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 XIV: How the Adventure of the Knight of the Wood is prosecuted


AMONGST many discourses that passed between Don Quixote and the Knight of the Wood, the history says that he of the Wood said to Don Quixote, ‘In brief, sir knight, I would have you know that my destiny, or, to say better, my election, enamoured me upon the peerless Casildea de Vandalia. Peerless I call her, as being so in the greatness of her stature, and in the extreme of her being and beauty. This Casildea I tell you of repaid my good and virtuous desires in employing me, as did the stepmother of Hercules, in many and different perils, promising me, at the accomplishing of each one, in performing another I should enjoy my wishes; but my labours have been so linked one upon another that they are numberless, neither know I which may be the last to give an accomplishment to my lawful desires. Once she commanded me to give defiance to that famous giantess of Seville called the Giralda, who is so valiant and so strong as being made of brass, and, without changing place, is the most moveable and turning woman in the world. I came, I saw, and conquered her, and made her stand still and keep distance; for a whole week together no winds blew but the north. Otherwhiles she commanded me to lift up the ancient stones of the fierce bulls of Guisando,1 an enterprise fitter for porters than knights. Another time she commanded me to go down and dive in the vault of Cabra — a fearful and unheard-of attempt — and to bring her relation of all that was enclosed in that dark profundity. I stayed the motion of the Giralda; I weighed the bulls of Guisando; I cast myself down the steep cave, and brought to light the secrets of that bottom; but my hopes were dead, how dead! her disdains still living, how living! Lastly, she hath now commanded me that I run over all the provinces of Spain, and make all the knights-errant that wander in them confess that she alone goes beyond all other women in beauty, and that I am the valiantest and most enamoured knight of the world, in which demand I have travelled the greatest part of Spain, and have overcome many knights that durst contradict me. But that which I prize and esteem most is that I have conquered in single combat that so famous knight Don Quixote de la Mancha, and made him confess that my Casildea is fairer than his Dulcinea; and in this conquest only I make account that I have conquered all the knights in the world, because the aforesaid Don Quixote hath conquered them all, and I having overcome him, his fame, his glory, and his honour hath been transferred and passed over to my person, and the conqueror is so much the more esteemed by how much the conquered was reputed, so that the innumerable exploits of Don Quixote now mentioned are mine, and pass upon my account.’

Don Quixote admired to hear the Knight of the Wood, and was a thousand times about to have given him the lie, and had his ‘Thou liest’ upon the point of his tongue; but he deferred it as well as he could, to make him confess with his own mouth that he lied, and so he told him calmly: ‘That you may have overcome, sir knight, all the knights-errant of Spain and the whole world I grant ye; but that you have overcome Don Quixote de la Mancha, I doubt it; it may be some other like him, though few there be so like.’ ‘Why not?’ replied he of the Wood: ‘I can assure you, sir, I fought with him, overcame, and made him yield. He is a tall fellow, withered-faced, lank and dry in his limbs, somewhat hoary, sharp-nosed, and crooked; his mustachoes long, black, and fallen; he marcheth under the name of the Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance; he presses the loin and rules the bridle of a famous horse called Rozinante; and has for the mistress of his thoughts one Dulcinea del Toboso, sometimes called Aldonsa Lorenso, just as mine, that because her name was Casilda, and of Andaluzia, I call her Casildea de Vandalia; and, if all these tokens be not enough to countenance the truth, here is my sword that shall make incredulity itself believe it.’

‘Have patience, good sir knight,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘and here what I shall say. Know that this Don Quixote you speak of is the greatest friend I have in this world, and so much that I may tell you I love him as well as myself, and by the signs that you have given of him, so punctual and certain, I cannot but think it is he whom you have overcome. On the other side, I see with mine eyes, and feel with my hands, that it is not possible it should be he, if it be not that, as he hath many enchanters that be his enemies, especially one that doth ordinarily persecute him, there be some one that hath taken his shape on him, and suffered himself to be overcome, to defraud him of the glory which his noble chivalry hath gotten and laid up for him throughout the whole earth. And, for confirmation of this, I would have you know that these enchanters mine enemies, not two days since, transformed the shape and person of the fair Dulcinea del Toboso into a foul and base country-wench, and in this sort belike they have transformed Don Quixote; and, if all this be not sufficient to direct you in the truth, here is Don Quixote himself, that will maintain it with his arms on foot or on horseback, or in what manner you please’; and he grasped his sword, expecting what resolution the Knight of the Wood would take; who with a staid voice answered and said: ‘A good paymaster needs no surety; he that could once, Don Quixote, overcome you when you were transformed, may very well hope to restore you to your former being. But because it becomes not knights to do their feats in the dark, like highway robbers and ruffians, let us stay for the day, that the sun may behold our actions; and the condition of our combat shall be that he that is overcome shall stand to the mercy of the conqueror, who, by his victory, shall have power to do with him according to his will, so far as what he ordaineth shall be fitting for a knight.’ ‘I am overjoyed with this condition and agreement,’ quoth Don Quixote.

