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 XLIX: What happened to Sancho in Walking the Round in his Island

 

WE left the famous governor moody and angry with the knavish husbandman-painter, who, instructed by the steward, and the steward by the duke, all made sport with Sancho; but he held them all tack, though a fool, a dullard, and a block, and said to those about him, and to Doctor Pedro Rezio — for as soon as he had ended the secret of the duke’s letter he came into the hall again—

‘Certainly,’ said he, ‘I think now judges and governors had need be made of brass, that they may have no feeling of the importunities of suitors, that would that at all hours and all times they should give them audience and despatch them, intending only their business, let them have never so much of their own; and if the poor judge hear them not, or despatch them not, either because he cannot, or because they come not in a fit time to have audience, straight they backbite and curse him, gnaw his bones, and unbury his ancestors. O foolish suitor, and idle! make not such haste, stay for a fit season and conjuncture to negotiate in; come not at dinner-time or bed-time, for judges are flesh and blood, and must satisfy nature, except it be I, that give myself nothing to eat, thanks to Master Doctor Pedro Rezio Tirteafuera here present, that would have me die for hunger, and yet stands in it that this death is life: such a life God grant him and all of his profession! I mean such ill physicians, for the good deserve laurel and palm.’

All that knew Sancho admired him when they heard him speak so elegantly, and knew not to what they should attribute it, except it were that offices and great charges do either season the understanding or altogether dull it. Finally, the Doctor Pedro Rezio Aguero de Tirteafuera promised him he should sup that night, though he exceeded all Hippocrates his aphorisms.

With this the governor was well pleased, and very greedily expected the coming of the night and suppertime; and though time, as he thought, stood still, not moving a jot from his place, yet at length it came, so longed for by him, and he had to supper a cold mincemeat of beef and onions, with a calves-foot somewhat stale, and fell to as contentedly as if they had given him a godwit of Milan, or a pheasant of Rome, or veal of Sorrentum, or partridges of Moron, or geese of Lavaxos; and in the midst of his supper he turned to the doctor and said, ‘Look ye, master doctor, henceforward never care to give me dainties or exquisite meats to eat; for you will pluck my stomach quite off the hinges, which is used only to goat, beef, and bacon, pork, and turnips, and onions; and if you come to me with your court-dishes, they make my stomach squeamish, and many times I loath ‘em. Carver, let it be your care to provide me a good olla podrida; and the more podrida it is, the better, and more savoury; and in your ollas you may boil and ballast in what you will, so it be victuals; and I will be mindful of you, and make you amends one day. And let no man play the fool with me; for either we are, or we are not. Let’s be merry and wise; when the sun shines, he shines upon all: I’ll govern this island without looking my due, or taking bribes; and therefore let all the world be watchful and look to their bolt, for I give ‘em to understand there’s rods in piss for them; and if they put me to it, they shall see wonders. Ay, ay, cover yourselves with honey, and you shall see the flies will eat you.

‘Truly, sir governor,’ quoth the carver, ‘you have reason in all you speak; and let me promise you, in the behalf of all the islanders of this island, that they will serve you with all diligence, love, and goodwill; for the sweet and mild kind of governing that hitherto in the beginning you have used makes them neither do nor speak aught that may redound to your contempt.’

‘I believe it,’ quoth Sancho, ‘and they were very asses if they did or thought otherwise; and therefore let me say again, let there be a care had for the maintenance of my person and Dapple’s, which is very important, and to the matter. And so, when ‘tis time to walk the round, let us go; for my purpose is to cleanse this island from all kind of filth, from vagamunds, lazy, and masterless persons: for know, friends, that slothful and idle people in a commonwealth are the same [with] drones in hives, that eat the honey which the labouring bees make. I purpose to cherish the husbandman, and to grant the gentlemen their pre-eminences, to reward the virtuous, and above all, to have religion in reverence, and to honour religious persons. What think ye of this, friends? Say I aught? or do I talk idly?’

‘So well, sir,’ said the steward, ‘that I wonder to see that a man so without learning as you (for I think you cannot skill of a letter) should speak such sentences and instructions, so contrary to what was expected from your wit by all that sent you, and by all us that came with you. Every day we see novelties in the world; jests turned to earnest, and those that mock are mocked at.’

Well, it was night, and the governor supped with Master Doctor Rezio’s licence. They made ready to walk the round; the steward, the secretary, and carver went with him, and the chroniclist, that was careful to keep a register of his actions, together with constables and notaries, so many that they might well make a reasonable squadron. Sancho went in the midst of them with his rod of justice, which was the only chief sight: and when they had walked some few streets of the town, they heard a noise of slashing; thither they made, and found that they were two men only that were together by the ears; who, seeing the justice coming, stood still, and the one of them said, ‘Here for God and the king! shall I be suffered to be robbed in the midst of a town, and that the midst of the streets be made the highway?’

