Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.

The history of Don Quixote online

. (page 80 of 85)
Online LibraryMiguel de Cervantes SaavedraThe history of Don Quixote → online text (page 80 of 85)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


mercy on our behalf, since we never designed you any
injury, and are innocent of those crimes for which our
nation has justly been banished. "

"Ay, ay," cried Sancho, putting in, "I knew Eicote



as well as the beggar knows his dish ; and so far as
concerns Anna Felix being his daughter, I know that
is true, too ; but for all the story of his goings out and
comings in, and his intentions, whether they were good
or whether they were bad, I will neither meddle nor
make, not I."

So uncommon an accident filled all the company with
admiration; so that the general, turning to the fair
captive, "Your tears," said he, "are so prevailing,
madam, that they com])el me now to be foresworn.
Live, lovely Anna Felix; live as many years as Heaven
has decreed you ; and let those rash and insolent slaves.
who alone committed the crimes, bear the punishment
of it." With that he gave orders to have the two de-
linquent Turks hanged up at the yard-arm; but at the
intercession of the Viceroy, their fault showing rather
madness than design, the fatal sentence was revoked;
the general considering, at the same time, that their
punishment in cold blood would look more like cruelty
than justice.

Then they began to consider how they might retrieve
Don Gasper Gregorio from the danger he was in; to
which purpose Eicote offered to the value of above a
thousand ducate, which he had about him in jewels, to
purchase his ransom. But the readiest exxiedient was
thought to be the proposal of the Spanish renegado,
who offered, with a small barque and half a dozen oars,
manned by Christians, to return to Algiers and set him
at liberty, as best knowing when and where to land,
and being acquainted with the place of his confinement.
The general and the viceroy demurred to this motion,
through a distrust of the renegade's fidelity, since he
might perhaps betray the Christians that were to go
along with him. But Anna Felix engaging for his
truth, and Eicote obliging himself to ransom the Chris-
tians, if they were taken, the design was resolved
upon.

The viceroy went ashore, committing the Morisca and
her father to Don Antonio Moreno's care, desiring him
at the same time to command his house for anything
that might conduce to their entertainment; such senti-
ments of kindness and good nature had the beauty of
Anna Felix infused into his breast.



I ■



CHAPTER LXIV.



OF AN UNLUCKY ADVENTURE, WHICH DON QUIXOTE LAID MOST TO HEART OF ANT THAT HAD YET

BEFALLEN HIM.



Don Antonio's lady was extremelj^ pleased with the
company of the fair Morisoa, whose sense being as ex-
quisite as her beauty, drew all the most considerable
persons in the city to visit her. Don Quixote told Don
Antonio that he could by no means approve the method
they had taken to release Don Gregorio, it being full of
danger, with little or no probability of success; but
that their surest way would have been to set him ashore
in Barbary, with his horse and arms, and leave it to him
to deliver the gentleman, in spite of all the Moorish
power, as Don Gayferos had formerly rescued his wife
Melisandra.

"Good, your worship," quoth Sancho, hearing this;
"look before you leap. Don Gayferos had nothing but
a fair face for it on dry land, when he carried her to
Prance. But here, if it please you, though we should
deliver Don Gregorio, how shall we bring him over to
Spain across the broad sea ?"

"There is a remedy for all things but death," an-
swered Don Quixote: "it is but having a barque ready
by the sea-side, and then let me see what can hinder
our getting into it."

"Ah! master, master," quoth Sancho, "there is more
to be done than a dish to wash. Saying is one thing,
and doing is another; and, for my part, I like the ren-
egado very well; he seems to me a good, honest fellow,
and cut out for the business."

"Well," said Don Antonio, "if the renegado fails,
then the great Don Quixote shall embark for Barbary."
In two days the renegado was dispatched away in a
fleet cruiser of six oars on each side, manned with brisk,
lusty fellows ; and two days after that the galleys, with
the general, left the port, and steered their course east-
ward; the general first having engaged the viceroy to
give him an account of Don Gregorio 's and Anna Felix's
fortune.

