Don quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Translated by John Ormsby contents



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DON QUIXOTE
by Miguel de Cervantes
Translated by John Ormsby

CONTENTS
Volume I.


CHAPTER I

WHICH TREATS OF THE CHARACTER AND PURSUITS OF THE FAMOUS GENTLEMAN DON QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA


CHAPTER II

WHICH TREATS OF THE FIRST SALLY THE INGENIOUS DON QUIXOTE MADE

FROM HOME
CHAPTER III

WHEREIN IS RELATED THE DROLL WAY IN WHICH DON QUIXOTE HAD HIMSELF

DUBBED A KNIGHT
CHAPTER IV

OF WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR KNIGHT WHEN HE LEFT THE INN


CHAPTER V

IN WHICH THE NARRATIVE OF OUR KNIGHT'S MISHAP IS CONTINUED


CHAPTER VI

OF THE DIVERTING AND IMPORTANT SCRUTINY WHICH THE CURATE AND THE

BARBER MADE IN THE LIBRARY OF OUR INGENIOUS GENTLEMAN
CHAPTER VII

OF THE SECOND SALLY OF OUR WORTHY KNIGHT DON QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA


CHAPTER VIII

OF THE GOOD FORTUNE WHICH THE VALIANT DON QUIXOTE HAD IN THE

TERRIBLE AND UNDREAMT-OF ADVENTURE OF THE WINDMILLS, WITH OTHER

OCCURRENCES WORTHY TO BE FITLY RECORDED


CHAPTER IX

IN WHICH IS CONCLUDED AND FINISHED THE TERRIFIC BATTLE BETWEEN THE

GALLANT BISCAYAN AND THE VALIANT MANCHEGAN
CHAPTER X

OF THE PLEASANT DISCOURSE THAT PASSED BETWEEN DON QUIXOTE AND HIS SQUIRE SANCHO PANZA


CHAPTER XI

OF WHAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE WITH CERTAIN GOATHERDS


CHAPTER XII

OF WHAT A GOATHERD RELATED TO THOSE WITH DON QUIXOTE


CHAPTER XIII

IN WHICH IS ENDED THE STORY OF THE SHEPHERDESS MARCELA, WITH OTHER INCIDENTS


THE AUTHOR'S PREFACE


Idle reader: thou mayest believe me without any oath that I would this

book, as it is the child of my brain, were the fairest, gayest, and

cleverest that could be imagined. But I could not counteract Nature's law

that everything shall beget its like; and what, then, could this sterile,

illtilled wit of mine beget but the story of a dry, shrivelled, whimsical

offspring, full of thoughts of all sorts and such as never came into any

other imagination--just what might be begotten in a prison, where every

misery is lodged and every doleful sound makes its dwelling?

Tranquillity, a cheerful retreat, pleasant fields, bright skies,

murmuring brooks, peace of mind, these are the things that go far to make

even the most barren muses fertile, and bring into the world births that

fill it with wonder and delight. Sometimes when a father has an ugly,

loutish son, the love he bears him so blindfolds his eyes that he does

not see his defects, or, rather, takes them for gifts and charms of mind

and body, and talks of them to his friends as wit and grace. I,

however--for though I pass for the father, I am but the stepfather to

"Don Quixote"--have no desire to go with the current of custom, or to

implore thee, dearest reader, almost with tears in my eyes, as others do,

to pardon or excuse the defects thou wilt perceive in this child of mine.

Thou art neither its kinsman nor its friend, thy soul is thine own and

thy will as free as any man's, whate'er he be, thou art in thine own

house and master of it as much as the king of his taxes and thou knowest

the common saying, "Under my cloak I kill the king;" all which exempts

and frees thee from every consideration and obligation, and thou canst

say what thou wilt of the story without fear of being abused for any ill

or rewarded for any good thou mayest say of it.


