Miqeul de Cervantes [Saavedra]
Part 11 out of 21
complains of separation, and to the accompaniment of a rebeck, which
he plays admirably, he sings his complaints in verses that show his
ingenuity. I follow another, easier, and to my mind wiser course,
and that is to rail at the frivolity of women, at their inconstancy,
their double dealing, their broken promises, their unkept pledges, and
in short the want of reflection they show in fixing their affections
and inclinations. This, sirs, was the reason of words and
expressions I made use of to this goat when I came up just now; for as
she is a female I have a contempt for her, though she is the best in
all my fold. This is the story I promised to tell you, and if I have
been tedious in telling it, I will not be slow to serve you; my hut is
close by, and I have fresh milk and dainty cheese there, as well as
a variety of toothsome fruit, no less pleasing to the eye than to
OF THE QUARREL THAT DON QUIXOTE HAD WITH THE GOATHERD, TOGETHER WITH
THE RARE ADVENTURE OF THE PENITENTS, WHICH WITH AN EXPENDITURE OF
SWEAT HE BROUGHT TO A HAPPY CONCLUSION
The goatherd's tale gave great satisfaction to all the hearers,
and the canon especially enjoyed it, for he had remarked with
particular attention the manner in which it had been told, which was
as unlike the manner of a clownish goatherd as it was like that of a
polished city wit; and he observed that the curate had been quite
right in saying that the woods bred men of learning. They all
offered their services to Eugenio but he who showed himself most
liberal in this way was Don Quixote, who said to him, "Most assuredly,
brother goatherd, if I found myself in a position to attempt any
adventure, I would, this very instant, set out on your behalf, and
would rescue Leandra from that convent (where no doubt she is kept
against her will), in spite of the abbess and all who might try to
prevent me, and would place her in your hands to deal with her
according to your will and pleasure, observing, however, the laws of
chivalry which lay down that no violence of any kind is to be
offered to any damsel. But I trust in God our Lord that the might of
one malignant enchanter may not prove so great but that the power of
another better disposed may prove superior to it, and then I promise
you my support and assistance, as I am bound to do by my profession,
which is none other than to give aid to the weak and needy."
The goatherd eyed him, and noticing Don Quixote's sorry appearance
and looks, he was filled with wonder, and asked the barber, who was
next him, "Senor, who is this man who makes such a figure and talks in
such a strain?"
"Who should it be," said the barber, "but the famous Don Quixote
of La Mancha, the undoer of injustice, the righter of wrongs, the
protector of damsels, the terror of giants, and the winner of
"That," said the goatherd, "sounds like what one reads in the
books of the knights-errant, who did all that you say this man does;
though it is my belief that either you are joking, or else this
gentleman has empty lodgings in his head."
"You are a great scoundrel," said Don Quixote, "and it is you who
are empty and a fool. I am fuller than ever was the whoreson bitch
that bore you;" and passing from words to deeds, he caught up a loaf
that was near him and sent it full in the goatherd's face, with such
force that he flattened his nose; but the goatherd, who did not
understand jokes, and found himself roughly handled in such good
earnest, paying no respect to carpet, tablecloth, or diners, sprang
upon Don Quixote, and seizing him by the throat with both hands
would no doubt have throttled him, had not Sancho Panza that instant
come to the rescue, and grasping him by the shoulders flung him down
on the table, smashing plates, breaking glasses, and upsetting and
scattering everything on it. Don Quixote, finding himself free, strove
to get on top of the goatherd, who, with his face covered with
blood, and soundly kicked by Sancho, was on all fours feeling about
for one of the table-knives to take a bloody revenge with. The canon
and the curate, however, prevented him, but the barber so contrived it
that he got Don Quixote under him, and rained down upon him such a
shower of fisticuffs that the poor knight's face streamed with blood
as freely as his own. The canon and the curate were bursting with
laughter, the officers were capering with delight, and both the one
and the other hissed them on as they do dogs that are worrying one
another in a fight. Sancho alone was frantic, for he could not free
himself from the grasp of one of the canon's servants, who kept him
from going to his master's assistance.
At last, while they were all, with the exception of the two bruisers
who were mauling each other, in high glee and enjoyment, they heard
a trumpet sound a note so doleful that it made them all look in the
direction whence the sound seemed to come. But the one that was most
excited by hearing it was Don Quixote, who though sorely against his
will he was under the goatherd, and something more than pretty well
pummelled, said to him, "Brother devil (for it is impossible but
that thou must be one since thou hast had might and strength enough to
overcome mine), I ask thee to agree to a truce for but one hour for
the solemn note of yonder trumpet that falls on our ears seems to me
to summon me to some new adventure." The goatherd, who was by this
time tired of pummelling and being pummelled, released him at once,
and Don Quixote rising to his feet and turning his eyes to the quarter
where the sound had been heard, suddenly saw coming down the slope
of a hill several men clad in white like penitents.
The fact was that the clouds had that year withheld their moisture
from the earth, and in all the villages of the district they were
organising processions, rogations, and penances, imploring God to open
the hands of his mercy and send the rain; and to this end the people
of a village that was hard by were going in procession to a holy
hermitage there was on one side of that valley. Don Quixote when he
saw the strange garb of the penitents, without reflecting how often he
had seen it before, took it into his head that this was a case of
adventure, and that it fell to him alone as a knight-errant to
engage in it; and he was all the more confirmed in this notion, by the
idea that an image draped in black they had with them was some
illustrious lady that these villains and discourteous thieves were
carrying off by force. As soon as this occurred to him he ran with all
speed to Rocinante who was grazing at large, and taking the bridle and
the buckler from the saddle-bow, he had him bridled in an instant, and
calling to Sancho for his sword he mounted Rocinante, braced his
buckler on his arm, and in a loud voice exclaimed to those who stood
by, "Now, noble company, ye shall see how important it is that there
should be knights in the world professing the of knight-errantry; now,
I say, ye shall see, by the deliverance of that worthy lady who is
borne captive there, whether knights-errant deserve to be held in
estimation," and so saying he brought his legs to bear on Rocinante-
for he had no spurs- and at a full canter (for in all this veracious
history we never read of Rocinante fairly galloping) set off to
encounter the penitents, though the curate, the canon, and the
barber ran to prevent him. But it was out of their power, nor did he
even stop for the shouts of Sancho calling after him, "Where are you
going, Senor Don Quixote? What devils have possessed you to set you on
against our Catholic faith? Plague take me! mind, that is a procession
of penitents, and the lady they are carrying on that stand there is
the blessed image of the immaculate Virgin. Take care what you are
doing, senor, for this time it may be safely said you don't know
what you are about." Sancho laboured in vain, for his master was so
bent on coming to quarters with these sheeted figures and releasing
the lady in black that he did not hear a word; and even had he
heard, he would not have turned back if the king had ordered him. He
came up with the procession and reined in Rocinante, who was already
anxious enough to slacken speed a little, and in a hoarse, excited
voice he exclaimed, "You who hide your faces, perhaps because you
are not good subjects, pay attention and listen to what I am about
to say to you." The first to halt were those who were carrying the
image, and one of the four ecclesiastics who were chanting the Litany,
struck by the strange figure of Don Quixote, the leanness of
Rocinante, and the other ludicrous peculiarities he observed, said
in reply to him, "Brother, if you have anything to say to us say it
quickly, for these brethren are whipping themselves, and we cannot
stop, nor is it reasonable we should stop to hear anything, unless
indeed it is short enough to be said in two words."
"I will say it in one," replied Don Quixote, "and it is this; that
at once, this very instant, ye release that fair lady whose tears
and sad aspect show plainly that ye are carrying her off against her
will, and that ye have committed some scandalous outrage against
her; and I, who was born into the world to redress all such like
wrongs, will not permit you to advance another step until you have
restored to her the liberty she pines for and deserves."
From these words all the hearers concluded that he must be a madman,
and began to laugh heartily, and their laughter acted like gunpowder
on Don Quixote's fury, for drawing his sword without another word he
made a rush at the stand. One of those who supported it, leaving the
burden to his comrades, advanced to meet him, flourishing a forked
stick that he had for propping up the stand when resting, and with
this he caught a mighty cut Don Quixote made at him that severed it in
two; but with the portion that remained in his hand he dealt such a
thwack on the shoulder of Don Quixote's sword arm (which the buckler
could not protect against the clownish assault) that poor Don
Quixote came to the ground in a sad plight.
Sancho Panza, who was coming on close behind puffing and blowing,
seeing him fall, cried out to his assailant not to strike him again,
for he was poor enchanted knight, who had never harmed anyone all
the days of his life; but what checked the clown was, not Sancho's
shouting, but seeing that Don Quixote did not stir hand or foot; and
so, fancying he had killed him, he hastily hitched up his tunic
under his girdle and took to his heels across the country like a deer.
By this time all Don Quixote's companions had come up to where he
lay; but the processionists seeing them come running, and with them
the officers of the Brotherhood with their crossbows, apprehended
mischief, and clustering round the image, raised their hoods, and
grasped their scourges, as the priests did their tapers, and awaited
the attack, resolved to defend themselves and even to take the
offensive against their assailants if they could. Fortune, however,
arranged the matter better than they expected, for all Sancho did
was to fling himself on his master's body, raising over him the most
doleful and laughable lamentation that ever was heard, for he believed
he was dead. The curate was known to another curate who walked in
the procession, and their recognition of one another set at rest the
apprehensions of both parties; the first then told the other in two
words who Don Quixote was, and he and the whole troop of penitents
went to see if the poor gentleman was dead, and heard Sancho Panza
saying, with tears in his eyes, "Oh flower of chivalry, that with
one blow of a stick hast ended the course of thy well-spent life! Oh
pride of thy race, honour and glory of all La Mancha, nay, of all
the world, that for want of thee will be full of evil-doers, no longer
in fear of punishment for their misdeeds! Oh thou, generous above
all the Alexanders, since for only eight months of service thou hast
given me the best island the sea girds or surrounds! Humble with the
proud, haughty with the humble, encounterer of dangers, endurer of
outrages, enamoured without reason, imitator of the good, scourge of
the wicked, enemy of the mean, in short, knight-errant, which is all
that can be said!"
At the cries and moans of Sancho, Don Quixote came to himself, and
the first word he said was, "He who lives separated from you, sweetest
Dulcinea, has greater miseries to endure than these. Aid me, friend
Sancho, to mount the enchanted cart, for I am not in a condition to
press the saddle of Rocinante, as this shoulder is all knocked to
"That I will do with all my heart, senor," said Sancho; "and let
us return to our village with these gentlemen, who seek your good, and
there we will prepare for making another sally, which may turn out
more profitable and creditable to us."
"Thou art right, Sancho," returned Don Quixote; "It will be wise
to let the malign influence of the stars which now prevails pass off."