Now it happened one morning that Don Quixote,
going abroad to take the air upon the sea-shore, armed
^t all points, according to custom— his arms, as he said,
being his best attire, as combat was his refreshment —
he spied a knight riding towards him, armed, like him-
self, from head to foot, with a bright moon blazoned on
his shield, who, coming within hearing, called out to
him —

"Illustrious and never sufflciently extolled Don
Quixote de la Maucha, I am the Knight of the "White



Moon, whose incredible achievements, perhaps, have
reached thy ears. Lo! I am come to enter into combat
with thee and to compel thee, by dint of sword, to own
and acknowledge my mistress, by whatever name and
dignity she be distinguished, to be, without any degree
of comparison, more beautiful than thy Dulcinea del
Toboso. Now, if thou wilt fairly confess this truth,
thou freest thyself from certain death, find me from the
trouble of taking or giving thee thy life. If not, the
conditions of our combat are these: if victory be on my
side, thou shalt be obliged immediately to forsake thy
arms and the quest of adventures, and to return to thy
own house, where thoir shalt engage to live, quietly
and peaceably, for the space of one whole year, without
laying hand on thy sword, to the improvement of thy
estate and the salvation of thy soul. But if thou
comest off conqueror, my life is at tliy mercy, my horse
and arms shall be thy trophy, and the fame of all my
former exploits, liy the lineal descent of conquest, be
vested in thee as victor. Consider what thou hast to
do, and let thy answer be quick, for my despatch is
limited to this very day. "

Don Quixote was amazed and surprised, as much at
the arrogance of the Knight of the White Moon's chal-
lenge, as at the subject of it; so, with a solemn and
austere address, — "Knight of the White Moon," said
he, "whose achievements have as yet been kept from
my knowledge, it is more than probable that you have
never seen the illustrious Dulcinea; for, had you ever
viewed her perfections, you had there found argnments
enough to convince you that no beauty, past, present,
or to come, can parallel hers; and therefore, without
giving you directly the lie, I only tell thee, knight,
thou art mistaken; and this position I will maintain, by
accepting your challenge on your conditions, except
that article of your exploits descending to me ; for, not
knowing what character your actions bear, I will rest
satisfied with the fame of my own, by which, such as
they are, I am willing to abide. And, since your time
is so limited, choose your ground, and begin your
career as soon as you will, and expect to be met with.
'A fair field, and no favor:' to whom God shall give
her, St. Peter give his blessing."

While these two knights were thus adjusting the pre-
liminaries of combat, the viceroy, who had been inform-
ed of the Knight of the White Moon's appearance near

450




" They found liim pale, and in a cold sweat." — p. 452,



452



DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA.



the city walls, and his parleying with Don Quixote,
hastened to the scene of battle, not suspecting it to be
anything but some new device of Don Antonio Moreno,
or somebody else. Several gentlemen, and Don Antonio
among the rest, accompanied him thither. They arrived
just as Don Quixote was wheeling Eozinante to fetch
his career; and, seeing them both ready for the onset,
he interposed, desiring to know the cause of the sudden
combat. The Knight of the White Moon told him
there was a lady in the case, and briefly repeated to his
excellency what passed between him and Don Quixote.
The viceroy whispered to Don Antonio, and asked him
whether he knew that Knight of the White Moon, and
whether their combat was not some jocular device to
impose upon Don Quixote. Don Antonio answered
positively that he neither knew the knight nor whether
the combat were in jest or earnest. This put the vice-
roy to some doubt whether he should not prevent their
engagement; but, being at last persuaded that it must
be a jest at the bottom, he withdrew.

"Valorous knights," said he, "if there bp no medium
between confession and death, but Don Quixote be still
resolved to deny, and you, the Knight of the White
Moon, as obstinately to urge, I have no more to say ;
the field is free, and the Lord have mercy on you!"*

The knights made their compliments to the viceroy
for his gracious consent; and Don Quixote, making
some short ejaculations to Heaven and his mistress, as
he always used upon these occasions, began his career,
without either sound of trumpet or any other signal.
His adversary was no less forward; for, setting spurs
to his horse, which was much the swifter, he met Don
Quixote before he had run half his career, so forcibly,
that, without making use of his lance, which it is
thought he lifted up on purpose, he overthrew the
Knight of La Maucha and Eozinante, both coming to
the ground with a terrible fall.

The Knight of the White Moon got immediately upon
him, and, clapping the point of his lanoe to his face,
"Knight," cried he, "you are vanquished, and a dead
man, unless you immediately fulfil the conditions of
your combat. "

Don Quixote, bruised and stunned with his fall, with



out lifting up his beaver, answered in a faint hollow
voice, as if he had spoken out of a tomb, "Dulcinea del
Toboso is the most beautiful woman in the world, and I
the most unfortunate knight upon the earth. It were
unjust that such perfection should suifer through my
weakness. No, pierce my body with thy lance, knight,
and let my life expire with my honor."

