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 LXVI: That treats of what the Reader shall see, and he that hearkens hear

 

AS they went out of Barcelona, Don Quixote beheld the place where he had his fall, and said, “‘Hic Troja fuit”; here was my fortune, and not my cowardice, that bereaved me of my former gotten glory; here Fortune used her turns and returns with me; here my exploits were darkened, and finally, my fortune fell, never to rise again.’ Which Sancho hearing, said, ‘Signior mine, ‘tis as proper to great spirits to be patient in adversity as jocund in prosperity, and this I take from myself; for if when I myself being a governor was merry, now that I am a poor squire on foot I am not sad. For I have heard say that she you call up and down Fortune is a drunken longing woman, and withal blind, and so she sees not what she doth, neither knows whom she casts down, or whom she raiseth up.’

‘Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘thou art very philosophical, thou speakest marvellous wisely, I know not who hath taught thee. All I can tell thee is that in the world there is no such thing as fortune; neither do things that happen in it, good or evil, fall out by chance, but by the particular providence of Heaven; hence ‘tis said that every man is the artificer of his own fortune, which I have been of mine, but not with the discretion that might have been fitting, and so my rashness hath been requited; for I might have thought that it was not possible for Rozinante’s weakness to have resisted the powerful greatness of the Knight of the White Moon’s horse. In fine, I was hardy, I did what I could: down I came, and, though I lost my honour, yet I lost not nor can lose my virtue, to accomplish my promise. When I was a knight-errant, bold and valiant, with my works and hands I ennobled my deeds; and now that I am a foot squire I will credit my works with the accomplishment of my promise. Jog on, then, Sancho, and let us get home, there to pass the year of our probationership; in which retiredness we will recover new virtue, to return to the never-forgotten exercise of arms.

‘Sir,’ said Sancho, ‘tis no great pleasure to travel great journeys on foot; let us leave your armour hanged up upon some tree, instead of a hanged man; and then I may get upon Dapple, and ride as fast as you will; for to think that I will walk great journeys on foot is but a folly.’

‘Thou hast said well, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote; ‘hang up my arms for a trophy; and at the bottom or about them, we will carve in the trees that which in the trophy of Roldan’s was written:

“Let none these move,
That his valour will not
With Roldan prove.”’

‘All this, methinks,’ said Sancho, ‘is precious; and, if it were not that we should want Rozinante by the way, ‘twere excellent good hanging him up.’

‘Well, neither he nor the armour,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘shall be hanged up, that it may not be said, So a good servant, an ungrateful master.’

‘You say marvellous well,’ quoth Sancho; ‘for, according to the opinion of wise men, the fault of the ass must not be laid upon the pack-saddle. And since in this last business you yourself were in fault, punish yourself, and let not your fury burst upon the hacked and bloody armour, or the mildness of Rozinante, or the tenderness of my feet, making me walk more than is fitting.’

All that day and four more they passed in these reasons and discourses; and the fifth after, as they entered a town, they saw a great many of people at an inn door, that by reason of the heat were there shading themselves.

When Don Quixote approached, a husbandman cried aloud, ‘Some of these gentlemen, that know not the parties, shall decide the business of our wager.’ ‘That will I,’ said Don Quixote, ‘with all uprightness, if I may understand it.’ ‘Well, good sir,’ said the husbandman, ‘this is the matter: here’s one dwells in this town so fat that he weighs eleven arrobes,1 and he challenged another to run with him that weighs but five; the wager was to run one hundred paces with equal weight, and the challenger being asked how they should make equal weight, said that the other, that weighed but five arrobes, should carry six of iron, and so they should both weigh equally.’

‘No, no,’ said Sancho, before Don Quixote could answer, ‘it concerns me, that not long since left being a governor and a judge, as all the world knows, to decide doubts, and to sentence this business.’ ‘Answer on God’s name, friend Sancho,’ said Don Quixote, ‘for I am not in the humour to play at boy’s play, since I am so troubled and tormented in mind.’

With this licence, Sancho said to the husbandmen that were gaping round about him, expecting his sentence, ‘Brothers, the fat man’s demand is unreasonable, and hath no appearance of equity; for if he that is challenged may choose his weapons, the other ought not to choose such as may make his contrary unwieldy and unable to be victor; and therefore my opinion is that the fat challenger do pick, and cleanse, and withdraw, and polish, and nibble, and pull away six arrobes of his flesh, somewhere or other from his body, as he thinks best, and so having but five remaining, he will be made equal with his opposite, and so they may run upon equal terms.’

