But Sancho did not so fully approve of his master’s admonition as to let it pass without saying in reply, “Senor, I am a man of peace, meek and quiet, and I can put up with any affront because I have a wife and children to support and bring up; so let it be likewise a hint to your worship, as it cannot be a mandate, that on no account will I draw sword either against clown or against knight, and that here before God I forgive the insults that have been offered me, whether they have been, are, or shall be offered me by high or low, rich or poor, noble or commoner, not excepting any rank or condition whatsoever.” To all which his master said in reply, “I wish I had breath enough to speak somewhat easily, and that the pain I feel on this side would abate so as to let me explain to thee, Panza, the mistake thou makest.come now, sinner, suppose the wind of fortune, hitherto so adverse, should turn in our favour, filling the sails of our desires so that safely and without impediment we put into port in some one of those islands I have promised thee, how would it be with thee if on winning it I made thee lord of it? Why, thou wilt make it well-nigh impossible through not being a knight nor having any desire to be one, nor possessing the courage nor the will to avenge insults or defend thy lordship; for thou must know that in newly conquered kingdoms and provinces the minds of the inhabitants are never so quiet nor so well disposed to the new lord that there is no fear of their making some move to change matters once more, and try, as they say, what chance may do for them; so it is essential that the new possessor should have good sense to enable him to govern, and valour to attack and defend himself, whatever may befall him.” “In what has now befallen us,” answered Sancho, “I’d have been well pleased to have that good sense and that valour your worship speaks of, but I swear on the faith of a poor man I am more fit for plasters than for arguments.
See if your worship can get up, and let us help Rocinante, though he does not deserve it, for he was the main cause of all this thrashing.
I never thought it of Rocinante, for I took him to be a virtuous person and as quiet as myself.
After all, they say right that it takes a long time to come to know people, and that there is nothing sure in this life.
Who would have said that, after such mighty slashes as your worship gave that unlucky knight-errant, there was coming, travelling post and at the very heels of them, such a great storm of sticks as has fallen upon our shoulders?” “And yet thine, Sancho,” replied Don Quixote, “ought to be used to such squalls; but mine, reared in soft cloth and fine linen, it is plain they must feel more keenly the pain of this mishap, and if it were not that I imagine- why do I say imagine?- know of a certainty that all these annoyances are very necessary accompaniments of the calling of arms, I would lay me down here to die of pure vexation.” To this the squire replied, “Senor, as these mishaps are what one reaps of chivalry, tell me if they happen very often, or if they have their own fixed times for coming to pass; because it seems to me that after two harvests we shall be no good for the third, unless God in his infinite mercy helps us.” “Know, friend Sancho,” answered Don Quixote, “that the life of knights-errant is subject to a thousand dangers and reverses, and neither more nor less is it within immediate possibility for knights-errant to become kings and emperors, as experience has shown in the case of many different knights with whose histories I am thoroughly acquainted; and I could tell thee now, if the pain would let me, of some who simply by might of arm have risen to the high stations I have mentioned; and those same, both before and after, experienced divers misfortunes and miseries; for the valiant Amadis of Gaul found himself in the power of his mortal enemy Arcalaus the magician, who, it is positively asserted, holding him captive, gave him more than two hundred lashes with the reins of his horse while tied to one of the pillars of a court; and moreover there is a certain recondite author of no small authority who says that the Knight of Phoebus, being caught in a certain pitfall, which opened under his feet in a certain castle, on falling found himself bound hand and foot in a deep pit underground, where they administered to him one of those things they call clysters, of sand and snow-water, that well-nigh finished him; and if he had not been succoured in that sore extremity by a sage, a great friend of his, it would have gone very hard with the poor knight; so I may well suffer in company with such worthy folk, for greater were the indignities which they had to suffer than those which we suffer.
For I would have thee know, Sancho, that wounds caused by any instruments which happen by chance to be in hand inflict no indignity, and this is laid down in the law of the duel in express words: if, for instance, the cobbler strikes another with the last which he has in his hand, though it be in fact a piece of wood, it cannot be said for that reason that he whom he struck with it has been cudgelled.