‘Softly, honest friend,’ quoth Sancho, ‘and tell me what’s the reason of this fray, for I am the governor.’

The other, his contrary, said, ‘Sir governor, I’ll tell you briefly the matter. You shall understand, sir, that this gentleman, even now at a gaming house here over the way, got a thousand ryals (God knows by what tricks), and I being present, judged many a doubtful cast on his side, contrary to what my conscience told me: he came away a winner, and when I thought he would have given me a pistolet at least for recompense, according to the use and custom1 of giving to men of my fashion, which stand by upon all occasions to order differences and to take up quarrels, he pursed up his money, and got him out of the house: I came hastily after him, yet with courteous language entreated him to give me only a matter of four shillings, since he knew me to be a good fellow, and that I had no other kind of trade or living; for my friends brought me up to nothing, nor left me nothing; and this cunning scab, no more thief than Cacus, nor less cheater than Andradilla,2 would give me but two shillings: so you may see, sir governor, how shameless and void of conscience he is. But i’ faith, if you had not come, I would have made him vomit out his winning, and he should have known how many pounds he had had in the scale.’

‘What say you to this?’ quoth Sancho. And the other answered that true it was which his contrary had said, that
he would give him but two shillings, because he had often before given him; and they that expect what shall be given them in courtesy must be mannerly, and take anything that is given them in good part, without standing upon terms with the winner, except they knew him to be a cheater, and that his money was unlawfully gotten; and that it might be seen that he for his part was honest, and not a thief as the other said, there was no greater sign than his giving so little, for your cheaters are always large tributaries to the lookers-on that know them.

‘He says true,’ quoth the steward; ‘and therefore what is your pleasure, sir, to do with these men?’

‘Marry, thus,’ quoth Sancho: ‘you, sir, that have won, honest, or knave, or indifferent, give your hackster here presently a hundred ryals; besides, you shall disburse thirty more for the poor of the prison. And you, sir, that have neither trade or living, and live oddly in this island, take your hundred ryals, and by to-morrow get you out of the island; and I banish you for ten years, on pain that, if you break this order, you accomplish it in another life, by being hanged upon a gibbet by me, or, at least, by the hangman by my command.’

The one disbursed, and the other received; this went out of the island, and that home to his house; and the governor that remained said, ‘Well, it shall cost me a fall, but I will put down these gaming-houses; for I have a kind of glimpse that they are very prejudicial.’

‘This at least,’ quoth one of the notaries, ‘you cannot remove, because it belongs to a man of quality, and he loseth a great deal more at the year’s end than he gets by his cards. Against other petty gamesters you may show your authority; for they do more mischief, and conceal more abuses, than gentlemen of quality’s houses, where your famous cheaters dare not use their sleights. And since the vice of play hath turned to so common a practice, ‘tis better to suffer it in houses of fashion than in poor men s, where they catch a poor snake, and from midnight till morning flay him quick.’

‘Well, notary,’ quoth Sancho, ‘there’s much to be said in this case.’

And now one of the sergeants’ yeomen came with a youth which he had laid fast hold on, and said, ‘Sir, this youth came towards us, and as he had a glimpse of the justice, he turned his back and began to scud away like a deer — a sign he is some delinquent. I ran after him, and had it not been that he stumbled and fell, I had never overtaken him.’

‘Why rann’st thou, fellow?’ quoth Sancho. To which the young man answered, ‘Sir, to avoid the many questions that your constables use to ask.’ ‘What trade are you of?’ ‘A weaver,’ said he. ‘And what weave you?’ ‘Iron pegs for lances, with your worship’s good leave.’ ‘You are a pleasant companion, sir, and you presume to play the jester; ‘tis very well. And whither went ye now?’ ‘To take the air, sir.’ ‘And where in this island would you have taken the air?’ ‘Where it blows.’ ‘Good, you answer to the purpose, youth. Make account, then, that I am the air, and that I blow astern on you, and steer you to the prison. Go to, lay hold on him, carry or to-night I’ll make him sleep without air in the prison.’ ‘I protest,’ quoth the youth, ‘you shall as soon make me king as make me sleep this night in prison.’ ‘Why,’ quoth Sancho, ‘have not I power to apprehend thee and free thee when I please?’ ‘For all your power,’ said the youth, ‘you shall not make me sleep this night in prison.’ ‘No? you shall see,’ quoth Sancho. ‘Carry him presently where he shall see his error; and, lest the gaoler should for a bribe befriend him, I’ll lay a penalty of two thousand crowns upon him, if he let thee stir a foot out of the prison.’ ‘All this is needless,’ said the youth: ‘the business is, all the world shall not make me sleep this night in prison.’ ‘Tell me, fiend,’ quoth Sancho, ‘hast thou some angel to free thee, or take thy shackels off that I mean to have clapped on thee?’ ‘Well, sir,’ quoth the youth, very pleasantly, ‘let’s come to reason, and to the matter. Suppose you command me to be carried to prison, and that I have shackles and chains put upon me, and that I be ‘put into a dungeon, and that there be extraordinary penalties inflicted upon the gaoler if he let me out; for all that, if I mean not to sleep, or to join my eyelids together all night, can you with all your authority make me sleep against my will?’ ‘No, indeed,’ said the secretary; ‘the fellow is in the right.’ ‘So that,’ quoth Sancho, ‘your forbearing to sleep is only to have your own will, but not to contradict mine.’ ‘No otherwise, sir,’ quoth the youth, ‘not so much as in thought.’

