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 LXIV: Of an Adventure that most perplexed Don Quixote, of any that hitherto befel him

 

THE history says that Don Antonio Moreno’s wife took great delight to see Anna Felix in her house; she welcomed her most kindly, enamoured as well on her goodness as beauty and discretion; for in all the Morisca was exquisite, and all the city came (as if by a warning-bell) to see her. Don Quixote told Don Antonio that they took a wrong course for the freeing of Don Gregorio, which was more dangerous than convenient, and that it had been better that he were set on shore in Barbary with his horse and arms, for that he would deliver him in spite of the whole Moorism there, as Don Gayferos had done his spouse Melisandra.

‘Look you, sir,’ said Sancho, when he heard this, ‘Don Gayferos brought his spouse through firm land, and so carried her into France; but here, though we should deliver Don Gregorio, we have no means to bring him into Spain, the sea being betwixt us and home.’

‘There is a remedy for everything but death,’ said Don Quixote, ‘for ‘tis but having a bark ready at the seaside, and in spite of all the world we may embark ourselves.’

‘You do prettily facilitate the matter,’ said Sancho; ‘but ‘tis one thing to say and another to do; and I like the runagate, for methinks he is a good, honest, plain fellow.’ Don Antonio said that if the runagate performed not the business, that then the grand Don Quixote should pass over into Barbary.

Some two days after, the runagate embarked in a little boat with six oars on a side, manned with lusty tall fellows; and two days after that, the galleys were eastward bound, the general having requested the viceroy that he would be pleased to let him know the success of Don Gregorio’s liberty, and likewise of Anna Felix. The viceroy promised to fulfil his request.

And Don Quixote going out one morning to take the air upon the wharf, armed at all points—for, as he often used to say, his arms were his ornaments, and to skirmish his delight, and so he was never without them—he saw a knight come toward him, armed from top to toe, carrying upon his shield a bright shining moon painted, who coming within distance of hearing, directing his voice to Don Quixote aloud, said, ‘Famous knight, and never sufficiently extolled, Don Quixote de la Mancha,. I am the Knight of the White Moon, whose renowned deeds perhaps thou hast heard of; I am come to combat with thee, and by force of arms to make thee know and confess that my mistress, be she whom she will, is without comparison fairer than thy Dulcinea del Toboso, which truth if thou plainly confess, thou shalt save thy life, and me a labour in taking it; and if thou fight, and that I vanquish thee, all the satisfaction I will have is that thou forsake thy arms, and leave seeking adventures, and retire, thyself to thy home for the space of one whole year, where thou shalt live peaceable and quietly, without laying hand to thy sword, which befits thy estate, and also thy soul’s health; and if thou vanquish me, my head shall be at thy mercy, and the spoils of my horse and armour shall be thine, and also the fame of my exploits shall pass from me to thee. Consider what is best to be done, and. answer me quickly, for I have only this day’s respite to despatch this business.’

Don Quixote was astonished and in suspense, as well ad the Knight of the White Moon’s arrogance as the cause it for which he challenged him, and so, with a quiet and staid demeanour, answered him: ‘Knight of the White Moon, whose exploits hitherto I have not heard of, I dare swear thou never sawest the famous Dulcinea; for if thou hadst, I know thou wouldst not have entered into this demand, for her sight would have confirmed that there neither hath been, nor can be, a beauty to be compared with hers; and therefore, not to say you lie, but that you err in your proposition, I accept of your challenge, with the aforesaid conditions; and straight, because your limited day shall not pass, and I only except against one of your conditions, which is that the fame of your exploits pass to me, for I know not what kind of ones yours be, and I am content with mine own, such as they be: begin you then your career when you will, and I will do the like, and God and St. George!’

The viceroy had notice of this, and thought it had been some new adventure plotted by Don Antonio Moreno, or some other gentleman; and so out of the city he went with Don Antonio, and many other gentlemen that accompanied him to the wharf just as Don Quixote was turning Rozinante’s reins to take up as much ground as was fit for him. When the viceroy saw in both of them signs to encounter, he put himself betwixt them, and asked what was the cause of their single combat. The Knight of the White Moon answered him that it was about a precedency in beauty, and briefly repeated what he had formerly done to Don Quixote, together with the conditions accepted by both parties.

The viceroy came to Don Antonio and asked him in his ear if he knew that Knight of the White Moon, or if it were some trick they meant to put upon Don Quixote. Don Antonio made answer that he neither knew the knight, or whether the combat were in jest or earnest.

This answer made the viceroy doubt whether he should let them proceed to the combat; but being persuaded that it could not be but a jest, he removed, saying, ‘Sir knights, if there be no remedy but to confess or die, and that Signior Don Quixote be obstinate, and you, Knight of the White Moon, more so than he, God have mercy on you, and to’t.’

The Knight of the White Moon most courteously thanked the viceroy for the licence he gave them, and Don Quixote too did the like, who heartily recommending himself to Heaven, and his mistress Dulcinea (as he used upon all such occasions), he turned about to begin his career, as his enemy had done, and without trumpets’ sound, or of any other warlike instrument that might give them signal for the onset, they both of them set spurs to their horses, and the Knight of the White Moon’s being the swifter, met Don Quixote ere he had ran a quarter of his career, so forcibly (without touching him with his lance, for it seemed he carried it aloft on purpose) that he tumbled horse and man both to the ground, and Don Quixote had a terrible fall; so he got straight on the top of him, and, clapping his lance’s point upon his visor, said, ‘You are vanquished, knight, and a dead man, if you confess not, according to the conditions of our combat.’ Don Quixote, all bruised and amazed, without heaving up his visor, as if he had spoken out of a tomb, with a faint and weak voice said, ‘Dulcinea del Toboso is the fairest woman in the world, and I the unfortunatest knight on earth, and it is not fit that my weakness defraud this truth; thrust your lance into me, knight, and kill me, since you have bereaved me of my honour.’ ‘Not so, truly,’ quoth he of the White Moon; ‘let the fame of my lady Dulcinea’s beauty live in her entireness; I am only contented that the grand Don Quixote retire home for a year, or till such time as I please, as we agreed, before we began the battle.’

All this the viceroy, with Don Antonio and many others standing by, heard; and Don Quixote answered that, so nothing were required of him in prejudice of his Lady Dulcinea, he would accomplish all the rest, like a true and punctual knight.

This confession ended, the Knight of the White Moon turned his horse, and making a low obeisance on horseback to the viceroy, he rode a false gallop into the city. The viceroy willed Don Antonio to follow him, and to know by all means who he was.

Don Quixote was lifted up, and they discovered his face, and found him discoloured, and in a cold sweat. Rozinante, out of pure hard handling, could not as yet stir.

Sancho, all sad and sorrowful, knew not what to do or say, and all that had happened to him seemed but a dream, and all that machine a matter of enchantment; he saw his master was vanquished, and bound not to take arms for a year. Now he thought the light of his glory was eclipsed, the hopes of his late promises were undone and parted as smoke with wind; he feared lest Rozinante’s bones were broken, and his master’s out of joint; finally, in a chair, which the viceroy commanded to be brought, he was carried to the city, whither the viceroy too returned, desirous to know who the Knight of the White Moon was, that had left Don Quixote in so bad a taking.
 

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The Second Part

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