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 XXX: What happened to Don Quixote with the Fair Huntress


VERY melancholy and ill at ease went the knight and squire to horseback, especially Sancho, for it grieved him at the soul to meddle with the stock of their money, for it seemed to him that to part with anything from thence was to part with his eyeballs. To be brie , without speaking a word, to horse they went, and left the famous river, Don Quixote buried in his amorous cogitations, and Sancho in those of his preferment, for as yet he thought he was far enough off from obtaining it; for, although he were a fool, yet he well perceived that all his master’s actions, or the greatest part of them, were idle; so he sought after some occasion that, without entering into further reckonings or leave-taking with his master, he might one day get out of his clutches and go home; but fortune ordered matters contrary to his fear.

It fell out, then, that the next day about sun-setting, and as they were going out of a wood, Don Quixote spread his eyes about a green meadow, and at one end of it saw company, and, coming near, he saw they were falconers; he came nearer, and amongst them beheld a gallant lady upon her palfrey, or milk-white nag, with green furniture, and her saddle-pommel of silver. The lady herself was all clad in green, so brave and rich that bravery itself was transformed into her. On her left hand she carried a soar-falcon, a sign that made Don Quixote think she was some great lady, and mistress to all the rest, as true it was; so he cried out to Sancho, ‘Run, son Sancho, and tell that lady on the palfrey with the soar hawk that I, the Knight of the Lions, do kiss her most beautiful hands, and, if her magnificence give me leave, I will receive her commands, and be her servant to the uttermost of my power, that her highness may please to command me in; and take heed, Sancho, how thou speakest, and have a care thou mix not thy ambassage with some of those proverbs of thine.’ ‘Tell me of that! as if it were now the first time that I have carried embassies to high and mighty ladies in my life?’ ‘Except it were that thou carriedst to Dulcinea?’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘I know not of any other thou hast carried, at least whilst thou wert with me.’ ‘That’s true,’ said Sancho; ‘but a good paymaster needs no surety; and where there is plenty the guests are not empty — I mean there is no telling nor advising me aught, or o all things I know a little.’ ‘I believe it,’ said Don Quixote; ‘get thee gone in good time, and God speed thee.’

Sancho went on, putting Dapple out of his pace with a career, and, coming where the fair huntress was, alighting, he kneeled down, and said, ‘Fair lady, that knight you see there, called the Knight of the Lions, is my master, and I am a squire of his, whom at his house they call Sancho Panza. This said Knight of the Lions, who not long since was called the Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance, sends me to tell your greatness that you be pleased to give him leave that, with your liking, good will and consent, he put in practice his desire, which is no other (as he says and I believe) than to serve your lofty high-flying beauty and, if your ladyship give him leave, you shall do a thing that may redound to your good, and he shall receive a most remarkable favour and content.’ ‘Truly, honest squire,’ said the lady, ‘thou hast delivered thy ambassage with all the circumstances that such an ambassage requires. Rise, rise, for the squire of so renowned a knight as he of the Sorrowful Countenance, of whom we have here special notice, ‘tis not fit should kneel. Rise up, friend, and tell your master that he come near on God’s name, that the duke my husband and I may do him service at a house of pleasure we have here.’

Sancho rose up astonished, as well at the good lady’s beauty as her courtship and courtesy, especially for that she told him she had notice of his master, the Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance; for, in that she called him not Knight of the Lions, it was because it was so lately put upon him. The duchess asked him (for as yet we know not of what place she was duchess), ‘Tell me, sir squire, is not this your master one of whom there is a history printed, and goes by the name of “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha,” the lady of whose life is likewise one Dulcinea del Toboso?’ ‘The very selfsame,’ said Sancho, ‘and that squire of his that is or should be in the history, called Sancho Panza, am I, except I were changed in my cradle — I mean that I were changed in the press.’ ‘I am glad of all this,’ quoth the duchess. ‘Go, brother Panza, and tell your master that he is welcome to our dukedom, and that no news could have given me greater content.’