‘Well, God be with you,’ quoth Sancho. ‘Get you home to bed, and God send you good rest; I mean not to disturb you. But let me advise you that henceforward you be not so conceited with the justice; for you may meet with one that will clap your wit to your noddle.’

The young man went his way, and the governor went on with his rounding; and a while after there came two yeomen with a man in hold, and said, ‘Sir, here’s one that seems to be a man, but is none, but a woman, and not ill-favoured, clad in a man’s habit.’ Then they set two or three lanthorns to his face, and perceived a woman’s face, to look to, of about sixteen years of age; her hair plaited up with a caul of gold and green silk, as fair as a thousand pearls. They beheld her all over, and saw that she had on her a pair of carnation silk stockings, and white taffeta garters fringed with gold and embroidered with pearl; her long breeches were of cloth of gold, and the groundwork green, with a loose cassock or jerkin of the same, opened on both sides, under which she had also a doublet of cloth of gold, the ground white; her shoes were white men’s shoes; she had no sword, but. a very fair hatched dagger, with many rings upon her fingers.

Finally, she pleased them all very well, but none of them knew her. The inhabitants of the place said they could not guess who she should be; and they that were the contrivers of the tricks against Sancho were those that most seemed to admire, because that accident and chance Was not purposed by them; so they were in suspense to see what would be the issue of it.

Sancho was amazed at the maiden’s beauty, and he asked her who she was, whither she would, and what occasion had moved her to clad herself in that habit. She, with her eyes fixed upon the earth, most shamefacedly answered, ‘Sir, I cannot tell you in public what concerns me so much to be kept secret; only this let me tell you, I am no thief nor malefactor, but an unhappy maid, forced by some jealousies to break the decorum due to my honesty’; which, when the steward heard, he said to Sancho, ‘Sir, command the company aside, that this gentlewoman may tell her tale without being abashed.’

The governor gave his command, and all of them went aside but the steward, the carver, and secretary. Being thus private, the maid proceeded, saying, ‘I, sirs, am daughter to Pedro Perez Mazorca, farmer of this town’s wools, that often useth to go and come to my father’s house.’ ‘There’s no likelihood in this, gentlewoman,’ quoth the steward; ‘for I know Pedro Perez very well, and know that he hath never a child, neither male nor female; besides, you say he is your father, and by and by you add that he useth to go often to your father’s house.’ ‘I thought upon that too,’ quoth Sancho. ‘Why, alas!’ quoth she, ‘I am so frighted that I know not what I say; but true it is that I am daughter to Diego de la Liana, whom, I believe, you all know.’ ‘This may be,’ said the steward, ‘for I know Diego de la Liana to be an honest and a wealthy gentleman, and that he hath a son and a daughter; and since he hath been a widower there’s none in this town can say he hath seen his daughter’s face; for he keeps her so close that he scarce gives the sun leave to look on her; and, for all that, fame says she is wondrous fair.’

‘‘Tis true,’ quoth the maid, ‘and I am that daughter, whether fame lie or no: concerning my beauty, now you are satisfied, since you have beheld me’; and with this she began to weep tenderly; which when the secretary saw, he whispered the carver in the ear, and told him, ‘Doubtless, some matter of consequence hath befallen this poor virgin, since in this habit, and at this time of night, being so well-born, she is from her home.’ ‘There’s no doubt of that,’ quoth the carver, ‘for her tears too confirm the suspicion.’

Sancho comforted her the best he could, and bade her, without fear, tell what had befallen her, for that all of them would strive to give her remedy with all possible diligence.

‘The business, sirs,’ quoth she, ‘is this: my father hath kept me close these ten years; for so long it is since my mother died. In the house we have a chapel, where mass is said; and I in all this time have seen nothing but the sun by day and the moon and stars by night, neither know I what streets or market-places or churches are, nor men, except my father, a brother of mine, and Pedro Perez the farmer, who because he useth to come ordinarily to our house, it came into my mind to say he was my father, because I would conceal the right. This keeping me close, and denying me to stir not so much as to the church, hath this good while discomforted me, and I had a desire to see the world, at least the town where I was born, as thinking this longing of mine was not against the decorum that maidens of my birth ought to observe. When I heard talk of bull-baitings, running with reeds, and representing comedies, I asked my brother, that is a year younger than I, what kind of things those were, and many others which I have not seen, and he told me as well as he could; but all was to inflame my desire the more to see. Finally, to shorten my misfortune, I entreated my brother — I would I had never done it!’ and then she renewed her tears.

