Unformatted text preview: Don Quixote Don Quixote
Project Gutenberg's Etext of Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes #1 in
our series by Cervantes Translated by John Ormsby
Please proofread this ONLY against pre−1922 editions of Ormsby's
translation. There are MANY revised versions of it, and we want to insure
that we do not violate any copyrights that might be in the newer revisions.
Copyright laws are changing all over the world, be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before posting these files!! 1 Don Quixote 2 Please take a look at the important information in this header.
We encourage you to keep this file on your own disk, keeping an electronic
path open for the next readers. Do not remove this.
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**
**Etexts Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971**
*These Etexts Prepared By Hundreds of Volunteers and Donations*
Information on contacting Project Gutenberg to get Etexts, and further
information is included below. We need your donations.
by Miqeul de Cervantes [Saavedra]
Translated by John Ormsby
July, 1997 [Etext #996]
Project Gutenberg's Etext of Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes
*****This file should be named 1donq10.txt or 1donq10.zip******
Corrected EDITIONS of our etexts get a new NUMBER, 1donq11.txt.
VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER, 1donq10a.txt.
We are now trying to release all our books one month in advance of the
official release dates, for time for better editing.
Please note: neither this list nor its contents are final till midnight of the last
day of the month of any such announcement. The official release date of all
Project Gutenberg Etexts is at Midnight, Central Time, of the last day of the
stated month. A preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion,
comment and editing by those who wish to do so. To be sure you have an Information about Project Gutenberg 3 up to date first edition [xxxxx10x.xxx] please check file sizes in the first
week of the next month. Since our ftp program has a bug in it that
scrambles the date [tried to fix and failed] a look at the file size will have to
do, but we will try to see a new copy has at least one byte more or less. Information about Project Gutenberg
We produce about two million dollars for each hour we work. The fifty
hours is one conservative estimate for how long it we take to get any etext
selected, entered, proofread, edited, copyright searched and analyzed, the
copyright letters written, etc. This projected audience is one hundred
million readers. If our value per text is nominally estimated at one dollar
then we produce $2 million dollars per hour this year as we release
thirty−two text files per month: or 400 more Etexts in 1996 for a total of
800. If these reach just 10% of the computerized population, then the total
should reach 80 billion Etexts.
The Goal of Project Gutenberg is to Give Away One Trillion Etext Files by
the December 31, 2001. [10,000 x 100,000,000=Trillion] This is ten
thousand titles each to one hundred million readers, which is only 10% of
the present number of computer users. 2001 should have at least twice as
many computer users as that, so it will require us reaching less than 5% of
the users in 2001.
We need your donations more than ever! Information about Project Gutenberg 4 All donations should be made to "Project Gutenberg/CMU": and are tax
deductible to the extent allowable by law. (CMU = Carnegie− Mellon
For these and other matters, please mail to:
Project Gutenberg P. O. Box 2782 Champaign, IL 61825
When all other email fails try our Executive Director: Michael S. Hart
We would prefer to send you this information by email (Internet, Bitnet,
Compuserve, ATTMAIL or MCImail).
****** If you have an FTP program (or emulator), please FTP directly to
the Project Gutenberg archives: [Mac users, do NOT point and click. .
.type] ftp uiarchive.cso.uiuc.edu
password: [email protected]
cd etext/etext90 through /etext96
or cd etext/articles [get suggest gut for more information]
dir [to see files]
get or mget [to get files. . .set bin for zip files]
for a list of books
GET NEW GUT for general information
MGET GUT* for newsletters. ** Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 5 Information prepared by the Project
Gutenberg legal advisor
** (Three Pages)
***START**THE SMALL PRINT!**FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN
ETEXTS**START*** Why is this "Small Print!" statement here? You
know: lawyers. They tell us you might sue us if there is something wrong
with your copy of this etext, even if you got it for free from someone other
than us, and even if what's wrong is not our fault. So, among other things,
this "Small Print!" statement disclaims most of our liability to you. It also
tells you how you can distribute copies of this etext if you want to.
