Letters In Don Quixote Novel
Letters In Don Quixote Novel
Don Quixote contains 17 letters
Cardenio’s Letter to Luscinda (Chapter 23, page 190)
Your false promise and my true misfortune carry me to a place from whence you will sooner hear the news of my death than the sound of my complaints. You rejected me, ungrateful woman, for one more wealthy but not more worthy than I; yet if your virtue were a valued treasure, I should not now be envying another’s good fortune or lamenting my own misfortune. What your beauty raised up, your deeds have laid low: your beauty made me believe you were an angel, your deeds make me realize you are a woman. Peace be with you, you have sent war to me, and may heaven keep your husband’s deceptions concealed forever, so that you are not struck with remorse for what you have done, and I do not reap the revenge that I do not desire.
Letter from Don Quixote to Dulcinea del Toboso (Chapter 25, page 217)
Sovereign and noble lady,
One sore-wounded by the dart of the absence and lacerated to the very fabric of his heart, O sweetest Dulcinea Del Toboso, wishes you good health that he does not enjoy. If your beauteousness scorns me, if your worth does not favor me, if your disdain is my humiliation, I shall ill be able, albeit I am well furnished with longanimity, to suffer a grief that is not merely intense but protracted. My good squire Sancho will render you a full account, O lovely ingrate, O beloved enemy of mine, of the state to which I am reduced for your sake. If it be your wish to succour me, I am yours, and if not, do what you will, for my ending my life I shall satisfy your cruelty and my desire.
Yours until death.
The Knight of the Sorry Face
Don Quixote’s Warrant-Letter For Three Donkeys (Chapter 25, page 218)
On receipt of this my first donkey-warrant, please order the three of the five that I left at home in your charge to be given to my squire Sancho Panza. Which three donkey’s I hereby order to be delivered to him and duly paid for, in return for the like number received from him here; and this bill, together with his receipt, will be sufficient for this transaction. Given in the heart of the Sierra Morena on the twenty-second of August of the current year.
Lucinda’s Letters to Cardenio (Chapter 27, page 235, 237)
Luscinda to Cardenio
Each day I find qualities in you that oblige me and compel me to hold you in even higher esteem; and so, if you should wish to relieve me of this obligation without causing me to forfeit my honour, you can easily do so. I have a father who knows you and loves me, and will not be going against my wishes when he accedes to those which you may justly have, if you esteem me, as you say and I believe.
The promise that Don Fernando made you, to persuade your father to speak to mine, has been kept, but more for his gratification then for your benefit. You must know, sir, that he has asked for my hand in marriage, and my father, persuaded that Don Fernando will be a better match, has given his consent so eagerly that the wedding is to take place two days from now, in such secret that the only witnesses will be the heavens and my household. My present state is something that you can imagine for yourself; whether it is in your interest to come is something that you must decide for yourself; and whether I love you or not is something that the outcome of this affair will [illustrate] for you. God grant that this may reach your hand before mine is joined with that of one who keeps his promises so badly.
Camila’s Letter to Anselmo (Chapter 34. Page 312).
Just as it is commonly said that an army is in a bad way without its general and a castle without its warden, so I say that a young married woman is very much worse off without her husband, unless the most pressing of reasons forces him to be absent. I am in such a bad way without you, and so unable to bear your absence, that if you do not come home soon I shall have to go and stay for a while at my parents’ house, even though that would leave yours unguarded; because the guard whom you left me, if that is what is meant to be, seems more concerned with his own pleasure than with your interest; and since you are an intelligent man I need say no more, nor would it be right for me to do so.
Anselmo’s Death-Bed Letter (Chapter 35, page 337)
A stupid and inappropriate desire has taken my life. If news of my death reaches Camila’s ears, I want her to know that I forgive her, because she was under no obligation to work miracles, nor had I any need to expect her to; and since I manufactured my own dishonor there is no cause to . . .