‘I vow by me,’ said the husbandman that heard Sancho’s sentence, ‘this gentleman hath spoken blessedly, and sentenced like a canon; but I warrant, the fat man will not lose an ounce of his flesh, much less six arrobes.’

‘The best is,’ said the other, ‘not to run, that the lean man strain not himself with too much weight, nor the fat man disflesh himself; and let half the wager be spent in wine, and let us carry these gentlemen to the tavern that hath the best, and give me the cloak when it rains.”2

‘I thank you, sir,’ said Don Quixote, ‘but I cannot stay a jot; for my sad thoughts make me seem unmannerly, and travel more than ordinarily.’ And so, spurring Rozinante, he passed forward, leaving them to admire and note as well his strange shape as his man’s discretion; for such they judged Sancho.

And another of the husbandmen said, ‘If the man be so wise, what think ye of the master? I hold a wager that if they went to study at Salamanca, they would be made judges of the court in a trice, for all is foppery to your studying. Study hard, and with a little favour, and good luck, when a man least thinks of it, he shall have a rod of justice in his hand, or a mitre upon his head.’

That night the master and man passed in the open field; and the next day, being upon their way, they saw a footman coming towards them with a pair of wallets about his neck, and a javelin or dart in his hand, just like a footman, who coming near Don Quixote, mending his pace, and beginning to run, came and took him by the right thigh, for he could reach no higher, and said, with a great deal of gladness, ‘Oh, my Signior Don Quixote de Ia Mancha, and how glad my lord duke will be when he knows you will return to his castle! for he is there still with my lady duchess.’

‘I know you not, friend,’ said Don Quixote, ‘who you are, except you tell me.

‘I, Signior Don Quixote,’ said the footman, ‘am Tosilos, the duke’s lackey, that would not fight with your worship about the marriage of Donna Rodriguez’ daughter.’

‘God defend me,’ said Don Quixote, ‘and is it possible? and are you he into whom the enchanters my enemies transformed my contrary, to defraud me of the honour of that combat?’

‘Peace, sir,’ quoth the letter foot-post; ‘there was no, enchantment, nor changing of my face; I was as much Tosilos the lackey when I went into the lists as when I came out. I thought to have married without fighting, because I liked the wench well; but it fell out otherwise, My lord duke caused me to be well banged because I did not according as I was instructed before the battle was to begin; and the conclusion is, the wench is turned nun, and Donna Rodriguez is gone back again into the castle, and I am going now to Barcelona to carry a packet of letters to the viceroy which my lord sends him; and if you please to drink a sup (though it be hot, yet pure), I have a little gourd here full of the best wine, with some slices of excellent cheese, that shall serve for a provoker and alarum to thirst if it be asleep.’

‘I see the vy,’ said Sancho, ‘and set the rest of your courtesy, and therefore skink, honest Tosilos, in spite of all the chanters in the Indies.’

‘Well, Sancho,’ quoth Don Quixote, ‘thou art the only glutton in the world, and the only ass alive, since thou canst not be persuaded that this footman is enchanted, and this Tosilos counterfeit. Stay thou with him and fill thyself; I’ll go on fair and softly before, and expect thee.’

The lackey laughed, and unsheathed his bottle, and drawing out his bread and cheese, he and Sancho sat upon the green grass, and like good fellows they cast anchor upon all the wallet’s provant so hungerly that, all being gone, they licked the very letter-packet because it smelt of cheese.

Tosilos said to Sancho, ‘Doubtless thy master, friend Sancho, is a very madman.’ ‘He owes no man nothing in that kind,’ said Sancho, ‘for if the money he were to pay be in madness, he hath enough to pay all men. I see it well enough, and tell him of it; but ‘tis to no purpose, for he is now even past recovery, since he hath been Vanquished by the Knight of the White Moon.’ Tosilos desired him to tell him what had befallen him but Sancho answered it was a discourtesy to let his master stay for him, but at some other time, when they met, he should know. And so, rising up, after he had well dusted himself and shaked the crumbs from his beard, he caught hold of Dapple before, and, crying farewell, left Tosilos, and overtook his master, that stayed for him under the shade of a tree.
 

1 Arroba, measure of twenty-five pound weight.
2 A good wish, as if he would have said, Let the burden light upon him.

Gavilan College celebrates 400 years of Don Quijote

The History of Don Quixote - The Second Part

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