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 VII: What passed betwixt Don Quixote and his Squire,
with other most Famous Accidents

 

THE old woman, as soon as she saw her master and Sancho locked together, began to smell their drift; and imagining that his third sally would result from that consultation, and taking her mantle, full of sorrow and trouble, she went to seek the bachelor Samson Carrasco, supposing that as he was well spoken, and a late acquaintance of Don Quixote’s, he might persuade him to leave his doting purpose. She found him walking in the court of his house, and seeing him, she fell down in a cold sweat, all troubled, at his feet. When Carrasco saw her so sorrowful and affrighted, he asked her, ‘What’s the matter? what accident is this? Methinks thy heart is at thy mouth.’ ‘Nothing,’ said she, ‘Master Samson, but my master is run out; doubtless, he is run out.’ ‘And where runs he?’ said he; ‘hath he broken a hole in any part of his body?’ ‘He runs not out,’ answered she, ‘but out of the door of his madness. I mean, sweet sir bachelor, he means to be a-gadding again, and this is his third time he hath gone a-hunting after those you call adventures: I know not why they give ‘em this name. The first time they brought him us athwart upon an ass, beaten to pieces. The second time he came clapped up in an ox-wain, and locked in a cage, and he made us believe he was enchanted; and the poor soul was so changed that his mother that brought him forth would not have known him, so lean, so wan, his eyes so sunk in his head, that I spent above six hundred eggs to recover him, as God is my witness and all the world, and my hens that will not let me lie.’ ‘That I well believe,’ quoth the bachelor, ‘for they are so good, and so fat, and so well nurtured that they will not say one thing for another if they should burst for it. Well, is there aught else? hath there any other ill luck happened more than this you fear, that your master will abroad?’ ‘No, sir,’ said she. ‘Take no care,’ quoth he, ‘but get you home on God’s name, and get me some warm thing to breakfast, and by the way as you go pray me the orison of St. Apolonia, if you know it, and I’ll go thither presently, and you shall see wonders.’ ‘Wretch that I am!’ quoth she; ‘the orison of St. Apolonia, quoth you? that were if my master had the toothache, but his pain is in his head.’ ‘I know what I say,’ quoth he, ‘and do not you dispute with me, since you know I have proceeded bachelor at Salamanca. Do you think there is no more than to take the degree?’ said he. With that, away she goes: and he went presently to seek the vicar, and communicate with him, what shall be said hereafter.

At the time that Don Quixote and Sancho were locked together, there passed a discourse between them, which the history tells with much punctuality, and a true relation. Sancho said to his master, ‘I have now reluced my wife to let me go with you whithersoever you please.’ ‘Reduced you would say, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote. ‘I have bid you more than once, if I have not forgotten,’ said Sancho, ‘that you do not correct my words, if so be you understand my meaning; and when you do not understand them, cry, “Sancho, or devil, I understand thee not”; and if I do not express myself, then you may correct me, for I am so focible.’

‘I understand thee not, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘for I know not the meaning of your focible.’ ‘So focible is,’ said Sancho, ‘I am, so, so.’ ‘Less and less do I understand,’ said Don Quixote. ‘Why, if you do not understand,’ said Sancho, ‘I cannot do withal, I know no more, and God be with me.’ ‘Thou meanest docible, I believe, and that thou art so pliant and so taking that thou wilt apprehend what I shall tell thee, and learn what I shall instruct thee in.’

‘I’ll lay a wager,’ said Sancho, ‘you searched and understood me at first, but that you would put me out, and hear me blunder out a hundred or two of follies.’ ‘It may be so,’ quoth Don Quixote; ‘but what says Teresa?’ ‘Teresa bids me make sure work with you, and that we may have less saying and more doing; for great sayers are small doers. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush; and I say a woman’s advice is but slender, yet he that refuseth it is a madman.’ ‘I say so too,’ quoth Don Quixote; ‘but say, friend Sancho, proceed; for to-day thou speakest preciously.’

