The Project Gutenberg EBook of The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha, by
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha Author: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra Release Date: April 29, 2011 [EBook #35993] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE HISTORY OF DON QUIXOTE *** Produced by Paul Dring, Delphine Lettau and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net

THE HISTORY
OF
DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA.

 

Don Quixote. Don Quixote.

Don Quixote

The history

of

Don Quixote de la Mancha.

From the Spanish of Cervantes.


REVISED FOR GENERAL READING.



TO WHICH IS PREFIXED

A Sketch of the Life and Writings of the Author.



Second Edition,

WITH ADDITIONAL ILLUSTRATIONS.



London:
James Burns
mdcccxlviii.


CONTENTS.


CHAP.   PAGE
I. The quality and way of living of Don Quixote 1
II. Which treats of Don Quixote's first sally 5
III. An account of the pleasant method taken by Don Quixote to be dubbed a knight 8
IV. What befell the Knight after he had left the inn 12
V. A further account of our Knight's misfortunes 17
VI. Of the pleasant and curious scrutiny which the Curate and the Barber made of the library of our ingenious gentleman 20
VII. Don Quixote's second sally in quest of adventures 24
VIII. Of the good success which the valorous Don Quixote had in the most terrifying and incredible adventure of the Windmills, with other transactions worthy to be transmitted to posterity 26
IX. What passed between Don Quixote and the Goatherds 29
X. A continuation of the story of Marcella 33
XI. The sage discourse continued; with the adventures of a dead body 47
XII. Which treats of the grand adventure of Mambrino's helmet, with other things which befell our invincible Knight 57
XIII. Of what befell Don Quixote in the Sierra Morena, being one of the most extraordinary adventures related in this faithful history 66
XIV. A continuation of the adventure in the Sierra Morena 72
XV. Of what happened to Don Quixote's Squire, with the famous device of the Curate and the Barber 84
XVI. How the Priest and the Barber proceeded in their project; with other things worthy of being related 88
XVII. Of the new and agreeable adventure that befell the Priest and the Barber, and of the beautiful Dorothea 96
XVIII. Which treats of the beautiful Dorothea's discretion; with other particulars 102
XIX. Of the ingenious method pursued to withdraw our enamoured Knight from the rigorous penance which he had imposed on himself 108
XX. The pleasant dialogue between Don Quixote and his Squire continued; with other adventures 115
XXI. What befell Don Quixote and his company at the inn 121
XXII. Of the dreadful battle betwixt Don Quixote and certain Wine-skins 125
XXIII. Containing an account of many surprising accidents in the inn 127
XXIV. The history of the famous Princess Micomicona continued; with other pleasant adventures 132
XXV. A continuation of Don Quixote's curious and excellent discourse upon arms and learning 137[Pg x]
XXVI. Of occurrences at the inn; and of many other things worthy to be known 139
XXVII. The agreeable history of the young muleteer; with other strange accidents 141
XXVIII. A continuation of the extraordinary adventures that happened in the inn 145
XXIX. In which the dispute concerning Mambrino's helmet is decided; with other adventures that really and truly happened 148
XXX. The notable adventure of the Holy Brotherhood; with an account of the ferocity of our good Knight, Don Quixote 151
XXXI. Of the strange and wonderful manner in which Don Quixote de la Mancha was enchanted; with other remarkable occurrences 156
XXXII. Of the ingenious contest between Don Quixote and the Canon; with other incidents 161
XXXIII. The Goatherd's narrative 164
XXXIV. Of the quarrel between Don Quixote and the Goatherd, with the rare adventure of the Disciplinants 167
XXXV. What passed between the Curate, the Barber, and Don Quixote, concerning his indisposition 172
XXXVI. Of the memorable quarrel between Sancho Panza and Don Quixote's Niece and Housekeeper; with other pleasant passages 178
XXXVII. The pleasant discourse between Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and the bachelor Samson Carrasco 181
XXXVIII. The discourse continued; also the wise and pleasant dialogue between Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza his wife; together with other passages worthy of happy memory 185
XXXIX. What passed between Don Quixote, his Niece, and the Housekeeper; being one of the most important chapters in the whole history 189
XL. Don Quixote's success in his journey to visit the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso 192
XLI. That gives an account of things which you will know when you have read it 196
XLII. Wherein is related the stratagem practised by Sancho, of enchanting the Lady Dulcinea; with other events no less ludicrous than true 198
XLIII. Of the strange adventure which befell the valorous Don Quixote with the cart, or Death's caravan 202
XLIV. Of the strange adventure which befell the valorous Don Quixote with the brave Knight of the Mirrors 206
XLV. Wherein is continued the adventure of the Knight of the Wood, with the wise and witty dialogue between the two Squires 210
XLVI. Continuation again of the adventure of the Knight of the Wood 213
XLVII. Giving an account of the Knight of the Mirrors and his Squire 220
XLVIII. Of what befell Don Quixote with a worthy gentleman of La Mancha 223
XLIX. Where you will find set forth the highest proof that Don Quixote ever gave, or could give, of his courage; with the successful issue of the adventure of the Lions 227
L. How Don Quixote was entertained at the castle or house of the Knight of the Green Coat, with other extraordinary matters 232[Pg xi]
LI. The adventure of the Shepherd-Lover, and other truly comical passages 235
LII. An account of rich Camacho's wedding, and what befell poor Basil 239
LIII. The progress of Camacho's wedding; with other delightful accidents 242
LIV. An account of the great adventure of Montesinos' cave 247
LV. Of the wonderful things which the unparalleled Don Quixote declared he had seen in the deep cave of Montesinos, the greatness and impossibility of which make this adventure pass for apocryphal 250
LVI. Which gives an account of a thousand trifles and stories, as impertinent as necessary to the right understanding of this grand history 256
LVII. Where you find the grounds of the braying adventures, that of the Puppet-player, and the memorable divining of the fortune-telling Ape 260
LVIII. A pleasant account of the Puppet-play; with other very good things 266
LIX. Wherein is shewn Don Quixote's ill success in the braying adventure, which did not end so happily as he desired and expected 271
LX. Of some things which he that reads shall know, if he reads them with attention 275
LXI. What happened to Don Quixote with the fair Huntress 278
LXII. Which treats of many and great matters 281
LXIII. Don Quixote's answer to his reprover; with other grave and merry accidents 285
LXIV. Containing ways and means for disenchanting the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso, being one of the most famous adventures in the whole book 291
LXV. Wherein is contained the information given to Don Quixote how to disenchant Dulcinea; with other wonderful passages 296
LXVI. Wherein is recorded the wonderful and inconceivable adventure of the afflicted Duenna, or the Countess of Trifaldi; and likewise Sancho Panza's letter to his wife Teresa Panza 299
LXVII. In which is continued the famous adventure of the afflicted Duenna 303
LXVIII. Of the account given by the afflicted Duenna of her misfortunes 304
LXIX. Wherein the Countess Trifaldi continues her stupendous and memorable history 308
LXX. Which treats of matters relating and appertaining to this adventure, and to this memorable history 309
LXXI. Of the arrival of Clavileno; with the conclusion of this prolix adventure 313
LXXII. The instructions which Don Quixote gave to Sancho Panza, before he went to his government; with other well-digested matter 319
LXXIII. Of the second instruction Don Quixote gave Sancho Panza 322
LXXIV. How Sancho Panza was carried to his government; and of the strange adventure that befell Don Quixote in the castle 325
LXXV. How the great Sancho Panza took possession of his island, and in what manner he began to govern 328[Pg xii]
LXXVI. Of a dreadful alarm which Don Quixote experienced 331
LXXVII. Which gives a further account of Sancho Panza's behaviour in his government 334
LXXVIII. What happened to Don Quixote with Donna Rodriguez; as also other passages worthy to be recorded 340
LXXIX. What happened to Sancho Panza as he went the rounds in his island 342
LXXX. Which narrates the success of the page that carried Sancho's letter to his wife 350
LXXXI. A continuation of Sancho Panza's government; with other entertaining passages 355
LXXXII. A relation of the adventures of the second disconsolate or distressed matron, otherwise called Donna Rodriguez; with the letters of Teresa Panza to the Duchess and to her husband 360
LXXXIII. The toilsome end and conclusion of Sancho Panza's government 364
LXXXIV. What happened to Sancho by the way; with other matters which you will have no more to do than to see 368
LXXXV. Which treats of matters that relate to this history, and no other 370
LXXXVI. Of the extraordinary and unaccountable combat between Don Quixote de la Mancha and the lackey Tosilos, in vindication of the matron Donna Rodriguez's daughter 372
LXXXVII. How adventures crowded so thick on Don Quixote that they trod upon one another's heels 376
LXXXVIII. Of an extraordinary accident that happened to Don Quixote, which may well pass for an adventure 383
LXXXIX. What happened to Don Quixote going to Barcelona 388
XC. Of what befell Don Quixote at his entrance into Barcelona; with other events more true than ingenious 397
XCI. Of the adventure of the enchanted head; with other trifling matters that must not be omitted 399
XCII. Of an unlucky adventure which Don Quixote laid most to heart of any that had yet befallen him 404
XCIII. Wherein is given an account of the Knight of the White Moon; with other matters 406
XCIV. How Don Quixote resolved to turn shepherd, and lead a rural life for the year's time he was obliged not to bear arms; with other passages truly good and diverting 410
XCV. Of the ominous accidents that crossed Don Quixote as he entered his village; with other transactions that illustrate and adorn this memorable history 417
XCVI. How Don Quixote fell sick, made his last will, and died 420

Preface.


When we reflect upon the great celebrity of the "Life, Exploits, and Adventures of that ingenious Gentleman, Don Quixote de la Mancha," and how his name has become quite proverbial amongst us, it seems strange that so little should be known concerning the great man to whose imagination we are indebted for so amusing and instructive a tale. We cannot better introduce our present edition than by a short sketch of his life, adding a few remarks on the work itself and the present adapted reprint of it.

The obscurity we have alluded to is one which Cervantes shares with many others, some of them the most illustrious authors which the world ever produced. Homer, Hesiod,—names with which the mouths of men have been familiar for centuries,—how little is now known of them! And not only so, but how little was known of them even by those who lived comparatively close upon their own time! How scattered and unsatisfactory are the few particulars which we have of the life of our own poet William Shakspere!


Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born at Alcala de Henares, a town of New Castile, famous for its University, founded by Cardinal Ximenes. He was of gentle birth, both on his father's and mother's side. Rodrigo de Cervantes, his father, was descended from an ancient family of Galicia, of which several branches were settled in some of the principal cities of Spain. His mother's name was Leonora de Cortēnas. We find by the parish register of Santa Maria la Mayor, at Alcala de Henares, that Miguel was baptised in that church on Sunday, the 9th of October, 1547; in which year we may conclude, therefore, that he was born. The discovery of this baptismal register set at rest a dispute which had for some time been going on between seven different cities, each [Pg xiv] of which claimed the honour of being the native place of our author: these were, besides the one already mentioned, Seville, Madrid, Esquivias, Toledo, Lucena, and Alcazar de San Juan. In this respect we cannot avoid drawing a comparison between the fame of Cervantes and the prince of poets, Homer.

From a child he discovered a great liking for books, which no doubt determined his parents, whose fortune, notwithstanding their good family, was any thing but affluent, to educate him for one of the learned professions, by which alone at that time there was any chance of getting wealth. Miguel, however, did not take to the strict studies proposed to him: not that he was idle; his days were spent in reading books of amusement, such as novels, romances, and poems. It was of the materials afforded by such a pursuit that his fame was afterwards built.

Cervantes continued at Madrid till he was in his twenty-first year, during which time he remained with his learned tutor Juan Lopez de Hoyos. He seems to have been a great favourite with him; for, in a collection of "Luctus," published by Juan on the death of the Queen, we find an elegy and a ballad contributed by the editor's "dear and beloved disciple Miguel de Cervantes." Under the same editorial care Cervantes himself tells us, in his Viage de Parnasso, that he published a pastoral poem of some length, called 'Filena,' besides several ballads, sonnets, canzonets, and other small poems.

Notwithstanding the comparative insignificance of these productions, they probably excited some little attention; for it appears not unlikely that it was to them that Cervantes owed his appointment to an office, which we find him holding, in 1569, at Rome,—that of chamberlain to his eminence the Cardinal Julio Aquaviva, an ecclesiastic of considerable learning. Such an appointment, however, did not suit the active disposition and romantic turn of one so deeply read in the adventures of the old knights, the glory of which he longed to share; from which hope, however, the inactivity and monotony of a court-life could not but exclude him.

In 1571 there was concluded a famous league between Pope Pius V., Philip II. of Spain, and the Venetian Republic, against Selim, the Grand Turk, who was attacking Cyprus, then belonging to Venice. John of Austria, natural son of the celebrated Emperor Charles V., and brother of the king of Spain, was made commander-in-chief of the allied forces, both naval and military; and under him, as general of the Papal forces, was appointed Mario Antonio Colonna, Duke of Paliano. It became fashionable for the young men of the time to enlist in this expedition; and Cervantes, then about twenty-four years of age, soon enrolled himself under the standard of the Roman general. After various success on both sides, in which the operations of the Christians were not a little hindered by the dissensions of their commanders, to which the taking of Nicosia by the Turks may be imputed, the first year's cruise ended with the famous battle of Lepanto; after which the allied forces retired, and wintered at Messina.

Cervantes was present at this famous victory, where he was wounded in the left hand by a blow from a scymitar, or, as some assert, by a gunshot, so severely, that he was obliged to have it amputated at the wrist whilst in the hospital at Messina; but the operation was so unskilfully performed, that he lost the use of the entire arm ever afterwards. He was not discouraged by this wound, nor induced to give up his profession [Pg xv] as a soldier. Indeed, he seems, from his own words, to be very proud of the honour which his loss conferred upon him. "My wound," he says, "was received on the most glorious occasion that any age, past or present, ever saw, or that the future can ever hope to see. To those who barely behold them, indeed, my wounds may not seem honourable; it is by those who know how I came by them that they will be rightly esteemed. Better is it for a soldier to die in battle than to save his life by running away. For my part I had rather be again present, were it possible, in that famous battle, than whole and sound without sharing ill the glory of it. The scars which a soldier exhibits in his breast and face are stars to guide others to the haven of honour and the love of just praise."

The year following the victory of Lepanto, Cervantes still continued with the same fleet, and took part in several attacks on the coast of the Morea. At the end of 1572, when the allied forces were disbanded, Colonna returned to Rome, whither our author probably accompanied him, since he tells us that he followed his "conquering banners." He afterwards enlisted in the Neapolitan army of the king of Spain, in which he remained for three years, though without rising above the rank of a private soldier; but it must be remembered that, at the time of which we are now speaking, such was the condition of some of the noblest men of their country; it was accounted no disgrace for even a scion of the nobility to fight as a simple halberdier, or musqueteer, in the service of his prince.

On the 26th of September, 1575, Cervantes embarked on board a galley, called the 'Sun,' and was sailing from Naples to Spain, when his ship was attacked by some Moorish corsairs, and both he and all the rest of the crew were taken prisoners, and carried off to Algiers. When the Christians were divided amongst their captors, he fell to the lot of the captain, the famous ArnautÚ Mami, an Albanian renegade, whose atrocious cruelties are too disgusting to be mentioned. He seems to have treated his captive with peculiar harshness, perhaps hoping that by so doing he might render him the more impatient of his servitude, and so induce him to pay a higher ransom, which the rank and condition of his friends in Europe appeared to promise. In this state Cervantes continued five years. Some have thought that in "the captive's" tale, related in Don Quixote, we may collect the particulars of his own fortunes whilst in Africa; but even granting that some of the incidents may be the same, it is now generally supposed that we shall be deceived if we regard them as any detailed account of his captivity. A man of Cervantes' enterprise and abilities was not likely to endure tamely the hardships of slavery; and we accordingly find that he was constantly forming schemes for escape. The last of these, which was the most bold and best contrived of all, failed, because he had admitted a traitor to a share in his project.

There was at Algiers a Venetian renegade, named Hassan Aga, a friend of ArnautÚ Mami; he had risen high in the king's favour, and occupied an important post in the government of Algiers. We have a description of this man's ferocious character in Don Quixote, given us by the Captain de Viedma. Cervantes was often sent by his master as messenger to this man's house, situated on the sea-shore, at a short distance from Algiers. One of Hassan's slaves, a native of Navarre, and a Christian, had the management of the gardens of the villa; and with him Cervantes soon formed an acquaintance, and succeeded in persuading [Pg xvi] him to allow the making of a secret cave under the garden, which would form a place of concealment for himself and fifteen of his fellow captives, on whom he could rely. When the cavern was finished, the adventurers made their escape by night from Algiers, and took up their quarters in it. Of course an alarm was raised when they were missing; but, although a most strict search after the fugitives was made, both by their masters and by Ochali, then despot of Algiers, here they lay hid for several months, being supplied with food by the gardener and another Christian slave, named El Dorador.

One of their companions, named Viana, a gentleman of Minorca, had been left behind them, so that he might bear a more active part in the escape of the whole party. A sum of money was to be raised for his ransom, and then he was to go to Europe and return with a ship in which Cervantes and his friends, including the gardener and El Dorador, were to embark on an appointed night, and so get back to their country. Viana obtained his liberty in September 1577, and having reached Minorca in safety, he easily procured a ship and came off the coast of Barbary, according to the pre-concerted plan; but before he could land, he was seen by the Moorish sentry, who raised an alarm and obliged him to put out to sea again, lest he should by coming too close attract attention to the cavern. This was a sore disappointment to Cervantes and his companions, who witnessed it all from their retreat. Still knowing Viana's courage and constancy, they had yet hopes of his returning and again endeavouring to get them off. And this he most probably would have done had it not been for the treachery at which we hinted above. El Dorador just at this time thought fit to turn renegade; and of course he could not begin his infidel career better than by infamously betraying his former friends. In consequence of his information Hassan Aga surrounded the entrance to the cave with a sufficient force to make any attempt at resistance utterly unavailing, and the sixteen poor prisoners were dragged out and conveyed in chains to Algiers. The former attempts which he made to escape caused Cervantes to be instantly fixed on as the contriver and ringleader of this plot; and therefore, whilst the other fifteen were sent back to their masters to be punished as they thought fit, he was detained by the king himself, who hoped through him to obtain further information, and so implicate the other Christians, and perhaps also some of the renegades. Even had he possessed any such information, which most likely he did not, Cervantes was certainly the very last man to give it: notwithstanding various examinations and threats, he still persisted in asserting that he was the sole contriver of the plot, till at length, by his firmness, he fairly exhausted the patience of Ochali. Had Hassan had his way, Cervantes would have been strangled as an example to all Christians who should hereafter try to run away from their captivity, and the king himself was not unwilling to please him in this matter; but then he was not their property, and Mami, to whom he belonged, would not consent to lose a slave whom he considered to be worth at least two hundred crowns. Thus did the avarice of a renegade save the future author of Don Quixote from being strangled with the bowstring. Some of the particulars of this affair are given us by Cervantes himself; but others are collected from Father Haedo, the contemporary author of a history of Barbary. "Most wonderful thing," says the worthy priest, "that some of these gentlemen remained shut up in the cavern for five, six, even for seven months, without even so much as seeing the light of day; and all the time they were [Pg xvii] sustained only by Miguel de Cervantes, and that too at the great and continual risk of his own life; no less than four times did he incur the nearest danger of being burnt alive, impaled, or strangled, on account of the bold things which he dared in hopes of bestowing liberty upon many. Had his fortune corresponded to his spirit, skill, and industry, Algiers might at this day have been in the possession of the Christians, for his designs aspired to no less lofty a consummation. In the end, the whole affair was treacherously discovered; and the gardener, after being tortured and picketed, perished miserably. But, in truth, of the things which happened in that cave during the seven months that it was inhabited by these Christians, and altogether of the captivity and various enterprises of Miguel de Cervantes, a particular history might easily be formed. Hassan Aga was wont to say that, 'could he but be sure of that handless Spaniard, he should consider captives, barks, and the whole city of Algiers in perfect safety.'"

And Ochali seems to have been of the same opinion; for he did not consider it safe to leave so dangerous a character as Cervantes in private hands, and so we accordingly find that he himself bought him of Mami, and then kept him closely confined in a dungeon in his own palace, with the utmost cruelty. It is probable, however, that the extreme hardship of Cervantes' case did really contribute to his liberation. He found means of applying to Spain for his redemption; and in consequence his mother and sister (the former of whom had now become a widow, and the latter, Donna Andrea de Cervantes, was married to a Florentine gentleman named Ambrosio) raised the sum of two hundred and fifty crowns, to which a friend of the family, one Francisco Caramambel, contributed fifty more. This sum was paid into the hands of Father Juan Gil and Father Antonio de la Vella Trinitarios, brethren of the 'Society for the Redemption of Slaves,'[1] who immediately set to work to ransom Cervantes. His case was, however, a hard one; for the king asked a thousand crowns for his freedom; and the negotiation on this head caused a long delay, but was at last brought to an issue by the abatement of the ransom to the sum of five hundred crowns; the two hundred still wanting were made up by the good fathers, the king threatening that if the bargain were not concluded, Cervantes should be carried off to Constantinople; and he was actually on board the galley for that purpose. So by borrowing some part of the required amount, and by taking the remainder from what was originally intrusted for the ransoming of other slaves, these worthy men procured our author his liberty, and restored him to Spain in the spring of 1581.

[1] Societies of this description, though not so common as in Spain, existed also in other countries. In England, since the Reformation, money bequeathed for this purpose was placed in the hands of some of the large London companies or guilds. Since the destruction of Algiers, by Lord Exmouth, and still later since the abolition of that piratical kingdom by the French, such charitable bequests, having become useless for their original purpose, have in some instances been devoted to the promotion of education by a decree of Chancery. This is the case with a large sum, usually known as 'Betton's gift,' in the trusteeship of the Ironmongers' Company.

On his return to his native land the prospects of Cervantes were not very flattering. He was now thirty-four years of age, and had spent the best portion of his life without making any approach towards eminence or even towards acquiring the means of subsistence; his adventures, enterprises, and sufferings had, indeed, furnished him with a stock from which in after years his powerful mind drew largely in his writings; but since he [Pg xviii] did not at first devote himself to literary pursuits, at least not to those of an author, they could not afford him much consolation; and as to a military career, his wound and long captivity seemed to exclude him from all hope in that quarter. His family was poor, their scanty means having suffered from the sum raised for his ransom; and his connexions and friends were powerless to procure him any appointment at the court. He went to live at Madrid, where his mother and sister then resided, and there once more betook himself to the pursuit of his younger days. He shut himself up, and eagerly employed his time in reading every kind of books; Latin, Spanish, and Italian authors—all served to contribute to his various erudition.

Three whole years were thus spent; till at length he turned his reading to some account, by publishing, in 1584, a pastoral novel entitled GalatŠa. Some authors, amongst whom is Pellicer, are inclined to think that dramatic composition was the first in which he appeared before the public; but such an opinion has, by competent judges, been now abandoned. GalatŠa, which is interspersed with songs and verses, is a work of considerable merit, quite sufficient, indeed, though of course inferior to Don Quixote, to have gained for its author a high standing amongst Spanish writers; though in it we discern nothing of that peculiar style which has made Cervantes one of the most remarkable writers that ever lived,—that insight into human character, and that vein of humour with which he exposes and satirises its failings. It being so full of short metrical effusions would almost incline us to believe that it was written for the purpose of embodying the varied contents of a sort of poetical commonplace-book; some of which had, perhaps, been written when he was a youth under the tuition of his learned preceptor Juan Lopez de Hoyos; others may have been the pencillings of the weary hours of his long captivity in Africa. As a specimen of his power in the Spanish language it is quite worthy of him who in after years immortalised that tongue by the romance of Don Quixote. It had been better for Cervantes had he gone on in this sort of fictitious composition, instead of betaking himself to the drama, in which he had very formidable rivals, and for which, as was afterwards proved, his talents were less adapted.

On the 12th of December in the same year that his GalatŠa was published, Cervantes married, at Esquivias, a young lady who was of one of the first families of that place, and whose charms had furnished the chief subject of his amatory poems; she was named Donna Catalina de Salazar y Palacios y Vozmediano. Her fortune was but small, and only served to keep Cervantes for some few months in idleness; when his difficulties began to harass him again, and found him as a married man less able to meet them. He then betook himself to the drama, at which he laboured for several years, though with very indifferent success. He wrote, in all, it is said thirty comedies; but of these only eight remain, judging from the merits of which, we do not seem to have sustained any great loss in the others not having reached us.

It may appear strange at first that one who possessed such a wonderful power of description and delineation of character as did Cervantes, should not have been more successful in dramatic writing; but, whatever may be the cause, certain it is that his case does not stand alone. Men who have manifested the very highest abilities as romance-writers, have, if not entirely failed, at least not been remarkably successful, as composers of the drama; and of our own time, who so great a delineator of character, [Pg xix] or so happy in his incidents, or so stirring in his plots, as the immortal Author of Waverley? Yet the few specimens of dramatic composition which he has left us, only serve to shew that, when Waverley, Guy Mannering, Ivanhoe, and the rest of his romances are the delight of succeeding generations, Halidon Hill and the House of Aspen will, with the Numancia Vengada of the author of Don Quixote, be buried in comparative oblivion.

In 1588 Cervantes left Madrid, and settled at Seville, where, as he himself tells us, "he found something better to do than writing comedies." This "something better" was probably an appointment in some mercantile business; for we know that one of the principal branches of his family were very opulent merchants at Seville at that time, and through them he might obtain some means of subsistence less precarious than that which depended upon selling his comedies for a few "reals." Besides, two of the Cervantes-Saavedra of Seville were themselves amateur poets, and likely therefore to regard the more favourably their poor relation, Miguel of Alcala de Henares, to whom they would gladly intrust the management of some part of their mercantile affairs. The change, however, of life did not prevent Cervantes from still cultivating his old passion for literature; and we accordingly find his name as one of the prize-bearers for a series of poems which the Dominicans of Saragoza, in 1595, proposed to be written in praise of St. Hyacinthus; one of the prizes was adjudged to "Miguel Cervantes Saavedra of Seville."

In 1596 we find two short poetical pieces of Cervantes written upon the occasion of the gentlemen of Seville having taken arms, and prepared to deliver themselves and the city of Cadiz from the power of the English, who, under the famous Earl of Essex, had made a descent upon the Spanish coast, and destroyed the shipping intended for a second armada for the invasion of England. In 1598 Philip II. died; and Cervantes wrote a sonnet, which he then considered the best of his literary productions, upon a majestic tomb, of enormous height, to celebrate the funeral of that monarch. On the day that Philip was buried, a serious quarrel happened between the civil and ecclesiastical authorities of Seville; and Cervantes was mixed up in it, and was in some trouble for having dared to manifest his disapprobation by hissing at some part of their proceedings, but we are not told what.

In 1599 Cervantes went to Toledo, which is remarkable as being the place where he pretended to discover the original manuscript of Don Quixote, by the Arabian Cid Hamet Benengeli. It was about this time, too, that he resided in La Mancha, where he projected and executed part, at least, of his immortal romance of Don Quixote, and where he also laid the scene of that "ingenious gentleman's" adventures. It seems likely that, whatever may have been Cervantes' employment at Seville, it involved frequent travelling; and this may account for the very accurate knowledge which he displays of the different districts which he describes in his tale; for it is certain that the earlier part of his life could have afforded him no means of acquiring such information. Some have thought also that he was occasionally employed on government business, and that it was whilst on some commission of this sort that he was ill-treated by the people of La Mancha, and thrown into prison by them at Argasamilla. Whatever may have been the cause of his imprisonment, he himself tells us in the prologue to Don Quixote, that the first part of that work was composed in a jail.

[Pg xx] But for fifteen years of Cervantes' life, from 1588 to 1603, we know but very little of his pursuits; the notices we have of him during that time are very few and unsatisfactory; and this is the more to be regretted because it certainly was then that his great work was conceived, and in part executed. Soon after the accession of Philip the Third, he removed from Seville to Valladolid, probably for the sake of being near the court of that monarch, who, though remarkable for his indolence, yet professed himself the patron of letters. It was whilst living here that the first part of Don Quixote was published, but not at Valladolid; it appeared at Madrid, either at the end of 1604, or, at the latest, in 1605.

The records of the magistracy of Valladolid afford us some curious particulars of our author's mode of life about the time of the publication of Don Quixote. He was brought before the court of justice, on suspicion of having been concerned in a nightly brawl and murder, though he really had no share in it. A Spanish gentleman, named Don Gaspar Garibay, was stabbed about midnight near the house of Cervantes. When the alarm was raised, he was amongst the first to run out and proffer every assistance in his power to the wounded man. The neighbourhood was not very respectable, and this gave rise to our author's subsequent trouble in the matter; for it was suspected that the ladies of his household were, from the place where they lived, persons of bad reputation, and that he himself had, in some shameful affray, dealt the murderous blow with his own hand. He and all his family were, in consequence, directly arrested, and only got at liberty after undergoing a very minute and rigid examination. The records of the court tell us that Cervantes asserted that he was residing at Valladolid for purposes of business; that, by reason of his literary pursuits and reputation, he was frequently honoured by visits from gentlemen of the royal household and learned men of the university; and, moreover, that he was living in great poverty; for we are told that he, his wife, and his two sisters, one of whom was a nun, and his niece, were living in a scanty and mean lodging on the fourth floor of a poor-looking house, and amongst them all had only one maid-servant. He stated his age to be upwards of fifty, though we know that, if born in 1547, he must in fact have nearly, or quite completed his fifty-seventh year at this time. In such obscurity, then, was the immortal author of Don Quixote living at the time of its publication.

The First Part of this famous romance was dedicated to Don Alonzo Lopez de Zuniga, Duke of Bexar or Bejar, who at this time affected the character of a MecŠnas; whose conduct, however, towards Cervantes was not marked by a generosity suited to his rank, nor according to his profession, nor at all corresponding to the merits and wants of the author. But the book needed no patron; it must make its own way, and it did so. It was read immediately in court and city, by old and young, learned and unlearned, and by all with equal delight; "it went forth with the universal applause of all nations." Four editions (and in the seventeenth century, when so few persons comparatively could read, that was equivalent to more than double the number at the present time)—four editions were published and sold in one year.

The profits from the sale of Don Quixote must have been very considerable; and they, together with the remains of his paternal estates, and the pensions from the count and the cardinal, enabled Cervantes to live in ease and comfort. Ten years elapsed before he sent any new work to the press; which time was passed in study, and in attending to his pecuniary [Pg xxi] affairs. Though Madrid was now his fixed abode, we often find him at Esquivias, where he probably went to enjoy the quiet and repose of the village, and to look after the property which he there possessed as his wife's dowry.

In 1613 he published his twelve Novelas Exemplares, or 'Exemplary Novels,' with a dedication to his patron the Count de Lemos. He called them "exemplary," because, as he tells us, his other novels had been censured as more satirical than exemplary; which fault he determined to amend in these; and therefore each of them contains interwoven in it some error to be avoided, or some virtue to be practised. He asserts that they were entirely his own invention, not borrowed or copied from any other works of the same sort, nor translated from any other language, as was the case with most of the novels which his countrymen had published hitherto. But, notwithstanding this, we cannot fail to remark a strong resemblance in them to the tales of Boccaccio; still they are most excellent in their way, and have always been favourites with the Spanish youth for their interest and pure morality, and their ease and manliness of style. The titles of these novels are, The Little Gipsey, The Generous Lover, Rinconete and Cortadillo, The Spanish-English Lady, The Glass Doctor, The Force of Blood, The Jealous Estremaduran, The Illustrious Servant-Maid, The Two Damsels, The Lady Cornelia Bentivoglio, The Deceitful Marriage, and The Dialogue of the Dogs. They have all been translated into English, and are probably not unknown to some of our readers.

The next year Cervantes published another small work, entitled the Viage de Parnasso, or 'A Journey to Parnassus,' which is a playful satire upon the Spanish poets, after the manner of CŠsar Caporali's upon the Italian poets under a similar title. It is a good picture of the Spanish literature of his day, and one of the most powerful of his poetical works. It is full of satire, though not ill-natured, and there was no man of genius of the time who would complain of being too harshly treated in it. Cervantes introduces himself as the oldest and poorest of all the poetical fraternity, "the naked Adam of Spanish poets." The plot of the poem is as follows:—Apollo wishes to rid Parnassus of the bad poets, and to that end he calls together all the others by a message through Mercury. When all assembled, he leads them into a rich garden of Parnassus, and assigns to each the place which corresponds to his merits. Poor Cervantes alone does not obtain this distinction, and remains without being noticed in the presence of the rest, before whom all the works he has ever published are displayed. In vain does he urge his love for literature, and the troubles which he had endured for its sake; no seat can he get. At last Apollo, in compassion upon him, advises him to fold up his cloak, and to make that his seat; but, alas, so poor is he that he does not possess such a thing, and so he is obliged to remain standing in spite of his age, his talents, and the opinion of many who know and confess the honour and position which is his due. The vessel in which this 'Journey to Parnassus' is performed is described in a way quite worthy of Cervantes: "From topmast to keel it was all of verse; not one foot of prose was there in it. The airy railings which fenced the deck were all of double-rhymes. Ballads, an impudent but necessary race, occupied the rowing-benches; and rightly, for there is nothing to which they may not be turned. The poop was grand and gay, but somewhat strange in its style, being stuck all over with sonnets of the richest workmanship. The stroke-oars on either [Pg xxii] side were pulled by two vigorous triplets, which regulated the motion of the vessel in a way both easy and powerful. The gangway was one long and most melancholy elegy, from which tears were continually dropping."

The publication of a shameful imitation, pretending to be a Second Part of the Adventures of Don Quixote accelerated the production of Cervantes' own Second Part; which accordingly made its appearance at the beginning of 1615. Contrary to common experience, this Second Part was received, and deservedly, with as great applause as was the First Part ten years before.

Cervantes had now but a few more months to live; and it must, in his declining years, have been a great consolation to find that the efforts of his genius were still appreciated by his countrymen; not to mention the relief from pecuniary embarrassments which the profits of the sale must have afforded him. Cervantes was now at the height to which his ambition had all along aimed; he had no rival; for Lope de Vega was dead, and the literary kingdom of Spain was all his own. He was courted by the great; no strangers came to Madrid without making the writer of Don Quixote the first object of their inquiry; he reposed in honour, free from all calumny, in the bosom of his family.

This same year he published eight comedies, and the same number of interludes; two only in verse, the rest in prose. It does not seem likely that these were written at this time; they must have been the works of his earlier years; but, like his novels, corrected and given to the public when his judgment was more mature. Several of them had, no doubt, been performed on the stage many years before, and remained with Cervantes in manuscript. The dissertation which he prefixed to them is full of interest, and is very curious and valuable, since it contains the only account we have of the early history of the Spanish drama.

In 1616, he completed and prepared for the press a romance entitled Persiles and Sigismunda, of a grave character, written in imitation of the Ethiopics of Heliodorus; it was the work of many years, and is accounted by the Spaniards one of the purest specimens of Castilian writing. He finished it just before his death, but never lived to see it published. The dedication and prologue of Persiles and Sigismunda are very affecting; they are the voice of a dying man speaking to us of his approaching dissolution.

From the nature of his complaint, Cervantes retained his mental faculties to the very last, and so was able to be the historian of his latter days. At the end of the preface to Persiles, he tells us that he had gone for a few days to Esquivias, in hopes that country air might be beneficial to him. On his return to Madrid, he was accompanied by his friends, when a young student on horseback overtook them, riding very hard to do so, and complaining in consequence of the rapid pace at which they were going. One of the three made answer that it was no fault of theirs, but that the horse of Miguel de Cervantes was to be blamed, whose trot was none of the slowest. Scarcely had the name been pronounced, when the young man dismounted; and touching the border of Cervantes' left sleeve, exclaimed, "Yes, yes, it is indeed the maimed perfection, the all-famous, the delightful writer, the joy and darling of the Muses." This salutation was returned with Cervantes' natural modesty; and the worthy student performed the rest of the journey with him and his friends. "We drew up a little," says Cervantes, "and rode on at a measured pace; and whilst we rode, we happened to talk of my illness. The good student soon [Pg xxiii] knocked away all my hopes, and let me know my doom, by telling me that it was a dropsy that I had got: the thirst attending which, not all the waters of the ocean, though it were not salt, could suffice to quench. 'Therefore, Senor Cervantes,' said he, 'you must drink nothing at all, but forget not to eat, and to eat plentifully; that alone will recover you without any physic.' 'Others have told me the same,' answered I; 'but I can no more forbear drinking, than if I had been born to nothing else. My life is fast drawing to a close; and from the state of my pulse, I think I can scarcely outlive Sunday next at the utmost; so that I hardly think I shall profit by the acquaintance so fortunately made. But adieu, my merry friends all; for I am going to die; and I hope to see you again ere long in the next world as happy as hearts can desire.' With that, we found ourselves at the bridge of Toledo, by which we entered the city; and the student took leave of us, having to go round by the bridge of Segovia."

This is all that we know of the last sickness of Cervantes: it was dropsy, and this dropsy, according to his own prediction to the student, increased so rapidly, that a few days after, on the 18th of April, 1616, he was considered to be past recovery, and it was thought advisable for him to receive the last sacrament of extreme unction, which he accordingly did with all the devotion of a pious Catholic.

He died on the 23d day of April, 1616, in the sixty-ninth year of his age; and was buried in the habit of the Franciscans, whose order he had entered some time previous to his decease. It is a coincidence worth remembering, that Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra terminated his mortal course in Spain on the very same day that William Shakspere died in England.


As regards style of composition, Cervantes is without a rival in the Spanish language. For the purity of his writing, he is even to this day acknowledged, not only to be first, but to have no one who can come near enough to be called second to him. But this is not his greatest praise. He must ever be remembered as the originator of a kind of writing, which the greatest of men since his time have thought it an honour, of whatever country they may have been, to imitate. All modern romance-writers, and novel-writers (and what a mighty host are they!) must be content to be accounted the followers of Miguel de Cervantes.

With regard to Don Quixote, it need hardly be said that its object is satire upon the books of knight-errantry, which were so much used in the time of Cervantes, and especially by the Spanish. He conceived that these books were likely to give his countrymen false ideas of the world; to fill them all, but especially the young, with fanciful notions of life, and so make them unfit to meet its real difficulties and hardships. In order to exhibit the absurdity of such works (it must be remembered too, that the more famous books of knighthood had given rise to a host of spurious imitations, with all their faults and none of their beauties), the author of Don Quixote represents a worthy gentleman with his head turned by such reading, and then sallying forth and endeavouring to act in this plain matter-of-fact world (where there are windmills, and not giants—inns, and [Pg xxiv] not castles—good honest hosts and hostesses, and not lords and ladies—chambermaids, and not peerless beauties—estates to be got by hard labour, and not islands to be given away to one's dependants as if by enchantment), endeavouring to act, we say, as if all that was said in Amadis de Gaul, and Palmerin of England, and Olivante de Laura, were really true. The absurdities into which the poor gentleman's madness constantly hurries him, the stern and bitter satire which is conveyed in these against the books which caused them all, did more towards putting down the extravagances of knight-errantry than many volumes of the bitterest invective. We of this present day cannot be really alive to all the great genius displayed in Don Quixote. The books which it satirises are now almost unknown; many who have heard of Amadis de Gaul have never read it, and still less have they read all the lineage of the Amadis. Besides, in some of the first of the chivalrous romances, such as Palmerin of England, the Morte d'Arthur, and others, there was undoubtedly very much talent and beauty of sentiment: and it was as such that Southey thought it right to translate them and present them to the English public some years ago; and deeply indebted are we all to him for his labours, which revived among us somewhat of the taste for the old and stately prose of the ancient romances—a taste which in our day has given rise to those beautiful editions in English of the tales of De la Motte FouquÚ. But we must ever remember that it was not for the purpose of ridiculing those and similar books that Cervantes wrote his "history"—one so keenly alive to the beauty of the poetry of the mediŠval writing as he was, never could have intended such a thing: it was to exterminate the race of miserable imitators, who, at his time, deluged Europe with sickening caricatures of the old romance. It has even been thought that he had intended another course in order to cure the disease, namely, that of himself composing a model romance in the style of Amadis, which, from its excellence, would make manifest the follies of men who had endeavoured to imitate that almost inimitable work. But the disease was past cure; the limb was obliged to be amputated; books of knight-errantry could not be reformed, he thought; and so rather than let them continue their mischief in their present shape, they must be quite destroyed; and this the satire of Don Quixote was by its author considered the most proper means of effecting.

This was indeed a daring remedy; and, as may be supposed, by some it has been thought that Cervantes, in lopping off an excrescence, did also destroy a healthy limb,—that, in destroying knight-errantry, he destroyed also the holy spirit of self-devotion and heroism. The Count SÚgur, we are told by an ingenious writer of the present time,[2] who joins the Count[Pg xxv] in his opinion, laments that the fine spirit of chivalry should have lost its empire, and that the romance of Don Quixote, by its success and its philosophy, concealed under an attractive fiction, should have completed the ruin by fixing ridicule even upon its memory—a sentence indeed full of error; for real philosophy needs not to be concealed to be attractive. And Sir William Temple quotes the saying of a worthy Spaniard, who told him "that the History of Don Quixote had ruined the Spanish monarchy; for since that time men had grown ashamed of honour and love, and only thought of pursuing their fortune and satisfying their lust."

[2] Kenelm Digby, Esq., in his beautiful book entitled Godefridus, one of the volumes of the Broad Stone of Honour.

But surely such censure is misdirected—surely the downfall of Spain may be traced to other causes. It is not the spirit of heroism, or of Christian self-devotion, which Cervantes would put down. His manly writing can never be accused of that: misfortune had taught him too well in his own earlier days how to appreciate such a virtue. In nothing is his consummate skill perceived more than in the way in which he prevents us from confounding the follies of the knights-errant, and of the debased books of romance, with the generous heart and actions of the true Christian gentleman. In spite of all his hallucination, who can help respecting Don Quixote himself? We laugh, indeed, at the ludicrous situations into which his madness is for ever getting him; but we must reverence the good Christian cavalier who, amidst all, never thinks less of any thing than of himself and of his own interest. What is his character? It is that of one possessing virtue, imagination, genius, kind feeling,—all that can distinguish an elevated soul, and an affectionate heart. He is brave, faithful, loyal, always keeping his word; he contends only for virtue and glory. Does he wish for kingdoms? it is only that he may give them to his good squire Sancho Panza. He is a constant lover, a humane warrior, an affectionate master, an accomplished gentleman. It is not, then, by describing such a man that Cervantes desired to ridicule real heroism; surely not: he would only shew that, even with all these good qualities, if they were misdirected or spoiled by vain imaginations, the most noble could only become ridiculous. He would teach us, that this is a world of action, and not of fancy; that it will not do for us to go out of ourselves and out of the world, and lead an ideal life: our duties are around us and within us; and we need not leave our own homes in order to seek adventures wherein those duties may be acceptably performed. He perceived that by knight-errantry and romances some of the holiest aspirations of the human heart were, according to the adage, which affirms that "there is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous," by over-description and fulsome language, in danger of being exposed to ridicule, and so of being crushed; and he resolved, by excess of satire, to put a [Pg xxvi] stop at once to such a danger,—to crush those books which were daily destroying that which he held most dear—the true spirit of chivalry, the true devotion of the Christian gentleman. "When the light of chivalry was expiring, Cervantes put his extinguisher upon it, and drove away the moths that alone still fluttered around it. He loved chivalry too well to be patient when he saw it parodied and burlesqued; and he perceived that the best way of preserving it from shame was, to throw over it the sanctity of death."[3]

[3] Vide Guesses at Truth.


With respect to the present edition, little need be said beyond what the title-page itself implies. With what degree of judgment the "cumbrous matter" has been removed, must be left to the public to determine. The Editor may, however, say, that the task which he at first undertook with some trepidation, gradually assumed an easier and more pleasant aspect; and he may add, that the result has been such as to satisfy himself of the success of the experiment. He trusts that he has placed in the hands of the mass of our reading population, and especially of the youth of England, an edition of Cervantes' immortal work, in a convenient, but yet not too condensed form—retaining all the point, humour, and pathos of the original, without any of the prolixity, or the improprieties of expression, which have heretofore disfigured it. The judgment passed upon one of the books in our hero's library by his inquisitorial friends may well be applied to his own work: "Had there been less of it, it would have been more esteemed. 'Tis fit the book should be pruned and cleared of some inferior things that encumber and deform it: keep it, however," &c.—(Page 23.)

It only remains to add, that the excellent translation of Motteux has been principally adhered to in the present edition.

London, December 1st, 1846.


NOTES.

The holy brotherhood.—Most readers would suppose at first sight that the Inquisition is meant by this term, which occurs so often in the work; it is not so, however. The "holy brotherhood" alluded to was simply an association for the prevention of robberies and murders in the less frequented parts of Spain.

Mambrino's helmet.—Orlando Furioso must be referred to for the history of this enchanted and invulnerable headpiece, which is several times alluded to in Don Quixote.


The Life and Achievements

OF

DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA.


CHAPTER I.

The quality and way of living of Don Quixote.

IN a certain village in La Mancha, in the kingdom of Arragon, of which I cannot remember the name, there lived not long ago one of those old-fashioned gentlemen, who are never without a lance upon a rack, an old target, a lean horse, and a greyhound. His diet consisted more of beef than mutton; and, with minced meat on most nights, lentiles on Fridays, and a pigeon extraordinary on Sundays, he consumed three quarters of his revenue; the rest was laid out in a plush coat, velvet breeches, with slippers of the same, for holydays; and a suit of the very best homespun cloth, which he bestowed on himself for working-days. His whole family was a housekeeper something turned of forty, a niece not twenty, and a man that served him in the house and in the field, and could saddle a horse, and handle the pruning-hook. The master himself was nigh fifty years of age, of a hale and strong complexion, lean-bodied and thin-faced, an early riser, and a lover of hunting. Some say his sirname was Quixada, or Quesada (for authors differ in this particular); however, we may reasonably conjecture, he was called Quixada (i.e. lantern-jaws), though this concerns us but little, provided we keep strictly to the truth in every point of this history.

Be it known, then, that when our gentleman had nothing to do (which was almost all the year round), he passed his time in reading books of knight-errantry, which he did with that application and delight, that at last he in a manner wholly left off his [Pg 2] country sports, and even the care of his estate; nay, he grew so strangely enamoured of these amusements, that he sold many acres of land to purchase books of that kind, by which means he collected as many of them as he could; but none pleased him like the works of the famous Feliciano de Sylva; for the brilliancy of his prose, and those intricate expressions with which it is interlaced seemed to him so many pearls of eloquence, especially when he came to read the love-addresses and challenges; many of them in this extraordinary style. "The reason of your unreasonable usage of my reason, does so enfeeble my reason, that I have reason to expostulate with your beauty." And this, "The sublime heavens, which with your divinity divinely fortify you with the stars, and fix you the deserver of the desert that is deserved by your grandeur." These, and such-like rhapsodies, strangely puzzled the poor gentleman's understanding, while he was racking his brain to unravel their meaning, which Aristotle himself could never have found, though he should have been raised from the dead for that very purpose.

He did not so well like those dreadful wounds which Don Belianis gave and received; for he considered that all the art of surgery could never secure his face and body from being strangely disfigured with scars. However, he highly commended the author for concluding his book with a promise to finish that unfinishable adventure; and many times he had a desire to put pen to paper, and faithfully and literally finish it himself; which he had certainly done, and doubtless with good success, had not his thoughts been wholly engrossed in much more important designs.

He would often dispute with the curate of the parish, a man of learning, that had taken his degrees at Giguenza, as to which was the better knight, Palmerin of England, or Amadis de Gaul; but Master Nicholas, the barber of the same town, would say, that none of them could compare with the Knight of the Sun; and that if any one came near him, it was certainly Don Galaor, the brother of Amadis de Gaul; for he was a man of a most commodious temper, neither was he so finical, nor such a whining lover, as his brother; and as for courage, he was not a jot behind him.

In fine, he gave himself up so wholly to the reading of romances, that at night he would pore on until it was day, and would read on all day until it was night; and thus a world of extraordinary notions, picked out of his books, crowded into his imagination; now his head was full of nothing but enchantments, quarrels, battles, challenges, wounds, complaints, love-passages, torments, and abundance of absurd impossibilities; insomuch that all the fables and fantastical tales which he read seemed to him now as true as the most authentic histories. He would say, that the Cid Ruydiaz was a very brave knight, but not worthy to stand in competition with the Knight of the Burning Sword, who, with a single back-stroke had cut in sunder two [Pg 3] fierce and mighty giants. He liked yet better Bernardo del Carpio, who, at Roncesvalles, deprived of life the enchanted Orlando, having lifted him from the ground, and choked him in the air, as Hercules did AntŠus, the son of the Earth.

As for the giant Morgante, he always spoke very civil things of him; for among that monstrous brood, who were ever intolerably proud and insolent, he alone behaved himself like a civil and well-bred person.

But of all men in the world he admired Rinaldo of Montalban, and particularly his carrying away the idol of Mahomet, which was all massy gold, as the history says; while he so hated that traitor Galalon, that for the pleasure of kicking him handsomely, he would have given up his housekeeper, nay and his niece into the bargain.

Having thus confused his understanding, he unluckily stumbled upon the oddest fancy that ever entered into a madman's brain; for now he thought it convenient and necessary, as well for the increase of his own honour, as the service of the public, to turn knight-errant, and roam through the whole world, armed cap-a-pie, and mounted on his steed, in quest of adventures; that thus imitating those knight-errants of whom he had read, and following their course of life, redressing all manner of grievances, and exposing himself to danger on all occasions, at last, after a happy conclusion of his enterprises, he might purchase everlasting honour and renown.

The first thing he did was to scour a suit of armour that had belonged to his great grandfather, and had lain time out of mind carelessly rusting in a corner; but when he had cleaned and repaired it as well as he could, he perceived there was a material piece wanting; for, instead of a complete helmet, there was only a single head-piece. However, his industry supplied that defect; for with some pasteboard he made a kind of half-beaver, or vizor, which, being fitted to the head-piece, made it look like an entire helmet. Then, to know whether it were cutlass-proof, he drew his sword, and tried its edge upon the pasteboard vizor; but with the very first stroke he unluckily undid in a moment what he had been a whole week in doing. He did not like its being broke with so much ease, and therefore, to secure it from the like accident, he made it a-new, and fenced it with thin plates of iron, which he fixed on the inside of it so artificially, that at last he had reason to be satisfied with the solidity of the work; and so, without any farther experiment, he resolved it should pass to all intents and purposes for a full and sufficient helmet.

The next moment he went to view his horse, whose bones stuck out like the corners of a Spanish real, being a worse jade than Gonela's, qui tantum pellis etossa fuit; however, his master thought that neither Alexander's Bucephalus nor the Cid's Babieca could be compared with him. He was four days considering [Pg 4] what name to give him; for, as he argued with himself, there was no reason that a horse bestrid by so famous a knight, and withal so excellent in himself, should not be distinguished by a particular name; so, after many names which he devised, rejected, changed, liked, disliked, and pitched upon again, he concluded to call him Rozinante.

Having thus given his horse a name, he thought of choosing one for himself; and having seriously pondered on the matter eight whole days more, at last he determined to call himself Don Quixote. Whence the author of this history draws this inference, that his right name was Quixada, and not Quesada, as others obstinately pretend. And observing, that the valiant Amadis, not satisfied with the bare appellation of Amadis, added to it the name of his country, that it might grow more famous by his exploits, and so styled himself Amadis de Gaul; so he, like a true lover of his native soil, resolved to call himself Don Quixote de la Mancha; which addition, to his thinking, denoted very plainly his parentage and country, and consequently would fix a lasting honour on that part of the world.

And now, his armour being scoured, his head-piece improved to a helmet, his horse and himself new-named, he perceived he wanted nothing but a lady, on whom he might bestow the empire of his heart; for he was sensible that a knight-errant without a mistress was a tree without either fruit or leaves, and a body without a soul. "Should I," said he to himself, "by good or ill fortune, chance to encounter some giant, as it is common in knight-errantry, and happen to lay him prostrate on the ground, transfixed with my lance, or cleft in two, or, in short, overcome him, and have him at my mercy, would it not be proper to have some lady to whom I may send him as a trophy of my valour? Then when he comes into her presence, throwing himself at her feet, he may thus make his humble submission: 'Lady, I am the giant Caraculiambro, lord of the island of Malindrania, vanquished in single combat by that never-deservedly-enough-extolled knight-errant Don Quixote de la Mancha, who has commanded me to cast myself most humbly at your feet, that it may please your honour to dispose of me according to your will.'" Near the place where he lived dwelt a good-looking country girl, for whom he had formerly had a sort of an inclination, though, it is believed, she never heard of it, nor regarded it in the least. Her name was Aldonza Lorenzo, and this was she whom he thought he might entitle to the sovereignty of his heart; upon which he studied to find her out a new name, that might have some affinity with her old one, and yet at the same time sound somewhat like that of a princess, or lady of quality; so at last he resolved to call her Dulcinea, with the addition of del Toboso, from the place where she was born; a name, in his opinion, sweet, harmonious, and dignified, like the others which he had devised.


CHAPTER II.

Which treats of Don Quixote's first sally.

[Pg 5] These preparations being made, he found his designs ripe for action, and thought it now a crime to deny himself any longer to the injured world that wanted such a deliverer; the more when he considered what grievances he was to redress, what wrongs and injuries to remove, what abuses to correct, and what duties to discharge. So one morning before day, in the greatest heat of July, without acquainting any one with his design, with all the secrecy imaginable, he armed himself cap-a-pie, laced on his ill-contrived helmet, braced on his target, grasped his lance, mounted Rozinante, and at the private door of his back-yard sallied out into the fields, wonderfully pleased to see with how much ease he had succeeded in the beginning of his enterprise. But he had not gone far ere a terrible thought alarmed him; a thought that had like to have made him renounce his great undertaking; for now it came into his mind, that the honour of knighthood had not yet been conferred upon him, and therefore, according to the laws of chivalry, he neither could nor ought to appear in arms against any professed knight; nay, he also considered, that though he were already knighted, it would become him to wear white armour, and not to adorn his shield with any device, until he had deserved one by some extraordinary demonstration of his valour.

These thoughts staggered his resolution; but his frenzy prevailing more than reason, he resolved to be dubbed a knight by the first he should meet, after the example of several others, who, as the romances informed him, had formerly done the like. As for the other difficulty about wearing white armour, he proposed to overcome it, by scouring his own at leisure until it should look whiter than ermine. And having thus dismissed these scruples, he rode calmly on, leaving it to his horse to go which way he pleased; firmly believing, that in this consisted the very essence of adventures. And as he thus went on, "no doubt," said he to himself, "that when the history of my famous achievements shall be given to the world, the learned author will begin it in this very manner, when he comes to give an account of this my setting out: 'Scarce had the ruddy Phœbus begun to spread the golden tresses of his lovely hair over the vast surface of the earthly globe, and scarce had those feathered poets of the grove, the pretty painted birds, tuned their little pipes, to sing their early welcomes in soft melodious strains to the beautiful Aurora, displaying her rosy graces to mortal eyes from the gates and balconies of the Manchegan horizon,—when the renowned knight Don Quixote de la Mancha, disdaining soft repose, forsook the [Pg 6] voluptuous down, and mounting his famous steed Rozinante, entered the ancient and celebrated plains of Montiel.'" This was indeed the very road he took; and then proceeding, "O happy age! O fortunate times!" cried he, "decreed to usher into the world my famous achievements; achievements worthy to be engraven on brass, carved on marble, and delineated in some masterpiece of painting, as monuments of my glory, and examples for posterity! And thou, venerable sage, wise enchanter, whatever be thy name; thou whom fate has ordained to be the compiler of this rare history, forget not, I beseech thee, my trusty Rozinante, the eternal companion of all my adventures." After this, as if he had been really in love; "O Princess Dulcinea," cried he, "lady of this captive heart, much sorrow and woe you have doomed me to in banishing me thus, and imposing on me your rigorous commands, never to appear before your beauteous face! Remember, lady, that loyal heart your slave, who for your love submits to so many miseries." To these extravagant conceits, he added a world of others, all in imitation, and in the very style of those which the reading of romances had furnished him with; and all this while he rode so softly, and the sun's heat increased so fast, and was so violent, that it would have been sufficient to have melted his brains, had he had any left.

He travelled almost all that day without meeting any adventure worth the trouble of relating, which put him into a kind of despair; for he desired nothing more than to encounter immediately some person on whom he might try the vigour of his arm.

Towards the evening, he and his horse being heartily tired and almost famished, Don Quixote looked about him, in hopes to discover some castle, or at least some shepherd's cottage, there to repose and refresh himself; and at last near the road which he kept, he espied an inn, a most welcome sight to his longing eyes. Hastening towards it with all the speed he could, he got thither just at the close of the evening. There stood by chance at the inn-door two young female adventurers, who were going to Seville with some carriers that happened to take up their lodging there that very evening; and as whatever our knight-errant saw, thought, or imagined, was all of a romantic cast, and appeared to him altogether after the manner of his favourite books, he no sooner saw the inn but he fancied it to be a castle fenced with four towers, and lofty pinnacles glittering with silver, together with a deep moat, drawbridge, and all those other appurtenances peculiar to such kind of places.

When he came near it, he stopped a while at a distance from the gate, expecting that some dwarf would appear on the battlements, and sound his trumpet to give notice of the arrival of a knight; but finding that nobody came, and that Rozinante was for making the best of his way to the stable, he advanced to the door, [Pg 7] at which the innkeeper immediately appeared. He was a man whose burden of fat inclined him to peace and quietness, yet when he observed such a strange disguise of human shape in his old armour and equipage, he could hardly forbear laughter; but having the fear of such a warlike appearance before his eyes, he resolved to give him good words, and therefore accosted him civilly: "Sir Knight," said he, "if your worship be disposed to alight, you will fail of nothing here but of a bed; as for all other accommodations, you may be supplied to your mind." Don Quixote observing the humility of the governor of the castle (for such the innkeeper and inn seemed to him), "Senior Castellano," said he, "the least thing in the world suffices me; for arms are the only things I value, and combat is my bed of repose." "At this rate, Sir Knight, you may safely alight, and I dare assure you, you can hardly miss being kept awake all the year long in this house, much less one single night." With that he went and held Don Quixote's stirrup, who having ate nothing all that day, dismounted with no small trouble and difficulty. He immediately desired the governor (that is, the innkeeper) to have special care of his steed, assuring him that there was not a better in the universe; upon which the innkeeper viewed him narrowly, but could not think him to be half so good as Don Quixote said. However, having set him up in the stable, he came back to the knight to see what he wanted, and whether he would eat anything. "That I will, with all my heart," cried Don Quixote, "whatever it be; for I am of opinion nothing can come to me more seasonably." Now, it happened to be Friday, and there was nothing to be had at the inn but some pieces of fish, which they call truchuela; so they asked him whether he could eat any of that truchuela, because they had no other fish to give him. Don Quixote imagining they meant small trout, told them, that provided there were more than one, it was the same thing to him, they would serve him as well as a great one; "for," continued he, "it is all one to me whether I am paid a piece of eight in one single piece, or in eight small reals, which are worth as much. Besides, it is probable these small trouts may be like veal, which is finer meat than beef; or like the kid, which is better than the goat. In short, let it be what it will, so it comes quickly; for the weight of armour and the fatigue of travel are not to be supported without recruiting food." Thereupon they laid the cloth at the inn-door for the benefit of the fresh air, and the landlord brought him a piece of the salt fish, but ill-watered and as ill-dressed; and as for the bread, it was as mouldy and brown as the knight's armour.

While he was at supper, a pig-driver happened to sound his cane-trumpet, or whistle of reeds, four or five times as he came near the inn, which made Don Quixote the more positive that he was in a famous castle, where he was entertained with music at [Pg 8] supper, that the country girls were great ladies, and the innkeeper the governor of the castle, which made him applaud himself for his resolution, and his setting out on such an account. The only thing that vexed him was, that he was not yet dubbed a knight; for he fancied he could not lawfully undertake any adventure till he had received the order of knighthood.


CHAPTER III.

An account of the pleasant method taken by Don Quixote to be dubbed a knight.

Don Quixote's mind being disturbed with that thought, he abridged even his short supper; and as soon as he had done, he called his host, then shut him and himself up in the stable, and falling at his feet, "I will never rise from this place," cried he, "most valorous knight, till you have graciously vouchsafed to grant me a boon, which I will now beg of you, and which will redound to your honour and the good of mankind." The innkeeper, strangely at a loss to find his guest at his feet, and talking at this rate, endeavoured to make him rise; but all in vain, till he had promised to grant him what he asked. "I expected no less from your great magnificence, noble sir," replied Don Quixote; "and therefore I make bold to tell you, that the boon which I beg, and you generously condescend to grant me, is, that to-morrow you will be pleased to bestow the honour of knighthood upon me. This night I will watch my armour in the chapel of your castle, and then in the morning you shall gratify me, that I may be duly qualified to seek out adventures in every corner of the universe, to relieve the distressed, according to the laws of chivalry and the inclinations of knights-errant like myself." The innkeeper, who, as I said, was a sharp fellow, and had already a shrewd suspicion of his guest's disorder, was fully convinced of it when he heard him talk in this manner; and, to make sport he resolved to humour him, telling him he was much to be commended for his choice of such an employment, which was altogether worthy a knight of the first order, such as his gallant deportment discovered him to be: that he himself had in his youth followed that profession, ranging through many parts of the world in search of adventures, till at length he retired to this castle, where he lived on his own estate and those of others, entertaining all knights-errant of what quality or condition soever, purely for the great affection he bore them, and to partake of what they might share with him in return. He added, that his castle at present had no chapel where the knight might keep the vigil of his arms, it being pulled down in order to be new built; but that he [Pg 9] knew they might lawfully be watched in any other place in a case of necessity, and therefore he might do it that night in the court-yard of the castle; and in the morning all the necessary ceremonies should be performed, so that he might assure himself he should be dubbed a knight, nay as much a knight as any one in the world could be. He then asked Don Quixote whether he had any money? "Not a cross," replied the knight, "for I never read in any history of chivalry that any knight-errant ever carried money about him." "You are mistaken," cried the innkeeper; "for admit the histories are silent in this matter, the authors thinking it needless to mention things so evidently necessary as money and clean shirts, yet there is no reason to believe the knights went without either; and you may rest assured, that all the knights-errant, of whom so many histories are full, had their purses well lined to supply themselves with necessaries, and carried also with them some shirts, and a small box of salves to heal their wounds; for they had not the conveniency of surgeons to cure them every time they fought in fields and deserts, unless they were so happy as to have some sage or magician for their friend to give them present assistance, sending them some damsel or dwarf through the air in a cloud, with a small bottle of water of so great a virtue, that they no sooner tasted a drop of it, but their wounds were as perfectly cured as if they had never received any. But when they wanted such a friend in former ages, the knights thought themselves obliged to take care that their squires should be provided with money and other necessaries; and if those knights ever happened to have no squires, which was but very seldom, then they carried those things behind them in a little bag. I must therefore advise you," continued he, "never from this time forwards to ride without money, nor without the other necessaries of which I spoke to you, which you will find very beneficial when you least expect it." Don Quixote promised to perform all his injunctions; and so they disposed every thing in order to his watching his arms in the great yard. To which purpose the knight, having got them all together, laid them in a horse-trough close by a well; then bracing his target, and grasping his lance, just as it grew dark, he began to walk about by the horse-trough with a graceful deportment. In the mean while, the innkeeper acquainted all those that were in the house with the extravagancies of his guest, his watching his arms, and his hopes of being made a knight. They all marvelled very much at so strange a kind of folly, and went on to observe him at a distance; where, they saw him sometimes walk about with a great deal of gravity, and sometimes lean on his lance, with his eyes all the while fixed upon his arms. It was now undoubted night, but yet the moon did shine with such a brightness, as might almost have vied with that of the luminary which lent it her; so that the knight was wholly exposed to the spectators' view. While he was thus employed, [Pg 10] one of the carriers who lodged in the inn came out to water his mules, which he could not do without removing the arms out of the trough. With that, Don Quixote, who saw him make towards them, cried out to him aloud, "O thou, whoever thou art, rash knight, that prepares to lay thy hands on the arms of the most valorous knight-errant that ever wore a sword, take heed; do not audaciously attempt to profane them with a touch, lest instant death be the too sure reward of thy temerity." But the carrier regarded not these threats; and laying hold of the armour without any more ado, threw it a good way from him; though it had been better for him to have let it alone; for Don Quixote no sooner saw this, but lifting up his eyes to heaven, and thus addressing his thoughts, as it seemed, to his lady Dulcinea; "Assist me, lady," cried he, "in the first opportunity that offers itself to your faithful slave; nor let your favour and protection be denied me in this first trial of my valour!" Repeating such-like ejaculations, he let slip his target, and lifting up his lance with both his hands, he gave the carrier such a terrible knock on his inconsiderate head with his lance, that he laid him at his feet in a woful condition; and had he backed that blow with another, the fellow would certainly have had no need of a surgeon. This done, Don Quixote took up his armour, laid it again in the horse-trough, and then walked on backwards and forwards with as great unconcern as he did at first.

Soon after another carrier, not knowing what had happened, came also to water his mules, while the first yet lay on the ground in a trance; but as he offered to clear the trough of the armour, Don Quixote, without speaking a word, or imploring any one's assistance, once more dropped his target, lifted up his lance, and then let it fall so heavily on the fellow's pate, that without damaging his lance, he broke the carrier's head in three or four places. His outcry soon alarmed and brought thither all the people in the inn, and the landlord among the rest; which Don Quixote perceiving, "Thou Queen of Beauty," cried he, bracing on his shield, and drawing his sword, "thou courage and vigour of my weakened heart, now is the time when thou must enliven thy adventurous slave with the beams of thy greatness, while this moment he is engaging in so terrible an adventure!" With this, in his opinion, he found himself supplied with such an addition of courage, that had all the carriers in the world at once attacked him, he would undoubtedly have faced them all. On the other side, the carriers, enraged to see their comrades thus used, though they were afraid to come near, gave the knight such a volley of stones, that he was forced to shelter himself as well as he could under the covert of his target, without daring to go far from the horse-trough, lest he should seem to abandon his arms. The innkeeper called to the carriers as loud as he could to let him alone; that he had told them already he was mad, and consequently the [Pg 11] law would acquit him, though he should kill them. Don Quixote also made yet more noise, calling them false and treacherous villains, and the lord of the castle base and unhospitable, and a discourteous knight, for suffering a knight-errant to be so abused. "I would make thee know," cried he, "what a perfidious wretch thou art, had I but received the order of knighthood; but for you, base, ignominious rabble, fling on, do your worst; come on, draw nearer if you dare, and receive the reward of your indiscretion and insolence." This he spoke with so much spirit and undauntedness, that he struck a terror into all his assailants; so that, partly through fear, and partly through the innkeeper's persuasions, they gave over flinging stones at him; and he, on his side, permitted the enemy to carry off their wounded, and then returned to the guard of his arms as calm and composed as before.

The innkeeper, who began somewhat to disrelish these mad tricks of his guest, resolved to despatch him forthwith, and bestow on him that unlucky knighthood, to prevent farther mischief: so coming to him, he excused himself for the insolence of those base scoundrels, as being done without his privity or consent; but their audaciousness, he said, was sufficiently punished. He added, that he had already told him there was no chapel in his castle; and that indeed there was no need of one to finish the rest of the ceremony of knighthood, which consisted only in the application of the sword to the neck and shoulders, as he had read in the register of the ceremonies of the order; and that this might be performed as well in a field as anywhere else: that he had already fulfilled the obligation of watching his arms, which required no more than two hours watch, whereas he had been four hours upon the guard. Don Quixote, who easily believed him, told him he was ready to obey him, and desired him to make an end of the business as soon as possible; for if he were but knighted, and should see himself once attacked, he believed he should not leave a man alive in the castle, except those whom he should desire him to spare for his sake.

Upon this, the innkeeper, lest the knight should proceed to such extremities, fetched the book in which he used to set down the carriers' accounts for straw and barley; and having brought with him the two kind females already mentioned, and a boy that held a piece of lighted candle in his hand, he ordered Don Quixote to kneel: then reading in his manual, as if he had been repeating some pious oration, in the midst of his devotion he lifted up his hand, and gave him a good blow on the neck, and then a gentle slap on the back with the flat of his sword, still mumbling some words between his teeth in the tone of a prayer. After this he ordered one of the ladies to gird the sword about the knight's waist: which she did with much solemnity, and, I may add, discretion, considering how hard a thing it was to forbear laughing at every circumstance of the ceremony: it is true, the thoughts of [Pg 12] the knight's late prowess did not a little contribute to the suppression of her mirth. As she girded on his sword, "Heaven," cried the kind lady, "make your worship a lucky knight, and prosper you wherever you go." Don Quixote desired to know her name, that he might understand to whom he was indebted for the favour she had bestowed upon him, and also make her partaker of the honour he was to acquire by the strength of his arm. To which the lady answered with all humility, that her name was Tolosa, a cobbler's daughter, that kept a stall among the little shops of Sanchobinaya at Toledo; and that whenever he pleased to command her, she would be his humble servant. Don Quixote begged of her to do him the favour to add hereafter the title of lady to her name, and for his sake to be called from that time the Lady Toloso; which she promised to do. Her companion having buckled on his spurs, occasioned a like conference between them; and when he had asked her name, she told him she went by the name of Molivera, being the daughter of an honest miller of Antequera. Our new knight entreated her also to style herself the Lady Molivera, making her new offers of service. These extraordinary ceremonies (the like never seen before) being thus hurried over in a kind of post-haste, Don Quixote could not rest till he had taken the field in quest of adventures; therefore having immediately saddled his Rozinante, and being mounted, he embraced the innkeeper, and returned him so many thanks at so extravagant a rate, for the obligation he had laid upon him in dubbing him a knight, that it is impossible to give a true relation of them all; to which the innkeeper, in haste to get rid of him, returned as rhetorical though shorter answers; and without stopping his horse for the reckoning, was glad with all his heart to see him go.


CHAPTER IV.

What befel the Knight after he had left the inn.

Aurora began to usher in the morn, when Don Quixote sallied out of the inn, so overjoyed to find himself knighted, that he infused the same satisfaction into his horse, who seemed ready to burst his girths for joy. But calling to mind the admonitions which the innkeeper had given him, concerning the provision of necessary accommodation in his travels, particularly money and clean shirts, he resolved to return home to furnish himself with them, and likewise get him a squire, designing to entertain as such a labouring man, his neighbour, who was poor and had a number of children, but yet very fit for the office. With this resolution he took the road which led to his own village. The knight had not travelled far, when he fancied he heard an effeminate voice complaining in a thicket on his right hand. "I thank [Pg 13] Heaven," said he, when he heard the cries, "for favouring me so soon with an opportunity to perform the duty of my profession, and reap the fruits of my desire; for these complaints are certainly the moans of some distressed creature who wants my present help." Then turning to that side with all the speed which Rozinante could make, he no sooner came into the wood but he found a mare tied to an oak, and to another a young lad about fifteen years of age, naked from the waist upwards. This was he who made such a lamentable outcry; and not without cause, for a lusty country-fellow was strapping him soundly with a girdle, at every stripe putting him in mind of a proverb, Keep your mouth shut, and your eyes open. "Good master," cried the boy, "I'll do so no more: indeed, master, hereafter I'll take more care of your goods." Don Quixote seeing this, cried in an angry tone, "Discourteous knight, 'tis an unworthy act to strike a person who is not able to defend himself: come, bestride thy steed, and take thy lance, then I'll make thee know thou hast acted the part of a coward." The country-fellow, who gave himself for lost at the sight of an apparition in armour brandishing his lance at his face, answered him in mild and submissive words: "Sir knight," cried he, "this boy, whom I am chastising, is my servant; and because I correct him for his carelessness or his knavery, he says I do it out of covetousness, to defraud him of his wages; but, upon my life and soul, he belies me." "Sayest thou this in my presence, vile rustic," cried Don Quixote; "for thy insolent speech, I have a good mind to run thee through the body with my lance. Pay the boy this instant, without any more words, or I will immediately despatch and annihilate thee: unbind him, I say, this moment." The countryman hung down his head, and without any further reply unbound the boy; who being asked by Don Quixote what his master owed him, told him it was nine months' wages, at seven reals a month. The knight having cast it up, found it came to sixty-three reals in all; which he ordered the farmer to pay the fellow immediately, unless he intended to lose his life that very moment. "The worst is, sir knight," cried the farmer, "that I have no money about me; but let Andres go home with me, and I'll pay him every piece out of hand." "What, I go home with him!" cried the youngster; "I know better things: for he'd no sooner have me by himself, but he'd flay me alive, like another St. Bartholomew." "He will not dare," replied Don Quixote; "I command him, and that's sufficient: therefore, provided he will swear by the order of knighthood which has been conferred upon him, that he will duly observe this regulation, I will freely let him go, and then thou art secure of thy money." "Good sir, take heed what you say," cried the boy; "for my master is no knight, nor ever was of any order in his life: he's John Haldudo, the rich farmer of Quintinar." "This signifies little," answered Don Quixote, "for [Pg 14] there may be knights among the Haldudos; besides, the brave man carves out his fortune, and every man is the son of his own works." "That's true, sir," quoth Andres; "but of what works can this master of mine be the son, who denies me my wages, which I have earned with the sweat of my brows?" "I do not deny to pay thee thy wages, honest Andres," cried the master; "do but go along with me, and by all the orders of knighthood in the world, I promise to pay thee every piece, as I said." "Be sure," said Don Quixote, "you perform your promise; for if you fail, I will assuredly return and find you out, and punish you moreover, though you should hide yourself as close as a lizard. And if you will be informed who it is that lays these injunctions on you, that you may understand how highly it concerns you to observe them, know, I am Don Quixote de la Mancha, the righter of wrongs, the revenger and redresser of grievances; and so farewell: but remember what you have promised and sworn, as you will answer for it at your peril." This said, he clapped spurs to Rozinante, and quickly left them behind.

The countryman, who followed him with both his eyes, no sooner perceived that he was passed the woods, and quite out of sight, than he went back to his boy Andres. "Come, child," said he, "I will pay thee what I owe thee, as that righter of wrongs and redresser of grievances has ordered me." "Ay," quoth Andres, "on my word, you will do well to fulfil the commands of that good knight, whom Heaven grant long to live; for he is so brave a man, and so just a judge, that if you don't pay me, he will come back and make his words good." "I dare swear as much," answered the master; "and to shew thee how much I love thee, I am willing to increase the debt, that I may enlarge the payment." With that he caught the youngster by the arm, and tied him again to the tree; where he handled him so unmercifully, that scarce any signs of life were left in him. "Now call your righter of wrongs, Mr. Andres," cried the farmer, "and you shall see he will never be able to undo what I have done; though I think it is but a part of what I ought to do, for I have a good mind to flay you alive, as you said I would, you rascal." However, he untied him at last, and gave him leave to go and seek out his judge, in order to have his decree put in execution. Andres went his ways, not very well pleased, you may be sure, yet fully resolved to find out the valorous Don Quixote, and give him an exact account of the whole transaction, that he might pay the abuse with sevenfold usury: in short, he crept off sobbing and weeping, while his master stayed behind laughing. And in this manner was this wrong redressed by the valorous Don Quixote de la Mancha.

In the mean time the knight, being highly pleased with himself and what had happened, imagining he had given a most fortunate and noble beginning to his feats of arms, went on towards [Pg 15] his village, and soon found himself at a place where four roads met; and this made him presently bethink of those cross-ways which often used to put knights-errant to a stand, to consult with themselves which way they should take. That he might follow their example, he stopped a while, and after he had seriously reflected on the matter, gave Rozinante the reins, subjecting his own will to that of his horse, who, pursuing his first intent, took the way that led to his own stable.

Don Quixote had not gone above two miles, when he discovered a company of people riding towards him, who proved to be merchants of Toledo, going to buy silks in Murcia. They were six in all, every one screened with an umbrella, besides four servants on horseback, and three muleteers on foot. The knight no sooner perceived them but he imagined this to be some new adventure; so, fixing himself in his stirrups, couching his lance, and covering his breast with his target, he posted himself in the middle of the road, expecting the coming up of the supposed knights-errant. As soon as they came within hearing, with a loud voice and haughty tone, "Hold," cried he; "let no man hope to pass further, unless he acknowledge and confess that there is not in the universe a more beautiful damsel than the empress of La Mancha, the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso." At those words the merchants made a halt, to view the unaccountable figure of their opponent; and conjecturing, both by his expression and disguise, that the poor gentleman had lost his senses, they were willing to understand the meaning of that strange confession which he would force from them; and therefore one of the company, who loved raillery, and had discretion to manage it, undertook to talk to him. "Sig˝or cavalier," cried he, "we do not know this worthy lady you talk of; but be pleased to let us see her, and then if we find her possessed of those matchless charms, of which you assert her to be the mistress, we will freely, and without the least compulsion, own the truth which you would extort from us." "Had I once shewn you that beauty," replied Don Quixote, "what wonder would it be to acknowledge so notorious a truth? the importance of the thing lies in obliging you to believe it, confess it, affirm it, swear it, and maintain it, without seeing her; and therefore make this acknowledgment this very moment, or know that with me you must join in battle, ye proud and unreasonable mortals! Come one by one, as the laws of chivalry require, or all at once, according to the dishonourable practice of men of your stamp; here I expect you all my single self, and will stand the encounter, confiding in the justice of my cause." "Sir knight," replied the merchant, "I beseech you, that for the discharge of our consciences, which will not permit us to affirm a thing we never heard or saw, and which, besides, tends so much to the dishonour of the empresses and queens of Alcaria and Estremadura, your worship will vouchsafe to let us see some portraiture of that [Pg 16] lady, though it were no bigger than a grain of wheat; for by a small sample we may judge of the whole piece, and by that means rest secure and satisfied, and you contented and appeased. Nay, I verily believe, that we all find ourselves already so inclinable to comply with you, that though her picture should represent her to be blind of one eye, and distilling vermilion and brimstone at the other, yet to oblige you, we shall be ready to say in her favour whatever your worship desires." "Distil, ye infamous scoundrels," replied Don Quixote in a burning rage, "distil, say you? know, that nothing distils from her but amber and civet; neither is she defective in her make or shape, but more straight than a Guadaramian spindle. But you shall all severely pay for the blasphemy which thou hast uttered against the transcendent beauty of my incomparable lady." Saying this, with his lance couched, he ran so furiously at the merchant who thus provoked him, that had not good fortune so ordered it that Rozinante should stumble and fall in the midst of his career, the audacious trifler had paid dear for his raillery: but as Rozinante fell, he threw down his master, who rolled and tumbled a good way on the ground without being able to get upon his legs, though he used all his skill and strength to effect it, so encumbered he was with his lance, target, spurs, helmet, and the weight of his rusty armour. However, in this helpless condition he played the hero with his tongue; "Stay," cried he; "cowards, rascals, do not fly! it is not through my fault that I lie here, but through that of my horse, ye poltroons!"

One of the muleteers, who was none of the best-natured creatures, hearing the overthrown knight thus insolently treat his master, could not bear it without returning him an answer on his ribs; and therefore coming up to him as he lay wallowing, he snatched his lance, and having broke it to pieces, so belaboured Don Quixote's sides with one of them, that, in spite of his arms, he thrashed him like a wheatsheaf. His master indeed called to him not to lay on him so vigorously, and to let him alone; but the fellow, whose hand was in, would not give over till he had tired out his passion and himself; and therefore running to the other pieces of the broken lance, he fell to it again without ceasing, till he had splintered them all on the knight's iron enclosure. At last the mule-driver was tired, and the merchants pursued their journey, sufficiently furnished with matter of discourse at the poor knight's expense. When he found himself alone, he tried once more to get on his feet; but if he could not do it when he had the use of his limbs, how should he do it now, bruised and battered as he was? But yet for all this, he esteemed himself a happy man, being still persuaded that his misfortune was one of those accidents common in knight-errantry, and such a one as he could wholly attribute to the falling of his horse.


CHAPTER V.

A further account of our Knight's misfortunes.

[Pg 17] Don Quixote perceiving that he was not able to stir, resolved to have recourse to his usual remedy, which was to bethink himself what passage in his books might afford him some comfort: and presently his frenzy brought to his remembrance the story of Baldwin and the Marquis of Mantua, when Charlot left the former wounded on the mountain; a story learned and known by little children, not unknown to young men and women, celebrated, and even believed, by the old, and yet not a jot more authentic than the miracles of Mahomet. This seemed to him as if made on purpose for his present circumstances, and therefore he fell a rolling and tumbling up and down, expressing the greatest pain and resentment, and breathing out, with a languishing voice, the same complaints which the wounded Knight of the Wood is said to have made!

"Alas! where are you, lady dear,
That for my woe you do not moan?
You little know what ails me here,
Or are to me disloyal grown."

Thus he went on with the lamentations in that romance, till he came to these verses:—

"O thou, my uncle and my prince,
Marquis of Mantua, noble lord!"—

When kind fortune so ordered it that a ploughman, who lived in the same village, and near his house, happened to pass by, as he came from the mill with a sack of wheat. The fellow seeing a man lie at his full length on the ground, asked him who he was, and why he made such a sad complaint. Don Quixote, whose distempered brain presently represented to him the countryman as the Marquis of Mantua, his imaginary uncle, made him no answer, but went on with the romance. The fellow stared, much amazed to hear a man talk such unaccountable stuff; and taking off the vizor of his helmet, broken all to pieces with blows bestowed upon it by the mule-driver, he wiped off the dust that covered his face, and presently knew the gentleman. "Master Quixada!" cried he (for so he was properly called when he had the right use of his senses, and had not yet from a sober gentleman transformed himself into a wandering knight); "how came you in this condition?" But the other continued his romance, and made no answers to all the questions the countryman put to [Pg 18] him, but what followed in course in the book: which the good man perceiving, he took off the battered adventurer's armour as well as he could, and fell a searching for his wounds; but finding no sign of blood, or any other hurt, he endeavoured to set him upon his legs; and at last with a great deal of trouble, he heaved him upon his own ass, as being the more easy and gentle carriage: he also got all the knight's arms together, not leaving behind so much as the splinters of his lance; and having tied them up, and laid them on Rozinante, which he took by the bridle, and his ass by the halter, he led them all towards the village, and trudged on foot himself, while he reflected on the extravagances which he heard Don Quixote utter. Nor was the Don himself less melancholy; for he felt himself so bruised and battered that he could hardly sit on the ass; and now and then he breathed such grievous sighs, as seemed to pierce the very skies, which moved his compassionate neighbour once more to entreat him to declare to him the cause of his grief: so he bethought himself of the Moor Abindaraez, whom Rodrigo de Narvaez, Alcade of Antequera, took and carried prisoner to his castle; so that when the husbandman asked him how he did and what ailed him, he answered word for word as the prisoner Abindaraez replied to Rodrigo de Narvaez, in the Diana of George di Montemayor, where that adventure is related; applying it so properly to his purpose, that the countryman wished himself any where than within the hearing of such strange nonsense; and being now fully convinced that his neighbour's brains were turned, he made all the haste he could to the village, to be rid of him. Don Quixote in the mean time thus went on: "You must know, Don Rodrigo de Narvaez, that this beautiful Xerifa, of whom I gave you an account, is at present the most lovely Dulcinea del Toboso, for whose sake I have done, still do, and will achieve the most famous deeds of chivalry that ever were, are, or ever shall be seen in the universe." "Good sir," replied the husbandman, "I am not Don Rodrigo de Narvaez, nor the Marquis of Mantua, but Pedro Alonzo by name, your worship's neighbour; nor are you Baldwin, nor Abindaraez, but only that worthy gentleman Senior Quixada." "I know very well who I am," answered Don Quixote; "and what's more, I know, that I may not only be the persons I have named, but also the twelve peers of France, nay and the nine worthies all in one; since my achievements will out-rival not only the famous exploits which made any of them singly illustrious, but all their mighty deeds accumulated together."

Thus discoursing, they at last got near their village about sunset; but the countryman stayed at some distance till it was dark, that the distressed gentleman might not be seen so scurvily mounted, and then he led him home to his own house, which he found in great confusion. The curate and the barber of the [Pg 19] village, both of them Don Quixote's intimate acquaintances, happened to be there at that juncture, as also the housekeeper, who was arguing with them: "What do you think, pray, good Doctor Perez," said she, (for this was the curate's name) "what do you think of my master's mischance? neither he, nor his horse, nor his target, lance, nor armour, have been seen these six days. What shall I do, wretch that I am? I dare lay my life, and it is as sure as I am a living creature, that those cursed books of errantry, which he used to be always poring upon, have set him beside his senses; for now I remember I have heard him often mutter to himself that he had a mind to turn knight-errant, and ramble up and down the world to find out adventures." His niece added, addressing herself to the barber; "You must know, Mr. Nicholas, that many times my uncle would read you those unconscionable books of disventures for eight-and-forty hours together; then away he would throw his book, and drawing his sword, he would fall a fencing against the walls; and when he had tired himself with cutting and slashing, he would cry he had killed four giants as big as any steeples; and the sweat which he put himself into, he would say was the blood of the wounds he had received in the fight: then would he swallow a huge jug of cold water, and presently he would be as quiet and as well as ever he was in his life; and he said that this same water was a sort of precious drink brought him by the sage Esquife, a great magician and his special friend. Now, it is I who am the cause of all this mischief, for not giving you timely notice of my uncle's raving, that you might have put a stop to it, ere it was too late, and have burnt all these excommunicated books; for there are I do not know how many of them that deserve as much to be burnt as those of the rankest heretics." "I am of your mind," said the curate; "and verily to-morrow shall not pass over before I have fairly brought them to a trial, and condemned them to the flames, that they may not minister occasion to such as would read them, to be perverted after the example of my good friend."

The countryman, who, with Don Quixote, stood without, listening to all this discourse, now perfectly understood the cause of his neighbour's disorder; and, without any more ado, he called out, "Open the gates there, for the Lord Baldwin, and the Lord Marquis of Mantua, who is coming sadly wounded; and for the Moorish Lord Abindaraez, whom the valorous Don Rodrigo de Narvaez, Alcade of Antequera, brings prisoner." At which words they all got out of doors; and the one finding it to be her uncle, and the other to be her master, and the rest their friend, who had not yet alighted from the ass, because indeed he was not able, they all ran to embrace him; to whom Don Quixote: "Forbear," said he, "for I am sorely hurt, by reason that my horse failed me; carry me to bed, and, if it be possible, let the enchantress Urganda be sent for to cure my wounds." "Now," quoth [Pg 20] the housekeeper, "see whether I did not guess right, on which foot my master halted!—Come, get to bed, I beseech you; and, my life for yours, we will take care to cure you without sending for that same Urganda. A hearty curse, I say, light upon those books of chivalry that have put you in this pickle!" Whereupon they carried him to his bed, and searched for his wounds, but could find none; and then he told them he was only bruised, having had a dreadful fall from his horse Rozinante while he was fighting ten giants, the most outrageous and audacious upon the face of the earth. "Ho, ho!" cried the curate, "are there giants too in the dance? nay, then, we will have them all burnt by to-morrow night." Then they asked the Don a thousand questions, but to every one he made no other answer, but that they should give him something to eat, and then leave him to his repose. They complied with his desires; and then the curate informed himself at large in what condition the countryman had found him; and having had a full account of every particular, as also of the knight's extravagant talk, both when the fellow found him, and as he brought him home, this increased the curate's desire of effecting what he had resolved to do next morning: at which time he called upon his friend, Mr. Nicholas the barber, and went with him to Don Quixote's house.


CHAPTER VI.

Of the pleasant and curious scrutiny which the Curate and the Barber made of the library of our ingenious gentleman.

The knight was yet asleep, when the curate came, attended by the barber, and desired his niece to let him have the key of the room where her uncle kept his books, the author of his woes: she readily consented; and so in they went, and the housekeeper with them. There they found above an hundred large volumes neatly bound, and a good number of small ones. As soon as the housekeeper had spied them out, she ran out of the study, and returned immediately with a holy-water pot and a sprinkler: "Here, doctor," cried she, "pray sprinkle every cranny and corner in the room, lest there should lurk in it some one of the many sorcerers these books swarm with, who might chance to bewitch us, for the ill-will we bear them, in going about to send them out of the world." The curate could not forbear smiling at the good woman's simplicity; and desired the barber to reach him the books one by one, that he might peruse the title-pages, for perhaps he might find some among them that might not deserve this fate. "Oh, by no means," cried the niece; "spare none of them; they all help, somehow or other, to crack my uncle's brain. I fancy we had best throw them all out at the window [Pg 21] in the yard, and lay them together in a heap, and then set them on fire, or else carry them into the back-yard, and there make a pile of them, and burn them, and so the smoke will offend nobody." The housekeeper joined with her, so eagerly bent were both upon the destruction of those poor innocents; but the curate would not condescend to those irregular proceedings, and resolved first to read at least the title-page of every book.

The first that Mr. Nicholas put into his hands was Amadis de Gaul, in four volumes. "There seems to be some mystery in this book's being the first taken down," cried the curate, as soon as he had looked upon it; "for I have heard it is the first book of knight-errantry that ever was printed in Spain, and the model of all the rest; and therefore I am of opinion, that, as the first teacher and author of so pernicious a sect, it ought to be condemned to the fire without mercy." "I beg a reprieve for him," cried the barber; "for I have been told 'tis the best book that has been written in that kind; and therefore, as the only good thing of that sort, it may deserve a pardon." "Well then," replied the curate, "for this time let him have it. Let's see that other, which lies next to him." "These," said the barber, "are the exploits of Esplandian, the son of Amadis de Gaul." "Verily," said the curate, "the father's goodness shall not excuse the want of it in the son. Here, good mistress housekeeper, open that window, and throw it into the yard, and let it serve as a foundation to that pile we are to set a blazing presently." She was not slack in her obedience; and thus poor Don Esplandian was sent headlong into the yard, there patiently to wait the time of punishment.

"To the next," cried the curate. "This," said the barber, "is Amadis of Greece; and I'm of opinion that all those that stand on this side are of the same family." "Then let them all be sent packing into the yard," replied the curate. They were delivered to the housekeeper accordingly, and many they were; and to save herself the labour of carrying them down stairs, she fairly sent them flying out at the window.

"What overgrown piece of lumber have we here?" cried the curate. "Olivante de Laura," returned the barber. "The same author wrote the Garden of Flowers; and, to deal ingeniously with you, I cannot tell which of the two books has most truth in it, or, to speak more properly, less lies: but this I know for certain, that he shall march into the back-yard, like a nonsensical arrogant blockhead as he is."

"The next," cried the barber, "is Florismart of Hyrcania." "How! my Lord Florismart, is he here?" replied the curate: "nay, then truly, he shall e'en follow the rest to the yard, in spite of his wonderful birth and incredible adventures; for his rough, dull, and insipid style deserves no better usage. Come, toss him into the yard, and this other too, good mistress."

"Here's the noble Don Platir," cried the barber. "'Tis an [Pg 22] old book," replied the curate, "and I can think of nothing in him that deserves a grain of pity: away with him, without any more words;" and down he went accordingly.

Another book was opened, and it proved to be the Knight of the Cross. "The holy title," cried the curate, "might in some measure atone for the badness of the book; but then, as the saying is, The devil lurks behind the cross! To the flames with him."

Then opening another volume, he found it to be Palmerin de Oliva, and the next to that Palmerin of England. "Ha, have I found you!" cried the curate. "Here, take that Oliva, let him be torn to pieces, then burnt, and his ashes scattered in the air; but let Palmerin of England be preserved as a singular relic of antiquity; and let such a costly box be made for him as Alexander found among the spoils of Darius, which he devoted to enclose Homer's works: for I must tell you, neighbour, that book deserves particular respect for two things; first, for its own excellencies; and, secondly, for the sake of its author, who is said to have been a learned king of Portugal: then all the adventures of the Castle of Miraguarda are well and artfully managed, the dialogue very courtly and clear, and the decorum strictly observed in equal character, with equal propriety and judgment. Therefore, Master Nicholas," continued he, "with submission to your better advice, this and Amadis de Gaul shall be exempted from the fire; and let all the rest be condemned, without any further inquiry or examination." "By no means, I beseech you," returned the barber, "for this which I have in my hands is the famous Don Bellianis." "Truly," cried the curate, "he, with his second, third, and fourth parts, had need of a dose of rhubarb to purge his excessive choler: besides, his Castle of Fame should be demolished, and a heap of other rubbish removed; in order to which I give my vote to grant them the benefit of a reprieve; and as they shew signs of amendment, so shall mercy or justice be used towards them: in the mean time, neighbour, take them into custody, and keep them safe at home; but let none be permitted to converse with them." "Content," cried the barber; and to save himself the labour of looking on any more books of that kind, he bid the housekeeper take all the great volumes, and throw them into the yard. This was not spoken to one stupid or deaf, but to one who had a greater mind to be burning them, than weaving the finest and largest web: so that laying hold of no less than eight volumes at once, she presently made them leap towards the place of execution. "But what shall we do with all these smaller books that are left?" said the barber. "Certainly," replied the curate, "these cannot be books of knight-errantry, they are too small; you will find they are only poets." And so opening one, it happened to be the Diana of Montemayor; which made him say, (believing all the rest to be of that stamp) "These do not deserve to be [Pg 23] punished like the others, for they neither have done, nor can do, that mischief which those stories of chivalry have done, being generally ingenious books, that can do nobody any prejudice." "Oh! good sir," cried the niece, "burn them with the rest, I beseech you; for should my uncle get cured of his knight-errant frenzy, and betake himself to the reading of these books, we should have him turn shepherd, and so wander through the woods and fields; nay, and what would be worse yet, turn poet, which they say is a catching and incurable disease." "The gentlewoman is in the right," said the curate; "and it will not be amiss to remove that stumbling-block out of our friend's way; and since we began with the Diana of Montemayor, I am of opinion we ought not to burn it, but only take out that part of it which treats of the magician Felicia and the enchanted water, as also all the longer poems; and let the work escape with its prose, and the honour of being the first of that kind." "Here," quoth the barber, "I've a book called the Ten Books of the Fortunes of Love, by Anthony de Lofraco, a Sardinian poet." "Now we have got a prize," cried the curate, "I do not think since Apollo was Apollo, the muses muses, and the poets poets, there ever was a more humorous, more whimsical book! Of all the works of the kind commend me to this, for in its way 'tis certainly the best and most singular that ever was published; and he that never read it may safely think he never in his life read any thing that was pleasant." With that he laid it aside with extraordinary satisfaction; and the barber went on: "The next," said he, "is the Shepherd of Filida." "He's no shepherd," returned the curate, "but a very discreet courtier; keep him as a precious jewel." "Here's a bigger," cried the barber, "called the Treasure of divers Poems." "Had there been less of it," said the curate, "it would have been more esteemed. 'Tis fit the book should be pruned and cleared of some inferior things that encumber and deform it: keep it, however, because the author is my friend, and for the sake of his other more heroic and lofty productions. What's the next book?" "The Galatea of Miguel de Cervantes," replied the barber. "That Cervantes has been my intimate acquaintance these many years," cried the curate; "and I know he has been more conversant with misfortunes than with poetry. His book, indeed, has I don't know what, that looks like a good design; he aims at something, but concludes nothing: therefore we must stay for the second part, which he has promised us; perhaps he may make us amends, and obtain a full pardon, which is denied him for the present; till that time keep him close prisoner at your house." "I will," quoth the barber: "but see, I have here three more for you, the Araucana of Don Alonso de Ercilla; the Austirada of Juan Ruffo, a magistrate of Cordova; and the Monserrato of Christopher de Virves, a Valentian poet." "These," cried the curate, "are the best heroic [Pg 24] poems we have in Spanish, and may vie with the most celebrated of Italy: reserve them as the most valuable performances which Spain has to boast of in poetry."

