Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Don Quixote 1.30



The curate had hardly ceased speaking, when Sancho said, "In
faith, then, senor licentiate, he who did that deed was my master; and
it was not for want of my telling him beforehand and warning him to
mind what he was about, and that it was a sin to set them at
liberty, as they were all on the march there because they were special

"Blockhead!" said Don Quixote at this, "it is no business or concern
of knights-errant to inquire whether any persons in affliction, in
chains, or oppressed that they may meet on the high roads go that
way and suffer as they do because of their faults or because of
their misfortunes. It only concerns them to aid them as persons in
need of help, having regard to their sufferings and not to their
rascalities. I encountered a chaplet or string of miserable and
unfortunate people, and did for them what my sense of duty demands
of me, and as for the rest be that as it may; and whoever takes
objection to it, saving the sacred dignity of the senor licentiate and
his honoured person, I say he knows little about chivalry and lies
like a whoreson villain, and this I will give him to know to the
fullest extent with my sword;" and so saying he settled himself in his
stirrups and pressed down his morion; for the barber's basin, which
according to him was Mambrino's helmet, he carried hanging at the
saddle-bow until he could repair the damage done to it by the galley

Dorothea, who was shrewd and sprightly, and by this time
thoroughly understood Don Quixote's crazy turn, and that all except
Sancho Panza were making game of him, not to be behind the rest said
to him, on observing his irritation, "Sir Knight, remember the boon
you have promised me, and that in accordance with it you must not
engage in any other adventure, be it ever so pressing; calm
yourself, for if the licentiate had known that the galley slaves had
been set free by that unconquered arm he would have stopped his
mouth thrice over, or even bitten his tongue three times before he
would have said a word that tended towards disrespect of your

"That I swear heartily," said the curate, "and I would have even
plucked off a moustache."

"I will hold my peace, senora," said Don Quixote, "and I will curb
the natural anger that had arisen in my breast, and will proceed in
peace and quietness until I have fulfilled my promise; but in return
for this consideration I entreat you to tell me, if you have no
objection to do so, what is the nature of your trouble, and how
many, who, and what are the persons of whom I am to require due
satisfaction, and on whom I am to take vengeance on your behalf?"

"That I will do with all my heart," replied Dorothea, "if it will
not be wearisome to you to hear of miseries and misfortunes."

"It will not be wearisome, senora," said Don Quixote; to which
Dorothea replied, "Well, if that be so, give me your attention." As
soon as she said this, Cardenio and the barber drew close to her side,
eager to hear what sort of story the quick-witted Dorothea would
invent for herself; and Sancho did the same, for he was as much
taken in by her as his master; and she having settled herself
comfortably in the saddle, and with the help of coughing and other
preliminaries taken time to think, began with great sprightliness of
manner in this fashion.

"First of all, I would have you know, sirs, that my name is-" and
here she stopped for a moment, for she forgot the name the curate
had given her; but he came to her relief, seeing what her difficulty
was, and said, "It is no wonder, senora, that your highness should
be confused and embarrassed in telling the tale of your misfortunes;
for such afflictions often have the effect of depriving the
sufferers of memory, so that they do not even remember their own
names, as is the case now with your ladyship, who has forgotten that
she is called the Princess Micomicona, lawful heiress of the great
kingdom of Micomicon; and with this cue your highness may now recall
to your sorrowful recollection all you may wish to tell us."

"That is the truth," said the damsel; "but I think from this on I
shall have no need of any prompting, and I shall bring my true story
safe into port, and here it is. The king my father, who was called
Tinacrio the Sapient, was very learned in what they call magic arts,
and became aware by his craft that my mother, who was called Queen
Jaramilla, was to die before he did, and that soon after he too was to
depart this life, and I was to be left an orphan without father or
mother. But all this, he declared, did not so much grieve or
distress him as his certain knowledge that a prodigious giant, the
lord of a great island close to our kingdom, Pandafilando of the Scowl
by name -for it is averred that, though his eyes are properly placed
and straight, he always looks askew as if he squinted, and this he
does out of malignity, to strike fear and terror into those he looks
at- that he knew, I say, that this giant on becoming aware of my
orphan condition would overrun my kingdom with a mighty force and
strip me of all, not leaving me even a small village to shelter me;
but that I could avoid all this ruin and misfortune if I were
willing to marry him; however, as far as he could see, he never
expected that I would consent to a marriage so unequal; and he said no
more than the truth in this, for it has never entered my mind to marry
that giant, or any other, let him be ever so great or enormous. My
father said, too, that when he was dead, and I saw Pandafilando
about to invade my kingdom, I was not to wait and attempt to defend
myself, for that would be destructive to me, but that I should leave
the kingdom entirely open to him if I wished to avoid the death and
total destruction of my good and loyal vassals, for there would be
no possibility of defending myself against the giant's devilish power;
and that I should at once with some of my followers set out for Spain,
where I should obtain relief in my distress on finding a certain
knight-errant whose fame by that time would extend over the whole
kingdom, and who would be called, if I remember rightly, Don Azote
or Don Gigote."