‘The business is,’ quoth Sancho, ‘that, as you better know than I, we are all mortal here to-day, and gone tomorrow, as soon goes the young lamb to the roast as the old sheep; and no man can promise himself more days than God hath given him; for death is deaf, and when she knocks at life’s door, she is in haste; neither threats, nor entreaties, nor sceptres, nor mitres can stay her, as the common voice goes, and as they tell us in pulpits.’

‘All this is true,’ said Don Quixote; ‘but I know not where thou meanest to stop.’ ‘My stop is,’ quoth Sancho, ‘that your worship allow me some certain wages by the month, for the time that I shall serve you;1 and that the said wages be paid me out of your substance; for I’ll trust no longer to good turns, which come either slowly, or meanly, or never; God give me joy of mine own! In a word, I must know what I may gain, little or much; for the hen lays as well upon one egg as many, and many littles make a mickle; and whilst something is gotten nothing is lost. Indeed, if it should so happen, which I neither believe nor hope for, that your worship should give me the island you promised me, I am not so ungrateful, nor would carry things with such extremity, as not to have the rent of that island prized, and so to discount for the wages I received, cantity for cantity.’ ‘Is not quantity as much worth as cantity, friend Sancho?’ answered Don Quixote. ‘I understand you now,’ said Sancho, ‘and dare lay anything that I should have said quantity, and not cantity: but that’s no matter, seeing you have understood me.

‘I understand you very well,’ answered Don Quixote, ‘and have penetrated the utmost of your thoughts, and know very well what mark you aim at, with the innumerable arrows of your proverbs. Look ye, Sancho, I could willingly afford you wages, if I had found in any histories of knights-errant any example that might give me light through the least chink of any wages given monthly or yearly; but I have read all or the most part of their histories, and do not remember that ever I have read that any knight-errant hath allowed any set wages to his squire; only I know that all lived upon countenance, and, when they least dreamt of it, if their masters had good luck, they were rewarded either with an island or some such thing equivalent, and at least they remained with honour and title. If you, Sancho, upon these hopes and additaments have a mind to return to my service, a’ God’s name; but to think that I will pluck the old use of knight-errantry out of his bounds, and off the hinges, is a mere impossibility. So that, Sancho, you may go home and tell your Teresa mine intention; and if that she and you will rely upon my favour, bene quidem; and, if not, let’s part friends; for, if my pigeon-house have cumins, it will want no doves. And take this by the way, “A good expectation is better than a bad possession, and a good demand better than an ill pay.” I speak thus, Sancho, that you may plainly see I know as well as you to sprinkle proverbs like rain-showers. Lastly, let me tell you, if you will not trust to my reward, and run the same fortune with me, God keep you, and make you a saint; for I shall not want more obedient squires, and more careful, and not so irksome nor so talkative as you.

When Sancho heard his master’s firm resolution, he waxed cloudy, and the wings of his heart began to stoop, for he thought verily his master would not go without him for all the treasure in the world. Thus being doubtful and pensative, Samson Carrasco entered, and the niece, desirous to hear how he persuaded her master that he should not return to his adventures.

In came Samson, a notable crack-rope, and, embracing him as at first, began in this loud key ‘O flower of chivalry, bright light of arms, honour and mirror of our Spanish nation! may it please Almighty God of His infinite goodness, that he or they that hinder or disturb this thy third sally, that they never find it in the labyrinth of their desires, nor let the ill they wish for ever be accomplished.’ And, turning to the old woman, he said: ‘You need no longer pray the orison of Saint Apolonia, for I know the determination of the spheres is that Don Quixote put in execution his lofty and new designs; and I should much burden my conscience if I should not persuade and intimate unto this knight that he do no longer withdraw and hold back the force of his valorous arm, and the courage of his most valiant mind, for with his delaying he defrauds the rectifying of wrongs, the protection of orphans, the honour of damsels, the bulwark of married women, and other matters of this quality, which concern, appertain, depend, and are annexed unto the order of knight-errantry. Go on then, my beautiful, my brave Don Quixote, rather to-day than to-morrow; let your greatness be upon the way; and, if anything be wanting to your journey, here am I to supply with my wealth, with my person, and, if need be, to be thy magnificence his squire, which I shall hold a most happy fortune.