I say this lest thou shouldst imagine that because we have been drubbed in this affray we have therefore suffered any indignity; for the arms those men carried, with which they pounded us, were nothing more than their stakes, and not one of them, so far as I remember, carried rapier, sword, or dagger.” “They gave me no time to see that much,” answered Sancho, “for hardly had I laid hand on my tizona when they signed the cross on my shoulders with their sticks in such style that they took the sight out of my eyes and the strength out of my feet, stretching me where I now lie, and where thinking of whether all those stake-strokes were an indignity or not gives me no uneasiness, which the pain of the blows does, for they will remain as deeply impressed on my memory as on my shoulders.” “For all that let me tell thee, brother Panza,” said Don Quixote, “that there is no recollection which time does not put an end to, and no pain which death does not remove.” “And what greater misfortune can there be,” replied Panza, “than the one that waits for time to put an end to it and death to remove it? If our mishap were one of those that are cured with a couple of plasters, it would not be so bad; but I am beginning to think that all the plasters in a hospital almost won’t be enough to put us right.” “No more of that: pluck strength out of weakness, Sancho, as I mean to do,” returned Don Quixote, “and let us see how Rocinante is, for it seems to me that not the least share of this mishap has fallen to the lot of the poor beast.” “There is nothing wonderful in that,” replied Sancho, “since he is a knight-errant too; what I wonder at is that my beast should have come off scot-free where we come out scotched.” “Fortune always leaves a door open in adversity in order to bring relief to it,” said Don Quixote; “I say so because this little beast may now supply the want of Rocinante, carrying me hence to some castle where I may be cured of my wounds.
And moreover I shall not hold it any dishonour to be so mounted, for I remember having read how the good old Silenus, the tutor and instructor of the gay god of laughter, when he entered the city of the hundred gates, went very contentedly mounted on a handsome ass.” “It may be true that he went mounted as your worship says,” answered Sancho, “but there is a great difference between going mounted and going slung like a sack of manure.” — “It is with that kind of love,” said Sancho, “I have heard preachers say we ought to love our Lord, for himself alone, without being moved by the hope of glory or the fear of punishment; though for my part, I would rather love and serve him for what he could do.” “The devil take thee for a clown!” said Don Quixote, “and what shrewd things thou sayest at times! One would think thou hadst studied.” “In faith, then, I cannot even read.” Master Nicholas here called out to them to wait a while, as they wanted to halt and drink at a little spring there was there.
Don Quixote drew up, not a little to the satisfaction of Sancho, for he was by this time weary of telling so many lies, and in dread of his master catching him tripping, for though he knew that Dulcinea was a peasant girl of El Toboso, he had never seen her in all his life.
Cardenio had now put on the clothes which Dorothea was wearing when they found her, and though they were not very good, they were far better than those he put off.
They dismounted together by the side of the spring, and with what the curate had provided himself with at the inn they appeased, though not very well, the keen appetite they all of them brought with them. While they were so employed there happened to come by a youth passing on his way, who stopping to examine the party at the spring, the next moment ran to Don Quixote and clasping him round the legs, began to weep freely, saying, “O, senor, do you not know me? Look at me well; I am that lad Andres that your worship released from the oak-tree where I was tied.” Don Quixote recognised him, and taking his hand he turned to those present and said: “That your worships may see how important it is to have knights-errant to redress the wrongs and injuries done by tyrannical and wicked men in this world, I may tell you that some days ago passing through a wood, I heard cries and piteous complaints as of a person in pain and distress; I immediately hastened, impelled by my bounden duty, to the quarter whence the plaintive accents seemed to me to proceed, and I found tied to an oak this lad who now stands before you, which in my heart I rejoice at, for his testimony will not permit me to depart from the truth in any particular.
He was, I say, tied to an oak, naked from the waist up, and a clown, whom I afterwards found to be his master, was scarifying him by lashes with the reins of his mare.
As soon as I saw him I asked the reason of so cruel a flagellation.
The boor replied that he was flogging him because he was his servant and because of carelessness that proceeded rather from dishonesty than stupidity; on which this boy said, ‘Senor, he flogs me only because I ask for my wages.’ The master made I know not what speeches and explanations, which, though I listened to them, I did not accept.
In short, I compelled the clown to unbind him, and to swear he would take him with him, and pay him real by real, and perfumed into the bargain.