"'Don Quixote,' he must have said, senora," observed Sancho at this,
"otherwise called the Knight of the Rueful Countenance."

"That is it," said Dorothea; "he said, moreover, that he would be
tall of stature and lank featured; and that on his right side under
the left shoulder, or thereabouts, he would have a grey mole with
hairs like bristles."

On hearing this, Don Quixote said to his squire, "Here, Sancho my
son, bear a hand and help me to strip, for I want to see if I am the
knight that sage king foretold."

"What does your worship want to strip for?" said Dorothea.

"To see if I have that mole your father spoke of," answered Don

"There is no occasion to strip," said Sancho; "for I know your
worship has just such a mole on the middle of your backbone, which
is the mark of a strong man."

"That is enough," said Dorothea, "for with friends we must not
look too closely into trifles; and whether it be on the shoulder or on
the backbone matters little; it is enough if there is a mole, be it
where it may, for it is all the same flesh; no doubt my good father
hit the truth in every particular, and I have made a lucky hit in
commending myself to Don Quixote; for he is the one my father spoke
of, as the features of his countenance correspond with those
assigned to this knight by that wide fame he has acquired not only
in Spain but in all La Mancha; for I had scarcely landed at Osuna when
I heard such accounts of his achievements, that at once my heart
told me he was the very one I had come in search of."

"But how did you land at Osuna, senora," asked Don Quixote, "when it
is not a seaport?"

But before Dorothea could reply the curate anticipated her,
saying, "The princess meant to say that after she had landed at Malaga
the first place where she heard of your worship was Osuna."

"That is what I meant to say," said Dorothea.

"And that would be only natural," said the curate. "Will your
majesty please proceed?"

"There is no more to add," said Dorothea, "save that in finding
Don Quixote I have had such good fortune, that I already reckon and
regard myself queen and mistress of my entire dominions, since of
his courtesy and magnanimity he has granted me the boon of
accompanying me whithersoever I may conduct him, which will be only to
bring him face to face with Pandafilando of the Scowl, that he may
slay him and restore to me what has been unjustly usurped by him:
for all this must come to pass satisfactorily since my good father
Tinacrio the Sapient foretold it, who likewise left it declared in
writing in Chaldee or Greek characters (for I cannot read them),
that if this predicted knight, after having cut the giant's throat,
should be disposed to marry me I was to offer myself at once without
demur as his lawful wife, and yield him possession of my kingdom
together with my person."

"What thinkest thou now, friend Sancho?" said Don Quixote at this.
"Hearest thou that? Did I not tell thee so? See how we have already
got a kingdom to govern and a queen to marry!"

"On my oath it is so," said Sancho; "and foul fortune to him who
won't marry after slitting Senor Pandahilado's windpipe! And then, how
illfavoured the queen is! I wish the fleas in my bed were that sort!"

And so saying he cut a couple of capers in the air with every sign
of extreme satisfaction, and then ran to seize the bridle of
Dorothea's mule, and checking it fell on his knees before her, begging
her to give him her hand to kiss in token of his acknowledgment of her
as his queen and mistress. Which of the bystanders could have helped
laughing to see the madness of the master and the simplicity of the
servant? Dorothea therefore gave her hand, and promised to make him
a great lord in her kingdom, when Heaven should be so good as to
permit her to recover and enjoy it, for which Sancho returned thanks
in words that set them all laughing again.

"This, sirs," continued Dorothea, "is my story; it only remains to
tell you that of all the attendants I took with me from my kingdom I
have none left except this well-bearded squire, for all were drowned
in a great tempest we encountered when in sight of port; and he and
I came to land on a couple of planks as if by a miracle; and indeed
the whole course of my life is a miracle and a mystery as you may have
observed; and if I have been over minute in any respect or not as
precise as I ought, let it be accounted for by what the licentiate
said at the beginning of my tale, that constant and excessive troubles
deprive the sufferers of their memory."

"They shall not deprive me of mine, exalted and worthy princess,"
said Don Quixote, "however great and unexampled those which I shall
endure in your service may be; and here I confirm anew the boon I have
promised you, and I swear to go with you to the end of the world until
I find myself in the presence of your fierce enemy, whose haughty head
I trust by the aid of my arm to cut off with the edge of this- I
will not say good sword, thanks to Gines de Pasamonte who carried away
mine"- (this he said between his teeth, and then continued), "and when
it has been cut off and you have been put in peaceful possession of
your realm it shall be left to your own decision to dispose of your
person as may be most pleasing to you; for so long as my memory is
occupied, my will enslaved, and my understanding enthralled by her-
I say no more- it is impossible for me for a moment to contemplate
marriage, even with a Phoenix."