My wish would be simply to present it to thee plain and unadorned,

without any embellishment of preface or uncountable muster of customary

sonnets, epigrams, and eulogies, such as are commonly put at the

beginning of books. For I can tell thee, though composing it cost me some

labour, I found none greater than the making of this Preface thou art now

reading. Many times did I take up my pen to write it, and many did I lay

it down again, not knowing what to write. One of these times, as I was

pondering with the paper before me, a pen in my ear, my elbow on the

desk, and my cheek in my hand, thinking of what I should say, there came

in unexpectedly a certain lively, clever friend of mine, who, seeing me

so deep in thought, asked the reason; to which I, making no mystery of

it, answered that I was thinking of the Preface I had to make for the

story of "Don Quixote," which so troubled me that I had a mind not to

make any at all, nor even publish the achievements of so noble a knight.


"For, how could you expect me not to feel uneasy about what that ancient

lawgiver they call the Public will say when it sees me, after slumbering

so many years in the silence of oblivion, coming out now with all my

years upon my back, and with a book as dry as a rush, devoid of

invention, meagre in style, poor in thoughts, wholly wanting in learning

and wisdom, without quotations in the margin or annotations at the end,

after the fashion of other books I see, which, though all fables and

profanity, are so full of maxims from Aristotle, and Plato, and the whole

herd of philosophers, that they fill the readers with amazement and

convince them that the authors are men of learning, erudition, and

eloquence. And then, when they quote the Holy Scriptures!--anyone would

say they are St. Thomases or other doctors of the Church, observing as

they do a decorum so ingenious that in one sentence they describe a

distracted lover and in the next deliver a devout little sermon that it

is a pleasure and a treat to hear and read. Of all this there will be

nothing in my book, for I have nothing to quote in the margin or to note

at the end, and still less do I know what authors I follow in it, to

place them at the beginning, as all do, under the letters A, B, C,

beginning with Aristotle and ending with Xenophon, or Zoilus, or Zeuxis,

though one was a slanderer and the other a painter. Also my book must do

without sonnets at the beginning, at least sonnets whose authors are

dukes, marquises, counts, bishops, ladies, or famous poets. Though if I

were to ask two or three obliging friends, I know they would give me

them, and such as the productions of those that have the highest

reputation in our Spain could not equal.
"In short, my friend," I continued, "I am determined that Senor Don

Quixote shall remain buried in the archives of his own La Mancha until

Heaven provide some one to garnish him with all those things he stands in

need of; because I find myself, through my shallowness and want of

learning, unequal to supplying them, and because I am by nature shy and

careless about hunting for authors to say what I myself can say without

them. Hence the cogitation and abstraction you found me in, and reason

enough, what you have heard from me."


Hearing this, my friend, giving himself a slap on the forehead and

breaking into a hearty laugh, exclaimed, "Before God, Brother, now am I

disabused of an error in which I have been living all this long time I

have known you, all through which I have taken you to be shrewd and

sensible in all you do; but now I see you are as far from that as the

heaven is from the earth. It is possible that things of so little moment

and so easy to set right can occupy and perplex a ripe wit like yours,

fit to break through and crush far greater obstacles? By my faith, this

comes, not of any want of ability, but of too much indolence and too

little knowledge of life. Do you want to know if I am telling the truth?

Well, then, attend to me, and you will see how, in the opening and

shutting of an eye, I sweep away all your difficulties, and supply all

those deficiencies which you say check and discourage you from bringing

before the world the story of your famous Don Quixote, the light and

mirror of all knight-errantry."
"Say on," said I, listening to his talk; "how do you propose to make up

for my diffidence, and reduce to order this chaos of perplexity I am in?"


To which he made answer, "Your first difficulty about the sonnets,

epigrams, or complimentary verses which you want for the beginning, and

which ought to be by persons of importance and rank, can be removed if

you yourself take a little trouble to make them; you can afterwards

baptise them, and put any name you like to them, fathering them on

Prester John of the Indies or the Emperor of Trebizond, who, to my

knowledge, were said to have been famous poets: and even if they were

not, and any pedants or bachelors should attack you and question the

fact, never care two maravedis for that, for even if they prove a lie

against you they cannot cut off the hand you wrote it with.


