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 X: How Sancho cunningly enchanted the Lady Dulcinea,
and other Successes, as ridiculous as true

 

THE author of this history, coming to relate that which he doth in this chapter, says that he would willingly have passed it over in silence, as fearing not to be believed, because here Don Quixote’s madness did exceed, and was at least two flight-shots beyond his greatest that ever was; but, for all this fear and suspicion, he set it down as t’other acted it, without adding or diminishing the least jot of truth in the history, not caring for anything that might be objected against him for a liar; and he had reason, for truth is stretched, but never breaks, and tramples on the lie as oil doth upon water; and so, prosecuting his history, he says that as Don Quixote had shaded himself in the forest or oak-wood near the grand Toboso, he willed Sancho to return to the city, and not to come to his presence without he had first spoken to his mistress from him, requesting her that she would please to be seen by her captived knight, and to deign to bestow her blessing on him, that by it he might hope for many most prosperous successes in all his onsets and dangerous enterprises. Sancho took on him to fulfil his command, and to bring him now as good an answer as the former.

‘Go, lad,’ said Don Quixote, ‘and be not daunted when thou comest before the beams of the sun of beauty, which thou goest to discover. Oh, happy thou above all the squires of the world! be mindful, and forget not how she entertains thee,—if she blush just at the instant when thou deliverest my embassy; if she be stirred and troubled when she hears my name; whether her cushion cannot hold her, if she be set in the rich state of her authority. And if she stand up, mark her whether she clap sometimes one foot upon another; if she repeat the answer she gives thee twice or thrice over, or change it from mild to curst, from cruel to amorous; whether she seem to order her hair, though it be not disordered. Lastly, observe all her actions and gestures; for, if thou relate them just as they were, I shall guess what is hidden in her heart, touching my love, in matter of fact; for know, Sancho, if thou knowest it not, that the actions and outward motions that appear, when love is in treaty, are the certain messengers that bring news of what passeth within. Go, friend; and better fortune guide thee than mine, and send thee better success than I can expect ‘twixt hope and fear in this uncouth solitude in which thou leavest me.

‘I go,’ said Sancho, ‘and will return quickly. Enlarge that little heart of yours, no bigger than an hazel-nut, and consider the saying, “Faint heart never,” etc.; “Sweet meat must have sour sauce”; and another, “Where we least think, there goes the hare away.” This I say, because that if to-night we found not the castle or palace of my lady, now by day I doubt not but to find it, when I least dream of it, and so to find her.’ ‘Believe me, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘thou always bringest thy proverbs so to the hair of the business we treat of as God give me no worse fortune than I desire.’

This said, Sancho turned his back and switched his Dapple; and Don Quixote stayed a-horseback, easing himself on his stirrups, and leaning on his lance, full of sorrowful and confused thoughts, where we will leave him, and wend with Sancho, who parted from his master no less troubled and pensative than he;’ insomuch that he was scarce out of the wood when, turning his face and seeing that Don Quixote was out of sight, he lighted from his ass, and, resting at the foot of a tree, he began to discourse thus to himself, and say, ‘“Now, brother Sancho, I pray let’s know, whither is your worship going? To seek some ass that you have lost?” “No, forsooth.” “Well, what is it you seek for?” “I seek a matter of nothing—a princess, and in her the sun of beauty, and all heaven withal.” “And where do you think to find this you speak of, Sancho?” “Where? Why, in the grand city of Toboso.” “Well, and from whom do you seek her?” “From the most famous knight Don Quixote de la Mancha, he that righteth wrongs, gives the thirsty meat, and the hungry drink.”1 “All this is well. And do you know her house, Sancho?” “My master says it is a royal palace, or a lofty tower.” “And have you ever seen her, trow?” “Neither he nor I, never.” “And do you think it were well that the men of Toboso should know that you were here to entice their princesses, and to trouble their wenches, and should come and grind your ribs with bangs, and leave you never a sound bone? Indeed, belike they should consider that you are commanded, friend, but as a messenger; that you are in no fault, not you. Trust not to that, Sancho, for your Manchegan people are as choleric as honest, and do not love to be jested with. In very deed, if they smell you, you are sure to pay for it.” “Ware hawk, ware hawk! No, no, let me for another’s pleasure seek better bread than’s made of wheat! and I may as well find this Dulcinea as one Mary in Robena,2 or a scholar in black in Salamanca. The devil, the devil, and none else, hath clapped me into this business.”

This soliloquy passed Sancho with himself, and the upshot was this: ‘All things,’ said he, ‘have a remedy but death, under whose yoke we must all pass in spite of our teeth, when life ends. This master of mine, by a thousand signs that I have seen, is a bedlam, fit to be bound; and I come not a whit short of him, and am the greater coxcomb of two, to serve him, if the proverb be true that says, “Like master, like man”; and another, “Thou art known by him that doth thee feed, not by him that doth thee breed.” He being thus mad, then, and subject, out of madness, to mistaking of one thing for another, to judge black for white, and white for black, as appeared when he said the windmills were giants, and the friars’ mules dromedaries, and the flocks of sheep armies of enemies, and much more to this tune, it will not be hard to make him believe that some husbandman’s daughter, the first we meet with, is the Lad Dulcinea; and, if he believe it not, I’ll swear; and, if he swear I’ll outswear him; and, if he be obstinate, I’ll be so more: so that I will stand to my tackling, come what will on it. Perhaps with mine obstinacy I shall so prevail with him that he will send me no more upon these kind of messages, seeing what bad despatch I bring him; or perhaps he will think that some wicked enchanter, one of those that he says persecute him, hath changed her shape to vex him.’

