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Chapter 63

  • **Of the mishap that befell Sancho Panza through the visit to the galleys, an_he strange adventure of the fair Morisco**
  • Profound were Don Quixote's reflections on the reply of the enchanted head,
  • not one of them, however, hitting on the secret of the trick, but al_oncentrated on the promise, which he regarded as a certainty, of Dulcinea'_isenchantment. This he turned over in his mind again and again with grea_atisfaction, fully persuaded that he would shortly see its fulfillment; an_s for Sancho, though, as has been said, he hated being a governor, still h_ad a longing to be giving orders and finding himself obeyed once more; thi_s the misfortune that being in authority, even in jest, brings with it.
  • To resume; that afternoon their host Don Antonio Moreno and his two friends,
  • with Don Quixote and Sancho, went to the galleys. The commandant had bee_lready made aware of his good fortune in seeing two such famous persons a_on Quixote and Sancho, and the instant they came to the shore all the galley_truck their awnings and the clarions rang out. A skiff covered with ric_arpets and cushions of crimson velvet was immediately lowered into the water,
  • and as Don Quixote stepped on board of it, the leading galley fired he_angway gun, and the other galleys did the same; and as he mounted th_tarboard ladder the whole crew saluted him (as is the custom when a personag_f distinction comes on board a galley) by exclaiming "Hu, hu, hu," thre_imes. The general, for so we shall call him, a Valencian gentleman of rank,
  • gave him his hand and embraced him, saying, "I shall mark this day with _hite stone as one of the happiest I can expect to enjoy in my lifetime, sinc_ have seen Senor Don Quixote of La Mancha, pattern and image wherein we se_ontained and condensed all that is worthy in knight-errantry."
  • Don Quixote delighted beyond measure with such a lordly reception, replied t_im in words no less courteous. All then proceeded to the poop, which was ver_andsomely decorated, and seated themselves on the bulwark benches; th_oatswain passed along the gangway and piped all hands to strip, which the_id in an instant. Sancho, seeing such a number of men stripped to the skin,
  • was taken aback, and still more when he saw them spread the awning so briskl_hat it seemed to him as if all the devils were at work at it; but all thi_as cakes and fancy bread to what I am going to tell now. Sancho was seated o_he captain's stage, close to the aftermost rower on the right-hand side. He,
  • previously instructed in what he was to do, laid hold of Sancho, hoisting hi_p in his arms, and the whole crew, who were standing ready, beginning on th_ight, proceeded to pass him on, whirling him along from hand to hand and fro_ench to bench with such rapidity that it took the sight out of poor Sancho'_yes, and he made quite sure that the devils themselves were flying away wit_im; nor did they leave off with him until they had sent him back along th_eft side and deposited him on the poop; and the poor fellow was left bruise_nd breathless and all in a sweat, and unable to comprehend what it was tha_ad happened to him.
  • Don Quixote when he saw Sancho's flight without wings asked the general i_his was a usual ceremony with those who came on board the galleys for th_irst time; for, if so, as he had no intention of adopting them as _rofession, he had no mind to perform such feats of agility, and if anyon_ffered to lay hold of him to whirl him about, he vowed to God he would kic_is soul out; and as he said this he stood up and clapped his hand upon hi_word. At this instant they struck the awning and lowered the yard with _rodigious rattle. Sancho thought heaven was coming off its hinges and goin_o fall on his head, and full of terror he ducked it and buried it between hi_nees; nor were Don Quixote's knees altogether under control, for he too shoo_ little, squeezed his shoulders together and lost colour. The crew the_oisted the yard with the same rapidity and clatter as when they lowered it,
  • all the while keeping silence as though they had neither voice nor breath. Th_oatswain gave the signal to weigh anchor, and leaping upon the middle of th_angway began to lay on to the shoulders of the crew with his courbash o_hip, and to haul out gradually to sea.
  • When Sancho saw so many red feet (for such he took the oars to be) moving al_ogether, he said to himself, "It's these that are the real chanted things,
  • and not the ones my master talks of. What can those wretches have done to b_o whipped; and how does that one man who goes along there whistling dare t_hip so many? I declare this is hell, or at least purgatory!"
  • Don Quixote, observing how attentively Sancho regarded what was going on, sai_o him, "Ah, Sancho my friend, how quickly and cheaply might you finish of_he disenchantment of Dulcinea, if you would strip to the waist and take you_lace among those gentlemen! Amid the pain and sufferings of so many you woul_ot feel your own much; and moreover perhaps the sage Merlin would allow eac_f these lashes, being laid on with a good hand, to count for ten of thos_hich you must give yourself at last."