Is not all this true, Andres my son? Didst thou not mark with what authority I commanded him, and with what humility he promised to do all I enjoined, specified, and required of him? Answer without hesitation; tell these gentlemen what took place, that they may see that it is as great an advantage as I say to have knights-errant abroad.” “All that your worship has said is quite true,” answered the lad; “but the end of the business turned out just the opposite of what your worship supposes.” “How! the opposite?” said Don Quixote; “did not the clown pay thee then?” “Not only did he not pay me,” replied the lad, “but as soon as your worship had passed out of the wood and we were alone, he tied me up again to the same oak and gave me a fresh flogging, that left me like a flayed Saint Bartholomew; and every stroke he gave me he followed up with some jest or gibe about having made a fool of your worship, and but for the pain I was suffering I should have laughed at the things he said.
In short he left me in such a condition that I have been until now in a hospital getting cured of the injuries which that rascally clown inflicted on me then; for all which your worship is to blame; for if you had gone your own way and not come where there was no call for you, nor meddled in other people’s affairs, my master would have been content with giving me one or two dozen lashes, and would have then loosed me and paid me what he owed me; but when your worship abused him so out of measure, and gave him so many hard words, his anger was kindled; and as he could not revenge himself on you, as soon as he saw you had left him the storm burst upon me in such a way, that I feel as if I should never be a man again.” “The mischief,” said Don Quixote, “lay in my going away; for I should not have gone until I had seen thee paid; because I ought to have known well by long experience that there is no clown who will keep his word if he finds it will not suit him to keep it; but thou rememberest, Andres, that I swore if he did not pay thee I would go and seek him, and find him though he were to hide himself in the whale’s belly.” “That is true,” said Andres; “but it was of no use.” “Thou shalt see now whether it is of use or not,” said Don Quixote; and so saying, he got up hastily and bade Sancho bridle Rocinante, who was browsing while they were eating.
Dorothea asked him what he meant to do.
He replied that he meant to go in search of this clown and chastise him for such iniquitous conduct, and see Andres paid to the last maravedi, despite and in the teeth of all the clowns in the world.
To which she replied that he must remember that in accordance with his promise he could not engage in any enterprise until he had concluded hers; and that as he knew this better than anyone, he should restrain his ardour until his return from her kingdom. “That is true,” said Don Quixote, “and Andres must have patience until my return as you say, senora; but I once more swear and promise not to stop until I have seen him avenged and paid.” — “It was neither,” replied Sancho, “but a jineta saddle, with a field covering worth half a kingdom, so rich is it.” “And that I could not see all this, Sancho!” said Don Quixote; “once more I say, and will say a thousand times, I am the most unfortunate of men.” Sancho, the rogue, had enough to do to hide his laughter, at hearing the simplicity of the master he had so nicely befooled.
At length, after a good deal more conversation had passed between them, they remounted their beasts, and followed the road to Saragossa, which they expected to reach in time to take part in a certain grand festival which is held every year in that illustrious city; but before they got there things happened to them, so many, so important, and so strange, that they deserve to be recorded and read, as will be seen farther on. CHAPTER XI ~ OF THE STRANGE ADVENTURE WHICH THE VALIANT DON QUIXOTE HAD WITH THE CAR OR CART OF “THE CORTES OF DEATH” Dejected beyond measure did Don Quixote pursue his journey, turning over in his mind the cruel trick the enchanters had played him in changing his lady Dulcinea into the vile shape of the village lass, nor could he think of any way of restoring her to her original form; and these reflections so absorbed him, that without being aware of it he let go Rocinante’s bridle, and he, perceiving the liberty that was granted him, stopped at every step to crop the fresh grass with which the plain abounded. Sancho recalled him from his reverie. “Melancholy, senor,” said he, “was made, not for beasts, but for men; but if men give way to it overmuch they turn to beasts; control yourself, your worship; be yourself again; gather up Rocinante’s reins; cheer up, rouse yourself and show that gallant spirit that knights-errant ought to have.