And this said, they went where their squires were, whom they found snorting, and just as they were when sleep first stole upon them. They wakened them, and commanded they should make their horses ready, for by sunrising they meant to have a bloody and unequal single combat. At which news Sancho was astonished and amazed, as fearing his master’s safety, by reason of the Knight of the Wood’s valour, which he had heard from his squire; but, without any reply, the two squires went to seek their cattle, for by this the three horses and Dapple had smelt out one another, and were together.

By the way, he of the Wood said to Sancho, ‘You must understand, brother, that your combatants of Andalusia use, when they are sticklers in any quarrel, not to stand idly with their hands in their pockets, whilst their friends are fighting. I tell you this, because you may know that whilst our masters are at it we must skirmish too, and break our lances to shivers.’ ‘This custom, sir squire,’ answered Sancho, ‘may be current there, and pass amongst your ruffians and combatants you talk of; but with your squires that belong to knights-errant, not so much as a thought of it; at least I have not heard my master so much as speak a word of any such custom, and he knows without book all the ordinances of knight-errantry. But let me grant ye that ‘tis an express ordinance that the squires light, whilst their masters do so, yet I will not fulfil that, but pay the penalty that shall be imposed upon such peaceable squires; for I do not think it will be above two pound of wax,2 and I had rather pay them, for I know they will cost me less than the lint that I shall spend in making tents to cure my head, which already I make account is cut and divided in two; besides, ‘tis impossible I should fight, having never a sword, and I never wore any.’

‘For that,’ quoth he of the Wood, ‘I’ll tell you a good remedy: I have here two linen bags of one bigness; you shall have one, and I the other, and with these equal weapons we’ll light at bag-blows.’ ‘Let us do so an’ you will,’ said Sancho; ‘for this kind of fight will rather serve to dust than to wound us.’ ‘Not so,’ said the other; ‘for within the bags, that the wind may not carry them to and fro, we will put half a dozen of delicate smooth pebbles of equal weight, and so we may bag-baste one another without doing any great hurt.’ ‘Look ye, body of my father!’ quoth Sancho, ‘what martens’ or sables’ fur, or what fine carded wool he puts in the bags, not to beat out our brains, or make privet of our bones! But know, sir, if they were silk balls I would not light; let our masters fight, and hear on it in another world; let us drink and live, for time will be careful to take away our lives, without our striving to end them before their time and season, and that they drop before they are ripe.’ ‘For all that,’ said he of the Wood, ‘we must fight half an hour.’ ‘No, no,’ said Sancho; ‘I will not be so discourteous and ungrateful as to wrangle with whom I have eaten and drunk, let the occasion be never so small—how much more I being without choler or anger; who the devil can barely without these fight?’ ‘For this,’ said he of the Wood, ‘I’ll give you a sufficient cause, which is, that before we begin the combat I will come me finely to you, and give you three or four boxes, and strike you to my feet, with which I shall awake your choler, although it sleep like a dormouse.’ ‘Against this cut I have another,’ quoth Sancho, ‘that comes not short of it: I will take me a good cudgel, and before you waken my choler I will make you sleep so soundly with bastinadoing you that you shall not wake but in another world, in which it shall be known that I am not he that will let any man handle my face; and every man look to the shaft he shoots; and the best way were to let every man’s choler sleep with him, for no man knows what’s in another, and many come for wool that return shorn; and God blessed the peace-makers, and cursed the quarreller; for if a cat shut into a room, much baited and straitened, turn to be a lion, God knows what I that am a man may turn to. Therefore from henceforward, sir squire, let me intimate to you that all the evil and mischief that shall arise from our quarrel be upon your head.’ “Tis well,’ quoth he of the Wood; ‘let it be day and we shall thrive by this.’

And now a thousand sorts of painted birds began to chirp in the trees, and in their different delightful tones it seemed they bade good-morrow and saluted the fresh Aurora, that now discovered the beauty of her face thorough the gates and bay-windows of the east, shaking from her locks an infinite number of liquid pearls, bathing the herbs in her sweet liquor, that it seemed they also sprouted and rained white and small pearls. The willows did distil their savoury manna; the fountains laughed; the brooks murmured; the woods were cheered; and the fields were enriched with her coming.

But the brightness of the day scarce gave time to distinguish things, when the first thing that offered itself to Sancho’s sight was the Squire of the Wood’s nose, which was so huge that it did as it were shadow his whole body. It is said, indeed, that it was of an extraordinary bigness, crooked in the midst, and all full of warts of a darkish-green colour, like a berengene, and hung some two fingers over his mouth. This hugeness, colour, warts, and crookedness did so disfigure his face that Sancho, in seeing him, began to lay about him backward and forward, like a young raw ancient, and resolved with himself to endure two hundred boxes before his choler should waken to fight with that hobgoblin.