  • The general was about to ask what these lashes were, and what was Dulcinea'_isenchantment, when a sailor exclaimed, "Monjui signals that there is a_ared vessel off the coast to the west."
  • On hearing this the general sprang upon the gangway crying, "Now then, m_ons, don't let her give us the slip! It must be some Algerine corsai_rigantine that the watchtower signals to us." The three others immediatel_ame alongside the chief galley to receive their orders. The general ordere_wo to put out to sea while he with the other kept in shore, so that in thi_ay the vessel could not escape them. The crews plied the oars driving th_alleys so furiously that they seemed to fly. The two that had put out to sea,
  • after a couple of miles sighted a vessel which, so far as they could make out,
  • they judged to be one of fourteen or fifteen banks, and so she proved. As soo_s the vessel discovered the galleys she went about with the object and in th_ope of making her escape by her speed; but the attempt failed, for the chie_alley was one of the fastest vessels afloat, and overhauled her so rapidl_hat they on board the brigantine saw clearly there was no possibility o_scaping, and the rais therefore would have had them drop their oars and giv_hemselves up so as not to provoke the captain in command of our galleys t_nger. But chance, directing things otherwise, so ordered it that just as th_hief galley came close enough for those on board the vessel to hear th_houts from her calling on them to surrender, two Toraquis, that is to say tw_urks, both drunken, that with a dozen more were on board the brigantine,
  • discharged their muskets, killing two of the soldiers that lined the sides o_ur vessel. Seeing this the general swore he would not leave one of those h_ound on board the vessel alive, but as he bore down furiously upon her sh_lipped away from him underneath the oars. The galley shot a good way ahead;
  • those on board the vessel saw their case was desperate, and while the galle_as coming about they made sail, and by sailing and rowing once more tried t_heer off; but their activity did not do them as much good as their rashnes_id them harm, for the galley coming up with them in a little more than half _ile threw her oars over them and took the whole of them alive. The other tw_alleys now joined company and all four returned with the prize to the beach,
  • where a vast multitude stood waiting for them, eager to see what they brough_ack. The general anchored close in, and perceived that the viceroy of th_ity was on the shore. He ordered the skiff to push off to fetch him, and th_ard to be lowered for the purpose of hanging forthwith the rais and the res_f the men taken on board the vessel, about six-and-thirty in number, al_mart fellows and most of them Turkish musketeers. He asked which was the rai_f the brigantine, and was answered in Spanish by one of the prisoners (wh_fterwards proved to be a Spanish renegade), "This young man, senor that yo_ee here is our rais," and he pointed to one of the handsomest and mos_allant-looking youths that could be imagined. He did not seem to be twent_ears of age.
  • "Tell me, dog," said the general, "what led thee to kill my soldiers, whe_hou sawest it was impossible for thee to escape? Is that the way to behave t_hief galleys? Knowest thou not that rashness is not valour? Faint prospect_f success should make men bold, but not rash."
  • The rais was about to reply, but the general could not at that moment liste_o him, as he had to hasten to receive the viceroy, who was now coming o_oard the galley, and with him certain of his attendants and some of th_eople.
  • "You have had a good chase, senor general," said the viceroy.
  • "Your excellency shall soon see how good, by the game strung up to this yard,"
  • replied the general.
  • "How so?" returned the viceroy.
  • "Because," said the general, "against all law, reason, and usages of war the_ave killed on my hands two of the best soldiers on board these galleys, and _ave sworn to hang every man that I have taken, but above all this youth wh_s the rais of the brigantine," and he pointed to him as he stood with hi_ands already bound and the rope round his neck, ready for death.
  • The viceroy looked at him, and seeing him so well-favoured, so graceful, an_o submissive, he felt a desire to spare his life, the comeliness of the yout_urnishing him at once with a letter of recommendation. He therefor_uestioned him, saying, "Tell me, rais, art thou Turk, Moor, or renegade?"
  • To which the youth replied, also in Spanish, "I am neither Turk, nor Moor, no_enegade."
  • "What art thou, then?" said the viceroy.
  • "A Christian woman," replied the youth.
  • "A woman and a Christian, in such a dress and in such circumstances! It i_ore marvellous than credible," said the viceroy.
  • "Suspend the execution of the sentence," said the youth; "your vengeance wil_ot lose much by waiting while I tell you the story of my life."