Lela Zoraida’s Letters (Chapter 40, page 373, 375)
First Letter to Captain Viedma
When I was a little girl, my father had a female slave who taught me Christian worship in my own language and told me many things about Lela Marien. The Christian slave died and I know that it wasn’t to fire she went but to Allah, because since then I have seen her twice, when she told me to go to the land of the Christians to see Lela Marien, who loved me very much. I don’t know how I can go. Many Christians have I seen through this window, and none but you has seemed a gentlemen. I’m very beautiful, and young, and I have much money to take with me. See if you can find a way for us to go, and there you’ll be my husband if you want, and if you don’t I don’t mind because Lela Marien will give me a husband. I’ve written this myself; be careful who you allow to read it: don’t trust any moor, because they are all treacherous. I’m very worried about this, and please don’t tell anyone, because if my father finds out he’ll throw me down a well and cover me over with stones. I shall fasten a thread onto my cane; you tie your answer to it; and if there isn’t anybody to write Arabic for you, answer me in sign language, and Lela Marien will make me understand you. May she and Allah keep you, and this cross I kiss again and again, because it is what the slave told me to do.
Second Letter to Captain Viedma
I don’t know, sir, how to arrange for us to go to Spain, and Lela Marien hasn’t told me, even though I asked her; what can be done is for me to send you through this window, many, many gold coins; then ransom yourself and your friends, and one of you go to Christian lands and buy a boat and come back for the others; and I shall be in my father’s villa by the Bab Azzan gate, next to the seashore, where I must spend all the summer with my father and my servants. From there, at night, you’ll be able to take me to the boat without fear of discovery; and don’t forget that you are my husband, because otherwise I shall prey to Lela Marien to punish you. If there is no one you can trust to go for the boat, ransom yourself and go, because I know that you’re more likely to come back than anybody else, since you’re a gentlemen and a Christian. Try to find out where the villa is, and when you walk about the roof terrace I shall know that the bagnio is empty and I shall give you lots of money. May Allah keep you well.
Captain Viedma’s Letter to Lela Zoraida (Chapter 40, page 374)
May the true Allah keep you, my lady, and also that blessed Marien who is the true Mother of God and has filled your heart with the desire to go to the lands of the Christians, because she loves you dearly. Pray to her to reveal how you can carry out what she has commanded, because she is so good that she will respond. For myself and all the other Christians here with me I can say that we will do everything we can for you, and die if necessary. Do not fail to write to me and tell me what you intend to do, because I will never fail to answer your letters: the great Allah has sent us a Christian captive who can speak and write your language well, as you can see from this letter. So you can, without fear, tell us anything you want. As for what you say about becoming my wife if you reach the lands of the Christians, I promise you as a good Christian that this shall be so; and remember that Christians keep their word better than Moors, May Allah and Marien, his mother, protect you, my lady.
Letter from Sancho Panza to his Wife Teresa Panza (Chapter 36, page 735, 736)
If I’ve had a good hiding, I’ve had some good riding upon a fine horse, as the thief said to the executioner, what I’m saying is that if I’ve been given some good governing, it’s cost me a good lashing. You won’t understand this, Teresa my dear, for the time being, but you will later on. I’ll have you know, Teresa, that I’ve decided you’ll go about a coach, because that’s the proper way ? any other way of going about it is like going on all fours. The wife of a governor is what you are, so just think about what the backbiting is going to be like! I’m sending you a green hunting outfit that my lady the Duchess gave me—make it up into a skirt and some bodices for our daughter. My master Don Quixote, according to what I’ve heard in these parts, is a sane madman and a funny fool, and I’m just as bad. We’ve been in the Cave of Montesinos, and the sage Merlin has got to lend a hand with disenchanting Dulcinea del Toboso, known as Aldonza Lorenzo where she comes from—with the three thousand three hundred lashes, minus five, that I’ve got to give myself she’ll be left disenchanted as the mother that bore her. You mustn’t tell anybody about this, because if you give gossip an hour’s start you’ll never overtake it. In a few days time I’m going off to my governing, where I’m really looking forward to making some money, because I’ve been told that all new governors go with the same idea—I’ll sniff about a bit and then I’ll tell you whether to come or not. The dun is well, and sends its fondest regards, and I’m not going to leave it, not even if they take me away to be the Great Turk. My lady the Duchess kisses your hands a thousand times—make sure you return the favor by kissing hers two thousand times, because my master says there’s nothing that costs less or comes cheaper than good manners. God hasn’t seen fit to let me have another travelling bag with a hundred escudos inside it, like the previous one, but don’t you worry about that, Teresa my dear, because the man who rings the alarm has put himself farthest from the harm, and it will come out in the wash when I am a governor, but it’s just that I’m very worried because I’ve been told that once I have a go at governing I’ll give my right arm to carry on, and if that’s so it isn’t such a good bargain after all, though it is true that invalids and one-armed people do not have a cushy little job as beggars—so one way or another you’re going to have riches and good fortune. May God grant you it, as he can, and keep me to serve you. From the castle, 20th July 1614.
