Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.

The history of Don Quixote online

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ing for the Straits, and we, having the land before us
for our north star, plied our oars, so that about sunset
we were near enough to have landed before it was quite
dark; but considering the moon was hid in clouds, and
the heavens were growing dark, and we ignorant of the
shore, we did not think it safe to venture on it, though
many among us were so desirous of liberty, and to be
out of all danger, that they would have landed, though
on a rock ; and by that means, at least, we might avoid
all little barques of the pirates of the Barbary coast,
such as those of.Tetuan, who come from home when it
is dark, and by morning are early ux)on the Spanish
coast, where they often make a prize, and go home to
bed the same day. But the other opinion prevailed,
which was to row gently on, and, if the sea and shore
gave leave, to land quietly where we could. We did
accordingly, and about midnight we came under a great
hill, which had a sandy shore, convenient enough for
our landing. Here we ran our boat in as far as we
could, and, being got on land, we all kissed it for joy,
and thanked God with tears for our deliverance. This
done, we took out the little provision we had left, and
climbed up the mountain, thinking ourselves more in
safety there; for we could hardly persuade ourselves
nor believe that the land we were upon was the Chris-
tian shore.

"We thought the day long a-coming, asnd then we got
to the top of the hill, to see if we could discover any
habitations; but we could nowhere descry either house,
or person, or path. We resolved, however, to go farther
on, thinking we could not miss at last of somebody to
inform us where we were. That which troubled me
most was to see my poor Zoraida go on foot amoiig the
sharp rocks, and I would sometimes have carried her
on my shoulders; but she was as much concerned at
the pains I took as she could be at what she en-
dured, so, leaning on me, she went on with much
patience and content. When we were gone about a

quarter of a league we heard the sound of a little pipe,
which we took to be a certain sign of some flock near
us; and, looking well about, we perceived at last, at the
foot of a cork-tree, a young shepherd who was cutting
a stick with his knife with great attention and serious-
ness. We called to him, and he, having looked up, ran
away as hard as he could. It seems, as we afterwards
heard, the first he saw were the renegade and Zoraida,
who, being in the Moorish dress, he thought all the
Moors in Barbary were upon him ; and, running into the
wood, cried all the way as loud as he could, 'Moors,
Mr ors 1 arm, arm ! the Moors are landed !' We, hear-
ing this outcry, did not well know what to do; but,
considering that the shepherd's roaring would raise the
country, and the horse-guard of the coast would be up-
on us, we agreed that the renegade should pull off his
Turkish habit, and put on a slave's coat, which one of
us lent him, though he that lent it him remained in his
shirt. Thus, recommending ourselves to God, we went
on by the same way that the shepherd ran, still expect-
ing when the horse would come upon us; and we were
not deceived, for in less than two hours, as we came
down the hills into a plain, we discovered about fifty
horse coming up on a half-gallop towards us: when we
saw that, we stood still, expecting them.

"As soon as they came up, and, instead of so many
Moors, saw so many poor Christian captives, they were
astonished. One of them asked us if we were the occa-
sion of the alarm that a young shepherd had given the
country. ' Yes,' said I, and upon that began to tell him
who we were, and whence we came; but one of our
company knew the horseman that had asked us the
question, and, without letting me go on, said, ' God be
praised, gentlemen, for bringing us to so good a part of
the country, for, if I mistake not, we are near Velez
Malaga; and if the many years of my captivity have
not taken my memory from me too, I think that you,
sir, who ask us these questions, are my uncle Don Pe-
dro Bustamente.'

"The Christian slave had hardly said this, but the
gentleman, lighting from his horse, came hastily to em-
brace the young slave, saying, 'Dear nephew ! my joy !
my life ! I know thee, and have often lamented thy loss,
and so has thy mother and thy other relations, whom
thou wilt yet find alive. God has preserved them that
they may have the pleasure of seeing thee. We had
heard thou wert in Algiers, and, by what I see of thy
dress, and that of all this company, you must all have
had some miraculous deliverance.' 'It is so,' replied
the young man ; ' and we shall have time enough now to
tell all our adventures.'

