Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The Second Part

Gavilan Spanish Questions or comments  Bibliographic Record Index page Previous page Bottom Next page 

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 XLI: Of Clavileno’s Arrival, with the End of this Dilated Adventure


IT grew now to be night, and with it the expected time when Clavileno the famous horse should come, whose delay troubled Don Quixote, thinking that Malambruno deferring to send him argued that either he was not the knight for whom the adventure was reserved, or that Malambruno durst not come to single combat with him; but look ye now, when all unexpected four savages entered the garden, clad all in green ivy, bearing upon their shoulders a great wooden horse; they set him upon his legs on the ground, and one of them said, ‘Let him that hath the courage get up upon this engine.’ ‘Then,’ quoth Sancho, ‘not I, I have no courage, I am no knight.’ And the savage replied, saying, ‘And let his squire ride behind; and let him be assured that no sword but Malambruno’s shall offend him. And there is no more to be done but to turn that pin which is upon the horse’s neck, and he will carry them in a moment where Malambruno attends; but, lest the height and distance from earth make them light-headed, let them cover their eyes till the horse neigh, a sign that they have then finished their voyage.’ This said, with a slow pace, they marched out the same way they came.

The Afflicted, as soon as she saw the horse, with very tears in her eyes, she said to Don Quixote, ‘Valorous knight, Malambruno hath kept his word; the horse is here, our beards increase, and each of us with every hair of them beseech thee to shave and shear us, since there is no more to be done, but that thou and thy squire both mount and begin this your happy new voyage.’ ‘That will I willingly,’ said Don Quixote, ‘my Lady Trifaldi, without a cushion or spurs, that I may not delay time, so much, lady, I desire to see you and all these gentlewomen smooth and clear.’ ‘Not I,’ quoth Sancho, ‘neither willingly nor unwillingly; and, if this shaving cannot be performed without my riding at the crupper, let my master seek some other squire to follow him, and these gentlewomen some other means of smoothing themselves; for I am no hag that love to hurry in the air; and what will my islanders say when they hear their governor is hovering in the wind? Besides, there being three thousand leagues from hence to Candaya, if the horse should be weary, or the giant offended, we might be these half-dozen of years ere we return; and then perhaps there would be neither island nor dry land in the world to acknowledge me. And, since ‘tis ordinarily said that delay breeds danger, and he that will not when he may, etc., these gentlewomen’s beards shall pardon me, for ‘tis good sleeping in a whole skin; I mean, I am very well at home in this house, where I receive so much kindness, and from whose owner I hope for so great a good as to see myself a governor.’

To which quoth the duke, ‘Friend Sancho, the island that I promised you is not moveable nor fugitive; it is so deep-rooted in the earth that a great many pulls will not root it up; and, since you know that I know there is none of these prime kind of officers that pays not some kind of bribe, some more, some less, yours or this government shall be that you accompany your master Don Quixote to end and finish this memorable adventure—that, whether you return on Clavileno with the brevity that his speed promiseth, or that your contrary fortune bring and return you home on foot like a pilgrim from inn to inn, and from alehouse to alehouse, at your coming back you shall find the island where you left it, and the islanders with the same desire to receive you for their governor that they have always had, and my good will shall always be the same; and doubt not, Signior Sancho, of this, for you should do much wrong, in so doing, to the desire I have to serve you.

‘No more, sir,’ quoth Sancho. ‘I am a poor squire, and cannot carry so much courtesy upon my back. Let my master get up and blindfold me, and commend me to God Almighty, and tell me if, when I mount into this high-flying, I may recommend myself to God, or invoke the angels, that they may favour me.

To which the Trifaldi answered, ‘You may recommend yourself to God, or to whom you will; for Malambruno, though he be an enchanter, yet he is a Christian, and performs his enchantments with much sagacity, and very warily, without meddling with anybody.’ ‘Go to, then,’ quoth Sancho; ‘God and the Holy Trinity of Gaeta help me!’

‘Since the memorable adventure of the fulling-mills,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘I never saw Sancho so fearful as now; and, if I were as superstitious as some, his pusillanimity would tickle my conscience. But hark thee, Sancho; by these gentles’ leaves, I will speak a word or two with thee.’ And carrying Sancho amongst some trees in the garden, taking him by both the hands, he said, ‘Thou seest, brother Sancho, the large voyage that we are like to have, and God knows when we shall return from it, nor the leisure that our affairs hereafter will give us. I prithee therefore retire thyself to thy chamber, as if thou wentst to look for some necessary for the way, and give thyself in a trice, of the three thousand and three hundred lashes, in which thou standest engaged, but five hundred only; so that the beginning of a business is half the ending of it.’