"As to references in the margin to the books and authors from whom you

take the aphorisms and sayings you put into your story, it is only

contriving to fit in nicely any sentences or scraps of Latin you may

happen to have by heart, or at any rate that will not give you much

trouble to look up; so as, when you speak of freedom and captivity, to

insert
_Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro;_


and then refer in the margin to Horace, or whoever said it; or, if you

allude to the power of death, to come in with--


_Pallida mors Aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas,

Regumque turres._


"If it be friendship and the love God bids us bear to our enemy, go at

once to the Holy Scriptures, which you can do with a very small amount of

research, and quote no less than the words of God himself: Ego autem dico

vobis: diligite inimicos vestros. If you speak of evil thoughts, turn to

the Gospel: De corde exeunt cogitationes malae. If of the fickleness of

friends, there is Cato, who will give you his distich:


_Donec eris felix multos numerabis amicos,

Tempora si fuerint nubila, solus eris._


"With these and such like bits of Latin they will take you for a

grammarian at all events, and that now-a-days is no small honour and

profit.
"With regard to adding annotations at the end of the book, you may safely

do it in this way. If you mention any giant in your book contrive that it

shall be the giant Goliath, and with this alone, which will cost you

almost nothing, you have a grand note, for you can put--The giant Golias

or Goliath was a Philistine whom the shepherd David slew by a mighty

stone-cast in the Terebinth valley, as is related in the Book of

Kings--in the chapter where you find it written.
"Next, to prove yourself a man of erudition in polite literature and

cosmography, manage that the river Tagus shall be named in your story,

and there you are at once with another famous annotation, setting

forth--The river Tagus was so called after a King of Spain: it has its

source in such and such a place and falls into the ocean, kissing the

walls of the famous city of Lisbon, and it is a common belief that it has

golden sands, etc. If you should have anything to do with robbers, I will

give you the story of Cacus, for I have it by heart; if with loose women,

there is the Bishop of Mondonedo, who will give you the loan of Lamia,

Laida, and Flora, any reference to whom will bring you great credit; if

with hard-hearted ones, Ovid will furnish you with Medea; if with witches

or enchantresses, Homer has Calypso, and Virgil Circe; if with valiant

captains, Julius Caesar himself will lend you himself in his own

'Commentaries,' and Plutarch will give you a thousand Alexanders. If you

should deal with love, with two ounces you may know of Tuscan you can go

to Leon the Hebrew, who will supply you to your heart's content; or if

you should not care to go to foreign countries you have at home Fonseca's

'Of the Love of God,' in which is condensed all that you or the most

imaginative mind can want on the subject. In short, all you have to do is

to manage to quote these names, or refer to these stories I have

mentioned, and leave it to me to insert the annotations and quotations,

and I swear by all that's good to fill your margins and use up four

sheets at the end of the book.
"Now let us come to those references to authors which other books have,

