HomeMiguel de CervantesDon Quixote

Don Quixote. Miguel de Cervantes

Translated by John Ormsby

Table of Contents:

TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE
ABOUT CERVANTES AND DON QUIXOTE
THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE
SOME COMMENDATORY VERSES
DEDICATION OF PART I
CHAPTER I WHICH TREATS OF THE CHARACTER AND PURSUITS OF THE FAMOUS GENTLEMAN DONQUIXOTE 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 AKNIGHT
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 BARBERMADE 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 ANDUNDREAMT-OF ADVENTURE OF THE WINDMILLS, WITH OTHER OCCURRENCES WORTHY TOBE FITLY RECORDED
CHAPTER IX IN WHICH IS CONCLUDED AND FINISHED THE TERRIFIC BATTLE BETWEEN THE GALLANTBISCAYAN AND THE VALIANT MANCHEGAN
CHAPTER X OF THE PLEASANT DISCOURSE THAT PASSED BETWEEN DON QUIXOTE AND HIS SQUIRESANCHO PANZA
CHAPTER XI 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 OTHERINCIDENTS
CHAPTER XIV WHEREIN ARE INSERTED THE DESPAIRING VERSES OF THE DEAD SHEPHERD, TOGETHERWITH OTHER INCIDENTS NOT LOOKED FOR
CHAPTER XV IN WHICH IS RELATED THE UNFORTUNATE ADVENTURE THAT DON QUIXOTE FELL INWITH WHEN HE FELL OUT WITH CERTAIN HEARTLESS YANGUESANS
CHAPTER XVI OF WHAT HAPPENED TO THE INGENIOUS GENTLEMAN IN THE INN WHICH HE TOOK TO BEA CASTLE
CHAPTER XVII IN WHICH ARE CONTAINED THE INNUMERABLE TROUBLES WHICH THE BRAVE DONQUIXOTE AND HIS GOOD SQUIRE SANCHO PANZA ENDURED IN THE INN, WHICH TO HISMISFORTUNE HE TOOK TO BE A CASTLE
CHAPTER XVIII IN WHICH IS RELATED THE DISCOURSE SANCHO PANZA HELD WITH HIS MASTER, DONQUIXOTE, AND OTHER ADVENTURES WORTH RELATING
CHAPTER XIX OF THE SHREWD DISCOURSE WHICH SANCHO HELD WITH HIS MASTER, AND OF THEADVENTURE THAT BEFELL HIM WITH A DEAD BODY, TOGETHER WITH OTHER NOTABLEOCCURRENCES
CHAPTER XX OF THE UNEXAMPLED AND UNHEARD-OF ADVENTURE WHICH WAS ACHIEVED BY THEVALIANT DON QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA WITH LESS PERIL THAN ANY EVER ACHIEVED BYANY FAMOUS KNIGHT IN THE WORLD
CHAPTER XXI WHICH TREATS OF THE EXALTED ADVENTURE AND RICH PRIZE OF MAMBRINO’S HELMET,TOGETHER WITH OTHER THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO OUR INVINCIBLE KNIGHT
CHAPTER XXII OF THE FREEDOM DON QUIXOTE CONFERRED ON SEVERAL UNFORTUNATES WHO AGAINSTTHEIR WILL WERE BEING CARRIED WHERE THEY HAD NO WISH TO GO
CHAPTER XXIII OF WHAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE IN THE SIERRA MORENA, WHICH WAS ONE OF THERAREST ADVENTURES RELATED IN THIS VERACIOUS HISTORY
CHAPTER XXIV IN WHICH IS CONTINUED THE ADVENTURE OF THE SIERRA MORENA
CHAPTER XXV WHICH TREATS OF THE STRANGE THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO THE STOUT KNIGHT OF LAMANCHA IN THE SIERRA MORENA, AND OF HIS IMITATION OF THE PENANCE OFBELTENEBROS
CHAPTER XXVI IN WHICH ARE CONTINUED THE REFINEMENTS WHEREWITH DON QUIXOTE PLAYED THEPART OF A LOVER IN THE SIERRA MORENA
CHAPTER XXVII OF HOW THE CURATE AND THE BARBER PROCEEDED WITH THEIR SCHEME; TOGETHERWITH OTHER MATTERS WORTHY OF RECORD IN THIS GREAT HISTORY