At last the curate grew so tired with prying into so many volumes, that he ordered all the rest to be burnt at a venture. But the barber shewed him one which he had opened by chance ere the dreadful sentence was past. "Truly," said the curate, who saw by the title it was the Tears of Angelica, "I should have wept myself, had I caused such a book to share the condemnation of the rest; for the author was not only one of the best poets in Spain, but in the whole world, and translated some of Ovid's fables with extraordinary success."


CHAPTER VII.

Don Quixote's second sally in quest of adventures.

Full fifteen days did our knight remain quietly at home, without betraying the least sign of his desire to renew his rambling; during which time there passed a great deal of pleasant discourse between him and his two friends, the curate and the barber; while he maintained, that there was nothing the world stood so much in need of as knights-errant; wherefore he was resolved to revive the order: in which disputes Mr. Curate sometimes contradicted him, and sometimes submitted; for had he not now and then given way to his fancies, there would have been no conversing with him.

In the mean time Don Quixote solicited one of his neighbours, a country labourer and honest fellow, though poor in purse as well as in brains, to become his squire; in short, the knight talked long to him, plied him with so many arguments, and made him so many fair promises, that at last the poor silly clown consented to go along with him, and be his squire. Among other inducements to entice him to do it willingly, Don Quixote forgot not to tell him, that it was likely such an adventure would present itself, as might secure him the conquest of some island in the time that he might be picking up a straw or two, and then the squire might promise himself to be made governor of the place. Allured with these large promises, and many others, Sancho Panza (for that was the name of the fellow) forsook his wife and children to be his neighbour's squire.

This done, Don Quixote made it his business to furnish himself with money; to which purpose, selling one house, mortgaging another, and losing by all, he at last got a pretty good sum together. He also borrowed a target of a friend; and having patched up his head-piece and beaver as well as he could, he gave his squire notice of the day and hour when he intended to set out, [Pg 25] that he also might furnish himself with what he thought necessary; but, above all, he charged him to provide himself with a wallet; which Sancho promised to do, telling him he would also take his ass along with him, which being a very good one, might be a great ease to him, for he was not used to travel much a-foot. The mentioning of the ass made the noble knight pause a while; he mused and pondered whether he had ever read of any knight-errant, whose squire used to ride upon an ass; but he could not remember any precedent for it: however, he gave him leave at last to bring his ass, hoping to mount him more honourably with the first opportunity, by unhorsing the next discourteous knight he should meet. He also furnished himself with linen, and as many other necessaries as he could conveniently carry, according to the innkeeper's advice. Which being done, Sancho Panza, without bidding either his wife or children good-bye; and Don Quixote, without taking any more notice of his housekeeper or of his niece, stole out of the village one night, not so much as suspected by anybody, and made such haste, that by break of day they thought themselves out of reach, should they happen to be pursued. As for Sancho Panza, he rode like a patriarch, with his canvass knapsack, or wallet, and his leathern bottle; having a huge desire to see himself governor of the island, which his master had promised him.

As they jogged on, "I beseech your worship, sir knight-errant," quoth Sancho to his master, "be sure you don't forget what you promised me about the island; for I dare say I shall make shift to govern it, let it be never so big." "You must know, friend Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "that it has been the constant practice of knights-errant in former ages to make their squires governors of the islands or kingdoms they conquered: now I am resolved to outdo my predecessors; for whereas sometimes other knights delayed rewarding their squires till they were grown old, and worn out with services, and then put them off with some title, either of count, or at least marquis of some valley or province, of great or small extent; now, if thou and I do but live, it may happen, that before we have passed six days together, I may conquer some kingdom, having many other kingdoms annexed to its imperial crown; and this would fall out most luckily for thee; for then would I presently crown thee king of one of them. Nor do thou imagine this to be a mighty matter; for so strange accidents and revolutions, so sudden and so unforeseen, attend the profession of chivalry, that I might easily give thee a great deal more than I have promised." "Why, should this come to pass," quoth Sancho Panza, "and I be made a king by some such miracle as your worship says, then Mary Gutierez would be at least a queen, and my children infantas and princes, an't like your worship." "Who doubts of that?" cried Don Quixote. "I doubt of it," replied Sancho Panza; "for I [Pg 26] cannot help believing, that though it should rain kingdoms down upon the face of the earth, not one of them would sit well upon Mary Gutierez's head; for I must needs tell you, she's not worth two brass jacks to make a queen of: no, countess would be better for her; and that, too, will be as much as she can handsomely manage." "Recommend the matter to providence," returned Don Quixote; "'twill be sure to give what is most expedient for thee."


CHAPTER VIII.

Of the good success which the valorous Don Quixote had in the most terrifying and incredible adventure of the Windmills, with other transactions worthy to be transmitted to posterity.

As they were thus discoursing, they discovered some thirty or forty windmills, in the plain; and as soon as the knight had spied them, "Fortune," cried he, "directs our affairs better than we could have wished: look yonder, Sancho, there are at least thirty outrageous giants, whom I intend to encounter; and having deprived them of life, we will begin to enrich ourselves with their spoils: for they are lawful prize; and the extirpation of that cursed brood will be an acceptable service to heaven." "What giants?" quoth Sancho Panza. "Those whom thou see'st yonder," answered Don Quixote, "with their long extended arms; some of that detested race have arms of so immense a size that sometimes they reach two leagues in length." "Pray look better, sir," quoth Sancho: "those things yonder are no giants, but windmills, and the arms are their sails, which being whirled about by the wind, make the mill go." "'Tis a sign," cried Don Quixote, "thou art but little acquainted with adventures! I tell thee, they are giants; and therefore if thou art afraid, go aside and say thy prayers, for I am resolved to engage in combat with them all." This said, he clapped spurs to his horse, without giving ear to his squire, who bawled out to him, and assured him that they were windmills, and no giants. But he was so fully possessed with a strong conceit of the contrary, that he did not so much as hear his squire, nor was he sensible of what they were, although he was already very near them. "Stand, cowards!" cried he as loud as he could; "stand your ground, ignoble creatures, and fly not basely from a single knight, who dares encounter you all." At the same time the wind rising, the mill-sails began to move, which, when Don Quixote spied, "Base miscreants," cried he, "though you move more arms than the giant Briareus, you shall pay for your arrogance." He most devoutly recommended himself to his Lady Dulcinea, imploring her assistance in this perilous adventure; and so covering himself with his shield, and couching his lance, he rushed with [Pg 27] Rozinante's utmost speed upon the first windmill he could come at, and running his lance into the sail, the wind whirled it about with such swiftness, that the rapidity of the motion presently broke the lance into shivers, and hurled away both knight and horse along with it, till down he fell, rolling a good way off in the field. Sancho Panza ran as fast as his ass could drive to help his master, whom he found lying, and not able to stir. "Did not I give your worship fair warning?" cried he; "did not I tell you they were windmills, and that nobody could think otherwise, unless he had also windmills in his head?" "Peace, friend Sancho," replied Don Quixote; "there is nothing so subject to the inconstancy of fortune as war. I am verily persuaded, that cursed necromancer Freston, who carried away my study and my books, has transformed these giants into windmills, to deprive me of the honour of the victory; such is his inveterate malice against me: but in the end, all his pernicious wiles and stratagems shall prove ineffectual against the prevailing edge of my sword." "So let it be," replied Sancho. And heaving him up again upon his legs, once more the knight mounted poor Rozinante, who was half disjointed with his fall.

DON QUIXOTE.

This adventure was the subject of their discourse, as they made the best of their way towards the pass of Lapice; for Don Quixote took that road, believing he could not miss of adventures in one so mightily frequented.

Sancho desired him now to consider that it was high time to go to dinner; but his master answered him, that he might eat whenever he pleased; as for himself, he was not yet disposed to do so. Sancho having obtained leave, fixed himself as orderly as he could upon his ass; and taking some victuals out of his wallet, fell to munching lustily; and ever and anon he lifted his bottle to his nose, and fetched such hearty pulls, that it would have made the best-pampered vintner in Malaga dry to have seen him.

In fine, they passed that night under some trees; from one of which Don Quixote tore a withered branch, which in some sort was able to serve him for a lance, and to this he fixed the head or spear of his broken lance. But he did not sleep all that night, keeping his thoughts intent on his dear Dulcinea, in imitation of what he had read in books of chivalry, where the knights pass their time, without sleep, in forests and deserts, wholly taken up with entertaining thoughts of their absent ladies. The next day they went on directly towards the pass of Lapice, which they discovered about three o'clock. When they came near it, "Here it is, brother Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that we may, as it were, thrust our arms up to the very elbows in that which we call adventures. But let me give thee one necessary caution; know, that though thou shouldst see me in the greatest extremity of danger, thou must not offer to draw thy sword in my defence, unless thou findest me assaulted by base plebeians and vile scoundrels; [Pg 28] for in such a case thou mayest assist thy master; but if those with whom I am fighting are knights, thou must not do it; for the laws of chivalry do not allow thee to encounter a knight till thou art one thyself." "Never fear," quoth Sancho; "I'll be sure to obey your worship in that, I'll warrant you; for I have ever loved peace and quietness, and never cared to thrust myself into frays and quarrels."

As they were talking, they spied coming towards them two monks of the order of St. Benedict mounted on two dromedaries, for the mules on which they rode were so high and stately, that they seemed little less. After them came a coach, with four or five men on horseback, and two muleteers on foot. There proved to be in the coach a Biscayan lady, who was going to Seville to meet her husband, that was there in order to embark for the Indies, to take possession of a considerable post. Scarce had the Don perceived the monks, who were not of the same company, though they went the same way, but he cried to his squire, "Either I am deceived, or this will prove the most famous adventure that ever was known; for without all question those two black things that move towards us must be necromancers, that are carrying away by force some princess in that coach; and 'tis my duty to prevent so great an injury." "I fear me this will prove a worse job than the windmills," quoth Sancho; "take warning, sir, and do not be led away a second time." "I have already told thee, Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "thou art miserably ignorant in matters of adventures: what I say is true, and thou shalt find it so presently." This said, he spurred on his horse, and posted himself just in the midst of the road where the monks were to pass. And when they came within hearing, he immediately cried out in a loud and haughty tone, "Release those high-born princesses whom you are violently conveying away in the coach, or else prepare to meet with instant death, as the just punishment of your deeds." The monks stopped, no less astonished at the figure than at the expressions of the speaker. "Sir knight," cried they, "we are no such persons as you are pleased to term us, but religious men of the order of St. Benedict, that travel about our affairs, and are wholly ignorant whether or no there are any princesses carried away by force in that coach." "I am not to be deceived," replied Don Quixote; "I know you well enough, perfidious caitiffs:" and immediately, without waiting their reply, he set spurs to Rozinante, and ran so furiously, with his lance couched, against the first monk, that if he had not prudently flung himself to the ground, the knight would certainly have laid him either dead, or grievously wounded. The other observing this, clapped his heels to his mule's flanks, and scoured over the plain as if he had been running a race with the wind. Sancho no sooner saw the monk fall, but he leapt off his ass, and running to him, began to strip him immediately; but [Pg 29] the two muleteers, who waited on the monks, came up to him, and asked why he offered to strip him? Sancho told them that this belonged to him as lawful plunder, being the spoils won in battle by his lord and master Don Quixote. The fellows, with whom there was no jesting, not knowing what he meant by his spoils and battle, and seeing Don Quixote at a good distance in deep discourse by the side of the coach, fell both upon poor Sancho, threw him down, tore his beard from his chin, trampled on him, and there left him lying without breath or motion. In the mean while the monk, scared out of his wits and as pale as a ghost, got upon his mule again as fast as he could, and spurred after his friend, who stayed for him at a distance, expecting the issue of this strange adventure; but being unwilling to stay to see the end of it, they made the best of their way, making more signs of the cross than if the devil had been posting after them.

Don Quixote was all this while engaged with the lady in the coach. "Lady," cried he, "your discretion is now at liberty to dispose of your beautiful self as you please; for the presumptuous arrogance of those who attempted to enslave your person lies prostrate in the dust, overthrown by this arm: and that you may not be at a loss for the name of your deliverer, know I am called Don Quixote de la Mancha, by profession a knight-errant and adventurer, captive to that peerless beauty Donna Dulcinea del Toboso: nor do I desire any other recompense for the service I have done you, but that you return to Toboso to present yourself to that lady, and let her know what I have done to purchase your deliverance." So saying he bade her courteously farewell, and pursued his way.


CHAPTER IX.

What passed between Don Quixote and the Goatherds.

After travelling the remainder of the day without further adventure, they came to a place where some goatherds had set up some small huts; and there they concluded to take up their lodging that night. This was as great a mortification to Sancho, who was altogether for a good town, as it was a pleasure to his master, who was for sleeping in the open fields; and who believed that, as often as he did it, he confirmed his title to knighthood by a new act of possession.

The knight was very courteously received by the goatherds; and as for Sancho, after he had set up Rozinante and his ass as well as he could, he presently repaired to the attractive smell of some pieces of kid's flesh which stood boiling in a kettle over the [Pg 30] fire. The hungry squire would immediately have tried whether they were fit to be removed out of the kettle into the stomach, but was not put to that trouble; for the goatherds took them off the fire, and spread some sheep-skins on the ground, and soon got their rural feast ready; and cheerfully invited his master and him to partake of what they had. Next, with some coarse compliment, after the country way, they desired Don Quixote to sit down on a trough with the bottom upwards; and then six of them, who were all that belonged to that fold, squatted them down round the skins, while Sancho stood to wait upon his master, and gave him drink in a horn cup, which the goatherds used. But he seeing his man stand behind, said to him, "Sancho, it is my pleasure that thou sit thee down by me, in the company of these good people, that there be no difference now observed between thee and me, thy natural lord and master; for it may be said of knight-errantry as of love, that it makes all things equal." "I thank your worship," cried Sancho; "but yet I must needs own, had I but a good deal of meat before me, I'd eat it as well, or rather better, standing, and by myself, than if I sat by an emperor; and, to deal plainly and truly with you, I had rather munch a crust of brown bread and an onion in a corner, without any more ado or ceremony, than feed upon turkey at another man's table, where one is fain to sit mincing and chewing his meat an hour together, drink little, be always wiping his fingers and his mouth, and never dare to cough or sneeze, though he has never so much a mind to it, nor do a many things which a body may do freely by one's self: therefore, good sir, change those tokens of your kindness, which I have a right to by being your worship's squire, into something that may do me more good. As for these same honours, I heartily thank you as much as if I had accepted them; but yet I give up my right to them from this time to the world's end." "Talk no more," replied Don Quixote, "but sit thee down, for the humble shall be exalted;" and so pulling him by the arms, he forced him to sit by him.

All this while the goatherds said nothing, but stared upon their guests; who swallowed whole luncheons as big as their fists with a mighty appetite.

A young fellow, who used to bring them provisions from the next village, happened to come while they were eating, and addressing himself to the goatherds, "Hark ye, friends," said he, "d'ye hear the news?" "What news?" cried one of the company. "That fine shepherd and scholar Chrysostome died this morning," answered the other; "and they say it was for love of Marcella, daughter of William the rich, that goes up and down the country in the habit of a shepherdess." "For Marcella!" cried one of the goatherds. "I say for her," replied the fellow; "and what is more, it is reported he has ordered by his will they should bury him in the fields like any heathen Moor, hard by the [Pg 31] cork-tree fountain, where they say he first saw her. Nay, he has likewise ordered many other strange things to be done, which the clergy cannot allow of; while Ambrose, the other scholar, who likewise apparelled himself like a shepherd, is resolved to have his friend Chrysostome's will fulfilled in every thing, just as he has ordered it. It is thought that Ambrose and his friends will carry the day; and to-morrow morning he is to be buried in great state where I told you: I fancy it will be worth seeing; and I intend to go and see it, even though I should not get back again to-morrow." "We will all go," cried the goatherds, "and cast lots who shall tarry to look after the goats." "Well said, Pedro," cried one of the goatherds; "but as for casting of lots, I will save you that labour, for I will stay myself, not so much out of kindness to you neither, or want of curiosity, as because of the thorn in my toe, that will not let me go." Don Quixote, who heard all this, entreated Pedro to tell him who the deceased was, and also to give him a short account of the shepherdess.

Peter answered, that all he knew of the matter was, that the deceased was a wealthy gentleman, who had been several years at the university of Salamanca, and came home mightily improved in his learning. Within some few months after he had left the university, on a certain morning we saw him come dressed for all the world like a shepherd, and driving his flock, having laid down the long gown, which he used to wear as a scholar. At the same time one Ambrose, who had been his fellow-scholar, also took upon him to go like a shepherd, and keep him company, which we all did not a little marvel at. Somewhat before that time Chrysostome's father died, and left him a large estate; and in truth he deserved it all, for he was bountiful to the poor, a friend to all honest people, and had a face like any blessing. At last it came to be known, that the reason of his altering his garb in that fashion was only that he might go up and down after that shepherdess Marcella, whom our comrade told you of before, for he was fallen mightily in love with her. And now I will tell you who this lady is. You must know that there lived near us one William, a yeoman, who was richer yet than Chrysostome's father; now he had no child but a daughter; whose mother was as good a woman as ever went upon two legs: methinks I see her yet standing afore me, with that blessed face of hers. She was an excellent housewife, and did a deal of good among the poor; for which, I believe, she is at this very time in paradise. Alas, her death broke old William's heart; he soon followed her, poor man, and left all to his little daughter, that Marcella by name, giving charge of her to her uncle, the parson of our parish. When she came to be fourteen or fifteen years of age, no man set his eyes on her that did not bless heaven for having made her so handsome; so that most men fell in love with her, and were ready to run mad for her. All this while her uncle kept her very [Pg 32] close: yet the report of her great beauty and wealth spread far and near, insomuch that almost all the young men in our town asked her of her uncle; nay, there flocked whole droves of suitors, and the very best in the country too, who all begged, and sued, and teazed her uncle to let them have her. But though he'd have been glad to have got fairly rid of her, yet would not he advise or marry her against her will; for he's a good man, I'll say that for him, and a true Christian every inch of him, and scorns to keep her from marrying to make a benefit of her estate; and, to his praise be it spoken, he has been mainly commended for it more than once, when the people of our parish meet together. "For I would have you know, Sir Errant, that here in the country, and in our little towns, there is not the least thing can be said or done but people will talk and find fault: indeed, the parson must be essentially good who could bring his whole parish to give him a good word." "Thou art in the right," cried Don Quixote, "and therefore go on; for the story is pleasant, and thou tellest it with a grace." "May I never want God's grace," quoth Pedro, "for that is most to the purpose. But for our parson, as I told you before, though he took care to let her know of all those proposals, yet would she never answer otherwise, but that she had no mind to wed as yet, as finding herself too young for the burden of wedlock. But behold, when we least dreamed of it, the coy lass must needs turn shepherdess; and neither her uncle, nor all those of the village who advised her against it, could persuade her, but away she went to the fields to keep her own sheep with the other young lasses of the town. But then it was ten times worse; for no sooner was she seen abroad, when I cannot tell how many spruce gallants, both gentlemen and rich farmers, changed their garb for love of her, and followed her up and down in shepherd's guise. One of them, as I have told you, was this same Chrysostome, who now lies dead, of whom it is said he not only loved, but worshipped her. In this way Marcella does more harm in this country than the plague would do; for her courteousness and fair looks draw on every body to love her; but then her reserve and disdain break their hearts; and all they can do, poor wretches, is to make a heavy complaint, and call her cruel, unkind, ungrateful, and a world of such names, whereby they plainly shew what a sad condition they are in: were you but to stay here some time, you would hear these hills and valleys ring again with the doleful moans of those she has denied, who yet have not courage to give over following her. Here sighs one shepherd, there another moans; here is one singing doleful ditties, there another is wringing his hands and making woful complaints. And all this while the hard-hearted Marcella never minds any one of them, and does not seem to be the least concerned for them. We are all at a loss to know what will be the end of all this pride and coyness, [Pg 33] and who shall be the happy man that shall at last succeed in taming her. Now, because there is nothing more certain than all this, I am the more apt to give credit to what our comrade has told us, as to the occasion of Chrysostome's death; and therefore I would needs have you go and see him laid in his grave to-morrow; which I believe will be worth your while, for he had many friends, and it is not half a league to the place where it was his will to be buried." "I intend to be there," answered Don Quixote; "and in the mean time I return thee many thanks for the extraordinary satisfaction this story has afforded me."


CHAPTER X.

A continuation of the story of Marcella.

Scarce had day begun to appear from the balconies of the east, when five of the goatherds got up, and having waked Don Quixote, asked him if he held to his resolution of going to the funeral, whither they were ready to bear him company. Thereupon the knight presently arose, and ordered Sancho to get ready immediately; which he did with all expedition, and then they set forwards. They had not gone a quarter of a league before they saw advancing out of a cross path six shepherds clad in black skins, their heads crowned with garlands of cypress and bitter rose-bay-tree, with long holly-staves in their hands. Two gentlemen on horseback, attended by three young lads on foot, followed them: as they drew near, they saluted one another civilly, and after the usual question,—"Which way do you travel?" they found they were all going the same way, to see the funeral; and so they all joined company. "I fancy, Senior Vivaldo," said one of the gentlemen, addressing himself to the other, "we shall not think our time misspent in going to see this famous funeral, for it must of necessity be very extraordinary, according to the account which these men have given us of the dead shepherd and his murdering shepherdess." "I am so far of your opinion," answered Vivaldo, "that I would not stay one day, but a whole week, rather than miss the sight." After this Vivaldo asked the knight why he travelled so completely armed in so peaceable a country? "My profession," answered the champion, "does not permit me to ride otherwise. Luxurious feasts, sumptuous dresses, and downy ease, were invented for effeminate courtiers; but labour, vigilance, and arms are the portion of those whom the world calls knights-errant, of which number I have the honour to be one, though the most unworthy." He needed to say no more to satisfy them that his brains were out of order; however, that they might the better understand the nature of his folly, Vivaldo asked him what he meant by a knight-errant? [Pg 34] "Have you not read, then," cried Don Quixote, "the Annals and History of Britain, where are recorded the famous deeds of King Arthur, who, according to an ancient tradition in that kingdom, never died, but was turned into a raven by enchantment, and shall one day resume his former shape, and recover his kingdom again? For which reason, since that time, the people of Great Britain dare not offer to kill a raven."

After a great deal of conversation of this kind, the travellers were sufficiently convinced of Don Quixote's frenzy. Nor were they less surprised than were all those who had hitherto discovered so unaccountable a distraction in one who seemed a rational creature. However, Vivaldo, who was of a gay disposition, had no sooner made the discovery than he resolved to make the best advantage of it that the shortness of the way would allow him.

"Methinks, Sir Knight-errant," said he, "you have taken up one of the strictest and most mortifying professions in the world. I do not think but that even a Carthusian friar has a better time of it than you have." "The profession of the Carthusian," answered Don Quixote, "may be as austere, but ours is perhaps hardly less beneficial to the world. We knights, like soldiers, execute what they pray for, and procure those benefits to mankind, by the strength of our arms, and at the hazard of our lives, for which they only intercede. Nor do we do this sheltered from the injuries of the air, but under no other roof than that of the wide heavens, exposed to summer's scorching heat, and winter's pinching cold. However, gentlemen, do not imagine I would insinuate as if the profession of a knight-errant was a state of perfection equal to that of a holy recluse: I would only infer from what I have said, and what I myself endure, that ours without question is more laborious, more subject to the discipline of heavy blows, to maceration, to the penance of hunger and thirst, and, in a word, to rags, to want, and misery. For if you find that some knights-errant have at last by their valour been raised to thrones and empires, you may be sure it has been still at the expense of much sweat and blood. And had even those happier knights been deprived of those assisting sages and enchanters, who helped them in all emergencies, they would have been strangely disappointed of their mighty expectations." "I am of the same opinion," replied Vivaldo. "But one thing I would ask, sir, since I understand it is so much the being of knight-errantry to be in love, I presume you, who are of that profession, cannot be without a mistress. And therefore, if you do not set up for secrecy, give me leave to beg of you, in the name of all the company, that you will be pleased so far to oblige us as to let us know the name and quality of your lady, the place of her birth, and the charms of her person. For, without doubt, she cannot but esteem herself fortunate in being known [Pg 35] to all the world to be the object of the wishes of a knight so accomplished as yourself." With that Don Quixote, breathing out a deep sigh, "I cannot tell," said he, "whether this lovely enemy of my repose is the least affected with the world's being informed of her power over my heart; all I dare say, in compliance with your request is, that her name is Dulcinea, her country La Mancha, and Toboso the happy place which she honours with her residence. As for her quality, it cannot be less than princess, seeing she is my lady and my queen. Her beauty transcends all the united charms of her whole sex; even those chimerical perfections, which the hyperbolical imaginations of poets in love have assigned to their mistresses, cease to be incredible descriptions when applied to her, in whom all those miraculous endowments are most divinely centred. The curling locks of her bright flowing hair are purest gold; her smooth forehead the Elysian plain; her brows are two celestial bows; her eyes two glorious suns; her cheeks two beds of roses; her lips are coral; her teeth are pearl; her neck is alabaster; her breasts marble; her hands ivory; and snow would lose its whiteness near her bosom."

As they went on in this and like discourse, they saw, upon the hollow road between the neighbouring mountains, about twenty shepherds more, all accoutred in black skins, with garlands on their heads, which, as they afterwards perceived, were all of yew or cyprus; six of them carried a bier covered with several sorts of boughs and flowers: which one of the goatherds espying, "Those are they," cried he, "that are carrying poor Chrysostome to his grave; and it was in yonder hollow that he gave charge they should bury his corpse." This made them all double their pace, that they might get thither in time; and so they arrived just as the bearers had set down the bier upon the ground, and four of them had begun to open the ground with their spades at the foot of a rock. They all saluted each other courteously, and condoled their mutual loss; and then Don Quixote, with those who came with him, went to view the bier; where they saw the dead body of a young man in shepherd's weeds all strewed over with flowers. The deceased seemed to be about thirty years old; and, dead as he was, it was easily perceived that both his face and shape were extraordinarily handsome. This doleful object so strangely filled all the company with sadness, that not only the beholders, but also the grave-makers and the mourning shepherds, remained a long time silent; till at last one of the bearers, addressing himself to one of the rest, "Look, Ambrose," cried he, "whether this be the place which Chrysostome meant, since you must needs have his will so punctually performed?" "This is the very place," answered the other; "there it was that my unhappy friend many times told me the sad story of his cruel fortune; and there it was that he first saw that mortal enemy of [Pg 36] mankind; there it was that he made the first discovery of his passion, no less innocent than violent; there it was that the relentless Marcella last denied, shunned him, and drove him to that extremity of sorrow and despair that hastened the sad catastrophe of his miserable life; and there it was that, in token of so many misfortunes, he desired to be committed to the bosom of the earth."

Then addressing himself to Don Quixote and the rest of the travellers, "This body, gentlemen," said he, "which here you now behold, was once enlivened by a soul which heaven had enriched with the greatest part of its most valuable graces. This is the body of that Chrysostome who was unrivalled in wit, matchless in courteousness, incomparable in gracefulness, a phœnix in friendship, generous and magnificent without ostentation, prudent and grave without pride, modest without affectation, pleasant and complaisant without meanness; in a word, the first in every thing good, though second to none in misfortune: he loved well, and was hated; he adored, and was disdained; he begged pity of cruelty itself; he strove to move obdurate marble; pursued the wind; made his moans to solitary deserts; was constant to ingratitude; and, for the recompense of his fidelity, became a prey to death in the flower of his age, through the barbarity of a shepherdess, whom he strove to immortalise by his verse; as these papers which are here deposited might testify, had he not commanded me to sacrifice them to the flames, at the same time that his body was committed to the earth."

"Should you do so," cried Vivaldo, "you would appear more cruel to them than their unhappy author. Consider, sir, 'tis not consistent with discretion, nor even with justice, so nicely to perform the request of the dead, when it is repugnant to reason. Augustus CŠsar himself would have forfeited his title to wisdom, had he permitted that to have been effected which the divine Virgil had ordered by his will. Therefore, sir, now that you resign your friend's body to the grave, do not hurry thus the noble and only remains of that dear unhappy man to a worse fate, the death of oblivion. What though he has doomed them to perish in the height of his resentment, you ought not indiscreetly to be their executioner; but rather reprieve and redeem them from eternal silence, that they may live, and, flying through the world, transmit to all ages the dismal story of your friend's virtue and Marcella's ingratitude, as a warning to others, that they may avoid such tempting snares and enchanting destructions; for not only to me, but to all here present, is well known the history of your enamoured and desperate friend: we are no strangers to the friendship that was between you, as also to Marcella's cruelty which occasioned his death. Last night being informed that he was to be buried here to-day, moved not so much by curiosity as pity, we are come to behold with our eyes that which gave us so [Pg 37] much trouble to hear. Therefore, in the name of all the company,—deeply affected like me, with a sense of Chrysostome's extraordinary merit, and his unhappy fate, and desirous to prevent such deplorable disasters for the future,—I beg that you will permit me to save some of these papers, whatever you resolve to do with the rest." And so, without waiting for an answer, he stretched out his arm, and took out those papers which lay next to his hand. "Well, sir," said Ambrose, "you have found a way to make me submit, and you may keep those papers; but for the rest, nothing shall make me alter my resolution of burning them." Vivaldo said no more; but being impatient to see what those papers were which he had rescued from the flames, he opened one of them immediately, and read the title of it, which was, 'The despairing Lover.' "That," said Ambrose, "was the last piece my dear friend ever wrote; and therefore, that you may all hear to what a sad condition his unhappy passion had reduced him, read it aloud, I beseech you, sir, while the grave is making." "With all my heart," replied Vivaldo; and so the company, having the same desire, presently gathered round about him while he read the lines.

The verses were well approved by all the company; and Vivaldo was about to read another paper, when they were unexpectedly prevented by a kind of apparition that offered itself to their view. It was Marcella herself, who appeared at the top of the rock, at the foot of which they were digging the grave; but so beautiful, that fame seemed rather to have lessened than to have magnified her charms: those who had never seen her before gazed on her with silent wonder and delight; nay, those who used to see her every day seemed no less lost in admiration than the rest. But scarce had Ambrose spied her, when, with anger and indignation in his heart, he cried out, "What dost thou there, thou cruel basilisk of these mountains? comest thou to see whether the wounds of thy unhappy victim will bleed afresh at thy presence? or comest thou to glory in the fatal effects of thy inhumanity, like another Nero at the sight of flaming Rome?" "I come not here to any of those ungrateful ends, Ambrose," replied Marcella; "but only to clear my innocence, and shew the injustice of all those who lay their misfortunes and Chrysostome's death to my charge: therefore, I entreat you all who are here at this time to hear me a little, for I shall not need to use many words to convince people of sense of an evident truth. Heaven, you are pleased to say, has made me beautiful, and that to such a degree that you are forced, nay, as it were, compelled to love me, in spite of your endeavours to the contrary; and for the sake of that love, you say I ought to love you again. Now, though I am sensible that whatever is beautiful is lovely, I cannot conceive that what is loved for being handsome should be bound to love that by which it is loved merely because it is loved. He that [Pg 38] loves a beautiful object may happen to be ugly; and as what is ugly deserves not to be loved, it would be ridiculous to say, I love you because you are handsome, and therefore you must love me again though I am ugly. But suppose two persons of different sexes are equally handsome, it does not follow that their desires should be alike and reciprocal; for all beauties do not kindle love; some only recreate the sight, and never reach nor captivate the heart. Alas, should whatever is beautiful produce love, and enslave the mind, mankind's desires would ever run confused and wandering, without being able to fix their determinate choice; for as there is an infinite number of beautiful objects, the desires would consequently be also infinite; whereas, on the contrary, I have heard that true love is still confined to one, and is voluntary and unforced. This being granted, why would you have me force my inclinations for no other reason but that you say you love me? Tell me, I beseech you, had Heaven formed me as ugly as it has made me beautiful, could I justly complain of you for not loving me? Pray consider also, that I do not possess those charms by choice; such as they are, they were freely bestowed on me by Heaven: and as the viper is not to be blamed for the poison with which she kills, seeing it was assigned her by nature, so I ought not to be censured for that beauty which I derive from the same cause; for beauty in a virtuous woman is but like a distant flame, or a sharp-edged sword, and only burns and wounds those who approach too near it. Honour and virtue are the ornaments of the soul, and that body that is destitute of them cannot be esteemed beautiful, though it be naturally so. If, then, honour be one of those endowments which most adorn the body, why should she that is beloved for her beauty expose herself to the loss of it, merely to gratify the inclinations of one who, for his own selfish ends, uses all the means imaginable to make her lose it? I was born free, and, that I might continue so, I retired to these solitary hills and plains, where trees are my companions, and clear fountains my looking-glasses. With the trees and with the waters I communicate my thoughts and my beauty. I am a distant flame, and a sword far off: those whom I have attracted with my sight I have undeceived with my words; and if hope be the food of desire, as I never gave any encouragement to Chrysostome, nor to any other, it may well be said, it was rather his own obstinacy than my cruelty that shortened his life. If you tell me that his intentions were honest, and therefore ought to have been complied with, I answer, that when, at the very place where his grave is making, he discovered his passion, I told him I was resolved to live and die single, and that the earth alone should reap the fruit of my reservedness and enjoy the spoils of my beauty; and if, after all the admonitions I gave him, he would persist in his obstinate pursuit, and sail against the wind, what wonder is it he should perish [Pg 39] in the waves of his indiscretion? Had I ever encouraged him, or amused him with ambiguous words, then I had been false; and had I gratified his wishes, I had acted contrary to my better resolves: he persisted, though I had given him a due caution, and he despaired without being hated. Now I leave you to judge whether I ought to be blamed for his sufferings. If I have deceived any one, let him complain; if I have broke my promise to any one, let him despair; if I encourage any one, let him presume; if I entertain any one, let him boast: but let no man call me cruel nor murderer until I either deceive, break my promise, encourage, or entertain him. Let him that calls me a tigress and a basilisk avoid me as a dangerous thing; and let him that calls me ungrateful give over serving me: I assure them I will never seek nor pursue them. Therefore let none hereafter make it their business to disturb my ease, nor strive to make me hazard among men the peace I now enjoy, which I am persuaded is not to be found with them. I have wealth enough; I neither love nor hate any one; the innocent conversation of the neighbouring shepherdesses, with the care of my flocks, help me to pass away my time, without either coquetting with this man, or practising arts to ensnare that other. My thoughts are limited by these mountains; and if they wander further, it is only to admire the beauty of heaven, and thus by steps to raise my soul towards her original dwelling."

As soon as she had said this, without waiting for any answer, she left the place, and ran into the thickest of the adjoining wood, leaving all that heard her charmed with her discretion, as well as her beauty.

However, so prevalent were the charms of the latter that some of the company, who were desperately struck, could not forbear offering to follow her, without being in the least deterred by the solemn protestations which they had heard her make that very moment. But Don Quixote perceiving their design, and believing he had now a fit opportunity to exert his knight-errantry; "Let no man," cried he, "of what quality or condition soever, presume to follow the fair Marcella, under the penalty of incurring my displeasure. She has made it appear, by undeniable reasons, that she was not guilty of Chrysostome's death; and has positively declared her firm resolution never to condescend to the desires of any of her admirers: for which reason, instead of being importuned and persecuted, she ought to be esteemed and honoured by all good men, as being one of the few women in the world who have lived with such a virtuous reservedness."

Now, whether it were that Don Quixote's threats terrified them, or that Ambrose's persuasion prevailed with them to stay and see their friend interred, none of the shepherds left the place, till the grave being made, and the papers burnt, the body was deposited in the bosom of the earth, not without many tears from all the [Pg 40] assistants. They covered the grave with a great stone, and strewed upon it many flowers and boughs; and every one having condoled a while with his friend Ambrose, they took their leave of him, and departed. Vivaldo and his companion did the like; as did also Don Quixote, who was not a person to forget himself on such occasions; he likewise bid adieu to the kind goatherds that had entertained him, and to the two travellers, who desired him to go with them to Seville, assuring him there was no place in the world more fertile in adventures, every street and every corner there producing some. Don Quixote returned them thanks for their kind information, but told them, "he neither would nor ought to go to Seville till he had cleared all those mountains of the thieves and robbers which he heard very much infested all those parts." Thereupon the travellers, being unwilling to divert him from so good a design, took their leaves of him once more, and pursued their journey, sufficiently supplied with matter to discourse on from the story of Marcella and Chrysostome, and the follies of Don Quixote.

The knight and his squire continued their journey, and on quitting an inn, which, notwithstanding the remonstrances of Sancho, the Don, as usual, insisted was a castle, all the people in the yard, above twenty in number, stood gazing at him; and, among the rest, the host's daughter, while he on his part removed not his eyes from her, and ever and anon sent forth a sigh, which seemed to proceed from the bottom of his heart.

Being now both mounted, and at the door of the inn, he called to the host, and, in a grave and solemn tone of voice, said to him: "Many and great are the favours, sig˝or governor, which in this your castle I have received, and I am bound to be grateful to you all the days of my life. If I can make you some compensation by taking vengeance on any proud miscreant who hath insulted you, know that the duty of my profession is no other than to strengthen the weak, to revenge the injured, and to chastise the perfidious. Consider, and if your memory recall anything of this nature to recommend to me, you need only declare it; for I promise you, by the order of knighthood I have received, to procure you satisfaction and amends to your heart's desire!" The host answered with the same gravity: "Sir knight, I have no need of your worship's avenging any wrong for me; I know how to take the proper revenge when any injury is done me: all I desire of your worship is, to pay me for what you have had in the inn, as well for the straw and barley for your two beasts as for your supper and lodging." "What! is this an inn?" exclaimed Don Quixote. "Ay, and a very creditable one," answered the host. "Hitherto, then, I have been in an error," answered Don Quixote; "for in truth I took it for a castle; but since it is indeed no castle, but an inn, all that you have now to do is to excuse the payment; for I cannot act contrary to the law of [Pg 41] knights-errant, of whom I certainly know (having hitherto read nothing to the contrary) that they never paid for lodging or anything else in the inns where they reposed; because every accommodation is legally and justly due to them, in return for the insufferable hardships they endure while in quest of adventures, by night and by day, in winter and in summer, on foot and on horseback, with thirst and with hunger, with heat and with cold; subject to all the inclemencies of heaven, and to all the inconveniences of earth." "I see little to my purpose in all this," answered the host; "pay me what is my due, and let us have none of your stories and knight-errantries; all I want is to get my own." "Thou art a blockhead, and a pitiful innkeeper," answered Don Quixote: so clapping spurs to Rozinante, and brandishing his lance, he sallied out of the inn without opposition, and, never turning to see whether his squire followed him, was soon a good way off.

The host, seeing him go without paying, ran to seize on Sancho Panza, who said that, since his master would not pay, neither would he pay; for being squire to a knight-errant, the same rule and reason held as good for him as for his master. The innkeeper, irritated on hearing this, threatened, that if he did not pay him, he should repent his obstinacy.

Poor Sancho's ill-luck would have it that, among the people in the inn, there were four clothworkers of Segovia, three needle-makers from the fountain of Cordova, and two neighbours from the market-place of Seville,—frolicksome fellows, who, instigated and moved by the self-same spirit, came up to Sancho, and, having dismounted him, one of them produced a blanket from the landlord's bed, into which he was immediately thrown; but, perceiving that the ceiling was too low, they determined to execute their purpose in the yard, which was bounded above only by the sky. Thither Sancho was carried; and, being placed in the middle of the blanket, they began to toss him aloft, and divert themselves with him as with a dog at Shrovetide. The cries which the poor blanketed squire sent forth were so many and so loud that they reached his master's ears; who, stopping to listen attentively, believed that some new adventure was at hand, until he plainly recognised the voice of his squire; then turning the reins, he perceived the wicked sport they were making with his squire. He saw him ascend and descend through the air with so much grace and agility, that, if his indignation would have suffered him, he certainly would have laughed outright. But they suspended neither their laughter nor their labour; nor did the flying Sancho cease to pour forth lamentations, mingled now with threats, now with entreaties; yet all were of no avail, and they desisted at last only from pure fatigue. They then brought him his ass, and, wrapping him in his cloak, mounted him thereon. The compassionate maid of the inn, seeing him so exhausted, bethought [Pg 42] of helping him to a jug of water, and that it might be the cooler, she fetched it from the well. Sancho took it, and instantly began to drink; but at the first sip, finding it was water, he would proceed no further, and besought Maritornes to bring him some wine, which she did willingly, and paid for it with her own money; for it is indeed said of her that, although in that station, she had some faint traces of a Christian. When Sancho had ceased drinking, he clapped heels to his ass; and, the inn-gate being thrown wide open, out he went, satisfied that he had paid nothing, and had carried his point, though at the expense of his usual pledge, namely, his back. The landlord, it is true, retained his wallets in payment of what was due to him; but Sancho never missed them in the hurry of his departure. The innkeeper would have fastened the door well after him, as soon as he saw him out; but the blanketeers would not let him, being persons of that sort that, though Don Quixote had really been one of the knights of the round table, they would not have cared two farthings for him.

Sancho came up to his master so faint and dispirited that he was not able to urge his ass forward. Don Quixote, perceiving him in that condition, said: "Honest Sancho, that castle, or inn, I am now convinced, is enchanted; for they who so cruelly sported with thee, what could they be but phantoms and inhabitants of another world? And I am confirmed in this from having found that, when I stood at the pales of the yard, beholding the acts of your sad tragedy, I could not possibly get over them, nor even alight from Rozinante; so that they must certainly have held me enchanted. If I could have got over, or alighted, I would have avenged thee in such a manner as would have made those poltroons and assassins remember the jest as long as they lived, even though I should have thereby transgressed the laws of chivalry; for, as I have often told thee, they do not allow a knight to lay hand on his sword against any one who is not so, unless it be in defence of his own life and person, and in cases of urgent and extreme necessity." "And I too," quoth Sancho, "would have revenged myself if I had been able, knight or no knight, but I could not; though, in my opinion, they who diverted themselves at my expense were no hobgoblins, but men of flesh and bones, as we are; and each of them, as I heard while they were tossing me, had his proper name; so that, sir, as to your not being able to leap over the pales, nor to alight from your horse, the fault lay not in enchantment, but in something else. And what I gather clearly from all this is, that these adventures we are in quest of will in the long-run bring us into so many misadventures that we shall not know which is our right foot. So that, in my poor opinion, the better and surer way would be to return to our village, now that it is reaping-time, and look after our business, nor go rambling thus out of the frying-pan into the fire."

[Pg 43] "How little dost thou know, Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "of what appertains to chivalry! Peace, and have patience; for the day will come when thine eyes shall witness how honourable a thing it is to follow this profession. For tell me what greater satisfaction can the world afford, or what pleasure can be compared with that of winning a battle, and triumphing over an adversary? Undoubtedly none." "It may be so," answered Sancho, "though I do not know it. I only know that since we have been knights-errant, or since you have been one, sir (for I have no right to reckon myself of that honourable number), we have never won any battle; we have had nothing but drubbings upon drubbings, cuffs upon cuffs, with my blanket-tossing into the bargain, and that by persons enchanted, on whom I cannot revenge myself, and thereby know what that pleasure of overcoming an enemy is which your worship talks of." "That is what troubles me, and ought to trouble thee also, Sancho," answered Don Quixote; "but henceforward I will endeavour to have ready at hand a sword made with such art that no kind of enchantment can touch him that wears it; and perhaps fortune may put me in possession of that of Amadis, when he called himself 'Knight of the Burning Sword,' which was one of the best weapons that ever was worn by knight; for, beside the virtue aforesaid, it cut like a razor; and no armour, however strong or enchanted, could withstand it." "Such is my luck," quoth Sancho, "that though this were so, and your worship should find such a sword, it would be of service only to those who are dubbed knights; as for the poor squires, they may sing sorrow." "Fear not, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "Heaven will deal more kindly by thee."

The knight and his squire went on conferring thus together, when Don Quixote perceived, in the road on which they were travelling, a great and thick cloud of dust coming towards them; upon which he turned to Sancho, and said, "This is the day, O Sancho, that shall manifest the good that fortune hath in store for me. This is the day, I say, on which shall be proved, as at all times, the valour of my arm; and on which I shall perform exploits that will be recorded and written in the book of fame, there to remain to all succeeding ages. Seest thou that cloud of dust, Sancho? It is raised by a prodigious army of divers nations, who are on the march this way." "If so, there must be two armies," said Sancho; "for here, on this side, arises just another cloud of dust." Don Quixote turned, and seeing that it really was so, he rejoiced exceedingly, taking it for granted they were two armies coming to engage in the midst of that spacious plain; for at all hours and moments his imagination was full of the battles, enchantments, adventures, extravagances, combats, and challenges detailed in his favourite books; and in every thought, word, and action he reverted to them. Now the cloud of dust he saw was [Pg 44] raised by two great flocks of sheep going the same road from different parts, and as the dust concealed them until they came near, and Don Quixote affirmed so positively that they were armies, Sancho began to believe it, and said, "Sir, what then must we do?" "What," replied Don Quixote, "but favour and assist the weaker side? Thou must know, Sancho, that the army which marches towards us in front is led and commanded by the great Emperor Alifanfaron, lord of the great island of Taprobana: this other, which marches behind us, is that of his enemy, the king of the Garamantes, Pentapolin of the Naked Arm—for he always enters into battle with his right arm bare." "But why do these two princes bear one another so much ill-will?" demanded Sancho. "They hate one another," answered Don Quixote, "because this Alifanfaron is a furious pagan, in love with the daughter of Pentapolin, who is most beautiful, and also a Christian; but her father will not give her in marriage to the pagan king unless he will first renounce the religion of his false prophet Mahomet, and turn Christian." "By my beard," said Sancho, "Pentapolin is in the right; and I am resolved to assist him to the utmost of my power." "Therein wilt thou do thy duty, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "but listen with attention whilst I give thee an account of the principal knights in the two approaching armies; and, that thou mayest observe them the better, let us retire to that rising ground, whence both armies may be distinctly seen." Seeing, however, in his imagination, what did not exist, he began, with a loud voice, to say: "The knight thou seest yonder with the gilded armour, who bears on his shield a lion crowned, couchant at a damsel's feet, is the valorous Laurcalco, Lord of the Silver Bridge. The other, with the armour flowered with gold, who bears three crowns argent, in a field azure, is the formidable Micocolembo, Grand Duke of Quiracia. The third, with gigantic limbs, who marches on his right, is the undaunted Brandabarbaran of Boliche, Lord of the three Arabias. He is armed with a serpent's skin, and bears, instead of a shield, a gate, which fame says is one of those belonging to the temple which Samson pulled down when with his death he avenged himself upon his enemies."

In this manner he went on naming sundry knights of each squadron, as his fancy dictated, and giving to each their arms, colours, devices, and mottos, extempore; and, without pausing, he continued thus: "That squadron in the front is formed and composed of people of different nations. Here stand those who drink the sweet waters of the famous Xanthus; the mountaineers who tread the Massilian fields; those who sift the pure and fine gold-dust of Arabia Felix; those who dwell along the famous and refreshing banks of the clear Thermodon; those who drain, by divers and sundry ways, the golden veins of Pactolus; the Numidians, unfaithful in their promises; the Persians, famous for bows [Pg 45] and arrows; the Parthians and Medes, who fight flying; the Arabians, perpetually changing their habitations; the Scythians, as cruel as fair; the broad-lipped Ethiopians; and an infinity of other nations, whose countenances I see and know, although I cannot recollect their names."

How many provinces did he name! how many nations did he enumerate, giving to each, with wonderful readiness, its peculiar attributes! Sancho Panza stood confounded at his discourse, without speaking a word; and now and then he turned his head about, to see whether he could discover the knights and giants his master named. But seeing none, he said, "Sir, not a man, or giant, or knight, of all you have named, can I see any where." "How sayest thou, Sancho?" answered Don Quixote; "hearest thou not the neighing of the steeds, the sound of the trumpets, and the rattling of the drums?" "I hear nothing," answered Sancho, "but the bleating of sheep and lambs:" and so it was; for now the two flocks were come very near them. "Thy fears, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "prevent thee from hearing or seeing aright; for one effect of fear is to disturb the senses and make things not to appear what they really are: and if thou art so much afraid, retire and leave me alone; for with my single arm I shall ensure victory to that side which I favour with my assistance:" then, clapping spurs to Rozinante, and setting his lance in his rest, he darted down the hillock like lightning. Sancho cried out to him: "Hold, Sig˝or Don Quixote, come back! they are only lambs and sheep you are going to encounter; pray come back; what madness is this! there is neither giant, nor knight, nor horses, nor arms, nor shields quartered or entire, nor true azures, nor devices: what are you doing, sir?" Notwithstanding all this, Don Quixote turned not again, but still went on, crying aloud, "Ho, knights, you that follow and fight under the banner of the valiant Emperor Pentapolin of the Naked Arm, follow me all, and you shall see with how much ease I revenge him on his enemy Alifanfaron of Taprobana." With these words he rushed into the midst of the squadron of sheep, as courageously and intrepidly as if in good earnest he was engaging his mortal enemies. The shepherds and herdsmen who came with the flocks called out to him to desist; but seeing it was to no purpose, they unbuckled their slings, and began to salute his ears with a shower of stones. Don Quixote cared not for the stones, but, galloping about on all sides, cried out: "Where art thou, proud Alifanfaron? Present thyself before me; I am a single knight, desirous to prove thy valour hand to hand, and to punish thee with the loss of life for the wrong thou dost to the valiant Pentapolin Garamanta." At that instant a large stone struck him with such violence that he believed himself either slain or sorely wounded; and remembering some balsam which he had, he pulled out the cruse, and applying it to his mouth, began to swallow [Pg 46] some of the liquor; but before he could take what he thought sufficient, another hit him full on the hand, and dashed the cruse to pieces: carrying off three or four of his teeth by the way, and grievously bruising two of his fingers. Such was the first blow, and such the second, that the poor knight fell from his horse to the ground. The shepherds ran to him, and verily believed they had killed him; whereupon in all haste they collected their flock, took up their dead, which were about seven, and marched off without farther inquiry.

All this while Sancho stood upon the hillock, beholding his master's actions—tearing his beard, and cursing the unfortunate hour and moment that ever he knew him. But seeing him fallen to the ground and the shepherds gone off, he descended from the hillock, and, running to him, found him in a very ill plight, though not quite bereaved of sense; and said to him, "Did I not beg you, Sig˝or Don Quixote, to come back; for those you went to attack were a flock of sheep, and not an army of men?" "How easily," replied Don Quixote, "can that thief of an enchanter, my enemy, transform things or make them invisible! However, do one thing, Sancho, for my sake, to undeceive thyself, and see the truth of what I tell thee; mount thy ass, and follow them fair and softly, and thou wilt find that, when they are got a little farther off, they will return to their first form, and, ceasing to be sheep, will become men, proper and tall, as I described them at first. But do not go now; for I want thy assistance; come hither to me, and see how many of my teeth are deficient; for it seems to me that I have not one left in my head."

He now raised himself up, and placing his left hand on his mouth, to prevent the remainder of his teeth from falling out, with the other he laid hold on Rozinante's bridle, who had not stirred from his master's side, such was his fidelity, and went towards his squire, who stood leaning with his breast upon the ass, and his cheek reclining upon his hand, in the posture of a man overwhelmed with thought. Don Quixote, seeing him thus, and to all appearance so melancholy, said to him, "Know, Sancho, that one man is no more than another, only inasmuch as he does more than another. So do not afflict thyself for the mischances that befall me, since thou hast no share in them." "How? no share in them!" answered Sancho; "peradventure he they tossed in a blanket yesterday was not my father's son, and the wallets I have lost to-day, with all my movables, belong to somebody else?" "What! are the wallets lost?" quoth Don Quixote. "Yes, they are," answered Sancho. "Then we have nothing to eat to-day?" replied Don Quixote. "It would be so," answered Sancho, "if these fields did not produce those herbs which your worship says you know, and with which unlucky knights-errant like your worship are used to supply such wants." "Nevertheless," said Don Quixote, "at this time I [Pg 47] would rather have a slice of bread and a couple of heads of salt pilchards than all the herbs described by Dioscorides, though commented upon by Doctor Laguna himself. But, good Sancho, get upon thy ass, and follow me; for God, who provides for all, will not desert us, since he neglects neither the birds of the air, the beasts of the earth, nor the fish of the waters; more especially being engaged, as we are, in his service." "Your worship," said Sancho, "would make a better preacher than a knight-errant." "Sancho," said Don Quixote, "the knowledge of knights-errant must be universal; there have been knights-errant, in times past, who would make sermons or harangues on the king's highway as successfully as if they had taken their degrees in the university of Paris; whence it may be inferred that the lance never blunted the pen, nor the pen the lance." "Well, be it as your worship says," answered Sancho; "but let us begone hence, and endeavour to get a lodging to-night; and pray God it be where there are neither blankets or blanket-heavers, hobgoblins or enchanted Moors."


CHAPTER XI.

The sage discourse continued, with the adventures of a dead body.

Thus discoursing, night overtook them, and they were still in the high road; and the worst of it was, they were famished with hunger: for with their wallets they had lost their whole larder of provisions, and, to complete their misfortunes, an adventure now befell them which appeared indeed to be truly an adventure. The night came on rather dark; notwithstanding which they saw advancing towards them a great number of lights, resembling so many moving stars. Sancho stood aghast at the sight of them, nor was Don Quixote unmoved. The one checked his ass, and the other his horse, and both stood looking before them with eager attention. They perceived that the lights were advancing towards them, and that as they approached nearer they appeared larger. "I beseech thee, Sancho, to be of good courage; for experience shall give thee sufficient proof of mine." "I will, if it please God," answered Sancho; and, retiring a little on one side of the road, and again endeavouring to discover what those walking lights might be, they soon after perceived a great many persons clothed in white; this dreadful spectacle completely annihilated the courage of Sancho, whose teeth began to chatter, as if seized with a quartan ague. But it was otherwise with his master, whose lively imagination instantly suggested to him that this must be truly a chivalrous adventure. He conceived that the litter was a bier, whereon was carried some knight sorely [Pg 48] wounded or slain, whose revenge was reserved for him alone. He therefore, without delay, couched his spear, seated himself firm in his saddle, and, with grace and spirit, advanced into the middle of the road by which the procession must pass; and when they were near he raised his voice, and said: "Ho! knights, whoever ye are, halt, and give me an account to whom ye belong, whence ye come, whither ye are going, and what it is ye carry upon that bier; for, in all appearance, either ye have done some injury to others, or others to you; and it is expedient and necessary that I be informed of it, either to chastise ye for the evil ye have done, or to revenge ye of wrongs sustained." "We are in haste," answered one in the procession; "the inn is a great way off; and we cannot stay to give so long an account as you require:" then, spurring his mule, he passed forward. Don Quixote, highly resenting this answer, laid hold of his bridle, and said, "Stand, and with more civility give me the account I demand; otherwise I challenge ye all to battle." The mule was timid, and started so much upon his touching the bridle, that, rising on her hind-legs, she threw her rider over the crupper to the ground. A lacquey that came on foot, seeing the man in white fall, began to revile Don Quixote; whose choler being now raised, he couched his spear, and immediately attacking one of the mourners, laid him on the ground grievously wounded; then turning about to the rest, it was worth seeing with what agility he attacked and defeated them; it seemed as if wings at that instant had sprung on Rozinante—so lightly and swiftly he moved! All the white-robed people, being timorous and unarmed, soon quitted the skirmish, and ran over the plain with their lighted torches, looking like so many masqueraders on a carnival or a festival night. The mourners were so wrapped up and muffled in their long robes that they could make no exertion; so that the Don, with entire safety to himself, assailed them all, and, sorely against their will, obliged them to quit the field; for they thought him no man, but the devil broke loose upon them to seize the dead body they were conveying in the litter.

All this Sancho beheld, with admiration at his master's intrepidity, and said to himself, "This master of mine is certainly as valiant and magnanimous as he pretends to be." A burning torch lay on the ground, near the first whom the mule had overthrown; by the light of which Don Quixote espied him, and going up to him placed the point of his spear to his throat, commanding him to surrender, on pain of death. To which the fallen man answered, "I am surrendered enough already, since I cannot stir, for one of my legs is broken. I beseech you, sir, if you are a Christian gentleman, do not kill me; you would commit a great sacrilege; for I am a licentiate, and have taken the lesser orders." "What, then, I pray you," said Don Quixote, "brought you hither, being an ecclesiastic?" "What, sir?" replied [Pg 49] the fallen man, "but my evil fortune." "A worse fate now threatens you," said Don Quixote, "unless you reply satisfactorily to all my first questions." "Your worship shall soon be satisfied," answered the licentiate; "and therefore you must know, sir, that, though I told you before that I was a licentiate, I am, in fact, only a bachelor of arts, and my name is Alonzo Lopez. I am a native of Alcovendas, and came from the city of Baeza, with eleven more ecclesiastics, the same who fled with the torches; we were attending the corpse in that litter to the city of Segovia: it is that of a gentleman who died in Baeza, where he was deposited till now that, as I said before, we are carrying his bones to their place of burial in Segovia, where he was born." "And who killed him?" demanded Don Quixote. "God," replied the bachelor, "by means of a pestilential fever." "Then," said Don Quixote, "Heaven hath saved me the labour of revenging his death, in case he had been slain by any other hand; but since he fell by the decree of God, there is nothing expected from us but patience and resignation; for just the same must I have done, had it been his pleasure to pronounce the fatal sentence upon me. It is proper that your reverence should know that I am a knight of La Mancha, Don Quixote by name; and that it is my office and profession to go all over the world, righting wrongs and redressing grievances." "I do not understand your way of righting wrongs," said the bachelor; "for from right you have set me wrong, having broken my leg, which will never be right again whilst I live. But since my fate ordained it so, I beseech you, sig˝or knight-errant, who have done me such arrant mischief, to help me to get from under this mule: for my leg is held fast between the stirrup and the saddle." "I might have continued talking until to-morrow," said Don Quixote; "why did you delay acquainting me with your embarrassment?" He then called out to Sancho Panza to assist; but he did not choose to obey, being employed in ransacking a sumpter-mule, which those pious men had brought with them, well stored with eatables. Sancho made a bag of his cloak, and having crammed into it as much as it would hold, he loaded his beast; after which he attended to his master's call, and helped to disengage the bachelor from the oppression of his mule; and, having mounted him and given him the torch, Don Quixote bade him follow the track of his companions, and beg their pardon, in his name, for the injury which he could not avoid doing them. Sancho likewise said, "If perchance those gentlemen would know who is the champion that routed them, tell them it is the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha, otherwise called the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure."

The bachelor being gone, Don Quixote asked Sancho what induced him to call him the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, at [Pg 50] that time more than any other? "I will tell you," answered Sancho; "it is because I have been viewing you by the light of the torch, which that unfortunate man carried; and, in truth, your worship at present makes the most woful figure I have ever seen; which must be owing, I suppose, either to the fatigue of this combat or the want of your teeth." "It is owing to neither," replied Don Quixote; "but the sage who has the charge of writing the history of my achievements has deemed it proper for me to assume an appellation, like the knights of old; one of whom called himself the Knight of the Burning Sword; another of the Unicorn; this, of the Damsels; that, of the Phœnix; another, the Knight of the Griffin; and another, the Knight of Death; and by those names and ensigns they were known over the whole surface of the earth. And therefore I say that the sage I just now mentioned has put it into thy thoughts and into thy mouth to call me the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, as I purpose to call myself from this day forward; and that this name may fit me the better, I determine, when an opportunity offers, to have a most sorrowful figure painted on my shield." "You need not spend time and money in getting this figure made," said Sancho; "your worship need only shew your own, and, without any other image or shield, they will immediately call you him of the Sorrowful Figure; and be assured I tell you the truth; for I promise you, sir (mind, I speak in jest), that hunger and the loss of your teeth makes you look so ruefully that, as I said before, the sorrowful picture may very well be spared."

Don Quixote smiled at Sancho's pleasantry; nevertheless, he resolved to call himself by that name, and to have his shield or buckler painted accordingly; and he said, "I conceive, Sancho, that I am liable to excommunication for having laid violent hands on holy things, 'Juxta illud, Siquis suadente diabolo,' &c.: although I know I did not lay my hands, but my spear, upon them; besides, I did not know that I was engaging with priests, or things belonging to the Church, which I reverence and adore, like a good catholic and faithful Christian as I am, but with phantoms and spectres of the other world. And even were it otherwise, I perfectly remember what befell the Cyd Ruy Diaz, when he broke the chair of that king's ambassador in the presence of his holiness the Pope, for which he was excommunicated; yet honest Roderigo de Vivar passed that day for an honourable and courageous knight."

They had not gone far between two hills, when they found themselves in a retired and spacious valley, where they alighted. Sancho disburdened his beast; and, extended on the green grass, with hunger for sauce, they despatched their breakfast, dinner, afternoon's luncheon, and supper all at once; regaling their palates with more than one cold mess, which the ecclesiastics who [Pg 51] attended the deceased had brought with them on the sumpter-mule. But there was another misfortune, which Sancho accounted the worst of all; namely, they had no wine; nor even water, to drink; and were, moreover, parched with thirst.

But they had not gone two hundred paces when a great noise of water reached their ears, like that of some mighty cascade pouring down from a vast and steep rock. The sound rejoiced them exceedingly, and stopping to listen whence it came, they heard on a sudden another dreadful noise, which abated the pleasure occasioned by that of the water; especially in Sancho, who was naturally faint-hearted. I say they heard a dreadful din of irons and rattling chains, accompanied with mighty strokes, repeated in regular time and measure; which, together with the furious noise of the water, would have struck terror into any other heart but that of Don Quixote. The night, as we have before said, was dark; and they chanced to enter a grove of tall trees, whose leaves, agitated by the breeze, caused a kind of rustling noise, not loud, though fearful; so that the solitude, the situation, the darkness, and the sound of rushing water, with the agitated leaves, all concurred to produce surprise and horror, especially when they found that neither the blows ceased, nor the wind slept, nor the morning approached; and in addition to all this was their total ignorance of the place where they were in. But Don Quixote, supported by his intrepid heart, leaped upon Rozinante, and, bracing on his buckler, brandished his spear, and said, "Friend Sancho, know that, by the will of Heaven, I was born in this age of iron, to revive in it that of gold, or, as it is usually termed, 'the golden age.' I am he for whom dangers, great exploits, and valorous achievements, are reserved; I am he, I say again, who am destined to revive the order of the round table; that of the twelve peers of France, and the nine worthies, and to obliterate the memory of the Platirs, the Tablantes, Olivantes, and Tirantes, Knights of the Sun, and the Belianises, with the whole tribe of the famous knights-errant of times past. Stay for me here three days, and no more: if I return not in that time, thou mayest go back to our village; and thence, to oblige me, repair to Toboso, and inform my incomparable lady Dulcinea that her enthralled knight died in attempting things that might have made him worthy to be styled hers."

When Sancho heard these words of his master, he dissolved into tears, and said, "Sir, I cannot think why your worship should encounter this fearful adventure. It is now night, and nobody sees us. We may easily turn aside, and get out of danger, though we should not drink these three days; and, being unseen, we cannot be taxed with cowardice. Besides, I have heard the curate of our village, whom your worship knows very well, say in the pulpit that 'he who seeketh danger perisheth therein;' so that it is not good to tempt God by undertaking so [Pg 52] extravagant an exploit, whence there is no escaping but by a miracle. I left my country and forsook my wife and children to follow and serve your worship; but as covetousness bursts the bag, so hath it rent my hopes; for when they were most alive, and I was just expecting to obtain that unlucky island which you have so often promised me, I find myself, in lieu thereof, ready to be abandoned by your worship in a place remote from every thing human." "Be silent," said Don Quixote; "for God, who has inspired me with courage to attempt this unparalleled and fearful adventure, will not fail to watch over my safety, and comfort thee in thy sadness. All thou hast to do is to girth Rozinante well, and remain here; for I will quickly return, alive or dead."

Sancho now had recourse to stratagem; therefore, while he was tightening the horse's girths, softly, and unperceived, with his halter he tied Rozinante's hinder feet together, so that when Don Quixote would fain have departed, the horse could move only by jumps. Sancho, perceiving the success of his contrivance, said: "Ah, sir, behold how Heaven, moved by my tears and prayers, has ordained that Rozinante should be unable to stir; and if you will obstinately persist to spur him, you will but provoke fortune." This made the Don quite desperate, and the more he spurred his horse the less he could move him; he therefore thought it best to be quiet, and wait either until day appeared or until Rozinante could proceed; never suspecting the artifice of Sancho, whom he thus addressed: "Since so it is, Sancho, that Rozinante cannot move, I consent to remain until the dawn smiles, although I weep in the interval." "You need not weep," answered Sancho; "for I will entertain you until day by telling you stories, if you had not rather alight and compose yourself to sleep a little upon the green grass, as knights-errant are wont to do, so that you may be less weary when the day and hour comes for engaging in that terrible adventure you wait for." "To whom dost thou talk of alighting or sleeping?" said Don Quixote. "Am I one of those knights who take repose in time of danger? Sleep thou, who wert born to sleep, or do what thou wilt: I shall act as becomes my profession." "Pray, good sir, be not angry," answered Sancho; "I did not mean to offend you:" and, coming close to him, he laid hold of the saddle before and behind, and thus stood embracing his master's left thigh, without daring to stir from him a finger's breadth, so much was he afraid of the blows which still continued to sound in regular succession. Don Quixote bade him tell some story for his entertainment, as he had promised; Sancho replied that he would, if his dread of the noise would permit him: "I will endeavour," said he, "in spite of it, to tell a story, which, if I can hit upon it, and it slips not through my fingers, is the best of all stories; and I beg your worship to be attentive, for now I begin:

[Pg 53] "What hath been, hath been; the good that shall befall be for us all, and evil to him that evil seeks. Which fits the present purpose like a ring to your finger, signifying that your worship should be quiet, and not go about searching after evil." "Proceed with thy tale, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and leave to my care the road we are to follow." "I say then," continued Sancho, "that in a village of Estremadura, there was a shepherd, I mean a goatherd; which shepherd, or goatherd, as my story says, was called Lope Ruiz; and this Lope Ruiz was in love with a shepherdess called Torralva; which shepherdess called Torralva was daughter to a rich herdsman, and this rich herdsman"——"If this be thy manner of telling a story, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thou wilt not have done these two days; tell it concisely, and like a man of sense, or else say no more." "I tell it in the same manner that they tell all stories in my country," answered Sancho; "and I cannot tell it otherwise, nor ought your worship to require me to make new customs." "Tell it as thou wilt, then," said Don Quixote; "since it is the will of fate that I must hear thee, go on."

"And so, sir," continued Sancho, "as I said before, this shepherd was in love with the shepherdess Torralva, who was a merry strapping wench, somewhat scornful, and somewhat masculine; but, in process of time, it came about that the love which the shepherd bore to the shepherdess turned into hatred; and the cause was a certain quantity of little jealousies she gave him, so as to exceed all bounds: and so much did he hate her thenceforward, that, to shun the sight of her, he chose to absent himself from that country, and go where his eyes should never more behold her. Torralva, who found herself disdained by Lope, then began to love him better than ever she had loved him before." "It is a disposition natural in women," said Don Quixote, "to slight those who love them, and love those who hate them: go on, Sancho."

"It fell out," proceeded Sancho, "that the shepherd put his design into execution; and, collecting together his goats, went over the plains of Estremadura, in order to pass over into the kingdom of Portugal. Upon which, Torralva followed him at a distance, on foot and bare-legged, with a pilgrim's staff in her hand, and a wallet about her neck. Presently, the shepherd came with his flock to pass the river Guadiana, which at that time was swollen, and had almost overflowed its banks; and on the side he came to there was neither boat nor any body to ferry him or his flock over to the other side; which grieved him mightily: for he saw that Torralva was at his heels, and would give him much disturbance by her entreaties and tears. He therefore looked about him until he espied a fisherman with a boat near him, but so small that it could hold only one person and one goat: however, he spoke to him, and agreed with him to [Pg 54] carry over himself and his three hundred goats. The fisherman got into the boat, and carried over a goat; he returned and carried over another; he came back again, and carried over another. Pray, sir, keep an account of the goats that the fisherman is carrying over; for if you lose count of a single goat, the story ends, and it will be impossible to tell a word more of it. I go on then, and say that the landing-place on the opposite side was covered with mud, and slippery, and the fisherman was a great while in coming and going. However, he returned for another goat, and another, and another." "Suppose them all carried over," said Don Quixote, "and do not be going and coming in this manner; or thou wilt not have finished carrying them over in a twelvemonth." "Tell me, how many have passed already?" said Sancho. "How should I know?" answered Don Quixote. "See there, now! did I not tell thee to keep an exact account? There is now an end of the story; I can go no farther." "How can this be?" answered Don Quixote. "Is it so essential to the story to know the exact number of goats that passed over, that if one error be made, the story can proceed no farther?" "Even so," answered Sancho; "for when I desired your worship to tell me how many goats had passed, and you answered you did not know, at that very instant all that I had to say fled out of my memory; though, in truth, it was very edifying and satisfactory." "So, then," said Don Quixote, "the story is at an end?" "To be sure it is," quoth Sancho. "Verily," answered Don Quixote, "thou hast told one of the rarest tales, fables, or histories, imaginable; and thy mode of relating and concluding it is such as never was, nor ever will be, equalled; although I expected no less from thy good sense: however, I do not wonder at it, for this incessant din may have disturbed thy understanding." "All that may be," answered Sancho; "but as to my story, I know there's no more to be told; for it ends just where the error begins in the account of carrying over the goats." "Let it end where it will," said Don Quixote, "and let us see whether Rozinante can stir himself." Again he clapt spurs to him, and again the animal jumped, and then stood stock still, so effectually was he fettered.

Thus passed the night; and when Sancho perceived the dawn of morning, with much caution he unbound Rozinante, who being at liberty, though naturally not over-mettlesome, seemed to feel himself alive, and began to paw the ground; but as for curvetting (begging his pardon) he knew nothing about it. Don Quixote, perceiving that Rozinante began to be active, took it for a good omen, and a signal that he should forthwith attempt the tremendous adventure. The dawn now making the surrounding objects visible, Don Quixote perceived he was beneath some tall chestnut-trees, which afforded a gloomy shade: but the cause of that striking, which yet continued, he was unable to discover; therefore, without farther delay, he made Rozinante feel the spur, [Pg 55] and again taking leave of Sancho, commanded him to wait there three days at the farthest, as he had said before, and that if he returned not by that time, he might conclude that it was the will of Heaven that he should end his days in that perilous adventure. And now, dissembling as well as he could, he advanced towards the place whence the noise of the water and of the strokes seemed to proceed. Sancho followed him on foot, leading his ass—that constant companion of his fortunes, good or bad. And having proceeded some distance among those shady chestnut-trees, they came to a little green meadow, bounded by some steep rocks, down which a mighty torrent precipitated itself. At the foot of these rocks were several wretched huts, that seemed more like ruins than habitable dwellings; and it was from them, they now discovered, that the fearful din proceeded. Rozinante was startled at the noise; but Don Quixote, after quieting him, went slowly on towards the huts, recommending himself devoutly to his lady, and beseeching her to favour him in so terrific an enterprise. Sancho kept close to his side, stretching out his neck to see if he could discover the cause of his terrors. In this manner they advanced about a hundred yards farther, when, on doubling a point, the true and undoubted cause of that horrible noise, which had held them all night in such suspense, appeared plain and exposed to view. It was (kind reader, take it not in dudgeon) six fulling-hammers, whose alternate strokes produced that hideous sound. Don Quixote, on beholding them, was struck dumb, and in the utmost confusion. Sancho looked at him, and saw he hung down his head upon his breast, with manifest indications of being abashed. Don Quixote looked also at Sancho, and seeing his cheeks swollen, and his mouth full of laughter, betraying evident signs of being ready to explode, notwithstanding his vexation he could not forbear laughing himself at the sight of his squire, who, thus encouraged by his master, broke forth in so violent a manner that he was forced to apply both hands to his sides, to secure himself from bursting. Don Quixote, perceiving that Sancho made a jest of him, was so enraged that he lifted up his lance, and discharged two such blows on him that, had he received them on his head, instead of his shoulders, the knight would have acquitted himself of the payment of his wages, unless it were to his heirs. Sancho, finding he paid so dearly for his jokes, and fearing lest his master should proceed farther, with much humility said, "Pray, sir, be pacified; as truly as I live, I did but jest." "Though thou mayest jest, I do not," answered Don Quixote. "Come hither, merry sir; what thinkest thou? Suppose these mill-hammers had really been some perilous adventure, have I not given proof of the courage requisite to undertake and achieve it? Am I obliged, being a knight as I am, to distinguish sounds, and know which are, or are not, those of a fulling-mill, more especially if (which is indeed the truth) I had [Pg 56] never seen any fulling-mills in my life, as thou hast—a pitiful rustic as thou art, who wert born and bred amongst them? but let these six fulling-hammers be transformed into six giants, and let them beard me one by one, or altogether, and if I do not set them all on their heads, then make what jest thou wilt of me." "It is enough, good sir," replied Sancho; "I confess I have been a little too jocose; but pray tell me, now that it is peace between us, was it not a thing to be laughed at, and worth telling, what a fearful taking we were in last night—I mean, that I was in?—for I know that your worship is a stranger to fear." "I do not deny," answered Don Quixote, "that what has befallen us may be risible, but it is not proper to be repeated; for all persons have not the sense to see things in their right point of view." "But," answered Sancho, "your worship knew how to point your lance aright when you pointed it at my head, and hit me on the shoulders; let that pass, for I have heard say, 'he loves thee well who makes thee weep;' and, besides, your people of condition, when they have given a servant a hard word, presently give him some old hose, though what is usually given after a beating I cannot tell, unless it be that your knights-errant, after bastinadoes, bestow islands, or kingdoms on terra firma." "The die may so run," quoth Don Quixote, "that all thou hast said may come to pass; excuse what is done, since thou art considerate; for know that first impulses are not under a man's control: and that thou mayest abstain from talking too much with me henceforth, I apprise thee of one thing, that in all the books of chivalry I ever read, numerous as they are, I recollect no example of a squire who conversed so much with his master as thou dost with thine. And really I account it a great fault both in thee and in myself; in thee, because thou payest me so little respect; in me, that I do not make myself respected more. There was Gandalin, squire to Amadis de Gaul, earl of the firm island, of whom we read that he always spoke to his master cap in hand, his head inclined, and body bent after the Turkish fashion. What shall we say of Gasabel, squire to Don Galaor, who was so silent that, to illustrate the excellence of his marvellous taciturnity, his name is mentioned but once in all that great and faithful history? From what I have said, thou mayest infer, Sancho, that there ought to be a difference between master and man, between lord and lacquey, and between knight and squire; so that, from this day forward, we must be treated with more respect: for howsoever thou mayest excite my anger, 'it will go ill with the pitcher.' The favours and benefits I promised thee will come in due time; and if they do not come, the wages, at least, thou wilt not lose." "Your worship says very well," quoth Sancho; "but I would fain know (if perchance the time of the favours should not come, and it should be necessary to have recourse to the article of the wages) how much might the squire of a knight-errant get in those times? and [Pg 57] whether they agreed by the month, or by the day, like labourers?" "I do not believe," answered Don Quixote, "that those squires were retained at stated wages, but they relied on courtesy; and if I have appointed thee any in the will I left sealed at home, it was in case of accidents; for I know not yet how chivalry may succeed in these calamitous times, and I would not have my soul suffer in the other world for trifles; for I would have thee know, Sancho, that there is no state more perilous than that of adventurers." "It is so, in truth," said Sancho, "since the noise of the hammers of a fulling-mill were sufficient to disturb and discompose the heart of so valorous a knight as your worship."


CHAPTER XII.

Which treats of the grand adventure of Mambrino's helmet, with other things which befel our invincible Knight.

About this time it began to rain, and Sancho proposed entering the fulling-mill; but Don Quixote had conceived such an abhorrence for the late jest that he would by no means go in. Soon after he discovered a man on horseback, who had on his head something which glittered, as if it had been of gold; and turning to Sancho, he said, "I am of opinion, Sancho, there is no proverb but what is true, because they are all sentences drawn from experience; especially that which says, 'Where one door is shut, another is opened.' I say this because, if fortune last night shut the door against us with the fulling-mills, it now opens another, for a better and more certain adventure, in which, if I am deceived, the fault will be mine, without imputing it to my ignorance of fulling-mills, or to the darkness of night. This I say because, if I mistake not, there comes one towards us who carries on his head Mambrino's helmet." "Take care, sir, what you say, and more what you do," said Sancho; "for I would not wish for other fulling-mills to finish the milling and mashing our senses." "What has a helmet to do with fulling-mills?" replied Don Quixote. "I know not," answered Sancho; "but if I might talk as much as I used to do, perhaps I could give such reasons that your worship would see you are mistaken in what you say." "How can I be mistaken?" said Don Quixote. "Seest thou not yon knight coming towards us on a dapple-grey steed, with a helmet of gold on his head?" "What I see and perceive," answered Sancho, "is only a man on a grey ass like mine, with something on his head that glitters." "Why, that is Mambrino's helmet," said Don Quixote; "retire, and leave me alone to deal with him, and thou shalt see how, in order to save time, I shall conclude this adventure without speaking a [Pg 58] word, and the helmet I have so much desired remain my own." "I shall take care to get out of the way," replied Sancho; "but grant, I say again, it may not prove another fulling-mill adventure." "I have already told thee, Sancho, not to mention those fulling-mills, nor even think of them," said Don Quixote.

Now, the truth of the matter, concerning the helmet, the steed, and the knight which Don Quixote saw, was this. There were two villages in that neighbourhood, one of them so small that it had neither shop nor barber, but the other adjoining to it had both; therefore the barber of the larger served also the less, wherein one customer now wanted to be let blood, and another to be shaved; to perform which the barber was now on his way, carrying with him his brass basin; and it so happened that, while upon the road, it began to rain, and to save his hat, which was a new one, he clapped the basin on his head, which being lately scoured, was seen glittering at the distance of half a league; and he rode on a grey ass, as Sancho had affirmed. Thus Don Quixote took the barber for a knight, his ass for a dapple-grey steed, and his basin for a golden helmet; and when the knight drew near, he advanced at Rozinante's best speed, and couched his lance, intending to run him through and through; but when close upon him, without checking the fury of his career, he cried out, "Defend thyself, caitiff, or instantly surrender what is justly my due!" The barber had no other way to avoid the thrust of the lance than to slip down from the ass: and leaping up nimbler than a roebuck, he scampered over the plain with such speed that the wind could not overtake him. The basin he left on the ground, with which Don Quixote was satisfied. He ordered Sancho to take up the helmet, who, holding it in his hand, said, "The basin is a special one, and is well worth a piece of eight, if it is worth a farthing." He then gave it to his master, who immediately placed it upon his head, turning it round in search of the vizor; and, not finding it, he said, "Doubtless the pagan for whom this famous helmet was originally forged must have had a prodigious head—the worst of it is, that one half is wanting." When Sancho heard the basin called a helmet, he could not forbear laughing; which, however, he instantly checked on recollecting his master's late choler. "What dost thou laugh at, Sancho?" said Don Quixote. "I am laughing," answered he, "to think what a huge head the pagan had who owned that helmet, which is for all the world just like a barber's basin." "Knowest thou, Sancho, what I conceive to be the case? This famous piece, this enchanted helmet, by some strange accident must have fallen into the possession of one who, ignorant of its true value as a helmet, and seeing it to be of the purest gold, hath inconsiderately melted down the one half for lucre's sake, and of the other half made this, which, as thou sayest, doth indeed look like a barber's basin; but to me, who know what it really [Pg 59] is, its transformation is of no importance, for I will have it so repaired, in the first town where there is a smith, that it shall not be surpassed, nor even equalled. In the mean time I will wear it as I can; for something is better than nothing; and it will be sufficient to defend me from stones." "It will so," said Sancho, "if they do not throw them with slings, as they did in the battle of the two armies, when they crossed your worship's chops. As to being tossed again in a blanket, I say nothing; for it is difficult to prevent such mishaps, and if they do come, there is nothing to be done but to wink, hold one's breath, and submit to go whither fortune and the blanket shall please." "Thou art no good Christian, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "since thou dost not forget an injury once done thee; but know it is inherent in generous and noble minds to disregard trifles. What leg of thine is lamed, or what rib or head broken, that thou canst not forget that jest? for, properly considered, it was a mere jest and pastime; otherwise I should long ago have returned thither, and done more mischief in revenging thy quarrel than the Greeks did for the rape of Helen; who, had she lived in these times, or my Dulcinea in those, would never have been so famous for beauty as she is!" and here he heaved a sigh towards heaven. "Let it pass, then, for a jest," said Sancho, "since it is not likely to be revenged in earnest: but I know of what kind the jests and the earnests were; and I know also they will no more slip out of my memory than off my shoulders. But, setting this aside, tell me, sir, what shall we do with this dapple-grey steed which looks so like a grey ass, and which that caitiff whom your worship overthrew has left behind here, to shift for itself; for, by his scouring off so hastily, he does not think of ever returning for him; and, by my beard, the beast is a special one." "It is not my custom," said Don Quixote, "to plunder those whom I overcome, nor is it the usage of chivalry to take from the vanquished their horses, and leave them on foot, unless the victor hath lost his own in the conflict; in such a case it is lawful to take that of the enemy, as fairly won in battle. Therefore, Sancho, leave this horse, or ass, or whatever thou wilt have it to be; for, when we are gone, his owner will return for him."

They now breakfasted on the remains of the plunder from the sumpter-mule, and drank of the water belonging to the fulling-mills, but without turning their faces towards them—such was the abhorrence in which they were held. Being thus refreshed and comforted, both in body and mind, they mounted, and, without determining upon what road to follow, according to the custom of knights-errant, they went on as Rozinante's will directed, which was a guide to his master and also to Dapple, who always followed, in love and good fellowship, wherever he led the way. They soon, however, turned into the great road, which they followed at a venture, without forming any plan.

[Pg 60] As they were thus sauntering on, Sancho said to his master: "Sir, will your worship be pleased to indulge me the liberty of a word or two; for, since you imposed on me that harsh command of silence, sundry things have been rotting in my breast, and I have one just now at my tongue's end that I would not for any thing should miscarry." "Speak, then," said Don Quixote, "and be brief in thy discourse; for what is prolix cannot be pleasing." "I say, then, sir," answered Sancho, "that for some days past I have been considering how little is gained by wandering about in quest of those adventures your worship is seeking through these deserts and cross ways, where, though you should overcome and achieve the most perilous, there is nobody to see or know anything of them; so that they must remain in perpetual oblivion, to the prejudice of your worship's intention and their deserts. And therefore I think it would be more advisable for us, with submission to your better judgment, to serve some emperor or other great prince engaged in war, in whose service your worship may display your valour, great strength, and superior understanding: which being perceived by the lord we serve, he must of course reward each of us according to his merit. This is what I would be at," quoth Sancho; "this I stick to: for every tittle of this must happen." "Doubt not that this will happen, Sancho," replied Don Quixote; "for by those very means and those very steps which we are pursuing, knights-errant do rise, and have risen, to be kings and emperors. All that remains to be done is to look out and find what king of the Christians or of the Pagans is at war, and has a beautiful daughter—but there is time enough to think of this; for you know we must procure renown elsewhere before we repair to court. Besides, there is yet another difficulty; for, if a king were found who is at war and has a handsome daughter, and I had acquired incredible fame throughout the whole universe, I do not see how it can be made appear that I am of the lineage of kings, or even second cousin to an emperor; for the king will not give me his daughter to wife until he is first very well assured that I am such, however my renowned actions might deserve it. For thou must know, Sancho, that there are two kinds of lineages in the world. Some there are who derive their pedigree from princes and monarchs, whom time has gradually reduced until they have ended in a point, like a pyramid; others have had a low origin, and have risen by degrees, until they have become great lords. So that the difference is, that some have been what now they are not, and others are now what they were not before; and who knows but I may be one of the former, and that, upon examination, my origin may be found to have been great and glorious, with which the king, my future father-in-law, ought to be satisfied? and if he should not be satisfied, the infanta is to be so in love with me that, in spite of her father, she is to receive me for her lord and husband, [Pg 61] even though she knew me to be the son of a water-carrier; and in case she should not, then is the time to take her away by force, and convey her whither I please; there to remain until time or death put a period to the displeasure of her parents."

"Here," said Sancho, "comes in properly what some naughty people say, 'Never stand begging for that which you have the power to take;' though this other is nearer to the purpose: 'A leap from a hedge is better than a hundred petitions.' I say this, because if my lord the king, your worship's father-in-law, should not vouchsafe to yield unto you my lady the infanta, there is no more to be done, as your worship says, but to steal and carry her off. But the mischief is, that while peace is making, and before you can enjoy the kingdom quietly, the poor squire may go whistle for his reward." "Say what they will," rejoined Don Quixote, "in good faith, they must style thee 'your lordship,' however unwillingly." "Do you think," quoth Sancho, "I should not know how to give authority to the indignity?" "Dignity, you should say, and not indignity," said his master. "So let be," answered Sancho Panza. "I say, I should do well enough with it; for I assure you I was once beadle of a company, and the beadle's gown became me so well that every body said I had a presence fit to be warden of the same company: what then will it be when I am arrayed in a duke's robe, all shining with gold and pearls, like a foreign count? I am of opinion folks will come a hundred leagues to see me." "Thou wilt make a goodly appearance indeed," said Don Quixote; "but it will be necessary to trim thy beard a little oftener, for it is so rough and matted that, if thou shavest not every day at least, what thou art will be seen at the distance of a bow-shot." "Why," said Sancho, "it is but taking a barber into the house, and giving him a salary; and, if there be occasion, I will make him follow me like a gentleman of the horse to a grandee." "How camest thou to know," demanded Don Quixote, "that grandees have their gentlemen of the horse to follow them?" "I will tell you," said Sancho; "some years ago I was near the court for a month, and I often saw a very little gentleman riding about, who, they said, was a very great lord; and behind him I noticed a man on horseback, turning about as he turned, so that one would have thought he had been his tail. I asked why that man did not ride by the side of the other, but kept always behind him? They answered me that it was his gentleman of the horse, and that it was the custom for noblemen to be followed by them; and from that day to this I have never forgotten it." "Thou art in the right," said Don Quixote, "and in the same manner thou mayest carry about thy barber; for all customs do not arise together, nor were they invented at once; and thou mayest be the first earl who carried about his barber after him: and, indeed, it is a higher trust to dress the beard than to saddle a horse." "Leave the business of the [Pg 62] barber to me," said Sancho; "and let it be your worship's care to become a king and to make me an earl."

Presently our knight raised his eyes, and saw approaching, in the same road, about a dozen men on foot, strung like beads, by the necks, in a great iron chain, and all handcuffed. There came also with them two men on horseback, and two on foot; those on horseback were armed with firelocks, and those on foot with pikes and swords. As soon as Sancho Panza saw them, he said: "This is a chain of galley-slaves, persons forced by the king to serve in the galleys." "How! forced do you say?" quoth Don Quixote, "is it possible the king should force any body?" "I mean not so," answered Sancho, "but that they are persons who, for their crimes, are condemned by law to the galleys, where they are forced to serve the king." "In truth, then," replied Don Quixote, "these people are conveyed by force, and not voluntarily?" "So it is," said Sancho. "Then," said his master, "here the execution of my office takes place, which is to defeat violence, and to succour and relieve the wretched." "Consider, sir," quoth Sancho, "that justice—which is the king himself—does no violence to such persons, he only punishes them for their crimes." But his master gave no heed to him.

By this time the chain of galley-slaves had reached them, and Don Quixote desired the guard to inform him of the cause or causes for which they conducted those persons in that manner. One of the guards answered that they were slaves, and on their way to the galleys; which was all he had to say, nor was there anything more to know. "Nevertheless," replied Don Quixote, "I should be glad to be informed, by each individually, of the cause of his misfortune." To these he added such other courteous expressions, entreating the information he desired, that the other horseman said, "Though we have here the certificate of the sentence of each of these wretches, this is no time to produce them; make your inquiry of themselves; they may inform you, if they please, and no doubt they will: for they are such as take a pleasure in acting and relating rogueries." With this Don Quixote went up to them, and demanded of the first for what offence he marched in such evil plight? He answered, that it was for being in love. "For that alone?" replied the Don; "if people are sent to the galleys for being in love, I might long since have been rowing in them myself." "It was not such love as your worship imagines," said the galley-slave; "mine was a strong affection for a basket of fine linen. The process was short; they gave me a hundred lashes, and sent me to the galleys."

Don Quixote put the same question to the second, who returned no answer, he was so melancholy and dejected; but the first answered for him, and said, "This gentleman goes for being a canary-bird,—I mean, for being a musician and a singer." "How so?" replied Don Quixote; "are men sent to the galleys [Pg 63] for being musicians and singers?" "Yes, sir," replied the slave; "for there is nothing worse than to sing in an agony." "Nay," said Don Quixote, "I have heard say, 'Who sings in grief, procures relief.'" "This is the very reverse," said the slave; "for here he who sings once weeps all his life after." "I do not understand that," said Don Quixote. One of the guards said to him, "Sig˝or Cavalier, to sing in an agony means, in the cant of these rogues, to confess upon the rack. This offender was put to the torture, and confessed his crime, which was that of a stealer of cattle; and, because he confessed, he is sentenced for six years, besides two hundred lashes on the shoulders. He is pensive and sad, because all the other rogues abuse, vilify, flout, and despise him for confessing, and not having the courage to say No: for, say they, No does not contain more letters than Ay; and think it lucky, when it so happens that a man's life or death depends upon his own tongue, and not upon proofs and witnesses; and, for my part, I think they are in the right." "And so I think," answered Don Quixote; who, passing on to the third, interrogated him as he had done the others. He answered very readily, and with much indifference, "I am also going for five years, merely for want of ten ducats." "I will give twenty, with all my heart," said Don Quixote, "to redeem you from this misery." "That," said the convict, "is like having money at sea, where, though dying for hunger, nothing can be bought with it. I say this because, if I had been possessed in time of those twenty ducats you now offer me, I would have so greased the clerk's pen and sharpened my advocate's wit that I should have been this day upon the market-place of Toledo, and not upon this road, coupled and dragged like a hound: but God is great; patience and—that is enough."

Behind all these came a man about thirty years of age, of a goodly aspect, only that his eyes looked at each other. Don Quixote asked why this man was fettered so much more than the rest. The guard answered, because he alone had committed more crimes than all the rest together; and that he was so bold and desperate a villain that, although shackled in that manner, they were not secure of him, but were still afraid he would make his escape. "What kind of villanies has he committed?" said Don Quixote. "He goes for ten years," said the guard, "which is a kind of civil death. You need only be told that this honest gentleman is the famous Gines de Passamonte, alias Ginesillo de Parapilla." "Fair and softly, sig˝or commissary," interrupted the slave. "Let us not now be spinning out names and surnames. Gines is my name, and not Ginesillo; and Passamonte is the name of my family, and not Parapilla, as you say?" "Are you not so called, lying rascal?" said the guard. "Yes," answered Gines; "but I will make them cease calling me so, or I will flay them where I care not at present to say. Sig˝or Cavalier," [Pg 64] continued he, "if you have anything to give us, let us have it now, and God be with you; for you tire us with inquiring so much after other men's lives. If you would know mine, I am Gines de Passamonte, whose life is written by these very fingers." "He says true," said the commissary; "for he himself has written his own history as well as heart could wish, and has left the book in prison pawned for two hundred reals." "Ay, and I intend to redeem it," said Gines, "if it lay for two hundred ducats." "What, is it so good?" said Don Quixote. "So good," answered Gines, "that woe be to Lazarillo de Tormes, and to all that have written or shall write in that way. What I can affirm is, that it relates truths, and truths so ingenious and entertaining that no fiction can equal them." "What is the title of your book?" demanded Don Quixote. "The Life of Gines de Passamonte," replied Gines himself. "And is it finished?" quoth Don Quixote. "How can it be finished?" answered he, "since my life is not yet finished?" "You seem to be an ingenious fellow," said Don Quixote. "And an unfortunate one," answered Gines; "but misfortunes always persecute genius."

The commissary lifted up his staff to strike Passamonte, in return for his threats; but Don Quixote interposed, and desired he would not illtreat him, since it was but fair that he who had his hands so tied up should have his tongue a little at liberty. After questioning several more in a similar fashion, the Don thus addressed the company: "From all you have told me, dearest brethren, I clearly gather that, although it be only the punishment of your crimes, you do not much relish what you are to suffer, and that you go to it with ill-will, and much against your inclination. Now this being the case, my mind prompts me to manifest in you the purpose for which heaven cast me into the world, and ordained me to profess the order of chivalry, which I do profess, and the vow I thereby made to succour the needy and those oppressed by the powerful; for it seems to me a hard case to make slaves of those whom God and nature made free." "This is pleasant fooling," answered the commissary. "An admirable conceit he has hit upon at last! Go on your way, sig˝or, and give us no more of your meddling impertinence." "Insulting scoundrel!" answered Don Quixote; and thereupon, with a word and a blow, he attacked him so suddenly that, before he could stand upon his defence, he threw him to the ground, much wounded with a thrust of the lance. The rest of the guards were astonished and confounded at the unexpected encounter; and the galley-slaves seized the opportunity now offered to them of recovering their liberty, by breaking the chain with which they were linked together. The confusion was such that the guards could do nothing to any purpose. Sancho, for his part, assisted in releasing Gines de Passamonte; who, attacking the commissary, took away his sword and his gun, by levelling which [Pg 65] first at one, then at another, he cleared the field of all the guard.