The last words of his master about not wanting to marry were so
disagreeable to Sancho that raising his voice he exclaimed with
great irritation:

"By my oath, Senor Don Quixote, you are not in your right senses;
for how can your worship possibly object to marrying such an exalted
princess as this? Do you think Fortune will offer you behind every
stone such a piece of luck as is offered you now? Is my lady
Dulcinea fairer, perchance? Not she; nor half as fair; and I will even
go so far as to say she does not come up to the shoe of this one here.
A poor chance I have of getting that county I am waiting for if your
worship goes looking for dainties in the bottom of the sea. In the
devil's name, marry, marry, and take this kingdom that comes to hand
without any trouble, and when you are king make me a marquis or
governor of a province, and for the rest let the devil take it all."

Don Quixote, when he heard such blasphemies uttered against his lady
Dulcinea, could not endure it, and lifting his pike, without saying
anything to Sancho or uttering a word, he gave him two such thwacks
that he brought him to the ground; and had it not been that Dorothea
cried out to him to spare him he would have no doubt taken his life on
the spot.

"Do you think," he said to him after a pause, "you scurvy clown,
that you are to be always interfering with me, and that you are to
be always offending and I always pardoning? Don't fancy it, impious
scoundrel, for that beyond a doubt thou art, since thou hast set thy
tongue going against the peerless Dulcinea. Know you not, lout,
vagabond, beggar, that were it not for the might that she infuses into
my arm I should not have strength enough to kill a flea? Say,
scoffer with a viper's tongue, what think you has won this kingdom and
cut off this giant's head and made you a marquis (for all this I count
as already accomplished and decided), but the might of Dulcinea,
employing my arm as the instrument of her achievements? She fights
in me and conquers in me, and I live and breathe in her, and owe my
life and being to her. O whoreson scoundrel, how ungrateful you are,
you see yourself raised from the dust of the earth to be a titled
lord, and the return you make for so great a benefit is to speak
evil of her who has conferred it upon you!"

Sancho was not so stunned but that he heard all his master said, and
rising with some degree of nimbleness he ran to place himself behind
Dorothea's palfrey, and from that position he said to his master:

"Tell me, senor; if your worship is resolved not to marry this great
princess, it is plain the kingdom will not be yours; and not being so,
how can you bestow favours upon me? That is what I complain of. Let
your worship at any rate marry this queen, now that we have got her
here as if showered down from heaven, and afterwards you may go back
to my lady Dulcinea; for there must have been kings in the world who
kept mistresses. As to beauty, I have nothing to do with it; and if
the truth is to be told, I like them both; though I have never seen
the lady Dulcinea."

"How! never seen her, blasphemous traitor!" exclaimed Don Quixote;
"hast thou not just now brought me a message from her?"

"I mean," said Sancho, "that I did not see her so much at my leisure
that I could take particular notice of her beauty, or of her charms
piecemeal; but taken in the lump I like her."

"Now I forgive thee," said Don Quixote; "and do thou forgive me
the injury I have done thee; for our first impulses are not in our

"That I see," replied Sancho, "and with me the wish to speak is
always the first impulse, and I cannot help saying, once at any
rate, what I have on the tip of my tongue."

"For all that, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "take heed of what thou
sayest, for the pitcher goes so often to the well- I need say no
more to thee."

"Well, well," said Sancho, "God is in heaven, and sees all tricks,
and will judge who does most harm, I in not speaking right, or your
worship in not doing it."

"That is enough," said Dorothea; "run, Sancho, and kiss your
lord's hand and beg his pardon, and henceforward be more circumspect
with your praise and abuse; and say nothing in disparagement of that
lady Toboso, of whom I know nothing save that I am her servant; and
put your trust in God, for you will not fail to obtain some dignity so
as to live like a prince."

Sancho advanced hanging his head and begged his master's hand, which
Don Quixote with dignity presented to him, giving him his blessing
as soon as he had kissed it; he then bade him go on ahead a little, as
he had questions to ask him and matters of great importance to discuss
with him. Sancho obeyed, and when the two had gone some distance in
advance Don Quixote said to him, "Since thy return I have had no
opportunity or time to ask thee many particulars touching thy
mission and the answer thou hast brought back, and now that chance has
granted us the time and opportunity, deny me not the happiness thou
canst give me by such good news."

