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 XX: Of the Marriage of Rich Camacho, and the Success of Poor Basilius

 

SCARCE had the silver morn given bright Phoebus leave, with the ardour of his burning rays, to dry the liquid pearls on his golden locks, when Don Quixote, shaking off sloth from his drowsy members, rose up, and called Sancho his squire, that still lay snorting; which Don Quixote seeing, before he could wake, he said: ‘O happy thou above all that live upon the face of the earth, that without envy, or being envied, sleepest with a quiet breast, neither persecuted by enchanters nor frighted by enchantments! Sleep, I say once again—nay, an hundred times—sleep; let not thy master’s jealousy keep thee continually awake, nor let care to pay thy debts make thee watchful, or how another day thou and thy small but straitened family may live, whom neither ambition troubles nor the world’s vain pomp doth weary, since the bounds of thy desires extend no farther than to thinking of thine ass; for, for thine own person, that thou hast committed to my charge,—a counterpoise and burden that nature and custom bath laid upon the masters. The servant sleeps, and the master wakes, thinking how he may maintain, good him, and do him kindnesses; the grief that it is to see heaven obdurate in relieving the earth with seasonable moisture troubles not the servant, but it doth the master, that must keep, in sterility and hunger, him that served him in abundance and plenty.’

Sancho answered not a word to all this, for he was asleep, neither would he have awaked so soon, if Don Quixote had not made him come to himself with the little end of his lance. At length he awaked sleepy and drowsy, and, turning his face round about, he said: ‘From this arbour, if I be not deceived, there comes a steam and smell rather of good broiled rashers than thyme and rushes; a marriage that begins with such smells, by my holidam, I think ‘twill be brave and plentiful.’ ‘Away, glutton!’ quoth Don Quixote. ‘Come and let us go see it, and what becomes of the disdained Basilius.’ ‘Let him do what he will,’ said Sancho, ‘were it not better that he were poor still and married to Quiteria? There is no more in it, but let the moon lose one quarter and she’ll fall from the clouds. Faith, sir, I am of opinion that the poor fellow be contented with his fortunes, and not seek after things impossible. I’ll hold one of mine arms that Camacho will cover Basilius all over with sixpences; and if it be so, as ‘tis like, Quiteria were a very fool to leave her bravery and jewels that Camacho hath and can give her, and choose Basilius for his bar-pitching and fencing. In a tavern they will not give you a pint of wine for a good throw with the bar, or a trick at fence; such abilities that are worth nothing have ‘em whoso will for me; but when they light upon one that hath crowns withal, let me be like that man that hath them. Upon a good foundation a good building may be raised, and money is the best bottom and foundation that is in the world.’ ‘For God’s love, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘conclude thy tedious discourse, with which, I believe, if thou wert let alone, thou wouldst neither eat nor sleep for talking.’ ‘If you had a good memory,’ said Sancho, ‘you would remember the articles of our agreement before we made our last sally from home, one of which was that you would let me speak as much as I list, on condition that it were not against my neighbour or against your authority; and hitherto I am sure I have not broken that article.’ ‘I remember no such article, Sancho,’ said he; ‘and, though it were so, I would have you now be silent and come with me; for now the instruments we heard over night begin to cheer the valleys, and doubtless the marriage is kept in the cool of the morning, and not deferred till the afternoon’s heat.

Sancho did what his master willed him, and, saddling Rozinante, with his pack-saddle clapped likewise on Dapple, the two mounted, and fair and softly entered the arbour. The first thing that Sancho saw was a whole steer spitted upon a whole elm, and for the fire, where it was to be roasted, there was a pretty mountain of wood, and six pots that were round about this bonfire, which were never cast in the ordinary mould that other pots were, for they were six half olive-butts, and every one was a very shambles of meat, they bad so many whole sheep soaking in ‘em which were not seen, as if they had been pigeons. The flayed hares and the pulled hens that were hung upon the trees to be buried in the pots were numberless; birds and fowl of divers sorts infinite, that hung on the trees, that the air might cool them. Sancho counted above threescore skins of wine, each of them of above two arrobas,1 and as it afterward seemed, of sprightly liquor; there were also whole heaps of purest bread, heaped up like corn in the threshing-floors; your cheeses, like bricks piled one upon another, made a goodly wall; and two kettles of oil, bigger than a dyer’s, served to fry their paste-work, which they took out with two strong peels when they were fried, and they ducked them in another kettle of honey that stood by for the same purpose. There were cooks above fifty, men and women, all cleanly, careful, and cheerful. In the spacious belly of the steer there were twelve sucking pigs, which, being sewed there, served to make him more savoury. The spices of divers sorts, it seems they were not bought by pounds, but by arrobas, and all lay open in a great chest. To conclude, this preparation for the marriage was rustical, but so plentiful that it might furnish an army.

