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 XXXIV: How Notice is given for the Disenchanting of the Peerless Dulcinea del Toboso, which is one of the most Famous Adventures in all this Book


GREAT was the pleasure the duke and duchess received with Don Quixote and Sancho Panza’s conversation; and they resolved to play some tricks with them, that might carry some twilights and appearances of adventures. They took for a motive that which Don Quixote had told unto them of Montesinos’ Cave, because they would have it a famous one; but that which the duchess most admired at was that Sancho’s simplicity should be so great that he should believe for an infallible truth that Dulcinea was enchanted, he himself having been the enchanter and the impostor of that business. So, giving order to their servants for all they would have done, some week after they carried Don Quixote to a boar hunting, with such a troop of woodmen and hunters as if the duke had been a crowned king. They gave Don Quixote a hunter’s suit, and to Sancho one of finest green cloth; but Don Quixote would not put on his, saying that shortly he must return again to the hard exercise of arms, and that therefore he could carry no wardrobes or sumpters. But Sancho took his, meaning to sell it with the first occasion offered.

The wished-for day being come, Don Quixote armed himself, and Sancho clad himself, and upon his Dapple — for he would not leave him, though they had given him a horse — thrust himself amongst the troop of the woodmen. The duchess was bravely attired, and Don Quixote out of pure courtesy and manners took the reins of her palfrey, though the duke would not consent. At last they came to a wood that was between two high mountains, where taking their stands, their lanes and paths, and the hunters divided into several stands, the chase began with great noise, hooting and hollowing, so that one could scarce hear another, as well for the cry of the dogs as for the sound of the horns.

The duchess alighted, and, with a sharp javelin in her hand, she took a stand by which she knew some wild boars were used to pass. The duke also alighted, and Don Quixote, and stood by her. Sancho stayed behind them all, but stirred not from Dapple, whom he durst not leave, lest some ill chance should befal him. And they had scarce lighted, and set themselves in order with some servants, when they saw there came a huge boar by them baited with the dogs, and followed by the hunters, gnashing his teeth and tusks, and foaming at the mouth; and Don Quixote, seeing him, buckling his shield to him and laying hand on his sword, went forward to encounter him; the like did the duke with his javelin; but the duchess would have been foremost of all, if the duke had not stopped her. Only Sancho, when he saw the valiant beast, left Dapple, and began to scud as fast as he could; and striving to get up into a high oak, it was not possible for him, but being even in the midst of it, fastened to a bough, and striving to get to the top, he was so unlucky and unfortunate that the bough broke, and, as he was tumbling to the ground, he hung in the air fastened to a snag of the oak, unable to come to the ground; and seeing himself in that perplexity, and that his green coat was torn, and thinking that if that wild beast should come thither he might lay hold on him, he began to cry out and call for help so outrageously that all that heard him, and saw him not, thought verily some wild beast was devouring him.

Finally, the tusky boar was laid along, with many javelins’ points, and Don Quixote turning aside to Sancho’s noise, that knew him by his note, he saw him hanging on the oak and his head downward, and Dapple close by him, that never left him in all his calamity; and Cid Hamet says that he seldom saw Sancho without Dapple, or Dapple without Sancho, such was the love and friendship betwixt the couple. Don Quixote went and unhung Sancho, who, seeing himself free and on the ground, beheld the torn place of his hunting-suit, and it grieved him to the soul, for he thought he had of that suit at least an inheritance.

And now they laid the boar athwart upon a great mule, and, covering him with rosemary-bushes and myrtle boughs, he was carried in sign of their victorious spoils to a great field — tent that was set up in the midst of the wood, where the tables were set in order, and a dinner made ready, so plentiful and well dressed that it well showed the bounty and magnificence of him that gave it.

Sancho, showing the wounds of his torn garment to the duchess, said, ‘If this had been hunting of the hare, my coat had not seen itself in this extremity. I know not what pleasure there can be in looking for a beast, that if he reach you with a tusk, he may kill you. I have often heard an old song that says:

“Of the bears mayst thou be eat,
As was Favila the Great.”