"It is well," said Don Quixote; "but I know what is first expedient to be done." Then, having called all the slaves before him, they gathered round to know his pleasure; when he thus addressed them: "To be grateful for benefits received is natural to persons well born. This I say, gentlemen, because you already know, by manifest experience, the benefit you have received at my hands; in return for which it is my desire that you immediately go to the city of Toboso, and there present yourselves before the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, and tell her that her Knight of the Sorrowful Figure sends you to present his service to her; and recount to her every circumstance of this memorable adventure, to the point of restoring you to your wished-for liberty: this done, you may go wherever good fortune may lead you."

Gines de Passamonte answered for them all, and said, "What your worship commands us, noble sir and our deliverer, is of all impossibilities the most impossible to be complied with; for we dare not be seen together on the road, but must go separate, each man by himself, and endeavour to hide ourselves in the very bowels of the earth from the holy brotherhood, who doubtless will be out in quest of us. To think that we will now return to our chains, and put ourselves on our way to Toboso, is to imagine it already night, whereas it is not yet ten o'clock in the morning; and to expect this from us is to expect pears from an elm-tree." "I vow, then," quoth Don Quixote in a rage, "that you Don Ginesillo de Parapilla, or whatever you call yourself, shall go there alone and the whole chain upon your back." Passamonte, who was not over passive, seeing himself thus treated, gave a signal to his comrades, upon which they all began to rain such a shower of stones upon the knight that he could not contrive to cover himself with his buckler; and poor Rozinante cared no more for the spur than if he had been made of brass. Sancho got behind his ass, and thereby sheltered himself from the hailstorm that poured upon them both. Don Quixote could not screen himself sufficiently to avoid the stones, which came against him with such force that they brought him to the ground. They stripped him of a jacket he wore over his armour, and would have taken his trousers too, if the greaves had not hindered them. They took Sancho's cloak, leaving him stripped; and after dividing the spoils of the battle, they made the best of their way off, each taking a different course; more solicitous to escape the holy brotherhood than to drag their chain to Toboso and present themselves before the Lady Dulcinea.


CHAPTER XIII.

Of what befel Don Quixote in the Sierra Morena, being one of the most extraordinary adventures related in this faithful history.

[Pg 66] Don Quixote, finding himself thus ill-requited, said to his squire: "Sancho, I have always heard it said that to do good to the vulgar is to throw water into the sea. Had I believed what you said to me, I might have prevented this trouble; but it is done, I must have patience, and henceforth take warning." "Your worship will as much take warning," answered Sancho, "as I am a Turk; but since you say that if you had believed me this mischief would have been prevented, believe me now, and you will avoid what is still worse; for, let me tell you, there is no putting off the holy brotherhood with chivalries; they do not care two farthings for all the knights-errant in the world, and I fancy already that I hear their arrows whizzing about my ears." "Thou art naturally a coward, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "but that thou mayest not say I am obstinate, and that I never do what thou advisest, I will for once take thy counsel, and retire from that fury of which thou art in so much fear; but upon this one condition—that, neither living nor dying, thou shalt ever say that I retired and withdrew myself from this peril out of fear, but that I did it out of mere compliance with thy entreaties." "Sir," answered Sancho, "retreating is not running away, nor is staying wisdom when the danger overbalances the hope; and it is the part of wise men to secure themselves to-day for to-morrow, and not to venture all upon one throw. And know that, although I am but a clown and a peasant, I yet have some smattering of what is called good conduct; therefore repent not of having taken my advice, but get upon Rozinante if you can, if not I will assist you, and follow me: for my head tells me that, for the present, we have more need of heels than hands." Don Quixote mounted without replying a word more; and, Sancho leading the way upon his ass, they entered on one side of the Sierra Morena, which was near, and it was Sancho's intention to pass through it, and get out at Viso or Almodovar del Campo, and there hide themselves for some days among those craggy rocks, in case the holy brotherhood should come in search of them. He was encouraged to this, by finding that the provisions carried by his ass had escaped safe from the skirmish with the galley-slaves, which he looked upon as a miracle, considering what the slaves took away, and how narrowly they searched.

That night they got into the heart of the Sierra Morena, where Sancho thought it would be well to pass the remainder of the night, if not some days, or at least as long as their provisions [Pg 67] lasted. But destiny so ordered it that Gines de Passamonte, (whom the valour and frenzy of Don Quixote had delivered from the chain), being justly afraid of the holy brotherhood, took it into his head to hide himself among those very mountains where Don Quixote and Sancho Panza had taken refuge. Now, as the wicked are always ungrateful, Gines, who had neither gratitude nor good-nature, resolved to steal Sancho Panza's ass; not caring for Rozinante, as a thing neither pawnable nor saleable. Sancho Panza slept; the varlet stole his ass; and, before dawn of day, was too far off to be recovered.

Aurora issued forth, giving joy to the earth, but grief to Sancho Panza, who, when he missed his Dapple, began to utter the most doleful lamentations, insomuch that Don Quixote awaked at his cries, and heard him say, "O darling of my heart, born in my house, the joy of my children, the entertainment of my wife, the envy of my neighbours, the relief of my burdens, and lastly, the half of my maintenance! For, with the six and twenty maravedis which I have earned every day by thy means have I half supported my family!" Don Quixote, on learning the cause of these lamentations, comforted Sancho in the best manner he could, and desired him to have patience, promising to give him a bill of exchange for three asses out of five which he had left at home. Sancho, comforted by this promise, wiped away his tears, moderated his sighs, and thanked his master for the kindness he shewed him. Don Quixote's heart gladdened upon entering among the mountains, being the kind of situation he thought likely to furnish those adventures he was in quest of. They recalled to his memory the marvellous events which had befallen knights-errant in such solitudes and deserts. He went on meditating on these things, and his mind was so absorbed in them that he thought of nothing else. Nor had Sancho any other concern than to appease his hunger with what remained of the clerical spoils; and thus he jogged after his master, emptying the bag and stuffing his paunch; and while so employed he would not have given two maravedis for the rarest adventure that could have happened.

While thus engaged, he raised his eyes, and observed that his master, who had stopped, was endeavouring, with the point of his lance, to raise something that lay on the ground; upon which he hastened to assist him, if necessary, and came up to him just as he had turned over with his lance a saddle-cushion and a portmanteau fastened to it, half, or rather quite, rotten and torn, but so heavy that Sancho was forced to stoop down in order to take it up. His master ordered him to examine it. Sancho very readily obeyed, and although the portmanteau was secured with its chain and padlock, he could see through the chasms what it contained; which was four fine holland shirts, and other linen, no less curious than clean; and in a handkerchief he found a quantity [Pg 68] of gold crowns, which he no sooner espied than he exclaimed: "Blessed be heaven, which has presented us with one profitable adventure!" And, searching further, he found a little pocket-book, richly bound; which Don Quixote desired to have, bidding him take the money and keep it for himself. Sancho kissed his hands for the favour; and, taking the linen out of the portmanteau, he put it in the provender-bag. All this was perceived by Don Quixote, who said, "I am of opinion, Sancho (nor can it possibly be otherwise), that some traveller must have lost his way in these mountains, and fallen into the hands of robbers, who have killed him, and brought him to this remote part to bury him." "It cannot be so," answered Sancho; "for had they been robbers they would not have left this money here." "Thou art in the right," said Don Quixote, "and I cannot conjecture what it should be; but stay, let us see whether this pocket-book has any thing written in it that may lead to a discovery." He opened it, and the first thing he found was a rough copy of verses, and, being legible, he read aloud, that Sancho might hear it, the following sonnet:

I.
Love either cruel is or blind,
Or still unequal to the cause
Is this distemper of the mind,
That with infernal torture knaws.
II.
Of all my sufferings and my woe
Is Chloe, then, the fatal source?
Sure ill from good can never flow,
Or so much beauty gild a curse![4]

[4] From Smollett's translation.

"From those verses," quoth Sancho, "nothing can be collected, unless, from the clue there given, you can come at the whole bottom." "What clue is here?" said Don Quixote. "I thought," said Sancho, "your worship named a clue." "No, I said Chloe," answered Don Quixote; "and doubtless that is the name of the lady of whom the author of this sonnet complains; and, in faith, either he is a tolerable poet or I know but little of the art." "So, then," said Sancho, "your worship understands making verses too!" "Yes, and better than thou thinkest," answered Don Quixote; "and so thou shalt see, when thou bearest a letter to my lady Dulcinea del Toboso in verse; for know, Sancho, that all or most of the knights-errant of times past were great poets and great musicians; these two accomplishments, or rather graces, being annexed to lovers-errant. [Pg 69] True it is that the couplets of former knights have more of passion than elegance in them." "Pray, sir, read on farther," said Sancho, "perhaps you may find something to satisfy us." Don Quixote turned over the leaf, and said, "This is in prose, and seems to be a letter." "A letter of business, sir?" demanded Sancho. "By the beginning, it seems rather to be one of love," answered Don Quixote. "Then pray, sir, read it aloud," said Sancho; "for I mightily relish these love-matters." "With all my heart," said Don Quixote; and reading aloud, as Sancho desired, he found it to this effect:

"Thy broken faith and my certain misery drive me to a place whence thou wilt sooner hear the news of my death than the cause of my complaint. Thou hast renounced me, O ungrateful maid, for one of larger possessions, but not of more worth than myself. What thy beauty excited, thy conduct has erased: by the former I thought thee an angel, by the latter I know thou art a woman. Peace be to thee, fair cause of my disquiet!"

The letter being read, Don Quixote said, "We can gather little more from this than from the verses. It is evident, however, that the writer of them is some slighted lover." Then, turning over other parts of the book, he found other verses and letters, but the purport was the same in all—their sole contents being reproaches, lamentations, suspicions, desires, dislikings, favours, and slights, interspersed with rapturous praises and mournful complaints. While Don Quixote was examining the book, Sancho examined the portmanteau, without leaving a corner which he did not scrutinise, nor seam which he did not rip, nor lock of wool which he did not carefully pick—that nothing might be lost through carelessness—such was the cupidity excited in him by the discovery of this golden treasure, consisting of more than a hundred crowns! And although he could find no more, he thought himself abundantly rewarded for the tossings in the blanket, the loss of the wallet, and the theft of his cloak; together with all the hunger, thirst, and fatigue he had suffered in his good master's service.

The Knight of the Sorrowful Figure was extremely desirous to know who was the owner of the portmanteau; but as no information could be expected in that rugged place, he had only to proceed, taking whatever road Rozinante pleased, and still thinking that among the rocks he should certainly meet with some strange adventure.

As he went onward, impressed with this idea, he espied, on the top of a rising ground not far from him, a man springing from rock to rock with extraordinary agility. Don Quixote immediately conceived that this must be the owner of the portmanteau, and resolved therefore to go in search of him, even though it should prove a twelvemonth's labour, in that wild region. He [Pg 70] immediately commanded Sancho to cut short over one side of the mountain, while he skirted the other, as they might possibly by this expedition find the man who had so suddenly vanished from their sight. To which Sancho replied, "It would be much more prudent not to look after him; for if we should find him, and he, perchance, proves to be the owner of the money, it is plain I must restore it; and therefore it would be better to preserve it faithfully until its owner shall find us out; by which time, perhaps, I may have spent it, and then I am free by law." "Therein thou art mistaken, Sancho," answered Don Quixote; "for since we have a vehement suspicion of who is the right owner, it is our duty to seek him, and to return it; otherwise that suspicion makes us no less guilty than if he really were so." Then he pricked Rozinante on, when, having gone round part of the mountain, they found a dead mule, saddled and bridled, which confirmed them in the opinion that he who fled from them was owner both of the mule and the portmanteau.

While they stood looking at the mule, a goatherd descended, and, coming to the place where Don Quixote stood, he said, "I suppose, gentlemen, you are looking at the dead mule? in truth, it has now lain there these six months. Pray tell me, have you met with his master hereabouts?" "We have met with nothing," answered Don Quixote, "but a saddle-cushion and a small portmanteau, which we found not far hence." "I found it too," answered the goatherd, "but would by no means take it up, nor come near it, for fear of some mischief, and of being charged with theft; for the devil is subtle, and lays stumbling-blocks in our way, over which we fall without knowing how." "Tell me, honest man," said Don Quixote, "do you know who is the owner of these goods?" "What I know," said the goatherd, "is, that six months ago there came to a shepherd's hut, three leagues from this place, a genteel and comely youth, mounted on the very mule which lies dead there. He inquired which of these mountains was the most unfrequented. We told him it was where we now are; and so it is truly, for if you were to go on about half a league farther, perhaps you would never find the way out; and I wonder how you could get even hither, since there is no road nor path to lead you to it. The youth, hearing our answer, turned about, and made towards the part we pointed out, leaving us all pleased with his goodly appearance, and wondering at his question and at the haste he made to reach the mountain. From that time we saw him not again until, some days after, he issued out upon one of our shepherds, and, without saying a word, struck him, and immediately fell upon our sumpter-ass, which he plundered of our bread and cheese, and then fled again to the rocks with wonderful swiftness. Some of us sought for him nearly two days, and at last found him lying in the hollow of a large cork-tree. He came out to us with much [Pg 71] gentleness, his garment torn, and his face so disfigured and scorched by the sun that we should scarcely have known him, but that his clothes, ragged as they were, convinced us he was the person we were in search after. He saluted us, and in few but civil words bid us not be surprised to see him in that condition, which was necessary in order to perform a certain penance enjoined him for his sins. We entreated him to tell us who he was, but could get no more from him. We also desired him to inform us where he might be found; because when he stood in need of food, we would willingly bring some to him. He thanked us, and begged pardon for his past violence, and promised to ask it for God's sake, without molesting any body. As to the place of his abode, he said he had only that which chance presented him wherever the night overtook him; and he ended his discourse with so many tears, that we must have been very stones not to have wept with him, considering what he was when we first saw him; for, as I before said, he was a very comely and graceful youth, and by his courteous behaviour shewed himself to be well-born. We judged that his mad fit was coming on, and our suspicions were quickly confirmed; for he suddenly darted forward, and fell with great fury upon one that stood next him, whom he bit and struck with so much violence that, if we had not released him, he would have taken away his life. In the midst of his rage he frequently called out, 'Ah, traitor Fernando! now shalt thou pay for the wrong thou hast done me; these hands shall tear out that heart, the dark dwelling of deceit and villany!' We disengaged him from our companion at last, with no small difficulty; upon which he suddenly left us, and plunged into a thicket so entangled with bushes and briers that it was impossible to follow him. By this we guessed that his madness returned by fits, and that some person, whose name is Fernando, must have done him some injury of so grievous a nature as to reduce him to the wretched condition in which he appeared. And in that we have since been confirmed, as he has frequently come out into the road, sometimes begging food of the shepherds, and at other times taking it from them by force; for when the mad fit is upon him, though the shepherds offer it freely, he will not take it without coming to blows; but when he is in his senses, he asks it with courtesy, and receives it with thanks, and even with tears. In truth, gentlemen, I must tell you," pursued the goatherd, "that yesterday I and four young men, two of them my servants and two my friends, resolved to go in search of him, and, having found him, either by persuasion or force carry him to the town of Almodovar, which is eight leagues off, there to get him cured, if his distemper be curable, or at least to learn who he is, and whether he has any relations to whom we may give notice of his misfortune. This, gentlemen, is all I can tell you, in answer to your inquiry; by which you may understand that [Pg 72] the owner of the goods you found is the same wretched person who passed you so quickly:"—for Don Quixote had told him that he had seen a man leaping about the rocks.

Don Quixote was surprised at what he heard; and being now still more desirous of knowing who the unfortunate madman was, he renewed his determination to search every part of the mountain until he should find him. But fortune managed better for him than he expected; for at that very instant the youth appeared, descending, and muttering to himself something which was not intelligible. The rags he wore were such as have been described; but as he drew near, Don Quixote perceived that his buff doublet, though torn to pieces, still retained the perfume of amber; whence he concluded that he could not possibly be of low condition. When he came up, he saluted them in a harsh and untuned voice, but with a civil air. Don Quixote politely returned the salute with graceful demeanour, and advanced to embrace him, and held him a considerable time clasped within his arms, as if they had been long acquainted. The other, whom we may truly call the Tattered Knight of the Woful, as Don Quixote was of the Sorrowful Figure, having suffered himself to be embraced, drew back a little, and laying his hands on Don Quixote's shoulders, stood contemplating him, as if to ascertain whether he knew him; and perhaps no less surprised at the aspect, demeanour, and habiliments of the knight than was Don Quixote at the sight of him. In short, the first who broke silence after this prelude was the Tattered Knight; and what he said shall be told in the next chapter.


CHAPTER XIV.

A continuation of the adventure in the Sierra Morena.

Don Quixote listened to the Tattered Knight of the mountain, who thus addressed himself to him: "Assuredly, sig˝or, whoever you are, I am obliged to you for the courtesy you have manifested towards me; and I wish it were in my power to serve you with more than my good-will, which is all that my fate allows me to offer in return for your civility." "So great is my desire to do you service," answered Don Quixote, "that I had determined to learn from yourself whether your affliction, which is evident by the strange life you lead, may admit of any remedy, and, if so, make every possible exertion to procure it; I conjure you also by whatever in this life you love most, to tell me who you are, and what has brought you hither, to live and die like a brute beast amidst these solitudes: an abode, if I may judge from your person and attire, so unsuitable to you. And I swear," added Don Quixote, "by the order of knighthood I have received, [Pg 73] though unworthy and a sinner, to remedy your misfortune, or assist you to bewail it, as I have already promised." The Knight of the Mountain, hearing him talk thus, could only gaze upon him, viewing him from head to foot; and, after surveying him again and again, he said to him, "If you have anything to give me to eat, for God's sake let me have it; and when I have eaten, I will do all you desire, in return for the good wishes you have expressed towards me."

Sancho immediately took from his wallet some provisions, wherewith the wretched wanderer satisfied his hunger, eating what they gave him like a distracted person, so ravenously that he made no interval between one mouthful and another. When he had finished, he made signs to them to follow him; and having conducted them to a little green plot, he there laid himself down, and the rest did the same. When the Tattered Knight had composed himself, he said, "If you desire that I should tell you the immensity of my misfortunes, you must promise not to interrupt the thread of my doleful history; for in the instant you do so, my narrative will break off." These words brought to Don Quixote's memory the tale related by his squire, which, because he had not reckoned the number of goats that had passed the river, remained unfinished. Don Quixote, in the name of all the rest, promised not to interrupt him, and upon this assurance he began in the following manner:

"My name is Cardenio; the place of my birth one of the best cities of Andalusia; my family noble; my parents wealthy; my wretchedness so great that it must have been deplored by my parents, although not to be alleviated by all their wealth—for riches are of little avail in many of the calamities to which mankind are liable. In that city there existed a heaven, wherein love had placed all the joy I could desire: such is the beauty of Lucinda, a damsel as well-born and as rich as myself, though more fortunate and less constant than my honourable intentions deserved. This Lucinda I loved and adored from my childhood; and she, on her part, loved me with that innocent affection proper to her age. Our parents were not unacquainted with our attachment, nor was it displeasing to them. Our love increased with our years, insomuch that Lucinda's father thought it prudent to restrain my wonted freedom of access to his house; thus imitating the parents of the unfortunate Thisbe, so celebrated by the poets. This restraint served only to increase the ardour of our affection; for though it was in their power to impose silence on our tongues, they could not do the same on our pens, which reveal the secrets of the soul more effectually than even the speech; for the presence of a beloved object often so bewilders and confounds its faculties that the tongue cannot perform its office. O heavens, how many billet-doux did I write to her! What charming, what modest answers did I receive! How many sonnets did [Pg 74] I pen! At length, my patience being exhausted, I resolved at once to demand her for my lawful wife; which I immediately did. In reply, her father thanked me for the desire I expressed to honour him by an alliance with his family, but that, as my father was living, it belonged more properly to him to make this demand; for without his entire concurrence the act would appear secret and unworthy of his Lucinda. I went therefore directly to him, and found him with a letter open in his hand, which he gave me, saying, 'By this letter you will see, Cardenio, the inclination Duke Ricardo has to do you service.' I read the letter, which was so extremely kind that I thought it would be wrong in my father not to comply with its request, which was, that I should be sent immediately to the duke, who was desirous of placing me as a companion to his eldest son.

"The time fixed for my departure came. I conversed the night before with Lucinda, and told her all that had passed; and also entreated her father to wait a few days, and not to dispose of her until I knew what Duke Ricardo's pleasure was with me. He promised me all I desired, and she confirmed it with a thousand vows and a thousand faintings. I arrived at the residence of the duke, who treated me with so much kindness that envy soon became active, by possessing his servants with an opinion that every favour the duke conferred upon me was prejudicial to their interest. But the person most pleased at my arrival was a second son of the duke, called Fernando, a sprightly young gentleman, of a gallant, liberal, and loving disposition, who contracted so intimate a friendship with me that it became the subject of general conversation; and though I was treated with much favour by his elder brother, it was not equal to the kindness and affection of Don Fernando.

"Now as unbounded confidence is always the effect of such intimacy, he revealed to me all his thoughts, and particularly a love matter, which gave him some disquiet. He loved a country girl, the daughter of one of his father's vassals. Her parents were rich, and she herself was so beautiful, discreet, and modest, that no one could determine in which of these qualities she most excelled. Don Fernando's passion for this lovely maiden was so excessive that he resolved to promise her marriage. Prompted by friendship, I employed the best arguments I could suggest to divert him from such a purpose; but finding it was all in vain, I resolved to acquaint his father, the duke, with the affair. Don Fernando, being artful and shrewd, suspected and feared no less, knowing that I could not, as a faithful servant, conceal from my lord and master so important a matter: and therefore, to amuse and deceive me, he said that he knew no better remedy for effacing the remembrance of the beauty that had so captivated him than to absent himself for some months; which he said might be effected by our going together to my father's house, under pretence, [Pg 75] as he would tell the duke, of purchasing horses in our town, which is remarkable for producing the best in the world. No sooner had he made this proposal than, prompted by my own love, I expressed my approbation of it, as the best that possibly could be devised, and should have done so, even had it been less plausible, since it afforded me so good an opportunity of returning to see my dear Lucinda. At the very time he made this proposal to me he had already, as appeared afterwards, been married to the maiden, and only waited for a convenient season to divulge it with safety to himself, being afraid of what the duke his father might do when he should hear of his folly. Now love in young men too often expires with the attainment of its object; and what seems to be love vanishes, because it has nothing of the durable nature of true affection. In short, Don Fernando, having obtained possession of the country girl, his love grew faint, and his fondness abated; so that, in reality, that absence which he proposed as a remedy for his passion, he only chose in order to avoid what was now no longer agreeable to him. The duke consented to his proposal, and ordered me to bear him company.

"We reached our city, and my father received him according to his quality. I immediately visited Lucinda; my passion revived (though, in truth, it had been neither dead nor asleep), and unfortunately for me, I revealed it to Don Fernando; thinking that, by the laws of friendship, nothing should be concealed from him. I expatiated so much on the beauty, grace, and discretion of Lucinda, that my praises excited in him a desire of seeing a damsel endowed with such accomplishments. Unhappily I consented to gratify him, and shewed her to him one night by the light of a taper at a window, where we were accustomed to converse together. He beheld her, and every beauty he had hitherto seen was cast into oblivion. From that time I began to fear and suspect him; for he was every moment talking of Lucinda, and would begin the subject himself, however abruptly, which awakened in me I know not what jealousy; and though I feared no change in the goodness and fidelity of Lucinda, yet I could not but dread the very thing against which they seemed to secure me. He also constantly importuned me to shew him the letters I wrote to Lucinda, as well as her answers, which I did, and he pretended to be extremely delighted with both.

"Now it happened that Lucinda, having desired me to lend her a book of chivalry, of which she was very fond, entitled Amadis de Gaul——"

Scarcely had Don Quixote heard him mention a book of chivalry, when he said, "Had you told me, sir, at the beginning of your story, that the Lady Lucinda was fond of reading books of chivalry, no more would have been necessary to convince me [Pg 76] of the sublimity of her understanding. I pronounce her to be the most beautiful and the most ingenious woman in the world. Pardon me, sir, for having broken my promise by this interruption; but when I hear of matters appertaining to knights-errant and chivalry I can as well forbear talking of them as the beams of the sun can cease to give heat, or those of the moon to moisten. Pray, therefore, excuse me and proceed; for that is of most importance to us at present."

While Don Quixote was saying all this, Cardenio hung down his head upon his breast, apparently in profound thought; and although Don Quixote twice desired him to continue his story, he neither lifted up his head nor answered a word. But after some time he raised it, and uttering some disloyalty against Queen Madasima, one of the heroines of the Don's books of chivalry, "It is false, I swear," answered Don Quixote in great wrath; "it is extreme malice, or rather villany, to say so; and whoever asserts it lies like a very rascal, and I will make him know it, on foot or on horseback, armed or unarmed, by night or by day, or how he pleases."

Cardenio, being now mad, and hearing himself called liar and villain, with other such opprobrious names, did not like the jest; and catching up a stone that lay close by him, he threw it with such violence at Don Quixote's breast that it threw him on his back. Sancho Panza, seeing his master treated in this manner, attacked the madman with his clenched fist; and the Tattered Knight received him in such sort that, with one blow, he laid him at his feet, and then trampled upon him to his heart's content. The goatherd, who endeavoured to defend him, fared little better; and when the madman had sufficiently vented his fury upon them all, he left them, and quietly retired to his rocky haunts among the mountains. Sancho got up in a rage to find himself so roughly handled, and was proceeding to take revenge on the goatherd, telling him the fault was his, for not having given them warning that this man was subject to these mad fits; for had they known it, they might have been upon their guard. The goatherd answered that he had given them notice of it, and that the fault was not his. Sancho Panza replied, the goatherd rejoined; and the replies and rejoinders ended in taking each other by the beard, and coming to such blows that, if Don Quixote had not interposed, they would have demolished each other. But Sancho still kept fast hold of the goatherd, and said, "Let me alone, sir knight, for this fellow being a bumpkin like myself, and not a knight, I may very safely revenge myself by fighting with him hand to hand, like a man of honour." "True," said Don Quixote; "but I know that he is not to blame for what has happened." Hereupon Sancho was pacified; and Don Quixote again inquired of the goatherd whether it were possible to find out Cardenio; for he had a vehement desire to learn the end of his story. The [Pg 77] goatherd told him, as before, that he did not exactly know his haunts, but that, if he waited some time about that part, he would not fail to meet him, either in or out of his senses.

Don Quixote took his leave of the goatherd, and, mounting Rozinante, commanded Sancho to follow him; which he did very unwillingly. They proceeded slowly on, making their way into the most difficult recesses of the mountain; in the mean time Sancho was dying to converse with his master, but would fain have had him begin the discourse, that he might not disobey his orders. Being, however, unable to hold out any longer, he said to him, "Sig˝or Don Quixote, be pleased to give me your worship's blessing, and my dismission; for I will get home to my wife and children, with whom I shall at least have the privilege of talking and speaking my mind; for it is very hard, and not to be borne with patience, for a man to ramble about all his life in quest of adventures, and to meet with nothing but kicks and cuffs, tossings in a blanket, and bangs with stones, and, with all this, to have his mouth sewed up, not daring to utter what he has in his heart, as if he were dumb." "I understand thee, Sancho," answered Don Quixote; "thou art impatient until I take off the embargo I have laid on thy tongue. Suppose it, then, removed, and thou art permitted to say what thou wilt, upon condition that this revocation is to last no longer than whilst we are wandering among these rocks." "Be it so," said Sancho; "let me talk now, for we know not what will be hereafter. And now, taking the benefit of this license, I ask what had your worship to do with standing up so warmly for that same Queen Magimasa, or what's her name? for had you let that pass, I verily believe the madman would have gone on with his story, and you would have escaped the thump with the stone, the kicks, and above half a dozen buffets."

"In faith, Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "if thou didst but know, as I do, how honourable and how excellent a lady Queen Madasima was, I am certain thou wouldst acknowledge that I had a great deal of patience in forbearing to dash to pieces that mouth out of which such blasphemies issued; and to prove that Cardenio knew not what he spoke, thou mayest remember that when he said it he was not in his senses." "That is what I say," quoth Sancho; "and therefore no account should have been made of his words; for if good fortune had not befriended your worship, and directed the flint-stone at your breast instead of your head, we had been in a fine condition for standing up in defence of that dear lady; and Cardenio would have come off unpunished, being insane." "Against the sane and insane," answered Don Quixote, "it is the duty of a knight-errant to defend the honour of women, particularly that of a queen of such exalted worth as Queen Madasima, for whom I have a particular affection, on account of her excellent qualities; for, besides being extremely [Pg 78] beautiful, she was very prudent, and very patient in her afflictions, which were numerous. But prythee, Sancho, peace; and henceforward attend to our matters, and forbear any interference with what doth not concern thee. Be convinced, that whatever I have done, do, or shall do, is highly reasonable, and exactly conformable to the rules of chivalry, which I am better acquainted with than all the knights who ever professed it in the world." "Sir," replied Sancho, "is it a good rule of chivalry for us to go wandering through these mountains, without either path or road, in quest of a madman who, perhaps, when he is found, will be inclined to finish what he began,—not his story, but the breaking of your worship's head and my ribs?"

"Peace, Sancho, I repeat," said Don Quixote; "for know that it is not only the desire of finding the madman that brings me to these parts, but an intention to perform in them an exploit whereby I shall acquire perpetual fame and renown over the face of the whole earth; and it shall be such an one as shall set the seal to make an accomplished knight-errant." "And is this exploit a very dangerous one?" quoth Sancho. "No," answered the knight; "although the die may chance to run unfortunately for us, yet the whole will depend upon thy diligence." "Upon my diligence!" exclaimed Sancho. "Yes," said Don Quixote; "for if thy return be speedy from the place whither I intend to send thee, my pain will soon be over, and my glory forthwith commence; and that thou mayest no longer be in suspense with regard to the tendency of my words, I inform thee, Sancho, that the famous Amadis de Gaul was one of the most perfect of knights-errant—I should not say one, for he was the sole, the principal, the unique—in short, the prince of all his contemporaries. A fig for Don Belianis, and all those who say that he equalled Amadis in any thing; for I swear they are mistaken. I say, moreover, that if a painter would be famous in his art he must endeavour to copy after the originals of the most excellent masters. The same rule is also applicable to all the other arts and sciences which adorn the commonwealth; thus, whoever aspires to a reputation for prudence and patience must imitate Ulysses, in whose person and toils Homer draws a lively picture of those qualities; so also Virgil, in the character of Ăneas, delineates filial piety, courage, and martial skill, being representations not of what they really were, but of what they ought to be, in order to serve as models of virtue to succeeding generations. Thus was Amadis the polar, the morning-star, and the sun of all valiant and enamoured knights, and whom all we, who militate under the banners of love and chivalry, ought to follow. This being the case, friend Sancho, that knight-errant who best imitates him will be most certain of arriving at pre-eminence in chivalry. And an occasion upon which this knight particularly displayed his prudence, worth, courage, patience, constancy, and love, was his retiring, [Pg 79] when disdained by the Lady Oriana, to do penance on the poor rock, changing his name to that of Beltenebros; a name most certainly significant and proper for the life he had voluntarily chosen. Now it is easier for me to imitate him in this than in cleaving giants, beheading serpents, slaying dragons, routing armies, shattering fleets, and dissolving enchantments; and since this place is so well adapted for the purpose, I ought not to neglect the opportunity which is now so commodiously offered to me."

"What is it your worship really intends to do in so remote a place as this?" demanded Sancho. "Have I not told thee," answered Don Quixote, "that I design to imitate Amadis, acting here the desperate, raving, and furious lover; at the same time following the example of the valiant Don Orlando with respect to Angelica the fair: he ran mad, tore up trees by the roots, disturbed the waters of the crystal springs, slew shepherds, destroyed flocks, fired cottages, and an hundred thousand other extravagances worthy of eternal record. And although it is not my design to imitate Orlando in all his frantic actions, words, and thoughts, yet I will give as good a sketch as I can of those which I deem most essential; or I may, perhaps, be content to imitate only Amadis, who, without committing any mischievous excesses, by tears and lamentations alone attained as much fame as all of them." "It seems to me," quoth Sancho, "that the knights who acted in such manner were provoked to it, and had a reason for these follies and penances; but pray what cause has your worship to run mad? What lady has disdained you? or what have you discovered to convince you that the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso has done you any wrong?" "There lies the point," answered Don Quixote, "and in this consists the refinement of my plan. A knight-errant who runs mad with just cause deserves no thanks; but to do so without this is the point; giving my lady to understand how much more I should perform were there a good reason on her part. But I have cause enough given me by so long an absence from my ever-honoured Lady Dulcinea del Toboso. Therefore, friend Sancho, counsel me not to refrain from so rare, so happy, and so unparalleled an imitation. Mad I am, and mad I must be, until thy return with an answer to a letter I intend to send by thee to my Lady Dulcinea; for if good, I shall enjoy it in my right senses; if otherwise, I shall be mad, and consequently insensible of my misfortune."

While they were thus discoursing, they arrived at the foot of a high mountain, which stood separated from several others that surrounded it, as if it had been hewn out from them. Near its base ran a gentle stream, that watered a verdant and luxurious vale, adorned with many wide-spreading trees, plants, and wild flowers of various hues. This was the spot in which the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure chose to perform his penance; and while contemplating [Pg 80] the scene, he thus broke forth in a loud voice: "This is the place, O ye heavens! which I select and appoint for bewailing the misfortune in which I am so cruelly involved. This is the spot where my flowing tears shall increase the waters of this crystal stream, and my sighs, continual and deep, shall incessantly move the foliage of these lofty trees, in testimony and token of the pain my persecuted heart endures. O ye rural deities, whoever ye be that inhabit these remote deserts, give ear to the complaints of an unhappy lover, whom long absence and some pangs of jealousy have driven to bewail himself among these rugged heights, and to complain of the cruelty of that ungrateful fair, the utmost extent and ultimate perfection of human beauty! And, O thou my squire, agreeable companion in my prosperous and adverse fortune, carefully imprint on thy memory what thou shalt see me here perform, that thou mayest recount and recite it to her who is the sole cause of all!" Thus saying, he alighted from Rozinante, and in an instant took off his bridle and saddle, and clapping him on the back, said to him, "O steed, as excellent for my performances as unfortunate in thy fate, he gives thee liberty who is himself deprived of it. Go whither thou wilt; for thou hast it written on thy forehead that neither Astolpho's Hippogriff, nor the famous Frontino, which cost Bradamante so dear, could match thee in speed."

Sancho, observing all this, said, "Blessings be with him who saved us the trouble of unharnessing Dapple; for truly he should have wanted neither slaps nor speeches in his praise. Yet if he were here, I would not consent to his being unpannelled, there being no occasion for it; for he had nothing to do with love or despair any more than I, who was once his master, when it so pleased God. And truly, Sir Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, if it be so that my departure and your madness take place in earnest, it will be well to saddle Rozinante again, that he may supply the loss of my Dapple, and save me time in going and coming; for if I walk, I know not how I shall be able either to go or return, being, in truth, but a sorry traveller on foot." "Be that as thou wilt," answered Don Quixote; "for I do not disapprove thy proposal; and I say thou shalt depart within three days, during which time I intend thee to bear witness of what I do and say for her, that thou mayest report it accordingly." "What have I more to see," quoth Sancho, "than what I have already seen?" "So far thou art well prepared," answered Don Quixote; "but I have now to rend my garments, scatter my arms about, and dash my head against these rocks; with other things of the like sort, which will strike thee with admiration." "Good master," said Sancho, "content yourself, I pray you, with running your head against some soft thing, such as cotton; and leave it to me to tell my lady that you dashed your head against the point of a rock harder than a diamond." "I thank thee for thy good intentions, [Pg 81] friend Sancho," answered Don Quixote; "but I would have thee to know, that all these actions of mine are no mockery, but done very much in earnest." "As for the three days allowed me for seeing your mad pranks," interrupted Sancho, "I beseech you to reckon them as already passed; for I take all for granted, and will tell wonders to my lady: do you write the letter, and despatch me quickly, for I long to come back and release your worship from this purgatory, in which I leave you."

"But how," said Don Quixote, "shall we contrive to write the letter?" "And the ass-colt bill?" added Sancho. "Nothing shall be omitted," said Don Quixote; "and since we have no paper, we shall do well to write it as the ancients did, on the leaves of trees, or on tablets of wax; though it will be as difficult at present to meet with these as with paper. But, now I recollect, it may be as well, or indeed better, to write it in Cardenio's pocket-book, and you will take care to get it fairly transcribed upon paper in the first town you reach where there is a schoolmaster." "But what must we do about the signing it with your own hand?" said Sancho. "The letters of Amadis were never subscribed," answered Don Quixote. "Very well," replied Sancho; "but the order for the colts must needs be signed by yourself; for if that be copied, they will say it is a false signature, and I shall be forced to go without the colts." "The order shall be signed in the same pocket-book; and, at sight of it, my niece will make no difficulty in complying with it. As to the love-letter, let it be subscribed thus: 'Yours until death, the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure.' And it is of little importance whether it be written in another hand; for I remember, Dulcinea has never seen a letter or writing of mine in her whole life; for our loves have always been of the platonic kind, extending no farther than to modest glances at each other; such is the reserve and seclusion in which she is brought up by her father Lorenzo Corchuelo, and her mother Aldonza Nogales!"

"Ah!" quoth Sancho, "the daughter of Lorenzo Corchuelo! Is she the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, otherwise called Aldonza Lorenzo?" "It is even she," said Don Quixote, "and she deserves to be mistress of the universe." "I know her well," quoth Sancho; "and I can assure you she will pitch the bar with the lustiest swain in the parish; straight and vigorous, and I warrant can make her part good with any knight-errant that shall have her for his lady. Oh, what a pair of lungs and a voice she has! I remember she got out one day upon the bell-tower of the church, to call some young ploughmen, who were in a field of her father's; and though they were half a league off, they heard her as plainly as if they had stood at the foot of the tower; and the best of her is, that she is not at all coy, but as bold as a court lady, and makes a jest and a may-game of every body. I say, then, Sir Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, that you not only may and ought [Pg 82] to run mad for her, but also you may justly despair and hang yourself; and nobody that hears it but will say you did extremely well. However, I am anxious to see her; for I have not met with her this many a day, and by this time she must needs be altered; for it mightily spoils women's faces to be abroad in the field, exposed to the sun and weather. But, all things considered, what good can it do to the Lady Aldonza Lorenzo—I mean the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso—to have the vanquished whom your worship sends or may send falling upon their knees before her? For perhaps at the time they arrive she may be carding flax, or threshing in the barn, and they may be confounded at the sight of her, and she may laugh and care little for the present." "I have often told thee, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that thou art an eternal babbler, and though void of wit, thy bluntness often stings; but, to convince thee at once of thy folly and my discretion, I will tell thee a short tale.

"Know, then, that a certain widow, handsome, young, gay, and rich, and withal no prude, fell in love with a young man, handsome, well-made, and active. A relative heard of it, and one day took occasion to speak to the good widow in the way of brotherly reprehension. 'I wonder, madam,' said he, 'that a woman of your quality, so beautiful and so rich, should fall in love with such a despicable, mean, silly fellow; when there are, in this house, so many graduates, scholars, and dignitaries, among whom you might pick and choose, and say, this I like and this I leave, as you would among pears.' But she answered him with great frankness and gaiety, 'You are much mistaken, worthy sir, and your sentiments are very antiquated, if you imagine that I have made an ill choice in that fellow, silly as he may appear, since, for aught that I desire of him, he knows as much of philosophy as Aristotle himself, if not more.' In like manner, Sancho, Dulcinea del Toboso deserves as highly as the greatest princess on earth. For of those poets who have celebrated the praises of ladies under fictitious names many had no such mistresses. Thinkest thou that the Amaryllises, the Phyllises, the Silvias, the Dianas, the Galateas, the Alidas, and the like, famous in books, ballads, barbers' shops, and stage-plays, were really ladies of flesh and blood, and beloved by those who have celebrated them? Certainly not: they are mostly feigned, to supply subjects for verse, and to make the authors pass for men of gallantry. It is therefore sufficient that I think and believe that the good Aldonza Lorenzo is beautiful and modest; and as to her lineage, it matters not, for no inquiry concerning it is requisite; and to me it is unnecessary, as I regard her as the greatest princess in the world. For thou must know, Sancho, that two things, above all others, incite to love; namely, beauty and a good name. Now both these are to be found in perfection in Dulcinea; for in beauty none can be compared to her, and for purity of reputation few can [Pg 83] equal her. In fine, I conceive she is exactly what I have described, and every thing that I can desire, both as to beauty and quality, unequalled by Helen, or by Lucretia, or any other of the famous women of antiquity, whether Grecian, Roman, or Goth; and I care not what be said, since, if upon this account I am blamed by the ignorant, I shall be acquitted by the wise." "Your worship," replied Sancho, "is always in the right, and I am an ass—why do I mention an ass?—one should not talk of halters in the house of the hanged. But I am off—give me the letter, sir, and peace be with you."

Don Quixote took out the pocket-book to write the letter; and having finished, he called Sancho, and said he would read it to him, that he might have it by heart, lest he might perchance lose it by the way; for every thing was to be feared from his evil destiny. To which Sancho answered: "Write it, sir, two or three times in the book, and give it me, and I will take good care of it; but to suppose that I can carry it in my memory is a folly; for mine is so bad that I often forget my own name. Your worship, however, may read it to me; I shall be glad to hear it, for it must needs be very much to the purpose." "Listen, then," said Don Quixote, "this is what I have written:


Don Quixote's Letter to Dulcinea del Toboso.

"High and sovereign lady,—He who is stabbed by the point of absence, and pierced by the arrows of love, O sweetest Dulcinea del Toboso, greets thee with wishes for that health which he enjoys not himself. If thy beauty despise me, if thy worth favour me not, and if thy disdain still pursue me, although inured to suffering, I shall ill support an affliction which is not only severe but lasting. My good squire Sancho will tell thee, O ungrateful fair and most beloved foe, to what a state I am reduced on thy account. If it be thy pleasure to relieve me, I am thine; if not, do what seemeth good to thee: for by my death I shall at once appease thy cruelty and my own passion.

Until death thine,

The Knight of the Sorrowful Figure."

"By the life of my father," quoth Sancho, after hearing the letter, "it is the finest thing I ever heard. How choicely your worship expresses whatever you please! and how well you close all with 'the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure!' Verily, there is nothing but what you know." "The profession which I have embraced," answered Don Quixote, "requires a knowledge of everything." "Well, then," said Sancho, "pray put on the other side the order for the three ass-colts, and sign it very plain, that people may know your hand at first sight." "With all my [Pg 84] heart," said the knight; and having written it, he read as follows:—

"Dear niece,—at sight of this, my first bill of ass-colts, give order that three out of the five I left at home in your custody be delivered to Sancho Panza, my squire; which three colts I order to be delivered and paid for the like number received of him here in tale; and this, with his acquittance, shall be your discharge. Done in the heart of the Sierra Morena, the twenty-second of August, this present year——"

"It is mighty well," said Sancho; "now you have only to sign it." "It wants no signing," said Don Quixote; "I need only put my cipher to it, which is the same thing, and is sufficient, not only for three, but for three hundred asses." "I rely upon your worship," answered Sancho; "let me go and saddle Rozinante, and prepare to give me your blessing; for I intend to depart immediately, without staying to see the frolics you are about to commit; and I will tell quite enough to satisfy her. But in the mean time, setting that aside, what has your worship to eat until my return? Are you to go upon the highway, to rob the shepherds, like Cardenio?" "Trouble not yourself about that," answered Don Quixote; "for were I otherwise provided, I should eat nothing but the herbs and fruits which here grow wild: for abstinence and other austerities are essential in this affair." "Now I think of it, sir," said Sancho, "how shall I be able to find my way back again to this bye-place?" "Observe and mark well the spot, and I will endeavour to remain near it," said Don Quixote; "and will, moreover, ascend some of the highest ridges to discover thee upon thy return. But the surest way not to miss me, or lose thyself, will be to cut down some of the broom that abounds here, and scatter it here and there, on thy way to the plain, to serve as marks and tokens to guide thee on thy return, in imitation of Theseus's clue to the labyrinth."

Sancho Panza followed this counsel; and having provided himself with branches, he begged his master's blessing, and, not without many tears on both sides, took his leave of him; and mounting upon Rozinante, with an especial charge from Don Quixote to regard him as he would his own proper person, he rode towards the plain, strewing the boughs at intervals, as his master had directed him.


CHAPTER XV.

Of what happened to Don Quixote's Squire, with the famous device of the Curate and the Barber.

The history recounting what the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure did when he found himself alone, informs us that, having performed [Pg 85] many strange antics after Sancho's departure, he mounted the top of a high rock, and began to deliberate on a subject that he had often considered before, without coming to any resolution; that was, which was the best and most proper model for his imitation, Orlando in his furious fits, or Amadis in his melancholy moods; and thus he argued with himself: "If Orlando was as valiant a knight as he is allowed to have been, where is the wonder? since, in fact, he was enchanted, and could only be slain by having a needle thrust into the sole of his foot; therefore he always wore shoes of iron. But setting aside his valour, let us consider his madness; and if he was convinced of his lady's cruelty, it was no wonder he ran mad. But how can I imitate him in his frenzy without a similar cause? I should do my Dulcinea manifest wrong if I should be seized with the same species of frenzy as that of Orlando Furioso. On the other side, I see that Amadis de Gaul, finding himself disdained by his Lady Oriana, only retired to the poor rock, accompanied by a hermit, and there wept abundantly until Heaven succoured him in his great tribulation. All honour, then, to the memory of Amadis! and let him be the model of Don Quixote de la Mancha, of whom shall be said, that if he did not achieve great things, he at least died in attempting them; and though neither rejected nor disdained by my Dulcinea, it is sufficient that I am absent from her. Now to the work; come to my memory, ye deeds of Amadis, and instruct me in the task of imitation!" He thus passed the time, and in writing and graving on the barks of trees many verses of a plaintive kind, or in praise of his Dulcinea. Among those afterwards discovered, only the following were entire and legible:

I.
Ye lofty trees, with spreading arms,
The pride and shelter of the plain;
Ye humbler shrubs and flowery charms,
Which here in springing glory reign!
If my complaints may pity move,
Hear the sad story of my love!
While with me here you pass your hours,
Should you grow faded with my cares,
I'll bribe you with refreshing showers;
You shall be watered with my tears.
Distant, though present in idea,
I mourn my absent Dulcinea
Del Toboso.
II.
While I through honour's thorny ways
In search of distant glory rove,
Malignant fate my toil repays
With endless woes and hopeless love.[Pg 86]
Thus I on barren rocks despair,
And curse my stars, yet bless my fair.
Love, armed with snakes, has left his dart,
And now does like a fury rave,
And scourge and sting on every part,
And into madness lash his slave.
Distant, though present in idea,
I mourn my absent Dulcinea
Del Toboso.

The whimsical addition at the end of each stanza occasioned no small amusement to those who found the verses; for they concluded that Don Quixote had thought that, unless to the name of "Dulcinea" he added "Del Toboso," the object of his praise would not be known—and they were right, as he afterwards confessed. Here, however, it will be proper to leave him, wrapped up in poetry and grief, to relate what happened to the squire during his embassy.

As soon as Sancho had gained the high road, he directed his course to Toboso, and the next day he came within sight of the inn where the misfortune of the blanket had befallen him; and fancying himself again flying in the air, he felt no disposition to enter it, although it was then the hour of dinner, and he longed for something warm. And as he stood doubtful whether or not to enter, two persons came out who recognised him. "Pray, sig˝or," said one to the other, "is not that Sancho Panza yonder on horseback, who, as our friend's housekeeper told us, accompanied her master as his squire?" "Truly it is," said the licentiate; "and that is our Don Quixote's horse." No wonder they knew him so well, for they were the priest and the barber of his village, and the very persons who had passed sentence on the mischievous books. Being now certain it was Sancho Panza and Rozinante, and hoping to hear some tidings of Don Quixote, the priest went up to him, and calling him by his name, "Friend," said he, "where have you left your master?" Sancho immediately knew them, and resolved to conceal the place of Don Quixote's retreat; he therefore told them that his master was very busy about a certain affair of the greatest importance to himself, which he durst not discover for the eyes in his head. "No, no," quoth the barber, "that story will not pass. If you do not tell us where he is, we shall conclude that you have murdered and robbed him, since you come thus upon his horse. See, then, that you produce the owner of that horse, or woe be to you!" He then freely related to them in what state he had left him, and how he was then carrying a letter to the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, with whom his master was up to the ears in love.

They were astonished at Sancho's report; and though they knew the nature of their friend's derangement, yet every fresh [Pg 87] instance was a new source of wonder. They begged Sancho to shew them the letter he was carrying to the lady. He said it was written in a pocket-book, and that his master had ordered him to get it copied in the first town he should arrive at. The priest said, if he would shew it to him, he would transcribe it in a fair character. Sancho put his hand into his bosom to take out the book, but found it not; for it remained with its owner, who had forgotten to give it him. When Sancho found he had no book, he turned as pale as death; he laid hold of his beard with both hands, and tore away half of it, bestowing at the same time sundry blows upon his nose and mouth. The priest and barber asked him wherefore he treated himself so roughly. "Wherefore?" answered Sancho, "but that I have let slip through my fingers three ass-colts, each of them a castle!" "How so?" replied the barber. "I have lost the pocket-book," answered Sancho, "that contained the letter to Dulcinea, and a bill signed by my master, in which he ordered his niece to deliver to me three colts out of four or five he had at home." This led him to mention his loss of Dapple; but the priest bid him be of good cheer, telling him that when he saw his master he would engage him to renew the order in a regular way; for one written in a pocket-book would not be accepted. Sancho was comforted by this, and said that he did not care for the loss of the letter, as he could almost say it by heart; so they might write it down, where and when they pleased. "Repeat it, then, Sancho," quoth the barber, "and we will write it afterwards." Sancho then began to scratch his head, in order to fetch the letter to his remembrance; now he stood upon one foot, and then upon the other; sometimes he looked down upon the ground, sometimes up to the sky; then, biting off half a nail, and keeping his hearers long in expectation, he said, "At the beginning I believe it said, 'High and subterrane lady.'" "No," said the barber, "not subterrane, but superhumane lady." "Ay, so it was," said Sancho. "Then, if I do not mistake, it went on, 'the stabbed, the waking, and the pierced, kisses your honour's hands, ungrateful and most regardless fair;' and then it said I know not what of 'health and sickness that he sent;' and so he went on, until at last he ended with 'thine till death, the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure.'"

They were both greatly diverted at Sancho's excellent memory, desiring him to repeat the letter twice more, that they also might get it by heart, in order to write it down in due time. Thrice Sancho repeated it, and added to it fifty other extravagances; relating to them also many other things concerning his master, but not a word of the blanket. He informed them likewise, how his lord, upon his return with a kind despatch from his Lady Dulcinea, was to set about endeavouring to become an emperor, or at least a king (for so it was concerted between them)—a thing that would be very easily done, considering the valour [Pg 88] and strength of his arm; and when this was accomplished, his master was to marry him (as by that time he should, probably, be a widower), and give him to wife one of the empress's maids of honour, heiress to a large and rich territory on the mainland; for as to islands, he was quite out of conceit with them. "You talk like a wise man," said the priest, "and a good Christian; but we must now contrive to relieve your master from this unprofitable penance."

So having deliberated together on the best means of accomplishing their purpose, a device occurred to the priest, exactly fitted to Don Quixote's humour, and likely to effect what they desired; which was, that he should perform himself the part of a damsel-errant, and the barber equip himself as her squire; in which disguise they should repair to Don Quixote; and the curate, presenting himself as an afflicted and distressed lady, should beg a boon of him, which he, as a valorous knight-errant, could not do otherwise than grant; and this should be a request that he would accompany her whither she should lead him, to redress an injury done her by a discourteous knight; entreating him, at the same time, not to desire her to remove her mask, nor make any farther inquiries concerning her, until he had done her justice on that wicked knight. He made no doubt but that Don Quixote would consent to any such terms; and they might thus get him away from that place, and carry him home, where they would endeavour to find some remedy for his extraordinary malady.


CHAPTER XVI.

How the Priest and the Barber proceeded in their project; with other things worthy of being related.

The barber liked well the priest's contrivance, and they immediately began to carry it into execution. They borrowed a petticoat and head-dress of the landlady; and the barber made himself a huge beard of the tail of a pied ox, in which the innkeeper used to hang his comb. The hostess having asked them for what purpose they wanted those things, the priest gave her a brief account of Don Quixote's insanity, and the necessity of that disguise to draw him from his present retreat. The host and hostess immediately conjectured that this was the same person who had once been their guest, and the master of the blanketed squire; and they related to the priest what had passed between them, without omitting what Sancho had been so careful to conceal. In the mean time the landlady equipped the priest to admiration: she put him on a cloth petticoat all pinked and slashed, and a corset of green velvet with a border of white satin. The [Pg 89] priest would not consent to wear a woman's head-dress, but put on a little white quilted cap, which he used as a night-cap, and bound one of his garters of black taffeta about his forehead, and with the other made a kind of veil, which covered his face and beard very well. He then pulled his hat over his face, which was so large that it served him for an umbrella; and wrapping his cloak around him, he got upon his mule sideways like a woman. The barber mounted also, with a beard that reached to his girdle, of a colour between sorrel and white, being, as before said, made of the tail of a pied ox.

But scarcely had they got out of the inn when the curate began to think that it was indecent for a priest to be so accoutred, although for so good a purpose; and, acquainting the barber with his scruples, he begged him to exchange apparel, as it would better become him to personate the distressed damsel, and he would himself act the squire, as being a less profanation of his dignity.

They now set forward on their journey; but first they told Sancho that their disguise was of the utmost importance towards disengaging his master from the miserable life he had chosen; and that he must by no means tell him who they were; and if he should inquire, as no doubt he would, whether he had delivered the letter to Dulcinea, he should say he had; and that she, not being able to read or write, had answered by word of mouth, and commanded the knight, on pain of her displeasure, to repair to her immediately upon an affair of much importance: for, with this, and what they intended to say themselves, they should certainly reconcile him to a better mode of life, and put him in the way of soon becoming an emperor or a king; as to an archbishop, he had nothing to fear on that subject. Sancho listened to all this, and imprinted it well in his memory; and gave them many thanks for promising to advise his lord to be an emperor, and not an archbishop; for he was persuaded that, in rewarding their squires, emperors could do more than archbishops-errant. He told them also it would be proper he should go before, to find him, and deliver him his lady's answer; for, perhaps, that alone would be sufficient to bring him out of that place, without farther trouble. They agreed with Sancho, and determined to wait for his return with intelligence of his master. Sancho entered the mountain pass, and left them in a pleasant spot, refreshed by a streamlet of clear water, and shaded by rocks and overhanging foliage.

While they were reposing in the shade, a voice reached their ears, which, although unaccompanied by any instrument, sounded sweet and melodious. They were much surprised, since that was not a place where they might expect to hear fine singing; for although it is common to tell of shepherds with melodious voices warbling over hills and dales, yet this is rather poetical fancy [Pg 90] than plain truth. Besides, the verses they heard were not those of a rustic muse, but of refined and courtly invention, as will appear by the following stanzas:

I.
What makes me languish and complain?
O 'tis disdain!
What yet more fiercely tortures me?
'Tis jealousy.
How have I my patience lost?
By absence crossed.
Then, hope, farewell, there's no relief;
I sink beneath oppressing grief;
Nor can a wretch, without despair,
Scorn, jealousy, and absence bear.
II.
Where shall I find a speedy cure?
Death is sure.
No milder means to set me free?
Inconstancy.
Can nothing else my pains assuage?
Distracting rage.
What, die or change? Lucinda lose?
O rather let me madness choose!
But judge what we endure,
When death or madness are a cure!

The hour, the season, the solitude, the voice, and the skill of the singer, all conspired to impress the auditors with wonder and delight, and they remained for some time motionless, in expectation of hearing more; but finding the silence continue, they resolved to see who it was who had sung so agreeably; and were again detained by the same voice regaling their ears with this other song:

A Sonnet.
O sacred Friendship, Heaven's delight,
Which, tired with man's unequal mind,
Took to thy native skies thy flight,
While scarce thy shadow's left behind!
Bless'd genius, now resume thy seat!
Destroy imposture and deceit;
Harmonious peace and truth renew,
Shew the false friendship from the true.

The song ended with a deep sigh; and they went in search of the unhappy person whose voice was no less excellent than his complaints were mournful. They had not gone far when, turning [Pg 91] the point of a rock, they perceived a man of the same appearance that Sancho had described Cardenio to them. The man expressed no surprise, but stood still in a pensive posture, without again raising his eyes from the ground. The priest, who was a well-spoken man, went up to him, and, in few but very impressive words, entreated him to forsake that miserable kind of life, and not hazard so great a misfortune as to lose it in that inhospitable place. Cardenio was at this time perfectly tranquil, and he appeared surprised to hear them speak of his concerns, and replied, "It is very evident to me, gentlemen, whoever you are, that Heaven, which succours the good, and often even the wicked, unworthy as I am, sends to me in this solitude persons who, being sensible how irrational is my mode of life, would divert me from it; but by flying from this misery I shall be plunged into worse; for so overwhelming is the sense of my misery, I sometimes become like a stone, void of all knowledge and sensation. But, gentlemen, if you come with the same intention that others have done, I beseech you to hear my sad story, and spare yourselves the trouble of endeavouring to find consolation for an evil which has no remedy."

The two friends, being desirous of hearing his own account of himself, entreated him to indulge them, assuring him they would do nothing but what was agreeable to him, either in the way of remedy or advice. The unhappy young man began his melancholy story thus, almost in the same words in which he had related it to Don Quixote and the goatherd some few days before, when, on account of Queen Madasima, and Don Quixote's zeal in defending the honour of knight-errantry, the tale was abruptly suspended; but Cardenio's sane interval now enabled him to conclude it quietly. On coming to the circumstance of the love-letters, he repeated one which Don Fernando found between the leaves of Amadis de Gaul, which had been first lent to Lucinda, and afterwards to him. It was as follows:


"'Each day I discover in you qualities which raise you in my esteem; and therefore, if you would put it in my power to discharge my obligations to you, without prejudice to my honour, you may easily do it. I have a father who knows you, and has an affection for me; who will never force my inclinations, and will comply with whatever you can justly desire, if you really have that value for me which you profess, and which I trust you have.'


"This letter had made me resolve to demand Lucinda in marriage; but it was this letter, also, which made him determine upon my ruin before my design could be effected. I told Don Fernando that Lucinda's father expected that the proposal should come from mine, but that I durst not mention [Pg 92] it to him, lest he should refuse his consent; not that he was ignorant of Lucinda's exalted merits, which might ennoble any family of Spain; but because I had understood from him that he was desirous I should not marry until it should be seen what Duke Ricardo would do for me. In short, I told him that I had not courage to speak to my father about it, being full of vague apprehensions and sad forebodings. In reply to all this, Don Fernando engaged to induce my father to propose me to the father of Lucinda——O ambitious Marius! cruel Catiline! wicked Sylla! crafty Galalon! perfidious Vellido! vindictive Julian! O covetous Judas! cruel, wicked, and crafty traitor! what injury had been done thee by a poor wretch who so frankly disclosed to thee the secrets of his heart? Wherein had I offended thee? Have I not ever sought the advancement of thy interest and honour? But why do I complain—miserable wretch that I am! For when the stars are adverse, what is human power? Who could have thought that Don Fernando, obliged by my services, and secure of success wherever his inclinations led him, should take such cruel pains to deprive me of my jewel?—But no more of these unavailing reflections; I will now resume the broken thread of my sad story.

"Don Fernando, thinking my presence an obstacle to the execution of his treacherous design, resolved to send me to pay for six horses which he had bought, merely as a pretext to get me out of the way, that he might the more conveniently execute his diabolical purpose. Could I foresee such treachery? Could I even suspect it? Surely not: and I cheerfully consented to depart immediately. That night I had an interview with Lucinda, and told her what had been agreed upon between Don Fernando and myself, assuring her of my hopes of a successful result. She, equally unsuspicious of Don Fernando, desired me to return speedily, since she believed the completion of our wishes was only deferred until proposals should be made to her father by mine. I know not whence it was, but as she spoke her eyes filled with tears, and some sudden obstruction in her throat prevented her articulating another word.

"I executed my commission to Don Fernando's brother, by whom I was well received, but not soon dismissed. All this was a contrivance of the false Fernando; and I felt disposed to resist the injunction, as it seemed to me impossible to support life so many days absent from Lucinda, especially having left her in such a state of dejection. Judge of my horror on receiving from her the following letter, which she contrived to send to me a distance of eighteen leagues by a special messenger:

"'The promise Don Fernando gave you to intercede with your father he has fulfilled, more for his own gratification than your interest. Know, sir, that he has demanded me to wife; and my father, allured by the advantage he thinks Don Fernando possesses [Pg 93] over you, has accepted this proposal so eagerly that the marriage is to be solemnised two days hence! Conceive my situation! Heaven grant this may come to your hand before mine be compelled to join his who breaks his promised faith!'


"I set out immediately; my rage against Don Fernando, and the fear of losing the rich reward of my long service and affection, gave wings to my speed; and the next day I reached our town, at the moment favourable for an interview with Lucinda. I went privately, having left my mule with the honest man who brought me the letter, and fortune was just then so propitious that I found Lucinda at the grate. We saw each other—but how? Who is there in the world that can boast of having fathomed and thoroughly penetrated the intricate and ever-changing nature of woman? Certainly none. As soon as Lucinda saw me she said, 'Cardenio, I am in my bridal habit; they are now waiting for me in the hall—the treacherous Don Fernando and my covetous father, with some others, who shall sooner be witnesses of my death than of my nuptials. Be not afflicted, my friend; but endeavour to be present at this sacrifice, which, if my arguments cannot avert, I carry a dagger about me, which can oppose a more effectual resistance, by putting an end to my life, and will give you a convincing proof of the affection I have ever borne you.' I answered, with confusion and precipitation, 'Let your actions, madam, prove the truth of your words. If you carry a dagger to secure your honour, I carry a sword to defend you, or kill myself if fortune proves adverse.' I do not believe she heard all I said, being hastily called away; for the bridegroom waited for her. Here the night of my sorrow closed in upon me; here set the sun of my happiness! My eyes were clouded in darkness, and my brain was disordered! I was irresolute whether to enter her house, and seemed bereaved of the power to move; but recollecting how important my presence might be on that occasion, I exerted myself, and hastened thither. Being perfectly acquainted with all the avenues, I escaped observation, and concealed myself in the hall behind the hangings, whence I could see all that passed. Who can describe the flutterings of my heart, and my various sensations, as I stood there? The bridegroom entered the hall, in his usual dress, accompanied by a cousin of Lucinda; and no other person was present, except the servants of the house. Soon after, from a dressing-room, came forth Lucinda, accompanied by her mother and two of her own maids, adorned in the extreme of courtly splendour. The agony and distraction I endured allowed me not to observe the particulars of her dress; I remarked only the colours, which were carnation and white, and the precious stones that glittered on every part of her attire; surpassed, however, by the singular beauty of her fair and golden tresses, in the splendour of which the brilliance [Pg 94] of her jewels and the blaze of the surrounding lights seemed to be lost. O memory, thou mortal enemy of my repose! Were it not better, thou cruel faculty, to represent to my imagination her conduct at that period, that, moved by so flagrant an injury, I may strive, if not to avenge it, at least to end this life of pain?

"I say, then," continued Cardenio, "that, being all assembled in the hall, the priest entered, and having taken them both by the hand, in order to perform what is necessary on such occasions, when he came to these words, 'Will you, Sig˝ora Lucinda, take Sig˝or Don Fernando, who is here present, for your lawful husband, as our holy mother the Church commands?' I thrust out my head and neck through the tapestry, and with attentive ears and distracted soul awaited Lucinda's reply, as the sentence of my death, or the confirmation of my life. Oh, that I had then dared to venture forth, and to have cried aloud—'Ah, Lucinda, Lucinda! Remember that you are mine, and cannot belong to another.' Ah, fool that I am! Now I am absent, I can say what I ought to have said, but did not! Now that I have suffered myself to be robbed of my soul's treasure I am cursing the thief, on whom I might have revenged myself, if I had been then as prompt to act as I am now to complain! I was then a coward and a fool; no wonder therefore if I now die ashamed, repentant, and mad.

"The priest stood expecting Lucinda's answer, who paused for a long time; and when I thought she would draw forth the dagger in defence of her honour, or make some declaration which might redound to my advantage, I heard her say in a low and faint voice, 'I will.' Don Fernando said the same, and the ring being put on, they remained tied in an indissoluble band. The bridegroom approached to embrace his bride; and she, laying her hand on her heart, fainted in the arms of her mother. Imagine my condition after that fatal Yes, by which my hopes were frustrated, Lucinda's vows and promises broken, and I for ever deprived of all chance of happiness. On Lucinda's fainting, all were in confusion; and her mother, unlacing her bosom to give her air, discovered in it a folded paper, which Don Fernando instantly seized, and read it by the light of one of the flambeaux; after which, he sat himself down in a chair, apparently full of thought, and without attending to the exertions made to recover his bride.

"During this general consternation I departed, indifferent whether I was seen or not. I quitted the house, and returning to the place where I had left the mule, I mounted and rode out of the town, not daring to stop, or even to look behind me; and when I found myself alone on the plain, concealed by the darkness of the night, the silence inviting my lamentations, I gave vent to a thousand execrations on Lucinda and Don Fernando, as if that, alas, could afford me satisfaction for the wrongs I had sustained. I called her cruel, false, and ungrateful; and above all, mercenary, [Pg 95] since the wealth of my enemy had seduced her affections from me. But amidst all these reproaches I sought to find excuses for her submission to parents whom she had ever been accustomed implicitly to obey; especially as they offered her a husband with such powerful attractions. Then again I considered that she need not have been ashamed of avowing her engagement to me, since, had it not been for Don Fernando's proposals, her parents could not have desired a more suitable connexion; and I thought how easily she could have declared herself mine, when on the point of giving her hand to my rival. In fine, I concluded that her love had been less than her ambition, and she had thus forgotten those promises by which she had beguiled my hopes and cherished my passion.

"In the utmost perturbation of mind, I journeyed on the rest of the night, and at daybreak reached these mountains, over which I wandered three days more, without road or path, until I came to a valley not far hence; and inquiring of some shepherds for the most rude and solitary part, they directed me to this place; where I instantly came, determined to pass here the remainder of my life. Among these crags, my mule fell down dead through weariness and hunger; and thus was I left, extended on the ground, famished and exhausted, neither hoping nor caring for relief. How long I continued in this state I know not; but at length I got up, without the sensation of hunger, and found near me some goatherds, who had undoubtedly relieved my wants: they told me of the condition in which they found me, and of many wild and extravagant things that I had uttered, clearly proving the derangement of my intellects; and I am conscious that since then I have committed a thousand extravagances, tearing my garments, cursing my fortune, and repeating in vain the beloved name of my enemy. When my senses return, I find myself so weary and bruised that I can scarcely move. My usual abode is in the hollow of a cork-tree, large enough to enclose this wretched body. Thus I pass my miserable life, waiting until it shall please Heaven to bring it to a period, or erase from my memory the beauty and treachery of Lucinda and the perfidy of Don Fernando; otherwise, Heaven have mercy on me, for I feel no power to change my mode of life."

Here Cardenio concluded his long tale of love and sorrow; and just as the priest was preparing to say something consolatory, he was prevented by the sound of a human voice, which, in a mournful tone, was heard to say what will be related in the following chapter.


CHAPTER XVII.

Of the new and agreeable adventure that befell the Priest and the Barber, and of the beautiful Dorothea.

[Pg 96] "Alas, is it possible that I have at last found out a place which will afford a private grave to this miserable body, whose load I so repine to bear? Yes, if the silence and solitude of these deserts do not deceive me, here I may die concealed from human eyes. Ah me! ah wretched creature! to what extremity has affliction driven me, reduced to think these hideous woods and rocks a kind retreat! It is true, indeed, I may here freely complain to Heaven, and beg for that relief which I might ask in vain of false mankind; for it is vain, I find, to seek below either counsel, ease, or remedy."

DON QUIXOTE.

The curate and his company, hearing all this distinctly, and conceiving they must be near the person who thus expressed his grief, rose to find him out. They had not gone above twenty paces before they spied a youth in a country habit, sitting at the foot of a rock behind an ash-tree; but they could not well see his face, being bowed almost upon his knees, as he sat washing his feet in a rivulet that glided by. They approached him so softly that he did not perceive them; and as he was gently paddling in the clear water, they had time to discern that his legs were as white as alabaster, and so taper, so curiously proportioned, and so fine, that nothing of the kind could appear more beautiful. Our observers were amazed at this discovery, rightly imagining that such tender feet were not used to trudge in rugged ways, or measure the steps of oxen at the plough, the common employments of people in such apparel; and therefore the curate, who went before the rest, whose curiosity was heightened by this sight, beckoned to them to step aside, and hide themselves behind some of the little rocks that were by; which they did, and from thence making a stricter observation, they found he had on a grey double-skirted jerkin, girt tight about his body with a linen towel. He wore also a pair of breeches, and gamashes of grey cloth, and a grey huntsman's cap on his head. His gamashes were now pulled up to the middle of his leg, which really seemed to be of snowy alabaster. Having made an end of washing his beauteous feet, he immediately wiped them with a handkerchief, which he pulled out from under his cap; and with that looking up, he discovered so charming a face, so accomplished a beauty, that Cardenio could not forbear saying to the curate, that since this was not Lucinda, it was certainly no human form, but an angel. And then the youth taking off his cap, and shaking his head, an incredible quantity of lovely hair flowed down upon his shoulders, and not only covered them, but almost all his body; by which they were [Pg 97] now convinced that what they at first took to be a country lad was a young woman, and one of the most beautiful creatures in the world. Cardenio was not less surprised than the other two, and once more declared that no face could vie with hers but Lucinda's. To part her dishevelled tresses she only used her slender fingers, and at the same time discovered so fine a pair of arms, and hands so white and lovely, that our three admiring gazers grew more impatient to know who she was, and moved forward to accost her. At the noise they made, the pretty creature started; and peeping through her hair, which she hastily removed from before her eyes with both her hands, she no sooner saw three men coming towards her, but in a mighty fright she snatched up a little bundle that lay by her, and fled as fast as she could, without so much as staying to put on her shoes, or do up her hair. But, alas, scarce had she gone six steps, when, her tender feet not being able to endure the rough encounter of the stones, the poor affrighted fair fell on the hard ground; so that those from whom she fled hastened to help her. "Stay, madam," cried the curate, "whoever you be, you have no reason to fly; we have no other design but to do you service." With that, approaching her, he took her by the hand; and perceiving she was so disordered with fear and confusion that she could not answer a word, he strove to compose her mind with kind expressions. "Be not afraid, madam," continued he; "though your hair has betrayed what your disguise concealed from us, we are but the more disposed to assist you, and do you all manner of service. Then pray tell us how we may best do it. I imagine it was no slight occasion that made you obscure your singular beauty under so unworthy a disguise, and venture into this desert, where it was the greatest chance in the world that ever you met with us. However, we hope it is not impossible to find a remedy for your misfortunes, since there are none which reason and time will not at last surmount; and therefore, madam, if you have not absolutely renounced all human comfort, I beseech you to tell us the cause of your affliction, and assure yourself we do not ask this out of mere curiosity, but from a real desire to serve you, and assuage your grief."

While the curate endeavoured thus to remove the trembling fair one's apprehension, she stood amazed, without speaking a word, looking sometimes at one, sometimes at another, like one scarce well awake, or like an ignorant clown who happens to see some strange sight. But at last, the curate having given her time to recollect herself, and persisting in his earnest and civil entreaties, she sighed deeply, and then unclosing her lips, broke silence in the following manner: "Since this desert has not been able to conceal me, it would be needless now for me to dissemble with you; and since you desire to hear the story of my misfortunes, I cannot in civility deny you, after all the obliging offers [Pg 98] you have been pleased to make me; but yet, gentlemen, I am much afraid what I have to say will but make you sad, and afford you little satisfaction; for you will find my disasters are not to be remedied. There is one thing that troubles me yet more; it shocks my nature to think I must be forced to reveal to you some secrets which I had a design to have buried in my grave; but yet, considering the garb and the place you have found me in, I fancy it will be better for me to tell you all than to give occasion to doubt of my past conduct and my present designs by an affected reservedness." The disguised lady having made this answer with a modest blush and extraordinary discretion, the curate and his company, who now admired her the more for her sense, renewed their kind offers and pressing solicitations; and then they courteously let her retire a moment to some distance to put herself in decent order. Which done she returned, and, being all seated on the grass, after she had used no small effort to restrain her tears, she thus began her story.

"I was born in a certain town of Andalusia, from which a duke takes his title that makes him a grandee of Spain. This duke had two sons, the eldest heir to his estate, and, as it may be presumed, of his virtues; the youngest heir to nothing I know of but treachery and deceitfulness. My father, who is one of his vassals, is but of low degree; but so very rich, that had fortune equalled his birth to his estate, he could have wanted nothing more, and I, perhaps, had never been so miserable; for I verily believe my not being of noble blood is the chief occasion of my distress. True it is, my parents are not so meanly born as to have any cause to be ashamed, nor so high as to alter the opinion I have that my misfortune proceeds from their lowness. It is true, they have been farmers from father to son, yet without any scandal or stain. They are honest old-fashioned Christian Spaniards, and the antiquity of their family, together with their large possessions, raises them much above their profession, and has by little and little almost universally gained them the name of gentlemen, setting them, in a manner, equal to many such in the world's esteem. As I am their only child, they loved me with the utmost tenderness; and their great affection made them esteem themselves happier in their daughter than in the peaceable enjoyment of their large estate. Now, as it was my good fortune to be possessed of their love, they were pleased to trust me with their substance. The whole house and estate was left to my management, and I took such care not to abuse the trust reposed in me that I never forfeited their good opinion of my discretion. The time I had to spare from the care of the family I employed in the usual exercises of young women, sometimes making bone-lace, or at my needle, and now and then reading some good book, or playing on the harp,—having experienced that music was very proper to recreate the wearied mind. While I thus lived the life of a recluse, [Pg 99] unseen, as I thought, by anybody but our own family, and never leaving the house but to go to church, which was commonly betimes in the morning, and always with my mother, and so close hid in a veil that I could scarce find my way; notwithstanding all the care that was taken to keep me from being seen, it was unhappily rumoured abroad that I was handsome, and to my eternal disquiet, love intruded into my peaceful retirement. Don Fernando, second son to the duke I have mentioned, had a sight of me"——Scarce had Cardenio heard Don Fernando named but he changed colour, and betrayed such a disorder of body and mind that the curate and the barber were afraid he would have fallen into one of those frantic fits that often used to take him; but, by good fortune, it did not come to that, and he only set himself to look stedfastly on the country maid, presently guessing who she was; while she continued her story, without taking any notice of the alteration of his countenance.

"No sooner had he seen me," said she, "but, as he since told me, he felt in his breast that violent passion of which he afterwards gave me so many proofs. He purchased the good will of all our servants with private gifts; made my father a thousand kind offers of service; every day seemed a day of rejoicing in our neighbourhood, every evening ushered in some serenade, and the continual music was even a disturbance in the night. He got an infinite number of love-letters transmitted to me, I do not know by what means, every one full of tender expressions, promises, and vows. But all this assiduous courtship was so far from inclining my heart to a kind return, that it rather moved my indignation, insomuch that I looked upon Don Fernando as my greatest enemy; not but that I was well enough pleased with his gallantry, and took a secret delight in seeing myself courted by a person of his quality. Such demonstrations of love are never altogether displeasing to women, and the most disdainful, in spite of all their coyness, reserve a little complaisance in their hearts for their admirers. But the inequality between us was too great to suffer me to entertain any reasonable hopes, and his gallantry too singular not to offend me. My father, who soon put the right construction upon Don Fernando's pretensions, like a kind parent, perceiving I was somewhat uneasy, and imagining the flattering prospect of so advantageous a match might still amuse me, told me that if I would marry, to rid me at once of his unjust pursuit, I should have liberty to make my own choice of a suitable match, either in our own town or the neighbourhood; and that he would do for me whatever could be expected from a loving father. I humbly thanked him for his kindness, and told him that as I had never yet had any thoughts of marriage, I would try to rid myself of Don Fernando some other way. Accordingly, I resolved to shun him with so much precaution that he should never have the opportunity to speak to me; but [Pg 100] all my reserve, far from tiring out his passion, strengthened it the more. In short, Don Fernando, either hearing or suspecting I was to be married, thought of a contrivance to cross a design that was likely to cut off all his hopes. One night, therefore, when I was in my chamber, nobody with me but my maid, and the door double locked and bolted, that I might be secured against the attempts of Don Fernando, whom I took to be a man who would scruple at nothing to accomplish his ends, unexpectedly I saw him just before me; which amazing sight so surprised me, that I was struck dumb, and fainted away with fear. I had not power to call for help, nor do I believe he would have given me time to have done it, had I attempted it; for he presently ran to me, and taking me in his arms, while I was sinking with the fright, he spoke to me in such endearing terms, and with so much address and pretended tenderness and sincerity, that I did not dare to cry out when I came to myself. His sighs, and yet more his tears, seemed to me undeniable proofs of his vowed integrity; and I being but young, bred up in perpetual retirement from all society but my virtuous parents, and inexperienced in those affairs, in which even the most knowing are apt to be mistaken, my reluctancy abated by degrees, and I began to have some sense of compassion. However, when I was pretty well recovered from my first fright, my former resolution returned; and then, with more courage than I thought I should have had, 'My lord,' said I, 'if at the same time that you offer me your love, and give me such strange demonstrations of it, you would also offer me poison and leave me to take my choice, I would soon resolve which to accept, and convince you by my death that my honour is dearer to me than my life. To be plain, I can have no good opinion of a presumption that endangers my reputation; and unless you leave me this moment, I will so effectually make you know how much you are mistaken in me, that if you have but the least sense of honour left, you will regret driving me to that extremity as long as you live. I was born your vassal, but not your slave; nor does the greatness of your birth privilege you to injure your inferiors, or exact from me more than the duties which all vassals pay; that excepted, I do not esteem myself less in my low degree than you have reason to value yourself in your high rank. Do not, then, think to awe or dazzle me with your grandeur, or fright or force me into a base compliance; I am not to be tempted with titles, pomp, and equipage; nor weak enough to be moved with vain sighs and false tears. In short, my will is wholly at my father's disposal, and I will not entertain any man as a lover but by his appointment.' 'What do you mean, charming Dorothea?' cried the perfidious lord. 'Cannot I be yours by the sacred title of husband? Who can hinder me, if you will but consent to bless me on those terms? I am yours this moment, beautiful Dorothea; [Pg 101] I give you here my hand to be yours, and yours alone, for ever; and let all-seeing Heaven, and this holy image here on your oratory, witness the solemn truth.'

"In short, urged by his solicitations, I became his wife; but not long afterwards he left me, I knew not whither. Months passed away, and in vain I watched for his coming; yet he was in the town, and every day amusing himself with hunting. What melancholy days and hours were those to me! I long strove to hide my tears and so to guard my looks that my parents might not see and inquire into the cause of my wretchedness; but suddenly my forbearance was at an end, with all regard to delicacy and fame, upon the intelligence reaching me that Don Fernando was married in a neighbouring town to a beautiful young lady, of some rank and fortune, named Lucinda."——Cardenio heard the name of Lucinda at first only with signs of indignation, but soon after a flood of tears burst from his eyes. Dorothea, however, pursued her story, saying, "When this sad news reached my ears, my heart became so inflamed with rage that I could scarcely forbear rushing into the streets and proclaiming the baseness and treachery I had experienced; but I became more tranquil, after forming a project which I executed the same night. I borrowed this apparel of a shepherd swain in my father's service, whom I entrusted with my secret, and begged him to attend me in my pursuit of Don Fernando. He assured me it was a rash undertaking; but finding me resolute, he said he would go with me to the end of the world. Immediately I packed up some of my own clothes, with money and jewels, and at night secretly left the house, attended only by my servant and a thousand anxious thoughts, and travelled on foot to the town, where I expected to find my husband; impatient to arrive, if not in time to prevent his perfidy, to reproach him for it.

"I inquired where the parents of Lucinda lived; and the first person to whom I addressed myself told me more than I desired to hear. He told me also that on the night that Don Fernando was married to Lucinda, after she had pronounced the fatal Yes, she fell into a swoon; and the bridegroom, in unclasping her bosom to give her air, found a paper written by herself, in which she affirmed that she could not be wife to Don Fernando, because she was already betrothed to Cardenio (who, as the man told me, was a gentleman of the same town), and that she had pronounced her assent to Don Fernando merely in obedience to her parents. The paper also revealed her intention to kill herself as soon as the ceremony was over, which was confirmed by a poniard they found concealed upon her. Don Fernando was so enraged to find himself thus mocked and slighted, that he seized hold of the same poniard, and would certainly have stabbed her, had he not been prevented by those present; whereupon he immediately quitted the place. When Lucinda revived, she confessed to her [Pg 102] parents the engagement she had formed with Cardenio, who, it was suspected, had witnessed the ceremony, and had hastened from the city in despair; for he left a paper expressing his sense of the wrong he had suffered, and declaring his resolution to fly from mankind for ever.

"All this was publicly known, and the general subject of conversation; especially when it appeared that Lucinda also was missing from her father's house—a circumstance that overwhelmed her family with grief, but revived my hopes; for I flattered myself that Heaven had thus interposed to prevent the completion of Don Fernando's second marriage, in order to touch his conscience and restore him to a sense of duty and honour.

"In this situation, undecided what course to take, I instantly left the city, and at night took refuge among these mountains. I engaged myself in the service of a shepherd, and have lived for some months among these wilds, always endeavouring to be abroad, lest I should betray myself. Yet all my care was to no purpose, for my master at length discovered my secret. Lest I might not always find means at hand to free myself from insult, I sought for security in flight, and have endeavoured to hide myself among these rocks. Here, with incessant sighs and tears, I implore Heaven to have pity on me, and either alleviate my misery or put an end to my life in this desert, that no traces may remain of so wretched a creature."


CHAPTER XVIII.

Which treats of the beautiful Dorothea's discretion; with other particulars.

"This, gentlemen," added Dorothea, "is my tragical story; think whether the sighs and tears which you have witnessed have not been more than justified. My misfortunes, as you will confess, are incapable of a remedy; and all I desire of you is to advise me how to live without the continual dread of being discovered; for although I am certain of a kind reception from my parents, so overwhelmed am I with shame, that I choose rather to banish myself for ever from their sight than appear before them the object of such hateful suspicions."

Here she was silent, while her blushes and confusion sufficiently manifested the shame and agony of her soul. Her auditors were much affected by her tale, and the curate was just going to address her, when Cardenio interrupted him, saying, "You, madam, then, are the beautiful Dorothea, only daughter of the rich Clenardo." Dorothea stared at hearing her father named by such a miserable-looking object, and she asked him who he [Pg 103] was, since he knew her father. "I am that hapless Cardenio," he replied, "who suffer from the base author of your misfortunes, reduced, as you now behold, to nakedness and misery—deprived even of reason! Yes, Dorothea, I heard that fatal Yes uttered by Lucinda, and, unable to bear my anguish, fled precipitately from her house. Amidst these mountains I thought to have terminated my wretched existence; but the account you have just given has inspired me with hope that Heaven may still have happiness in store for us. Lucinda has avowed herself to be mine, and therefore cannot wed another; Don Fernando, being yours, cannot have Lucinda. Let us then, my dear lady, indulge the hope that we may both yet recover our own, since it is not absolutely lost. Indeed, I swear that, although I leave it to Heaven to avenge my own injuries, your claims I will assert; nor will I leave you until I have obliged Don Fernando, either by argument or by my sword, to do you justice."

Dorothea would have thrown herself at the feet of Cardenio to express her gratitude to him, had he not prevented her. The licentiate, too, commended his generous determination, and entreated them both to accompany him to his village, where they might consult on the most proper measures to be adopted in the present state of their affairs; a proposal to which they thankfully acceded. The barber, who had hitherto been silent, now joined in expressing his good wishes to them; he also briefly related the circumstances which had brought them to that place; and when he mentioned the extraordinary insanity of Don Quixote, Cardenio had an indistinct recollection of having had some altercation with the knight, though he could not remember whence it arose.

They were now interrupted by the voice of Sancho Panza, who, not finding them where he left them, began to call out loudly; they went instantly to meet him, and were eager in their inquiries after Don Quixote. He told them that he had found him half dead with hunger, sighing for his Lady Dulcinea; and that he positively would not appear before her beauty, until he had performed exploits that might render him worthy of her favour; so they must consider what was to be done to get him away. The licentiate begged him not to give himself any uneasiness on that account, for they should certainly contrive to get him out of his present retreat.

The priest then informed Cardenio and Dorothea of their plan for Don Quixote's cure, or at least for decoying him to his own house. Upon which Dorothea said she would undertake to act the distressed damsel better than the barber, especially as she had apparel with which she could perform it to the life; and they might have reliance upon her, as she had read many books of chivalry, and was well acquainted with the style in which distressed damsels were wont to beg their boons of knights-errant. [Pg 104] "Let us, then, hasten to put our design into execution," exclaimed the curate; "since fortune seems to favour all our views." Dorothea immediately took from her bundle a petticoat of very rich stuff, and a mantle of fine green silk; and, out of a casket, a necklace and other jewels, with which she quickly adorned herself in such a manner that she had all the appearance of a rich and noble lady. They were charmed with her beauty, grace, and elegance; and agreed that Don Fernando must be a man of little taste, since he could slight so much excellence. But her greatest admirer was Sancho Panza, who thought that in all his life he had never seen so beautiful a creature; and he earnestly desired the priest to tell him who that handsome lady was, and what she was looking for in those parts? "This beautiful lady, friend Sancho," answered the priest, "is, to say the least of her, heiress in the direct male line of the great kingdom of Micomicon; and she comes in quest of your master, to beg a boon of him, which is to redress a wrong or injury done her by a wicked giant; for it is the fame of your master's prowess, which is spread over all Guinea, that has brought this princess to seek him." "Now, a happy seeking and a happy finding," quoth Sancho Panza; "especially if my master is so fortunate as to redress that injury, and right that wrong, by killing the giant you mention; and kill him he certainly will if he encounters him, unless he be a goblin, for my master has no power at all over goblins."

Dorothea now having mounted the priest's mule, and the barber fitted on the ox-tail beard, they desired Sancho to conduct them to Don Quixote, cautioning him not to say that he knew the licentiate or the barber, since on that depended all his fortune. The priest would have instructed Dorothea in her part; but she would not trouble him, assuring him that she would perform it precisely according to the rules and precepts of chivalry.

Having proceeded about three quarters of a league, they discovered Don Quixote in a wild, rocky recess, at that time not armed. Dorothea now whipped on her palfrey, attended by the well-bearded squire; and having approached the knight, her squire leaped from his mule to assist his lady, who, lightly dismounting, went and threw herself at Don Quixote's feet, where, in spite of his efforts to raise her, she remained kneeling, as she thus addressed him:

"I will never arise from this place, O valorous and redoubted knight, until your goodness and courtesy vouchsafe me a boon, which will redound to the honour and glory of your person, and to the lasting benefit of the most disconsolate and aggrieved damsel the sun has ever beheld. And if the valour of your puissant arm correspond with the report of your immortal fame, you are bound to protect an unhappy wight, who, attracted by the odour [Pg 105] of your renown, is come from distant regions to seek at your hands a remedy for her misfortunes."

"It is impossible for me to answer you, fair lady," said Don Quixote, "while you remain in that posture." "I will not arise, sig˝or," answered the afflicted damsel, "until your courtesy shall vouchsafe the boon I ask." "I do vouchsafe and grant it you," answered Don Quixote, "provided my compliance be of no detriment to my king, my country, or to her who keeps the key of my heart and liberty." "It will not be to the prejudice of any of these, dear sir," replied the afflicted damsel. Sancho, now approaching his master, whispered softly in his ear, "Your worship may very safely grant the boon she asks; for it is a mere trifle, only to kill a great lubberly giant." "Whosoever the lady may be," answered Don Quixote, "I shall act as my duty and my conscience dictate, in conformity to the rules of my profession:" then addressing himself to the damsel, he said, "Fairest lady, arise; for I vouchsafe you whatever boon you ask." "My request, then, is," said the damsel, "that your magnanimity will go whither I shall conduct you; and that you will promise not to engage in any other adventure until you have avenged me on a traitor who, against all right, human and divine, has usurped my kingdom." "I grant your request," answered Don Quixote; "and therefore, lady, dispel that melancholy which oppresses you, and let your fainting hopes recover fresh life and strength; for you shall soon be restored to your kingdom, and seated on the throne of your ancient and high estate, in despite of all the miscreants who would oppose it; and therefore we will instantly proceed to action, for there is always danger in delay." The distressed damsel would fain have kissed his hands; but Don Quixote, making her arise, embraced her with much politeness and respect, and ordered Sancho to look after Rozinante's girths, and to assist him to arm. Sancho took down the armour from a tree, where it hung, and having got Rozinante ready, quickly armed his master, who then cried, "In God's name, let us hasten to succour this fair lady." The barber was still upon his knees, and under much difficulty to forbear laughing, and keep his beard from falling; but seeing that the boon was already granted, and Don Quixote prepared to fulfil his engagement, he got up and took his lady by the other hand; when they both assisted to place her upon the mule, and then mounted themselves.

Cardenio and the priest, concealed among the bushes, had observed all that passed, and being now desirous to join them, the priest, who had a ready invention, soon hit upon an expedient; for with a pair of scissors which he carried in a case, he quickly cut off Cardenio's beard; then put him on a grey capouch, and gave him his own black cloak, which so changed his appearance that had he looked in a mirror he would not have known himself. They waited in the plain until Don Quixote and his party [Pg 106] came up; whereupon the curate, after gazing for some time earnestly at him, at last ran towards him with open arms, exclaiming aloud, "Happy is this meeting, O thou mirror of chivalry, my noble countryman, Don Quixote de la Mancha! the flower and cream of gentility, the protector of suffering mankind, the quintessence of knight-errantry!" Having thus spoken, he embraced Don Quixote by the knee of his left leg.

The knight was surprised at this address, but after attentively surveying the features of the speaker, he recognised him, and would immediately have alighted; but the priest would not suffer it. "You must permit me to alight, sig˝or licentiate," said Don Quixote; "for it would be very improper that I should remain on horseback, while so a reverend a person as you are travelling on foot." "I will by no means consent to your dismounting," replied the priest, "since on horseback you have achieved the greatest exploits this age hath witnessed. As for myself, an unworthy priest, I shall be satisfied if one of these gentlemen of your company will allow me to mount behind him; and I shall then fancy myself mounted on Pegasus, or on a Zebra, or the sprightly courser bestrode by the famous Moor Muzarque, who lies to this day enchanted in the great mountain Zulema, not far distant from the grand Compluto." "I did not think of that, dear sig˝or licentiate," said Don Quixote; "and I know her highness the princess will, for my sake, order her squire to accommodate you with the saddle of his mule; and he may ride behind, if the beast will carry double." "I believe she will," answered the princess; "and I know it is unnecessary for me to lay my commands upon my squire; for he is too courteous and well-bred to suffer an ecclesiastic to go on foot when he may ride." "Most certainly," answered the barber; and alighting in an instant, he complimented the priest with the saddle, which he accepted without much entreaty. But it unluckily happened that as the barber was getting upon the mule, which was a vicious jade, she threw up her hind-legs twice or thrice into the air; and had they met with Master Nicholas's breast or head he would have wished his rambling after Don Quixote far enough. He was, however, thrown to the ground, and so suddenly that he forgot to take due care of his beard, which fell off; and all he could do was to cover his face with both hands, and cry out that his jaw-bone was broken. Don Quixote, seeing such a mass of beard without jaws and without blood lying at a distance from the fallen squire, exclaimed, "Heavens! what a miracle! His beard has fallen as clean from his face as if he had been shaven!" The priest, seeing the danger of discovery, instantly seized the beard, and ran to Master Nicholas, who was still on the ground moaning; and going up close to him, with one twitch replaced it; muttering over him some words, which he said were a specific charm for fixing on beards, as they should soon see; and when it was adjusted, [Pg 107] the squire remained as well bearded and as whole as before. Don Quixote was amazed at what he saw, and begged the priest to teach him that charm; for he was of opinion that its virtue could not be confined to the refixing of beards, and since it wrought a perfect cure, it must be valuable upon other occasions. The priest said that his surmise was just, and promised to take the first opportunity of teaching him the art.

Don Quixote, the princess, and the priest, being thus mounted, attended by Cardenio, the barber, and Sancho Panza on foot, Don Quixote said to the damsel, "Your highness will now be pleased to lead on, in whatever direction you please." Before she could reply, the licentiate interposing said, "Whither would your ladyship go? To the kingdom of Micomicon, I presume, or I am much mistaken." She, being aware that she was to answer in the affirmative, said, "Yes, sig˝or, that kingdom is indeed the place of my destination." "If so," said the priest, "we must pass through my native village; and thence you must go straight to Carthagena, where you may embark; and if you have a fair wind, a smooth sea, and no storms, in somewhat less than nine years you will get within view of the great lake Meona, I mean Meotis, which is not more than a hundred days' journey from your highness's territories." "You are mistaken, good sir," said she; "for it is not two years since I left it; and although I had very bad weather during the whole passage, here I am, and I have beheld what so ardently I desired to see—Sig˝or Don Quixote de la Mancha; the fame of whose valour reached my ears the moment I set foot in Spain, and determined me upon seeking him, that I might appeal to his courtesy, and commit the justice of my cause to the valour of his invincible arm." "Cease, I pray, these encomiums," said Don Quixote, "for I am an enemy to every species of flattery; and even if this be not such, still are my chaste ears offended at this kind of discourse. All I can say, dear madam, is, that my powers, such as they are, shall be employed in your service, even at the forfeit of my life; but waving these matters for the present, I beg the sig˝or licentiate to tell me what has brought him into these parts alone, unattended, and so lightly apparelled." "I can soon satisfy your worship," answered the priest: "our friend, Master Nicholas and I were going to Seville, to receive a legacy left me by a relation in India, and no inconsiderable sum, being sixty thousand crowns; and on our road, yesterday, we were attacked by four highway robbers, who stripped us of all we had, to our very beards, and in such a manner that the barber thought it expedient to put on a false one; as for this youth here (pointing to Cardenio), you see how they have treated him. It is publicly reported here that those who robbed us were galley-slaves, set at liberty near this very place, by a man so valiant that in spite of the commissary and his guards he released them all; but he must certainly have been out of his [Pg 108] senses, or as great a rogue as any of them, since he could let loose wolves among sheep, foxes among poultry, and wasps among the honey; for he has defrauded justice of her due, and has set himself up against his king and natural lord by acting against his lawful authority. He has, I say, disabled the galleys of their hands, and disturbed the many years' repose of the holy brotherhood; in a word, he has done a deed by which his body may suffer, and his soul be for ever lost."