Sancho Panza beheld all, and was much affected with it; and first of all the goodly pots did captivate his desires, from whence with all his heart he would have been glad to have received a good pipkin-full; by and by he was enamoured on the skins; and last of all on the fried meats, if so be those vast kettles might be called frying-pans: so, without longer patience, as not being able to abstain, he came to one of the busy cooks, and with courteous and hungry reasons desired him that he might sop a cast of bread in one of the pots. To which the cook replied, ‘Brother, this is no day on which hunger may have any jurisdiction, thanks be to the rich Camacho; alight, and see if you can find ever a ladle there, and skim out a hen or two, and much good may they do you!’ ‘I see none,’ said Sancho. ‘Stay,’ said the cook; ‘God forgive me, what a ninny ‘tis!’ And saying this, he laid hold of a kettle, and, sousing into it one of the half-butts, he drew out of it three hens and two geese, and said to Sancho, ‘Eat, friend, and break your fast with this froth till dinner-time.’ ‘I have nothing to put it in,’ said Sancho. ‘Why, take spoon and all,’ said the cook; ‘for Camacho’s riches and content will very well bear it.’

Whilst Sancho thus passed his time, Don Quixote saw that by one side of the arbour there came a dozen husbandmen upon twelve goodly mares, with rich and sightly furniture fit for the country, with many little bells upon their petrels, all clad in bravery for that day’s solemnity, and all in a joint troop ran many careers up and down the meadow, with a great deal of mirth and jollity, crying, ‘Long live Camacho and Quiteria! he as rich as she fair, and she the fairest of the world.’ Which when Don Quixote heard, thought he to himself, ‘It well appears that these men have not seen my Dulcinea del Toboso; for, if they had, they would not be so forward in praising this their Quiteria.’

A while after there began to enter, at divers places of the arbour, certain different dances, amongst which there was one sword-dance by four-and-twenty swains, handsome lusty youths, all in white linen, with their handkerchiefs wrought in several colours of fine silk; and one of the twelve upon the mares asked him that was the foreman of these, a nimble lad, if any of the dancers bad hurt themselves. ‘Hitherto,’ said he, ‘nobody is hurt; we are all well, God be thanked.’ And straight he shuffled in amongst the rest of his companions, with so many tricks and so much sleight that Don Quixote, though he were used to such kind of dances, yet he never liked any so well as this. He also liked another very well, which was of fair young maids, so young that never a one was under fourteen nor none above eighteen, all clad in coarse green, their hair partly filleted and partly loose—but all were yellow, and might compare with the sun—upon which they had garlands of jasmines,2 roses, woodbine, and honeysuckles. They had for their guides a reverend old man and a matronly woman, but more light and nimble than could be expected from their years. They danced to the sound of a Zamora bagpipe,3 so that with their honest looks and their nimble feet, they seemed to be the best dancers in the world.

After this there came in another artificial dance, of those called brawls; it consisted of eight nymphs, divided into two ranks; god Cupid guided one rank and Money the other: the one with his wings, his bow, his quiver and arrows; the other was clad in divers rich colours of gold and silk. The nymphs that followed Love carried a white parchment scroll at their backs, in which their names were written in great letters. The first was Poesy, the second Discretion, the third Nobility, the fourth Valour. In the same manner came those whom god Money led: the first was Liberality, the second Reward, the third Treasure, the fourth Quiet Possession. Before them came a wooden castle, which was shot at by two savages clad in ivy, and canvas dyed in green, so to the life that they had well-nigh frighted Sancho. Upon the frontispiece and of each side of the castle was written, ‘The Castle of Good Heed.’ Four skilful musicians played to them on a tabor and pipe; Cupid began the dance, and, after two changes, he lifted up his eyes and bent his bow against a virgin that stood upon the battlements of the castle, and said to her in this manner:

‘I am the powerful deity,
In heaven above and earth beneath,
In sea’s and hell’s profundity,
O’er all that therein live or breathe.

‘What ‘tis to fear, I never knew;
I can perform all that I will;
Nothing to me is strange or new;
I bid, forbid, at pleasure still.’

The verse being ended, he shot a flight over the castle, and retired to his standing. By and by came out Money, and performed his two changes; the tabor ceased, and he spoke:

‘Lo! I that can do more than love,
Yet Love is he that doth me guide;
My offspring great’st on earth, to Jove
Above I nearest am allied.

‘I Money am, with whom but few
Perform the honest works they ought;
Yet here a miracle to show,
That without me they could do aught.’

Money retired, and Poetry advanced, who, after she had done her changes as well as the rest, her eyes fixed upon the damsel of the castle, she said:

‘Lady, to thee, sweet Poesy
Her soul in deep conceits doth send,
Wrapped up in writs of sonnetry,
Whose pleasing strains do them commend.

‘If, with my earnestness, I thee
Importune not, fair damsel, soon
Thy envied fortune shall, by me,
Mount to the circle of the moon.’

Poetry gave way, and from Money’s side came Liberality, and, after her changes, spoke:

‘To give is Liberality,
In him that shuns two contraries,
The one of prodigality,
T’other of hateful avarice.

‘I’ll be profuse in praising thee,
Profuseness hath accounted been
A vice, yet sure it cometh nigh
Affection, which in gifts is seen.’