Then said Don Quixote, turning to Sancho, ‘Did not I tell thee, Sancho, that I should want no squires? See who offers himself to me; the most rare bachelor Samson Carrasco, the perpetual darling and delighter of the Salamancan schools, sound and active of body, silent, suffering of heats and colds, hunger and thirst, with all the abilities that belong to the squire of a knight-errant: but Heaven forbid that for my pleasure I hox and break off the column of learning the vessel of sciences, and that I lop off the eminent branch of the liberal arts: remain thou another Samson in thy country, honour it and those grey hairs of thine aged parents, for I will content myself with any squire, since Sancho deigns not to attend me.’

‘I do deign,’ said Sancho, all tender, and the tears standing in his eyes, and thus proceeds: ‘It shall not be said, master, for me, “ No longer pipe no longer dance”; nor am I made of hardest oak, for all the world knows, and especially my town, who the Panzas were, from whom I descend; besides, I know and have searched out, by many good works and many good words, the desire that your worship hath to do me a kindness, and, if I have been to blame to meddle in reckonings concerning my wages, it was to please my wife, who, when she once falls into a vein of persuading, there’s no hammer that doth so fasten the hoops of a bucket as she doth, till she obtain what she would have. But howsoever the husband must be husband, and the wife wife; and, since I am a man everywhere—I cannot deny that— I will also be so at home in spite of any; so that there’s no more to be done but that you make your will and set to your codicil, in such sort that it may not be revolked, and let’s straight to our journey, that Master Samson’s soul may not suffer; for he saith his conscience is unquiet till he have persuaded you to your third sally through the world, and I afresh offer my service faithfully and loyally, as well and better than any squire that ever served knight-errant in former times, or in present.’

The bachelor wondered to hear Sancho’s manner and method of speaking; for, though in the first history he had read of his master, he never thought Sancho had been so witty as they there paint him out; yet hearing him now mention will and codicil, revolking instead of revoking, he believed all that he had read of him, and confirmed him to be one of the most solemnest coxcombs of our age, and said to himself that two such madmen as master and man were not in all the world again.

Now Don Quixote and Sancho embraced, and remained friends, and with the grand Carrasco’s approbation and goodwill, who was then their oracle, it was decreed that within three days they should depart, in which they might have time to provide all things necessary for their voyage, and to get an helmet, which Don Quixote said he must by all means carry. Samson offered him one, for he knew a friend of his would not deny it him, although it were fouler with mould and rust than bright with smooth steel.

The niece and old woman cursed the bachelor unmercifully; they tore their hair, scratched their faces, and, as your funeral mourners use, they howled at their master’s departure, as if he had been a dead man. The design that Samson had to persuade him to this third sally was to do what the history tells us hereafter, all by the advice of the vicar and the barber, to whom he had before communicated it. Well, in those three days, Don Quixote and Sancho fitted themselves with what they thought they needed; and, Sancho having set down the time to his wife, and Don Quixote to his niece and the old woman, toward night, without taking leave of anybody but the bachelor, who would needs bring them half a league from the town, they took their way towards Toboso, Don Quixote upon his good Rozinante, and Sancho on his old Dapple. His wallets were stuffed with provant, and his purse with money that Don Quixote gave him for their expenses. Samson embraced him and desired him that he might hear of his good or ill fortune, to rejoice for the one or be sorry for the other, as the law of friendship did require. Don Quixote made him a promise, Samson returned home, and the two went on towards the famous city of Toboso.
 

1 The custom in Spain is to pay their servants wages by the month.

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The Second Part

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