CHAPTER XXVIII WHICH TREATS OF THE STRANGE AND DELIGHTFUL ADVENTURE THAT BEFELL THECURATE AND THE BARBER IN THE SAME SIERRA
CHAPTER XXIX WHICH TREATS OF THE DROLL DEVICE AND METHOD ADOPTED TO EXTRICATE OURLOVE-STRICKEN KNIGHT FROM THE SEVERE PENANCE HE HAD IMPOSED UPON HIMSELF
CHAPTER XXX WHICH TREATS OF ADDRESS DISPLAYED BY THE FAIR DOROTHEA, WITH OTHER MATTERSPLEASANT AND AMUSING
CHAPTER XXXI OF THE DELECTABLE DISCUSSION BETWEEN DON QUIXOTE AND SANCHO PANZA, HISSQUIRE, TOGETHER WITH OTHER INCIDENTS
CHAPTER XXXII WHICH TREATS OF WHAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE’S PARTY AT THE INN
CHAPTER XXXIII IN WHICH IS RELATED THE NOVEL OF “THE ILL-ADVISED CURIOSITY”
CHAPTER XXXIV IN WHICH IS CONTINUED THE NOVEL OF “THE ILL-ADVISED CURIOSITY”
CHAPTER XXXV WHICH TREATS OF THE HEROIC AND PRODIGIOUS BATTLE DON QUIXOTE HAD WITHCERTAIN SKINS OF RED WINE, AND BRINGS THE NOVEL OF “THE ILL-ADVISEDCURIOSITY” TO A CLOSE
CHAPTER XXXVI WHICH TREATS OF MORE CURIOUS INCIDENTS THAT OCCURRED AT THE INN
CHAPTER XXXVII IN WHICH IS CONTINUED THE STORY OF THE FAMOUS PRINCESS MICOMICONA, WITHOTHER DROLL ADVENTURES
CHAPTER XXXVIII WHICH TREATS OF THE CURIOUS DISCOURSE DON QUIXOTE DELIVERED ON ARMS ANDLETTERS
CHAPTER XXXIX WHEREIN THE CAPTIVE RELATES HIS LIFE AND ADVENTURES
CHAPTER XL IN WHICH THE STORY OF THE CAPTIVE IS CONTINUED
CHAPTER XLI IN WHICH THE CAPTIVE STILL CONTINUES HIS ADVENTURES
CHAPTER XLII WHICH TREATS OF WHAT FURTHER TOOK PLACE IN THE INN, AND OF SEVERAL OTHERTHINGS WORTH KNOWING
CHAPTER XLIII WHEREIN IS RELATED THE PLEASANT STORY OF THE MULETEER, TOGETHER WITH OTHERSTRANGE THINGS THAT CAME TO PASS IN THE INN
CHAPTER XLIV IN WHICH ARE CONTINUED THE UNHEARD-OF ADVENTURES OF THE INN
CHAPTER XLV IN WHICH THE DOUBTFUL QUESTION OF MAMBRINO’S HELMET AND THE PACK-SADDLE ISFINALLY SETTLED, WITH OTHER ADVENTURES THAT OCCURRED IN TRUTH AND EARNEST
CHAPTER XLVI OF THE END OF THE NOTABLE ADVENTURE OF THE OFFICERS OF THE HOLYBROTHERHOOD; AND OF THE GREAT FEROCITY OF OUR WORTHY KNIGHT, DON QUIXOTE
CHAPTER XLVII OF THE STRANGE MANNER IN WHICH DON QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA WAS CARRIED AWAYENCHANTED, TOGETHER WITH OTHER REMARKABLE INCIDENTS
CHAPTER XLVIII IN WHICH THE CANON PURSUES THE SUBJECT OF THE BOOKS OF CHIVALRY, WITHOTHER MATTERS WORTHY OF HIS WIT
CHAPTER XLIX WHICH TREATS OF THE SHREWD CONVERSATION WHICH SANCHO PANZA HELD WITH HISMASTER DON QUIXOTE
CHAPTER L OF THE SHREWD CONTROVERSY WHICH DON QUIXOTE AND THE CANON HELD, TOGETHERWITH OTHER INCIDENTS
CHAPTER LI WHICH DEALS WITH WHAT THE GOATHERD TOLD THOSE WHO WERE CARRYING OFF DONQUIXOTE
CHAPTER LII OF THE QUARREL THAT DON QUIXOTE HAD WITH THE GOATHERD, TOGETHER WITH THERARE ADVENTURE OF THE PENITENTS, WHICH WITH AN EXPENDITURE OF SWEAT HEBROUGHT TO A HAPPY CONCLUSION
Volume II
THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE
CHAPTER I OF THE INTERVIEW THE CURATE AND THE BARBER HAD WITH DON QUIXOTE ABOUT HISMALADY
