He who knows most, doubts most.  — Jerónimo de Carranza

Dedicated to researching historical Spanish fencing and sharing the knowledge with the public.

Fencing History and Tales

Introduction | Literary Allusions | Famous Duels and Duellists | Women and Combat

Literary Allusions to Destreza, Carranza, & Pacheco

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)
Don Quijote (Shelton) | Don Quijote (Modern) | Galatea
Excerpt from Don Quijote, Part II, (1614) Chapter 19
Translation by Thomas Shelton, published by Edward Blount (1620)
Excerpt submitted by Manuel Valle; transcription by R. E. "Puck" Curtis.

If you did not prefume (faid the other scholler) more on your vfing the foyles you carry, then your tongue, you might have been Senior in your degree, whereas now you are a lagge.

Look you Bachelor (quoth the Parfon) you are in the moft erroneous opinion of the world, touching the skill of the weapon, fince you hold it friuolous.

Tis no opinion of mine (said Corchuelo) but a manifeft truth, and if you will haue me fhew it by experience, there you have foyles commodius: I have an arme, and ftrength, which together vvith my courage, which is not fmall, fhall make you confeffe I am not deceiued; alight and keepe your diftance, your circles, your corners, and all your Science, I hope to make you fee the ftarres at nooneday with my skill, which is but moderne and meane, which though it be fmall, I hope to God the man is yet vnborn that fhall make mee turne my backe, and there is no man in the world, but I'le make him giue ground.

For turning your backe (said the Skillful) I meddle not, though perhaps where you firft fet your foot, there your graue might be digged, I mean you might be killed for defpifing skill.

That you fhall try (said Corchuelo) and lighting haftily from his Affe, he fnatched one of the fwords that the Parfon carried.

Not fo (fayd Don Quixote inftantly) Ile be the Mafter of this Fence, and the Iudge of the vndecided controuerfie, and lighting from Rozinante, and taking his Launce, he ftepped betweene them till fuch time as the Parfon had put himfelfe into his Pofture and distance against Corchuelo, who ranne (as you would fay) darting fire out of his eyes. The two Husbandmen that were by, without lighting from their Affes, ferued for fpectators of the mortall Tragedy, the blowes, the ftockados, your falfe thufts, your back-blowes, your doubling-blowes, that came from Corchuelo were numberleffe, as thick as hoppes, or haile, he layd on like an angry Lyon: but ftill the Parfon gave him a ftopple for his mouth, with the button of his foyle, which ftopped him in the midft of his fury, and he made him kiffe it, as if it had been a Relike, though not with fo much deuotion as is due to them. In a word, the Parfon with pure Stockados told all the buttons of the Caffocke which he had on, his skirts flying about him like a fifhes tayle. Twice he ftrooke off his hat, and fo wearied him that what for defpight, vvhat for choller and rage, he tooke the fword by the hilt, and flung it into the ayre fo forcibly, that one of the hufbandmen that was by, who was a notary, and went for it gaue teftimony after that he flung it almoft three quarters of a mile; which teftimony ferues, and hath ferued, that it may be knowne and really feene, that force is ouercome by Art.

Corchuelo fate down being very weary, and Sancho comming to him, faid; Truely sir Bachelor, if you take my advice, hereafter challenge no man to fence, but to wraffle, or throw the bar, fince you have youth and force enough for it; for I have heard thofe (that you call your Skillful men) fay, that they will thruft the point of a fword through the eye of a needle.

I am glad (quoth Corchuelo) that I came from my Affe, and that experience hath shewed me what I would not haue beleeued.

So he embraced the Parfon and they were good friends as before.