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Chapter 13

  • **In which is ended the story of the shepherdess Marcela, with othe_ncidents**
  • Bit hardly had day begun to show itself through the balconies of the east,
  • when five of the six goatherds came to rouse Don Quixote and tell him that i_e was still of a mind to go and see the famous burial of Chrysostom the_ould bear him company. Don Quixote, who desired nothing better, rose an_rdered Sancho to saddle and pannel at once, which he did with all despatch,
  • and with the same they all set out forthwith. They had not gone a quarter of _eague when at the meeting of two paths they saw coming towards them some si_hepherds dressed in black sheepskins and with their heads crowned wit_arlands of cypress and bitter oleander. Each of them carried a stout holl_taff in his hand, and along with them there came two men of quality o_orseback in handsome travelling dress, with three servants on foo_ccompanying them. Courteous salutations were exchanged on meeting, an_nquiring one of the other which way each party was going, they learned tha_ll were bound for the scene of the burial, so they went on all together.
  • One of those on horseback addressing his companion said to him, "It seems t_e, Senor Vivaldo, that we may reckon as well spent the delay we shall incu_n seeing this remarkable funeral, for remarkable it cannot but be judging b_he strange things these shepherds have told us, of both the dead shepherd an_omicide shepherdess."
  • "So I think too," replied Vivaldo, "and I would delay not to say a day, bu_our, for the sake of seeing it."
  • Don Quixote asked them what it was they had heard of Marcela and Chrysostom.
  • The traveller answered that the same morning they had met these shepherds, an_eeing them dressed in this mournful fashion they had asked them the reason o_heir appearing in such a guise; which one of them gave, describing th_trange behaviour and beauty of a shepherdess called Marcela, and the loves o_any who courted her, together with the death of that Chrysostom to whos_urial they were going. In short, he repeated all that Pedro had related t_on Quixote.
  • This conversation dropped, and another was commenced by him who was calle_ivaldo asking Don Quixote what was the reason that led him to go armed i_hat fashion in a country so peaceful. To which Don Quixote replied, "Th_ursuit of my calling does not allow or permit me to go in any other fashion;
  • easy life, enjoyment, and repose were invented for soft courtiers, but toil,
  • unrest, and arms were invented and made for those alone whom the world call_nights-errant, of whom I, though unworthy, am the least of all."
  • The instant they heard this all set him down as mad, and the better to settl_he point and discover what kind of madness his was, Vivaldo proceeded to as_im what knights-errant meant.
  • "Have not your worships," replied Don Quixote, "read the annals and historie_f England, in which are recorded the famous deeds of King Arthur, whom we i_ur popular Castilian invariably call King Artus, with regard to whom it is a_ncient tradition, and commonly received all over that kingdom of Grea_ritain, that this king did not die, but was changed by magic art into _aven, and that in process of time he is to return to reign and recover hi_ingdom and sceptre; for which reason it cannot be proved that from that tim_o this any Englishman ever killed a raven? Well, then, in the time of thi_ood king that famous order of chivalry of the Knights of the Round Table wa_nstituted, and the amour of Don Lancelot of the Lake with the Queen Guinever_ccurred, precisely as is there related, the go-between and confidante therei_eing the highly honourable dame Quintanona, whence came that ballad so wel_nown and widely spread in our Spain—
  • O never surely was there knight
  • So served by hand of dame,
  • As served was he Sir Lancelot hight
  • When he from Britain came—
  • with all the sweet and delectable course of his achievements in love and war.
  • Handed down from that time, then, this order of chivalry went on extending an_preading itself over many and various parts of the world; and in it, famou_nd renowned for their deeds, were the mighty Amadis of Gaul with all his son_nd descendants to the fifth generation, and the valiant Felixmarte o_ircania, and the never sufficiently praised Tirante el Blanco, and in our ow_ays almost we have seen and heard and talked with the invincible knight Do_elianis of Greece. This, then, sirs, is to be a knight-errant, and what _ave spoken of is the order of his chivalry, of which, as I have already said,
  • I, though a sinner, have made profession, and what the aforesaid knight_rofessed that same do I profess, and so I go through these solitudes an_ilds seeking adventures, resolved in soul to oppose my arm and person to th_ost perilous that fortune may offer me in aid of the weak and needy."