‘Verily,’ quoth Sancho, ‘I think you have lost your wits. This is just! I am going, and thou art crying out in haste for thy maidenhead; I am now going to sit upon a bare piece of wood, and you would have my bum smart. Believe me, you have no reason; let’s now go for the shaving these matrons, and when we return I’ll promise you to come out of debt; let this content you, and I say no more. Don Quixote made answer, ‘Well, with this promise, Sancho, I am in some comfort, and I believe thou wilt accomplish it; for, though thou beest a fool, yet I think thou art honest.1

So now they went to mount Clavileno, and, as they were getting up, Don Quixote said, ‘Hoodwink thyself, Sancho, and get up; for he that sends from so far off for us will not deceive us, for he will get but small glory by it; and, though all should succeed contrary to my imagination, yet no malice can obscure the glory of having undergone this adventure.’ ‘Let’s go, master, quoth Sancho, ‘for the beards and tears of these gentlewomen are nailed in my heart, and I shall not eat a bit to do me good till I see them in their former smoothness. Get you up, sir, and hoodwink yourself first; for, if I must ride behind you, you must needs get up first in the saddle.’

‘Tis true indeed,’ said Don Quixote; and, taking a handkerchief out of his pocket, he desired the Afflicted to hide his eyes close. And when it was done he uncovered himself again, and said, ‘As I remember, I have read in Virgil of the Palladium, that horse of Troy, that was of wood, that the Grecians presented to the goddess Pallas, with child with armed knights, which after were the total ruin of all Troy; and so it were fit first to try what Clavileno bath in his stomach.’ ‘You need not,’ said she, ‘for I dare warrant you, and know that Malambruno is neither traitor nor malicious. You may get up without any fear, and upon me be it if you receive any hurt.’

But Don Quixote thought that everything thus spoken to his safety was a detriment of his valour; so, without more exchanging of words, up he got, and tried the pin that easily turned up and down. So with his legs at length, without stirrups, he looked like an image painted in a piece of Flanders arras, or woven in some Roman triumph. Sancho got up fair and softly, and with a very ill will, and settling himself the best he could upon the crupper, found it somewhat hard, and nothing soft, and desired the duke that, if it were possible, he might have a cushionet, or, for failing, one of the duchess’s cushions of state, or a pillow from one of the pages’ beds; for that horse’s crupper, he said, was rather marble than wood. To this quoth Trifaldi, ‘Clavileno will suffer no kind of furniture nor trapping upon him; you may do well, for your ease, to sit on him woman-ways, so you will not feel his hardness so much.’

Sancho did so, and, saying farewell, he suffered himself to be bound about the eyes, and after uncovered himself again, and looking pitifully round about the garden, with tears in his eyes, he desired that they would in that doleful trance join with him each in a Paternoster and an Ave Maria as God might provide them some to do them that charitable office when they should be in the like trance.

To which quoth Don Quixote, ‘Rascal, are you upon the gallows, trow, or at the last gasp, that you use these kind of supplications? Art thou not, thou soulless cowardly creature, in the same place where the fair Magalona sat, from whence she descended not to her grave but to be Queen of France, if histories lie not? And am not I by thee? cannot I compare with the valorous Pierres, that pressed this seat that I now press? Hoodwink, hoodwink thyself, thou disheartened beast, and let not thy fear come forth of thy mouth, at least in my presence.’ ‘Hoodwink me,’ quoth Sancho; ‘and, since you will not have me pray to God, nor recommend me, how can I choose but be afraid, lest some legion of devils be here that may carry us headlong to destruction?’

Now they were hoodwinked, and Don Quixote, perceiving that all was as it should be, laid hold on the pin, and scarce put his fingers to it when all the waiting-women, and as many as were present, lifted up their voices, saying, ‘God be thy speed, valorous knight! God be with thee, undaunted squire! now, now you fly in the air, cutting it with more speed than an arrow; now you begin to suspend and astonish as many as behold you from earth. Hold, hold, valorous Sancho! for now thou goest waving in the air; take heed thou fall not, for thy fall will be worse than the bold youth’s that desired to govern his father the sun’s chariot.’