Sancho had communicated the adventure of the galley-slaves, so gloriously achieved by his master; and the priest laid it on thus heavily to see what effect it would have upon Don Quixote; whose colour changed at every word, and he dared not confess that he had been the deliverer of those worthy gentlemen.


CHAPTER XIX.

Of the ingenious method pursued to withdraw our enamoured Knight from the rigorous penance which he had imposed on himself.

As soon as the priest had done speaking, Sancho said, "By my troth, sig˝or, it was my master who did that feat; not but that I gave him fair warning, and advised him to mind what he was about, telling him that it was a sin to set them at liberty; for they were all going to the galleys for being most notorious villains." "Blockhead!" said Don Quixote, "knights-errant are not bound to inquire whether the fettered and oppressed are brought to that situation by their faults or their misfortunes. It is their part to assist them under oppression, and to regard their sufferings, not their crimes. I encountered a bead-roll and string of miserable wretches, and acted towards them as my profession required of me. As for the rest, I care not; and whoever takes it amiss, saving the holy dignity of sig˝or the licentiate, and his reverend person, I say, he knows but little of the principles of chivalry; and this I will maintain with the edge of my sword!"

Dorothea was possessed of too much humour and sprightly wit not to join with the rest in their diversion at Don Quixote's expense; and perceiving his wrath, she said, "Sir knight, be pleased to remember the boon you have promised me, and that you are thereby bound not to engage in any other adventure, however urgent; therefore assuage your wrath; for had sig˝or the licentiate known that the galley-slaves were freed by that invincible arm, he would sooner have sewed up his mouth with three stitches, and thrice have bitten his tongue, than he would have said a word that might redound to the disparagement of your worship." "Ay, verily I would," exclaimed the priest; "or even have plucked off one of my mustachios." "I will say no [Pg 109] more, madam," said Don Quixote; "and I will repress that just indignation raised within my breast, and quietly proceed, until I have accomplished the promised boon. But, in requital, I beseech you to inform me of the particulars of your grievance, as well as the number and quality of the persons on whom I must take due, satisfactory, and complete revenge." "That I will do most willingly," answered Dorothea; "but yet I fear a story like mine, consisting wholly of afflictions and disasters, will prove but a tedious entertainment." "Never fear that, madam," cried Don Quixote. "Since, then, it must be so," said Dorothea, "be pleased to lend me your attention." With that Cardenio and the barber gathered up to her, to hear what kind of story she had provided so soon; Sancho did the same, being no less deceived in her than his master; and the lady having seated herself well on her mule, after coughing once or twice, and other preparations, very gracefully began her story.

"First, gentlemen," said she, "you must know my name is"—here she stopped short, and could not call to mind the name the curate had given her; whereupon finding her at a nonplus, he made haste to help her out. "It is not at all strange," said he, "madam, that you should be so discomposed by your disasters as to stumble at the very beginning of the account you are going to give of them; extreme affliction often distracts the mind to that degree, and so deprives us of memory, that sometimes we for a while can scarce think on our very names: no wonder, then, that the Princess Micomicona, lawful heiress to the vast kingdom of Micomicon, disordered with so many misfortunes, and perplexed with so many various thoughts for the recovery of her crown, should have her imagination and memory so encumbered; but I hope you will now recollect yourself, and be able to proceed." "I hope so too," said the lady, "and I will endeavour to relate my story without further hesitation. Know, then, gentlemen, that the king my father, who was called Tinacrio the Sage, having great skill in the magic art, understood by his profound knowledge in that science, that Queen Xaramilla, my mother, should die before him, that he himself should not survive her long, and I should be left an orphan. But he often said that this did not so much trouble him as the foresight he had, by his speculations, of my being threatened with great misfortunes, which would be occasioned by a certain giant, lord of a great island near the confines of my kingdom; his name Pandafilando, surnamed of the Gloomy Sight; because, though his eyeballs are seated in their due place, yet he affects to squint and look askew on purpose to fright those on whom he stares. My father, I say, knew that this giant, hearing of his death, would one day invade my kingdom with a powerful army, and drive me out of my territories, without leaving me so much as a village for a retreat; though he knew withal that I might avoid that extremity [Pg 110] if I would but consent to marry him; but as he found out by his art, he had reason to think I never would incline to such a match. And indeed I never had any thoughts of marrying this giant, nor any other giant in the world, how unmeasurably great and mighty soever. My father therefore charged me patiently to bear my misfortunes, and abandon my kingdom to Pandafilando for a time, without offering to keep him out by force of arms, since this would be the best means to prevent my own death and the ruin of my subjects, considering the impossibility of withstanding the terrible force of the giant. But withal he ordered me to direct my course towards Spain, where I should be sure to meet with a powerful champion in the person of a knight-errant, whose fame should at that time be spread over all the kingdom; and his name, my father said, should be, if I forget not, Don Azote, or Don Gigote"—"And it please you, forsooth," quoth Sancho, "you would say Don Quixote, otherwise called the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure." "You are right," answered Dorothea; "and doubtless I do right in recommending myself to Don Quixote, who so well agrees with my father's description, and whose renown is so far spread, not only in Spain, but over all La Mancha, that I had no sooner landed at Ossuna but the fame of his prowess reached my ears; so that I was satisfied he was the very person in quest of whom I came."

"But pray, madam," cried Don Quixote, "how did you do to land at Ossuna, since it is no seaport town?" "Doubtless, sir," said the curate, before Dorothea could answer for herself, "the princess would say, that after she landed at Malaga, the first place where she heard of your feats of arms was Ossuna." "That is what I would have said," replied Dorothea; "and now I have nothing more to add, but that fortune has so far favoured me as to make me find the noble knight by whose valour I look upon myself as already restored to the throne of my ancestors, since he has so courteously and magnanimously vouchsafed to grant me the boon I begged. For all I have to do is to shew him this Pandafilando of the Gloomy Sight, that he may slay him, and restore that to me of which he has so unjustly deprived me. For all this will certainly be done with the greatest ease in the world, since it was foretold by Tinacrio the Sage, my good and royal father, who has also left a prediction written either in Chaldean or Greek characters (for I cannot read them) which denotes that after the knight of the prophecy has cut off the giant's head and restored me to the possession of my kingdom, if he should ask me to marry him, I should by no means refuse him, but instantly put him in possession of my person and kingdom." "Well, friend Sancho," said Don Quixote, hearing this, and turning to the squire, "what thinkest thou now? Dost thou not hear how matters go? Did not I tell thee as much before? See now whether we have not a kingdom which we may command, [Pg 111] and a queen whom we may espouse!" "Ah, marry have you," replied Sancho; and with that, to shew his joy, he cut a couple of capers in the air; and turning to Dorothea, laid hold on her mule by the bridle, and flinging himself down on his knees, begged she would be graciously pleased to let him kiss her hand, in token of his owning her for his sovereign lady.

There was none of the beholders but was ready to burst for laughter, having a sight of the master's madness, and the servant's simplicity. In short, Dorothea was obliged to comply with his entreaties, and promised to make him a grandee, when fortune should favour her with the recovery of her lost kingdom. Whereupon Sancho gave her his thanks in such a manner as obliged the company to a fresh laughter. Then going on with her relation, "Gentlemen," said she, "this is my history; and among all my misfortunes, this only has escaped a recital, that not one of the numerous attendants I brought from my kingdom has survived the ruins of my fortune but this good squire with the long beard: the rest ended their days in a great storm, which dashed our ship to pieces in the very sight of the harbour; and he and I had been sharers in their destiny had we not laid hold of two planks, by which assistance we were driven to land, in a manner altogether miraculous, and agreeable to the whole series of my life, which seems, indeed, but one continued miracle. And if in any part of my relation I have been tedious, and not so exact as I should have been, you must impute it to what Master Curate observed to you in the beginning of my story, that continual troubles oppress the senses, and weaken the memory."

"Those pains and afflictions, be they ever so intense and difficult," said Don Quixote, "shall never deter me, most virtuous and high-born lady, from adventuring for your service, and enduring whatever I shall suffer in it: and therefore I again ratify the assurances I have given you, and swear that I will bear you company, though to the end of the world, in search of this implacable enemy of yours, till I shall find him; whose insulting head, by the help of Heaven and my own invincible arm, I am resolved to cut off with the edge of this (I will not say good) sword;—(a plague on Gines de Passamonte, who took away my own!)" This he spoke murmuring to himself; and then prosecuted his discourse in this manner: "And after I have divided it from the body, and left you quietly possessed of your throne, it shall be left at your own choice to dispose of your person as you shall think convenient; for as long as I shall have my memory full of her image, my will captivated, and my understanding wholly subjected to her whom I now forbear to name, it is impossible I should in the least deviate from the affection I bear to her, or be induced to think of marrying, though it were a Phœnix."

The close of Don Quixote's speech, which related to his not [Pg 112] marrying, touched Sancho so to the quick, that he could not forbear bawling out his resentments: "Sir Don Quixote," cried he, "you are certainly out of your wits; or how is it possible you should stick at striking a bargain with so great a lady as this? Do you think fortune will put such dainty bits in your way at every corner? Is my Lady Dulcinea handsomer, do you think? No, marry, she is not half so handsome: I could almost say she is not worthy to tie this lady's shoe-latchets. I am likely, indeed, to get the earldom I have fed myself with the hopes of, if you spend your time in fishing for mushrooms at the bottom of the sea! Marry out of hand, I say, and lay hold of the kingdom which is ready to leap into your hands; and as soon as you are a king, make me a marquis, or a peer of the land, and afterwards, let things go at sixes and sevens, it will be all one to Sancho." Don Quixote, quite divested of all patience at the blasphemies which were spoken against his Lady Dulcinea, could bear with him no longer; and therefore, without so much as a word to give him notice of his displeasure, gave him two such blows with his lance, that poor Sancho measured his length on the ground, and had certainly there breathed his last, had not the knight desisted through the persuasions of Dorothea. "Thinkest thou," said he, after a considerable pause, "most infamous peasant, that I shall always have leisure and disposition to put up with thy affronts, and that thy whole business shall be to study new offences, and mine to give thee new pardons? Dost thou not know, excommunicated traitor, (for certainly excommunication is the least punishment can fall upon thee after such profanations of the peerless Dulcinea's name,) and art thou not assured, vile slave and ignominious vagabond, that I should not have strength sufficient to kill a flea, did not she give strength to my nerves and infuse vigour into my sinews? Speak, thou villain with the viper's tongue; who dost thou imagine has restored the queen to her kingdom, cut off the head of a giant, and made thee a marquis, (for I count all this as done already,) but the power of Dulcinea, who makes use of my arm as the instrument of her act in me? She fights and overcomes in me, and I live and breathe in her, holding life and being from her. Thou base-born wretch! art thou not possessed of the utmost ingratitude, thou who seest thyself exalted from the very dregs of the earth to nobility and honour, and yet dost repay so great a benefit with obloquies against the person of thy benefactress? But I pardon thee for this time," added the Don, "and thou must excuse me for what I have done to thee; for the first movements are not in our power." "I perceive that well enough," said Sancho, "and that is the reason my first thoughts are always on my tongue; and I cannot for my life help speaking what comes uppermost." "However, friend Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thou hadst best think before thou speakest; for the pitcher never goes so oft to the well." "No more of this, Sancho," [Pg 113] said Dorothea; "but run and kiss your lord's hands, and beg his pardon; and, for the time to come, be more advised and cautious how you run into the praise or dispraise of any person; but especially take care you do not speak ill of that lady of Toboso, whom I do not know, though I am ready to do her any service; and trust me you shall have a lordship which shall enable you to live like a prince." Sancho shrugged up his shoulders, and in a humble posture went and asked his master for his hand, which he held out to him with a grave countenance; and after the squire had kissed the back of it, the knight gave him his blessing, and told him he had a word or two with him, bidding him come nearer, that he might have the better convenience of speaking to him. Sancho did as his master commanded, and going a little from the company with him, they conversed a while together. At the conclusion, Sancho said: "Good master, you shall not want satisfaction; but, your worship, for the time to come, I beseech you do not be too hasty." "What occasion hast thou, Sancho, to make this request?" replied Don Quixote. "Reason good enough, truly," said Sancho; "for the blows you gave me even now were rather given me on account of that quarrel which was stirred up between your worship and me the other night, than for your dislike of anything which was spoken against my Lady Dulcinea." "Pr'ythee, Sancho," cried Don Quixote, "be careful of falling again into such irreverent expressions; for they provoke me to anger, and are highly offensive. I pardoned thee then for being a delinquent; but thou art sensible that a new offence must be attended with a new punishment."

As they were going on in such discourse as this, they saw at a distance a person riding up to them on an ass, who, as he came near enough to be distinguished, seemed to be a gipsy by his habit. But Sancho Panza, who, whenever he got sight of any asses, followed them with his eyes and his heart, as one whose thoughts were ever fixed on his own, had scarce given him half an eye but he knew him to be Gines de Passamonte, and by the looks of the gipsy found out the visage of his ass; for indeed it was the very same which Gines had got under him, who, to conceal himself from the knowledge of the public, and have the better opportunity of making a good market of his beast, had clothed himself like a gipsy; the cant of that sort of people, as well as the languages of other countries, being as natural and familiar to them as their own. Sancho saw him and knew him; and scarce had he seen and taken notice of him, when he cried out as loud as his tongue would permit him, "Ah, thou thief Genesillo! leave my goods and chattels behind thee; get off from the back of my own dear life; thou hast nothing to do with my poor beast, without whom I cannot enjoy a moment's ease; away from my Dapple, away from my comfort! take to thy heels thou villain! hence, thou hedge-bird, leave what is none of [Pg 114] thine!" He had no occasion to use so many words, for Gines dismounted as soon as he heard him speak, and taking to his heels, got from them, and was out of sight in an instant. Sancho ran immediately to his ass, and embraced him: "How hast thou done," cried he, "since I saw thee, my darling and treasure, my dear Dapple, the delight of my eyes, and my dearest companion?" And then he stroked and slabbered him with kisses, as if the beast had been a rational creature. The ass, for his part, was as silent as could be, and gave Sancho the liberty of as many kisses as he pleased, without the return of so much as one word to the many questions he had put to him. At sight of this the rest of the company came up with him, and paid their compliments of congratulation to Sancho for the recovery of his ass, especially Don Quixote, who told him that though he had found his ass again, yet would not he revoke the warrant he had given him for three asses, for which favour Sancho returned him a multitude of thanks.

While they were travelling together, and discoursing after this manner, the curate addressed himself to Dorothea, and gave her to understand that she had excellently discharged herself of what she had undertaken, as well in the management of the history itself, as in her brevity, and adapting her style to the particular terms made use of in books of knight-errantry. She returned for answer that she had frequently conversed with such romances, but that she was ignorant of the situation of the provinces and the sea-ports, which occasioned the blunder she had made by saying that she landed at Ossuna. "I perceived it," replied the curate, "and therefore I put in what you heard, which brought matters to rights again. But is it not an amazing thing to see how ready this unfortunate gentleman is to give credit to these fictitious reports, only because they have the air of the extravagant stories in books of knight-errantry?" Cardenio said that he thought this so strange a madness that he did not believe the wit of man, with all the liberty of invention and fiction, capable of hitting so extraordinary a character. "The gentleman," replied the curate, "has some qualities in him, even as surprising in a madman as his unparalleled frenzy; for take him but off his romantic humour, discourse with him of any other subject, you will find him to handle it with a great deal of reason, and shew himself, by his conversation, to have very clear and entertaining conceptions; insomuch that if knight-errantry bears no relation to his discourse, there is no man but will esteem him for his vivacity of wit and strength of judgment." While they were thus discoursing, Don Quixote, prosecuting his converse with his squire, "Sancho," said he, "let us lay aside all manner of animosity; let us forget and forgive injuries; and answer me as speedily as thou canst, without any remains of thy last displeasure, how, when, and where didst thou find my Lady Dulcinea? [Pg 115] What was she doing when thou first paidst thy respects to her? How didst thou express thyself to her? What answer was she pleased to make thee? What countenance did she put on at the perusal of my letter? Who transcribed it fairly for thee? And every thing else which has any relation to this affair, without addition, lies, or flattery. On the other side, take care thou losest not a tittle of the whole matter, by abbreviating it, lest thou rob me of part of that delight which I propose to myself from it." "Sir," answered Sancho, "if I must speak the truth, and nothing but the truth, nobody copied out that letter for me; for I carried none at all." "That's right," cried Don Quixote; "for I found the pocket-book in which it was written two days after thy departure, which occasioned exceeding grief in me, because I knew not what thou couldst do when thou foundst thyself without the letter; and I could not but be induced to believe that thou wouldst have returned, in order to take it with thee." "I had certainly done so," replied Sancho, "were it not for this head of mine, which kept it in remembrance ever since your worship read it to me, and helped me to say it over to a parish-clerk, who wrote it out to me word for word so purely, that he vowed, though he had written out many a letter of excommunication in his time, he never in all the days of his life had read or seen any thing so well spoken as it was." "And dost thou still retain the memory of it, my dear Sancho?" cried Don Quixote. "Not I," quoth Sancho; "for as soon as I had given it her, and your turn was served, I was very willing to forget it. But if I remember any thing, it is what was on the top; and it was thus, 'High and subterrene'—I would say sovereign, lady; and at the bottom, 'yours until death, the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure;' and I put between these two things three hundred souls and lives."


CHAPTER XX.

The pleasant dialogue between Don Quixote and his Squire continued; with other adventures.

"All this is mighty well," said Don Quixote; "proceed therefore: you arrived, and how was that queen of beauty then employed? On my conscience thou foundst her stringing of orient pearls, or embroidering some curious device in gold for me her captive knight; was it not so, my Sancho?" "No," answered the squire; "I found her winnowing a parcel of wheat very seriously in the back-yard." "Then," said the Don, "you may rest assured that every corn of that wheat was a grain of pearl, since she did it the honour of touching it with her divine hand. Didst thou observe the quality of the wheat, was it not of the finest sort?" "Very indifferent, I thought," said the squire. [Pg 116] "Well, this at least you must allow; it must make the finest whitest bread, if sifted by her white hands. But go on; when you delivered my letter, did she kiss it? Did she treasure it in her bosom? or what ceremony did she use worthy such a letter? How did she behave herself?" "Why truly, sir," answered Sancho, "when I offered her the letter she was very busy handling her sieve; 'and, pr'ythee, honest friend,' said she, 'do so much as lay that letter down upon that sack there; I cannot read it till I have winnowed out what is in my hands.'" "O unparalleled discretion!" cried Don Quixote; "she knew that a perusal required leisure, and therefore deferred it for her more pleasing and private hours. But oh, my squire, while she was thus employed what conference passed? What did she ask about her knight, and what did you reply? Say all, say all, my dearest Sancho, let not the smallest circumstance escape the tongue; speak all that thought can frame or pen describe." "Her questions were easily answered, sir," said Sancho; "for she asked me none at all. I told her, indeed, in what a sad pickle I had left you, and how disconsolate you were; that you eat and slept like the brute beasts; that you would let a razor as soon touch your throat as your beard; that you were still blubbering and crying, or lamenting and cursing your fortune." "There you mistook," replied Don Quixote; "I rather bless my fortune, and always shall, while life affords me breath, since I am thought to merit the esteem of so high a lady as Dulcinea del Toboso. But now," continued the knight, "supposing the corn winnowed and despatched to the mill, what did she after she had read my letter?" "Your letter, sir," answered Sancho, "your letter was not read at all, sir; as, for her part, she said she could neither read nor write, and she would trust nobody else, lest they should tell tales, and so she cunningly tore your letter. She said that what I told her by word of mouth of your love and sufferings was enough: to make short now, she gave her service to you, and said she had rather see you than hear from you; and she prayed you, if ever you loved her, upon sight of me forthwith to leave your madness among the bushes here, and come straight to Toboso (if you be at leisure), for she has something to say to you, and has a huge mind to see you; she had like to burst with laughing, when I called you the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure."

"Thus far all goes well," said Don Quixote; "but tell me, pray, what jewel did she present you at your departure, as a reward for the news you brought? for it is a custom of ancient standing among knights and ladies errant, to bestow on squires, dwarfs, or damsels, who bring them good news of their ladies or servants some precious jewel as a grateful reward of their welcome tidings." "Ah, sir," said Sancho, "that was the fashion in the days of yore, and a very good fashion, I take it; but all the jewels Sancho got was a luncheon of bread and a piece of [Pg 117] cheese, which she handed to me over the wall, when I was taking my leave: by the same token (I hope there is no ill luck in it), the cheese was made of sheep's milk." "It is strange," said Don Quixote, "for she is liberal even to profuseness; and if she presented thee not a jewel, she had certainly none about her at that time; but what is deferred is not lost. I shall see her, and matters shall be accommodated. But, Sancho, one thing raises my astonishment, which is thy sudden return; for proportioning thy short absence to the length of thy journey, Toboso being at least thirty leagues distant, thou must have ridden on the wind. Certainly the sagacious enchanter, who is my guardian and friend,—for doubtless such a one there is and ought to be, or I should not be a true knight-errant,—certainly, I say, that wise magician has furthered thee on thy journey unawares; for there are sages of such incredible power as to take up a knight-errant sleeping in his bed, and waken him next morning a thousand leagues from the place where he fell asleep. By this power knights-errant succour one another in their most dangerous exigents when and where they please. For instance, suppose me fighting in the mountains of Armenia with some horrid monster, some dreadful sprite, or fierce gigantic knight, where perhaps I am like to be worsted (such a thing may happen), when just in the very crisis of my fate, when I least expect it, I behold on the top of a flying cloud, or riding in a flaming chariot, another knight, my friend, who but a minute before was in England perhaps—he sustains me, delivers me from death, and returns that night to his own lodging, where he sups with a very good appetite after his journey, having rid you two or three thousand leagues that day; and all this performed by the industry and wisdom of these knowing magicians, whose only business and charge is glorious knight-errantry. Some such expeditious power, I believe, Sancho, though hidden from you, has promoted so great a despatch in your late journey." "I believe, indeed," answered Sancho, "that there was witchcraft in the case; for Rozinante went without spur all the way, and was as mettlesome as though he had been a gipsy's ass with quicksilver in his ears." "And what is thy advice as to my lady's commands to visit her? I know her power should regulate my will. But then my honour, Sancho; my solemn promise has engaged me to the princess's service that comes with us; and the law of arms confines me to my word. Love draws me one, and glory the other way; on this side Dulcinea's strict commands, on the other my promised faith; but—it is resolved. I will travel night and day, cut off this giant's head, and, having settled the princess in her dominions, will presently return to see that sun which enlightens my senses. She will easily condescend to excuse my absence when I convince her it was for her fame and glory; since the past, present, and future success of my victorious arms depends [Pg 118] wholly on the gracious influences of her favour, and the honour of being her knight." "Oh sad! oh sad!" said Sancho; "I doubt your worship's head is much the worse for wearing. Are you mad, sir, to take so long a voyage for nothing? why don't you catch at this preferment that now offers, where a fine kingdom is the portion, twenty thousand leagues round, they say; nay, bigger than Portugal and Castile both together. Good your worship, hold your tongue, I wonder you are not ashamed. Take a fool's counsel for once, marry her by the first priest you meet; here is our own curate can do the job most curiously. Come, master, I have hair enough in my beard to make a counsellor, and my advice is as fit for you as your shoe for your foot—a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, and

He that will not when he may,
When he would he shall have nay."

"Thou advisest me thus," answered Don Quixote, "that I may be able to promote thee according to my promise; but that I can do without marrying this lady; for I shall make this the condition of entering into battle, that after my victory, without marrying the princess, she shall leave part of her kingdom at my disposal, to gratify whom I please; and who can claim any such gratuity but thyself?" "That's plain," answered Sancho; "but pray, sir, take care that you reserve some part near the sea-side for me; that if the air does not agree with me, I may transport my black slaves, make my profit of them, and go live somewhere else; so that I would have you resolve upon it presently: leave the Lady Dulcinea for the present, and go kill this same giant, and make an end of that business first; for I assure you it will yield you a good market." "I am fixed in thy opinion," said Don Quixote; "but I admonish thee not to whisper to any person the least hint of our conference; for since Dulcinea is so cautious and secret, it is proper that I and mine should follow her example." "Why then," said Sancho, "should you send every body you overcome packing to Madam Dulcinea, to fall down before her and tell her they came from you to pay their obedience, when this tells all the world that she is your mistress, as much as if they had it under your own hand?" "How dull of apprehension and stupid thou art!" said the knight; "hast thou not sense to find that all this redounds to her greater glory? Know, that in proceedings of chivalry, a lady's honour is calculated from the number of her servants, whose services must not tend to any reward but the favour of her acceptance, and the pure honour of performing them for her sake, and being called her servants."

Master Nicholas, seeing them so deep in discourse, called to them to stop and drink at a little fountain by the road. Don Quixote halted; and Sancho was very glad of the interruption, [Pg 119] his stock of fiction being almost spent, and he stood in danger besides of being trapped in his words; for he had never seen Dulcinea, though he knew she lived at Toboso. Cardenio by this time had changed his clothes for those Dorothea wore when they found her in the mountains; and though they made but an ordinary figure, they looked much better than those he had put off.[5] They all stopped at the fountain, and fell upon the curate's provision, which was but a snap among so many, for they were all very hungry. While they sat refreshing themselves, a young lad, travelling that way, observed them, and looking earnestly on the whole company, ran suddenly and fell down before Don Quixote, addressing him in a very doleful manner. "Alas, good sir," said he, "don't you know me? don't you remember poor Andres, whom you caused to be untied from the tree?" With that the knight knew him; and raising him up, turned to the company; "That you may all know," said he, "of how great importance to the redressing of injuries, punishing vice, and the universal benefit of mankind, the business of knight-errantry may be, you must understand, that riding through a desert some days ago, I heard certain lamentable shrieks and outcries. Prompted by the misery of the afflicted, and borne away by the zeal of my profession, I followed the voice, and found this boy, whom you all see, bound to a great oak; I am glad he is present, because he can attest the truth of my relation. I found him, as I told you, bound to an oak; naked from the waist upwards, and a bloody-minded peasant scourging his back unmercifully with the reins of a bridle. I presently demanded the cause of his severe chastisement. The rude fellow answered, that he had liberty to punish his own servant, whom he thus used for some faults that argued him more knave than fool. 'Good sir,' said the boy, 'he can lay nothing to my charge but demanding my wages.' His master made some reply, which I would not allow as a just excuse, and ordered him immediately to unbind the youth, and took his oath that he would take him home and pay him all his wages upon the nail, in good and lawful coin. Is not this literally true, Andres? Did you not mark, besides, with what face of authority I commanded, and with how much humility he promised to obey all I imposed, commanded, and desired? Answer me, boy; and tell boldly all that passed to this worthy company, that it may appear how necessary the vocation of knights-errant is up and down the high roads."

[5] These must be the ragged apparel Cardenio wore before he was dressed in the priest's short cassock and cloak.

"All you have said is true enough," answered Andres; "but the business did not end after that manner you and I hoped it would." "How!" said the knight; "has not the peasant paid you?" "Ay, he has paid me with a vengeance," said the boy; [Pg 120] "for no sooner was your back turned but he tied me again to the same tree, and lashed me so horridly that I looked like St. Bartholomew flayed alive; and at every blow he had some joke or another to laugh at you; and had he not laid on me as he did, I fancy I could not have helped laughing myself. At last he left me, in so pitiful a case that I was forced to crawl to a hospital, where I have lain ever since to get cured, so wofully the tyrant had lashed me. And now I may thank you for this; for had you rode on your journey, and neither meddled nor made, seeing nobody sent for you, and it was none of your business, my master, perhaps, had been satisfied with giving me ten or twenty lashes, and after that would have paid me what he owed me; but you was so huffy, and called him so many names, that it made him mad, and so he vented all his spite against you upon my poor back, as soon as yours was turned, inasmuch that I fear I shall never be mine own man again." "The miscarriage," answered the knight, "is only chargeable on my departure before I saw my orders executed; for I might by experience have remembered that the word of a peasant is regulated, not by honour, but by profit. But you remember, Andres, how I said, that if he disobeyed, I would return and seek him through the universe, and find him though hid in a whale's belly." "Ah, sir," answered Andres, "but that is no cure for my sore shoulders." "You shall be redressed," answered the knight, starting fiercely up, and commanding Sancho immediately to bridle Rozinante, who was baiting as fast as the rest of the company. Dorothea asked what he intended to do: he answered, that he intended to find out the villain, and punish him severely for his crimes, then force him to pay Andres his wages to the last maravedi,[6] in spite of all the peasants in the universe. She then desired him to remember his engagements to her, which withheld him from any new achievement till that was finished; that he must therefore suspend his resentments till his return from her kingdom. "It is but just and reasonable," said the knight; "and therefore Andres must wait with patience my return; but when I do return, I do hereby ratify my former oath and promise, never to rest till he be fully satisfied and paid." "I dare not trust to that," answered Andres; "but if you will bestow on me as much money as will bear my charges to Seville, I shall thank your worship more than for all the revenge you tell me of. Give me a snap to eat, and a bit in my pocket; and so Heaven be with you and all other knights-errant, and may they prove as arrant fools in their own business as they have been in mine."

[6] Near the value of a farthing.

Sancho took a crust of bread and a slice of cheese, and reaching it to Andres, "There, friend," said he, "there is something for thee; on my word, we have all of us a share of thy mischance." [Pg 121] "What share?" said Andres. "Why, the cursed mischance of parting with this bread and cheese to thee; for my head to a halfpenny, I may live to want it; for thou must know, friend of mine, that we, the squires of knights-errant, often pick our teeth without a dinner, and are subject to many other things which are better felt than told." Andres snatched at the provender, and seeing no likelihood of any more, he made his leg and marched off. But looking over his shoulder at Don Quixote, "Hark ye, you Sir Knight-errant," cried he, "if ever you meet me again in your travels, which I hope you never shall, though I were torn in pieces, do not trouble me with your foolish help, but mind your own business; and so fare you well, with a plague upon you and all the knights-errant that ever were born!" The knight thought to chastise him, but the lad was too nimble for any there, and his heels carried him off, leaving Don Quixote highly incensed at his story, which moved the company to hold their laughter, lest they should raise his anger to a dangerous height.


CHAPTER XXI.

What befell Don Quixote and his company at the inn.

When they had eaten plentifully they left that place, and travelled all that day and the next without meeting anything worth notice, till they came to the inn, which was so frightful a sight to poor Sancho, that he would willingly not have gone in, but could by no means avoid it. The innkeeper, the hostess, her daughter, and Maritornes, met Don Quixote and his squire with a very hearty welcome. The knight received them with a face of gravity and approbation, bidding them prepare him a better bed than their last entertainment afforded him. "Sir," said the hostess, "pay us better than you did then, and you shall have a bed for a prince." And upon the knight's promise that he would, she promised him a tolerable bed in the large room where he lay before. He presently undressed, and being heartily crazed in body as well as in mind, he went to bed. He was scarcely got to his chamber, when the hostess flew suddenly at the barber, and catching him by the beard, "On my life," said she, "you shall use my tail no longer for a beard; pray, sir, give me my tail; my husband wants it to stick his comb into; and my tail I will have, sir." The barber surrendered the hostess her tail, with the other trinkets which he had borrowed to decoy Don Quixote out of the desert. Dorothea's beauty and Cardenio's handsome shape surprised every body. The curate bespoke supper; and the host, being pretty secure of his reckoning, soon got them a tolerable [Pg 122] entertainment. They would not disturb the knight, who slept very soundly, for his distemper wanted rest more than meat; but they diverted themselves with the hostess's account of his encounter with the carriers, and of Sancho's being tossed in a blanket. Don Quixote's unaccountable madness was the principal subject of their discourse; upon which the curate insisting and arguing that it proceeded from his reading romances, the innkeeper took him up.

"Sir," said he, "you cannot make me of your opinion; for, in my mind, it is the pleasantest reading that ever was. I have now in the house two or three books of that kind, and some other pieces that really have kept me and many others alive. In harvest-time, a great many of the reapers come to drink here in the heat of the day, and he that can read best among us takes up one of these books, and all the rest of us, sometimes thirty or more, sit round about him and listen with such pleasure that we think neither of sorrow nor care. As for my own part, when I hear the mighty blows and dreadful battles of those knights-errant, I have half a mind to be one myself, and am raised to such a life and briskness that I could frighten away old age. I could sit and hear them from morning till night." "I wish you would, husband," said the hostess; "for then we should have some rest; for at all other times you are so out of humour and so snappish that we lead a sad life with you." "And what think you of this matter, young miss?" said the curate to the innkeeper's daughter. "Alack-a-day, sir," said she, "I do not understand those things, and yet I love to hear them; but I do not like that frightful ugly fighting that so pleases my father. Indeed, the sad lamentations of the poor knights for the loss of their mistresses sometimes makes me cry like any thing." "I suppose, then, young gentlewoman," said Dorothea, "you will be tender-hearted, and will never let a lover die for you." "I do not know what may happen as to that," said the girl; "but this I know, that I will never give any body reason to call me tigress and lioness, and I do not know how many other ugly names, as those ladies are often called; and I think they deserve yet worse, so they do; for they can never have soul nor conscience to let such fine gentlemen die or run mad for a sight of them. What signifies all their fiddling and coyness? If they are civil women, why do not they marry them; for that is all their knights would be at?" "Hold your prating, mistress," said the hostess, "how came you to know all this? It is not for such as you to talk of these matters." "The gentleman only asked me a question," said she, "and it would be uncivil not to answer him." "Well," said the curate, "do me the favour, good landlord, to bring out these books that I may have a sight of them."

"With all my heart," said the innkeeper; and with that, stepping to his chamber, he opened a little portmanteau that shut [Pg 123] with a chain, and took out three large volumes, with a parcel of manuscripts in a fair legible letter. The title of the first was Don Cirongilio of Thrace; the second Felixmarte of Hircania; and the third was the History of the great Captain Gonšalo Hernandes de Corduba, and the Life of Diego Garcia de Paredes, bound together.[7] The curate, reading the title, turned to the barber, and told him they wanted now Don Quixote's housekeeper and his niece. "I shall do as well with the books," said the barber; "for I can find the way to the back-yard, or to the chimney; there is a good fire that will do their business." "Business!" said the innkeeper, "I hope you would not burn my books?" "Only two of them," said the curate; "this same Don Cirongilio and his friend Felixmarte." "I hope, sir," said the host, "they are neither heretics nor flegmatics." "Schismatics, you mean," said the barber. "I mean so," said the innkeeper; "and if you must burn any, let it be this of Gonšalo Hernandes and Diego Garcia; for you should sooner burn one of my children than the others." "These books, honest friend," said the curate, "that you appear so concerned for are senseless rhapsodies of falsehood and folly; and this which you so despise is a true history, and contains a true account of two celebrated men. The first by his bravery and courage purchased immortal fame, and the name of the Great General, by the universal consent of mankind; and the other, Diego Garcia de Paredes, was of noble extraction, and born in Truxillo, a town of Estremadura, and was a man of singular courage, and of such mighty strength, that with one of his hands he could stop a mill-wheel in its most rapid motion, and with his single force defended the passage of a bridge against an immense army. Several other great actions are related in the memoirs of his life, but all with so much modesty and unbiassed truth, that they easily pronounce him his own historiographer; and had they been written by any one else, with freedom and impartiality, they might have eclipsed your Hectors, Achilles's, and Orlandos, with all their heroic exploits." "That's a fine jest, truly," said the innkeeper; "my father could have told you another tale, sir. Holding a mill-wheel! why, is that such a mighty matter? Only do but turn over a leaf of Felixmarte there; you will find how with one single back-stroke he cut five swinging giants off by the middle, as if they had been so many bean-cods, of which the children make little puppet-friars; and read how at another time he charged a most mighty and powerful army of above a million and six hundred thousand fighting men, all armed cap-a-pie, and routed them all like so many sheep. And what can you say of the worthy Cirongilio of Thrace? who, as you may read there, going by water one [Pg 124] day, was assaulted by a fiery serpent in the middle of the river; he presently leaped nimbly upon her back, and, hanging by her scaly neck, grasped her throat fast with both his arms, so that the serpent, finding herself almost strangled, was forced to dive into the water to save herself, and carried the knight, who would not quit his hold, to the very bottom, where he found a stately palace and such pleasant gardens that it was a wonder; and straight the serpent turned into a very old man, and told him such things as were never heard nor spoken. Now, a fig for your Great Captain and your Diego Garcia." Dorothea, hearing this, said softly to Cardenio, that the host was capable of making a second part to Don Quixote. "I think so too," cried Cardenio, "for it is plain he believes every tittle contained in those books; nor can all the Carthusian friars in the world persuade him otherwise." "I tell thee, friend," said the curate, "there were never any such persons as your books of chivalry mention upon the face of the earth; your Felixmarte of Hircania and your Cirongilio of Thrace are all but chimeras and fictions of idle and luxuriant wits, who wrote them for the same reason that you read them, because they had nothing else to do." "Sir," said the innkeeper, "you must angle with another bait, or you will catch no fish; I know what's what as well as another; I can tell where my own shoe pinches me; and you must not think, sir, to catch old birds with chaff. A pleasant jest indeed, that you should pretend to persuade me now that these notable books are lies and stories! why, sir, are they not in print? Are they not published according to order? licensed by authority from the privy council? And do you think that they would permit so many untruths to be printed, and such a number of battles and enchantments, to set us all a-madding?" "I have told you already, friend," replied the curate, "that this is licensed for our amusement in our idle hours: for the same reason that tennis, billiards, chess, and other recreations are tolerated, that men may find a pastime for those hours they cannot find employment for. Neither could the government foresee this inconvenience from such books that you urge, because they could not reasonably suppose any rational person would believe their absurdities. And were this a proper time, I could say a great deal in favour of such writings; and how, with some regulations, they might be made both instructive and diverting. But I design upon the first opportunity to communicate my thoughts on this head to some that may redress it. In the mean time, honest landlord, you may put up your books, and believe them true if you please, and much good may they do you. And I wish you may never halt on the same foot as your guest, Don Quixote." "There's no fear of that," said the innkeeper; "for I never design to turn knight-errant, because I find the customs that supported the noble order are quite out of doors."

[7] These were not fabulous heroes, though romantic authors have added much of fable to their true history.


CHAPTER XXII.

Of the dreadful battle betwixt Don Quixote and certain Wine-skins.

[Pg 125] The conversation was hardly concluded when Sancho Panza came running out of Don Quixote's chamber in a terrible fright, crying out, "Help, help, good people! help my master! He is just now at it tooth and nail with that same giant, the Princess Micomicona's foe; I never saw a more dreadful battle in my born days. He has lent him such a blow, that whip off went the giant's head, as round as a turnip." "You are mad, Sancho," said the curate, starting up astonished; "is thy master such a wonderful hero as to fight a giant at two thousand leagues distance?" Upon this they presently heard a noise and bustle in the chamber, and Don Quixote bawling out, "Stay, villain! robber, stay! since I have thee here, thy scimitar shall but little avail thee!" and with this they heard him strike with his sword with all his force against the walls. "Good folks," said Sancho, "my master does not want your hearkening; why do not you run in and help him? though I believe it is after-meat mustard; for sure the giant is dead by this time, and giving an account of his ill life; for I saw his blood run all about the house, and his head sailing in the middle on it; but such a head! it is bigger than any wine-skin in Spain."[8] "Mercy on me!" cried the innkeeper, "I will be cut like a cucumber, if this Don Quixote, or Don Devil, has not been hacking my wine-skins that stood filled at his bed's head, and this coxcomb has taken the spilt liquor for blood." Then running with the whole company into the room, they found the poor knight in the most comical posture imaginable.

[8] In Spain they keep their wines in the skin of a goat, sheep, or other beast, pitched within, and sewed close without.

He wore on his head a little red greasy nightcap of the innkeeper's; he had wrapped one of the best blankets about his left arm for a shield; and wielded his drawn-sword in the right, laying about him pell-mell; with now and then a start of some military expression, as if he had been really engaged with some giant. But the best jest of all, he was all this time fast asleep; for the thoughts of the adventure he had undertaken had so wrought on his imagination that his depraved fancy had in his sleep represented to him the kingdom of Micomicon and the giant; and dreaming that he was then fighting him, he assaulted the wine-skins so desperately that he set the whole chamber afloat with good wine. The innkeeper, enraged to see the havoc, flew at Don Quixote with his fists; and had not Cardenio and the curate taken him off, he had proved a giant indeed against the knight. [Pg 126] All this could not wake the poor Don, till the barber, throwing a bucket of cold water on him, wakened him from his sleep, though not from his dream.

Sancho ran up and down the room searching for the giant's head, till, finding his labour fruitless, "Well, well," said he, "now I see plainly that this house is haunted; for when I was here before, in this very room was I beaten like any stock-fish, but knew no more than the man in the moon who struck me; and now the giant's head that I saw cut off with these eyes is vanished; and I am sure I saw the body spout blood like a pump." "What prating and nonsense!" said the innkeeper; "I tell you, rascal, it is my wine-skins that are slashed, and my wine that runs about the floor here." "Well, well," said Sancho, "do not trouble me; I only tell you that I cannot find the giant's head, and my earldom is gone after it; and so I am undone, like salt in water." And truly Sancho's waking dream was as pleasant as his master's when asleep. The innkeeper was almost mad to see the foolish squire harp so on the same string with his frantic master, and swore they should not come off now as before; that their chivalry should be no satisfaction for his wine, but that they should pay him sauce for the damage, and for the very leathern patches which the wounded wine-skins would want.

Don Quixote in the mean while, believing he had finished his adventure, and mistaking the curate, that held him by the arms, for the Princess Micomicona, fell on his knees before him, and with a respect due to a royal presence, "Now may your highness," said he, "great and illustrious princess, live secure, free from any further apprehensions from your conquered enemy; and now I am acquitted of my engagement, since, by the assistance of Heaven, and the influence of her favour by whom I live and conquer, your adventure is so happily achieved." "Did not I tell you so, gentlefolks?" said Sancho; "who is drunk or mad now? See if my master has not already put the giant in pickle? I am an earl as sure as possible." The whole company (except the unfortunate innkeeper) were highly diverted at the extravagances of both. At last, the barber, Cardenio, and the curate, having with much ado got Don Quixote to bed, he presently fell asleep, being heartily tired; and then they left him to comfort Sancho Panza for the loss of the giant's head; but it was no easy matter to appease the innkeeper, who was at his wit's end for the unexpected and sudden fate of his wine-skins.

The hostess in the mean time ran up and down the house crying and roaring: "In an ill hour," said she, "did this unlucky knight-errant come into my house; I wish, for my part, I had never seen him, for he has been a dear guest to me. He and his man, his horse and his ass went away last time without paying me a cross for their supper, their bed, their litter and provender; [Pg 127] and all, forsooth, because he was seeking adventures. What, in the wide world, have we to do with his statutes of chivalry? If they oblige him not to pay, they should oblige him not to eat neither. It was upon this score that the other fellow took away my good tail; it is clean spoiled, the hair is all torn off, and my husband can never use it again. And now to come upon me again with destroying my wine-skins, and spilling my liquor. But I will be paid, so I will, to the last maravedis, or I will disown my name, and forswear my mother." Her honest maid Maritornes seconded her fury; but Master Curate stopped their mouths by promising that he would see them satisfied for their wine and their skins, but especially for the tail which they made such a clatter about. Dorothea comforted Sancho, assuring him that whenever it appeared that his master had killed the giant, and restored her to her dominions, he should be sure of the best earldom in her disposal. With this he buckled up again, and vowed "that he himself had seen the giant's head, by the same token that it had a beard that reached down to his middle; and if it could not be found, it must be hid by witchcraft, for every thing went by enchantment in that house, as he had found to his cost when he was there before." Dorothea answered that she believed him; and desired him to pluck up his spirits, for all things would be well.


CHAPTER XXIII.

Containing an account of many surprising accidents in the inn.

At the same time the innkeeper, who stood at the door, seeing company coming, "More guests," cried he; "a brave jolly troop, on my word. If they stop here, we may rejoice." "What are they?" said Cardenio. "Four men," said the host, "on horseback, with black masks on their faces, and armed with lances and targets; a lady too all in white, that rides single and masked; and two running footmen." "Are they near?" said the curate. "Just at the door," replied the innkeeper. Hearing this, Dorothea veiled herself, and Cardenio had just time enough to step into the next room, where Don Quixote lay, when the strangers came into the yard. The four horsemen, who made a very genteel appearance, dismounted and went to help down the lady, whom one of them taking in his arms, carried into the house, where he seated her in a chair by the chamber-door, into which Cardenio had withdrawn. All this was done without discovering their faces, or speaking a word; only the lady, as she sat down in the chair, breathed out a deep sigh, and let her arms sink down in a weak and fainting posture. The curate, marking their [Pg 128] odd behaviour, which raised in him a curiosity to know who they were, went to their servants in the stable, and asked what their masters were? "Indeed, sir," said one of them, "that is more than we can tell you; they seem of no mean quality, especially that gentleman who carried the lady into the house; for the rest pay him great respect, and his word is a law to them." "Who is the lady?" said the curate. "We know no more of her than the rest," answered the fellow; "for we could never see her face all the time, and it is impossible we should know her or them otherwise. They picked us up on the road, and prevailed with us to wait on them to Andalusia, promising to pay us well for our trouble; so that, except the two days' travelling in their company, they are utter strangers to us." "Could you not hear them name one another all this time?" asked the curate. "No, truly, sir," answered the footman; "for we heard them not speak a syllable all the way; the poor lady indeed used to sigh and grieve so piteously, that we are persuaded she has no stomach to this journey." "Very likely," said the curate; and with that leaving them, he returned to the place where he left Dorothea, who, hearing the masked lady sigh so frequently, moved by the natural pity of the soft sex, could not forbear inquiring the cause of her sorrow. "Pardon me, madam," said she, "if I beg to know your grief; and assure yourself that my request does not proceed from mere curiosity, but an earnest inclination to assist you, if your misfortune be such as our sex is naturally subject to, and in the power of a woman to cure." The lady made no return to her compliment, and Dorothea pressed her in vain with new reasons; when the gentleman, whom the footboy signified to be the chief of the company, interposed: "Madam," said he, "do not trouble yourself to throw away any generous offer on that ungrateful woman, whose nature cannot return an obligation; neither expect any answer to your demands, for her tongue is a stranger to truth." "Sir," said the disconsolate lady, "my truth and honour have made me thus miserable, and my sufferings are sufficient to prove you the falsest and most base of men." Cardenio, being only parted from the company by Don Quixote's chamber-door, overheard these last words very distinctly, and immediately cried out, "Good heaven, what do I hear? what voice struck my ear just now?" The lady, startled at his exclamation, sprung from the chair, and would have rushed into the chamber whence the voice came; but the gentleman perceiving it, laid hold of her to prevent her, which so disordered the lady that her mask fell off, and discovered an incomparable face, beautiful as an angel's, though very pale, and strangely discomposed. Dorothea and the rest beheld her with grief and wonder. She struggled so hard, and the gentleman was so disordered by beholding her, that his mask dropped off too, and discovered to Dorothea, who was assisting to hold the lady, the face of her husband Don Fernando. [Pg 129] Scarce had she known him when, with a long and dismal "oh!" she fell in a swoon, and would have fallen to the ground, had not the barber, by good fortune, stood behind and supported her. The curate ran presently to help her, and pulling off her veil to throw water in her face, Don Fernando presently knew her, and was struck almost as dead as she at the sight; nevertheless he did not quit Lucinda, who was the lady that struggled so hard to get out of his hands. Cardenio hearing Dorothea's exclamation, and imagining it to be Lucinda's voice, flew into the chamber in great disorder, and the first object he met was Don Fernando holding Lucinda, who presently knew him. They were all struck dumb with amazement: Dorothea gazed on Don Fernando; Don Fernando on Cardenio; and Cardenio and Lucinda on one another.

At last Lucinda broke silence, and addressing Don Fernando, "Let me go," said she; "unloose your hold, my lord: by the generosity you should have, or by your inhumanity, since it must be so, I conjure you leave me, that I may cling like ivy to my old support; and from whom neither your threats, nor prayers, nor gifts, nor promises, could ever alienate my love. Contend not against Heaven, whose power alone could bring me to my dear husband's sight by such strange and unexpected means; you have a thousand instances to convince you that nothing but death can make me ever forget him; let this, at least, turn your love into rage, which may prompt you to end my miseries with my life here before my dear husband, where I shall be proud to lose it, since my death may convince him of my unshaken love and honour till the last minute of my life." Dorothea by this time had recovered, and finding by Lucinda's discourse who she was, and that Don Fernando would not unhand her, she made a virtue of necessity, and falling at his feet, "My lord," cried she, all bathed in tears, "if that beauty which you hold in your arms has not altogether dazzled your eyes, you may behold at your feet the once happy, but now miserable Dorothea. I am the poor and humble villager, whom your generous bounty, I dare not say your love, did condescend to raise to the honour of calling you her own: I am she who, once confined to peaceful innocence, led a contented life, till your importunity, your shew of honour and deluding words, charmed me from my retreat, and made me resign my freedom to your power. How I am recompensed may be guessed by my grief, and my being found here in this strange place, whither I was led, not through any dishonourable ends, but purely by despair and grief to be forsaken of you. It was at your desire I was bound to you by the strictest tie; and whatever you do, you can never cease to be mine. Consider, my dear lord, that my matchless love may balance the beauty and nobility of the person for whom you would forsake me; she cannot share your love, for it is only mine; and Cardenio's interest in her will not admit a partner. It is easier far, my lord, to recall your wandering desires, [Pg 130] and fix them upon her that adores you, than to draw her to love who hates you. Have some regard to your honour! remember you are a Christian! Why should you then make her life end so miserably, whose beginning your favour made so happy? If I must not expect the usage and respect of a wife, let me but serve you as a slave; so I belong to you, though in the meanest rank, I shall never complain; let me not be exposed to the slandering reflections of the censorious world by so cruel a separation from my lord; afflict not the declining years of my poor parents, whose faithful services to you and yours have merited a more suitable return."

These, with many such arguments, did the mournful Dorothea urge, appearing so lovely in her sorrow, that Don Fernando's friends, as well as all the rest, sympathised with her; Lucinda particularly, as much admiring her wit and beauty as moved by the tears, the piercing sighs and moans, that followed her entreaties; and she would have gone nearer to have comforted her, had not Fernando's arms, that still held her, prevented it. He stood full of confusion, with his eyes fixed attentively on Dorothea a great while; at last, opening his arms, he quitted Lucinda: "Thou hast conquered," cried he; "charming Dorothea, thou hast conquered; it is impossible to resist so many united truths and charms." Lucinda was still so disordered and weak that she would have fallen when Fernando quitted her, had not Cardenio, without regard to his safety, leaped forward and caught her in his arms, and embracing her with eagerness and joy, "Thanks, gracious Heaven!" cried he aloud, "my dear, my faithful wife, thy sorrows are now ended; for where canst thou rest more safe than in my arms, which now support thee as once they did when my blessed fortune first made thee mine?" Lucinda then opening her eyes and finding herself in the arms of her Cardenio, without regard to ceremony threw her arms about his neck, "Yes," said she, "thou art he, thou art my lord indeed! Now, fortune, act thy worst; nor fears nor threats shall ever part me from the sole support and comfort of my life." This sight was very surprising to Don Fernando and the other spectators. Dorothea perceiving, by Don Fernando's change of countenance, and laying his hand to his sword, that he prepared to assault Cardenio, fell suddenly on her knees, and with an endearing embrace held him so fast that he could not stir. "What means," cried she, all in tears, "the only refuge of my hope? See here thy own and dearest wife at thy feet, and her you would have in her true husband's arms. Think then, my lord, how unjust is your attempt to dissolve that knot which Heaven has tied so fast. Can you ever think or hope success in your design when you see her contemning all dangers, and confirmed in strictest constancy and honour, leaning in tears of joy on her true lover's bosom? For Heaven's sake I entreat you, by your own words I conjure you, [Pg 131] to mitigate your anger, and permit that faithful pair to spend their remaining days in peace. Thus may you make it appear that you are generous and truly noble, giving the world so strong a proof that you have your reason at command, and your passion in subjection."

All this while Cardenio, though he still held Lucinda in his arms, had a watchful eye on Don Fernando; resolving, if he had made the least offer to his prejudice, to make him repent it and all his party, if possible, though at the expense of his life. But Don Fernando's friends, the curate, the barber, and all the company (not forgetting honest Sancho Panza), got together about Don Fernando, and entreated him to pity the beautiful Dorothea's tears; that, considering what she had said, the truth of which was apparent, it would be the highest injustice to frustrate her lawful hopes; that their strange and wonderful meeting could not be attributed to chance, but the peculiar and directing providence of Heaven; that nothing but death (as the curate very well urged) could part Cardenio from Lucinda; and that though the edge of his sword might separate them, he would make them happier by death than he could hope to be by surviving; that, in irrecoverable accidents, a submission to Providence, and a resignation of our wills, shewed not only the greatest prudence, but also the highest courage and generosity; that he should not envy those happy lovers what the bounty of Heaven had conferred on them, but that he should turn his eyes on Dorothea's grief, view her incomparable beauty, which, with her true and unfeigned love, made large amends for the meanness of her parentage; but principally it lay upon him, if he gloried in the titles of nobility and Christianity, to keep his promise unviolated; that the more reasonable part of mankind could not otherwise be satisfied, or have any esteem for him. Also, that it was the special prerogative of beauty, if heightened by virtue and adorned with modesty, to lay claim to any dignity without disparagement or scandal to the person that raises it. In short, to these reasons they added so many enforcing arguments, that Don Fernando, who was truly a gentleman, could no longer resist reason, but stooped down, and embracing Dorothea, "Rise, madam," said he; "it is not proper that she should lie prostrate at my feet who triumphs over my soul. If I have not hitherto paid you all the respect I ought, it was perhaps so ordered by Heaven, that having by this a stronger conviction of your constancy and goodness, I may henceforth set the greater value on your merit. Let the future respects and services I shall pay you plead a pardon for my past transgressions; and let the violent passions of my love that first made me yours plead my excuse for that which caused me to forsake you. View the now happy Lucinda's eyes, and there read a thousand farther excuses; but I promise henceforth never to disturb her quiet; and may she live long and contented [Pg 132] with her dear Cardenio, as I hope to do with my dearest Dorothea."

Cardenio, Lucinda, and the greatest part of the company, could not command their passions, but all wept for joy: even Sancho Panza himself shed tears, though, as he afterwards confessed, it was not for downright grief, but because he found not Dorothea to be the Queen of Micomicona, as he supposed, and of whom he expected so many favours and preferments. Cardenio and Lucinda fell at Don Fernando's feet, giving him thanks with the strongest expressions which gratitude could suggest; he raised them up, and received their acknowledgments with much modesty, then begged to be informed by Dorothea how she came to that place. She related to him all she had told Cardenio, but with such a grace that what were misfortunes to her proved an inexpressible pleasure to those that heard her relation. When she had done, Don Fernando told all that had befallen him in the city after he had found the paper in Lucinda's bosom which declared Cardenio to be her husband; how he would have killed her, had not her parents prevented him; how afterwards, mad with shame and anger, he left the city to wait a more convenient opportunity of revenge; how, in a short time, he learned that Lucinda was fled to a nunnery, resolving to end her days there, if she could not spend them with Cardenio; that, having desired those three gentlemen to go with him, they went to the nunnery, and, waiting till they found the gate open, he left two of the gentlemen to secure the door, while he with the other entered the house, where they found Lucinda talking with a nun in the cloister. They carried her thence to a village, where they disguised themselves for their more convenient flight, which they more easily brought about, the nunnery being situate in the fields, distant a good way from any town. He likewise added how Lucinda, finding herself in his power, fell into a swoon; and that after she came to herself, she continually wept and sighed, but would not speak a syllable; and that, accompanied with silence only and tears, they had travelled till they came to that inn, which proved to him as his arrival at heaven, having put a happy conclusion to all his earthly misfortunes.


CHAPTER XXIV.

The history of the famous Princess Micomicona continued; with other pleasant adventures.

The joy of the whole company was unspeakable by the happy conclusion of this perplexed business. Dorothea, Cardenio, and Lucinda thought the sudden change of their affairs too surprising [Pg 133] to be real; and could hardly be induced to believe their happiness. Fernando thanked Heaven a thousand times for having led him out of a labyrinth, in which his honour and virtue were like to have been lost. The curate, as he was very instrumental in the general reconciliation, had likewise no small share in the general joy; and that no discontent might sour their universal satisfaction, Cardenio and the curate engaged to see the hostess satisfied for all the damages committed by Don Quixote; only poor Sancho drooped sadly. He found his lordship and his hopes vanished into smoke; the Princess Micomicona was changed to Dorothea, and the giant to Don Fernando. Thus, very musty and melancholy, he slipt into his master's chamber, who had slept on, and was just wakened, little thinking of what had happened.

DON QUIXOTE.

"I hope your early rising will do you no hurt," said he, "Sir Knight of the Sorrowful Figure; but you may now sleep on till doom's-day if you will; nor need you trouble your head any longer about killing any giant, or restoring the princess; for all that is done to your hand." "That is more than probable," answered the knight; "for I have had the most extraordinary, the most prodigious and bloody battle with the giant that I ever had, or shall have, during the whole course of my life. Yet with one cross stroke I laid his head on the ground, whence the great effusion of blood seemed like a violent stream of water." "Of wine, you mean," said Sancho; "for you must know (if you know it not already), that your worship's dead giant is a broached wine-skin; and the blood some thirty gallons of tent which it held in its body." "What sayest thou, madman?" said the Don; "thou art frantic, sure." "Rise, rise, sir," said Sancho, "and see what fine work you have cut out for yourself; here is your great queen changed into a private gentlewoman, called Dorothea, with some other such odd matters, that you will wonder with a vengeance." "I can wonder at nothing here," said Don Quixote, "where you may remember I told you all things were ruled by enchantment." "I believe it," quoth Sancho, "had my adventure with the blanket been of that kind; but sure it was likest the real tossing in a blanket of anything I ever knew in my life. And this same innkeeper, I remember very well, was one of those that tossed me into the air, and as cleverly and heartily he did it as a man could wish, I will say that for him; so that, after all, I begin to smell a rat, and do greatly suspect that all our enchantment will end in nothing but bruises and broken bones." "Heaven will retrieve all," said the knight; "I will therefore dress, and march to the discovery of these wonderful transformations."

Meanwhile the curate gave Don Fernando and the rest an account of Don Quixote's madness, and of the device he used to draw him from the desert, to which the supposed disdain of his mistress had banished him in imagination. Sancho's adventures made also a part in the story, which proved very diverting [Pg 134] to the strangers. He added, that since Dorothea's change of fortune had baulked their design that way, some other scheme should be devised to decoy him home. Cardenio offered his service in the affair, and that Lucinda should personate Dorothea. "No, no," answered Don Fernando; "Dorothea shall humour the jest still, if this honest gentleman's habitation be not very far off." "Only two days' journey," said the curate. "I would ride twice as far," said Don Fernando, "for the pleasure of so good and charitable an action." By this time Don Quixote had sallied out armed cap-a-pie, Mambrino's helmet (with a great hole in it), on his head; his shield on his left arm, and with his right he leaned on his lance. His meagre, yellow, weather-beaten face of half a league in length; the unaccountable medley of his armour, together with his grave and solemn port, struck Don Fernando and his companions dumb with astonishment; while the champion, casting his eyes on Dorothea, with great gravity broke silence with these words:

"I am informed by this my squire, beautiful lady, that your greatness is annihilated, and your majesty reduced to nothing; for of a queen and mighty princess, as you used to be, you are become a private damsel. If any express order from the necromantic king your father, doubting the ability and success of my arm in the reinstating you, has occasioned this change, I must tell him that he is no conjuror in these matters, and does not know one half of his trade; nor is he skilled in the revolutions of chivalry; for had he been conversant in the study of knight-errantry as I have been, he might have found that in every age champions of less fame than Don Quixote de la Mancha have finished more desperate adventures; since the killing of a pitiful giant, how arrogant soever he may be, is no such great achievement; for not many hours past I encountered one myself; the success I will not mention, lest the incredulity of some people might distrust the reality; but time, the discoverer of all things, will disclose it when least expected. To conclude, most high and disinherited lady, if your father, for the reasons already mentioned, has caused this metamorphosis in your person, believe him not; for there is no peril on earth through which my sword shall not open a way; and assure yourself that in a few days, by the overthrow of your enemy's head, it shall fix on yours that crown which is your lawful inheritance." Here Don Quixote stopped, waiting the princess's answer; she, assured of Don Fernando's consent to carry on the jest till Don Quixote was got home, and assuming a face of gravity, answered, "Whosoever has informed you, valorous Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, that I have altered or changed my condition, has imposed upon you; for I am just the same to-day as yesterday. It is true some unexpected but fortunate accidents have varied some circumstances of my fortune, much to my advantage, and far beyond my hopes; but I am neither changed in [Pg 135] my person, nor altered in my resolution of employing the force of your redoubtable and invincible arm in my favour. I therefore apply myself to your usual generosity, to have these words spoken to my father's dishonour recalled, and believe these easy and infallible means to redress my wrongs the pure effects of his wisdom and policy, as the good fortune I now enjoy has been the consequence of your surprising deeds, as this noble presence can testify. What should hinder us, then, from setting forward to-morrow morning, depending for a happy and successful conclusion on the will of Heaven, and the power of your unparalleled courage?"

The ingenious Dorothea having concluded, Don Quixote turning to Sancho with all the signs of fury imaginable, "Tell me, rogue, scoundrel, did not you just now inform me that this princess was changed into a little private damsel, called Dorothea, with a thousand other absurdities? I vow I have a mind so to use thee, as to make thee appear a miserable example to all succeeding squires that shall dare to tell a knight-errant a lie." "Good your worship," cried Sancho, "have patience, I beseech you; mayhap I am mistaken or so, about my lady Princess Micomicona's concern there; but that the giant's head came off the wine-skin's shoulders, and that the blood was as good tent as ever was tipt over tongue, I will take my oath on it; for are not the skins all hacked and slashed within there at your bed's-head, and the wine all in a puddle in your chamber? But you will guess at the meat presently by the sauce; the proof of the pudding is in the eating, master; and if my landlord here do not let you know it to your cost, he is a very honest and civil fellow, that is all." "Sancho," said the Don, "I pronounce thee non compos; I therefore pardon thee, and have done." "It is enough," said Don Fernando; "we, therefore, in pursuance of the princess's orders, will this night refresh ourselves, and to-morrow we will all of us set out to attend the lord Don Quixote in prosecution of this important enterprise he has undertaken, being all impatient to be eye-witnesses of his celebrated and matchless courage." "I shall be proud of the honour of serving and waiting upon you, my good lord," replied Don Quixote, "and reckon myself infinitely obliged by the favour and good opinion of so honourable a company; which I shall endeavour to improve and confirm, though at the expense of the last drop of my blood."

The night coming on, and the innkeeper, by order of Don Fernando's friends, having made haste to provide them the best supper he could, the cloth was laid on a long table, there being neither round nor square in the house. Don Quixote, after much ceremony, was prevailed upon to sit at the head; he desired the Lady Micomicona to sit next him; and the rest of the company having placed themselves according to their rank and convenience, they eat their supper very heartily. Don Quixote, to raise the [Pg 136] diversion, never minded his meat, but inspired with the same spirit that moved him to preach so much to the goatherds, began to hold forth in this manner: "Certainly, gentlemen, if we rightly consider it, those who make knight-errantry their profession often meet with surprising and most stupendous adventures. For what mortal in the world, at this time entering within this castle, and seeing us sit together as we do, will imagine and believe us to be the same persons which in reality we are? Who is there that can judge that this lady by my side is the great queen we all know her to be, and that I am that Knight of the Sorrowful Figure so universally made known by fame? It is, then, no longer to be doubted but that this exercise and profession surpasses all others that have been invented by man, and is so much the more honourable as it is more exposed to dangers. Let none presume to tell me that the pen is preferable to the sword. This may be ascertained by regarding the end and object each of them aims at; for that intention is to be most valued which makes the noblest end its object. The scope and end of learning, I mean human learning (in this place I speak not of divinity, whose aim is to guide souls to Heaven, for no other can equal a design so infinite as that), is to give a perfection to distributive justice, bestowing upon every one his due, and to procure and cause good laws to be observed; an end really generous, great, and worthy of high commendation, but yet not equal to that which knight-errantry tends to, whose object and end is peace, which is the greatest blessing man can wish for in this life. And, therefore, the first good news that the world received was that which the angels brought in the night—the beginning of our day—when they sang in the air, 'Glory to God on high, peace on earth, and to men good-will.' And the only manner of salutation taught by our great Master to his friends and favourites was, that entering any house they should say, 'Peace be to this house.' And at other times he said to them, 'My peace I give to you,' 'My peace I leave to you,' 'Peace be among you.' A jewel and legacy worthy of such a donor, a jewel so precious that without it there can be no happiness either in earth or heaven. This peace is the true end of war; for arms and war are one and the same thing. Allowing, then, this truth, that the end of war is peace, and that in this it excels the end of learning, let us now weigh the bodily labours the scholar undergoes against those the warrior suffers, and then see which are greatest."

The method and language Don Quixote used in delivering himself were such, that none of his hearers at that time looked upon him as a madman; but on the contrary, most of them being gentlemen to whom the use of arms properly appertains, they gave him a willing attention; and he proceeded in this manner: "These, then, I say, are the sufferings and hardships a scholar endures. First, poverty (not that they are all poor, but to [Pg 137] urge the worst that may be in this case); and having said he endures poverty, methinks nothing more need be urged to express his misery; for he that is poor enjoys no happiness, but labours under this poverty in all its parts, at one time in hunger, at another in cold, another in nakedness, and sometimes in all of them together; yet his poverty is not so great, but still he eats, though it be later than the usual hour, and of the scraps of the rich; neither can the scholar miss of somebody's stove or fireside to sit by; where, though he be not thoroughly heated, yet he may gather warmth, and at last sleep away the night under a roof. I will not touch upon other less material circumstances, as the want of linen, and scarcity of shoes, thinness and baldness of their clothes, and their surfeiting when good fortune throws a feast in their way; this is the difficult and uncouth path they tread, often stumbling and falling, yet rising again and pushing on, till they attain the preferment they aim at; whither being arrived, we have seen many of them, who having been carried by a fortunate gale through all these quick-sands, from a chair govern the world; their hunger being changed into satiety, their cold into comfortable warmth; their nakedness into magnificence of apparel, and the mats they used to lie upon, into stately beds of costly silks and softest linen, a reward due to their virtue. But yet their sufferings being compared to those the soldier endures, appear much inferior, as I shall in the next place make out."


CHAPTER XXV.

A continuation of Don Quixote's curious and excellent discourse upon arms and learning.

"Since, speaking of the scholar, we began with his poverty, and its several parts," continued Don Quixote, "let us now observe whether the soldier be any richer than he; and we shall find that poverty itself is not poorer; for he depends on his miserable pay, which he receives but seldom, or perhaps never; or else on that he makes by marauding, with the hazard of his life, and trouble of his conscience. Such is sometimes his want of apparel, that a slashed buff-coat is all his holiday raiment and shirt; and in the depth of winter being in the open field, he has nothing to cherish him against the sharpness of the season but the breath of his mouth, which issuing from an empty place, I am persuaded is itself cold, though contrary to the rules of nature. But now see how he expects night to make amends for all these hardships in the bed prepared for him, which, unless it be his own fault, never proves too narrow; for he may freely lay out as much of the ground as he pleases, and tumble to his content without danger of losing the sheets. But above all, when the day shall [Pg 138] come, wherein he is to put in practice the exercise of his profession, and strive to gain some new degree, when the day of battle shall come; then, as a mark of honour, shall his head be dignified with a cap made of lint, to stop a hole made by a bullet, or be perhaps carried off maimed, at the expense of a leg or arm. And if this do not happen, but that merciful Heaven preserve his life and limbs, it may fall out that he shall remain as poor as before, and must run through many encounters and battles, nay always come off victorious, to obtain some little preferment; and these miracles, too, are rare; but, I pray tell me, gentlemen, if ever you made it your observation, how few are those who obtain due rewards in war, in comparison of those numbers that perish? Doubtless you will answer that there is no parity between them, that the dead cannot be reckoned up; whereas those who live and are rewarded may be numbered with three figures.[9] It is quite otherwise with scholars, not only those who follow the law, but others also, who all either by hook or by crook get a livelihood; so that though the soldier's sufferings be much greater, yet his reward is much less. To this it may be answered, that it is easier to reward two thousand scholars, than thirty thousand soldiers, because the former are recompensed at the expense of the public, by giving them employments, but the latter cannot be gratified but at the cost of the master that employs them; yet this very difficulty makes good my argument. Now for a man to attain to an eminent degree of learning costs him time, watching, hunger, nakedness, dizziness in the head, weakness in the stomach, and other inconveniences, which are the consequences of these, of which I have already in part made mention. But the rising gradually to be a good soldier is purchased at the whole expense of all that is required for learning, and that in so surpassing a degree that there is no comparison betwixt them, because he is every moment in danger of his life. To what danger or distress can a scholar be reduced equal to that of a soldier, who, being besieged in some strong place, and at his post in some ravelin or bastion, perceives the enemy carrying on a mine under him, and yet must upon no account remove from thence, or shun the danger which threatens him? All he can do is, to give notice to his commander, that he may countermine, but must himself stand still, fearing and expecting, when on a sudden he shall soar to the clouds without wings, and be again cast down headlong against his will. If this danger seem inconsiderable, let us see whether that be not greater when two galleys shock one another with their prows in the midst of the spacious sea. When they have thus grappled, and are clinging together, the soldier is confined to the narrow beak, being a board not above two feet wide; and yet though he sees before him so many ministers of [Pg 139] death threatening, as there are pieces of cannon on the other side pointing against him, and not half a pike's length from his body; and being sensible that the first slip of his feet sends him to the bottom of Neptune's dominions,—still, for all this, inspired by honour, with an undaunted heart, he stands a mark to so much fire, and endeavours to make his way by that narrow passage into the enemy's vessel. But what is most to be admired is, that no sooner one falls, where he shall never rise till the end of the world, than another steps into the same place; and if he also drops into the sea, which lies in wait for him like an enemy, another, and after him another, still fills up the place, without suffering any interval of time to separate their deaths; a resolution and boldness scarce to be paralleled in any other trials of war. Blessed be those happy ages that were strangers to the dreadful fury of these devilish instruments of artillery which is the cause that very often a cowardly base hand takes away the life of the bravest gentleman, and that in the midst of that vigour and resolution which animates and inflames the bold, a chance bullet (shot perhaps by one that fled, and was frighted at the very flash the mischievous piece gave when it went off) coming nobody knows how or from whence, in a moment puts a period to the brave designs, and the life, of one that deserved to have survived many years. This considered, I could almost say I am sorry at my heart for having taken upon me this profession of a knight-errant in so detestable an age; for though no danger daunts me, yet it affects me to think that powder and lead may deprive me of the opportunity of becoming famous, and making myself known throughout the world by the strength of my arm and dint of my sword. But let Heaven order matters as it pleases; for if I compass my designs, I shall be so much the more honoured by how much the dangers I have exposed myself to are greater than those the knights-errant of former ages underwent."

[9] i.e. do not exceed hundreds.

All this long preamble Don Quixote made whilst the company supped, never minding to eat a mouthful, though Sancho Panza had several times advised him to mind his meat, telling him there would be time enough afterwards to talk as he thought fit. Those who heard him were afresh moved with compassion, to see a man who seemed, in all other respects, to have a sound judgment, so distracted when any mention was made of knight-errantry.


CHAPTER XXVI.

Of occurrences at the inn; and of many other things worthy to be known.

Night was now advanced, and a coach arrived at the inn with some horsemen. The travellers wanted lodging for the night, [Pg 140] but the hostess told them that there was not an inch of room disengaged in the whole inn. "Notwithstanding that," said one of the men on horseback, "there must be room made for my lord judge here in the coach." On hearing this the hostess was disturbed and said, "Sir, the truth is, I have no bed; but if his worship, my lord judge, brings one with him, let him enter in God's name; for I and my husband will quit our own chamber to accommodate his honour."

"Be it so," quoth the squire; and by this time a person had alighted from the coach whose garb immediately shewed the nature and dignity of his station; for his long gown and tucked-up sleeves denoted him to be a judge, as his servant had said. He led by the hand a young lady apparently about sixteen years of age, in a riding-dress, so lovely and elegant in her person that all were struck with so much admiration that, had they not seen Dorothea and Lucinda, they would never have believed that there was such another beautiful damsel in existence. Don Quixote was present at their entrance, and he thus addressed them: "Your worship may securely enter and range this castle; for, however confined and inconvenient it may be, place will always be found for arms and letters; especially when, like your worship, they appear under the patronage of beauty; for to this fair maiden not only castles should throw open wide their gates, but rocks divide and separate, and mountains bow their lofty heads in salutation. Enter, sir, into this paradise; for here you will find suns and stars worthy of that lovely heaven you bring with you. Here you will find arms in their zenith, and beauty in perfection!" The judge marvelled greatly at this speech, and he earnestly surveyed the knight, no less astonished by his appearance than his discourse; and was considering what to say in reply, when the other ladies made their appearance, attracted by the account the hostess had given of the beauty of the young lady. Don Fernando, Cardenio, and the priest, paid their compliments in a more intelligible manner than Don Quixote, and all the ladies of the castle welcomed the fair stranger. In short, the judge easily perceived that he was in the company of persons of distinction; but the mien, visage, and behaviour of Don Quixote confounded him. After mutual courtesies and inquiries as to what accommodation the inn afforded, the arrangements previously made were adopted; namely, that all the women should lodge in the large chamber, and the men remain without, as their guard. The judge was content that the young lady, who was his daughter, should accompany the other ladies; and she herself readily consented: thus, with the innkeeper's narrow bed, together with that which the judge had brought with him, they passed the night better than they had expected.

The night being now far advanced, they proposed retiring to repose during the remainder, Don Quixote offering his service to [Pg 141] guard the castle, lest some giant or other miscreant errant, tempted by the treasure of beauty there enclosed, should presume to make an attack upon it. His friends thanked him, and took occasion to amuse the judge with an account of his strange frenzy. Sancho Panza alone was out of all patience at sitting up so late. However, he was better accommodated than any of them, upon the accoutrements of his ass, for which he dearly paid, as shall be hereafter related. The ladies having retired to their chamber, and the rest accommodated as well as they could be, Don Quixote, according to his promise, sallied out of the inn to take his post at the castle-gate.

A short time before daybreak, a voice reached the ears of the ladies, so sweet and melodious that it forcibly arrested their attention, especially that of Dorothea, by whose side slept Donna Clara de Viedma, the daughter of the judge. The voice was unaccompanied by any instrument, and they were surprised at the skill of the singer. Sometimes they fancied that the sound proceeded from the yard, and at other times from the stable. While they were in this uncertainty, Cardenio came to the chamber-door and said, "If you are not asleep, pray listen, and you will hear one of the muleteers singing enchantingly." Dorothea told him that they had heard him, upon which Cardenio retired. Then listening with much attention, Dorothea plainly distinguished the following words.


CHAPTER XXVII.

The agreeable history of the young muleteer; with other strange accidents.

I.
Toss'd in doubts and fears I rove
On the stormy seas of love;
Far from comfort, far from port,
Beauty's prize, and fortune's sport;
Yet my heart disdains despair
While I trace my leading-star.
II.
But reservedness, like a cloud,
Does too oft her glories shroud.
Pierce to the gloom, reviving light!
Be auspicious as you're bright.
As you hide or dart your beams,
Your adorer sinks or swims!

Dorothea thought it was a great loss to Donna Clara not to hear such excellent singing; she therefore gave her a gentle shake and awoke her. "Excuse me, my dear, for disturbing you," she said, "since it is only that you may have the pleasure of [Pg 142] hearing the sweetest voice which perhaps you ever heard in your life." Clara, half awake, was obliged to ask Dorothea to repeat what she had said to her; after which she endeavoured to command her attention, but had no sooner heard a few words of the song than she was seized with a fit of trembling as violent as the attack of a quartan ague; and, clinging round Dorothea, she cried, "Ah, my dear lady! why did you wake me? The greatest service that could be done me would be for ever to close both my eyes and ears, that I might neither see nor hear that unhappy musician." "What do you say, my dear?" answered Dorothea; "is it not a muleteer who is singing?" "Oh no," replied Clara; "he is a young gentleman of large possessions, and so much master of my heart that, if he reject it not, it shall be his eternally." Dorothea was surprised at the passionate expressions of the girl, which she would not have expected from one of her tender years. She therefore said to her, "Your words surprise me, Sig˝ora Clara; explain yourself farther; what is this you say of heart and possessions—and who is this musician whose voice affects you so much? But stay, do not speak just yet; he seems to be preparing to sing again, and I must not lose the pleasure of hearing him." Clara, however, stopped her own ears with both hands, to Dorothea's great surprise, who listened very attentively to the music.

When the singing had ceased, Donna Clara again began to sigh; and all this so excited Dorothea's curiosity, that she pressed her to explain what she had just before said. Clara embraced her, and putting her face close to her ear, she whispered, lest she should be overheard by Lucinda, "that singer, my dear madam," said she, "is the son of an Arragonian gentleman who is lord of two towns, and, when at court, lives opposite to my father. Although my father kept his windows covered with canvass in the winter, and lattices in summer, it happened, by some chance, that this young gentleman saw me—whether at church or where it was I know not, but in truth he fell in love with me, and expressed his passion from the window of his house, by so many signs and so many tears that I was forced to believe him, and even to love him too. Among other signs he often joined one hand with the other, signifying his desire to marry me; and though I should have been very glad if it might have been so, yet being alone, and having no mother, I knew not who to speak to on the subject, and therefore let it rest, without granting him any other favour than, when his father and mine were both abroad, to lift up the lattice-window, just to shew myself, at which he seemed so delighted that you would have thought him mad. When the time of my father's departure drew near, he heard of it, though not from me, for I never had an opportunity to speak to him; and soon after he fell sick, as I was told, for grief; so that, on the day we came away, I could not see him [Pg 143] to say farewell, though it were only with my eyes. But, after we had travelled two days, on entering a village about a day's journey hence, I saw him at the door of an inn, in the habit of a muleteer, so disguised that, had not his image been deeply imprinted in my heart, I could not have known him. I was surprised and overjoyed at the sight of him, and he stole looks at me unobserved by my father, whom he carefully avoids when he passes, either on the road or at the inns. When I think who he is, and how he travels on foot, bearing so much fatigue, for love of me, I am ready to die with pity, and cannot help following him with my eyes. I cannot imagine what his intentions are, nor how he could leave his father, who loves him passionately, having no other heir, and also because he is so very deserving, as you will perceive, when you see him. I can assure you, besides, that all he sings is of his own composing; for I have heard that he is a great scholar and a poet. Every time I see him, or hear him sing, I tremble all over with fright, lest my father should recollect him, and discover our inclinations. Although I never spoke a word to him in my life, yet I love him so well that I never can live without him. This, dear madam, is all I can tell you about him whose voice has pleased you so much; by that alone you may easily perceive he is no muleteer, but master of hearts and towns, as I have already told you."

"Enough, my dear Clara," said Dorothea, kissing her a thousand times; "you need not say more; compose yourself till morning, for I hope to be able to manage your affair so that the conclusion may be as happy as the beginning is innocent." "Ah, sig˝ora!" said Donna Clara, "what conclusion can be expected, since his father is of such high rank and fortune that I am not worthy to be even his servant, much less his wife? As to marrying without my father's knowledge, I would not do it for all the world. I only wish this young man would go back and leave me; absence, perhaps, may lessen the pain I now feel; though I fear it will not have much effect. What a strange sorcery this love is! I know not how it came to possess me, so young as I am—in truth, I believe we are both of the same age, and I am not yet sixteen, nor shall I be, as my father says, until next Michaelmas." Dorothea could not forbear smiling at Donna Clara's childish simplicity; however, she entreated her again to sleep the remainder of the night, and to hope for every thing in the morning.

Profound silence now reigned over the whole house; all being asleep except the innkeeper's daughter and her maid Maritornes, who, knowing Don Quixote's weak points, determined to amuse themselves by observing him while he was keeping guard without doors. There was no window on that side of the house which overlooked the field, except a small opening to the straw-loft, where the straw was thrown out. At this hole the pair of [Pg 144] damsels planted themselves, whence they commanded a view of the knight on horseback, leaning on his lance, and could hear him, ever and anon, heaving such deep and mournful sighs that they seemed torn from the very bottom of his soul. They could also distinguish words, uttered in a soft, soothing, amorous tone; such as, "O my lady Dulcinea del Toboso! perfection of all beauty, quintessence of discretion, treasury of wit, and pledge of modesty! what may now be thy sweet employment? Art thou, peradventure, thinking of thy captive knight, who voluntarily exposes himself to so many perils and toils for thy sake? O thou luminary, bring me swift tidings of her! Perhaps thou art now gazing at her, envious of her beauty, as she walks through some gallery of her sumptuous palace, or leans over some balcony, considering how she may, without offence to her virtue and dignity, assuage the torment which this poor afflicted heart of mine endures for her! or meditating on what glory she shall bestow on my sufferings, what solace to my cares, or recompense to my long services!" While the knight thus employed himself, four men on horseback came up to the inn, well appointed and accoutred, with carbines hanging on their saddle-bows. Not finding the inn-door open, they called aloud, and knocked very hard; upon which Don Quixote cried out from the place where he stood sentinel, in a loud and imperious tone, "Knights, or squires, or whoever ye are, desist from knocking at the gate of this castle; for at this early hour its inmates are doubtless sleeping; at least they are not accustomed to open the gates of their fortress until the sun has spread his beams over the whole horizon; retire therefore until daylight shall inform us whether it be proper to admit you or not." "What kind of a fortress or castle is this," quoth one of them, "that we are obliged to observe all this ceremony? If you are the innkeeper, make somebody open the door, for we are travellers, and only want to bait our horses, and go on, as we are in haste." "What say ye, sirs—do I look like an innkeeper?" said Don Quixote. "I know not what you look like," answered the other; "but I am sure you talk preposterously to call this inn a castle." "A castle it is," replied Don Quixote, "and one of the best in the whole province; and at this moment contains within its walls persons who have had crowns on their heads and sceptres in their hands." "You had better have said the reverse," quoth the traveller; "the sceptre on the head, and the crown in the hand; but perhaps some company of strolling players are here, who frequently wear such things; this is not a place for any other sort of crowned heads." "Your ignorance must be great," replied Don Quixote, "if you know not that such events are very common in chivalry." The other horseman, impatient at the dialogue, repeated his knocks with so much violence that he roused not only the host, but all the company in the house.


CHAPTER XXVIII.

A continuation of the extraordinary adventures that happened in the inn.

[Pg 145] The door being opened, they inquired of the host whether there was not in the house a youth about fifteen years old, habited like a muleteer—in short, describing Donna Clara's lover. The host said that there were so many people in the inn, that he had not observed such a person as they described. But one of them just then seeing the judge's coach, said, "He must certainly be here, for there is the coach which he is said to follow. Let one of us remain here, and the rest go in to search for him; and it would not be amiss for one of us to ride round the house, in case he should attempt to escape over the pales of the yard." All this they immediately did, much to the innkeeper's surprise, who could not guess the meaning of so much activity.

It was now full daylight, and most of the company in the house were rising; among the first were Donna Clara and Dorothea, who had slept but indifferently; the one from concern at being so near her lover, and the other from a desire of seeing him. In the mean time the men pursued their search after the youth, and at last found him peaceably sleeping by the side of a muleteer. One of them, pulling him by the arm, said, "Upon my word, Sig˝or Don Louis, your dress is very becoming a gentleman like you, and the bed you lie on is very suitable to the tenderness with which your mother brought you up!" The youth was roused from his sleep, and, looking earnestly at the man who held him, he soon recollected him to be one of his father's servants, and was so confounded that he could not say a word. "Sig˝or Don Louis," continued the servant, "you must instantly return home, unless you would cause the death of my lord, your father, he is in such grief at your absence." "Why, how did my father know," said Don Louis, "that I came this road and in this dress?" "He was informed by a student, to whom you mentioned your project, and who was induced to disclose it from compassion at your father's distress. There are four of us here at your service, and we shall be rejoiced to restore you to your family." "That will be as I shall please, or as Heaven may ordain," answered Don Louis. "What, sig˝or, should you please to do but return home?" rejoined the servant; "indeed you cannot do otherwise."

The muleteer who had been Don Louis's companion, hearing this contest, went to acquaint Don Fernando and the rest of the company with what was passing, telling them that the man had called the young lad Don, and wanted him to return to his father's house, but that he refused to go. They all recollected [Pg 146] his fine voice, and being eager to know who he was, and to assist him if any violence were offered him, they repaired to the place where he was contending with his servant. Dorothea now came out of her chamber with Donna Clara; and, calling Cardenio aside, she related to him in a few words the history of the musician and Donna Clara. He then told her of the search that had been made after the young man by the servants; and although he whispered, he was overheard by Donna Clara, who was thrown into such an agony by the intelligence, that she would have fallen to the ground if Dorothea had not supported her. Cardenio advised her to retire with Donna Clara, while he endeavoured to make some arrangements in their behalf. Don Louis was now surrounded by all the four servants, entreating that he would immediately return to comfort his father. He answered that he could not possibly do so until he had accomplished that on which his life, his honour, and his soul depended. The servants still urged him, saying they would certainly not go back without him, and that they must compel him to return if he refused. "That you shall not do," replied Don Louis; "at least you shall not take me living." This contest had now drawn together most of the people in the house; Don Fernando, Cardenio, the judge, the priest, the barber, and even Don Quixote had quitted his post of castleguard. Cardenio, already knowing the young man's story, asked the men why they would take away the youth against his will. "To save his father's life," replied one of them; "which is in danger from distress of mind." "There is no occasion to give an account of my affairs here," said Don Louis; "I am free, and will go back if I please; otherwise none of you shall force me." "But reason will prevail with you," answered the servant; "and if not, we must do our duty." "Hold," said the judge; "let us know the whole of this affair." The man (who recollected him) answered, "Does not your worship know this gentleman? He is your neighbour's son, and has absented himself from his father's house, in a garb very unbecoming his quality, as your worship may see." The judge, after looking at him with attention, recognised him, and accosted him in a friendly manner: "What childish frolic is this, Sig˝or Don Louis," said he; "or what powerful motive has induced you to disguise yourself in a manner so unbecoming your rank?" The eyes of the youth were filled with tears, and he could not say a word. The judge desired the servants to be quiet, promising that all should be well; and taking Don Louis by the hand, he led him aside and questioned him.

The youth, clasping his hands, as if some great affliction wrung his heart, and shedding tears in abundance, said, in answer, "I can only say, dear sir, that, from the moment Heaven was pleased, by means of our vicinity, to give me a sight of Donna Clara, your daughter, she became sovereign mistress of my affections; and if [Pg 147] you, my true lord and father, do not oppose it, this very day she shall be my wife. For her I left my father's house, and for her I assumed this garb, to follow her wheresoever she might go. She knows herself no more of my passion than what she may have perceived, by occasionally seeing at a distance my eyes full of tenderness and tears. You know, my lord, the wealth and rank of my family, of whom I am the sole heir; if these circumstances can plead in my favour, receive me immediately for your son: for though my father, influenced by other views of his own, should not approve my choice, time may reconcile him to it." Here the enamoured youth was silent; and the judge remained in suspense, no less surprised by the ingenuous confession of Don Louis than perplexed how to act in the affair; in reply, therefore, he only desired him to be calm for the present, and not let his servants return that day, that there might be time to consider what was most expedient to be done. Don Louis kissed his hands with vehemence, bathing them with tears that might have softened a heart of marble, much more that of the judge, who, being a man of sense, was aware how advantageous this match would be for his daughter. Nevertheless, he would rather, if possible, that it should take place with the consent of Don Louis's father, who he knew had pretensions to a title for his son.

Now it so happened that, at this time, the very barber entered the inn who had been deprived of Mambrino's helmet by Don Quixote, and of the trappings of his ass by Sancho Panza; and as he was leading his beast to the stable, he espied Sancho Panza, who at that moment was repairing something about the self-same pannel. He instantly fell upon him with fury: "Ah, thief!" said he, "have I got you at last!—give me my basin and my pannel, with all the furniture you stole from me!" Sancho, finding himself thus suddenly attacked and abused, secured the pannel with one hand, and with the other made the barber such a return, that his mouth was bathed in blood. Nevertheless, the barber would not let go his hold; but raised his voice so high that he drew every body round him, while he called out, "Justice, in the king's name! This rogue and highway robber here would murder me for endeavouring to recover my own goods." "You lie," answered Sancho; "I am no highway robber; my master, Don Quixote, won these spoils in fair war." Don Quixote was now present, and not a little pleased to see how well his squire acted both on the offensive and defensive; and, regarding him thenceforward as a man of mettle, he resolved in his mind to dub him a knight the first opportunity that offered, thinking the order of chivalry would be well bestowed upon him.

During this contest the barber made many protestations. "Gentlemen," said he, "this pannel is certainly mine; and moreover, the very day they took this from me, they robbed me [Pg 148] likewise of a new brass basin, never hanselled, that cost me a crown." Here Don Quixote could not forbear interposing. "The error of this honest squire," said he, "is manifest, in calling that a basin which is Mambrino's helmet:—that helmet which I won in fair war, and am therefore its right and lawful possessor. In confirmation of what I say, go, Sancho, and bring hither the helmet which this honest man terms a basin." "In faith, sir," quoth Sancho, "if we have no better proof than that of what your worship says, Mambrino's helmet will prove as arrant a basin as the honest man's trappings are a pack-saddle." "Do what I command," replied Don Quixote; "for surely all things in this castle cannot be governed by enchantment." Sancho went for the basin, and, returning with it, he gave it to Don Quixote. "Only behold, gentlemen," said he; "how can this squire have the face to declare that this is a basin, and not the helmet which I have described to you! By the order of knighthood which I profess, I swear that this very helmet is the same which I took from him, without addition or diminution." "There is no doubt of that," quoth Sancho, "for from the time my master won it until now, he has fought but one battle in it, which was when he freed those unlucky galley-slaves; and had it not been for that same basin-helmet, he would not have got off so well from the showers of stones which rained upon him in that skirmish."


CHAPTER XXIX.

In which the dispute concerning Mambrino's helmet is decided; with other adventures that really and truly happened.

"Good sirs," quoth the barber, "hear what these gentlefolks say! They will have it that this is no basin, but a helmet!" "Ay," said Don Quixote; "and whoever shall affirm the contrary, I will convince him, if he be a knight, that he lies, and if a squire, that he lies and lies again, a thousand times." Our barber, master Nicholas, who was present, wishing to carry on the jest for the amusement of the company, addressed himself to the other barber, and said, "Sig˝or barber, know that I am of your profession, and am well acquainted with all the instruments of barber-surgery, without exception. I have likewise been a soldier in my youth, and therefore know what a helmet is, and I say, with submission, that the piece before us not only is not a barber's basin, but is as far from being so, as white is from black and truth from falsehood." "Whether it be or not," said the priest, "must be left to the decision of Sig˝or Don Quixote: for in matters of chivalry all these gentlemen and myself submit to his judgment." "Gentlemen," said Don Quixote, "such extraordinary [Pg 149] things have befallen me in this castle, that I dare not vouch for the certainty of any thing that it may contain; for I verily believe that all is conducted by the powers of enchantment."

To those acquainted with Don Quixote, all this was choice entertainment; while to others it seemed the height of folly, among which were Don Louis, his servants, and three other guests, troopers of the holy brotherhood, who just then arrived at the inn. One of the officers of the holy brotherhood, who had overheard the dispute, cried out, full of indignation, "It is as surely a basin as my father is my father; and whosoever says, or shall say, to the contrary, must be mad or drunk." "You lie like a pitiful scoundrel," answered Don Quixote; and, lifting up his lance, which was still in his hand, he aimed such a blow at the head of the trooper, that, had he not slipped aside, he would have been levelled to the ground. The lance came down with such fury that it was shivered to pieces. "Help, help the holy brotherhood!" cried out the other officers. The innkeeper, being himself one of that body, ran instantly for his wand and his sword, to support his comrades. Don Louis's servants surrounded their master, lest he should escape during the confusion. The barber, perceiving the house turned topsy-turvy, laid hold again of his basin, and Sancho did the same. Don Quixote drew his sword, and fell upon the troopers; and Don Louis called out to his servants to leave him, that they might assist Don Quixote, Cardenio, and Don Fernando, who all took part with the knight. The priest cried out, the hostess shrieked, her daughter wept, Maritornes roared, Dorothea was alarmed, Lucinda stood amazed, and Donna Clara fainted away. The barber cuffed Sancho, and Sancho pommelled the barber. Don Fernando got one of the troopers down, and laid on his blows most unmercifully; while the innkeeper bawled aloud for help to the holy brotherhood. Thus was the whole inn filled with cries, wailings, and shrieks, dismay, confusion, and terror, kicks, cudgellings, and effusion of blood. In the midst of this chaos and hurly-burly, Don Quixote suddenly conceived that he was involved over head and ears in the discord of King Agramante's camp; and he called out in a voice which made the whole inn shake, "Hold, all of you! Put up your swords; be pacified, and listen all to me, if ye would live." His vehemence made them desist, and he went on, saying: "Did I not tell you, sirs, that this castle was enchanted, and that some legion of devils must inhabit it? Behold the confirmation of what I said! Mark, with your own eyes, how the discord of Agramante's camp is transferred hither amongst us! there they fight for the sword, here for the horse, yonder for the eagle, here again for the helmet: we all fight, and no one understands another. Let, then, my lord judge and his reverence the priest come forward, the one as King Agramante, the other as King Sobrino, [Pg 150] and restore us to peace; for, truly, it were most disgraceful and iniquitous that so many gentlemen of our rank should slay each other for such trivial matters."

Amity and peace having been restored by the interposition of the judge and the priest, the servants of Don Louis renewed their solicitations for his return. The judge having, in the mean time, informed Don Fernando, Cardenio, and the priest, of what had passed between himself and the young man, he consulted with them on the affair; and it was finally agreed that Don Fernando should make himself known to Don Louis's servants, and inform them that it was his desire that the young gentleman should accompany him to Andalusia, where he would be treated by the marquis his brother in a manner suitable to his quality; for his determination was, at all events, not to return, just at that time, into his father's presence. The servants being apprised of Don Fernando's rank, and finding Don Louis resolute, agreed among themselves, that three of them should return to give his father account of what had passed, and that the others should stay to attend Don Louis, and not leave him until he knew his lord's pleasure. Thus was this complicated tumult appeased by the authority of Agramante, and the prudence of Sobrino.