‘He was a Gothish king,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘that, going a-hunting in the mountains, a bear eat him.’ ‘This I say,’ said Sancho, ‘I would not that kings and princes should thrust themselves into such dangers, to enjoy their pleasure; for what pleasure can there be to kill a beast that hath committed no fault?’

‘You are in the wrong, Sancho,’ quoth the duke; ‘for the exercise of beast-hunting is the necessariest for kings and princes that can be. The chase is a show of war, where there be stratagems, crafts, deceits to overcome the enemy at pleasure; in it you have sufferings of cold and intolerable heats, sleep and idleness are banished, the powers are corroborated, the members agilitated. In conclusion, ‘tis an exercise that may be used without prejudice to anybody, and to the pleasure of everybody, and the best of it is that it is not common, as other kinds of sports are, except flying at the fowl, only fit for kings and princes. Therefore, Sancho, change thy opinion, and when thou art a governor follow the chase, and thou shalt be a hundred times the better.’

‘Not so,’ quoth Sancho; “tis better for your governor to have his legs broken and be at home. ‘Twere very good that poor suitors should come and seek him, and he should be taking his pleasure in the woods; ‘twould be a sweet government, i’ faith. Good faith, sir, the chase and pastimes are rather for idle companions than governors. My sport shall be vyed trump at Christmas, and at skittle-pins Sundays and holidays; for your hunting is not for my condition, neither doth it agree with my conscience.

‘Pray God, Sancho, it be so,’ quoth the duke; ‘for to do and to say go a several way.’ ‘Let it be how ‘twill,’ said Sancho; ‘or a good paymaster needs no pledge, and God’s help is better than early rising; and the belly carries the legs, and not the legs the belly. I mean that, if God help me, and I do honestly what I ought, without doubt I shall govern as well as a jer-falcon. Ay, ay, put your finger in my mouth, and see if I bite or no.’

‘A mischief on thee, cursed Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘and when shall we hear thee, as I have often told thee, speak a wise speech, without a proverb? My lords, I beseech you leave this dunce; for he will grind your very souls, not with his two, but his two thousand proverbs, so seasonable as such be his health or mine if I hearken to them.’

‘Sancho’s proverbs,’ quoth the duchess, ‘although they be more than Mallaria’s, yet they are not less to be esteemed than his, for their sententious brevity. For my part, they more delight me than others that be far better and more fitting.’

With these and such-like savoury discourses they went out of the tent to the wood, to seek some more sport; and the day was soon past, and the night came on, and not so light and calm as the time of the year required, it being about midsummer: but a certain dismalness it had, agreeing much with the dukes’ intention. And so as it grew to be quite dark it seemed that upon a sudden all the wood was on fire, through every part of it; and there were heard here and there, this way and that way, an infinite company of comets and other warlike instruments, and many troops of horse that passed through the wood; the light of the fire and the sound of the warlike instruments did as it were blind and stunned the eyes and ears of the bystanders and of all those that were in the wood. Straight they heard a company of Moorish cries,1 such as they use when they join battle; drums and trumpets sounded, and fifes, all, as it were, in an instant, and so fast that he that had had his senses might have lost them, with the confused sound of these instruments.

The duke was astonished, the duchess dismayed, Don Quixote wondered, Sancho trembled; and finally even they that knew the occasion were frighted. Their fear caused a general silence, and a post in a devil’s weed passed be ore them, sounding, instead of a cornet, a huge hollow horn that made a hoarse and terrible noise. ‘Hark you, post,’ quoth the duke; ‘what are you? Whither go you? And what men of war are they that cross over the wood?’ To which the post answered, with a horrible and free voice, ‘I am the devil; I go to seek Don Quixote de la Mancha; and they which come here are six troops of enchanters that bring the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso upon a triumphant chariot; she comes here enchanted with the brave Frenchman Montesinos, to give order to Don Quixote how she may be disenchanted.’ ‘If thou wert a devil, as thou sayst,’ quoth the duke, ‘and as thy shape shows thee to be, thou wouldst have known that knight Don Quixote de la Mancha; for he is here before thee.’ ‘In my soul and conscience,’ quoth the devil, ‘I thought not on it; for I am so diverted with my several cogitations that I quite forgot the chief for which I came.’ ‘Certainly,’ said Sancho, ‘this devil is an honest fellow, and a good Christian; for if he were not he would not have sworn by his soul and conscience. And now I believe that in hell you have honest men.’