"The rest of the horsemen, hearing we were Chris-
tians escaped from slavery, lighted likewise from their
horses, offering them to us to carry us to the city of
Velez Malaga, which was about a league and a half off.
Some of them went where we had left our boat, and got
it into the port, while others took us up behind them;
and Zoraida rode behind the gentleman, uncle to
our captive. All the people, who had already heard
something of our adventure, came out to meet us.
They did not wonder to see captives at liberty, nor


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Moors prisoners, for on all that coast they are used to
it; but they were astonished at the beauty of Zoraida,
which at that instant seemed to be at its point of per-
fection ; for, what with the agitation of travelling, and
what with the joy of being safe in Christendom, with-
out the terrible thought of being re-taken, she had
such a beautiful color in her countenance, that were it
not for fear of being too partial, I durst say there was
not a more beautiful creature in the world, at least that
I had seen. We went straight to church, to thank God
for his mercy to us; and when we came into it, and
Zoraida had looked upon the pictures, she said there
were several faces there that were like Lela Marien's.
We told her they were her pictures, and the renegade
explained to her, as well as he could, the story of them ;
and she, who has a good and clear understanding, com-
prehended immediately all that was said about the
' pictures and images.

"After this we were dispersed, and lodged in differ-
ent houses of the town ; but the young slave of Velez
carried me, Zoraida, and the renegade to his father's
house, where we were accommodated pretty well, ac-
cording to their ability, and used with as much kind-
ness as their own son. After six days' stay at Velez,
the renegade, having informed himself of what was

needful for him to know, went to Granada, there to be
re-admitted by the Holy Inquisition into the bosom of
the Church. The other Christians, being at liberty,
went each whither he thought fit. Zoraida and I re-
mained without other help than the forty crowns the
pirate gave her, with which I bought the ass she rides
on, and, since we landed, have acted towards her as a
father and a friend: We are now going to see whether
my father be alive, or if either of my brothers has had
better fortune than I; though, since it hath pleased
Heaven to give me Zoraida, and make me her compan-
ion, I reckon no better fortune could befall me. The
patience with which she bears the inconvenience of
poverty, the desire she shows of being made a Christian,
do give me subjects of continual admiration, and oblige
me to serve and love her all the days of my life. I con-
fess the expectation of being hers is not a little alloyed
with the uncertainties of knowing whether I shall find
in my country any one to receive us, or a corner to pass
my life with her ; and perhaps time will have altered
the affairs of our family, that I shall not find anybody
that will know me, if my father and brothers are dead.
"That is, gentlemen, the sum of my adventures,
which, whether or no they are entertaining, you. are
best judges."



Here the stranger ended his story, and Don Perdi-
nand, by way of compliment, in the behalf of the whole
company said, "Truly, captain, the wonderful and
surprising turns of your fortune are not only entertain-
ing, but the pleasing and graceful manner of your re-
lation is as extraordinary as the adventures themselves.
We are all bound to pay you our acknowledgements,
and I believe we could be delighted with a second re-
cital, though it were to last till to-morrow, provided it
it were made by you. "

Cardenio and the rest of the companyjoined with him
in offering their utmost service in the re-establishment
of his fortune, and that with so much sincerity and
earnestness, that the captain had reason to be satisfied
of their affection. Don Ferdinand particularly pro-
posed to engage the marquis, his brother, to stand god-
father to Zoraida, if he would return with him; and,
further, promised to provide him with all things neces-
sary to support his figure and quality in town: but the
captain, making them a very handsome compliment for
their obliging favors, excused himself from accepting
those kind offers at that time.

It was now growing towards the dark of the evening,
when a coach stopped at the inn, and with it some horse-

men, who asked for a lodging. The hostess answered
they were as full as they could pack.

"Were you ten times fuller," answered one of the
horseman, "there must be room made here for my Lord
Judge, who is in this coach. "

The hostess, hearing this, was xerj much concerned :
said she, "The case, sir, is plain: we have not one bed
empty in the house ; but if his lordship brings a bed
with him, as perhaps he may, he shall command my
house with all my heart, and I and my husband will
quit our own chamber to serve him. "

"Do so, then," said the man; and by this time a gen-
tleman alighted from the coach, easily distinguishable
for a man of dignity and ofBce, by his long gown and
great sleeves. He led a young lady by the hand, about
sixteen years of age, dressed in a riding suit; her
beauty and charming air attracted the eyes of every-
body with admiration, and had not the other ladies been
present, any one might have thought it difficult to have
matched her outward graces.