  • What heart could be so hard as not to be softened by these words, at any rat_o far as to listen to what the unhappy youth had to say? The general bade hi_ay what he pleased, but not to expect pardon for his flagrant offence. Wit_his permission the youth began in these words.
  • "Born of Morisco parents, I am of that nation, more unhappy than wise, upo_hich of late a sea of woes has poured down. In the course of our misfortune _as carried to Barbary by two uncles of mine, for it was in vain that _eclared I was a Christian, as in fact I am, and not a mere pretended one, o_utwardly, but a true Catholic Christian. It availed me nothing with thos_harged with our sad expatriation to protest this, nor would my uncles believ_t; on the contrary, they treated it as an untruth and a subterfuge set up t_nable me to remain behind in the land of my birth; and so, more by force tha_f my own will, they took me with them. I had a Christian mother, and a fathe_ho was a man of sound sense and a Christian too; I imbibed the Catholic fait_ith my mother's milk, I was well brought up, and neither in word nor in dee_id I, I think, show any sign of being a Morisco. To accompany these virtues,
  • for such I hold them, my beauty, if I possess any, grew with my growth; an_reat as was the seclusion in which I lived it was not so great but that _oung gentleman, Don Gaspar Gregorio by name, eldest son of a gentleman who i_ord of a village near ours, contrived to find opportunities of seeing me. Ho_e saw me, how we met, how his heart was lost to me, and mine not kept fro_im, would take too long to tell, especially at a moment when I am in dread o_he cruel cord that threatens me interposing between tongue and throat; I wil_nly say, therefore, that Don Gregorio chose to accompany me in ou_anishment. He joined company with the Moriscoes who were going forth fro_ther villages, for he knew their language very well, and on the voyage h_truck up a friendship with my two uncles who were carrying me with them; fo_y father, like a wise and far-sighted man, as soon as he heard the firs_dict for our expulsion, quitted the village and departed in quest of som_efuge for us abroad. He left hidden and buried, at a spot of which I alon_ave knowledge, a large quantity of pearls and precious stones of great value,
  • together with a sum of money in gold cruzadoes and doubloons. He charged me o_o account to touch the treasure, if by any chance they expelled us before hi_eturn. I obeyed him, and with my uncles, as I have said, and others of ou_indred and neighbours, passed over to Barbary, and the place where we took u_ur abode was Algiers, much the same as if we had taken it up in hell itself.
  • The king heard of my beauty, and report told him of my wealth, which was i_ome degree fortunate for me. He summoned me before him, and asked me wha_art of Spain I came from, and what money and jewels I had. I mentioned th_lace, and told him the jewels and money were buried there; but that the_ight easily be recovered if I myself went back for them. All this I told him,
  • in dread lest my beauty and not his own covetousness should influence him.
  • While he was engaged in conversation with me, they brought him word that i_ompany with me was one of the handsomest and most graceful youths that coul_e imagined. I knew at once that they were speaking of Don Gaspar Gregorio,
  • whose comeliness surpasses the most highly vaunted beauty. I was troubled whe_ thought of the danger he was in, for among those barbarous Turks a fai_outh is more esteemed than a woman, be she ever so beautiful. The kin_mmediately ordered him to be brought before him that he might see him, an_sked me if what they said about the youth was true. I then, almost as i_nspired by heaven, told him it was, but that I would have him to know it wa_ot a man, but a woman like myself, and I entreated him to allow me to go an_ress her in the attire proper to her, so that her beauty might be seen t_erfection, and that she might present herself before him with les_mbarrassment. He bade me go by all means, and said that the next day w_hould discuss the plan to be adopted for my return to Spain to carry away th_idden treasure. I saw Don Gaspar, I told him the danger he was in if he le_t be seen he was a man, I dressed him as a Moorish woman, and that sam_fternoon I brought him before the king, who was charmed when he saw him, an_esolved to keep the damsel and make a present of her to the Grand Signor; an_o avoid the risk she might run among the women of his seraglio, an_istrustful of himself, he commanded her to be placed in the house of som_oorish ladies of rank who would protect and attend to her; and thither he wa_aken at once. What we both suffered (for I cannot deny that I love him) ma_e left to the imagination of those who are separated if they love one anothe_early. The king then arranged that I should return to Spain in thi_rigantine, and that two Turks, those who killed your soldiers, shoul_ccompany me. There also came with me this Spanish renegade"—and here sh_ointed to him who had first spoken—"whom I know to be secretly a Christian,
  • and to be more desirous of being left in Spain than of returning to Barbary.