Straight the devil, without lighting, directing his sight toward Don Quixote, said, ‘The unlucky but valiant knight Montesinos sends me to thee, O Knight of the Lions—for methinks now I see thee in their paws—commanding me to tell thee from him that thou expect him here, where he will meet thee; for he hath with him Dulcinea del Toboso, and means to give thee instruction how thou shalt disenchant her. And now I have done my message I must away, and the devils like me be with thee; and good angels guard the rest.’ And this said, he winds his monstrous horn, and turned his back, and went without staying for any answer.

Each one began afresh to admire, especially Sancho and Don Quixote,—Sancho to see that, in spite of truth, Dulcinea must be enchanted: Don Quixote to think whether that were true that befel him in Montesinos’ Cave; and, being elevated in these dumps, the duke said to him, ‘Will you stay, Signior Don Quixote?’ ‘Should I not?’ quoth he. ‘Here will I stay courageous and undaunted, though all the devils in hell should close with me. ‘Well,’ quoth Sancho, ‘if I hear another devil and another horn, I’ll stay in Flanders as much as here.’

Now it grew darker, and they might perceive many lights up and down the wood, like the dry exhalations of the earth in the sky, that seem to us to be shooting-stars; besides, there was a terrible noise heard, just like that of your creaking wheels of ox-wains, from whose piercing squeak, they say, bears and wolves do fly, if there be any the way they pass. To this tempest there was another added, that increased the rest, which was that it seemed that in all four parts of the wood there were four encounters or battles in an instant; for there was first a sound of terrible cannon-shot, and an infinite company of guns were discharged, and the voices of the combatants seemed to be heard by and by afar off, the Moorish cries reiterated.

Lastly, the trumpets, comets and horns, drums, cannons and guns, and, above all, the fearful noise of the carts, all together made a most confused and horrid sound, which tried Don Quixote’s uttermost courage to suffer it; but Sancho was quite gone, and fell in a swoon upon the duchess’s coats, who received him and commanded they should cast cold water in his face, which done, he came to himself, just as one of the carts of those whistling wheels came to the place. Four lazy oxen drew it, covered with black cloths; at every horn they had a lighted torch tied, and on the top of the cart there was a high seat made, upon which a venerable old man sat, with a beard as white as snow, and so long that it reached to his girdle; his garment was a long gown of black buckram: for because the cart was full of lights, all within it might very well be discerned and seen; two ugly spirits guided it, clad in the said buckram, so monstrous that Sancho, after he had seen them, winked, because he would see ‘em no more. When the cart drew near to their standing the venerable old man rose from his seat, and, standing up, with a loud voice, said, ‘I am the wise Lyrgander’; and the cart passed on, he not speaking a word more.

After this, there passed another cart in the same manner, with another old man enthronised, who, making the cart stay, with a voice no less lofty than the other, said, ‘I am the wise Alquife, great friend to the ungrateful Urganda’; and on he went. And straight another cart came on, the same pace; but he that sat in the chief seat was no old man, as the rest, but a good robustious fellow, and ill-favoured, who, when he came near, rose up, as the rest; but, with a voice more hoarse and devilish, said, ‘I am Archelaus the enchanter, mortal enemy to Amadis de Gaul, and all his kindred’; and so on he passed. All three of these carts, turning a little forward, made a stand, and the troublesome noise of their wheels ceased, and straight there was heard no noise, but a sweet and consenting sound of well-formed music, which comforted Sancho, and he held it for a good sign, and he said thus to the duchess, from whom he stirred not a foot, not a jot: ‘Madam, where there is music, there can be no ill.’ ‘Neither,’ quoth the duchess, ‘where there is light and brightness.’ To which said Sancho, ‘The fire gives light, and your bonfires, as we see, and perhaps might burn us; but music is always a sign of feasting and jollity.’ ‘You shall see that,’ quoth Don Quixote, for he heard all, and he said well, as you shall see in the next chapter.

1 Le-li-lies, like the cries of the wild Irish.

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The Second Part

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