The History of That Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quijote de la Mancha

By Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra; Burton Raffel | Go to book overview

page, who had neither wealth nor reputation, aside from his well-known gratitude to that best of friends, Darinel. He who sang so wonderfully of her beauty, the great Ariosto, either because he didn't dare or because he didn't care to sing of what happened to her, after her despicable surrender — because they couldn't have been particularly creditable matters — simply dropped her, saying:

And how she became the Queen of China,
Maybe a better poet could sing it better.

And this was surely very like a prophecy, for poets are also known as vates [seers, soothsayers], which means 'prophets.' You can see how true this was, indeed, from the fact that, later, here in Spain, a celebrated Andalusian poet sang and lamented over her tears, and another famous, not to say unique Spanish poet sang of her beauty." *

"But tell me, Don Quijote," said the barber, "hasn't there been a poet, among all those who have praised her, who has satirized this Lady Angélica?"

"It's easy enough to believe," replied Don Quijote, "that if Sacripante or Roland had been poets, they'd have given the damsel what for, for it's both appropriate and quite natural for poets who've been scorned and rejected by the false-hearted ladies — whether imaginary or real — they've chosen as the mistresses of their thoughts, to take revenge with satires and lampoons, though that's an unworthy vengeance for a generous heart, but as yet I have never seen any poems that slander the Lady Angélica, who turned the world on its head."

"Very strange!" exclaimed the priest.

But just then they heard Don Quijote's niece and his housekeeper, who had drifted away some time ago, shouting in the courtyard outside, and they all ran toward the sound.


Chapter Two

— which deals with Sancho Panza's remarkable quarrel
with Don Quijote's niece and housekeeper, together with other
delightful matters

Our historian tells us that the shouts and cries which Don Quijote, the priest, and the barber heard came from the niece and the housekeeper, and that they were hurled at Sancho Panza, who was struggling to get in to see Don Quijote, while the two women were holding the door against him.

"Vagabond — what are you doing here? Go home, brother, because you're the one, not anyone else, who's been wheedling and coaxing my lord and carrying him off on these trips to nowhere."

To which Sancho replied:

____________________
*
The Andalusian poet was Barahona de Soto; his poem was Las Lágrimas de Angélica, Angelica's Tears, 1586; the Spanish poet was Lope de Vega, whose poem was Hermosura de Angélica, Angelica's Beauty, 1602.

-360-

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