The canon, the curate, and the barber told him he would act very
wisely in doing as he said; and so, highly amused at Sancho Panza's
simplicities, they placed Don Quixote in the cart as before. The
procession once more formed itself in order and proceeded on its road;
the goatherd took his leave of the party; the officers of the
Brotherhood declined to go any farther, and the curate paid them
what was due to them; the canon begged the curate to let him know
how Don Quixote did, whether he was cured of his madness or still
suffered from it, and then begged leave to continue his journey; in
short, they all separated and went their ways, leaving to themselves
the curate and the barber, Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and the good
Rocinante, who regarded everything with as great resignation as his
master. The carter yoked his oxen and made Don Quixote comfortable
on a truss of hay, and at his usual deliberate pace took the road
the curate directed, and at the end of six days they reached Don
Quixote's village, and entered it about the middle of the day, which
it so happened was a Sunday, and the people were all in the plaza,
through which Don Quixote's cart passed. They all flocked to see
what was in the cart, and when they recognised their townsman they
were filled with amazement, and a boy ran off to bring the news to his
housekeeper and his niece that their master and uncle had come back
all lean and yellow and stretched on a truss of hay on an ox-cart.
It was piteous to hear the cries the two good ladies raised, how
they beat their breasts and poured out fresh maledictions on those
accursed books of chivalry; all which was renewed when they saw Don
Quixote coming in at the gate.
At the news of Don Quixote's arrival Sancho Panza's wife came
running, for she by this time knew that her husband had gone away with
him as his squire, and on seeing Sancho, the first thing she asked him
was if the ass was well. Sancho replied that he was, better than his
"Thanks be to God," said she, "for being so good to me; but now tell
me, my friend, what have you made by your squirings? What gown have
you brought me back? What shoes for your children?"
"I bring nothing of that sort, wife," said Sancho; "though I bring
other things of more consequence and value."
"I am very glad of that," returned his wife; "show me these things
of more value and consequence, my friend; for I want to see them to
cheer my heart that has been so sad and heavy all these ages that
you have been away."
"I will show them to you at home, wife," said Sancho; "be content
for the present; for if it please God that we should again go on our
travels in search of adventures, you will soon see me a count, or
governor of an island, and that not one of those everyday ones, but
the best that is to be had."
"Heaven grant it, husband," said she, "for indeed we have need of
it. But tell me, what's this about islands, for I don't understand
"Honey is not for the mouth of the ass," returned Sancho; "all in
good time thou shalt see, wife- nay, thou wilt be surprised to hear
thyself called 'your ladyship' by all thy vassals."
"What are you talking about, Sancho, with your ladyships, islands,
and vassals?" returned Teresa Panza- for so Sancho's wife was
called, though they were not relations, for in La Mancha it is
customary for wives to take their husbands' surnames.
"Don't be in such a hurry to know all this, Teresa," said Sancho;
"it is enough that I am telling you the truth, so shut your mouth. But
I may tell you this much by the way, that there is nothing in the
world more delightful than to be a person of consideration, squire
to a knight-errant, and a seeker of adventures. To be sure most of
those one finds do not end as pleasantly as one could wish, for out of
a hundred, ninety-nine will turn out cross and contrary. I know it
by experience, for out of some I came blanketed, and out of others
belaboured. Still, for all that, it is a fine thing to be on the
look-out for what may happen, crossing mountains, searching woods,
climbing rocks, visiting castles, putting up at inns, all at free
quarters, and devil take the maravedi to pay."
While this conversation passed between Sancho Panza and his wife,
Don Quixote's housekeeper and niece took him in and undressed him
and laid him in his old bed. He eyed them askance, and could not
make out where he was. The curate charged his niece to be very careful
to make her uncle comfortable and to keep a watch over him lest he
should make his escape from them again, telling her what they had been
obliged to do to bring him home. On this the pair once more lifted
up their voices and renewed their maledictions upon the books of
chivalry, and implored heaven to plunge the authors of such lies and
nonsense into the midst of the bottomless pit. They were, in short,
kept in anxiety and dread lest their uncle and master should give them
the slip the moment he found himself somewhat better, and as they
feared so it fell out.
But the author of this history, though he has devoted research and
industry to the discovery of the deeds achieved by Don Quixote in
his third sally, has been unable to obtain any information
respecting them, at any rate derived from authentic documents;
tradition has merely preserved in the memory of La Mancha the fact
that Don Quixote, the third time he sallied forth from his home,
betook himself to Saragossa, where he was present at some famous
jousts which came off in that city, and that he had adventures there
worthy of his valour and high intelligence. Of his end and death he
could learn no particulars, nor would he have ascertained it or
known of it, if good fortune had not produced an old physician for him
who had in his possession a leaden box, which, according to his
account, had been discovered among the crumbling foundations of an
ancient hermitage that was being rebuilt; in which box were found
certain parchment manuscripts in Gothic character, but in Castilian
verse, containing many of his achievements, and setting forth the
beauty of Dulcinea, the form of Rocinante, the fidelity of Sancho
Panza, and the burial of Don Quixote himself, together with sundry
epitaphs and eulogies on his life and character; but all that could be
read and deciphered were those which the trustworthy author of this
new and unparalleled history here presents. And the said author asks
of those that shall read it nothing in return for the vast toil
which it has cost him in examining and searching the Manchegan
archives in order to bring it to light, save that they give him the
same credit that people of sense give to the books of chivalry that
pervade the world and are so popular; for with this he will consider
himself amply paid and fully satisfied, and will be encouraged to seek
out and produce other histories, if not as truthful, at least equal in
invention and not less entertaining. The first words written on the
parchment found in the leaden box were these:
THE ACADEMICIANS OF
ARGAMASILLA, A VILLAGE OF
ON THE LIFE AND DEATH
OF DON QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA,
MONICONGO, ACADEMICIAN OF ARGAMASILLA,
ON THE TOMB OF DON QUIXOTE
The scatterbrain that gave La Mancha more
Rich spoils than Jason's; who a point so keen
Had to his wit, and happier far had been
If his wit's weathercock a blunter bore;
The arm renowned far as Gaeta's shore,
Cathay, and all the lands that lie between;
The muse discreet and terrible in mien
As ever wrote on brass in days of yore;
He who surpassed the Amadises all,
And who as naught the Galaors accounted,
Supported by his love and gallantry:
Who made the Belianises sing small,
And sought renown on Rocinante mounted;
Here, underneath this cold stone, doth he lie.
ACADEMICIAN OF ARGAMASILLA,
IN LAUDEM DULCINEAE DEL TOBOSO
She, whose full features may be here descried,
High-bosomed, with a bearing of disdain,
Is Dulcinea, she for whom in vain
The great Don Quixote of La Mancha sighed.
For her, Toboso's queen, from side to side
He traversed the grim sierra, the champaign
Of Aranjuez, and Montiel's famous plain:
On Rocinante oft a weary ride.
Malignant planets, cruel destiny,
Pursued them both, the fair Manchegan dame,
And the unconquered star of chivalry.
Nor youth nor beauty saved her from the claim
Of death; he paid love's bitter penalty,
And left the marble to preserve his name.
CAPRICHOSO, A MOST ACUTE ACADEMICIAN
OF ARGAMASILLA, IN PRAISE OF ROCINANTE,
STEED OF DON QUIXOTE OF LA MANCHA
On that proud throne of diamantine sheen,
Which the blood-reeking feet of Mars degrade,
The mad Manchegan's banner now hath been
By him in all its bravery displayed.
There hath he hung his arms and trenchant blade
Wherewith, achieving deeds till now unseen,
He slays, lays low, cleaves, hews; but art hath made
A novel style for our new paladin.
If Amadis be the proud boast of Gaul,
If by his progeny the fame of Greece
Through all the regions of the earth be spread,
Great Quixote crowned in grim Bellona's hall
To-day exalts La Mancha over these,
And above Greece or Gaul she holds her head.
Nor ends his glory here, for his good steed
Doth Brillador and Bayard far exceed;
As mettled steeds compared with Rocinante,
The reputation they have won is scanty.
BURLADOR, ACADEMICIAN OF ARGAMASILLA,
ON SANCHO PANZA
The worthy Sancho Panza here you see;
A great soul once was in that body small,
Nor was there squire upon this earthly ball
So plain and simple, or of guile so free.
Within an ace of being Count was he,
And would have been but for the spite and gall
Of this vile age, mean and illiberal,
That cannot even let a donkey be.
For mounted on an ass (excuse the word),
By Rocinante's side this gentle squire
Was wont his wandering master to attend.
Delusive hopes that lure the common herd
With promises of ease, the heart's desire,
In shadows, dreams, and smoke ye always end.
ACADEMICIAN OF ARGAMASILLA,
ON THE TOMB OF DON QUIXOTE
The knight lies here below,
Ill-errant and bruised sore,
Whom Rocinante bore
In his wanderings to and fro.
By the side of the knight is laid
Stolid man Sancho too,
Than whom a squire more true
Was not in the esquire trade.
ACADEMICIAN OF ARGAMASILLA,
ON THE TOMB OF DULCINEA DEL TOBOSO
Here Dulcinea lies.
Plump was she and robust:
Now she is ashes and dust:
The end of all flesh that dies.
A lady of high degree,
With the port of a lofty dame,
And the great Don Quixote's flame,
And the pride of her village was she.
These were all the verses that could be deciphered; the rest, the
writing being worm-eaten, were handed over to one of the
Academicians to make out their meaning conjecturally. We have been
informed that at the cost of many sleepless nights and much toil he
has succeeded, and that he means to publish them in hopes of Don
Quixote's third sally.
"Forse altro cantera con miglior plectro."
DEDICATION OF PART II
TO THE COUNT OF LEMOS:
These days past, when sending Your Excellency my plays, that had
appeared in print before being shown on the stage, I said, if I
remember well, that Don Quixote was putting on his spurs to go and
render homage to Your Excellency. Now I say that "with his spurs, he
is on his way." Should he reach destination methinks I shall have
rendered some service to Your Excellency, as from many parts I am
urged to send him off, so as to dispel the loathing and disgust caused
by another Don Quixote who, under the name of Second Part, has run
masquerading through the whole world. And he who has shown the
greatest longing for him has been the great Emperor of China, who
wrote me a letter in Chinese a month ago and sent it by a special
courier. He asked me, or to be truthful, he begged me to send him
Don Quixote, for he intended to found a college where the Spanish
tongue would be taught, and it was his wish that the book to be read
should be the History of Don Quixote. He also added that I should go
and be the rector of this college. I asked the bearer if His Majesty
had afforded a sum in aid of my travel expenses. He answered, "No, not
even in thought."
"Then, brother," I replied, "you can return to your China, post
haste or at whatever haste you are bound to go, as I am not fit for so
long a travel and, besides being ill, I am very much without money,
while Emperor for Emperor and Monarch for Monarch, I have at Naples
the great Count of Lemos, who, without so many petty titles of
colleges and rectorships, sustains me, protects me and does me more
favour than I can wish for."
