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

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

conquest, they have transformed your husband's face into this, which you say belongs to the duke's footman. Listen to me and, in spite of my enemies' wickedness, marry him, for without a doubt he is truly the man you wanted for your husband."

Hearing this, the duke was so wracked with laughter that his anger disappeared, and he said:

"Such exceedingly strange things happen to my lord Don Quijote, that I'm tempted to believe this footman of mine is really someone else; but let's try this way of getting around the problem: let the wedding wait for two weeks, if that's agreeable, and let's keep this person about whom we're so unsure under lock and key, and we'll see whether or not he turns back into who he really is, because I don't imagine these magicians' ill-will toward Don Quijote will last quite that long, especially once they see how little good all these tricks and transformations have done them."

"Oh my lord!" said Sancho, "these scoundrels are always changing one thing into something else, when it comes to my master. A knight my master conquered, a while ago, called the Knight of the Mirrors, was turned into Samson Carrasco, the college graduate, who lives in our village and is our great friend, and for me they turned my lady Dulcinea del Toboso into a plain country girl, and so I guess this footman will have to live and die a footman, the rest of his life."

To which Doña Rodriguez's daughter said:

"Whoever this is who's asked me to marry him, I thank him, because I'd rather be the legal wife of a footman than the rejected lover and deceived victim of a gentleman — and the man who seduced me is no gentleman."

In the end, everything that had been said and done ended in Tosilos being locked up, to see how his transformation turned out; Don Quijote's triumph was universally hailed, though most of the audience were sorely disappointed, because the combatants they'd so eagerly awaited had not smashed each other to pieces, just as little boys are disappointed when the man they've come to see hanged never makes his appearance, either because the judge or the prosecuting attorney has pardoned him. Everyone went home; the duke and Don Quijote went into the castle; Tosilos went to be locked away; and Doña Rodríguez and her daughter were happy, seeing that, one way or another, their suit would end in marriage — a consummation for which Tosilos was every bit as eager.


Chapter Fifty-Seven

— which deals with Don Quijote's farewell to the duke and what
happened with the wise but bold Altisidora, the duchess' maid

Don Quijote had long since decided to break away from the idleness in which he was living, there in the castle, for he thought himself mightily missed, being thus lazily shut away among all the endless comforts and pleasures furnished him, as a knight errant, by the duke and duchess, and he considered himself bound to give a close accounting to Heaven for all such idleness and sequestering of himself, so one day he begged to be

-646-

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