"Not so rigorous neither," replied the conqueror,
"let the fame of the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso remain
entire and unblemished; provided the great Don Quix-
ote return home for a year, as we agreed before the
combat, I am satisfied. "

The viceroy and Don Antonio, with many other gen-
tlemen, were witnesses to all these passages, and par-
ticularly to this proposal; to which Don Quixote an-
swered, that, upon condition he should be enjoined
nothing to the prejudice of Dulcinea, he would, upon
the faith of a true knight, be punctual in the perform-
ance of everything else. This acknowledgment being
made, the Knight of the White Moon turned about his
horse, and, saluting the viceroy, rode at a band-gallop
into the city, whither Don Antonio followed him, at the
viceroy's request, to find who he was, if possible.

Don Quixote was lifted up, and upon taking off his
helmit, they found him pale, and in a cold sweat. As
for Eozinante, he was in so sad a plight, that he could
not stir for the present. Then, as for Sanchoi he was
in so heavy a taking, that he knew not what to do nor
what to say : he was sometimes persuaded he was in a
dream — sometimes he fancied this rueful adventure was
all witchcraft and enchantment. In short, he found
his master discomfited in the face of the world, and
bound to good behavior, and to lay aside his arms for a
whole year. Now he thought his glory eclipsed; his
hopes of greatness vanished into smoke; and his mas-
ter's promises, like his bones, put out of joint by that
cursed fall, which he was afraid had at once crippled
Eozinante and his master. At last the vanquished
knight was put into a chair, which the viceroy had sent
for that purpose, and they carried him into town,
accompanied likewise by the viceroy, who had a great
curiosity to know who this Knight of the White Moon
was, that had left Don Quixote in so sad a condition.



CHAPTER LXV.



AN ACCOCNT OF THE KNIGHT OF THE WHITE MOON, DON GREGOEIO'S ENLAEUEMENT, AND OTHER PASSAGES.



Don Antonio Moeeno followed the Knight of the
White Moon to his inn, whither he was attended by a
troublesome rabble of boys. The knight being got to
his chamber, where his squire waited to take oft' his
armor, Don Antonio came in, declaring he would not
be shook off till he had discovered who he wSs. The
knight finding that the gentleman would not leave him,
"Sir," said he, "Since I lie under no obligation of con-
cealing myself, if you please, while my man disarms
me, you shall hear the whole truth of the story."

"You must know, sir, I am called the bachelor Car-
raseo. I live in the same town with this Don Quixote,
whose unaccountable frenzy has moved all his neigh-
bors, and me among the rest, to endeavor by some
means, to cure his madness; in order to which, believ-
ing that rest and ease would prove the surest remedy,
1 bethoughtmyself of this present stratagem, and, about
three months ago, in all the equipage of a knight-errant,
tinder the title of the Knight of the Mirrors, I met him
on the road, fixed a quarrel upon him, and the condi-
tions of our combat were as you have heard already.
But fortune then declared for him, for he unhorsed and
vanquished me, and sol was disappointed; he prose-
cuted his adventures, and I returned home shamefully,
very much hurt with my fall. But, willing to retrieve
my credit, I made this second attempt, and now have
succeeded ; for I know him to be so nicely punctual in
whatever his word and honor is engaged for, that he
will undoubtedly perform his promise. This, sir, is the
Slim of the whole story; and I beg the favor of you to
conceal me from Don Quixote, that my project may not
be ruined the second time, and that the honest gentle-
man, who is naturally a man of good parts, may recover
his understanding."

"Oil ! sir," replied Don Antonio, "what have you to
answer for, in robbing the world of the most diverting
folly that ever was exposed among mankind ? Con-
isider, sir, that his cure can never benefit the public
half so much as his distemper. But I am apt to be-
Jieve, Sir Bachelor, that his madness is too firmly fixed
for your art to remove; and, Heaven forgive me ! I can-
not forbear wishing it mny be so, for by Don Quixote's
-cure we not only lose his good company, but the drol-
leries and comical humors of Sancho Panza too, which
are enough to cure melancholy itself of the spleen.
However, I promise to say nothing of the matter,



though I confidently believe, sir, you pains will be to
no purpose. "

Oarrasco told him, that having succeeded so far, he
was obliged to cherish better hopes; and, asking Don
Antonio if he had any farther service to command him,
he took his leave, and, packing up his armor on a car-
riage-mule, presently mounted his charging horse, and,
leaving the city that very day, posted homewards,
meeting no adventure on the road worthy a place in
this.faithful history.