Thus I gave him his leave and I beg mine from you, offering Your
Excellency the "Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda," a book I shall
finish within four months, Deo volente, and which will be either the
worst or the best that has been composed in our language, I mean of
those intended for entertainment; at which I repent of having called
it the worst, for, in the opinion of friends, it is bound to attain
the summit of possible quality. May Your Excellency return in such
health that is wished you; Persiles will be ready to kiss your hand
and I your feet, being as I am, Your Excellency's most humble servant.
From Madrid, this last day of October of the year one thousand six
hundred and fifteen.
At the service of Your Excellency:
MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA
THE AUTHOR'S PREFACE
Gof bless me, gentle (or it may be plebeian) reader, how eagerly
must thou be looking forward to this preface, expecting to find
there retaliation, scolding, and abuse against the author of the
second Don Quixote- I mean him who was, they say, begotten at
Tordesillas and born at Tarragona! Well then, the truth is, I am not
going to give thee that satisfaction; for, though injuries stir up
anger in humbler breasts, in mine the rule must admit of an exception.
Thou wouldst have me call him ass, fool, and malapert, but I have no
such intention; let his offence be his punishment, with his bread
let him eat it, and there's an end of it. What I cannot help taking
amiss is that he charges me with being old and one-handed, as if it
had been in my power to keep time from passing over me, or as if the
loss of my hand had been brought about in some tavern, and not on
the grandest occasion the past or present has seen, or the future
can hope to see. If my wounds have no beauty to the beholder's eye,
they are, at least, honourable in the estimation of those who know
where they were received; for the soldier shows to greater advantage
dead in battle than alive in flight; and so strongly is this my
feeling, that if now it were proposed to perform an impossibility
for me, I would rather have had my share in that mighty action, than
be free from my wounds this minute without having been present at
it. Those the soldier shows on his face and breast are stars that
direct others to the heaven of honour and ambition of merited
praise; and moreover it is to be observed that it is not with grey
hairs that one writes, but with the understanding, and that commonly
improves with years. I take it amiss, too, that he calls me envious,
and explains to me, as if I were ignorant, what envy is; for really
and truly, of the two kinds there are, I only know that which is holy,
noble, and high-minded; and if that be so, as it is, I am not likely
to attack a priest, above all if, in addition, he holds the rank of
familiar of the Holy Office. And if he said what he did on account
of him on whose behalf it seems he spoke, he is entirely mistaken; for
I worship the genius of that person, and admire his works and his
unceasing and strenuous industry. After all, I am grateful to this
gentleman, the author, for saying that my novels are more satirical
than exemplary, but that they are good; for they could not be that
unless there was a little of everything in them.
I suspect thou wilt say that I am taking a very humble line, and
keeping myself too much within the bounds of my moderation, from a
feeling that additional suffering should not be inflicted upon a
sufferer, and that what this gentleman has to endure must doubtless be
very great, as he does not dare to come out into the open field and
broad daylight, but hides his name and disguises his country as if
he had been guilty of some lese majesty. If perchance thou shouldst
come to know him, tell him from me that I do not hold myself
aggrieved; for I know well what the temptations of the devil are,
and that one of the greatest is putting it into a man's head that he
can write and print a book by which he will get as much fame as money,
and as much money as fame; and to prove it I will beg of you, in
your own sprightly, pleasant way, to tell him this story.
There was a madman in Seville who took to one of the drollest
absurdities and vagaries that ever madman in the world gave way to. It
was this: he made a tube of reed sharp at one end, and catching a
dog in the street, or wherever it might be, he with his foot held
one of its legs fast, and with his hand lifted up the other, and as
best he could fixed the tube where, by blowing, he made the dog as
round as a ball; then holding it in this position, he gave it a couple
of slaps on the belly, and let it go, saying to the bystanders (and
there were always plenty of them): "Do your worships think, now,
that it is an easy thing to blow up a dog?"- Does your worship think
now, that it is an easy thing to write a book?
And if this story does not suit him, you may, dear reader, tell
him this one, which is likewise of a madman and a dog.
In Cordova there was another madman, whose way it was to carry a
piece of marble slab or a stone, not of the lightest, on his head, and
when he came upon any unwary dog he used to draw close to him and
let the weight fall right on top of him; on which the dog in a rage,
barking and howling, would run three streets without stopping. It so
happened, however, that one of the dogs he discharged his load upon
was a cap-maker's dog, of which his master was very fond. The stone
came down hitting it on the head, the dog raised a yell at the blow,
the master saw the affair and was wroth, and snatching up a
measuring-yard rushed out at the madman and did not leave a sound bone
in his body, and at every stroke he gave him he said, "You dog, you
thief! my lurcher! Don't you see, you brute, that my dog is a
lurcher?" and so, repeating the word "lurcher" again and again, he
sent the madman away beaten to a jelly. The madman took the lesson
to heart, and vanished, and for more than a month never once showed
himself in public; but after that he came out again with his old trick
and a heavier load than ever. He came up to where there was a dog, and
examining it very carefully without venturing to let the stone fall,
he said: "This is a lurcher; ware!" In short, all the dogs he came
across, be they mastiffs or terriers, he said were lurchers; and he
discharged no more stones. Maybe it will be the same with this
historian; that he will not venture another time to discharge the
weight of his wit in books, which, being bad, are harder than
stones. Tell him, too, that I do not care a farthing for the threat he
holds out to me of depriving me of my profit by means of his book;
for, to borrow from the famous interlude of "The Perendenga," I say in
answer to him, "Long life to my lord the Veintiquatro, and Christ be
with us all." Long life to the great Conde de Lemos, whose Christian
charity and well-known generosity support me against all the strokes
of my curst fortune; and long life to the supreme benevolence of His
Eminence of Toledo, Don Bernardo de Sandoval y Rojas; and what
matter if there be no printing-presses in the world, or if they
print more books against me than there are letters in the verses of
Mingo Revulgo! These two princes, unsought by any adulation or
flattery of mine, of their own goodness alone, have taken it upon them
to show me kindness and protect me, and in this I consider myself
happier and richer than if Fortune had raised me to her greatest
height in the ordinary way. The poor man may retain honour, but not
the vicious; poverty may cast a cloud over nobility, but cannot hide
it altogether; and as virtue of itself sheds a certain light, even
though it be through the straits and chinks of penury, it wins the
esteem of lofty and noble spirits, and in consequence their
protection. Thou needst say no more to him, nor will I say anything
more to thee, save to tell thee to bear in mind that this Second
Part of "Don Quixote" which I offer thee is cut by the same
craftsman and from the same cloth as the First, and that in it I
present thee Don Quixote continued, and at length dead and buried,
so that no one may dare to bring forward any further evidence
against him, for that already produced is sufficient; and suffice
it, too, that some reputable person should have given an account of
all these shrewd lunacies of his without going into the matter
again; for abundance, even of good things, prevents them from being
valued; and scarcity, even in the case of what is bad, confers a
certain value. I was forgetting to tell thee that thou mayest expect
the "Persiles," which I am now finishing, and also the Second Part
OF THE INTERVIEW THE CURATE AND THE BARBER HAD WITH DON QUIXOTE
ABOUT HIS MALADY
Cide Hamete Benengeli, in the Second Part of this history, and third
sally of Don Quixote, says that the curate and the barber remained
nearly a month without seeing him, lest they should recall or bring
back to his recollection what had taken place. They did not,
however, omit to visit his niece and housekeeper, and charge them to
be careful to treat him with attention, and give him comforting things
to eat, and such as were good for the heart and the brain, whence,
it was plain to see, all his misfortune proceeded. The niece and
housekeeper replied that they did so, and meant to do so with all
possible care and assiduity, for they could perceive that their master
was now and then beginning to show signs of being in his right mind.
This gave great satisfaction to the curate and the barber, for they
concluded they had taken the right course in carrying him off
enchanted on the ox-cart, as has been described in the First Part of
this great as well as accurate history, in the last chapter thereof.
So they resolved to pay him a visit and test the improvement in his
condition, although they thought it almost impossible that there could
be any; and they agreed not to touch upon any point connected with
knight-errantry so as not to run the risk of reopening wounds which
were still so tender.
They came to see him consequently, and found him sitting up in bed
in a green baize waistcoat and a red Toledo cap, and so withered and
dried up that he looked as if he had been turned into a mummy. They
were very cordially received by him; they asked him after his
health, and he talked to them about himself very naturally and in very
well-chosen language. In the course of their conversation they fell to
discussing what they call State-craft and systems of government,
correcting this abuse and condemning that, reforming one practice
and abolishing another, each of the three setting up for a new
legislator, a modern Lycurgus, or a brand-new Solon; and so completely
did they remodel the State, that they seemed to have thrust it into
a furnace and taken out something quite different from what they had
put in; and on all the subjects they dealt with, Don Quixote spoke
with such good sense that the pair of examiners were fully convinced
that he was quite recovered and in his full senses.
The niece and housekeeper were present at the conversation and could
not find words enough to express their thanks to God at seeing their
master so clear in his mind; the curate, however, changing his
original plan, which was to avoid touching upon matters of chivalry,
resolved to test Don Quixote's recovery thoroughly, and see whether it
were genuine or not; and so, from one subject to another, he came at
last to talk of the news that had come from the capital, and, among
other things, he said it was considered certain that the Turk was
coming down with a powerful fleet, and that no one knew what his
purpose was, or when the great storm would burst; and that all
Christendom was in apprehension of this, which almost every year calls
us to arms, and that his Majesty had made provision for the security
of the coasts of Naples and Sicily and the island of Malta.
To this Don Quixote replied, "His Majesty has acted like a prudent
warrior in providing for the safety of his realms in time, so that the
enemy may not find him unprepared; but if my advice were taken I would
recommend him to adopt a measure which at present, no doubt, his
Majesty is very far from thinking of."
The moment the curate heard this he said to himself, "God keep
thee in his hand, poor Don Quixote, for it seems to me thou art
precipitating thyself from the height of thy madness into the profound
abyss of thy simplicity."
But the barber, who had the same suspicion as the curate, asked
Don Quixote what would be his advice as to the measures that he said
ought to be adopted; for perhaps it might prove to be one that would
have to be added to the list of the many impertinent suggestions
that people were in the habit of offering to princes.
"Mine, master shaver," said Don Quixote, "will not be impertinent,
but, on the contrary, pertinent."
"I don't mean that," said the barber, "but that experience has shown
that all or most of the expedients which are proposed to his Majesty
are either impossible, or absurd, or injurious to the King and to
"Mine, however," replied Don Quixote, "is neither impossible nor
absurd, but the easiest, the most reasonable, the readiest and most
expeditious that could suggest itself to any projector's mind."
"You take a long time to tell it, Senor Don Quixote," said the
"I don't choose to tell it here, now," said Don Quixote, "and have
it reach the ears of the lords of the council to-morrow morning, and
some other carry off the thanks and rewards of my trouble."
"For my part," said the barber, "I give my word here and before
God that I will not repeat what your worship says, to King, Rook or
earthly man- an oath I learned from the ballad of the curate, who,
in the prelude, told the king of the thief who had robbed him of the
hundred gold crowns and his pacing mule."
"I am not versed in stories," said Don Quixote; "but I know the oath
is a good one, because I know the barber to be an honest fellow."