Sancho, with this so acceptable an answer, with great pleasure returned to his master, to whom he recounted all that the great lady had said to him, extolling to the heavens her singular beauty with his rustical terms, her affableness and courtesy. Don Quixote pranked it in his saddle, sat stiff in his stirrups, fitted his visor, roused up Rozinante, and with a comely boldness went to kiss the duchess’s hands, who, causing the duke her husband to be called, told him, whilst Don Quixote was coming, his whole embassy; so both of them having read his First Part, and understood by it his besotted humour, attended him with much pleasure and desire to know him, with a purpose to follow his humour, and to give way to all he should say, and to treat with him as a knight-errant, as long as he should be with them, with all the accustomed ceremonies in books of knight-errantry, which they had read and were much affected with.

By this Don Quixote came with his visor pulled up, and, making show to alight, Sancho came to have held his stirrup; but he was so unlucky, that as he was lighting from Dapple one of his feet caught upon a halter of the pack-saddle, so that it was not possible for him to disentangle himself, but hung by it with his mouth and his breast to the ground-ward. Don Quixote, who used not to alight without his stirrups being held, thinking Sancho was already come to hold it, lighted suddenly down, but brought saddle and all to ground (belike being ill-girt) to his much shame, and curses inwardly laid upon the unhappy Sancho, that had still his leg in the stocks. The duke commanded some of his falconers to help the knight and squire, who raised Don Quixote in ill plight with his fall, and, limping as well as he could, he went to kneel before the two lordings; but the duke would not by any means consent, rather, alighting from his horse, he embraced Don Quixote, saying, ‘I am very sorry, Sir Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance, that your first fortune hath been so ill in my ground; but the carelessness of squires is oft the cause of worse successes.’ ‘It is impossible, valorous prince, that any should be bad since I have seen you, although my fall had cast me to the profound abysm, since the glory of seeing you would have drawn me out and raised me up. My squire — a curse light on him! — unties his tongue better to speak maliciously than he girts his horse’s saddle to sit firmly; but howsoever I am, down or up, on foot or horseback, I will always be at yours and my lady the duchess’s service, your worthy consort, the worthy lady of beauty and universal princess of courtesy.’ ‘Softly, my Signior Don Quixote de la Mancha,’ quoth the duke; ‘for where my Lady Dulcinea del Toboso is present there is no reason other beauties should be praised.’

Now Sancho Panza was free from the noose, and being at hand, before his master could answer a word, he said, ‘It cannot be denied, but affirmed, that my Lady Dulcinea del Toboso is very fair; but where we least think there goes the hare away: for I have heard say that she you call Nature is like a potter that makes vessels of clay, and he that makes a handsome vessel may make two or three, or an hundred. This I say that you may know my lady the duchess comes not a whit behind my mistress the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso.’ Don Quixote turned to the duchess, and said, ‘Your greatness may suppose that never any knight in the world had ever such a prater to his squire, nor a more conceited, than mine, and he will make good what I say, if your highness shall at any time be pleased to make trial.’ To which quoth the duchess, ‘That honest Sancho may be conceited I am very glad, a sign he is wise; for your pleasant conceits, signior, as you very well know, rest not in dull brains, and, since Sancho is witty and conceited, from henceforward I confirm him to be discreet.’ ‘And a prater,’ added Don Quixote. ‘So much the better,’ said the duke, ‘for many conceits cannot be expressed in few words; and, that we may not spend the time in many, come, Sir Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance.’ ‘Of the Lions, your highness must say,’ quoth Sancho, ‘for now we have no more sorrowful countenance, and now let the lions bear countenance.’ The duke proceeded: ‘I say let the Knight of the Lions come to my castle, which is near here, where he shall have the entertainment that is justly due to so high a personage, and that that the duchess and I are wont to give to knights-errant that come to us.’

By this time Sancho had made ready and girded Rozinante’s saddle well; and Don Quixote mounting him, and the duke upon a goodly horse, set the duchess in the middle, and they went toward the castle. The duchess commanded that Sancho should ride by her, for she was infinitely delighted to hear his discretions. Sancho was easily entreated, and weaved himself between the three, and made a fourth in their conversation. The duke and duchess were much pleased, who held it for a great good fortune to have lodged in their castle such a knight-errant and such a squire erred.

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The Second Part

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