*BEFORE!* YOU USE OR READ THIS ETEXT
By using or reading any part of this PROJECT GUTENBERG−tm etext,
you indicate that you understand, agree to and accept this "Small Print!"
statement. If you do not, you can receive a refund of the money (if any) you
paid for this etext by sending a request within 30 days of receiving it to the
person you got it from. If you received this etext on a physical medium
(such as a disk), you must return it with your request.
ABOUT PROJECT GUTENBERG−TM ETEXTS
This PROJECT GUTENBERG−tm etext, like most PROJECT
GUTENBERG− tm etexts, is a "public domain" work distributed by
Professor Michael S. Hart through the Project Gutenberg Association at
Carnegie−Mellon University (the "Project"). Among other things, this
means that no one owns a United States copyright on or for this work, so
the Project (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States
without permission and without paying copyright royalties. Special rules,
set forth below, apply if you wish to copy and distribute this etext under the
Project's "PROJECT GUTENBERG" trademark. Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 6 To create these etexts, the Project expends considerable efforts to identify,
transcribe and proofread public domain works. Despite these efforts, the
Project's etexts and any medium they may be on may contain "Defects".
Among other things, Defects may take the form of incomplete, inaccurate
or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other etext medium,
a computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by your
LIMITED WARRANTY; DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES
But for the "Right of Replacement or Refund" described below,  the
Project (and any other party you may receive this etext from as a PROJECT
GUTENBERG−tm etext) disclaims all liability to you for damages, costs
and expenses, including legal fees, and  YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES
FOR NEGLIGENCE OR UNDER STRICT LIABILITY, OR FOR
BREACH OF WARRANTY OR CONTRACT, INCLUDING BUT NOT
LIMITED TO INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR
INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE
POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
If you discover a Defect in this etext within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending an
explanatory note within that time to the person you received it from. If you
received it on a physical medium, you must return it with your note, and
such person may choose to alternatively give you a replacement copy. If
you received it electronically, such person may choose to alternatively give
you a second opportunity to receive it electronically.
THIS ETEXT IS OTHERWISE PROVIDED TO YOU "AS−IS". NO
OTHER WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ARE
MADE TO YOU AS TO THE ETEXT OR ANY MEDIUM IT MAY BE
ON, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 7 Some states do not allow disclaimers of implied warranties or the exclusion
or limitation of consequential damages, so the above disclaimers and
exclusions may not apply to you, and you may have other legal rights.
You will indemnify and hold the Project, its directors, officers, members
and agents harmless from all liability, cost and expense, including legal
fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following that you do
or cause:  distribution of this etext,  alteration, modification, or
addition to the etext, or  any Defect.
DISTRIBUTION UNDER "PROJECT GUTENBERG−tm"
You may distribute copies of this etext electronically, or by disk, book or
any other medium if you either delete this "Small Print!" and all other
references to Project Gutenberg, or:
 Only give exact copies of it. Among other things, this requires that you
do not remove, alter or modify the etext or this "small print!" statement.
You may however, if you wish, distribute this etext in machine readable
binary, compressed, mark−up, or proprietary form, including any form
resulting from conversion by word pro− cessing or hypertext software, but
only so long as *EITHER*:
[*] The etext, when displayed, is clearly readable, and does *not* contain
characters other than those intended by the author of the work, although
tilde (~), asterisk (*) and underline (_) characters may be used to convey
punctuation intended by the author, and additional characters may be used
to indicate hypertext links; OR
[*] The etext may be readily converted by the reader at no expense into
plain ASCII, EBCDIC or equivalent form by the program that displays the
etext (as is the case, for instance, with most word processors); OR Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 8 [*] You provide, or agree to also provide on request at no additional cost,
fee or expense, a copy of the etext in its original plain ASCII form (or in
EBCDIC or other equivalent proprietary form).