  • By these words of his the travellers were able to satisfy themselves of Do_uixote's being out of his senses and of the form of madness that overmastere_im, at which they felt the same astonishment that all felt on first becomin_cquainted with it; and Vivaldo, who was a person of great shrewdness and of _ively temperament, in order to beguile the short journey which they said wa_equired to reach the mountain, the scene of the burial, sought to give him a_pportunity of going on with his absurdities. So he said to him, "It seems t_e, Senor Knight-errant, that your worship has made choice of one of the mos_ustere professions in the world, and I imagine even that of the Carthusia_onks is not so austere."
  • "As austere it may perhaps be," replied our Don Quixote, "but so necessary fo_he world I am very much inclined to doubt. For, if the truth is to be told,
  • the soldier who executes what his captain orders does no less than the captai_imself who gives the order. My meaning, is, that churchmen in peace and quie_ray to Heaven for the welfare of the world, but we soldiers and knights carr_nto effect what they pray for, defending it with the might of our arms an_he edge of our swords, not under shelter but in the open air, a target fo_he intolerable rays of the sun in summer and the piercing frosts of winter.
  • Thus are we God's ministers on earth and the arms by which his justice is don_herein. And as the business of war and all that relates and belongs to i_annot be conducted without exceeding great sweat, toil, and exertion, i_ollows that those who make it their profession have undoubtedly more labou_han those who in tranquil peace and quiet are engaged in praying to God t_elp the weak. I do not mean to say, nor does it enter into my thoughts, tha_he knight-errant's calling is as good as that of the monk in his cell; _ould merely infer from what I endure myself that it is beyond a doubt a mor_aborious and a more belaboured one, a hungrier and thirstier, a wretcheder,
  • raggeder, and lousier; for there is no reason to doubt that the knights-erran_f yore endured much hardship in the course of their lives. And if some o_hem by the might of their arms did rise to be emperors, in faith it cost the_ear in the matter of blood and sweat; and if those who attained to that ran_ad not had magicians and sages to help them they would have been completel_aulked in their ambition and disappointed in their hopes."
  • "That is my own opinion," replied the traveller; "but one thing among man_thers seems to me very wrong in knights-errant, and that is that when the_ind themselves about to engage in some mighty and perilous adventure in whic_here is manifest danger of losing their lives, they never at the moment o_ngaging in it think of commending themselves to God, as is the duty of ever_ood Christian in like peril; instead of which they commend themselves t_heir ladies with as much devotion as if these were their gods, a thing whic_eems to me to savour somewhat of heathenism."
  • "Sir," answered Don Quixote, "that cannot be on any account omitted, and th_night-errant would be disgraced who acted otherwise: for it is usual an_ustomary in knight-errantry that the knight-errant, who on engaging in an_reat feat of arms has his lady before him, should turn his eyes towards he_oftly and lovingly, as though with them entreating her to favour and protec_im in the hazardous venture he is about to undertake, and even though no on_ear him, he is bound to say certain words between his teeth, commendin_imself to her with all his heart, and of this we have innumerable instance_n the histories. Nor is it to be supposed from this that they are to omi_ommending themselves to God, for there will be time and opportunity for doin_o while they are engaged in their task."
  • "For all that," answered the traveller, "I feel some doubt still, becaus_ften I have read how words will arise between two knights-errant, and fro_ne thing to another it comes about that their anger kindles and they whee_heir horses round and take a good stretch of field, and then without any mor_do at the top of their speed they come to the charge, and in mid-career the_re wont to commend themselves to their ladies; and what commonly comes of th_ncounter is that one falls over the haunches of his horse pierced through an_hrough by his antagonist's lance, and as for the other, it is only by holdin_n to the mane of his horse that he can help falling to the ground; but I kno_ot how the dead man had time to commend himself to God in the course of suc_apid work as this; it would have been better if those words which he spent i_ommending himself to his lady in the midst of his career had been devoted t_is duty and obligation as a Christian. Moreover, it is my belief that al_nights-errant have not ladies to commend themselves to, for they are not al_n love."
  • "That is impossible," said Don Quixote: "I say it is impossible that ther_ould be a knight-errant without a lady, because to such it is as natural an_roper to be in love as to the heavens to have stars: most certainly n_istory has been seen in which there is to be found a knight-errant without a_mour, and for the simple reason that without one he would be held n_egitimate knight but a bastard, and one who had gained entrance into th_tronghold of the said knighthood, not by the door, but over the wall like _hief and a robber."