What the devil is this? What weakness is this? Are we here or in France? The devil fly away with all the Dulcineas in the world; for the well-being of a single knight-errant is of more consequence than all the enchantments and transformations on earth.” “Hush, Sancho,” said Don Quixote in a weak and faint voice, “hush and utter no blasphemies against that enchanted lady; for I alone am to blame for her misfortune and hard fate; her calamity has come of the hatred the wicked bear me.” “So say I,” returned Sancho; “his heart rend in twain, I trow, who saw her once, to see her now.” “Thou mayest well say that, Sancho,” replied Don Quixote, “as thou sawest her in the full perfection of her beauty; for the enchantment does not go so far as to pervert thy vision or hide her loveliness from thee; against me alone and against my eyes is the strength of its venom directed.
Nevertheless, there is one thing which has occurred to me, and that is that thou didst ill describe her beauty to me, for, as well as I recollect, thou saidst that her eyes were pearls; but eyes that are like pearls are rather the eyes of a sea-bream than of a lady, and I am persuaded that Dulcinea’s must be green emeralds, full and soft, with two rainbows for eyebrows; take away those pearls from her eyes and transfer them to her teeth; for beyond a doubt, Sancho, thou hast taken the one for the other, the eyes for the teeth.” “Very likely,” said Sancho; “for her beauty bewildered me as much as her ugliness did your worship; but let us leave it all to God, who alone knows what is to happen in this vale of tears, in this evil world of ours, where there is hardly a thing to be found without some mixture of wickedness, roguery, and rascality.
But one thing, senor, troubles me more than all the rest, and that is thinking what is to be done when your worship conquers some giant, or some other knight, and orders him to go and present himself before the beauty of the lady Dulcinea.
Where is this poor giant, or this poor wretch of a vanquished knight, to find her? I think I can see them wandering all over El Toboso, looking like noddies, and asking for my lady Dulcinea; and even if they meet her in the middle of the street they won’t know her any more than they would my father.” “Perhaps, Sancho,” returned Don Quixote, “the enchantment does not go so far as to deprive conquered and presented giants and knights of the power of recognising Dulcinea; we will try by experiment with one or two of the first I vanquish and send to her, whether they see her or not, by commanding them to return and give me an account of what happened to them in this respect.” “I declare, I think what your worship has proposed is excellent,” said Sancho; “and that by this plan we shall find out what we want to know; and if it be that it is only from your worship she is hidden, the misfortune will be more yours than hers; but so long as the lady Dulcinea is well and happy, we on our part will make the best of it, and get on as well as we can, seeking our adventures, and leaving Time to take his own course; for he is the best physician for these and greater ailments.” Don Quixote was about to reply to Sancho Panza, but he was prevented by a cart crossing the road full of the most diverse and strange personages and figures that could be imagined.
He who led the mules and acted as carter was a hideous demon; the cart was open to the sky, without a tilt or cane roof, and the first figure that presented itself to Don Quixote’s eyes was that of Death itself with a human face; next to it was an angel with large painted wings, and at one side an emperor, with a crown, to all appearance of gold, on his head.
At the feet of Death was the god called Cupid, without his bandage, but with his bow, quiver, and arrows; there was also a knight in full armour, except that he had no morion or helmet, but only a hat decked with plumes of divers colours; and along with these there were others with a variety of costumes and faces.
All this, unexpectedly encountered, took Don Quixote somewhat aback, and struck terror into the heart of Sancho; but the next instant Don Quixote was glad of it, believing that some new perilous adventure was presenting itself to him, and under this impression, and with a spirit prepared to face any danger, he planted himself in front of the cart, and in a loud and menacing tone, exclaimed, “Carter, or coachman, or devil, or whatever thou art, tell me at once who thou art, whither thou art going, and who these folk are thou carriest in thy wagon, which looks more like Charon’s boat than an ordinary cart.” — CHAPTER XIV ~ WHEREIN IS CONTINUED THE ADVENTURE OF THE KNIGHT OF THE GROVE Among the things that passed between Don Quixote and the Knight of the Wood, the history tells us he of the Grove said to Don Quixote, “In fine, sir knight, I would have you know that my destiny, or, more properly speaking, my choice led me to fall in love with the peerless Casildea de Vandalia.
I call her peerless because she has no peer, whether it be in bodily stature or in the supremacy of rank and beauty.