But the enemy of peace and concord, finding himself foiled and disappointed in the scanty produce of so promising a field, resolved to try his fortune once more, by contriving new frays and disturbances. The officers of the holy brotherhood, on hearing the quality of their opponents, retreated from the fray, thinking that whatever might be the issue, they were likely to be losers. But one of this body, who had been severely handled by Don Fernando, happening to recollect that, among other warrants in his possession, he had one against Don Quixote, whom his superiors had ordered to be taken into custody for releasing galley-slaves, determined to examine whether the person of Don Quixote answered the description; thus confirming Sancho's just apprehensions. He drew forth a parchment scroll from his doublet, and began to read it slowly (for he was not much of a scholar), ever and anon, as he proceeded, fixing his eyes on Don Quixote, comparing the marks in his warrant with the lines of his physiognomy. Finding them exactly to correspond, and being convinced that he was the very person therein described, he held out the warrant in his left hand, while with his right, he seized Don Quixote by the collar with so powerful a grasp as almost to strangle him, at the same time crying aloud,—"Help the holy brotherhood! and, that you may see I require it in earnest, read this warrant, wherein it is expressly ordered that this highway robber should be apprehended." The priest took the warrant, and found what the trooper said was true; the description exactly corresponding with the person of Don Quixote. The knight, finding himself so rudely handled by this scoundrel, [Pg 151] was exasperated to the highest pitch, and, trembling with rage, caught the trooper by the throat with both hands; and, had he not been immediately rescued by his comrades, he would certainly have been strangled. "What my master says is true," exclaimed Sancho, "about the enchantments of this castle; for it is impossible to live an hour quietly in it." Don Fernando at length parted the officer and Don Quixote, and, to the satisfaction of both, unlocked their hands from the doublet collar of the one, and from the windpipe of the other. Nevertheless the troopers persisted in claiming their prisoner; declaring that the king's service, and that of the holy brotherhood, required it; in whose name they again demanded help and assistance in apprehending that common robber and highway thief. Don Quixote smiled at these expressions, and, with great calmness, said, "Come hither, base and ill-born crew: call ye it robbing on the highway to loosen the chains of the captive, to set the prisoner free, to succour the oppressed, to raise the fallen, to relieve the needy and wretched? Tell me, ye rogues in a troop!—not troopers, but highway marauders, under license of the holy brotherhood—who was the blockhead that signed the warrant for apprehending such a knight as I am? What knight-errant ever paid custom, poll-tax, subsidy, quit-rent, porterage, or ferry-boat? What tailor ever brought in a bill for making his clothes? What governor that lodged him in his castle ever made him pay for his entertainment? What king did not seat him at his table? Finally, what knight-errant ever did, or shall exist, who has not courage, with his single arm, to bestow a hundred bastinadoes on any four hundred troopers of the holy brotherhood who shall dare to oppose him?"


CHAPTER XXX.

The notable adventure of the Holy Brotherhood; with an account of the ferocity of our good Knight, Don Quixote.

While Don Quixote was thus haranguing the officers, the priest was endeavouring to persuade them that, since Don Quixote, as they might easily perceive, was deranged in his mind, it was useless for them to proceed farther in the affair; for, if they were to apprehend him, he would soon be released as insane. But the trooper only said, in answer, that it was not his business to judge of the state of Don Quixote's intellects, but to obey the order of his superior; and that, when he had once secured him, they might set him free as often as they pleased. "Indeed," said the priest, "you must forbear this once; nor do I think that he will suffer himself to be taken." In fact the priest said so much, and Don Quixote acted so extravagantly, that the officers would have [Pg 152] been more crazy than himself had they not desisted after such evidence of his infirmity. They judged it best, therefore, to be quiet, and endeavour to make peace between the barber and Sancho Panza, who still continued their scuffle with great rancour. As officers of justice, therefore, they compounded the matter, and pronounced such a decision that, if both parties were not perfectly contented, at least they were in some degree pacified. As for Mambrino's helmet, the priest, unknown to Don Quixote, paid the barber eight reals, for which he received a discharge in full, acquitting him of all fraud thenceforth and for evermore.

Thus were these important contests decided; and fortune seemed to smile on all the heroes and heroines of the inn—even the face of Donna Clara betrayed the joy of her heart, as the servants of Don Louis had acquiesced in his wishes. The innkeeper, observing the recompense which the priest had made the barber, claimed also the payment of his demands upon Don Quixote, with ample satisfaction for the damage done to his skins, and the loss of his wine. The priest, however, endeavoured to soothe him, and, what was more, Don Fernando settled the knight's account, although the judge would fain have taken the debt upon himself. Peace was therefore entirely restored, and the inn no longer displayed the confusion of Agramante's camp, as Don Quixote had called it, but rather the tranquillity of the days of Octavius CŠsar:—thanks to the mediation and eloquence of the priest, and the liberality of Don Fernando.

Don Quixote, now finding himself disengaged, thought it was time to pursue his journey, and accomplish the grand enterprise to which he had been elected. Accordingly, he approached the princess, and threw himself upon his knees before her; but she would not listen to him in that posture; and therefore, in obedience to her, he arose, and thus addressed her: "It is a common adage, fair lady, that 'diligence is the mother of success;' and experience constantly verifies its truth: the active solicitor brings the doubtful suit to a happy issue. But this truth is never more obvious than in military operations, where expedition and despatch anticipate the designs of the enemy, and victory is secured before he is prepared for defence. I am induced to make these remarks, most exalted lady, because our abode in this castle seems no longer necessary, and may indeed be prejudicial; for who knows but your enemy the giant may, by secret spies, get intelligence of my approach, and thus gain time to fortify himself in some impregnable fortress, against which my vigilance, and the force of my indefatigable arm, may be ineffectual. Therefore, sovereign lady, that his designs may be prevented by our diligence, let us depart quickly in the name of that good fortune which will be yours the moment I come face to face with your enemy." Here Don Quixote was silent, and with dignified composure awaited the answer of the beautiful infanta, who, with [Pg 153] an air of majesty, and in a style corresponding with that of her knight, thus replied: "I am obliged to you, sir knight, for the zeal you testify in my cause, so worthy of a true knight, whose office and employment it is to succour the orphan and distressed; and Heaven grant that our desires may be soon accomplished; that you may see that all women are not ungrateful. As to my departure, let it be instantly; for I have no other will but yours; dispose of me entirely at your pleasure: for she who has committed the defence of her person, and the restoration of her dominions, into your hands, must not oppose what your wisdom shall direct." "I will not," exclaimed Don Quixote, "lose the opportunity of exalting a lady who thus humbleth herself. I will replace her on the throne of her ancestors. Let us depart immediately: for the ardour of my zeal makes me impatient; nor is there aught of danger that can daunt or affright me. Sancho, let Rozinante be saddled, get ready thine own beast, and also her majesty's palfrey; let us take our leave of the governor of the castle, and of these nobles, that we may set forth instantly."

Sancho, who had been present all the time, shook his head, saying, "Ah, master of mine! there are more tricks in the town than are dreamt of; with all respect be it spoken." "What tricks can there be to my prejudice in any town or city in the world, thou bumpkin?" said Don Quixote. "If your worship puts yourself into a passion," answered Sancho, "I will hold my tongue, and not say what I am bound to say, as a faithful squire and a dutiful servant." "Say what thou wilt," replied Don Quixote, "but think not to intimidate me; for it is thy nature to be faint-hearted—mine, to be proof against all fear." "I mean nothing of all this," answered Sancho; "I mean only that I am sure, and positively certain, that this lady who calls herself queen of the great kingdom of Micomicon is no more a queen than my mother; for if she were so, she would not be nuzzling, at every turn and in every corner, with a certain person in the company." Dorothea's colour rose at Sancho's remark; for it was indeed true that her spouse, Don Fernando, now and then, by stealth, had snatched with his lips an earnest of that reward his affections deserved; and Sancho, having observed it, thought this freedom unbecoming the queen of so vast a kingdom. How great was the indignation of Don Quixote, on hearing his squire speak in terms so disrespectful! It was so great that, with a faltering voice and stammering tongue, while living fire darted from his eyes, he cried, "Scoundrel! unmannerly, ignorant, ill-spoken, foul-mouthed, impudent, murmuring, and backbiting villain! How darest thou utter such words in my presence, and in the presence of these illustrious ladies! Avoid my presence, monster of nature, treasury of lies, magazine of deceits, storehouse of rogueries, inventor of mischiefs, publisher of absurdities, and foe to all the honour due to royalty! Begone! appear not before me, on pain [Pg 154] of my severest indignation!" Poor Sancho was so terrified by this storm of passion, that he would have been glad if the earth had opened that instant and swallowed him up; he knew not what to say or do, so he turned his back, and hastened as fast as he could out of the presence of his enraged master.

But the discreet Dorothea, perfectly understanding Don Quixote, in order to pacify his wrath, said, "Be not offended, Sir Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, at the impertinence of your good squire; for, perhaps, he has not spoken without some foundation: nor can it be suspected, considering his good sense and Christian conscience, that he would bear false witness against any body; it is possible that since, as you affirm yourself, sir knight, the powers of enchantment prevail in this castle, Sancho may, by the same diabolical illusion, have seen what he has affirmed, so much to the prejudice of my honour." "Ah!" quoth Don Quixote, "your highness has hit the mark!—some evil apparition must have appeared to this sinner, and represented to him what it was impossible for him to see any other way; for I am perfectly assured of the simplicity and innocence of the unhappy wretch, and that he is incapable of slandering any person living." "So it is, and so it shall be," said Don Fernando; "therefore, Sig˝or Don Quixote, you ought to pardon him, and restore him to your favour, as at first, before these illusions turned his brain." Don Quixote having promised his forgiveness, the priest went for Sancho, who came in with much humility, and, on his knees, begged his master's hand, which was given to him; and after he had allowed him to kiss it, he gave him his blessing, adding, "Thou wilt now, son Sancho, be thoroughly convinced of what I have often told thee, that all things in this castle are conducted by enchantment." "I believe so too," quoth Sancho, "except the business of the blanket, which I am persuaded really fell out in the ordinary way."

This illustrious company had now passed two days in the inn; and thinking it time to depart, they considered how the priest and barber might convey the knight to his home, without troubling Dorothea and Don Fernando to accompany them; and for that purpose, having first engaged a waggoner who happened to pass by with his team of oxen, they proceeded in the following manner: They formed a kind of cage, with poles grate-wise, large enough to contain Don Quixote at his ease; then, by the direction of the priest, Don Fernando and his companions, with Don Louis's servants, the officers of the holy brotherhood, and the innkeeper, covered their faces and disguised themselves so as not to be recognised by Don Quixote. This done, they silently entered the room where the knight lay fast asleep, reposing after his late exertions, and secured him with cords; so that when he awoke, he stared about in amazement at the strange visages that surrounded him, but found himself totally unable to move. His disordered [Pg 155] imagination operating as usual, immediately suggested to him that these were goblins of the enchanted castle, and that he was entangled in its charms, since he felt himself unable to stir in his own defence; a surmise which the curate, who projected the stratagem, had anticipated. Sancho alone was in his own proper figure; and though he wanted but little of being infected with his master's infirmity, yet he was not ignorant who all these counterfeit goblins were. Having brought the cage into the chamber, they placed him within it, and secured it so that it was impossible he should make his escape; in this situation he was conveyed out of the house; and on leaving the chamber, a voice was heard as dreadful as the barber could form, saying, "O Knight of the Sorrowful Figure! let not thy present confinement afflict thee, since it is essential to the speedy accomplishment of the adventure in which thy great valour hath engaged thee; which shall be finished when the furious Manchegan lion shall be coupled with the white Tobosian dove, after having submitted their stately necks to the soft matrimonial yoke; from which wonderful union shall spring into the light of the world brave whelps, who shall emulate the ravaging claws of their valorous sire.—And thou, O the most noble and obedient squire that ever had sword in belt! be not dismayed to see the flower of knight-errantry carried thus away before thine eyes; for, ere long, thou shalt see thyself so exalted and sublimated as not to know thyself; and thus will the promises of thy valorous lord be fulfilled. Be assured, moreover, that thy wages shall be punctually paid thee: follow, therefore, the valorous and enchanted knight; for it is expedient for thee to go where ye both may find repose. More I am not permitted to say. Heaven protect thee! I now go—I well know whither!"

Don Quixote was much comforted by this prophecy, quickly comprehending the whole signification thereof; for he saw that it promised him the felicity of being joined in holy wedlock with his beloved Dulcinea del Toboso. Upon the strength of this conviction, he exclaimed, with a deep sigh, "O thou, whoever thou art, who hast prognosticated me so much good, I beseech thee to intercede in my behalf with the sage enchanter who hath the charge of my affairs, that he suffer me not to perish in the prison wherein I am now enclosed, before these promises of joyful and heavenly import are fulfilled." The goblins then took the cage on their shoulders, and placed it on the waggon.


CHAPTER XXXI.

Of the strange and wonderful manner in which Don Quixote de la Mancha was enchanted; with other remarkable occurrences.

[Pg 156] "Many very grave historians of knights-errant have I read," said Don Quixote, on finding himself thus cooped up and carted, "but I never read, saw, or heard of enchanted knights being transported in this manner, and so slowly as these lazy, heavy animals seem to proceed; for they were usually conveyed through the air with wonderful speed, enveloped in some thick and dark cloud, or on some chariot of fire, or mounted upon a hippogriff, or some such animal. But to be carried upon a team drawn by oxen, it overwhelms me with confusion!"

Don Fernando and Cardenio, fearing lest Sancho should see into the whole of their plot, resolved to hasten their departure; and calling the innkeeper aside, they ordered him to saddle Rozinante and pannel the ass, which he did with great expedition. In the mean while the priest engaged to pay the troopers to accompany Don Quixote home to his village. Cardenio made signs to Sancho to mount his ass and lead Rozinante by the bridle. But before the car moved forward, the hostess, her daughter, and Maritornes, came out to take their leave of Don Quixote, pretending to shed tears for grief at his misfortune. "Weep not, my good ladies," said the knight, "for disasters of this kind are incident to those of my profession. Pardon me, fair ladies, if I have through inadvertence given you any offence; for intentionally I never offended any person; and I beseech you to pray Heaven for my deliverance from my present thraldom; and if ever I find myself at liberty, I shall not forget the favours you have done me in this castle, but shall acknowledge and requite them as they deserve."

While this passed, the priest and the barber took their leave of Don Fernando and his companions, the captain, and of all the ladies, now supremely happy. Don Fernando requested the priest to give him intelligence of Don Quixote, assuring him that nothing would afford him more satisfaction than to hear of his future proceedings; and he promised, on his part, to inform him of whatever might amuse or please him respecting his own marriage, and the return of Lucinda to her parents, and also the issue of Don Louis's affair. The priest engaged to perform all that was desired of him with the utmost punctuality; after which they separated with many expressions of mutual cordiality and good-will. Don Quixote sat in the cage with his hands tied and his legs stretched out, leaning against the bars as silently and patiently as if he had been, not a man of flesh and blood, but a statue of stone. In this manner they travelled about two leagues, [Pg 157] when they came to a valley which the waggoner thought a convenient place for resting and baiting his cattle; but, on his proposing it, the barber recommended that they should travel a little farther, as beyond the next rising ground there was a vale that afforded much better pasture; and this advice was followed.

The priest, happening about this time to look back, perceived behind them six or seven horsemen, well mounted and accoutred, who soon came up with them. One of the travellers, who was a canon of Toledo, and master to those who accompanied him, observing the orderly procession of the waggon, the troopers, Sancho, Rozinante, the priest, and the barber, and especially Don Quixote, caged up and imprisoned, could not forbear making some inquiries; though, on observing the badges of the holy brotherhood, he concluded that they were conveying some notorious robber or other criminal, whose punishment belonged to that fraternity. "Why the gentleman is carried in this manner," replied one of the troopers who was questioned, "he must tell you himself, for we know nothing about the matter." Upon which Don Quixote (having overheard what passed) said, "If perchance, gentlemen, you are conversant in the affairs of chivalry, I will acquaint you with my misfortunes; but if not, I will spare myself that trouble." The priest and the barber, perceiving that the travellers were speaking with Don Quixote, rode up to them, lest any thing should pass that might frustrate their plot. The canon, in answer to Don Quixote, said, "In truth, brother, I am more conversant in books of chivalry than in Villalpando's Summaries; you may, therefore, freely communicate to me whatever you please." "With Heaven's permission, then," replied Don Quixote, "be it known to you, sig˝or cavalier, that I am enchanted in this cage through the envy and fraud of wicked necromancers; for virtue is more persecuted by the wicked than beloved by the good. A knight-errant I am; not one of those whose names fame has forgotten, but one who, in despite of envy itself, and of all the magicians of Persia, the Brahmins of India, and the gymnosophists of Ethiopia, shall enrol his name in the temple of immortality, to serve as a model and mirror to future ages, whereby knights-errant may see the track they are to follow, if they are ambitious of reaching the honourable summit and pinnacle of true glory." "Sig˝or Don Quixote de la Mancha says the truth," said the priest; "for he is conveyed in that enchanted state, not through his own fault or demerit, but the malice of those to whom virtue is odious and courage obnoxious. This, sir, is the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, whose valorous exploits and heroic deeds shall be recorded on solid brass and everlasting marble, in despite of all the efforts of envy and malice to conceal and obscure them." The canon, upon hearing not only the imprisoned but the free man talk in such a style, crossed himself in amazement, nor were his followers less surprised; [Pg 158] and Sancho now coming up, to mend the matter said, "Look ye, gentlemen, let it be well or ill taken, I will out with it: the truth of the case is, my master, Don Quixote, is just as much enchanted as my mother; he is in his perfect senses, he eats and drinks like other men, and as he did yesterday before they cooped him up. This being so, will you persuade me he is enchanted? The enchanted, I have heard say, neither eat, nor sleep, nor speak; but my master here, if nobody stops him, will talk ye more than thirty barristers." Then turning to the priest, he went on saying, "Ah, master priest, master priest, do I not know you? And think you I cannot guess what these new enchantments drive at? Let me tell you I know you, though you do hide your face, and understand you too, sly as you be. But the good cannot abide where envy rules, nor is generosity found in a beggarly breast. Evil befal the devil! Had it not been for your reverence, before this time his worship had been married to the Princess Micomicona, and I had been an earl at least; for I could expect no less from my master's bounty and the greatness of my services. But I find the proverb true, that 'the wheel of fortune turns swifter than a mill-wheel,' and they who were yesterday at the top are to-day at the bottom. I am grieved for my poor wife and children; for, when they might reasonably expect to see their father come home a governor or viceroy of some island or kingdom, they will now see him return a pitiful groom. All this I say, master priest, only to make your paternity feel some conscience in regard to what you are doing with my master; take heed that God does not call you to an account in the next life for this imprisonment of my lord, and require at your hands all the good he might have done during this time of his confinement." "Snuff me these candles," quoth the barber, interrupting the squire; "what! art thou, Sancho, of thy master's fraternity? I begin, indeed, to think thou art likely to keep him company in the cage for thy share of his humour and his chivalry. In an evil hour wert thou lured by his promises, and thy head filled with islands." "I am not lured by any body," answered Sancho; "and though I am a poor man, I am an old Christian, and owe no body any thing; and if I covet islands, there are others who covet worse things; and every one is the son of his own works; and being a man, I may come to be pope, and much more easily governor of an island, especially since my master may win so many that he may be at a loss where to bestow them."

The canon and his servants then rode on before with the priest, who entertained him with a circumstantial account of Don Quixote, from the first symptoms of his derangement to his present situation in the cage. The canon was surprised at what he heard. "Truly," said he to the curate, "those tales of chivalry are very prejudicial to the common weal; and, though led away by an idle and false taste, I have read in part almost all that are printed, I [Pg 159] could never get through the whole of any one of them, they are all so much alike. In my opinion, this kind of writing and composition falls under the head of what are called Milesian fables, which are extravagant stories, calculated merely to amuse, and very unlike those moral tales which are no less instructive than entertaining; and though the principal object of such books is to please, I know not how they can attain that end by such monstrous absurdities; for the mind receives pleasure from the beauty and consistency of what is presented to the imagination, not from that which is incongruous and unnatural. Where is the sense or consistency of a tale in which a youth of sixteen hews down a giant as tall as a steeple, and splits him in two as if he were made of paste? Or how are we to be interested in the detail of a battle, when we are told that a hero contends alone against a million of adversaries, and obtains the victory by his single arm? I have never yet found a regular well-connected fable in any of our books of chivalry; they are all inconsistent and monstrous; the style is generally bad; and they abound with incredible exploits, absurd sentiments, and miraculous adventures; in short, they should be banished every Christian country."

The priest listened attentively to these observations of the canon, which he thought were perfectly just; and he told him that he also had such an enmity to those tales of chivalry, that he had destroyed all that Don Quixote had possessed, which were not a few in number; and he amused the canon very much by his account of the formal trial and condemnation through which they had passed.

The canon contemplated the Don with great surprise; for he displayed in conversation a very good understanding, and seemed, as it hath been before observed, only to lose his stirrups on the theme of chivalry; and he was induced, out of compassion to his infirmity, to address him on the subject:

"Is it possible, worthy sir," said the canon, "that the idle study of books of chivalry should so powerfully have affected your brain as to make you believe you are now enchanted, with other fancies of the same kind as far from truth as falsehood itself? For my own part, I confess, when I read them without reflecting on their falsehood and folly, they give me some amusement; but when I consider what they are, I dash them against the wall, and even commit them to the flames when I am near a fire, as well deserving such a fate, for their want of common sense, and their injurious tendency in misleading the uninformed. Nay, they may even disturb the intellects of sensible and well-born gentlemen, as is manifest by the effect they have had on your worship, who is reduced by them to such a state that you are forced to be shut up in a cage, and carried on a team from place to place, like some lion or tiger exhibited for money. Ah, Sig˝or Don Quixote! have pity on yourself, shake off this folly, and employ the [Pg 160] talents with which Heaven has blessed you in the cultivation of literature more subservient to your honour, as well as profitable to your mind. If a strong natural impulse still leads you to books containing the exploits of heroes, read in the Holy Scriptures the book of Judges, where you will meet with wonderful truths and achievements no less heroic than true."

Don Quixote listened with great attention to the canon till he had ceased speaking, and then, looking stedfastly in his face, he replied, "I conceive, sir, that you mean to insinuate that there never were knights-errant in the world; that all books of chivalry are false, mischievous, and unprofitable to the commonwealth; and that I have done ill in reading, worse in believing, and still worse in imitating them; and also that you deny that there ever existed the Amadises either of Gaul or of Greece, or any of those celebrated knights?" "I mean precisely what you say," replied the canon. "You also were pleased to add, I believe," continued Don Quixote, "that those books had done me much prejudice, having injured my brain, and occasioned my imprisonment in a cage; and that it would be better for me to change my course of study, and read other books, more true, more pleasant, and more instructive." "Just so," quoth the canon. "Why then," said Don Quixote, "in my opinion, sir, it is yourself who are deranged and enchanted, since you have deigned to blaspheme an order so universally acknowledged in the world, and its existence so authenticated, that he who denies it merits that punishment you are pleased to say you inflict on certain books. To assert that there never was an Amadis in the world, nor any other of the knights-adventurers of whom so many records remain, is to say that the sun does not enlighten, the frost produce cold, nor the earth yield sustenance. What human ingenuity can make us doubt the truth of that affair between the Infanta Floripes and Guy of Burgundy? Then who can deny the truth of the history of Peter of Provence and the fair Magalona? since even to this day you may see in the king's armory the very peg wherewith the valiant Peter steered the wooden horse that bore him through the air; which peg is somewhat larger than the pole of a coach; and near it lies the saddle of Babieca. In Roncesvalles, too, there may be seen Orlando's horn, the size of a great beam; not to mention many other matters, all so authentic and true, that I say again, whoever denies them must be wholly destitute of sense and reason."

The canon was astonished at Don Quixote's medley of truth and fiction, as well as at the extent of his knowledge on affairs of chivalry; and he replied, "I cannot deny, Sig˝or Don Quixote, but that there is some truth in what you say. That there was a Cid no one will deny, and likewise a Bernardo del Carpio; but that they performed all the exploits ascribed to them I believe there is great reason to doubt. As to Peter of Provence's peg, [Pg 161] and its standing near Babieca's saddle in the king's armory, I confess my sin in being so ignorant or short-sighted that, though I have seen the saddle, I never could discover the peg,—large as it is, according to your description." "Yet unquestionably there it is," replied Don Quixote, "and they say, moreover, that it is kept in a leathern case to prevent rust." "It may be so," answered the canon; "but, in truth, I do not remember to have seen it. Yet even granting it, I am not therefore bound to believe all the stories of so many Amadises, and the whole tribe of knights-errant; and it is extraordinary that a gentleman possessed of your understanding and talents should give credit to such extravagance and absurdity."


CHAPTER XXXII.

Of the ingenious contest between Don Quixote and the Canon; with other incidents.

"A good jest, truly," said Don Quixote, "that books printed with the license of kings and the approbation of the examiners, read with general pleasure, and applauded by great and small, poor and rich, learned and ignorant, nobles and plebeians,—in short, by people of every state and condition, should be all lies, and, at the same time, appear so much like truth! Study well these books, sig˝or; for, believe me, you will find that they will exhilarate and improve your mind. Of myself I can only say, that since I have been a knight-errant I am become valiant, polite, liberal, well-bred, generous, courteous, daring, affable, patient, a sufferer of toils, imprisonments, and enchantments; and although so lately enclosed within a cage like a maniac, yet do I hope, by the valour of my arm, and the favour of Heaven, to see myself in a short time king of some kingdom, when I may display the gratitude and liberality enclosed in this breast of mine; for, upon my faith, sir, the poor man is unable to exercise the virtue of liberality; and the gratitude which consists only in inclination is a dead thing. I shall, therefore, rejoice when fortune presents me with an opportunity of exalting myself, that I may shew my heart in conferring benefits on my friends, especially on poor Sancho Panza here, my squire, who is one of the best men in the world; and I would fain bestow on him an earldom, as I have long since promised: although I am somewhat in doubt of his ability in the government of his estate."

Sancho overhearing his master's last words, said, "Take you the trouble, Sig˝or Don Quixote, to procure me that same earldom which your worship has so often promised, and I have been so long waiting for, and you shall see that I shall not want for [Pg 162] ability to govern it. But even if I should, there are people, I have heard say, who farm these lordships, and, paying the owners so much a-year, take upon themselves the government of the whole; whilst his lordship lolls at his ease, enjoying his estate, without concerning himself any further about it. Just so will I do, and give myself no more trouble than needs must, but enjoy myself like any duke, and let the world rub." "This, brother Sancho," said the canon, "may be done, as far as regards the management of your revenue; but the administration of justice must be attended to by the lord himself; and requires capacity, judgment, and above all, an upright intention, without which nothing prospers: for Heaven assists the good intent of the simple, and disappoints the evil designs of the cunning." "I do not understand these philosophies," answered Sancho; "all I know is, that I wish I may as surely have an earldom as I should know how to govern it; for I have as large a soul as another, and as large a body as the best of them; and I should be as much king of my own dominion as any other king; and, being so, I would do what I pleased; and, doing what I pleased, I should have my will; and, having my will, I should be contented; and, being content, there is no more to be desired; and, when there is no more to desire, there's an end of it, and let the estate come; so peace be with ye, and let us see it, as one blind man said to another." "These are no bad philosophies, as you say, Sancho," quoth the canon; "nevertheless, there is a great deal more to be said upon the subject of earldoms." "That may be," observed Don Quixote; "but I am guided by the numerous examples offered on this subject by knights of my own profession, who, in compensation for the loyal and signal services they had received from their squires, conferred upon them extraordinary favours, making them absolute lords of cities and islands; indeed, there was one whose services were so great that he had the presumption to accept of a kingdom." With all this methodical raving the canon was no less amused than astonished.

As they were thus employed, they suddenly heard a noise, and the sound of a little bell from a thicket near to them; at the same instant, a beautiful she-goat, speckled with black, white, and grey, ran out of the thicket, followed by a goatherd, calling to her aloud, in the usual language, to stop and come back to the fold. The fugitive animal, trembling and affrighted, ran to the company, claiming, as it were, their protection; but the goatherd pursued her, and, seizing her by the horns, addressed her as a rational creature, "Ah, wanton spotted thing, how hast thou strayed of late! What wolves have frighted thee, child? Wilt thou tell me, pretty one, what this means? But what else can it mean, but that thou art a female, and therefore canst not be quiet! A plague on thy humours, and on all theirs whom thou resemblest! Turn back, my dear, turn back; for though not [Pg 163] content, at least thou wilt be more safe in thine own fold, and among thy companions; for if thou, who shouldst protect and guide them, go astray, what must become of them?"

The party were very much amused by the goatherd's remonstrances; and the canon said, "I entreat you, brother, not to be in such haste to force back this goat to her fold; for, since she is a female, she will follow her natural inclination in spite of all your opposition. Come, do not be angry, but eat and drink with us, and let the wayward creature rest herself." At the same time he offered him the hinder quarter of a cold rabbit on the point of a fork. The goatherd thanked him, and accepted his offer; and being then in a better temper, he said, "Do not think me a fool, gentlemen, for talking so seriously to this animal: for, in truth, my words were not without a meaning; and though I am a rustic, I know the difference between conversing with men and beasts." "I doubt it not," said the priest; "indeed, it is well known that the mountains breed learned men, and the huts of shepherds contain philosophers." "At least, sir," replied the goatherd, "they contain men who have some knowledge gained from experience; and if I shall not be intruding, gentlemen, I will tell you a circumstance which confirms it."

"Since this affair," said Don Quixote, "bears somewhat the semblance of an adventure, for my own part, friend, I shall listen to you most willingly: I can answer also for these gentlemen, who are persons of sense, and will relish the curious, the entertaining, and the marvellous, which I doubt not but your story contains; I entreat you, friend, to begin it immediately." "I shall take myself away to the side of yonder brook," said Sancho, "with this pasty, of which I mean to lay in enough to last three days at least: for I have heard my master Don Quixote say that the squire of a knight-errant should eat when he can, and as long as he can, because he may lose his way for six days together in a wood; and then, if a man has not his stomach well filled, or his wallet well provided, there he may stay, till he is turned into a mummy." "Thou art in the right, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "go where thou wilt, and eat what thou canst; my appetite is already satisfied, and my mind only needs refreshment, which the tale of this good man will doubtless afford." The goatherd being now requested by the others of the company to begin his tale, he patted his goat, which he still held by the horns, saying, "Lie thee down by me, speckled fool; for we shall have time enough to return to our fold." The goat seemed to understand him; for as soon as her master was seated, she laid herself quietly down by him, and, looking up into his face, seemed to listen to his story, which he began as follows.


CHAPTER XXXIII.

The Goatherd's narrative.

[Pg 164] "Three leagues from this valley there is a town, which, though small, is one of the richest in these parts; and among its inhabitants was a farmer of such an excellent character, that, though riches generally gain esteem, he was more respected for his good qualities than for his wealth; and his happiness was completed in possessing a daughter of extraordinary beauty, discretion, and virtue. When a child she was lovely, but at the age of sixteen she was perfectly beautiful, and her fame extended over all the neighbouring villages,—nay, even spread itself to the remotest cities, and into the palaces of kings! People came from every part to see her, as some relic, or wonder-working image. Her father guarded her, and she guarded herself; for no padlocks, bolts, or bars, secure a maiden so well as her own reserve. The wealth of the father, and the beauty of the daughter, induced many to seek her hand, insomuch that he whose right it was to dispose of so precious a jewel was perplexed, and knew not whom to select among her importunate suitors. I was one of the number, and had indulged fond hopes of success, being known to her father, born in the same village, irreproachable in descent, in the bloom of youth, rich, and of no mean understanding. Another of our village, of equal pretensions with myself, solicited her also; and her father, being equally satisfied with both of us, was perplexed which to prefer, and therefore determined to leave the choice to Leandra herself—for so the maiden is called: an example worthy the imitation of all parents. I do not say they should give them their choice of what is improper; but they should propose to them what is good, and leave them to select thence, according to their taste. I know not which of us Leandra preferred; this only I know, that her father put us both off by pleading the tender age of his daughter, and with such general expressions as neither bound himself nor disobliged us. My rival's name is Anselmo, mine Eugenio; for you ought to know the names of the persons concerned in this tragedy, the catastrophe of which, though still suspended, will surely be disastrous.

"About that time there came to our village one Vincent de la Rosa, son of a poor farmer in the same place. This Vincent had returned from Italy and other countries, where he had served in the wars, having been carried away from our town at twelve years of age by a captain who happened to march that way with his company; and now, at the end of twelve years more, he came back in a soldier's garb, bedizened with a variety of colours, and covered with a thousand trinkets and glittering chains. To-day he put on one piece of finery, to-morrow another: but all slight [Pg 165] and counterfeit, of little or no value. The country-folks (who are naturally envious, and, if they chance to have leisure, malicious too) observed, and reckoned up, all his trappings and gew-gaws, and found that he had three suits of apparel, of different colours, with hose and garters to them; but those he disguised in so many different ways, and with so much contrivance, that had they not been counted, one would have sworn that he had above ten suits, and twenty plumes of feathers. Do not look upon this description of his dress as impertinent or superfluous, for it is an important part of the story. He used to seat himself on a stone-bench, under a great poplar-tree in our market-place, and there he would hold us all gaping and listening to the history of his exploits. There was no country on the whole globe that he had not seen, nor battle in which he had not been engaged. He had slain more Moors than are in Morocco and Tunis; and fought more single combats, according to his own account, than Gante, Luna, Diego Garcia de Paredes, and a thousand others, from which he always came off victorious, and without losing a drop of blood; at the same time he would shew us marks of wounds, which, though they were not to be discerned, he assured us were so many musket-shots, received in different actions. With the utmost arrogance, he would 'thee' and 'thou' his equals and acquaintance, and boast that his arm was his father, his deeds his pedigree, and that under the title of soldier he owed the king himself nothing. In addition to this boasting, he pretended to be somewhat of a musician, and scratched a little upon the guitar, which some people admired. But his accomplishments did not end here; for he was likewise something of a poet, and would compose a ballad a league and a half in length on every trifling incident that happened in the village.

"Now this soldier whom I have described, this Vincent de la Rosa, this hero, this gallant, this musician, this poet, was often seen and admired by Leandra from a window of her house, which faced the market-place. She was struck with the tinsel of his gaudy apparel; his ballads enchanted her; the exploits he related of himself reached her ears—in short, as ill-luck would have it, she fell downright in love with him before he had entertained the presumption of courting her; and, as in affairs of love none are so easily accomplished as those which are favoured by the inclination of the lady, Leandra and Vincent soon came to a mutual understanding; and before any of her numerous suitors had the least suspicion of her design, she had already accomplished it, and left the house of her affectionate father, and quitted the town with the soldier, who came off in this enterprise more triumphantly than in any of those of which he had so arrogantly boasted. This event excited general astonishment. Anselmo and I were utterly confounded, her father grieved, her kindred ashamed, justice alarmed, and the troopers of the holy brotherhood [Pg 166] in full activity. They beset the highways, and searched the woods, leaving no place unexplored; and at the end of three days they found the poor giddy Leandra in the cave of a mountain, stripped of all her clothes and the money and jewels which she had carried away from home. They brought her back to her disconsolate father; and being questioned, she freely confessed that Vincent de la Rosa had deceived her, and upon promise of marriage had persuaded her to leave her father's house, telling her he would carry her to Naples, the richest and most delicious city in the whole world. The imprudent and credulous girl said that, having believed him, she had robbed her father, and given the whole to him on the night of her elopement; and that he had carried her among the mountains, and left her shut up in that cave.

"The same day that Leandra returned, she disappeared again from our eyes, as her father placed her in the monastery of a neighbouring town, in hopes that time might efface the remembrance of this untoward event. Her tender years were some excuse for her fault, especially with those who were indifferent as to whether she was good or bad; but those who know how much sense and understanding she possessed, could only ascribe her fault to levity, and the foibles natural to womankind. When Leandra was gone, Anselmo and myself were blind to every thing—at least no object could give us pleasure. We cursed the soldier's finery, and reprobated her father's want of vigilance; nor had time any effect in diminishing our regret. At length we agreed to quit the town and retire to this valley, where we pass our lives tending our flocks, and indulging our passion by praises, lamentations, or reproaches, and sometimes in solitary sighs and groans. Our example has been followed by many other admirers of Leandra, who have joined us in the same employment; indeed we are so numerous, that this place seems converted into the pastoral Arcadia; nor is there a part of it where the name of our beautiful mistress is not heard. One utters execrations against her, calling her fond, fickle, and immodest; another condemns her forwardness and levity; some excuse and pardon her; others arraign and condemn her; one praises her beauty, another rails at her disposition: in truth, all blame and all adore her—nay, such is the general frenzy, that some complain of her disdain who never had spoken to her, and some there are who bemoan themselves and affect to feel the raging disease of jealousy, though, as I have said before, her fault was known before her inclinations were suspected. There is no hollow of a rock, nor margin of a rivulet, nor shade of a tree, that is not occupied by some shepherd, lamenting to the winds. He who shews the least, though he has the most, sense among us madmen, is my rival Anselmo, for he complains only of absence; and to the sound of a rebec, which he touches to admiration, pours forth his complaint in verses of wonderful ingenuity. I follow another course; which [Pg 167] is, to inveigh against the levity of women, their inconstancy, and double-dealing, their vain promises and broken faith, their absurd and misplaced affections.

"This, gentlemen, gave rise to the expressions I used to the goat; for, being a female, I despise her, though she is the best of all my flock. I have now finished my story, which I fear you have thought tedious; but I shall be glad to make you amends by regaling you at my cottage, which is near, and where you will find new milk, good cheese, and abundance of fruit."


CHAPTER XXXIV.

Of the quarrel between Don Quixote and the Goatherd, with the rare adventure of the Disciplinants.

The goatherd's tale amused all his auditors, especially the canon, who was struck by his manner of telling it, which was more like that of a scholar and a gentleman than an unpolished goatherd; and he was convinced that the priest was perfectly right when he affirmed that men of letters were often produced among mountains. They all offered their service to Eugenio; but the most liberal in his offers was Don Quixote, who said to him, "In truth, brother goatherd, were I in a situation to undertake any new adventure, I would immediately engage myself in your service, and release your lady from the nunnery in spite of the abbess and all opposers, then deliver her into your hands, to be disposed of at your pleasure, so far as is consistent with the laws of chivalry, which enjoin that no kind of outrage be offered to damsels. I trust, however, that the power of one malicious enchanter shall not be so prevalent over another but that a better disposed one may triumph; and then I promise you my aid and protection according to the duty of my profession, which is no other than to favour the weak and necessitous." The goatherd stared at Don Quixote, and observing his odd appearance, he whispered to the barber who sat next to him, "Pray, sir, who is that man that looks and talks so strangely?" "Who should it be," answered the barber, "but the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha, the redresser of injuries, the righter of wrongs, the protector of maidens, the dread of giants, and the conqueror of armies?" "Why this is like what we hear in the stories of knights-errant," said the goatherd; "but I take it either your worship is in jest, or the apartments in this gentleman's skull are unfurnished." "You are a very great blockhead," exclaimed the knight; "it is yourself who are empty-skulled and shallow-brained;" and as he spoke, he snatched up a loaf that was near him, and threw it at the [Pg 168] goatherd's face with so much fury that he laid his nose flat. The goatherd did not much relish the jest, so, without any respect to the tablecloth or to the company present, he leaped upon Don Quixote, and seizing him by the throat with both hands, would doubtless have strangled him, had not Sancho Panza, who came up at that moment, taken him by the shoulders and thrown him back on the tablecloth, demolishing dishes and platters, and spilling and overturning all that was upon it. Don Quixote, finding himself free, turned again upon the goatherd, who, being kicked and trampled upon by Sancho, was feeling about upon all fours for some knife or weapon to take revenge withal; but the canon and the priest prevented him. The barber, however, maliciously contrived that the goatherd should get Don Quixote under him, whom he buffeted so unmercifully that he had ample retaliation for his own sufferings. This ludicrous encounter overcame the gravity of both the churchmen; while the troopers of the holy brotherhood, enjoying the conflict, stood urging on the combatants as if it had been a dog-fight. Sancho struggled in vain to release himself from one of the canon's servants, who prevented him from going to assist his master. In the midst of this sport a trumpet was suddenly heard sounding so dismally that every face was instantly turned in the direction whence the sound proceeded. Don Quixote's attention was particularly excited, though he still lay under the goatherd in a bruised and battered condition. "Thou demon," he said to him, "for such thou must be to have this power over me, I beg that thou wilt grant a truce for one hour, as the solemn sound of that trumpet seems to call me to some new adventure." The goatherd, whose revenge was by this time sated, immediately let him go; and Don Quixote, having got upon his legs again, presently saw several people descending from a rising ground, arrayed in white, after the manner of Disciplinants.

That year the heavens having failed to refresh the earth with seasonable showers, throughout all the villages of that district, processions, disciplines, and public prayers were ordered, beseeching God to shew his mercy by sending them rain. For this purpose the people of a neighbouring village were coming in procession to a holy hermitage built upon the side of a hill not far from that spot. The strange attire of the disciplinants struck Don Quixote, who, not recollecting what he must often have seen before, imagined it to be some adventure which, as a knight-errant, was reserved for him alone; and he was confirmed in his opinion on seeing an image clothed in black that they carried with them, and which he doubted not was some illustrious lady, forcibly borne away by ruffians and miscreants. With all the expedition in his power, he therefore went up to Rozinante, and, taking the bridle and buckler from the pommel of the saddle, he bridled him in a trice; and calling to Sancho for his sword, he [Pg 169] mounted, braced his target, and, in a loud voice, said to all that were present, "Now, my worthy companions, ye shall see how important to the world is the profession of chivalry; now shall ye see, in the restoration of that captive lady to liberty, whether knights-errant are to be valued or not!" So saying, he clapped heels to Rozinante (for spurs he had none); and, on a hand-gallop (for we nowhere read, in all this faithful history, that Rozinante ever went full speed), he advanced to encounter the disciplinants. The priest, the canon, and the barber, in vain endeavoured to stop him; and in vain did Sancho cry out, "Whither go you, Sig˝or Don Quixote? what possesses you to assault the catholic faith? Evil befal me! do but look—it is a procession of disciplinants, and the lady carried upon the bier is the blessed image of our Holy Virgin; take heed, for this once I am sure you know not what you are about." Sancho wearied himself to no purpose; for his master was so bent upon an encounter, that he heard not a word; nor would he have turned back though the king himself had commanded him.

Having reached the procession, he checked Rozinante, who already wanted to rest a little, and in a hoarse and agitated voice cried out, "Stop there, ye who cover your faces,—for an evil purpose I doubt not,—stop and listen to me!" The bearers of the image stood still; and one of the four ecclesiastics, who sung the litanies, observing the strange figure of Don Quixote, the leanness of Rozinante, and other ludicrous circumstances attending the knight, replied, "Friend, if you have any thing to say to us, say it quickly; for these our brethren are scourging their flesh, and we cannot stay to hear any thing that may not be said in two words." "I will say it in one," replied Don Quixote; "you must immediately release that fair lady, whose tears and sorrowful countenance clearly prove that she is carried away against her will, and that you have done her some atrocious injury. I, who was born to redress such wrongs, command you, therefore, not to proceed one step further until you have given her the liberty she desires and deserves." By these expressions they concluded that Don Quixote must be some whimsical madman, and only laughed at him; which enraged him to such a degree, that, without saying another word, he drew his sword and attacked the bearers; one of whom, leaving the burden to his comrades, stept forward brandishing the pole on which the bier had been supported; but it was quickly broken in two by a powerful stroke aimed by the knight, who, however, received instantly such a blow on the shoulder of his sword-arm, that, his buckler being of no avail against rustic strength, he was felled to the ground. Sancho, who had followed him, now called out to the man not to strike again, for he was a poor enchanted knight, who had never done any body harm in all his life. The peasant forbore, it is true, though not on account of Sancho's appeal, but because he saw his opponent with [Pg 170]out motion; and thinking he had killed him, he hastily tucked up his vest under his girdle, and fled like a deer over the field.

By this time all Don Quixote's party had come up; and those in the procession, seeing among them troopers of the holy brotherhood armed with their cross-bows, began to be alarmed, and drew up in a circle round the image; then lifting up their hoods, and grasping their whips, and the ecclesiastics their tapers, they waited the assault, determined to defend themselves, or, if possible, offend their aggressors; while Sancho threw himself on the body of his master, and believing him to be really dead, poured forth the most dolorous lamentation. Sancho's cries roused Don Quixote, who faintly said, "He who lives absent from thee, sweetest Dulcinea, endures far greater miseries than this!—Help, friend Sancho, to place me upon the enchanted car; I am no longer in a condition to press the saddle of Rozinante, for this shoulder is broken to pieces." "That I will do with all my heart, dear sir," answered Sancho; "and let us return to our homes with these gentlemen, who wish you well; and there we can prepare for another sally that may turn out more profitable." "Thou sayest well, Sancho," answered Don Quixote; "and it will be highly prudent in us to wait until the evil influence of the star which now reigns is passed over." The canon, the priest, and the barber, told him they approved his resolution; and the knight being now placed in the waggon as before, they prepared to depart. The goatherd took his leave; and the troopers, not being disposed to attend them farther, were discharged. The canon also separated from them, having first obtained a promise from the priest that he would acquaint him with the future fate of Don Quixote. Thus the party now consisted only of the priest, the barber, Don Quixote, and Sancho, with good Rozinante, who bore all accidents as patiently as his master. The waggoner yoked his oxen, and having accommodated Don Quixote with a truss of hay, they jogged on in the way the priest directed, and at the end of six days reached Don Quixote's village. It was about noon when they made their entrance, and it being a holyday, all the people were standing about the market-place through which the waggon passed. Everybody ran to see who was in it, and were not a little surprised when they recognised their townsman; and a boy ran off at full speed with tidings to the housekeeper that he was coming home, lean and pale, stretched out at length in a waggon drawn by oxen. On hearing this, the two good women made the most pathetic lamentations, and renewed their curses against books of chivalry; especially when they saw the poor knight entering at the gate.

Upon the news of Don Quixote's arrival, Sancho Panza's wife repaired thither; and on meeting him, her first inquiry was whether the ass had come home well. Sancho told her that he was in a better condition than his master. "Heaven be [Pg 171] praised," replied she, "for so great a mercy to me! But tell me, husband, what good have you got by your squireship? Have you brought a petticoat home for me, and shoes for your children?" "I have brought you nothing of that sort, dear wife," quoth Sancho; "but I have got other things of greater consequence." "I am very glad of that," answered the wife; "pray shew me your things of greater consequence, friend; for I would fain see them, to gladden my heart, which has been so sad all the long time you have been away." "You shall see them at home, wife," quoth Sancho, "so be satisfied at present; for if it please God that we make another sally in quest of adventures, you will soon see me an earl or governor of an island, and no common one neither, but one of the best that is to be had." "Grant Heaven it may be so, husband," quoth the wife; "for we have need enough of it. But pray tell me what you mean by islands; for I do not understand you." "Honey is not for the mouth of an ass," answered Sancho; "in good time, wife, you shall see, yea and admire to hear yourself styled ladyship by all your vassals." "What do you mean, Sancho, by ladyship, islands, and vassals?" answered Teresa Panza; for that was the name of Sancho's wife, though they were not of kin, but because it was the custom of La Mancha for the wife to take the husband's name. "Do not be in so much haste, Teresa," said Sancho; "it is enough that I tell you what is true, so lock up your mouth;—only take this by the way, that there is nothing in the world so pleasant as to be an honourable esquire to a knight-errant and seeker of adventures. To be sure, most of them are not so much to a man's mind as he could wish; for, as I know by experience, ninety-nine out of a hundred fall out cross and unlucky; especially when one happens to be tossed in a blanket, or well cudgelled; yet, for all that, it is a fine thing to go about in expectation of accidents, traversing mountains, searching woods, marching over rocks, visiting castles, lodging in inns, all at pleasure, and never a farthing to pay."

While this discourse was passing between Sancho Panza and his wife Teresa, the housekeeper and the niece received Don Quixote, and they laid him in his old bed, whence he looked at them with eyes askance, not knowing perfectly where he was. Often did the women raise their voices in abuse of all books of chivalry, overwhelming their authors with the bitterest maledictions. His niece was charged by the priest to take great care of him, and to keep a watchful eye that he did not again make his escape, after taking so much pains to get him home. Yet they were full of apprehensions lest they should lose him again as soon as he found himself a little better; and, indeed, the event proved that their fears were not groundless.


CHAPTER XXXV.

What passed between the Curate, the Barber, and Don Quixote, concerning his indisposition.

[Pg 172] The curate and the barber were almost a whole month without paying Don Quixote a visit, lest, calling to mind his former extravagances, he might take occasion to renew them. However, they failed not every day to see his niece and his housekeeper, whom they charged to treat and cherish him with great care, and to give him such diet as might be most proper to cheer his heart and comfort his brain, whence, in all likelihood, his disorder wholly proceeded. They answered, that they did so, and would continue it to their utmost power; the rather because they observed that sometimes he seemed to be in his right senses. This news was very welcome to the curate and the barber, who looked on this amendment as an effect of their contrivance in bringing him home in the enchanted waggon, as already recorded. Thereupon they resolved to pay him a visit, and make trial themselves of the progress of a cure, which they thought almost impossible. They also agreed not to speak a word of knight-errantry, lest they should endanger a wound so lately closed and so tender. Don Quixote received them very civilly, and when they inquired of his health, gave them an account of his condition, expressing himself very handsomely, and with a great deal of judgment. After they had discoursed a while of several matters, they fell at last on state affairs and forms of government, correcting this grievance, and condemning that, reforming one custom, rejecting another, and establishing new laws, as if they had been the Lycurguses or Solons of the age, till they had refined and new modelled the commonwealth at such a rate, that they seemed to have clapped it into a forge, and drawn it out wholly different from what it was before. Don Quixote reasoned with so much discretion on every subject, that his two visitors now undoubtedly believed him in his right senses.

His niece and housekeeper were present at these discourses, and, hearing him give so many marks of sound understanding, thought they could never return Heaven sufficient thanks for so extraordinary a blessing. But the curate, who wondered at this strange amendment, being resolved to try whether Don Quixote was perfectly recovered, thought fit to alter the resolution he had taken to avoid entering into any discourse of knight-errantry; and therefore began to talk to him of news, and, among the rest, that it was credibly reported at court, that the Grand Seignior was advancing with a vast army, and nobody knew where the tempest would fall; that all Christendom was alarmed, as it used to [Pg 173] be almost every year; and that the king was providing for the security of the coasts of Sicily and Naples, and the island of Malta. "His majesty," said Don Quixote, "acts the part of a most prudent warrior, in putting his dominions betimes in a posture of defence; but yet, if my counsel were to be taken in this matter, I would advise another sort of preparation, which, I fancy, his majesty little thinks of at present." Thereupon they both desired Don Quixote to communicate to them this mighty project of his; "for," said they, "who knows but, after all, it may be one of those that ought only to find a place in the list of impertinent admonitions usually given to princes?" "No, good Mr. Trimmer," answered Don Quixote, "my projects are not impertinent, but highly advisable." "I meant no harm in what I said, sir," replied the barber; "only we generally find most of those projects that are offered to the king are either impracticable or whimsical, or tend to the detriment of the king or kingdom." "But mine," said Don Quixote, "is neither impossible nor ridiculous; far from that, it is the most easy, the most thoroughly weighed, and the most concise, that ever can be devised by man." "Methinks you are too long before you let us know it, sir," said the curate. "To deal freely with you," replied Don Quixote, "I should be loath to tell it you here now, and have it reach the ear of some privy-counsellor to-morrow, and so afterwards see the fruit of my invention reaped by somebody else." "As for me," said the barber, "I give you my word here, and in the face of heaven, never to tell it, either to king, queen, or any earthly man." "Well, then," cried Don Quixote, "what has the king to do more, but to cause public proclamation to be made, enjoining all the knights-errant that are dispersed in this kingdom to make their personal appearance at court, upon a certain day? For though but half a dozen should meet, there may be some one among them who, even alone, might be able to destroy the whole united force of Turkey. For pray observe well what I say, gentlemen. Do you look upon it as a new thing for one knight-errant alone to rout an army of two hundred thousand men, with as much ease as if all of them joined together had but one throat, or were made of sugar-paste? You know how many histories are full of these wonders." "Alas!" said the niece, hearing this, "I will lay my life my uncle has still a hankering after knight-errantry." "I will die a knight-errant," cried Don Quixote; "and so let the Turks land where they please, how they please, and when they please, and with all the forces they can muster." "Gentlemen," said the barber, "I beg leave to tell you a short story of somewhat that happened at Seville; indeed it falls out as pat as if it had been made for our present purpose, and so I have a great mind to tell it." Don Quixote gave consent, the curate and the rest of the company were willing to hear; and thus the barber begun:—

[Pg 174] "A certain person being distracted, was put into the mad-house at Seville. He had studied the civil law, and taken his degrees at Ossuna; though, had he taken them at Salamanca, many are of opinion that he would have been mad too. After some years spent in this confinement, he was pleased to fancy himself in his right senses; and, upon this, wrote to the archbishop, beseeching him, with all the colour of reason imaginable, to release him by his authority, since, by the mercy of Heaven, he was wholly freed from his disorder; only his relations, he said, kept him in, in order to enjoy his estate, designing, in spite of truth, to have him mad to his dying day. The archbishop, persuaded by many letters which he wrote to him, all penned with sense and judgment, ordered one of his chaplains to inquire into the truth of the matter, and also to discourse with the party, that he might set him at large, in case he found him of sound mind. Thereupon the chaplain went, and having asked the governor what condition the graduate was in, was answered that he was still mad; that sometimes, indeed, he would talk like a man of excellent sense, but presently after he would relapse into his former extravagances, which, at least, balanced all his rational talk, as he himself might find if he pleased to discourse with him. The chaplain, resolved to make the experiment, went to the madman, and conversed with him above an hour, and in all that time could not perceive the least disorder in his brain; far from that, he delivered himself with so much sedateness, and gave such pertinent answers to every question, that the chaplain was obliged to believe him sound in his understanding; nay, he went so far as to make a complaint against his keeper, alleging, that, for the lucre of those presents which his relations sent him, he represented him as one who was still distracted, and had only now and then lucid intervals. In short, he pleaded in such a manner, that the keeper was suspected, his relations censured as covetous and unnatural, and he himself thought master of so much sense, that the chaplain resolved to take him along with him, that the archbishop might be able to satisfy himself in person. The credulous chaplain therefore desired the governor to give the graduate the habit which he had brought with him at his first coming. The governor used every argument to dissuade the chaplain from his design, assuring him that the man was still disordered in his brain. But he could not prevail with him to leave the madman any longer, and therefore was forced to comply with the archbishop's order, and returned the man his habit, which was neat and decent.

"Having put off his madman's clothes, and finding himself in the garb of rational creatures, he begged of the chaplain, for charity's sake, to permit him to take leave of his late companions in affliction. The chaplain told him he would bear him company, having a mind to see the mad folks in the house. So they went [Pg 175] up stairs, and with them some other people that stood by. Presently the graduate came to a kind of a cage, where lay a man that was outrageously mad, though at that instant still and quiet; and addressing himself to him, 'Brother,' said he, 'have you any service to command me? I am just going to my own house, thanks be to Heaven, which, of its infinite goodness and mercy, has restored me to my senses. Be of good comfort, and put your trust in God, who will, I hope, be equally merciful to you. I will be sure to send you some choice victuals, which I would have you eat by all means; for I must needs tell you, that I have reason to imagine from my own experience, that all our madness proceeds from keeping our stomachs empty of food, and our brains full of wind.' Just over against that room lay another madman, who, having listened with an envious attention to all this discourse, starts up from an old mat on which he lay: 'Who is that,' cried he aloud, 'that is going away so well recovered and so wise?' 'It is I, brother, that am going,' replied the graduate; 'I have now no need to stay here any longer; for which blessing I can never cease to return my humble and hearty thanks to the infinite goodness of Heaven.' 'Doctor,' quoth the madman, 'have a care what you say, and let not the devil delude you. Stir not a foot, but keep snug in your old lodging, and save yourself the vexation of being brought back to your kennel.' 'Nay,' answered the other, 'I will warrant you there will be no occasion for my coming hither again, I know I am perfectly well.' 'You well!' cried the madman; 'we shall soon see that. Farewell; but by the sovereign Jupiter, whose majesty I represent on earth, for this very crime alone that Seville has committed in setting thee at large, affirming that thou art sound in thy intellects, I will take such a severe revenge on the whole city, that it shall be remembered with terror from age to age. Dost thou not know, my poor brainless thing in a gown, that this is in my power? I, that am the thundering Jove, that grasp in my hands the red-hot bolts of heaven, with which I keep the threatened world in awe, and might reduce it all to ashes? But stay, I will commute the fiery punishment which this ignorant town deserves into another: I will only shut up the flood-gates of the skies, so that there shall not fall a drop of rain upon this city, nor on all the neighbouring country round about it, for three years together, to begin from the very moment that gives date to this my inviolable execration. Thou free! thou well, and in thy senses! and I here mad, distempered, and confined!' As every one there was attentive to these loud and frantic threats, the graduate turned to the chaplain, and taking him by the hand: 'Sir,' said he, 'let not that madman's threats trouble you. Never mind him; for if he be Jupiter, and will not let it rain, I am Neptune, the parent and god of the waters, and it shall rain as often as I please, wherever necessity shall require it.' 'However,' answered the chaplain, [Pg 176] 'good Mr. Neptune, it is not convenient to provoke Mr. Jupiter; therefore be pleased to stay here a little longer; and some other time, at convenient leisure, I may chance to find a better opportunity to wait on you, and bring you away.' The keeper and the rest of the company could not forbear laughing, which put the chaplain almost out of countenance. In short, Mr. Neptune was disrobed again, and stayed where he was; and there is an end of my story."

"Well, Master Barber," said Don Quixote, "and this is your tale which you said came so pat to the present purpose, that you could not forbear telling it? Ah, Mr. Cutbeard, how blind must he be that cannot see through a sieve! Is it possible your pragmatical worship should not know that the comparisons made between wit and wit, courage and courage, beauty and beauty, birth and birth, are always odious and ill taken? I am not Neptune, the god of the waters, good Master Barber; neither do I pretend to set up for a wise man when I am not so. All I aim at is only to make the world sensible how much they are to blame in not labouring to revive those most happy times, in which the order of knight-errantry was in its full glory. But, indeed, this degenerate age of ours is unworthy the enjoyment of so great a happiness, which former ages could boast, when knights-errant took upon themselves the defence of kingdoms, the protection of damsels, the relief of orphans, the punishment of pride and oppression, and the reward of humility. Most of your knights, now-a-days, keep a greater rustling with their sumptuous garments of damask, gold brocade, and other costly stuffs, than with the coats of mail, which they should glory to wear. No knight now will lie on the hard ground in the open field exposed to the injurious air, from head to foot enclosed in ponderous armour. Where are those now, who, without taking their feet out of the stirrups, and only leaning on their lances like the knights-errant of old, strive to disappoint invading sleep, rather than indulge it? Where is that knight who, having first traversed a spacious forest, climbed up a steep mountain, and journeyed over a dismal barren shore, washed by a turbulent tempestuous sea, and finding on the brink a little skiff, destitute of sails, oars, mast, or any kind of tackling, is yet so bold as to throw himself into the boat with an undaunted resolution, and resign himself to the implacable billows of the main that now mount him to the skies, and then hurry him down to the most profound recesses of the waters; till, with his insuperable courage surmounting at last the hurricane, even in its greatest fury, he finds himself above three thousand leagues from the place where he first embarked, and leaping ashore in a remote and unknown region, meets with adventures that deserve to be recorded, not only on parchment, but on Corinthian brass? But now, alas, sloth and effeminacy triumph over vigilance and labour; idleness over industry; vice over virtue; arrogance over [Pg 177] valour; and the theory of arms over the practice, that true practice which only lived and flourished in those golden days, and among those professors of chivalry. For, where shall we hear of a knight more valiant and more honourable than the renowned Amadis de Gaul? Who more discreet than Palmerin of England? Who more affable and complaisant than Tirante the White? Who more gallant than Lisuarte of Greece? Who more cut and hacked, or a greater cutter and hacker, than Don Belianis? Who more intrepid than Perion of Gaul? Who more daring than Felixmarte of Hyrcania? Who more sincere than Esplandian? Who more courteous than Ciriongilio of Thrace? Who more brave than Rodomont? Who more prudent than King Sobrino? Who more desperate than Rinaldo? Who more invincible than Orlando? And who more agreeable or more affable than Rogero, from whom (according to Turpin in his cosmography) the Dukes of Ferrara are descended? All these champions, Master Curate, and a great many more that I could mention, were knights-errant, and the very light and glory of chivalry. Now, such as these are the men I would advise the king to employ; by which means his majesty would be effectually served, and freed from a vast expense, and the Turk would tear his very beard for madness. For my part, I do not design to stay where I am because the chaplain will not fetch me out; though if Jupiter, as Master Barber said, will send no rain, here stands one that will, and can rain when he pleases. This I say, that Goodman Basin here may know I understand his meaning." "Truly, good sir," said the barber, "I meant no ill; Heaven is my witness, my intent was good; and therefore I hope your worship will take nothing amiss." "Whether I ought to take it amiss or no," replied Don Quixote, "is best known to myself." "Well," said the curate, "I have hardly spoken a word yet; and before I go, I would gladly be eased of a scruple, which Don Quixote's words have started within me, and which grates and gnaws my conscience." "Master Curate may be free with me in greater matters," said Don Quixote, "and so may well tell his scruple; for it is no pleasure to have a burden upon one's conscience." "With your leave then, sir," said the curate, "I must tell you, that I can by no means prevail with myself to believe, that all this multitude of knights-errant, which your worship has mentioned, were ever real men of this world, and true substantial flesh and blood; but rather, that most of what is said of them is fable and fiction, lies and dreams, related by men rather half asleep than awake." "This is indeed another mistake," said Don Quixote, "into which many have been led, who do not believe there ever were any of those knights in the world. And in several companies I have many times had occasion to vindicate that manifest truth from the almost universal error that is entertained to its prejudice. Sometimes my success has not been answerable [Pg 178] to the goodness of my cause, though at others it has; being supported on the shoulders of truth, which is so apparent, that I dare almost say I have seen Amadis de Gaul with these very eyes. He was a tall comely personage, of a good and lively complexion, his beard well ordered, though black, his aspect at once awful and affable; a man of few words, slowly provoked, and quickly pacified. And as I have given you the picture of Amadis, I fancy I could readily delineate all the knights-errant that are to be met with in history."

"Pray, good sir," quoth the barber, "how tall then might the giant Morgante be?" "Whether there ever were giants or no," answered Don Quixote, "is a point much controverted among the learned. However, Holy Writ, that cannot deviate an atom from truth, informs us there were some, of which we have an instance in the account it gives us of that huge Philistine, Goliath, who was seven cubits and a half high; which is a prodigious stature. Besides, in Sicily thigh-bones and shoulder-bones have been found of so immense a size, that from thence of necessity we must conclude, by the certain rules of geometry, that the men to whom they belonged were giants as big as huge steeples. But, for all this, I cannot positively tell you how big Morgante was, though I am apt to believe he was not very tall; and that which makes me inclinable to believe so is, that in the history which gives us a particular account of his exploits we read that he often used to lie under a roof. Now if there were any house that could hold him, it is evident he could not be of so immense a stature."

But here they were interrupted by a noise below in the yard, where the niece and the housekeeper, who had left them some time before, were very obstreperous; which made them all hasten to know what was the matter.


CHAPTER XXXVI.

Of the memorable quarrel between Sancho Panza and Don Quixote's Niece and Housekeeper; with other pleasant passages.

The occasion of the noise which the niece and housekeeper made, was Sancho Panza's endeavouring to force his way into the house, while they at the same time held the door against him to keep him out. "What have you to do in this house?" cried one of them. "Go, keep to your own home, friend. It is all of you, and nobody else, that my poor master is distracted, and carried a rambling all the country over." "Distracted!" replied Sancho; "it is I that am distracted, and carried a rambling, and not your master. It was he led me the jaunt; so you are wide of the matter. It was he that inveigled me from my house and home with his colloguing, and saying he would give me an island, [Pg 179] which is not come yet, and I still wait for." "May'st thou be choked with thy plaguy islands," cried the niece; "what are your islands? any thing to eat, good-man greedy-gut, ha?" "Hold you there," answered Sancho; "they are not to eat, but to govern; and better governments than any four cities, or as many heads of the king's best corporations." "For all that," quoth the housekeeper, "thou comest not within these doors, thou bundle of wickedness and sackful of roguery! Go, govern your own house; work, you lazy rogue. To the plough, and never trouble your jolter-head about islands or oylets."

The curate and barber were highly diverted in hearing this dialogue. But Don Quixote, fearing lest Sancho should not keep within bounds, but blunder out some discoveries prejudicial to his reputation, while he ripped up a pack of little foolish slander, called him in, and enjoined the women to be silent. Sancho entered; and the curate and the barber took leave of Don Quixote, despairing of his cure. "Well," said the curate to the barber, "now I expect nothing better of our gentleman than to hear shortly that he is gone upon another ramble." "Nor I," answered the barber; "but I do not wonder so much at the knight's madness as at the silliness of the squire, who thinks himself so sure of the island, that I fancy all the art of man can never beat it out of his skull." "However," said the curate, "let us observe them; we shall find what will be the event of the extravagance of the knight and the foolishness of the squire. One would think they had been cast in one mould; and indeed the master's madness without the man's impertinence were not worth a rush." "Right," said the barber; "and now they are together, methinks I long to know what passes between them. I do not doubt but the two women will be able to give an account of that, for they are not of a temper to withstand the temptation of listening."

Meanwhile Don Quixote having locked himself up with his squire, they had the following colloquy: "I take it very ill," said he, "Sancho, that you should report as you do, that I enticed you out of your paltry hut, when you know that I myself left my own mansion-house. We set out together, continued together, and travelled together. We ran the same fortune and the same hazards together. If thou hast been tossed in a blanket once, I have been battered and bruised a hundred times; and that is all the advantage I have had above thee." "And reason good," answered Sancho; "for you yourself use to say, that ill-luck and cross-bitings are oftener to light on the knights than on the squires." "Thou art mistaken, Sancho," replied Don Quixote; "for the proverb will tell thee, that Quando caput dolet, &c." "Nay," quoth Sancho, "I understand no language but my own." "I mean," said Don Quixote, "that when the head aches, all the members partake of the pain. So, then, as I am thy master, I am also thy head; and as thou art my servant, thou art one of [Pg 180] my members; it follows, therefore, that I cannot be sensible of pain, but thou too oughtest to be affected with it; and likewise, that nothing of ill can befal thee, but I must bear a share." "Right," quoth Sancho; "but when I, as a limb of you, was tossed in a blanket, my head was pleased to stay at the other side of the wall, and saw me frisking in the air, without going shares in my bodily trouble." "Thou art greatly mistaken, Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "if thou thinkest I was not sensible of thy sufferings. For I was then more tortured in mind than thou wast tormented in body. But let us adjourn this discourse till some other time, which doubtless will afford us an opportunity to redress past grievances. I pray thee tell me now what does the town say of me? What do the neighbours, what do the people think of me? How do the knights discourse of my high feats of arms, and my courteous behaviour? What thoughts do they entertain of my design to raise from the grave of oblivion the order of knight-errantry? In short, tell me freely and sincerely what thou hast heard; neither enlarged with flattering commendations, nor lessened by any omission of my dispraise; for it is the duty of faithful servants to lay truth before their masters in its honest nakedness. And I would have thee know, Sancho, that if it were to appear before princes in its native simplicity, and disrobed of the odious disguise of flattery, we should see happier days; this age would be changed into an age of gold, and former times compared to this would be called the iron age. Remember this, and be advised, that I may hear thee impart a faithful account of these matters."

"Why then," quoth Sancho, "first you are to know that the common people take you for a madman, and me for one that is no less a fool. The gentry say, that not being content to keep within the bounds of gentility, you have taken upon you to be a Don, and set up for a knight, and a right worshipful, with a small vineyard and two acres of land. The knights, forsooth, say they do not like to have your small gentry think themselves as good as they, especially your old-fashioned country squires that mend and lamp-black their own shoes, and mend their old black stockings themselves with a needleful of green silk." "All this does not affect me," said Don Quixote, "for I always wear good clothes, and never have them patched. It is true they may be a little torn sometimes, but that is more with my armour than my long wearing." "As for what relates to your prowess," said Sancho, "there are several opinions about it. Some say he is mad, but a pleasant sort of a madman; others say he is valiant, but his luck is nought; others say he is courteous, but very impertinent. And thus they pass so many verdicts upon you, and take us both so to pieces, that they leave neither you nor me a sound bone in our skins." "Consider, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that the more eminently virtue shines, the more it is exposed to persecution. [Pg 181] Few or none of the famous heroes of antiquity could escape the venomous arrows of calumny. And therefore, Sancho, well may I be content to bear my share of that calamity, if it be no more than thou hast told me now." "Ah!" quoth Sancho, "there is the business; you say well, if this were all; but they don't stop here." "Why," said Don Quixote, "what can they say more?" "More!" cried Sancho. "Why you have had nothing yet but apple-pies and sugar-plums. Sir Bartholomew Carrasco's son came home last night from his studies at Salamanca, you must know; and as I went to bid him welcome home, he told me that your worship's history is already in books, by the name of the most renowned Don Quixote de la Mancha. He says I am in too, by my own name of Sancho Panza, and also my Lady Dulcinea del Toboso; nay, and many things that passed betwixt nobody but us two, which I was amazed to hear, and could not for my soul imagine how he that set them down could come by the knowledge of them." "I dare assure thee, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that the author of our history must be some sage enchanter, and one of those from whose universal knowledge none of the things which they have a mind to record can be concealed." "How should he be a sage and an enchanter?" quoth Sancho. "The bachelor Samson Carrasco tells me, he that wrote the history is called Cid Hamet Berengenas." "That is a Moorish name," said Don Quixote. "Like enough," quoth Sancho; "your Moors are great lovers of Berengenas."[10] "Certainly, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thou art mistaken in the sirname of that Cid, that lord, I mean; for Cid in Arabic signifies lord." "That may very well be," answered Sancho: "but if you will have me fetch you the young scholard, I will fly to bring him hither." "Truly, friend," said Don Quixote, "thou wilt do me a particular kindness; for what thou hast already told me has so filled me with doubts and expectations, that I shall not eat a bit that will do me good till I am informed of the whole matter." "I will go and fetch him," said Sancho. With that, leaving his master, he went to look for the bachelor; and having brought him along with him a while after, they all had a very pleasant dialogue.

[10] A sort of fruit in Spain, brought over by the Moors. Sancho meant Benengeli.


CHAPTER XXXVII.

The pleasant discourse between Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and the bachelor Samson Carrasco.

Don Quixote could not be persuaded that there was a history [Pg 182] of himself extant, while yet the blood of those enemies he had cut off had scarce done reeking on the blade of his sword; so that they could not have already finished and printed the history of his mighty feats of arms. However, at last he concluded that some learned sage had, by the way of enchantment, been able to commit them to the press, either as a friend, to extol his heroic achievements above the noblest performances of the most famous knights-errant; or as an enemy, to sully the lustre of his exploits, and debase them below the most inferior actions of any of the meanest squires. Though, thought he to himself, the actions of squires were never yet recorded; and after all, if there were such a book printed, since it was the history of a knight-errant, it could not choose but be pompous, lofty, magnificent, and authentic. This thought yielded him a while some small consolation; but then he relapsed into melancholic doubts and anxieties, when he considered that the author had given himself the title of Cid, and consequently must be a Moor; a nation from whom no truth could be expected, they all being given to impose on others with lies and fabulous stories, to falsify and counterfeit, and very fond of their own chimeras. Sancho and Carrasco found him thus agitated and perplexed with a thousand melancholic fancies, which yet did not hinder him from receiving the stranger with a great deal of civility.

This bachelor, though his name was Samson, was none of the biggest in body, but a very great man at all manner of drollery; he had a pale complexion, but good sense. He was about four-and-twenty years of age, round-visaged, flat-nosed, and wide-mouthed, all signs of a disposition that would delight in nothing more than in making sport for himself, by ridiculing others; as he plainly discovered when he saw Don Quixote. For, falling on his knees before him, "Admit me to kiss your honour's hand," cried he, "most noble Don Quixote; for by the habit of St. Peter, which I wear, though indeed I have as yet taken but the four first of the holy orders, you are certainly one of the most renowned knights-errant that ever was, or ever will be, through the whole extent of the habitable globe. Blest may the sage Cid Hamet Benengeli be, for enriching the world with the history of your mighty deeds; and more than blest, that curious virtuoso, who took care to have it translated out of the Arabic into our vulgar tongue, for the universal entertainment of mankind!"

"Sir," said Don Quixote, making him rise, "is it then possible that my history is extant, and that it was a Moor, and one of the sages, that penned it?" "It is so notorious a truth," said the bachelor, "that I do not in the least doubt but at this day there have already been published above twelve thousand copies of it. Portugal, Barcelona, and Valencia, where they have been printed, can witness that, if there were occasion. It is said that it is also now in the press at Antwerp. And I verily believe there [Pg 183] is scarce a language into which it is not to be translated." "Truly, sir," said Don Quixote, "one of the things that ought to yield the greatest satisfaction to a person of eminent virtue, is to live to see himself in good reputation in the world, and his actions published in print. I say, in good reputation; for otherwise there is no death but would be preferable to such a life." "As for a good name and reputation," replied Carrasco, "your worship has gained the palm from all the knights-errant that ever lived; for, both the Arabian in his history, and the Christian in his version, have been very industrious to do justice to your character; your peculiar gallantry; your intrepidity and greatness of spirit in confronting danger; your constancy in adversities; your patience in suffering wounds and afflictions; and your modesty in that love so very platonic between your worship and my Lady Dulcinea del Toboso." "But pray," added Don Quixote, "good Mr. Bachelor, on which of all my adventures does the history seem to lay the greatest stress?" "As to that," answered Carrasco, "the opinions of men are divided: some cry up the adventure of the windmill giants; some are for that of the fulling-mills; others stand up for the description of the two armies that afterwards proved two flocks of sheep. Some prize most the adventure of the dead corpse that was carrying to Segovia; while others say that none of them can compare with that of the galley-slaves. However, some who have read your history wish that the author had spared himself the pains of registering some of that infinite number of drubs which the noble Don Quixote received." "There lies the truth of the history," quoth Sancho. "Those things, in human equity," said Don Quixote, "might very well have been omitted; for actions that neither impair nor alter the history, ought rather to be buried in silence than related, if they redound to the discredit of the hero of the history. Certainly Ăneas was never so pious as Virgil represents him, nor Ulysses so prudent as he is made by Homer." "I am of your opinion," said Carrasco; "but it is one thing to write like a poet, and another thing to write like an historian. It is sufficient for the first to deliver matters as they ought to have been; whereas the last must relate them as they were really transacted, without adding or omitting any thing, upon any pretence whatever." "Well," quoth Sancho, "if this same Moorish lord be once got into the road of truth, a hundred to one but among my master's rib-roastings he has not forgot mine; for they never took measure of his worship's shoulders but they were pleased to do as much for my whole body: but it was no wonder; for it is his own rule, that if once the head aches, every limb must suffer too."

"Hold your tongue," said Don Quixote, "and let the learned bachelor proceed, that I may know what the history says of me." "And of me too," quoth Sancho; "for they tell me I am one of the top parsons in it." "Persons, you should say, Sancho," said [Pg 184] Carrasco, "and not parsons." "Heyday!" quoth Sancho, "have we got another corrector of hard words? If this be the trade, we shall never have done." "Most certainly," said Carrasco, "you are the second person in the history, honest Sancho; nay, and some there are who had rather hear you talk than the best there; though some there are again that will say you were horribly credulous to flatter yourself with having the government of that island which your master promised you." "While there is life there is hope," said Don Quixote; "when Sancho is grown mature with time and experience, he may be better qualified for a government than he is yet." "If I be not fit to govern an island at these years," quoth Sancho, "I shall never be a governor, though I live to the years of Methusalem; but there the mischief lies, we have brains enough, but we want the island." "Come, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "hope for the best; trust in providence; all will be well, and perhaps better than you imagine; but know, there is not a leaf on any tree that can be moved without the permission of Heaven." "That is very true," said Carrasco; "and I dare say Sancho shall not want a thousand islands to govern, much less one; that is, if it be Heaven's will." "Why not?" quoth Sancho; "I have seen governors in my time who, to my thinking, could not come up to me passing the sole of my shoes; and yet, forsooth, they were called 'your honour,' and they eat their victuals all in silver." "Ay," said Carrasco, "but these were none of your governors of islands, but of other easy governments: why, man, these ought at least to know their grammar." "Gramercy, for that," quoth Sancho; "give me but a grey mare[11] once, and I shall know her well enough, I'll warrant ye. But leaving the government in the hands of him that will best provide for me, I must tell you, Master Bachelor Samson Carrasco, I am huge glad that, as your author has not forgot me, so he has not given an ill character of me; for by the faith of a trusty squire, had he said any thing that did not become a Christian as I am, I had rung him such a peal that the deaf should have heard me." "That were a miracle," said Carrasco. "Miracle me no miracles," cried Sancho; "let every man take care how he talks, or how he writes of other men, and not set down at random, higgle-de-piggledy, whatever comes into his noddle."

[11] This jingle of the words grammar, gramercy, and grey mare, is in imitation of the original, which would not admit of a literal translation.

"The author," continued Carrasco, "has made every thing so plain, that there is nothing in that book but what any one may understand. Children handle it, youngsters read it, grown men understand it, and old people applaud it. In short, it is universally so thumbed, so gleaned, so studied, and so known, that if the people do but see a lean horse, they presently cry, 'There [Pg 185] goes Rozinante.' But none apply themselves to the reading of it more than your pages; there is never a nobleman's antechamber where you shall not find a Don Quixote. No sooner has one laid it down, but another takes it up. One asks for it here, and there it is snatched up by another. In a word, it is esteemed the most pleasant and least dangerous diversion that ever was seen."[12]

[12] The extraordinary popularity of this work in Spain is exemplified in a story told in the life of Philip III. The king, standing one day on the balcony of his palace of Madrid, observed a student at a distance with a book in his hand, which he was reading—every now and then he struck his forehead, accompanied with convulsions of laughter. "That student," said the king, "is either out of his wits, or is reading the History of Don Quixote."


CHAPTER XXXVIII.

The discourse continued; also the wise and pleasant dialogue between Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza his wife; together with other passages worthy of happy memory.

During this discourse Rozinante's neighing reached the ears of the party. Don Quixote took this for a lucky omen, and resolved to set out upon another sally within three or four days. He discovered his resolutions to the bachelor, and consulted him to know which way to steer his course. The bachelor advised him to take the road of Saragossa, in the kingdom of Arragon, a solemn tournament being shortly to be performed at that city on St. George's festival; where, by worsting all the Arragonian champions, he might win immortal honour, since to out-tilt them would be to out-rival all the knights in the universe. He applauded his matchless courage, but withal admonished him not to be so desperate in exposing himself to dangers, since his life was not his own, but theirs who in distress stood in want of his assistance and protection. "That is it now," quoth Sancho, "that makes me some times ready to run mad, Mr. Bachelor, for my master makes no more to set upon an hundred armed men than a young hungry tailor to guttle down half a dozen of cucumbers. Surely, Mr. Bachelor, there is a time to retreat as well as a time to advance; for I have heard some body say, and, if I am not mistaken, it was my master himself, that valour lies just between rashness and cowheartedness; and if it be so, I would not have him run away without there is a reason for it, nor would I have him fall on when there is no good to be got by it. But, above all things, I would have him to know, if he has a mind I should go with him, that the bargain is, he shall fight [Pg 186] for us both, and that I am tied to nothing but to look after him and his victuals and clothes. So far as this comes to, I will fetch and carry like any water-spaniel; but to think I will lug out my sword, though it be but against poor rogues, and sorry shirks, and hedge-birds, in troth I must beg his diversion. For my part, Mr. Bachelor, it is not the fame of being thought valiant that I aim at, but that of being deemed the very best and trustiest squire that ever followed the heels of a knight-errant. And if, after all my services, my master Don Quixote will be so kind as to give me one of those many islands which his worship says he shall light on, I shall be much beholden to him; but if he does not, why then I am born, do you see, and one man must not live to rely on another. Mayhaps the bread I shall eat without government will go down more savourily than if I were a governor; and what do I know but that the devil is providing me one of these governments for a stumbling-block, that I may stumble and fall? I was born Sancho, and Sancho I mean to die; and yet for all that, if fairly and squarely, with little trouble and less danger, Heaven would bestow on me an island, or some such like matter, I am no such fool neither, do ye see, as to refuse a good thing when it is offered me. No, I remember the old saying: 'when the ass is given thee, run and take him by the halter;' and 'when good luck knocks at the door, let him in, and keep him there.'"

"My friend Sancho," said Carrasco, "you have spoken like any university professor. However, trust in Heaven's bounty, and the noble Don Quixote, and he may not only give thee an island, but even a kingdom." "One as likely as the other," quoth Sancho; "and yet let me tell you, Mr. Bachelor, the kingdom which my master is to give me you shall not find it thrown into an old sack; for I have felt my own pulse, and find myself sound enough to rule kingdoms and govern islands; I have told my master as much before now." And so saying Sancho went to get everything ready for his journey.

Sancho came home so cheerful and so merry, that his wife was impatient to know the cause. "My dear," cried she, "what makes you so merry?" "I should be more merry, my chuck," quoth Sancho, "would but Heaven so order it that I were not so well pleased as I seem to be." "You speak riddles, husband," quoth she; "I don't know what you mean by saying you should be more merry if you were not so well pleased; for, though I am silly enough, I cannot think a man can take pleasure in not being pleased." "Look ye, Teresa," quoth Sancho, "I am merry because I am once more going to serve my master Don Quixote, who is resolved to have another frolic, and go a hunting after adventures, and I must go with him. What should I lie starving at home for? The hopes of finding another parcel of gold like that we spent rejoices my heart; but then it grieves [Pg 187] me to leave thee and those sweet babes of ours; and would Heaven but be pleased to let me live at home dry-shod, in peace and quietness, without gadding over hill and dale, through brambles and briers, why then it is clear that my mirth would be more firm and sound, since my present gladness is mingled with a sorrow to part with thee. And so I have made out what I said, that I should be merrier if I did not seem so well pleased."

"Look you, Sancho," quoth the wife; "ever since you have been a member of a knight-errant you talk so round about the bush that nobody can understand you." "Never mind," quoth Sancho; "only be sure you look carefully after Dapple for these three days, that he may be in good case and fit to bear arms; double his pittance, look out his pannel and all his harness, and let every thing be set to rights; for we are not going to a wedding, but to roam about the world, and to make our party good with giants, and dragons, and hobgoblins, and to hear nothing but hissing, and yelling, and roaring, and howling, and bellowing; all which would be but sugar-plums, if we were not to meet with Yanguesian carriers, and enchanted Moors." "Nay, as for that, husband," quoth Teresa, "I am apt enough to think you squires-errant don't eat their masters' bread for nothing; and therefore it shall be my daily prayer that you may quickly be freed from that plaguy trouble." "Troth, wife," quoth Sancho, "were not I in hopes to see myself ere long governor of an island, on my conscience I should not stir one inch from my own home." "Look ye, my dear," continued Teresa; "if it should be thy good luck to get a government, prithee do not forget thy wife and children. Take notice that little Sancho is already full fifteen, and it is high time he went to school, if his uncle the abbot mean to leave him something in the church. Then there is Mary Sancho, your daughter; I dare say the burden of wedlock will never be the death of her, for I shrewdly guess she wishes as much for a husband as you for a government." "If it be Heaven's will," quoth Sancho, "that I get any thing by government, I will see and match Mary Sancho so well that she shall at least be called 'my lady.'" "By no means, husband," cried the wife; "let her match with her match; if from clouted shoes you set her upon high heels, and from her coarse russet coat you put her into a fardingale, and from plain Moll and 'thee' and 'thou,' go to call her 'madam,' and 'your ladyship,' the poor girl won't know how to behave herself, but will make a thousand blunders, and shew her homespun country breeding." "Tush!" answered Sancho, "it will be but two or three years' prenticeship; and then you will see how strangely she will alter; 'your ladyship' and keeping of state will become her as if they had been made for her;—and suppose they should not, what is it to any body? Let her be but a lady, and let what will happen."

"Good Sancho," quoth the wife, "don't look above yourself; [Pg 188] I say, keep to the proverb that says, 'birds of a feather flock together.' It would be a fine thing, I trow, for us to go and throw away our child on one of your lordlings, or right worshipfuls, who, when the toy should take him in the head, would find new names for her, and call her 'country Joan,' 'plough-jobber's brat,' and 'spinner's web.' No, no, husband, I have not bred the girl up as I have done to throw her away at that rate, I will assure ye. Do thee but bring home money, and leave me to get her a husband. Why, there is Lope Tocho, old Joan Tocho's son, a hale jolly young fellow, and one whom we all know; I have observed he casts a sheep's eye at the wench; he is one of our inches, and will be a good match for her; then we shall always have her under our wings, and be all as one, father and mother, children and grandchildren, and Heaven's peace and blessing will always be with us. But never talk to me of marrying her at your courts and great men's houses, where she will understand nobody, and nobody will understand her." "Why, foolish woman," cried Sancho, "have you not heard that 'he who will not when he may, when he will he shall have nay?' when good luck is knocking at our door, is it fit to shut him out? No, no, let us make hay while the sun shines, and spread our sails before this prosperous gale. Canst thou not perceive, thou senseless animal," said Sancho, going on, "that I ought to venture over head and ears to light on some good gainful government, that may free our ankles from the clogs of necessity, and marry Mary Sancho to whom we please? Then thou wilt see how folks will call thee 'my Lady Teresa Panza;' and thou wilt sit in the church with thy carpets and cushions, and lean and loll in state, though the best gentlewoman in the town burst with spite and envy. Go to, let us have no more of this; Mary Sancho shall be a countess in spite of thy teeth, I say."

"Well, then, to let this alone, all I have to say is this, if you hold still in the mind of being a governor, pray even take your son Sancho along with you, and henceforth train him up to your trade of governing; for it is but fitting that the son should be brought up to the father's calling." "When once I am governor," quoth Sancho, "I will send for him by the post, and I will send the money withal; for I dare say I shall want none; there never wants those that will lend governors money when they have none. But then be sure you clothe the boy so, that he may look not like what he is, but like what he is to be." "Send you but money," quoth Teresa, "and I will make him as fine as a May-day garland." "So then, wife," quoth Sancho, "I suppose we are agreed that our Moll shall be a countess." "The day I see her a countess," quoth Teresa, "I reckon I lay her in her grave. However, I tell you again, even follow your own inventions; you men will be masters, and we poor women are born to bear the clog of obedience, though our husbands have no [Pg 189] more sense than a cuckoo." Here she fell a weeping as heartily as if she had seen her daughter already dead and buried. Sancho comforted her, and promised her, that though he was to make her a countess, yet he would see and put it off as long as he could. Thus ended their dialogue, and he went back to Don Quixote to dispose every thing for a march.


CHAPTER XXXIX.

What passed between Don Quixote, his Niece, and the Housekeeper; being one of the most important chapters in the whole history.

While Sancho Panza and his wife Teresa Cascajo had the foregoing dialogue, Don Quixote's niece and housekeeper were not idle, guessing by a thousand signs that the knight intended a third sally. Therefore they endeavoured by all possible means to divert him from his design; but all in vain; for it was but preaching to a rock, and hammering stubborn steel. "In short, sir," quoth the housekeeper, "if you will not be ruled, but will needs run wandering over hill and dale, seeking for mischief—for so I may well call the hopeful adventures which you go about—I will never leave complaining to Heaven and the king, till there is a stop put to it some way or other."

"What answer Heaven will vouchsafe to give thee, I know not," answered Don Quixote; "neither can I tell what return his majesty will make to thy petition. This I know, that were I king, I would excuse myself from answering the infinite number of impertinent memorials that disturb the repose of princes. I tell thee, woman, among the many other fatigues which royalty sustains, it is one of the greatest to be obliged to hear every one, and to give answer to all people. Therefore, pray trouble not his majesty with anything concerning me." "But pray, sir, tell me," replied she, "are there not amany knights in the king's court?" "I must confess," said Don Quixote, "that, for the ornament, the grandeur, and the pomp of royalty, many knights are and ought to be maintained there." "Why, then," said the woman, "would it not be better for your worship to be one of those brave knights who serve the king their master on foot in his court?" "Hear me, sweetheart," answered Don Quixote; "all knights cannot be courtiers, nor can all courtiers be knights-errant. There must be of all sorts in the world; and though we were all to agree in the common appellation of knights, yet there would be a great difference between the one and the other. For your courtiers, without so much as stirring out of the shade and shelter of the court, can journey over all the universe in a map, [Pg 190] without the expense and fatigue of travelling, without suffering the inconveniencies of heat, cold, hunger, and thirst; while we who are the true knights-errant, exposed to all the inclemencies of heaven, by night and day, on foot as well as on horseback, measure the whole surface of the earth with our own feet. And further, the true knight-errant, though he met ten giants, whose tall aspiring heads not only touch but overtop the clouds, each of them stalking with prodigious legs like huge towers, their sweeping arms like masts of mighty ships, each eye as large as a mill-wheel, and more fiery than a glass furnace; yet he is so far from being afraid to meet them, that he must encounter them with a gentle countenance and an undaunted courage,—assail them, close with them, and if possible vanquish and destroy them all in an instant." "Ah, dear uncle," said the niece, "have a care what you say; all the stories of knights-errant are nothing but a pack of lies and fables, and deserve to be burnt, that the world may know them to be wicked, and perverters of good manners." "Wert thou not my own sister's daughter," cried the Don, "I would take such revenge for the blasphemy thou hast uttered, as would resound through the whole universe. Who ever heard of the like impudence? That a young baggage, who scarce knows her bobbins from a bodkin, should presume to put in her oar, and censure the histories of the knights-errant! What would Sir Amadis have said, had he heard this? He undoubtedly would have forgiven thee, for he was the most courteous and complaisant knight of his time, especially to the fair sex, being a great protector of damsels; but thy words might have reached the ears of some that would have sacrificed thee to their indignation; for all knights are not equally possessed of civility or good-nature; neither are all those that assume the name of a disposition suitable to the function. Some indeed are of the right stamp, but others are either counterfeit, or of such an allay as cannot bear the touchstone, though they deceive the sight. Inferior mortals there are who aim at knighthood, and strain to reach the height of honour; and high-born knights there are, who seem fond of grovelling in the dust, and being lost in the crowd of inferior mortals: the first raise themselves by ambition or by virtue; the last debase themselves by negligence or by vice: so that there is need of a distinguishing understanding to judge between these two sorts of knights, so nearly allied in name, and so different in actions."—"Bless me, dear uncle," cried the niece, "that you should know so much as to be able, if there was occasion, to get up into a pulpit, or preach in the streets, and yet be so strangely mistaken as to fancy a man of your years can be strong and valiant,—that you can set every thing right, and force stubborn malice to bend, when you yourself stoop beneath the burden of age; and what is yet more odd, that you are a knight, when it is well known you are none! For though some gentlemen may [Pg 191] be knights, a poor gentleman can hardly be so, because he cannot buy it."

"You say well, niece," answered Don Quixote; "and as to this last observation, I could tell you things that you would admire at, concerning families; but because I would not mix sacred things with profane, I wave the discourse. However, listen both of you; and for your farther instruction know, that all the lineages and descents of mankind are reducible to these four heads: first, of those who, from a very small and obscure beginning, have raised themselves to a spreading and prodigious magnitude; secondly, of those who, deriving their greatness from a noble spring, still preserve the dignity and character of their original splendour; a third are those who, though they had large foundations, have ended in a point, like a pyramid, which by little and little dwindles as it were into nothing, or next to nothing, in comparison of its basis. Others there are (and those are the bulk of mankind) who have neither a good beginning, nor rational continuance, and whose ending shall therefore be obscure: such are the common people—the plebeian race. The Ottoman family is an instance of the first sort, having derived their present greatness from the poor beginning of a base-born shepherd. Of the second sort——"

But here somebody knocked at the door; and being asked who it was, Sancho answered it was he. Whereupon the housekeeper slipped out of the way, not willing to see him, and the niece let him in. Don Quixote received him with open arms; and locking themselves both in the closet, they had another dialogue as pleasant as the former, the result of which was, that they resolved at once to proceed in their enterprise.

With the approbation of Sig˝or Carrasco, who was now the knight's oracle, it was decreed that they should set out at the expiration of three days; in which time all necessaries should be provided, especially a whole helmet, which Don Quixote said he was resolved by all means to purchase. Samson offered him one which he knew he could easily get of a friend, and which looked more dull with the mould and rust, than bright with the lustre of the steel. The niece and the housekeeper made a woful outcry, tore their hair, scratched their faces, and howled like common mourners at funerals, lamenting the knight's departure as it had been his real death, and abusing Carrasco most unmercifully. In short, Don Quixote and his squire having got all things in readiness—the one having pacified his wife, and the other his niece and housekeeper—towards the evening, without being seen by anybody but the bachelor, who would needs accompany them about half a league from the village, they set forward for Toboso. The knight mounted his Rozinante, and Sancho his trusty Dapple, his wallet well stuffed with provisions, and his purse with money, which Don Quixote gave him to [Pg 192] defray expenses. At last Samson took his leave, desiring the champion to give him, from time to time, an account of his success, that, according to the laws of friendship, he might sympathise in his good or evil fortune. Don Quixote made him a promise, and then they parted; Samson went home, and the knight and squire continued their journey for the great city of Toboso.


CHAPTER XL.

Don Quixote's success in his journey to visit the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso.

