Don Quixote de la Mancha

By Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; Charles Jarvis et al. | Go to book overview

piece. He had a white wand in his hand, to point to the several figures as they entered. All the folks in the inn being placed, some standing opposite to the show, and Don Quixote, Sancho, the page, and the scholar, seated in the best places, the drugger-man* began to say what will be heard or seen by those who will be at the pains of hearing or seeing the following chapter.


CHAPTER 26
Wherein is contained the pleasant adventure of the puppet-player, with sundry other matters, in truth sufficiently good.

'TYRIANS and Trojans were all silent':* I mean, that all the spectators of the show hung upon the mouth of the declarer of its wonders, when from within the scene they heard the sound of a number of drums and trumpets, and several discharges of artillery; which noise was soon over, and immediately the boy raised his voice and said:

'This true history, here represented to you, gentlemen, is taken word for word from the French chronicles and Spanish ballads, which are in everybody's mouth, and sung by the boys up and down the streets. It treats how Don Gayferos freed his wife Melisendra,* who was a prisoner in Spain, in the hands of the Moors, in the city of Sansueña, now called Saragossa; and there you may see how Don Gayferos is playing at tables,* according to the ballad:

'Gayferos now at tables plays, Forgetful of his lady dear,* &c.

'That personage, who appears yonder with a crown on his head, and a sceptre in his hands, is the emperor Charles the Great, the supposed father of Melisendra, who, being vexed to see the indolence and negligence of his son-in-law, comes forth to chide him; and, pray, mark with what vehemency and earnestness he rates him, that one would think he had a mind to give him half a dozen raps over the pate with his sceptre: yea, there are authors who say he actually gave them, and sound ones too: and, after having said sundry things about the danger his honour ran, in not procuring the liberty of his spouse, it is reported, he said to him: "I have told you enough of it, look to it".* Pray observe, gentlemen, how the emperor turns his back, and

-638-

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