"Let your worship ask what you will," answered Sancho, "for I
shall find a way out of all as as I found a way in; but I implore you,
senor, not not to be so revengeful in future."

"Why dost thou say that, Sancho?" said Don Quixote.

"I say it," he returned, "because those blows just now were more
because of the quarrel the devil stirred up between us both the
other night, than for what I said against my lady Dulcinea, whom I
love and reverence as I would a relic- though there is nothing of that
about her- merely as something belonging to your worship."

"Say no more on that subject for thy life, Sancho," said Don
Quixote, "for it is displeasing to me; I have already pardoned thee
for that, and thou knowest the common saying, 'for a fresh sin a fresh

While this was going on they saw coming along the road they were
following a man mounted on an ass, who when he came close seemed to be
a gipsy; but Sancho Panza, whose eyes and heart were there wherever he
saw asses, no sooner beheld the man than he knew him to be Gines de
Pasamonte; and by the thread of the gipsy he got at the ball, his ass,
for it was, in fact, Dapple that carried Pasamonte, who to escape
recognition and to sell the ass had disguised himself as a gipsy,
being able to speak the gipsy language, and many more, as well as if
they were his own. Sancho saw him and recognised him, and the
instant he did so he shouted to him, "Ginesillo, you thief, give up my
treasure, release my life, embarrass thyself not with my repose,
quit my ass, leave my delight, be off, rip, get thee gone, thief,
and give up what is not thine."

There was no necessity for so many words or objurgations, for at the
first one Gines jumped down, and at a like racing speed made off and
got clear of them all. Sancho hastened to his Dapple, and embracing
him he said, "How hast thou fared, my blessing, Dapple of my eyes,
my comrade?" all the while kissing him and caressing him as if he were
a human being. The ass held his peace, and let himself be kissed and
caressed by Sancho without answering a single word. They all came up
and congratulated him on having found Dapple, Don Quixote
especially, who told him that notwithstanding this he would not cancel
the order for the three ass-colts, for which Sancho thanked him.

While the two had been going along conversing in this fashion, the
curate observed to Dorothea that she had shown great cleverness, as
well in the story itself as in its conciseness, and the resemblance it
bore to those of the books of chivalry. She said that she had many
times amused herself reading them; but that she did not know the
situation of the provinces or seaports, and so she had said at
haphazard that she had landed at Osuna.

"So I saw," said the curate, "and for that reason I made haste to
say what I did, by which it was all set right. But is it not a strange
thing to see how readily this unhappy gentleman believes all these
figments and lies, simply because they are in the style and manner
of the absurdities of his books?"

"So it is," said Cardenio; "and so uncommon and unexampled, that
were one to attempt to invent and concoct it in fiction, I doubt if
there be any wit keen enough to imagine it."

"But another strange thing about it," said the curate, "is that,
apart from the silly things which this worthy gentleman says in
connection with his craze, when other subjects are dealt with, he
can discuss them in a perfectly rational manner, showing that his mind
is quite clear and composed; so that, provided his chivalry is not
touched upon, no one would take him to be anything but a man of
thoroughly sound understanding."

While they were holding this conversation Don Quixote continued
his with Sancho, saying:

"Friend Panza, let us forgive and forget as to our quarrels, and
tell me now, dismissing anger and irritation, where, how, and when
didst thou find Dulcinea? What was she doing? What didst thou say to
her? What did she answer? How did she look when she was reading my
letter? Who copied it out for thee? and everything in the matter
that seems to thee worth knowing, asking, and learning; neither adding
nor falsifying to give me pleasure, nor yet curtailing lest you should
deprive me of it."

"Senor," replied Sancho, "if the truth is to be told, nobody
copied out the letter for me, for I carried no letter at all."

"It is as thou sayest," said Don Quixote, "for the note-book in
which I wrote it I found in my own possession two days after thy
departure, which gave me very great vexation, as I knew not what
thou wouldst do on finding thyself without any letter; and I made sure
thou wouldst return from the place where thou didst first miss it."

"So I should have done," said Sancho, "if I had not got it by
heart when your worship read it to me, so that I repeated it to a
sacristan, who copied it out for me from hearing it, so exactly that
he said in all the days of his life, though he had read many a
letter of excommunication, he had never seen or read so pretty a
letter as that."

"And hast thou got it still in thy memory, Sancho?" said Don

"No, senor," replied Sancho, "for as soon as I had repeated it,
seeing there was no further use for it, I set about forgetting it; and
if I recollect any of it, it is that about 'Scrubbing,'I mean to say
'Sovereign Lady,' and the end 'Yours till death, the Knight of the
Rueful Countenance;' and between these two I put into it more than
three hundred 'my souls' and 'my life's' and 'my eyes."

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