Don Quixote and his squire were no sooner parted from the bachelor, but Rozinante began to neigh, and Dapple to bray; which both the knight and the squire interpreted as good omens, and most fortunate presages of their success; though the truth of the story is, that as Dapple's braying exceeded Rozinante's neighing, Sancho concluded that his fortune should out-rival and eclipse his master's; which inference I will not say he drew from some principles in judicial astrology, in which he was undoubtedly well grounded, though the history is silent in that particular; however, it is recorded of him that oftentimes upon the falling or stumbling of his ass, he wished he had not gone abroad that day, and from such accidents prognosticated nothing but dislocation of joints and breaking of ribs; and notwithstanding his foolish character, this was no bad observation. "Friend Sancho," said Don Quixote to him, "I find the approaching night will overtake us ere we can reach Toboso, where, before I enter upon any expedition, I am resolved to pay my vows, receive my benediction, and take my leave of the peerless Dulcinea; being assured after that of a happy issue in the most dangerous adventures; for nothing in this world inspires a knight-errant with so much valour as the smiles and favourable aspect of his mistress." "I am of your mind," quoth Sancho; "but I am afraid, sir, you will hardly come at her to speak with her, at least not to meet her in a place where she may give you her blessing, unless she throw it over the mud-wall of the yard, where I first saw her when I carried her the news of your pranks in the midst of Sierra Morena." "Mud-wall, dost thou say?" cried Don Quixote: "mistaken fool, that wall could have no existence but in thy muddy understanding; it is a mere creature of thy dirty fancy; for that never-duly-celebrated paragon of beauty and gentility was then undoubtedly in some court, in some stately gallery or walk; or, as it is properly called, in some sumptuous and royal palace." "It may be so," said Sancho, "though, so far as I can [Pg 193] remember, it seemed to me neither better nor worse than a mud-wall." "It is no matter," replied the knight, "let us go thither; I will visit my dear Dulcinea; let me but see her, though it be over a mud-wall, through a chink of a cottage, or the pales of a garden, at a lattice, or anywhere; which way soever the least beam from her bright eyes reaches mine, it will so enlighten my mind, so fortify my heart, and invigorate every faculty of my being, that no mortal will be able to rival me in prudence and valour." "Troth! sir," quoth Sancho, "when I beheld that same sun of a lady, methought it did not shine so bright as to cast forth any beams at all; but mayhaps the reason was, that the dust of the grain she was winnowing raised a cloud about her face, and made her look somewhat dull." "I tell thee again, fool," said Don Quixote, "thy imagination is dusty and foul; will it never be beaten out of thy stupid brain, that my lady Dulcinea was winnowing? Are such exercises used by persons of her quality, whose recreations are always noble, and such as display an air of greatness suitable to their birth and dignity? Can'st thou not remember the verses of our poet, when he recounts the employments of the four nymphs at their crystal mansions, when they advanced their heads above the streams of the lovely Tagus, and sat upon the grass working those rich embroideries, where silk and gold, and pearl embossed, were so curiously interwoven, and which that ingenious bard so artfully describes? So was my princess employed when she blessed thee with her sight; but the envious malice of some base necromancer fascinated thy sight, as it represents whatever is most grateful to me in different and displeasing shapes. And this makes me fear that if the history of my achievements, which they tell me is in print, has been written by some magician who is no well-wisher to my glory, he has undoubtedly delivered many things with partiality, misrepresented my life, inserting a hundred falsehoods for one truth, and diverting himself with the relation of idle stories, foreign to the purpose, and unsuitable to the character of a true history. O envy! envy! thou gnawing worm of virtue, and spring of infinite mischiefs! there is no other vice, my Sancho, but pleads some pleasure in its excuse; but envy is always attended by disgust, rancour, and distracting rage." "I am much of your mind," said Sancho; "and I think, in the same book which neighbour Carrasco told us he had read of our lives, the story makes bold with my credit, and has handled it at a strange rate, and has dragged it about the kennels, as a body may say. Well now, as I am an honest man, I never spoke an ill word of a magician in my born days; and I think they need not envy my condition so much. The truth is, I am somewhat malicious; I have my roguish tricks now and then; but I was ever counted more fool than knave for all that, and so indeed I was bred and born; and if there were nothing else in me but my religion—for [Pg 194] I firmly believe whatever our holy Church believes, and I hate the infidels mortally—these same historians should take pity on me, and spare me a little in their books. But let them say on to the end of the chapter; naked I came into the world, and naked must go out. It is all a case to Sancho, I can neither win nor lose by the bargain: and so my name be in print, and handed about, I care not a fig for the worst they can say of me." "What thou sayest, Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "puts me in mind of a story. A celebrated poet of our time wrote a very scurrilous and abusive lampoon upon all the intriguing ladies of the court, forbearing to name one, as not being sure whether she deserved to be put into the catalogue or not; but the lady not finding herself there, was not a little affronted at the omission, and made a great complaint to the poet, asking him what he had seen in her, that he should leave her out of his list; desiring him at the same time to enlarge his satire and put her in, or expect to hear farther from her. The author obeyed her commands, and gave her a character with a vengeance; and to her great satisfaction made her as famous for infamy as any woman about the town. Such another story is that of Diana's temple, one of the seven wonders of the world, burnt by an obscure fellow merely to eternise his name; which, in spite of an edict that enjoined all people never to mention it, either by word of mouth or in writing, yet is still known to have been Erostratus. The story of the great Emperor Charles the Fifth and a Roman knight, upon a certain occasion, is much the same. The emperor had a great desire to see the famous temple once called the Pantheon, but now more happily the church of All Saints. It is the only entire edifice remaining of heathen Rome, and that which best gives an idea of the glory and magnificence of its great founders. It is built in the shape of a half orange, of a vast extent, and very lightsome; though it admits no light but at one window, or, to speak more properly, at a round aperture on the top of the roof. The emperor being got up thither, and looking down from the brink upon the fabric, with a Roman knight by him, who shewed all the beauties of that vast edifice: after they were gone from the place, says the knight, addressing the emperor, 'It came into my head a thousand times, sacred sir, to embrace your majesty, and cast myself with you from the top of the church to the bottom, that I might thus purchase an immortal name.' 'I thank you,' said the emperor, 'for not doing it; and for the future I will give you no opportunity to put your loyalty to such a test. Therefore I banish you my presence for ever.' Which done, he bestowed some considerable favour on him. I tell thee, Sancho, this desire of honour is a strange bewitching thing. What dost thou think made Horatius, armed at all points, plunge headlong from the bridge into the rapid Tiber? What prompted Curtius to leap into the profound flaming gulf? What made Mutius burn his hand? What [Pg 195] forced CŠsar over the Rubicon, spite of all the omens that dissuaded his passage? And to instance a more modern example, what made the undaunted Spaniards sink their ships when under the most courteous Cortez, but that scorning the stale honour of this so often conquered world, they sought a maiden glory in a new scene of victory? These, and a multiplicity of other great actions, are owing to the immediate thirst and desire of fame, which mortals expect as the proper price and immortal recompense of their great actions. But we that are Christian catholic knights-errant must fix our hopes upon a higher reward, placed in the eternal and celestial regions, where we may expect a permanent honour and complete happiness; not like the vanity of fame, which at best is but the shadow of great actions, and must necessarily vanish, when destructive time has eat away the substance which it followed. So, my Sancho, since we expect a Christian reward, we must suit our actions to the rules of Christianity. In giants we must kill pride and arrogance; but our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within. Envy we must overcome by generosity and nobleness of soul; anger, by a reposed and easy mind; riot and drowsiness, by vigilance and temperance; and sloth, by our indefatigable peregrinations through the universe, to seek occasions of military as well as Christian honours. This, Sancho, is the road to lasting fame, and a good and honourable renown."

In such discourses as these the knight and squire passed the night and the whole succeeding day, without encountering any occasion to signalise themselves; at which Don Quixote was very much concerned. At last, towards evening the next day, they discovered the goodly city of Toboso, which revived the knight's spirits wonderfully, but had a quite contrary effect on his squire, because he did not know the house where Dulcinea lived any more than his master. So that the one was mad till he saw her, and the other very melancholic and disturbed in mind because he had never seen her; nor did he know what to do, should his master send him to Toboso. However, as Don Quixote would not make his entry in the daytime, they spent the evening among some oaks not far distant from the place, till the prefixed moment came; then they entered the city, where they met with adventures indeed.


CHAPTER XLI.

That gives an account of things which you will know when you have read it.

[Pg 196] The sable night had spun out half her course, when Don Quixote and Sancho entered Toboso. A profound silence reigned over all the town, and the inhabitants were fast asleep, and stretched out at their ease. Nothing disturbed the general tranquillity but now and then the barking of dogs, that wounded Don Quixote's ears, but more poor Sancho's heart. Sometimes an ass brayed, hogs grunted, cats mewed; which jarring mixture of sounds was not a little augmented by the stillness and serenity of the night, and filled the enamoured champion's head with a thousand inauspicious chimeras. Nevertheless he said, "Sancho, lead on to Dulcinea's palace; it is possible we may find her awake." "To what palace?" answered Sancho; "that in which I saw her highness was but a little mean house." "It was, I suppose, some small apartment of her castle which she had retired to," said the knight, "to amuse herself with her damsels, as is usual with great ladies and princesses." "Since your worship," quoth Sancho, "will needs have my Lady Dulcinea's house to be a castle, is this an hour to find the gates open?" "First, however, let us find this castle," replied Don Quixote, "and then I will tell thee how to act;—but look, my eyes deceive me, or that huge dark pile yonder must be Dulcinea's palace." "Then lead on, sir," said Sancho; "it may be so; though, if I were to see it with my eyes, I will believe it just as much as that it is now day."

The Don led the way, and having gone about two hundred paces, he came up to the edifice which cast the dark shade; and perceiving a large tower, he soon found that the building was no palace, but the principal church of the place; whereupon he said, "We are come to the church, Sancho." "I see we are," answered Sancho; "and pray God we be not come to our graves; for it is no good sign to be rambling about churchyards at such hours, and especially since I have already told your worship that this same lady's house stands in a blind alley." "Blockhead!" said the knight; "where hast thou ever found castles and royal palaces built in blind alleys?" "Sir," said Sancho, "each country has its customs; so perhaps it is the fashion here to build your palaces in alleys; and so I beseech your worship to let me look among these lanes and alleys just before me; and perhaps I may pop upon this same palace, which I wish I may see devoured by dogs for bewildering us at this rate." "Speak with more respect, Sancho, of what regards my lady," said Don Quixote; "let us keep our holidays in peace, and not throw the rope after [Pg 197] the bucket." "I will curb myself," answered Sancho; "but I cannot think that, though I have seen the house but once, your worship will needs have me find it at midnight, when you cannot find it yourself, though you must have seen it thousands of times." "Thou wilt make me desperate, Sancho," quoth Don Quixote; "come hither, heretic; have I not told thee a thousand times that I never saw the peerless Dulcinea in my life, nor ever stepped over the threshold of her palace, and that I am enamoured by report alone, and the great fame of her wit and beauty?" "I hear it now," said Sancho; "and to tell the truth, I have seen her just as much as your worship." "How can that be?" cried Don Quixote; "didst thou not tell me that thou sawest her winnowing wheat?" "Take no heed of that, sir," replied the squire; "for the fact is, her message, and the sight of her too, were both by hearsay, and I can no more tell who the Lady Dulcinea is than I can buffet the moon." "Sancho, Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "there is a time to jest, and a time when jests are unseasonable. What! because I say that I never saw nor spoke to the mistress of my soul, must thou say so likewise, when thou knowest it to be untrue?"

They were here interrupted by the approach of a man with two mules; and by the sound of a ploughshare, our travellers rightly guessed that he was a husbandman. The country-fellow having now come up to them, Don Quixote said to him, "Good-morrow, honest friend; canst thou direct me to the palace of the peerless princess, Donna Dulcinea del Toboso?" "Sir," answered the fellow, "I am a stranger here; for I have been but a few days in the service of a farmer of this town. But the parish priest, or the sexton across the road, can give your worship an account of that same lady princess; for they keep a register of all the inhabitants of Toboso; not that I think there is any princess living here, though there are several great ladies that may every one be a princess in her own house." "Among those, friend," said the Don, "may be her for whom I am inquiring." "Not unlikely," said the ploughman, "and so God speed you; for it will soon be daybreak." Then pricking on his mules, he waited for no more questions.

Sancho seeing his master perplexed, said to him, "Sir, the day comes on apace, and we shall soon have the sun upon us; so I think we had better get out of this place, and, while your worship takes shelter in some wood, I will leave not a corner unsearched for this house, castle, or palace of my lady; and it shall go hard with me but I find it; and as soon as I have done so, I will speak to her ladyship, and tell her where your worship is waiting her orders and directions how you may see her without damage to her honour and reputation." "Sancho," quoth Don Quixote, "thou hast uttered a thousand sentences in a few words. Thy counsel I relish much, and shall most willingly follow it. [Pg 198] Come on, and let us seek for some shelter: then shalt thou return and seek out my lady, from whose discretion and courtesy I expect more than miraculous favours." Sancho was impatient till he got his master out of the town, lest his tricks should be detected; he therefore hastened on, and when they had gone about two miles, the knight retired to a shady grove, while the squire returned in quest of the Lady Dulcinea; on which embassy things occurred well worthy of credit and renewed attention.


CHAPTER XLII.

Wherein is related the stratagem practised by Sancho, of enchanting the Lady Dulcinea; with other events no less ludicrous than true.

The knight's frenzy appears now to be carried to an excess beyond all conception. Having retired into a grove near the city of Toboso, he despatched Sancho with orders not to return into his presence till he had spoken to his lady, beseeching her that she would be pleased to grant her captive knight permission to wait upon her, and that she would deign to bestow on him her benediction, whereby he might secure complete success in all his encounters and arduous enterprises. Sancho promised to return with an answer no less favourable than that which he had formerly brought him. "Go then, son," replied Don Quixote, "and be not in confusion when thou standest in the blaze of that sun of beauty. Happy thou above all the squires in the world! Deeply impress on thy memory the particulars of thy reception—whether she changes colour while thou art delivering thy embassy, and betrays agitation on hearing my name; whether her cushion cannot hold her, if perchance thou shouldst find her seated on the rich Estrado; or, if standing, mark whether she is not obliged to sustain herself sometimes upon one foot and sometimes upon the other; whether she repeats her answer to thee three or four times: in short, observe all her actions and motions; for by an accurate detail of them I shall be enabled to penetrate into the secret recesses of her heart touching the affair of my love; for let me tell thee, Sancho, that with lovers the external actions and gestures are couriers, which bear authentic tidings of what is passing in the interior of the soul. Go, friend, and be thou more successful than my anxious heart will bode during the painful period of thy absence." "I will go, and return quickly," quoth Sancho. "In the mean time, good sir, cheer up, and remember the saying, that 'A good heart breaks bad luck;' and 'If there is no hook, there is no bacon;' and 'Where we least expect it, the hare starts:' this I say, because, though we could not find the castle or palace of my Lady Dulcinea in the dark, now that it is daylight [Pg 199] I reckon I shall soon find it, and then—let me alone to deal with her." "Verily, Sancho," quoth Don Quixote, "thou dost apply thy proverbs most happily; yet Heaven grant me better luck in the attainment of my hopes!"

Sancho now switched his Dapple and set off, leaving Don Quixote on horseback, resting on his stirrups and leaning on his lance, full of melancholy and confused fancies, where we will leave him and attend Sancho Panza, who departed no less perplexed and thoughtful; insomuch that, after he had got out of the grove, and looked behind him to ascertain that his master was out of sight, he alighted, and, sitting down at the foot of a tree, he began to hold a parley with himself. "Tell me now, brother Sancho," quoth he, "whither is your worship going? Are you going to seek some ass that is lost?" "No verily." "Then what are you going to seek?" "Why I go to look for a thing of nothing—a princess, the sun of beauty, and all heaven together!" "Well, Sancho, and where think you to find all this?" "Where? In the great city of Toboso." "Very well; and pray who sent you on this errand?" "Why the renowned knight Don Quixote de la Mancha, who redresses wrongs, and gives drink to the hungry and meat to the thirsty." "All this is mighty well; and do you know her house, Sancho?" "My master says it must be some royal palace or stately castle." "And have you ever seen her?" "Neither I nor my master have ever seen her!—Well," continued he, "there is a remedy for every thing but death, who, in spite of our teeth, will have us in his clutches. This master of mine, I can plainly see, is mad enough for a strait waistcoat; and, in truth, I am not much better; nay, I am worse, in following and serving him, if there is any truth in the proverb, 'Shew me who thou art with, and I will tell thee what thou art;' or in the other, 'Not with whom thou wert bred, but with whom thou art fed.' He then being in truth a madman, and so mad as frequently to mistake one thing for another, and not know black from white; as plainly appeared when he called the windmills giants, mules dromedaries, and the flock of sheep armies of fighting men, with many more things to the same tune; this being the case, I say, it will not be very difficult to make him believe that a country girl (the first I light upon) is the Lady Dulcinea; and, should he not believe it, I will swear to it; and if he swears, I will outswear him; and if he persists, I will persist the more; so that mine shall still be uppermost, come what will of it. By this plan I may perhaps tire him of sending me on such errands; or he may take it into his head that some wicked enchanter has changed his lady's form, out of pure spite."

This project set Sancho's spirit at rest, and he reckoned his business as good as half done; so he stayed where he was till towards evening, that Don Quixote might suppose him travelling on his mission. Fortunately for him, just as he was going to [Pg 200] mount his Dapple, he espied three country girls coming from Toboso, each mounted on a young ass. Sancho no sooner got sight of them than he rode back at a good pace to seek his master Don Quixote, whom he found breathing a thousand sighs and amorous lamentations. When Don Quixote saw him, he said, "Well, friend Sancho, am I to mark this day with a white or a black stone?" "Your worship," answered Sancho, "had better mark it with red ochre!" "Thou bringest me good news, then?" cried Don Quixote. "So good," answered Sancho, "that your worship has only to clap spurs to Rozinante, and get out upon the plain to see the lady Dulcinea del Toboso, who, with a couple of her damsels, is coming to pay your worship a visit." "Gracious Heaven!" exclaimed Don Quixote, "what dost thou say? Take care that thou beguilest not my real sorrow by a counterfeit joy." "What should I get," answered Sancho, "by deceiving your worship, only to be found out the next moment? Come, sir, put on, and you will see the princess, our mistress, all arrayed and adorned—in short, like herself. She and her damsels are one blaze of flaming gold; all strings of pearls, all diamonds, all rubies, all cloth of tissue above ten hands deep; their hair loose about their shoulders, like so many sunbeams blowing about in the wind; and, what is more, they come mounted upon three pyed belfreys, the finest you ever laid eyes on." "Palfreys, thou wouldst say, Sancho," quoth Don Quixote. "Well, well," answered Sancho, "belfreys and palfreys are much the same thing; but let them be mounted how they will, they are sure the finest creatures one would wish to see, especially my mistress the princess Dulcinea, who dazzles one's senses." "Let us go, son Sancho," answered Don Quixote; "and, as a reward for this welcome news, I bequeath to thee the choicest spoils I shall gain in my next adventure."

They were now got out of the wood, and saw the three girls very near. Don Quixote looked eagerly along the road towards Toboso, and, seeing nobody but the three girls, he asked Sancho, in much agitation, whether they were out of the city when he left them. "Out of the city!" answered Sancho; "are your worship's eyes in the nape of your neck, that you do not see them now before you, shining like the sun at noon-day?" "I see only three country girls," answered Don Quixote, "on three asses." "Now, keep me from mischief!" answered Sancho; "is it possible that three belfreys, or how do you call them, white as the driven snow, should look to you like asses? As I am alive, you shall pluck off this beard of mine if it be so." "I tell thee, friend Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "that it is as certain they are asses as that I am Don Quixote and thou Sancho Panza; at least so they seem to me." "Sir," quoth Sancho, "say not such a thing; but snuff those eyes of yours, and come and pay reverence to the mistress of your soul." So saying he [Pg 201] advanced forward to meet the peasant girls; and, alighting from Dapple, he laid hold of one of their asses by the halter, and, bending both knees to the ground, said to the girl, "Queen, princess, and duchess of beauty, let your haughtiness and greatness be pleased to receive into your grace and good-liking your captive knight, who stands there turned into stone, all disorder and without any pulse, to find himself before your magnificent presence. I am Sancho Panza, his squire, and he is that wayworn knight Don Quixote de la Mancha, otherwise called the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure."

Don Quixote had now placed himself on his knees by Sancho, and with wild and staring eyes surveyed her whom Sancho called his queen; and seeing nothing but a peasant girl, with a broad face, flat nose, coarse and homely, he was so confounded that he could not open his lips. The girls were also surprised to find themselves stopped by two men so different in aspect, and both on their knees; but the lady who was stopped, breaking silence, said in an angry tone, "Get out of the road, plague on ye! and let us pass by, for we are in haste." "O princess and universal lady of Toboso!" cried Sancho, "is not your magnificent heart melting to see, on his knees before your sublimated presence, the pillar and prop of knight-errantry?" "Hey day! what's here to do?" cried another of the girls; "look how your small gentry come to jeer us poor country girls, as if we could not give them as good as they bring; go, get off about your business, and let us mind ours, and so speed you well." "Rise, Sancho," said Don Quixote, on hearing this; "for I now perceive that fortune, not yet satisfied with persecuting me, has barred every avenue whereby relief might come to this wretched soul I bear about me. And thou, O extreme of all that is valuable, summit of human perfection, thou sole balm to this disconsolate heart that adores thee, though now some wicked enchanter spreads clouds and cataracts over my eyes, changing, and to them only, thy peerless beauty into that of a poor rustic; if he has not converted mine also into that of some goblin, to render it horrible to thy view, bestow on me one kind look, and let this submissive posture, these bended knees, before thy disguised beauty, declare the humility with which my soul adores thee!" "Marry come up," quoth the girl, "with your idle gibberish! get on with you, and let us go, and we shall take it kindly." Sancho now let go the halter, delighted that he had come off so well with his contrivance. The imaginary Dulcinea was no sooner at liberty than, pricking her beast with a sharp-pointed stick which she held in her hand, she scoured along the field; but the ass, smarting more than usual under the goad, began to kick and wince in such a manner that down came the Lady Dulcinea to the ground. Don Quixote was proceeding to raise his enchanted mistress, but the lady saved him that trouble; for immediately upon getting up [Pg 202] from the ground she retired three or four steps back, took a little run, then clapping both hands upon the ass's crupper, jumped into the saddle lighter than a falcon, and seated herself astride like a man. "By Saint Roque!" cried Sancho, "our lady mistress is lighter than a bird, and could teach the nimblest Cordovan or Mexican how to mount: she springs into the saddle at a jump, and without the help of spurs, makes her palfrey run like a wild ass; and her damsels are not a whit short of her, for they all fly like the wind!" And this was the truth; for Dulcinea being remounted, the other two made after her at full speed, without looking behind them, for above half a league.

Don Quixote followed them with his eyes as far as he was able; and when they were out of sight, turning to Sancho, he said, "What dost thou think now, Sancho? See how I am persecuted by enchanters! Mark how far their malice extends, even to depriving me of the pleasure of seeing my mistress in her own proper form! Surely I was born to be an example of wretchedness, and the butt and mark at which all the arrows of ill-fortune are aimed! And thou must have observed too, Sancho, that these traitors were not contented with changing and transforming the countenance of my Dulcinea, but they must give her the base and uncouth figure of a country wench. But tell me, Sancho, that which to me appeared to be a pannel, was it a side-saddle or a pillion?" "It was a side-saddle," answered Sancho, "with a field covering, worth half a kingdom for the richness of it." "And that I should not see all this!" exclaimed Don Quixote. "Again I say, and a thousand times will I repeat it, I am the most unfortunate of men!" The sly rogue Sancho had much difficulty to forbear laughing to think how finely his master was gulled. After more dialogue of the same kind, they mounted their beasts again, and followed the road to Saragossa, still intending to be present at a solemn festival annually held in that city. But before they reached it, events befell them which, for their importance, variety, and novelty, well deserve to be recorded and read.


CHAPTER XLIII.

Of the strange adventure which befell the valorous Don Quixote with the cart, or Death's caravan.

Don Quixote proceeded on his way at a slow pace, exceedingly pensive, musing on the base trick the enchanters had played him, in transforming his Lady Dulcinea into the homely figure of a peasant wench; nor could he devise any means of restoring her to her former state. In these meditations his mind was so absorbed, that, without perceiving it, the bridle dropped on [Pg 203] Rozinante's neck, who, taking advantage of the liberty thus given him, at every step turned aside to take a mouthful of the fresh grass with which those parts abounded. Sancho endeavoured to rouse him. "Sorrow," said he, "was made for man, not for beasts, sir; but if men give too much way to it, they become beasts. Take heart, sir; recollect yourself, and gather up Rozinante's reins; cheer up, awake, and shew that you have courage befitting a knight-errant! Why are you so cast down? Are we here or in France? The welfare of a single knight-errant is of more consequence than all the enchantments and transformations on earth." "Peace, Sancho," cried Don Quixote, in no very faint voice; "peace, I say, and utter no blasphemies against that enchanted lady, of whose disgrace and misfortune I am the sole cause, since they proceed entirely from the envy that the wicked bear to me." "So say I," quoth Sancho; "for who saw her then and sees her now, his heart must melt with grief, I vow."

Don Quixote would have answered Sancho, but was prevented by the passing of a cart across the road, full of the strangest-looking people imaginable; it was without any awning above, or covering to the sides, and the carter who drove the mules had the appearance of a frightful demon. The first figure that caught Don Quixote's attention was that of Death with a human visage; close to him sat an angel with large painted wings; on the other side stood an emperor with a crown, seemingly of gold, on his head. At Death's feet sat the god Cupid, not blindfold, but with his bow, quiver, and arrows; a knight also appeared among them in complete armour; only instead of a morion, or casque, he wore a hat with a large plume of feathers of divers colours; and there were several other persons of equal diversity in appearance. Such a sight, coming thus abruptly upon them, somewhat startled Don Quixote, and the heart of Sancho was struck with dismay. But with the knight surprise soon gave place to joy; for he anticipated some new and perilous adventure; and under this impression, with a resolution prepared for any danger, he planted himself just before the cart, and cried out in a loud menacing voice, "Carter, coachman, or devil, or whatever be thy denomination, tell me instantly what thou art, whither going, and who are the persons thou conveyest in that vehicle, which by its freight looks like Charon's ferry-boat?" To which the man calmly replied, "Sir, we are travelling players, belonging to Angulo el Malo's company. To-day being the Octave of Corpus Christi, we have been performing a piece representing the 'Cortes of Death;' this evening we are to play it again in the village just before us; and, not having far to go, we travel in the dresses of our parts to save trouble. This young man represents Death; he an angel; that woman, who is our author's wife, plays a queen; the other a soldier; this one an emperor; and I am the [Pg 204] devil, one of the principal personages of the drama; for in this company I have all the chief parts. If your worship desires any further information, I am ready to answer you." "On the faith of a knight," answered Don Quixote, "when I first espied this cart I imagined some great adventure offered itself; but appearances are not always to be trusted. God be with you, good people; go and perform your play; and if there be any thing in which I may be of service to you, command me, for I will do it most readily, having been from my youth a great admirer of masques and theatrical representations."

While they were speaking, one of the motley crew came up capering towards them, in an antic dress, frisking about with his morris-bells, and three full-blown ox-bladders tied to the end of a stick. Approaching the knight, he flourished his bladders in the air, and bounced them against the ground close under the nose of Rozinante, who was so startled by the noise, that Don Quixote lost all command over him, and having got the curb between his teeth, away he scampered over the plain, with more speed than might have been expected from such an assemblage of dry bones. Sancho, seeing his master's danger, leaped from Dapple and ran to his assistance; but before his squire could reach him, he was upon the ground, and close by him Rozinante, who fell with his master,—the usual termination of Rozinante's frolics. Sancho had no sooner dismounted to assist Don Quixote than the bladder-dancing fellow jumped upon Dapple, and thumping him with the bladders, fear at the noise, more than the smart, set him also flying over the field towards the village where they were going to act. Thus Sancho, beholding at one and the same moment Dapple's flight and his master's fall, was at a loss to which of the two duties he should first attend; but, like a good squire and faithful servant, the love he bore to his master prevailed over his affection for his ass; though as often as he saw the bladders hoisted in the air and fall on the body of his Dapple, he felt the pangs and tortures of death, and he would rather those blows had fallen on the apple of his own eyes, than on the least hair of his ass's tail.

In this distress he came up to Don Quixote, who was in a much worse plight than he could have wished; and as he helped him to get upon Rozinante, he said, "Sir, the devil has run away with Dapple." "What devil?" demanded Don Quixote. "He with the bladders," answered Sancho. "I will recover him," replied Don Quixote, "though he should hide himself in the deepest and darkest dungeon of his dominions. Follow me, Sancho; for the cart moves but slowly, and the mules shall make compensation for the loss of Dapple." "Stay, sir," cried Sancho, "you may cool your anger, for I see the scoundrel has left Dapple, and gone his way." And so it was; for Dapple and the devil having tumbled, as well as Rozinante and his master, the merry [Pg 205] imp left him and made off on foot to the village, while Dapple turned back to his rightful owner. "Nevertheless," said Don Quixote, "it will not be amiss to chastise the insolence of this devil on some of his company, even upon the emperor himself." "Good your worship," quoth Sancho, "do not think of such a thing, but take my advice and never meddle with players; for they are a people mightily beloved. I have seen a player taken up for two murders, and get off scot-free. As they are merry folks and give pleasure, every body favours them, and is ready to stand their friend; particularly if they are of the king's or some nobleman's company, who look and dress like any princes." "That capering buffoon shall not escape with impunity, though he were favoured by the whole human race," cried Don Quixote, as he rode off in pursuit of the cart, which was now very near the town, and he called aloud, "Halt a little, merry sirs; stay and let me teach you how to treat cattle belonging to the squires of knights-errant." Don Quixote's words were loud enough to be heard by the players, who, perceiving his adverse designs upon them, instantly jumped out of the cart, Death first, and after him the emperor, the carter-devil, and the angel; nor did the queen or the god Cupid stay behind; and, all armed with stones, waited in battle-array, ready to receive Don Quixote at the points of their pebbles. Don Quixote, seeing the gallant squadron, with arms uplifted, ready to discharge such a fearful volley, checked Rozinante with the bridle, and began to consider how he might most prudently attack them. While he paused, Sancho came up, and seeing him on the point of attacking that well-formed brigade, remonstrated with him. "It is mere madness, sir," said he, "to attempt such an enterprise. Pray consider there is no armour proof against stones and brick, unless you could thrust yourself into a bell of brass. Besides, it is not courage, but rashness, for one man singly to encounter an army, where Death is present, and where emperors fight in person, assisted by good and bad angels. But if that is not reason enough, remember that, though these people all look like princes and emperors, there is not a real knight among them." "Now, indeed," said Don Quixote, "thou hast hit the point, Sancho, which can alone shake my resolution; I neither can nor ought to draw my sword, as I have often told thee, against those who are not dubbed knights. To thee it belongs, Sancho, to revenge the affront offered to thy Dapple; and from this spot I will encourage and assist thee by my voice and salutary instructions." "Good Christians should never revenge injuries," answered Sancho; "and I dare say that Dapple is as forgiving as myself, and ready to submit his case to my will and pleasure, which is to live peaceably with all the world, as long as Heaven is pleased to grant me life." "Since this is thy resolution, good Sancho, discreet Sancho, Christian Sancho, and honest Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "let us leave these [Pg 206] phantoms, and seek better and more substantial adventures; for this country, I see, is likely to afford us many and very extraordinary ones." He then wheeled Rozinante about; Sancho took his Dapple; and Death, with his flying squadron, having returned to their cart, each pursued their way. Thus happily terminated the awful adventure of Death's caravan—thanks to the wholesome advice that Sancho Panza gave his master, who the next day encountering an enamoured knight-errant, met with an adventure not a whit less important than the one just related.


CHAPTER XLIV.

Of the strange adventure which befell the valorous Don Quixote with the brave Knight of the Mirrors.

Don Quixote and his squire passed the night following their encounter with Death under some tall, umbrageous trees; and as they were refreshing themselves, by Sancho's advice, from the store of provisions carried by Dapple, he said to his master, "What a fool, sir, should I have been had I chosen for my reward the spoils of your worship's first adventure, instead of the three ass-colts! It is a true saying, 'A sparrow in the hand is better than a vulture upon the wing.'" "However, Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "hadst thou suffered me to make the attack which I had premeditated, thy share of the booty would have been at least the emperor's crown of gold and Cupid's painted wings; for I would have plucked them off per force, and delivered them into thy hands." "The crowns and sceptres of your theatrical emperors," answered Sancho, "are never pure gold, but tinsel or copper." "That is true," replied Don Quixote; "nor would it be proper that the decorations of a play should be otherwise than counterfeit, like the drama itself, which I would have thee hold in due estimation, as well as the actors and authors; for they are all instruments of much benefit to the commonwealth, continually presenting a mirror before our eyes, in which we see lively representations of the actions of human life; nothing, indeed, more truly portrays to us what we are, and what we should be, than the drama. Tell me, hast thou never seen a play in which kings, emperors, popes, lords, and ladies are introduced, with divers other personages; one acting the ruffian, another the knave; one the merchant, another the soldier; one a designing fool, another a foolish lover; and observed that, when the play is done, and the actors undressed, they are all again upon a level?" "Yes, marry have I," quoth Sancho. "The very same thing, then," said Don Quixote, "happens on the stage of this world, on which some play the part of emperors, others of popes—in [Pg 207] short, every part that can be introduced in a comedy; but at the conclusion of this drama of life, death strips us of the robes which made the difference between man and man, and leaves us all on one level in the grave." "A brave comparison!" quoth Sancho; "though not so new but that I have heard it many times, as well as that of the game of chess; which is that, while the game is going, every piece has its office, and when it is ended, they are all huddled together, and put into a bag: just as we are put together into the ground when we are dead." "Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thou art daily improving in sense." "And so I ought," answered Sancho; "for some of your worship's wisdom must needs stick to me; as dry and barren soil, by well dunging and digging, comes at last to bear good fruit. My meaning is, that your worship's conversation has been the dung laid upon the barren soil of my poor wit, and the tillage has been the time I have been in your service and company; by which I hope to produce fruit like any blessing, and such as will not disparage my teacher, nor let me stray from the paths of good-breeding which your worship has made in my shallow understanding." Don Quixote smiled at Sancho's affected style; but he really did think him improved, and was frequently surprised by his observations, when he did not display his ignorance by soaring too high. His chief strength lay in proverbs, of which he had always abundance ready, though perhaps not always fitting the occasion, as may often have been remarked in the course of this history.

In this kind of conversation they spent great part of the night, till Sancho felt disposed to let down the portcullises of his eyes, as he used to say when he was inclined to sleep. So, having unrigged his Dapple, he turned him loose into pasture; but he did not take off the saddle from Rozinante's back, it being the express command of his master that he should continue saddled whilst they kept the field and were not sleeping under a roof, in conformity to an ancient established custom religiously observed among knights-errant, which was to take off the bridle and hang it on the pommel of the saddle, but by no means to remove the saddle.

At length Sancho fell asleep at the foot of a cork-tree, while Don Quixote slumbered beneath a branching oak. But it was not long before he was disturbed by a noise near him; he started up, and looking in the direction whence the sounds proceeded, could discern two men on horseback, one of whom dismounting, said to the other, "Alight, friend, and unbridle the horses; for this place will afford them pasture, and offers to me that silence and solitude which my pensive thoughts require." As he spoke, he threw himself on the ground, and in this motion a rattling of armour was heard, which convinced Don Quixote that this was a knight-errant; and going to Sancho, who was fast asleep, he pulled him by the arm, and having with some difficulty roused [Pg 208] him, he said in a low voice, "Friend Sancho, we have got an adventure here." "God send it be a good one!" answered Sancho; "and pray, sir, where may this same adventure be?" "Where, sayest thou, Sancho?" replied Don Quixote, "turn thine eyes that way, and thou wilt see a knight-errant lying extended, who seems to me not over happy in his mind; for I just now saw him dismount and throw himself upon the ground, as if much oppressed with grief, and his armour rattled as he fell." "But how do you know," quoth Sancho, "that this is an adventure?" "Though I cannot yet positively call it an adventure, it has the usual signs of one: but listen, he is tuning an instrument, and seems to be preparing to sing." "By my troth, so he is," cried Sancho, "and he must be some knight or other in love." "As all knights-errant must be," quoth Don Quixote; "but hearken, and we shall discover his thoughts by his song." Sancho would have replied; but the Knight of the Wood, whose voice was only moderately good, began to sing, and they both attentively listened to the following:

Sonnet.
Bright queen, how shall your loving slave
Be sure not to displease?
Some rule of duty let him crave;
He begs no other ease.
Say, must I die, or hopeless live?
I'll act as you ordain;
Despair a silent death shall give,
Or Love himself complain.
My heart, though soft as wax, will prove
Like diamonds firm and true:
For what th' impression can remove,
That's stamp'd by love and you?

With a deep sigh, that seemed to be drawn from the very bottom of his heart, the Knight of the Wood ended his song; and after some pause, in a plaintive and dolorous voice, he exclaimed, "O thou most beautiful and most ungrateful of woman-kind! O divine Casildea de Vandalia! wilt thou, then, suffer this thy captive knight to consume and pine away in continual peregrinations and in severest toils? Is it not enough that I have caused thee to be acknowledged the most consummate beauty in the world by all the knights of Navarre, of Leon, of Tartesia, of Castile, and, in fine, by all the knights of La Mancha?" "Not so," said Don Quixote, "for I am of La Mancha, and never have made such an acknowledgment, nor ever will admit an assertion so prejudicial to the beauty of my mistress. Thou seest, Sancho, how this knight raves; but let us listen; perhaps he will make some farther declaration." [Pg 209] "Ay, marry will he," replied Sancho, "for he seems to be in a humour to complain for a month to come." But they were mistaken; for the knight, hearing voices near them, proceeded no farther in his lamentation, but rising up, said aloud in a courteous voice, "Who goes there? What are ye? Of the number of the happy, or of the afflicted?" "Of the afflicted," answered Don Quixote. "Come to me, then," answered the Knight of the Wood, "and you will find sorrow and misery itself!" These expressions were uttered in so moving a tone, that Don Quixote, followed by Sancho, went up to the mournful knight, who, taking his hand, said to him, "Sit down here, sir knight; for to be assured that you profess the order of chivalry, it is sufficient that I find you here, encompassed by solitude and the cold dews of night, the proper station for knights-errant." "A knight I am," replied Don Quixote, "and of the order you name; and although my heart is the mansion of misery and woe, yet can I sympathise in the sorrows of others; from the strain I just now heard from you, I conclude that you are of the amorous kind—arising, I mean, from a passion for some ungrateful fair."

Whilst thus discoursing, they were seated together on the ground peaceably and sociably, not as if at daybreak they were to fall upon each other with mortal fury. "Perchance you too are in love, sir knight," said he of the Wood to Don Quixote. "Such is my cruel destiny," answered Don Quixote; "though the sorrows that may arise from well-placed affections ought rather to be accounted blessings than calamities." "That is true," replied the Knight of the Wood, "provided our reason and understanding be not affected by disdain, which, when carried to excess, is more like vengeance." "I never was disdained by my mistress," answered Don Quixote. "No, verily," quoth Sancho, who stood close by; "for my lady is as gentle as a lamb and as soft as butter." "Is this your squire?" demanded the Knight of the Wood. "He is," replied Don Quixote. "I never in my life saw a squire," said the Knight of the Wood, "who durst presume to speak where his lord was conversing; at least, there stands mine, as tall as his father, and it cannot be proved that he ever opened his lips where I was speaking." "Truly," quoth Sancho, "I have talked, and can talk before one as good as —— and perhaps, —— but let that rest: perhaps the less said the better." The Knight of the Wood's squire now took Sancho by the arm, and said, "Let us two go where we may chat squire-like together, and leave these masters of ours to talk over their loves to each other; for I warrant they will not have done before to-morrow morning." "With all my heart," quoth Sancho, "and I will tell you who I am, that you may judge whether I am not fit to make one among the talking squires." The squires then withdrew, and a dialogue passed between them as lively as that of their masters was grave.


CHAPTER XLV.

Wherein is continued the adventure of the Knight of the Wood, with the wise and witty dialogue between the two Squires.

[Pg 210] Having retired a little apart, the Squire of the Wood said to Sancho, "This is a toilsome life we squires to knights-errant lead; in good truth, we eat our bread by the sweat of our brows, which is one of the curses God laid upon our first parents." "You may say too, that we eat it by the frost of our bodies," added Sancho; "for who has to bear more cold, as well as heat, than your miserable squires to knight-errantry? It would not be quite so bad if we could always get something to eat, for good fare lessens care; but how often we must pass whole days without breaking our fast—unless it be upon air!" "All this may be endured," quoth he of the Wood, "with the hopes of reward; for that knight-errant must be unlucky indeed who does not speedily recompense his squire with at least a handsome government, or some pretty earldom." "I," replied Sancho, "have already told my master that I should be satisfied with the government of an island; and he is so noble, and so generous, that he has promised it me a thousand times." "And I," said he of the Wood, "should think myself amply rewarded for all my services with a canonry; and I have my master's word for it too." "Why then," quoth Sancho, "belike your master is some knight of the church, and so can bestow rewards of that kind on his squires; mine is only a layman. Some of his wise friends advised him once to be an archbishop, but he would be nothing but an emperor, and I trembled all the while lest he should take a liking to the church; because, you must know, I am not gifted that way; to say the truth, sir, though I look like a man, I am a very beast in such matters." "Let me tell you, friend," quoth he of the Wood, "you are quite in the wrong; for these island-governments are often more plague than profit. Some are crabbed, some beggarly, some—in short, the best of them are sure to bring more care than they are worth, and are mostly too heavy for the shoulders that have to bear them. I suspect it would be wiser in us to quit this thankless drudgery and stay at home, where we may find easier work and better pastime; for he must be a sorry squire who has not his nag, his brace of greyhounds, and an angling-rod to enjoy himself with at home." "I am not without these things," answered Sancho; "it is true I have no horse, but then I have an ass which is worth twice as much as my master's steed. I would not swap with him, though he should offer me four bushels of barley to boot; no, that would not I, though you may take for a joke the price I set upon my Dapple,—for dapple, sir, is the colour [Pg 211] of my ass. Greyhounds I cannot be in want of, as our town is overstocked with them; besides, the rarest sporting is that we find at other people's cost." "Really and truly, brother squire," answered he of the Wood, "I have resolved with myself to quit the frolics of these knights-errant, and get home again and look after my children; for I have three like Indian pearls." "And I have two," quoth Sancho, "fit to be presented to the Pope himself in person; especially my girl that I am breeding up for a countess, if it please God, in spite of her mother. But I beseech God to deliver me from this dangerous profession of squireship, into which I have run a second time, drawn and tempted by a purse of a hundred ducats, which I found one day among the mountains. In truth, my fancy is continually setting before my eyes, here, there, and everywhere, a bag full of gold pistoles, so that methinks at every step I am laying my hand upon it, hugging it, and carrying it home, buying lands, settling rents, and living like a prince; and while this runs in my head, I can bear all the toil which must be suffered with this foolish master of mine, who, to my knowledge, is more of the madman than the knight."

"Indeed, friend," said the Squire of the Wood, "you verify the proverb, which says, 'that covetousness bursts the bag.' Truly, friend, now you talk of madmen, there is not a greater one in the world than my master. The old saying may be applied to him, 'Other folks' burdens break the ass's back;' for he gives up his own wits to recover those of another; and is searching after that which, when found, may chance to hit him in the teeth." "By the way, he is in love, it seems?" said Sancho. "Yes," quoth he of the Wood, "with one Casildea de Vandalia, one of the most whimsical dames in the world; but that is not the foot he halts on at present; he has some other crotchets in his pate, which we shall hear more of anon." "There is no road so even but it has its stumbling places," replied Sancho; "in other folks' houses they boil beans, but in mine whole kettles full. Madness will have more followers than discretion; but if the common saying is true, that there is some comfort in having partners in grief, I may comfort myself with you, who serve as crack-brained a master as my own." "Crack-brained, but valiant," answered he of the Wood, "and more knavish than either." "Mine," answered Sancho, "has nothing of the knave in him; so far from it, he has a soul as pure as a pitcher, and would not harm a fly; he bears no malice, and a child may persuade him it is night at noon-day; for which I love him as my life, and cannot find in my heart to leave him, in spite of all his pranks." "For all that, brother," quoth he of the Wood, "if the blind lead the blind, both may fall into the ditch. We had better turn us fairly about, and go back to our homes; for they who seek adventures find them sometimes to their cost."

"But methinks," said he, "we have talked till our throats are [Pg 212] dry; but I have got, hanging at my saddle-bow, that which will refresh them;" when, rising up, he quickly produced a large bottle of wine, and a pasty half-a-yard long, without any exaggeration; for it was made of so large a rabbit that Sancho thought verily it must contain a whole goat, or at least a kid; and, after due examination, "How," said he, "do you carry such things about with you?" "Why, what do you think?" answered the other; "did you take me for some starveling squire?—No, no, I have a better cupboard behind me on my horse than a general carries with him upon a march." Sancho fell to, without waiting for entreaties, and swallowed down huge mouthfuls in the dark. "Your worship," said he, "is indeed a squire, trusty and loyal, round and sound, magnificent and great withal, as this banquet proves (if it did not come by enchantment); and not a poor wretch like myself, with nothing in my wallet but a piece of cheese, and that so hard that you may knock out a giant's brains with it; and four dozen of carobes to bear it company, with as many filberts—thanks to my master's stinginess, and to the fancy he has taken that knights-errant ought to feed, like cattle, upon roots and wild herbs." "Troth, brother," replied he of the Wood, "I have no stomach for your wild pears, nor sweet thistles, nor your mountain roots; let our masters have them, with their fancies and their laws of chivalry, and let them eat what they commend. I carry cold meats and this bottle at the pommel of my saddle, happen what will; and such is my love and reverence for it, that I kiss and hug it every moment." And as he spoke, he put it into Sancho's hand, who grasped it, and, applying it straightway to his mouth, continued gazing at the stars for a quarter of an hour; then, having finished his draught, he let his head fall on one side, and, fetching a deep sigh, said, "O the rogue! How excellent it is! But tell me, by all you love best, is not this wine of Ciudad Real?" "Thou art a rare taster," answered he of the Wood; "it is indeed of no other growth, and has, besides, some years over its head." "Trust me for that," quoth Sancho; "depend upon it, I always hit right, and can guess to a hair. And this is all natural in me; let me but smell them, and I will tell you the country, the kind, the flavour, the age, strength, and all about it; for you must know I have had in my family, by the father's side, two of the rarest tasters that were ever known in La Mancha; and I will give you a proof of their skill. A certain hogshead was given to each of them to taste, and their opinion asked as to the condition, quality, goodness, or badness, of the wine. One tried it with the tip of his tongue; the other only put it to his nose. The first said the wine savoured of iron; the second said it had rather a twang of goat's leather. The owner protested that the vessel was clean, and the wine neat, so that it could not taste either of iron or leather. Notwithstanding this, the two famous tasters stood positively to what they had said. Time went [Pg 213] on; the wine was sold off, and, on cleaning the cask, a small key, hanging to a leathern thong, was found at the bottom. Judge, then, sir, whether one of that race may not be well entitled to give his opinion in these matters." "That being the case," quoth he of the Wood, "we should leave off seeking adventures; and, since we have a good loaf, let us not look for cheesecakes, but make haste and get home to our own cots." "I will serve my master till he reaches Saragosa," quoth Sancho, "then, mayhap, we shall turn over a new leaf."

Thus the good squires went on talking and eating and drinking, until it was full time that sleep should give their tongues a respite and allay their thirst, for to quench it seemed to be impossible; and both of them, still keeping hold of the almost empty bottle, fell fast asleep; in which situation we will leave them at present, to relate what passed between the two knights.


CHAPTER XLVI.

Continuation again of the adventure of the Knight of the Wood.

Much conversation passed between the two knights. Among other things, he of the Wood said to Don Quixote, "In fact, sir knight, I must confess that, by destiny, or rather by choice, I became enamoured of the peerless Casildea de Vandalia:—peerless I call her, because she is without her peer, either in rank, beauty, or form. Casildea repaid my honourable and virtuous passion by employing me as Hercules was employed by his stepmother, in many and various perils; promising me, at the end of each of them, that the next should crown my hopes; but, alas! she still goes on, adding link after link to the chain of my labours, insomuch that they are now countless; nor can I tell when they are to cease, and my tender wishes be gratified. One time she commanded me to go and challenge Giralda, the famous giantess of Seville, who is as stout and strong as if she were made of brass, and, though never stirring from one spot, is the most changeable and unsteady woman in the world. I came, I saw, I conquered; I made her stand still, and fixed her to a point; for, during a whole week, no wind blew but from the north. Another time she commanded me to weigh those ancient statues, the fierce bulls of Guisando, an enterprise better suited to a porter than a knight. Another time she commanded me to plunge headlong into Cabra's cave (direful mandate!), and bring her a particular detail of all that lies enclosed within its dark abyss. I stopped the motion of the Giralda, I weighed the bulls of Guisando, I plunged headlong into the cavern of Cabra and brought to light its hidden secrets; [Pg 214] yet still my hopes are dead! In short, she has now commanded me to travel over all the provinces of Spain, and compel every knight whom I meet to confess that in beauty she excels all others now in existence; and that I am the most valiant and the most enamoured knight in the universe. In obedience to this command I have already traversed the greatest part of Spain, and have vanquished divers knights who have had the presumption to contradict me. But what I value myself most upon is having vanquished, in single combat, that renowned knight Don Quixote de la Mancha, and made him confess that my Casildea is more beautiful than his Dulcinea; and I reckon that, in this conquest alone, I have vanquished all the knights in the world; for this Don Quixote has conquered them all, and I, having overcome him, his glory, his fame, and his honour, are, consequently transferred to me. All the innumerable exploits of the said Don Quixote I therefore consider as already mine, and placed to my account."

Don Quixote was amazed at the assertions of the Knight of the Wood, and had been every moment at the point of giving him the lie; but he restrained himself, that he might convict him of falsehood from his own mouth; and therefore he said, very calmly, "That you may have vanquished, sir knight, most of the knights-errant of Spain, or even of the whole world, I will not dispute; but that you have conquered Don Quixote de la Mancha I have much reason to doubt. Some one resembling him, I allow, it might have been; though, in truth, I believe there are not many like him." "How say you?" cried he of the Wood; "as sure as I am here alone, I fought with Don Quixote, vanquished him, and made him surrender to me! He is a man of an erect figure, withered face, long and meagre limbs, grizzle-haired, hawk-nosed, with large black mustachios, and styles himself the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure. The name of his squire is Sancho Panza; he oppresses the back and governs the reins of a famous steed called Rozinante—in a word, the mistress of his thoughts is one Dulcinea del Toboso, formerly called Aldonza Lorenzo, as my Casildea, being of Andalusia, is now distinguished by the name of Casildea de Vandalia. And now, if I have not sufficiently proved what I have said, here is my sword, which shall make incredulity itself believe." "Softly, sir knight," said Don Quixote, "and hear what I have to say. You must know that this Don Quixote you speak of is the dearest friend I have in the world, insomuch that he is, as it were, another self; and, notwithstanding the very accurate description you have given of him, I am convinced, by the evidence of my senses, that you have never subdued him. It is, indeed, possible that, as he is continually persecuted by enchanters, some one of these may have assumed his shape, and suffered himself to be vanquished, in order to defraud him of the fame which his exalted feats of chivalry have acquired him over the whole face of the earth. A proof of their malice [Pg 215] occurred but a few days since, when they transformed the figure and face of the beautiful Dulcinea del Toboso into the form of a mean rustic wench. And now if, after all, you doubt the truth of what I say, behold the true Don Quixote himself before you, ready to convince you of your error by force of arms, on foot or on horseback, or in whatever manner you please." He then rose up, and grasping his sword, awaited the determination of the Knight of the Wood, who very calmly said in reply, "A good paymaster wants no pledge: he who could vanquish Sig˝or Don Quixote under transformation may well hope to make him yield in his proper person. But as knights-errant should by no means perform their feats in the dark, like robbers and ruffians, let us wait for daylight, that the sun may witness our exploits; and let the condition of our combat be, that the conquered shall remain entirely at the mercy and disposal of the conqueror; provided that he require nothing of him but what a knight may with honour submit to." Don Quixote having expressed himself entirely satisfied with these conditions, they went to seek their squires, whom they found snoring in the very same posture as that in which sleep had first surprised them. They were soon awakened by their masters, and ordered to prepare the steeds, so that they might be ready at sunrise for a single combat. At this intelligence Sancho was thunderstruck, and ready to swoon away with fear for his master, from what he had been told by the Squire of the Wood of his knight's prowess. Both the squires, however, without saying a word, went to seek their cattle; and the three horses and Dapple were found all very sociably together.

"You must understand, brother," said the Squire of the Wood to Sancho, "that it is not the custom in Andalusia for the seconds to stand idle with their arms folded while their principals are engaged in combat. So this is to give you notice that, while our masters are at it, we must fight too, and make splinters of one another." "This custom, Sig˝or Squire," answered Sancho, "may pass among ruffians; but among the squires of knights-errant no such practice is thought of,—at least I have not heard my master talk of any such custom; and he knows by heart all the laws of knight-errantry. But supposing there is any such law, I shall not obey it. I would rather pay the penalty laid upon such peaceable squires, which, I dare say, cannot be above a couple of pounds of wax; and that will cost me less money than plasters to cure a broken head. Besides, how can I fight when I have got no sword, and never had one in my life?" "I know a remedy for that," said he of the Wood: "here are a couple of linen bags of the same size; you shall take one, and I the other, and so, with equal weapons, we will have a bout at bag-blows." "With all my heart," answered Sancho; "for such a battle will only dust our jackets." "It must not be quite so, either," replied [Pg 216] the other; "for, lest the wind should blow them aside, we must put in them half-a-dozen clean and smooth pebbles of equal weight; and thus we may brush one another without much harm or damage." "But I tell you what, master," said Sancho, "though they should be filled with balls of raw silk, I shall not fight. Let our masters fight, but let us drink and live; for time takes care to rid us of our lives without our seeking ways to go before our appointed term and season." "Nay," replied he of the Wood, "do let us fight, if it be but for half-an-hour." "No, no," answered Sancho, "I shall not be so rude nor ungrateful as to have any quarrel with a gentleman after eating and drinking with him. Besides, who can set about dry fighting without being provoked to it?" "If that be all," quoth he of the Wood, "I can easily manage it; for, before we begin our fight, I will come up and just give you three or four handsome cuffs, which will lay you flat at my feet and awaken your choler, though it slept sounder than a dormouse." "Against that trick," answered Sancho, "I have another not a whit behind it; which is to take a good cudgel, and, before you come near enough to awaken my choler, I will bastinado yours into so sound a sleep that it shall never awake but in another world. Let me tell you, I am not a man to suffer my face to be handled; so let every one look to the arrow; though the safest way would be to let that same choler sleep on—for one man knows not what another can do, and some people go out for wool, and come home shorn. In all times God blessed the peace-makers, and cursed the peace-breakers. If a baited cat turns into a lion, there is no knowing what I, that am a man, may turn into; and therefore I warn you, master squire, that all the damage and mischief that may follow from our quarrel must be placed to your account." "Agreed," replied he of the Wood; "when daylight arrives, we shall see what is to be done."

And now a thousand sorts of birds, glittering in their gay attire, began to chirp and warble in the trees, and in a variety of joyous notes seemed to hail the blushing Aurora, who now displayed her rising beauties from the bright arcades and balconies of the east, and gently shook from her locks a shower of liquid pearls, sprinkling that reviving treasure over all vegetation. The willows distilled their delicious manna, the fountains smiled, the brooks murmured, the woods and meads rejoiced at her approach. But scarcely had hill and dale received the welcome light of day, and objects become visible, when the first thing that presented itself to the eyes of Sancho Panza was the squire of the Wood's nose, which was so large that it almost overshadowed his whole body. Its magnitude was indeed extraordinary; it was moreover a hawk-nose, full of warts and carbuncles, of the colour of a mulberry, and hanging two fingers' breadth below his mouth. The size, the colour, the carbuncles, and the crookedness, produced [Pg 217] such a countenance of horror, that Sancho, at sight thereof, began to tremble from head to foot, and he resolved within himself to take two hundred cuffs before he would be provoked to attack such a hobgoblin.

Don Quixote also surveyed his antagonist, but, the beaver of his helmet being down, his face was concealed; it was evident, however, that he was a strong-made man, not very tall, and that over his armour he wore a kind of surtout or loose coat, apparently of the finest gold cloth, besprinkled with little moons of polished glass, which made a very gay and shining appearance; a large plume of feathers, green, yellow, and white, waved above his helmet. His lance, which was leaning against a tree, was very large and thick, and headed with pointed steel above a span long. All these circumstances Don Quixote attentively marked, and inferred from appearances that he was a very potent knight; but he was not therefore daunted, like Sancho Panza; on the contrary, with a gallant spirit, he said to the Knight of the Mirrors, "Sir knight, if your eagerness for combat has not exhausted your courtesy, I entreat you to lift up your beaver a little, that I may see whether your countenance corresponds with your gallant demeanour." "Whether vanquished or victorious in this enterprise, sir knight," answered he of the Mirrors, "you will have time and leisure enough for seeing me; and if I comply not now with your request, it is because I think it would be an indignity to the beauteous Casildea de Vandalia to lose any time in forcing you to make the confession required." "However, while we are mounting our horses," said Don Quixote, "you can tell me whether I resemble that Don Quixote whom you said you had vanquished." "As like as one egg is to another," replied he of the Mirrors, "though, as you say you are persecuted by enchanters, I dare not affirm that you are actually the same person." "I am satisfied that you acknowledge you may be deceived," said Don Quixote; "however, to remove all doubt, let us to horse, and in less time than you would have spent in raising your beaver, if God, my mistress, and my arm avail me, I will see your face, and you shall be convinced I am not the vanquished Don Quixote."

They now mounted without more words; and Don Quixote wheeled Rozinante about, to take sufficient ground for the encounter, while the other knight did the same; but before Don Quixote had gone twenty paces, he heard himself called by his opponent, who, meeting him half way, said, "Remember, sir knight, our agreement; which is, that the conquered shall remain at the discretion of the conqueror." "I know it," answered Don Quixote, "provided that which is imposed shall not transgress the laws of chivalry." "Certainly," answered he of the Mirrors. At this juncture the squire's strange nose presented itself to Don Quixote's sight, who was no less struck than Sancho, insomuch [Pg 218] that he looked upon him as a monster, or some creature of a new species. Sancho, seeing his master set forth to take his career, would not stay alone with Long-nose, lest perchance he should get a filip from that dreadful snout, which would level him to the ground, either by force or fright. So he ran after his master, holding by the stirrup-leather, and when he thought it was nearly time for him to face about, "I beseech your worship," he cried, "before you turn, to help me into yon cork-tree, where I can see better and more to my liking the brave battle you are going to have with that knight." "I rather believe, Sancho," quoth Don Quixote, "that thou art for mounting a scaffold to see the bull-sports without danger." "To tell you the truth, sir," answered Sancho, "that squire's monstrous nose fills me with dread, and I dare not stand near him." "It is indeed a fearful sight," said Don Quixote, "to any other but myself; come, therefore, and I will help thee up."

DON QUIXOTE.

While Don Quixote was engaged in helping Sancho up into the cork-tree, the Knight of the Mirrors took as large a compass as he thought necessary, and believing that Don Quixote had done the same, without waiting for sound of trumpet, or any other signal, he turned about his horse, who was not a whit more active nor more sightly than Rozinante, and at his best speed, though not exceeding a middling trot, he advanced to encounter the enemy; but seeing him employed with Sancho, he reined-in his steed and stopped in the midst of his career; for which his horse was most thankful, being unable to stir any farther. Don Quixote, thinking his enemy was coming full speed against him, clapped spurs to Rozinante's flanks, and made him so bestir himself, that this was the only time in his life that he approached to something like a gallop; and with this unprecedented fury he soon came up to where his adversary stood, striking his spurs rowel-deep into the sides of his charger, without being able to make him stir a finger's length from the place where he had been checked in his career. At this fortunate juncture Don Quixote met his adversary embarrassed not only with his horse but his lance, which he either knew not how, or had not time, to fix in its rest; and therefore our knight, who saw not these perplexities, assailed him with perfect security, and with such force that he soon brought him to the ground, over his horse's crupper, leaving him motionless and without any signs of life. Sancho, on seeing this, immediately slid down from the cork-tree, and in all haste ran to his master, who alighted from Rozinante, and went up to the vanquished knight, when, unlacing his helmet to see whether he was dead, or if yet alive, to give him air, he beheld——but who can relate what he beheld, without causing amazement, wonder, and terror, in all that shall hear it? He saw, says the history, the very face, the very figure, the very aspect, the very physiognomy, the very effigies and semblance of the bachelor Samson [Pg 219] Carrasco! "Come hither, Sancho," cried he aloud, "and see, but believe not; make haste, son, and mark what wizards and enchanters can do!" Sancho approached, and seeing the face of the bachelor Samson Carrasco, he began to cross and bless himself a thousand times over. All this time the overthrown cavalier shewed no signs of life. "My advice is," said Sancho, "that, at all events, your worship should thrust your sword down the throat of this man who is so like the bachelor Samson Carrasco; for in dispatching him you may destroy one of those enchanters your enemies." "Thou sayest not amiss," quoth Don Quixote, "for the fewer enemies the better." He then drew his sword to put Sancho's advice into execution, when the squire of the Mirrors came running up, but without the frightful nose, and cried aloud, "Have a care, Sig˝or Don Quixote, what you do; for it is the bachelor Samson Carrasco your friend, and I am his squire." Sancho seeing his face now shorn of its deformity, exclaimed, "The nose! where is the nose?" "Here it is," said the other, taking from his right-hand pocket a pasteboard nose, formed and painted in the manner already described; and Sancho, now looking earnestly at him, made another exclamation. "Blessed Virgin, defend me!" cried he, "is not this Tom Cecial my neighbour?" "Indeed am I," answered the unnosed squire; "Tom Cecial I am, friend Sancho Panza, and I will tell you presently what tricks brought me hither; but now, good Sancho, entreat, in the mean time, your master not to hurt the Knight of the Mirrors at his feet: for he is truly no other than the rash and ill-advised bachelor Samson Carrasco, our townsman."

By this time the Knight of the Mirrors began to recover his senses, which Don Quixote perceiving, he clapped the point of his naked sword to his throat, and said, "You are a dead man, sir knight, if you confess not that the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso excels in beauty your Casildea de Vandalia; you must promise also, on my sparing your life, to go to the city of Toboso, and present yourself before her from me, that she may dispose of you as she shall think fit; and, if she leaves you at liberty, then shall you return to me without delay—the fame of my exploits being your guide—to relate to me the circumstances of your interview: these conditions being strictly conformable to the terms agreed on before our encounter, and also to the rules of knight-errantry." "I confess," said the fallen knight, "that the lady Dulcinea del Toboso's torn and dirty shoe is preferable to the ill-combed, though clean, locks of Casildea; and I promise to go and return from her presence to yours, and give you the exact and particular account which you require of me."

"You must likewise confess and believe," added Don Quixote, "that the knight you vanquished was not Don Quixote de la Mancha, but some one resembling him; as I do confess and believe that, though resembling the bachelor Samson Carrasco, you [Pg 220] are not he, but some other whom my enemies have purposely transformed into his likeness, to restrain the impetuosity of my rage, and make me use with moderation the glory of my conquest." "I confess, judge, and believe every thing, precisely as you do yourself," answered the disjointed knight; "and now suffer me to rise, I beseech you, if my bruises do not prevent me." Don Quixote raised him with the assistance of his squire, on whom Sancho still kept his eyes fixed; and though from some conversation that passed between them, he had much reason to believe it was really his old friend Tom Cecial, he was so prepossessed by all that his master had said about enchanters, that he would not trust his own eyes. In short, both master and man persisted in their error; and the Knight of the Mirrors, with his squire, much out of humour and in ill plight, went in search of some convenient place where he might searcloth himself and splinter his ribs. Don Quixote and Sancho continued their journey to Saragosa, where the history leaves them; to give some account of the Knight of the Mirrors and his well-snouted squire.


CHAPTER XLVII.

Giving an account of the Knight of the Mirrors and his Squire.

Exceedingly happy, elated, and self-satisfied was Don Quixote at his triumph over so valiant a knight as he imagined him of the Mirrors to be, and from whose promise he hoped to learn whether his adored mistress still remained in a state of enchantment. But Don Quixote expected one thing, and he of the Mirrors intended another: his only care at present being to get, as soon as possible, plasters for his bruises. The history then proceeds to tell us, that when the bachelor Samson Carrasco advised Don Quixote to resume his functions of knight-errantry, he had previously consulted with the priest and the barber upon the best means of inducing Don Quixote to stay peaceably and quietly at home; and it was agreed by general vote, as well as by the particular advice of Carrasco, that they should let Don Quixote make another sally (since it seemed impossible to detain him), and that the bachelor should then also sally forth like a knight-errant, and take an opportunity of engaging him to fight, and after vanquishing him, which they held to be an easy matter, he should remain, according to a previous agreement, at the disposal of the conqueror, who should command him to return home and not quit it for the space of two years, or till he had received further orders from him. They doubted not but that he would readily comply, rather than infringe the laws of chivalry; and they hoped that, during this interval, he might forget his follies, or that some [Pg 221] means might be discovered of curing his malady. Carrasco engaged in the enterprise; and Tom Cecial, Sancho Panza's neighbour, a merry shallow-brained fellow, proffered his service as squire. Samson armed himself in the manner already described, and Tom Cecial fitted the counterfeit nose to his face for the purpose of disguising himself; and, following the same road that Don Quixote had taken, they were not far off when the adventure of Death's car took place; but it was in the wood they overtook him, which was the scene of the late action, and where, had it not been for Don Quixote's extraordinary conceit that the bachelor was not the bachelor, that gentleman, not meeting even so much as nests where he thought to find birds, would have been incapacitated for ever from taking the degree of licentiate.

Tom Cecial, after the unlucky issue of their expedition, said to the bachelor, "Most certainly, Sig˝or Carrasco, we have been rightly served. It is easy to plan a thing, but very often difficult to get through with it. Don Quixote is mad, and we are in our senses; he gets off sound and laughing, and your worship remains sore and sorrowful: now, pray, which is the greater madman, he who is so because he cannot help it, or he who is so on purpose?" "The difference between these two sorts of madmen is," replied Samson, "that he who cannot help it will remain so, and he who deliberately plays the fool may leave off when he thinks fit." "That being the case," said Tom Cecial, "I was mad when I desired to be your worship's squire; and now I desire to be so no longer, but shall hasten home again." "That you may do," answered Samson; "but, for myself, I cannot think of returning to mine till I have soundly banged this same Don Quixote. It is not now with the hope of curing him of his madness that I shall seek him, but a desire to punish him;—the pain of my ribs will not allow me to entertain a more charitable purpose." In this humour they went talking on till they came to a village, where they luckily met with a bone-setter, who undertook to cure the unfortunate Samson. Tom Cecial now returned home, leaving his master meditating schemes of revenge; and though the history will have occasion to mention him again hereafter, it must now attend the motions of our triumphant knight.

Don Quixote pursued his journey with the pleasure, satisfaction, and self-complacency already described; imagining, because of his late victory, that he was the most valiant knight the world could then boast of. He cared neither for enchantments nor enchanters, and looked upon all the adventures which should henceforth befall him as already achieved and brought to a happy conclusion. He no longer remembered his innumerable sufferings during the progress of his chivalries: the stoning that demolished half his teeth, the ingratitude of the galley-slaves, nor the audacity of the Yanguesian carriers and their shower of pack staves,—in short, he inwardly exclaimed that, could he but devise [Pg 222] any means of disenchanting his Lady Dulcinea, he should not envy the highest fortune that ever was or could be attained by the most prosperous knight-errant of past ages!

He was wholly absorbed in these reflections, when Sancho said to him, "Is it not strange, sir, that I still have before my eyes the monstrous nose of my neighbour Tom Cecial?" "And dost thou really believe, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that the Knight of the Mirrors was the bachelor Samson Carrasco, and his squire thy friend Tom Cecial?" "I know not what to say about it," answered Sancho; "I only know that the marks he gave me of my house, wife, and children, could be given by nobody else; and his face, when the nose was off, was Tom Cecial's,—for he lives in the next house to my own; the tone of his voice, too, was the very same." "Come, come, Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "let us reason upon this matter. How can it be imagined that the bachelor Samson Carrasco should come as a knight-errant, armed at all points, to fight with me? Was I ever his enemy? Have I ever given him occasion to bear me ill-will? Am I his rival? Or has he embraced the profession of arms, envying the fame I have acquired by them?" "But, then, what are we to say, sir," answered Sancho, "to the likeness of that knight, whoever he may be, to the bachelor Samson Carrasco, and his squire to my neighbour Tom Cecial? If it be enchantment, as your worship says, why were they to be made like those two above all other in the world?" "Trust me, Sancho, the whole is an artifice," answered Don Quixote, "and a trick of the wicked magicians who persecute me. Knowing that I might be victorious, they cunningly contrived that my vanquished enemy should assume the appearance of the worthy bachelor, in order that the friendship which I bear him might interpose between the edge of my sword and the rigour of my arm, and, by checking my just indignation, the wretch might escape with life, who, by fraud and violence, sought mine. Indeed, already thou knowest by experience, Sancho, how easy a thing it is for enchanters to change one face into another, making the fair foul, and the foul fair; since, not two days ago, thou sawest with thine own eyes the grace and beauty of the peerless Dulcinea in their highest perfection, while to me she appeared under the mean and disgusting exterior of a rude country wench. If, then, the wicked enchanter durst make so foul a transformation, no wonder at this deception of his, in order to snatch the glory of victory out of my hands! However, I am gratified in knowing that, whatever was the form he pleased to assume, my triumph over him was complete." Sancho, well knowing the transformation of Dulcinea to have been a device of his own, would make no reply, lest he should betray himself.


CHAPTER XLVIII.

Of what befell Don Quixote with a worthy gentleman of La Mancha.

[Pg 223] While thus discoursing, they were overtaken by a gentleman, mounted on a fine mare, and dressed in a green cloth riding-coat faced with murry-coloured velvet, and a hunter's cap of the same; the mare's furniture corresponded in colour with his dress, and was adapted to field-sports; a Moorish scymitar hung at his shoulder-belt, which was green and gold; his buskins were wrought like the belt; and his spurs were green,—not gilt, but green,—and polished so neatly that, as they suited his clothes, they looked better than if they had been of pure gold. He saluted them courteously, and, spurring his mare, was passed on, when Don Quixote said to him, "If you are travelling our road, sig˝or, and are not in haste, will you favour us with your company?" "Indeed, sig˝or," replied he, "I should not have passed on, but I was afraid your horse might prove unruly in the company of mine." "Sir," answered Sancho, "if that be all, you may set your mind at rest on that score, for ours is the soberest and best-behaved horse in the world, and was never guilty of a roguish trick in his life, but once, and then my master and I paid for it sevenfold." The traveller upon this checked his mare, his curiosity being excited by the appearance of Don Quixote, who rode without his helmet, which Sancho carried at the pommel of his ass's pannel; but if he stared at Don Quixote, he was himself surveyed with no less attention by the knight, who conceived him to be some person of consequence. His age seemed to be about fifty, though he had but few grey hairs; his face was of the aquiline form, of a countenance neither too gay nor too grave, and by his whole exterior it was evident that he was no ordinary person. It was not less manifest that the traveller, as he contemplated Don Quixote, thought he had never seen any thing like him before. With wonder he gazed upon his tall person, his meagre sallow visage, his lank horse, his armour and stately deportment—altogether presenting a figure like which nothing, for many centuries past, had been seen in that country.

Don Quixote perceived that he had attracted the attention of the traveller, and being the pink of courtesy, and always desirous of pleasing, he anticipated his questions by saying, "You are probably surprised, sig˝or, at my appearance, which is certainly uncommon in the present age; but this will be explained when I tell you that I am a knight in search of adventures. I left my country, mortgaged my estate, quitted ease and pleasures, and threw myself into the arms of fortune. I wished to [Pg 224] revive chivalry, so long deceased; and, for some time past, exposed to many vicissitudes, stumbling in one place, and rising again in another, I have prosecuted my design; succouring widows, protecting damsels, aiding wives and orphans—all the natural and proper duties of knights-errant. And thus, by many valorous and Christian exploits, I have acquired the deserved honour of being in print, throughout all, or most of, the nations in the world. Thirty thousand copies are already published of my history, and, Heaven permitting, thirty thousand thousands more are likely to be printed. Finally, to sum up all in a single word, know that I am Don Quixote de la Mancha, otherwise called the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure. Though self-praise depreciates, I am compelled sometimes to pronounce my own commendations; but it is only when no friend is present to perform that office for me. And now, my worthy sir, that you know my profession, and who I am, you will cease to wonder at my appearance."

After an interval of silence, the traveller in green said, in reply, "You are indeed right, sig˝or, in conceiving me to be struck by your appearance; but you have rather increased than lessened my wonder by the accounts you give of yourself. How! Is it possible that there are knights-errant now in the world, and that there are histories printed of real chivalries? I had no idea that there was any body now upon earth who relieved widows, succoured damsels, aided wives, or protected orphans; nor should yet have believed it, had I not been convinced with my own eyes. Thank Heaven, the history you mention must surely cast into oblivion all the fables of imaginary knights-errant, which abound, much to the detriment of good morals, and the prejudice and neglect of genuine history." "There is much to be said," answered Don Quixote, "upon the question of the truth or fiction of the histories of knights-errant." "Why, is there any one," answered he in green, "who doubts the falsehood of those histories?" "I doubt it," replied Don Quixote: "but no more of that at present; for if we travel together much farther, I hope to convince you, sir, that you have been wrong in suffering yourself to be carried in the stream with those who cavil at their truth." The traveller now first began to suspect the state of his companion's intellects, and watched for a further confirmation of his suspicion; but before they entered into any other discourse, Don Quixote said that, since he had so freely described himself, he hoped he might be permitted to ask who he was. To which the traveller answered, "I, sir knight, am a gentleman, and native of a village, where, if it please God, we shall dine to-day. My fortune is affluent, and my name is Don Diego de Miranda. I spend my time with my wife, my children, and my friends: my diversions are hunting and fishing; but I keep neither hawks nor greyhounds, only some decoy partridges and a stout ferret. [Pg 225] I have about six dozen of books, Spanish and Latin, some of history, and some of devotion; those of chivalry have not come over my threshold. Sometimes I eat with my neighbours and friends, and frequently I invite them; my table is neat and clean, and not parsimoniously furnished. I slander no one, nor do I listen to slander from others. I pry not into other men's lives, nor scrutinise their actions. I hear mass every day; I share my substance with the poor, making no parade of my good works, lest hypocrisy and vain-glory, those insidious enemies of the human breast, should find access to mine. It is always my endeavour to make peace between those who are at variance. I am devoted to our blessed Lady, and ever trust in the infinite mercy of God our Lord."

Sancho was very attentive to the account of the gentleman's life, which appeared to him to be good and holy; and thinking that one of such a character must needs work miracles, he flung himself off his Dapple, and running up to him, he laid hold of his right stirrup; then, devoutly and almost with tears, he kissed his feet more than once. "What mean you by this, brother?" said the gentleman; "why these embraces?" "Your worship," said Sancho, "is the first saint on horseback I ever saw in all my life." "I am no saint," answered the gentleman, "but a great sinner; you, my friend, must indeed be good, as your simplicity proves." Sancho retired, and mounted his ass again; having forced a smile from the profound gravity of his master, and caused fresh astonishment in Don Diego.

Don Quixote then asked him how many children he had; at the same time observing that the ancient philosophers, being without the knowledge of the true God, held supreme happiness to subsist in the gifts of nature and fortune, in having many friends and many good children. "I have one son," answered the gentleman; "and if I had him not, perhaps I should think myself happier; not that he is bad, but because he is not all that I would have him. He is eighteen years old; six of which he has spent at Salamanca, learning the Latin and Greek languages; and when I wished him to proceed to other studies, I found him infatuated with poetry, and could not prevail upon him to look into the law, which it was my desire he should study; nor into theology, the queen of all sciences. I was desirous that he should be an honour to his family, since we live in an age in which useful and virtuous literature is rewarded by the sovereign,—I say virtuous, for letters without virtue are pearls on a dunghill. He passes whole days in examining whether Homer expressed himself well in such a verse of the Iliad; whether such a line in Virgil should be understood this or that way;—in a word, all his conversation is with those and other ancient poets: for the modern Spanish authors he holds in no esteem. At the same time, in spite of the contempt he seems to have for Spanish [Pg 226] poetry, his thoughts are at this very time entirely engrossed by a paraphrase on four verses sent him from Salamanca, and which, I believe, is intended for a scholastic prize."

"Children, my good sir," replied Don Quixote, "are the flesh and blood of their parents; and whether good or bad, must be loved and cherished as part of themselves. It is the duty of parents to train them up, from their infancy, in the paths of virtue and good manners, and in Christian discipline; so that they may become the staff of their age, and an honour to their posterity. As to forcing them to this or that pursuit, I do not hold it to be right, though I think there is a propriety in advising them; and when the student is so fortunate as to have an inheritance, and therefore not compelled to study for his subsistence, I should be for indulging him in the pursuit of that science to which his genius is most inclined; and although that of poetry be less useful than delightful, it does not usually reflect disgrace on its votaries. With regard to your son's contempt for Spanish poetry, I think he is therein to blame. The great Homer, being a Greek, did not write in Latin; nor did Virgil, who was a Roman, write in Greek. In fact, all the ancient poets wrote in the language of their native country, and did not hunt after foreign tongues to express their own sublime conceptions. If your son write personal satires, chide him, and tear his performances; but if he writes like Horace, reprehending vice in general, commend him; for it is laudable in a poet to employ his pen in a virtuous cause. Let him direct the shafts of satire against vice, in all its various forms, but not level them at individuals; like some who, rather than not indulge their mischievous wit, will hazard a disgraceful banishment to the isles of Pontus. If the poet be correct in his morals, his verse will partake of the same purity: the pen is the tongue of the mind, and what his conceptions are, such will be his productions."

The gentleman hearing Don Quixote express himself in this manner, was struck with so much admiration, that he began to lose the bad opinion he had conceived of his understanding. As for Sancho, who did not much relish this fine talk, he took an opportunity to slink aside in the middle of it, and went to get a little milk of some shepherds that were hard by keeping their sheep. Now when the gentleman was going to renew his discourse, mightily pleased with these judicious observations, Don Quixote, lifting up his eyes, perceived a waggon on the road, set round with little flags that appeared to be the king's colours; and believing it to be some new adventure, he called out to Sancho to bring him his helmet. Sancho, hearing him call aloud, left the shepherds, and clapping his heels vigorously to Dapple's sides, soon came trotting up to his master.


CHAPTER XLIX.

Where you will find set forth the highest proof that Don Quixote ever gave, or could give, of his courage; with the successful issue of the adventure of the Lions.

[Pg 227] They were now overtaken by the waggon, which was attended only by the driver, mounted on one of the mules, and another man that sat on the fore part of it. Don Quixote making up to them, "Whither go ye, friends?" said he. "What waggon is this? What do you convey in it? And what is the meaning of these colours?" "The waggon is mine," answered the waggoner: "I have there two brave lions, which the general of Oran is sending to the king, and these colours are to let the people understand that what goes here belongs to him." "Are the lions large?" "Very large," answered the man in the fore part of the waggon; "bigger never came from Africa. I am their keeper, and have had charge of several others, but I never saw the like of these before. In the foremost cage is a lion, and in the other a lioness. By this time they are cruelly hungry, for they have not eaten to-day; therefore, pray, good sir, ride out of the way, for we must make haste to get to the place where we are to feed them." "What!" said Don Quixote, with a scornful smile; "lion-whelps against me! And at this time of day? Well, I will make those gentlemen that sent their lions this way, know whether I am a man to be scared with lions. Get off, honest fellow; and since you are the keeper, open their cages and let them both out; for, in despite of those enchanters that have sent them to try me, I will make the creatures know, in the midst of this very field, who Don Quixote de la Mancha is."

While he was making this speech, Sancho came up to Don Diego, and begged him to dissuade his master from his rash attempt. "Oh, good dear sir!" cried he, "for pity's sake, hinder my master from falling upon these lions by all means, or we shall be torn in pieces." "Why," said the gentleman, "is your master so arrant a madman, then, that you should fear he would set upon such furious beasts?" "Ah, sir!" said Sancho, "he is not mad, but terribly venturesome." "Well," replied the gentleman, "I will take care there shall be no harm done;" and with that, coming up to the Don, who was urging the lion-keeper to open the cage, "Sir," said he, "knights-errant ought to engage in adventures from which there may be some hope of coming off with safety, but not in such as are altogether desperate; for courage which borders on temerity is more like madness than true fortitude. Besides, these lions are not come against you, but sent as a present to the king; and therefore it is not your duty to detain [Pg 228] them, or stop the waggon." "Pray, sweet sir," replied Don Quixote, "go and amuse yourself with your tame partridges and your ferrets, and leave every one to his own business. This is mine, and I know best whether these worthy lions are sent against me or no." Then turning about to the keeper, "Sirrah!" said he, "open your cages immediately, or I will certainly pin thee to the waggon with this lance." "Good sir," cried the waggoner, seeing this strange apparition in armour so resolute, "for mercy's sake, do but let me take out our mules first, and get out of harm's way with them as fast as I can, before the lions get out; for if they should once set upon the poor beasts, I should be undone for ever; for, alas, that cart and they are all I have in the world to get a living with." "Thou man of small faith," said Don Quixote, "take them out quickly then, and go with them where thou wilt; though thou shalt presently see that thy precaution was needless, and thou mightest have spared thy pains."

The waggoner on this made all the haste he could to take out his mules, while the keeper cried out, "Bear witness, all ye that are here present, that it is against my will that I open the cages and let loose the lions; and that I protest to this gentleman here, that he shall be answerable for all the mischief they may do; together with the loss of my salary and fees. And now, sirs, shift for yourselves as fast as you can, before I open the cages; for, as for myself, I know the lions will do me no harm." Once more the gentleman tried to dissuade Don Quixote from doing so mad a thing; telling him, that he tempted Heaven in exposing himself without reason to so great a danger. To this Don Quixote made no other answer but that he knew what he had to do. "Consider, however, what you do," replied the gentleman; "for it is most certain that you are mistaken." "Well, sir," said Don Quixote, "if you care not to be spectator of an action which you think is likely to be a tragedy, put spurs to your mare and provide for your safety." Sancho, hearing this, came up to his master with tears in his eyes, and begged him not to go about this fearful undertaking, to which the adventure of the windmills and the fulling-mills, and all the brunts he had ever borne in his life, were but children's play. "Good your worship," cried he, "do but mind; here is no enchantment in the case, nor anything like it. Alack-a-day, sir, I peeped even now through the grates of the cage, and I am sure I saw the claw of a true lion, and such a claw as makes me think the lion that owns it must be as big as a mountain." "Alas, poor fellow!" said Don Quixote, "thy fear will make him as big as half the world. Retire, Sancho, and leave me, and if I chance to fall here, thou knowest our old agreement; repair to Dulcinea—I say no more." To this he added some expressions which cut off all hopes of his giving over his mad design.

The gentleman in green would have opposed him; but considering [Pg 229] the other much better armed, and that it was not prudence to encounter a madman, he even took the opportunity, while Don Quixote was storming at the keeper, to march off with his mare, as Sancho did with Dapple, and the carter with his mules, every one making the best of his way to get as far as he could from the waggon, before the lions were let loose. Poor Sancho at the same time made sad lamentations for his master's death; for he gave him up for lost, not doubting but that the lions had already got him into their clutches. He cursed his ill fortune, and the hour he came again to his service; but for all his wailing and lamenting, he urged on poor Dapple, to get as far as he could from the lions. The keeper, perceiving the persons who fled to be at a good distance, fell to arguing and entreating Don Quixote as he had done before. But the knight told him again that all his reasons and entreaties were but in vain, and bid him say no more, but immediately despatch.

Now while the keeper took time to open the foremost cage, Don Quixote stood debating with himself whether he had best make his attack on foot or on horseback; and upon mature deliberation he resolved to do it on foot, lest Rozinante, not used to lions, should be put into disorder. Accordingly, he quitted his horse, threw aside his lance, grasped his shield, and drew his sword; then advancing with a deliberate motion, and an undaunted heart, he posted himself just before the door of the cage, commending himself to Heaven, and afterwards to his lady.

The keeper observing that it was not possible for him to prevent letting out the lions without incurring the resentment of the desperate knight, set the door of the foremost cage wide open, where, as I have said, the lion lay, who appeared of a monstrous size and of a frightful aspect. The first thing he did was to turn himself round in his cage; in the next place he stretched out one of his paws, put forth his claws, and roused himself. After that he gaped and yawned for a good while, and shewed his dreadful fangs, and then thrust out half a yard of tongue, and with it licked the dust from his face. Having done this, he thrust his head quite out of the cage, and stared about with his eyes that looked like two live coals of fire: a sight and motion enough to have struck terror into temerity itself. But Don Quixote only regarded it with attention, wishing his grim adversary would leap out of his hold, and come within his reach, that he might exercise his valour, and cut the monster piecemeal. To this height of extravagance had his folly transported him; but the generous lion, more gentle than arrogant, taking no notice of his vapouring and bravados, after he had looked about him a while, turned his back upon the knight, and very contentedly lay down again in his apartment.

Don Quixote, seeing this, commanded the keeper to rouse him with his pole, and force him out whether he would or no. [Pg 230] "Not I, indeed, sir," answered the keeper; "I dare not do it for my life; for if I provoke him, I am sure to be the first he will tear to pieces. Let me advise you, sir, to be satisfied with your day's work. 'Tis as much as the bravest that wears a head can pretend to do. Then pray go no farther, I beseech you; the door stands open, the lion is at his choice whether he will come out or no. You have waited for him; you see he does not care to look you in the face; and since he did not come out at the first, I dare engage he will not stir out this day. You have shewn enough the greatness of your courage; the scandal is his, the honour the challenger's."

"'Tis true," replied Don Quixote. "Come, shut the cage-door, honest friend, and give me a certificate under thy hand, in the amplest form thou canst devise, of what thou hast seen me perform; while I make signs to those that ran away from us, and get them to come back, that they may have an account of this exploit from thy own mouth." The keeper obeyed; and Don Quixote, clapping a handkerchief on the point of his lance, waved it in the air, and called as loud as he was able to the fugitives, who fled nevertheless, looking behind them all the way, and trooped on in a body with the gentleman in green at the head of them.

At last Sancho observed the signal, and called out, "Hold!" my master calls; "I will be hanged, if he has not got the better of the lions!" At this they all faced about, and perceived Don Quixote flourishing his ensign; whereupon recovering a little from their fright, they leisurely rode back till they could plainly distinguish his voice. As soon as they were got near the waggon, "Come on, friend," said he to the carter; "put-to thy mules again, and pursue thy journey; and, Sancho, do thou give him two ducats for the lion-keeper and himself, to make them amends for the time I have detained them." "Ay, that I will with all my heart," quoth Sancho; "but what is become of the lions? Are they dead or alive?" Then the keeper very formally related the whole action, not failing to exaggerate, to the best of his skill, Don Quixote's courage; how, at his sight alone, the lion was so terrified, that he neither would nor durst quit his stronghold, though for that end his cage-door was kept open for a considerable time; and how at length, upon his remonstrating to the knight, who would have had the lion forced out, that it was presuming too much upon Heaven, he had permitted, though with great reluctancy, that the lion should be shut up again. "Well, Sancho," said Don Quixote to his squire, "what dost thou think of this? Can enchantment prevail over true fortitude? No; these magicians may rob me of success, but never of my invincible greatness of mind."

Sancho gave the waggoner and the keeper the two pieces. The first harnessed his mules, and the last thanked Don Quixote [Pg 231] for his bounty, and promised to acquaint the king himself with his heroic action when he went to court. "Well," said Don Quixote, "if his majesty should chance to inquire who the person was that did this thing, tell him it was the Knight of the Lions; a name I intend henceforth to take up, in place of that which I have hitherto borne; in which proceeding I do but conform to the ancient custom of knights-errant, who changed their names as often as they pleased, or as it suited with their advantage."

Don Quixote now addressed Don Diego. "Without doubt, sir," said he, "you take me for a downright madman, and, indeed, my actions may seem to speak me no less. But for all that, give me leave to tell you, I am not so mad, nor is my understanding so defective, as you may fancy. Let me remind you that every knight has his particular employment. Let the courtier wait on the ladies; let him with splendid equipage adorn his prince's court, and with a magnificent table support poor gentlemen. Let him give birth to feasts and tournaments, and shew his grandeur, and liberality, and munificence, and especially his piety: in all these things he fulfils the duties of his station. But as for the knight-errant, let him search into all the corners of the world, enter into the most intricate labyrinths, and every hour be ready to attempt impossibility itself; let him in desolate wilds baffle the rigour of the weather, the scorching heat of the sun's fiercest beams, and the inclemency of winds and snow; let lions never fright him, dragons daunt him, nor evil spirits deter him:—to go in quest of these,—to meet, to dare, to conflict, and to overcome them all,—is his principal and proper office. Well I know, that valour is a virtue situate between the two vicious extremes of cowardice and temerity. But certainly it is not so ill for a valiant man to rise to a degree of rashness as it is to fall short, and border upon cowardice. For as it is easier for a prodigal to become liberal than a miser, so it is easier for the hardy and rash person to be reduced to true bravery, than the coward ever to rise to that virtue. And therefore, in thus attempting adventures, believe me, Sig˝or Don Diego, it is better to exceed the bounds a little, and overdo, rather than underdo the thing; because it sounds better in people's ears to hear it said, how that such a knight is rash and hardy, than such a knight is dastardly and timorous."

"All you have said and done," answered Don Diego, "is agreeable to the exactest rules of reason; and I believe if the laws and ordinances of knight-errantry were lost, they might be all recovered from you, your breast seeming to be the safe repository and archive where they are lodged. But it grows late; let us make a little more haste to get to our village and to my habitation, where you may rest yourself after the fatigues which doubtless you have sustained, if not in body, at least in mind, whose pains often afflict the body too." "Sir," answered Don Quixote, [Pg 232] "I esteem your offer as a singular favour." And so, proceeding a little faster than they had done before, about two in the afternoon they reached the village, and got to the house of Don Diego, whom now Don Quixote called the Knight of the Green Coat.


CHAPTER L.

How Don Quixote was entertained at the castle or house of the Knight of the Green Coat, with other extraordinary matters.

Don Quixote found that Don Diego de Miranda's house was spacious, after the country manner; the arms of the family were over the gate in rough stone,—the buttery in the foreyard, the cellar under the porch, and all around several great jars of the sort commonly made at Toboso; the sight of which bringing to his remembrance his enchanted and transformed Dulcinea, he heaved a deep sigh; and neither minding what he said nor who was by, broke out into the following exclamation:

"O ye Tobosian urns, that awaken in my mind the thoughts of the sweet pledge of my most bitter sorrows!" Don Diego's son, who, as it has been said, was a student, and poetically inclined, heard these words as he came with his mother to welcome him home, and, as well as she, was not a little surprised to see what a strange being his father had brought with him. Don Quixote alighted from Rozinante, and very courteously desiring to kiss her ladyship's hands, "Madam," said Don Diego, "this gentleman is the noble Don Quixote de la Mancha, the wisest and most valiant knight-errant in the world; pray let him find a welcome suitable to his merit and your usual civility." Thereupon Donna Christina (for that was the lady's name) received him very kindly, and with great marks of respect; to which Don Quixote made a proper and handsome return; and then almost the same compliments passed between him and the young gentleman, whom Don Quixote judged by his words to be a man of wit and sense.

While the knight was unarming, Don Lorenzo had leisure to talk with his father about him. "Pray, sir," said he, "who is this gentleman you have brought with you? Considering his name, his aspect, and the title of knight-errant which you give him, neither my mother nor I know what to think of him." "Truly," answered Don Diego, "I do not know what to say to you; all that I can inform you of is, that I have seen him play the maddest pranks in the world, and yet say a thousand sensible things that contradict his actions. But discourse with him yourself, and feel the pulse of his understanding; make use of your sense to judge of his; though, to tell you the truth, I believe his folly exceeds his discretion."

[Pg 233] Don Lorenzo then went to entertain Don Quixote; and after some discourse had passed between them, "Sir," said the knight, "I am not wholly a stranger to your merit; Don Diego de Miranda, your father, has given me to understand you are a person of excellent parts, and especially a great poet." "Sir," answered the young gentleman, "I may, perhaps, pretend to poetry, but never to be a great poet. It is true, I am somewhat given to rhyming, and love to read good authors; but I am very far from deserving to be thought one of their number." "I do not mislike your modesty," replied Don Quixote; "it is a virtue not often found among poets; for almost every one of them thinks himself the greatest in the world." "There is no rule without an exception," said Don Lorenzo; "and it is not impossible but there may be one who may deserve the name, though he does not think so himself." "That is very unlikely," replied Don Quixote. "But pray, sir, tell me what verses are those that your father says you are so puzzled about? If it should be what we call a gloss or a paraphrase, I understand something of that way of writing, and should be glad to see it. If the composition be designed for a poetical prize, I would advise you only to put in for the second; for the first always goes by favour, and is rather granted to the great quality of the author than to his merit; but as to the next, it is adjudged to the most deserving; so that the third may in a manner be esteemed the second, and the first no more than the third, according to the methods used in our universities of giving degrees. And yet, after all, it is no small matter to gain the honour of being called the first."

Hitherto all is well, thought Don Lorenzo to himself,—I cannot think thee mad yet; let us go on. With that, addressing himself to Don Quixote, "Sir," said he, "you seem to me to have frequented the schools; pray what science has been your particular study?" "That of knight-errantry," answered Don Quixote; "which is as good as that of poetry, and somewhat better too." "I do not know what sort of a science that is," said Don Lorenzo; "nor indeed did I ever hear of it before." "It is a science," answered Don Quixote, "that includes in itself all the other sciences in the world, or at least the greatest part of them. Whoever professes it ought to be learned in the laws, and understand distributive and commutative justice, in order to right all mankind. He ought to be a divine, to give a reason of his faith, and vindicate his religion by dint of argument. He ought to be skilled in physic, especially in the botanic part of it, that he may know the nature of simples, and have recourse to those herbs that can cure wounds; for a knight-errant must not expect to find surgeons in the woods and deserts. He must be an astronomer, to understand the motions of the celestial orbs, and find out by the stars the hour of the night, and the longitude and latitude of the climate on which fortune throws him; and he [Pg 234] ought to be well instructed in all the other parts of the mathematics—that science being of constant use to a professor of arms, on many accounts too numerous to be related. I need not tell you that all the divine and moral virtues must centre in his mind. To descend to less material qualifications, he must be able to swim like a fish, know how to shoe a horse, mend a saddle or bridle; and, returning to higher matters, he ought to be inviolably devoted to Heaven and his lady, chaste in his thoughts, modest in words, and liberal and valiant in deeds; patient in afflictions, charitable to the poor; and finally, a maintainer of truth, though it cost him his life to defend it. These are the endowments to constitute a good knight-errant; and now, sir, be you a judge, whether the professors of chivalry have an easy task to perform, and whether such a science may not stand in competition with the most celebrated and best of those that are taught in colleges?" "If it be so," answered Don Lorenzo, "I say it deserves the pre-eminence over all other sciences." "What do you mean, sir, by that, If it be so?" cried Don Quixote. "I mean, sir," cried Don Lorenzo, "that I doubt whether there are now, or ever were, any knights-errant, especially with so many rare accomplishments." "This makes good what I have often said," answered Don Quixote; "most people will not be persuaded there ever were any knights-errant in the world. Now, sir, because I verily believe that unless Heaven will work some miracle to convince them that there have been and still are knights-errant, those incredulous persons are too much wedded to their opinion to admit such a belief, I will not now lose time to endeavour to let you see how much you and they are mistaken; all I design to do is, only to beseech Heaven to convince you of your being in an error, that you may see how useful knights-errant were in former ages, and the vast advantages that would result in ours from the assistance of men of that profession. But now effeminacy, sloth, luxury, and ignoble pleasure triumph, for the punishment of our sins." Now, said Lorenzo to himself, our gentleman has already betrayed his blind side; but yet he gives a colour of reason to his extravagance, and I were a fool to think otherwise.