Your husband and Governor,
The Duke’s Letter on Spying and Assassination (Chapter 47 page 799)
It has come to my knowledge, Senor Don Sancho Panza, that some enemies of mine and of your island are going to launch a furious assault on it one night; you must stay awake and alert, so as not to be taken unawares. I have also learned, from trustworthy spies, that four persons have entered the town in disguise to take your life, because they are afraid of your intelligence; keep your eyes open, be careful about who comes to speak to you, and do not eat any food that is given you as a present. I shall take care to assist you if you are in difficulties, and you must always act as one would expect a man of your caliber to act. From this town, on the sixteenth of August at four o’clock in the morning.
Letter From the Duchess to Teresa Panza (Chapter 50, pages 825, 826)
My dear Teresa,
Your husband’s most excellent qualities of goodness and cleverness have moved and indeed obliged me to ask my husband the Duke to give him the governorship of one of the many islands he possesses. I’m told he’s governing like a perfect angel, which makes me so very happy, and as a consequence my lord the Duke is happy as well, and so I give the most fulsome thanks to heaven that I wasn’t mistaken when I chose him for governorship; because I want Senora Teresa to know that it’s no easy matter to find an able governor nowadays, and may God trust me as well as Sancho governs.
With this I’m sending you, my dear, a string of corals with gold paternosters; I do wish they could have been pearls of the orient, but then it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it? The time will come when we’ll know each other personally and converse together, but only God knows the future. Give my kindest regards to your daughter Sanchita, and tell her from me to hold herself in readiness, because I intend to marry her to a man of high rank when she least expects it.
I’m told that there are fine fat acorns to be had in your village; do send me a couple of dozen of them, as it’s a gift I shall prize most highly, coming from you; and write me a long letter telling me how you are and how everything is with you; and if there is anything you need you only have to say so, and your every word will be my command, and God keep you. From this town.
Your ever long friend,
Letter From Don Quixote to Sancho Panza Governor of the Island of Barataria (Chapter 51, pages 834, 835, 836)
Whereas I was expecting to hear news of your negligence and your blunders friend Sancho, I have had reports of your intelligent behavior, for which I have given particular thanks to heaven, which can lift the needy out of the dunghill and turn fools into men of good sense. I am told that you govern as if you were a man and that you are a man as if you were an animal, because your behavior is so humble; and I want you to bear in mind, Sancho, that it is often advisable and necessary to oppose the humility of one’s heart for the sake of the dignity of one’s position; because the fine apparel worn by a person in a post of great responsibility must accord with the requirements of this post and not with the preferences of his own humble disposition. Wear good clothes: dress up a stick and it does not look like a stick. I am not saying that you should wear trinkets and regalia, because you are a judge, not a soldier, but that you should wear the clothes that your office requires, ensuring that they are clean and tidy.
To gain the goodwill of the people you govern there are two things that you must do, among others. In the first place, be polite to everybody, although I have already told you about that, and secondly try to ensure a plentiful supply of food, because nothing wearies the hearts of the poor as much as hunger and deprivation.
Do not publish too many edicts, and ensure that those you do publish are good ones and above all that they are observed and obeyed, for edicts that are not obeyed might as well not exist; they serve only to indicate that the ruler who has the intelligence and authority to publish them lacks the courage to enforce them and laws containing threats that are not carried out are like the log that was the king of the frogs, and that frightened them at first; but in time they came to scorn it and climb on top of it.