Don Quixote, seeing them come near the door, "Sir,"
said he, "you may enter undismayed, and refresh your-
self in this castle, which, though little, and indifferently
provided, must nevertheless allow a room, and afford



aucommodation to arms and learning ; and more espec-
ially to arms and learning ttat, like yours, bring beauty
for their guide and conductor. For, certiiiuly, at tbe
approach of this lovely damsel, not only castles ought
to open and expand their gates, but even rocks divide
their solid bodies, iiud mountains bow their ambitious
crests and stoop to entertain her. Come in, tlierefore,
sir; enter this paradise, where you shall find a bright
constellation worthy to shine in conjunction with that
heaven of beauty which you bring. Here shall you
find arms in their height, and beauty in perfection."

Don (Quixote's speech, mien, and garb put the judge
to a strange nonplus; and he was not a little surprised,
on the other hand, at the sudden apxiearance of the
three ladies, who being informed of tlie judge's coming,
and the young lady's beauty, were come out to see and
entertain her. But Don Ferdinand, Oardenio, and the
curate, addressing him in a style very different from
the knight, soon convinced him that he had to with
gentleraeu, and persons of note, though Don (Juixote's
figure and behavior put him to a stand, and not being-
able to make any reasonable conjecture of his extrava-
gance. Alter the usual civilities passed on both sides,
tliey found, upon examination, that the women must all
lie togetlicr in Don Qui.xote's apartment, and the men
remain without to guard them. The judge ciiusented
that his daugliter should go with the ladies, and so,
with his own bod, and what with tlie innliceiicr's, he
and the gentlemen made a shift to iiass the night.

Tlie captain, upoii the iirst sight of the judge, had a
strong presumption that he was one of his brothers, and
presently asked one of his servants his name and conn-
try. The fellow told him his name wag Juan I'eres de
Viedma, and that, as he was informed, he was born in
the Highlands of Leon. This, with his own observa-
tion, conhrmed his opinion that this was the brother
who hai<l made study his choice; whereupon, calling
aside Don Ferdinand, Oardenio, and the curate, he told
them, with great joy, what he had lea.rue<l, with what
the servant further told him, that his master, being
made a judge of tlie court of Mexico, was then upon his
journey to the Indies; that the young lady was his only
daughter, whose mother settled her dowry upon her
daughter for her portion, and that the father had still
lived a widower, and was very rich. Upon the whole
matter he asked their advice, whether they thought it
proper for him to discover himself itre.sently to his
brother, or Avhether he should by some means try how
his pidse beat first in relation to his loss, by which he
might guess at his reception.

"Why should you doubt of a kind one, sir?" said the
curate. •

"Because I am poor, sir," said the captain, "and
would therefore by some device fathom his affections;
for, shoidd he prove ashamed to own me, I should be
more ashamed to discover myself. "

"Then leave the management to me," said the curate.
"The affable and courteous behavior of the judge seems
to me so very far from pride, that you need not doubt a
welcome reception; but, however, because you desire
it, I will engage to find a way to sound him."

Supper was now upon the table, and all the gentlemen
sat down but the captain, who ate with the ladies in the
next room. AVhen the comxiany had half supped, "My
Lord Judge," said the curate, "1 remember that some
years ago I was happy in the acquaintance and friend-
shi]) of a gentleman of your name, when I was a pris-
oner in Constantinople. Ue was a captain of as much
worth and courage as any in the Spanish infantry, but
as unfortunate as brave."

"What was his name, pray, sir ?" said the judge.