"Even if he were not," said the curate, "I will go bail and answer
for him that in this matter he will be as silent as a dummy, under
pain of paying any penalty that may be pronounced."
"And who will be security for you, senor curate?" said Don Quixote.
"My profession," replied the curate, "which is to keep secrets."
"Ods body!" said Don Quixote at this, "what more has his Majesty
to do but to command, by public proclamation, all the knights-errant
that are scattered over Spain to assemble on a fixed day in the
capital, for even if no more than half a dozen come, there may be
one among them who alone will suffice to destroy the entire might of
the Turk. Give me your attention and follow me. Is it, pray, any new
thing for a single knight-errant to demolish an army of two hundred
thousand men, as if they all had but one throat or were made of
sugar paste? Nay, tell me, how many histories are there filled with
these marvels? If only (in an evil hour for me: I don't speak for
anyone else) the famous Don Belianis were alive now, or any one of the
innumerable progeny of Amadis of Gaul! If any these were alive
today, and were to come face to face with the Turk, by my faith, I
would not give much for the Turk's chance. But God will have regard
for his people, and will provide some one, who, if not so valiant as
the knights-errant of yore, at least will not be inferior to them in
spirit; but God knows what I mean, and I say no more."
"Alas!" exclaimed the niece at this, "may I die if my master does
not want to turn knight-errant again;" to which Don Quixote replied,
"A knight-errant I shall die, and let the Turk come down or go up when
he likes, and in as strong force as he can, once more I say, God knows
what I mean." But here the barber said, "I ask your worships to give
me leave to tell a short story of something that happened in
Seville, which comes so pat to the purpose just now that I should like
greatly to tell it." Don Quixote gave him leave, and the rest prepared
to listen, and he began thus:
"In the madhouse at Seville there was a man whom his relations had
placed there as being out of his mind. He was a graduate of Osuna in
canon law; but even if he had been of Salamanca, it was the opinion of
most people that he would have been mad all the same. This graduate,
after some years of confinement, took it into his head that he was
sane and in his full senses, and under this impression wrote to the
Archbishop, entreating him earnestly, and in very correct language, to
have him released from the misery in which he was living; for by God's
mercy he had now recovered his lost reason, though his relations, in
order to enjoy his property, kept him there, and, in spite of the
truth, would make him out to be mad until his dying day. The
Archbishop, moved by repeated sensible, well-written letters, directed
one of his chaplains to make inquiry of the madhouse as to the truth
of the licentiate's statements, and to have an interview with the
madman himself, and, if it should appear that he was in his senses, to
take him out and restore him to liberty. The chaplain did so, and
the governor assured him that the man was still mad, and that though
he often spoke like a highly intelligent person, he would in the end
break out into nonsense that in quantity and quality counterbalanced
all the sensible things he had said before, as might be easily
tested by talking to him. The chaplain resolved to try the experiment,
and obtaining access to the madman conversed with him for an hour or
more, during the whole of which time he never uttered a word that
was incoherent or absurd, but, on the contrary, spoke so rationally
that the chaplain was compelled to believe him to be sane. Among other
things, he said the governor was against him, not to lose the presents
his relations made him for reporting him still mad but with lucid
intervals; and that the worst foe he had in his misfortune was his
large property; for in order to enjoy it his enemies disparaged and
threw doubts upon the mercy our Lord had shown him in turning him from
a brute beast into a man. In short, he spoke in such a way that he
cast suspicion on the governor, and made his relations appear covetous
and heartless, and himself so rational that the chaplain determined to
take him away with him that the Archbishop might see him, and
ascertain for himself the truth of the matter. Yielding to this
conviction, the worthy chaplain begged the governor to have the
clothes in which the licentiate had entered the house given to him.
The governor again bade him beware of what he was doing, as the
licentiate was beyond a doubt still mad; but all his cautions and
warnings were unavailing to dissuade the chaplain from taking him
away. The governor, seeing that it was the order of the Archbishop,
obeyed, and they dressed the licentiate in his own clothes, which were
new and decent. He, as soon as he saw himself clothed like one in
his senses, and divested of the appearance of a madman, entreated
the chaplain to permit him in charity to go and take leave of his
comrades the madmen. The chaplain said he would go with him to see
what madmen there were in the house; so they went upstairs, and with
them some of those who were present. Approaching a cage in which there
was a furious madman, though just at that moment calm and quiet, the
licentiate said to him, 'Brother, think if you have any commands for
me, for I am going home, as God has been pleased, in his infinite
goodness and mercy, without any merit of mine, to restore me my
reason. I am now cured and in my senses, for with God's power
nothing is impossible. Have strong hope and trust in him, for as he
has restored me to my original condition, so likewise he will
restore you if you trust in him. I will take care to send you some
good things to eat; and be sure you eat them; for I would have you
know I am convinced, as one who has gone through it, that all this
madness of ours comes of having the stomach empty and the brains
full of wind. Take courage! take courage! for despondency in
misfortune breaks down health and brings on death.'
"To all these words of the licentiate another madman in a cage
opposite that of the furious one was listening; and raising himself up
from an old mat on which he lay stark naked, he asked in a loud
voice who it was that was going away cured and in his senses. The
licentiate answered, 'It is I, brother, who am going; I have now no
need to remain here any longer, for which I return infinite thanks
to Heaven that has had so great mercy upon me.'
"'Mind what you are saying, licentiate; don't let the devil
deceive you,' replied the madman. 'Keep quiet, stay where you are, and
you will save yourself the trouble of coming back.'
"'I know I am cured,' returned the licentiate, 'and that I shall not
have to go stations again.'
"'You cured!' said the madman; 'well, we shall see; God be with you;
but I swear to you by Jupiter, whose majesty I represent on earth,
that for this crime alone, which Seville is committing to-day in
releasing you from this house, and treating you as if you were in your
senses, I shall have to inflict such a punishment on it as will be
remembered for ages and ages, amen. Dost thou not know, thou miserable
little licentiate, that I can do it, being, as I say, Jupiter the
Thunderer, who hold in my hands the fiery bolts with which I am able
and am wont to threaten and lay waste the world? But in one way only
will I punish this ignorant town, and that is by not raining upon
it, nor on any part of its district or territory, for three whole
years, to be reckoned from the day and moment when this threat is
pronounced. Thou free, thou cured, thou in thy senses! and I mad, I
disordered, I bound! I will as soon think of sending rain as of
"Those present stood listening to the words and exclamations of
the madman; but our licentiate, turning to the chaplain and seizing
him by the hands, said to him, 'Be not uneasy, senor; attach no
importance to what this madman has said; for if he is Jupiter and will
not send rain, I, who am Neptune, the father and god of the waters,
will rain as often as it pleases me and may be needful.'
"The governor and the bystanders laughed, and at their laughter
the chaplain was half ashamed, and he replied, 'For all that, Senor
Neptune, it will not do to vex Senor Jupiter; remain where you are,
and some other day, when there is a better opportunity and more
time, we will come back for you.' So they stripped the licentiate, and
he was left where he was; and that's the end of the story."
"So that's the story, master barber," said Don Quixote, "which
came in so pat to the purpose that you could not help telling it?
Master shaver, master shaver! how blind is he who cannot see through a
sieve. Is it possible that you do not know that comparisons of wit
with wit, valour with valour, beauty with beauty, birth with birth,
are always odious and unwelcome? I, master barber, am not Neptune, the
god of the waters, nor do I try to make anyone take me for an astute
man, for I am not one. My only endeavour is to convince the world of
the mistake it makes in not reviving in itself the happy time when the
order of knight-errantry was in the field. But our depraved age does
not deserve to enjoy such a blessing as those ages enjoyed when
knights-errant took upon their shoulders the defence of kingdoms,
the protection of damsels, the succour of orphans and minors, the
chastisement of the proud, and the recompense of the humble. With
the knights of these days, for the most part, it is the damask,
brocade, and rich stuffs they wear, that rustle as they go, not the
chain mail of their armour; no knight now-a-days sleeps in the open
field exposed to the inclemency of heaven, and in full panoply from
head to foot; no one now takes a nap, as they call it, without drawing
his feet out of the stirrups, and leaning upon his lance, as the
knights-errant used to do; no one now, issuing from the wood,
penetrates yonder mountains, and then treads the barren, lonely
shore of the sea- mostly a tempestuous and stormy one- and finding
on the beach a little bark without oars, sail, mast, or tackling of
any kind, in the intrepidity of his heart flings himself into it and
commits himself to the wrathful billows of the deep sea, that one
moment lift him up to heaven and the next plunge him into the
depths; and opposing his breast to the irresistible gale, finds
himself, when he least expects it, three thousand leagues and more
away from the place where he embarked; and leaping ashore in a
remote and unknown land has adventures that deserve to be written, not
on parchment, but on brass. But now sloth triumphs over energy,
indolence over exertion, vice over virtue, arrogance over courage, and
theory over practice in arms, which flourished and shone only in the
golden ages and in knights-errant. For tell me, who was more
virtuous and more valiant than the famous Amadis of Gaul? Who more
discreet than Palmerin of England? Who more gracious and easy than
Tirante el Blanco? Who more courtly than Lisuarte of Greece? Who
more slashed or slashing than Don Belianis? Who more intrepid than
Perion of Gaul? Who more ready to face danger than Felixmarte of
Hircania? Who more sincere than Esplandian? Who more impetuous than
Don Cirongilio of Thrace? Who more bold than Rodamonte? Who more
prudent than King Sobrino? Who more daring than Reinaldos? Who more
invincible than Roland? and who more gallant and courteous than
Ruggiero, from whom the dukes of Ferrara of the present day are
descended, according to Turpin in his 'Cosmography.' All these
knights, and many more that I could name, senor curate, were
knights-errant, the light and glory of chivalry. These, or such as
these, I would have to carry out my plan, and in that case his Majesty
would find himself well served and would save great expense, and the
Turk would be left tearing his beard. And so I will stay where I am,
as the chaplain does not take me away; and if Jupiter, as the barber
has told us, will not send rain, here am I, and I will rain when I
please. I say this that Master Basin may know that I understand him."
"Indeed, Senor Don Quixote," said the barber, "I did not mean it
in that way, and, so help me God, my intention was good, and your
worship ought not to be vexed."
"As to whether I ought to be vexed or not," returned Don Quixote, "I
myself am the best judge."
Hereupon the curate observed, "I have hardly said a word as yet; and
I would gladly be relieved of a doubt, arising from what Don Quixote
has said, that worries and works my conscience."
"The senor curate has leave for more than that," returned Don
Quixote, "so he may declare his doubt, for it is not pleasant to
have a doubt on one's conscience."