Be a father to virtue and a stepfather to vice. Do not always be severe, or always mild, but choose the middle way between these two extremes; herein lies the essence of wisdom.
Visit the prisons, the butchers’ shops and the markets, for the governors presence in such places is of the greatest importance: he is a comfort for the prisoners, who are led to expect an early release; he is a bogeyman for the butchers, who have to use accurate weights for awhile; and he is a bugbear for the market-women, for the same reason.
Do not show yourself to be covetous, a womanizer or a glutton, even if you are (which I do not believe to be the case); because as soon as the people and those who have dealings with you discover your weakness, they will concentrate their attacks on that point, until they topple you down into the depths of perdition.
Consider and reconsider, think and think again about the advice and instructions I wrote out for you before you left for your governorship, and you will see that you can find there, if you heed them, a contribution towards suffering the trials and tribulations that beset governors at every turn.
Write to your patrons to show how grateful you are; for ingratitude is the daughter of pride and one of the greatest sins there are, and the person who is grateful to those who have done him favours indicates thereby that he will also be grateful to god, who has done him and continues to do him so very many favours.
My lady the Duchess has sent a messenger with your outfit and another present to your wife Teresa Panza; we are expecting a reply at any moment.
I have been a little indisposed from a certain cat-clawing that I underwent at some slight expense to my nose, but it was nothing, for there are enchanters to ill-treat me but there are others to defend me.
Let me know whether that butler who is with you had anything to do with the Trifaldi affair, as you suspected; and keep me informed about everything that happens to you, because the distance separating us is so small; what is more, I intend to abandon this idle life that I am living, because I was not born for it.
A certain matter has arisen that will, I believe, cause me to fall out of favour with my lord and lady. But although this is of great concern to me, it is of no concern to me at all, because when all is said and done I must comply with my profession rather than with their pleasure, in accordance with what is often said amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas. I include this Latin maxim because I suppose that now you are a governor you will have learned that language. And God be with you and keep you from being pitied by anyone.
Don Quixote De La Mancha
Letter from Sancho Panza to Don Quixote de la Mancha (Chapter 51, pages 836, 837, 838)
I’m so busy with all the things I must deal with that I haven’t even got the time to scratch my head or cut my nails and so they’ve got very long, heaven help me. I’m only saying this, my dear master, to stop you from being worried because until now I haven’t written to tell you about how well or badly things are going for me in my governing, where I’m hungrier than when us two used to wander through the forests and the wilds.
My lord the Duke wrote to me the other day, warning me that some spies had come on to the island to kill me, and so far the only one I’ve discovered is a certain doctor who’s employed in this town to kill all the governors that come here, he’s called Dr. Pedro Recio and he’s from Vamos, and who wouldn’t fear death at his hands coming from a village with a name like that. This doctor says he doesn’t cure illnesses when people are ill, but stops them from getting ill in the first place, and the medicines he gives you are diets and more diets, until he reduces you to skin and bone, as if being thin wasn’t even worse than being overheated. In short, he’s starving me to death, and anyway I’m dying of dejection, because I thought I was coming to this government to eat hot food and drink cool wine and relax between sheets of Holland on feather beds, but the truth is I’ve come to do penance as if I was some hermit, and since I’m not doing it of my own free will I think I’m going to end up going straight to the devil.
So far all bribes I’ve refused and I haven’t caught sight of any dues, and I can’t think what’s the point of this, because I’ve been told that all the other governors that come to this island take lots of money from the islanders in gifts or loans even before they arrive, and that this is the normal practice with anyone who’s made a governor, not just here.
Last night when I was on my rounds I came across a beautiful young girl in men’s clothes and a brother of hers in woman’s clothes. My steward fell in love with the girl and choose her in his mind to be his wife, so he’s told me, and I chose the lad to be my son-in-law, so today both of us are going to put our plans into effect with their father a man called Diego de la Llana, a hidalgo and as much of an old Christian as anyone could want.