CHAPTER II WHICH TREATS OF THE NOTABLE ALTERCATION WHICH SANCHO PANZA HAD WITH DONQUIXOTE’S NIECE, AND HOUSEKEEPER, TOGETHER WITH OTHER DROLL MATTERS
CHAPTER III OF THE LAUGHABLE CONVERSATION THAT PASSED BETWEEN DON QUIXOTE, SANCHOPANZA, AND THE BACHELOR SAMSON CARRASCO
CHAPTER IV IN WHICH SANCHO PANZA GIVES A SATISFACTORY REPLY TO THE DOUBTS ANDQUESTIONS OF THE BACHELOR SAMSON CARRASCO, TOGETHER WITH OTHER MATTERSWORTH KNOWING AND TELLING
CHAPTER V OF THE SHREWD AND DROLL CONVERSATION THAT PASSED BETWEEN SANCHO PANZA ANDHIS WIFE TERESA PANZA, AND OTHER MATTERS WORTHY OF BEING DULY RECORDED
CHAPTER VI OF WHAT TOOK PLACE BETWEEN DON QUIXOTE AND HIS NIECE AND HOUSEKEEPER; ONEOF THE MOST IMPORTANT CHAPTERS IN THE WHOLE HISTORY
CHAPTER VII OF WHAT PASSED BETWEEN DON QUIXOTE AND HIS SQUIRE, TOGETHER WITH OTHERVERY NOTABLE INCIDENTS
CHAPTER VIII WHEREIN IS RELATED WHAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE ON HIS WAY TO SEE HIS LADYDULCINEA DEL TOBOSO
CHAPTER IX WHEREIN IS RELATED WHAT WILL BE SEEN THERE
CHAPTER X WHEREIN IS RELATED THE CRAFTY DEVICE SANCHO ADOPTED TO ENCHANT THE LADYDULCINEA, AND OTHER INCIDENTS AS LUDICROUS AS THEY ARE TRUE
CHAPTER XI OF THE STRANGE ADVENTURE WHICH THE VALIANT DON QUIXOTE HAD WITH THE CAR ORCART OF “THE CORTES OF DEATH”
CHAPTER XII OF THE STRANGE ADVENTURE WHICH BEFELL THE VALIANT DON QUIXOTE WITH THEBOLD KNIGHT OF THE MIRRORS
CHAPTER XIII IN WHICH IS CONTINUED THE ADVENTURE OF THE KNIGHT OF THE GROVE, TOGETHERWITH THE SENSIBLE, ORIGINAL, AND TRANQUIL COLLOQUY THAT PASSED BETWEEN THETWO SQUIRES
CHAPTER XIV WHEREIN IS CONTINUED THE ADVENTURE OF THE KNIGHT OF THE GROVE
CHAPTER XV WHEREIN IT IS TOLD AND KNOWN WHO THE KNIGHT OF THE MIRRORS AND HIS SQUIREWERE
CHAPTER XVI OF WHAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE WITH A DISCREET GENTLEMAN OF LA MANCHA
CHAPTER XVII WHEREIN IS SHOWN THE FURTHEST AND HIGHEST POINT WHICH THE UNEXAMPLEDCOURAGE OF DON QUIXOTE REACHED OR COULD REACH; TOGETHER WITH THE HAPPILYACHIEVED ADVENTURE OF THE LIONS
CHAPTER XVIII OF WHAT HAPPENED DON QUIXOTE IN THE CASTLE OR HOUSE OF THE KNIGHT OF THEGREEN GABAN, TOGETHER WITH OTHER MATTERS OUT OF THE COMMON
CHAPTER XIX IN WHICH IS RELATED THE ADVENTURE OF THE ENAMOURED SHEPHERD, TOGETHER WITHOTHER TRULY DROLL INCIDENTS
CHAPTER XX WHEREIN AN ACCOUNT IS GIVEN OF THE WEDDING OF CAMACHO THE RICH, TOGETHERWITH THE INCIDENT OF BASILIO THE POOR
CHAPTER XXI IN WHICH CAMACHO’S WEDDING IS CONTINUED, WITH OTHER DELIGHTFULINCIDENTS
CHAPTER XXII WHEREIN IS RELATED THE GRAND ADVENTURE OF THE CAVE OF MONTESINOS IN THEHEART OF LA MANCHA, WHICH THE VALIANT DON QUIXOTE BROUGHT TO A HAPPYTERMINATION
CHAPTER XXIII OF THE WONDERFUL THINGS THE INCOMPARABLE DON QUIXOTE SAID HE SAW IN THEPROFOUND CAVE OF MONTESINOS, THE IMPOSSIBILITY AND MAGNITUDE OF WHICHCAUSE THIS ADVENTURE TO BE DEEMED APOCRYPHAL
CHAPTER XXIV WHEREIN ARE RELATED A THOUSAND TRIFLING MATTERS, AS TRIVIAL AS THEY ARENECESSARY TO THE RIGHT UNDERSTANDING OF THIS GREAT HISTORY