  • The rest of the crew of the brigantine are Moors and Turks, who merely serv_s rowers. The two Turks, greedy and insolent, instead of obeying the order_e had to land me and this renegade in Christian dress (with which we cam_rovided) on the first Spanish ground we came to, chose to run along the coas_nd make some prize if they could, fearing that if they put us ashore first,
  • we might, in case of some accident befalling us, make it known that th_rigantine was at sea, and thus, if there happened to be any galleys on th_oast, they might be taken. We sighted this shore last night, and knowin_othing of these galleys, we were discovered, and the result was what you hav_een. To sum up, there is Don Gregorio in woman's dress, among women, i_mminent danger of his life; and here am I, with hands bound, in expectation,
  • or rather in dread, of losing my life, of which I am already weary. Here,
  • sirs, ends my sad story, as true as it is unhappy; all I ask of you is t_llow me to die like a Christian, for, as I have already said, I am not to b_harged with the offence of which those of my nation are guilty;" and sh_tood silent, her eyes filled with moving tears, accompanied by plenty fro_he bystanders. The viceroy, touched with compassion, went up to her withou_peaking and untied the cord that bound the hands of the Moorish girl.
  • But all the while the Morisco Christian was telling her strange story, a_lderly pilgrim, who had come on board of the galley at the same time as th_iceroy, kept his eyes fixed upon her; and the instant she ceased speaking h_hrew himself at her feet, and embracing them said in a voice broken by sob_nd sighs, "O Ana Felix, my unhappy daughter, I am thy father Ricote, com_ack to look for thee, unable to live without thee, my soul that thou art!"
  • At these words of his, Sancho opened his eyes and raised his head, which h_ad been holding down, brooding over his unlucky excursion; and looking at th_ilgrim he recognised in him that same Ricote he met the day he quitted hi_overnment, and felt satisfied that this was his daughter. She being no_nbound embraced her father, mingling her tears with his, while he addressin_he general and the viceroy said, "This, sirs, is my daughter, more unhappy i_er adventures than in her name. She is Ana Felix, surnamed Ricote, celebrate_s much for her own beauty as for my wealth. I quitted my native land i_earch of some shelter or refuge for us abroad, and having found one i_ermany I returned in this pilgrim's dress, in the company of some othe_erman pilgrims, to seek my daughter and take up a large quantity of treasur_ had left buried. My daughter I did not find, the treasure I found and hav_ith me; and now, in this strange roundabout way you have seen, I find th_reasure that more than all makes me rich, my beloved daughter. If ou_nnocence and her tears and mine can with strict justice open the door t_lemency, extend it to us, for we never had any intention of injuring you, no_o we sympathise with the aims of our people, who have been justly banished."
  • "I know Ricote well," said Sancho at this, "and I know too that what he say_bout Ana Felix being his daughter is true; but as to those other particular_bout going and coming, and having good or bad intentions, I say nothing."
  • While all present stood amazed at this strange occurrence the general said,
  • "At any rate your tears will not allow me to keep my oath; live, fair An_elix, all the years that heaven has allotted you; but these rash insolen_ellows must pay the penalty of the crime they have committed;" and with tha_e gave orders to have the two Turks who had killed his two soldiers hanged a_nce at the yard-arm. The viceroy, however, begged him earnestly not to han_hem, as their behaviour savoured rather of madness than of bravado. Th_eneral yielded to the viceroy's request, for revenge is not easily taken i_old blood. They then tried to devise some scheme for rescuing Don Gaspa_regorio from the danger in which he had been left. Ricote offered for tha_bject more than two thousand ducats that he had in pearls and gems; the_roposed several plans, but none so good as that suggested by the renegad_lready mentioned, who offered to return to Algiers in a small vessel of abou_ix banks, manned by Christian rowers, as he knew where, how, and when h_ould and should land, nor was he ignorant of the house in which Don Gaspa_as staying. The general and the viceroy had some hesitation about placin_onfidence in the renegade and entrusting him with the Christians who were t_ow, but Ana Felix said she could answer for him, and her father offered to g_nd pay the ransom of the Christians if by any chance they should not b_orthcoming. This, then, being agreed upon, the viceroy landed, and Do_ntonio Moreno took the fair Morisco and her father home with him, the vicero_harging him to give them the best reception and welcome in his power, whil_n his own part he offered all that house contained for their entertainment;
  • so great was the good-will and kindliness the beauty of Ana Felix had infuse_nto his heart.