Six days did Don Quixote keep his bed, very de-
jected, sullen, and out of humor, and full of severe and
black reflections on his fatal overthrow. Sancho was
his comforter, and, among other his crumbs of com-
fort,—

"My dear master," quoth he, "cheer up; come, pluck
up a good heart, and be thankful for coming off no
worse. Why, a man has broken his neck with a less
fall, and you have not so much as a broken rib. Con-
sider, sir, that they that game sometimes must lose: we
must not always look for bacon where we see the hooks.
Come, sir, cry a flg for the doctor, since yon will not
need him this bout; let us jog home fair and softly,
without thinking any more of sauntering up and down,
nobody knows whither, in quest of adventures and
broken noses. Why, sir, I am the greatest loser, if you
go to that, though it is you who are in the worst pickle.
It was true 1 was weary of being a governor, and gave
over all thoughts that way, but yet I never parted with
my inclination of being an earl; and now, if you miss
being a king, by casting off your knight-errantry, poor
I may go whistle for my earldom. "

"IsTo more of that, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "I
shall only retire for a year, and then re-assume my
honorable profession, which will undoubtedly secure
me a kingdom, and thee an earldom. "

"Heaven grant it may!" quoth Sancho, "and no mis-
chief betide us: 'hope well and have well,' says the
proverb. "

Don Antonio coming in, broke off the discourse, and
with great signs of joy, calling to Don Quixote, "Re-
ward me, sir," cried he, "for my good news. Don Gre-
gorio and the renegado are safe arrived ; they are now
at the viceroy's palace, and will be here this moment."

The knight was a little revived at this news. "Truly,
sir," said he to Don Antonio, "I could iiJmost be sorry

453



454



DON QUIXOTK DE LA MANCHA.



for his good fortuue, since he has forestalled the glory'
I .should have acquired iu releasing, by the strength of
my arm, not only him, but all Christian slaves in Bar-
bary. But whither am I trans])orted, wretch that I
am! Am I not miserably conquered, shamefully over-
thrown, forbidden the paths of glory for a whole long,
tedious year? What should I boast, who am fitter for
a distaff than a sword ?"

"No more of that," quoth Sancho. '" To-day for thee,
and to-morrow for me.' Never lay this ill fortune to
heart; ' he that is down to-day may be up to-morrow,'
unless he has a mind to lie abed. Hang bruises; so
rouse, sir, and bid Don Gregorio welcome to Spain, for,
by the hurry in the house, I believe he is come."

And so it happened; for Don Gregorio, having paid
his duty to the viceroy, and given him an account of
his delivery, was just arrived at Don Antonio's with
the renegado, very impatient to see Anna Felix. He
had changed the female habit he wore when he was
freed, for one suitable to his sex, which he had from a
captive who came along with him in the vessel, and
appeared a very amiable and handsome gentlemen,
though not above eighteen years of age. Ricote and
his daughter went out to meet him, the father with
tears, and the daughter with a joyful modesty. Their
salutation was reserved, without an embrace, their love
being too refined for any loose behavior; but their
beauties surprised everbody. Silence was emphatical
in their joys, and their eyes spoke more love than their
tongues could express. The renegado gave a short
account of the success of his voyage, and Don Gregorio
briefly related the shifts he was put to in his confine-
ment, which showed his wit and discretion to be much
above his years. Ricote gratified the ship's crew very
nobly, and particularly the renegado, who was once
more received into the bosom of the Church, having,
with due penance and sincere repentance, purified him-
self from all his former uncleanness.

Some few days after, the viceroy, in concert with Don
Antonio, took such measures as were expedient to get
the banishment of Ricote and his daughter repealed,
judging it no inconvenience to the nation that so just
and orthodox persons should remain among them. Don
Antonio, being obliged to go to court about some other
matters, offered to solicit in their behalf, hinting to him
that, through the intercession of friends and more pow-
erful bribes, many difftcult matters were brought about
there to the satisfaction of the parties.