CHAPTER XXV WHEREIN IS SET DOWN THE BRAYING ADVENTURE, AND THE DROLL ONE OF THEPUPPET-SHOWMAN, TOGETHER WITH THE MEMORABLE DIVINATIONS OF THE DIVININGAPE
CHAPTER XXVI WHEREIN IS CONTINUED THE DROLL ADVENTURE OF THE PUPPET-SHOWMAN, TOGETHERWITH OTHER THINGS IN TRUTH RIGHT GOOD
CHAPTER XXVII WHEREIN IT IS SHOWN WHO MASTER PEDRO AND HIS APE WERE, TOGETHER WITH THEMISHAP DON QUIXOTE HAD IN THE BRAYING ADVENTURE, WHICH HE DID NOT CONCLUDEAS HE WOULD HAVE LIKED OR AS HE HAD EXPECTED
CHAPTER XXVIII OF MATTERS THAT BENENGELI SAYS HE WHO READS THEM WILL KNOW, IF HE READSTHEM WITH ATTENTION
CHAPTER XXIX OF THE FAMOUS ADVENTURE OF THE ENCHANTED BARK
CHAPTER XXX OF DON QUIXOTE’S ADVENTURE WITH A FAIR HUNTRESS
CHAPTER XXXI WHICH TREATS OF MANY AND GREAT MATTERS
CHAPTER XXXII OF THE REPLY DON QUIXOTE GAVE HIS CENSURER, WITH OTHER INCIDENTS, GRAVEAND DROLL
CHAPTER XXXIII OF THE DELECTABLE DISCOURSE WHICH THE DUCHESS AND HER DAMSELS HELD WITHSANCHO PANZA, WELL WORTH READING AND NOTING
CHAPTER XXXIV WHICH RELATES HOW THEY LEARNED THE WAY IN WHICH THEY WERE TO DISENCHANTTHE PEERLESS DULCINEA DEL TOBOSO, WHICH IS ONE OF THE RAREST ADVENTURES INTHIS BOOK
CHAPTER XXXV WHEREIN IS CONTINUED THE INSTRUCTION GIVEN TO DON QUIXOTE TOUCHING THEDISENCHANTMENT OF DULCINEA, TOGETHER WITH OTHER MARVELLOUS INCIDENTS
CHAPTER XXXVI WHEREIN IS RELATED THE STRANGE AND UNDREAMT-OF ADVENTURE OF THE DISTRESSEDDUENNA, ALIAS THE COUNTESS TRIFALDI, TOGETHER WITH A LETTER WHICH SANCHOPANZA WROTE TO HIS WIFE, TERESA PANZA
CHAPTER XXXVII WHEREIN IS CONTINUED THE NOTABLE ADVENTURE OF THE DISTRESSED DUENNA
CHAPTER XXXVIII WHEREIN IS TOLD THE DISTRESSED DUENNA’S TALE OF HER MISFORTUNES
CHAPTER XXXIX IN WHICH THE TRIFALDI CONTINUES HER MARVELLOUS AND MEMORABLE STORY
CHAPTER XL OF MATTERS RELATING AND BELONGING TO THIS ADVENTURE AND TO THIS MEMORABLEHISTORY
CHAPTER XLI OF THE ARRIVAL OF CLAVILEÑO AND THE END OF THIS PROTRACTED ADVENTURE
CHAPTER XLII OF THE COUNSELS WHICH DON QUIXOTE GAVE SANCHO PANZA BEFORE HE SET OUT TOGOVERN THE ISLAND, TOGETHER WITH OTHER WELL-CONSIDERED MATTERS
CHAPTER XLIII OF THE SECOND SET OF COUNSELS DON QUIXOTE GAVE SANCHO PANZA
CHAPTER XLIV HOW SANCHO PANZA WAS CONDUCTED TO HIS GOVERNMENT, AND OF THE STRANGEADVENTURE THAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE IN THE CASTLE
CHAPTER XLV OF HOW THE GREAT SANCHO PANZA TOOK POSSESSION OF HIS ISLAND, AND OF HOW HEMADE A BEGINNING IN GOVERNING
CHAPTER XLVI OF THE TERRIBLE BELL AND CAT FRIGHT THAT DON QUIXOTE GOT IN THE COURSE OFTHE ENAMOURED ALTISIDORA’S WOOING
CHAPTER XLVII WHEREIN IS CONTINUED THE ACCOUNT OF HOW SANCHO PANZA CONDUCTED HIMSELF INHIS GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER XLVIII OF WHAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE WITH DOÑA RODRIGUEZ, THE DUCHESS’SDUENNA, TOGETHER WITH OTHER OCCURRENCES WORTHY OF RECORD AND ETERNALREMEMBRANCE
CHAPTER XLIX OF WHAT HAPPENED SANCHO IN MAKING THE ROUND OF HIS ISLAND