and you want for yours. The remedy for this is very simple: You have only

to look out for some book that quotes them all, from A to Z as you say

yourself, and then insert the very same alphabet in your book, and though

the imposition may be plain to see, because you have so little need to

borrow from them, that is no matter; there will probably be some simple

enough to believe that you have made use of them all in this plain,

artless story of yours. At any rate, if it answers no other purpose, this

long catalogue of authors will serve to give a surprising look of

authority to your book. Besides, no one will trouble himself to verify

whether you have followed them or whether you have not, being no way

concerned in it; especially as, if I mistake not, this book of yours has

no need of any one of those things you say it wants, for it is, from

beginning to end, an attack upon the books of chivalry, of which

Aristotle never dreamt, nor St. Basil said a word, nor Cicero had any

knowledge; nor do the niceties of truth nor the observations of astrology

come within the range of its fanciful vagaries; nor have geometrical

measurements or refutations of the arguments used in rhetoric anything to

do with it; nor does it mean to preach to anybody, mixing up things human

and divine, a sort of motley in which no Christian understanding should

dress itself. It has only to avail itself of truth to nature in its

composition, and the more perfect the imitation the better the work will

be. And as this piece of yours aims at nothing more than to destroy the

authority and influence which books of chivalry have in the world and

with the public, there is no need for you to go a-begging for aphorisms

from philosophers, precepts from Holy Scripture, fables from poets,

speeches from orators, or miracles from saints; but merely to take care

that your style and diction run musically, pleasantly, and plainly, with

clear, proper, and well-placed words, setting forth your purpose to the

best of your power, and putting your ideas intelligibly, without

confusion or obscurity. Strive, too, that in reading your story the

melancholy may be moved to laughter, and the merry made merrier still;

that the simple shall not be wearied, that the judicious shall admire the

invention, that the grave shall not despise it, nor the wise fail to

praise it. Finally, keep your aim fixed on the destruction of that

ill-founded edifice of the books of chivalry, hated by some and praised

by many more; for if you succeed in this you will have achieved no small

success."


In profound silence I listened to what my friend said, and his

observations made such an impression on me that, without attempting to

question them, I admitted their soundness, and out of them I determined

to make this Preface; wherein, gentle reader, thou wilt perceive my

friend's good sense, my good fortune in finding such an adviser in such a

time of need, and what thou hast gained in receiving, without addition or

alteration, the story of the famous Don Quixote of La Mancha, who is held

by all the inhabitants of the district of the Campo de Montiel to have

been the chastest lover and the bravest knight that has for many years

been seen in that neighbourhood. I have no desire to magnify the service

I render thee in making thee acquainted with so renowned and honoured a

knight, but I do desire thy thanks for the acquaintance thou wilt make

with the famous Sancho Panza, his squire, in whom, to my thinking, I have

given thee condensed all the squirely drolleries that are scattered

through the swarm of the vain books of chivalry. And so--may God give

thee health, and not forget me. Vale.

DEDICATION OF VOLUME I
TO THE DUKE OF BEJAR, MARQUIS OF GIBRALEON, COUNT OF BENALCAZAR AND

BANARES, VICECOUNT OF THE PUEBLA DE ALCOCER, MASTER OF THE TOWNS OF

CAPILLA, CURIEL AND BURGUILLOS
In belief of the good reception and honours that Your Excellency bestows

on all sort of books, as prince so inclined to favor good arts, chiefly

those who by their nobleness do not submit to the service and bribery of

the vulgar, I have determined bringing to light The Ingenious Gentleman

Don Quixote of la Mancha, in shelter of Your Excellency's glamorous name,

to whom, with the obeisance I owe to such grandeur, I pray to receive it

agreeably under his protection, so that in this shadow, though deprived

of that precious ornament of elegance and erudition that clothe the works

composed in the houses of those who know, it dares appear with assurance

in the judgment of some who, trespassing the bounds of their own

ignorance, use to condemn with more rigour and less justice the writings

of others. It is my earnest hope that Your Excellency's good counsel in

regard to my honourable purpose, will not disdain the littleness of so

humble a service.


Miguel de Cervantes

VOLUME I.

CHAPTER I.
WHICH TREATS OF THE CHARACTER AND PURSUITS OF THE FAMOUS GENTLEMAN DON

QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA

In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to

mind, there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance

in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a greyhound for

coursing. An olla of rather more beef than mutton, a salad on most

nights, scraps on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, and a pigeon or so extra

on Sundays, made away with three-quarters of his income. The rest of it

went in a doublet of fine cloth and velvet breeches and shoes to match

for holidays, while on week-days he made a brave figure in his best

homespun. He had in his house a housekeeper past forty, a niece under

twenty, and a lad for the field and market-place, who used to saddle the

hack as well as handle the bill-hook. The age of this gentleman of ours

was bordering on fifty; he was of a hardy habit, spare, gaunt-featured, a

very early riser and a great sportsman. They will have it his surname was

Quixada or Quesada (for here there is some difference of opinion among

the authors who write on the subject), although from reasonable

conjectures it seems plain that he was called Quexana. This, however, is

of but little importance to our tale; it will be enough not to stray a

hair's breadth from the truth in the telling of it.