In this sort both the shows of the two squadrons came in and out, and each of them performed their changes and spoke their verses, some elegant, some ridiculous. Don Quixote only remembered (for he had a great memory) the rehearsed ones. And now the whole troop mingled together, winding in and out with great sprightliness and dexterity; and still as Love went before the castle he shot a flight aloft, but Money broke gilded balls, and threw into it.

At last, after Money had danced a good while, he drew out a great purse made of a Roman cat’s skin, which seemed to be full of money, and, casting it into the castle, with the blow the boards were disjoined and fell down, leaving the damsel discovered, without any defence. Money came with his assistants, and, casting a great chain of gold about her neck, they made a show of leading her captive, which when Love and his party saw, they made show as if they would have rescued her; and all these motions were to the sound of the tabors. With skilful dancing the savages parted them, who very speedily went to set up and join the boards of the castle, and the damosel was there enclosed anew; and with this the dance ended, to the great content of the spectators.

Don Quixote asked one of the nymphs who had so dressed and ordered her. She answered, a parson of the town, who had an excellent capacity for such inventions. ‘I’ll lay a wager,’ said Don Quixote, ‘he was more Basilius his friend than Camacho’s, and that he knows better what belongs to a satire than an evensong; he hath well fitted Basilius his abilities to the dance, and Camacho’s riches.’

Sancho Panza, that heard all, said, ‘The king is my cock; I hold with Camacho.’ ‘Well, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘thou art a very peasant, and like them that cry, “Long live the conqueror!”’ ‘I know not who I am like,’ said Sancho; ‘but I know I shall never get such delicate froth out of Basilius his pottage-pots as I have out of Camacho’s.’ And with that showed him the kettle full of geese and hens, and, laying hold on one, he fell to it merrily and hungerly. And for Basilius’ abilities this he said to their teeth: ‘So much thou art worth as thou hast, and so much as thou hast thou art worth. An old grandam of mine was wont to say there were but two lineages in the world, Have-much and Have-little; and she was mightily inclined to the former; and at this day, master, your physician had rather feel a having pulse than a knowing pulse, and an ass covered with gold makes a better show than a horse with a pack-saddle. So that I say again I am of Camacho’s side, the scum of whose pots are geese, hens, hares, and conies, and Basilius his, be they near or far off, but poor thin water.’

‘Hast thou ended with thy tediousness, Sancho?’ said Don Quixote. ‘I must end,’ said he, ‘because I see it offends you; for, if it were not for that, I had work cut out for three days.’ ‘Pray God, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘that I may see thee dumb before I die.’ ‘According to our life,’ said Sancho, ‘before you die, I shall be mumbling clay, and then perhaps I shall be so dumb that I shall not speak a word till the end of the world, or at least till doomsday.’ ‘Although it should be so, Sancho,’ said he, ‘thy silence will never be equal to thy talking past and thy talk to come; besides, ‘tis very likely that I shall die before thee, and so I shall never see thee dumb,—no, not when thou drinkest or sleepest, to paint thee out thoroughly.’ ‘In good faith, master,’ quoth Sancho, ‘there is no trusting in the Raw-bones, I mean Death, that devours lambs as well as sheep; and I have heard our vicar say she tramples as well on the high towers of kings as the humble cottages of poor men. This lady bath more power than squeamishness; she is nothing dainty, she devours all, plays at all, and fills her wallets with all kind of people, ages, and pre-eminences; she is no mower that sleeps in the hot weather, but mows at all hours, and cuts as well the green grass as the hay; she doth not chew, but swallows at once, and crams down all that comes before her; she hath a canine appetite, that is never satisfied; and, though she have no belly, yet she may make us think she is hydropsical, with the thirst she hath to drink all men’s lives, as if it were a jug of cold water.’ ‘No more, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘at this instant; hold while thou art well, and take heed of falling, for certainly thou hast spoken of Death, in thy rustical terms, as much as a good preacher might have spoken. I tell thee, Sancho, that for thy natural discretion thou mightst get thee a pulpit, and preach thy fine knacks up and down the world.’ ‘He preaches well that lives well,’ said Sancho, ‘and I know no other preaching.’ ‘Thou needest not,’ quoth he; ‘but I wonder at one thing, that wisdom beginning from the fear of God, that thou, who fearest a lizard more than Him, shouldst be so wise?’ ‘Judge you of your knight-errantry,’ said Sancho, ‘and meddle not with other men’s fears or valours, for I am as pretty a fearer of God as any of my neighbours, and so let me snuff away this scum;4 for all the rest are but idle words, for which we must give account in another life.’

And in so saying he began to give another assault to the kettle, with such a courage that he wakened Don Quixote, that undoubtedly would have taken his part, if he had not been hindered by that that of necessity must be set down.
 

1 Arroba, a measure of 25 lb. weight, which may be some six gallons of wine.
2 Jasmines, a little sweet white flower that grows in Spain in hedges, like our sweet marjoram.
3 Zamora, a town in Castile famous for that kind of music like our Lancashire hornpipe.
4 Meaning to eat his hen and the goose.

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The Second Part

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