Then said the steward, ‘On, gentlewoman, and make an end of telling us what hath befallen you; for you hold us all in suspense with your words and your tears.’

‘Few words have I to say,’ quoth she, ‘but many tears to weep; for they be the fruits of ill-placed desires.’

The maid’s beauty was now planted in the carver’s heart, and he held up his lanthorn again, to behold her afresh; and it seemed to him that she wept not tears, but seed-pearl, or morning dew; and he thought higher, that they were like oriental pearls; and his wish was that her misfortune might not be such as the shows of her moan and sighing might promise.

The governor was mad at the wench’s slowness and delaying her story, and bade her she should make an end and hold them no longer in suspense, for that it was late, and they had much of the town to walk. She, betwixt broken sobs and half-fetched sighs, said, ‘My misfortune is nothing else but that I desired my brother that he would clothe me in man’s apparel, in one of his suits, and that some night or other he would carry me to see the town, when my father should be asleep: he, importuned by my entreaties, condescended to my request; and, putting this suit on me, and he putting on another of mine, that fits him as if it were made for him, — for he hath never a hair upon his chin, and might be taken for a most beautiful maid, — this night, somewhat above an hour ago, we went abroad, and, rambling up and down, we have gone throughout the whole town; and, going homeward, we saw a great troop of people coming towards us, and my brother said, “Sister, this is the round; take you to your heels, and put wings to them, and follow me, that we be not known, for it will be ill for us”: and this said, he turned his back, and began, I say, not to run, but to fly. I within four or five steps fell down for fear, and then came this officer that brought me before you, where, for my vile longing, I am shamed before so many people.’

‘So that, gentlewoman,’ quoth Sancho, ‘no other mishap hath befallen you; neither was it jealousy, as you said in the beginning of your tale, that made you go abroad?’ ‘Nothing else,’ said she, ‘nor jealousies, but a desire to see the world, and which extended no further than to see this town’s streets’: and the coming now of two other yeomen with her brother confirmed this to be true, whom one of them overtook when he fled from his sister. He had nothing on but a rich kirtle, and a half mantle of blue damask, edged with a broad gold lace, his head without any kind of dressing or adornment than his own locks, which by reason of their colour and curling seemed to be rings of gold. Aside they went with the governor, the steward, and the carver; and not letting his sister hear, they asked why he came in that habit. And he, with the same shamefaced bashfulness, told the same tale that his sister had done; at which the enamoured carver was wonderfully pleased. But the governor said to them, ‘Truly, ho, this hath been a great childishness in you, and you needed not so many sighs and tears to tell such a piece of foolish boldness; for it had been enough if you had said, “We, such and such a one, went out of our father’s house only for curiosity to walk up and down the town,” and there had been an end, without your sighing and your whining, on God’s name.’

‘You say true, sir,’ quoth the maid; ‘but you may think that I was so troubled that I could not tell how to behave myself.’

‘There’s nothing lost,’ quoth Sancho. ‘Let’s go, and we will leave you in your father’s house; perhaps he will not have missed you: and from henceforward be not such children, nor so longing to see the world; for the honest maid [is] better at home with a bone broken than a-gadding; the woman and the hen are lost with straggling: and. let me tell you, too, she that desires to see hath a desire likewise to be seen, and I say no more.

The youth thanked the governor for the favour he did them to let them go home; whither they went, for it was not far from thence.

Home they came; and the youth throwing a little stone at one of the iron windows, straight there came a maid-servant down, that sat up for them, and opened them the door; and in they went, leaving those without as well to admire her gentleness and beauty as the desire they had to see the world by night without stirring out of the town; but they attributed all to their slender age.

The carver’s heart was struck through, and he purposed the next day to demand her of her father to wife, assuring himself he would not deny her him, because he was the duke’s servant. Sancho, too, had a certain longing and inkling to marry the youth with his daughter Sanchica; and he determined to put the matter in practice betimes, as thinking that a governor’s daughter was fit for any husband; and so the round was ended for that night: and some two days after, his government too, with which all his designs were lopped off and blotted out, as hereafter shall be said.
 

1 Barato signifies originally cheap, but amongst gamesters, dar barato is when a gamester, by way of courtesy, gives something to a stander-by: and this in Spain is so frequent that, from the king to the beggar, all both give and take this barato.
2 Some famous cheater in Spain.

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The Second Part

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