•'There is no relying upon favors and bribes in our
business," said Ricote, who was by ; "for the great Don
Bernardo de Velasco, Count de Siilazar, to whom the
king gave the charge of our expulsion, is a person of
too strict and rigid justice to be moved either by money,
favor, or aft'ection; and though I cannot deny him the
character of a merciful judge in other matters, yet his
piercing and diligent policy finds the body of our Mo-
riscan race to be so corrupted, that amputation is the
only cure. He is an Argus in his ministry, and by his
watchful eyes has discovered the most secret springs
of their machinations, and resolving to prevent the
danger which the whole kingdom was in from such a
powerful multitude of inbred foes, he took the most
effectual means; for, after all, lopping off the branches
may only prune the tree, and make the poisonous fruit
spring faster, but to overthrow it from the root proves
a sure deliverance. Nor can the great Philip the Third
be too much extolled ; first, for his heroic resolution in
BO nice and weighty an affair, and then for his wisdom
in entrusting Don Bernardo de Velasco with the execu-
tion of this design. "

"Well, when I come to court," said Don Antonio to
Ricote, "I will, however, use the most advisable means,
and leave the rest to Providence. Don Gregorio shall
go with me to comfort his parents, who have long
mourned for his absence. Anna Felix shall stay here
with my wife, or in some monastery; and as for honest
Ricote, I dare engage the viceroy will be satisfied to
let him remain under his protection till he see how I
succeed."

The viceroy consented to all this, but Don Gregorio,
fearing the worst, was unwilling to leave his fair mis-
tress; however, considering that he might return to her
after he had seen his parents, he yielded to the pro-
posal, and so Anna Felix remained with Don Antonio's
lady, and Ricote with the viceroy.

Two days after, Don Quixote, being somewhat recov-
ered, took his leave of Don Antonio, and having caused
his armor to be laid on Dapple, he set forwards on h'is
journey home, Sancho thus being forced to trudge after
him on foot. On the other side, Don Gregorio bid
adieu to Anna Felix ; and their separation, though but
for a little while, was attended with floods of tears and
all the excess of passionate sorrow. Ricote offered him
a thousand crowns, but he refused them, and only bor-
rowed five of Don Antonio, to repay him at court.





f






1 «


V


1 1


t


'! ".- .''




ft "^


1^





f(^



<'/'



, I



■ll

' Jill

I

ll .Jl

'M ]ii
'f I ■






ijlJlfi 1. j^



CHAPTER LXVI.



WHICH TREATS OF THAT WHICH SHALL BE SEEN BY HIM THAT EEADS IT, AND HEAKD BY HIM THAT

LISTENS WHEN IT IS BEAD.



Don Quixote, as he went out of Barcelona, cast his
eyes on the spot of ground where he was overthrown.
"Here once Troy stood," said he; "here my unhappy
fate, and not my cowardice, deprived me of all the
glories I had purchased. Here Fortune, by an unex-
pected reverse, made me sensible of her inconstancy
and fickleness. Here my exploits suffered a total
eclipse; and, in short, here fell my happiness, never to
rise again."

Saucho, hearing his master thus dolefully paraphras-
ing on his misfortunes, "Good sir," quoth he, "it is as
ranch the part of great spirits to have patience when
the world frowns upon them, as to be joyful when all
goes well. And I judge of it by myself: for if when I
was a governor I was merry, now I am but a poor squire
a-foot I am not sad; and, indeed, I have heard say that
this same she thing they call Fdrtuue is a whimsical,
freakish, drunken person, and blind into the bargain;
so that she neither sees what she does nor knows whom
she raises nor whom she casts down."

"Thou art very much a pliilosopher, Sancho," said
Don Quixote ; "thou talkest very sensibly. I won-
der how thou earnest by all this ; but I must tell thee
there is no such thing as fortune iu the world, nor does
anything that happens here below of good or ill come
by chance, but by the particular providence of Heaven ;
and this makes good the proverb, that every man may
thank himself for his own fortune. For my part, I have
been the maker of mine; but for waut of using the dis-
cretion I ought to have used, all my presumptuous edi-
fice sunk, and tumbled down at once. I might well
have considered that Rosinante was too weak and
feeble to withstand the Knight of the White Moon's
huge and strong-built horse. However, I would needs
adventure; I did the best I could, and was overcome.
Yet, though it has cost me my honor, I have not lost,
uor can I lose, ray integrity to perforra my promise.
When I was a knight-errant, valiant and bold, the
strength of my hands and my actions gave a reputation
to my deeds ; and now I am no more than a dismounted
squire, the performance of my iiromise shall give a
reputation to my words. Trudge on, then, friend San-
cho, and let us get home, to pass the year of our proba-
tion. In that retirement we shall recover new vigor to



return to that which is never to be forgotten by me —
I mean, the profession of arms. "

They passed that day and four more after that in
such kind of discourse, without meeting anything that
might iuterrupt their journey ; but on the fifth day, as
they entered into a country town, they saw a great
company of people at an inn door, being got together
for pastime, as being a holiday. As soon as Don Quix-



Online LibraryMiguel de Cervantes SaavedraThe history of Don Quixote → online text (page 80 of 85)