CHAPTER L WHEREIN IS SET FORTH WHO THE ENCHANTERS AND EXECUTIONERS WERE WHO FLOGGEDTHE DUENNA AND PINCHED DON QUIXOTE, AND ALSO WHAT BEFELL THE PAGE WHOCARRIED THE LETTER TO TERESA PANZA, SANCHO PANZA’S WIFE
CHAPTER LI OF THE PROGRESS OF SANCHO’S GOVERNMENT, AND OTHER SUCH ENTERTAININGMATTERS
CHAPTER LII WHEREIN IS RELATED THE ADVENTURE OF THE SECOND DISTRESSED OR AFFLICTEDDUENNA, OTHERWISE CALLED DOÑA RODRIGUEZ
CHAPTER LIII OF THE TROUBLOUS END AND TERMINATION SANCHO PANZA’S GOVERNMENT CAMETO
CHAPTER LIV WHICH DEALS WITH MATTERS RELATING TO THIS HISTORY AND NO OTHER
CHAPTER LV OF WHAT BEFELL SANCHO ON THE ROAD, AND OTHER THINGS THAT CANNOT BESURPASSED
CHAPTER LVI OF THE PRODIGIOUS AND UNPARALLELED BATTLE THAT TOOK PLACE BETWEEN DONQUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA AND THE LACQUEY TOSILOS IN DEFENCE OF THE DAUGHTER OFDOÑA RODRIGUEZ
CHAPTER LVII WHICH TREATS OF HOW DON QUIXOTE TOOK LEAVE OF THE DUKE, AND OF WHATFOLLOWED WITH THE WITTY AND IMPUDENT ALTISIDORA, ONE OF THE DUCHESS’SDAMSELS
CHAPTER LVIII WHICH TELLS HOW ADVENTURES CAME CROWDING ON DON QUIXOTE IN SUCH NUMBERSTHAT THEY GAVE ONE ANOTHER NO BREATHING-TIME
CHAPTER LIX WHEREIN IS RELATED THE STRANGE THING, WHICH MAY BE REGARDED AS ANADVENTURE, THAT HAPPENED DON QUIXOTE
CHAPTER LX OF WHAT HAPPENED DON QUIXOTE ON HIS WAY TO BARCELONA
CHAPTER LXI OF WHAT HAPPENED DON QUIXOTE ON ENTERING BARCELONA, TOGETHER WITH OTHERMATTERS THAT PARTAKE OF THE TRUE RATHER THAN OF THE INGENIOUS
CHAPTER LXII WHICH DEALS WITH THE ADVENTURE OF THE ENCHANTED HEAD, TOGETHER WITH OTHERTRIVIAL MATTERS WHICH CANNOT BE LEFT UNTOLD
CHAPTER LXIII OF THE MISHAP THAT BEFELL SANCHO PANZA THROUGH THE VISIT TO THE GALLEYS,AND THE STRANGE ADVENTURE OF THE FAIR MORISCO
CHAPTER LXIV TREATING OF THE ADVENTURE WHICH GAVE DON QUIXOTE MORE UNHAPPINESS THAN ALLTHAT HAD HITHERTO BEFALLEN HIM
CHAPTER LXV WHEREIN IS MADE KNOWN WHO THE KNIGHT OF THE WHITE MOON WAS; LIKEWISE DONGREGORIO’S RELEASE, AND OTHER EVENTS
CHAPTER LXVI WHICH TREATS OF WHAT HE WHO READS WILL SEE, OR WHAT HE WHO HAS IT READ TOHIM WILL HEAR
CHAPTER LXVII OF THE RESOLUTION DON QUIXOTE FORMED TO TURN SHEPHERD AND TAKE TO A LIFEIN THE FIELDS WHILE THE YEAR FOR WHICH HE HAD GIVEN HIS WORD WAS RUNNINGITS COURSE; WITH OTHER EVENTS TRULY DELECTABLE AND HAPPY
CHAPTER LXVIII OF THE BRISTLY ADVENTURE THAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTE
CHAPTER LXIX OF THE STRANGEST AND MOST EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURE THAT BEFELL DON QUIXOTEIN THE WHOLE COURSE OF THIS GREAT HISTORY
CHAPTER LXX WHICH FOLLOWS SIXTY-NINE AND DEALS WITH MATTERS INDISPENSABLE FOR THECLEAR COMPREHENSION OF THIS HISTORY
CHAPTER LXXI OF WHAT PASSED BETWEEN DON QUIXOTE AND HIS SQUIRE SANCHO ON THE WAY TOTHEIR VILLAGE
CHAPTER LXXII OF HOW DON QUIXOTE AND SANCHO REACHED THEIR VILLAGE
CHAPTER LXXIII OF THE OMENS DON QUIXOTE HAD AS HE ENTERED HIS OWN VILLAGE, AND OTHERINCIDENTS THAT EMBELLISH AND GIVE A COLOUR TO THIS GREAT HISTORY
CHAPTER LXXIV OF HOW DON QUIXOTE FELL SICK, AND OF THE WILL HE MADE, AND HOW HE DIED

TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE

ABOUT THIS TRANSLATION

It was with considerable reluctance that I abandoned in favour of the present undertaking what had long been a favourite project: that of a new edition of Shelton’s “Don Quixote,” which has now become a somewhat scarce book. There are some—and I confess myself to be one—for whom Shelton’s racy old version, with all its defects, has a charm that no modern translation, however skilful or correct, could possess. Shelton had the inestimable advantage of belonging to the same generation as Cervantes; “Don Quixote” had to him a vitality that only a contemporary could feel; it cost him no dramatic effort to see things as Cervantes saw them; there is no anachronism in his language; he put the Spanish of Cervantes into the English of Shakespeare. Shakespeare himself most likely knew the book; he may have carried it home with him in his saddle-bags to Stratford on one of his last journeys, and under the mulberry tree at New Place joined hands with a kindred genius in its pages.

But it was soon made plain to me that to hope for even a moderate popularity for Shelton was vain. His fine old crusted English would, no doubt, be relished by a minority, but it would be only by a minority. His warmest admirers must admit that he is not a satisfactory representative of Cervantes. His translation of the First Part was very hastily made and was never revised by him. It has all the freshness and vigour, but also a full measure of the faults, of a hasty production. It is often very literal—barbarously literal frequently—but just as often very loose. He had evidently a good colloquial knowledge of Spanish, but apparently not much more. It never seems to occur to him that the same translation of a word will not suit in every case.