"Euy Peres de Tiedma," answered the curate, "of
a. town in the mountains of Leon. I remeralier he told
me a very odd passage between his father, his two
brothers, and himself; and truly, had it come from any
man of less credit and reputation, I should have
thought it no more than a story. He said that his father
made an equal dividend of his estate among his three
S(nis, giving them such advice as might have fitted the*
mouth of Cato; that he made arms his choice, and with
such siu-cess, that within a few years, by (he pure
merit of his bravery, he was made captain of a foot
company, and had a fair i)rospect of being advanced to
a colonel; but his fortune forsook him wlicrc lie had
most reason to expect her favor, for in the memorable
battle of Lei)anto, where so many Chiistians recovered
their liberty, he, unfortunately, lost- his. 1 was taken
at Goletta, and, after diflereut turns of fortune, we be-
came companions at Oonstautinople; thence we were
car]ie(l to Algii'rs, where one of the strangest adven-
tures in the world belell this gentleman." The curate
then 111 icfly van through the whole story of the captain
and Zoraida (the judge sitting all the time more atten-
tive than he ever did on the bench), to their being
taken and strijiped by the French; and that he had
heard nothing of them after that, nor could ever learn
whether They came into Spain, or were carried prisoners
into France.

The captain stood listening in a corner, and observed
the motions of his brother's countenance while the
curate told his story; which, when he had finished, tlie
judge liieathing out a deep sigh, and the tears standing
in his eyes, "Oh, sir," said he, "if you knew how near-
ly your relation touches me, you would easily excuse
the violent eruption of these tears. The captain you
spoke of is my eldest brother, who, being of a stronger
constitution of body, and more elevate(l soul, made the
glory and fame of war his choice, which was one of the
three proposals made by my father, as your companion
told you. I applied myself to study, and my younger
brother has purchased a. vast estate in Peru, out of
which he has transmitted to my father enough to sup-
]iort his liberal disposition, and to me wherewithal to
continue my studies and advance myself to the rank
and authority which I now maintain. My father is still
alive, but dies daily for grief that he can learn nothing
of his eldest son, and importunes Heaven incessantly
that he may once more see him before death close his
eyes. It is very strange, considering his discretion in
other matters, that neither prosperity nor adversity
could draw one line from him, to give his father an ac-
count of his fortunes. For had he or we had the least



hint of his captivity, he needed not have stayed for the
miracle of the Moorish lady's cane for his deliverance.
Now am I in the greatest uneasiness in the world, lest
the French, the better to conceal their robbery, may
have killed him ; the thoughts of this will damp the
pleasure of my voyage, which I thought to prosecute
so pleasantly. Could I but guess, dear brother, " con-
tinued he, "where you might be found, I would hazard
life and fortime for your deliverance ! Could our aged
father once understand you were alive, though hidden
in the deepest and darkest dungeon in Barbary, his es-
tate, mine, and my brother's, all should fly for your
ransom ! And for the fair and liberal Zoraida what
thanks, what recompense could we provide ? Oh, might
I see the happy day of her special birth and baptism;
to see her joined to him in faith and marriage, how
should we all rejoice !" These and such like expres-
sions the judge uttered with so much passion and vehe-
mency that he raised a concern in everybody.

The curate, foreseeing the happy success of his de-
sign, resolved to prolong the discovery no farther; and,
to free the company from suspense, he went to the
ladies' room, and, leading out Zoraida, followed by the
rest, he took the captain by the other hand, and, pre-
senting them to the judge, "Suppress your grief, my
lord," said he, "and glut your heart with joy. Behold
what you so passionately desired, your dear brother
and his fair deliverer; this gentleman is Captain Vied-
ma, and this the beautiful Algerlne. The French have
only reduced them to this low condition to make room
for your generous sentiments and liberality."

The captain then approaching to embrace the judge,
he held him off with both his hands to view him well,
but, once knowing him, he flew into his arms with such
affection, and such abundance of tears, that all the
spectators sympathized in his passions. The brothers
spoke so feelingly, and their mutual affection was so
moving, the surprise so wonderful, and their joy so
transporting, that it must be left purely to imagination
to conceive. Now they tell one another the strange
turns and mazes of their fortunes, then renew their
caresses to the height of brotherly tenderness. Now
the judge embraces Zoraida, then makes her an offer of
his whole fortune ; next makes his daughter embrace

her; then the sweet and innocent converse of the beau-
tiful Christian and the lovely Moor so touched the whole
company that they all wept for joy.