"Well then, with that permission," said the curate, "I say my
doubt is that, all I can do, I cannot persuade myself that the whole
pack of knights-errant you, Senor Don Quixote, have mentioned, were
really and truly persons of flesh and blood, that ever lived in the
world; on the contrary, I suspect it to be all fiction, fable, and
falsehood, and dreams told by men awakened from sleep, or rather still
"That is another mistake," replied Don Quixote, "into which many
have fallen who do not believe that there ever were such knights in
the world, and I have often, with divers people and on divers
occasions, tried to expose this almost universal error to the light of
truth. Sometimes I have not been successful in my purpose, sometimes I
have, supporting it upon the shoulders of the truth; which truth is so
clear that I can almost say I have with my own eyes seen Amadis of
Gaul, who was a man of lofty stature, fair complexion, with a handsome
though black beard, of a countenance between gentle and stern in
expression, sparing of words, slow to anger, and quick to put it
away from him; and as I have depicted Amadis, so I could, I think,
portray and describe all the knights-errant that are in all the
histories in the world; for by the perception I have that they were
what their histories describe, and by the deeds they did and the
dispositions they displayed, it is possible, with the aid of sound
philosophy, to deduce their features, complexion, and stature."
"How big, in your worship's opinion, may the giant Morgante have
been, Senor Don Quixote?" asked the barber.
"With regard to giants," replied Don Quixote, "opinions differ as to
whether there ever were any or not in the world; but the Holy
Scripture, which cannot err by a jot from the truth, shows us that
there were, when it gives us the history of that big Philistine,
Goliath, who was seven cubits and a half in height, which is a huge
size. Likewise, in the island of Sicily, there have been found
leg-bones and arm-bones so large that their size makes it plain that
their owners were giants, and as tall as great towers; geometry puts
this fact beyond a doubt. But, for all that, I cannot speak with
certainty as to the size of Morgante, though I suspect he cannot
have been very tall; and I am inclined to be of this opinion because I
find in the history in which his deeds are particularly mentioned,
that he frequently slept under a roof and as he found houses to
contain him, it is clear that his bulk could not have been anything
"That is true," said the curate, and yielding to the enjoyment of
hearing such nonsense, he asked him what was his notion of the
features of Reinaldos of Montalban, and Don Roland and the rest of the
Twelve Peers of France, for they were all knights-errant.
"As for Reinaldos," replied Don Quixote, "I venture to say that he
was broad-faced, of ruddy complexion, with roguish and somewhat
prominent eyes, excessively punctilious and touchy, and given to the
society of thieves and scapegraces. With regard to Roland, or
Rotolando, or Orlando (for the histories call him by all these names),
I am of opinion, and hold, that he was of middle height,
broad-shouldered, rather bow-legged, swarthy-complexioned,
red-bearded, with a hairy body and a severe expression of countenance,
a man of few words, but very polite and well-bred."
"If Roland was not a more graceful person than your worship has
described," said the curate, "it is no wonder that the fair Lady
Angelica rejected him and left him for the gaiety, liveliness, and
grace of that budding-bearded little Moor to whom she surrendered
herself; and she showed her sense in falling in love with the gentle
softness of Medoro rather than the roughness of Roland."
"That Angelica, senor curate," returned Don Quixote, "was a giddy
damsel, flighty and somewhat wanton, and she left the world as full of
her vagaries as of the fame of her beauty. She treated with scorn a
thousand gentlemen, men of valour and wisdom, and took up with a
smooth-faced sprig of a page, without fortune or fame, except such
reputation for gratitude as the affection he bore his friend got for
him. The great poet who sang her beauty, the famous Ariosto, not
caring to sing her adventures after her contemptible surrender
(which probably were not over and above creditable), dropped her where
How she received the sceptre of Cathay,
Some bard of defter quill may sing some day;
and this was no doubt a kind of prophecy, for poets are also called
vates, that is to say diviners; and its truth was made plain; for
since then a famous Andalusian poet has lamented and sung her tears,
and another famous and rare poet, a Castilian, has sung her beauty."
"Tell me, Senor Don Quixote," said the barber here, "among all those
who praised her, has there been no poet to write a satire on this Lady
"I can well believe," replied Don Quixote, "that if Sacripante or
Roland had been poets they would have given the damsel a trimming; for
it is naturally the way with poets who have been scorned and
rejected by their ladies, whether fictitious or not, in short by those
whom they select as the ladies of their thoughts, to avenge themselves
in satires and libels- a vengeance, to be sure, unworthy of generous
hearts; but up to the present I have not heard of any defamatory verse
against the Lady Angelica, who turned the world upside down."
"Strange," said the curate; but at this moment they heard the
housekeeper and the niece, who had previously withdrawn from the
conversation, exclaiming aloud in the courtyard, and at the noise they
all ran out.
WHICH TREATS OF THE NOTABLE ALTERCATION WHICH SANCHO PANZA HAD
WITH DON QUIXOTE'S NIECE, AND HOUSEKEEPER, TOGETHER WITH OTHER DROLL
The history relates that the outcry Don Quixote, the curate, and the
barber heard came from the niece and the housekeeper exclaiming to
Sancho, who was striving to force his way in to see Don Quixote
while they held the door against him, "What does the vagabond want
in this house? Be off to your own, brother, for it is you, and no
one else, that delude my master, and lead him astray, and take him
tramping about the country."
To which Sancho replied, "Devil's own housekeeper! it is I who am
deluded, and led astray, and taken tramping about the country, and not
thy master! He has carried me all over the world, and you are mightily
mistaken. He enticed me away from home by a trick, promising me an
island, which I am still waiting for."
"May evil islands choke thee, thou detestable Sancho," said the
niece; "What are islands? Is it something to eat, glutton and
gormandiser that thou art?"
"It is not something to eat," replied Sancho, "but something to
govern and rule, and better than four cities or four judgeships at
"For all that," said the housekeeper, "you don't enter here, you bag
of mischief and sack of knavery; go govern your house and dig your
seed-patch, and give over looking for islands or shylands."
The curate and the barber listened with great amusement to the words
of the three; but Don Quixote, uneasy lest Sancho should blab and
blurt out a whole heap of mischievous stupidities, and touch upon
points that might not be altogether to his credit, called to him and
made the other two hold their tongues and let him come in. Sancho
entered, and the curate and the barber took their leave of Don
Quixote, of whose recovery they despaired when they saw how wedded
he was to his crazy ideas, and how saturated with the nonsense of
his unlucky chivalry; and said the curate to the barber, "You will
see, gossip, that when we are least thinking of it, our gentleman will
be off once more for another flight."
"I have no doubt of it," returned the barber; "but I do not wonder
so much at the madness of the knight as at the simplicity of the
squire, who has such a firm belief in all that about the island,
that I suppose all the exposures that could be imagined would not
get it out of his head."
"God help them," said the curate; "and let us be on the look-out
to see what comes of all these absurdities of the knight and squire,
for it seems as if they had both been cast in the same mould, and
the madness of the master without the simplicity of the man would
not be worth a farthing."
"That is true," said the barber, "and I should like very much to
know what the pair are talking about at this moment."
"I promise you," said the curate, "the niece or the housekeeper will
tell us by-and-by, for they are not the ones to forget to listen."
Meanwhile Don Quixote shut himself up in his room with Sancho, and
when they were alone he said to him, "It grieves me greatly, Sancho,
that thou shouldst have said, and sayest, that I took thee out of
thy cottage, when thou knowest I did not remain in my house. We
sallied forth together, we took the road together, we wandered
abroad together; we have had the same fortune and the same luck; if
they blanketed thee once, they belaboured me a hundred times, and that
is the only advantage I have of thee."
"That was only reasonable," replied Sancho, "for, by what your
worship says, misfortunes belong more properly to knights-errant
than to their squires."
"Thou art mistaken, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "according to the
maxim quando caput dolet, &c."
"I don't understand any language but my own," said Sancho.
"I mean to say," said Don Quixote, "that when the head suffers all
the members suffer; and so, being thy lord and master, I am thy
head, and thou a part of me as thou art my servant; and therefore
any evil that affects or shall affect me should give thee pain, and
what affects thee give pain to me."
"It should be so," said Sancho; "but when I was blanketed as a
member, my head was on the other side of the wall, looking on while
I was flying through the air, and did not feel any pain whatever;
and if the members are obliged to feel the suffering of the head, it
should be obliged to feel their sufferings."
"Dost thou mean to say now, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that I did
not feel when they were blanketing thee? If thou dost, thou must not
say so or think so, for I felt more pain then in spirit than thou
didst in body. But let us put that aside for the present, for we shall
have opportunities enough for considering and settling the point; tell
me, Sancho my friend, what do they say about me in the village here?
What do the common people think of me? What do the hidalgos? What do
the caballeros? What do they say of my valour; of my achievements;
of my courtesy? How do they treat the task I have undertaken in
reviving and restoring to the world the now forgotten order of
chivalry? In short, Sancho, I would have thee tell me all that has
come to thine ears on this subject; and thou art to tell me, without
adding anything to the good or taking away anything from the bad;
for it is the duty of loyal vassals to tell the truth to their lords
just as it is and in its proper shape, not allowing flattery to add to
it or any idle deference to lessen it. And I would have thee know,
Sancho, that if the naked truth, undisguised by flattery, came to
the ears of princes, times would be different, and other ages would be
reckoned iron ages more than ours, which I hold to be the golden of
these latter days. Profit by this advice, Sancho, and report to me
clearly and faithfully the truth of what thou knowest touching what
I have demanded of thee."
"That I will do with all my heart, master," replied Sancho,
"provided your worship will not be vexed at what I say, as you wish me
to say it out in all its nakedness, without putting any more clothes
on it than it came to my knowledge in."
"I will not be vexed at all," returned Don Quixote; "thou mayest
speak freely, Sancho, and without any beating about the bush."
"Well then," said he, "first of all, I have to tell you that the
common people consider your worship a mighty great madman, and me no
less a fool. The hidalgos say that, not keeping within the bounds of
your quality of gentleman, you have assumed the 'Don,' and made a
knight of yourself at a jump, with four vine-stocks and a couple of
acres of land, and never a shirt to your back. The caballeros say they
do not want to have hidalgos setting up in opposition to them,
particularly squire hidalgos who polish their own shoes and darn their
black stockings with green silk."
"That," said Don Quixote, "does not apply to me, for I always go
well dressed and never patched; ragged I may be, but ragged more
from the wear and tear of arms than of time."
"As to your worship's valour, courtesy, accomplishments, and task,
there is a variety of opinions. Some say, 'mad but droll;' others,
'valiant but unlucky;' others, 'courteous but meddling,' and then they
go into such a number of things that they don't leave a whole bone
either in your worship or in myself."
"Recollect, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "that wherever virtue
exists in an eminent degree it is persecuted. Few or none of the
famous men that have lived escaped being calumniated by malice. Julius
Caesar, the boldest, wisest, and bravest of captains, was charged with
being ambitious, and not particularly cleanly in his dress, or pure in
his morals. Of Alexander, whose deeds won him the name of Great,
they say that he was somewhat of a drunkard. Of Hercules, him of the
many labours, it is said that he was lewd and luxurious. Of Don
Galaor, the brother of Amadis of Gaul, it was whispered that he was
over quarrelsome, and of his brother that he was lachrymose. So
that, O Sancho, amongst all these calumnies against good men, mine may
be let pass, since they are no more than thou hast said."