I visit the markets as you said and yesterday I came across a stallholder selling fresh, and I’d found that she mixed a bushel of new nuts with a bushel of old nuts empty and rotten—I confiscated them for the children in the orphanage, who won’t have any trouble sorting them out, and I sentenced her to not setting foot in the market for a fortnight. I’ve been told it was a brave decision, and I can tell you everyone here says there are people more wicked than these market-women, because they’re a shameless, heartless, brazen lot, and I can believe it too, to judge from the one’s I’ve seen in other towns.
What you say about my lady the Duchess writing to my wife Teresa Panza and sending her the present you mention makes me really pleased, and I’ll try to show how grateful I am when the time comes, and please kiss her hands for me and tell her from me that her kindness isn’t going to slip my mind, and I’ll give her proof of that. I wouldn’t want you to have any nasty rows with my lord and lady, because if you cross swords with them it’s clear that I’ll suffer for it, and it wouldn’t be right for you to advising me to be grateful and then not be grateful yourself to people who have done you all those kindnesses and treated you so royally in their castle.
The bit about catting I don’t understand but I suppose it must have been one of those nasty tricks that wicked enchanters keep playing on you, and I’ll find out when we meet.
I’d like to send you something, only I don’t know what, except for some enema tubes for using with bladders, they make very neat ones on this island, though if I last at this job I’ll find something to send, by hook or by crook.
If my wife Teresa Panza writes to me, you pay to have the letter brought here, because I’m longing to know how things are with my house, my wife and my children. And my God deliver you from evil-minded enchanters and bring me safe and sound out of this governing—though I doubt it, because I’ll be lucky to get out of here alive, the way I’m being treated by Dr Pedro Recio.
The Governor Sancho Panza
Letter from Teresa Panza to the Duchess (Chapter 52, pages 842, 843)
It made me really really happy, my lady to get the letter Your Grace wrote me, I’d been looking forward to it ever so much. The string of corals is a very fine one, and my husband’s hunting outfit’s every bit as good. Your Ladyship making my husband Sancho governor has cheered everyone in the village up to no end, even though nobody believes it, in particular the priest and Master Nicholas the barber and Sanson Carrasco the graduate—but I don’t care about that, because so long as it’s true, which it is, they can all say what they like, though to tell you the honest truth if it wasn’t for the corals and the outfit I wouldn’t have believed it myself, because in this village everyone thinks my husband’s a blockhead, and they can’t imagine what he could be any good at governing apart from a herd of goats. God grant it, and point him in the direction that’ll be best for his children.
I’ve decided, my dear lady, by your leave, not to sit here waiting for opportunity to knock twice, and to go up to the capital to loll about in a carriage and put the thousands of people who already envy me’s noses out of joint. So I’m asking Your Excellency to tell my husband to send me a bit of money, a good fair bit, everything’s dear in the capital—a loaf costs a real, and meat thirty maravedis a pound, it’s unbelievable. And if he doesn’t want me to go please tell him to say so in good time, my feet are itching to get on the road, because my friends and neighbors all tell me that if me and my daughter go about all proud and pompous in the capital my husband will get to be more well-known through me than me through him, because lots of people are bound to ask, ‘Who are those ladies in that coach?’ and then one of my servants will reply, ‘The wife and daughter of Sancho Panza, the Governor of the Island of Barataria,’ and in this way Sancho will get to be well-known, and I’ll be thought highly of, so let’s press on regardless.
There haven’t been any acorns in the village this year and I’m sorry as sorry can be about that, but all the same I’m sending Your Grace about half a gallon of acorns that I went into the woods to look for, and I couldn’t find any bigger—I’d have like them to be as big as ostrich eggs.
Don’t forget to write, Your High and Mightiness, and I’ll make sure to reply and tell you how I’m keeping and give you all the news from the village, where I’m praying to my Lord to look after Your Grace and not forget about me. My daughter Sancha and my son both kiss your hands.