Sancho heard all this, and, getting close to his master, he girt his arms about him and said, ‘Sir, why do they say we are so high if we can hear their voices? and methinks they talk here hard by us.’ ‘Ne’er stand upon that,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘for, as these kinds of flyings are out of the ordinary course of thousands of leagues, thou mayst hear and see anything. And do not press me so hard, for thou wilt throw me down; and, verily, I know not why thou shouldst thus tremble and be afraid; for I dare swear in all my life I never rode upon an easier-paced horse; he goes as if he never moved from the place. Friend, banish ear; for the business goes on successfully, and we have wind at will.’ ‘Indeed ‘tis true,’ quoth Sancho; ‘for I have a wind comes so forcibly on this side of me as if I were blowed upon by a thousand pair of bellows.’ And it was true indeed; they were giving him air with a very good pair of bellows.

This adventure was so well contrived by the duke, the duchess, and the steward that there was no requisite a-wanting to make it perfect. Don Quixote too, feeling the breath, said: ‘Undoubtedly, Sancho, we are now come to the middle region, where hail, snow, thunder and lightning, and the thunderbolt, are engendered in the third region, and if we mount long in this manner we shall quickly be in the region of fire; and I know not how to use this pin, that we mount not where we shall be scorched.’

Now they heated their faces with flax set on fire, and easy to be quenched, in a cane afar off; and Sancho, that felt the heat, said: ‘Hang me, if we be not now in that place where the fire is; for a great part of my beard is singed. I’ll unblindfold myself, master, and see whereabouts we are.’ ‘Do not,’ quoth Don Quixote; ‘and remember that true tale of the scholar Toralva, whom the devil hoisted up into the air a-horseback on a reed, with his eyes shut;2 and in twelve hours he arrived at Rome, and lighted at the tower of Nona, which is one of the streets of the city, and saw all the mischance, the assault and death of Borbon, and the morrow after returned back to Madrid, relating all he had seen, and said that as he went in the air, the devil bid him open his eyes, which he did, and saw himself, as he thought, so near the body of the moon that he might have touched her with his hands, and that he durst not look toward the earth, for fear to be made giddy. So that, Sancho, there is no uncovering us, for he that hath the charge of carrying us will look to us, and peradventure we go doubling of points, and mounting on high to fall even with the kingdom of Candaya, as doth the saker or hawk upon the heron, to catch her, mount she never so high; and, though it seem to us not half an hour since we parted from the garden, believe me we have travelled a great way.’ ‘I know not what belongs to it,’ quoth Sancho; ‘but this I know, that if your Lady Magallanes, or Magalona, were pleased with my seat she was not very tender-breeched.’

All these discourses of the two most valiant were heard by the duke and duchess, and them in the garden, which gave them extraordinary content; who, willing to make an end of this strange and well-composed adventure, clapped fire with some flax at Clavileno’s tail; and straight the horse, being stuffed with crackers, flew into the air, making a strange noise, and threw Don Quixote and Sancho both on the ground, and singed. And now all the bearded squadron of the matrons vanished out of the garden, and Trifaldi too and all; and they that remained counterfeited a dead swoon, and lay all along upon the ground.

Don Quixote and Sancho, ill-entreated, rose up, and, looking round about, they wondered to see themselves
in the same garden from whence they had parted, and to see such a company of people laid upon the ground; and their admiration was the more increased when on one side of the garden they saw a great lance fastened in the ground, and a smooth white piece of parchment hanging at it, with two twisted strings of green silk, in which the following words were written with letters of gold:

‘The famous and valorous knight Don Quixote de la Mancha finished and ended the adventure of the Countess Trifaldi, otherwise called the Afflicted Matron, and her company, only with undertaking it.

‘Malambruno is satisfied and contented with all his heart, and now the waiting-women’s chins are smooth and clean, and the princes Don Clavixo and Antonomasia are in their pristine being; and when the squire’s whipping shall be accomplished the white pigeon shall be free from the pestiferous jer-falcons that persecute her, and in her loved luller’s arms; for so it is ordained by the sage Merlin, proto-enchanter of enchanters.’

When Don Quixote had read these letters of the parchment, he understood plainly that they spoke of the disenchanting of Dulcinea; and, giving many thanks to Heaven, that with so little danger he had ended so great an exploit as reducing the faces of the venerable waiting-women to their former smoothness, that were now gone, he went towards the duke and the duchess, who were not as yet come to themselves; and, taking the duke by the hand, he said, ‘Courage, courage, noble sir; all’s nothing, the adventure is now ended, without breaking of bars, as you may plainly see by the writing there in that register.’