"That's just where it is, body of my father!"
"Is there more, then?" asked Don Quixote.
"There's the tail to be skinned yet," said Sancho; "all so far is
cakes and fancy bread; but if your worship wants to know all about the
calumnies they bring against you, I will fetch you one this instant
who can tell you the whole of them without missing an atom; for last
night the son of Bartholomew Carrasco, who has been studying at
Salamanca, came home after having been made a bachelor, and when I
went to welcome him, he told me that your worship's history is already
abroad in books, with the title of THE INGENIOUS GENTLEMAN DON QUIXOTE
OF LA MANCHA; and he says they mention me in it by my own name of
Sancho Panza, and the lady Dulcinea del Toboso too, and divers
things that happened to us when we were alone; so that I crossed
myself in my wonder how the historian who wrote them down could have
"I promise thee, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "the author of our
history will be some sage enchanter; for to such nothing that they
choose to write about is hidden."
"What!" said Sancho, "a sage and an enchanter! Why, the bachelor
Samson Carrasco (that is the name of him I spoke of) says the author
of the history is called Cide Hamete Berengena."
"That is a Moorish name," said Don Quixote.
"May be so," replied Sancho; "for I have heard say that the Moors
are mostly great lovers of berengenas."
"Thou must have mistaken the surname of this 'Cide'- which means
in Arabic 'Lord'- Sancho," observed Don Quixote.
"Very likely," replied Sancho, "but if your worship wishes me to
fetch the bachelor I will go for him in a twinkling."
"Thou wilt do me a great pleasure, my friend," said Don Quixote,
"for what thou hast told me has amazed me, and I shall not eat a
morsel that will agree with me until I have heard all about it."
"Then I am off for him," said Sancho; and leaving his master he went
in quest of the bachelor, with whom he returned in a short time,
and, all three together, they had a very droll colloquy.
OF THE LAUGHABLE CONVERSATION THAT PASSED BETWEEN DON QUIXOTE,
SANCHO PANZA, AND THE BACHELOR SAMSON CARRASCO
Don Quixote remained very deep in thought, waiting for the
bachelor Carrasco, from whom he was to hear how he himself had been
put into a book as Sancho said; and he could not persuade himself that
any such history could be in existence, for the blood of the enemies
he had slain was not yet dry on the blade of his sword, and now they
wanted to make out that his mighty achievements were going about in
print. For all that, he fancied some sage, either a friend or an
enemy, might, by the aid of magic, have given them to the press; if
a friend, in order to magnify and exalt them above the most famous
ever achieved by any knight-errant; if an enemy, to bring them to
naught and degrade them below the meanest ever recorded of any low
squire, though as he said to himself, the achievements of squires
never were recorded. If, however, it were the fact that such a history
were in existence, it must necessarily, being the story of a
knight-errant, be grandiloquent, lofty, imposing, grand and true. With
this he comforted himself somewhat, though it made him uncomfortable
to think that the author was a Moor, judging by the title of "Cide;"
and that no truth was to be looked for from Moors, as they are all
impostors, cheats, and schemers. He was afraid he might have dealt
with his love affairs in some indecorous fashion, that might tend to
the discredit and prejudice of the purity of his lady Dulcinea del
Toboso; he would have had him set forth the fidelity and respect he
had always observed towards her, spurning queens, empresses, and
damsels of all sorts, and keeping in check the impetuosity of his
natural impulses. Absorbed and wrapped up in these and divers other
cogitations, he was found by Sancho and Carrasco, whom Don Quixote
received with great courtesy.
The bachelor, though he was called Samson, was of no great bodily
size, but he was a very great wag; he was of a sallow complexion,
but very sharp-witted, somewhere about four-and-twenty years of age,
with a round face, a flat nose, and a large mouth, all indications
of a mischievous disposition and a love of fun and jokes; and of
this he gave a sample as soon as he saw Don Quixote, by falling on his
knees before him and saying, "Let me kiss your mightiness's hand,
Senor Don Quixote of La Mancha, for, by the habit of St. Peter that
I wear, though I have no more than the first four orders, your worship
is one of the most famous knights-errant that have ever been, or
will be, all the world over. A blessing on Cide Hamete Benengeli,
who has written the history of your great deeds, and a double blessing
on that connoisseur who took the trouble of having it translated out
of the Arabic into our Castilian vulgar tongue for the universal
entertainment of the people!"
Don Quixote made him rise, and said, "So, then, it is true that
there is a history of me, and that it was a Moor and a sage who
"So true is it, senor," said Samson, "that my belief is there are
more than twelve thousand volumes of the said history in print this
very day. Only ask Portugal, Barcelona, and Valencia, where they
have been printed, and moreover there is a report that it is being
printed at Antwerp, and I am persuaded there will not be a country
or language in which there will not be a translation of it."
"One of the things," here observed Don Quixote, "that ought to
give most pleasure to a virtuous and eminent man is to find himself in
his lifetime in print and in type, familiar in people's mouths with
a good name; I say with a good name, for if it be the opposite, then
there is no death to be compared to it."
"If it goes by good name and fame," said the bachelor, "your worship
alone bears away the palm from all the knights-errant; for the Moor in
his own language, and the Christian in his, have taken care to set
before us your gallantry, your high courage in encountering dangers,
your fortitude in adversity, your patience under misfortunes as well
as wounds, the purity and continence of the platonic loves of your
worship and my lady Dona Dulcinea del Toboso-"
"I never heard my lady Dulcinea called Dona," observed Sancho
here; "nothing more than the lady Dulcinea del Toboso; so here already
the history is wrong."
"That is not an objection of any importance," replied Carrasco.
"Certainly not," said Don Quixote; "but tell me, senor bachelor,
what deeds of mine are they that are made most of in this history?"
"On that point," replied the bachelor, "opinions differ, as tastes
do; some swear by the adventure of the windmills that your worship
took to be Briareuses and giants; others by that of the fulling mills;
one cries up the description of the two armies that afterwards took
the appearance of two droves of sheep; another that of the dead body
on its way to be buried at Segovia; a third says the liberation of the
galley slaves is the best of all, and a fourth that nothing comes up
to the affair with the Benedictine giants, and the battle with the
"Tell me, senor bachelor," said Sancho at this point, "does the
adventure with the Yanguesans come in, when our good Rocinante went
hankering after dainties?"
"The sage has left nothing in the ink-bottle," replied Samson; "he
tells all and sets down everything, even to the capers that worthy
Sancho cut in the blanket."
"I cut no capers in the blanket," returned Sancho; "in the air I
did, and more of them than I liked."
"There is no human history in the world, I suppose," said Don
Quixote, "that has not its ups and downs, but more than others such as
deal with chivalry, for they can never be entirely made up of
"For all that," replied the bachelor, "there are those who have read
the history who say they would have been glad if the author had left
out some of the countless cudgellings that were inflicted on Senor Don
Quixote in various encounters."
"That's where the truth of the history comes in," said Sancho.
"At the same time they might fairly have passed them over in
silence," observed Don Quixote; "for there is no need of recording
events which do not change or affect the truth of a history, if they
tend to bring the hero of it into contempt. AEneas was not in truth
and earnest so pious as Virgil represents him, nor Ulysses so wise
as Homer describes him."
"That is true," said Samson; "but it is one thing to write as a
poet, another to write as a historian; the poet may describe or sing
things, not as they were, but as they ought to have been; but the
historian has to write them down, not as they ought to have been,
but as they were, without adding anything to the truth or taking
anything from it."
"Well then," said Sancho, "if this senor Moor goes in for telling
the truth, no doubt among my master's drubbings mine are to be
found; for they never took the measure of his worship's shoulders
without doing the same for my whole body; but I have no right to
wonder at that, for, as my master himself says, the members must share
the pain of the head."
"You are a sly dog, Sancho," said Don Quixote; "i' faith, you have
no want of memory when you choose to remember."
"If I were to try to forget the thwacks they gave me," said
Sancho, "my weals would not let me, for they are still fresh on my
"Hush, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and don't interrupt the bachelor,
whom I entreat to go on and tell all that is said about me in this
"And about me," said Sancho, "for they say, too, that I am one of
the principal presonages in it."
"Personages, not presonages, friend Sancho," said Samson.
"What! Another word-catcher!" said Sancho; "if that's to be the
way we shall not make an end in a lifetime."
"May God shorten mine, Sancho," returned the bachelor, "if you are
not the second person in the history, and there are even some who
would rather hear you talk than the cleverest in the whole book;
though there are some, too, who say you showed yourself over-credulous
in believing there was any possibility in the government of that
island offered you by Senor Don Quixote."
"There is still sunshine on the wall," said Don Quixote; "and when
Sancho is somewhat more advanced in life, with the experience that
years bring, he will be fitter and better qualified for being a
governor than he is at present."
"By God, master," said Sancho, "the island that I cannot govern with
the years I have, I'll not be able to govern with the years of
Methuselah; the difficulty is that the said island keeps its
distance somewhere, I know not where; and not that there is any want
of head in me to govern it."
"Leave it to God, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "for all will be and
perhaps better than you think; no leaf on the tree stirs but by
"That is true," said Samson; "and if it be God's will, there will
not be any want of a thousand islands, much less one, for Sancho to
"I have seen governors in these parts," said Sancho, "that are not
to be compared to my shoe-sole; and for all that they are called 'your
lordship' and served on silver."
"Those are not governors of islands," observed Samson, "but of other
governments of an easier kind: those that govern islands must at least
"I could manage the gram well enough," said Sancho; "but for the mar
I have neither leaning nor liking, for I don't know what it is; but
leaving this matter of the government in God's hands, to send me
wherever it may be most to his service, I may tell you, senor bachelor
Samson Carrasco, it has pleased me beyond measure that the author of
this history should have spoken of me in such a way that what is
said of me gives no offence; for, on the faith of a true squire, if he
had said anything about me that was at all unbecoming an old
Christian, such as I am, the deaf would have heard of it."
"That would be working miracles," said Samson.
"Miracles or no miracles," said Sancho, "let everyone mind how he
speaks or writes about people, and not set down at random the first
thing that comes into his head."
"One of the faults they find with this history," said the
bachelor, "is that its author inserted in it a novel called 'The
Ill-advised Curiosity;' not that it is bad or ill-told, but that it is
out of place and has nothing to do with the history of his worship
Senor Don Quixote."
"I will bet the son of a dog has mixed the cabbages and the
baskets," said Sancho.