It is often said that we have no satisfactory translation of “Don Quixote.” To those who are familiar with the original, it savours of truism or platitude to say so, for in truth there can be no thoroughly satisfactory translation of “Don Quixote” into English or any other language. It is not that the Spanish idioms are so utterly unmanageable, or that the untranslatable words, numerous enough no doubt, are so superabundant, but rather that the sententious terseness to which the humour of the book owes its flavour is peculiar to Spanish, and can at best be only distantly imitated in any other tongue.

The history of our English translations of “Don Quixote” is instructive. Shelton’s, the first in any language, was made, apparently, about 1608, but not published till 1612. This of course was only the First Part. It has been asserted that the Second, published in 1620, is not the work of Shelton, but there is nothing to support the assertion save the fact that it has less spirit, less of what we generally understand by “go,” about it than the first, which would be only natural if the first were the work of a young man writing currente calamo, and the second that of a middle-aged man writing for a bookseller. On the other hand, it is closer and more literal, the style is the same, the very same translations, or mistranslations, occur in it, and it is extremely unlikely that a new translator would, by suppressing his name, have allowed Shelton to carry off the credit.

In 1687 John Phillips, Milton’s nephew, produced a “Don Quixote” “made English,” he says, “according to the humour of our modern language.” His “Quixote” is not so much a translation as a travesty, and a travesty that for coarseness, vulgarity, and buffoonery is almost unexampled even in the literature of that day.

Ned Ward’s “Life and Notable Adventures of Don Quixote, merrily translated into Hudibrastic Verse” (1700), can scarcely be reckoned a translation, but it serves to show the light in which “Don Quixote” was regarded at the time.

A further illustration may be found in the version published in 1712 by Peter Motteux, who had then recently combined tea-dealing with literature. It is described as “translated from the original by several hands,” but if so all Spanish flavour has entirely evaporated under the manipulation of the several hands. The flavour that it has, on the other hand, is distinctly Franco-cockney. Anyone who compares it carefully with the original will have little doubt that it is a concoction from Shelton and the French of Filleau de Saint Martin, eked out by borrowings from Phillips, whose mode of treatment it adopts. It is, to be sure, more decent and decorous, but it treats “Don Quixote” in the same fashion as a comic book that cannot be made too comic.

To attempt to improve the humour of “Don Quixote” by an infusion of cockney flippancy and facetiousness, as Motteux’s operators did, is not merely an impertinence like larding a sirloin of prize beef, but an absolute falsification of the spirit of the book, and it is a proof of the uncritical way in which “Don Quixote” is generally read that this worse than worthless translation—worthless as failing to represent, worse than worthless as misrepresenting—should have been favoured as it has been.

It had the effect, however, of bringing out a translation undertaken and executed in a very different spirit, that of Charles Jervas, the portrait painter, and friend of Pope, Swift, Arbuthnot, and Gay. Jervas has been allowed little credit for his work, indeed it may be said none, for it is known to the world in general as Jarvis’s. It was not published until after his death, and the printers gave the name according to the current pronunciation of the day. It has been the most freely used and the most freely abused of all the translations. It has seen far more editions than any other, it is admitted on all hands to be by far the most faithful, and yet nobody seems to have a good word to say for it or for its author. Jervas no doubt prejudiced readers against himself in his preface, where among many true words about Shelton, Stevens, and Motteux, he rashly and unjustly charges Shelton with having translated not from the Spanish, but from the Italian version of Franciosini, which did not appear until ten years after Shelton’s first volume. A suspicion of incompetence, too, seems to have attached to him because he was by profession a painter and a mediocre one (though he has given us the best portrait we have of Swift), and this may have been strengthened by Pope’s remark that he “translated ‘Don Quixote’ without understanding Spanish.” He has been also charged with borrowing from Shelton, whom he disparaged. It is true that in a few difficult or obscure passages he has followed Shelton, and gone astray with him; but for one case of this sort, there are fifty where he is right and Shelton wrong. As for Pope’s dictum, anyone who examines Jervas’s version carefully, side by side with the original, will see that he was a sound Spanish scholar, incomparably a better one than Shelton, except perhaps in mere colloquial Spanish. He was, in fact, an honest, faithful, and painstaking translator, and he has left a version which, whatever its shortcomings may be, is singularly free from errors and mistranslations.