With this conceit Sancho’s spirit was at rest, and he thought his business was brought to a good pass; and so, staying there till it grew to be toward the evening, that Don Quixote might think he spent so much time in going and coming from Toboso, all fell out happily for him; for when he got up to mount upon Dapple he might see three country-wenches coming towards him from Toboso, upon three ass-colts, whether male or female the author declares not, though it be likely they were she-asses, they being the ordinary beasts that those country-people ride on; but, because it is not very pertinent to the story, we need not stand much upon deciding that. In fine, when Sancho saw the three country-wenches, he turned back apace to find out his master Don Quixote, and found him sighing, and uttering a thousand amorous lamentations.

As soon as Don Quixote saw him, he said: ‘How now, Sancho, what is the matter? May I mark this day with a white or a black stone?’ ‘‘Twere fitter,’ quoth Sancho, ‘you would mark it with red ochre, as the inscriptions are upon professors’ chairs, that they may plainly read that see them.’ ‘Belike, then,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘thou bringest good news.’ ‘So good,’ said Sancho, ‘that you need no more but spur Rozinante, and straight discover the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, with two damsels waiting on her, coming to see your worship.’ ‘Blessed God! friend Sancho, what sayst thou?’ quoth Don Quixote. ‘See thou deceive me not with thy false mirth to glad my true sorrow.’

‘What should I get by deceiving you,’ quoth Sancho, ‘the rather yourself being so near to discover the truth? Spur, sir, ride on, and you shall see our mistress the princess coming, clad indeed and adorned like herself; she and her damsels are a very spark of gold; they are all robes of pearl, all diamonds, all rubies, all cloth of gold ten storeys high at least; their hairs hung loose over their shoulders, that were like so many sunbeams playing with the wind; and, besides all this, they are mounted upon three flea-bitten nackneys, the finest sight that can be.’ ‘Hackneys thou wouldst say, Sancho.’ ‘Hackney or nackney,’ quoth Sancho, ‘there is little difference; but, let them come upon what they will, they are the bravest ladies that can be imagined, especially my lady the Princess Dulcinea that dazzles the senses.’ ‘Let’s go, son Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote; ‘and, for a reward for this unlooked-for good news, I bequeath the best spoil I get in our first adventure next; and, if this content thee not, I give thee my this year’s colts by my three mares thou knowest I have to foal in our own town common.’ ‘The colts I like,’ quoth Sancho, ‘but for the goodness of the spoil of the first adventure, I have no mind to that.’

By this they came out of the wood, and saw the three country-wenches near them. Don Quixote stretched his eyes all over Toboso way, and, seeing none but the three wenches, he was somewhat troubled, and demanded of Sancho if he had left them coming out of the city. ‘How! out of the city?’ quoth Sancho; ‘are your eyes in your noddle, that you see them not coming here, shining as bright as the sun at noon?’ ‘I see none,’ said he, ‘but three wenches upon three asses.’ ‘Now, God keep me from the devil!’ quoth Sancho; ‘and is it possible that three hackneys—or how call ye ‘em?—as white as a flake of snow, should appear to you to be asses? As sure as may be, you shall pull off my beard if that be so.’ ‘Well, I tell you, friend Sancho, ‘tis as sure that they are he or she asses, as I am Don Quixote de la Mancha, and thou Sancho Panza; at least to me they seem so.’ ‘Peace, sir, quoth Sancho, ‘and say not so; but snuff your eyes, and reverence the mistress of your thoughts, for now she draws near.’ And so saying he advanced to meet the three country-wenches, and, alighting from Dapple, took one of their asses by the halter, and, fastening both his knees to the ground, said, ‘Queen, and princess, and duchess of beauty, let your haughtiness and greatness be pleased to receive into your grace and good liking your captived knight that stands yonder turned into marble, all amazed and without his pulse, to see himself before your magnificent presence. I am Sancho Panza his squire, and he is the way-beaten knight Don Quixote de la Mancha, otherwise called the Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance.’

And now Don Quixote was on his knees by Sancho, and beheld with unglad but troubled eyes her that Sancho called queen and lady; but, seeing he discovered nothing in her but a country-wench, and not very well-favoured, for she was blub-faced and flat-nosed, he was in some suspense, and durst not once open his lips. The wenches too were astonished to see those two so different men upon their knees, and that they would not let their companion go forward. But she that was stayed, angry to hear herself misused, broke silence first, saying, ‘Get you out of the way, with a mischief, and let’s be gone, for we are in haste.’ To which quoth Sancho: ‘O princess and universal Lady of Toboso! why doth not your magnanimous heart relent, seeing the pillar and prop of knight-errantry prostrated before your sublimated presence?’ Which when one of the other two heard, after she had cried out to her ass, that was turning aside, she said: ‘Look how these yonkers come to mock at poor countryfolk, as if we knew not how to return their flouts upon them! Get you gone your way and leave us, you had best.’