This same Casildea, then, that I speak of, requited my honourable passion and gentle aspirations by compelling me, as his stepmother did Hercules, to engage in many perils of various sorts, at the end of each promising me that, with the end of the next, the object of my hopes should be attained; but my labours have gone on increasing link by link until they are past counting, nor do I know what will be the last one that is to be the beginning of the accomplishment of my chaste desires.
On one occasion she bade me go and challenge the famous giantess of Seville, La Giralda by name, who is as mighty and strong as if made of brass, and though never stirring from one spot, is the most restless and changeable woman in the world.
I came, I saw, I conquered, and I made her stay quiet and behave herself, for nothing but north winds blew for more than a week.
Another time I was ordered to lift those ancient stones, the mighty bulls of Guisando, an enterprise that might more fitly be entrusted to porters than to knights.
Again, she bade me fling myself into the cavern of Cabra- an unparalleled and awful peril- and bring her a minute account of all that is concealed in those gloomy depths.
I stopped the motion of the Giralda, I lifted the bulls of Guisando, I flung myself into the cavern and brought to light the secrets of its abyss; and my hopes are as dead as dead can be, and her scorn and her commands as lively as ever.
To be brief, last of all she has commanded me to go through all the provinces of Spain and compel all the knights-errant wandering therein to confess that she surpasses all women alive to-day in beauty, and that I am the most valiant and the most deeply enamoured knight on earth; in support of which claim I have already travelled over the greater part of Spain, and have there vanquished several knights who have dared to contradict me; but what I most plume and pride myself upon is having vanquished in single combat that so famous knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, and made him confess that my Casildea is more beautiful than his Dulcinea; and in this one victory I hold myself to have conquered all the knights in the world; for this Don Quixote that I speak of has vanquished them all, and I having vanquished him, his glory, his fame, and his honour have passed and are transferred to my person; for The more the vanquished hath of fair renown, The greater glory gilds the victor’s crown. Thus the innumerable achievements of the said Don Quixote are now set down to my account and have become mine.” Don Quixote was amazed when he heard the Knight of the Grove, and was a thousand times on the point of telling him he lied, and had the lie direct already on the tip of his tongue; but he restrained himself as well as he could, in order to force him to confess the lie with his own lips; so he said to him quietly, “As to what you say, sir knight, about having vanquished most of the knights of Spain, or even of the whole world, I say nothing; but that you have vanquished Don Quixote of La Mancha I consider doubtful; it may have been some other that resembled him, although there are few like him.” “How! not vanquished?” said he of the Grove; “by the heaven that is above us I fought Don Quixote and overcame him and made him yield; and he is a man of tall stature, gaunt features, long, lank limbs, with hair turning grey, an aquiline nose rather hooked, and large black drooping moustaches; he does battle under the name of ‘The Countenance,’ and he has for squire a peasant called Sancho Panza; he presses the loins and rules the reins of a famous steed called Rocinante; and lastly, he has for the mistress of his will a certain Dulcinea del Toboso, once upon a time called Aldonza Lorenzo, just as I call mine Casildea de Vandalia because her name is Casilda and she is of Andalusia.
If all these tokens are not enough to vindicate the truth of what I say, here is my sword, that will compel incredulity itself to give credence to it.” “Calm yourself, sir knight,” said Don Quixote, “and give ear to what I am about to say to you.
You.I would have you know that this Don Quixote you speak of is the greatest friend I have in the world; so much so that I may say I regard him in the same light as my own person; and from the precise and clear indications you have given I cannot but think that he must be the very one you have vanquished.
On the other hand, I see with my eyes and feel with my hands that it is impossible it can have been the same; unless indeed it be that, as he has many enemies who are enchanters, and one in particular who is always persecuting him, some one of these may have taken his shape in order to allow himself to be vanquished, so as to defraud him of the fame that his exalted achievements as a knight have earned and acquired for him throughout the known world.
