you money, Sancho, and for marrying her let me alone. Why, there’s Lope Tocho, John Toch’s son, a sound chopping lad; we know him well, and I know he casts a sheep’s eye upon the wench; and ‘tis good marrying her with this her equal, and we shall have him always with us, and we shall be all one — parent, sons, and grandsons, and son-in-law — and God’s peace and blessing will always be amongst us; and let not me have her married into your courts and grand palaces, where they’ll neither understand her nor she them.’

‘Come hither, beast,’ quoth Sancho; ‘woman of Barabbas, why wilt thou, without any reason, hinder me from marrying my daughter where she may bring me grandsons that may be styled lordship? Behold, Teresa, I have always heard mine elders say that he that will not when he may, when he desireth shall have nay; and it is not fit that whilst good luck is knocking at our door we shut it: let us therefore sail with this prosperous wind.’ (For this, and for that which followeth, that Sancho spoke, the author of the history says he held this chapter for apocrypha.) ‘Do not you think, brute-one,’ said Sancho, ‘that it will be fit to fall upon some beneficial government that may bring us out of want, and to marry our daughter Sancha to whom I please, and you shall see how she shall be called Dona Teresa Panza, and sit in the church with your carpet and your cushions, and your hung cloths, in spite of the gentlewomen of the town? No, no; remain still as you are, in one estate, without increasing or diminishing, like a picture in hangings; go to, let’s have no more; little Sancha must be a countess, say thou what thou wilt.’

‘What a coil you keep!’ quoth Teresa; ‘for all that, I fear this earldom will be my daughter’s undoing; yet do what ye will, make her duchess or princess, it shall not be with my consent; I have always loved equality, and I cannot abide to see folks take upon ‘em without grounds. I was christened Teresa, without welt or gard, nor additions of Don or Dona; my father’s name was Cascaio, and because I am your wife they call me Teresa Panza, for indeed they should have called me Teresa Cascaio. But great ones may do what they list, and I am well enough content with this name, without putting any Don upon it, to make it more troublesome, that I shall .not be able to bear it. And I will not have folk laugh at me, as they see me walk in my countess’s apparel, or my governess’s; you shall have them cry straight, “Look how stately the hog-rubber goes, she that was but yesterday at her spindle, and went to church with the skirt of her coat over her head instead of an huke; to-day she is in her farthingale and in her buttons, and so demure as if we knew her not.” God keep me in my seven wits, or my five, or those that I have, and I’ll not put myself to such hazards. Get you, brother, to be a government or an island, and take state as you please, for, by my mother’s holidam, neither I nor my daughter will stir a foot from our village; better a broken joint than a lost name, and keep home the honest maid, to be doing is her trade. Go you with Don Quixote to your adventures, and leave us to our ill fortunes; God will send better, if we be good; and I know not who made him a Don, or a title which neither his father nor his grandfather ever had.’

‘Now I say,’ quoth Sancho, ‘thou hast a familiar in that body of thine. Lord bless thee for a woman, and what a company of things hast thou strung up without head or feet! What hath your Cascaio, your buttons, or your proverbs, or your state to do with what I have said? Come hither, coxcomb, fool, — for so I may call you, since you understand not my meaning, and neglect your happiness, — if I should say my daughter should cast herself down some tower, or she should rove up and down the world, as did the Princess Donna Urraca,3 you had reason not to consent; but if in less than two trap-blows, or the opening and shutting of an eye, I clap ye a Don and ladyship upon your shoulders, and bring it out of your stubble, and put it you under barn-cover, and set you in your state, with more cushions than the Almohada Moors had in all their lineage, why will you not consent to that that I will have you?’ ‘Would you know why, husband?’ answered Teresa: ‘for the proverb that says he that covers thee discovers thee. Every one passeth his eyes slightly over the poor, and upon the rich man they fasten them; and, if the said rich man have at any time been poor, there is your grumbling and cursing, and your back-biters never leave, who swarm as thick as hives of bees thorough the streets.’

‘Mark, Teresa,’ said Sancho, ‘and give ear to my speech, such as peradventure you have not heard in all your lifetime; neither do I speak anything of mine own, for all I purpose to speak is sentences of our preacher that preached all last Lent in this town, who, as I remember, said that all things that we see before our eyes present do assist our memories much better, and with much more vehemency, than things past.’ (All these reasons here delivered by Sancho are the second for which the translator of the history holds this chapter for apocrypha, as exceeding the capacity of Sancho, who proceeded, saying:) ‘Whereupon it happens that, when we see some personage well clad in rich apparel, and with many followers, it seems he moves and invites us perforce to give him respect: although our memory at that very instant represents unto us some kind of baseness which we have seen in that personage, the which doth vilify him, be it either for poverty or lineage, both passed over are not, and that which we see present only is. And if this man, whom fortune blotted out. of his baseness, and to whom consequently his father left all height of prosperity, be well-behaved, liberal, and courteous towards all men, and contends not with such as are most anciently noble, assure thyself, Teresa, all men will forget what he was; and reverence him for what he is, except the envious, whom the greatest scape not.’ ‘I understand you not, husband,’ replied Teresa; ‘do what you will, and do not trouble me with your long speeches and your rhetoric; and if you be revolved to do what you say ’ —  ‘Resolved you must say, wife,’ quoth Sancho, ‘and not revolved.’ ‘I pray dispute not with me, husband,’ said Teresa; ‘I speak as it pleases God, and strive not for more eloquence; and I tell you, if you persist in having your government, take your son Sancho with you, and teach him from henceforth to govern, for it is fit that the sons do inherit and learn the offices of their fathers.’

‘When I have my government,’ quoth Sancho, ‘I will send post for him, and I will send thee moneys, for I shall want none, and there never want some that will lend governors money when they have none. But clothe him so that he shall not appear what he is, and may seem what he must be.’ ‘Send you money,’ quoth Teresa, ‘and I’ll clad him like a date-leaf.’ ‘So that now,’ said Sancho, ‘we are agreed that our daughter shall be a countess.’ ‘The day that I shall see her a countess,’ said Teresa, ‘will be my death’s-day. But I tell you again, do what you will; for we women are born with this clog, to be obedient to our husbands, though they be no better than leeks.’ And here she began to weep so heartily as if her little daughter Sancha had been dead and buried.

Sancho comforted her, saying that, though she must be a countess, yet he would defer it as long as he could. Here their dialogue ended, and Sancho returned to see Don Quixote, to give order for their departure.

1 The carriers that beat the master and man. Vide Part I, Don Quixote.
2 Chapines.
3 An infanta of Spain.

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The Second Part

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