‘Rise, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘at this instant, for I perceive now that mine ill fortune, not satisfied, bath shut up all the passages by which any content might come to this my wretched soul within my flesh. O thou, the extreme of all worth to be desired, the bound of all human gentleness, the only remedy of this mine afflicted heart that adores thee! now that the wicked enchanter persecutes me, and hath put clouds and cataracts in mine eyes, and for them only, and none else, hath transformed and changed thy peerless beauty and face into the face of a poor country-wench,—if so be now he have not turned mine too into some hobgoblin, to make it loathsome in thy sight, look on me gently and amorously, perceiving by this submission and kneeling which I use to thy counterfeit beauty the humility with which my soul adores thee.’

‘Marry, muff!’ quoth the country-wench; ‘I care much for your courtings! Get you gone, and let us go, and we shall be beholding to you.

Sancho let her pass by him, most glad that he had sped so well with his device. The country-wench that played Dulcinea’s part was no sooner free, when, spurring her hackney with a prickle she had at the end of her cudgel, she began to run apace; and the ass, feeling the smart of it more than ordinary, began to wince so fast that down came my Lady Dulcinea; which when Don Quixote saw, he came to help her up, and Sancho went to order and gird her pack-saddle, that hung at the ass’s belly; which being fitted, and Don Quixote about to lift his enchanted mistress in his arms to her ass, she, being now got upon her legs, saved him that labour, for, stepping a little back, she fetched a rise, and clapping both her hands upon the ass’s crupper, she lighted as swift as an hawk upon the pack-saddle, and sat astride like a man.

Then said Sancho: ‘By Saint Roque, our mistress is as light as a robin-ruddock, and may teach the cunningest Cordovan or Mexicanian to ride on their jennets. At one spring she hath leaped over the crupper, and without spurs makes the hackney run like a musk-cat; and her damosels come not short of her, for they fly like the wind.’ And he said true; for when Dulcinea was once on horseback they all made after her, and set a-running for two miles without looking behind them.

Don Quixote still looked after them; but, when they were got out of sight, turning to Sancho, he said: ‘Sancho, how thinkest thou? How much enchanters do hate me! And see how far their malice extends, and their aim at me, since they have deprived me of the happiness I should have received to have seen my mistress in her true being. Indeed, I was born to be an example of unfortunate men, to be the mark and butt at which ill-fortune’s arrows should be sent. And thou must note, Sancho, that these enchanters were not content to have changed and transformed my Dulcinea, but they have done it into a shape so base and ugly as of a country-wench thou sawest; and, withal, they have taken from her that which is so proper to her and great ladies, to wit, her sweet scent of flowers and amber; for let me tell thee, Sancho, that when I went to help Dulcinea to her hackney—which as thou sayst, seemed to me to be a she-ass—she gave me such a breath of raw garlic as pierced and intoxicated my brain.’

‘O base rout!’ cried out Sancho instantly; ‘O dismal and ill-minded enchanters! I would I might see you all strung up together like galls, or like pilchards in shoals. Cunning you are, much you can, and much you do. It had been enough for you, rascals, to have turned the pearls of my lady’s eyes into corky galls, and her most pure golden hair into bristles of a red ox’s tail, and, finally, all her feature from good to bad, without meddling with her breath; for only by that we might have guessed what was concealed under that coarse rind; though, to say true, I never saw her coarseness, but her beauty, which was infinitely increased by a mole she had upon her lip, like a mustacho, with seven or eight red hairs like threads of gold, and above a handful long.’ ‘To this mole,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘according to the correspondency that those of the face have with those of the body, she hath another in the table of her thigh that corresponds to the side where that of her face is; but hairs of that length thou speakest of are very much for moles.’ ‘Well, I can tell you,’ quoth Sancho, ‘that there they appeared, as if they had been born with her.’ ‘I believe it, friend,’ replied Don Quixote; ‘for nature could form nothing in Dulcinea that was not perfect and complete; and so, though she had a hundred moles, as well as that one thou sawest in her, they were not moles, but moons and bright stars. But tell me, Sancho, that which thou didst set on, which seemed to me to be a pack-saddle, was it a plain saddle or a saddle with a back?’ ‘It was,’ said Sancho, ‘a jennet-saddle, with a field covering, worth half a kingdom for the richness of it.’ ‘And could not I see all this? Well, now I say again, and will say it a thousand times, I am the unhappiest man alive.’ The crack-rope Sancho had enough to do to hold laughter, hearing his master’s madness, that was so delicately gulled.

Finally, after many other reasons that passed betwixt them both, they gat up on their beasts, and held on the way to Saragosa, where they thought to be fitly to see the solemnities that are performed once every year in that famous city. But before they came thither things befel them that, because they are many, famous, and strange, they deserve to be written and read, as shall be seen here following.
 

1 Mistakes of simplicity.
2 As if we should say, one Joan in London.

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The Second Part

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