You must know, then, that the above-named gentleman whenever he was at

leisure (which was mostly all the year round) gave himself up to reading

books of chivalry with such ardour and avidity that he almost entirely

neglected the pursuit of his field-sports, and even the management of his

property; and to such a pitch did his eagerness and infatuation go that

he sold many an acre of tillageland to buy books of chivalry to read, and

brought home as many of them as he could get. But of all there were none

he liked so well as those of the famous Feliciano de Silva's composition,

for their lucidity of style and complicated conceits were as pearls in

his sight, particularly when in his reading he came upon courtships and

cartels, where he often found passages like "the reason of the unreason

with which my reason is afflicted so weakens my reason that with reason I

murmur at your beauty;" or again, "the high heavens, that of your

divinity divinely fortify you with the stars, render you deserving of the

desert your greatness deserves." Over conceits of this sort the poor

gentleman lost his wits, and used to lie awake striving to understand

them and worm the meaning out of them; what Aristotle himself could not

have made out or extracted had he come to life again for that special

purpose. He was not at all easy about the wounds which Don Belianis gave

and took, because it seemed to him that, great as were the surgeons who

had cured him, he must have had his face and body covered all over with

seams and scars. He commended, however, the author's way of ending his

book with the promise of that interminable adventure, and many a time was

he tempted to take up his pen and finish it properly as is there

proposed, which no doubt he would have done, and made a successful piece

of work of it too, had not greater and more absorbing thoughts prevented

him.
Many an argument did he have with the curate of his village (a learned

man, and a graduate of Siguenza) as to which had been the better knight,

Palmerin of England or Amadis of Gaul. Master Nicholas, the village

barber, however, used to say that neither of them came up to the Knight

of Phoebus, and that if there was any that could compare with him it was

Don Galaor, the brother of Amadis of Gaul, because he had a spirit that

was equal to every occasion, and was no finikin knight, nor lachrymose

like his brother, while in the matter of valour he was not a whit behind

him. In short, he became so absorbed in his books that he spent his

nights from sunset to sunrise, and his days from dawn to dark, poring

over them; and what with little sleep and much reading his brains got so

dry that he lost his wits. His fancy grew full of what he used to read

about in his books, enchantments, quarrels, battles, challenges, wounds,

wooings, loves, agonies, and all sorts of impossible nonsense; and it so

possessed his mind that the whole fabric of invention and fancy he read

of was true, that to him no history in the world had more reality in it.

He used to say the Cid Ruy Diaz was a very good knight, but that he was

not to be compared with the Knight of the Burning Sword who with one

back-stroke cut in half two fierce and monstrous giants. He thought more

of Bernardo del Carpio because at Roncesvalles he slew Roland in spite of

enchantments, availing himself of the artifice of Hercules when he

strangled Antaeus the son of Terra in his arms. He approved highly of the

giant Morgante, because, although of the giant breed which is always

arrogant and ill-conditioned, he alone was affable and well-bred. But

above all he admired Reinaldos of Montalban, especially when he saw him

sallying forth from his castle and robbing everyone he met, and when

beyond the seas he stole that image of Mahomet which, as his history

says, was entirely of gold. To have a bout of kicking at that traitor of

a Ganelon he would have given his housekeeper, and his niece into the

bargain.
In short, his wits being quite gone, he hit upon the strangest notion

that ever madman in this world hit upon, and that was that he fancied it

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