"Then, I say," said Don Quixote, "the author of my history was no
sage, but some ignorant chatterer, who, in a haphazard and heedless
way, set about writing it, let it turn out as it might, just as
Orbaneja, the painter of Ubeda, used to do, who, when they asked him
what he was painting, answered, 'What it may turn out.' Sometimes he
would paint a cock in such a fashion, and so unlike, that he had to
write alongside of it in Gothic letters, 'This is a cock; and so it
will be with my history, which will require a commentary to make it
"No fear of that," returned Samson, "for it is so plain that there
is nothing in it to puzzle over; the children turn its leaves, the
young people read it, the grown men understand it, the old folk praise
it; in a word, it is so thumbed, and read, and got by heart by
people of all sorts, that the instant they see any lean hack, they
say, 'There goes Rocinante.' And those that are most given to
reading it are the pages, for there is not a lord's ante-chamber where
there is not a 'Don Quixote' to be found; one takes it up if another
lays it down; this one pounces upon it, and that begs for it. In
short, the said history is the most delightful and least injurious
entertainment that has been hitherto seen, for there is not to be
found in the whole of it even the semblance of an immodest word, or
a thought that is other than Catholic."
"To write in any other way," said Don Quixote, "would not be to
write truth, but falsehood, and historians who have recourse to
falsehood ought to be burned, like those who coin false money; and I
know not what could have led the author to have recourse to novels and
irrelevant stories, when he had so much to write about in mine; no
doubt he must have gone by the proverb 'with straw or with hay,
&c.,' for by merely setting forth my thoughts, my sighs, my tears,
my lofty purposes, my enterprises, he might have made a volume as
large, or larger than all the works of El Tostado would make up. In
fact, the conclusion I arrive at, senor bachelor, is, that to write
histories, or books of any kind, there is need of great judgment and a
ripe understanding. To give expression to humour, and write in a
strain of graceful pleasantry, is the gift of great geniuses. The
cleverest character in comedy is the clown, for he who would make
people take him for a fool, must not be one. History is in a measure a
sacred thing, for it should be true, and where the truth is, there God
is; but notwithstanding this, there are some who write and fling books
broadcast on the world as if they were fritters."
"There is no book so bad but it has something good in it," said
"No doubt of that," replied Don Quixote; "but it often happens
that those who have acquired and attained a well-deserved reputation
by their writings, lose it entirely, or damage it in some degree, when
they give them to the press."
"The reason of that," said Samson, "is, that as printed works are
examined leisurely, their faults are easily seen; and the greater
the fame of the writer, the more closely are they scrutinised. Men
famous for their genius, great poets, illustrious historians, are
always, or most commonly, envied by those who take a particular
delight and pleasure in criticising the writings of others, without
having produced any of their own."
"That is no wonder," said Don Quixote; "for there are many divines
who are no good for the pulpit, but excellent in detecting the defects
or excesses of those who preach."
"All that is true, Senor Don Quixote," said Carrasco; "but I wish
such fault-finders were more lenient and less exacting, and did not
pay so much attention to the spots on the bright sun of the work
they grumble at; for if aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus, they
should remember how long he remained awake to shed the light of his
work with as little shade as possible; and perhaps it may be that what
they find fault with may be moles, that sometimes heighten the
beauty of the face that bears them; and so I say very great is the
risk to which he who prints a book exposes himself, for of all
impossibilities the greatest is to write one that will satisfy and
please all readers."
"That which treats of me must have pleased few," said Don Quixote.
"Quite the contrary," said the bachelor; "for, as stultorum
infinitum est numerus, innumerable are those who have relished the
said history; but some have brought a charge against the author's
memory, inasmuch as he forgot to say who the thief was who stole
Sancho's Dapple; for it is not stated there, but only to be inferred
from what is set down, that he was stolen, and a little farther on
we see Sancho mounted on the same ass, without any reappearance of it.
They say, too, that he forgot to state what Sancho did with those
hundred crowns that he found in the valise in the Sierra Morena, as he
never alludes to them again, and there are many who would be glad to
know what he did with them, or what he spent them on, for it is one of
the serious omissions of the work."
"Senor Samson, I am not in a humour now for going into accounts or
explanations," said Sancho; "for there's a sinking of the stomach come
over me, and unless I doctor it with a couple of sups of the old stuff
it will put me on the thorn of Santa Lucia. I have it at home, and
my old woman is waiting for me; after dinner I'll come back, and
will answer you and all the world every question you may choose to
ask, as well about the loss of the ass as about the spending of the
hundred crowns;" and without another word or waiting for a reply he
made off home.
Don Quixote begged and entreated the bachelor to stay and do penance
with him. The bachelor accepted the invitation and remained, a
couple of young pigeons were added to the ordinary fare, at dinner
they talked chivalry, Carrasco fell in with his host's humour, the
banquet came to an end, they took their afternoon sleep, Sancho
returned, and their conversation was resumed.
IN WHICH SANCHO PANZA GIVES A SATISFACTORY REPLY TO THE DOUBTS AND
QUESTIONS OF THE BACHELOR SAMSON CARRASCO, TOGETHER WITH OTHER MATTERS
WORTH KNOWING AND TELLING
Sancho came back to Don Quixote's house, and returning to the late
subject of conversation, he said, "As to what Senor Samson said,
that he would like to know by whom, or how, or when my ass was stolen,
I say in reply that the same night we went into the Sierra Morena,
flying from the Holy Brotherhood after that unlucky adventure of the
galley slaves, and the other of the corpse that was going to
Segovia, my master and I ensconced ourselves in a thicket, and
there, my master leaning on his lance, and I seated on my Dapple,
battered and weary with the late frays we fell asleep as if it had
been on four feather mattresses; and I in particular slept so sound,
that, whoever he was, he was able to come and prop me up on four
stakes, which he put under the four corners of the pack-saddle in such
a way that he left me mounted on it, and took away Dapple from under
me without my feeling it."
"That is an easy matter," said Don Quixote, "and it is no new
occurrence, for the same thing happened to Sacripante at the siege
of Albracca; the famous thief, Brunello, by the same contrivance, took
his horse from between his legs."
"Day came," continued Sancho, "and the moment I stirred the stakes
gave way and I fell to the ground with a mighty come down; I looked
about for the ass, but could not see him; the tears rushed to my
eyes and I raised such a lamentation that, if the author of our
history has not put it in, he may depend upon it he has left out a
good thing. Some days after, I know not how many, travelling with
her ladyship the Princess Micomicona, I saw my ass, and mounted upon
him, in the dress of a gipsy, was that Gines de Pasamonte, the great
rogue and rascal that my master and I freed from the chain."
"That is not where the mistake is," replied Samson; "it is, that
before the ass has turned up, the author speaks of Sancho as being
mounted on it."
"I don't know what to say to that," said Sancho, "unless that the
historian made a mistake, or perhaps it might be a blunder of the
"No doubt that's it," said Samson; "but what became of the hundred
crowns? Did they vanish?"
To which Sancho answered, "I spent them for my own good, and my
wife's, and my children's, and it is they that have made my wife
bear so patiently all my wanderings on highways and byways, in the
service of my master, Don Quixote; for if after all this time I had
come back to the house without a rap and without the ass, it would
have been a poor look-out for me; and if anyone wants to know anything
more about me, here I am, ready to answer the king himself in
person; and it is no affair of anyone's whether I took or did not
take, whether I spent or did not spend; for the whacks that were given
me in these journeys were to be paid for in money, even if they were
valued at no more than four maravedis apiece, another hundred crowns
would not pay me for half of them. Let each look to himself and not
try to make out white black, and black white; for each of us is as God
made him, aye, and often worse."
"I will take care," said Carrasco, "to impress upon the author of
the history that, if he prints it again, he must not forget what
worthy Sancho has said, for it will raise it a good span higher."
"Is there anything else to correct in the history, senor
bachelor?" asked Don Quixote.
"No doubt there is," replied he; "but not anything that will be of
the same importance as those I have mentioned."
"Does the author promise a second part at all?" said Don Quixote.
"He does promise one," replied Samson; "but he says he has not found
it, nor does he know who has got it; and we cannot say whether it will
appear or not; and so, on that head, as some say that no second part
has ever been good, and others that enough has been already written
about Don Quixote, it is thought there will be no second part;
though some, who are jovial rather than saturnine, say, 'Let us have
more Quixotades, let Don Quixote charge and Sancho chatter, and no
matter what it may turn out, we shall be satisfied with that.'"
"And what does the author mean to do?" said Don Quixote.
"What?" replied Samson; "why, as soon as he has found the history
which he is now searching for with extraordinary diligence, he will at
once give it to the press, moved more by the profit that may accrue to
him from doing so than by any thought of praise."
Whereat Sancho observed, "The author looks for money and profit,
does he? It will he a wonder if he succeeds, for it will be only
hurry, hurry, with him, like the tailor on Easter Eve; and works
done in a hurry are never finished as perfectly as they ought to be.
Let master Moor, or whatever he is, pay attention to what he is doing,
and I and my master will give him as much grouting ready to his
hand, in the way of adventures and accidents of all sorts, as would
make up not only one second part, but a hundred. The good man fancies,
no doubt, that we are fast asleep in the straw here, but let him
hold up our feet to be shod and he will see which foot it is we go
lame on. All I say is, that if my master would take my advice, we
would be now afield, redressing outrages and righting wrongs, as is
the use and custom of good knights-errant."
Sancho had hardly uttered these words when the neighing of Rocinante
fell upon their ears, which neighing Don Quixote accepted as a happy
omen, and he resolved to make another sally in three or four days from
that time. Announcing his intention to the bachelor, he asked his
advice as to the quarter in which he ought to commence his expedition,
and the bachelor replied that in his opinion he ought to go to the
kingdom of Aragon, and the city of Saragossa, where there were to be
certain solemn joustings at the festival of St. George, at which he
might win renown above all the knights of Aragon, which would be
winning it above all the knights of the world. He commended his very
praiseworthy and gallant resolution, but admonished him to proceed
with greater caution in encountering dangers, because his life did not
belong to him, but to all those who had need of him to protect and aid
them in their misfortunes.
"There's where it is, what I abominate, Senor Samson," said Sancho
here; "my master will attack a hundred armed men as a greedy boy would
half a dozen melons. Body of the world, senor bachelor! there is a
time to attack and a time to retreat, and it is not to be always
'Santiago, and close Spain!' Moreover, I have heard it said (and I
think by my master himself, if I remember rightly) that the mean of
valour lies between the extremes of cowardice and rashness; and if
that be so, I don't want him to fly without having good reason, or
to attack when the odds make it better not. But, above all things, I
warn my master that if he is to take me with him it must be on the
condition that he is to do all the fighting, and that I am not to be
called upon to do anything except what concerns keeping him clean
and comfortable; in this I will dance attendance on him readily; but
to expect me to draw sword, even against rascally churls of the
hatchet and hood, is idle. I don't set up to be a fighting man,
Senor Samson, but only the best and most loyal squire that ever served
knight-errant; and if my master Don Quixote, in consideration of my
many faithful services, is pleased to give me some island of the
many his worship says one may stumble on in these parts, I will take
it as a great favour; and if he does not give it to me, I was born
like everyone else, and a man must not live in dependence on anyone
except God; and what is more, my bread will taste as well, and perhaps
even better, without a government than if I were a governor; and how
do I know but that in these governments the devil may have prepared
some trip for me, to make me lose my footing and fall and knock my
grinders out? Sancho I was born and Sancho I mean to die. But for
all that, if heaven were to make me a fair offer of an island or
something else of the kind, without much trouble and without much
risk, I am not such a fool as to refuse it; for they say, too, 'when
they offer thee a heifer, run with a halter; and 'when good luck comes
to thee, take it in.'"