Here they were called to dinner, which ended the discourse; and at that time Don Diego, taking his son aside, asked him what he thought of the stranger. "I think, sir," said Don Lorenzo, "that it is not in the power of all the physicians in the world to cure his distemper. He is mad past recovery; but yet he has lucid intervals." In short, they dined; and their entertainment proved such as the old gentleman had told the knight he used to give his guests—neat, plentiful, and well ordered. But that which Don Quixote most admired was, the extraordinary silence he observed through the whole house, as if it had been a monastery of Carthusians.


CHAPTER LI.

The adventure of the Shepherd-Lover, and other truly comical passages.

[Pg 235] Don Quixote stayed four days at Don Diego's house, and during all that time met with a very generous entertainment. However, he then desired his leave to go, and returned him a thousand thanks for his kind reception; letting him know that the duty of his profession did not admit of his staying any longer out of action; and therefore he designed to go in quest of adventures, which he knew were plentifully to be found in that part of Spain; and that he would employ his time in that till the tilts and tournaments began at Saragosa, to which place it was now his chief intent to go. However, he would first go to Montesinos' cave, about which so many wonderful stories were told in those parts; and there he would endeavour to explore and discover the source and original springs of the seven lakes, commonly called the lakes of Ruydera. Don Diego and his son highly commended his noble resolution, and desired him to command whatever their house afforded, assuring him he was sincerely welcome to do it; the respect they had for his honourable profession, and his particular merit, obliging them to do him all manner of service.

In short, the day of his departure came, a day of joy and gladness to Don Quixote, but of grief and sadness to poor Sancho, who had no mind to change his quarters, and liked the good cheer and plenty at Don Diego's house, much better than his short hungry commons in forests and deserts, or the sorry pittance of his ill-stored wallets, which he however crammed and stuffed with what he thought could best make the change of his condition tolerable. And now Don Quixote taking his leave of Don Lorenzo, "Sir," said he, "I don't know whether I have already said it to you, but if I have, give me leave to repeat it once more, that if you are ambitious of climbing up to the difficult, and in a manner inaccessible, summit of the temple of Fame, your surest way is to leave on one hand the narrow path of poetry, and follow the narrower track of knight-errantry, which in a trice may raise you to an imperial throne." With these words, Don Quixote seemed to have summed up the whole evidence of his madness. However, he could not conclude without adding something more. "Heaven knows," said he, "how willingly I would take Don Lorenzo with me, to instruct him in those virtues that are annexed to the employment I profess, to spare the humble, and crush the proud and haughty. But since his tender years do not qualify him for the hardships of that life, and his laudable exercises detain him, I must rest contented with letting you know, that one way to acquire fame in poetry, is to be governed by other men's judgment [Pg 236] more than your own: for it is natural to fathers and mothers not to think their own children ugly; and this error is nowhere so common as in the offspring of the mind."

Don Diego and his son were again surprised to hear this medley of good sense and extravagance, and to find the poor gentleman so strongly bent on the quest of these unlucky adventures, the only aim and object of his desires.

After this, and many compliments and mutual reiterations of offers of service, Don Quixote having taken leave of the lady of the castle, he on Rozinante, and Sancho on Dapple, set out and pursued their journey. They had not travelled far when they were overtaken by two men that looked like students or ecclesiastics, with two farmers, all mounted upon asses. One of the scholars had behind him a small bundle of linen, and two pairs of stockings, trussed up in green buckram like a portmanteau; the other had no other luggage but a couple of foils and a pair of fencing pumps. And the husbandmen had a parcel of other things, which shewed, that having made their market at some adjacent town, they were now returning home with their ware. They all wondered (as indeed all others did that ever beheld him) what kind of fellow Don Quixote was, seeing him make a figure so different from anything they had ever seen. The knight saluted them, and perceiving their road lay the same way, offered them his company, entreating them, however, to move at an easier pace, because their asses went faster than his horse; and to engage them the more, he gave them a hint of his circumstances and profession; that he was a knight-errant travelling round the world in quest of adventures; that his proper name was Don Quixote de la Mancha, but his titular denomination, the Knight of the Lions.

All this was Greek, or pedlar's French, to the countrymen; but the students presently found out his blind side. However, respectfully addressing him, "Sir Knight," said one of them, "if you are not fixed to any set stage, as persons of your function seldom are, let us beg the honour of your company; and you shall be entertained with one of the finest and most sumptuous weddings that ever was seen, either in La Mancha, or many leagues round it." "The nuptials of some young prince, I presume?" said Don Quixote. "No, sir," answered the other, "but of a yeoman's son, and a neighbour's daughter; he the richest in all this country, and she the handsomest you ever saw. The entertainment at the wedding will be new and extraordinary; it is to be kept in a meadow near the village where the bride lives. They call her Quiteria the Handsome, by reason of her beauty; and the bridegroom Camacho the Rich, on account of his wealth. They are well matched as to age, for she draws towards eighteen, and he is about two-and-twenty, though some nice folks, that have all the pedigrees in the world in their heads, [Pg 237] will tell ye that the bride comes of a better family than he; but that is not minded now-a-days, for money, you know, will hide many faults. And, indeed, this same Camacho is as free as a prince, and designs to spare no cost upon his wedding. He has taken a fancy to get the meadow shaded with boughs, that are to cover it like an arbour, so that the sun will have much ado to peep through, and visit the green grass underneath. There are also provided for the diversion of the company, several sorts of antics and morrice-dancers, some with swords, and some with bells; for there are young fellows in his village that can manage them cleverly. I say nothing of those that play tricks with the soles of their shoes when they dance, leaving that to the judgments of their guests. But nothing that I have told or might tell you of this wedding, is like to make it so remarkable as the things which I imagine poor Basil's despair will do. This Basil is a young fellow that lives next door to Quiteria's father. Hence arose an attachment, like that of old between Pyramus and Thisbe; for Basil's love grew up with him from a child, and she encouraged his passion with all the kind return that modesty could grant; insomuch that the mutual affection of the two little ones was the common talk of the village. But Quiteria coming to years of maturity, her father began to deny Basil the usual access to his house; and to cut off his farther pretence, declared his resolution of marrying her to Camacho, who is indeed his superior in estate, though far short of him in all other qualifications; for Basil is the cleverest fellow we have: he will pitch ye a bar, wrestle, or play at tennis with the best in the country; he runs like a stag, leaps like a buck, plays at nine-pins so well, you would think he tips them down by witchcraft; sings like a lark; touches a guitar so rarely, he even makes it speak; and to complete his perfections, he handles a sword like a fencer."

"For that very single qualification," said Don Quixote, "he deserves not only Quiteria the Handsome, but a princess; nay, Queen Guinever herself, were she now living, in spite of Sir Lancelot and all that would oppose it." "Well," quoth Sancho, who had been silent, and listening all the while, "my wife used to tell me, she would have every one marry with their match. All I say is, let honest Basil e'en marry her! for methinks I have a huge liking to the young man; and so Heaven bless them together, say I, and a murrain seize those that will spoil a good match between those that love one another!" "Nay," said Don Quixote, "if marriage should be always the consequence of mutual love, what would become of the prerogative of parents, and their authority over their children? If young girls might always choose their own husbands, we should have the best families intermarry with coachmen and grooms; and young heiresses would throw themselves away upon the first wild young fellows whose promising outsides and assurance make them set up for fortunes, [Pg 238] though all their stock consists in impudence. For the understanding, which alone should distinguish and choose in these cases as in all others, is apt to be blinded or biassed by love and affection; and matrimony is so nice and critical a point, that it requires not only our own cautious management, but even the direction of a superior power to choose right. Whoever undertakes a long journey, if he be wise, makes it his business to find out an agreeable companion. How cautious then should he be, who is to take a journey for life, whose fellow-traveller must not part with him but at the grave; his companion at bed and board, and sharer of all the pleasures and fatigues of his journey; as the wife must be to the husband! She is no such sort of ware, that a man can be rid of when he pleases. When once that is purchased, no exchange, no sale, no alienation can be made: she is an inseparable accident to man: marriage is a noose, which, fastened about the neck, runs the closer, and fits more uneasy by our struggling to get loose: it is a Gordian knot which none can untie, and being twisted with our thread of life, nothing but the scythe of death can cut it. I could dwell longer on this subject, but that I long to know whether you can tell us anything more of Basil."

"All I can tell you," said the student, "is, that he is in the case of all desperate lovers; since the moment he heard of this intended marriage, he has never been seen to smile; he is in a deep melancholy, talks to himself, and seems out of his senses; he hardly eats or sleeps, and lives like a savage in the open fields, his only sustenance a little fruit, and his only bed the hard ground; sometimes he lifts up his eyes to Heaven, then fixes them on the ground, and in either posture stands like a statue. In short, he is reduced to that condition that we who are his acquaintance verily believe, that Quiteria's fatal 'Yes' of this wedding to-morrow will be attended by his death."

"Heaven forbid!" cried Sancho. "Who can tell what may happen? he that gives a broken head can give a plaster. This is one day, but to-morrow is another; and strange things may fall out in the roasting of an egg. After a storm comes a calm. Many a man that went to bed well, has found himself dead in the morning when he awaked. Who can put a spoke in fortune's wheel? nobody here, I am sure. Between a woman's yea and nay, I would not engage to put a pin's-point, so close they be one to another. If Mrs. Quiteria love Mr. Basil, she will give Camacho the bag to hold: for this same love, they say, looks through spectacles that makes copper like gold, a cart like a coach, and a shrimp like a lobster." "Whither, in the name of ill-luck, art thou running with thy proverbs now, Sancho?" said Don Quixote. "What dost thou know, poor animal, of fortune, or her wheel, or any thing else?" "Why truly, sir," quoth Sancho, "if you don't understand me, no wonder if my sentences be thought nonsense. But let that pass, I understand myself; and [Pg 239] I am sure I have not talked so much like a ninny. But you, forsooth, are so sharp a cricket." "A critic, blockhead," said Don Quixote, "you mean." "What makes you so angry, sir?" quoth Sancho; "I was never brought up at school nor varsity, to know when I murder a hard word. I was never at court to learn to spell, sir. Some are born in one town, some in another; one at St. Jago, another at Toledo; and even there all are not so nicely spoke."

"You are in the right, friend," said the student; "those natives of that city who live among the tanners, or about the market of Zocodover, and are confined to mean conversation, cannot speak so well as those that frequent the polite part of the town, and yet they are all of Toledo. But propriety, purity, and elegance of style may be found among men of breeding and judgment, let them be born where they will; for their judgment is in the grammar of good language, though practice and example will go a great way."

It was now pretty dark; but before they got to the village, there appeared an entire blazing constellation. Their ears were entertained with the pleasing but confused sounds of several sorts of music, drums, fiddles, pipes, tabors, and bells; and as they approached nearer still, they found a large arbour at the entrance of the town stuck full of lights, which burnt undisturbed by the least breeze of wind. The musicians, which are the life and soul of diversion at a wedding, went up and down in bands about the meadow. Others were employed in raising scaffolds for the better view of the shows and entertainments prepared for the happy Camacho's wedding, and likewise to solemnise poor Basil's funeral. All the persuasions and endeavours of the students and countrymen could not move Don Quixote to enter the town; urging for his reason the custom of knights-errant, who chose to lodge in fields and forests under the canopy of Heaven, rather than in soft beds under a gilded roof; and therefore he left them, and went a little out of the road, full sore against Sancho's will, who had not yet forgot the good lodging and entertainment he had at Don Diego's house or castle.


CHAPTER LII.

An account of rich Camacho's wedding, and what befell poor Basil.

Scarce had the fair Aurora given place to the refulgent ruler of the day, and given him time, with the heat of his prevailing rays, to dry the liquid pearls on his golden locks, when Don Quixote, shaking off sluggish sleep from his drowsy limbs, arose and called [Pg 240] his squire: but finding him still snoring, "O thou most happy mortal upon earth," said he, "how sweet is thy repose; envied by none, and envying no man's greatness, secure thou sleepest, thy soul composed and calm; no power of magic persecutes thee, nor are thy thoughts affrighted by enchantments! Sleep on, sleep on, a hundred times sleep on. Those jealous cares that break a lover's heart, do not extend to thee; neither the dread of craving creditors, nor the dismal foresight of inevitable want, or care of finding bread for a helpless family, keep thee waking. Ambition does not make thee uneasy, the pomp and vanity of this world do not perplex thy mind; for all thy care's extent reaches but to thy ass. Thy person and thy welfare thou hast committed to my charge, a burden imposed on masters by nature and custom, to weigh and counterpoise the offices of servants. Which is the greatest slave? The servant's business is performed by a few manual duties, which only reconcile him more to rest, and make him sleep more sound; while the anxious master has not leisure to close his eyes, but must labour day and night to make provision for the subsistence of his servant; not only in time of abundance, but even when the Heavens deny those kindly showers that must supply this want."

To all this fine expostulation Sancho answered not a word; but slept on, and was not to be waked by his master's calling or otherwise, till he pricked him with the sharp end of his lance. At length opening his eyelids half way, and rubbing them, after he had gaped and yawned and stretched his drowsy limbs, he looked about him; and snuffing up his nose, "I am much mistaken," quoth he, "if from this same arbour there comes not a pure steam of a good rasher, that comforts my nostrils more than all the herbs and rushes hereabouts. And truly, a wedding that begins so savourily must be a dainty one." "Away, cormorant," said Don Quixote; "rouse and let us go see it, and learn how it fares with the disdained Basil." "Fare!" quoth Sancho; "why, if he be poor, he must e'en be so still, and not think to marry Quiteria. It is a pretty fancy for a fellow who has not a cross, to run madding after what is meat for his betters. I will lay my neck that Camacho covers this same Basil from head to foot with white sixpences, and will spend more at a breakfast than the other is worth, and be never the worse. And do you think that Madame Quiteria will quit her fine rich gowns and petticoats, her necklaces of pearl, her jewels, her finery and bravery, and all that Camacho has given her, and may afford to give her, to marry a fellow with whom she must knit or spin for her living? What signifies his bar-pitching and fencing?" "Let me beseech you, good Sancho," interrupted Don Quixote, "to bring thy harangue to a conclusion. For my part, I believe, wert thou let alone when thy clack is once set a going, thou wouldst scarce allow thyself time to eat or sleep, but wouldst prate on to the end of the [Pg 241] chapter." "Troth, master," replied Sancho, "your memory must be very short not to remember the articles of our agreement before I came this last journey with you. I was to speak what I would, and when I would, provided I said nothing against my neighbour, or your worship's authority; and I don't see that I have broken my indentures yet." "I remember no such article," said Don Quixote; "and though it were so, it is my pleasure you should now be silent; for the instruments we heard last night begin to cheer the valleys, and doubtless the marriage will be solemnised this morning ere the heat of the day prevent the diversion."

Thereupon Sancho said no more, but saddled Rozinante, and clapped his pack-saddle on Dapple's back; then both mounting, away they rode fair and softly into the arbour. The first thing that blessed Sancho's sight there, was a whole steer spitted on a large elm before a mighty fire made of a pile of wood, that seemed a flaming mountain. Round this bonfire were placed six capacious pots, cast in no common mould, or rather six ample coppers, every one containing a whole shamble of meat, and entire sheep were sunk and lost in them, and soaked as conveniently as pigeons. The branches of the trees round were all garnished with an infinite number of cased hares, and plucked fowls of several sorts; and then for drink, Sancho told above threescore skins of wine, each of which contained above twenty-four quarts; and, as it afterwards proved, sprightly liquor. A goodly pile of white loaves made a large rampart on the one side, and a stately wall of cheeses set up like bricks made a comely bulwark on the other. Two pans of oil, each bigger than a dyer's vat, served to fry their pancakes, which they lifted out with two strong peels when they were fried enough; and then they dipped them in as large a bottle of honey prepared for that purpose. To dress the provisions there were above fifty cooks, men and women, all cleanly, diligent, and cheerful. In the ample belly of the steer, they had stewed up twelve little sucking pigs, to give it the more savoury taste. Spices of all sorts lay about in such plenty, that they appeared to be bought by wholesale. In short, the whole provision was indeed country like, but plentiful enough to feast an army.

Sancho beheld all this with wonder and delight. The first temptation that captivated his senses was the goodly pots; by and by he falls desperately in love with the skins of wine; and lastly, his affections were fixed on the frying-pans, if such honourable kettles may accept of the name. The scent of the fried meat put him into such a commotion of spirit, that he could hold out no longer, but accosting one of the busy cooks with all the smooth and hungry reasons he was master of, he begged his leave to sop a luncheon of bread in one of the pans. "Friend," quoth the cook, "no hunger must be felt near us to-day (thanks to the founder). Alight man, and if thou canst find ever a ladle there, [Pg 242] skim out a pullet or two, and much good may they do you." "Alack-a-day," quoth Sancho, "I see no ladle, sir." "What a silly helpless fellow thou art!" cried the cook. "Let me see." With that he took a kettle, and sousing it into one of the pots, he fished out three hens and a couple of geese at one heave. "Here, friend," said he to Sancho, "take this, and make shift to stay your stomach with that scum till dinner be ready." "Heaven reward you," cried Sancho; "but where shall I put it?" "Here," answered the cook, "take ladle and all, and thank the founder once more I say; nobody will grudge it thee."

DON QUIXOTE.

While Sancho was thus employed, Don Quixote saw twelve young farmers' sons, all dressed very gay, enter upon stately mares, as richly and gaudily equipped as the country could afford, with little bells fastened to their furniture. These in a close body made several careers up and down the meadow, merrily shouting and crying out "Long live Camacho and Quiteria! he is rich and she is fair, and she the fairest in the world!" Poor ignorants (thought Don Quixote, overhearing them), you speak as you know; but had you ever seen my Dulcinea del Toboso, you would not be so lavish of your praises.


CHAPTER LIII.

The progress of Camacho's wedding; with other delightful accidents.

Don Quixote and Sancho were now interrupted by a great noise of joy and acclamation raised by the horsemen, who, shouting and galloping, went to meet the young couple; who, surrounded by a thousand instruments and devices, were coming to the arbour, accompanied by the curate, their relations, and all the better sort of the neighbourhood, set out in their holiday-clothes. "Hey-day," quoth Sancho, as soon as he saw the bride, "what have we here? Truly this is no country lass, but a fine court-lady, all in her silks and satins! Look, look ye, master, see if, instead of glass necklaces, she have not on fillets of rich coral; and instead of green serge of Cuencha, a thirty-piled velvet. Bless us, see what rings she has on her fingers; no jet, no pewter baubles, but pure beaten gold, and set with pearls too; if every pearl be not as white as a syllabub, and each of them as precious as an eye! How she is bedizened, and glistens from top to toe! And now yonder again, what fine long locks the young slut has got; if they be not false, I never saw longer in my born days! Ah, what a fine stately person she is! What a number of trinkets and glaring gewgaws are dangling in her hair and about her neck! Well, I say no more, but happy is the man that has thee!"

Don Quixote could not help smiling to hear Sancho set forth [Pg 243] the bride after his rustic way, though at the same time he beheld her with admiration. The procession was just arrived when they heard a piercing outcry, and a voice calling out, "Stay, rash and hasty people, stay!" Upon which, all turning about, they saw a person coming after them in a black coat, bordered with crimson powdered with flames of fire. On his head he wore a garland of mournful cypress, and a large truncheon in his hand, headed with an iron spike. As soon as he drew near, they knew him to be the gallant Basil; and seeing him come thus unlooked for, and with such an outcry and behaviour, began to fear some mischief would ensue. He came up tired and panting before the bride and bridegroom; then leaning on his truncheon, he fixed his eyes on Quiteria; and with a fearful hollow voice, "Too well you know," cried he, "unkind Quiteria, that by the ties of truth, and the laws of that Heaven which we all revere, while I have life you cannot be married to another. You are now about to snap all the ties between us, and give my right to another; whose large possessions, though they can procure him all other blessings, I had never envied, could they not have purchased you. But no more. It is ordained; and I will therefore remove this unhappy obstacle out of your way. Live, rich Camacho; live happy with the ungrateful Quiteria many years; and let the poor, the miserable Basil die, whose poverty has clipped the wings of his felicity, and laid him in the grave!"

Saying these words, he drew out of his supposed truncheon a short tuck that was concealed in it, and setting the hilt of it against the ground, he fell upon the point in such a manner that it came out all bloody at his back, the poor wretch weltering on the ground in blood. His friends, strangely confounded by this sad accident, ran to help him; and Don Quixote, forsaking Rozinante, made haste to his assistance, and taking him up in his arms, found there was still life in him. They would have drawn the sword out of his body, but the curate urged it was not convenient till he had made confession, and prepared himself for death, which would immediately attend the effusion of blood upon pulling the tuck out of the body.

While they were debating this point, Basil seemed to come a little to himself; and calling on the bride, "Oh, Quiteria!" said he, with a faint and doleful voice, "now, now, in this last and departing minute of my life, even in this dreadful agony of death, would you but vouchsafe to give me your hand, and own yourself my wife, I should think myself rewarded for the torments I endure; and—pleased to think this desperate deed made me yours, though but for a moment—I would die contented."

The curate, hearing this, very earnestly recommended to him the care of his soul's health, which at the present juncture was more proper than any other worldly concern; that his time was but short, and he ought to be very earnest with Heaven, in imploring [Pg 244] mercy and forgiveness for all his sins, but especially for this last desperate action. To which Basil answered, that "he could think of no happiness till Quiteria yielded to be his; but if she would do it, that satisfaction would calm his spirits, and dispose him to confess himself heartily."

Don Quixote, hearing this, cried out aloud, "that Basil's demand was just and reasonable, and Sig˝or Camacho might as honourably receive her as the worthy Basil's widow, as if he had received her at her father's hands." Camacho stood all this while strangely confounded, till at last he was prevailed on, by the repeated importunities of Basil's friends, to consent that Quiteria should humour the dying man, knowing her own happiness would thereby be deferred but a few minutes longer. Then they all bent their entreaties to Quiteria, some with tears in their eyes, others with all the engaging arguments their pity could suggest. She stood a long time inexorable, and did not return any answer, till at last the curate came to her, and bid her resolve what she would do, for Basil could not now live many minutes. Then the poor virgin, trembling and dismayed, without speaking a word, came to Basil, who lay gasping for breath, with his eyes fixed in his head as if he were just expiring; she kneeled down before him, and with the most manifest signs of grief beckoned to him for his hand. Then Basil opening his eyes, and fixing them in a languishing posture on hers, "Oh, Quiteria," said he, "your heart at last relents when your pity comes too late. Thy arms are now extended to relieve me, when those of death draw me to their embraces; and they, alas, are much too strong for thine! All I desire of thee, O fatal beauty, is this, let not that fair hand deceive me now, as it has done before; but confess that what you do is free and voluntary, without constraint, or in compliance to any one's commands; declare me openly thy true and lawful husband: thou wilt not sure dissemble with one in death, and deal falsely with his departing soul, that all his life has been true to thee?"

In the midst of all this discourse he fainted away, and all the by-standers thought him gone. The poor Quiteria, with blushing modesty, took him by the hand, and with great emotion, "No force," said she, "could ever work upon my will; therefore believe it purely my own free will, that I here declare you my only lawful husband: here is my hand in pledge; and I expect yours as freely in return, if your pains and this sudden accident have not yet bereft you of all sense." "I give it to you," said Basil, with all the presence of mind imaginable, "and here I own myself thy husband." "And I thy wife," said she, "whether thy life be long, or whether from my arms they bear thee this instant to the grave." "Methinks," quoth Sancho, "this young man talks too much for one in his condition; pray advise him to leave off his wooing, and mind his soul's health. I [Pg 245] suspect his death is more in his tongue than between his teeth." Now when Basil and Quiteria had thus plighted their faith to each other, while yet their hands were joined together, the tender-hearted curate, with tears in his eyes, poured on them both the nuptial blessing, beseeching Heaven, at the same time, to have mercy on the new-married man's soul, and in a manner mixing the burial service with the matrimonial.

As soon as the benediction was pronounced, up starts Basil briskly from the ground, and with an unexpected activity whips the sword out of his body, and caught his dear Quiteria in his arms. All the spectators stood amazed, and some of the simpler sort stuck not to cry out "A miracle, a miracle!" "No miracle," cried Basil, "no miracle, but a stratagem." The curate, more astonished than all the rest, came to feel the wound, and discovered that the sword had no where passed through the cunning Basil's body, but only through a tin pipe full of blood artfully fitted close to him; and, as it was afterwards known, so prepared that the blood could not congeal. In short the curate, Camacho, and the company, found they had all been egregiously imposed upon. As for the bride, she was so far from being displeased, that, hearing it urged that the marriage could not stand good in law because it was fraudulent and deceitful, she publicly declared that she again confirmed it to be just, and by the free consent of both parties.

Camacho and his friends, judging by this that the trick was premeditated, and that she was privy to the plot, had recourse to a stronger argument; and, drawing their swords, set furiously on Basil, in whose defence almost as many were immediately unsheathed. Don Quixote immediately mounting with his lance couched, and covered with his shield, led the van of Basil's party, and falling in with the enemy, charged them briskly. Sancho, who never liked any dangerous work, resolved to stand neuter, and so retired under the walls of the mighty pot whence he had got the precious skimmings, thinking that would be respected whichever side gained the battle.

Don Quixote, addressing himself to Camacho's party, "Hold, gentlemen," cried he, "it is not just thus with arms to redress the injuries of love. Love and war are the same thing, and stratagems and policy are as allowable in the one as in the other. Quiteria was designed for Basil, and he for her, by the unalterable decrees of Heaven. Camacho's riches may purchase him a bride, and more content elsewhere; and those whom Heaven has joined let no man put asunder; for I here solemnly declare, that he who first attempts it must pass through me, and this lance through him." At which he shook his lance in the air with so much vigour and dexterity, that he cast a sudden terror into those that beheld him, who did not know the threatening champion.

In short, Don Quixote's words, the curate's mediation, together [Pg 246] with Quiteria's inconstancy, brought Camacho to a truce; and he then discreetly considered, that since Quiteria loved Basil before marriage, it was probable she would love him afterwards; and that, therefore, he had more reason to thank Heaven for so good a riddance than to repine at losing her. This thought, improved by some other considerations, brought both parties to a fair accommodation; and Camacho, to shew he did not resent the disappointment, blaming rather Quiteria's levity than Basil's policy, invited the whole company to stay and take share of what he had provided. But Basil, whose virtues, in spite of his poverty, had secured him many friends, drew away part of the company to attend him and his bride to her own town; and among the rest Don Quixote, whom they all honoured as a person of extraordinary worth and bravery. Poor Sancho followed his master with a heavy heart; he could not be reconciled to the thoughts of turning his back so soon upon the good cheer and jollity at Camacho's feast, and had a strange hankering after those pleasures which, though he left behind in reality, he yet carried along with him in mind.

The new-married couple entertained Don Quixote very nobly; they esteemed his wisdom equal to his valour, and thought him both a Cid in arms and a Cicero in arts. Basil then informed them that Quiteria knew nothing of his stratagem; but being a pure device of his own, he had made some of his nearest friends acquainted with it, that they should stand by him if occasion were, and bring him off upon the discovery of the trick. "It deserves a handsomer name," said Don Quixote, "since conducive to so good and honourable an end as the marriage of a loving couple. By the way, sir, you must know that the greatest obstacle to love is want, and a narrow fortune; for the continual bands and cements of mutual affection are joy, content, and comfort. These, managed by skilful hands, can make variety in the pleasures of wedlock, preparing the same thing always with some additional circumstance, to render it new and delightful. But when pressing necessity and indigence deprive us of those pleasures that prevent satiety, the yoke of matrimony is often found very galling, and the burden intolerable."

These words were chiefly directed by Don Quixote to Basil, to advise him by the way to give over those airy sports and exercises, which indeed might feed his youth with praise, but not his old age with bread; and to bethink himself of some grave and substantial employment that might afford him a competency, and something of a stock for his declining years. Then pursuing his discourse: "The honourable poor man," said he, "when he has a beautiful wife, is blessed with a jewel; he that deprives him of her robs him of his honour, and may be said to deprive him of his life. The woman that is beautiful, and keeps her honesty when her husband is poor, deserves to be crowned with laurel as [Pg 247] the conquerors were of old. Beauty is a tempting bait, that attracts the eyes of all beholders; and the princely eagles, and the most high-flown birds, stoop to its pleasing lure. But when they find it in necessity, then kites and crows, and other ravenous birds, will all be grappling with the alluring prey. She that can withstand these dangerous attacks, well deserves to be the crown of her husband. However, sir, take this along with you, as the opinion of a wise man whose name I have forgot; he said, 'there was but one good woman in the world,' and his advice was, that every married man should think his own wife was she, as being the only way to live contented. For my own part, I need not make the application to myself, for I am not married, nor have I any thoughts that way; but if I had, it would not be a woman's fortune, but her character, should recommend her; for public reputation is the life of a lady's virtue, and the outward appearance of modesty is in one sense as good as the reality; since a private sin is not so prejudicial in this world as a public indecency."


CHAPTER LIV.

An account of the great adventure of Montesinos' cave.

Don Quixote having tarried three days with the young couple, and been entertained like a prince, he entreated the student who fenced so well to help him to a guide that might conduct him to Montesinos' cave, resolving to go down into it, and prove by his own eyesight the wonders that were reported of it round the country. The student recommended a cousin-german of his for his conductor, who, he said, was an ingenious lad, a pretty scholar, and a great admirer of books of knight-errantry, and could shew him the famous lake of Ruydera too: adding, that he would be very good company for the knight, as being one that wrote books for the booksellers, in order to dedicate them to great men. Accordingly the learned cousin came, mounted on an ass, his pack-saddle covered with an old carpet or coarse packing-cloth. Thereupon Sancho having got ready Rozinante and Dapple, well stuffed his wallet, and the student's knapsack to boot, they all took their leave, steering the nearest course to Montesinos' cave.

To pass the time on the road, Don Quixote asked the guide to what course of study he chiefly applied himself? "Sir," answered the scholar, "my business is in writing, and copy-money my chief study. I have published some things with the general approbation of the world, and much to my own advantage. Perhaps, sir, you may have heard of one of my books, [Pg 248] called 'The Treatise of Liveries and Devices;' in which I have obliged the public with no less than seven hundred and three sorts of liveries and devices, with their colours, mottos, and ciphers; so that any courtier may furnish himself there upon any extraordinary appearance, with what may suit his fancy or circumstances, without racking his own invention to find what is agreeable to his inclination. I can furnish the jealous, the forsaken, the disdained, the absent, with what will fit them to a hair. Another piece, which I now have on the anvil, I design to call the 'Metamorphoses, or the Spanish Ovid;' an invention very new and extraordinary. Another work, which I soon design for the press, I call a 'Supplement to Polydore Vergil, concerning the Invention of Things;' a piece, I will assure you, sir, that shews the great pains and learning of the compiler, and perhaps in a better style than the old author. For example, he has forgot to tell us who was the first that was troubled with a catarrh in the world. Now, sir, this I immediately resolve, and confirm my assertion by the testimony of at least four-and-twenty authentic writers; by which quotations alone, you may guess at what pains I have been to instruct and benefit the public."

With more discourse of a like kind they passed their journey, till they came to the cave the next day, having slept the night before in a village on the road. There they bought a hundred fathoms of cord, to let Don Quixote down to the lowest part of the cave. No sooner was he come to the place, than he prepared for his expedition into that under-world, telling the scholar, that he was resolved to reach the bottom, though deep as the most profound abyss; and all having alighted, the squire and his guide accordingly girt him fast with a rope. While this was doing, "Good sweet sir," quoth Sancho, "consider what you do. Do not venture into such a horrid black hole! Look before you leap, sir, and be not so wilful as to bury yourself alive. Do not hang yourself like a bottle or a bucket, that is let down to be soused in a well." "Peace, coward," said the knight, "and bind me fast; for surely for me such an enterprise as this is reserved." "Pray, sir," said the student, "when you are in, be very vigilant in exploring and observing all the rarities in the place. Let nothing escape your eyes; perhaps you may discover there some things worthy to be inserted in my Metamorphoses." "Let him alone," quoth Sancho, "he will go through with it: he will make a hog or a dog of it, I will warrant you."

Don Quixote being well bound, bethought himself of one thing they had forgot. "We did ill," said he, "not to provide ourselves with a little bell, that I might ring for more or less rope as I require it, and inform you of my being alive. But since there is no remedy, Heaven prosper me." Then kneeling down, he in a low voice recommended himself to the Divine Providence for assistance and success in an adventure so strange, and in all appearance [Pg 249] so dangerous. Then raising his voice, "O thou lady of my life," cried he, "most illustrious Dulcinea del Toboso, if the prayers of an adventurous absent lover may reach the ears of the far distant object of his wishes, by the power of thy unspeakable beauty, I conjure thee to grant me thy favour and protection, in this plunge and precipice of my fortune! I am now going to engulf, and cast myself into this dismal profundity, that the world may know nothing can be impossible to him who, influenced by thy smiles, attempts, under the banner of thy beauty, the most difficult task."

This said, he got up again, and approaching the entrance of the cave, he found it stopped up with brakes and bushes, so that he would be obliged to make his way by force. Whereupon, drawing his sword, he began to cut and slash the brambles that stopped up the mouth of the cave; when, presently, an infinite number of crows and daws came rushing and fluttering out of the cave about his ears, so thick, and with such impetuosity, as almost struck him to the ground. He was not superstitious enough to draw any ill omen from the flight of the birds; besides it was no small encouragement to him, that he spied no bats nor owls nor other ill-boding birds of night among them: he therefore rose again with an undaunted heart, and committed himself to the black and dreadful abyss. But Sancho and the student first gave him their benediction, and prayed for the knight's safe and speedy return.

Don Quixote began to descend, calling for more rope, which they gave him by degrees, till his voice was drowned in the winding of the cave, and their cordage was run out. That done, they began to consider whether they should hoist him up again immediately or no; however, they resolved to stay half an hour, and then they began to draw up the rope, but were strangely surprised to find no weight upon it, which made them conclude the poor gentleman was certainly lost. Sancho, bursting out into tears, made a heavy lamentation, and fell a hauling up the rope as fast as he could, to be thoroughly satisfied. But after they had drawn up about fourscore fathoms, they felt a weight again, which made them take heart; and at length they plainly saw Don Quixote. "Welcome," cried Sancho to him, as soon he came in sight; "welcome, dear master. I am glad you are come back again; we were afraid you had been pawned for the reckoning." But Sancho had no answer to his compliment; and when they had pulled the knight quite up, they found that his eyes were closed as if he had been fast asleep. They laid him on the ground and unbound him. Yet he made no sign of waking, and all their turning and shaking was little enough to make him come to himself.

At last he began to stretch his limbs, as if he had waked out of the most profound sleep; and staring wildly about him, "Heaven [Pg 250] forgive you, friends!" cried he, "for you have raised me from one of the sweetest lives that ever mortal led, and most delightful sights that ever eyes beheld. Now I perceive how fleeting are all the joys of this transitory life; they are but an imperfect dream, they fade like a flower, and vanish like a shadow. O ill-fated Montesinos! O Durandarte, unfortunately wounded! O unhappy Belerma! O deplorable Guadiana! and you the distressed daughters of Ruydera, whose flowing waters shew what streams of tears once trickled from your lovely eyes!" These expressions, uttered with great passion and concern, surprised the scholar and Sancho, and they desired to know his meaning, and what he had seen in that horrid dungeon. "Call it not so," answered Don Quixote, "for it deserves a better name, as I shall soon let you know. But first give me something to eat, for I am prodigiously hungry." They then spread the scholar's coarse saddle-cloth for a carpet; and examining their old cupboard, the knapsack, they all three sat down on the grass, and eat heartily together, like men that were a meal or two behindhand. When they had done, "Let no man stir," said Don Quixote; "sit still, and hear me with attention."


CHAPTER LV.

Of the wonderful things which the unparalleled Don Quixote declared he had seen in the deep cave of Montesinos, the greatness and impossibility of which make this adventure pass for apocryphal.

It was now past four in the afternoon, and the sun was opportunely hid behind the clouds, which, interposing between his rays, invited Don Quixote, without heat or trouble, to relate the wonders he had seen in Montesinos' cave.

"About twelve or fourteen men's depth," said he, "in the profundity of this cavern, on the right hand, there is a concavity wide enough to contain a large waggon, mules and all. This place is not wholly dark, for through some chinks and narrow holes, that reach to the distant surface of the earth, there comes a glimmering light. I discovered this recess, being already weary of hanging by the loins, discouraged by the profound darkness of the region below me, destitute of a guide, and not knowing whither I went: resolving therefore to rest myself there a while, I called to you to give me no more rope, but it seems you did not hear me. I therefore entered, and coiling up the cord, sat upon it very melancholy, and thinking how I should most conveniently get down to the bottom, having nobody to guide or support me. While I thus sat pensive, and lost in thought, insensibly, without any previous drowsiness, I found myself surprised by sleep; and after that, not knowing how, nor which way I wakened, I unexpectedly [Pg 251] found myself in the finest and most delightful meadow, that ever nature adorned with her beauties, or the most inventive fancy could ever imagine. Now, that I might be sure this was neither a dream nor an allusion, I rubbed my eyes, felt several parts of my body, and convinced myself that I was really awake, with the use of all my senses, and all the faculties of my understanding sound and active as at this moment.

"Presently I discovered a sumptuous palace, of which the walls seemed all of transparent crystal. The spacious gates opening, there came out towards me a venerable old man, clad in a sad-coloured robe, so long that it swept the ground; on his breast and shoulders he had a green satin tippet, after the manner of those worn in colleges. On his head he wore a black Milan cap, and his broad hoary beard reached down below his middle. He had no kind of weapon in his hands, but a rosary of beads about the bigness of walnuts, and his credo beads appeared as large as ordinary ostrich-eggs. The awful and grave aspect, the pace, the port and goodly presence of this old man, each of them apart, and much more altogether, struck me with veneration and astonishment. He came up to me, and, without any previous ceremony, embracing me close, 'It is a long time,' said he, 'most renowned knight, Don Quixote de la Mancha, that we who dwell in this enchanted solitude have hoped to see you here; that you may inform the upper world of the surprising prodigies concealed from human knowledge in this subterranean hollow, called the cave of Montesinos,—an enterprise reserved alone for your insuperable heart, and stupendous resolution. Go with me then, thou most illustrious knight, and behold the wonders enclosed within the transparent castle, of which I am the perpetual governor and chief warden, being the same individual Montesinos from whom this cavern took its name.'

"No sooner had the reverend old man let me know who he was, but I entreated him to tell me, whether it was true or no, that, at his friend Durandarte's dying request, he had taken out his heart with a small dagger, the very moment he expired, and carried it to his mistress Belerma, as the story was current in the world? 'It is literally true,' answered the old gentleman, 'except that single circumstance of the dagger; for I used neither a small nor a large dagger on this occasion, but a well-polished poniard, as sharp as an awl.'

"The venerable Montesinos having conducted me into the crystal palace, led me into a spacious ground-room, exceeding cool, and all of alabaster. In the middle of it stood a marble tomb, that seemed a masterpiece of art; upon it lay a knight extended all at length, not of stone or brass, as on other monuments, but pure flesh and bones: he covered the region of his heart with his right hand, which seemed to me very full of sinews, a sign of the great strength of the body to which it belonged. [Pg 252] Montesinos, observing that I viewed this spectacle with surprise, 'Behold,' said he, 'the flower and mirror of all the living and valiant knights of his age, my friend Durandarte, who, together with me and many others, of both sexes, are kept here enchanted by Merlin the British magician. Here, I say, we are enchanted; but how and for what cause no man can tell, though time, I hope, will shortly reveal it. But the most wonderful part of my fortune is this; I am as certain, as that the sun now shines, that Durandarte died in my arms; and that with these hands I took out his heart, which weighed above two pounds, a sure mark of his courage; for, by the rules of natural philosophy, the most valiant men have still the biggest hearts. Nevertheless, though this knight really died, he still complains and sighs sometimes as if he were alive.'

"Scarce had Montesinos spoke these words, but the miserable Durandarte cried out aloud, 'Oh! cousin Montesinos, the last and dying request of your departing friend, was to take my heart out of my breast with a poniard or a dagger, and carry it to Belerma.' The venerable Montesinos, hearing this, fell on his knees before the afflicted knight, and with tears in his eyes, 'Long, long ago,' said he, 'Durandarte, thou dearest of my kinsmen, have I performed what you enjoined me on that bitter fatal day when you expired. I took out your heart with all imaginable care, and hasted away with it to France, as soon as I had committed your dear remains to the bosom of the earth. To confirm this truth yet farther, at the first place where I stopped from Roncesvalles, I laid a little salt upon your heart, to preserve it, till I presented it into the hands of Belerma, who, with you and me, and Guadiana[13] your squire, as also Ruydera (the lady's woman) with her seven daughters, her two nieces, and many others of your friends and acquaintance, is here confined by the necromantic charms of the magician Merlin; and though it be now above five hundred years since we were first conveyed into this enchanted castle, we are still alive, except Ruydera, her daughters and nieces, who by the favour of Merlin, that pitied their tears, were turned into so many lakes, still extant in the world of the living, and in the province of La Mancha, distinguished by the name of the lakes of Ruydera. But now I have other news to tell you, which, though perhaps it may not assuage your sorrows, yet I am sure it will not increase them. Open your eyes, and behold in your presence that mighty knight, of whom Merlin the sage has foretold so many wonders: that Don Quixote de la Mancha, I mean, who has not only restored to the world the function of knight-errantry, that has lain so long in oblivion, but advanced it to greater fame than it could boast in any former [Pg 253] age. It is by his power that we may expect to see the charm dissolved, which keeps us here confined; for great performances are properly reserved for great personages.' 'And should it not be so?' answered the grieving Durandarte, with a faint and languishing voice,—'should it not be so, I say? Oh! cousin, patience, and shuffle the cards.' Then turning on one side, without speaking a word more, he relapsed into his usual silence.

[13] Guadiana, a river in Spain, that sinks into the earth, and rises again a great distance off.

"After this I was alarmed with piteous howling and crying, which, mixed with lamentable sighs and groans, obliged me to turn about to see whence it proceeded. Then through the crystal wall I saw a mournful procession of most beautiful damsels, all in black, marching in two ranks, with turbans on their heads after the Turkish fashion; and last of all came a majestic lady, dressed also in mourning, with a long white veil that reached from her head down to the ground. Her turban was twice as big as the biggest of the rest. She was somewhat beetle-browed, her nose was flattish, her mouth wide, but her lips red; her teeth, which she sometimes discovered, seemed to be thin, but as white as blanched almonds. She held a fine handkerchief, and within it I could perceive a heart of flesh, so dry and withered, that it looked like mummy. Montesinos informed me that the procession consisted of Durandarte's and Belerma's servants, who were enchanted there with their master and mistress; but that the last was Belerma herself, who with her attendants used four days in the week constantly thus to sing their dirges over the heart and body of his cousin; and that though Belerma appeared a little haggard at that juncture, occasioned by the grief she bore in her own heart, for that which she carried in her hand; yet had I seen her before her misfortunes had sunk her eyes and tarnished her complexion, I must have owned, that even the celebrated Dulcinea del Toboso, so famous in La Mancha, and over the whole universe, could scarce have vied with her in gracefulness and beauty.

"Hold there, good Sig˝or Don Montesinos, said I. You know that comparisons are odious, therefore no more comparing, I beseech you; but go on with your story. The peerless Dulcinea del Toboso is what she is, and the Lady Belerma is what she is, and has been: so no more upon that subject. 'I beg your pardon,' answered Montesinos; 'Sig˝or Don Quixote, I might have guessed that you were the Lady Dulcinea's knight, and therefore I ought to have bit my tongue off, sooner than to have compared her to any thing lower than heaven itself.' This satisfaction, which I thought sufficient from the great Montesinos, stifled the resentment I else had shewn, for hearing my mistress compared to Belerma." "Nay, marry," quoth Sancho, "I wonder you did not give the old fellow a hearty kicking! How could you leave one hair on his chin?" "No, no, Sancho," answered Don Quixote, "there is always a respect due to our seniors, [Pg 254] though they be no knights; but most when they are such, and under the oppression of enchantment. However, I am satisfied that in what discourse passed between us, I took care not to have anything that looked like an affront fixed upon me." "But, sir," asked the scholar, "how could you see and hear so many strange things in so little time? I cannot conceive how you could do it." "How long," said Don Quixote, "do you reckon that I have been in the cave?" "A little above an hour," answered Sancho. "That is impossible," said Don Quixote, "for I saw morning and evening, and evening and morning, three times since; so that I could not be absent less than three days from this upper world." "Ay, ay," quoth Sancho, "my master is in the right; for these enchantments, that have the greatest share in all his concerns, may make that seem three days and three nights to him, which is but an hour to other people." "It must be so," said Don Quixote. "I hope, sir," said the scholar, "you have eaten something in all that time." "Not one morsel," replied Don Quixote; "neither have had the least desire to eat, or so much as thought of it all the while." "Do not they that are enchanted sometimes eat?" asked the scholar. "They never do," answered Don Quixote. "Do they never sleep neither?" said Sancho. "Never," said Don Quixote; "at least they never closed their eyes while I was among them, nor I neither." "This makes good the saying," quoth Sancho, "'tell me thy company, and I will tell thee what thou art.' Troth! you have all been enchanted together. No wonder if you neither eat nor slept, since you were in the land of those that always watch and fast. But, sir, would you have me speak as I think; and pray do not take it in ill part, for if I believe one word of all you have said——" "What do you mean, friend?" said the student. "Do you think the noble Don Quixote would be guilty of a lie? and if he had a mind to stretch a little, could he, think you, have had leisure to frame such a number of stories in so short a time?" "I do not think that my master would lie neither," said Sancho. "What do ye think then, sir?" said Don Quixote. "Well truly, sir," quoth Sancho, "I do believe that this same cunning man, this Merlin, that bewitched or enchanted, as you call it, all that rabble of people you talk of, may have crammed and enchanted some way or other, all that you have told us, and have yet to tell us, into your noddle." "It is not impossible but such a thing may happen," said Don Quixote, "though I am convinced it was otherwise with me; for I am positive that I saw with these eyes, and felt with these hands, all I have mentioned. But what will you think when I tell you, among many wonderful things, that I saw three country-girls leaping and skipping about those pleasant fields like so many wild-goats; and at first sight knew one of them to be the peerless Dulcinea, and the other two the very same we spoke to not far from Toboso. I asked [Pg 255] Montesinos if he knew them? He answered in the negative; but imagined them some enchanted ladies, who were newly come, and that the appearance of strange faces was no rarity among them, for many of the past ages and the present were enchanted there, under several disguises; and that, among the rest, he knew Queen Guinever and her woman Quintaniona, that officiated as Sir Lancelot's cup-bearer, as he came from Britain."

Sancho hearing his master talk at this rate, had like to have forgot himself, and burst out a-laughing; for he well knew that Dulcinea's enchantment was all a fiction, and that he himself was the chief magician, and raiser of the story; and thence, concluding his master stark mad, "In an ill hour," quoth he, "dear master of mine, and in a woful day, went your worship down to the other world; and in a worse hour met you with that plaguy Montesinos, that has sent you back in this rueful pickle. You went hence in your right senses; could talk prettily enough now and then; had your handsome proverbs and wise sayings every foot, and would give wholesome counsel to all that would take it; but now, bless me! you talk as if you had left your brains in the devil's cellar." "I know thee, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and therefore I regard thy words as little as possible." "And I yours," replied Sancho: "nay, you may cripple, lame, or kill me, if you please, either for what I have said, or mean to say; I, must speak my mind, though I die for it." "While Montesinos and I were thus talking together," continued the knight, "a very odd accident, the thoughts of which trouble me still, broke off our conversation. For as we were in the height of our discourse, who should come to me but one of the unfortunate Dulcinea's companions; and before I was aware, with a faint and doleful voice, 'Sir,' said she, 'my Lady Dulcinea del Toboso gives her service to you, and desires to know how you do; and being a little short of money at present, she desires you, of all love and kindness, to lend her six reals, or more or less as you can spare it, sir, and she will take care to redeem it very honestly in a little time.'

"The message surprised me strangely; and therefore, turning to Montesinos, 'Is it possible, sir,' said I, 'that persons of quality, when enchanted, are in want?' 'O! very possible, sir,' said he; 'poverty rages everywhere, and spares neither quality enchanted nor unenchanted; and therefore, since the Lady Dulcinea desires you to lend her these six reals, let her have the money; for sure it is very low with her at this time.' 'But my misfortune,' said I, 'is, that I cannot answer the full request; for I have but four reals about me;' and that was the money thou gavest me the other day, Sancho, to distribute among the poor. However, I gave her all I had, and desired her to tell her mistress, I was very sorry for her wants; and that if I had all the treasures which Crœsus possessed, they should be at her service; and withal, that I died every hour for want of her reviving company; and made [Pg 256] it my humble and earnest request, that she would vouchsafe to see and converse with her captive servant and weather-beaten knight. 'Tell her,' continued I, 'when she least expects it, she will come to hear how I made a vow, as the Marquis of Mantua did, when he found his nephew Baldwin ready to expire on the mountain, never to eat upon a tablecloth, and several other particulars, till he had avenged his death; so, in the like solemn manner will I swear, never to desist from traversing the habitable globe, and ranging through all the seven parts of the world, more indefatigably than ever was done by Prince Pedro of Portugal, till I have freed her from her enchantment.' 'All this and more you owe my mistress,' said the damsel; and then, having got the four reals, instead of dropping me a curtsy, she cut me a caper in the air two yards high."

"Who," exclaimed Sancho, "could ever have believed that these enchanters and enchantments should have so much power as to bewitch my master at this rate, and craze his sound understanding in this manner? Alas! sir, for the love of Heaven take care of yourself. What will the world say of you? Rouse up your dozing senses, and do not dote upon those whimsies that have so wretchedly cracked that rare head-piece of yours." "Well," said Don Quixote, "I cannot be angry at thy ignorant tittle-tattle, because it proceeds from thy love towards me. Thou thinkest, poor fellow, that whatever is beyond the sphere of thy narrow comprehension must be impossible; but, as I have already said, there will come a time when I shall give thee an account of some things I have seen below, that will convince thee of the reality of those I told thee now, the truth of which admits of no dispute."


CHAPTER LVI.

Which gives an account of a thousand trifles and stories, as impertinent as necessary to the right understanding of this grand history.

The scholar thought Sancho the most saucy servant, and his master the calmest madman, that ever he saw; though he attributed the patience of the latter to a certain good humour and easiness of temper, infused into him by the sight of his mistress Dulcinea, even under enchantment; otherwise he would have thought his not checking Sancho a greater sign of madness than his discourse. "Noble Don Quixote," said he, "for four principal reasons, I am extremely pleased with having taken this journey with you. First, it has procured me the honour of your acquaintance, which I shall always esteem a singular happiness. In the second place, sir, the secrets of Montesinos' cave, and the transformations of Guadiana, and Ruydera's lakes, have been revealed [Pg 257] to me, which may look very great in my Spanish Ovid. My third advantage is, to have discovered the antiquity of card-playing, which I find to have been a pastime in use even in the Emperor Charles the Great's time, as may be collected from the words of Durandarte, who, after a long speech of Montesinos', said, as he waked, 'Patience, and shuffle the cards;' which vulgar expression he could never have learned in his enchantment. It follows, therefore, that he must have heard it when he lived in France, which was in the reign of that emperor; which observation is nicked, I think, very opportunely for my supplement to Polydore Vergil, who, as I remember, has not touched upon card-playing. I will insert it in my work, I'll assure you, sir, as a matter of great importance, having the testimony of so authentic and ancient an author as Sir Durandarte."

"There is a great deal of reason in what you say," answered Don Quixote; "but more of this some other time—it is late now, and therefore convenient to think of a lodging."

"Hard by us here, sir," said the author, "is a hermitage, the retirement of a devout person, who, as they say, was once a soldier, and is looked upon as a good Christian; and so charitable, that he has built there a house at his own expense, purely for the entertainment of strangers." "But does he keep hens there, trow?" asked Sancho. "Few hermits in this age are without them," said Don Quixote; "for their way of living now falls short of the strictness and austerity of those in the deserts of Egypt, who went clad only with palm-leaves, and fed on the roots of the earth. Now, because I speak well of these of old, I would not have you think I reflect on the others: no, I only mean that their penances are not so severe as in former days; yet this does not hinder but that the hermits of the present age may be good men. I look upon them to be such; at least, their appearance secures them from scandal: even the hypocrite that puts on the form of holiness, does less harm than the barefaced sinner."

As they went on in their discourse, they saw a man following them at a great pace on foot, and switching up a mule laden with lances and halberts. He presently overtook them, saluted them, and passed by. "Stay," cried Don Quixote, seeing him go so fast; "make no more haste than is consistent with good speed." "I cannot stay, sir," said the man; "for these weapons that you see must be used to-morrow morning; so, sir, as I am in haste, good bye; I shall lodge to-night at the inn beyond the hermitage; if you chance to go that way, there you may find me; and I will tell you strange news: so fare ye well." Then, whipping his mule, on he moved, so fast that Don Quixote had not leisure to ask him any more questions.

The knight, in order to satisfy his curiosity, proposed their holding straight on to the inn, without stopping at the hermitage, where the scholar designed to have stayed all night. They all consented, [Pg 258] and made the best of their way. However, when they came near the hermitage, the scholar desired Don Quixote to call with him for a moment, and drink a glass of wine at the door. Sancho no sooner heard this proposed than he turned Dapple that way, and rode thither before; but, to his grief, the hospitable hermit was abroad, and nobody at home but the hermit's companion, who, being asked whether he had any strong liquor within, made answer, that he could not come at any; but as for water, he might have his fill. "Good!" quoth Sancho; "were mine a water-thirst, or had I any liking to your cold comfort, there are wells enough upon the road. Oh, the good cheer of Don Diego's, and at Camacho's wedding! when shall I find the like?" They now spurred on towards the inn, and soon overtook on the road a young fellow walking leisurely on before them. He carried his sword over his shoulder, with a bundle of clothes hanging upon it. He had on a tattered velvet jerkin, with a ragged satin lining; his stockings were of silk, and his shoes square at the toes, after the court fashion. He seemed about eighteen years of age—a pleasant-looking lad, and of a lively and active disposition. To pass the fatigue of his journey, he sung all the way; and, as they came near him, was just ending the last words of a ballad, which were these:

"For want of the pence to the wars I must go:
Oh! had I but money it would not be so."

"So, young gentleman," said Don Quixote to him, "methinks you go very light and airy. Whither are you bound, I pray you?" "I am going to the wars, sir," answered the youth; "and for my travelling thus, heat and poverty will excuse it." "I admit the heat," replied Don Quixote; "but why poverty, I beseech you?" "Because I have no clothes to put on," replied the lad, "but what I carry in this bundle; and if I should wear them out upon the road, I should have nothing to make a handsome figure with in any town; for I have no money to buy new ones till I overtake a regiment of foot that lies about some twelve leagues off, where I design to enlist myself; and then I shall not want a conveniency to ride with the baggage till we come to Carthagena, where I hear they are to embark; for I had rather serve the king abroad, than any beggarly courtier at home." "But pray," said the scholar, "have not you laid up something while you were there?" "Had I served any of your grandees or great persons," said the young man, "I might have had a commission by this time; for their footboys are presently advanced to captains and lieutenants, or some other good post; but unhappily it was always my ill-fortune to serve pitiful upstarts and younger brothers; and my allowance was so ill paid, and so small, that the better half was scarce enough to wash my linen: [Pg 259] how then should a poor page, who would make his fortune, come to any good in such a miserable service?" "But," said Don Quixote, "how comes it, that in all this time you could not get yourself a whole livery?" "Alack-a-day, sir," answered the lad, "I had a couple; but my master dealt with me as they do with novices in monasteries—if they go off before they profess, the fresh habit is taken from them, and they return them their own clothes. For you must know, that such as I served only buy liveries for a little ostentation; so, when they have made their appearance at court, they sneak down into the country; and then the poor servants are stripped, and must even betake themselves to their rags again."

"A sordid trick," said Don Quixote. "But you need not repine at leaving the court, since you do it with so good a design; for there is nothing in the world more commendable than to serve God in the first place, and the king in the next, especially in the profession of arms, which, if it does not procure a man so much riches as learning, may at least entitle him to more honour. It is true that more families have been advanced by the gown; but yet your gentlemen of the sword, whatever the reason of it is, have always I know not what advantage above the men of learning; and something of glory and splendour attends them, that makes them outshine the rest of mankind. But take my advice along with you, child: if you intend to raise yourself by military employment, I would not have you be uneasy with the thoughts of what misfortunes may befall you; the worst can be but to die, and if it be a good honourable death, your fortune is made, and you are certainly happy. Julius CŠsar, that valiant Roman emperor, being asked what kind of death was best, 'That which is sudden and unexpected,' said he; and though he answered like a heathen, who knew not the true God, yet, with respect to human infirmities, it was very judicious; for, suppose you should be cut off at the very first engagement by a cannon-ball, or the spring of a mine, what matters it? it is but dying, and there is an end of the business. As Terence says, a soldier makes a better figure dead in the field of battle, than alive and safe in flight. The more likely he is to rise in fame and preferment, the better discipline he keeps; the better he obeys, the better he will know how to command; and pray observe, my friend, that it is more honourable for a soldier to smell of gunpowder than of musk and amber. Or, if old age overtakes you in this noble employment, though all over scars, though maimed and lame, you will still have honour to support you, and secure you from the contempt of poverty, nay, from poverty itself; for there is care taken that veterans and disabled soldiers may not want; neither are they to be used as some men do their negro slaves, who, when they are old and past service, are turned naked out of doors, under pretence of freedom, to be made greater slaves to cold and [Pg 260] hunger—a slavery from which nothing but death can set the wretches free. But I will say no more to you on this subject at this time. Get up behind me, and I will carry you to the inn, where you shall sup with me, and to-morrow morning make the best of your way; and may Heaven prosper your good designs."

The page excused himself from riding behind the knight, but accepted of his invitation to supper very willingly. Sancho, who had all the while given ear to his master's discourse, is said to have been more than usually surprised, hearing him talk so wisely. Now blessings on thee, master, thought he to himself; how comes it about, that a man who says so many good things should relate such ridiculous stories and whimsies as he would have us believe of Montesinos' cave? By this time it began to grow dark, and they arrived at the inn, where Don Quixote alighting, asked presently for the man with the lances and halberts. The innkeeper answered, that he was rubbing down his mule in the stable. Sancho was very well pleased to be at his journey's end; and the more that his master took the house for a real inn, and not for a castle, as he used to do.


CHAPTER LVII.

Where you find the grounds of the braying adventures, that of the Puppet-player, and the memorable divining of the fortune-telling Ape.

Don Quixote was on thorns to know the strange story that the fellow upon the road engaged to tell him; so that, going into the stable, he minded him of his promise, and pressed him to relate the whole matter. "My story will take up some time," quoth the man, "and is not to be told standing: have a little patience; let me make an end of serving my mule, and then I will tell your worship such things as will make you stare." "Do not let that hinder you," replied Don Quixote; "for I will help you myself." And so saying, he lent him a helping hand, cleansing the manger, and sifting the barley; which humble compliance obliged the fellow to tell his tale the more willingly; so that, seating himself upon a bench, with Don Quixote, the scholar, the page, Sancho, and the innkeeper about him, he began in this manner:

"It happened on a time, that in a borough about four leagues from this place, one of the aldermen lost his ass. They say it was by the roguery of his maid-servant; but that is neither here nor there—the ass was lost and gone, that is certain; and what is more, it could not be found neither high nor low. This same ass had been missing about a fortnight, when another alderman of the same town, meeting the other in the market-place, 'Brother,' [Pg 261] quoth he, 'pay me well, and I will tell you news of your ass.' 'Troth!' replied the other 'that I will; but then let me know where the poor beast is.' 'Why,' answered the other, 'this morning, what should I meet upon the mountains yonder but he, without either pack-saddle or furniture, and so lean that it grieved my heart to see him; but yet so wild and skittish, that when I would have driven him home before me, he ran away as if possessed, and got into the thickest of the wood. Now, if you please, we will both go and look for him: I will but step home first and put up this ass, then I will come back to you, and we will set about it.' 'Truly, brother,' said the other, 'I am mightily beholden to you, and will do as much for you another time.' In short, the two aldermen, hand in hand, trudged up the hills, and hunted up and down; but after many a weary step, no ass was to be found. Upon which, quoth the alderman that had seen him to the other: 'Hark ye, brother; I have a device to find out this same ass of yours, though he were underground, as you shall hear. You must know, I can bray to admiration; and if you can but bray never so little, the job is done.' 'Never so little!' cried the other; 'I will undertake to bray with any ass or alderman in the land.' 'Well, then,' quoth the other, 'my contrivance is, that you go on one side of the hill, and I on the other; sometimes you shall bray, and sometimes I; so that, if your ass be but thereabouts, my life for yours, he will be sure to answer, and bray again.' 'Gramercy, brother,' quoth the other, 'a rare device! let you alone for plotting.' They parted according to agreement; and when they were far enough off, they both fell a-braying so perfectly well that they cheated one another; and meeting, each in hopes to find the ass, 'Is it possible, brother,' said the owner of the ass, 'that it was not my ass that brayed?' 'No, marry, that it was not; it was I,' answered the other alderman. 'Well, brother,' cried the owner, 'then there is no manner of difference between you and an ass, as to the matter of braying; I never heard any thing so natural in my life.' 'Oh, sir,' quoth the other, 'I am nothing to you; you shall lay two to one against the best brayer in the kingdom, and I will go your halves. Your voice is lofty, and of a great compass; you keep excellent time, and hold out a note rarely, and your cadence is full and ravishing. In short, sir, I knock under the table, and yield you the bays.' 'Well, then, brother,' answered the owner, 'I shall always have the better opinion of myself for this one good quality; for though I knew I brayed pretty well, I never thought myself so great a master before.' After these compliments, they parted again, and went braying, this on one side of the hill, and that on the other. But all to no purpose; for they still deceived one another with their braying, and, running to the noise, met one another as before.

"At last they agreed to bray twice one after another, that by [Pg 262] that token they might be sure it was not the ass, but they that brayed. But all in vain—they almost brayed their hearts out, but no answer from the ass. And indeed, how could it, poor creature, when they found him at last in the wood half-eaten by the wolves? 'Alack-a-day! poor Grizzle,' cried the owner; 'I do not wonder now he took so little notice of his loving master. Had he been alive, as sure as he was an ass, he would have brayed again. But let him go; this comfort I have at least, brother; though I have lost him, I have found out that rare talent of yours that has hugely solaced me under this affliction.' 'The glass is in a good hand, Mr. Alderman,' quoth the other, 'and if the abbot sings well, the young monk is not much behind him.'

"With this, these same aldermen, very much disappointed as well as very hoarse, went home and told all their neighbours the whole story word for word; one praising the other's skill in braying, and the other returning the compliment. In short, one got it by the end, and the other got it by the end; the boys got it, and all the idle fellows got it, and there was such a brawling and such a braying in our town, that nothing else was to be heard. But the thing did not stop here; our neighbouring towns had it too; and when they saw any of our townsfolk, they fell a-braying, hitting us in the teeth with the braying of our aldermen. This made ill blood between us; for we took it in mighty dudgeon, as well we might, and came to words upon it, and from words to blows; for the people of our town are well known by this, as the beggar knows his dish, and are apt to be jeered wheresoever they go. And they have carried the jest so far, that I believe to-morrow or next day, the men of our town, to wit, the brayers, will be in the field against those of another town about two leagues off, that are always plaguing us. Now, that we should be well provided, I have brought these lances and halberts that ye saw me carry. So this is my story, gentlefolks; and if it be not a strange one, I am mistaken."

Here the honest man ended; when presently enters a fellow dressed in trousers and doublet all of shamoy leather, and calling out, as if he were somebody: "Landlord," cried he, "have you any lodgings? for here comes the fortune-telling ape, and the puppet-show of Melisandra's deliverance." "Ha!" cried the innkeeper, "who have we here? Master Peter? We shall have a merry night then. Honest Master Peter, you are welcome with all my heart; but where is the ape and the show?" "They will be here presently," said Peter; "I only came before to see if you had any lodgings." "Lodging, man," said the innkeeper; "I would turn out the Duke of Alva himself rather than Master Peter should want room. Come, bring in your things, for here are guests that will be good customers to you, I warrant." "That is worth hearing," said Peter; "and to encourage them I will lower my prices; and if I can but get my charges to-night, I will [Pg 263] look for no more; so I will hasten forward the cart." This said, he ran out of the door again.

Don Quixote inquired who this Master Peter was, and what his ape and his show. "Why, sir," answered the innkeeper, "he has strolled about the country this great while with a curious puppet-show, which represents the play of Melisandra and Don Gayferos, one of the best shows that has been acted time out of mind in this kingdom. Then he has an ape: such an ape, sir; but I will say no more—you shall see, sir. It will tell you every thing you ever did in your life. The like was never seen before. Ask him a question, it will listen to you; and then, whip, up it leaps on its master's shoulder, and whispers first in his ear what it knows, and then Master Peter tells you. He tells you what is to come, as well as what is past: it is true, he does not always hit so pat as to what is to come; but after all, he is seldom in the wrong. Two reals is the price for every question he answers, or his master for him, which is all one, you know; and that will mount to money at the year's end, so that it is thought the rogue is well to pass; and, indeed, much good may it do him, for he is a notable fellow and a good companion; talks for six men, and drinks for a dozen; and all this he gets by his tongue, his ape, and his show."

By this time Peter had come back with his puppet-show and his ape in a cart. Don Quixote immediately accosted him: "Mr. Fortune-teller," said he, "will you be pleased to tell us what fish we shall catch, and what will become of us, and here is your fee?" Saying this, he ordered Sancho to deliver Master Peter two reals. "Sir," answered Peter, "this animal gives no account of things to come; he knows something, indeed, of matters past, and a little of the present." "I would not give a brass jack," cried Sancho, "to know what is past; for who knows that better than myself? I am not so foolish as to pay for what I know already: but since you say he has such a knack at guessing the present, let him tell me what my wife Teresa is doing at this moment, and here are my two reals." "I will have nothing of you beforehand," said Master Peter: so, clapping himself on his left shoulder, up skipped the ape thither at one frisk, and, laying his mouth to his ear, grated his teeth; and having made some grimaces and a chattering noise for a minute or two, with another skip down he leaped upon the ground. Immediately upon this, Master Peter ran to Don Quixote, and fell on his knees, and embracing his legs, "O glorious restorer of knight-errantry," cried he, "I embrace these legs as I would the pillars of Hercules! Who can sufficiently extol the great Don Quixote de la Mancha, the reviver of drooping hearts, the prop and stay of the falling, the raiser of the fallen, and the staff of comfort to the weak and afflicted!"

At these words Don Quixote stood amazed, Sancho quaked, the page wondered, the brayer blessed himself, the innkeeper [Pg 264] stared, and the scholar was in a brown study, all astonished at Master Peter's speech, who then, turning to Sancho, "And thou, honest Sancho Panza," said he, "the best squire to the best knight in the world, bless thy good stars, for thy good spouse Teresa is a good housewife, and is at this instant dressing a pound of flax; she has standing by her, on her left hand, a large broken-mouthed jug, which holds a pretty scantling of wine, to cheer up her spirits." "Truly," quoth Sancho, "that is likely enough, for she is a merry soul; were it not for a spice of jealousy that she has now and then, I would not change her for the giantess Andondona herself, who, in my master's opinion, was a brave lady, and a famous housewife." "Well," said Don Quixote, "great is the knowledge procured by reading, travel, and experience. What on earth but the testimony of my own eyes could have persuaded me that apes had the gift of divination! I am indeed the same Don Quixote de la Mancha mentioned by this ingenious animal, though I must confess somewhat undeserving of so great a character as it has pleased him to bestow on me; but nevertheless I am not sorry to have charity and compassion bear so great a part in my commendation, since my nature has always disposed me to do good to all men, and hurt to none."

"Now, had I but money," said the page, "I would know of Mr. Ape what luck I should have in the wars." "I have told you already," said Master Peter, who was got up from before Don Quixote, "that this ape does not meddle with what is to come; but if he could, it should cost you nothing, for Don Quixote's sake, whom to oblige, I would sacrifice all the interest I have in the world; and, as a mark of it, gentlemen, I freely set up my show, and give all the company in the house some diversion gratis." The innkeeper hearing this, was overjoyed; and ordered Master Peter a convenient room to set up his show, which he immediately went about.

In the meantime Don Quixote, who could not believe that an ape could do all this, taking Sancho into a corner, "Look ye, Sancho," said he, "I have been weighing and considering the wonderful gifts of this ape, and I suspect Master Peter must have made a secret compact with the devil. The ape's knowledge is exactly of the same proportion with the devil's, which only extends to the discovery of things past and present, having no insight into futurity but by such probable conjectures and conclusions as may be deduced from the former working of antecedent causes, true prescience and prediction being the sacred prerogative of God, to whose all-seeing eyes, all ages, past, present, and to come, without the distinction of succession and termination, are always present. From this, I say, it is apparent this ape is but the organ through which the devil delivers his answers to those that ask it questions; and this same rogue should be put into the Inquisition, and have the truth pressed out of his bones." [Pg 265] "For all that," said Sancho, "I would have you ask Master Peter's ape, whether the passages you told us concerning Montesinos' cave be true or no; for, saving the respect I owe your worship, I take them to be no better than idle stories, or dreams at the least." "You may think what you will," answered Don Quixote; "however, I will do as you would have me, although I feel some scruples on the subject."

Master Peter now came in and told Don Quixote that the show was ready to begin, and desired him to come and see it, for he was sure his worship would like it. The knight told him he had a question to put to his ape first, and desired he might tell him whether certain things that happened to him in Montesinos' cave were dreams or realities, for he doubted they had something of both in them. Master Peter fetched his ape immediately, and placing him just before the knight and his squire. "Look you," said he, "Mr. Ape, this worthy knight would have you tell him whether some things which happened to him in Montesinos' cave are true or no?" Then, upon the usual signal, the ape jumping upon Master Peter's left shoulder, chattered his answer into his ear, which the interpreter delivered thus to the inquirer: "The ape, sir, says that part of those things are false, and part of them true, which is all he can resolve ye as to this question; and now his virtue has left him, and won't return till Friday next. If you would know any more, you must stay till then, and he will answer as many questions as you please." "Ah, you there now!" quoth Sancho, "did not I tell you that all you told us of Montesinos' cave would not hold water?" "That the event will determine," replied the knight, "which we must leave to process of time to produce; for it brings every thing to light, though buried in the bowels of the earth. No more of this at present: let us now see the puppet-show; I fancy we shall find something in it worth seeing." "Something!" said Master Peter; "sir, you shall see a thousand things worth seeing. I tell you, sir, I defy the world to shew such another. I say no more: Operibus credite, et non verbis. But now let us begin, for it grows late, and we have much to do, say, and shew."

Don Quixote and Sancho complied, and went into the room where the show stood, with a good number of small wax-lights glimmering round about, that made it shine gloriously. Master Peter got to his station within; and his boy stood before, to tell what the puppets said, and with a white wand in his hand to explain the several figures as they came in. Then all the audience having taken their places, Don Quixote, Sancho, the scholar, and the page, being preferred to the rest, the boy began a story that shall be heard or seen by those who will take the pains to read or hear the next chapter.


CHAPTER LVIII.

A pleasant account of the Puppet-play; with other very good things.

[Pg 266] "Gentlemen," said the boy, raising his voice, "we present you here with a true history, taken out of the chronicles of France, and the Spanish ballads, sung even by the boys about the streets, and in every body's mouth; it tells you how Don Gayferos delivered his wife Melisandra, that was a prisoner among the Moors in Spain, in the city of Sansuena, now called Saragosa. Now, gallants, the first figure we present you with is Don Gayferos, playing at tables, according to the ballad:

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

"Next you will mark that personage that peeps out there with a crown on his head and a sceptre in his hand. It is the Emperor Charlemagne, the fair Melisandra's reputed father, who, vexed at the idleness and negligence of his son-in-law, comes to chide him; and pray, observe with what passion and earnestness he rates him, as if he had a mind to lend him half a dozen sound raps over the pate with his sceptre; nay, some authors do not stick to tell you he gave him as many, and well laid on too. Now see how he starts up, and in a rage knocks the tables one way, and whirls the men another; and, calling for his arms with all haste, borrows his cousin-german Orlando's sword, Durindana, who withal offers to go along with him in this difficult adventure; but the valorous enraged knight will not let him, and says he is able to deliver his wife himself, without his help, though they kept her down in the very centre of the earth. And now he is going to put on his armour, in order to begin his journey.

"Now, gentlemen, cast your eyes upon yon tower; you are to suppose it one of the towers of the castle of Saragosa. That lady, whom you see in the balcony in a Moorish habit, is the peerless Melisandra, casting many a heavy look towards France, thinking of Paris and her husband, the only comfort in her imprisonment. But now,—silence, gentlemen, pray, silence! here is an accident wholly new, the like perhaps never heard of before. Don't you see that Moor who comes on tiptoe, creeping and stealing along with his finger in his mouth, behind Melisandra? Hear what a smack he gives on her sweet lips, and see how she spits, and wipes her mouth with her white smock-sleeve; see how she takes on, and tears her lovely hair for very madness, as if it were to blame for this affront. Next, pray observe that grave Moor that stands in the open gallery; that is Marsilius, the king of Sansuena, [Pg 267] who, having been an eye-witness of the sauciness of the Moor, ordered him immediately to be apprehended, though his kinsman and great favourite, and to have two hundred lashes given him. And look how all this is put in execution sooner almost than the fact is committed; for your Moors, you must know, don't use any form of indictment as we do, nor yet have they any legal trials."

"Child, child," said Don Quixote, "go on directly with your story, and don't keep us here with your excursions and ramblings out of the road. I tell you there must be a formal process and legal trial to prove matters of fact." "Boy," said the master from behind the show, "do as the gentleman bids you. Don't run so much upon flourishes, but follow your plain song, without venturing on counterpoint, for fear of spoiling all." "I will, sir," quoth the boy, and so proceeding: "Now, sirs, he that you see there on horseback is Don Gayferos himself, whom his wife, now revenged on the Moor for his impudence, seeing from the battlements of the tower, takes him for a stranger, and talks with him as such, according to the ballad,

'Quoth Melisandra, if perchance,
Sir Traveller, you go for France,
For pity's sake, ask when you're there,
For Gayferos, my husband dear.'

"I omit the rest, not to tire you with a long story. It is sufficient that he makes himself known to her; and accordingly, see how she lets herself down from the balcony, to come at her loving husband and get behind him; but alas! the skirt of her gown is caught upon one of the spikes of the balcony, and there she hangs and hovers miserably in the air, without being able to get down. But see how Heaven is merciful, and sends relief in the greatest distress! Don Gayferos rides up to her, and, not fearing to tear her rich gown, lays hold on it, and at one pull brings her down; and then at one lift sets her astride upon his horse's crupper, bidding her to sit fast, and clasp her arms about him; for the Lady Melisandra was not used to that kind of riding.

"Observe now how the horse neighs, and shews how proud he is of the burden of his brave master and fair mistress. Look now how they turn their backs and leave the city, and gallop it merrily away towards Paris. Peace be with you, for a peerless couple of true lovers! may ye get safe and sound into your own country, without any let or ill chance in your journey, and live in peace and quietness among your friends and relations!" "Plainness, boy!" cried Master Peter, "none of your flights, I beseech you." The boy answered nothing, but going on: "Now, sirs," quoth he, "some of those idle people that love to pry into every [Pg 268] thing happened to spy Melisandra as she was making her escape, and ran presently and gave Marsilius notice of it: whereupon he straight commanded to sound an alarm; and now mind what a din and hurly-burly there is, and how the city shakes with the ring of the bells backwards in all the mosques!" "There you are out, boy," said Don Quixote: "the Moors have no bells, they only use kettle-drums, and a kind of shaulms like our waits or hautboys; so that your ringing of bells in Sansuena is a mere absurdity, good Master Peter." "Nay, sir," said Master Peter, giving over ringing, "if you stand upon these trifles with us, we shall never please you. Don't be so severe a critic: are there not a thousand plays that pass with great success and applause, though they have many greater absurdities, and nonsense in abundance? On, boy, on; no matter, so I get the money." "Well said," answered Don Quixote. "And now, sirs," quoth the boy, "observe what a vast company of glittering horse comes pouring out of the city in pursuit of the Christian lovers; what a dreadful sound of trumpets and clarions, and drums and kettle-drums, there is in the air. I fear they will overtake them, and then will the poor wretches be dragged along most barbarously at the tails of their horses, which would be sad indeed."

Don Quixote, seeing such a number of Moors, and hearing such an alarm, thought it high time to assist the flying lovers; and starting up, "It shall never be said while I live," cried he aloud, "that I suffered such a wrong to be done to so famous a knight and so daring a lover as Don Gayferos. Forbear then your unjust pursuit, ye base-born rascals! Stop, or prepare to meet my furious resentment!" Then drawing out his sword to make good his threats, at one spring he gets to the show, and with a violent fury lays at the Moorish puppets, cutting and slashing in a most terrible manner; some he overthrows, and beheads others; maims this, and cleaves that in pieces. Among the rest of his merciless strokes, he thundered one down with such a mighty force, that had not Master Peter luckily squatted down, it had certainly chopped off his head as easily as one might cut an apple. "Hold, hold, sir," cried the puppet-player, after this narrow escape, "hold for pity's sake! What do you mean, sir? These are no real Moors that you cut and hack so, but poor harmless puppets made of pasteboard. Think of what you do; you ruin me for ever. Oh that ever I was born! you have broke me quite." But Don Quixote, without minding his words, doubled and redoubled his blows so thick, and laid about him so outrageously, that in less than two credos he had cut all the strings and wires, mangled the puppets, and spoiled and demolished the whole machine. King Marsilius was in a grievous condition. The Emperor Charlemagne's head and crown were cleft in two. The whole audience was in a sad consternation. The ape scampered off to the top of the house. The scholar was [Pg 269] frightened out of his wits; the page was very uneasy; and Sancho himself was in a terrible fright; for, as he said after the hurricane was over, he had never seen his master in such a rage before.

The general rout of the puppets being over, Don Quixote's fury began to abate; and with a more pacified countenance turning to the company, "Now," said he, "I could wish all those incredulous persons here who slight knight-errantry might receive conviction of their error, and behold undeniable proofs of the benefit of that function; for how miserable had been the condition of poor Don Gayferos and the fair Melisandra by this time, had I not been here and stood up in their defence! I make no question but those infidels would have apprehended them, and used them barbarously. Well, when all is done, long live knight-errantry; long let it live, I say, above all things whatsoever in this world!" "Ay, ay," said Master Peter in a doleful tone, "let it live long for me, so I may die; for why should I live so unhappy as to say with King Rodrigo, 'Yesterday I was lord of Spain, to-day have not a foot of land I can call mine?' It is not half an hour, nay scarce a moment, since I had kings and emperors at command. I had horses in abundance, and chests and bags full of fine things; but now you see me a poor sorry undone man, quite and clean broke and cast down, and in short a mere beggar. What is worst of all, I have lost my ape too; and all through the rash fury of this knight here, who they say protects the fatherless, redresses wrongs, and does other charitable deeds, but has failed in all these good offices to miserable me. Well may I call him the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, for he has put me and all that belongs to me in a sorrowful case."

The puppet-player's lamentations moving Sancho's pity, "Come," quoth he, "don't cry, Master Peter, thou breakest my heart to hear thee take on so; don't be cast down, man, for my master's a better Christian, I am sure, than to let any poor man come to loss by him; when he comes to know he has done you wrong, he will pay you for every farthing of damage, I will engage." "Truly," said Master Peter, "if his worship would but pay me for the puppets he has spoiled, I will ask no more, and he will discharge his conscience; for he that wrongs his neighbour, and does not make restitution, can never hope to be saved, that is certain." "I grant it," said Don Quixote; "but I am not sensible how I have in the least injured you, good Master Peter!" "How, sir! not injured me?" cried Master Peter. "Why, these poor relics that lie here on the cold ground cry out for vengeance against you. Was it not the invincible force of that powerful arm of yours that has scattered and dismembered them so? And whose were those bodies, sir, but mine? and by whom was I maintained but by them?"

"Well," said Don Quixote, "now I am thoroughly convinced of a truth which I have had reason to believe before, that those [Pg 270] cursed magicians that daily persecute me, do nothing but delude me, first drawing me into dangerous adventures by the appearances of them as really they are, and then presently after changing the face of things as they please. Really and truly, gentlemen, I vow and protest before you all that hear me, that all that was acted here seemed to be really transacted ipso facto as it appeared. To me Melisandra appeared to be Melisandra, Don Gayferos was Don Gayferos, Marsilius Marsilius, and Charlemagne was the real Charlemagne. Which being so, I could not contain my fury, and acted according to the duties of my function, which obliges me to take the injured side. Now, though what I have done proves to be quite contrary to my good design, the fault ought not to be imputed to me, but to my persecuting foes; yet I own myself sorry for the mischance, and will myself pay the costs. Let Master Peter see what he must have for the figures, and I will pay it him now in good and lawful money." "Heaven bless your worship," cried Master Peter with a profound cringe, "I could expect no less from the wonderful Christianity of the valorous Don Quixote de la Mancha, the sure relief and bulwark of all miserable wanderers. Now let my landlord and the great Sancho be mediators and appraisers between your worship and myself, and I will stand to their award."

They agreed: and presently Master Peter taking up Marsilius, king of Saragosa, that lay by on the ground with his head off: "You see, gentlemen," said he, "it is impossible to restore this king to his former dignity; and therefore, with submission to your better judgments, I think that for his destruction, and to get him a successor, seven and twenty pence is little enough on conscience." "Proceed," said Don Quixote. "Then for this that is cleft in two," said Master Peter, taking up the Emperor Charlemagne, "I think he is richly worth one and thirty pence halfpenny." "Not so richly neither," quoth Sancho. "Truly," said the innkeeper, "I think it is pretty reasonable, but we will make it even money; let the poor fellow have half a crown." "Come," said Don Quixote, "let him have his full price; we will not stand haggling for so small a matter in a case like this: so make haste, Master Peter, for it is near supper-time, and I have some strong presumptions that I shall eat heartily." "Now," said Master Peter, "for this figure here that is without a nose and blind with one eye, being the fair Melisandra, I will be reasonable with you; give me fourteen pence; I would not take less from my brother."

In this manner he went on, setting his price upon the dead and wounded, which the arbitrators moderated to the content of both parties; and the whole sum amounted to forty reals and three quarters, which Sancho paid him down; and then Master Peter demanded two reals more for the trouble of catching his ape. "Give it him," said Don Quixote, "and set the monkey [Pg 271] to catch the ape; and now would I give two hundred more to be assured that Don Gayferos and the Lady Melisandra were safely arrived in France among their friends." "Nobody can better tell than my ape," said Master Peter; "though who will catch him I know not, if hunger, or his kindness for me do not bring us together again to-night. However, to-morrow will be a new day; and when it is light we will see what is to be done."

The whole disturbance being appeased, to supper they went lovingly together; and Don Quixote treated the whole company, for he was liberality itself. Before day, the man with the lances and halberts left the inn, and some time after the scholar and the page came to take leave of the knight; the first to return home, and the second to continue his journey, towards whose charges Don Quixote gave him twelve reals. As for Master Peter, he knew too much of the knight's humour to desire to have any thing to do with him; and therefore, having picked up the ruins of the puppet-show, and got his ape again, by break of day he packed off to seek his fortune. The innkeeper, who did not know Don Quixote, was as much surprised at his liberality as at his madness. In fine, Sancho paid him very honestly by his master's order, and mounting a little before eight o'clock they left the inn, and proceeded on their journey; during which some other matters occurred, a knowledge of which is very requisite for the better understanding of this famous history.


CHAPTER LIX.

Wherein is shewn Don Quixote's ill success in the braying adventure, which did not end so happily as he desired and expected.

After Don Quixote had left the inn, he resolved to take a sight of the river Ebro, and the country about it, before he went to Saragosa, since he was not straitened for time; but might do that, and yet arrive soon enough to make one at the jousts and tournaments in that city. Two days he travelled without meeting with any thing worth his notice or the reader's; when on the third, as he was riding up a hill, he heard a great noise of drums, trumpets, and guns. At first he thought that some regiment of soldiers was on its march that way, which made him spur up Rozinante to the brow of the hill, that he might see them pass by; and then he saw in a bottom above two hundred men, as near as he could guess, armed with various weapons, as lances, cross-bows, partisans, halberts, pikes, some few firelocks, and a great many targets. Thereupon he descended into the vale, and made his approaches towards the battalion so near as to be able [Pg 272] to distinguish their banners and observe their devices; more especially one that was to be seen on a standard of white satin, on which was represented to the life a little jackass, much like a Sardinian ass-colt, holding up his head, stretching out his neck, and thrusting out his tongue, in the very posture of an ass that is braying, with this distich written in fair characters about it:

"'Twas something more than nothing which one day
Made one and t'other worthy bailiff bray."

Don Quixote drew this inference from the motto, that those were the inhabitants of the braying town; and he acquainted Sancho with what he had observed, giving him also to understand, that the man who told them the story of the two braying aldermen was apparently in the wrong; since, according to the verses on the standard, they were two bailiffs, and not two aldermen. "It matters not one rush what you call them," quoth Sancho; "for those very aldermen that brayed might in time come to be made bailiffs of the town; and so both those titles might have been given them well enough. But what is it to you or me, or the story, whether the two brayers were aldermen or bailiffs, so they but brayed as we are told? As if a bailiff were not as likely to bray as an alderman!"

In short, both master and man plainly understood that the men who were thus up in arms were those that were jeered for braying, got together to fight the people of another town, who had indeed abused them more than was the part of good neighbours; thereupon Don Quixote advanced towards them, to Sancho's great grief, who had no manner of liking to such kind of adventures. The multitude soon got about the knight, taking him for some champion, who was come to their assistance. But Don Quixote, lifting up his vizor, with a graceful deportment rode up to the standard, and there all the chief leaders of the army got together about him, in order to take a survey of his person, no less amazed at this strange appearance than the rest. Don Quixote seeing them look so earnestly on him, and no man offer so much as a word or question, took occasion from their silence to break his own; and raising his voice, "Good gentlemen," cried he, "I beseech you with all the endearments imaginable, to give no interruption to the discourse I am now delivering to you, unless you find it distasteful or tedious; which, if I am unhappy enough to occasion, at the least hint you shall give me, I will put a seal on my lips and a padlock on my tongue." They all cried that he might speak what he pleased, and they would hear him with all their hearts. Having this license, Don Quixote proceeded:

"Gentlemen," said he, "I am a knight-errant; and my profession is to shew favour to those that are in necessity, and to give assistance to those that are in distress. I am no stranger to [Pg 273] the cause of your uneasiness, which excites you to take arms against your insulting neighbours; and having often reflected upon the motives which have brought you together, I have drawn this inference; that according to the laws of arms, you really injure yourselves in thinking yourselves affronted; for no particular person can give an affront to a whole town and society of men, except it be by accusing them all of high treason in general, for want of knowing on which of them to fix some treasonable action, of which he supposes some of them to be guilty. Taking it for granted, then, that no particular person can affront a whole kingdom, province, city, commonwealth, or body politic, it is but just to conclude, that it is needless to revenge such a pretended affront; since such an abuse is no sufficient provocation, and, indeed, positively no affront. It would be a pretty piece of wisdom, truly, should those out of the town of Reloxa sally out every day on those who spend their ill-natured breaths, miscalling them every where. It would be a fine business, indeed, if the inhabitants of those several famous towns that are nick-named by our rabble, and called the one cheesemongers, the other costermongers, these fishmongers, and those soapboilers, should know no better than to think themselves dishonoured, and in revenge be always drawing out their swords at the least word, for every idle insignificant quarrel. No, no, Heaven forbid! men of sagacity and wisdom, and well-governed commonwealths, are never induced to take up arms, nor endanger their persons and estates, but on the four following occasions. In the first place, to defend the holy Catholic faith. Secondly, for the security of their lives, which they are commanded to preserve by the laws of God and nature. Thirdly, the preservation of their good name, the reputation of their family, and the conservation of their estates. Fourthly, the service due to their prince in a just war; and, if we please, we may add a fifth, which, indeed, may be referred to the second: the defence of our country. To these five capital causes may be subjoined several others, which may induce men to vindicate themselves, and have recourse even to the way of arms; but to take them up for mere trifles, and such occasions as rather challenge our mirth and contemptuous laughter than revenge, shews the person who is guilty of such proceedings to labour under a scarcity of sense. Besides, to seek after an unjust revenge (and indeed no human revenge can be just) is directly against the holy law we profess, which commands us to forgive our enemies, and to do good to those that hate us: an injunction, which though it seems difficult in the implicit obedience we should pay to it, yet is only so to those who have less of heaven than of the world, and more of the flesh than of the spirit. For the Redeemer of mankind, whose words never could deceive, said 'that his yoke was easy, and his burden light;' and according to that, he could prescribe nothing to our practice which was impossible to be done. [Pg 274] Therefore, gentlemen, since reason and religion recommend love and peace to you, I hope you will not render yourselves obnoxious to all laws, both human and divine, by a breach of the public tranquillity."

"Verily," quoth Sancho to himself, "this master of mine must have been bred a parson; if not, he is as like one as one egg is like another." Don Quixote paused a while, to take breath; and, perceiving his auditory still willing to give him attention, had proceeded in his harangue, had not Sancho's good opinion of his parts made him lay hold on this opportunity to talk in his turn. "Gentlemen," quoth he, "my master, Don Quixote de la Mancha, once called the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, and now the Knight of the Lions, is a very judicious gentleman, and talks Latin and his own mother-tongue as well as any of your 'varsity-doctors. Whatever discourse he takes in hand, he speaks to the purpose; he has all the laws and rules of punctilio and honour at his fingers' end; so that you have no more to do but to do as he says, and if in taking his counsel you ever tread awry, let the blame be laid on my shoulders. And, indeed, as you have already been told, it is a very silly fancy to be ashamed to hear one bray; for I remember when I was a boy, I could bray as often as I listed, and nobody went about to hinder me; and I could do it so rarely, and to the life, without vanity be it spoken, that all the asses in our town would fall a braying when they heard me bray; yet for all this, I was an honest body's child, and came of good parentage, do ye see; it is true, indeed, four of the best young men in our parish envied me for this great ability of mine; but I cared not a rush for their spite. Now, that you may not think I tell you a story, do but hear me, and then judge; for this rare art is like swimming, which, when once learned, is never to be forgotten!"

This said, he clapped both the palms of his hands to his nose, and fell a braying so obstreperously, that it made the neighbouring valleys ring again. But while he was thus braying, one of those that stood next to him, believing he did it to mock them, gave him such a hearty blow with a quarter-staff on his back, that he brought him to the ground.

Don Quixote, seeing what a rough entertainment had been given to his squire, moved with his lance in a threatening posture towards the man that had used poor Sancho thus; but the crowd thrust themselves in such a manner between them, that the knight found it impracticable to pursue the revenge he designed. At the same time, finding that a shower of stones began to rain about his ears, and a great number of cross-bows and muskets were getting ready for his reception, he turned Rozinante's reins, and galloped from them as fast as four legs would carry him, at the same time expecting at every step that he should be shot through the back, and have the bullet come out at his breast. [Pg 275] But the country battalion were satisfied with seeing him fly, and did not offer to shoot at him.

As for Sancho, he was set upon his ass before he had well recovered his senses, and then they suffered him to move off; not that the poor fellow had strength enough to guide him, but Dapple naturally followed Rozinante of his own accord. The Don being at a good distance from the armed multitude, faced about, and seeing Sancho pacing after him without any troublesome attendants, stayed for his coming up. As for the rabble, they kept their posts till it grew dark, and their enemies not having taken the field to give them battle, they marched home, so overjoyed to have shewn their courage, without danger, that, had they been so well bred as to have known the ancient custom of the Greeks, they would have erected a trophy in that place.


CHAPTER LX.

Of some things which he that reads shall know, if he reads them with attention.

When the valiant man flies, he must have discovered some foul play, and it is the part of prudent persons to reserve themselves for more favourable opportunities. This truth is verified in Don Quixote; who, rather than expose himself to the fury of an incensed and ill-designing multitude, prudently took himself out of their reach. Sancho came after him, as already narrated, laid across his ass, and having recovered his senses, overtook him at last, and let himself drop from his pack-saddle at Rozinante's feet, all battered and bruised, and in a sorrowful condition. Don Quixote presently dismounted to search his wounds, and finding no bones broken, but his skin whole from head to feet, "You must bray," cried he angrily; "you must bray, must you! It is a piece of excellent discretion to talk of halters in the house of a man whose father was hanged. What counter-part could you expect to your music, blockhead, but a thorough-bass of bastinadoes? Thank Providence, sirrah, that as they gave you a dry benediction with a quarter-staff, they did not cross you with a cutlass." "I havn't breath to answer you at present," quoth Sancho, "but my back and shoulders speak enough for me. Pray let us make the best of our way from this cursed place, and whene'er I bray again, may I be as well punished for it. Yet I cannot help saying, that your knights-errant can betake themselves to their heels, and yet leave their trusty squires to be beaten like stock-fish in the midst of their enemies." "A retreat is not to be accounted a flight," replied Don Quixote; "for [Pg 276] know, Sancho, that courage which has not wisdom for its guide falls under the name of temerity; and the rash man's successful actions are rather owing to his good fortune than to his bravery. I own I did retire, but I deny that I fled; and in such a retreat I did but imitate many valiant men, who, not to hazard their persons indiscreetly, reserved themselves for a more fortunate hour. Histories are full of examples of this nature, which I do not care to relate at present, because they would be more tedious to me than profitable to thee."