 Honor the etext refund and replacement provisions of this "Small
 Pay a trademark license fee to the Project of 20% of the net profits you
derive calculated using the method you already use to calculate your
applicable taxes. If you don't derive profits, no royalty is due. Royalties are
payable to "Project Gutenberg Association/Carnegie−Mellon University"
within the 60 days following each date you prepare (or were legally
required to prepare) your annual (or equivalent periodic) tax return.
WHAT IF YOU *WANT* TO SEND MONEY EVEN IF YOU DON'T
The Project gratefully accepts contributions in money, time, scanning
machines, OCR software, public domain etexts, royalty free copyright
licenses, and every other sort of contribution you can think of. Money
should be paid to "Project Gutenberg Association / Carnegie−Mellon
*END*THE SMALL PRINT! FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN
DON QUIXOTE by Miguel de Cervantes Translated by John Ormsby
I: ABOUT THIS TRANSLATION
It was with considerable reluctance that I abandoned in favour of the
present undertaking what had long been a favourite project: that of a new
edition of Shelton's "Don Quixote," which has now become a somewhat
scarce book. There are some− and I confess myself to be one− for whom Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 9 Shelton's racy old version, with all its defects, has a charm that no modern
translation, however skilful or correct, could possess. Shelton had the
inestimable advantage of belonging to the same generation as Cervantes;
"Don Quixote" had to him a vitality that only a contemporary could feel; it
cost him no dramatic effort to see things as Cervantes saw them; there is no
anachronism in his language; he put the Spanish of Cervantes into the
English of Shakespeare. Shakespeare himself most likely knew the book;
he may have carried it home with him in his saddle−bags to Stratford on
one of his last journeys, and under the mulberry tree at New Place joined
hands with a kindred genius in its pages.
But it was soon made plain to me that to hope for even a moderate
popularity for Shelton was vain. His fine old crusted English would, no
doubt, be relished by a minority, but it would be only by a minority. His
warmest admirers must admit that he is not a satisfactory representative of
Cervantes. His translation of the First Part was very hastily made and was
never revised by him. It has all the freshness and vigour, but also a full
measure of the faults, of a hasty production. It is often very literal−
barbarously literal frequently− but just as often very loose. He had
evidently a good colloquial knowledge of Spanish, but apparently not much
more. It never seems to occur to him that the same translation of a word
will not suit in every case.
It is often said that we have no satisfactory translation of "Don Quixote."
To those who are familiar with the original, it savours of truism or platitude
to say so, for in truth there can be no thoroughly satisfactory translation of
"Don Quixote" into English or any other language. It is not that the Spanish
idioms are so utterly unmanageable, or that the untranslatable words,
numerous enough no doubt, are so superabundant, but rather that the
sententious terseness to which the humour of the book owes its flavour is
peculiar to Spanish, and can at best be only distantly imitated in any other
The history of our English translations of "Don Quixote" is instructive.
Shelton's, the first in any language, was made, apparently, about 1608, but
not published till 1612. This of course was only the First Part. It has been Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 10 asserted that the Second, published in 1620, is not the work of Shelton, but
there is nothing to support the assertion save the fact that it has less spirit,
less of what we generally understand by "go," about it than the first, which
would be only natural if the first were the work of a young man writing
currente calamo, and the second that of a middle−aged man writing for a
bookseller. On the other hand, it is closer and more literal, the style is the
same, the very same translations, or mistranslations, occur in it, and it is
extremely unlikely that a new translator would, by suppressing his name,
have allowed Shelton to carry off the credit.
In 1687 John Phillips, Milton's nephew, produced a "Don Quixote" "made
English," he says, "according to the humour of our modern language." His
"Quixote" is not so much a translation as a travesty, and a travesty that for
coarseness, vulgarity, and buffoonery is almost unexampled even in the
literature of that day.
Ned Ward's "Life and Notable Adventures of Don Quixote, merrily
translated into Hudibrastic Verse" (1700), can scarcely be reckoned a
translation, but it serves to show the light in which "Don Quixote" was
regarded at the time.
A further illustration may be found in the version published in 1712 by
Peter Motteux, who had then recently combined tea−dealing with literature.