In the meantime Don Quixote was very solidly atten-
tive, and wondering at these strange occurrences,
attributed them purely to something answerable to the
chimerical notions which are incident to chivalry. The
captain and Zoraida, in concert with the whole com-
pany, resolved to return with their brother to Seville,
and thence to advise their father of his arrival and
liberty, that the old gentleman might make the best
shift he could to get so far to see the baptism and mar-
riage of Zoraida, while the judge took his voyage to
the Indies, being obliged to make no delay, because the
Indian fleet was ready at Seville, to set sail in a mouth
for New Spain.

Everything being now settled to the universal satis-
faction of the company, and being very late, they all
agreed for bed, except Don Quixote, who would needs
guards the castle while they slept lest some tyrant or
giant, covetous of the great treasure of beauty which
it enclosed, should make some dangerous attempt. He
had the thanks of the house; and the judge, being fur-
ther informed of his humor, was not a little pleased.
Sancho Panza was very uneasy and waspish for want of
sleep, though the best provided with a bed, bestowing
himself on his pack-saddle; but he XJaid dearly for it,
as we shall hear presently.

The ladies having gone to their chamber, and every-
body else retired to rest, and Don Quixote planted sen-
tinel at the castle gate, a voice was heard of a sudden
singing so sweetly that it allured all their attentions,
but chieflyDorothea's, with whom the judge's daughter.
Donna Clara de Viedma, lay. None could imagine who
could make such pretty music without an instrument.
Sometimes it sounded as from the yard, sometimes as
from the stable. With this Oardenio knocked softly at
their door.

"Ladies, ladies!" said he, "are you awake? Can you
sleep when so charmingly seranaded? Do not yon
hear how sweetly one of the footmen sings?"

"Yes, sir," said Dorothea, "we hear plainly." Then
Dorothea, hearkening as attentively as she could, heard
this song.




Toss'd in doubts and fears I roYe
On tbe stormy seas of love;
Far from comfort, far from port,
Beauty's prize and fortune's sport:
Yet my heart disclaims despair,
While I trace my leading star.

But reservedness, like a clood,
Does too oft her glories shroud
Pierce to the gloom, reviving lightl
Be auspicious as you're bright.
As you hide or dart your beame,
Your adorer sinks or ewims.

Dorothea thought it would not be much amiss to give



Doona Clara tLe oijportunity of hearing so excellent a
voice, wherefore, jogging her gently, first on one side,
and then on the other, and the young lady waking, "I
ask yoiii pardon, my dear," cried Dorothea, "for thus
interrui^tiug your repose ; and I hope you will easUy
forgive me. since I only wake you that you may have
the pleasure of hearing one of the most channing
voices that possibly you ever heard in your life."

Donna Clara, who was hardly awake, did not perfectly
understand what Dorothea said, and therefore desired
her to repeat what she had spoken to her. Dorothea
did so; which then obliged Donna Clara to listen; Imt
scarce had she heard the early musician sing two verses
ere she was taken with a strange trembling, as if she
had been seized with a violent fit of a quartan-agne,
and then closely embracing Dorothea, "Ah ! deai-
madam," cried she, with a deep sigh, "why did you
wake me? Alas! the greatest happiness I could now
have expected had been, to have stopped my ears.
That unhappy musician!"

"How is this, my dear?" cried Dorothea; "have you
not heard that the joung lad who sung now is but a

"Oh, no. he is nc such thing," replied Clara; "but a
young lord, heir to a great estate, and has such a full
possession of my heart that, if he does not slight it, it
must bo his forever."

Dorothea was strangely suprised at the young lady's
passionate expressions, that seemed far to exceed those
of persons of her tender yeare. " You speak so mys-
teriously, madam," replied she, "that I cannot rightly
understand you, unless you will please to let me know
more plainly what you woidd say of hearts and sighs,
and this young musician, whose voice has caused so
great an alteration in you. However, speak no more
of them now; for I am resolved I will not lose the
pleasure of hearing him sin,g. Hold," continued she,
"I fancy he is going to entertain us with another

"\Vith all my heart," returned Clara; and with that
she stopped her ears that she might not hear him; at
which again Dorothea could not choose but wonder;
but, listening to his voice, she heard the following

Online LibraryMiguel de Cervantes SaavedraThe history of Don Quixote → online text (page 33 of 85)