  • "Nevertheless," said the traveller, "if I remember rightly, I think I hav_ead that Don Galaor, the brother of the valiant Amadis of Gaul, never had an_pecial lady to whom he might commend himself, and yet he was not the les_steemed, and was a very stout and famous knight."
  • To which our Don Quixote made answer, "Sir, one solitary swallow does not mak_ummer; moreover, I know that knight was in secret very deeply in love;
  • besides which, that way of falling in love with all that took his fancy was _atural propensity which he could not control. But, in short, it is ver_anifest that he had one alone whom he made mistress of his will, to whom h_ommended himself very frequently and very secretly, for he prided himself o_eing a reticent knight."
  • "Then if it be essential that every knight-errant should be in love," said th_raveller, "it may be fairly supposed that your worship is so, as you are o_he order; and if you do not pride yourself on being as reticent as Do_alaor, I entreat you as earnestly as I can, in the name of all this compan_nd in my own, to inform us of the name, country, rank, and beauty of you_ady, for she will esteem herself fortunate if all the world knows that she i_oved and served by such a knight as your worship seems to be."
  • At this Don Quixote heaved a deep sigh and said, "I cannot say positivel_hether my sweet enemy is pleased or not that the world should know I serv_er; I can only say in answer to what has been so courteously asked of me,
  • that her name is Dulcinea, her country El Toboso, a village of La Mancha, he_ank must be at least that of a princess, since she is my queen and lady, an_er beauty superhuman, since all the impossible and fanciful attributes o_eauty which the poets apply to their ladies are verified in her; for he_airs are gold, her forehead Elysian fields, her eyebrows rainbows, her eye_uns, her cheeks roses, her lips coral, her teeth pearls, her neck alabaster,
  • her bosom marble, her hands ivory, her fairness snow, and what modest_onceals from sight such, I think and imagine, as rational reflection can onl_xtol, not compare."
  • "We should like to know her lineage, race, and ancestry," said Vivaldo.
  • To which Don Quixote replied, "She is not of the ancient Roman Curtii, Caii,
  • or Scipios, nor of the modern Colonnas or Orsini, nor of the Moncadas o_equesenes of Catalonia, nor yet of the Rebellas or Villanovas of Valencia;
  • Palafoxes, Nuzas, Rocabertis, Corellas, Lunas, Alagones, Urreas, Foces, o_urreas of Aragon; Cerdas, Manriques, Mendozas, or Guzmans of Castile;
  • Alencastros, Pallas, or Meneses of Portugal; but she is of those of El Tobos_f La Mancha, a lineage that though modern, may furnish a source of gentl_lood for the most illustrious families of the ages that are to come, and thi_et none dispute with me save on the condition that Zerbino placed at the foo_f the trophy of Orlando's arms, saying,
  • 'These let none move Who dareth not his might with Roland prove.'"
  • "Although mine is of the Cachopins of Laredo," said the traveller, "I will no_enture to compare it with that of El Toboso of La Mancha, though, to tell th_ruth, no such surname has until now ever reached my ears."
  • "What!" said Don Quixote, "has that never reached them?"
  • The rest of the party went along listening with great attention to th_onversation of the pair, and even the very goatherds and shepherds perceive_ow exceedingly out of his wits our Don Quixote was. Sancho Panza alon_hought that what his master said was the truth, knowing who he was and havin_nown him from his birth; and all that he felt any difficulty in believing wa_hat about the fair Dulcinea del Toboso, because neither any such name nor an_uch princess had ever come to his knowledge though he lived so close to E_oboso. They were going along conversing in this way, when they saw descendin_ gap between two high mountains some twenty shepherds, all clad in sheepskin_f black wool, and crowned with garlands which, as afterwards appeared, were,
  • some of them of yew, some of cypress. Six of the number were carrying a bie_overed with a great variety of flowers and branches, on seeing which one o_he goatherds said, "Those who come there are the bearers of Chrysostom'_ody, and the foot of that mountain is the place where he ordered them to bur_im." They therefore made haste to reach the spot, and did so by the tim_hose who came had laid the bier upon the ground, and four of them with shar_ickaxes were digging a grave by the side of a hard rock. They greeted eac_ther courteously, and then Don Quixote and those who accompanied him turne_o examine the bier, and on it, covered with flowers, they saw a dead body i_he dress of a shepherd, to all appearance of one thirty years of age, an_howing even in death that in life he had been of comely features and gallan_earing. Around him on the bier itself were laid some books, and severa_apers open and folded; and those who were looking on as well as those wh_ere opening the grave and all the others who were there preserved a strang_ilence, until one of those who had borne the body said to another, "Observ_arefully, Ambrosia if this is the place Chrysostom spoke of, since you ar_nxious that what he directed in his will should be so strictly complie_ith."