And in confirmation of this, I must tell you, too, that it is but ten hours since these said enchanters his enemies transformed the shape and person of the fair Dulcinea del Toboso into a foul and mean village lass, and in the same way they must have transformed Don Quixote; and if all this does not suffice to convince you of the truth of what I say, here is Don Quixote himself, who will maintain it by arms, on foot or on horseback or in any way you please.” And so saying he stood up and laid his hand on his sword, waiting to see what the Knight of the Grove would do, who in an equally calm voice said in reply, “Pledges don’t distress a good payer; he who has succeeded in vanquishing you once when transformed, Sir Don Quixote, may fairly hope to subdue you in your own proper shape; but as it is not becoming for knights to perform their feats of arms in the dark, like highwaymen and bullies, let us wait till daylight, that the sun may behold our deeds; and the conditions of our combat shall be that the vanquished shall be at the victor’s disposal, to do all that he may enjoin, provided the injunction be such as shall be becoming a knight.” “I am more than satisfied with these conditions and terms,” replied Don Quixote; and so saying, they betook themselves to where their squires lay, and found them snoring, and in the same posture they were in when sleep fell upon them.
They roused them up, and bade them get the horses ready, as at sunrise they were to engage in a bloody and arduous single combat; at which intelligence Sancho was aghast and thunderstruck, trembling for the safety of his master because of the mighty deeds he had heard the squire of the Grove ascribe to his; but without a word the two squires went in quest of their cattle; for by this time the three horses and the ass had smelt one another out, and were all together. On the way, he of the Grove said to Sancho, “You must know, brother, that it is the custom with the fighting men of Andalusia, when they are godfathers in any quarrel, not to stand idle with folded arms while their godsons fight; I say so to remind you that while our masters are fighting, we, too, have to fight, and knock one another to shivers.” “That custom, sir squire,” replied Sancho, “may hold good among those bullies and fighting men you talk of, but certainly not among the squires of knights-errant; at least, I have never heard my master speak of any custom of the sort, and he knows all the laws of knight-errantry by heart; but granting it true that there is an express law that squires are to fight while their masters are fighting, I don’t mean to obey it, but to pay the penalty that may be laid on peacefully minded squires like myself; for I am sure it cannot be more than two pounds of wax, and I would rather pay that, for I know it will cost me less than the lint I shall be at the expense of to mend my head, which I look upon as broken and split already; there’s another thing that makes it impossible for me to fight, that I have no sword, for I never carried one in my life.” “I know a good remedy for that,” said he of the Grove; “I have here two linen bags of the same size; you shall take one, and I the other, and we will fight at bag blows with equal arms.” “If that’s the way, so be it with all my heart,” said Sancho, “for that sort of battle will serve to knock the dust out of us instead of hurting us.” — The herdsman had no time to reply, nor Don Quixote to get out of the way even if he wished; and so the drove of fierce bulls and tame bullocks, together with the crowd of herdsmen and others who were taking them to be penned up in a village where they were to be run the next day, passed over Don Quixote and over Sancho, Rocinante and Dapple, hurling them all to the earth and rolling them over on the ground.
Sancho was left crushed, Don Quixote scared, Dapple belaboured and Rocinante in no very sound condition.
They all got up, however, at length, and Don Quixote in great haste, stumbling here and falling there, started off running after the drove, shouting out, “Hold! stay! ye rascally rabble, a single knight awaits you, and he is not of the temper or opinion of those who say, ‘For a flying enemy make a bridge of silver.'” The retreating party in their haste, however, did not stop for that, or heed his menaces any more than last year’s clouds.
Weariness brought Don Quixote to a halt, and more enraged than avenged he sat down on the road to wait until Sancho, Rocinante and Dapple came up.
When they reached him master and man mounted once more, and without going back to bid farewell to the mock or imitation Arcadia, and more in humiliation than contentment, they continued their journey. CHAPTER LIX ~ WHEREIN IS RELATED THE STRANGE THING, WHICH MAY BE REGARDED AS AN ADVENTURE, THAT HAPPENED DON QUIXOTE A clear limpid spring which they discovered in a cool grove relieved Don Quixote and Sancho of the dust and fatigue due to the unpolite behaviour of the bulls, and by the side of this, having turned Dapple and Rocinante loose without headstall or bridle, the forlorn pair, master and man, seated themselves.
Sancho had recourse to the larder of his alforjas and took out of them what he called the prog; Don Quixote rinsed his mouth and bathed his face, by which cooling process his flagging energies were revived.
Out of pure vexation he remained without eating, and out of pure politeness Sancho did not venture to touch a morsel of what was before him, but waited for his master to act as taster.