Don Quixote beheld his opposite, and perceived that his helmet was on and drawn, so that he could not see his face; but he saw that he was well set in his body, though not tall: upon his armour he wore an upper garment or cassock, to see to, of pure cloth of gold, with many moons of shining looking-glasses spread about it, which made him appear very brave and gorgeous; a great plume of green feathers waved about his helmet, with others white and yellow; his lance, which he had reared up against a tree, was very long and thick, and with a steel pike above a handful long. Don Quixote observed and noted all, and by what he had seen and marked judged that the said knight must needs be of great strength; but yet he was not afraid, like Sancho, and with a bold courage thus spoke to the Knight of the Looking-glasses: ‘If your eagerness to fight, sir knight, have not spent your courtesy, for it I desire you to lift up your visor a little, that I may behold whether the liveliness of your face be answerable to that of your disposition, whether vanquished or vanquisher you be in this enterprise.’ ‘Sir knight,’ answered he of the Looking-glasses, ‘you shall have time and leisure enough to see me; and, if I do not now satisfy your desire, it is because I think I shall do a great deal of wrong to the fair Casildea de Vandalia, to delay so much time as to lift up my visor, till I have first made you confess what I know you go about.’ ‘Well, yet while we get a-horseback,’ Don Quixote said, ‘you may resolve me whether I be that Don Quixote whom you said you had vanquished.’ ‘To this I answer you,’ said he of the Looking-glasses, ‘you are as like the knight I conquered as one egg is to another; but, as you say, enchanters persecute you, and therefore I dare not affirm whether you be he or no.’ ‘It sufficeth,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘for me that you believe your being deceived; but that I may entirely satisfy you let’s to horse; for in less time than you should have spent in the lifting up your visor, if God, my mistress, and mine arm defend me, will I see your face; and you shall see that I am not the vanquished Don Quixote you speak of.’

And here cutting off discourse, to horse they go, and Don Quixote turned Rozinante about to take so much of the field as was fit for him to return to encounter his enemy; and the Knight of the Looking-glasses did the like. But Don Quixote was not gone twenty paces from him when he heard that he of the Looking-glasses called him; so the two parting the way, he of the Glasses said, ‘Be mindful, sir knight, that the condition of our combat is that the vanquished, as I have told you before, must stand to the discretion of the vanquisher.’ ‘I know it,’ said Don Quixote, ‘so that what is imposed and commanded the vanquished be within the bounds and limits of cavallery.’ ‘So it is meant,’ said he of the Glasses.

Here Don Quixote saw the strange nose of the squire, and he did not less wonder at the sight of it than Sancho; insomuch that he deemed him a monster, or some new kind of man not usual in the world. Sancho, that saw his master go to fetch his career, would not tarry alone with Nose-autem, fearing that at one snap with t’other’s nose upon his, their fray would be ended; that either with the blow, or it, he should come to ground; so he ran after his master, laying hold upon one of Rozinante’s stirrup-leathers; and when he thought it time for his master to turn back he said, ‘I beseech your worship, master mine, that before you fall to your encounter you help me to climb up yon cork-tree, from whence I may better, and with more delight than from the ground, see the gallant encounter you shall make with this knight.’

‘Rather, Sancho,’ said Don Quixote, ‘thou wouldst get aloft, as into a scaffold to see the bulls without danger.’ ‘Let me deal truly,’ said Sancho; ‘the ugly nose of that squire hath astonished me, and I dare not come near him.’ ‘Such an one it is,’ said Don Quixote, ‘that any other but I might very well be afraid of it; and therefore come and I’ll help thee up.

Whilst Don Quixote was helping Sancho up into the cork-tree, he of the Looking-glasses took up room for his career, and thinking that Don Quixote would have done the like, without looking for trumpet’s sound, or any other warning sign, he turned his horse’s reins—no better to see to, nor swifter, than Rozinante—and with his full speed, which was a reasonable trot, he went to encounter his enemy; but, seeing him busied in the mounting of Sancho, he held in his reins and stopped in the midst of his career, for which his horse was most thankful, as being unable to move. Don Quixote, who thought his enemy by this came flying, set spurs lustily to Rozinante’s hinder flank, and made him post in such manner that, the story says, now only he seemed to run, for all the rest was plain trotting heretofore; and with this unspeakable fury he came where he of the Looking-glasses was jagging his spurs into his horse to the very hoops, without being able to remove him a finger’s length from the place where he had set up his rest for the career.