The charge against it is that it is stiff, dry—“wooden” in a word,—and no one can deny that there is a foundation for it. But it may be pleaded for Jervas that a good deal of this rigidity is due to his abhorrence of the light, flippant, jocose style of his predecessors. He was one of the few, very few, translators that have shown any apprehension of the unsmiling gravity which is the essence of Quixotic humour; it seemed to him a crime to bring Cervantes forward smirking and grinning at his own good things, and to this may be attributed in a great measure the ascetic abstinence from everything savouring of liveliness which is the characteristic of his translation. In most modern editions, it should be observed, his style has been smoothed and smartened, but without any reference to the original Spanish, so that if he has been made to read more agreeably he has also been robbed of his chief merit of fidelity.

Smollett’s version, published in 1755, may be almost counted as one of these. At any rate it is plain that in its construction Jervas’s translation was very freely drawn upon, and very little or probably no heed given to the original Spanish.

The later translations may be dismissed in a few words. George Kelly’s, which appeared in 1769, “printed for the Translator,” was an impudent imposture, being nothing more than Motteux’s version with a few of the words, here and there, artfully transposed; Charles Wilmot’s (1774) was only an abridgment like Florian’s, but not so skilfully executed; and the version published by Miss Smirke in 1818, to accompany her brother’s plates, was merely a patchwork production made out of former translations. On the latest, Mr. A. J. Duffield’s, it would be in every sense of the word impertinent in me to offer an opinion here. I had not even seen it when the present undertaking was proposed to me, and since then I may say vidi tantum, having for obvious reasons resisted the temptation which Mr. Duffield’s reputation and comely volumes hold out to every lover of Cervantes.

From the foregoing history of our translations of “Don Quixote,” it will be seen that there are a good many people who, provided they get the mere narrative with its full complement of facts, incidents, and adventures served up to them in a form that amuses them, care very little whether that form is the one in which Cervantes originally shaped his ideas. On the other hand, it is clear that there are many who desire to have not merely the story he tells, but the story as he tells it, so far at least as differences of idiom and circumstances permit, and who will give a preference to the conscientious translator, even though he may have acquitted himself somewhat awkwardly.

But after all there is no real antagonism between the two classes; there is no reason why what pleases the one should not please the other, or why a translator who makes it his aim to treat “Don Quixote” with the respect due to a great classic, should not be as acceptable even to the careless reader as the one who treats it as a famous old jest-book. It is not a question of caviare to the general, or, if it is, the fault rests with him who makes so. The method by which Cervantes won the ear of the Spanish people ought, mutatis mutandis, to be equally effective with the great majority of English readers. At any rate, even if there are readers to whom it is a matter of indifference, fidelity to the method is as much a part of the translator’s duty as fidelity to the matter. If he can please all parties, so much the better; but his first duty is to those who look to him for as faithful a representation of his author as it is in his power to give them, faithful to the letter so long as fidelity is practicable, faithful to the spirit so far as he can make it.

My purpose here is not to dogmatise on the rules of translation, but to indicate those I have followed, or at least tried to the best of my ability to follow, in the present instance. One which, it seems to me, cannot be too rigidly followed in translating “Don Quixote,” is to avoid everything that savours of affectation. The book itself is, indeed, in one sense a protest against it, and no man abhorred it more than Cervantes. For this reason, I think, any temptation to use antiquated or obsolete language should be resisted. It is after all an affectation, and one for which there is no warrant or excuse. Spanish has probably undergone less change since the seventeenth century than any language in Europe, and by far the greater and certainly the best part of “Don Quixote” differs but little in language from the colloquial Spanish of the present day. Except in the tales and Don Quixote’s speeches, the translator who uses the simplest and plainest everyday language will almost always be the one who approaches nearest to the original.

Seeing that the story of “Don Quixote” and all its characters and incidents have now been for more than two centuries and a half familiar as household words in English mouths, it seems to me that the old familiar names and phrases should not be changed without good reason. Of course a translator who holds that “Don Quixote” should receive the treatment a great classic deserves, will feel himself bound by the injunction laid upon the Morisco in Chap. IX not to omit or add anything.

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