Your servant, who’s even keener to see Your Ladyship than to write to you,
Letter from Teresa Panza to Her Husband Sancho Panza (Chapter 53, pages 843, 844)
I got your letter, dearest Sancho, and I can promise you and I can swear to you as a Catholic and as a Christian that I was within an inch of going mad, I was so happy. Look here, my dear—when I heard you’re a governor I thought I’d drop dead there and then from the sheer bliss of it, because as you well know they say sudden joy can kill you just as much as awful pain can. Your daughter Sancha was so happy she wetted herself without noticing what she had done. Here I was, with the outfit you sent in front of me, the corals my lady the Duchess sent round my neck, and the letters in my hands, the lad that brought it all standing there, and yet I really did think that everything I was seeing and touching was a dream—who’d have thought a goatherd could get to be a governor of islands? You know what my mother used to say, my dear, the longer we live the more we learn—and I’m only coming out with this because I’m hoping to learn a bit more if I live a few more years, and I’m not intending to stop until you’re an exciseman or a tax-collector, because although they’re jobs that send you straight to the devil if you take unfair advantage, the fact is that you do get your hands on some real money.
My lady the Duchess will tell you how very much I want to go to the capital—you ponder it over and let me know what you think, and I’ll try to do you credit by going around in a carriage.
The priest, the barber, the graduate, even the sexton can’t bring themselves to believe you’re a governor, and they say it’s all a trick or something done with magic spells like everything connected with your master Don Quixote and Sanson says he’s going to go looking for you to get this idea of being a governor out of your head, and get the madness out of Don Quixote’s brain box too—but I just laugh, and I look at my string of coral beads, and I work out how I’m going to make an outfit for our daughter out of that suit of yours.
I sent some acorns for my lady the Duchess, I only wish they’d been made of gold. You send me a few strings of pearls, if people wear pearls on your island.
The news from the village is that the Berrueca woman has married her daughter to a bungling painter who came here to paint whatever came his way. The council told him to paint His Majesty’s arms over the town hall door, he asked for two ducats, which they let him have in advance, he worked away for a week at the end of which he still hadn’t painted a thing, and then he said he couldn’t manage all those baubles and frippery—he gave the money back but in the meantime he’d got himself married in the character of a good tradesman, though it’s true he’s put his paintbrush aside for a spade now, and goes out in the field looking like a right gentlemen. Pedro de Lobo’s son has taken minor orders in the hope of becoming a priest, and when Mingo Silvato’s granddaughter Minguilla out she sued him for breach of promise—the gossips say he’s put her in the family way, but he denies it flat.
There aren’t any olives this year, and there isn’t a drop of vinegar to be had in the whole village. A company of soldiers came through, they took three of the village girls off with them, I’m not going to tell you which ones, they might come back and there won’t be any lack of men to take them as wives, with all their blemishes, however virtuous or otherwise.
Sanchica’s making lace, she’s earning eight clear maravedis a day that she puts in a piggy bank towards her trousseau, but now she’s a governor’s daughter you’ll give her her dowry and she won’t have to work for it. The fountain in the square’s dried up and the pillory’s by lighting, and I couldn’t care less.
Awaiting your reply and decision about me going to the capital, and God keep you for longer than me, or as long, because I wouldn’t want to leave you in this world without me,
Letter from Roque to his friend in Barcelona (Chapter 60 page 902)
Roque writes a letter to a friend of his in Barcelona, saying that he had with him the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha, the knight errant about whom people where talking so much, and that he was the funniest and most intelligent man in the world; and in four days’ time, on St. John the Baptists day, he would be left in the middle of the city beach, in full armor, on his horse Rocinante, with his squire Sancho on an ass, and please would he tell Roque’s friend the Niarros about this, so that they could have some fun with him, he’d like his enemies the Cadells to be deprived of this pleasure, but that was going to be impossible, because Don Quixote’s mixture of madness and sound sense, and his squire Sancho Panza’s drollery, couldn’t fail to delight everybody. Roque sent this letter off with one of his squires, who changed from his bandits clothes into those of a farmer, went to Barcelona, and delivered it.
Originally posted 2014-12-31 00:42:46.
Originally posted 2020-01-04 09:07:38.