Seeing, however, that, absorbed in thought, he was forgetting to carry the bread to his mouth, he said never a word, and trampling every sort of good breeding under foot, began to stow away in his paunch the bread and cheese that came to his hand. “Eat, Sancho my friend,” said Don Quixote; “support life, which is of more consequence to thee than to me, and leave me to die under the pain of my thoughts and pressure of my misfortunes.
I was born, Sancho, to live dying, and thou to die eating; and to prove the truth of what I say, look at me, printed in histories, famed in arms, courteous in behaviour, honoured by princes, courted by maidens; and after all, when I looked forward to palms, triumphs, and crowns, won and earned by my valiant deeds, I have this morning seen myself trampled on, kicked, and crushed by the feet of unclean and filthy animals.
This thought blunts my teeth, paralyses my jaws, cramps my hands, and robs me of all appetite for food; so much so that I have a mind to let myself die of hunger, the cruelest death of all deaths.” “So then,” said Sancho, munching hard all the time, “your worship does not agree with the proverb that says, ‘Let Martha die, but let her die with a full belly.’ I, at any rate, have no mind to kill myself; so far from that, I mean to do as the cobbler does, who stretches the leather with his teeth until he makes it reach as far as he wants.
I’ll stretch out my life by eating until it reaches the end heaven has fixed for it; and let me tell you, senor, there’s no greater folly than to think of dying of despair as your worship does; take my advice, and after eating lie down and sleep a bit on this green grass-mattress, and you will see that when you awake you’ll feel something better.” Don Quixote did as he recommended, for it struck him that Sancho’s reasoning was more like a philosopher’s than a blockhead’s, and said he, “Sancho, if thou wilt do for me what I am going to tell thee my ease of mind would be more assured and my heaviness of heart not so great; and it is this; to go aside a little while I am sleeping in accordance with thy advice, and, making bare thy carcase to the air, to give thyself three or four hundred lashes with Rocinante’s reins, on account of the three thousand and odd thou art to give thyself for the disenchantment of Dulcinea; for it is a great pity that the poor lady should be left enchanted through thy carelessness and negligence.” “There is a good deal to be said on that point,” said Sancho; “let us both go to sleep now, and after that, God has decreed what will happen.
Let me tell your worship that for a man to whip himself in cold blood is a hard thing, especially if the stripes fall upon an ill-nourished and worse-fed body.
Let my lady Dulcinea have patience, and when she is least expecting it, she will see me made a riddle of with whipping, and ‘until death it’s all life;’ I mean that I have still life in me, and the desire to make good what I have promised.” Don Quixote thanked him, and ate a little, and Sancho a good deal, and then they both lay down to sleep, leaving those two inseparable friends and comrades, Rocinante and Dapple, to their own devices and to feed unrestrained upon the abundant grass with which the meadow was furnished.
They woke up rather late, mounted once more and resumed their journey, pushing on to reach an inn which was in sight, apparently a league off.
I say an inn, because Don Quixote called it so, contrary to his usual practice of calling all inns castles.
They reached it, and asked the landlord if they could put up there.
He said yes, with as much comfort and as good fare as they could find in Saragossa.
They dismounted, and Sancho stowed away his larder in a room of which the landlord gave him the key.
He took the beasts to the stable, fed them, and came back to see what orders Don Quixote, who was seated on a bench at the door, had for him, giving special thanks to heaven that this inn had not been taken for a castle by his master.
Supper-time came, and they repaired to their room, and Sancho asked the landlord what he had to give them for supper.
To this the landlord replied that his mouth should be the measure; he had only to ask what he would; for that inn was provided with the birds of the air and the fowls of the earth and the fish of the sea. “There’s no need of all that,” said Sancho; “if they’ll roast us a couple of chickens we’ll be satisfied, for my master is delicate and eats little, and I’m not over and above gluttonous.” The landlord replied he had no chickens, for the kites had stolen them. “Well then,” said Sancho, “let senor landlord tell them to roast a pullet, so that it is a tender one.” “Pullet! My father!” said the landlord; “indeed and in truth it’s only yesterday I sent over fifty to the city to sell; but saving pullets ask what you will.” “In that case,” said Sancho, “you will not be without veal or kid.” — “And me too,” said Sancho; “maybe I’ll be good for something.” With this they exchanged farewells, and Don Quixote and Sancho retired to their room, leaving Don Juan and Don Jeronimo amazed to see the medley he made of his good sense and his craziness; and they felt thoroughly convinced that these, and not those their Aragonese author described, were the genuine Don Quixote and Sancho.