  • "This is the place," answered Ambrosia "for in it many a time did my poo_riend tell me the story of his hard fortune. Here it was, he told me, that h_aw for the first time that mortal enemy of the human race, and here, too, fo_he first time he declared to her his passion, as honourable as it wa_evoted, and here it was that at last Marcela ended by scorning and rejectin_im so as to bring the tragedy of his wretched life to a close; here, i_emory of misfortunes so great, he desired to be laid in the bowels of eterna_blivion." Then turning to Don Quixote and the travellers he went on to say,
  • "That body, sirs, on which you are looking with compassionate eyes, was th_bode of a soul on which Heaven bestowed a vast share of its riches. That i_he body of Chrysostom, who was unrivalled in wit, unequalled in courtesy,
  • unapproached in gentle bearing, a phoenix in friendship, generous withou_imit, grave without arrogance, gay without vulgarity, and, in short, first i_ll that constitutes goodness and second to none in all that makes u_isfortune. He loved deeply, he was hated; he adored, he was scorned; he wooe_ wild beast, he pleaded with marble, he pursued the wind, he cried to th_ilderness, he served ingratitude, and for reward was made the prey of deat_n the mid-course of life, cut short by a shepherdess whom he sought t_mmortalise in the memory of man, as these papers which you see could full_rove, had he not commanded me to consign them to the fire after havin_onsigned his body to the earth."
  • "You would deal with them more harshly and cruelly than their owner himself,"
  • said Vivaldo, "for it is neither right nor proper to do the will of one wh_njoins what is wholly unreasonable; it would not have been reasonable i_ugustus Caesar had he permitted the directions left by the divine Mantuan i_is will to be carried into effect. So that, Senor Ambrosia while you consig_our friend's body to the earth, you should not consign his writings t_blivion, for if he gave the order in bitterness of heart, it is not righ_hat you should irrationally obey it. On the contrary, by granting life t_hose papers, let the cruelty of Marcela live for ever, to serve as a warnin_n ages to come to all men to shun and avoid falling into like danger; or _nd all of us who have come here know already the story of this your love-
  • stricken and heart-broken friend, and we know, too, your friendship, and th_ause of his death, and the directions he gave at the close of his life; fro_hich sad story may be gathered how great was the cruelty of Marcela, the lov_f Chrysostom, and the loyalty of your friendship, together with the en_waiting those who pursue rashly the path that insane passion opens to thei_yes. Last night we learned the death of Chrysostom and that he was to b_uried here, and out of curiosity and pity we left our direct road an_esolved to come and see with our eyes that which when heard of had so move_ur compassion, and in consideration of that compassion and our desire t_rove it if we might by condolence, we beg of you, excellent Ambrosia, or a_east I on my own account entreat you, that instead of burning those paper_ou allow me to carry away some of them."
  • And without waiting for the shepherd's answer, he stretched out his hand an_ook up some of those that were nearest to him; seeing which Ambrosio said,
  • "Out of courtesy, senor, I will grant your request as to those you have taken,
  • but it is idle to expect me to abstain from burning the remainder."
  • Vivaldo, who was eager to see what the papers contained, opened one of them a_nce, and saw that its title was "Lay of Despair."
  • Ambrosio hearing it said, "That is the last paper the unhappy man wrote; an_hat you may see, senor, to what an end his misfortunes brought him, read i_o that you may be heard, for you will have time enough for that while we ar_aiting for the grave to be dug."
  • "I will do so very willingly," said Vivaldo; and as all the bystanders wer_qually eager they gathered round him, and he, reading in a loud voice, foun_hat it ran as follows.