It is described as "translated from the original by several hands," but if so
all Spanish flavour has entirely evaporated under the manipulation of the
several hands. The flavour that it has, on the other hand, is distinctly
Franco−cockney. Anyone who compares it carefully with the original will
have little doubt that it is a concoction from Shelton and the French of
Filleau de Saint Martin, eked out by borrowings from Phillips, whose mode
of treatment it adopts. It is, to be sure, more decent and decorous, but it
treats "Don Quixote" in the same fashion as a comic book that cannot be
made too comic.
To attempt to improve the humour of "Don Quixote" by an infusion of
cockney flippancy and facetiousness, as Motteux's operators did, is not
merely an impertinence like larding a sirloin of prize beef, but an absolute Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 11 falsification of the spirit of the book, and it is a proof of the uncritical way
in which "Don Quixote" is generally read that this worse than worthless
translation −worthless as failing to represent, worse than worthless as
misrepresenting− should have been favoured as it has been.
It had the effect, however, of bringing out a translation undertaken and
executed in a very different spirit, that of Charles Jervas, the portrait
painter, and friend of Pope, Swift, Arbuthnot, and Gay. Jervas has been
allowed little credit for his work, indeed it may be said none, for it is
known to the world in general as Jarvis's. It was not published until after his
death, and the printers gave the name according to the current
pronunciation of the day. It has been the most freely used and the most
freely abused of all the translations. It has seen far more editions than any
other, it is admitted on all hands to be by far the most faithful, and yet
nobody seems to have a good word to say for it or for its author. Jervas no
doubt prejudiced readers against himself in his preface, where among many
true words about Shelton, Stevens, and Motteux, he rashly and unjustly
charges Shelton with having translated not from the Spanish, but from the
Italian version of Franciosini, which did not appear until ten years after
Shelton's first volume. A suspicion of incompetence, too, seems to have
attached to him because he was by profession a painter and a mediocre one
(though he has given us the best portrait we have of Swift), and this may
have been strengthened by Pope's remark that he "translated 'Don Quixote'
without understanding Spanish." He has been also charged with borrowing
from Shelton, whom he disparaged. It is true that in a few difficult or
obscure passages he has followed Shelton, and gone astray with him; but
for one case of this sort, there are fifty where he is right and Shelton wrong.
As for Pope's dictum, anyone who examines Jervas's version carefully, side
by side with the original, will see that he was a sound Spanish scholar,
incomparably a better one than Shelton, except perhaps in mere colloquial
Spanish. He was, in fact, an honest, faithful, and painstaking translator, and
he has left a version which, whatever its shortcomings may be, is singularly
free from errors and mistranslations.
The charge against it is that it is stiff, dry− "wooden" in a word,− and no
one can deny that there is a foundation for it. But it may be pleaded for Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 12 Jervas that a good deal of this rigidity is due to his abhorrence of the light,
flippant, jocose style of his predecessors. He was one of the few, very few,
translators that have shown any apprehension of the unsmiling gravity
which is the essence of Quixotic humour; it seemed to him a crime to bring
Cervantes forward smirking and grinning at his own good things, and to
this may be attributed in a great measure the ascetic abstinence from
everything savouring of liveliness which is the characteristic of his
translation. In most modern editions, it should be observed, his style has
been smoothed and smartened, but without any reference to the original
Spanish, so that if he has been made to read more agreeably he has also
been robbed of his chief merit of fidelity.
Smollett's version, published in 1755, may be almost counted as one of
these. At any rate it is plain that in its construction Jervas's translation was
very freely drawn upon, and very little or probably no heed given to the
The later translations may be dismissed in a few words. George Kelly's,
which appeared in 1769, "printed for the Translator," was an impudent
imposture, being nothing more than Motteux's version with a few of the
words, here and there, artfully transposed; Charles Wilmot's (1774) was
only an abridgment like Florian's, but not so skilfully executed; and the
version published by Miss Smirke in 1818, to accompany her brother's
plates, was merely a patchwork production made out of former translations.
On the latest, Mr. A. J. Duffield's, it would ...
View Full Document