By this time Don Quixote had helped Sancho to bestride his ass; and being himself mounted on Rozinante, they paced softly along, and got into a grove of poplar-trees, about a quarter of a league from the place where they mounted. Yet as softly as they rode, Sancho could not help now and then heaving up deep sighs and lamentable groans. Don Quixote asked him why he made such a heavy moan? Sancho told him, that from his neck to his back-bone he felt such grievous pains that he was ready to sink. "Without doubt," said Don Quixote, "that is by reason that the staff by which thou wert struck was broad and long; and so, having fallen on those parts of thy back, caused a contusion there, and affects them all with pain; and had it been of a greater magnitude, thy grievances had been so much the greater."

"Truly," quoth Sancho, "you have cleared that in very pithy words, of which nobody made any doubt. Was the cause of my ailing so hard to be guessed, that you must tell me that so much of me was sore as was hit by the weapon? But I find you are like all the world, that lay to heart nobody's harms but their own. I find whereabouts we are, and what I am like to get by you; for even as you left me now in the lurch, to be belaboured, and the other day to dance the caper-galliard in the blanket you wot of, so I must expect a hundred and a hundred more of these good things in your service; and as the mischief has now lighted on my shoulders, next time it may fly at my eyes. Would it not be better for me to trudge home to my wife and children, and look after my house, with that little wit that Heaven has given me, without galloping after your tail, high and low, through crossroads and by-ways, eating ill, and drinking worse? Then, after a man has tired himself off his legs, when he would be glad of a good bed, to have a master cry, 'Here, are you sleepy? lie down, Mr. Squire, your bed is made: take six feet of good hard ground, and measure your body there; and if that won't serve you, take as much more, and welcome.'"

"I durst lay a wager," said Don Quixote, interrupting him, "that now thou art suffered to prate without interruption, thou feelest no manner of pain in thy whole body. Prithee talk on, my child; say anything that comes uppermost to thy mouth, or is burdensome to thy brain; so it but alleviates thy pain, thy impertinences will rather please than offend me; and if thou hast [Pg 277] such a longing desire to be at home with thy wife and children, Heaven forbid I should be against it. Thou hast money of mine in thy hands: see how long it is since we sallied out last from home, and cast up thy wages by the month, and pay thyself."

"An' it like your worship," quoth Sancho, "when I served my master Carrasco, father to the bachelor, your worship's acquaintance, I had two ducats a-month, besides my victuals: I don't know what you'll give me; though I am sure there is more trouble in being squire to a knight-errant than in being servant to a farmer; for truly, we that go to plough and cart in a farmer's service, though we moil and sweat so a-days as not to have a dry thread to our backs, let the worst come to the worst, are sure of a supper from the pot, and to sleep soundly in a bed. But I don't know when I have had a good meal's meat, or a good night's rest, in all your service, unless it were that short time when we were at Don Diego's house, and when I made a feast on the savoury skimming of Camacho's cauldron, and eat, drank, and slept at Mr. Basil's."

"I grant all this, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "then how much more dost thou expect from me than thou hadst from thy master Carrasco?" "Why, truly," quoth Sancho, "if your worship will pay me twelvepence a-month more than Thomas Carrasco gave me, I shall think it very fair, and tolerable wages; but then, instead of the island which, you know, you promised me, I think you cannot in conscience give me less than six-and-thirty pence a-month more, which will make in all thirty reals, neither more nor less." "Very well," said Don Quixote, "let us see then; it is now twenty-five days since we set out from home—reckon what this comes to, according to the wages thou hast allowed thyself, and be thy own paymaster." "Ah, but," quoth Sancho, "we are quite out in our account; for as to the governor of an island's place, which you promised to help me to, we ought to reckon from the time you made the promise to this very day." "Well, and pray how long is it?" asked Don Quixote. "If I remember rightly," quoth Sancho, "it is about some twenty years ago, two or three days more or less."

With that Don Quixote fell a-laughing heartily. "Why," cried he, "all my sallies, including the time I spent in the Sierra Morena, have hardly taken up two months; and hast thou the impudence to affirm it is twenty years since I promised the grant of the island? I am now convinced thou hast a mind to make all the money which thou hast of mine in thy keeping go for the payment of thy wages. If this be thy meaning, well and good; e'en take it, and much good may it do thee; for rather than be troubled any longer with such a varlet, I would contentedly see myself without a penny. Away, then, pack off with thy ass this moment, and get thee home; for thou shalt never stay in my service any longer. Oh, how much bread, how many promises, have [Pg 278] I now ill bestowed on thee! Vile grovelling wretch, thou hast more of the beast than of the man! when I was just going to prefer thee to such a post, that in spite of thy wife thou hadst been called my lord, thou sneakest away from me. Well mightest thou say, indeed, that honey is not for the mouth of an ass. Thou art indeed a very ass; an ass thou wilt live, and an ass thou wilt die; for I dare say, thou wilt never have sense enough while thou livest to know thou art a brute."

While Don Quixote thus upbraided and railed at Sancho, the poor fellow, all dismayed, and touched to the quick, beheld him with a wistful look; and the tears standing in his eyes for grief, "Good sir," cried he, with a doleful voice, "I confess I want nothing but a tail to be a perfect ass; if your worship will be pleased but to put on one, I shall deem it well set on, and be your most faithful ass all the days of my life: but forgive me, I beseech you, and take pity on my youth. Consider I have but a dull head-piece of my own; and if tongue runs at random sometimes, it is because I am more fool than knave, sir:

'He who errs and mends,
To heaven himself commends.'

"I should wonder much," said Don Quixote, "if thou shouldst not interlard thy discourse with some pretty proverb. Well, I will pardon thee this once, provided thou correct those imperfections, and shewest thyself of a less craving temper. Take heart, then, and let the hopes which thou mayest entertain of the performance of my promise raise in thee a nobler spirit."

Matters being thus amicably adjusted, they put into the grove, where the Don laid himself at the foot of an elm, and his squire at the foot of a beech; for every one of those trees, and such others, has always a foot, though never a hand. Sancho had but an ill night's rest of it, for his bruises made his bones more than ordinarily sensible of the cold. As for Don Quixote, he entertained himself with his usual imaginations. However, they both slept, and by break of day were ready to continue their journey.


CHAPTER LXI.

What happened to Don Quixote with the fair Huntress.

It happened that the next day about sunset, as they were coming out of the wood, Don Quixote cast his eyes on a verdant meadow, and at the farther end of it descried a company, whom, upon a nearer view, he judged to be persons of quality taking the diversion of hawking. Approaching nearer yet, he observed [Pg 279] among them a fine lady, upon a white steed in green trappings, and a saddle of cloth-of-silver. She rode with a gosshawk on her left hand, by which Don Quixote judged her to be of quality, and mistress of the train that attended; as, indeed, she was. Calling to his squire, "Sancho," cried he, "run and tell that lady on the palfrey that I, the Knight of the Lions, humbly salute her highness; and that if she pleases to give me leave, I should be proud to have the honour of waiting on her, and kissing her fair hands. But take special care, Sancho, how thou deliverest thy message; and be sure not to lard my compliments with any of thy proverbs."

Sancho moved on, forcing Dapple from his old pace to a gallop; and approaching the fair huntress, he alighted, and, falling on his knees, "Fair lady," quoth he, "that knight yonder, called the Knight of the Lions, is my master; I am his squire, Sancho Panza by name. This same Knight of the Lions, who but the other day was called the Knight of the Sorrowful Figure, has sent me to tell you, that so please your worship's grace to give him leave, with your good liking, to do as he has a mind, which, as he says, and as I believe, is only to serve your high-flown beauty, and be your eternal vassal, you may chance to do a thing that would be for your own good, and he would take it for a huge kindness at your hands."

"Indeed, honest squire," said the lady, "you have acquitted yourself of your charge with all the grace which such an embassy requires. Rise, I pray; for it is by no means fit that the squire to so great a knight (to whose name and merit we are no strangers) should remain on his knees. Rise, and desire your master by all means to honour us with his company, that my lord duke and I may pay him our respects at a mansion we have hard by."

Sancho, overjoyed with this gracious answer, returned to his master, to whom he repeated all that the great lady had said to him; praising to the skies, in his clownish phrase, her great beauty and courteous nature.

Don Quixote, pleased with this good beginning, seated himself handsomely in the saddle, fixed his toes in his stirrups, set the beaver of his helmet as he thought best became his face, roused up Rozinante's mettle, and with a graceful assurance moved forwards to kiss the duchess's hand. As soon as Sancho went from her, she sent for the duke, her husband, and gave him an account of Don Quixote's embassy. Thereupon they both attended his coming with a pleasant impatience; for, having read the first part of his history, they were no less desirous to be acquainted with his person; and resolved, as long as he stayed with them, to give him his own way, and humour him in all things, treating him with all the forms essential to the entertainment of a knight-errant; which they were the better able to do, having been much conversant with books of that kind.

[Pg 280] And now Don Quixote drew nigh with his vizor up; and Sancho, seeing him offer to alight, made all the haste he could to be ready to hold his stirrup. But as ill-luck would have it, as he was throwing his leg over his pack-saddle to get off, he entangled his foot so strangely in the rope that served him instead of a stirrup, that, not being able to get it out, he hung by the heel with his nose to the ground. On the other side, Don Quixote, who was used to have his stirrup held when he dismounted, thinking Sancho had hold of it already, lifted up his right leg over the saddle to alight; but as it happened to be ill girt, down it came with him to the ground; while he, confounded with shame, bestowed many a severe reproach on his poor squire, who was all the while held fast with his foot in the stocks. The duke seeing them in that condition, ordered some of his people to help them; and they raised Don Quixote, who was in no very good case with his fall. However, limping as well as he could, he went to pay his duty to the lady, and would have fallen on his knees at her horse's feet; but the duke alighting, would by no means permit it; and embracing Don Quixote, "I am sorry," said he, "sir knight, that such a mischance should happen to you at your first appearance in my territories; but the negligence of squires is often the cause of worse accidents." "Most generous prince," said Don Quixote, "I can think nothing bad that could befall me here, since I have had the happiness of seeing your grace; for though I had fallen ever so low, the glory of this interview would raise me up again. My squire, indeed, is much more apt to set loose his saucy tongue than to gird a saddle well; but prostrate or erect, on horseback or on foot, in any posture, I shall always be at your grace's command, and no less at her grace's, your worthy consort. Worthy did I say? yes, she is worthy to be called the Queen of Beauty, and Sovereign Lady of all Courtesy." "Pardon me there," said the duke, "noble Don Quixote de la Mancha; where the peerless Dulcinea is remembered, the praise of all other beauties ought to be forgotten."

Sancho was now got clear of the noose, and standing near the duchess. "An't please your worship's highness," quoth he, before his master could answer, "it cannot be denied, nay, I dare vouch it in any ground in Spain, that my Lady Dulcinea del Toboso is woundy handsome and fair. But 'where we least think, there starts the hare;' and 'he that makes one handsome pipkin may make two or three hundred;' and so, do ye see, you may understand by this, that my Lady Duchess here does not a jot come short of my Lady Dulcinea del Toboso." Don Quixote, upon this, addressing himself to the duchess, "Your grace must know," said he, "that no knight-errant ever had such an eternal babbler, such a bundle of conceit for a squire, as I have; and if I have the honour to continue for some time in your service, your [Pg 281] grace will find it true." "I am glad," answered the duchess, "that honest Sancho has his conceits, which is a sign he is wise; for merry conceits, you know, sir, are not the offspring of a dull brain; and therefore, if Sancho be merry and jocose, I will warrant him also a man of sense. But, not to lose our time here, come on, Sir Knight of the Sorrowful Figure——" "Knight of the Lions, your highness should say," quoth Sancho; "the Sorrowful Figure is out of date; and so pray let the Lions come in play." "Well, then," said the duke, "I entreat the Knight of the Lions to vouchsafe us his presence at a castle I have hard by, where he shall find such entertainment as is justly due to so eminent a personage, such honours as the duchess and myself are wont to pay to knights-errant that travel this way."

Sancho having by this time got Rozinante ready, and girded the saddle tight, Don Quixote mounted his steed, and the duke a stately horse of his own, and the duchess riding between them both, they moved towards the castle. She desired that Sancho might always attend near her; for she was extremely taken with his notable sayings. Sancho was not hard to be entreated, but crowded in between them, and made a fourth in their conversation, to the great satisfaction both of the duke and duchess, who esteemed themselves very fortunate in having an opportunity to entertain at their castle such a knight-errant and such an erring squire.


CHAPTER LXII.

Which treats of many and great matters.

Sancho was overjoyed to find himself so much in the duchess's favour, flattering himself that he should fare no worse at her castle than he had done at Don Diego's and Basil's houses; for he was ever a cordial friend to a plentiful way of living, and therefore never failed to take such opportunities by the forelock wherever he met them. Now before they got to the castle, the duke rode away from them, to instruct his servants how to behave themselves toward Don Quixote; so that no sooner did the knight come near the gates, than he was met by two of the duke's lackeys, in long vests of fine crimson satin, who, suddenly taking him in their arms, lifted him from his horse without any further ceremony.

And now, being entered into a large court-yard, there came two damsels, who threw a long mantle of fine scarlet over Don Quixote's shoulders. In an instant, all the galleries about the court-yard were crowded with men and women, the domestics of the duke, who cried out, "Welcome, the flower and cream of [Pg 282] knight-errantry!" Then they sprinkled bottles of scented water upon Don Quixote, the duke, and the duchess; all which agreeably surprised the Don, and persuaded him his knight-errantry was indeed more than mere fancy; for he found himself treated just as he had read that the brothers of the order were entertained in former ages.

They were now led up a stately staircase, and then into a noble hall, sumptuously hung with rich gold brocade. Here his armour was taken off by six young damsels, that served him instead of pages, all of them fully instructed by the duke and duchess how to behave themselves towards Don Quixote so, that he might look on his entertainment as conformable to those which the famous knights-errant received of old.

Don Quixote then retired and dressed himself, put on his belt and sword, threw his scarlet cloak over his shoulders, and clapped on a cap of green velvet, which had been left him by the damsels. Thus accoutred, he was led with great pomp, some of the attendants walking before and some behind, into the supper-apartment, where a table was magnificently set out for four people.

As soon as he approached, the duke and the duchess came as far as the door to receive him, and with them a grave ecclesiastic, one of those that live in and govern great men's houses.

After a thousand courtly compliments on all sides, Don Quixote at last approached the table, between the duke and the duchess; and here arose a contest; for the knight, being offered the upper end of the table, thought himself obliged to decline it. However, he could not withstand the duke's pressing importunities, but was forced at last to comply. The parson sat right against him, and the duke and the duchess on each side.

Sancho stood by all the while, gaping with wonder to see the honour done his master; and observing how many ceremonies passed, and what entreaties the duke used to prevail with him to sit at the upper end of the table, "With your worship's good leave," quoth he, "I will tell you what happened once in our town, in reference to this stir and ado that you have had now about places." The words were scarce out of his mouth, when Don Quixote began to tremble, as having reason to believe he was about to say some impertinent thing or other. Sancho had his eyes upon him, and, presently understanding his motions, "Sir," quoth he, "don't fear; I won't be unmannerly, I warrant you. I will speak nothing but what shall be to the purpose; I havn't so soon forgot the lesson you gave me about talking sense or nonsense, little or much." "I don't know what thou meanest," said Don Quixote; "say what thou wilt, so thou do it quickly." "Well," quoth Sancho, turning to the duke, "what I am going to tell you is every tittle true. Should I trip never so little in my story, my master is here to take me up, and give me the lie." "Prithee," said Don Quixote, "trip as much as thou wilt [Pg 283] for me; I won't be thy hindrance; but take heed, however, what thou sayest." "Nay, nay," quoth Sancho, "let me alone for that; I have heeded it and reheeded it over and over, and that you shall see, I warrant you." "Truly, my lord," said Don Quixote, "it were convenient that your grace should order this fellow to be turned out of the room, for he will plague you with a thousand impertinences." "Oh! as for that, you must excuse us," said the duchess; "Sancho must not stir a step; I'll engage for him, he shall say nothing but what is proper." "Many and many proper years," quoth Sancho, "may your grace live, madam duchess, for your good opinion of me, though it is more your goodness than my desert. Now then for my tale.

"Once on a time a gentleman, of a good estate and family, for he was of the blood of the Alamos of Medina del Campo, and married one Donna Mencia de Quinones, who was the daughter of Don Alonzo de Maranon, a knight of the order of St. Jago, the very same that was drowned in the Herradura, about whom that quarrel happened formerly in our town, in which I heard say, that my master, Don Quixote was embroiled, and little Tom, the mad-cap, who was the son of old Balvastro the farrier, happened to be sorely hurt——Is not all this true now, master? Speak the truth, that their worships' graces may know that I am neither a prater nor a liar." "Thus far," said the clergyman, "I think thou art the first rather than the latter; I can't tell what I shall make of thee by and by." "Thou producest so many witnesses, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and mentionest so many circumstances, that I must needs own I believe what thou sayest to be true. But go on, and shorten thy story; for as thou beginnest, I'm afraid thou'lt not have done these two days." "Pray, don't let him shorten it," said the duchess; "let him go on his own way, though he were not to make an end of it these six days; I shall hear him with pleasure, and think the time pleasantly employed." "This same gentleman, then," continued Sancho, "I know him as well as I know my right hand from my left, for it is not a bow-shot from my house to his; this gentleman, I say, invited a husbandman to dine with him, who was a poor man, but main honest"——

"On, friend," said the chaplain; "at the rate you proceed, your tale won't reach its end before you reach the other world." "A little more of your Christian patience, good doctor," quoth Sancho. "Now this same husbandman, as I said before, coming to this same gentleman's house, who had given him the invitation,—Heaven rest his soul, poor heart! for he is now dead and gone; and more than that, they say he died the death of an angel. For my part, I was not by him when he died, for I was gone to harvest-work at that very time, to a place called Temblique." "Prithee, honest friend," said the clergyman, "leave your harvest-work, and come back quickly from Temblique, without staying [Pg 284] to bury the gentleman, unless you have a mind to occasion more funerals; therefore, pray make an end of your story." "You must know then," quoth Sancho, "that as they two were ready to sit down at table,—I mean the husbandman and the gentleman——Methinks I see them now before my eyes plainer than ever I did in my born days,—The husbandman would not sit till the gentleman had taken his place; but the gentleman made him a sign to put himself at the upper end. 'By no means, sir,' quoth the husbandman. 'Sit down,' said the other. 'Good your worship,' quoth the husbandman. 'Sit where I bid thee,' said the gentleman. Still the other excused himself and would not; and the gentleman told him he should, as meaning to be master in his own house. But the over-mannerly looby, fancying he should be hugely well bred and civil in it, scraped, and cringed, and refused, till at last the gentleman, in a great passion, even took him by the shoulders, and forced him into the chair. 'Sit there, clodpate,' cried he; 'for let me sit wherever I will, that still will be the upper end, and the place of worship to thee.' And now you have my tale, and I think I have spoke nothing but what is to the purpose."

Don Quixote's face was flushed with anger and shame, so that the duke and duchess were obliged to check their mirth when they perceived Sancho's roguery, that Don Quixote might not be put too much out of countenance. And therefore to turn the discourse, that Sancho might not run into other fooleries, the duchess asked Don Quixote what news he had of the Lady Dulcinea, and how long it was since he had sent her any giants or robbers for a present, not doubting but that he had lately subdued many such. "Alas! madam," answered he, "my misfortunes have had a beginning, but I fear will never have an end. I have vanquished giants, elves, and cut-throats, and sent them to the mistress of my soul, but where shall they find her? She is enchanted, madam, and transformed to the ugliest piece of rusticity that can be imagined." "I don't know, sir," quoth Sancho; "when I saw her last, she seemed to be the finest creature in the varsal world; thus far, at least, I can safely vouch for her upon my own knowledge, that for activity of body and leaping, the best tumbler of them all does not go beyond her. Upon my honest word, madam duchess, she will vault from the ground upon her ass like a cat." "Have you seen her enchanted?" said the duke. "Seen her!" quoth Sancho; "and who was the first that hit upon this trick of her enchantment, think you, but I? She is as much enchanted as my father."

The churchman hearing them talk of giants, elves, and enchantments, began to suspect this was Don Quixote de la Mancha, whose history the duke so often used to read, though he had several times reprehended him for it, telling him it was a folly to read such follies. Being confirmed in his suspicion, he addressed [Pg 285] himself very angrily to the duke. "My lord," said he, "your grace will have a large account to give one day for encouraging this poor man's follies. I suppose this same Don Quixote, or Don Quite Sot, or whatever you are pleased to call him, cannot be quite so besotted as you endeavour to make him, by giving him such opportunities to run on in his fantastical humours?" Then directing his discourse to Don Quixote, "Hark ye," said he, "Sig˝or Addlepate. Who has put it into your head that you are a knight-errant, and that you vanquish giants and robbers? Go, go, get you home again, look after your children, if you have any, and what honest business you have to do, and leave wandering about the world, building castles in the air, and making yourself a laughing-stock to all that know you, or know you not. Where have you found that there ever has been, or are now, any such things as knights-errant? Where will you meet with giants in Spain, or monsters in La Mancha? Where shall one find your enchanted Dulcineas, and all those legions of whimsies and chimeras that are talked of in your account, but in your own empty skull?"

Don Quixote gave this reverend person a hearing with great patience. But at last, seeing him silent, without minding his respect to the duke and duchess, up he started with indignation and fury in his looks, and said——But his answer deserves a chapter by itself.


CHAPTER LXIII.

Don Quixote's answer to his reprover; with other grave and merry accidents.

Don Quixote having thus suddenly got up, with his whole frame agitated with indignation, cast an angry look on his indiscreet censor, and thus spake: "This place, the presence of these noble persons, and the respect I have always had for your function, check my just resentment, and tie up my hands from taking the satisfaction of a gentleman. For these reasons, and since every one knows that you gown-men, as well as women, use no other weapons but your tongues, I will fairly engage you upon equal terms, and combat you at your own weapon. I should rather have expected sober admonitions from a man of your cloth, than infamous reproaches. Charitable and wholesome correction ought to be managed at another rate, and with more moderation. The least that can be said of this reproof, which you have given me here so bitterly and in public, is, that it has exceeded the bounds of Christian correction, and a gentle one had been much more becoming. Is it fit that without any insight into the offence [Pg 286] which you reprove, you should, without any more ado, call the offender fool, sot, and addlepate? Pray, sir, what foolish action have you seen me do, that should provoke you to give me such ill language, and bid me so magisterially go home to look after my wife and children, before you know whether I have any? Don't you think those deserve as severe a censure who screw themselves into other men's houses, and pretend to rule the master? A fine world it is truly, when a poor pedant, who has seen no more of it than lies within twenty or thirty leagues about him, shall take upon him to prescribe laws to knight-errantry, and judge of those who profess it! You, forsooth, esteem it an idle undertaking, and time lost, to wander through the world, though scorning its pleasures and sharing the hardships and toils of it, by which the virtuous aspire to the high seat of immortality. If persons of honour, knights, lords, gentlemen, or men of any birth, should take me for a fool or a coxcomb, I should think it an irreparable affront. But for mere scholars, that never trode the path of chivalry, to think me mad, I despise and laugh at it. I am a knight, and a knight will I die, if so it please Omnipotence. Some choose the high road of haughty ambition; others the low ways of base servile flattery; a third sort take the crooked path of deceitful hypocrisy; and a few, very few, that of true religion. I, for my own part, follow the narrow track of knight-errantry; and for the exercise of it I despise riches, but not honour. I have redressed grievances, and righted the injured, chastised the insolent, vanquished giants, and trod elves and hobgoblins under my feet. I am in love, but no more than the profession of knight-errantry obliges me to be. My intentions are all directed to virtuous ends, and to do no man wrong, but good to all the world. And now let your graces judge, most excellent duke and duchess, whether a person who makes it his only study to practise all this deserves to be upbraided for a fool."

"Well said, truly," quoth Sancho; "say no more for yourself, my good lord and master; stop when you are well; for there is not the least matter to be added more on your side. Besides, since Mr. Parson has had the face to say, point-blank, as one may say, that there neither are, nor ever were, any knights-errant in the world, no marvel he does not know what he says." "What!" said the clergyman, "I warrant you are that Sancho Panza to whom they say your master has promised an island?" "Ay, marry am I," answered Sancho; "and I am he that deserves it as well as another body; and I am one of those of whom they say, 'Keep with good men and thou shalt be one of them;' and of those of whom it is said again, 'Not with whom thou wert bred, but with whom thou hast fed;' as also, 'Lean against a good tree, and it will shelter thee.' I have leaned and stuck close to my good master, and kept him company this many a month; [Pg 287] and now he and I are all one; and I must be as he is; and so he live, and I live, he will not want kingdoms to rule, nor shall I want islands to govern."

"That thou shalt not, honest Sancho," said the duke; "for I, on the great Don Quixote's account, will now give thee the government of an odd one of my own of no small consequence." "Down, down on thy knees, Sancho," cried Don Quixote, "and kiss his grace's feet for this favour." Sancho did accordingly; but when the clergyman saw it, he got up in a great heat. "By the habit which I wear," cried he, "I can scarce forbear telling your grace, that you are as mad as these sinful wretches. Well may they be mad, when such wise men as you humour and authorise their frenzy. You may keep them here, and stay with them yourself, if your grace pleases; but for my part, I will leave you and go home, to save myself the labour of reprehending what I can't mend." With that, leaving the rest of his dinner behind him, away he flung, the duke and the duchess not being able to pacify him; though, indeed, the duke could not say much to him for laughing at his impertinent passion.

When he had done laughing, "Sir Knight of the Lions," said he, "you have answered so well, that you need no farther satisfaction of the angry clergyman; especially if you consider that whatever he might say, it was not in his power to fix an affront on a person of your character, since women and churchmen cannot give an affront." "Very true, my lord," said Don Quixote; "and I ought not to have any resentment for what that good man said, neither, indeed, have I any. I only wish he would have stayed a little longer, that I might have convinced him of his error in believing there were never any knights-errant in the world. Had Amadis, or any one of his innumerable race, but heard him say any thing like this, I can assure his reverence it would have gone hard with him."

"I will answer for it, it would," quoth Sancho; "they would have undone him as you would undo an oyster, and have cleft him from head to foot as one would slice a pomegranate, or a ripe muskmelon. They were a parcel of tough blades, and would not have swallowed such a pill. I verily believe, had Rinaldo of Montalban but heard the poor man talk at this rate, he would have given him such a gag as would have secured him from prating these three years. Ay, ay, if he had fallen into their clutches, see how he would have got out again." The duchess was ready to die with laughing at Sancho, whom she thought a more pleasant fool and a greater madman than his master; and she was not the only person at that time of this opinion.

The duchess now took an opportunity to desire the knight to give a particular description of the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso's beauty and accomplishments, not doubting but that his good memory would enable him to do it well; adding withal, that according [Pg 288] to the voice of fame, she must needs be the finest creature in the whole world, and consequently in La Mancha.

With that, Don Quixote, fetching a deep sigh, "Madam," said he, "could I pluck out my heart, and expose it to your grace's view, I might save my tongue the labour of attempting that which it cannot express, and you can scarce believe; for there your grace would see her beauty depainted to the life. But why should I undertake to delineate and copy one by one each several perfection of the peerless Dulcinea? That task were worthy of the pencils of Parrhasius, Timantes, and Apelles, or the graving-tools of Lysippus. The hands of the best painters and statuaries should indeed be employed to give in speaking paint, in marble and Corinthian brass, an exact copy of her beauties; while Ciceronian and Demosthenian eloquence laboured to reach the praise of her endowments." "Pray, sir," asked the duchess, "what do you mean by that word Demosthenian?" "Demosthenian eloquence, madam," said Don Quixote, "is as much as to say, the eloquence of Demosthenes; and the Ciceronian, that of Cicero; the two greatest orators that ever were in the world." "It is true," said the duke; "and you but shewed your ignorance, my dear, in asking such a question. Yet the noble Don Quixote would highly oblige us, if he would but be pleased to attempt her picture now; for even in a rude draught of her lineaments, I question not but she will appear so charming, as to deserve the envy of the brightest of her sex." "Ah, my lord," said Don Quixote, "it would be so indeed, if the misfortune which not long since befell her had not in a manner razed her idea out of the seat of my memory; and as it is, I ought rather to bewail her change than describe her person: for your grace must know that as I lately went to kiss her hands, and obtain her benediction and leave for my intended absence in quest of new adventures, I found her quite another creature than I expected. I found her enchanted—transformed from a princess to a country-wench, from beauty to ugliness, from courtliness to rusticity, from a reserved lady to a jumping Joan; in short, from Dulcinea del Toboso to a peasantess of Sayago." "Bless us!" cried the duke with a loud voice, "what villain has done the world such an injury? Who has robbed it not only of the beauty that was its ornament, but of those charming graces that were its delight, and that virtue which was its living honour?" "Who should it be," replied Don Quixote, "but one of those cursed magicians who have persecuted me, and will continue to do so, till they have sunk me and my lofty deeds of chivalry into the profound abyss of oblivion. Yes, they wound me in that part which they well know is most sensible; aware, that to deprive a knight-errant of his lady, is to rob him of the eyes with which he sees, of the sun that enlightens him, and of the food that sustains him. For, as I have often said, a knight-errant without a lady is like a tree [Pg 289] without leaves, a building without mortar, or a shadow without a body that causes it."

"I grant all this," said the duchess; "yet if we may believe the history of your life, which was lately published with universal applause, it seems to imply, to the best of my remembrance, that you never saw the Lady Dulcinea, and that there is no such lady in the world; but rather that she is a mere notional creature, proceeding from your own fancy, and there endowed with all the charms and good qualifications which you are pleased to ascribe to her."

"Much may be said upon this point," said Don Quixote; "Heaven knows whether there be a Dulcinea in the world or not, and whether she be a notional creature or not. These are mysteries not to be so narrowly inquired into. I do indeed make her the object of my contemplations, and, as I ought, look on her as a lady endowed with all those qualifications that may raise the character of a person to universal fame. She is to me beautiful without blemish, reserved without pride, amorous with modesty, agreeable for her courteous temper, and courteous as an effect of her generous education, and, in short, of an illustrious parentage. For beauty displays its lustre to a higher degree of perfection when joined with noble blood than it can in those that are meanly descended."

"The observation is just," said the duke; "but give me leave, sir, to propose to you a doubt, which the reading of that history hath started in my mind. It is, that, allowing there be a Dulcinea at Toboso, or elsewhere, and as beautiful as you describe her, yet I do not find she can any way equal in greatness of birth the Orianas, the Alastrajareas, the Madasimas, and a thousand others, of whom we read in those histories with which you have been so conversant." "To this," said Don Quixote, "I answer, that Dulcinea is the daughter of her own actions, and that virtue ennobles the blood. A virtuous man of mean condition is more to be esteemed than a vicious person of quality. Besides, Dulcinea is possessed of those other endowments that may entitle her to crowns and sceptres, since beauty alone has raised many of her sex to a throne." "I must own, sir," said the duchess, "that in all your discourse, you, as we say, proceed with the plummet of reason, and fathom all the depths of controversy. Therefore I submit; and from this time I am resolved to believe, and will make all my domestics, nay my husband too, if there be occasion, believe and maintain, that there is a Dulcinea del Toboso extant, and living at this day; that she is beautiful and of good extraction; and to sum up all in a word, altogether deserving the services of so great a knight as the noble Don Quixote; which I think is the highest commendation I can bestow on her. But yet I must confess there is still one scruple that makes me uneasy, and causes me to have an ill opinion of Sancho. It is that the [Pg 290] history tells us, that when Sancho Panza carried your letter to the Lady Dulcinea, he found her winnowing a sack of corn; by the same token, that it was the worst sort of wheat, which makes me much doubt her quality."

"Your grace must know," answered Don Quixote, "that almost every thing that relates to me is managed quite contrary to what the affairs of other knights-errant used to be. Whether the unfathomable will of destiny, or the implacable malice of envious enchanters, orders it so or no, I cannot tell. But I have good reason to believe that these magicians, finding they cannot work their wicked ends directly on me, revenge themselves on what I most esteem, and endeavour to take away my life by persecuting that of Dulcinea, in whom and for whom I live. And therefore the unfortunate lady must be thus enchanted, misused, disfigured, chopped, and changed. My enemies, wreaking their malice on her, have revenged themselves on me, which makes me abandon myself to sorrow, till she be restored to her former perfections.

"I have been the more large in this particular, that nobody might insist on what Sancho said of her sifting of corn; for if she appeared changed to me, what wonder is it if she seemed so to him? In short, Dulcinea is both illustrious and well-born, being descended of the most ancient and best families in Toboso, of whose blood I am positive she has no small share in her veins; and now that town will be no less famous in after ages for being the place of her nativity than Troy for Helen, though on a more honourable account.

"As for Sancho Panza's part, I assure your grace he is one of the most pleasant squires that ever waited on a knight-errant. Sometimes he comes out with such sharp simplicities, that one is pleasantly puzzled to judge whether he be more knave or fool. The varlet, indeed, is full of roguery enough to be thought a knave; but then he has yet more ignorance, and may better be thought a fool. He doubts of every thing, yet believes every thing; and when one would think he had entangled himself in a piece of downright folly beyond recovery, he brings himself off of a sudden so cleverly that he is applauded to the skies. In short, I would not change him for the best squire that wears a head, though I might have a city to boot; and therefore I do not know whether I had best let him go to the government which your grace has been pleased to promise him. Though I must confess his talents seem to lie pretty much that way; for, give never so little a whet to his understanding, he will manage his government as well as the king does his customs. Then experience convinces us that neither learning, nor any other abilities, are very material to a governor. Have we not a hundred of them that can scarce read a letter, and yet they govern as sharp as so many hawks? Their main business is only to mean well, and to be resolved to do their [Pg 291] best; for they cannot want able counsellors to instruct them. Thus those governors who are men of the sword, and no scholars, have their assessors on the bench to direct them. My counsel to Sancho shall be, that he neither take bribes nor lose his privileges; with some other little instructions, which I have in my head for him, and which at a proper time I will communicate, both for his private advantage and the public good of the island he is to govern."

Here the conversation ceased, and Don Quixote went to take his afternoon's sleep; but the duchess desired Sancho, if he were not very sleepy, to pass the afternoon with her and her women in a cool room. Sancho told her grace, that indeed he did use to take a good sound nap, some four or five hours long, in a summer's afternoon; but to do her good honour a kindness, he would break an old custom for once, and do his best to hold up that day, and wait on her worship.


CHAPTER LXIV.

Containing ways and means for disenchanting the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso, being one of the most famous adventures in the whole book.

The duke and duchess were extremely diverted with the humours of their guests. Resolving, therefore, to improve their sport by carrying on some pleasant design that might bear the appearance of an adventure, they took the hint from Don Quixote's account of Montesinos' cave, as a subject from which they might raise an extraordinary entertainment; the rather, since, to the duchess's amazement, Sancho was so foolish as to believe that Dulcinea del Toboso was really enchanted, though he himself had been the first contriver of the story, and her only enchanter.

Accordingly, having given directions to their servants that nothing might be wanting, and proposed a day for hunting the wild boar, in five or six days they were ready to set out with a train of huntsmen and other attendants not unbecoming the greatest prince. They presented Don Quixote with a hunting-suit, but he refused it, alleging it superfluous, since he was in a short time to return to the hard exercise of arms, and could carry no sumpters nor wardrobes along with him; but Sancho readily accepted one of fine green cloth, designing to sell it the first opportunity.

The day appointed being come, Don Quixote armed, and Sancho equipped himself in his new suit, and mounting his ass, which he would not quit for a good horse that was offered him, he crowded among the train of sportsmen. The duchess also made one of the company. The knight, who was courtesy itself, very [Pg 292] gallantly would hold the reins of her palfrey, though the duke seemed very unwilling to let him. In short, they came to the scene of their sport, which was in a wood between two high mountains, where alighting, and taking their several stands, the duchess, with a pointed javelin in her hand, attended by the duke and Don Quixote, took her stand in a place where they knew the boars were used to pass through.

And now the chase began with full cry, the dogs opened, the horns sounded, and the huntsmen hollowed in so loud a concert, that there was no hearing one another. Soon after, a hideous boar, of a monstrous size, came on; and being baited hard by the dogs, and followed close by the huntsmen, made furiously towards the pass which Don Quixote had taken; whereupon the knight, grasping his shield and drawing his sword, moved forward to receive the raging beast. The duke joined him with a boar-spear, and the duchess would have been foremost, had not the duke prevented her. Sancho alone, seeing the furious animal, resolved to shift for himself; and away he ran, as fast as his legs would carry him, towards a high oak, to the top of which he endeavoured to clamber; but, as he was getting up, one of the boughs unluckily broke, and he was tumbling down, when a stump of another bough caught hold of his new coat, and stopped his fall, slinging him in the air by the middle, so that he could neither get up nor down. His fine green coat was torn; and he fancied every moment the wild boar was running that way, with foaming mouth and dreadful tusks, to tear him to pieces; which so disturbed him, that he roared and bellowed for help, as if some wild beast had been devouring him in good earnest.

At last the tusky boar was laid at his length, with a number of pointed spears fixed in him; and Don Quixote, being alarmed by Sancho's noise, which he could distinguish easily, looked about, and discovered him swinging from the tree with his head downwards, and close by him poor Dapple, who, like a true friend, never forsook him in his adversity. Don Quixote went and took down his squire, who, as soon as he was at liberty, began to examine the damage his fine hunting-suit had received, which grieved him to the soul; for he prized it as much as if it had made him heir to an estate.

Meanwhile, the boar, being laid across a large mule, and covered with branches of rosemary and myrtle, was carried in triumph by the victorious huntsmen to a large field-tent, pitched in the middle of the wood, where an excellent entertainment was provided, suitable to the magnificence of the founder.

Sancho drew near the duchess, and shewing her his torn coat, "Had we been hunting the hare now, or catching sparrows," quoth he, "my coat might have slept in a whole skin. For my part, I wonder what pleasure there can be in beating the bushes [Pg 293] for a beast which, if it does but come at you, may be the death of you. I have not forgotten an old song to this purpose:

'May Fabila's sad fate be thine,
And make thee food for bears or swine.'"

"That Fabila," said Don Quixote, "was a king of the Goths; who, going a-hunting once, was devoured by a bear." "That is it I say," quoth Sancho; "and therefore why should kings and other great folks run themselves into harm's way, when they may have sport enough without it? what pleasure can you find, any of you all, in killing a poor beast that never meant any harm?" "You are mistaken, Sancho," said the duke; "hunting wild beasts is the most proper exercise for knights and princes; for in the chase of a stout noble beast may be represented the whole art of war, stratagems, policy, and ambuscades, with all other devices usually practised to overcome an enemy with safety. Here we are exposed to the extremities of heat and cold; ease and laziness can have no room in this diversion; by this we are inured to toil and hardship, our limbs are strengthened, our joints made pliable, and our whole body hale and active. In short, it is an exercise that may be beneficial to many, and can be prejudicial to none; and the most enticing property is its rarity, being placed above the reach of the vulgar, who may indeed enjoy the diversion of other sorts of game, but not this nobler kind, nor that of hawking, a sport also reserved for kings and persons of quality. Therefore, Sancho, let me advise you to alter your opinion when you become a governor; for then you will find the great advantage of these sports and diversions." "You are out far wide, sir," quoth Sancho; "it were better that a governor had his legs broken, and be laid up at home, than to be gadding abroad at this rate. It would be a pretty business, forsooth, when poor people come, weary and tired, to wait on the governor about business, that he should be rambling about the woods for his pleasure! There would be a sweet government truly! Truly, sir, I think these sports and pastimes are fitter for those that have nothing to do than for governors." "I wish with all my heart," said the duke, "that you prove as good as you promise; but saying and doing are different things." "Well, well," quoth Sancho, "be it how it will, I say that an honest man's word is as good as his bond. Heaven's help is better than early rising. My meaning is, that with Heaven's help, and my honest endeavours, I shall govern better than any gosshawk. Do but put your finger in my mouth, and try if I cannot bite." "A plague on thee, and thy impertinent proverbs," said Don Quixote: "shall I never get thee to talk sense without a string of that disagreeable stuff?" "Oh, sir," said the duchess, "Sancho's proverbs will always please for their sententious brevity, though they were as numerous [Pg 294] as a printed collection; and I assure you I relish them more than I should do others that might be better, and more to the purpose."

After this, and suchlike diverting talk, they left the tent, and walked into the wood, to see whether any game had fallen into their nets. Now, while they were thus intent upon their sport, the night drew on apace, and more cloudy and overcast than was usual at that time of the year, which was about midsummer; but it happened very critically for the better carrying on the intended contrivance. A little while after the close of the evening, when it grew quite dark, in a moment the wood seemed all on fire, and blazed in every quarter. This was attended with an alarming sound of trumpets, and other warlike instruments, answering one another from all sides, as if several parties of horse had been hastily marching through the wood. Then presently was heard a confused noise of Moorish cries, such as are used in joining battle; which, together with the rattling of the drums, the loud sound of the trumpets and other instruments of war, made such a hideous and dreadful concert in the air, that the duke was amazed, the duchess astonished, Don Quixote was surprised, and Sancho shook like a leaf; and even those that knew the occasion of all this were affrighted.

This consternation caused a general silence; and by and by, one riding post, equipped like a fiend, passed by the company, winding a huge hollow horn. "Hark you, post," said the duke; "whither so fast? what are you? and what parties of soldiers are those that march across the wood?" "I go," cried the post, in a hideous unearthly tone, "in quest of Don Quixote de la Mancha; and those that are coming this way are six bands of necromancers, that conduct the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso enchanted in a triumphant chariot. She is attended by that gallant French knight, Montesinos, who comes to give information how she may be freed from enchantment." "Wert thou as much a demon," said the duke, "as thy horrid shape speaks thee to be, thou wouldst have known this knight here before thee to be that Don Quixote de la Mancha whom thou seekest." "On my conscience," replied he, "I never thought of it; for I have so many things in my head, that it almost distracts me; I had quite forgotten my errand." Then directing himself to Don Quixote, without dismounting: "To thee, O Knight of the Lions!" cried he, "(and I wish thee fast in their claws), to thee am I sent by the valiant but unfortunate Montesinos, to bid thee attend his coming in this very place, whither he brings one whom they call Dulcinea del Toboso, in order to give thee instructions touching her disenchantment. Now I have delivered my message I must fly." This said, he winded his monstrous horn, and without staying for an answer, disappeared.

While Don Quixote stood pondering these things, "Well, [Pg 295] sir," said the duke to him, "what do you intend to do? will you stay?" "Stay!" cried Don Quixote, "shall I not? I will stay here, intrepid and courageous, though all the infernal powers enclose me round." "So you may, if you will," quoth Sancho; "but if any more devils or horns come hither, they shall as soon find me in Flanders as here."

And now the night grew darker and darker, and several shooting lights were seen glancing up and down the wood, like meteors or exhalations from the earth. Then was heard a horrid noise, like the creaking of the ungreased wheels of heavy waggons, from which piercing and ungrateful sound bears and wolves are said to fly. This odious jarring was presently seconded by a greater, which seemed to be the dreadful din and shocks of four several engagements, in each quarter of the wood, with all the sounds and hurry of so many joined battles. On one side were heard several peals of cannon; on the other, the discharging of numerous volleys of small-shot; here the shouts of the engaging parties that seemed to be near at hand; there, cries of the Moors, that seemed at a great distance. In short, the strange, confused intermixture of drums, trumpets, cornets, horns, the thundering of the cannon, the rattling of the small-shot, the creaking of the wheels, and the cries of the combatants, made the most dismal noise imaginable, and tried Don Quixote's courage to the uttermost. But poor Sancho was annihilated, and fell into a swoon at the duchess' feet; who, ordering some water to be sprinkled on his face, at last recovered him, just as the foremost of the creaking carriages came up, drawn by four heavy oxen, covered with mourning, and carrying a large lighted torch upon each horn. On the top of the cart or waggon was an exalted seat, on which sat a venerable old man, with a beard as white as snow, and so long that it reached down to his girdle. He was clad in a long gown of black buckram, as were also two fiends that drove the waggons; both so very monstrous and ugly, that Sancho, having seen them once, was forced to shut his eyes, and would not venture upon a second look. The cart, which was stuck full of lights within, having come up, the reverend old man stood up, and cried with a loud voice, "I am the sage Lirgander;" and the cart passed on without one word more being spoken. Then followed another cart, with another grave old man; who, making the cart stop at a convenient distance, rose up from his high seat, and in as deep a tone as the first cried, "I am the sage Alquife, great friend to Urganda the Unknown;" and so went forward. He was succeeded by a third cart, that moved in the same solemn pace, and bore a person not so ancient as the rest, but a robust and sturdy, sour-looking, ill-favoured fellow, who rose up from his throne, like the rest, and with a more hollow and diabolical voice cried out, "I am Archelaus the Enchanter, the mortal enemy of Amadis de Gaul, and all his race;" which said, he [Pg 296] passed by, like the other carts, which, taking a short turn, made a halt; and the grating noise of the wheels of the waggons ceasing, an excellent concert of sweet music was heard, which mightily comforted poor Sancho; and, passing with him for a good omen, "My lady," quoth he to the duchess, from whom he would not budge an inch, "there can be no mischief sure where there is music." "Very true," said the duchess, "especially where there is brightness and light." "Ay, but there is no light without fire," replied Sancho, "and brightness comes most from flames. Who knows but those about us may burn us! But music I take to be always a sign of feasting and merriment." "We shall know presently what this will come to," said Don Quixote; and he said right, for you will find it in the next chapter.


CHAPTER LXV.

Wherein is contained the information given to Don Quixote how to disenchant Dulcinea; with other wonderful passages.

When the pleasant music drew near, there appeared a stately triumphal chariot, drawn by six dun mules, covered with white, upon each of which sat a penitent, clad also in white, and holding a great lighted torch in his hand. The carriage was twice or thrice longer than any of the former, twelve other penitents being placed at the top and sides, all in white, and bearing likewise each a lighted torch, which made a dazzling and surprising appearance. There was a high throne erected at the farther end, on which sat a nymph arrayed in cloth of silver, with many golden spangles glittering all about her, which made her dress, though not rich, appear very glorious. Her face was covered with transparent gauze, through the flowing folds of which might be descried a most beautiful face; and, by the great light which the torches gave, it was easy to discern that, as she was not less than seventeen years of age, neither could she be thought above twenty. Close by her was a figure, clad in a long gown, like that of a magistrate, reaching down to its feet, and its head covered with a black veil. When they came directly opposite to the company, the hautboys that played before ceased, and the Spanish harps and lutes that were in the chariot did the like; then the figure in the gown stood up; and, opening its garments and throwing away its mourning veil, discovered a bare and frightful skeleton, that represented the deformed figure of Death; which startled Don Quixote, made Sancho's bones rattle in his skin for fear, and caused the duke and the duchess to seem more than commonly disturbed. This living Death being thus got up, [Pg 297] in a dull, heavy, sleepy tone, as if its tongue had not been well awake, began in this manner:

"O glory thou of all that e'er could grace
A coat of steel, and fence of adamant!
Light, lantern, path, and polar star and guide
To all who dare dismiss ignoble sleep
And downy ease for exercise of arms,
For toils continual, perils, wounds, and blood!
Knight of unfathomed worth, abyss of praise,
Who blend'st in one the prudent and the brave:
To thee, great Quixote, I this truth declare;
That, to restore to her true state and form
Toboso's pride, the peerless Dulcinea,
'Tis Fate's decree, that Sancho do bestow
Three thousand lashes, and eke three hundred more,
Each to afflict and sting and gall him sore;
So shall relent the authors of her woes,
Whose awful will I for her ease disclose."

"What!" quoth Sancho, "three thousand lashes! I will not give myself three; I will as soon give myself three stabs. Mr. Merlin, if you have no better way for disenchanting the Lady Dulcinea, she may even lie bewitched to her dying day for me."

"How now, opprobrious rascal!" cried Don Quixote; "sirrah, I will take you and tie your dogship to a tree, and there I will not only give you three thousand three hundred lashes, but six thousand six hundred, you varlet!" "Hold!" cried Merlin, hearing this; "this must not be; the stripes inflicted on honest Sancho must be voluntary, without compulsion, and only laid on when he thinks most convenient. No set time is for the task fixed; and if he has a mind to have abated one half of this atonement, it is allowed, provided the remaining stripes be struck by a strange hand, and heavily laid on."

"Neither a strange hand nor my own," quoth Sancho, "neither heavy nor light, shall touch my flesh. Is the Lady Dulcinea mine, that my body must pay for the transgressions of her eyes? My master, indeed, who is part of her, he it is who ought to lash himself for her, and do all that is needful for her delivery; but for me to whip myself—no!"

No sooner had Sancho thus declared himself than the nymph who sat by the shade of Merlin arose, and throwing aside her veil, discovered a face of extraordinary beauty; and with a masculine air addressed herself to Sancho: "O wretched squire, with thy soul of flint! Hadst thou been required to throw thyself headlong from some high tower; hadst thou been desired to kill thy wife and children with some bloody and sharp scimitar, no wonder if thou hadst betrayed some squeamishness; but to hesitate about three thousand three hundred lashes, which there is not a wretched [Pg 298] schoolboy but receives every month, it amazes, stupifies, and affrights all who hear it, and even all who shall hereafter be told it. Relent, malicious and evil-minded man! be moved by my blooming youth, which is pining and withering beneath the vile bark of a peasant-wench; and if at this moment I appear otherwise, it is by the special favour of Sig˝or Merlin here present, hoping that these charms may soften that iron heart; for the tears of afflicted beauty turn rocks into cotton, and tigers into lambs."

"What say you to that, Sancho?" quoth the duchess. "I say, madam," answered Sancho, "that, as to the lashes, I pronounce them." "Renounce, you should say, Sancho," quoth the duke, "and not 'pronounce.'" "Please your grandeur to let me alone," replied Sancho, "for I cannot stand now to a letter more or less; the thought of these lashes so torments me that I know not what I say or do. But I would fain know one thing from the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, and that is, where she learnt her manner of asking a favour? She comes to desire me to tear my flesh with stripes, and at the same time lays upon me such a bead-roll of ill names that the devil may bear them for me. What! does she think my flesh is made of brass? Or that I care a rush whether she is enchanted or not? Where are the presents she has brought to soften me? All times are not alike, nor are men always in a humour for all things. At this moment my heart is ready to burst with grief to see this rent in my jacket, and people come to desire that I would also tear my flesh, and that too of my own good-will; I having just as much mind to the thing as to turn Turk." "In truth, friend Sancho," said the duke, "if you do not relent and become softer than a ripe fig, you finger no government of mine. It would be a fine thing, indeed, were I to send my good islanders a cruel, flinty-hearted tyrant, whom neither the tears of afflicted damsels nor the admonitions of wise, reverend, and ancient enchanters can move to compassion! Really, Sancho, I am compelled to say—no stripes no government." "May I not be allowed two days, my lord," replied Sancho, "to consider what is best for me to do?" "In no wise can that be," cried Merlin; "on this spot and at this instant you must determine; for Dulcinea must either return to Montesinos' cave and to her rustic shape, or in her present form be carried to the Elysian fields, there to wait until the penance be completed." "Come, friend Sancho," said the duchess, "be of good cheer, and shew yourself grateful to your master, whose bread you have eaten, and to whose generous nature and noble feats of chivalry we are all so much beholden. Come, my son, give your consent, leave fear to the cowardly; a good heart breaks bad fortune, as you well know."

"Well," said Sancho, "since every body tells me so, though the thing is out of all reason, I promise to give myself the three thousand three hundred lashes, upon condition that I may lay [Pg 299] them on whenever I please, without being tied to days or times; and I will endeavour to get out of debt as soon as I possibly can, that the beauty of my Lady Dulcinea del Toboso may shine forth to all the world; as it seems she is really beautiful, which I much doubted."

No sooner had Sancho pronounced his consent than the innumerable instruments poured forth their music, and volleys of musketry were discharged, while Don Quixote clung about Sancho's neck, giving him a thousand kisses; the duke and duchess, and all who were present, likewise testified their satisfaction. The car now moved on; and in departing, the fair Dulcinea bowed her head to the duke and duchess, and made a low curtsy to Sancho.

By this time the cheerful and joyous dawn began to appear, the flowrets of the field expanded their fragrant beauties to the light, and brooks and streams, in gentle murmurs, ran to pay expecting rivers their crystal tribute. The earth rejoiced, the sky was clear, and the air serene and calm; all combined and separately giving manifest tokens that the day, which followed fast upon Aurora's heels, would be bright and fair. The duke and duchess, having happily executed their ingenious project, returned highly gratified to their castle, and determined on the continuation of fictions, which afforded more pleasures than realities.


CHAPTER LXVI.

Wherein is recorded the wonderful and inconceivable adventure of the afflicted Duenna, or the Countess of Trifaldi; and likewise Sancho Panza's letter to his wife Teresa Panza.

The whole contrivance of the last adventure was the work of the duke's steward; a man of a humorous and facetious turn of mind. He it was who composed the verses, instructed a page to perform the part of Dulcinea, and personated himself the shade of Merlin. Assisted by the duke and duchess, he now prepared another scene still more entertaining than the former.

The next day the duchess inquired of Sancho if he had begun his penance for the relief of his unhappy lady. "Ay, truly, I have," said he; "for the last night I gave myself five lashes." The duchess desired to know how he had given them. "With the palm of my hand," said he. "That," replied the duchess, "is rather clapping than whipping, and I am of opinion Sig˝or Merlin will not be so easily satisfied. My good Sancho must get a rod of briers or of whipcord, for letters written in blood cannot be disputed, and the deliverance of a great lady like Dulcinea is not to be purchased with a song." "Give me then, madam, some rod or bough," quoth Sancho, "and I will use it, if it does not [Pg 300] smart too much." "Fear not," answered the duchess, "it shall be my care to provide you with a whip that shall suit you exactly, and agree with the tenderness of your flesh as if it were its own brother." "But now, my dear lady," quoth Sancho, "you must know that I have written a letter to my wife Teresa Panza, giving her an account of all that has befallen me since I parted from her;—here it is in my bosom, and it wants nothing but the name on the outside. I wish your discretion would read it, for methinks it is written like a governor—I mean in the manner that governors ought to write." "And who indited it?" demanded the duchess. "Who should indite it but I myself, sinner as I am?" replied Sancho. "And did you write it too?" said the duchess. "No, indeed," answered Sancho; "for I can neither read nor write, though I can set my mark." "Let us see it," said the duchess; "for I dare say it shews the quality and extent of your genius." Sancho took the letter out of his bosom, unsealed, and the duchess read as follows:—


Sancho Panza's Letter to his wife Teresa Panza.

"If I have been finely lashed, I have been finely mounted up; if I have got a good government, it has cost me many good lashes. This, my dear Teresa, thou canst not understand at present; another time thou wilt. Thou must know, Teresa, that I am determined that thou shalt ride in thy coach, which is somewhat to the purpose; for all other ways of going are no better than creeping upon all fours, like a cat. Thou shalt be a governor's wife: see then whether any body will dare to tread on thy heels. I here send thee a green hunting-suit, which my lady duchess gave me; fit it up so that it may serve our daughter for a jacket and petticoat. They say in this country that my master Don Quixote is a sensible madman and a pleasant fool, and that I am not a whit behind him. We have been at Montesinos' cave; and the sage Merlin, the wizard, has pitched upon me to disenchant the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, who among you is called Aldonza Lorenzo. When I have given myself three thousand and three hundred lashes, lacking five, she will be free from enchantment. Say nothing of this to any body; for, bring your affairs into council, and one will cry it is white, another it is black. A few days hence I shall go to the government, whither I go with a huge desire to get money; and I am told it is the same with all new governors. I will first see how matters stand, and send thee word whether or not thou shalt come to me. Dapple is well, and sends thee his hearty service; part with him I will not, though I were to be made the great Turk. The duchess, my mistress, kisses thy hands a thousand times over; return her two thousand; for, as my master says, nothing is cheaper than civil words. God has not been pleased to throw in my way another portmanteau, [Pg 301] and another hundred crowns, as once before; but, one way or another, thou art sure to be rich and happy.

"Thy husband the governor,

"Sancho Panza.

"From this castle, the 20th of July, 1614."


The duchess, having read the letter, said to Sancho: "In two things the good governor is a little out of the way; the one in saying, or insinuating, that this government is conferred on him on account of the lashes he is to give himself; whereas he cannot deny that, when my lord duke promised it to him, nobody dreamt of lashes: the other is, that he appears to be covetous, and I hope no harm may come of it; for avarice bursts the bag, and the covetous governor doeth ungoverned justice." "Truly, madam, that is not my meaning," replied Sancho; "and if your highness does not like this letter, it is but tearing it, and writing a new one, which mayhap may prove worse, if left to thy mending." "No, no," replied the duchess; "this is a very good one, and the duke shall see it."

They then repaired to a garden where they were to dine that day; and there Sancho's letter was shewn to the duke, who read it with great pleasure. After dinner, as Sancho was entertaining the company with some of his relishing conversation, they suddenly heard the dismal sound of an unbraced drum, accompanied by a fife. All were surprised at this martial and doleful harmony, especially Don Quixote, who was so agitated that he could scarcely keep his seat. As for Sancho, it is enough to say that fear carried him to his usual refuge, which was the duchess's side, or the skirts of her petticoat; for the sounds which they heard were truly dismal and melancholy. While they were thus held in suspense, two young men clad in mourning robes trailing upon the ground, entered the garden, each of them beating a great drum, covered also with black; and with these a third playing on the fife, in mourning like the rest. These were followed by a personage of gigantic stature, enveloped in a robe of the blackest dye, the train whereof was of immoderate length, and over it he wore a broad black belt, in which was slung a mighty scimitar, enclosed within a sable scabbard. His face was covered by a thin black veil, through which might be discovered a long beard, white as snow. He marched forward, regulating his steps to the sound of the drums, with much gravity and stateliness. In short, his dark robe, his enormous bulk, his solemn deportment, and the funereal gloom of his figure, together with his attendants, might well produce the surprise that appeared on every countenance. With all imaginable respect and formality he approached and knelt down before the duke, who received him standing, and [Pg 302] would in no wise suffer him to speak till he rose up. The monstrous apparition, then rising, lifted up his veil, and exposed to view his fearful length of beard—the longest, whitest, and most luxuriant that ever human eyes beheld; when, fixing his eyes on the duke, in a voice grave and sonorous, he said, "Most high and potent lord, my name is Trifaldin of the White Beard, and I am squire to the Countess Trifaldi, otherwise called the Afflicted Duenna, from whom I bear a message to your highness, requesting that you will be pleased to give her ladyship permission to approach, and relate to your magnificence the unhappy and wonderful circumstances of her misfortune. But first, she desires to know whether the valorous and invincible knight, Don Quixote de la Mancha, resides at this time in your castle; for in quest of him she has travelled on foot, and fasting, from the kingdom of Candaya to this your territory; an exertion miraculous and incredible, were it not wrought by enchantment. She is now at the outward gate of this castle, and only waits your highness's invitation to enter." Having said this, he hemmed, stroked his beard from top to bottom, and with much gravity and composure stood expecting the duke's answer, which was to this effect: "Worthy Trifaldin of the White Beard, long since have we been apprised of the afflictions of my lady the Countess Trifaldi, who, through the malice of enchanters, is too truly called the Afflicted Duenna; tell her, therefore, that she may enter, and that the valiant knight Don Quixote de la Mancha is here present, from whose generous assistance she may safely promise herself all the redress she requires." Trifaldin, on receiving the duke's answer, bent one knee to the ground; then giving a signal to his musical attendants, he retired, leaving all in astonishment at the majesty of his figure and deportment.

The duke, then turning to Don Quixote, said, "It is evident, sir knight, that neither the clouds of malice nor of ignorance can obscure the light of your valour and virtue: behold, the afflicted and oppressed flock hither in quest of you from far distant countries; such is their confidence in the strength of that arm, the fame whereof spreads over the whole face of the earth!" "I wish, my lord duke," answered Don Quixote, "that holy person who, but a few days since, expressed himself with so much acrimony against knights-errant were now here, that he might have ascertained, with his own eyes, whether or not such knights were necessary in the world. Let the afflicted lady come forward and make known her request, and, be it whatever it may, she may rely on the strength of this arm, and the resolute courage of my soul."


CHAPTER LXVII.

In which is continued the famous adventure of the afflicted Duenna.

[Pg 303] The duke and duchess were extremely delighted to find Don Quixote wrought up into a mood so favourable to their design; but Sancho was not so well satisfied. "I should be sorry," said he, "that this madam duenna should lay any stumbling-block in the way of my promised government; for I have heard an apothecary of Toledo, who talked like any goldfinch, say that no good ever comes of meddling with duennas. Odds my life, what an enemy to them was that apothecary! If, then, duennas of every quality and condition are troublesome and impertinent, what must those be who come in the doldrums? which seems to be the case with this same Countess Three-skirts, or Three-tails, for skirts and tails in my country are all one." "Hold thy peace, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "for, as this lady duenna comes in quest of me from so remote a country, she cannot be one of those who fall under that apothecary's displeasure. Besides, thou must have noticed that this lady is a countess; and when countesses serve as duennas, it must be as attendants upon queens and empresses." "Yes, in sooth, so it is," said Donna Rodriguez; "but these squires are our sworn enemies; they can find no other pastime than reviling us. Foul slanderers! by my faith, if I were allowed, I would prove to all here present that there is no virtue that is not contained in a duenna." "I am of opinion," quoth the duchess, "that my good donna is very much in the right; but she must wait for a more proper opportunity to finish the debate, and confute and confound the calumnies of that wicked apothecary, and also to root out the ill opinion which the great Sancho fosters in his breast." "I care not to dispute with her," quoth Sancho, "for ever since the government has got into my head, I have given up all my squireship notions, and care not a fig for all the duennas in the world."

This dialogue about duennas would have continued, had not the sound of the drum and fife announced the approach of the afflicted lady. The duchess asked the duke whether it would not be proper for him to go and meet her, since she was a countess, and a person of quality. "Look you," quoth Sancho, before the duke could answer; "in regard to her being a countess, it is fitting your highness should go to receive her; but inasmuch as she is a duenna, I am of opinion you should not stir a step." "Who desires thee to intermeddle in this matter, Sancho?" said Don Quixote. "Who, sir," answered Sancho, "but I myself? Have I not a right to intermeddle, being a squire, who has learned the rules of good manners in the school of your worship? Have I not had the flower of courtesy for my master, who has often told me [Pg 304] that one may as well lose the game by a card too much as a card too little; and a word is enough to the wise." "Sancho is right," quoth the duke; "but let us see what kind of a countess this is, and then we shall judge what courtesy is due to her."


CHAPTER LXVIII.

Of the account given by the afflicted Duenna of her misfortunes.

The doleful musicians were followed by twelve duennas, in two ranks, clad in large mourning robes, with white veils of thin muslin that almost reached to their feet. Then came the Countess Trifaldi herself, led by her squire Trifaldin of the White Beard. She was clad in a robe, which, had it been napped, each grain would have been of the size of a good ronceval-pea. The train, or tail, was divided into three separate portions, and supported by three pages, and spread out, making a regular mathematical figure with three angles; whence it was conjectured she obtained the name of Trifaldi, or Three-skirts. The twelve duennas, with the lady, advanced slowly, having their faces covered with black veils—not transparent, like that of the squire Trifaldin, but so thick that nothing could be seen through them. Don Quixote, and all the other spectators, rose from their seats; and now the attendant duennas halted, and separating, opened a passage through which their afflicted lady, still led by the squire Trifaldin, advanced towards the noble party, who stepped some dozen paces forward to receive her. She then cast herself on her knees, and with a voice rather harsh and coarse than clear and delicate, said, "I entreat your graces will not condescend to so much courtesy to this your handmaid; for my mind, already bewildered with affliction, will only be still more confounded." "He must be wholly destitute of understanding, lady countess," quoth the duke, "who could not discern your merit by your person, which alone claims all the cream of courtesy, and all the flower of well-bred ceremony." Then raising her by the hand, he led her to a chair close by the duchess, who also received her with much politeness.

During the ceremony, Don Quixote was silent, and Sancho, dying with impatience to see the face of the Trifaldi, or of some one of her many duennas; but it was impossible, till they chose to unveil themselves. All was expectation, and not a whisper was heard, till at length the afflicted lady began in these words: "Confident I am, most potent lord, most beautiful lady, and most discreet spectators, that my most unfortunate miserableness will find in your generous and compassionate bowels a most merciful sanctuary; for so doleful and dolorous is my wretched state, that [Pg 305] it is sufficient to mollify marble, to soften adamant, and melt down the steel of the hardest hearts. But before the rehearsal of my misfortunes is commenced, I earnestly desire to be informed whether this noble circle be adorned by the presence of that most renowned knight, Don Quixote de la Mancha, and his squire Panza." "That same Panza," said Sancho, before any one could answer, "stands here before you, and also Don Quixote; and therefore, most dolorous duenna, say what you will; for we are all ready to be your most humble servants." Upon this Don Quixote stood up, and addressing himself to the doleful countess, he said, "If your misfortunes, afflicted lady, can admit of remedy from the valour or fortitude of a knight-errant, the little all that I possess shall be employed in your service. I am Don Quixote de la Mancha, whose function it is to relieve every species of distress; you need not, therefore, madam, implore benevolence, nor have recourse to preambles, but plainly and without circumlocution declare your grievances, for you have auditors who will bestow commiseration, if not redress." On hearing this, the afflicted duenna attempted to throw herself at Don Quixote's feet, and struggling to kiss them, said, "I prostrate myself, O invincible knight, before these feet and legs, which are the bases and pillars of knight-errantry, and will kiss these feet, whose steps lead to the end and termination of my misfortunes! O valorous errant, whose true exploits surpass and obscure the fabulous feats of the Amadises, Esplandians, and Belianises of old!" Then, leaving Don Quixote, she turned to Sancho Panza, and taking him by the hand, said, "O thou, the most trusty squire that ever served knight-errant in present or past ages, whose goodness is of greater extent than that beard of my usher Trifaldin; well mayest thou boast that, in serving Don Quixote, thou dost serve, in epitome, all the knights-errant that ever shone in the annals of chivalry! I conjure thee, by thy natural benevolence and inviolable fidelity, to intercede with my lord in my behalf, that the light of his favour may forthwith shine upon the humblest and unhappiest of countesses."

The duke and duchess could scarcely preserve their gravity, and were highly pleased with the ingenuity of the Countess Trifaldi, who, having seated herself, thus began her tale of sorrow: "The famous kingdom of Candaya had for its queen the lady Donna Maguncia, widow of King Archipiela, who died, leaving the Infanta Antonomasia, their only child, heiress to the crown. This princess was brought up and educated under my care and instruction; I being the eldest and chief of the duennas in the household of her royal mother. Now, in process of time the young Antonomasia arrived at the age of fourteen, with such a perfection of beauty that nature could not raise it to a pitch higher; for she was as discreet as fair, and she was the fairest creature living; and so she still remains, if the envious fates and [Pg 306] hard-hearted destinies have not cut short her thread of life. Her wondrous beauty attracted innumerable adorers; and princes of her own and every other nation became her slaves. Among the rest, a private cavalier of the court had the audacity to aspire to that earthly heaven; confiding in his youth, his gallantry, his sprightly and happy wit, with numerous other graces and qualifications. Indeed, I must confess to your highnesses, though with reverence be it spoken, he could touch the guitar to a miracle. He was, besides, a poet, and a fine dancer, and had so rare a talent for making bird-cages that he might have gained his living by it, in case of need. So many parts and elegant endowments were sufficient to have moved a mountain, much more the tender heart of a virgin. But all his graces and accomplishments would have proved ineffectual, had not the robber and ruffian first artfully contrived to make a conquest of me. The assassin and barbarous vagabond began with endeavouring to obtain my good will, and suborn my inclination, that I might betray my trust, and deliver up to him the keys of the fortress I guarded. In short, he so plied me with toys and trinkets, and so insinuated himself into my soul, that I was bewitched. But that which chiefly brought me down, and levelled me with the ground, was a copy of verses which I heard him sing one night under my window; and, if I remember right, the words were these:

'The tyrant fair whose beauty sent
The throbbing mischief to my heart,
The more my anguish to augment,
Forbids me to reveal the smart.'

The words of his song were to me so many pearls, and his voice was sweeter than honey; and many a time since have I thought, reflecting on the evils I incurred, that poets—at least your amorous poets, should be banished from all good and well-regulated commonwealths; for, instead of composing pathetic verses like those of the Marquis of Mantua, which make women and children weep, they exercise their skill in soft strokes and tender touches, which pierce the soul, and, entering the body like lightning, consume all within, while the garment is left unsinged. Another time he sung:

'Come death, with gently stealing pace,
And take me unperceived away,
Nor let me see thy wished-for face,
Lest joy my fleeting life should stay.'

Thus was I assailed with these and such like couplets, that astonish, and, when chanted, are bewitching. But when our poets deign to compose a kind of verses much in fashion with us, called roundelays—then, alas! they are no sooner heard than the [Pg 307] whole frame is in a state of emotion: the soul is seized with a pleasing delirium of all the senses. I therefore say again, most noble auditors, that such versifiers deserve to be banished to the Isle of Lizards: though, in truth, the blame lies chiefly with the idiots who suffer themselves to be deluded by such things; and had I been a wise and discreet duenna, the nightly chanting of his verses would not have moved me, nor should I have lent an ear to such expressions as 'Dying I live; in ice I burn; I shiver in flames; in despair I hope; I fly, yet stay;' with other flimflams of the like stamp, of which such kind of writings are full. Then again, when they promise to bestow on us the Phœnix of Arabia, the crown of Ariadne, the ringlets of Apollo, the pearls of the South Sea, the gold of Tiber, and the balsam of Pencaya, how bountiful are their pens! how liberal in promises which they cannot perform! But, woe is me, unhappy wretch! Whither do I stray? What madness impels me to dwell on the faults of others, who have so many of mine own to answer for? Woe is me again, miserable creature! No, it was not his verses that vanquished me; but my own weakness; music did not subdue me; no, it was my own levity, my ignorance and lack of caution that melted me down, that opened the way and smoothed the passage for Don Clavijo—for that is the name of the treacherous cavalier. Thus being made the go-between, the wicked man was often in the chamber of the—not by him, but by me, betrayed Antonomasia, as her lawful spouse: for, sinner as I am, never would I have consented unless he had been her true husband, that he should have come within the shadow of her shoe-string! No, no, marriage must be the forerunner of any business of this kind undertaken by me; the only mischief in the affair was that they were ill-sorted: Don Clavijo being but a private gentleman, and the Infanta Antonomasia, as I have already said, heiress of the kingdom.

"For some time this intercourse, enveloped in the sagacity of my circumspection, was concealed from every eye. At length we laid our three heads together, and determined that Don Clavijo should demand Antonomasia in marriage before the vicar, in virtue of a contract signed and given him by the infanta herself, to be his wife, and so worded by my wit that the force of Samson could not have broken through it. Our plan was immediately carried into execution; the vicar examined the contract, took the lady's confession, and she was placed in the custody of an honest alguazil." "Bless me," said Sancho, "alguazils too, and poets, and songs, and roundelays, in Candaya! I swear the world is the same every where! But pray get on, good Madam Trifaldi, for it grows late, and I am on thorns till I know the end of this long story." "I shall be brief," answered the countess.


CHAPTER LXIX.

Wherein the Countess Trifaldi continues her stupendous and memorable history.

[Pg 308] Every word uttered by Sancho was the cause of much delight to the duchess, and disgust to Don Quixote, who having commanded him to hold his peace, the Afflicted went on. "After many questions and answers," said she, "the infanta stood firm to her engagement, without varying a tittle from her first declaration; the vicar therefore confirmed their union as lawful man and wife, which so affected the Queen Donna Maguncia, mother to the Infanta Antonomasia, that three days after we buried her." "She died then, I suppose," quoth Sancho. "Assuredly," replied the squire Trifaldin; "in Candaya we do not bury the living, but the dead." "Nevertheless," said Sancho, "it has happened before now, that people only in a swoon have been buried for dead; and methinks Queen Maguncia ought rather to have swooned than died in good earnest; for while there is life there is hope; and the young lady's offence was not so much out of the way that her mother should have taken it so to heart. Had she married one of her pages, or some serving-man of the family, as I have been told many have done, it would have been a bad business and past cure; but as she made choice of a well-bred young cavalier of such good parts,—faith and troth, though mayhap it was foolish, it was no such mighty matter; for, as my master says, bishops are made out of learned men, and why may not kings and emperors be made out of cavaliers, especially if they be errant?" "Thou art in the right, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "for a knight-errant, with but two grains of good luck, is next in the order of promotion to the greatest lord in the world. But let the afflicted lady proceed; for I fancy the bitter part of this hitherto sweet story is still behind." "Bitter!" answered the countess, "ay, and so bitter that, in comparison, wormwood is sweet and rue savoury!

"The queen being really dead, and not in a swoon, we buried her; and scarcely had we covered her with earth and pronounced the last farewell, when—'Quis talia fando temperet a lacrymis?'—lo, upon the queen's sepulchre, who should appear, mounted on a wooden horse, but her cousin-german the giant Malambruno! Yes, that cruel necromancer came expressly to revenge the death of his cousin, and to chastise the presumptuous Don Clavijo and the foolish Antonomasia, both of whom, by his cursed art, he instantly transformed,—her into a monkey of brass, and him into a frightful crocodile of some strange metal; fixing upon them at the same time a plate of metal engraven with Syriac characters; [Pg 309] which being first rendered into the Candayan, and now into the Castilian language, have this meaning: 'These two presumptuous lovers shall not regain their pristine form till the valorous Manchegan engages with me in single combat; since for his mighty arm alone have the destinies reserved the achievement of that stupendous adventure.' No sooner was the wicked deed performed, than out he drew from its scabbard a dreadful scimitar; and, taking me by the hair of the head, he seemed preparing to cut my throat, or whip off my head at a blow. Though struck with horror, and almost speechless, trembling and weeping, I begged for mercy in such a moving tone and melting words, that I at last prevailed on him to stop the cruel execution which he meditated. In short, he ordered into his presence all the duennas of the palace,—being those you see here present,—and, after having expatiated on our fault, inveighed against duennas, their wicked plots, and worse intrigues, and reviled all for the crime of which I alone was guilty; he said, though he would vouchsafe to spare our lives, he would inflict on us a punishment that should be a lasting shame. At the same instant, we all felt the pores of our faces open, and a sharp pain all over them, like the pricking of needle-points; upon which we put our hands to our faces, and found them in the condition you shall now behold." Hereupon the afflicted lady and the rest of the duennas lifted up the veils which had hitherto concealed them, and discovered their faces planted with beards of all colours—black, brown, white, and pyebald. The duke and duchess viewed the spectacle with surprise; and Don Quixote, Sancho, and the rest, were all lost in amazement. "Thus," continued the Trifaldi, "hath the wicked and evil-minded felon Malambruno punished us—covering our soft and delicate faces with these rugged bristles:—would to Heaven he had struck off our heads with his huge scimitar, rather than have obscured the light of our countenances with such an odious cloud!" Here, being overcome with the strong sense of her calamity, she fell into a swoon.


CHAPTER LXX.

Which treats of matters relating and appertaining to this adventure, and to this memorable history.

The history then proceeds to relate, that when Sancho saw the afflicted lady faint away, he said, "Upon the word of an honest man, I swear I never heard or saw, nor has my master ever told me, nor did such an adventure as this ever enter into his thoughts! A thousand devils overtake thee—not to say curse thee—Malambruno, [Pg 310] for an enchanter and giant! Couldst thou hit upon no other punishment for these poor creatures, than clapping beards upon them? Had it not been better to have whipt off half their noses, though they had snuffled for it, than to have covered their faces with scrubbing-brushes? And, what is worse, I'll wager a trifle they have not wherewithal to pay for shaving." "That is true, indeed, sir," answered one of the twelve; "we have not wherewithal to satisfy the barber; and therefore, some of us lay on plasters of pitch, which being pulled off with a jerk, take up roots and all, and thereby free us of this stubble for a while. As for the women who, in Candaya, go about from house to house, to take off the superfluous hairs of the body, and trim the eyebrows for ladies, we, the duennas of her ladyship, would never have any thing to do with them; for they are most of them no better than they should be; and therefore, if we are not relieved by Sig˝or Don Quixote, with beards we shall live, and with beards be carried to our graves." "I would pluck off my own in the land of Moors," said Don Quixote, "if I failed to deliver you from yours."

"Ah, valorous knight!" cried the Trifaldi, having now recovered from her fainting-fit, addressing the knight: "Once again, then, illustrious errant and invincible hero, let me beseech and pray that your gracious promises may be converted into deeds!" "The business shall not sleep with me," answered Don Quixote; "therefore say, madam, what I am to do, and you shall soon be convinced of my readiness to serve you." "Be it known, then, to you, sir," replied the afflicted dame, "that from this place to the kingdom of Candaya, by land, is computed to be about five thousand leagues, one or two more or less; but through the air in a direct line it is three thousand two hundred and twenty-seven. You are likewise to understand, that Malambruno told me that, whenever fortune should direct me to the knight who was to be our deliverer, he would send him a steed—not like the vicious jades let out for hire; but one of a very remarkable description, for it should be that very wooden horse upon which Peter of Provence carried off the fair Magalona, and which is governed by a peg in his forehead, serving instead of a bridle. This famous steed tradition reports to have been formed by the cunning hand of Merlin the enchanter, who sometimes allowed him to be used by his particular friends, or those who paid him handsomely; and he it was who lent him to his friend the valiant Peter, when, as I said before, he stole the fair Magalona; whisking her through the air behind him on the crupper, and leaving all that beheld him from the earth gaping with astonishment. Since the time of Peter to the present moment, we know of none that mounted him; but this we know, that Malambruno, by his art, has now got possession of him, and by his means posts about to every part of the world. To-day he is here, to-morrow in France, and [Pg 311] the next day in Potosi; and the best of it is, that this same horse neither eats nor sleeps, nor wants shoeing; and, without wings, he ambles so smoothly that, in his most rapid flight, the rider may carry in his hand a cupful of water without spilling a drop. No wonder, then, that the fair Magalona took such delight in riding him."

"As for easy going," quoth Sancho, "commend me to my Dapple, though he is no high-flyer; but by land I will match him against all the amblers in the world." The gravity of the company was disturbed for a moment by Sancho's observation; but the unhappy lady proceeded: "Now this horse," said she, "if it be Malambruno's intention that our misfortune should have an end, will be here this very evening; for he told me that the sign by which I should be assured of my having arrived in the presence of my deliverer would be, his sending me the horse thither with all convenient despatch." "And pray," quoth Sancho, "how many will that same horse carry?" "Two persons," answered the lady; "one in the saddle, and the other on the crupper; and generally these two persons are the knight and his squire, when there is no stolen damsel in the case." "I would fain know," quoth Sancho, "by what name he is called." "His name," answered the Trifaldi, "is not the same as the horse of Bellerophon, which was called Pegasus; nor is he called Bucephalus, like that of Alexander the Great; nor Brilladore, like that of Orlando Furioso; nor is it Bayarte, which belonged to Reynaldos of Montalvan; nor Frontino, which was the steed of Rogero; nor is it Bo÷tes, nor Pyrois—names given, it is said, to horses of the sun; neither is he called Orelia, like the horse which the unfortunate Roderigo, the last king of the Goths in Spain, mounted in that battle wherein he lost his kingdom and his life." "I will venture a wager," quoth Sancho, "since they have given him none of these famous and well-known names, neither have they given him that of my master's horse, Rozinante, which in fitness goes beyond all the names you have mentioned." "It is very true," answered the bearded lady; "yet the name he bears is correct and significant; for he is called Clavileno el Aligero; whereby his miraculous peg, his wooden frame, and extraordinary speed are all curiously expressed; so that, in respect of his name, he may vie with the renowned Rozinante." "I dislike not his name," replied Sancho; "but with what bridle or with what halter is he guided?" "I have already told you," answered the Trifaldi, "that he is guided by a peg, which the rider turning this way and that, makes him go, either aloft in the air, or else sweeping, and, as it were, brushing the earth, or in the middle region—a course which the discreet and wise generally endeavour to keep." "I have a mighty desire to see him," quoth Sancho; "but to think I will get upon him, either in the saddle or behind upon the crupper, is to look for pears upon an [Pg 312] elm-tree. It were a good jest, indeed, for me, who can hardly sit my own Dapple, though upon a pannel softer than silk, to think of bestriding a wooden crupper, without either pillow or cushion! In faith, I do not intend to flay myself, to unbeard the best lady in the land. Let every one shave or shear, as he likes best; I have no mind for so long a journey; my master may travel by himself. Besides, I have nothing to do with it; I am not wanted for the taking off these beards, as well as the business of my lady Dulcinea." "Indeed, my friend, you are," said the Trifaldi; "and so much need is there of your kind help, that without it nothing can be done." "In the name of all the saints," quoth Sancho, "what have squires to do with their masters' adventures? Are we always to share all the trouble, and they to reap all the glory? Body o' me, it might be something if the writers who recount their adventures would but set down in their books, 'such a knight achieved such an adventure, with the help of such an one his squire, without whom he could not have done it.' I say, it would be something if we had our due; but instead of this they coolly tell us that 'Don Paralipomenon of the three stars finished the notable adventure of the six goblins,' and the like, without once mentioning his squire, any more than if he had been a thousand miles off; though mayhap he, poor man, was in the thick of it all the while. In truth, my good lord and lady, I say again, my master may manage this adventure by himself; and much good may it do him! I will stay with my lady duchess here; and perhaps when he comes back he may find Madam Dulcinea's business pretty forward; for I intend at my leisure times to lay it on to some purpose."

"Nevertheless, honest Sancho," quoth the duchess, "if your company be really necessary, you will not refuse to go: indeed, all good people will make it their business to entreat you; for piteous, truly, would it be, that through your groundless fears, these poor ladies should remain in this unseemly plight." "Ods my life!" exclaimed Sancho, "were this piece of charity undertaken for modest maidens, or poor charity-girls, a man might engage to undergo something; but to take all this trouble to rid duennas of their beards—plague take them! I had rather see the whole finical and squeamish tribe bearded, from the highest to the lowest of them!" "You seem to be upon bad terms with duennas, friend Sancho," said the duchess, "and are of the same mind as the Toledan apothecary; but, in truth, you are in the wrong; for I have duennas in my family who might serve as models to all duennas; and here is my Donna Rodriguez, who will not allow me to say otherwise."

"Enough, your excellency," quoth Don Quixote; "as for you, Lady Trifaldi and your persecuted friends, I trust that Heaven will speedily look with a pitying eye upon your sorrows, and that Sancho will do his duty in obedience to my wishes. Would that [Pg 313] Clavileno were here, and on his back Malambruno himself; for I am confident no razor would more easily shave your ladyships' beards, than my sword shall shave off Malambruno's head from his shoulders! If Heaven in its wisdom permits the wicked to prosper, it is but for a time." "Ah, valorous knight!" exclaimed the afflicted lady, "may all the stars of the celestial regions regard your excellency with eyes of benignity, and impart strength to your arm, and courage to your heart, to be the shield and refuge of the reviled and oppressed duennian order, abominated by apothecaries, calumniated by squires, and scoffed at by pages!"


CHAPTER LXXI.

Of the arrival of Clavileno; with the conclusion of this prolix adventure.

Evening now came on, which was the time when the famous horse Clavileno was expected to arrive. When lo, on a sudden, four savages entered the garden, all clad in green ivy, and bearing on their shoulders a large wooden horse! They set him upon his legs on the ground, and one of the savages said, "Let the knight mount who has the courage to bestride this wondrous machine." "Not I," quoth Sancho; "for neither have I courage, nor am I knight." "And let the squire, if he has one," continued the savage, "mount the crupper, and trust to valorous Malambruno; for no other shall do him harm. Turn but the pin on his forehead, and he will rush through the air to the spot where Malambruno waits; and to shun the danger of a lofty flight, let the eyes of the riders be covered till the neighing of the horse shall give the signal of his completed journey." Having thus spoken, he left Clavileno, and with courteous demeanour departed with his companions.

The afflicted lady no sooner perceived the horse than, almost with tears, addressing herself to Don Quixote, "Valorous knight," said she, "Malambruno has kept his word; here is the horse. Mount, therefore, with your squire behind you, and give a happy beginning to your journey." "Madam," said Don Quixote, "I will do it with all my heart, without waiting for either cushion or spurs: so great is my desire to see your ladyship and these your unfortunate friends rescued." "That will not I," quoth Sancho, "either with a bad or a good will; and if this shaving cannot be done without my mounting, let my master seek some other squire, or these madams some other barber; for being no wizard, I have no stomach for these journeys. What will my islanders say when they hear that their governor goes riding upon the wind? Besides, [Pg 314] it is three thousand leagues from here to Candaya,—what if the horse should tire upon the road, or the giant be fickle and change his mind? Seven years, at least, it would take us to travel home, and by that time I should have neither island nor islanders that would own me! No, no, I know better things; I know, too, that delay breeds danger; and when they bring you a heifer, be ready with a rope." "Friend Sancho," said the duke, "your island neither floats nor stirs, and therefore it will keep till your return; and as you know that all offices of any value are obtained by some consideration, what I expect in return for this government I have conferred upon you, is only that you attend your master on this memorable occasion; and whether you return upon Clavileno with the expedition his speed promises, or be it your fortune to return on foot, like a pilgrim, from house to house, and from inn to inn,—however it may be, you will find your island where you left it, and your islanders with the same desire to receive you for their governor. My good-will is equally unchangeable; and to doubt that, Sig˝or Sancho, would be a notorious injury to the inclination I have to serve you." "Good your worship, say no more," quoth Sancho; "I am a poor squire, and my shoulders cannot bear the weight of so much kindness. Let my master mount; let my eyes be covered, and good luck go with us. But tell me, when we are aloft, may I not say my prayers, and entreat the saints and angels to help me?" "Yes, surely," answered the Trifaldi, "you may invoke whomsoever you please; for Malambruno is a Christian, and performs his enchantments with great discretion and much precaution." "Well, let us away," quoth Sancho, "and Heaven prosper us!" "Since the memorable business of the fulling-mills," said Don Quixote, "I have never seen thee, Sancho, in such trepidation; and were I as superstitious as some people, this extraordinary fear of thine would a little discourage me. But come hither, friend; for, with the leave of these nobles, I would speak a word or two with thee in private."

Don Quixote then drew aside Sancho among some trees out of hearing; and taking hold of both his hands said to him: "Thou seest, my good Sancho, the long journey we are about to undertake; the period of our return is uncertain, and Heaven alone knows what leisure or convenience our affairs may admit during our absence; I earnestly beg, therefore, now that opportunity serves, thou wilt retire to thy chamber, as if to fetch something necessary for the journey, and there, in a trice, give thyself, if it be but five hundred lashes, in part of the three thousand and three hundred for which thou art pledged; for work well begun is half ended." "By my soul," quoth Sancho, "your worship is stark mad! Verily, verily, your worship is out of all reason. Let us go and shave these duennas; and on my return, I promise to make such despatch in getting out of debt that your worship shall be [Pg 315] contented,—can I say more?" "With that promise," said Don Quixote, "I feel somewhat comforted, and believe thou wilt perform it; for though thou art not over wise, thou art stanch in thy integrity."

The knight and squire now returned to the company; and as they were preparing to mount Clavileno, Don Quixote said: "Hoodwink thyself, Sancho, and get up: he that sends for us from countries so remote cannot, surely, intend to betray us, for he would gain little glory by deceiving those who confide in him. And supposing the success of the adventure should not be equal to our hopes, yet of the glory of so brave an attempt, no malice can deprive us." "Let us begone, sir," quoth Sancho, "for the beards and tears of these ladies have pierced my heart, and I shall not eat to do me good till I see them smooth again. Mount, sir, and hoodwink first; for if I am to have the crupper, your worship, who sits in the saddle, must get up first." "That is true," replied Don Quixote; and pulling a handkerchief out of his pocket, he requested the afflicted lady to place the bandage over his eyes; but it was no sooner done than he uncovered them again, saying, "I remember to have read, in the Ăneid of Virgil, that the fatal wooden horse, dedicated by the Greeks to their tutelary goddess Minerva, was filled with armed knights, who, by that stratagem got admittance into Troy, and wrought its downfall. Will it not therefore be prudent, before I trust myself upon Clavileno, to examine what may be in his belly?" "There is no need of that," said the Trifaldi; "for I am confident Malambruno has nothing in him of the traitor: your worship may mount him without fear; and should any harm ensue, let the blame fall on me alone." Don Quixote, now considering that to betray any further doubts would be a reflection on his courage, vaulted at once into his saddle. He then tried the pin, which he found would turn very easily; stirrups he had none; so that, with his legs dangling, he looked like a figure in some Roman triumph, woven in Flemish tapestry.

Very slowly, and much against his will, Sancho then got up behind, fixing himself as well as he could upon the crupper; and finding it very deficient in softness, he humbly begged the duke to accommodate him, if possible, with some pillow or cushion, though it were from the duchess's state sofa, or from one of the page's beds, as the horse's crupper seemed rather to be of marble than of wood; but the Trifaldi interfering, assured him that Clavileno would not endure any more furniture upon him, but that, by sitting sideways, as women ride, he would find himself greatly relieved. Sancho followed her advice; and, after taking leave of the company, he suffered his eyes to be covered. But, soon after, he raised the bandage, and looking sorrowfully at his friends, begged them, with a countenance of woe, to assist him at that perilous crisis with a few Paternosters and Ave-marias, as they [Pg 316] hoped for the same charity from others when in the like extremity.

They were now blindfolded, and Don Quixote feeling himself firmly seated, put his hand to the peg, upon which all the duennas, and the whole company raised their voices at once, calling out, "Speed you well, valorous knight! Heaven guide thee, undaunted squire! Now you fly aloft!—See how they cut the air more swiftly than an arrow! Now they mount and soar, and astonish the world below! Steady, steady, valorous Sancho! you seem to reel and totter in your seat—beware of falling; for, should you drop from that tremendous height, your fall will be more terrible than that of Phaeton!" Sancho hearing all this, pressed closer to his master; and grasping him fast, he said, "How can they say that we are got so high, when we hear them as plain as if they were close by us?" "Take no heed of that, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "for, in these extraordinary flights, to see or hear a thousand leagues is nothing—but squeeze me not quite so hard, good Sancho, or thou wilt unhorse me. In truth I see not why thou shouldst be so alarmed, for I can safely swear an easier-paced steed I never rode in all my life;—indeed, it goes as glibly as if it did not move at all! Banish fear, my friend, the business goes on swimmingly, with a gale fresh and fair behind us." "I think so too," quoth Sancho; "for I feel the wind here as if a thousand pairs of bellows were puffing at my tail." And, indeed, this was the fact, as sundry large bellows were just then pouring upon them an artificial storm: in truth, so well was this adventure managed and contrived that nothing was wanting to make it complete. Don Quixote now feeling the wind, "Without doubt," said he, "we have now reached the second region of the air, where the hail and snow are formed: thunder and lightning are engendered in the third region; and if we go on mounting at this rate, we shall soon be in the region of fire; and how to manage this peg I know not, so as to avoid mounting where we shall be burnt alive." Just at that time some flax, set on fire at the end of a long cane, was held near their faces; the warmth of which being felt, "May I be hanged," said Sancho, "if we are not already there, or very near it, for half my beard is singed off—I have a huge mind, sir, to peep out and see whereabouts we are." "Heaven forbid such rashness!" said Don Quixote; "remember the true story of the licentiate Torralvo, who was carried by magicians, hoodwinked, riding on a cane, with his eyes shut, and in twelve hours reached Rome; where, lighting on the tower of Nona, he saw the tumult, witnessed the assault and death of the constable of Bourbon, and the next morning returned to Madrid, where he gave an account of all that he had seen. During his passage through the air, he said that he was tempted to open his eyes, which he did, and found himself, as he thought, so near the body of the moon that he could have laid hold of it with his hand; [Pg 317] but that he durst not look downwards to the earth lest his brain should turn. Therefore, Sancho, let us not run the risk of uncovering in such a place, but rather trust to him who has taken charge of us, as he will be responsible: perhaps we are just now soaring aloft to a certain height, in order to come souse down upon the kingdom of Candaya, like a hawk upon a heron; and, though it seems not more than half-an-hour since we left the garden, doubtless we have travelled through an amazing space." "As to that I can say nothing," quoth Sancho Panza; "I can only say that, if Madam Magalona was content to ride upon this crupper without a cushion, her flesh could not have been the tenderest in the world."

DON QUIXOTE.

This conversation between the two heroes was overheard by the duke and duchess, and all who were in their garden, to their great diversion; and, being now disposed to finish the adventure, they applied some lighted flax to Clavileno's tail; upon which, his body being full of combustibles, he instantly blew up with a prodigious report, and threw his riders to the ground. The Trifaldi, with the whole bearded squadron of duennas, vanished, and all that remained in the garden were laid stretched on the ground as if in a trance. Don Quixote and Sancho got upon their legs in but an indifferent plight, and looking round, were amazed to find themselves in the same garden with such a number of people strewed about them on all sides; but their wonder was increased when, on a huge lance sticking in the earth they beheld a sheet of white parchment attached to it by silken strings, whereon was written, in letters of gold, the following words:

"The renowned knight Don Quixote de la Mancha has achieved the stupendous adventure of Trifaldi the Afflicted, and her companions in grief, only by attempting it. Malambruno is satisfied, his wrath is appeased, the beards of the unhappy are vanished, and Don Clavijo and Antonomasia have recovered their pristine state. When the squirely penance shall be completed, then shall the white dove, delivered from the cruel talons of the pursuing hawks, be enfolded in the arms of her beloved turtle:—such is the will of Merlin, prince of enchanters."

Don Quixote having read the prophetic decree, and perceiving at once that it referred to the disenchantment of Dulcinea, he expressed his gratitude to Heaven for having, with so much ease, performed so great an exploit, whereby many venerable females had been happily rescued from disgrace. He then went to the spot where the duke and duchess lay on the ground, and taking the duke by the arm, he said, "Courage, courage, my good lord; the adventure is over without damage to the bars, as you will find by that record." The duke gradually, as if awaking from a sound sleep, seemed to recover his senses, as did the duchess and [Pg 318] the rest of the party; expressing, at the same time, so much wonder and affright that what they feigned so well seemed almost reality to themselves. Though scarcely awake, the duke eagerly looked for the scroll; and having read it, with open arms embraced Don Quixote, declaring him to be the bravest of knights. Sancho looked all about fo