"Brother Sancho," said Carrasco, "you have spoken like a
professor; but, for all that, put your trust in God and in Senor Don
Quixote, for he will give you a kingdom, not to say an island."
"It is all the same, be it more or be it less," replied Sancho;
"though I can tell Senor Carrasco that my master would not throw the
kingdom he might give me into a sack all in holes; for I have felt
my own pulse and I find myself sound enough to rule kingdoms and
govern islands; and I have before now told my master as much."
"Take care, Sancho," said Samson; "honours change manners, and
perhaps when you find yourself a governor you won't know the mother
that bore you."
"That may hold good of those that are born in the ditches," said
Sancho, "not of those who have the fat of an old Christian four
fingers deep on their souls, as I have. Nay, only look at my
disposition, is that likely to show ingratitude to anyone?"
"God grant it," said Don Quixote; "we shall see when the
government comes; and I seem to see it already."
He then begged the bachelor, if he were a poet, to do him the favour
of composing some verses for him conveying the farewell he meant to
take of his lady Dulcinea del Toboso, and to see that a letter of
her name was placed at the beginning of each line, so that, at the end
of the verses, "Dulcinea del Toboso" might be read by putting together
the first letters. The bachelor replied that although he was not one
of the famous poets of Spain, who were, they said, only three and a
half, he would not fail to compose the required verses; though he
saw a great difficulty in the task, as the letters which made up the
name were seventeen; so, if he made four ballad stanzas of four
lines each, there would be a letter over, and if he made them of five,
what they called decimas or redondillas, there were three letters
short; nevertheless he would try to drop a letter as well as he could,
so that the name "Dulcinea del Toboso" might be got into four ballad
"It must be, by some means or other," said Don Quixote, "for
unless the name stands there plain and manifest, no woman would
believe the verses were made for her."
They agreed upon this, and that the departure should take place in
three days from that time. Don Quixote charged the bachelor to keep it
a secret, especially from the curate and Master Nicholas, and from his
niece and the housekeeper, lest they should prevent the execution of
his praiseworthy and valiant purpose. Carrasco promised all, and
then took his leave, charging Don Quixote to inform him of his good or
evil fortunes whenever he had an opportunity; and thus they bade
each other farewell, and Sancho went away to make the necessary
preparations for their expedition.
OF THE SHREWD AND DROLL CONVERSATION THAT PASSED BETWEEN SANCHO
PANZA AND HIS WIFE TERESA PANZA, AND OTHER MATTERS WORTHY OF BEING
The translator of this history, when he comes to write this fifth
chapter, says that he considers it apocryphal, because in it Sancho
Panza speaks in a style unlike that which might have been expected
from his limited intelligence, and says things so subtle that he
does not think it possible he could have conceived them; however,
desirous of doing what his task imposed upon him, he was unwilling
to leave it untranslated, and therefore he went on to say:
Sancho came home in such glee and spirits that his wife noticed
his happiness a bowshot off, so much so that it made her ask him,
"What have you got, Sancho friend, that you are so glad?"
To which he replied, "Wife, if it were God's will, I should be
very glad not to be so well pleased as I show myself."
"I don't understand you, husband," said she, "and I don't know
what you mean by saying you would be glad, if it were God's will,
not to be well pleased; for, fool as I am, I don't know how one can
find pleasure in not having it."
"Hark ye, Teresa," replied Sancho, "I am glad because I have made up
my mind to go back to the service of my master Don Quixote, who
means to go out a third time to seek for adventures; and I am going
with him again, for my necessities will have it so, and also the
hope that cheers me with the thought that I may find another hundred
crowns like those we have spent; though it makes me sad to have to
leave thee and the children; and if God would be pleased to let me
have my daily bread, dry-shod and at home, without taking me out
into the byways and cross-roads- and he could do it at small cost by
merely willing it- it is clear my happiness would be more solid and
lasting, for the happiness I have is mingled with sorrow at leaving
thee; so that I was right in saying I would be glad, if it were
God's will, not to be well pleased."
"Look here, Sancho," said Teresa; "ever since you joined on to a
knight-errant you talk in such a roundabout way that there is no
"It is enough that God understands me, wife," replied Sancho; "for
he is the understander of all things; that will do; but mind,
sister, you must look to Dapple carefully for the next three days,
so that he may be fit to take arms; double his feed, and see to the
pack-saddle and other harness, for it is not to a wedding we are
bound, but to go round the world, and play at give and take with
giants and dragons and monsters, and hear hissings and roarings and
bellowings and howlings; and even all this would be lavender, if we
had not to reckon with Yanguesans and enchanted Moors."
"I know well enough, husband," said Teresa, "that squires-errant
don't eat their bread for nothing, and so I will be always praying
to our Lord to deliver you speedily from all that hard fortune."
"I can tell you, wife," said Sancho, "if I did not expect to see
myself governor of an island before long, I would drop down dead on
"Nay, then, husband," said Teresa; "let the hen live, though it be
with her pip, live, and let the devil take all the governments in
the world; you came out of your mother's womb without a government,
you have lived until now without a government, and when it is God's
will you will go, or be carried, to your grave without a government.
How many there are in the world who live without a government, and
continue to live all the same, and are reckoned in the number of the
people. The best sauce in the world is hunger, and as the poor are
never without that, they always eat with a relish. But mind, Sancho,
if by good luck you should find yourself with some government, don't
forget me and your children. Remember that Sanchico is now full
fifteen, and it is right he should go to school, if his uncle the
abbot has a mind to have him trained for the Church. Consider, too,
that your daughter Mari-Sancha will not die of grief if we marry
her; for I have my suspicions that she is as eager to get a husband as
you to get a government; and, after all, a daughter looks better ill
married than well whored."
"By my faith," replied Sancho, "if God brings me to get any sort
of a government, I intend, wife, to make such a high match for
Mari-Sancha that there will be no approaching her without calling
her 'my lady."
"Nay, Sancho," returned Teresa; "marry her to her equal, that is the
safest plan; for if you put her out of wooden clogs into high-heeled
shoes, out of her grey flannel petticoat into hoops and silk gowns,
out of the plain 'Marica' and 'thou,' into 'Dona So-and-so' and 'my
lady,' the girl won't know where she is, and at every turn she will
fall into a thousand blunders that will show the thread of her
coarse homespun stuff."
"Tut, you fool," said Sancho; "it will be only to practise it for
two or three years; and then dignity and decorum will fit her as
easily as a glove; and if not, what matter? Let her he 'my lady,'
and never mind what happens."
"Keep to your own station, Sancho," replied Teresa; "don't try to
raise yourself higher, and bear in mind the proverb that says, 'wipe
the nose of your neigbbour's son, and take him into your house.' A
fine thing it would be, indeed, to marry our Maria to some great count
or grand gentleman, who, when the humour took him, would abuse her and
call her clown-bred and clodhopper's daughter and spinning wench. I
have not been bringing up my daughter for that all this time, I can
tell you, husband. Do you bring home money, Sancho, and leave marrying
her to my care; there is Lope Tocho, Juan Tocho's son, a stout, sturdy
young fellow that we know, and I can see he does not look sour at
the girl; and with him, one of our own sort, she will be well married,
and we shall have her always under our eyes, and be all one family,
parents and children, grandchildren and sons-in-law, and the peace and
blessing of God will dwell among us; so don't you go marrying her in
those courts and grand palaces where they won't know what to make of
her, or she what to make of herself."
"Why, you idiot and wife for Barabbas," said Sancho, "what do you
mean by trying, without why or wherefore, to keep me from marrying
my daughter to one who will give me grandchildren that will be
called 'your lordship'? Look ye, Teresa, I have always heard my elders
say that he who does not know how to take advantage of luck when it
comes to him, has no right to complain if it gives him the go-by;
and now that it is knocking at our door, it will not do to shut it
out; let us go with the favouring breeze that blows upon us."
It is this sort of talk, and what Sancho says lower down, that
made the translator of the history say he considered this chapter
"Don't you see, you animal," continued Sancho, "that it will be well
for me to drop into some profitable government that will lift us out
of the mire, and marry Mari-Sancha to whom I like; and you yourself
will find yourself called 'Dona Teresa Panza,' and sitting in church
on a fine carpet and cushions and draperies, in spite and in
defiance of all the born ladies of the town? No, stay as you are,
growing neither greater nor less, like a tapestry figure- Let us say
no more about it, for Sanchica shall be a countess, say what you
"Are you sure of all you say, husband?" replied Teresa. "Well, for
all that, I am afraid this rank of countess for my daughter will be
her ruin. You do as you like, make a duchess or a princess of her, but
I can tell you it will not be with my will and consent. I was always a
lover of equality, brother, and I can't bear to see people give
themselves airs without any right. They called me Teresa at my
baptism, a plain, simple name, without any additions or tags or
fringes of Dons or Donas; Cascajo was my father's name, and as I am
your wife, I am called Teresa Panza, though by right I ought to he
called Teresa Cascajo; but 'kings go where laws like,' and I am
content with this name without having the 'Don' put on top of it to
make it so heavy that I cannot carry it; and I don't want to make
people talk about me when they see me go dressed like a countess or
governor's wife; for they will say at once, 'See what airs the slut
gives herself! Only yesterday she was always spinning flax, and used
to go to mass with the tail of her petticoat over her head instead
of a mantle, and there she goes to-day in a hooped gown with her
broaches and airs, as if we didn't know her!' If God keeps me in my
seven senses, or five, or whatever number I have, I am not going to
bring myself to such a pass; go you, brother, and be a government or
an island man, and swagger as much as you like; for by the soul of
my mother, neither my daughter nor I are going to stir a step from our
village; a respectable woman should have a broken leg and keep at
home; and to he busy at something is a virtuous damsel's holiday; be
off to your adventures along with your Don Quixote, and leave us to
our misadventures, for God will mend them for us according as we
deserve it. I don't know, I'm sure, who fixed the 'Don' to him, what
neither his father nor grandfather ever had."
"I declare thou hast a devil of some sort in thy body!" said Sancho.
"God help thee, what a lot of things thou hast strung together, one
after the other, without head or tail! What have Cascajo, and the
broaches and the proverbs and the airs, to do with what I say? Look
here, fool and dolt (for so I may call you, when you don't
understand my words, and run away from good fortune), if I had said
that my daughter was to throw herself down from a tower, or go roaming
the world, as the Infanta Dona Urraca wanted to do, you would be right
in not giving way to my will; but if in an instant, in less than the
twinkling of an eye, I put the 'Don' and 'my lady' on her back, and
take her out of the stubble, and place her under a canopy, on a
dais, and on a couch, with more velvet cushions than all the Almohades
of Morocco ever had in their family, why won't you consent and fall in
with my wishes?"
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