Don Quixote rose betimes, and bade adieu to his hosts by knocking at the partition of the other room.
Sancho paid the landlord magnificently, and recommended him either to say less about the providing of his inn or to keep it better provided. CHAPTER LX ~ OF WHAT HAPPENED DON QUIXOTE ON HIS WAY TO BARCELONA It was a fresh morning giving promise of a cool day as Don Quixote quitted the inn, first of all taking care to ascertain the most direct road to Barcelona without touching upon Saragossa; so anxious was he to make out this new historian, who they said abused him so, to be a liar.
Well, as it fell out, nothing worthy of being recorded happened him for six days, at the end of which, having turned aside out of the road, he was overtaken by night in a thicket of oak or cork trees; for on this point Cide Hamete is not as precise as he usually is on other matters. Master and man dismounted from their beasts, and as soon as they had settled themselves at the foot of the trees, Sancho, who had had a good noontide meal that day, let himself, without more ado, pass the gates of sleep.
But Don Quixote, whom his thoughts, far more than hunger, kept awake, could not close an eye, and roamed in fancy to and fro through all sorts of places.
At one moment it seemed to him that he was in the cave of Montesinos and saw Dulcinea, transformed into a country wench, skipping and mounting upon her she-ass; again that the words of the sage Merlin were sounding in his ears, setting forth the conditions to be observed and the exertions to be made for the disenchantment of Dulcinea.
He lost all patience when he considered the laziness and want of charity of his squire Sancho; for to the best of his belief he had only given himself five lashes, a number paltry and disproportioned to the vast number required.
At this thought he felt such vexation and anger that he reasoned the matter thus: “If Alexander the Great cut the Gordian knot, saying, ‘To cut comes to the same thing as to untie,’ and yet did not fail to become lord paramount of all Asia, neither more nor less could happen now in Dulcinea’s disenchantment if I scourge Sancho against his will; for, if it is the condition of the remedy that Sancho shall receive three thousand and odd lashes, what does it matter to me whether he inflicts them himself, or some one else inflicts them, when the essential point is that he receives them, let them come from whatever quarter they may?” With this idea he went over to Sancho, having first taken Rocinante’s reins and arranged them so as to be able to flog him with them, and began to untie the points (the common belief is he had but one in front) by which his breeches were held up; but the instant he approached him Sancho woke up in his full senses and cried out, “What is this? Who is touching me and untrussing me?” “It is I,” said Don Quixote, “and I come to make good thy shortcomings and relieve my own distresses; I come to whip thee, Sancho, and wipe off some portion of the debt thou hast undertaken.
Dulcinea is perishing, thou art living on regardless, I am dying of hope deferred; therefore untruss thyself with a good will, for mine it is, here, in this retired spot, to give thee at least two thousand lashes.” “Not a bit of it,” said Sancho; “let your worship keep quiet, or else by the living God the deaf shall hear us; the lashes I pledged myself to must be voluntary and not forced upon me, and just now I have no fancy to whip myself; it is enough if I give you my word to flog and flap myself when I have a mind.” “It will not do to leave it to thy courtesy, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “for thou art hard of heart and, though a clown, tender of flesh;” and at the same time he strove and struggled to untie him. Seeing this Sancho got up, and grappling with his master he gripped him with all his might in his arms, giving him a trip with the heel stretched him on the ground on his back, and pressing his right knee on his chest held his hands in his own so that he could neither move nor breathe. “How now, traitor!” exclaimed Don Quixote. “Dost thou revolt against thy master and natural lord? Dost thou rise against him who gives thee his bread?” “I neither put down king, nor set up king,” said Sancho; “I only stand up for myself who am my own lord; if your worship promises me to be quiet, and not to offer to whip me now, I’ll let you go free and unhindered; if not- Traitor and Dona Sancha’s foe, Thou diest on the spot.” Don Quixote gave his promise, and swore by the life of his thoughts not to touch so much as a hair of his garments, and to leave him entirely free and to his own discretion to whip himself whenever he pleased.
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