In this good time and conjuncture Don Quixote found his contrary puzzled with his horse, and troubled with his lance; for either he could not or else wanted time to set it in his rest. Don Quixote, that never looked into these inconveniences, safely and without danger encountered him of the Looking-glasses so furiously that in spite of his teeth he made him come to the ground from his horse-crupper, with such a fall that, stirring neither hand nor foot, he made show as if he had been dead. Sancho scarce saw him down, when he slid from the cork-tree, and came in all haste to his master, who dismounted from Rozinante, got upon him of the Looking-glasses, and unlacing his helmet to see if he were dead or if he were alive, to give him air, he saw—who can tell without great admiration, wonder, and amaze to him that shall hear it?—he saw, says the history, the selfsame face, the same visage, the same aspect, the same physiognomy, the same shape, the same perspective of the bachelor Samson Carrasco; and as he saw it he cried aloud, ‘Come, Sancho, and behold what thou mayst see, and not believe; run, whoreson, and observe the power of magic, what witches and enchanters can do.’

Sancho drew near, and saw the bachelor Samson Carrasco’s face, and so began to make a thousand crosses, and to bless himself as oft. In all this while the overthrown knight made no show of living. And Sancho said to Don Quixote, ‘I am of opinion, sir, that by all means you thrust your sword down this fellow’s throat that is so like the bachelor Samson Carrasco, and so perhaps in him you shall kill some of your enemies the enchanters.’ ‘‘Tis not ill advised,’ quoth Don Quixote. So drawing out his sword, to put Sancho’s counsel in execution, the knight’s squire came in, his nose being off that had so disfigured him, and said aloud, ‘Take heed, Sir Don Quixote, what you do; for he that is now at your mercy is the bachelor Samson Carrasco your friend, and I his squire.’

Now Sancho, seeing him without his former deformity, said to him, ‘and your nose?’ To which he answered, ‘Here it is in my pocket’; and, putting his hand to his right side, he pulled out a pasted nose and a varnished vizard, of the manufacture described. And Sancho, more and more beholding him, with a loud and admiring voice said, ‘Saint Mary defend me! and is not this Thomas Cecial my neighbour and my gossip?’ ‘And how say you by that?’ quoth the unnosed squire. ‘Thomas Cecial I am, gossip and friend Sancho, and straight I will tell you the conveyances, sleights, and tricks that brought me hither; in the meantime request and entreat your master that he touch not, misuse, wound, or kill the Knight of the Looking-glasses, now at his mercy, for doubtless it is the bold and ill-advised bachelor Samson Carrasco our countryman.’

By this time the Knight of the Looking-glasses came to himself, which Don Quixote seeing, he clapt the bare point of his sword upon his face, and said, ‘Thou diest, knight, if thou confess not that the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso excels your Casildea de Vandalia in beauty; and moreover you shall promise, if from this battle and fall you remain with life, to go to the city of Toboso, and present yourself from me before her, that she may dispose of you as she pleaseth; and if she pardon you you shall return to me; for the track of my exploits will be your guide, and bring you where I am, to tell me what hath passed with her. These conditions, according to those we agreed on before the battle, exceed not the limits of knight-errantry.’ ‘I confess,’ said the fallen knight, that the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso’s torn and foul shoe is more worth than the ill-combed hair, though clean, of Casildea; and here I promise to go and come from her presence to yours, and give entire and particular relation of all you require.’ ‘You shall also confess and believe,’ added Don Quixote, ‘that the knight whom you overcame neither was nor could be Don Quixote de la Mancha, but some other like him, as I confess and believe that you, although you seem to be the bachelor Samson Carrasco, are not he, but one like him, and that my enemies have cast you into his shape, that I may withhold and temper the force of my choler, and use moderately the glory of my conquest.’ ‘I confess, judge, and allow of all, as you confess, judge, and allow,’ answered the back-broken knight. ‘Let me rise, I pray you, if the blow of my fall will let me; for it hath left me in ill case.

Don Quixote helped him to rise, and Thomas Cecial his squire, on whom Sancho still cast his eyes, asking him questions, whose answers gave him manifest signs that he was Thomas Cecial indeed, as he said; but the apprehension that was made in Sancho by what his master had said, that the enchanters had changed the form of the Knight of the Glasses into Samson Carrasco’s, made him not believe what he saw with his eyes. To conclude, the master and man remained still in their error; and he of the Glasses and his squire, very moody and ill errants, left Don Quixote, purposing to seek some town where he might cerecloth himself, and settle his ribs. Don Quixote and Sancho held on their way to Saragosa, where the story leaves them, to tell who was the Knight of the Glasses and his nosy squire.

1 As if we should say, to remove the stones at Stonage in Wiltshire.
2 Alluding to some penalties enjoined by confessors, to pay to burn in candles in the church.

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The Second Part

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