The duke, like one that riseth out of a profound sleep, by little and little came to himself, and in the same tenor the duchess, and all they that were down in the garden, with such shows of marvel and wonderment that they did even seem to persuade that those things had happened to them in earnest which they counterfeited in jest. The duke read the scroll with his eyes half-shut; and straight with open arms he went to embrace Don Quixote, telling him he was the bravest knight that ever was. Sancho looked up and down for the Afflicted, to see what manner of face she had, now she was disbearded, and if she were so fair as her gallant presence made show for: but they told him that as Clavileno came down burning in the air, and lighted on the ground, all the squadron of waiting-women with Trifaldi vanished, and now they were shaved and unfeathered.

The duchess asked Sancho how he did in that long voyage. To which he answered, ‘I, madam, thought, as my master told me, we passed by the region of fire, and I would have uncovered myself a little, but my master, of whom I asked leave, would not let me; but I, that have certain curious itches, and a desire to know what is forbidden me, softly, without being perceived, drew up the handkerchief that blinded me a little above my nose, and there I saw the earth, and methoughts it was no bigger than a grain of mustard-seed, and the men that walked upon it somewhat bigger than hazel-nuts, that you may see how high we were then.’

To this said the duchess, ‘Take heed, friend Sancho, what you say; for it seems you saw not the earth, but the men that walked on it; for it is plain that, if the earth showed no bigger than a grain of mustard-seed, and every man like a hazel-nut, one man alone would cover the whole earth.’ ‘‘Tis true indeed,’ quoth Sancho; ‘but I looked on one side of it, and saw it all.’ ‘Look you, Sancho,’ quoth the duchess; ‘one cannot see all of a thing by one side.’ ‘I cannot tell what belongs to your seeing, madam,’ quoth Sancho; ‘but you must think that, since we flew by enchantment, by enchantment I might see the whole earth and all the men, which way soever I looked. And, if you believe not this, neither will you believe that, uncovering myself about my eyebrows, I saw myself so near heaven that betwixt it and me there was not a handful and a half. And I dare swear, madam, that ‘tis a huge thing; and it happened that we went that way where the seven she-goat stars were; and, in my soul and conscience, I having been a goat-herd in my youth, as soon as I saw them I had a great desire to pass some time with them, which had I not done, I thought I should have burst. Well, I come then, and I take; what do I do? without giving notice to anybody—no, not to my master himself—fair and softly I lighted from Clavileno, and played with the goats, that were like white violets, and such pretty flowers, some three-quarters of an hour, and Clavileno moved not a whit all this while.’

‘And while Sancho was playing with the goats all this while,’ quoth the duke, ‘what did Signior Don Quixote?’ To which quoth Don Quixote, ‘As all these things are quite out of their natural course, ‘tis not much that Sancho hath said: only for me I say, I neither perceived myself higher or lower; neither saw I heaven or earth, or seas or sands. True it is, that I perceived I passed through the middle region, and came to the fire; but to think we passed from thence, I cannot believe it; for the region of fire being between the moon and heaven, and the latter region of the air, we could not come to heaven, where the seven goats are, that Sancho talks of, without burning ourselves: which since we did not, either Sancho lies or dreams.’

‘I neither lie nor dream,’ quoth Sancho; ‘for ask me the signs of those goats, and by them you shall see whether I tell true or no.’ ‘Tell them, Sancho,’ quoth the duchess. ‘Two of them,’ quoth Sancho, ‘are green, two blood-red, two blue, and one mixed colour.’ ‘Here’s a new kind of goats,’ quoth the duke; ‘in our region of the earth we have no such coloured ones.’ ‘Oh, you may be sure,’ quoth Sancho, ‘there’s difference between those and these.’ ‘Tell me, Sancho,’ quoth the duke, ‘did you see amongst those shes any he-goat?’3 ‘No, sir,’ quoth Sancho, ‘for I heard say that none passed the horns of the moon.

They would ask him no more touching his voyage; for it seemed to them that Sancho had a clue to carry him all heaven over, and to tell all that passed there, without stirring out of the garden.

In conclusion, this was the end of the adventure of the Afflicted Matron, that gave occasion of mirth to the dukes, not only for the present, but for their whole lifetime, and to Sancho to recount for many ages, if he might live so long. But Don Quixote, whispering Sancho in the ear, told him, ‘Sancho, since you will have us believe all that you have seen in heaven, I pray believe all that I saw in Montesinos’ Cave, and I say no more.

1 Here I left out a line or two of a dull conceit; so it was no great matter; for in English it could not be expressed.
2 A story believed in Spain as gospel.
3 An equivocal question; for in Spain they use to call cuckolds cabrones, he-goats.

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The Second Part

Gavilan Spanish Questions or comments Bibliographic Record Index page Previous page Top Next page